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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 26, 2010 10:57PM

The Whoring of Yoga

This phrase was written by an ex-SYDA yoga devotee in 1995. Little did that person imagine that years later, we would be coping with Oprah and with Eat, Pay Love

That same writer noted:

Quote

'...any decent person would agree that oldtimers who have seen abuses should speak out to newcomers, since nowadays (1995)a knowledge of the SYDA lies is hard and dangerous to acquire, since thereare a trillion zombie denialists and a thousand puppet lawyers ready to crush you if you openly talk about the SYDA colossus.

(Corboy noted: all too true. When Marta Szabo began publishing her online memoir, she received legal threats. This backfired magnificently. The legal threat attracted legions of new readers, and many former devotees began to describe their experiences, including how they had struggled to support themselves in middle age after being let go from the ashram. Many stated they were ready to contribute to a legal defense fund if Marta needed a lawyer and one wrote and said if Martas memoir material was taken down, others were post it all over the net. The ashram backed down, and a new and powerful justice seeking community gathered each Tuesday when Marta published new chapters from the book. It was available and readable for free on the blog before Marta published it as a book. She gave the store away for free and for months--more than can ever be said for Gurumayi and SYDA where its all money money, get me money, its a rich man's world (Momma Mia ABBA)
A URL leading to a collection of essays.

Interesting because the author is personally devoted to Gurumayi but cant stand the scene that developed around Gurumayi--a way to idealize the guru while splitting off entire social setting the guru permitted.

[webcache.googleusercontent.com]

Which, according to Marta Szabo, the former entourage member, included a secret sauna for Gurumayi to which inner circle favorites were allowed access, in return for which they were to keep this a secret from the hard working people lower on the food chain, who chopped vegetables and took out the garbage and waited on the wealthy folk.

If you love a guru you have to concede the guru had the power to allow the scene to develop and condense around her.

Either that or thought game yourself into splitting off an idealized guru to one side ('Gurumayi is a mirror') and attributing all the darkness to her entourate and to ashram politics.

Without the guru there would be no entourage or ashram politics. And, as the Stanford Cookie Experiment shows, being put in the leadership role can corrupt people, and have this effect suprisingly quickly.

People randomly assigned the leadership in a group, during which a plate of snacks passed around, ate more cookies off plate, took cookies without asking permission, were more likely to eat carelessly with mouths open and more likely to leave crumbs.

As compared with those not in the leadership role, those randomly assigned to the leadership role were, at a statistically significant rate (that is, at more than can be explained by random chance) more likely than the non leaders to behave greedily and piggishly with the cookies.

In short, being in the leadership/power position is likely to lead to worse behavior.

Ever notice how people argue for hours and sometimes days, whether being enlightened is consistent with awful behavior?

My opinion is it isnt enlightenment that is at issue, nor is it the ability to confer siddhis or trigger ecstatic experiences--a major source of devotion for followers of Gurumayi.

It is how long a guru has been in leadership role.

A person can have had nondual realization or be able to trigger ecstatic experiences.

But...the longer that same person is in a leadership/power role, the greater the risk that person will violate ordinary standards of kindness, honesty and good behavior.

Persons who have had little day to day exposure to a guru and who do not give up their day jobs are likely to get the benefits. The ones who have been in the entourage or who did give up the best years of their lives to work as unpaid or underpaid servants are the ones likely to get hurt.

. And in Gruenfeld's experiments, this leadership assignment was nothing close to being in the guru role and it was time limited to a couple of hours, not for years on end.

Imagine being put in that role for YEARS.

Stanford Cookie Experiment

[forum.culteducation.com]

Take home lesson is, if persons directly harmed by having been in intimate contact with a Cookie Monster guru publish harm reports, people who were at a safe distance and got only the ecstacy cannot pass judgement on those on whose backs the guru
sat while generating the bliss that others enjoyed.

If you smoke dope or shoot heroin or cocaine, your bliss is paid for by the dead and tortured people slaughtered in the drug wars in Mexico.

They paid in blood for your bliss.

A former SYDA Yoga devotee wrote, Are You a Spiritual John?

