Guruphiliac: February 2008

Friday, February 29, 2008

Eckhart Tolle Hates Your Ego

File under: Gurubusting

We just can't bring ourselves to read a book by Eckhart Tolle. We know, it's a disservice to you all, but to be completely honest, we find our divinity more in pop culture than spiritual culture these days.

But the effects of Tolle echoed from the Niagara Gazette today, and it was an ugly sound we heard:
Not too long ago, however, I realized that my ego was getting louder and louder, yammering at me from the moment my feet hit the floor in the morning. Standing in front of the bathroom mirror, my hair askew and my face still wrinkled from my pillow, my ego was already in full boar.
This writer is confused, and it's Tolle's fault. That's not the woman's ego criticizing herself, it's a tiny piece of it, one of probably many sub-personalities. She's still identified as an ego, only attached to a different piece of it, the one that thinks it's not the ego, the one that Tolle is locking people into by giving them this horrible idea as to what ego really is.

We can agree when Tolle lays the blame for most evil with the ego, but he also wouldn't be able to charge you more for sitting closer to him if he didn't have one himself.

Put Tolle's ideas into the head of a person who has the wrong idea of ego, like this woman, and suddenly you've got folks who believe their ego is just their bitchy side. There are plenty of supposedly enlightened gurus who have a bitchy side, so that's obviously not a problem. In fact, the problem ends up having nothing to do with the personality (the defacto definition of 'ego' in the West) at all.

Of all the things we have going on in our heads, our living truth as the Self is the secret hiding in plain sight. But something is getting in the way of seeing what's always right [t]here. We like to lay some of the blame on the ideas about enlightenment that get projected into our heads by spiritual culture, but that can't be all of it. Apparently, Tolle wants you to think it's your mean and bitchy side, and he's now on a world-saving tear in support of his book that tells us about it.

We're all for a bit more peace, and perhaps Tolle has a greater chance of bringing it than TM™ ass-bouncers, but the confusion about ego and personality he's introducing along the way will always be piss in any peace he can bring.


Space-Daddy Live On Five

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

A wants-it-so-bad-he-put-out-a-press-release wannabe space-daddy is gonna bless us all on March 5th, the night of the Hindu holy day, Sivaratri:
In order to help end suffering and increase the thought consciousness of humanity, Dattatreya Siva Baba will transmit spiritual energy (darshan) and give special teaching throughout the world via a global telephone conference call on March 5 at 10:00pm EST. This special event will take advantage of the energy of Sivaratri, "Night of Siva", a very favorable astronomical time for getting in touch with God, transcending the mind, and becoming enlightened.
But will the Baba get enough of an ego-boost from this publicity stunt to keep his gigantic sense of grandiosity inflated? We guess that miracle is going to be up to Shiva himself.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Sai Haut Ma Maa

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

Sai Maa Lakshmi Devi, acolyte of the child-abusing avatard, Sai Baba, appears to be just another devi-lady playing space-mommy for the infantile– but this time with a sexy little twist! Thanks to a kind reader's attention, it turns out this Lakshmi is giving more than just the hope of good luck and wealth:
These were some of the questions that aroused in me. In the same time I was questioning my path as Brahmachari. For me, maybe the hardest part was to follow this path without my Guru being a role model. In fact, traveling all these years with Sai Maa, I've got to witness a being that is enjoying life ecstatically with all her senses. Sai Maa never tried to renounce life. More then that, you might be surprised to know that Sai Maa was having sexual relationships with some of her closest students! And it didn't really matter to her that some of them were married and had families.

It is a very deep moral issue, if it is OK for a Guru to sleep with his/her students. I am not here to judge what is right and what is wrong. I feel that some of those beings were deeply damaged by it, but they might also gain from it. God will judge. Nevertheless, it is very strange when a Guru asks her students to be brahmacharies, saying that it is the highest path, and being revered by the highest priests in India, while she sleeps with her students. Maybe a being in her state of consciousness is beyond such minor things that we simple humans call values…
Sounds like someone was a little jealous they weren't getting theirs out of the honey pot. He's better off without it. Sai Maa appears the picture of a obnoxiously authoritarian fauxru living the high life as she plies her trade, like her own guru and most of the other big-time players plaguing the planet at the moment.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Prem's Propagandist Pilloried

