Creating Dependency (A College without Graduates)
“I don’t think John’s stories necessarily all add up. I think he just makes it up as he goes along. . . . It’s very codependent, these people need him and he needs them. And they need him desperately to be the savior they need him to be.”
De Ruiter calls his organization a college. So where are the graduates?
At my first meeting with de Ruiter, he hit the nail on the head by speaking about my inner child, a concept I’d been exploring over the previous few weeks with my wife-to-be. When I told him I felt as though my continuous physical illness and pain was a kind of punishment, de Ruiter told me, “You are pledged to nonsense.” He added that I was addicted to a false way of being (I forget the exact words but I know he used the word “addicted”). In response, I held the microphone to my lips and spoke four words more appropriate to an AA meeting than a satsang: “I am an addict.”
Later, I discovered that de Ruiter frequently uses the term addiction. At first I thought nothing of it. I come from a family of alcoholics. One of the principals of Alcoholics Anonymous is “once an addict, always an addict.” Alcoholics are encouraged to continue attending meetings for years after they stop drinking, regardless of how much they believe they have conquered their addiction. By going along with de Ruiter’s “diagnosis” and identifying myself as an addict, had I unconsciously signed up for a lifetime’s attendance? If it hadn’t been for the intervention of Charlie and the affidavit from God, I could be attending meetings still. I might even have moved to Edmonton, a step which makes it a lot harder to admit that one has been conned. For two whole years, I believed de Ruiter was my way “home.” I was convinced that all I needed to do was nurture my connection to him, and he would bring me in.
In April 2011, a woman said this to de Ruiter while sitting in the Chair: “Years ago when I knew I couldn’t be here, I was afraid of getting left behind, and I said to you ‘Please don’t forget me.’ I want to ask you that again. I don’t feel that I’ll get left behind but if it’s possible that you could connect with me when I’m there.” De Ruiter didn’t contradict the woman’s “story.”
If a follower sees his or her guru as their “ticket” out of the hell of themselves, they become as dependent, psychologically speaking, on the guru as any human being can be on anything. De Ruiter has called an addiction to truth “a true addiction.” For those who equate de Ruiter with truth and are addicted to attending the meetings, who fear they will be forever lost without him, there is no reason to ever question that dependency. It is a true addiction.
That same seminar, de Ruiter said: “Live being on the drip, like what you see at the side of many hospital beds. . . . It takes only a drip. Live on the drip. Even in the most sobering things, there you are on the drip.”
While many people are left cold by de Ruiter, others come away with an unforgettable first impression. As an example of the latter, here’s an account of a first meeting with de Ruiter, from Catherine Auman, a Los Angeles psychotherapist who specializes in “Spiritual Psychology and Transpersonal Counseling”:
light swirling and collapsing and I can’t see
“what’s the matter with the light?”
I almost cry out
maybe something’s wrong with my contacts,
I think, but there’s also a warmth
and something funny happening with my breath
like sex, but that’s not right
because sex is not happening.
The Majesty, and I can’t breathe
and suddenly I see that haloes are not
artistic convention but literal fact,
although I am not a person who digs auras
or anything like that. But the Magnificence,
I hear myself gasping
and all around him golden light
The Golden Light, bigger than anything ever,
Absolute Wonder so big-ness of it
I would fall to my knees but I can’t move.
All there in the emanation of one ordinary
Being, and after the longest time he says to me,
“Now you’re really seeing.”
For many people, de Ruiter’s presence inspires awe, wonder, and a desire to fall to their knees. Such feelings create a sense of absolute certainty about what de Ruiter is. His words, on the other hand, being frequently so difficult to make sense of, create a state of doubt, even confusion. De Ruiter encourages people not to trust their thoughts and feelings, or even their intuition, but only their knowing. The question inevitably arises then: “What do I know?”
During my trip to Edmonton for the October 2010 seminar, I had a conversation with my wife and her cousin while we were driving to a meeting, about the meaning of the word “knowing.” I said that a knowing for me was simply something I knew for sure, such as the fact that I was going to die. My wife’s cousin argued that it was something more like an inner sense of truth, and not based primarily on reason (or so I understood him at the time). My wife suggested an example of what a knowing was: “John’s goodness.”
