(1948 - 1988)
I studied under Moshe Kroy at La Trobe Uni in the early 1980's. I enormously liked and respected him. Originally from Israel, he at first advocated Ayn Rand's objectivist philosophy, later he became involved in Scientology. By the time I got to know him (in 1980 I think) he had developed his own unique synthesis of Advaita Vedanta, Satre, and Husserl's phenomenology. Although I have long moved beyond his philosophy, he was my first authentic teacher. He taught me a lot and I will always be grateful to him. He hoped that Ken Wilber would help him get established in America, but it never happened. Several years later he became involved in negative astral teachings, which resulted in him going crazy and committing suicide in 1988.
Unfortunately, information regarding Moshe is very scarce on the net, so I'm providing this account. I've divided the page into It includes material I've written, mostly in September 2000 as a reply to an email enquiry on Moshe, and new material, as well as some sources I found back in 2004 and more recently. I've divided it into four sections, reflecting the four stages of Moshe's life and intellectual journey, which are:
I haven't included more on his scientology period because I have no information on it. It is I assume a short period that occured between his objectivist and Phenomenologist stages. However it is easy to see how scientology with its belief in clearing engrams and possession by the souls of evil aliens fitted Moshe's paranoid worldview perfectly.
I didn't know Moshe during thsi period, so I have to rely on other sources.
Moshe Kroy, Total rationality and partial rationality, Philosophia, Volume 4, Number 4 , October, 1974 - Springer - includes brief synopsis preview (Abstracts of Some of the Paper Read at the First National Congress of Philosophy of Israel Held at the University o the Negev in Be'er-Sheva on April 18–19, 1973)
Moshe Kroy, Ethics and conscience: A program, Philosophia, Volume 3, Numbers 2-3 / April, 1973 265-294, Springer; includes full page preview
The following is an extract from New Age: the Fall of the Secular State, © Assaf Inbari 1999. The Isareli New Age scene is an intersting subject in itself, and the following is only part of a larger very intersting essay.
The collapse of the old Israeli ethos prompted some to retreat into their private shell, while others took off for parts unknown. Pinhas Sadeh, who in 1973 published a book of passionate letters written to him by 23-year-old Havatzelet Havshush, who became his lover after she read "Life as a Parable," provided his readers with an erotic-religious escape route from the Yom Kippur trauma. The telepathic cutlery bender Uri Geller, who until the war used to perform for reservists in the IDF's entertainment branch, left Israel during the war itself and acquired world fame in television appearances from Texas to Norway. But there were Israelis who stayed to experience the debacle and exact the price for it.
Yehonatan Gefen and Ya'akov Rotblitt were foot soldiers in the Six-Day War, and for them the battle for Jerusalem, where they lost their best friends (and where Rotblitt lost a leg), was the formative influence of their Israeliness. Now they wrote barbed satires that fluctuated between plaintiveness and disgust. Mussia Tehelimzeiger, who worked for so many years to transform himself into the model Israeli named Dahn Ben Amotz, and who nourished Israeliness seemed now to regret the effort he had expended. He looked for a way out of the ethos that he himself had done so much to shape, and cast about for a substitute. The answer came from a 27-year-old philosopher who leapt into the public consciousness in 1975.
With his youthful forelock and his bespectacled baby face, Dr. Moshe Kroy looked too young to be a spiritual authority. But with his dazzling brilliance and the insistence with which he put forward his worldview, he had a meteoric rise both as a university lecturer and as a mesmerizing subject for interviews. He was not an original thinker, nor did he present himself as such; he drew his theory of "egoistic individualism" from the writings of Ayn Rand, the apostle of capitalism.
Kroy, who was the son of a Mapai activist, discovered capitalism when he read Rand's "Atlas Shrugged," and all at once the entire Israeli way of life, which had been cultivated by people like his father, seemed to him an abomination. Why should I live in a country that sends its sons to be killed in a war every five years? Kroy asked himself. Why should I live in a welfare state, which robs me of my money in order to give to the weak? Why should I be a part of the false moralism that prevails here, which heightens guilt feelings and self-righteous mediocrity, instead of promoting individual freedoms and achievements? Like Nietzsche decades earlier, and more recently like Ayn Rand, Kroy was revolted by the Judeo-Christian "morality of slaves" and preached a Hellenistic "morality of masters." For the Greeks, he said, there was no conflict between interest and conscience, between self-realization and the common good. Egoistic individualism was the secret of their happiness and their prosperity. Sanctimonious altruism, which demands that the individual sacrifice his desires for the sake of others, is the illness of Western culture, and capitalism is the medicine.
