Guruphiliac: March 2006

Friday, March 31, 2006

The Kracki's Oneness Begins To Show Cracks

File under: Satscams and Gurus Clockin' Dollars

The fountain of Kracki seems to be overflowing these last few days. We imagine it’s in response to the shocking defection of Freddy and Madelaine Nielsen, longtime devotees who were very high on the totem pole and promoters of the Bhagavan Kalki's “deeksha” scam in the States for more than 13 years.

The result of the shock seems to be an uptick in Kracki-related propaganda coming from his other big time Western devotees. There’s just so much to love, folks. Let's watch the remaining Western Krackiheads try to retain those devotees at risk for bolting along with Freddy and other prominent devotees:
Dear Friends, this is not a great situation we have here. Freddy and Madelaine have been representing Deeksha, the Oneness Movement and Amma and Bhagavan all over the world. I know a LOT of people who see them as their connection into the world of deeksha. [Ed.note: Hallelujah!] What has occurred here may well undermine a great deal of the work that all of you have done over many years, as it is creating a split in a movement dedicated to Oneness. This is the first thing people comment on as the e mails are flying around now: what kind of Oneness movement is this that cannot resolve its own internal conflicts?
We render the message as: Your work is about to go down the chutes because Freddy split. He’s about to fuck things up big time, people. We’ve got to do something about this.

How about accepting the fact that people are blessed with the discrimination to see what a transparent money grab the whole thing is. The experience being sold as “oneness” is not enlightenment, it’s a trance. Deeksha is an experience container designed to foment this trance and cement it as the exclusive mode of spiritual expression in his satsang. And it comes with the idea that it originates from the supernatural power of the Kracki himself, making it the equivalent of sucking your brain out of your head with a vacuum cleaner and replacing it with Elmer’s Glue.

What does every cult do as it contracts to protect itself? Discredit the defectors, in this case with the neurobunkumry of Christian Optiz:
I specifically asked Pragyanand about the people who are making such impressive claims for their own state: permanent bliss, hundred thousand volts of electricity, hundred thousand orgasms etc. Not ONE of them fitted the criteria of the brain thresholds. In other words, this movement is, at least in the West, represented most loudly by teachers claiming to be in a state that the Oneness movement itself would say they are not in fact in. There are indeed many others who ARE, according to the Oneness University, in such a state, but who claim nothing at all.
Too bad all these states have as much to do with self-realization as our dog’s ass. We don’t even need to mention that Optiz has been debunked by a major university neuroscience researcher several weeks ago here, but we will anyway:
The most questionable aspect… is the author's claim that he has tested alterations in neurotransmitters, hormones, and receptors via electromagnetic signature testing. There is no scientific data to support that this technique is viable. There are other, well established, means of testing changes in neurotransmitters and hormones via blood and saliva testing. There are also newer techniques using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, similar to a MRI, to test alterations in neurotransmitters and receptor turn-over.
And there’s just so much more, folks. William Cooper, Ron Roth, Issac Shapiro are all on a tear to mend the breech. The Kracki just gives and gives and gives… more spiritual mumbo jumbo than a convention of witch doctors in Haiti. This one is definitely developing.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Real Maharishi Passes On

File under: Real True Gurus

The fact that we have never heard of the deceased 96-year-old Vethathiri Maharishi, who passed away yesterday, speaks mountains about his fitness as a guru. It turns out the Maharishi developed quite a nice little yoga center in Aliyar, India:
The centerpiece of the campus is the Temple of Consciousness, which is consecrated to raising the consciousness of individuals and the whole of humanity. Unlike other temples, there are no idols or formal rituals here. It is open to all. Group meditations and lectures for participants of various courses and for the general public are the major activities here.
We can't tell you much about the yoga the Maharishi taught beyond that he sought to impart "knowledge of true relationship between individual and the all pervading Almighty Unified Force." He must be talking about Brahman, just not in the terms of Adviata. Hey! We like him even more now.

We are extremely heartened by the fact that we've never, ever heard of this guy until today. What does that say about Sri Sri, the Babaster, Kracki and all the other big name players? We think it says a lot about their penchant for name and fame, at the expense of their teaching... rather than to enhance it. The fact of the Maharishi's relative anonymity is like a refreshing breeze amidst all the hot air being blown by these monster gurus' PR departments. They can never hope to emulate what the Maharishi has so beautifully accomplished; a significant contribution to the world of yoga, all without making it all about him.

We're truly sorry that we only came to know of the Maharishi the day after his mahasamadhi. He's made us realize that maybe we don't need a new kind of guru, just more gurus who are more like he was.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Shoko To Go Down The Chute

File under: Gurus Doin' Time and Wackadoo Gurus

Subway-gassing AUM guru Shoko Asahara has lost his bid to avoid the death sentence. This despite his crazy act in prison, which included diaper-wearing and public self-stimulating. Even with all that going for him, the Tokyo High Court was just not convinced he'd lost his marbles and threw out his appeal.

He's got one more court to appeal to, but we doubt he's going to have any luck there. The sheer horror of the man's mass-murdering ways has still got most of Japan freaked out, with the remnants of his cult under more watchful eyes than a Pakistani on a United Airlines flight deck.

Update: Further analysis of the Asahara defense team's failure to obtain the wackadoo get-out-of-execution-but-not-be-free card.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Will The Right Wing Come After Cohen?

