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Gail Tredwell interview in Tehelka - Kerela newspaper
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 11, 2014 05:36PM

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(quoted from Tehelka newspaper article below)

"The police have filed criminal cases against those posting in favour of your book on Facebook…

This demonstrates the political and monetary influence of Mata Amritanadamayi and her organisation in Kerala and elsewhere in the world. I am very disturbed by the use of police power to try to silence freedom of speech of the many voices that obviously agree that something is very wrong. Such an action could not only intimidate freedom of speech but also incite violence and retaliation against the people who speak out."

‘Many people who possess information against Amma are terrified to come forward’

When Australian writer Gail Tredwell’s book Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion and Pure Madness was published last November, it sent shockwaves among the devotees of Mata Amritanandamayi, popularly known as the ‘hugging saint’. Based on her 20-year experience at Amma’s ashram, Tredwell’s book exposed some ugly truths about physical abuse and embezzlement of funds. The book triggered a chain of reactions, which resulted in the Kerala Police filing cases against some Facebook users for allegedly “posting and sharing defamatory materials against Amma”. In a candid chat with Jeemon Jacob, Tredwell talks about her tell-all book.
Jeemon Jacob

2014-03-08 , Issue 10 Volume 11 Print FriendlyPrint & Email
Comment Breaking her silence Former devotee Gail Tredwell
Breaking her silence Former devotee Gail Tredwell

EDITED EXCERPTS FROM AN INTERVIEW

*You have come up with the book almost 15 years after leaving Mata Amritanandamayi’s ashram. Why did it take so long?

(Gail)It took me many years of rest, good nutrition, support from friends and a healthy, balanced lifestyle to gain perspective. The first few years after I left the Amritanandamayi Math were very hard. Physically, I was in a very bad shape, I was also suffering from an enormous amount of emotional pain, confusion and feelings of betrayal and loss. During those early years, it was impossible to speak about any of the harm done. I did not have the clarity of mind nor the strength to face the retribution that would inevitably follow if I shared even a fraction of what I knew. I needed to heal first. During those initial years, I wanted to forget everything and move on with my life.

"Eventually, despite my fears, I felt I had no choice but to publish my story; that I morally owed it to the public and the numerous devotees to share what I knew. So, I spent the past four years working on my book.

*If you had written the book earlier, don’t you think it would have helped hundreds of devotees who flocked to Amma’s ashram?

(Gail)I could not have written the book earlier. In order to write authentically, I had to relive all those experiences. I was not emotionally strong enough to take on such an enormous challenge and the inevitable backlash so soon. I needed time to heal. I had also a lot of soul-searching to do for myself. In order to be of true service, I knew it was imperative I write my story with detachment. I had to write from my heart with a conscience free from anger and revenge. If I had attempted this book any time before I did, I would have been doing a disservice.

*How do you respond to the allegations by the ashram that you tried to kill Amma?

(Gail)I deny all allegations that I tried to kill Amma who, at the time of these supposed murder attempts, I loved with all my heart and to whom I had devoted my life. To destroy my character and credibility, there have been numerous false stories about me posted online, including three completely dishonest accounts of innocent incidents, which were wrongly portrayed as attempts to harm Amma. Here is the truth of those incidents:

One day, I found some mushrooms growing in the ashram compound. Out of my innocent devotion, I excitedly cooked a dish out of them for Amma. She ate it but later became gravely ill. The resident Ayurvedic doctor then informed me that they were poisonous. Naturally, I was devastated and full of remorse.

"Another tale was about a boating incident in Sweden. Amma and I were in a tiny paddleboat in a small pond. I innocently stood for a moment, which accidentally tilted the craft slightly and caused it to take in water. Within seconds, it capsized. Thankfully, Amma being very comfortable in the water immediately rose to the surface. Even though the accident was uneventful, it briefly frightened me and some devotees watching from the shore. But after a nice hot shower and a change of clothes, we were both fine.

"I believe the other false story is about my giving Amma an alleged intentional overdose of medicine. Amma is diabetic and it was my duty to administer her insulin. Such patients are advised to eat regular meals low in starch and monitor their glucose often. All of these factors were out of my control when Amma sat for long hours with the public and ate white rice and coconut-based curry for lunch and dinner. Her glucose levels were in a constant state of fluctuation and at those times, it was impossible to accurately administer the appropriate amount of slow and fast acting insulin. Over a span of 20 years, such accidents are bound to happen. None of these incidents were attempts on Amma’s life. But they are now being used dishonestly to try to destroy my character and credibility.

*Amma runs mega charity shows all over the world. Are they for real?

