Guruphiliac: February 2007

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Movement For Maha Dummies

File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and Wackadoo Gurus

Another day, another bullshit spiritual cult that's nothing more than the grandiose psychic vomitus of a pathological narcissist. That's right, we've stumbled upon the Maha Devi Ascension Movement:
The true nature of the group began to emerge only when one member, Duane Reed, broke away and spilled the beans to a local newspaper. He identified the leader of the group as an apparently wealthy German woman named Gabrielle [Wilson], who claims she is divine, and, according to Reed, is "the highest source of God on the immortal being from Atlantis and Lemuria who has the capabilities of building pyramids and turning people into God."
And now, the unfortunate citizens of the South Pacific island-nation of Niue have to contend with them. We extend our prayers and sympathy to the poor souls trapped with these clowns and their spewage now.

Update: A reader offers his firsthand knowledge of Frau Wilson and her brand of nuttiness:
Actually, I was there some time ago. The German Goddess was dainty, fussy, and spoke at great, dizzying lengths about how she could lead us all to a higher plane. When she was done with her weekly speeches, we had to bow with our foreheads to the ground in front of her. The food was great, she spared no expense, although it was expected that members eventually learn how to survive without it. The games were fun...she liked to get everyone together and have spastic dances, or singing chorus lines. (It was a great hang-out for awhile, but one always had to wonder about the Kool-Aid!)

She let me know that my having a girlfriend would be solely her choice. Everything was her choice. It's her game. A very interesting experience. I hope she finds some happiness, somewhere, and I hope she's careful with people's lives.
Just like we said, Wilson is merely another pathological narcissist who thinks she's God.

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Ruby Tuesday

File under: Gurubusting

Today the googles gave us Ruby Lilaowala, a columnist published in India's Ruby's latest screed attempts to instruct us as to exactly what a "real guru" is... from about 600 years ago:
A real guru shuns our type of hectic, rush-rush, noisy world and mostly lives in seclusion either in a forest or a mountain-top.
Over here in the States, they'd have to be quite financially well-off to live in places like that. It would be a problem for any guru in the West to live up to Ruby's ridiculous conventions.

It's your standard Hindu puritanism, the heaviest fetter laying siege to the wisdom of the Vedas. But it's a not surprising reaction to the Westernization of Hinduism in India. It's as if Hinduism mutated in America and has bounced back to its motherland, supplanting the native species in what amounts to an ecological disaster.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Kalki Bhagavan, Swami Ramdev and a few more are all symptomatic of this problem. It's Bollywood in the ashram, and a tremendously long way from the ashrams of old.

But reciting worn-out superstitions about the nature of self-realization isn't going to bring back the good old days. Let's face it, the guru-as-pop-star is here to stay.

And sadly enough, anyone with a twinkle in their eye and some skill massaging egos – as well as a productive PR department – can reach the ranks of those men and women making millions with the ruse that they are more God than you and I, essentially stuffing their faces with a lusty, gluttonous glee right in front of us.


Monday, February 26, 2007

The Secret Is On Oprah

File under: Gurubusting and Satscams

While it's not really within the ambit of this blog, our attention fell on an article about the newest New Age™ craze to sweep the population of needy morons who fall for the claptrap termed "prosperity consciousness." Apparently, the back story is one filled with avarice and greed. Who da' thunk that?
Ms. Byrne had promised Ms. Hicks 10 percent of DVD revenues to appear in “The Secret,” both parties said. But they had a falling out, and Ms. Hicks could not even bring herself to watch Ms. Byrne this month on “Oprah,” the movement’s moment of triumph.
Which brings us to this interesting tie-in to something more down our alley. From a recently emailed tip:
Tilak's latest fling is the woman who produced "The Secret". Ronda [Byrne] bought him a fancy watch and gave him about $15,000 (so he does have a price!) He couldn'’t make a move without calling her. He even went with her to the Oprah filming like a little puppy. His "students" got the shaft during this time along with his now ex-girlfriend, the Doctor from Austria. And now the chick in San Diego is haunting him on the news.

I guess he will be packing up and leaving town again.

His #1 sidekick, who he calls "lovebird," [who] was planning to stop being his personal assistant and take up a new life, is now being treated for cancer. Being around [Tilak's] "light" may not be good for your health!
Or your bank account, by all accounts.

While our pal Cosmic Connie has been on the Tilak/"The Secret" connection for a while now, we wonder if Oprah has any idea who her new protegé has been making time with. Given his status as a suspected satscammer, the stink of the investigation on Tilak may waft right up into the offices of America's most beloved saint, perhaps even making her stink a little bit, too. That would be a significant event in the culturescape of the States, and perhaps the realization of Tilak's dreams to finally hit the big-time, even if it is as a big-time phony.