I said nothing and didn’t think anything particular of it at the time. Later, I realized how significant her comment was. My wife had adopted the term “knowing” from de Ruiter; when she volunteered to give an example of what a knowing was, the first thing she came up with was “the goodness of John.” Is this the Oasis program in microcosm? In Bob McCue’s piece “Why We Believe,” medical experts who have helped people recover from cults describe a similar experience to dissociation, “in which the mind withdraws from reality based on cues and no longer connects properly to such tasks as consciousness, memory, identity and perception” (emphasis added). Such a state of dissociation—withdrawal from reality—closely mirrors de Ruiter’s advice to his followers not to trust their thoughts and feelings or intuitional faculties, or even their experience, but only “what they know.” Apparently he prescribes a form of dissociation as a necessary means to disengage from the “surface bodies,” and to “drop” all the way into “the tiny bit you know is true.” For some people, that might be an effective way to access a higher, deeper part of themselves. But for others, they may be just as likely to wind up confused and lost in an unfamiliar state; eager to make sense of their new perceptions, they would then be highly open to suggestion.
John de Ruiter causes profound psychic dissonance in people, by means unknown (“something funny happening with my breath, like sex, but that’s not right”). Then, while they are in this state of “newness” and disorientation, he imprints them with the idea of his power and benevolence. (“Now you’re really seeing.”) This would not even have to be a conscious strategy on his part: since he is causing the profound “opening” to occur, naturally he is the first thing people latch onto as they attempt to find some “ground” within that disorientation. In fact, this kind of psychic imprinting (primal dependency) is something he would have to be careful to prevent from happening–unless he decided there were benefits in allowing it. Cui bono from all this shock and awe?
When I spoke to him in 2015, Timothy Gallagher had a similar take on de Ruiter’s methods of “programming”:
He rules through implication. He doesn’t say things in black and white but he speaks directly and programs directly the subconscious of people that he talks to. Now that requires a really quite high skill level. And John has quite a high skill level in programming the unconscious. So through implication alone you get to believe that he is like Christ, or God. Through implication you see yourself as in some way flawed, or with much to learn. And John keeps feeding little bits so that you keep having to come back for more. . . . And so through implication, people feel that if they leave they’ll be deserting God or they’ll be choosing the dark side. Through implication, everyone is too busy tearing themselves into bits to actually look at John and say “What about you man?” And they’re too busy shredding each other. There’s this rather unpleasant network of support for “being in truth” together, but it’s actually quite a strange set-up because they’re self-policing in a way, so John doesn’t get looked at because he wrote the program. He’s the programmer.
From everything I have seen at Oasis, from my own experience and that of my wife, based on all the testimonies I have heard of people who have spent time with de Ruiter (many of them “positive”), I haven’t heard a single case of someone who became awakened by de Ruiter and continued living their lives independently of his presence. Most people who have left the community did so out of a feeling of disillusionment, not because they had received the guidance they needed and were ready to leave the nest and strike out on their own. In fact, people who leave the community are generally regarded as apostates.
If de Ruiter is seen by his followers as being beyond human, the idea of aspiring to his level of attainment becomes unrealistic. What does that leave except the option of worship? Any attempt to live by the teachings, to be effective, would have to be based on an understanding of those teachings, yet this is something very few of his followers seem to have. One woman who spent years in the group told me:
I have found trying to live those teachings has . . . I put myself into a pretzel and then wasn’t happy. I just couldn’t quite do it. It is a bit of a trick to teach something that’s unlivable, because then you can keep people forever. One thing I’ve also observed is that, in the beginning John was quite simple and easy to follow and lighthearted and fun, and over the years it’s become more and more and more complicated, and that’s something I have also observed with many teachers: that they start out quite easy, and in order to keep the students it has to become more and more complicated. I have observed that, it just gets more and more intricate.
Such confusion can only be compounded by the fact that few, if any, of his followers know the degree to which de Ruiter himself lives his teachings. What exactly does being a living embodiment of truth look like, on a day-to-day basis? If the women who’ve seen de Ruiter at his most private and personal are to be believed, not that good. De Ruiter’s desire to keep that side of his life hidden, complete with (alleged) security cameras and Rottweilers, may have to do with more than simple privacy. If word gets out that not even John is able to practice what he preaches, all his teachings are invalidated in a heartbeat.
