Guruphiliac: December 2006

Friday, December 29, 2006

Sri Sri's Crayola Diplomacy

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Like a child playing connect-the-dots with a crayon, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar thinks he's bringing peace to the various ethnic conflicts of South Asia:
[Sri Sri] Ravi Shankar said it would be a 'great disappointment' to the youths of India's northeast if the games were not held in a peaceful environment.

Stating that games and sports helped to keep people healthy and free from depression, he said: 'Holding the games without the cooperation of ULFA will create fear and anxiety among participants and deprive the already marginalized people of the region a sporting mega event.'

Ravi Shankar also urged ULFA leaders to adopt democratic and non-violent means to resolve their problems.
We've been known to have a flair for the obvious, but even we blanch in the face of the mighty Sri Sri's command of the redundant overstatement.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Joy To The World, Maharishi-Style

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

As if it's going to make a fly's fart worth of a difference, the Maharishi is gifting a dozen lucky countries with their own Vedic geek squads:
In Maharishi's aspiration to bless the world from the ancient Indian heritage—the Vedic Heritage—this Christmas he has planned for the immediate arrival of Vedic Pandits in twelve countries:

1. Latvia 2. Finland 3. Switzerland 4. Bosnia Herzegovina 5. Norway 6. Denmark 7. Ireland 8. Bulgaria 9. Netherland Antilles 10. Guyana 11. Trinidad and Tobago 12. Paraguay
And in a parallel development, a couple of his rich patsies are offering scholarships to learn the fine art of ass-bouncing:
Full scholarships continue to be available from the Howard and Alice Settle Foundation to individuals who would like to learn Yogic Flying and who will commit to join the Invincible America Course for one year.
So that's morons chanting ancient gibberish like it was rocket science and ninnies thinking their bruised butts are creating an effect other than the soreness in their asses.

Those are gifts that keep on giving... material for this blog. Unfortunately, that's just about all they're worth outside the continuing self-aggrandizement of a delusional and exceptionally grandiose old nutbag.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The Little Piggy Face Of Oneness

File under: Satscams and Gurus Clockin' Dollars

Kingpin delusion dealer Kalki "The Kracki" Bhagavan steps up the supply to his addicts:
Dear Oneness Deeksha Givers,


It gives me utmost joy to inform you of the most recent divine phenomenon that has taken birth here in the Oneness University. This phenomenon, aptly named the ‘Oneness Blessing’ issues forth from the Srimurthi (portrait) of Sri Amma Bhagavan, which is impregnated with their divine consciousness. Sri Amma Bhagavan have now taken a very special sankalpa (intent) that their Srimurthi transfer a powerful blessing to people that would awaken them to Oneness.

In accordance with their divine will, Deeksha givers pray and gently touch the Srimurthi either at the feet or hands of Sri Amma Bhagavan and ask for a ‘Oneness Blessing.’ In most cases the blessing is experienced as powerful electric shocks that almost knock down the person or as strong vibrations flowing through the body. The blessing could also be experienced in several other ways like a physical deeksha process (much the same as what is generally felt after receiving a strong Deeksha). In almost all the cases so far, receiving the ‘Oneness Blessing’ from Sri Amma Bhagavan has immediately produced a shift in consciousness culminating in an altered state that is more or less permanent. Other results include mystical insights and a continuous ongoing Deeksha process within that takes you higher and higher towards love and joy.

We dasas would therefore humbly recommend that all Oneness Deeksha givers receive this great blessing directly from Sri Amma Bhagavan in your own homes daily. The blessing could ideally be taken four times a day i.e. 6:30 a.m., 12:00 noon, 6:30 p.m. and 12:00 midnight. The reason we are fixing up these timings is that when all deeksha givers pray and receive the blessing at the same time in their respective countries, the blessing comes forth very powerfully, since it becomes like a collective phenomenon that is happening at that time. This would also profoundly affect your own countries in a big way. The effects of receiving the ‘Oneness Blessing’ at the same time is clearly seen in the case of Indian Deeksha givers already. In case of being unable to receive the blessing all four times a day, please join whenever possible; at least two times a day.

