Followers Of Amma "The Hugging Saint" Launch Website To Attack Critics
Posted by: cothsee ()
Date: June 26, 2009 08:40PM

Those connected to the religious group which follows Amma, also known as "the hugging saint", recently launched a website attacking her critics and ex-devotees.


June 26, 2009 – The new website compiles information on the businesses, websites, and personal lives of critics and ex-devotees. The information has been painstakingly collected from the Internet and compiled on the website in an attempt to harass and intimidate those who may choose to leave the group or voice a contrary opinion.

The website, ironically called "Cult Of The Hugging Saint Exposed" appears to be run by representatives or devotees of the hugging saint, also known as Amma or Mata Amritanandamayi. The site is made up of character assassinations on those who have been critical of Ammachi as well as those who have left the group. Countless hours have gone into information gathering in order to attack the character of those who have been outspoken critics of Amma or her organization. The website includes poetry written by ex-devotees, articles written by critics, links to their businesses, and annotated lists of irrelevant personal information intended purely to harass critics and ex-devotees of the hugging saint.

“It’s chilling.” said an ex-devotee who is one of the websites targets, “I left the group many years ago and now they are posting photos of me when I was young and defunct websites that I ran over ten years ago as well as poetry I wrote when I was part of the group. I have been a victim of Internet stalking recently, and I feel like I am living it all over again. The amount of time this group has put into compiling information on me is very frightening. This website illustrates why so many are afraid to leave, because this is what will happen to them.”

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Re: Followers Of Amma "The Hugging Saint" Launch Website To Attack Critics
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 26, 2009 11:57PM

Anyone thinking of getting involved with an Indian guru should investigate how that guru and his or her follower behave in India.

All too often Westerners are given a sweetness love and light message, but in India, this same guru behaves like a warlord.

The dewy eyed westerners will not be told that in India their guru purchases politicians by the lakh, and tellsgoondas (thugs) to whip critics with lathis (sticks) and scare journalists and rationalists.

Have a look at this:



To: protection of the life of a writer
PRESIDENT: Adv:P.A.Pauran: GENERAL SECRETARY: Vilayody Venugopal
TREASURER: Jacob V. Lazer


- An Appeal

A National Defense Committee (NDC) was formed by PUCL, Kerala to further the actions against the Kerala Government’s inhuman Order against the Malayalam writer and eminent rationalist leader Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam. Following the NDC, the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) State Committee has passed a resolution to support the writer Mr. Pattathanam. It appeals before every human rights activist and like-minded people to help this cause in whatever way they can. What follows is a short account of the controversial issue, which led the author Sreeni Pattathanam to become the prey of religious fanatics.

About the Author
Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam is a Malayalam writer who has ten books and many investigative reports to his credit. He was born in Kollam, Kerala State. He began his career in Police Department, which helped him to find the unjustifiable alliance between the State and Religion. Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam was instrumental, among others, several years ago in exposing the ‘miracle’ of the divine Makarajyoti light, which appears during the annual Ayyappa pilgrimage in Kerala on a remote hill. Having resigned from the Police service Mr. Pattathanam joined as a teacher in a Government school.
The investigative mind of a police officer and the analytical mind of a school teacher gave Mr. Pattathanam a charming presentation of his topic which reflected in his writings as well. He traveled a lot in the nook and corner of Kerala.
He had been the Editor of ‘Ranarekha’, rationalist monthly, published in Malayalam. He was also the State General Secretary of Indian Rationalist Association (IRA) of which Mr. Sanal Edamaruku as its National General Secretary. Currently he is the Chief Editor of ‘Yukthirajyam’, Malayalam rationalist monthly; and, the General Secretary of Bharatiya Rationalist Association.

About the Controversial Book
Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam has written a book Matha Amritanandamayi: Divya Kathakalum Yatharthyavum (Matha Amritanandamayi: Sacred Stories and Realities, Mass Publicationas, Kollam, Kerala, revised edn.) that becomes the controversial one in Malayalam language. It was first published in 1985, since this godwoman was not as famous as she is today. For the book there was no demand from the Math to prosecute the author. But later, when the lady became an incarnation of the Lord Krishna himself, they could persuade the government to move against the author.
Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam’s efforts to bring to light facts are pioneering. His main contentions are: the Math’s claims to miracles are bogus, and that there have been many suspicious deaths in and around her ashram, which need police investigation. The research work contains elaborate references to court records, newspaper reports and quotations from well-known literary figures, including statements from the Math’s close relatives, as well as an interview with Matha Amritanandamayi herself.

