Current Page: 17 of 708
Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: devadasi ()
Date: May 19, 2006 07:18AM

Yea it is true what you say about many of Chris's followers, they are good people and with some of the so-called spiritual leaders of the day and their antics it does not make Chris look that bad.. Like I said, I could have been doing worse things at the time. In fact if not for Siddha I would have remained on drugs, it was with his help I kicked a lot of bad habits. I agree Siddha did not qualify for celibacy but I think the modern findings are bit rash. Some rare souls are able to control their sex urge and the whole yoga system is based on it. Just because Siddha couldn't maintain celibacy does not disqualify many great souls who could. That was a big shock to most of us when he got married. After teaching so much of the negative implications about sex life, then he himself getting married was too much for many. It also points out the fact he must have taken sannyasa for prestige and a high position in the first place. He always told the story of how he became like the Buddha after his girlfriend dumped him, how he decided he would never suffer that pain again and then started practicing yoga at age 19 or something like that. I guess him finding the real girl of his dreams was the reward for all his austerities. Even if she was already married once and with kids. Shortly after they were married it became 'all glories to Vaishnava dasi' another 'pure devotee'. Things got a lot more complicated for the higher echelons and everyone involved when he got married. That is when I started loosing interest in being his follower.
All the followers said he was still celibate even after he got a wife, I knew from the beginning that had to be a lie. The veda teaches celibacy does not just mean the gross act of sex, it means close association with the opposite sex had to be ended, but he is living 24 hours with a beautiful women, yea right!!! Also supplying her with palace like homes on the ocean front in high end areas of the world like Honolulu and Malibu, but he is celibate?, you gotta be near brainless to believe that. Vaishnava dasi, that is her name, has become a world famous yoga teacher too, like Chris. But like Chris her profile is 'New Age' not Krishna Conscious. Another one of the many contradictions in what Chris teaches and what he actually does. He always said yoga was not a business but built his wife's yoga trip up into a big yoga business using his followers money and energy to promote her. I heard at one point he even had one of his brahmacharya (celibate student monk) disciples working full time just to grow flowers for the yoga show. What a contradiction to have a celibate monk growing flowers for a woman.

Anyway at least it looks like a happy ending for both Vaishnava dasi and Siddha, the husband and wife yoga team. I get teary eyed just thinking about it.

Options: ReplyQuote
Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: devadasi ()
Date: May 19, 2006 08:43AM

It is nice to hear Katyayani is doing well and doing what she likes. She had such a sweet nature. I never understood the politics, I don't think she did either. It sounds like she succeeded where Siddha failed. He always wanted to attract the elite of society, but most of us were just hippies like him. Maybe that was one reason for his frustration and phobias, he used to always say, 'you can't teach an old dog, new tricks.' I believe Kayayani was a sincere seeker of truth maybe she has come closer to it on her own.

Sorry to hear about Tusta, I was not close to him but I know he was revered by all and some would have preferred to be his disciple due to his more relaxed and uncritical nature as compared to Siddha, but he was so dedicated to Siddha he would not accept his own disciples. I think Tusta was a better example of a follower to his guru, Siddha, than Siddha was to his supposed guru Bhaktivedanta Swami. That must have been a big blow to his group to lose Tusta, as Tusta was a mover and shaker and perhaps the only other person besides Vaishnava dasi, Siddha ever really trusted.

Options: ReplyQuote
Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: just-googling ()
Date: May 19, 2006 12:32PM

Hi Initiate:

I remember listening to a lecture by Chris Butler about how he had visited his father in Honolulu - I forget the gist of the whole lecture but I seem to remember the impression was that his father was quite disappointed after the meeting. I think this was in the early 1980s. (I think the gist was something like "God is our real father and that Mr. Butler Senior was only the father of this material body, etc.")

It would be interesting to know how many of the devotees' children have dropped out of the religion or even on good terms with their parents. I also seem to remember that Katyayani was married at least three times and had quite a few children, and I think one of her children was going astray in some way, though I don't know the details. What you say about communicating with one's children is very true!

Options: ReplyQuote
Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: initiate ()
Date: May 19, 2006 03:02PM

This post is in response to a private request concerning some children in the group.

