This is to diamond-sharp clarity and discernment.
What goes on in some well known ashrams and spiritual communities is truly mind blowing – not in a positive sense though. And I don‘t mean a visible, tangible misconduct like financial corruption or sexual liaisons. No, I want to point out that significant damage and offenses take place in the invisible, metaphysical realms of consciousness and energies. My own experience has revealed that the complexity of deception, the perfidious psychological and energetic abuse in what I consider as sacred soulspace, can be abysmal. Of course, this happens not only in India but in other places as well. However, the spiritual big shots of India who attract thousands of followers seem to have developed particularly influential methods.
Not too long ago, in connection with a well-known Indian guru, I got unexpected insights into the obscure and disturbing side of spirituality, a reality in which people’s body systems, minds, hearts and souls can get hacked. It made me understand how sane and clear-minded people can ‘loose it’ and get entwined in a cult-like gurudom. I had experienced misconduct of a guru 10 years before, but that was a piece of cake in comparison to this recent case:
When I booked the ashram retreat, I was looking forward to a serene, secluded environment. My motivation simply was to take a break from mundane distractions and duties, and dedicate time to my self and inner space. I certainly did not suspect that I would end up in a devilish circus show with multidimensional happenings. Although I knew phenomena such as aura intrusions, energetic manipulation etc., what happened here was most vicious, and until then unknown to me.
Which leads me to a couple of key takeaways of this post:
a.) Stay awake and heed your intuition, at all times. We have to perform due diligence, test ourselves and test a guru – a yogateacher as well as an alleged avatar. To check if s/he is trustworthy or feeds off our energy, fosters dependency, manipulates with sexual magnetism or fear and makes significant demands we might regret later. We also have to be aware if we project our own shadow aspects onto him/her and take the opportunity to heal (transference / counter transference). And
b): Curiosity can be a risky call to follow. I knew within the first 48 hours upon arrival in the guru’s ashram that something was seriously off with him and his approach. But I stayed because I was interested in finding out more (I had also already paid some serious money and wondered if it would get ‘any better’). Little did I know what I would get myself into.
All that Glitters is not Gold
Many people assume that someone in the position of a spiritual master or guru is automatically a mature and truthful being. These teachers exist, but I have also experienced how well known ‘contemporary leaders’ were the exact opposite.
My intention for this post is not to convert any convinced guru followers or those still on their guru honeymoon, but to reach out to those:
- who have experienced forms of spiritual corruption and are interested in more puzzle pieces to the bigger picture; and
- who are on the verge of being sucked into the vortex of a half-baked guru or goddiva;
- who assume that an Indian guru must automatically be the real deal just because his background is from India‘s rich spiritual tradition or some rinpoche is pure-hearted as he is part of a well known Buddhist lineage, also to
- who do not believe that mind control or mind manipulation exist (I would not have believed it either, but own experience changed my view); as well as
- who consider a program with a ‚God in human form‘ to get a good push towards their enlightenment. Don‘t be fooled!
Important notes upfront:
- I do not mention the names of any teachers, groups or localities, and I will not repeat any allegations raised by other people in similar contexts. If you recognise any resemblance with people or places you know, then take it as invitation to do your own research.
- I believe that most gurus start off with good intentions (help people) but being a guru seems a slippery slope, and a lot can go wrong on the way (power corrupts). A guru might be convinced he serves the light, while in reality he serves the dark.
- Decide consciously to take only the information that serves your highest good. You might shield yourself energetically before continuing to read: I command my system to accept only messages that serve my highest good and are in alignment with divine right order. I am protected in the light of truth.
Spiritual masters who have chosen to ‘heal and save humanity’, but at the same time walk on the road of dazzling magic and magnetism, can cast a net of energetic hooks to produce intense attachments, cravings and addictions in his followers – especially young seekers and budding ‘lightworkers’ who tend to be open and naive – to gain control over their mind and body, and ultimately to steal their power and enslave them. All in the name of some noble cause.
May a student and seeker be smart and sane, but if s/he is being unknowingly manipulated and does not have a minimum of self awareness and control over his/her own energy field, it is most likely that s/he cannot discern when s/he is being bombarded with interference messages, manipulated visions and false light. Truth and lies are cleverly mixed within a nebulous zone that the gurus manipulate.
