Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: GODHIMSELF ()
Date: December 12, 2018 05:21AM

Posted by Veracity March 29 2010


Butler trades his "Brand Name" like a product endorsement (JAGAD GURU, pure devotee, g0d's representative, umbrella of spiritual protection) in exchange for a cut of the profits. It's a great scam that not only feeds his ego, but also his wallet. The older followers get to use Butler's image and name to recruit "volunteers" for slave wages which helps run their businesses. All the followers have to do is to pay the mafia boss, ...erm..., their spiritual master, a percentage of the profits. It's a WIN-WIN situation for both follower and Butler. This may be the real reason so many older devotees stay on for years after knowing what a fraud he is. It's pure business. If they wake up and realize this after they have raised kids and grandkids in the cult it's too late. They are fully invested. The children of the followers either join the family business or get seed money to start their own businesses.

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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: GODHIMSELF ()
Date: December 12, 2018 05:37AM

Posted by: Vera City ()
Date: April 24, 2010 09:25AM

A to Z ....It does feature all the facets of this destructive Cult.

The Science of Identity Foundation, founded in Hawaii in 1977, is centre to a network of business, political and spiritual enterprises operating throughout the world under the direction of Chris Butler (Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa).

The 'science of identity' is also the title given to a distinct doctrine, as defined by Chris Butler, centered on the concept of spiritual life being dependent on any individual discovering thier 'actual identity' and being prepared to live according to their 'true nature'.

As organisation and philosophy are entirely co-existent both are essentially referred to by the abbreviation of SoI. Also called the Science of Identity Foundation (SIF)

SoI is based around an authoritarian pyramid structure with Chris Butler, accepted as being the only genuine spiritual authority on earth and a direct link to God, at the top. Current biographies on the internet are showing him making alliances with other current and former ISKCON or "gaudiya vaishnava" orgs. At least publicly he does not show the title "Prabhupad" but rather "Paramahansa". I will write more on this later.

The means for achieving 'liberation from the endless cycle of birth and death' (re-incarnation) in SoI and 'going home to Godhead' (existing in the eternal bliss of Krishna's heavenly abode) is to accept Chris Butler's teachings as the 'absolute truth' and to engage in 'bhaki yoga' (devotional service).

Devotional service includes acting as a servant in Chris Butler's mansion or his personal kitchen, working in one of the businesses owned by SoI (and 'donating' a mandatory 25% deducted directly from employees wages), serving as a political candidate or other public position under Chris Butler's instruction or acting as an armed bodyguard. Every need for Chris Butler is catered for from doing his laundry to standing up wind from wherever he is as an 'air-sniffer' on alert for toxins and offensive odours or paddling in the surf to give the impression that the beach is crowded so he may surf undisturbed.

Deceptive and co-ercive tactics are used to recruit and maintain followers (devotees) such as claiming to be non-religious and non-sectarian or to be teaching meditation for 'stress relief' and yoga for 'fitness'. Details of Chris Butler's personal history and teachings are routinely concealed or fabricated. Shunning and retribution are imposed on disobedient and former followers.

While claiming to be teaching ancient and traditional forms of meditation and yoga all disciplines within SoI are the modern creation of Chris Butler derived from various influences. "Gauranga breathing" is claimed by Butler to be able to extend one's life while "Deep Peace" meditation is identical to the practice of progressive relaxation hypnosis. SoI has progressively evolved to the level of deception of presenting the ways in which devotees are instructed to live by Chris Butler as a form of yoga. Jaya yoga (Jaya meaning 'victory') was implemented... as a means of guiding recruits to Hawaii where the largest population of devotees and Butler himself live.

Chris Butler 'chastises', humilates, punishes, fines and banishes those who are displeasing to him. 'Chastisement' is a common theme in his recorded lectures where he details the problems his followers have written to him about, seeking his guidance, and derides them or is heard to berate a follower speaking with him in person.

Followers live in the general community, although they maintain strict isolation. Chris Butler teaches that to associate with non-devotees, is dangerous to one's consciousness and will lead to the destruction of their spiritual life. Devotees often live co-dependently of each other, sharing houses and with younger devotees taken in by disciples. There are some small communes especially for young single women where they are kept in near total isolation until marriage.

As it is not acceptable to marry non-devotees many families are related. Marriages and divorces are ordered by Butler and he condones his male
followers having more than one wife. Women are guided to feel useless and incapable of spiritual advancement if they do not have a husband.

