Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: hoax108 ()
Date: August 31, 2008 02:33AM

Good points googling.

How is neglecting the needs of your children and family pleasing to God?

After all, isn't this the goal of bhakti yoga? Being pleasing to God?

It seems to many of us here that CB is sending a clear message - to renounce all attachments, relationships, etc. and become his total and complete slave.

Now, surrendering to and doing the will of a spiritual master is an essential ingredient of spiritual practice, but the question is, "Is surrendering to the will of CB going to lead you to a closer relationship with God?"

Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: August 31, 2008 03:01AM

hoax108:

"surrendering to and doing the will of a spiritual master is an essential ingredient of spiritual practice"?

Many people that participate on this message board find this statement very unsettling.

Many people have a spiritual practice without surrendering to a "spiritual master."

Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: just-googling ()
Date: August 31, 2008 10:39PM

Quote
One-O-eight
Now, surrendering to and doing the will of a spiritual master is an essential ingredient of spiritual practice...

Yes, this statement should have maybe read like this: ... an essential ingredient of most EASTERN religious practices ...?

Quote
One-O-eight
It seems to many of us here that CB is sending a clear message - to renounce all attachments, relationships, etc. and become his total and complete slave.

Yes... this does seem to be the conclusion of most people posting on this thread!

:)

Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: Vera City ()
Date: August 31, 2008 10:41PM

Quote
rrmoderator
hoax108:

"surrendering to and doing the will of a spiritual master is an essential ingredient of spiritual practice"?

Many people that participate on this message board find this statement very unsettling.

Many people have a spiritual practice without surrendering to a "spiritual master."

Yes, it is very unsettling and I hope that hoax108 did not mean that as a generalized statement. Within the many branches of Vaishnavism and Hinduism, having a family guru is traditional in India. The concept of surrender is very different in India than how it manifested in the west. That is a whole subject in inself. If hoax108 is referring to that ancient tradition and comparing it to how Chris Butler used it, took advantage of it, and exploited people with it, then it needs to be clarified.

We have heard on this forum how CB deviated from his host religion. Not that India is so pure and does not have a cult problem too. It does. And there are many abuses made in the name of religion, such as the sati rites banned by Ghandi (where wives were forced to throw themselves on their husbands funeral pyre), and the forcing of widows as young as 5 years old to an ashram life of poverty and loneliness, so well illustrated in the movie "Water".

But if you look at how traditional Vaishnavism is practiced in India compared to how it turned into a cult in the west, you would see a huge dichotomy. CB's cult has little in common with traditional Hindu or Vaishnava roots. He is a P.T Barnum in Hindu robes, a con man, a delusional narcissist living a cardboard, cut-out version of a guru.

Firstly, the concept of "surrender" is not taken so literally in India. Secondly, a traditional guru does not take advantage of followers as CB does. Thirdly, the traditional role of the guru in India is taken more as a teacher or guide and not as a dictator. Notice that CB does not have a following in India. There are very good reasons for that. He does not possess any of the qualities of a guru/ teacher that an Indian would respect.

Another point is that I have met many Hindus from India and they find the western fascination with the east laughable and strange. They may have pictures of their guru in their homes, and have their rituals and services, but they have no interest in proselytizing or converting westerners. It seems that all the gurus who have come to the west to convert people, mostly created destructive cults.

At any rate, I hope hoax108, that you would clarify your statement.

Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: zeuszor ()
Date: September 03, 2008 04:31AM

Firstly, the concept of "surrender" is not taken so literally in India. Secondly, a traditional guru does not take advantage of followers as CB does. Thirdly, the traditional role of the guru in India is taken more as a teacher or guide and not as a dictator. Notice that CB does not have a following in India. There are very good reasons for that. He does not possess any of the qualities of a guru/ teacher that an Indian would respect.

Another point is that I have met many Hindus from India and they find the western fascination with the east laughable and strange. They may have pictures of their guru in their homes, and have their rituals and services, but they have no interest in proselytizing or converting westerners. It seems that all the gurus who have come to the west to convert people, mostly created destructive cults.