File under: The Siddhi of PR

The anti-Andrew Cohen Whatenlightenment blog is running with a letter written by an 81-year-old Republican with an axe to grind:
My grand daughter spent 5 years with Andrew and she never spoke a word to me during that time. I read some of his stuff and I think you folks miss the point, there is a lot of fancy language around what he says but he seems to me to be simply a fraud who takes advantage of people. My grand daughter now visits me all the time, she's not very well, though. Andrew took a beautiful women and turned her into a fearful depressed person, it's like he sucked the spirit out of her and left only a confused shell.
Or, she may have come into an adult onset of clinical depression.

While we'd probably disagree with everything else the guy has to say, his suggestions as to how to deal with Cohen are comprehensive:
These kinds of cults always have a shadow side. Some of this shadow is exposed through this blog, I am sure there are more lies and deceit below the surface. People who act like this are usually projecting some hidden truths. My bet is that his financial model is very tightly controlled. No one really knows what's happening except for a few (probably outside the community), these accountants and lawyers would have created not for profit trusts that are under the control of Andrew, these trusts are the then siphoned by way of special charges for consultancy, dubious outside services. My grand daughter was continuously asked for money, she gave over some $28,000 in the last 2 years.

The focus on financial donation I believe shows his weakness. I believe an IRS audit and exposure of how his multi million dollar empire is run would go a long way toward bringing his evil empire down.
But what is really frightening about the whole thing is that it's all in a letter to Bill O'Reilly.

Can you imagine that nincompoop calling for an audit of Eastern religious organizations as his next cause celebré? The mind boggles at what could be the opening of the next front in the culture wars. The Whatenlightenment folks need to understand that once they help open that door (which we suppose we're helping along too), it could be curtains for hundreds of more legitimate efforts to bring Vedic understanding to the West.

This here's a double-edged sword, folks. Let's all hope we don't get cut with it ourselves.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Nithyananda's Take On Mind

File under: Real True Gurus

[Ed.note: It's come to our attention that Swami's quote was taken out of context. Please see this post's comments for an expansion on the Swami's meaning.]

Today we came across this quote from Paramahamsa Sri Nithyananda, a fairly young Indian guru now based in LA:
Your entire belief in rationality and logic is based on the premise that your thinking is sequential and it follows a pattern. This is a lie.

The buddhists say that the mind is a monkey. That’s very true. Your thoughts are not sequential. Your thoughts are independent of each other. They are not connected. They are illogical and irrational. They are like the bubbles in a fish tank which appear connected; but there is no connection between one bubble and another. They are all independent.
While we see where Nithyananda is trying to go with this, we think it's still just a little bit off, probably due to language issues. Dr. Dan Berkow offers a similar, yet significantly different explanation:
It's like a movie, where there are still picture frames, but because one is rapidly juxtaposed upon another, it creates the impression of people moving in space, etc.

As long as enough emotional and psychological attachment, response, preoccupation is generated, the impression of a "self" is maintained "as if."
Movies are individual frames in sequence. This suggests a sequential aspect to the generation of the idea of "me", as Ramakrishna used to call it. We find this to be self-evident from the regard of the individual point of view.

Despite this small flubble, we're coming to regard Nithyananda as a welcome addition in an arena full of Sri Sris and Krackis, as the radical re-editing of this entry has demonstrated.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Deeksha, Decoded

File under: Satscams

Collected by a concerned fellow Vedantin, an "explanation" of deeksha from the Kracki's camp:
Deeksha is an energy transmission [an idea of an energy transmission, one your subconscious mind will manifest for you... if we're lucky enough to have found another patsy] that facilitates awakening [self-generated experience of altered consciousness which we want you to believe was caused by the Kracki] to our natural state [a well-defined set of expectations that will limit your spiritual growth to a standard that we control]. Our natural state includes peace, joy, unconditional love and spontaneous wisdom [as envisioned by and provided by us]. To live permanently in our natural state involves re-patterning the neuro-biology of our brain [we use this bunkum to attempt to give our product credibility]. This happens by grace [but only that "grace" that is mediated by the Kracki and his duped deeksha dumpers]. Deeksha is literally a transmission of grace [all of which, every single bit of it, can only come from within the devotee, but we want you to believe that it all comes from the Kracki]. It cools down the areas of the brain that cause us to perceive ourselves as separate [disabling discrimination and critical thinking, therefore delaying the eventual understanding that it's all a pile of shit] and it quickens those associated with bliss, love, compassion and wisdom [we want you to be as mindless as we are able to make you]. Deeksha compliments and supports any spiritual path or practice [we'd sell this shit to babies, if we could].
We hope that makes it all a bit clearer for you.

Major Deeksha Giver Dumps The Kracki

File under: Satscams and Gurus Clockin' Dollars

Major deeksha provider Freddy Nielsen, a devotee of the Kracki for 13 years, has dumped the whole scam and bolted. Apparently, the org was leaving something to be desired:
In January 2006, a person that I deeply respect, I even feel she is one of the purest and wisest one can imagine, told me she felt much has become cold and more like an impersonal institution in Golden City. She has been to GC a number of times and always been in love with it all. In Jan. she was shocked to see the sudden contrast. This was exactly what I had started to feel since some time.

My heart began to really doubt my being an active part in this Movement, for the first time in 15 years.

I can only recommend and spread something that I believe in on all levels and with 100% of my being. I am a 0% or 100% person. What I love and am passionate about, I am prepared to live and die for. If I feel that the heart is dying and mind takes over in what I support, I'll always drop it like a hot potato.

I always believed in Bhagavan and that He has the power to give Oneness to mankind. But the more and more structurized team of people around him makes it impossible for my heart to survive in an ever growing cold and boring atmosphere. I always knew I was going to be a follower and admirer of Bhagavan, but to be part of an organisation is an entirely different thing. I knew A&B were true and genuine, but organisations are often not.
Well, he almost got it all right.

