A Few Thoughts About The New Netflix John of God Documentary & How It Relates To Cultic Abuse, Power, Accountability, & Spiritual Bypassing

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*Trigger alert: Sexual abuse and cultic narcissistic predation is talked about.

 

As somebody who spent ten years researching my e-book Sacred Medicine, which comes out April 2022 with Sounds True, “John of God” (who clearly was not of God) was very a lot on my radar. Countless individuals had despatched me testimonials reporting miracle cures carried out by this psychic medium spiritist who allegedly channels “entities.” Sound kooky? I believed so, however tales of outstanding outcomes had been everywhere in the web too. Even Oprah had platformed him- twice. I imply what greater endorsement are you able to get?

 

My naive, curious researcher elements that needed to imagine in miracles tried a number of instances to get me all the way down to Brazil after being invited by a person in his twenties who had spent years down there after being identified with a mind tumor at age 9 that was speculated to kill him however clearly didn’t after he spent months within the “present room,” handled regularly by the “healer.”

 

Perhaps by good luck or possibly by cosmic safety, my journey down there by no means occurred. By the time I had accomplished a number of years of my analysis and was seeing one darkish, scary, unethical vitality healer and shaman nightmare after one other, I used to be skeptical and cautious about what may be happening down there. After I heard rumors that he may be sexually abusing individuals, I simply determined to drop the thought of going to Brazil all collectively. If he was raping weak sick individuals, I didn’t wish to have something to do with him, even when he was curing most cancers, which did appear to be occurring generally, from what I might determine.

 

I did wind up utilizing John of God as a cautionary story within the chapter I wrote about The Shadow of Sacred Medicine, through which I disclosed a number of the bystander trauma I skilled listening to second-hand accounts of the ways individuals had been harmed by so-called celeb healers. The dozens of individuals whose careers I might have ruined by disclosing what I knew weighed heavy on my soul and I did numerous remedy classes and talked to some reporters, off the document. Yet as a result of none of it occurred to me straight, I didn’t have sufficient proof to name the cops, and virtually all of it was rumour reasonably than my direct expertise that might have given me the facility to press expenses and maintain somebody accountable.

 

Now, watching this very disturbing documentary in regards to the serial sexual abuse, gangster-like habits, and cultic dynamics of The Casa in Abadiania, I’m grateful I by no means went down there however really feel completely devastated that so many lots of of women bought damage and so many others bought conned. I do know numerous individuals personally who did go to Brazil or Omega in New York to see him and a few of them expressed having a very good expertise, however clearly, means too many individuals had completely horrific experiences of abuse to justify any of it.

 

The most crushing a part of the documentary is the ending, when after being sentenced to 63 years of jail time, John of God is again at The Casa with an ankle monitor, carrying an emerald ring, holding a scrapbook, and petting a canopy picture of Oprah on O Magazine, staring into the digicam with a “gotcha” look, like he bought away with the abuse, sitting on his throne within the Casa, and Oprah had helped him. It’s dizzying to comprehend, as all of us look again with our retrospectoscopes, that Oprah, the queen of feminine empowerment, was chargeable for serving to promote him to numerous foreigners who trusted her discernment. The hardened look in his eyes made me queasy, the trauma these women endured made me cry, and the anger that flared by me made me wish to scream with rage. Weirdly, I also felt unhappy listening to the tales of how John of God cried in jail so loud that his cellmates complained. Knowing what I find out about trauma, it in all probability wasn’t from regret or loss that he was crying. He in all probability has a really younger half that relied on being adored by 1000’s of individuals, and with out the adulation, a younger exile was screaming. I do know individuals get upset should you specific even one little bit of compassion for the perpetrator of abuse, and please don’t misunderstand. I’ve LOADS extra compassion for the victims he damage, and I’m livid about what he did. And I’m livid he is not getting punished extra right now. It doesn’t make any of it okay, and clearly, I sympathize far more with the victims than with their abuser, however nonetheless, trauma is unhappy. Hurt individuals damage individuals, and it’s unhappy.

