Sunday, July 20, 2014

From Hare Krishna to Seventh Day Adventist, to Church of God, to Beatnik and Now to Buddha

The convoluted life of Eric King has taken another twist.  After spending a few years in the Hare Krishna movement King suddenly became an Adventist.  That lasted until he ticked off some members and leaders and he jumped to Armstrongism where there was money to be made. Recently however, he made a move into the Beatnik status and his blog disappeared and his COG related web site was taken over by his Beatnik exploits.  Now all of a sudden, that page is gone and he is back on the web site promoting Buddhism.

We teach that one must make the conscious decision to join his or her human spirit with God’s true Spirit of pure love and understanding. To become a true Christian one must be birthed through and in the power of Holy Spirit. In this article I would like to incorporate some of the philosophical insights of Buddhism into our understandings as COGSR members.-

Originally Buddhism was never a “religion” but instead it was a world view, more of a philosophy. When we look at what are called “The Four Noble Truths” of Buddhism we can find some correlations with COGSR & SOCT teachings which are beneficial to our spiritual understandings.

The first “Noble Truth” is the fact that all life faces and experiences SUFFERING.
The second “Noble Truth” of Buddhism is that CRAVING causes all suffering.
The third “Noble Truth” is to find the “cessation of suffering”.
Another interesting teaching in Buddhism is the idea that “self” is an illusion.
Buddha found out some things that helped him deal with getting over all the suffering. These became codified in what is known as the “eightfold path” of Buddhism. I will here give a basic list of these eight findings:

1-Right understanding
2-Right thought
3-Right speech
4-Right action
5-Right livelihood
6-Right effort
8-Right concentration

So these are the eight life changes one must develop to experience “enlightenment” according to the Buddhist. These are vague statements without definition. However, if one studies the SOCT teachings along with the COGSR teachings one can discover how the Christian views the definition of this eightfold path. As COGSR students we do not separate the physical from the spiritual. Both the physical practices and the mental practices must be balanced.  

Another interesting teaching in Buddhism is the idea that “self” is an illusion. As Christians we would apply this aspect of Buddhism to what we call the “sinful self”, or “fallen self”. The fallen nature is indeed a trap and a “false self”. I hope to do some more articles regarding the teachings of Buddhism and Christianity. 

King started his exploration of Buddhism about three years ago.  He also decided at that time to stop associating with certain friends and to stop drinking alcohol.

One thing I would like to say here…a most important discovery that has unfolded to me over the past three years in this ministry. I have learned that sometimes we need to cut-ties with certain people in order to continue HEALTHY GROWTH. When I made the decision just about three years ago to be more specific in who I associate with I found that I became more creative in my personal life. I gained much wisdom and understanding. Believe it or not some people hold us back from doing what we really want to do…they may not be conscious of it but somehow we are letting them. To move away from such people can free us up to experience a more joyful life.

While I like to make fun of King, I do understand he is on a spiritual journey.  What is obvious is that he has never found a place to be at peace.  Armstrongism has the great reputation of making its followers feel like they are never quit good enough.  God is always pissed off about something.  Members can never do anything right and always need a more intelligent person to tell them what to believe.  As the months and years go by King will shape shift into another persona, and another, and another.  He obviously wants to enjoy life, but will never find happiness while in the clutches of Armstrongism or legalistic religion.

Its too bad Herman Hoeh is no longer around.  King could take to Hoeh about what it means to be a Buddhist.

Herman Hoeh Closet Buddhist
The Enigma of Herman Hoeh
Herman Hoeh Memorial


Byker Bob said...

I'll go along with the spiritual odyssey thing, and confess that, yes, I respect that, too. I mean, it's not as if I haven't been on my own multi stop odyssey.

But, he presumes to teach from each stop. What should his followers do? Shave their heads and run around in their robes and japflaps chanting, then go apocalyptic, keeping the sabbath and wearing business clothes, only to shed these for the long hair and fringed mocassins of a Native American, who then buys bongos and recites poetry in between sips of expresso, only to jetison that for Buddhist chants? The extremes are simply too radical for any sort of stable person to keep up with.

My advice to Eric would be to forego proselytizing or teaching at least until he becomes philosophically grounded. That is the only way to be fair about it and not jack people around. If he could post without coming off as some kind of know it all, wouldn't we welcome some sincere comments from him here?


DennisCDiehl said...

To me...King is a classic seeker. While eclectic in his views at least he is not narrow in them which, again to me, is more a killer of the spirit than taking in the bigger picture of belief.