The fact is that the Kracki is responsible for this "chilling" of the organization. It's called being all about the money, Freddy. The temporary states created by the context of the deeksha experience have some value. But to call that enlightenment is at best dishonest and at worst a criminal flim flam.

Kudos to Freddy Nielsen and his Living in Joy org for making a break from that cyclone of occluding nonsense known as the Kracki's satsang. The fact that he was able to do so is a clear indication to us that Freddy could be on his way to becoming a real true guru, and the Lord knows we need a lot more of those than the grandiose monsters that usually fill the pages of this weblog.

Rancor Reduces Crime?

File under: The Siddhi of PR, Guru Clockin' Dollars and Backroom Gurudom

Rancorous Swami Ramdev is pulling out of Bihar, India after leading a week-long yoga jamboree there. Various political leaders piled on to receive the blessing of Ramdev (in the form of votes from his devotees.) One went to far as to claim:
Thanks to Baba Ramdeo's 'pranayam', number of crimes committed in Bihar during his entire stay in Bihar were the lowest in so many years.
That's stealing a play right out of the Madharishi's playbook! Scoundrel!

Friday, March 24, 2006

Madharisi Still Trying To Take Over The World

File under: Wackadoo Gurus and The Siddhi of PR

The old coot is still at it. The latest in his 50-year scheme to ignite the next Golden Age (in direct competition with the Kracki, the Babaster and many, many insane people all over the world) is the Global Good News. It's just about the cheesiest looking website seen since the use of the <blink></blink> tag.

It's the same old TM™ global-everything propaganda. We thought it was a pipe dream back in 1989 at college, when Madharishi minions offered a ride home to pimp nonsense about the coming Age of Enlightenment... courtesy of and exclusively by the Madharishi himself, the certain and only true usher for the Golden Age. We thanked them for the ride and told them they were full of it.

And yet the wacky old bat is still at it. You've got to give him credit for sticking with it, or at least give his grandiosity credit. And we suppose you can't fault them for wanting to transform the world into his idea of what Vedic social perfection would look like. Too bad it's just as likely as the neocons' vision of a world united in Christ.

That's what makes it so crazy. When has anything so well articulated come about anywhere near the way it was articulated? Never. The world doesn't work that way, and the TM™ folks' inability to see this belies a lack of discrimination about just how crazy... or at best, inappropriately hopeful their leader actually is.

We continue to hope ourselves that the GCfWP comes to their senses once their beloved guru passes on. It's obviously a strong organization. If it can get past the grandiosity of its founder it may actually turn out to be something much better for the world than the likes the Kracki's deeksha scam and his grandiose ideas of Golden Age bringing.

We see no way out of the eyeball lightning here, folks. You better not be close to any metal if and when it finally does go down.

Cracking The Kracki Code: The "Doctor"

File under: Satscams and Gurus Clockin' Dollars

As a continuing service to our readers, we take the propaganda missives of Austin, Texas deeksha scammer William Cooper and [decode them] for your understanding and enjoyment. What follows is the subjective impressions of another individual sucked into that giant money hole known as Oneness University:
[Name redacted], a naturopathic physician [possible quack] from Portland who has been a spiritual seeker since age 15 [seeking self-acceptance], went to India last year to learn how to perform [scam using] deeksha. She says the meditations and the highly psychological depth processing work [cult indoctrination] the movement uses, combined with the transmission of higher consciousness via deeksha [acceptance of mass hysteria as reality] makes the Oneness Movement unique in her experience. The non-religious orientation [hiding the Hindu superstition it's all based on] appealed to her western sensibilities.

"This is not all exotic and mystical and that sort of thing," says [name redacted]. "It's about becoming functionally awakened [indoctrinated into a completely erroneous idea of awakening]. This is not about going into dysfunctional, mystical states, [fantasy projections of their own subconscious] because that's not really going to help the world a whole heck of a lot. Bhagavan is very interested in people being functional [so that they continue to provide funds], being able to be enlightened [made to believe they are in a state of enlightenment based on utterly false ideas about it] in pursuit of their own vocation; [to keep the money coming] not that you become enlightened and you become a spiritual teacher [there's only room for two "teachers" here]. Because there's not necessarily that specific need. There is the need for there to be enlightened doctors, enlightened politicians, enlightened plumbers, enlightened landscape designers, architects, parents [all to keep the money coming]. There's just a need for everybody to be enlightened and bring it to their own vocation and be very functional in the world."

[Name redacted] admits that the promise of enlightenment [spiritual avarice] was absolutely a strong pull to go to India. When she came back she was, "in a very good space." [duped into thinking she was enlightened]

"I don't know how to describe it," she muses. "Relatively enlightened? [there is no such thing] And that state was very, very peaceful, very relaxed. [like I'd just smoked some good weed] My heart was very open. My mind was just very optimistic and positive. I tend to have, historically, a critical turn of mind. I'm the kind of person that sees the imperfections in things. I'm comparing things all the time. That was just sort of gone [I've given up my critical thinking faculties under the influence of the indoctrination]. When I came back here, we came back to a really kind of catastrophic thing with our house. Instead of freaking out, you just deal with it. It's fine, not to worry. That was kind of an interesting little test." [a dulled mind produces little color]

