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Re: So-Called Ancient Hindu spirituality concealing American LGAT 'tech'
Posted by: solea13 ()
Date: July 29, 2008 09:44PM

It is so easy to look at other cults, to know that the leader is obviously a fake and a fraud; that the teachings are just a hodgepodge of Western and Eastern spiritual concepts or something like that.

It is a whole different story trying to de-construct the Guru in my own cult. Even though the whole things sounds like madness when I write it down, it all made such perfect sense at one time that it is very hard to break out of that.

It is so hard to believe (even though I have read the Siddha Yoga material here) that it is possible for these experiences of 'energy' or 'shakti' to be inducted through trance or hypnosis.

My Guru also fudged his personal history. Telling us apparently intimate details of his 'awakening'. Just like Tolle's 'park bench' story; Tolle talking about sitting on the park bench being blissed out but we never know how he managed to eat or where he took a shower. It was kind of like that with my Guru.

I have no idea where, how or from whom my Guru would have consciously learned these techniques. *Sigh*

Perhaps it shouldn't matter. Perhaps I should just count my losses and move forward with my life. I'm trying to do that.

But it does matter right now because if I was deceived I want to know the whole Truth. Apparently I will never have access to that. It is very frustrating.

Asking direct questions in any cult is almost impossible. The answers are always canned repititions of what the Guru once said. Stories have become rote and are always told in a tone of hushed awe, focussing the Guru's incredible perfection in every situation.

Beyond that, no-one seems to know or else they don't want to reveal anything real.

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Re: So-Called Ancient Hindu spirituality concealing American LGAT 'tech'
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 29, 2008 10:59PM

If its of any consolation, I faced that I'd never get any straight answers from my own family, either--as in 'Why did you guys lie, lie lie?'

They couldnt have answered--or they would have flown into a rage.

As for the experiences, the thoughtful ex-Siddha people reached a conclusion that the experiences were in and of themselves amazing, but the error was

1) That SY as an organization exploited those experiences by linking them to a belief system that celebrated power imbalance, authoritarian gurus, and contained the fatal doctrine that such gurus were infallible and incapable of wrong doing.

2) That the experiences were all that mattered--one's own future well being (in middle age, when one needs things like health coverage and Social Security and a 401(k), and the well being of one's fellow seekers didnt matter. When news came out about violence, crime and sexual abuse of young girls, the attitude all too often was, 'Well that was not my experience' or 'Its guru's grace, I just chant'.

In his book The Light at the Center: Context and Pretext of Modern Mysticism, Agehananda Bharati said that nondual experiences are pleasurable, like great art but they cannot prove anything beyond themselves. When used to validate a political agenda or social project, this is just bogus.

Bharati also said these experiences dont change people, either. He had them, he interviewed people who had them and said, if you were a stinker before you became nondually realized, you'd remain a stinker afterward, unless you faced your flaws and worked on yourself using other methods.

That was another thing ex-SY people figured out, with great anguish: the ability to trigger siddhis had nothing to do with whether someone had spiritual attainment; it was apparently something even a crook could learn to do. This was very painful because it refuted the Siddha Yoga doctrine that such experiences could only be triggered by an enlightened, perfect person.

And some in Siddha even saw fit to apply an addiction model to undertanding their situation, for some felt they'd become addicted to these experiences, and saw it resembled how drug addicts become indifferent to the misery of others. Only getting high was what mattered.

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Re: So-Called Ancient Hindu spirituality concealing American LGAT 'tech'
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 29, 2008 11:07PM

? American Hidden Tantra?

for a sample, here is a chapter from Marta Szabo's blog. Read it and the comments.


One thing that is very interesting is the matter of whether to keep using the mantra (OM Nama Shivaya) one learned in Siddha Yoga, or to give it up.

If LGAT tech was incorporated into a seemingly ancient Hindu praxis which SY claimed to be, then it may be that repeating that mantra, as many who left craved to do, would re-trigger what was entrenched.

Some noted that they tried other yoga schools and couldnt find any satisfaction because...their mantras was different.

