Thursday, January 26, 2006

Some Mainstream Gurubusting

File under: The Siddhi of PR and Hands Where They Don't Belong

A British news organization that covers Asia has taken a stab at gurubusting. The article is ostensibly about the Indian state of Maharashtra outlawing superstition and the practice of black magic. While we're not up on black magic in India, we know that if you take the superstition out of Hinduism, all you have left is Vedanta, and that's a very good thing as far as we're concerned.

This is bad news for Sai Baba and India's other miracle-mongering gurus, most of who rely on the repeated demonstration of their "siddhis" to get their message out (and their hands in the pocketbooks of their followers.)

Asian News takes a particularly close look at the Babaster:
Such an exalted person could not, of course, have had a normal birth. His was a steer on the Christ birth legend. Baba's mother was fetching water when a blue ball of fire emerged from the village well and entered her stomach, she fainted, woke-up and found herself pregnant. The result was Baba born 23, November 1926.

The little lad has come a long way since then. His cult has made the Puttuparthi ashram a sizeable market town with hotels and an airstrip.

Baba lives in a large house with a balcony like a prop from a kitchy Bollywood film. He runs a BMW sedan and a Mercedes-Benz limo.

Part of the power of these top gurus is that they are frequently sought out by politicians. Politics in India is often an uncertain profession but often the door to great wealth. To be seen paying homage to these figures is good for gaining support especially in the gurus home state.
And no investigation of the Babaster is complete without a reference to his darker desires:
Baba's kingdom has now been tarnished with accusations of corruption and homosexual child abuse. Worldwide many of his centres are shutting down.
One down, a few thousand to go. Kudos to Asian News for putting this matter to paper and pixel. We'd love to see them go after the Kracki with an equal enthusiasm.

Form follows function, corruption follows greed and cash follows gurus who sell themselves as living deities. It's about time the Asian press, especially in India, took a look at the money mills of the Hindu godmen who poison the minds of their masses with a self-serving goulash of superstitious nonsense. If they all became pimps serving sex instead, they still wouldn't be doing more damage to the spiritual aspirations of their devotees than they are now.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Ramdev's Revenge Rancor

File under: Satscams

Swami Ramdev has thrown himself into a blistering counter-attack against his Communist Party accuser, Brinda Karat. The smart folks are saying it's dumb:
Over 150 scholars, academicians, artists, health practitioners and social activists on Wednesday came out in support of Rajya Sabha member Brinda Karat in her ongoing war of words with yoga guru Ramdev over labour rights and presence of human remains in Ayurvedic preparations made by his Divya Yog Pharmacy (Haridwar)...

In an appeal, the signatories said the modus operandi adopted by Baba Ramdev's supporters has been "a high-pitched and personalised attack targeting Ms. Karat; an attack that has been fostered and encouraged by a sensationalising media." They have urged all concerned to refrain from further sensationalisation of the matter and instead "assert the need to uphold the right to critical and rational debate."
Rabid Ramdev and his pack of media attack dogs don't really seem all that enlightened about this. What he does appear to be is desperate to throw the controversy before his revenue streams dry up.

Plus, we hear he's got a couple of tons of human skull powder and animal testicles that he's already paid for.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Kracki's Sober New Year's Shilling

File under: Satscams and Gurus Clockin' Dollars

It's already a couple of weeks late, but someone just sent us the Kracki's 2006 New Year's message. Please make a note of the words in bold italics near the bottom of the page:
A Message from Sri Amma and Sri Bhagavan [Kalki]

Dear Friends,

In a world where mankind feels threatened by social upheavals, over population, wars, terrifying violence, callousness, each human being is more than ever concerned with his own survival.

Survival has implied living sanely, happily without great pressure or strain. Each one of us translates survival according to his own particular concept. The idealist projects a way of life which is not the actual; the theoreticians, whether Marxist, religious, or of any other particular persuasion have laid down patterns for survival; the nationalists consider survival possible only in a particular group or community. These ideologic differences, ideals and faiths are the roots of a division that is preventing human survival.

