Feb 25, 2022
12 mins read
I want to talk about the latest controversy regarding Bentinho Massaro, a spiritual teacher.
But this is just me riffing. This is just me telling my own story. Because I have been on this journey –this spiritual awakening journey for quite a few years now. And Bentinho has been a huge part of it. Him and his teachings.
It’s not me adding to accusations, or interpreting the alleged events. It’s just a blog about me and making a space for myself, because engaging this information has activated some past trauma and hidden memories.
It’s hitting me like a freight train. Was I engaging a online cult? Led by an abusive monster?
It’s not supposed to be a well crafted article, or critical analysis. It’s opinion. It’s about alleged wrong doing, not legally proven wrong doing.
(I’m just gonna publish this. I recorded earlier. It’s unfinished. But I need to just hit publish and be done with it.)
Here are some links for more information, directly from the accusers about what’s allegedly been occurring.
The Mirror Effect
A Little Bit Culty
(Originally published before his 'response')
Bentinho Massaro. Fuck that guy.
For the last 36 hours I have been reading and listening to the testimony of people who have been in his inner circle.
I watched the controversy of 2018 play out from afar (online) and I stuck with him. I stuck with his teachings. I had decided that there just was not enough information to really say that his teachings were bad or wrong. And I had become somewhat uncaring of whether or not the allegations made against him were true because the allegations seemed to be simply “he’s a bad person”.
At the time in 2018, I was recovering from some incredibly intense life events and personal choices that I had made the previous year. Actions that I had taken changed the course of my life forever
Back then I lived and breathed his teachings. I was psychotic and desperate for help. And I had come to the conclusion that western medicine could no longer help me. I had been in ‘therapy’ for many years and I only seemed to be getting worse
So I turned to spirituality. By the time the first controversy came round in 2018 I had already spent a few years absorbing and studying his teachings as well as some other teachers online.
The 2018 controversy was somewhat vaguely presented, I had a lot of trouble figuring out what the accusations were. There didn’t seem to be a lot of information about what actually happened. It was difficult to really find out who said what or what was going on. It was just clear that something had gone terribly wrong.
So around this time I was still very ill: very psychotic; very depressed; very anxious; disabled recovering. I thought that his teachings mattered more to me than whether or not he was a good person, so I stuck with him.
And when I say I stuck with him I mean I fell out with him; I got triggered by him; I hated him; I went back to him; I loved him; I didn’t want his teachings again; then I rejected him again and found some other teacher; and went through their teachings; and then fell out with them – and so round and around I went.
There were maybe half a dozen spiritual teachers whom I would cycle through regularly to support my spiritual growth, to support my healing, to support my enlightenment journey, and my empowerment journey
But I would always return to him. His teachings are kind of foundational for me – a big part of my life.
And right now as I dictate these words to my computer and reflect on those teachings and listened to whistleblowers who were reflecting on the teachings also, I still find a whole lot of truth in them.
But what matters more to me than whether or not the teachings are real is who the person is that is teaching. This is what matters to me.
At some point on this journey I and many others – many, many other awakening beings – we realise that the teachings come direct and that the need for a teacher, a human teacher begins to fade away. There comes a point where ‘enlightenment’ or healing simply happens.
And I use that word reluctantly. But as this is a spiritual blog, enlightenment and empowerment are part of that.
Anyway we can say that the universe teaches directly, or source teaches directly, or there are guides who teach directly. But gradually it just becomes known from within. It just happens.
And there are many traps and pitfalls along the way. We can get overly attached, or overly invested in some piece of knowledge, some wisdom that we have learned, that we have gleaned, that we have downloaded. We could call that Ego, the personal self, or the shadow – it doesn’t really matter – but it’s all good it’s part of the journey.
Recently at this stage in my journey teachers like Bentinho are a helpful background buzz. They’re part of this environment. They no longer represent my source.
Pedestals I placed these people on have crumbled. And having those pedestals crumble has been a painful process. To see that these humans are just that, they simply are human. All of them divine, all of them part of this beautiful creation, along with myself. None of them better than any other.
None of them better than me, and me no better than any of them. And again this realisation is also painful.
And so what I think is happening is what we could all agree on in the spiritual community that the age of the Guru has passed. It’s no longer there, it’s not needed. It’s crumbling.
We don’t need Gurus anymore.
We are seeing this happen on so many levels – it’s not just about spirituality. We’re seeing it happen in communities. We’re seeing it happen in our political systems. We’re seeing it happen with our entertainment systems. We’re seeing it happen in our families.
The Guru must go.
So as I’ve been absorbing this information over the last 24 hours it feels like another death is happening within me. It feels that maybe more of the pedestal I was holding Bentinho Massaro upon is crumbling away. Because it’s been so very painful.
As I’ve been reading blogs and articles both new and from 2018 about suicides, about abuse, about narcissism it’s all hit so close to home.
About how he behaved towards those women. What he did. Allegedly.
