About David Arkyn

David has a deep interest in spiritual development, but has discovered there are many forces in the world working to keep people asleep. His recent interest has been researching the psychological tactics and techniques used to limit people's spiritual potential, writing about his discoveries here at The Conscious Reporter.

24 comments

  1. Thanks for writing this article David. It’s well researched and encompasses crucial things on the subject. One thing which could be good to include if there will be a sequel is psychology of anti-cult proponents researched and revealed by social scientists.

  2. I can testify that as a French person, any alternative spirituality is highly disregarded in France. It becomes synonyms with charlatanism, fraud and debauchery. While no questions ever are asked about what the NMR may be about, it is laughed at and put down.

    Many people may not even be aware that in France, many NMRs can be blacklisted by the government and renting a community hall in a city to hold a talk/event becomes impossible.

  3. That’s a really good overview of how the media treats, or rather mistreats and attacks, alternative spirituality. There are so many times we have seen the media doing hatchet jobs on small spiritual groups and teachers, and like you say, when have we ever seen a positive story?

    It’s true that the media does focus on the negative generally in all aspects of society. However in fields like politics, sport, entertainment, science, major religions, and anything deemed “normal” there will be a mix of positive and negative stories. Scandals will be covered of course, but its not as if the very profession of being a politician, or scientist, or entertainer, or sports star, or priest will be in complete disrepute in the media.

    But a teacher or practitioner of alternative spirituality? ‘Atrocity stories’ are the only option for these subjects.

    It was interesting to read how a study found 86% of journalists in the US did not take part in any spiritual services. That is quite telling, as the US is known to be a pretty religious country, compared to other western countries.

    This definitely correlates to my experience of many people involved in journalism. In addition to any agendas working through those who own or influence the media, as a profession it just tends to attract very skeptical people. Obviously having some open minded skepticism is needed as a journalist, but there is a difference between skepticism and close-minded intolerance, bigotry and ungrounded suspicion and negativity toward those whose views are different from yours.

    In many cases there is an actual hatred toward spirituality in any form amongst skeptical people who often have a smug superiority complex. If such people have such little regard for “normal” religions, they can have complete contempt for any “fringe” belief.

    When you combine this contempt with a sense many journalists have of acting as the self-appointed moral guardians of society, then they can easily become the agents of witch-hunt campaigns of fear, sensationalism and persecution toward those with alternative beliefs.

  4. An excellently researched and well-balanced article, which clearly supports what this organisation (The SAFF) has chronicled for the past 25 years, however it misses one of the crucial points in understanding why newspapers choose to use ‘cults’ and NRMs as whipping boys. The requirement for all governments to create the threat of dangerous strangers in order to gain the complicity of the population in their own oppression is an essential feature of modern politics. The stereotype of the Mad Mullah in the 21st century is only a step away from the stereotype of the Do-or-Die ‘Commie’ of the 1920s and in a modern civilisation which has basically solved most of the Wests’ real social problems it provides grist to the mill of the political machine to scapegot minorities in order to deflect criticism of itself. Newspapers and the Broadcast media lie all the time, not just in reltion to NRMs (Iraq’s weapons of mass destrution?) to transfix the minds of the populace in order to avoid the peasants seeing the real truths which show our society is corrupt, unworkable and in decline. Democracy hasn’t worked. When the Black Death ravaged Europe the Church blamed it on witches, not on the festering unhygienic and inhuman conditions which they had forced the common people into. Yet it was the church which had exclusive control of the tax and barter system and all forms of education for centuries. The ridiculous sensational allegations of vandalistic agent provocateurs who havean axe to grind (which Dave has clearly identified in his piece) will continue and the Media will continue to persecute whoever it finds convenient based on their lies. The ONLY thing which can turn the tide of bigotry and intolerance is a personal understanding of how one’s mind has been moulded since childhood to accept superstitious nonsense as common-place. Ironically it is the hidden teachings of NRMs which can liberate the Self from these imposed mental shackles and of course why the government and orthodox religions continually campaign to discredit them. You can see all of this discussed at length with astonishing documentary evidence on particular cases, on the SAFF’s website and it behoves all free-thinkers, no matter how divergent their beliefs to personally illuminate themselves and others they come into contact with in order to break this mediaeval mentality.

