Monday, April 30, 2007

Catching Up With The Krapki

File under: Gurus Clockin' Dollars and Satscams

There is not a cesspool created in the entire universe that can contain the mountain of shit that is the Kalki Bhagavan's Oneness University website.

His continuously-milked cash cow isn't called deeksha anymore, it's now "Oneness Blessing," and we have never encountered a load of crap that approaches the depths of its explanation:
Oneness Blessing thus given affects a neuro-biological change. There are 16 centres in the brain responsible for definitive experiences like sensory perception, emotions of jealousy, hatred, fear, compassion, love, joy, separation, connectedness, creativity, learning, etc. Oneness Blessing results in the activation of certain centres and the de-activation of certain centres bringing about a shift in the perception and experience of life. The process finally lands the seeker in a permanent, incredible state of consciousness.
The quackery and flimflammery present in this statement has us looking long and hard at a career as crash test dummy. We are beyond flabbergasted and on to an entirely new experience in horror and exasperation.

God help us, please! It is surely a sign of the end times that such utter and completely ridiculous nonsense is accepted as spiritual truth, rather than as what it really is – the lies of a con man riding global idiocy to power, riches, fame and glory.

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Rancorous Yoga Camp

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

One of our favorite gurus to write about is the rancorous Swami Ramdev. You may remember last year when he was allegedly caught putting animal testicles and human skull powder in his "medicine" products. Then he got the cops to declare a harmless yet ambitious and persistent student reporter as a terrorist. Oh, and he claims to have cured AIDS and cancer with his therapies, prompting the Health Minister of India to refute that nonsense personally.

Now he's coming to dupe the hapless sheep-yogis of New York, New Jersey and Chicago with several yoga camps this summer:
The Swami, who has surpassed many yoga and spiritual gurus in popularity, is scheduled to hold a yoga camp in New York from June 30 and July 1 and another in nearby New Jersey from July 4-8, with a total capacity of about 3,000 at the two places. Moving on to Chicago, he will hold a camp from July 11-15 for about 5,000 people.
Needless to say, we're thrilled at the possibility of the loose-lipped Swami going off to the press in the States. If he's anything like he's been in India, get ready for an awesome spectacle of self-aggrandizement, the likes of which only Adi Da and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have ever approached.

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Saturday, April 28, 2007

Meera Does Montreal

File under: Satsang Report and The Siddhi of PR

Our friend Swami Anandgyan went to see Mother Meera in Montreal. He returned with this report:
Mother Meera in Montreal... ...what you see is what you get.

Sure I wondered "who"'s going to see her, basically a Montrealer, and once there, you kinda try to settle down, sannyasin or not, just being present.

Tremendous turn-out, a full house though with hardly any Hindus, just two women I noticed...

When I heard that the seats in the middle section of the bottom rows were left vacant to allow the energy to flow (though not mandatory for the upper ones) I resented the kindergarten impression it left. [Ed.note: Make believe makes for a more "powerful" experience.]

Some young ones in the crowd, but mostly people in their forties, and just two faces I recognised and although we all seemed to be hankering for somethin' (I 'bought' the silent blessing), the procedure was done without uttering one word and at about fifteen seconds for each person, it would not have looked so machine-like if there would have been some variation, but no, same expression, or lack of it, all the time... I had not bowed to her yet, I was just glancing from afar, looking a the crowd that showed hardly any unity of purpose if not for receiving darshan. At one point, I felt a pressure against my chest, wondered if it was some sort of energy field around Mother but it vanished within a second and later on, it was as zen as waiting in line. Came the time when she was to look into my eyes... Well her's are quite nice but nothing happened, nada, no love, no smile, maybe she uttered a mantra (and I ought to trust Sanskrit as THE language for the divine) but fact is, and I looked at the crowd once more upon returning to my seat, just as for me, no one showed any sign of transformation as with soft tears, a radiant smile or a profound calmness, nah... nothing. I must be judgmental; what do I know really? Let's say the atmosphere had not improved one bit.

I got to my seat, put on my shoes, passed by the donation box and thought of sunyata and that I had just wasted my time.

So I'm still curious, sometimes cynical and somehow quite happy but I cannot recommend Mother Meera. I would do it again for Amma, at least it's not the gaze thing but a hug!

It didn't do me much good but it didn't do much harm.

Oh well, make love, not war.
You hardcore devi-junkies are going to blame the lack of anything happening on the Swami rather than on your precious object of love, but the fact is that anything that happens around Meera happens because you need it to happen. It's your subconscious shoving a pacifier in your mouth because you're so internally whiny. And because you have this need for something to happen, you aren't where the Swami is... yet.

One day, when you realize the Devi is inside each of us so much more than in any other person, you'll understand just how infantile the whole world-traveling devi circus really is.

