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It was not in the remote past
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 05, 2015 07:56AM

Misstyk has supplied important information about opportunists in Buddhist
monk's robes.

To learn important information like this, go to places
like BBC News. Its an eye opener.

Friends, remember the stuff in the history books describing what
situation led to the Protestant Reformation in Europe?

Same stuff is being done today in Buddhist and Hindu
places -- only the names and colors of the
robes have changed.

Large quantities of money donated by the trusting
faithful and sent to high lamas and gurus in Asia
who use that money to create patronage networks,
enrich relatives and play politics.

In medieval and renaissance Rome, popes selected relatives
for wealthy positions.

Indian gurus use money donated by the faithful to pay
for expensive houses, jewelry and education for their
relatives. Vajrayana rinpoches use the money for thier
own political franchises.

Many Catholic priests and monks lost people's respect by
stuffing themselves, and ate well and violated
their vows by pestering girls and women.

Well, sounds like what Misstyk has described
in Bodhgaya.

Have a look at the Tibetan Buddhist monks who look plump,
well fed, and have expensive sunglasses. Ask how many Tibetan
Buddhist nuns look as well, eh. Very much a boy's club.

As someone said, beware of plump people in thin countries.

The Avignon and Renaissance Popes sending out peddlars of
indulgences, offering less time in purgatory in return for money?

This is no different from the Vajrayana lamas offering meritorious
rebirth in via blessings, puja rituals, empowerments, in exchange
for our compliance, our obedience, and our
submission to their abuses.

Manyour ancestors fled from areas dominated by dictators,
corrupt royalty and arrogant clergy.

These ancestors would be dismayed that so many of their descendants
are now flocking to grovel to those in saffron and maroon
robes.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/06/2015 02:45AM by corboy.

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Re: It was not in the remote past
Posted by: Misstyk ()
Date: January 05, 2015 11:53AM

corboy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Misstyk has supplied important information about
> opportunists in Buddhist
> monk's robes.
>


I didn't mean that people are disguising themselves in monks' robes. I mean the real monks are the ones assaulting women! Remember, in the Buddha's time, it was important to keep monks and nuns separate, and for their own safety nuns weren't allowed around monks unaccompanied. Nor were lone monks allowed to be around a single woman. Even now, it's considered scandalous for a monk travelling with a group (for example, accompanying the Karmapa or Dalai Lama) to have a woman in his room, even if the door is open and nothing inappropriate is going on.

These rules were put in place in the Buddha's time because monks couldn't be trusted in the company of women. Nothing has changed since then; Westerners naively assume that celibate men are "safe", and not tempted by sex, but for most monks, that is far from the truth. Most haven't managed to sublimate that aspect of their nature. The Dalai Lama himself has said that only 10% of monks are suited for the monastic life, which means that 90% of those in robes haven't achieved even a moderate level of spiritual realization or textual study, and therefore aren't to be trusted.

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Toxic Alcohol in India
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 14, 2015 01:31AM

[www.bbc.com]

[quote

3 January 2015 Last updated at 05:35 ET


India toxic alcohol kills 29 in Uttar Pradesh

At least 29 people have been killed after consuming toxic alcohol in India's Uttar Pradesh state, police said.

Residents of a number of villages in Lucknow and Unnao districts fell ill after drinking the alcohol.

More than 100 people are being treated in hospital, with fears the death toll could rise.

Toxic alcohol deaths are a regular occurrence in India, where people often drink cheap country liquor.

Many of the victims were among more than 200 people who had gathered to watch a cricket match on Sunday evening in a village near the state capital, Lucknow, Associated Press quoted government official Anil Garg as saying.

The Press Trust of India quoted the state's chief medical officer SNS Yadav as saying that 123 people had been admitted to at least two hospitals.

Doctors in Lucknow said the condition of some of those being treated was serious - a number of patients had been put on ventilators while some others had lost their eyesight.

The shop owner who sold the homemade alcohol has been arrested, officials said, adding that large containers of chemicals found at the shop had been sent to a laboratory for testing.

"The symptoms gave a clear indication that these patients were served methyl alcohol," Associated Press quoted Dr Kausar Usman, head of the trauma centre at Lucknow's King George's Medical College hospital, as saying.

Despite being toxic, methyl alcohol is sometimes mixed with ethyl alcohol because it is cheaper.

Government spokesman Rajendra Chaudhary told the AFP news agency that a dozen officials had been suspended from different local departments over negligence.

"The guilty will not be spared," he said.

India has witnessed many incidents of toxic alcohol deaths in the past.[/quote]

[www.bbc.com]

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5 December 2011 Last updated at 09:08 ET
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Who, What, Why: Why are Indians dying from alcohol poisoning?
Toxic alcohol patients Hospitals in Calcutta are overflowing with patients suffering from alcohol-related ailments
Continue reading the main story
In today's Magazine

The goats fighting America's plant invasion
So is cancer mostly 'bad luck' or not?
Should tourists be banned from Antarctica?
In search of a personalised diet

More than 100 people have died after drinking toxic alcohol in the Indian state of West Bengal, in the latest example of fatal poisoning in the country. So why does it happen?

Stomach ache, vomiting, fits and even death.

