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Andrew Hall - Reading Bapak’s Talks

Bapak's "condemnation" of homosexuality.

Quand Bapak "condamne" l'homosexualité, je suis convaincu qu'il parle du point de vue spirituel (kejiwaan), ce qui peut se vérifier en posant la question et en recevant soi-même. En somme, il parlait du point de vue idéal qui était celui de ce qu'il recevait. Bapak nous a souvent dit qu'il ne choisissait pas ce qu'il nous disait, qu'il le recevait. Par contre, nous les membres, n'avons pas à rejeter ou critiquer les homosexuels qui sont des "pécheurs" tout comme nous tous, et pas nécessairement plus que nous ! Ce que nous nous cachons souvent à nous-mêmes.

Il se peut bien sûr que des aides ou d'autres gens en Subud aient tenu des propos regrettables basés sur une interprétation simpliste et non charitable de ce que Bapak disait. On pourrait faire le parallèle suivant : Bapak n'approuvait pas le vol, mais ne disait pas qu'il fallait rejeter le voleur qui a besoin du latihan, tout comme les menteurs, les hypocrites, les oppresseurs, les flemmards, les goinfres, etc., c'est-à-dire nous tous.»

When Bapak "condemns" homosexuality, I am convinced he speaks from the spiritual (kejiwaan) point of view and this can be verified by asking the question and receiving personally. All in all, he was speaking from the ideal point of view, which came with his receiving. Bapak often said that he did not choose what he was saying to us; he was receiving it. On the other hand, we the members, do not have to reject or criticize homosexuals who are «sinners» exactly as we are sinners, and not necessarily more than we are! Which is what we often hide from ourselves.

It is possible of course that helpers or other people in Subud have spoken in a regrettable way based on a simplistic and non charitable interpretation of what Bapak said. One could make the following parallel: Bapak did not approve theft but he did not say that we should reject the thief who needs the latihan, as well as the liars, hypocrites, oppressors, lazy devils, greedy pigs, etc., i.e. ALL OF US.»


From Merin Nielsen, April 2, 2008. Time 9:50

Subud Vision has had some recent feedback to Andrew Hall's article, "Reading Bapak's Talks". The feedback is from Michel Rousseau, concerning Bapak's 'condemnation' of homosexuality. Michel seems to suggest that Bapak's condemnation was valid 'from an ideal point of view', and that it is reasonable to compare homosexuality with everyday 'sins' or misdemeanours such as theft.

For me, this immediately raises two questions. Is homosexuality actually wrong in any way at all? Is it sensible to believe that Bapak consistently shared some special, direct, objective insight into what is right and what is wrong?

To the first question, my feeling and belief is 'no, certainly not'. Am I arrogant to hold this belief, considering that someone as important as Bapak clearly disapproved of homosexuality? Am I not surrendered enough, since I feel that homosexuality is absolutely fine, whereas various religious teachers have condemned it? Is my receiving not up to scratch? Of course, perhaps I am arrogant and not sufficiently surrendered, but my feeling and belief are both clear. I have no feeling that homosexuality is inappropriate, and I cannot see any way in which it could be wrong. Perhaps I'm basically ignorant of matters are that too 'spiritually deep' for me to comprehend, but that brings me to the second question.

Is it sensible to believe the claim that Bapak always gave reliably accurate, 'spiritually advanced' guidance about morality, right and wrong? Well, I think it would be sensible to believe this if one has strong evidence that it is true. The evidence would have to be very strong, however, because it concerns a very strong claim -- the assertion that some fellow human being, walking among us, possessed a profound insight into spiritual reality -- and consistently described it in a dependable way, or at least helped to make the same insight directly accessible to the rest of us.

For me, the necessary evidence, both outer and inner, is missing, so I don't believe that Bapak was special in this way. In the past, I was inclined to believe it, but now I'm sure I was mistaken.

