Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Update: Sally Kempton Not Sliced

File under: Corrections

We've just been informed by Sally Kempton herself that she has not had plastic surgery. Due to the persistent efforts of a friend of hers, we engaged in that thingy called responsible journalism and asked Sally directly:
Hi Sally.

Someone told me you have had plastic surgery. Is this true?

--jody.

[Sally replies:]
Of course not.
As to whether Gurumayi has faced the knife, the jury is still out, the protestations of her devotees notwithstanding. Not that there's anything wrong with having plastic surgery. It's the denial of such that flags the person as being somewhat less than completely honest about themselves. Not a good quality in a divine guru, if you asked us.

We apologize to Sally and her devotees for insinuating this to be the case for her as well.

33 Comments:

At 9/21/2005 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well...hmm..maybe not, who knows! The thing is, once you compromise your integrity, the way Ms Kempton did while in syda (most especially see "The Meditation Revolution" fallout, it might be hard to take what you say at "face value", no matter how many times you manage to "re-invent" yourself.
a former syda dork

 
At 9/21/2005 2:06 PM, Blogger jody said...

Not having been a SYDA devotee, I have no idea what you are talking about. Thus, I have no reason to doubt Ms. Kempton. But if you have any more information, please share it with us at tips@guruphiliac.org.

 
At 9/22/2005 9:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More questions for Ms. Kempton.

How much money did SY give you when you left?

Did you sign a non-disclousure agreement as part of that separation?

Isn't Yoga/Dharma about Truth?

Are 'you allowed' to tell the Truth?

 
At 9/22/2005 10:33 AM, Blogger Bhakti said...

Just to clear up another misprint on Jody's part. I am NOT a devotee of Sally's, I am a friend of hers.

 
At 9/22/2005 10:53 AM, Blogger Bhakti said...

p.s. go ahead and go to the Gurumayi link at the top of this page. You'll see a picture of Gurumayi with a scar on her chin from a childhood bicycle accident. HHhhmmm...why didn't the plastic surgeons fix that for her when she went under the knife. Get real people! Get a life!
I'll go back to my original email and say, "LOve one Another!" find something in your life that makes you happy. It's really gotta s*ck thinking about all of this stuff that you hate. Lighten up. Find something that makes you happy. (Jody, I know what you're going to say: Printing this garb does make you happy. Well, happy sailing!)
From my Self to Yours,
Be happy,
Bhakti
p.s. it really is funny how you stopped posting my blogs on the Sally Kempton / plastic surgery page. Talk about withholding the truth.

 
At 9/22/2005 11:11 AM, Blogger Bhakti said...

Hhhmmm..I'm still waiting for my last posts to show up on the Sally Kempton page. This is disheartening to see that YOU, Jody, would withhold information from YOUR devotees. :(

 
At 9/22/2005 2:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I couldn't care less if Sally or GM had facial surgery. It is a non-issue.

My issues deal with sexual abuse by Muktananda and the coverup that has gone on for well over 30 years. If you are a friend of Sally's then you know all about it jaibhakti.

The fact are this. Muktananda started with Western teenage girls while in America in 1974. This continued until his death. At the end here he started going after pre-teen children.

Sally was there, she knew what was going on. Later in her incarnation as Durgananda she became the 'designated liar' for GM/SY telling people who questioned her that it never happened while at the same time telling people who KNEW it happened that it was Divine.
If she were a Dotor, nurse, teacher or psycholigist she would be required by law to report abuse. Somehow being a 'Yogini' she is exempt from this and the consequences. "The truth will set you free", but in Sally's case the truth will never emerge because she took $$ from SY in exchange for her silence.

So now with the 'blessings' of Yoga Journal she has emerged and has a forum for 'spiritual advice'.

This really must be the Kali Yuga if Yoga has sunk to the depths where those who are apoligists for child molesters are place on pedistals.

