Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Identified as a trouble maker by the authorities since childhood, and resolved to live up to the description, Charles Carreon soon discovered that mischief is most effectively fomented through speech. Having mastered the art of flinging verbal pipe-bombs and molotov cocktails at an early age, he refined his skills by writing legal briefs and journalistic exposes, while developing a poetic style that meandered from the lyrical to the political. Journey with him into the dark caves of the human experience, illuminated by the torch of an outraged sense of injustice.

Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:28 am



Review of "Eye In The Sky," by Phil K. Dick

The copyright on this book is 1957. Appropriately enough for a sci-fi novel of that era, it was titled by the editor, not the author, and composed in around six days while Phil Dick kept his pump primed with Dexamyl and worked on an old typewriter in a farmhouse with a chilly English wife on the Northern California coast. They had sheep. You should know that Phil didn't really want to be a sci-fi writer. He did that because those books sold. He wrote one serious novel -- it didn't sell. The rest are all rewritings, as he admitted himself, of the same story, over and over again.

Dick retold the same story so many times because his readers loved it. They loved it because through that story he lucidly explored the implications of pure Mind-only Buddhism, aka Yogacara. The first scene in Eye In The Sky takes place at the scientific facility housing the "Belmont Bevatron" on October 2, 1959, when the "proton beam deflector" malfunctioned and "the six billion volt beam radiated upward toward the roof of the chamber, incinerating, along its way, an observation platform overlooking the doughnut-shaped magnet." Eight people "fell to the floor of the Bevatron chamber and lay in a state of injury and shock until the magnetic field had been drained and the hard radiation partially neutralized."

The novel explores the psychological effect of the rogue proton blast on six of these victims. During the brief time while they are falling through the force field, the victims experience what Tibetans would call a "bardo," a gap in ordinary space-time. One by one, each of the participants assumes control of the psychological state of all the others, projecting them into a bizarre world which reflects their inner character. Any Mahayana Buddhist will recognize the six realms, tinged by the respective passions. No twisting or interpreting is required to see this grand outline.

Written at the height of McCarthyism, Eye In The Sky is tinged with interpersonal paranoia and the shadow of thought-crime. Each character has developed a relationship with society that seems far from wholesome. And yet, these characters seem oddly familiar to ourselves. One girl, the small, dark haired archetype that haunts Dick's novels, is an outspoken communist in "real life." But when the other characters are projected into her reality, it is a jackbooted nightmare of fascist domination. Her fear of oppression has hardened into an oppressive internal regime.

The self-destructive effects of paranoia, the self-inflating effects of religionism, and other follies of subjectivity are explored in a narrative that moves at times with heart-pounding swiftness. Perfect for a transcontinental plane flight, this book can be ripped through in five to six hours, and leaves your unconscious ringing. One of Dick's finest, this book is small in size, with exquisite fire -- a major gem.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:29 am

PIPELINE DREAMS, by Charles Carreon


"Blue Crush" is a movie we've seen before, with male characters. It's ably redone for modern female roles. Remember the story about the ball player who has a performance problem? Something happened, and he lost his touch? Someone from his past comes along, won't let it go, just has to goad him about what he coulda been. This boyhood friend gradually helps the hero overcome his obstacle, and get the recognition he deserves.

Change the sex of the characters, crunch the plot into the lifespan of a seventeen-year old girl, and you have Blue Crush. It's a fun film for girls to help develop a can-do attitude. It also casts men in the role of animals, be they amusing teddy bear black guy NFL footballers who spoof themselves, or young Hawaiian toughs with tattoos to here and attitude to there. For Anne Marie's love interest, we get a Ken-doll quarterback with enough sensitivity to scare any reasonable person. Age disparities are notable and unmentioned in this movie, something you may not want your girls to develop a can-do attitude about. Whatever, must be Hawaii, as Ben Morita said in "Honeymoon In Vegas," where the women "all go freaky-freaky."

Somehow, Anne Marie has one hell of a cool old beater, a '58 Chevy Biscayne that reaches out and pulls back from a couple of serious near head-on collisions. The sort of fun thing that leaves all the participants smiling, it's so fun to almost kill everyone. The great thing about a car of that vintage and suspension is that they veer all over the road in a real cool fashion. Don't try this on your home island.

Anne Marie has a past, in the form of her bad boyfriend, Drew or something like that. When Anne Marie, short on cash after being fired by the mean old Asian head of housekeeping at the mega-hotel where she and her two pals work, runs into the quarterback, sparks fly and cash changes hands in a hotel room. Not what you think. That roll of ten C-notes, a cool grand for a kid who sleeps on a bare mattress in a beach hut, is not evidence of a meretricious relationship. It's for surfing lessons.

And Anne Marie delivers, giving the quarterbuck his money's worth all day long, and a little bonus at night. Which leaves Eden, her childhood buddy and surfing coach, played by Michelle Rodriguez (fresh from "Girlfight"), steaming mad. Boy can that girl sulk with those full lips. No it's not a lesbian thing. It's about greatness, achievement, and not turning back from fear.

The next day they're out in the waves, with Eden towing Anne Marie out into some big waves using a jet-ski. First time I ever saw this maneuver (I'm not really a surf fan, more a surf fan dilettante) was in the fantastic surf movie, "In God's Hands," which we will also be sharing here as soon as we get some screen caps. This scene is more about Anne Marie trying to confront her fear of getting killed like she almost did when she smacked her head on an underwater rock, an event she's at a distinct risk of repeating if she keeps trying to surf monster waves.

The ultimate monster beckons -- the Banzai Pipeline women's event. The battle continues inside Anne Marie all through the competition until a red-headed mature woman surfer with a body that's like a coil spring for conducting the whipping energy of the waves, pulls up next to Anne Marie and coaches her past her fear. "Let's get you a wave," she says. It's kind of like a rodeo scene, y'know.

Well Anne Marie catches her wave, and in one of those scenes that is what cinema is made for, she rides the pipeline all the way to a joyful finish.

And what about the quarterback? He was there.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:31 am



Born in 1879 in a small Indian village, this delightful sage lived until the mid-1930s at his ashram on a hill named Arunachala located in Tiruvannamali, Tamil Nadu. Notable among gurus for not having sought out mystical revelation, he nevertheless had a revelatory experience early in life that he said altered his view of life forever, and which he described as follows:

"It was about six weeks before I left Madurai for good that the great change in my life took place. It was quite sudden. I was sitting alone in a room on the first floor of my uncle les' house. I seldom had any sickness, and on that day there was nothing wrong with my health, but a sudden violent fear of death overtook me. There was nothing in my state of health to account for it, and I did not try to find out whether there was any reason for the fear. I just felt, 'I am going to die' and began thinking what to do about it. It did not occur to me to consult a doctor or my elders or friends; I felt that I had to solve the problem myself, there and then.

