Thursday, August 31, 2006

One Rupee Ramdev

File under: Gurus Clockin' Dollars

In a sign of just how far spiritual culture has fallen in Mother India, an Indian business website is claiming rancorous Swami Ramdev, who once boasted he didn't "have one rupee in my bank balance", as a model of business acumen for young entrepreneurs:
Aspiring entrepreneurs will do well to study yoga guru Swami Ramdev's meteoric rise and success over the past four years. The swami's mission statement, if he had one in his organisational plan, would probably read ''to create warriors of yoga and transform India and Indians back to the healthy and spiritual land of old.”
That's rich, taking India back to the "spiritual land of old" while making multiple mints for himself by hitching his cart to modern mass media.

We found Ramdev to be the model of histrionic overkill at the beginning of the year when he went on the offensive after it was discovered his ayurvedic medicines contained powdered human skull and animal testicles. He repeated the performance when he had one of his traveling party arrested as a terrorist. It turned out the kid was just an inquisitive junior journalist.

So while Ramdev may be a model capitalist who exploits an ancient and formerly hallowed tradition like he's a pimp and it's his hooker, he's not really much of a yogi. But he plays one rather well to a sadly duped audience in India. The combination of mass media and gurudom has not been a good thing for the yoga tradition. The result has been Ramdev, Sri Sri, Kracki, Sai Baba and the like, taking the great legacy of yoga in India right down that hole in the ground with last night's dinner.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Sri Sri's Art Of War

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of the world-wide Art of Living organization and a (politically nominated) Nobel Peace Prize nominee, was reported to tell a group that:
...a weak person’s sacrifice has no meaning.
Maybe we're not completely up to speed, but isn't the Peace Prize for folks who help the weak and suffering?

Sri Sri said this in a speech to army cadets in India. The Nobel Peace Prize nominee giving a pep talk to the future brains of a war machine. But, it's classically Sri Sri, who never met a hypocrisy he didn't like if it advanced his interests for name, fame and political gain.

Sri Sri seems to think he'll stay off the hook by quoting the Gita. As a Hindu guru, perhaps... but as a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, no way. Sri Sri needs to leave the war-mongering to somebody else if he really wants to win the thing. lt looks like he just scotched his chances for this year's prize [Ed.note: As if he were actually ever a serious candidate.], and maybe next year's and the year's after that. We imagine it will take much more than a couple of trips to grandstand in places of ethnic conflict to undo the damage he just did with this little attempt to perhaps cultivate a political base in the Indian Army.

Friday, August 25, 2006

We're Just Wonderin'

File under: We're Just Wonderin'

[Ed.note: We're hoping blind items will become regular feature here, but we'll need your inside accounts to make it fly. Tips are always confidential and always appreciated.]

Which deeksha cowboy is using his satsang as a stock corral for a string of ladies he likes to ride. Seems like he breaks 'em in with a smidgen of education about "4th dimension relationships." This little bit of New Age™ hokum is designed to allow a quick hitching and unhitching and give our cosmic Casanova a clear path to his next little filly.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sri Sri PR Milks Mongolia For Award

File under: The Siddhi of PR

We imagine the PR machine of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to be somewhat like the crew that hangs out at the Bada Bing! Nice people if you know them in a casual situation, but if they want something from you, watch out.

These soldiers of Sri Sri's fortune have managed to wrangle yet another accolade for their fame-lusting leader. This time it's from Mongolia, as it turns out that the president of Mongolia is an Art of Living patsy. So are thousands of other dupes in that country according to the AoL propaganda machine:
Thousands of people attended his functions during [his visit], with more than 10,000 people present at a session on Sudarshan Kriya, a rhythmic breathing and yoga programme developed by Ravi Shankar.
Knowing the AoL PR department's penchant for grossly overstating attendance figures for its events, we figure maybe a few hundred up to perhaps a thousand were actually present after you subtract the ten-thousand farm animals that were being driven to market within earshot of Sri Sri's braying.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

AUM Apostate Accelerates Away

File under: Gurus Doin' Time

AUM splinter guru Fumihiro Joyu took his cut of the AUM faithful on a 3-day pilgrimage around Japan that mirrored subway-gassing guru Shoko Asahara's same excursions in the early 90s.

