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Old 7th October 2013, 11:23 PM   #1
MechAlucard
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Anyone heard of the "J-messages Group" aka "Companions of Wisdom" ?

I recently moved back into my hometown and discovered my parents are part of this group known as "Companions of Wisdom". They initially seemed somewhat guarded about sharing it with me which I took as a bad sign. My worry was compounded by discovering that information on the group was scarce and controlled. I was able to create an account on their site with a reference from my parents which gives me access to writings a "seer" has written by supposedly channeling spirits. I've attended one of their meetings to get a feeling of what they were about and from what I can tell the "seer" seems genuine and is not just trying to run a business. They shared a hypocritical message of banishing "magical thinking" yet knew how reincarnation worked. For example, I was told that actor Tom Everett Scott had some aspect or connection to my soul. It seems they are obsessed with matching souls together and read heavy into pop culture. For the most part it seems like a group of friends that are concerned with the state of the world. My personal thought is that this "seer" individual probably has voices in his head and has gathered an audience that wants to listen to them.

Essentially, I'm curious if anyone has heard of this group or what peoples opinions are. I'm paranoid about my parents being in a group like this, especially since my dad seems to be developing such a strong emotional connection to this group. I've expressed my concerns to them but I'm recanted with something along the lines of "That if we wait around for science to prove everything before doing something we won't have time to live". Seems like this group might just be a pacific northwest thing and I'm sure there may be many groups like this out there but any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 8th October 2013, 12:24 AM   #2
Apology
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Well, their non-profit status is bogus, that's always a bad sign...otherwise they seem pretty obscure. I'd be worried too. How much money have they spent to support the group? How does the group maintain itself financially (since they're not a real non-profit?) Let's hope it's not out of your parents' wallets.
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Old 8th October 2013, 05:06 AM   #3
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Welcome to the forum MechAluchard. Some thoughts:

a) There is no mechanism for reincarnation - once you are dead you are dead and that's that. Your remains are either destroyed in an intense fire or decomposed back into the nitrogen and carbon cycles. That's recycling, not reincarnation

b) The "soul" doesn't exist - there are as many descriptions as there are believers. Nobody can describe it's physical properties, the word "energy" (a system's capability of performing work) is bandied about and photographic artefacts (straps, insects, dust, Photoshop, lens problems, dirt, photographer error, firmware faults, etc etc) are touted as "evidence."

c) the seer himself may be delusional, a fraud, mentally ill, etc.

d) Watch out for confirmation bias (ignoring the misses and counting the hits only), claims of "special knowledge", science-bashing, pseudoscientific terms and other rhetorical devices. Demand evidence and critically examine it.

Hope that's of some help.
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Old 8th October 2013, 06:44 PM   #4
MechAlucard
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It seems that my parents have only really spent money traveling to a conference in Israel and I'm not sure how their contribution was broken down. Other support that I've seen seems somewhat minimal and includes hosting and providing food for social gatherings once a month or so. From what I can tell it seems that members are encouraged to join other groups that are already practicing the same political agendas. It seems harmless but societal pressures and seclusion combined with pseudo science never seems to end particularly well. I suppose one frustrating point is that my family used to be Mormon and after leaving after decades in the church they just swapped one faith based system for another.

Yes, I understand that there is no significant evidence for claims of reincarnation or souls. Most accounts I've read about have been the results of various biases and cherry picking among other things. This group has certainly not convinced me with any evidence.

I suppose it was quite a long shot to hope someone had actually encountered this particular group. I really don't want to attend any more of their meetings but at the same time I want a less biased perspective than what I can get from my parents. Thanks for the feedback!
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Old 8th October 2013, 07:07 PM   #5
Craig B
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@MechAlucard

