Sanctuary for the Abused

Friday, June 22, 2018

Beware Disordered Therapists, Gurus and Spiritual 'Teachers'


by Linda Martinez-Lewi, PhD

There are a growing number of "spiritual teachers" who are narcissists. They are among the most magnetic and charismatic of individuals. We have a lot of desperate people today with the economic downturn roller coaster ride, the increasing numbers of narcissists in the society who are making life very difficult for everyone else and the persistence of chronic psychological problems.

Coming to the rescue are "narcissistic gurus" who have all the answers. Charismatic, charming, excellent communicators and story tellers, these individuals are offering courses that promise to reshape your life, to calm you down, even to make you rich. Many of them are covert narcissists who convincing pretend to be humble and unmaterialistic. Your state of mind and soul is their first priority---That's what they say. 
Narcissistic gurus often come with fine academic credentials. Some are medical doctors or Ph.D.'s. Others call themselves holistic healers, medical intuitives. Their presentations are so smooth that most people are mesmerized by them. Often attractive physically with excellent communications skills, they can captivate any audience within a short period of time. I know of spiritual gurus who travel the world, peddling their packages or retreats which cost $1000 to $3000 for less than a week. The goal is enlightenment----the expensive way. What happens if you don't have any money--That's too bad -- you are out of the spiritual loop. Where do true spirituality and spending a lot of money and attending a five day seminar meet-----NOWHERE! (By the way learning how to meditate and reach levels of calmness and deeper consciousness doesn't cost money. It requires your time and dedication). 

I have watched some of these narcissists for years (Some of them are sociopaths with no conscience whatsoever) When you talk to them at close range, they are cold and dismissive if you are not "yes-ing" them with reverence or breaking a sweat to sign up for their next consciousness raising seminar in some exotic part of the world. Some vulnerable people become addicted to these new age phonies who take your money, speak new age drivel and eclipse your life.

Humble, living simply, empathic---absolutely not! I have seen their self entitled over the top lifestyles, born out of the money that they extract from psychologically vulnerable people. Then you have the spiritual groupies that have to take the latest pseudo spiritual trip to Bhutan or some other corner of the world so that they can brag to all of their friends.

Narcissistic spiritual gurus must be exposed. They are confidence men and women. They don't give a damn about your psychological or spiritual welfare. They live only for themselves, their godlike image and the fruits of their labors---becoming more wealthy and controlling the minds, emotions and psyches of others.

To protect yourself from these pseudo spiritual vipers, study the narcissistic personality disorder in-depth.


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shared by Barbara at 12:07 AM



Awesome article and something we all need to be aware of. "Take Back Your Life: Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships" by Janja Lalich and Madeline Tobias is a GREAT book about this stuff and after reading it I realized that all psychopaths are "cult leaders." One of the many interesting things I learned was how cults often have their own words that are made up, or they use words that are common, but they have a different meaning for them. How sometimes a person recovering from a cult will have to look up the dictionary definition for words in order to learn what they REALLY mean.

Why on earth don't we teach this stuff in school so that some of us might be able to circumvent this abuse or at least identify it for what it is, OR even TRULY help others to see some truth.

8:23 PM  

Amen and amen!!!! I have found this lesson out the hard way:( these individuals need exposed and people need made aware of their schemes and tactics. They are popping up all over the place. Thank you so much for this site!!!!!!you are being used to strengthen me and teach me.

10:45 PM  

Very, very true. I started therapy recently with a Buddhist leader, well respected in the community - so I didn't think I needed to interview him. Big mistake. Total narcissist. As a teacher, he could convey some intellectually profound information, but can't do therapy as he has no empathy. I wanted to finally tell my personal issues to someone, but never shared anything important with him as he had no reflective listening ability and no encouragement. I am a therapist myself and I am compassionate. You have to look for people's strengths sometimes and help them find them for themselves. I got trapped in his spell for a few sessions when I should have quit earlier. I'm a vegetarian (as Buddhists are) but I also put up with sitting on his fancy leather furniture...Anyway, he inadvertently taught me to just trust my gut around everyone - no matter how educated or intelligent, it don't mean nothin' without a little kindness.

