COMMENTS & RESPONSES - JUNE

Received 4 Jun:

Les ruego me comuniquen si hay alguna pagina web que tenga la informacion que vosotros ofreceis en idioma espaņol. muchas gracias.

No hay informacion en el "web" en espanol - lo siento.

Pendragon

If there is anyone who would like to translate any of the material here into Spanish please contact us.

Received 6 Jun:

Thank you for your netpage. I'm a 'ex-friend" of SY (if you like) Its great to visit your page every once in a while.

May I request you to send me the " O guru "article by e-mail.

warm regards

Received 7 Jun:

Hi.  I am an ex husband of  SY devotee.   It was the cause of the break up of our marriage and now threatens custody.  I have often said I would like to tell my story.  Please let me know about this forum you have set up     Thank you....   A

Received 9 Jun:

Was just reading G's cry for help and thought I'd respond.  Could you forward these onto him/her from me, please?  I'd like you to post them, too, if you have the time. 

Regards,

A

<<<I have been involved with Siddha Yoga for 16 years.>>>

I too had been in sy 16 years when the shit hit the fan, about this time last year.

<<<Basically I have participated in 3 intensives, one with Baba and the other two with Gurumayi. Most of my "participation" on a worldly level has been relatively disconnected with ashram life and being a roady.>>>

I sometimes think a more disconnected association might last longer, 'cos you can always just think "oh, that's silly" and not have to try and bend your mind about stupidities.  Being "further away" makes it less threatening perhaps, and so the relationship is more "take-it-or-leave-it".

<<<I am considering getting "more involved" and ran across a"an open letter." This was/ is shocking to me, yet I want to know more and understand fully and truthfully the whole story before committing more of my time, energy and $$.>>>

Very wise, though if what you have heard is already shocking, why would you be considering MORE commitment? 

<<<I admire your courage and commitment to your "Self and selves" for the steps you've taken to be free.>>>

Isn't it AMAZING how so many people talk about leaving SY as "becoming free of SY"?  I truly felt this great burden - no, a straight-jacket - being lifted from me when I left SY.  To make it easier on myself, I called it "a holiday, to sort out my ideas", but I knew I'd not be going back.

[Next message]

<<<I have sent two other messages and am sitting here stunned and in a mild state of shock at what I'm experiencing at this moment.>>>

Many of us had the same reaction.  Some feel scared, some paranoid (what if they're listening?), many of us felt angry, either at SY, Gurumayi, Baba, or at ourselves.  These feelings will come and go and it is very good to feel these things when confronted by such information.  Otherwise we are not dealing with shocking news in a human way.

<<<I'm feeling the need for more information about what's really happening at SYDA seeing that I have devoted much time and personal energy believing that this was one place in my lifelong search for the "truth" that on an earthly basis people were and are"pure" and that the guru is "pure.">>>

I know.  It was a bit a shock for me too.  So much time invested.  It's not all wasted (though some will disagree with that point of view).  You possibly learnt some very handy self-discipline, etc.  I think many devotees are sincere in joining sy in their quest for the truth.  I just think that we all had the wool pulled over our eyes.  I think the mistake for me was to accept a human being as infallible.  I see this now as merely wishful thinking.  However, it was that one premise that - that the human guru had a bat-phone to god - kept my faith.

<<<I am going through a shock of a loss and could use a friend to talk with who isn't a devotee and can come from a relatively neutral place. Just writing to you in this form seems very helpful because it is an outflow of what I'm thinking and feeling and I don't feel safe sharing it with anyone in particular because it is an outflow and not to anyone, except to me and my inner self.>>>

To be honest, I don't think you'll necessarily find many people anywhere, except maybe a counsellor or two, who is not biased one way or the other. However, as you say, thinking aloud is a great way to get things off your chest.  The SYDA Ethics Folder on AOL has a lot of really good discussions. AOL is also relatively anonymous.  Also, depending upon where you live, it is quite expensive.

