It’s hard to know whether to be flattered or disgusted.I guess I should take it as a strong measure of my effectiveness. Apparently my work with Black Sun Journal has brought the kooks even further out of the woodwork. Not content with simple troll-dom and harassment, a former CUT member has registered a domain and put together an impostor site at www.seanprophet.info. On it, he re-caps some of my sermons from when I was a minister, holding them up as the “Real Sean C. Prophet.” But those documents no more reflect the truth about who I am today than if he had posted a collection of scribbled drawings I made in kindergarten. Further, his blatant deception and identity theft (he now calls himself ‘webmaster’ of the domain he registered in my name) makes a mockery of his so-called religious morality. Verifiable truth, as he well knows, stands on its own and does not require such underhanded methods.
As I discussed last year in my post on Murdering the Apostate, this is the typical and characteristic response of ‘true believers.’ It’s a pattern which I find all-too-familiar. I’ve watched it since I was a child–it’s part of the memetic “immune system.” Cult members and idolaters have always tried to rhetorically murder and demonize anyone who has spoken out against their idol. For normal believers, this process has usually taken the form of simple argument, and having pursued the argument to their satisfaction, they go about their lives. But for fanatics and extremists such as this one who has placed so much of his life’s essence into his ultimate wish-fulfillment fantasy–the apostate must be neutralized at any cost.
The psychology of “apostate-killing” also brings to bear tools of human manipulation. These include a two-pronged carrot-and-stick approach in which both professed divine love and dominance play important roles:
- The Prodigal Son motif: The apologist asserts that the apostate is misled, and only needs to recognize his or her “true self” and come home to the open arms of a loving god.
- The Dominance motif, which includes an attempt to impose guilt. The apologist in my case made the following claim: “Your entire childhood was supported by the tithes and contributions of the devotees of this organization…every cell of your bodies was built by, and infused with the aspirations of all ascended master students for the victory of the ascended master cause on earth. Their aspirations are in your very blood. It is a scientific fact.”
In other words, don’t mess with our beliefs because “we own your ass.” This is why cults are so destructive–because they are internally self-reinforcing. Since believers rely on each other for epistemological verification, it’s next to impossible to leave unscathed. In my case, nearly 15 years later, some hangers-on still find their beliefs contingent on my agreement. If they were mentally healthy, they would rely on their own powers of observation, and their own evaluation of evidence. They would never give anyone else that kind of power.
But this particular impostor has now stepped up his multi-year campaign, and moved far beyond simple discussion to full-blown attempts at domination, as his quest to discredit reason has become a desperate last-ditch effort. This fanatic (whose actions involve characteristic symptoms of schizophrenia) is doing his damndest to stave off coming to terms with reality, since denial and cognitive-dissonance has become his primary survival mechanism.
From this article:
…schizophrenia begins as a terror syndrome and those with schizophrenia regress when in that state of terror to the point and only to that point where the patient feels the safest and then begins to organize around that area of safety a system of defenses to keep him or her safe from intrusions that they perceive as a threat to their lives.
It’s clear that fanatical believers who fall into this category must actively oppose anyone who challenges the tenets of their chosen belief system. They cannot be content with differences of opinion without perceiving other beliefs as an existential threat. Taking a philosophical page from The Matrix, their imaginary spirit-world has become “the real” and the physical world has been reduced to what they consider a “prison” and an “illusion.” They devalue all earthly pursuits, since they believe they will have an eternity to look forward to after they die. So any threat to their fantasy becomes, like the specter of the “second death,” a threat to their eternal life.
Maintaining this hall of mirrors becomes a lifelong obsession, and no price is too high, no dishonesty too extreme. It’s all justified in the name of their suppressed anxiety and fear of death, which is ironically much stronger than that of atheists. Because of this, they will hang on, white-knuckled, until they expend their lives in pursuit of the afterlife delusion. In Islam, we see the result of this psychology is that any apostate is actually physically hunted down and murdered, or a fatwa is issued to that end.
Fortunately, western society has somewhat tempered the methods of such extremists, if not their zeal.
