Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Senile Old Man Hates Hogs

File under: The Siddhi or PR and Wackadoo Gurus

The TM™ town Fairfield, Iowa, got all up in arms about a local farmer's plans to raise hogs on his own property. The land is adjacent to the town where they have an unconstitutional law requiring all food sold there to be organically-grown. The solution that local TM™er politicos came up with was to seize the poor farmer's land under eminent domain laws after the he refused to sell out to the cultists. As it turns out, the TM™ers may have bounced the gun:
[Farmer] Palm, 57, remained steadfast in his refusal to sell.

"It's everything to us," Palm said about the farm on which he grows corn and soybeans with his brothers Lou and Ron.

Ron Palm said he and his brothers have dropped the idea of a hog confinement and they said city officials jumped the gun when they threatened to use eminent domain.

"About all we had done was research into a hog confinement," Ron Palm said. He said the brothers also considered raising cattle or growing a vineyard.
We say go whole hog on those hogs, boys, just to spite them uppity, ass-bouncing losers. They'll all be gone in 10 years anyway after their loony leader the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi gives up his ghost, freeing the world of the one of the most grandiose gurus to hit the scene in the last 100 years.

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Monday, June 25, 2007

Tehelka Gives 'Em Hell

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet, Gurus Clockin' Dollars and The Siddhi of PR

Being stuck in the States, we've a bit of a distant outlook on the guru scene in India. Our main viewing portal is Google News and the occasional bit of luck in the way of a reader-supplied tip. Yet much of the time, what we come across in the Indian press is unusable as it's just fawning about traditional ideas of gurudom.

So we were very pleased to discover Tehelka, a sort of alternative press paper in India known for hard-hitting investigations and that slightly anti-corporate tone you find in the alt weeklies here in the States. In their sights this week are some of those occlusion-spewing, self-aggrandizing and money-grubbing fauxvatars that you know we just love to complain about in this blog.

Having already examined the finances of a number of these so-called divine beings, today Tehelka goes after Big Mamma specifically. The article opens with an excellent treatise as to how a guru gets to the big-time in India (and the rest of the world):
RELIGION MAKES lots of money because of the universal belief that you earn merit by giving. The best of faith-founders have stressed compassion; so has humanism. For the modern individual, directly helping the needy is a messy business because you are forced to get involved. Presenting money or goods to a place of worship or to a godman/woman solves the issue neatly. Hinduism has a special place for the parityagi — he who renounces all. The way things turned out, it is the so-called parityagi who ends up making all the money! What fun!

Usual places of worship do not do so well in money-catching because they have no special charisma; or they must build up the god as a miracle-maker through competitive marketing. Big money flows only towards the talented individual who can create popular spiritual appeal and surround him/herself with a group of committed disciples.

Disciples are the key. By him/herself the godman/woman is like a nuclear reactor waiting to go critical. It is the disciples who trigger the money-machine and the supporting media blast. They have more at stake than the guru. Almost none of them is guru-material. They control immense wealth and power because of the guru’s talent. And when the guru is dead, a statue with an offerings-box can do pretty well too.
So true! And there is not one iota of difference between the living guru and the statue which symbolizes her/him. They are both symbols of the devotee's inner hope, the real source of any "miracles" that are perceived (or much more likely, misperceived,) to occur.

But author Paul Zacharia has a bigger fisherwomen to fry:
Mata Amritanandamayi Devi née Ms Radhamani fits Malayali decadence to a T. She is reckoned to be one of the country’s richest gurus. She is a handmaiden of the Sangh Parivar, especially the VHP, with its global fund-flows. The hug is her USP. Her media managers and fund-managers are the real miracle-workers, considering what they have made out of a simple woman with a knack for popular religious enactment and the energy to hug all and sundry...