Ben Amotz loved it. The bespectacled wunderkind became his guide and mentor. True, Ben Amotz hardly needed an external incentive in order to live like an unrestrained egoist - for as long as he could remember he had used his personal charm to exploit those around him without thinking twice about it - but Kroy provided him with the ideological ground that elevated his behavior into a virtue. Ben Amotz had a particularly unsavory past: the women he had abandoned, the children he had neglected, the friends he had disappointed and the oedipal childhood memories he had repressed (hatred of his father, intercourse with his mother) compelled him all his life to flee from any confrontation with the foul rag-and-bone shop of his heart. Freud terrified him. He didn't want therapy, he wanted justification; and Kroy's doctrine, as Amnon Dankner noted in his biography of Ben Amotz, fit him like a glove. He accompanied Kroy on his lecture tours around the country, stood up for him against the detractors, turned his Jaffa home into a Kroy salon and made himself Kroy's publisher and the editor of his "Life According to Reason: Conditions for Objective Happiness," which sold tens of thousands of copies in Israel.
Kroy was the first Israeli to issue a completely unapologetic declaration to the media about his disgust with Israel and his intention to emigrate. Ben Amotz, in turn, told the press that he would also leave, if only he were younger. While considering where to live, Kroy received a tempting offer from a resident of Netanya, who told him about "Atlantis" - a worldwide secret organization of followers of Ayn Rand, which was about to establish its own state in South America. Like the other candidates for "Atlantis," Kroy was told by his contact in Netanya to abandon his wife and daughter - who were not fit for the state of the elect - and move there by himself. The offer confronted Kroy with a serious dilemma. As a rational egoist, he could have forsaken his family without suffering any pangs of conscience; but Judeo-Christian morality somehow made him uneasy, and he put the problem to Ben Amotz and asked for his advice. When the Netanya man learned that Kroy had let someone else in on the secret, he threatened to take revenge on him. Kroy broke into a cold sweat. Shortly afterward, the Netanya man was killed in a traffic accident, and Kroy was convinced it was the work of the secret organization. Fearful of being the next in line, he took his wife and daughter and hightailed it to Australia. "
copyright © Eran Dror 2004
original url (no longer online): http://www.erandror.com/2004/04/sad-story-of-dr-moshe-kroy.html www.erandror.com/archives/2004_04_01_index.html
"Dr. Moshe Kroy was considered for years the major representative of Objectivism in Israel. The sad truth is that Kroy, while a brilliant mind, and for a time a powerful and outspoken proponent of the philosophy of Ayn Rand - was not an Objectivist, but a philosopher who moved his entire life from one system of thought to another - always reaching the utmost extremes in each.
Many people in Israel were first acquainted with Objectivism through the writings of Dr. Kroy, and his popular lectures in Tel-Aviv University, during the 70s. Therefore there are many who have false notions regarding the philosophy of Objectivism, both as a result of certain (relatively small) misrepresentations of Objectivism he made himself, but mostly as a result of his later life - his apparent insanity, and his tragic death.
Kroy's book - Chaim Al Pi HaSechel (The Rational Existence) is not so bad, and is almost acceptable as an introduction to Objectivism. But, as I said, Kroy himself was far from being an Objectivist: He turned an avowed mystic in later years - publishing books on the war of Light and Darkness, on the existence of an immortal soul, and the "rationality of mysticism".
He became a paranoid, was sure that government agents (who are actually puppets of the devil) are trying to kill him. He immigrated to Australia and opened a "healing clinic" where he helped people exorcise their inner demons. Eventually he came back to Israel, talking about the end of the world, and the last battle of Light and Darkness. He was then found dead, by his own hands, in his apartment in Tel-Aviv.
Many people, mainly Objectivists, are curious about this man - who at a certain point seemed to be a perfect example of Objectivism, and at another turned to be everything that Objectivism is opposed to. I myself researched this question quite diligently, having been myself introduced to Objectivism through his book. I have here at my home many clips of newspapers tracking his mental deterioration, I have seen records of TV interviews, and - most importantly - I have read his book Beyond Existence and Nothingness - The Rationality of Mysticism, just to understand his fate.
The conclusion I made is that Moshe Kroy was a second rate philosopher, with a passion beyond his capacity. Once he adopted an idea - he immediately turned a crusader and gave it his whole. He hated with a passion, and worshiped with intensity. Reading his books, I had an impression that he truly believed the crazy ideas he was advocating. The truth is - he was playing with fire. If you have even the slightest rationalistic tendencies (I.e.- a passion for deducing within a framework of abstractions while losing one's grip on actual reality) - you must understand there is great danger in diving into the highest abstractions of all: existence, change, time, consciousness, identity, nothingness. A mistake on this level can ACTUALLY MAKE YOU INSANE, if you don't constantly remind yourself of the real world, the information from your senses, and plain common sense.
