Wednesday 4 May 2016

School of Ultimate Living: Redefining the Word, Desteni

Ivan Rauscher
Redefining words with L. Ron Hubbard

Redefining words is a strategy employed by almost all cults. One of the most famous cults in the world, the Church of Scientology, which was founded by L. Ron Hubbard, is notorious for redefining words and even has its own dictionaries.

The founder of Desteni, Bernard Poolman, was described in the Vice magazine article, Meet the Struggling South African Cult That Tried to Kill Demon Hitler, as 'South Africa's own L. Ron Hubbard'. 

Like Hubbard, one of Poolman's main ideas was all about redefining words. Redefining words is a central concept and practice in Desteni. 

Peculiar words and phrases used by the group like, 'living words', 'Destonian', 'assistance and support', 'practivism', 'walking my process', 'self-honesty', 'accepted and allowed', 'self-forgiveness' or 'best for all life as equal as one' are all examples of loaded language.

The convoluted talks and writings of Desteni amount to an elaborate exercise in psychobabble. shows the extent of the manipulation and loss of reason amongst members. 

Dr. Robert J. Lifton described loaded language in Eight Criteria for Thought Reform: 'The group interprets or uses words and phrases in new ways so that often the outside world does not understand. This jargon consists of thought-terminating clichés, which serve to alter members' thought processes to conform to the group's way of thinking.'

And as Q5 of The Cult Test, Cult-Speak, puts it: 'The cult invents new terminology or euphemisms for many things. The cult may also redefine many common words to mean something quite different.'

Another typical strategy of cults is to set up front groups which help to mask the cult's agenda and counter or avoid public criticism.

Before launching Desteni in 2007, Bernard Poolman sold software called PowerEducation which eventually became known as the present day 'vocabulary development technology' named TechnoTutor.

The publicity for TechnoTutor, which is run by members of Desteni, almost never mentions the word, Desteni.

Other Desteni projects such as the fake political campaigns, Living Income Guaranteed and Democracy Against War Now, and the 'non-profit' company called the Equal Life Foundation
which sells affiliate marketing schemes for Desteni I Process courses and products, yet poses as a human rights group, also never mention Desteni.

These projects essentially serve as front groups. 
Cult front groups are ways of making money and gaining recruits and recognition by creating the false impression that they are legitimate businesses or altruistic endeavours which exist independently of the cult. 

Scientology, for example, runs numerous front groups, and as clinical psychologist and cult expert, Margaret Singer, wrote in Cults in Our Midst: 'Most cults have front groups, sometimes a variety of them, set up specifically to appeal to a range of interests'.

'Living' words

Desteni front-woman, Sunette Spies, recently took some time off from pretending to speak on behalf of dead people and interdimensional reptilians to launch a new front group for the cult of Desteni called the 'School of Ultimate Living'.

In her video, Introducing School Of Ultimate Living, Spies states that she will provide background history and information on research in relation to the 'school', then over 40+ minutes proceeds to give no specifics whatsoever about her background, experience or research.

Her only relevant experience is with Bernard Poolman and Desteni, but she doesn't mention them.

The rest of the 'team' behind the School of Ultimate Living are all long-standing Desteni recruiters, but nowhere on the 'school''s website is the word, Desteni, used. Bernard Poolman or the Equal Life Foundation are also not mentioned in the videos o
r on the website.

With the strap-line, 'life creation through words', School of Ultimate Living represents the standard Desteni practice of 'redefining words' or 'living words'.

As noted at the
International Cultic Studies Association, there is 'the consistent practice by cults to redefine commonly used words and to create new ones'.

Sunette Spies and the team at the School of Ultimate Living may be reluctant to really 'live' the word, 'Desteni', because of the group's reputation as a cult and a scam. Perhaps they are afraid that Desteni is going down the drain and feel they must recreate or redefine the group and its methods with yet another front group with a different name.

Or maybe it is just that after a '7 Year Journey to Life' the 'Destonians' have now been 'birthed from the physical' and are ready for a fresh start in giving 'assistance and support' to recruit others into 'walking the process' towards 'redefining words' and 'creating a world that is best for all life'.

Either way, the methods they use in trying to redefine their aims with 'School of Ultimate Living' only show that the 'best they can be' is the same as usual: a deceptive and manipulative cult.


Anonymous said...

Why on earth are you even bothered by small fry like Desteni or Scientology? Like it's a virus creeping up and about to swallow up the whole human race. There're much MUCH bigger threats out there to be concerned about, rather than wasting time and talent on these. So what if some cult commits mass-suicide and 40 or 50 people die, or they make money on the side with different products and services. So what.

Rather go ask governments why tobacco companies still operate when we know it kills people. What about national health organizations promoting carbs and refined sugar in diets when it kills millions of people every year.

Talking about redefining stuff. Do you know why your mind associates bacon with breakfast? Or how it became socially acceptable for women to smoke in public? Well, public relations baby. (

What about the cult of consumerism? Who started that? How many lives does thát ruin every year?

And as for the cult "experts". Do they also tell you that the word "cult" and "culture" come from the same Latin word? Pretty obvious. And who defines the word "cult"? They do. And they define it in such a way to keep it very exclusive because if you open your eyes, the whole fucking world is one big cult. Not to mention that their livelyhood depends on this exclusive niche in the academic world. I smell bacon man.

And you know what? Carry on with your writings. If it makes you happy, go for it. Just remember, some people fall deep for things, other people not so deep. That's the way people learn. If Tom Cruise is happy at Scientology, let him be. If people at Desteni want to believe in UFO's and portals, so what, let them be. I haven't seen a General Butt Naked yet so everything is still cool (

And whatever Desteni's "hidden agenda" is, I'm pretty sure they don't want to kill all the Jews. Come to think of it, do Jews drive German cars?

Just because there are some ideas you don't agree with, it doesn't mean some "cult" can't help you any less or more than Dr Phil, Oprah, Joe Rogan, Howard Stern or even Alan Watts can. Did I mention the Dalai Lama and Bono?

Daniel Jacobs

Desteni Cult blog said...

Daniel Jacobs: Although you've made it clear that you regard this blog as useless, for some reason you've still gone to the effort of posting several paragraphs...

Yet you have failed to make even one relevant point.

If you want to deny the validity of the word “cult” to describe a specific type of group activity then you'll need to come up with something a bit more coherent than the asinine notion that the word is only used that way by academics for their own benefit while culture and the “whole fucking world is one big cult”.

Your suggestion that Desteni or Scientology shouldn't be criticised because people might think they've been made happy or helped by them just as easily as they might think they've been helped by some famous person makes no sense whatsoever.

As has been previously stated in response to other confused comments left here, this blog is not about random social issues... It is not about celebrities, the public relations industry, tobacco, governments, diets, sugar, cars, death, religious, military or political figures, culture or consumerism.

What is it about? Guess. The clue's in the title.

Contrary to your and other commenters' false interpretations, nowhere at this blog has there ever been the suggestion that Desteni is a threat to society, has suicidal tendencies, or that its existence is of any major significance. It has been pointed out more than once that while members of Desteni have made grandiose claims such as their group is of major significance to humanity and is a “threat to the system” it is anything but.

Of course there are far more important matters than Desteni... So what? We never said there aren't.

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