Avatar of Star's Edge, a German view
Introductory information by Udo Schuster
Concerning the Avatar Program now being heavily promoted in the psychological and esoteric scenes, "Avatar is an invitation to become acquainted with a state in which you are the creator of your life experience."
Such "Muenchhausen" courses are offered again and again, in which people are told they will be able to pull themselves out of any predicament by their own hair. [ This is a German proverb about The lying Baron Muenchhausen, who could do just that. In English, "pull yourself up by your own bootstraps" would be a close equivalent. ]
The AVATAR program was formulated by Harry Palmer, a former historical and philosophy lecturer from New York. Palmer describes himself as coming "from management," and spent eleven years active in the Scientology sect. Nothing more is known about Palmer's credentials. He is described today in Avatar advertising as "Founder of Star's Edge, Inc." and as the "owner of the rights of the registered trade marks of this establishment."
Emergence and history
In mid-October, 1986, Palmer demonstrated his AVATAR technique to small groups, which was said to cause exhilaration and astonishment among all the participants. Due to this initial success, Palmer's notes and lectures of the procedures were hastily made into course documents. In January, 1987 the first two students were trained. Only five months later, Palmer held the first AVATAR Master trainiing course. Just two months after that, he trained and congratulated the one hundredth AVATAR Master and the one thousandth class participant.
The story is not without internal disputes. Only one year after Palmer's first presentation, things came down to arguments and a power struggle within the system. Apparently due to these disputes, Palmer protected AVATAR in April, 1989 as a registered trade mark for "the service of training in the area of spiritual consultation," which was acknowledged at the end of November, 1989 by a US Federal court after being revised twice. Three months earlier, AVATAR had also set foot in Europe: the first "Master course" took place in Switzerland.
Teachings and practices
AVATAR is by its own statement not a religion or a world view, but a seminar system for "consciousness expansion" and instilling an "increased experience of life." Students experience a strong "release" and are promised "the realization of all of their possibilities."
The way to the result of this new life experience and release is allegedly quite simple: Truth is only what one wants to believe is true.
One cannot simply succeed by gaining experience or studying reality to form provable opinions and observations. Rather, one experiences only what one believes and what one is finds convincing. If you don't like the truth, then you should easily be able to create another truth.
By "creating" and the ability to "dis-create," a "beautiful new world" is formed. Thus, if the reality you live in is not pleasant, you simply create a new one yourself: "You create the reality you prefer."
The old reality, the past, is only a disturbance. It is just an "idea" that can be dis-created arbitrarily, and thus deleted.
Through the dis-creation of unwanted states and the creation of desired ones, it is possible to eliminate bodily problems as well as unwanted limitations, oppressions, pain and ingrained feelings.
If a problem occurs, then it is easily dis-created and away it goes. It's as simple as that.
But an AVATAR graduate will be able to do still more: One cannot only design for himself a new personal reality, but helpful beliefs can also be created for others, or their obstacles can be dis-created. "The procedure is there to clear away limitations which prevent you from doing what you really want to do...."
AVATAR helps bring power and influence, because "everything which has boundaries or barriers is a creation, and these can also be resolved."
After the Initiation into AVATAR, according to a report, the "loss of all moral judgments, and thus the ability to create one's own prosperity"
The "entrance into the world of the unlimited possibilities"
of the AVATAR is through a structured course system. It consists of:
- The AVATAR course, which is again divided into three sections:
- Part I. "Creativism" is a presentation of the philosophical principles. Duration 2-4 hours; cost: $12.50 US.
- Part II. "The Exercises" were created to teach the ability to completely experience reality and to change one's own personal reality. Duration 3-5 days; cost: $1,000.00 US.
- Part III. "The Techniques" gives the ability to experience and dis-create sensory perceptions, to resolve personal conflicts and any liabilities. Duration: 1-4 days; cost: $1,000.00 US.
- The "Master course" Part IV, called "Awakening", is the basic requirement for a one year provisional license to organize courses. It is deliverd over 9 days. Cost: $3,000.00 US.
- The "Star's Edge Professional course" Part V, called "Power", covers power, strength, leadership, and organization and coordination of the network. One obtains the appropriate abilities to develop business and promote Star's Edge. Duration: 30 days. Cost: unknown.
The signing of the license agreement entitles the licensee to organize courses. If a student who has taken the basic Avatar Course goes on to become a Master, once he completes the Masters course, his coach receives a referral commission payment from star Edge, as did the Master who referred the original Master.
Reports and secrets
Reports are available of how such AVATAR seminars are conducted. If they are correct, the written materials are held in strictest secrecy on the individual courses --with the exception of Section I, "Creativism"-- and must never leave the courserooms.
A precise system of checklists for delivering the course materials is designed to guarantee that no information leaks out. Apparently, students are not allowed to take extensive notes about the contents of the course documents.
The daily work time in the courses is said to be 10-14 hours. Doubts that arise are considered evidence of lack of understanding, with the consequence of further sessions.
To effect a sort of reprogramming during the course, mantras are recited, under monitoring, which is defined fashionably as "coaching." Also, certain statements are to be repeated stereotypically as resolutions ("affirmations") to make them stick. Within a short time, it is reported that students experience states bordering on euphoria.
For Palmer, apparently no banality is too small and no platitude too excessive that it couldn't be used to convert an abstruse theory into cash.
Contents of the "effective seminar program" are a mishmash of borrowings from the Scientology sect and pieces of disaligned Hindu philosophy. This mixture is sold with the slogan that "... the realizations of considerable personalities such as Lao Tse, Krishnamurti, Aurobindo... contributed to the implementation of the AVATAR program".
Also, the well-known practice of brainstorming is offered as a piece of news. It is defined as "Thoughtstorm" or the use of "linking" for the compilation of common concepts among the team.
Palmer revealed himself as incredibly presumptuous the day he reversed the meaning of "Avatar" (a common Hindu term for the benificent incarnation of a divinity or spiritual consciousness) by registering it as a trademark.
Palmer's construct of Ideas creates omnipotent fantasies and a newly self-defined form of ethics. "Ethical" becomes whatever belief one regards as valuable or decides is appropriate. The AVATAR can populate a world with people he creates. If he does something bad or harmful to another, he has created someone who deserves the treatment in his private world.
The human picture behind this scene is irresponsible and antisocial, as it ultimately excludes humanitarian behaviour and social responsibility.
The Scientology sect obviously influenced Palmer strongly. There, the nature of ethics is also entirely redefined. The guiding principle, "creating the reality you prefer," is strongly reminiscent of the motto "Do what thou wilt," of the neo-satanist motto of Aleister Crowley, where Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard found his inspiration.
The strange conception of truth and morality ("Truth is what you create as truth"), as well as the indoctrination about the structure of beliefs obtained in these courses, can lead people far out of touch with reality and thus cause conflicts within their social environment.
AVATAR promises power, influence and money.
The method is available only to those who have an income level that enables them to afford it, because money is ultimately the only thing that matters.
But what occurs if this new program does not open up the environment and discreate a person's old problems? What if it it all persists? What if the world around you does not reveal itself through this program, despite all the dis-creation Efforts? AVATAR won't give you an answer to that question, even after you have paid thousands of DM in course fees.
Udo Schuster, 36, is an attorney with a large German clearing bank and since 1985 a member of the board of the Parents' Initiative for Assistance against Mental Dependency and Religious Extremism.
Translation is public domain. Feel free to print and distribute it unaltered in its entirety.