The consequences of drinking illegal alcohol sold on India's streets could not be more serious. An estimated 126 people have died this week in West Bengal, but it's a problem that has blighted the country for years.

In 2008, at least 107 deaths were recorded in Karnataka, with another 41 in Tamil Nadu. The following year, more than 100 died in Gujarat, where alcohol is prohibited - the authorities last week introduced the death penalty for those supplying it.

One of the fatal ingredients is believed to be methyl alcohol, or methanol, a substance which sweetens it but which has industrial purposes as a solvent and antifreeze. Another is ammonium nitrate.

So why are such harmful substances being used to make alcoholic drinks?

One reason is the huge unfulfilled demand for booze which drives supply underground into an unregulated industry, says Aniruddha Mookherjee, who is writing a book about indigenous Indian alcohol.

"The state controls the alcohol business in India, almost completely. In many states, the alcohol is produced by state-appointed groups of people who are friends of the political parties that rule various states. West Bengal is one of the few states where this doesn't happen but in Delhi, for example, all alcohol is sold in government shops," he says.

nown as IMFL - Indian made foreign liquor - the legal supply is produced from molasses, a by-product of India's huge sugar industry. But a heavy duty means it's priced beyond the reach of about 80% of Indians, he says, so about 700ml of whisky or rum can cost as much as 400 rupees (£4.81).

In contrast, the illegal stuff, known as "hooch", derived from cane sugar, is sold for a fraction of the price, about 25 or 30 rupees for a plastic pouch or glass. It's sold discreetly by word of mouth. And without a culture of social drinking, says Mr Mookherjee, people are looking for something that can offer them a cheap kick.

But distilling it safely requires a precise control of the temperature, because if that rises above a certain level then methyl alcohol can form. Sometimes, certain herbs or chemicals might be added to increase the strength or improve the flavour, and these can react badly with other chemicals.

"It's usually a mistake because no-one who does this business wants people killed, because they end up with no business. There's sometimes an error of judgement or sometimes it's deliberately spiked by a rival. These are usually the two reasons why this happens."
Continue reading the main story
Alcohol poisoning - symptoms

confusion
loss of co-ordination
vomiting
irregular or slow breathing
blue-tinged or pale skin
low body temperature (hypothermia)
stupor (being conscious but unresponsive)
unconsciousness (passing out)

Source: Institute of Psychiatry, London

So what do these kind of ingredients do to the body?

"When swallowed in high concentrations, ammonium nitrate may cause headache, dizziness, abdominal pain, vomiting, heart irregularities, convulsions, collapse, and death," says Dr Bob Patton of the Addictions Department at the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College, London.

"Methyl alcohol, or methanol, which is commonly used for antifreeze, can also be added to illicit liquor to increase its alcohol content. Methanol is highly toxic to humans, and ingestion of just 10ml can result in blindness, and 30ml or more is usually fatal."

There have also been cases in Europe of deaths resulting from illegal alcohol production. In Italy in 1986, 23 people died from drinking methanol-adulterated wine, and a year previously, diethylene glycol was found to have been added to Austrian white wine to make it sweeter, but fortunately no-one died.

Alcohol is a poison and in large doses it can kill, says Dr Patton, and the danger with alcohol produced illicitly is that the consumer does not know what substances have been used to produce the liquor, or indeed how much alcohol is present.

In the UK alone, about 500 people go to accident and emergency departments each week with alcohol poisoning, he adds.

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Next Time an Indian Says West is Materialistic.
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 28, 2015 10:50PM

The next time an Indian or Indian guru sneers or purrs that the West
is materialistic, profit driven, and that India is superior in its
Vedic ethics and spiritual values, show them this.

And if any Western born person who takes on sentimental Indophile
mindset, show them this, too.

And if you decide to travel in India, pray you are lucky if you and your
friends don't get into an accident.

And before going there and when returning home, get tested for HIV
and Hep C.


[www.bbc.com]

27 January 2015 Last updated at 15:08 ET Share this pageEmail Print Share this page

Blood for sale: India's illegal 'red market'By Anu Anand

Delhi

Quote

Selling blood in India is against the law, but there is a huge illegal trade in donations
Continue reading the main story
Related Stories
India Hepatitis outbreak kills 12
Arrests in India 'blood scandal'
Illicit India 'blood farm' raided

In a crowded alleyway sandwiched between the wards of a large government hospital in New Delhi, we're searching for a blood tout.

One of the hospital's security guards has instructed us to look for a man with one leg.

We find the tout, Rajesh, sitting on a tattered blanket next to a tea stall drinking milky tea from a flimsy plastic cup as monkeys traverse electrical lines overhead.

Posing as the relatives of an accident victim, we tell him we need three units of blood.

"Three thousand rupees ($48; £30) per donor," Rajesh says. "I'll arrange everything."

Selling blood and paying donors in India is illegal, but across the country, a vast "red market" proliferates.

Taboos

Blood is in chronic short supply in India, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), which stipulates that every country needs at least a 1% reserve.

India, with its population of 1.2 billion people, needs 12 million units of blood annually but collects only 9 million - a 25% deficit.

In summer, the shortfall often hits 50%, leading to a spurt in professional donors cashing in on the needs of desperate patients.