Men want to survive in a particular way, according to their narrow responses, according to their immediate pleasures, according to some faith. All these can in no way bring security, for in themselves they are divisive, exclusive, limited. To live in the hope of survival according to tradition, however ancient or modern, has no meaning. Partial solutions of any kind scientific, religious, political, economic­ can no longer assure mankind, its survival. Man has been concerned with his own individual survival, with his family, with his group, his nation and because all this is divisive it threatens his actual survival.

The modern divisions of nationalities, of color, of culture, of religion are the causes of man's uncertainty of survival. In the turmoil of today's world, uncertainty has made man turn to authority ­ to the political, religious or economic expert. The specialist is inevitably a danger because his response must always be partial, limited. Man is no longer individual, separate. What affects the few, affects all mankind. There is no escape or avoidance of the problem. You can no longer withdraw from the totality of the human predicament.

We cannot possibly survive if we are concerned with our own survival. All human beings the world over are interrelated today. What happens in one country affects the others. Man considers himself an individual, separate from others but psychologically a human being is inseparable from the whole of mankind.

There is no such thing as psychological survival. When there is this desire to survive or to fulfill you are psychologically creating a situation which not only separates but which is totally unreal. Psychologically you cannot be separate from another and this desire to be separate psychologically is the very source of danger and destruction. Each person asserting himself threatens his own existence.

This assertion of separateness destroys our capacity to work together; to work together with nature, the living things of the earth and also with other human beings. As social beings we exist for ourselves. Our laws, our governments, our religions all emphasize the separateness of man ­ which during the centuries has developed into man against man. It is becoming more and more important, if we are to survive, that there be a spirit of cooperation with the universe, with all the things of the sea and earth.

One can see in all social structures the destructive effect of fragmentation taking place ­ nation against nation, one group against another group, one family against another family, one individual against another, religiously, socially, and economically. Each one is striving for himself, for his class or his particular interest in the community. This division of beliefs, ideals, conclusions and prejudices is preventing the spirit of cooperation from flowering. We are human beings, not tribal identities, exclusive, separate. We are human beings caught in conclusions, theories, faiths. We are living creatures, not labels. It is our human circumstance that makes us search for food, clothes and shelter at the expense of others. Our very thinking is seperative, and all actions springing from this limited self, must prevent cooperation. The economic and social structure, as it is now, including organized religions, intensifies exclusiveness, and separateness. This lack of cooperation ultimately brings about wars and the destruction of man. It is only during crises or disasters, that we seem to come together and when they are over we are back to our old condition. We seem to be incapable of living and working together harmoniously.

Is it because our brain, which is the centre of our thought, our feeling, has from ancient days become through necessity so conditioned to seek its own personal survival, that this isolating, agressive process has come about? Is it because this isolating process identifies itself with the family, with the tribe, and becomes glorified nationalism? Is not all isolation linked to a need for identification and fulfillment? Has not the importance of the self been cultivated through evolution by the opposition of the me and you, the we and they? Have not all religions emphasized personal salvation, personal enlightenment, personal achievement, both religiously and in the world? Has cooperation become impossible because we have given such importance to this sense of separateness? Is it because human cooperation has centered on some kind of authority of Government or religion around some ideology or conclusion, which then inevitably brings about its own destructive opposite?

What does it mean to cooperate not the word but the spirit of it? You cannot possibly cooperate with another, with the earth and its waters, unless you in yourself are harmonious, not broken up, non contradictory; you cannot cooperate if you yourself are under strain, pressure, conflict. How can you cooperate with the universe if you are concerned with yourself, your problems and your ambitions? There can be no cooperation if all your activities are self centered and you are occupied with your own selfishness, with your own secret desires and pleasures. As long as the intellect with its thoughts dominates all your actions, obviously there can be no cooperation, for self-centered thought is partial, narrow and everlastingly divisive. Cooperation demands great honesty. Honesty has no motive. Honesty is not some ideal, some faith. Honesty is clarity the clear perception of things as they are. Perception is attention. That very attention throws light with all its energy on that which is being observed. This light of perception brings about a transformation of the thing observed. There is no system through which you learn to cooperate. It is not to be structured and classified. Its very nature demands that there be love and that love is not measurable, for when you compare ­ which is the essence of measurement­ self has entered. Where self is, love is not.

