Guruphiliac: Mafu? More Like Phooey

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Mafu? More Like Phooey

File under: Wackadoo Gurus

Today, our new friend Cosmic Connie alerted us to the existence of Mafu, "an enlightened Master" who gets channelled by Swami Paramananda Saraswatti, aka ammagi. The cute amalgamation of the names "amma" and "magi" says all you need to know about this swami, who's hitting every New Age™ selling point there is while she attempts to pay lip service to Vedanta as well. That's sort of like taking a fat, juicy tenderloin steak into a vegan/raw foods establishment and asking to use their kitchen to make your dinner.

I suppose we could go on and on about how much of a nincompoop we find this person to be, but Connie has already got it covered:
It seems that originally the Swami was named Penny Torres, and she was once a mere housewife in Oregon. Who knows what profound hungers and longings caused her to embark upon the road not taken? (Well, actually, it’s the road frequently taken these days. And come to think of it, it’s not even the road that gets taken. It’s the people who give money to channelers.)

Perhaps Penny was motivated by the astonishing success story of another blonde channeling superstar, J.Z. Knight, famous oracle of the Ascended Master Ramtha®...

My guess is that Penny Torres knew a good thing when she saw it, and voila! Mafu was manifested. She gathered up a few folks who weren’t so crazy about J.Z. anymore, and a brand new cult…oh, I mean spiritual movement…was born. Judging from the fact that Penny/Swami/Mafu has conducted Darshans in such far-flung places as Maui (of course) and Australia, it would appear that she/he/it/they are making a pretty penny, so to speak, off of hungry seekers.
Make it completely unbelievable, and they will believe. This maxim of the New Age™ guru biz is a depressingly-telling characteristic of Vedic-based spiritual culture in the West. It allows for the existence and seemingly impossible success of the likes of Mafu and her blondie swami, both of whom surely have Shankara rolling in his grave.


At 12/11/2006 6:22 AM, Blogger sattvicwarrior said...

well said!!!!!good for you

At 12/11/2006 8:08 AM, Anonymous sadhvi said...

So....what I want to know is what is the "lineage" of this "ordained monk of the Saraswati order"? Who "ordained" her? in what context? who was her "guru"? and, most importantly, how in the world did she manage in India, undergoing the training that precedes initiation? where did she get her hair streaked? her lips injected with collagen? and her frown lines botoxed away? Oh, I guess maybe the Oberoi or Taj hotel must have those services by now. And, hey, was that the siddha yoga version of om namah shivaya I heard in the background during "darshan"? laugh and smile...gotcha, gurumayi! This just gets better and better...nobody has to even bother with the "formalities" know, years of study or meditation or self-inquiry...just declare yourself "finished" and buy a set of Japanese gongs, a flowing Stevie Nicks robe (not your crass orange "swami" robes of Khadi cloth..but nice ones...kind of "episcopalian style"),put a photo up of a REAL master (mostly Ramana is used these days), rent a hall and go for it! It's kind of sad seeing how people are so desperate for connection that they will swallow anything..and even sadder to see how many other people are waiting to fill the need (and their own "narcisso" pocketbooks). geez! Poor humans! (glad I'm a warthog!) lol.

At 12/11/2006 10:03 AM, Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

LOL, Sadhvi. It's very obvious that Swami Blonde's followers either didn't know or didn't care enough to ask questions about her qualifications. But remember, this is a world where you make your own credentials. You can buy a Ph.D. from a diploma mill. And I myself am an ordained minister, by virtue of writing off to the Universal Life Church. It is actually legal for me to perform weddings in the Great State of Texas. Anybody need an agnostic wedding ceremony, I'm your gal.

At 12/12/2006 8:03 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cosmic Connie wrote:

'This is a world where you make your own credentials'

You betcha.

The New Age scene constantly takes practices out of their historical and cultural context--and it belittles history and study. This leaves people unable to tell whethr teachings are beign accurately transmitted or not.

One way to assess a guru's character is in terms of honesty. If he or she creates a false lineage claim, that all by itself will tell you something's wrong.

You bet. And.. unlike genuine Indian and other Asian traditions in which lineage is important and where discernment (viveka) is considered a necessary skill for any student looking for teachers, in the New Age/dharma demimonde, its the opposite:

I am convinced that long before people get entangled in cults, they are pre-socialized in the New Age scene to do the following things that dis arm them and cause them to become exploitable--and not even know it:

Here is how you get pre-socialised and 'softened up' in the New Age scene. Its informal, happens through just hanging around and caring too much about wanting people to like you.