At these times of the day, you could sit before the portrait of Sri Amma Bhagavan and invoke their divine presence. Having invoked their presence, you could develop a personal communion with them in your hearts and ask Sri Amma Bhagavan to give you the Oneness Blessing and awaken you to Oneness. In case you are experiencing some emotional disturbances some day owing to the charge in your emotions, you could pray that the charge in the emotion be removed and that you are awakened to Oneness.

Having prayed thus, gently touch the feet or the hands of Sri Amma Bhagavan and wait for some time with your hands on the srimurthi for the blessing to flow through (about a minute or more). You could first touch Sri Amma and then move on to touch Sri Bhagavan or vice-versa or you could choose to place your hands on both of their feet/hands simultaneously; please follow whatever comes to you naturally. Having received the blessing thus, you could thank Sri Amma Bhagavan and if possible move into shavasan and relax for some time. This blessing would come forth from all the portraits of Sri Amma Bhagavan, including the Sri Amma Bhagavan medallions/pendants.

We would be very happy to receive a feedback of your experiences with the ‘Oneness Blessing’
Because involving you in giving us feedback strengthens the delusions we are planting in your mind. We'd also be very happy to receive your dollars for our Hollywood feature film studio, err... efforts to spread our love all over the planet.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Maharishi's Greed Puts Hole In Town

File under: The Siddhi of PR

The greedy Maharishi wants a cool 10 million for the hotel on Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford, Connecticut:
Today, its owner is marketing the vacant, decaying structure as worth $10 million - but there are no takers. Hartford's mayor says the building should be torn down.

The 12-story hotel, empty for a dozen years, has been a troubling obstacle for those who see the building as part of a crucial gateway to the city. The sale price set by the Maharishi School of Vedic Sciences Inc., its owner since 1995, has been too high to make any redevelopment, hotel or otherwise, financially possible, observers say.
A real estate developer trying to get the project off the ground came away with this impression:
"The Maharishi is impossible to deal with," said David Ong, president of Acquest Realty Advisors Inc., of Bloomfield Hills, Mich., which wanted to resurrect the building as a hotel in 2000. "We were never able to make a deal that made economic sense."

"At the end of the day," Ong said, "they are land speculators."
And they've already lost millions on quite a few other land deals, so the money-mad Maharishi is holding on with his manicured fingernails to any chance to recoup. The real losers: the people of Hartford, who the Maharishi doesn't give an apparent damn about outside of their utility as potential marks in his land scams.

Have a merry TM™ Christmas, Hartford!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Lama Film Is Lame

File under: Gurus on the Screen

The Berkeley Daily Planet wasn't very impressed with Leslie Ann Patten's Words of My Perfect Teacher:
There are few things more nauseating than self-satisfied white westerners opining on the virtues of eastern religions and philosophies. Too often the opiner has been disproportionately impressed by a dollar-book summary of a major religion’s tenets and has taken that grain of truth and blown it up into a mountain of simplistic misinterpretations. Words of My Perfect Teacher suffers greatly from this malaise.

Reviewer Justin DeFreitas even frames the whole space-daddy phenomenon for us:
One of the first and seemingly most obvious of his teachings is the danger of idolatry, of looking upon a teacher as an infallible and unfailingly wise creature who can bestow wisdom upon his disciples like a gift. Perhaps we’re seeing these students at too early a stage in their studies, but this is one lesson they seem to have trouble learning. Throughout the film they persist in this indulgence, viewing Khyentse Norbu as an all-knowing, all-seeing master of their fates. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, and sometimes a glance from Khyentse Norbu is just a glance, and sometimes a guru who appears lost in an airport is truly just a man lost in an airport. No matter, Khyentse Norbu’s disciples prefer to treat him like a human Rorschach test, taking his every glance and gesture as a great lesson to be learned and every all-too-human error as a mysterious and profound teaching moment—though they can never quite convey to us precisely what they have learned.
A tip of the turban for Justin's insightful employment of sorely-needed critical thinking. It's a dead-on rendering of everything wrong with gurudom. Good gurus seem to attract it as much as the bad, all this in spite of their best efforts to mitigate the space-daddy effect. The bad gurus just grow it like a fungus in the minds of their marks, effectively putting a layer of mystifanatical nonsense between them and the spiritual understanding they believe they're paying for.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Ramdev Gets Rapped By Health Dept.

