One of the most inane and perhaps insane films to come out since Battlefield Earth with John Travolta was ”What the (bleep)? with J.Z. Knight.

J.Z. Knight says she speaks for 'Ramtha'This is a “cult film” that was actually produced by members of a group called a ”cult.”

A few of the faithful from the “Ramtha School of Enlightenment” that believe a former housewife and cable saleswoman from Tacoma speaks for a 35,000 dead general named “Ramtha” from the “lost continent of Atlantis” made this stinker.

Now comes the so-called “director’s cut” titled “What the Bleep!?: Down the Rabbit Hole.”

But the producers of this long-winded “New Age” preach-a-thon should have tossed footage of the ridiculous Ramtha down some “hole.”

The not so well received original has reportedly been “bloated into a shameless infomercial for the Ramtha” who offers her boring philosophy in “a droning monotone” reports Phil Villarreal for Scripps Howard

Villarreal calls the film “condescending…one-dimensional…Pseudo-scientific and psychological mumbo jumbo.”

Frankly that’s charitable.

Anyone who believes J.Z. Knight speaks for the dead, from Atlantis or anywhere else, is really “Down the Rabbit Hole.”

Dianetics
Salon calls Scientology Dianetics “stranger than fiction”

Academics often called “cult apologists” have come to the rescue and defended both Tom Cruise and Scientology in the press lately.

J. Gordon Melton and David G. Bromley were both quoted in a recent article run within the Chicago Sun-Times.

Bromley is an old friend of Scientology and has been officially recommended by the controversial church as a “religious resource.”

The so-called “new Cult Awareness Network” reportedly run by Scientology also once recommended both Bromley and Melton for “factual information on new religions,” in the wake of a California cult (“Heaven’s Gate“) mass suicide in 1997.

David Bromley’s frequent writing partner Anson Shupe made a bundle working for Scientology lawyers. He helped Scientology knock off its perceived nemesis the “old Cult Awareness Network” enabling a Scientologist attorney to eventually buy its name and files through a bankruptcy proceeding.

The files of Scientology’s former foe were later handed over to J. Gordon Melton.

Melton and Bromley can almost always be counted on to defend virtually any group called a “cult” no matter how heinous or harmful.

Bromley told the Chicago Sun-Times, “Cult is a four-letter word for a religion you don’t like.”

It seems Time Magazine must have got it wrong when it called Scientology the “Cult of Greed,” despite the fact that a subsequent libel suit filed against the publication by the purported “cult” sputtered to a dismissal without ever going to trial.

Mr. Melton has raked in quite a nest egg working for groups like the Children of God and the International Church of Christ. He was paid by J.Z. Knight (known as Ramtha) to write a book, not to mention his all expenses paid trip to Japan courtesy of the infamous cult known as “Aum Supreme Truth.”

Melton arrived in Japan in 1995 and promptly pronounced that Aum was the victim of “persecution,” despite the fact that the cult had gassed the Tokyo Subway system sending thousands of Japanese to hospitals and killing twelve.

Melton told the Chicago Sun-Times that “new religions,” his supposedly politically correct euphemism to describe “cults,” put people off because of their “newness.”

However, it appears that what puts people off most about Tom Cruise’s behavior and his strange Scientology banter is the bizarre nature of it all.

Today the London Free Press asked, “Has Cruise Cracked?”

Meanwhile Salon Magazine published a critique of Scientology and its founder titled “Stranger than Fiction.”

How convenient is the timing that these two alleged academics Melton and Bromley are now helping out Scientology’s “poster boy” Tom Cruise.

But the news media should know that such specious scholars cannot be counted upon for any meaningful objectivity, they are politically if not literally invested in their positions.

Benjamin Zablocki, a professor of sociology at Rutgers University put it succinctly when he said, “The sociology of religion can no longer avoid the unpleasant ethical question of how to deal with the large sums of money being pumped into the field by the religious groups being studied…This is an issue that is slowly but surely building toward a public scandal.”

Stephen Kent, a professor of sociology at the University of Alberta in Canada concluded, “Scholars who compromise objectivity or academic integrity threaten to diminish the reputation of social science.”

