He heard a talk by Rama. Said that they should shut up, get with the program. Rama told the group he could do miracles, had powers, he was enlightened, levitated, was a very intelligent speaker, and funny, too. Now Mark knows about hypnosis, but at the time did not realize what was really happening. Rama could encourage you to search, would help you.
He decided to move to L.A. and was accepted as one of Rama's students. He became a nurses aid. Started studying the word processor. Had wanted to be a writer, but wasn't very good. Instead he became a programmer. Rama weeded out people from the group and so you were made to feel special. He fed your ego. Said, "Check for yourself. See if I'm right. Wear the right clothes. Find a good job." It creates trust in you.
Mark said that it was not so much that it was better, but that it was different. He was most interested in meditation. Rama said they would vibrate faster than others and so were more sensitive, and being around others would hurt. The faster you vibrate the more painful. He noticed that when he called his parents it was painful. It was later on they got into demonic possession. Rama said if you believe, you are willing to go through anything because he will help and look out for your welfare. Compared it to building a house of rock - tearing it down - put the stones back and start all over again. Mila Raba. Really came to believe they were vibrating faster, that they were having sex with entities on the dream plane.
Rama told them if they left studying now, when you die you will reincarnate in a very low world - this life is low - but it gets lower; so fear for your immortal soul.
In October 1989 Mark went to Nepal and the Himalayas. He was gone three weeks. He Wrote Rama that he wanted to take six months off. Rama called him and talked him into coming back, but he left the group three or four months after he came back.
He has been out of the group for a year and feels that he is doing all right, although he has had no counselling. Around the end of January, 1990, Rama told his group he wanted one hundred and twenty of them to pay him two hundred and fifty thousand dollars by March 21, 1991. That group would be called "Infinity Plus Consulting." He suggested they complete a consulting company, that they could set one up to earn one or two million a year. One hundred and twenty students had to come up with $50,000 in a year. That group would be called "National Personal and Professional". Those who could not come up with $50,000 could go back to the regular group. He could raise your power and give you more energy. Then the higher you can go spiritually. Rama told them he was tired of amateur cultists and they should see if they could do it. "Come up with the money, or, when you die, you will go to hell."
In March Rama started a new company and took eighty of his most aggressive students on a desert trip. He talked about the money he wanted from the students by March of 1991. Last June he raised the monthly cost to $4,000 and also $1,000 a month for having dinner with Rama. He always wanted a cashier's check or cash for payment. He said money had bad vibrations, especially small bills.
Mark said he would be happy to talk with people, and we need to find students who will say they were defrauded. Some told Rama they could not deduct payments on their tax return for education or religion. They were told to call is a seminar, learning business skills. "However, if you feel you may be audited, be careful."
Last year Rama told his students to buy the 300 model Mercedes, which costs up to $50,000...the color did not matter. He did not want anyone to buy the 500 model because he drove that.
Mark was asked if he had kept in touch with his family. He said not often, but he did. It was always running around in his mind. He did not write them for a year or a year and a half and moved a lot. He did phone or write occasionally. Rama said he wanted them to break relationships with families and friends very early in February, 1990. He wanted Mark to break relationship with his girl. Mark felt all along that life should include some fun and was not happy with the idea. He had several girlfriends involved in the group while he was in it, and that is one reason why they told him about their experiences with Rama.
Rama sent "The Debs Group" to Seattle. Mark was angry. He thought the girls were okay and should not have to move. Mark knew some people who became psychologically unbalanced. Rama bragged they were going to destroy Microsoft.
Somewhere in that time period Rama said he was sick of all of them, that he had almost died trying to get them out of the lower occult, and they would have to pay. He raised the fee to $2,500 a month. It had been $1,500 in 1989, then in October it went up to $2,000 a month, then later $5,000 a month. We all wondered about the cost. Mark said one could better understand what was happening in the group by reading "1984" by George Orwell. After the seminars they talked about positive things.
Mark was asked why he decided to get out of the group. He said Rama told them he was sick of their saying they had good intentions and how hard they worked, what he wanted was results. Mark thought about what results he had for all those years with Rama.. he had friends who went insane. "I looked at his teachings more thoughtfully."
