Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mamma Gets Another Whitewash

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet

CNN has just designated itself an official Ammachi hagiography supplier with this puff piece about the so-called "hugging saint." We blame the sad state of affairs that presently mires big media in the West for this latest piece of suck up journalism. Just think of a police department that is in business to aid and abet criminals, and you get the general idea. [Ed.note: From what we can tell, that sounds like a lot of police departments in India, as well as sounding quite a bit like the current executive branch of the U.S. government.]

What that means is: no discussion of Amma's involvement with rabid, racist, rightist nationalists in India, no discussion of her New Delhi ashram's love of violence, and little discussion of the millions of dollars she brings in and exactly where it all goes.

It's all just more of the same boilerplate about hugging and motherhood, and a nice, tidy denial about her own supposed divinity:
Although Amma shies away from describing herself as psychic or magical, some followers think she is divine.
That's because Ammachi is a repudiator-cultivator space-mommy. She denies her divinity while she has every single person who works for her promoting it instead. She gets to appear humble and enjoy the benefits of being seen as a living goddess.

It's just too bad most of her devotees are getting jammed up the ass with useless, superstitious nonsense about their own nondual truth. She may know very well how to act holy, but when it comes to the meat of being a guru – dispelling the darkness of delusion – she may as well be the captain of her own international streetlight demolition team.

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17 Comments:

At 8/22/2007 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huh? What an amazing amount of vitriol!

Go man go. Shake it out.

Clearly Ammachi is the biggest menace on the planet. Absolutely up to no good. Hugging people all day, what nonsense! Bah humbug.

 
At 8/22/2007 11:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huh? What an amazing amount of vitriol!

Go man go. Shake it out.

Clearly Ammachi is the biggest menace on the planet. Absolutely up to no good. Hugging people all day, what nonsense! Bah humbug.



Considering the "consolidation" of the major mainstream media outlets, it does not surprise me to read of more "uninformed" reporting for Ammachi and funds from her org finding their way into radical right wing groups in India.

Many US mainstream media outlets now rely almost totally on one or two sources to pull their stories from. Journalists from ten to fifteen years ago, when journalism still held some degree of integrity, have commented again and again, on how "dumbed down" the US media has become.

In other cults, it is certainly not unheard of, for devotees with a "vested" interest, and hold media connections, to push to have favorable news of their cult leader and that group inserted into Western media outlets for reading and consumption. It's nothing new, nor anything original.

Thank goodness for the Net. People can do their own research and get enough information to begin questioning these matters.

Jody, the work you are doing; the work so many have contributed on your blog, is invaluable. Thank you, to all who have and continue to write in.

Bravo!

 
At 8/22/2007 11:59 PM, Blogger jody said...

What an amazing amount of vitriol!

The utter ponderousness of the happy-happy, huggy-huggy bullshit demands vitriol.

The fact is that violence is occurring in Amma's name in India, either directly from her New Delhi ashram or indirectly by way of her support for the VHP and RSS in India, which is essentially the Hindu version of the KKK.

 
At 8/23/2007 3:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

More endorsements:

http://www.amma.org/amma/in-the-media/index.html

It seems that you guys are the only people who hate her. Nice Hindu smear!

 
At 8/23/2007 7:04 AM, Blogger jody said...

It seems that you guys are the only people who hate her.

It seems like you're the only person naive enough to believe she'd publish anything that could be construed as unflattering.

 
At 8/23/2007 8:00 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

anonymuscle head said...It seems that you guys are the only people who hate her. Nice Hindu smear!

.................

If you want to see hate, sir, simply go up against a true believer of any stripe anywhere. I don't believe Jody hates Ammachi. I don't hate the Gal either. Notice I gave her a capital "G"! But to the extent that she has sold out her mission to these religious right wingers in order to fulfill some ego driven dream that "She" is the true God come to save our sorry asses, to that extent, Ammachi needs some of the less flatterin facts to be brought to the toilet bowl!