Rich religious groups like Scientology can easily afford to pump cash into the pockets of quite a few professors and assorted academics. Perhaps the press should scrutinize more carefully the likes of sources such as David G. Bromley and J. Gordon Melton.

By Benjamin Spector, New York

I am an environmentalist, liberal and former cult member and am very sad that you spoke at the “Ramtha School of Enlightenment.”

You may not be aware of this, but J.Z. Knight will take full advantage of your attendance at her school and use your name, your reputation and the reputation of your father and your family to promote her group.

Maybe you need an education about what a [destructive] cult is?

A [destructive] cult is the most fascist, dictatorial type of group known to man.

In America, you and I and all the liberals and environmentalists have the freedom to speak out against our government and to change that government in a democratic fashion.

Also, within mainstream religious organizations from the Catholic Church to the “Religious Right,” members may express their own points of view to a varying degree and debate the relevant issues.

At Riverkeeper, you and your associates probably debate issues and have disagreements.

However, there isn’t meaningful debate or disagreements in a [destructive] cult.

A [destructive] cult is an organization where typically one person is held as “God-like,” infallible and essentially above the law.

Followers do not seriously question leaders like J.Z. Knight, Reverend Moon, and Sri Chinmoy, who was once my leader. In fact no dissent is really tolerated. Either you swallow the group dogma, hook, line and sinker, or you are out and will be ostracized and shunned forever by all your former friends and associates that remain involved.

That is totalitarianism.

You were quoted in The Olympian to say, “Someone who doesn’t like you very much told me I was speaking at a cult”… “I guess it would be OK if I spoke at Bob Jones University.”

I don’t recall a Kennedy ever speaking at Bob Jones, but I remember your Uncle Teddy speaking at Jerry Falwell’s school. He was treated quite courteously, although everyone there knew he didn’t agree with Mr. Falwell.

The “Ramtha School of Enlightenment” may seem like a “New Age” alternative education, holistic kind of place, but in reality the dogma is much more rigid and dissent is probably less tolerated there than at Bob Jones University.

You would never have been allowed to raise questions or encourage debate within the Ramtha group about its leader or her absolute authority.

[Destructive] cults expect their members to obey the leader at all times.

At the Ramtha School perhaps students feel they are not actually obeying Ms. Knight, but rather the 35,000-year-old spirit from the lost continent of Atlantis named “Ramtha” that she claims to channel.

Do you know what “Ramtha” has said?

In one channeling session Ramtha reportedly said, “Mother Nature” wants to “get rid of” gays.”

And “Ramtha” has recommended buying Ms. Knight’s Arabian horses as an investment.

It is said that you are considering running for New York Attorney General. Maybe one day you may even run for President. This is why I am so deeply concerned about what you said at this recent lecture.

You told the audience at the Ramtha School, “I was really excited; because I just really wanted to see this place…You’re good people with good values, and all the values this country is supposed to stand for.”

But to me the freedom to express one’s point of view and to speak out against injustices of any kind are the fundamental pillars of any democratic society. These are the “good values,” which forms the basis for our society.

However, at the Ramtha School the leader isn’t democratic and other views are not really tolerated.

How can you support and commend this, and then condemn George Bush or the Republican Party?

Please let me know where you stand concerning [destructive] cults.

Much like battered women, the followers of charismatic cult leaders often remain loyal unless they find some way to break free and begin to reason and reflect again independently.

Believe it or not, the followers of cult leaders are very frequently well educated, sophisticated and sensitive, but authoritarian leaders rob them of their ability to think independently as individuals and dominate them.

I urge you to examine the “Ramtha School of Enlightenment” and research its history.

J.Z. Knight has been called a “cult leader.”

It is hard to believe that a Kennedy would dine with such a person in a palatial mansion probably paid for largely though the pain and suffering of cult victims.

Her followers paid $1,000.00 each to attend the retreat you lectured at and an additional $30.00 to hear you talk.

