Re: Mooji a cult?
Date: March 03, 2023 11:50PM

Thanks for all that corboy

So many people have notices the similarities between the Rajneesh cult, and the Mooji cult. One of the biggest was that the mala beads with Rajneesh's face were just repeated with Mooji's face. They're almost identical.

It's no secret that one of the reasons Papaji got so big is that Rajneesh had died, and a German Rajneesh cult member heard of Papaji. He went, and was declared "enlightened" by Papaji.

This was reported in a Rajneesh magazine, which caused hundreds to of Rajneeshies to descend on Lucknow in hopes of this miraculous "instant enlightenment".

Nobody really "got it" from Papaji after all.

This is what makes Mooji's backstory so flimsy. His followers truly believe that Papaji brought about full Self realization in Mooji (after Papaji merely made fun of Mooji, telling him Tony was a girl's name!)

It's a pretty flimsy story.

There are apparently a number of ex Rajneesh cult members right in the Portugal cult headquarters. Sumantra Paul grew up in the Rajneesh cult, as her mother was a "sanyassin".

Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: Greentrees44 ()
Date: March 09, 2023 09:28PM

I was a follower between 2008 and around 2013. This thread has been some tough reading for me but I've read through most of it. I wanted to see people's testimonies.

I only ever attended one event - in 2010. At that time the organisation was charging pretty low prices - £90 for a full weekend of satsangs - I felt this was pretty reasonable. Also the staff were all professional in demeanour. There was none of the 'love-in' worship that seemed to appear later on in videos of Monte Sahaja. It was exactly that which attracted me - yes there was some vaguely alternative/hippy/eastern-inspired stuff going on, but there is a fair amount of that in Brixton anyway - there's a tea and craft market there (or was) that I hung out at and enjoyed chatting to people. All very warm and friendly.

The 2010 satsangs did feature a small number of attendees that I noticed at the time were probably more in need of psychiatric care and it was clear that 'Moojiworld' was not the place they ought to have been going. He did deal with most of them quite skillfully, but I did worry regards the extent to which people might believe spiritual enquiry is the answer for pathologies like this. But it was a small minority who brought that type of expectation to a satsang at that point.

I started to drift away when the culture became more fervent and worshippy. I also at that time had discovered that making changes to my own lifestyle such as improved diet, sleep and exercise has a much more direct and measurable effect on my own personal happiness levels. I had learned at this point that many spiritual and religious circles have a blind spot when it comes to biochemistry and maintenance of physical health.

By the time of about 2013 you had people saying Tony was a 'living God' or a 'Prophet' and such like. From what I can see this might not have happened had it not been for the 'Sahaja syndrome' - all these people living together in a remote place, a lot of them with very strong 'need' for a guru - projections and so on. I am struggling to imagine Tony as someone who would shout abuse at his followers, but I am not seeking to deny any account - I never went there personally.

By the time of the change in satsang style to the 'Invitation' in 2017 I rarely watched any videos, usually just a few out of curiosity. Mooji by this time looked exhausted - he had none of his earlier vibrancy. And this was from more than just passage of time. I also know from seeing satsangs that the leader usually becomes exhausted from answering questions all day, its just like a very long philosophical discussion where you've got to think your way around how to answer all these different people, yet at the same time be reassuring to them. I understood why he may have needed to adjust his approach somewhat in light of all the fame an attention that was in place from 2015 onwards.

But I also suspect he was not benefitting personally form the culture change around him that was taking place and I suspect it isn't what he set out to have. When that ball starts rolling you almost have a 'chicken and egg' situation. Is it the guru who's encouraging it, or the people around him? You would only ever hear Tony say in Satsang 'the answer lies within you' but then you have the audience all thinking 'Ive come to you for the answer Tony / Mooji / Sri Baba Mooji-ji'. Some of the later videos with people all talking in this quasi-indian accent, glazed over in raptures just made me swtich off.

My main wish is that people use spiritual enquiry as a way to foster independence of thought. If that's not what you're getting then you're in the wrong place.

Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 11, 2023 01:20AM

Brad Warner, a teacher in a non Advaita tradition wrote an essay entitled More Reflections on How Spiritual Teachers go wrong.

[hardcorezen.info]

Part of it is the business model too many of them follow.

Greentrees wrote:


Quote

By the time of about 2013 you had people saying Tony was a 'living God' or a 'Prophet' and such like.


If Moo wanted to keep his set up adult and sane, he would have issued public rebukes to this type of talk.

If people kept talking this way, Moo should've cancelled satsangs for at week, taken his phone apps and website down and pulled the Youtube videos for that same time and published rebukes to the god talk on those sites.

Moo should've trained senior disciples to shut down this type of Tony is God talk, too.

(In all the necessary languages, too).

A guru scene usually goes sour when the ashram walls go up, an entourage steps in, and the guru is no longer readily available. Access to the guru becomes scarce. A pecking order, a hierarchy of rank, based on who has closest ties to the guru, develops.



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/2023 02:34AM by corboy.

Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: Greentrees44 ()
Date: March 11, 2023 03:00AM

Yes he should have nipped it in the bud.

Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: Greentrees44 ()
Date: March 11, 2023 04:58AM

I've also seen that they are now calling Monte Sahaja a 'monastery' on the website.

I've been very familiar with the word 'ashram' but I always thought that meant a sort of 'religious centre' or at the most 'retreat'. I didn't realise it means monastery. 'Ashram' has been very casually used term by a lot of modern spiritual groups - ashrams everywhere but not many monks to be seen.

