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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: Sunny1 ()
Date: October 27, 2008 08:52AM

Sufi's "Saints" are also now being connected with Radhasomi Saints (origin Punjabi, India). This Rhadasoami group changed it's name to Rhuani SatSang and now to Sant Mat. (www.knowthyselfassoul.org). www.spiritualawakeningradio.com for information on the Rhadasoami Cult. We often brush off issues like this and think that not many people are affect by these cults. However I beleive that many people across the country are in fact over time being infected and taken away from their family.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 28, 2008 01:09AM

Keywords

Pope Valley California

Sheikh Sidi Muhammad Al-Jamal

Update:

Quote

Most of Latif’s Upper West Side group regularly attended a Sufi retreat in Pope Valley, California, where the beloveds would meet with their grand sheikh, Sidi Muhammad Al-Jamal, a Palestinian cleric who died in November at 80. This is where Bolinder and other members took their “Sufi promise,” a pledge of allegiance to their teacher and God in a formal ceremony, in return receiving their Sufi names. Bolinder’s is Abdullah.

Muslim Sufis: The ‘spiritual vagabonds’ of Islam
Published 2 years ago on 25 September 2016

[www.malaymail.com]


Muslim Sufis: The ‘spiritual vagabonds’ of Islam
Published 2 years ago on 25 September 2016

[www.malaymail.com]

A couple of articles giving additional food for thought--cultural context

[darwiniana.com]


[androidsinlove.com]

There is a long discussion on this thread. But this item gives some
interesting context on how Sufi practices that are therapeutic in thier original social context can be distorted into unhealhty authoritarian relationships if imported to a Western setting by ego driven 'teachers'

Quote

For a sober description of Islamic Sufism get and read Mark Sedgwick’s book, Sufism:The Essentials

[www1.aucegypt.edu]

Sedgwick states that Islamic Sufism was practiced within the social context of Islamic faith and was never meant to be a cloak and dagger, drama ridden Dungeons and Dragon game. (My paraphrase). It was meant to support spiritual practice, not use secrecy and elitism to inflate someone’s personal egotism.

This suggestion by Sedgwick seems to be supported in a much earlier book by David Edwards, Heroes of the Age: Moral Fault Lines on the Afghan Frontier–available online

[ark.cdlib.org]

In the biography, The Lives of an Afghan Saint, written by an anthropologist who interviewed Pashtun in Pakistani refugee camps

[content.cdlib.org]

Edwards states that a Sufi center, where everyone was socially equal and all deferred to the Pir or spiritual leader, in that particular social context (Pashtun tribal life), actually provided a relief from the heavy social pressures imposed by the Pasthun code of honor.

In outside life the Pastun men were constantly on guard. Men had to be suspicious in relationship to each other. Families could be hotbeds of competitionl. Pashtun males fretted about their prestige, whether they’d been insulted, or threatened, when and how to retaliate so that honor could be maintained. Maintaining one's place in the tribal pecking order was nerve-wracking.

One respite was to become involved with a Sufi center. At the khanaqh, everyone’s social rank ceased to matter because all deferred to the Pir (Sufi leader).

Edwards interviewed disciples and learned their reasons for keeping their discipleship secret–it was for reasons of humility, based on their Muslim faith and very different from the elitist, clubby secrecy Western esoteric cults enjoin:

Edwards wrote:

“Despite the fact that there is no shame attached to following a pir (Sufi leader), it is the practice in some areas for disciples to keep secret their involvement with pirs. The reason for keeping this attachment a secret is difficult to ascertain, but it seems at least in part to keep the moral worlds of honor and Islam separate and thereby avoid the kinds of contradictions that ensue when the two overlap.

‘An alternative explanation is offered by an informant from Paktia Province who explained the practice as follows:

“Most disciples do not want to reveal that they are followers of a pir. They think that [revealing this fact] would be a way of projecting yourself as a good person, which is [an attitude] that Allah wouldn’t like. Basically, one becomes a disciple to seek guidance on the right path to Allah. One doesn’t do it for any other reason, and it should be kept secret as much as possible.

“In the case of our family, it happened so many times that one of our family members became a disciple without our even knowing about it. Because of this attitude on the part of the disciples, it is difficult to know how many have accepted the tariqat.”

