Guruphiliac: June 2008

Monday, June 30, 2008

Cult Psych-Ops

File under: Gurubusting

Print this out and take it to the next Oneness Movement or Art of Living event you attend. See how many of the features described in this short essay match up with what you are seeing and hearing on stage:
Psycho-technology, simply put, is the combination of a cult's teachings, doctrine and recruiting/training procedures.

The goal of cult psycho-technology is the production of a series of peak experiences designed to make an impression on new recruits. For many cult members, these behaviorally and environmentally induced "spiritual experiences" lead from a healthy, open and questioning attitude to a complete regression into dependence and reliance on the cult group.

These experiences, occurring often as they do within the highly charged, tightly controlled atmosphere of the cult, are not subjected to the kind critical scrutiny that they ordinarily would be. Instead they are metabolized and socialized within the language and doctrine of the cult. They are the occasion for increased approval from the group. Phenomenologically speaking, they initiate the "divine history" of the individual, and they reinforce the history and mythology of the group. What is perceived as a flash of illumination and liberation becomes, in fact, the first step in a march toward moral slavery and psychological bondage.


Sri Sri And Ramdev Suck-Up Together

File under: Backroom Gurudom and The Siddhi of PR

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Swami Ramdev snuggled up to right-wing Indian politician L.K. Advani yesterday in Bhopal, India, together:
Ravi Shankar was indeed scheduled to release the Hindi edition of Advani’s autobiography, My Country My Life, in Bhopal. But the big surprise was Ramdev stepping into the chartered plane that flew in journalists, BJP leaders and Advani’s friends and family from Delhi.

More so since [Ramdev] has always claimed to be apolitical and flaunted his dislike for communal politics.
Uh oh. It looks like Swami Rancor has succumbed to the same suck-up fever that's plagued Sri Sri ever since that fateful day he decided to out-do his own guru, TM™'s Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, in divine self-aggrandizement.

Ramdev's got a ways to catch up to Sri Sri's heights of self-glorification, but we're sure he's got what it takes to propel himself straight to the top of Mount Narcissism.

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Punjab's Dera Baba In Another Blowup

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

He's the sartorial wonder blunder guru, accused of rape, murder and busted a number of times on various other charges in the Punjab, his devotees killing themselves over the trouble. And now, another death, this time at the hands of Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh's bodyguards:
The Dera chief got into a fresh row recently after a youth was killed and two others were injured when his bodyguard opened fire on Sikh protesters in Mumbai on June 20.
We've always wondered what the whole uproar over Singh's original sin – to dress in the style of the ancient patriarchs of Sikhism – was really all about. Could the "sin" actually be rooted in a class struggle precipitated by the Dera Sacha Sauda's popularity with India's poor and disenfranchised?
Free health and educational facilities attract the poor from all sects and cast to its fold. But, most importantly it appeared to be the identity crisis among the lower strata of society that helped Dera get a huge following. The neglected, looked down upon and alienated lower classes of different religions got an identity after coming to the Dera, say experts.

“The lower strata of society strive for an identity and that well explains the Dera Sacha Sauda mass base of landless laborers,” said Parmod Kumar, director of Chandigarh-based Institute of Development and Communication.
In this context, the hubbub over Singh's bad wardrobe decision makes a bit more sense. Was it about putting down the devotees as much as their leader and his org?

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Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Love Guru Arrives With A Splat

File under: The Siddhi of PR

We'll add: a much bigger splat than it would gotten had all those fame-whoring Hindu "leaders" found another cause to attach to their dreams of hitting the big-time:
"Not only does the film stumble badly from one skit to another, the skits themselves have too much dead air."

"Unlike Dr. Evil, who wasn’t afraid to be unlikable, Pitka’s schtick is one giant cry for acceptance -- eccentric but not challenging, therapeutic but not cathartic -- which is absolute death to comedy."

"More painful than sitting next to an Austin Powers impersonator during a 12-hour flight."

"The Love Guru is so relentlessly juvenile as to merit a new twist on the PG-13 rating -- one that strongly cautions not only those under 13 but anyone much above it, too."

