Awakening Cults – My Entry
The Cult I Didn’t Know I Was In
What do you do when you find yourself in a cult, not a physical one, but an online one?
Like many cult experiencers, it is common to not know you are in one until you are out of one. That is what happened for me as well. Also, in my case it is only looking back on the experience years later and by observing others still in it, that in Jan. 2019 I started actually recognizing it as a cult, declaring it publicly in this interview here.
I discovered my psychic intuitive gifts at the age of ~38, almost by accident. With these abilities and my desire to assist others with them, I found myself welcomed into a global community that I had never been a part of or even known about. Before experiencing it myself, I would have criticized supernatural abilities as ridiculous, impossible and surely a scam. But there I was experiencing my own undeniable, authentic abilities at channeling, mediumship and psychic intuition.
This global community was spread all around the world, filled with intelligent, caring individuals who wanted to make the world a better place. I noticed many were particularly interested in healing themselves and others, emotionally, physically, even psychically. Many of the leaders in the industry seemed to have tragic and sad stories of personal trauma, from Wayne Dyer, to Tony Robbins to Byron Katie. They had found a path to enlightenment as a way out of pain, suffering, trauma and crisis.
As I chose to further explore my gifts others more experienced in the industry would comment, “you are so accurate,” “you connect so quickly in a session,” “it is like you’ve been doing this your whole life, yet you just got started,” “teach me to do what you do, I’ve been trying for years and taken so many classes and I can’t do it but I want to so badly.”
There seemed to be a path laid out for those of us new to all of it. Books we were supposed to read like “The Celestine Prophecy,” “Oversoul Seven,” “A Course in Miracles,” and “Journey of Souls.” There were movies we were supposed to watch like “What the Bleep Do We Know,” and “The Secret.”
I learned to meditate (that took a few months).
I learned a healing modality, choosing a beginner level Pranic healing course.
There were steps that we were supposed to take such as getting your astrology chart done, noticing how many retrogrades it has, and apparently identifying what you were here to work on. We were supposed to get a past life reading, via hypnotic regression or a reader, to further inform us what we are here to work on. We were encouraged to meet with different psychics, to see what they could offer about who and what we are, and what we may need to work on, and what our gifts are.
I did most of those steps, not blindly, but curiously. I participated in online communities and met others with similar abilities or similar pursuits.
My Beginning of This Strange Journey into the Paranormal (sans ghosts)
I never would have imagined having these abilities myself. It didn’t fit with how I knew myself or my world view. My background is quite conventional, I studied Economics and Finance in college and got my MBA, mainly to get hired by Hewlett-Packard in my local area, Boise, Idaho in the Pacific Northwest of the US.
A friend had told me in my 20s that she was going to see a psychic intuitive for some insight and my immediate reaction was to discount it as silly and a waste of time and money.
And yet in 2008 I was faced with a difficult choice in my life related to career paths and it was causing me additional stress. At that point I had been married for 15 years and had two daughters, aged 6 and 3 years. I was quite Type A anyway in that stage of my life, overthinking most things, but happy and helpful. My sister-in-law was over for a gathering at our house and noticed I was stressed. She asked me what was going on and recommended that I see her psychic. I thanked her but my immediate reaction was that it was a stupid idea that I would never do.
Within a couple days, I found myself thinking about her suggestion, and beginning to wonder about it, weighing the costs and the benefits of seeing her psychic. I came to the idea that I had little to lose and unknowable gains so I reached out to her for the info.
Within the week, I was in the waiting room of her psychic, noticing all the Native American artwork and other iconography I was not familiar with. I felt very out of place and uncomfortable. The woman came out and greeted me, inviting me into her office. She had a hand held recorder and told me she would record the session for me.
She told me that she knew from my sister in law that I was there because I wanted insights about my career and some business opportunities. She said we would start off by closing our eyes and meditating while she connected. I had never meditated and didn’t know what I was doing so I just closed my eyes and thought about what she was doing with her eyes closed. The silence between us seemed to last forever to me. I started to worry, imagining that she was trying to connect with something that was supposed to help me but maybe nothing was there for me and she would have nothing to share.
Finally, she opened her eyes and started talking.
She said something to the effect that she knew I was there for deciding about whether to be the CEO of a green company or to stay at my cushy start up gig that I could do part-time but, she said, “Anyone can be the CEO of that company, Jill and only you can be the mother to your two girls.”
I’m embarrassed to say that I needed that pointed out to me. But, I needed that pointed out to me.
We talked for another hour, maybe a bit more, talking about many topics including a difficult relationship with a family member and some advice for me, which was wise, actionable and appreciated. It wasn’t that she was trying to read my mind or guess things. Rather she was a wise counsel with just what I needed to hear about things that mattered to me in my life. It was conversational and I was ok with that, not expecting that she needed to guess everything that was going on in my life. It wasn’t about that for me or for her. It was relationship coaching, life coaching, therapy, and it was divine insight.
