John de Ruiter

Average: 3.4 (74 votes)
Fast Facts
Other Names and Nicknames: 
ג'ון דה רייטר
Neo Advaita
Main Countries of Activity: 
Date of Birth: 
Place of Birth: 
Saskatchewan, Canada
In His/Her Body ("alive"): 


Raised in Stettler, a ranching community in central Alberta, John was brought up a Roman Catholic by Dutch immigrant parents.

At the age of seventeen, he experienced an ecstatic but fleeting awakening, which he later described as an "awareness of reality . . . joy, love, and deep, inner rest." He spent the next decade trying to recreate that sensation. "I began to strive and search intensely through many different means, relentlessly pursuing anything I believed might show me the way back," he explains in his book of teachings.

For about five months, he had lived on the streets, penniless, sleeping in churchyards and eating from dumpsters. His intention, he said, was to become a pastor.

John de Ruiter married Joyce de Ruiter in 1982. A year later, they moved to Toronto, where they both attended a downtown Baptist seminary. But they were soon put off by the leadership; they both felt it was too rigid. They completed one year of studies and then returned to Alberta, enrolling in the Prairie Bible Institute in Three Hills.

After another year there, John decided that he didn't need any more academic training. He thought he'd get more learning on his own and interning with a pastor. That's when everything started.

The couple joined Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Edmonton, where his wife Joyce's sister and brother-in-law, Hetty and Bob Emmerzael, were members of the congregation. Singing and open rejoicing were part of regular worship at Bethlehem, and they both felt comfortable there. Bethlehem's pastor occasionally allowed John to preach, but words often failed him.

In 1984, he decided to undertake a rite of passage: reciting his spiritual history to the church's elders. This was unusual; members of Bethlehem often waited years before they felt the need to deliver their "testimony."

John talked for an unprecedented nine hours, recalling the story of his "awakening" and his search for reality and truth. His speech confused many in the congregation, but it made a lasting impression on Bob Emmerzael, his wife's brother-in-law.

Soon afterward, Bob became John's first devotee. The two men began spending hours alone together, meeting about four times every week and staying up until four or five in the morning. They would often fall asleep in John's van. Joyce, his wife, and Hetty, Bob's wife, were always excluded. His wife later recounted: "It was spooky and weird, they couldn't really describe what they were doing. It was always told to us that they were doing 'Kingdom of God' stuff. I loved my husband, but that was the first thing I didn't like, even though I had to accept it: this was God's stuff."

John left Bethlehem Lutheran in the late 1980s, taking five couples with him, including Bob and Hetty. Every Friday night, they gathered at the Emmerzaels' and listened to John preach. Although he read from the Bible and made Christian references, his interpretations were unconventional. He talked about death, it was about being willing to lose your ego, your emotions, your desires, your ideas, your beliefs. Drop all that, and come to a pure place. It was the way Jesus really taught, or so he led us to believe. John would embellish that place to make it sound beautiful.

Later, the meetings moved to Sundays at the de Ruiters' house. Over the next few years, while still acknowledging Christ, John became increasingly critical of organized Christianity, calling it "Satan's masterpiece." The group gradually stopped praying and singing. Then John stopped teaching. "There was a year or two when absolutely nothing happened in these meetings, it was called a 'sifting time.' Attendants would either sit in silence or would socialize and tell jokes.

During this time, the five couples used to give John a portion of their income so that he could devote himself full-time to his oddball ministry. His wife Joyce was uncomfortable with the arrangement. "I didn't really see him doing a whole lot to earn it," she says. "He was supposed to be studying during the week but he slept a lot and piddled around with other things." At one point, his wife stopped attending the meetings, but that was short-lived. After all, they were held in her house, attended by her friends, overseen by her husband. They were entwined with her life.