Quote

Baba wrote in several places that noticing if your guru is engaged in
wrongdoings is HIGHLY RELEVANT TO SIDDHA YOGA SADHANA. My guess is that Baba would agree that a disciple should not live a lie. That a disciple should not be a brainwashed ostrich.

And any decent person would agree that oldtimers who have seen abuses should speak out to newcomers, since nowadays
a knowledge of the SYDA lies is hard and dangerous to acquire, since thereare a trillion zombie denialists and a thousand puppet lawyers ready to crush you if you openly talk about the SYDA colossus.

The bottom line of Siddha Yoga is: it is a guru yoga, a yoga based on a
siddha (perfect) guru. That is why it is called SIDDHA yoga. This idea is
printed on every Siddha Yoga publication, including the smallest circular.
Yet few wish to talk about this, perhaps because it clashes with the
embarrassing reality. Most try to make up their own ad hoc philosophies.

SEE PART 2
Subj: Are you a spiritual John? 2of3
Date: 95-08-30 17:17:13 EDT
From: Howie Sm

PART 2 OF 3

One of the few who has acknowledged online the basic idea of Siddha
Yoga--that Siddha Yoga requires a Siddha just as potato soup requires a
potato--is Kaiwahine. Even though I disagree with her, I feel we have a
basis for productive discussion, since we both respect the central tenet of
Siddha Yoga. She (and a handful of others) is clearheaded enough to
recognize that any Siddha yoga should have a qualified guru.

There is no basis for discussion with the hypocritical others who say one
thing but do and think another.

Most of these other so-called devotees treat Gurumayi and SYDA like a prostitute, taking liberties at will--whatever liberties of interpretation they want--depending on what kind of gratification they "want."

One devotee, will cry and pray "grant me this boon, divine Gurumayi," when they "need" her for something; this same devotee will then say
condescendingly to victimized exs "you are responsible for your
disillusionment: you should have just focused on the practices like I do."

What hypocrisy.

Another devotee will say "I trust my experiences" when that is the furthest thing from the truth; these kind of devotees will behave like utter drug addicts, chasing not their inner experiences BUT THE EXTERNAL GURU for expensive "shakti fixes."

These shakti addicts will offer devotions to Gurumayi IN EXCHANGE FOR having their urges for "bliss" or, if you prefer, "God's recognition" gratified.

In this whoring of yoga, their is often an exchange of money and the processing of a lot of bodies. No respect of first principles: of the principle of the Siddha guru.

After their moment of gratification, these kind of devotees strenuously
defend their "right" to behave like spiritual Johns by pointing to their
experiences.

That's neither trust nor devotion. The "trust my
experiences" devotee has no trust of experiences or of anything--they just have an itch they have to scratch, over which they shamelessly exercise no control. They violate the integrity of their minds, they use Gurumayi like a prostitute, they rape the tradition of Siddha Yoga.

Their mantra is: "allegations be damned, I'm getting mine."

(From one of the old AOL discussions)
[forum.culteducation.com]

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 27, 2010 12:17AM

This article is a must read--not only about Eat Pay and Love, but also about Oprah and her fake feminism that's just old fashioned media instilled manipulation of women.

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This friends is the kind of thinking that is truly emancipatory.

Only thing Oprah and others can sell us are handcuffs made of gold and studded with diamonds.

They're still handcuffs, even if designed by Cartier and its still bondage gear even if designed by Prada or Versace.

This is the question--whose interests are served by getting us to crave the stuff in that stupid movie, eh?

You can buy all the spices needed at a store that imports Middle Eastern or Indian/Pakistani spices.

If you want to try recipes that are user friendly and from India, Malaysia and the areas in or near Indonesia and even some Italian recipes, go to the library and find a fantastic cookbook entitled Flatbreads and Flavors by Alford and Duguid.

Go and shop at the family stores over in your Indian or Middle Eastern neighborhood. You will get all you need without having to pay money to the Eat Pay Love money suck machine.