The shock of the fear of death drove my mind inwards and I said to myself mentally, without actually framing the words: 'now death has come; what does it mean? What is it that is dying? This body dies.' and at once dramatized the occurrence of death. I lay with my limbs stretched out stiff as though rigor mortis had set in and imitated a corpse so as to give greater reality to the inquiry. I held my breath and kept my lips tightly closed so that no sound could escape, so that neither the word 'I' nor any other word could be uttered. 'Well then,' I said to myself, 'this body is dead. It will be carried stiff to the burning ground and there burnt and reduced to ashes. But with the death of this body am I dead? Is the body I? It is silent and inert but I feel the full force of my personality and even the voice of ht 'I' within me, apart from it. So I am Spirit transcending the body. The body dies but the Spirit that transcends it cannot be touched by death. That means I am the deathless Sprit." All this was not dull thought; it flashed through me vividly as living truth, which I perceived directly, almost without thought process. 'I' was something very real, the only real thing about my present state, and all the conscious activity connected with my body was centered on that 'I'. From that moment onwards the ‘I’ or Self focused attention on itself by a powerful fascination. Fear of death had vanished once and for all. Absorption in the Self continued unbroken from that time on. Other thoughts might come and go like the various notes of music, but the 'I' continued like the fundamental sruti note that underlies and blends with all the other notes. Whether the body was engaged in talking reading or anything else, I was still centered on 'I'. Previous to that crisis I had no clear perception of my Self and was not consciously attracted to it. I felt no perceptible or direct interest in it, much less any inclination to dwell permanently in it."

Ramana left home shortly after this experience, using some money his brother had given him to buy some schoolbooks for him to catch a train. The experience of spontaneous opening left him adrift in the world, of which he said, “When I left home, I was like a speck swept on by a tremendous flood, I knew not my body or the world, whether it was day or night.” His heart carried him to Arunachala Hill, a place long sacred to Lord Shiva. Ramana said it was the center of the world.

After arriving at the Arunchalesvara Temple, he allowed his head to be shaved and threw away the last of the money he had obtained from pawning his earrings. He never handled money again. No one was caring for him very closely, and since all he wanted to do was nothing, he simply hid away from the light in a chamber under the temple, and drifted into complete absorption in inner ecstasy that was so profound he did not notice when his legs were being eaten by ants. After a few months of neglect, people began to take care of him, and he was put up in increasingly nice little places. First a cave, then a room built on to expand the cave, finally a whole temple dedicated to him.

Ramana Maharshi never lost the common touch. It’s said that when he noticed that only the inner circle of the temple were served coffee in the temple cafeteria, he never drank coffee again. Also that when he saw a person who had pained legs being forced to draw them up to avoid pointing the soles of their feet in Ramana’s direction, that he, who also suffered painful legs due to injuries from the ant problem, insisted on drawing up his feet. “If this one is insulting me by extending her legs, then I am insulting everyone,” he insisted, when his disciples tried to explain their dual standard.

Ramana rejected all solicitations to guruhood. When an old man brought him a walking stick for a gift, Ramana declined to accept it, saying that he had no possessions and it would simply be lifted by some random person, the old man seemed agonized that Ramana would not accept the gift. Nevertheless, he stood firm, and would not condescend to the man’s projections, agreeing only to touch the stick, which remained the man’s own possession.

Ramana is said to have had the power to liberate people and even animals who were dying, placing his hand over the dying person’s physical heart and guiding their spirit to stillness in the very center of the spiritual heart. He said he could sense the final achievement of liberation like the ringing of a tiny silver bell, and performed this feat of kindness memorably for his mother and for the much-beloved ashram cow, Lakshmi. The monkeys who lived in the trees nearby him loved him deeply, and Ramana commented that the head of the monkey tribe was a profound, kingly spirit.

Ramana taught a simple practice derived from his own experience, in order to obtain the same understanding he possessed. Simply ask yourself, “Who am I?” Use this inquiry to point your mind at your self, at the core of your existence. This practice gives rise to an intuition. Follow that intuition.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:32 am

RAY BRADBURY HIGH, by Charles Carreon

It was 1967 in Phoenix, Arizona. I was in my freshman year at Camelback High, twelve years old, just out of a three-year stint in a Catholic military school in Virginia, an experienced I detailed in A Day In the Life of PFC Charles Carreon, Nine Years Old. The library in military school was pretty deficient, and I only remember two books from there, one being Jacques Cousteau's "Undersea Explorer," and the other "The Story of The United States Secret Service." So I was happy to find that the Camelback High library was really big, and had a modest sci-fi section.

I started at the beginning. Of course Asimov owned the “A” section, and I gobbled up "The Stars Like Dust" in about two days. But I quickly moved on to the “B” section of the Science Fiction Alphabet, and there discovered Ray Bradbury.

I had a long bus ride every day, and I was one of those poor latchkey kids, because my mom worked and my Dad lived in Washington DC. So there was nobody to meet me at home, which didn't have good air conditioning, and was thus hotter than hell. So it was easier to stay in the library and catch the late bus home, which gave me about three or four hours of reading that I could do without having to dodge the inquiring glances of my teachers. Yes, in those days they would dog you about reading a book in class. Now I guess they're happy if you aren't cooking crank in the boys room.

Those were innocent days. All the world was potential to me. Bradbury introduced me to magical realism, in my view. That label hadn’t been invented, though, so “science-fiction” seemed an appropriate label for the author of some stories released under the name of The Martian Chronicles. Bradbury created a very non-scientifically-correct Mars, however, populated variously by mysterious ancient ones who faded into ashes at the touch of the chicken pox, by golden-skinned poets who shot their rivals with deadly bees, and by transplanted Africans, who left behind an earth full of nasty white folks. Bradbury found enough room in outer space to step outside of our social constraints and imagine something new. For example, by imagining black people in control of their own planet, we could imagine black people free of white domination. By imagining jealous Martian poets armed with living weapons, he conjured the unfamiliar through the familiar. The emotions we recognize. The landscape is foreign. The effect is entrancing.

I also read “The Illustrated Man,” another story collection that expanded my realm of imaginative experience, giving me, among other things, a vista onto an African veldt with holographic lions that can’t be trusted (“The Veldt”), and a visit to a house that kept on minding its occupants even after they were incinerated in a nuclear attack (“There Will Come Soft Rains”). In Dandelion Wine, Bradbury turned soft and reflective, creating an elixir of light and time with stories like “A Medicine for Melancholy.” These stories, which I often read in the back of a bus pushing its way through the hot streets of Phoenix, Arizona, as the sun settled toward sunset, left me feeling dreamy and distant, a million miles away from the desert town, an inhabitant of the Universe.

“Twice Twenty-Two” was another Bradbury story collection of forty-four stories that I remember had an effect that I can only recollect as intoxicating. I remember closing the book, and thinking how amazing it was that I could just open the covers and find a universe of infinite extent, bounded only by the imagination.

I read “Something Wicked This Way Comes,” a hair raising set of stories about a nightmare circus that comes to the edge of town, claiming victims who find themselves caught on the wrong side of the funhouse mirror, unable to return from a ferris wheel ride, marooned in a realm of illusion. In “The Wonderful Ice Cream Suit,” which was made into a movie with Eddie Olmos and other pioneering Hispanic actors that I recently watched, Bradbury sketched a quaint but charming set of theatrical vignettes with an especially Latin take on the concept that clothes make the man.

As the years went by, I turned less often to Bradbury, but occasionally returned to his realm of fable, myth and parable. He brought to mind the issues that my teachers in high school rarely seemed to raise – issues of magic, friendship, love, loss, and death. Because most of his stories are short, and often have young characters engaged in passionate life situations, they are ideal for young people, and make great gifts for readers of any age.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:54 am

SLEEPERS AWAKE!, by Charles Carreon

[In this review of the essential lessons to be drawn from the notorious "Zimbardo Prison Experiment," attorney Charles Carreon draws parallels between the Buddhist cult experience and the voluntary assumption of a prisoner-role. He concludes that, just as the experimental subjects in the prison experiment were unable to extricate themselves from the psychological bonds they assumed when they joined the experiment, similarly, the Buddhist cultist is unable to end cult servitude without the outside assistance that brings an "intrusion of reality." Modern American Buddhists must take up the work of knocking on the cocoons of modern Buddhist sleepers who have forgotten freedom in the dream of joyful subservience.]

