Eckhart Tolle

Wonderful on the outside Treacherous on the inside....! Cults have millions of members around the world who also thought they were immune.
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David McCarthy
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Eckhart Tolle

Unread post by David McCarthy » Sat Jun 22, 2019 12:01 am

Eckhart Tolle

Tolle's Tricks

Trance Induction and Hypnotic Suggestion

In the Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle encourages you to not think about what you are reading, but instead to (paraphrasing) "feel the truth" of it. If your mind raises any doubts or concerns, he says that you should cast these aside. His teachings are not meant to be understood on an intellectual level, he says. All of this, it seems to me, is geared at lulling the reader into a trance-like state, in which Mr. Tolle's suggestions are more likely to sink deep into their psyche.

Throughout the book, he consistently talks about his ideas in a detached way, in keeping with his assertion that they are not 'his', but rather are universal truths. He continually puts to the reader that they already know everything he is saying is true, deep down. This disguises the fact that they are subjective interpretations, and again makes them more likely to penetrate the resder's psyche, especially if he succeeds in putting them into a more suggestible state.

Threat of Hell

Eckhart Tolle says that 'ego' is the source of all evil. If you are in the 'ego' state, true happiness is unattainable, and everything you do will be tainted. You will be part of the (paraphrasing) "collective insanity" that led to events such as the Nazi Holocaust. Scary stuff. He gets the reader into a state of fear of this condition of 'ego', then offers to liberate them from it by teaching them how to live in a state of "no mind". Classic fear-mongering tactics, no different in kind to what you'd get from a 'fire and brimstone' fundamentalist Christian preacher.

Promise of Heaven

As well as threatening us with this terrible stick, Eckhart also dangles a lovely carrot. If we disidentify from the 'ego' by living in a state of 'no mind', we will experience permanent joy. Everything in our lives will be transformed in a positive way. He talks about how, for example, in conversations with people we will spontaneously come out with witty and brilliant things (as somebody who has struggled with social anxiety, this especially appealed to me).

I notice that by detailing how sexy and zen we'll become if we follow his teachings, he's appealing directly to what he terms our 'ego' - ironically. Likewise by threatening us with how horrible our lives are sure to be if we don't follow his teachings.

Reflected Credibility

Mr. Tolle continually invokes Buddhism and mindfulness meditation. Since his readers are predominantly Westerners, and Western festishisation of Eastern religion being what it is, they are likely to associate these things with 'authentic' spirituality - as well as knowing very little about them. Thus, Tolle is able to bask in the reflected glory of Buddhism, as well as claim that his ideas are a valid interpretation of what it teaches.

Another trick is that he mixes in sound advice and ideas from Buddhism and other religious and spiritual traditions with his own nihilistic, masochistic garbage - and then claims they are all getting st the same thing. Thus, the reader comes across a passage which seems to describe a fairly benign approach to meditation, for example, and then assumes that Tolle's more ostensibly counter-intuitive - not to mention dogmatic - teachings must be similarly benign.


Mr. Tolle intimates that he is enlightened. He says that he lives in a state of 'continuous presence', and 'presence', he says, is the state referred to be Eastern religions as 'enlightenment'. Thus, he encourages the reader to see him as infallible, and therefore beyond reproach and doubt. He does say not to take his words too literally, but only because words can never capture reality, "only point to it" - so not because he is untrustworthy, or even just fallible like everybody else, but for theoretical reasons to do with the nature of language. As a perfect, egoless, enlightened being, the reader is encouraged to believe that nothing Eckhart Tolle does could be anything other than perfectly benevolent and well-judged. If his teachings cause them pain, it must be their fault, not his.
How Eckhart Tolle took me to the brink of suicide ... 795,134795
But he has nothing on at all, cried at last the whole people....

Lost in Space
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Re: Eckhart Tolle

Unread post by Lost in Space » Tue Sep 24, 2019 4:12 am

WOW! And here, having only a vague knowledge of Eckhart Tolle from speaking with people who have read his books, and having a brief glance at the write up of him on Wikipedia, I thought he was just another harmless new agey writer. "Staying in the now" sounded okay to me. Glad I was never impressed enough to buy one of his books! I really feel terrible for PowerofNo reading the story of the indoctrination. I remember similar experiences, was almost persuaded to attend a retreat with the "Moonies" - Was approached by two very personable young people while at University who invited me to a "Philosophy Lecture". I was the only attendee (red flag), but the lecture took place in a house where there were other young people. Talking with them I felt interest and a sense of belonging (guess I was "lovebuzzed"). I was invited to stay for lunch, and I did. Then I signed the guest book. One of them kept calling me to chat. Then the invite to the retreat was issued. I considered going. Fortunately another of the members called me privately to strongly discourage me from attending. She said what they do is they chant at you for hours, will not let you sleep, and slowly attack your sense of self and personality as erroneous. Psychologically they tear you apart and then offer to put you back together, all in the name of enlightenment. Glad PowerofNo got free of the coils.

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