Plus, you will meet new and interesting people, which is more than can be said for Julia Roberts who was nicely insulated by her entoruage from ever encountering real Indians who take crowded buses and subways and who, reportedly were not happy that a neighborhood temple was put off limits so it could be filmed as a backdrop during Eat Pay Love.

PS www.indiacurrents.com has a recipe column. Go there. Recipes and articles in English by and for people who are emigres from India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.

Check craigslist in your area. Some people offer classes on how to do Indian cooking. No need to leave home to learn any of this.

Ross Institute Discussion Board--your full service Open University

Brought to you by the First Amendment and made possible by the hard work of Mr
Rick Ross and the great attorneys who have supported him pro bono and by Anglo American common law wedded to the French Enlightenment.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 27, 2010 12:27AM

Quick note: read the article cited above. It appears Gilbert didnt even pay for her journey. According to the article cited in the URL above, Viking, Gilbert's publisher subsidized the unscripted year long "vacation".

She had a financial safety net that most of us can literally only dream of.

Small wonder that book was so heavily touted. Viking invested in Gilbert and wanted to be damned sure that investment paid off in megabucks.

This isnt spirituality folks. It is use of humans as investment vehicles with the Hollywood dream factory pulled in.

Lets call it Spirituality Porn, because it instills images and expectations as unrealistic as pornography is.

(As in everything is Larger Than Life)

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: margarets ()
Date: August 27, 2010 01:15AM

I don't have a problem with Gilbert getting an advance for her book. That's usual in the publishing world. I don't even have problem with her writing a lousy book (except for the trees that died for it). What vexes me is that it was positioned as a self-help how-to-live-your-life book and, it seems, a sneaky way to advance the cause of some dodgy exploitative guru.

The other vexing part is that so many people bought this book and all the EPL trinkets. They didn't have to, they could have just ignored EPL like so many other books and trinkets get ignored. So what is it about US that makes us lap this stuff up?

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: August 27, 2010 03:21AM

'So what is it about US that makes us lap this stuff up?'

Its that nagging sense of something missing, not being quite good enough, rich enough, smart enough, thin enough. The nagging sense is constantly drilled in from the surrounding culture--it is the heart beat, the engine of capitalism, when it stops the whole house of cards tumbles.
Which of course is why it will never be allowed to stop. Too many comfortable lifestyles depend on its continuance.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love, targeted demographic marketing by publishers
Posted by: The Anticult ()
Date: August 27, 2010 03:50AM

Those kinds of book publishers only care about selling books.
They have all the demographics worked out.
They know that auto-biographies that are juiced-up with BS sell.
They know that women of a certain age seem to buy up these kinds of books.
So they make the book about FOOD, "love", and religion.

These publishers know that people buy up books on those topics like crack-cocaine, so they exploit that PAIN people have as life goes on.
Byron Katie markets to the exact same PAINS people have.
That is how you sell stuff, find peoples pain, and make them think you are selling them the solution. Its better if it doesn't work, as then you can sell them more stuff.


It would be interesting to find out if Gilbert had contact with Siddha Yoga before she got this book contract and went on her trip. If so, then it smells of a set-up job, a way to promote Siddha Yoga using the old bait-&-switch method.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love, targeted demographic marketing by publishers
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: August 27, 2010 06:54AM

There is a brilliant BBC documentary in four parts called 'The Century of the Self' which explains how Freud's nephew Bernays kickstarted the advertising industry using Freud's psychological theories to sell mass market happiness (unnecessary goods) to us. It covers how those same techniques have been used to control the crowd ever since.
Its long but worth watching:

[www.google.co.uk]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/27/2010 06:56AM by Stoic.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 27, 2010 09:20PM

So far, put Elizabeth Gilbert and SYDA in the Google slot and punch the search button.

See whatcha get.

This article below from the Rituals of Disenchantment blog is interesting. So many very good things have not remained in cyberspace that the full text of this article and its comments will be reproduced.

The owner of the blog, Seekher wrote in one comment

Quote

Thanks for your comment, Anon. I'm never very sure how reasonable I'm being ;) However, as a writer I'm very attuned to how SYDA communicates; what they say and more importantly what they don't say, and I think the message they are sending is crystal clear.