1) Make yourself gullible. Fact checking is cynical and unspiritual. When someone comes to town, saying 'I am enlightened' dont ask 'Sez who?' dont ask, 'So...when are you going to ask for my money or try to get into my pants?' Dont ask, 'What did this person do before becoming a guru? Did he or she leave messes for others to clean up?'

Dont ask any of that. In the New Age scene, everything is taken on faith.

2) If its from Asia and especially India, dont question it. Ditto for anyone claimign to be a shaman.

3) There's a double standard for compassion. A guru with a hangnail deserves instant compassion. If someone reports the guru has harmed them, that person's suffering is illusory and they should be sneered at and shamed into shutting up.

4) You have no right to expect decent behavior from a guru. To be a disciple is to live a life un-requited loyalty in relation to gurus. Instead of being revolted by this, just remember the crazy wise guru paradignm.

Convince yourself that shit is actually table sugar.

5) In the ordinary unevolved world, it is rude to keep people waiting. But as soon as its a guru who is often nothing more than a heedless giddy child in an adult body, dignified adults are supposed to let this immature person keep them waiting for hours.

6) Convince yourself (and you will get lots of help) that in spirituality ethics are irrelevant. This persistent misunderstanding, that teaches that ethics are irrelevant seems very appealing to people. It may be a lot of students are burdened by memories of shame. They welcome a teaching that makes ethics seem irrelevant and this may temporarily disable the shame and give a kind of intellectual orgasm that makes them feel free.

But feeling free doesnt mean being free. Its an intellectualy induced high, and the person can become addicted to it. They also then become exploitable by more ruthless persons who exploit this same distorted teaching.

Genuine nondual teaching is quite different. Nondual reality does NOT override every day reality where ethics remain relevant.

Half baked nondualism empowers crooks and adult child gurus and it trains disciples to accept endless abuse.

Tim Conway has a very good discussion of true nondual teaching and the relevance of ethics here:

(quote) the greatest sages of India have long cautioned that enlightened spiritual vision must function on two levels: the absolute level of Truth (paramarthika satyam) and the conventional, "relatively real" level of truth (vyavaharika satyam).

Thus, the sages, when speaking from the absolute level of parlance, say that, indeed, everything is Divine, all is Brahman, nothing is wrong (in fact, no-thing is really happening!), it's all the perfect leela of the One.

But, on the relative or conventional level, the level of earthly conduct, these sages strongly uphold the Dharma of righteous action, ahimsa, purity, and so forth. Such sages thus say that, in the absolute view, everything is okay, but on the relative level they are quite adamant that certain behaviors are wrong, sinful, or just inappropriate and should be stopped.

For devotees of the Lord to sit back and just say that "everything is divine," which is certainly true on the absolute level, but then do nothing about evils and injustices that occur within the dream of earthly life because "it is all divine" --is a terrible avoidance of basic duty on behalf of Dharma. With this apathy and flawed attitude, none of the great evils of history would have ever been resisted and overcome.

In a review of a book, Conway notes that one was supposed to be free of certain misunderstandings BEFORE being considered qualified to learn nonduality without distorting it:

'...ancient warnings by the nondual sages that a person be relatively free of certain basic "defilements" before being introduced to nonduality:

(i.e, that only the One Is,

That one's real nature is the Absolute

“the sage transcends right and wrong”).

(Conway writes) "Such warnings are given lest any immature persons misappropriate nondual glimpses or teachings for reifying or aggrandizing their own limited egocentricity (leading to the problematic "psychic inflation" that Carl Jung warned about).

We do NOT hear about these warnings on the New Age scene!

Certain gurus come along demanding that we surrender to them.

The wierd thing is that anyone who does submit to them has probably already surrendered long, long before to the notion of enlightenment and to the guru idea.

Once you've subtly house-broken to surrender to these 'softening up ideas', you are ripe for plucking by any guru who comes along.

An additional idea people are pre-socialized to buy into is that cruelty is acceptable if perpetrated by a crazy wise guru who has transcended ethics.

A good question to ask is, 'Will the guru be capable of reciprocating my loyalty?'

A person who is psychopathic or essentially a child in an adult body is incapble of reciprocating loyalty. If learn to ask this question before getting emotionally involved, it will serve you well in many areas of life--bosses, lovers, as well as gurus.

Few people who have been harmed by gurus get to the point where they can examine how deeply they were pre-trained during their early years as seekers to abandon basic self respect and put up with nasty treatment.

At 12/12/2006 9:11 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

The New Age scene constantly takes practices out of their historical and cultural context

Good post, anonymous. I especially like the 6 ways of getting softened up!

At 12/12/2006 1:43 PM, Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

I agree with Blade, Anon: that was an excellent post -- worthy of a whole blog (or a book!) in and of itself.