File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

Prem Rawat, the multi-millionaire con artist who was once known as "Lord of the Universe," has been laughing all the way to the bank since the 70s. Meanwhile, his webmaster and head of PR, Jossi Fresco, has been getting nailed all over the net for appointing himself VP of Whitewashing at Wikipedia. Here's another hammering of the disgraced mouthpiece:
Jossi aka Jossi Fresco is not your usual, everyday Wikipedo admin: day and night, he's also the webmaster and publicist for Prem Rawat, cult leader and Lord of the Universe. (Prem Rawat AKA Balyogeshar, Sant Ji Maharaj, Guru Maharji Ji, Maharaji, Goom Rodgie) Since he became an administrator on the Wikipedia, controlling their pages about Prem Rawat became just part of his job. Jossi doesn't only try to control Prem Rawat pages on the english Wikipedia: he's also signed up for Wikisource, Wikiquote, and a few of the Wikipedias in other languages to make sure they only have nice things to say about his Master. He even signed up to Metawiki to make himself look really serious. As the Wikipedia's Captain Cult, he extends the blessings of his admin powers and experience in gaming the system to other cultists looking for total cult PoV.
We wonder if Jossi gets to fly in Rawat's 60-fucking-million-dollar Gulfstream jet; a ridiculously ludicrous expenditure for any organization, let alone a non-profit charity promoting itself as the protector of the poor.

Kinda makes you wonder just how sincere old Prem really is. He's spent hundreds of millions on jets, helicopters and a huge Malibu mansion, all for himself. The guy lives like an emperor, and he's been doing it since he was a teenager, a scamming prodigy in fake gurudom. The saddest thing of all is that people have been falling for it all that time.

Whether the fat kid pimped as Buddha or the fat cat flying his own huge, private jet, Prem Rawat represents the epitome in hypocritical gurudom. Unfortunately, it's all-too-distressingly easy to mask with a little regular PR mojo.

He ain't no Lord of the Universe, but his persistent lording of his various "contributions" is keeping him in the catbird seat. It's the same game Sri Sri is playing, a seemingly unassailable tactic that keeps folks projecting divinity where greed and gluttony prevail.

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Eckhart Tolle Is A Tool

File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

We told you about this before, but it certainly bears repeating. A reader reminded us this morning that Eckhart Tolle is a "presence" flimflammer:
[Tolle] just appeared here in Seattle and tickets for the 3-hour event were priced at $95 to $220. (The hall holds 2500.) From [his website]: "More importantly than any words, however, these sessions represent an invaluable opportunity to allow yourself to be drawn into the awakened state by the intense conscious presence of the teacher and thus experience it first hand."
Another spiritual teacher whoring their "presence" for money. Almost all of the big-time gurus are doing it, and none of them care that it's like shitting directly into their students' brains.

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Monday, February 25, 2008

Maharishi Haunted In His Grave By The Beatles

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

From the last media interview given by the Maharishi in his world-domination lair in Holland, 2006:
My one small victory was that I managed to ask him - ever so politely - about The Beatles.

Given all the bad blood, did he regret his involvement with the band who made him a household name?

Suddenly, all that serenity evaporated and the mystic came over all mortal.

"Forget about it!" he spluttered furiously.

"If at all, (The) Beatles became substantial by my contact.

"I did not become great by association of The Beatles! Beatles make Maharishi great? Pah! It is a waste of thought."
Heh heh. Searching Yahoo News photos with the term "spiritual guru" turned up only this:

Unfortunately, there are still monstrosities of grandiosity roaming the street, taking people's money for a little sand on the beach by putting spiritual truth on the corner like a crackhead hooker:

Despite their estrangement, the student has learned very well from his master. We hereby proclaim Sri Sri Ravi Shankar the most grandiose big-time guru (Da is working a humble artist persona at the moment) on the entire planet. Huzzah!

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Saturday, February 23, 2008

Byron Katie Is Either Going To Enlighten You Or Kill You Trying

File under: The Siddhi of PR

We've never felt much impetus to go after Byron Katie. Good friends are close to her, and all in all, she's not trying to be the font of everything magical and divine, as far as we can tell.

But we don't think you could pay us enough to go to one of her intensives after a reader turned us on to a message board post written by someone who did:
1. A forced 36 hour fast.
2. An day long "outing" where we were left to beg for food among homeless people in the streets of Los Angeles. We were instructed not to take any ID, or anything with us but the clothes we had on.
3. A rich organic diet that sent many people's bodies into shock. Vomiting was a regular occurrence, and was offered as "evidence" of cleansing, and of how powerful The Work really is.
4. Long days with brief breaks for meals. (7 am to 11:00 pm most days.)
5. Long, intense confessional sessions.
6. Deep, excessive probing into one's past traumas. (She used violent Korn music to trigger our worst memories.)
7. No contact with family or the outside world. (We turned our cell phones into the staff.)
8. Not allowed to wear make-up, to exercise, or to eat outside of the diet given.
9. Eating meals and taking breaks in complete silence.
10. Going at least 2 full days as a "silent one", unallowed to talk with others.
11. Being invited to criticize Katie and The School, and those who did were silently, subtly shunned by the group and Katie.
12. Having every doubt and concern about what was going on at The School questioned and "turned around", until no one could trust their own perceptions anymore.
It's all seeming quite culty to us. Her nice lady image aside, it sounds a lot more like psych-ops being run at a CIA black site than anything that could be worth paying for, let alone make you enlightened. Unless being tortured is the kind of thing gets you off. It's certainly all the rage these days.