Amritanandamayi has invested well too. She has an expensive TV channel which is a great conduit. All the millions invested into medical/engineering and other professional institutions go under the head of charity. But the same charity also demands capitation fees of about Rs 30 to 40 lakh for a seat in the professional institutions. Some millions were spent on building homes for the tsunami-hit. That was a God-sent credibility exercise because it looked almost like charity. It was the best mask Amritanandamayi’s millions have yet worn. It increased her money-gathering power a hundred times. As we know, what all godmen/ women don’t like is auditing and accountability. But then, can you audit God?
We take the dust of Paul's feet and tip the turban to Telhelka, our new bff and now high in the bookmarks for our daily Indian edification.

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Deepockets Chips In For Clinton

File under: Backroom Gurudom and The Siddhi of PR

Led by New Age™ guru Deepockets Chopra, Indian Americans donated close to $2 million dollars to Senator Hilary Clinton's election fund at a fundraising event in New York City this weekend, an event attended by some of the leading lights of the Indian-American community.

Chopra even took a chop at Clinton's main adversary, Barack Obama:
Last night, author and spiritual guru Deepak Chopra told The New York Sun that Mr. Obama "should know better." [This regarding a memo circulated by Obama's campaign staff regarding Clinton's close ties to the Indian-American community.]

"I thought that was ridiculous," Mr. Chopra said of the memo. "We are American citizens, right? He's a minority. He should know better."

Mr. Chopra said that while Mr. Obama was a "wonderful candidate," Mrs. Clinton has a "much bigger chance of winning."bigger chance of winning."
With various movie deals and retreat facilities springing up everywhere, Chopra is a leading contender for the title King of the Cha-CHING! Riding in the back pocket of the possible future leader of the free world is just icing on the cake for this master of self-promotion.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, take notice! You've got a long way to go before you can even begin to consider yourself in the same league as Deepockets and Big Mamma.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

How Gurus Clock $$$ In India

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

The excellent cultnews.net just aimed us at this piece about the business of godmen in India. We found this passage particularly interesting:
...delegates pay Rs 5,000 each to attend the annual AOL festivities. This year, nearly 5,50,000 attended [for a grand total of 66 million dollars]. “You have to run it like a corporation to make it financially viable,” Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told TEHELKA in an interview.
Sri Sri is sync with the cha-CHING! But he's still an itty-bitty pipsqueak compared to Big Mamma:
“She is sitting pretty on an empire worth Rs 1,200 crore [294 million!] Amma runs high-power institutions through which big favours can be distributed to people who matter. The payment for a medical seat at her super-specialty hospital-cum-medical college is Rs 40 lakh [close to $100,000]. There would be concessions in the case of children of VIPs,” says U. Kalanathan, noted Malayali atheist. “Amma’s benefits are going to the devotees. So where is the question of this huge annual turnover?” argues Swami Dhyanamrita, a long-time Amma confidant.
And that is the utter beauty and perfection of this scam. If anyone questions where the money goes, you can always say, "right back to the devotees," whether it be tsunami relief or a palatial HQ accessed by your own helicopter.

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Friday, June 22, 2007

The Fall Of Amma

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet and The Siddhi of PR


Get used to it, folks. Amma has jumped the shark.

For those seeking community with other disappointed devotees, sign up at the new Yahoo! group, ExAmma:
It is an effort to get ex-devotees together to share their stories in a safe environment. Ex-Devotees of Ammachi tend not to speak-up out of fear of reprisal from the organization. This is why you never hear about ex-devotees. They retreat quietly into isolation and disappointment. Hopefully, this group can serve as a safe online haven to anonymously express discontent over the lies and hypocrisy we have been fed. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/examma/
[Ed.note: With this last missive we are retreating into the wilderness for a few days of worship and contemplation with the dog and his ass. We won't be able to moderate comments from the middle of nowhere, so please be patient and know we'll be back on the job at the end of the weekend.]

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Ex-SYDA Swami Launches Mary Apparition Scam

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

Your meditation institute is failing. You just can't seem to sell your overpriced meditation CDs and folks are not signing up for your expensive retreats. What are you going to do to turn things around?

Why... just claim a visitation from the Blessed Virgin Mary! That's what the misfortunately-named Ex-SYDA Swami Vivekananda [Ed.note: It's a blight on the good name of one of India's greatest gurus.] is doing to get folks to show up at his Synchronicity Foundation in Nelson County, Virginia.

