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Tricked and Assaulted

During my 8 months as a resident, I felt that the demands of the centre kept increasing. The longer that I was there the more run down I became and I didn’t cope well with it. I became more troubled by the inconsistencies that I saw between the teachings and their actions. Their harshness and brute force towards me. It was very distressing in the end.

While I raised my concerns to the centre I was told that they would never push me beyond my limits, but I was breaking under the strain of their demands, and they weren’t listening. In fact it became more harsh.

When I complained, I was told that the teacher knows what is best for me, and that I just had to keep following Geshla’s instructions. Extra work would result in purification of negative Karma, the gaining of merit. Giving to the centre would result in extra merit and a faster path to enlightenment.

My struggles, my illness, my battles to manage – these were all burning negative karma now.

Along this journey I had taken vows. I can’t remember what those were, but I was terrified of breaking them. We were told of the many negative outcomes that would occur should we transgress, and I was afraid. It reduced my ability to respond, and I was still stuck to their path by the further use of fear.

If I kept going the way that I was, I was going to break, but if I didn’t do what they wanted I would suffer their wrath. I was terrified that I would not progress along the path. I was damned no matter which way I went.

At this stage I started to suffer from anxiety and no doubt depression. I was being pushed way beyond my limit, and I had broken – I just didn’t know it at the time.
I was becoming distressed by what was happening to me. I wasn’t coping and I decided to have a few weeks break and stay with my family. I could not believe that an organisation that expressed love and kindness could be so harsh, uncaring and ruthless.

During that two week rest time I was sent a letter from the centre that said that I would have to commit to working for them for 20 hours per week. If I didn’t sign that document, then I would have to move into a more expensive room (that I could not afford). Effectively I was being pushed into another corner.

More force, more brutality. Coercion and ruthlessness to get what they wanted.
It was all too much, and I could no longer cope. As terrifying as it was, I had to leave – this was the final straw, and they had broken me.

How could a Buddhist group that spoke so strongly about love, kindness, compassion be so ruthless and brutal. How could they be so manipulative, and so deceitful? I feel like they cheated and lied to get what they wanted, then cast me aside to get someone new who could give them more.

I couldn’t give them enough: I hadn’t been well enough to work the hours they wanted, and I didn’t have enough money to keep giving to them.

From beginning to end.

The first 2 day event resulted in “feel good” moments. The group environment was inviting and comforting… I left on a high.

For around 2 ½ years I went to the teachings of this group. While I didn’t realise it at the time, I was indoctrinated quickly and easily because they were able to use my daily experiences to convince me of the validity of their teachings.

Through their trance like contemplation meditations they were able to program our minds to their ideology and convince me to believe fully in their instructions. Their instructions led me on a path of total control and dependence. It isolated me form family and friends, and manipulated me into believing fully in their path. They left me broken, cast me aside for a new model who could give them more.

18 years later, I remain broken. My mind is not the way that it was before I joined them. I have suffered PTSD with the associated symptoms of that. I am often lost in demanding thoughts, and have difficulty remaining grounded. I can’t remember things the way that I once could, and I often have panic attacks.

For nearly a decade I felt that life had no meaning and that nothing that I did had any real value - they indoctrinated me with that belief! I have struggled to move on since.

Life still has little meaning from the perspective that they taught. Their brainwashing has left me with little ability to find something worthwhile in my work. I regularly go through a boom bust approach to helping people. Helping people is the only thing that gives me comfort the only thing that I can do that seems to have any meaning – at least from an NKT perspective.

Life is not the same after NKT, and I remain broken.

That is my story of studying and living with NKT.