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

Good old rancorous Swami Ramdev is getting heat from India's Health Minister, Anbumani Ramadoss:
The Health Ministry is proposing amendments to the Drugs and Magical Remedies Act which makes it illegal to advertise for invalidated cures by allopathic or alternatives. The Ministry believes that claims made by various yoga gurus are not backed by authentic medical history, investigations and proofs.
Oops! No more cancer and AIDS miracle cure claims. It sounds like the Swami needs to find a higher-grade of bull balls for his next batch of "medicines."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Varieties Of Space-Daddies

File under: Gurubusting

We've told you before, and this won't be the last time you'll hear it from us: the commenters here rock! There is just so much good information in the comments sections of this blog that it makes us positively giddy. (The 10" of snow on the ground at Guruphiliac HQ may have something to do with that as well.)

Today, David "The Blade" drops his science about space-daddies and mommies, a term we coined to describe the make-it-all-ok with a [insert your guru's shtick here, be it a look, gaze, glance, hug, squeeze or whatever other nonsense they've come up with]-type gurus that are making the rounds in the world today:
The Blade's Space-Daddy/Mommy Glossary with Examples

Space-Daddy Explicator:
Makes it pretty clear that he is to be your space-daddy, and if you know what's good for you, you'll be his little chela.

Examples: Adi Da, Andrew Cohen, Sai Baba, Sri Chinmoy, ...

Space-Daddy Silent Cultivator:
Never claims space-daddihood explicitly, but cultivates it through his organisation

Example: Maharishi, [Ed.note: And Sri Sri!]

Space-Daddy Repudiator-Cultivator:
Explicitly tells you not to make him a space-daddy, then makes himself a space-daddy by cultivating it through his life and organization, just like the silent cultivator.

Example: J. Krishnamurti, [Ed.note: And Swami Nithyananda.]

The above show people whom I believe fit decisively into those three categories. Other people skirt the categories, in certain aspects or times behaving as if they belong to one category, then moving into another category in another aspect or time.

Most space-daddies these days (except the extreme explicators) have some element of 'repudiation'. If you are getting into the game, this is important to know because many people think that when they hear a little repudiation of space-daddihood from their space-daddy, that he isn't a space-daddy. Don't be overly impressed when you hear something like 'You mustn't put me up on a pedestal. You must think for yourself'. Or credit being given to your own nervous system or Guru Dev. Think again! Think like a woman thinks when she hears 'I don't go after women for their bodies'.

The lower down they are in those categories, the deeper is the denial of the followers that the person they are following a space-daddy.
Now we have a taxonomy of space-daddies & mommies. As soon as we read the description of the space-daddy repudiator-cultivator, Swami Nithyananda's noble, yet somewhat comically stereotypical Hindu visage jumped into view. A perfect example of what "The Blade" has shared with us today.

So today the turban comes off so we can take the dust of the feet of "The Blade".

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Vishwananda Hasn't Charmed Everyone

File under: Gurubusting

While we may have been mildly charmed when Swami Vishwananda came to town, this guy is apparently miffed by the Swami's claim that he is the reincarnation of Paramhamsa Yogananda:
It's an interesting fact how Vishwananda is falling in[to] the trap of proclaiming himself [to be] Yogananda reincarnated while [Yogananda's gurus] give proof [that] Yogananda commercializ[ed] the Kriya discipline, [having] made three unauthorized big changes and thus became the champion and the leader of the modified Kriya.
We like it, criticizing a guru based on what he allegedly did in a past life. This could open up a whole new avenue for us...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sri Sri's PR Machine: Pimping & Recruiting

