Quota / Penny: Excommunication

I bought into Morningland, I believed in Morningland. I never really believed in Donato as the Aquarian Age Christ, but I didn’t need to in order to believe in Morningland. The ultimate Aquarian groupie, I believed in the salvation offered through Morningland as a Path, as The Way, not its individual leaders.

The results of Patricia’s progressive co-optation of some Disciples was that they not only believed Patricia, they believed IN Patricia, and were grateful for the favors bestowed upon them.

It was harder for me to believe as guilelessly as some others did. Patricia’s reality had too many inconsistencies for me to swallow whole. The closer I got to the core, the more I saw that shocked and upset me. If I had believed in the people instead of the organization and the spiritual salvation I believed it provided, I would have left before Donato died. Although I grew to like Patricia a lot and fundamentally, we got along quite well, towards the end of 1977 I frequently disagreed with her and occasionally even questioned her about her actions – in private, of course!

It’s impossible to exclude Melikia from this discussion, because she infused Patricia’s reformulated Morningland with jealousy-fueled hunger for power. This Patricia-Melikia combination led to the Balkanization of Morningland and a maze of hierarchies, cliques, titles, and divisions which created separation, resentment, elitism, and a lot of bad behavior. While I had liked Melikia enormously in the beginning, ultimately she treated me as her enemy. Her jealousy turned into vindictive, toxic rage.

When the purges began in January 1978, I was enormously upset. On the very first night of these so-called “clearing sessions,” Patricia and Melikia drove out four of my friends, including Don/ParaDas and Joe/Citron. That night they also savagely attacked TiOva, one of my best friends and the person who had brought me into Morningland in 1975. I didn’t understand the purpose of the clearing sessions. I disagreed with the tactics used, specifically embarrassing and humiliating people in public.

I felt secure enough in my interaction with Patricia to question her. {At this point I have images of several of you raising your robotic arms, yelling, “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!} After the first night of purges, I asked about the purpose of clearing sessions, and I stuck up for my best Morningland friend, TiOva. I asked why she attacked TiOva. Patricia told me it was to break her, her ego – in order to rebuild it. I told her I did not understand why it was necessary to “break” people or toss them out if they did not break, which she said was what they were doing.

As if I weren’t hammering enough nails in my coffin, I then made my fatal last mistake – I pleaded for my cherished friendship with TiOva and told Patricia how much it hurt me when everyone attacked her.

I wanted to help my friend and I wanted these nightmare clearing sessions to stop. What Patricia heard and saw was betrayal – that my loyalty to my friend was evidence that I was not 100% committed to Patricia. She heard my questions and confusion about what was going on as criticism of her. In her increasingly warped perspective, that translated as a betrayal of Morningland.

Shortly thereafter, I was the focus of a savage clearing session set up by Patricia, orchestrated by Melikia, and played out by my “friends.” My friends said mean and cruel things to me. It was all “Through the Looking Glass” nonsense until Patricia stood inside the circle and “exposed” a dire secret about me (more about this in a minute), and then stepped outside the ring, where she remained throughout my ordeal.

In my heart, I felt that she would save me at the last minute – that she would let this punishment go on until I got it right, and then save me=2E She had always protected me from a lot harsh interactions; I had no reason to assume she would withdraw her protection. In fact, one of the things some of the female disciples attacked me for that night was Patricia’s protection and favoritism. [Note - although she did it; I was blamed. This was a pervasive Morningland pattern and those of you who grew up with sibling rivalry were hooked into this unconsciously.]

Things got nasty. Patricia made me kneel at Melikia’s feet and “run my sex tapes” about her. Sitting before a triumphant-looking Melikia, I became speechless. I had nothing to say. How could I run sex tapes I didn’t have? But the accusation becomes the “truth” in Morningland. Melikia had her revenge on me and I had to suffer the humiliation of appearing to be wicked and evil for having sexual thoughts about the pure and evolved Gopi Melikia.

