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Re: Eat, Pray, Love, Siddha Yoga, Marta Szabo, EAT PRAY LOVE
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: August 26, 2010 02:50AM

And of course all of this was exposed last year in these threads!!

Byron Katie (the Work) Siddha Yoga, Marta Szabo, EAT PRAY LOVE

helpme2times QUOTE:
"I KNEW Gilbert was into SYDA when I read Eat Pray Love!
She kept the guru anonymous in the book, but from the various descriptions of the group, it was so obvious it was SYDA. And it was laughable how she painted Gurumayi as some humble saintly type who didn't want large numbers of people flocking to her ashram in India. HA!"

more posts on this subject

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: margarets ()
Date: August 26, 2010 02:53AM

I saw the movie. I needed to see if it was as bad as I'd heard (it is), and the all-day rain put the kibosh on my plans for the day, and I figured I'd at least see some pretty pictures of Bali (I did).

The movie is not going to attract any more fans to the book, so that's one good thing. The spiritual stuff is nonsensical - all it seems to amount to is this woman finding the ability to love again after her divorce. Which, as sunshine pointed out, many people have to do all while living their ordinary lives and not getting to meet a Javier Bardem-type dreamboat along the way (I wish).

The bad thing is....there are some very big and well-respected actors in this movie and that alone, in some people's minds, lends credibility to the whole thing. So, yes, probably some people are joining chanting groups and following yoga gurus and so on as a direct result of this movie and book. Some chanting and some yoga can be quite beneficial - there are non-crazy, non-exploitative ways to do these things. But some people will inevitably fall into the bad stuff.

The irony is - I am totally the target demographic for this book, yet I haven't read it. I always got the impression it was selling a fantasy, not unlike a romance novel. And that it was preying on stereotypical women's insecurities.

The whole thing would be more palatable if it was simply presented as one woman's experience, not some sort of guide to life.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love, Siddha Yoga, Marta Szabo, EAT PRAY LOVE
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: August 26, 2010 02:57AM

One has to wonder if Julia Roberts has fallen into the Siddha Yoga fold?
It should turn up, if she starts doing Tom Cruise style Scientlogy shilling.

Search Google for:

"julia roberts" "siddha yoga"
"julia roberts" gurumayi

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love, Siddha Yoga, Marta Szabo, EAT PRAY LOVE
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: August 26, 2010 03:04AM

QUOTE: "The Times of India reported that before shooting for Eat, Pray, Love in Delhi, Swami Daram Dev of Ashram Hari Mandir gave Julia’s three kidlets new names after Hindu Gods: twins Hazel and Phinnaeus as Laxmi and Ganesh, Henry as Krishna Balram"

Julia Roberts names children after Hindu gods

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: margarets ()
Date: August 26, 2010 03:05AM

Anticult - WHOA. I just clicked on your links. Yikes! Honestly all this time I thought EPL was lame but not much more harmful than other mass-market pop culture/psychology stuff. OK, she went to an ashram in India, but some of them must be OK. I didn't know she was involved with a highly questionable one and kept that detail on the down low. That's a pretty major red flag.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: margarets ()
Date: August 26, 2010 03:36AM

This reminds me - I'm involved with another online forum where sometimes people recommend books like EPL, Eckhardt Tolle, etc. It's not the main focus of the forum but it comes up now and then. Based on my reading here, I posted a message letting people know that they need to be careful about the self-help/personal development stuff they get into. I didn't name any names, just recommended that people research it very thoroughly before getting involved, and to PM me if they wanted more info. I did mention the c-word.

Just one person PMed me, a self-confessed self-help junkie. I don't know what he made of the info I gave him as he never replied.

I think sometimes it's hard to accept that for some questions there are no answers - not in EPL or any of it.

A truly great writer once wrote something to the effect of "What if this endless journey towards home is in fact our home? What if we've been hammering at a door and when it finally gives way it opens outward? We've been inside what we wanted all along."