For example, a consistent man who (wrongly) deduces there is no objective reality, will necessarily lose his connection with the world. A consistent man who believes his consciousness creates the visible world may sit all day and try to change the world with the power of thought. Kroy was not capable enough to reach the truth in this level of abstraction - but he also lacked the ability to criticize himself, to confront his conclusions with reality - or to be a hypocrite and live according to two contradictory philosophic systems at the same time (one for writing philosophical books, the other for living). As a result - he simply went consistently mad.
His (false) abstract rationalism lead him eventually to reject the primacy of existence and to embrace the primacy of consciousness. To reject existence and to accept God. To reject science and to accept mysticism. But all the way, he was consistent with his own philosophical system. (By the way, Kroy had at least the honesty, unlike some individuals and organizations, not to plagiarize the name Objectivism. Even while he WAS essentially advocating the philosophy of Ayn Rand, he said that he could not call it Objectivism without her permission, since it is his own interpretation, and only Ayn Rand can use the trademark of Objectivism legitimately.)
To all the Israelis whose main knowledge of Objectivism is through reading Kroy's The Rational Existence I will say this: if you want to "debug" your philosophy, after reading Kroy, I suggest you turn quickly now to Ayn Rand's own writings. Fiction and non-fiction.
I think you will find that the two main differences between Kroy's The Rational Existence and Rand's own works is the air of paranoia that surrounds the first, which does not exist in the later, and his over Rationalistic approach to philosophy. Also, Rand was much better and clearer at presenting her ideas!"
Jerusalem Post - The online article The Nexus by Orit Arfa; Jul 12, 2007, contains a brief reference to Moshe:
"In the 1970s, a capricious philosopher named Moshe Kroy taught Rand's philosophy at Tel Aviv University, but he eventually abandoned rational egoism for Scientology, and later, Indian mysticism, which may have contributed to the perception that her philosophy is a fad. Rand's philosophy is no longer taught at Tel Aviv University."
Moshe Kroy, Political Freedom and Its Roots in Metaphysics - Journal of Libertarian Studies, vol 1 no. 3, pp.2045-13, 1977. A complete article available online. This must have been written shortly after Moshe arrived at La Trobe
Moshe Kroy, Oakley's scepticism, Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Volume 59, Issue 4 December 1981 , pages 438 - 441DOI: 10.1080/00048408112340391 InformaWorld - This dates from the period I knew Moshe. I haven't seem this paper and the pdf is not free. However Tim Oakley was and is a philosopher at La Trobe Uni; I did one of his classes. He is a nice guy but very much conventional academic philosopher and as such totally opposite to Moshe! I am sure all the other faculty in the Philosophy Department regarded Moshe as some kind of weird eccentric (which he was). I don't think he had any friends there at all, apart from one lecturer perhaps who taught music and was interested in things like chakras.
I met Moshe at La Trobe Uni in either 1980 or 81. He was my philosophy lecturer and one of the most brilliant, fascinating and intellectually stimulating human beings I had ever met.
But along with the genius was the craziness, which was evident even then. He would talk to me (and the other students in some of his tutorials) about secret government bases under the Antarctic, slave bases on the Moon and Mars, evil conspiracies, the one world order, the lot. The whole lunatic paranoia trip. There was other (less extreme) stuff like this too, the sort that is propagated by extreme-right conspiracy theorists like the League of Rights, e.g WW II was a western capitalist plot, the Soviet Union was created by the One World Order or international bankers or whoever it is, etc, etc. I dont remember the details, I bought and read a book once called None Dare Call It Conspiracy, which Moshe recommended. It's persuasively written; he even got me believing some of it for a while!
He also believed everyone was possessed by demons, and the demons were themselves posessed by demons, and so on. This worried me, until I realised that by "demon" he meant any astral being at all. In Israel he was into scientology for a while, that's where he got the demons trip from (and the rest of the paranoia I guess). He developed a strange technique of psychic cleansing called "the burning". You would visualise yourself being burned and that the fire was purifying you by burning the demons. you would then yell as if you were really being burned (sort of like primal screaming). He was always very loving and brilliant, but also like a poor child stumbling blindly - a fool rushing in where even fools fear to tread (let alone angels!!!!). The technique he taught was very dangerous (I only realised that later). Afterwards I adapted it so it was safer, first I tried visualising light (like Alice Bailey type stuff) then later I practiced making it an offering of the heart, no "fire".