When the truth of all this is seen and understood man's responsibility undergoes a radical change not only towards his immediate environment but also towards all living things. This total responsibility is love. This love acts through intelligence. This intelligence is not partial, individual separate. Love is never partial. Love is the sacredness of all living things. We have stated the problem, the cause and now we must find the solution. Through no effort of his, could man possibly make it. All this is possible only when your heart is filled with the Presence. The Presence flows into you through deeksha.

Deeksha would thus help create a new generation of human beings, with a new outlook, with a new sense of being citizens of the world, concerned with all the living things of the earth. It is your grave responsibility to help bring about this Oneness.

Thank you.
It was an impassioned plea for peace, oneness and brotherhood until we got to the part about deeksha. At that moment it becames the shrill shilling of a pair of flimflamming narcissists.

They may be selling "Presence," but all their victims are getting is a little emotional experience and the idea that they are a part of something big. The fact is that their "Presence" is nothing more than an idea they install in the minds of those who take deeksha, which is itself an idea being used to con the unsuspecting and superstitious into thinking they're getting something.

Hiding behind declarations of love and oneness doesn't negate the fact that the whole thing is based on one man's hideously grandiose fantasy of bringing about the next Golden Age. That doesn't make him any more crazy than any other wack job who believes they're doing the same thing. But the Kracki's clear lust for money, name and fame belies the rotten core of what can otherwise sound like sound social reform.

Don't be fooled by all the "love" talk, folks. You don't need to love the Kracki and what he says he's trying to do to be a creature of love and oneness yourself. As benign as his stated intentions may seem, all he is really bringing to the world is a sickening haze of occluding nonsense and superstition about the Self and self-realization. He may say he is for oneness (under his command), but he is definitely not for truth as it exists in each of us right now, completely outside of his influence and that of his pyramid-scamming deeksha givers.

TM™ = Totally Mad

File under: Wackadoo Gurus and PP COM

It was only the thought that this could be satire that has kept us from employing our toaster as a bathtub heater:
On January 12th at 12 noon, in the presence of His Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Founder of the Global Country of World Peace, His Majesty Maharaja Nader Raam, the First Ruler of the Global Country of World Peace, issued His Royal Decree Number 21 Welcoming the Year of 2006. The Issuing of Royal Decree 21 was broadcast live via the Global Netwerk of Instant Communication of the Global Country of World Peace worldwide via TV-satellites and the internet in a Global Celebration held by the Global Country of World Peace simultaneously in more than 100 countries of our dear world to welcome 2006 after having started the new year with a week of silence and deep meditation.

Here is the record of the words of Royal Decree Number 21 Welcoming the Year of 2006:

In the light of Ved, the Constitution of the Universe, Total Natural Law, the Will of God, it is my pleasure to celebrate the dawn of a new fortune for all mankind on this day of inauguration of this new year 2006.

I wish to express my satisfaction for the achievements of the last years. Let this year 2006 be known as the Year of Reconstruction of the World to be Heaven on Earth, First Year of Sat Yuga, emerging from the Vedic knowledge and enlivening all fields of education, health, agriculture, architecture, science and technology, music and arts, commerce and industry, law, justice and invincible defence.

Every Government of our world will enjoy real freedom in invincibility and the whole family of nations will breathe life in peace, happiness, harmony and invincibility. All these good fortunate results will bring appreciation and credit to all the brilliant leaders of our global activities.

What is coming to us through our programmes of the year 2006 is the fulfilment of the aspirations of the wise throughout the ages and the fulfilment of the Spiritual Regeneration Movement started 50 years ago by our Guide, His Holiness Maharshi Mahesh Yogi, and fulfilment of his one-pointed dedication to his spiritual master, His Divinity Swami Brahmananda Saraswati, the embodiment of Vedic wisdom, the light of the Constitution of the Universe, the light of Sanatan Dharma, the light of Vedic India.