And, no, I am not Ani Bey but have no issue with the reposting of my material on the Salon comments pages, where I'm certain it will be read by far more people than visit here.

August 20, 2010 2:39 PM

So...here is an article and its accompanying comments.

Quote

As Riddhi Shah notes in the recent Salon article about Siddha Yoga's connection to the film, there are only so many female gurus in India who require daily chanting of the Guru Gita at their ashram in a small village outside of Mumbai. And who served as translator for their guru before ascending to the chair in their early twenties. It's not hard to do the math.

So, if Siddha Yoga and Gurumayi are the focus of the most successful publishing and movie phenomenon of the decade, why is the SYDA Foundation trying so hard to hide this fact? It's not as if Gilbert's account of her time in India is negative. Quite to the contrary, her glowingly positive experience has moved hundreds of thousands of people worldwide, awakening a hunger for authentic Eastern spirituality, Siddha Yoga style.

The first hint that SYDA was running from the connection between Gurumayi and Eat, Pray, Love came in a comment to this blog around the time of Gurumayi's birthday celebration this year. On June 25th, Anon wrote:

One writer...posted a Facebook greeting in celebration of 'the Birthday,' and referred in these offerings of love to 'the One I cannot name' (without the slightest touch of irony, Potter-wise). When asked to explain, the response was: 'Many of my Facebook friends are of a community that have the same Guru, and they lived in or visited the ashram I lived in for 20 years. Many of us have been asked by the Guru's foundation to not use her name, or the name of the path, in our own writings. It is a way of preserving the purity of the path, instead of letting it be seen or judged by what others say about it.'

Then, on August 8th, just in advance of Eat, Pray, Love's film release, SYDA issued a letter to the global sangham, stating in no uncertain terms that:

"The film is not a representation of the Siddha Yoga Path, and the SYDA Foundation has not been involved in the production of the film."

Why, you must be asking, would SYDA lie about something so simple to check? And why their insistence that current Siddha Yoga students maintain a vow of silence surrounding Gurumayi? The answers to both questions are simple, but you are not going to like them.

First, they are not lying: the account that Elizabeth Gilbert gave of Siddha Yoga does not represent the path as it is currently practiced. Her experience of a deep, personal soul connection with a living Guru may be achingly familiar to anyone who practiced Siddha Yoga under Baba or Gurumayi's tutelage during the 1970's, 80's or 90's--but those days are long gone and over for good. This is the inescapable meaning of SYDA's statement. It literally makes no sense otherwise. Gurumayi has not been seen in public since New Year's Day 2004--just four months shy of the time required before a person is declared legally dead. The physical Guru--who was the focus, the pole star, the living breathing center, the sine qua non of Siddha Yoga--is no more.

Which is why it makes all the sense in the world that SYDA would forbid Siddha Yoga students from reminiscing about the old days within earshot of a press and public newly eager to learn all about the path in the wake of Eat, Pray, Love. By throwing a veil of secrecy around Gurumayi under the pretense of protecting "the path" from the grubby attentions of outsiders, they are attempting to build a firewall around the past, cordoning and sealing it off from view. After all, nothing would be more inconvenient than for thousands and thousands of newcomers to arrive at the door of Siddha Yoga ashrams and centers around the world breathless for a glimpse of the living Guru when she is never coming back.

Think about it. During Siddha Yoga's expansionist phase under Gurumayi in the early 1990's every single devotee was urged, coached and prodded to share their experience of the path with family and friends. There was even a course dedicated solely to teaching people how to talk to their loved ones about Siddha Yoga. Major satellite Intensives sparked an international effort for Siddha Yoga students to reach out and enroll as many people as possible to come see the Guru, if not in person than via broadcast, and to receive Shaktipat initiation with just one touch, one look, one word from the living Guru. It was not only understood but taught that Siddha Yoga could only grow and fulfill its global mission person-to-person through heart to heart sharing.

But now that Gurumayi has gone missing, SYDA says that it is vitally important that Siddha Yoga students NOT share their experience of the path, going so far as to proscribe them from even using the names Gurumayi or Siddha Yoga in writing so as to preserve the purity of the path, instead of letting it be seen or judged by what others say about it.

You see, there must be a period of retrenchment and reversal, during which Siddha Yoga students are taught to NOT expect a relationship with the physical Guru, but to look for and find her in the teachings instead. This is the meaning behind SYDA's repeated insistence that its core purpose is to protect, preserve and disseminate the teachings for future generations. You only protect and preserve something that is finite in quantity--as in the past speeches and writings of Gurumayi and Baba, because there will not be anymore.

It is the SYDA Foundation that owns the copyright to all the countless hours of audio and video talks, all of Baba's and Gurumayi's books and writings. Siddha Yoga has become a legal fiction. Gurumayi has left the building. The Guru/Disciple relationship is dead. Only SYDA survives and it is doing nothing more than protecting its investment with these stilted, legalese announcements.

But it gets worse. While SYDA may have survived Gurumayi's unspoken abdication, it has no real hope of attracting new students to such a moribund and depressingly circumscribed path. If it did, it would have done everything in its power to capitalize on the Eat, Pray, Love juggernaut. One could imagine SYDA mounting an outreach effort that honestly stated Gurumayi has retired from an active role, but that invited new students to find her in the immutable, ancient teachings of the path. Ah, but there's the rub. The sole thing that made Siddha Yoga unique was not its mediation techniques, or chanting in sanskrit, or its gloss on Kashmir Shaivism (which is taught all over India) but its teachings on the seeker's inescapable need for a living, powerful, charismatic Guru. Like the one Elizabeth Gilbert met once upon a time and wrote so movingly of in her experience share par excellence--Eat, Pray, Love.

Listen. If you are still heroically practicing Siddha Yoga in the absence of its defining "Siddha Guru" you are being cynically exploited by SYDA. The Foundation has become a parasite that feeds off of your love, money and hard work and offers nothing in return but warnings to keep silent about your experiences lest you spoil "the purity of the path," and the empty promise of extending the teachings to future generations---the same teachings that are belied by the ghosts of Gurus past.
Posted by SeekHer at 11:23 AM
11 comments:
MartaSzabo said...
Always like how SeekHer tells it like it is. SeekHer distills the evidence and gives us tangible facts. There is so much murkiness in the so-called spiritual world. Ambiguities flourish. But there's nothing ambiguous about this post. Thank god for writing like this -- not just in the face of Siddha Yoga, but in the face of all new age, spiritual gobbly gook that is so popular these days.

August 20, 2010 12:19 PM
Anonymous said...
Seems like a very reasonable argument. Some will be very unhappy and most will continue on their path.
Seekher are you the same person as Ani Bey who posted on Salon.com? It seems he/she posted some of ROD's content.

August 20, 2010 2:30 PM
SeekHer said...
Thanks for your comment, Anon. I'm never very sure how reasonable I'm being ;) However, as a writer I'm very attuned to how SYDA communicates; what they say and more importantly what they don't say, and I think the message they are sending is crystal clear.

And, no, I am not Ani Bey but have no issue with the reposting of my material on the Salon comments pages, where I'm certain it will be read by far more people than visit here.

August 20, 2010 2:39 PM
Anonymous said...
SeekHer,

Remember how, when we were kids, on the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, they'd have one title for the episode, and then say "OR" and have another title for it, and so on?

Well, if we did this for this last post of yours, we'd have to say "AKA, yet ANOTHER Inconvenient Truth!"

August 20, 2010 4:43 PM
Stuart said...
Perhaps someone could clue me in on the details of Eat, Pray, Love. I'm curious... just not curious enough to actually read the book.

I initially thought that Gilbert had gone to India and met Gurumayi. But some of the comments I've read at Salon lead me to think that Gilbert visited Ganeshpuri while Gurumayi was in Fallsburg. Which would mean that whatever big bang experience the author had was rooted in the ashram atmosphere (don't under-estimate the power of pretty pictures, smiling faces, exotic incense, and tinkly music), not an actual face-to-face with the guru.

Did the EPL author actually meet GM in India? Or afterwards, or what?

Thanks,

Stuart

August 21, 2010 12:20 AM
R + L said...
Having just seen the film, I left the theater feeling absolutely nothing about the Indian Ashram section. It reminded me of how I experience what has happened in my spiritual community of SIddha Yoga. We are all asking questions and then thinking we aren't sincere enough devotees for having these questions on our minds and hearts.

Trust your experience, said Baba, Gurumayi and most all of the Swamis. My experience is one of wondering why we can not be trusted with direct communication from our spiritual community leadership?

I feel a profound lack of love and respect, compassion and Shakti from all things SYDA. I struggle to separate SYDA from the practices of Siddha Yoga, which I agree are in themselves universal, pure and transformative. Yet the messages and the directions continue to come from SYDA, not from the Guru. Unless I believe the Guru inspires all things SYDA, which we are told is not accurate. SYDA is an entity, SIddha Yoga is a path.

Siddha Yogic practices without a Guru? Yes, I'm there, I've accepted it. Do I wonder why and how it all came to pass? Absolutely. My Mind, after all, is a busy child. Yet me heart tells me - something isn't right about this picture. I continue to struggle with that instinct - I continue to trust MY experience.

August 21, 2010 7:49 PM
pegcarter said...
I am strictly a "Baba Said" person. [only half-way tongue-in-cheek].

My memory of what he said is quite good. I don't need SYDA documentation, which can surely be falsified and/or mis-construed.

You *do need an actual teacher. The "Letter on the Page" is usually not enough to "get it?"

At the last time Baba left Fallsburg for India, he put together legal documentation as to what defined "Siddha Yoga." He announced to us that it became an official, legal religion and entity.

"Siddha Yoga is the Guru."

That is the beginning, middle and end of the description.

Full stop.

That is the good news and the bad.

Without a Guru, you cannot have Siddha Yoga.

Not to repeat myself, (since I know I've said this before): I find it ironic that Gurumayi went to so much trouble to wrest the organization from her brother.

For what?

To abandon it later as a further demonstration of her "own free will?"

I really think there is more to this story. And maybe someday I will know it.

Best to you lovely writers, my SY "sisters,"

And to Marta: You rocked on that morning show. How cool was that?

Vasudha

August 21, 2010 11:28 PM
Anonymous said...
Thanks for the heads up that Muktananda called SY an official religion. That info alone has kicked me far past the door threshold I was procrastinating on. The gurus practical advice is something I still hold dear and use in this lifetime, however I want practicality not their religion. Trust your instincts, that is your guru, that the universe gave to each of us without any "masters". We learned we were one with that technology, so use it to discern a phony, fake, charlatan, sociopath, molester, bs artist and money grubber.

August 22, 2010 11:37 AM
SeekHer said...
R+L

As disgusted as I am by all things SYDA, I am fascinated by Siddha students who are still practicing. You've provided a glimpse into what it is like to be on the path in the absence of the physical Guru via the experience you've shared here--harboring questions you cannot ask, then feeling as if those very questions somehow compromise you as a devotee. I wish you would share more about what your heart is telling you now. Please consider it. I would be happy to turn the blog over to you for a post about your experience.

August 22, 2010 12:18 PM
Anonymous said...
Well...it appears that something's happened at Salon.com since as of today, the number of "letters" posted in comment response to Riddhi Shah's original article is now stuck at 122 letters, and in comment response to the SYDA Response to Ms. Shah's article, now stuck at 167 letters.

I (and I'm sure others) have posted more letters in response to both pages since those two totals were achieved, but nothing has been posted by Salon since.

Unless there's been a technical issue we the public are not aware of, it is tempting to conclude that either:

a) Salon's editorial and management boards decided that the comment war was getting a little TOO hot for their tastes and have cut off further comment, or

b) SYDA has threatened Salon with some kind of legal action (as they usually do in such cases) and thus Salon has also cut off further comment, or

c) Something else behind the scenes we don't know about.

