Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Shadow of the Guru Coming Soon!

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

Joan Radha Bridges, a prominent ex-SYDA devotee who was diddled by Baba Muktananada, has just released a trailer for her film, Shadow of the Guru:



As welcome as we might find this material personally, we're not sure many folks other than the anti-cult histrionics set is going to pay for it. Hopefully Ms. Bridges will see the importance of getting this work out to as many individuals as possible without having the same profit motive as some of the folks she's examining.

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21 Comments:

At 4/22/2008 11:43 AM, Blogger Stuart said...

The free flow of information is a good thing. Maybe "Shadow of the Guru" allows some people to share their personal stories and perspectives about following a guru. These may be stories that are often under-reported, because such talk is forbidden within the ashram, and pre-internet, ex-devotees were too geographically scattered to effectively compare notes. Maybe sharing information through a film like this, just like diverse websites on guruism, will help people make more informed decisions.

(I myself will watch the whole movie if it's free or cheap, or if it ever makes it to Netflix. There's a place for people making money from teaching or sharing information... though money can skew messages, compared to information that's shared freely.)

The last quote in the clip, from Dan Shaw, says, "the cult leader is actually constantly involved in inducing shame in his followers." This may be factually true and academically interesting. But if I feel shame, the most direct and efficient way of dealing with it is to examine how my own thinking and actions cause the feeling. My own choices have a huge role in how I feel, much much moreso than any other person's efforts to induce this or that.

I have incomplete information about any cult leader's actions or intentions. I have much more intimate connection with my own thoughts and actions.

IF I were aspiring to become a "cult leader," THEN it'd be vital for me to study how cult leaders think and act. But if instead I'm trying to understanding myself and help others, as an ordinary human being, it becomes more important to look at the aspects of my own beliefs and desires that draw me into situations and relationships in which I feel ashamed or abused.

Sure, I love hearing stories and getting information about the whole guru dynamic. It's a rich topic, and I appreciate the light shone on it by "Shadow of the Guru" and all other sources. And I don't want to forget that the most important matter isn't judging gurus and cult leaders one way or the other... it's examining my own thinking and my own life.

Stuart
http://stuart-randomthoughts.blogspot.com/

 
At 4/22/2008 12:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Jody,

In knowing how incredibly generous Ms. Bridges has been with her time, sharing of knowledge and insight and in the production of this video, I hope the video sales are able to recoup production costs, and even offer back some more as profit.

Guruphiliac went on to welcome ads to help with its expenses.

There are no motives on the part of Ms. Bridges to make this video for big monetary gain. This is a video to help further educate the public about the shadow side of becoming involved with claimed enlightened teachers and cults.

I applaud Ms. Bridges and those involved with the production and release of this video.

With many, many thanks for your time, commitment, integrity, and efforts to release this important piece of video history, Mr. Bridges, et al. I'm deeply grateful.

Bravo and bravo!

 
At 4/22/2008 1:33 PM, Blogger jody said...

I hope the video sales are able to recoup production costs, and even offer back some more as profit.

Nobody can fault her for wanting to make her money back. And if she can see enough to make a profit, kudos.

However, I'm not sure there's enough folks out there who would pay for something like this. It's not like she's offering techniques to get you to instant enlightenment or ultimate happiness. Basically – even though probably completely justified – she's just bitching. I'm on board with that, but I don't need to buy a DVD to know that many gurus are f'ed up in the head, and I'm not sure if there are many others out there who do either.

 
At 4/22/2008 5:08 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

It's important for all sides to have their say and since Sidha yoga has made no efforts to look at itself someone should. What the Hell, I'm gonna write my book the Power Of Never, and I'm gonna cash in. and then I'm gonna think about how i think, and how that's important./ and about how what you think ain't so important to me. but even though i have incomplete info on many of you it sure don't feel that way, ya'll sure write a lot and pontificate a lot for a bunch of incomplete guys with no separate selves, that i have no knowledge of. and hey, I wanna keep it that way!

 
At 4/23/2008 1:14 PM, Blogger Stuart said...

yomamma said...
ya'll sure write a lot and pontificate a lot

While you, I've noticed, remain completely silent!

 
At 4/23/2008 6:53 PM, Anonymous Pug said...

STUART vs YOMAMMA (clash of the Titans!) :)

 
At 4/24/2008 12:42 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

I'm thinking about it , I'll get back to you....it's gotta be good

 
At 4/25/2008 2:56 PM, Blogger semblance said...

While you, I've noticed, remain completely silent!

::: Yomamma writes and does not even remember what she wrote later is what i think. She hardly can pontify what she wrote.

 
At 4/25/2008 4:14 PM, Blogger CHUCK said...

Semblance, a young buck such as your self should be nicer to an old gal like yomamma!

 
At 4/26/2008 10:41 AM, Blogger semblance said...

CHUCK said...
Semblance, a young buck such as your self should be nicer to an old gal like yomamma!

::Acutally I consider mindlessness, a great virtue. Yomamma got lots of it. She is cool and reminds my own momma who talks and talks without much interference from her mind.

Chuckji, I may be a maverick who dreams of rolling joints in the sleep, but when it comes to big galz, Im just a shy boy.

 
At 4/26/2008 11:36 AM, Blogger yomamma said...

yeh, and i don't even smoke the ganga. it's all natural derangement and i didn't have to join no cult to get it.

 
At 4/26/2008 1:22 PM, Blogger semblance said...

yomamma said...
yeh, and i don't even smoke the ganga. it's all natural derangement and i didn't have to join no cult to get it.

:: My salutations unto thee !

 
At 4/26/2008 8:33 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

While you, I've noticed, remain completely silent! Yeh, I deserved that!!!

