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Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: September 20, 2018 03:23PM

Well, my friend, i yam what i yam,

I would say that the suicide at the Moo ashram was "all-bad", wouldn't you?

But please tell us more about the regular exorcisms? What were they like? Did anyone report any benefit from these exorcisms?

Does non-dualism and Advaita acknowledge the existence of demons and devils and other such evil things? I would love to hear all about it.

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Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: i yam what i yam ()
Date: September 20, 2018 03:46PM

Hah, you're really horrible! Please learn how to debate on the Internet and not to be snarky and nasty all the time. You'll learn more that way.

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Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: September 20, 2018 08:22PM

Personal attacks are against the rules of this message board.

Please read the rules you agreed to before posting here.

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Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 20, 2018 09:05PM

You are required to attend satsang?

Friends, I did a number of silent insight meditation retreats and two or three week long Zen sesshin retreats.

We were not required to attend ever single meditation session. In fact, we were told that if we were feeling overwhelmed, we should feel free to go for walks, and we also had names of people to talk with.

And -- no one was shamed or put down for deciding to leave.

Especially when these Moo satsangs are reportedly confrontational and you can be filmed during satsang and those images may appear on Youtube?

What if a person is feeling overwhelmed and needs some quiet time?

They should not be required to attend.

This in itself is a very bad thing. What if someone needs some privacy for themselves?

Needs some time alone to listen to their own gut feelings, journal, reflect on what they are seeing and sensing while at Monte Sahaja?

For someone feeling overwhelmed by the ashram experience, requiring attendance at satsangs instead of allowing a person to choose some private time, some personal time could contribute to "mental illness".

Feeling as though you have to sneak read your own book while at Monte Sahaja, saying that it was like reading samidzat literature also indicates a coercive atmosphere.

i yam what i yam wrote:


Finally - I wanted to mention that I remember being gripped when a 'doubting Thomas' spoke up during a 10-Day retreat a couple of years ago. I was watching the paid-for live stream.

On perhaps the second day, one of Mooji's inner circle found this young man sitting somewhere outside during satsang. This was a breach of protocol as it's obligatory to attend. They had a conversation - 'why aren't you in the hall?' - and he was persuaded to come inside and address his questions to Mooji.

When he spoke, he said something like that he had been watching Mooji on Youtube for years, but now that he was at the ashram he had serious doubts about Mooji/the teachings/the place.

Mooji was initially quite cross, telling the man that he was arrogant, and if that was how he felt then maybe he shouldn't be there.

After their long exchange, the inner circle guy took the mike again and said "That's not what he told me he was going to say to you!" Everybody laughed and some emotional weight left the room. Nobody had expected Mooji to be so questioned.

Many of the following speakers referred to this exchange. One woman was quite upset, saying "I can't believe that someone would come to this place which was built out of love and doubt you, Mooji". Mooji by now had calmed down and was being placatory and reasonable about the interruption. He said that the man would be able to stay for the rest of the retreat if he wanted, or he could go home early and get a refund. I believe he chose the latter.

At the time I was into watching satsang and it felt like really gripping theatre to see someone speaking directly to Mooji questioning the whole enterprise. Unfortunately this episode didn't make it onto Youtube, because only one or two satsangs from a retreat are scheduled to be uploaded and this wasn't one of them.

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Note about personal energy, magnetic presences
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 20, 2018 09:44PM

A note about feeling as though pulled magnetically toward someone.

i yam what i yam wrote:


I must say that being in a crowd around Mooji is astonishing, as you feel like an iron filing being pulled towards an enormous magnet!

I had exactly the same experience with someone and imagined it in exactly that same way, I felt as though I was being magnetically pulled into that person's orbit.

That feeling is vivid and as much physical as emotional; I felt my body being pulled not just my thoughts and emotions.

But...I did not experience this in relation to a guru.

I experienced this in relation to a friend who was in crisis and with whom I was
in a severely co dependent relationship.

When this incident occurred, I had been without sleep for several nights in a row, scared for my friend and my personal boundaries were weak and impaired.

My friend was not a guru. She was in crisis and did not have her shit together because her own boundaries were impaired.

So this magnetic presence is not proof that a person has special spiritual power.

It happens when people's boundaries have become porous, and the reason we discuss Moo and people like Moo here on CEI is we are concerned that they'are deliberately creating scenes that enhance boundary fragility.

Requiring someone to attend satsangs would, IMO PREVENT a person from maintaining his or her boundary integrity; making decisions whether or not to attend satsang is a way for a person to take care of him or herself and exercise autonomy and self reflection.

All of which are needed if a person is to function in the world outside of the Moo ashram.

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Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: September 21, 2018 04:58AM

Thank you at Corboy,

I am very concerned that people with mental illness are heading off to the Moo ashram instead of getting help from experienced psychologists and qualified doctors. Then they are forbidden to talk to someone who may be able to support them, while they are there on a silent retreat. They are also forbidden to read anything other than what can be purchased in the Moo shop.

Then the Witch Doctor Moo performs some kind of exorcism on them. I find all this very distressing, as I have known people in my own life who have suicided.

Last year there was a suicide at the Moo ashram.

In my opinion, anyone who is emotionally distressed should not be forced to attend Satsung. I can't see the point in this... they have already handed over the money to be there, so they should have a choice as to what they do, as regards to taking in further brain-washing sessions.

I am very sorry to hear about your personal experience Corboy, with dissolved boundaries. I think we are all susceptible to this happening....

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Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 21, 2018 06:38AM

Things are fine now, that happened years ago.

That bit about exorcism and demons -- that has no place in advaita Vedanta.

If personal self is illusion, a demon should be considered just as illusory.