Your comments (above) I find intriguing, VC. Culty "Vedic"/ISKCON/SOI culture compared and contrasted to mainline Indian/Hindu culture I find interesting to contemplate. Can you elaborate a bit on these please?

To begin with: one thing that always got me about ISKCON culture was the huge emphasis on vegetarianism as an absolutely intrinsic component in spiritual life.

Vegetarianism is described as a "sub-religious principle" and a lot of your more fanatical devotees will basically make it out like you cannot be a truly spiritual person unless you are vegetarian. They'll stop just short, a lot of them, of saying that meat-eaters are just bad people.

It's not the principles of vegetarianism as a way of life themselves that I find unsettling (that's not the point), it's the "black and white," "us and them," or "devotees vs. mlecchas" type mentality that bothers me.

What is the mentality among traditional Vaisnavas and Hindus in India with respect to the rest of the meat-eating world? Is it as extreme, basically, as in "vegetarian good meat-eater bad" dogmatism?

Not to go too far off topic...



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/03/2008 04:32AM by zeuszor.

Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: Vera City ()
Date: September 07, 2008 05:53AM

Quote
zeuszor

Your comments (above) I find intriguing, VC. Culty "Vedic"/ISKCON/SOI culture compared and contrasted to mainline Indian/Hindu culture I find interesting to contemplate. Can you elaborate a bit on these please?

To begin with: one thing that always got me about ISKCON culture was the huge emphasis on vegetarianism as an absolutely intrinsic component in spiritual life.

Vegetarianism is described as a "sub-religious principle" and a lot of your more fanatical devotees will basically make it out like you cannot be a truly spiritual person unless you are vegetarian. They'll stop just short, a lot of them, of saying that meat-eaters are just bad people.

What is interesting to me is what happened when Indian gurus began to come to the west. It was like trying to mix oil and water. They will never mix without an emulsifier. What came out were strange emulsifications. Indian gurus became westernized, super materialists and western followers took on the submissive, colonial slave mentality of the east. Chris Butler did something a little different. He used his natural alpha male inclinations coupled with a good old American flair for promotion and took on the role of a super guru, "Jagad Guru", guru of all gurus in the world. He used whatever part of the eastern culture and philosophy to promote himself and maintain followers and a steady flow of hard cash.

Of course the contrast between the east and the west is very broad and generalized. I am basing my opinion on my friendships with modern, professionals from India who live and work in the west. From them I have not personally encountered the type of dogmatism you find with religious people of any stripe. Privately, I can not say what their prejudices may or may not be. Some eat meat and some do not. They have their beliefs and I have mine, but they do not come into play at work or in friendship.

This is not the case with many religious people or "true believers". In both ISKCON and with CB and his followers, the party line is that if you eat meat, this will affect your consciousness and degrade you to a point of not being able to understand anything spiritual. They believe that the cruelty involved in animal slaughter hardens your heart and by eating meat you are cut off from g0d. But they are hypocrites because they are "hard hearted" towards meat eaters and have no compassion for them! People who eat meat are looked down on and considered evil, not worthy of association. It is dogmatism. They are intensely intolerant. A devotee woman will "not kiss the lips of a man who eats meat." They will not eat out of the same pots or utensils that meat has been cooked. I call them "veggie fascists".

There is nothing inherently wrong in being a vegetarian. That is not the issue. The harm comes from the fanatical attitudes towards others. For example, their views created estrangements from family. CB cult members are taught that parents, siblings, grandparents who are meat eaters are incapable of understanding what they (followers) are doing, they can not ever advance spiritually unless they stop eating meat, are dangerous to associate with, and are lowly people who will drag you down. they are told that meat eaters are in the "mode of darkness and ignorance". This is just another form of mind control over followers. It has caused a lot of pain to so many families. The children come home for a visit and a fight ensues over food! But underneath, the fight is really about the wedge that the cult has created between family members. This is, IMO, the real spiritual crime; to destroy once loving family relationships because of the cults intolerance.

In general, seeing everything in black and white is a chief characteristic of cults and fanatical religions.

Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: hoax108 ()
Date: September 09, 2008 09:07AM

rrmoderator et. al.:

Yes, I can see how my statement "surrendering to and doing the will of a spiritual master is an essential ingredient of spiritual practice" would be considered unsettling.