For [name redacted], enlightenment has not come like a bolt from the blue, but rather as a steadily increasing capacity to be present and to love [we use the terms of "love" and being "present" as they are relatively unassailable, this despite the fact that true enlightenment has nothing to do with either of them]. As she has continued to give deeksha [mislead folks just as she has been misled] to Oneness Movement participants [patsies] in the Portland area, (which is also a way to receive the higher energies as they pour through her) [all the product of the superstitious nonsense first promoted by the Theosophists] she is experiencing a gradual deepening and strengthening of her heightened original state [the indoctrination programming is stabilizing]. She mentions that, in the west especially, there is tremendous confusion and overawe about what enlightenment really is [the Kracki's version of enlightenment being the most heinously dishonest and incorrect idea of enlightenment in present existence].
We hope that's made it a bit more clear for you all. Next up, we decode the words of notorious deeksha scammer Ron Roth.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Ramdev's Rancor Answered

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

The Indian Medical Association is going on the offensive against the rancorous Swami Ramdev. It seems he markets his skull and testicle concoctions against what he sees as a corrupt allopathic medicine community in India.

If the dude had a serious cancer that required an operation to keep him alive, do you think he'd be rejecting allopathic science? Fat chance, despite his quacky claims of being able to cure cancer with yoga.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Ramana Hearted Hitler?!?

File under: The Siddhi of PR

[Ed.note: We've changed the category to The Siddhi of PR as what follows has turned out to be neo-Nazi propaganda. Please see the update at the bottom of this post.] It pains us greatly to put Ramana Maharshi in the category of Wackadoo Gurus, but after reading this, we just couldn't think of anything else that would fit:
In a 1980 article "Hitlerism & the Hindu World" published, in The National Socialist, Savitri explained the basis of Esoteric Hitlerism and related some of her experiences with the Hindus during the war. Quoting Ramana Maharishi, "one of the greatest spiritual personalities of modern India", the sage's reply to a question on Hitler was that "He is a gnani". Here is thus an unequivocal connection between the Hindu fanatic Maharishi and Hitler. This 'gnani', Devi explains, is a sage, one who is fully conscious through personal experience "of the eternal truths that express the Essence of the Universe." Indeed, Hitler's extermination of Semitic Jews was merely a later re-enactment of the Vedic Hindu-Aryan extermination of 'Asuras' (Assyrians) and 'Panis' (Phoenicians).
Of course, this may all be fabricated propaganda. At least, we hope it is.

Ramana Maharshi experts are invited to confirm our suspicions.

Update: It all turns out to be the hard spin of an ultra-rightist writer. Harlemgrrl does a little digging and comes up this:
In neo-Nazi circles, it is even claimed (here by Claudio Mutti on p.26), on the authority of one Sadhu Arunachala: A Sadhu's Reminiscences of Ramana Maharshi (1994, p.52) that Ramana Maharshi (d.1950), indisputably one of the greatest Hindu yogis of the 20th century, had declared: "It is possible that Hitler is a jnani, a divine instrument." If the account is true, Ramana's utterance sounds to me like the answer to a question posed by a visitor eager to hear a confirmation of his own idealization of Hitler: the sage did not commit himself to such a confirmation, but politely allowed that it was "possible",– like most things. Note the difference with Savitri Devi's rendering of Ramana Maharshi's opinion: "Someone asked Ramana Maharshi (..) what he thought of Hitler. The answer was brief and simple: 'He's a jnâni', i.e. a sage (…)." (p.73) This is her word against Sadhu Arunachala's. Either the latter has rendered Ramana's words softer and more conditional in deference to the anti-Hitlerian mood of the times, or she has rendered his words more decisive and unconditional to satisfy her own ideological preferences.
That's much more plausible. We are indebted to Harlemgrrl for providing the answer to what could have been the most vexing question in the history of gurudom.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Coming This Summer: Clash Of The Living Devis

File under: Amma-All-Over-The-Planet

There are two monster mothers headed to North America this summer. Will the landmass be able to withstand the weight of two incarnations of the Divine Mommy between its shores?

Mother Meera is going to be in the country from August 16 - September 4. She's currently slated to visit Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Raleigh/Durham and New York City. We found an interesting darshan review to help you decide whether to make a pilgramage:
Mother gives darshan in silence. One kneels in front of her (pranam) at which time she helps the soul, then looks into her eyes (darshan) which helps the personal life. Neither my friend nor I saw or felt anything unusual after attending seven darshans, nor did we notice any effects in the following weeks or months (as some devotees suggested we would). Perhaps we are spiritually dense.
Hey! Us too!

Probably most famous in the U.S. for rejecting devotee Andrew Harvey when he came out to her as gay, we don't think Meera will get much traction outside of the hardcore satsang junkies. But she may be able to pull some crowds in the cities she's visiting.

But regardless of the crowds she pulls in the places she goes, Meera just can't hold a candle to that Grand Dame of Guruessness, the woman who claims everyone in the world as her own child, the gives-tsunamis-the-beatdown hugging champeen of all time: MATA AMRITANANDAMAYI!!!

She's already warming up in her native land in preparation for her 2006 North American Tour, June 1 - July 26. A good deal longer than Meera–and perhaps fortunately for the entire population of North America–not at the same time.

We have to admit to warming to Amma after a year's worth of dealing with the likes of Sri Sri, the Babaster and especially the Kracki. While we still expect her satsangs to be an orgy of fantasy Devi projection... and a storm of occluding expectations about self-realization (all encouraged by her own organization), we found it extremely heartening to find this statement on Amma's home page:
Within you, there is a wellspring of love. Tap that source in the right way and the shakthi (energy) of divine love will fill your heart, expanding endlessly within you.
We like it, Amma. Put it all on the devotees... where it belongs, the real source of any power you have... [Ed.note: We've obviously come under the influence of Amma's mind-controlling astral milk. We will return after a thorough decontamination.]

