Personally I feel cult leaders are evil in all sense of the word. I have always looked for the good in people. It's very disheartening to have to admit that someone truly has bad intentions. All the while you've wanted to believe that your instincts were right all along, arguing back and forth with yourself. A dark souled person, I feel could be the only one responsible for such crimes against human souls.I feel we have to literally dodge these kind of people to keep out of their preying intentions. Unfortunately it takes a strong soul to recognize them, one who doesn't need another to make them feel worthy. That's the bottom line.
This is my first post on this forum, even though a link has existed on Rick Ross's site to my Ex-Guru for about a year now. (Swami Maheshwarananda) To reply to this post, I'd have to say that I'm still trying to find the "good" in my Ex-Guru. He does promote Vegetarianism, which is very important to me, because I love animals almost like a mother loves her babies. I have spent about 5.5 years now agonizing over the question: “Is Swamiji evil?” The other word you mentioned (misguided) does not apply to Swamiji, I feel, because he definitely possesses Siddhis, and I would apply the word “misguided” only to a human being with a normal level of consciousness (and hence prone to making mistakes).
I’ve listened to Robert J Lifton on youtube, and he says that people can have both good and evil in them simultaneously. He gave the example of the Nazi Doctors who worked at the Concentration Camp, and on weekends would go home to their families and be loving fathers and husbands.
But to me, they were still just human beings with (serious) flaws.
On the other hand, Swami Maheswarananda has proven to me, on many, many occasions that he knows my past thoughts and actions, as well as current thoughts. He has, what Yogis call a Siddhi. That was the only reason I listened to him for 9 years on the Net. I never got really lured into the group of people around him (Yoga in Daily Life), because reflecting on it now, my standards were probably too high and my personality much too strong. I didn’t like how they behaved, I didn’t like how they lied on the phone in relation to upcoming seminars, I didn’t like the fact that you could never get much information out of them, I didn’t like how they behaved towards Swamiji: Feet kissing, Total obedience, serving him, even helping him up and down stairs as if he was crippled! No, I hated all of that, but Swamiji’s display of Siddhis lured me in.
I feel so alone because of that: I don’t expect anyone here on this forum to understand. Probably not many people would have come across a being who possesses a seemingly omniscient level of consciousness.
Now the question of evil is on my mind stronger than ever: I have received new information from Europe, saying he used his power and influence to have Sex with young women. Nothing surprising, you might say, but applied to a Yogi who has developed his consciousness as far as he has, with fully developed Siddhis, it becomes evil, it really does.
Because it means that he would have used these girls for his own gratification with the full knowledge of how it would affect them.
According to another Ex-Disciple he played mind games with him to such an extent, that this man (a very intelligent university educated person) had to seek the help of a psychiatrist and was medicated for 8 weeks, after he left.
My big error of judgment came from the assumption that a Yogi with Siddhis would have to be God, or be in constant communion with God. If the reader now thinks that I was hallucinating, I can assure you I was not. I was not hypnotized, nor was I sleep deprived, nor am I schizophrenic. I was not tricked at all. Swami Maheshwarananda has Siddhis, but the more I hear from his Ex-Disciples the more I am tempted to say that he must be evil, to cause so much pain intentionally. It’s so sad.
I also heard from one of the European Ex-Disciples that a Serbian lady died in a car accident, after she spoke out against Swami Maheshwarananda, and that there was talk of black magic. It stopped many from speaking out. Well, my response to this: My website against him has been on the Net for about a year now, and I'm still alive!
And even though he claims his master was able to change the weather, he obviously can’t, otherwise I would have been struck my lightening for speaking out. His mind reading Siddhi doesn’t extend any further, so it seems.
Is he evil? Or am I the silly one for slipping out from under the “protective umbrella of Gurudev”, as he often said. Time will tell, I hope.