Today, at this auspicious time, we are inaugurating the World Capital of Peace in the Brahmastan of India, centre of India. The distinguished Vedic Pundits of India and leading scientists of the world like Dr. John Hagelin and Dr. Volker Schanbacher, accompanied by the illustrious Rajas of the Global Country of World Peace, are inaugurating the World Capital of Peace at the Brahmastan of Ved Bhumi Bharat, the centre of India.
The Maharishi's vision of global Vedic hegemony is simple lunacy. He apparently believes he's going to ignite a new Golden Age, and he's got the rajas and rishis for the job.

This crackpot scenario, no matter how well intentioned, is a dying man's desperate stab at grandiose legacy. We can only hope that the GCfWP power structure is only going along with their senile leader's last wish as a courtesy to him, and that they will come back to earth once the Maharishi enters his mahasamadhi.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Maharishi's Mad Money

File under: Satscams, PP COM, Wackadoo Gurus and Gurus Clockin' Dollars

We get the feeling that the S.S. Flying Ass has hit a huge iceberg (in the form of their captain's increasing senility) and is a rapidly sinking ship... after reading about the Maharishi's latest get-rich-quick scheme. They're selling "World Peace Bonds for Poverty Removal" now, 10 trillion dollars worth. That's more than the combined GNP of most of Europe.

If you give them enough money, like $1 million euros, they're guaranteeing a 15% return on your investment, in only 3 years!

They say they're going to do it with
"export-orientated organic crops for which there is a large demand, a growing demand.'' The only way they're going to get returns like that is to grow organic drugs, like the whole world's supply of them.

As you'd expect, the pros aren't buying it:
"A 10 to 15 percent interest rate is almost impossible to guarantee,'' says Werner van Bastelaar, a spokesman for the Dutch securities regulator AFM in Amsterdam. "The amount of $10 trillion looks impossible. All in all, any investor wanting to put their money in this should really question whether or not it is too good to be true.''
Obviously, the Maharishi has totally lost it. Or has he? Could this be a sinster plan to force the Maharishi's own currency, the raam, down the throats of those insane enough to actually invest in this madness? You might think so after learning that the Maharishi's point man is
Benjamin Feldman, the guy who invented the raam:
In 2000, he became the finance minister of something called the Global Country of World Peace. In 2002, his group introduced its own currency, the raam, for use in Roermond, the Netherlands, and in Maharishi Vedic City in Iowa.

"The raam is a key element in the programs of his Holiness Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to promote a balanced world economy,'' it says in a 2002 press release on the Web site of the Maharishi Open University. The press release also refers to constructing 3,000 so-called peace palaces in the world's biggest cities, and establishing "affiliated organic farms'' near each city.

"The raam is a key element... to... establishing organic farms." And what a great way to introduce the raam to the world economy: fleece hapless investors for 10 trillion and then pay them back in funny money.

What's the mad old man going to try next? If they don't stop him soon, he's going to take the entire TM™ empire down with him. It sounds like it's time to put the Maharishi out to pasture.

We suggest locking him in his "love pod" with a couple dozen young groupies and let him live his last days in the idyll of his former glory as guru to the Beatles. It's the most humane thing to do for all parties involved. Except maybe for the groupies.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Cracking The Kracki Code

File under: Satscams, Wackadoo Gurus, Gurus Clockin' Dollars and The Siddhi of PR

A kind reader forwarded the following recruitment letter from one of the Bhagavan Kalki's minions in Austin, Texas. He bailed out when they began talking "about having an enlightenment beyond Buddha and Ramana." We commend her on the wise decision, but we've also got to give the Kracki credit for the brilliant, American-style marketing play. You don't want the same, ordinary, old-fashioned enlightenment that the Buddha and Ramana had. That's just plain uncool (besides allowing you to see right through all the Kracki's bullshit.)

As a service to our readers, we will attempt to read between the lines and show you what is really going on as the Kracki and his pseudo-Amma consort attempt to bring about the Golden Age (as in gold in their bank accounts:)
Love to you All,

The first line from the Cult 101 textbook says, "Make it all about "love" and you can't go wrong." It's a classic obfuscation to use against your critics. "It's perfectly innocent and about love. What could you possibly have against love?" We love love, we really do. But the nondual truth is quite plain and simple. Love (or any other emotion) has as much to do with the truth of the Self as a dog's ass.