It was interesting to have an active, open forum of debate between the Pro crowd and the Ex crowd again.

It would seem that the forum is now closed to further comment.

If that's the case, I sure wish Salon would post a message to that effect on both the involved pages.

August 23, 2010 12:09 PM
Anonymous said...
Salon has posted more comments overnight.

August 24, 2010 6:18 AM
Post a Comment


About Me

SeekHer
Just a onetime Shakti-Junkie trying to find a way home.
View my complete profile

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: August 27, 2010 09:37PM

Letters to Salon.com concerning Eat, (Pay to Pray)Love

[webcache.googleusercontent.com]

One person wrote

Quote

Which would mean that whatever big bang experience the author had was rooted in the ashram atmosphere (don't under-estimate the power of pretty pictures, smiling faces, exotic incense, and tinkly music), not an actual face-to-face with the guru.

Did the EPL author actually meet GM in India? Or afterwards, or what?

A person who was in Muktananda's SIddha Yoga wrote this:

Quote

LGATs (Large Group Awareness Trainings) were all the rage when I was growing up in the 70s. They include Werner Erhart's now-defunct est, its successor The Forum (aka Landmark Education), Lifespring, and many spin-offs. I've never attended these, **though the many Intensives I experienced with Swami Muktananda were heavily influenced by Werner, and gave me a strong taste of the group dynamic**"(double asterisks added for editorial emphasis by C)

The Truth about Human Potential Seminars is a blog covering the LGATs; The Awareness Page offers many links they say will help Awareness consumers make conscious informed decisions; and Rick Ross' site has the video Voyage to the Land of the New Gurus, a 2004 French TV report with hidden cameras inside an actual Landmark training.(end of quote from 'My So-Called Spiritual Life--Stuart Resnick's site)

[home.comcast.net]

It was more than a nice atmosphere and pretty flowers, friends. Powerful LGAT EST tech was being used while wrapped in the trappings of Hindu guru theatre.

One doesnt need a living guru to keep this going. All one needs are folks who know how to apply this 'tech' and stage manage the incense, flower arrangements, chanting and mandatory expensive shawls.

Here is a comment I copied from a now defunct blog that dicusses this further

Quote

Then, shoulder your stamina and keep reading, preferably to the end. If you dont have the time to do it all in one session at least read through all the stuff included on August 29th

Its interesting that in the middle of this very upsetting and enlightening
discussion someone anonymous suddenly recalled how wonderful the breakfasts at SY were and began requesting recipes. This gustatory nostalgia kick triggered a discussion of recipes...but after the detour, the discussion did return and remained on the subject matter at hand.

Toward the end of that thread, someone else stated, quite eloquently and convincingly that anonymity was necessary.

Now, at this point it is worth raising a very interesting question.

Suppose you, a seeker, are led to believe, from what you see, from what you hear, and from what you are TOLD, that you are getting involved with an authentic Hindu guru, Baba Muktananda, who teaches hatha yoga, and the guidelines include celibacy for singles and monogamy for married couples?

You're not paranoid. You are trustful, this is the 1970s. The bad stuff about cults hasnt happened yet. You trust that what you are being told is truthful.

But you NOT told, as a newbie, that Baba Muktananda is actually a tantric practitioner, in tradition that even in India, conceals the practice of sexual tantra behind a facade of clean living and hatha yoga, practiced by celibate monks are monagamously married householders.

www.leavingsiddhayoga.net/caldwell.sarah.pdf 'The Heart of the Secret: A Personal and Scholarly Encounter With Shakta Tantrism in Siddha Yoga by Sarah Caldwell.

You, the beginner are not told that Baba is showing one face to the public and doing something quite different in private and that he feels entitled to use force and sexual exploitation as if he were a feudal prince.

Not being told any of this, how can you give informed consent when you first show up at the ashram door?

Two, you are not told that Baba Muktananda, this allegedly Hindu guru, happens to have become friends with Werner Erhard, who has learned a bundle of very powerful methods to induce powerful mood changes, regression and bonding by applying these covert techniques to an entire group of people, in a tightly scripted set of heavy duty weekend exercises. And that Werner has learned these from Scientology, from American high pressure sales techniques, and from all kinds of research on group behavior done by the US government.