Family is taught to be a false identification and raising children is accepted as being 'devotional service' with the only goal of parenting to be raising souls to be followers of Chris Butler.

Once a child turns five they are considered to be of age to become serious about spiritual life ...Sending a child to public school has been declared by Butler to be the equivalent of murdering them.

Followers of Chris Butler or 'devotees' fall into categories on the descending hierachy - 'pure devotees', 'senior disciples', 'disciples', 'students' and 'new people'.

Pure devotee is a distinction reserved for Chris Butler himself and those who are his close personal associates, such as his wife Wai Lana, who he gave the initiated name of Vaishnava dasi - meaning servant of a pure devotee.

In his own teachings Chris Butler places himself on the same level of character and devotion as Jesus Christ who he claims is also a pure devotee of Krishna.

Any action of a pure devotee is deemed to be pleasing to God, even when it contradicts the standards which Chris Butler expects of his followers or the scripture he refers to and has written himself.

Senior disciples are slightly more elite than disciples, ranked according to the length of time they have served Chris Butler as 'surrendered souls' and the closer their personal relationship is to him. Those who are considered to be senior disciples have been on friendly terms with Chris Butler personally and worked on his more ambitious or lucrative 'projects'. Mere disciples have often not even met or personally communicated with Chris Butler, even on their initiation.

The signifigance of 'initiation' is that a devotee has offerred their life and every action to Chris Butler and, according to him, that he accepts them on these terms makes the relationship equal. On initiation Chris Butler bestows a 'spiritual name' which his disciples become known by, typically a Vedic word which (often, but not always) corressponds alphabetically to their original name. He also chants a mantra on their japa beads and returns them in exchange for the promise that they will chant a set number, usually sixteen, of 'rounds' a day for the rest of their lives. A 'round' is one 'Maha' (great) mantra ...on each of a set of one hundred and eight beads which takes with takes about two hours a day.

Disciples are to be deferred to by students in the abscence of Chris Butler, which is typical as he is increasingly reclusive and uncontactable by all but a select few. They act to discipline through meeting among themselves and organise recruitment and projects.

Despite Chris Butler's personally absent spiritual guidance copious instructions are issued by him through his network of secretaries and staff in Hawaii and in his writings and recorded lectures. Disciples rely on contacting him indirectly through these means and issues which are considered important are brought to his attention through his secretary.

Students have had to demonstrate sufficient belief in Chris Butler to become progressively more exposed to his teachings, association with other devotees and involvement in his projects. Most long term students who do not contribute a significant amount of money or have been displeasing to Chris Butler in some way are shunned or considered spiritually dead. Not being initiated does not provide for liberation, creating an imperative to be as pleasing and devoted as possible.

Some disciples have taken advantage of this situation by soliciting money from students for investment and pyramid schemes, developing their businesses via free labour and manipulating sexual favours and money from students in exchange for recommending them for initiation. Chris Butler has shown no interest in these issues when they are brought to his attention beyond directing that all money should be sent directly to him.

New people are defined as those who are not deemed 'serious enough' by the controlling disciples to be given anymore than superficial access to the spiritual nature of the organisation and Chris Butler's teachings.

If a person becomes involved when they are aged beyond their twenties they are regarded with suspicion and may never progress above open classes simply because Chris Butler preaches that the older a person is without becoming his follower the more degraded their consciousness has become. Other factors which are considered is whether a person has a spouse or children that do not attend, whether they are regular attendants and if they have any assets or skills that are useful to service.

Chris Butler has an estimated twenty thousand 'devotees' with confirmed prescences in Australia, Belgium, Canada,China, Czech Republic, England, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Lithuania, New Zealand, Phillipines, Poland,Russia, Switzerland and the United States - particularly Hawaii, California, Arizona, New Jersey, New York, Washington and Texas.

SoI meditation and yoga centres, which serve as the primary means of recruitment, operate under various names. Typically titles are based on the location (eg- Australian School of Meditation) or favour the names of 'Chaitanya' or 'Gauranga' (eg- Chaitanya Mission and Gauranga School of Meditation). Names which contradict this general practice have also been documented (eg- Mantra Meditation in Hawaii and Gokula House in Melbourne,

SoI also carries on recruitment through dedicated 'outreach' operating in public spaces, such as libraries, community and youth centres, member's private homes, university campuses, through the WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities On Organic Farms) project, Brandon Raynor Massage Schools and Down to Earth 'Lifestyle Centres'.