I have read the whole thread. I did notice those posts concerning the children. I don’t know if I or any other “ex” can help you. I can only speak of my experiences during a certain time period. I can’t speak for what may be happening in the group now. History is usually a good indicator for the future though. I stand firmly by what I said about parents and it is backed up by a lot of experience with a cult rescuer who also has a PhD in Psychology. It’s all about taking responsibility. Sorry if this makes people uncomfortable, but it is the truth. My point was how to raise your children to have a good B.S. meter. If you have not done that, you may have to deal with the reality of cults. Then there are other strategies of which this website is full.

You seem to be looking for someone to reveal secret techniques of mind control and nefarious coercion rituals. It just never existed during my tenure in the group. The “spiritual” practices themselves are neither dangerous nor damaging (i.e., mantra meditation, vegetarianism, abstaining from alcohol and drugs, abstaining from sex outside of marriage, abstaining from gambling). What is harmful is giving over all your power, skills, ambition, creativity, independence (called surrendering to the pure devotee) and letting him separate you from your money! (Tithes were required of people who had jobs, as with most churchs.) Are you going to bank your life on a man who believes himself to be a Christ-like and infallible figure? It’s not a new phenomenon. Joseph Smith (Mormons), Mohammed, and others have started new religions so long ago they have become mainstream. (Until 9-11 Islam was considered one of the five great religions, but it was once a new religion too). Who knows, maybe Jagad Guru will start his own disciplic succession. The onus is ultimately on the parents to teach their children well and for every individual adult to build their own discernment detectors.

As for under-aged children, it is a legal issue. You have not given enough information. Are they involved in a custody battle with a non-participant of the group? Are the children with a parent or legal guardian that is a member of the group? If that is the case, there is not much you can do. Unless the non-custodial parent can prove child abuse and the court recognizes parent alienation (rare), you’ll have to wait for the child to grow up. The courts recognize freedom of religion. They never rule against a parent because of any religious affiliation unless abuse has occurred. The other option is mediation with parents agreeing to respect each other’s differences so visitation can occur. Even without a religious component, these things can be nasty.

A parent can always take the other parent to court and try to get an evaluation done to prove the environment is unsafe. As long as the child’s minimum legal needs are being met, courts do not consider religion. It is a costly and grueling experience that can take many years to settle with no guarantee of success.

You ask, “Why the children are sworn to secrecy by the group”. I never experienced anyone in the group making the children swear to be secret. As with any insular religious groups such as Orthodox or Chassidic Jews or the Amish, the children grow up knowing that the rest of society thinks them odd and different and are hesitant to be open with strangers. The parents I knew were as concerned about the welfare of their children as anyone else. They wanted the children to be protected from outside influences they felt would be harmful. They didn’t want their children to eat meat anymore than an Orthodox Jew wants their children to eat non-kosher food. They wanted to raise their children according to their own beliefs. Like it or not, it’s called freedom of religion and is protected by law. The courts always recognize the rights of the parents to practice and teach religion to their children as they see fit. The only thing that we were required to keep secret was the whereabouts of Chris Butler (if we knew) or things in the nature of protecting people’s privacy or businesses. There were no secret teachings, nor a disparity between public teaching and private practice.

You ask, “Why there is so much pressure to retain an underage child in the group?” There is no more pressure here than a Christian parent or a Jewish parent wanting to raise their children according to their own beliefs. I never saw under-age children targeted by this group. A parent is always involved. Unfortunately, for all isolationist religious groups, fear of the world is the currency used to keep them believers. So parents were hesitant to let their children play with regular kids. This is also why they started their own schools, why many Christians home school, why Chassidic Jews run their own yeshivahs, why Muslims open madrassas.

You ask, “and why they violate a parents wishes and refuse to leave the child alone? “ I have no idea what you are referring to here. I have never seen this. If this has happened, then parents can get a restraining order against the perpetrators, get therapy for the child, and move locations if need be. If strangers have such influence on two of their children overiding both parents, someone is not guarding the gates!

It was never a policy to tell other people’s kids they love them more or are their real family. If this happened it was some dumb follower. Chris Butler is not stupid. There is no way he would jeopardize his empire over some idiot neophyte. He was not one to micro-manage his students, but, in the past, if he got wind of this, he’d drive this person out.

The only realistic thing I can advise in cases involving two parents, outside of consulting a lawyer, is to try to build bridges of communication and trust with the group participant who has the child(ren). You don’t have to agree with vegetarianism or chanting, but you still can keep in contact and build positive experiences and model respect with the child(ren). If a parent remains hostile and angry over beliefs, this will only drive the children away and confirm their fears. Learn as much as you can about what they are being taught so you can help them build their own guages in the future.

