Skip to comments.Roy Masters: Foundation of Human Understanding
Posted on 07/14/2013 8:50:49 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
Roy Masters, founder and director, was born Reuben Obermeister to a Jewish family in London, England. At age 15 he worked at his uncle's diamond-cutting factory in Brighton after his father died.
As a young boy he became interested in hypnotism. He added to his hypnotism techniques after studying African witchdoctor rites during his apprenticeship at South African diamond mines when he was 18.
He came to America in 1949, at age 21, to lecture on diamonds. He legally changed his name to Roy Masters in 1954 (yet never acquired American citizenship) and eventually became a professional hypnotist claiming he could "save people by teaching them self-sufficiency meditative hypnosis."
The American Medical Association pressed charges against him for practicing medicine without a license. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail. He likens this "persecution" to the persecution Jesus suffered.
He is a self-described "Christian mystic" combining Eastern mysticism and Gnosticism with Christian jargon, yoga, hypnotism and self-help principles.
As with other Eastern-oriented cults, The Foundation of Human Understanding teaches that God is both personal and impersonal, advocating an almost pantheistic God.
In lieu of dependence on Jesus Christ for salvation, Masters teaches dependence on his meditation techniques. He teaches that mankind is inherently good, thus there is no need for salvation or a savior.
All problems man encounters can be resolved through self effort.
"No form of outer assistance can substitute for inner direction. Direction must come always from within. Moved by the spirit of intuition, we move without excitement, effort or strain. The more we exercise our dependency upon the Within, the stronger this relationship becomes, and we know it to be Grace," (How To Keep Your Mind Well, p. 165, Foundation Press, 1971).
Though he claims to have been saved by the blood of Christ, he states that "one of the biggest curses in Christendom is the false idea that Jesus is God."
According to the late Dr. Walter Martin, the Foundation does not mention the Holy Spirit in any of its publications (The New Cults, p. 310).
Instead of relying on the Holy Spirit for comfort and guidance, followers are taught to rely on themselves (made possible through successful meditation).
During the meditative process, subjects are taught to surrender all disbelief and to relinquish control to Masters.
The Foundation of Human Understanding headquarters is in Los Angeles, California where Masters' self-help brand of religion is offered to an audience of 3 million people via his national radio program, "How Your Mind Can Keep You Well."
In 1982, about 2,000 disciples followed Masters to a 378-acre ranch in Oregon. He holds seminars and weekend retreats at the ranch and is currently establishing Evelyn Street School, a Foundation institute for kindergarten through 12th grade there.
In 1989, Masters claimed to have 150,000 people on his mailing list. Over 100,00 have purportedly participated in his courses. His meditation exercise is taught on three cassettes and a book for a total cost of $25.00.
Participants in his week-long seminars pay $1,200 and $50 for one-day seminars held across the country. Masters says he wants to be remembered in the same category as Moses, Jesus, the apostles, Buddha, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy.
....In lieu of dependence on Jesus Christ for salvation, Masters teaches dependence on his meditation techniques. He teaches that mankind is inherently good, thus there is no need for salvation or a savior. All problems man encounters can be resolved through self effort. "No form of outer assistance can substitute for inner direction. Direction must come always from within. Moved by the spirit of intuition, we move without excitement, effort or strain. The more we exercise our dependency upon the Within, the stronger this relationship becomes, and we know it to be Grace," (How To Keep Your Mind Well, p. 165, Foundation Press, 1971). Though he claims to have been saved by the blood of Christ, he states that "one of the biggest curses in Christendom is the false idea that Jesus is God"....
....Participants in his week-long seminars pay $1,200 and $50 for one-day seminars held across the country. Masters says he wants to be remembered in the same category as Moses, Jesus, the apostles, Buddha, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy.
What would Garner Ted Armstrong say?
Yup. Roy Masters. Cultist. A pied piper leading people to hell.