 

Still, I’m pissed. HOW IS HE NOT IN JAIL??? I didn’t notice this till I watched the documentary. Last I heard was a New York Times article saying he was in jail and had been sentenced to spend the remainder of his life there. Hearing that he’s again within the Casa left me outraged.

His crying, devastated victims, whose tales are sickening and laborious to observe for anybody, a lot much less empaths, had been at home in lockdown whereas he was also home in lockdown. How is this justice, considered one of them requested, that his victims are on home arrest and so is he?

 

I’m so bored with attempting to clarify the nuance of how I see the world this yr after we are reckoning with energy, abuses of energy, and how we’re going to maintain accountable those that use energy in abusive ways. We are wrestling with the #MeToo motion, #BlackLivesMatter, QAnon, the Capitol Insurrection, the narcissistic abuses of politicians, cultic religious leaders being known as out on the Conspirituality podcast and elsewhere, and all the opposite ways we’re utilizing and abusing energy and hurting individuals. But let me attempt to summarize the nuance once more, to clarify what I see us doing so badly and how we would do it higher as a tradition, particularly on this planet of spirituality and therapeutic.

 

1. We have to imagine victims SOONER. Our system HAS to make it secure for individuals who are abused by narcissistic abusers to talk up, be protected, be believed, press expenses, win their instances when there’s proof that it occurred, and at the least get a second of peace from feeling just like the perpetrators of abuse had been held accountable for the injury they trigger. Since no one can take away their pain or ever undo what was accomplished, the least we will do is give them the satisfaction of justice. AND…

 

2. We want to show weak trauma survivors the best way to spot and keep away from boundary wounded narcissistic individuals who use love bombing, narcissistic spell casting, and hooking them by making their younger exiled elements really feel particular and chosen to groom their prey and lure them into abuse conditions. AND…

 

3. We have to get trauma survivors who may be prey for cults therapy BEFORE they get into the cult if in any respect attainable to allow them to keep safer. AND…

 

4. If we’re too late and these trauma survivors get victimized by cultic leaders, we have to get cutting-edge trauma therapies to victims of cultic narcissistic abuse in a scalable, reasonably priced, compassionate, light, and efficient means. Abusers ought to pay for this therapy, not victims. AND…

 

5. Once they are in jail or wherever the courtroom techniques have determined they have to be, we have to get narcissistic abusers handled for his or her traumas, reasonably than dehumanizing them, demonizing them, and casting them out of the wholeness of humanity by labeling them a monster. Narcissistic predation is a developmental trauma symptom, and all trauma deserves our compassion and must be handled with cutting-edge trauma therapies. Nobody ought to be dehumanized, labeled a monster, or exiled from the wholeness of humanity, not even narcissistic abusers. “No trauma survivor left behind” has been my motto this yr. AND…

 

6. We want to carry individuals who mix with cultic narcissist elements accountable for the boundary violating abusive habits they commit. Extending compassion and understanding that narcissistic abuse is a trauma symptom DOES NOT equate to letting anybody off the hook. AND…

 

7. We have a right to really feel outraged and frightened when somebody is violating our boundaries or the boundaries of different weak individuals who have to be protected. Anger and concern are not one thing to be suppressed or spiritually bypassed. All feelings are our associates and will help us have extra emotional intelligence. Because cultic narcissistic abusers USE religious bypassing as their software for getting off the hook of accountability for his or her dangerous habits, we have to cease valorizing, publishing, and spreading the teachings of spiritually bypassing lecturers. AND…

 

8. People who abuse their energy, particularly once they abuse religious energy within the title of therapeutic, have to really feel applicable disgrace for the hurt they trigger others. Shame is not a nasty feeling; it’s a obligatory feeling. Being shameless is not a pro-social strategy to be a part of a group. You’re SUPPOSED to really feel dangerous once you violate another person’s boundaries or take part in platforming somebody who does! And that painful feeling is SUPPOSED to inspire you to cease doing the dangerous factor, confess to the crime, apologize, really feel remorse and regret, attempt to provoke restore, make any amends you may make, and settle for accountability for the hurt you’ve accomplished by surrendering to nonetheless you are held accountable. AND…