The AUM faithful countered with their own retreat. It's the second time there's been dueling events that have split the congregation. Given AUM's penchant for terrorism and mass murder, Joyu had better be watching his back. But with AUM's fauxcotic leader jerking-off in front of his daughters on the way to a date with a noose, the fundie AUMies may soon face even more fragmentation as they see their fervent hope that Asahara will save himself with his omnipotent powers as Shiva die along with their guru in one quick drop through the chute.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Google Gets Greedy With Gurus

File under: The Siddhi of PR

More keyword fun at tribe.net:

It appears that someone at Google AdSense is selling guru names as keywords that link to offers that have very little to do with the man whose name they are using as bait. For instance, this:



Links to this:

When you click on the only link somewhat related to Swami Dayananda, you end up at the website of the University of Metaphysical Sciences, which appears to be something of a New Age™ diploma mill if you asked us. We couldn't find anything about Dayananda there, or on any of the other sites his name links to, like freegiftworld.com, dada-mobile.net, free-ringtones-now.net and latestringers.com.

We observed this phenomenon a few weeks ago when Google allowed someone to use the name of our lineage's founder, Ramakrishna, to sell "six easy steps to manifest wealth." It was Ramakrishna who famously took handfuls of dirt alternating with handfuls of money and threw them both into the Ganges.

Linking Ramakrishna to wealth lust was over the line even for us. You'd think some observant Hindus would get all up in arms over it, but we think we know why they haven't been. We wouldn't be surprised if it was Hindu folks themselves selling out their spiritual leaders past and present to make a buck for themselves. In any event, it's surely a sign of the times that this blog is itself a part of; the movement toward the normalization and humanization of self-realization and away from the deification of gurus and the other often all-to-human individuals who find themselves in that position.

The Most 'Spiritual' Swami In America

File under: The Siddhi of PR and Real True Gurus

Today while visiting our tribe.net account, we came upon this ad:

The most spiritual magazine on the market today. That's saying a lot. First that magazines can be spiritual, and then that this magazine is the most of that, whatever that is.

When we went to the website of the "most spiritual magazine on the market," we learned that it's the effort of one Prabhushri Swami Amar Jyoti. We went straight to his site with a glee one has when they are about to skewer the most spiritual swami in America. But then we found ourselves stopped dead cold by his picture.

The guy just doesn't look like a flimflamming big-time guru. Furthermore, he's flown under our radar for the 10 years we've been gurubusting. Maybe that says more about what we don't know about gurudom in America, but we like to think it's because the Swami just doesn't feel the need to have a press release-spitting PR department on the case.

But he is sure towing the party line as far as the Hindu traditions of gurudom are concerned. We have plenty of problems with that, but it's not necessarily an indication that the Swami is false in any way, just a product of his upbringing. And we do like this quote on Swami's bio page:
Things don’t happen in spite of us. You and I are as important as anyone else and as responsible as anyone else. Whatever you and I do, speak or think is contributing to the entire energy of the world.
Notice how he includes himself when speaking about us. Rather than being about him, or those he's working to acquire as devotees, it's about all of us together. There's a whole bunch more quotes here. We've got to admit we liked every one we read. He may be way too old school for us, but perhaps he's a best case scenario for that particular configuration.

We're going to cautiously embrace the idea that Swami Amar Jyoti is a real, true guru and see what happens. Anyone with any opinions to the contrary are invited to share them with us in the comments section.

Update: From a reader:
He's flown under your radar because he's been dead for five years. But while he was alive, there were womanizing rumors.
Well, perhaps he wasn't quite the most spiritual swami in America to begin with.

Paris Hilton: Guru

File under: The Siddhi of PR

"The only thing I have is who I really am."

--Paris Hilton

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Ditsy Datta Aligns With Neocons

File under: The Siddhi of PR

There is a particular internet denizen known as Swami Datta who we've encountered numerous times on some of the discussion lists we're subscribed to. He is a perfect, living example of psychotic guru grandiosity gone out-of-control. Purported to be an engineering professor at a college in India, Swami Datta is convinced he is the reincarnation of the Hindu god Dattatreya, the three-headed guy who combines the Hindu trinity into one person. Datta flits about the net behind a number of alternate identities promoting himself as the next coming of the Golden Age, but unlike the Madharishi or the Kracki, poor Datta's got no devotees to call his own.

