Friday, December 12, 2008

Nithyananda Blesses Arunachala With A New Orifice

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

Here's proof that Swami Nithyananda has raped the holy mountain of Arunachala in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, beloved of the nondual saint, Ramana Maharshi, who is arguably the father of modern nondual thought. We know, that's a bullshit term and Ramana would strenuously disagree, but regardless, behold the destruction of a world treasure by a ridiculously grandiose and insanely self-promoting fauxvatar:


(Click for a larger image)
Take a look at the size of that parking lot! That's a lot of natural habit ravished beyond any ecological value to the locals, India, or the world, not to mention the many species of plants and animals, some possibly endangered, that depended on that jungle before it became a new asshole ripped into a holy mountain by the local-boy-who-made-it-big-in-the-States-as-a-saint, so-now-we're-going-to-let-him-do-whatever-the-f*%k-he-wants.

Locals are informing us that this is the closest building to the top of the mountain now, stepping Nithyananda up into a whole new, higher realm of the commercialization of Ramana Maharshi's spirituality. He's the native son who made "good", if you can consider the cultural and physical rape of a treasured spiritual landmark and the absolute pillaging of the local environment, not to mention the scarily fascist-looking marketing materials, as good:


He's the leader of the lingams here. We haven't quite decided what that really says about him, other than he's still the Peacock Guru in our eyes.

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Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sri Sri's Crayons Come Out

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

The analysis which led Sri Sri to this solution to the problem of religious terrorism must be a landmark in infantile reasoning by a noted guru:
Noted spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar on Friday suggested a blend of knowledge of all traditions, including the teachings of Islam, Christianity, Hinduism and indigenous faiths, to end conflicts.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the idiot-savant guru, still trying to capitalize on the tragedy of the Mumbai terrorist attacks.

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Tuesday, December 02, 2008

PSBoomBoom Shut Out

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

We're a little late bringing this to you, but Kreepalu (Kripalu Maharaj) protegé Swami Prakashanand Saraswati was denied permission to live at his Texas ashram as he awaits trial on child sexual molestation charges:
A state judge has again denied the request of Prakashanand Saraswati to be permitted to live on the ashram he founded near Driftwood, south of Austin.

The 79-year-old Hindu guru, known among his followers as Shree Swamiji, is accused of groping two minor girls in the 1990s. Although he has been allowed to travel freely before his trial, Prakashanand is prohibited from setting foot on the property of Barsana Dham as a condition of his parole.

Judge Charles Ramsay on Monday rejected the guru's argument that excluding him from the Hays County ashram was a violation of his First Amendment right of religious freedom and association. Prakashanand made a similar request in late August, which Ramsay also denied. A pretrial hearing in the case is set for Jan. 21.
You may recall that one of Swami's devotees put up $10,000,000 bail to ensure Boom Boom's appearance at trial. Given the current financial landscape, we imagine it's worth about half of that now. But we must tip the turban to the Swami's devotees for doing such a magnificent job with their online whitewash. You've got to scroll down pretty far to get any hints about the Swami's alleged darker tendencies.

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Saturday, November 29, 2008

Master Charles' Mumbai Mitzvah

FIle under:Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

Master Charles Cannon, recent Virgin Mary apparition scamster and former protegé of the preteen-diddling Baba Muktananada, just lost two devotees to the recent terror operation in Mumbai, India. And don't 'cha know he's been making the most of this opportunity to let the world know that these two devotees were members of the Synchronicity Foundation, on a Synchronicity Foundation-sponsored trip, doing Synchronicity Foundation business, as if any of this had any relevance at all to the fact of their deaths due to the action of the Mumbai extremists, outside of a cynical attempt to make this a public relations boon for the Synchronicity Foundation itself. Imagine if General Motors or Ford launched a public relations effort every time someone was killed in a crash in one of their vehicles. From a witness to a recent Synchronicity Foundation press conference:
The Synchronicity foundation [is] using the death of two members in Mumbai to hold press conferences all over the place pitching their spiritual leader Master Charles and their line of hi-tech meditation audio and other products. While the lady was going on about products and such, a reporter asked her how the community was feeling. She asked, "About what?" "About the death of your two members." "Oh that, we're devastated," she replied, looking thrilled at the PR opportunity. I'm surprised Synchronicity isn't having a 20% off Mumbai tragedy sale.
We'd love to be able to show you some YouTubes coverage of this particular press conference, so if anyone happens knows where we can find it, please pass along the link to tips@guruphiliac.org.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

The Big One Meets The Big One

File under: Final Samadhi

Adi Da has died. Our mentor Bruce Morgen says it best:
There is nothing so large
that it cannot be exaggerated,
no lily so perfect
that it cannot be gilded.

He emerged so suddenly,
so astonishingly gifted,
and died his own hagiographer.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

UPDATE: Nithyananda's Lingam Isn't That Big

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

The Peacock Guru's devotees are out in full force now, consigning us to hell for dissing their "Master." While we have no qualms whatsoever about where we'll end up after we die, we thought it would be fair to communicate that it appears that Nithyananda isn't going to be building a 108-foot lingam underground:
There were never plans for 108 feet Shivalingam, the plan for 21 feet lingam is fast approaching and to energize the whole place navapashanam medicines for that lingam are getting ready for the lingam.
We've taken down the original post about Nithyananda's ashram near Arunachala mountain after considering the lack of verification of the claims made by the tipster. We apologize for going with the claims without making an effort to verify them ourselves.

That all said, Nithyananda is still the Peacock Guru, grooming himself to be the next Ramana as he yokes ignorance to metaphor about enlightenment, just like any other common big-time guru.

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Chi-Ting Still Galloping Along

File under: Gurubusting

Our pal Sri Sri Swami Kevinandaji is still leading the charge against the many fauxrus and their fawning fans who have set up shop around Tiruvannamalai, the Las Vegas red-light district of Vedic-based spirituality for Westerners visiting India. One of these is some dude who calls himself Gaia. That's a girl's name if ya didn't know it. But what's even more amusing is this guy's girlfriend. According to Kevinandaji:
His girlfriend is a real deal Uber bitch who wears her attitude like a 'strap on' at a dyke's orgy and that's when she's being nice! She must have been spawned from the same Alien pod that Benita and Katrina Von Sass slimed out from (they're the 2 spoilt harridans who turned John deRuiter into such a polygamous figure of fun !)
And here comes Satsang Barbie again:
I am blonde, very gorgeous and have an insatiable need to spend money on ME! ME! ME! Your place in the universe is to give sustenance to my retail therapy addiction, while I spout a few spiritual platitudes and give you 30 seconds of my precious attention. As an extra incentive I will be dressed in a shimmering sari (I do so love to be ethnic!) with translucent see through qualities, so when the light is right you lucky boys will be able to see my perfectly formed pubis and vulva... So empty your wallets NOW! You know it's worth it!
Apparently, vag-flashing is the new guru blessing around there.

Finally, hanging with Radha Ma sounds like a lot of fun for a freak:
A rich American devotee of Radha Ma has built this wondrous temple as a monument to Sado-Masochism, whips and KY jelly. Do you think if I climbed over the wall I could become a sex slave and develop a life long addiction to kinky sex and general perversion.
Ah, a true aghori after our own hearts. We can't guarantee the accuracy of any of Kevinanda's claims, but who cares? It's still fun to read and regardless, these sanctimonious frauds and posers are all due for a good piss-taking, as often as possible, and Sri Sri K-ji is just the man for the job in our book.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008

Recycling Jody: The One Where I Break The First Person Plural Habit (On Occasion)

File under: Nondualogicality

[Ed.note: I wrote these short essays on my first blog, Nondualogicality, which is the precursor to Guruphiliac. Having explored the archives a bit, (and being exhausted with the silly ignorance that is foisted by those targeted here,) I'm putting these back up in this present editorial context.]

Who is writing this?

Everything we know and do is based on the idea that we are individuals, separate people who make decisions and interact with other people in ways funny, brilliant, and terrible.

To question this is more ludicrous than making Hilter a saint or calling G.W. Bush intelligent.

It is unimaginable to think that the "person" we think we are is really only an idea, even if it's an incredibly varied, creative and complex idea.

You'd have to be crazy to think that you're not a person.

Well, I'm crazy.

This particular blog is written by no one. It comes out of this head by the agency of these hands, but the fact is--for all of us--that there is only 'this,' 'this' being what is. It can't be spoken, but we're all it, and this apparent blogger is going to blog away at that point until you either get sick of it or you get it too.

