Monday, February 16, 2009
I was a member of the fuquara years ago, when it was only Sidi himself, not Ibrahim, that was running things. I am in a bit of a quandry as to whether or not to pursue an 'dissenter' website, as I have mostly put whatever abuses I experienced behind me, or chalked them up as 'learning experiences'.
Everybody leaving a totalistic religion, cult, or society has regrets, both for leaving and for joining. At some times I yearn for the experience of being taken care of in a certain way, having access to a direct conduit to God, that I experienced in Sidi's group.
On the other hand, I was relieved I didn't any longer have to make excuses for the inappropriate and incredible things I witnessed there, the foremost of which was a fascination with 'spiritual' marriages which linked 'beloveds' of totally different ages, temperments, and socio-economic backgrounds.
It is not for me to try and understand Sidi's psychology. Perhaps there is more wisdom than darkness there. I would not go so far as to accuse him of being a fraud. I would say that he was put in the position of being the mouthpiece of the Eternal God by his followers, at least, and in my observation, he did nothing to disenamour them of this notion.
Today, he seems happily linked to one of the most ridiculously vapid New Age Alternative Healing peddlars of expensive hokum you might ever wish NOT to find. That person now purports to be able to cure cancer and AIDS. I am NOT kidding here!
Sadly, that person's wife died of cancer and he wasn't able to heal HER!
I never had experiences with that person, if you did, please leave them here! I fail to understand the attraction to him, though I can to Sidi.
Whether you believe in God, Islam, Sufism, or nothing, I think everyone should be allowed to ask questions. Life can be brutal, maybe life IS brutal. You get a taste of that and you want comfort. Someone shows up and says, 'I can help you understand and transcend that'. You're vulnerable and you want to believe. Then the Guide marries you to someone. Now you are REALLY committed. Some, if not all, of the old pain is gone. HURRAY!
So where has Jane gone? Jane is now Jamila. A new being, made by the Guide and with a new family of brothers and sisters. A holier, better family.
You might as well think of the Guide as God, because he as done what God did, created a new being out of nothing. It's all so easy, right?
A spiritual path and life does NOT depend on your pledging allegiance to a human teacher. In fact, I think one can in effect 'pass' on one's spiritual quest by merely following someone else instead of being ruthlessly honest about one's own drawbacks, addictions, shortcomings, etc.
Well, anyway, you can respond here, start a thread of your own. I don't want to ruin someone's party. But, on the other hand, if you don't have doubts, why are you reading this? Peace!
Posted by Salami Baloney at 9:49 AM
AnonymousJuly 23, 2009 at 2:36 PM
From the outside, Ibrahim Jaffee looks like such an obvious publicity hound, accumulating titles for himself and inventing meaninnless degree programs and holistic health certifications, all of which seem to be rather pricey!
I've been told you have to pay a certain amount of money for a particular kind of fuqara HAT! GEEZ, LOUISE!
The fact that Sidi would let a charlatan like this operate with his sanction probably tells you all you need to know about Sidi himself.
Although who bothers to check the Internet for references on your New Sheik!
AnonymousSeptember 16, 2009 at 5:14 AM
All very good comments and criticism. I'm currently a student of Sidi and Dr. Jaffee and have nothing but great things to say about these sincere men. I'm coming from a place of being a grown adult who can make my own decisions. I'm looking for help and guidence and I'm getting it. I dissagree with those who like to hand over complete controll to someone else. At the school we talk a lot about personal responsibility. Perhaps this was not always the case. I see the cultish behavior, especially in the old timers, and it seems to be coming from the bottom and not from the top of the orginization. However, as noted above, the leader should be held repsonsible for allowing this attitude to grow. Perhaps I will politely ask Sidi about what to make of people who are making an idol out of him.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." ~Plato
AnonymousDecember 31, 2009 at 3:18 AM
All I am going to state here is my federally protected freedom of speech and is my own opinion.
I left this group a while ago and this whole group is basically a fraud. A sophisticated scam and a pyramid scheme. They lie about what the "donations" are about and Sidi himself lies about the entire money issue too.
Sidi's second hand man is a man who runs a pyramid scheme for a living and one of the products he sold ended up killing people and got shut down. He activily recrouts new people to his pyramid schemes in the community.
Anyone who endorses con men who run pyramid schemes and someone who uses his MD as a way to get people to pay thousands of dollars for his fake "healings" is not a person to be trusted. I realized Sidi himself is a fraud as there is no other rational explaination for his behavior and of those he put in positions of power.
The healing school is nothing more than an indoctornation system for this cult and also the main revenue source. It is nothing but a scam also.