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Dances With Wolves

File under: The Siddhi of PR

In honor of the 79th Academy Awards, which are presently illuminating the tube at Guruphiliac HQ, we've named this post after the Oscar winning film Dances With Wolves, which is quite apropos considering that we're talking about Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's recent powwowing with politicians in Bihar, India. But maybe we should be calling it Show Pony Prancing With Jackals, because that's what it must look like to see Sri Sri skipping around in front of politicos, sashaying back and forth on stage, beguiling them with his power to deliver a sizable block of votes. Watch him bat his lashes at those he feels can help him finally secure the Nobel Peace Prize for himself, confident in the knowledge that he's got millions of people hoodwinked into believing he has something to offer other than a dazzling smile, his good looks in a white robe and his naked ambition – on display for all to see who aren't blinded by the occluding expectations "gurus" like Sri Sri continuously pollute the world with.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Look Into My Light (As I Lighten Your Wallet)

File under: Gurubusting, Hands Where They Don't Belong and Satscams

Tilak, he of fake siddhis used to attract cash and a harem fame, is the subject of a recent investigation by Channel 10 News of San Diego, California. Seems like the lanky Sri Lankan has set up shop at the beach in Encinitas. Some folks do not seem too happy about it:
"I think if it was 150 years ago, this would be the guy who would come to your town and try to sell you snake oil as a miracle cure," said attorney Jim Bush.
True, but in Tilak's case, you don't get to take home anything other than the sneaking suspicion that you've been had. And definitely don't let him get anywhere near your daughter:
Tipton said what turned the tables completely was how Tilak treated her then 15-year-old daughter, Tessa.

“He offered to take her under his wing, to be a spiritual guide to her for the next three years," said Tipton.
Watch out, young thangs! Getting taken under Tilak's "wing" may result in your awakening to your maternal potential well before anything spiritual can happen.

But in the end, it's all about the light... a little bitty flashlight, that is:
"As I got up from the bed, looked down on the floor, there was a little plastic light, about this big," said Rafael.
And that says just about everything you need to know about Tilak.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Gobs Of Lingham

File under: Gurubusting

We find it almost unbelievable that people rational enough to operate a camera phone would be stupid enough to believe that this crystal lingham manifests from anywhere other than this clown's desire to pull the wool over their eyes.

Sri Hari Narayanan Swami takes after his flimflamming guru Sathya Sai Baba by hiding crystal linghams somewhere in his alimentary canal to be later spit up in stunning acts of fraud.


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Calling All Pandits

File under: The Siddhi of PR and Wackadoo Gurus

That numbskull in Holland is looking for 8000 Hindu scholars in Nepal to participate in his pie-in-the-sky plan to bring world peace by prayer. Not just any prayer, but Vedic® prayer. The Maharishi believes he owns the rights to that now.

As nice as the thought is, the nutbag old coot has as much a chance of success with this plan as he's had with all his other plans: abject failure.

Err... except that one to make billions of dollars selling Hinduism For Dummies to the West.

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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Wacky In Miami

File under: Wackadoo Gurus

Since it made CNN today, we felt the need to remind everyone that the Christian pastor in Miami, the one who claims to be God incarnate because he's the second coming of Jesus and the Antichrist, is as batty as Carlsbad Caverns in August.


Monday, February 19, 2007

Spreading The Love

File under: Gurubusting

Now just a little over a month old, the TM-Free Blog is still online and moving full-speed ahead. Longtime gurubuster John Knapp and his ex-TM™er comrades are deconstructing the Maharishi-mythos with wit, wisdom and even a bit of help from us.

For a much more insightful analysis of the wackadoo nonsense perpetrated by the mad little old man who could (make billions off a kindergarten-level Hindu spiritual practice), don't forget to visit the TM-Free Blog.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

It's Not The Art Of Living In Vidarbha

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Cotton farmers in the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra, India are killing themselves in large number due to the fact that their crop isn't worth much this year. 120 have offed themselves since January, and "massive" government aid packages don't seem to be helping.

Into the fray jumps Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. The result, more death:
The Art of Living of religious Guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had also tried to spread the spiritual mantra to the poor farmers. Unfortunately none of them could stem the tide of suicide.
Looks like the Art of Living isn't much of an art, nor much about living in that corner of the world.