[Yes, the pure and evolved Gopi who had an affair with Mahanta under Patricia's nose, exploited the Brahman's rebellion that closed the Escondido temple, and then ran off with all the money.]

After being unable to utter a word, they then forced me to kneel at TiOva’s feet and describe my sexual fantasies about her. Again, I didn’t have any, but the accusation was made not only to further humiliate me, but also to destroy my friendship with TiOva (which, by the way, it didn’t.)

I was convinced that if only I could say the right thing, it would stop. I wasn’t doing a very good job coming up with “the right answer,” because my mental processes and physical senses began to shut down. First my peripheral vision disappeared, then my hearing became reduced, and I began to go numb. I didn’t even feel it when a man I thought was a good friend hit me in the face. I was mentally paralyzed by the shock of what was happening, and I couldn’t think. I was completely unable to defend myself and Patricia then told the group that the reason I couldn’t speak was that I was totally controlled by the Dark Forces. It was the Nasantta-scenario all over again. The emotional pitch increased, crazy-fear spiked, five men jumped me and dragged me, struggling and fighting for my life, out the door which they would have slammed on my fingers if Chang hadn’t frantically pried them out of the door jam. [Thanks Craig.] During the worst of this, Patricia’s eyes sparkled. What sickness, and perhaps even evil – she actually enjoyed watching them do this to me.

Being flung out the door was not the end of it. Dazed, I walked to the front of the building and sat on the front ledge, my head in my hands, my inner self screaming in horror, my outer self all but shut down. I heard Melikia and Patricia in the room next to the window talking about what to do about me. That frightened me even more because I realized it was not some horrible psychodrama, it was real – she was not going to save me and bring me back in. I went back to the little cottage I lived in and spent a terrified night waiting for a mob of disciples to march, with torches ablaze, to my home and tear me limb from limb. At some point I collapsed and slept for about 3 hours.

I was astonished when I woke up to find that I was still alive. Hunks of hair they pulled out trying to get me out of the building were on my pillow, and I had the beginnings of a rather shocking collection of bruises everywhere – particularly on my back. Melikia called me and ordered me to return everything pertaining to Patricia – all the work we had done together, my notes, clothing we shared, my Medallion, and even the audio tapes of my astrology readings — and move out of the cottage. Immediately.

I did as I was told. I couldn’t talk for about two days. I was despondent. I hadn’t just been kicked out of Morningland, I had been denied my ascension/salvation and rejected by God. I was waiting to “walk the face of the earth until I disintegrated,” as Patricia told us would happen if we left Morningland.

It came as a pleasant surprise when I got better, not worse. Things started looking up and I was embraced by a few friends who didn’t understand what was happening, but knew I had experienced trauma. I will never forget my friend Martha grabbing me by the shoulders and shaking me as she said over and over, “You can NEVER be separated from God.” After several shakes and repetitions, I got it. She shook loose the wheels. They started turning.

My original questioning of Patricia swiftly progressed into the notion that Morningland wasn’t what I had believed it to be. I was, in every way, finally waking up. As this awareness grew over the next few days, I became bombarded by thoughts to kill myself. This frightened me because I was NOT suicidal. Further, Morningland had trained me to recognize my own thoughts. Then I got REALLY frightened. These were not my thoughts. Someone(s) wanted me dead. TiOva later told me that after I was thrown out, Patricia spoke to her and some others I had been close to, cautioning them to not be shocked if I committed suicide. That, of course, got people connected to me to think about me killing myself, adding energy, volume, and frequency to the “messages” I was receiving.

After a week or two, it let up. Slowly I recovered from much of what happened in Morningland, but I never overcame my fear of Patricia and Melikia and the knowledge that they wanted me dead. Yet the fear, coupled with the shame and shunning, ensured that I would never talk to anyone about Morningland. They did this to me and others I knew, and then to the Gopis nine months later. They went to extreme measures to shut us down so we wouldn’t talk.