But wait... there's more! According to "Master" Charles Cannon, his Blessed Mary isn't just merely the mother of Jesus Christ:
"She refers to herself as the Divine Feminine, the Divine Mother, the Blessed Mother, not just Mother Mary," Cannon said recently before going to the nearby site where the visitations are said to be occurring.

"She is the divine consciousness - the essence of all those forms. What is amazing here is that so many people are seeing her, hearing her, smelling the fragrance [roses and gardenias].
Er... don't pay any attention to those roses and gardenias blooming in the garden! They are not the same roses and gardenias that smell like the Blessed Mother.

According to Charles, his Mary apparition is also much more cutting edge than those other apparitions folks go on about:
"I think these are very important messages that surround this apparition and will have a bearing on who is able to participate and get beyond their indoctrinated religious beliefs and open to the Divine Mother in ways that maybe are outside their religious beliefs.

"So it's going to be challenging and controversial, I would expect, and a stretch for a lot of people, because you have to go beyond religious conditioning and open up to this miracle that is happening, and then have your own experience of it and see for yourself."
How convenient! She cuts an edge, all right, right toward Charles' own, faltering groove.

This bald-faced attempt at flimflamming the spiritually ignorant is all the more astonishing for being covered in a seemingly normal local newspaper. For whatever reason, an editor at the Daily Progress deemed it important enough for several column inches. They must have been short a few used car ads today and needed to fill the space, because that's the only excuse a professional editor could have for exposing their readers to this utter garbage.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Looking Good ≠ Good Guru

File under: Blogs of Note and The Siddhi of PR

Recently, real writer Marta Szabo sent a link to her memoir, published serially on her blog, The Guru Looked Good. It's all about her time spent in the SYDA yoga ashram of faded former hottie guru Gurumayi. We dug a bit but found nothing we'd call dirt on the missing devi, and a request to the author for this material went unfulfilled. However, it does provide a good look at the interpersonal psychodynamics of ashram life. In other words, it's pretty fucked up:
Gay couples didn't exist on the ashram's radar. Any homosexuality was deep underground, almost too deep to see, easy to gaze past. Now and then the subject surfaced for a moment at a lunch table, how two women had been asked to leave because their relationship was “inappropriate.” You could tell just by looking around you that being gay and the ashram didn’t go together. I just tossed it onto the pile of things that were discouraged or not allowed – all things that seemed worth giving up if it meant getting free of absolutely everything, being liberated.
Besides the ignorance about the Gays, the last sentence equates liberation (moksha) with a freedom from "things." Common thinking at an ashram, and probably the number one reason people subject themselves to that particular house of horrors.

One day they'll learn that liberation has nothing to do with anything but itself. It comes in an augenblick, unbidden and not in response to anything, including someone's adherence to a set of ignorant rules about what things are "spiritual" or not. One of our favorite things is our dog's lovely ass, which constantly reminds us that the truth of our being is at once, always immediate and also utterly transcendent of all things, those Gurumayi proclaimed to be spiritual and everything she said that was not.

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sikh-Baiting Baba To Be Busted

File under: Gurus Doin' Time and The Siddhi of PR

Breakaway Sikh sect leader Gurmit Singh Ram Rahim is still in boiling hot water over his last month's dress-up-like-a-revered-spiritual-leader stunt that launched riots all over the Indian state of Punjab:
After the prosecution assured the court that permission would be formally sought from the state government, the Judge issued non-bailable warrants against Ram Raheem. The warrants are returnable by July 1.
Not that this really means anything. The last couple times they tried to arrest the Baba, the cops couldn't get to him through his protective throng of devotees.

Regardless, we can't get behind this particular course of action against the Baba. Sure, his little dress-up stunt led to widespread social unrest in a particularly restive state. But if a guy can't find a safe place to realize his higher sartorial aspirations, he needs to move to a place where he can. We suggest the Kracki's Oneness University as his first stop. They're used to people dressing up as God around there, and one more fake deity on top of the others isn't going to hurt anyone anymore than they've already been ruined by the bullshit being fed directly into their brains.