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Friday, April 27, 2007

Chinmoy Exploits Obesity For PR Stunt

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

Strong-man fauxru Sri Chinmoy is up to his usual attention-seeking antics again. This time it was to lift Michael Hebranko, once known as the 1000-Pound Man. You may remember hearing about some guy who was so heavy in 1999 that they had to remove the side of his house to get him out. He's down from 1100 lbs. to a more manageable 450 now, which is what Chinmoy "lifted" with the help of "an elaborate contraption":
Chinmoy, seated in an elaborate contraption with Hebranko standing on a platform above his head, lifted the 458-pound man with his arms. The lift was almost imperceptible - Hebranko probably moved less than inch - but the move delighted the 300 or so Chinmoy followers watching the event...
It's a good thing Chinmoy packed the audience with sycophants, because it doesn't sound all that impressive to us.

We're sure Jack LaLanne could easily kick his ass.

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Thursday, April 26, 2007

God... Or Gulliblity Gene?

File under: Satscams

There's a nice little article up at Slate discussing the emergence of "neurotheology" and the folks seeking to exploit offer this new "science" for the benefit of their own financial ends all mankind.

Of particular interest is one geneticist's insistence that there is something called a "God gene," which is ostensibly responsible for a person's tendency to have mystical and spiritual experiences:
The work of Dean Hamer, a geneticist at the National Cancer Institute, raises the prospect of genetically engineered mystics. Hamer claims to have found a gene associated with "self-transcendence" or "spirituality" in a group of 1,000 subjects who filled out surveys that probed their beliefs in God, ESP, and so on. Hamer calls this gene "the spiritual allele" or, even more dramatically, the "God gene"—which is also the title of the popular book in which he describes his research. Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project, has called Hamer's claim "wildly overstated."
Or simply misstated. It's the opinion of this writer that the "God gene" may very well be more of an indication of a person's suggestibility; something more along the lines of a gullibility gene, if you will. It would help explain why so many fall for the grandiose flimflammers who are polluting the world with a spiritual "wisdom" that is nothing more than their own narcissistic nonsense.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Note About The Comments

File under: Administration

Basically, here we are king. We reserve the right to reject or delete comments for whatever reason we feel like. This is not an open forum, it's a place where we express our opinion about gurus and the state of spiritual culture as we see it.

One can see by reading the comments on these posts that we have no problem brooking different views. We also enjoy a good insult as much as the next person who doesn't take himself too seriously. However, we expect to be entertained while being insulted. If it's not funny to us, it's not going up.

What we won't allow is sycophants and the brainwashed to bray about whatever spiritual leader they feel we've slighted. We also don't like suspiciously effusive praise. We're just some asshole with opinions about gurus and spiritual culture based on our reading of Vedanta. We don't expect everyone to agree, but we don't feel mandated to publish comments by those who don't... or do.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

This is "Enlightened Living?"

File under: Wackadoo Gurus

A reader sent a link that has left us speechless:
Re-united for the first time ever since the end days of Atlantis to be of service to mankind during this crucial time in our collective history. Wisdom Teacher Sri Ram Kaa and Angelic Oracle Kira Raa know that each being is Sprit [sic], Eternal, Omniscient and Whole. They are co-creators with your awakening; familiar old friends, guides along YOUR perfect path. Come back to who you are! Free the illusion of pain, fear, doubt, anger, guilt and shame. It is time to Embrace your Freedom.

The re-unification of Wisdom Teacher Sri Ram Kaa and Angelic Oracle Kira Raa resulted in an expansion of energy and consciousness creating a direct connection with the Angelic Realms. As Divine Oracles, (99% accurate), they offer the Prophecy of the “Atlantean Promise” and have brought back to the planet the activation of mastery through the “Codes of Self-Ascension”. Gifted with the energies to offer Fifth Dimensional Activations, (and beyond), directly from the Archangels, they prepare others to expand their energy for their own unique path. The Loving initiations, “Star Activations”, and the lessons of the “Codes of Self-Ascension”, bring forth your soul’s true purpose.
But not so speechless as to make us forget to whip out our tinfoil hat!

The real tragedy here isn't that nincompoops like "Sri Ram Kaa" and "Angelic Oracle Kira Raa" exist, it's that the world is full of numbskulls capable of believing in this pabulum composed of the infantile projection of their ridiculous beliefs. Our work will never be done, and with this 2012 "remember how well the Harmonic Convergence went" nonsense headed our way, the craposphere this bullshit comes from is only going to grow thicker and stinkier.

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The Nondual $tate

File under: Gurubusting and Gurus Clockin' Dollars

Guruphiliac discussion list contributor Eric Paroissien turned up with this cute little cartoon he made that says it all:

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Monday, April 23, 2007

Calibrate This!

File under: Gurubusting

We immediately rejected the idea that applied kinesiology can measure "levels" of enlightenment the instant we heard it. Talk about a room full of ducks doing what only ducks do!