About Matha Amritanandamayi Devi
Matha Amritanandamayi Devi ( Sudhamani, born in 1953 in the district Kollam, Kerala State, India) is known to the world as the “hugging mother”. She was also the subject of a televison documentary in the 'Weird Weekends' series on BBC TV, presented by Louis Theroux. She hugs people and passes on to them ‘energy’. Reportedly she has hugged and healed some 20 million people all over the world as part of her mission. On Fridays she acts as the goddess Kali, and on many occasions she has claimed to be Lord Krishna himself.
Like god man Satya Sai Baba, she too has many devotees: BJP leaders like Prime Minister of India A.B. Vajpayee, Home Minister of India L.K. Advani, and also Congress Party Chief Minister (of Kerala) A.K. Antony are amongst them.
Home Ministry records of the Government of India show that the Matha Amritanadamayi Mission is the second largest recipient in India of foreign funds – in 1998-99 alone Rs. 51.55 crores were received (about 515 million Indian Rupees or about 11.5 million US Dollars). Educational institutions established by this primary school drop out enjoy Deemed University status; Penguin India published her authorized biography (Amma, a Living Saint by Judith Cornell) where her miracles and her boundless love are highlighted, and the train Amrita Express (Palghat Town- Thiruvananthapuram) is named after her.
Her devotees have celebrated Matha Amritanadamayi’s 50th birth anniversary at Kochi. The five day long (in 2003) ceremony was in fact a festival in which all the pompousness and luxurious attitude of the ashram was reflected. It is said that 191 delegates from the UN member countries were participated in the anniversary festival. The President of India Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam himself inaugurated this!
The whole Eastern Religion and Philosophy especially Vedanta declare that there is no birth and death and man is an immortal being. Mata Amritanadamayi is claimed to follow the Vedanta philosophy. But instead of showing reluctance to the concepts of birth and death she has celebrated her 50th birthday! What is the point in a particular number? Has the number 50 got any divine significance? In fact the hidden truth is that the devotees have made use of Amma’s birthday for popularizing the ashram and its multifaceted business ideals. PUCL State Committee strongly believes that in and around the ashram many corporate brains are being worked and the ashram itself is a multinational corporate company.

Origin of the Complaint
Let us now come to the complaint made by Adv. T.K. Ajan, secretary, Amrita Apartments Residence Association, of the ashram, Kollam, Kerala, for a permission to prosecute Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam, the author of the book as well as the publisher and printer, under section 295-A of IPC, 292 of IPC, 196 of Cr PC with section 34 of IPC. The first petition was filed before the The Principal Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of Kerala
Government’s Position
Instead of investigating the allegations and examining the evidence produced in the book, the state government – headed by the Mata’s ardent devotee the Chief minister A.K. Antony - initiated moves to prosecute Mr Pattathanam for making ‘objectionable references’ to the spiritual leader, and for ‘hurting the religious sentiments of her devotees’. With great alacrity, the state government moved swiftly, and the police inspector of Karunagappally recorded statements from Sreeni Pattathanam as well as the publisher and printer. The relevant law going to be applied would be Section 295-A, which criminalizes ‘insulting or attempting to insult the religion or religious beliefs of any class of citizens with an intention of outraging its religious feelings’.
Rising to the occasion, a group of writers and social activists headed by
eminent Malayalam author Paul Zacharia and Human Rights activist Mr. Mukundan C. Menon issued a statement condemning the vindictive nature of the government’s moves. "Since certain ruling politicians, both at the federal and state governments, are known devotees of the Mata, we have reasons to suspect that there is a sinister and malicious conspiracy behind the move to prosecute Mr Sreeni Pattathanam”.
Because of the ensuing international attention, the government relented and halted its steps to facilitate the prosecution of the author. However, the Mata’s devotees against those who came to Sreeni Pattathanam’s defense launched a relentless internet-based campaign.

