Guruphiliac: September 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Über-Kreepy Gurus Slammed In Texas

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

Kripalu Maharaj, (aka Kreepalu,) and his formerly Stateside protegé, Swami Prakashanand Saraswati, (aka PrakashakaBoomBoom,) just got to see the cat jump 50 miles out of the bag. Here are some of the highlights:
The bathroom was next to Prakashanand's bedroom, she remembered. "As I came out, I saw him," she said. "I told him I was excited for that afternoon's program. He grabbed my hand and pulled me into the bedroom." The woman said Prakashanand pushed her back against the door and groped her breasts and buttocks before quickly leaving...
Another victim shares:
Leaving the ashram one day in the early 1990s, she entered the guru's bedroom to say goodbye. He grabbed her and pulled her down, kissing her and fondling her breasts, she said, adding that she broke away. She lived on the ashram for more than 15 years and said no similar event happened again.
We guess she just wasn't his type.

And yet another victim had this story to tell:
She said she was called to Prakashanand's room many times as a young adult, where, she said, the guru would tell her to lock the door behind her, and then kiss and fondle her. She spent the night in his room, next to his bed, on several occasions, she said. In the middle of the night, she said, he would wake her up and fondle her.
What more can be said? A whole lot more. Read it here.

Our advice to PrakashakaBoomBoom? Kiss that $10 million goodbye and take sanctuary with the slippery salamander that is your own guru, because folks in Texas are going to have little patience for a handsy Swami whose lust turned him into the Devil's playground.

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Monday, September 22, 2008

A "Love Guru" Gets Off

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

During the whole Love Guru bombardment of last spring, a little known prosperity guru (read: potential flimflammer) was arrested on charges of sexually assaulting two women:
Bijan Anjomi, 64, was arrested Tuesday and made his first court appearance Wednesday on three counts of sexual assault based on complaints by two unidentified women, the Toronto Star reported Thursday.
Well, late last week, he finally got off with them:
A judge withdrew three sexual assault charges against former Mr. Universe Bijan Anjomi, 64, of Las Vegas, earlier this week. Anjomi was arrested in May after two women said he molested them.
And so Bijan saves himself with his space-daddy powers:
Police said yesterday that while the charges were withdrawn, there is a peace bond between Anjomi and the two women.
Hello! Sounds like some of that prosperity has been getting spread around a little bit. There's nothing better to cement the bond between a space-daddy and a twinkly-eyed young-thing more than showing her money chakra green.

We wonder which love object of Bijanji's posted this PR disaster in the making at Whirled Musings:
Bijan is beyond your belief system and he is human but he is also transparent. [Ed.note: !] He and his wife do not hide their life and sincerely wish peace to all, including you, me, all the blog readers and the women who made the false accusations.

Because we are all One....this includes you, me, Bijan ........and all the other people who have committed sexual offenses or false accusations.......this is part of all of us and we are healing from this all together.
To perhaps aid in Bijanji's healing, we extend the Sri Me Nondual Alibi Achievement Award, hereby created and given to those who use a meaningless interpretation of nondual truth in an attempt to skate themselves out of a tough spot. The award is created in honor of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's glorious tour de force at an Indian business conference in 2005:
When asked about his views of Narendra Modi, the chief minister of the Indian state of Gujarat, home to violent anti-Muslim riots which Modi implicitly supported, and who was recently denied a visa to enter the US for his involvement in those riots; Sri Sri replied, "I don't comment on individuals because individuals are just part of one wholeness."
We sincerely hope you all recall that he commented on the passing of Pope John Paul II a few short weeks later.

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Handsy Swami Goes Down With A Smile

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

Smiley Swami Vishwananada, whose satsang we attended and reviewed a few years back, has apparently decided to shutter his org, at least in the U.K.:
Dear brothers and sisters, dear friends

I decided to dissolve the Bhakti Marga order.

I hereby release all Brahmacharis/inis and Jal-Brahmacharis/inis from their vows. People often get caught up in positions and titles. If someone really wants to live for God, one doesn’t need a title.

My love is always with you.