You have probably heard about the Stanford Prison Experiment, aka "The Zimbardo experiment." Conducted in 1971 at Stanford by Philip Zimbardo, the study sought to uncover the psychological effects of becoming a prisoner or prison guard. Zimbardo set up a simulated prison to observe the effects of the institution on behavior.

Starting out with a single group of young men who volunteered to participate in the study for $15/day, Zimbardo randomly assigned half the participants to serve as prisoners, and half to serve as guards, for the duration of the experiment. The prisoners were arrested at their homes without notice by real police, and delivered to Zimbardo's custody. They were placed in a mock prison that had been created by fitting offices with barred doors to create cells, walling off a hallway for a common area, and establishing a special room for solitary confinement. The guards worked shifts and wore uniforms, including mirrorshade sunglasses. The prisoners wore smocks, a chain around the ankle, and stocking-coverings on their heads to simulate buzzcuts. Guards were given discretion to adopt rules and policing strategies as needed.

After one day, the participants had gotten so far into their adopted roles as prisoners or guards that they could no longer distinguish their role-playing from reality. Several prisoners experienced breakdowns, one went on a hunger strike, several served time in solitary confinement, and a rumored jailbreak never materialized but put the guards on red alert and overtime for an entire night. On the sixth day the experiment was halted, by which time one third of the guards were displaying sadistic tendencies, three prisoners had been released due to psychological breakdown, and Zimbardo himself had become absorbed in the role of prison warden.

While stone walls alone may not a prison make, Zimbardo was able to create a reasonable facsimile by using the following behavior triggers:

1. Arrest and confinement;

2. Notice of a rationale for the loss of freedom -- the warden informed prisoners of the seriousness of their offense and their new status as prisoners;

3. Procedures to make prisoners feel confused, fearful, and dehumanized, such as stripping, searching, blindfolding, delousing, and shaving their heads;

4. Providing uniforms for the prisoners that were debasing, emasculating and de-individualizing, and also chains around their feet;

5. I.D. numbers instead of names;

6. Badges, tools and uniforms of authority for the guards, such as khaki uniforms, whistles, billy clubs, and special mirror sun-glasses to prevent anyone from seeing their eyes and reading their emotions;

7. Small living cells and a minimally adequate diet;

8. Occasions for the guards to exercise control over the prisoners, such as the 2:30 a.m. wake-up count;

9. Lack of specific rules to guide guard behavior which led to use of physical punishment for infractions of the rules, or displays of improper attitudes towards the guards or institution, such as push-ups, jumping jacks; and menial, repetitive work such as cleaning toilets, psychological tactics of harassment, intimidation, control, surveillance and aggression, such as stripping the prisoners naked, taking their beds out, forcing prisoners into solitary confinement, and granting special privileges to make the prisoners distrust each other, as well as placing informants;

10. Manipulating appearances on “visiting day” to make the prison environment seem pleasant and benign; making the prisoners wash, shave, and clean their cells, and feeding the prisoners a big dinner, and playing music on the intercom, and having an attractive cheerleader greet the visitors.

What followed from the imposition of this regimen? A virtually immediate disconnection from reality and near-total absorption in the roles of prisoner or guard, including the gamut of pathological and coping behaviors.

Participants were helpless to re-start their former sense of independence. Prisoners referred to themselves by number, obeyed the rules because they felt powerless to resist, and because their sense of reality had shifted to no longer perceiving their imprisonment as an experiment.

Even though they hated their situation, none of the prisoners asserted their right to terminate the experiment, a right that they unquestionably never lost, since the criminal laws against unjust imprisonment remain in effect. Many suffered from acute emotional disturbance, disorganized thinking, and uncontrollable crying and rage. One prisoner testified that he felt he had lost his identity and had in fact become his number. Another had to be forcibly reminded that he was not a prisoner, and could leave since his health required it. “Like a child waking from a nightmare,” Zimbardo described the young man’s face as he realized that he was a free man.

None of the guards voiced unwillingness to proceed with the experiment, and in fact were extraordinarily punctual and volunteered extra time when prisoner rebellions required it. Some of the guards were hostile, arbitrary, and inventive in their forms of prisoner humiliation and appeared to thoroughly enjoy the power they wielded. Most were upset when the study was prematurely ended.

We noticed some similarities between the Zimbardo experiment and religious cult behavior, including:

1. Voluntary entry into a system that limits freedom of action and speech;

2. Imposition of a doctrine that rationalizes the loss of freedom as being in the best interests of the members and makes students feel confused and fearful;

3. Using dharma names instead of real names;

4. Establishment of a hierarchy of authority;

5. Adoption of badges of authority by those in the dominant position;

6. Adoption of signs of submission on the part of subordinate members;

7. Lack of modern rules to guide behavior, and many aspects of students' behavior falling under the control of the leaders;

8. Small living spaces; and a minimally adequate diet;

9. Occasions to exercise control;

10. Physical exercise; menial, repetitive work; psychological tactics of intimidation and control; special privileges;

11. Manipulating the situation to make the environment seem pleasant and benign.

By adopting these rules, the students lose their connection with the self that existed before becoming a cult member. The loss of identification with the former self that voluntarily chose to enter cult society, develops into rejection of that former self as a pitiful fool or stubborn blockhead. Students compete within dharma society for authoritarian roles. Students begin to identify with the cult system adopting its social norms as their own rejecting any suggestion that their loss of freedom is undesirable.

Clearly role-playing games are a form of psychological quick-sand. Role playing is addictive, and evidence shows that role-playing participants feel psychologically compelled to continue role-playing because of interpersonal self-esteem issues, commitments and vows. Once it happens, you are indeed a prisoner. Like in the song Hotel California, “you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave.”

Another shocking piece of data from the Zimbardo experiment is the rapidity with which the transformation occurred, and the power of behavioral triggers to induce psychological assimilation of role characteristics, such as the emergence of genuine sadistic traits among 1/3 of the "guards." Guards and prisoners quickly identified each other as adversaries in a game of dominance that the guards were fated to win, stimulating the creativity and paranoid strategizing of the guards to outwit and frustrate prisoners' bids for dignity and freedom. To the guards, freedom itself became the enemy in short order. For the prisoners, release became the only goal towards which they could progress, but since no act of theirs would assist in reaching that goal, they became fragmented and depressed.

The only threats to the experimental mindset were occasional incursions of reality. A "prisoner" who became deranged was derided as a faker, trying to cheat his way out of participation, until at last his behavior became so outlandish, that his actual insanity had to be acknowledged. Another psychologist, Christina Maslach, delivered the reality-based insight that brought the experiment to a halt when she saw that the abuse of the "prisoners" by the "guards" had become frighteningly inhumane. This fact had apparently escaped Dr. Zimbardo himself, who perhaps unwisely placed himself in the position of prison "warden," a role from which he found it psychologically impossible to remove himself.

Eruptions of reality seem to provide the only opportunity to break out of self-disempowering role playing.