Why couldn’t I speak? What happened to my voice? Why did I shut down?

I could not defend myself against the “charges” against me that night because I had an even bigger “secret” to protect – one so big and potentially damaging that it could have brought down Morningland. I kept my mouth shut to protect THAT secret even while horrible lies were told about me, even as my “friends” emotionally flayed me alive. Even as I was hauled, kicking and screaming and fighting for my life, out the door and given the heave-ho into the alley.

The explosive secret I held was about sex in the Inner Circle. Not about Donato and the Gopis – about Sri and the Inner Circle – which I was becoming part of. Yes, Sri Patricia, the spiritual leader of Morningland. Donato’s Wife and Twin Flame. The pure and supposedly celibate Mother of Morningland.

But surely, you say, this was the most sacred of bonds and served a higher purpose. You be the judge as I tell my story. Become me as you read. Many of you may find this uncomfortable because you were put in equally difficult and challenging sexual situations and relationships. You probably never knew that the hell you were put through about your sexual “choice” was a hell many of us share. The shame for me has been unbearable. As Colette/Sirisa wrote in her essay on the Web site, it was a “fundamental violation of their humanity.” Well said, Colette.

This story begins way before Donato died. Nasantta, Patricia, and Melikia would tell me in counseling sessions that I had reached a point in my development (my Morningland development) to make a choice about my sexuality – whether to be with men or women. I thought it was a REAL choice, so I gave it sincere, thoughtful consideration and chose to remain with men. They’d say “ok” and in a few weeks come back at me with the same “choice,” and I’d consider it again. This went on for six months. During that time one of them even tried to sexually seduce me. When I freaked, the matter of my “choice” was put on hold for a while.

But not forever. This so-called “choice” was presented to me more frequently and the pressure reached a fevered pitch in January 1977, less than two months after Donato died. I was somewhat accustomed to Melikia’s emotional behavior, but one day Patricia pulled me into her office and just went postal. I had seen her rant, but she had never been furious with me=2E She yelled, gestured, and shouted at me that I MUST make this choice, that my spiritual growth and development depended on it. Further, that I would rise no farther in Morningland and specifically that I would not be able to continue to work with her, would not be able to write the books, if I did not accept this choice. And then she gave me an ultimatum. I had to give her my answer by noon the next day. I finally realized that the answer had to be “yes.”

Blackmailed with the threat of never writing for Patricia again and of not being able to move forward spiritually or make my ascension, I finally “chose” to make that completion after spending a solitary night in mental and emotional hell struggling to come to terms of what I had to do. It was the ultimate capitulation to another’s will to forsake myself at the most basic, fundamental level of being – my sexuality. I feel that at that point, I lost my Self.

My “choice” about all this was a sham, and saying Yes to the ultimatum is as close as I came to anything resembling a choice. After I accepted this alleged completion, Patricia bundled me off to her apartment and [snip/edit/snip] I made my completion. From what she told me, I thought that it was a formal initiation/completion sanctioned by Upstairs.

Imagine my surprise when a few days later she wanted me again. I didn’t understand. I thought I had made my completion. It was then she told me in so many words that well no, it wasn’t a one-time deal – this IS the deal.

Over the course of this involvement, she told me:

  • She had been directed by Upstairs to partner with me.
  • Upstairs had granted her very rare and special permission to be in a sexual relationship, and it was completely for my benefit. That’s how important I was to Upstairs and how extremely important it was to them that I make my completion.
  • Only through the sexual connection could I be hooked up to Patricia so that I could write her books.
  • I had a twin flame, but he was Upstairs; there was no true partner for me here on earth. I could connect with my alleged twin flame only through the sexual connection with Patricia. By the way, at no time was this alleged twin flame ever “present” during sex.
  • The purpose of engaging in sex was to “clear my circuits.”
  • Considering the Morningland mindset, all that was convincing, even if it was difficult to accept. Meanwhile, she began to unplug me from all the Morningland connections I had, so that I was connected only to her. She prohibited me from being alone with men, she said, to protect me from their lustful thought-forms. She convinced me that because of our connection she could sense what I was feeling and was aware of my thoughts, no matter where I was. My job was to control my feelings and thoughts and never have a stray feeling or thought about another person. Imagine the stress.