He said Rama had sex with his female students. A number of them told Mark Rama said they needed the special experience of having sex with him. Rama was after any pretty girl in the group. Mark felt it ranked about the same as a preacher or doctor having sex with someone he was supposed to be helping. It was like his one day telling them they should not eat or drink certain things, then turning around and telling them they should eat red meat, drink coffee, etc....the exact opposite of what he had said before.
Mark and his fiance, Grace, are now in Mesa, for a number of reasons, and plan to get married soon. Grace was in the group too. Rama did not encourage the relationship at all. Discussed business only. Mark said he was more rebellious than a lot of members. Was afraid of what would happen to him for a while after he got out. Did not say anything to anyone about what happened. He had introduced a few others to the group who became members, and felt they should know why he left. He made sure his friends who he had gotten involved in the group all left. Said a lot of people have doubts but are afraid to leave. Said a year has passed since he got out and he is okay.
Mark personally knew a couple of the women who had sex with Rama. One was an old girl friend. Had a detailed description of what happened. As time goes on the girls feel they had been raped and ripped off. Barbara....was abused. Said it was weird. Rama said God would want that. She felt "ego" at the moment, thought it would lead to enlightenment.
Mark still meditates but not the way Rama says to do it. He prays. He decided to go where he was directed and then he met Rama.
Mark thinks others are more afraid of Rama than he was. Or, others think Rama has something they want. Mark says he is not really a fearful person. He wrote strong letters to Rama after he got out. Said "If you can destroy heaven, earth, and hell worlds, I don't believe you are enlightened. I was lucky to get out."
It all sneaks up on you gradually, Mark says. Rama teaches that others can steal power from you. You become paranoid of people in the group and think they will steal each other's power. People who have the strongest line and know how to steal power, when it leaves that is your "life force", so you will die. It is dog eat dog. People around you are trying to drain your energy. You become possessed and are told that if you can grow spiritually you can reincarnate in a heaven world.
Mark knew Brian. They moved at about the same time to the same places - California, Virginia, Boulder/Denver, Boston and New York. They might even have been roommates for a short time. Mark moved so many times it got to be a blur. He went across the country six or seven times. He said Brian is one of Rama's bodyguards, maybe one of the junior ones. He said he was and "administrator" for a bit, was making $100,000 a year, and felt that was a sort of special job. You have to find strength in yourself to get out, nobody else has the answer. He recommended reading Steve Hassan's book. Mark found it very helpful to read it. He said members who were kidnapped by their parents and forced into deprogramming were trained not to listen to negative input and can just push it out. You can close your mind and not hear what is being said. Said he does not think kidnapping someone and trying to deprogram them works out well. He did not think it would work with Brian.
Mark applied the principle to Rama. Could you dissect Rama? As a Christian he was involved in EST, another Buddhist group. Rama kept them so busy and tired and working maybe twelve, fourteen or fifteen hours a day trying to come up with all the money he wanted Mark could not do productive thinking.
He talked about Joe Szimhart who was on the TV program "Current Affair" with Rama in 1988. The group was told Joe was a "bad guy". Now that Mark has talked to him he thinks he is down to earth and likeable. Joe was in a cult and has been through it all himself.
Personal freedom is the most important thing. How do you spot mind control? It is something you need to know.
He said Rama told them being in his group was like the USMC boot camp. Mark told Rama: "This is harder than the Marine Corps." Said it is a credit to Brian's intestinal fortitude that a year ago when Mark last saw him he was okay. He knew others who committed suicide. His house-mate was a karate black belt who went insane. He had a personal friend that Rama made Mark tell he had to leave the group. Some of the group took up a collection, bought him a ticket to Hawaii, and gave him $1,500. They never heard from him afterward and he doesn't know what happened to him. It was psychologically a bad thing. Rama leaves them with a glimmer of hope that they might be able to somehow get back into the group. So they put all their energy into trying to do just that.
Mark says he likes Doreen Lever. He said he would not want her against him. He has met some very good people and did learn how to make a good living in the business world. He has a copy of the "Lenz-Watch Report" and thinks it is very accurate. One flaw is that he does not think the women in the group are dowdy. He thinks they are well dressed, well spoken, beautiful, some are ex-models and have spent $500 on make-up classes, buy expensive dresses and suits, and are professional looking, well-to-do career girls. Rama tell them they are more powerful and they look like high quality.
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