So since people cannot re-assert their ability to think and act freely after having renounced freedom of speech and action, the spell of the role playing must be broken through by the intrusion of reality outside of the role playing environment. It is unlikely that the individual will generate this force from within, once the role playing process has gotten underway. While this renunciation of freedom may seem to be a matter of voluntary choice, similar to the decision to become a heroin addict, inasmuch as the renunciation of individual freedom undermines political democracy, it may lead to the establishment or strength of overtly authoritarian regimes. Thus, it is well within our rights of political self-protection to strike that blow of intrusive reality that can break open the cocoon of self-delusion that the role player inhabits. While many individuals, cocooned away in their voluntarily adopted subordinate role, may perceive such criticism as an assault on their freedom of belief, an annoying distraction from the effort to become fully absorbed in their assumed role, the racket that they are objecting to is being raised for their own benefit.

Structuring roles is very important. We have to get out of bad roles and it's fair to go around knocking on people's cocoons and telling them what's going on. That's called helping people out. Because they are deluded. It is something genuinely for their benefit. Inducing vow-breaking is fair and what we should do is shine the light on the situation.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:56 am


I am incredibly proud of our Coast Guard
I want to thank
the commanders
and I want to thank
the troops
congratulate the governors for being leaders
you're doing a heck of a job

We're going to spend a lot of time saving lives
Thank you for zero tolerance
We're going to work hard to get it
Get food ... food ... food moving

We're going to spend a lot of time focusing
We're going to save lives and stabilize
Chaos is fantastic
Like it was before
Trent Lott's house
A fantastic house
I'm sitting on the porch

I'm down, I'm down, I'm down
With folks

Want to say something about the compassion
Love yourselves
My dad and Bill Clinton are going to raise money
Faith based groups are responding
Opportunities to help later
Now save lives and stabilize

Thank you, Brownie

My attitude is not exactly right
I've come down to assure people
I'm not looking forward to this trip.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:56 am

ST. FRANCIS, by Charles Carreon

St. Francis is the man, it occurs to me, and Zeffirelli's movie, "Brother Sun-Sister Moon", is an initiatory film that communicates the raw appeal of voluntary poverty, perfect innocence, and naive acceptance of the Saviour's promises of everlasting life. Why lay up treasure where moth and rust do corrupt and thieves break in and steal? Why indeed? St. Francis' jubilation is palpable in Zeffirelli's film, and for those of us vulnerable to its spell, sparks a moment of holy reflection -- How wonderful might it not be, in reality, to abandon concern with what you will eat, or wear, or where you will sleep? Well, the answer is, if you can get a nice shrine renovation project going, and serve the poor as your first concern, then pretty soon you don't even have to worry about your own self. Once we get off our high horse, Francis promises, we will be, to our surprise, supported, provided for. Francis took Jesus' challenge to aid the sick and suffering at face value -- spending time trying to make a dent in human misery just by doing what he could. Of course, that is exactly the most important ingredient for a better world. People who just start, based on a principle -- people come first.

You may ask of course whether belief in the Savior isn't an essential element of Francis' motivational basis -- there is that little matter of eternal life. Suppose you don't buy the God aspect of his thing? Could you still do the voluntary poverty thing, or would you lack the motivation, and fall into selfish egoism regardless? While believing in God is certainly no insurance against developing selfish egoism, belief in a happy afterlife provides a helpful sweetener for an otherwise austere ethic of self-abnegation and other-service. The question of course is whether that can be legitimate, for us today. Can we really believe in heaven because Jesus said, "In my Father's house are many mansions," and "be not afraid, I go to prepare a place for you"? That seems a bit of a questionable basis. But could a modern neo-Franciscan believe in the deathless nature of human awareness-intelligence? Sure, why not? I can't imagine seriously trying to buttress my beliefs by invoking the formula, "Jesus said so." Nevertheless, I personally intuit that awareness-intelligence is deathless. It just feels like it. Of course I could be wrong. But since I believe I'm right, it provides the perfect complement to the belief that we should stop worrying about stuff and start caring for people -- somehow it'll all work out wonderfully in the far future. Today, take care of your fellow human.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:01 am

by Charles Carreon
December, 2003

In 2002 Shambhala Sun, the shameful house organ of the Vajradhatu mafia, published a pathetic softball interview of phony tulku Steven Seagal. The interviewer in "Steven Seagal Speaks" feeds Seagal one easy question after another, and never once follows up with a pointed interrogation. The interviewer points out none of the obvious contradictions in Seagal's flow of blather. I've read more incisive interviews of Miss America.

There's a stink of piety and obeisance to the questions, which are spiked with Trungpa-esque phrases like "finding your seat," which give it that "insider" flavor. (See Trungpa's poem to Osel Tendzin urging him to "find his seat." Tendzin famously misfired while enjoying his seat, causing one of his students, and the student's girlfriend, to die of AIDS. But he had such a sunny disposition in the face of tragedy, that he is quoted as saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, the point is not to live as long as possible." Shambhala Sun has never covered the topic of Tendzin's murders, imposing a complete blackout on this topic. Although Tendzin is venerated by the Shambhaloids, who have reinvented him as a teacher with a "provocative" style, there is no information about him on the Shambhala Sun website, except for that one quote above, drawn from a doctor-devotee's essay.

No, instead of real information about their crash-and-burn gurus, the Shambhala Sun is working to shore up the reputation of Steven Seagal, who dropped out of the sky like the meteor in David Spade's hilarious sendup of redneck life, "Joe Dirt." .The Seagal interview is by screenwriter Stanley Weiser ("Wall Street" 1989). His Seagal interview is so soft-brained , I thought maybe he wrote "The Karate Kid." It must be the air in Los Angeles; either that, or the number of gurus that swing through the town.

Whatever the cause, Weiser takes Seagal seriously, as only a fellow show-business person can. Willing suspension of disbelief is the key here. Seagal swings from one contradictory statement to another. First he says he was born with a spiritual bent, and that he's on earth only to do good. Then he admits he suffered delusions of grandeur when he was young, and now he understands things better. But his "better" understanding is the same one he had when he was young -- that he needs to achieve great spiritual wisdom to benefit human beings. He says he's meditated a long time, but then admits tantra confuses him. He says he wouldn't give a bribe to be called a tulku, but admits making large donations to religious organizations. He claims he keeps his donations secret, and complains that the press hasn't publicized his generosity. But I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's let the man speak for himself. All quotes are accurate, though they have been rearranged in order to highlight contradictions.

SEAGAL wrote:
Q: There are the recent reports that Penor Rinpoche has recognized you as a tulku. Is that correct?
A: ... Well, first of all, this a recognition that people have been telling me about for more than twenty years, people who have known me in the dharma for a long time, long, long before Penor Rinpoche ever formalized this.

In other words, "Yes, and it's long overdue."

SEAGAL wrote:
I was born with a serious spiritual consciousness and for many years studied different paths.

"You see, I've been spiritually advanced from birth, like all tulkus."

SEAGAL wrote:
I was confused in my youth: I thought that if I could spiritually feed myself to levels of great spiritual attainment then I could do greater things in the world and it would be good for me and therefore good for everyone else.

"I used to be impressed with my inborn wisdom-talent. Now I am beyond any delusions involving self-importance."

SEAGAL wrote:
I am here on this Earth for one thing and that is to see if I can somehow serve humankind and ease the suffering of others.

"Like all of the Great Ones, my mission is healing."

SEAGAL wrote:
It was something that I had always kept secret, and in fact denied.

"I have tried to hide my light from the world, actively concealing my divinity."

SEAGAL wrote:
So if I denied it then, why would I bribe people for it now?

"For that matter, why would I now argue in favor of my divinity when I have in the past denied it?"

SEAGAL wrote:
I have traditionally donated large sums of money to many different religious organizations ... in secret, but ... the press believes there is no profit in reporting good deeds.