    Several months after this “arrangement” commenced, I learned that everything I was told about Patricia’s special sexual dispensation from Upstairs was a lie. I found out that Patricia also shared this “unique” relationship with another disciple at my level. It was my turn to go postal. It’s interesting to me to look objectively at my reactions — I wasn’t jealous. I was furious at having been lied to, at having been duped. My anger snapped my denial and I began to put together all the other things I had seen and sensed over several months and reached some shocking conclusions – that in addition to me and the other female disciple, Patricia also was having sex with some of the Gopis. That Gopis were having sex with Gopis.

    It seems outrageous, doesn’t it? It challenges credulity, certainly. I confronted her and we had an extremely angry battle of wills that I am sad to say, I lost. I leveled my accusations at her. She reacted in a way that I was not expecting, but that I have since learned is quite typical of sociopaths and pathological liars caught in their web – she became dangerously angry. Will and Steve both told me she had the same reaction when the male inner circle, the “Brahmans,” confronted her in the fall of 1978. When I confronted her with the truth, she became angry, hostile, and full of scorn and disdain – for ME, not my accusations. She sat on the edge of my bed, smoking those long cigarettes, legs crossed and bouncing her top leg in agitation and anger. Arrogant and controlling in the face of my rage, she was nasty, vindictive, and incredibly wasp-like. It stung. She told me:

  • Deal with it.
  • I am who I am and I can do what and who I want.
  • You will never have anyone all for yourself – never have a closed, one-on-one relationship. This is all you get this lifetime. No one will ever love you.
  • She did not argue a spiritual position about any part of this. She did not even defend herself. There was, at least in the matter of the issue of sex, no artifice, no pretense of it being anything other than what it was. And I better accept it. This entire interaction was about control and nothing else. And she won. She then refused to go away and got undressed and slept in my bed, very symbolically showing me who was in charge. If she were a dog, she would have been hiking her leg and pissing on the furniture.

    As it turns out, Patricia once again showed what a good strategist she was. Not only the things she said, but also how she dealt with me was cold and brutal. It was a shock to my system. By focusing on sex, betrayal, and the “reality” that no one would EVER love just me, my mind never journeyed further to question my so-called “completion” in the context of this web of lies.

    I wept for days, reeling from the lies and betrayal. I became despondent. I was disillusioned, hopeless, and trapped in ways I only now am realizing. I asked to be “reassigned” to someone else. She wouldn’t do it. Instead, she reassigned the other young woman – someone who truly loved Patricia – to Melikia. The end result was that everyone involved was unhappy with my discovery and its consequences, but none more so than Melikia. At that point, she turned on me and made my life even more of a living hell than it already was. She would viciously attack me verbally and psychically whenever I came near her. I wish I could describe what those attacks felt like mentally. Like she shoved on my head a helmet filled with poisonous thought-hornets, all stinging me at once. Sometimes I wouldn’t even know she was present – I’d get this sudden, horrible feeling in my head and it would drive me out of the room.

    Under the circumstances, I had to keep up appearances and was dressed down verbally if I showed the world what I was feeling. Which was pretty awful.

    Because of the mindset at the time, I did not analytically examine what is now obvious to me – Patricia was not a powerful psychic. She definitely had certain abilities, but they were not universal. She was not a sensitive – she was not empathic. And while she could periodically pick up on thoughts, she could not read minds. Look at Melikia’s deception and Patricia’s inability to see it. I reflect on my clearing session and often wonder if it was a set-up or the result of her jealousy. Specifically – she demanded I run my sex tapes on Melikia and TiOva. I did not have any. So that was either a set-up orchestrated by Melikia and Patricia to humiliate me, and/or it was Patricia’s fears and assumptions that I really did have lustful thoughts for these women. If that IS the case, then Patricia was substantially less psychic than any of us realized.