Rajesh used to be a housepainter, but after losing his leg in an accident and spending months recovering at this hospital, he realised he could earn commissions by supplying donors to those in need of blood transfusions in exchange for cash.

Little has changed since then. Demand still outstrips supply. Private blood banks are legal as long as they obtain a government licence for $120 (£80).

The illicit market in blood has simply moved underground, or in some cases, into the realms of the macabre.

Caged for their blood

In 2008, Hari Kamat, an impoverished artisan from the state of Bihar, was rescued along with 16 other people from a "blood farm" in the town of Gorakhpur, close to India's border with Nepal.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote
You can see by the number of pricks on the arm that they're a professional donor, but the blood banks don't bother”
End Quote
Sudarshan Agarwal

President of the Rotary Blood Bank

The victims, all poor migrants, were lured to a house on the pretext of being given jobs and were then convinced to sell their blood for the princely sum of $7 per unit.

"Initially, they did it willingly," says Neha Dixit, who covered the story for Tehelka magazine.

"But when I met Hari Kamat in the hospital recuperating, he said that after a while, they became too weak to resist and when they had the energy to try and escape, they were beaten and locked up."

Hari and the others were forced to give blood three times per week for a period of two and a half years. The Red Cross says donors should give blood only once every eight to 12 weeks.

They were never paid the amount they were promised, and received only a token sum.

"It was actually like a dairy," says Ms Dixit. "These people were caged, not given enough food and their blood was extracted 16 times a month."

Ms Dixit says the blood was then sold to local hospitals and blood banks for $18 a unit - 15 times the government rate. Some private blood banks were accused of being complicit, putting official stamps and barcodes on these bags of blood

More here


Quote


[news.bbc.co.uk]


Illicit India 'blood farm' raided.
By Sunil Raman
BBC News, Delhi
.
Arrests in India 'blood scandal' June 16 2009
.
Pol.e in the Indian state of Rajasthan have arrested five people following complaints that doctors at a hospital forcibly took blood from children.



[news.bbc.co.uk]

Quote


Indian police say they have found 17 weakened people in a raid on a house believed to be at the centre of an illicit blood donation scheme.

Syringes and blood bags were also found at the farm in Uttar Pradesh state.

The donors were impoverished migrant workers. Some of them are said to have been giving blood for up to two years.

It is unclear if they were held against their will. Five arrests have been made over what is alleged to be a scheme to supply blood to nearby hospitals.

Another two suspects - named as Pappu Yadav and Jayant Sarkar - are being sought in the case, police chief Piyush Mordia told the BBC.

The police raided the property in the eastern district of Gorakhpur on Saturday but news of it has only just emerged.

'Risk to patients'

Mr Mordia said the farm originally held 25 people from the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Orissa.

Some of them escaped while others stayed back.

"These 17 people seem to have the life sucked out of them," Mr Mordia said.

.

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Report from a University of Chicago Student
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 29, 2015 10:26PM

(Corboy report: This story generated much discussion.

And note that the person who wrote, described how she had
been in India once before, had learned some Hindi and
was already aware that her complexion would attract
attention.

Quoted from below

Quote

When I went to India, nearly a year ago, I thought I was prepared. I had been to India before; I was a South Asian Studies major; I spoke some Hindi. I knew that as a white woman I would be seen as a promiscuous being and a sexual prize. I was prepared to follow the University of Chicago’s advice to women, to dress conservatively, to not smile in the streets. And I was prepared for the curiosity my red hair, fair skin and blue eyes would arouse.

[ireport.cnn.com]

Quote

India: the Story You Never Wanted to Hear

By RoseChasm | Posted August 18, 2013 | Chicago

.CNN PRODUCER NOTE Please note that CNN cannot independently verify the events described in this post. You can read more about this story on CNN.com.

RoseChasm says she shared her account of studying abroad in India and experiencing repeated sexual harassment in hopes of spreading 'international exposure about what women travelers and residents experience in India.'

The South Asian Studies student says she is currently on a mental leave of absence from the University of Chicago, but expects to return to classes in the fall.

The University of Chicago issued the following statement:

Quote

'Nothing is more important to us at the University of Chicago than caring for the safety and well-being of our students, here in Chicago and wherever they go around the world in the course of their studies. The University offers extensive support and advice to students before, during and after their trips abroad, and we are constantly assessing and updating that preparation in light of events and our students' experiences. We also place extremely high value on the knowledge our students seek by traveling and studying other civilizations and cultures, and we are committed to ensuring they can do so in safety while enriching their intellectual lives.'

Dipesh Chakrabarty, a University of Chicago professor who was in India for the first three weeks of the session, told CNN that he was unaware of RoseChasm’s situation. He noted, though, that the university tries to prepare students for what they might encounter while abroad.

Quote

'Both faculty and staff in Chicago and our local Indian staff counsel students before and during the trip about precautions they need to take in a place like India,' Chakrabarty said in an e-mail. 'Ensuring student safety and well-being is the top priority of both the College and staff and faculty associated with the program.'

'Every year about 25 students enroll in it and several have gone on to become India-specialists by doing PhDs on the country and its past and present. This is the first time that I personally have come across such a serious problem,' he said.

View some of the responses this iReport has gotten and share your thoughts.

