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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) Siddha Yoga, Marta Szabo, EAT PRAY LOVE
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: June 30, 2008 02:45AM

Gilbert kept the Guru anonymous in the book? For real?
Holy shit...blatant bald-faced conscious planned deception...

so the someone probably picked her to do this, as she is so non-threatening looking, and she will sell well to the western soccer moms on TV.
Throw out the fish-hook. HAPPINESS, Food, God, Love...

Then they do the subtle referrals and filtering probably using the internet. I bet on Gilbert's website, or somewhere they sneak it in in a quiet way, or use a front-group of some type.
They love the West, that is where the money, and naive westerners are.

Just found this link on Oprah that gives a history...

The Anticult
oh man...came across a blog about Siddya Yoga by Marta Szabo below.

What I found shocking, is that the EAT PRAY LOVE lady, Elizabeth she into the current Siddha Yoga?
Got-damn, I KNEW Gilbert was into SYDA when I read Eat Pray Love!

She kept the guru anonymous in the book, but from the various descriptions of the group, it was so obvious it was SYDA. And it was laughable how she painted Gurumayi as some humble saintly type who didn't want large numbers of people flocking to her ashram in India. HA!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/30/2008 02:55AM by The Anticult.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) Siddha Yoga, Marta Szabo, EAT PRAY LOVE
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: June 30, 2008 03:03AM

Amazingly enough, Gilbert does not mention SYDA or Gurumayi on her website:

[[url=]India Ashram FAQ[/url]]

Thankfully a commenter at the Oprah link you provided revealed helpful info about SYDA:

Liz Gilbert studied at the Ganeshpuri ashram of Muktananda and Chidvilasananda's Siddha Yoga.

*** Siddha Yoga, one of many quasi Hindu/yoga movements to come to the United States in the late 1960s and 1970s, has an interesting and controversial history. Its first spiritual head or "Guru", the charismatic Muktananda, attracted a number of luminous, highly successful adherents, from American astronauts to movie stars to world famous musicians. His successor, the radiantly beautiful "Gurumayi" had her own cadre of accomplished and beautiful people as well as what was at one time an ever expanding global movement it liked to call its Meditation Revolution.

*** In 1983, 1993 and 1994, a series of magazine articles explored the darker side of the Siddha Yoga movement - one that involved credible stories of Muktananda's sexual behavior with his devotees, the ardent, even violent attempts made by his closest associates to silence this story, and a handful of other incidents that cast a shadow on SYDA's otherwise glowing story about itself.

*** Since the publication of the article in the New Yorker on Nov 13 1994, an internet movement has emerged among devotees and ex devotees who wish to discuss their experiences in Siddha Yoga. In January of 2003, Joan (Radha) Bridges published a story in the Leaving Siddha Yoga website about her personal sexual encounter with Muktananda. No one from SYDA has openly argued with her account, though representatives from the South Fallsburg ashram in upstate NY did visit her and did ask after her personal welfare.

*** Most serious yoga students either take the story about Muktananda at face value or know people who can confirm its truth. SYDA's continuing effort to stonewall on this matter has lost it countless adherents though new people show an interest in Siddha Yoga every day.

*** SYDA's charter states clearly that it cannot exist without a "living Guru" as it central operating principle. Gurumayi/Chidvilasananda continues to play this nearly godlike role for her adherents in absentia, though her books and other writings seem to be readily available via the Siddha Yoga website and many other outlets like Small, private SYDA "study circles" continue to support people who choose to pursue thus path to "awakening" the awareness of spiritual energy ("kundalini shakti") in themselves.

*** Last year Gurumayi celebrated her 25th Jubilee as the head of Siddha Yoga without making an appearance at any major Siddha Yoga event. She opened this year with a pre-recorded New Year talk (once a staple of the SYDA path after the article was published in 1994) exhorting her "students" to "study" Muktananda's widely read though currently disputed spiritual autobiography Play of Consciousness.

*** Since the summer of last year, in addition to the Leaving Siddha Yoga website which has been in existence since the mid 1990s, two additional websites emerged on blogger: The Guru Looked Good, hosted by a former SYDA staffer, and Rituals of Disenchantment. Both host discussion sites that are active on a daily basis. The first is mostly sympathetic to those who question Siddha Yoga, the second is open to a wider population.

*** There are two yahoogroups associated with Siddha Yoga - SGMKJ, for devotees, and exSY, for those who have left Siddha Yoga.

*** The website for Siddha Yoga and the Ganeshpuri ashram where Gilbert spent time in India can be found by a simple Google search, as can the numerous websites established by people who have left the movement.

