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Compassion Project ???
At a public Perth fair, Every Woman Expo, there were all the usual stalls and displays offering help in health issues through to bringing up babies; craftwork and fashion accessories through to clairvoyants giving their ’expert guestimates’ of what people want to hear. Along with the general New Age Spiritual mix were friendly, smiling people handing out colourful cards that could fit into your pocket or purse. These pretty cards supposedly help to spread compassion and peace around the world. These colourful cards had the name: ’Avatar – The Compassion Project’ clearly printed on them.
They promised: ’Honesty with one’s self leads to compassion for others. OBJECTIVE: Increase the amount of compassion in the world. EXPECTED RESULTS: A personal sense of peace. INSTRUCTIONS: This exercise can be done anywhere that people congregate (airports, malls, parks, beaches, etc.). It should be done on strangers, unobtrusively, from some distance. Try to do all five steps on the same person.’
People are NOT given suggestions on rolling up their sleeves and doing something practical to help someone else in a real compassionate way – instead people are encouraged to repeat (to themselves) short feel-good slogans while thinking of another person, such as: ’Just like me, this person is learning about life.’ THAT is supposed to spread compassion around the world!!
In reality, the colour cards are a way of inviting people to inquire about Avatar courses. These were started (in the USA – of course!) by former Scientologist (for about 15 years), Harry Palmer. Palmer has heavily borrowed from Scientology and made up his own human potential growth movement at high costs. Scientologists have tried to sue Palmer for stealing their ideas; while others have accused him of scams and fraud – and are trying to take action to expose him as a fraud. Palmer also faced serious trouble for claiming to be a psychologist – when he has never had such qualifications.
He claims a bit of sheer nonsense: ’For 40 years the visionary ideas behind the Avatar materials incubated in the mind of Harry Palmer’ – it didnt take that long, nor was it all too visionary. There is more than enough evidence to show most of it is Scientology material with a few changes and additions from other sources. Palmer’s programmes are virtually franchised out in an international network of ’licensed’ operators. The programme is described as: ’Avatar is the most powerful, purest self-development program available… Its you finding out about you. Avatar is a nine-day self-empowerment training delivered by a world-wide network of licensed Avatar Masters.’
While supposedly Its you finding out about you - You have to pay THEM lots of money to find out about yourself. Palmer’s network not only uses the name: ’Avatar’, but also: Stars Edge, ReSurfacing, Thoughtstorm, Love Precious Humanity and Enlightened Planetary Civilization.
Palmer’s Avatar has nothing to do with the movie, AVATAR. The word, Avatar, comes out of Hinduism and refers to the earthly/bodily manifestation or form of a deity, relating to the word for ’descent’ and referring to a deity descending to earth from higher realms. Nowadays, in computer usage and terminology, an avatar also refers to a graphical image representation of the user, or his/her alter ego, or character (e.g. in gaming or blogging).
Palmer’s ’The Compassion Project’ has absolutely nothing to do with the well-known Christian children’s welfare organisation, COMPASSION. They are involved in actually doing something real and practical in sharing compassion with the less fortunate: Compassion works with the individual child from the womb to university to address their economic, social, physical, emotional and spiritual needs. Compassion partners with the local church to implement our holistic child development programs. (For further information see: http://www.compassion.com.au/)
(TACL Insert May-July 2011)