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Punjabi Deras and Sects - a list of names
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 28, 2017 04:03AM



Deras or sects are as old as the Sikh faith itself. While their followers come from every caste, they are mainly dominated by Dalits and other backward classes. Modern Sikhism, which promised to get rid of untouchability, failed to provide the social equality. The hold of casteist prejudice and hegemony sustained in spite of Sikh Gurus’ preachings against untouchability and their propagation of equality when they said ‘Ik noor te sab jag upjeya’ (the entire world is born out of one light) as few concerted efforts in that direction made it to the 20th century.

Punjab has the distinction of being home to the largest proportion of scheduled castes population (29 per cent, according to 2001 census, as opposed to national average of 16 per cent) who have a negligible share in the ownership of land. Not only have the landless Dalit Sikhs been dependent on big landowning Jat farmers for farming employment, they were also treated unequally in the Jat Gurdwaras. The resulting vacuum was occupied by more traditional offshoots and by anti-Sikh deras, who provided support to these marginalised communities.
As history scholar Babusha Maingi puts it in Emergence Of The “Deras” In Punjab: its continuity and change, “By and large these deras challenged fundamentalists [Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee] who claim as the protagonists of Sikhism and restricted the membership of the heterogeneous Sikh groups (particularly the non-jats) in the Sikh institutions and organisations”. They were able to offer to their followers dignity, equality and belongingness which the mainstream religion couldn’t. Radha Soamis, Sacha Sauda, Nirankaris, Namdharis, Divya Jyoti Jagaran Sansthan, Bhaniarawala and Ravidasias are among the most popular non-Sikh deras.


At a time when traditional means of redressal are perceived as corrupt or out of reach, the role of the worshipped Baba goes beyond spiritual guidance to practical support (in the form of subsidised ration and medical care, for instance) for his followers. Alongside, there has been an increase in the number of sants like Sacha Sauda’s Ram Rahim and (till he was declared clinically dead) Baba Ashutosh Maharaj of Divya Jyoti Jagarant Sansthan at Nurmahal. Here is a look at a few deras, besides Sacha Sauda.

Read the full text of the article for background on the sects named here.

Dera Sachkhand Ballan

Sant Nirankari Mission

Baba Ashutosh Maharaj

Baba Piara Singh Bhaniara


Corboy note: the various Radhasoami sects belong to this category.


Radhasaomi is interesting because a Westerner, Paul Twitchell, used its doctrine and methods to create his own cult, Eckankar.




John Roger, a disciple of Eckankar used the material to create his own franchise, MSIA (Movement of Inner Spiritual Awareness)

Center for Studies of New Religions


A Former Disciple of Eckankar revisits Eckankar


Ching Hai/Loving Hut restaurants

"Master" Ching Hai reportedly got her material from Radhasoami


And...Guru Mahraj Ji (Divine Light/Elan Vital)


The Radha Soami gurus present their method as a 'science' rather than a religion. Claiming something is scientific is the way to gain legitimacy.

In India, all too often people in the yoga and religion trades equate 'science' with 'method'.

Modern science is a specific method. To proceed scientifically, one has to
follow specific rules.

David C. Lane wrote an essay stating why it is inaccurate to call Radha Saomi
a science.


Here's great educational resource

Misconceptions About Science


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/28/2017 04:35AM by corboy.

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We rarely Google check guru endorsements from friends
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 08, 2017 12:47AM

This is from a discussion about Large Group Awareness Trainings. But
it applies to many other exploitative groups and leaders as well.



Kdag you're absolutely spot on- it's recognized as one of their tactics to be introduced by someone you trust. That person has already been coerced into their way of thinking so they will swear up and down how much it has changed their lives for the better. This is why they won't advertise- they don't want people knowing about the program without it being from someone who is a zealot for their organization. If they advertise- people research.

The best recruiters are people you already trust. And the best recruiters
are not pushy - enthusiastic.

They are sincerely enthusiastic.