    I’m not at the point that I wish to feel sorry for her, but my experience in the world and in psychology after Morningland tells me that Patricia was a sociopath. Either because of childhood abuse and/or an imbalance of brain chemistry, she did not have normal human emotional responses. The hallmark of sociopaths – and also child molesters — is that they have no empathy for their victims. They show no remorse for their actions. That she could cut off people so completely and feel nothing for them is creepy. She did not mourn Donato’s death, she abandoned her own children including Donato’s fragile and beautiful son, and she cast out Morningland’s spiritual children. It’s possible she could never understand the depths of my lifebond friendship with TiOva and I’m astonished that she was oblivious to my heartfelt affection for and wonderfully Venusian connection with Celta. She WAS threatened by my closeness with Pindar, but didn’t understand that was a heart-connection, one that is just as sweet and supportive today as it was then. She brought to bear awesome strategic manipulation to physically and emotionally separate me and Benares, without realizing that she couldn’t touch the place we actually WERE connected. And she never knew the man in Morningland I had a very long-lasting crush on. Good grief, if Patricia was really psychic, she could have got me baaaaaad.

    And as to the excommunication nightmare, wouldn’t my real thoughts have been the “betrayal?” I refer you back to MRS Steve/Mon-Ra-Sone’s essay and what happened when he tried so hard for five years to live the life that “The Master” dictated, and when he told Patricia that he STILL desired men, she attacked him for betraying The Plan and The Master and cut him off in an instant. Was not my heart (ok, maybe another body part) guilty of the same alleged crime? Yet she didn’t have a clue because I never told her. She had no ability to actually see into my heart, to know me. That’s a sobering realization, even to me, who spent hours every day with her for an entire year.

    So for many reasons, the “spiritual” basis of my excommunication is laughable. I was attacked for having sex tapes I did not have, but if she wanted to cleanse the temple of disbelievers or people not committed to the so-called plan, why was I not attacked for my growing spiritual doubts? I wasn’t Judas; I was Thomas. If she could read my mind as she led me to believe, she would have known I didn’t buy into very much of what she was saying. Spaceships? Donato THE Christ? If our true spiritual beliefs and doubts were the issue in this ongoing madness of purges, it didn’t take a psychic to see that. I would tell her to her face that she wasn’t making sense when she’d go off on some rant or tangent when we were supposedly “working” on the book.

    In retrospect, I can see that I was beginning to wake up. My doubts were greater, and I was questioning her out loud. If this were allowed to progress, I would have been a liability both in and out of Morningland. But did Patricia see that? Or was it this simple: she desperately needed people and me in particular to center their world, lives, and reality on her. Despite all her efforts to control every aspect of my life, and despite her efforts to cut me off from everyone and everything I was attached to, my lifebond connections to my real friends were stronger.

    If the whole sexual component were not so shameful to me, this story would be funny. I truly believed what she told me – that I had to make my last and most difficult completion, to experience this “relationship” for my spiritual development. And to my compounded shame, when the novelty of me wore off, she put me on the shelf like a fancy doll, but wouldn’t let anyone else touch her toy.

    After I was purged, I believed I was actually discarded because Patricia was tired of me and that this was the only way to get rid of me – to create horrifying accusations of betrayal and possession by the dark forces as a means to get others to throw me out.

    I’ve spent 20 years living with shame and the fear that someone would discover my horrible Morningland secret. Now, after so many years, I know I was not the only disciple to be faced with this sort of “choice.” I know many of you who were straight and were forced to be in a same-sex relationship. I know others who are gay and were forced to be in sexual relationships with people of the opposite sex. I know a couple of you who are bisexual and were degraded for being bisexual and forced to choose one or the other – they told you could NOT sit on the fence. Whatever “choice” you were coerced into making, please understand that it was not a real choice and it was not YOUR choice. I repeat — it was not a choice, it was capitulation. You sacrificed your true self. And you accepted THEIR choice for you which went against your basic nature. That “choice” shamed you to the core of your being. And they used that shame to control you.