And its interesting that one person butted in and claimed the mantra made no difference and put the onus on the craving seeking mind of the sufferer...which deflects attention from examining the all the 'tech' used covertly in Siddha in those early days.

Some with more acuity warn that a mantra can enslave the mind if imparted by a tantric teacher.

LGAT tech could perhaps be called American black magic.

Magic is when we dont see the actual chain of cause and effect, not because we are stupid, and not because we are greedy, but because the actual step by step chain of cause and effect is hidden from us by those who have led us into the toils.

I started to look at other yoga schools. I read ferociously books by Swami Sivananda, the swamis of the Ramakrishna Order, Swami Satyananda, books on Ramana Marharshi and his school of yogic thought..... I gained insight into Hinduism and what yoga is really about.....

I visited various ashram of the above and even did a couple of short courses to find out more about their schools.

But I couldn't bring myself to join another yoga school. The customs and chants were too different. I wasn't about to learn all the new bhajans and chants and customs all over again. And I hated having to explain to people that I wasn't exactly a complete novice in meditation, and yet new to their path..... And I was in no mood to join in the activities of the devotees of these yoga schools, and so I was a loner in their midst for brief times. I was f***ed!

And yet I simply couldn't give up on my quest, or my Self.

And gradually I restartd meditating, on my breath, on Soham which is universal and does not require any initiation from any Guru. Somehow or other it gradually dawned on me Om Namah Shivaya does not belong to SY. It is the initiation mantra of all Shaivites through time immemorial.....

Tentatively I allowed Om Namah Shivaya to resume repeating itself in my meditation. I began to do japa in earnest again.....

The mantra I find the most wonderful and powerful: it is my real Self; it is my Inner Guru. It purifies my nadis, and removes psychological/emotional blocks. It helps me forgive myself and others. I gets me centred and helps me breathe slower and deeper.

Om Namah Shivaya: it is the supreme mantra of the Universe which is my Inner Self. It belongs to no one. It cannot be trademarked or copyrighted. No one can make money out of it without dire consequences. It belongs to God. It belongs to all.

Om Namah Shivaya.

March 8, 2008 2:04 PM
Anonymous said...
Thank you to those explaining in detail how they have resumed their practice. Your experiences are very familiar. I cannot get rid of Om Namah Shivaya, it plays constantly in my head. As was described it seems ridiculous to have to begin again on creating meditation disciplines when one already has an established practice. It really helps me to hear descriptions of your recovery. BTW I totally s**t on myself over SY, because I allowed particularly egregious abuse to occur both from Gurumayi and George Afif. At the same time I received so much. It is this kind of dissonance that has made recovery so hard.

One issue coming into focus however is that I seem to need a relationship with a personal God. Baba, Gurumayi were personal to me. Shiva is just not so personal or maybe I need to understand him in a different way. At any rate it sure would be relaxing to let go of stopping the ever present mantra.

March 11, 2008 7:15 AM
Anonymous said...
Also..regarding the mantra om namah shivaya: I would suggest that anyone who is still using it post-siddha yoga educate him/herself in tantric mantra sadhana so that he/she understands exactly what is going on when the mantra is repeated endlessly. "An informed consumer is the best consumer".

Yes. But...the one thing no one seemed to consider was what could happen if an ancient Hindu mantra were inculcated along with Werner Erhard's EST technology.

Then Om Namah Shivaya, implanted along with that tech would be a different Om Namah Shivaya than that same mantra learned from a clean organisation that was not covertly exposing its trustful devotees to EST technology.

One person in this dialogue tried to put the onus on the people, which neatly deflects from examining the implications of Muk's friendship with Werner Erhard, and the use of EST tech by Muktnananda:

Anonymous said...
I seem to need a relationship with a personal God.

It's vital for everyone to have relationship with a personal God. The point is which person to see as God. Why not try to make it the person you're relating to right now? It doesn't matter who it is: they're already God, 100%.

regarding the mantra om namah shivaya: I would suggest that anyone who is still using it post-siddha yoga educate him/herself in tantric mantra

Mantra has enormous power. It may sometimes be useful to understand where that power comes from. The source of the power comes from 3 thing: (1) the time and effort you put into it, (2) the belief you have in it, and (3) the intention, the reason why you repeat the mantra.