“Outside of the Meetings I was becoming a train wreck on a personal front. My marriage felt psychotic, my emotional body was wound about as tight as a person can get and I was zero fun to be with and had zero love to give. . . . My world was fast turning into an inferno of self-hatred.”
There is a lot that seems naïve about de Ruiter. Before he became a living embodiment of truth he was (apparently) a simple, blue collar guy with a fairly standard Christian background. Intellectually challenged at school (according to the bio), by most accounts he was never an especially sophisticated thinker. An ex-follower summed up his case in colorful and incisive terms:
The thing about John is that like everyone he is a product of his inherited conditioning, his culture, his life experience and the influences (such as Benita) that he cultivated around him. So step back and you can see much: very strong and narrow Christian roots, perhaps add in the dour Calvinism of the Dutch heritage, spent time with some weirdo Christian extremists, not much education, chip on shoulder because back then he was a bit goofy socially and appearance-wise. . . . So his teaching is still laced with all that guilt and sin and Christian ideas of good and bad, right and wrong, much shaming.
Did de Ruiter’s naïveté set him up for a fall? He speaks a lot about believing only what you know, yet judging by his followers he has allowed them to believe things based on less than real knowings. The belief that he is a living embodiment of truth, for example, or in his “goodness,” is something surely no one besides de Ruiter can have a “knowing” about.
In the last fifteen years or so, beginning with his substitution of the word “God” with the word “Truth,” de Ruiter carefully removed all traces of Christian influences from his teachings, while at the same time concealing certain parts of his personal history—such as his apprenticeship to Jesus and his claims to being the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy (and what really happened in Bethlehem). He went to great lengths to remove all video and audio traces of those early years, and even discontinued the first fifty or so tapes from his College of Integrated Philosophy product line. For de Ruiter to alter his philosophical position on certain subjects is understandable. But why erase traces of his prior beliefs? Rewriting one’s history—and covering up specific areas of it—is what politicians and celebrities do. What makes it even more puzzling is the evidence that de Ruiter has not actually strayed very far from his Christian roots, but only taken care to conceal them via his use of language. According to Benita’s testimony, at home de Ruiter claimed to be the Christ, doing the will of God and battling Satan. If de Ruiter still holds such beliefs, why doesn’t he admit it? Apparently he has given his belief system a facelift to widen his appeal and conceal his more Messianic aspirations.
If de Ruiter’s desire to distance himself from his Christian roots led him to develop an elaborate language to describe the “way” which he embodies, this might account for how, over the years, his language has become increasingly complex, abstract, and obscure, with ever deepening layers (apparently) required to understand it. Yet very little of his teaching is practical in any ordinary sense. Some of de Ruiter’s followers have spent decades attending meetings, yet, judging by their dialogues with him, they are still unclear as to what he is talking about. (Or what they are talking about, since they have learned to parrot his terms.) People sit in the Chair and humbly ask de Ruiter how they are progressing, or even if they are progressing. Over the years, de Ruiter has drummed into his followers the idea that they can’t trust their thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, or even intuition, and to refer only to what they know. But since they can’t use any of their “surface bodies” to experience a “knowing,” they may be left with only one solid point of reference. Like children looking to a parent, they ask John how they are doing. And like children, they learn to imitate his behavior and copy the words they hear him using without necessarily understanding them. Maybe they’re hoping that, by saying the words enough, they can at least look and feel like they are “getting it”? (That was what I did.)
De Ruiter creates his own system of communication and of understanding truth, and only he knows the exact meanings of the terms he’s created. He is the master of this truth, placing everyone else in the position of trying to figure out what exactly he is talking about, and having to refer to de Ruiter for confirmation or denial.
Christianity offers a model of perfection, righteousness, and truth in the person of Jesus, then emphasizes our own insurmountable inferiority. It offers a life-long contract (at a bargain rate) by which we can keep to the straight and narrow via daily submission to the Church. A direct connection to Christ (outside of the Church) is not on offer; in fact it is considered heresy. In the same manner, de Ruiter becomes his followers’ primary connection to Truth. It’s a connection they feel lost without, maybe even more lost than before they found him.
