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Re: Self-Realization Fellowship
Posted by: Tormod ()
Date: March 19, 2012 08:55PM

Here you are; a link to a page that contains the whole work is at the end of this page:
The book comes without pagination in its new format here, though. The cook story is in the section "First use of mental power" (Search for "cook").
And since the book is in the public domain and therefore quotable - contrary to restrictions that Yoganiketan would impose on its online readers - here are the book data:
Dasgupta, Sailendra Bejoy. Paramhansa Swami Yogananda: Life-portrait and Reminiscences. Lincoln, NE: iUniverse, 2006. (e.g. at
Now, we may quote the book according to Fair Use of published material, but not the "free" file Yoganiketan has furnished . . . I seriously question the Yoganiketan restriction policy in such matter: What is published is published, and it may not be legal - and hardly ideal - to put further restriction on free, published material than general laws regulate. Strange - but the book is there -

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Re: Self-Realization Fellowship
Posted by: Tormod ()
Date: March 20, 2012 03:44AM

Since I mentioned Fair Use - and since it is important for many who need to assess information from various quarters:

Fair Use is a copyright principle that allows you to freely use small portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism - and in addition various organizations and scholars have established guidelines for educational uses, guidelines that are not part of the Copyright Act.

Use means paraphrasing or quoting or both, but how much is fit and what is fair, is not easy to tell. Stanford University seeks to make it clear:


Fair use is a copyright principle based on the belief that the public is entitled to freely use portions of copyrighted materials for purposes of commentary and criticism. For example, . . . you should have the freedom to quote a portion of the novelist’s work without asking permission. Absent this freedom, copyright owners could stifle any negative comments about their work [Emphasis added].

Unfortunately, if the copyright owner disagrees with your fair use interpretation, the dispute may have to be resolved by a lawsuit or arbitration. . . .

The only guidance for fair use is provided by a set of factors outlined in copyright law. These factors are weighed in each case to determine whether a use qualifies as a fair use. . . . Unfortunately, weighing the fair use factors is often quite subjective. For this reason, the fair use road map can be tricky to navigate.
Stanford then provides examples of fair use lawsuits: []

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Re: Self-Realization Fellowship
Posted by: grainne uaile ()
Date: March 26, 2012 07:06PM

Thanks for the information.

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Re: Self-Realization Fellowship
Posted by: Tormod ()
Date: March 27, 2012 02:28AM

And thank you! Ten years have gone since about one third of the monastics at Self-Realization Fellowship ashrams and centres had had enough and quit such premises. As we know, some of them had a lot on their minds after the "exodus", as they called it, and they contributed about 30,000 posts on a discussion board called the SRF Walrus. It is now defunct, and most of its revealing content is "gone with the wind" - although the one who started the board, the "SRF Walrus", wrote it was meant to be around for a long time. One might say ten years is long, but it depends on the perspective also. It was not a thousand years or a hundred years, but more or less ten, we now know.
Some hundred people eventually contributed there. The contributions tapered off with the years. But what happened to all those people?
Are all loners now?
Do some find it possible to contribute on the much controlled boards around Yogananda and SRF in the hands of guru adorers?
Are all seeing shrinks?
How is it?
I find surprisingly little insider information about bad SRF dealings today. It may be due to tightened control, tighter reins, or many other factors, like bits in a soup.
All those people! Do you know about them? Anyone?

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Re: Self-Realization Fellowship
Posted by: Tormod ()
Date: March 28, 2012 08:44PM

Someone asked me to put some thoughts online, so I do it. I have added pretty little to the private conversation that went before it, but some changes there are anyway.


Groan: This is worth posting on the SRF thread. Geoff Falk self published Stripping the Gurus.

People tend to forget how unstable a medium cyberspace is. Too many trust Wikipedia content, not knowing that it mutates depending on who has influence and enough supporters to skew results.

Preserving texts in cyberspace is fighting to outrace the forces of destruction, oblivion, deletions, and also Windows changes – both drastic hardware and software changes that will come, for example in eight years. And that is the way it has been.

With such perspectives in mind, those who left Self-Realization Fellowship or some key person who left should write a book about SRF.

For some of the best items online disappear. Cyberspace is not stable. One has to pay to maintain a message board or forum, even if it is inactive and kept as an archive.

Owners of important message boards need to consider what will happen if they become incapacitated by illness or die. Who takes over the ownership of a site, with all its information?

And how does someone protect one's site from being taken over by an owner or group who tried to make it disappear, or simply lacks the resources to preserve it?

Tough questions.
I responded that I agreed a long way, and that I would put our SRF-related conversation on the board after rewriting my thoughts. Here goes.