Options: ReplyQuote
Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: initiate ()
Date: May 19, 2006 03:22PM

Quote
just-googling
Hi Initiate:

I remember listening to a lecture by Chris Butler about how he had visited his father in Honolulu - I forget the gist of the whole lecture but I seem to remember the impression was that his father was quite disappointed after the meeting. I think this was in the early 1980s. (I think the gist was something like "God is our real father and that Mr. Butler Senior was only the father of this material body, etc.")

It would be interesting to know how many of the devotees' children have dropped out of the religion or even on good terms with their parents. I also seem to remember that Katyayani was married at least three times and had quite a few children, and I think one of her children was going astray in some way, though I don't know the details. What you say about communicating with one's children is very true!

Hi googling,
What you say is true. There was a very high percentage of multiple marriages, affairs, kids from different fathers, inconsistent lifestyles, and lots of gay women with kids. The most common problem with the teenagers was getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant. (no surprise there from a group that supresses sexuality). See what "controlling the five senses" did! A couple of the kids of the top devotees got busted for stealing cars and went to juvenile hall for awhile. Smoking, drinking. It all sounds like Catholic school! It would make an interesting sociology study to find out what has happened with all of the kids.

Options: ReplyQuote
Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: devadasi ()
Date: May 19, 2006 09:14PM

Yea I remember all broken marriages and remarriages. Although I know many people who followed Siddha were really sincere, I began to see most were not really following what was written in the books and when Siddha himself married a disciple who was divorced from another one of his disciples that was a little too much and hard to accept. Especially considering he had so strongly preached that one should be married only one time and if it did not work that person should give up the idea of marriage and do everything in Krishnas service. Then when he got married and it was so blatantly obvious he had gone against what he was teaching and the teachings of the Vaishnava religion he flip-flopped and said if there is no sex in the second marriage then it is ok to have a partner just to serve Krishna together. Just looked like a smokescreen to me. I think everyone including Siddha himself is/was in denial about the reason he got married. It was just plain attachment for the opposite sex nothing more and nothing less. But no one in the group would admit it. Nothing spiritual about a Vaishnava sannyasi giving up sannyasa and marrying his spiritual daughter. Even being alone with a women by Vaishnava standards is considered breaking celibacy.

I am not saying the standard of celibacy within the Vaishnava religion is bad or good what I am saying is he did not follow the standard. So I realized he was not really a bona-fide guru in the Vaishnava religion which was what I thought I was following at the time.

Not only was he attached to the opposite sex, but also to his position. He could give up neither. So I realized he was not a real sadhu.

Options: ReplyQuote
Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: initiate ()
Date: May 19, 2006 10:53PM

Quote
initiate
Quote
just-googling
Hi Initiate:

I remember listening to a lecture by Chris Butler about how he had visited his father in Honolulu - I forget the gist of the whole lecture but I seem to remember the impression was that his father was quite disappointed after the meeting. I think this was in the early 1980s. (I think the gist was something like "God is our real father and that Mr. Butler Senior was only the father of this material body, etc.")

It would be interesting to know how many of the devotees' children have dropped out of the religion or even on good terms with their parents. I also seem to remember that Katyayani was married at least three times and had quite a few children, and I think one of her children was going astray in some way, though I don't know the details. What you say about communicating with one's children is very true!

Hi googling,
What you say is true. There was a very high percentage of multiple marriages, affairs, kids from different fathers, inconsistent lifestyles, and lots of gay women with kids. Some of the teenagers got pregnant or got someone pregnant. A couple of the kids of the top devotees got busted for stealing cars and went to juvenile hall for awhile. Smoking, drinking. It all sounds like Catholic school! It would make an interesting sociology study to find out what has happened with all of the kids. Most of the kids I knew were really nice and healthy, even the kids that got in trouble. I don't want to give the impression that it was all crazy because it just wasn't.

Options: ReplyQuote
Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: just-googling ()
Date: May 19, 2006 11:05PM

Hi Initiate:

It sounds as you were around in the very early days when Chris was known as just "Siddha"... It seems odd that a person would want to conceal his whereabouts from his own father, (pure devotee or not)... Seems like the paranoid mentality was there from the early days also but maybe got worse as time went on. I think what might be going on is an element of drawing a parallel to Jesus Christ and how Jesus had so many enemies who were jealous of his powers and eventually had him crucified, hence the secrecy of location, but still seems odd to consider one's own father one of the enemy...