Bapak used to say, "Don't just believe what I tell you -- you must experience it for yourself." To me, this means Bapak knew that his own comprehension was limited. He knew he might be mistaken about various things, and that his general opinions and advice could well be misguided or even detrimental. This admission from Bapak increases my respect for him -- providing it was sincere. Otherwise, he must have meant, "You can't comprehend these things as I do, so for now you should simply go along with what I say." But to follow someone blindly in that way would be stupid, and any such recommendation would actually be a stupid thing to say. I don't think Bapak was stupid. Therefore, I take his meaning as genuine whenever he said that we should not accept his views, or even his 'receivings', as items of truth.

Merin


From stefan freedman, April 2, 2008. Time 13:31

Michel's intention is to promote tolerance. It reminds me of the discussion about "gay issues" at the Spokane World Congress. One member said "we should become more tolerant towards gays", but another member answered "I don't want to be tolerated, I need to be fully accepted as an equal.

Homosexuality is a highly charged issue among my friends, my family, and the many I work with. Whatever view people hold, they tend to hold it passionately. So, even if Bapak had said nothing about this (I wish he hadn't!), there's a probability that in any Subud group there would be a spectrum of personal views.

In countries (such as Britain) where the law supports non-discrimination against gays, we need to take great care to keep such personal views private. Also we should remove any potentially inflammatory statements from Subud literature eg the helper's guidebook.

Whatever may be growthful for a particular individual they will gradually come to feel this for themself through the latihan. But when a helper needs to "advise" a member, it suggests to me a lack of patience, or a lack faith in the latihan


From Merin Nielsen, April 3, 2008. Time 0:20

Stefan quotes another Subud member, "I don't want to be tolerated, I need to be fully accepted as an equal."

I agree that Michel's intention is to promote tolerance, but promoting tolerance is not good if it implies that something normal, which ought to be respected, needs to be tolerated, suggesting that there is, ipso facto, some disrespectable aspect involved. In the context of this discussion, the source of disrespect for homosexuality is religious. So by promoting toleration of it, one is effectively endorsing a religious assertion, which is basically preaching. I accept preaching in an appropriate forum, provided the preacher clearly acknowledges that they are presenting religious ideas -- not to be confused with information based on objective reasoning.

For example, it would normally be absurd to promote tolerance of showering, as opposed to bathing. But suppose some new religion declares that showering is a sin. Then, for the sake of those who continue to shower (and are consequently frowned upon), you could promote tolerance of showering -- but only if you had been persuaded that it was somehow sinful. Otherwise, you would favour its acceptance. To promote tolerance of something is to reinforce its rejection.

Merin


From Michael Irwin, April 3, 2008. Time 18:17

Surely the point about tolerance of homosexuality is that it is a topic irrelevant in the Subud context. We open anyone unless we believe that we do not have the resources to deal with them as permanent mental basket cases. Temporary basket cases we accept. If we are inclined to think of homosexuals as unacceptable sinners, then we better draw up a list of people we won't open such as murderers, purjurors, frauds, playboys, beatniks, romantics, (add your own). If the point of the latihan is to increase our connection to ourselves and our environment (including others in our environment) then how the latihan plays out in others and what the results may be is none of our business. We can be as intolerant as we like; that is no one else's business either. What matters is the publication of opinions irrelevant to the latihan in our name. We don't have to tolerate the Subud organization representing us to the world in a way that misrepresents us. We don't have to tolerate the Subud organization publically presenting or discussing homosexuality at all (along with murderers, purjurors, frauds, playboys, beatniks, romantics,(add your own). All the Subud organization does is make space for the latihan.


From Andrew Hall, April 3, 2008. Time 20:1

Salut à tous,

Je remercie à Michel pour son poste qu'a recommencé cette discussion, et pour ecrit en français! Je aimerais continuer en anglais, si ça ne dérange pas. Je suis quelqu'un qui comprendre le français un peu, mais certainement je n'ai pas une bonne capacité de faire communiquer mes pensées.

My article about what Bapak has been recorded as saying about homosexuality is first and foremost about my own reactions. Bear in mind that I am someone who has no personal knowledge of Bapak. I was opened in 1993, after his death.

For those who feel they have or had a personal relationship with Bapak, I imagine it may seem disloyal to criticize Bapak as I am doing.

As to whether Bapak was speaking about homosexuality from the spiritual point of view, I will be happy to test this, but I think that Michel can only tell us about his own receiving and not what my receiving may be. It may be different.

