The Disappearing or Deceased Guru
Regarding Gurumayi disappearing, go read material on the Rituals of Disenchantment blog. (and read the comments too)
People were disgusted that Gurumayi had vanished from the scene.
But others were still hoping and wondering if she'd re-appear, yet others insisted that no matter what bad things had happened in SY 'that wasn't MY experience and I had benefitted from the teachings.'
(Shit. If you're so uncaring about the well being of fellow seekers who were used and abused, doesnt matter how blissed out you became. That heartless unconcern for other's well being, caring only for your own private bliss, that in itself means you incurred damage, IMO.)
Well, other gurus did this disappearing act, too.
Gurdjieff became less available and closed down his residential community after he was in an auto accident. (some think he staged it, others insist it was an esoteric test. The guy liked to drive drunk and was a rotten driver. In any case, he pulled a disappearing act--and he concealed his origins, too. Lived a life of disinformation)
When just before Ouspensky died, he had the honestly to tell his followers that there was no system, they had to find their own way. In effect, he told these shocked people that he had wasted his life and, by extension so had they.
Soon after, he died. Significantly few of his followers could bear to face this. Some insisted Ouspensky had imposed a final test of them. Right afterwards, Gurdjieff invited O's bereaved and disoriented students to join him.
And...very early in Maharishi's career as a charlatan, he sought to recruit Ouspenksy's orphaned followers and nearly took over the resources of their center, but was foiled. All this was in Joyce Collin-Smith's book, Call No Man Master.
And, much later, MMY went into seclusion. Tolle makes himself alluringly
unavailable, though his site hints at private interviews being possible.
In short, a guru who abruptly disappears is pulling what in street terms would be called a 'cock tease.'
And if a guru dies and fails to prepare his or her disciples, they are often highly recruitable by other seeking followers. And...once these orphans are
recruited by another Fagin-guru, they can be debriefed and milked for useful
techniques and contact information.
And its likely that if a new guru has enough followers who formerly obeyed another guru, that new guru will know EXACTLY how to design a recruitment campaign that will be quite seductive to anyone who followed that deceased guru.
I must add that yet another way that professional therapists accept responsibility is that they are trained never to abruptly abandon thier clients, but to find ways to help clients work through the mourning involved in terminating the alliance with that particular therapist and the therapist is
expected to be part of a referral network of qualified licensed professionals to whom he or she can refer the client.
And if a therapist is suddenly incapacitated or dies, he or she is expected to have a procedure in place with colleagues on hand who can take over and phone his or clients, let them know what happened to their provider and offer care and support until the therapist can either return to work or it becomes clear he or she cannot.
This is powerful stuff. And it does not just apply to gurus.
Four persons I knew who turned out to have features of narcissistic personality disorder displayed an annoying pattern of being utterly delightful company, easy to reach, people on whom you felt encouraged to rely...then suddenly would just disappear, go to ground, spend weeks not answering phone calls and with no explanation. They suddenly re-appear, all chipper and cheery, and would let their friends fret for weeks, wondering if they were ill.
They'd be so utterly charming and it would be such a relief when they reappeared, that one was tempted to just feel relieved and be glad they were back. The few times I did try to call them on this, I'd be accused of
being rude or codependant.
I now, years later recognize this as being part of a pattern in which a self centered charismatic person treats others as a bored child treats toys--tosses them aside, out of sight, out of mind. Then picks the discarded toy up and decides to play with it again, when no longer bored.
Thank God none of them were gurus, but if they had become gurus, they'd have known how to exploit this disappearing act to increase their allure--and would have had an entourage to make excuses for them--and shame anyone who was upset.
I later decided anyone who abruptly disappears that way, and with no explanation and who displays a habit of that, is treating others as objects
and can be considered abusive, even if they dont intend to be abusive.