What is dissociative disorder and why is it relevant to spirituality?

Dissociating is a state of mind when someone’s awareness disconnects from their surroundings. It is usually in response to trauma or sensory deprivation, and common in PTSD. People who were chronically abused as children slip into these states very easily and in severe forms the disconnection occurs intrusively, affecting their sense of self within normal daily activity. Victims of chronic abuse often describe the sensations as: floating; out of body; amnesia; being the passenger in one’s body, not the driver; a sense that they do not recognize themselves in the mirror, recognize their face, or simply feel not “connected” to their bodies in ways which are challenging to articulate; discontinuities in conscious awareness; a feeling of traveling in and out of time; and remembering the future (a first-person narrative reflection on a victim of child abuse: http://workspacestopthestorm.wordpress.com/storiesfrommychildhood/).

Many of the “states” that cultist JZ Knight teaches her adherents to achieve are dissociative states, emphasizing that they are “spiritual experiences.” RSE retreats are often prolonged periods of sensory deprivation, referred to as “the disciplines.” However, when similar techniques are used in fascist regimes or on prisoners of war, it is considered abuse.

It is possible that JZ Knight is a victim of repeated childhood abuse and is intimately familiar with those states of mind for that reason. It is possible that she is using sensory deprivation and other mind-numbing techniques, such as repetitive mantras and holotropic-based breathing techniques, to bring others to dissociative states, which only shuts off higher cognitive functions and do not affect external physical reality in any way under the guise of spirituality.

When higher cognitive functions such as evaluating, risk assessment and reasoning are shut off, it is possible that Knight is able to repetitively expose her audience to messages of fear, abuse, unworthiness and self-loathing.

This could explain why the hate speech, released in the now famous video by Virginia Coverdale, was seen by RSE adherents as defensible: They are accustomed to it and are indoctrinated to believe it is for their own good.

It is possible those members are now dependent on Knight for guidance to achieve the states they believe are necessary to evolve beyond their limitations, like detaching from emotions and bodily functions. This is their definition of “enlightenment.” Their salvation lies in now self-imposed sensory deprivation to achieve dissociation.

But it is also possible that they are being led to make an empty grab at magic, and sacrificing their health, well being and lives for it.

For more information, please see related links on the blog www.predatorpray.com.

Further info: The Krippner research paper from 1997 that Knight claimed proved she was not “a fake” was simply a psychological assessment for dissociative qualities on a handful of RSE students.

No claims were made about Knight’s authenticity. You can read the complete text at: http://enlightenmefree.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=28&t=1615.

Elizabeth Kriesten

New York

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(23) comments


Here is yet another example of distortion and ignorance.

First of all, I’d like to know what Ms. Elizabeth Kriesten’s credentials are…is she a psychologist or psychiatrist, a neural researcher? What credentials give her opinion about dissociative states any merit?

So, let’s address the basics: first off for the term “abuse” to be applicable, participants would have to be forced against their will to engage in these disciplines. At RSE no one is ever forced to do anything. Participation at events and in any activities is strictly by choice.

Secondly, Ms. Kriesten seems to be unaware that there is a huge difference between “dissociative states” and a dissociative “disorder.” We all experience dissociative states frequently throughout the day…one such example being called “daydreaming!”

Many spiritual and cultural groups throughout history have taught how to use dissociative states to enable those interested to access different levels of consciousness, either to make use of extrasensory abilities or to facilitate meaningful spiritual experiences. Sufi dancing is one example of this where participants danced for long hours in order to induce a trance state that allowed them to have a deeper level of communion with their spiritual self.

Perhaps Ms. Kriesten is ignorant of the existence of the Monroe Institute and many, many other organizations (including our own government) that teach willing participants how to induce dissociative states for very beneficial purposes. Our own governments Remote Viewing programs used such training.

I highly suggest before swallowing more disinformation aimed at discrediting RSE, that Ms. Kriesten and others read the following well-footnoted paper on the subject. I am sure they will find it quite illuminating.



