Sunday, May 25, 2008

Dham Of The Damned To Be Diddled

File under: Gurubusting, Gurus Doin' Time and Hands Where They Don't Belong

The story of a person who comes to the light from out of the shadow of a fallen guru:
It all started when devotees of JKP-Barsana Dham were gathered together for a meeting and told that the main guru on the path, who was in the middle of his second “world tour,” had been arrested in Trinidad one week ago on May 18th. The word we were told was “assault.” We were told very few details. And we were told not to talk about the event or go on the Internet to learn more.

Although, according to them, to be a good devotee and attain God realization you have to follow the leaders every instruction without question, this time I decided I had to know more. I just knew there was a lot they were not telling us and, clearly, did not want us to know. After the meeting I went straight to my computer and Googled “Kripalu Maharaj” and “arrest.” The first thing that popped up was an article stating that he’d been arrested for “rape.” Can you imagine the shock?
If it quacks like a duck, it is a duck, not an anti-Hindu conspiracy. Any victims of either Kreepalu or PSBoomBoom willing to speak up are invited to do so by the author of My Life in a Cult in the comments there.

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Thursday, May 22, 2008

India's Swamfia

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

Lately, there's been some black stains showing up on the orange robes of India's swamis:
First there was the Indian swami, or holy man, who was arrested last week for allegedly raping under-age girls and found to be keeping a tiger pelt, drugs and pornographic videos in his ashram.

Then a second one in Kerala, upset by a local newspaper report, tried to shoot himself in the head in a police station in front of television cameras. A third swami from the same state is now on the run after being accused of failing to repay a loan of one million rupees (£12,000) that he took out in his former life as a film producer...

“You have all sorts of illegal things going on in ashrams, but police won’t go in there because they’re holy places.” Dr Nayak alleged that many swamis abused their holy status to launder money for politicians, businessmen and criminals and to provide a safe place for their clients to drink and have sex with prostitutes.
Running game under cover of the great Shankaracharya, making him the godfather of Vedanta and a new Indian Cosa Nostra.

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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Backlash Against The Love Guru Backlash

File under: The Siddhi of PR

A Hindu reform group in the U.S. has come out against the recent fundamentalist Hindu clamor about The Love Guru:
Navya Shastra, the organisation based in Troy, Michigan, which earlier spoke out against astrology, female foeticide and Dalit discrimination, has argued that hyper-sensitivity over inaccurate or distorted religious depictions in mass media erodes the tradition of tolerance of criticism in the Hindu faith.

"Hindus have a remarkable history of freedom of thought and expression. Unfortunately, this is being eroded these days by hypersensitive and misguided chauvinistic pressure groups, perhaps taking their cue from more chauvinistic traditions..."
Can you say "Hinduvta?"

We applaud the Navya Shastra for keeping it real among the histrionic defenders of a blinkered version of their own faith. The Love Guru promises to accomplish what we shoot for each time we post here, which is to inject a bit of fun in the overly serious business of being a guru or guru's devotee.

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PrakashakaBoomBoom Bails Out Of Texas

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

This summer's real "Love" Guru, Swami PrakashakaBoomBoom (Prakashanand Saraswati), was allowed to leave the States for India after a devotee put up ten-million dollars to guarantee his return to face child molestation charges. Right now, the Swami is thanking his lucky booms for a couple of true American classics: the infomercial and the Ab Flex:
The money was promised by Peter Spiegel, an entrepreneur who made his fortune primarily in direct marketing, according to published media reports posted on his Web site...

Much of Spiegel's fortune appears to have come from products sold through infomercials produced by a company called Kent and Spiegel Direct Inc., based in Culver City, Calif. Partner Marsha Kent has a listed address at Barsana Dham.

One of the Kent and Spiegel products was called the Sobakawa pillow, a posture-correct pillow filled with buckwheat husks and aimed at soothing the aches and pains of aging baby boomers.

Another product was the Ab Flex, which promised to help users lose 5 inches and 10 pounds in only three minutes a day.
Cheap merchandise – very obnoxiously marketed – to the rescue! Could Spiegel have just bought the swami's freedom for 10 mil? That's got to be worth a few thousand particularly personally-attentive gopis in the afterlife.