Note: Comments Moderation

File under: Deranged Devotees

Due to the fact that we now have online stalkers who are attempting to promote their egregiously inaccurate attacks on this site, we've enabled comments moderation. Those of you who are regular contributors will still be able to post comments, but there may be a delay of various time frames, depending on when we can get to releasing those comments from moderation. The stalkers are invited to continue to comment as well, provided the comments are pertinent to the ongoing discussion... as determined by us.

Thank you all for your forebearance in this matter.

More Legal Wrangles For Ramdev

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

The rancorous Swami Ramdev—he of human skull powder and animal testicles as the "new" Viagra fame–is getting sued by a village leader in Bihar for violating the Drugs and Magic Remedies Act of 1954.

We're impressed they even have a Drugs and Magic Remedies act in India, but not because we find the country completely backwards. It's more due to the fact that most of the magical thinking that pollutes spiritual culture in the West can be tied directly to Hindu myth and superstition, something Ramdev exploits each and every day. It's the very basis of his business and the reason he's stacking so much paneer in the bank.

In a seemingly related PR move, Ramdev is denying having any political aspirations in India these days, but this isn't to say he won't have a hand in politics:
"I will guide politicians in the right direction, and my doors will remain open for them for my help to ensure all-round development (of the country)."
In other words: keep the rationalists at bay and I'll throw my voters your way.

With Ramdev claiming to want to expand his tele-yoga empire outside of India, we may begin to hear a bit more about him in the states. But the lack of cremation grounds on this side of the globe may make ingredient acquisition a bit more dicey than he's prepared to deal with (we hope.)

Friday, March 17, 2006

Sarlo's Guru Rating Service Ripped Off!

File under: Satscams

Today it was discovered that website has stolen entire sections of Sarlo's Guru Rating Service in a relatively unaltered form for its own use.

Here is's entry for one of our online heroes, Dan Berkow:
Dan Berkow

Description : * M b1952 American (NC) psych prof once held forth on NDS and GRF now on his own list.
And here's the entry on Sarloji's listing:
Dan Berkow * M b1952 American (NC) psych prof, once held forth on NDS and GRF, now on his own list. appears to be just another internet ad and spam relay, existing solely for the purposes of click-through sales based on search engine results. Sarlo's efforts are his sincere attempt to catalog the hundreds of people advertising themselves as spiritual gurus. He's worked for years on his database just to have them steal it in seconds, and only to promote their efforts to make money.

We say sue the bastards under the DMCA, Sarlo! It's the only way that stupid law is going to come to any good.

The "Miracle Of Love" Is $$$

File under: Satscams and Gurus Clockin' Dollars

Today we came to know of the Miracle of Love, yet another wacky enlightenment cult based in Marin, California. Here's how it got started:
David Swanson, underwent a transformation in 1987, when an incarnation of God named Lord Gourasana took over his body and began speaking through him. Seidman, taking the name Kalindi, and a friend of theirs named Gayle—now known as “The Lady”—received his teachings and became “spiritual masters.” In 1995, the story goes, the energy emanating from Gourasana finally overwhelmed Swanson’s body and he died. That’s when Gourasana began speaking through Kalindi. The Lady rose to second in command. In the past year, a few more members of the inner circle have been elevated to “spiritual masters.”
It's got everything a Marin-based NewAge™er is looking for: incorporeal beings and a chance to get in on the ground-floor of another spiritual pyramid-scheme.

Like most "enlightenment" flimflammers, it's all about the money:
The handiest way to let go of their attachments to money is, of course, to donate it to the Miracle of Love mission. “A lot of people there are living paycheck to paycheck,” says Frank. “There are doctors and lawyers and CEOs who have no money. Over time, they’ve given away everything.”
But wait... there's a reward for those who fork over their cash:
Sex with multiple partners is preferable to marital fidelity, since the only exclusive relationship the devotee should have is with God. Devotees are encouraged to “step over their sexual boundaries” as a way of “breaking free.”
But of course, lockstep adherence to the commands of the leaders is mandatory:
Members who do question the leaders are told they’re succumbing to the illusion of the material world, they’re straying from the path to God. “They tell you that if you leave the path, horrible things will happen to you, like you’ll get brain cancer,” says a woman we’ll call Sheila, who left the group after three years. “Or you’ll suffer forever in infinite lifetimes or something crazy like that.”
We were told the same thing when we ditched the ashram back in '86. Some things never change.

It would appear that Kalindi has staked herself a money farm with 12 combines working at once. There's a lot of dollars in Marin, one of the richest and most beautiful communities in Northern Califoria. There's also a lot of unhappy people who are all in competition to reach spiritual perfection the quickest. It makes a very fertile field for a savvy satscammer who can act wacky enough to be believable as a spiritual leader in a place where folks will consult their local psychic just to figure out what to make for dinner.

Read the whole article, all-in-all a great exposé and dissection of cult dynamics in action.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

AUM: Running For Their Lives

File under: Gurus Doin' Time

As wack off guru Asahara Shoko and his murderous minions sit in jail awaiting their death sentences, they're running like scared little bitches in whichever direction they think is going to save them. Asahara is attempting to pull a "Chin" maneuver in the courts, acting all wackjob as he wacks off in front of anyone he can get to watch, including his own daughters. Now one of his lieutenants and co-conspirators in at least 26 of the murders (in separate attacks) is claiming he should be spared the noose because he was only taking orders from Asahara.