High Court’s Intervention
Mr. T.K. Ajan has then filed another petition before the High Court of Kerala. Thus the government has reopened the issue and the State Home Secretary has summoned Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam to present himself before him on 18th March 2003 for hearing.
After this questioning, the government of Kerala has sanctioned Adv. T.K. Ajan to prosecute Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam, the author of the book Matha Amritanandamayi: Divya Kathakalum Yatharthyavum as well as the publisher and printer. (The government Order is attached herewith).
The Question of Human Rights and the Writer’s Freedom of Expression
It was pointed out by the Supreme Court of India in L.I.C. of India v Prof. Manubhai D. Shah (AIR 1993 SC 171: 1992 (3) SCC 637: 1992(4) JT (sc) 181), that freedom of speech and expression is a natural right which a human being acquires on birth and, therefore, it is a basic human right. This human right has been admired as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948). UN Human Declarations have to be respected by all the signatory States, which India is.
In the Preamble of the Constitution of India, the people of India declared their solemn resolve to secure to all its citizen liberty of thought and expression. This resolve is reflected in Article 19(1) (a) of the Constitution, which guarantees the fundamental right to freedom of speech and expression to all citizens.
Indian Constitution affirms the right of freedom of expression, which includes:
1. Right to voice one’s opinion.
2. Right to seek information and ideas.
3. Right to receive information.
4. Right to impart information.
An Indian State is under an obligation to create conditions in which all the citizens can effectively and efficiently enjoy the aforesaid rights. What Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam has done is that he only made use the Constitutional rights stated above. Mr. Pattathanam says: “I believe that I worked in accordance with the Indian Constitution…they are trying to deny my constitutional rights.”
In Romesh Thappar v State of Madras (AIR 1950 SC 124: 1950 SCR 594:1950 SCJ 418: 1950 Cri LJ 1514), the Supreme Court of India held that the freedom of speech and expression includes freedom of propagation of ideas and this freedom is ensued by the freedom of circulation.
Taking into consideration the above cases PUCL State Committee has passed a resolution in which it has criticized the government Order against the writer and reiterated the fact that by issuing this Order the government has violated the above two Orders of the Supreme Court of India.
India’s first blasphemy protection was happened in 1933 when Dr. D’ Avoine, the President of the Rationalist Association of India (RAI) from 1938 to 1944, published an article entitled, “Religion and Morality” in the September 1933 issue of “Reason”, the official journal of RAI at that period. The Bombay Police confiscated all the copies of “Reason” and later arrested Dr. D’Avoine and charged under IPC295A.
On 5th March 1934 Sir H.P. Dastur, the Chief Presidency Magistrate of Bombay, dismissed the case by saying that “The accused may be wrong…But the article merely represents the writer’s view.”
Religion or Charitable Trust?
In the complaint of Adv. T.K. Ajan, dated 23/05/2002, it is emphatically stated that Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam should be punished because of his “deliberate and malicious intention to outrage the religion and religious feelings of the devotees of Amma” (Complaint no.5&7). He also says that Mata Amritanandamayi Math Amritapuri is a place of worship of the devotees of Amma who is their religious Guru (Complaint no.3).
But there is no mention in the complaint about the nature and content of this ‘religion’. There are many religions in the world like Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Zoroastrianism. Barring Hinduism each religion has its own founder. However, all religions have their own particular rituals, ceremonials, principles, and sacred books. Hinduism is a group of religious sects each of which commonly accepts the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita as scriptures. Since all these are the known facts, the plaintiff should have stated in his complaint the name, nature, and content of his religion. He has not pointed out any ‘ism’ in connection with ‘Amma’s’ name. If it is a religion what is its religious book or books? What are their religious principles?
If he says that it is Hinduism, which is ‘Amma’s’ religion he should not forget the truth that Hinduism is as old as the Rig Vedic period. Besides this, each Hindu religious sect has its own religious ideals, which may contradict with other sects of the same religion. All these show that criticism is not foreign to Hinduism. The Hindu religious philosophers like Sankara, Ramanuja, and Madhva had developed criticism among them. But they had not prosecuted their opponents nor had they demanded prosecution from the political authority. Instead, they allowed a discussion among themselves. But Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam is being crucified by the demands of this so-called religion and its followers.