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Fundie Hindus Promote Their Own As Goddess

File under: Backroom Gurudom and The Siddhi of PR

Folks in India are in an uproar over this depiction of the Hindu fundamentalist party (BGP)-supported Chief Minister of Rajasthan state, India, as the Goddess Annapurna:


But even better yet, Vasundhara Raje may just like her some hot lesbian lip-locking as well:


Now that's some fundamentalist political action even we can feel good about!

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Monday, June 18, 2007

Portrait Of An Ammabot

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet

Today is turning out to be all Amma, all the time. Next up, the San Francisco Chronicle interviews a full-time Ammabot, on tour following his mommy as she distributes a clarity-clogging, real-time hagiography about herself:
I have had many inner experiences over the years that convince me that she is who she says she is, sometimes during a darshan itself. [These experiences include] visions or other insights that might not mean anything to anyone else -- but they point me in the direction I need to go. I can see where she is directing me and how it can positively affect my life if I make certain internal or external changes.
All that is required is the suggestion that she is God. At that point, the mind of a needy devotee fills in the blanks all on its own, all in the mistaken belief that Amma is doing it personally.

Thus, another hungry mouth comes to her breast to feed on a delusion that keeps them from their goal of self-realization rather than leading them to it.

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Mamma Making Money

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet and The Siddhi of PR

This morning some readers dug a bit into the cost of attending an Ammachi retreat in the U.S.:
If you are are two adults staying in the same room, your fee EACH (including accommodations) is $310. So that's $610 that they get for two adults in one hotel room. Say you have two couples. That's $1220 that they get per room. Normal hotel room rates are $110 regardless of how many are staying in the hotel. This indicates they are making a profit of over $1000 per room. (Maybe more depending on what kind of deal they have with the hotel).

Now, here's where it gets interesting. The MA Center charges children different fees based on their AGES:

5 and under: $125
Ages 6-12: $195
Ages 13-17: $240

That said, if you are a single mother with a baby, a pre-teen and a teen and you would like to attend a retreat with "your guru", it's gonna cost you $800 for TWO nights and an extra $110 if you want to stay for the Devibhava night. Now, we are talking close to a grand for three nights.

If you are a single person, and you want to have the room to yourself (i.e. don't want to share it with a stranger) it's gonna cost you $415 for the two nights...

The net worth of the Ammachi corporation has got to be higher than that of Bill Gates and Donald Trump combined. Alllllll of that money goes back to India. In the late 1990's Amritapuri was the SECOND largest receiver of foreign funds in India. Do you think they are number one now?
Our thanks to the readers who performed this research. More and more it seems Amma is all about the cha-CHING!

When recently asked why she hugs, Amma replied, "That's like asking the river, why do you flow?" Now we know why the river flows. It all just about getting more dough.

Update: A reader reports that there has been a miscalculation:
You have got the math on the room rates all wrong.

The cost of the Boston retreat with accomodation is $310 and without accomodation is $200. The difference is $110 = the lowest hotel rate for the room. Up to two adults are charged the $310 rate and additional adults are charged only $200.

Accomodation is for two nights, so the hotel cost in the retreat fees is the exact amount that the hotel charges for the room.
That still doesn't explain the children's fees, but we appreciate this reader taking the time to offer this correction.

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Amma Spins Her Indifference

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet and The Siddhi of PR

Despite being snubbed by a major spiritual leader from whom she may have been seeking greater market penetration, Amma has gone ahead and arrived at the labor-strife-stricken LAX Hilton for five days of breast-feeding hugging her hopelessly infantile devotees "children."

And rather than face of the inconvenience of moving her event and facing a cancellation fee, she spins her decision to stay at the tainted venue as one motived by a desire to avoid disappointing her devotees:
She said she felt "very sad and concerned" for workers at the hotel but decided to stay with her Los Angeles venue so as not to disappoint her 15,000 devotees here, and because she did not feel comfortable, as a foreigner and visitor to the country, taking sides in a local dispute.