Update: We just got off the phone with our formerly-inside man. He asked us to communicate two points about the above. The first is that all of these exercises are entirely optional. In his experience (he's taught approximately 700 people in The Work), no one has been mal-vibed by the staff for not participating in any of these practices. Nor does his experience reflect any kind of subtle shunning of those who opened up on The Work in the critiquing session.

The point of these practices is to take folks out of their regular self-image and personality habits, hopefully to engender a quasi-objective platform of self-analysis from which The Work may continue. You're still going to have to pay us to go through any of this, but at least it's not the cult indoctrination operation it seemed to the person who wrote the message board post.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Yomamma's Smackdown

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

It is with deep gratitude to the Universe that we survey our motley crew of commenters at Guruphiliac. They're entertainingly cranky individuals one and all who are usually a lot more on the crazy side of the wisdom spectrum, which is just where we like it to be. We are extremely proud to be hosting them here.

One of the regulars goes by the handle "Yomamma," and she's been around the spiritual block more than a few times. Yesterday she put a beat down on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Ammachi and big-time gurus in general. Enjoy:
2.4 mill[ion] people [at a Sri Sri event in India] seems ridiculously high. But still, [it] gives you an idea of the dough people like Sri Sri and Amma are pulling in. I have an acquaintance who sent home some pictures of mothers and children that Amma's money (that he raised) helped, and it was a couple of handfuls of rice on a banana leaf, and a very small group of women and kids. Nothing compared to what she is raking in. As the Rediff article says, business people are very interested in this retail guru model because the consumer does all the work in creating awareness of the "Brand."

My knowledge and experience of the world has shown me that when you make this kind of money, you can call yourself whatever you want. Great humanitarian, international peacemaker, divine feminine, God, whatever. And do whatever, influence politics, buy votes, diddle whatever, have the incarnation of the Buddha of compassion kissing your ass... Hello Dalai!! It's all pretty interesting. Hopefully the Dalai Lama can weasel more out of him than the less influential.
Yomamma has provided the perfect segue to allow us to share our latest revelation with y'all: people are attracted to gurus for the same exact reason they are attracted to movie stars and politicians. It's in our genes to want to get close to the alpha folk.

Think about it: who provides easier and more intimate access, a guru or a celebrity? You'd be very lucky to get close to a major media personality. They are cocooned by people who've spent a lot of time, money and effort to become that celebrity's silk cage. Thus, only a very few people get to be intimate with a movie star or major public figure.

But with a guru, the relationship is intimate right from the start. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar might laugh at the dupes who think he is God, but each and every one of them believes they have an up close and personal relationship with the flimflammer. The same holds true for Ammachi or any other big-time guru. When Ramdev visited the U.K. a few years back, they were charging admission based on how close you were seated to him. Intimacy is the currency of the big-time guru/dupe dyad.

Thus, as long as there are people with narcissistic personality disorders willing to place themselves on a pedestal as living examples of God, there will be dumb-ass morons trying to launch themselves into their orbits by sucking up like a Great Lakes lamprey.

We've got our spoon, the ocean of abject ignorance is right over there (with all the big-time gurus beckoning you to drink deeply of its stinky brown water), so we promise to keep scooping the poop for y'all.

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

Deepockets Shills Jesus As The Shizz

File under: The Siddhi of PR

In another book offering (and sure to be big payday) that's likely to piss off a lot of Xtain Fundies, Deepak Chopra is pimping Jesus as an example of "the highest level of enlightenment -- what [he] calls God-consciousness."

That's kind of a no-brainer, but like any good spiritual leader in this day and age, if you want to be truly successful, you better be able to sell sand at the beach.

We've gotta tip the turban to the 'Pockets. He's merely repackaging the same ol' - same ol' with a little New Age™ spin, and making a mint doing it. The nice thing about it is he's not trying to be God, although it may appear to some he wants as much money as God. It seems not more than a year ago he was touring with his last book, the one about the Buddha's enlightenment.

We've heard firsthand reports about him being a bit full of himself, but we can't hold that against him much, either. [Ed.note: Pot, kettle, etc.] As long as he's not miracle-mongering or making a case for his special divinity, Gp is generally ok with Dp, although that's not saying he's not just as full of shit as we are.


Monday, February 18, 2008

Art Of Living's Anti-Gp Propaganda

FIle under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

It's become a fairly common phenomenon to see Sri Sri shills and AoL operatives leaving comments on our own Sri Sri Ravi Shankar commentary insisting that we were once Kool-Aid drinking Art of Living cultees ourselves, but because we allegedly fell victim to some kind of self-generated moral lapse, we had to leave in disgrace, making this blog nothing more than our revenge on Sri Sri, his dupes and all other gurus as well, so deep must be our supposed shame and guilt.