So prepare to puke or maybe learn who you really are.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chi-Ting Takes It Up A Notch

File under: Gurubusting

Our pal Sri Sri Kevinanda just caused us to take off the turban, put it out on the back fence, and blow it away with the Beretta:


Kevinandaji has set the bar quite high now for gurubusters with blogs. It's definitely set some wheels a' turning over here.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Chi-Ting Rides Again

File under: Gurubusting

We're a little late getting the news to you, but "His most righteous Holiness Sri Sri Swami Kevindanda" and his Chi-Ting Apocalypse guru gossip website are back up and hastening the fall of all that is good (for cloying big-time gurus who attempt to play-out their scams in India's capital of gurudom, Tiruvannamalai.) For any of you who doubt his qualification to comment on the state of these very "highest" of beings, regardez:
By the late 70's and early 80's Kevinanda had graduated to the new frontier of credit card fraud and rampant binges of shoplifting to feed his monstrous drug habit. Finally in 1985 Mr Plod in the form of Law and Order sentenced Kevinanda to 5 years in Pentonville jail.... After some extreme psychotic fits he was transferred to The Broadmoor secure unit for the criminally insane, where he made lifelong friends with the Kray twins and Myra Hindley who became his surrogate aunty... During a period in solitary confinement Kevinandaji had his first experience of samadhi and realised the oneness of all and metamorphosised into the all loving Apostle of Chi-ting...
We tip the turban in the direction of Tiruvannamalai and its premier gurubuster and our colleague, Sri Sri Swami Kevindanda.

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Monday, November 03, 2008

The Bored Guru's Tips Of The Trade

File under: Real True Gurus and The Siddhi of PR

We always love us some Bored Guru. His latest story is about another devotee's silly beliefs—this time it's enlightenment radar in dogs—but what caught our eye was this helpful tip for burgeoning big-time gurus at the end of the article:
Do you want to show the world that you are potentially a universal guru?

Take as many pictures possible with you posing along with cows, dogs and birds and post it on your home page of the website. Let the world know how much the animals love you for your enlightened state of living.
In the interest of empowering any burgeoning of the inner guru, we bring you all 12 (so far) of the Bored Guru's tips:
1. Allow the disciple to prattle whatever he/she wants. Listen to it with a smile and admiration on the face.

2. Sharpen your skills in the area of human psychology and brand it as 'divine power' every time you get a chance.

3. Every time a female seeker expressed her stupid love or passion for you, you will say YES. Tell her also that in the past life she could not express her love to you and now you have taken that special birth to fulfill that (without batting the eye lid).

4. Don't deny any healing powers attributed to you, accept it gracefully. Tell that it requires total surrender for total healing, so that even if the healing did not happen, you can blame it on the same person that his surrender is not complete.

5. Smile 'compassionately' and also brush aside 'gently' any aura stories weaved around you. You can also make references to your aura as to how only evolved people can see your aura and the rest may see it soon as they all are evolving.

6. Drop a word casually about how some ancient gurus are coming in your dreams and blessing you to do the same with others as a divine mission.

7. Always smile meaningfully; use often expressions like "I know, my child" if any miracles attributed to you, just shrug your shoulders and chuckle.

8. Tell people, how guru's grace can bring luck in one's life, without batting your eye lid.

9. Design your robes carefully. They should be long and flowing and even as you go to bed, make sure you are robed well. If you try out a turban and wooden sandals, you may attract lot more attention, especially at airports.

10. Project yourself as a ghost-buster with divine powers. Make sure you've learnt some ghost related mantras and shout them loudly, as you smoke out somebody's house.

11. Divide people as insider and outsider. Tell how blessed are the insiders and how unfortunate the outsider for remaining still in the outside.

12. Take as many pictures possible with you posing along with cows, dogs and birds and post it on your home page of the website. Let the world know how much the animals love you for your enlightened state of living
A billion new Sri Sri's can spring forth from these wise aphorisms, now gathered up here for your and our great enjoyment... and sad reflection on the state of ignorance that is perpetuated by big-time gurus every day.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Our First: The Guru Named Sue

File under: Wackadoo Gurus

True confession: New Age™ looney tunes guru Elizabeth Claire Prophet and her Church Universal and Triumphant made this blog what it is today. Briefly: we were some kind of wayward/lapsed Christian/faux-Rastafarian, Orange County, California beach mishmash until we met Sue. She was 12-years older and a former stewardess and model. Our first night together brought a whole new way of seeing and being in relationship with the Universe, one that we knew we knew all along as we got caught up in the grandiose certainty of it all. Being the blank slate we were at that time, we gobbled up the "I AM" books that form the basis of Prophet's shtick, feeling every suggested sensation in perfect harmony with their description in the book. How could it not be real!

Being hooked on the books, the experiences they were associated with, and a really hot older woman, we attended a 4th-of-July celebration called the Freedom conference at the church's stunning Camelot campus outside Malibu, California. The property was nothing short of spectacular, and the conference was surprisingly well-attended. We wandered like a puppy-dog along with Sue as she told us what it was like to be Crazy Liz's personal secretary. Then she revealed that Camelot was under psychic attack by the CIA, even going so far as to lead us to a room of people praying in shifts at 90 miles-an-hour in an effort to create a protecting vibration from all the mind-ray machines aimed at us.

It was on that somewhat discordant note that we were ushered into an indoctrination presentation for first-time visitors. There we found a guy up on a stage, ready to pour Crazy Liz's Kool-Aid down our gullets. Folks were asking questions, for which they would receive massive doses of official CUT dogma from the guy.

Someone asked about rock music, and surprisingly to us, our indoctrinator's tune was a virtually identical copy of what you'd hear in any deep red Baptist church. "It's of the Devil, because it's from the jungle. It's animal in nature and stains our cosmic glory bodies," or something like that. We'd heard it all before on Christian radio, which we'd been listening to until we met Sue. Since we already had that groove in our brain, we were ready to swallow it all, until we asked: "What about reggae music?"

Same answer. "It's from the jungle, the rhythms pollute the soul." Only classical music afforded a benefit to its listeners, all other forms of music were inferior.  How could they not be, they were mostly ethnic, and some were downright dangerous.  

For sure, because as soon as we heard that, we knew it was all bullshit. As certain as we were in our new mystical life, we were just as certain in our old one, which was enjoying the OC waves and then sitting on the beach, listening to Jamaican music while we enjoyed some of California's finest Cannabis indica.

We tried to keep it going with Sue, but without the allure of more mystical adventures to far out spiritual planes, it just wasn't worth the close-to-3-hour drive to stay in her seemingly dangerously flea-infested home. It wasn't an easy breakup, mostly because she went a bit stalker on us. Thankfully, she was finally able to realize that we weren't worth the effort, especially since we'd already taken up with our old girlfriend, who had become remarkably more compliant since seeing us hijacked for a month or so by our first real spiritual teacher, the guru named Sue.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

"Guru" Creates Youth Culture Nirvana

File under: The Siddhi of PR


It's more fun than a Sri Sri, Kracki, Kreepalu, and the Babaster in a barrel, about to float off the side of Niagara Falls.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Princess Huff-Post And The Evil Red Monk

File under: The Siddhi of PR and Wackadoo Gurus

We pulled this tip about Arianna Huffington from the spam bin this morning, and just spent some time explaining to the tipster why we weren't going to post about it:
The reason I won't post about this is that nobody is claiming special divinity. These kind of closed-circuit paths (strong leader whose ideas are rarely questioned) are culty, but that doesn't mean it's all exploitation. I'm convinced they can often work, but mostly out of a placebo-like effect. A persuasive description of the human condition leads to acceptance of the spiritual guidance it's packaged with, usually nothing more than a reflection of the leader's narcissism. Yet, despite how shaky the ideas may be, they can still work marvelously for right person.

Huffington's loyalty is only evidence that she believes it works. Her attempts to cultify her org are a function of her unconscious grandiosity more than evil cult impulse. If somebody was saying they were God, and it made them special, then I'd be inclined to comment.
But then we actually read the whole thing, and got to this:
John-Roger is depicted as a paranoid leader who secretly wires each room in Insight headquarters with a microphone connected to his office, who taps the phones, and who warns that his critics "had been infected by a powerful and contagious negative force known as the Red Monk," a spirit of whom members were terrified. He removed "negative entities" in a popular "exorcism-like" ceremony known as the "Super II's," organized hours-long "Prana Awareness Trainings" involving "repeatedly answering a simple question," and organized followers into a complex hierarchy, including a Melchizedek Priesthood and an inner, elite circle of attractive young male ministers known as "the Guys."
It's not like Huffington is the first well-regarded person to fall for a wackadoo guru (if these fables of psychic warfare actually do circulate in the org,) but it is a bit of a letdown to read about it in light of her substantial contribution to the national conversation these last few years.

But come on, evil red monks and awareness drilling? It sounds like J-R has been smoking too much Star Wars.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Art of Living's Art Of Lying?

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Like a dog that keeps coming back to the same dirty, old bone, we find ourselves irresistably attracted to the task of debunking Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Fortunately, folks much more informed than us are gracing the blog at the moment:
Apart from the elementary school in the Bangalore Ashram campus, there is nothing that is provided free to poor and destitute children in India or anywhere else. Bangalore school gives education to about 250 students and if all the money collected by AoL was spent on these children, they would have been millionaires by now!

Don’t get me wrong. I am not claiming that AoL does not spend anything on philanthropic activities. It does. My point is that the amount collected by AoL to be (supposedly) spent on its charitable activities is egregiously disproportionate to actual charity work done by it. In any case, if they did not spend anything on charity, it would be difficult for them to extract money in the name of charity. So, they do have a share of token charity activities, which are hyped by their PR managers to attract more gullible people and more money.

The second thing about the organization is lack of transparency about their finances. If you have spent few years in AoL, you would remember ‘a dollar a day’ scheme floated circa year 2000. This was supposedly to build a fund to support underprivileged children in India. Do you still hear about this? This scheme vanished all of a sudden. No one knows what happened to the money collected in its name. My AoL teacher told me that the money was spent on other philanthropic activities such as tsunami relief etc. Is it not unethical? If the money was collected in the name of helping poor children, how can it be spent on any other cause (even if the other cause was also worthy)? May be I wanted to help poor children but I don’t want to contribute to tsunami victims. How can AoL take me for granted?

AoL has cultivated such powerful connections in media, that no one is willing to cross them. (Owner of “Times of India”, Sandhya Jain is an AoL devotee). Combine it with average Hindu’s reluctance to speak ill of any holy (?) man for fear of inviting sin, and you have the perfect recipe for AoL phenomenon.
Until the books are examined by an independent accounting firm, AoL's "charity" activities are little more than a black box, and seemingly likely to be nothing more than a case of bait-and-switch labeling.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Sri Sri Gets Cock-Blocked For A PP

File under: The Siddhi of PR

An Indian scholar visiting Oslo, Norway, and the Nobel Peace Prize Institute, sets the record straight for one Sri Sri Ravi Shankar fawner somehow associated with the Nobel Committee:
The Norwegian doctor had heard that this man had brought peace to Kashmir, and had promoted organic agriculture in thousands of Indian villages. She had been asked to promote his candidacy for the prize, and indeed the man himself had been to Oslo several times recently. She asked me if I would give my opinion on the matter.

“I answered that so far as I knew, there was no peace in Kashmir. I observed that what the West refers to as ‘organic farming’ we knew as rain-fed agriculture—and that this nothing new…. Finally, I suggested to the doctor that if not giving Gandhi the prize was a scandal, awarding it to my fellow townsman would be an even bigger scandal.”
Perform the due diligence, noble Nobel Peace Prize committee. It's about time someone did. I don't think all will be surprised at just how thinly this membrane of "worldwide NGO" is stretched, and where most of the fatty bits are landing. (Hello first-class seating!)

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The One Where Sri Sri Grandstands Again

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar jumps up and down and waves his arms for the Nobel Peace Prize committee, again. Whatever.

What he doesn't want them to know is that he receives a lion's share of his support from some of the same kind of people (Hindu fundamentalists) stoking the fires of genocide in Orissa.

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Guru Turns Into Post-Assassination Hitler

File under: The Siddhi of PR

When charismatic Hindu preacher Swami Laxmanananda Saraswati was assassinated in India's eastern Orissa State back on August 23, it was believed to be the work of Maoist rebels. Not anymore. It looks like someone (like BJP supporters the Bajrang Dal and the VHP) has taken up the cause of his revenge, spun together with a little added Christian-bashing:
The family of Solomon Digal was summoned by neighbors to what serves as a public square in front of the village tea shop.

They were ordered to get on their knees and bow before the portrait of a Hindu preacher. They were told to turn over their Bibles, hymnals and the two brightly colored calendar images of Christ that hung on their wall. Then, Mr. Digal, 45, a Christian since childhood, was forced to watch his Hindu neighbors set the items on fire.

“‘Embrace Hinduism, and your house will not be demolished,’” Mr. Digal recalled being told on that Wednesday afternoon in September. “‘Otherwise, you will be killed, or you will be thrown out of the village.’”
Ramakrishna Paramhamsa is spinning in his ashes like a West Texas twister right now. One can only hope that Sri Saraswati's are rotating with an equal velocity, but we kind of doubt it.

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Thursday, October 09, 2008

Big-Time Guluded

File under: The Siddhi of PR

You know what they say when something sounds too good to be true:
Another remarkable fact about this spiritual science experiment is its simplicity, no learning, no prior knowledge and no practice is required at all, and also without spending even a single penny from one’s pocket. It can be performed by any curious and interested person, sitting in any corner of the world, as Guru Siyag induces the spiritual power telepathically.
The plain fact of it all is that it does work—by way of the timeless power of gulusion. Sometimes all it takes is a suggestion that something is going to happen to see the Kundalini Express leave the station. This guy is guaranteed a certain amount of success regardless of what he spouts, as long as he makes the claim he's going to do something to you supernaturally. He just laid the track for those who've got new wheels for the rails, as well every other space-parent addict looking for some more hand-holding.

Good, bad, in a guru, it doesn't really matter, as evidenced above. Bad gurus have worked great for great devotees throughout history. As long as they have your attention and a piece of your faith, they can be projected as the cause of anything you want to give them credit for, or blame them for. It's all because you can accept they have supernatural powers, as this guy would have us to believe.

"Guru" Siyag wants you to be as guluded as he is, and unfortunately for many of us, that's just what the caterwauling inner child ordered.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

Über-Kreepy Gurus Slammed In Texas

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

Kripalu Maharaj, (aka Kreepalu,) and his formerly Stateside protegé, Swami Prakashanand Saraswati, (aka PrakashakaBoomBoom,) just got to see the cat jump 50 miles out of the bag. Here are some of the highlights:
The bathroom was next to Prakashanand's bedroom, she remembered. "As I came out, I saw him," she said. "I told him I was excited for that afternoon's program. He grabbed my hand and pulled me into the bedroom." The woman said Prakashanand pushed her back against the door and groped her breasts and buttocks before quickly leaving...
Another victim shares:
Leaving the ashram one day in the early 1990s, she entered the guru's bedroom to say goodbye. He grabbed her and pulled her down, kissing her and fondling her breasts, she said, adding that she broke away. She lived on the ashram for more than 15 years and said no similar event happened again.
We guess she just wasn't his type.

And yet another victim had this story to tell:
She said she was called to Prakashanand's room many times as a young adult, where, she said, the guru would tell her to lock the door behind her, and then kiss and fondle her. She spent the night in his room, next to his bed, on several occasions, she said. In the middle of the night, she said, he would wake her up and fondle her.
What more can be said? A whole lot more. Read it here.

Our advice to PrakashakaBoomBoom? Kiss that $10 million goodbye and take sanctuary with the slippery salamander that is your own guru, because folks in Texas are going to have little patience for a handsy Swami whose lust turned him into the Devil's playground.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

A "Love Guru" Gets Off

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

During the whole Love Guru bombardment of last spring, a little known prosperity guru (read: potential flimflammer) was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting two women:
Bijan Anjomi, 64, was arrested Tuesday and made his first court appearance Wednesday on three counts of sexual assault based on complaints by two unidentified women, the Toronto Star reported Thursday.
Well, late last week, he finally got off with them:
A judge withdrew three sexual assault charges against former Mr. Universe Bijan Anjomi, 64, of Las Vegas, earlier this week. Anjomi was arrested in May after two women said he molested them.
And so Bijan saves himself with his space-daddy powers:
Police said yesterday that while the charges were withdrawn, there is a peace bond between Anjomi and the two women.
Hello! Sounds like some of that prosperity has been getting spread around a little bit. There's nothing better to cement the bond between a space-daddy and a twinkly-eyed young-thing more than showing her money chakra green.

We wonder which love object of Bijanji's posted this PR disaster in the making at Whirled Musings:
Bijan is beyond your belief system and he is human but he is also transparent. [Ed.note: !] He and his wife do not hide their life and sincerely wish peace to all, including you, me, all the blog readers and the women who made the false accusations.

Because we are all One....this includes you, me, Bijan ........and all the other people who have committed sexual offenses or false accusations.......this is part of all of us and we are healing from this all together.
To perhaps aid in Bijanji's healing, we extend the Sri Me Nondual Alibi Achievement Award, hereby created and given to those who use a meaningless interpretation of nondual truth in an attempt to skate themselves out of a tough spot. The award is created in honor of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's glorious tour de force at an Indian business conference in 2005:
When asked about his views of Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, home to violent anti-Muslim riots which Modi implicitly supported, and who was recently denied a visa to enter the US for his involvement in those riots; Sri Sri replied, "I don't comment on individuals because individuals are just part of one wholeness."
We sincerely hope you all recall that he commented on the passing of Pope John Paul II a few short weeks later.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Handsy Swami Goes Down With A Smile

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

Smiley Swami Vishwananada, whose satsang we attended and reviewed a few years back, has apparently decided to shutter his org, at least in the U.K.:
Dear brothers and sisters, dear friends

I decided to dissolve the Bhakti Marga order.

I hereby release all Brahmacharis/inis and Jal-Brahmacharis/inis from their vows. People often get caught up in positions and titles. If someone really wants to live for God, one doesn’t need a title.

My love is always with you.

I feel sorry from the bottom of my heart if someone feels hurt. This was never my intention...
The cause of this dissolution? According to anonymous tipsters, it went down something like this:
Emails were being sent out about Swamiji having illicit sex with his Brahmachari’s (the boys), which prompted a conference call last night lead by the national coordinator, Shrihara, and the US Brahmacharis.

Well, the “rumors” are true. Swamiji has been having sex with his Brahmacharis for years. Questions that were asked were was it consensual? Yes, in some cases. Anyone under age? No, as far as anyone knows. Were any Brahmacharis tramatized? Yes. Hari, who became a Swami recently (Swami “VK”) renounced his vows and ties to Vishwananda and is now living back with his family in London. No one knows what happened with him. Was he having sex with Vishwanada? And if not, he surely must have known what was going on.
Wow! It kind of gives a whole new meaning to the term 'space-daddy'. We're almost sorry to have seen this happen. As much as Sri Smile was little more than an actor playing a role all-too-many people confuse with the real thing, we sort of liked him in action. And believe it or not, his having sex with his celibate followers—while time and space-warpingly hypocritical—still doesn't preclude the possibility of real spiritual transformation occurring. Indeed, the sex could have very well been the font for most of it.

However, when people believe you are God, you just can't diddle in the back room with impunity, especially with those who have declared themselves celibate. But Swami Smiley might easily turn these turnips into truffles if he can just recast himself as a transgressive tantric aghora swami. We're quite sure there's loads of legal-age space-daddy orphans out there who would love to make sweet music with this maestro.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

TM™ Wants To Sell You Swamp Land In Florida

File under: The Siddhi of PR

The old coot is long gone now, so the minions have begun unloading the remnants of his utterly grandiose dreams—for a grandiose profit, they hope:
A 450-acre tract planned for a theme park mixing magic and Transcendental Meditation remains vacant in the tourism corridor. Almost two decades later, the two men behind the project are dead, and the land has a $150 million price tag...

A Maharishi subsidiary closed on the property in 1990 for $20 million in cash. In 1996, it was on the market for $60 million after the group shifted efforts to a site in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
And a grandiose vision this was:
The park plan originally included a building seemingly suspended above water without supports, a "magic flying chariot" that took riders inside the molecular structure of a rose, and robots that would fly through the air, performing magic tricks.

The development was projected to cost $1 billion.

The backers spent hundreds of thousands of dollars planning the project and getting government approvals, which expired years ago.
But now, they're merely deluded about what the property is worth in today's market:
"That property has been for sale for 25 years," she said. "In today's marketplace, you don't know if it is a good price because no commercial property has sold in a long time."

The listing averages about $330,000 an acre, which Goodwin-Nichols said is "not bad for usable property," but the tract includes wetlands that would not be worth as much.
Except to all the threatened wildlife that lives there.

If TM™ really, really did care about the world, they'd make it a nature preserve rather than a cash cow bloated to the bursting point by the dollar signs dancing in their eyes, gleaming with greed.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

One Of The Good Ones Moves On

File under: Final Samadhi


Guru Maharaj H.H. Swami Chidananda Saraswati of the Divine Life Society has passed away:
Various religious heads from Ahmedabad and nearby temples paid homage to Swami Chidanandji Saraswati, head of Divine Life Society, Hrishikesh, who expired on August 29 in Hrishikesh.

Chidanandji had worked extensively in Gujarat and has helped many disciples achieve spiritual heights through service to the society. Swami Ishwarcharandasji... said Chidanandji was a living example of humility, simplicity and divinity.
In other words, nothing like any of the big-time gurus, whom we are unfortunately still left with.

Update: Even in death, Chidananda inspires like no big-time guru alive. From a reader just now:
I deeply touched by the news of Chidananda's passing and the brilliant way he instructed his students for the final rites. No meddling from ashram superiors, and no invasion of govt, Bollywood types, or other gurus (like Sri Sri) who would pose next to the body. He seemed to know how much it would hurt his students and he kept it in the family of monks. He also seemed to know what a circus it would be if he didn't limit his presence, but 3 hours was just brilliant. One of the last of the old guard. God help us!

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Monday, August 18, 2008

CotHS Comes Back All 'A Bluster, But With A Bit Of Sputter

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

There's more than enough hysteria to go around in the battle between the person who writes the Cult of the Hugging Saint blog and an as of yet unconfirmed action by alleged activist Ammabots.

It began with the original CotHS suddenly dropping off the grid for no reason whatsoever a few weeks ago. Google/Blogger's policy of completely ignoring any inquiries or complaints from its users has left a few folks wondering if it wasn't the work of hackers, or lawyers. We think it was a failure to respond to a notice from Blogger regarding spam blogs.

This venue was similarly inquired recently, perhaps at the behest of an army of Ammabot complainers. We imagine it would have been quite easy for them to generate a diverse selection of originating email addresses by enlisting the upper level members of the org across the world to complain about CotHS, and perhaps this blog too, as being spam sources.

But whatever the cause of the mysterious disappearance of the original blog, the new version comes out swinging for McCovey Cove:
The media image of the “hugging saint” is an entirely different story than the one that begins to reveal itself once an even moderate indoctrination into the cult occurs. Throughout the media and the various propaganda materials of the Mata Amritanandamayi mission, we are presented with the image of a tireless humanitarian, a living saint, and a compassionate woman who spends her days doling out hugs free of charge and establishing charities. Within the cult, Ammachi is worshipped as a living God, an omnipresent guru, and the embodiment of the Supreme Consciousness. Devotees believe she is intervening in their daily affairs and controlling even the smallest details of their lives. Bhajans are sung in praise of Mata Amritanandamayi, a living incarnation of God. She is often referred to as the direct reincarnation of Krishna, the Goddess Kali, and Jesus Christ. Ammachi has also allegedly claimed to be the reincarnation of Jesus Christ.
Amma isn't any more Kali, Krishna or Jesus Christ than any other being on this planet. Get that straight, people. She's just a girl who worked a miracle into a world-wide business and a place at the very top of the heap of big-time gurudom. She got there by peoples' own notions about the presence of divinity and suddenly found herself surfing on a wave of spiritual ignorance. She's been riding that wave across the world annually for at least two decades now.

We're throwing our turban down in admiration for the author of CotHS, despite some unfortunate chatter about psychic attacks. The only agency of any such "attack" is fear, not spiritual truth. We usually recommend certain chill-out-inducing herbal treatments for this sort of thing... or recommend that people stay away from said treatments. And while a little bit of reason can go a long way, unfortunately, wrong reason often goes bad in a big way.

Amma will answer to the Ma she emulates, just like everyone else. She has no more "in" with Kali than any other being on the planet or elsewhere, and the rabid devotion she encourages around herself may very well come back to bite her in the ass.

The Cult of the Hugging Saint blog is just as much an expression of Mother Kali as anything that has ever happened at any Devi Bhava that Amma has fronted in. Ma belongs to everyone, not just the slavish satsang junkies, not just folks from India, and not just a person who found herself being worshipped one day and decided she liked it.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Big-Time Gurus Called To The Mat

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

Being in the States leaves us little vantage point to surmise just exactly how people feel about big-time gurus in India. Sure, there are hundreds of fawning propaganda pieces seeded by the likes of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and his ilk, but do these really reflect the attitudes of India's clear-minded folk? We certainly would like to think not.

So we were very pleased to encounter this article in India's Organizer this morning, plopped right down in an issue full of the same effusive nonsense that every big-time guru's PR department churns out with a horrifying, mind-clouding regularity in Bharat:
In an age with a plethora of god-men, gurus, preachers, some so popular as to have ashrams in many states and even in many countries, it is an astonishing truth that society is rudderless, adrift on an ocean of hedonism, without spiritual and moral guidance.

The fault lies with Star Gurus who seek self-aggrandisement by building huge cult followings and five-star ashrams where rich Indian and foreign devotees can practice yoga and meditation in comfort, in salubrious, resort-like environs. Justifying the Marxist slander of religion as the opium of the people, they peddle lullabies to frustrated millions seeking release from life’s myriad problems. Such vicarious redemption is totally un-Hindu, and extremely harmful, as it turns a blind eye to festering evils and allows them to multiply under cover of a guru’s benign gaze.
Looks like we just discovered another true hero in India. The turban is on the floor for author Sandhya Jain, who now bears a much closer observation here at Guruphiliac HQ.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

UPDATE: Ammabot Gang Slanders On Full Auto

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

Joining the Cult of the Hugging Saint is like joining the Eight-Trey Gangsta' Crips, 'cause you're in it for life, Cuzz. If you do decide to get out, you better be ready for some South-Central L.A., Boyz 'N The Hood-style drive-by character assassination:
I became an ex-Amma devotee over a year ago, and these people are still talking about me and trying to ruin my name. I was mortified when someone sent me a link to the group and suggested I take a look at the prayer list and there were the names of my partner and I. I posted that I would like to be removed from the prayer list, and this infuriated her devotees.