The certificate issued by Collectorate, Kollam, certified that “the organization/institution namely ‘Mata Amritanandamayi Math’ (Register No. IV.9/1988(KL/KPY), Amritapuri (P.O.) Kollam District), Kerala – 690525 is a charitable and non-profit making organization in India working in the field of Health/Social welfare/Education/Rural development as a non-sectarian basis…” In the complaint the plaintiff himself has given a list of charitable activities managed by the Math.
Nowhere in the certificate is it mentioned that the Math is a religious institution or a religion. It is not a religion but an “organization in India working in the field of Health/Social welfare/Education/Rural development.”
The government of India has never accepted this Math as a religion.
The aforesaid reasons point to the fact that the allegation of the plaintiff in the complaint that Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam’s book is written with “deliberate and malicious intention to outrage the religious feelings of the devotees of Amma” is obviously inconsistent, illogical, and hence illegitimate.
Since the Math is not a religion Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam has not committed any offence that comes under the section 295-A and 292 of IPC. Rather by demanding from the authority for the prosecution of the author the plaintiff Adv. T.K. Ajan insulted the sincerity and investigative mind of an author, because, in the complaint (no.6) it is said that “Through the selling of the book the said Sreeni Pattathanam gain money illegally and also gain publicity illegally.” But publishing and selling books is not considered as illegal in India or anywhere in the world. Neither is it illegal to gain publicity thereby. Hence the contentions and the arguments of the plaintiff are weak and not legitimate.
The PUCL State Committee expressed its grief in the growing intolerance of the fanatics. It affirms that we can expect tolerance, love, and compassion only from a civilized people.
International Humanist and Ethical Union’s Intervention
International Humanist and Ethical Union became aware of the prosecution proceedings from the very beginning. Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam as well as Mr. C.I. Oommen, the President of Bharatiya Rationalist Association, met with IHEU leaders in January 2003 and in a video taped interview with IHEU Executive Director Babu Gogineni they told about their fears that in view of the prevailing campaign against rationalists, and the rise of Hindu fundamentalism, the danger for them was still not over, and that efforts to prosecute would be restarted. Mr. Pattathanam could be arrested and even tortured. Custodial deaths are not uncommon in Kerala, they reminded the free thinkers. Mr. Pattathanam says: “This inhuman and cruel move against a writer by Hindu Fascists should be stopped”. He told a newspaper, “If the charges contained in my book are baseless, the devotees could have published a rejoinder. They have published malicious reports against rationalists in their publications”.
IHEU calls upon the Kerala State government to uphold the principles of secularism and Humanism incorporated in Article 51 A (h) of the Indian Constitution which enjoins every Indian citizen to develop scientific temper and Humanism.
IHEU also calls upon its member organizations, associates, human rights activists and defenders of democratic principles to send letters of protest to the Chief Minister of Kerala as well as the Home Secretary of Kerala state. IHEU is bringing the urgent matter to the attention also of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Sans Frontieres, The International Committee for the Protection of Journalists and the UN Special Rapporteur of Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Need of the Hour
Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam’s case is not a new one in human history. He inherits the great minds of the yore that showed an extraordinary courage to criticize the established religion and the state. Socrates had to drink the hemlock, Hypatia, a courageous woman in the medieval period who criticized the Church, are some examples we have from the pages of ancient history. In modern times too, writer’s like Salman Rushdie and Tasleema Nasreen are being subjected to the intolerance of religious fanaticism. Recently in Pakistan Dr. Younus Shaikh had been jailed for blasphemy. But as a result of the worldwide demand for the release of Dr.Younus the Pakistan government had to release him from death sell. So if human rights activists, secularists, free thinkers and rationalists take this matter seriously and act urgently to persuade the government to quit from the execution of the Order that will be a boon to all those who think freely. Above all, if we act in this very moment we could perhaps prevent the similar incidents in future. What we must do now is to organize a worldwide campaign and do everything in favour of this writer and hence the Kerala State Committee of PUCL requests the cooperation of all like-minded people and organizations in this regard.


Mr. A.K. Antony
The Chief Minister of Kerala State
Government Secretariat
Thiruvananthapuram 695 001
Kerala, India
Fax:+91-0471-2333489 Email:

Dear Chief Minister Mr.A.K. Antony,

I am writing to protest against the recent govt. order to sanction the prosecution of an author and rationalist leader Mr. Sreeni Pattathanam in your state, because of his book Matha Amruthandamayi - Divya Kadhakalum Yatharthiavum (Matha Amrithanandamayi: Sacred Stories and Realities, Mass Publications, revised edition) exposing the alleged wrong doings of Mata Amritanandamayi.
I am aware of your own personal devotion to Mata Amrithanandamayi; however, I am alarmed that as Chief Minister as well as home minister incharge of police and security, instead of examining the evidence produced in the book and launching an inquiry into the ashram activities, you have chosen to initiate moves to prosecute Mr. Sreeni Patthathanam on the grounds that his book has hurt the religious sentiments of people, following a complaint by one Mr. Ajan. The Mata’s organisation is registered as a social organisation and not as a religious organisation. How can criticism of a social organisation and the doings of those associated with it cause hurt to religious sentiments? In any case, religious leaders cannot be immune from the attentions of the criminal justice system.
I call on you to uphold the principles of secular democracy, to uphold the rule of law, and to protect Mr. Pattathanam’s freedom of expression and belief and its lawful exercise.
In these troubles times in India where intolerance is on the rise, the international community is watching you and looking to you to uphold democratic principles
Yours sincerely,


The Undersigned

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Re: Followers Of Amma "The Hugging Saint" Launch Website To Attack Critics
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 27, 2009 12:04AM


(note the URLs for earlier articles published in this newspaper about other commerical 'export gurus' and 'paisa piety' Hinduism.

('Paisa' refers to coins of small denominations, similar to what the Greek Scriptures called the 'widows mite'--the small contributions made by the poor, but which, metaphorically refer to any amount of money, which extends to US dollars and Euros. The Indian equivalent of is called Paisapay)

(quote)It (tsunami aid)was the best mask Amritanandamayi’s millions have yet worn. It increased her money-gathering power a hundred times. As we know, what all godmen/ women don’t like is auditing and accountability. But then, can you audit God?(unquote)


THE LAKSHMI OF OUR TIMES (Lakshmi is the Hindu deity of wealth and power)



RELIGION MAKES lots of money because of the universal belief that you earn merit by giving. The best of faith-founders have stressed compassion; so has humanism. For the modern individual, directly helping the needy is a messy business because you are forced to get involved. Presenting money or goods to a place of worship or to a godman/woman solves the issue neatly. Hinduism has a special place for the parityagi — he who renounces all. The way things turned out, it is the so-called parityagi who ends up making all the money! What fun!

Usual places of worship do not do so well in money-catching because they have no special charisma; or they must build up the god as a miracle-maker through competitive marketing. Big money flows only towards the talented individual who can create popular spiritual appeal and surround him/herself with a group of committed disciples.

Godmother: (inset) the Amritanandamayi hug for BJP leader LK Advani

The hug is her USP. A simple woman with a knack for popular religious enactment
Disciples are the key. By him/herself the godman/woman is like a nuclear reactor waiting to go critical. It is the disciples who trigger the money-machine and the supporting media blast. They have more at stake than the guru. Almost none of them is guru-material. They control immense wealth and power because of the guru’s talent. And when the guru is dead, a statue with an offerings-box can do pretty well too.

Kerala’s case is peculiar because society as a whole here was more secular, progressive, even rationalist, in the 50s, 60s and 70s than it is today. Those were the heady days of the Left when a democratic revolution seemed about to bloom. Sai Baba was the only godman who made some inroads once in a while. But the 90s saw Kerala’s most startling somersault into a black hole of crude bhakti, superstition and blind ritual, cutting across all religions. Religion suddenly emerged as a money-machine. Amritanandamayi was the right person at the right time. Owners of unknown backyard deities were hiring MBAS in marketing, and shooting up into the multimillion category. One could say that three things forced Kerala into being the regressive religious madhouse it is today. One, the collapse of civil society and of the economic and social dream of the common man under the UDF and LDF coalitions. Two, active promotion of religiosity and caste by politicians for their own ends. Three, ruthless day-to-day promotion of superstition and religiosity by the media for its own ends.

