The Anthropology Cult at CIIS

Some people in the Pagan studies field have a special place in their hearts for the California Institute of Integral Studies. This memoir (about events a decade ago) might help to explain why. It’s a “never been told story.”

We showed up willing and able to do whatever it took for the cause. Angana exploited us beyond recognition. She effectively used jargon and the discourse to force us to restructure, brutally interrogate and dismantle our sense of self in the most pathological way possible. It’s a classic cult grooming technique; it just so happened that the languaging in this cult used social justice concepts.

6 Comments

  1. Medeina Ragana says:

    Back in the 1960s, when I was a physics major/math minor, I had a math professor who was like that. He’d scream at us and stomp around. Some of the students (who were left from the original 45 who had signed up for the class) went to the head of the Department to complain. They came back and said that the head of the Department was shocked that this guy was even teaching an undergraduate course because he had just been released from a mental hospital and was only supposed to be teaching graduate students. Go figure. Maybe that’s what was going on with the CIIS guys.

  2. Pitch313 says:

    This account gives me a sort of Phillip K. Dick, Manchurian Candidate, not much human potential nourished sort of feeling. Back in my university days, open minds and possibilities of change and just enough variety were favored over closed minds, change as white line fever, and no variety but as told by authority.

    From a distance and with a hometown SF Bay Area outlook, I regarded CIIS as more or less pro-Pagan. But that looks to be only part of the whole picture.

  3. This is certainly a tragic situation of abuse of power. However, right now, we have someone in the White House who is abusing power to hurt people on a much wider scale with much greater impact, such as his statement today lamenting that America takes in immigrants from “shit hole countries” like El Salvador and Haiti, and expressing a contrary wish for more immigrants from nations like Norway. That amounts to an official declaration of racial preference at the highest level of state authority in the country. Why doesn’t this blog ever comment on things like that? I know some might reply that the bigotry in the White House is not Pagan-specific. But neither was the abuse of power in the California Institute of Integral Studies. And the White House is making very clear that it favors Christianity over other religions. It does not take too much imagination to see that the White House tactic of picking on vulnerable racial, ethnic, immigrant and gender groups for political advantage could eventually be deployed against Pagans and other members of minority religions too. “First they came for the immigrants, and I did not care because I was not an immigrant…,” and so on. I am curious if only left-wing abuses of power are of concern here.

    • “I know some might reply that the bigotry in the White House is not Pagan-specific. But neither was the abuse of power in the California Institute of Integral Studies.”

      No one in the White House is doing Pagan studies, so far as I know, but some people at CIIS claim to be doing so. 😉

  4. Also, the article referred to expresses alarm about an authoritarian cult utilizing mind-control techniques taking over an academic department. Well, what about the cult of personality being constructed around the current occupant of the White House? If we are taking about dangerous cults, that one is a doozy.

    • NeoWayland says:

      Pardon, but that happens no matter who is in the White House.

      The system encourages an authoritarian cult. And the major parties wouldn’t have it any other way.