An example of AoL flackery employed as hard news, this time at (including a few interpolations by us):
Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who arrived in the country yesterday, seems to have the answer to many questions on life and the concept of inner peace.
All answers are available for sale at your nearest AoL center.
He is the founder of the Art of Living Foundation, which is said to be the world's largest NGO, with representation in 156 countries.
Matched only in size by our guru's lust for fame.
"What you cannot win with a stick, you can win with love," he told the Sunday Nation. "What you cannot win with guns, you can win through love."
And what you can't win through love can be bought at an AoL center near you.
"The most powerful thing in the world is love - for we can win the hearts of people through love."
My love of name and fame is all that is behind these ridiculously simplistic platitudes.
"This is exactly why the Art of Living courses are important to every individual, regardless of their background or religious affiliation," a devotee, Begun Rishi Nityapragya, told the Sunday Nation before the guru's arrival.
Everyone is a potential mark to us.
"(Ours) is not a religion or a cult."
Ours is a multinational business operating under cover of NGO status.
"In fact, if you are a Christian, it makes you an even better Christian; and if you are a Muslim, you become a more devout Muslim."
Poorer, too.
In a flowing robe, long hair and a flowing beard and with disarming warmth and an almost permanent smile, Rishi had a lot of praise for the Art of Living courses.
Watch me play God as I sell you my snake oil.

We tip our turban to the AoL flacks, who seem to be quite adept at planting their fictions in the news as the news. We see a bright future for all of them as government bullshitters spinmeisters one day.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Cohen's Best Come Back To Haunt Him

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

Several people have steered us toward the What Enlightenment? blog and the latest brouhaha over enlightened asshole Andrew Cohen's penchant for chiseling:
The author of this piece, Jane O'Neil, is a former close student of Andrew Cohen. It was her devotion to him and her contribution of $2 Million that made possible the purchase of Foxhollow, Cohen's residence and the headquarters of EnlightenNext in Lenox, Massachusetts. After she left the group, Andrew Cohen betrayed his promise to her to keep her contribution confidential by publicly discussing it while severely disparaging her for leaving him.
Then, the former editor of Cohen's own magazine sprinkles sulfuric acid on the wound:
The principal factor in my own decision to undertake a real reckoning with the facts and implications of my involvement with Andrew was the ever-expanding reservoir of evidence (in my own often repressed experience) that his conduct and underlying motivations are in reality far different from his own understanding of them, and that his capacity to comprehend their probable origins and tangible effects is, shall we say, less than adequate.

A wonderful opportunity has presented itself to Andrew Cohen. If he can realize that the strife is of his own making rather than only being the fault of what he imagines to be his former students' inadequacies, he would be vaulted much closer to actually being qualified to wear the mantle he snaked by misinterpreting a few misunderstood words by his guru.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Vishwananda's Low-Key Style Surprises

File under: Satsang Report

A few weeks back we went to see Swami Vishwananda, who some claim to be the reincarnation of Paramhamsa Yogananda. He's also alleged to be a former acolyte of Sai Baba and an up-and-coming space-daddy in the States. We expected this review to be like snagging trout in a puddle, but it turns out that the Swami is actually quite low-key. We even found him endearing at times. Who'da thunk that? It certainly caught us by surprise.

But there were still plenty of the elements – like miracle-mongering – to reveal the affair to be a space-daddy baby recruitment drive. (We were tipped off as soon as we saw that the ushers were wearing the white, loose-fitting clothing favored by space-daddy babies.)

The event was well-attended by Santa Fe's 40+ New Age™ consumer crowd, filling the medium-sized ex-Catholic chapel that's now a meeting hall adjacent to a museum. Missing were the younger yoga crowd, many of them Ammabots and not permeable to alternate space-parenting. After lots of singing, a short talk that was very soft on content, and then more singing, Swami Vishwananda began to receive people into his well-practiced, beneficent gaze.

We didn't wait for the darshan as it looked like it was going to be hours until they got to our row. One of the white-garbed ones, an attractive and seemingly sharp devotee from Los Angeles, offered to help us cut in line when we asked her about the swami's entourage (including band, he rolls about 30 deep), but we decided to take a pass and headed home.

All in all, not so horrible, yet not so great. We'll give Vishwananda two out of five turbans.

The Sweet: The kirtan band. With guitar and bass, they were sporting a shade of rock, but augmented by good traditional instrumentation and skilled South-Asian musicians (from the U.K.), with one of them being a dead-ringer for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The lead singer tried to whip the crowd into a devotional fervor, at first with not much success. But then, things seemed to pick up of their own accord. We have to admit being swept up a little bit ourselves at times. And at one point, they were sounding like David Bowie's band playing "Memory of a Free Festival" from Space Oddity, the one record we'd take on a desert isle.

Also mostly good was the Swami himself. There were a number of things we liked about his self-presentation. Like when he walked into the room, it was with little fanfare. He just strode right up the middle of the room in a purple long-shirt and sat on the floor in front of the stage. This is certainly noteworthy, as most of the space-daddies like to place themselves on a dais of some kind, above the poor saps who've come to see them. This actually presented a problem for those of us in the back who wanted to gaze upon the man, but Swami Vishwananda seemed to care about people seeing him as a person as much as a God. We were quite impressed with this gesture.

Swami likes to sing, and did so in a slightly-off key but endearing way that even seemed to get through the tarry-inkiness of our heart. We don't normally go in for the kirtan thing, but the fact of the swami's singing combined with the expert accompaniment resulted in a pleasant experience for us.

The Sad: The Swami's speech. It pretty much blew. It could be somewhat due to ESL issues, but the content wasn't anything more than the pabulum-like platitudes that are a space-daddy's stock-in-trade. He tried to empathize the idea of "conquering the mind," but this only reveals his own ignorance of identity dynamics and any real understanding of what's going on in the shakti-lusting heads of the space-daddy babies around him. But the pretty smile obliterates any need to actually know anything, and so the Swami blunders on, lighting the way with his teeth.

Also not good was the organization of the darshan itself. Higher-ups and friends got preference, and they were taking hours. Us local shlubs had to wait, and it was going to be a long time before they got to the pews in the rear. The white-garbed folk were offering cuts to those who asked, but that's just extending their institutional selfishness rather than coming up with a better solution to the problem.

The Fugly: The Swami's MC. First he comes on and starts name-dropping for the V.I.P.s in the room, mostly just higher-ups in their org. Then, he starts selling the books, pictures and DVDs for sale in the foyer. But when the clown opens up on the crowd with some bald-faced miracle-mongering, we knew the psych-ops had begun and our opinion of the Swami began to drop precipitously. It was only his low-key presentation and the estimable musical entertainment he provided that saved him from a total trashing here.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Blade Hits The Bone

File under: Gurubusting

Just in case some of y'all haven't figured it out yet, this blog has an incredible complement of gurubusting pundits who post in the comments and on the discussion board. This morning, "David The Blade" cuts to the quick and drops some serious knowledge about the guru/chela dynamic:
In the typical guru-culture, a magical view of the guru's power is cultivated. It is AMAZING on the one hand, and very much seen as the guru him(r)self on the other. The truth is that it isn't that amazing, and the state of the 'chela' plays a huge part in it. It's ordinary, human internal processes that the guru may play a part in catalyzing. The kinds of experiment that Stuart proposes would prove that the chela's belief and expectation is playing an enormous part in this phenomenon that is called 'guru shakti'. The experiments will not be done (or made well-known) because the typical guru culture is not interested in this fact, because the very knowledge of that fact shifts the power in a way that is not wanted in that, excuse me, somewhat parent-child or even narcissistic-codependent way of life.
Stuart Resnick's experiment was as follows:
Set up a screen, so that such people can't tell whether or not [the guru is] behind it. See if they still feel strangely stimulated when they only think [the guru] might be there, as they do when [this guru is] actually there. Can they tell the difference between [the guru's] presence or absence if they can't see or hear or smell [him/her]?

So simple, huh? Doesn't require million dollar grants or white lab coats. A space-daddy/mommy like Gurumayi etc could set up this experiment so easily, and settle once and for all whether there's any truth to the devotee's claim that they can feel the guru's energy.

Yet strangely, the gurus never allow this simple experiment. Reasonable people can draw conclusions.
Reasonable people. Our collection of these is eminent. It's a value-add that makes this blog so much more than we'd ever be able to provide on our own.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More Poor Kids Set To Walk: Sri Sri Is Building A University

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

He may not be the science graduate he claims to be, but Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Orissa in India for the construction of a new university:
The curricula of the university, to be named Sri Sri University of Art of Living, will be a blend of both traditional and modern.

Traditional subjects such as Ayurveda, yoga and spirituality will be taught along with emergent disciplines such as Basic Science, Medicine, Management, Information Technology, Media Studies, Biotechnology, Engineering, Aviation and Law.
We suggest adding the courses Avatardation 101, Satscamming 201 and Self-Aggrandizement 301 for those aspiring to follow in the footsteps of their university's namesake.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The LAT Looks At Guru "Magic"

File under: The Siddhi of PR

A few days back, the Los Angeles Times published an article which included an interview with Paul Ekman, who was apparently quite an asshole until he shook hands with the Dalai Lama:
The UC San Francisco psychology professor was as gnarly as an old oak, with a face hard-chiseled by a lifelong struggle with impulsive anger.

All that changed one spring day in 2000 after a brief exchange with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

"He held my hands while we talked," Ekman recalled, "and I was filled with a sense of goodness and a unique total body sensation that I have no words to describe."
It's called being at the right place at the right time with the right person. The Governator's wife, Maria Shriver, has a better handle on the phenomenon:
"I think the Dalai Lama would say look within because it's in you, not someone else. It all comes down to whether you're open to being touched in your heart."
That's more like it. Paul was ready to pop, and the Dalai Lama gave his insides the excuse to do so. Just because Paul doesn't yet understand what happened doesn't mean he's not ultimately responsible for his own transformation.

It seems to be a human trait, that when one imagines they are in the presence of greatness, the space-daddy receptor gene kicks in. After that, all bets are off, because it's in the power of one's own mind where the real magic has always been.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Taking Money From The Poor: The AoL Way

A reader relates a sales pitch given while taking a course at Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living org:
My AOL teacher once told me about a poor boy in Pune who desparately wanted to do the course. He did not have any money and saved for the course by walking 10 miles everyday to his school instead of taking a bus. The anecdote was meant to motivate us who were well-to-do by comparison but were cribbing about [the] Rs.1500 course fee.

During the entire course I could think of only two things: [the] passion and commitment of the boy to do the course and [the]meanness of [the] AOL teacher who had the heart to extract money from such a boy.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Mafu? More Like Phooey

File under: Wackadoo Gurus

Today, our new friend Cosmic Connie alerted us to the existence of Mafu, "an enlightened Master" who gets channelled by Swami Paramananda Saraswatti, aka ammagi. The cute amalgamation of the names "amma" and "magi" says all you need to know about this swami, who's hitting every New Age™ selling point there is while she attempts to pay lip service to Vedanta as well. That's sort of like taking a fat, juicy tenderloin steak into a vegan/raw foods establishment and asking to use their kitchen to make your dinner.

I suppose we could go on and on about how much of a nincompoop we find this person to be, but Connie has already got it covered:
It seems that originally the Swami was named Penny Torres, and she was once a mere housewife in Oregon. Who knows what profound hungers and longings caused her to embark upon the road not taken? (Well, actually, it’s the road frequently taken these days. And come to think of it, it’s not even the road that gets taken. It’s the people who give money to channelers.)

Perhaps Penny was motivated by the astonishing success story of another blonde channeling superstar, J.Z. Knight, famous oracle of the Ascended Master Ramtha®...