I’m often surprised to see that Roy Masters is still around. Back when I was in graduate school, I’d sometimes catch him late at night, after all the regular hosts (Rush, Beck, etc) had gone off the air. After Masters would come Coast to Coast with whoever was hosting it at the time...
This guy used to buy time on a Washington, DC area radio station (AM 730). One of the creepiest radio programs I’ve ever heard.
Did he have a falling out with his father?
” Masters says he wants to be remembered in the same category as Moses, Jesus, the apostles, Buddha, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy. “
lol. Is that all?
He really is an odd duck. Sui generis. And veeeeery creepy.
I can’t imagine hanging out with the guy. He could be a cult leader, but he doesn’t seem to be interested in having a compound.
Or Groucho, Harpo, Zeppo, etc.
A few months ago an was posted on FR supporting Obermeister and which resulted in him being exposed as the deceiver he is, and how his disciples can be so devoted as to deny visible documentation against him.
See posts in thread here:
Funny you should be the one to point out the cultists...I don’t know the source of your screen name, but every time I see it, I think of it as a contraction of Marshall Applewhite and Heaven’s Gate :-)
See posts in thread here:
Interesting. Thanks for the links.
See post above, and now he has a new gimmick that sounds like his version of L. Ron Hubbard’s “E-Meter,” that of his “Cure Stress Device,” which he claims is “completely effortless - except for the 60 bucks he charge you for it - and “is widely praised and recommended by psychologists and psychiatrists across the United States.” Which should be enough to alarm the wise if true, but more likely it enables you to tell lies without feeling guilt.
The ranch home on Little Applegate Rd, just off the Little Applegate river (technically, we had river frontage: all of 25 feet) that the wife & I designed and built, except for the pro roofer, fireplace mason, and part of the hardwood floors/stairs, along with hired grunt-muscle as needed.
Finished it just in time to have a drug dealer buy 20 acres across the access road from us, and set up shop; Kirstie Ally, along with other undesirables, were also moving into close proximity. Sold it, and used the money to buy this 300+ acre ranch, with an apple tree growing next to the main gate.
I had online accounts as ApplegateRanch clear back in the early-mid 90s, when I had to sign on with 9,600K dialup.
Roy Master's "ranch" was around 30 or so miles away, near Grants Pass, so heard plenty about him in the local press, as well as having listened to some of his programs out of curiosity. Had a former Rashneeshi as a neighbor, as well, so also got that perspective.
Now, Warren Jeff's outfit has a "ranch" compound about 25 miles from us, but keep a low profile. Once in a great while, see some of the women shopping.
Ultimately Garner and his dad have gone to the Father, or at least elsewhere, and no doubt it is all sorted out.
Yes, for them, it is settled eternally, for good or bad. ,
Interesting reading all this guys. Some of the criticism is justified and some of it isn’t. Way off the mark in fact. I’d like to put my 10 cents in and digress to mention some of the capers of the Foundation’s English seed organisation as an illustration of what happens when the wrong types of people are attracted to Roy. He won’t mind reading this because he doesn’t care what people think of him. Read on folks because this is an important testimony from an practiced observer with quite a few years’ mixing with seminar attendees and Roybots. There’s enough material in my memory for a good book or comedy movie.
Hearing Roy on the ‘pirate’ illegal Radio Caroline back in the Eighties definitely showed me here was a man with authority. It was like having God himself talk to me and the good spirit that comes into him came across the airwaves in his voice inflexions and in his books.
The station was broadcast from out in the North Sea for many years and with a very powerful transmitter covered a vast swathe of south and south-east England, Holland and beyond. Roy’s programme, How Your Mind Can Keep You Well In A Moment Of Truth was so controversial that none of the English commercial or government stations dared to buy it. The English are a very timid and accepting bunch unless inebriated or watching sport, who usually can’t tolerate US talk show material or anything really deep like this. (Though this may have changed through watching Internet excerpts). They usually only go with what makes them feel comfortable, ie. music, trivia and sport.
