A few months ago, Knowledge is King, a contributor to the Rick Ross Forum, wrote about his efforts to reach out to his brother, who was entrenched in Universal Medicine. A few months later his brother has left the cult and is recovering.
The orthodox approach among exit counselors and cult counseling services is to present followers with facts about the group they belong to. It’s then up to the follower or student to decide whether to stay or go. Many of our readers have been flummoxed that even with the steady revelation of damning evidence about Serge’s character and activities, their loved one chooses to doggedly align themselves to the ‘The One’.
As more facts come to light, and the most dependent or loyal students continue to steadfastly refuse to heed them, penetrating the denial is set to become more challenging.
So what to do?
In the following exchange, four contributors to the Rick Ross Forum discuss the challenges of communicating with their wives and family members, and awaken them to the harm they’ve been deceived into participating in.
In particular, the very practical advice given by Knowledge is King is as good as any to be found from specialists.
The following posts have been republished from page 29 of the Rick Ross Forum. Also see our Resources page for articles related to recovery and getting help.
trackandfield: Hi everyone, Just want to say what a great job you all are doing with the discussion on this forum; I am in my early 20’s and have seen my entire immediate family become controlled by UM, including younger siblings. It has been extremely difficult to cope at times, and so it’s very reassuring to find a group of sane people discussing this malicious organisation.
Has anyone tried literally confronting their friend/relative in UM (in a relatively non aggressive way) with the material on this forum and perhaps on some of the blogs scattered around? I’m becoming very tempted to try this on my parents, but at the same time given how aggressive past discussions turned out, I’m worried that I could basically lose them permanently
knowledge_is_king: Hi trackandfield, I have tried a few approaches, from my own experience the more proactive and non-aggressive ways have had the most success – i.e. Providing information from a range of sources on the negatives of not just this group but of any group like this; I don’t tend to go after the parts that will generate an immediate defense response, such as Serge himself, I try not to use the word cult if I can avoid it, and I don’t argue with parts that I think aren’t harmful in their own right (massage for example, or the drinking aspect) which to an extent as isolated things I think are ok until they start isolating and impacting the individual and their freedoms, i.e. fixation on breasts, or the abolition of the person’s free choice to have one or two drinks.
The individual or in your case the individuals involved is one thing and the level of obsession on their part is another that will dictate how easy or difficult the discussions and devolvement from the group will become. I try to approach each chat like a therapy session, I organise a time to discuss it, I come prepared with the specific parts I want to discuss, I make sure I have access to the supporting detail I need, and I set a goal for each talk – not to get the person all the way out at once, but for example, one session I will start with the aim of getting him to understand in his own terms why following any individual has the potential to be dangerous and give examples, if he is open to it I’ll proceed further and hopefully by the end he will come away with a bit more of an open mind about the types of risks being involved in this type of group. Then I let Serge do the rest – and when he starts spouting off with his manipulative discourses the individual will hopefully start to recognise the warning signs.
I also set limits for the chats, say half an hour to one hour maximum, and if I can get my point across, or the person starts to react with hostility, or we go over the time limit whichever occurs first, I stop the talk. My aim being that they see it as an open forum, but that they aren’t forced to be there. I’m not going to sugarcoat it it’s extremely difficult, but by setting boundaries about what you talk about enables you to break it into chunks which is the last thing Serge wants you to do as in chunks is where his ideals fall apart and are revealed to be the manipulative, illogical objects that they are.
Also be selfish, when I’m on here chatting with the wider community, my purpose is to receive and give information, to help increase awareness and to take part in something for the greater good; when I’m talking to my brother about this my only concern is for him, to get him back, so I concentrate only on him, who he is, what he needs, and the harm done to others in relation to him.
That’s my piece mate and I hope it helps, but again I don’t have any qualifications other than my own experience.
trackandfield: Great post Knowledge, and I think that seems like the most rational way to go about it. My problem is that I find it very difficult to approach it in a piecemeal way, I always get the impulse to try and heroically extricate them from the whole mindset in one sitting, which usually leads to bad feelings and a closing off. I guess I just worry that if I do it slowly, each little step I make will be destroyed once a member of my family goes to a workshop, or a session with one of UM’s many practitioners, etc. But your point about Serge doing some of the work is interesting, and suggests another avenue to go down. Out of interest, have you had any luck with your brother? If you don’t want to discuss it openly no problem, you can PM if not (or neither)
ConcernedPartner: hi Track and Field KIK is correct. You cant go at it head on and you cant expect to win an argument or have them see it your way or what we would call reason. The fact is Serge has it set up in a way to create a feedback loop in their thinking. It goes like this :
Start – non ‘soulful/esoteric ‘ practices are pranic, therefore I cannot do any other practice other than ‘the work’, I am free to choose what I want to do, but the choices are being esoteric or making choices to check our or take a lower pranic mind path, therefore I must be esoteric. People not doing the work are in their lower pranic mind and cant understand because they are not doing the work and are making the wrong choice/not aware of the choice, and Serge has already told me that they will not understand, and they will criticise me and the work and Serge because they are in the grips of their lower mind and that the only reason they are criticising is because they have been touched by the truth of the work —- back to start.
