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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: September 01, 2010 11:53PM

To margarets:


"Tell me what your metaphors are and I will know how to find the back door into your inner life."

Heh - now there's some metaphors in action!

Did you do that on purpose corboy?

I winged it.

Maybe unconsciously I was influenced by the AC/DC classic Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap

"I'll be your backdoor maaaaan......"

Dirty deeds, done dirt cheap, dirty deeds done dirt cheap..."

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Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert with Siddha Yoga since 2002?
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: September 02, 2010 01:04AM

That is fascinating information about Elizabeth Gilbert being with Siddha Yoga before she wrote her book, since 2002.
If that is accurate, then Elizabeth Gilbert has also written a deceptive, doctored memoir, just like James Frey.

From the perspective of the Siddha Yoga group, it makes perfect sense. A published writer joins Siddha Yoga through her boyfriend or whatever, and is then given the suggestion to write a memoir about finding a Guru in India, but does it in a sneaky way, bait & switch.
Elizabeth Gilbert concocts a Story about randomly travelling the world, and by a miracle ends up in the Siddha Yoga compound in India. What are the chances, when there are zillions of other places she could have gone? But its obviously a set-up, as well as not mentioning the name of the Guru in the book.
The information of course leaks out that its Gurumayi of Siddha Yoga, and that attracts many new followers, with the sneaky under the table promotion. Its more effective than the hard sell, and avoids criticism.

As far as Gurumayi, why has she moved away from the public view? Most likely she has contempt for all the fawning acolytes trying to latch onto her, and wanted to avoid all the scandals. She has the money, and the freedom to do what she wants. So the Siddha Yoga Corp came up with a strategy to make Gurumayi more mysterious, by taking her off the market.
Its called creating SCARCITY, and it works wonders.
Elvis said, always leave them wanting more.

If anyone can find the evidence that Elizabeth Gilbert was with Siddha Yoga since 2002, then some mainstream media might publish that. It could be another James Frey situation.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert with Siddha Yoga since 2002?
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: September 02, 2010 01:08AM

Since Elizabeth Gilbert is a writer, its VERY likely she would have mentioned Siddha Yoga, and perhaps even Gurumayi in her writings BEFORE she took her EatPrayLove trip.
Maybe in a blog post, comment, Usenet, or anywhere.
Some searching around could find the proof online somewhere.

If it can be proven that in fact Elizabeth Gilbert was into Siddha Yoga before her trip, then it can be exposed to some major media.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert with Siddha Yoga since 2002?
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: September 02, 2010 01:17AM

Have a read of this planted "article" which is literally a shill-job for Siddha Yoga using Eat Pray Love, but also using anti-marketing. Because of all the terrible PR Siddha went through with the scandals, they started a new strategy. It might be called Anti-Marketing.
Gurumayi pretends to be in hiding.
Siddha Yoga pretends to not want publicity, so they hire writers to write articles and books about how they DON'T want publicity!!!
Elizabeth Gilbert, according to this shill-article, was already a devotee to Siddha Yoga in NYC before she did her book and trip to India. She also uses the same tactic.

Covert Anti-Marketing.
Notice that not ONE WORD about all of the terrible Siddha Yoga scandals anywhere.
It really is a brilliant strategy, using more deception and manipulation, and targeting naive westerners, mainly women. And the cycle of exploitation continues.
The tactics used by Liz Gilbert below is classic, meant to draw people in with curiousity.
She knows that ANYONE can find the name of Gilberts Guru online in ONE SECOND, by searching for:

Elizabeth Gilbert guru

Another sham by the folks at Siddha Yoga International Inc.

Trail of inspiration leads to Watertown ashram
"The middle, or "Pray," section of Gilbert 's book - describing several months spent in Gurumayi's Indian ashram - chronicles the author's struggle to practice meditation and spiritual devotion. She described first becoming aware of her guru through an ex-lover, who had a photo of "a radiantly beautiful Indian woman" on his dresser.

"I asked, 'Who's that?' wrote Gilbert. "He said, 'That is my spiritual teacher.'

"My heart skipped a beat and then flat-out tripped over itself and fell on its face. Then my heart stood up, brushed itself off, took a deep breath and announced: 'I want a spiritual teacher,' " Gilbert wrote. She began attending weekly meditation sessions in New York City and meditating each morning on the group's mantra, "Om Namah Shivaya," which in Sanskrit means "I honor the divinity that resides within me."

"And when I heard she had an ashram in India," Gilbert wrote of her spiritual awakening, "I knew I must take myself there as quickly as possible."

In the book's preface, Gilbert acknowledged that she changed or omitted the names of only a few characters in the book, including the guru and most of the pilgrims she met while visiting the ashram, to protect their privacy. "I will not be using my Guru's name throughout this book - because I cannot speak for her. Her teachings speak best for themselves. Nor will I reveal the name or location of her Ashram," she wrote, hoping to spare it "publicity which it may have neither the interest nor the resources" to manage.

Gilbert said she intends to maintain her silence despite the massive popularity of the book and buzz about the coming movie."