This group is a cult with abusive behavior. They condone the abuse when it is done by their "teachers" and "leaders" and by Sidi and is covered up like in all religious groups.
If those still in the group doubt this, all the evidence is there to see. Go search for "cults" on google and see how many of the characteristics apply.
This group lies about everything and exploits people who are hurting and desperate. Not any different than 99% of all new age healing and spiritual groups as well as most organized religion.
They condone materialism, while pushing their over priced gift where they guage people and justify it by being for "god"
They are hyprocrites and liars and it is a cult that epxloits people for money and in other ways.
The books that sidi is supposed to write that comes out every year is nothing but a sham. They say the same shit which has no meaning in different ways and not so different. The exact same phrases are repeated over and over and these $40 books are nothing but a revenue machine for the group.
All this stuff is out there in the open to see if people want to see it. Go read about cults and see how many apply to this group.
I am glad I got out before I gave them any real money or got more abuse and damage from them. Most of the members and teachers are deeply wounded people who treat others poorly and abuse other people and justify their behavior through "god"
AnonymousJune 12, 2011 at 11:36 PM
I stumbled upon this page only to check out this Sidi person because he is holding a national conference here in Florida in just 2 months. If he is a fraud, or you just "suspect" he is a fraud. please do not be afraid to notify the local F.B.I. who are always looking out for Islamic scams and also start a blog or group on the Internet to warn people about this person. I dont know anything about him. I was hoping to find out about sufism as I love when people bond with singing and dancing who are strangers. But please, if you know something, do not keep silent. Do you want that on your conscious? If he is truly a messenger of God, then we cannot get him in trouble can we? God bless all tellers of the truth.
AnonymousApril 23, 2013 at 11:38 PM
Please report this group to FBI. they have the potential to kill people with false claims of curing cancer, etc. clinical malpractice should not be allowed. Any thorough investigation will unearth all their scams and people who have died from their 'healing clinics' but do not know that the real cause of death was not seeking appropriate medical attention and being encouraged to use spurious treatment instead.
AnonymousAugust 2, 2013 at 5:35 PM
Why don't you report?
AnonymousOctober 1, 2011 at 9:36 AM
I went to someone's commitment ceremony in Texas under this religion. I think it was done by Sidi Jamal - he was really old and didn't seem in good health. Anyway, I tend to pick up on energy and be intuitive and I did not want to be in this room with all of these people. I had a bad feeling and felt anxious. When the couple went to be committed by him I was more uncomfortable because they wanted all of us to sit in a circle around the ceremony. I was about 4 feet from who I think was Sidi. As it went on I got more and more uncomfortable and things started to get weird for me. Sounds and voices faded away and my vision dulled and I saw a slow swirling of black smoke around this guy that was just hovering around. I couldn't figure out what I was seeing but felt the hair on my neck start to stand up and began telling myself to calm down and tried to think positive things about my space and 'protect' it from this energy. I looked over at my boyfriend and he looked terrorized. He was white and just looked scared. I held his hand and when it was over,we ran out of there before his sister could even turn around. We literally ran to the car and got out of there as quick as we could. Later, his sister asked what we thought and we didn't know what to say. Shed just gotten committed by this mystical guy she believes in and wants an honest opinion but we couldn't tell her we thought he was a cult leader or worse, a truly evil being....it was scary and I don't know what the black smoke meant but a couple Indian friends said it was very bad and to see it means to get away from a bad spirit. Like I say, I'm not sure what this was all about but I do get feelings or see colors around people sometimes and this was the most negative thing I'd ever experienced.
AnonymousNovember 28, 2011 at 10:40 PM
I was with this cult from the beginning child to adult. I knew his wife very well and was a close friend of the children. I can see why people get wrapped up in this cult at first your lost they tell they can give your life true meaning ect. Plus there is strong energy that comes off jaffe and sidi that is intense and draws you in but remember not nessearyly good. Jaffe is a scammed and mostly just cares about power and mobey. He makes everybody else give there job up and hand over there life savings tells god wants you to give up everything. Meanwhile he drives a brand new BMW sports car role. And nice house. Him and his wife did not get along and were no longer I. Love she wanted to leave back to Germany to her family and made her stY she was very depressed. After she passed away from can er a few months later he married a 20 yearold, got her pregnant and sent his kids off to live with there grandparents because his new wife couldn't get along with them. This man is selfish and shallow. There is so much more maby another day .
interestingDecember 9, 2011 at 8:54 AM
AnonymousJuly 14, 2012 at 2:37 PM
The leaders of this group are masters at energetic manipulation and they know what makes people tick. They take advantage of people who are suffering. They profess to be muslims though many have no interest in knowing or following the sharia/sunna. The leaders do not discourage being idolized by their students, and many seem to feed off it. Many, many followers end up financially broke after paying exhorbinate prices for Sidi's remedies, donations, and 'healings'. Sadly, they are peddling islamic novelties.