And what of PrakashakaBoomBoom's own guru, the constantly alleged to be serial sexual molester, Kreepalu (Kripalu Maharaj)? He was looking a bit peaked the last time we saw a photo of him. Perhaps he could use a little time with an Ab Flex as well:

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Fairfield Ass-Bounce-Bo-Ree

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

The "pandits" are coming to Fairfield, Iowa, and those who are about to bounce, salute... "coherence-creation," which we take to mean creating susceptibility in potential marks for the TM™ movement. At any rate, the dupes who think that bouncing on their asses on a big foam pad all day makes a difference in the world – all by some mysterious supernatural force dubbed the "Maharishi Effect," (naturally named for their spectacularly grandiose late guru) – are gathering in Iowa, just in case you live there and have an ass-bouncing or pandit phobia.

Meanwhile, we began to wonder just how objective is the reportage of the Fairfield Ledger after this bit of TM™ propaganda was offered as a set of established facts:
Studies have shown that group practice of the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi programs, including Yogic Flying, can foster harmony in society and reduce crime, war and other negative tendencies. In order to have the influence, research has shown the size of the group needs to exceed the square root of 1 percent of the population of a given area. That figure for the United States is 1,743.
It's quite clear the Ledger is a TM™ propaganda horn, just in case you live there but were under the impression they were a good, down home country newspaper.

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Saturday, May 17, 2008

Punjabi Supreme Court Still Trying To Spank Dera Baba

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

Punjabi Sikh apostate guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim is still paying for his little sartorial stunt of May 2007, when he dressed himself up as the revered tenth guru of Sikhism, launching riots all across the Punjab in India. Apparently, it's been difficult to get any charges to stick, because here we are a year later and they're still trying to spank the man on the same sexual abuse charges they've been batting him around with since last year.

All we can say is it's a good thing Mike Myer's Pitka character in The Love Guru is depicted as a Hindu. Were he depicted to be a Sikh guru, those folks would be out there burning movie theaters in a pre-emptive strike against the film, rather than making the wishy-washy whining that's only made the movie more popular in these months leading up to its June 20th release.

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Thursday, May 15, 2008

British Film Institute Vs. Love Guru Haters

File under: The Siddhi of PR


The British Film Institute gets squeezed between somewhat rancorous Hindus trying to protect their idea of "guru" from what they claim would be a defilement by Mike Myer's The Love Guru, whose producers are loving the fact the clamor is saving them millions in promotional expenses.

We going to take a stab at decoding this and speculate that the LG haters called the BFI and were assured there would be no screenings of the film sponsored by the Institute. The haters spun this to suggest that the BFI was ideologically-aligned with their cause. The BFI responds to deny any alignment with the fundies, as the Institute doesn't do major summer motion picture releases in any case. But the big info churn that is the internets keeps regurgitating the older, pro-hater article right next to its correction, over and over again.

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Sri Sri Banks PR On Bomb Blast

File under: The Siddhi of PR

If Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has a siddhi, it's his ability to turn a public tragedy into the sweet milk of his name in print. Case in point: a series of bombs go off in Jaipur, India, killing 61 and injuring over two-hundred. But Sri Sri is in Argentina, mixing his Kool-Aid for a whole new market. He calls the press to condemn the bombing, and then he arranges for an audience to light candles in memory of the bombing victims. It's a nice gesture, no? Solidarity between the peoples of India and Argentina? Yes, and a great way for Sri Sri to appear the savior, when all he's really done is pass out candles for a heart-felt (by the audience) but completely ineffectual display of public sympathy halfway across the world. Were Sri Sri really concerned about the blast victims, he would have gotten on a plane and gone back to India. But that was going to cost him money, not make him any.

Granted, the 10,000 candles must have cost him something too (if they weren't in fact donated,) like 50 bucks or something.

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Secret Scammer Sued

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

The Secret author Rhonda Byrne is being sued by one of her producing partners:
The lawsuit alleges that Rhonda Byrne, executive producer of "The Secret," and Robert E. Rainone Jr., a Chicago businessman, conspired to deny [film co-creator Drew] Heriot's rights to co-ownership and profits from the movie and related works. The combined gross revenue from DVD and book sales of "The Secret" currently may exceed $300 million.
The Secret, making greed good for all (except those not willing to be greedy enough to get theirs.)