And this sincerity is attractive and appealing.

But sincerity does not in itself prove anything. It is
like sweet tasting substances.

We are wired to seek out the taste of sweetness.

But...sweetness can mask the taste of poison.

Those you trust who are sincerely, may without their knowledge have had
their sincerity co-opted by indoctrination experts (calling themselves
gurus, teachers, leaders, masters) to serve an agenda of deceit.

These trusted friends, coworkers, a teacher at your children's school, lovers, relatives, even in some
cases, yoga teachers or therapists -- they will be unaware that
their newfound feeling of salvation and transformation has been produced
a set of stimuli deployed by a dishonest group or guru, who are adept at manipulating the neurochemistry of trustful persons.

Those persons you trust do not feel exploited, even though
they are being exploited without being aware of it.

You are therefore unlikely to research this leader and group your
sincere, radient friend is involved with.

Even if you do learn alarming information about this group, you
may feel afraid to compromise a valued relationship by taking this
seriously. You may persuade yourself that this is obsolete
information, the alarming stuff you're reading online happened in the past,
not the present. Or that it is written by a few malcontents or competitors.

Or that the harm reports describe a different sect from the one your
friend is in.

Your friend is glowing. She or he from all appearances looks better off than
in years. How could anything harmful have had such a good effect on your friend?

You become an enabler for your friend by making these excuses to yourself.

Unless you have unusual background knowledge, you will not know that
well organized cults make sure that their recruiters are excited new recruits
who are totally unaware of the long trail of damaged lives that group has left behind. You will be unaware that those who are burdened and overworked in teh cult are kept away from happy new converts. You and your excited happy recruiter do not know that a world of background information is knowingly concealed and that your pal was *never* in a position to give informed consent.

In short, the most effective recruiters for a cult do not know that they and their
sincerity are being pimped by their group.

Pimped to to recruit for their guru or group via their existing relationship networks.

That is why, contrary to stereotype, the best functioning gurus and cults do not go after maladjusted people. They go after people who are social, sociable,
people who, far from being losers, have a lot to offer.

People who make that group look good. People who have lots of friends and co-workers and social connections.

Without knowing it, your compromised friend or relative may through their radiant enthusiasm recommend that you consult a yoga teacher, body worker or life coach
who is, without your pal knowing it, a higher level member of the group who
may through the client provider relationship, bring the recruitment to a
more sophisticated level.

Someone with a client practice who is slave to a guru
can learn confidential information about you and tattle it to their handler
higher up in the group who can then decide if you yourself are worth targeting for long term cultivation.

You will feel as though you are making free choices. But if the rules of engagement for your friendship have changed to serve the exploitative
agenda of a dishonest group or leader -- you and your buddy
are not making free choices.

Because freedom of choice is possible ONLY if you are fully informed of the
role this group and leader are playing in influencing your friend and her
recommendations to you.

When a subject is newly recruited, he or she has been given the
sunny side of the group. He or she is excited, happy. He or she has
not been in the group long enough to notice patterns of favoritism, has
not been exposed to features and doctrine that the cult hides from
the public -- and hides to the joyous new privy to burdensome secrets.

You do not know it, but once your loved one or mentor has become
indoctrinated, the rules of engagement you once shared with
this person are no longer shared.

This subject is not yet aware that he or she has become incapable of
genuine friendship, for there's now a hidden, dictatorial third party -
the guru or group-- by which all other relationships and beliefs
are evaluated, and then deemed threatening or supportive.

Remember that your friend will feel saved, transformed, redeemed, illumined.

Your friend is unaware that deceit combined with ordinary
manipulation techniques have created all this.

You are now either a potential ally/recruit or a potential threat.

You are a person from whom secrets must be kept.

And your friend, feeling saved from death, whether spiritual or social,
will be convinced that it is worthy to lie to you, so long as
you either join the group and become saved or at least remain
supportive of your friend's cult identity.

Anything that might cause you to get a skeptical facial expression,
--your indoctrinated buddy will keep it from you, or soft-pedal it.