The impostor is now trying to justify his position: “There is nothing whatsoever in that presentation, or in the related background blogger entry, which attempts to trash Sean’s character.” Nothing except the entire presentation–not trash, but dominate and control. The feigned innocence is wearing thin. He claims to be “respectful,” but his posting is by definition adversarial and hostile–a part of his self-appointed-savior syndrome. I’ve made it clear I’m not interested in that way of life, and have made the decision to leave it behind forever. I’ve also asked him to stop his crusade on numerous occasions over the course of several years. He has refused to take “no” for an answer.
Since he can’t seem to figure this out on his own, let’s review the specific instances of disrespect and ‘trashing’ of my character, which includes at least six separate statements that I’m not in control of my own mind:
April 6, 2007: …to crash and burn if he wants to…the demons dangle them into our minds…threads of the anti-christ…can of worms which the human consciousness has become…while he was in his right mind…forces acting through Sean today, are no part of his real identity…making him dance to such a repugnant tune…
April 19, 2007: …just how far down the mountain of reality he has slid…expression of Sean Prophet when he was in his right mind…Sean has really fallen to a new low, becoming an unrestricted transmission channel for the lowest and most insidious poison of the dark side…The person who has fallen into a pit of such tumultuously seething contempt for God…
Questioning a persons agency and freedom of conscience is pretty much the ultimate in disrespect. It’s clear this impostor won’t be happy until he’s sitting inside my head, and I’m dancing to his tune like a marionette.
Further, by using an impostor domain name, he has now crossed civil and ethical boundaries, (and most likely legal ones as well). The impostor has the goal to impose his designs on my life and reputation, in an effort he has called “the single most important event in the history of the Ascended Master cause since the retirement of Elizabeth Clare Prophet.” Pretty pleased with himself, I’d say.
He continues: “The reference to the concept of murder is way off base, a very extreme and outlandish exaggeration.” My reference to ‘murder’ is philosophical and metaphorical, (as was clearly stated above), and he knows it. Denial of freedom by dogma is a spectrum that begins with the murder of a persons’ free will to express their human desires and drives, and ends with the murder of their body (as in the Islamic world). How else would he describe his attempts to curtail freedom of choice? A freedom he hypocritically claims we all should be willing to fight and die for?
The impostor rambles on: “The Master’s [sic] are throwing him a golden rope, and all he needs to do is take a hold, and they will pull him out. Why would they do that? Because they love him.” Right. As discussed above: Prodigal son metaphor, mixed with dominance, just as I outlined. This is nothing new. The impostor is not only intellectually dishonest, but has exposed himself once again as a shining example of textbook religious extremism.
Update: I haven’t heard from this former religious stalker since the late 2000s, and both his “Homeward Bound Journal” website and the impostor site using my name are long gone. But it’s difficult to overstate the impact that such actions can have, when a believer makes it their singular focus to use coercive tactics and intimidation to change the behavior of a former believer. Many religions use more subtle versions of this tactic: Mormons are well known to continue to send literature and even visit former members homes for many years after that person has declared themselves to be apostate. Belief is far more than an individual matter. It’s an extremely sticky social construct and meme. If you leave, it always tries to get you back. –Sean Prophet, August 2022
As a former CUT member, it never ceases to amaze me how vindictive the “true” members can be. I thank my lucky stars I got out before I completely lost myself (I joined when I was a teenager and left 6 years later).
Though it has been several years since I last looked, weren’t KOF lessons supposed to be kept secret and never revealed to those who are not worthy(i.e. paid the membership dues)?
Thanks for your blog, Sean — it helps me cope with my own demons from being in CUT.
Thanks for your comment. I’m glad I can help.
You are so right. Even in the days when I believed in the teachings, these people were around. They were the extreme zealots who would inform on other people for questioning, being less enthusiastic, or being in a “bad vibration.” When I was a minister, I hated this type of nonsense. I always thought god and the masters would want us to be real human beings, to have fun, and not to be so extreme, or inform on each other.
