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#76 2006-05-16 01:52:20

dreamosis
Bard
Registered: 2005-03-07

Re: Red Flags of Mis or Dis-information

lyra wrote:

...everybody's got something to sell.  Everything comes with a price tag.  Everybody wants to be a guru, and get you to buy their guru-products.   roll   Run!  Run like the wind!   big_smile

I can't help but think about this everytime I get within twenty feet of the Metaphysical section of a franchised book store: 

The Original Atlantean-Mu 14th Chakra Tarot!...or...The Goodie Green Earth Witch Oracle Cards! (Harry Potter Wand Included!)...  Or how about the latest three hundred page book on intention?  The Awesome Magickal Power of Turbo-Charging Your Visualized Intent!  Or crap like, Is Your Poodle Psychic? 30 Days to a Prognosticating Pooch.  And, my personal latest favs, stuff like: The Idiot's Guide to Breathing.     

...Yeah. 

Writing out that above thought, that genuine spiritual messengers aren't profit-motivated--actually thinking about it--was eye-opening for me.  I don't think anything's wrong with charging for your goods or services, but setting out to profit from them is different. 

Most people, because of cultural conditioning, mix up the concepts of "making a living" and "making a profit."  Making a living, I think, is making enough income to meet your obligations, easily satisfy your survival needs, and have income leftover to satisfy some of your wants but not every little whim.  Profit, by definition, is income that is earned on top of meeting obligations, easily satisfying survival needs, and satisfying important desires.

In our culture, a person isn't generally thought of as successful unless they're making profits.  The stereotype of success is being able--i.e., having the energy and power--to manifest the silliest and smallest of your whims.   

Profiting isn't wrong, but what it generally means is that the energy exchange is NOT equal.  ...I had a chat with a bar owner a couple of months ago.  He was drunk and happened to tell me that it only costs him 85 cents to produce a margarita.  Yet he sells them for $6.00 a pop.  A more than a 600% markup! 

Unfortunately our economy is so crappy that it's probably necessary to mark your products up 600% in order to survive.  The system supports unequal energy exchanges.  Or is that businesspeople, through conditioning, now define "failure" as making a living?

Anyway, what I was getting to is: it's my conviction that genuine spiritual messengers are careful to exchange energy in a fair and equal manner.  And, for any particular person, that might mean that the price is high or low--it all depends on where you're at.  Personally, I'm finding right now that spiritual information is coming to me at cheaper and cheaper "prices."  But there'll probably be a big payout soon.  smile 
     

PS: I'll be posting the article in this thread in the next couple of days.

Last edited by dreamosis (2006-05-16 01:55:09)


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#77 2006-05-16 02:18:37

lyra
Naked Emperor Pointer Outer
From: my own private idaho
Registered: 2004-03-25
Website

Re: Red Flags of Mis or Dis-information

You know what it probably is, and you pinpointed it in your response - it's not so much the $$ profiting that's an issue so much as it's the fact that what they're selling is a bunch of hokey hooey.  Like you said:  "The Original Atlantean-Mu 14th Chakra Tarot!...or...The Goodie Green Earth Witch Oracle Cards! (Harry Potter Wand Included!)...  Or how about the latest three hundred page book on intention?  The Awesome Magickal Power of Turbo-Charging Your Visualized Intent!  Or crap like, Is Your Poodle Psychic? 30 Days to a Prognosticating Pooch.  And, my personal latest favs, stuff like: The Idiot's Guide to Breathing....."   

It's like, come on, you know??   But people eat this stuff up.  Somebody here from NR, can't remember who, recently made a subtle dig at new age author Doreen Virtue, wondering about her last name, and whether her inner has caught up with her outer.  Meaning, is she really virtuous on the inside?  Or does she use that name to project an image, to help boost her new age sales?  Anyway, the dig was so subtle and nuanced though, it was quite clever.   And yet a very good point.  I checked out her website, and what did it consist of?  Angel cards, workshops and seminars, all for sale, and packaged in soft, pastel, angelic colors.  "Angel Therapy" ???  OH.......and the best of all!!!!!!!!!!!   "Angel Therapy Practioners" (ATP) and "Certified Spiritual Counselors" (CSP)  !!!!!!!!!!  WHY DO THE NEW AGE PEOPLE CREATE THESE PSEUDO "LICENSED" GRANDIOSE TITLES AND PRACTICES THAT ARE "TM" TRADEMARKED AND COPYRIGHTED?   You know, where you fork out $$$ big $$$$ bucks to go to a certified "Whatever" fill in the blank "licensed" "practitioner" of some totally made up shortened acronym practice??  AND PEOPLE PAY!!!  THEY DO IT!!!  AHHHHHHHHHHHHH.   This whole topic frustrates me.   I could rant for hours, seriously.  I don't get it.  I don't get the people who buy this stuff up in droves, and I don't get the people who have the nerve to package it and trademark it and sell it at over inflated rates.   Yeah, they're soooooooooo spiritual that they're marketing what basically amounts to a bunch of bunk, at over inflated rates, and coloring it all in spiritual "purple" and "violet" hues to manipulate.....because we know that in new age circles, anything is automatically spiritual as long as it's purple.  roll   They know what works for selling to new agers - it's all manipulative profit-driven business.  Hell, I could sell to new agers if I wanted to - just create a pastel and purple/violet hued website, create some nifty deck of cards, make up some nifty sounding trademark practice and annoint some specially chosen people as "practitioners" of such, and give myself a new age name.  And ouila....instant new age profits.   And these people call themselves spiritual.  ha!  It seriously bugs.