From the time I first became involved in the New Age/New Wage subcultures many years ago, one prevailing message has been that there are only two big "sins": being closed-minded, and being judgmental. Of the two, being judgmental seems to be the gravest sin. And questioning someone's background or credentials implies judgment.

As a result, along with the obligatory suspension of disbelief comes suspension of judgment. And too many folks end up convincing themselves that "shit is table sugar," as Anon so aptly put it.

Meanwhile, those who criticize the New Age cash cows or other gurus get taken to task by the true believers for being unevolved, or envious, or simply lacking an understanding of the truth. I'm getting some of that on my own blog now, but Jody is providing a good model of how to deal with it.

At 12/12/2006 2:20 PM, Blogger jody said...

Jody is providing a good model of how to deal with it.

Sure. It's called "being a bigger asshole than they are willing to be."

At 12/12/2006 4:01 PM, Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Well, Jody, to paraphrase John Amos' remark to Bruce Willis in "Die Hard 2": You may be an asshole, but you're my kind of asshole. :-)

At 12/12/2006 9:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This article by Karla McLaren on briding the gap between science and new age is very interesting. Karla started out as a New Age healer and eventually left.

Again, this socialization process is informal. It happens before one even joins a bad guru or a group.

You care about being liked and pick up on what causes your new spiritual friends to smile and you pick up on which topics are taboo.

One can get 'softened up' and later slide right into a bad group and never notice the transition.

Most cult experts and counselors study bad groups. I dont know if any of them know how to assist people to examine how they may have been 'primed' or presocialized' just by spending lots of time in the New Age scene. If this is not examined, a person may go through a whole series of bad groups and never understand why.

Intelligence has nothing to do with it--very bright people can repeat this cycle.

Here is an example of how being nonjudgemental can be taken to ludicrous extremes:

Years ago, I was in a peace group. One of the women (lets call her Olivia)in our group was in a longtime monogamous partnership with a guy.

One day, Olivia's guy decided to vary the routine and he brought another girl home. They started screwing in the bed he shared with Olivia.

Olivia came home early, walked into the bedroom and caught them bare-assed.

She was furious.

Her guy had the nerve to bleat to her 'But you shouldnt be so judgemental!'

To her credit, Olivia refused to buy this. She said,

'You judged yourself. IF you'd felt comfortable with this, you'd have talked to me about it first, not kept it a secret. You went sneaking around, which means you knew it was bad and judged yourself.'

She kicked his sorry ass out.

That's chutzpah--to be caught in the act of cheating on your spouse and primary partner and to tell THEM not to be judgemental!

There are a lot of kids in adult bodies who dont want to take the consequences of thier actions and dont want to face loud voices or make amends. They gravitate in droves to the New Age scene and dumb it down.

Many persons with this mindset have been traumatized and find adult accommodation to reality quite painful and difficulty.

At the same time 'adult children' can be very intelligent, socially sophisticated and function with distinction in demanding professions--including law, medicine, business and even psychotherapy. But the unhealed unintegrated child-component leaves them craving easy relief and blissful denial of the pain of life--and makes it easy to keep looking for bliss states and -- Santa Claus figures who can exploit this longing.

A person with social prestige, earning power and this kind of exploitable emotional frailty is just the kind of person who can be persuaded to go New Age, give it a respectable facade--and bankroll its charlatan gurus.

Again, many persons in this predicament are intelligent, even brilliant. But because they are not fully grown up, they can be easily conned into devaluing adult skills such as caution, fact checking, and critical thinking.

IMO many of the worst gurus are what I would term spiritual pedophiles. They are probably childish adults who have a child's lack of empathy and treat others as objects to toy with, rather than persons.

Unlike ordinary pedophiles who target under aged children, the really clever spiritual pedophile targets persons who are in adult bodies but who are emotionally still children. They may have adult earning power but have the vulnerability of children.

A crooked guru who knows how to identify people like this can selectively recruit them and will often find ways to ridicult and devalue people who are adults in the full sense--because a guru who is a spiriutual pedophile wants to avoid fully developed adults--who cant be manipulated and who know how to set limits.

The new age scene is a haven for adult children, both the ones who are exploited and the adult children who function as molesters.

If you want to get a sense of how this works read Amy Wallaces book Sorcerer's Apprentice: My Life with Carlos Castaneda.

Amy was from a traumatized background. She came out of it talented, socially naive but retained a child's gullibility.

Castaneda was a child in an adults body but he functioned as a pedophile. He was a friend of Amy's father, met Amy when she was a girl. An incredible 19 years later, just after her father died, when Amy was vulnerable and depressed, Castaneda recruited her into his group-full of people who were also adult children and who all shared a gullible fascination with magic and tales of wonder which they never bothered to fact check.