My guess is that Penny Torres knew a good thing when she saw it, and voila! Mafu was manifested. She gathered up a few folks who weren’t so crazy about J.Z. anymore, and a brand new cult…oh, I mean spiritual movement…was born. Judging from the fact that Penny/Swami/Mafu has conducted Darshans in such far-flung places as Maui (of course) and Australia, it would appear that she/he/it/they are making a pretty penny, so to speak, off of hungry seekers.
Make it completely unbelievable, and they will believe. This maxim of the New Age™ guru biz is a depressingly-telling characteristic of Vedic-based spiritual culture in the West. It allows for the existence and seemingly impossible success of the likes of Mafu and her blondie swami, both of whom surely have Shankara rolling in his grave.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Where Did Ching Hai Fly?

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

Folks in Thailand are wondering where "Supreme Master" Ching Hai went. She was supposed to attend the closing ceremonies of her own conference at the Ambassador City Hotel in Jomtien, Thailand, but at the appointed time was a no-show, disappointing many of her devotees who no doubt had paid thousands of dollars to see her.

Cha-Ching Ching is a very popular sound and light pusher along the lines of the Sant Mat "masters." She had once tried to position herself as the enlightened Madonna of Asia, complete with cheesy video song performances. Noted for her expensive tastes in fashion and lifestyle, we'll note her for the usual guru propaganda which seeks to paint her as a veritable Quan Yin walking the Earth:
So it was inevitable that one day She would find the Master She had incessantly yearned for. That Master was the great Master Khuda Ji, who lived in seclusion deep in the Himalayas. Master Khuda Ji was four hundred and fifty years old when He initiated Supreme Master Ching Hai into the ancient art of meditation on the heavenly Sound and divine Light. He had remained patiently in His Himalayan abode waiting for Her. She would be His first and only disciple.
Another self-aggrandizing narcissist on a mission to pimp herself as a living deity, bringing home big bucks for her effort as the rich fight for some time (and photo ops) by her side. You can find worse gurus than Cha-Ching Ching in the world, but not by much.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Even Crazier Than Cooper

File under: Satscams

A former member of the Austin, TX deeksha scene describes exactly what "really" happens at Kalki Bhagavan's 21-day instant "enlightenment" seminars:
Dear Deeksha Receivers,

With this notice we are withdrawing from the deeksha community. For the sake of our spiritual integrity, we must go on record and declare ourselves to be completely disassociated from Bagahvan and all his activities. We have asked Sri Rani to take us off the deeksha givers list.

We now believe that Bagahvan's mission is to prevent man's ascension, not to facilitate it. While I was there for the 21 day retreat, one of the dasas told a story to the men's group about another dasa. He said that Bagahvan put a cap on his growth in consciousness because the dasa would be of more use to Bagahvan at that level. I heard this as a huge red flag at the time. This was one of the reasons that we always said a lot of other prayers before invoking deeksha. We wanted to do everything we could to see to it that we did no harm.

Later we learned that there was a shadow energy attached to the deeksha energy that did not belong. This was confirmed by a healer we respect and trust. Together we removed the shadow energy and for awhile believed that we were able to give deeksha without the shadow. That was the only way we could have continued to be involved at all. We asked to be connected to the highest God Source of the deeksha energy and that the truth of the deeksha energy be shown in its' original vibration. We thought we were as clean and safe as possible. Then problems began to develop. Working through spirit guides we learned that Bagahvan, despite what he says in public, really does want to be worshipped as God on earth. We were told that if you go through the 21 day program and do not accept Bagahvan as God on earth, you may start to have problems. Those individuals entering the 21 day program already at a very high level are at the greatest risk of interference.

For several years I have had my level of consciousness calibrated on the Dr. David Hawkins M.D. map of consciousness. Before going to India I decided to be calibrated so I would have a before and after calibration. I wanted to see what the effect of the 21 day retreat might be. I fully expected significant improvement. I was shocked to find that the calibration actually went down 10 points. When the healer was removing the shadow energy he found eight entities placed strategically for the purpose of limiting my consciousness. After the removal of the eight entities (all from India) my calibration returned to the higher level. Then I remembered the story about the dasa and realized that it was happening to some other participants as well. No one who's true mission it is to elevate the consciousness of mankind could ever limit the consciousness of a single human being. It is an abomination and the idea simply would never occur to him. There is no rationale or excuse that can explain it except that he is not what he says he is and is not really doing what he says he is doing.