AnonymousJanuary 8, 2013 at 9:57 AM
I have followed Sidi's teachings for 9 years now. Sidi's teachings are only about the love, peace, mercy, and justice for all and my experience is that he only wants to give to people. His teachings have helped me in many ways. Sadly, the people who have written on this site don't understand him, but he has helped many, many people all around the world. Sidi's remedies work and are much less expensive than allopathic medicines. I have found that Ibrahim Jaffe cares deeply for people and he has also helped to heal many people of many different illnesses. I have seen many people's lives greatly improved by following Sidi's teachings. If you are reading this blog and are interested, I suggest you find out for yourself what this is about and not blindly believe what is written on this blog.
AnonymousMarch 7, 2013 at 6:50 AM
I am not surprised at the previous comments and I was skeptical and suspicious when I first met both of these people over a decade ago.Not because of what I heard but my fear of being taken advantage of or being manipulated by my so called "teachers" or those in authority or know more as I had been in the past and I believed strongly in not idolizing people before God. However, over time I was proved wrong. While Ibrahim Jaffe did have issues in the past and I saw him in more of his ego in the late 90's and early 2000's, he changed so dramatically much over time because of the Sufi teaching given by Sidi al-Jamal, he became a completely different person! I bet if any of the people who commented from 2005 on met him now, they would not recognize him or think he was the same person! Sidi always tell people not to thank him or praise him but thank Allah/God and puts God first. I also saw many others change deeply or heal serious illnesses because of Sufi healing. People can not fake/ pretend to heal from serious emotional problems or serious illness like cancer. And if you do not believe in the power of God to heal anyone, there is nothing anyone can say as proof. However, one person above so wisely suggested, check out these Sidi al Jamal or Ibrahim Jaffe now for yourself and YOU decide. Many young children have a great sense of knowing the good and the bad intuitively. I was shocked when my shy 4 year old who does not even run up to hug his known relatives ( except parents & grandparents) or want to say hello to close relatives at times and especially strangers, ran up to Sidi before I even introduced them and he hugged this complete stranger. My older son at age 8 who never met or heard about Sidi, saw a photo of Sidi on a back of a book I had and he said "Mommy who is this man? He has so much love!!!" Children can recognize truth and goodness and have less past experiences and fears to cover up the truth. God knows if we are telling the truth or we believing illusion or are writing slander. And it is always between us and God.
AnonymousMarch 12, 2013 at 9:35 PM
Sidi Muhammad al-Jamal, Ibrahim Jaffe, and the University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism comments
Regarding the previous two commentors, the fact that you are reading and commenting here is an indication you must be having doubts about Sidi al Jamal or Ibrahim Jaffe. Do you always choose your spiritual leaders based on intuition or did you thoroughly research their backgrounds before you made any commitment? Were you aware of adultery allegations? Do not ignore these or other stories you may have heard. A leader having sexual relations with beloveds is never ok, even if you're told it will make you closer to, or be in unity with God, and is an exception from him. Did you ever speak to anyone who is no longer a follower? If not, why? There are many.....who are alive and well.
In order to gain a better perspective, do a search on (deleted for brevity), Singer's Conditions for Thought Reform, or Lifton's Criteria for Thought Reform and see for yourself how they can apply to this group. You should also search cult warning signs and characteristics of cult leaders. Unfortunately, you've been a victim of very sophisticated mind control techniques.
I share the opinion as previously stated above, that the "University of Spiritual Healing and Sufism" is part of a cleverly disguised indoctrination system, also including the "Path of Love" and all the other retreats, etc.. Cults routinely use weekend workshops in order to get people into an unfamiliar environment (often remote) where they can control things such as diet, sleep, privacy, etc., and use various trance induction techniques so that they can subtly take control of a person's mind. Love-bombing is also commonly used.
A new name, a new identity, and a new belief system is created. Sadly, most of us are unaware of these covert techniques until it is too late and we are already victims. No one under mind control ever knows they're under mind control!!!! Therefore it can happen to ANYONE, no matter how educated they are. Other good, idealistic and well-intentioned people are also unwittingly deceptively recruited and help fuel the indoctrination machine.
Leaders who are almost always very charismatic are central in cults. It is very easy for us to be taken advantage of by people like Sidi and Jaffe who have mastered all the tricks of the trade.