Edwards does not say so, but my layman’s hunch is that if transferred to a Western democratic society, this same master disciple relationship which was apparently therapeutic for Pashtun disciples living in their traditional honor driven feud culture might, if transferred to Western egalitarian society, lead to regression on the part of Western followers.

To put it in a nutshell, the Pashtun who followed their Sufis leaders were assertive and saw themselves as custodians of their family honor. Western spiritual seekers are usually kind, polite people, wrecked by self doubt, unsure of their purpose in life and sometimes unsure of their identity.

With submissive and biddable Western disciples, a Sufi leader whose tough style would balance perfectly with a tough tribal ego might have a tyrannically crushing impact upon Westerners.

What in the Khyber mountains was a liberating alternative to the tense hyper macho Pashtun scene would, if practiced by polite Westerners warp into something quite different. Western disciples who see themselves as flawed individuals, rather than custodians of clan honor would bring different problems to their spiritual leader.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 10/24/2018 08:55PM by corboy.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: SeekingTruth ()
Date: October 29, 2008 10:01PM

Quote
rob
Do you know this website ? Anab Whitehouse wrote a book about his abuse experiences with a sheikh.
www.sufi-spiritual-abuse-recovery-assistance.org

That site seems to have been hi-jacked.

Try

[www.crescentlife.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/29/2008 10:02PM by SeekingTruth.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: Ex-Sufi ()
Date: March 10, 2009 11:55PM

I also was a member of the Shadiliyyah from 2000 until 2005. I'm still not sure about whether or not this is a cult. I was offered a wife by Sidi himself, which I refused because after I got to know her, I quickly saw how crazy she was. The fact that she had been previously married to another man in the organization (who later left the organization and was shunned) also raised a red flag with me.

I don't have any knowledge of any sexual impropriety such as is alleged in the annoymous letter. I can confirm that every single "retreat" that they have (such as the one in Maryland at the farm that I attended) is full of requests for money, money, money! Every time Sidi appeared, we were being asked for checks.

I can confirm that they practice shunning because I woke up to what was going on and left Islam altogether in 2005. I never heard from any of my "beloveds" (that's what they call each other when you are in the organization, paying for Sidi's books, and giving them money) after converting to my current religion. Even people that I considered among my best friends ignored my emails and voice mails.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 11, 2009 01:47AM

About 4 years ago, I was looking to buy a high quality woolen djellaba and was doing Google searches.

That took me to the Shadilyyah website.

They had some woolen djellabas for sale--for, as I recall, $300 USD. They'd supposedly been brought back to the
US by Sidi, and one person wrote she felt blessed and protected by Sidi whenever she wore one of these garments.

The price was just too much, and the aura of sickly adulation of Sidi, leaked through to me from the tone of the product description.

Wonder how much Sidi paid whole sale for those robes, before they were offered for that retail price on that now defunct website?

Wonder whom Sidi bought the robes from? A relative in wholesale clothing? Or some devotee who supplied them on the cheap, or even for free?

I was left with the impression that in order to be a Sufi in the West, one needs to have moola.

Final note: A 'Sidi' or 'Sayyid' is someone descended from the Prophet Mohammed.

This is not at all a rare title. Hundreds of thousands and possibly millions of people carry that title, and many have no spiritual pretensions whatsoever.

Sidi is not a sign of spiritual attainment.

Idries Shah, born into an Afghan British family and who had a thoroughly Western upbringing, made a big deal out of his family being Sayyids.

He exploited that few in the West were aware of how commonplace that honorific actually is. But in the Sixties, where there was little information, folks swallowed this whole.

Quote


What makes the (Jerrahi) order most unusual is that its local (New York)sheikh is a woman: the former Philippa de Menil, 69, part of Texas oil aristocracy. She became a Sufi in the 1970s, and, now known as Sheikha Fariha al-Jerrahi, has led the Nur Jerrahi order since its founder’s death in 1995.

Wearing a flowing white gown, her hair half-wrapped in a blue turban, al-Jerrahi completes the call to prayer and summons the group’s members to stand side by side, avoiding the more orthodox Islamic practice of positioning men up front.

Al-Jerrahi gives few interviews, and she declined to speak to a reporter, but her longtime secretary, Abdul Rahim, answered questions about the congregation. A female sheikh shouldn’t be viewed as unusual, said Rahim, who was born Thomas Rippe and grew up in Brooklyn. “We don’t put an emphasis on women; we emphasise equality,” he said. “We think of it as a certain kind of maturity.”