They buy her tapes; books etc. and probably serve Ms. Knight in many other ways. Some may have left their homes, given up jobs and even their families to help her there. Whenever they finally move on many may not be employable and perhaps they won’t be able to afford health insurance.

My one-time leader Sri Chinmoy encouraged many of us to work below the minimum wage and without benefits, at businesses owned by senior group members in New York and other locations. Many workers were illegal aliens.

Do you think that this type of behavior represents “good values”?

As New York State Attorney General would you do anything to stop or prevent such bad treatment?

Or will you stand idly by allowing cult leaders to become rich at the expense of their followers, often illegally abusing and exploiting them?

Are these “the values this country is supposed to stand for”?

I really want to know where you stand on these issues.

Note: After repeated inquiries Robert F. Kennedy Jr. finally responded to Mr. Spector March 28th. His response read “Thanks for your note. I would gladly go to Bob Jones, Ramtha or Liberty College to spread my message, which is anti-fascist, pro-democratic and pro-environment. Ramtha School has been involved in several successful battles to keep developers like Wal-Mart out of Yelm. Those are the values I was applauding.”

CultNews would like to follow-up on the previous story about Robert F. Kennedy Jr. (RFK Jr.) lecture at the “cult” compound of a controversial New Age guru in Yelm, Washington.

Last week JFK’s nephew dropped in at the “Ramtha School of Enlightenment” run by J.Z. Knight, where he addressed over 1,000 of her devoted followers (called “Ramsters” by residents of Yelm) literally camped out in the group’s “Great Hall.”

The school is largely based upon the rather bizarre belief that Knight can channel a 35,000-year-old spirit from the lost continent of Atlantis named “Ramtha.”

Kennedy appeared unfazed by questions raised about the lecture venue.

“Someone who doesn’t like you very much told me I was speaking at a cult,” Kennedy joked to his audience of Ramtha devotees reported The Olympian.

The Ramsters responded with laughter.

Needless to say cult members rarely acknowledge the reality of their circumstances and RFK did little to dissuade them. Instead, he was so focused on attacking President Bush, that he barely seemed to notice his surroundings.

Kennedy compared his appearance at the “cult” compound to a Bush speech given at another school infamous for racism.

“I guess it would be OK if I spoke at Bob Jones University,” he said.

But two wrongs don’t make a right and someone as supposedly sophisticated, as Kennedy should know that.

Based upon his strained rationalization maybe those opposed to Mr. Kennedy’s environmental policies should say, “Well, don’t other countries have polluted waters, what’s wrong with dumping a little toxic waste here”?

RFK Jr. not only lent his name to the “cult,” but dined with its mistress within her palatial French Chateau.

“(Kennedy) is a golden boy from a golden family,” Ms. Knight told the press, keenly aware of the promotional value that his appearance offered her school.

“I was really excited, because I just really wanted to see this place…You’re good people with good values, and all the values this country is supposed to stand for,” RFK Jr. gushed.

“Values”?

Who’s “channeling” what now?

The Ramtha School is essentially run like a dictatorship. And its authoritarian ruler J.Z. Knight has been accused of making “homophobic comments,” and exploiting her followers.

Would these be the “good values” RFK Jr. means to extoll?

Interestingly, at his lecture Kennedy derided George W. Bush by comparing him to Hitler and claimed that his governance “borders on fascism.”

Well, at least President Bush was elected, unlike Ms. Knight who seems to have more in common with a fascist regime than the White House.

But never mind the facts.

This Kennedy seems to have little of his father’s common sense, let alone the historical insights of his uncle JFK.

Robert Kennedy Jr. is scheduled as a featured speaker at a school that has been called a “cult.”

The son of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy (RFK), one-time Attorney General of the United States and brother of President John F. Kennedy (JFK) will soon be appearing in Yelm, Washington to lecture at the controversial “Ramtha School of Enlightenment.”

The school is led by former Tacoma housewife J.Z. Knight, who claims that she is the chosen channel for a 35,000 year old spirit and prehistoric general from the lost continent of Atlantis named “Ramtha.”

According to the school’s Web site Kennedy should be passing through for his presentation this Thursday.

