It is with mixed feelings that I write this- The world DOES need a soul movement - and Dr. Sha's teachings are based on some basic truths and provide empowering tools that can provide benefit...
But, I'm just not sure it needs the ultra-organized commercialized dogma of the Dr.Sha "Mission":
First of all, similar to his previous books, don't be duped by the "best seller" status or 5 star ratings:
1) members of the Mission contribute thousands of dollars in lieu of `blessings' from Master Sha as a part of a `book campaign' - these funds are used directly by Master Sha's institute to internally buy books from retailers 2 or 3 at a time to falsely and unethically stage the book's popularity (Google "Dr Sha book campaign" if you don't believe me)
2) members of the Mission are urged to write positive reviews about Master Sha's books, and get discounts for it...thus all the prosaic 5 star reviews.
It's not really that they want to sell lots of books - they want to attract more members to the Mission- i.e. to join the Sunday Blessings and the Retreats....which is where the real money is made. It's not that unlike this story: google "Did dirty tricks create a best-seller"
Sure, the members deeply believe that they are promoting truth (indeed, other religions have done much worse in the name of God)...but personally, I don't find these methods to be all that `saintly'(it might even be karmic)... if there are real truths in the book and the Mission it would sell itself on its own merit like most best sellers do.
And what `services' does Master Sha offer at his blessings and retreats? Well, Master Sha believes that he is a "Channel" of the Divine, and he (and only he) has been given special powers. So he (and only he) can offer you- via the "Dr Sha dot com" channel (check it out for yourself):
- Divine Protection against every imaginable hazard
- clear your Karma for $2000. just like that - no followup or practice or nothing...even Dr, Sha calls it a "short cut"
- Transplants for diseased organs
- Body Soul Transplant for $5000 (not explicitly listed in the web site, but it is a prerequisite, among others, to be come a Master Teacher Healer)
(actually, you can usually get the blessings for less because there is always a last minute special to appeal to the "shoppers")
What is a Body Soul Transplant? You current soul leaves you and a new soul (a saint) chooses you. Its sad that some people are so down they feel they need a brand new soul....and I guess all the poor folks have little chance at becoming a saint...how exclusive.
By the way, for the higher services, you aren't told the cost of these until you apply first, in which Dr. Sha receives Divine guidance in whether he should accept you. Imagine trying to say no after the Divine supposedly accepted you (but of course, these are "priceless treasures").
But that's just the tip of the iceberg...the later chapters of his books speak of the higher Soul Transformations etc. The "highest" downloads for the `chosen' ones are offered only at the "invitation only" retreats (i.e. for those who have `passed' the previous courses)...
Dr Sha's Sunday blessings are as follows:
He offers a free blessing (download). Then his top assistants (the "professionals" on "dr sha dot com" who have gone through the full Soul transformation and have received all the highest downloads so that their souls reside in their highest chakra and they can see with their third eye- paid for either with $ or Universal Service(tm) to the Mission) describe what they saw. Then all the people who have registered get their downloads. That's it.
Yes, the downloads might feel empowering, but inevitably you are left wanting more...if the top assistants can really see with their third eye, wouldn't you want that too? Well you can get there by getting the downloads, becoming indoctrinated through the courses and practice practice practice (the practice e.g. chanting, empowering statements etc can make you feel good) - till you believe it (or some would say become deluded?)
So inevitably, most are drawn to take the courses and to become a Universal Servant (requires you to volunteer time to the non-profit Institute that does all the `work' - whereas payments go to Dr Zhi Gang Sha LLC.). The courses all link together and coax you higher and higher, with the light at the end of the tunnel that eventually you might be able to charge for your services, like the "Professionals" on the web site - it's the classic pyramid marketing scheme.
But here is the hard part for me: people DO feel better... faith in the empowerments can help heal. But any one will feel better if they spend time getting out of their thinking brain and doing some chanting, setting good intentions, and having faith that they are empowered to make choices to make their lives better. And the collective energy at (any) group retreats is very powerful and healing. Why not rejoice in that - it might be the piece some people really need...
But when that collective energy at the retreat is highest, and people are feeling their best, that is when Dr. Sha `suggests' that his downloads can make you even better....which is made so easily done by sticking your personal barcode on a form (& voila, your credit card is charged). It's so effective that retreat registrants have to sign a legal disclaimer saying that all though the downloads are `priceless', they must spend `within their means". From my experience, few of the faithful do, unless you call credit card bills and liquidation of savings as `within your means". (many retreat attendees spend 10's of thousands)
Seems like Dr. Sha is selling water to people standing in a river. It's a shame that our consumerist society thinks we can `buy' everything. Its part of the reason we need a true soul movement.
Members of the Mission have made a huge leap of faith to jump on these tracks. But the light at the end of the tunnel might just be an oncoming train. After investing so much, it might take an even bigger leap of faith to get off...