One of the listeners, an obese and highly-strung Englishman, organised some ‘social’ get-togethers in 1986 or ‘87, with a view to organising a seminar in England. In what was soon known as FHU UK, we were a group of mostly young naiive people with psychological / growing up problems all a bit in awe of Roy who thought he could show each of us the way to solving our individual problems - and he could if we would listen. Failing to find the solution solely with the meditation as was suggested, we felt we needed something more because we’d lost that inner connection so completely to be able to hear him properly; this coupled with the hightened amount of persecution most of us suffered at becoming different, through both being that way naturally, and it amplified through meditation. It’s an even harder journey if a seeker is poor and likes peace and quiet.
These meetings were very stimulating for those with a psychological / philosophical bent as most of us were, but sometimes became a bit abusive. Anyone who cross-questioned the UK leader or who had the tenacity and resolve to suggest his point was wrong was in for a sharp change of atmosphere and usually group criticism. The ‘Hot Seat’ was a very uncomfortable early version of the purile TV show Big Brother’s Diary Room chair; sat in voluntarily I might add (but with some group pressure), it was an innocent but somewhat cack-handed attempt to try and ‘burst the bubble’ of someone misusing Roy’s good teachings to support their own ego. There was a bit of good and bad here though. Those unhealthily caught up with Roy would be exposed as such but it often had a detrimental effect where undue, unfair or off-the-mark criticism was levelled. Even if someone (in or out of the chair), said something right, if one or more of the most vocal had an issue with it, it was sometimes deemed ‘wrong’ because they, in their real or alleged psychotic state could not give it any validity - regardless of any due merit. If anyone denied something thrown at them, this would mean they were ‘into denial’ and therefore guilty. Someone resisting or disagreeing with a suggestion was said to be protecting their demon. His and Roy’s first fruits lol, would have made more than half-decent witch-hunters in 17th century Salem.
Roy couldn’t visit England then as having his radio show aired on the illegal off-shore Radio Caroline, he was breaking the law and fearful of arrest. So the UK representative went hard to work (with alot of help from others in our ‘team’) organising the first European seminar in August 1988 in France (outside of UK juristiction for this minor infraction). Off we all went on the coach for a long drive along the coast, way out in the countryside to where Roy would expound on all what we’d heard over and over on the radio. We felt we needed some personal attention but looking back, it was really not necessary, and Roy would be the first one to tell us that. He most probably knew this was a big learning curve for us all.
So it was a bit of a surprise when I finally saw him at a seminar. In walked this smart well-fed portly guy with a granny perm and a face that alternated quite readily between friendly and mean. Mean is for those who are obviously wrong, those who disagree with him or who he just has a vibe about (though I strongly suspect he’d heard a bit of gossip from the rest about individual members - justified or not. The whole group turned out to be one big gossip machine.) I’ve seen him come down quite hard on young victim guys who had obvious problems, where there are far far worse creatures around. I once heard him admonish a quiet young chap about a facial disability. To do this over some physical handicap he was probably born with was a bit harsh. If he was so connected to the Creator, why didn’t he heal it for him! I heard he could be quite strong with his own children - one of whom was a bit damaged by it long-term and had little to do with him around that time. And then there’s the documented fights with his ex-daughter in law, Linda Masters who in 1999, was said to have been wanting to go on national television to denounce him as violent towards her and her children. Whether truthful or not, it’s mighty interesting reading and she obviously hated him for something.
The talk was there but we got to see the side of him that’s just plain old Roy - the person rather than the man on the radio who sounded like a Jesus figure. This is what throws people with him. They think his voice is God and then subconsiously think he is - or that something in him knows everything about them and can get in their brains and fix things so they won’t be empty anymore. They feel on top of the world when they’re playing one of his tapes, but as empty and lost as they were before when it stops. To be fair he actively discourages this all the time trying to turn away his unwanted ‘Roybots’ and even cracking dirty jokes (very funny ones I might add) to try and get listeners to see he is after all a mere mortal.
