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Re: Setting a Standard for Ethical Behavior in ISKCON
Posted by: The Whirlwind ()
Date: October 31, 2021 09:30AM

RUN_FOREST_RUN, I'll show you some support-group stuff.

Here it is. Straight up, RUN_FOREST_RUN: if somebody could absolutely, positively, beyond-any-doubt "prove" to me that there is no God and that atheism is the case, then I'd commit suicide right away (as in, immediately). It's a deeply existential thing to me, like as in the thought of Camus.

Why? Because it's my faith in God and some sort of Divine Plan which has pulled me through my darkest personal times. If it were not for my faith, then I'd have killed myself already (to be perfectly honest with you).

That's why I get uptight when atheists preach atheism to me. It's what I said (the existential component of it), plus the hypocrisy inherent in being a "preachy atheist."

Forget about ISKCON: I choose to believe in God, period, because of the evidence of my own lived experience, and the authority of Scripture and bona fide teachers of God consciousness (from whatever sectarian tradition they may be derived), aka "prophets" or "gurus" or whatever.

But that's just me. Others' mileage varies widely.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/31/2021 09:31AM by The Whirlwind.

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Re: Setting a Standard for Ethical Behavior in ISKCON
Posted by: IanKoviak ()
Date: October 31, 2021 09:43AM

I have found that atheism and leaving cults tend to go hand-in-hand.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/31/2021 09:45AM by IanKoviak.

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Re: Setting a Standard for Ethical Behavior in ISKCON
Posted by: The Whirlwind ()
Date: October 31, 2021 09:50AM

IanKoviak Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have found that atheism and leaving cults tend
> to go hand-in-hand.

What I've noticed is that somebody will leave a given group or situation, and become an atheist post-exit. They were "enlightened" while part of the group, and even more "enlightened" now that they're out of the group. Then they'll sorta turn into "preachy atheists." They're preachy both in and out of the group, just about different stuff. My best friend is kinda like that, bless his heart. :-)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/31/2021 09:51AM by The Whirlwind.

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Re: Setting a Standard for Ethical Behavior in ISKCON
Posted by: RUN_FOREST_RUN ()
Date: October 31, 2021 10:35AM

Fair enough. I'm not entirely sure how the above-quoted statement from my post amounts to preaching of atheism.

When I speak of it being a bunch of hooey, I'm speaking of the cultish aspects the society. Not one's personal belief in a God one way or another.

To me, the rituals, rules and regulations, excessive focus on mythology and personality worship are at the heart of a lot of the problems and the way it affects followers.

I may be on here simply as a believer in God all the same, just not a believer in the Krishna God. We can also agree that God the simply that which we don't know. But that would be disingenuous of my personal gripe with this specific cult.

Bhaktivedanta was a believer of Krishna. The fellow who is trying to implement these codes in the Swami's Society is a believer in Krishna. Krishna, as a central focal concept is at the heart of the rulemaking and ethical and moral belief systems. Hence, one who believes in Krishna, should have no problem following and believing that such codes are useful and helpful in one's Krishna consciousness.

I have to be honest, reading through my entire reply to you, I was pretty on point in answering what I felt were the logical and rational limitations and problems with such codes: How those codes will affect individual members. What a better use of such codes might be in terms of affecting the behavior of those in power (gurus/leaders), rather than worrying about how those codes are used by casual adherents.

If my atheism offends you, or you find it tiresome, I can definitely turn down the volume. But to me, it's at the heart of my recovery from being in these groups. And what has helped me not get so heavily affected when some numbnuts schmuck decides to create some codes for everybody to follow. In general, these types of things tend to have the opposite effect on followers. It turns people off and feels draconian. Everyone should be able to practice and believe and modify their Krishna Consciousness to what makes sense for them, not artificially impose some ideals that others create. It's one thing for a follower to ask for guidance on what rules to follow, it's a whole other thing to create a document that tries to control that behavior. Ultimately, as you've stated, at the heart of the Krishna faith is chanting. In its most basic form that is what it's about. Sankirtan. For the introvert maybe it's Japa. The rules and regs are not even that important. BUT, as I have stated before, this is disingenuous to say that THAT'S ALL ITS ABOUT. It certainly is at the heart of the main practices, but there is a lot more to it. That is a fact verified by its own gurus and scriptures.

