- Paperback: 170 pages
- Publisher: Epigraph Publishing (August 11, 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0982453051
- ISBN-13: 978-0982453056
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #612,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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American Guru: A Story of Love, Betrayal and Healing-former students of Andrew Cohen speak out
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Top Customer Reviews
The account in this excellent work is so depressingly clear on the issue of guru abuse that I think some kind of outside intervention or declaration is needed.
The legacy of confusion here has gone on for a whole generation and includes the figures, Da Free John, E.J.Gold, Lee Lozowick and Andrew Cohen. The whole sequence here has been haywire from the beginning.
The account here is of a baffling display of pathological behavior masked by a misleading endorsement of Cohen's reputed enlightenment. The original source of this endorsement is itself entirely suspect and has empowered a very a questionable career of authoritarian behavior.
One of the larger problems here is the lack of any traditional context made clear. What is the canon of the guru? What religion is in the background, Hinduism, Buddhism, ...? The lack of any clear context for a teaching has produced a completely vacuous teaching made up 'as you go along'.
The quest for enlightenment beyond ego is not achieved by (egoic) ego-bashing of 'disciples' by a teacher. Ego cannot be destroyed by castigation and attempts to destroy a person's psyche. It is a misunderstanding to think you can destroy ego, and the task is that of self-enlightening transcendence of ego, by the individual in question, and in the final analysis the guru figure is at best a witness to what the disciple must do. The kind of shenanigans depicted in this book show someone out of control, with no grasp of what is needed.Read more ›
But let's be clear what exactly it is that Bill and other ex-students of Andrew Cohen are alleging here: systematic abusive behavior either done by Andrew or under his specific direction, including pressuring people to give large sums of money when they "failed" in some way (Bill personally was "compelled" to give $80,000 when he fell out of favor with Andrew, which he eventually got back after signing a five year gag order), slapping long time students when they commit some "error", and an incident in which buckets of paint were poured over the head of a women who allegedly disappointed Andrew, just to name a few. There have been many, many more examples of this kind of behavior in Andrew's community (go to whatenlightenment.blogspot.com to read more). Roberta, can you please explain to me how these actions can in any way be considered right and ethical? I would really like to hear from you how these actions could be right in ANY context, let alone a spiritual community supposedly upholding a higher standard of integrity. And if you are alleging that anyone outside of a spiritual community are in no position to judge what is ethical and what is not, I profoundly and unequivocally disagree with you.Read more ›
I previously knew enough about Andrew's group to know that Yenner is telling the truth in this book. Highly recommended.
It is an open secret that followers of Andrew Cohen are subjected to abuse and exploitation that has nothing to do with spirituality, and everything to do with the pathological narcissism of Andrew Cohen. Former followers have spoken out, in this volume, with great courage and honesty.
It would be wonderful to see such honesty and courage demonstrated by other leaders of the New Age movement. Instead of rationalizing and minimizing the extent of these abuses, instead of ignoring and dismissing the experiences of former followers, wouldn't it be wonderful if people like Ken Wilber, Genpo Roshi, Rupert Sheldrake, Deepak Chopra, Bernie Glassman, etc, could have the courage and the integrity to pay attention, to take up the cause of Cohen's former members, and confront Cohen publicly?
If such celebrities of the New Age do not have this kind of courage and integrity, at least William Yenner and the authors of this book do - and their work will be of enormous benefit to those who have been cruelly violated and betrayed by Andrew Cohen, in the name of spirituality.
Daniel Shaw, L.C.S.W., author of Traumatic Abuse in Cults: A Psychoanalytic Perspective
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An interesting commentary of responses from followers of Andrew Cohen. I found reading Andrew's books the most revealing and an amazing study of what happens when one undergoes an... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Glen Brunner
A must read for anyone who ever had doubts about moving on from a guru. Well written , a healing read.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
It's hard being a guru these days, it would seem. I think Andrew Cohen probably has had good intentions, but just can't deliver the goods. Read morePublished on July 14, 2010 by Leonard Sarki
The fact that this book may discourage people from meeting Andrew truly saddens me. I have known Andrew since 1994. Read morePublished on January 27, 2010 by Birgit L. Chasin
As someone who spent little more than a year in Andrew Cohen's community (1988-89), I have mostly kept myself apart from the online rumble. Read morePublished on October 30, 2009 by Douglas I. Wallace
I have read this book, and many other accounts of Andrew Cohen and his community, in addition to several of Cohen's own books. Read morePublished on October 21, 2009 by Marc Beneteau
If you are interested in the workings of a modern day cult, please read this honest, balanced, compassionate and generous book. Read morePublished on October 17, 2009 by healthywoman
American Guru reads like a court case: Yenner vs. Cohen, ie., the state of William Yenner's ego versus Andrew Cohen, teacher of Evolutionary Enlightenment, Andrew's teachings on... Read morePublished on October 14, 2009 by Loring S. Palmer
This book is one of half-truth and distortion. Half-truth because of the very relevant information that the author and contributors choose to leave out of their stories, and... Read morePublished on September 29, 2009 by Peter M. Bampton