I would like to introduce myself and say thanks to the moderators and everybody for creating this space to share our knowledge and experience with RSE.
I'm here because of a very recent brief experience of a romance with someone who is a current (and very long-term) RSE student. For the record, I'm a woman and the student I was involved with is a man. I'm won't mention actual names at the moment (although I know it's practically impossible to remain truly anonymous on the internet).
This man is a wonderful person and it breaks my heart but I decided just a few days ago that the relationship could not continue. It had become impossible for me to have a conversation with him because of his constant references to JZ/R apocalyptic prophesies. We agreed that there was no solution - neither of us wanted to have a relationship where there was a subject off-limits for discussion, nor did we want to be in constant conflict. So really it was a mutual decision.
I had seen the red flags of this cult for a few months before but I tried to put it out of my mind because I wanted so much for the relationship to continue. But my sweetheart continued to bombard me with doomsday prophecies and conspiracy theories which made it impossible for me to ignore the situation any longer.
As soon as I took the trouble to really investigate the situation it became clear to me that the person I had come to love was in thrall to a narcissistic manipulative abuser (JZ Knight) and that the so-called School was truly a cult.
This my red flag detector had been telling me for some time, but I had disabled that instrument and decided to suspend judgment temporarily. Even so, my BS or "red flag" detector was quite finely tuned (due to my personal history) and would not allow me to ignore the warning signs any more; the signal became deafening.
Immediately after this year's March/April 10-day retreat where JZ/R "channeled" for 17 hours straight, my loved one came out of that retreat in a panic, convinced that I would die in the coming global cataclysm with magnitude 10.0 earthquakes and a 1000-ft tsunami (I don't live within Ramtha's 20-mile protected zone).
So the BS detector has been screaming at me for almost 2 months now.
I've never been a member of a cult, except that I have been, in a way.
Beginning in 2003, for 3 years, I was miserably unhappy in a relationship with a manipulative narcissist, and it was very difficult to escape. The first (and most difficult, in my experience)step was to put the correct name on what was happening - in my case I was able to put the name on it after one session with a good counselor and the name was "emotional abuse". There the value of the internet became evident when a Google search for those terms "emotional abuse" led me directly to the definition of Narcissistic Personality Disorder which painted an exact portrait of my abuser.
Even so it took me more than a year after that realization to break away from the "cult of one" as I had learned to think of that relationship.
I've been reading Joe Sz's website and he describes me exactly in that phase of my life:
So, 4 years after ending that abusive relationship I was ready to try again and this is the result.One neurotic woman might experience a high level of charisma with a narcissistic man that everyone else finds obnoxious.
I'm heartbroken and at the same time relieved. And I want to learn from this. I want to accept and move on. I want to be the most loving person I can be.
Thanks for reading.