So in a surprising move than could only be called creatively desperate, Datta has managed to get a guest column published on a blog called The Conservative Voice. He doesn't say much except to blame the world's current strife on religious conservatism, using the facile similes that Datta is known for. But of course, in the end the upshot of the whole thing is all about Swami Datta:
So far, the trials made to change the terrorist were beating around the bush and therefore, they did not have much effect. Today, SRI GURU DATTA is giving the right knowledge to remove the religious conservatism.
We've got to tip our hat to Datta for coming up with the idea to use a neocon venue to espouse Hinduism in yet another of his attempts at self-aggrandizement. Loony as Daffy Duck perhaps, but still using his noggin' in his endless efforts to put himself out there.

AUM Lawyers Keep Pounding

File under: Gurus Doin' Time

Scheduled to hang, possibly much sooner than we know, subway-gassing AUM guru and terrorist Shoko Asahara is still acting crazy in his bid to avoid the chute. Meanwhile, his lawyers are still banging on the court's doors looking for another appeal:
But Takeshi Matsui, who heads the defense team, said Asahara suffers from "prison psychosis," which is manifested in delusions, hallucinations, incoherent speech and disorganized behavior. Matsui's motion demands Asahara be treated and that they be allowed to appeal once he is stable enough to assist his defense.

"I have heard these kind of problems can be treated in a matter of months," Matsui said.
No wonder Asahara is going to die. His lawyers are rank amateurs and perhaps should have spent a bit more time researching "prison psychosis":
Ganser syndrome is a rare psychiatric disorder known as a factitious disorder. It is characterised by the individual mimicking behaviour they think is typical of a psychosis; usually by providing nonsensical or wrong answers to questions, and doing things incorrectly. It is also sometimes called nonsense syndrome, balderdash syndrome, syndrome of approximate answers, pseudodementia or prison psychosis. This last name, prison psychosis, is sometimes used because the syndrome occurs most frequently in prison inmates, where it may represent an attempt to gain leniency from prison or court officials.
Seeing as Asahara is thought of as the most evil person in all of Japan, we're laying odds that his "treatment" is going to be the cure of everything that ails him, including his life.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Commenters Make This Blog

File under: Gurubusting

In the short year and a half this blog has been around, individuals of all stripes and persuasions have posted comments on the articles within. Among the usual "you ignorant asshole" remarks [Ed.note: Which normally get deleted unless they bring something more cogent to the discussion. We don't mind being told we're an idiot, but we definitely want to be entertained and informed in the process.] are some really good insider insights into the workings of a number of the big-time gurus we skewer, including the Kracki, Sri Sri, Sai Baba, William Cooper and quite a few others.

And so we'd like to express our appreciation and thanks to these folks for taking the time to let us in on their experience and knowledge, from which many of us can learn. There is a lot of really good information in the comments here, making this blog much more of an information resource than it ever would have been otherwise.

Friday, August 18, 2006

AUM Chemist Still Going To Swing

File under: Gurus Doin' Time

The man who mixed the gas for AUM guru Shoko Asahara's infamous Tokyo subway attack is still going to swing for the crime:
The high court rejected an appeal by Tsuchiya, 41, against the death sentence passed on him in January 2004 by the Tokyo District Court, which found him guilty on six out of seven counts, the exception being a charge of hiding two wanted AUM members. He was found guilty of murder and other charges that led to the deaths of 20 people.
Meanwhile, Asahara's lawyers continue to try to get him out of the noose:
In June, Asahara's lawyers petitioned Japan's Supreme Court in what could be their last chance to save him. A decision is expected at any time. If the sentence stands, and Japan follows normal practice, the self-proclaimed guru will be hanged without prior announcement, and the daughters notified only after he is dead.
With Asahara currently playing the bin Laden role in Japan, avoiding the choke chute is probably not a likely outcome. Shoko had best be pulling on his stick now while he still can, because you probably don't get to have many orgasms where he's headed.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Basics Of Gurubusting

File under: Gurubusting

[Ed.note: We posted this little missive in a discussion group about gurus that we belong to. One person said he really liked it so we've decided to republish it here.]