The “Speaker Event” is restricted to “current students” during what is referred to as the group’s “Primary Retreat,” which costs $1,000.00

Those attending will pay an additional $30 to hear Kennedy, though there are discounts for children and seniors.

His topic will be “Crimes Against Nature,” which is a critique against the Bush administration’s environmental policy.

To enter the event you “MUST HAVE [A] CURRENT ID BADGE” (emphasis not added). The gates to the group’s “ranch” will open Thursday March 10th “at 4 PM and close PROMPTLY at 6.”

But what does Ramtha have to do with RFK Jr.? And why would the son of Bobby Kennedy want to speak within her gated compound?

Is this 50-something environmental activist and member of the famous Kennedy political clan somehow connected to a purported “cult,” or has he just been conned?

J.Z. Knight and her devoted followers (called “Ramsters” by Yelm residents) have been known to bag big names for promotional purposes.

A recent independent film produced by some of Ms. Knights students titled “What the Bleep” included comments from noted experts, one later said that he didn’t realize how his interview would be used.

“In the movie, my views are turned around 180 degrees,” Philosopher David Albert of Columbia University told Willamette Week in a subsequent interview about his participation in the project.

Likewise, Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin seems a bit embarrassed by her starring role in the film.

Has Robert Kennedy Jr. become the latest dupe of the Washington New Age guru?

Mr. Kennedy is the chief prosecuting attorney for Riverkeeper, an organization of fishermen, which is dedicated to “defending the Hudson [and] protecting…communities.” He also is a Clinical Professor and Supervising Attorney at the Environmental Litigation Clinic at Pace University in White Plains, NY.

But does the chief prosecutor feel that a so-called “cult” community in the Pacific Northwest needs protection?

It doesn’t look like Ms. Knight needs any help from Mr. Kennedy. She has a multi-million dollar annual income through her company JZK Inc. and lives in a 12,000-square-foot French-style chateau with six bedrooms, seven fireplaces, a spiral staircase and an indoor pool.

Does RFK Jr. think that speaking to a roomful of Ramsters will somehow advance his cause?

Or is Mr. Kennedy launching a campaign to save the rivers of Washington, they do have quite a few, not to mention all those salmon and fishermen.

It looks like RFK Jr. may be swimming upstream this time, and arguably in polluted waters.

“What the Bleep” was he thinking when he signed up to speak at this venue?

CultNews tried to find out by calling Riverkeeper, but that organization had nothing to say other than referring inquiries to Mr. Kennedy’s offices at Pace. His executive assistant there Mary Beth Postman in turn passed the call on to Keppler Speakers, a speaker’s bureau in Arlington, Virginia that books his lectures.

According to his Web site subsection at Keppler Kennedy speaks on such topics as “Our Environmental Destiny,” “The Power of Law” and “A Contract with Our Future,” but J.Z. Knight apparently opted for US environmental policy.

Does this mean that the Ramtha School of Enlightenment has taken up the cause of environmental policy?

Perhaps the Ramsters think that the lost continent of Atlantis sunk due to toxic dumping or was washed away as a result of prehistoric global warming.

No.

It’s more likely that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is simply a name used to chum the water and promote the school’s “Primary Retreat”?

And it looks like JZK hooked RFK Jr. through his agent.

CultNews got a callback from John Truran the designated spokesperson for Keppler. He confirmed that Kennedy is booked to speak this week at the Ramtha School for a fee.

When asked if Robert Kennedy Jr. understood that he would be lecturing before a restricted audience composed of Ramtha students behind the closed gates of a compound Truran replied, “I don’t know.”

J. Gordon Melton, a somewhat specious “scholar” of what he refers to as “new religious movements” received a rather questionable gift from a foundation linked to a purported “cult,” reports Moving On.org.

Moving On.org is a Web site created by and for young adults with parents who joined the notorious “Children of God” (COG).

The Web site recently made public a portion of a 2000 IRS disclosure document that lists a $10,000.00 gift given to the so-called “International Religious Directory,” which is a pet project of Mr. Melton.