<<<Perhaps this is what you're talking about when you mention retrieving your "creative" energy which SYDA puts a lid on.>>>

I didn't see SYDA putting a lid on my creative energy (except where it was "inappropriate") as much as soaking it up, very much like the scene in Fern Gully when Hexus (Mr BAD) ingests everything and gets fatter and more bloated.  I spent MANY MANY MANY hours and/or MUCH MUCH money on special projects.  Some were carried through, some were dropped.  Nearly all were finished up with something along the lines of "oh, that's gone, we've got something new we'd like you to do" (this is EXACTLY how the dakshina thing works, and I expect that very little goes back into the special project it was intended for). One nice thing now is that I can put all that energy into things that _I_ want to do.  For me, the most exciting thing about leaving SY was the feeling of "now it's up to me".  To get through life, I'm going to need all my compassion, all my wits, all my strength, and all my courage.  That feeling of ownership was VERY exciting!

Anyhow, keep reflecting, keep asking questions, if you feel anger, SHOUT!, if you feel sad, CRY, if you feel empty, WATCH THE TV (NOT!).

Regards,

A

Received 10 Jun:

Dear Pendragon,

It was a great relief to see a forum for ppl who have come face to face with what Jesus would have described as the priests and pharasees. They stand at the door but they don't go in, and they prevent others from entering.

with great love and respect,

Peter

Received 11 Jun:

Could you please send me a copy of the New Yorker article "O Guru. . ."  by Lis Harris ?  Thanks.

Received 12 Jun:

Hi Pen: 

1) what's a gurukula? 

2) now that summer's here and school's out, I'm hoping to write my syda story and send it to you for the site.

peace -- K

K.

Good to hear from you.

Gurukula is an ancient Indian tradition of schooling. A person generally lives with the teacher/master/guru and learns spirituality and or a trade. They have been around forever. SY claims it is a gurukula as well. However in all the years I was in SY - 17 - I only heard the word in the last 2-3 years I was there. I seem to remember it was about the time the O Guru article was coming out so SY hunkered down for the bad PR and focused peoples minds on the gurukula....AND said that SY was a gurukula from the beginning of time (or at least from Muktananda's time). Again, never heard the word until the shit hit the fan.

We would love to have your story at the web site! Hope all is well.

warm regards,

Pendragon

Received 14 Jun:

  Thank you for this forum.  It is very healing to know that there are others who had similar experiences.  When I first got into SY, it was a much more open and sharing group.  One could share one's experiences openly, it was ok to mention other groups, one didn't have to dress to the nines, etc.  I guess it was a slippery slope for me, as I rationalized my way through the changes.  I have to admit to myself that I was all too desperate to believe the idea that the Guru's were God, and that I needed to give myself, and my brain, over to whatever they said.

      The accumulations of things that did not jive, the people who left, the increasing manipulation of facts and peoples experiences and demonization of people who dared to disagreed troubled me.  Oddly enough, it was reading the Celestine Prophecy, where they talk about control dramas that brouhgt it all home to me as to how much of a Orwellian mindset was common in SY

     It was quite a painful and slow process, taking a couple of years, to wean myself from SY, get over the resultant rage I had at myself and SY, and to examine what in me allowed me to buy all the crap and rationalizations.  Actually, I feel I have a greater grip on myself and my tendencies, and a fairly good knowledge of Hindu philosophy as a result of what was a harrowing time in SY.  Live and Learn!

     I would like to confirm the some of the things said in the website and add a couple of other things.  It was common knowledge that gay couples were not to be housed in the same rooms at the ashram. Also, a couple of people who had been extremely close to Gurumayi came to my town to do one of the glitzy intro programs, which were just an embarrassingly elaborate commercial for expensive intensives.  When it was suggested that the intro program could be done at the local Universalist church, they said, oh, no, that the universalists were associated with a certain type of people (meaning they were gay friendly) that they didn't want the program associated with.  This was said with a great degree of disgust.      Some people said gays were ok as long as they remained celibate.  I suspect what I call the center leader purge in the early 90's (ie. center leaders who had run centers for years or decades were told to step down) was an attempt to remove gays and people who were not towing they party line. As was said before, the policy about people having to check if they had an infectious disease fooled no one as to whom that was aimed at.