While we can proudly say we've self-generated many moral lapses over our time on this planet, none of them had anything to do with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, his Art of Living cult, or any other spiritual org for that matter. While we've left a few orgs after becoming frustrated with the lack of critical perspective we observed, we are still on good terms with all those orgs which matter to us.

This blog is written to make clear two things: Anything you believe about realization is wrong, and holding on to beliefs about realization are preventing its own self-generated recognition in your life. Sri Sri or any other guru we target are objects which come to represent these ideas about enlightenment, all of them completely wrong, yet often employed as the primary sales device in the marketing of a guru. The fact that these ideas are enshrined in superstitious Hinduism surely isn't helping the cause.

Another important notion here is that realization doesn't make you anything other than what you are right now. All gurus are human, and unfortunately, some are downright bad humans. Spiritual attainment isn't the measure of the quality of a man, it's the structure of their personality. Many of the big-time gurus just happen to have narcissistic character disorders. This, along with a somewhat well-marketed meditation technique and a superficially taking up the cause of world peace, are the only reasons Sri Sri has got to be the world-famous famewhore that we see today. Presently, his face is plastered all over city transit buses in San Francisco. We cannot imagine that the beauty of one of the best places in North America has ever been more sullied.

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sri Sri Bio Blasted

File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

India's Deccan Herald slams the new Sri Sri Ravi Shankar biography, written by some French guy who thinks he's a part of the Hinduvta:
The emergence of Ravi Shankar coincided with the unleashing of market forces in India in the early 90s. He came up with just the sort of mind candy that the obscenely acquisitive middle-class needed. If he was not there, they would have invented one.

Dispensers of chocolate sauce for the soul come in limousines; seated in throne-like chairs. Their patrons include the mall-crawlers and the well-heeled...

French journalist Francois Gautier tells the story of the smiling guru in hagiographic fashion. He provides interesting insight into Ravi Shankar’s transformation as a guru...

Gautier talks about the divine powers of Ravi Shankar, almost conferring godly status on him. Some of his devotees are even said to have experienced visions of Jesus Christ during Sudarshan Kriya.

The noted intellectual and humanist Richard Dawkins attributes such visions to hallucination or illusion.
The whole Sri Sri empire is built on a foundation of sand, the placebo effect. The same is true of just about any other spiritual empire built on a cribbed and overly-simplified spiritual practice. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is no more divine than Britney Spears, but at least with her you get a good show and something to talk about around the water cooler at work.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

More Dirt In The Sea Of TM™ Whitewashing

File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

A little more truth has surfaced in the ocean of inveterate whitewashing that's been occurring in the international press over the last week; an article by the last news writer to interview the Maharishi when he was alive. Get ready for the Austin Powers-level wackiness of Yoga's Dr. Evil, the late, yet not so great, Maharhishi Mahesh Yogi:
For the historic interview I was ushered into the so-called brahmastan, a sort of giant pagoda-style wooden palace.

I was flanked by two sternfaced, light-suited "ministers", who introduced me, to the untold thousands of disciples watching this bizarre charade via the live global video-link by which the Maharishi communicated his edicts, as a "distinguished international journalist" - which was certainly a first for me.

Then, just as I was expecting him to make his entrance, a giant screen flickered to life and I was greeted not by a real live guru but by a sort of hologram with a cotton-wool beard and a shiny, teak-brown pate.

Only then did I realise that the Maharishi would be addressing me only via closed-circuit TV from his chamber, presumably somewhere upstairs.

"His Holiness never meets anyone because his doctor is concerned that he might catch germs," Roth whispered.

"He hasn't been outside for years."

In truth, it was more a monologue than an interview.

The Maharishi spouted incomprehensible mumbo jumbo for several minutes-then launched into a diatribe against Britain - a terrible country which believes in "divide and rule" and was responsible for much of the misery besetting the world.

This, he said, was why he had decided to "excommunicate" this country, meaning that his disciples were banned from teaching TM here (a state of affairs which, I regret to report, he later reversed).

My one small victory was that I managed to ask him - ever so politely - about The Beatles.

Given all the bad blood, did he regret his involvement with the band who made him a household name?

Suddenly, all that serenity evaporated and the mystic came over all mortal.

"Forget about it!" he spluttered furiously.

"If at all, (The) Beatles became substantial by my contact.

"I did not become great by association of The Beatles! Beatles make Maharishi great? Pah! It is a waste of thought."
Arrogant, full of pride, deluded. This was your leader, TM™.

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Friday, February 15, 2008

The Maharishi's Lies

File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

This article at TM-Free Blog is like a Rossetta Stone of the TM™ movement and its avaricious guru, the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi:
5. Maharishi is a perfect Master. This is the biggest lie and one that I will deal with in detail below. Additional claims are that he is a life long celibate, that he never makes mistakes, that only he can enlighten the world, etc...