He is on a journey. Perhaps his weakness is not being quiet to himself about it but that I also understand. Pearl of great price approach and all that. Sometimes one just feels compelled to share what they think is important, interesting and meaningful. Doing so can open you up to the criticism of others but is a risk one is willing to take.

The guy feels familiar to me! LOL

As for Dr. Hoeh, he was on the same journey but stuck in the paradigms of his generation , experiences and of course, the WCG and his place in it. He, like others, fell out of WWII and their experience with it into what must have sounded wonderful compared to what they just went through.

As Dr.Hoeh,the seeker, the stress and drama of WCG pushed him to seek some inner peace from all the outer turmoil. This man seems familiar to me as well. Anyone that can't be given pause for thought on the impermanance of EVERYTHING and that grasping, clinging and attachment can be the source of great suffering must live in a cocoon.

For example, The Armtrongs and most of those who were the young and the restless to usher in the Kingdom of God and preach the soonness of it are quite dead. Even more...Gerald Waterhouse was very wrong , as we suspected, about the permanance of "Mr. Urmstrong." Gerald Waternouse is also long dead.

So I cut King some slack for his seeking and not finding. Usually when we think we find, we end up seeking again a bit later.

Buddhism also says, "He who says, does not know. He who knows does not say." Not easy and always a challenge to me at least but getting better and better at it.

Black Ops Mikey said...

9-Right out of his mind.

Herman Hoeh - Corporate lackey inventing "proofs" for a system he knew was wrong, seeking his peace in Thailand boys as a pedophile: Reference for information related to ACoG sexual and family abuse -- let's start taking the Armstrongists to task for their oppression and get legal sanction against them so the abuse will end.

And for those seekers of truth, the only thing we want to hear from them during their journey is what proof they have found that what they previously believed was wrong -- it's the only useful thing they can objectively offer us so we won't make the same mistakes they made in their empty fruitless journey. Until then, they can shut the heck up.

Anonymous said...

There's inherent problems in trying to find "The Big Truth"!

Does one REALLY think they've finally arrived at it?
Is one ignorant enough to feel the need to spread it to others?
Is one ignorant enough to get so defensive about it- becoming mean and going on the attack toward others who may rib them about their "Big Truth"?
If so, that's a big red flag, and is a 'tell' of how well their "Big Truth" has really improved [actually, "not improved"!] their life.

Cult members will also blame their shortcomings on their "not doing the cult's work diligently enough", too- although that's more often internal and unspoken, since cult members don't like to show others anything that may make their cult look bad.

DennisCDiehl said...

PS I feel personally I have moved on in "teaching" anyone one anything about parts of my own journey endeavoring to understand what it was about the Bible, it's orgins, politics, intent , characters and such that I missed the first time around. If I had not missed then what I feel I know for myself now about such things , I'd not have the same past with all it's experiences , mistakes and drama that went with it.

Thanks for letting me process much publically, but in all sincerity, that need, whether compulsive or "hey look at this", advised or ill advised has passed.

As Bill Hicks noted, and to me this so,

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Bill Hicks > Quotes > Quotable Quote

“The world is like a ride in an amusement park, and when you choose to go on it you think it's real because that's how powerful our minds are. The ride goes up and down, around and around, it has thrills and chills, and it's very brightly colored, and it's very loud, and it's fun for a while. Many people have been on the ride a long time, and they begin to wonder, "Hey, is this real, or is this just a ride?" And other people have remembered, and they come back to us and say, "Hey, don't worry; don't be afraid, ever, because this is just a ride." And we … kill those people. "Shut him up! I've got a lot invested in this ride, shut him up! Look at my furrows of worry, look at my big bank account, and my family. This has to be real." It's just a ride. But we always kill the good guys who try and tell us that, you ever notice that? And let the demons run amok … But it doesn't matter, because it's just a ride. And we can change it any time we want. It's only a choice. No effort, no work, no job, no savings of money. Just a simple choice, right now, between fear and love. The eyes of fear want you to put bigger locks on your doors, buy guns, close yourself off. The eyes of love instead see all of us as one. Here's what we can do to change the world, right now, to a better ride. Take all that money we spend on weapons and defenses each year and instead spend it feeding and clothing and educating the poor of the world, which it would pay for many times over, not one human being excluded, and we could explore space, together, both inner and outer, forever, in peace.”

Anonymous said...