"Suppose I tell the hotel people, will they change their policy? They won't," she said, adding, "I don't want to interfere with the local affairs."
That's sort of like saying don't protest an unjust war if it won't result in an immediate withdrawal. We guess something being wrong doesn't mean that much to Amma if it could possibly get in the way of her revenue collection efforts.

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Sunday, June 17, 2007

Rabbi Raps Amma In Hotel Labor Dispute

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet and The Siddhi of PR

She may have (purportedly) dumped millions into tsunami relief in India, but it appears Amma doesn't much care about the working poor in the United States:
Amma arrives in Los Angeles Sunday as part of a ten-city U.S. tour, and will spend five days at the LAX Hilton. The second-largest hotel in Southern California, the LAX Hilton is the subject of a boycott [over the hotel's union-busting tactics] endorsed by dozens of elected officials and religious and community leaders throughout the state.
Included in this group is Rabbi Michael Lerner, the editor of Tikkun Magazine and a leader of the progressive Jewish community in Southern California. Amma wanted to present him with an award, ostensibly to honor his work as a spiritual leader, but probably because her people saw his community as a big, fat, juicy target for their own fundraising efforts. That ain't gonna happen now:
Amma, there is no possibility of creating a more loving and caring world that I know you are so committed to so long as spiritual leaders like yourself fail to link spiritual ideals to concrete social justice for poor and working people.
Oh, smack!

And this spiritual conflagration is only just getting started. Get ready for a raucous protest by the striking hotel workers upon Amma's arrival, which is probably going down as we write this. It will probably be the first time she has had to face a crowd which reviles her. And seeing the abject hypocrisy of her refusal to relocate her event to support the less fortunate, this certainly won't be the last time we hear about it.

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Saturday, June 16, 2007

Randy Guru Creepalu

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

For an enlightening rendering of the social politics of gurudom in India, take a look at the comments generated by our two recent posts about Swami Ram Tripathi, aka Kripalu Maharaj. It's a slice o' devotee drama with most folks taking one of two sides: those who know women who have been sexually molested by the dude, and those who have drank so much Kool-Aid that they could justify the guy pulling a gun out and shooting up a room full of babies.

Apparently, the Swami has been getting away with this kind of thing for decades. The sexual hijinks allegedly occur under the cover of Kripalu playing Krishna, with the various, multiple female partners being the Gopis. Such are the perks of engineering his declaration as the fifth jagadguru of Hinduism.

Meanwhile, the Swami has skated away from the recent rape charges in Trinidad-Tobago. We're willing to lay $100 on the line that he never sets foot in that country again, despite the fact that he is still under indictment there. The excuse will be medical... but the truth will be criminal.

When all is said and done, you've got to hand it to the 85-year-old man for having the sexual stamina of a man 60-years younger. It might be icky for the ladies he convinces will be helped in their spiritual lives by becoming a gopi in his naughty adventures, but it's hard to hate a playa' for having that kind of game... unless, of course, you happen to be one of those ladies.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sri Sri Sucks Up To Bollywood Singer

File under: The Siddhi of PR

In yet another ploy to keep his name in the news, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has awarded Bollywood singer Hema Sardesai the "international award for women achiever" at his excuse to get press international women's conference held last week at his Bangalore, India, headquarters. And right on cue, Hema provided the aggrandizement Sri Sri was looking for immediately after the presentation:
"It's an absolute honour to receive an award of this stature. What is more honouring is that the award was given by Sri Sri Ravishankar himself," Sardesai told a news agency over phone from Bangalore.
Wow! Hema went from suckee to suck up in under 5 seconds flat. That's sure to gain her entrée into the Art of Living inner circle whenever she and the little fame whore in a white gown happen to be in the same city.