Our vehement opposition to most aspects of gurudom, as it has been projected into the culture of the West by various big-time gurus past and present, is that it presents a picture of self-realization that is false. Every picture is, but if you are going to make a picture of self-realization, wouldn't you want that picture to be as normal as possible, rather than so exalted and out of reach? Because the fact is that self-realization is never out of reach. Out of awareness for some, but even that is a delusion.

A big-time guru parades around in his/her ashrams all over the world, and many come to believe that self-realization will result in what they imagine that experience to be like. Worse yet are the myths and legends about big-time gurus using their miraculous powers. These are like thick, black smoke in the mind of one who seeks clarity.

Big-time satsangs spew this pollution into the world's headspace like a 1940s Pittsburgh steel mill. It's all about the pedestal. The higher they let it build underneath them, the more they are in need of busting. And we haven't even begun to talk about what they are teaching. The example they set alone can do most of the damage. For every one bhakta who gets blessed with self-realization by way of their bhakti for their guru, there are thousands that get nothing but screwed by all the ridiculous ideas they've adopted about their divine space daddy and how he's going to make it all ok.

That's why we mock and ridicule and basically make as much of a fool of ourselves as those who make themselves targets by the self-aggrandization circus they surround themselves with. The bottom line is that they have absolutely nothing on you in regards to you being who you really are.

Really... Nothing.

Anything you believe you receive from them you get from the root of your self, or God, if you will. Not the glorious glowing magic power of your master. That's just a thick, black haze that hangs in your mind, blocking the view rather than improving it. Real gurus all know this and make every effort to make sure their students do as well. The rest of them deserve to be busted for using myth, speculation and conjecture as tools to add allure and marketing appeal in their attempt to attract more revenue streams in the form of devotees.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Wise White Walking Cliché

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

Get a load of this woman:

We haven't seen a living, breathing cliché like this since that time an Ari Gold wannabee in a navy S-class drop-top 'Benz gave us a finger gun as he talked on his Bluetooth headset while listening to his iPod playing the Pussycat Dolls as he drove down Santa Monica Blvd. in L.A. looking for the next Lindsay Lohan to help him break in his new casting couch.

But what Griscom seems she might lack in terms of a real understanding of her nondual nature, she appears to make up for in marketing savvy. Santa Fe is chock full of middle-aged white ladies garbed in white, shopping at Whole Foods for organic toilet paper as they listen to their spirit guides tell them they were once the Queen of Sheba and that they'll one day meet their king and soul-mate once they give that lousy, no-good football-watching husband the boot... once he leaves her the house and half his earnings.

After all, a woman's got to be able to afford a chance to hear a 35,000-year-old Lemurian warrior croak "wisdom" out of the side of the mouth of another middle-aged woman garbed in white who laughs all the way to the bank as she gets stinking, filthy rich off all the ridiculous New Age™ fantasies of middle-aged white women who wear white as well.

Chris Griscom might not be getting quite that rich, and despite the abundance of New Age™ signifiers helping folks make a decision about buying in, she appears to want good for the world. Let's hope she balances out all the harm she does to the image of what self-realization is.

Hopefully next time she'll choose to wear something a normal person would wear, because anyone who's self-realized knows it's not being different than anyone else.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Winnowing Out Wilber

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Over at the Guruphiliac Yahoo! discussion group, Ken Wilber is currently being batted about. Reader and commentator Stuart Resnick offers his take on why he has a problem with the guy:
I think it was the "Onion" that did this gag article about a spiritual olympics. There'd be meditation competition, to see who could achieve the most tranquility in 2 minutes, and the winning swami would jump up and down, screaming at his fans, "I am the serenest!!"

That's what Wilber makes me think of. People do meditation and get these special states, then do what you like with them. In Buddhism, it's suggested that when you get something from meditation practice, you find a way to use it to help people ("save all beings from suffering"). It's a way of not feeding "I, my, me."

Getting big meditation experiences is like having a sharp knife. You can use it to perform surgery and save someone's life, or to commit murder. So the direction (i.e., the intention to use everything for all beings, not just myself) is as important as the experience itself.