Both my partner and I work with at-risk youth, most of whom have life threatening drug addictions. In most of our work (she is a clinical therapist and I am a volunteer) we still use our "spiritual" names and we are known within the community by these names. It recently was brought to my attention that in the Ammachi forum they were posting slanderous remarks that I am a drug addict. I don't even know who these people are, as I have never associated socially with devotees even when I was one. You can imagine the negative impact this type of libel could have on both of our work. If any of our clients happened to Google our names and read all of these false rumors of drug addiction, the end result would be a disaster. I have requested that these posts be removed immediately, but the moderator so far has refused to take action...

This type of behavior is also indicative of the way they try to malign people who leave the cult. This is why most ex-devotees leave silently with their tail between their legs and you never hear from them. I am not one of those people, and I plan to raise holy hell in any and every way possible for every minor and major issue that arises from the sickness that is Amma.
So here we have another stellar example of Amma's love in action. Ourselves being the victim of an almost identical slander and libel campaign online, we can relate. Unfortunately, it appears that only lawyers billing hundreds of dollars to draft letters, motions and subpoenas seem to get anything done with the big context providers these days. Until you are willing to shell out those kind of shekels, you just have to learn to suck it up and take it.

Ah, the joys of online living, brought to you this time by the Goddess of "Love" and her (not the funny kind of) hysterical minions.

Update: The CHS Dope-Ay Rollin' Ignorant gang is still on the attack:
Over the past two days, I have received no less than 20 e-mails from devotees, most of them anonymous. Of all of these e-mails, three of them threatened physical harm to myself and my family, they claimed to know where I live and one claimed that they could easily find out personal information on me from my old Amma retreat registrations. The gist of this was that basically Amma "protects" her devotees and that I am slandering Amma by speaking up about these people launching character assassination on me.

I've also received e-mails accusing me of being a fanatic and wanting to know why I am visiting the Amma Yahoo groups if I am no longer a devotee. As I explained, I visited this group when I was told that they were involving me in their prayer list and making accusations of drug addiction. The Cult Of The Hugging Saint website has also had to delete handfuls of e-mails regarding this situation. As you can see, the typical reaction of devotees towards those who speak up is in full swing.
The new theme song of the Ammachi org:

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The BG Doesn't Do TV

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

We'd scale K2 without the ropes to proclaim our undying admiration for the Bored Guru. Here he turns down an offer to Sri Sri-size himself:
BG is not against televised spiritual lessons, but he had kept himself away from it. He somehow missed that fire in his belly, to spread the 'good word' which can probably save sorrow and suffering of the millions. Besides, his apprehension was not to make a jarring note on the TV, amidst a series of heart warming programs, where the more prominent gurus sang, danced, healed, promised nice and divine things and kept the audience thoroughly enthralled and hopeful. BG felt that he could never do enough justice on the screen talking to unknown faces, especially when he lacked the skill of comforting them, by throwing promises and assurances besides the baskets of flowers and fruits at them. But that had never stopped the producers of such tele programs dropping in at BG's for a deal.
Keeping it real at the cost of his own fame. This Bored Guru is one in a million, one we need in the millions to combat the ignorance-raining scrounge of the Sri Sris and Krackis of the world.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

He Wants A Nobel Peace Prize For This?

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

In his usual fashion, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar paid some lip-service to peacemaking today. He issued a press release and made a couple of phone calls:
“The (Jammu and Kashmir) government committed a big mistake by transferring the land to the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board and then revoking the same later in the face of protests,” Ravi Shankar of the Art of Living Foundation said in a press statement issued from Bad Antogast in Germany...

Ravi Shankar has had a telephonic conversation with Kashmiri separatist leader Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra over the issue, said the statement.
If Sri Sri wins the Peace Prize, it's likely to be the first time the award has been garnered by a media manipulation campaign managed most of the time from the comfort of the manipulator's office.

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

This 'Song' Had Some Sour Notes

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

His name loosely translates to "a yogi named for the act of devotional singing." But apparently, the late Yogi Bhajan has provoked a different kind of tune in one former devotee:
I was raised in the 3HO community that Yogi Bhajan founded and led. He was a defacto charismatic leader. He ordered his devotees to do some very damaging and detrimental things like child swapping and sending young children off to India alone without their parents. He advocated child abuse and physically and verbally abused his students. He claimed to have psychic powers. He told people that if they left they would wind up homeless drug addict prostitutes. I can go on and on. For more accounts of my personal experiences, you can go to my blog at http://www.indiakids.blogspot.com.
Among other businesses, 3HO has their very own Blackwater-like private army, Akal Security, reportedly the largest firm of its kind in the States. We'll let you know if any tinted-windowed vehicles with turbaned silhouetted drivers show up out front anytime soon.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The "Hug" That Killed A Blog

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

For the supreme Goddess of the Universe, Ammachi seems somewhat overly concerned with her less-than-glowing online press, because it appears that Blogger has pulled the plug on the Cult of the Hugging Saint blog. Gurubuster Bronte Baxter contacted the author this morning to inform him that his site got disappeared:
Thank you SO MUCH for e-mailing me this. I had no idea there was anything wrong with the site. Now I see that the site has been completely removed. It is deleted entirely from the web and even when I log into my Blogger account, it does not show in my account. I am very upset about this and cannot imagine how this could have happened. I suspect foul play. There is no way to get in touch with Blogger, but there was an option that said "Restore a blog that I accidentally deleted". I am hoping that by submitting this, someone will get in touch with me and/or restore the blog. I know that I didn't accidentally delete it because I hadn't even logged in recently other than to post the last post that I posted.

The only other thing I can figure is that somehow the blog was reported for a bogus "terms of use violation" of some sort. Like if they tried to claim "hugging saint" was copyrighted or libelous or something and then Blogger removed it. I can't imagine that...and it sounds pretty far fetched. I wouldn't put anything past her organization. The reason why I think it is something like that is because I can still log into my blog account. Besides, they would have had to hack my actual computer to get the login and password for blogger.
Is Ammachi really so petty as to squash what amounts to a mere drop in the ocean of manic devotion to her? We'll let you know as soon as we hear just who it was who hugged the Cult of the Hugging Saint to death.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bored Guru Busted For Being Normal

File under: Gurubusting

We have a full-on, swoon-filled bro-crush on the Bored Guru:
But soon came the disparage [from the devotee,] "I even wonder if you have any respect for the religion you belong to". BG shot back quite sharply this time "I appreciate your direct comments, but I don't belong to any religion and I personally consider all religions worth just this trash", BG pointed out at the empty squeezed out tetra pack, on the tray in front of him and continued further, "I don't care if you don't consider me as much as a guru or a religious man, but if you think you are here to tell me, how I should dress and how I should brush my hair, then I may ask you to leave this seat I offered, within next twenty seconds, only because i don't need any advice on how my appearance should be maintained, besides you are disturbing my sleep".
All he wanted to do was to fly low key, under the radar of imposing devotees like this one. But the station demands a heavy cross to be bore, as BG has been telling with his blog.

The world is a much better place for getting to hear it.

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OutFoxing Doctor Scami

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

Fox5 News in Atlanta, Georgia, has the goods on a certain flimflammer named Dr. Commander Selvam, heretofore known as Dr. Scami:
Instead of being uninterested in the trappings of worldly possessions, this swami lives in a million-dollar mansion, drives expensive cars and encourages the faithful to pay thousands of dollars to his Temple. What do his followers get in return? His prayerful help in warding off a variety of problems, everything from marriage and immigration issues, to "bad dreams," "black magic" and "evil power."
The good part is how he paid himself. He collected the credit card numbers of those he was charging for pujas, and then went ahead and charged whatever he wanted for himself. The report is available in two parts for those who care to know the gory details.

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Aussie Blondes Trying To Corner Market On Truth

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

Tiruvannamalai-based Gurubuster Kevinandaji punishes us with yet another Aussie blonde who was known in India as "Satsang Barbie":
Miranda is known for her breadth as well as depth of approach, and extraordinary capacity to guide others into direct experience of The Sacred... [Ed.note: Or mire you in an emotional experience she's calling "The Sacred."]

In more recent years, the Advaita teachings of Self-enquiry as taught by Ramana Maharshi and Papaji have brought about new depths of awakening which is strongly influencing the direction of the work today.
To which we say: practice what you preach! Would Ramana be plastering his website with pictures of himself?

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

The Mostest Specialest Person In Oz

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

CAUTION: You may feel a strong desire to wash the eyes right out of your skull with Clorox and Drano after watching this:


We're not sure whether to thank him for the tip or put a price on the head of our gurubusting colleague for scarring us within an inch of our life with this pastiche of self-help un-helpfulness and ignorance-reinforcing, occluding concepts about nondual truth, all wrapped up in a pink bow of "Look at how special my enlightenment has made me! Oh, and aren't I pretty hot for a sage?"