    I haven't heard mentioned the fact that is one goes to S.Fallsburg, they have to be processed at the trailer at the Main Building, or at the check ins ny having their picture taken..Also, people who are visiting and have their picture in there have to wait to be cleared.  Obviously a way of controlling who is allowed in. Not too spiritual and welcoming to me!   I also know of people who were banned from attending the centers and ashrams and were told by center leaders they could no longer attend.  Most of these were people who were involved in some manner in the Nityananda thing, and who wouldn't tow the party line , or who were too innocent to be able to be quiet about their experiences. There was also a man from Upstate New York originally, who died at the S.F. ashram, being ill and having piously worked himself to death, that the ashram tried to explain away as that he had just gone away.  This was supposedly so that people wouldn't "become upset".  I guess we were considered to be two year olds who couldn't bear the truth, or that they didn't want us to know the truth and spoil the "perfect" image of S.Y..  Anyway I could babble on and on about how true it is that things were controlled, that stuff was packed inside luggage to avoid customs, that people were expected to work themselves to death, and if they couldn't it was implied you weren't doing your practices enough,etc.   thank you for allowing us to get these things off our chests and go on.      

Received 15 Jun:

Dear Pendragon,

Thank you for bringing the truth out in the open. Most of all, thank YOU for facilitating the healing process that we all need.

With respect and love..

K

Received 16 Jun:

Dear Pendragon -

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for this wonderful service you are performing for all of us recovering Siddha Yogaholics! I have wanted to contact you for the last several months -- ever since I discovered your Web Site. You are my link to ex-devotees, because I have only occasional contact with one other person who is willing to question their Siddha Yoga experience.  My social contacts revolved around Siddha Yoga for many years, yet I am no longer able to talk with most of these people.They wonder why I no longer attend the local Centers. Occasionally I try to broach the issues which concern me, but their responses indicate such closed minds that I come away astonished that such intelligent people can be so blinded. How could I have been so blind, deaf for so long. Please continue this loving Seva! Thanks again.! Will write again with my story another time!

Received 18 Jun:

Dear Pendragon,

I am a current member of SY( 8 years), but I have become somewhat detached because, like many others I felt this organization was run pretty much above board and really tried to run a clean ship. But after finding out that the truth was less important than image, I was worried that this organization wasn't as concerned with "Keeping the Company of the Truth" as It was supporting an "appearance of  honesty". I really believe that, to me, the actual incidents weren't as devastating as the acts of deception. Any spiritual organization, in fact most of them have had pitfalls that they couldn't hide, and some have dealt with them the best they could and moved on.  Sure they lost face and some people and some money, but they have survived because the kernel of truth that existed in the beginning still existed in the end. I think that SY started with a pure intention that dramatically changed a lot of people's lives, but it grew too big to handle the type of  people that live in the world today. (Masters included).

I know that I have a much clearer concept of the GURU within than I had before I met SY, and IT didn't look or feel anything like BABA or GURUMAYI. and I  know that the ultimate goal of any true Spiritual  Teacher is to shed any crutches of a physical GURU you entertained in the beginning, and take the ultimate responsibility for your own samskaras, your own sadhana, and find that SHINING ONE within. We are our own GURU ultimately, if we have the courage (and humility) to embrace that.... one day at a time.

As I read all those stories I lost my love affair with the organization, and I realized that It too was fallible and imperfect. At first I felt lost and abandoned but I soon came to realize that all I had lost was a concept of  perfection however it may have been imposed on me, and that all I was left with was the SHINING ONE within, who asked me quite frankly, "little one what have you lost? Am I not still here?  Admittedly, it was tough at first to realize that I  had the qualifications  to communicate directly with the GURU within, but I was lovingly invited to meditate with the realization that all I really needed was faith that I could develop my relationship with GOD without depending on a physical form to wrap it in.

I still don't agree or approve of the motives behind the deceptions of the organization, but if we all depend on physical constructs to reveal the divine to us, instead of trusting our own burning desire to find GOD  I am afraid we will continue to be disappointed!

signed: FREELANCE SADHAKA

PS: please share some feedback, you guys are above all HONEST!!!

Response:

Thank you for your email. I am sorry I have not responded sooner. Your email will be up the web later today.

Disappointment. A strong word that we all wish we could avoid. That SY is a group of unperfected people with feelings and flaws is the truth of the matter. The problem though is very complicated as SY will not admit to the problems and simply go on trying to cover them up. As long as this happens, what can a person do but not be a part of it.

