CAPE TOWN, South Africa, January 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
Local students of Ramtha's School of Enlightenment remember Philippe Meniere and Agnes Jardel as different.
Ineke Buskens has lived in the Cape Town area for many years. She has been an RSE student since 1999. Buskens recalled when she first met Meniere and Jardel in 1999. "I remember them clearly. I loved Philippe and Agnes. He had a great sense of humour. But they had this fanatic streak that became more and more intense and they withdrew from us until we never heard of them or saw them again."
Buskens is a Cultural Anthropologist and was Head of the Centre for Research Methodology at South Africa's Human Science Research Council for 5 years. She founded Research For the Future in 1996 and now works as an independent international research and process facilitation consultant.
"In my searching for a spiritual path that is coherent with contributing to a better world for all of humanity, I found RSE."
"Practicing the school's disciplines has made me more aware, more focused and more productive. From a personal perspective, the school's teachings have expanded my mind, enriched my being and made me a more loving and caring person: I love what I am becoming in and through the school and I see the same personal growth reflected in all the students I know."
Katy Menell lives in Cape Town. She has been an RSE student since 1992. "I met Philippe and Agnes a number of times but I have heard nothing of them since I last saw them about seven years ago," said Menell.
"The few people in my life who have responded to me about the media reports didn't seem to take the linking of the Meniere's actions with the teachings of RSE very seriously. It seems quite clear that they acted from their own personal perspectives."
"I share JZ's sentiments that it is all a very sad and unfortunate series of events. I still, however, feel that we may not be getting a clear picture of what happened," Menell concluded.
"From my experience in RSE, it is a complete misnomer to apply the word 'cult' to the organisation. In my 18 years as a student I have found the teachings and practices of RSE to be absolutely consistent in their respect for freedom of choice and individuality and a love for humanity and its creative potential. As a student I have been empowered to overcome many of my own personal limitations and improve my life in such a way that I have more to contribute to those around me. I am very clear that the tragic actions of the Meniere's are in no way consistent with what I have learnt at RSE."
Gernot Zankl, also an RSE student living in Cape Town, remembers when he last saw the couple. "I was sitting behind them at a retreat in 2004 in Johannesburg. It was during a morning session when he looked at her and said, 'I think we misunderstood the whole thing.' In the afternoon, he came out with his hair cut short and his long beard shaved off completely. We all looked at him and asked questions, but he behaved kind of weird. It was like he did not know us anymore."
"After that retreat, we have not seen or heard from them anymore. Sad that it had to go this way," Zankl said.
Mike Wright was the RSE teacher at the couple's last course. He traveled from the US to facilitate the event. "It was a small group of about 45 participants that met at Omaramba Resort near Rustenburg. It took me a while to recognize Philippe and Agnes from the news photos. There was nothing unusual in their participation at that last event."
"Our studies at the time focused on recent revelations about the structure of DNA and how it responds to chemical signals from the brain," Wright said. "The cell biologist Bruce Lipton had spoken at the RSE campus a couple months prior. As a doctor, I think Philippe found value in the biochemical correlations to how focused thought could influence the body."
In answer to questions about preparedness and 2012, Wright said, "RSE's recommendations are not about any specific year or date. RSE teaches people the importance of being in control of their own destiny, and preparing for uncertainty. That is an extension of making contingency plans for an uncertain future."
"Look at the news on Reuters just this week about the current international food shortages. Buying and storing extra food when it is inexpensive is insurance against all kinds of volatility."
Wright pointed out that financial advisors Barton Biggs and Dr Marc Farber have been giving wealthy people the same recommendations that RSE has given for years. "Biggs is no paranoid survivalist. He was chief global strategist at Morgan Stanley. Dr Farber predicted the 1987 crash and the 2008 financial crisis. Now he's telling hedge fund managers to prepare for more terrorist acts by moving out of the cities," he said.
"Why is it okay for the global elite to have contingency plans but it is considered cultish for ordinary people? People make payments on insurance plans every month and they hope they never need them. Becoming more self-reliant and sovereign is an extension of that same mindset."
References Food crisis in the news this week: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE7051JZ20110113 http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE7051JZ20110112 http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70B6C020110112 http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70521L20110112 http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE7052RA20110112 http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70A2G320110112 http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE7051P620110112 http://www.ft.com/foodprices
Jan 2008, Barton Biggs, author of Wealth, War and Wisdom
Feb 2010, Dr Marc Farber:
SOURCE Ramtha's School of Enlightenment