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Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: sunshine ()
Date: August 25, 2010 02:22AM

I love books and movies. I was intrigued by the title so I started reading EPL at the store years ago before it became one of Oprah's favourite things. I read several pages before I finally gave up. I found the author to be a narcissistic drama queen. I also found her to be superficial and boring. I reached a point where I didn't care what happened to her so I didn't purchase the book.

From what I've since read about the woman (I don't know if this is true) she was apparently given an advance to go forth and find herself. Shouldn't she have found herself and then write about her revelations and only if she had something worth sharing?

There is something very dishonest and contrived about this. It seems her publisher cynically figured that there are enough lost souls who would buy this book. I don't understand her large cultlish following. Most of us have to figure things out whilst carrying on with our lives, between taking out the garbage, washing the dishes and showing up for work even if we're dealing with blips in our personal lives. I would have more respect for someone who didn't run away and get paid for the opportunity to do so. And please don't misunderstand, I'm all for travel and believe it's a great way to learn about life, about other people, cultures and ourselves.

Are people so desperate they'll slavishly worship anyone? As for Oprah's big endorsement of this book, I won't even go there.

Let's just say the emperor is naked and it's not a pretty sight...

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: rrmoderator ()
Date: August 25, 2010 06:48AM

It's apparently even worse than that.

See [www.showbiz411.com]

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: margarets ()
Date: August 25, 2010 09:28AM

She did get an advance, which in itself I have no problem with. Writers get them all the time; it's the publisher's investment in a product they hope will be profitable. In that sense, Elizabeth Gilbert delivered. Capitalism.

Before long, another book like this will come out, because people are that desperate and they need a new fix.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: Sparky ()
Date: August 25, 2010 09:59AM

rrmoderator, thanks for the heads up. For those who don't wade through the comments section of a linked article, here Marta Szabo, the one who exposed this cult fraud PRIOR TO THE OPRAH BOOK THAT INSPIRED THE MOVIE WAS EVEN WRITTEN. (God I hate Oprah's assault on people with her championing cults!)

[the-guru-looked-good.blogspot.com]

Her blogspot is worth a look athough understand she is trying to sell her book "The Guru Looked Good".



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/25/2010 10:01AM by Sparky.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 25, 2010 09:48PM

There has been a lot of information published about Gurumayi and the guru who groomed her, Muktananda

Here is information from RR.com's archive

[www.culteducation.com]

The Siddha Yoga faithful are not nice in their methods. When New Yorker magazine published Liz Harris' article O Guru Guru, in the 1990s,


When Marta Szabo arranged to give a reading of her memoir The Guru Looked good, exposing Gurumayi and SYDA yoga, Marta reported someone tried to sabotage the event.

Quote

A Siddha Yoga Tea-Bagger tried to sabotage our gathering last week by calling the restaurant and telling them the event was canceled. Well, we got wind of the plot and set things straight, and the evening was a resounding success. Sorry, tea-baggers, right-wing fundamentalists whose beliefs are threatened just because I have written a story that is absolutely accurate to my experience

[the-guru-looked-good.blogspot.com]

For starters, the Leaving Siddha Yoga website

[www.leavingsiddhayoga.net]

and..Rituals of Disenchantment a blog by a former devotee.

Gurumayi has reportedly been 'away' and not teaching since 2004

[ritualsofdisenchantment.blogspot.com]

Quote

The first big question I have is: how do you deal emotionally with the fact that Gurumayi has disappeared? She has not been seen in public since New Year's Day 2004--which is just a few months shy of the time required before a person is declared legally dead. In a spiritual path dedicated to the worship of the living perfected master (and whatever else Siddha Yoga is, it is certainly that) this is a crushing blow. Particularly given that the "official" position of the SYDA Foundation is to pretend this never happened. In this very article in Salon they write:


"For almost three decades, Gurumayi Chidvilasananda, the spiritual head of the Siddha Yoga path, has guided students through her teachings."


This is a pretty piece of propaganda. Notice that they do not say Gurumayi is still in an active teaching role, rather, she guides "through her teachings." This kind of obfuscation is shameful, and you who remain faithful certainly deserve better. So, the second thing I would ask is:


How do you justify to yourself that SYDA refuses to explain where Gurumayi is, why she retired from an active role, and when, if ever, she will resume her role as Guru? Is it because you truly do find her guidance within in the form of the "inner Guru"? And has this need to accept her disappearance without any official explanation fueled your inner quest, strengthened your identification with the inner Guru, or does it ever rankle, does it ever make you question the path?


Finally, whenever SYDA is forced to address the question of the future of Siddha Yoga, it never, ever mentions Gurumayi. Instead, it performs a neat sleight of hand, inserting itself in place of the Guru with uninspiring formulations that only a lawyer could love, such as:


"The purpose of the SYDA Foundation is to protect, preserve and disseminate the teachings... for future generations."