It's all in the joke work known as Power Vs. Force by David Hawkins, M.D. and Ph.D. Apparently, Hawkins has recently made moves to promote himself as a spiritual leader. When a reader turned our head toward him, we succumbed to our laziness and suggested the reader write about him and send it in, which he did! It was a good move on our part:
Applied Quackery: David Hawkins and Applied Kinesiology

While Dr. David Hawkins at least mentions some true spiritual teachers, such as Sri Ramana Maharshi, the main premise of his work is that the pseudoscience applied kinesiology can determine truth from falsity. I can see why some people might believe Dr. Hawkins’ claims; after all, Dr. Hawkins has an M.D. and a Ph.D. But, while he is a psychiatrist, his Ph.D. is from the unaccredited diploma mill Columbia Pacific University, a fact not noted in his books or on his website. This degree is the basis of his work.

Noted skeptics such as professor of philosophy and author of The Skeptic's Dictionary, Dr. Robert Todd Carroll, have thoroughly debunked Dr. Hawkins' claims, and James Randi has challenged Dr. Hawkins to win his "One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge" with Dr. Hawkins’ applied kinesiology technique, though Mr. Randi stated that he believes Dr. Hawkins would not even attempt to apply to win the prize for "obvious" reasons.

Since Dr. Hawkins’ work is spiritual, not just pseudoscientific, Dr. Hawkins can pull the "don't be skeptical, have faith" line to followers of his work.

But even John Diamond, M.D., who originated Behavioral Kinesiology with the approval of the founder of applied kinesiology, George Goodheart, has criticized Dr. Hawkins' version of applied kinesiology. As has Eric Pierotti, the current president of the International College of Applied Kinesiology, who stated that it "could not be further from the truth” that Dr. Hawkins' methodology even is applied kinesiology.

So whether a person believes applied kinesiology is science or not, skeptics, mainstream scientists, as well as prominent practitioners of applied kinesiology, all consider Dr. Hawkins' version of applied kinesiology to not be true.

For the record, all the double-blind studies, research, and reviews at the National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health indicate that applied kinesiology is not science, indeed is "not more useful than random guessing," and does not work.

But perhaps a reader of Dr. Hawkins may find redeeming spiritual quality in his work, even if Dr. Hawkins' claims regarding applied kinesiology are not true. To that I would point out that Dr. Hawkins' work has also been criticized from spiritual media such as at Strictly Spiritual, Sarlo's Guru Rating Service, EnergyGrid Alternative Media, Dowsers, PES Network Inc., as well as by fellow Dr. Wayne Dyer-endorsed Hay House author Gary Renard in his book Your Immortal Reality, and even prominent teachers of A Course in Miracles believe Dr. Hawkins' work is nonsense.

But what is worse is that Dr. Hawkins has apparently started a cult out of this system, as suggested by psychiatrist Peter A. Olsson, M.D., author of Malignant Pied Pipers of Our Time: A Psychological Study of Destructive Cult Leaders from Rev. Jim Jones to Osama bin Laden, who believes Dr. Hawkins "has apparently taken a grandiose road less traveled, and...may have morphed into a malignant pied piper," and as written at the Rick A. Ross Institute Cult Education Forum and as reported by the New England Institute of Religious Research.

Even Dr. Hawkins' "Map of Consciousness" is not original. It is very similar to L. Ron Hubbard's "Tone Scale," and I understand that both of these have their origin in psychoanalytic research (which is why they appear similar).

If a person is looking for a scientific book, I would suggest The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan.

If a person is hoping for a spiritual work, consider Talks With Ramana Maharshi: On Realizing Abiding Peace and Happiness by Ramana Maharshi.

Dr. Hawkins’ work with his version of applied kinesiology is not scientific. Even foremost proponents of applied kinesiology do not believe Dr. Hawkins' work is true. The work has been criticized scientifically, as well as by spiritual seekers and by cult experts.
It's a mannered piece about a new wackadoo trying to emerge into the mainstream.

Here's our take: get ready for another insufferable, grandiose narcissist brimming over with pathological self-regard, offering nothing more than his own personal delusions as your objective spiritual truth.

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Friday, April 20, 2007

Sour Puss Devi Steps In It Over Flag

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

We showed you the pictures almost two months ago. Now the government in the state of Orissa, India has seen them as well, and they aren't too happy about Nirmala Devi sticking her feet on India's flag:
The state requested the Centre to take appropriate action against the person responsible for the alleged disrespect shown to the national flag...

“The Orissa government received the controversial pictures showing the spiritual leader sitting on a chair with the tricolour [flag] under her feet some days ago,” home secretary Mr TK Mishra said...

Senior officials in the state home department opined that Nirmala Devi could land in serious trouble if the allegations were found to be true.
We guess she's not the goddess of the universe after all. Either that, or she's a crazy goddess playing games with herself on herself. Either way, it takes the unrepentantly egotistical devi down a few notches, which is where she belongs, along with all the other big-time gurus playing God to satisfy their adoration addictions (and fill their bank accounts.)