I got to know Moshe pretty well over a period of about two years (before he left for America). At one point I was seeing him in his office every day, and he would talk to me about this stuff, explain things as he saw it, etc. I also went to his workshops for a while when he was just starting out with them (I didnt go to his later workshops). He also discussed these things in tutorials, but maybe people there thought he was pulling their leg (he wasnt - it was always the same Moshe - everything he said he absolutely believed)
Moshe always had a touching faith in Sathya Sai Baba. He introduced was the one who introduced me to Sai Baba. This is how I came to travel to India to see Sai Baba in 1982/3 I think it was. Later he found out about Babaji. But by the time he had gotten to India Babaji had dissapeared.
In the early 1980s, Moshe left for America. He always had this greed thing and resented his piddling university salery. He had on an earlier visit gotten in touch with Ken Wilber, and was for a while raving about him. Unfortunately Wilber lost interest in Moshe after a while. I think Moshe went back overseas on some sabbatical, tried to set himself up as a teacher or self-help guy or whatever - he was still into his burning and all that.
Beyond Being and Nothingness (Introduction to Transpersonal Phenomenology) Moshe Kroy, Sundeep Books, 1991
Although this book was published later (in the mid 1980s if I recall; the above is a reprint), it very much reflects Mioshe's phenomnological worldview which he taught at La Trobe University. From the Ken Wilber material it seems that he also taught this in America, at least during his early visit, before it seems he switched toa more psychic self-development approach that would have appealed more to the California New Age scene (see Timothy Conway's account)
From the website:
Philosophy is the search for wisdom, motivated by the love for wisdom. Wisdom is, essentially, personalized truth. Thus authority has no place in philosophy. A genuine philosopher cannot start from the opinions of others, no matter howwell placed. The philosopher can only be a guide for rediscovery; he cannot be an authority without betraying his mission. This book is an undertaking to do all of that. It offers:
Boomeritis - copyright © Ken Wilber - from Boomeritis online
The Cartesian dualism is actually the beginning of a brilliant and profound Vedanta for the West, an enormous accomplishment spotted by a few geniuses like Moshe Kroy,
Lesa Powell smiled gently. "So let's start with perhaps the most amazing aspect of Descartes's work, and then suggest a few ways that he might have gotten sidetracked. To begin with, the cogito. That is, ' Cogito, ergo sum ,' usually translated as, 'I think, therefore I am.' But that translation loses the immediacy of the intuition that impelled Descartes. As interpreters such as Kroy and Bonnett have pointed out, this pithy phrase really has the meaning of: 'consciousness, hence being.'
"In other words—and this was the basis of the famous Cartesian doubt—there are many things that I can doubt, but I cannot believably doubt my own consciousness in this moment . My consciousness IS, and even if I tried to doubt it, it would be my consciousness doing the doubting. I can imagine that my senses are being presented with a fake reality—say, a completely virtual reality or digital reality, which looks real but is merely a series of extremely realistic images. But even then, I cannot doubt the consciousness that is doing the watching.
Here is a reference to Moshe's teaching methods by esotericist Timothy Conway. This is a reference to Moshe's "burning" technique. However it is somewhat more complex, and incorporates a number of New Age and Creative Visualisation elements which were not part of Moshe's own worldview. However, the visualisation, little devils, imagining fire or light dissolving negativity were all central to his technique. One thing that Moshe taught that is not mentuioned is that when you imagined the fire burning away the devils, you had to actually scream as if you were yourself being burned by fire. Through the screaming the negative energy is released. It's easy to see how Mr Conway's gentler method is far superior.
From Exploring Emotions, Releasing Energy, Transforming Into Love; © Copyright 1994/2007 by Timothy Conway
"Dissolving Subliminal Imagery
I learned this unique method for clearing any haunting, burdensome subliminal imagery from a brilliant Israeli philosopher, transpersonal psychologist and kabbalist, Moshe Kroy, who passed away in his early 40s in 1988. Moshe, along with an American rabbi-counselor and myself (the token Catholic-Hindu-Buddhist-Sufi-Taoist grad student), taught this method to hundreds of persons in the S.F. Bay Area corporate world as a "stress eradication" technique before Moshe's early demise. I have shared it with many more hundreds of people over the years since then...
1) In a kind of psycho-physiological inventory of your energy field, get a sense of exactly where in or around your body you feel any iota of unwellness, affliction, dis-ease, discomfort, malaise, stagnant or blocked energy.
2) Discover exactly how this feels. You may not even have words for the particular feeling that you are feeling in the particular region of the body (or around the body in one’s aura). In terms of recognizable sensations, it may feel hot, warm, cool, cold, tingling, electric, churning, agitated, pressuring, heavy, numb, dead, a sharp piercing sensation, a dull aching sensation, or whatever.