I certainly did not mean it in the absolute sense that you cannot have a spiritual practice without a "guru". This is actually what is preached within the cult of CB - the notion that you cannot have a spiritual life without a bona fide guru.

CB has influenced his followers to really take the verse in chapter 4:34 of the Bhagavad-Gita literally regarding surrendering to and serving the spiritual master. This verse was often discussed and used to make the point that what is stated in scripture must be followed so CB must be surrendered to.

As Vera City aptly observed:

"If hoax108 is referring to that ancient tradition and comparing it to how Chris Butler used it, took advantage of it, and exploited people with it, then it needs to be clarified."

Yes, that is what I am referring to here. What I meant by "essential ingredient" I actually meant that it is a widespread and ancient teaching that is familiar to many who have studied or practiced some form of spirituality.

CB took this teaching and certainly exploited it to the point of fanaticism.

And not only from the B-G, I remember lectures where passages from Christ were interpreted to justify why you need to surrender to CB right now.

I remember a disciple telling us over and over again how lucky we were to have CB to interpret scripture for us because only an enlightened soul like him can really know what it means and we would be lost without him.

I remember one long-time disciple telling us that God introduced us to this guru (referring to CB), not some other guru, and therefore the onus was on us to surrender to him.

One of the most common responses from the cult to criticism is, "Who is your spiritual master?"

I sincerely apologize for not choosing my words more carefully and I fully understand how my statement would be seen as unsettling.

Please know this: my experience with the cult has taught me a few things and one of the main things is to be non-judgmental. I am comfortable right now with my devotional practices, and if people ask me about this, I will share my thoughts. But I have such a bad taste in my mouth for preaching and I avoid this as much as possible.

I also try to respect others' beliefs - no matter what they are - just as I would like them to respect mine.

I am pleased that my post did spark some good conversation.

Oh and regarding vegetarianism - the party line in CB's group is definitely again fanatical. They certainly preach that anyone eating meat cannot think clearly due to their consciousness being affected. They also said that once you make the choice to go veggie - you never have to make the choice again - you will be a veggie in all your rebirths. Hmmmm, I was a vegetarian for 5 years but now I eat meat again. I guess I'll have to make the choice one more time.

It's funny too because I remember devotees looking upon meat-eaters in such a condescending and judgmental way and I thought them to be such hypocrites because they too had been meat-eaters before they started chanting.

It's also interesting to note how the past few posts have clearly identified cult life - fanaticism, judging, interpreting scripture to suit one's own needs - as opposed to spiritual life.

Exposure
Posted by: Vera City ()
Date: October 13, 2008 04:10AM

Continuing with the history of Chris Butler; fraud.

It still astounds me, as I re-read it years later, how people just thought this was all normal and "hunky-dorey". Another aspect illustrated here is Butler's total inability to take any responsibility for he and his wife's well being, what to speak of the so called spiritual community he was supposed to be leading. The original purpose of giving tithes to the spiritual leaders of a community was not so that the priest, rabbi, or guru would live "high on the hog" in opulent splendor, but that they were to set it aside for the whole community for times of hunger, drought or other disasters. Tithes were put in the care of the most ethical leaders as an insurance for hard times. Chris Butler has perverted this into the most evil, cynical, and bitterly selfish purposes. He laments here that people have their own money and are taking care of their own families! Instead of accepting what God has provided for him and being an example of humility, thankfulness, faith, patience, and compassion (universally accepted spiritual character traits), Butler demonstrates the worst character traits in humanity; greed, avarice, anger, impatience, cowardice. Instead of instilling in his congregation good character by example, he behaves like a spoiled brat and ingrate.

At any rate, no more comment is necessary. The cult still exists. Maybe some brave soul who has real and current internal memos will come forward soon. History is usually a good predictor of the future. I doubt Butler's M.O. has changed much.







The ingrates continues his tirade
Posted by: Vera City ()
Date: October 13, 2008 04:13AM


Re: Chris Butler, Jagad Guru, Science of Identity
Posted by: Vera City ()
Date: October 13, 2008 04:18AM

From Chris Butler's failed album.
The man who "falsely claims God's property"...





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