She also shared that she was recognizing me as a deeply spiritual being, with strong connection to Jesus, Mary Magdalene and that whole story. I thought, “the prostitute?” Oh how little I knew. She recommended that I read “A Course in Miracles” as it may help me connect to these supposedly spiritual layers of myself.
I thanked her, got my recording on a CD and left, feeling like I was different person walking out than I was that walked in. I no longer felt concerned about the business decision, at all. I felt so much more present, and alive and whole than I had before. And I was so excited to pick up my girls, feeling even closer to my love for them than I had already.
One session, changed me. I’m so glad I let it do that and that I said yes to something I was so quickly dismissing as ridiculous, impossible and wasteful.
Some Changes Underway
Within weeks of that, I started noticing other things changing.
In June 2008 my then 2 year old was sitting on my lap, eating her breakfast while I sat with her. The house was quiet, just her and I together. I was thinking to myself about the previous night’s democratic national convention debates between then Sen. Hilary Clinton and newcomer Sen. Barack Obama, imagining a conversation I wanted to have later that day with a loyal Democrat friend, asking how they felt about Obama.
In between bites she said, “Are you on your phone?” I responded that I wasn’t. She said, “I heard you talking.” I responded again that I wasn’t on my phone. She then said, “Why did you say (pause as if to be unsure about the word) Obama?” I froze and it felt like time was stopping, everything flowing in slow motion.
Obama was still quite new. Politics was not something she would know, at almost 3 years old, and was not something we’d have broadcast in the house or car.
She was reading my mind, in a quiet house, in between her bites of cereal.
I understand how individuals can be skeptical about psychic intuition and telepathy. But then, it happens to you. And the world changes. You no longer wonder if it is true. You are now trying to put all your logic back together about what is possible in a world where you are literally experiencing what you once were confident was impossible.
Within weeks our older daughter pointed out a car that looks just like Nana and Papa’s, that they had years before she was born.
I started to realize that if my kids could read my mind and tap into versions of time that they weren’t born to know, I wanted to get my thoughts straight. I certainly didn’t want them tapping into my overthinking abundance of random, unfiltered thoughts anymore than I would want them to watch the news. I was very motivated to clarify my thinking so that it would be nothing I’d be bothering them with.
There was another psychic well known in my area, this one an Ordained Minister which somehow I appreciated, scheduling a session with him. The session with him also included the part about me being “spiritually gifted” and psychic that I might want to develop those abilities. He mentioned that he offered a psychic development workshop.
Given that my daughters were displaying some abilities that I didn’t understand, I signed up for the workshop for Feb 2009, with my primary goal to better understand my kids. The workshop offered if I remember correctly 2 or 3 Sunday afternoon sessions in which we would be taught how psychic abilities work and developing our own, testing them out on each other that final afternoon of the workshop.
The teacher (the ordained minister, town psychic) had taught the class many times, with binders of content for us to read along with him as he taught, told stories and helped us connect with any angelic, service to others, energies we had within ourselves. He taught us about the types of clairs (clairaudient, clairsentient, clairvoyant, etc.).
As he said, “we are going to figure out which one you each are,” I remember a part of me wanting to correct him, to myself, from a level within myself with “what he means is which one comes most naturally to you ~ you can be more than one. you are more than one.” I didn’t even know the topic, but here I was correcting the teacher, from a layer within myself. Bizarre, but very real and undeniable in that moment, plus obviously memorable.
For the first readings we’d do the next week we were each told to bring a piece of jewelry, ours or someone we know well. We’d by practicing psychometry, holding another’s piece and using it to acquire information/feelings psychically.
At that workshop day there was a table set up behind our rows of tables and chairs. If I remember correctly we would each bring them to the table one at a time, the others facing forward so as to not know who brought what piece. Some brought more than one item. The items were all behind us on a table as he gave us instructions. We would each go the table and select a piece of jewelry that was not our own. We would bring it back to our seats. We would hold it, close our eyes and write down everything we were “getting”, without thinking. “Don’t think. Just write down anything that is coming to you.” He said that we may “get” symbols, write those down. If we had a sense what the symbol meant, we could write down our meaning of that symbol. He recommended we get Betty Bethard’s “The Dream Book” to see if any symbols could be defined by the book, and felt like it stood out for us in our process. We had paper, a pen and were ready.
I don’t remember what I brought. I remember I chose to read someone’s lovely ring with a smoky stone (smoky quartz I now know).
I went back to my seat and held it and thought ,”I’m not supposed to think but thinking is what I do best. Let’s see what it is like to not think.” It wasn’t long at all before I felt or imagined symbols. I felt them not inside my mind, like a thought that I’m thinking about or focusing on. I felt them like a knowing inside of me, more towards my center, my trunk. It felt like it was coming from within me, not from outside of me. As if part of me already knew it and I was opening a serving window to get it as my human layers of Jill. Tough to describe but I’m trying. I wrote down everything. I looked up some things in The Dream Book, with ease of knowing exactly which definition felt like it was standing out to me.