Here's a fact, many of her devotees are terrified to be seen visiting other saints and teachers... That's a cult! She seems to encourage her "babies" to keep a distance from their birth parents... That's a cult! She's allowing money to flow from the western countries to the pockets of people who think it's OK to beat and kill people for God...

She's a bit like Maharishi with her grandiose view of herself (God) and her mission on earth! As said before, I feel sorry for her havin to hug all those greasy folks--- but it's the only way to keep the money rollin in!

I know at least one other Yogi who was offered help by this same right wing political/religious group but refused. I also have met Shree Maa at the Devi Mandir who stays in her ashram for years at a time with no splashy promotion goin on, radiating the Mother's love.

 
At 8/23/2007 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What incredibly wild assertions!

I know many Ammachi devotees who visit other saints AND have great relationships with their family of origin!

But of course there are always people who are looking for cop-outs to not take responsibility for their own lives. But, just because some of them name Ammachi as their spiritual leader doesn't mean it's her work to makes them that way.

And again, your reasoning is ideological and specious regarding the violent behavior of one day of some of the 30,000 a day people who visit her ashram. You've offered NO PROOF, apart from glee, that this was somehow sanctioned. Mob behavior is just that. And it happens. Or do YOU live in some sort of happy, happy paradise?

As for as your bizarre assertion that Amma only presents one side - I've personally seen her display anger, and correct people many many times. In public, on stage. In any number of cities. Nothing hidden about it. It's a perfectly normal part of the dynamic. Why on earth would you claim that she doesn't?

Have you ever even seen her? Or are you just operating off of internet email and written reports?

 
At 8/23/2007 10:14 AM, Blogger jody said...

But of course there are always people who are looking for cop-outs to not take responsibility for their own lives. But, just because some of them name Ammachi as their spiritual leader doesn't mean it's her work to makes them that way.

But it should be her work to wean them off her tit. She and her org do the exact opposite. They'd like to see everyone addicted to her tit.

You've offered NO PROOF, apart from glee

Here's the proof of the injuries caused by her goons, and of the involvement of the head of her New Delhi ashram.

I've personally seen her display anger, and correct people many many times.

All that proves is that she can be a bitch.

Have you ever even seen her?

Three times, three hugs, three encounters with a human being playing God for her infantile rubes.

 
At 8/23/2007 11:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rob Sidon is doing a bang up job at getting all of this press. I wonder if he got a raise yet? Or, at the very least, he should be adding this CNN coverage to his resume.

The video is pure fluff. I don't think people are buying it. I know the guy who runs the cultofthehuggingsaint.com website, and he said over the past week, hits have gone way up on the site. And it's damn interesting what people are searching for to get there. The number one phrase typed into Google? "amma cult" followed by "hugging saint fraud".

There is a positive side to all of this press though. Don't you think that sometimes when cults like this bring a lot of attention to themselves, they leave themselves wide open for questioning?

I'm willing to bet this media frenzy is going to do the Amma mission WAY more harm than good in the long run. Mark my words. She may have her devotees brainwashed, but things like financial scams, charity fraud, murder, abuse, death threats, god complexes, lies and pure greed etc. don't usually get overlooked for too long. Though, sometimes it is overlooked until something really, really bad happens.

The stickiest problem is that by all accounts, hugging seems harmless. Someone who is hugging everyone? What's wrong with that? They milk that angle for everything it's worth, so it may be a tough nut to crack as far as getting people to find out what is really going on.

Jody, keep pushing that Amma button. You are one of very few actually telling the truth.

 
At 8/23/2007 2:55 PM, Blogger Sanjay said...

Jody said:

Just think of a police department that is in business to aid and abet criminals, and you get the general idea. [Ed.note: From what we can tell, that sounds like a lot of police departments in India, as well as sounding quite a bit like the current executive branch of the U.S. government.]

Jody, you don't have invoke 'executive branch of the U.S.' to make it sound politically correct. I have lived in India and the US and there is no comparison. 'Executive branch of the U.S. government' cannot hold a candle in front of perversity of Indian police.