Well there is so much to say...so much happening. I'll tell you a little now and more later with the next email.

The first taste is always free.

As you know, what is happening in Austin and in the world is a vital part of a huge world awakening by 2012.

We've appropriated Jose Arguelles' and Terrence McKenna's interpretation of Mayan prophecy [a whole other kettle of NewAge™ nonsense] for our own purposes, to con the unsuspecting into believing they are part of a global movement toward higher consciousness (for regular donations, of course.)

I truely know that we have been Graced to be a leading part of this world awakening.

The Kracki made me his bitch by flattering me with utter nonsense about the state of my realization, just like he did to Issac Shapiro and Ron Roth. Now I've got a ten mile-wide ego just like them.

The first step is to relax into your awakening until it is Our awakening.

You will be assimilated.

The program this Friday will give us a functional place to do that with one another. Meditation, Group deeksha, satsang, and being with one another will be brought together in this program.

We must reinforce the nonsense we are shoving down your throats.

Please consider coming....you are so important to all of Us. As your enlightenment process continues, we can consider relational enlightenment and what that looks like.

Relational enlightenment. A brilliant invention and deception to keep 'em in the Kracki's clutches. No such thing exists.

We will change Austin and the world as we change from the inside out. Currently, there are 7 from our group at the Oneness University in India.

We're a part of the pyramid now–and we want our payout!

You may have been experiencing a hightened [sic] state of energy or movement inside. That is because they are directly connected with you and our group.

In the fantasy spiritual scenario and emotional trance we are selling you as enlightenment, the power of deeksha is like a thread of love that ties us all together. The Kracki, me, you... and your bank account.

We have another 3 or 4 going in March with many more to follow in Aug and Oct. They will have a tremendous impact on all of us and the world...as will you as you deepen here in Austin.

It better have an "impact" on our account balance after all the money we paid for this nonsense in India.

So my thoughts about deeksha are very much on a world level now....not just about you and me. I have had requests to go to a number of different cities and, until then there are people driving long distances to be with us in Austin.

I am an avatar of Divine Love. Didn't you know? This town is way too small for my awesome spiritual powers now.

These are exciting times that are being facilitated by the Divine in so many ways. It is explosive! You are a part of that.

We need your money you to help us bring riches to the Kracki enlightenment to the world.

You have some unique gifts that will be used toward world enlightenment as your process, also, deepens.

Here's a little somethin' somethin' to get you going on your own ego-inflation and grandiosity.

When I was in India the first time, I asked Amma directly what I needed to do to deepen my enlightenment and give powerful deekshas. She told me to do seva (selfless service for the benefit of others). For me, that is to give deeksha and support you in any way I can. I have structured the ever evolving programs toward that end.

They sucked me right into this scam with flattery and bullshit. Now I'm doing the same to you.

I found out today that two of my friends were worried that I was doing too much. I am touched by their concern and love. As I consider all of you and your friends who have not even been to deeksha yet, I know that I need help and now is the time for me to ask you.

They've got calls out to any cult-busters they can get a hold of, but I'm one step ahead of them.

We have a vital world role to play here in Austin and I am here to tell you that you are a key part of that. You have something you can contribute rather easily in an exciting way.

It's called your hard-earned cash.

I do not want to and will not ask you to be burdened.

Here, let me unburden you of as much cash as I am able.

I am asking those of you that want to go deeper by doing your seva to offer your services in a way that repects [sic] your path, time, energy, etc. yet moves the world to a better place. Time is up....now we really have to act in the world.

This is the second lesson in Cult 101: give them something to fear and then present yourself as the only solution.

If you can put up 2 posters then do that, if you can do a bit more then let us know. [name redacted] has volunteered to facilitate this. We would like to keep it very simple and easy so if you want to do seva, you can do only what feels good in the way that you want and can stop anytime. If many of us do a little from time to time, no one will get 'burnt out". I say "many" rather than all because that may not be where you are now and that is respected as well.

We haven't quite sucked you all in yet. Don't worry. We will.