There really is nothing to be criticised in his basic teachings so don’t even try to. It’s not way out there like you have to get your head round past lives teachings or reincarnation or some such hocus pocus. It really is basic common sense we all have realisations about every day, even though they get buried pretty quick. Even the meditation is natural once you start doing it.
But over the years I’ve gotten to think of Roy as more of a talker than a doer. He’s in his element talking but doesn’t like critical questions or opposing views. On anything. I once spoke with him about his wholly respectable physics (because it tallies with my own thoughts on the subject). There was one point about something I wanted him to clarify, as scientist to scientist but he would not elaborate. I can’t remember exactly what it was now as it was a number of years ago but I do recall he was a bit patronising - saying words to the effect I didn’t understand the basis of the theory. I suspected he didn’t understand this part himself but didn’t want to admit it. My question was a valid one that anyone with this interest would ask. I told him all this straight but because I argued with him, was ignored. It was he who ‘ran’, not me.
I’ve had this ‘front’ from quite a few of FHU UK people in years past. In our ‘social’ events every few weeks or months that went on into the Nineties, if I questioned something amiss I’d get this horrible suppressing energy come across as if to say, “You don’t know what you’re talking about - be quiet”. It must have been they were working to an image of him they created in their minds that they acted to. If he was a bit forthright and bombastic on the radio (when of course he often needed to be), they thought it’d be ok to be like that SO THEY COULD BE RIGHT, rather than being forceful as a RESULT of being right. I had a few arguments with some of the guys (and they were mostly guys for some reason). Couldn’t believe the arrogance and I wouldn’t recommend socialising with many of them. I was dropped after I argued my case back too much. To them, I was ‘reacting’ to their ‘truth’.
One of the most psychotic of these ‘men’ assimilated a part of Roy’s personality and is, like the rest, a very interesting head-case study. Roy will often laugh and in the twinkling of an eye, turn ever so serious. This Roybot would do the same but to an exaggerated degree and it was funny to watch him at group meetings. He’d hold his hands up and do an exaggerated hysterical laugh into them about three inches from his face over something minor. He’d put them down slowly and give the Roy Masters stare-out if someone said something he didn’t expect or he had a thought about something serious that distracted him. He used to start to cry with his hands up like that when shown the truth and exposed by the group or if anyone hit a nerve and it was a little unnerving to watch his face change colour so fast. The UK organiser once saw him and said, “Watch this” as he said something to distract him and blast his show away as the theatre it so clearly was. And he wasn’t the only one to burst into tears at being shown up. I remember one of them in his late thirties crying like a child when someone put him in his place.
Another used to scream and shout “NO!”, “ARGHGH!” at random moments as if trying to force his own exorcism. I recall his favourite shirt was a bright pink one he skipped around in like a girl when he danced once on his own. He used to hang around mostly with a rough and ready heavily bearded chap he lodged with who had more than a passing resemblance to a wolf.
Another was a salesman who could talk his way out of any levelled criticism (can’t they all). Grabbed by his lapells one day and pushed up against a wall or over the table by Wolfman above for putting out his hand and calling him his friend, he and a group of dedicated followers still visited the Organiser for years after the latter’s banishment for alleged theft (see below). The justification was that they felt he still had something to offer, whereas in reality they were just supporting his sick approval-needy ego.
Next in this wacky-races lineup to be the most ridiculous of God’s creatures was a lean scruffy middle-aged singleton who grinned an ugly disturbing face and did a short little womanly howl at random moments as his repetitive syndrome gave away his particular demon just like the ex-English Prime Minister Gordon Brown going “ugh” in every sentence. He had problems getting women to like him but frankly, had no chance for simply being too weird and hideous.
All these idiosyncrats kept these traits years and years after first hearing Roy and doing his meditation on occasion; most of them having had some kind of ‘exorcism’ or supposed enlightenment at a seminar. They were mostly haunted guilt-ridden deeply sexually frustrated men bursting with testosterone but lacking the finesse a woman requires. Some of them confessed they still masterbated even while staying at the seminar and after meditating. But I did hear Roy say if he was the horse’s mouth, he’s quite prepared for us to be the horse’s rear end. If that’s the way they wanted to be, it wasn’t any of Roy’s fault. The truth he writes and speaks is self-evident for anyone intelligent to see.
