Saturday, July 08, 2006

Evaluation of Ken Wilber and Integral Institute's Possible Cult Status

Open Integral has posted an article by Elliot Benjamin, ON KEN WILBER’S INTEGRAL INSTITUTE: AN EXPERIENTIAL ANALYSIS.

This is a first-person account of some dealings with I-I, including interactions with KW. While at first finding himself an enchanted fan of I-I and KW, Benjamin began to have some concerns about the possible cult status of both the man and the organization. This is an area where he has some expertise.

He concludes:
I would say that there are definitely things to be cautious and observant about in Integral Institute, not the least of which is Ken Wilber’s strong ego and harsh criticisms of many of those who disagree with him. However . . . I will give both Ken Wilber and Integral Institute the benefit of the doubt and place this organization in Neutral territory regarding cult dangers vs. beneficial spiritual characteristics.

The article is well-thought out and informative. Give it a read and then decide for yourself. I tend to agree that there may be some areas to be concerned with, and I agree with Benjamin's conclusion:
[I]f you do not like what you see at Integral Institute then you can disengage without repercussions. Big egos, strong ideas, and harsh criticism of opponents are not the same as cult dangers . . . .

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