Recognize that tune? They played it on Radio Nuremberg all the time.

None of these clowns are yogis of any sort to be so frightened by death. Like most of the rest of the world, they value their hides over everything else, including those they killed and their responsibility for their crimes. It reveals the depth of Asahara's fraud and the astonishing stupidity of the thousands of people who believed he was going to take over the world.

We believe there's a James Bond movie script in there somewhere.

Update: Asahara's right-hand man, Tomomitsu Niimi, is going to drop through that hole in the floor as his death sentence has been upheld.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Guruphiliac Turns One Today!

File under: A Milestone in History

Wow! Today we've reached a major milestone in history. The very first blog that criticizes grandiose gurus from the regard of our interpretation of Advaita Vedanta has just turned one-year-old! That's about the same mental age that some of our readers find us to be. Huzzah!

We'd like to thank all the big time gurus who do more to prevent their devotees' self-realization than all the hookers in Thailand and heroin in Afghanistan. We look forward to continuing to be the South Park of gurudom and bringing you all the latest on how most of those who are purportedly divine are nothing more than ordinary narcissists in the throes of grandiosity and ego inflation; straight-up wackadoos who belong in a mental institution; or just plain, old, ordinary criminal con men and women.

We'd also like to thank the small cadre of assholes [Ed.note: That's a compliment, folks.] who continue to provide information and entertainment in the comments sections of this blog. You can find some really good inside scoop there on some of these over-stuffed buffoons also known as God to the duped and unsuspecting.

In addition, much appreciation is extended to Rick Ross and his, as well as the folks over at Guruphiliac is heavily indebted to their efforts to report on the activities of the self-importantly religious. Finally, we must also not forget to thank Sarlo and the denizens at GuruRatings, where we cut our teeth and continue to enjoy discourse.

We look ahead to the coming year with vigor and enthusiasm. We hope to show that self-realization is not just the provenance of the allegedly saintly and supposedly divine, but is in fact the common birthright of all humanity, ever present and closer than anyone's own breath, right here and now, as if it were sitting on the tips of their noses.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sri Sri Makes Tragedy Pay

File under: The Siddhi of PR and Sri Sri's March on the Prize

Just as we had predicted, Sri Sri "I Want That Nobel Peace Prize SO Badly" Ravi Shankar has taken to grandstanding in the midst of tragedy once again. Last year it was in Texas in the wake of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita... as well as in Jammu and Kashmir for some photo ops with local revolutionaries.

Now it's in Varanasi, where last week Islamic extremists set off two bombs, killing 15 and injuring scores of others. In another example of the stunning hypocrisy Sri Sri is becoming known for, he asks politicians to refrain from their own "self-interest." That's kind of like asking a hubris-crippled big time guru to drop their living saint act:
"Political leaders should keep away their self-interests and discuss with each other these events to fight the forces which are against humanity. They have to work for nation’s interests. We should not think that we belong to a particular community or society. We all have to join hands. We pray for all those killed and also all those who have been injured," he said.
Priceless. The god of self-interest commenting on the self-interest of politicians, of all people.

We see things heating up in India between the monster gurus. With the Kracki collecting millions to build a totem to his psychotic grandiosity and the Babaster's buying off whole governments to keep from being brought up on pedophilia charges, Sri Sri is going to need to keep his name in the headlines all the more. And just over the horizon looms the beginning of Ammachi's 2006 world tour. No big time guru in India holds a candle to her in the states, and she's already making moves in her home country to shore up her own popularity in light of the others' hijinks.

Can these mega-god-folk keep it civil, or will it take an eyeball lightning storm to sort it all out. These are exciting times in the world of superstar gurudom. We've got our money on Ammachi if it's an eyeball lightning duel, but don't rule out an alliance between Sri Sri and the Babaster against her if it comes to that point.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Asahara's Wackjob Act Gets Real

File under: Gurus Doin' Time

[Ed.note: We suppose yesterday's entry would have been more aptly titled as: Asahara Presses Grabs On With Wackjob Act.]

While teams of psychiatrists in Japan compete to certify or debunk AUM guru Shoko Asahara's fitness to stand trial in his death penalty appeal, the subway-gassing guru is erecting his wackjob act to an ever more turgid inflation:
It's these incidents, according to the weekly, that Asahara showed he was pulling more than other people's legs.

"He took off his trousers and diapers, exposed his genitalia and masturbated. He repeated the same action frequently. Whenever he acts like that, he drops his trousers, his diaper and diaper cover to his knees, finishes the act, then raises his trousers up to his waist again," Friday quotes the Nishiyama Report as saying.

"In April 2005, just before the accused's lawyer entered a visiting room, the accused exposed his penis and began masturbating, continuing until he had finished while the lawyer stood before him the entire time. He has repeated this act of masturbation in the visiting room, as well as in his solitary confinement cell since being placed under observation in May. He also performed the act in front of his daughters when they came to visit him in August of the same year," the Nishiyama Report says.

Despite acknowledging acts such as the shameless masturbation in front of his adult daughters, the Nishiyama Report ruled that Asahara had not lost his faculties to the extent that it should stop him from going into court.
You've got to hand it to Asahara, he's going balls out in his flight from execution now.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Asahara Presses On With Wackjob Act

File under: Gurus Doin' Time

Here's an interesting question: can someone who attempted to kill thousands ever be considered sane? Subway-gassing AUM founder Shoko Asahara, on death row for the deed, is pressing on with his insanity act. It started out with gibberish and diaper wearing; it's now moved on to silence. At least this is more in keeping with the behavior of a yogi than an insane person. But if it's just the fear of death that's got him silent, it makes him a lot less of a yogi and a lot more like a scared little dog.