Don't give them another dime and see just how much love, peace, mercy, and justice you receive. You'll most likely discover that the "Love" is conditional---based on your financial contributions. Ask about where the donations to SIDI really go and to see evidence. See if you get a straight answer. Authentic teachers and healthy spiritual groups welcome inquiry and show accountability. They encourage questions and give direct answers. Keep searching and keep questioning. There are many of us out there who have been deeply damaged and victimized. We need to speak up and speak out. Remember, you are not alone.
AnonymousMarch 20, 2013 at 11:21 PM
Reading some of the comments, I feel that there are some people who are afraid of Islam commenting on here, but for the person saying he was a follower and now is not, I would like to know what is it exactly that took you out of this Sufi Order? The fact that somebody was hallucinating about black smoke shows a lot in regards to the 'evil within' themselves. When you see such manifestations, they are of your own will not that of Sidi, who is a very enlightened individual.
AnonymousMarch 27, 2013 at 10:25 PM
I am not a member of this group, but have participated in some of their meetings and gatherings. I've attended one workshop and two lectures offered by Ibrahim Jaffe. The first lecture had a positive effect on me, and brought some light into my heart, while the next two (a lecture with some healing and a day-long workshop) did not.
Instead of light, I felt darkness and despair in my heart. It took a while to get rid of this state. As for Sidi, I have never met him. He appears to be charismatic and has a luminous face (in his pictures), but I don't know why I don't get a good feeling by looking at him. From a far relative who used to be a student at USHS, I have heard not very positive things about those at the head of this organization. But as for the followers, I find them very sincere, truthful and spiritual. I enjoy participating in their spiritual circles which enlightens my heart. And the fact that this organization is always trying to make as much money as possible from everything hurts me.
I am writing these because I am very much concerned about the negative effects that some shaykhs may have on the minds of those Americans who in search of Truth join enthusiastically these Sufi orders and might end up hating Sufism and Islam as a whole; while they should differentiate between true and false Sufism.
AnonymousApril 11, 2013 at 11:10 AM
I don't think anyone here is afraid of, or against Islam/Sufism in any way. They are merely attempting to warn other good people about two unethical individuals. I cannot speak for others, but what tainted my view of this particular Sufi order was validating accounts of sex between leaders/followers and knowledge or participation by some of the inner circle over the course of many years.
It is not difficult to search the internet to find which Sufi groups are reported to be cultic. It is well worth the time and effort.
AnonymousJuly 17, 2013 at 8:29 AM
I belonged to the Shadhilyya sect for many years. I took the bayat from Sidi himself.
I left because I did not find any peace, help, etc in Sidi's practices and decided to take another path.
Jaffe is a hustler and a liar. Charges ridiculous amounts of money for healings that all turn out to be bullshit.
Sidi tried to marry me to a woman I had nothing in common with. I refused. At our gatherings when Sidi comes to the US, he is constantly asking for money. Not only do you pay for the retreat, but with each teaching, Sidi needs a "sacrifice check". He is more concerned about money than his followers' souls. His expensive books are poorly written and don't explain shit! I left sufism-and islam-for good and have been much healthier and happier!
Watch out for Amina al Jamal too! She's a crafty mouthpiece for Sidi's bullshit.
AnonymousAugust 2, 2013 at 5:33 PM
Most people with negative comments did not provide any specifics. I don't trust everything I read on the Internet. There is no way to judge this group or any such group without having personal experience. I attended one of the retreats with this group and found no objectionable behaviors. They seem to be genuine in their spiritual pursuit. Nobody was forcing anything on anybody. I have attended similar Hindu, and Christian gathering. They all feel "unfamiliar". People who are commenting here are searching for something. I suggest reading Rumi. I bet you will find the peace you are looking for. May God bless you all.
AnonymousAugust 6, 2013 at 8:35 PM
I am contemplating attending a workshop this weekend. I have often wondered based on the person's actions who introduced this to me if he hasn't been abducted if you will by a cult. On the one hand, I see the heart in his Sufi practice. On te other I see a devout, almost defensive stance against anyone or anything that questions it. I had an instinct to check the web on Jaffe. I am glad I did. I have witnessed cult behavior before; if it's there, I suspect I will recognize it pretty quickly. Stay tuned...
AnonymousAugust 6, 2013 at 11:31 PM
Some people may find the comments posted by someone called "Lover of God" to the following forum useful. This is a follow up of my previous post to this forum on March 27th, 2013.
