“Why not visit another Gnostic school and compare them?”
I did so back in 2007.
I discovered the teachings of Belsebuub in October 2006, initially attending his “Astral Travel and Dreams Course“. Five weeks into the course I had my first out of body experience (and have had many since, many of them intensely profound).
I attended a 5 day retreat with his school in January 2007, and from there went on to complete his “Self Discovery Course”, which focused on self-observation and awareness of the present moment.
The courses and retreat were very practice oriented; while there were lectures and talks, emphasis was on individual investigation of what was being taught through one’s own practice.
Although I had not completed all the course offerings at this stage, I had learned about the three ‘Key Practices’ to awakening while on the retreat. I was practicing 2 of these; being the elimination of our various subconscious drives (aka ‘egos’) both moment-to-moment and through meditation, and ‘helping others spiritually’.
I also learned a variety of mantras and other meditation practices. I found all of the practices to be very powerful and effective. In a very short space of time I had already begun to have some really amazing mystical experiences and was getting some great results.
It was around this time (2007) that I decided to investigate another Gnostic school; ‘The Circle for Investigation of Gnostic Anthropology’ or ‘C.I.G.A.’ (I believe they are now known as ‘The Gnostic Institute of Anthropology’) As per the question posed, I wanted to compare them and see what the differences were.
I attended about 3 months of their lectures (while attending Belsebuub’s school concurrently). These were held in a house in Kew (in Melbourne) by a very nice gentleman and his wife; they used half of the house as their own residence, and the other half to hold lectures and practices.
I was very open about my attendance to both schools, and while none of the teachers of Belsebuub’s school discouraged me from attending there or disparaged them in any way, the C.I.G.A. were openly hostile towards Belsebuub. However I had my own experiences to lean on so their opinion of his teachings didn’t really phase me, but I still tried to keep an open mind as to what they were saying. Mostly I was very eager to learn what C.I.G.A. had to offer me – all I cared about was experiencing more of the amazing things I had discovered!
My time with C.I.G.A. was very lecture-oriented and intellectual. They promised practice sessions too, but regularly the lecturer would talk through the practice time, resulting in the practice sessions being abandoned. Where I found Belsebuub’s school to be very practice oriented, C.I.G.A. was a much more intellectual affair.
In comparing both schools, it struck me very clearly that the senior members and teachers of C.I.G.A. seemed to have very little direct experience of what they talked about. While Belsebuub’s teachers would illustrate their lectures with their own experiences, the C.I.G.A. rarely did so. And where Belsebuub’s school would always include a practical component to each and every lecture, strongly encouraging the students to investigate the teachings for themselves, this was often lacking from C.I.G.A.. The C.I.G.A. lectures felt more like a history lesson or a book study, and while the information was interesting, the lack of focus on the practical was frustrating to me. I didn’t want to just learn intellectually, I wanted to experience!
Over this period of time I observed how certain students of Belsebuub’s school had made noticeable changes in themselves, where as this was not evident to me with any of those of the C.I.G.A. In fact, the wife I mentioned (who was hosting the classes in her house) had been ‘practicing’ Gnosis for over 20 years, yet demonstrated a total lack of awareness of the present moment while her husband would lecture; she would fidget, pick at and bite her nails, look around the room and at times seemed to drift off as if not even listening. After 20 years of study, I decided I wanted to progress much further than that.
Eventually I stopped attending after information they gave contradicted my own direct experiences from my own practices about the elimination of the egos and the astral; in fact some information was blatantly incorrect compared to what I had personally verified, and when I questioned them on some specific points they admitted they had not personally verified these themselves, but got defensive and told me I was ‘wrong’.
After seriously comparing both schools, I decided that this group were of little value to me, although they were all very nice people. Comparatively Belsebuub’s school was getting results where C.I.G.A. didn’t seem to be getting anywhere (no offense to any C.I.G.A. members who may read this, this was just my personal observation).
I made the clear distinction that Belsebuub’s teachings worked for me, so I stuck with what what worked. I tried my very best to maintain an open mind towards both schools the entire time, and to give both a chance.
In hindsight I am glad that I made the effort to investigate both schools as I did, and I’m SO very glad with my final decision.