Subliminal indoctrination is attempted according to the belief that exposing 'karmis' (non-believers) to the sounds of Chris Butler chanting and the consumption of 'prashadam' (food that has been ritually offered to the deity

Based on these beliefs SoI has established Wai Lana Yoga, which features the chanting of Chris Butler - credited as Siddha, Ajita's Vege Chips, the Down to Earth food chain, Healing Noni Juice and a multitude of smaller scale food service and musical projects, including Chris Butler's own failed rock star aspirations.

Even more abstract attempts to introduce SoI beliefs to an unsuspecting public include the cartoons Ninjai, Karma Kula and Wai Lana's 'Little Yogis' and coveting exposure in the entertainment industry.

As Chris Butler instructs his followers in what career they should take up it is interesting to note how many dedicate themselves to modelling, and acting, especially considering that Butler preaches the superficial nature of such professions and refers to watching movies as a waste of time. Under the guidance of Chris Butler is Radha Mitchell and minor actress Satcha Bellord, a stable of young models and aspiring musicians in Hawaii and Ground Up TV in the Phillipines featuring pop culture alongside solicitous female modelling.

Butler has pursued his political interests over four decades, telling his followers that one of them will eventually be president of the United States. To date he has succeeded in having a disciple on every level of Hawaiian government.

The 70s party Independents for Godly Government which included Rick Reid, Wayne Nishiki, Kathy Hoshijo, Larry Olsen and John Moore dissolved in controversy after Reid was exposed for engaging in dirty campaign tactics, on Chris Butler's orders... Other attempts to manipulate the democratic process have also surfaced.

In 1998 the EarthSave party was established in Australia by disciple Brandon Raynor in which every candidate was a fellow devotee. They failed to win any influence and have since disbanded.

Chris Butler's most successful political endeavour to date has been the Gabbard family. Mike Gabbard (Krishna Katha das) was elected Senator for Hawaii in 2006. Wife Carol Gabbard (Devaruti dasi) spent a record amount to win a place on the Hawaiian Board of Education and daughter Tulsi Gabbard-Tamayo won a seat in the House of Representatives in 2002.

Chris Butler's candidates show no party preference with Republican and Democrat candidates running simultaneously and Mike Gabbard switching from Republican to Democrat less than a year after being elected. Mike Gabbard has denied his allegiance to Chris Butler claiming to be Catholic, despite clear evidence to the contrary including 95% of his very unusual campaign contributions coming directly from SoI members. The only objective is to assure Chris Butler of as much influence as possible. With this same goal selected followers are directed to take up policing and positions with other government departments.

Various pressure groups have also been established by Chris Butler in the interests of gaining a controlling influence in the Vaishnava religious community and demonising homosexuality, with some interest extended to environmental issues. These include being a founding member and installing the president of the World Vaishnava Association, establishing and directing the Vaishnava Internet News Agency, Alliance Against Religous Vilification, Dharam Rakshak, Stand Up for America, several chapters of Stop Promoting Homosexuality and Save Traditional Marriage and the Healthy Hawaii Coalition.

Who is Chris Butler?

The youngest of three sons and a daughter born to Dr Willis Butler and his wife Barbara on 14th June 1948 Chris was born in Louisiana shorlty before the family relocated to Hawaii.

In his lectures to followers Chris does not remember his childhood fondly and as an adult became estranged from his family, apart from his brother Bruce, who became his disciple. He ordered his disciples in personal service to provide no details to his parents about where he was living refused to attend his own mother's funeral.

As an example of how unattached he is to his own 'material body' Chris Butler claimed to not realise that he was white until he was discriminated against by the local indigenous Hawaiians.

Brahman Realisation

Regardless of the different names the experience is the same. During this experience, the individual soul temporarily forgets his individual existence and merges into the impersonal Brahman effulgence... also known as the "clear light" or the "white light".

The experience involved can be brought about through various methods of meditation, prayer, chanting, and in some very rare cases, through the use of psychedelic drugs combined with any of the above mentioned processes. Also by psychosis.

According to legend among Butler's followers it was during an LSD "trip" that he reached the "white light" and claimed that he heard a voice telling him that he needed permission to enter. With this Chris Butler had a realisation that if he needed permission that there must be a higher authority above the impersonal goal. At that point he returned to material existence to share the realisation that God existed.