Cults are usually related to God. Certainly, you must understand that recovery from Cults goes with a healthy dose of questioning, skepticism and yes, very often with a complete rejection of the philosophy, belief systems and spiritual and theistic ideas. To share what has helped me get out is why I am here.

I agree that this forum is about educating people about cults, not preaching atheism or theism. But for me, much of my education about krishna cults has been a complete rewiring of my understanding of how they formed, who its key proponents were, how the various myths came to be, what the scriptures and gurus actually say versus what they believe and what their behavior is like. All this to me goes together to form my opinions on such groups.

I am definitely happy to extricate myself from this conversation and hopefully, some other interested parties will chime in. I'm definitely not here to convince or convert anybody to atheism. Rationalism, skepticism and using one's common sense is good enough for me.

On a closing note, and as I have stated, these codes are just words at this stage. The society has a long way to go before they can create anything more substantial than the very scriptures and previous teachers in this path that has clearly spelled out with the rules and regulations are for everybody to follow. So, so-called codes of conduct cannot be anything more than that which is already found within their very own scriptures. Hence, not very useful. What would be useful is to produce a code of conduct for Gurus. This has never been done and the scriptures largely have versus protecting the position and role of the guru with impunity.

I have no issue with a belief in "god" as that may be many things to many people. In my journey, it has expressed itself as a type of dialectic monism. I simply do not believe in gods as they play out in religious myths. That does not mean that I don't essentially believe that reality rests on a scaffolding that is beyond my purview. You call it Krishna/god, I call it brahmna, creative force, eternity, infinity, paradox, yin yang, a persistent, all-pervading, evolving potentiality.

If a person needs a personal blue male god to feel "whole" as it were. To feel purposeful and filled with meaning, then there is nothing anyone should be able to say that disturbs their faith or affects them. Some people believe in god, some don't. Some need that idea, some do not. I certainly do not get affected or disturbed at the notion of a god existing or not existing. It means nothing to me because I can't relate or feel that in any meaningful, practical, and tangible way, so why should I give credence to it? But that's just me.

When I see people on these forums talking about being able to hear statues of Krishna talking to them or controlling their behavior, I feel sad for them. I feel scared for their mental health and welfare. But that's just me. Perhaps to them, it is a real as the skin on their body. Who am I to judge? Experience is subjective. But this rationale in my view can then be applied to any number of "spiritual" experiences. A person smuggling drug money to support their guru's increasingly excessive lifestyle may feel that they are authentically doing gods work. The realm of faith is something I am immensely skeptical of. Science is not perfect, but there are things in the realm of functional experience and those that are not. If "belief in god" has the functional result of making you feel that life is worth living, then who can argue that?

Preachy to me is a guy sitting for an hour talking about Kurma avatar. I'm just trying to make clear points. I could care less if you believe me or not, nor am I hoping to convince anyone here of anything. I have always stated these are all my realizations and where I am at with my approach to what being in the cult was like and the pitfalls I saw. If that is preachy to you, then yes, I am a preacher. funny thing is, I was no preacher in the cult. Reclusive/introverted pujari would sum it up.

That is my final word on the matter and please forgive my atheism.

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Re: Setting a Standard for Ethical Behavior in ISKCON
Posted by: The Whirlwind ()
Date: October 31, 2021 11:11AM

RUN_FOREST_RUN Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
...Certainly, you must understand that recovery from Cults goes with a healthy dose of questioning, skepticism and yes, very often with a complete rejection of the philosophy, belief systems and spiritual and theistic ideas. To share what has helped me get out is why I am here.

Sure, I get it; I understand that and I can appreciate where you are coming from.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/31/2021 11:12AM by The Whirlwind.

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Re: Setting a Standard for Ethical Behavior in ISKCON
Posted by: The Whirlwind ()
Date: November 01, 2021 08:33AM

IanKoviak Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I have found that atheism and leaving cults tend
> to go hand-in-hand.