Hot? Yes! Sage? We think not!

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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Swami Ramdon't

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Swami Ramdev was in Anaheim, California, this week, bumming the kids out:
He told his Indian-American audience dealing constantly with pizzas, hamburgers and coke how awful it was for the body. He told the children, who he had invited free on the last day of the camp, that soda could be used to clean toilets as it was that potent. Cooking meat at home, he said, was akin to creating a crematory at home.
Ramdev doesn't want the kids drinking Coke, but they're welcome to as much of his Kool-Aid as they can get down their throats without drowning.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Bored Guru Does Not Do Stoplights

File under: Gurubusting

His blog is the coolest thing to hit the planet since they began putting toilet paper on a roll:
The drive to the airport was meant to be lasting about 45 minutes. We had already crossed four signals and all of them were free. I enquired, "are there any more signals ahead?". He promptly replied, "Yes, there is one more and then turned around and announced to the children and wife, you will see even that signal will be free". Now every body got ready and there was excitement filling up inside the mean german running machine.

He spotted the green signal well ahead and almost screamed " See I told you", and then turned to me and said "at least now will you believe this?". But even as the signal fever was burning bright and hot, the signal was changing to amber and was blinking. He suddenly appeared worked up and started accelerating the car real fast before it could turn red. It was a blind effort to prove his point rather than saving my face. The audi went crazy as it neared the signal and then, the signal turned red. Audi came to grinding halt as he had to jam the brakes. Suddenly there was a deafening silence invaded the car from nowhere, as the engine got ceased due to the sudden braking.

It appeared like eternity as the car awaited the green signal and I had to break the silence inside the car. I asked "so now all of you plan to throw me out of this car?." I said further,"the guru is not meant to clear your path but only show it and also prepare you to face the dangers lurking on the way". I continued further "the guru is not here to replace your sorrows with happiness and the perils with some protection". I thought it was such perfect timing to drive some sense in to them. I continued further, "I cant facilitate your life without obstacles but can only tell you how to face the obstacles and move ahead." The car moved as the signal turned green. That was the last signal before reaching the airport.

I thought it was all over, quite content about how things took shape, but not really. As we reached the airport without any exchange of words, I got off the car and they picked up my bag from boot space, came to face me at the entrance of the airport. I smiled and said "I am already delayed and should hurry up, because I dont control the air traffic signals on the airport runway". He quietly replied, "guruji, you taught us a great lesson today". I asked "what was the lesson?" as I prepared to enter the airport. He said,"you taught us that you may not grant us, whatever may we may want, by turning the signal to red, even when we wanted it to be green".

He simply blew my mind, I felt as if someone shoved a big ball of dirty cotton, deep into my throat and amidst all the crowds that were milling, I walked in to the airport like a zombie, dumb founded, utterly speechless, carrying the heavy load of divinity, just then dumped all over me.
If even a self-aware and consistent defender of Vedantic truth continues to get hosed by his devotees' superstitious notions about his magic powers after such a clear demonstration of their status as ridiculous fantasy, what of the big-time flimflammers who use those expectations to line their pockets with gold? It truly is the Kali Yuga, folks, and Ma is having a field day tossing us around in Her sea of ignorance, even those who rise above it like lighthouses built on mountains of truth.

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"YouTube Guru" A Loon For The Moon

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Today, the SF Chronicle published an interview with Dattatreya Siva Baba, who expects the full moon of Guru Purnima this month to usher in a "new age of enlightenment on the earth." For like, the eleventy-billionth time, if you count all the other "new ages" predicted by this particular, plentiful, and frighteningly successful variety of nutbag guru.

The Baba is also known as the "YouTube Guru," which is a bit like saying the "lowest common denominator" guru, if you asked us. And wouldn't you know it, he's living up to that descriptor quite nicely:
I have incarnated innumerable times as a saint or sage in nearly every religion to be a conduit for Grace Light to relieve the suffering of humanity. Even so, I am only one conduit to receive and spread the light. Who is going to transmit it? Every single person who receives it will also be capable of transmitting it. Grace Light is the most intelligent light and will provide everyone with exactly what they need. It is providence answering one's prayers.
While surprisingly articulate, we haven't heard that much ass-talking nonsense since we were in New Age™ college (with ourselves being the loudest ass-talker of all.) But we must admit, it's shrewd to be predicting positive changes in the works for humanity packaged with some good old deeksha-style flimflamming... if you're looking for a cheap and simple product you can sell quickly and easily for much more than you paid for it. Kinda like Afghani heroin procured in Kabul.

We've been watching this unabashedly insane destroyer of Vedantic truth for a while now, but didn't want to give him any more traction than he was getting already. Looks like he did just fine without us, proving once again that the market for persistently self-promoting space-daddies who obsessively talk about themselves continues to expand at an alarming pace. Perhaps 2012 will bring the final battle between a proliferate future population of space-daddies, mommies, brothers, sisters and lovers, all commanding their own sizable armies of Kool-Aid drowned, brain-paralyzed dupes, all throwing invitations to expensive retreats and pictures of their Beloved at one another.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gurumayi Sticks Her Hand Out

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

She was the Queen of the shakti-infused peacock feather, one whose loyal subjects could always be counted on to turn their pockets inside-out to inch up to whatever next level of "consciousness" their org was putting on the end of the stick stuck in front of them that week.

Well, not any more:
Everybody on the mailing list just got a request for money to celebrate gurupurnima. The guru, Gurumayi, hasn't shown her face for 5 years! She is a total phony. Thousands of dollars were collected years ago to build a temple in Oakland which has never been built. Ashrams all over the world have closed. Siddha yoga has been dying for a long time.
Not as long as there's shopping to be done!
Dear Siddha Yogi,

On this auspicious holiday of Gurupurnima (July 17th), with great enthusiasm, I invite you to join me in celebrating the Guru's grace by making a special offering of dakshina. During Gurupurnima, I reflect on the transformation that the Siddha Yoga teachings, the Siddha Yoga path, and the grace of the Siddha Yoga Guru have brought in my life; for all this I experience profound gratitude.

Happy Gurupurnima.

With love,

Swami Ishwarananda
Siddha Yoga Meditation Teacher
SYDA Foundation
Sounds like Gurumayi is gunning for a run at some new couture. New York Fashion Week is coming up, people. Mama needs a new Prada handbag, so y'all better get cracking!

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

One Bored Guru Is Worth Ten Million Sri Sris

File under: Gurubusting

OMG!

We sit here in a stunned astonishment after reading the blog of the Bored Guru:
After a few regular 'intelligent' questions, the lady in focus appeared eager to say something. So I pointed at her and said "do you have anything to say or need clarification?" She was very graceful in her movement while she rose from the seat and then in a mild tone asked me "I have been seeing the intense glow you are emitting all around you. Can you explain that ?"

Most of the 'aura seeing' people are never interested to know about what they see, but only interested to know about their own ability to see such glowing stuff. I thought this lady probably was different. So i said, "I never emitted any glow around me at any point of time". She replied with perhaps a little increased tone "But I have been seeing it, why, even now I'm seeing it actually".

At this point, I knew I am in for one more disaster. Meanwhile, I did not fail to see how a few others too were trying to sharpen their eyes and 'look' at my direction intently through the tiny crack of their eyes. The hour long talk on collective consciousness has already been tossed up in to oblivion and now I suddenly felt like some glow worm.

I said "you probably have certain flaw in your eye sight and you should consult a good eye specialist". I did not allow her to say anything from her side but I continued "It could be cataract or myopia and when you see distant objects it may appear to glow, especially if the eyes are watering". My knowledge in ophthalmology is as good or as bad as my knowledge in Chinese kanji characters. But I just tried to dissuade her by using all those few technical terminologies in medical science. That's why I also mentioned to her that she must consult a eye specialist.

Her graceful face now suddenly had a certain scornful smile. She said "do you mean my eye sight is not OK?". I said "without any doubt". She turned around both ways as if she need some support to prove her point. I realized all that she needed was a single nod from me saying "yes, what you are seeing is true". This would have made her a clairvoyant and made me a glowing guru and made the rest of everyone in the congregation a plain dumb ass. She was some how pushing this idea 'gracefully' and I seem to have missed her point. I must have spoilt those moments of a divine conspiracy. Now her personal prestige was at stake.
Everyone reading this sentence, ask yourself this: Would Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have refuted the delusions of such a person at the expense of her opinion of him, as well as of those listening to the exchange?

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Amma Crosses Picket Line For Second Year

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

For the second year in a row, Amma has ignored the plight of Los Angeles' working poor:


Nice way to show us how to love, Amma.