"You will find no record of my donations anywhere, both because I hate publicizing good deeds, and because those damned reporters hate me."

SEAGAL wrote:
[P]eople ...said to me that I am an incarnate lama, or tulku.

"You know, it's just something you get used to."

SEAGAL wrote:
I was originally introduced to ... a handful of lamas who had come over from Tibet [who] were sick and had been tortured. [W]hen the Khampas were still fighting the Chinese and the CIA was helping them, and because of the severe repression of the Tibetan people, I wanted to get involved. ... it is probably best if we don’t get into that. ...I don’t want to appear to be a dangerous revolutionary person.

"I supported violent resistance, but that's top secret, and bad for my image. Nobody understands what it's like to be a secret agent bodhisattva."

SEAGAL wrote:
These were the years when my interest in Tibetan Buddhism flourished, but my involvement in any of the spiritual endeavors and training remained my personal business—not secret as some of the other things were, but just private.

"I keep secrets, which are dark things I will not talk about. I also keep things private, about which I am happy to tell you, because I must use them as evidence of my long-time connection with all things Tibetan."

SEAGAL wrote:
I very much wanted to be invisible in the dharma community, for a lot of reasons. Only in the last few months have I come out of the closet.

"You won't be able to verify any of my claims, because like I said, it was private, because I didn't want the attention. Now I want the attention."

SEAGAL wrote:
Penor Rinpoche basically recognized me as Kyung-drak Dorje, who was the reincarnation of the translator Yudra Nyingpo.

"He didn't recognize me as Yudra Nyingpo, but he 'basically' recognized me as this other guy, who was his reincarnation."

SEAGAL wrote:
From the time that I started going to India and meditating I did start getting memories [of past lives] that were fairly unclear.

"Do not try to get any details out of me."

SEAGAL wrote:
Just a few days ago ... a lama ... said to me ... "you have a very good imprint of many strong past lives, and therefore your realization will come more swiftly than some people’s."
Q: What did he mean by that?
A: I can’t really explain it.

"Many lamas kiss my ass. Perhaps they have heard about my secret donations."

SEAGAL wrote:
Of course, as you practice longer, you will develop some different siddhis. But none of them really matters.

"For example, I am a huge man who could break your head with my fist. It's not important."

SEAGAL wrote:
... I have consistently said ... I don’t believe it is very important who I was in my last lives, I think it is important who I am in this life...

"Let's talk about something I know about, okay?"

SEAGAL wrote:
I am not a highly realized being, I am not a great lama, I don’t have any great practice.

"All of the Great Ones deny being great. I fit the mold."

SEAGAL wrote:
I am a very low person just trying to get to first base and the most basic practice of a bodhisattva. I am starting humble memorizations, meditations, and prayers.

"Of course, you already heard about the 27 years, the Tibetans recognizing me as divine, and my special talents in meditation, so you know this is just more of my humble schtick."

SEAGAL wrote:
I have been doing serious meditation in my own pitiful way for probably twenty-seven years.

"Have another helping!"

SEAGAL wrote:
Hopefully [by sitting with Trichen Rinpoche and Penor Rinpoche] I will absorb some knowledge or wisdom....

"Name dropping really works with Tibetan Buddhists, so bombs away!"

SEAGAL wrote:
Whenever I get too esoteric into the realms of tantric stuff, I get a little bit lost.

"I just keep it simple. Like Elvis Costello said, 'What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?'"

SEAGAL wrote:
[T]he great obstacle was just a lack of understanding of the way.

"So glad I'm over that obstacle!"

SEAGAL wrote:
[W]hen I was in Japan, people tried to deify me, and the reason I left there was that deification is truly a death trap.

"A total dead end."

SEAGAL wrote:
That is a reason why I kept my spiritual practice to myself in America.

"Once people realize you're divine, it's all over. They will deify you. Didn't want to make the same mistakes here, so I just laid low."

SEAGAL wrote:
I don’t think deification has been one of my biggest problems in life because I am lucky enough to have understood a long time ago what adoration and power really are about.

"I've just learned to take it in stride. I'm huge, I'm handsome, I'm rich. And on top of it all, I'm divine. The adulation is just part of the scene."

SEAGAL wrote:
I have given teachings recently. Always on Buddha’s teachings.

"If anyone will listen, I need the practice."

SEAGAL wrote:
When I walk into a room some people see a dog, some people see a cow. I am all of what they see. It is their perception.

"This sort of thing worked for Charlie Manson, why not for me? Just talk bullshit and let it roll."

SEAGAL wrote:
Buddhanature is in all of us, even in a mangy dog lying in the gutter with fleas. That dog is Buddha to me.

"I heard that some guy named Naropa saw his guru as a dog. I been thinkin' a lot about that."

SEAGAL wrote:
The Dalai Lama has said to me to concentrate on bodhicitta.

"He knows I make movies in which I kill lots of people."

SEAGAL wrote:
Q: The Dalai Lama gave you personal instructions about teaching?
A: I wouldn’t say he has given me personal instructions about teaching.

"Just had to ask that, didn't you?"

SEAGAL wrote:
I don’t really care what other people think of me or say about me.

"I swear I never think about it."

SEAGAL wrote:
Guru Rinpoche, the Lord Buddha and all the protectors, dakas and dakinis [give me solace].

"Blondes, bucks, flashy cars, all mean nothing to me. What I want is all stuff I can imagine in my head just as well without a dime in my pocket. In fact, I'm about to give away all my stuff, I'm feeling so solaced about it all."

SEAGAL wrote:
I want to be able to feed the children who are starving and sick in Tibet.

"But my arms aren't long enough."

SEAGAL wrote:
We are also trying recently to do something for people with eye problems in Tibet.

"That's me and some other people I can't mention."

SEAGAL wrote:
Acting is an art ... art is the mother of religion; by becoming one with ourselves and nature, one becomes one with god.

"This is my best shot at profundity. Watch that I don't drown."

SEAGAL wrote:
[A]rt imitates life and its function should be a perfect and accurate interpretation of the way life really is, in all of its emanations.

"I learned about emanations recently. I like to use the word, but maybe this isn't the best way."

SEAGAL wrote:
I am not saying that I am a great artist; I am probably a poor artist.

"It is fun to be honest sometimes."

SEAGAL wrote:
I am an artist trying to perfect his craft, but at the same time I do have feelings about violence.

"I am drowning. Please help me."

SEAGAL wrote:
I was under a contract with Warner Brothers I could not get out of, and what they wanted me for was the male action films.

"I agreed to kill people on film in exchange for millions, not realizing I would someday want to pose as a man of peace. By the time this tulku option opened up, I was stuck."

SEAGAL wrote:
I was offered extraordinary sums of money by other studios to do different types of movies and Warner Brothers would not let me.

"Yeah, like I was gonna do "Hamlet" for the BBC, and a special with the Muppets."

SEAGAL wrote:
Now that I’m out of that situation, ... the kinds of films I would really like to do ... are spiritual in nature and ... will lead people into contemplation and offer them joy.

"Yeah, I'm going to do a dinosaur special for Discovery Channel."

SEAGAL wrote:
I am grateful for the ability that I have on the screen to bring people happiness and joy and the ability that I will have in the future to hopefully bring people into the path of contemplation.

"People have a lot of frustrations, and when my character breaks every bone in a villain's body by slamming him against every protuberance on a late-model BMW, then shoves him into the trunk and pushes the Beamer off a high-rise parking structure, it releases those frustrations, and that gives people joy. Then they can consider the path of contemplation, and how they can only kick the shit out of their enemies if they stay calm, like me."

