(Estuvo en Nueva Acrópolis 5 años)
Throughout a number of years (somewhere between 2010 and 2020) I’ve been sharing what many of the NA members sincerely thought (some still believe) being a beautiful “Ideal”, for which any sacrifice is worth. I’ve been a Live Force, part of the Woman’s Brigade in one of French NA centers.
This testimony is not against NA members but for them, as well as for all public interested in learning more about this organization. I could write a full book (one day I will) but here I’ll summarize briefly few significants points only.
Like many other persons, I’ve known NA via their cultural public activities (for the 3rd cercle, as I’ve learned later on) and right after I’ve agreed to follow their philosophy course. I was new in town, looking for meaningful social networking, and this course has been somehow intellectually provocative to me as person with scientific background. At that time I had no interest in esoterism and had only basic historic and political knowledge, doing otherwise well in my life from all standpoints.
We were 15 to start the 1st cycle course and at the end we were only 3, “students” were leaving without saying good bye, which was strange to me. Well, some discussions were quite uncomfortable, the trainers were self-righteous and often making us feel guilty (even for basic leisure activities like going out with friends after work). Also, slowly, the idea emerged that NA is a unique “philosophy school” with civilizer mission (for a new and better world), we were suggested that those staying are somehow spiritually superior the others… “it’s not by chance that you’re here” we were told, which was reinforcing our attachment and dedication to the cause.
From the 3 students who finished the 1st cycle I was the only one who decided to continue, convinced that I can bring my contribution to a better world, but also by curiosity. What’s next? – some little internal voice was pushing me to continue, I was feeling that the road I was advancing on is not an ordinary one.
After some light ritual I became a (2nd circle) member and soon noted that everything looked more serious, even rigid, we were barely allowed to ask questions during the course, actually asking question was tolerated but seen as a kind of weakness (later called Kama Manas, a kind of inferior, non-spiritual calculator mind).
We were first time explained that Jorge Angel Livraga (known as JAL for the disciples) founded the NA at the request of Sri Ram, a Master of the Theosophical Society (I’ve learned later that the Theosophical Society actually expelled JAL for bad behavior), founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky (HPB for the disciples). Their portraits were now hanging on the NA walls (they’ve actually always been there, I just did noy pay attention before). Some kind of mystery started to plan in the air, some hidden promise that the more go deep into the NA, the more it’ll be unraveled.
At that time I was trustful and did not try to search on the internet information about the organization.
I’ve started to invest more and more time with the group, feeling emotionally linked like in a soul family and genuinely believing that together we’ll make the world a better place. We were not living together but were spending together a lot of time, almost daily, had our songs, some kind of specific language and lots of cultural, spiritual, public service activities.
One shadow appeared during a course (introduction to wisdom of orient and occident) speaking about race evolution, where we were clearly told by the trainer about the white race superiority, but this has been afterwards blurred like if we did not get it well (as our “consciousness level is still low” – as it will be often repeated afterwards, also “look, NA is in in all the countries and have colored skin members”). Later I found this written course, it literally mentions white race superiority.
We were also told that the official history is not the real one, that actual political systems are all a failure, that we’re leaving in a decadent world where, as “acropolitans” or “philosophers” will have a significant impact (as history is always made by small elite groups, right?). I’ve asked the trainer if the NA has any political plans, I was told “no, we’re a philosophy school, classical type”.
With time I’ve started to neglect significantly my family and non NA friends (this was actually encouraged by older NA members but also coming naturally as I wanted to get away from my old life, like from some useless cloth, as the “seed needs to die in order to become a tree”).
The days spent within NA was kind of magical, out of time, I was feeling happy I belong there – and little by little started to adopt new ideas as the potential existence of an invisible world we could be in touch with (why not, said my scientific brain, like electricity we can’t see but really exists), that we are kshatriyas, a kind of pacific warriors led from above by the White Hierarchy, many other magical thinking type of beliefs. I was under the impression that a new reality is opening to me, that was so empowering. I’ve always been a high energy and dedicated person but during those years my life was extremely intense, like in a fantasy movie but feeling real.