Friday, February 16, 2007

The Raelian Invasion

File under: Satscams, The Siddhi of PR and Wackadoo Gurus

Phase One: Revert back to original Jew-baiting swastika/Star of David logo design.

Phase Two: Sell the farm.

Phase Three: VEGAS! BABY!

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

We're Just Wonderin'

File under: We're Just Wonderin'

Which high profile international devi may be putting down stakes in the guru capital of South India: Tiruvannamalai? Seems she's feeling the pull of her Motherland over what was once known as the Fatherland.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

A Guru On The Guru Question

File under: Gurubusting

Discussion list denizen Matthew Files made known to us this interview with a lama whose tradition is notorious for guru abuses. In it, H.H. the 12th Gyalwang Drukpa tries to walk the razor's edge between acknowledging that the "actual guru," – your own enlightenment – is already in us all, and keeping his own position important enough to keep himself in business:
In Vajrayana we always say that the guru has to be seen as a Buddha. Again, this is not cultural, it should be seen in a universal way. It means that, in terms of helping us realize our Buddha nature, the guru is as kind to us as the Buddha himself.
That's just a wee bit pollyannaish, don't you think? His Holiness obviously doesn't read the newspapers (or this blog) much.

But he does a fairly good job justifying his own existence in this era of "be your own guru," to a fault, if you asked us:
People complain about masters, and decide they don’t need one and can practice by themselves because the Buddha nature is within them anyway. Unfortunately, it will never work.
Fortunately, he's dead dog wrong here. That's not to say that a good guru isn't a wonderful blessing to a sincere spiritual aspirant, but it's equally true that a sincere spiritual aspirant can be blessed to meet the guru within completely outside the influence of anyone who considers themselves a guru without.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Spring Swing

File under: Gurus Doin' Time and Wackadoo Gurus

While we won't know the exact day that Shoko Asahara is set swing until after he has swung, sometime in March the floor will fall away and the final chapter in the life of the leader of the AUM Supreme Truth cult and their Toyko subway nerve gas attack will be written.

But will Japan ever be truly free of his terror? Besides the long, painful memory that precipitates around a truly horrific event, there are still a few thousand hardcore Asahara adherents running around Japan. Who knows what they're capable of?

It may be the last chapter in a stunningly insane guru's life, but his legacy may be capable of producing a few more tomes before this story finally winds down.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

No Nazis On Our Moonbeam

File under: Wackadoo Gurus

UFO sex guru Claude Vorilhon, aka Rael, has recently reincorporated a swastika symbol into his Star of David-based logo design. It was apparently a part of the original design, but since Vorilhon has appropriated ancient Jewish ideology as some of the basis of his bullshit, and since he's seeking to establish a Raelian embassy in Jerusalem for his legions in outer space, he decided to capitulate to Jewish cultural sensitivities. Well, he's gotten almost no traction in the Jewish world since, so he's decided to stick the reviled symbol right back in their faces, perhaps to spite them, all under cover of reclaiming "the true history of the swastika and make sure their symbol is forever respected."

We imagine it's really just a big 'ol "fuck you" to those who think he's a nutbag, but we have to admit that they've done a nice job integrating the seemingly symbolic opposites into a single, handsome design.

They may have their heads (and fingers, fists and all kinds of sex toys both biological and mechanical) far up their asses as far as anything else goes, but at least the Raelians have got one good graphic designer on staff somewhere in the cosmos.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Prem Is A Starry-Eyed Suckup

File under: Satscams and Gurus to the Stars

The Prem Rawat Foundation has joined the list of 2007 GRAMMY Award nominee corporate suckups:
Each guest will be given a "golden key" upon entering the GRAMMY Celebration which they will take to the "Hilton Serenity Lounge" for a chance to win very special prizes from Hilton and other companies including Chadsworth & Haig; Crabtree & Evelyn; Distinctive Assets; Dr. Bryant Bruce; Elliott Lucca; Gibson; Hilton Whistler; Impromptu Gourmet; Joluka; JVC; Lancel; Logitech; Nespresso; Netflix; Partow Gallery; Philips; The Prem Rawat Foundation; Uroboros, Inc.; and Verizon. These companies will be showcasing unique surprises that will delight party guests while redefining the traditional party gift bag.
We hear Prem is going to be gifting the stars with paper bags full of the hot air that came out of his mouth during one of his many peace promotion junkets. You know, the ones paid for by poor saps who believe he's in it for something, anything other than to cover fuel and maintenance costs on his Gulfstream jet.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Superstition In The Indian Press

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

You've heard us inveigh time and again against superstition in spiritual culture. It's a great bugaboo around Guruphiliac HQ and the main reason this blog exists.