SEAGAL wrote:
I consider my worst enemies and my worst sufferings to be my greatest teachers, so there is always another side to these negative forces.

"So people like AmbuFortuna and Odysseus do not bother me at all. In fact, they are my greatest benefactors, because they show me how far I have to go."
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:01 am


The seminal sixties novel that ironically was taken up as a bible for group sex communes was probably written as a total joke by Robert Heinlein, who was not to my knowledge known for being a freakin’ hippie, and probably regarded it as a fitting reward for his cynicism that hippies would pay him to lampoon them. It was perhaps a case of the Devil not content with quoting scripture, setting out to write it himself. The scripture then took on a life of its own.

I am of course speaking of Stranger In A Strange Land, the life story of Valentine Michael Smith, whose exploits on planet earth began when he was repatriated to his parents’ home planet, after a growing up on Mars among the Martians. As the story begins, family values are uppermost in mind – the eight-human crew is composed of four married heterosexual couples. Haha, try writing that story today. It will be banned in San Francisco.

Heinlein’s Mars-voyagers lose radio contact right after they park in Mars orbit, and like the ancient Roanoke settlement, disappear. When the followup mission arrives on Mars, an eighteen-man expedition whose return was delayed for twenty five years by earthside wars, they find only young Valentine, the sole survivor, living among Martians on the planet’s surface under circumstances that Heinlein leaves to the broadest strokes of the imagination. As the Captain of the rescue mission says, the boy is more Martian than human, although of human ancestry.

Valentine knows things in a special way he learned from the Martians – he groks things. Heinlein simply substituted the kooky term “grok,” which sounds like a beer burp to me, for the meaning of another transitive verb with which we are all familiar – “dig.” So, saying “I grok what you are saying” became a hi-fi way of saying “I can dig that,” which became so passe it ultimately passed into common parlance.

Valentine, we realized as hippies, was a guru, a dispeller of darkness. He came to earth to teach, and forms an alliance with the avuncular Jubal Harshaw, a lawyer with a Quixotic agenda whose Machiavellian flair for coming out on top causes him to get in a little too deep in defense of Valentine’s interests.

Prophetic in mixing astrology and politics, and utterly eyes-open regarding the spin-control agenda that would become the hallmark of modern media, Heinlein’s work laid the paving-stones of a Yellow Brick Road leading to a hedonic paradise where money and sex were subordinate to the deeper unity of humanity expressed through the ritual of “sharing water.” The novel echoed through popular culture during the sixties and seventies. Graham Nash’s song, “Triad,” transforms the term “water brother,” drawn from the novel, into a scalding taunt in a song that elicits a woman’s assent to a ménage a trios: “Sister lovers, water brothers, and in time maybe others …” Yeah, maybe others, someone who can do the dishes!

Unfortunately, unless you organize a religious cult like Bubba Free John or David Brandt Berg, promiscuous sex doesn’t get the dishes done any better than monogamous sex, maybe even worse, but dishes are never mentioned in a Heinlein novel.

To read this book in the proper setting, take your sailboat into international waters, get some Panama Red marijuana, roll it in some kooky strawberry-flavored rolling papers, hang an India print on your bulkhead and a poster of Grace Slick over it, and have a cold glass of beer or Doctor Pepper handy to quench your thirst. Then imagine Jane Fonda is still young, and start reading.
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Re: Charles Carreon, The Arizona Kid

Postby admin » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:04 am

by Charles Carreon
October, 2003

TIDS: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome


Taking clinical note of the increased manifestation of acute and chronic delusional ideation among practicioners of tantra, a new entry for DSM-V is proposed: Tantra-Induced Delusional Syndrome (“TIDS”). Currently, enthusiasm for tantra is high among mental health professionals seeking alternative analytical and therapeutic models, and critical awareness is correspondingly low. This article, authored not by a mental-health professional, but rather by an attorney with extensive experience with tantric lifestyles, focuses on the case histories of three American tantric teachers who manifested destructive delusional behavior. The article identifies the risk-promoting character of tantric doctrine as the etiological root of their pathology, considers how delusional pathology transfers to tantric students, and describes the social dynamics of guru-dominated communities as potential breeding grounds for self-reinforcing delusional behavior. The article proposes three types of TIDS, “Guru-side,” “Student-side,” and “Transitional,” and suggests treatment modalities.

Tantra, A Risk-Promoting Spiritual Path

Tantra originated in India during an indistinct time period in the second millennium B.C., as a spiritual style that infused virtually all Indian religions, including the Vedic, Jain and Buddhist traditions, with colorful, imaginative characteristics. Once tantra touches a spiritual path, it is irrevocably reshaped into a path that extols the virtues of risk-taking and focuses on attracting students with an appetite for drama and excitement. Buddhist tantra bears little similarity to the original teachings of the Buddha who was born in Lumbini, enlightened at Bodhgaya, and founded the world’s largest and most enduring monastic brotherhood. The original Buddhists engaged in simple meditation practices to clear the mind and still the passions, Tibetan “Vajrayana” Buddhists practice magical rituals in which they invoke a “tutelary deity” through the use of a “seed mantra” and cognize themselves as “emanations” of this divine being, residing in an alternate universe where all sounds are the divine mantra, and all thoughts are divine wisdom. Although the Buddha disclaimed guru status and advised his devotees to “work out their own salvation with diligence,” Vajrayana Buddhists venerate their gurus extravagantly, literally believing them to be infallible and more important than the historical Buddha.

While there are no doubt legitimate manifestations of tantra, it always proceeds on the basis of postulates, not on the basis of introspection or subjective observations. Several tantric postulates make the tantric path attractive to spiritual strivers:

• The nature of ordinary existence is divine;
• The divine nature is concealed by the passions;
• Wisdom is revealed by transmutation of the passions;
• The guru has the power to transmute the passions; and,
• Rejecting the guru’s grace is the path to self-destruction.

The passions referred to in these postulates are all emotional and intellectual distortions of “clear perception,” including the core attachment to one’s own self-identity. Thus, when presented to beginners as a dualistic, either-or approach to enlightenment, the door to dangerous misunderstandings is flung wide open. Ironically, the tantric path is often made more attractive to risk-takers by the outright declaration that it is dangerous, like a steep climb up a cliff, compared with the slow and steady ascent pursued by stodgier practicioners.

Teachers and Students Enable Each Other

In modern-day America, “tantra” is often taught by virtual neophytes encouraged by traditional tantric teachers eager to seed new soil with their doctrine. Presented with the opportunity to play the guru, many of these newly-minted give in to the opportunity to exploit their students, and thus fall victim to the first danger of which serious tantric teachers give warning – the seduction of worldly power. Students who start off as bohemian rebels and non-conformists easily fall under the spell of tantric teachers who strut like fast-buck artists, adopt tough-guy personas, and exude an air of the-devil-may-care. Ironically, they may soon find themselves in the clutches of a psychology familiar to habitués of the bondage and domination scene.

Modern tantric teachers set about magnetizing a “mandala of students” who find their own individual reasons to adopt and spread the belief that they have established contact with a genuine tantric guru. Once a sufficient critical mass of students adopts this belief, it sets in motion a whirlpool of self-reinforcing behavior that exerts the psychological gravitational force of a black hole, sucking in large numbers of vulnerable souls. The community of Student-side TIDS sufferers reinforce each others’ mental enslavement through a shared, self-perpetuating delusion. Mid-level managers of the community primarily suffer from Transitional TIDS, a tense condition alternating between pride at being a community insider and anxious fear of exposure and humiliation. At the apex of this pyramid of misery sits the proliferator of the scheme, immersed in the psychotic pleasure of Guru-side TIDS.