"Offensive, revolting and jawdropingly awful from beginning to end, a complete and total piece of Singularly Horrid Infantile Trash (TM)."
Sorry, Mike. If you'd have invited us to the premiere, we'd have posted the one good review this stinker received. And to Rajan Zed and the other haters: great job on getting a bad movie much, much, much more attention than it ever deserved. You were drinking the Mike Myers/Paramount Kool-Aid the whole friggin' time. Dupes.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Kriyananada Toots Tired Old Horn

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

One of the tenets of success in big-time gurudom is the tooting of one's own horn in the perpetual quest for recognition and market penetration. While Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has got an army of horn-tooters blowing his tune to the press world-wide, Swami Kriyananada, one-time protegé of Paramahansa Yogananda, may have just blown his for the last time:
Swami Kriyananda, one of the leading spiritual teachers in the world today, has been awarded "Honorary Membership" in the Club of Budapest. This rarified group includes societal leaders like Elie Wiesel, Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and the Dalai Lama.
A nice touch, referring to himself as being a member of a "rarified group" of recognized world leaders.
This year Swami Kriyananda celebrates the 60th anniversary as a direct disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda -- author of the classic "Autobiography of a Yogi". Kriyananda is also celebrating the 40th anniversary of Ananda, a model spiritual community he founded.
Oops! Someone left a few toots out of this statement, like, he got kicked out of Yogananada's Self-Realization Fellowship in the early 1960s by the battle-axe who's still running it, Mata Daya. And that "model spiritual community" he founded? It was once mired in sexual harassment lawsuits aimed at the randy swami himself. Maybe that's why the Club of Budapest is keeping his membership "honorary" rather than anything approaching an actual connection to the authorities he is trying to steal some shine from with this press release.

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Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Kracki Is A Killer

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

A sharp-eyed reader caught wind of last April's disastrous opening of that hideous monument to one man's monstrous ego, the "Oneness Temple." It was all made possible by the hysteria whipped up by the avaricious avatard in charge there, Kalki Bhagavan.  Not such a good start for the divine savior of the planet:
A day after the stampede which claimed five [now six] lives and left more than 100 persons injured, some of them critically, an eerie calm hangs heavily on the 500-acre campus of the ‘Oneness Temple’ which was due for consecration on April 26.
We find ourselves doubting that had anything to do with any actual remose being shown. As it turns out, the Kracki's ashram was busted for the incident:
The police registered a case under Section 304 A of IPC against the trustees of Sri Amma Bhagavan Deeksha Peetham, which was closed down after the stampede. DIG Sujatha Rao and SP Lakshmi Reddy are camping in the village to oversee the investigation process.
Instead of owning up to their complacency in the tragedy, the Kracki's crack-smoking PR spin squad responds with an attempt at some soothing bullshit:
In the continued interest of safety, all opening events have been postponed and the Temple has been closed to the public until further notice. At this time, only the Oneness Beings are being granted access to the Temple, where they remain meditating and praying for all of us and for the advancement of consciousness in our world.
A lot of good those "Oneness Beings" [Ed.note: Have you ever heard a more ridiculous title? It's like something out of a science fiction video game designed by brain-injured yoga instructors from Malibu, California.] were doing for the six folks who were killed.

To hear the Kracki's side of the story, everyone died quite naturally, almost peacefully:
We were informed by the police later that day that four casualties had been reported in the vicinity, primarily due to exhaustion and other natural causes...
Sure. "Natural causes." Like being crushed to death in a panicked mob:
According to initial investigations, the stampede occurred when the thirsty devotees, in the absence of any proper facility for drinking water, pushed and jostled with each in frenzy at a water point.

In the resultant melee, many persons, including women, aged and infirm were pushed and trampled upon by the surging crowd, leaving five persons dead and more than 100 injured.
He's the greediest big-time guru this planet has ever known. The godfather of all gold-lusting fauxvatars, now that Sai Baba is all shriveled up. Kalki Bhagavan is a pig, his wife is a cow, they are both criminal flimflammers, and now they can add negligent homicide to their resume.

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Ammachi Gets Into The Apocalypse Biz

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

She's in Northern California right now, flooding the pool of Bay Area satsang junkies with her magical, infantilizing astral milk product. And apparently, according to one devotee, she's gone into the end-of-the-world, apocalypse prediction business:
[A] devotee came up to a group of long time devotees and reported that Amma had told a group of devotees in Seattle a few days before that... well here goes:

2010 - 2011 prediction... mass starvation and environmental destruction. World War III would be better, and, no child under the age of 5 would reach child bearing age. This was disturbing to me to say the least. I felt sad about it and asked for clarity. [The devotee] said the same thing over again. I asked if [Amma] said we could do anything about it. He said become a vegatarian and do spiritual practices, that we need to work fast for realization before it's too late. I thought it must be a trick to get lazy meditators motivated.

The suprising thing is [the devotee] has a child about that age and did not seem concerned, rather that he seemed excited to know what was happening next. It seems that this devotee has really acheived a level of detatcment that Amma herself would envy. I am in the prosess of confirming these statements. So far [the] L.A. satsang has denied it. All they said she said was there would be hard times ahead or something to that effect...

One last thing. I know for a fact that the MA center ashram has purcased a whopping $10,000 worth of rice to be stored for disaster. Ok, that's harmless except for the fact that hoarding food is one of the reasons for skyroceting food prices around the world, which is part of the reason for the predicted mass starvation.
Ammabots apparently believe she also predicted the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, although she was off by a year or so.