Origins In ISKCON

"That difference of opinion will continue, what can be done. Siddha Swarupananda Maharaja and his group, whenever they see me they give me money. So they are not against me."

-AC Bhaktivedanta Swami in a letter to his disciple Bhurijana 11th Nov 1975

In philosophy and lifestyle, in addition to sharing many critical aspects, SoI is derived from and maintains a strong resemblance to the ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) 'Hare Krishna' movement.

Most of Butler's philosophy, inferred credibility as a guru and his early following stems from his relationship with ISKCON.

There is an abundance of evidence to sugguest that he had a profound effect on the organisation in defining it's more controversial aspects and instigating challenges to authority that have proven highly divisive to this day.

Chris Butler claims to be the only true representative of ISKCON founder and guru AC Bhaktivedanta Swami. He portrays himself as a matyr violently opposed for his devotion by those who became set on corruption following AC Bhaktivedanta Swami's death.

Chris Butler arrived in ISKCON in late 1970 bringing with him a substantial donation of $18 800, property in Hawaii and between 50 to 100 of his own followers. While the estimation of numbers varies considerably it is generally
agreed that Sai, as Butler was then known, and his following where the largest group to ever join ISKCON.

Bhaktivedanta would initiate over five thousand disciples, but only one received a page in ISKCON's Back To Godhead magazine to commemorate the occassion. Butler wrote offering his obeisances (respects) to Bhaktivedanta Swami, declaring his commitment to ISKCON and lamenting his past
spiritual misjudgements.

Chris Butler was given the initiated name Siddhasvarupa - meaning 'one that is accomplished in image'in June 1971. This is hysterically funny as he is certainly a master of "image" - of creating a fraudulent persona that has exploited people for years!

Just six months prior to his initiation Butler had produced Sai Speaks to promote Krishna Yoga Community, a reinvention of his pre-existing commune, which was linked to Sivananda Ashram. Sai claimed to have mastered every traditional form of yoga, although he was still only twenty years old, and to be a genuine spiritual master although, he admitted at the time, not in disciplic succession.

In his considerably revised personal history, Butler would come to represent to his followers that he had attained to the highest level of enlightenment in the 'impersonal' philosophies (those which do not recognize God as an individual but within each human soul) only to encounter God himself and so become certain of his genuine existence.

At the time Butler was regularly using LSD, a fact he admits to in Sai Speaks and his publication "Drugs" and it was during a 'trip' that he experienced his divine awakening. He would later claim that the name Sai, which means 'master' was bestowed on him by Krishna. The name was actually bestowed on him by his initiating spiritual master of Sivananda Ashram as part of his full initiated name Sai Stokala Adhikari, which appears in Sai Speaks.

Hawaiian followers of AC Bhaktivedanta Swami were affronted by Sai's initiation of their practices, including leading sankirtan (public chanting parties), collecting money and claims to be following their guru. Bhaktivedanta renounced any connection to Sai and directed his disciples to print and distribute a leaflet of his own design to inform the general public that Sai was not representing Krishna Consciousness.

At the time Hare Krishna had become a household name and being denounced by Bhaktivedanta severely restricted Sai's ability to recruit new followers as he had intended as well as challenging his authority in front of his
existing following.

Butler sent his closest friend David Muncie, who would become known as Tusta Krishna das, to study with ISKCON and began to correspond with Bhaktivedanta in a series of letters inquiring about how he could become accepted. The offer of money and other assets was made immediately and received with much enthusiasm.

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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: GODHIMSELF ()
Date: December 12, 2018 09:45AM



Butler is claiming to be something he is not. He is a fraud. He collects people and resources based on his claim that he is a pure devotee and g0d’s representative. His behaviors do not even coordinate with the very scriptures he claims to represent. That has been covered on this forum extensively. Your main justification for everything is that if others (you deem cool) do it, it must be okay. Not very logical. Many consensual activities, while legal, do not make them appropriate, moral or ethical.

This forum is not filled with hate but hurt. There are plenty of people who have been damaged by this cult and no one needs to justify or prove a thing to you! Why do people leave the Butler cult?

It was ENOUGH that he deprived the children of basic human rights. []

It was ENOUGH that his teachings led to many affairs and broken marriages…

It was ENOUGH that Butler changed the philosophy and made things up along the way to serve himself…

It was ENOUGH that he was unreasonably cruel to his followers for his own pleasure and self angrandizement…

It was ENOUGH that he was a narcissistic liar and hypocrite…

It was ENOUGH that he used slave labor and lived like Howard Hughs...