Look into these 3 factors. Anything else is an irrelevent distraction. The words of the mantra you happen to use make no difference.

(C notes:None of these three factors includes examining the social context or the covert use of LGAT tech. Or why it was that so very many SY devotees were attracted to using LGATs along with their participation in SY, as commented on in the AOL discussion dited above)

Further down, someone commented:

March 13, 2008 5:07 PM
Anonymous said...
“… the connection to gurumayi and muktananda which I do not want in my "system" in any way. If I were doing mantra sadhana, I would view om namah shivaya as "polluted" (within that system) because of how I received it and under what circumstances: I did a great deal of mantra japa (in Fallsburg and GSP with swamis and others I now consider people I do not want any kind of association with).My reaction might be a little strong because of things I've observed since leaving siddha yoga.”


Thank you for writing that comment Mantra Anon. I think the crux of the matter for some of us is if pollution of the ONS mantra extends beyond merely psychological associations. Various forms of generic explanations of deity worship and mantra methodology are readily available out there. What seems elusive is an explanation of how a tantric adept like Muk, or perhaps Chid to a lesser extent, could infuse the ONS with some kind of power that works on the mind/body of the repeater in pre or parapsychology.

As you probably know, SY explained mantra awakening as facilitated by an occult process called guru caitanya mantra, i.e. the guru’s power enlivens the mantra making it readily available to the devotee who otherwise might have had to engage in hundreds of thousands of repetitions to garner the same effect. I read a book by Swami Rama who attested that certain Himalayan yogis “realized” specific mantras that granted the repeater small siddhis, and that these mantras could be passed full strength to another. Still, I haven’t come across anything to indicate that this caitanya process can be extended to tens of thousands of devotees, very often through the conveyance of an impersonal mantra card no less. In a way, to suspect that the ONS is esoterically polluted is to accept the notion of a caitanya like effect, only in this case the caitanya influence has certain malevolent qualities – entrapment over liberation.

There isn’t much to go on in the traditional literature to suggest that even an adept can esoterically cast his influence over a mantra initiated to many thousands. It would take a tremendous amount of will to bring that kind of intention to fruition. Please let me know if I’ve overlooked something; it’s entirely possible. The idea of a malevolently charged caitanya mantra rings true in a way that’s hard to put a finger on.

Any comments and or substantiations are appreciated. Thanks.

March 14, 2008 10:14 AM

C replies study the LGAT tech.

"LGATs (Large Group Awareness Trainings) were all the rage when I was growing up in the 70s. They include Werner Erhart's now-defunct est, its successor The Forum (aka Landmark Education), Lifespring, and many spin-offs. I've never attended these, though the many Intensives I experienced with Swami Muktananda were heavily influenced by Werner, and gave me a strong taste of the group dynamic. The Truth about Human Potential Seminars is a blog covering the LGATs; The Awareness Page offers many links they say will help Awareness consumers make conscious informed decisions; and Rick Ross' site has the video Voyage to the Land of the New Gurus, a 2004 French TV report with hidden cameras inside an actual Landmark training. "

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/29/2008 11:11PM by corboy.

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Re: Yoga Cults, and Hindu spirituality concealing American LGAT 'tech'
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 30, 2008 12:45AM

The Anticult
There are lots of so-called "Yoga" groups which are little more than front groups for cults. Its the best way to get people in. Yoga is trendy and to most people they think its like an exercise class.

They then start slipping people the Swami, when they are bent over in the Downward to speak...

Hey, if I were an ambitious eastern based Guru in the west, the first thing I would do would be to open up a chain of Yoga Schools, or better yet, buy-out or take over local ones, preferably in high income areas. That is the golden harvest.

Thank you for bringing all this up, TAC.