About 90% of people I talk to who were formerly in CUT were sincere seekers, and are very friendly, supportive, and balanced. Some I count as lifelong friends. Most people are happy to hear what I have to say, and often agree with me about the abuses and doctrinal problems. But there’s that 5% or 10% who I would call idolaters, who fall into what I would categorize as “true believers.” (A few of us referred to them as “uglets,” for want of a better word. They seemed to relish dressing down, looking ugly and being ugly to others–so the term stuck. I’m sure if you spent a few years in the community, you know the type of person I’m talking about. Hell, I was ugly to people more times than I’d like to think about :-( ) To them, nothing the “masters” or messenger ever said could be wrong. And they often remained in such a non-thinking stupor, they could rationalize the most glaring contradictions and still walk around glassy-eyed.
Of the 5% or 10% “true believers,” there’s only a tiny percentage who I would say are truly insane. (I’ve run across maybe a dozen over the years.)
At least one of the perpetrator(s) of the impostor site has attacked me before. And yes, you are right, Keepers of the Flame are required to sign a pledge keeping their lessons confidential. So this person(s) is clearly a lapsed Keeper, who was most likely asked to leave the organization. Following the “project background” link takes you to a site with a great deal of anti-CUT rhetoric (criticizing decisions of current church management).
I keep forgetting that you actually came from a real cult. I think the most allarming thing is, that the things you experienced are no different than anyone else who attended church every sunday. It’s hard for me not to think that all religions are cults in some fashion and I don’t think I am a lone. Most of the pagans and buddhists(who happen to be some of the most balanced people I know) that I know are solitary practitioners for that reason. I am always amazed and heartbroken over how easily people can be manipulated. Even atheists can fall victim to cult like mentality, I have seen it many times. How do we stop it? How do we get people to go on the TRUE spiritual journey of self discovery?
I checked that site out after a moment of thought, cos I wasnt sure I wanted to contribute to their nonsense. Well, I am glad I did because I do need to be more aware of their mentality. Anyway, I’m afraid you have become a christ like, turned anti christ like person to them. They had such high hopes for the son of the Prophet’s and how can the members of CUT just sit their and not “retrieve” their missiah. Its almost laughable if they werent so serious. I have the hardest time understanding people like that. They really have to put a LOT of effort into their belief system to mantain it by doing stuff like that. That person put 140+ hours into that project and proved nothing. All their efforts are wasteful and stupid. It is so much easier to just think for yourself, its almost effortless for crying out loud, infact it takes more of an effort not to. As it is human nature to question EVERYTHING. This is a good example of how some religions(mostly abrahamic) seperate people from their instincts.
Yes you are right, there are other churches where things are just as extreme. I think people who are unbalanced naturally gravitate toward organizations which allow them to express their need for strict rules, etc. Christian churches provide some of this, but having a live “messenger of God” stepped things up to another level. You get the immediate dichotomy between the divine and the human, which can never be reconciled. So idolatry relies on the conscious suppression of any notice of human faults of the messenger (and by proxy her family). This is why I think people have been so fixated on my sisters and I and why it has been problematic. After all, if we grew up there, had the closest access to god, and we want nothing to do with it, why should anyone else?
With regard to the motives of the creator(s) of the impostor site–stealing my name for their site gains them additional attention. And I think this whole stance on their part is simply a cry for attention. In the past, my policy has been not to respond to these efforts, but I did this time since they had gotten even more personal and stooped to a new low (as could be expected, given the progression of their mental illness).
I would hope the people involved would choose to get some help and come to their senses.