Who are these future generations, and why do they take precedence over the current generation of young people who were orphaned by the Guru before they were old enough to understand that loss? You know, the teenagers and young adults who learned of the Guru from their mother's knees, who sat beside her chair during darshan, the fresh young faces whom Gurumayi once claimed she was concentrating on teaching? Do you remember when Gurumayi told us old-timers during her last Labor Day talk in Fallsburg that "your begging bowls are full" and it was now time to turn her attention to the next generation? Except that she didn't. Can you remember subsequent summers in South Fallsburg full of programs for young people, special Intensives held exclusively for the under 21 set, courses designed especially to help teenagers and young adults apprehend and communicate the teachings? No, of course not, because they never happened. Outside of a few satsangs that Gurumayi held for the children of ashram residents and, of course, a few treacly children's books and tapes, this new flowering of Siddha Yoga died on the vine.

I guess it all comes down to this: if your own children are growing up without the Siddha Guru, how do you imagine that future generations will be attracted to become her disciples?


Werner Erhard, who devised EST (current version is Landmark Education) helped sponsor Muktananda in one of his early visits to the US and one person suggested that Muk incorporated Est tech into Siddha Yoga intensives, this thread is worth reading and pondering. Gurumayi, as Muk's successor, could well have inherited those techniques.

So-Called Ancient Hindu spirituality concealing American LGAT 'tech'

[forum.culteducation.com]

Quote

I have been struck by how hard survivors have struggled to recover and still feel haunted by the powerful experiences they had--shaktipat or guru's grace.

But...what if they were affected by an ingredient hidden from them--US style LGAT technology.

Google SYDA yoga and 'werner' and 'Landmark' and 'Lifespring.'

And Werner Erhard sponsored Muktananda in one of his early visits to the US.

It may be that those struggling to recover from a seemingly ancient Hindu practice path were also affected by LGAT technology and may be hampered in recovering because they do not know because they were not told that LGAT techn was hidden under the trappings of seemingly venerable Hindu practice.

At least those who took EST or Lifespring, or (fill in name of current LGAT here) KNOW they were affected by this entity. They know what word to put into a Google search. Once at RR.com, they know which part of the data base and forum to go to.

But what if you were hit by a dose of both overt toxic Hindusim and covert LGAT?

A person in this predicament has been betrayed by their guru. And... that person cant even tell his or her therapist or exit counselor the full information needed for that professional to identify the proper antidotes...


A series of quotes from an early AOL discussion about mind control as it applies to Muktananda and Gurumayi

[forum.culteducation.com]

and

[www.shadowoftheguru.com]

This film, by Joan Radha Bridges, is about Muktananda. He appointed two co-successors, Nityanananda and Gurumayi Chidvalas, his niece.

When persons who suffered try to describe the harm they incurred, and speak up so as to make amends by warning prospective recruits about the history of SY, all too often the people who experienced only the bliss, show up and give various arguments along the line of 'I only experienced bliss. What you report is irrelevant and your negativity. God bless this great path.'

A library of material is available on the Ross Institute archives.

[www.google.com]

After a nasty battle, Gurumayi took control and purged the history of SYDA yoga to eliminate all refererences to Nitya. Pictures of him and documents referring to him were destroyed.

In addition to the long hours of work and chanting, described by Joan Bridges, Muktananda was friends with Werner Erhard and two different sources alledge that techniques from EST tech were incorporated into the Siddha Yoga intensives led by Muk. It is to be hoped that her film will mention this.

Re: So-Called Ancient Hindu spirituality concealing American LGAT 'tech'

[forum.culteducation.com]

American Tantric Dissimulation

[forum.culteducation.com]

This has received little attention, even from former devotees.

What worries me is that so very many gurus (both western born and Asian born) continue to show up, claiming enlightenment.

No one bothers to wonder whether they could have learned some potent 'tech' and are concealing it behind Sanskrit chanting and twaddle about nonduality or kundalini.

Worst of all, the bias against 'negative thinking' in the New Age scene gives these gurus easy access to people's inner lives.

And when any attempt is made to discuss this, bang, along come guru apologists who claim the guru isnt the problem, its our own craving minds that are the problem.

After a nasty battle, Gurumayi took control and purged the history of SYDA yoga to eliminate all refererences to Nitya. Pictures of him and documents referring to him were destroyed.

A note on guru apologists.

When any attempt is made to discuss this, bang, along come guru apologists who claim the guru isnt the problem, its our own craving minds that are the problem.

It may be that one unspoken motive for the persons for whom guru apologism is a vocation, is that the high point of their lives, the one time they had prestige and became 'insta-Brahmins', was in the good old ashram days when they were inner circlers. Or were prize recruits who made their guru look good and, as a result ranked high in the organization.

Only in a court presided over by a pseudospiritual guru who behaved as a Mafioso did such persons ever feel fulfilled--they became insta Brahmins only in relation to the artificial environment that only an infallible and all powerful guru can create, but is otherwise not available in most parts of the US.

So perhaps for that reason, they defend gurus.

