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Are You Giving Away Your Power? Are You Being Gaslighted?

Are You Giving Away Your Power? Are You Being Gaslighted?
Are You Giving Away Your Power? Are You Being Gaslighted?

Are You Giving Away Your Power? Are You Being Gaslighted?

First a quick update:

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Now, let’s talk about giving away your power to gurus, spiritual leaders, and, romantic partners!

The creator of Bikram Yoga is on the Run. Bikram Choudhury received a judgment against him of 6.8 million dollars for sexual harassment. Choudhury has faced a series of sexual assault claims through the years. More trials are expected. Now a warrant has been issued for Choudry’s arrest under claims that he has fled the country to avoid paying the money and has “funneled his assets into sham corporations, even undergoing a ‘sham divorce’ to hide his resources.”

This is an interesting response from someone who promotes himself as a spiritual leader.

At the same time James Arthur Ray, a teacher of The Secret, a NY Times Bestselling Author, and now convicted felon, is back promoting his work and teachings.

These are two stark examples of the dangers of gurus.

For years, I have been teaching that it is extremely dangerous to give away your power to other people.   

It is very easy to get sucked in by charismatic spiritual leaders and gurus who make extraordinary promises and claims such as the magical ability to heal you, rid you of all of your pain, grant you enlightenment and riches, and lead you into the Promised Land.

A guru is someone who uses psychological techniques and strategies to gain control and authority over people.

Most gurus and spiritual leaders claim to have Divine Authority, Divine Insight and supernatural powers. In return they demand two things: 1. your money and 2; your obedience.

Read 20 Signs That You Are Being Gaslighted!

In the case of Kirby Brown, James Shore and Liz Neuman, the price was more than money; it was their life. They paid each $10,000 to attend James Arthur Ray’s Spiritual Warrior retreat. There they participated in his Sweat Lodge where the temperature rose to 200 degrees – most sweat lodges are less than 120 degrees. Ray was dissuading people from getting out of the Sweat Lodge while he sat by the door with air streaming in. And in Ray’s Sweat Lodge, Kirby Brown, James Shore, and Liz Neuman died.

Consequently, James Arthur Ray was found guilty of three counts of negligent homicide and served 2 years in prison.

It is easy for an outsider to criticize the 3 victims and 52 others who attended the Spiritual Warrior retreat as being weak, gullible, foolish, or stupid. The truth, though, is that any one of us could have fallen prey to the enticement of someone such as James Arthur Ray.

Many of the attendees were educated and even successful business people – doctors, engineers, salespeople, small-business owners and other professionals. “They were willing to shave their heads, meditate in the desert for 36 hours without food and water, then symbolically die and be reborn in the sweat lodge ritual.”

How, then, did they fall prey to James Arthur Ray’s strategies and claims to have wisdom and secrets that no one else has.

The one thing they all had in common, other than the desire for self-improvement, was the sense of being lost or vulnerable. In other words, there is only primary requirement for someone to fall prey to a charismatic spiritual Guru or leader who makes extraordinary promises and claims: be in the place of vulnerability, experiencing a challenging time in life, feeling lost, confused and seeking answers.

And at that very moment when a person feels lost, confused, helpless, and possibly even desperate, along comes the charismatic, powerful salesman claiming that he has and is the only solution to your problem.

And in order for the transaction to succeed, the guru must convince you that without him, you are helpless, hopeless and that you don’t know what you’re talking about. Very soon the guru takes control of you, and you seek his approval and acceptance.

Witnesses in the trial of James Arthur Ray spoke of some of the participants wanting to please James Arthur Ray and feeling intimidated by a man who made all sorts of promises.

Of course, not every case will end up like it did for James Shore, Kirby brown or Liz Neuman. However, in many cases it can and will result in abuse of some form.

In other words, the guru of spiritual leader is ultimately Gaslighting you – trying to convince you that you are inferior; you don’t have the answers or the wisdom; only he does; and, in turn, you seek his approval.

The guru’s position of power and authority turns into control and manipulation.

While it might sound extreme, how often does this occur in your life?

Of course, you might respond and tell me that you don’t have any gurus, and you don’t give away your power to gurus, spiritual leaders or cult leaders.

However, do you give your power away to other people in your life?

Do you allow others to control or manipulate you?

Do you allow others to Gaslight you?

Do you allow someone else to put you down and to try to convince you that there is something wrong with you – ‘you don’t know what you’re talking about; your perceptions or perspectives, and your memories are all wrong’?

The point here is that unless you are alert, enlightened, conscious, and vigilant, it is easy to give away your power to someone else, even if that is in the form of a romantic partner.

Accordingly, when you are at that time in your life where you are feeling lost, confused, unsure, possibly lacking meaning or purpose, or simply standing at a crossroads – be very careful and wary of giving away your power to anyone else and, expecting someone else to solve all your problems when all they demand in return is either your obedience or your money, or both!

Beware of worshipping, idealizing or idolizing anyone, and remember, no one is superior to you; only some have superior knowledge or expertize in certain areas.

If you would like help to become more confident, more independent and stop the cycle of seeking the approval of others, book a one-on-one session with me. 

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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