John-Roger Revisited

For 13 years I was a devoted member of MSIA and a minister who served on the Ministerial Board for a number of years. Without ever entering the inner sanctum of preferred devotees (I questioned everything as John-Roger originally suggested we do, and I was not a celebrity), I saw and heard a great deal, nonetheless.

Your article was the tip of a very large iceberg that has hurt many people in various ways. Although John-Roger taught us to avoid spiritual manipulation at all costs, he apparently did not include himself in his teachings.

Why did I say in MSIA for 13 years? Because I was lonely, and because his teachings were simple, clear and devoid of manipulation at the beginning. They changed when Russell Bishop brought his version of Lifespring Training to a group of MSIA ministers and John-Roger took it over and promoted it as his idea, calling it Insight Training Seminars. As the money began to roll in, John-Roger became more inaccessible, and his aphorisms changed from “Help yourself so you can help others” to “Use everything to your advantage.” He certainly has.



Santa Monica