Spiritual Bypassing: “Okayness” as the Seeker’s Opiate
“When someone is able to perform the art of touching on the archetypal, he can play on the souls of people like on the strings of a piano.”
De Ruiter’s meetings are akin to theatrical performances, complete with audience participation. They appear to have been designed to reinforce the idea of de Ruiter’s authority and the crowd’s acknowledgment of it. Such enactments appeal to a fundamental psychological desire shared by everyone, the desire to love unconditionally, without limits, checks or bounds: the desire to worship. So what does de Ruiter do with all that loving attention? The more I have fathomed the apparent corruption, delusion, and dishonesty that lurks inside every corner of de Ruiter’s life and ministry, the more I have wondered why it wasn’t completely obvious to everyone. How had I managed to overlook the evidence for so long? The answer is that I saw the same evidence as I was seeing now in a different context—the context of “John-as-Truth.”
If de Ruiter doesn’t practice what he preaches, the obvious reason would be that what he preaches is impractical. This doesn’t make the teachings worthless, or even false, just impractical. But the obvious danger is that people will twist themselves into all sorts of contortions in an attempt to make them work, and that all they will get for it is back pains. If our self-judgment and non-acceptance is severe enough, the levels of denial required could send people into realms of psychosis or dissociation. (There has been at least one suicide reported among de Ruiter’s followers before Anina Hundsdoerfer’s mysterious death in 2014.)
De Ruiter preaches living without a personal agenda, but his actions tell a different story. De Ruiter has claimed to have removed the element of self-interest from his actions, and naturally that’s what his followers aspire to. That becomes the model for “Truth.” But when personal desires are denied (rather than surrendered), they simply go underground, into the unconscious. What that leaves is an unconscious agenda of self-interest.
In one of our conversations, Joyce told me about something she heard John say many times, “that this whole Oasis thing meant nothing to him. If anyone wanted to come into the meeting and tear it apart, it was fine with him. He loved to make that claim, and that would be the kind of claim that would impress me. . . . Well, in fact, that’s not true at all.” In the 2010 interview with Neils Brummelman, de Ruiter was asked why he bothered to counter sociologist Stephen Kent’s charges that Oasis was the start of a new religion. De Ruiter replied:
Some things are helpful to respond to because to not respond to something may create difficulty for others. Those who I have a relationship with on various different levels, I have a responsibility to take care of that relationship, and to be taking care of something that is in my care because I am in a relationship with them. . . [It] is all factored in as to what is it that I am taking care of. . .
Over the years, de Ruiter has taken care to conceal aspects of his life from public view, including possibly dubious areas of his business dealings or anything that might undermine his image as a “living embodiment of truth.” That concealment has included discouraging members of the community from reading the affidavit or hearing Benita’s version of events. To the outsider, such an agenda appears damning; there seems to be no possible explanation besides that de Ruiter is protecting his image by maintaining a deception. This leads to the conclusion that he is a charlatan who doesn’t care about anything besides his own self-interest. I am convinced this is not an accurate reading. I think de Ruiter cares about his flock; I think it’s even possible he cares too much.
To some extent, this book is an attempt to redress the de-Ruiter-encouraged Oasis bias by looking at those aspects of the truth which de Ruiter has decided are “distracting,” irrelevant, and even detrimental to the completion of his mission. I think de Ruiter has been keeping his flock in the dark because he believes it is in their best interests, as well as his, to ignore the more unsavory aspects of his “work.” I don’t agree with his judgment; I know beyond doubt that for me, exploring all aspects of the picture has been essential for my own “graduation” from his college.
If de Ruiter’s “burden from God [is] to act against his own message . . . so as to prepare him inwardly for his upcoming battle with Satan,” then pretty much any amount of apparent “untruth” is covered by such a “clause.” De Ruiter then has to consider the effects of being seen to act against his own teachings, on those under his guidance and care. It is easy to imagine the cognitive dissonance such apparent “hypocrisy” would cause among his followers. It might even lead to a mass apostasy in the community—a rejection of the teachings and a lost flock, wandering through the wilderness without their shepherd. It’s also easy to see how disastrous that would be for de Ruiter personally. So then how is he to separate, in his own mind, his responsibility to the people under his care from his own self-interest? By not thinking about it at all, perhaps, and letting “Truth” take over the reins?