*** Liz Gilbert probably keeps this information from her readers because she wants to see them focus on the book and its story, not Siddha Yoga or its Gurus and their stories. She may also want to avoid giving the appearance of being a media representative for SYDA.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 06/30/2008 03:10AM by helpme2times.

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Byron Katie (the Work) Siddha SYDA, Marta Szabo, EAT PRAY LOVE-bomb
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: June 30, 2008 03:17AM

This "new" SYDA...the book Eat Pray Love-Bomb...genius stuff.

These people are absolutely fucking brilliant...someone is.
You keep the Guru SECRET. The Secret Hidden Guru.

The ashram is full, not accepting new students.
The Guru is gone, hidden, no one sees her?

This creates an internal hunger and drive in seekers.
They go and find out who the guru is, the ashram. They try to get in, and get rejected a bit?

Believe me, for the right price, you get in. They don't want broke students! Gurus don't work for pennies these days.

I have not researched the new SYDA, so it may not be totally accurate. But my first response to the hiding Guru is that it is a BRILLIANT strategy. Utterly brilliant, and original.
Every year the guru's and their managers get smarter.

I am waiting for the guru who dies, but they keep him alive for decades using digital video technology.
I thought TM was going to try that.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 30, 2008 03:44AM

Anticult wrote:

I am waiting for the guru who dies, but they keep him alive for decades using digital video technology.

They are. They're doing it with Osho (formerly known as Rajneesh, he of the rolls royces, girls, and the salmonella salad bar)

And some new hagiographic biogs of Chogyam Trungpa are out, too.

His wife, Diana Mukpo wrote one. She tells how after their wedding night, Trungpa actually turned towards her in bed and asked, 'Who are you.'

This girl was young and had defied her upper class aristocratic family to run away and marry Trungpa. She was freaked out and vulnerable.

Too bad she didnt see this was evidence she'd landed in bed with a man for whom women were just interchangeable objects to toy with.

A really alert woman would've punched him. did. In a biography of another Englishwoman who became a Tibetan Buddhist nun, but who was alert girl from a Cockney background, Trungpa offered to teach her meditation, then tried to go up her skirt.

She stomped him hard on his foot with her spike heeled shoe. She knew he was a monk and felt a monk had no business breaking his vows.

Cave in the Snow by Victoria McKenzie.

Unfortunately for Trunpa, he found ways to attract students more compliant than this already-wise young lady.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) Siddha Yoga, Marta Szabo, EAT PRAY LOVE
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: June 30, 2008 03:59AM

Something about this smells funny.
They were mocking her at the other website about the "tiny ashram" and the rest of it?
If she was honest, she would just tell the truth about the fucking ashram, and not play mind games with it.

But there are other links there, that might lead to it?
Clearly, the codeword is LONG-TERM STUDENTS.

The image of the top of the page of Elizabeth Gilberts EYES creeps me out.
I saw those eyes on Oprah. You look at those eyes, you start to go into a Trance.

Its the old Byron Katie Hypno-Eyes of the Love-Bomb...

EDIT: just plug "Gurumayi" into Google, and great stuff comes up.
Clearly, spiritual folks are way too "nice". They need to take some advanced Sales Training courses, and learn the obvious techniques they are using. Even the Vanishing Gurumayi has people wringing their hands. Its not that complex...its called SCARCITY MARKETING. It works great. Sophisticated LGAT Sales people would just giggle at the tactics they use. But if a person is blissed-out...I guess they don't see that hammer hitting their head?

The Ashram where I studied is too small these days to accept new applicants -- and generally speaking they only have resources for teaching their long-term students."
Amazingly enough, Gilbert does not mention SYDA or Gurumayi on her website:

[[url=]India Ashram FAQ[/url]]

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/30/2008 04:24AM by The Anticult.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) The Psychology of Persuasion Engineering
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: June 30, 2008 08:15AM

one thing I want to drop into the thread, in case anyone reads it in the future...

Is from my perspective, this has very little to do with any actual philosophy or religion.

The guys who designed these persuasion processes, actually did them independent of any particular Belief System. They would derisively call them BS, Belief System.
So to them, Hindu, Zen, Christian, Wicca, alchemy, selling real estate,whatever, its all the same to them.

BS.(Belief System).

I found it helpful to seperate the PHILOSOPHY from the Psychological Influence methods.

Philosophy: would be any belief system, Zen, Hindu, Wicca, Christian, UFO's, whatever. That really exists on its own terms. From reaonable, to weird and wacky.

INFLUENCE PSYCHOLOGY: this is completely seperate and can be applied to anything.
There are many books on this like, Psychology of Influence by Cialdini.
Also in any library any Advanced Sales Strategies is a good start, or books on Influence, etc.
They will point towards other things. (just don't get conned by the book, they are doing TO you more than they are teaching you, always.They will try to sell you their own stuff, of course).