In an open and democratic society, there isnt the same sense of becoming, or hoping to become, an insta-Brahmin.

And most guru converts fail to recognize that unless they are rich, or have a prestigious social background of some sort that brings social connections useful to an ambitious guru, the odds are against their becoming and then remaining 'insta-Brahmins'.

The caste system, whether its ugly and authentic form in India, or the equally ugly fake version in guru ashrams is a pyramid.

There are just a few slots open for Brahmins. There are a few more for thugs (excuse me Khstriyas--the bullies (male or female) who do the guru's dirty work.

There are a few extra slots for the money people--the merchants and accountants.

But, most of the slots are for the sudras..the peons who chop wood, cook the food, make the beds, do the laundry.

And a few spots for the necessary scapegoats (dalits, outcastes) onto whom the perfect guru's shadow material is projected.

Very few ever understand that when love bombed to join a guru, odds are they will be the peons.

And if they become insta-Brahmins, odds are at some point, they risk returning to the state of peonhood or become the outcastes when they fail to please the guru.

Such is the situation being glamorized by this movie.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 25, 2010 09:56PM

And, within these two yoga groups led successively by Muktananda and Gurumayi, former participants reported that disciples who were therapists were flattered and encouraged to form dual relationships with clients. Professionally and morally and legally that is considered wrong.

For if a devotee and therapist both adore the same guru, but the devotee begins to have troubles and misgivings about the ashram and guru, how can he or she find the courage to tell a therapist who also idealizes that same situation?

And if the person finds the desperation and courage to try to bring it up to the therapist that means the therapist has to choose between adoring the guru vs listening and taking seriousy the concerns of a client who is seeing a darker more troubling set of information.

ACase Study: Corruption of the Psychotherapeutic Process within SYDA Yoga.

(for live URLs within the article go to this reference here)

[forum.culteducation.com]

Quote


taken from a dialog on AOL in 1996)

[www.ex-cult.org]

(Note: Further on in the Dialog it states these conferences took place in the
early 1980s. So this wasnt a brief aberration in SYDA yoga culture. It appears to have been a systematic long term pattern. C)

Here is a quote indicating how early this corruption process took place in SYDA--suborning and flattering the narcissism of therapists.

"Howie, did you not know that these "conferences" for the mental health
professionals have been going on for years? I remember hearing about one in the early 80s, and I believe they have been offered fairly regularly to such practitioners. They are NOT ordinarily listed in the regular summer
brochures.

A NYC psychologist and SY meditation teacher has offered scholarly
presentations to the professional community on "spirituality and meditation"
and a large number of his clients are now in SY. He would be a likely
candidate for this summer's panel.

The *first* time I *ever* saw a picture of Gurumayi (of her at the 1982
Patabhishek - successor installation) was in a *therapeutic* setting with
this therapist. He (showing me the wallet-sized photo): "Isn't she the most
beautiful creature you've ever seen?!" Me: "Uh, she's ... BALD!" When I
later began participating in SY, I received very specific strokes from him"


Subj: some thoughts - 2 of 2
Date: 96-05-21 16:14:52 EDT
From: Dissent222

Part 2 of 2

Next rant.

Now, There is a psychotherapy conference happening at the ashram this summer, the 4th annual conference. It's called Kashmir Shaivism in Professional Practice. Among the lead speakers are: Sw. Durgananada, the one who lied and refused to admit that she had acknowledged to the Boston devotees that Baba did have sex with many young girls. She'll be helping the participants to use "the witness consciousness, as we discover how to work with and dissolvedeep tendencies with the fire of our own awareness." Perhaps she will also be teaching how to use witness consciousness to lie about and conceal sexual abuses in the ashram.

Then there's (name omitted) one of the psychologists that breaks his
professional code of ethics and violates the confidentiality of his clients
by schmoozing with GM about them and listening to her make sarcastic comments about them while he joins in the laughter.

Then there's the conference organizer, (name omitted), one of those guys who chased GM's brother around Kennedy Airport, threatening him and shouting, "we're going to get you." ( BTW, the other "clones" in the airport incident were (names omitted.)

One of the most astonishing parts of the conference is a section entitled:
"How Can We Share Siddha Yoga With Clients" led by a panel of syda
therapists.

There is only one answer which is in accordance with the ethical
codes of the psychotherapy (psychiatry, psychology, social work)
profession(s): that is NOT to share SYDA at all. Nothing could be more
unprofessional and more damaging to a pscychotherapy client than for their
therapist to recruit them into a religion.

And yet again and again, SYDA devotees who are therapists bring busloads of their clients to the ashram to meet GM. There are innumerable implications, all of them damaging to the client, to doing something so patently unprofessional as that.

The most obvious is that, say the client is wandering around the internet and gets pointed to this discussion. They read every word, the open letters, the essay, the archives. And then they try to discuss it with their therapist, if they aren't too frightened of his potential response to broach the subject.

