Friday, September 17, 2010

The most ironic blog post I've seen all week

The winner of that somewhat dubious honor would go to this post by Steven Hassan at the Huffington Post on why the sale of the Washington Times to Sun Myung Moon should be examined closely.  Of course he brings up the fact that Sun Myung Moon heads a dangerous power mad cult with more wackiness than you could shake sa stick at, and he's spot on  in his point; there's no argument there from me of course.


But....but...he posted it at the Huffington Post? Here's a bit from just under 2 years ago about the wacky, culty, behind the scenes craziness at the Huffington Post...


Arianna Huffington for many years sought to downplay the extent of her involvement in the Movement For Spiritual Inner Awareness, a cult ex-members described as sexually and financially exploitive in a series of Los Angeles Times exposés in the 1980s and 1990s. uring her then-husband's 1994 U.S. Senate run, the Greek-born socialite claimed movement founder John-Roger (pictured with her at a 2004 book party, left) was a mere friend, and pictures of him holding her daughter were ordered withheld from the group's newspaper, the editor later said. But the Huffington Post editor-in-chief is an ordained "Minister Of Light" in the group and once described John-Roger to Interview as her "way-shower." She relaxed a bit in the New Yorker's Oct. 13 profile , admitting she had been too "defensive" about John-Roger, and allowing writer Lauren Collins to listen to a guided MSIA meditation stored on Huffington's iPod. But she wasn't entirely forthcoming. What about the role she has fashioned for her cult in HuffPo staff development?

Late last year, former staffers say, Huffington directed two Huffington Post employees to attend an Insight Seminar in Westlake Village, California. Though technically distinct from MSIA, Insight shares a founder, John-Roger, and a "Spiritual Director," John Morton (right) with the group. This sharing of staff goes back at least 20 years, when the LA Times reported Insight was rife with MSIA "volunteers" and obtained emails showing John-Roger was calling the shots. A former top-ranked church minister told the paper Insight was used to draw new recruits into MSIA.

The other staffer was apparently an unnamed Los Angeles-based scheduler struggling to serve Huffington, an erratic and sometimes brutal presence over staffers who work out of her Brentwood mansion. It was made clear to this person, one source said, that attending the conference was necessary to keep her job. Huffington asked the staffer to think about how important her job was to her, then suggested the seminar as a way to refocus — a neat way of making the event mandatory without being explicit and perhaps running afoul of laws governing religion in the workplace, the source said. After struggling with the decision for a week, and supposedly making a fruitless plea to HR in New York, the scheduler ended up attending, only to leave the company a month or two later.

Huffington's commitment to MSIA may well go beyond seminars for her staff. One tipster said that while Huffington is reported, including by the New Yorker, to give to 10 percent of her income to charity each year, that money flows as a tithe to MSIA, and/or to charities closely linked to the cult...


 Like most folks, I applaud what Hassan does, and perhaps he knew the devil in the details of using one cult-based media piece to sound a warning call against another. But still...

Anyway, for some reason my comment just mentioning that there was irony in Hassan's post - without explaining why it was ironic - didn't make it past the HuffPo censors.  Can you imagine that?

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