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Worthy Of The Wall

File under: Notable Quotables

We have a certain regular here in the comments named Chuck, who consistently churns out more homespun wisdom than 100 ladies at a quilting bee. Here's his latest for you all to enjoy:
Good old Walt [Whitman]! Wonder what he'd think of all these people like Ammachi, Karunamayi, Sai Baba, etc, claiming to be God--more God per ounce than the average guy or gal--and using symbolic acts of human kindness (hugging), hospital buildings along with a huge personal home (Karunamayi), and faked miracles (Sly Baboon) to "prove" they are gods. Walt was a lot more honest.
To say the least!

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Thursday, April 19, 2007

Maybe Ja To Moon

File under: The Siddhi of PR and Wackadoo Gurus

Beltway avatard Rev. Sun Myung Moon wants to go a recruitin' in Germany. Too bad it's been verboten since 1995. After all, it's for the good of the children:
Youth-welfare officials regard Moon’s organization as a sect that exploits the psychological instability of many young people.

Government officials say Moon’s political views are also contrary to the German constitution’s commitment to the combination of social security with free markets.
In other words, the Germans don't want to give Moon a venue to express his pathological narcissism as the sheer grandiosity of claiming to be the one world messiah. We'll add: get in line, loser. There are easily over 100 other so-called "only true saviors" vying for the affection of the poor, deluded souls who believe in such nonsense.

But since Germany is in the European Union, and since the E.U. wants to appear more tolerant than the States [Ed.note: And really, who can blame them?], a German court is going to decide whether to lift the injunction against Moon traveling there.

Since the ban was enacted back in 1995, Moon has bought his way into Washington D.C., even going so far as to control one of the local newspapers there. We're sure he's got many "friends" now with some heft to toss around in the diplomatic channels, making his visit rather likely at this point.

So, get ready for another nutbag who seriously believes he's going to rule the entire world, Germany.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2007

A Waste Of Time On Sri Sri

File under: Backroom Gurudom and The Siddhi of PR

Knowing his unbridled lust for as many accolades as his crack PR squad can muster, we imagine Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is mighty pleased to be a point of contention at an Maharaja Sayaji Rao University senate meeting in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India. It's apparently a microcosm of Indian politics in general, with the conservatives (BJP) and the liberals (Congress) going at it over who should be awarded honorary degrees this year:
Senate meetings today are a turf for one-upmanship and mudslinging between the BJP and Congress factions. No one expects them to come up with ideas. If anything, these experienced members have perfected the fine art of politicising academics.

During their last meeting on March 31, for instance, one group, proposed honorary degrees for Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani and spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The anti-BJP group immediately proposed eight other names including Narayan Murthy, Azim Premji, Laxmi Mittal, and Sam Pitroda among others. Instead of important academic and administrative issues, the senate members debated on honorary degrees for two hours.
Of course it's the conservatives who are backing Sri Sri. But we bet he'd dump them the instant he thought he could get more traction with the other side.

Either way, he'll probably end up with another plaque for his wall of fame shame, allowing him to blow his own horn just a little bit louder. And hopefully one day, loud enough to attract the attention of the Nobel Peace Prize committee.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Maharishi Still Trolling For Vedic Geeks

File under: The Siddhi of PR and Wackadoo Gurus

That mad little coot in Holland is still trying to recruit a crack chanting squad of 8000 from Nepal. Apparently, the Nepalese haven't quite yet caught on to how much of a nutbag the wacky old man really is.

Those who don't speak English get special priority, seeing as a good deal of the English-speaking world has failed to recognize the Maharishi as the savior of all mankind.

The older he gets, the more money goes straight down the drain in his attempt to jump-start his psychotically grandiose dreams for the millionth time. It would be pretty funny if it weren't so sad to see an old man flail against reality the way the Maharishi does. Think geriatric bunny rabbit up against a steel-plate wall bouncing up and down on his ass in an attempt to remove it and you'll have the picture.

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Monday, April 16, 2007

India... Grow Up!

The Hindu fundies go berserk because Richard Gere plants a kiss or two on the cheek of an Indian woman at a charity event. These folks are dragging you down, Bharat. Shake them off and come join the rest of the world.

Having said that, we suppose we should get to work flicking Christian fundies from our midst here in the States. We're at least as bad, and could easily make the case for being even a bit worse. Believing you'll die and end up in Vrindaban frolicking with gopis isn't any different than denying all world history before 10,000 years ago.

In other words – speaking as an American – we are just as saddled with superstition as any other nation. However, India has something we and all these other nations don't: the Upanishads. They are the literal crown-jewels of all religious philosophy – according to this blog.

Do something with that, Bharat. Set the example after having written the recipe, rather than sticking it on the shelf and continuing to cook with the myths and fables that pass for your diet of truth these days.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Worthy Of The Wall

File under: Notable Quotables

Comrade-in-arms Stuart Resnick on the real "magic" behind Ammachi's hugs:
There's no need to speculate about magical powers: what we know about belief and suggestion adequately explains the minority of people who do get special experiences from [Ammachi's] hugs.