(Gail)It is well known that Amma does a lot of charity. What is not clear is the amount of donations received and where the money actually goes. When I was living in the ashram, donations meant for charity were given to Amma’s family, and exaggerating claims of charity was a common practice. Several years ago, a former ashram head of accounts reported a 50 percent exaggeration rate on the number and cost of homes built for the poor. He was swiftly silenced and has remained quiet ever since.

I left 14 years ago, so I cannot say what is happening nowadays. But, there have been credible reports that large amounts of donations have been hoarded away in foreign bank accounts, instead of being used as the donors desired. And I have heard reports about politicians and top officials receiving free medical treatment, including expensive surgeries, at her hospital. Whereas very little is actually done for the poor. Because of the vast wealth involved, these matters should be investigated by the government and journalists. Can Amma’s family document how they became so wealthy?

*You have alleged that Amma and other senior disciples were involved in smuggling gold and transferring donations to the accounts of her relatives. Do you remember any incidents in which the government monitored her shady deals?

(Gail)I don’t recall any government investigation on smuggling gold or use of donations to create personal wealth for Amma’s family.

"But there was one incident of possible government audit, which I have written about in my book, when Amma became concerned about the threat of an audit. We were touring Gujarat when Amma received a message via the head of accounts about a possible financial audit and raid. I don’t know if it actually took place. But a woman known to me who was then living at the ashram recently posted on my Facebook blog that “what you have written is so true and powerful and I thank you for that. I remember myself having to burn, upon Amma’s specific request, all the accounting books of the café”.

"(Gail continues)Again, I have been gone for 14 years, so maybe things have changed over the years. With proper investigation, some of the financial questions may come to light.

*Your book tells a great deal about the unholy affairs in the ashram and tries to expose a globally revered figure. Do you have more evidence to support your book?

(Gail)There are already numerous testimonials posted online about Amma’s physical and emotional abuse and other private behaviour contrary to her public image. I know several people who can corroborate various elements of my book, as was done for the Rolling Stone article in August 2012. For example, there are women who can attest to the fact that Amma menstruates like a normal woman even though her biography claims that she was “pure”, a supposed sign of her claimed divinity.

"Many people who possess information are terrified to come forward. They may live in India or have relatives close to the ashram, which could subject them to harm. Others simply want to get on with their lives and prefer to avoid the emotional stress that speaking out would create. Many have already suffered great persecution from which they have not fully healed. Others fear the damage it would do to their professional lives.

Have you received any threats after the book was released last November?

(Gail)I have received numerous hate mails incited by the ashram campaign to destroy my character.

*Do you fear Amma’s clout?

(Gail)Amma has devotees all over the world. Most of them are very good people. However, I am sure there are also the fanatical types — like those sending me hate mail — who might go to any length to protect Amma’s image.

*Do you think the book will be banned in India?

Gail)My memoirs are completely truthful but unwelcome to Amma’s devotees. So, there may be desperate attempts to ban the book.

The police have filed criminal cases against those posting in favour of your book on Facebook…

This demonstrates the political and monetary influence of Mata Amritanadamayi and her organisation in Kerala and elsewhere in the world. I am very disturbed by the use of police power to try to silence freedom of speech of the many voices that obviously agree that something is very wrong. Such an action could not only intimidate freedom of speech but also incite violence and retaliation against the people who speak out.

jeemonj@gmail.com

(Published in Tehelka Magazine, Volume 11 Issue 10, Dated 8 March 2014)

Jeemon Jacob More by the author >



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new reviews on Holy Hell Amazon.com
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 15, 2014 11:38PM

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http://www.amazon.com/Holy-Hell-Memoir-Devotion-Madness/product-reviews/0989679403/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_5?ie=UTF8&filterBy=addFiveStar&showViewpoints=0&sortBy=bySubmissionDateDescending

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars sad - and powerful!, April 15, 2014
By HannahZ - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness (Paperback)
I'm very sad to be disillusioned about Amma after 7 years of considering her my root teacher, and very glad that Gail Tredwell had the courage to write this book. It rings true to me, and I'd rather know the truth. Thank you Gail for your strength. I wish us all (including Amma herself) much healing. Enlightenment isn't about flashy and perfect, it's about clearing our human messed up-ness so that the true God-self shared by us all can shine through. This book is a wonderful contribution to our collective healing and awakening process.
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6 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting book, April 11, 2014
By Tan Thomas - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness (Paperback)
Simple language..Very interesting book. I think everyone should understand the real character of so called saints. Recommended. Enjoy the good reading!
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars eye opening, truthfull book, April 9, 2014
By eliska - See all my reviewsAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness (Kindle Edition)
I would recommend this book to all the young people who are traveling by their own to India and searching for some place, they would feel like at home. It is in a way shocking and unfair, that, Kerala policy,, [...], registered a case against her along with the media who interviewed and reported her or her book. It does tell something about, what is going on there. Thank you for being brave and for letting this book out! I, as well, was at Amma asram, and she was, during the "hug", farting to my face by her mouth, together with it listening to other person and answering to someone even else. Of course, that I was told, that I deserved it! :D And the westerners there were so much commanding people...better...no comment! It is sad that India is treating young seeking westerners sometime in such a way. It is horrible that media, which reported her case, are having a registered record against her, because of this book!
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Subreviews for above

