Interview with Steven Van Neste


Five Star Review from court qualified expert and cult specialist -Dr Cathleen Mann

By Cathleen A. Mann on October 6, 2016

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase

This magazine contains new and expansive coverage of the 1978 implosion in Guyana of the Jonestown Peoples Temple Agricultural Project, a major historical event. A fierce and demanding cult, Jonestown, through its leader, (The Rev.) Jim Jones, accumulated financial and enrollment resources from a small church in Indiana to a larger socialist movement in Guyana. Inner tensions in the group are described in a synoptic way by former members and their families, including retired professor, Dr. Rebecca Moore, who lends her expertise as a clarion call. Dr. Benjamin Zablocki, emeritus professor at Rutgers, provides his theories on brainwashing, which are summarized and explained thoroughly and with great precision. Zablocki, a sociologist, and academician, uses reflective thought and analysis, to assist the reader through the granite of actual and abstract thought in studying brainwashing. The end commentary and analysis at the conclusion of the magazine provides a touchstone to conceptualize the forces which not only form cults, but which compel members, outsiders, and critics to provide explanation for cult dynamics. As we approach the 40th anniversary of the murders in Jonestown, extra attention to revisit the horror of it all can be started here with excellent analysis.

You requested, we delivered!

We have been asked about having an open forum. Our Guruethics  Facebook is mainly for announcements. Even though things are sparking up on the Cults and Cultish Facebook, we have been asked to just put out a forum “out there”as a free for all, for articles, and random questions. We have been in love with Reddit for years, and finally today after being on Reddit for years, we were approved for our own Sub-Reddit open forum. So we proudly announce that we have created a sub-Reddit and this is especially for those not into Facebook groups or pages. The forum is awesome either way and is a different scene.  Go here:


Ethics and The Modern Guru an editorial by Steven Van Neste

12197455_1941224756102724_1933655142_oEthics and The Modern Guru

Much has changed since the beginning when we first conceived of Ethics and the Modern Guru, so much so, that in many ways this can be seen as the first real issue. As often tends to be the case in life, things do not just fall in place, as rather one has to turn things around until it fits into a suitable space where it makes sense. As such, our aim is to as much as possible stand on our own legs and move to have our own trajectory moving within our own field.

One thing that has been contemplated is the name ‘Ethics and the Modern Guru’. Some people get confused by the name, even to the extend where some think we are situated within the realm of gurudom and related Eastern mysticism. This however is not so, and it is definitely not the case that we seek to instill a different kind of spirituality or seek to cut a line between good gurus and bad gurus. As such it ought to be noted that we do not present anything that fits within the enlightenment business or the related businesses of coaching etc.

To explain a little further concerning the name; the word ‘guru’ is meant in a more open sense of everything imposing itself upon the individual, as having answers and being able to guide towards something higher or better. As for the word ‘ethics’, it is not meant entirely in the now common sense of the word, but rather in a more classical sense, where ethics means the character of our habitualities. As such, the reason we use the name ‘Ethics and the Modern Guru’ is a complex inquiring into the reasons why we seek something higher, and how rather easily we fall prey to the habits of others and imagine them as being this new exotic higher way of living.

Our aim is not so much to judge things (be they people or events), but rather to try and offer certain elucidation, whereby we may come to have some more clarity concerning such events. As such, we do not seek to deal in truths, give you a sense of comfort or take away your fears; no, we only seek to inquire and look a little deeper into things, and we present this for you to do with it whatever it is you wish.