Okay.  Rant over.  Stepping down now!  big_smile

Last edited by lyra (2006-05-16 02:32:09)


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy shit ... what a ride!"  - Anonymous
-----
"I get by with a little help from my (higher density) friends."
-----

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#78 2006-05-16 02:40:08

lyra
Naked Emperor Pointer Outer
From: my own private idaho
Registered: 2004-03-25
Website

Re: Red Flags of Mis or Dis-information

ps......

Okay, maybe you'll dig this dreamosis, but since you mentioned one of the nine indicators of mis or disinformation as being jargon, and we're poking fun of new age things, here's a list I compiled awhile back, called "Create Your Own New Age Jargon!   New Age Mix and Match!"

You know those refrigerator poetry magnets?  Well this was created in the spirit of this.  Just mix and match the words around to create your own New Age whatever!  It's long, but funny...

Create your own New Age jargon!

Mix and match, like refrigerator poetry magnets!

You know we've all been guilty of it!   haha!  big_smile

God                      
Goddess
Cosmic
crystal
golden
white
violet/purple
emerald
rainbow
divine
consciousness
circle
dawn
ascended
ascension
awareness
shifts
Father
Mother
karmic
Earth
heart
angels
karma
moon
solar
intervention
allignment
twin
being(s)
light
Pleiedes
Sirius
Lyrians
Arcturians
Mayans
Atlantis
Lemuria
Mu
Egypt
Senanda
Thoth
St. Germaine
Marduk
Elohim
Isis
Ra
Council of 9
Council of 13
Druids
Ashtar
Akashic Records
lord
master
law
multidimensional
merging
veil
activation
mantra
awakening
stargate
gateway
doorway
portal
source
prophesy
invoke
sacred
path
process
actualizing
lightbody
accordance
etheric
key
star
rays
astral
one
all
soul
beer
football
steak
haha just checking!
manifestation
resonate
resonance
mission
existence
aspect
lifepath
Priestess
dark
shadow self
plane
time
Universe
convergence
flame
energy
harmonic
mother ship
fleet
space breathren
Gaia
Terra
tuning
spirit
chi
integrate
concordance
Creator
cleanse
entity
psychic
love
resonance
channel
sun
tones
Federation
Command
Council
Embassy
galaxy
dimensions
archangel
Starseed
forces
planet(ary)
temple
higher
eternal
left hand
reincarnate
incarnate/ion
past lives
harvest
meditation
expansion
DNA
holy
pyramid
stones
pillar
rising
frequency
assist
transition
indigo
transmutation
vibration/al
guiding
anhk
Om
truth
duality
union
higher self
expression
chakra
aura
solstice
timeline
realities
birthing
oversoul
realm
blueprint
dolphins
cats
whales
All That Is
3rd density
4th density
5th density
6th density
7th density
7
9
11
13
23
33
72
144
11:11
2012

Last edited by lyra (2006-05-16 12:47:31)


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy shit ... what a ride!"  - Anonymous
-----
"I get by with a little help from my (higher density) friends."
-----

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#79 2006-05-16 03:00:52

visavis
sojourner
Registered: 2005-10-16
Website

Re: Red Flags of Mis or Dis-information

Lyra that's hilarious.  There you've gone and put in the collective consciousness now, it'll be only weeks before it's being hawked online...  www.newagefridgemagnets.com  LOL


"The unknown does not incite fear, but dependence on the known does." - J. Krishnamurti

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#80 2006-05-16 03:14:39

dreamosis
Bard
Registered: 2005-03-07

Re: Red Flags of Mis or Dis-information

Bwhahahahaha!

Okay, okay, here's my New Age therapy brand:

Golden Star-Path Rebirthing (as channeled by Rainbow Dawn [my new age name] in concert with the Divine Cat Oversoul).