For instance, if we understand that homosexuality is something like Bapak once described it at the Briarcliff Congress, linking it with indiscriminate and promiscuous sexual behavior, then I am pretty sure that my receiving would accord with what Bapak said, that this type of behavior can have deleterious consequences for one's psychic health.

But if I simply see homosexuals as people with a different sexual orientation, and for whom sex is an avenue into intimacy with a partner, just as it is for me, something very precious and special, then I don't at this point see how homosexuality can be wrong.

On one level, of course, if we all were gay, then the survival of the species could be in question, but that isn't at stake.

Now, to the next question - the consequences from Bapak saying what he said. I can answer this by describing the feelings that I have encountered in my own group. There was an incident in the past where two dykes (female homosexuals) were opened and were shunned by some of the other women. Whether or not because of this, they soon left Subud. I am embarrassed and ashamed that this happened.

Generally, from my observations, I would say that Bapak's statements have given most Subud people permission to continue with whatever prejudices exist in the wider culture. Example from Canada in 2003 - "it's OK to be a homosexual, just not a practicing one."

If Bapak was so spiritual, why didn't he see or understand the consequences of what he said? Either I accept Michel's assertion that there really is a spiritual basis for what Bapak said, or it calls into question Bapak's insight and wisdom. Not everything, mind you. As I said in my article, there is much that I like about what Bapak said and find inspiring, there is lots that just baffles me, and there is some stuff (like this) that I just think is wrong and hurtful.

These statements do not inspire compassion and I do not see them coming from a compassionate place. In my eyes, they diminish Bapak.

Before you tie me to the stake - let me tell you what I would have liked Bapak to say - something like the following - "In most cultures, there are many taboos and rules about what is correct and what is wrong sexual behavior. In some cases, some types of sexual behavior are illegal and people can be punished, even killed."

"I am being asked about homosexuality. I cannot advise any of you to contravene or ignore the laws of whatever country that you live in. This is something that the people in your society and you as an individual will have to take responsability for."

"But the key thing is to take responsability for your own behavior. Sexuality is a tremendous gift on a spiritual level. However, if you use it to exploit another person, or if you are having sex with someone who is not giving their consent then you are wasting and debasing something that has wonderful potential and are actually doing yourself harm."

"Ask yourself if your approach to sex is bringing you closer to your partner and to the Divine, or does it isolate you. Only you can answer that."

Finally, to Michael Irwin's point. I wish this was irrelevant in the Subud context. But it isn't for me. I am talking about what I consider important. "By their fruit you shall know them" says the Christian Bible, and on this issue, I think that Subud falls short.


From Philip Quackenbush, April 3, 2008. Time 23:27

Hi, Michel,

You said,

"When Bapak "condemns" homosexuality, I am convinced he speaks from the spiritual (kejiwaan) point of view and this can be verified by asking the question and receiving personally. All in all, he was speaking from the ideal point of view, which came with his receiving. Bapak often said that he did not choose what he was saying to us; he was receiving it. On the other hand, we the members, do not have to reject or criticize homosexuals who are «sinners» exactly as we are sinners, and not necessarily more than we are! Which is what we often hide from ourselves."

IMO, this is precisely the sort of attitude (thinking?) that has resulted in some countries listing Subud as a cult. To accept M. Subuh's words without questioning them or their source is one of the major earmarks of a cult. Anyone who seriously examines what he said will find numerous examples of errors of fact in his lectures. If that is so, which "god" is he "receiving" from? A god who is so ignorant that "he" doesn't know what "his" "own" Koran says, or which surahs are where in it? That's just one example out of many. Not a "god" I'd choose to "worship" (but, then, I don't regard the "latihan" to be worship of any being; it is simply what it is, a natural function of the body-mind to be found in all cultures around the globe). IMO, his attitude towards homosexuals is determined by his cultural bias, as was whoever wrote the Leviticus chapter in the Bible calling it an abomination (the game of football would also be an abomination according to that passage) and Muhammad's "receiving" about it in the Koran.

