David McCarthy is a former student of the Ramtha School of Enlightenment and a friend of mine. He has helped create and launch a website so former Ramtha students can share their experiences. The website is located at http://www.enlightenmefree.com. This is aÂ websiteÂ primarily for ex-Ramtha students, family and those that have questions.
Ramtha, aka JZ Knight, was featured in the movie “What The Bleep” and is a reputed 35,000 year old channeled spirit from Atlantis. Many people have followed her teachings and attended seminars at her compound in Yelm, WA.
How does an intelligent and studied person end up in an organization like this? That is part of what David McCarthy wants to shed light on. You can also find a lot of skeptic articles about Ramtha at one of my favorite websites: The James Randi Educational Foundation.
David has gone through a lot to unravel the web weaved while in Ramtha and I applaude him for his courage and dedication to this effort. In an age where it’s so popular to have an open mind, it’s good to remember the mind should not be SO open that the brain falls out.
When you get your mind back it’s a wonderful thing. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, especially on pseudo-science.
Getting Sprung from the Snare
Leaving a group such as this is usually not easy. Why? Because there are “costs” associated with leaving. One can look at themselves and evaluate the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual costs of leaving. They face issues such as these and before actual leaving, a person may cling to the group and play mind games with themselves (defense mechanisms) to keep themselves from having to deal with the effects of leaving. One may justify behaviors to themselves to stay in the group, though they know they need to get out. It’s necessary to face the emotional cost of exiting such a group, such as leaving friends, who will probably abandon you. Facing the psychological and emotional issues of leaving; shame, depression, isolation, sadness, guilt, anger, abandonment, betrayal, confusion, lost self-esteem. Physically, it’s not unheard of for people to delay leaving a group even when they know it’s over, because of the emotional impact of moving on.
* “People leave cults for a variety of reasons. After becoming aware of hypocrisy and/or corruption within the group, converts who have maintained an element of independence and some connection with their old values may simply walk out disillusioned. Other members may leave because they have become weary of a routine of proselytizing and fund-raising. Sometimes even the most dedicated members may feel so inadequate in the face of the cultâ€™s demands that they walk away, not because they have stopped believing, but because they feel like abject failures. Still others may renounce the cult after reconnecting to old values, goals, interests, or relationships, resulting from visits with parents, talks with ex-members, or counseling.
Persons who consider leaving a group such as this, are usually pressured to stay. Some ex-members say that they spent months, even years, trying to garner the strength to walk out. Some felt so intimidated that they departed secretly.
Although most group members eventually walk out on their own, parental alarm should not be discounted. First, many, if not most, who leave cults on their own are psychologically harmed, often in ways which they do not understand. Second, some cultists never leave, and some of these are severely harmed. And third, there is no way to predict who will leave, who wonâ€™t leave, or who will be harmed.”
RECOVERY & MOVING ON
“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
–From Hamlet (I, v, 166-167)
After a person has left a group they go through their personal recovery process. This process includes healing from emotional, psychological, spiritual, and perhaps physical trauma. While each person’s story is somewhat different there are phases that people go through while moving on. Ex-group members may find help in talking to others, educating themselves about similar types of groups, and eventually re-adapting to society. The following information is a summary by Margaret Thaler Singer about group recovery processes. Gift yourself with the time it takes to read through all of this material.
“Post-Cult After Effects
Margaret Thaler Singer, Ph.D.
excerpted from the website: http://www.csj.org/studyindex/studyrecovery/study_trauma.htm
After exiting a cult, an individual may experience a period of intense and often conflicting emotions. She or he may feel relief to be out of the group, but also may feel grief over the loss of positive elements in the cult, such as friendships, a sense of belonging or the feeling of personal worth generated by the group’s stated ideals or mission. The emotional upheaval of the period is often characterized by “post-cult trauma syndrome”:
sense of loss
depression & suicidal thoughts
fear that not obeying the cult’s wishes will result in God’s wrath or loss of salvation
alienation from family, friends
sense of isolation, loneliness due to being surrounded by people who have no basis for understanding cult life
fear of evil spirits taking over one’s life outside the cult
scrupulosity, excessive rigidity about rules of minor importance
panic disproportionate to one’s circumstances
fear of going insane
confusion about right and wrong
The period of exiting from a cult is usually a traumatic experience and, like any great change in a person’s life, involves passing through stages of accommodation to the change:
Disbelief/denial: “This can’t be happening. It couldn’t have been that bad.”