“Have you “investigated for yourself” all of Samael Aun Weor’s books on your own accord?”
Yes, in fact I possess all of his works. I actually have most of Rabolu’s works as well (in hard copy), a rare and fortunate collection indeed.
“Have you compared translations [of Samael Aun Weor’s books]?”
I don’t speak Spanish so have not compared any English translations to Samael’s original writing. I do have different versions of some English translations, and while I found wording and sentence structure at times slightly different, I didn’t detect noticeable differences in the content (although I was not doing a comparative study either; I feel investigating and practicing the teachings is a better use of my time than to conduct a book study).
“What’s wrong with attending other religious venues? Have you visited any lately?”
Not lately, no. I don’t feel the need to. As an adult I had previously studied Orthodox Christianity and became baptized into the Greek Orthodox Church at the age of about 22. But I didn’t find what I was looking for there, and abandoned the church long before finding Gnosis. I have no desire to return to the church after already going down that road and not finding what I was looking for.
“How much of your own money have you donated to M.P’s organization?”
I made voluntary donations, but certainly not amounts I would consider unreasonable, particularly given my extensive use of their facilities and the many, many free classes that I attended, not to mention the amazing retreats I had the good fortune of experiencing.
Then of course there was all the food, tea and coffee that was provided every time I attended – again at no charge. I would sometimes prepare and contribute food too as a donation, giving back some of what was given to me. I really enjoyed our discussions in the cafe after the lecture and practice sessions, where we would share a meal and socialize, ask questions and share experiences. In fact I feel I actually got a lot more than my monies worth.
I also donated time as well, to activities such as putting up posters that advertised the free courses. Why? Because someone before me took the time to put up that poster which which led me to finding the courses myself. I wanted to pass on that precious gift to someone else – to pay it forward – because of my gratitude for what was given to me.
At no time was I forced to make any payments, donations or anything. All donations I made was completely voluntary. I could have made none at all if that was my prerogative.
“Do you know where your money is now?”
No, I never tracked it, nor have I wanted to. I donated out of gratitude for what they gave to me, and in the hope they could continue to give to others like me. It was my gift. I also made a donation to C.I.G.A. too while I attended, but I never tracked that money either… (they were donations after all).
I have also made regular donations to the ‘Save The Children’ fund, Amnesty International, the Salvation Army and the RSPCA, and have not tracked where any of that money is now either.
“Have you studied the Tree of Life, Kaballah, the Tarot, the Lamasery, Runes, Astrology, Gnostic Anthropology, Occult Physiology, Cosmic History etc. If not, why?”
Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, no, and no. Why the no’s? How much time do you have on your hands? Dude I have a day job! Plus again, I would rather devote time to practice than to become an intellectual scholar.
“Have you read the writings of those whom Samael compiled his writings from?…namely: Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, Madame Blavatsky, Leadbeater, Hartmann, Heindel, Paracelsus, Manly P. Hall, Sivananda, Eliphas Levi, Dion Fortune, Emmanuel Kant, Wolfgang Von Goethe, Rudolf Steiner. If so, to what extent?”
Yes, no, yes, no, no, no, no, no, yes, no no, yes. Again, I have a day job! How much time do you really have?? (and how much of it do you dedicate to actual practice?)
“Have you read any of the scriptures from the world’s great religions or traditions? If so, how seriously?”
Actually quite seriously. I have read The Bible, the gospels of the Nag Hammadi Library, the Mahabharata, the Bhagavad Gītā and Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj’s “I AM THAT”… to name a few. Maybe this is why I have not had the time to read all the others! (I wish I had your job!)
“On a scale of 1 to 10, do you think it’s possible to successfully walk the path without any physical authority?”
By “physical authority” I assume you mean a living Master? (“Master” in this context doesn’t refer to someone who is worshiped, rather it refers to someone who has reached a point along the spiritual path known as the end of ‘The First Mountain’, and incarnates the ‘Atman’; the divine spirit; the Master, and receives the grade of “Master”).
