I recommend “A New Earth, Finding Your True Purpose” by Eckhart Tolle as a model for spiritual growth and evaluation of spiritual leaders.
Possibilities for why some leaders do what they do can be explored by examining current literature on cults, narcissism, borderline personality and prophetic charisma. A narcissistic personality lacks empathy and will deny the validity of feedback from others, and a charismatic personality can create intense emotional loyalty to any truth they believe in while obscuring any truth other than their own.
You might examine personality characteristics of leaders who believe they are right to:
- Condition students into the “truth” that the world is a never ending “battle” in which they are constantly under attack, and the more attack they have the more important they are
- Impart to students they have come here to this planet to join the teacher’s elite force of warriors
- Say they are here to “wake up” as many as they can from the sick “fabric” of reality on this planet, yet admonish students for not waking up according to their own specific “rules”
- Create great sympathy for, protection of, and alliance to their position as the one who is here to bring the only truth to mankind
- Create a strong belief that their teachings create “miracles”, thus exploiting the power of prayer, while students continue to suffer physically, mentally, emotional and spiritually, and are conditioned to call their suffering “attack” from negative forces that are trying to take them or the organization down.
- Tell students their courses aren’t for everyone, and that only those tough and intelligent enough will understand, causing students to comply rather than be seen as not intelligent
- Make students wrong for giving opinions or feedback calling for accountability
M. Scott Peck in the book “People of the Lie” identifies people who will not change no matter what evidence is presented to them of the need to look at their actions. They control and hurt others and will not take responsibility for what they do. This is what Peck calls true evil. With case studies, this book gives a feeling of people who will not allow co-creation, who believe they are right at the cost of others. Once you know what to look for, you never have to give your power to anyone unwilling to co-create with you again.
The following topics explore various traits of dysfunctional group leaders:
NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder)
BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder)