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Re: Guru Swami G
Posted by: mike77 ()
Date: July 09, 2013 08:49PM


Didn't mean to suggest the majority were of that opinion.
Many also share your view and look at all "organised" spiritual/religious activity/belief as fantasy.
Others here are religious and see pretty much anything but their religion as a form of cult.
I welcome all views and a forum where they can be discussed in a civil manner.
I disagree about your religion comment.
I think major religions can (and should) be looked at with the same analytical glasses one would use for so-called cults.
Many of them have arguably done FAR more damage for FAR longer than all cults combined.
But I respect the rules here and I believe the topic of major religions should be discussed elsewhere.

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Re: Guru Swami G
Posted by: psyborgue ()
Date: July 09, 2013 09:45PM


There is a thread with some informative links about the differences between cults and religions here if you're interested. I agree it's probably best discussed there.

I do have a few questions for you regarding Guru G, if you feel comfortable regarding these three warning signs:
Rick Ross Warning Signs
8. Followers feel they can never be "good enough".
9. The group/leader is always right.
10. The group/leader is the exclusive means of knowing "truth" or receiving validation, no other process of discovery is really acceptable or credible.
In other words, has Guru G ever admitted she was wrong? Does she keep moving the goal in regards to spiritual progress? Does she claim her way is the one true way?

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/09/2013 09:46PM by psyborgue.

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Re: Guru Swami G
Posted by: mike77 ()
Date: July 09, 2013 10:17PM

Well, these criteria/warning sings can be tricky.
It's rarely a black and white thing.

Like for #8 - one can feel good enough, even "chosen" or above others. And one can feel undeserving of the teacher/teachings/Grace etc
I think oftentimes it's a case of skewed thinking both on the part of the student and the teacher.
For #9 - she does come across as having a special wisdom, and says as much at times. But she has also admitted to be being wrong on some major things.
For #10 - I would tend to agree. The idea is you are with this woman because she is an enlightened Guru and can guide you to the same. If you want something else, go somewhere else - type thing. But while she did rip on other teachers/paths at times, I don't think she really said me and my path are the only way - unlike certain religions perhaps :)

So like I said, these so-called cult criteria should be seen as guidelines/signposts but not hard fast rules.
It really is a mine field that requires some refined discernment, honesty, discrimination.
In this case, there is no question for me that she is a fraud.
But there are other teachers/paths (past and present) that are legit imo.

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Re: Guru Swami G
Posted by: psyborgue ()
Date: July 09, 2013 10:58PM

I just posted this on Guru G's Facebook post about the Rick Ross video she put up. I'll let you all know here if I get a response:
Guru Swami G, You say in the video "I am under no obligation to keep anything quiet. I did not sign a non-disclosure agreement with you so I could disclose anything I wanted and there would be absolutely nothing you could do about it. But i'm not that type of a person."

Yet very soon after this statement, you not only named your critics, but also disclosed private letters and details about their private lives (presumably revealed in confidence), including details about one woman's sex life and another's substance use/abuse. How do you explain the apparent contradiction between your words in this video, and your subsequent actions?

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Re: Guru Swami G
Posted by: Icarus ()
Date: July 09, 2013 11:37PM

Great posts, Psyborgue. And terrific post on her Facebook page. I went over there just now and did not find it. Did she remove it? She apparently cannot tolerate the truth of what she's done, so I am not surprised if she did remove it -- particularly since you so concisely summarize her contradictions and vengeance. She posted this message herself, very recently:

"There is nothing more painful than to be vilified when you have done all possible to get people out of suffering. How can some former students stoop so low to have no gratitude for all ones service that was given for them ? One gives light and receives darkness in return - how great is that darkness and how sad to see the possibility of freedom exchanged for greater suffering and delusion. To see one gloat over their deceptions as if it was such a great and sterling moment. There is a great and deep abiding sadness when encountering such a thing. When seeing that they perhaps truly have lost any recognition of light from dark."

So, in sum, Swami G = "light." Former students = "darkness." She claims absolutely no responsibility for doing anything wrong or untoward. I guess she is perfect in every way. But I do feel badly for her insofar as she appears to be suffering and, as she's done in the past, is complaining about how thankless her gurudom is. I just wish that she would realize that her suffering is rooted in her own enormous ego and hunger to be venerated without question or criticism -- qualities that strike me as quite contradicting of her claim of egoless enlightenment.

She should be thanked for how she's helped some followers and viewers of her videos. I do offer my thanks for what she has given me. But there comes a time when the harm one causes outweighs any good that flowed from one's actions. She may have passed that tipping point. Perhaps even long ago. (Her current followers, I'm sure, would disagree with me.) She could still do some good and right the balance, but it appears to me that she'd have to institute some major changes into her approach.

As for number 7 on the Rick Ross list, "7. There are records, books, news articles, or television programs that document the abuses of the group/leader," I would suggest that in today's era of online communication and publication, fora such as this one can be added to Rick's list of potential "documents" to show the "abuses of the group/leader." And there are lots of such allegations in this thread alone. So I'd check off number 7 as well.