I am ultimately going to claim that Maharishi's motivation is not simply to enlighten the world. I am going to point out that he is highly motivated by fame, money and power, even more so as time goes on. His insecurities about maintaining his power and money will show up as an increase in paranoia and greed within the TM movement.
The turban comes off for Michael D. Coleman, author of this exceedingly clear presentation of the flimflamming that was perpetrated by the Maharishi while he was alive. Now that he's dead, his con might become a canon. Woe be to the world for that!

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Will TM™ Move Against Deepockets?

File under: The Siddhi of PR

A very deep Guruphiliac operative sends news from U.S. TM™ H.Q. in Fairfield, IA:
Dr. Phil was recently accused of breaking doctor-patient confidentiality by speaking to the news media about a patient, Britney Spears.

Deepak Chopra is talking publicly about a former patient, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Indeed, he describes himself as his doctor in the piece found here.

This is what Chopra says from the above cited piece:

"It was true that after his medical crisis he refused to discuss his health and took pains to indicate that where once I had been his physician, now I was to consider myself in the former position of disciple."

So Chopra was Maharishi's physician. But in his piece he discloses personal information about Maharishi of both a medical and personal nature, both of which are protected information.

The problem is that the doctor-patient privilege extends even after death. The following is from this site:

"...only the client can waive the privilege and the privilege survives the client. Therefore, even after a client's death, an attorney can not reveal the information without the prior approval of the client. This was recently articulated by the United States Supreme Court in Swidler & Berlin, et al. v. United States, 524 U.S. 399 (1998) (case regarding "Travelgate," where a grand jury, at the Independent Counsel's request, sought handwritten notes from the attorney for the late Vincent Foster)."

Even if the above is incorrect, then at the very least it would be only the estate of Maharishi that could allow him to divulge the information that he did...and I doubt that Deepak got such a permission from the TM organisation...not only because it is too short a time since his death but because of the acrimonious relationship between the two parties, they probably wouldn't give it!
Uh oh! Are we about to see a harder, nastier TM™ spring into action? Now free of the constraints of having a divine guru's reputation to protect, are they about to get all Scientology on the world's ass? We're feeling that the end of the Maharishi era could just be the beginning of something much darker indeed.


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Deepockets And His Guru

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

Deepak Chopra reminisces about his guru, the late Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in this article on the Huffington Post. We were especially impressed by these passages:
Ironically, the respect shown to me in his name came to be my undoing. Maharishi started to give me the perception (perhaps that was my own projection) that he felt I was competing with him in a spiritual popularity contest. On more than one occasion, he casually mentioned that I was seeking adulation for myself. This was odd considering that he had been the one who thrust me forward in the first place, and who insisted on piling tributes on me that I had no choice but to accept whatever my embarrassment. The situation came to a head. In July, 1993, during the celebration of Guru Purnima, I went to see Maharishi in his private rooms to pay my respects. It was close to midnight after all the day's public ceremonies had ended. Rita and I entered the room in near darkness. Besides Maharishi, the only person present was a TM higher up, Benny Feldman, who kept silent as Maharishi said, "People are telling me that you are competing with me."

At that point I had only heard indirect reports about his displeasure; this was the first time, in fact, that Maharishi had shown anything but the highest trust in me...
Because now, Deepak wasn't being regarded as a tool with which Mahesh could further glorify himself. Now, he was only an obstacle to that glorification. Fortunately for Deepak, he had enough self-possession at the time to see things as they really were:
Here he was now, in my eyes, playing the part of an irascible, jealous old man whose pride had been hurt. For my part, I was dismayed that he might believe the rumors. Then he made a demand. "I want you to stop traveling and live here at the ashram with me." He also wanted me to stop writing books. After delivering what amounted to an ultimatum, I was given twenty-four hours to make up my mind.
While Chopra might not share our opinion of his guru, this event speaks more to our view than his. We applaud this more truthful rendering of the Maharishi, especially in front of the tsunami of hagiographic vomitus being puked at us by the world press. Chopra and the Maharishi are one case where the devotee has outshone the guru by megawatts.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Bollywood Bows To Ramdev

File under: Gurus to the Stars and The Siddhi of PR

Taking a page from Scientology, Swami Ramdev is pushing Yoga (and himself in the press) to the Bollywood elite. Some have already drank the Kool-Aid:
It’s no Myth. Apna babe Mallika’s latest Khwahish is to learn pranayams from a certain Baba and ensure that Yoga ke side effects leave her glowing, inside and out.

After all, she has seen benefits abound all around in Bollywood. From the original Basanti, Hema Malini, to her reloaded version, Nisha Kothari, and macho man Suniel Shetty, celebrities in Bollywood are waxing eloquent about the wonders of Baba Ramdev’s yoga sessions.
This is an example of desirable press synergy. Ramdev gets more exposure – a lá Scientology's penchant for employing movie stars as its saints – and the stars get to project themselves as virtuous, even allowing this beauty to get away with appearing to pose topless.