The gift-giver is the Family Care Foundation, an organization founded by COG leaders.

Infamous sexual predator “Moses” David Berg who died in 1994 once defined COG as its absolute leader.

The group taught members to sexualize their minor children and encouraged its women to become “hookers for Christ.”

COG is now known as “The Family” and has been in the news lately due to a grizzly murder-suicide.

Ricky Rodriquez the son of its current leader Karen Zerby, Berg’s widow known as “Mama Maria” to her followers, committed suicide after murdering his former nanny Angela Smith. The young man who left COG about five years ago claimed she had molested him as a child.

Ms. Smith at the time of her death was listed as a director of the Family Care Foundation, which is reportedly “an arm of The Family.”

J. Gordon Melton has often been labeled a “cult apologist” because of his friendly relationships with such groups, but until now no one knew exactly how lucrative his COG connection was through the Family Care Foundation.

Mr. Melton seems to have made something of a career out of selling his scholarly services to various fringe groups, often called “cults.” His list of sponsors and/or clients has included JZ Knight or “Ramtha,” a new age guru that funded a Melton book project. And also Aum the terrorist Japanese cult, which paid the peripatetic apologist’s expenses to come to Tokyo after they gassed that city’s subways sending thousands to hospitals.

Mr. Melton’s motto seems to be, “have apologies will travel,” apparently that is when some substantial funding is made available.

Note: Supposedly objective academic papers by J. Gordon Melton and others often called “cult apologists” have recently been linked on-line through a Web site database. Many of the authors listed such as Dick Anthony & Thomas Robbins, David Bromley, Jeffrey Hadden, James Lewis, James T. Richardson and James Tabor have been recommended either by Scientology or the Scientology-linked “new Cult Awareness Network” as “resources.” Anson Shupe who is listed once worked for lawyers linked to Scientology. Another listed author Eileen Barker has received funding from Rev. Moon. Scholar Rocheford E. Burke cashed some checks from Krishna/ISCKON while Professor Susan Palmer worked closely with the Raelians. Cult apology appears to be a meaningful source of income for some within the academic community. The Web site CESNUR, which is home for many of the papers listed is run by Massimo Introvigne, a controversial man that works closely with many groups called “cults.”

A rich “New Age” guru named J.Z. Knight apparently hopes to follow in the footsteps of Mel Gibson with a documentary/movie.

Knight is promoting a film “What the Bleep Do We Know!?” starring Oscar-winner Marlee Matlin and featuring a group of scientists that it seems may have been handpicked by the guru.

The new movie is “a dramatic story” that includes “interviews with leading scientists and mystics” and supposedly offers the audience a “tour through the inner workings of the Universe.”

And of course J.Z. Knight is the featured “mystic, philosopher [and] master teacher.”

The housewife turned “teacher” claims that she “channels” a 35,000-year-old spirit named “Ramtha” who first appeared to her in a Tacoma kitchen during 1977.

Knight runs the so-called “Ramtha School of Enlightenment,” which has been called a “cult.” The school is the hub of a multi-million dollar spiritual empire based upon the sale of books, tapes and pricey seminars.

Dynasty TV star Linda Evans is a long-time Ramtha follower and like many devotees lives near her mentor in Yelm, Washington.

Much like Mel Gibson’s “Passion” J.Z. Knight hopes this mystical movie will be embraced by true believers. It is even being pitched through “street teams.”

Some suspect the project is little more than a vehicle for “cult” recruitment.

“What the Bleep Do We Know!?” is largely being promoted like a subculture event. And it seems to be selling amongst New Agers in Oregon, California, Arizona and Alaska, where it has been shown.

The world premier took place near Knight’s headquarters in Yelm.

It is interesting that Ms. Matlin, an accomplished actor with an Oscar on her shelf, agreed to participate in such a specious project.

Was this an “artistic choice” or can it be that Ramtha has gained yet another celebrity follower?

Maybe Matlin just picked up a hefty paycheck from the wealthy guru.

Cult apology is a trade for some, but it may be a “politically correct” calling for others.