Carlos played with them as if they were dolls--its chilling reading.

Wallace does not describe it this way--she wrote the book while still unable to see the full process.

But if we read it, we can get a case study of spiritual pedophilia.

At 12/12/2006 9:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yet another bias on the seeker's circuit:

Only YOUR bliss matters.

It doesnt matter how many other people are being mistreated, fleeced, humiliated by the person or group that has found the way to diddle your pleasure centers just the right way to get you high.

So what if your bliss is purchased by other people's misery and exploitation. Thier suffering is illusory. Only your bliss matters.

This is no different from the self centered ruthlessness exhibited by drug addicts who dont care that all thier relationships are going to hell, so long as they get high.

Its amazing how many people who are in a guru's good graces and who jeer at the guru's scape goats fail to imagine that one day, they may become the scapegoats and someone else will be the favorite...

Only if everyone is happy will your own happiness clean and complete.

Feeling good is not the same as being good.

Any dope dealer can trigger bliss by selling you powder in a bag.

A guru has to offer something more than mere bliss, otherwise he or she is just creating junkies--especially in a set up where people claim that ethics is irrelevant.

At 12/13/2006 8:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love note to Connie:

I adore your blog. Right now my version of Internet Explorer is old and I cant visit you as often as I like because my browser often crashes when crunching through graphics.

Your graphic of the dung pile with flies buzzing around it nearly made me fall off my chair, I was laughing so hard. I showed it to some pals and they said if you could link it up to some background music (one suggested flight of the valkyries) it would really be a hoot.

Someone has to find a way to identify how people are pre socialized on the New Age scene to surrender any notion of ethics and human rights in relation to gurus or groups.

I dont think someone can just step right off the street and into a hellish abusive inner circle and then stay put.

There must be some process by which people gradually transition and, without realizing it, learn to put up with beliefs and treatment that they'd never accept if it were shoved in their faces, all at once.

When we are given general anesthetic for surgery, its not a sudden process. The anesthesiolist and staff must 'prep' the patient. Often you're given tranquilizers. You stay awake and calm, but it reduces your body's stress responses--valuable for surgery.

But losing one's edge is dangerous in relation to a social scene crawling with charismatic crooks.

Later, the anesthesiologist often admisters agents to reduce gag response so that you can be intubated without it causing you to freak out and fight back. Then they can keep you asleep so the surgery can be done.

My hunch and this needs to be examined by a wide range of people--survivors, journalists, exit counselors, is whether people are informally socialized to lose thier protective 'gag reflex' during their early ventures into the new age or consciousness scene.

When we lose the gag reflex (which includes surrendering our right to feel judgemental and say, 'What an asshole, I'm outa here?')--then if a guru or group crosses our paths, we can then more easily be 'put under' and pulled in.

The gag reflex is an early conditioned response and its there for a reason. A pal of mine who spent just two years in a horrible group and who is still shaking 30 years later told me that the one thing he acquired
was a brand new BS detector with a lavendar wrist band.

At 12/13/2006 11:15 AM, Blogger Cosmic Connie said...

Thanks, Anon, for your compliments. I wish I could take credit for the buzzing-flies ani, but I found it via Google and couldn't find an attribution. But the graphic just seemed to fit so well with the subject matter. Anyway, that particular graphic -- or maybe it was the accompanying post -- "attracted" some strong criticism from fans of "The Secret."

You make some excellent points about how spiritual seekers end up "losing the gag reflex." I think that cultural conditioning, and not just individual conditioning, sets us up for this. Eastern cultures have their own centuries of tradition that make individuals vulnerable to certain types of spiritual leaders and ideas. In the US, we have a sense of entitlement ("we deserve to be wealthy"), which attracts many to the get-rich-quick gurus.

But, more to the point re the New Age, we have the legacy of the 1960s and the flower children, the original "completely non-judgmental" generation. Drugs certainly aided in this attitude (duh). Don't get me wrong: I am inordinately fond of '60s culture and music -- and I never fail to cry when I watch the Dennis Hopper movie, "Flashback" -- but in many ways the hippies did lower the bar, or raise it, or whatever. And I think they did pave the way for a lot of New Age nonsense. After all, it *was* the dawning of the Age of Aquarius. "Beads, flowers, freedom, happiness..."

At 12/13/2006 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you want something fascinating, read Gary Lachman's history of the 1960s entitled

'Turn Off Your Mind'.

I think the Sixties were a haven for a lot of adult children.