It was ENOUGH that he he had tantrums over the most mundane things…

It was ENOUGH that he had no compassion for a child with a cough, a dying disciple, a girl with bulimia, a kid with special needs…

It was ENOUGH that he behaved like a petulant and dependent child who took no responsibility for his own behaviors and problems…

It was ENOUGH that he blamed his followers for all of his illnesses by claiming to take on their karma for all their sins...

It was ENOUGH that he blamed his followers for an accidental head injury of his wife...

It was ENOUGH that he had followers put bags on their heads to humiliate and shame them…

It was ENOUGH that he served up his vile toe nails and foot water as something holy...

It was ENOUGH that he has his followers pray for his protection after a member committed suicide… rather than look at the groups dynamics or how he could have helped, he is fearful of the suicides spirit soul…

It was ENOUGH that he claims to be G0d’s best friend, but lives in mortal fear of germs and ghosts…

There are exers who claim knowledge of criminal activities and money laundering who rightfully fear the repercussions of whistle blowing. If true, it seems reasonable to assume that the vast majority of followers have no knowledge of how Butler’s organization(s) are really run. The real danger is in not knowing what Butler and his followers are capable of doing if crossed. We all know that “Mister wash-my-hands-clean Butler” is using more than just soap and water. He has always managed to protect him self from both scandal and poverty. He is the puppet master with wireless strings. While his watermark is on everything, his signature is not.

Why do followers throw themselves under the bus for Butler? If you can answer that question honestly and correctly, you have recovered your critical thinking skills.

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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: GODHIMSELF ()
Date: December 12, 2018 10:03AM

Posted by: terrenaut
Date: July 24, 2010

The devotees, *especially* Chris butler, actually do nothing to improve people's lives, and yet are still registered as a charitable organization. Yeah yeah I know, they think the greatest gift they give is the holy names, but I still think that the whistle can, and should, be blown on their charitable status. It would be nice if they got audited and were billed for back-taxes. It would be even nicer if they would give back all the money they have taken from their "students".

In a PRIVATE MESSAGE , I was asked why I left. I will post here why.

1. suicides of really nice people
2. Being told to HATE gays
3. Trying to find a tape of Chris Butler my dying friend could listen to, and failing. In every tape I picked out, CB ended up ranting on about gays, or insulting devotees (yes, on tape), or just getting stuck in a cursing tantrum like he has OCD or early-onset dementia. I figured if I was too embarrassed to let anyone outside the group hear it, it was probably crap.
4. Hate, intolerance, lying, cheating, scamming, and good old stupidity, all in God's name.
5. The philosophy was shallow and incomplete. Really, "you are not your body", is just a whisper compared to the massive history and theology behind Vaishnava life. It became evident that the philosophy merely existed to prop up the leaders' lifestyle. "we'll spend a few seconds on philosophy, then you can all get back to work".

yeah, enlightened bunch.(those followers of Chris Butler )

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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: The Falconer ()
Date: December 12, 2018 11:19AM

> Tulsi Gabbard says clearly on this video
> My Gurudev Siddhaswarup Ananda Paramahansa
> []

On the other hand: even still, as she is not initiated (as far as we know) he is NOT her guru (technically speaking). He's her siksa guru, at best. "Gurudev" is just a general form of address, like "Maharaja." Am I wrong?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/12/2018 11:20AM by The Falconer.

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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: GODHIMSELF ()
Date: December 12, 2018 12:12PM

When Tulsi Gabbard first "Hindu "congresswoman of the USA talks about her Gurudev on YOUTUBE it does not matter if he is her Siksa guru or Diksha guru ...the point is that its the same guru as the one of her father (Krishna Katha ) and of her mother (Devahouti)That should tell you immediately that Chris Butler is the ONE and ONLY spiritual guru influence in her life. .

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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: The Falconer ()
Date: December 12, 2018 12:19PM

Yes it does matter if she is talking of her siksa or her diksa guru. It's not merely a matter of semantics; it's a matter of accuracy and precision. As a matter of FACT, unless she's taken diksa (unless she is at least first-initiated, in other words) she's formally a disciple of nobody at all. "ONE and ONLY" is an overstatement and is hyperbolic in nature. She also mentions Srila Prabhupada and Srila Bhaktisiddhantha. As a Vaisnava, she would also have reverence and respect for Jesus Christ, The Prophet Muhammad, Lord Buddha, and all other bona fide representatives of Godhead. Also, notice how she mentions Srila Prabhupada first. She is not gushing with enthusiasm for Chris Butler from the start. So to call Butler her "one and only" is just not accurate.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/12/2018 12:21PM by The Falconer.