"I am familiar with this group. It has its issues, but by and large it helps alot of people deepen their spirituality. For the handful of negative stories, there are thousands of active participants in the U.S. and many more around the world who get alot out of it and feel it is very positive for them. Keep in mind this group is mostly made up of converts, although in the last few years it has attracted more Muslim-born immigrants. The majority of the membership are intelligent, educated professionals. Think psychologists, doctors, business people. These are people who would be critical of any hokum pokum as they have a good head on their shoulders. Sufi masters who aren't the real deal sometimes get away with stuff in the East when their membership is poor and undeducated. Just visit a Sufi shrine in India to get a sense of that. Harder to do that with a highly intelligent, educate membership. Sidi Mohammed al-Jamal is the real deal, a widely respected religious figure known throughout the Muslim world. His community in the UK predates the one in the U.S. and the group in both countries ais full of wonderful, loving people."
. . .
Continued on the page introduced above.
AnonymousAugust 8, 2013 at 2:54 PM
I was a student with Jaffe 1996 at The School of Energy Mastery .I still use what I learned from him and his gifted teachers today in my practice. He was a warm, loving ,caring person and I was excited to find out he was coming to my area this weekend. I am not interested in Sufism but I wanted to re-connect with the Jaffe I remembered at the school, as the school was life changing. I have never found anything like it or teachers like those that were there since. However,after reading these blogs I am really not sure if I want to go . To be sure I will form my own opinion but I have to say I am really shocked by what I have read.
I will keep you posted if I go.
AnonymousAugust 8, 2013 at 10:56 PM
You may want to read this if you're having second thoughts.
AnonymousAugust 15, 2013 at 11:45 PM
I have been practicing Sufism with the Shadduliyah order for the last 3 years. In my personal experience it has deepened my life tremendously and I feel more peace and happiness. I say with all clarity that this spirituality is not a cult. All of my brothers and sisters in this path of some of the most kind and genuine people I have met.
A background story. A few years ago I smoke marijuana almost religiously. I don't even know why, I didn't even enjoy it a lot of the time. And, it changed my perception of reality. I was viewing life through the fantasies in my head. When I stopped smoking marijuana altogether, I started feeling much more clear. So a question to everyone with negative experiences with the Sufi path. Are you smoking marijuana, or drinking alcohol, or engaging in any other addictive behavior? Are you following the path wholeheartedly, or are you slacking off? It is impossible transform your life through Sufism if you continue to live unhealthily; it is in contradiction to the spiritual path. In a related sidenote, my Aikido teacher once said, "you cannot blame any martial art if you are not doing it correctly." Sorry for the rant. But I think everyone needs to look at themselves before blaming an organization or person.
AnonymousAugust 16, 2013 at 10:12 PM
A person who is in a cult doesn't know that they are in a cult.
That's the dilemma!!!
Most cult members are very "normal" people. They are typically educated, intelligent, and idealistic. Often, they're highly successful professionals. Cults know they make the best recruits. (Destructive cults all operate basically the same way)
Remember, it's NOT the devotees, it's the LEADERS.
AnonymousAugust 26, 2013 at 9:17 AM
This path has been the biggest blessing of my life. Through the practices I have more love, gratitude, self-awareness, social responsibility, joy and contentment than I ever thought possible. Follow the love, fear and pain lead to more fear and pain. I used to blame everything and everyone for my suffering and it kept me a prisoner. When I finally realized that everything that happened "to me" from the "outside" was truly a hidden place inside myself that needed to change. This path is not for the faint of heart. People are people and Allah is Allah. Everyone will make mistakes, who are we to judge, judge yourself and your own actions. It is ok to hate something someone does. The healing happens when you allow them back into your heart, even if they are no longer physically in your life. This keeps the flow of love moving and will heal any illness. Sidi is a human, he has made mistakes and I have personally witnessed him crying for his mistakes and asking Allah for forgiveness. Ibrahim is a human he makes mistakes and likewise I have seen and heard him apologize publicly for his actions. All of you who were hurt, I am truly sorry. I sometimes thank Allah that I found the path in 2006. Although anything that happened in the past can be healed if you are willing to let it go. Allah says in His Quran to the Messenger (SAWS) you are but a messenger. Sidi, Ibrahim and all teachers put themselves out there for all to judge and continue against much criticism and I am grateful. Allow yourself to find out for yourself. God is greater than all of creation, He will not lead you astray. By the way, I was raised Catholic, found the Sufi path and now embrace Islam, however will attend and pray with anyone who loves God/Allah. Make no separation and if separation is what you see, then look to yourself, love yourself. Peace and blessings to you all. oh and I found this site and it intrigued me to hear and see all of this. I heard most of this when I started the path, but I followed my own heart, had my own journey and I encourage all of you to do the same.