The Dysfunctional 3HO Family--Part Four

Visions, 1990-1992
By Kamlapati Kaur Khalsa

Series Index:
The Dysfunctional 3HO Family--Part One
The Dysfunctional 3HO Family--Part Two
The Dysfunctional 3HO Family--Part Three
The Dysfunctional 3HO Family--Part Four


Topic Index:
Talking About Mom and Dad's Problem
The Personal Secret
Gossipy Secrets
Political Secrets
Sat Nam

This is the final article written for "Visions" on Healing the Dysfunctional 3HO Family. These articles have been explorations into the four unspoken rules that promote dysfunctionality within families and also organizations.

1. Don't talk about Mom and Dad's problem. 2. Don't be angry. 3. Don't question the beliefs, rules or image of the family. 4. Don't deviate from your role.

In this last chapter of this series, I take on taboo #1: Don't talk about Mom and Dad's problem. The observant may have noticed that I have been making it through these taboos backwards.

Frankly, I have been in 3HO too long to not understand ( and I must admit use to my purposes) our community's love of sensationalism. From the first article I have felt, and taken no action to curb, my reader's anticipation for this last, most titillating article. And now it is here and it is time to be straight, time to talk openly about the big question that has been in the air for two years now: Is Kamlapati Kaur Khalsa finally going to go too far? Is she going to declare Yogi Bhajan a stuff, sex and power addict?

Step closer and let me whisper in your ear:

I can't ultimately judge. But I do know that if Yogi Bhajan or your Mother, or your child or the President of the USA or anyone else is an addict, this is not scandalous, titillating, or particularly shocking news. It is not that big a deal, trust me. Happens all the time and it is merely the opportunity for a loving and supportive intervention, by a courageous, forgiving and revengeless community.

So this article is not about Yogi Bhajan or his inner circle, rather it is about creating a Happy, Healthy Holy, world.


Talking About Mom and Dad's Problem

One evening when I was about twelve or thirteen, I announced at the dinner table that I had figured out how we should solve the family problems that were tearing us apart.

"Mom should stop drinking, Dad should stop smoking and we all should enter therapy!" I exclaimed with all the enthusiasm of a kid who has pondered long and hard over a brainteaser and who has had the ANSWER come in the middle of the night on the back of a bolt of lightening.

Needless, to say, my great revelation bombed with my family, or maybe I should say that it bombed my family- starting a full scale war rather than providing a healing solution. I had, of course, broken the most threatening and highly defended against taboo in a dysfunctional family- don't talk about Mom and Dad's problem. Or worded a bit differently- Keep It Secret!

Breaking this taboo is in theory very easy. All you need to do is tell the truth, or like we Sikhs like to say SAT NAM! When we decide not to tell the truth however (a decision that we all make daily for many different reasons, some righteous, some not) we enter the twilight zone of secrets.

Probably because of my background, I am very bad with secrets. Having been indiscreet more times than I can possibly count, I have forced myself to explore the world of secrets in order to develop the discernment and compassion I often seem to lack.



There are certain facts that, although we are aware of them at one level of our brains, we refuse to let them into our conscious minds. This mental Defense mechanism is called denial. It is an extremely creepy feeling when you come out of denial about something you haven't been able to face before. You just can't believe that you could have been so blind or that you could have so easily forgotten, or not noticed, things so obvious and important.

There are several levels of denial. The deepest is when we forget an experience because it is too frightening to contemplate. Being sexually molested as a child, for instance, is a trauma that is commonly repressed and forgotten about until such a time as when the person is ready and strong enough to finally remember and heal.

Another level of denial is when we give our power away to someone, completely trusting that they will handle our money, our health, our psyches, our children, or any number of other important parts of our lives.

And the commonest form of denial is how we all ignore the scary facts, because if we were to become fully awake and fully conscious to the issues, we would have to take a stand, and we just don't have the courage. Most people in the United States wallow in the quicksand of apathy, knowing full well that most of our world's leaders are money, sex and power addicts. We also know that these addicts will do anything, absolutely anything, to maintain their high. Unfortunately, in true co-dependent style many Americans would rather live in a dream of American superiority, motherhood, and the purity of baseball, than embrace the reality of impending worldwide environmental and social collapse.


The Personal Secret

When a friend reaches a point in their healing process where they are willing to tell you something about themselves that feels shameful, this is what I call a personal secret. The friend is usually not yet healed enough to let their shame become common, and thus uninteresting, knowledge, so they swear you to secrecy.

Unfortunately for me, when I am at the listening end of one of these confessions I have the hardest time remembering that my friend is feeling ashamed because bluntly, there are few temptations or vices in the world that I haven't either participated in myself, or vicariously experienced through my friends and family. This makes me a very forgiving and unshockable listener but a rather spacey secret keeper. I can forget that a friend feels guilt about an action or reaction that seems like a perfectly human and ordinary mistake or delusion to me.

This spaciness is at times almost forgivable in the face of some of the crazy secrets I have been asked to keep while in 3HO.