[www.amazon.com] post: Apr 9, 2014 7:06:35 PM PDT
Marit Hegge says:


Yes you wait for ages in the lines of people to get this hug having been told it is something special and miraculous which could change your life. And then when it actually happens you get this "farting" in your ear experience where she mumbles something that sounds like "moogie, moogie, moogie" and in the west if you are a woman it is usually "daughter, daughter, daughter". I have also had "darling, darling, darling". And sometimes just unintelligible sounds. But she is not really paying attention to you as you say. Much of the time chatting to the women helpers standing next to her, to people coming up to show her stuff. I am surprised she is not signing cheques for her many business enterprises also. In fact I remember even seeing her signing paperwork during the hugs. The whole experience the last time I saw it in 2012 reminded me if anything of factory process work, with the punters being moved along the human conveyor belt. It is not a real hug, not a genuine hug that is for sure. Not the sort of hug your real mother or grandmother would give you.

Young westerners have been travelling to India in large numbers now since the 1960s seeking answers, enlightenment or whatever. I know that I was one of them in the 1970s and could well have ended up like Gail Tredwell, sucked in by some guru and handing over my life to them. Probably getting really sick there and having to leave for the sake of my health prevented that. THAT is why her book is so important as well. That other naive young people of the age she was when she arrived at 20 years do not fall into the same traps.

I found that older man who went on to become ammachi's initial financial backer, whom she met and travelled to see ammachi with, despicable. HE must have realised that this was a very naive young woman in a quite vulnerable situation. Yet, protected by his wealth, he was quite happy to have her cast into the role of servant to them all, himself included, to be abused and exploited. And this person actually was nasty enough to recently write some horrible story about her on one of those ashram sponsored slander blogs, making much about her allegedly throwing a damp cloth at him when he lay sick and wanted her to fetch something for him. HE never got slapped and abused and humiliated and expected to work like a servant in the hot sun of Kerala cooking food, washing the clothes and doing all the menial tasks for the group. HIS wealth bought him the privilege of lying on his back when he felt ill and having Gail act as HIS servant. All that was required of him, it seems, was to keep writing those cheques out for ammachi. No way would Sudhamani have abused this man who was the golden goose who had fallen into her lap. So, yes, he could indulge his delusions and see the whole thing through rose coloured glasses. Ha, ha I wonder if he would have been treated so well had he not been rich? If he had just been one of the many penniless hippy types who were travelling around India in the 1970s seeking enlightenment. If he, like Gayatri, had only had devotion to offer and not wealth as well?

I saw so many sour faced westerner residents in that ashram who were full of themselves when I visited there in 2008, who would rudely push me, a middle aged woman, out of the way in their rush to get close to ammachi. I had already experienced some abuse from her organisation via a local satsang leader in my city but I stupidly believed it to be just about her and not a true indication of the abusive culture that lies at the heart of this organisation. And which I now know after reading Holy Hell emanates straight down from Ms Sudhamani Idamannel herself.

You are constantly being told in ammachi's org that if you get angry about stuff that happens to you, the abuse meted out by others, the nasty stuff that sometimes happens, that it is YOUR fault and it is about YOUR ego and your vasanas. Yet this is an organisation also of inequality based on those who have wealth and privilege being allowed to get away with just about anything, being allowed to act as somehow spiritually superior to others. Nothing new there though. Just the way of the world.
The only enlightenment a young person will find in her ashram is the realisation that they are providing free labour for this woman to help build her financial empire. That this woman is only interested in sucking their youth, strength and vitality from them and robbing them of the best years of their lives, just as she did to Gail Tredwell.
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 10, 2014 9:24:30 PM PDT
Durgi says:
Yes Marit, I have also noticed that her devotees all look like hell. Gaunt (or very fat), shifty, depressed, as if all the life was sucked out of them.



8 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly well-written expose…compassionate yet searingly truthful, April 8, 2014
By T. silver - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME) This review is from: Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness (Paperback)
This is worth your time. I'm sure there will be many detractors who say these stories are fabricated or exaggerated but I felt the ring of truth in Gail's words. The story is rip-roaringly compelling, and sad. And inspiring in an odd way too. I recommend.