Can tell you this, teaching about exorcism and demons is a great way to instill fear, especially fear of the outside world, fear of one's own critical thinking.

The Exorcist unleashed cultural panic about possession. Imagine how fraught the atmosphere in a closed group whose leader talks of this stuff.

Mass Psychogenic Illness


Information from Your Family Doctor

What Is Mass Psychogenic Illness?

Am Fam Physician. 2000 Dec 15;62(12):2655-2656.

See related article on mass psychogenic illness.

Sometimes people in a group start to think they might have been exposed to something dangerous, like a germ or a toxin (poison). They might get signs of sickness like headache, dizziness, faintness, weakness or a choking feeling. If many people in the group start to feel sick at about the same time, we might think they have mass psychogenic illness. The group might be a class in a school or workers in an office. Mass psychogenic illness is sometimes called mass hysteria or epidemic hysteria.



What if someone at the ashram is singled out for stigmatization as demon possessed?

Any of us can develop porous boundaries. This happens in times
of crisis, chronic sleep deprivation, landing in unfamiliar surroundings, etc.

No amount of intelligence or education can prevent this, because crisis affects us as creatures, at the physical emotional level.

Which is why it is empowering to accept that we are social mammals, creaturely
and thus we are and remain influenceable.

What empowers us is recognizing this and then being careful to run background
checks on gurus, satsangs, ashrams and select groups which help us flourish, not
zombify us or addict us.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/2018 09:31PM by corboy.

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Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: Sahara71 ()
Date: September 21, 2018 08:08AM

I am glad that you are OK, Corboy.

I am recovering from my unfortunate brush with Moo. It's really hard, because the 'trance induction' stuff does something to you. You feel really let down when you realize that you have been duped and fooled. It's pretty scary stuff...

I know that in France they have laws to protect against people the use of thought-reform and brain-washing, but obviously Portugal must be lagging behind in this respect.

But if a french citizen were to return to France from the Moo ashram... I'm just saying, that I think something could be done about this. If Moo were reported to the french authorities, there would then be some kind of warning put out by the french authorities to officially recommend people stop going over to the Moo compound?

I think this is a possibility!

About the possessions by demons and exorcisms performed 'regularly' by Moo:

I'm glad these are nothing to do with Advaita. Knowing that Moo performs exorcisms may be enough to warn serious followers of Advaita against visiting Moo.

I can see how the use of exorcisms might instill fear into someone, or indeed, a crowd of people. If someone goes to the Moo compound with some kind of mental health problem, then Moo insinuates that they have the 'Devil in them', they are going to either believe him, or else deteriorate in their mental capacity, or both. No-one wants to believe that they are possessed by a demon. That would be a terrifying situation. But by performing these exorcisms, Moo is allowing people to think such a thing is possible!

It's very, very manipulative. And to think this kind of thing is used on people who go there for Moo's help. It's human rights abuse.

Manipulation, exploitation and abuse.

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Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: i yam what i yam ()
Date: September 21, 2018 02:15PM

Thank you Corboy for your analysis - anticipation of which was why I posted here.

As I said, my own experience was that Mooji's recordings gave me genuine comfort. They were better than the hateful hell of my mental illness, my own collapsed inner world, my extreme anxiety, dissociation, and state of living death.

It is obviously the case that many people find relief in listening to Mooji. But that ultimately the Mooji-scene can be a trap. He can't teach you how to function in the outside world, or tell you about other solutions to your problems. You just end up dependent on him.

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Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: i yam what i yam ()
Date: September 21, 2018 02:52PM

Tristan Harris, an ex-Google guy who now warns about tech addiction, said some interesting things about cults in his recent podcast with Sam Harris which help me make sense of my own experience:

You also said in the setup for this interview that you have an interest in cults. What's that about, and to what degree have you looked at cults?

Well, I find cults fascinating because they're kind of like vertically integrated persuasive environments. Instead of just persuading someone's behaviour or being the design of a supermarket or the design of a technology product, you are designing the social relationships, the power dynamic between a person standing in front of an audience. You can control many more of the variables. And so I've done a little bit of undercover investigation of some of these things.

You mean actually joing a cult? Or showing up there physically?

No, not joining. Showing up physically. Many of these things are - none of these cults ever would call themselves cults. Many of them are simply workshops, new-agey style workshops. But you start seeing these parallels in the dynamics.
One of the interesting things is the way that people that I met in those cults who eventually left and later talked about their experience, and the confusion that you face - and I know this is an interest you've had - the confusion that you face when you've gotten many benefits from a cult. You've actually deprogrammed let's say early childhood traumas or identitites that you didn't know that you were holding, or different ways of seeing reality that they helped you, you know, get away from.

And you get these incredible benefits and you feel more free. But then you also realise that was all part of this larger persuasive game to get you to spend a lot of money on classes or courses or these kinds of things.

And so the confusion that I think people experience in knowing that they got all these benefits, but then also felt manipulated. And they don't know in the mind's natural black and white thinking how to reconcile those two facts.

I actually think there's something parallel there with technology. Because for example in my previous work on this, a lot of people expect you if you're criticising how technology is designed, you might say something like "Oh, you're saying Facebook is bad, but look, I get all these benefits from Facebook. Look at all these great things it does for me."

And it's because people's minds can't hold on to both truths: that we do derive lots of value from Facebook, and there's many manipulative design techniques across all these products that are not really on your team to help you live your life. And that distinction is very interesting when you start getting in to what ethical persuasion is."


I would add that Mooji retreats are not in the scheme of things expensive (they cost less than the European yoga retreat, fliers for which every yoga teacher hands out after class), and if you start going on retreats you are not going to be asked to donate your paycheque. But it's interesting that Mooji has risen to prominence on Facebook - like Facebook, what he demands of you is your time and attention.

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