And say this therapist decides to tell the patient that their doubts
are projections, paranoia; maybe the therapist says "trust your own
experience." DOES ANYONE SEE HOW DANGEROUS AND DESTRUCTIVE THIS IS BESIDES ME?

And really, that's just the tip of the iceberg of this issue.

More later -



Dissent222

Subj: Re:some thoughts - 2 of 2
Date: 96-05-21 18:30:56 EDT
From: Howie Sm

Dear AOL readers,

It was just mentioned that a SYDA program offering is titled:

"HOW CAN WE SHARE SIDDHA YOGA WITH CLIENTS"

Do they mean how can professional therapists discuss (share?!) Siddha Yoga
with CLIENTS WHO APPROACH THEM IN THEIR PROFESSIONAL CAPACITY?

For the love of Caesar! Talkin' bout zombie recruitment strategies! This
is lower than a fishbelly in the Mariana trench!

If this is true, these mere eight words--IN THEMSELVES--are unethical, and an outrage.

--It is prima facie evidence of SYDA's lack of regard for any standards (such as PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS) except their own.

--It is prima facie evidence of SYDA's automatic assumption that it can
violate anyone's boundaries, that it can use the emotional vulnerabilites of
those seeking help as an entree for self-serving spiritual-vampire
adventures. Not to mention as an entree to pocketbooks and strong backs.

--It is STRONG EVIDENCE that SYDA therapists are already accustomed to using their profession for zombie recruitment. The relish and magnitude with which the idea has been embraced indicates the momentum that is behind it, within the ranks of the SYDA therapist population.

--The fact that those participating probably SINCERELY THINK THAT SIDDHA YOGA IS THE "WAY," and that they let this belief affect their professional conduct indicates that these therapists are MENTALLY DISTURBED as a result of their protracted brainwashing--it indicates yet again that: SIDDHA YOGA IS A DESTRUCTIVE CULT.

Can one imagine a Jewish, Catholic, or Islamic therapist with this kind of
unethical hubris?

Dissent222, am I misinterpreting what you wrote? This course sounds so
unethical and crazy that I can't believe even wacko SYDA would go public with a title like "HOW CAN WE SHARE SIDDHA YOGA WITH CLIENTS."

The final kicker is: I bet the discipleship is so brainwashed that they
won't even notice how grossly problematic this cockamamy concept is.

Subj: SYDA Therapist Disorder
Date: 96-05-21 21:23:01 EDT
From: Dissent222

No, Howie, you haven't misinterpreted anything. The Flyer for this event
lists the following:
Saturday, July 20
9 - 12:30 Morning Prog.w/GM
12:30-2 Lunch
2-2:15 Welcome, overview and history
2:30 Psychotherapists Panel: "How Can We Share Siddha Yoga with Clients?"
Case histories, discussion, small groups and sharing.

And it goes on and on.

So you see, the recruitment aspect of the program is given billing second
only to Gurumayi.

Pretty stunning, isn't it?
[www.ex-cult.org]

(Great Caesars ghost!—more! Corboy)

Subj: Recruiting therapist stooges
Date: 96-05-22 11:32:23 EDT
From: Howie Sm

Dear Dissent222,

Thanks for the information about the

<<>> Case histories, discussion, small groups and sharing.>>>

CASE HISTORIES! Case histories of "sharing Siddha Yoga with clients," case histories of zombie recruitment activities? Good grief! Freud is rolling in his grave. What happened to professional ethics!

<<>>--Small group meetings are ideal settings in which
"oldtimer" therapists with dirty hands can induct "green" therapists into
their unethical society of zombie-recruiters. Small groups = peer pressure
brainwashing. No doubt they'll pull out the "small group" brainwashing
techniques that were perfected in activities such as "center leader"
retraining.

<<>>--"Sharing" of how to "share Siddha Yoga"? Sounds like more
standard mind control. My guess is sharing here will function as a bonding
ritual. Hearing "oldtimer" therapists talk comfortably about using their
professional office for zombie recruitment will neutralize the impression of
professional ethics that may be in place in the minds of "newcomer"
therapists.

MY HYPOTHESIS: This workshop is about recruiting therapists! About training therapists to become SYDA-stooges, who will use their professional identities as a cover!

So, this seems to be about recruiting stooges--who will then go out and
recruit zombies. What we need now are workshops on how to recruit "trainers" who will recruit stooges who will recruit zombies. Then a workshop on how to recruit "trainer trainers" who can recruit trainers who will recruit stooges who will recruit zombies. Then a workshop on how to recruit . . .

Subj: "Therapy" as "yoga"
Date: 96-05-22 19:26:28 EDT
From: Cker

Howie, did you not know that these "conferences" for the mental health
professionals have been going on for years? I remember hearing about one in the early 80s, and I believe they have been offered fairly regularly to such practitioners. They are NOT ordinarily listed in the regular summer
brochures.

A NYC psychologist and SY meditation teacher has offered scholarly
presentations to the professional community on "spirituality and meditation"
and a large number of his clients are now in SY. He would be a likely
candidate for this summer's panel.