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Just 'Cause She's Bent Doesn't Mean She's A Goddess

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

We weren't sure what to do with news of Steve Cooper, aka Pamela, thought by some in India to be the reincarnation of the goddess Bahucharaji, the patron saint of the hijras (spiritual trannies). The fact is, we are very close to the idea of gender being bent by spirituality and know it to be a very powerful mode of devotional expression for a shakta.

Then we read the article again and realized it's nothing more than brazen opportunism and a carnival side show in a country where anyone can be a "goddess" with the right look:
Steve was living in a tiny flat in Tooting until deciding on his new career after Indian friends told him he looked and moved just like the ancient goddess.

As soon as he arrived at the temple he was treated as a deity.

He now gets up at dawn and dresses in a holy saffron robe before beginning the daily ritual of blessings.
It's a sweet gig for a unemployed trannie from the U.K., but clearly just another manifestation of the runaway superstition that cancels out the truths of Vedanta in her native land.

Once again, the clear light of the Upanishads gets screwed by superstition in Bharat. We'd call it the national pastime of India if we didn't have so much respect for the land and those who (have) live(d) there. But we can't see ourselves ever respecting the magical malarkey that floats like a brown cloud of smog over the subcontinent. Vivekananda tried to clear that cloud away while he was alive, yet outside the somewhat limited purview of the Ramakrishna Math, it may as well still be 300 A.D., (as opposed to the 1895 of the Math, we suppose.)

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Louie's Lament(able)

File under: Gurubusting, Hands Where They Don't Belong, The Siddhi of PR and Wackadoo Gurus

Louix Dor Dempriey, or as we like to call him, Louie the Avatard, is in deep ca-ca. He's ostensibly being blamed for the death of his step-son on this message board. It's 44 pages deep at this point and shows no signs of letting up.

Most interesting is this account from a former disciple of the pathological narcissist. Not surprisingly, it's a story of hands being put where they don't belong (and aren't at all welcome):
I must tell my story as I experienced it. I must come forward and be 100% accountable because in the past I was not. I buried my head in the sand and refused to look at or 'judge' as it was viewed at the time. These incidents took place in my city of Vancouver Canada in June 1999 and in March/April 1998. I was asked by Louie to host him giving a 'retreat' here in June 1999. He had previously given a retreat the year before which I had attended. I was to co-host with another woman but she dropped out because her male partner had been sexually accosted by Louie and she could not reconcile with that fact. It disturbed her and well it should have. She told me why she had dropped out years later.

As the time was drawing nearer for the retreat, I began getting calls from people that were telling me that Louie had been sexually assaulting young men here the previous year and it was not a good idea to have him come here. As a matter of fact, they had even gone to the police here. They had spread the word within our community and as a result we had a very low turnout despite all the work and money I put out. The first night of the retreat was open to all and three people (two men and a woman) came and wished to speak of the abuse that had taken place the year before. They tried to but were basically shut down by Louie. We all stood by. I stood by and did not say anything. We even had body guards to protect Louie. At the end of the retreat, Louie instructed myself and my other co-host (who, incidentally is still a follower) to go to the two men who were accusing him and tell them who Louie was....specifically an Avatar and the Messiah and that it was senseless to continue to press charges. He said to do this as soon as he left the city. This I did, even though the men did not buy it. Why did I do this when I know that sexual abuse is so wrong? Because Louie was already indoctrinating me to not judge anything I saw. "Nothing is outside of self. It is all me" and other such nonsense he spews. I witnessed this and I said nothing. I knew he slept with other young men after that. That was part of who he was. A year later Louie called me to say that he had gotten married to one of his followers, Katrina. (He changed her name to Cosibella). He said that now the 'tongues would stop wagging'. He was now in a respectable relationship with a ready made family.
This former disciple goes on to intimate that Louie's alleged penchant for molesting the young dudes is what put his step-son Jasha six feet under. Read it and weep, folks. This is the result of the runaway grandiosity of the self-proclaimed "divine" and the deluded dipwads who are capable of believing in them.

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Amma's "Sex Scandal"

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet and Gurubusting

We really don't have any idea who Shemp McGurk is, but we do know who forwarded McGurk's interesting interpretation of the stadium satsang scene shown at the end of Darshan: The Embrace, the recent documentary about Ammachi. We thought some of you might enjoy it. We know many of you are going to hate it:
No, Amma wasn't caught in flagrante delicto. But she did participate in what I can only describe as a "scandal" and one best employed with the adjective "sexy". But unlike this forum's allegations about MMY's extra-curriculars which are of the he-said-she-said category of rumors, Amma's scandal was filmed for the whole world to see.

I am referring to the DVD "Darshan" which I saw last week for the first time. There was something in it that just didn't sit right with me. "Darshan" is a documentary that follows Amma the Hugging Saint around various parts of India, including her Ashram, over a few months time...it was made by a French film crew a few years ago.