Some of these adult children (I include Alan Watts, Fritz Perls, Castaneda and Timothy Leary) were probably under some pressure to behave themselves as long as social norms remained tight and conservative.

But as soon as the Sixties loosened up the bounds, a lot of childish adults who happened to already have academic credentials and grey hair, were able to revert to their actual level of maturity--rebellious heedlessness
a childish creativity but a childish tendency to treat others as objects, then toss them aside.

Society lost its 'gag reflex' and these grey haired adult children were able to get media coverage and social crediblity that would have been witheld during earlier, more prudent times.

They got to run amok and they became role models for youngsters who were rebelling against thier own parents but sought older mentors who would bless them in rebellion.

So the children trustfully attached themselves to these grey haired elderly children who had become Sixties tribal elders-- charming, creative, but fundametnally irresponsible.

A hall mark of the Sixties that lingered long afterwards in New Age circles was to devalue adult virtues such as consideration for others, taking responsibility and cleaning up one's messes, critical thinking and fact checking.

All these are sneered at by both the hippies and their successors.

But adult amounts of money--that is greatly appreciated.

There was an old hippie in my neighborhood who devalued critical thinking and insisted on the need for innocence.

What he called innocence was not innocence at all. Genuine innocence everything and is aware of everything.

False innocence is selective awareness--it refuses to be aware of painful realities.

Wilful naivete seems innocent but is actually a defensive/judgemental stance--a refusal to face pain.

And it makes people tragically exploitable.

IMO a lot of people who cling to this willful innocence are persons who find it unbearable to face that they were exploited or may have colluded in others being exploited.

One very common distortion of nondual spirituality is to argue that there is no such thing as betrayal.

Certain experiences are felt in the heart and body, not just the mind. You can numb your mind all you want, but your heart and body remember it all.

When people claim that just by thinking a certain way you 'make your own reality'--they ignore this.

Again, adult children fail to understand that the human heart is not a toy or plaything.

Human hearts can be wounded. That pain can never be wished away.

It can be suppressed for a time, but always and eventually a heart wounded by spiritual betrayal or that has been mauled and vandalized by a childish adult, whether the childish adult is a guru or ordinary lover--that wounded heart can never be wished away.

Adults face this and make amends.

Childish adults cant bear to face this. They use spiritualized rationalization spirituality to justify how carelessly they toy with human hearts.

Connie, Jody, Blade, and others, if you find any of this useful, , feel free to use it.

At 12/13/2006 8:02 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Anonymous said... Connie, Jody, Blade, and others, if you find any of this useful, , feel free to use it.

I was OK with what you were saying until this. Now I think I'll use it to wipe my hiny on.

At 12/13/2006 9:15 PM, Anonymous sadhvi said...

>>>"New Age, we have the legacy of the 1960s and the flower children, the original "completely non-judgmental" generation"
"So the children trustfully attached themselves to these grey haired elderly children who had become Sixties tribal elders-- charming, creative, but fundametnally irresponsible"

Now I am turning into my Mom! I remember how irritated she used to get when people in the 1960s would make "pronouncements" about people in the 1930s and 1940s and how they had been and felt and acted and why and why they had made the decisions during the Second World War that they had made and how the men were this way and the women were that way and what kind of music they liked etc. etc. She would always say, "I never knew ANYONE who thought or acted that way".
All I can say is..."Kids you have to have been there!" it isn't quite so easily packaged and tied with the conceptual bow of hindsight. For every spaced out "non-judgemental" hippie, there was a "very involved and very judgemental" political activist. For every "adult child" there was a "man in a grey flannel suit"...and, even now, in the Donald Trump era, insatiable childish excesses of consuming,grasping, greed, destructive and selfish narcissism are the isn't particularly "New Age"; it's something about human nature and desire,especially in times where people do NOT feel the need to "pull together"..which is why many people turn towards (and turned towards) spiritual try and understand, to, perhaps, turn towards their "better nature"and more compassionate values. I really don't believe, even after seeing some pretty bad things in my lifetime, that most people get involved with sprituality to f**k other people over. They may wind up doing that..but I don't think that's what they imagined at the beginning...mostly...although lately, it's looking pretty bad on the "guru scene".

At 12/13/2006 9:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toilet paper serves an honorable and useful function.

Wipe away. All skidmarks must be hunted down and eliminated.

My favorite brand happens to be Scott.

Its also the best if on Halloween you want to TP a house or someone's tree.

At 12/14/2006 8:06 AM, Blogger TheBlade said...

Connie, Jody, Blade, and others, if you find any of this useful, , feel free to use it.

Interesting comment on the sixties. The last bit there is something of a social gaffe...... but then we aren't keeping people here for their social graces, are we? :) If we were, chuck would be chased out of here faster than Frankenstein's monster out of a pitch-fork factory.....