The *first* time I *ever* saw a picture of Gurumayi (of her at the 1982
Patabhishek - successor installation) was in a *therapeutic* setting with
this therapist. He (showing me the wallet-sized photo): "Isn't she the most
beautiful creature you've ever seen?!" Me: "Uh, she's ... BALD!" When I
later began participating in SY, I received very specific strokes from him
about how open and loving and welcoming I was becoming. (Image: Bliss Bunny distributing sweetness and light). When he found out I had been attending satsang, his response was, "Ah, I *knew* something was different!"

I felt the thrill of being recognized by my therapist as someone who was becoming a healthier, more loving person - and all because of my involvement in SY, his chosen path.

This therapist, prior to his involvement in SY, was scrupulous in denying
clients access to information about his personal life. His professional
distance eroded gradually. Early on, if a comment arose during a
conversation at the ashram which even bordered on a "therapy issue," he would quickly absent himself.

When it happened between us one time, I was initially offended, but then I realized (correctly, I might add) that it was inappropriate for me to converse with him at the ashram (even as a "samskara") some concern on which he and I had worked together.

As time went on, this therapist began to engage in some personal activities
with the community of client-yogis, and a SY "context" developed in my
approach to my work with him. I thought this was OK because this appeared to me to be the most fortuitous marriage, combining all my "inner work" under a mantle of grace. I'm sure I'm not alone among his clients in coming to the conclusion that I would win his approval, be considered an "advanced," if I presented my problems, interpreted my experiences, and reached resolutions ("breakthroughs") within that context.

In order to win and keep approval, I began to hide things about myself from my therapist and others in SY that were, to say the least, "inconsistent" with the teachings, including my doubts about SY.

After all, aren't most issues that arise in therapy mere products of negative thinking or wrong understanding? Psychological well-being took a back seat to "enlightenment" as the goal of therapy. This defeated the purpose of therapy *and* yoga, but how could it *not* happen when a therapist allows his and his client's personal stake in a corrupt cult to become a factor in a therapeutic relationship?

(continued)

Subj: "Therapy" as "yoga" 2/2
Date: 96-05-22 19:27:45 EDT
From: Cker

It *is* the client's responsibility to be honest in a bona fide therapeutic
relationship. It is the therapist's responsibility to maintain professional
distance. I'll grant that neither of us met our responsibilities in this
situation. But both considerations, and integrity itself, become secondary
when both the client and the therapist are members of a cult which has at its core a conspiracy of silence, a "big lie." Both my therapist and I, heavily
invested in SY, agreed by our complicity and lack of honest inquiry to
respect the code out of loyalty to the master.

My therapist used to be a master at pointing out when and with whom I was
being manipulative, but he was unable to see it within the context of SY.

I dare say there are few more effective disguises that can be assumed by a client to protect his neuroses than cult-think that the client knows he
shares with the therapist.

It happened, in my case at least, that the demonstration of improvements in "understanding," rather than the resolution of psychological issues, became the measure of progress in my "therapy."

As I learned the jargon of the spiritual path, it became easier and easier to manipulate the process. In fact, it was a new version of the "performance" game I'd been playing all my life.

I had found a shortcut around real issues that my previously very
discerning therapist could not detect.

People (at least in SY) thought I was a very nice person to be around. And I was - for them. *Living* with me, now *that* was (and is, I'll admit!) a
different story.

The contrast between my "yogi" self (reserved mostly for SY
events) and my "bhogi" self (the side not as guarded about my flaws, which
also swears when angry and includes meat in the definition of "prasad")
became painfully obvious even to me. I spent tremendous energy, and became irritable, anxious, and guilt-ridden, trying to maintain this facade.

My family was painfully good at pointing out my inconsistencies. One time, I explained to my seven-year-old that we had to clean his bedroom because the Mandali was coming and this person, who would take over his room for the duration (thereby infusing the very coils of his mattress with shakti) was "special."

Without hesitation, he replied, "But, I'm special too." To this
day, his remark pains me. Talk about "duality"!

"Exit counseling"? Fagetabotit. If you leave the cult you share with your
therapist-father, you lose him *and* your guru-mother, guru-grandfather,
guru-great-grandfather, and all your guru-sisters, -brothers, -cousins, and
-aunts and -uncles, Death might seem preferable, and apparently might be at least threatened if your leaving is enough of an embarrassment, if you consider the experience of Michael Dinga as described to Lis Harris.

I'll wager that "Maintaining the Illusion of Professional Distance,"
euphemistically titled of course, will be a major topic at the conference
this summer. Forgive me for this gut-spilling, but when I contemplate the
issues raised in this forum, I find that the most effective way for me to
endorse the truth is to relate how it happened to me.
Subj: therapy - NOT
Date: 96-05-23 03:47:13 EDT
From: Dissent222

Dear CKer -

Your account of therapy with a syda recruiter is pretty chilling. The old
fashioned phrase is "contamination" of the therapeutic relationship, which is
apt here, I think. I imagine this therapist you mention subtly pushing syda
like a drug-pusher. "here take this, you'll feel better - take some more -
more - ahh! now you're hooked" And the therapist office becomes an opium den.