Or how about...?

The Great White Starseed Council of Whales.       

Or...

The Temple of the Purple Cosmic Ahnk. (Or, basically, Prince's Los Angeles mansion).

Or, another licensed practice:

7th Density Harmonic Lifepath Integration. (7D-HLPI)

This is fun.  I would buy this magnet set.

Edit:

I actually came across a brochure a couple of weeks back for something called "Holographic Repatterning."  Inside the brochure was pretty much a mish-mash of all the words on your list, lyra.

Last edited by dreamosis (2006-05-16 03:19:17)


You can't change a tiger's stripes,
but you can avoid its teeth.

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#81 2006-05-16 03:36:00

lyra
Naked Emperor Pointer Outer
From: my own private idaho
Registered: 2004-03-25
Website

Re: Red Flags of Mis or Dis-information

dreamosis wrote:

Bwhahahahaha!

Okay, okay, here's my New Age therapy brand:

Golden Star-Path Rebirthing (as channeled by Rainbow Dawn [my new age name] in concert with the Divine Cat Oversoul).

Or how about...?

The Great White Starseed Council of Whales.       

Or...

The Temple of the Purple Cosmic Ahnk. (Or, basically, Prince's Los Angeles mansion).

Or, another licensed practice:

7th Density Harmonic Lifepath Integration. (7D-HLPI)

This is fun.  I would buy this magnet set.

That was hilarious!  Thanks for the laugh! big_smile



dreamosis wrote:

Edit:

I actually came across a brochure a couple of weeks back for something called "Holographic Repatterning."  Inside the brochure was pretty much a mish-mash of all the words on your list, lyra.

You know what's scary.........same thing here, with a book that I have open in front of me right now.  It's this crop circle book, and pretty much most the above list can be found within the text, all rearranged into a bunch of mish mash new age jargon. !   It's scary!  Here's one excerpt that I couldn't make heads or tails of:

"This pattern contains the nine modular tones for Earth's electromagnetic polar shift; the totality of the nine modular frequencies is the shift gate....The thirteen resonant tones, the thirteen lunar phases, will interface with these nine modular tone frequencies."

and

"The center is the Whirling Rainbow Way, the metamorphic opening of the collective heart chakra.   This is the return of La Nina.   The nine pyramids are the temples of the nine seeds of wisdom, the temples of the evolutionary gate to wisdom of the colective....The small line at the bottom right is the lunar portal, which is being seeded through the thirteen crystalline moons...."


!

Last edited by lyra (2006-05-16 18:51:09)


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy shit ... what a ride!"  - Anonymous
-----
"I get by with a little help from my (higher density) friends."
-----

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#82 2006-05-16 03:37:33

tenetnosce
Another You
From: The Singularity
Registered: 2005-09-23

Re: Red Flags of Mis or Dis-information

lyra wrote:

You know those refrigerator poetry magnets?  Well this was created in the spirit of this.  Just mix and match the words around to create your own New Age whatever!  It's long, but funny...

Better call your trademark attorney in the morning. . you could make a killing! lol


It is not for us to understand love, but simply to make space for it.

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#83 2006-05-16 03:55:45

lyra
Naked Emperor Pointer Outer
From: my own private idaho
Registered: 2004-03-25
Website

Re: Red Flags of Mis or Dis-information

visavis wrote:

Lyra that's hilarious.  There you've gone and put in the collective consciousness now, it'll be only weeks before it's being hawked online...  www.newagefridgemagnets.com  LOL

tenetnosce wrote:

Better call your trademark attorney in the morning. . you could make a killing! lol

Well, that's okay if somebody wants to steal my idea as their own and profit from it.  In accordance with the prophesy, the divine law of the universe states that they will have a karmic debt in their next incarnation. 

big_smile

Last edited by lyra (2006-05-16 03:56:25)


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy shit ... what a ride!"  - Anonymous
-----
"I get by with a little help from my (higher density) friends."
-----

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#84 2006-05-16 13:03:28

lyra
Naked Emperor Pointer Outer
From: my own private idaho
Registered: 2004-03-25
Website

Re: Red Flags of Mis or Dis-information

...and I just realized the double meaning pun of "Create your own New Age jargon!" and the whole "Create Your Own Reality" thing.   I didn't actually intend for that....so that's kind of funny.  haha  Puns and double meanings usually go right over my head. weird!

Anyway...!


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy shit ... what a ride!"  - Anonymous
-----
"I get by with a little help from my (higher density) friends."
-----

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#85 2006-05-16 18:25:02

tenetnosce
Another You
From: The Singularity
Registered: 2005-09-23

Re: Red Flags of Mis or Dis-information

lyra wrote:

Well, that's okay if somebody wants to steal my idea as their own and profit from it.  In accordance with the prophesy, the divine law of the universe states that they will have a karmic debt in their next incarnation.