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/02/2010 01:22AM by The Anticult.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert with Siddha Yoga, Marto Szabo
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: September 02, 2010 01:46AM

Marto Szabo is all over this, with lots of links to how this story is breaking right now.
THE GURU LOOKED GOOD ~ a personal memoir by Marta Szabo
This book describes my ten-plus years on staff in Gurumayi's Siddha Yoga ashrams, the same ashram written of by Elizabeth Gilbert in her book Eat, Pray, Love.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert with Siddha Yoga, Marto Szabo
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: September 02, 2010 01:50AM

AUGUST 11, 2010 in the NEW YORK POST
A big article by Sara Stewart []


Eat pray zilch


Last Updated: 2:28 PM, August 10, 2010

Posted: 1:06 AM, August 10, 2010

“If you’re lucky enough, you will find a living Guru. This is what pilgrims have been coming to India to seek for ages.” — Elizabeth Gilbert, “Eat Pray Love”

“Eat. Pray. Fall in Love with [our] Inspirational India Tour. Starts at $19,795 per person, based on double occupancy.” — Micato Safaris

Marta Szabo’s spiritual journey started off a lot like Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling 2006 memoir, “Eat Pray Love.”

“I was at a point in my life,” recalls Szabo, now 53, “when I didn’t have a lot of options.”

Like Gilbert — who’s played by Julia Roberts in the movie, out Friday, based on the book — Szabo had endured a bad breakup. Like Gilbert, she was a writer in her 30s, unhappily living in New York City, unsure what she wanted to do with her life. She, too, needed to find herself. (Unfortunately, unlike Gilbert, she didn’t get a generous book advance with which to do the finding.)



Both Gilbert and Szabo discovered an international organization called Siddha Yoga — specifically, its gorgeous, charismatic female leader, known as Gurumayi. “My heart skipped a beat and then flat-out tripped over itself and fell on its face,” Gilbert writes, in her book, of the first time she saw a photo of the guru. “Then my heart stood up, brushed itself off, took a deep breath and announced, ‘I want a spiritual teacher.’ ” Both women ended up at the group’s ashram, Gurudev Siddha Peeth, in Maharashtra, India.

Getting a guru: For Gilbert, this decision was a lifesaver. For Szabo, it derailed her life for more than a decade. And for thousands of women entranced with the “Eat Pray Love” phenomenon — the movie, predicted to be a major box-office contender, has spawned more than 400 retail tie-ins — it could fall somewhere between overpriced self-help and good old-fashioned fraud.

“If you see an organization that’s personality-driven, focused on this individual leader who members seem enthralled with, and who can do no wrong, you may be dealing with more of a cult than enlightenment,” warns cult expert Rick Ross, who’s spent more than two decades chronicling the dark side of so-called spiritual salvation.

New Yorker Daniel Shaw, another former Siddha staff member, explained the group’s near-instant appeal. “Initially, my experiences were very powerful, like Gilbert’s,” says Shaw, now 58. “I was at a turning point in my own life. I was pretty unhappy. And when I encountered Siddha it was like magic — the experience of stillness, the music, the incense. I found myself feeling peaceful for the first time in a very long time.”

Szabo, who moved from those regular meditation sessions to an eventual staff position in India as Gurumayi’s personal assistant, says ashram attendees often end up broke, and broken. Rather than using their inner-peace revelations to spur them on to happier lives, they become enlightenment junkies, spending all their time and money in pursuit of what they come to believe is the path to happiness: more and more meditation and guru worship.

“People would charge accommodations and bookstore items and courses up on their credit cards that they couldn’t afford,” says Szabo, who now resides in Woodstock, NY and chronicles her ashram years at “There was always the sense in the ashram that money you spent in the ashram — even if it put you in debt — was money well spent. The guru would handle the consequences. She would be there for you since you’d put your faith in her.”

America’s reverence for gurus is a bit of a joke in India, says Gita Mehta, author of the scathing 1979 journalistic expose “Karma Cola: Marketing the Mystic East,” in which she chronicles the first big wave of naive Westerners seeking instant enlightenment.

“People who are coming to us, by and large, think the guru is the whole idea of India,” she says. “That’s where it gets dangerous. If your guru is a con man and you think of him as a father figure, then you’re certainly going to be in trouble.”

In 1994, the New Yorker published a major exposé of Siddha Yoga, headquartered in the Catskills town of South Fallsburg. Among other things, the story alleged that the group’s leaders had covered up sexual abuse of female disciples and used “disturbing . . . strong-arm tactics used to hush up ex-devotees or punish them for disloyalty.” The group did not respond to our request for comment.

Not all ashrams are hiding dark secrets, of course. Sometimes they’re just a big letdown.

One 29-year-old Manhattanite, who asked to remain anonymous, read “EPL” when it came out, and credits it with introducing her to meditation and yoga. Years later, she says, she went to an ashram after a breakup.

Lacking the funds to jet to India, she headed to one upstate instead — only to find herself bored, lonely and mired in that depressing time between fall and winter.