Yoga. Its all the rage these days. I actually got so fed up I went and purchased a 'Fuck Yoga' t-shirt. (The guy is still selling them. Show him some love)


Yoga. Its a perfect front. One its in the nice nutrient rich fishing hole called the cultic milieu. Negative thinking is not allowed. Fact checking is not nice. So a barracuda can swim in and find lots of food fish. And anyone who tries to warn the food fish is hated for spoiling the mood.

Meanwhile, the blood left by the barracuda attracts no attention.....the sandalwood incense covers that right up. (end of tortured metaphor)

Two, you have to have the right accessories. First its the sticky mat. (Twenty years ago, you never saw people with those. Back then, yoga was associated with wearing leotards--remember those days?)

Two, you have to have the carrying bag for the yoga mat. Then you need some jewelry with Hindu emblems, then a shawl, and cute clothes, and if you're a woman, those cutsy low cut pants showing off the ass crack, and then the tattoo over the ass crack--or if you're skinny and have a nice flat belly, one has to get a belly button piercing.

Gyms loved it when yoga became all the rage. You can sell more stuff to the yoga students, because fashion victimology is rife--yogistas always need new accessories.

The students taking Spinning and powerbiking classes and the weight lifters--nah. They buy their equipment at the bike shops or if weight lifters, buy thiers at sporting goods stores and in both cases, use it for years. So apart from memberships gyms dont make much money off those two groups. But yoga--lots of money to be made there.

A guru can find a labor pool of unpaid slavites and manufacture yoga accessories--smart move. Import the brocades and paisely shawls cheap from India and sell em at a mark up.

Next come the Ayurvedic cookbooks, the magazines, which means any guru can advertise in the Yoga Journal as well as the freebie yoga mags that you inevitably find at the health food store or in street corner boxes in hipster neighborhoods.

Perfect fishing ground for a cult meister on the make.

Its been fun to watch a sort of one upsmanship in the area of diet.

In the old days it was radical just to be vegetarian.

Now with so very many being vegetarian, that isnt enough.

The next step in the purity crusade was to go vegan.

Lots of people are now vegan.

So...raw food diets. Read somewhere on Zaadz (yet another communication hub in the Wilberian cultic milieu) that Andrew Cohen decided to go on a raw food diet, and that meant his entourage did, too.

Am not saying NOT to do yoga. But keep your critical thinking intact.

And fact check anyone your teacher mentions as a resource.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/30/2008 12:54AM by corboy.

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Re: Yoga Cults, and Hindu spirituality concealing American LGAT 'tech'
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: July 30, 2008 03:34AM

The Yuppie Yoga Craze so ludicrous.

Of course, its exploited just to make money with the latest fitness craze.
And its a fashion trend.

but clearly, many eastern based cultish groups, and full-out cults are using it as a way to grab onto credulous people.
Its the ultimate Trojan Horse, and its completely under-reported what is going on.
People go in, and before they know it, they are in boiling hot rooms, passing out, and getting slipped the Swami when they are not looking.

Of course, they are plenty of decent Yoga centers, which just switched over from Aerobics, and will switch to the next fitness craze.
But I know a number of people who went for the fitness Yoga, and are now involved in some group that is behind the Yoga school. Its the perfect front.

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Re: So-Called Ancient Hindu spirituality concealing American LGAT 'tech'
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: July 30, 2008 03:54AM

Solea, anyone involved in a LGAT in the past can relate. They might think back to sitting in the front row of the audience, in rapt attention, thinking the LGAT speaker was the most brilliant person on earth.
Only years later does one start to really figure out what was going on.

Maybe the best way to deal with the "energy" and "shakti" ideas is to investigate them personally, like a fun research project on the side.

I personally think they are all created by the human brain, in a similar way a deep dream appears 100% real. Some of them are also hallucinations, which by definition are REAL to the person seeing it!!
(once some guys were all stoned on magic mushrooms, and one guy saw a spaceship zip through the sky, and 2 other guys "saw" it too...) (that is instant Suggestion, while being stoned on mushrooms...they are called MAGIC for a reason, those chemicals make your hallucinate).