What if I steal your idea, make a huge profit, and then give it all away?  wink

But seriously, it does raise a point.  Unfortunately, in this world, it would appear that raising money for a noble cause is much more difficult than selling crystals and trinkets for profit.

I can see how somebody could justify a frivolous project in order to get money to put toward something more useful.  If your average Betty is going to spend that $20 on a trinket anyway, why not put that $20 to good use?

I'm reminded of the woman who made millions selling a small impulse buy book entitled "Everything Men Know About Women".  The book was empty! lol  Social irresponsibility?  Or pure genius?

Last edited by tenetnosce (2006-05-16 18:25:20)


It is not for us to understand love, but simply to make space for it.

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#86 2006-05-16 18:57:09

lyra
Naked Emperor Pointer Outer
From: my own private idaho
Registered: 2004-03-25
Website

Re: Red Flags of Mis or Dis-information

tenetnosce wrote:

lyra wrote:

Well, that's okay if somebody wants to steal my idea as their own and profit from it.  In accordance with the prophesy, the divine law of the universe states that they will have a karmic debt in their next incarnation.

What if I steal your idea, make a huge profit, and then give it all away?  wink

But seriously, it does raise a point.  Unfortunately, in this world, it would appear that raising money for a noble cause is much more difficult than selling crystals and trinkets for profit.

I can see how somebody could justify a frivolous project in order to get money to put toward something more useful.  If your average Betty is going to spend that $20 on a trinket anyway, why not put that $20 to good use?

I'm reminded of the woman who made millions selling a small impulse buy book entitled "Everything Men Know About Women".  The book was empty! lol  Social irresponsibility?  Or pure genius?

For me the issue goes a bit deeper....it could actually be its own short write up in fact.  How people spend their money is their business, that's not really where my concern is.  What gets me is that there are basically charlatains out there talking in nonsense jargon, trying to pass themselves off as something they're not.  NR poster Lono talked about this a couple of days ago in another thread actually, regarding this New Age conference thing she attended on a friend's insistant urging, only to find that the speakers made no sense whatsover and were putting her to sleep........then hearing them say that if somebody doesn't understand or comprehend what's being said, then they're just not "evolved enough" !!!   I mean, where's the logic in that, you know?  Scariness!  That's like this clause that gives them free reign to speak total gibberish nonsense and then claim that anybody who can't folllow along is just not evolved.  To that I say - Ha!  The truth is that the emperor isn't wearing any clothing!!!  So I guess my real wish is that people would begin questioning these jargon speaking gibber-ers and call them out on their nonsense. 

Again, stepping down from the trusty well worn soap box!  big_smile

Last edited by lyra (2006-05-16 18:59:06)


"Life's journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, totally worn out, shouting "Holy shit ... what a ride!"  - Anonymous
-----
"I get by with a little help from my (higher density) friends."
-----

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#87 2006-05-16 19:47:58

tenetnosce
Another You
From: The Singularity
Registered: 2005-09-23

Re: Red Flags of Mis or Dis-information

lyra wrote:

What gets me is that there are basically charlatains out there talking in nonsense jargon, trying to pass themselves off as something they're not.

Most definitely. . . the scarier ones are those who truly believe in their own jargon.  On that note, let's not overlook the fundamentalist preachers romping around in $5000 suits and Mormon patriarchs with 20 wives and 100 kids.

Last edited by tenetnosce (2006-05-16 19:48:21)


It is not for us to understand love, but simply to make space for it.

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#88 2006-05-18 03:04:17

dreamosis
Bard
Registered: 2005-03-07

Re: Red Flags of Mis or Dis-information

The article:

9 POSSIBLE SIGNS of MIS- (or DIS-) INFORMATION

What is misinformation?

Misinformation is information that’s been distorted in the communication process.  Think of a child’s game of “Telephone.�   If the first child in a chain whispers the message “Green golf shirt�  to their neighbor, but what the last child is told is “Gandalf is hurt,�  then misinformation has occurred.  Sometimes misinfo happens because of literal mishearing and sometimes it happens because of overlay from already existing beliefs, but the principle is the same.  Misinfo may or may not have a negative intent behind it.

What is disinformation?

Disinformation is either intentional distortion or telling lies.  The intent behind disinfo is negative.  By negative I don’t mean demonically evil; I mean that the intent is to limit access to accurate information.