What "political agendas" does the group have? These are usually a bad sign. And why go all the way to Israel for a conference? Is there an international movement in place?
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Old 8th October 2013, 07:59 PM   #6
MechAlucard
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They have some three-fold mission to rid the world of religious thinking, reduce the disparity between the rich and poor, and to promote a healthy environment. From what I can tell, they pick regions of the world that have had major religious history since the seer has claimed to channel spirits local to those regions. While all those when given the right definitions are worthy to strive for, I ultimately can't see a clear method of accomplishing them. My dad seems more angry and frustrated at the world now and it seems related to thinking some controlling "soul group" has bankrupted our world and that we are on the brink of collapse into tribal society unless everyone comes together and cooperates. I think that for my parents the conference was somewhat a rationalization to take a foreign trip. For the seer and other members it was mainly an emotional trip where they could ask the spirits via the seer questions about their lives.
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Old 9th October 2013, 12:42 AM   #7
Craig B
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Originally Posted by MechAlucard View Post
I think that for my parents the conference was somewhat a rationalization to take a foreign trip. For the seer and other members it was mainly an emotional trip where they could ask the spirits via the seer questions about their lives.
That's positive, that it encouraged your parents to do this. But this idea that some people can convince others that they can channel spirits - it's pure shamanism, and I wonder why so many people can be taken in by it.
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Old 9th October 2013, 10:55 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by MechAlucard View Post
They have some three-fold mission to rid the world of religious thinking, reduce the disparity between the rich and poor, and to promote a healthy environment. From what I can tell, they pick regions of the world that have had major religious history since the seer has claimed to channel spirits local to those regions. While all those when given the right definitions are worthy to strive for, I ultimately can't see a clear method of accomplishing them. My dad seems more angry and frustrated at the world now and it seems related to thinking some controlling "soul group" has bankrupted our world and that we are on the brink of collapse into tribal society unless everyone comes together and cooperates. I think that for my parents the conference was somewhat a rationalization to take a foreign trip. For the seer and other members it was mainly an emotional trip where they could ask the spirits via the seer questions about their lives.
They want to get rid of religious thinking by following a seer who channels spirits? There seems to be a disconnect there to me.
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Old 9th October 2013, 11:36 AM   #9
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There are plenty of groups, big and small, organised around a 'psychic' who channels messages from some 'Ascended Master' or other (quite a few of whom are called Joshua/Jeshua/Jesus etc.)
The majority of them are perfectly harmless, providing a satisfying religious experience and/or a social life for members. but every now and then you get one like the Solar Temple or Heaven's Gate, so they shouldn't be ignored.
The late Isaac Bonewits drew up some practical guidelines for identifying the dangerous types of cults; on the Bonewits scale, your parents' group scores pretty low - the group isn't demanding large amounts of money, they're not telling your parents to stay away from you. However, the secrecy is bothersome - what do they have to hide?
I think this group is OK, so long as they stick to what they're currently doing. If they start preaching some apocalyptic garbage and try to get your parents to separate from you or start suggesting they sell up and move into some remote community - that's when things could turn bad.
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Old 9th October 2013, 10:21 PM   #10
MechAlucard
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Originally Posted by Craig B View Post
That's positive, that it encouraged your parents to do this. But this idea that some people can convince others that they can channel spirits - it's pure shamanism, and I wonder why so many people can be taken in by it.
Well, I think it has to do with feeling a strong personal attachment to the messages. Going to the conference made it even stronger since they were able to directly and personally "talk" to the "spirit" to receive personal guidance. It also seems reinforced by people being told that parts of their soul are related to great people.

@sophia8 Thanks for that assessment link and examples of dangerous cults. I overall don't feel that they are particularly dangerous at the moment but it could certainly get that way since it seems the seer person is the one responsible for validating others ideas. From what I can tell, they mainly want to restrict access because several other purveyors of woo came into the group basically looking for an easy platform to sell their woo. However, asking to delete temporary browser files and not download any of the messages is disturbing to me. I'm mainly worried that if this group becomes dangerous there will be very little I can do to help my parents see though the bias shield.
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Old 10th October 2013, 04:31 AM   #11
tuxcat
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MechAlucard, I feel your pain. My dad is a full-blown woo-woo. There isn't some sort of superstition, psueodscience, mass hysteria, hallucination, hoax or lie he won't get involved in. It's completely annihilated the family and caused me a whole host of pain.
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Old 14th October 2013, 04:19 PM   #12
luchog
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Originally Posted by MechAlucard View Post
Essentially, I'm curious if anyone has heard of this group or what peoples opinions are. I'm paranoid about my parents being in a group like this, especially since my dad seems to be developing such a strong emotional connection to this group. I've expressed my concerns to them but I'm recanted with something along the lines of "That if we wait around for science to prove everything before doing something we won't have time to live". Seems like this group might just be a pacific northwest thing and I'm sure there may be many groups like this out there but any feedback would be appreciated. Thanks.
As someone from the Pacific Northwest, we have no shortage of weird religio-political groups and quasi-cults based on any number of woo beliefs. Channeling is hardly unusual, and eco-religious nuttery is commonplace. The exclusionary attitude is unusual though; I've not heard of any being so opposed to other woo groups; since all these groups tend to cross-pollinate and support each other -- eg. eco-feminists, wiccans, and Gaians will also tend to strongly support vegan and alt.med groups (not there there isn't any sort of woo that doesn't go hand in hand with alt.med promoters around these parts). However, depending on how strict this groups is about its "mission", I can it wanting to exclude groups like those, since they have a tendency to be very evangelistic, and try to take over unrelated groups to promote their own agendas.