“Other theorists, however, have pointed out that dissociation in general and the near death
experience in particular may well serve to connect consciousness to other realities.( 4) It has
become increasingly appreciated that the majority of dissociative clinical conditions do not represent pathology.”


I'll show you Liz's credentials when you show me JZs to tell people to go on Prozac, that red wine can not hurt them, the drinking a concotion with red devil lye is safe, ...does she have a meducal degree?


I'm just a reader. When I read and re-read items that seem to want to destroy a person or a group of people, I always ask myself 'why.' What is to be gained? It's a personal 'hit' of adrenaline. Do you know how deadly that of itself is to your body? Know how hard on the adrenals that is?? I do, I'm an RN.
All I can say is that I have lived here for 15 years and no one has ever approached me to join in anything, most especially a (and I really do not like this word) 'cult.' I have free will. I go to and fro wherever I choose. I make my own rules in my own life.
What I CAN say is that Yelm has gown so much since I moved here that it has more than tripled it's own space. How could that be if the economy has not been assisted with gifting,
donations etc. from those living here, shopping, and going to this school? The city itself has so much money each year to expand Yelm far beyond a normal growing pattern!? Why? Show me the city's records of sales vs. their budgets.
Why can't people walk in nature and just be happy? If love is the ultimate in one's life, then even walking in nature is an act of that! Why so much rage, anger, hate and attitude when no one here is being taken to a FEMA camp. That's what you may want to worry and fret about some day.
Grow a pair people and let live. Take all of that hate and turn it into self
love!! Do you think the people being inundated over and over with the weather in the midwest and northeast are sitting at their dinner tables (oh, I forgot, they may no longer have dinner tables or homes for that matter) are spewing rage and hate for their fellowmen and women??
And yes, don't ask me where free speech is, as I understand we all have it, but it must be a very slow news day when this topic is regurgitated so much.
To the editors, I say this to you. You are as much to blame for this hate cycle living on day to day. You choose to keep printing it, and I would take one guess and say it's for the ratings!


@Bigblue ; I've been in this are over 30 years. The followers of "Ramtha"
which is copyrighted by RSE and JZ Knight inc, are following a group that is part of a "cult" in all the sense of the word. You can wander this city with your eyes closed for 15 years and that is fine. I have never been approached by one to join but will not sit still while they take advantage of innocent people that get trapped by JZ's "channeling" and getting them drunk on Wine at these "shows". Get the history of JZ knight and you can spend hours of great humor and sadness reading all the story's of students current and former.. Since you are an RN, I am surprised that you are not concerned about the health ( Mental and Physical ) of these people. This is your community also so I would suggest doing research. I will not go away fighting her and also saying prayers for those who are trapped by her. Read more at her website and make up your own mind: http://www.ramtha.com/


Oh, and one other thing: Repetitive prayer, chanting, and many of the ceremonies and rituals used in Christian (and other) religious practice (especially the more esoteric sects) are geared to help their adherents accomplish dissociative states... for "spiritual" goals.
"Some charismatic Christians practice ecstatic states (such as "being slain in the Spirit") and interpret these as given by the Holy Spirit." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_ecstasy)

And here is another study on the subject: http://www.marshall.edu/jrcp/VE13%20N1/jrcp%2013%201%20thomason.pdf


It's the only open door, come and go as you want, fee based, voluntary participation "cult" that I've ever heard of. You need to find another word than cult if you want to start off with any credibility.[smile]


