Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Bad climates

This review was heavily attacked by trolls on Amazon. Never mind, here we go again...

Rex Voluntas (a.k.a. Adam or Frederick Aaron) is a former member of the Siloist Movement and its front group, the Humanist Party. Critics believe that the Siloists are a cult. "Lies My Guru Told Me" is a self-biographical account of the author's involvement with this movement in Montreal, Canada. Founded by a certain Silo in Argentina, the Siloists or "Humanists" have succeeded in establishing themselves internationally. Many of the members in Canada are Latin American exiles, and the movement has a vague "leftist" profile. Unsurprisingly, Voluntas paints a very different picture.

According to his book, the Siloist leaders in Canada are a clique of sociopaths who prey upon a membership largely consisting of emotionally crippled and socially outcast students or teenagers. Much of the manipulation is of an overtly sexual nature, with everyone sleeping around with everyone else. Voluntas (who is male) claims to have been raped and otherwise sexually and emotionally abused by M-C, a leading female in the movement! He also claims that the sexual abuse was part of an esoteric psycho-drama, known only to initiated leaders, through which M-C tried to overcome her own sexual problems. The author's immediate superior, Enrico, is pictured as a sexual deviant and pervert, who supposedly planned the assaults on Voluntas together with M-C herself. Frankly, a large part of the biography sounds like a pornographic novel.

It's clear that Voluntas had severe emotional problems already before he joined "The Movement". He claims to have endured an abusive childhood, suffers from short-term memory loss and depressions, hallucinates (or has "spiritual experiences" - pick your choice) and has an infantile infatuation with "Star Trek". This makes it difficult to know how much of the material in the book is (in some sense) real, and how much is the author's own interpretations. Due to his bad experiences with women, Voluntas has turned into a raving misogynist, obsessed with women who abuse or use men, as if that's the main problem in this intensely patriarchal world (or even in Pierre Trudeau's Canada). One of his objections against the Siloist cult is that it's too feminist!

I'm not sure how to rate this book about dysfunctional twenty-somethings in Alternate Reality, but since I didn't really like the book, I will only give it two stars.

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