Update: As 2013 ends, RoseChasm a reflection on her experience. Read it here.
- katie, CNN iReport producer

.When people ask me about my experience studying abroad in India, I always face the same dilemma. How does one convey the contradiction that over the past few months has torn my life apart, and convey it in a single succinct sentence?

“India was wonderful," I go with, "but extremely dangerous for women.” Part of me dreads the follow-up questions, and part of me hopes for more. I'm torn between believing in the efficacy of truth, and being wary of how much truth people want.

Because, how do I describe my three months in the University of Chicago Indian civilizations program when it was half dream, half nightmare? Which half do I give .

Do I tell them about our first night in the city of Pune, when we danced in the Ganesha festival, and leave it at that? Or do I go on and tell them how the festival actually stopped when the American women started dancing, so that we looked around to see a circle of men filming our every move?

Do I tell them about bargaining at the bazaar for beautiful saris costing a few dollars a piece, and not mention the men who stood watching us, who would push by us, clawing at our breasts and groins?

When people compliment me on my Indian sandals, do I talk about the man who stalked me for forty-five minutes after I purchased them, until I yelled in his face in a busy crowd?

Do I describe the lovely hotel in Goa when my strongest memory of it was lying hunched in a fetal position, holding a pair of scissors with the door bolted shut, while the staff member of the hotel who had tried to rape my roommate called me over and over, and breathing into the phone?

How, I ask, was I supposed to tell these stories at a Christmas party?

But how could I talk about anything else when the image of the smiling man who masturbated at me on a bus was more real to me than my friends, my family, or our Christmas tree? All those nice people were asking the questions that demanded answers for which they just weren't prepared.

When I went to India, nearly a year ago, I thought I was prepared. I had been to India before; I was a South Asian Studies major; I spoke some Hindi. I knew that as a white woman I would be seen as a promiscuous being and a sexual prize. I was prepared to follow the University of Chicago’s advice to women, to dress conservatively, to not smile in the streets. And I was prepared for the curiosity my red hair, fair skin and blue eyes would arouse.

But I wasn't prepared.

There was no way to prepare for the eyes, the eyes that every day stared with such entitlement at my body, with no change of expression whether I met their gaze or not. Walking to the fruit seller's or the tailer's I got stares so sharp that they sliced away bits of me piece by piece. I was prepared for my actions to be taken as sex signals; I was not prepared to understand that there were no sex signals, only women's bodies to be taken, or hidden away.

I covered up, but I did not hide. And so I was taken, by eye after eye, picture after picture. Who knows how many photos there are of me in India, or on the internet: photos of me walking, cursing, flipping people off. Who knows how many strangers have used my image as pornography, and those of my friends. I deleted my fair share, but it was a drop in the ocean-- I had no chance of taking back everything they took

For three months I lived this way, in a traveler's heaven and a woman's hell. I was stalked, groped, masturbated at; and yet I had adventures beyond my imagination. I hoped that my nightmare would end at the tarmac, but that was just the beginning. Back home Christmas red seemed faded after vermillion, and food tasted spiceless and bland. Friends, and family, and classes, and therapy, and everything at all was so much less real than the pain, the rage that was coursing through my blood, screaming so loud it deafened me to all other sounds. And after months of elation at living in freedom, months of running from the memories breathing down my neck, I woke up on April Fool's Day and found I wanted to be dead

The student counselors diagnosed me with a personality disorder and prescribed me pills I wouldn't take. After a public breakdown I ended up in a psych ward for two days held against my will, and was released on the condition that I took a "mental leave of absence" from school and went to live with my mother. I thought I had lost my mind; I didn't connect any of it to India-- I had moved on. But then a therapist diagnosed me with PTSD and I realized I hadn't moved a single inch. I had frozen in time. And I’d fallen. And I’d shattered.

But I wasn't the only one, the only woman from my trip to be diagnosed with PTSD, to be forced into a psych ward, to wake up wanting to be dead. And I am not the only woman who is on a mental leave of absence from the University of Chicago for reasons of sexual assault and is unable to take classes.

Understanding my pain has helped me own it, if not relieve it. PTSD strikes me as a euphemism, because a syndrome implies a cure. What, may I ask, is the cure for seeing reality, of feeling for three months what its like for one's humanity to be taken away? But I thank God for my experiences in India, and for my disillusionment. Truth is a gift, a burden, and a responsibility. And I mean to share it.

This is the story you don't want to hear when you ask me about India. But this is the story you need.

An assortment of comments following this article.

Quote


that we had to cut short our planned 2 weeks stay in India. Before arriving in India, we traveled all throughout Southeast Asia,China and Japan and never once experienced anything remotely like we did in India. A shame really, because India is such a beautiful country; Any female traveler would be insane to visit India.

My girlfriend and I traveled around India last year and I have to concur with everything written here.

I'm not a violent person, but I found myself wanting to smash heaps of people, everyday, due to their insolent and inexcusable behaviors and actions toward my girlfriend. They stared at her; made lewd gestures at her; groped her when I wasn't looking; She was so traumatized by the whole that we had to cut short our planned 2 weeks stay in India.

Before arriving in India, we traveled all throughout Southeast Asia,China and Japan and never once experienced anything remotely like we did in India. A shame really, because India is such a beautiful country; Any female traveler would be insane to visit India. ...
.
November 3, 2013



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/06/2018 12:08AM by corboy.