1:38 AM  

Excellent article. Yes. Most of these people come from an authoritarian background with one or more narcissistic parents. One of the biggest, well-known cult personalities is Bill Wilson, a grifter, drunk, addict and serial adulterer who co-founded AA, a pseudo-religion based on authoritarian, Christian beliefs.

10:51 PM  

These people have done so much damage to my life without my ever having followed them. They seem to suck in everyone around me. So far all have eventually escaped, but the damage is still there.

1:21 PM  

There is currently a spiritual guru running classes in my area. I studied with him for 10 years. I was in major denial because he was so smooth in his charismatic teaching. I wish there was a way to expose him in order to save others from learning his ruinous lessons. He is a narcissistic predator who is married and has affairs with many women in his groups. Over the 10 years I can count more than 15 that I know about. So many others he emotionally abused. He touts himself as a life coach and when women come to him with personal problems he is very astute at how he uses this information to get them locked into his psyche. He seeks out vulnerabilities. He is a pathological liar and lies about seminars he does all over the country to make himself look bigger than he is. He has one book published. He teaches a particular course of study. To prey on the spiritually vulnerable is the worse kind of abuse of power. This guy has and does it all.

4:34 PM  

Excellent Article,very much in line whats happening in our life.

11:39 AM  

I am in the process of leaving a yoga cult that I have invested 4 years in and nearly $20,000 as I was under the impression that I would be receiving a yoga teaching certificate upon completion of the 3 year program. The leader, who is infallible and is accountable to no one, will not give me any clear reasons as to why I haven't received my certification and insists that I continue coming back year after year for more training at around $5000/yr. In our private counselling sessions she uses Indian astrology to prescribe what I should be doing with life, health, relationships, etc. She has told me according to my natal chart I will never have an easy time making money or friends, and that I have an immature psychology and need to completely rely on my spouse and make myself available to him even if not feeling well. Those who've left the cult have had their names slandered and had rumors made up about them. She is beautiful and charismatic, also holds a PhD (from a free online university) in psychology. She alludes that her approach to yoga is the best one and tells us all how special we are in a spiritual context. No one is welcome to question what she says/does. There are around 14 women as part of her core group of followers and they all have an anxious and guarded nature. Once I realized that this is an elitist cult I decided it's not healthy for me to participate in any longer. I'm experiencing a lot of anger, rage, confusion, etc. which I am just allowing to happen without acting upon. I have no legal rights in this situation and there is no governing body I can complain to. I just have to walk away empty handed and the injustice of that burns me up.

11:01 AM  

Omg...that article is soo true. My ex joined one of these in 2010.. it changed him completely and he also became severely Narcissistic and insidiously spewed his N-abuse on me. I know he had deep repressed feelings from childhood but the group he joined - "Maum Meditation" puts a person through levels of mental subtraction.

In other words, you go through your life and have to discard all stored memories, people, events.. anything, because this Maum so-called Cult says it was all not true and just false pics your mind created!

There are 7 levels to this process (more now I believe).. to attain spiritual enlightenment. It's aslow brainwashing process. I saw him changing and it was the worst thing ever. I was discarded 2 years after insidious abuse and him attending this group - it was like me and our marriage of 15 years never happened.
I was ostracized by him and his family and friends.

I lost everything I believed in, including myself trying to save my husband who was always so kind and loving until Narcissism took over. My home, business, friends, all gone.

I am on Disability and that makes it worse - he walked out while I was sick in bed and took away my name - Never even said goodbye:(

It has devastated me and my family. I have been diagnosed with Complex PTSD - that is even more devastating than my actual disability as there is no qualified help for emotional trauma/PTSD unless you have $40K a month to go to a residential program (which my doctor recommended 3 years ago)

I have declined in my health and C-PTSD is hell on earth.

All I can say is please be careful. My Ex was a highly educated business man yet got won over by the false promises this group claims:- enlightenment, bliss & forever happiness. They do of course charge $1000s for all this.

Peace & Love

6:07 PM  

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