My Zen master used to say, "Enlightenment is easy to get, difficult to keep." One moment you may attain perfect clarity, and the next moment that special state of clarity may become just one more attachment.

Wilber seems to be a guy who got some of those special, transient mind-states, and then chose to make it all into a competition. "Look at me! I'm at a higher level of evolution!" All his teaching seems to be about making levels, comparisons, distinctions. That may have its place, but where's the recognition that all things are already perfect and complete in this moment? In his crusade to become The Serenest, Wilber has lost this point.
While we're not sure we agree that Wilber is only going for a gold medal in serenity for himself, we do like Stuart's points regarding the essential illusoriness of "big meditation experiences" vis-à-vis actual self-realization.

It's standard operating procedure for big-time gurus to encourage and reinforce peoples' attachments to their meditation experiences. That way they can inject themselves as being indispensable in the spiritual lives of their devotees and thereby cop the glory most of them seem to feel is their due.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Three Stoogurus

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Attempting to prove the maxim: "three heads are better than one," we present the 3 Gurus (by way of a reader's link.) As far as we can tell, at least two of these guys (the swamis) were initiated by Swami Muktananda but skipped the Gurumayi show and seem to be distancing themselves from the little girl-diddling Muktananda and now claim his guru, Nityananda, as their preceptor, even though neither of them actually met the guy when he was alive.

The other guy, "Master" Charles Cannon, appears to have invented some kind of popular meditation tape. He's definitely the Moe of the bunch with that bad toupee he's wearing.

It looks like the other two are going to have to fight it out over who gets to be Curly and who has to wear the Larry wig.

Update: Reader and former Muktananda devotee Stuart fills us in on "Master" Charles:
Master Charles is also a Muktananda devotee. When I was in the ashram around 1979-1984, Master Charles was "Swami Vivekananda." I have strong reason to believe -- not proof -- that Swami V wanted and expected to be Muk's successor. Gurumayi was named instead (along with her brother Swami Nityananda, whom she ousted through some vicious spiritual/politcal infighting), so Swami V had to become Brother Charles (later Master Charles) and set out on his own to get gurudom.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Nithyananda's Admission

File under: Real True Gurus

We really want to like Swami Nithyananda. First because we really like one of his students, Antarananda. But also because he seems like a really fun guy who has a great perspective on his being a guru and what that means for folks. For example, Antarananda reveals in a comment on a recent post here that:
My Guru is very candid in speaking publicly thus: "Frozen into one frame, Mother or Lover, I am easy for you to capture and retain. I am then easier to market. It’s good business for me, not good business for you!" Once, during a yatra in the Himalayas, he was asked about the nature of the Guru-disciple relationship. He joked that it is all a psycho-drama! I think the bliss-bunny types there must have been pretty shocked at that reply! He obviously doesn't seem to take the whole Guru role too seriously.

While Nithyananda does play the role of "Ishta Devata", especially to the large throngs that go see him in south India, with the ones who are ready for the simple truth, including his closest disciples, brahmacharis and brahmacharinis etc, the relationship is refreshingly innocent and relaxed. In such an environment, it is remarkable how each person is able to grow and flower in the context of their own unique inclinations. I am sure many Gurus like him must exist.
It almost makes us forget the time Nithyananda was advertising his special brain waves for a devoted neurologist. Then there was the time he promoted the supposed manifestation of viboothi (sacred magic ash) on one of his pictures in Indonesia. While that was probably just one devotee's hysterical discovery of incense ash on the photograph, the fact that they put it on the home page still troubles us. We realize it's just marketing, but it was done so with the aid of the occluding ideas we seem to have such a problem with. We pray that this was just a momentary aberration and not a pattern.

Perhaps one day we'll run into Nithyananda down the road somewhere. Until then we're going to consider him a real true guru and wait and see what else turns up about him.

Friday, August 11, 2006

The Forensics Of Occlusion

File under: Gurubusting

Today we ended up at nonduality.com, the website of the Nonduality Salon Yahoo! group maintained by Jerry Katz. While perusing the highlights from October 26, 2004, we happened upon this quote:
Our true nature is not limited ... it is like the vast ocean. ... When we touch Supreme Consciousness through meditation, then we are boundless, we are everywhere, we are eternal.