Given my experience with Master Belsebuub and his teachings vs that of C.I.G.A., Belsebuub’s teachings were defiantly on target where C.I.G.A. missed the mark (as did Christianity for me, and just look at what mainstream Christianity has become today without the guidance of a living Master). So, from my personal experience it certainly seems to make a vast difference. But I have not reached Mastery yet myself, so what true authority am I? I can only provide my personal observations.
“Have you ever tried Buddhist meditation?”
Yes I have. I spent some in Sri Lanka and learned some wonderful practices from some very remarkable Buddhist monks there; above all I particularly liked the “Impermanence” meditation and walking mediations I learned from them.
“Have you ever tried to find your Inner Self without being in the confines of a spiritual organization?”
All my life, ever since I can remember.
I have had various spiritual and mystical experiences since I wad a young child, all the while my family was not religious and never once took me to church. All my life I have had a spiritual yearning, trying to uncover the higher meaning to life, my purpose, the meaning to everything, and to attain something beyond this physical world.
That being said, I have received more spiritual experiences and have made more progress since having discovered Belsebuub’s teachings than I had in all my years previously combined.
“Do you not think it’s weird that M.P. considers himself the only “master” living on the planet and higher than Jesus Christ?”
I have never heard him say he is higher than Jesus Christ, nor have I read anywhere that he has said that. In fact his references to the Christ have come from a place of reverence, love and humility. This question demonstrates to me a clear lack of understanding of the teachings about the Christ from Samael, Rabolu and Belsebuub, and a total lack of understanding of Belsebuub’s teachings. And even that of Jesus himself for that matter.
In fact, I recommend you read this article by Belsebuub titled “The Light of Christ“.
And again as I have not reached the grade of Mastery myself, I cannot say for complete certainty if Belsebuub is in fact the only living Master on the planet at this point in time… But then again I have not verified anyone else’s mastery either, have you?
“Do you not think it’s abnormal that someone of his “stature” is afraid of germs and bugs?”
Is he? I never judged him in that way. Each and every time I have met and interacted with him I was most impressed by his gentle, calm, caring and presence. My impressions of him have always been of that nature. Above of all he seems to radiate an intense caring and compassion, that is the impression that I was left with, each and every meeting we have had.
That, and he has an awesome sense of humor!
“Do you know the reason why he disassociated himself with and shut down his previous websites?”
I am speculating for he has not told me so himself, but I think I can make a fairly accurate assumption: The hate/smear campaign that has been waged against him and his school has done a very thorough job of defaming him and his websites, so it is obvious to me this is the cause.
It saddens me deeply that others will miss out on the good fortune of being able to find his course offerings unhindered on account of this persecution. I feel so blessed that I had the opportunity that has now been unfairly taken away from others, it is a terrible tragedy and extremely saddening.
“Do you know why he doesn’t use the word “Gnostic” anymore and anywhere?”
Again, speculating, but the perpetrators of this hate/smear campaign (a small handful of scorned ex-members and students) are career experts at SEO (search engine optimization) and have not only defamed Belsebuub and his students with their very calculated and specific attacks, but have defamed the practice of Gnosis itself as well.
Spiritual seekers of all kinds will be turned off Gnosis due to the material they promote which describes Gnostic practices as cultish, demonic and harmful, and again I think it is a terrible tragedy and extremely saddening that these individuals have gone to these lengths to cause so much harm. The gravity of what they have done is enormous.
“Do you know if he or his wife have ever apologized for anything? e.g.: threatening students and members with demotions or ex-communication, instilling fear in people regarding failure, removing information from Samael’s writings etc…”
I do not believe he or his wife have anything to apologize for.
I have been a student of his teachings for 5 years now, and I am not instilled with fear. In fact, Samael’s own writings are of a much more ferocious nature with regards to failure than his. Belsebuub has not taught anything that is different from that of Samael, Rabolu, or again Jesus himself on this topic. Do they need to apologize?
As a student within Belsebuub’s group I was never threatened, nor did I see threats made to other students. In fact my experience has been the exact opposite – supportive, caring, and full of a genuine desire to help others.
When I decided to take up the teachers’ course, I was told that there was a level of responsibility that came with being a Gnostic teacher; teachers are representatives of the Gnostic Movement and a role model to other students – the actions and conduct of a teacher can have a profound impact on new students, who to a large extent judge the teachings based on their perceptions of their teacher. As such there were expectations that were outlined with regards to the conduct of teachers, and if I didn’t want to conform to these then I didn’t have to take the course.