    Using sex to control cult members is very common, and so is assigning partners and dictating sexual behavior in many ways. But the real kicker for me is that Patricia is bisexual. She liked men, but she liked women more. I don’t think she could admit this, so she acted out – projecting her own issues onto us and chastising us and filling us with her own guilt and confusion while trapping us in it.

    I want to make it clear that I’m not being judgmental about the sex. I’m being judgmental about the lies. My problem with her sexual behavior, the sexual connections in the inner circle, was the Lies. So what if some were lesbians? It was the ’70s! So what if Donato had partners other than his wife? That’s not unusual or shocking. In terms of sexuality, it’s not a big deal. What IS a big deal is the lies about everything. We were told they all were celibate. When I was brought into the circle, she told me to tell others I was celibate. She told the disciples to stop taking drugs and drinking alcohol but she and those close to her used them freely. There were so many lies. Like the Rev. Moon, she would characterized certain types of lies as merely means of achieving a higher goal. Or you had to lie to tell the truth.

    One thing I know for certain is that Patricia Sperato lied to you and she lied to me.

    She assembled a smorgasbord of partners, and I was only one of them. One of the hallmarks of our relationship was a lack of intimacy. There was no emotional or spiritual connection in the physical act and that was devastating to me. I felt I was deprived of everything I wanted and needed in an actual relationship — I didn’t get the gender partner I wanted, I didn’t get the kind of person I wanted, and I didn’t get the intimacy that my heart and spirit cry for. I got shame and manipulation. And it all came to an extreme conclusion in my clearing session.

    That Patricia did what she did that night is perverse, yet brilliant. By using one “truth,” my so-called sexual choice, she obscured the explosive truth and froze it in my humiliation, vulnerability, and shame. No wonder I was mute that night. I believed intensely and absolutely in Morningland and wanted to protect it – and her! I knew if I told you what was really going on, Morningland would have toppled. If I had told the media, the scandal would have brought the community down on Morningland. No wonder I was told to get out of town as fast as possible. No wonder I was shunned and contact with me was utterly prohibited. No wonder they bombarded me with suggestions about suicide. If I told my story, I would have been a huge threat. I wasn’t a Gopi, whose bond with Donato and Patricia at least carried some precedent for legitimacy in the “Brides of Christ” or “Krishna and the Gopis” mythology. I was a disciple. I was one of two and possibly three female disciples she brought into her inner, sexual circle at that time.

    It’s too bad it took me more than 20 years to find my voice. What I have to say isn’t a threat to today’s Morningland, but I hope it is a threat to the locks Morningland put on you. I am using my voice now to tell you my truth to help you blast through calcified beliefs or fears or locks to find your own truth.

    A final word about lingering doubts . . .

    Some people have held on to some of the relationships and/or sexual assignments from Morningland. You have told me that you always had doubt – what if this really was real and this is the lifestyle or person you were meant for. I had that doubt too, but the emotional charge on it obscured another, more insidious and long-lasting wound — the message Patricia drove into me that no one will ever love me, no man will ever love me, and no one will ever love just me. There is such hopelessness and helplessness in that. Do you still feel that? Hopeless and helpless to change something that was driven into you in Morningland. We all need to work with those doubts and to examine Patricia’s droppings in our lives, minds, and hearts. I was not even aware of that deep, destructive, and continuing wound until I began writing this essay and working through my memories (again) of the night I confronted her and her lies.

    Please contact one of us that you knew in Morningland and if you would like, we’ll work with you to help you examine those doubts and dredge up the droppings — you don’t need to continue to carry them around. :)