At 12/14/2006 1:39 PM, Blogger jody said...

we aren't keeping people here for their social graces, are we? :) If we were, chuck would be chased out of here faster than Frankenstein's monster out of a pitch-fork factory.....

Actually, it is precisely because of his (lack of) social graces that I enjoy Chuck's presence. He's the pin that pokes folks' self-images. If they pop, they weren't worth much to begin with. If they can take it and not blow up, they're better than your average reader, making Chuck the Guruphiliac QC engineer.

At 12/14/2006 6:40 PM, Anonymous durga said...

sadvi said: it isn't particularly "New Age"; it's something about human nature and desire,especially in times where people do NOT feel the need to "pull together"..which is why many people turn towards (and turned towards) spiritual try and understand, to, perhaps, turn towards their "better nature"and more compassionate values.

Good observation sadvi. I just exited the new wage scene and went from hanging around a space daddy seeker (which was what got me involved in the scene in the first place)to a wealthy entrepreneur who makes a shit load of money with absolutely no spiritual insight. I don't know which is worse. I think both ways of being are not particularly mature and both types avoid responsibility for themselves in some way or another. I prefer the people who at least make an effort to turn to their better nature and "more compassionate values".

At 12/15/2006 8:14 AM, Anonymous chuck said...

Jody said, "...making Chuck the Guruphiliac QC engineer."


Thanks, Jody. I was tied up selling auto parts in LoveLady, Texas. You understand me well.

When something is free and useful to me, I don't feel any need to be told it's OK to use it. If it smells like bullshit, I don't want to be told I should find it useful.

Just want to remind everyone here that all these folks who love their gurus, whether bogus or not, have human hearts that can be hurt. One person's true love wouldn't be allowed into anonymouse's palatial Indian home, unless he/she were there to clean the toilets.

At 12/17/2006 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello-Great article on swami vishwananda- I was there-the band rocked! I've always found it interesting that guru is spelled gee you are you

At 1/19/2007 9:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

She went to India around 1992 and when she returned 1 months later she was a Swammi... Needless to say, many of her followers were astonded,....

Don't you know, she is so special... did not need all that training is a link to some past devotees...

Beating... Sex and Drugs... need we say more.

Here is a link to more informtion

At 7/19/2007 5:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems none of you know a thing what you are talking about. You are talking about yourselves, not Mafu. You just want to sound pretentious, know-all I've been there - but you have No real knowledge of what you are dealing with. If you truly want to criticise, listen to what Mafu has to say. Don't debate all the glitz and rumour. You can pull anyone off a pedderstool if you don't have the facts. 18 years ago I listened to what Mafu had to say. No stories, no vidoes, no concepts. I had no idea what a 'fully illumed enlightened being' was. I didn't really want to know. I just heard the words, and they resonated with ME.I heard them and everything shifted. They changed my life completely and fundamentally. Everything that I have become and experienced since those days can be traced back to the words and applied experiences that I have had since then. And that was before I experienced Mafu in person, and Penny aka Swami, in the 'flesh' so to speak. I wouldn't even put words to that experience. I can only say that anyone who says these things has not been in Mafu's presence. I am writing this for the one who is a genuine seeker in this bloggers world of smart words and know-it-all attitude. Because - hey - just what if these 'smart' people don't know it ALL.

At 7/19/2007 5:53 AM, Blogger jody said...

Everything that I have become and experienced since those days can be traced back to the words and applied experiences that I have had since then.

I always say that bad, full of themselves gurus can be every bit as good as good, know their place in the universe gurus.

That doesn't mean people should go to this full-of- superstitious nonsense fauxru. You'd be a lot better off trusting you dog's spiritual advice, if you asked me.

At 9/21/2007 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one who has been in the presence of Ms. Torres, I can tell you there is nothing enlightened or profound about her. I had the misfortune of renting a space from her boyfriend a few years ago that I was using as a recording studio. While they were militantly anti-smoking, the place always reeked of pot. They spent their days stoned and having very loud sex in the loft above the studio, which made it very interesting for me while trying to record the local high school girls choir. One evening when I asked her to stop lecturing me about some empty plastic water bottles my clients had left in the lobby, she lit into me in a violent, profanity-laced tirade like I've literally never experienced any other time in my life. Penny is a loon, nothing else. Any wise words that have ever escaped her lips were by sheer, dumb luck. Monkeys at a typewriter, you know....

