David R. Hawkins’ book, Power vs. Force (1995), was initially considered by many readers to be supporting peace over such actions as litigation. (Numerous people assumed that Dr. Hawkins was opposed to war, for example, though he later supported the preemptive invasion of Iraq.) Veritas Publishing, Hawkins’ self-publishing company in Sedona, Arizona, did not live up to this ideal, however. The New England Institute of Religious Research and Wikipedia were both threatened with a lawsuit if they did not remove from their respective websites factual information regarding Hawkins. Both nonprofit organizations, they chose to remove the content rather than pay to defend themselves. Hawkins’ biographer, Scott Jeffrey, has described what went on behind the scenes!
Less well known is that Veritas Publishing has threatened a number of websites with legal action if they did not remove their respective postings of the Map of Consciousness. (Veritas charges $6 for the plagiarized — from Hubbard through Levenson — work, so apparently they do not appreciate it being offered for free.)
Following are a few examples.
IMAGE REMOVED – (after receiving the most aggressive legal request of my life! …)
Hoo boy! If I thought the lawyer letter was not nice, this next one was not nice x 10…From what I hear, [Hawkins] is creating many enemies with his heavy handed tactics that threaten and use force — and demonstrate no knowledge of power.
Update Feb 7, 2012: Unfortunately, Veritas Publishing demanded that I remove the image and I’ve since taken it off PE. For an organization that tries to preach the concept of Power vs. Force, it surprises me they would resort to forceful threats and solutions (rather than actions that resonate with the “power” levels of consciousness) to achieve their aim. I would have easily removed it if they had simply asked, vs. issuing a e-mail with threats of lawsuits and some pretty heavy and angst-filled words…
Keep in mind that these are people who were intending to promote Dr. Hawkins’ work! Further, the first example is from a lawyer, who desires consciousness in the practice of law, and states that the letter she received was the worst she’s ever seen. She apparently demonstrates more integrity and spirituality than Veritas, though, by forgiving them and desiring to work with them in the future!
We predict that Chris Dierkes‘ excellent article, “Against High Vibrations: A Critique of New Age Spirituality,” may be one of the next targets on Veritas’ list, since it includes a picture of the Map of Consciousness:
[Hawkins’ dualistic] scale…ends up causing a lot [of] well-meaning but naive spiritual seekers extraordinary amounts of unnecessary suffering…[I]t’s actually not good to only have sunny days. “It’s always a sunny day over there“ was not a compliment. It was a very important insight and a kind of warning.
Indeed. William James has made similar observations. In the nondualistic, balanced, and healthful words of Buddhist sage Nagarjuna, “Samsara and Nirvana are one.” It is the duality which seems to create the suffering. Enlightenment is beyond suffering but is non-separate from it. The lotus flower grows in, and is non-separate from, the mud. All is One. This is a deep insight into the nature of Reality, which Hawkins’ work may seemingly obscure from our immediate sight.
To lighten the mood after seeing so much “FORCE“ from Veritas Publishing, which is reportedly operated by Mrs. Susan Hawkins, following is an instance of another Hay House personal development author, Steve Pavlina, who initially endorsed Hawkins’ Map and work (in 2005) but later changed his mind (by 2011). Pavlina’s “New and Improved Map of Conscious Growth” ranges from the lowest level of consciousness (“Complete idiots”) to the highest level of enlightenment (“Canadians”). Pavlina muses
Have you noticed that each time someone creates a linear map of consciousness (i.e. a series of defined tiers that you can progress through), they almost always put themselves on the 2nd or 3rd rung from the top, with the top tier being the idealized version of their values?…There is no universal, tiered, linear map of conscious growth. There is simply expansion, with no direction being more or less enlightened than any other.
Hawkins placed some of his own work, I: Reality and Subjectivity, at 999.8 on a scale of 1,000. 1,000 is the level of Jesus Christ, the Buddha, and Krishna, among but a few others. Many of Hawkins’ students call him “Lord,” and refer to his teachings as “His” teachings. Some claim that he is the Second Coming of Christ. Indeed, “Gloria in excelsis Deo!” — the dedication found at the beginning of each of Dr. Hawkins’ books — are the words the angels sang when they welcomed Christ into the world: “Glory to God in the highest” (Luke 2:14). Perhaps Hawkins was hinting at something? We are unsure. But, some followers are convinced he is the “real deal.” And not just the real deal in some sort of Adyashanti or Eckhart Tolle (insert here your favorite contemporary spiritual teacher) way, but rather on the rarefied level of the Avatar, such as Jesus.
Based on Dr. Hawkins’ personal Hawkins Applied Kinesiology calibrations performed on his wife’s outstretched arm, his own work is also considered to be more spiritually powerful than highly regarded sages, such as Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, and Huang Po (Huangbo Xiyun of the Hongzhou school of Chan); contain more truth than great religious texts, for instance, the Bible; and be far more astute and surpass the mere intellect of every genius of history, including Newton and Einstein (“um, that was Hawk-ward“).
Those who are unconvinced by this seemingly grandiose suggestion have come up with various ways of explaining the phenomenon, ranging from self-deception (or simply being mistaken) to representing some sort of nefarious scheme orchestrated by a type of “New World Order” cabal. (It seems possible that a basic commitment to neoconservatism — for example, Dr. Hawkins subscribed to The Weekly Standard, an American neoconservative opinion magazine — might have done the trick; but, at this time, this is far from certain.)
What’s the truth? We may humbly submit that Hawkins likely does not warrant such a lofty status (or, conversely, we all equally share a lofty status), but as to the specific details, at this time we are unsure.
(Note: We encourage people to read Mr. Jeffrey’s discoveries regarding the finances of Veritas Publishing — the entire Hawkins product catalog of which apparently runs about $10,000 — and the Institute for Spiritual Research, Inc., the latter of which alone has amassed around $2 million. The IRS has been informed about the Institute’s alleged for-profit activities seemingly concealed behind a nonprofit facade, and we will have to wait and see how the IRS responds to this information. If you are also concerned, please consider notifying the IRS as well; the more people who offer the IRS information, the more likely, and perhaps promptly, the IRS will be to investigate this allegation. Thank you!)
[Compare the Bhagavad Gita]