Well, it's going to be a long, hard slog before any inroads can be made into the trash heap of supernatural nonsense that overwhelms Vedic-based spiritual culture. Case in point: miracle-mongering in the mainstream Indian press:
A panditji walked past Ravidas, flaunting two huge bangles of gold... suddenly Ravidas heard a wailing and saw the same Panditji weeping and carried prostrate on a cot. His heavy bangles had slipped off into the Ganga and he was made ill with grief. ‘Is that all the reason for this wailing?’, the Guru asked , ‘Two trinkets of metal?’ The Guru dipped his hand in the wooden bowl (kathauta) containing the water that he used to soften up leather, and lo, produced the two lost bangles!
Cute, quaint and quite the load of malarkey.

Alas! Anyone up for helping us excavate the Himalayas with a garden trowel?

Monday, February 05, 2007

Prude-ru Fears Sex

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Sri Sitaramji Kapu uses the accelerating Westernization of India as a springboard to inject his ridiculous (yet sadly traditional) notions about a healthy sex life:
Sitaramji enjoined his followers to follow, Dr Molvil Keith, MD, who proclaims, "This seed is marrow to your bones, food to your brains, oil to your joints and sweetness to your breath and if you are a man, you should never loose a drop of it until you are 30 and then only for the purpose of having a child which shall be blessed by heaven."
Did he just say that backed up semen smells nice out of your mouth?

No thanks. We'll stick with Ultrabright™.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Tug-Of-War With Terrorist Guru

File under: The Siddhi of PR, Wackadoo Gurus and Gurus Doin' Time

Fumihiro Joyu has got his work cut out for him. He is attempting to rehabilitate the notorious AUM Shinrikyo "doomsday cult" while weaning the remaining members of their space-daddy addiction to one of the world's all-time wackadoo gurus, the subway-gassing Shoko Asahara.

The fact that Asahara is skedded to hang may not rid Joyu of the object of the cult's veneration. Like so many others who have succumbed to the effects of their space-daddy gene, these folks are dumber than paint:
Members routinely gather in front of the facility in Tokyo's Kosuge district to offer prayers to the man who masterminded the March 20, 1995, sarin gas attacks on the Tokyo subway system that left 12 dead and thousands sickened.
Asahara will become another of the millions of gurus worshiped after their death. A space-daddy in life, a space-daddy forever.

Joyu seems confident that without a space-daddy to lead them, his movement will do fine nonetheless. He's banking on the tried-and-true delusion of supernatural power to keep folks on the hook:
"There still are innovative aspects in Aum discipline which can help people to experience supernatural power. It will be a carrot to attract new followers."
Too bad that "power" renders its wielders blithering idiots.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Chile's Child-Abusing Nazi Shame

File under: Hands Where They Don't Belong

Today we came across a fairly exhaustive article about our favorite Nazi nurse, kid-diddling Paul Schaeffer of Colonia Dignidad fame. Some new information comes to light in this piece, like how Frau Paul got his start as a nurse for the Nazis in WWII:
Paul Schaeffer was born in Germany on Dec. 4, 1921 and from an early age he became notorious for his hatred of women. At age 11, Schaeffer lost his right eye during a fight with a classmate. At the height of the Nazi regime, Schaeffer became a proud member of the "Hitler Youth," but due to his defective vision was rejected entry into the German Army. Instead Schaeffer was posted as a nurse on the western front, where he became an expert in the use of drugs and tranquilizers, a skill that would prove very helpful for him later on.
The shame of not making the grade would get passed on to his young charges after the war:
After the end of World War II, Schaeffer returned to Germany, where he was employed by an evangelical organization that took care of orphaned children. In 1952 Schaeffer was expelled from the organization since he was accused of sexual abuse by several of the children.
And it all goes downhill from there, for a very long time, finally ending with Schaeffer in a Chilean prison, working his Nazi nurse drag for a few smokes and protection from the other prisoners. He's a bit long in the tooth for it, but we hear the Frau can still shake it like a booty dancer when he has to.

You go, you sexy, sexy baby.


Thursday, February 01, 2007

Hittin' Up More Ammachi

File under: Gurus Clockin' Dollars, Amma All-Over-The-Planet and Ammachi's Imagegate

According to our original tipster, showing an image of Amma in Devi Bhava is a big no-no.

To which we say yes, yes! Because nothing gets us hotter than a chubby Indian lady who thinks she's Kali.

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