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Subreviews here have some political commentary
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 15, 2014 11:41PM

[www.amazon.com]
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Shockingly wonderful!, April 3, 2014
By DurgiAmazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness (Paperback)
Wow. Just wow! This book was definately a process for her. This fat charlatan "Amma" (Sudhamani) has been deceiving millions of people. I've been to some "Amma" programs here in Detroit, and was always very turned off by how people actually consider her a god of some sorts. If they knew she ate meat very day, had sex with multiple men in her organization, horribly abused people, and lies about financial issues, they would run for the hills.....OR WOULD THEY? I called an acquaintance who is a devotee of Amma and asked if she read this book, and was given a long, memorized rendition of how the "guru" is always misaligned and blah blah blah. She refuses to read the book---like many of the Amma zealots who are commenting in these posts when they haven't read the book. They probably can't afford the book because all their money goes to that fat disgusting old slut.
It's easy to criticize Gail for staying so long, but come on, this girl was 19 when she entered that life, and it was all she knew as an adult. But her intentions were pure, even if the fake guru's weren't.
For all you Amma devotees out there, your life will go on without her. You will be better for knowing the truth. Every little good thing that happens to you, is yours, not hers. She sends you nothing. She gives you nothing...only takes. Your growth and merits are yours and yours alone. The blessings in your life are from you, by you. A true guru can only point to yourself. And for any Amma nut cases who may want to comment after not reading the book, get a life.
I'm proud of you Gail, hugs to you, and blessings to your family. Be at peace.:)
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Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness 0989679403 Gail Tredwell Wattle Tree Press Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness Books Shockingly wonderful! Wow. Just wow! This book was definately a process for her. This fat charlatan "Amma" (Sudhamani) has been deceiving millions of people. I've been to some "Amma" programs here in Detroit, and was always very turned off by how people actually consider her a god of some sorts. If they knew she ate meat very day, had sex with multiple men in her organization, horribly abused people, and lies about financial issues, they would run for the hills.....OR WOULD THEY? I called an acquaintance who is a devotee of Amma and asked if she read this book, and was given a long, memorized rendition of how the "guru" is always misaligned and blah blah blah. She refuses to read the book---like many of the Amma zealots who are commenting in these posts when they haven't read the book. They probably can't afford the book because all their money goes to that fat disgusting old slut.
It's easy to criticize Gail for staying so long, but come on, this girl was 19 when she entered that life, and it was all she knew as an adult. But her intentions were pure, even if the fake guru's weren't.
For all you Amma devotees out there, your life will go on without her. You will be better for knowing the truth. Every little good thing that happens to you, is yours, not hers. She sends you nothing. She gives you nothing...only takes. Your growth and merits are yours and yours alone. The blessings in your life are from you, by you. A true guru can only point to yourself. And for any Amma nut cases who may want to comment after not reading the book, get a life.
I'm proud of you Gail, hugs to you, and blessings to your family. Be at peace.:) Durgi April 3, 2014
Overall: 5



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Sort: Oldest first | Newest first Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 11, 2014 5:48:54 PM PDT
Marit Hegge says:


The obese charlatan Sudhamani is now not even hiding her links with the paramilitary RSS. A few weeks back they organised a huge support rally for her in Kochi Kerala to protest against Holy Hell, with all these so-called Hindu spiritual leaders in attendance. Most were connected to the VHP - the spiritual wing of the RSS. The rally came complete with soldiers standing on the stage behind the speakers with AK47s. This woman is totally in league with these people. And interestingly one of the speakers, a notorious anti-christian, anti-moslem agitator called Sasikala said that all those millions $$$s the Math has in the foreign banks will come in handy for them to deal with moslems.
Sudhamani sucks up to and is feted by Narendra Modi the far right fundamentalist Hindu nationalist BJP prime ministerial candidate, who is also a member of the RSS. He attended her 60th birthday celebrations last September.
It was RSS thugs who recently attacked a bookshop in Kerala where a booklet was for sale of the transcript of a three hour television interview Gail Tredwell conducted about Holy Hell. They also attacked the owner's home. Five RSS members were arrested.
A secret video was made last month of RSS members confessing to Narendra Modi being closely involved in the massacre of over 1,000 moslems in Gujarat in 2002. It was quite horrifying to listen to - [youtu.be]
The organisation that perpetrated these killings is the one that is backing up, supporting and now defending Sudhamani. She, with their assistance, is trying to turn the publication of Holy Hell into an attack on Hinduism and they in turn are using this issue to promote communal tensions. Her close links with the RSS has been the main reason why for so many years locals in Kerala have been too terrified to speak out about her. Those who know the truth about who she really is and the lies she told about her so-called "purity" and her fake miracles. Of course her stupid devotees don't want to know the truth about all this. Even though they must now be seeing RSS members hanging around her ashram as her "protectors".
And this woman who is involved with people who have perpetrated acts of genocide, has the cheek to think she can tour the USA at the end of May.
After the 2002 Gujarat massacres the US government totally believed Narendra Modi was involved. So much so that they refused him visa entry to the USA.
IF you Google RSS India you will see that this organisation which was formed in the 1920s was aligned with Hitler and the Nazis prior to WW2 and it was one of their members who assassinated Mahatma Gandhi.
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2014 4:42:07 AM PDT
Durgi says:
So shocking. Wow, thanks for that post. I know the book caused alot of stir in India, but I'd didn't know it was so intense. So her "holy" ashram (LOL!) is now overrun by gun-toting thugs (pun intended). I really hope her US tour is canceled. I hope she goes to jail, and all the money they've amassed goes to charity...as it was intended by the donors. And I hope her sleazy family has every dime and piece of property and assets confiscated. Let them go back to fishing, and beating coconut husks.
I'm aware of RSS, and couldn't be more appalled that they've joined forces.
I just feel so bad for all the people who believed. I remember a woman here in Detroit, a lovely elderly lady who was a devout follower. She sold everything and moved into Amritapuri, and shortly thereafter, died there. Her autistic grandson may still be there, unable to care for himself and in Sudhamani's clutches. I pray he's safe and not being abused by those nut jobs. :( so sad.
I hope Sudhamnai is reborn as a hemmrhoid on a gorillas ass!
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In reply to an earlier post on Apr 12, 2014 5:48:40 PM PDT
Marit Hegge says:
I hope some people in the US have the guts to protest against Sudhamani when she arrives in Seattle at the end of May for her month long tour. That they also write protesting to their Congresspeople and other government reps that this woman who has such close links with the RSS is even being allowed into the country. And complain to their local media outlets. The tour dates can be found here: [www.amritapuri.org]

Her devotees used to deny that she had any links with the RSS. Now it is all out in the open. They even brag on their Gail slander blog about the huge VHP/RSS rally mounted to support ammachi and attack Holy Hell. Here you can see pics of the rally and the one of the soldiers with guns on stage: [letterstothemother.com]

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US Dollar currently buys 60 Indian Rupees
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 15, 2014 11:45PM

It appears from post above that Amma is coming to visit the US.

Go to the currency exchange site XE dot Com and look up US Dollar vs Indian Rupee.

One dollar = 60 rupees.

Too good an exchange rate to pass up.

Quoted from above:

"I hope some people in the US have the guts to protest against Sudhamani when she arrives in Seattle at the end of May for her month long tour. That they also write protesting to their Congresspeople and other government reps that this woman who has such close links with the RSS is even being allowed into the country. And complain to their local media outlets. The tour dates can be found here: [www.amritapuri.org]

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"Sudhamani"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 15, 2014 11:48PM

A new search term. Some who no longer consider her an enlightned guru are referring to her as "Sudhamani" rather than Amma.

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Some background reading in manipulation Margaret Singer
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 16, 2014 05:38PM

This link is provided by a group of former followers of another Indian guru --Maharaji.

[www.ex-premie.org]

For the entire text read the link.

But it is worth examining a couple of points made by Professor Singer

General Reality Orientation -- our frame of reference.

This can be undermined if we are persuaded to spend time in a social set up that throws us off balance. An ashram routine that keeps us under fed and short on sleep, going to India plus going to an ashram, all these combined can confuse GRO.

If you are bombarded by advice and teachers that foster distrust of your emotions, distrust of your gut feelings, undermines general reality orientation.

Dr Singer writes:

"Our GRO (general reality orientation) shapes a context within which we interpret what is going on. This frame of reference can fade away under certain circumstances: hypnosis, meditation, guided imagery, drug use, fatigue, and sensory deprivation. When our GRO is weakened, we become both more suggestible to outside influences and more influenced by inner fantasies."

"While in an altered state, for the most part we experience an absence of our usual generalized reality orientation (GRO) -- that is, we are not actively noticing or aware of our environment and our part in it. In normal waking life, our GRO is our frame of reference, serving as background to our ongoing conscious experiences, our awareness. "

Hypnosis

Professor Singer writes:

Hypnosis [top]

"Hypnosis is classed as a psychological rather than a physiological method because it is essentially a form of highly focused mental concentration in which one person allows another to structure the object of the concentration and simultaneously suspends critical judgment and peripheral awareness. When this method is used in a cultic environment, it becomes a form of psychological manipulation and coercion because the cult leader implants suggestions aimed at his own agenda while the person is in a vulnerable state.

