Bolinas couple has new e-book

06/28/2012

A Bolinas pair has re-released “Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power,” their 1993 book that seeks to unveil the phenomenon of “spiritual authoritarianism,” as an e-book. “The guru/disciple relationship contains an essential assumption that makes it particularly susceptible to abuse: that it is possible for a person to be totally immune from the corruption of power,” authors Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad said. “Our perspective is that no one, no matter how exalted in awareness and understanding, can totally escape the psychological fact that self-interest is an element in being human, and is also a necessary element in being alive.” Part one of the book focuses on gurus and cult dynamics, and part two discusses how religious and other world views can lead to addiction and dysfunctionality. “We have to purge our democracy or make people more conscious of how this virus infects our daily lives,” Ms. Alstad said. “Unmasking it takes away its power.”