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Maharishi Gone, Folks Still Duped

File under: Final Samadhi, Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

He's ashes on the winds aside the Ganges now, after being observed in state by 20,000 in Allahabad, India.

Naturally, his people have elevated him to a monumental and glorious sainthood, helped considerably by a global world press seeking sales over truth and substance. Typically, the dupes are still duped, now believing they are getting the goods from beyond his grave:
“We were in constant communion with the Guru Deva in transcendence. It kept us in high spirits,” said Paul Morehead, a teacher at the Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, the US.
"Constant communion" spells p-l-a-c-e-b-o e-f-f-e-c-t in our book. It's the sauce that keeps the entire spiritual community alive, irrespective of belief or ideology.

As our own send off to the most hellaciously grandiose guru of the last century, we offer the thoughts of perhaps the second most grandiose guru of modern times. It may be a case of the pot calling the kettle stinking black, but here's what Osho, the Bhagwan Rajneesh, had to say about the Maharishi once:
Cheechli was the birthplace of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He never mentions it. There are reasons why he does not mention where he was born, because he belongs to the sudra class in India. Just to mention that you come from a certain village, certain caste, or profession -- and Indians are very uncultured about that. They may just stop you on the road and ask you, "What is your caste?" Nobody thinks that this is an interference.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was born on the other side of the station, but because he is a sudra, he can neither mention the village -- because it is a village of only sudras, the lowest caste in the Indian hierarchy -- nor can he use his surname. That too will immediately reveal who he is.

His full name is Mahesh Kumar Shrivastava, but "Shrivastava" would put a stop to all his pretensions, at least in India, and that would affect others too. He is not an initiated sannyasin in any of the old orders, because again, there are only ten sannyasin orders in India. I have been trying to destroy them, that is why they are all angry with me.

These orders are again castes, but of sannyasins. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi cannot be a sannyasin because no sudra can become an initiate. That's why he does not write "Swami" before his name. He cannot, nobody has given him that name. He does not write behind his name, as Hindu sannyasins do, Bharti, Saraswati, Giri et cetera; they have their ten names.

He has created his own name -- "Yogi." It does not mean anything. Anybody trying to stand on his head, and of course falling again and again, can call himself a yogi, there is no restriction on it.

A sudra can be a yogi, and the name Maharishi is something to replace "Swami," because in India things are such that if the name "Swami" is missing, then people would suspect something is wrong. You have to put something else there just to cover up the gap.

He invented "Maharishi." He is not even a rishi; rishi means "seer," and maharishi means "great seer." He can't even see beyond his nose. All he can do when you ask him relevant questions is giggle. In fact, I will call him "Swami Gigglananda," that will fit him perfectly. That giggling is not something respectable, it is really a strategy to avoid questions. He cannot answer any question.

I have met him, just by chance, and in a strange place -- Pahalgam. He was leading a meditation camp there, and so was I. Naturally my people and his were meeting each other. They first tried to bring him to my camp, but he made so many excuses: that he had not time, he wanted to but it would not be possible.

But he said, "One thing can be done: you can bring Bhagwan here so that my time and my scheduled work is not disturbed. He can speak with me from my stage." And they agreed.

When they told me I said, "This is stupid of you; now I will be in unnecessary trouble. I will be in front of his crowd. I don't have to worry about the questions; the only problem is that it will not be right for the guest to hit his host, especially before his own crowd. And once I see him I cannot refrain from hitting him; any decision I make not to hit him will be gone."

But they said, "We have promised."

I said, "Okay. I'm not bothered, and I am ready to come." It was not very far, just a two-minutes' walk away. You just had to get in the car, and then get out again, that was the distance. So I said, "Okay, I will come."

I went there, and as I had expected he was not there. But I don't care about anything; I started the camp -- and it was his camp! He was not there, he was just trying to avoid me as much as he could. Somebody must have told him because he was staying in the hotel just nearby. He must have heard what I was saying from his room. I started hitting him hard, because when I saw that he was not there, I could hit him as much as I wanted to, and enjoy doing it. Perhaps I hit him too hard and he could not stay away. He came out giggling.

I said, "Stop giggling! That is okay on American television, it won't do here with me!" And his smile disappeared. I have never seen such anger. It was as if that giggling was a curtain, hiding behind it all that was not supposed to be there.

Naturally it was too much for him, and he said, "I have other things to do, please excuse me."

I said, "There is no need. As far as I am concerned you never came here. You came for the wrong reasons, and I don't come into it at all. But remember, I have got plenty of time."

Then I really hit him because I knew he had gone back into his hotel room. I could even see his face watching from the window. I even told his people:

"Look! This man says he has much work to do. Is this his work? Watching somebody else work from his window. He should at least hide himself, just as he hides behind his giggle."
Thanks once again, Sarloji!

