Hello Good People,
In the late 1970s and early 80s when I was a teenager, I fell into the clutches of an unethical and abusive "guru" who used undue influence, drugs, and mind control to lure me into his cult. His name is James Swartz. Back then we called him Rama--today he calls himself Ramji.
When I met Rama I was not looking for spirituality...I wasn't a "seeker"...I didn't know what a guru was...I had no idea what a spiritual path was. I had a crash collision with this terrible man. He saw my vulnerability, he quickly discovered I was easily controlled, and that's how I became involved with this "spiritual teacher".
I was abused and traumatized by James Swartz. Today he still promotes himself as a spiritual teacher. There are 2 other threads on this forum where I've related my account...much discussion by others, and some who have recently left James Swartz's cult.
The world is much different today from when I was a young teenager in the 70s and 80s. People today have critical thinking abilities and awareness that we didn't have before. Many people have been burned by fraudulent teachers who benefit at other's expense. People are discussing the issues of ethics in spiritual communities. This is a wonderful development for all of us!
Rick Archer of Buddha at the Gas Pump
leads a discussion at the Science and Nonduality Conference (SAND) on Discussion on Ethics in Spiritual Communities.
It is amazing and wonderful that people are discussing these difficult issues. Please see the youtube video:
Discussion on Sexual Misconduct, Money, Power, Trauma, & Ethics in Spiritual Communities - BatGap
I'm going to finish watching this and take some notes. Perhaps I will bring in some of my notes on this thread.
Let's talk about it.
Please feel free to comment...let's ask questions and talk about the issues.