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

TM™ Transcends Itself Right Out Of Business

File under: Guru Clockin' Dollars and The Siddhi of PR

A gal named Lady Anne was beguiled by David Lynch's big TM™ PR push, so she went to a peace palace in Houston, Texas, to see what it was all about:
After about 2 hours of her odd rambling and occasional nonsensical bursts of laughter, she told me that I'd need to set appointments for the 4 sessions (which would total no more than 4 hours) in which I would be given my mantra and taught to meditate appropriately. Then.....THEN she dropped the course fee. A tiny, insignificant donation of $2,500.
The secret of TM™ is all in the cha-CHING! It's nothing more than a kooky old cult with a kooky old coot at the head of a dying effort to remake the world to match his psychotic dreams, priced clear out of the reach of most normal folks. If you are going to sell sand at the beach, at least have the sense to price it accordingly. No matter how much gold paint you spray on it, nobody is going to believe its gold except the senile little man still trying to sell it as such.

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Monday, June 11, 2007

Resnick Revs Up

File under: Blogs of Note

As some of you know, we love to gush about our wonderful readers. Of those, we've fallen head-over-heels for some of our insightfully-commenting discussion participants. And of those, one who is at the top of the heap is Stuart Resnick. Sometimes we'd like to be a bit more like Stuart, who thinks before he types and offers measured, considered analyses of the various sociocultural phenomena of gurudom.

We are very happy to report that Stuart now has a blog in addition to his website. His first topic, the falling-from-grace-as-he-was-fattening-up-on-his-grandiose-self-image, Adi Da:
In the Da intro program I spoke of, they said something like this: If you're in Da's presence, you'll definitely get these amazing and wonderful things happen to you, and you don't need to do anything. Except, oh yeah, just one little thing, you do have to accept that he's enlightened.

And I thought, Jeez, of course! Even if you accept that a rock is enlightened, you'll get amazing experiences in the presence of that rock (as in a Hindu temple, or a vortex in Sedona). But why pretend to accept something just because you're told too? It seems like a tiny thing at first, but then it's a slippery slope to no end of non-sense, based on the one little act of pretending.
Stuart is the kinder, gentler gurubuster. We hope he keeps up with his blog and look forward to linking to his wisdom many more times for many more years.

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Indian Xtian Tries To Be Jesus To Stay Out Of Jail

File under: Wackadoo Gurus

[Ed.note: On occasion, we get chastised in the comments for only picking on Hindu gurus. We dedicate this post to them:]

An Indian-born Pentacostal minister named Charles was trying to go all Jesus in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India, by saving the decomposing body of his brother for re-animation:
Charles, a Pentacostal preacher, claimed he kept the body of his younger brother Selvakumar for the past 55 days in his house at Papanaickenpalayam here in order to "bring life" to it through 'japam' (prayer)...

Relatives broke the window of [Charles'] house and found a bad smell emanating from a room. They broke open the door and found the decomposed body of Selvakumar wrapped in a plastic sheet.
Charles is being held in the pokey until the police can determine if Selvakumar's death was a suicide, as Charles contends, or perhaps something more sinister.

If it was indeed a case of fratricide, Charles' attempt to raise his dead brother goes from wacky effort to preserve family togetherness to desperate endeavor to keep his ass out of jail, all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, we suppose...

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Update: India To 'Bling-Bling': You Blow

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

The Indian government has taken up the cause against frivolous patents as they pertain to yoga and Hindu-based health and spiritual practices. First up, Bikram "Bling-Bling" Choudhury's attempts to patent yoga in a steam room:
The latest uproar over the patent issue arose after US-based yoga guru Bikram Choudhury applied for a patent for yoga practised in a steam room.

Most of the yoga patents in the US have been obtained by people of Indian origin. “This is the saddest part,” said the Health Ministry official.
Never one to shirk from a publicity opportunity, the rancorous Swami Ramdev takes time to chime in:
Guru Ramdev, one of India’s most popular yoga practitioners who specializes in mass yoga classes, termed the patents “absurd.”

He said he had requested the government to take up the matter some time back. “The West is noticing the worldwide drift towards yoga. Soon, all countries will take it upon themselves to grab patent rights of heritages like yoga and ayurveda (traditional Indian medicine),” he said.