De Ruiter could hardly fail to be aware that, the more he tries to conceal or “spin” his marital difficulties and the rest, the worse it is going to look when it finally does come out. Maybe he is counting on a rebellion? Every parent knows a day must come when his children reject his authority and leave the nest, and part of establishing the circumstances for that coming of age ritual is to appear to be preventing it.
“Seeing more deeply contains no guarantee against one’s mind becoming concomitantly more clever at fooling oneself.”
—Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad, The Guru Papers
The concept of guru doesn’t have any real precedent in western tradition. Although the meaning is similar to that of teacher, it actually derives from an adjective in Sanskrit meaning “heavy.” So literally, the guru is “the heavy” (the “villain” in modern movie parlance). Since the traditional guru-disciple relationship entails one of complete dominance and subjugation, the closest equivalent in English would perhaps be King, Emperor, or Caesar. The term Hitler chose to be addressed as, for example, was fuhrer, which has a similar meaning to guru. Outside of the political and military arena, the eastern method of surrendering to gurus—seen as enlightened beings and “god embodiments”—has no real equivalent in the western tradition because the only god-embodiment which Christianity allows for is Christ. (The closest would be a prophet, which is more of an Old Testament tradition.) Westerners aren’t hardwired to surrender to a man, or to believe that any man besides Jesus can embody God. Being a prophet isn’t enough to demand total subjugation either, which is probably why Charles Manson, David Koresh, and John de Ruiter all claimed, in their respective ways, to be the Messiah. A western guru who wants to inspire his (westernized) disciples to surrender unequivocally can do so best by persuading them he is an embodiment of Christ.
Everyone who comes to sit with a guru is driven, in one way or another, by a desire to transcend their family patterns—to be free of personality flaws, foibles, obsessions, and whatever else is causing them to suffer. The goal is to surrender to and merge with an enlightened being who has supposedly overcome his or her patterns and attained a “clear” (to borrow a term from Scientology) state of being. Whether this is possible is beyond the scope of this account. What I hope to understand is what kind of effects such a “spiritual” relationship between guru and disciple has, for both parties, if the enlightened being in question is not entirely free of his or her own patterns. What if the guru is driven by the same basic desires, albeit at a “higher” (i.e., deeper) level?
Joyce told me she suspected a part of her spirit would always be with John, like a prisoner. Jason Gerdes shared with me an interesting recollection along similar lines. He had attended a meeting at Oasis around 2001, during which a woman got in the Chair and began to plead with de Ruiter to “let her go.” Gerdes claimed he could see a struggle in de Ruiter because he didn’t want to admit he had power over the woman. He was telling her she was there “of her own volition,” while the woman was implicitly saying (in Gerdes’ words): “That might be your cover story, but deep down, somehow you’re keeping me here and I know it. And I want that to stop and I want to be let go.” Gerdes described a veiled conversation occurring on two levels; at the deeper level, he “saw this poor person just begging [to be set free].”
In 2011, I came across a discussion about de Ruiter on the internet from 2005-6. Among the comments was the following, posted anonymously in January of 2006:
In some cultures, when one gazes into the eyes for long periods of time, especially if not intimately involved with that person, it’s considered to be robbing the soul. Johnites Love for John to “merge” with them. This is where he basically invades one’s energy field with his energy field. He is very effective, and in fact, very powerful at this. However, I observe that this is when people become Hooked! There becomes some kind of energetic connection that [the] follower may be unaware of, or sees no harm in it. But if they are connected in this way, then are they continuing to follow John out of free will, at this point? I heard someone once suggest that he’d put her under his spell. I’m afraid that this was literally true! It seems his strategy is to travel to other countries, connect with people psychically and get them Hooked, so they will leave family, home and everything else, and move to Edmonton, where they can be a stable source of income and energy for John. It’s as if he harvests souls!