A trance is a phenomenon in which our consciousness or awareness is modified. Our awareness seems to split as our active critical-evaluative thinking dims, and we slip from an active into a passive-receptive mode of mental processing. We listen or look without reflection or evaluation. We suspend rational analysis, independent judgment, and conscious decision making about what we are hearing or taking in. We lose the boundaries between what we wish were true and what is factual. Imagination and reality intertwine, and our self and the selves of others seem more like one self. Our mental gears shift into receptivity, leaving active mental processing in neutral.

Trancelike states can occur during hypnosis, during complete absorption in reading or hearing stories, and during marked concentration. They are sometimes referred to as altered states of consciousness. '

Corboy note. Let us look at this:

"it is essentially a form of highly focused mental concentration in which one person allows another to structure the object of the concentration and simultaneously suspends critical judgment and peripheral awareness. "

Perhaps peripheral awareness is that bit of oneself that stands off to one side. A part of oneself capable of feeling creeped out if something doesnt seem right.

A part of oneself that is not entirely persuaded, aware time passing. Ability to remain aware of time passing is important. It can assist you to recognize that you have been kept waiting...so much so that you are aware that you need to take your medicine, or that you are in danger of staying awake past your bed time, and that you need to get up early and go to work next day and cannot afford to be kept waiting, not even by this guru your friend raves about.

Peripheral awareness means something in you can stand apart and evaluate what is going on -- and assist you to decide if you want to remain or whether it is time to leave.

So long as you have that part of you off to one side, the indoctrinating guru does not have total possession of you.

Your inner life remains a democracy.

But if you lose that bit of peripheral awareness, your inner life is taken over
by the guru.

This is very important. Trance operators and gurus can look at faces and tell who has lost that peripheral awareness and general reality orientation and
have submitted, making the guru their axis of reality, making the guru the source of their reality orientation. And who have suppressed thier peripheral awareness and have their full awareness monopolized by the guru.

People in this condition will exhibit the classic signs of trance.

Persons who have kept possession of peripheral awareness and who respect the guru but have **not** made the guru their sole source of reality orientation will not have the same look on their faces.

Again, here is the URL -- worth bookmarking.

[www.ex-premie.org]

Options: ReplyQuote
"Had we known........"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 17, 2014 09:37PM

This comment was published on the Amazon.com review of Gail Tredwell's book, Holy Hell.

The author of this comment was a former devotee of Ammachi. And an author of a book about Indian gurus and saints.

(quote) This Courageous Book Helped Us Understand What Happened to Us, April 15, 2014
By Robert Ullman (Langley, WA, US) - See all my reviewsVerified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness (Kindle Edition)

Gail (whom we knew as Gayatri) was remarkably courageous to write this painfully candid expose. My husband and I were with Ammachi from 1987 to 1993, hosted her once in our home, and held the Seattle Ammachi gatherings in our clinic during that time. We left abruptly after learning directly from Kusuma, one of her closest disciples, that Ammachi had used orphanage money to pay for a Mercedes, then lied to the American board of the organization about it.

Knowing that Ammachi suffered from diabetes, and having traveled with her on an uncomfortably jam-packed bus of devotees through Southern India, we had no problem with her traveling in comfort.

What haunted us was her having lied about it. It so troubled us that we confronted Amma in a private meeting at the next possible opportunity, and we were convinced that she lied about it to us as well. It was a traumatic, disillusioning experience, offering a number of conflicting explanations that made no sense.

Immediately after asking Ammachi about it straightforwardly, we were promptly replaced by another couple. Her devotees told us that Amma knew best, that we were all poor, helpless children, and should never even think of questioning her intentions.

We knew about Amma's special treatment of those who made large financial contributions, and the increasing materialism in the organization. When my husband, a year later after our leaving, was brave enough, in the darshan line, to ask Ammachi why she had lied to us, he was simply told, "That is like bringing up old vomit."

We could not follow a guru whom we could no longer trust to tell us the truth. Gail's book had a strong emotional impact on me. The sexual allegations were the most shocking, though I fully believe that Gail is telling the truth of her experience.

We wondered why, when Ammachi and her swamis stayed at our house for a few days while we retreated with our dogs to our clinic, they covered the bedroom skylight with a black garbage bag (they told us Amma was sensitive to light) and put a padlock on our bedroom door. It makes us wonder about what might have been going on in our bedroom.