[Name redacted] will have a list of all sorts of things that would be helpful from singing to smiling and you can pick what you like. Or you may have a talent that we have not thought of that would help Us All. You could mention that to her. If you are interested in seva please email her at [email redacted] soon. You will bless Us and be blessed!

We will make you our slave. It all starts with putting up a poster or two.

Thank you!

Cha-CHING!

Someone said that they wanted me to give an intensive so I will do that all day on Sat. 2/11 out at Lake Travis at [name redacted's] house. You can also go to the deeksha on Friday the 10th in Austin and/or Sun. the 12th in SA and really soak in your Self.

And herein lies the Kracki's deepest, blackest evil. We are never NOT "soaking" in our Self. The Kracki is lying right through his veneers about a lot of things, but especially about the idea that you are closer to the Self when attending his indoctrinations. There is a very hot room very deep in the pits of Hell waiting for the Kracki because of this.

I would guess that many of those that will have just gotten back from India will want to participate. It will be a great "deepening" experience and is open to all. I will send out more details in a week or so.

Come practice your newly acquired cult recruitment skills on any new patsies we can get to attend.

I really do hope you will come to Friday's program (1/13). I want to make it very easy for you and your friends to come....that is why it is by love offering for now.

What a great concept! A "love" offering. It's closer to a guilt-you-into-a-donation offering. "What! You didn't offer a donation? Don't you have any love?"

Love,

William

I am William, here me roar! I OWN Austin for the Kracki!
Fortunately, we don't believe the Kracki will get the kind of traction in the U.S. he has in India. Folks will cycle through his deception naturally, just as they do in any Ponzi scheme or pyramid scam. A bit poorer in pocket perhaps, and hopefully much wiser about flim-flamming avatars and the nincompoops who follow them for their own spiritual self-glory.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Sri Sri's Nobel Dreams Alight Anew

File under: The Siddhi of PR and Backroom Gurudom

Master self-promoting guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by a U.S. Congressman:
A Democrat, [Joseph] Crowley was formerly the co-chairman of the Congressional caucus on India and Indian Americans. In Congress, he represents the Seventh District of New York which has a sizeable Indian-American population.
Duh!

And so the flames of Sri Sri's Peace Prize dreams are reignited. We look forward to reporting on the ensuing hijinks as Sri Sri tries to keep high in the public eye and on the radar of the Nobel Prize committee.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Sex Guru To Scuttle Romania's EU Bid?

File under: Hands Where They Don't Belong and Backroom Gurudom

Alleged boy-abusing sex guru Gregorian Bivolaru, founder of the Movement of Spiritual Integration into the Absolute, has been granted political asylum in Sweden. Romania has been trying to extradite him for sex crimes against children, among other criminal acts, but the Swedish government was not moved to return him.

Sweden's decision is being seen as "a serious vote of no confidence in the judicial system of a country [Romania] slated to enter the EU within the next two years." Even those within Romania are criticizing their handling of the case:
Even Romanian Justice Minister Monica Macovei had to admit the case hadn't been handled well. "A quick and correct investigation must be done so those who made mistakes can be identified and punished," she said.
It sounds like Bivolaru is off the hook for the moment. And seeing as Sweden is world famous for being a place of permissiveness, he probably couldn't have landed in a better spot.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Ramdev Roars Back

File under: Satscams and Backroom Gurudom

With the support of many in India's political sphere, Swami Ramdev is on the attack:
Baba Ramdev questioned earlier tests which detected human remains in medications supposed to be his manufacture. Denying a label containing an incomplete list of medication ingredients displayed by [CPM leader] Brinda was from his workshop, he said that there was no proof that the samples were from his workshops.

Without naming the CPM leader, he said that the allegations against him were a conspiracy instigated by multinational corporations as revenge against his pro-Swadeshi stance.
We believe he's claiming that the multinational corporations are intimidated by Ramdev's anti-corporate stance, so they've hatched this plot to discredit him by getting a communist leader to be a co-conspirator.

Besides sounding like a classically awful movie plot, it's the perfect dodge for the DVD guru. If the medication sample containing skull and testicles can't be definitively connected to Ramdev's operation, he's pretty much off the hook.