At one point near the end of the DVD, Amma is in a stadium of about 25,000 people who all came for that delicious hug she gives and which is her signature trademark (well, she IS called the hugging saint for a reason). And her people made a point of emphasizing that she only had a certain amount of time to be there.

So what did Amma and her organization do? Why, they actually put up a SCORE CARD of how many people she hugged! There was an actual TOTE BOARD, just like in those PBS fund-raisers they Michael Flatley and Lord of the Dance or Joseph Campbell are showcased in order to get the largest possible response during pledge week...or that thermometer the United Appeal puts on the town square that fills up with red as each new plateau of funds raised is met.

Except this tote board didn't list money; the currency measured was HUGS! And Amma wanted to get in as many as she could. She and her crew seemed intent upon trying to beat some record (exactly whose record and what goal I'm not sure but seeing as she's the only hugging saint around, I guess she was out to beat her own record...what sports psychologists tell enthusiasts in non-team sports like golf call "competing with yourself").

And the whole record-breaking vibe was pumped up to the max because Amma wasn't doing her usual embrace (the preceding one hour of the DVD had documented normal-speed hugging). No, along with her court- side minions, TEAM AMMA shifted into mass-production gear. Unlike the earlier recorded sessions, Amma the Pro performed a well- rehearsed and well-choreographed lift and jerk for each poor soul that trotted up to the dais. Amma and her accountants had precisioned the math and knew exactly how many complete cycles of body-embrace-eject-next had to be performed in the time allotted. Her followers had obviously paid attention in high school math class `cause they had the formula down pat:

I'm sure the pre-game prep notes looked something like this:

T/H = WR

T = Time Amma is in the stadium; H= Number of hugs; WR = World Record).

Man, she was huggin' em out at the rate of about 15 per minute. Now, that's some massed-produced touchy-feely darshan working there, worthy of respect from the most jaded MacDonald's production line engineer. Ray Kroc's McSlide Ruler holds nothing on Team Amma which can now proudly hang an "X billions hugged" sign under the Ashram`s arches.

Why have I called this a "scandal"? Why employ the adjective "sex" to describe it?

Bad enough that Team Amma and its star forward Amma appeared interested in only performing for the camera and unabashedly abandoned even the faintest APPEARANCE of devotion or piety. The worst part was what was so clearly their REAL motivation: cranking out the hugs in order to get into some sort of Spiritual Guinness Book of World Records. Talk about an experience devoid of spirituality...all that the principles seemed interested in was getting as high a number on the scoreboard as possible...generating love or compassion be damned, let`s just churn out what, at minimum, can be defined as a hug and get on to the next warm body. Head `em up, move `em out Rawhide!

In a nutshell: the numbers on the tote board was virtually all that she and her Kool-Aid inner circle were interested in. And that's why it seemed so scandalous to me.

And when they got the number they wanted (something like 25,000 but I can't recall the exact tally) Team Amma whooped and clapped like the cheerleaders in American Beauty. This sporty mood generated another impression upon me: Kobe Bryant scoring a three-pointer from center court to beat the Knicks with 2 seconds left on the clock.

But there was one final image this carnage of spiritual gluttony cast upon me. And this last one also depicted a pro-basketballer: Wilt Chamberlain whose ultimate claim-to-fame in popular culture wasn't the numerous NBA records he broke but his bold and brass assertion that he had slept with 20,000 women during his lifetime.

And that's why Amma's "scandal" seems so SEXY.
Comparing Amma to the Black Mamba (Kobe) and the Big Dipper (Wilt). You just gotta' love that!

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Friday, April 13, 2007

U.G. Obit

File under: Real True Gurus

Here is a recent obituary for U.G. Krishnamurti by someone who was close to him. Even as he was about to expire, the dude remained true to the truth 'til the end:
UG did not show the slightest signs of worry or fear about death or concern for his body even at the end of his life. He did not leave any specific instructions as to how to dispose of his dead body. ‘You can throw it on the garbage heap, as far as I am concerned,’ he often would say.
If we had a few hundred U.G.s around, we might be able to shovel away all the mind-disabling sewage the big-time fame whores poop out on to the world. We're talking about you, Sri Sri, Sai Baba, Kalki Bhagavan, Ammachi, Maharishi and all the other delusion factories polluting the world with their self-aggrandizing bullshit.

As it is, a valiant solder in the war against spiritual ignorance has fallen. God help us all!

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De Ruiter Builds Temple To His Ego

File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and The Siddhi or PR

Today brings news of Canadian New Age™ guru John De Ruiter's new temple, a grand structure which appears to accurately portray his grand ego. Having his multiple girlfriends on hand to dedicate his new "conference center" completes the picture of a runaway grandiosity that knows no checks, simply because he has surrounded himself with dunderheaded sycophants. Really, it's all in this simple statement he made to the reporter once:
"I just know that it will get big," he said.
But will "it" be big enough to contain his ever-inflating self-regard? We doubt it. Such is the mechanism of a big-time guru's success. Take one slick conman who says he's God – one who just might believe it himself – add thousands of desperate morons who are willing to believe in his divinity, and you've got all the makings of a grade-A cult.