While this might seem a somewhat melodramatic point of view, psychologically at least there’s truth to it. When a guru becomes an idealized father (and mother) figure for his followers, there is a danger he will become as psychologically, emotionally, and energetically invested in his followers as they are in him. Since any relationship is always mutual to a degree, the best way to gauge how dependent a guru is on his followers is by gauging the extent to which they are dependent on him. If there is shared dependency, the guru, like a parent who refuses to let his children grow up, would be invested in not leading his followers to freedom.
Judging by many of his actions, de Ruiter appears to have absolved himself prematurely of responsibility for his actions. He seems to be like a more evolved religious fanatic who believes he is justified in any manner of bizarre behaviors simply because “God told him to.” History is rife with precedents for such behavior, and in almost every case, the assumed “divine sanction” becomes a license for misbehavior. Perhaps God does speak directly to some people and dictate their actions; perhaps de Ruiter is even one of them. But sincere belief isn’t enough to make it so, and history bears out W.B. Yeats’ comment that, as a general rule, it is the most deluded people who possess the fiercest convictions.
In my experience, sitting in front of de Ruiter, in the atmosphere of reverent silence which he creates, caused a kind of unfocused, dissociated state of consciousness in me. From that state, all my attention (along with the attention of the others in the room) was fiercely concentrated on de Ruiter. Combined with that concentration, there was a deep emotional hunger for some crumb of confirmation or acknowledgment from him. When he threw me a glance or his words happened to coincide with something I was “in” at the time, it seemed to have been aimed directly at me and I experienced an upsurge of blissful “recognition”—recognition of de Ruiter and how wonderful and “true” he was. When his words echoed some thought I was having at the time, that led to a “knowing” about a personal truth relating to myself.
Looked at more soberly, however, my “knowing” was actually more centered on de Ruiter’s power, the depth of his wisdom, and the central importance he had in my life, than on any insights about myself. It was all about “John.” I felt overwhelming love for him mixed with childlike wonder and awe. I also felt “okay” about whatever had been bothering or oppressing me before the meeting. All my personal concerns became trivial and irrelevant in the light of a deeper “knowing” which centered on John’s goodness. After the meeting was over, however, I would often feel deflated. Once I was no longer in his presence, I felt hungry for more of that “goodness.”
I found a similar (anonymous) testimony, from January 2006, at the afore-mentioned comments section on the internet:
The “numbness” of mind you mention is interesting in that for many of his followers it manifests not so much as a deadened state of awareness, and more as an acutely focused one. They see/hear/smell/taste/touch nothing (or at best very little) of anything other than John and his “teachings.” As such, I liken the phenomenon more to a drug addiction than a malaise. There is purpose, thought, reflection, emotion in the process that accompanies the addiction, but it is focused and realized only in or about John. All other phenomena in life are rendered meaningless under these conditions . . . .
If, as I have come to believe, this kind of experience is common—perhaps even the norm—in the group, it strongly indicates that de Ruiter is creating and maintaining a codependent relationship with his followers. The meetings offer temporary peace for wounded people, who between them create and hold a space of “okayness” in which it is possible to “transcend” (escape) everyday fears and difficulties. Such fragile souls would inevitably become dependent on their keeper for their (spiritual) survival, even as they are, ironically, providing him with a deep comfort and sense of purpose and meaning, one which he would otherwise be lacking. It is cosmic codependency.
 This website is no longer online.
 The nature of psychological imprinting was discovered by an Austrian scientist called Konrad Lorenz. Curious to discover why ducklings followed their mother around, Lorenz hatched some goose eggs in an incubator and performed experiments. He soon discovered that newly hatched goslings would run after the first moving object they saw, whether it was their mother, a human being, a dog, or a rolling ball. Just about anything the goslings saw moving away from them during those first few critical hours would suffice. After following whatever “captured” them for that brief time, they refused to follow anything else. Lorenz called the behavior “imprinting,” because of how the goslings’ first impression created a permanent imprint in their consciousness (a “way of being”). When a freshly hatched gosling followed its mother, it learned to recognize her and associate with others of its kind. But if it followed a football and accepted that as its mother, it might want to associate with footballs for the rest of its life. It would gain from footballs a sense of self and of belonging. Lorenz discovered this in a rather intimate fashion, when his goslings were imprinted by the scientist himself (or rather by his wading boots); hence he was often depicted as being followed by a gaggle of geese.