He's probably a mixture of both. We honestly can't say we're not the same, but then we've never tried to jump start Armageddon with nerve gas... or are in prison waiting to be executed for it.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Gene Poole Adds Value

File under: Real True Gurus

Gene Poole is the undisputed alpha male at GuruRatings, despite our having won the silly poll someone created. While not as much of a guru to us as Bruceji, he is certainly a mack daddy of prodigious creative output and analysis, and we regard him as a hero and model nonetheless. Here he expands upon Bruceji's definition of ego:
Considering that 'mental activity' is more than thought, the 'patterns' are much more complex than we may suppose.

'Quasi-reiterave' means, that the pattern both draws upon new data for input, and also, uses it own conclusions as 'new data'. This welter of 'mental activity' is directly connected to the glandular and autonomic nervous systems; so, every 'iteration' (drawing out) includes not only the triggers for emotion, but also, recursively, tends to take emotion as reason for more emotion. The parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system is designed to put a clamp on emotional arisings, but when this 'kicks in' is variable and is dependent upon social conditioning. Vulcans are famous for conditioning which keeps this clamp in place continually.

The 'reiterative' aspect of ego (and 'mind') is most interesting. There is seldom a moment not filled with model- making and model-testing. Chief among those 'models', is the model of self.

The self-model is made to run through the various other models, to see how best to 'survive'. As Bruce mentions, this can include models for attainment of dominance. That such real-life attempts usually end in relative failure or even disaster, shows how sketchy such models for dominance tend to be; if they would be fully iterated, based on all available data, the failures would be predictable and thus would not be attempted... given that our modeler is rational, that is.

All of the above, occurs continually and so rapidly as to be unnoticable; virtually, in the blink of an eye.

The ratio of unexpressed/unconscious 'thought' compared to expressed/conscious, is about 97%/3%. In other words, most of the time, we have no idea what we are thinking. May the gods of nonduality gift us with the power to maintain in silence, long enough to see and appreciate our true nature.
We've never known Geneji to have his own website, but some of his older collected writing is here.

Bruce Morgen Defines Ego

File under: Real True Gurus

Bruce Morgenji was our first online guru and a sometime contributor to this blog. He's been at online punditry since the early 90s, but has been carrying the secrets of self-realization since the late 70s. Here is his simple yet profound definition of the ego, that great bugaboo that egos all over the world have been trying to eliminate ever since some misguided Sanskrit scholar mistranslated Shankara's concept of the ahamkara:
Ego is a quasi-reiterative pattern of thoughts that represents (for better or worse) the perceived survival requirements of the host organism. The "perceived" part is what's so often problematic, not the phenomenon of ego per se -- it's pretty easy for "perceived survival requirements" to cross over into "perceived dominance advantage(s)," up to and including outright megalomania, but more often resulting in some degree of garden variety self-absorption, with the usual paucity of empathy that comes with that territory.
There's plenty more of Bruceji's wisdom here.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Ashram Life Vs. Psychedelic Life

File under: Commentary

We came upon the Sivananda Math's Yoga Magazine website after reading about its leader, Swami Niranjananand Saraswati, the heir to the throne of the Sivananda yoga empire:
In 1994, on the occasion of Shatchandi Maha Yagna to revive the Rishi parampara, his Guru finally passed on all his spiritual powers to him and declared him a Vishwa Guru.
Other than the fact that these "spiritual powers" were actually just the economic and political control of the ashram, we couldn't find much to gripe about in particular on this site. That is until we saw the whole thing as an advertisement for the ashram life. They even have college level courses to teach it to you.

Having lived at an ashram once ourselves, we've had our own taste of this life. It's mostly the attempt to stuff individuals into the guru's or leadership's interpretation of Patanjali's Yamas and Niyamas, a kind of moral code for the beginning yogi. A few people seem to be able fit into these ideals, but most fall well short... and out of the ashram life very quickly.

The main problem with ashram life is the occlusion that arises around these moral ideas and what they have to do with self-realization, which is absolutely nothing. Those who cannot conform to ashram life are seen as having little or no possible chance at self-realization, mostly because self-realization is seen as the result of a life lived within the strictures of whatever yoga is being taught at the ashram.

Commonly, those who leave may be told they can't have realization because they fucked up by leaving. Yet those who stay will likely learn to believe that they can't be realized because they haven't yet measured up to whichever idea of perfection they are worshipping at their ashram. This perfection is most often a well-defined set of very prudish ideals based on the hagiographic details of the life of the founding guru. This almost always means no sex and no partying. In other words, not much fun.

The fun is supposed to be had in the joy of maintaining your ideals, ideals which usually don't bring much more than a sense of pride and accomplishment. They sure as hell don't have anything to do with self-realization. It's like going for a gold star everyday because you've been told that getting a gold star a day will make God like you more, and if God likes you more, He may make you realized.

Take a close look around and see how many people are truly self-realized at an ashram.

We're not saying that it's not good to be good. We're saying it's bad to think that being good is going to get you realized. That you being good is the whole problem. It's gotta go, at least in its hegemonic domination of your identity. But how's it gonna go when it's so busy enjoying being good?

This brings us to the prospect of the psychedelic life. By psychedelic we mean primarily transgressive as far as yogic practices are traditionally proscribed. You can use sex, drugs, rock and roll or whatever other practices you can come up with, as long as nobody is getting hurt. We'd venture to call it tantric, but that term has been completely trashed as a label for anything other than someone's last ditch effort at a marriage rescue.

