The Desteni website started towards the end of 2007. In October 2008 a thread is opened on the Rick Ross Forum, where they start discussing Desteni and that it is a potential Cult. Their point of reference are the cults and cult members from History that have caused harm to their members/the public. Now Rick Ross uses previous cults and their harmful activities as a benchmark to compare all other groups or organizations on the internet. If your group matches some of the characteristics of a harmful cult, especially some characteristics combined with other characteristics, then sorry my friend you are a cult.
Please note that when I refer to 'previous members of a harmful Cult' I am NOT saying we are a cult, I am referring to members of groups who in the past were shown to harm people or be potentially harmful and were thus classified as 'Cults or 'Cult members' on the internet. An example of such groups as classified as being a harmful cult on the internet would be: 'The 'Manson Family', 'Aum Shinrikyo', 'Restoration of the 10 Commandments', 'Order of the Solar Temple', 'Heaven’s Gate', 'Branch Davidians', 'Bonus. Jonestown', etc.
Let me explain. Soon after Rick Ross started discussing Desteni on their forum, in which they were pulling random pieces of information that they were observing and comparing them to the actions of harmful cults from the past, it was at this stage that some of the members of Desteni saw it as fitting to go and introduce ourselves, to explain to the Rick Ross members that we are not a harmful Cult, intending on world domination, but instead stand by our principles of creating a better world for everybody by working towards changing the current way of living, which causes immense suffering for a majority of beings on this planet. So as an example, one of the things they used as a 'characteristic' that we are a cult is the fact that we use terminology that they do not understand like 'self-forgiveness', 'self-honesty', 'oneness and equality and 'what is best for all'. These terms were explained on our web site within numerous videos, articles and the blogs and vlogs of Desteni members. The members of Rick Ross had now decided that because they did not understand the terminology, and therefore could not and would not agree with our terminology, we are therefore a cult because cults use confusing and conforming terminology. So already here, you can imagine the debates that pursued back and forth between the Rick Ross members and the Desteni members, because no matter what we did to further explain what was meant by the terminology we use, they would yell 'cult!' A few pages later the Rick Ross moderators started banning us, because according to them we were trying to brainwash the members through the repetition of our terminology. We were simply explaining what our terms mean, and what our principles are. So the more we explained, the more the members went up in arms about our mind-manipulation techniques. At the end of this blog I will provide you will a link to the beginning of the Rick Ross discussion so that you may view the discussion for yourself.
Some of you reading this blog have also already decided that Desteni is a Cult because you don’t like what we have to say and therefore because we say things you don’t like, you find us harmful to yourself and thus you have compared us to groups from the past who want to harm people = therefore in your mind we are a cult. I am not going to debate this point with you. In this blog I will share my insight of why Rick Ross is a Cult as well as a few other interesting web sites whom regard Rick Ross as a Cult.
So, the Desteni members realised that there was no point in continuing this discussion as the Rick Ross members had a quota to uphold, therefore they had to prove that so many groups were cults, or their purpose would no longer be. We continued to monitor on occasion, the Rick Ross forum and would share amongst ourselves the ridiculousness of how the members equate us to Cult members. Of course, the Rick Ross members, gleefully rejoiced in us leaving and explained amongst themselves that we left because we saw that our brainwashing was not going to work on that forum.
As I mentioned, the methods used by Rick Ross are based on taking aspects and mostly assumptions about Desteni and it's members and comparing that to previously dangerous cults. At the end of this thread I encourage you for a good laugh, if you have some basic common sense to not get lost in conspiracy theories, to go read the progression that the thread made and the reasons they used, to call us a cult.
An example would be - because we would not reveal our banking information as proof of money flow to them, it meant that we were keeping our money resources a secret and therefore = we are a cult.
Because the group was founded by a man, who preferred to keep his face off the internet so that the people who were enjoying and utilizing the tools could present their experiences, without it becoming about the founder = we are a cult.
Because most of the articles and videos at that stage were done through an Interdimensional Portal which functions like a channel, and that the members of Rick Ross did not see the validity of 'channels' = we are a cult
Because the founding members of Desteni are all living on a farm together, this was seen by the members as dubious = because perhaps if they were placed in a big group with many woman their minds would go wild with desire and therefore = we are a cult.