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 26, 2010 05:23AM

Sorry to sound like a shmuck or a haleria, but if reading or seeing Eat, Pay Love (or, Eat, Prey Love) is enough to 'change ones life'--folks, that means the person already wanted to change.

The book or guru was just signage on the highway, near or at the point where the person decided enough was enough, something different was needed.

Any person who has had to make genuine emancipatory change in their lives, whether to go from being out of shape to becoming able to run a half marathon, embark on a self care routine for diabetes management, stop smoking or picking up drugs or alcohol, and any real, licensed therapist or addiction counselor will tell you that this kind of change is HARD to get to and takes long term effort to maintain.

So when people give EPL the credit, or some other book or movie, , they're ignorning that they themselves were ready to change anyway.

If you genuinely love Indian food and or clothing, go for it. But you dont have to feed some rich person's profit empire to do so.

Give you my word, Ive seen wonderfu; Indian fabrics and clothing, second hand at Goodwill.

And if you love those clothes and fabrics and are not satisfied with what you see on the store rack, or you cant afford the stuff--here is a way to work for radical change in one's life.

Take sewing classes. Kid you not. Few things are more genuinely empowering than knowing how to make your own clothes--you get to design and wear what is just right for YOU and support local businesses, not some millionaire guru/guru-ess or movie studios.

PS All natural fabrics or at most 30% synthetic and 70% natural fiber blend work best if you are physically active.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 26, 2010 05:49AM

Advice to those with mone and interested in Siddha Yoga, especially celebrities

Get it in writing that you will never be photographed or recorded without your permission while at any SY retreat center or ashram.

from an AOL discussion in 1995

"Subj: Re:Allegations (part 2 of 2)
Date: 95-09-23 09:16:59 EDT
From: ORamAgam

I'm telling you. A person who has not registered must go to that shack each
time they visit the ashram and get their picture taken or get a copy of their
picture printed out of the computer for them to wear inside.

People cannot just walk in there.

People who register get their pictures taken. Everyone must wear a picture

I've seen 'tourists', people who want to visit the ashram and find out
what is going on, turned away, by the security guard in that shack. Walk
over and walk into that 'shack' next time and see the computer and the camera
etc. You've obviously never been inside there. You've seen the cameras that
take pictures of people at the registration desk, I assume, because you have
been able to ride the shuttle bus.

The people who work security are shown pictures of all the people who are not
allowed in the ashram.

Don't kid yourself about security there, it can be very tight. Also check
out the 'hidden cameras', both in Amrit and the upper lobby in the main
ashram building and in the meditation hall. You can see them if you look.
I've heard long time staff people attest to microphones. One such close
friend of mine, a staff member, left after many years because of an incident
involving what he knew to be a microphone."


From Daniel Shaw, from an article that has been online and readable there for years: a small excerpt

"In the two years prior to the publication of the article, I had
slowly and painfully begun to acknowledge to myself and
others that there were aspects of SYDA and its leaders that I
found unethical and disturbing.

"In particular, I had
witnessed and personally experienced Gurumayi verbally and
emotionally abusing her followers, publicly shaming and
humiliating those with whom she was displeased in cruel and
harsh ways. I had heard her tell lies and witnessed her
deliberately deceiving others.

"I witnessed her condoning and
encouraging illegal and unethical business and labor
practices, such as smuggling gold and U.S. dollars in and out
of India, and exploiting workers without providing adequate
housing, food, health care, or social security.

"I was aware
that for many years, Gurumayi, and her predecessor, Swami
Muktananda, had been using spies, hidden cameras, and
microphones to gather information about followers in the


Get and Read Karma Cola:The Marketing of the Mysterious East by Gita Mehta.

The Anticult wrote:

"And of course all of this was exposed last year in these threads!!"

TAC mentioned something awhile back--the inside dope is very often reported on the message board about 9 months ahead of the major media--thanks to the efforts of many talented citizen-readers and those who have incurred harm and been through the long march from peonage back into participatory democracy.

The key theme in bad guru set ups is unrequited loyalty.

Sad thing is, if one is a movie star and or already rich, the guru will remain nice to you and you only see the Sunny Side.

