Damage Control ala SY
So, how does it feel, to be sitting in a public program during the tour and being asked to give the names of people who may be having problems with all the "negative" material they have read on the web? You are being asked to give names of your friends and family so they can be offered a private meeting with someone who knows the truth, to discuss your (their?) concerns and questions. And by the way, not to worry, the list of names will be kept in a safe place. As as a true devotee, you of course want to follow any and all directions you get from the powers that be, but isn't this just a bit strange. And then the lost soul - can have a private counseling session. And of course, they / you will be told the truth.
We all know that sadhana, is difficult enough with a sadguru, why would you want to make it harder by reading negative and false statements from those poor souls who have lost their way? Please, don't confuse yourselves anymore than you are. Trust us and we will take care of you.
Damage Control at it's best.
In addition to the tour damage control parties, SY is initiating other similar programs around the US and likely in other places where the numbers have dropped. Private meetings with those that know the truth! So if they can't get keep you by the normal process, they are increasing the pressure by having private meetings. It's easier to control and counsel the individual on a one to one process than it is in the group. In the group, you think you have answered someone's question and gotten them to start thinking back along the party lines and then all of a sudden some yells from the other side of the room, "SHOW ME THE MONEY"! What's a sevite to do?
This is not new. After Nityananda Jr. left, they had public programs, women with their heads hung low, admitting to having had sex the fallen guru. Questions were answered then and many people left. In May of 1995, during the 20th anniversary program of Muktananda's coming to the US, they announced that after lunch, you could come back to the regular program OR "if you had questions regarding the succession" you could go to a special program. Hmmm, why are they trying so hard? Losing part of the financial base?
The staff of SY have been trained in how to respond to difficult or challenging situations by using SOUND BITES. A sound bite is a one or two line statement used to get your point across in such a way that it disarms the person asking the question. Here is what one ex SY participate said of the college course s/he took, "We were taught how to compose 3 to 5 sound bites and use them in any situation, no matter what question is asked or how hostile the question is." So those one liners that you hear, are not someone's spontaneous sharing, but rather a premeditated and rehearsed one liner just for your doubts. These one liners do not encourage critical debate or discussion, rather they are designed to stop your questioning and get you back on track. A more detailed exploration of this process will be published in the near future.
7 Feb 97