- Amma Karunamayi
Besides being just another cookie-cutter devi running around playing God, Ms. Amma K. shoves a shovelful of bullshit concepts into the heads of her followers with this nauseating bit of fanciful nonsense.

While it is true that Brahman is limitless, boundless, everywhere, eternal, etc., saying these kinds of things in this context is exactly what gives rise to the birth of occlusion. "When I come to know myself as Brahman, I will know it because I will feel limitless, boundless, gigantic, huge, eternal, blah-blah and fucking blah. A guru said it so that must be what they feel."

Brahman has as much to do with the experience of feeling any of these adjectives as it does with our dog's ass. They are the traditionally poor attempts to describe the indescribible, but all they do is fill heads with concepts that will prevent the truth they are trying to point at from ever being realized. Instead, those concepts take up residence in the minds of those who've adopted them, essentially blocking the ever-present, ongoing truth from actually being known in the context of the aspirant's life.

So bravo, Amma K.! You've just bent your devotees over your dais and fucked them right up the ass as far as their own self-realization is concerned. It makes you just one more of the many pedestal-pracing promulgators of poisonous spiritual pabulum making the rounds in the world today.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

We Love This Guy! (But Not In A Gay Way)

File under: Gurubusting

While making the rounds today we came upon Skeptico and immediately decided then and there that we were in love. [Ed.note: Don't worry ladies, it's not that kind of love.] He brash, bold and just the right amount of snotty as he gets to work on the nonsense that endlessly propagates in spiritual culture. Watch as he goes off on an NLPer who is attempting to defend his mentor's psychobabble:
The world no longer needs credulous “new-age bozos” who are holding up our progress as a species. Especially as we are now in so much trouble. It’s time for you to let go of your need to be right, and start being effective.
We suppose the Skeptico would find some problems with our own presentation of nondual philosophy, but that doesn't stop us from wanting to take the dust of his feet in respect, admiration and encouragement to keep fighting the good fight. In the war against mind-numbing and clarity-clogging mythology and superstition, we're glad there are soldiers like Skeptico to battle alongside with.

Seeing The Truth Beyond The Saint

FIle under: Real True Gurus

Gleaned from a mentor's website:
Surat is craving for the gift of love for the Holy Feet of Guru. Full of enthusiasm, she comes before Guru and is delighted on having His darshan. She is pleased on hearing His discourses. She breaks off all ties with the worldly people.

So once again does the tragic separation of the "worldly" and the "sacred" commence. Surat does not see that all "craving" is of the same fabric, that her desire for what "Guru" proffers is no different than her earlier wanting for a sari of a different color or finer cloth.

Worldly activities do not interest and please her any longer; she has kicked off all karams and dharmas (the so-called religious deeds and duties). She loves Guru as a child loves his mother. Now she does not feel restful and easy without darshan; she does not feel interest in any other thing.

Surat has left her parents and siblings in tears and confusion, she has abandoned the friends of her youth and the hope of husband and family. All other ties sundered, she is free to pursue and indulge her deep attachment to darshan and her dependence on Guru.

She daily performs Abhyas and Dhyan (contemplation); she has enshrined Guru's form in her heart. Every moment she sees Him within. She feels delighted on seeing His countenance.

Surat feels nothing whatsoever other than delight, the plight of the destitute and diseased touches her not, nor do the pleas of her family, which arrive weekly and are not read, she sees only the image of Guru's continence.

She enjoys Anhad Dhun within. The current of ami (nectar) is dripping from Sunn.

Surat spends whatever waking hours are granted her daydreaming elaborately of fictions described in Guru's discourses, she performs arduous labor in Guru's service in order to keep Him nourished with carefully prepared meals and fresh fruits and to assure the comfort and cleanliness of his abode. For a very brief lucid moment she remembers her father's kindness to her and her sisters in the face of the taunting of her brothers and their friends. She pushes the distraction aside with a thankful prayer to Guru and is rewarded with the enjoyment of several particularly attractive fictions.

The mind and Surat rise to higher planes and hear Shabd stage by stage. She witnesses wonderful spectacles within and sings the praises of Guru with ardour and zeal.