Sean and Amy,
That these people might some day get some help, is the very best we can hope for them. That they will stop pursuit is probably not realistic, and it’s not because they are stupid or that they refuse to let go of their beliefs, its deeper. It really is, as you pointed out Sean, in cases like these,Â about bona fide mental illness. Sadly, trying to convince those who are obsessed with ‘saving’ you, that they are wasting their time, or that they are misguided, is not all that much different from trying to reason with a child who is still functioning developmentally at a pre-operational (concrete) level of thinking; they simply CANNOT ( as opposed to will not) comprehend what we are all getting at. For example, children prior to a certain age cannot grasp abstraction. Their brain functions haven’t yet developed beyond a certain narcissistic and literal view of the world. Say you show a kid a deck of cards of various colors to a five year old, give them a green card , take a card for yourself, sitting opposite so they cannot see . Then you ask them what color card they have, and then to guess what color you might be holding. No matter how many colors you showed them to begin with, until their brain can grasp the concept of “other” and higher abstractions, they will simply say you MUST have the same color card as they are holding. They just cannot fathom any other possibility. I am not saying that people with schizophrenic like symptoms, ( and I speak as a mental health professional) have the same developmental limitations as a child of this age, but I am saying that some things in their brain are in all likelihood literally not firing right,Â are chemically imbalanced… and that like the child, they CANNOT grasp certain concepts (usually, unless they get medication and serious psychotherapy..) The difference between these cases and a child is that here something is broken as opposed to developmentally not yet matured. I have more to say about this but I have to run. I’ll be back to speak to the issue of mental illness and the idea that at the same time that these behaviors cannot be accepted, we also need to have some compassion for the etiology,
I tend to forget that if children are not taught certain things before a certain age they may never be able to learn it(read the studies on children raised by wolves and other wild animals, very telling). It doesn’t work like that for dogs. They are always capable of moving forward, of course they don’t have the brain capacity to learn the complexities that humans do. I think this is where I get frustrated the most with people about certain issues. And of course I am looking forward to your next post on this matter. I find all the research in brain studies are absolutely fascinating and help further my understanding of the evolution of emotions and behaviors.
I am an unreasonably laid-back person on most issues, and tend not to be an alarmist. That being said, do you not fear for your safety, at least a little?
I think it’s clear from the site that this person is mentally ill. How far would they go to save you? Honestly, the whole thing gave me goosebumps.
I have to say also that your voice on that recording sounded… I don’t know… empty? Maybe you were just young and reading your sermon, but maybe you were just going through the motions and your heart wasn’t in it. I don’t know, I could be reading too much into the sound of your voice.
Oh well, I’m glad you’re here now.
Thanks! It IS creepy. It’s impossible to predict what someone will do–one can only hope that conscience and “religious morality” keeps people from doing their worst. But when they keep crossing lines of civility and decency, it does raise the question…
The voice on the site is my father, not me. See, that’s more of the bullshit–these people think I’m supposed to BE my father–who I am defined totally by him. The fact that I’ve turned out differently upsets them. So I think that they’re trying to fulfill their wishes and fantasies by putting them together on the web. Honestly I don’t get why I mean so much to them.
It is crazy, scary; but extremely sad at the same time.
This so…stinks of scenes from the Monty Pythons ‘The Life of Brian!!
Its an unfortunate situation being the family member of former leaders of an organisation which was really no different to any other extremist belief system.
Until these people realise they don’t need spiritual leaders, demigods & messengers. And until they get therapy for their extremist minds…it will sadly continue.
I still get the occasional ‘swipe’ from CUT or ex similar ‘believers’ every now and again cos of their expectations of me also. So you’re not alone. Its just an unfortunate circumstance of our generation and for anyone who has broken free to be their ‘own’ person.
I don’t necessarily have to agree with every single thing you write on here : )
But I wish this guy (He obviously has nothing better to do with his life!) and whoever he works with or similar disgrunted cult members, would learn to respect that people ARE unique and different and that we all have our own individual paths to follow and that we most definitely do not always need to follow in the paths of our parents or other religious leaders from a past age
My message to him is: Life is evolving. Nature will have its way. Wake up!
I went back to the audio file. I didn’t see how it could be your father because he was talking about Iraq (I had assumed maybe it was from the first Iraq war). But the voice said, “Sunday, Deceber 3rd, 2006” (I had missed that before) so that one couldn’t be you or your father, right?
No more for me. I’m done.
Creepy, creepy, creepy.
Hi Sean & Heather,
That dead voice was not the voice of Sean or his father. It was from the man who created the Site.
Seans’ father gave the dictation and the site said it was Seans’ father.
LOL! Life of Brian was great. Yes, you are right. “This guy” (and it is largely one guy, who I try to avoid mentioning by name, a courtesy he’s clearly not accorded me) does not respect free will. In fact, if you analyze religion in general you find this to be the singular characteristic. Every scripture claims people have free will (if they didn’t, there wouldn’t be much significance in virtue or vice, after all) but then imposes a bunch of conditions. We see that every religion (with the possible exception of Buddhism and the like) seeks to bring about some form of theocracy. Belief systems simply cannot deal with human free agency. Controlling this free agency seems to be their raison d’etre.