Current science is just about definite on the finding that the predilection for homosexuality is determined by the hormonal balance in the brain, which is, in turn, determined during gestation, before birth. Religion (and "spirituality") simply make pronouncements about it without any actual examination of the facts. I'd suggest that you look more closely at what is in M. Subuh's lectures and compare them with known facts before making a judgment on their truth or falsity.

Having been a "helper" for over 20 years, I can also venture my opinion that most "testing" simply results in reinforcement of the "tester's" opinions or what has been suggested to be the case by others. If one were to do enough "tests" on known facts that the "tester" knows nothing about, IMO the results would come out with about average veracity statistically. Of course, there's always the cop-out that the people doing the "testing" aren't "spiritually advanced" enough to get 100% correct answers, but that's all it is, a cop-out. Either "testing" works, or it doesn't. Better, IMO, to just do "latihan" and leave the opinions, regardless of their source, to others.

Peace, Philip

From Michael Irwin, April 3, 2008. Time 22:54

Quote from Andrew Hall, April 3, 2008. Time 20:1 above

"Finally, to Michael Irwin's point. I wish this was irrelevant in the Subud context. But it isn't for me. I am talking about what I consider important. "By their fruit you shall know them" says the Christian Bible, and on this issue, I think that Subud falls short."

I would ask you, Andrew, to reread my posting in full. After the first sentence it is devoted to defining 'context'. I sum up that context according to my lights in the last sentence: "All the Subud organization does is make space for the latihan." I know that that sentence is a statement of what I think it should be and not a statement of Subud's current condition. In that idealized context, the condition of the person beside me in latihan is none of my business. Therefore, for me, your support for the proposition "By their fruit you shall know them" is your perceptual overlay, your expectation of how to read the results of the latihan. Actually I have no idea how to measure the success of Subud except for me personally. I don't think that my criteria for judging the results of the latihan on other people has any worth.


From bronte, April 5, 2008. Time 2:8

Dear Michael, and others tackling this vexatious "Gay" subject.

It seems that the Spokane Congress maybe the only Subd place where the subject was truly thrashed out, and I know nothing of the many opinions expressed there. One person, involved in leading that discussion, may be able to contribute to this one, but I suspect he is "Gone", as much as I might wish otherwise.

People in positions of power in Subud have chosen, time and time again, to deride, shun, condemn and avoid the "Gay" person, while the various types of sexual misbehaviour among heterosexual people bring less rubuke, though still some.

As to "Fruits" being the means of jugement-Why Not?
We might not like it, but the world has looked on for a long time and judged us ALL as totally lacking. Love it or leave it!

The Subud I have known may have produced a few good people, and yet those people might have been, not merely as good, but better, without Subud. It has not "made" me a good person, despite my hopes for that. On the contrary, the tendency to reduce a person's self-esteem helps make for a worse person, and that has happened in plenty of cases, even if I can't site anyone but myself as an example.

I'd like to be part of a Subud which lives up to all the best ideals I have expressed in all my writing here and on SubudLife and SubudTalk, but that is not, it seems, going to happen.

Good luck to all of you who find in Subud a reasoning, caring, and loving group of people who almost seem to follow the guidline "If you want to have a friend, be a friend."

That is not how I find it.


From Philip Quackenbush, April 5, 2008. Time 21:27

Hi, Bronte,

You said,

"It seems that the Spokane Congress maybe the only Subd place where the subject was truly thrashed out, and I know nothing of the many opinions expressed there. One person, involved in leading that discussion, may be able to contribute to this one, but I suspect he is "Gone", as much as I might wish otherwise.

"People in positions of power in Subud have chosen, time and time again, to deride, shun, condemn and avoid the "Gay" person, while the various types of sexual misbehaviour among heterosexual people bring less rubuke, though still some."

Well, I only attended the last part of that workshop, which I heard was the most-attended workshop of the entire kongres, with people hanging out the doors and packed into a room far more populated than fire regulations would have allowed (it probably should have displaced whatever was happening in the Opera House at that point, but bureaucracy reigns [drip, drip]). One of the facilitators, as far as I know, is still around, but I've forgotten her name (maybe Luzita Marx?): she was in charge of the Quest project in Oregon, maybe still is. Whether the issue was "thrashed out" thoroughly, as you say, is questionable, but I don't recall any mention of it or results from it in the official documentation of the kongres, which would seem to provide support for your contention that the subject is either ignored or pushed away by the international powers (that's a laugh, since Subud, the organization, has virtually no power in the world other than over its members when they grovel at the feet of those who supposedly know what is "spiritual" and what isn't; if the organization would simply concern itself with providing venues for the "latihan" instead of attempting to spread the opinions of a favored few, it would eliminate a huge amount of wasted effort and money, IMO).