 
At 9/22/2005 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I totally agree with "Anonymous #3, I couldn't care less if Sally Kempton or gurumayi had breast implants, nose jobs, laser surgery or anything else of that kind. What I DO care about is DHARMA and the truth. I care about false gurus with Swiss bank accounts who lie and cheat their devotees and I care about so-called spiritual teachers who don't have the courage to admit responsiblity and come clean. A swami who has an affair with a married man while in her robes may be ok as far as you are concerned ,Miss jaibhakti, but, in my book, this is Adharmic action. Ok, we're all human, we all make mistakes...but slipping away from the organization, after lying to "unimportant devotees" for years and then setting yourself up as a spiritual authority, building your clientele and making money off of dharma, once again, is despicable. If Sally Kempton had a shred of conscience, she would retire from the scene and do a long retreat, meditating on her own samskaras instead of telling everyone else how to live their lives in Yoga Journal. You may think we should all "lighten up" and go find something else to think about...it isn't going to happen! "Love One Another" ..yeah right, "See God in Each Other" while the guru secretly screws your 13 year old daughter...oh, gee...I guess we're "out of alignment with the shakti".
anonymous #1

 
At 9/22/2005 3:00 PM, Blogger jody said...

That's what Sally's next book and column should be about, her coming clean on the Muktananda sex scandal.

 
At 9/22/2005 3:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, Jody, don't hold your breath waiting for Kempton to admit anything at all. Some people have defended her actions since leaving syda by saying, "what else could she do after leaving syda?, what else but teach? What do 'you people expect her to do,starve?". All I can say, in reply is this: alot of us, having spent our life savings, mortgaged our houses and maxed out our charge cards to fill the syda coffers during Sally's heyday, wish she would assume a less "public role" and do some thinking about her culpability and her responsibility. It may seem cruel to single Sally out for criticism when there are others, like Lester Strong, former syda CEO and apologist who are equally disgraceful but, on some level, having seen Sally Kempton in the early days in NYC, I feel she actually IS capable of doing the work all of the rest of us have had to do in facing our own demons regarding syda. I totally agree with HH Dalai Lama when he tells us it is not only a right but a responsibility to hold teachers accountable when it comes to dharma.
anonymous #1

 
At 9/22/2005 5:16 PM, Blogger Bhakti said...

I met Sally in the outside world (before she left the Siddha Yoga Ashram to live out in the world). She has been nothing but an incredibly kind teacher, friend, and an incredible source of scholarly--as well as first hand-- knowledge of the scriptures. All of this love and guidance has come without a price tag. She gives her knowledge freely. (I would have to call your judgement into the light if you mortgaged your house and gave up your life savings to ANY spiritual organization.) Yoga Journal is lucky to have such an authority at their magazine.

I have never, ever had a bad experience with either Gurumayi or Sally Kempton. You can dig and write what you want, but there are those of us who have and continue to have wonderful experiences with the Siddha Yogi Siddhas. And please, stop call Siddha Yoga 'SYDA'--they are two separate entities. One represents the line of Gurus, and the other (SYDA) represents the foundation that runs the ashram.

 
At 9/22/2005 5:17 PM, Blogger Bhakti said...

p.s. Why aren't you 'anonymous' people brave enough to use a 'name'???

 
At 9/22/2005 5:35 PM, Blogger jody said...

Yeah! Why don't you just make up a name like "Jai Bhakti" and use that?

You get to keep the anonymity and feel superior all at once!

 
At 9/22/2005 5:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>. And please, stop call Siddha Yoga 'SYDA'--they are two separate entities. One represents the line of Gurus, and the other (SYDA) represents the foundation that runs the ashram.

4:16 PM
We KNOW what "SYDA" means and we also know that the "lineage" (guru parampara, to use a more correct term) is a huge crock! Good for you for having had such wonderful "experiences"


>>"jaibhakti said...
p.s. Why aren't you 'anonymous' people brave enough to use a 'name'???

4:17 PM "<<

What..like Jaibhakti? big deal! Here's a name for you: Pratyangira...check it out with Sally.
anonymous defender of dharma

 
At 9/22/2005 5:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>" (I would have to call your judgement into the light if you mortgaged your house and gave up your life savings to ANY spiritual organization.)'

You think gurumayi is a Siddha and you 'call MY judgement into the light'"...I am rolling on the floor laughing at this point...so thanks for helping me "lighten up"!
Hey how much IS an intensive these days? and where is gurumayi, by the way? Shaktipat from a Swami for only $500 per day! Oy Gevalt.
Pratyangira, now joined by Varahi Devi...we are both snorting with laughter.
anonymous defender of dharma with alot of spiritual names..you choose!