That we wish to have someone, anyone, provide us with all the answers really is the bottom line for those of us who do or have put the Guru in the role of God. That we need to do this sets us up to fall for the trap. Even most Indians know better. We in the west however are a gullible lot when it comes to imported spirituality.

Warm regards,

Pendragon

Received 18 Jun:

Could you please mail me a copy of "O Guru,Guru,Guru".

Regards,

M

Received 20 Jun:

To whom it may concern,

I came in contact with your site in hopes to find out information about siddha yoga, primarily  because a family member has become involved with them. I am very interested in receiving a copy of the article "O Guru, Guru, Guru" by Lis Harris since I had no luck at the library. Thank-you for your

attention and thank-you for such an informative site.

Received 21 Jun:

Thanks for setting up this website. I was never very into Siddha Yoga, because I was always leery of cult and religious groups.  I did attend the uptown ashram chants several times in Manhattan.  Also, went to  three intensives with Baba and one with Guru Maya.

Every yoga group I have ever observed for an extended period has its imperfections.  We are all still humans.  Even the gurus.  I was very upset when I first found out about the supposed abuses going on.  Its still hard for me to comprehend.  I through out all my photos of  Baba and Guru Maya.  I still have  some beads, received from Baba. 

I feel bad for the people who put a lot of time and work  into the movement, and were let down.  I pray for their emotional healing and strength from the higher power.

Ken

Received 21 Jun:

I drifted by your site today and marveled at how many similarities exist between your former mind trap and my own (Divine Light Mission dba Guru Maharaj Ji [now Maharaji]).  Is Joseph Chilton Pearce still sucked in by that bitch?  Like a plague the guru trap can befall anyone. Anyways, I hope you're getting somewhere in your efforts.  Are you?  Do you feel like you are?  Is GuruMayi getting any wrinkles over all this? She always struck me as an Oil of Olay kind of gal.

Take care, keep up the good fight, enjoy yourselves, read the Guru Papers, study evolution psychology, don't drink and drive,

Jim

Received 23 Jun:

The thing I found healing about your site is people being able to express their experiences in SY and to be heard for a change. Really you have to go through it to be able to have an idea what it is like to have what you are told is "The Truth" collapse around you and engulf your what you have made of your life since joining SY. Anyway it has been said (by someone) if you continue in your folly long enough you will reach the truth. The truths pretty good really, no human lording it over you, its a relief. Only God, closer than we think.

Received 30 Jun:

As I told you, I stopped SY 2 years ago, because meditation made me really too sick. The problem is that I had strong meditation experiences, but it gave me headaches and pressures in the head. The pressure could remain all day long, even when I stopped meditations for several days. I went to doctors and they didn't find anything wrong, but I HAD headaches and I couldn't tell them I had them since I received Shaktipat! My friends in SY told me it was purifications. So as nobody could help me and as I didn't know how to stop these pains, and as I had strong meditations experiences and kryias and dreams and so on, I continued the practices, hoping my health would improve with time, and that I would get realisation (I had so strong shakti) . But the opposite happened. (And for me the biggest lie of SY is here. They "sell" realisation, but who ever got it?) One night during my sleep I heard a tremendous sound in my head. It was horrible. It became louder and louder, like the rotors of an helicopter. It was so painful that I awoke and then it stopped. But I had a terrible headache for 2 or 3 days. But this time it was too much, I totally stopped meditation, totally disgusted. Later on, I read in a book about near death experiences, that sometimes people before dying also heard tremendous inner sounds. Did I have a near death experience? I never knew, but I was so scared, that I stopped all practices, and with time, the pressures, kryias, dreams of shakti and so on progressively ceased. I must add also, that before receiving shaktipat I always had a perfect digestion, that I lost the day I received shaktipat. It's better now, but I never recover the good state I had before shaktipat.

My main concern with SY is about that: shaktipat and meditation can be harmful for the health. I think I must not be the only one who had problems with that, because 10 years ago when they advertised about shaktipat they spoke of a tremendous energy. Some years later they spoke of a soft, gentle energy...amusing isn't it? Another shift in message and policy in SY.

www.LeavingSiddhaYoga.org

 

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