However, as we all know, these people tend to divide the world into two kinds of people - "devotees and demons" and if one is not a devotee, then one automatically falls into the category of "demon" - thus the rationality to shun one's own father.

Options: ReplyQuote
Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: initiate ()
Date: May 20, 2006 12:45AM

Quote
just-googling
Hi Initiate:

It sounds as you were around in the very early days when Chris was known as just "Siddha"... It seems odd that a person would want to conceal his whereabouts from his own father, (pure devotee or not)... Seems like the paranoid mentality was there from the early days also but maybe got worse as time went on. I think what might be going on is an element of drawing a parallel to Jesus Christ and how Jesus had so many enemies who were jealous of his powers and eventually had him crucified, hence the secrecy of location, but still seems odd to consider one's own father one of the enemy...

However, as we all know, these people tend to divide the world into two kinds of people - "devotees and demons" and if one is not a devotee, then one automatically falls into the category of "demon" - thus the rationality to shun one's own father.

Or if you have the delusion that you are a Jesus-like figure, it only follows that the Romans will get you eventually. Three kinds of people - devotees, innocent karmis who need you teach them about serving Krishna and the pure devoteeeee, and demons.

In my opinion, the most spiritual thing that he can do is to make peace and honor his father.

Options: ReplyQuote
Krishna group in Hawaii
Posted by: initiate ()
Date: May 20, 2006 12:55AM

Unlike the prototypical image of the debauched guru living high and luxuriously off the backs of the followers, the Siddha I knew lived a very simple life, often in humble back houses on rural properties. Yes he had secretaries and gofers who cooked and cleaned for him while he meditated, wrote, composed, lectured, recorded, started businesses and projects that supported him as well as his followers. If you worked for him, you got wages or room and board.

On the island of Kauai we rented a rural house where Siddha would lecture almost daily and where we put on free feasts on Sundays. Local hippies from the Taylor Camp commune, surfers and tourists attended. The first Down to Earth supported these activities as well as a lot of people. We built a one room cabin for Siddha on this property. There was no electricity, no hot water, outside showers, and thankfully, inside toilets. He had a bed, a chair, a desk, and shelves filled with books. (If I remember correctly, he only had an outhouse back there). Candles burned in glass jars. I remember one evening, under the glow of the candles sitting on tatami matts with Sudama, Tusta and Siddha discussing his ideas about land use and alternative technologies that did not violate the environment and, of course, some story about Krishna or Chaitanya. Then Siddha spoke from his heart sharing a personal story of his first love as a young man. She was beautiful and oriental. He was absolutely in love with her. She rejected his advances. He described how he was so devastated by the experience that he slammed his hand into the windshield of his car and made a decision, “I’m going to be like the Buddha now.” That is when he set himself on a course that has influenced many lives ever since. That is when he took his first Sanyas (life of a celibate monk). He related how he saw this girl many years later; how she had changed looking sad and used up.

I can tell you, that for me, I had some of the happiest times in my life living on that farm on Kauai. Our daily lives were filled with chanting, meditating, gardening or working on farms or doing odd jobs in construction, tearing down houses, working on cars, going on pineapple, coconut, and banana runs, surfing, and organizing feasts and cooking for crowds. I was in the best shape of my life. There were magic moments during kirtans, drug-free ecstatic moments where one could experience G*d’s presence. One such time occurred early in the morning when we were chanting uproariously. Siddha raised his hands to have us all stop abruptly. For a moment there was such a total silence that it actually seemed loud. Then the birds went mad! It sounded as if every bird in the universe was singing. They were pissed off we stopped! Everyone laughed and began chanting again.

Another time on Maui we took our mrdunga drums, harmonium and guitars under the full moon for a kirtan. All the horses from the land next door came over to listen to us chant and play. Then an incredible thing happened. Two of the horses started to dance. One of them moved his head up and down exactly to the beat. We all moved closer to each other and danced together.

As Siddha got more interested in politics and building his media empire and businesses, these types of experiences lessened. Followers were getting married and starting families. Rents and car payments needed to be met. No longer was there time to keep the rusting Dodge Darts rolling. And Siddha became less and less accessible. No more daily lectures and kirtans on the beach with him. No more intimate conversations and “talking story”. He did have some good reasons to be paranoid, which I’ll write about later, but he created that reality.

Options: ReplyQuote
Current Page: 17 of 708


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