 

9. Those who unwittingly and innocently platform abusers ALSO have to be held accountable for a way we assist perpetuate cultic narcissistic abuse and predation. Publishers, TV media presences, on-line influencers, podcasters, journalists, writers, bloggers, …we are ALL complicit in how this goes down. We all make errors. I’ve actually been responsible of platforming some nut jobs prior to now when my very own younger exiled elements bought lured into their internet of narcissistic spell casting and love bombing before I bought into remedy after my mom died in 2017. I’ve also tried to go public to say “I’m sorry I platformed somebody who might need conned you, abused you, or led you astray,” as once I publicly listed the religious lecturers and healers who I wouldn’t contact with a ten-foot pole due to what I do know as the results of my bystander trauma, lots of whom are very well-known (and very rich) authors. Just as a result of our intentions are good after we platform somebody untrustworthy doesn’t imply we aren’t nonetheless collaborating in an influence dynamic the place different weak individuals get damage, and we have to out ourselves and attempt to do higher. AND…

 

10. I’m certain Oprah had good intentions when she featured John of God on her show- twice. But intentions are not what matter; outcomes are what matter. I severely hope Oprah watches this documentary and does extra than problem some lame legalese assertion to OWN as much as her half on this horrific tragedy as a strategy to redistribute energy, platform, and privilege. What if she volunteered to pay a settlement to every a type of victims as a strategy to attempt to make it right and apologize for deceptive weak sick individuals? What if she issued a public apology and expressed her remorse, regret, outrage, and compassion for the victims for even unwittingly collaborating in even one woman getting raped as a result of she noticed Oprah endorse him? If the courtroom system isn’t going to put John of God in a jail cell and give the victims a strategy to really feel like he was held accountable, let’s pray Oprah does one thing to leverage her boundless assets to assist these victims know they need to have some amends made for the mistaken that was accomplished to them. If she actually desires to help #MeToo survivors the way in which she says she does, I pray she paves the way in which to point out us the best way to get this right for the individuals she could have been concerned in harming by her promotion of John of God. AND…

 

11. We HAVE to cease both glorifying or demonizing the narcissists! Our entire tradition is primarily based on sucking as much as narcissists till they’ve their inevitable fall (as a result of with out therapy, they will hit all-time low, assuming we maintain them accountable, which we’re not doing well sufficient but.) But a part of that is as a result of we constructed our tradition on energy imbalances that have to equal out. STAT. As lengthy as standing, cash, and energy are primarily based on one individual being “one up” and one other being “one down,” cultic narcissistic abuse dynamics are constructed into the tradition. AND…

 

12. To change the tradition, we have now to surrender the rewards our tradition is primarily based on so we will redistribute energy and privilege, linked to the center of therapeutic. This has to go all the way in which past holding cult leaders accountable and affect EVERY SINGLE WAY the United States has taken benefit of the “one down” with a view to fluff up the “one up.” We have to carry accountable these narcissistic (largely male, property-owning) abusers who had been chargeable for slavery, genocide, leaving our children a world local weather disaster, and systemic racism. We have to discover a strategy to have reality and reconciliation so we will make amends to those that have been damage. My nation has not even begun to do that, and it should begin now. Bishop Tutu, assist us! AND…

 