But as far as Trance and Hypnosis, if one looks into aboriginal cultures, that is how they evoked those states, dancing, up all night, meditating, etc. That is Trance and hypnosis!!
They say tomato, he says tomatoe.

But many think there is much more to it than that, and that's wonderful. It can all be investigated.
If there is an "energy" then it can be measured.
Anyway, huge subject, here are a few links from the skeptical side of the street.


Energy Healing:

It is so easy to look at other cults, to know that the leader is obviously a fake and a fraud; that the teachings are just a hodgepodge of Western and Eastern spiritual concepts or something like that.

It is so hard to believe (even though I have read the Siddha Yoga material here) that it is possible for these experiences of 'energy' or 'shakti' to be inducted through trance or hypnosis.

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Re: So-Called Ancient Hindu spirituality concealing American LGAT 'tech'
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 30, 2008 04:11AM

Y'know, it may be that we face a built in quandry when trying to make sense of these lovely experiences.

The experience itself feels overwhelming, marvellous and magical perhaps because we are in a quite different state of mind and physiology than the state of mind and physiology called to play when we investigate
these experiences.

The language of investigation the state of mind needed, can feel so cold and flat and lifeless in comparison.

Again I suspect part of the magic is not knowing the actual links in the chain of cause and effect that has created that bliss.

Hardest thing in the world is to question our bliss.

Following it is fun....until it leads us into the clutches of bandits.

But the capacity to question the chain of cause and effect that produced the bliss is hard. It requires a renunciation of sorts--and its a renunciation that has no glamour whatsoever.

The gurus who harmed us were the ones who acted like Fagin, who conned our inner children to put their lives on the line to protect and support a con artist. To follow someone who promised freedom and seemed liberating and magical but who turned out to be exploitative of that child in us.

(Fagin, in the Dickens novel Oliver Twist, had the children picking pockets
and stealing so as to support him. These seemingly petty offenses were not petty at the time the novel was written. They carried the death penalty and under aged children were executed for pickpocketing so much as a handkerchief--a luxury item in those days. Fagins children were literally risking their necks to the hangman in service to him--he's very much a guru/trickster archetype. And Dickens was perceptive. When Fagin was finally arrested and imprisoned, his mask crumbled and he revealed himself to be a child in an adult body)

Eventually I think we can return to a sense of wonder but it will be that which combines our inner child collaboratively with our wise inner parent.

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Re: So-Called Ancient Hindu spirituality concealing American LGAT 'tech'
Posted by: Hope ()
Date: July 30, 2008 05:17AM


Sometimes they're very good at being con artists, too. I got comfort in knowing that my guy had conned his medical school (he got in without completing his pre-med coursework) and everyone in his local professional association. It wasn't until my complaint to the local assoc. that they realized my guy never followed through on providing paperwork, etc., but they were so comfortable with him that they thought he had and/or thought it was forthcoming. And he was the treasurer!

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Re: So-Called Ancient Hindu spirituality concealing American LGAT 'tech'
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 30, 2008 09:56PM

Hope wrote:

"but they were so comfortable with him that they thought he had and/or thought it was forthcoming. And he was the treasurer!"

If we read enough first person accounts, what hope and Solea describe show up again, and again and again.

One thing these folks do and do very well is they treat human relationship as a giant game of chess. In practice, they learn to surround themselves with a social network of enablers. And they make sure this social network is solely comprised of people who respond to thier charm--and who will let matters slide when the charmer doesnt turn in paperwork.

A dramatic and true example. My friend, who survived a psychotherapy cult, told me that his psychopathic former leader (who served time in prison because this perp was a psychiatrist and had sex with under aged patients in his care) was an old man, and long out of prison. My friend hoped C was a burned out case.

To his horror, a friend mailed my pal a newspaper story. C was still involved in manipulating and playing with people's lives. He had set up an Asian bride business!

And..the newspaper reporter (female) who wrote the feature story on all this gave C a glowing report. It was clear she had done nothing at all to check his background, which would have led her to his prison record.

So my friend found a way, via intermediaries, to send this information to the reporter and warned her of the guy's actual background.