Peace, Philip


From Philip Quackenbush, April 5, 2008. Time 21:47

Hi, Andrew,

You said:

Before you tie me to the stake - let me tell you what I would have liked Bapak to say - something like the following - "In most cultures, there are many taboos and rules about what is correct and what is wrong sexual behavior. In some cases, some types of sexual behavior are illegal and people can be punished, even killed."

"I am being asked about homosexuality. I cannot advise any of you to contravene or ignore the laws of whatever country that you live in. This is something that the people in your society and you as an individual will have to take responsability for."

"But the key thing is to take responsability for your own behavior. Sexuality is a tremendous gift on a spiritual level. However, if you use it to exploit another person, or if you are having sex with someone who is not giving their consent then you are wasting and debasing something that has wonderful potential and are actually doing yourself harm."

"Ask yourself if your approach to sex is bringing you closer to your partner and to the Divine, or does it isolate you. Only you can answer that."

====

That, IMO, is far superior to anything the M. Subuh ever said on the subject. I would only offer one slight alteration, the pluralization in parantheses, of the word parter(s), for those who prefer multiple partners, or orgies, like our evolutionary cousins, the bonobo chimps, seem to. Despite the fact that M. Subuh was "channeling" (or claimed to be) and many Subud members seem to be "down" on "channeling", I just last night watched a "channeled" "group consciousness" calling itself Abraham that said that sex was the most sacred or "spiritual" or joyful activity in human life (which I agree with), and that it expressed the Source "force" most fully, which may be why authoritarian religions and politics (which are often the same thing in many cultures) are so "down" on it, or afraid of it, because it empowers the individual more than any other activity and provides a greater realization of What we are, IMO.

Peace, Philip


From bronte, April 6, 2008. Time 0:1

"the fact that M. Subuh was "channeling" (or claimed to be)"

Oh yes! Did he really claim that?

All I know is that, thanks to my actions, Bapak had to stop his talk, and wait for the recorder to be re-started. Then he said, or his translator did (Sharif I think) "Bapak's guides have gone away, he has to wait for his guides to return."
Now what more does anybody want as to whether Bapak was "Channelling" than that. I was slightly shocked at the time, but it's hardly likely that something happened ther which I alone was aware of. The fact that I do not recall where this happened is not relevant. The principle of chanelling may be disputabe, but like many others I have found much advice by Bapak to be conforting and helpful. It's just that the people who follow his advice are not usually people who I'd like to walk alongside any more than people find me someone to walk along side.
So where is it all leading people?


From Philip Quackenbush, April 6, 2008. Time 9:15

Hi, Bronte,

I think there may have been several instances like the one you're referring to. I recall one in Los Angeles where the microphone created feedback and M. Subuh stopped talking, said that he was like a radio receiver and he apparently had to "tune in" again to whatever his source of "inspiration" was (IMO, it was just a shock to his nervous system that altered the flow of data from his subconscious, which seemed to be filled with all sorts of Javanese and Sufi cultural stuff from his earlier life).

Whether it is fair to say that he consciously palmed all that off as "received" from "God" (or his "guides", as you say), or that he was conscious of what was going on as his lips flapped may be open to question (most "channelers" aren't; they only realize what was said while in trance after it is read or played back to them. Those who do are, at best, only aware of what is being said, without necessarily being aware of its source or having any control over what is being said unless they consciously stop the flow of words (as Subud members can stop the flow of their "latihan" by conscious choice or intent). The ultimate value of what is being said, IMO, is, as said above is the "fruits" of it, and there was so much that M. Subuh said in his lectures that bore decayed (antiquated and/or culturally specific not applicable outside of Islam or Java) or bitter (non-factual) "fruit" that it could result in "spiritual" "regress" rather than "progress" for some when "eaten" (in my case, it is fair to say that belief in what he said seemed to keep me in a holding pattern, going in circles waiting to land I knew not where until I just about ran out of fuel [years left in my life] before finally landing on my feet [got grounded in rationality again]).