This week National Public Radio (NPR) “All Things Considered” apparently was on a mission, the program featured well-known “cult apologists” in a broadcast about “New Religions.”

The two-part series hosted by Barbara Bradley Hagerty discussed the history of so-called “new religious movements (NRMs),” which is a politically correct euphemism for groups commonly called “cults.”

Feigning academic objectivity was J. Gordon Melton and James Lewis.

Both men have long been closely associated with well-known “cults,” such as the notorious “Cult of Greed” (Time Magazine May 1991) Scientology, which has recommended the two as “religious resources.”

Melton frequently hires himself out to “cults.”

Melton, the founder of the “Institute for the Study of American Religion,” has worked for the likes of J.Z. Knight, a woman who claims to channel a 35,000-year-old spirit named “Ramtha.”

“Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati” a former Brooklyn housewife and the leader of the Kashi Ashram in Florida also has retained Melton.

Melton’s professional “research,” which frequently flatters “cult leaders,” seems to provide them with academic cover, but for a price.

The peripatetic apologists Lewis and Melton were once flown to Japan all expenses paid by the notorious cult Aum, just after its leader and many members were arrested for gassing Tokyo’s subways.

Lewis claimed at a press conference after conducting an “investigation” based upon photos and documents provided by the cult, that Aum could not have produced the poison gas used to murder 12 Japanese and send thousands to hospitals.

Not to be left out Melton chimed in that the Japanese authorities “were threatening the group’s religious freedom.”

For those that don’t already know, Aum’s leader Shoko Asahara and his key subordinates were found guilty and sentenced to death through a court process that included overwhelming evidence.

Apparently Lewis and Melton overlooked and/or ignored such factual information.

Another “scholar” featured on the NPR program was Catherine Wessinger.

This academic once described the suicide cult “Heaven’s Gate” led by lunatic Marshall Applewhite as “definitely Gnostic…very similar to Hinduism (and also Buddhism).” She concluded, “The outcome with Heaven’s Gate certainly calls into question traditional Hindu beliefs and practices.”

Huh?

What about the more obvious explanation that Applewhite was crazy? After all, the cult leader did once sign himself into a mental hospital, wasn’t his psychological instability a factor?

Wessinger says, “I’m not trained in psychology so I don’t articulate those opinions…”

Wessinger also engages in something like revisionist history regarding Jonestown led by another madman Jim Jones. This cult tragedy claimed the lives of more than 900 Americans in 1978. According to Wessinger “they would still be here. But due to the attacks and investigations they endured…”

Melton, Lewis and Wessinger might be the cult version of the “Three Stooges,” or maybe more like the proverbial monkeys that “hear no evil, speak no evil and see no evil” when it comes to cults.

Whatever they are NPR appears to be just plain dumb, for either not doing its own research, or simply ignoring the facts in favor of some sort of “political correctness.”

Here are some glaring examples:

NPR discussed Krishna without even mentioning that the “cult” is currently embroiled in a $400 million dollar class action lawsuit filed by its childhood victims.

The Waco Davidians were labeled as a “new religious movement (NRM),” even though they are commonly called a “cult.” No mention was made about David Koresh’s bizarre claim that he was “The Lamb of God” or how the cult leader exploited and abused his followers, including the rape of a 10-year-old.

Another “NRM” mentioned was the Raelians, but again nothing about the sordid history of leader Claude Vorilhon (“Rael”) or the context of the group’s clone claim, within an endless series of self-serving publicity stunts.

Instead, all these groups were essentially whitewashed under the politically correct rubric of “new religious movements.”

And the word “cult” was never even used once throughout the entire program.

After all, according to the NPR “scholars” any meaningful discussion of “cult” bad behavior may be characterized as “persecution” and/or an “attack” upon “religious freedom.”

Note: In its second installment yesterday NPR featured yet another “cult apologist” Lorne L. Dawson. This program discussed the “Toronto Blessing,” an aberration on the fringes of the Charismatic Movement. However, in what can easily be seen as misleading, the report focused on the bizarre aspects of this Canadian group as if it offered listeners a pivotal understanding of Pentecostal Christianity.

