One night, back in 2005, I had the singular misfortune of listening to a badly recorded cassette tape. On it, I discovered my NewAge wife's best friend from Luxembourg (a school teacher, of all things, named Nadia Eisen, above) had been discussing her life with a psychic. Yikes!
As if half-baked educators talking to vicious bullshit artists wasn't bad enough, to my continued horror, I also heard my wife of 20 years, Karine Anne Brunck (above) asking the same fraud for advice. You see, less than a month after my mother-in-law (above) was euthanized - for what seemed, to me, an extremely painful bout of cancer - the attending "NewAge physician", Dr. Robert Wohlfahrt (a homeopath running his scam operation in France) heightened the drama of death by having sex with my (now-ex) wife right at the start of the grieving period. Without a care for our marriage - you'll notice hardly anyone in this piece cares about the social boundary of marriage - he called her his "virgin/whore" (words she would've found offensive coming from me) and encouraged her to investigate the cult of Ken Wilber.
The immoral scammer on the cassette - calling herself Doti Boon, The California Psychic - also offered encouragement, and - except to ask if I was into open marriages - without knowing (or caring) anything about me, proudly proclaimed "I don't see any problems here." Predictably, being a charlatan, that conversation took place long before Doti Boon could know what was to come:
They talked before the terrible arguments with my wife began. They talked before I discovered my wife was part of a cult (which is what lead me to the cassette that uncovered the affair). They talked before I discovered my ex was buying the homeopath gifts, and before I had ever heard of homeopathy, or understood what kind of scam it is; before I knew my wife had emptied our bank accounts, and, of course, before our divorce (which, I might add, was conducted only after I'd been forced to sell almost everything I owned.)
Their chat took place before I discovered my wife's other best friend, a maliciously stupid Belgian believer named Emmanuelle Taijmans (above) knew about the affair, and happily spent time in Europe with my ex and that kinkily murderous man. My wife talked to the psychic before I read the e-mails, between my ex and the man who gave her sick mother water, and completely fell apart.
They talked before I lost 80 pounds, practically, overnight, while fielding calls from cultists telling me, "Give up. She's with us now." They talked before I slipped into severe depression; before I was driven to attempt suicide (while on anti-depressants) and before I suffered a bruised disc in my neck from involuntary muscle spasms while screaming in my sleep. All of which caused me to incur huge medical bills.
Most importantly, their recorded conversation took place before I discovered 20 years of those tapes hidden in my wife's closet. I also found receipts for all the worthless "energy" crap, seminars, initiations, etc., she'd been spending our money on. That's when I started investigating the phenomena of cultism to the point where I started pondering the same question I'm pondering, three years later, as I write this:
Extrapolating from my experience, what price is society paying for journalism's propensity to play blind, pretending they can't see those living under the umbrella of cultish NewAge beliefs as actively hurting America, and in ways it's citizens aren't aware of, or can hardly process, in advance?
"Do you ever wonder what is the greatest enemy of the free press? One might mention a few conspicuous foes, such as the state censor, the monopolistic proprietor, the advertiser who wants either favorable coverage or at least an absence of unfavorable coverage, and so forth. But the most insidious enemy is the cowardly journalist and editor who doesn't need to be told what to do, because he or she has already internalized the need to please—or at least not to offend—the worst tyranny of all, which is the safety-first version of public opinion."
- Christopher Hitchens, writing for Slate
For instance, after San Francisco's Mayor, Gavin Newsom, was busted for sleeping with the wife of his best friend (and campaign manager) rather than doing the decent thing - admonishing him to disappear - the papers dutifully trumpeted his statement of defiance ("I am not going away!") and kept the mayoral scumbag's silly back-stabbing mug in our faces until a landslide victory at the polls was tastefully manufactured. The cowards did this even after he further embarrassed the betrayed friend who could, almost single-handedly, take credit for all the mayor's accomplishments.
The press claimed this was a sign of The City's (and, presumably, their own) "sophistication", while others saw it as another example of the Paris of the West's cultural depravity, considering the mayor had "made his bones" by trying to make gay marriage legal because he cared so much about the importance of the institution in everyone's life. (Everyone but his best friend, that is.) All this hypocrisy was put on bright display for The City's ever-growing army of cynical drug addicts, presumably to make them more cynical, as they hide behind their ever-present pitch black sunglasses.
