This post takes a quick overview at what is really required to overcome spiritual bypass according to Alice Bailey’s model asking what it takes for abusive spiritual leaders to be accepted as a legitimate teachers again?
Tonight I was going back over a few books I really enjoy from author Robert Augustus Masters. I was wondering what he was up tp since it had been about five years since I visited his website or looked at his books including the one on Spiritual Bypassing. So I went to see what was going on. Jumping to his About page I was surprised to see his admission to being a former cult leader for 17 years in Canada and beyond (see his post Clarifying My Past that explains his version of it). On one hand I was greatly surprised to learn he had once been a cult leader. But, honestly? I was even more surprised to see how his page didn’t really admit to what he had done. To me it just seemed glossed over. Quite a shock for me from the “spiritual bypass” guy I had come to respect so much.
I clicked backwards to where I had done the search for his website and two rows down was this from something called The Guru detailing the extensive abuse, much of it violent and criminal, that Robert engaged in. I was both sad and shocked. After detailing the horrible stuff that went on the article concluded by saying this, “What would it require for a former abusive cult leader like Masters to be accepted as a legitimate teacher again? There should be thorough evidence that he had sought serious treatment, accepted full responsibility, was not in denial, has integrated his shadow and was no longer a danger to potential students. Aside from the 4-paragraph blog post with generalizations about his past I’ve seen no evidence of this. There is no public display of genuine remorse and no in depth explanation of his behaviors and actions. It falls short of what you’d expect from a supposed expert in the shadow. And it is a far cry given the extraordinary nature of the abuse that occurred.”
I have to say I agree. I do feel it is a step that Robert has written the books he has. But, in light of how criminal and horrible the behavior was, I have to put it side by side with one of my favorite books on abuse Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men by Lundy Bancroft. All I can say is, people should read Lundy’s book because he answers what really needs to take place to make true reparations and “I’m sorry,” or I wrote a few books trying to make it look like I have recovered from this stuff, just doesn’t cut it. Bancroft has an extensive list of how reparations should be made including a minimum of two years of weekly group therapy and a lot of work to directly make it up to those you have harmed. And when you look at all the steps Bancroft outlines about how to make reparations, writing books where you still gain the glory and profit may be a step, but they don’t quite cut it. More is yet to come in the way of healing those you have harmed that is much harder and done in a more personal way.
So, why put something like this on my blog here? Mainly because these kind of dilemmas fit right into the Bailey model. In her model this kind of “crazy wisdom” behavior that wants to be a spiritual teacher and “have it all” in the way of power, sex, and money (that it turns out Robert like others also engaged in) is all part of Bailey’s Little Chelaship stage that covers the Aspirant and Probationer Discipleship sub-stages as well. (Click on the links to get to the chapters or the summary of the stage that has the various chapters within it).
Now just in case any of us want to go “boo Robert” and “shame on you” consider this. Bailey outlined the very issues Robert struggles with in her model 100 years ago. In my chapter I commented on Osho going through this. There are other spiritual teachers I could list, but will not at this point. Most people don’t know Bailey’s model because it is so complex, which is why I have been making an attempt to put her model forward in a more reader friendly way on this site. What we find is that all of us, like Robert, have the potential to engage in various kinds of abuses at different spiritual levels. On this blog i have made attempts to reveal how the Bailey books clarify the kinds of struggles and pitfalls various stages of spiritual growth entail. It is just weird to me to see them playing out just as the Bailey books outline them. (Weird because as much as I have spent my life on the Bailey books, I am not a devotee of them, but a curious open minded skeptic). Along these lines if Bailey is right the vast majority of humanity have yet to enter the phase of Little Chelaship. Therefore, what Robert has done (and other spiritual teachers like him have done), is possible for many others to do since so many will be moving into the Little Chelaship stage in centuries to come. That is why knowing the pitfalls of these stages is so important, so we can recognize what is pathological behavior for each stage, and not try to justify it as acceptable somehow.
In Bailey’s model as we shift from Little Chelaship into Chela in the Light we discover more of where Robert is at now. The Chela in the Light is becoming much more aware of his or her mistakes during the Little Chelaship stage and is struggling to understand how to clean up the mess that has been created on the spiritual path so far. By the way, in Bailey’s model the Chela in the Light stage only starts that process. Only when we move into her Accepted Discipleship stage do we engage in the more rigorous and long process of true karma clean-up. And, that is where I find the questions from the Guru article, so essential to us all “What would it require for a former abusive cult leader like Masters to be accepted as a legitimate teacher again?”
Or, what will it take for all of us to look at what we do during the tumultuous Little Chelaship phase (that Bailey says is the most difficult to handle) where we can do so much harm in the name of “good” because of our numerous “spiritual” delusions? Again, Bailey has actually written quite a lot on this. She calls it glamour and karma cleanup and in the coming months I hope to put up the chapters I am working on summarizing her stages of Accepted Discipleship (said to be the longest stage to get through). As we shall see this is a particularly not very fun or exciting stage to go through. Unlike the Little Chelaship and Chela in the Light stages, the stage of Accepted Discipleship is all about becoming more disciplined, humbled and maybe even more humiliated as we recognize and clean up the messes we have made. Along these lines may we hold hands together and help all of us get through it holding all of us accountable with compassion along the way.
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