You can still be good while living the psychedelic life, you just may not be good in the terms as described by ashram life. Rather than cultivating a particular, usually rigid form of approach to one's existence, one that is often unyielding to personal idiosyncrasy, you'd be deconstructing and disintegrating any form already there and making new ones up on the fly. It's about finding out as much as you can about your self, what makes you tick, and then discarding that as soon as you've figured it out and quickly moving on.

People can find out about themselves in ashram life, too. But instead of just being allowed to be as they find themselves, they are usually jammed up into the appropriate posture as recommended by the guru or tradition. Instead of it being a natural evolution of the psyche, it's just another trip through the cookie press.

What exactly is psychedelic life? It's whatever you make it to be. It's whatever guru or teaching you happen to be interested in at the time. It's whatever experience you believe is going to bring more insight. Insight is the activated buddhi. That is where discrimination begins, not in the blind adherence to some ancient moral code. It's by learning direct and firsthand, and sustaining the cuts and scrapes that may result. This is what brings true discrimination to a life.

You are still responsible for your bills and for the lives of those around you, but you are also free to take up whichever exploratory direction feels fit, not to be decided by anyone other than yourself. It's basically about being your own guru and seeing the opportunities for growth that exist in every facet of life, not just those few at the stick-up-the-butt conventions known as ashrams.

We're sure Swami Niranjananand Saraswati knows a lot about Yoga as the tradition in India. We'd like to think his yoga university is a good place to learn about that tradition as it's been handed down for way too long now. But what the Swami seems to be failing to see is that Yoga is now conforming to life far outside the walls of any ashram. As it leaves the ashram, it leaves ashram life, and this is the best thing that could ever happen to Yoga.

Ashram life is for the very few, most of whom are too distracted by it to see the truth of their own self-realization anyway. It's time for self-realization to become established as a natural occurrence–happening within almost every facet of culture and life–not just the oppressively "spiritual." The psychedelic life can help bring this about. When people realize they can make up their own yoga, provided that sincerity is at the root of their motivation, they won't need to try to live up to the anachronistic and unrealistic ideals of ashram life in order to come to see something that is always with them, as much out of the ashram as when in it.

Speaking of ashram life, there's a few blokes in London putting together a documentary about this very thing. Film researcher Sean Kenny of the UK-based Documentary Filmmakers Group explains:
The film is at an early stage so we still have a lot of flexibility on what stories we will include. Basically, we're looking for people who have been to an Indian ashram or guru who can tell us about their experience there, good or bad. One idea we have is to film a travelogue going from ashram to ashram to see what different ones have to offer, and the sort of people they attract. So any ideas of off-beat or unusual holy men and places would be good for that. We're also looking at concentrating on a couple of people and their experiences, eg is there anyone who went to an ashram with their friend and the friend got sucked right in, destroying the friendship?
So pro or con, drop Sean a line and tell him your story. You just may save a poor soul in the process of preventing their self-realization by jacking themselves up with a bunch of superstitious Hindu nonsense... or maybe help keep them out of the reach of any hookers with cocaine to blow off their asses.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sign The Babaster Petition, Get Another Hospital Built

File under: Hands Where They Don't Belong and Gurus Clockin' Dollars

Good news for the people of India! There's a new anti-Sai Baba petition being circulated on the net. This means the Babaster will probably build another hospital or two and line the pockets of all the local police and politicians once again! Hooray!
This Petition is to bring attention to serious allegations of child molestation and homosexual abuse by Sathya Sai Baba at his ashrams in South India, involving many victims there including boys and young men visiting from other countries. Another grave concern is the issue of unresolved murders at Sai Baba's main ashram in 1993. Sathya Sai Baba, an Indian man who claims to be the full manifestation of God on earth, is worshipped by several million followers from most countries of the world. These followers include heads of state, royalty and other well-known dignitaries. In the highest echelons of the Indian government, judiciary, and civil service (IAS) are many followers, including Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee.
Unfortunately for the victims, this petition will result in exactly nil as far as any real justice is concerned. The Babaster is God to his people and the politicians in India, and he's got the rupees to keep it that way for a very long time. It's going to take a lot more than an itty bitty net petition backed by a U.S. state department warning and a major news org investigation to put this wee-wee diddling wackjob behind bars.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Rushdie's Recipe For Gurudom

File under: Satscams

Just posted to GuruRatings, a quote from Salman Rushdie about some of India's great satscamming gurus [Ed.note: Pay close attention, Sri Sri, Sai Baba and Kracki, this is all about you!]:
The creative imagination possessed by a great scam artist is of high order, one can't help but admire. What surrealist boldness he displays in the conception of his deceits; what high wire daring, what mastery of illusion. The flim flam maestro is a superman for our times; disdaining norms, scorning convention, soaring beyond the gravitational pull of plausibility, shucking off puritan naturalism that would hold most ordinary mortals back. And if in the end he comes unstuck, if his ruses fail like the melting wings of Icarus, then we love him all the more for revealing his human frailty, for falling fatally to earth. In his moment of failure, he deepens our love and renders it eternal.

We have been privileged, in India, to observe at close quarters some of the very best–the best of the best–members of the trickster hall of fame. As a result we are not easily impressed, we demand the highest level of performance from our public crooks. We have seen too much, yet we still want to be made to laugh and shake our heads in disbelief. We rely on the scamster to rekindle a sense of wonder dulled by the excess of our daily life.