According to one psychiatrist in California “dreams do have meaning.” But what does he mean?

David Hoffman a retired psychiatrist writes a “dear doctor” column dispensing advice and answering questions through the “La Jolla Light.” One recent column was rerun within the Mammoth Times.

After recounting his personal history Hoffman eventually answers a reader’s inquiry about the meaning of dreams. He says, “Much of my life is guided and directed by [dreams].”

But the doctor’s column really raises more questions than it answers.

Hoffman discusses his “exploration into what was called ‘New Age Psychiatry,’” which might be more objectively seen as his odyssey through the world of “cults.”

The doctor admits he has studied with “Rajneesh, Shirley McLaine, Kevin Ryerson, Edgar Cayce, Ramtha, and Yogananda.”

These controversial sources are hardly what medical doctors would typically rely upon to form any clinical opinion. And it certainly is questionable that any mental health professional would base an opinion on such specious and subjective sources.

Never-the-less Hoffman concludes, “From all that, I learned to adapt the value of dreams to my own life.”

But such statements only raise more questions.

It is understood that people seeking help from a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist or professional counselor are typically at a time of personal need often also accompanied by stress, depression and/or anxiety.

This means that the patient is frequently very vulnerable and suggestible. And the helping professional occupies a position of power and influence in that person’s life during the course of their therapy/counseling.

Unfortunately, some mental health professionals may see this as an opportunity to express their personal beliefs. Perhaps even proselytizing for a certain group and/or belief system.

Thankfully this is apparently a very small minority. And exercising such an influence over a patient is most often seen as a violation of the ethical code prescribed by most State Boards and/or mental health licensing organizations.

So where then is the proper place for the practice of “New Age psychiatry”?

It seems that there would be no proper place for such a practice amongst ethical psychiatrists, who should remain objective and not project their personal beliefs into the lives of their patients.

Doctors like Hoffman may believe whatever the want, but such personal beliefs should not be passed off as part of the practice of medicine. That is, unless you are a “witch doctor.”

According to one psychiatrist in California “dreams do have meaning.” But what does he mean?

David Hoffman a retired psychiatrist writes a “dear doctor” column dispensing advice and answering questions through the “La Jolla Light.” One recent column was rerun within the Mammoth Times.

After recounting his personal history Hoffman eventually answers a reader’s inquiry about the meaning of dreams. He says, “Much of my life is guided and directed by [dreams].”

But the doctor’s column really raises more questions than it answers.

Hoffman discusses his “exploration into what was called ‘New Age Psychiatry,’” which might be more objectively seen as his odyssey through the world of “cults.”

The doctor admits he has studied with “Rajneesh, Shirley McLaine, Kevin Ryerson, Edgar Cayce, Ramtha, and Yogananda.”

These controversial sources are hardly what medical doctors would typically rely upon to form any clinical opinion. And it certainly is questionable that any mental health professional would base an opinion on such specious and subjective and sources.

Never-the-less Hoffman concludes, “From all that, I learned to adapt the value of dreams to my own life.”

But such statements only raise more questions.

It is understood that people seeking help from a psychiatrist, clinical psychologist or professional counselor are typically at a time of personal need often also accompanied by stress, depression and/or anxiety.

This means that the patient is frequently very vulnerable and suggestible. And the helping professional occupies a position of power and influence in that person’s life during the course of their therapy/counseling.

Unfortunately, some mental health professionals may see this as an opportunity to express their personal beliefs. Perhaps even proselytizing for a certain group and/or belief system.

Thankfully this is apparently a very small minority. And exercising such an influence over a patient is most often seen as a violation of the ethical code prescribed by most State Boards and/or mental health licensing organizations.

So where then is the proper place for the practice of “New Age psychiatry”?

It seems that there would be no proper place for such a practice amongst ethical psychiatrists, who should remain objective and not project their personal beliefs into the lives of their patients.

Doctors like Hoffman may believe whatever the want, but such personal beliefs should not be passed off as part of the practice of medicine. That is, unless you are a “witch doctor.”