Guru-side TIDS

In this article, which is but a preliminary foray into a promising field of diagnostic research, three case studies provide the basis for our hypothesis that Guru-side TIDS is a particularized psychological disorder -- Thomas Rich (Osel Tendzin), Catherine Burroughs (Jetsunma), and Franklin Jones (Adi Da Samraj). As these cases reveal, Guru-side TIDS is definitively a predatory, antisocial pathology that sometimes assumes criminal proportions and leads to devastating consequences.

Thomas Rich

Rich’s ascent to the status of Tantric guru was facilitated by his own tantric teacher, the once-legendary enfant terrible of Tibetan Buddhism, Chogyam Trungpa. Trungpa, the author of “Born In Tibet,” and many other books, was enthroned in early childhood as the Eleventh Trungpa Tulku of Surmang Monastery in a remote region of Tibet. Trungpa established the Vajradhatu organization in Boulder, Colorado, and prior to his death, pronounced Rich to be his Vajra Regent, to rule in his stead after Trungpa’s death and until the birth of the Twelfth incarnation of Trungpa Tulku.

Trungpa himself had been a famous drunkard and womanizer, as well as a talented poet and magnetic personality. Rich attempted to behave similarly. Tragically, Rich suffered not only from Guru-side TIDS, but also from AIDS. Not long after Trungpa’s death, he embarked on a series of sexual escapades and engaged in unprotected sex with several students. The reason? Due to TIDS-caused delusions, Tendzin believed that his bodily fluids did not transmit the disease. As a result at least one student and his female partner died of the lethal virus.

The conduct of Rich’s devoted students was equally reprehensible and casts a harsh light on the behavior of Transitional TIDS victims, the middle-managers of the dysfunctional Vajradhatu dynasty. Although many of Trungpa’s closest students were writers and artists, including the renowned poet Alan Ginsberg, and the Vajradhatu had its own newspaper, The Vajradhatu Sun, the entire matter of the AIDS deaths was hushed up, and never discussed openly by the cult leaders. Rich’s personal criminal misconduct was covered up, and legal protections against lawsuits by the victims were adopted in a corporate reorganization that downplayed Trungpa’s legacy and changed the name of the cult from Vajradhatu to Shambhala. In her biography, Trungpa’s wife has claimed Trungpa regretted appointing Rich his Regent, but failed to take action to disempower him. Since Trungpa, decimated by alcoholism, was barely able to relieve himself without assistance at the end of his life, it is not surprising that he was unable to disarm the time bomb he’d unleashed on his students. A man named Patrick Sweeney continues to gnaw the cud of the disgraced Regent, claiming to be his “dharma heir,” and operating the Satdharma group under those questionable auspices.

Catherine Burroughs

Catherine Burroughs began her career as a garden-variety psychic medium who purported to “channel” the spirits of wisdom teachers who had long ago departed this earth. Operating from her suburban lair near Washington, D.C., Burroughs tapped the manic energy that drives the over-achieving technocrats and hyperactive communicators who swarm through the bureaucratic warrens of the nation’s capital. Gifted with a knack for giving orders, Burroughs imposed heavy demands on her followers, pressing them into keeping a twenty-four hour world peace vigil that induced heavy competition among her devotees.

Burroughs’ transformation to Guru-hood was also accomplished with the aid of a Tibetan lama, who was wowed by her ability to maintain a stable of high-achieving, top-dollar donating students. Gyatrul Rinpoche, a Vajrayana teacher of the Nyingma sect who had established his own temple near Ashland, Oregon, endorsed Burroughs as a tulku, a reincarnated Bodhisattva, or “Hero of Enlightenment.” Burroughs saw the opening, and quickly negotiated a merger of her people skills with the established cachet of the two-thousand year-old Vajrayana brand, assuming the name of Jetsun Akhon Norbu Lhamo, and redecorating her temple with a blend of traditional Tibetan imagery and New Age crystals. “Jetsunma,” as she came to be familiarly known, assumed her place on the traditional lama’s throne, donned resplendent brocade robes, and doffed the peaked “lotus hat” that lamas wear on ceremonial occasions. The effect would have been silly if anyone with ordinary sensibilities had been able to view the proceedings; but by then the critical mass of Student-side TIDS sufferers had generated a field of delusive glamour, and Burroughs’ unabashed self-love conquered all hearts. For a while.

As her authority grew unchecked, her antisocial inclinations and intolerance with dissent waxed ever more virulent. Burroughs’ demands for money and power crescendoed in a rampage of bizarre behavior that included serial marriages to several students twenty years her junior, rapacious financial exploitation of her flock, and culminated in her arrest by the Maryland State Police for battery on a young nun. Shortly thereafter, Burroughs moved to Sedona, Arizona, and in almost clichéd fashion, Burroughs predicted a series of “earth catastrophes” that failed to take place in 1999.

Franklin Jones

Jones was once a handsome young writer with a Masters in English from Stanford. After serving his apprenticeship with the two tantric gurus Rudrananda and Muktananda, he assembled his own flock of sycophants. A prolific writer blessed with the gift of gab, Jones’ spiritual opus, “The Knee of Listening,” became a staple on the bookshelves of hippies inclined to philosophical nattering. Starting out in Los Angeles, he took advantage of the drug culture in the sixties to induct young, beautiful women into his cult. Jones’ story gives us insight into one of the important methods of inducing Student-side TIDS among followers. It is axiomatic that women will perceive any man as dominant who commands the devotion of all other men. Jones conquered women by surrounding himself with subservient male devotees. During all-night drug and drinking parties, Jones would deploy his male devotees to separate women from their boyfriends or husbands. Jones would then make his move on the new woman. By morning, she would have discovered a new form of bliss in the arms of the guru, and her ordinary lover would have his ego reduced to the size of a pin. Unable to leave his woman behind, and equally unable to argue her away from Jones, the cuckolded man would often become a new devotee. Thus Jones acquired two TIDS victims for the price of one.

In 1985, Jones’ abuse of his devotees exploded in the national press and a he settled a string of lawsuits that alleged what was widely-known in hippie society – that his “communities” were parasitic projects that enriched him with sex, money and power, leaving his devotees psychologically and financially deprived. He bought a small island in Fiji from actor Raymond Burr and moved there with a clutch of disciples whose fate it was to explore the heart of darkness.

Over the years, Jones extracted enough wealth from his devotees to sustain a remarkably self-indulgent lifestyle, toward the end of which he was able to pose as a visual artist who integrated digital photography with monumental aluminum installations that were displayed in Italy and praised by a stable of pet intellectuals in fatuous post-modern style: “It is Adi Da Samraj’s imaginative triumph to have conveyed the illusions created by discrepant points of view and the emotionally liberating effect when they aesthetically unite in the psyche of the shocked perceiver.”

Until the end of his life in November 2007, by way of singing for his supper, Jones continued to emit his original spiritual prose stylings: "I Am The Perfectly Subjective Divine Person, Self-Manifested As The Ruchira Avatar—Who Is The First, The Last, and The Only Adept-Realizer, Adept-Revealer, and Adept-Revelation of The Seventh Stage of Life.”

For several days after his death, Jones’ devotees entertained the notion that he might “wake up” from a fatal heart attack, a notion that they apparently abandoned reluctantly, presumably when the odor of putrefaction became evident. Even the most slavish student-side TIDS sufferers will be forced to admit, after a decent interval, that the guru’s shit admittedly stinks.