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Hee-Haw HIV "Cure"

File under: Gurubusting and Satscams

Look, another jackass says he can cure HIV/AIDS with meditation:
Spiritual Guru Ram Lal Siyag, founder of Jodhpur-based spiritual organisation Adhyatam Vigyan Satsang Kendra (AVSK), claimed that through 'Sidhha Yoga' can cure incurable diseases such as HIV AIDS.

The spiritual leader of AVSK has claimed to have cured hundreds of persons through this therapy.

Speaking here, the spiritual Guru Ram Lal claims to take a person to the highest evolutionary state to treat incurable diseases like hepatitis, hemophilia, cancer and even leukemia.
Way to go, Guru Ram Loser. What rock did you crawl out from under before you realized that preying on the hopeless and banking on the sick and infirm would make a good business plan?

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Friday, February 08, 2008

A Little Shade On The Maharishi

File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

Not every news writer has been dazzled by the fact the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi hoodwinked the Beatles for a quick minute:
He was the Sixth Beatle, a spiritual force with the potential to create world peace and end famine.

Or he was an avaricious old man with a penchant for young girls who ruined the greatest pop group in history...

The 'giggling guru' - so called because of his high-pitched laugh - lived in an opulent 200-room mansion, with helicopters and dozens of cars at his disposal, and was worth an estimated £2billion...

But while the Maharishi promised world peace, and cynics laughed at his wacky teachings and yogic flying, sinister stories of sex, debauchery, and even murder cast dark shadows over his life...

Later another British disciple, Linda Pearce claimed the Maharishi had seduced her when he was in his 60s.
"He was a brilliant manipulator," said Mrs Pearce. "I just couldn't see that he was a dirty old man. We made love regularly. At one stage I even thought I was pregnant by him. And I don't think I was the only girl. There was a lot of talk that he'd tried to rape Mia Farrow."

And there was worse scandal to come. In 1987, when the Maharishi was living in a highsecurity complex on the outskirts of Delhi, India, the Telegraph newspaper of Calcutta alleged five boys had died after being used as guinea pigs in the ashram's "medical institute" searching for cures for cancer, heart ailments and Aids. Nothing was ever proved...

Along with Mick Jagger and Marianne Faithfull, they took the train to Bangor - where the Maharishi assumed the mob of screaming fans were there for him.

Only a day into the retreat the news broke that the Beatles influential manager Brian Epstein had died from a suspected drugs overdose.

Rather than let them grieve for their friend and first mentor, the Maharishi told them their tears would cause "vibrations" which could trap Epstein's spirit on this spiritual plane rather than let it travel to the next. And he instructed them to be joyful and laugh...
There's also a few more illuminating bits about the Maharishi's exploitation of the Beatles. Finally, a bit of truthful contrast to all the wanton saint-making that's been occurring in the international press over the last few days.

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Not Dead Beatles Go With The Flow

File under: Final Samadhi and The Siddhi of PR

Since the passing of the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, practically every news item we've seen has mentioned the short period between 1967 and 1968 when the Beatles embraced TM™, blowing it up to appear as the defining event for all parties involved. We doubt it was as much for the Beatles, but it's sure turning out to be for the Maharishi. If he's going down in history as anything, it's as the onetime guru to the Fab Four.

In support of that hagiographic distortion, the still alive Beatles have chimed in to recognize the Maharishi's passing:
Sir Paul said: "I was asked for my thoughts on the passing of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and I can only say that whilst I am deeply saddened by his passing, my memories of him will only be joyful ones."

He added: "He was a great man who worked tirelessly for the people of the world and the cause of unity. I will never forget the dedication that he wrote inside a book he once gave me, which read 'radiate, bliss, consciousness', and that to me says it all. I will miss him but will always think of him with a smile."

Starr also released a statement paying his respects. He said: "One of the wise men I met in my life was the Maharishi. I always was impressed by his joy and I truly believe he knows where he is going."
Radiate. That's the key to understanding the Maharishi's metaphysics. Too bad it's nothing but a quaint idea. The world will be better served when the TM™ org finally drops the woo-woo nonsense, realizes the "Maharishi Effect" is in fact only wishful thinking and spend their resources doing something that actually helps. Maybe soup kitchens or food banks would be a good place to start. That's one Maharishi effect we're probably never going to see.

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Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Wikipedia Contaminated By Rawat's Kool-Aid

File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

We told you about this a few months ago, but now London, U.K.'s The Register has chronicled the activities of Prem Rawat stooge Jossi Fresco, who just happens to be in the most inner circle of Wikipedia, charged with the task of keeping the articles fair and balanced (and not in the Fox News way.) Guess which article is not fair or balanced:
This administrator, Jossi Fresco, is a longtime student of Prem Rawat - formerly Guru Maharaj Ji - the India-born spiritual leader who styled himself as the "Perfect Master" and fostered a worldwide religious movement encouraging followers to call him "Lord of the Universe."