The tantrums and cruelty are reserved for the guru's scapegoats behind closed doors.

And young kids who get dragged behind mommy or daddy's spiritual adventures risk being neglected or harmed by the dodgy unsupervised persons who hang out at and around ashrams.

Here is something that is probably not told to Julia Roberts.

Dan Shaw, a former inner circle member who looked after Gurumayi wrote:

"While Gurumayi surrounds herself with many gay and lesbian staff members, she encourages them in various ways to conceal and disavow their orientation. Gurumayi also insisted, starting in 1991, that every gay and lesbian Hatha Yoga teacher in SYDA Ashrams and Centers be fired by the local managers and steering committees. They were instructed to make up some excuse but by no means to reveal that the teachers were being fired because of their sexual orientation. Gays and lesbians are routinely excluded from many positions and activities in Siddha Yoga institutions, unless they happen to be wealthy and influential.

- The ashram staff is overworked and mistreated. Endless days and nights of work are required of ashramites for barely any pay or benefits; crowded, substandard living conditions with no privacy are typical; and sudden banishment's of people who worked hard and served faithfully for years are common. A number of these people who were thrown out of the ashram by Gurumayi were then told by her that they owe her thousands of dollars for their time with her. Sadly, there are people who are sending her the money she has demanded.

- Many of Gurumayi's staff suffer from depression, eating disorders, addictions, and other serious emotional disturbances. Gurumayi has been quietly sending numerous staff members and devotees to therapists and long-term treatment facilities. What is not acknowledged is that long-term exposure to the unhealthy dependency of ashram life and to the relentless emotional and physical demands Gurumayi makes of her staff plays a major role in their ill health. Ashramites usually ascribe this to the never-ending purification process they believe they must experience in order to better serve their guru.

- Gurumayi has sent many ashramites to therapists who are devotees. Some of these therapists violate their professional ethics and the confidentiality of their patients by reporting the contents of these sessions to Gurumayi, at her request. Some of us have witnessed Gurumayi, on numerous occasions, laughing derisively with these therapists at the clinical material being presented.

- Gurumayi claims to be a renunciate. We did amazing mental gymnastics to overlook or rationalize her expensive taste in jewels, silks and hats; her need to be associated with people of wealth, power and high social status; and her need for whatever she touches to be the finest and most expensive of its kind in the world. We even overlooked the plastic surgery she had to improve the appearance of her cheekbones and jawline. Much of the luxury surrounding Gurumayi is donated by devotees who quickly learn that expensive gifts can buy Gurumayi's attention, or at least get a staff member assigned to pay attention to them


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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 26, 2010 06:04AM

Sorry to sound grim. Since when are we entitled to happiness and self fulfillment?

Imagine what would happen if a roll of the dice had led us to be born in New Orleans in a low lying area, just in time to be flooded by Katrina in 2005, or born in one of the many areas being flooded in Pakistan.

Pal and I were watching TV and saw footage of a little boy carried to safety from the flooded Indus, and in terrible pain. Someone said he'd had been bitten on his face by a snake.

All that and nothing said about the boy being enlightened by the experience.

Or whether he survived.

He didnt want to be bitten by that damn snake, so screw anyone who suggests the kid made his own reality by being bitten...

Over and out.

People like Gurumayi and BK make their money off people going crazy wanting happiness while their bellies are already full.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 26, 2010 10:39AM


Julia Roberts is in India filming something I’ll never see called ‘Eat, Pray, Love’, and when not pissing off locals by shutting down their Hindu temple so the movie can use it as a prop (here), she’s pissing off visitors by booking every single room in the famous Pataudi Palace hotel (here). But it’s not because she’s some (expletive deleted-Corboy) who doesn’t want Indian people to get anywhere near her. Oh wait never mind. It’s totally that.


If you click on this URL you will get the posting on Craigslist celebrity forum, complete with a photo-Corboy


"Sacred knowledge in the hands of fools destroys." from the Upanishads, quoted by Gita Mehta, page 28, Karma Cola.

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