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Monday, May 12, 2008

Sri Sri: A List Of Wrong

File under: Gurubusting and Satscams

Recent commenters have suggested we lack proof to support our critique of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and AoL. But since it's his claims of divinity we're critiquing, the proof is right there in front of us as the culture of guru worship as it exists in AoL.

But then came Yunis, author of the new and excellent Answering AoL blog, who's put together a little list of some of the sins of Sri Sri:
* Saying that the effect of SK has been scientifically proven while it is not (or at least not the effects they mention).

* Not mentioning his guru (Maharishi) and evading questions about him until he is death.

* Writing a book about Islam as a Hindu spiritual figure that is full of mistakes and thus doing something very dangerous in a country like India where tensions are high enough about these topics (and admitting that this book "was written in a hurry" only goes to show how not enlightened he is, 'cause anyone who is the least bit enlightened would never ever write a book about that topic 'in a hurry' when it is to be published in India.)

* Organising NGO summits about that turn out to be complete scams.

* Claiming that "his organisation is working in poor rural communities to promote sustainable growth, and has reached more than 30,000 villages." Although this leads to the hopelessly absurd and impossible fact that in 11 years (or 4015 days) the Association for Human Values would have "reached out" (by which is meant: teaching and promoting organic farming, irrigation techniques, water harvesting development programs, drainage system development, etc.) to an average of more than 7 villages every day.

* A complete lack of transparency in financial dealings although millions of dollars are concerned. (Certainly if they should be able to "reach out" to 7 villages a day.)

* Saying that all the money goes to development courses although a taxfile of 2005 reports total revenues of $3.2M coming from giving courses while none of the money went towards international developmental or humanitarian programs, disaster relief, scientific/medical research or charitable activity. (So apparently they don't need the money of the richest part of the world to "reach out" to the poorest part.)

* Claiming to be in the tradition of Gandhi while his acts and words are (provably) far from it.
Yunis is like us, only researchier.

Also, a word to the TM™ faithful: we predict Sri Sri is coming to take as many devotees from his former mentor as he can muster.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

Sri Sri Infects The Internet

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

Art of Living Kool-Aid distributors are working overtime to make Sri Sri Ravi Shankar more famous in the States with some viral internet popularity scamming. From a message sent on the U.S. AoL mailing list:
If we can have you and the people in your network (local satsang groups and other AOL networks) follow the simple steps below, we will have an EXTREMELY powerful marketing campaign for guruji on the internet.

If we can have a large group of people follow the steps below, we can have the links to articles/blogs on guruji, shoot right up to the homepage of the website of an extremely popular site digg.com. This is a very powerful way of marketing, as lots of people visiting digg.com would see it on the homepage.
But what of those who will see through this blatant gaming? AoL has a plan for that too!
There seem to be a lot of comments on the two articles listed below on digg.com. If you did digg it, then do remember to go back and give a "thumbs up" to the comments that are pro-Art of Living, and a "thumbs down" to those comments that are anti-Art of Living.

Also, it would better if the people who dugg the two articles also dugg a few more (random) articles as well, and made a few random comments on some other random articles as well, so as to camouflage this campaign, otherwise it becomes very transparent, if you read the comments. It should appear that we are just normal users of digg, if you understand what I mean.
Yes we do. You are dishonestly gaming the digg.com system to make a seemingly pathologically narcissistic guru even more pathologically narcissistic.

We hate to break it to you, but AoL's marketing campaigns have always been transparent, as clear as the air above Annapurna.  This attempt at ranking fraud is perfectly compatible with what AoL has been doing all along, which is to create a constant sensation around the rather hapless little man they are calling guru.

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Another "Love Guru" Goes Down In Flames

File under: Gurus Doin' Time and Hands Where They Don't Belong

Maybe it has something to do with global warming:
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.

The women, ages 27 and 37, told police they went to Anjomi's hotel room on separate occasions in 2006 for what they thought was personal coaching, after attending one of his $600 seminars, Constable Wendy Drummond said.
It must just be too hot in the world for these dirty old "gurus" now. Anjomi, PrakashakaBoomBoom and Kreepalu should all move to Antarctica, where they can practice their slithering up to each other to their hearts' content, out of reach of any more potential victims.