 
At 9/22/2005 5:53 PM, Blogger Bhakti said...

Gurumayi IS a siddha...and yes, I do call your judgement into light.
Bhakti is actually the name, I added the Jai. So there.

So, this IS the definitive end of my blogging on this site. I know I said that last night would be my last night, but I must end it here.

Thanks for letting me have fun with you, Jody. And anonymous, good luck to you two as well.

Love and all great blessings,
BHAKTI

 
At 9/22/2005 6:00 PM, Blogger jody said...

Oops! I guess this kitchen got too hot!

 
At 9/22/2005 6:09 PM, Blogger Bhakti said...

You're really such a silly jack*ss, Jody! :)
You berate me when I write too much, then you berate me when I say I'm not going to write! Make up your mind.

Nothing is too hot.
None of this is real, anyway.
Who knows I'm writing this?
Nothing's too hot.
There can be no staining.

Now, please allow me to sign off without being baited back.

p.s. I read your other blog--the other one where you pretend to know everything about Advaita Vedanta. What happened...no one was interested in hearing you read the truth so now you have to make up this crap to get bloggers.

Well, I must admit--you lured me in with your lie about Sally.
I must say, from an artists point of view, you have a very good looking site. Keep up the good samaritin work, and I'm sure we'll be in touch the next time you spew lies about one of my friends. (You got anything on Paramahansa or Jai Uttal?)

And now, I say farewell.
You can't bait me back anymore...
I see you as a silly reflection of my Self.
And, you're right, we need not look anywhere but right where we are to find the truth. It's right here. And you are it.

I love you, Jody.
Seriously.
You have made the last two days very chock full of color and spice.

Lots of love, BHAKTI
And, by the way, I teach meditation courses to fellow teachers...I'll let you know if I decide to have any face work done.

 
At 9/22/2005 6:34 PM, Blogger jody said...

Now, please allow me to sign off without being baited back.

Why are you giving me this power, Bhakti? Just sign off, or do you need to have the last word?

Nothing is too hot.
None of this is real, anyway.
Who knows I'm writing this?
Nothing's too hot.
There can be no staining.


Advaita shuffling noted.

I must say, from an artists point of view, you have a very good looking site

Thank you! I'm a pro in my day job.

Bhakti, this mind of mine thinks critically, and my adversarial approach is intentional. Big time gurus do more to prevent self realization than all the crack houses and brothels in the world put together. My aim is to attempt to remedy this by deconstructing the myth of the divine guru, and Gurumayi is a textbook example of all that goes wrong around big time gurus who are thought of as more divine than the rest of us.

She might be a nice lady in real life, and she may demure in the company of devotees, but the stark fact is that a lot of people think she's a living god, and many SYDA devotees ascribe all the powers of Godhood to her. That creates a category 5 hurricane of occluding expectation about self realization, hindering her own devotees' spiritual development. Were Gurumayi to go on a tour where she renounced any special divinity and status other than being just another person who happens to know who they really are, then I'd change my mind about her. But what I can see from both outside and briefly inside, the woman enjoys being divine and works it. That is not good for anyone except her, in my opinion.

 
At 9/22/2005 7:17 PM, Blogger Bhakti said...

Wow. Thank you for that non-adversarial remark.

I can tell you, as someone who has had personal spiritual experiences since being a kid, that to me, and in my eyes, Gurumayi is self-realized. I realize that many people take her to be larger than life, but my whole point in my earlier comments to you was that I don't ascribe to that notion. To me she is a guide on the path. No more or less than my beloved Jesus. That's why I get angry (or pity) people who throw all of their money at her, or any other guru. That's not what get's you there. It's your devotion to the Self that gets you there. It's the true realization of the Self within that gets you there.
To me, Gurumayi is a great reflection of that, as is Sally.
And both of them have been incredible teachers to me.

So, thank you for your last post; it was beautiful and well taken.

Seriously, love to you,
Bhakti

p.s. I really do think your site looks terrific.

p.s.s. I don't feel the need to have the last word--like I stated before, this is the first blog I've ever been on, and it's quite addictive. It feels rather un-dharmic to argue with someone on the web, but as long as we are both adults and can recognize our opinions and experiences for being just those things, then--whatever.