Because Desteni points out the deception within reality and that we will not stop until we have implemented a system of Equality that stops all greed based decisions, the members saw this as a form of 'new world order' and 'totalitarianism' and nazism' and therefore = we are a cult.
Because we had interdimensional communication with Adolph Hitler in the afterlife, and showed his ability to self forgive and his ability to comprehend who he was on earth and why he did what he did, this was seen as sinister and a taboo and therefore = we are a cult.
The members of Desteni fully support Desteni and will always attempt to explain what Desteni is about (duh) = therefore Desteni is a cult.
From there on it simply became about tying two random points together and from that making assumptions about Desteni, the Desteni farm and it's members and therefore proclaiming as if they are an actual authority on the actuality of what happens in this reality, that we are a cult.
I mean, if your only point of reference is the fact that you don’t understand or agree with our perspective or stand point and that people in the past who have done harmful things, share in some traits as a Desteni member, then you are not a very good 'expert'. You will notice that they pride themselves in saying that they 'investigated' us. This basically means that they compared points they noticed or assumed about us to that of harmful people from the past and therefore call us a cult to in their defense, 'prevent any further harm due to cult activity happening to people'. None of them had ever been to the Desteni farm, yet they make assumptions about what happens on the farm.
Because Bernard is the founder and lives on the farm and young woman live on the farm, it must mean that Bernard is doing inappropriate things with the young woman, because... in the past, cult members (remember this is the benchmark they are comparing us to) would sometimes lure young woman to have sexual relations with them. See how easy it is for Rick Ross and anybody claiming to 'investigate' Desteni to take one thread of information and assume what it means, based on your actual intention, which is to break down the organization because you don’t agree with it, but using the justification of…but other cults did this. In the end members were allowed to use this slippery slope technique to imply that Bernard Poolman lures woman to the farm to have indecent relationships with them. That Bernard Poolman was making large amounts of money from Desteni and was using a fake 'portal' to do so. That Bernard Poolman had kidnapped Sunette Spies from some abusive lifestyle and had brainwashed her into relations with him etc, etc, etc. No accountability for what they say and how they make up their assumptions.
This would be the equivalent of me saying that Charles Manson use to enjoy eating barbeque flavored potato chips. Rick Ross likes Barbeque flavoured potato chips. Therefore Rick Ross is a cult leader.
Jim Jones would interrogate new members of his group, until they revealed all their secrets to be forgiven so that they can be integrated into how the Jim Jones group functioned. Rick Ross does this and still does this and is therefore a cult.
Let's see how many of Rick Ross' own 'Cult Characteristics' they in fact possess. As I did a Google search to find the Rick Ross site so that I may quote their own 'Cult Characteristics' to compare them to, as they did Desteni to the harmful actions of 'cult members of the past', I came across two interesting sites, where Rick Ross is discussed as being a cult. Please check out these two pages and then I will take the Cult Characteristics from the Rick Ross web site to show that Rick Ross is a Cult:
Rick Ross is a Cult because of the following Reasons (see my perspective in ""):
Ten warning signs of a potentially unsafe group/leader.
1. Absolute authoritarianism without meaningful accountability.
" as mentioned above the members of Rick Ross completely undermined everything that we said and compared everything we said and do to that of past cult members and doing so under the banner of an authority in cult activities to be able to create assumptions and misrepresent information. No accountability was taken by members who ended up accusing us of for example 'forcing youngsters into relationships with us', or 'having to work as our slaves on the farm'. Even when members were caught fabricating lies, they were not banned from the forum."
2. No tolerance for questions or critical inquiry.
"It did not matter what we said, they were on a mission to compare all our actions and words to that of previous cult members. When we questioned them on their methods and why they would not divulge their financial information to the public, we were banned.
3. No meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget, expenses such as an independently audited financial statement.
" When asked to reveal our financial records, we asked them to reveal theirs and they refused, saying that we were stalling. What gives them the right to ask a group or organization to reveal their financial records to the public?'
