I’ve been to Moo’s last 2 Rishikesh seasons, delighted to be a part of such a monumental, bordering on Hollywood, spiritual experience with like-minded beings - you know the drill. A week before coming to Rishikesh 3 weeks back, a friend mentioned Moo has some allegations surfacing. So I started researching and found this forum and truly everything came into focus that I had been suppressing/denying/ignoring/rationalizing around the ‘citadel’ that is Mooji. This was pure Grace! With all my heart, thank you to all who are contributing your experiences because this has been a major wake-up call, and good to know I’m not the crazy one!
I see that I have been experiencing Cognitive Dissonance: “Cognitive dissonance refers to a situation involving conflicting attitudes, beliefs or behaviors. This produces a feeling of mental discomfort leading to an alteration in one of the attitudes, beliefs or behaviors to reduce the discomfort and restore balance.” (Google)
Here are my ‘conflicting’ observances that I ignored:
1. I noticed a few years ago at Monte Sahaja, a ‘guru aarti’ was composed – also blending Papaji and Ramana, but mostly ‘Mooji Baba’. First reaction was , oh no, here we go – making Tony Moo ‘guru Moo’. Then calling him Guruji, Bhagavan, Master, Beloved Father, etc..
2. Then the touching and kissing the feet, then last year the sangha started walking backward when leaving the stage rather than turning their back to Mooji (old tradition in respect for holy people) – so gradually this full-blown guru trip has infested the entire scene. The worst part is that Mooji doesn’t stop or seem to object to any of it -but rather seems to expect it and enjoy it all.
3. Then, walking through the crowd displaying Jesus-like behaviors of putting his hand on people’s heads as if healing, wiping tears away, giving special attention to the Indian elders as if to assure them ‘he’ is equal to all the other ‘masters’ they might have known.
4. Also the fact that Mooji seems to pride himself on not having done any real study of ancient spiritual texts that foster authenticity and authority. Rather, he regularly reads some verses from Avadhut Gita to prove his teaching is legitimate – but it is quite obviously flawed because no one seems to be getting anywhere – in fact, there seems to be people breaking down and falling apart in despair from always returning to their human-ness. Moo seems to infer that if he never did any disciplined study or put forth ‘effort’, we needn’t either – discouraging true investigation and critical analysis. This definitely keeps the game going – lost people getting nowhere always will need directions – Moo.
Point is: all this was noticed (cognitive) and because I drank the Koolaid and felt I was getting the ‘real deal’ of a warm and fuzzy,simple effortless awakening to Self – I rationalized these disturbing things away in the name of ‘the means justify the end’ kind of thing (dissonance). Someone on the forum wrote about the body and mind should ultimately work together in harmony – well, I know my body always tells me ‘what’s for me’ and ‘what’s not’ – and it did – but I ignored it = Cognitive Dissonance. The most important part of this (for me) is not having anger towards Moo or the sheeple around him, but frustration, a sense of self-betrayal, sadness and disappointment within myself for ignoring intuition, knowing in my heart something was seriously ‘off ‘ and not listening because the ‘payoff’ of awakening and sense of belonging were greater. OMG, over it!!
I knew this was going to be a strange journey with all that has been revealed – and I sit now in my Rishikesh hotel– catching a few satsangs just to see what’s happening and I have to say – I was shocked to see Moo’s parents photos on the dais – this smells of serious and manipulative damage control -again, weird and disturbing. As I listen now, I see right through Mooji’s tactics, his endless tricks and turns to bring the person around to some acceptance that they are not ‘real’ – as they go into a somnambulistic trance - probably from being kept standing at the mike for an hour and a half!! I notice how he’s always looking for the ‘hook’ to start the endless dialog into the repetitive analogies, stories, quotes. Self-elevating statements like ‘ I want to eat someone today’, or ‘ Is there a Buddha here today’ only speak to Moo’s sense of superiority – and yet – when a truly sincere experiencer of the Self is at the microphone, he seems to dismiss them, or somehow finds his ‘hook’ and it’s off the races with endless indulgent verbiage.
Enough - you guys have said it all really – just adding my ‘take’.
I so appreciate the solid information you all are offering, and informative links to help understand this ‘drink the Kool-Aid” Tony Moo phenomenon. Thank you each and all!
More on cognitive dissonance: Cognitive Dissonance