By the way, the 'who knows I'm writing this' wasn't written to show my knowledge of Advaita Vedantin. I don't proclaim to be an expert. However, the 'who knows' line of questioning happens to be one of my favorite dharana techniques. I'm a great lover of Ramana Maharshi's work.

Look, I'm going to sign off now, and you can have the last word or not. But I'm going to leave knowing that we reached some sort of middle ground--even if it is only in the fact that we both think your site looks great.

 
At 9/22/2005 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

JaiBhakti said, "Nothing is too hot.
None of this is real, anyway.
Who knows I'm writing this?
Nothing's too hot.
There can be no staining"<<

Oh brother, the last defense of the overwhelmed...trot out the spiritual platitudes and "have a nice day". And, don't forget to let everyone know how "special" you are: an "artist" and a "meditation teacher" . Gee, I'm so impressed!
AshtaDasaBhujaMakalakshmi (you'll have to ask Sally, I'm sure)

 
At 9/22/2005 10:18 PM, Blogger jody said...

Hi Bhakti!

> I can tell you, as someone who has
> had personal spiritual experiences
> since being a kid, that to me, and
> in my eyes, Gurumayi is
> self-realized.

You are blessed to have spiritual experiences, yet they have as much to do with your truth as the Self as my dog's cute little hiney.

What I'm saying is that the Self isn't in any one experience more than another. It's either in all experiences equally or none of them at all, take your pick.

While spiritual experiences are nice and gratifying to have, they aren't getting you any closer to where you already are. It's not about getting to, anyway. It's about seeing what's there, right now, closer than your own breath, as if on the tip of your nose.

Looked at this way, a glorious spiritual experience is much more likely to distract from the ever-present truth rather than point to it.

Sorry to just go off on your spiritual experiences, Bhakti. It's got me wondering, what does Gurumayi say about spiritual experiences.

Send me an email if you are inclined to discuss it with me.

 
At 10/12/2005 2:53 PM, Blogger Mark said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 11/15/2005 11:29 AM, Blogger chinma devi said...

Muktananda was a criminal child abuser. His Green Card was revoked by the U.S. Government and even if he lived he would have never come to America agin.

Sally Kempton is a criminal co-conspirator. Much like the Bishops in the Catholic Church she has covered Muktananda's crimes.

People should sue Sally now that she has money.

Why does Yoga Journal condone child abuse???

 
At 5/17/2006 11:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Swami Muktananda has done nothing wrong. Your ridiculous comments have no foundation, just an article you read in one magazine many many years ago. Have you not heard the saying "Dont beleive everything you read"?

 
At 5/17/2006 11:32 AM, Blogger jody said...

Swami Muktananda has done nothing wrong

Ah... a brilliant example of the ostrich effect.

 
At 7/08/2006 11:40 AM, Blogger Bhavani said...

I would just like to know where Gurumayi is.
In my own experience I believe her to be a realized being. I have experienced her power and her infinite love and have no doubts. My financial contribution has been minimal and always have received a grateful missive. In all my years of putting money in a basket in the Catholic church no one ever thanked me profusely for a $20.00 contribution. I have recieved so much from my association from Gurumayi! She has always treated me with love and respect and has never asked for anything in return.
Bhavani

 
At 7/08/2006 11:53 AM, Blogger jody said...

I would just like to know where Gurumayi is.

I have heard she's in South Fallsburg. I'd like to think she saw the pitfalls of being a big time guru and decided to let things cool off. She may be a fine preceptor, but I witnessed people worshipping her as if she was God by way of satellite tv transmission. I was spooked by that.

I know of two outstanding individuals who are her devotees, so she's certainly got it going on. But the idea of being God on Earth for people is a bad one, in my opinion. I hope she's come to the same conclusion and will continue her work on a more intimate scale.