 
At 8/23/2007 5:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I've now read over your site some and I get your schtick now.

You are right that people get quite self-righteous when discussing these sorts of issues. And it's tiresome all around.

And I also see that as the hero of your own world here, you won't actually engage in discussing any positive value, but just continue on in your thing.

I read the articles you pointed out about what happened in Delhi. Pretty brutal. In all sorts of circles (spiritual, political, sports, etc.) I've seen again and again that when bright lights, inner and outer get shown, long shadows are also cast. Basic physics and tao. People have to learn to deal with their "demons." You've chosen an interesting way to deal with yours.

I do wonder what sorts of actions were taken within the organization, or by Ammachi herself, around correcting that incident. I know how I have seen her correct "misbehavior" for much, much smaller things. I assume you assert that it was either condoned or completely unaddressed. Somehow I think that's pretty unlikely, but like you, I'm only guessing.

I do "get it" that Amma is mortal. I also "get it" that I am Divine. I understand that devotional worship with a human intermediary offends you. Obviously, it's not for you. But for me, I love the inspiration she has given me to do more and more in my own life. Including having much improved relations with all of my family - and doing a lot more volunteer work on multiple levels (in addition to a very busy career and plenty of non-devotee friends). And just to have more joy in my life in general.

Seeing compassion in action (and yes watching her embrace thousand of people in a day does show me that) has allowed me to become more comfortable with my own vulnerability, and more forgiving with myself and others.
I don't think that make me infantilized or a rube.

Or if does, I guess I'm OK with that!

 
At 8/23/2007 6:59 PM, Blogger jody said...

And I also see that as the hero of your own world here, you won't actually engage in discussing any positive value, but just continue on in your thing.

Everyone else is discussing the "positive value" of these people, including and especially the gurus themselves. What's lacking is a critique of gurudom. That's what this blog is about.

On occasion I discuss the positive value of this or that guru, but what I find positive is exactly what prevents a guru from going big-time. Consequently, there just isn't much positive to report about the big-timers from the regard of this blog.

People have to learn to deal with their "demons." You've chosen an interesting way to deal with yours.

Your trivialization of what I'm saying by way of this attempt at a demonization is noted.

My hackles come up in the presence of what I've determined to be occluding ideas about self-realization. I go for the throat as my targets are insulated in layer after layer of cotton candy positivity, all in utter denial of a shadow which can not be denied no matter how hard it is repressed.

It's the invisible elephant in the room of almost every guru alive. I'm just throwing some paint on it so folks can see that it's there.

I do wonder what sorts of actions were taken within the organization, or by Ammachi herself, around correcting that incident.

As far as the Green Avenue residents are concerned, absolutely nothing has been done. Aside from contact with one American mouthpiece, there has not been a single gesture whatsoever from Ammachi's organization. Your mommy has her head stuck deep in the sand on this one.

I know how I have seen her correct "misbehavior" for much, much smaller things. I assume you assert that it was either condoned or completely unaddressed. Somehow I think that's pretty unlikely, but like you, I'm only guessing.

I was informed of the incident by one of the people who was attacked. He sends me updates about the situation whenever something happens. So far, nothing has been said by or done by the Ammachi Math, according to this person.

Regarding the direct involvement of the New Delhi ashram, it was the head of the ashram who called in the attack, and she also played a "cry rape" ploy when the cops arrived to break up the rampage she caused.

I understand that devotional worship with a human intermediary offends you.

No, it doesn't. I am offended by human intermediaries who fill devotees' head full of superstitious and occluding nonsense about self-realization. If they just want to play living ishta-devatas, that's cool, as long as they aren't bullshitting their people the way Amma's people are being bullshitted.

But for me, I love the inspiration she has given me to do more and more in my own life. Including having much improved relations with all of my family - and doing a lot more volunteer work on multiple levels (in addition to a very busy career and plenty of non-devotee friends). And just to have more joy in my life in general.