My impostor clearly does not recognize my free will, and has placed himself in the role of lawgiver. In this sense, he sees himself as actually above ‘god.’ In fact, in some of his other writings, though he claims to follow them, he criticizes my parents just as fiercely as me. So where is the objective standard? Only in his mind. In addition to schizophrenia, this is also evidence of megalomania. As is characteristic of most extremists, the followers of ‘god’ only follow themselves. It would be hard to find a more textbook case, complete with the requisite false humility (“your little brother”) in his manner of speaking and writing. Not content to speak for himself, he has taken my identity. (He now calls himself “webmaster” of http://www.seanprophet.info). He also allows no comments on his site, yet claims to speak for many.
You have to ask yourself: What would happen if such a person were ever given real power!?
Doris is right, I hadn’t heard the file. I thought you were talking about the one at the beginning of the ‘presentation.’ Yeah, you’re right, his voice does sound dead, and his politics are even crazier. He talks so much about “freedom,” but he’d take it away in a second if he had the ability.
I know this whole thing is creepy, which is clearly the intent. This person is aware that such a site is bound to be seen by both professional associates of mine and readers of Black Sun Journal. He’s trying to shame and embarrass me to the best of his ability. (It’s not working). I had to debate as to whether to give it any placement or attention at all. In the end, I decided it was better to address it, since it would reduce any web confusion as to its origins.
[…] What kind of ‘gift’ would be so worthless a person would pay someone else $100 just to open it? What kind of person would become so desperate they would invest 140 hours of their time creating a creepy ’shrine’ to someone else under a false identity? Who would become so driven by a messianic religious obsession that they would do the following: […]
Zounds! How annoying. He’s like a flea or a buzzing bee. Lucky me that I only merit a “sighting” as this guy has spotted me and my current job and “outed” me as someone who also failed her mission like my big bro but not quite as heretical I suppose. It’s just such a waste on so many levels. Sorry you have to deal with this, Sean. I look at people who are religious or belong to any group that has its own “speak” and I just kind of smile and stay polite and then stay away. I think it was Amy who asked on this board how people can stay away from the temptation to become cultlike and I just think it’s quite a personal, sometimes uncomfortable, journey that is ambiguous by its very nature because there are no quick answers. Only scientific fact and then personal meaning… But such a journey is ultimately the most satisfying. And personally I don’t think there’s any way to convince someone else to engage in that introspection that is required to at least be striving toward an authentic human life.
Tatiana, you make me so proud. I love you.
Thank you for sharing Tatiana. I was raised catholic, but I never really took religion that serious, I’m not saying I wasn’t effected by it, but it wasn’t someting I thought about much. I can only imagine what cult life must have been like, but that is not living it. I truly admire you, Sean and the others who were able to get out. Not only is it emotionally hard, but it is physically dangerous! Brainwashed people can be dangerous and unpredictable and don’t take kindly to their members leaving. My thoughts and best wishes are with you all. Stay safe!
Heya Sean, (and Tatiana) ;)
Its a shame this wing-nut is able to host that site (albeit a hideously ugly blight on the web.) Oooh flashy flashy, I can haz high impact annoyance wif mai mad skillz flash-site! I’m in UR interwebz, clogging UR tubez!
Sorry, the stupefying lameness of looking at that schlock merited a Lolcatz moment. The internet; medium of the common man, whether astute or drooling idiot… *sigh*
I was brought up in the Jehovah Witness faith… up at the pulpit at the age of 7 giving mini sermons; the whole 9 yards. I left that (read, “ran away”) to live with my real father at the age of 11. I moved out on my own at 16. There is a longer story there, but for brevity, I’ll skip it.
At the age of 21, I found my way down to Montana for my first conference (Fall ’90.) How I got there is another long story. Aside from the fact that I wasn’t born into CUT, I’ll skip the details.
Anyway, I bumped (almost literally) into you (Sean) there on my way into the ranch cafeteria for lunch. Just a brief hello was exchanged, so I very much doubt you’d remember. Tatiana I knew only slightly better, (spent one summer conference with the ‘Young Mystics” and had a few conversations with her.) At the time, she was putting together a collection of testimonials of how people found the church…
So I too, was on the inside.