When civil society collapses, politicians cheat, officials bark, policemen bully, nothing works and your dreams turn to dust; rationalism goes out the window, Communism lands in the recycle bin and you start that quick, easy walk to the ‘miracle-maker’ — god, man or woman. Malayalis especially were sitting ducks, being politics-addicted and media-addicted. They swallow every lie and doublespeak the two give out. Amritanandamayi’s narcissistic world and the world of India’s largest number of suicides are two faces of the same coin that is today’s unfortunate Kerala.

Mata Amritanandamayi Devi née Ms Radhamani fits Malayali decadence to a T. She is reckoned to be one of the country’s richest gurus. She is a handmaiden of the Sangh Parivar, especially the VHP, with its global fund-flows. The hug is her USP. Her media managers and fund-managers are the real miracle-workers, considering what they have made out of a simple woman with a knack for popular religious enactment and the energy to hug all and sundry.

In Kerala, where there is much jealous scrutiny on money with foreign strings, Amritanandamayi goes scotfree. Foolish Malayalis just marvel at and admire her wealth as they do that of corrupt politicians. They feel she has done them proud by being in the newspapers wherever she goes. The media reports her in terms more cringing and crawling than those of the devotees. AK Antony, former CM and now Union defence minister, is a devout follower and has pronounced that he saw stars when she hugged him. Wow! And she has all the permits from the government of India to receive foreign funds with no questions asked. So where are you, sceptic? What’s OK for the government of India should be OK for you.

Amritanandamayi has invested well too. She has an expensive TV channel which is a great conduit. All the millions invested into medical/engineering and other professional institutions go under the head of charity. But the same charity also demands capitation fees of about Rs 30 to 40 lakh for a seat in the professional institutions. Some millions were spent on building homes for the tsunami-hit. That was a God-sent credibility exercise because it looked almost like charity. It was the best mask Amritanandamayi’s millions have yet worn. It increased her money-gathering power a hundred times. As we know, what all godmen/ women don’t like is auditing and accountability. But then, can you audit God?

I don’t think she can yet compete with the churches of Kerala for sheer money-power in terms of land, buildings and institutions. There are also individual money-machines, like the Rev KP Yohannan, who are neck to neck with the lady in cash liquidity. But none can beat her in media-power. And as long as that holds, she will remain unput-downable.

Jun 30 , 2007

URLs for other gurus and issues

Business of the Gods


A Mirror of the Middle Class




"You Have to Run It Like a Corporation"


(Reposing on a chair that overlooks picturesque hills, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is busy talking to a friend on the mobile. The words “TV par dekha” (saw it on TV) ring out from the speaker. Between quick “darshans” to visitors from across the country, the Art of Living master tells M. RADHIKA that spirituality is a lot like enterprise)

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/27/2009 12:10AM by corboy.

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Re: Followers Of Amma "The Hugging Saint" Launch Website To Attack Critics
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 27, 2009 12:28AM

You Will Know that We Love Amma by Our Loove By Our Love by Our Loooov!!!
Amma Ashramites and Their Neighborly Behavior on Green Avenue, Delhi--2007


Amma Peace Award and Goondagate (Goonda is Hindi for 'Thug')


Some Pictures of Amma's Love


Later follow up


as one commentor put it:


At 8/18/2007 9:23 AM, Anonymous said...
Whaddya wanna bet that some modest response was made on behalf of the Green Street, residents, because A's people recognized that the story was spreading all over cyberspace?

Until recently, a guru could sic his or her goondas on anyone with no consequences.

But today, someone roughed up can publish the story, plus pictures, and have those read by concerned persons all over the world.

The Internet is a great karma accelerator.

I believe you are correct in what you write. I also believe this radical political party does not like having attention brought to its front doors. The potent combination of Amma's funds finding their way in to the bank accounts of this group, the photos of injured bodies due to violent beatings, Amma being asked to publicly speak out and settle this matter or close her doors... i.e., the end to the "gravy train" of BIG bucks flowing in nonstop.

It all adds up to "one small step", take down the sign.

