Friday, February 08, 2008

A Little Shade On The Maharishi

File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

Not every news writer has been dazzled by the fact the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi hoodwinked the Beatles for a quick minute:
He was the Sixth Beatle, a spiritual force with the potential to create world peace and end famine.

Or he was an avaricious old man with a penchant for young girls who ruined the greatest pop group in history...

The 'giggling guru' - so called because of his high-pitched laugh - lived in an opulent 200-room mansion, with helicopters and dozens of cars at his disposal, and was worth an estimated £2billion...

But while the Maharishi promised world peace, and cynics laughed at his wacky teachings and yogic flying, sinister stories of sex, debauchery, and even murder cast dark shadows over his life...

Later another British disciple, Linda Pearce claimed the Maharishi had seduced her when he was in his 60s.
"He was a brilliant manipulator," said Mrs Pearce. "I just couldn't see that he was a dirty old man. We made love regularly. At one stage I even thought I was pregnant by him. And I don't think I was the only girl. There was a lot of talk that he'd tried to rape Mia Farrow."

And there was worse scandal to come. In 1987, when the Maharishi was living in a highsecurity complex on the outskirts of Delhi, India, the Telegraph newspaper of Calcutta alleged five boys had died after being used as guinea pigs in the ashram's "medical institute" searching for cures for cancer, heart ailments and Aids. Nothing was ever proved...

Along with Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, they took the train to Bangor - where the Maharishi assumed the mob of screaming fans were there for him.

Only a day into the retreat the news broke that the Beatles influential manager Brian Epstein had died from a suspected drugs overdose.

Rather than let them grieve for their friend and first mentor, the Maharishi told them their tears would cause "vibrations" which could trap Epstein's spirit on this spiritual plane rather than let it travel to the next. And he instructed them to be joyful and laugh...
There's also a few more illuminating bits about the Maharishi's exploitation of the Beatles. Finally, a bit of truthful contrast to all the wanton saint-making that's been occurring in the international press over the last few days.

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2 Comments:

At 2/10/2008 8:05 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are other gurus who do the giggle-giggle number.

Am curious and have a question for those who have travelled the guru circuit in India and elsewhere...is it possible that one of the tricks one learns in the guru-biz is precisely how to disarm and distract people by doing this giggle giggle number?

For it could be a quite a clever distraction tactic if adroitly used.

It is hard for someone to ask a good, high quality question in public, of a guru, have the guru giggle and give an inadequate answer, and for most questioners to have the guts to stay steady, not be distracted by the cutsy giggling and say,

'Your Holiness, its nice and sweet that you are laughing. But you have failed to give a satisfactory answer to my question which does deserve a better and more adult response than just childish giggling.'

'Especially on the part of someone who is making a rapidly expanding adult fortune measured in millions upon millions of tax exempt dollars, with a team of accountants who are giggling all the way to the bank.'

So...again, could it be that this giggling is actually part of traditional stock in trade of manipulative tricks that people learn during their sadhu years when wandering the Indian underground, learning tricks of the guru trade? That this giggling is merely a way to deflect scrutiny and just a technique one can learn to exploit?'

 
At 2/12/2008 5:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The instruction Maharishi gave to the Beatles not to cry for their friend is standard Hindu philosophy. It was not given simply because Mahesh was cold hearted.

 

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