 
At 8/26/2006 3:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No matter what happened between those new year messages, inner reflection has always been with me, before and after SYDA.
Life happens, and in the grand scheme of life chapters like SYDA become peoples fancy. For all the politics,
injustices, lies and abuse. I am alive walking on learning to see god in everything. When I hungry, angry, or Tired, I can get worked up about the time I discovered a swimming pool worth of gold and bounty underneath Gurumai's House in Sounth Fallsberg. I also laugh when I was awarded a tour of Muktananda's
formica retro Seventies control bedroom. Just as it was when he left there. Watching the rich and the famous bed swap, and the ego's run riot, keep me laughing and in disbelief sometimes, that I couldhave been a Devotee for ten years.
My heart goes out to those who bare scars from wrongful doings, and love to those who go on in stride making this place a better place.

where can one find the list of Directors and Ashram managers???anyone know.

 
At 9/17/2006 5:21 PM, Blogger Realtruthseekerman said...

I've become very concerned about all these people following the teachings of siddha yoda and gurumayi since i learned that she sold the ashram in Conford, hampshire, england . This building and the beautiful grounds was given to her in the late 80's or early 90's by a wealthy follower of this faith as a gift. I thought nothing of this until i heared she had sold it a few years ago . When i enquired as to why it had been sold i was told that it was because they couldnt afford to keep it maintained . I bellive this to be untrue . From what i have read there isnt a shortage of money and there are plenty of willing people to do work on the ashram for no money at all . Isnt it rude to sell a gift anyway . surely the right thing to do would be to had it on to a charity or even give it back to the people who gave it to gurumayi . After all its worth at least 2 million pounds , probably more like 3 million . I will look into the actual selling price . Recently our law changed so we can see what houses actually sold for on the internet . The other point to make on this is that it was the only ashram in the uk for siddha yoga. If they really cared about people who devote their lives to this cause they would have surely strived to keep it open . I havent seen any of our churches or mosques been sold off latley . Only siddha yoga sell gifted buildings worth millions of pounds with feeble reasons . I think its a cheek . Surely if financing it was an issue they could downsize to a smaller building and keep their followers happy . I dont care anyway because the drumming at 5 am most weekends is nothing but noise pollution to most people . ps I am a non follower of siddhayoga and gurus. I bellive in reality on physical earth, nothing more

 
At 8/17/2007 9:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys..why is all this silly bickering still going on?

Karuna

 
At 11/26/2007 4:43 PM, Anonymous pranakasha said...

Forgive me, but I'd like to offer my two bits:

I have been to SYDA ashrams and centers, including South Fallsburg and Ganeshpuri since the early 80s and still attend satsangs at our local center regularly.

For all the ridiculous stuff that I observe in the SYDA scene, and all the scandalous stuff that now is publicly well-known thanks to the internet, I still find value in what we do and experience.

To tell the truth, I always had an aversion to all the trips, the games, the fake ways of speaking, the fake ways of acting, etc. etc. that so many highly visible folks in the SYDA scene always seem to do year after year.

That said, I have a number of friends who are long-time devotees that simply do as I do and ignore all the superficial B.S. and continue to benefit from what Siddha Yoga really has to offer:

1) A continued abundance of spirutual energy or 'shakti' as we like to call it.

2) Access to an age-old Yogic and Scriptural tradition that really works.

Who cares whether or not Gurumayi got a facelift or what brand of mascara she is or not using this month?

The point of all this is to find the space of joy and nourishment in your own heart and live from there.

This may be news to you:

Some of us in Siddha Yoga have found such a place and have discovered that Siddha Yoga practices such chanting, meditation, japa, reading the scriptures, and so on continue to nurture us.

Of course, these are practices that belong to humanity rather than any particular organization. Yet, if people like me are used to doing them in a particular place and it works, why change?

In defense of all the craziness that goes on in SYDA-land, I will have to say that having experienced it throughout my entire adult life, along with similar outrageous stuff that goes on within my own family, I feel very well equipped to deal with whatever life throws at me at work and other places, so for that I am grateful.

Muchas gracias,

---Mateo

 
At 7/01/2008 2:38 PM, Anonymous India said...

Thanks Mateo. That pretty much sums it up for me too.
Although, I don't agree with everything on this blog, I'm glad to see differing opinions represented. To those with so much hate in their hearts, I'd like to say the only real evil I see here is this hate thing that you can't let go of, and concerning face lifts - sheesh, if anyone really cares they seriously need to get a life.

 

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