At Belsebuub’s Melbourne Gnostic Center where I attended, there were students who had been there for years taking the elementary courses over and over and over, either because they didn’t want to conform to those expectations, or they just didn’t feel ready to take that step of becoming a teacher. They were never turned away or threatened or anything of that nature; the course was completely voluntary. The doors were always open to them and they were always welcomed.
And from my own experience with C.I.G.A., I understand completely how a student’s perception of their teachers can greatly impact their view of the teachings being given. The couple running the center were, as I said, very nice people. However the husband was so full of pride of his own talking, that he was not at all cognizant of the present moment, continually losing track of time and talking through our valuable practice time.
Similarly his wife also demonstrated a lack of awareness of the present moment through her lack of attentiveness to her husband’s lectures with her fidgeting, looking around the room and drifting off into thoughts. Both of these individuals had been part of this school for over 20 years! And as a new student I judged them for this. Why would I want to be part of a school where the very teachers were not even practicing what they were preaching? So I left! This is the impact teachers can have on students.
So I completely understand the responsibility a teacher has in taking their inner work very seriously, and that their conduct needs to meet a certain standard, and that they need to demonstrate through their actions that they are following the very teachings they are giving.
If an individual isn’t willing or able to take on this responsibility then they shouldn’t be a teacher. So no, I don’t believe that either Belsebuub or his wife should apologize for holding the representatives of their school accountable for the expectations that are clearly outlined before any student willingly takes on that course and responsibility.
And lastly, the reference to removing information from Samael’s teachings; I am not exactly sure of what information is being referenced to here, the various translations I have read did not really appear to differ in terms of content (although as I said, I have not done a thorough comparative study, nor can I read the original Spanish works).
However, if I ever reach the grade of Mastery myself, I will teach others based on my own experience. If my own experience differs to that of Belsebuub’s writings, then I would still stand by my own experience and knowledge gained. And no, I would not apologize for that.
And we could continue to go back and forth about who is right and who is wrong in reference to Samael’s translations. The truth is, despite all of the intellectual knowledge we may have, neither of us would really ‘know’ until we reach the grade of Mastery ourselves and can objectively verify this. So it is probably in our best interests to put the books down and actually do the practice required to get there.
“Do you know M.P. or his wife personally?”
Yes, I know them both personally. I found them to be caring, sincere people and feel I have benefitted greatly from our interactions.
“If so, how truly?”
Honestly, how truly do you even know yourself?
“How well do you know those who are directly under him and his wife?”
Well enough to have found them to be inspirational teachers, mentors and dear friends.
But again I pose the question; how truly do you even know yourself?
“Do you know why he needs so many followers?”
I think this is a misguided question, which again demonstrates a lack of understanding of Belsebuub’s teachings. He doesn’t need followers at all, rather he is trying to share Gnosis – there’s a big difference. I am trying to share Gnosis also, and I too am not seeking followers.
“Do you think he takes orders from anyone?”
I would imagine the Father and the Christ.
“How is it that anyone who openly disagrees with him is either given a strict warning or kicked out, and labelled a betrayer?”
There were often students who attended the Melbourne Center who would openly disagree with certain teachings, they were not kicked out.
But again; if you want to take on the responsibility of being a teacher, agree to expectations that are outlined prior to taking on this responsibility, and are acting as a representative of the teachings, you should be held accountable to the responsibilities that you agreed to.
And the perpetrators of the hate campaign against him HAVE betrayed him. They have betrayed Gnosis, and they have betrayed the countless spiritual seekers whom they have robbed of the opportunity of finding these teachings unhampered, and whom they mislead with the information they promote which portrays the practices of Gnosis in such a negative light.
Mark considered you his close friends for many years. And this is how you’ve repaid him.
“Did you ever notice that M.P.’s students are mostly young people?”
Actually at the Gnostic center I attended there was a good mix of ages. But if you consider me one of those young people, then thank you for the complement.
“How much of Gnosis do you know besides what you’ve been told by M.P. or his wife?”