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Hannah Cross Perspectives
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: January 29, 2015 10:44PM

[hannahandtheworld.com]

Quote


Seeing the wondrous Taj Mahal rise up out of the early morning mist; being completely entranced by Jodhpur’s Mehrangarh Fort and its Hall of Mirrors; sitting on the floor of a woman’s home, learning how to eat with my fingers; being fed and looked after by a beautiful Indian woman and her mother on a train to Delhi; losing myself in the sunrise at Hampi…

I had so many incredible, personal moments in India. Have you read my blog posts about them? No, you haven’t. Why? Because I haven’t written them.

When I come to write personal accounts of my time in India, I get a bad taste in my mouth and decide to leave it for another day. I just can’t talk about India as if it was this beautiful, positive experience that I will forever cherish. It’s not that there weren’t beautiful, positive moments; it’s that they were all so closely tied in with feelings of anger and fear that I can’t separate the two.

This week I came across this article by RoseChasm (RC): India: the Story You Never Wanted to Hear. It is one woman’s account of her time spent studying in India, which was “half dream half nightmare”.


When people ask me about my experience studying abroad in India, I always face the same dilemma. How does one convey the contradiction that over the past few months has torn my life apart, and convey it in a single succinct sentence?

“India was wonderful,” I go with, “but extremely dangerous for women.”

As soon as I read this, I knew exactly what she meant. It is a dilemma. Even now I want to point out that I am not on any kind of vendetta against the country. In fact, I have consciously chosen to be relatively quiet about my 10 weeks in India is because I feel it is discourteous to all the wonderful people I met there to only criticise it. And yet I feel it would be misleading to write about India without criticising it.


few days ago, a response to the original article was published: Same India-Different Story. I clicked on the link expecting to read another woman describe her time in India as a perfectly pleasant experience. Instead, I was disappointed to read a completely inadequate response to the initial piece.

The “different story” is in fact no different at all. She states that she “was also very frightened”, “felt violated many times” and was “targeted with harassment”. Of course, she also states that she met “a solid handful of warm and honest Indian men”. In essence, she describes the very same contradiction that RC chose to write about. The only difference is that RC did not explicitly say that it was not every single Indian man who harassed her.

The rest of her response points out that harassment and rape occurs just as much in America and that the original article is dangerous as it creates a stereotype which can be judged harshly.

Yes, sexual violence does occur worldwide. Women have to ward off the unwanted advances of men whether in Mumbai or Milan. However, that it is as common in somewhere like America as it is in India, I cannot say. I find it hard to believe based on my own experience. But that is not the argument.

I can’t abide it when people pick on a singular aspect of an argument (not the central discussion) and then respond by pushing their own, separate quarrel to the fore. Another example of this is when, in response to an article about female sexual harassment, one states that the same thing happens to men and carries on an argument about the fact. Very well, that is true – but that is not the point of the initial discussion.

So what am I getting at here?

RC’s article presents a side of her experience in India which needs to be discussed. It does not mean that there are no good experiences to be had there or that every Indian man is out to get you. But it does mean that women travelling alone in India need to exercise caution. No matter what the situation is in other countries, sexual violence on women is a real, undeniable problem in India. Women travelling there need to be alert at all times and should think seriously beforehand about how they will handle and cope with the harassment.

And just to make it really clear – I am not in any way, shape or form saying that a woman does not need to take precautions in Western society. What I am saying is that unwanted attention from men in India is more prevalent and overt than one would experience elsewhere.

and

The stress of RC’s visit to India manifested itself as PTSD upon her return to America. I came home with a few demons of my own, which I think I am still trying to exorcise.

Before visiting India I had high expectations. I knew to expect the dirt, noise, pollution, etc. and that did not phase me (I had just spent 12 weeks living out of a truck in Africa after all). But I also had hopes for something more… something that would make it all worth it.

Quite frankly, I came home disappointed. Here and there I had glimpses of something special – that magical, mystical India of my dreams – but they were so bogged down in all the other shit that I found it hard to make them the focus of my journey there.

As my friend Davinia pointed out, “I remember when you were there and I was speaking to you, you ALWAYS mentioned [the harassment]. It was ubiquitous.” Skype conversations with her and others were an opportunity where I could finally have a good rage about one thing or another that had angered me since my last chat with them, whether it was the cat calling, groping or something completely different like the outright hypocrisy of such a supposedly spiritual nation.

Occasionally I see India on the TV or flip through some of my photos and I briefly feel a warm glow in my chest. It wasn’t all bad. Sadly, however, I don’t know if I will ever write a really personal piece about India and leave out the negative side.

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How a Cautious Traveler Almost Landed in Jail
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: February 20, 2015 02:49AM

Do note how very well staged this set up was.

Quote

The obvious question is: why did an intelligent woman of 28 fall for such a plan? Bowles pauses, then replies: "Right from the start alarm bells were ringing, but looking back on it they were very careful not to give me any time alone or with other travellers. I kept thinking there would be an opportunity to opt out but before I knew it, it was happening. Originally I felt that I had wanted to show the first pair I met that not all westerners were standoff-ish, and to this day I find it hard to believe that they weren't genuine people. I was determined to believe that people are generally good and trustworthy, despite some negative experiences I'd had on the trip. I have learned a lot about myself, not least that I have to lose my fear of letting people down. I trusted people that I shouldn't have."