That they could parrot so much of Roy’s sayings and even some deep introspective gems about all manner of subjects (usually on other people rather than themselves) but put it all together so incongruently in a house-that-Jack-built fashion, made it all the more frustrating for me and quite a few others to try and get some kind of army together for the distribution of his teachings and the meditation, ultimately, to make a seismic change in the world.
The next seminar, in 1991 resulted in the UK orrganiser’s swift expulsion for allegedly keeping most of the subscription money for himself. Roy knew what was in his heart but gave him the benefit of the doubt and later said he was “...too trusting...” with him. The Organiser maintained he had earned it for all his hard work setting up the seminars for Roy and hosting the get-togethers at his London flat. However, it was made clear from the outset he was taken on on a voluntary basis to ‘spread the word’ and be Roy’s UK representative. However his flat meetings were done largely for his own enjoyment because he is a people-person who, it transpired, was using US as an escape from the emptiness of his OWN empty world!! Roy tried to argue the case to get his hard earned money back but it was all to no avail and he eventually washed his hands of him and the whole matter. He came over for two more seminars in 1992 and 1994 but seemed to lose interest in continuing - except for putting in place a different deputy - the to chair the UK branch. I suspect as many of us were finding our own feet in the world it became clear we didn’t need Roy as much as before. He hates travelling anyway but it was probably that he was thinking about selling off much of his assets, as happened a few years later.
That was the end of the UK seminars. There was a smattering of meeting up for drinks and outings over the years but it all petered out as we got to bicker among ourselves more and more over the most trivial of things - not least of all pointing our fingers at each other over who was ‘feminine’ and had homosexual tendencies. It took until January 2014 for the UK website to appear!
Being deeply inspired on hearing him talk so excitedly about regenerating your own body (which is possible) and exorcising demons, I was probably not the only one who came away disappointed that Roy could not, or gave any indication at all he could heal. It’s said in the New Testament there will be those who will do “...greater things than I [Jesus]...”. If this is so, and these are the Last Days (which they may not be because of the peculiar Kafkaesque twists and turns of history), then where are the healers? From what I’ve read, most of Jesus’s Disciples could heal as a matter of course through having the Holy Spirit in them. I am absolutely gutted I have yet to see a healing of Biblical proportions by Roy or anyone connected more robustly to God than the average man or woman of faith (and forget born again Christians for the most part). With Roy, not a smidgen. Nothing. That it can all be done through copious meditation like he says, could be possible and I am not knocking it. My experiences of meditation reveal it to be something sacred, magical and very personal, but this is little comfort to a beginner who wishes to see a sign and be given some kind of hope of physical healing as well as the spiritual counterpart spoken of ad nauseum by the Church.
Most of Roy’s power comes from the reactions he creates in others through his very deep and profound understanding of human nature. If he truly can’t heal (and he may in fact be able to and just shy of doing it publicly), his observational / vocal skills must be his forte chosen by God as his particular talent. Being good at timing and when to give someone a hard penetrating stare is one thing, but can he really make solid objects disappear? Misdirection of the mind from the stage magician is common entertainment and though I realise he didn’t want to entertain us for the dangers we would elevate him to godly status, I find his one-time remark that if he was ever searched by someone for a weapon, him saying “...you won’t find my gun...” a little hard to imagine. It’s probable I seek far too much from being a mere mortal and I confess to resenting being one, but the Star Wars’ “These aren’t the droids you’re looking for” scene with Luke Skywalker and Obi One Kenobi is deeply inspiring and would be so useful when near impotent and surrounded by disfunctional demon possessed people with all the principalities and powers of the world at their disposal.