Again, I have a digital collection of all of Samael’s works, hard copy of the majority of Rabolu’s works, the Nag Hammadi Library, an extensive MP3 library of lectures by Dr. Stephan Hoeller and his book ‘Kabalistic Meditations on the Tarot’.
“Do you think there’s a chance that Rabolu was wrong about certain things? How much of Rabolu do you actually know?”
There’s always a chance someone is wrong, you will never know that for sure until you verify it for yourself. But I do know the “Death March” (a practice to eliminate the various subconscious drives referred to as ‘egos’ moment-to-moment) has been a very effective technique based on my own experience of it.
“What do you know about Samael’s wife Litelantes?”
I know what she looks like in photos.
“Is it really deathly harmful to go to a movie or listen to music other than classical?”
Of course it’s not deathly harmful! It is not taught that it is deathly harmful either; and again this demonstrates a lack of understanding of Belsebuub’s teachings.
(Incidentally, there is actually quite a selection of music other than classical that I was introduced to at the Melbourne Centre – I find Andean music particularly lovely. You can find a wide variety of different types of music we share here).
“Is there such a thing as “true creative life” outside of promoting and marketing?”
I don’t understand this question, it makes no sense to me and I don’t understand what you are actually asking.
“How many times have you seen or spoken to your parents in the last month?”
I live in a different country to my family (my husband is American so I left Australia to be with him). As such I have not been able to physically see them since my last trip to Melbourne about a year ago now.
My mother died 16 years ago, but I have interacted with her deceased personality in the astral, thanks to the teachings of Belsebuub.
I have spoken to my brother 3 times this month, the last time being 2 days ago.
“How many old friends have you spoken to since you got involved in M.P’s organization?”
I actually just had 3 dear friends from Australia come visit and stay with my husband and I for 3 weeks this May, all of whom were my friends prior to my finding Gnosis and whom are not and never have been involved in Gnosis themselves.
I have many old friends that I regularly keep up with via email, Skype and Facebook (given my graphical location this is really my only option). In fact for the same reason, this is how I mainly communicate with my Gnostic friends too.
…or by “old” friends, are you referring to those whom you assume to be too “old” to be students of Belsebuub?
“Have you had to put any of your personal aspirations on hold since being involved in the movement?”
No. I have a Bachelor’s Degree, and have maintained a very successful career as a Manager throughout my time in Gnosis. I married the love of my life who is not a Gnostic, and currently my husband and I hope to have a baby.
But in truth, all my life my true personal aspiration has been the pursuit of spiritual knowledge.
“How many “tests” of a ridiculous nature have you put yourself through?”
Prior to Gnosis, plenty! Such as how much I alcohol I can consume in a given sitting? Or how fast I can drive my car on the highway? Or can I draw on a cigarette and hold my breath long enough so that no smoke actually comes out when I exhale?… just to name a few among many.
Since Gnosis I don’t put myself through such “tests of a ridiculous nature”, thankfully.
When faced with various situations that life presents, I attempt to use them to observe and understand myself and gain self-knowledge. I don’t try to put my self ‘into’ situations however, and I certainly don’t put myself in the kinds of situations that I used to prior to Gnosis!
“Would you ever think that Gnosis could be incorporated, or that the its teachings would be trademarked or copyrighted?”
‘Gnosis’ is knowledge; the kind of knowledge that is an inner wisdom. So in that sense no it cannot. However, an author’s books and written publications are typically copyrighted, and charitable organizations are typically incorporated.
Every course I took with Belsebuub’s school was provided free off charge. Every book of his that I own was purchased at an extremely reasonable cost. Every video and MP3 lecture was completely free also.
If you don’t like the fact you aren’t allowed to berate, disparage, bully and persecute us then stay away from the sites!
“Have you ever read ANY other spiritual school’s public “tenets” displaying this type of extremity?”
However yes, actually the website ‘gnosticteachings.org‘ used to have a forum on their site. I was referred to the site by one of the teacher’s of C.I.G.A..
I came across a topic about how Belsebuub’s and Rabolu’s teachings were not ‘true Gnostic teachings’. It was full of slander about Belsebuub and his wife Edith, and utter mis-information about what was being taught within Belsebuub’s school (just as there is today).