Of course, therapists who recruit lots of dakshina-forking-out clients get
brownie points - they might even get to speak publicly at a syda conference
about their success story. "How I Manipulated and Subtly Controlled My
Clients With a Covert System of Rewards and Punishments Based on Their
Professed Devotion To My Guru - And How Doing So Brought Me Special Attention From the Guru, Further Reinforcing My Narcissism".

They left that off the conference brochure, but it still reads loud and clear.

I hope someone reading this goes incognito to the therapist conference this
summer - July 20-21 - and reports back. Because I bet GM's talk to introduce the conference will follow the typical pattern of all her recruitment and maintenance talks: icky sweet seductive stuff to start; then bash everyone
present by referring to how inadequate they are and how badly they do their lives; then suggest how to solve that problem - by giving much much more to the guru, including giving her more recruits. When a therapist is so seduced and duped and manipulated himself, by the syda rewards and punishments system, what can s/he really be offering her/his clients?

Subj: Cker's therapy
Date: 96-05-23 08:45:23 EDT
From: Fibonacci8


Cker wrote,

<< In order to win and keep approval, I began to hide
things about myself from my therapist and others in SY
that were, to say the least, "inconsistent" with the
teachings, including my doubts about SY. >>

In this situation, who was providing therapy for whose anxiety? Clearly,
your behavior was a form of therapy for your therapist's anxiety which he had transformed, syda-style, into denial. In an implicit way he must have let you know that he needed you to help him, while you paid him to participate in that relationship.

Did you ever wonder who needed therapy more, you or your therapist? His
psychic neediness led him to the magic kingdom before he recruited you, and apparently he remains lost within it after you've left. You never required falseness from him, while he clearly required it of you. You came to him with your perceived need for therapy but you were and are, clearly, the more real person. You are much farther along the road of the *real* sadhana than he is. I think recognizing that will lead to more human dignity than anything he gave you.

Too bad you can't send him a bill for your therapeutic services.
Fibonacci

Subj: SYDA Therapy
Date: 96-05-24 07:26:24 EDT
From: BVena

Just a note about my ex SYDA therapist. Oddly, a dreadful illness could be
saving people from an abhorrent nightmare. He tells his HIV positive clients
"The ashram is not for sick people." He is also the person GM sends "New"
people to if they ask questions about being gay in the darshan line. I can't
imagine that there would be a problem here, could you? Think about someone you view as God sending you away because you are unclean. This is consistent with the general lunacy, but ethical? OOPS, I mentioned ethics and UberGuruMayi in the same post. Any ACT UP members lurking out there?

Subj: more therapy 1 of 2
Date: 96-05-24 08:04:39 EDT
From: Dissent222

Dear CKer -

I'm still mind-blown by your description of the unethical, unprofessional
practices of the NY syda-devotee therapist you described in your 2-part post.

At least he isn't the NY syda-therapist who also invites folks to her
channeling sessions, where her 19th century English lady personality, by some strange coincidence, speaks in Gurumayi quotations. The fact that this therapist was a wannabe actress years ago might account for her "Importance of Being Earnest" stage mannerisms.

You've made so many very important points, I'd like to comment on a few:

>" When I later began participating in SY, I received very specific strokes
from him about how open and loving and welcoming I was becoming. (Image: Bliss Bunny distributing sweetness and light). When he found out I had been attending satsang, his response was, "Ah, I *knew* something was different!" I felt the thrill of being recognized by my therapist as someone who was becoming a healthier, more loving person - and all because of my involvement in SY, his chosen path."<

So the therapist, who is acting as a procurer for his guru, abuses his power
over his clients by rewarding them for their compliance and accomodation.

In other words, by rewarding their adoption of a false self and encouraging the sequestering of their true self.

In this way, the syda-therapist fulfills his mission to recruit more devotees and enhances his status as a favored person in the ashram, who gets strokes from the guru. That is, if the clients he recruits are attractive middle-class types with some money to spend, or else the willingness to do plenty of slayva. (slayva is a pun on 'seva'-syda jargon for unpaid grunt work)

WOW. Isn't that precisely why so many seek therapy - because they had nochoice as children but to learn to comply and accomodate, and had to hide their true self in the process? But in your scenario, as you struggle to
find and express your true self, you run up against a false self therapist
who trains you, once again, to hide the true self and display the false,
accomodating self - as Fibs put it, to meet the therapist's requirements.
What a sad, sad mess.