At 11/26/2007 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a friend who is very involved with Mafu's ashram and has been for years. I used to be a follower of Gurumayi and left the group 10 years ago. I just have to say, so many of these groups are full of secrets. And very smart people get sucked in. Ivy league educated, otherwise stable seeming people. My friend is so certain of her path, I was starting to get a bit curious about it. Luckily, because of my previous guru experience, I now do more research! I know that Young Living essential oils are recommended by some Mafu followers. Having looked into that organization, Young is an indited quack & charlatan. And Dr. Braverman has been recommended too by members of Mafu's ashram. And he may also be a quack. Often, these spiritual predators run in packs with pyramid marketing schemes to boot. It's amazing to me that Mafu was made a "guru" by Nityanada, Gurumayi's brother. I am astounded that there is a direct connection between the groups. I am very grateful for this forum. The truth is out there. You just have to google for it.

At 8/22/2008 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was intrigued to read all the blogs about Mafu and about Penny Torres Rubin. So none of you have any blemishes I presume. None of you have thrown the first stone, and of course none of you have a dingoes arse of what really does happen at Mafu's Ashram.
Because if you did you would know that Penny was ordained in India, by Guru Chidvilasanundas brother,a direct lineage ogf Muktanunda, of course you would know that Mafu channels in woman's body that serves him with ALL its so called inadequacies and blemishes. YOu would know that he does not JUDGE this woman for that, and of course you would already know he is here to assist ALL to know that they are God, know hierarcky, no pecking order and certainly no status. That is only the human crap. But then again I could be wrong you are all so perfect. Come on throw the first stone and watch it rebound straight back into your ego. Now thats ENLIGHTENMENT, once the arrogance and the cocksure humaness of you has had its day.
Personally I don't know Mafu at all in my little brain, but I know this! I know him in my HEART people,and thats where it counts, the heart and the LOVE. ..... "kill the buddah" and LIVE.

At 1/16/2009 11:37 PM, Blogger pellinore said...

Penny's real name (once you get past all the marriages)is Penny Anne Rue from Grass Valley California. She studied acting at the American Conservatory Theatre in the late 70s. Enough said.

At 1/05/2010 4:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i saw penney in action at a fancy hotel in LA round many people...when i heard her 'rap'..i ran for the door.
i dont have video of all these yuppies drinking her 'coolaid'

At 1/06/2010 3:21 PM, Blogger Grrlscout said...

Interesting to read all these comments on Penny/Mafu! I found this post whilst looking for links to show my staunchly athiest husband about some of the silliest excesses of the New Age-perhaps to put some of my own pagan beliefs into perspective. ;)

I saw Penny/Mafu in LA in the mid-1990s as well... a guy I was dating at the time knew someone deeply involved in the group. It was absolutely cringemaking stuff. I'm not sure about it what was the most ridiculous. Was it the really silly spectacle of watching this little woman toss her hair & stomp around, shouting things like "I am Mafu!" and pointing at members of the audience and sharing received wisdom like "you have a strong spirit!"? Actually, no. It the threadbare and cobbled together feel to the whole Mafu theology. Want channelling from an ancient warrior spirit? Check. Are ancient warrior spirits passe-and you want even older or even alien guides? Check. Into pseudo-Eastern mumbo jumbo? Check. Into rescuing fluffy animals? Her group also operates a tiger refuge at the ashram. Check. Basically, if it became fashionable to paint your body blue to show your holiness, Mafu would offer paints in multiple shades to any possible followers.

I think the comments about adult children are slightly off the mark. It's about a sense of wonder. New Age gurus are experts at tapping into our very human desire for the special or mysterious. Even if the rational adult in you knows the fireworks are just cultivated sparks, it's pretty hard to not find a crowd of even very integrated adults watching a fireworks display who don't gasp with wonder when the noise & sparks start. Add this need for wonder to a need for meaning, and voila-instant guru fodder.

From what I remember about the Mafu group, it all started off as being very spontaneous & fun & free... and gradually became less so. The group was structured around the dictates & whims of Mafu each day. Mafu is into theatrics & grand gestures, evidently, and I think this just serves to give Mafu's recruiters some stories that make the cult seem less scary at recruitment events. One story I heard was about Mafu telling the group to send one member to drink wine on top of Vesuvius-as in, get your passport & go that very day. Another story I heard was about Mafu suddenly deciding all the female followers @ the ashram needed boob jobs. See? Not all chanting & self denial at all! That Mafu-what a wacky guy!

I did hear stories about abuse & violence & drugs & some very disturbing mind control. Lots of finger pointing about karma points & akashic records aimed at members whose devotion was not suitably abject... random bouts of abuse that were put down to lessons from Mafu. Stuff no one but someone who'd left career & family behind wouldn't take. No one with anything left on the outside to match the sense of wonder from the few fun/wacky things Mafu asked them to do every so often would see physical/emotional abuse as an acceptable trade. Even just taking care of the animals at the sanctuary probably gave some of these people some sort of compensation for the rest of the Penny/Mafu show.

