Meditation and Yoga Classes
Posted by: cultreporter ()
Date: November 21, 2006 12:12AM

When I first started talking to other people about cults, having just gotten out of one myself six months ago, I was actually suprised to hear that practices such as offerring free meditation and yoga classes is rather common. This is the main point of recruitment for the cult I was involved with Science of Identity which runs schools of meditation around the world.

I have heard it referred to as the 'bait and switch' method, bringing people in under one pretence and then gradually introducing them (in the case of SOI I know from experience through coercive tactics) to the philosophies and practices of the cult. The deception being that if what the organisation was really about was introduced up front that it would not be likely to be found appealling.

I have been thinking a lot about how it could be possible to raise awareness of this, and if there is perhaps any way that to offer, for example, meditation for relaxation and stress relief, and claiming to be a non-religious and non-sectarian organisation when it is devoted to propogating a very distinct philosophy under the guidance of a single 'spiritual master', may be breaking any laws.

I think that most people do not comprehend that the origins of meditation are Vedic and linked to the Hindu/Hare Krishna religion. While it has taken on different connotations which are widely understood and accepted it is not really open to dispute where the practice is derived from and it's spiritual origins.

As far as most people understand yoga is just a harmless form of exercise and they do not generally realise until they become involved in some orgnisation that there are many different forms of yoga and many philosophies that go with them.

I am certain that Science of Identity and other cults realise that they are bending the truth in the way which they present their schools.

Personally I did not join up through the path of taking up their offers of classes, and was actually aware that they were a religion, so I was pretty suprised when I realised how most people find their way there. At the time I thought it ws not only dishonest, but also pointless because it was not attracting people that had an interest in spiritual life. This was before I realised the elements of control and manipulation at play and realised why the spiritual master had given specific instructions to introduce others in this way.

Is there anyone here who has been involved with a similar organisation or has any thoughts on how best to go about exposing what they are really about?

Meditation and Yoga Classes
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: November 21, 2006 12:03PM

I took free meditation classes with someone involved with Science of Identity. Then it became a little too religious, with a lot of "shoulds" aimed at me. I stopped.

Over the past couple of years, Sahaja yoga has made a presence in the public library. I went to the first class and exited when I saw the picture of the Mother on an altar with candles. There was no need for a yoga mat, the disciple (who paid for the room out of pocket) told me. I alerted the mayor, after doing a quick Google and finding the typical stories of abuses and financial fraud on Rick Ross and elsewhere. He passed off my report to the library board, who felt there was no harm and didn't want to lose the rental fee. This same disciple is now renting space in a nature center and two more public libraries. People do not want to be warned and generally look at the person doing the warning as the one with the problem.

Meditation and Yoga Classes
Posted by: Joe K ()
Date: November 28, 2006 04:48AM

Quote
cultreporter
Is there anyone here who has been involved with a similar organisation or has any thoughts on how best to go about exposing what they are really about?
I think that Transcendental Mediation qualifies. It markets itself as a "simple, natural, relaxation technique". Then they hit you with post-trance indoctrination into "Maharishi" Mahesh "Yogi's" special brand of religion.

Personally, I chose to put up a web site. But it's like throwing marshmallows at an elephant.

Meditation and Yoga Classes
Posted by: drivingthecar ()
Date: November 28, 2006 11:05AM

I take yoga classes and go to a free meditation at a local non-profit yoga center. I checked everywhere and nowhere is it listed as a cult (and it's been around for a while).

Just because some cults use meditation techniques does not mean all meditation or yoga is an entry way to a cult or has no value.

For example, just because some cults use the name of Jesus, this does not mean Jesus is bad.

I am sorry you had a bad experience with it, since yoga and meditation can be very beneficial.

Meditation and Yoga Classes
Posted by: cultreporter ()
Date: November 30, 2006 07:26PM

Drivingthecar, I agree.

I still practice meditation and asana (the form of yoga based on physical postures which most people recognise and think of when they think of yoga), and I do not think that either practice is exclusive to cults.

As you say you checked out where you were going and found no indication that it is a cult. I do not think people in general would have the awareness of cults to do this, and that there is a trust issue involved telling people that meditation and yoga is being offerred for relaxation and stress relief and yoga for health when it is not.

My idea of awareness raising would be to encourage people to check out where they are going and not be taken in by those who are misrepresenting meditation and yoga in order to recruit followers for a cult. I would absolutely never tell anyone that all meditation and yoga classes are bad or that they are cults. If anything I believe that the benefits of these practices and the inclination of anyone to take steps in an attempt to improve their health should not be stained or exploited in order to keep a cult running.

Meditation and Yoga Classes
Posted by: cultreporter ()
Date: November 30, 2006 07:31PM

Joe K,

I have not been involved with TM but I have read a lot of articles about it through Rick Ross which convey pretty clearly that it is a cult.

I would like to see the website that you made to educate about it - is it possible that you could post a link?

My website is www.science-of-identity.blogspot.com there I have written a couple of articles about the Australian School of Meditation and the deception that I witnessed there. I would like to make a more specific site for this though, and would appreciate any sugguestions or examples you might like to offer.

Meditation and Yoga Classes
Posted by: Joe K ()
Date: December 01, 2006 04:21AM

Hi cultreporter,

My site is www.suggestibility.org. Another site critical of TM is www.behind-the-tm-facade.org.

I'd love to look at your blog, but I'm getting an error accessing it right now. I'll try again later.

Meditation and Yoga Classes
Posted by: Joe K ()
Date: December 01, 2006 10:18AM

cultreporter,

I think it's a great site. Very good looking and very informative. Obviously you've put a lot of work into it and I think it has paid off.

The only thing was that I got confused about what the relationship is between "Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa", Chris Butler, and "Siddha". Are they the same person?

Meditation and Yoga Classes
Posted by: cultreporter ()
Date: December 01, 2006 06:16PM

Yes they are all the same person Siddha is short hand for Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa and Chris Butler is his real name.

I have actually considered changing all the Siddhas to the long hand although it makes it look untidy and a bit of an effort to read.

Blogger has limitations, such as the error message you got which is an unfortunately regular occurence. Once it would not let me sign in for four days and there was nothing I could do, and the html is a nightmare. The cool thing is that it does rank very well on Google, first or second page for most references.

I had a freesite but it was forced down because of complaints by the cult- which is to be expected really.

What has really stopped me from putting up a lot more controversial information and audio files etc is my technical ignorance. I want to get a site that will not be able to be forced down - but I haven't been able to work out the probability of this. My dead laptop (killed by viruses) is evidence enough that they do not want this information to get out. Apparently you can use your own computer as a server? I know this is getting a little out of scope of the conversation, but maybe anyone who has any tips could send me a private message? I would like to have a really high quality site and it would be the first against this cult.

Meditation and Yoga Classes
Posted by: S_Byers666 ()
Date: December 07, 2006 08:02PM

What appears to be a genuine alternative to TM and one FAR CHEAPER is at [www.natural-stress-relief.com]

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.