I spent the next 8 years involved with that organization (CUT.) I was even on the board of directors at my local study group.
In 1998, I left the church.
I can see why soo many are duped into believer mode. It is a very elaborate construct of beliefs. To paraphrase soo many voices I’ve heard iterate the following, “No one else puts it like Mother, (Elizabeth C.Prophet.)” I bought the package for 8 years, ignoring some very obvious red flags in the organization. It took a series of unsettling events happening both at headquarters and in my local group, before I started to look at things objectively.
Anyway Sean, I can appreciate what you’ve been through and I like the direction you life is heading now. To much of humanity has been stripped away by various theologies. In its place are a bunch of Religo-bots, programmed to an end, that is sadly mucking up the planet on a grand scale.
Ironically, I say, keep fighting the good fight!
I am also sure that fellow who created that juvenile site is reading this, and to him I say:
You seriously need to get a grip. Your zeal is fanatical and you come across more than slightly manic. You sound like you are about 3 steps away from waving a ceremonial sword at some police officers and getting shot.
It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened. *nod* *wink*
Its disconcerting that someone is so convinced by a a belief that they would broadcast (yes dude, its the internet, you are broadcasting) using another persons identity without their permission. I suppose I should not be surprised, as religo-bots like yourself were once deluded into believing the earth was flat. Round you say! Anathema!
Seriously guy, get help! Not just help of the psychological nature.
For the love of bloody Christ on a jewel encrusted crucifix, get help on the web development side of things, or hire a professional! Your site is a God-forsaken eyesore! It looks like you collaborated with your cat. No I didn’t say dog, cause thats god spelled backwards. I said cat, which spelled backwards is tac. That site is some Tacky! Tac, Tac, TACKY.
Yes, I am making fun of you and the belief system you feel justifies harassing Sean like this. YOU ARE RIDICULOUS!
I thought if I posted to his site, or sent that directly to his webmaster mail, it wouldn’t be read by his following and get deleted. I also suspect, they’ll read it here anyway.
Besides, I would rather support, than oppose. ;)
Therapeutic fun, all in one post.
I would like to express to you my gratitude for your posts about ECP, as both yours and Cheri Walsh’s observances about life in CUT have turned my life around and encouraged me to seriously question and ultimately reject the belief that ECP was indeed a Messenger. Your post-CUT behavior seriously challenged my belief that the ‘teachings’ of ECP were ‘infallible’. The ‘teachings’ had bestowed upon you many titles – e.g. Buddha, Leader of Ascended Master youth, Wearing the mantle of Lanello, Minister of the Church, Board Member etc that your current behavior was in serious contradiction to that ‘image’. Initially I rejected your change in direction but as you described more and more concrete events and these corresponded with what others had to say, I began to understand that the image of ECP on stage was not necessarily the reality. I also learned first hand how uncaring the ‘inner-circle’ leaders were and made the connection that they learned their behavior from their guru-leader. Nearly 2 years after reading your posts and walking away from CUT, I look back now and ask myself why I didn’t question harder before joining CUT, and why I didn’t recognize that some of the cold and unloving behavior of study group people around me was symptomatic of what was coming from the ‘guru’. Yes I allowed myself to make a major life decision with very little regard for seeking out any information that might contradict my initial opinion. And once I made that choice I stubbornly stuck to it – disregarding contrary evidence. I also remind myself of the distinct similarity between the behavior of ECP and my own Mother and realize that life in CUT probably was a response to unresolved psychology relating to my relationship with my own birth mother. So in the past 2 years there certainly has been a period of grieving what has happened, letting go of the anger and getting on with life. Yes Guru Ma didn’t have all the answers and neither do I, I now realize my own fallibility, and I hope my post helps your readers to understand a little more as to why the guy who made the seanprophet.info website is so stubborn in holding onto his view of the world. It takes a lot to realize one has made a BIG mistake – this guy obviously can’t cope, but I’m thankful that your writings helped me to cope with the mistake I now believe I made. Keep writing about your experiences Sean, they are definitely a help to me in my recovery from CUT.