If you meet a Guru on the road, get your info and quick, then move on – and tell him you won’t be back.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
– Tolkein: The Lord of the Rings
The other day I met a person I had not seen for several years and while it was good to see him, it was a strange and at times uncomfortable experience. He had joined up in mind, body and soul with an organisation that has some hallmarks of a cult. Now I wouldn’t say it was a ‘cult’ per se, but it fits his lifestyle perfectly. He is very materialistic, extremely single minded, strategic, somewhat arrogant and incorrigible, exceedingly polite and modest, very loving and attentive to his immediate family and appears quite insular. He also has a lot on his mind that is not expressed in any spontaneous, verbal, creative or artistic way, so whatever he is thinking seems to fester. He is not likeable because he is a phoney. I deeply feel sorry for him. I know I shouldn’t but it’s an undeniable feeling.
Here is what is banned in this collective: sugar, almost all carbs, most music (almost all art in fact unless created by them), swearing, voluble and excessive amounts of laughter, joyful abandonment, running and jumping in ecstasy on the beach, television, football (any sport basically), all other cults and religions, any drugs including tea, coffee and alcohol (they are poisons); basically anything that pertains to having too much fun. Now some of these are quite compelling. I haven’t had a wine or caffeine for 2 two years, but it’s the joyful, creative bit that sets the alarm off for me (and football is not that bad surely).
I won’t name this ‘cult’ as it only draws attention to it. It is growing quickly and I predict that it will become a big player in the alternative self help arena. This is because it has all the necessary ingredients (similarities to Scientology) including a business structure with a maze of companies, different names and charitable organisations that only good lawyers and accountants could conjure. There is a ‘guru’ at it’s head and the activities mainly revolve around health, but the basic philosophy gushes from the guru as gospel (of course). It’s basically glib nonsense with sprinkles of some good concepts, ideas and the key ingredient – love. But it’s not unconditional. It’s love that has a lot of stuff hanging off it: obligations, rules, etc etc. All this dogma, these constraints, are cloaked in what seems to be a lot of fake politeness and loving acceptance. “As long as you go along with all these things that we provide for you, then we will gather you into into our fold and open our hearts to you”.
It doesn’t seem like this at first, as the people who run the show understand the process of getting people to sign up. And that is the primary motivation here – sign people up to get their money to further build their power base and advance their cause. So if you join and there is some improvement in your life, then hooray the guru and the message is right. If you don’t improve, or you’re uncertain, then you’re not doing it right – it’s your fault, and you’ll see a ‘loving’ wag of the finger – tut tut. And never question anything that is on offer. Any contradiction or dissent is not tolerated and is cut off and “lovingly” discarded.
The other thing that this group does, which is common to all cults, is to create a separateness from people outside of their sanctum. While professing unconditional love, inclusiveness, scientific rigour blah blah, they are actually creating a rift which masquerades as ‘universal love’, topped up with pseudoscience from learned people. And importantly, in telling the members they are special and separate, that things are black and white, it imparts a feeling of certainty (in contrast to the shades of grey of the ugly real world out there). So the ‘truth’ becomes a load of baloney.
Now I don’t want to sound like a party pooper here. There will be some people who join this organisation and find it fulfilling and even improve their lives. Good luck to them and I would never discourage anyone from joining their group or cult of choice. As after all, who I am to judge what is good for them. It may be the best journey they embark upon. However these things are largely based on falsehoods and manipulation and so things have a strong propensity to unravel. Not necessarily for the people who run the show but for the punters.
So if you meet a guru on the road and he has a church or club to join….get some information if you feel the need, but don’t hang out with her.
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