**

Both misinfo and disinfo are present in the spiritual community.  The truth is also out there–ťas well as within–ťbut whether you’re searching for it online or in your inner being, you will likely meet with lies at some point.  Lies can be uncovered by common sense and intuition, like by noticing fakeness in a presenter’s voice or body language.  But other times detecting bad information takes a process of reasoning.  And, in all likelihood, if you’re in doubt about whether some material is trustworthy or not, your intuition is on the fritz.     

So this short article will focus upon recognizing signs of misinfo or disinfo that you’re likely to meet in your search.  It will hopefully help you build your discernment.  Take what works for you and leave the rest.

The signs were chosen in part according to these assumptions:

(1) logic is a helpful in evaluating spiritual information;

(2) information from a high spiritual level is: (a) non-judgmental, (b) non-nepotistic;

(3) genuine messengers of spiritual information are clear and concise, although the ideas they present may be complex or metaphoric;

(4) genuine messengers advocate going within, testing the information, deconstructing it and re-synthesizing it.  Spiritual information isn’t copyrighted and its genuine messengers aren’t profit-motivated.

Sign #1
Propagandizing

I’ll begin with propaganda because it’s the simplest to spot.  When it’s done well, though, it can be dangerous because it conveys such certainty and echoes the clarity of a truly wise being.  Propaganda is information that is spread for the purpose of promoting some cause.  Of course, because information is propagandist doesn’t mean that it’s untrue, but it does mean that there is an agenda–ťand agendas create a win/lose situation.  And if genuine spiritual messengers are not-for-profit, then creating a win/lose situation through propagandizing would be an ethical violation for them.  Therefore, information that’s been treated with propagandist techniques is unlikely to be spiritually-sourced.         

The three most common signs of propaganda are: emotionalization, oversimplicity in the face of an issue with many variables, and the presence of short, catchy slogans that allow people to begin serving an agenda through the collective use of mantra.   

Propaganda can be subtle, but by necessity it’s aimed at your emotions.  The emotional approach always gives propaganda away.  Presentations that are loaded with symbols, archetypes, and sentimental images are dead giveaways.   

In my opinion, the Charismatic Christian movement is a good example of spiritual misinfo that’s being spread through propaganda.  At Charismatic churches there is an emphasis on boisterous group singing and dancing that’s often accompanied by video projections of crosses and clouds and captions like “He died for us.�   I’m certainly not a guy who’s anti-fun, but the emotionally-revved-up singing and dancing together with slogans like “Let Go, Let God�  and stressing the crucifixion story again and again and Sunday after Sunday mimics the methods of propaganda.  Granted, information can be unconsciously emotionalized, oversimplified, and fit into slogans without serving an agenda.  Although, even without an agenda, those three characteristics are disempowering as they foster reactivity, put forth magical single-step solutions, and create cookie-cutter testimony. 

Sign #2
Poor Logic

There are already whole books written about logic and logical fallacies, so I’ll be brief.  The litmus test for logic is consistency.  If information is inconsistent then it’s illogical.  There are spiritual truths that revolve around paradox, of course, and realizing those truths require transcending the logical mind.  But there are also religious and spiritual systems out there, based upon misinfo or disinfo, that are full of contradictions and inconsistencies that bear no relation whatsoever to a higher mystical understanding.  Logic may not be able to deliver you to the highest spiritual state, but it helps you along. 

So look for inconsistencies.  That’s where you’ll find the distortions or lies. 
And keep an eye out for fallacious reasoning.  Logical fallacies are deliberately employed by disinfo artists because they play upon common weaknesses: believing might makes right, worship of authority, fear of change, and linear thinking.  The logical fallacies corresponding to those weaknesses are Appeal to Popularity, Appeal to Authority, Appeal to Tradition, and Post Hoc (thinking that A causes B because A happened before B).

Here’s an online index of logical fallacies: http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/

Sign #3
Falsehoods

Okay, okay, yes, this sign is self-evident, but I bring it up because it’s all too easy to rationalize away a blatant inconsistency or lie in the face of other information that gets you good results and checks out logically and intuitively.  But living according to a belief system with a glaring lie in it is like continuing to eat a sandwich with moldy cheese because the meat and bread are still fresh.

If you discover a falsehood it’s important to keep evaluating because it may reveal a longer ribbon of bad information.  Finding a falsehood and following it to its source is what will objectively confirm whether you’re dealing with disinfo or misinfo. 

If you’re dealing with disinfo, then the most obvious piece of false information might relate to how the information came into being.  This seems to be a pattern specific to disinfo.  If you’re dealing with misinfo, then the pieces of false information will reveal themselves through their relationship to the rest of the information.   

I list falsehoods third on the list because it’s a much easier task to track down falsehoods after you have at least a couple of standards of judging information.  If a source of info shows signs of both propaganda and poor logic, there’s a high probability it will contain falsehoods or at least distortions.   