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Gp Vs. Sri Sri: Head To Head

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

Look at what appeared in the comments this morning:
In a satsang at the Art of Living centre in Germany last night, someone asked Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: “Guruji, I have observed that Guruphiliac seems to follow your every move and then writes negative things about you. Why are they doing this?”

This is the gist of what Guruji said:
Sri Sri, of course, doesn't have a clue about anything other than burnishing his own image. Observe:
I have inherited an ancient lineage and my job is to further its cause. Neither by thought, nor through word, nor by deed, have I ever done any harm to anyone, nor will I ever do so in the future; it is simply not in my nature. Nobody can expose me because there is nothing to expose: I stand tall, clean and naked in front of the whole world.
Sri Sri has appropriated a lineage as a platform upon which he writes his story of self-glorification, its cause perverted to provide a means by which fame and fortune are achieved. Ex-devotees who were close to Sri Sri agree, he is a vain facsimile of a guru, hypocritical when dealing with politicians (see Narendra Modi) and ambitious for personal fame at the expense of those who are giving him money for "good works."
I do whatever maximum good I can, and I inspire others to do so. These people who keep writing about me simply cannot leave me alone - they must be in deep love with me! (laughter)
Even hiding behind his facade as the world-saving guru, an unremitting narcissism still shines through. He can only see the world as a reflection of his own glories as an object to be loved. There's a term for that: narcissistic personality disorder.
When they keep comparing me with other people all the time, I must have made a very deep impression on them. I cannot help it if they can’t get over me - that’s the way I am! If I am that bad and fake, they should simply be able to ignore me and move onto the truth - but why are they are holding onto me, again and again?
Me-I-I-me-I-I-me-me: the self-reflective code of a narcissist. The hypocrisy built-in to Sri Sri's gurudom demands constant recognition. He hides behind the white robe and smirk and preaches "love" as a seemingly unassailable defense against criticism as he flies first class and stays in 5-star hotels when he comes to take your money.
If they are trying to teach me a lesson, if their intention is to correct me, then I’m sorry, I am incorrigible! (laughter)
We aren't trying to teach Sri Sri anything. We're just making sure folks understand that he is no true guru.
If their idea is to stop people from coming to me, and if people do stop just by reading these blogs, then I really thank them; it is good for me, it reduces my responsibility!
Petty bravado from a man who knows his machine will take in 20 more people for every one we might influence.
If they think I am doing this for publicity, they are unaware of the disadvantages of popularity. I pity them.
A very well-put suggestion that Sri Sri is suffering for us all by being famous. Has ever a more insincere statement been made by a person who calls himself guru?
Celebrities enjoy only popularity, but spiritual leaders have a huge responsibility with that popularity. People do not go to celebrities for guidance and blessings, but with spiritual leaders they do.
God help those who go to Sri Sri for his guidance and empty blessings.

First class flying, five-star staying, and his adoring millions; that's why we believe Sri Sri has become a guru.
If they think I have no right to exist on this planet, then they can crucify me; I am afraid neither of death nor of being defamed.
Sri Sri has every right to exist, and we have every right to call him a self-aggrandizing nincompoop. His pouring a few gallons of Kool-Aid down the throats of dupes in Germany in his own defense only speaks to a need to protect his image, another hallmark of narcissism.
I am not afraid, because nothing can destroy me.
He means, "I have nothing to fear. I am insulated by the thousands of people I've fooled into believing I'm God."
We do charity with the hard earned money from our courses. We are, of course, rich with people and with good character, and I am ready to share this wealth with anyone.
Open the books for auditing by an independent accounting firm so we can see just exactly how this wealth is shared.
Lest these people understand their hatred is nothing but love standing upside down.
Note the deft characterization of our criticism as "hatred." A timeless technique which insulates Sri Sri from having to answer any criticism whatsoever. It's not love standing on its head, Sri Sri. It's love coming to strip you of all the vainglory with which you've wound yourself so tightly. You can speak to a crowd of your own hapless dupes, but you'd run from an audience of those who've left their comments on this blog. That's a love you just aren't built to deal with.