While these sort of vague predictions of disaster are often a big-time guru's stock in trade, we are disappointed to see Ammachi stooping to the same level as the rest of them. We might find her milk distribution plot to infantilize the world to be a disaster of monstrous magnitude, but we were trying to hold on to the assertion that she is the best of the big-time gurus. But with nonsense like this swirling around at her satsangs, Swami Ramdev is beginning to look better and better as the recipient of the weak endorsement we've been giving to Ammachi the last few years.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

When The Stink Just Stunk

File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

Another former AoL teacher comes forward with some miracle-mongering that failed:
As an AoL teacher, I was told how [Sudarshan Kriya] can cure cancer. So, one time a participant with cancer came to take my course. I contacted the ashram and was given many instructions. That this participant should do SK seperately, not with the rest of the class. That fresh flowers and a bowl of water and SRISRI's picture (all this would absorb the cancer vibrations) should be placed near him while he's doing SK and the teacher (me) should not remain in the room after the SK cassette has been switched on (because the teacher could get the cancer). The ashram also told me that many patients had been cured of cancer. But my student died. When I questioned the ashram, they did not have a logical reply, saying it was the destiny of that man.
It's the fail-safe clause of all miracle-mongering: when it works, it was "Guruji's" grace; when it fails, it was destiny, or the patient's sins. Over here we call that The Secret, the primary engine of ignorance that keeps so many New Age™ gurus' coffers full. Ignorance dressed up as spiritual truth is the only product that we can see produced at AoL.

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Tuesday, June 10, 2008

We Are About To Stink Up The Place

File under: Gurubusting, Satscams and The Siddhi of PR

This is a bit like America writing Osama Bin Laden a thank you note for 9/11, but here we go:
Some time back an Art of Living devotee came to me with his astounding healing experience, which I wish to share with you all.

Sri. P.Subramaniam aged 28 years, working in a small-scale engineering Unit. He earns a measly income just sufficient for him and his parents to make ends meet. The nature of the industry in which he is working is unpredictable and there are times when he has to strain himself for long hours to earn adequately to survive, thus resulting in the wear and tear of his health.

About a year and half ago he had persistent fever, body pain and had difficulty in eating and was diagnosed for Testicular Embryonal Carcinoma, a malignant germ cell tumor that occurs mostly in the testes. This type of tumor (cancerous) grows rapidly and spreads to the lungs and liver. He underwent Orchidectomy; an operation to remove the testicle and this was done to slow down the growth and spreading of prostate cancer. After the treatment, he somehow managed to carry on. After about a year, that is during April, 2004, he developed similar symptoms of fever, chest discomfort, multiple swelling in the neck and sleeplessness. He was admitted in a local hospital and on diagnosis it was found to be Testicular Tumor and Lymph Node Metastasis a type of cancer spreading through the blood. He was given chemotherapy first on 20.4.2004 and second on 7.5.2004 and third on 31.5.2004.

For the fourth chemotherapy he did not have sufficient money and therefore he approached Sri. M.Sendhilkumar, an Industrialist and a very devoted volunteer of AOL Coimbatore. Sri.Sendhilkumar not only helped him but also put him in the AOL Part I Course.

He joined the course on 14.6.2004 and on 17th after the first Sudarshan Kriya he experienced shocks and acute pain in the body and was disinclined to go to the course on the subsequent day, but with divine grace prevailing, he did the second Sudarshan Kriya which made him feel relaxed, energized and joyful. As he felt free from all the fears that were tormenting him, he wanted to shout and proclaim his happiness. It was a kind of rebirth for him and after so many months that night he slept very well. With Gurudev’s blessings he experienced deep rest.

Within a week after completion of the course, he took a haemogram test and the results were encouraging. The Doctor asked him to come back after a month and he had another haemogram test on 19.7.2004, which showed vast improvement, and he had become normal. This was further confirmed with another haemogram test on 21.09.2004 and finally he was back to his work with an added smile on his face.

Normally the side effects of chemotherapy are frightening as it leads to loss of hair in the scalp and in other parts of the body. It creates anemia and the patient gets tired easily, there could be difficulty in breathing and overall pain in the body. In the case of Sri.Subramaniam, he was indeed fortunate that his doing the sadhanas regularly two times a day eliminated the side effects. He does not feel tired at all and works with full enthusiasm and last but not the least the hair in his scalp is growing very fast and this is certainly a sign of his returning back to normalcy. He is confident that only because of the AOL Course he has been able to overcome the dreaded disease called cancer and is willing for any scientific study on his amazing healing experience.