The connection with the group was also continuously reinforced by a danger feeling fed by the older NA members who were telling us that NA enemies are everywhere, led by dark forces (including the existing government) – so we should keep secret what’s happening inside the NA as well as keep away from detractor’s influence.
At that period I would have pulled out my faithful adept shield in front of any attack to my beloved NA, be it a friend telling I was in a sect or any kind of critics. I was also in agreement with internal activities like infiltrating Wikipedia to make sure the right public image is maintained.
When I was asked if I would like to get more involved (become a Live Force) – wanting to know what would this imply from time perspective, I was told this will not get much more busier than it is already, that I’ll still be master of my life.
An intense few days course in an isolated environment belonging to NA (La Cour Petral) and some unusual experiences (which I thought “spiritual”, now I call them modified conscience states, similar to hypnosis) convinced me I was on the good path, so I’ve accepted to go through the application and testing period.
I’ve passed a couple of tests named after the 4 elements (earth, water, air, fire) that essentially implied lots of time and dedication, including unslept nights, cleaning for hours the NA center, bathing in very cold water, writing essays and presenting one of them in front of an intimidating Live Forces gathering and, last but not least the proof of militance – speaking about NA to people in the street, convincing them to buy NA products.
I’ve learned about the existence of NA symbols and hymns, uniforms and strict hierarchy and first time red some selected – less hardcore - JAL’s “Bastions” (internal writings, some of them that I’ve discovered later are really worrisome, with totalitarian, megalomanic, violent phrases defending for example forced sterilization of some human groups or killing in the name of an ideal). My progression was very closely followed by some high member of NA hierarchy so each doubt arising was addressed carefully so finally I was (almost) convinced I was joining a kind of spiritual army (knights and ladies) fighting for new and better world.
So I fond myself an early morning, after a sleepless night of many probation tests and rituals (one of them was being completely buried) at the Cour Petral, in my blue brand new uniform, making the “Roman” ave! greeting (same as the fascist one), kneeled on the ground in front of a sun eagle flag (very similar to the nazi one), getting a new (known only to NA live forces) name (like a kind of rebirth), making a vow I was hearing for the first time: that I swear in front of my eternal soul to serve the Live Forces, if not God, Karma and the Masters will “remind me”. I was under a kind of hypnosis but still could think I’m not going to sign this white check, and, while pronouncing the vow as requested, I’ve told myself I’ll stay faithful in first place to my values and not obey or do anything that goes against them.
What happened after that, during my 1st circle (Live Forces) membership, was mainly a chain of bad experiences and deep disappointment that made me go consecutively through anger, profound injustice feelings and despair.
Most of the “Live Forces” time (which was every weekend, evenings, national holidays) was dedicated to “integration” related tasks (learning and planning how to attract new members), some ethically much questionable like getting close to people with having this purpose in mind (special trainings were dedicated to that), making views, likes and comments to NA websites or social network activities (even if we did not participate), like if we were outsiders (“oh these guys are fantastic, this place is wonderful” etc – that made me so sick). We had never ending meetings where the hierarchy members were often treating lower grades Live Forces like dogs. I’ve seen old ladies crying (as they were severely criticized or even humiliated in front of the group) AND NOBODY DARED TO SAY SOMETHING (not even me).
I was shocked by the blind submissiveness, the Live Forces were all police to each other (about free time, clothing for example) but forced to look happy, accomplished as part of a spiritual elite. Human life had no value beyond what it can provide to the cause, I’ve realized these people are not feeling anymore the injustice and internalized their fear.
The secret principle had paranoid dimensions, we were using special encrypted e-mails (…acropolis.org), a lost key from the temple (room where only the Live Forces have access) was real drama, each time the country director came the security was reinforced and everybody put under high stress, photos and videos during rituals or Live Forces meetings were forbidden, internal texts were studied but papers given back to the trainer at the end (couldn’t take them home).
Personality cult was a must, for HPB, JAL (full days and nights with dedicated rituals, songs, poems), while forgetting which exact tea type the country director prefers was a lese-majesty crime.