So far, aside from the secrecy, nothing else seems to raise any warning flags. I'd be careful about reading too much into the secrecy angle either; since a lot of the woos around here are heavily into government conspiracy theories. Purging browser histories/etc. may just be part of the "evil government spying on us" paranoia (some groups are rabid about keeping cookies and other tracking data off their computers). It's most likely intended to "protect" their followers by keeping The Man from knowing everything they do; not necessarily the harbinger of anything more sinister. I agree, though, that if this group does start to encourage separatism and isolationism, then you want to start worrying.
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Last edited by luchog; 14th October 2013 at 04:27 PM.
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Old 14th October 2013, 05:14 PM   #13
Sockor
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Found one strange site linking in to them. The event mentioned is for 2009 so don't bother attending.

http://reincarnationexperiment.org/o...icupdates.html
Quote:
From July 10-12, also in Boulder, Colorado, Paul presents his developing cosmogony (a self-learning universe grounded in a primal consciousness as the substratum of energy and matter) at a private gathering of individuals studying channeled material relevant to reincarnation. Members of this group share an interest in extradimensional sources concerned with the evolution of human consciousness. If you are interested in this group, you may contact them by following these instructions: Step 1:* Go to the* www. jmessagegroup .com. Step 2:* Click on "If you would like to join our group please click here." Please follow the instructions from there.*
It is important to complete the BIO section as this is how the scribe "gets to know" the person requesting access.
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Old 14th October 2013, 11:53 PM   #14
MechAlucard
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Originally Posted by luchog View Post
As someone from the Pacific Northwest, we have no shortage of weird religio-political groups and quasi-cults based on any number of woo beliefs. Channeling is hardly unusual, and eco-religious nuttery is commonplace. The exclusionary attitude is unusual though; I've not heard of any being so opposed to other woo groups; since all these groups tend to cross-pollinate and support each other -- eg. eco-feminists, wiccans, and Gaians will also tend to strongly support vegan and alt.med groups (not there there isn't any sort of woo that doesn't go hand in hand with alt.med promoters around these parts). However, depending on how strict this groups is about its "mission", I can it wanting to exclude groups like those, since they have a tendency to be very evangelistic, and try to take over unrelated groups to promote their own agendas.

So far, aside from the secrecy, nothing else seems to raise any warning flags. I'd be careful about reading too much into the secrecy angle either; since a lot of the woos around here are heavily into government conspiracy theories. Purging browser histories/etc. may just be part of the "evil government spying on us" paranoia (some groups are rabid about keeping cookies and other tracking data off their computers). It's most likely intended to "protect" their followers by keeping The Man from knowing everything they do; not necessarily the harbinger of anything more sinister. I agree, though, that if this group does start to encourage separatism and isolationism, then you want to start worrying.
Yeah, the secrecy probably has somewhat of a purity angle on it. I thought that it might also serve to make members feel good that they are part of a special and exclusive group. Although, that might just be a mildly unintended side effect...

Seems like they felt I disclosed sensitive information as they emailed me to explain that my account privileges have been revoked for this inquiry on this message board. I'm not even sure what specific information bothered them since their description was fairly generic. Most of the information I shared is easily accessible from the public section of their own site and what is not, I'd obtained before registering or are my own personal experiences and feelings.
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Old 12th August 2017, 07:04 PM   #15
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Companions of Wisdom / J Message Group

Google "Shunned Member Says Cult-Like Group Defamed Her," and you will get an update (as of 7/24/2017) on the Companions of Wisdom/J Message Group Corp. and the Alexanders. (A lawsuit has been filed against them.)
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Old 12th August 2017, 08:00 PM   #16
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Since you can't do links yet, and I can...https://www.courthousenews.com/shunn...group-defamed/
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