While I was listening to the miracle I could feel tears rolling out of my eyes. Gurudev has saved the life of the sole breadwinner of a family. Along with Sri. Subramaniam and his family I am also grateful to my Divine Master for strengthening my confidence in Him.
We call that miracle-mongering, one of the high crimes of gurudom. Lance Armstrong survived metastasized testicular cancer and went on to win seven Tour de France bicycle races, but nobody is blaming a flimflamming guru for that.

And by the way, this was apparently published in an Art of Living newsletter, for those who seek to deny the truth that Sri Sri is playing the godman card every chance he thinks he can get away with.

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Saturday, June 07, 2008

SF Chron Writer's Vision Of Obama As God

FIle under: The Siddhi of PR

We keep looking for the tongue stuck in his cheek, because otherwise, San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Morford has whipped up a batch of sweet, sweet Kool-Aid for U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama, who he appears to seriously consider as a contender for the lead role in the second coming of Christ:
Here's where it gets gooey. Many spiritually advanced people I know (not coweringly religious, mind you, but deeply spiritual) identify Obama as a Lightworker, that rare kind of attuned being who has the ability to lead us not merely to new foreign policies or health care plans or whatnot, but who can actually help usher in a new way of being on the planet, of relating and connecting and engaging with this bizarre earthly experiment. These kinds of people actually help us evolve. They are philosophers and peacemakers of a very high order, and they speak not just to reason or emotion, but to the soul.
"Spiritually advanced people." That's something like being a theater director for a community playhouse with only one person in the audience, the same director. Morford would appear to be waylaid in some kind of New Age™ Babylon, sounding much more like a Benjamin Creme-influenced neo-Theosophist than someone actually capable of valid insight into these matters. If he's not having us all off, that is.


Friday, June 06, 2008

Beliefnet Gives L.G. Haters Equal Time To Whine

File under: The Siddhi of PR

According to several Indian papers, online religion portal Beliefnet will capitulate to the demands of whiny Hindu Love Guru haters, having agreed to air their views in an article to be published on the Beliefnet site:
Michael Kress, the Managing Editor of Beliefnet, in a communiqué to Bhavna Shinde, who represents the Hindu Janjagruti Samiti and the Sanatan Society for Scientific Spirituality, said, "We hope that by featuring this opinion alongside others, our readers can be better informed about the issues you are raising and decide for themselves what to believe and how to act in this case."
Beliefnet has been taking Love Guru advertising and promotion money from Paramount Pictures. But to tell you the truth, we don't understand why Paramount is spending any money at all when these Hindu stiflers of free expression have been doing such a marvelous job for them, all for nothing in more than one regard.


Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Love Guru Effect On Guru News

File under: The Siddhi of PR

We told you about this bad swami getting nabbed in Kerala a few weeks ago:
Madhavan [Swami Amritachaitanya] was arrested by Interpol police after multiple under-age girls complained to law enforcement with allegations of rape and sexual abuse. According to Press Trust of India, police in India received complaints from three under-age girls alleging he had raped them. The Times reported that Madhavan is accused of making pornographic movies with under-age girls, sexual assault, rape, fraud, and possession of narcotics. After police raided Madhavan’s four-story mansion in India they discovered drugs, a police uniform, a pelt from an endangered tiger and pornographic DVDs. Gulf Daily News reported that Madhavan was arrested in Kerala in conjunction with an Interpol “red alert”, which was issued after consultation with Dubai police in 2004.
What does any of this have to do with The Love Guru? The article's headline:
Indian ‘love guru’ faces charges of fraud, drugs and rape
Obviously, this sort of thing really isn't rocket science.


Tuesday, June 03, 2008

What Has Made Sri Sri A "Saint?"

File under: Gurubusting and Satscams

Nothing more than his incessantly blowing his own horn.

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Monday, June 02, 2008

Deepockets Hearts Love Guru

File under: The Siddhi of PR

It may have something to do with the fact he makes a cameo in the film, but Deepockets Chopra came out today as a Love Guru lover:
"The premature outcry against the movie is itself religious propaganda," Chopra writes, noting that the protesters based their views on the film's 2 1/2-minute trailer. "As viewers will find out when the movie is released this summer, no one is more thoroughly skewered in it than I am — you could even say that I am made to seem preposterous."
It sounds like Love Guru creator Mike Myers has been shooting fish in a barrel. But if you asked us, he shot the wrong fish. He should really be aiming at the humorless self-promoters making their bones on the back of his film, like that incessantly whining Love Guru-hater, Rajan Zed. If anyone needs a good lampooning, it's that loser.


Sunday, June 01, 2008

The Day Every Pot Called All Kettles Black

File under: Gurubusting and The Siddhi of PR

If hypocrisy were an extreme sport, this would be its greatest performance:
Art of Living guru Sri Sri Ravi Sankar has called for stringent action against pseudo-spiritual leaders.
After all, he is an accomplished expert in pseudo-spirituality.

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