It is possible for anyone to "channel". I've done it a couple times myself in writing messages, not speaking, and it's a process that becomes more facile with doing it over time. The question is what forces (or farces) are involved. Again, look to the "fruits". Use your thinking; use your radar of feeling: that's what they're for. Don't let anyone (or any "channeled" being or advice) impose their idea of what's "right" or "wrong" on you, and if you have accepted that in the past, do your best to get free of it. It's like accepting someone telling you you'r imagining pain when you're actually have it. You are your own best guru.

Peace, Philip


From bronte, April 6, 2008. Time 10:2

"You are your own best guru."
And there, in all it's glory,is the essemce of Subud, indeed of the spirituality I believe in, over and above and beyond evey other controlling group of people on this planet.
I was just thinking today, "What does one do when the religious authority has not addresses the question/issue/problem one has?"
Well, they all tell us, but I know of no one else (though there are many) who say "Now ignore what I said and find out the truth for yourself."
Well, that's one way of "following" Subud too, instead of "following" Bapak. And therein lies part of my inablity to agree with almost any of the uncaring, unsympathetic, unhelpful people I have been connected to in Subud in this country.


From Andrew Hall, April 7, 2008. Time 17:2

Hi Michael,

It seems that you feel that I didn't fairly take account of what you said in your posting. Sorry for any lapse.

I feel somewhat the same concerning how you first responded. I really think you were describing how you would like Subud to be, a neutral vehicle for the latihan, which you freely admit that you are doing in your second posting.

But I don't think that makes my comments irrelevant. And of course, they are my "perceptual overlay" as you call them. Everything I say is coming from my perceptual overlay.

When you say "We don't have to tolerate the Subud organization publically presenting or discussing homosexuality at all...", I feel quite angry at this statement. Where were you when Bapak was making his comments? Why didn't you correct him? Why didn't you disassociate yourself from these views?

Don't you see that Subud has a history and it needs to be dealt with or we tacitly give it our approval? We can't rewrite history, Bapak said what he said, but we can be clear about where we stand.

So, where do you stand, Michael?

Sorry for being so confrontational, but this is where I am at present.
Andrew


From David Week, April 7, 2008. Time 17:28

I think it's critical that when a wrong has been done, that wrong be acknowledged. That's important for both those affected by the wrong, and for the community that inflicted the wrong.

Ideally, the official Subud body would acknowledge the wrong done by repeating and acting on Pak Subuh's prejudices, and then apologise to the gay and lesbian community, and their friends and relatives.


From Merin Nielsen, April 7, 2008. Time 23:49

Andrew asks, "Where were you when Bapak was making his comments? Why didn't you correct him? Why didn't you disassociate yourself from these views?"

But, as Michael seems to suggest, there's no built-in connection between 'being a Subud member' and the views of Pak Subuh. As a Subud member, I am indeed associated indirectly with his views, but perhaps not to the extent that I should disassociate myself from them. e.g. Just because some people share Hitler's birthday, they have no need to disassociate themselves from Hitler's views. Pak Subuh was Subud's founding member, but apart from the obvious historical significance, he holds no special status in terms of the organisation -- merely in the opinions of various individual Subud members.

David refers to "the community that inflicted the wrong", but is it possible to spell out any respective wrong that was inflicted by our Subud community -- as a community? Maybe, I'm not sure. It could be argued that Subud has repeated and acted upon Pak Subuh's prejudices, as David says, but it seems hard to pin down the ways in which the Subud organisation may have perpetrated these injustices.

Merin


From Michael Irwin, April 8, 2008. Time 0:13

Hi Andrew,

You wrote: “When you say "We don't have to tolerate the Subud organization publicly presenting or discussing homosexuality at all...", I feel quite angry at this statement”.