Jason, it is your comment that has no credibility. Most all cults appear to be voluntary but once indoctrinated there is no leaving...not easily as hundreds who did eventually pry themselves away came to realize. First you have to accept the loss of your entire community. Second you have to live through the fear that all the current members may still have a key to survival techniques for the calamities the cult leader predicted...then you must be attacked in comments such as yours and by lawyers from the cult leader if you dare to speak out about the dangerous practices. If people are willing to drink Red Devil Lye at the cult leaders command they are pretty darn indoctrinated and afraid of leaving. Yes yes, they all appear to be so voluntary. They all say "no seat belts here" but of course they baa baa baa away and keep giving JZ more and more money. I mean you guys with all your enlightenment could just ignore the people who are speaking out...why so defensive? Can't the 35,000 year old enlightened master who teaches on many universes simultaneously take care of "him" self? Why are you so embarrassed that the whole town finally understands you are in a cult. If you think you are not great...why do you care so much what others think when "ramtha" told you not to. Why didn't you all "create a day" with no bad press. If your manifesting is slipping don't blame us. Aren't you taught not to be a victim? Yet you all feel so victimized by the ex followers and the media. I admit it must be kinda hard to follow a leader that claims she creates her day and her copyrighted character claims she is the next Christ when all she does is call her lawyers to fix her problems. It must give you pause. In any case...you really don't have to attack the Christians to prove you are not a cult...the next church that hands out Red Devil Lye I PROMISE you I will expose and protest. Just let me know when that happens.


There really seems to be no end to your hypocrisy. Let's see, when anyone speaks out to counter your lies about the school, they are being "defensive,' but when you speak out to defend yourself and promote your retaliatory agenda (ie the numerous lies you've been caught in) then you are a hero?

And when anyone here disagrees with you they are "attacking" you? I read Jason's comment and there is no attack in it of any sort. This just goes to show that you are the one being defensive. It's convenient to say you've been victimized and blame others for your problems...then you don't have to take responsibility for them yourself.

People are speaking up for RSE for one reason only...because they have found great value in what they've learned there and don't want to let someone who has a well-established track record of lying and dishonorable behavior defame something they care about...for your own very personal reasons. It is not a matter of "defending" JZ or Ramtha, but standing up to a group of people that are now bullying current students. And you and your group are being manipulated by political entities you are apparently completely unaware of, to attack something many others find of great value. I stood up for Planned Parenthood too....when their funding was being threatened by "good Christians," the extreme right wing fundamentalists...so I suppose now you'd say they are a "cult" too?

You can say the word all day long (and you certainly seem to), but that does not make it the truth.

And you can blather on endlessly about "Red Devil Lye" but you know it's meaningless because there are too many people that know it's a desperate attempt on your part to cause harm to the school and students that are very happy to have the opportunity to learn there. And perhaps you need to stop using soap when you shower...because then one could say that you are bathing with "poison" every day since soap is made with lye and putting something on your skin everyday certainly exposes you to it's effects.

Also, I think it bears repeating that while you so vehemently mouth your concern for current students who you say are being "victimized," I personally have heard you and your friends plotting to try to shut down the businesses of local students. Now there's some real loving Christian concern for others!

I've gone to college, been involved with various groups and organizations in my life both secular and spiritual, studied different religions, and have read about cults and how they operate. I even left an organization many years ago even though what I learned there was very valuable, when I saw that the leadership was behaving in a way I found unethical...so I know what that is like. (I did not however have the need like you, to try and discredit or destroy that organization or the people that chose to stay there.) I've also been a student at RSE and no one EVER told me to drink poison or that I had to do anything at all...it was all completely voluntary. I have not feared the loss of anything when I chose not to participate in the school, because I was not there for social reasons, but to learn....and I learned greatly and feel it has been nothing but a huge benefit to my life. I don't blame my personal challenges on the school, or on my parents, or on anyone else because that is what being a mature grownup is about...taking responsibility for yourself and your life...not blaming others. And for all of your distortions and untruths, there are many, many people like me who love RSE and are grateful that we had the opportunity to learn there.