Sign #4
Consistently Extreme Point-of-View

By extreme point-of-view I mostly mean views that are judgmental or condemning.  In American politics, this sign takes the forms of liberal-bashing or Bush-bashing.  In the spiritual circle, an example is the fundamental Scientologist’s take on drugs and psychology, or even the fundamental Buddhist’s take on eating meat.  An Always or Never-type of extremism creates categories of good and evil based upon memorized lists instead of being based upon the work of discernment.  It may be technically true that eating meat lowers the vibration, but ask yourself, is it never ever useful to lower it?       

Extreme views very often reflect or lead to bad logic.  In the case of the fundamental Scientologist I’ve heard “All psychology’s bad.�   Certainly some psychology is bad, but saying “all�  is bad logic.  It’s hasty generalization.  Extreme views are very often anti-intellectual or driven by judgment.

Nonetheless, extreme views are easily made to seem sensible.  Psychiatrists have abused patients with electro-shock and drugs.  They colluded with the CIA in unethical experiments.  It’s documented.  They prescribe drugs to people to supposedly correct their brain chemistry without even sampling their brain chemistry.  Does that mean they’re all devils?  Duh. 

Extreme views are also made to seem correct by the emotional force or zeal with which they’re presented.  A quick way for determining whether you might be dealing with an extreme or unbalanced view is to determine in what way you are asked to assume that view.  Again, extreme views are very often anti-intellectual so the views need to be believed rather than reached through reason or inner guidance.  “Jesus is the only way to God�  is an extreme view that needs to be believed.  If you ask a Fundamental Baptist “Why is Jesus the only way to God?�  you’ll receive a circular answer: “Because he is.�   Similarly, “All aliens are loving and kind�  is an extreme view requiring belief.  If you ask a New Ager “Why?�  you’ll receive a circular answer.  If you present them with contraries, they must believe that you are lying or that the traumatized abductees misunderstood their experience.  Their view is based on belief, not reason or honest investigation.

Sign #5
Vagueness

At best, vagueness is a sign that the material under consideration is linguistic masturbation.  You can tell if this is the case by noticing the lack of practical suggestions.  This type of material is mostly or all theory.  At worst, vagueness is a sign that a carrot is being dangled in front of a donkey.  The donkey gives the dangler a free ride, or does his work, all the while stretching for the carrot but is never fed.  Somewhere between these two cases, the best and worst, is the common bullshit artist or hack that is a good talker but is ultimately un-filling.

I think people fall for stuff that’s vague, but clever and pretty-sounding, because it can be a palpable thrill to read it.  It feels good.  An author I would put into this category is Wayne Dyer.  His work, to me, fits the “tastes good, less filling�  bill.  It’s verbosity with little substance.  I don’t think the guy’s a disinfo agent at all, but I think he makes a living by quoting great people, working people up emotionally, and then feeding them vagaries like: Persevere!  Have a good attitude!  Actually, I wouldn’t even go as far as saying his work is misinformation, but it is watered down.  I’m uncomfortable being critical of someone so seemingly really positive, but his wisdom is nickel and dime to me.

Maybe it’s all about what level you’re on.  There are people out there who’ve never experienced a good attitude.  And those people probably benefit from Wayne Dyer telling them that they must be kind in order to receive kindness.  Often the simplest stuff counts most, but there is a way in which simplicity leads you to naiveté and to spinning your wheels without understanding why you’re stuck.

Lastly, vagueness can also be a lack of organization.  Lack of organization doesn’t mean that material is disinfo, but I think it means that there is an obstruction between a higher self and lower self somewhere.  Again, this article is being written on the assumption that genuine messengers of spirit speak clearly.  Clear communication doesn’t mean dumbed-down, or artistic, or even perfect grammar.  Some spiritual ideas are complex, take time to digest, and require learning.  But clear communication does mean, I think, being able to be understood without having to read things into things.  The higher self doesn’t give all the answers but it does give a general direction.  To me, something is vague or disorganized if it offers no direction whatsoever.

Sign #6
Authoritarianism   

This is a biggie.  People who’ve spent a few long years exploring alternative ideologies rarely fall for this one, but because it exploits such a common weakness of the ego (being impressed by power) even seasoned seekers fall for it.       

Maybe there’s a part of us that likes being told what to do, even if begrudgingly.  I think the victim archetype is programmed into the human mind or the collective mind.  And all it takes for the archetype to be activated is a spell of uncertainty.  In a moment of confusion an authoritarian voice can feel like the voice of God solely because of its forcefulness.  Luckily though, all it takes to free yourself from an oppressive authority figure is to realize that forcefulness doesn’t equal truth.  Certainty doesn’t even equal truth.  You can be dead certain and dead wrong.