My pal told me, 'I cant figure it out. What is it with this people. Its like they intoxicate the minds of those they meet and can cause a reporter to forget to fact check!'

My charismatic 'perp' was ordained to the Congregational Church back in the 1950s. He took heavy duty course work at one of the best seminaries in the country, but at the time only because (cough) he was thinking of going into politics. He claimed to me that friends of his suggested he become ordained to the ministry, and so he was--without ever having been through the ordination track which would have put him under scrutiny both by classmates and those on the committee. He was quite good at getting promotion and quite excellent jobs through the 'old pals network' and he took care to appoint friends of his to his board of directors.

And because they felt comfortable with him, they didnt challenge him.

I was on his board of directors, despite being one of his counselees, (the dude didnt take money for what he did and so wasnt legally accountable--he resisted many pleas from his board that he take donations for his pastoral counseling and its damn interesting that he did not.)

Eventually a counselee actually sued him because she surfaced heavy stuff in session, he tried to refer her to a real therapist, and because he was untrained and fucked up the termination/referral process, she felt abandoned--and sued. It was later settled by the insurance company. X as part of the deal had to get counseling but he arranged to see someone whom he managed to charm and added to his fan club. He had also charmed his spiritual director, and in the same way.

After X retired, I consulted X's spiritual director. When I discovered the truth about X and tried to tell this to his spiritual director, the guy got very nasty--he didnt want his idealism shattered. I despised him for being taken for a fool and left.

Later realized this dude was one of the many catholic priests who got enchanted with the enneagram--a gadget marketed and originated by some very charismatic and iffy people. Cultic milieu.

He too had been looking for a magic daddy and my perp had fit the role.

I woke up from the magic and this spiritual director did not want to wake up. Idolatry in action here.

(about the enneagram, get a copy of James Patterson's 'Taking With the Left Hand' and read the chapter on 'How the Enneagram Came to Market.'
That will give you the milieu--the cultic milieu in which the enneagram was floated and marketed. )

Ive been to enneagram related workshops and was struck from the very beginning by how credulous and starry eyed people were. This was quite a different mental, emotional and social stance from the context in graduate school where we were taught about the Minnesota Multiphasic Inventory.

Without knowing it, I was sensing the difference between a genuine academic/scientific environment versus the cultic milieu. I was sensing the difference between alertness and logic and scientifically trained curiousity vs. the overall credulity that permeates the cultic mileu where Castaneda, Idries Shah, yoga, gurus, enneagram, Dharma Lite all meld together in one gooey slush pile.

It may be that a common denominator for cultic milieu is not so much what people believe, but the mood and suspension of critical thinking and refusal to concern oneself with long term consequences. One can move within this milieu and take up a succession of belief systems that are actually incompatible, but that doenst matter. What matters is clinging to the mood--possibly a way to fend off depression or fend off insights one would find unbearable to face.).

And the cultic milieu has genuine appeal because it seems to offer hospitality and validation for experiences and also for intuitive talents that the mainstream culture cannot seem to deal with. But the problem is though a few in the cultic milieu actually may offer genuine assistance, the milieu is also a hide out and prowling ground for bandits.

Critical thinking is needed to protect oneself, yet its often frowned on in the cultic milieu. That is the seekers dilemma and one that is rarely thought through consciously at the start of one's quest..because seekers are rarely able to find a mentor who can tell them this and in a way that is both kind and convincing.

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 07/30/2008 10:24PM by corboy.

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Re: So-Called Ancient Hindu spirituality concealing American LGAT 'tec
Posted by: Guruphobiac ()
Date: July 31, 2008 12:58AM

It's actually William Patrick Patterson, who was heavy into the Gurdjieff work. As such, I would take anything he said with a grain of salt. A number of Orthodox Gurdjieffians were were absolutely horrified as to how the Enneagram was taken out of the context of their own highly dubious psychospiritual system developed by their charlatan guru.

I find the Enneagram useful as a general framework for understanding human personality. Of course it's imprecise, but then so is most everything in the social sciences. I also don't take it hugely seriously, and haven't gone to a class or workshop in nearly a decade.

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