dreambirdie Thanks for that potted history of your spiritual search. I too have always looked for integrity in those who are teaching some sort of philosophy/religion and like you failed to find it and more disturbing, have found the opposite like the cruel nuns. My own theory on this, due to my beliefs, is that opening oneself to the spiritual world, without the discernment or the acknowledgement that there is evil out there, invited the evil into our lives and the effect of that will be the deadening of the conscience, the part of us that God uses to draw us into uniting with him in the true pathway of mysticism. However there are many pitfalls along the way and the worse is in looking to man for guidance instead of hearing the still small voice of God deep inside ourselves, which will lead us if we are prepared to obey the light given to us and which will take us on the road of truth and give us more illumination as we go along if we seek the truth and keep a clean conscience. As for religion, I have nothing to do with it.