In my opinion, authoritarianism is a sign of misinfo or disinfo because spirit isn’t interested in leading–ťonly ego is.  (See assumption #4 at the beginning of this article).  Genuine messengers of spiritual truth don’t want to direct you, they want you to direct yourself.   

Authoritarianism is identifiable by an abundance of commanding verbiage: “you should, you ought to, you have to, you must…, always…, never…,�  etc.  More subtle authoritarianism is revealed by definitive statements that leave no room for outside opinions.  Or it’s revealed by its lack of acknowledgment of each person’s ability to get their own answers.

Signs that are related to authoritarianism are: namedropping and overusing special titles or credentials.   

A friend of mine once said that a true guru is a person who spreads the message hidden in the spelling of the word of guru: “Gee, you are you�  (G-U-R-U).             

Sign #7
Specialness

There isn’t much to say on this.  Stuart Wilde said that there are essentially two journeys: ego to spirit or spirit to ego.  The ego is all about feeling special, chosen, one-of-a-kind.  And those feelings can be created through affirmation of the ego or through rejection.  Specialness is a trap with two doors: delusions of grandeur and delusions of worthlessness.  And maybe a third door is a delusion of aloneness.  I think there are websites out there–ťthe ones that regurgitate Gnostic doctrines with a stench of paranoia–ťthat exploit and even heighten a seeker’s sense of isolation.  Feeling alone can be converted to food for the ego.     

When you watch a movie or a play you might be able to tell if an actor is enjoying the attention of the audience.  I think 99% of the time that that coincides with atrociously bad acting.  The good actors are the ones who are involved in the scene so much that their concern for the audience is close to 0%.  It’s the same in life.  If you’re doing what you’re doing for an audience, then you probably aren’t fulfilling your purpose as well as you could. 

Sign #8
Jargon

Whenever I pick up a spiritually-themed book with a glossary at the back explaining a long list of special terms, I usually put it back down.  Special vocabularies are needed in technical fields.  For instance, I’m a massage therapist and in learning massage it was useful for me to learn many different terms describing essentially the same thing: massaging.  To release a trigger point (a muscular knot), it’s far more effective to use static compression than it is to use effleurage.  Static compression is leaning into or pushing on an area of muscle with your thumbs or fingertips without moving.  Effleurage is lightly gliding over the skin, usually with full open palms.  Both are massaging.  If my teacher, when I was learning trigger point therapy, just told me: “Okay, now massage the trigger point�  I wouldn’t have known what to do. 

I think spiritualistic jargon is sometimes useful, but most times not so much.  What it does is requires you to read primer material to understand the main material.  It requires you to get a teacher to teach you the jargon.  You can’t just take what you want.  If the jargon is especially thick it's as if you must become a devotee and accept the point of view before really understanding it as a whole. 

To me, what makes something jargon is: (1) when it isn’t immediately obvious what is meant by a term, (2) when the term isn’t clarified by looking at a dictionary because it isn’t in common usage, (3) when the term can’t be clarified with asking a simple question and getting a simple answer.   

Of course there are complex spiritual ideas that aren’t immediately obvious because of your present spiritual level of development.  I would be hard-pressed to define enlightenment in a single sentence with surety.  However, the word enlightenment is pretty self-explanatory even if you can’t explain it operationally.  En-light-en-ment: getting lighter.  Self-actualization is closer to jargon.  Focus 23 is definitely jargon.  STS and STO could be called jargon, but they can be clarified by simply asking what they stand for.  Service-to-Self is pretty self-explanatory.   

Spiritual jargons create categories of people who are in-the-know and people who just need to read this, take that workshop, and re-train their brains to think like the rest of a group.  Jargons can create a common ground for discussing your experiences with others, but they also are capable of narrowing your vision and tricking you into thinking you have all the knowledge you need.

In relation to disinfo, jargons are dangerous.  They’re dangerous because they may be reinforcing false beliefs.  The belief is rendered reasonable and given the appearance of legitimacy because it has a special name.  Jargons are also used to obscure the truth.  Politically, I think the most obvious example of this is “collateral damage.�   Spiritually, I think the most obvious example of this is “the shadow self.�   The term “Shadow�  is often used to explain away the reality of negative entities and it deters the search for meaning.  Example: I have a disturbing dream about cutting on myself and I wake up and say, “Wow, what a shadowy shadow self I have�  without an attempt to look for or understand any message.  Jargons allow one to discard anomalous experiences as meaningless.