 My wife is a noted exception, because she remained loyal to de Ruiter even years after leaving. If she left Oasis, it was, she said, because she no longer felt the need for proximity. My impression was that she had embodied his “way” and so she was “free to go.” Perhaps she was an example of a true “graduate”? Ironically enough, the first time she returned to a meeting, it was because I brought her back.
 The tape “What is Evil?” in which he talked of satanic forces mining the earth and infiltrating human consciousness, was asked to be returned by anyone who owned a copy. Copies were presumably destroyed. So far as I know, no explanation was given. However, in 2016, Oasis made this audio available again.
 See Appendix Four for a more in-depth comparison of de Ruiter’ teachings with Christianity.
 A woman in the Chair, in April 2011: “Can you see when you look at me whether or not I’m really integrating this or whether it’s just a concept for me? I think I am integrating it, but I don’t know if I’m integrating it or not. That actually sounds like nonsense when I’m saying it.”
 Bryan Beard, one of John’s followers, who threw himself from a bridge in 2000. “In the year 1999, when I met John de Ruiter, another follower called Brian, [sic] who moved to Edmonton from Vancouver, a blond long hair and good looking guy, who was in distress and depression, committed suicide . . . . He moved to Edmonton in hope of finding help from John. I remember when Brian [sic] once told me, in the old meeting building, that he was loving John but he was not receiving the support or balance he was hoping for. After he lived a few months in Edmonton, I received the news he committed suicide. I heard he threw himself from a Bridge [sic] into freezing waters.” http://raymondparkerphoto.com/a-eulogy-for-bryan-beard/ Another of de Ruiter’s followers, Tyler, also committed suicide some time later.
Looking at de Ruiter from the angle of codependency is interesting. That´s the stuff spiritual prisons are made of. In a book I am just reading I found some statements concerning mind-control techniques. The author relates them to the UFO phenomenon, but I think they are also helpful to figure out “Gurus“ like de Ruiter:
“I wonder if anyone besides myself has seen the subliminal contradiction ploy as it operates in normal social situations. If a person who wishes to influence you can establish a clear image in your mind of who he is and what is to be expected of him, and then, swiftly and nonchalantly, say or do something which totally contradicts this image, without exhibiting the normal mischievousness or social anxiety which such a shift usually entails, you may accept both your image of him and its contrary simultaneously, and subliminally. If you do, he has stunned you into a state where you can easily be manipulated. A subliminal contradiction between speech and body language can have the same effect. … In the technique of subliminal contradiction, two mutually incompatible bits of information are simultaneously projected into the perception of the victim without the contradiction being either pointed out or explained. In the technique of deferred closure, inexplicable data are continually fed to the victim or victims over a period of time, data which always suggest the possibility of a rational explanation but never quite allow it. And since the human mind is designed to seek and produce both perceptual and rational closure, the mind subjected to deferred closure will react to the continued frustration of one of its most basic needs either by sinking into stunned exhaustion, or by producing a paranoid, delusional form of closure. Schizophrenia presents the mind with a flood of data which overwhelms the normal processes of emotional, rational and perceptual closure; paranoid schizophrenia represents a more or less successful attempt to reach relative closure by abnormal means. Deferred closure, then, might be defined as an experimental method for producing paranoid schizophrenia (for a fictional account of this technique, I refer the reader to That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis, pp 297–298). Subliminal contradiction and deferred closure are not only mind-control techniques, however; they are also essential elements of postmodern ‘philosophy’, which believes that contradictory statements are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and that any closure as to the true nature of things, any ‘overarching paradigm’, is impossible. Postmodernism, both as a philosophy and as a name for our contemporary culture, employs subliminal contradiction and deferred closure simply because it can’t imagine anything else; it no longer believes in the existence of objective truth. … As soon as a subliminal contradiction is accepted into the field of perception without initial resistance, the critical faculty is stunned, and the mind becomes receptive to suggestion.”
(from “The System Of Antichrist: Truth and Falsehood in Postmodernism and the New Age (English Edition)” by Charles Upton)