In 1993, John met a boisterous woman named Boots Beaudry, a reflexologist with a deep interest in metaphysics. For almost an entire year, John spent about four to six hours a day with her at her clinic, picking up new practices. He started "connecting" with people. "I remember him coming home and sitting at the kitchen table," says his wife. "He'd say, 'Look at me; see what happens.' He tried it with our oldest son, who was about eight at the time. John would sit on his bunk bed and instruct him to look into his eyes. The son then said, 'It worked! I saw faces!'"

When his meetings moved to a New Age bookstore on Edmonton's south side, de Ruiter's reputation quickly spread. Within months, more space was required for his followers. They assembled in Beaudry's reflexology clinic until a larger, permanent location was found, next to a doughnut shop in a drab industrial park.

It was here that de Ruiter began to perfect his trademark techniques. "I remember sitting in those meetings so many times, listening to a questioner, and watching John pick apart their life, or their identity," his wife says. "Let's say they ran a charitable organization. Perhaps it was very genuine. He would take it apart, so that it was all about them, their own self-esteem and personal agenda. And you would just see them completely fall apart. That happened repeatedly. He would just completely undo people."


John de Ruiter’s gift is not limited to the rational content of his words, but resides within the living essence of Truth emanating through him. John de Ruiter re-awakens the same in those he encounters, encouraging profound immersion in the nourishment and plenitude of their own inner being: the heart of Reality.

Honesty is the most profound happening that one could ever experience. It finally takes us from the illusory path to Truth directly onto the road of Truth. Every other path leads directly away from Truth.

College of Integrated Philosophy website



-- No locations were entered yet for this guru. Please help by clicking the Edit tab and adding details about ashrams, centers, temples, satsangs and any other locations and events related to this guru. --

View Video

Books & Media

Recommended Books: 
Cover image

Unveiling Reality

by John De Ruiter


Unveiling Reality captures live meetings with one of the most prolific speakers on truth and awakening.  While John de Ruiter holds retreats and seminars worldwide and at his homebase in Edmonton, Canada, Unveiling Reality brings this life-changing wisdom to your fingertips, giving you a tangible experience of John's dialogues.
Amongst the distractions, the confusion, and longing for purpose, you can discover the infinite nurture of your own heart. Unveiling Reality helps reveal the truth within our consciousness that we know when we are profoundly rested at heart.

Recommended DVD & Video: 
Cover image

John de Ruiter speaks the Truth - The Nurture in Nectar - VHS Video Tape


VHS Video tape - 60 minutes March 2000

Pro Opinions

Slow Motion

SriSriYogiBaba's picture

Once I saw him take 3 hours to eat a grape, quite impressive, but I left none the wiser, although I did have a good laugh and a few hallucinations.

DEBORRAH1's picture

John DeRuiter

I have attended several retreats at John's College of Philosophy in Edmonton. I always come away feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. He exudes a light and energy that penetrates
your soul and re-awakens your core being. His insight is unequaled in this world and he readily shares this with everyone in attendance.

DEBORRAH1 | Thu, 10/14/2010 - 16:01

Con Opinions

Not impressed at all!

avi's picture

I gave it a chance and been to 2 meetings with John de Ruiter in Tel Aviv this weekend.

Nothing to write home about

lalo's picture

he is charismatic and has around him a bunch of cheering girls but nothing beyond.

His words do not reflect any genuine wisdom to me.

Judge a Tree by its Fruit

Kephas's picture

Long story short, after two years trying to live his teachings and turn myself into the perfect de Ruiter clone, some outside interventions lead me to look more closely at my blind devotion to this ma

no body's picture

Strange that a students

Strange that a students mistaken way to approach a teacher and himself becomes the fault of a teacher.
I am sure writing your book was very cathartic for you, but don't pass it off as wisdom or something valuable to share.
I have spent time with the Edmonton community and was blown away by the level of depth of awareness. The community had more integrity than any other I have encountered.
So let's just leave personal opinion to be what it is and not for a moment be fooled by our perceptions.

no body | Thu, 12/01/2011 - 00:50

I used to trust John de Ruiter, but down the road was very disappointed

marianvq's picture

This is my story around John de Ruiter