We witnessed many beautiful aspects of Ammachi and, undoubtedly, her pure shakti, but the dark side was unacceptable and psychologically damaging. In our book, Mystics, Masters, Saints, and Sages: Stories of Enlightenment, we did include Ammachi, despite having left her. Had we known the full, sordid extent of what Gail has revealed, we would not have done so.

It is curious to see that several books by Ammachi's swaminis were published within a month or two of Gail's book. Looks to us like damage control(unquote)

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Re: Crimes of Mata Amma Amritanandamayi aka Ammachi
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 28, 2014 12:13AM

More discussion on Amazon.com review of Holy Hell following Robert Ullman's review

[www.amazon.com]

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Re: Crimes of Mata Amma Amritanandamayi aka Ammachi
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: April 30, 2014 02:01AM

[www.amazon.com]

Quote


of 7 people found the following review helpful
Fascinating and disturbing, April 28, 2014
By didi02453Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness (Kindle Edition)
Gail's book offers raw insight into Amma's organization, and into Amma herself. The "hugging saint" has become hugely popular with westerners, but anyone who reads "Holy Hell" will certainly think twice about getting into one of those l-o-n-g darshan lines for a hug from Amma! The sexual material is hard to read - but I found it equally hard to read about Amma's verbal and physical abuse of her closest disciples.

Tredwell's book leaves some questions unanswered. For example, she notes that huge sums of money were diverted to Amma's family.... but the Amma organization is enormous, and one certainly suspects that a much larger amount of money is flowing through the organization. Where is all of that money going?!?!?

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Initial post: Apr 28, 2014 7:51:53 PM PDT
In response to the above, Marit Hegge says:


No one can actually find a totally clear answer as to where all the money is going because, unlike most charitable NGOs or other corporations, the amma org does not appear to publish annual reports or audited financial statements.
Some information can be found about the US organisation via internal revenue in that country, but that is still only a partial picture.

The clearest indication in recent years that has been discovered about the great wealth of the ammachi org was found via the Indian Government's Foreign Currency Regulations Act disclosure site - the FCRA.

There it was discovered, after a team of independent financial investigators analysed the data in these returns, that only 10% of the foreign monies donated actually find their way to real charity. That over 68% are left sitting in foreign bank accounts.

And the rest is being used for ammachi to fund building projects connected to her money making enterprises. Her profit making university colleges and her fee charging AIMS hospital amongst them. The latter actually only having 5% of charity cases and not 50% as her glossy tour brochures claim.

This is only the statistics for the DECLARED foreign donations we are looking at here. And not the income generated from within India in Rupees. Or the black money that Gail Tredwell talks about in Holy Hell. The bags of gold and currency delivered to the relatives in the backwaters.

There have been a number of persons now on these review pages who have commented about dodgy financial practices they witnessed during their time with her organisation. Where they have talked about inaccuracies within book keeping etc.

Of course none of this is a new thing within India. And for sure ammachi is not the only guru whose financial bone fides are questionable.

But I think it is the scale of the whole thing that is mind boggling. When one looks at those FCRA reports and actually sees just how MUCH money is involved. That in one year ammachi pulled in more foreign donations than the whole of the Indian Oxfam organisation. When one thinks that all those foreigners gave money, just like they would do with Oxfam, in the belief that their donation was going to needy people. And in fact it appears via the FCRA reports that only 10% ended up being used for what it was intended.

Currently it is believed that the Amma Org has about $342 million in foreign banks. But that figure could be even higher. When questioned about this amount last year by a Swiss newspaper during the tour to that country it was interesting that the ashram spokesperson did not even deny this figure. But fudged the issue and said that this amount of foreign capital needed to be kept in reserve for when ammachi was no longer touring. BUT failed to talk about all the income now being generated by her high profit making university colleges, her AIMS hospital and her other profit making Indian based business ventures. Which some now believe may actually be higher than the profits generated by foreign donations.

As to what this money is actually used for is anyone's guess.

We know that only 10% goes to real charity. Gail Tredwell states she delivered bags of gold and cash to the relatives. So obviously THEY got some of it. The family members went from being very poor to now most of them owning businesses and money making ventures.

The father went from being a small time fisherman to owning fleets of boats. One brother has a money lending business.

Another appears to own a building development company.

Sudhamani (Ammachi)keeps saying that her family got where they were via hard work, but given the nature of their businesses it is obvious they had considerable "start up" funding. As to property that may be owned by Sudhamani and her family no real way of finding out, unless you go to India and search through titles offices. My guess is a lot of the money would have ended up in property acquisitions, but that is just my belief. Because, like in most countries, property ownership is in so many ways the most secure form of wealth. Especially in a country like India.