And as I’ve listened to the podcast featuring the testimony of people who until recently were part of his Inner Circle to some extent, I finally realised these people are speaking the truth. That the stories they were telling were real. I could hear it in their voices. There’s no question in my mind that what they say happened really did happen
And there’s a personal synchronicity of this happening now, for me. The synchronicity of this coming out right now – for me – is mind blowing because of recent private conversations that I’ve been having with someone.
Because of my own recent exploration of Bentinho’s public persona. I feel like I was picking up on this before it even happened. Just a couple of weeks ago I was diving into the 2018 controversy again.
I was completely unaware that this controversy was about to drop, that these people were about to go public a couple of weeks later.
There is a website called the Wayback Machine. It creates snapshots and archives of websites that are available indefinitely. And so I have been diving into the history of Bentinho’s website and his blogs – which have since been deleted. And of those who accused him at the time, which also have since been deleted.
I was questioning again the authenticity of his accusers and I was questioning again the authenticity of Bentinho himself.
And in my private conversation recently this 2018 controversy came up unexpectedly. I found myself speaking about it with someone I trusted. And after the conversation I found myself questioning my interpretation of events. I found myself wondering if I was a victim blaming, and if my own victim blaming was veiling myself.
I was finding myself beginning to accept that this man might not be what he seems.
So I don’t know whether to call this a synchronicity, or to simply see it as me being tuned in to what’s happening and picking up on it.
I think I was following my nose and being ready to have part of my reality dissolved yet again
The illusion is crumbling. The illusion that the ego creates. The illusion that people are better than me, that people are authentic when they might not be.
And we live in this age right now where all of the darkness is coming to light, the darkness of the world is becoming seen. The darkness within is becoming seen. We are purging.
And it’s not just him. I got led down another rabbithole to do with Mooji, another teacher.
I found some memories of mine from 2017 began to come up. Things I had forgotten came to the surface again. Trauma that I was experiencing in 2017 whilst accessing his teachings and engaging his online community.
I began having a devastating realisation about how that community let me down. How I had used those teachings to deny myself.
It’s a kind of psychosis. For me spiritual awakening happened through psychosis. And in the years since I have spent a long time trying to come back to myself trying to heal myself.
Let me be clear. I am not rejecting any teachings. (Not sure). Over the years it has become clear to me that my interpretation of those teachings was simply very ungrounded and would take a long time to become integrated. It’s a process.
I’ve had many transcendent experiences or pop-out experiences. But it takes time to integrate. I do not believe that as humans we are able to maintain that level of consciousness for any period of time. It’s a journey.
And yes we can embrace our journey and be present with that journey. That in itself is its own kind of Enlightenment. Embracing the journey, embracing the now moment, embracing that we’re not there yet, accepting everything. Being in full acceptance is in itself a kind of an enlightenment. I don’t think we can expect any more of ourselves or each other.
And whilst I do still occasionally have transcendent pop-out experiences where I am basically fully awake – where my consciousness expands and I see a whole bunch of stuff – I always return to the body. I return back to Aeryn and I know that I have forgotten a bunch of stuff that I saw whilst I was in the expanded state.
So the way I see it is that teachers like Bentinho simply expect too much from humanity. And that their so-called tough love teachings, or tactics, that they believe are designed to help people, in fact traumatise them instead. And that’s what it looks like has been happening.
I don’t know about cults, I’ve never been in a cult. Maybe you could say his online following is a bit culty, there was nothing keeping me there. I have unfollowed him many times and gone back to him many times. I’ve hated him and I’ve loved him many times.
But the bottom line is that he has allegedly been abusive. The bottom line is that the stories these people are telling are the stories of an abusive tyrant. And it must not be allowed. We cannot allow this.
We cannot allow these people to behave this way whilst they hide behind their own teachings as justification.
And if any of it is untrue then we need to know about that too.
So I’ve never been abused by him, I’ve never been in a cult, I’ve never met the guy, he probably doesn’t know my name.
These people are describing events in a paradigm that I’ve never really experienced. But I have had quite a few traumatic life events, and experiences with abusers and narcissists.
I’m still affected by this. There’s trauma coming up from within me in response to this controversy and there’s a fire inside of me, a prayer for truth. That this man is held accountable. That this man is brought to justice and given a fair chance to defend himself.
I want to hear him deny or justify this.
A prayer that these people are given a chance to help heal. That they are given a chance to make a choice to leave, or get out, to get their lives back.
These are just some of my thoughts. This isn’t supposed to be a critical analysis or a balanced article. It’s just my blog. It’s just me.
So. I am done with this guy. I do want to see if he responds to the accusations. I want to see what he says. I don’t think it’s right for him to hide behind his own teachings and pretend that he’s above all this.
He is no better than any single one of us – he’s just a person.
But also, we are all divine people. We are all children of God. We are one. Equal. I whole heartedly hold this as my truth. So these pedestals must crumble.
I thought the age of the Guru had finished. These people are living on borrowed time. It’s time the Guru must go.