My 2 year experience with MasterPath was positive. It is a self improvement spiritual based program cobbled together from Eckanar, Sant Mat and Hindustani teachings. Nothing seems to be his own teachings. Although he presents them that way. After 2 years I decided it wasn't for me. The people are nice and friendly and much of the teachings, although taken from other programs, are interesting. It didn't resonate with me as being a single path to truth as Sri Gary claims in many of his satsangs. He claims to be the only, or one of a small number of living masters walking the earth. After I did some research I found several past Eckanar members who, like Gary, claimed the same mantle. I think there are 5 including the current Eckanar master. Anyway, that seemed coincidental that all these current masters walking the earth came from Eckanar and all claim they are the true master. MasterPath being the 3rd or 4th successful group in terms of membership size from what I could find. Anyway, I wish all its members well. And enjoyed the satsangs.
I do agree that Gary and Joy benefit greatly from the organization. They both draw nice salaries, monthly expense accounts, health insurance, car allowances, personal assistants, etc. Claim to rent a small house in the desert. But the house, although in a remote area is owned by MasterPath and is incredibly landscaped, with multiple structures in the fenced compound. MasterPath also owns the 5 acres to the north, east and across the street. All with small houses. Creating a much larger compound of residences then Sri Gary and his top aids portray. They used to publish their annual expense and revenue online but no longer do that. I found that a bit skeptical. Why try and portray a lifestyle different than what exists? If you are a living master with absolute truth. Just seemed contradictory.
It seems it could be interpreted that the MasterPath organization was built as a way to create a very nice lifestyle for Gary and Joy Olson. Similiar to the model Paul and Gail Twitchell created at Eckanar.
But I wish everyone well on their journey. MasterPath had too many tricky parts from my perspective.
I have read every review on this page regarding Masterpath. All reviews fall into two categories: either 5 stars or 1 star, either love it or hate it. Why would that be? I also noticed that the 5-star reviews all pretty much stated the same things:
- the organization holds the highest values and the writers have sensed no manipulation
- many of the writers have been involved for more than 10 years
- all the writers stated that Masterpath is about personal choice and a personal spiritual path
- the monthly fee, the cost of bound books, the cost of seminars are reasonable
- the writers seem happy with their choice to continue
The 1-star reviews all seem to say similar things:
- Gary Olsen is a fraud and his teachings are destructive and manipulative
- Gary Olsen claims to be the current "savior" equating himself to Jesus Christ
- Gary Olsen claims to be God incarnate
- Gary Olsen is in it for the money and he is using the Masterpath organization to that end
Quantitatively, on this page it seems to be a ratio of about 5 good to 1 bad review. There seems to be no middle ground on opinions.
Qualitatively, the flavor of the positive reviews are pleasant but not over-the-top enthusiastic, the writers seem happy with their spiritual attainments, and they emphasize their own perceived rewards rather than give accolades to the Mr. Olsen. The flavor of the negative reviews are absolutely caustic. Also, it was hard to determine the length of time that the negative reviewers were involved with the Masterpath organization but I sensed it was generally not long. To me, what this adds up to is an extreme divergence of opinion and perspective. There must be a segment in the middle that we are not hearing from, which may actually constitute the majority who are not particularly involved and not particularly unhappy. Therefore I see that Masterpath is a choice that is not for everyone and that one's level of satisfaction has more to do with the reviewer than the message. Personally, I don't think that the negative reviewers are people that I would like to associate with.
The thing about MasterPath, is that it's not about MasterPath, its about you. If you want to know your Self in a deeper, more intimate way, these teachings are absolutely priceless. There is no force or coercion here, only go for it if you are drawn to. There is nothing cultish about it, its about you and your own inner relationship with yourself. I personally have nothing but the utmost respect and gratitude for it and will happily continue on!
Review from Guidestar
I am happy that there is no "ceiling" to one's realization of both one's True Self and God. After 21 years of spiritual study and practice with the guidance and love of Sri Gary Olsen I feel very fortunate to trek inwardly, ever deeper into my own spirit and Soul.
God, as we're taught, is omnipotent (having unlimited power), omniscient (the capacity to know everything infinitely) and omnipresent (being present everywhere at the same time). Is that something you can wrap your mind around? Conceptualize maybe, imagine maybe but to BE, KNOW and SEE these realities is beyond the mind's ability.
Mind knows, through it's intellectual senses, about matter, energy, space and time.
Let me ask, does the mind know the soul it's attached to? If you answer yes to this question please go back to the beginning of this note and ask yourself "am I consciously omnipotent, omniscient and omnipotent". Soul, being created by the Divine, holds these attributes as native. The mind simply can't even begin to.
If in our mind we don't know or even recognize soul (that divine part of our human experience) then how are we to learn about it. Have you found a conventional western or eastern religion that focuses on soul? How about philosophical studies? New age teachings? If you have, how can you KNOW what you're leaning is the truth? My answer is provisional faith.
As a seeker of truth I inherently know and have the utmost faith that my true identity is soul. There is a part of my mind that wants to learn the truth of my existence. Why I'm here and who I truly am. After years of exposure to many of the aforementioned avenues I came to realize that none of them had the answer. None of them focused on soul.