Jossi Fresco openly acknowledges he's employed by an organization "related" to Prem Rawat, and according to an ex-Rawat-follower and former friend, he served on the guru's personal staff and built the guru's first web site. Nonetheless, Fresco maintains strict control over Wikipedia’s Prem Rawat article and countless related articles, keeping criticism of his guru to a bare minimum...

"All critical material was moved to an article of its own: 'Criticism of Prem Rawat," says a senior admin. "Jossi created that, with the intent that it wouldn't over-burden the main article. But then that article was merged back into the main article and basically deleted. All that critical material was pretty much all deleted, so the current article bears very little resemblance to the article of two years ago. It's shorter, and it's all positive."
And there's plenty of criticism of Rawat out there, just ask the ex-Premies.

There's a total of six pages of investigative reporting on this info-sham at Wikipedia by The Register. Those interested in understanding the siddhi of PR might do well to read it.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Guess He Wasn't Invincible

File under: Final Satsang

The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is dead. The world is just as fucked up as it's always been.


Monday, February 04, 2008

Dera Baba Ducks Death

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

Dera Sacha Sauda guru Gurmeet Ram Rahim, the Sikh apostate who posed for photographs dressed as Sikhism's most holy patriarch – launching riots all across the Punjab in May of 2007 – narrowly escaped a truck-bombing attempt on his life last Saturday:
Ram Rahim Singh, who hurt sentiments by replicating the manners and attire of Sikh spiritual head Guru Gobind Singh, escaped an attempt on his life on Saturday evening when a Punjab militant group triggered an explosion in his cavalcade while he was travelling from Ambala to Delhi...

The explosive was planted in a truck which was supposed to hit Ram Rahim Singh’s car. The truck, however, hit the wrong car.
Isn't it all a little over the top? We think so. Apparently, some Sikhs don't, so the sartorial blunder guru best be blasting himself out of the Punjab if he's to ever make it to the Bryant Park tents in this lifetime.

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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Tragic Old Man Tries To Get It Up One More Time

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

A little more end-of-life tragedy filters out from behind the TM™ propaganda wall:
Everyone should try to catch the puja a couple of days when Maharishi came out of Silence on Jan. 8. He is crying through the whole puja, his voice very weak and quivering, fading. We won't have him long, it is clear.

Today Bevan spoke to the Invincible Assembly here from the International Capital of the Global Country of World Peace in Holland and he said that basically Maharishi said he won't be with us much longer. And Maharishi asked in today's session of the World Congress of Rajas with National Directors and Ministers present, did anyone feel like he done anything for the world, for the invincibility of every nation? If anyone thinks he has done anything for the world then give me a gift, he said. And he wanted this discussed by the Rajas of the Global Country and it was decided after discussions until 2:00 am to build a memorial to him at the Brahmastan central point of first the 48 most wealthy countries of the world where it could be afforded most quickly to build. By noon today it was to be organized in all these countries and more to build the tower by day after tomorrow or at least raise a flag for the memorial to Maharishi on 12th January. Then to quickly build the Tower of Invincibility in all these places, most having land already owned by the movements there.
The only thing truly invincible here is the Maharishi's ego, right up until the very bitter end. We find it touchingly ludicrous that the old man expects his people to build towering monuments that look like penises to satisfy himself before he pushes off to that big peace palace in the sky.

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Sri Sri's New Shill Game

File under: Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

Always seeking new ways to keep his name's fame quotient high, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has attached himself to the current trend of global environmental concern. As usual, he's dumbed it way down so as to be able to express himself without risk of eating his feet:
"The only way to check environmental pollution is to spread awareness. Many people in this world live without the knowledge of climate and their surrounding environs. They are immune to changes in the cycle of seasons and its variations. They have to be told before taking any remedial measures to save the ecology," Sri Sri told IANS in an interview.
Meaning: I will bring ecological awareness to my satsangs because that shit is HOT right now.

Given the platform of yet another fawning interview, Sri Sri brings all the power of his wee-wee philosophy to bear:
One can have proclivity to evil but cannot be completely evil. All human beings are intrinsically good. They resort to evil deeds because of extraneous pressure and circumstances.

"Evil is a distortion of nature and ultimately good will triumph. If every man is left the way he or she was born, there would have been no evil on this earth," he said.
This next statement makes clear just where this Pollyanna bullshit comes from:
Why a spiritual guru? He could have been anything. "Yes, I guess. But I never grew up. That's the secret of my spiritualism," said Sri Sri.
At least Sri Sri got it half-right. Normally, big-time gurus count on the infantization of their devotees for their success. Unsurprisingly, Sri Sri has it backwards, thinking by infantilizing himself, he'll be more attractive to the dupes stupid enough to believe he's God.

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