>"In order to win and keep approval, I began to hide things about myself from my therapist and others in SY that were, to say the ast, "inconsistent"
with the teachings, including my doubts about SY. After all, aren't most
issues that arise in therapy mere products of negative thinking or wrong
understanding? Psychological well-being took a back seat o "enlightenment"as the goal of therapy. "<

If a therapist encourages clients to think that the issues that arise in
therapy are mere products of negative thinking or wrong understanding, he is not a therapist, he is a moralizer, a teacher, and a person who has not dared to face himself in a real or full way. He might as well just be saying, "oh that's hogwash, get over it." Or "don't think about that today - think about that tomorrow - after you've given more dakshina and done more slayva. After all, tomorrow is another day."

see part 2

Subj: more therapy 2 of 2
Date: 96-05-24 08:05:29 EDT
From: Dissent222

part 2

Issues that arise in therapy should be carefully explored and elaborated and permitted to emerge from hiding. The meaning of the issue, what function it has served, why it has been needed, how it came to be established - this is what the therapist slowly and empathically helps illuminate.

The therapist should not be speaking from a place of higher power and authority (that is not what his training confers), not be offering rewards and punishments for compliance, not making moralistic judgments by dismissing issues with the slogan "wrong understanding". As obvious as this may be, it's just a sad fact of life that there are many incompetent therapists who do exactly these things and make a bundle.

The issue here is relationship: the syda therapist, trained to keep eyes
strained upward at all times, gazing up at the guru, is not looking at his
client. The client, like all of us who come to therapy, wants to try to
understand and heal and develop the ability to be in fuller, truer
relationship to self and others. Getting trained to dismiss issues as "wrong
understanding", and to mask the pain of isolation and aloneness by focusing
instead on looking up at the guru, is a tragic, cruel distortion and
manipulation of the therapeutic process.

">My therapist used to be a master at pointing out when and with whom I was being manipulative, but he was unable to see it within the context of SY. I dare say there are few more effective disguises that can be assumed by a client to protect his neuroses than cult-think that the client knows he shares with the therapist."<

How manipulative this therapist is. Pointing out your manipulativeness while
steadily manipulating you to fulfill his needs, allay his anxiety, give him
what he wants - the feeling that he's a good therapist with the power to win
recruits and influence people. Whatever talent and motive this therapist may have had has become badly distorted by the syda game.

Forgive me if I'm belaboring all this, but CKer, your posts really struck a
nerve. Being a therapist is hard work, it means inviting, tolerating and
containing intense feeling. If a therapist becomes frightened and anxious
about his own feelings that are triggered by working with clients, he might
seek a short-cut to numbness - and many therapists drink or do drugs or have sex with clients as part of their avoidance and control routines.

And others do SYDA with their clients. As syda devotees, a part of us always knew that by gazing up at the guru, we were denigrating and isolating ourselves - and were caught in a trap. The "bliss of devotion to the guru" is a mask - worn by therapists, swamis, darshan panel members, center leaders, ashram managers - - that is worn to hide one's fear, numbness, emptiness and feeling of being trapped.

A therapist wearing the SYDA mask will be the blind leading the blind.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 25, 2010 10:37PM

Eat, Pay, Love

Finally, as if the above is not enough, back to Eat (Pay) Love.

First, it is derivative.

Sex in the City 2 showed a bunch of girl pals kiting off with expensive clothes to Morocco, frolicking in air conditioned hotels or pretty beaches. (Abu Dhabi didnt want them filming there, believe it or not.)

[www.google.com]

Now...back to Eat, Pay Love.

Eat Pay Love--it isnt going show people in bug infested trekker's lodgings with a lota jug and pee chamberpot, complete with (to quote Lonely Planet) 'walls stained by solitary nuptials .'

Nor will it show people getting the needed travellers' immunizations or taking the daily doses of malaria tablets or the effort needed to ensure one's ice and drinking water are pure.

Nahh. The background is going to be luverly, the kind you get only when a legion of body guards protect the movie set and keep it from being swarmed by people trying to get autographs or asking to be hired as extras.

(For a terrific description of Bombay/Mumbai, including a chapter describing how it was to make a movie, get and read Suketu Mehta's Maximum City:Bombay Lost and Found.)

Before I end today's writing, let me offer a constructive suggestion.

Friends, if you genuinely enjoy wearing Indian clothing, here's what to do.

If you have the good fortune to live in, or have friends who live in, cities where people travel, go to the local thrift stores and, believe it or not, Goodwill.

I cant mention where I live, but I have been astounded to find items of elegant, well designed clothing made by Indian and Desi (emigre Indian Pakistani) designers, brand new, at Goodwill.

You can find those wonderful printed cotton skirts in the hippie vintage section at thrift stores.

Indian inspired clothing has been in style for some time, and it is showing up now on the racks at Goodwill.

You can wear some wonderful things, save yourself a mint in these recession/depression times and NOT support the marketing vultures, either for SYDA Yoga or Eat, Pay, Love.

And, too, ebay is your friend. Just do not go beyond your means.

Having said this, here are some examples of the marketing spin offs from this movie.