It also provided nice memories for the kids. You know, the ones raised on The Wire.
Following that outstanding period of rabble-rousing journalism, it was dutifully noted that "Gavie Baby" was dating an actual big breasted Scientologist from Hollywood for a while. That alarming bombshell was worthy of only one question-and-answer session, with no follow up questions, because the clearly sharp-as-a-tack mayor said he knew nothing - absolutely nothing - about "the world's most dangerous cult". I mean, what more could a room full of journalists have asked after hearing that? Come on, San Francisco is only the same city that put Jim Jones, the leader of the murderous People's Temple, on the board of it's Housing Authority, with the blessing of the entire political, religious, and "spiritual", establishment.
No - everybody keep moving - there was nothing worthy of further investigation here. Just as there was nary a peep when it eventually looked like Gavie's buxom beauty was part of the L. Ron cult's plans to recruit the mayor, or at least distract him, as they were sneakily trying to turn The City's North Beach section into another Clearwater, Florida. That plan was foiled by the Board of Supervisors, who may be a cookoo crew but, because there's so many of them, now and again may react to a well-applied elbow, followed by the words, "Did you see that?".
Anyway, since nobody in town was going to say anything weird was going on, Gruesome Newsom eventually got a note from America's cult expert, Rick Ross. Not for the Scientology shenanigans but for attempting to honor a yoga cult that had recently killed a black professor in New York. (Yea, yea, I know, yoga's a harmless exercise routine - not a 5,000 year old "spiritual" practice that causes people to abandon reality and walk around naked - got it.) Only one of The City's alternative rags, the S.F. Weekly, thought Ross's warning was worth a bit of column space, though they too didn't see anything so out of the ordinary to seriously press the issue of why there is so much cult involvement in The City. (All big city mayors get warning letters from cult experts, right?)
But how could The S.F. Weekly know anything was off kilter when they were so busy putting together a nice, shallow, write up - by a naked yoga enthusiast - for the local sex cult that operates downtown? I mean, a woman-friendly sex cult (as opposed to a male-friendly sex cult) is another normal thing for any American city to have, right? It is when you allow the Falun Gong to stage their creepy silent protests, daily, outside of San Francisco City Hall, and any other North American city they can get away with badgering.
No, except for one ass-covering editorial in The San Francisco Chronicle (just in case) it doesn't look like the local papers are ever going to openly wonder what's in The City's Kool-Aid since the mayor declared he's not a drunk anymore. Are you kidding? Why investigate the influence of cults when big brained journalists are studiously doing other things, like convincing their girlfriends that signing up for women-friendly naked yoga classes is work?
Meanwhile, right across the bay in Oakland, California, an actual serious journalist, Chauncey Bailey, was shot dead - in broad daylight - by the black-owned health food cult of Your Black Muslim Bakery. Though it's original leader, Yusef Bey, had been on T.V. for years, making every crackpot claim a man could make, he - and his successors - still, amazingly, had the support of Oakland's political establishment - including the mayor, Representative and anti-war activist, Barbara Lee, and even the Oakland Police Department - while Bey and his "soldiers" openly ripped the city off while they raped, tortured, and killed Oakland's citizens.
Here's a question: Why was only one reporter working on a story of this magnitude before Chauncy Baily's murder and - fuck the stupid Chauncy Baily Project - where are the rest of them regarding cultism? Probably still reporting on the problems of Wiccans.
Compounding my personal pain, while I was staying with a rabid environmentalist, I saw the Bay Area's Contra Costa County papers were also shilling for the magic water known as homeopathy (I'll mention here that it's also used in almost half of the homes in France. At the same time, England is providing the one source of light in this whole sorry tale by, finally, making headway in eliminating quackery. This is in spite of opposition from Prince Charles, countless celebrities, and many in the general public.) As a matter of fact, NewAge quack medicines are sold, across the country and around the world, in most Health Food stores, including those yoga-loving fonts of wisdom known as Whole Foods, and Trader Joes.