There is a significance in the use of 'monastery / ashram' - it lays claim to a religious authority, and also enables whoever is in charge to usher in a separate set of rules. A monastery can be tightly governed. It can be done well or badly, but it enables CLOSE control to be exercised. Suddenly the ground becomes hallowed. A territory where even the law itself might fear to tread.

Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: Greentrees44 ()
Date: March 11, 2023 11:19PM

corboy Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Brad Warner, a teacher in a non Advaita tradition
> wrote an essay entitled More Reflections on How
> Spiritual Teachers go wrong.
>
> [hardcorezen.info]
>
> Part of it is the business model too many of them
> follow.
>

This pretty much nails it - if you think about it it's not that hard to understand or explain: no matter how spiritual we are we can't override our biology and the pull of status, being worshipped and multiple partners, so the only way to manage it is to know what's coming and change direction - once you're in it you don't get to come back out. If you've drunk your onw kool aid, you'll think you can dip your toe in but you're better than to fall all the way in. Nobody is.

Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 12, 2023 12:23AM

My hunch is that the social and physical settings for gurus combine to create temptations beyond anyone's strength.

By the time Moo got started in the guru business there were years of research on how groups become dangerous when socially isolated. Years of guru scandals had been documented. Moo could've sat himself down and studied all this, gotten some advice on precautions to take.

Successful gurus attract predators. This is a sad fact of life and any responsible teacher should be aware of this and take precautions.

The simplest precaution any teacher can take is to schedule frequent vacations similar to the school year - this keeps students from becoming unduly dependent and the teacher can take rest breaks as well.

A teacher should not need to be insulated by guards or an entourage. This has a corrupting effect on any human being. If a teacher actually needs guards and an entourage, IMO the situation is already corrupt.

If people start spreading rumors that the teacher is god, or divine, can read minds, the teacher should rebuke this and underline it by cancelling satsangs for at least a week or more. Take down websites, Youtube videos, social media and phone apps for that same amount of time and explain why.

* The teacher should see to his or her own meals and accommodations. His or her human privacy needs to be respected, including time for exercise and watching trashy comedy shows and movies.

*Too often wealthy disciples who provide food shelter and privacy to the guru become favorites. This leads to gossip and ill will. (People with cramped apartments don't offer hospitality, people with large houses do offer - its just the way things are.)

What begins with the best intentions - hospitality and support from well off disciples - too often leads to a bad outcome for a guru. This well intentioned generosity undermines the self discipline a guru learned when younger.

With the passage of years, support from affluent disciples brings a guru to the skid row of success - insulation from the irritations of ordinary life, no longer having to stand in line at the grocery store, no need for waiting for the laundry to dry, no need to circle the block looking for a parking spot when a hired car takes you anywhere at the snap of one's fingers.

** If a teacher is deprived of privacy, this is a signal that too many students are becoming intrusively dependent. This is no longer an educational situation but a problematic one. Best for everyone to take a break.

* Keep costs low

* Begin and end satsangs on time

* Have a strict no laughing at anyone's expense policy during satsangs or Q & A

* Do not orchestrate any events that get people sleep deprived or tranced out

* Renting accommodations is a way to avoid the entanglements of property ownership.

Above all, avoid emulating the 'rockstar guru' model and do-no-not establish a guru centered residential ashram model, especially not in an isolated area.

* People should be responsible for their own shelter and meals. Residential ashrams attract escapists and breed inmate syndrome. People who get dependent on the ashram can be easily intimidated/manipulated by threats of expulsion. (It is also tempting for dishonest ashram staff members to embezzle by holding back funds and catering substandard meals to guests.)

In old days when few people could afford to travel from home, a visit to a guru might be rare. The rest of one's life, one had to work to grow and harvest the crops. Only in recent times with very large food and cash surpluses could large numbers of people assemble long term to establish settlements and permanent retinues and harems around a rock star guru.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 03/12/2023 02:24AM by corboy.

Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: Greentrees44 ()
Date: March 12, 2023 10:07PM

All correct.

People who attended the Zmar retreats probably had a more helpful experience - the fact that it was rented out and everyone was there temporarily would have helped a lot.

One thing to consider regards the acolyte / follower: If they do get drawn into worshippy behaviour, its easy for them to tell themselves that they are being kind towards the 'master' - they can view it as self-effacement and 'egoless' behaviour. In other words, worship of the master becomes their great virtue. It's based on the (perhaps understandable) confusion that kindness, veneration and even worship of another person must always be venerable behaviour, because you are raising another person up instead of yourself.

Religious respect can be the means by which a person is taught modesty and taught that they are a small part of greater whole community.

So this element of traditional religions can be used by a guru's follower to justify all their carry-on - fawning at their feet etc - except that this is no longer 'respectful behaviour' really.

I think the line is crossed when you are treating your guru differently than you would treat another person you consider worthy of your respect. Do you prostrate yourself at the feet of your Grandparents? The CEO of you workplace? A friend that you value?

Re: Mooji a cult?
Posted by: Canoe 44 ()
Date: April 23, 2023 02:03AM

Does anyone have a full list of the Mooji followers that committed suicide?

I'm aware of:

Flo Camoin
Helen Kelby
Mark Ross


and someone in 2017 in I believe Johannesburg, South Africa.

There was also a strange sudden death around Mooji's mini-me Ananta Garg. I've seen photos of him carrying the wood to burn her body.

If anyone knows the name of the individual in Africa, and the name of the person that died with Ananta, that would be helpful.
thanks

Re: Mooji a cult?
Date: August 18, 2023 05:48AM

Hello friends,
I'm involved in helping someone research Mooji for a critical article.
It's time this fraud was exposed even more than he has been so far.
Feel free to pm me if you'd like to share anything.
thank you!

Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
This forum powered by Phorum.