11/11/17, almost exactly seven years after the Emperor-spell broke and the investigation into his invisible robes began, the book is finally available. I don’t know for how long, however, so if you are interested in a copy, get it now while stocks last. The first three quarters of the book is serialized at this blog; the remaining quarter won’t be available online.
If you aren’t interested ~ what’s the matter with you?! Here’s a recent exchange with Darren Westlund (who isn’t interested either) that will change your mind. Or not. (I haven’t got . . . the faintest ideaaa…)
Darren wrote: About Dark Oasis… I’ve been reading your John de Ruiter blog posts and they’re (of course!) very interesting and well-written, but every goddamn time I read a new one I found myself wondering why YOU, of all people—Jasun Horsley, the man with the super-powerful intellect and a firm grasp of all things psycho-spiritual and/or mystical—would have gone skulking after a guru. I just don’t get it, because I’ve never felt the same impulse.
This probably sounds a bit hypocritical coming from a guy who paid a Jungian analyst $120 an hour for eight years so I could go on a Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride through my own psyche—but I would argue that that’s different.
So I’m not sure if I’m up for having a 400+ page experience of asking myself, on every page, “What the fuck was Jasun thinking?” while I read Dark Oasis. I think that book might be more of a niche product, best suited for de Ruiter’s crowd of brainwashed cultists, or those susceptible to guru worship in general. It’s just not my thing. No offense, but I think I’d rather read the new books on Kubrick and Strieber. At least those two have created movies and texts that interest me. The gurus? They tend not to be creators—although I’ll admit that Gurdjieff and Osho said some pretty trippy things that I found amusing. Everything you’ve written about de Ruiter just makes me think he was an obfuscating, 4X4-driving spiritual con artist and I would have seen right through him from Day 1. Fuck that guy….
It’s like Wm. Burroughs said: “…the con man needs the Mark — The Mark does not need the con man.” Burroughs, of all people, would know.
My response: The short answer to “What the fuck was Jasun thinking?” is: father issues. Everyone has them, and whether they come out in over-dependence/interest/gullibility towards father figures or excessive aversion to them isn’t necessarily an indication of how strong they are (or should I say, how unconscious).
You dislike gurus (so did I, btw) but admire novelists & filmmakers (and psychologists). So then there’s a different level of discernment at work. There’s definitely a difference between psychotherapy and spiritual discipleship; but as to whether one is more autonomous or, for that matter, effective, than the other, I suppose that would have to be taken on a case by case basis… I “followed” JdR for a little under two years & it cost me less than psychotherapy would have. I am certainly better off for having gone through the whole thing, even if I’m not thanking Mr dR for it. [Or if I am, in a very unorthodox fashion, by publishing this book.]
I think you want to separate that chapter of my experience from the rest of my output; yet my relationship with JdR, for better or worse, my run-in with him, says as much about me as anything else I’ve written (at least till the 2nd part of Seen & Not Seen and Occult Yorkshire). One thing it says is: a super-honed intellect is no defense against “con-men.” Maybe you were hoping that a “super-powerful intellect and a firm grasp of all things psycho-spiritual and/or mystical” would be enough to navigate the labyrinth of trauma-patterns? In fact ~ ironically ~ a super-powerful intellect is probably itself symptomatic of trauma and so constructed in just such a way as to be completely useless when it comes time to going into those patterns (by having them re-triggered via transference)
Well, not completely useless, I did apply logic (& writing) to extricate myself….
But ask yourself this: who is wiser, the one who managed to avoid getting conned by staying out of dodgy neighborhoods, or the one who went all the way in there, lost everything but the shirt off his back, but lived to tell the tale? Which one knows more about con tricks?
[I list the names of famous artists Darren cited in his email]: Everyone has their own brand of kool-aid.
Darren responded: I don’t think you can equate my admiration for the accomplishments of certain novelists, filmmakers, etc. with any sort of unconscious desire to turn them into parental figures. I also happen to know a fair number of psychologists socially (I live in NYC, after all) and about half of them strike me as assholes, so I wouldn’t say I hold the people who work in that particular profession in any great esteem. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it’s another field that’s rife with con artists.
But if “following” JdR worked for you in the same way, or better than, analysis would have worked for you—as you say it did—then I’m totally cool with that. I don’t want to separate that chapter of your experience from the rest of you. I just don’t want to read a book about what you went through to come out on the other side, where we both are now. Let’s write it off to my grandfather issues….
That Ruskoff blurb was nice of him, although I think it’s hyperbole to say it could happen to anyone. For instance, for every one person that gets suckered into Scientology, there must be at least another hundred people who would immediately and unequivocally know that L. Ron Hubbard was a pathological liar, once they’d had a little exposure to his “Study Tech.”
My response: That’s probably a case of me making too broad a point due to the medium (semi-rapid fire email exchange). The finer point (I think) is that transference is the underlying principle behind all forms of cultural enthrallment/hero worship/deification, and that the notion of the creator-artist as a superior figure to be admired & emulated is central to the larger, unrecognized cult of culture.
Probably the main gain for me of falling in thrall to JdR was that it forced me to see that I am not immune to that (no one is), and it gave me the opportunity to better identify those personal patterns that make me susceptible. Hence, again, the mark who knows he has been conned has an advantage over the mark who doesn’t know it. Humbling only happens via humiliation, alas.
Paper Tiger, Prisoner of Infinity, Kubrickon, SANS and Dark Oasis are really all part of the same work in that regard, which is an ongoing examination of cultural programming (“cult logic”) using as many examples as I can find that I have personal, direct experience of. Grokking “mkultra culture” entails seeing that MKULTRA, the historical program, is just an overt, literalized example of a program that predates the CIA by a long time, and that is most effective via the avenues we least suspect; the art of mind control, like culture, is to conceal its own traces and effects by shaping our perceptual and cognitive faculties ~ just as a good cult leader does.
Being able to see through LRH or JDR may give us a false sense of confidence that we know how to spot a con. My view (post-JdR) is that “this could happen to anyone” is not hyperbole but understatement. It has happened to everyone.
Order the book here. One for you, for your bathroom, your neighbor, & your dog. I will also be selling signed copies, at least for a while, and just as soon as I receive them. If you want to pre-order one of these, make a payment via Paypal (jasunhorsley [at] gmail [dot] com) with a note about what it’s for and who you’d like it inscribed to. Cost of the signed copies will be $25, inc P & P, if you are in the US, more for Europe and other areas (I will look into prices and update this page). Note also that, currently, the book is listed as unavailable at Amazon.ca ~ ironically, since it’s about a Canadian cult leader. I am told it will show up on .ca eventually, but I’m not sure show long it will take. If you are in Canada and want a copy, you can pre-order it via myself and receive it as soon as I have copies. It will be $22, inc. P & P. I’ll work on getting an order button up at the site in the next day or two.