The order has no dress code and no rules on sexual orientation. Indeed, the order is so liberal that some members don’t even label themselves Muslims.

This kind of unorthodox approach, said Marcia Hermansen, director of the Islamic world studies programme at Loyola University Chicago, is both the root of Sufism’s appeal and its weakness. Charismatic leaders like al-Jerrahi have spurred Sufism’s growth in America, she said, with New York in particular attracting “loosey-goosey liberal Sufism.”And yet for all its liberal trappings, Sufism cannot be detached from Islam. “Sufism isn’t just a label you wear; it’s a state of being,” said John Andrew Morrow, an Islam scholar and author. “You can’t pick and choose parts of Islam, and you can’t mislead sincere people, drawing them into Sufism without telling them this is fundamentally linked to Islam.”

Muslim Sufis: The ‘spiritual vagabonds’ of Islam

[www.malaymail.com]



Edited 4 time(s). Last edit at 10/24/2018 09:01PM by corboy.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 11, 2009 01:57AM

Note for researchers: Anyone interested in Radhasomi and its very many splinter groups should look up David C Lane on the web and also an author named Jurgenmeyser. The two of them have done extensive published research on this very complex area, full of saints and some utter scoundrels.

One would need to do one hell of a lot of background research before one could even tell what part of this tangled story the a guru belongs to, whose recruiter is targeting you.

There also Americans who have used this material to create movements of their own, also documented by David Lane.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: March 11, 2009 03:19AM

Hi Ex-Sufi,

I was in the group before you were, so we wouldn't know each other.

Only one person from the group stayed in touch with me after I left. But then she left too!

I've no doubt that the Shadhiliyyah group is a cult.

I hope you are okay post-involvement.

Regards,
H

Quote
Ex-Sufi
I also was a member of the Shadiliyyah from 2000 until 2005. I'm still not sure about whether or not this is a cult. I was offered a wife by Sidi himself, which I refused because after I got to know her, I quickly saw how crazy she was. The fact that she had been previously married to another man in the organization (who later left the organization and was shunned) also raised a red flag with me.

I don't have any knowledge of any sexual impropriety such as is alleged in the annoymous letter. I can confirm that every single "retreat" that they have (such as the one in Maryland at the farm that I attended) is full of requests for money, money, money! Every time Sidi appeared, we were being asked for checks.

I can confirm that they practice shunning because I woke up to what was going on and left Islam altogether in 2005. I never heard from any of my "beloveds" (that's what they call each other when you are in the organization, paying for Sidi's books, and giving them money) after converting to my current religion. Even people that I considered among my best friends ignored my emails and voice mails.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: March 11, 2009 06:51AM

This is just my own personal rule-of-thumb for evaluating whether a relationship or group is bad news:

Unreciprocated loyalty.

Time and again, loyality and devotion (time, talent, treasure and making allowances) are demanded of you

But...when the time comes to reciprocate, that other party shows itself incapable of reciprocity and rationalizes that

1) In realms of enlightementment/spirituality, behavior cannot be measured by ordinary standards.

2) To keep track of how many times your loyalty has not been reciprocated or has been betrayed, is taken as proof that you are selfish for keeping track--rather than it being a sign that the other party is being exploitative and childishly selfish.

But the rogue Sufi method of sugarcoating a turd is to do things like tell stories that instill distrust in one's ordinary common sense, stories that make it seem one can never trust one's own perceptions of reality, and thus must submit to the whims and egotisim of a 'master'.

Such stories serve merely to empower rogues and bullies and romanticize domineering personalities, justify powerful persons indulging their nafs and afflictive emotions at followers' expense.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: Ex-Sufi ()
Date: March 11, 2009 08:31PM

I came out of it just fine. No one tried to stop me from leaving. I just felt creepy about the whole experience afterward!! Amina al-Jamal was my closest contact. She was very friendly, but also kind of secretive...I heard that she and Sidi arranged her daughter to marry his son.

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Re: A Sufi Cult
Posted by: helpme2times ()
Date: March 11, 2009 08:43PM

Yes! I too felt creepy about it all. What a learning experience.

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