* She was in Goa, and alone, after her friend had gone home.

*The victim was singled out and courted over multiple
days.

* She was relieved that the men were not hitting on her in the obvious
manner. Many women travelers in India will be fed up and
quite tired after time spent rebuffing male advances. One readily feels both
fatigued and relieved to meet men who are well mannered.

Quote

As she was walking through a market one day, Bowles was greeted by two young Indian men, who asked "how is your life?" They got into a conversation, and she ended up having tea with them. The well-to-do pair talked about their families and their lives as jewellery designers in Mumbai, further up the coast.

An open ended question, about her life. Not another tiresome question
about why no boyfriend, are you married, or can you help me with funds?

Bang. One's guard is down.

Quote

They asked her why Europeans were friendly to Indian visitors to Europe, but standoff-ish in India, making her feel guilty.

* Guilt is a constant companion in India. Any traveler unless
her or she is an utter psychopath will feel constant grief
seeing the beggars and poverty all around. This chronic
guilt can be easily manipulated.

Quote

he following day only one of the duo turned up but her initial fears that he would try to hit on her came to nothing and, Bowles says, they passed a nice, relaxed day together. Returning from the market on the back of his scooter, he shot past the turning to her beach, announcing they would instead head to his cousin's home for dinner.

(She is on the man's scooter, so she cannot just jump away-- risk
of injury. It is exhilirating to ride on the back of a scooter. And
by being willing to do so, X revealed she'd let her guard down.)


Several other men were there, and during the meal they casually mentioned an opportunity to earn some money. They said several other tourists had helped them by shipping gems abroad using their duty free allowance of £10,000 – earning themselves £4,000 in the process. All Bowles had to do was pack up a parcel containing the jewels, then send it overseas to herself. She would collect it at the other end and hand it to their representative.

*Sharing meals. One bonds during such times.

* She is kept up until 2 AM.

This persons social environment is surrounded, taken over, controlled
by this group of men. Cult experts call this milieu control.



[quoteBowles's immediate reaction was that it sounded too good to be true and she wasn't interested. At this point a smartly dressed, likeable, well-educated man arrived, who Bowles now knows was designed to give the venture credibility.]

She is kept up until 2 AM.

Each time she changed the subject, the conversation kept returning to the proposal. When she revealed she'd considered travelling to Australia next, she was offered a free flight. She said she'd sleep on the idea and finally, at 2am, was dropped back at her beach hut having agreed to meet them at 8am.[/quote]

* Well rehearsed replies to all of the victim's attempts to get free.

*Sleep deprivation. This compromises critical thinking. Six hours is not
enough sleep.

To this day, Bowles doesn't really know why she met them again, but has put it down to her over-developed "English" sense of not wanting to let them down.

(IMO she is unaware that this gang surrounded her and completely took over
her social environment, food, disrupted her daily routine. It would
be interesting to know if these blokes studied pick up artist (PUA)
websites. Just one pick up artist can be persuasive. Imagine the
potential when an entire group of PUA's share a well rehearsed
strategy.)

All of this was well staged, well rehearsed.

India is filled with educated young men who, after
college, cannot find employment commensurate with their talents,
and whose families are desperate for them to earn money.

This talent pool of young, educated men is available for
sophisticated group scams.

For more, read about black collar workers in Suketu Mehta's book,
Maximum City, Bombay Lost and Found.

And...how, from the beginning, the protagonist was set up to feel guilty.

She noted that her British sense of fairness and reluctance to let
them down also subverted her sense of caution.

And...the con artists were clever enough to pay her plane flight from India
to Germany!

[www.theguardian.com]

Quote

How did I manage to fall for a Goa gem scam?

Sarah Bowles is articulate and bright. Here she talks about how she lost her life savings in India to fraudsters
A street market in Goa
Where it all began: A friendly encounter in a street market in Goa. Photograph: Duncan Willetts/Allstar for the Guardian Duncan Willetts/Allstar/Guardian

Miles Brignall

Saturday 25 January 2014 02.00 EST Last modified on Tuesday 3 June 2014 00.31 EDT

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When Sarah Bowles woke up in a Berlin youth hostel on a chilly morning just before Christmas, she felt both sick and relieved. Sick because she knew that her £6,500 life savings were lost and she would have to explain to her family why she was in Germany rather than travelling in India. And yet relieved that her ordeal was over, not least as she had avoided the real threat of ending up in prison.

Her story? She had fallen for one of the growing number of ingenious jewellery scams being perpetrated against lone travellers – particularly in the Indian state of Goa, but also elsewhere.

Back in the UK, the articulate, educated 28-year-old from Surrey can't quite believe what happened. In an interview with Guardian Money, she reveals how she fell for a highly sophisticated scam in which the fraudsters were so confident of ripping her off that they gave her a plane ticket to Berlin and €500 in cash.

However, Bowles got off relatively lightly, she has since discovered. Another woman who was similarly conned reportedly lost $50,000. Her hope is that others will learn from her experience.