Guru never notices her devotion, he is thinking of his own beloved Guru, and how of the many yearning devotees that clung to Him for decades only he, the cleverest and most patient, has attained equivalent status and the allegiance of many respected and moneyed families. He takes an orange from the hand of a young woman and does not look beyond that hand, the nearby face is that of Surat but Guru remains lost in his thoughts and the sweetness of the proffered fruit.

Beloved Radhasoami Guru has showered His grace and mercy on Surat; she merges in His Holy Feet with love."

In the midst of this final, ecstatic reverie, Surat notices the appearance of Guru's Holy Feet. Though recently pedicured, they are ill-formed as well as pasty-white and soft from a sheltered existence where walking is seldom required. She looks up at Guru's contentence with tear-dimmed eyes and sees an inattentive old man with juice dribbling down his chin and onto his clothing. In that moment she is Enlightened and thanks Guru for the last time.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Ammaericanism

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet

She's the most beloved of the big-time gurus and just about the cleanest in terms of scuttlebutt. We're convinced you could do a lot worse than Ammachi out of all the world-touring gurus today. It's just too bad that her tragic lack of insight into the realities of her satsang's psychological dynamics undoes just about every teaching she attempts to give about self-realization:
Reflecting on the relationship between the guru and the disciple, she seeks to counter the damage done by spiritual con artists posing as illuminated beings: "Say you go to a library and pick out two books. If they are both bad, it doesn't mean all the books there are bad."
But a good book covered in ugly graffiti and doodles about divine powers and saintly magic is in some ways much, much worse.

A New Big-Time Tele-Guru

File under: The Siddhi of PR


We present Swami Puppetji.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Soft Landing For Sri Sri

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Fresh from his failure at peace-making in Sri Lanka, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's PR machine rolls on, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat by placing a symphony of sycophancy to Sri Sri in the pages of Yoga Journal:
Latimer had taken a basic course in England in 1994 and now is one of many Shankar followers who believes his guru has something supernatural going on. "Someone special has come to earth," he gushed, eyes bright. "In The Art of Living, there are people who think this could be Krishna, this could be Jesus." You'd think that such talk wouldn't sell well with Americans, who are wary of charismatic gurus, familiar as we are with the well-chronicled excesses of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh, David Koresh, Jim Jones, and Baba Muktananda. But it does.
When will we ever learn? The most self-aggrandzing media-manipulator the guru scene has ever seen is lapping it up as he is being proclaimed the second coming of Christ. Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing funny to say about that.

But wait... it gets much, much worse:
"There was a moment when he just locked on, looked me in the eye, and stopped . . . and I went into that classic description of pure bliss, pure peace, just everything was light," says Nancie DiSilverio, who first heard Shankar speak in person at a satsang in Connecticut in 1992. "It happens because he's established in being, and he runs around in unbounded space-time. In his presence, if you can let go, that's available."
Big-time guru hysteria in full effect. It is frightening to behold, a complete abandonment of one's good sense in deference to a comforting space daddy who is nothing at all like how they imagine him to be, and all just because he knows how to work the "kind wise man" look.

Sri Sri is beginning to carve his slice of America's satsang pie, and he's doing it with a PR department who are unrivaled in the history of the big-time guru game. Amma may have gotten here first, but with the aggressive push Sri Sri is poised to make in the States, he could easily surpass her fame with a well-munitioned and sustained PR attack.

But he still has to catch the Kracki, who has got the advantage of a "do nothing but pretend" practice. With Sri Sri you've got to breathe yourself to the point of passing-out to get the "effect," that being nothing more than to believe whatever you'd like about what it's doing for you. But since there are millions of people looking for a Divine Space Daddy to make it all better in this land, both of the vainglorious pedestal prancers have plenty of market to harvest between themselves.

Pass us the hibachi and charcoal. These be the end times, folks, and we're going to go celebrate with a hot dog barbecue, all in the comfort of our duct tape-sealed vehicle.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Celebrating 60 Years of BS

File under; The Siddhi of PR

The Los Angeles, California-headquartered Self-Realization Fellowship is celebrating the 60th anniversary of the publication of the book Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahamsa Yogananda. While the work has brought perhaps millions to the study of yoga philosophy, they've all done so with heads stuffed full of the occluding nonsense Yogananda put in his manuscript in the attempt to make himself more popular than his Indian predecessor and superior, Swami Vivekananda.