Stuart said:
But if I feel shame, the most direct and efficient way of dealing with it is to examine how my own thinking and actions cause the feeling. My own choices have a huge role in how I feel, much much moreso than any other person's efforts to induce this or that.

Yo's response: This is great direction for a mature person with, or one developing good personal boundaries, unfortunately the girls and young woman who were violated by muktananda probably weren't in any kind of space to retrieve or have this sort of resource. You can see if you have read Radha Bridges internet correspondences , that it has taken her years to deal with her experience. My personal knowledge of this sort of thing having been molested a bit myself is that the psyche just can't deal with this stuff until you have reached a fairly ripe level of maturity, so that is a lot of time and energy ripped off by an early event, an event that has robbed you of a lot of the capacity to develop healthy boundaries, the capacity to trust and to mature normally.so you do that later in some ways.

Stuart said; IF I were aspiring to become a "cult leader," THEN it'd be vital for me to study how cult leaders think and act. But if instead I'm trying to understanding myself and help others, as an ordinary human being, it becomes more important to look at the aspects of my own beliefs and desires that draw me into situations and relationships in which I feel ashamed or abused.

Yo said: Stuart,you are aspiring to do what cult leaders and psychopaths don't aspire to., to understand yourself in order to help rather than exploit. So good for you. probably harder to do.It's weird that people decide to trust these clowns!



Stuart said: And I don't want to forget that the most important matter isn't judging gurus and cult leaders one way or the other... it's examining my own thinking and my own life.

Yo said: but don't get so carried away with your own self examination that you forget to watch the kids, because a lot of that has happened. In some cases it may be a very good idea to judge a few gurus!

I think this has been a rough path for Radha , and I applaud her and i wouldn't relegate her efforts to mere bitching or money grubbing in a million years.
Have a good week-end possums.

 
At 4/27/2008 10:08 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

You are very wise, Yomamma! When you say you have to keep an eye on the kids you speak as a real momma! Many younguns have come to harm while their parents were trying to focus on the moment and on their own minds amd motivations. What Stuat says is quite true but he is saying it from a place of years and maturity. The same words comin from a 24 year old boy with a child playin under the wheels of an old Buick would not be of use! I realize so much more now of what I did and did not do that put Chuck JR in harms way. Now he's 34 years old, a janotor,and married to a reformed hooker with Chuck III to deal with! Stuart speaks as and for the wise bachelors and batchlorettes among us. You speak for the Mommas! Chuck wishes you well!

 
At 4/27/2008 6:35 PM, Blogger yomamma said...

well Chuck ,if you can't put the little darlins in danger once in while, what's the point of hav'in em? I know Stuart means well , i'm even starting to understand him! OMG ,now I will become one of the fawning stuoids...NAH! My random stew of a mind will never reach such organized heights.....

 
At 4/28/2008 9:05 AM, Blogger CHUCK said...

If Chuck JR and Chuck III hadn't a wanted to get born in the Chuck lineage they would have made other arrangements!

 
At 4/29/2008 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done! I am looking forward to seeing the rest of the documentary. It's so important to keep demanding the truth about cult abuse and I appreciate your bravery in coming forward and speaking your truth.

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Sarah

 
At 4/30/2008 3:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yo, Mamma!

First time I've ever addressed you here.

Yomamma said:

"but don't get so carried away with your own self examination that you forget to watch the kids"

Self examination when performed skillfully can be a very healthy and productive thing for growing into a healthy, balanced psyche that has a healthy, balanced perspective.

But it CAN be taken too far. MUCH too far.

To the point of obsession. Or at least pontification by people other than yourself.

Which makes me want to tell another person (not you, Yomamma)here to get off their high horse and just freakin' CHILL already.

I'm an old friend of Radha's. You are correct. She has trod a difficult path in this life and faced incredible challenges...many of them...above and beyond the ones Muktananda forced upon her.

IMHO she has handled her recovery from Siddha Yoga and faced and dealt with the other challenges in her life with incredible aplomb. I can't ever sufficiently applaud her courage or her honesty, openness, and committment to telling people what happened to her and the nature of the organization that led to it.

Finally, Yomamma, I am intrigued by your use of the word "Possums" to address us. Are you by chance a fan of the TV show Top Chef and some of the blogs about that show?

OK, I'm done. Time to pack up my knives and go home.

-A Former Siddhayogi

 
At 5/01/2008 2:18 AM, Blogger yomamma said...

Dear Anony Siddha, i probably would be a fan of top chef if i still got the cooking channel. I borrowed Possums from Dame Edna Everage, an English Drag man, aka Barry Humphries. Edna's kind of a wise old sage in lavender and pumps,I guess kind of one of my Deities ,so maybe that's where the chefs get it.

 
At 6/19/2008 4:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure, I love hearing stories and getting information about the whole guru dynamic. It's a rich topic, and I appreciate the light shone on it by "Shadow of the Guru" and all other sources. And I don't want to forget that the most important matter isn't judging gurus and cult leaders one way or the other... it's examining my own thinking and my own life.


Oh Stuart! If this is really true...why do you seem to turn up on sooo many anti-guru blogspots?

You sound like your preaching...perhaps you are trying to be a guru.

 
At 6/19/2008 4:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I borrowed Possums from Dame Edna Everage, an English Drag man, aka Barry Humphries. Edna's kind of a wise old sage in lavender and pumps,I guess kind of one of my Deities ,so maybe that's where the chefs get it

Yomamma

Barry Humphries is Australian. I grew up with him on my television in the 70's...long before the Brits ever laid eyes on him.

And yes...that's what Australian women were like in the seventies, all possums and purple hair...tee hee.

 

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