He had also encouraged us to get more information by asking questions of ourselves in the process such as is there an animal that comes up (animal symbolism), a flower, a color, a number, etc.
I was writing quickly, and filling up the page, just allowing what was happening and wanting to be a good student. I had another section to the left of the information I’d written down, in an area I drew a box around.
He felt like that was enough time and then asked who wanted to share first. Some I learned had taken his class before and I think they went first. They seemed unsure about what they were sharing but willing to try. It seemed they didn’t get that much, their sharing was short and quick. After several (there were probably 10-12 people in the class), I raised my hand to go next.
The teacher looked right at me, very still as he called on me. I asked if it was ok if I also tried to guess whose item it was. He nodded, slowly. I looked right at a beautiful middle aged woman, saying I thought this was her ring. She looked back at me, then at the teacher, then at me and said it was. The friend that had come with her was just staring, her big brown eyes even wider. I started sharing what I was getting, in a steady stream, like an actual reading, willing to be wrong but hoping I was right. I felt a flow to it that seemed strange but comfortable. I got to a part where I wrote down some physical sensations.
I asked her if she had pain in her right hip, because I had felt that during the psychometry and wrote it down. She said that she didn’t have pain in her hip. The teacher spoke up, asking me, “Jill, what do you carry on your right hip?” I thought for a moment and wasn’t sure but offered laundry. He encouraged me to keep trying. I think someone else in the class said “Baby.” I repeated it to the teacher and he nodded and said “and it hurts…” I felt these flashes of knowing inside of me and looked at the woman and said “Did you lose a child?” And she nodded yes, tears forming in her eyes, while I felt a rush of emotion and tears as well. Time stopped in that moment. I think, I hope, I had the presence to say that I was sorry for her loss. If I didn’t, I’m guessing she felt it.
I kept going with my first try at a reading. I came to the part that was in a separate area, boxed in and shared that part, noting that it felt separate.
Her and her friend and were staring at me, silent. The teacher, too, and the whole class. I’m guessing of one of them thought, “why is she in here, she already knows how to do this.” But I didn’t, or at least I didn’t know I did. This was me, reminding myself what I could do, since I had clearly forgotten that a) this was possible and b) I was somehow designed for this.
I learned from our conversation post-reading that the woman, Paige Lee, had had a miscarriage earlier in life and had lost her 23-yr old son, Bryan, who was murdered in September 2008, just 5 months prior to this workshop. She had been working with the teacher and joining this workshop to learn how to reconnect with her lost son. That boxed section of my reading, was a reading of Bryan.
I drove home that night feeling more alive than anything I’d ever done at work, feeling that what just happened was more valuable than anything I’d ever do in business.
I wanted to do this more.
I decided I wanted to try readings for anyone that would let me. I took the next level class from the teacher, with a group of the others from the first class signing up, too. After the next level class I got out a piece of paper and invited anyone who wanted to practice together after that course was over. We would trade locations and try to do readings on each other and people we knew. We went from psychometry to pictures, to having guests in front of us. On my own I did the same, then seeing if I could do it over the phone with a picture, then over the phone without any picture. It kept working ~ I would consistently get information such as the type of person they are, possibly some memories, and some insights I was just getting that felt like helpful info they wouldn’t otherwise know, or couldn’t know/access.
After about 8 months of practicing (~ Oct 2009) and loving it I reached out to a woman in town who hosted a psychic healing fair at her crystal shop, asking for her insight if I was ready to do readings at her event. She had me do a reading for her, and felt that I was ready, offering me a spot at the next event which I did. I bought a handheld recorder, feeling led to record each session, burning a CD for them to then take home with them. It worked great and I loved doing them.
Around that same time I noticed that I felt messages that weren’t for one person but rather for the world, or anyone open to receiving it. I began sharing those in video, in audio and in written form sharing them on youtube and in online spiritual communities. I started my own website in January 2010 as a place to post the messages I wanted to share.
Someone had told me earlier that year that I reminded them of another channel they had met before she became well known, Esther Hicks, who channels a being known as Abraham. She mentioned that she imagined I would be discovered, like Esther was discovered and my work would also become well known.
I noticed I was sharing but was also sort of waiting around to be discovered. I felt that inner sense of me pop in, indicating that I may not be discovered and did I really want to wait around, and what if I built my own stage, so to speak. I agreed with myself and decided to join blogtalkradio to begin sharing weekly in Jan 2011. This was before we called them podcasts. No guests, no interviews, just a place for me to share what I wished the world knew that I felt could be helpful, inspiring, informative.
As I started the podcast, sharing it with the world on youtube, blogtalkradio and iTunes, people were resonating with it somehow and I was developing a following, with people from all over asking for readings. It was awesome! I love helping people, was good at it and it was something so unique that I liked that part, too.
All the while, I’m still very much involved in my family and going to my corporate job as a strategic planner. It was quite the variety in my life.
I hope you enjoyed this part one of my experience in an Awakening Cult. More to come!