It's a mystical romp full of so much mythological delusion as to make a Harry Potter book seem like a skeptics' encyclical. And none of it works very well anyway:
It's not easy, according to fellowship senior spiritual counselor Uma Mata, 71, who was only 9 when Yogananda invited her to join his society.

"I haven't experienced samadhi," she said. "It's what I'm working toward."
All because her head is full of the occluding nonsense about samadhi she's come to believe and promulgate all this time. Maybe Yogananda is getting her back for the coup she engineered in the 60s against his appointed successor, Donald Walters. While that man has had his own problems over the years, we get the feeling he would have kept it all a bit more real than SRF matriarch Mata Daya has.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Guru "Tests" The Brides

File under: Hands Where They Don't Belong

Ex-Moonie fugitive guru Jung Myung Seok likes to copy his former mentor Sun Myung Moon by holding mass weddings as a way to increase cult membership and filiality. He also likes to make sure the brides are in good working order before their marriages:
Members are required to submit the results of health checks. Women are personally interviewed by Jung and asked about past romances.

Jung sometimes sexually assaulted the women during those interviews, former cultists said.
Speaking of randy gurus, the world-record busting Sri Chinmoy has found another badge of honor to stick on his pride-filled chest; he just completed the composition of his 13,000th song in Bengali. That's 13,000 songs hardly anyone will hear, but we're sure their din fills the mind of their boastful composer and the devotees who unfortunately get subjected to listening to them.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Sri Sri Fails Sri Lanka

File under: The Siddhi of PR

A few months back, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar boasted to India and the world that he'd bring an end to the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka by instilling a sense of peace in folks there with his Sudarshan Kriya.

Here is the result:
Around 15,000 refugees displaced due to fighting between the Tamil Tigers and the government troops in Sri Lanka's eastern province were gathered in Kantalai, 218 [kilometers] from here, the government relief officials said Saturday...

The latest clashes between the two sides are the worst since the Norwegian backed peace process got underway.
We guess that's what happens when it's more about obtaining your own name and fame rather than actually attempting to do good for those you are using as a foot-stool to Nobel Peace Prize recognition.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

His Ashes Are Spinning Somewhere

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Sri Ramakrishna Paramhamsa would have puked if he had ever come across something like this. (As seen at tribe.net)

Deeksha Divided In TX?

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

A longtime reader and person with some knowledge of the Austin, Texas, deeksha scene speculates as to why Crazy Cooper put his face on the Kracki's billboard:
Concerning the question of why his face rather than Kracki's is on the billboard, I'm getting the sense that there has been at least one scism in the Austin deeksha group, or split-off, if scism is too strong a word. From what I understand, Cooper isn't the unquestioned deeksha bishop over Austin anymore. Maybe that's part of why he's trying to advertise himself.
Apparently, there's a PR war going on for the hearts and minds of the hilariously-duped in Austin. May both parties lose, because only then will everybody else win.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Cooper Gets Crazy On His Own Supply

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

Austin, Texas, deeksha drug lord William Cooper has failed to heed the warning of Biggie "Notorious BIG" Smalls and countless other crack dealers around the world: never get high on your own supply; only this time he's gone way past high and right straight to fucking well out of his mind. We present the new billboard in Austin which heralds the coming of a new Christ for Texas: William Cooper himself:


This is wrong on so many levels... First off, if the Kracki is the "God" responsible for all the imagined success of the deeksha hysteria, shouldn't it be his face on the billboard instead of Cooper's? And what's with the "come back to my house for some soda pop and candy, little boy" leer on Cooper's face?

The astonishing and quite unbelievable narcissism displayed by this move defies all description. It's like trying to explain to a little girl why God killed her bunny rabbit. There's just nothing you can say that would ever make any sense at all, other than the fact that Bill would definitely be 5150 in the state of California.

Not unusual for a psychotherapist in any state, but with Cooper's creepy visage encouraging Austin to forsake the Good Loard for some Hindu-hoodoo voodoo, we imagine some other kinds of crazy may be coming in response. We hope the Coop hasn't blown it with his guru after his own eclipsing name and fame grab. He's probably going to need all the protection he can get now.