Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 52
Copyright © 2018 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved. Uploaded 2013, modified 2018.
A book by Eileen Caddy
My Citizen Initiative website, launched in 2007, was at first greeted with disbelief by those accustomed to deceptive promotionalism of the Findhorn Foundation. After a while, some parties grasped that I was telling the truth. Evasion and exploitive commerce are involved in the project at issue. The “workshops” at this venue are notorious for the high prices charged.
Recent law court actions [no longer on open view] in Scotland are of interest. In 2012, a complication was created for the Findhorn Foundation by an immigration officer acting for the Secretary of State. This event occurred at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. The “accredited education” advertised by the Foundation was mentioned. Critics say that much of what is taught there has no accredited basis outside the new age of innovation. The legal procedure provided a support for the defending party, mentioning (amongst other matters) that “the Scottish Charities Register shows that the Findhorn Foundation is a charitable trust” having objectives such as “the promotion of human rights, conflict resolution and reconciliation.” The theme of conflict resolution is elsewhere known to be a farce in the case of dissidents. The defendants also favoured a theme of Findhorn Foundation economic impact.
The economic impact is controversial. This matter is associated with a defensive insistence upon tourist income expressed by Moray Council, who are money-oriented, with no interest in ethics. Bureaucratic laxity is widespread.
The immigration authorities wanted to restrict overseas attendees at the Foundation. The “alternative lifestyle” system would have lost about half a million pounds sterling a year if the test case decision had been passed in 2012. Judge Lord Stewart reflected that Foundation courses on offer did not lead to “an approved qualification.” Courses such as “Healing Through Art” and the “Blessed Way of Passion” were under review. Lord Stewart was told that a 2002 study revealed how Findhorn Foundation economic benefits to the local economy had been second only to RAF Kinloss. Some critics, a decade earlier, urged that this partisan assessment was inflated. Critical analysis was not in vogue with Moray Council, who consigned doubts to oblivion.
BBC News still maintains inadequate coverage of the Findhorn Foundation, without reference to ongoing controversies. The deficiency is habitual. Twenty years ago, I was living at the same building in Forres (Moray) where a BBC television camera team snubbed a major local critic of the Foundation. The BBC attitude here was completely partisan to the Foundation, with no cognisance of any facts involved. The camera team provoked a reaction from their intended subject, who refused to be filmed. I knew that this development would be welcome to the Foundation, whose insidious propaganda had influenced the BBC team. I now confronted the impudent leader of the camera crew, who had derisively said to the critic: “It is just your view against theirs.” This gesture strongly implied that the Foundation could not be wrong in any way. The BBC spokesman proved evasive when confronted.
I was then obliged to telephone the BBC management in London, to find my worst fears confirmed about the total irresponsibility of BBC officials. At first, the official I spoke with groaned and said “Oh no!” Afterwards he became evasive, and would not acknowledge any error of deportment. The image of the Findhorn Foundation was thus preserved as being one of perfect charity. A due apology was overlooked. It is no surprise to me that Sir Jimmy Savile fooled the BBC excusers for so many years. The paedophile could do anything he wanted, because the BBC media protected him as a praiseworthy exemplar of charity.
A relevant fact, neglected by the BBC television fiasco, was that the local critic (Kate Thomas) had been ostracised by dictatorial Findhorn Foundation officials. One of these oppressors was an American bisexual with near schizophrenic moods of aggression and amity. Another was a dogmatic and persecuting German partisan of alternative therapy who declared that God had given him the custodianship of Cluny Hill College (now the Findhorn Foundation College), a centre for new age therapy, channelling, and shamanism. The extreme behaviour, including harassment, did not accord with the glowing publicity instigated by such personnel.
Commercial promotion of Stanislav Grof’s danger therapy, known as Holotropic Breathwork (hyperventilation), was another problem in the “spiritual education” package at the Findhorn Foundation. Dissenters from therapy were blacklisted; the promoters were glorified. Thomas strongly resisted Holotropic Breathwork, as did medical doctors. This disagreement meant that Thomas had to be suppressed by the management. The BBC failure to negotiate anti-medical bias occurred in 1992, a year before the important medical verdict from Edinburgh University emerged. The Foundation management were reluctant to comply with the warnings, and never did acknowledge that Thomas had been right, instead opting for a continual hostility towards her. She had compromised the much publicised economic impact.
A decade later, Thomas was cordoned by a Findhorn Foundation Trustee (Janice Dolley). This was because of her resistance to drug use and related matters. Standing for principle in the new age is a dead-end, as this instance confirms. Scruple is very unpopular, in view of widespread indulgences.
BBC Radio is another defective organ of the media, to date neglecting any due response to a quite lengthy complaint made in 2006 concerning a Findhorn Foundation “workshop” entrepreneur, who was hosted on BBC Radio as an authority in “holistic” matters. BBC Radio made no mention of the fact that William Bloom had promoted in London the lunatic exercise in hyperventilation devised by Grof Transpersonal Training Inc. The commercial therapist promoted this dubious activity despite the medical warnings which had occurred in Scotland, warnings that eventually caused the Findhorn Foundation to desist from promoting the dangerous practice of Holotropic Breathwork, mistakenly advertised as a therapy. See further Letter to BBC Radio.
To update here, Bloom has stated in contemporary idiom, that he is “pissed off with the BBC.” Perhaps that organisation are suitably impressed by holistic gestures of respect for services rendered [the relevant page has since been deleted from williambloom.com].
Meanwhile, the continuing evasion of Findhorn Foundation staff, and supporters, has been evident in such matters as online book reviews. One of these deceptive items (in 2011) was composed by a person who stated that he lived in the neighbourhood of the Findhorn Foundation. This semi-literate troll asserted that Kate Thomas had made a “brief stay” at the Foundation, and strongly implied that she wished to be accepted there as the “leader.” She was here accused of an “ego trip.” In reality, the dissident stayed in the near vicinity for ten years (as is quite well known), and never wished to become the Foundation leader, only to be given a fair hearing in the face of suppression, and eventually illness. See Kate Thomas and the Findhorn Foundation. I happen to know because the misrepresented person is my mother, and I myself lived in Forres at the period under discussion. Findhorn Foundation gossip, like their promotionalism, is very unreliable.
The distortions achieved by the “spiritual community” are neither convincing nor exemplary. Trolls ignored a complaint made via solicitors; the response to this complaint by the Findhorn Foundation management did not show refinement.
More recently, Home Office representatives have visited the Findhorn Foundation in relation to a “Minister of Religion” visa, considered inappropriate by the authorities. The fact that several suicides have occurred amongst Foundation affiliates is not the best publicity, whatever the precise causation involved. These and other matters are mentioned at Findhorn experience (2018).