One day, I didn't have to go to school.
I was supposed to take the 2:00 or 3:00 pm bus to go to work. It was raining heavily, and I didn't have an umbrella. On the advice of Suzette, Charlestine's daughter, I called my boss and told him that I would be late because of the rain.
He told me, "Okay," and to see him before I started working.
When I got there and visited his office, he said, "Go home, I don't want to use you anymore." I went home, now out of a job.
Beginning of the Ultimate Manipulation October 1983
Robert Lifton, a strong influence on Steven Hassan and Margaret Thaler Singer, is one of the pioneers in the study of brainwashing and mind control. He lists eight themes involved in the process of brain
washing. Lifton's themes are described by Singer in her book, Cults in Our Midst.™ They boil down to something like this:
1. Milieu control: control of communication in the group
2. Loaded language: utilizing cult jargon to constrain the thinking of members and to create a more insulated cult world
3. Demand for purity: having members judge themselves and the world solely by the standards demanded by the cult
4. Confession: having members make confessions to group or leaders. Singer calls this technique purge and merge, indicating how confessions of this sort, based on the cult's unique stan
dards, help members merge into the hive mind of the cult 5. Mystical manipulation: looking at behavior in such a way that
it verifies the member's purpose and role in the group
6. Doctrine over person: revising personal history to fit into the cult group more easily
7. Sacred science: putting the leader in a rich and almost sacred historical context
8. Dispensing of existence: implying that somehow the cult is
"the governors of enlightenment, and all outsiders are lower beings."
One of the AMORC exercises is called the "Day of Reintegration."
This became intertwined in an event that I believe is related to the
Lifton concept of mystical manipulation. On the Day of Reintegra
tion, you eat fruit in the morning, drink a lot of water, and pray and/
or meditate every two to three hours. You then eat vegetables (only a very small amount), have a one-hour siesta, and then take a long walk in a natural setting in the afternoon. The tricky part of this exercise was the injunction to "make the Day of Reintegration a habit."
After I lost my job, I decided to have a Day of Reintegration the following Sunday. On that day, I had a light breakfast and lunch. Af
ter a brief siesta, I took a lengthy bus ride to the south in search of a place to take a long walk. I wound up walking down many blocks in a neighborhood where affluent white and Latino people lived.
After my long walk, I got the next bus that was coming from Coral Gables going in the direction of my house. As I got to the bus, I saw Jose, a guy who used to be a cook at my first dishwashing job. I was very happy to see Jose. He told me that he no longer worked for the restaurant we met at and that he was now a chef at a new Mexican restaurant called Viva Zapata. He told me he would give me a dish
washing job, and I was very happy indeed.
I took that chance meeting as proof that if I complied with AMORC instructions, I would obtain my green card so that I could go to col
lege and help my family. I attributed my meeting with Jose to my successfully completing the Day of Reintegration exercise. Indeed, if I had not practiced the exercise, I would not have met Jose on the bus where he offered me a job.
By the way, about two miles from the place where I was living was a beautiful lake surrounded by a park. That was a perfect place for a walk in nature. So, after all that, if I had been thinking about it, I should have taken a walk right near my house. But as I thought about this, my roundabout digression to another place seemed even more miraculous. It was as though I was forgetful of the nearby park because the Cosmic had intended it so.
My thoughts about this are an example of what Singer calls mysti
cal manipulation from above. It is true that there was a synchronistic
experience. If I hadn't looked for a specific spot, I wouldn't have met Jose. But it is not true that it was necessarily due to AMORC's teach
One could look at my serendipitous meeting with Jose as pure luck. One could look at it as a benign act of God. Or, I suppose, you could look at it as a result of certain metaphysical exercises I engaged in. But I can say this: when you start to look at events in your life and reframe them as due exclusively to the influence of a cult that you belong to, you have fallen into a major form of entrapment, because soon you may wind up looking at everything this way.
By this time, I had begun to look back over my life and had seen certain events, like my good fortune in finding a ride to Port-Au- Prince with my mother's friend, finding a job with Ritz, enrollment in engineering school, and my first job in the industry, as an effect of AMORC's benign influence. My whole life, before and after joining AMORC, appeared to be guided by the invisible masters according to a grand plan fostered by AMORC's egregore.