Then one day I listened to a lecture by Sri Gary and read an introduction written by him. I was immediately attracted to the ancient and divine teachings of light and sound BECAUSE the whole focus is to awaken soul from within. Provisional faith played a tremendous role in moving forward so as I performed the exercises, absorbed the lessons and practiced living more consciously I also looked for any indication that the teachings or the facilitator were a manipulation. Sri Gary has NEVER crossed the line of personalizing his Divine mission. He is impeccably consistent in his teachings and ALWAYS directs his students to NOT depend on him and to develop their own personal relationship with Spirit, by using their attention.
After 12 years of study and practice within MasterPath my provisional faith has transformed into a rock solid knowingness that Sri Gary Olsen is the way shower. A living, breathing example of how to shift my human experience from being directed by my mind to consciously living through soul. He is the ideal, the model, the guide who's mission is to serve the Divine by guiding ready souls back home.
I gladly pay a very small monthly fee of $30 to cover the costs of the monthly written discourse sent to all initiates. These are treasures, sign posts, that build on each other and provide valuable insights into the journey Home. I also attend regional and major seminars throughout the year, gladly contributing $120 for the opportunity to be present with Sri Gary while he speaks.
I remain a student of Light and Sound by choice because the journey and experience are invaluable. After all, why would I choose to return to the sensual / intellectual dictates of my mind. To me, that would be like returning to the life and awareness of a new born infant.
MasterPath fits the definition of a cult, and has been destructive to many of it's followers and their families. Followers of Gary Olsen mistakenly attribute spiritual growth to MasterPath, believing he has given them access to their own soul. Olsen's followers are explicitly taught that he is the living master, and the "word made flesh". In other words, he claims to be the current Jesus Christ. Several of the reviews on this site come from people who actually believe Gary Olsen is God incarnate. Therefore, their credibility should be seriously questioned. Anyone looking for more information can simply Google Masterpath and find extensive information on this cult, including the experiences of former followers who were close with Olsen. It should also be noted that Olsen does not believe in or support any charitable or humanitarian causes, because karma is always fair. This philosophy extends to people wiped out by famine, war, and even the September 11 attacks. Olsen is well known for his fear mongering about bird flu in 2006, when he instructed his followers to stockpile and prepare for the coming apocalypse. This is a cult led by a megalomaniac. Current followers who are very happy with their experience are certainly entitled to devote their lives to MasterPath. The same way Marshall Applewhite's followers were entitled to love him as their savior...and were joyed and elated to be following him to outer space through suicide. MasterPath is just more spiritual manipulation of the worst kind. Period.
I thought I knew it all, and I knew deep in my intellect and spiritual heart that all that I had discovered was the ceiling of my mind. Nothing more.
I knew, how can I put it into words, I "sensed" that Truth must be out there somewhere, because I am very smart and I knew I had not found it through all my efforts with science, math, the arts, religion, relationships, family life.
When I met Sri Gary Olsen in 1994 I was re-introduced to something you cannot acquire with the mental apparatus: the absolute Truth of who we really are, why we are here, and what we need to do to get home. It rocked my world! It was so simple, that only a child could grasp it... not a mind! And not much is really required, other than finding the Path that resonates within, and following it full-on, and providing provisional faith in one's chosen Teacher and Teaching.
Making choices and choosing the higher has turned my life around.
For those interested in getting to the essence of it all, perhaps checking out MasterPath and the Teachings of the Light and Sound would be an apt choice?
For me, MasterPath has provided great insights, experiences and direction in the area of spiritual growth. I find the literature very compelling and the recommended practice is very rewarding. I feel the modest monthly fee is very reasonable.
The website is very informative (www.masterpath.org). The seminars are run very professionally. Gary Olsen is a good speaker. He is humble and has a good sense of humor, but clearly he's dead serious about helping people qrow spiritually. The vibe I get from everyone involved in the organization is very loving.
I have been a student of MasterPath and Gary Olsen for eighteen years now, and my life has improved almost 95%! I’m MUCH more happy, serene, and peaceful ! I have tremendous respect for Gary Olsen and his high level of integrity and the truth and love that he speaks and acts.
I have been a student of MasterPath, a Light and Sound Path for 20 years and have only experienced continued inner realizations of love, joy, serenity ; a deeper being of my true self. I have a deeper understanding and acceptance of the Brother/Sisterhood of men and women and love for all God's Creations. I served closely in the MasterPath Organization and was and continue to be always amazed by the ethical, and pure handling of all affairs, all correspondence and high respect for all students and the public. MasterPath is really an inner path of self and god realization. There is little outer involvement; a few seminars a year. The dues and fees are minimal for the studies one receives. Sri Gary Olsen always states that he is just a wayshower to the inner kingdom of spiritual freedom within each human being. Each becomes one's own master in soul and follows one's own inner path to spiritual freedom here and now. MasterPath teaches the respect for all beliefs religious and spiritual or no belief at all, while guiding those that choose to move inward to the discovery of their own inner temple. I have only experienced great upliftment and become a better human being from following my own light and sound within by the perfect and always loving guidance of Sri Gary and MasterPath teachings. So, I would highly suggest any true spiritual seeker to check it out for oneself.