I wish them all peace. Even Penny. In my own belief system, she has one hell of a karmic bill to settle.

At 7/06/2011 11:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

well said. i actually grew up in this cult and know first hand of the abuse and ridiculousness of it all.

to answer a few questions/comments:

penny was ordained by Mahamandaleshwar Swami Nityananda a Hindu guru. He was trained from childhood by Swami Muktananda.

In 1980, he was initiated into the Saraswati order of monks and named after Bhagawan Nityananda, Swami Muktananda's guru. In 1981, Nityanand was appointed by Swami Muktananda as his successor. In 1982, Swami Muktananda transferred his power and knowledge to both Nityanand and Gurumayi Chidvilasananda. Nityanand stepped down in 1985 amid controversy about breaking his vows.

all i remember is one day she was off to india and six months later she came back a monk in orange robes and a shaved head.

after years of therapy, i have come to one conclusion: penny is a psychopath and i feel for the disciples still at the receiving end of her abuse, those poor animals too!

yes, drugs, abuse, plastic surgery. it's all true.

you are sooo right right grrrlscout, penny has one hell of a karmic debt to settle.

At 5/15/2012 6:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

About 21 years ago I lost my fiancé to that group.When they immediately sensed I knew they were charlatans,they separated my lady from me,and the relationship never recovered.By the time I reconvened with her a few months later,she had been programmed and brainwashed by them....All these years later,I realize she abdicated her life to a bunch of manipulative assholes who were able to penetrate her naive and trusting nature....Last I heard,she moved back home with her parents,a disenfranchised loser-Thank you Penny fuckface.

At 5/30/2012 2:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well well, very interesting.

Why are we NEVER allowed to QUESTION these things... without being WRONG?

So I added the link to VOTE for them to get a NEW TRUCK - Oregon Tiger Sanctuary • Toyota 100 Cars for Good • Please Vote for Us

I thought they won the 64 Million Lotto ALREADY.... I read that on their message board some where.

So, now, they need your vote for a NEW TRUCK...

Funny thing this group made thousands of dollars from their devotees over the years... and now they make a video about they have a 17 year old truck and need to win a new free one as a charity case. Wonder what happened to the hundred's of thousands of dollars?

Her events in the 80 & 90 were not cheap $1500 to $3000 a head. 100's attended back then.

They have NEW SUV's to travel the Oregon trail from one center to the other.

Her face is distorted from the many face lifts. Wonder who paid for that. 17 year old truck might have been replaced by the fees for one of the many on-going procedures.

Is it judging???... or is it simply being REAL. Look at the REALITY they have created.... and the choices they make.

So many well educated loving people WANTED the DREAM of the integrated worlds of wonder that this group promoted. IT was a beautiful DREAM in Lala land.

REAL LIFE... here they are 25+ years and same things. No one has evolved.

SPEND your money for another new video about MANIFESTING Happiness... SOS.

Just SLAVES to another guru with a vision. The same story has been here from the beginning.

Sex Drugs and Rock N Role... and now they add Namaste - How dare we question anything ...

Seems like it is very deceptive to ASK for a FREE vehicle, and claim no money to pay for one.

She has 100's of devotes around the world. Believe me, if the vehicle needed to be replaced they would send an email and it would be taken care of. $15 X 1,000 would buy a good used truck.

Can you say PRIORITIES.... FACE Lift's FIRST and the Truck... well 17 years later not that important.

Seems odd that they PREACH YOU ARE SELF-RESPONSIBLE for your own world... and YOU MANIFEST it the way you want.

But, hey we need YOUR VOTE for a FREE TRUCK too.

I am not a perfect person... and what I see is they are not perfect either..... NOT YET.

So, perhaps we are all just living our own human dramas.

These Gurus become our LORDS and Gods to PROVE we are so small and stupid.... and we are.

Bottom line. So What.

This life is a DREAM of Heaven or Hell and regardless of what we see we are the eyes that see it.

Perhaps Obama can buy that new truck for them.... another savior they promote.

The video is hilarious. The NEW HICK VOICE is condescending to people who know this group.

The mind of God within us all knowd the snake oil salesman and yet we continue to BELIEVE ... somewhere It MIGHT ALL be TRUE.

That is what keeps us all small and wanting a GREATER SOMETHING... the Mystical Magical Unseen, Unknown is so appealing to us all.

I love this song...
What If God Was One Of Us ???
Just a SLOB like one of us..


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