Student-side TIDS

Student-side TIDS can develop after relatively brief immersion in a Tantric guru-student relationship. The roots of Student-side TIDS lie in the student’s feeling that they are missing out on the truly miraculous character of a world they believe exists, but are unable to contact. They may have experienced, through drugs, romantic adventures, travel or other emotional stimulants, a sense that life has occasionally parted the veil and allows them to glimpse a magical universe, and that if they could establish a connection with this other realm, they could escape the dull reality in which they feel themselves confined. Tantra is generally not for those students who are comfortable with sustained intellectual effort in pursuit of spiritual awareness. However, it often attracts those fond of mastering an arcane vocabulary, esoteric symbols, and a pantheon of gods and goddesses. Spiritual seekers drawn to tantra share some of the psychological traits of compulsive gamblers, who have an unshakeable faith in their unique luck, and a passionate desire to harvest outsized rewards.

Students of tantric teachers often suffer from a derogatory self-image, and seek to ally themselves with the glamour emanating from the guru. Inclined to believe in their own specialness, but convinced that they cannot achieve transcendence by their own efforts, they place their faith in esoteric traditions that hold the promise of revealing secret knowledge. Tantric teachers whipsaw students emotionally by alternately deriding them for their emotional and intellectual efforts, teasingly making a show of effortless transcendence, then accusing them savagely for being unable to make the petty sacrifices of time and money that would demonstrate the sincerity of their devotion. Tantric teachers also use standard methods of breaking down social conditioning and inducing dependence on the tantric teacher by requiring participation in lengthy rituals and practices, demanding that they render personal services to the teacher and his family, and doling out humiliation as if it were a blessing. Sleep deprivation and rote repetitions of ritual acts also serve to deaden mental acuity and induce an undiscerning mental state in which a fog of confusion can be recharacterized as a sense of removal from worldly attachment. In the tantric environment, all activities and events are re-imagined as sacred portents and harbingers of blessings or misfortune. Nothing that happens in the “mandala” is ever ordinary, thus life becomes charged with imputed significance.

The net result of the tantric milieu is to institutionalize a groupthink founded on individual helplessness and total dependence on the guru. Individually, this may deepen into self-hate, an obsession with the person of the guru, performance of acts of extreme self-sacrifice to obtain approval from the guru, and even the veneration of the guru's physical detritus, i.e., nail and hair clippings. Student-side TIDS may induce bouts of acute anxiety alternating with depression, episodic flights from reality characterized by transient ecstasy and self-deification, compulsive meditative or devotional behavior, and the nagging fear of damnation, referred to in tantric circles as "Vajra Hell."

Student-side TIDS also takes on various apparently benign forms, that manifest in persons with a bland personality or low intellectual vitality, who feel best when kept in a low position without hope of advancement. People who avoid challenges and suffer anxiety primarily when presented with changes of routine may find Student-side TIDS to be a perfect refuge from the rigors of ordinary life. When combined with the narcotic effect of mantra recitation and avoidance of troubling discursive thought, the result can be the formation of a personality happily uninterested in the various pursuits that comprise the elements of an ordinary, satisfying life, such as relationships with other people, having children, a satisfying career, or aesthetic and intellectual activities.

Transitional TIDS

Transitional TIDS develops in some victims of Student-TIDS after a long period of earnest striving to earn the favor of the guru. Transitional TIDS emerges only when fertilized by encouragement from the guru, and is characterized by feelings of superiority, identification with the dominating image of the guru, and confidence that one will in fact attain guru status. Transitional-TIDS sufferers assume the role of go-betweens in the TIDS community, transmitting messages to and from the guru, arranging monetary transfers, and helping Student TIDS victims to establish their credentials. Transitional TIDS often manifests in subtle and gross anti-social predatory behavior typical of those afflicted by Guru-TIDS. Transitional TIDS usually develops into a cyclic pattern in which the characteristics of Student-TIDS, i.e., ambitious hope and low self image, alternate with the manic character of Guru-TIDS, i.e., self-deification and megalomania, creating a alternating vortex of delusional activity that is manipulated by the guru to satisfy his or her own pathological whims.

Transitional TIDS sufferers, torn by the tension of alternating between ambition and hope on the one hand, and humiliation and despair on the other, often suffer from a suppression of affect that gives them a rigid, serious cast of mind. Transitional TIDS tends to extinguish the sense of humor, and victims of the intense mental division that characterizes this state of mind rarely smile or laugh except when the Guru makes a joke. They will often make attempts at humor that they believe reflect the Guru’s apparently spontaneous style, but such attempts usually fail, eliciting only false laughter from Student-side TIDS sufferers, who are attempting to curry favor from a higher-status devotee. Transitional TIDS sufferers thus are entombed in their personal rigidity and surrounded by a social environment of extreme conformity and predictability, a sort of frozen hell from which they gain a respite only during bouts of despondency and self-loathing.

Treatment Modalities

Student-side TIDS is treatable if the victim can be removed from the TIDS-saturated environment and is engaged in extensive talk-therapy with persons who know nothing about the guru who is the focus of infatuation. For example, simply being put to work in a position involving manual labor, in the company of people who do not know or care about the guru, can be remarkably effective. The complete lack of responsiveness to discussion of the guru tends to give the TIDS-sufferer pause, as they realize that people can live not only without their guru, but without any guru whatsoever. Talk-therapy with people of a “spiritual” bent is, not surprisingly, generally unhelpful. The key to treatment, if a quick cure is desired, is simply to extract the victim from the environment, expose them to ordinary life, and allow their mind to recover from the continuous flow of obsessive guru-regard.

Transitional TIDS poses somewhat of a more difficult problem, but is treatable. The Transitional TIDS sufferer is much more likely to break out of their cycle through an explosion of anger when their hopes of achieving Guru-hood are suddenly exploded. Interestingly, gurus can provoke such occurrences by taxing a student’s loyalty to an extreme, suddenly breaking the illusion that the guru actually loves the student, leaving the student feeling extraordinarily bereft. Another exit point may appear when the Transitional TIDS victim hits a low point of disappointment, that may be provoked by an excessive humiliation at the hands of the Guru or one of his/her minions. Finally, jealousy may arise when a Transitional TIDS sufferer realizes that other people, less spiritual, less devoted, even less intelligent or sensitive to life, are having a wonderful time on a much smaller endowment of spiritual excitement.

Guru-side TIDS is of course, statistically a much rarer phenomenon than Student or Transitional-Side TIDS, and occasions for treatment are almost never presented. Further, by and large, the experience of Guru-side TIDS seems to spark little desire for change in the mind of the guru, and without that impetus, change is extremely unlikely.


In conclusion, while there are hopeful methods of treatment for Student-TIDS and Transitional TIDS, those afflicted with Guru-TIDS face a bleak diagnosis, because once a Tantric authority “recognizes” an individual’s Guru status, and students begin reinforcing it, a self-reinforcing delusional system is established from which anecdotal evidence indicates there is no exit. Indeed, because enabling the Guru’s pathology is the central rationale for the TIDS-powered community, it sets up a perpetual-motion machine that defies the erosion of popularity that even pop stars and first-tier Hollywood actors suffer. If we were sufficiently cynical, we might entertain the notion that Gurus have somehow achieved an enviable position, but then we would be obliged to elevate tapeworms and ticks to a position higher on the evolutionary ladder.

Copyright 2003, Charles Carreon
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