The Net is not as stable as physical books, good items. Also, some very good ones, disappear, even from the Internet Archive Wayback Machine [], as is the case with much SRF Walrus material, which in part gave the impression of being written with heart-blood by former SRF monastics. Such material may be deleted even ot the Internet Archive, upon request, and it has been the case with vast parts of the SRF Walrus material – nearly all of it. Other possibilities to maintain the free spirit of inquiry into gurus of SRF and the leaders of a dynasty there may find many forms. I just show the ones that have mattered in my own spheres:

MATERIAL PRESERVED. There are many sincere contributions on the Walrus strings I took the time to download many years ago. So some SRF Walrus material has been preserved. Maybe not all of the posts, but some at least. I hope others have downloaded other parts of it than I took the trouble to do. or all of it. Then, what happened to the SRF Walrus moderator? Did he or she download a copy of everything? That would have been a sensible, reasonable thing to do in the light of his published intention of being around for long.

GET A UNIVERSITY HOST? Money to keep up a site that contains material about gurus, kriya and Self-Realization Fellowship has not been a major problem in my case, luckily. It is much due to a university's policy, in that the university in the town I live in, has been hosting my site for well over a decade, cheaply too. Others could seek to get similar deals where they live. That's a possibility, depending on university policies for students, employees and former students. There might be good opportunities along this vein. Inquiring a bit might help.

SELF-PUBLISHED. For someone who think about preserving good stuff, also in the light of getting "incapacitated by illness or die", as you aptly puts it, many other steps MIGHT be taken. One is to preserve good stuff as SELF-PUBLISHED BOOKS or leaflets. Geoff Falk, a Canadian who got disappointed with SRF and had it out with some gurus, went online AND published Stripping the Gurus. A chapter is here. /

HEIRS, FUNDS, BINDING AGREEMENTS, ETC. Otherwise, HEIRS may go on, but they may not keep the torch aflame for long - there is hardly any such guarantee. Maybe the host and the writer could make an agreement (in writing) about keeping the site alive for a fixed amount of years too. That could be another possibility to consider in some cases.

MANY COOKS, MUCH BROTH, AND ALSO GOOD ANGLES. Also, I back up the idea that a book (or many) about SRF - using the revealing SRF Walrus material - should be written, and better. published by a major publishers if that is possible. I find from my own experience that I am limited by my own experiences, though not so much in the field of "SRF theology", which I find awkward, to say the least. But the juicy instances around the SRF guru Yogananda and his loving crew over the years, and what they may have inflicted on members - such sad tales lies outside my range, by and large. Besides, English is not my first language and I live in another country than most SRF members supposedly do. One might say I have my footing and you have yours, I have my angles and you have yours, and many such anglings appeared in the SRF Walrus - and now hard-won expositions have been deleted, almost all of them. I think it would be a good thing of the moderator of the SRF Walrus discussion board had mailed each participant and told "End of discussion. Save your files, good fellows." But he didn't. If he or she still keeps copies, maybe he/she finds in his or her heart to contact the participants by email and offer copies. If not, maybe I should try to do it. But first the Walrus moderator should be given the opportunity, methinks. And my Walrus files are not that big or easy to handle. Besides, I have only few email addresses of the participants lying around.

HOW TO KEEP GOOD STUFF INTACT may be a tough one. "How does someone protect ones site from being taken over by an owner or group who tried to make it disappear, or simply lacks the resources to preserve it?" Just intoning "Get rich quick" and "that may clear up eventually", may not suffice for those in a hurry. But for all I know, some way or other might be found if several people pool their best resources together. If not, the presentation of the guru of SRF and his organization could get next to entirely in the hands of unjust Yogananda promoters. If we don't want unjust, unfair dealings in the dark, maybe there is a little more we might do. "One more punch," as Yogananda advocated in his way.

Yogananda taught about how to succeed in the chapter "Acquiring Attunement With the Source of Success" in his book Journey to Self-Realization. I just paraphrase a few inches from it:
We may set forces into motion and create good luck, for reason and will have been given to us. Also, we may practice self-control, and reduce our wants to purposeful necessities, and include the welfare of others (benefits work well, too) in our prosperity to remain ideally prosperous. As he says, "I move by Spirit; there has been no thought of money, but of service to mankind".
He also says, "Be fair with God. Perhaps He has something better for you than what you are praying for."
The grand way: By deepening meditation we can eventually go into and remain in elevated consciousness, even while performing activities - work from the state of superconsciousness and inner happiness". He rounds off by
"As I behold, may you behold."

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Re: Self-Realization Fellowship
Posted by: grainne uaile ()
Date: July 04, 2012 01:01AM

There is a new forum going up with a lot of old information, but it is a board that was created to help exsrf members or those who question: srfblacklist. Here: []

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Re: Self-Realization Fellowship
Posted by: grainne uaile ()
Date: September 01, 2013 03:22AM

One of you mentioned SRFWalrus. It is back up on the internet and is located here: [] I am not sure if links are allowed, and if not, just google SRFBlacklist. You will find the Walrus towards the end of the forum as it has a sub forum of its own. The rest of the board is SRF Blacklist plus Kate's anti SRF blog that she took down and said we could use it if we wanted. Then there is a section on Temperament Types that some people will find interesting because it shows what type of personality you are that would draw you to SRF or any other organization or maybe none. I learned that I was an Idealist, which did not surprise me. Idealists, if I remember correctly, are the first to leave when they see that things are not like they expected.