Why are you angry? If the sole purpose of the Subud organization were to be providing facilities and support for people to latihan what has homosexuality got to do with it? If we were to make the change to that mode, I agree that we can clear the air by making a public announcement that we regret all kinds of things (list) that have happened in the past. But in the newly reoriented organization would not we expect there to be people doing latihan who can’t stand homosexuals as well as those who are passionate about their being accepted. Or would you prefer that those who dislike homosexuals be kicked out?

Andrew: “Where were you when Bapak was making his comments?”

I was there. I was seriously concerned about the comments. I was younger. I was still under the spell of Bapak as the ultimate teacher. I brought a person I worked with and knew to be gay to Subud. He was effectively bounced by the culture. I was upset. That learning process took decades. But I woke up.

Andrew: “Why didn't you correct him?”

Are you kidding given what I wrote above?

Andrew: “Why didn't you disassociate yourself from these views?”

Actually I did on this and many other particulars. I did not do so by standing up publicly because I was not ready to do so at the time. How many were ready at that time in Subud and out of it? I wanted to be convinced that I was wrong and join the comfortable ‘family’ that I had grown to love about Subud. Please give me credit for changing.

Andrew: “Don't you see that Subud has a history and it needs to be dealt with or we tacitly give it our approval? We can't rewrite history, Bapak said what he said, but we can be clear about where we stand.”

I agree.

Andrew: “So, where do you stand, Michael?”

Do you know now?

Andrew: “Sorry for being so confrontational, but this is where I am at present.”

No apology needed.


From bronte, April 8, 2008. Time 10:2

Merin,
Dear Subud brother.
"
"the community that inflicted the wrong", but is it possible to spell out any respective wrong that was inflicted by our Subud community -- as a community? Maybe, I'm not sure. It could be argued that Subud has repeated and acted upon Pak Subuh's prejudices, as David says, but it seems hard to pin down the ways in which the Subud organisation may have perpetrated these injustices. "

Hereby I pin it down firmly and decisively!!

It was from your own group that an official-epistle was sent forth stating the edict that a particular gay person was not suitable to be a helper, despite his group helpers having asked him to become one.
That is how the Subud organisation inflicts its anti-gay attitudes on ALL the members.
As well as by not making the slightest attempt to apply a sense of justice and fairness to other conflicts, letting them fester un-impeded for decades.
Those things definitly need attention.
David Week has, as National chairman, made what effort he can.

Sometimes I think a lawyer would do a better job of creating justice in Subud than the fity+ years of members have managed to do. But who wants lawyers instead of good human interaction? Oops! We don't want them, but we seem to need them.


From Merin Nielsen, April 8, 2008. Time 13:3

Hi, Bronte,

You've mentioned the letter to me before, but I know little about it. I recall who sent it, but was it sent on behalf of a certain Subud group, of some larger Subud community, of some dewan (such as the Australian national helpers), or of an individual? Among Subud's levels and sub-organisations, bunches of individuals sometimes act in the name of the Subud community, but off their own bat. Communication lines in Subud have always been lousy, most especially between helpers and the rest of us.

Best wishes,
Merin


From bronte, April 8, 2008. Time 13:36

The reason why I saw fit to again mention this boring piece of Subud hisory was that it's main subject matter was being discussed here AND it was an official act of the top level- KejCounc - acting on behalf of the National Helpers, as a team NOT an individual act, but a Policy Implimentation of the Australian National Kejiwaan body, and as such is an archetypical example of how this organisation I no longer trust worked at that time, now over twelve yers ago, just as was the official request for helpers to hand in their cards because that same body dissapproved of their behaviour in something even earlier than that, which left two respected "senior" members, among others but not including me, devastated, and to this day unhealed over the treatment they recieved. Likewise the on-going behaviour, based on a gross misunderstanding, and treatment of myself and some others by certain members, or member, here and alsewhere.
Note that it was a rebuff to the group that wanted a new helper, who Bapak had once asked to be a helper anyway, not just to an indiviual, and there was no right of reply or appeal offerred. Hence my reference to lawyers.
And look too at the story on this site of of Solihin Millin, for an example of how NOT to treat people in Subud by the Official Kejiwaan body.