Once again, we are ready to jump into the industrial-sized recycling bin behind the local microbrewery, as the only way we'll ever feel clean again is to take a bath in thousands of bottles worth of broken glass shards.

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Rick Ross Is Found!

File under: Gurubusting

Rickross.com is back online. According to a tipster, it was "strictly a systems problem" and that "he's won 3 decisive legal victories in as many years."

While it seems a bit long to be a systems problem, no matter. We're just glad to know that this voluminous web-reference is back up and educating folks about the flimflammers and psychos who want your money and devotion in return for a head full of fetid mud.

Update: Well, it's down again. Hopefully they'll have the bugs worked out soon.

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Thursday, April 12, 2007

Worthy Of The Wall

File under: Notable Quotables

We've decided to launch a new feature at Guruphiliac: Worthy of the Wall. These will be sayings and quotes we encounter which speak to the purpose of this blog, which is to remove from spiritual culture all the occluding nonsense hapless seekers are stuffing their heads with in their rush to become like their flimflamming gurus.

The first quote is by Jan Barendrecht, a longtime online denizen of several popular nonduality and gurubusting forums:

"There is no level of "enlightenment" but there are many levels of
conditioning and some will last a lifetime or, as some suppose, even
longer than that."

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Da Punks Out

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

It looks like The Beloated Adi Da Samraj has punked out of his scheduled art exhibition at the Westfield Center for the Arts in Northern California. Perhaps it had something to do with the less than stellar reception the news was enjoying with the locals.

We're not at all surprised. If there's one thing a bloated, preening narcissist has a hard time dealing with, it's finding out that he's a bloated, preening narcissist with no talent.

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Where In The World Is Rick Ross?

File under: Gurubusting

If this blog had a Godfather, it could only be Rick Ross. Easily the world's number one gurubuster, Rick has maintained the world's most comprehensive, web-accessible database on all things cult-related... until now.

For reasons unknown to us, his rickross.com and cultnews.net sites are not showing up in our browser anymore. This is after he allegedly had moved the sites to another server back at the beginning of March. They were down for a week or so, came back online (at least cultnews.net did), and now they've been out of commission for over a week again.

It has us wondering if some lawyer-enabled cult has got the better of him in court. We've yet to see any news of this in the weboblogs, but his lack of presence is saying something... loudly. We're just not sure exactly what, yet.

If anyone out there has any information, please pass it along. We've linked to so much of his material that if he stays offline for very much longer, most of our utility as an information resource will be severely compromised.

Update: As of this morning on Friday, April 13, rickross.com is back up, thank God. However, the invaluable cultnews.net does not appear to have been restored yet. Let's hope that changes soon.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Don't Kill Your Guru, But Listen To Us Online

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

While we would have picked a different title, our friend (and hero) RU Sirius just posted an interview we participated in last Saturday in San Francisco on the RU Sirius Show. We talked about various topics with folks much smarter than ourselves, including RU, Jeff Diehl and SciFi writer John Shirley. Contained in this podcast is our usual repetitive boilerplate about self-proclaimed divine nincompoops and the numbskulls who follow them.

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Monday, April 09, 2007

What Happened To Jasha?

File under: Gurubusting, Hands Where They Don't Belong, The Siddhi of PR and Wackadoo Gurus

Jasha Japp-Young was a bright young soul, skillful on a skateboard and a straight-A student seemingly well-liked by all... until the tragedy of another teen suicide struck:
The reason why he ran away is because he got in a fight with his parents, and apparently his step-father was abusive. Jasha's problems were known, many of his friends knew he had problems, but no one saw this coming.
Troubled teen gets into it with the 'rents, takes off and decides to end it all. We've all heard it many times before, end of story.

But not quite. It turns out the "abusive" step-father is none other than Louie the Avatard, aka Louix Dor Dempriey, yet another dipshit who thinks he's more God than you.

According to some folks commenting about Jasha's death on a local Temecula, California message board, Louie's got some issues. [You bet'cha!] Many of these folks are questioning the nature of Jasha's death and the causes leading up to it, including the possible involvement of Louie the Deluded. [Ed.note: We acknowledge the following is another person's speculative opinion and not any kind of verified truth... yet.]:
Can anyone explain why Ela felt the need to tell people that Louix was molesting her brother? She now recants those accusations that she started LAST YEAR.
There's lots more where that came from. Regardless of this psychotic fauxvatar's involvement in his step-son's death, it's a wake-up call for current devotees and anyone else considering taking a ride on Louie's boat, 'cause that ship is springing more leaks than a pasta colander right now.

R.I.P., Jasha. Our sincere condolences go out to his family and friends. We'll also wish Louie good luck. He's sure going to need it, whether or not any of these accusations are true. May he come to see the truth he's presently blind to, that we are all God equally, despite the deluded nonsense he is currently inflicting on himself and his devotees.

