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David Week - History and Myth

Prophets or profits?. From Philip Quackenbush, August 25, 2009. Time 4:1

Hi, David,

I'm sure it's been pointed out before, but perhaps not on this site, that "Bapak" ("Which Buddha? There were over 700 of them" - his reply to a member referring to "the" Buddha; which Bapak? There must be thousands, if not millions) once said in a "talk" that I read back in the daze when I was a gung-ho "helper" that "God" could send revelation to anybody "he" chose, so the Islamic doctrine that Muhammad was the last prophet was obviously wrong. He daid, so no longer subject to being clapped into an Indonesian jail upon such pronouncements. I like your "secular" intro to the cult. Use of it might eventually reduce the cultish element in Subud to a bunch of "nattering nabobs of negativity", as one Murcan pol alliterated a couple decades ago, so I don't think it likely that it could ever be used exclusively, but maybe a parallel usage with the other flyers might help. Anywho, an article that needed to be written. Bravo, bravissimo!

Peace, Philip

From Philip Quackenbush, November 28, 2011. Time 11:19

In rereading this article and the comments (including my own), I can't help but note that most of the Subud members I've been in contact with since then are completely (and possibly purposefully so) oblivious or have no knowledge of the suggested history of Subud that David has so carefully put together, nor have I seen any evidence of the use of his or any other "explanation" of Subud for an applicant (or member) currently on view or available at any center or function I've attended since. Thus, I feel entirely justified in continuing to refer to Subud (jokingly, as non-members seem to perceive it, not jokingly as many members I come in contact with) as a cult, which I intend to continue to do until I see the cessation of regarding the founder as anyone special, which no human being is, or all are, something not likely to happen in my lifetime, and which, finally, ironically seems to pique the interest of people not familiar with Subud far more readily than some version of the "standard" explanation, or origin myth.
The continued adherence to the "standard" myth seems to be mainly driven by that regard and its correlary fear that any criticism smacks of a lack of proper respect for the founder. It might be helpful to remember that the founder once said that there is a "religion" of freethinking, hinting, in saying so, that it might be superior to other religions. And maybe it might be useful to have a "hits" counter attached to the Subudvision website to get some idea of how many people have been exposed to various articles. In my opinion, until and unless Subud gets out of its entrenched religious aura, it's unlikely that the "latihan" will ever become available to "all of mankind" (the politically incorrect title of one of the early collection of the founder's lectures at an international Subud congress, if I recall correctly, all of my Subud book and Pewarta, etc., collection given to the local center when I "officially" left Subud a few years ago, something that, along with my attitude, earned me the distinction of no longer being able to comment on an apparently defunct Subud comment website, although the local center and the regional retreats seem to have kept me "on the books" for their head counts, since I still attend group "latihans" semi-sporadically). That is probably no great loss, since, as David's article clearly shows, there are other "versions" of the "latihan" available for the "underpriveleged" who have not been "saved by the blood of the Lord" as some Christians might put it, in the context of their particular cultural mythology. Oh, well....Enjoy.

Peace, Philip

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