At the huge VHP/RSS rally held recently in Kochi to support ammachi and attack Holy Hell a speaker called Sasikala Teacher stated that it was a good thing that ammachi had all this money in foreign banks as it could be used to help deal with moslems and to uphold Hinduism. Whatever that meant? Some of her money being funnelled to the RSS possibly??

Of course ammachi could stop all this speculation by actually publishing an INDEPENDENTLY AUDITED financial statement for her whole global empire. After all I believe other large international corporations do this. Somehow I don't think it is going to happen.

More information about her finances can be found on this site : [embezzlingtheworld.blogspot.com]
There have also been a number of earlier reviews on this site which have posted more detailed information about her finances and which reference these FCRA reports

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Amma -- tell your goondas/hooligans to stop!
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: May 05, 2014 01:04AM

[www.thehindu.com]

Quote

National » Kerala
KOTTAYAM, April 2, 2014
Updated: April 2, 2014 03:18 IST


Book publisher comes under attack in Kerala

In a violent reaction to the publication of a book, translated from the English original written by Gail Tredwell, a former resident of the Mata Amrithanandamayi Math in Kerala’s Kollam district, the outlet of the publishing house DC Books and the home of DC Books managing partner Ravi DeeCee here, came under attack on Monday evening.

The police said the miscreants tore up books and threatened the store employees. The incident came in the wake of a strident campaign against Ms. Tredwell’s book Holy Hell.

The miscreants stormed the DC Books Heritage Centre at 7 p.m., and also pelted stones at Mr. DeeCee’s home at Devalokam around 10 p.m. The attackers allegedly left behind at the bookshop a poster asking the publishers not to bring out books that attacked the Mata Amrithanandamayi Math.

Australia-born Tredwell is no longer in India, but a tell-all interview with her was telecast over two Malayalam TV channels recently, fuelling the controversy. The two TV channels have been served with lawyer’s notices, seemingly over defamation.

Progressive organisations of writers on Tuesday condemned the attacks.

The police registered a case.


Keywords: Gail Tredwell, Mata Amrithanandamayi Math, DC Books

Quote

ATTACKING INNOCENT PEOPLE CAN NOT BE JUSTIFIED.
The book seller or staff are not responsible for any contents of the book they sell. The ACT is idiotic.


from: S.NAGARAJAN
Posted on: Apr 2, 2014 at 11:08 IST

In her book Gail Tredwell seems to have made very shocking allegations against the very famous hugging saint and her organization, without any evidence backing her shocking allegations. The long-term devotee and close associate of a living guru who turns against the guru can sometimes become even mentally unbalanced in her/his fury against the guru and her/his intense desire to damage the guru and the fraternity associated with the guru.

IMHO, the organization of the saint must use legal means in India and abroad to challenge Tredwell and her publisher to produce evidence for the shocking allegations or withdraw and apologize for the allegations, and thereby protect the fair name and reputation of the organization which, I am given to understand, is doing a lot of wonderful humanitarian work in India and the world, besides spreading devotion and love for God.

However, violent attacks on people connected with the book like publishers and booksellers must be condemned.

from: Ravi S. Iyer
Posted on: Apr 2, 2014 at 10:51 IST

This woman has claimed serial rapes and assaults upon her for many years while she was in the Ashram! What is puzzling is that, unless she had some form of 'Stockholm syndrome', she had no business to stay on. She came all the way from Australia and can't claim to be so naive that she could not assert and save herself. With evidence in hand, she should have gone to the authorities and reported the rape/assault and the law to come to her aid. Having spent so many years, out comes a book of innuendo and statements asking everyone to believe her, because she is saying so. In this situation, if someone moots it as a conspiracy theory with the intent to tarnish an Indian religious movement of popularity, that will become believable and more acceptable to most. Of course, public media can have a song and dance with it, since it is a Hindu organization under attack! In all this drama, the truth is lost!

from: Saratchandran
Posted on: Apr 2, 2014 at 09:54 IST

I am sure if you look at the background history of Tredwell she is probably a born again
Christian trying to undermine Mata as she has immense following in the west which people
like this person can't digest.Thats the truth!!

from: Ullatt
Posted on: Apr 2, 2014 at 08:59 IST

This kind of intolerance against freedom of expression and free speech is undemocratic and fascist. Who are these guys to take the law into their own hands? If they think this book is unfair let them bring out their own book projecting their views and their version rebutting what has been mentioned in Holy Hell. All these sects are cult centers glorifying an individual and spreading superstition and ignorance. India would do well to keep a close watch on such sects and ban them if necessary.

from: chris theodore
Posted on: Apr 2, 2014 at 04:08 IST

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