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Saturday, April 07, 2007

Yoga Is Dead

File under: The Siddhi of PR

While it's not really about any sort of self-proclaimed "divine" flimflammer... you know, the kind that make us want to scratch our eyes out with a dead cat's paw, this article – suggested by one of our very astute readers – delinates the flimflammery that has irrevocably defiled the art and science of Yoga:
It all adds up to what a friend recently called the "hostile New Age takeover of yoga." "New Age" culture being those scented-candle shrines to self-worship, the love-oneself lit of The Secret, the "applied kinesiology"-type medical and metaphysical quackery used to support a vast array of alternative-this or alternative-that magical-thinking workshops and spa weekends. At its best, it's harmless mental self-massage. At its worst, it's the kind of thinking that blames cancer victims for their disease because they didn't "manifest" enough positive vibes.
Read it and weep for the fact that all that was good about Vedic-based spirituality has been utterly lost in the West. Swami Vivekananda is little more than a log in the lake at a lumberjack competition right now.

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The Murderin' Maharaj

File under: Gurus Doin' Time

27-year-old Baba Udaynath Maharaj has been arrested for attempted murder and murder-for-hire in a widening conspiracy to kill a rival of his business partner.

This is what happens when 27-year-olds declare themselves gurus. If you asked us, nobody is really ready for the job until they are at least 40. Regardless of their status as self-realized, they will always lack the miles under their belt to truly function in the capacity of spiritual teacher, especially within the context of today's devotees' expectations of their gurus. Let's face it, 27 is just too young to be any kind of real space-daddy.

On the other hand, perhaps Baba is just another spiritual flimflammer on the make, which in this case seems the more likely possibility.

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Thursday, April 05, 2007

Adi Duh's Mid-Life Career Shift

File under: Gurubusting and Wackadoo Gurus

Adi Da never made it as the world savior he predicted he would become in his "mark my words" fantasy, given as a prophetic talk to a few devotees in 1983. Most people just think he's a loon trapped on an island on Fiji smoking lots of the kind bud as he fucks his devotees' wives. [Ed.note: Sounds like a sweet gig to us!] What's a failed avatard like this to do? Why... fall back on a career as an artist:
So let's assume the [Beloved Adi Da Samraj] is in, as his people assure us he is. What's his art look like? Da-da-da-da-damn! To us it looks like technicolor vomit after 10 tabs of "sunshine," but we are proud Philistines in such matters. Judge for yourself -- go to daplastique.com, or take a trip to the Westhaven Center for the Arts on Sunday, Apr. 15, 7 p.m., when some of his work will be exhibited (and, incidentally, offered up for sale).
To us his art looks like something produced by a brand-new Adobe Photoshop user. Think bad rave flyer design from about 1991; long on facile manipulation of scanned material and very short on any actual artistic content.

But maybe this will bring the fat man back down to this plane. We get the feeling we'd enjoy hanging with the Da once he realizes he's just another fool like everyone else. If and when that happens, we have a foldout couch-bed he's welcome to use if he decides to come for a visit.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Sri Sri In Salt Lake, Again

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Me Me Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was back in that religious ideological desert known as Salt Lake City last Friday night. It makes sense that the monolithic spiritual culture of Utah is parched for the something different that Me Me and his Art of Living org appear to provide.

While speaking to a disappointingly small crowd, Me Me had this to say about success: "success indicates your limitation."

This out of the mouth of a man with his own wall of shame fame awards and accomplishments. It has us thinking this about the fame and glory seeking narcissist: Me Me, heal thyself!

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Monday, April 02, 2007

Me Me's Future Powerbase

File under: Backroom Gurudom and The Siddhi of PR

Me Me Sri Sri Ravi Shankar seems like he expects to rule the world. But despite his overwhelming lust for name and fame, he's still got enough sense to know he can't do it by himself. Thus, he's instituted another donation trap charitable program which seeks to enjoin India's youth to become a problem-solving resource for Me Me's political ambitions the country and world at large:
The focus of [World Alliance for Youth Empowerment] is to identify issues and solutions and present a formal report to the government, with expert advice back-up, suggesting a course of action. Many such conferences are to be held in Bangalore over the next few weeks to collect enough data concerning issues and solutions. The idea is to empower youth to use their talents to offer workable ideas.

As part of their efforts to refine the education system, which was identified as the root cause of all issues, WAYE director Khurshed Batliwala said the Art of Living Foundation universities in Orissa and Gujarat will have practical, professional courses in politics and governance.
Naturally, these youth will be indoctrinated instructed in the various Art of Living meditation courses. Overtime, Me Me hopes to garner an army of little Me Me men and women, all perfected as AoL-bots emissaries of peace and sent out to spread the virus message of stress-free living that operates as a cover for Me Me's drive to have the whole world groveling at his feet celebrating his wisdom.

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