There is new information up on SRFBlacklist that was never on SRFWalrus, such as court papers from the Swami Dhirananda/Yogananda trial. Only a few of the main papers have been put up and a few of us have the entire court record in case anyone wants to see it. It is under "Criticisms of Yoganansda, and then "Judge Believed that Yogananda Lied." We also have the Nerode/Yogananda trail, but it has not been put up because I have not bothered to read it yet. (We are all rather tired of this subject, me having been on the SRFWalrus board since almost its beginning.) This Dhirananda court case is at the bottom of the Blacklist Forum below the old SRFWalrus board, under "Criticisms of Yogananda" as I said. It was put that far down on the board because some people who come to the forum are really upset over SRF and not Yogananda, and it takes time for people to even want to know more about him. One shock is enough.

Very few people post on the Blacklist. Are people just satisified with SRF now? Or did SRF brainwash them into believing that it is all lies? Or what? Yet the average view is now 1700 visits per day but I have no idea where they come from. I know that there is a thread on a Yogananda Board that condemns SRFBlacklist as being created by Ananda Church of Self Realization--just as they condemned SRFWalrus for the same, which of course isn't true. Those those of us who created the board were never in Ananda.

No one has been able to figure out who owned the SRFWalrus, but what I had learned from an ex-moderator of the Walrus, (who was by the way, Patricia Lyons who had sued because a monk slept with her, then left SRF and now has passed away), the Walrus was created by an exSRF monk and many on the forum were those who left during the exodus in SRF of 50 monks and nuns and who were not supposed to talk about their experiences or else. But some Ananda members were on the Walrus, but they at least admitted it.

Anyway, just wanted to add this to this thread. Not meaning to interrupt your Hitler talk. We all ask, if he were God, if he knew all things as claimed, then why didn't he know that Hitler was going to exterminate the Jews? Didn't he read Mein Kampf? Maybe not. But what really bothers me now is that he felt that people needed dictators, which of course, I believe he was since he demanded loyalty to him and SRF, something that dictators do so well.

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Re: Self-Realization Fellowship
Posted by: magnocrat ()
Date: October 03, 2016 02:53AM

Drifters and dippers are pretty safe from ensnarement. Best of all swim for yourself and tolerate everyone.

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Re: Self-Realization Fellowship
Posted by: Tormod ()
Date: October 03, 2016 04:51AM

Hi Magnocrat

"Tolerate everyone" comes with a risk. To tolerate dangerous animals or men who come to killl your or your next of kin, makes sleep at night difficult. There are laws around to ensure too much "tolerance". Hence, I find there are certain limits to tolerance too. Tolerance within bounds, with sound measure - that could work many a time.

Let us speak of SRF's prolonged Yogananda's claim that Jesus is one of the SRF gurus. I think it is false. Why? Jesus says in the Gospel of Matthew that he, his teachings, kingdom and salvation are for Jews only, and Gentiles were expressly forbidden. Further, he warned against false Christs (Messiahs is the term), and things they would do, like ravenous wolves. (Matthew 15:24; 10:2-10, etc.)

Let us talk of Yogananda's exegesis of Christian scriptures. He says in Whispers from Eternity that he felt all futurity rippling inside him, and still he did not come up with anything that shows he knew a lot about textual criticism of the Bible. His commentaries are smooth talk on a surface-reverential level, and little else. There is little we can say with certainty that Jesus taught, for he wrote nothing we know of, and the gospels were made decades after he was dead, and versions differ a lot.

Bart D. Ehrman has written books about Jesus, the New Testament and early Christianity. The religious figure, Christ, is different from the Jewish healer, curser, and false prophet that said his ministry was for-Jews-only (The Missionary Command at the end of Matthew is a forgerly, assesses some scholars I agree with. Geza Vermes is one of them.

Ehrman shows in one of his books how the executed Jewish healer, curser, false prophet (about the end time and when it should come) Jesus got a different rep. or status long after his death. The prophet was called God!

It is also interesting to me how the Law that Jesus vouches for completely in Matthew 5:19-20 would have his mother stoned to death with him in her belly. The demand to kill a false prophet is also there. And commands to kill Yogananda for his interests and practices as a spiritist. Lola Williamson has written a bit about that side to him -

It is not good to trust wrong teachings, and may cause harm to trust them.

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Re: Self-Realization Fellowship
Posted by: Tormod ()
Date: October 03, 2016 09:27AM

Second thought

It seems to me that Self-Realization Fellowship has overwhelmed the Google searh engine with a lot of addresses of the churchy kind, to the effect that is is hard to find fair and fit and relevant critique of it.

If SRF critical sites should link up to one another, it could help. Maybe not a long way, but then, who can tell? Tenacity is a factor that may help too - it depends.

Some do not stick to their good and wise critique on the Internet a looong way. Maybe lack of funding is into that. There may be other reasons too.

Now Kriyananda is gone, the SRF Glass Onion seems to have caved in some years after the original SRF Walrus forum. Luckily, a backup site of the SRF Walrus is still alround.

The question is: Are SRF matters worth exposing?

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