I wonder how many of his seminar attendees who like me, didn’t feel much or anything when he gently touched his wooden cross on my shoulder to try and exorcise me, other than a feeling of mild distance, most probably bought about by my feeling the whole audience’s eyes on me. And of those who did, how many still carried on with their old lifestyles as before when they returned to the daily grind? Saying that, the atmosphere in the seminar hall was really scary when someone did start to scream and curse and I wonder just how much of this was autosuggestion by people who have read the Bible so much and who wanted to kick-start their own exorcism like I did. If nothing happens when you desperately want a solution, the temptation is to work yourself up into a froth. Saying that, one guy did say he felt like he was looking at himself as if from outside when screaming, as if a part of him was in control, and the other part not. This is in fact a common occurence in people who commit acts of violence. One part is looking on as if in a partial out-of-body state. This does sound like a case of separation between the person and their emotional side.
At one point in one or more of these seminars I recall it sounding like a zoo. Roy often talks of people having animal spirits and as demons are lower creations, this must be true. (I won’t say what animal I look like haha.) I heard of one twit meeting another outside to try to exorcise him with a pen, seen demons scream out in agony and people rock backwards and forwards as if having sex (on their own), and fall down on the floor, writhing. I wonder how much of all this really made a big positive difference in their lives and to the world.
Roy tends to come a bit unstuck when he talks about women. To him they are instruments of temptation that exist to try and bring a man down. It’s only natural for any religious man to think this if he believes in the Garden of Eden story. Though he says it’s the man’s fault in listening to his woman, it is sometimes the woman’s fault for listening to her disfunctional and emotional man. Roy usually sounds balanced - putting the blame on men for being feminine and women for being masculine but it doesn’t always come across that way.
But what clinched it for me Roy is a masculist were three things he said on air. The first was when a woman called in to say she was molested by her father when she was three years old. He suggested to her she may have enjoyed it. That was a bit of a surprise to me. Was he trying to say a three year old would enjoy being molested and that it was her fault?! A child of that age cannot know much about sex. If they are a little girl all they want is a few cuddles and it’s only the retard who thinks in their own tiny mind they want sex.
OK he could have been suggesting that was so only in her case, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt there. So next there was the story of a slob eating his dinner his wife made for him. He acted out how the pig would be able to taste the difference if she did it right and appreciate her for it. An example of how a good woman can win over a pig and make him into an appreciative man? Perhaps..or maybe that it’s the woman who should learn to be respectful of the man regardless of what he is. Then he won’t knock her about and she will go to Heaven, maybe....
But the clincher came hard and fast when he said, “In a fight the man is stronger - the man wins” to illustrate the moral superiority of men. (In fact, women and children can sometimes beat a man in a fight through other things than strength alone.)
Roy is religiously Jewish by upbringing and no matter his reservations and differences with the Orthodox faith, he has interited the view (as is similar in Islam) that the man is God’s representative on earth and therefore by default always ‘right’ in comparison to the woman. Roy once said on air, “...a woman is a mass of contradictions...”, and words to the effect he was the opposite of women who think they are ‘always right and never wrong’. He therefore resolved to be the man who is ‘always right and never wrong’.
A little dangerous to think you’re always right...?
Yes women can be evil and sometimes need to be restrained, but what do you do when men are? I’ve seen plenty of out-of-control wicked men. They are so much harder to handle and tend to punch back when hit. I don’t personally believe women can be more evil than men are. It’s just about even between them (in all age groups).
For me now at middle-age, most of the things I worried about as a youth are no longer of importance as the dreams and aspirations of youth are rapidly disappearing into the sunset. It is with the matured hindsight of a grown man that I look back with a chuckle at how silly I was to feel it necessary to expend so much effort in trying to get along wth these mostly unnecessary people.
But remember - the spiritual truths he talks about in not getting upset and being objective and unemotional under stress are ABSOLUTELY TRUE and on basic principle he is 100% spot on. And he is basically a nice chap. Reject him totally and you’ll reject the truth - just like he says!