A variation of jargon is labeling.  In the Mormon Church, in which I was raised, people are frequently referred to as “members�  or “non-members.�   Of course, the term “non-member�  can be invoked with greater or lesser moralistic judgment, but by itself the term is excluding–ťit says: “not a part of the whole.�   In Scientology you have people who are “clear�  and people who are “toxic.�  Certainly there are people out there who are sick, but invoking a term for it over and over again stops you from actually trying to understand the sick in their own language.  In short, jargons generate Know-It-Alls.
     
Sign #9
Discouragement of Critical Analysis

This sign will seldom be obvious–ťyou’ll be lifting a rock or two.  There are belief systems that are openly anti-intellectual, but most hide it or it’s subliminally discouraged through the net effect of the individual beliefs.  Other than finding just a general air of anti-intellectualism, there are two hints relating to sign #9: an emphasis upon verifying the material through prayer, or verifying it through feeling.

Whether or not a system or teaching is “anti-intellectual�  can be determined in a few ways.  Do the teachings ask for obedience to rules without explaining the purpose of the rules?  Are the teachers hostile to hard questions?  What type of learning is encouraged?  Learning by rote memorization?  Or learning by a discussion of concepts?  Does the belief system ignore large bodies of information that contradict its beliefs?

Another test for anti-intellectualism is the test for propaganda (see sign #1).  Propaganda is meant to bypass the analytical mind by stimulating a gross emotional response and herding people into desired behaviors. 

An emphasis on prayer for verifying truth is a potential trap, too.  I’m hardly anti-prayer.  I pray all the time.  I think prayer is great.  Yet I do see dodgy groups using prayer against people.  All the facts stand against them, but they can still twist prayer to “prove�  their belief system is right.  “Just pray on it,�  they say.  “God/The Light/Whoever will tell you it’s all true.�   If prayer was a secure line between you and your higher self, then this wouldn’t be a problem.  If the mere act of praying automatically silenced the ego, cancelled outside interference, and protected you against peer pressures, then…well, there would be no worries.  I do believe a person can pull through accurate information using prayer, but I think prayer can be more much effective if you’re aware of the risks of it.  If you learn to recognize the subverbal intonations of your ego, and learn what foreign energies regularly affect you (your mommy, your friends, whatever), it’s much easier. 

On the darker side of things it’s also possible that prayers are influenced by discarnate beings working through the advocates of the disinfo.  I have a friend who joined a church based on a mystical experience he had when missionaries prayed over him.  I don’t mean to appear arrogant, but after years of contemplation and research, I know the church he joined is false.  It has its redeeming qualities, but it’s based on disinformation.  It may be that the positive mystical experience he had was genuine and that, for whatever reason, it was right for him to join.  Perhaps he’s raising the integrity of the organization by taking part in it.  However, knowing him as I do, I know he’s bought into the disinfo.  He’s a smart man, and was originally critical of the group he joined, but threw his criticism aside after being overwhelmed by the power of his visionary experience.         

Lastly, a critical frame of mind is discouraged by an overemphasis on feeling.  New Age channeled texts, I have found, ask for feeling-verification a lot.  It typically appears in gently authoritarian commands like this: “You are ___.  You know this to be true.  You feel it (…in your core, etc.)�   This could be nothing more than suggestion.  Books written in this mode may eventually hypnotize you into feeling what you’re being told to feel through simple repetition.  As you read on and on into this type of material you may stop critically reflecting and asking yourself, “Is that really true?�     

Relying on feeling alone to validate information is chancy because the information may only appeal to the ego.  The information may make the ego feel dandy.  And so, if you steer by feeling alone, then you’ll probably wind up doing a lot of things that are great at first but turn into a total nightmare.   

The intellect seems to be out of vogue in the New Age community.  I think that’s mostly because people crave the specialness of being psychic, of being an “intuitive.�   In fact, it’s en vogue to view the intellect as anti-spiritual and as the chief obstruction to being spiritual.  There’s definitely something to that view, but carried to its extreme, it invisibly creates an assumption that what we are now is not okay.  It invisibly creates invalidation.

If the highest level of spirit is non-judgmental (see assumption #2 at the beginning of this article), then any material spreading invalidation doesn’t come from the highest level of spirit.   

**

Propagandizing, poor logic, falsehood, extreme points-of-view, vagueness, authoritarianism, specialness, jargon, discouragement of critical analysis–ťagain, I don’t pretend that this is a complete list.  I would argue that if a piece of information contains all of the above, then you’re dealing with disinfo. 

I shied away from citing specific examples of what I actually think is misinfo or disinfo because I feel that if the principles of higher spiritual truth–ťand of manipulation–ťare understood, then mis/disinfo won’t really be a problem. 

Take what works for you and leave the rest.

Last edited by dreamosis (2006-05-18 17:17:41)


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