The Super Fun Kids' Graphic Novel Sale

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

    Recently Viewed clear list

    The Powell's Playlist | September 25, 2015

    Caitlin Doughty: IMG Caitlin Doughty's Playlist for Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

    The soundtrack perfectly suited to facing your own mortality. ("My Way," "Wind beneath My Wings," and other popular funeral songs need not apply.)... Continue »
    1. $11.17 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

Qualifying orders ship free.
New Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
Qty Store Section
6 Remote Warehouse Spirituality- General

More copies of this ISBN

The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power


The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The Guru Papers demonstrates with uncompromising clarity that authoritarian control, which once held societies together, is now at the core of personal, social, and planetary problems, and thus a key factor in social disintegration. It illustrates how authoritarianism is embedded in the way people think, hiding in culture, values, daily life, and in the very morality people try to live by. The book unmasks authoritarianism in such areas as relationships, cults, 12-step groups, religion, and contemporary morality. Chapters on addiction and love show the insidious nature of authoritarian values and ideologies in the most intimate corners of life, offering new frameworks for understanding why people get addicted and why intimacy is laden with conflict. By exposing the inner authoritarian that people use to control themselves and others, the authors show why people give up their power, and how others get and maintain it.

About the Author

Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad are co-authors of The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power. They have written and taught together since 1974 on evolution, spirituality, relationships, values, awareness, yoga, and social issues. Their Web site is Kramer, the author of The Passionate Mind, did post-graduate work in philosophy and psychology and was a resident teacher at Esalen Institute (1968-1970). He is a pioneer and legend of modern American yoga whose evolutionary vision of yoga freed it from its authoritarian roots, re-visioning it for the West.Diana Alstad, a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, received a doctorate from Yale University in 1971. She taught in the humanities and initiated and taught the first Women's Studies courses at Yale and Duke. She envisioned the Yoga of Relationship and developed it with Kramer.

Table of Contents

Preface and Map of the Book


Why Focus on Authoritarianism?

Authority, Hierarchy, and Power

Part 1: Personal Masks

1. Religion, Cults, & the Spiritual Vacuum

Religion and Morality

The Challenge of Science

Who Defines Reality in Religions and Cults?

Reexamining the Sacred

2. Gurus and Times of Upheaval

3. The Seductions of Surrender

Control and Surrender

Scandals, Saints, & Self-Centeredness

Recognizing Authoritarian Control

4. Guru Ploys

Inducing Surrender

Maintaining Dominance

5. The Assault on Reason

6. Stages of Cults — Proselytizing to Paranoia

The Messianic Phase

The Apocalyptic Phase

7. The Attractions of Cult Hierarchy

8. Gurus & Sexual Manipulation

The Betrayal of Trust

Spiritual Hedonism

9. Gurus, Psychotherapy, & the Unconscious

10. The Traps of Being a Guru

Narcissism and Adulation

Deceit and Corruption

11. Jim Jones & the Jonestown Mass Suicide

12. On Channeling Disembodied Authorities

Assumptions about Channeling

An Example of Channeled Writing:

A Course in Miracles

What Are Channels Channeling?

13. Do You Create Your Own Reality?

14. Healing Crippled Self-Trust

Part 2: Ideological Masks

Introduction: The Morality Wars

1. Fundamentalism & the Need for Certainty

The Essence of Fundamentalism

The Quandaries of Revisionism

Revisionism and the Need for Identity

What's at Stake?

2.  Satanism & the Worship of the Forbidden:

Why It Feels Good to Be Bad

Good and Evil

The Problem of Evil

Satanism as an Avenue to Power

The Divided Self: Good and Evil Internalized

Satanism as the Dark Side of Monotheism

3. Who Is in Control?

The Authoritarian Roots of Addiction

What Is Addiction?

The Divided Psyche:

Symptom of a Dysfunctional Morality

Taming the Beast:

The Inner Battle for Control

Addiction as Revolt Against the Inner Authoritarian

The Failings of Disease & Responsibility Models

Twelve Steps to Where?

Developing Wholeness and Self-Trust

4. Love & Control:

The Conditions underlying Unconditional Love

What Is Unconditional Love?

Love, Time, and Timelessness

Self-Sacrifice, Power, and Passion

Control and Boundaries

"Love Addiction"

Measuring and Roles

Forgiving and Letting Go

The Religious Foundation of Unconditional Love

Timeless Love through Time

5. Oneness, Enlightenment & the Mystical Experience

The Mystical Experience

Dualism and Renunciation

The Function of Enlightenment

The One-Sidedness of Oneness

Holism and Interconnectedness

Renunciation as Accumulation

6. The Power of Abstraction:

The Sacred Word & the Evolution of Morality

Abstractions and Power

From  Animism to Polytheism:

The Concrete Abstractions of Idolatry

Monotheism: A Universal Abstraction

Oneness: The Culmination of Religious Abstraction

Abstraction, Either/or Thinking, and Dualism

Symbol Systems and Power

Transforming the Symbol System:

A Dialectical Perspective

Epilogue: Where to Go from Here?


Product Details

Alstead, Diana
Alstad, Diana
Kramer, Joel
Kramer & Alstad
Alstead, Diana
Frog in Well
Berkeley, Calif. :
Control (psychology)
Gurus -- Psychology.
New Age x
Sociology - General
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series Volume:
bk. 7
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.96x6.03x1.04 in. 1.43 lbs.

Other books you might like

  1. Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types... Used Trade Paper $7.50
  2. The Book of Enlightened Masters:... Used Trade Paper $29.00
  3. Lila :an inquiry into morals Used Mass Market $3.50
  4. Look for Yourself: The Science and... Used Trade Paper $10.95
  5. Partnering: A New Kind of Relationship Used Trade Paper $6.95
  6. Sacred Journey of the Peaceful Warrior Used Trade Paper $6.50

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
History and Social Science » Sociology » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General
Religion » Spirituality » General

The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$19.95 In Stock
Product details 408 pages North Atlantic Books - English 9781883319007 Reviews:
  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at