As they say... developing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Meet The Mooj

File under: Fauxrus

In the tradition of Swami Beyondananda comes the website of fauxru The Mooj, aka Swami Mujaputtia Umbababbaraba.

Sai Baba Wackiness Chronicled

File under: Satscams, Wackadoo Gurus and Reference Library

We've just become aware of the International Sai Tribune, a weblog dedicated to keeping us up on the incredibly wacky world of the satscamming, boy-buggering guru and world avatar known as Sai Baba.

This one has been flying under our radar since June 2002, so please forgive our oversight and enjoy the news–real or imagined–about one of the world's biggest ongoing satscams and the sex abusing wackadoo that millions believe is God walking the Earth.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Ex-Ramdev Employees Snitch

File under: Satscams

We anticipated this. Hell hath no fury like an ex-employee sacked:
One of the former workers, Chandra Pal Dubey, gave a new twist to the controversy alleging that horns of "Barasingha" (antelope) were brought into the factory, powdered and laced with the medicine. A charge that could invite action under Wildlife Act.

Dubey said his job was to weigh the sacks containing bones and powder them. He said two quintals of powder was made on an average per day in the pharmacy.

The firebrand CPM leader brought the ten former employees, four women and six men and produced them before a press conference when they too alleged that human skull, bones and animal horns were powdered and mixed with the Ayurvedic medicines produced at DYP.
We should note that this seems perfectly acceptable to the practitioners of ayurvedic medicine. But there are significant public health concerns at play. We're not pathologists, but shouldn't it be possible to spread virus- and prion-based disease this way?

Some in India claim it's all a plot underwritten by multinational drug companies. But a Communist Party leader at the forefront of the inquiry makes this rather unlikely. Or horrifically hypocritical. Or maybe just practical.

The world has certainly witnessed stranger things than a Marxist politician in bed with the lions of capitalism.

Ramdev Gets Rapped By His Guru

File under: Satscams

In a serious blow to his credibility in the face of a growing scandal, Swami Ramdev's guru, Sant Muni Yogacharya of the Haridwar-based Navshakti Yogpeeth, called it on the Swami for being a commercializing shill and offering poor products. Says the guru's guru:
“The medicines which Ramdevji sells [are] not of good quality. If he becomes a yogacharya to earn good money, then he is not a true yogacharya. This is wrong,” said Sant Muni Yogacharya.

“His lessons of yoga are not correct. A person needs at least two to three years of rigorous lessons to learn the true art of yoga. But Ramdevji teaches the same in just seven days!” he added.
We imagine Sri Sri Ravi Shankar watching all this with a hint of glee in his eyes as he anticipates the Swami's fame and accolades falling his way if and when Ramdev gets creamed in the inquiry. No eyeball lightning duel required.

Seeing the doom of their livelihood rise up like a tsunami has got the rest of the ayurvedic world in a tizzy:
Ayurveda practitioners in Allahabad have come out in support of the view that there is no harm in using human bones and animal parts in traditional and alternative systems of medicines.

These practitioners claim that the use of animal bones is permissible in Ayurveda medicines and its use was also mentioned in ancient Ayurvedic literature.
Human bones as medicine. Maybe more calcium than a glass of milk, but not the all powerful remedy these superstitious clowns believe it to be.

The Swami Ramdev scandal is looking more and more like a referendum between modern and ancient medicine in India. As much as we're for the exposure and destruction of superstitious belief in the realm of spiritual culture, we can't help but think that perhaps deer balls really do allow humans to have a ball when they ball. But we draw the line at using cow's urine to treat cancer. It's a slippery slope, and the next thing you know they'll be using rat poop to treat eating disorders.

Wait a minute... Maybe we're on to something here...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

How To Rate A Guru

File under: Real True Gurus

We look up to Bobby Meizer now. It wasn't always the case. Then this guy named Donald Brewer showed up and became a model for us. It turns out that "Donald" was Bobby, and we've been big fans ever since.

Today on GuruRatings, Bobby laid it down on guru rating:
One basic issue in Guru Rating is whether and how one can judge a guru's realization (or degree of realization, if one believes in degrees of realization). Does realization affect personality and behavior in a recognizable way? I have two positions on the subject, one based on logic, and the other on personal experience.