I feel sorry from the bottom of my heart if someone feels hurt. This was never my intention...
The cause of this dissolution? According to anonymous tipsters, it went down something like this:
Emails were being sent out about Swamiji having illicit sex with his Brahmachari’s (the boys), which prompted a conference call last night lead by the national coordinator, Shrihara, and the US Brahmacharis.

Well, the “rumors” are true. Swamiji has been having sex with his Brahmacharis for years. Questions that were asked were was it consensual? Yes, in some cases. Anyone under age? No, as far as anyone knows. Were any Brahmacharis tramatized? Yes. Hari, who became a Swami recently (Swami “VK”) renounced his vows and ties to Vishwananda and is now living back with his family in London. No one knows what happened with him. Was he having sex with Vishwanada? And if not, he surely must have known what was going on.
Wow! It kind of gives a whole new meaning to the term 'space-daddy'. We're almost sorry to have seen this happen. As much as Sri Smile was little more than an actor playing a role all-too-many people confuse with the real thing, we sort of liked him in action. And believe it or not, his having sex with his celibate followers—while time and space-warpingly hypocritical—still doesn't preclude the possibility of real spiritual transformation occurring. Indeed, the sex could have very well been the font for most of it.

However, when people believe you are God, you just can't diddle in the back room with impunity, especially with those who have declared themselves celibate. But Swami Smiley might easily turn these turnips into truffles if he can just recast himself as a transgressive tantric aghora swami. We're quite sure there's loads of legal-age space-daddy orphans out there who would love to make sweet music with this maestro.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

TM™ Wants To Sell You Swamp Land In Florida

File under: The Siddhi of PR

The old coot is long gone now, so the minions have begun unloading the remnants of his utterly grandiose dreams—for a grandiose profit, they hope:
A 450-acre tract planned for a theme park mixing magic and Transcendental Meditation remains vacant in the tourism corridor. Almost two decades later, the two men behind the project are dead, and the land has a $150 million price tag...

A Maharishi subsidiary closed on the property in 1990 for $20 million in cash. In 1996, it was on the market for $60 million after the group shifted efforts to a site in Niagara Falls, Ontario.
And a grandiose vision this was:
The park plan originally included a building seemingly suspended above water without supports, a "magic flying chariot" that took riders inside the molecular structure of a rose, and robots that would fly through the air, performing magic tricks.

The development was projected to cost $1 billion.

The backers spent hundreds of thousands of dollars planning the project and getting government approvals, which expired years ago.
But now, they're merely deluded about what the property is worth in today's market:
"That property has been for sale for 25 years," she said. "In today's marketplace, you don't know if it is a good price because no commercial property has sold in a long time."

The listing averages about $330,000 an acre, which Goodwin-Nichols said is "not bad for usable property," but the tract includes wetlands that would not be worth as much.
Except to all the threatened wildlife that lives there.

If TM™ really, really did care about the world, they'd make it a nature preserve rather than a cash cow bloated to the bursting point by the dollar signs dancing in their eyes, gleaming with greed.


Monday, September 01, 2008

One Of The Good Ones Moves On

File under: Final Samadhi

Guru Maharaj H.H. Swami Chidananda Saraswati of the Divine Life Society has passed away:
Various religious heads from Ahmedabad and nearby temples paid homage to Swami Chidanandji Saraswati, head of Divine Life Society, Hrishikesh, who expired on August 29 in Hrishikesh.

Chidanandji had worked extensively in Gujarat and has helped many disciples achieve spiritual heights through service to the society. Swami Ishwarcharandasji... said Chidanandji was a living example of humility, simplicity and divinity.
In other words, nothing like any of the big-time gurus, whom we are unfortunately still left with.

Update: Even in death, Chidananda inspires like no big-time guru alive. From a reader just now:
I deeply touched by the news of Chidananda's passing and the brilliant way he instructed his students for the final rites. No meddling from ashram superiors, and no invasion of govt, Bollywood types, or other gurus (like Sri Sri) who would pose next to the body. He seemed to know how much it would hurt his students and he kept it in the family of monks. He also seemed to know what a circus it would be if he didn't limit his presence, but 3 hours was just brilliant. One of the last of the old guard. God help us!