Bowles's story starts last month. After travelling around India with a friend, who left to go home, she found herself alone for the first time, staying in a beach hut in Goa. It was part of a trip of a lifetime for which she had saved for years, and she was planning the next leg.

As she was walking through a market one day, Bowles was greeted by two young Indian men, who asked "how is your life?" They got into a conversation, and she ended up having tea with them. The well-to-do pair talked about their families and their lives as jewellery designers in Mumbai, further up the coast. They asked her why Europeans were friendly to Indian visitors to Europe, but standoff-ish in India, making her feel guilty.

The conversation then turned to a nearby market they would visit the next day. Bowles had been planning to visit it at some point, and so they agreed to go together. The following day only one of the duo turned up but her initial fears that he would try to hit on her came to nothing and, Bowles says, they passed a nice, relaxed day together. Returning from the market on the back of his scooter, he shot past the turning to her beach, announcing they would instead head to his cousin's home for dinner.
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Several other men were there, and during the meal they casually mentioned an opportunity to earn some money. They said several other tourists had helped them by shipping gems abroad using their duty free allowance of £10,000 – earning themselves £4,000 in the process. All Bowles had to do was pack up a parcel containing the jewels, then send it overseas to herself. She would collect it at the other end and hand it to their representative.

Bowles's immediate reaction was that it sounded too good to be true and she wasn't interested. At this point a smartly dressed, likeable, well-educated man arrived, who Bowles now knows was designed to give the venture credibility.

Each time she changed the subject, the conversation kept returning to the proposal. When she revealed she'd considered travelling to Australia next, she was offered a free flight. She said she'd sleep on the idea and finally, at 2am, was dropped back at her beach hut having agreed to meet them at 8am.

To this day, Bowles doesn't really know why she met them again, but has put it down to her over-developed "English" sense of not wanting to let them down. She was shown the jewels but not allowed to touch them. A parcel was made up, and before she knew it she had agreed to travel to Berlin. The men took her to a local post office and handed over the parcel addressed to "General Post Office Berlin".

All through the process the men repeatedly emphasised that they were trusting her with their very expensive jewels and begged her not to let them down.

While the parcel cleared customs (expected to take three days) the men insisted Bowles stay in their swanky apartment in Goa and she was accompanied at all times. But after two days she took a phone call that turned her world upside down.

An officious-sounding man, purportedly from Indian Customs, said he suspected her of jewel smuggling and wanted to know why there was no purchase receipt to accompany the customs form. He gave her 24 hours to prove that she had paid for the items, or things would "not be good for her".

At this news, panic broke out among the group and in her words, they were all "visibly shitting themselves", and talking about going to jail. She was told that their lawyer would deal with the matter, but it might be better for all concerned if they got her out of the country.

An old chip and pin reader was produced and she says it was clear that she would have to pay for the items – in effect to provide a receipt and avoid the prospect of being arrested. She was promised that the money would be reimbursed four days later. The gang knew she had £6,500 in her account, and that was the sum that was inputted into the machine.

The gang was concerned that her bank, Lloyds, would decline the payment, but it went through. The date, she ruefully recalls, was Friday 13 December.

Within hours Bowles was heading to the airport. The men provided the flight ticket and to give the scam credence, they gave her a bundle of cash – €500 – to pay for a hotel when she arrived in Berlin. She was reassured that the Indian customs officer had been bribed and it was going to be safe to leave.

When she arrived in a freezing Berlin, Bowles found a hostel and called her contact back in Goa. Her calls were not answered, but a text prompted a response asking her how she was. Within a day, all the Indian mobile numbers she'd been given went dead. Alarm bells had already been ringing, but the truth of what had happened to her finally became clear when it emerged there was no General Post Office in Berlin. After three nights she was forced to call her parents and say she was coming home.

"I now know, from reading various accounts online, that this is a widespread scam practised across different parts of India. I suspect it has survived because of its reliance on making the victim feel they are a guilty party and less likely to report it."

Concerned that she had handed over her card details to the gang, and wanting to know why Lloyds had allowed such a large payment to go through, Bowles contacted the bank. However, she says Lloyds's complex fraud department couldn't have been less helpful. After a very brief look at her notes they asked her: "What did you expect to happen?"

Bowles was told that the payment had gone through unquestioned as it had been a chip and pin purchase, and that she would have to put the loss down to experience. However, Lloyds has since agreed to refund her the £193 overseas fees the transction incurred as a goodwill gesture.

The obvious question is: why did an intelligent woman of 28 fall for such a plan? Bowles pauses, then replies: "Right from the start alarm bells were ringing, but looking back on it they were very careful not to give me any time alone or with other travellers. I kept thinking there would be an opportunity to opt out but before I knew it, it was happening. Originally I felt that I had wanted to show the first pair I met that not all westerners were standoff-ish, and to this day I find it hard to believe that they weren't genuine people. I was determined to believe that people are generally good and trustworthy, despite some negative experiences I'd had on the trip. I have learned a lot about myself, not least that I have to lose my fear of letting people down. I trusted people that I shouldn't have."

• Sarah Bowles is not her real name
What happens if you are forced to hand over your card details?

Bowles' case raises the interesting question: does the bank have any responsibility if the cardholder hands over their details under duress and their customer loses out?

