Reading: Dark Oasis



There is a reading festival in Chilliwack, including a lottery-style draw for fabulous prizes, accorded to a pool of readers.  You fill out a little reading report and you may be rewarded with ... weekly-distributed prizes, all around fifty bucks value, from Arts Centre/Playhouse events to Plants.

Anyway, there was another little promotion going on when we visited the main library: local, small-press "Chilliwack"-keyed books aka "Local Indie Authors." I picked up .. Dark Oasis, A Self-Made Messiah Unveiled, by a guy named Jasun Horsley.  

It is a gripping tale told from the perspective of an almost-cult-member, the central figure being John de Ruiter, who now runs a "philosophy" empire out of an Edmonton "Oasis."

The book will not be to the taste of those who want an extremely-skeptic take on de Ruiter; the author is somewhat reminiscent of the book published by Greg Mamishian and his wife, in that it examines a cult leader/philosopher, but this one is enlarged by the 'spiritual' beliefs of Horsley. So, if you don't want to read something by someone who identified with Carlos Castenada for a time, who is a "seeker" of spiritual truths, pass.

But this seeker is able to describe the entire assembly of the present "philosophy" and its internal and 'intended' cultishness. The seeker and the skeptic in one. With a few wobbles along the way.

Anyway, just a Reading:  note. I include a recent video of John de Ruiter, just to give a glimpse of the weirdness of his message. This is de Ruiter "on the road":

-- for a sample of Jasun Horsley's writing style and format, see his series of smaller articles at Auticulture, especially The Casualties of “Truth”: Deconstructing John de Ruiter’s Sexual “Calling”. 

That's right, Sex!

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I made contact with the author of Dark  Oasis, and mean to interview him sometime (he lives and works an hour away) ... in the meantime, taking notes from a second read-through.  It is a weird and compelling book because of its dual strength/weakness.  That is Jasun Horsley's strength/weakness -- being a seeker and a skeptic in one.  One can understand through his investigation and self-knowledge just how a 'seeker' can be drawn into a cult. And how to get out ... safely.

Fresh from the John de Ruiter org:



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