4. Unreasonable fear about the outside world, such as impending catastrophe, evil conspiracies and persecutions.
"This has been covered when I discussed them comparing us to previous harmful members of cults"
5. There is no legitimate reason to leave, former followers are always wrong in leaving, negative or even evil.
" If you are not seeing the world as they see the world and you are part of an organization the members do not agree with or even understand you are bullied in the form of 'Bash-Boarding'
6. Former members often relate the same stories of abuse and reflect a similar pattern of grievances.
"everybody on the Rick Ross forum uses the same mind set of comparing organizations to past cult members. If you question a member of the forum you are given a warning to 'stick to the topic' which is 'bash-boarding' Desteni and that you are not allowed to question the integrity of the members. Many of the Desteni members were banned because they asked questions to the people who were making up assumptions and publishing that as deliberate Defamation and Denigration.
7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader.
"The entire Rick Ross web sites shows how they have attacked many groups in a similar fashion. They also within their threads provide links to external sites, where they abuse Desteni based on assumptions."
8. Followers feel they can never be "good enough".
"You either stick to the fear of what exists within the groups that are being questioned or the members themselves will be questioned for supporting the 'liars'.
9. The group/leader is always right.
"This has been covered in the fact that Rick Ross has created his 'Warning Signs' of a unsafe group, simply based on characteristics existent within people from history who become harmful, and not on the actual principle of a group and what they do. The groups are attacked because they match certain traits such as 'male leader', 'not disclosing financial records' and 'using methods not understood or agreed upon by Rick Ross's members'
10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.
"this has been covered in all above points". No matter what we said, if you follow the Rick Ross thread on Desteni you will see that they could make any assumptions they wanted to and would have all the members supporting each other in the 'method' of the group."
I will not be giving my perspectives on the following points, because you will notice that all of these points I have already covered in my explanation of the 'Rick Ross method'.
Ten warning signs regarding people involved in/with a potentially unsafe group/leader.
1. Extreme obsessiveness regarding the group/leader resulting in the exclusion of almost every practical consideration.
2. Individual identity, the group, the leader and/or God as distinct and separate categories of existence become increasingly blurred. Instead, in the follower's mind these identities become substantially and increasingly fused--as that person's involvement with the group/leader continues and deepens.
3. Whenever the group/leader is criticized or questioned it is characterized as "persecution".
4. Uncharacteristically stilted and seemingly programmed conversation and mannerisms, cloning of the group/leader in personal behavior.
5. Dependency upon the group/leader for problem solving, solutions, and definitions without meaningful reflective thought. A seeming inability to think independently or analyze situations without group/leader involvement.
6. Hyperactivity centered on the group/leader agenda, which seems to supersede any personal goals or individual interests.
7. A dramatic loss of spontaneity and sense of humor.
8. Increasing isolation from family and old friends unless they demonstrate an interest in the group/leader.
9. Anything the group/leader does can be justified no matter how harsh or harmful.
10. Former followers are at best-considered negative or worse evil and under bad influences. They can not be trusted and personal contact is avoided.
Ten signs of a safe group/leader.
1. A safe group/leader will answer your questions without becoming judgmental and punitive.
"Rick Ross is not a safe group' because they will make up stories and misrepresent information to fit their definition of a cult. They are harmful and malicious." Since these discussions have been allowed on Rick Ross, many comments have been placed on Youtube and other sites, towards Desteni members, fueled by the information they received on Rick Ross as the 'experts' - that they will 'kill us, raid and burn down our farm and 'fuck them up', etc. Yes - we have kept the actual comments for verification.
2. A safe group/leader will disclose information such as finances and often offer an independently audited financial statement regarding budget and expenses. Safe groups and leaders will tell you more than you want to know.
"Rick Ross was not willing to disclose his finances, the finances of its members and the financial support given by other groups to support Rick Ross in being an 'intervention specialist'. When we ask them which organizations they are linked to and where all their funding comes from and how the funding is raised for those organizations they refused and called it a 'manipulation tactic'. This question to them was in response to the exact same question being asked to Desteni by the administration of Rick Ross.