Serge re-iterates that over and over in intro’s, sessions, workshops, sayings, recordings, etc. So the student is disabled from thinking ” hang on, I will bloody well think what I like and use my own critical mind to decide for myself”- of course, they are also sold the BIG PICTURE of other planes, God, heaven, better lives, etc.
I made the error of trying to take it head on. You cant. As KIK says, you have to break it down. Look for the VALUE that will most impress them if it is not upheld rather than the logic of their position. For example, what if it turned out Serge wasnt as pure white as they think? What if you could show them that Serge’s past incarnations were people of Science and not gooblygook. I think you need to take the time to look at Alice Bailey’s crazy books to get an idea of the background of Serge’s thinking to try and see gaps to de construct the parts that they are attracted to. Perhaps if you can take 1 foundation out of the picture, the rest might unravel itself over time. I think it is important not to criticise them or Serge directly as this brings on defensivness ( which actually indicates they have something to protect) but rather find those small things that will resonate the most. There is also some good posts in other parts of this site from counsellors on how to help bring back critical thought to people affected. I am still trying with my ex by the way. Our 2 lovely kids keep me motivated as I guess your family will also. good luck.
HerbertKane178: I agree, the head on approach bears no fruit, but softly, softly is the way ahead. Just be loving as normal and when the time arrises naturally, a good discussion can ensue. As COncerened says, cults brainwash members in to particular thought patterns, but these can be undone, and once that proces starts, the rest will, hopefully, unravel very quickly. Having other family members and friends informed is always a good idea, so try and educate all those around the member with the truth of the situation. That way you are not alone in dealing with this, and your loved one/ones will see that it is not just you that thinks UM is harmful. If everyone around them is being loving and also softly questioning things it creates an atmosphere of safety that can allow the member to feel it is ok to step back and see the reality of their situation. After all, if everyone they have known and loved all their life is questioning their actions, surely this must be something worth taking account of.
It’s not easy, it really isn’t, and as had been said on here many times before, it’s heartbreaking to see Serge & UM sit back and allow so many relationships to fail and families break up as a result of his teachings. His use of the words “truth” and love” are truly hypocritical.
Knowledge_is_king: Hey trackandfield,
Thanks mate, yeah I know the feeling, my nature is similar to yours and it takes a lot of effort not to get emotional and descend into all out verbal war, but I’ve found if anything they just react by saying you’re negative and use it against you to prove their point… which although they are insane turns out pretty counterproductive and puts you on the backfoot the next time you have a chat.
I know the feeling that if you don’t get them out now then they’ll continue to slip away. It’s what motivated me to try and go all out. But then I started to see it as a bit of a see-saw. At the moment on the one side you’ve got Serge and his cronies, and the percentages of your loved ones that they’ve given over; on the other you’ve got you, everyone on this forum and our comments, your support network, hopefully some other family and friends and the percentages of your loved ones that are still living in the real world. Bit by bit with each good, meaningful, calm chat, you only need to get through a bit and the momentum against Serge should hopefully start to grow.
I guess it also depends on the individual and where they are at obviously there are some strong-minded and weak-minded people in general terms, but if you get blind-sided but something like this at a time when you’re more malleable, like after a tragedy, your sick and desperate for an answer any answer that the doc’s can’t give, even strong-minded I guess can be sucked in.
In terms of how I’m going with my brother, I’m going quite well with him, started out very full on with the questioning and books and the evidence and the forum posts just basically ramming it down his throat, didn’t get the reaction I was after. He started trying to respond with a bunch of Serge babble which only made me worse. Then we didn’t talk for a couple of weeks, and I was freaking out sure he was going to ‘drink the kook-aid’ at any moment.
Then one day out of the blue he picked up the phone and said look I understand your concerns, I want to keep looking into this thing but I’m happy to talk sensibly with you about it.
So now that’s what we do, he still is involved and I can’t comment on whether he is more involved or less only that the channel of communication is open and bit by bit it feels like we’re getting him back. He’s eating more of his normal diet, exercising properly, and is a lot more involved in the family, on the other hand I can’t say the negative influences aren’t still there, he stills follows the sleep patterns, and he still speaks highly of Serge and his ideas.
But in my own case, I feel like it is more important to build a really supportive, trusting relationship with him as the first priority, freeing him from Serge’s influence being the second priority, and I just hope and pray that our brotherly bond, as well as logic and intelligent dialogue will be stronger in the end.
And when I’m not doing that I am investing a lot of time behind the scenes putting pressure on Serge at every level that I can think of in the hope that we can build up a tidal wave of unrest against him and that he will be forced to make a really big mistake, come clean, change his ways, give up, or be publicly scrutinised by the press, or legislated against.
But at the end of it all there is nothing particularly special about Serge and if my brother is malleable to the works of someone like Serge, then Serge is the smaller problem the bigger problem is filling the need that exists within my brother and your family members with something more reliable, trustworthy, down to earth and GOOD.
Whatever approach you go with champ, it would be awesome if you can me (us) in the loop so that we can each benefit from each others success and failures.
And finally just want to say thanks to everyone posting up in here with your intelligent thoughts, findings, interpretations and experiences as it has really help to give me a bigger picture of what is really at play here.
What this hinges on for me is information, we need to know more about this subject than anyone else – especially Serge – this is what our family and friends are after, they have chosen to accept Serge’s incorrect, misleading, misinterpreted non-answers, then it is up to us to give them the awkward truth.