If you are kidnapped or physically threatened with violence and are forced to hand over your card and pin, the banks will often refund in full – although they will want to see evidence in the form of a police report. Disputes in this area often centre around what constitutes a physical threat, which is very case specific.

In Bowles's case, she handed over her card to make the payment voluntarily (albeit under the perceived threat of ending up in an Indian jail) and in banking terms "authorised" the payment. Had she gone to local police and told them she been physically threatened, Lloyds would have been more likely to refund her.

A Lloyds spokeswoman told Guardian Money: "We have sophisticated fraud detection systems in place to protect our customers. However in relation to this case, as the customer authorised the transaction we were unable to help on this occasion."

Bowles said a chargeback would have been highly unlikely to have worked in this instance, as a chargeback attempts to rely on the money being available in the benefiting account. Fraudsters are generally quick to move money on.

A spokesman for the Financial Ombudsman Service, to which consumers often turn after being denied bank refunds, says: "If a consumer has been forced, or compelled to hand over their card or pin number there are a number of factors that the ombudsman would consider when looking at the complaint. These range from the circumstances surrounding the incident, the involvement of the police/reporting of the theft and the subsequent actions of the bank.

"We have seen cases in the past where claims have been rejected because the consumer was not physically forced to give up their card. The threat – implicit or direct – that compels a consumer to hand over their card should always be considered seriously by a bank, as should any police report supporting this.

"However, we would not expect the bank or credit provider to be a source of compensation because a crime has been committed against a consumer. If you are the victim of a crime and your card is stolen, then the most sensible thing to do is report the loss of your card as soon as possible and contact the police. It is rare for the ombudsman to see a case where allegations of blackmail may be involved. Realistically, these cases are better suited to a court to address, in light of the complexities involved in investigating the allegations."

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Re: Travel Hazards and Issues India Nepal Bhutan
Posted by: sunny99 ()
Date: February 27, 2015 04:14AM

Wow. Stumbled upon this post while researching traveling to India.
These guys have manipulation down to a science! This was such an elaborate scam, it's scary.

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Re: Travel Hazards and Issues India Nepal Bhutan
Posted by: sunny99 ()
Date: February 27, 2015 10:06AM

Here's another one for you:

[www.abc.net.au]

Japanese woman accuses Indian tourist guide of drugging then raping her: police

A Japanese woman has accused an Indian tourist guide of drugging and then raping her in the historic city of Jaipur, police said, the latest in a series of sex attacks on foreigners in the country.

The 20-year-old told police the guide offered to show her around Jaipur on his motorbike on Sunday before assaulting her in an isolated part of the city in the evening.

"The accused offered to drop her at the hotel in the evening but took her to a desolate area... and allegedly raped her," Dharam Chand Jain, police inspector general for Jaipur district, told AFP.

The man fled the scene after the woman's screams were overheard by villagers who rushed to help, according to local media reports.

The woman said she was given food laced with drugs before being attacked by the man thought to be aged about 25, inspector general Jain said, adding that blood tests had been conducted on the woman to determine the type of drugs used.

The case is the latest in a string of high-profile sex attacks that have highlighted high levels of violence against women in the world's second-most-populous country.

Six men from the eastern city of Kolkata were charged last month with kidnapping and gang-raping a 22-year-old Japanese tourist.

The woman was allegedly held hostage for a month after travelling to the Buddhist shrine of Bodh Gaya in neighbouring Bihar state.

India has faced intense scrutiny over its efforts to curb violence against women following the fatal gang rape of a medical student in New Delhi in December 2012, which sparked a global outcry.

The Japanese embassy said it was gathering information about the attack and could offer no further comment.
Sexual violence hurts tourism

The attack risks handing another blow to the country's tourism industry. Britain and France revised their travel advisories for India last January, warning visitors about the risk of sexual attacks, after two cases of foreigners being raped.

"After such incidents tourism is the first casualty," Gour Kanjilal, executive director of the Indian Association of Tour Operators, told AFP.

"We have been issuing instructions to tourists not to accept help or food from strangers," he said.

Jaipur and the rest of Rajasthan state draws thousands of tourists every year to its palaces and forts built by the former Maharaja rulers, some in dusty-pink sandstone.

Sex attacks against women from Western countries have received major media coverage in India while similar attacks on local women have drawn only a fraction of the attention.

Last January, a 51-year-old Danish tourist was robbed and gang-raped at knifepoint in Delhi in a case that also grabbed national and international headlines.

In 2013 a Swiss cyclist holidaying in the central state of Madhya Pradesh was robbed and raped by five men, all of whom were later jailed for life.

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Re: Travel Hazards and Issues India Nepal Bhutan
Posted by: sunny99 ()
Date: February 27, 2015 11:57PM

Misstyk Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Bodh Gaya attracts sexual predators, sadly.
> Spiritually-minded young tourists visiting the
> sacred site are easy prey, as their defenses are
> down, and they tend to be naive and trusting.
> There have been incidents over the years of
> Tibetan and Bhutanese monks assaulting young women
> making a pilgrimage to the site.
>
> Do not assume that any male outside your group of
> friends is safe to walk through the park with,
> whether he's wearing street clothes or monks'
> robes.


Should never trust anyone, male or female, based on external appearances...

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