We will continue to offer the Energy Transfer programs two nights a week and the Divine Spark Meditation on Sundays. We will continue to invoke the presence of God using the prayers we have used for several years now. We just won't be invoking deeksha anymore.
Meaning they'll just do some other made-up nonsense that looks just like deeksha, but with plenty of tinfoil hats around for protection against the Kracki's astral hit-squads.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Why Ask Us When You've Got Sai Baba?

File under: Hands Where They Don't Belong

Today we received one of those "I lost everything, please help me" spams from "Raju frm [sic] India" with an interesting appeal at its close:
In the name of Sai Baba, pls. help me. I promise God (Baba) will help you.
This guy must lack access to the requisite pre-teen boys that would surely secure his grant from the Babaster himself. Besides, if we had $5000 lying around, we'd be in British Columbia flying to the top of snowy mountains in a helicopter.

Would anyone like to contribute to the Guruphiliac Canadian Mountain Holiday fund? We promise that Baba will help you, although we can't promise he won't help himself to your young male children as well.

Monday, December 04, 2006

When A Baba Plays 'Daddy'

File under: Hands Where They Don't Belong

Guru Baba Balnath got caught with his hands in the cookie jar:
A court here Saturday remanded 'spiritual guru' Baba Balnath, arrested for the alleged sexual exploitation of girls in his orphanage, to 14 days judicial custody.

Three girls of the orphanage in Ghaziabad, in the outskirts of the national capital, had alleged before a TV news channel they were sexually exploited by Balnath.

The National Commission for Women said the charges were true.
No more sweets for you, naughty Baba!

Sri Sri Gets Pimped

File under: The Siddhi of PR

In last Friday's Washington Post, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar gets a rave from a devotee we wouldn't mind meeting cute with. Too bad her head is definitely not in phase with her appearance:
I met "God" and "faith", neatly packaged into one man with flowing robes and long hair -- His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Please excuse us as we attempt to find out what happens when we look into the barrel of our handgun as we pull the trigger.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Tilak Sells Nothing, And Yet Folks Are Still Buying

File under: Satscams

We were recently contacted by Connie Schmidt, a professional writer and critic of many things New Age™. Last week in her blog, Whirled Musings, she set her sights on Tilak, the Sri Lankan 'transmission' guru who was run out of New York City in the mid-90s after a critical article about him was published in New Yorker magazine.

Well... how soon they forget, because Tilak is back in business again in Los Angeles and Las Vegas and "blowing" up even bigger than before:
The big shtick seems to be his gift for blowing on people and making them see lights and colors. The cost of a Tilak "experience" varies, depending upon which Presentation, Retreat, Excursion, Portal or whatever is involved. (The Las Vegas workshop and birthday bash was listed at $875 a head, excluding air fare and accommodations.)
Ladies, take note. Tilak's other big shtick is making hay with multiple partners. He left a string of ladies behind in New York, and we hear he's rocking a new string in the West. But since he fits the image of the magic space daddy to a 'T', there's not much to stop him from fleecing many more needy seekers.

There's one born every minute... and Tilak knows this. So beware tall, dark men hiding miniature flashlights in their mouths who want to blow on you.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Where I'mma Bhagocon Hides The Loot

File under: Gurus Clockin' Dollars and Satscams

Kalki Bhagavan and his name-stealing consort Amma are apparently quite the business-minded twosome, according to a comment made recently on this blog:
Great to see that someone understands that the Oneness Movement is fraud. You will be surprised to know that both Amma and Bhagavan are not as spiritual as you may expect. They are real business people and invest all the cash they receive from donations into their movies and music business in the U.S. and a software company also in the U.S.
We knew the Krackster was a failed businessman before he started up the satscam that now pulls in millions a month, but we didn't know he was also in the entertainment business here in the States.

We're putting the call out to anyone who can tell us exactly what the names of these businesses are and exactly what it is that they are selling. Tips will remain strictly confidential, so Dasas can rest assured that dropping the dime on their bosses will not get back to them via this blog.