And suppose your guru is learning to use these powerful but NON HINDU NON YOGA techniques during his intensives, but is letting you assume, trustfully, that this is merely traditional Kashmiri Shaivite practice, not a combination of Baba's teachings and Werner Erhard's tips?

When you leave, you will think you have been affected, perhaps harmed by an abusive guru and a corrupt Asian misogynistic tradition that disastrously
re enacted feudalism in a US setting.

You may be unaware BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT TOLD THIS BY BABA MUKTANANDA that you also were impacted by the powerful methods shared with him by Werner Erhard and EST.

Now, imagine a person ill, who thinks he or she is ill with food poisoning.

The person doesnt know it but he is not only suffering from bacterial food poisoning, but some rat poison happened to fall into the soup.

If the treating physician precribes only an antibiotic and doesnt see enough to warrant ordering a toxicology panel of tests, the effects of the rat poison will continue to do their damage.

A survivor of SY may need treatment not only for guru-poisoning but possibly for LGAT poisoning, if LGAT methods were incorporated into the SY bundle at an early stage in its development.

So far, the SY discussions seem to center just on the role of the guru and the organization and just or or two have mentioned how devotee psychotherapists were suborned.

But so far no one seems to have explored whether the difficulties some have in getting recovery from SY is not from weakness of will, but perhaps, perhaps, perhaps from being exposed to powerful induction methods derived from LGATs...and never being told they were exposed to this.

THis would counter the invidious assertion that people go into cults because of their own cravings.

WHat if you're not told up front, the full range of techniques and their actual origins.

At least people who KNOW they went to a specific LGAT such as Landmark or EST and decide afterward that they didnt like it, will know exactly where to go and on which section of the RR.com discussion board to go, in order to discuss its impact.

But what if someone was affected in a seemingly Hindu yoga organization by techniques derived from the gurus friendship from Werner Erhard, founder of EST, and they are not told this? THey wont know to look up LGAT when looking for recovery resources.

See how complicated and hard it is to recover when the full truth of your
organization is withheld from you, at the outset?

Blaming the victim is vicious and cruel in such circumstances.

I must add this: Someone mentioned there was once a blog (since taken
down) for those interested in recovering from SY. Those who wished to
correspond were invited to describe their stories.

The blog has been taken down.

Here is a caution to anyone in recovery--how do you know your information will be used confidentially?

You dont know that. It could be passed on to someone recruiting for a new entity who would know what you mourn for and miss from your days in SY
and who would know how to invoke that aching nostalgia.

As they said on the old Hill Street Blues, be careful out there. Anonymity is valuable in some cases and this is one of them.


We may have to re-write the history of Siddha and SYDA yoga yet again.

For in addition to sex and money, the friendship with Werner Erhard and appropriation of LGAT techniques from Werner and covert use of those LGAT techniques under the disguise of Hindu forms and ceremonies upon the SY devotees was also at the heart of the secret.

Again, how can you recover if you dont know the full repertoire of the techniques used upon you? If you dont know LGAT stuff was used on you, and you go off thinking it was only the corrupt guru system, you'll have only the partial recipe for the poison brew and seek an incomplete set of antidotes--then blame yourself for not fully recovering???

A scenario to ponder, friends. A scenario to ponder.

In the EST context, you 'got it.'

In the SY context, using a different narrative and socialization, it wouldve been experienced as shaktipat or gurus grace

So again, even though Gurumayi is not present, one can still learn to use LGAT tech and hide it behind the SY trappings.

And anyone who denies how powerful this stuff can be has not spent the time listening to people who have lost time out of their lives or who have had friends and loved ones return home confused, or disabled or obnoxiously proslytizing to a point where they lose friends and compromise their jobs--a serious danger in these recessionary times.

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Re: Eat, Pray, Love
Posted by: Stoic ()
Date: August 28, 2010 12:56AM

This SYDA promotion in all but name in book and film smacks of subtle 'product placement' for the next phase.

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