Meanwhile, you love and trust your friend, so you will likely
consider it unthinkable to research whatever or whoever has
made your friend seem happy and fulfilled.

So, yes indeed. We are less likely to run due diligence Google searches
on anything a loved one. friend or mentor is involved with.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/10/2017 12:33AM by corboy.

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How Some Recruiters are Trained to Ignore When You say "No"
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 18, 2017 09:52PM

There are set ups that TRAIN their disciples to anticipate every possible
objection you have and desensitize themselves to you.

Here is one example that someone did learn about.

Disciples of gurus may possibly be taught to pretend to listen to your concerns while silently chanting mantras.

Perhaps they are trained to chant mantras if they hear anything from you
that comes across as skeptical, or threatens to trigger their own doubts.


At one point, Sumerlin tried to leave - but first she had to get past several hall monitors who kept up the questioning. "it was before I learned that the only way to handle these people is to just say no," she adds. "Anything else gives them an opening to ask another question. They're trained on how to do it."

In fact, she says, a former volunteer told her how they were taught to desensitize themselves to objections from potential recruits by singing "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" and substituting all the possible objections people might have for the verses: "I'm not signing up because…of money. Ee-I-Ee-I-O. I'm not signing up because…I don't want to. Ee-I-Ei-I-O."

This is an example of how products of Werner Erhard's LGAT (Formerly est now Landmark) are trained.

This entire article is well worth reading.

When it comes to Landmark Education Corporation, There's no meeting of the Minds.

Westword/April 24, 1996
By Steve Jackson



One guru, Muktananda did learn to use methods derived from Lifespring
which in turn was a spin off of Werner Erhard's Est seminars, now known as Landmark Education.

Gurumayi, another guru, reportedly did a meditation that seemed ancient Hindu but that one of the Cult Education message board users identified as derived from a modern trance method called Neurolinguistic Programming.


If you are involved with a disciple of a guru like Muktananda or Gurumayi, you have no way to know if that disciple is capable of empathizing with you.

You have no way to know if that disciple is silently visualizing the guru or silently repeating mantras while pretending to listen to you, while pretending to be present to you when say or do anything that competes with loyalty to the guru.

These gurus operated 15 to 20 years ago.

By now, many more seemingly authentic gurus, Sufi masters and avatars (plus successors of illustrious dead gurus) are on the scene.

And using these powerful techniques so they can monopolize the inner lives of disciples, even teach disciples to pretend to listen to nonbelievers while
practicing inner trance focused on their guru.

In this predicament a guru's slave can seem to be respectful and empathic with friends, loved ones, even listen with seeming concern to skeptics and those who disagree.

But underneath there is no empathy from their side. They will give the appearance of being present to you while silently concentrating on their guru or using some other distraction technique.

Just like little kids who ignore all other words except "Yes" when nagging you
to give them junk food.

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Re: Recovering from New Age Mumbo Jumbo
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 02, 2017 09:49PM

Why White Lady Sisterhood Needs to Evolve
April 30, 20178 min read


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How we influence each other - an example
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: October 05, 2017 03:16AM

The best way to empower ourselves is to recognize how influence able we are.

In spite of our professed values and beliefs, our sense of what is normal
and desirable usually changes depending on the social setting we spend most time in.

I've heard people say that before they took up shooting heroin, they had
spent a lot of time with friends who were slamming dope. By hanging around
active junkies, the needle and the rest of the process lost its terror and came to seem not scary...then seemed to be companionable.

Or as they said in the old days, lie down with the wrong dog and you'll get up with fleas.

Here is an example from medicine - eating disorders.



As any inpatient will tell you, a specialist unit is the best place to learn how to be really, really good at anorexia.

They also breed their own subculture. Some patients have reported bullying and intimidation by the hard-core cases. If they eat anything at all, they’re called fat cows’ (Rice, 2004).

Vandereycken refers to ‘a most interesting blog’ post


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