Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Santa Clause the great Aktion Skeptic Warriorschool Reference

I will post some more of my favorite blog posts from the Aktion skeptic web site. Here is one for instance, where one of Jeff Prather's Initiate asks an open ended sort of question that puts his audience on the spot. The question really was pathetic, but the guy who wrote this blog post did a great job mocking it. I remember laughing about this with my friends. Great work.

Their machinations were not limited to simple dojo protocol. Anytime we would get together for a dojo dinner or gathering outside of class, we would be harangued with recruitment attempts by members of Warriorschool. One time that sticks out in my mind was the night a past sensei came out to eat with us, himself a fervent believer in Warriorschool and an Initiate. He sat next to Magus and me, and while we were waiting for our delicious, delicious Italian food, he proceeded to attempt to recruit us. He asked if what we knew about Warriorschool, and if we were interested in knowing more. I gave a reluctant yes out of a desire to not piss off a former sensei, and he posed to me the following dilemma as if it was a deep, spiritual problem: "Pretend you're a Native American for a moment. It's a long, cold winter, and your family has no food. Your wife and children are starving, and you haven't been able to hunt successfully for days. What do you do?" I answered that I'd just keep trying. He responded with "Well, okay, you go out hunting again. You catch nothing." I said I'd go again. "Again, nothing," and so on and so on. "See?" he said. "You don't know the answer to the question? What would you do? What could you do? Warriorschool teaches boys to be Men, and teaches you how to answer questions like that."

Unfortunately, such utter nonsense doesn't fly with your Friendly Neighborhood Akusai or his friend Magus. We saw the question for what it was: a very bad attempt to present us with a question we couldn't answer, then offer us the answer...for a price. It might work with stupid folks, but when you aren't stupid the problems are obvious and manifold. First off, the "dilemma" is completely immaterial. It is not a question that has any relevance to me now and it most likely never will; unless I'm playing Oregon Trail, I have no need to hunt my own food. It's like asking, in all seriousness, "Imagine you are Santa Claus. Your elves have deserted you and Christmas is fast approaching. You have no toys, and the elves broke your machines beyond your ability to repair them before they left. The children of the world are depending on you. What do you do?" My answer to both questions is "Who cares?" Seriously, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin? The question is also rhetorically pathetic. It attempts to pose an insoluble dilemma through a friendly dialogue, but when the question is "How do you feed your family when it is impossible to find food?", it doesn't take a genius to realize that you aren't going to be able to give the right answer. It's tailored to its recruitment purpose, and very poorly so, but to one with few critical thinking skills who is open to such things, such a "deep" dilemma that he can't properly solve might very well act as a stepping stone to Initiation.

You can find the entire post on this page about 1/5 of the way down.

The interesting thing about being around Jeff Prather and doing the training with him was the fact that no one else even came close to his ability to teach. Most of the people that post on the Aktionskeptics blog don't seem to really talk about Prather from first hand experience. Or if they do talk about him, the discuss him as audience members at a large Initiation meeting where they were just one of 40 other students. I have spent a lot of time with Jeff Prather face to face and in small settings and he never said things that stupid. The people that were very close to Jeff Prather and that lived near him, were very professional and smooth people. Sure there were the occasional weirdos and awkward people, but overall they were very good at transmitting the teachings. I remember that they only rarely talked about Warriorschool. I had been around the dojo for months before I even heard about it. People would come back from quests and they would be 'sort of on fire' and they would be congratulated. Occasionally you would get invited to check it out, but people weren't stupidly trying to convince you. Maybe someone would suggest a book or give you a flyer to attend a meeting, but they were really very low key about it. I got a way more professional view of it, and they were very careful to keep a division between the dojo and the Warriorschool. Even when non-apprentice's showed up to Warrior trainings, Jeff Prather was matter of fact with them and didn't constantly ask stupid questions or advertise. With those of us who were apprentices he would be more in your face, but he wouldn't be trying to transmit any sort of spiritual truths or anything.

Being at the trainings it was mainly about experiencing things. He would show video clips and bring up different scenarios, talking about being a warrior, being prepared and cultivating yourself through training. Jeff Prather and his top people definitely weren't trying to convince you of anything super extreme when you were new. The goal was to enlist people into apprenticeship and to lead people to experience and know 'their version of the world on their own' to see if it coincided with the one they were suggesting. They were very gentle and well mannered about it. The farther away you got from Jeff Prather, the more wimpy and retarded it got. I went to a bunch of other seminars taught by his students, and even his best students did a louse job. They were much less intense, gave away answers very easily and were very obvious about the goals they were trying to reach. I can only imagine how retarded all those other people must be who trained far away or with other leaders. When I read those other accounts of ni'dans and recent initiates talking it makes me cringe. They just sound like complete morons.

I've also been thinking a lot lately about the different people that surrounded Jeff Prather. Sure many of them have left over the last 6 years or so, but he attracted some amazing people to himself. Many of the closest people were smart, intense, funny, charismatic and well rounded and talented people like I had never encountered before. Ignoring all the stupid and delusional spiritual stuff they were sharing some super profound life lessons and facts. There are very few people or places where this stuff is even talked about. The spiritual stuff they were imparting wasn't even so much talked about. They allowed you to experience it on your own and that was very convincing, although much of it was wrong. Since you convinced yourself through your own experience you never really totally saw them as retarded or moronic.

When I think about the people that surrounded Jeff Prather and were his star students, I must say they were very engaging to hang out with. They were great teachers and fun to train with. But none of them could take over everything that Jeff Prather knew or did. He was on a completely different level, and that was another super convincing factor that gave lots of credibility to what he had to say. He is a knowledgeable guy and he is sincerely sharing what he knows. He comes off as very trustworthy, gentle and caring. How he ever came to all the radical conclusions he holds to be true, I am not exactly sure, but most major world religions say some super radical stuff. Personally I just always figured, if the Bible might be true, or the Koran or Hinduism then maybe what Jeff Prather is up to might be true. It had definitely been the most inspiring, electric and intensely powerful I had ever seen. It was extremely empowering and satisfying. The liberty and purpose that came from it was raw and powerful and to this day I haven't seen anything like it anywhere else. If anyone knows of anything else anywhere nearly as intrugeing, please let me know. I haven't heard of anyone better or anything in any way similar. I doubt there is and or will be anything like it, because all those that have left have either given up on these kinds of personal development or are doing things that are much more laid back. The fact that there was no where else to go and no one else to train with that matched the full lifestyle of a warrior also made Jeff Prather that much more convincing. All of us who were apart of this organization knew he was a one of a kind, and I am sure that's what allowed those on the inside to stay there for so long, although they knew some of the dirt. Personally I had trained with Jeff Prather for years and because I didn't have my bracelet I wasn't privy to most of the goings on. They were very good at letting the apprentice's train and figure things out on their own, without involving them in the advanced drama or giving them answers.

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