Amma, this does NOT let you off the hook. Where is YOUR public apology and commentary on these issues? Taking down a sign is "one" step, it does NOT resolve this situation.

Where is YOUR public statement, Amma? Not one from your PR department, where is YOUR public statement?

Jody, thank you again for all of the great work you do here!

At 8/19/2007 6:25 AM, Anonymous said...
I agree. A has to do more to make amends.

Exposing violent behavior (plus photographs) in cyerspace is a good start, but only a start.

What would really matter is having a front page article on Green Street published by Times of India, with follow up in some major newspapers in the West, especially in areas where Amma has her highest concentrations of money-generating Western devotees.

Corboy writes:

There is another factor.

India makes a lot of money from spiritual tourists attracted to Amma's "money vacuum".

Anything that could cause a drop off in foreign tourists would cause an economic downturn not only for Amma but to all the merchants who make money from the visitors.

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Re: Followers Of Amma "The Hugging Saint" Launch Website To Attack Critics
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: June 29, 2009 09:36PM

This thread will continue over in the New Religions section. Some material has been


if you go and read on the Anti Amma blog, you will find a citation for a participant report by a person who visited an Amma event. That article can be found on another site,

The author who wrote the participant report put a psychic interpretation on what she observed and felt.

But much of what she described can be accounted for by findings from social psychology.


The event is set up to be competitve. First time visitors are given stickers and told they should feel free to shove to the head of the line.


Trying to go see Amma is like trying to get on the hot new ride at Disneyland. You need to get special tickets, called tokens. You are herded through various lines by volunteers wearing all white, with red scarves around their necks. You are plastered with a sticker to let people know that you are a new huggee. You are told that the sticker is your pass to "push your way through" to the front of the line when it comes time to get your hug.

We got there around 7 pm. The event started at 8. After wandering through a confusing maze of people, we finally sat down and got our tokens. Group R3.

The group number meant that when our number was announced, we were to dash upstairs (Corboy emphasis) and get in line just to enter the main hall. Once inside, we were supposed to get into another line. (Apparently, this is where the "push and shove your way to Amma ahead of people who've seen her before" instruction would be useful.)

This sets visitors up to crave a scarce resource and act like desperate refugees fighting over scraps of food. No guru capable of teaching spirituality would EVER create such a competitive atmosphere where the afflictive emotions of greed, hate and illusion run riot.

And the visitors reported that so many people were there that it looked to be about 11 pm before they'd get hugged.

This sounds like a very well orchestrated set up that has some of the features of an LGAT.


We realized early on, based on the rate the groups were being called, that we might be there all night. (We thought it'd only be a few hours at first.)

It was already 9 pm and they'd only gotten to group B5. We were just sitting on uncomfortable chairs out on a patio, watching Amma, wearing a ridiculously over the top silver crown, hug people on a screen as the numbers slowly rolled by.

A new age guy who sat in front of us, hearing our conversation about whether Amma takes a break or not, turned back to us and with a breathless, starry voice, told us that Amma did not take breaks and in fact would go straight through to 11 am. "It's so amazing that she can do that," he sighed.

We thought this did sound impressive, but worried that we would, indeed, be stuck there until 11 am. So there was much debate over how long we'd stay before giving the Amma experience the heave-ho.

My mother had a different term for such things.

She would have termed it a cattle call.

Anything that turns seeking persons into a mere mob is anti spiriutal.

Especially when set up to orchestrate competation for a scarce "resource" (hug)
that you can get for free from someone who loves you as you are, and who wont
charge money for it or make you f***ing wait until long past your bed time.

Note: anyone who has genetic susceptiblity for major mental illnesses that are triggered
by stress or by disrupting one's sleep rhythms (eg bipolar) could risk destabilizing and precipitating an episode by going to an event like this.


**(Note: the person who runs the feelgood site offers various other services. That I quote from an article posted on the site does NOT mean that I necessarily endorse or recommend such services.

Corboy's standing advice in all such matters is to get assistance from a person who is trained and licensed to practice in their area of expertise. This may not guarantee competablity or even competance,but at least means the person has accepted legal accountablity for his or her work.)

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2009 09:53PM by corboy.

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