When Bhakti Breaks: Ex-Devotee Websites
File under: Reference Library
Ex-devotee groups were among the first to use the net effectively as a means to drop their message into the global mind. The gurus they were dropping dime on soon followed with their own websites, and the battles have raged ever since.
Ah, Gurumayi! She is certainly a rare flower: the hot guru. But sometimes folks decide she's not for them and they want to leave. Then the poop hits the fan. That's common when people think their guru is God. Why would a rational person leave God?
Sri Chinmoy is the macho-man guru, often quoted bragging about his athletic feats. He apparently exercised his love muscle on a number of his female devotees, among other alleged abuses.
This lady has always frightened us. If the site is to be believed, Nirmala Devi is a classic example of borderline personality disorder. She claims that her simple meditation technique results in instant self-realization. Classic satscamming as well.
Ma Jaya is another iron-fisted lady according to her ex-devotees. We hear she arranged a beat down on Bhagavan Das, so we're inclined to believe them.
We remember seeing flyers for this guy when he was a 14-year old guru. He's been doing it since he was eight, so Prem Rawat has had a long time to collect ex-devotees and be accused of the usual: sex, coercion and a lavish lifestyle.
• www.saiguru.net & www.exbaba.com
Sathya Sai Baba is now more famous for being a pedophile than he is as an avatar. There's even been a BBC expose, yet he still rakes in millions with a few simple parlor tricks and the overly-wishful thinking of his devotees. Having his hands in the pockets of the Indian government hasn't hurt either.
• www.yoganandarediscovered.com & www.anandaanswers.com
• www.anandauncovered.com & www.anandainfo.com
These dueling, double hatchet-jobs are the result of a struggle that had its genesis in Daya Mata's successful 1962 coup at the SRF, when she took control and ejected Swami Kriyananda. He founded and now runs Ananda as Donald Walters. They've been playing arch-nemesis for one another ever since.
And then there's this curiosity. This site belongs to a Sathya Sai Baba devotee who believes the stories of sexual abuse, and yet still regards his guru as an avatar. We find this approach refreshingly modern. It reflects a truth that we've come to recognize ourselves. Gurus are always, first and foremost, people. They don't always do the right thing, but they may still know the real truth.