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Gurubuster Works It Out On The Stage

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

Sujit Saraf appears to be a kindred soul to any reasonable gurubuster:
Concurrently with Amma’s tour, I inaugurated my annual hand-wringing ceremony, asking myself as I do once every year: What am I to do about all these gurus? After all, one does not even have to be an atheist to recognize imposture, but merely possess a scientific temper, one that tries to explain physical and natural phenomena on the basis of generally accepted scientific principles and, in the absence of such an explanation, refuses to believe in them. Should I grin and bear it while Sathya Sai Baba produces gold chains from his sleeves? Do I make no comment on the Art of Living courses, Ammachi’s hugs, or the hundred other babas and matas who will touch you with their feet, hands, tongues, tongs, poles, prods and tridents? Perhaps I had best keep quiet, for everyone knows that our gurus count prime ministers and presidents among their followers. We have heard of physics professors dutifully following Sai Baba to the airport in October 2007, when he was about to manifest himself on the moon. We know of CEOs who skip board meetings when the “call” comes from Ammachi. And we know, of course, that so many powerful people cannot be fooled at the same time, even less than they can be induced to part with their money without getting good value in return...

Now, I know the question has risen in many minds, and the usual answer is: Why do anything at all? The gods who walk among us, offering ashes, bananas and hugs, are harmless snake-oil salesmen. If, while peddling a useless product, they untruthfully extol its virtues, they are merely practicing the art of marketing. Which businessman would not? And any liberal will tell you that people are free to worship whom they want in a free society: Ammachi or armadillos. Besides, you never have to hear of the hullabaloo in Castro Valley if you don’t want to, so the foolishness around you does not exist unless you look for it. Sure, our godmen induce a collect retreat into infantilism, and discourage the notion that self-fulfillment can be achieved without surrendering your intelligence and common sense to a fallible human being, but they do not plan to fly planes into buildings. So let them enthrall those who would be enthralled, and let us thank God (if we are not atheists) that we are not the suckers in line.

Thus ends, usually, my annual hand-wringing ceremony, but this happy conclusion is becoming harder to reach with each passing year. My days of blissful isolation — when I could pretend that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was the guy who tugs at sitar strings — have ended with the Internet. And mailing lists. And spam. And desktop publishing. And Facebook. And the “Aasthaa Channel” on television. The empires of our godmen have grown and are growing yet larger, harnessing the Internet to such effect that it has become impossible to escape their benevolence, bestowed on you through posters and postings wherever you are, whatever you may be doing. An innocent lunch at Bhavika’s in Sunnyvale is now an Amma experience: she beams at you from a dozen posters, hugging, force-feeding bliss. Now what is a person of scientific temper to do?
In this case, write a play. Mataji will be staged by Saraf's theater company, Naatak, in July and August around the San Francisco Bay Area. It's the story of a certain nice, round Indian lady who dispenses hugs, named Mataji. We see the gal behind the glory, the fog of self-induced hagiography lifted to reveal the ordinary going-ons of human interaction in a close-knit, authoritarian-led group.

This is nothing less than a grand-slam home run for clarity for the folks of the Bay Area. We've got our eye on Sujit now, and hope to see more of his contributions to a much-needed critical understanding of gurudom inside Hinduism-based spiritual culture in the West.

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Not Boring Guru

File under: Blogs of Note

Once again, the comments on this blog are being graced by an unusual presence, a person who understands why big-time gurudom doesn't do what it is supposed to do. Meet the Bored Guru and his Gurucifixion:
A spiritual guru works most of the times like a psychiatrist, at least he is forced to be one. He should be strong in the dealing of the psyche more than dealings with consciousness. Many times such psychological detections will earn the 'all knowing insightful divine guru' title to the guru more easily.
While his blog is a little thin on content for now, it's huge in understanding about gurudom, apparently from an inside perspective. It brings a lightness of being to know such people are out there, making small but important strides at exposing the authentic spiritual truth buried under the mountain of ignorance heaped there by tradition, superstition and the greed of your average big-time guru.

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Sri Sri Ravi Hype-more

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

A few months back, we were interviewed by London's Financial Times about that boogieman of delusional, self-promotional personality cult-making, the personal fame-seeking and glory-hunting Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. We've included the highlights here:
[The Art of Living org] is also, however, given to hype. Its brochure celebrating the “One World Family” boasts of all kinds of programmes and workshops that the Art of Living runs around the world. There was a “workshop for Afghan women refugees” organised through the Afghan Coalition in Fremont, California, which left its participants feeling a “sense of great joy and peace”. Rona Popal, the executive director of the Afghan Coalition, says that the Art of Living ran a single demonstration of their Breath-Water-Sound workshop about three years ago, and nothing since. The brochure also features photographs and gushing quotes from prisoners in Ohio’s prisons, where the Art of Living ran a course. The Ohio prison service said that those courses have not been run for at least the past two years.

Jody Radzik, the creator of Guruphiliac, an American blog which keeps tabs on various gurus and mystics, is sceptical of the Sri Sri cult. “In public,” he says, “Sri Sri repudiates his divinity – he puts on the humble show. But in private, and in his organisation, there’s an assumption of his divinity and his ability to perform miracles.” Radzik says that the physiological experience of Sri Sri’s breathing technique is genuine, but no different from that of many others. What Sri Sri offers is a format for incorporating that experience into your life, via a cult built around his own personality.

Sat Bir Khalsa, an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and an expert on the health effects of yoga and breathing, says that the Art of Living technique “really is very similar to a lot of breathing techniques in Hatha yoga practice. There’s nothing super-remarkable about what they’re doing.” He adds that there is a growing, but still scarce, body of research into the link between the mind and body and the positive benefits of breathing. There was certainly nothing to justify the “evangelical” approach of the Art of Living. He had witnessed “obnoxious and aggressive” behaviour from members of the Art of Living organisation insisting their technique is the only one worth following. “But I’ve also seen these things wax and wane. There was transcendental meditation in the 1970s, then the Hare Krishnas, and for the past 10 years Vipassana meditation has been very strong because of the Buddhists.”

“It is soft power,” says Rengaraj Viswanathan, India’s ambassador to Argentina, after attending a meeting between Sri Sri and the mayor of Buenos Aires. In his view, Sri Sri is simply an excellent Indian export. “You see yoga centres on every street corner here. In the 1970s, this was a fad, a fashion. But now it has reached serious proportions. You see younger people, professionals, business people all looking to this.” What about the ambassador? Did he meditate or breathe in order to relax? “No,” he said, rocking back with laughter. “I salsa!”
We'll save our dance for the day it becomes clear to the world that Sri Sri is really only in it for his Me Me. Until then, we'll try to keep shoveling his bullshit out of the way of the nondual truth getting covered up in the promotional pollution of his Art of Living org.

Note: Thanks, Gregory!

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Thursday, July 03, 2008

This Week's Acme Of Delusional Ignorance

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Or perhaps it's delusional arrogance:
The boycott call of Hindus against Hollywood movie "The Love Guru" for lampooning Hinduism has been very effective, contributing to its blunt failure at the box office, Rajan Zed, acclaimed Hindu leader, announced this week.
The movie flopped because it sucked, Rajan Zed's inflationary narcissism aside.

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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Deepockets Off The Deep End

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

Deepak Chopra, hot off his cameo in the recent flop, The Love Guru, lets us into his wacky world in an extensive interview in Newsweek:
In a shopping mall in London, Chopra is explaining the connection between a journalist and his coffee cup. ""This is you,'' he says, pointing to the cup. ""You think it's a cup, but it isn't.'' Dressed in workout clothes, with no cell phone or watch, Chopra seems admirably at ease in the mall, so much so that he doesn't even check his placement at the bookstore. ""It's the conscious energy field that is manifesting as the cup and yourself. The same field.'' On the five-day ""silent'' retreats he takes every three months, sometimes with his wife, Rita, Chopra says he can actually see this field.
Another day, another guru feeding us absolute nonsense about nondual truth. Not that there isn't a shared source of being between a person and a cup, just that it's never been something anyone would be able to see, outside the projection of their own imaginings about it.

But that is the New Age™ way, and Deepockets is the most Indian New Age™ guru, so it makes perfect sense he'd spew a gaffe like this in Newsweek, despite our disappointment at finding out just how full of it he really is.

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Monday, June 30, 2008

Cult Psych-Ops

File under: Gurubusting

Print this out and take it to the next Oneness Movement or Art of Living event you attend. See how many of the features described in this short essay match up with what you are seeing and hearing on stage:
Psycho-technology, simply put, is the combination of a cult's teachings, doctrine and recruiting/training procedures.

The goal of cult psycho-technology is the production of a series of peak experiences designed to make an impression on new recruits. For many cult members, these behaviorally and environmentally induced "spiritual experiences" lead from a healthy, open and questioning attitude to a complete regression into dependence and reliance on the cult group.

These experiences, occurring often as they do within the highly charged, tightly controlled atmosphere of the cult, are not subjected to the kind critical scrutiny that they ordinarily would be. Instead they are metabolized and socialized within the language and doctrine of the cult. They are the occasion for increased approval from the group. Phenomenologically speaking, they initiate the "divine history" of the individual, and they reinforce the history and mythology of the group. What is perceived as a flash of illumination and liberation becomes, in fact, the first step in a march toward moral slavery and psychological bondage.

