Guruphiliac: February 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009

TM™ Wants To Own Your Kids' Minds

File under: The Siddhi of PR

With David Lynch and Paul McCartney out raising millions to put TM™ indoctrination programs into your kids' schools, anti-cult counseler John Knapp is organizing the resistance:
Join us for a free Web Event, April 2, 8 pm EST, to learn a side of the Transcendental Meditation story they won't tell you.

TM. Concerned scientists question research claiming benefits. Former members allege secret agendas. Clergy are unsure if TM contradicts their religion.

In this atmosphere, the David Lynch Foundation sponsors Paul McCartney & Friends in concert April 4, 2009. Reminding many of Tom Cruise's marketing for Scientology.

DLF states this "World Harmony Concert" will raise millions to introduce "TM/Quiet Time" into public schools.

We believe this violates the separation of Church & State.

Many consider meditation valuable. Our concern is religious meditation forms do not belong in public schools.
TM™ is not secular meditation. TM™ is a religion, and a destructive cult in every sense of the word. While we agree that meditation is good for all regardless of faith, TM™ meditation comes with so many strings attached to a wildly fantastic mythology (including all their so-called "science") that you may as well be dunking kids in full-on Christian baptisms.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sri Sri Goes Metal

File under: The Siddhi of PR

This is nothing short of brilliant:

Well, maybe not quite brilliant. The subject was certainly an inspired choice, and the acting was more than adequate. And while the writing started out pretty strong, it began to lag quickly, resulting in a soggy finish.

But we don't want to discourage the folks from trying again. And if they ever want help with the writing, we are here to serve!


Sunday, February 22, 2009

India Moves To Protect Its Heritage From Greedy Gurus

File under; The Siddhi of PR

Mother India is out to save Her spiritual heritage from greedy, patent-trolling gurus [Ed.note: Remember Bling-Bling Bikram?] who try to turn yoga culture into their own, personal cash cows:
Instances of self-styled yoga gurus claiming copyrights to ancient ‘asanas', especially from the West, is now becoming rampant. This has made 200 scientists and researchers from the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Union health ministry's department of Ayush join hands to put on record all known yoga postures and techniques that originated in India.

Scientists are presently scanning through 35 ancient Sanskrit texts, including the Mahabharata, Bhagawad Gita and the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali to identify and document all known yoga concepts, postures and terminology.

Till now, 600 ‘asanas' (physical postures) have already been documented. The team plans to put on record at least 1,500 such yoga postures by the end of 2009.
That is a yoga guide we'd love to see.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

John DeRuiter Update

File under: The Siddhi of PR

A reader sends us an update on John DeRuiter of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, a noted nonduality purveyor who kinda seems like a jerk, although he gets a tip o' the turban for openly pulling a pair of sisters as his girlfriends:
Well folks, it must be time for an update. It is now 2009 and where are we now with John DeRuiter? Having been around John for many years I'm pretty sure I can give a fair assessment of what is happening around him, but then again I'm a bit of a shit disturber and actually still have a brain and my critical thinking capacity.

Firstly, people commenting on JDR who have not personally sat with him are completely in the dark and are making uninformed decisions in their comments (much the same as the people who voted for George Dubyuh.)

Now 10 years later, John still has a relationship with the two woman (sisters) who he dumped his wife for. (Actually, he gave his wife the choice to join the harem, she declined.) There is no love lost between the two sisters and they are much like acid and ice cream—not a good mix. Acid, Benita, is in charge of everything. She had no people skills whatsoever when she started the job and now she has at least one or two, so she is growing. The main woman in charge at the time was dumped with the excuse that she needed a vacation. That woman probably still questions her worthiness, but now I'm speculating.

I've had many deep experiences sitting with John and will tell you that he has never bitten me, (probably because I bite back.) But I would never take some of the crap that he dishes to some people, but they invariably take it. Over all, it's unbelievably boring. We sit, we gaze, he gazes. It's all very peaceful, like a graveyard, or should I say mausoleum, as the new digs are all marble and chandeliers.

My main complaint was that if you were to ask John a challenging question, he very often reverts to silence, and that cuts out any chance of a dialogue about truth or anything else. By doing so, he chooses always to be in "Power" position and you, the questioner, become secondary chimpanzee without a voice. It truly sucks and is completely disempowering. There can be no "Real" dialogue because he's always in charge of the situation.

The majority of people in the group are pretty "John Gone," and there is no focus on critical questioning as the group has silently agreed that that is not cool. I think they call it co-dependency. The sad thing with almost any guru who answers all questions is that it basically makes you a bit stupid and you will always second guess your decisions, ("gee, I wonder what John would do?"), and John has an answer for everything. He is an incredibly intelligent speaker and master of the one liner. The problem though is that he has created an obscure language that most humans cannot possibly grasp, and in my opinion has muddied and complicated the pure field of truth.

Many who hang with John get a lot from it. They are intelligent and articulate people and some are real sweethearts. People in the group do have an opinion which they share privately but not publicly.

All in all he seems pretty benign and he ain't no Jim Jones but if you want to truly grow, get the hell out of there and take on life directly.
Maybe not a Jim Jones, but DeRuiter's from-on-high positioning of himself, especially his tendency to duck the tough questions, really only obscures more than clarifies the nondual us. But that could have been a business decision: keep them in mystery and they'll keep coming back (and paying you) for the answer.


Monday, February 16, 2009

The Real Sri Sri Revealed

File under: The Siddhi of PR

Finally, a truthful media portrayal of the world fame-lusting Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
A South American TV personality has launched a television cartoon based on Indian spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s teachings, choosing him as the main character.

The cartoon, “Plim Plim”, is aimed at children between two and five years old, the Art of Living Foundation said here.
Sri Sri takes yet another page from his own guru's playbook, seeing as TM™ does, that for the younger of those in the bath, the more thorough the brainwashing will be.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Popping Pop Vedanta

File under: The Siddhi of PR

We've got to give it up for Gp compatriot, H.H. Sri Sri SRI Kevinanandaji, for going OFF at the self-glorification business in Tiruvannamalai, India, over the last few months. Today he takes his needle and pokes the Pop Vedanta bubble, AKA Neo-Advaita. And while we may sometimes veer very close to some of the same outlined sins, we enjoyed the Kevinanandajister ripping away like a mad sadhu on a Datura bender:
This is a shallow, consumeristic interpretation scraped from the retina of Ramana's teaching, which sells you abstract notions of enlightenment as the real deal: like buying on credit and never having to pay. It is the 'description of enlightenment' minus the genuine article, an enticing 'theoretical product' where body is divorced from mind. All you get is "talk" and "pseudo-awakenings" become the new benchmark. Saying it, replaces being it. Soft words and the 'language of love' masquerade as the real thing. Understanding realisation is suddenly the accomplishment. Salvation served up on a slab: consume and you're enlightened!

The upshot is that anything goes if you can argue it. In the absence of visceral experience, the slightest tremor becomes an 'awakening event'. And with the arbitary use of any 'free-floating concept', even Ramana can be castigated as a fake. Like a 1000-headed hydra, one Guru pops up only to be shouted down by another who shouts even louder (As Mr Heinz so sagely put it, "57 varieties of Mind Fuck soup!") This is why this 'Paradigm of Paradise' is so jumbled and confused. It's a hybrid monster: 'Presence', 'Being In The Moment', 'Neti Neti' and 'Mental deconstruction' to the nth degree, all in the name of 'Satsang!'
The Chi-Ting Master has spoken. While we see some value in a few of the ideas he's railing against, we are going to let this tiger's tail alone.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

TM™ Psych-Ops, Then And Now

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

Gp pal John Knapp on his own experience as a hypnotized participant in the early TM™ movement:
I started that residence course as a skeptic about TM. I came out one month later as a true believer who wanted to become a TM teacher. If you had asked me back then what happened on that course to change my beliefs, I would have said that I had learned new and wonderful things, that I saw the light, and that I was convinced by the scientists. What I would not have said was, "Meditating many times a day produced something akin to a hypnotic trance, and I was given a post-hypnotic suggestion to believe in TM and to become a TM teacher."

A person very dear to me attended a similar one-month TM course in 1974, and wrote me during the course, "I have a sensation like I am holding onto a wall, and a strong wind is tearing me off the wall, moving me to become a TM teacher, and it is only a matter of time before I will give way." After the TM course, she, like I, became a TM teacher.
We know why John became a TM™ teacher: it worked for him then. Despite the shady business practices and psych-ops the Maharishi was running on his students, mediation is mediation, and meditation usually transforms. The whole thing is a great illustration of how our cognitive unconscious operates. The suggestions go in and the belief is calculated, which is translated into zeal in the experiencing consciousness. This has an effect similar to putting Vaseline on a camera lens. In the best cases, that seems to wear off after a while, at least for those courageous enough to think for themselves. But in the worst, lives are laid waste by a slavish devotion to a system that just does not suit them, although it does suit those who are receiving the fees and cash offerings.

Today, TM™ psych-ops are right back where they began: the Beatles, or at least one of them, along with a cracked-out movie director and a host of luminous dupes who have it better than the rest of us:
Sir Paul [McCartney], who is co-chairing the event, learned the Transcendental Meditation technique in 1967 and attended a course with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India in 1968.

Sir Paul will share top-billing with Donovan, Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, Sheryl Crow, Ben Harper, Moby, jazz flutist Paul Horn, and Mike Love of the Beach Boys.

David Lynch, Russell Simmons, Laura Dern, and other surprise guests will fill out the star-studded slate as presenters.

The concert will raise funds to teach one million at-risk children the Transcendental Meditation technique, giving them the life-long tools to overcome stress and violence—and promote peace and success in their lives. Over 60,000 children in various countries have learned the Transcendental Meditation technique in the past two and a half years thanks to the David Lynch Foundation.
Apparently, one thing they've learned in all those years of hypnotizing people is that the extent of their brainwashing is inversely proportional to the age of their victims. Get 'em while they're young, David. Well-played.

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Sunday, February 08, 2009

Stuart Resnick On The Youtubes

File under: Endorsed

We are delighted to have discovered Gp pal Stuart Resnick on video on YouTube, where he parses popular culture and his own life, picking out metaphoric assists for the illustration of zen notions. He's very plain spoken and quite funny:

Insight with humor as a reinforcing influence is a teaching tradition we are always happy to endorse.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

D. Lama Back In D-Sala

File under: The Siddhi of PR

The Dalai Lama spent yesterday in the hospital, admitted after a heart attack scare. Today he's back at home (away from home), getting ready for a quick tour of Europe.

We've got to hand it to the D. L., he's a trooper. And most of the time, we're pleased with the way he comports himself. There's no miracle mongering (although it's certainly built into his religion,) no predictions of the future, just a friendly smile and some words of peace. Given, we don't know the behind-the-screen scene. But generally, the D. L. doesn't seem to produce much in the way of clarity-clogging clouds of belief about the "result" of enlightenment, and that puts him way ahead of almost every other world-famous guru on the planet. The turban is off for the D. L. Here's to 30 more years of him kicking it real and clear.