"A cult, is a cult, is a cult"

Byron Echo--Byron Bay, Australia, April 11, 2000
By Adam Blanch

Letters to the Editor

In response to last week's letters attempting to vindicate the Endeavor Academy from its cult status.

Upon arriving in Byron I spent a couple of weeks at the Miracle Farm and I have no hesitation in calling it a cult (having run into several of them in my own search for truth over the years).

I was summarily ejected from Endeavor for expressing my anger and disagreement with some of the teachings and practices. So much for this ridiculous claim of democracy. Equally laughable is to refer to the environment of fear, repression and codependency that has been established there as a "bona fide academic and spiritual institution."

It is nothing more than a cult driven by a handful of dominant personalities declaring themselves to be "awakened minds." Its adherence to the teachings of "A Course In Miracles" ranges between nominal and non-existent.

It has all the hallmarks of a true cult. Encouraging its members to surrender all their wealth and isolate themselves from the world - thereby creating financial and emotional dependence. Ruthlessly crushing all philosophical debate, objection and individual dissension. I was in fact, present to see one of last week's letter writers viciously ridiculed and shamed by Hector for participating in an "unsanctioned" spiritual activity.

I personally know two people, and know of several others, who have had to be hospitalized in mental institutions as a direct result of their participation. I also know many other Byron locals who, like me, will cross the street to avoid being preached at and verbally attacked by these people.

To seek others to agree with our world view and support us in our beliefs would appear to be part of the human condition. However, to use the given words of God to use other people's fears, insecurities and guilt to get them to comply with our doctrine seems to me vicious and reprehensible.

Last week's letter writers tried to disguise their grievance with Ian Hamilton as some form of pity or tolerance. Let me express mine more directly. As with the recently famous Golden Phoenix scheme--I consider every participant in this fraudulent "academy" [sic] completely responsible and accountable for its actions.

I consider [their] continued efforts to involve others in your codependent cult, supposedly acting as "teachers of God" and "saviors of the world." completely vicious and unloving.

To my community I say beware. In Hector you have a prodigious intelligence, reputedly trained in the American legal system, and well versed in many theologies, philosophies and doctrines. He is an expert at group control, individual manipulation, and inducing altered states of consciousness. He is also a megalomaniac who's benevolence is, in my opinion, highly questionable.

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