Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Age Bullies

My article, New Age Bullies, first published in Common Ground Magazine in 2004, has, as my writer friend G.W. Hardin puts it, grown legs. It has been republished, sometimes with my permission, sometimes without, but with my blessing anyway, in many small papers in the U.S. and Canada, and I am happy to say, people are now using the term as I had hoped they would. The original article can be found here: www. I have received a lot of mail during its six years in circulation, and I’ve decided to start publishing some of it. I realize that emails can be published without the writer’s consent, but I made the decision, since many of the letters are deeply personal, to use initials only, and to delete or disguise specific names of people or groups.

Many writers applied my notion of new age bullying to their groups, telling me stories of bullying in Christian churches, Buddhist and Jewish communities, and spiritual groups and retreat centers, so I have expanded the list.

Bullying causes great pain and suffering and appears to be on the rise, at personal and global levels. I’ve been encouraged to write a book on this topic and I’m finally ready to do that.

If you have a Bully story of your own, please post it. It might end up in the book.
Meanwhile, ease up on the self-bullying and be compassionate to yourself and others.

New Age/spiritual/religious bullies: those who make statements like the following to others who are suffering, and as if they were facts.

New Age Bullies,
There are no accidents
There are no mistakes
It happened for a reason
No one can hurt you without your consent
I wonder why you created this illness or experience (a version of you create your own reality)
You signed up for that
You chose that lesson (especially heinous when referring to victims of abuse or crime)
Those who claim psychic abilities, and “read” others without permission or manipulate by saying, “what I’m getting is you should...” (the benefactor usually being the speaker)
It’s just your karma

Religious Bullies—Christian and Jewish
It was God’s will
It happened for a reason
There are no accidents
He/She is in a better place
Any comment that implies the listener’s misfortune is the result of breaking the religion’s rules, or committing a sin, as defined by dogma ( like the Pastor John Hagee telling NPR’s Terry Gross that “Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans... because there was to be a homosexual parade there on the Monday that the Katrina came.”) Or this week, Pat Robertson saying it is a fact the Haitians brought on the earthquake themselves because of their pact with the devil.
Those who claim to speak for God, (Jesus, or other deities) and tell others with or without request or permission that they have a message from that deity containing instructions (that will usually benefit the speaker, or with the intention to promote the speaker’s dogma or agenda).

Religious Bullies—Buddhist
Same list as for New Agers plus
It is the dharma
Your suffering is the result of your actions from a previous lifetime

Letter #1 dated 02/17/08
Howdy Julia. I've been associated with a New Age retreat center for [many years]. One time, a member was outed for having been raping his own infant daughter. The child's mother stood in front of the group and actually said, "I'm amazed that [my daughter] would chose to be born into this." This is the worse case of New Age victim blaming I've come across, but it opened my eyes and I have noticed a pattern of it, in my role. I've met just about everybody on the Guru Circuit and it isn't pretty. Thanks for weighing in on it. Best, D. M.


  1. Thanks for posting this. I remember our conversation years ago when you were writing this and how much I could relate, me being in conservative Christian circles and its nice to see you included some of the "bully" stuff from that too...

  2. Your article on New Age Bullies is very insightful. I too have experienced this. I have post-traumatic stress disorder and strive to heal and protect myself from any further damage. The damage that these bullies do is very real. Asking for help is so very hard to do when you are hurting, such as having flashbacks. The last thing you need is to be bullied. Anyway, these are points you have already made. I am here in New England and all my life I have experienced the culture of Puritanism that lingers in this area, and to which so many immigrants have, to varying degrees, adapated to in order to be accepted. I have read about the Puritans' lifestyes and beliefs in order to understand how their original beliefs continue to linger and influence culture in New England today. I notice a similarity between the Puritan beliefs and the New Age Bullying. It seems to be the same behavior in new clothes. The moral superiority, the lack of empathy and compassion. And the attitude that they "will bring you along" to their way, they need you to conform, and then judge and criticize you if you do not adhere to their beliefs. Putting off a very "judgy" vibe. Anyway, I may have ranted on too long. And there are a lot of people in New England who are not like this. But the Puritan "values" still linger here, and I believe they have negatively influenced the American culture. And no matter how people try to change, joining a cult, or following some new movement, doesn't really get at the underlying belief systems. And again, your ability to articulate this behavior is a talent which I admire.

  3. What an amazing article!
    Thank you for sharing!

  4. I read THE MESSENGERS some time back and thought I'd check the current status of the people involved in writing the book. Congratulations on your new book!

    I am working with a new theory of evolution that I've been writing about on the internet. Your book gave me the idea to employ a ghost writer as I think you did an amazing job.

    You can find my ideas by searching with a new word that I use: girasas. My story is that while I learned what I know from two new age groups: The Theosophical Society and The Saint Germain Foundation, I am now back in a neighborhood Christian church and I'd like to tell you why. The new age groups were too small in numbers and I didn't feel as if they had any political clout. Yes, there were capable of sustaining themselves, but if I wanted to help them grow, I had to reach out to larger numbers with my story.

    In regard to the bully concept that we might find happening in those who attempt to practice spiritual lifestyles, I recognize rather that we have two different living things operating through us: we have the human and according to this new theory of evolution, we have the girasas, a higher kingdom taught by Jesus Christ.

    There is some dilemma involved in knowing how to act, when and in what circumstances. For instance, do we operate as a mother, a human being, or do we operate with our own children as if we are someone from the girasas kingdom. The new age groups help us to develop one-sidedly the higher kingdom and to some extent help us to deny certain human traits that are viewed as negative. This is why discernment is so important to me. Is it acceptable with my family to become occupied with simply living as a human being and then to "turn on" characteristics that I think may benefit the world when they are needed?

    Because I am telling others via the internet that a higher kingdom is descending into the human and this higher kingdom will live side-by-side with us during an entire 6th race (at the current 5th race, they are hovering above us and growing more and more physical through contact with us). And that during the 7th race, it is the human that will hover above the girasas kingdom as the two kingdoms after joining in one body will eventually split and go their separate ways.

    I hope you will find time to visit my webpage at and if you ever need a project, I would very much like to have these concepts become better known either through an article or book. You are a wonderful writer. Thanks so much for the work you've done.

  5. I can understand this idea of a new age bully because I have come to understand the teachings in new age literature to present a new theory of evolution, which I have hopes of publicizing. (If you are ever in need of a book project, I would love to work with a ghost writer.)

    The new theory of evolution by me can be found by searching the internet with the word: girasas. It basically says that a higher kingdom which I named girasas is descending into the human and that this is what makes us a 5th race (theosophical term). During the next race, we will be a dual being: half human and half girasas and as a result we have good activities which are accomplished by the girasas and less good activities which are accomplished by a human. Humans can also operate as a family being, teaching the children first to be human before they learn about the girasas kingdom changing them.

    It is difficult to always get the correct balance of the two kingdoms and hence when we view the human at an inappropriate time or vice versa, we may perceive this as bullying or force. Hope this is of some value to you.

  6. I've written an article about the victim blaming mentality of many New Agers as well. See here:

    Their "thoughts create reality" belief doesn't make sense either and is only marginally true.