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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: The Falconer ()
Date: December 12, 2018 12:25PM

By the way: I am not a fan of Chris Butler, the Gabbards, or SOIF, and in posting this stuff I am not attempting to defend any of them. I've been lurking here, and some of the things that you are stating (like that Tulsi Gabbard's one and only guru is Chris Butler) are just not accurate, not true, and need correcting IMO.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/12/2018 12:26PM by The Falconer.

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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: December 12, 2018 09:13PM

To whom it may concern,

If you have an opinion state -- In my opinion.

If you are not absolutely sure about a detail you can say -- it appears to me, apparently, it seems to me, etc.

These are important distinctions.

Specifically qualifying what you say in this way makes it very difficult, even for a litigious group, to have any meaningful basis to make a claim regarding defamation.

Having said that, let's not have anyone lurking here to start arguments.

No trolling please or you will be banned from this message board.

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Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: GODHIMSELF ()
Date: December 13, 2018 02:29AM

Posted by: Vera City ()
Date: October 04, 2010 04:15AM

I really felt that I had seen a lot in my life before I got involved with the schools of meditation when I was twenty five, but this experience was not even comparable with anything I had ever seen apart from some dimly remembered snippets of coverage of the Branch Davidians in Waco on the evening news
After six months of living among the followers of Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa (Chris Butler) and being continually drip fed more information about him, his many business interests, how he treats his followers and what he teaches I was genuinely afraid for myself and those who I had become friends with.
Whenever I talk to people about my experiences their initial reaction is invariably how on earth did you ever become involved in that? If I had known in the beginning what I emerged with the knowledge of I certainly would never have considered it. I find it very difficult to imagine who would. I was constantly cautioned about talking to outsiders who would not understand and for never explained reasons persecute and attack me if they knew that I knew that the “absolute truth” comes from Chris Butler. His followers refer to him as ‘Srila Prabhupad’ - meaning he who is in the position of God.
Although many of the followers I met had never met Chris Butler they had become devoted to him through his books, Who Are You - The Science of Identity and Reincarnation Explained, his many recorded lectures and through their contact with older followers who are known as disciples and take on initiated names, like Radha Krishna das.
On the surface the beliefs seemed very simple, harmless and appealing in the sense that they directed spiritual
, peaceful and clean living, with a lot of emphasis on meditation, which was what caught my initial interest.
As soon as I was accepted among the very reclusive and secretive followers I was taught that meditation is secondary to bhakti yoga, which is devotional service. Basically devotional service is whatever Chris Butler tells you to do, whether it is recruiting others or working in one of the factories which are owned by other followers.
There were regulations to be followed from everything to not wearing shoes in the house, to offerring all food and drink, altar worship, chanting for a few hours each day, listening to at least one lecture per day etc etc. Charity or preaching was not encouraged at all. I was taught that women have the place of keeping the home, serving the husband and having babies
. Women who did not have husbands were told that this was due to their bad karma and that they needed to chant more. It was never acceptable to ask questions or express any sort of doubt. The result of being disagreeable or independent about anything ranged from being fined to being publically humilated in front of the other followers or ostracised by those who are the only people that you are suppossed to be in contact with.
I feel very fortunate that I realised quickly what I was involved in and got away from there. It took me about a year to really get over the daily experience of being a ‘devotee’ and the abuse that I received for choosing to leave. Although it was difficult to find a counsellor that was aware of cult issues I was very lucky to meet former followers and access a lot of information through the internet. Mostly I felt intially as if there must be something wrong with me, then very disillussioned about my own spirituality, and depressed about the way that people who I had felt that I was close to became my enemies and abusive towards me.
I would really advise anyone to approach free meditation classes with caution and to pay attention to the danger signs of being encouraged to cut off family and friends, an elitist and perfect leader (which from what I found out about Chris Butler is very exaggerated), not being allowed to ask questions, punishments being inflicted, giving excessive money or labour and keeping secrets. Based on my experience I really cannot see any good coming out of being in these circumstances, or why any sincere religion would adhere to them.

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