Logic tells me that if I accept the premise of nonduality then there is nothing that is not That. As someone who I consider realized once told me, "You can do anything, even murder, as long as you can go laughing to the executioner." If nothing makes any difference then nothing makes any difference. By that argument, which makes sense to me, there is no behavior or personality type that is especially associated with realization.

My other position is based on the fact that my own experiences with samadhi have always left me less attached to my habitual patterns of engagement with people and things. I have become more loving and less fearful. I imagine that realization is not being attached to anything, being all love and no fear. How would that manifest in gurus' personalities and behavior? Removal of fear means they would do whatever their heart and mind bid them with total authenticity. Can I detect that in their behavior? One can't always recognize love or fear for what they are, but those are the qualities I think are most indicative of a person's realization (or degree thereof).
Love takes many forms, even that of this blog, believe it or not. We thank Bobbyji for providing such a clear rendering of the reality of self-realization, free of the nonsense expectations many gurus traffic in as a way to fill seats at their satsang.

Ramdev's Revenge Riot

File under: Satscams

Supporters of Hindu health guru Swami Ramdev have struck back. Today they attempted to storm the headquarters of India's Communist Party in New Delhi in protest of party member Brinda Karat's allegations against the Swami and his health product business. Karat sent some of the Swami's impotence medicine for analysis at a Ministry of Health laboratory, and according to the results, the Swami was allegedly adulterating his medicine with human bone and animal testicles.

The brouhaha is becoming a major political battle in India with the other parties running to distance themselves from the Communists in the wake of the scandal. Various politicians have come out in support of the Swami, one going as far to suggest that: "So long as it improves one's health, why should it matter whether it contains human or devil's bones?"

Ramdev's supporters are painting Karat's allegations as "an attempt to destroy the Indian faith in Ayurveda." They claim that Karat adulterated the samples herself as part of a conspiracy against the Swami and his organization.

Political vendetta or protection of the Indian public? We may never know the truth. But let's hope that at least one of the Swami's customers got a rip for his rupees and had a ball with the tantric concoction, whatever ingredients it contained.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

A Guru's Gruesome Medicine

File under: Satscams

Hindu health guru Swami Ramdev is about to get burned in an emerging scandal in India. It seems he haunted the cremation grounds for the finest bits of human skull, as well as procuring various kinds of animal testicles, which he then added to his ayurvedic remedies:
Karat said tests found that he used “testicles of certain animals, dried and powdered to prepare medicine for impotency.” She said she came to know in June-July last year that herbal Ayurvedic medicine prepared by Divya Yog Pharmacy, Rishikesh, Uttranchal, owned by Ramdev, contained animal and human bones.
There was a time in India when an orthodox Brahmin would have lost everything were they found to have ingested animal parts, making Ramdev's crime that much more heinous.

With the Ministry of Health and the media beating on his door, Ramdev could be looking at a precipitous fall from grace if he is found to have violated public health laws. Or maybe not. The skulls and testicles thing sounds spectacularly transgressive to us. Too bad that effect was lost on the unwitting tantrikas who thought the remedy was going to help them get it on better, instead.

Update: Here's the BBC's take on the Ramdev brouhaha.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Sweet Teen Gone Sour

File under: Hands Where They Don't Belong

19-year-old South African teen Diane McMillan is still in the grabbing hands of her 58-year-old "daddy", that drunky, punky sex monkey, Amadon Amadon (aka Steve Arden.)

Steve began his online seduction of Diane when she was only 15 and he was near 55. When she turned 18, he helped her escape from South Africa to the Oregon compound of his Living Love Fellowship cult, and now the poor girl thinks she is happily married to the loser.

The McMillans have conceded defeat and have no known further plans to retrieve their daughter. Their one visit last year ended badly when Amadon began playing passive-aggressive power games with them. It makes perfect sense to us. The poor dude is so desperate to have power over someone that he marries teen-age girls! We imagine he also likes pulling the wings off of flies as a pick-me-up when he feels the world spinning out of his control, which is probably every time he's hungover and right before he guzzles down that first double wake-up scotch.