Ultimately, she says, “the people there were interesting, but it didn’t have that overwhelming sense of spirituality and enlightenment that I think people associate with an ashram.”

These cautionary tales are not nearly as catchy, though, as the “Eat Pray Love” lobby, buoyed by Oprah Winfrey’s stamp of approval. The talk-show host picked “EPL” as a must-read for her viewers, and Gilbert was a guest on her show twice.

Now that the movie’s coming out, “EPL” is poised for a second wind. The message many — including Winfrey — seem to take from the book says you should spend whatever you have to and travel as far as you need to, in order to achieve happiness.

“I was wondering how many bored women will see the movie and think that the answers to all of their problems will be solved by spending a weekend in an ashram,” says 37-year-old blogger Cindy Vaughn, who recently embarked on a meditation course herself (unrelated to “EPL,” she swears). At the end of the course, she did a one-day silent meditation retreat, which, unlike Gilbert’s, did not result in a profound spiritual awakening.

“I am not sure I could do anything longer than a day,” she says. “It was hard. It was draining and long, and it didn’t solve anything for me.”

Vaughn’s candor is unusual. As Szabo has observed, friends who spend tons of hard-earned money to pursue inner peace generally try to at least pretend they’ve found it.

“I ask them how it was, and they say, ‘I didn’t have the experiences that everybody seems to have, but it’s really great!’ ” she says. “It’s hard for them to go, ‘The emperor has no clothes.’ It’s hard to expose themselves to what really happened there.”

As the industry isn’t regulated, anyone can claim the title of guru. And it’s a potentially lucrative gig, especially in a culture where we're encouraged to pay any price to make ourselves feel better . . . about ourselves.

“It’s almost like it’s become a sport that is dependent on paying the most money to go to the best ashram, to write the most amazing experience,” says Texas journalist Joshunda Sanders, who coined the term “priv-lit” (for “privileged literature”) in a recent article for Bitch magazine about Gilbert’s book.

And it’s never been a better time to compete in the Enlightenment Olympics. To coincide with the release of the film, numerous travel agencies are offering “Eat Pray Love”-themed tours to Italy, India and Indonesia (the three countries Gilbert visits in the book). Even Lonely Planet, the handbook for cheapskate travelers, offers suggestions on its Web site for re-creating Gilbert’s trip at Roman gelaterias, Indian meditation courses and Indonesian surf beaches.

This, of course, negates the real point of Gilbert’s book: that one needs to carve out one’s own path to peace.

“It does go against the yogic principle of looking inside rather than outside of ourselves for happiness,” says 28-year-old Jennilyn Carson, creator of the blog YogaDork, who’s been chronicling “EPL” mania over the past year. “[But] people want to be happy, and if something can be purchased to facilitate that happiness, they’ll do it.”

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert with Siddha Yoga, Marto Szabo
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: September 02, 2010 01:55AM


Eat, Pray, Love
Saturday, Aug 14, 2010
The "Eat, Pray, Love" guru's troubling past
Accusations of financial misconduct, sex abuse scandals: The dark history of Elizabeth Gilbert's yoga mentor

Siddha Yoga
Right: Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

"What they probably won't know is that the unnamed guru is a hugely controversial figure who has disappeared from public view amid allegations of manipulation, financial misconduct and intimidation. And as that guru's organization, the Siddha Yoga Dham of America (SYDA), has come under fire, her own guru (yes, gurus also have gurus), the "old lion," has been accused of sexual abuse, molestation and sexual intercourse with minor girls."

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/02/2010 01:58AM by The Anticult.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert with Siddha Yoga, Marto Szabo
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: September 02, 2010 02:24AM

Siddha Yoga Inc wrote a response to the Salon story, and read the comments. They are flooded with pro-Siddha comments from Siddha followers.

Its sad to think of the possible thousands of credulous people lured into Siddha Yoga through the Eat Pray Love deception.

Thanks again, OPRAH.

James Ray - OPRAH
The Secret - OPRAH
Eat Pray Love Siddha Yoga - OPRAH.

The list could go on for days.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: sunshine ()
Date: September 02, 2010 02:37AM

Anticult, I wish I could be more optimistic about what you just wrote about exposing Elizabeth Gilbert and the cult she was involved in.

She isn't just a writer. She's a "personality" who is now revered as some kind of heroine. She has contacts and fans, including Oprah.

Gilbert's publisher invested a lot of money in her trip and wants to continue to make money. I could say much the same for the movie.

A savvy PR team could turn her involvement with SY into a good news story. Yoga and meditation are very trendy now. If I remember right, a lot of big names were involved with this group and these celebrities could be used to provide a positive slant. Stories get killed all the time for all kinds of reasons.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/02/2010 02:57AM by sunshine.

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Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert "cult of Liz" Marto Szabo
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: September 02, 2010 02:52AM

I agree, that she has become more. They are calling it the Cult Of Liz.

Search Google for:

"cult of Liz" elizabeth gilbert

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