3) Now, as if in a waking dream, allow yourself to see, on a level of visual image or metaphor, whatever is causing this sensation. Give yourself complete permission to see whatever appears. It might be a fantastic figure or group of figures (like a strange monster with big claws or a bunch of demonic gremlins with pitchforks), or an image of someone you know (e.g., your father or mother or uncle or teacher), or something you recognize (like an animal, machine, device, thing, place or event—from an insect to a giant steamroller to a tornado to a prickly thornbush). It would not be uncommon in this step of the process for someone to see, for instance, a more-or-less “ogre-like” version of one’s parent, with that figure perhaps afflicting one’s heart with flaming words, or else one might see a massive iron ball or steel crossbeam and feel as if it is weighing down upon one’s back. Any image among a wide range of possible images may show up at this step of the process. One need not censor or change any image that does, in fact, appear. Just notice it with complete clarity and honesty. It usually only takes 2-5 seconds to notice such imagery at this point.
4) In this next step of the process, we quickly allow a spirit of straightforward, vital assertiveness (neither timidly passive nor angrily aggressive) to animate our being, and in this assertiveness we let the haunting image be cleared, dissolved, or annihilated with a form of light. It can be any kind of light—a celestial beam of blue light, a purple laser light, a fiery torchlight, a sparkling wand of golden-yellow light, a shower of soft green light with pink luminous flowers, or an immense nuclear explosion of all-evaporating white light. Moreover, one can feel oneself as the Source or Wielder of the Light, or one can psychically sense an angel, spirit guide, God or Goddess utilizing the particular light(s) as wielding or enacting the light. In either case, we allow the light to quickly, even instantaneously, melt or obliterate the haunting, afflicting image of whatever was seen on the subliminal level to be causing the uncomfortable, dis-easing sensations identified in step 3.
At this step it is important to allow the form of Light to actually and completely dissolve and “disappear” any burdensome negative imagery...
5) Having dissolved the inner, subliminal negative imagery back into pure light, one can breathe in the energy released from the obliterated image. This is a crucially important culmination of the process, insuring that one’s energy—which has been fragmented, with one part split off from oneself as this separate-seeming haunting image— is “re-owned” and integrated or made whole with one’s overall energy field.
6) Now, go back and again run step #1’s “inventory of one’s energy,” checking to see if you still feel any unwellness or affliction anywhere in/around your bodily energy field. And, if so, run the process again, i.e., sensing exactly where and exactly how it feels, allowing yourself to see on a subliminal level of image or visual metaphor whatever might be causing the condition, and then dissolve this image with a form of Light, finally breathing in again any energy released."
I have decided not to write of Moshe's descent into madness, which led to him saying things the Moshe I knew and loved would never have approved of. Or of his suicide in Israel shortly after, in 1988.
I realised later what had happened to Moshe. He had burned and burned at his natural psychic defences (the walls we all have to stop the astral pouring in) until there was nothing left. I guess he went crazy in stages, starting with accepting certain negative teachings, and culminating with suicide. That is why I believe that his technique was dangerous. If he had followed a proper mystic path, or gone from the heart rather than the head, this wouldn't've happened. He was like a little boy always looking for "phenomena" (hence his attraction to Sai Baba), and in the end it killed him.
But these things don't do justice to Moshe's virtues. He helped many people, he was a teacher and guide to many. He was the one who started me on the path to philosophical understanding. Not gnosis, which I already had, but a sort of intellectual wisdom, with his "phenomenology". I have a folder full of his papers somewhere; it is lost in my pile of boxes of papers and books in the garage. If I one day find it I'll upload the material that he gave me and put it on my site.
Moshe was an important guide to many people, not just me. He was - despite his intellectual arrogance - an otherwise very humble man; the exact opposite of many so-called gurus with their pompous self-inflated opinions of themselves as Enlightened. The whole time I knew him, except during his later, crazy, period, he always spoke about God or the Lord. Indeed, he was the one who not only introduced me to phenomenology, but to bhakti as well. It is a tragedy that he couldn't apply this same bhakti to his own later life, or he may still be alive and helping people today.
As for Moshe's belief in demons and so on, and later adopting on that basis a strongly dualistic lower astral worldview, which seems to have led to his eventual suicide, all I can do is quote Jesus, who so rightly said: Test the Spirits
Apart from the above mentioned sources on this page, links are pretty sparse, mostly bibliographies:
Moshe Kroy - Good Reads
Moshe Kroy - list of books at Open Library
Moshe Kroy - Amazon com page
More results at Google Scholar
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