    • Thanks for the comment Tony, you might like to check out another article on this site which talks about the government scapegoating and deflection you mentioned: consciousreporter.com/conspiracy-against-consciousness/how-fear-is-used-to-turn-you-against-spirituality/

      I think you’re right that we need to understand how our opinions have been moulded in order to overcome the persecution of NRMs and that it is in alternative spirituality that the means to do that is found.

      I just had a quick look at your site, seems like you have some really useful information there and worth the time to take a deeper read!

    • Thanks for dropping by Tony. Looks like SAFF is doing some really interesting work over in the UK in exposing the persecution of alternative beliefs and deception in the media.

      I definitely agree with your sentiment, “it behoves all free-thinkers, no matter how divergent their beliefs to personally illuminate themselves and others they come into contact with in order to break this mediaeval mentality”.

      Right on. There is a big agenda against alternative spirituality of all forms, and if everyone in is divided due to their differences we will not be able to overcome our oppressors.

  5. Just typed ‘cults’ into a search engine and what’s written in this article was confirmed on the first page!

  6. A well compiled article, thanks Dave. Reminded me of the days before cult, when the buzz word was heretic or witch. She’s a witch!
    http://youtu.be/zrzMhU_4m-g

    It is so ironic how much of the criticism (or criteria used to criticize) against NRM’s or other small groups, can also be applied to mainstream religions. For example, a popular accusation is, “I was brainwashed and donated all my money to other people who lived off my hard earned labor. They all spent the money on themselves and promised me a ticket to heaven, or one step closer.”
    Don’t collection bowls get handed around in many churches of whatever denomination? And who ends up using the money? How does the priest support himself? Who paid for the church and its nice windows? If it wasn’t donations (forced or voluntary) then one assumes the public paid via it’s taxes (assuming religion and government are intertwined). So maybe many members of the public unwittingly donate their hard earned money to a religion they don’t believe in?

    The bottom line is apathy. People don’t care about other peoples problems only their own. If I don’t believe in your religion, your messenger, or message, then why should I care about your problems? When did you care about mine?
    It doesn’t take much to brainwash a country if you have control of the papers and TV, and it doesn’t take much to create civil war and genocide.

  7. Good article Dave,

    you can really see how the continuous viscous cycle of biased negative coverage from the media creates an effect through out society that gains momentum as it gets fueled buy peoples emotions until the politicians get involved and then change or make laws that continually take away peoples freedoms and rights away, the more laws the politicians make the less free you are as a person! It’s like a negative feedback loop that keeps cycling when the stimulus is supplied through the media outlets. It was interesting to see that the statistics show that there is a negative media bias towards NRM’s which provides proof that the bias is there, it was really interesting to see those stats from the article.

    What a big and horrible negative loop that gets created and it shows the influence which is applied onto people and humanity through these channels. At a deeper level these ideas that filter through the negative loop had to start somewhere, somewhere someone thought of the input to the system which then filters through and has consequences and ramifications. I really feel that input is a very negative one and is a deeply negative influence on this world. All the information and articles that high light & outline these areas and influences is like trying to catch the wind, nobody can actually see the wind, we can only see it’s affects on the landscape and we can feel the effect of the wind on our body but to see the cause of the wind is very hard and in this case it’s not easy for people to see the input of the negative influences that are planned and plotted behind closed doors due to the unbelievable biased reporting going on in the world which is devoid of objective facts and information.This is really a Phantom Menace, not the one out of stars wars but the one which is casting a negative web onto the whole world.

  8. Spot on article.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a positive story in mainstream media about a small alternative spiritual group. I guess that isn’t interesting or scandalous enough.

    Sensationalised reporting goes on all the time, conflating all sorts of issues in society, whether it be crime, terrorism, “cults”, or whatever. Makes you wonder what the agenda behind certain stories is.

    It’s only with further research that a clearer picture is gained.

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