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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