Airr logo

Talk to your podcasters

More than a podcast player

The Unmistakable Creative Podcast

The Cult of Personal Development: Indoctrination

Srinivas Rao

Ariela Sarai

The Unmistakable Creative Podcast

The Cult of Personal Development: Indoctrination

The Cult of Personal Development: Indoctrination With Ariela Sarai

Srinivas Rao · 6/21/21

Have you ever experienced a situation similar to the one that RL was in? Do you think you might be in one now? If so, I'd like to hear your questions, your insights, and your thoughts about this.

Ariela Sarai · 6/21/21

Hi. I welcome all of your questions. What else would you like to explore about how indoctrination is affecting you, your loved ones and the world.

Noah Putnam · 6/21/21

So a lot of the abusive behavior that Riel was talking about happening to her at Avatar seemed like it would fall under the category of gas lighting behavior. And that's a term that's become a lot more popular over the past couple of years now. And I'm curious if you think that the popularization of concepts like gas lighting have made it harder to employ those kind of tactics against people, or whether those tactics have just evolved, and it's actually about the same. Thanks.

Noah Putnam

Gaslighting in Avatar

The Cult of Personal Development: Indoctrination With Ariela Sarai

Ariela Sarai · 6/21/21

I think that the awareness of gas lighting is having a good impact right now, particularly in the selfempowerment movement. It's actually becoming like a MeToo movement where lots of people are recognizing what's happening. I also think that we have a long way to go. A lot of people don't understand it. I do think I agree with you that the tactics are getting more and more advanced and sometimes harder to recognize. So I think we just need to keep talking about it, keep sharing our experiences and spreading awareness about the signs of gas lighting and also what the person who's being gas lighted might look for in themselves. So they know that they're in a situation that's not safe.

Srinivas Rao · 6/21/21

So this is something I've thought a lot about, just based on my own experiences with being part of something known as a seduction community, where you get more and more drawn into something where you go to solve one problem, and it just kind of becomes a Pandora's box in which you discover you have all these problems you didn't even know you had. And I think that's really common. And it's Unfortunately, a great way to keep people buying more and more stuff. And you might remember, Peter Shall actually said, one of the dark under values of the whole self improvement industry is that it's designed to basically sell people more self improvement. So I wanted to just see what all of you thought about this, because I think that there is a darker side to this when people aren't getting results. In fact, one of my friends said that you want people who give you anchors. And yet, at the same time, one of the most famous personal development leaders, Werner Erhard, who was the Landmark forum, says that we sell independence, but we breed dependence. So I'm curious to see what your own experiences have been with this.

Srinivas Rao

What starts as self help evolves into being indoctrinated into a system

The Cult of Personal Development: Indoctrination With Ariela Sarai

J S · 6/22/21

I have experienced such things, but I've always viewed it as a fact that it is a nature of the game. In other words, if you are a sports athlete, you take enormous amount of stress on your body and emotionally to reach a certain level of performance. And in my other areas of life, I'm also an athlete. I find that, you know, I just have to put up with this level of stress because this is high stakes game and I try to manage it in a healthy way. I can.

Ariela Sarai · 6/22/21

I'm glad you pointed that out. There is definitely a time and place for stretching yourself, even way past your limits. But what I was speaking to in the podcast is when somebody is manipulating you and you're not aware that you're being manipulated, and then you're stretching for their agenda, not yours. I consider that to be different, and I'm trying to educate people about that, and I think it's totally okay to stretch yourself as much as you want to for your own goals.

Ariela Sarai · 6/22/21

Thank you for your question. I actually don't think that it's the emotional pain itself that is productive or harmful. I personally believe that pain is an indicator of a situation that needs our attention. So I am a big advocate of always paying attention to and listening to your pain and acknowledging it and assessing the situation. So here are some questions I used to ask myself to see whether the pain is indicating growth or damage. Is there abuse in this situation? Is the situation aligned with my moral values? Am I hurting myself or anyone else in this situation? Does this situation call for a stretch that benefits me and or others? So those are just some possibilities. I'd love to hear your thoughts and other possibilities of questions, but my main point here is that the pain is the indicator. Pay attention to it, and it's really the situation that you need to make a decision about. I also want to let you know that I have a free gift on my website if you go to Ariella Sara Com Clarity course. And it actually provides a process for looking at feelings, of using them and processing them if you're interested.

Todd Brison · 6/28/21

Thanks so much for the great episode in Conversation Station Street is whenever I try to say your name the first time my phone heard it as, Hey, like that robot that answers the thing. So I thought that was interesting. In case you wanted to know it. My question is about this, the point you made about teachers in organizations cults like personal development appearing as these godlike figures, or, as you mentioned, the Halo around the head of someone on a forum. And people get into these, and they want that recognition. They want to be on stage. And then low and behold, these companies offer a path or a supposed path to that. And it reminds me of the creator economy, where someone might blow up on YouTube and do well with their content. And then the really lucrative part comes in teaching people how to start their own YouTube channels. So I'm curious as to your thoughts on that and where the boundaries are, if any.

Todd Brison

Teachers on teachers on teachers on teachers.

The Cult of Personal Development: Indoctrination With Ariela Sarai

Ariela Sarai · 6/28/21

Interesting question. I think that if somebody is doing what they love and marketing, it that's wonderful. However, when it turns into hypocrisy and all you're doing is marketing and you're not living the principles that you're marketing, that's the boundary for me. And that's what happened to me with Avatar. It started out a pursuit of enlightened living and really quickly turned into a pursuit of recruitment and nothing else. And there was a lot of hypocrisy in the organization that I tuned out and I was still marketing it. So really, that's the boundary for me. Are you living in any of their hypocrisy? I would watch out for those two things. Thanks.