People still somehow in the 3HO [Assembly] mindset, often don't realize how much they may have forfeited their free will and independent thinking. Certainly at first, it might be a struggle for most members to conform. Perhaps this was not so obvious at the start, but there is an eventual unconditional acceptance and conformity regarding the teachings of the group. And those teachings tell devotees how to think. Through the revelations of the organization adherents come to believe that they will somehow be able to know secrets that others don't. Yogi Bhajan [George Geftakys] teaches his followers that through the right devotion, they can "see the unseen" and "know the unknowable." [Scary similarity,isn’t it.]
When I was a member of 3HO [Assembly] from the time I woke up until I went to sleep at night, my life was filled with proscribed routines. And my attitude concerning the world was molded by those routines, rituals and various teachings.
The first premise I accepted as a devotee of Bhajan was that "Khalsa [overcomers] will rule the world." The implication of this teaching is that the "Pure ones" [overcomers] (3HO members) [saints] are a superior race [Christian], to whom all will eventually go to for help.
The governing principles regarding this doctrine were that most people need help and correspondingly, we "The Khalsa" \ [saints]can give it. Most 3HO [Assembly]devotees were constantly busy and preoccupied with personal purification, [praying the selfer’s prayer, and self examination] which included rigidly conforming to a proscribed norm. We grew our hair long, only wore white and went on special diets to cleanse ourselves. Every morning we got up at 3:00 AM to take cold showers, chant and do our yoga. [The Assembly’s physical disciplines are different but the idea of self discipline leading to holiness is the same.]
Once sufficiently purified, we were on our way. Prayers filled the days and there were always special recipes to learn. Meditation sessions were also quite frequent. And there were tapes to listen to for more insights and secrets [tape ministry to give us the "heavenly vision" George has from God]. Once on the path, everyone needed to understand the difference between us and them (i.e. the "pure" and "impure")...
We believed as our nervous systems grew stronger, our subconscious minds would be purified. But even after straightening out my diet and expanding my aura, I still needed one more thing--Divine protection. God now favors us so much that "He" will come to you, even without experiencing a vision. Of course this would only occur if and when you truly succeed and then you might then have visions beyond time and space. But until that achievement at least I knew that God has chosen me and would therefore protect our group more than anyone else, which was comforting. [The idea that we in the Assembly, will be part of the "remnant" and maybe the entire "remnant".]
We accepted all these things and every day learned more about how bad off everyone else was and how truly great we were. [Other ministries and Christians are carnal, worldly or compromised.] And then it was revealed that some coming catastrophe like Armageddon was not far off. This prophetic forecast seemed to make everything come together. It somehow made sense that we must be ready, be purified, glowing human beings, whom God had chosen to protect through his "True Guru," just waiting to pick up the pieces after the holocaust. In the meantime though, we would go forth and spread our teachings within the impure world filled that needed help.
Years passed by and I was very busy. There were my "monkey glands" to empty when I brushed my teeth, prayers to be read, turbans to be tied and every month some new diet to follow. We also had obligations at the ashram to teach classes, chop vegetables, serve people, clean and fix things. [The praying of the selfer’s prayer, the constant self scrutiny and attributing any questions to" self being in the center", and more obviously, the endless meetings, the hours of seminar, the unending amount of work to support the meeting, fellowships, outreaches, etc. Getting up at 5 to be able to spend and the recommended 1-hour in the word FIRST thing in the morning. As a mother, the mat training, keeping children quiet for hours in the meetings, and all of the above on top of housework and child care – some of the most physically exhausting work there is.]
And there was the news to carefully follow in each state, the nation and the world. When things went bad, and we were just waiting for things to go bad, our destiny would then be fulfilled. And if things got better, it was because of our prayers. But of course this was only just the "calm before the storm." [I can’t think of anything that is more clearly the Assembly.]
Perhaps impure people might be able to take empty pauses in life, when they became bored. But of course this only proves how empty they are inside. Unlike the outside world though, 3HO devotees are not empty. We were filled with thoughts about our Guru (our exalted teacher), our wonderful life-style and how we were helping the world [scrutiny of our lives to maintain Christ as our center, trying to constantly reconcile our true feeling and inside life with the ideals set forth by the preaching.] And there was always something to do, work for the group, for God, our Guru and of course humanity. And if I had bad or impure thoughts, they needed to be quelled through meditation or chanting--something to fix them. [The selfer’s prayer – how many times a day did you pray it?]
It was a marathon of devotion and I did my best to keep up with my fellow Seekers. We also always needed to make sure that everyone in 3HO [the Assembly] was truly following and spreading Yogi Bhajan's teachings correctly. [George Geftakys or as we would convince ourselves, God’s word revealed through his servant] If they were not, well that required more help to correct them too.
Some might say, "But you had your own free will, and could have done otherwise." I can only respond, that we were so busy and exhausted from our constant practice, rituals, diets and spiritual strivings, that most of us didn't have the time or energy to really think about that.