I'm just going to touch on a few things here for simplicities' sake.
First, I respect Ramose and Veos greatly. I have known Ramose online for years, probably longer than anyone here, and though I don't believe everything he says, and I don't agree with some of the ways he does things, I know he is a wise person and a great teacher. Ultimately, however, I have been practicing exclusively Qigong and Yoga since they were 9 years old. Keep in mind how many different paths they've claimed are correct since they were 14. When I see signs in front of their temple in pictures with phrases like "respect your spiritual seniors" it causes many alarms to go off. I don't think there is such a thing, nor should it be any kind of competition. The various grades of students within the order are assigned titles and ranks and this causes competition. I disagree with this, just like I disagree with playing dress up to make ourselves feel special (REGARDLESS of tradition, it's the same thing). I should also make it clear I am not a teacher of TDS or affiliated with them in any way besides being a former Probationer, since Bismuth kind of lumped me in there. I am a Veritas Teacher and I run my study group and teaching here.
I am glad you all have had positive experiences. I am especially glad they allowed you to demonstrate a Qigong form in front of people and encouraged people to seek spirituality wherever you can find it. This, however, does not remedy the facts that myself and Impervious presented about outside teachings and traditions being officially discouraged on the website, and a culture of secrecy (even if it's for a supposed good reason), these are two telltale signs of a cult.
If it's black and white and it moos, it's probably a cow.
I don't doubt that some students have had results from energetic transmissions. I am a skeptic and a realist however, and I know for a fact that some people fake, embellish or exaggerate their actual experiences in order to gain attention and feel "special". This happens everywhere, including here. When the experiences are subjective and they aren't analyzed, studied scientifically, proven to be repeatable, and verified in real life through proof, this causes problems. However, it didn't seem that this kind of culture of self verification of metaphysical experiences is encouraged or even thought of on TDS.
No, I haven't visited them because I cannot afford to, and I'm generally averse to weird cults. Again, there are many signs of this evaluation. Additionally, I would feel no different if I visited a Daoist cult, a Hindu ashram, or any other Western order. To their benefit, TDS doesn't charge anywhere near some of the ridiculous prices and member fees other cults do (siddhayoga.org). They don't ask for $2500 for a weekend retreat for a "shaktipat intensive" or anything like that. So, credit to them there. However, this doesn't change my evaluation, and many members of Veritas agree with this evaluation, though I won't name names. Again, if it's black and white and moos, it is a cow. I think 95% of educated American adults would probably agree here, regarding ANY such order.
the body of the school (the community, cultural norms, policies, etc) of the school is based around old spiritual traditions that have been used for thousands of years.
The community, cultural norms, policies, and the students in general are my biggest problem with the school. I believe in the teachings of Ramose and Veos and believe they can advance you spiritually. Having known Ramose for a long time, I trust him as a teacher, and I trust those he has installed as teachers, under him. I disagree with charging money for spiritual teaching and I disagree with taking steps to make yourself seem like you have authority, such as playing dress up and so on. However, who I don't trust is the overall community, and the problems with lying about experiences and faking things that are immediately obvious to anyone who reads the forums. I also dislike the methods of grading students into different classes, and then that stuff coming back to me like "oh you're only a Probationer you're wet behind the ears" and so on. Perhaps I cannot make an accurate assessment about the school because I haven't visited. However, it seems to me that anyone who goes there does it to get personal attention from Ramose and Veos, and they could probably care less about the other people there. The whole focus is on the teachers, and they give lectures and so on. It seems like it's less about the other students, and in my experience online I didn't connect with or care about anyone else's progress, only my own. I think that mentality carries over into real life visits and I think it's a problem.
Someone mentioned something about "how many mystery orders have you been in"... and to that I say none other than TDS, because again, I'm averse to mind control and cults. I think a lot of people join these kinds of orders to feel different and special compared to other people who are not in it, and who don't have the secrets, and don't get to play dress up and make believe. I have worked hard on my path for 15 years and I am solely responsible for my own progress in Qigong and Yoga. I don't need to be in an order because I am more confident in my own ability to lead myself spiritually, and this is exactly what I was getting at. I don't believe in masters, there is no such thing as a master or enlightenment, read U.G. Krishnamurti. I am my own master.
To that end, I believe the teachers at TDS can help you and the practices can help you if you can ignore all the bullshit from other people and ignore some of the things like controlled suppression of dissension and information. That was my main point and my only point. YOU are responsible for your own spiritual progress, no one else can do it for you, and if they tell you they can they are lying.
I went into my Probationer class skeptically, my thoughts about the school were skeptical, and knowing some of Ramose posts as Prophecy here and his often grandiose claims, I ultimately was skeptical of him as well. Because of this, I was able to participate objectively, and since I haven't visited or made friends with anybody, I am still able to remain objective about the school. My objective evaluation from an outsiders perspective is that it appears to be a cult, and I can say this because I have researched exactly what a cult is and the psychology behind mind control and thought reform. Ultimately, I did gain something of value from the school, in the Vision of the Angel meditation, and I am
interested in continuing further in the school. However, again, I am objective and grounded in reality and accept things for what they are. So, this doesn't change my evaluation, even if I did find some benefit from the teachings.
Ultimately, people are going to believe what they're going to believe, oftentimes without rationality, logic, introspection (how many people actively try to prove the reality of their experiences there scientifically?) and scientific validity. Personally, while I respect Ramose, I do think he runs a cult, and he knows I think this, but is such a good teacher that he answers my questions and accepts me for who I am and what I do anyway. This is an excellent quality. I believe others can learn from him and I believe what he is trying to do is positive, but I have many of my own doubts and questions and despite expressing them, they are unresolved and unanswered by the teachers there.
I wish you all the best of luck. Not everyone is going to agree that the place is 100% positive.It should be noted that Veritas has no affiliation with Ramose and Veos and TDS and technically they are retired teachers here. We do not endorse or support them as an organization. Veritas and TDS have always been and will always be separate entities.