So very well thought out and said Sunnyone! It's so great you should save it so you can copy and paste it. I'm sure it could be a time saver when this nonsense comes up again. [beam]


current students are being "bullyed" ...by whom? You mean truths are coming out and you are embarressed. I'm glad drinking poison seem like a voluntary act and that you had a choice whether to drink it or not that makes it all so much better. In America you can go wherever you want and do whatever you want but when your cult leader sues to keep the truth from coming out that is where we have a problem. The truth will come out ...the videos will go out ...all the information of all the financial scams will come out and we will do all we can to prevent new people from becoming indoctrinated. I am NOT a Christian and I don't know why you keep throwing the Christian religion in our face as if they have asksd their people to drink poison or invest in financial scams. Just keep throwing mud on other people to try and escape your own embarrassment. Blame the Christians...for JZ Knights illegal and dangerous activity...why? Blame politics which is ridiculous...this has nothing to do with politics....blame ex followers for speaking out about their experiences. How does any of this affect your spiritual journey? If it does you really should take a look at that.


one...name one lie I have ever told regarding RSE. two I may handle anti-freeze but I dont drink it...big difference between having something you touch and something you drink...by the way thanks for admitting this did actually happen...three the women who started planned parenthood was a proponent of eugenics and said her aim was to reduce the bkack population, not a great example...four we have all taken responsibility for our choices including being gullible enough to believe the lies we were told about JZ's bogus scientific studies etc etc etc...we feel that she bears responsibility for lying to her customers and we feel a for-profit corporation should bear some responsibility to be honest. I am NOT being used by a political party as you have been told by your cult leader. That's just one more lie you have believed. JZ wants everyone to think this is a political movement when it has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with the fact that she has lied to us and our loved ones for 3 decades. The only politicians we have an issue with are the ones that took large donations and lookef the other way...or worse colluded with JZK inc. Most ex followers are democrats so they have no issue with HONEST democratic leaders.


name one business of one follower that we tried to shut down...that is a total fabrication


Just leave JZ and the students alone. Go find your own life and live it to the fullest.

two Isles

"Perhaps Ms. Kriesten is ignorant of the existence of the Monroe Institute and many, many other organizations (including our own government) that teach willing participants how to induce dissociative states for very beneficial purposes. Our own governments Remote Viewing programs used such training."
Sunnyone, the 'Monroe Institute' is about equal to 'ramtha's School of Enlightenment';
neither are accredited, and both use the word 'consciousness' as if they were working with a proven scientific THING or idea.
Where is the syllabus or curriculum for this R$E?
It comes out of jz knight's brain a few days before a retreat.
This is not the norm in higher , accredited, education.

Furthermore, your references to induced ecstatic states is used in highly acclaimed studies in regards to cults.
See: Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism.
See: Malignant Pied Pipers of our Times.
These, I believe, are what Ms. Kriesten is writing in regards to.

One would have to read these papers to understand how much of the "participation" at the ranch is 'voluntary', much like people following orders in Germany or Jonestown or Heaven's Gate.


You might want to do a bit of reading up on the latest scientific papers on "consciousness" as it's apparent you are not well-versed in that area.

And the Monroe Institute is very well-respected and has many programs including research and well-laid out training programs.
The Forum is another organization that many people have found great benefit in...and they are not "accredited" in the way a college is because they are not colleges. To say that one can only gain great knowledge and experience through an "accredited" entity is ridiculous. And have you been to RSE...a beginning workshop for example? There very much is a curriculum as well as for the home study course...including suggested reading lists.

This is a directory of 7734 free online papers on consciousness in philosophy and in science, and of related topics in the philosophy of mind.


And here's one you might find interesting: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131017173646.htm

two Isles

Sunnyone: your remark: "You might want to do a bit of reading up on the latest scientific papers on "consciousness" as it's apparent you are not well-versed in that area" shows your assumptive capabilities.
I have nearly 2 decades of experience and study in regards to this 'consciousness' you speak of.
I am not wholly sure of why you are suggesting to me to read a reading list prescribed by jz knight who does not even hold a degree, nor a position of CEO other than her "for entertainment and profit" business. Why would I want to read a list of what SHE thinks is viable information when many of the books,
including Nine Faces of Christ, Masters of the Far East and The Red Lion are all works of fiction?
I have good sources that know jz knight said , "These works were inspired by ramtha."
If those suggested books are work of fiction (and they are),
why would a made-up, copyrighted character say he influenced books of this nature?
The conclusion in pretty obvious.