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Blogs Respond To PrakashakaBoomBoom

File under: Gurus Doin' Time and Hands Where They Don't Belong

A couple of readers tip us off to some blog reactions to "love guru" Swami PrakashakaBoomBoom's (Prakashanand Saraswati) recent arrest for child molestation:
And these words from Swami’s website may help put the charges against him in some context: “…in the The warmth of Shree Swamiji’s love melts the hearts of those who listen to him and drawing close to him opens the path to God…” The Swami, however will probably be in trouble if the Hays county authorities in Texas are able to prove that Swamiji’s love melted a couple of underage hearts that he managed to draw close to him.
We doubt those hearts were "melted." They were probably more or less blasted to pieces by an old man's lust.

Another blogger offers up the experience of a friend who was molested by PrakashakaBoomBoom's guru, Kripalu Maharaj, or just plain old Kreepalu to us:
Seems that the sexual rot is infesting Kripalu's whole organisation, now that a 79-year-old codger is at it too. This is what happens when you spend all day meditating on the sexual lilas of Radha and Krishna while being celibate, you need to have an outlet somehow.

The friend who was molested by Kripalu also told me how his followers explained ("rationalised") it away as an instance of divine love. The same thing occurs in other Hindu cults as well. Disgusting and sickening.
Indeed. This summer is sure to be the season of the Love Guru in many more ways than a mere movie release.

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Saturday, May 03, 2008

This Summer's Real "Love" Guru

File under: Gurus Doin' Time and Hands Where They Don't Belong

Forget Mike Myers and his "Pitka" character, the real "love" guru this summer is going to be Austin, Texas' Swami PrakasakaBoomBoom Saraswati, (young ladies, you'll know those "booms" when you find his hand down the front of your dress):
Saraswati, or "Shree Swamiji" as his devotees call him, gave the teaching just hours after his followers paid $1 million to bail him out of the Hays County jail.

The 79-year-old Saraswati teaches seminars in New York, but in Austin, 20 counts of child sexual abuse await his return.
Of course, the dupes are staying dumb down in Texas:
"We are deeply saddened by these accusations. They are completely not true," Barsana Dham spokesperson Prabhakari Devi said after learning of Saraswati's arrest.
The JKP sure knows how to pick 'em for their pie-in-the-sky, mindless devotion and head-in-the-sand oblivion to some blindingly obvious traits in their gurus. But Texas ain't no Trinidad-Togago, so there will be no buying their way out of this one.

Update: A sharp-eyed reader provides a few more links about the affair.

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Friday, May 02, 2008

Love Guru Haterade Shines Light On Hindu Right

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Aside from the fact they are doing the work of ten ad agencies, the Hindu outcry against the release of The Love Guru is also bringing a light to bear on India's shameful secret, its racist/supremacist Hindu right:
These groups don't just campaign against what they see as sacrilegious portraits of Hindu culture in the Western media. They also actively organize and celebrate book burnings, crusades against inter-faith marriage, riots and vandalism over what they regard as impious artistic representations, and constantly work to inflame Muslim-Hindu relations in India.
Say hi to Amma's children in India.

The hysteria reaches a fevered-pitch with this hilarious doctrine about the sins about to be incurred by millions all over the world:

ActDemeritMeans
Making the movie, ‘The Love Guru’30 units2nd region of Hell for 1000 years
Watching it for entertainment without knowing the spiritual science/significance2 unitsNether region (Bhuvaloka) for 100 yrs
Watching it for entertainment even after knowing the spiritual science/significance5 units1st region of Hell for 100 yrs
Being a seeker of God/on the spiritual path, knowing about the Movie, but doing nothing to stop it5 units1st region of Hell for 100 yrs

These comedic karmic calculations aside, a Love Guru bump is coming to Hinduism and Vedic-based spirituality in the West. We're looking forward to the improvements it's sure to bring.

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Love Guru Hater On The Rise

File under: The Siddhi of PR

The Love Guru-hating (yet ultimately supporting) Rajan Zed is already seeing a payoff from his scheme to make himself famous as America's cry-baby for traditional Hinduism:
The National Association of Interchurch and Interfaith Families has named Indo-American leader Rajan Zed as one of its spiritual advisors.
By working the interfaith panel circuit, as well as putting his face in high places in Washington, Zed is positioning himself to be our new pope of Hinduism. His clamoring against what he has insured to be a sure-fire summer hit movie will fail to prevent the movie's release, but he has already successfully thrown his name higher into the public's awareness.

Snatching positive media exposure in the face of failure, the true sign of a master of the siddhi of PR.

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