3. A safe group/leader is often democratic, sharing decision making and encouraging accountability and oversight.
"Rick Ross only functions as a cult information forum, which as I have already discussed, bases all their information on the actions of past cult members, therefore they are not able to give a solid perspective on the Desteni research as they themselves have not researched what we have over 20 years, with recorded data as the experiences of those participating within the tools.
4. A safe group/leader may have disgruntled former followers, but will not vilify, excommunicate and forbid others from associating with them.
Rick Ross vilifies anybody who comes onto his forum saying that they support the group that is being bash-boarded by the Rick Ross members. Rick Ross exists for the one purpose which is to prove that groups that they do not agree with, within their understanding of the world, are cults. Therefore they use their understanding of what a cult is to create assumptions of people and represent this as facts, encouraging others to also bash-board through the Rick Ross mentality of 'take information, use slippery slope reasoning, now create an assumption you call fact and then publish it on a forum which prides itself in being 'an expert of cults'.
5. A safe group/leader will not have a paper trail of overwhelmingly negative records, books, articles and statements about them.
"the entire Rick Ross web site negatively reflects on all the members who participate in bash-boarding, denigration, exclusion, outing, harassment and threats'. If you were to go into the personal records of the members of Rick Ross who contribute towards the 'sharing of opinions' which then result in a group being categorized and labeled as a cult' you would find 'overwhelmingly negative records, books, articles and statements about them.'
6. A safe group/leader will encourage family communication, community interaction and existing friendships and not feel threatened.
"The members of Rick Ross react to people who choose not to see their families and friends and call such people 'cultists'. From there they give themselves permission as you will see in the thread to collect and create information about people who 'don’t live the same lives they do'. This supports the previous points that assumptions about what makes up a 'cult member' gives internet groups like Rick Ross permission to bully.
7. A safe group/leader will recognize reasonable boundaries and limitations when dealing with others.
"I suggest go through the 100+ pages of the Rick Ross thread on Desteni and you will find the members escalating in their Bullying and allowance of Bullying based on fabrications."
8. A safe group/leader will encourage critical thinking, individual autonomy and feelings of self-esteem.
"I suggest go through the 100+ pages of the Rick Ross thread on Desteni and you will find the members escalating in their Bullying and allowance of Bullying based on fabrications."
9. A safe group/leader will admit failings and mistakes and accept constructive criticism and advice.
No - they aim at proving a organization to be a cult - they will stop at nothing to be able to do so - read the thread and see how information is misrepresented'. Read the research on the web site done into many other groups, where the have used the same techniques.
10. A safe group/leader will not be the only source of knowledge and learning excluding everyone else, but value dialogue and the free exchange of ideas.
"If you are drawing your information from other groups/websites/forums where the same method of assumption based on slippery slope reasoning is used, then this indicates a mass attempt at bullying one group.
The original Thread on Rick Ross:
Very cool and detailed debunking of Rick Ross. Thanks Andrea!ReplyDelete
Thanks. The Cult Infotainment Forum is nothing but a CULT for busybodies to share their opinions about "cults." Jesus... pointless and boring.ReplyDelete
really awesome blog, real informative and on the spot, thanks...ReplyDelete
From time to time, I have - out of curiosity - reviewed the Desteni thread on the Rick Ross forum and came to the conclusion that it IS a cult by their very own definitions, with uninformed, gullible participants, eagerly accepting anything negative about Desteni as "gospel", justifying their spreading of lies and hate on the internet, while refusing to consider any efforts by Desteni members to, as you stated, explain terminology, etc.ReplyDelete
Thanks for sharing this.
Thank you Andrea, very cool clarificationReplyDelete
Rickross: time's up! Thanks AndreaReplyDelete
Thank you, a great example how to deconstruct abusive behaviour and expose the self-justifications of these minds.ReplyDelete
yes they are a cult according to their own accusations of DesteniReplyDelete
lolol yes, mirror mirror on the wall, who is the biggest cult of them all :)ReplyDelete
This blogpost is awesome!! haha.ReplyDelete