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Sri Sri And Ramdev Suck-Up Together

File under: Backroom Gurudom and The Siddhi of PR

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Swami Ramdev snuggled up to right-wing Indian politician L.K. Advani yesterday in Bhopal, India, together:
Ravi Shankar was indeed scheduled to release the Hindi edition of Advani’s autobiography, My Country My Life, in Bhopal. But the big surprise was Ramdev stepping into the chartered plane that flew in journalists, BJP leaders and Advani’s friends and family from Delhi.

More so since [Ramdev] has always claimed to be apolitical and flaunted his dislike for communal politics.
Uh oh. It looks like Swami Rancor has succumbed to the same suck-up fever that's plagued Sri Sri ever since that fateful day he decided to out-do his own guru, TM™'s Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in divine self-aggrandizement.

Ramdev's got a ways to catch up to Sri Sri's heights of self-glorification, but we're sure he's got what it takes to propel himself straight to the top of Mount Narcissism.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Punjab's Dera Baba In Another Blowup

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

He's the sartorial wonder blunder guru, accused of rape, murder and busted a number of times on various other charges in the Punjab, his devotees killing themselves over the trouble. And now, another death, this time at the hands of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's bodyguards:
The Dera chief got into a fresh row recently after a youth was killed and two others were injured when his bodyguard opened fire on Sikh protesters in Mumbai on June 20.
We've always wondered what the whole uproar over Singh's original sin – to dress in the style of the ancient patriarchs of Sikhism – was really all about. Could the "sin" actually be rooted in a class struggle precipitated by the Dera Sacha Sauda's popularity with India's poor and disenfranchised?
Free health and educational facilities attract the poor from all sects and cast to its fold. But, most importantly it appeared to be the identity crisis among the lower strata of society that helped Dera get a huge following. The neglected, looked down upon and alienated lower classes of different religions got an identity after coming to the Dera, say experts.

“The lower strata of society strive for an identity and that well explains the Dera Sacha Sauda mass base of landless laborers,” said Parmod Kumar, director of Chandigarh-based Institute of Development and Communication.
In this context, the hubbub over Singh's bad wardrobe decision makes a bit more sense. Was it about putting down the devotees as much as their leader and his org?

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Love Guru Arrives With A Splat

File under: The Siddhi of PR

We'll add: a much bigger splat than it would gotten had all those fame-whoring Hindu "leaders" found another cause to attach to their dreams of hitting the big-time:
"Not only does the film stumble badly from one skit to another, the skits themselves have too much dead air."

"Unlike Dr. Evil, who wasn’t afraid to be unlikable, Pitka’s schtick is one giant cry for acceptance -- eccentric but not challenging, therapeutic but not cathartic -- which is absolute death to comedy."

"More painful than sitting next to an Austin Powers impersonator during a 12-hour flight."

"The Love Guru is so relentlessly juvenile as to merit a new twist on the PG-13 rating -- one that strongly cautions not only those under 13 but anyone much above it, too."

"Offensive, revolting and jawdropingly awful from beginning to end, a complete and total piece of Singularly Horrid Infantile Trash (TM)."
Sorry, Mike. If you'd have invited us to the premiere, we'd have posted the one good review this stinker received. And to Rajan Zed and the other haters: great job on getting a bad movie much, much, much more attention than it ever deserved. You were drinking the Mike Myers/Paramount Kool-Aid the whole friggin' time. Dupes.

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kriyananada Toots Tired Old Horn

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

One of the tenets of success in big-time gurudom is the tooting of one's own horn in the perpetual quest for recognition and market penetration. While Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has got an army of horn-tooters blowing his tune to the press world-wide, Swami Kriyananada, one-time protegé of Paramahansa Yogananda, may have just blown his for the last time:
Swami Kriyananda, one of the leading spiritual teachers in the world today, has been awarded "Honorary Membership" in the Club of Budapest. This rarified group includes societal leaders like Elie Wiesel, Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and the Dalai Lama.
A nice touch, referring to himself as being a member of a "rarified group" of recognized world leaders.
This year Swami Kriyananda celebrates the 60th anniversary as a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda -- author of the classic "Autobiography of a Yogi". Kriyananda is also celebrating the 40th anniversary of Ananda, a model spiritual community he founded.
Oops! Someone left a few toots out of this statement, like, he got kicked out of Yogananada's Self-Realization Fellowship in the early 1960s by the battle-axe who's still running it, Mata Daya. And that "model spiritual community" he founded? It was once mired in sexual harassment lawsuits aimed at the randy swami himself. Maybe that's why the Club of Budapest is keeping his membership "honorary" rather than anything approaching an actual connection to the authorities he is trying to steal some shine from with this press release.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Kracki Is A Killer

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

A sharp-eyed reader caught wind of last April's disastrous opening of that hideous monument to one man's monstrous ego, the "Oneness Temple." It was all made possible by the hysteria whipped up by the avaricious avatard in charge there, Kalki Bhagavan.  Not such a good start for the divine savior of the planet:
A day after the stampede which claimed five [now six] lives and left more than 100 persons injured, some of them critically, an eerie calm hangs heavily on the 500-acre campus of the ‘Oneness Temple’ which was due for consecration on April 26.
We find ourselves doubting that had anything to do with any actual remose being shown. As it turns out, the Kracki's ashram was busted for the incident:
The police registered a case under Section 304 A of IPC against the trustees of Sri Amma Bhagavan Deeksha Peetham, which was closed down after the stampede. DIG Sujatha Rao and SP Lakshmi Reddy are camping in the village to oversee the investigation process.
Instead of owning up to their complacency in the tragedy, the Kracki's crack-smoking PR spin squad responds with an attempt at some soothing bullshit:
In the continued interest of safety, all opening events have been postponed and the Temple has been closed to the public until further notice. At this time, only the Oneness Beings are being granted access to the Temple, where they remain meditating and praying for all of us and for the advancement of consciousness in our world.
A lot of good those "Oneness Beings" [Ed.note: Have you ever heard a more ridiculous title? It's like something out of a science fiction video game designed by brain-injured yoga instructors from Malibu, California.] were doing for the six folks who were killed.

To hear the Kracki's side of the story, everyone died quite naturally, almost peacefully:
We were informed by the police later that day that four casualties had been reported in the vicinity, primarily due to exhaustion and other natural causes...
Sure. "Natural causes." Like being crushed to death in a panicked mob:
According to initial investigations, the stampede occurred when the thirsty devotees, in the absence of any proper facility for drinking water, pushed and jostled with each in frenzy at a water point.

In the resultant melee, many persons, including women, aged and infirm were pushed and trampled upon by the surging crowd, leaving five persons dead and more than 100 injured.
He's the greediest big-time guru this planet has ever known. The godfather of all gold-lusting fauxvatars, now that Sai Baba is all shriveled up. Kalki Bhagavan is a pig, his wife is a cow, they are both criminal flimflammers, and now they can add negligent homicide to their resume.

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Ammachi Gets Into The Apocalypse Biz

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

She's in Northern California right now, flooding the pool of Bay Area satsang junkies with her magical, infantilizing astral milk product. And apparently, according to one devotee, she's gone into the end-of-the-world, apocalypse prediction business:
[A] devotee came up to a group of long time devotees and reported that Amma had told a group of devotees in Seattle a few days before that... well here goes:

2010 - 2011 prediction... mass starvation and environmental destruction. World War III would be better, and, no child under the age of 5 would reach child bearing age. This was disturbing to me to say the least. I felt sad about it and asked for clarity. [The devotee] said the same thing over again. I asked if [Amma] said we could do anything about it. He said become a vegatarian and do spiritual practices, that we need to work fast for realization before it's too late. I thought it must be a trick to get lazy meditators motivated.

The suprising thing is [the devotee] has a child about that age and did not seem concerned, rather that he seemed excited to know what was happening next. It seems that this devotee has really acheived a level of detatcment that Amma herself would envy. I am in the prosess of confirming these statements. So far [the] L.A. satsang has denied it. All they said she said was there would be hard times ahead or something to that effect...

One last thing. I know for a fact that the MA center ashram has purcased a whopping $10,000 worth of rice to be stored for disaster. Ok, that's harmless except for the fact that hoarding food is one of the reasons for skyroceting food prices around the world, which is part of the reason for the predicted mass starvation.
Ammabots apparently believe she also predicted the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, although she was off by a year or so.

While these sort of vague predictions of disaster are often a big-time guru's stock in trade, we are disappointed to see Ammachi stooping to the same level as the rest of them. We might find her milk distribution plot to infantilize the world to be a disaster of monstrous magnitude, but we were trying to hold on to the assertion that she is the best of the big-time gurus. But with nonsense like this swirling around at her satsangs, Swami Ramdev is beginning to look better and better as the recipient of the weak endorsement we've been giving to Ammachi the last few years.

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