This was back in 2007. It had been roughly 6 months since I attended that initial retreat I spoke of, and it was while I was attending both Gnostic schools.
Prior to attending the retreat I didn’t even know who Mark and Edith were. At the time I had only just completed the ‘Astral Travel and Dreams’ course and had not learned about the spiritual path in detail. So when Mark and Edith turned up to the retreat I had no preconceived notions about them.
I found them both to be so warm and caring, and their talks, lectures and guided practices utterly inspiring. They were very simple, humble, and sincere, and I felt very fortunate for having met them both. They were just normal people to me (for as I said I had no preconceived notions about them). But they both touched my heart in a profound way.
But anyway back to the question being asked….
So I found this slanderous, inaccurate thread about them and their teachings, and so I decided to post my honest observations about having met them and attending their school. Within hours I was banned completely from the site, my account was deleted, and any trace of or reference to my post was completely erased, without warning or explanation.
Ironically I still have a copy of the post I wrote (as I wrote it in “Word” to check for spelling errors, and after my post was deleted I emailed the document to that teacher at C.I.G.A.).
THIS is what I was banned for:
I have personally met Mark Pritchard, I was lucky enough to attend a retreat at the beginning of this year where he and his wife Edith were present. I feel so very, very fortunate to have met him.
In one of the talks he gave us, he told us that it was of most importance in Gnosis not to become fanatical. And he used this analogy (repeated in my own words of course)… If someone gave you a road map, how do you know it is true and correct? The answer is you don’t, unless you travel that road yourself and personally verify it. All too often people will verify a small part of the map, and from that they then say the whole thing must be true, when in reality they do not know this for themselves as fact. This is the same as with Gnosis. He told us not to accept anything that we hear as fact, until we verify it for ourselves. This work is inner work, and it is up to us to do the work, for ourselves. The teachings are just means to help guide us, like a map, but the work is ours to do and ours alone. He told us we need to verify everything for ourselves every step of the way, for if we do not, we are not doing the work and are being fanatical.
Is he a Master? Having personally met him I think it is very possible, although I don’t know for a fact as I have not verified that for myself. But I do know I am forever grateful for having met him and hearing him speak. I also spent time with him 1-1. He left a big impression on me.
Indecently, we do meditation on an ego, as taught by Master Samael. We also practise death moment to moment, as explained by Master Rabolu. Personally I find both extremely effective, having personally practised both.
I take the on-line classes taught by Gnostic/Mystic Web, I also attend the centre in person. I also am currently taking C.G.I.A.’s courses on-line and I too attend their classes in person. This site is also a wonderful source of information…
…but isn’t that all of it is? Information? The actual work is inner work, that we do for ourselves, isn’t it?
I like to keep an open mind.
If being banned for that post (which did not insult, defame, slander, bully or attack in any way) is not totalitarian extremity, I don’t know what is! (Oh, and in addition my reference to Master Rabolu was automatically changed to R***** after I saved my post, as if his name was a curse word!)
“Have you noticed that the organization of M.P. resembles a Corporation?”
Much like any other charitable organization.
“Why not listen and follow your own Inner Being instead of someone else’s?”
I study my dreams, am guided by my intuition and each and every time I seek spiritual teachings in the astral I appeal to my Divine Mother. I pray to my Divine Mother throughout the day, and appeal to my Divine Father for protection. My relationship with my Divine Mother is particularly special and sacred, she is always guiding and helping me.
Belsebuub is a spiritual teacher. Even he teaches that it is your Divine Parents who will give you what you need most; while you can call on and receive teachings from a Master, it is most wise to appeal to your own Divine Mother for teachings and guidance.
“Have you ever considered that those who post [on the ‘hate’ site] have had actual legitimate and honest experiences?”
From the perspective of their egos, yes.
I have no doubt however, that the soft voice of their consciousness pains them at times. Particularly in those quiet moments – they know too well the pangs of regret and confliction they feel. And I imagine the pain and anguish this causes is so much to bare that they bury that soft voice deep, deep down inside, allowing their egos to rage with even more strength as they try to escape it.
And they will be plagued by this for the rest of their lives.