There was increasing membership fee, proportional with engagement level, also increased pressure to donate money, we were paying our presence to compulsory trainings besides a lot of volunteer work (cook, clean), buying NA products (some pressure at this level too).
The courses for Live Forces were of bad quality from intellectual standpoint (best trainers are involved with “good profile” members that may become new Live Forces), lots of indoctrination, esoteric rituals and spiritual exercises supposed to connect oneself with higher truths. It was particularly funny to see hierarchy members fighting each other about what exact gesture is the right one during some rituals or exercises, that all gave me an impression that they don’t really know what they’re doing.
Each tentative to question (ideology, hierarchy) was treated like being a “low level of conscience” (how could you contradict the “universal wisdom”?) proof, each (real or imagined) non-obedience punished (more work, exclusion from some activities, doing humiliating tasks).
Little by little I’ve realized that the answers to the existential questions coming from older Live Forces were always the same, like if they were clones reciting from someone else’s text (like for example, to the question about submission the answer was that we should not confound submission with voluntary obedience which is a “disciple quality”).
We were more or less directly suggested not to have kids, work part time (which some members obeyed), eventually some very bad paid “work contracts” were made for some young members (they were so grateful!) making them totally dependent of the group as they were expected to be 24/7 available.
Young people in their 20’s are especially important for NA, especially idealist ones, prone to blame themselves easily, kind and willing to serve something they perceive as the right cause. Special shortcuts are made for them to reach the 1st circle easily, like the Perseus summer camp.
NA cultivates a lot heroism, sacrifice spirit, we were told to kill our survival instincts and historical personalities like Leonidas are high up in “acropolitans” hearts and songs. Later I’ve read the JAL’s writings where he was opposing to these virile values the “homosexual softness” and “feminoid” traits.
Each Live Force was obliged to write a weekly (mainly self-criticizing) “spiritual” letter to her or his “master”, where many intimate thoughts and other information are provided, the master-disciple 1 to 1 relationship is very strong, masters being sometimes kind and comprehensive, sometimes abrupt, harsh, even insulting or humiliating thus confusing a lot the disciples (I’ve seen this on others and it happened to myself too, it may be extremely traumatic experience).
Why stay? – one would ask, well, you care about those people, you believe that the “Ideal is perfect but the idealists not”, always questioning yourself (also as an indoctrination consequence) that maybe if your fault, maybe you’re not understanding well, maybe you’re not kind or spiritually elevated enough… or maybe “something is wrong within the NA but maybe I can change it” (many young Live Forces think that).
I was finally diagnosed with “integration difficulties”, selfishness, sometimes told it’s a normal spiritual crisis I’ll pass (if I decide to grow spiritually).
There were numerous situations when they tried to use the vow and metaphysical fear implanted in my head against me – each time I was not behaving as they expected me to.
Once, after a genuine accident I had (not at all life threatening), I was told by an “axed” member of the hierarchy (symbol similar to the one on fascist Italy’s flag, only with two lames, these members are wearing it as a kind of magical object) that I almost died – a karma sign - because I’m not doing my correctly Live Force duty. This approach, beyond the mental manipulation effect, is particularly dangerous (easily to understand why, having in mind the phenomenon of self-fulfilling prophecy).
Together with other red light signs this was to me a proof that that the beliefs they put in your brain may later be used to manipulate you.
Even taking all this into account it was very hard for me to quit the group, I’ve done it slowly, step by step, but once I’ve started to read specialists books on mental unethical influence, also history and politics books I’ve understood what I was into and could completely separate myself from NA, body and soul. It’s a long and painful process but now I feel my life is back, as well as my freedom of mind.
Ever since I’ve been in touch with many ex NA members all over the world, the issues are everywhere the same, they are not related to some leaders defaults (as we are often told) but rooted in NA’s creator’s plans and personality.
To those NA members saying – well, I like the activities and people are nice, it’s OK to get myself involved – I answer: read carefully JAL’s internal writings (available on the internet, yes I know NA says they are not true… but you can link these texts with behavior you’re witnessing) and think well if this is the world you’d like to leave in. The public activities are just recruitment platforms, participating into them is supporting NA grow and spread its totalistic ideology.
Liliana, march 2022