13. That contains holding these chargeable for Covid misinformation, anti-mask, anti-lockdown, and anti-vaccine lies accountable for the hurt they’ve accomplished. I’m speaking to you, Facebook. And each mendacity, ruthless, narcissistic physician who has unfold misinformation to puff up their very own energy and defend their self-interests. I’m speaking to you, cultic narcissistic influencers within the Disinformation Dozen, who are chargeable for 65% of the misinformation in regards to the pandemic on social media. You ought to all really feel healthy and applicable disgrace for enjoying a job in harming weak individuals at the price of 700,000 American lives. I’m not speaking to the on a regular basis vaccine-hesitant one that has a right to be mistrusting of authorities in my nation. I do know our freedoms are necessary, and I do know it’s scary to present a few of them up once you don’t belief authorities (understandably) since you’ve been traumatized and brainwashed already by standard drugs, the federal government, your dad and mom, cultic influencers, and whoever else has damage you with their gaslighting and abuse. I’m sorry for no matter occurred to anybody who is nonetheless vaccine-hesitant, and after all, you are nonetheless free to decide on to get vaccinated or not- and to just accept the implications of that free will alternative, do you have to lose your job or your child’s public college or no matter different privilege you may lose since you selected to not decide in to guard a public well being boundary. But these on the pinnacles of energy, like medical doctors Christiane Northrup, Kelly Brogan, and Joseph Mercola, have you ever no compassion in any way? How dare you betray your Hippocratic Oath this fashion. I’m embarrassed and really feel ashamed that my title was ever related with any of those individuals or that I ever helped platform any of them. And I also perceive that their cultic narcissistic abuse of energy is a trauma symptom and deserves our compassion (and wants therapy they’ll in all probability by no means get.) AND…

 

14. We want a world, integrity-based governing body (not simply education-based as a number of the best healers on this planet work from slums or fireplace pits) to carry to account individuals who abuse their energy once they’re in therapeutic roles. Doctors and therapists are held to account with board certification and licensure. But who can I report the individuals who I’ve heard are abusing individuals to? I ship individuals to New Age Frauds & Plastic Shamans the place there’s a discussion board. But we want one thing higher than that. Certification? Oversight? A Yelp of healers, possibly, one thing we will crowdsource. Give evaluations and report abuses. Curiously, once I discuss to the healers, few of them need this. I get shushed. They suppose they’re above a governing board or public accountability. One of the religious communities I’ve participated in started the Association of Spiritual Integrity. Very few of the well-known male religious lecturers in that group joined or signed the integrity agreements we promised to carry one another accountable to. Why not? Probably as a result of many overtly admit that they really feel entitled to sleep with their purchasers and many have married workshop college students and sangha members. And the ASI agrees that this is an unethical boundary violation that preys upon energy imbalances and transference.

 

15. We have to discover a new strategy to share energy equally, all of us, each single one. I don’t know the best way to do that, but when there’s something I can do with the facility I’ve to change this on the most basic stage, rely me in. Any concepts?

 

I’d love to listen to the way you all really feel about all this (with a reminder to please not share any vaccine hyperlinks, as a result of most of what individuals put up about vaccines is not correct, and it’s a headache for us to average out the vaccine misinformation.) Let’s crowdsource this, specific our emotions about this horrible John of God state of affairs, assist one another heal, brainstorm new ways of equalizing energy and dealing with hoarding energy, wealth, or privilege, determine out how we will maintain individuals accountable for even the well-intentioned hurt they do, and how we someway hold our hearts boundaried however open as we attempt to determine this out.

 

I do imagine that if we are prepared to surrender the reward of being smug and self-righteous, idealizing these we like and demonizing these we don’t like, if we are capable of create a extra simply world the place energy and privilege are redistributed so everybody can have a voice and a vote, if we will discover a spirituality that doesn’t depend on cultic leaders who abuse individuals to deliver us collectively to take pleasure in our open hearts, if we will maintain abusive trauma survivors accountable with out demonizing them or withholding our compassion, if we will have interaction the forces of darkness in a means that Love, essentially the most highly effective pressure within the Universe, wins, we will discover a deeper reward- of intimacy with life, one another, the Earth and her treasures. Perhaps, therein lies actual therapeutic…

 

Love,

Lissa

Lissa Rankin

 

 

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