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Re: Guru Swami G
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: July 10, 2013 12:05AM

Here are a couple of informal items to add to one's discernment kit.

A good way to test a relationship, a job set up or any other group.

Use of humor.

Can anyone start a joke or a laugh? Or does the leader control and pace the laughter?

Is the laughter at anyone's expense?

Are hurtful things said and if someone protests, they get accused of 'not having a sense of humor?'

And when the leader and favorites laugh, is it spontaneous, from their bellies--or a harsh, sneering sort of laughter or something flat and affected--a mannerism rather than something genuine.

(Applies to any relationship or job, as well as a religious group)

A group may sound excellent on paper. Say all the right things on paper and verbally.

But one has to note the nonverbal communications within a group.

Sudden silences?

Sudden shared glances.

People getting tense for no reason?

Are there many unspoken rules and taboos?

Non verbal communications--sighs, glances, sudden silences, tensions.

Alot of taboos and discipline can be enforced through nonverbal means. One can introduce something that is an unspoken taboo for the group and all at once the members you are with go tense.

Or you see them doing this to someone who is breaking some rule he or she wasnt even told about.

If in any relationship or group, whether religious or secular, you find yourself spending more and more time scanning the group for cues so you know how to behave without triggering tension--thats a very bad sign. Its a climate of unspoken fear.

And the energy needed to scan one's group and leader all the time is energy subtracted from whats available for spiritual practice.

Thing is, this doesnt set in all at once. It slips in gradually, like fog creeping in.

To use an analogy, sometimes dehydration can develop so very gradually one doesnt realize one is running a deficit and needs more water.

One has to do regular reality checks on ones welfare and retain enough autonomy to do so.

Finally, a leader or guru may be sterling.

But even the best leaders may be conned into appointing an exploitative charlatan as a successor.

People who got into a habit of unquestioning love and trust for a non exploitative teacher may be left utterly vulnerable to a predatory successor appointed by that same teacher.

One may be wise and yet still be conned and seduced by a clever person who aims at the succession.

So, sad to say, all of us have to retain enough autonomy to do periodic integrity reviews of any situation we are in.

Once and for all surrender, is IMO asking to become enslaved. If not be a current teacher, than by a predatory successor or someone else one meets later on.

We have been discussing this situation for years and the spiritual seekers scene attracts fine people and also predators.

And charisma does not equal wisdom or virtue. Anyone can develop it.

Len Oakes wrote an examination of this after inteviewing 20 charismatic leaders and learning their life stories. All of them worked hard to develop skills in social influence.

Oakes' book is well worth reading--it is entitled Prophetic Charisma.

Oakes was in a community run by a charismatic leader and met and married his own wife there.

But troubled by developments in that community, Oakes and his wife left on good terms.

Years later, that community and its leader self destructed.

Oakes felt he had benefitted in many ways, but also saw that the leader was showing signs of heading for destruction. Oakes and his wife merely got out in time.

So that led to Oakes' interest in these groups and his book.

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Re: Guru Swami G
Posted by: Icarus ()
Date: July 10, 2013 02:16AM

Ron Fried, one of Swami G's close-in acolytes, posted the following to her Facebook page: "Namaste, it is a very sad thing to see theses actions of former students. The offering to help people is out of compassion, not obligation. Have witnessed the unending help given and offered- then to have people not only turn their backs on what is offered but go out of their way to see how much harm they can cause to those who are offering to help them- it is a very poor choice of action to take in life."

Ron strikes me as a relatively reasonable and equanimous guy (from the videos), although I'm concerned that he has justified Swami G's outrageous violations of confidentiality and trust, especially from within her counseling setting. His eagerness to so aggressively "yes man" Swami G does affect his credibility. Still, I wonder if there might not be some truth -- even a sliver -- to what he says. If Swami G is offering much of her help for free, only subject to the admittedly frequent nagging for donations, then one gets what one pays for, no? And if one gets something of value from her, that outweighs the negative, then it's a net benefit for which one should be grateful, no?

This is NOT to excuse what I find to be the atrocious treatment of recent departees (Holly, Mike and Rohan and God knows who else) and perhaps not-so-recent departees. It also is NOT an excuse for her blatant violations of confidentiality (by means of widescale YouTube/Facebook/online disclosure of private and personal details) both within and outside of a counseling relationship ($400/4 sessions) for what she herself characterizes as vengeance for outspoken and critical departures. Still, it's food for thought.

Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 07/10/2013 02:30AM by Icarus.

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Re: Guru Swami G
Posted by: psyborgue ()
Date: July 10, 2013 02:28AM

She and I are having a debate right now, actually. And i'm making screenshots just in case the post manages to disappear itself.

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Re: Guru Swami G
Posted by: Icarus ()
Date: July 10, 2013 02:30AM

Psyborgue, where? Her Facebook page?

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Re: Guru Swami G
Posted by: psyborgue ()
Date: July 10, 2013 02:34AM

Here: []

If she deletes it, I have screenshots. Incidentally, now she claims I'm not speaking with the Guru.

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