My own up-bringing and religious backgroud is such that I am conditioned to expect one on one dialoge before action, some consideration of the feelings and motives of the individuals, and a fair hearing of all parties concerned. That did NOT occur, and still has not. It felt like an action more to be expected in the army, and I've been there, remember.

In future the Subud organisation will grow and flourish if it changes it's behaviour to be less dictatorial, and more caring and open to the member's motives and feelings.


From Sahlan Diver, April 8, 2008. Time 14:5

It is about time that Subud had a mechanism in place for dealing with grievances, and especially with long-term grievances, which are a special case. I suggest that either before or at the next World Congress, WSA should request that each country set up an impartial committee of enquiry into long-term disputes, grievances or problems, with the aim of seeking understanding and resolution. The committees would do their work and then report back to WSA on the results, so that the effectiveness of the process could be monitored.

We, as a group who claim to be interested in harmony, are clearly poor at resolving problems, and I suggest this has an historical cause. Members in the 60's and especially in the 70's were heavily influenced by Bapak's talks, which many of us were fortunate to hear live because of his world tours. We were given an expectation that as long as we did our latihan diligently and put the idea of harmony first and foremeost then everything would work out well by itself. In practise this has caused us to walk away from disputatious situations - the side raising the complaint could easily be blamed for not playing the harmony game. And as the years pass it becomes easier still to blame the other side - we can say (patronisingly) - why can't you learn to forgive and forget? But if a wrong has been done, it remains a wrong, and requires to be addressed.

Many members believe that Subud has a contribution to make to the world, and in particular to world peace. Will this be possible unless we can first develop the necessary skill for resolving our own problems?


From Andrew Hall, April 9, 2008. Time 13:5

Dear all,
I appreciate very much Michael Irwin's last reply to me which is on the previous page.

http://www.subudvision.org/php/getfeed.php?file=ah/Aah8D.htm

Thank-you, Michael, for talking about your feelings when these events were happening. I'm not sure I could have done anything differently if I were there at the time.

But I sure want to change things now.

Thanks, as well, to Bronte for his story. I'm not familiar with what happened in Australia, but it sure sounds as if hurt feelings are very much alive.

I wonder if the Subud people concerned might consider trying an aboriginal healing circle? This is something that we have here in North America where the people involved have the satisfaction of listening to and acknowledging each other's feelings.

As far as the "perpetrators" of the hurt are concerned, I think I can imagine they were acting as they thought they should - trying to be loyal to Bapak, do what is right, open to the guidance of the Almighty, etc. They are not bad people, they were doing the best they could at the time.

It doesn't erase nor excuse Bronte's hurt and raging sense of injustice, not at all. This needs to be healed.

Thank you all for sharing,

Andrew Hall
Ottawa, Canada


From LEONARD WELLS, September 24, 2008. Time 23:59

'Sex is neither for pleasure nor fun, NO!'
Bapak said. Unfortunately it IS both and is at the same time a very powerful and addictive drug. If you start by injecting a drug into your arm, it is more than likely that you will continue to be addicted in that way.Many people can't give up smoking -it is so powerfully addictive. One can't be blamed therefore if some clot tells you that God made you that way so it is normal and natural to smoke.
For many many reasons people are tempted to experiment with the same sex -it has less significant consequences in terms of pregnancy etc -but, like trying your first cigarette,the consequencies can be a habit you can't kick.It is the same with Cocaine,Heroin etc.The Bible states that the 'flesh is weak'-actually it is enormously strong which is why it needs the chains of marriage to control it.
The medical profession gave up trying to do anything about sexuality a long time ago so we only have amatuer experts to
advise us.Why do'nt we stand up for the right to be a Cocaine addict?


From Merin Nielsen, September 25, 2008. Time 11:30

The Puritans warned us, but certain so-called friends told me it was pleasant and okay. Oh, the first time I listened to Bach, I never thought it would affect me, but before long I was into Beethoven, and eventually Rachmaninov. I know I'm weak, so weak - I've tried to kick the habit by chaining myself to Bapak talks, but the yearning for sensual relief just builds up even more. I can't last even a month without being tempted back to the shameful addiction of sweet melody and warm harmony. Oh - oh, where's my Gershwin?


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