In case Eric is here, I'd like to make a suggestion.

Maybe Tom Waits knows what will quench Eric King's appetite. !

Anonymous said...

Spiritual journey my fat behind.
He seems bipolar.
People on real spiritual journeys do not jump around like they have a hot foot.

Anonymous said...

Dennis said: "Thanks for letting me process much publically, but in all sincerity, that need, whether compulsive or "hey look at this", advised or ill advised has passed. "

That may be true Dennis, but I should point out that your public processing has also helped others, such as myself, sort through the traumatic experiences of growing up in the WCG. I can say without any doubt your writings, along with those of Gavin and another individual, kept me from turning into the next Terry Ratzmann (which is what would have happened in the long-term if I had stayed in the xCG world) or from suicide (which is what would have happened in the short-term as I struggled with coming to terms how everything I had been taught was a lie.)

I might still off myself one day, maybe one day soon even, given how events in my life have really gotten so bad, but if I do at least it won't be because I feel I'm "not good enough."

Anonymous said...

He embraces Armstrongism and in very short order he is the only true continuation of the former WCG. That is some arrogance demonstrated there.

DennisCDiehl said...

Anon said:

"That may be true Dennis, but I should point out that your public processing has also helped others, such as myself, sort through the traumatic experiences of growing up in the WCG. I can say without any doubt your writings."

Suicide, I learned myself, is a short term solution to a long term problem. It's where I learned to think and real-ize that we all HAVE a story, but we are not our story.

Most of things everyone learns in life about how it all is, is untrue and "a lie". WCG did not invent misinformation, mistakes and misunderstandings. Churches are belief factories which, as "organized" will mean they probably are not truth seekers. Individuals seek truth. Organized churches seek conformity and same-speak to preserve itself.

If you'd like to talk sometime, please feel free to call. Email me at and I can give you my cell number.

Hang in.. It's just a ride

Anonymous said...

Depression, the number one cause of suicide, can be treated and managed just like the dude in A Beautiful Mind was able to do with his illness.

Humans are capable of self-terminating, but it's not a good idea. First, every surviving friend and family member goes through horrible guilt. Irrational? Yes. Reality is they couldn't have done anything, anyway. But, knowing that in the logical part of the brain doesn't stop the pain or the irrational guilt. You really wouldn't want to deliberately inflict this massive, totally avoidable pain on the people you love! It is a mind-fuck that sticks like the worst booger!

Suicide also makes people re-evaluate the suicide's entire life, often with the realization that something was deeply wrong right from the very beginning. Rather than being remembered for achievements, the person is remembered as a tragic figure, weak or damaged. Much better for self and others to hang in there and to keep fighting towards victory.

Unfortunately, one suicide can possibly set off a chain reaction. Others who were close to the departed will sometime choose the same path, multiplying the pain and grief. I've known several families who were just wracked with this, including that of my best friend.

So, Anonymous, I'd like to recommend that you make a conscious decision to get help. You have value and unique talents as a human being! Dennis has reached out to you, and he's got experience that most of us don't. Call him! He's one of the good ones.

Anonymous said...

When I attended a wedding, some years ago, the bride's brother and I spoke, and he expressed misgivings similar to those that of our commenter expressed-
He was extremely uncomfortable realizing the idea that what he had grown up believing in wasn't really true. At the time, all I could answer him was basically saying that there are other takes on "the truth" compared with what he grew up with.

Perhaps I should have empathized with him more. Or, had said better words.
All I know is that a few weeks later he died when he hit a tree on his motorcycle while driving at a very high rate of speed.
Some in his family called it suicide, but we really don't know.

I wish we could always be able to help those who need it.

Byker Bob said...

10:42, what you described is without a doubt tragic. The family could know their motorcyclist relative better than friends and aquaintances, or they could be injecting their own prejudices into this event. Unfortunately, statistics involving motorcycles and high rates of speed are not good or encouraging. Irregardless of time and circumstance or couched motive, a person no longer walks amongst us.

I agree, it would be awesome if somehow we could reach people with just the right new perspective and make that critical difference in their lives, at a stategic moment. That is something that is seemingly not universally permitted, although there are sometimes special circumstances and special people. Most problems that affect humans (including Armstrongism!) are totally fixable, but we can also psych ourselves out, immunizing ourselves against the solutions that other people with different attitudes have been able to successfully employ.

Unblocking a tunnel, enabling someone to once again see light rather than focusing on the barrier or blockage, can make a difference.