I hear Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, is about to start selling homeopathy as well. I'd think a reporter, somewhere, would be interested in why billions of dollars are going to criminal enterprises, wouldn't you? Oh - don't answer - I didn't notice that huge bottle of all-important supplements on your shelf there.
I've already mentioned that Nevada's medical board has been called "one of the five worst" in the country as they try to become the alternative medicine capital of the world. (I thought "What happens in Vegas,..." Oh, never mind.) The gamblin' state is doing this as SCAM practitioners are receiving government grants through NCCAM and other government sources (thanks to the support of crank politicians, such as Iowa's Tom Harkin (D) and Utah's Orrin Hatch (R) above) while NewAgers are infiltrating hospitals, and medical schools, being called fascists by actual doctors, and doing their damnedest to stifle online debate about their practices, which, in many cases, have been revealed as nothing more than outright medical fraud resulting in more than a few patient deaths.
But is the media capable of putting it all together? Nah. It's much more effective to let a poor black guy with a goofy stage name and couple of years of college do it. Yea, that's the ticket.
As I've said before, more than a few celebrities (who have been been very open about their cult connections) have joined in the fascistic Rule The World Campaign. Everyday at 3 (at least in my area) Oprah Winfrey is spreading The Secret, and other forms of New Age "spirituality", and quackery, on a massive scale, without any serious pressure from,...the,...um,...press. Again, we have another subject - Oprah's billion dollar operation - where the job of protecting the public good is being left to various individuals and science organizations.
I don't think I have to mention Oprah's also providing support to the airy-fairy presidential aspirations of Barack Obama, whose campaign is now being called a cult by such nut cases as those in the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times, and a few other media outlets. But, as far as I know, they haven't asked him about Oprah's beliefs, nor pressured him to shut the cultish fervor down. Hey - it's a political campaign - and we all know people regularly swoon and feint at political campaigns. Just ask John McCain.
Hillary Clinton - who famously said "There are worse things than infidelity" when the (Thank goodness) former president, Bill Clinton, was on his way to being impeached for lying about his exploitation of Monica Lowensky - has talked to psychics and been involved in other cultish behavior. She did this while betraying her feminist credentials by taking the lead in attempting to destroy every woman that claimed her husband took advantage of them. (Somehow even feminists missed all that.) Now the "first black president", and his wife, are slowly being revealed as racists too - after years of wooing the black vote.
Bill Clinton's depravity, like Hillary's Nixonian vindictiveness, is typical, hypocritical, NewAge behavior, as well as a national joke (right along with questions about Hillary's own infidelities) but, as he's been touring the country with the likes of Tony Robbins - and openly quoting Ken Wilber - there have been no questions about cult cheerleading from the media when it comes to the Clinton family's desire for power in - no, scratch that - over America.
As I said, this blog is written by a layman who has, admittedly, suffered greatly - I'm no kind of a journalist - but, considering all I've discovered in a very short period of time, is it any wonder so many average citizens are conspiracy prone these days? I think - starting from the experience of my own personal tragedy - the ability of average citizens to think critically, attempt defending their health, and to simply understand the larger forces arrayed against them (what the president called "The Evildoers" without, and what James Randi and many scientists are calling "The Endarkenment" within) has been seriously compromised.
There simply haven't been enough good column inches written in the world's newspapers, calculating the enormous personal and public destruction NewAge beliefs have wrecked on so many, in a multitude of ways, within the structure of the Western World.
Yes, once again, I'm looking for the help of journalists. I am only one man without the resources to do a job of this magnitude justice. Without delay, I think it's about time for actual journalists to begin to challenge the menace of the NewAge in society. To leave this battle to people like me, and the likes of Scientology's attackers, Anonymous, is a total abandonment, not only of journalism's role in society, but the welfare of our nation and the world.
Here's an outrageous proposal to get you started:
If Senator Charles Grassley can investigate Christian organizations for financial improprieties, then, damn it, the NewAge's operations can be tackled, seriously, by the so-called ink stained scribes of the Fourth Estate as well. As the San Francisco Chronicle's Marshall Kilduff said about The City's previous reaction to cultism:
"What have we learned,...Absolutely nothing."
And, I'm sure, more of us are going to pay if educating the public is a job left to Rappers.