And I have found that there are as many reasons accounting for why people join and subsequently leave cults, as there are people.

Your atheism works for you, Ian, and good for you that it does. But kindly don't use this venue to preach atheism. Preaching anything is against the rules here (not that I am the moderator, because I am not). Plus it's awfully patronizing of you.

Lots and lots of people leave cults (and other abusive situations) and maintain a theistic belief system. Lots of people leave abusive Bible-based ministries, for example, but still identify as Christians post-exit.

It's not inevitable that somebody who leaves a cult will embrace atheism, and it's not true that leaving cults and atheism go hand-in-hand. It's just not.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 11/01/2021 08:41AM by The Whirlwind.

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Re: Setting a Standard for Ethical Behavior in ISKCON
Posted by: Leslie Read ()
Date: November 05, 2021 01:38AM

"The relationship of surrender/subservience to the guru that is promoted as a way of advancing spiritually is fine, but the larger and more organized an institution gets, the more there is a need for qualified people to deal with the eventual fallout of those who are unable to process those types of dynamics and relationships."

This is especially true where there is an active use of occult controls (siddis) that people may not be aware of. In fact, many don't even believe in their existence...no less their ability to manipulate, unaware, those who follow certain teachers.

[integrityintruth.com]

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Re: Setting a Standard for Ethical Behavior in ISKCON
Posted by: Truth wins ()
Date: November 22, 2021 06:23AM

My only advice to anybody who loves this path and krishna is to stay away from the corrupt groups, gurus...
I no longer relate to this path but can understand how hard it is to let it go.
Believing in God is for sure a wonderful gift and solace.
You can now rebuild a better and healthier relation with your deities.
I know that unfortunatelty I had to share my very painful experiences and that I am seen as demon by devotees. It is normal and it is fine.
However I see Krishna as the being I have cared about the most in this lifetime.
I will neither forget the love nor the criminal supernatural attacks on my person.
Try and put the BS behind and live a faith without guilt, fear, expectations, being under the micropscope of other devotees, the drama, trauma...
Those gurus are themselves lunatics and they have misled others and destroeyd many.
Let them rott in theor own hell and establish your own heaven with the god you are faithful to.
No need for middle men and association.
It os an absolute shame to be linked to any of these groups.
Sorry I have hurt or offended you as a devotee.
I do wish you all the best and may you always find solace and happiness in your faith.

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Re: Setting a Standard for Ethical Behavior in ISKCON
Posted by: RUN_FOREST_RUN ()
Date: November 24, 2021 01:41AM

What occult control/siddhi, specifically, have you experienced? What, when, and how did it manifest?

I'm not referring to such things when I write. I believe most control or so-called enlightened experiences we have are simple temporary shifts in perception/awareness/consciousness/mind. Any so-called control a guru has over us is based on simple psychology of trauma bonding and psychological dependence, often self-generated based on subjugating our defense mechanisms and "surrendering". This then is reinforced by the dogma of the particular cult in question and can have many ramifications as time goes on. Sometimes the abuse that happens is self-inflicted, other times its people taking advantage of our giving/docile mood, which they mistake or assess as your desire to "serve". Is it really any wonder abuse in these cults is near impossible to get a pulse on? The very scriptures often forbid questioning the guru without the risk of spiritual suicide and threat to your progress and advancement. The longer you are in the cult the more your ego/sense of self is linked to every aspect: The community, the rituals, the stories etc etc.

In the end you find that years have gone by and a society like ISKCON, 40 years later, is still having to create yet more rules and codes and still offers ZERO safe ways for its members to deal with the inevitable issues that arise in such highly unnatural hierarchy and relationship structures. Even this code of ethics offers ZERO phone numbers or contacts to meditations and dispute services but rather leaves it up to individual temples to develop their own resources for such things. Guess what? It won't happen. There is no incentive and puts the responsibility on the gurus/leaders to show results and answer for their behaviors. And yet another 40 years will go by with a generation of followers praising their ISKCON and founder with nothing to show for itself of any substance.

