The question was asked on the platform Quora as to whether Avatar is a cult. Here is some feedback which provide insightful stories and experiences highlighting some of the worrying practices which go on within Avatar and Stars Edge as an organisation.
Question: Is the Avatar Course a Cult?
“In my opinion HELL yes. I went to a workshop that was organised from an Avatar Wizard and which was marketed as an opportunity to explore yourself and which elements drive you in life. It was NOT marketed as an Avatar event. More like a self-exploratory workshop in a group with a qualified coach… This is a strategy similar to Scientology where you as a person are in a phase of doubt and questions and looking for help to figure out how to move forward in life and they organize these seemingly benign workshops over 2-3 days to make their move on you when you are most vulnerable.
During this workshop they made us relive some difficult personal failures/events. It is meant to bring you and your defenses down. Then they present their philosophy as the solution and I can tell you, you feel so bad by then that you are willing to hold on to any f*****g light that is in front of you… I started to doubt this approach when I received the weird looking books and also when I noticed how adamant they were that they had the ONE solution to ALL problems. Well, red flag.
Also I had terrible headaches at the end of the last day, which never happens and it felt like my body wanted to tell me something. Thank god my family called me that evening, I debriefed with them and decided to cut all contacts to the coach and the organisation as a result. For all I know, it was a close call. I felt weakened psychologically for 2–3 months and still feel a lot of shame about this experience.
I cannot imagine how hard it must be for people who were longer in Avatar or are still with the organisation now. Avatar is less known than Scientology and presents itself in a more clever & less esoteric way, which makes them seem less harmful.
When I cut contact I received many calls from the coach and letters per post as well as email. I had to send a legal letter to stop that. This was only after the early stages and I never really joined in the first place… so I guess if you quit later, the pressure would be higher”.
“AVATAR IS A CULT: Avatar is marketed as a self-help course that initially gets you interested through their compassion exercise. It is marketed as a course that will help you to move forward in your “awakening.” The following will clarify for you the truth about Avatar.
RESURFACING: I experienced that after the Resurfacing course, the Masters and the Trainers will do anything to get you to the Avatar course. In the beginning, they entice, encourage and engage you into the course using many subliminal techniques. They are trained in mind control, how to “connect” with you, how to get inside your head using “Feel Its” the “Serious Drill” and many other techniques that have their roots in Shamanism and Black Magic. Firstly they will love bomb you telling you, “your are special”. They will deliberately entice you through compliments, and pouring “sweet attention” onto you (Honey Potting). They will tell you looking deeply into your eyes that “Your now becoming part of the elite group that is moving Humanity forward.” That “You are going to becoming one of the chosen ones.” That “You’re going to be moving Humanity forward.” That “You are going to be Creating Enlightened Planetary Civilisation.”
They will encourage you to find the money from anywhere, it’s that important.
SCIENTOLOGY REPACKAGED: basically the “tools” used in the courses are directly lifted from the Scientology cult. Harry Palmer was a Mission Holder of Scientology for 15 years.
MY PARTNER: Whom I met on the course whilst on my first intern training, was in debt $180k USD. Because of her commitment to the mission, she was unable to have normal job or even create a business. Her time was focused on creating more students “For Harry”. Over a 2-year period, I watched her be groomed by the trainers, into more effective ways of procuring students. She found a ER Doctor, became her PA and discovered her account had $12 million dollars. My partner was driven by Kathy to get the ER doctor to a course by finding out what her attention was stuck on. My partner had to check in every day with the head Trainer Kathy and eventually Avra Honey-Smith. My partner slowly slipped away into the power held over her through mind control. She completely lost any autonomy and eventually was directed to split up our relationship despite her extreme grief and personal suffering. When I wrote to Avra about my partners apparent mental breakdown I was ignored and 6 weeks later told to do a Forgiveness Option Mini Course. I was also told by Shona the Australian Trainer that relationships are not allowed at the Advanced Intern Level. They don’t work.
DEBT: No matter how much money you have or don’t have, you are aggressively coerced to do the course. Debt is encouraged: borrow from a friend, a family member, take out a credit card debt, a personal bank loan, sell your car, your house, anything to get you to come to course. I was encouraged to do mini course after mini course for days. Then when I checked in, I was told there was a special surprise for me. I was to be offered a full scholarship for the next Masters course in USA. I accepted. But when I was half way through the course I was presented with a loan repayment contract. The money had come from another Master as a personal loan. I am aware that it is a common practice that Masters loan other Avatar Masters money for courses. There are many unpaid loans leaving these masters in considerable debt and Harry Palmer denies this ever happens.
CHILD ABUSE: I witnessed un certified adults training the children using the course material. Hours and hours of drills, readings, and engagements in arduous activities that were way beyond their cognitive ability. Many times I saw children in their infancy being read to. Including children as young as 2 and 3 being held against their will, whilst the course materials were read out to them for hours on end without their parents present. When I spoke with the trainers about this, I was told, to do a “debugging” program and removed from the course room. I was made out to be wrong. The situations I observed have been reported to the Australian Government department of Children and Family affairs. Others are adding their stories now as well,.
MENTAL PSYCHOLOGICAL PHYSICAL ABUSE: Being abused from the onset, my partner disclosed to me how she was mentally and emotionally striped down from the beginning. She had “come to realise” that she was “selfish and flawed”. She believe this as the truth. She needed to be purified in order to serve humanity. She was forced to go to the courses to do her intern training. Even though she had no money and no students. She had to pay for her Intern training, the hotel bill, the flights, the transport from the airport to the hotel all totalling thousands of dollars. She borrowed the money to do this. With no students, she was told to walk the streets giving out compassion exercise cards, selling books and to invite random strangers to come back to the hotel for an intro. She rarely succeeded and in the evenings she would be stripped down verbally for hours by Audrey one of the Qualified Masters that she was assigned to work under. I was stripped down on many occasions for reporting on incidents that I knew were inhumane and not correct. I observed my partner being abused through neglect, when she went on training and had a serious flu. Her roommates made her sleep in the bath because she was coughing so much that she kept them awake. She called me from the US crying in deep suffering and told me she had no dry clothes left because she had sweated so much in them. None of her US team members, not one, brought her any food; no warm drinks and gave her no attention. I told my Qualified Master in Australia what had happened and I was stripped down mentally for being an Avatar basher and criticising the American team. In my opinion and from my own experience, observations and facts that I have read, this entire Intern Training Practice is very closely related to Human trafficking and Modern Day slavery.
MIND CONTROL: Long hours of study are part of the implementation of mind control. The success here is getting course participants to be engaged in very complex teaching and learning materials for hours at a time over a period of 10 and 15 days. This enables the course leaders to break your resistance down. Interns and Advanced interns are “in service” for up to 18 hours a day on the courses. This ends up producing a trance like condition in the intern’s cognitive awareness. I experienced my own slow indoctrination on my intern training sessions. And could see no fault in the course despite my friend warning me that Avatar was –is a cult. Limited break times, early starts and Late nights were the normal practice this leads an individual into a very isolating situation.
Links to website
This website contains reputable research and information given by by Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Mental health practitioners and contains many statements and contribution and critical reviews made by ex Avatar Masters, ex Wizards and families, parents, friends and others”.