A motto of this blog is that very bad gurus can be great for good devotees, but I'm not saying that Amma is very bad. In fact, I say that she's probably among the best and most sincere of the big-time gurus. But that doesn't mean the social organism that has constellated around her isn't a factory of utter nonsense about the truth of the Self, something she does absolutely nothing about. Why would she? That is exactly why she has attracted such a following. She plays the part very well.

I don't think that make me infantilized or a rube.

Or if does, I guess I'm OK with that!


That's all that ever matters in the end.

 
At 8/24/2007 7:12 AM, Anonymous betty said...

Jody,

I find everything you have said above to be clear and sincere. Thanks.

 
At 8/25/2007 6:26 PM, Anonymous kalliope said...

As someone who once considered herself a devotee of Amma, I am amazed that more people do not come to their senses and realize that she is running a public image circus that has nothing at all to do with self-realization.

But, her methods are made to infantilize spirituality while at the same time keeping it just unobtainable enough to keep people around hoping for the pie in the sky fantasy instead of looking in the mirror. A lot of her devotees are really unwound and stunted socially and are extremely sensitive to criticisms...this includes those closest to her. Not only this, but they have more money than Bill Gates and Donald Trump combined. Puff pieces like those seen on CNN recently, will continue as long as these people are in control.

Amma's mission gives new meaning to the phrase: The lunatics are running the asylum.

 
At 8/29/2007 12:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Guru sishya relationship obviously is not for everyone. From a distance & without personal context it's easy to criticize others & attempt to destroy them.
Yes, true Sat Gurus are rare. They are a huge blessing for humanity. If you only try & conceptualize the vast humanitarian work Amma & her sishya accomplish that would be enough for most people. She has millions of followers because of her humanity & love for the least poor person & all others. She works tirelessly!
I can only think that the editorial staff on this blog have a bias that may be very anti-hindu. There are many Christian groups that work fervently to undermine other religions. While they speak of Christ's teachings with one side of their mouth, they spew hatred out of the other side. This is completely contrary to Christ's immense compassionate teachings.
Please back off of this hatred & do something positive instead.

 
At 8/29/2007 11:31 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Guru sishya relationship obviously is not for everyone. From a distance & without personal context it's easy to criticize others & attempt to destroy them.
Yes, true Sat Gurus are rare. They are a huge blessing for humanity. If you only try & conceptualize the vast humanitarian work Amma & her sishya accomplish that would be enough for most people.

I can only think that the editorial staff on this blog have a bias that may be very anti-hindu. There are many Christian groups that work fervently to undermine other religions. While they speak of Christ's teachings with one side of their mouth, they spew hatred out of the other side. This is completely contrary to Christ's immense compassionate teachings.
Please back off of this hatred & do something positive instead. >>>>>




The above "assumptions" you make are over the top. People contribute to this site who have been "very" close to these charlatan teachers and have discovered the deceptions. The false understanding you hold as to what people who contribute to this site understand and don't understand speaks volumes for your own projections. You completely "out" yourself as holding no understanding of these basic facts.

Your projections that it is Christians bashing Hindus is again, over the top. Such an uninformed "assumption" also speaks volumes at your grasping at straws to try to respond in territory you are either uninformed and still sleeping through, or possibly have other agendas in seeing the discussion go in a different direction.

Ahhhhh, the "bliss" of Amma's and others, right????? It takes COURAGE to wake up from this slumber. Many have done so, one day, you may as well?

 
At 8/30/2007 8:04 AM, Anonymous Betty said...

anonymous said...She has millions of followers because of her humanity & love for the least poor person & all others. She works tirelessly!
.....................

In the first place I doubt she has millions of followers. But if she has it's because there is a huge effort to propagandize that Ammachi is God and can fix all your problems if you will follow her---which means walk around talking about her and giving her all your extra cash. The fact that some of this money goes to right wing political/religious folks who don't mind beating people up over pretty small issues should be a wake up call. If you Hindus who blindly follow people like Ammachi and Sai Baba and Kreepalu would start holding these "perfect masters" to at least the level of ordinary decency, then there will be far less criticism from people like those who come to this blog.

 

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