I was fortunate years ago to attend a series of LGAT's for free with one of the top people probably in the world on this. There are many advanced techniques.
But the most powerful?

They taught people how to make the client think you are their best friend, with very specific techniques. (yes, they are sociopathic).
And Byron Katie takes that just one step further, she makes you BELIEVE that she is your BEST FRIEND in the world, and even that you LOVE her. he engineers your Love right into her system, its all there in black and white, very clearly if one is looking for it. She literally "fuses" with you.
For those trained in these methods, you can see the Tech at work, top to bottom.

So again, I am not bashing Zen, Hinduism, Satori, Atman, Wicca, or anything else. To them, that is just the "CONTENT". Focussing on CONTENT seems to be the trap most people fall into.

The PROCESS is the influence structure, and that is where to look.

And there are very very smart people who have studied that knowledge for a living for decades, and they get hired as consultants by some Gurus in secret for large amounts of money.

And now they can take that Tech, and fuse it with a specific Belief System, to make it invisible.

Add to that the tricks to make people flip into Euphoria...any many others...

Its social influence engineering. Persuasion Engineering, some are now calling it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/30/2008 08:22AM by The Anticult.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: solea13 ()
Date: June 30, 2008 11:32AM

Wow. The amount of information on this thread just in the past two days is absolutely amazing ... and overwhelming.

As I try to abosrb all the information, I think of how my guru told us "be happy ... don't think". It is a phrase that current cult members parrot at me every time I ask a difficult or unusual question.

But with all the possibility to be led on a deceptive path by unscrupulous gurus, how could any enlightened Master tell people not to develop their critical thinking ability? Telling people not to think is like leading lambs to the ... slaughter ... ohhh ... yeah.

I remember being advised to read the magazine 'What Is Enlightenment' before I was even aware of the name Andrew Cohen. I thought it was such a spiritual mag. Then I read the kind of 'crazy wisdom' tactics (some terrible, abusive stuff) that Cohen uses on his students and I thought wtf ...

It seems that there is no end to the ways in which people can be mis-led.

I am absolutely shocked to learn that Elizabeth Gilbert's book 'Eat Pray Love' has a connection with SYDA Yoga. Family members had encouraged my mother to read this book after my parent's divorce. I read the beginning chapters and never got around to finishing it.

It started off as an interesting story about a woman's experience of personal growth, and I encouraged my mother that it seemed like a good read. Thank god she has an unerring BS detector that I seem to lack. She just got bored with it!

But it makes me mad to think that innocent people reaching out for comfort in difficult times might unwittingly find themselves sucked into SYDA or some other such cultic group.

I must say good job for all the research. Just this thread in itself has become a valuable resource. The more one is educated, the more one is prepared to fend off this stuff. Plus it actually feels good to exercise the gray matter. Just like physical exercise, it hurts at first and then you get into the habit again, and you feel much healthier mentally.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/30/2008 11:51AM by solea13.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) Responsibility & Blame
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: June 30, 2008 09:18PM

Hi all, I just read an interesting article from The New York Times Magazine. It touches upon the unfortunate new agey tendency to blame people for their illnesses:

[[url=]Stress Test[/url]]

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) and Eckhart Tolle Legit??
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 30, 2008 09:29PM

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 whole life on the system.

Yet...Ouspensky simultaneously revealed that he, Ouspensky, their trusted teacher had been wasting his disciple's time, wasting their lives, too!

No wonder the poor bloke drank like an alcoholic.

Soon after, Ouspensky died. Significantly few of his followers could bear to face this, face that their teacher had been betrayed, that they had been betrayed. Some insisted Ouspensky had imposed a final test on them.

Right afterwards, Gurdjieff the psycho vampire 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.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/08/2023 10:07AM by corboy.

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Re: Byron Katie (the Work) Depression and Mindfulness
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: June 30, 2008 10:08PM

I must say good job for all the research. Just this thread in itself has become a valuable resource. The more one is educated, the more one is prepared to fend off this stuff. Plus it actually feels good to exercise the gray matter. Just like physical exercise, it hurts at first and then you get into the habit again, and you feel much healthier mentally.
I heartily concur that this thread alone has been a great resource!

And I know just what you mean about exercising the thinking mind, which has been so maligned in certain "spiritual" circles.

This reminds me... I have found a wonderful resource for dealing with depression and other unpleasant symptoms. It's a book based on mindfulness. I've found zero red flags in it so far, unlike what I experienced with Byron Katie's stuff. And when I mentioned it to my therapist, she knew of the book and praised it.

[[url=]The Mindful Way Through Depression[/url]]

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