What occult control/siddhi, specifically, have you experienced? What, when, and how did it manifest?

I'm sincerely interested as I see a lot of folks coming on here claiming such things with no detailed accounts given. I think it behooves people making such claims to clearly define what they are referring to.

Here is a list of basic siddhis found in assorted Indian scriptures: [en.wikipedia.org]

As you can see, it's a mixed bag of silly stuff like withstanding hot and cold to be able to travel anywhere in an instant. The majority of these are hearsay as they cannot be tangibly proven to anyone. Basically, anyone can claim to do or have done any number of these with impunity. As you can see that's problematic.

Almost every Indian spiritual tradition has its own list of these "superpowers". People like a good magic trick.

The only control I can attest to that any guru had over me was that I truly believed them and had surrendered my thinking to them. I was taught to not listen to myself and not trust myself and only believe and listen to them. Because I wanted to have a relationship with God I did as they said. Because I wanted to experience a true connection with god I read scriptures that reinforced the idea that I am not to question the guru, worship him humbly and all will be revealed in due time. I was told that such scriptures were the final authority for man. And no matter how foolish the guru sounded or the scriptures sounded I believed. I shut that voice in my mind that screamed "THIS IS TOTAL BULLSHIT!!!!" and flooded every ounce of my thinking with the opposite of my instinct and rational consideration. When the guru said jump. I jumped. When the guru chastised or used me for endless hours of hard free labor to make his ashram nice, I did it with a smile on my face. I was told I was impure, lower than a worm in stool and my only hope was to chant some mantra on repeat and that if I was not making any progress or not feeling the "nectar" it must be something about me, my thoughts, my actions or simply bad karma/sukriti or some other issue on my part.

My gurus were fat, out of shape, lazy fucks who convinced a bunch of people to serve them and buy them temples and land and bring them more followers. They had the siddhi of a donald trump. They ate good food, got massages every day and got angry when they got word that followers were leaving because they had enough. And like trump, they make bold claims over and over without offering any proof of what they claim. yet they are quick to cry "fake news" when presented with facts about the philosophical problems of their faith and scriptures and gurus.

The gurus I followed were borderline pedophiles, abusers, drug smugglers, embezzlers, and self-centered megalomaniacs. This was God's grand representative on earth. They unabashedly criticized proven science, women, black people, other religions, etc etc. They knew kids were experiencing sexual and physical abuse and they did NOTHING. They arranged loveless marriages between their disciples and vouched for a dictatorship community that built itself up on free labor and pandered a feel-good idealism to their naive followers.

I have no good words for these "gurus". They were at best delusional religious fanatics and at worst expert criminals who thought they were above the law.

As always—RUN.

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Re: Setting a Standard for Ethical Behavior in ISKCON
Posted by: The Whirlwind ()
Date: November 24, 2021 02:35AM

Truth wins Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My only advice to anybody who loves this path and
> krishna is to stay away from the corrupt groups,
> gurus...
> I no longer relate to this path but can understand
> how hard it is to let it go.
> Believing in God is for sure a wonderful gift and
> solace.
> You can now rebuild a better and healthier
> relation with your deities.
> I know that unfortunatelty I had to share my very
> painful experiences and that I am seen as demon by
> devotees. It is normal and it is fine.
> However I see Krishna as the being I have cared
> about the most in this lifetime.
> I will neither forget the love nor the criminal
> supernatural attacks on my person.
> Try and put the BS behind and live a faith without
> guilt, fear, expectations, being under the
> micropscope of other devotees, the drama,
> trauma...
> Those gurus are themselves lunatics and they have
> misled others and destroeyd many.
> Let them rott in theor own hell and establish your
> own heaven with the god you are faithful to.
> No need for middle men and association.
> It os an absolute shame to be linked to any of
> these groups.
> Sorry I have hurt or offended you as a devotee.
> I do wish you all the best and may you always find
> solace and happiness in your faith.

Truth wins: may I please be really honest with you about something, in a spirit of respect and friendship?

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