Eat Pray Love apparel

[instantbrandcheck.com]


Quote

'Eat Pray Love' magic - JSOnlineAug 13, 2010 ... Julia Roberts stars in the film version of "Eat Pray Love," now out in theaters.
Book and film create social, retail following ... Network recently offered an
entire "Eat Pray Love" collection of food, jewelry, clothing, ...
[www.jsonline.com] - 108k - Cached - Similar pages


Gold Class Cinemas promotes 'Eat, Pray, Love' cooking ...Aug 11, 2010 ... Gold Class Cinemas promotes 'Eat, Pray, Love' cooking demonstrations ... Postal
Service, UPS partner on retail return service ...
[www.dmnews.com] - 53k - Cached - Similar pages


Sue Wong Designs 'Eat, Pray, Love' Clothing LineJul 11, 2010 ... Designer Sue Wong has partnered with Sony Pictures to produce clothing inspired
by “Eat, Pray, Love,” giving fans of the memoir and upcoming ...
[www.the-newnews.com] - 150k - Cached - Similar pages

[www.google.com]

Note the cooking lessons on offer for Eat, Pay Love.

[www.google.com]

Malnutrition is a problem, even in Mumbai a city which is India's New York, Chicago and Los Angeles rolled into one.

[www.google.com]

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 25, 2010 10:58PM

Just watch. Back when people were defending Muktananda and Gurumayi in the 1990s they insisted they had all these marvellous experiences and they were real.

Well, when I had the flu and had fevers of 104, I was convinced I was freezing and rolled myself up in blankets, yet my thermometer demonstrated my body was HOT.

Nearly cooked my brain to damage point by rolling up in those blankets when what I needed was an aspirin and to cool down.

It appears some of these guru types can trigger Amazing Experiences. But, the experiences dont prove anything.

People who have given their lives to support a guru and who are kicked out when middle aged and penniless are the ones who pay.

In the comments section of Marta Szabo's blog, a community of old timers began to reveal that there was a definite caste system at Gurumayi's ashram.

The wealthy people (the ones played by Julia Roberts) who attended the retreats and intensives would have had their bliss experiences and then gone home to their wealthy homes and as wealthy people, were flattered and treated well by the guru and her minions.

The low rankers got up at dawn or earlier to cut carrots and make and bake breakfast scones for the wealthy folks and clean their rooms. THe low rankers were PROMISED
a retirment plan but instead were let go when middle aged.

Meanwhile Marta who was a member of the gurus inner circle told us that she as an inner circle member, was given access to Gurumayi's secret sauna and bath--luxury quarters not to be spoken of to the low rankers.

So thats what you really had behind the scenes--wealthy Brahmins visiting and enjoying their bliss experiences, with a nasty female guru smiling sweetly at the wealthy visitors and raging viciously at scapegoats behind the scenes.

What price bliss?

Its like people snorting cocaine who dont give a damn that Mexico is tearing itself bloody in the name of the drug giving them their selfish gringo bliss.

A person who contributed to the article Mr Ross cited said this:

Quote

I have a theory about why people who have met Gurumayi, and other “masters”, have such very different experiences.
I believe that these Masters have the ability to manipulate the reality field around them to produce genuine profound experiences in their audience. I believe that this is a talent and/or something they have learned to do. This does not make the Master a good, or a bad person. Simply a person who has this talent. Just like an actor who can capture and hold an audience spellbound, does not make the actor a good or a bad person. Perhaps in a different kind of world we would all learn to develop the talent to manupulate the reality field around us.
So, a person has a genuine profound mystical experience. What then? I feel that the negativity comes in when the person who has just had this empowering experience is encouraged to disempower themselves by worshipping, or surrendering to, the guru. Possibly the guru then sucks up all this worshipful energy in order to blast it onto the next group of potential disciples. Kind of like a spiritual Ponzi scheme.
So I believe that the experiences are genuine. The negativity comes in not from the experience, but from the intention behind the producing of this experience. When follower is encouraged to think of the guru not as a flawed human being, but as a being to be worshipped, idolized, and surrendered to, what was supposed to be and empowering experience becomes a disempowering one. Perhaps this is why people who live in ashrams or travel with the guru are often reported to be not very happy or “evolved”. Maybe that is why the short-term “tourist” experience is better.
As Ms. Szabo has said, the experience is supposed to free you.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: sunshine ()
Date: August 26, 2010 02:02AM

A writer on another board shared this link:

[www.religiondispatches.org]

I'm creeped out by the number of EPL fans. It's weird when women -- especially people who are middle aged or older, educated and intelligent -- say that Gilbert's book changed their lives.

Then again, I don't get why people are big on Gary Zukav, Eckhart Tolle, or Byron Katie to name just a few. I couldn't read more than a few pages of either one without rolling my eyes. Reading these books is like the equivalent of eating cotton candy, as in I know my eyes are traveling across the page, but I'm left feeling empty.

I definitely won't be seeing the movie.

Options: ReplyQuote
Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: sunshine ()
Date: August 26, 2010 02:46AM

Corboy, you are funny. Love the way you express yourself.

"Eat, Pay, Love" ... so right on.

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