If you had bothered to click on the link and LOOK, you would have seen that these are research papers, studies, and articles written by scientists and psychologists, etc., about the nature of consciousness.....it's not a list of books. This is work I found on my own....not anything that was presented through RSE (that I know of anyway.)

So much for making assumptions.


Well, Virginia, just for starters you lied to a few folks saying that JZ ordered someone to be murdered...then got busted for it in court. You and your charming friends the Gensons were discussing how to shut down the Survival Center as well as going after other local student owned businesses....I personally witnessed the exchange...so no, it was not fabricated.

I am not embarrassed about anything to do with RSE, never drank any "poison"nor knew anyone who did, and since you apparently don't know, there is a food grade form of lye that is commonly used in food processing of many sorts. Also, the skin is known as the "Integumentary system" and is well known to be even more susceptible to toxins than ingesting in many cases....so again, you might want to stop using soap, lol!

I think as Jason pointed out...."where are all the dead bodies" if people were drinking the horrid "poison" you speak of? You know the school has been around for I think about 40 years now and no lineup of dead bodies to be found, just students worldwide that are excited and happy to be able to learn what is taught there.

You know, I don't fault anyone for deciding RSE is not for them....because everyone finds value in different traditions or schools of thought. What bothers me about you is that it's not enough for you to decide that you don't want to be there, you want to control all the rest of us. It's pretty funny that you accuse the school of being a cult and brainwashing people, but what's clear is that it's you and a few other angry, bitter and disturbed individuals that want to control everyone else's choices. Why can't you just live your life and let others live theirs?

And lastly, you might want to do a little research into the affiliations of some of your key EMF members. The last time I checked, there were at least two key people in your organization that were prominent members (committee chairs even) in The American Legislative Council (ALEC)...you know, the one that's been bribing legislators to get their model bills passed in every state? Yes, it has everything to do with politics.


Sunnyone and Jason54 are always for RSE and JZ Knight since you are followers and supporters of the Cult and members I don't know? Wake up to the World and accept that you have been fooled by a woman with mental problems and a real grifter indeed.

Thank you posting the real videos and letting people know what JZ Knight really feels about people and how drunk she gets during these "training sessions"?

"Some just hate to hear the truth when they make a mistake in their life"


You are right...you don't know....as usual you are making assumptions. No matter how many times you say it does not make it true...it's not a cult...or at least no more a cult (and I daresay far less of one) than the Catholic Church, Christian variations, or any other religion. As to what I am "for": I prefer logic, honesty, scientific research....and freedom of spiritual/religious belief for all people. I do not support one group of people telling everyone else what they should believe or find of value in their spiritual lives. And by the way, I suggest you try watching the Colbert Report and The Daily Show with John Stewart for awhile. Perhaps then you might gain an understanding of educating people through the use of satire and humor.


Thank you. I am always for RSE and JZ .[smile]


Ramtha is an enigma. To all present RSE students, there is no doubt about the existence of him as a being. To all past RSE students, they know that he is a real being that has affected their lives. It is easy to see in their constant efforts to rationalize their experience of when they were students. Turning to mainstream psychology, sociology and other avenues to explain away what has touched them in their very soul. They know that, it is that feeling in their gut, that they label whatever, to try and make it go away. And that is the crux of the discussion. They will never be able to shake the truth of that experience they had. Now, they will scream to high heaven that this is not true. The loudest will be the ones who were touched the deepest, and still it remains. In those quiet moments alone, it talks to them. It forces them to look at the choices they’ve made. Uncomfortable, unsettling and it will not go away; it is not supposed to.
For when you take responsibility for everything, you can no longer blame anyone outside of you.


I beg the differ. We KNOW there is no ramtha, that ramtha is a copyrighted character like Mickey Mouse and I understand it is hard for you to understand right now but JZ Knight is nothing more than a con-artist. However we have seen much more information...you will soon enough. Nice theory though.

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