Nobody could patent yoga or pranayama (a set of breathing exercises combined with meditation). “They are a part of our heritage. To patent them is an act of fraud,” he said.
We'd not be surprised if Ramdev had already tried to go the patent route and failed.

Update: The U.S. patent office has gotten back to India. The verdict: no yoga patents have been issued:
Officials in the Health Ministry’s Department of Ayurveda, Yoga and Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH), which was at the forefront of the move to lodge a complaint, said they were happy that the US government had gone through this verification and clarified matters. However, they added, they would continue to examine some patents, copyrights and trademarks that they are suspicious about, and would raise the issue with the US government if required.

The ancient Indian spiritual system of yoga has become a fitness fad in the US, espoused by many celebrities. It is a $3 billion a year industry, prompting many like the Indian-born fitness guru Bikram Chaudhury to apply for patents on yoga postures and yoga-related contraptions.
But to Bling-Bling: You still blow.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

Little Amma Stuck In The Wake

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet and The Siddhi of PR

If we liken Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Ammachi) to a large ocean liner plying the waters of Western satsang junkies, Sri Karunamayi Amma is an itty bitty skiff getting bounced around in the wake.

But that's not going to stop her from touring the States in direct competition with the Big Gal:
Karunamayi stopped in the area for five days as part of her 2007 U.S. tour. A practitioner of Sanatana Dharma, an ancient form of Hinduism that promotes meditation as a form of healthy living, she spends about four months in the United States each year.
She's the little boat that could, chugging along as Big Amma gets (and makes for herself) all the attention. Too bad folks are going to a Karunamayi Amma satsang for the same reason they go to an Ammachi satsang: to get a jolt of their own shakti by way of a self-deception by believing that these devi ladies have more.

She may be the smaller vessel, but that doesn't mean her exhaust isn't just as stinky and clarity occluding as that coming off the bigger ship.

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Sikhs Still Have Sights Trained On Dera Baba

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Dera Sacha Sauda sect guru Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh is still in boiling hot water for dressing like the 10th Sikh patriarch Guru Gobind Singh:
The Haryana government on Wednesday decided to give Z-plus security to Baba Gurmit Ram Rahim Singh, the chief of Dera Sacha Sauda sect whom Sikhs have accused of blasphemy.

"We have decided to provide him with the Z-plus security cover in view of the threats to eliminate him," Haryana's Additional DGP (CID) P V Rathee told PTI.
The hit is out in the Punjab, and we doubt that even Z-plus security is gonna cover the Baba's ass. With an ongoing boycott against his group and the ire of an inflamed populace, the Baba doesn't have much choice other than to hole up, stay low and keep ducking.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Bus Stop Amma

File under: Amma All-Over-The-Planet and The Siddhi of PR


She may not be hooking on the corner in front of the bus stop, but Ammachi has taken the pimping of herself to a whole new plane with the arrival of this poster on the side of buses in northern New Mexico.

This appears to cast Amma as more of an actress than a guru, with her satsang being a mere performance rather than a holy event. Back in the day, actresses and hookers were pretty much the same thing, seemingly making this development in the marketing of this space-mommy a fall from grace for both Amma and the bus.

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Freddie Spills The Beans

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

When we last heard from Freddie Nielsen, he has just bailed on the Kracki (Kalki Bhagavan) and was initiating his very own deeksha scam. Now he's spilling the beans about his experiences being the Kracki's number one deeksha-monger, and it ain't pretty:
It was rare that he spoke nice or approving words about other gurus or masters. He regularly ridiculed them – sometimes even in a rude way; or at least emphasizing that he is infinitely more powerful than they are. They only spoke about enlightenment. At the best they also made some efforts to give people enlightenment. Bhagavan said he is the only one that can make it happen and actually give it. The very best of these masters could give enlightenment to one or a few disciples at most. He said this about Ramana; however, some years later he had changed his mind. He now said that Ramana did not give enlightenment to anyone, what he gave was not full enlightenment.
The Kracki gives enlightenment like our dog's ass gives diamonds. And compared to Ramana, the Kracki is no better than a crack-addicted hooker working at a truck stop for $5 a pop.

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