I would also like to point out that not every participant of a retreat or workshop will have the same experience. One of my many lessons and insights (from own experience as well as correspondences with women who went through similar ordeals): in group events, the imposter guru tends to scan his audience in search of specific energy signatures and pick those which are of particular interest. One participant (usually a woman in case of a male teacher) gets ‘selected’ and receives mind-blowing multidimensional love bombing (ranging between obvious and subtle). Initially this can be confusing, especially when she asks other female followers if they had similar experiences, and they shake they heads. The ‘specialness’ of her case helps to make his flattery effective. And before long she is mesmerised and hooked within a powerful vortex that keeps sucking her attention, energy and what not.
Particularly credulous women get blinded by a spiritual knight in shining armour and fall for his enticing spells. Unfortunately, victims can easily slip into Stockholm Syndrome, denying that they are abused. Often these women have a childhood history of sexual abuse, and although their physical trauma is over, there is a tendency in them to attract abuse on the invisible astral realm when they are adults (it happens unconsciously / unknowingly simply because the original pain imprint has not been completely healed). Hence many women follow spiritual imposters without noticing how much subtle violation, abuse and the undermining of feminine powers is going on. Even if the sacred feminine or divine mother are officially promoted and worshipped with lots of pomp and ritual, what is really happening is often a far cry from the boldly advertised intentions.
Just because you have good intentions for others does not mean they have good intentions for you. Even if they say so, the energetic configuration can be diametrically opposite to their talk.
The 5 Top indicators to recognise a wolf in sheep’s clothing:
1. He has spiritual powers but also unattended blind spots
The guru comes across as charismatic, diplomatic and kind, he facilitates some transformation but a part of him plays with people‘s hearts, minds and bodies. He might possesses psychic powers but uses them in questionable ways. The guru can transmit and connect to you through consciousness (impersonal) and at the same time project his own unresolved needs and desires (personal) which can lead to a lot of confusion in you (I say ‘a lot’ and mean it!). This brings up the next big lesson: a guru can facilitate in another only the clearing of what s/he has integrated in him/herself. Ignored blind spots and disempowered parts in the guru mean fragmentation, and fragmentation means distortion of perception, behaviour and facilitation. To be more specific: while our absolute self does not need anything, our physical body has needs – basic ones like shelter and food, but also emotional needs like relating, affection, physical contact and self expression. A guru is human and inevitably has human needs and human flaws. Only few gurus seem to allow themselves to experience their humanness, consciously and responsibly though.
2. He is a Narcissist
There is a special species of narcissistic psychopaths who run organisations that can be called modern mystery schools, or more straightforwardly: cult. The cult leader is a master manipulator and has exaggerated feelings of self-importance and an excessive need for admiration and control (keywords: lovebombing, gaslighting, double-bind). His abuse can be physical, financial, sexual, mental, emotional, social, spiritual, religious, energetic and psychic (invisible to an outside observer!). A particular guru I met in India displayed a narcissistic personality disorder at its best: sexually magnetic and mesmerisingly eloquent, stuck in magic powers with an overinflated ego, enticing during only a single retreat hundreds of people to spend their time / money / life on him. Once such a guru‘s manipulative tentacles are hooked onto you, they can exert undue energetic and psychological influence to make you feel selected and special, to trigger exhilarating intoxication and binding energy highs, to have you addicted to his attention / approval / presence, to deprive you of your free will and make you think of him 24/7, to join another program, to emotionally disconnect from your spouse and other relationships, to take sannyas, to become a public spokesperson or serve his cult-like community in other ways.
The narcissist guru also has an innate ability to figure out a person’s biggest insecurities and use the emotional wound or energetic crack as the opening for his power abuse and manipulations (instead of healing it).
Last but not least, the narcissist guru dismisses, judges and even sabotages other people‘s intimate relationships. His egocentrism, coupled with the lack of empathy or capacity to love truly, makes him constantly undermine loving people. He cannot understand what he is missing and on a core level he resents others who seem to both feel and enjoy what he is not capable of feeling and experiencing.
3. He creates very very special retreat programmes
The guru might employ tools to get you out of automated thought and behaviour patterns which can help to dissolve limiting routines and beliefs. Per se not a bad thing. Also accessing volumes of ancient wisdom teachings, facilitating healing and seeing the bigger picture of life is worthwhile, but disrupting the physical body, manipulating thought processes, inner visions and emotions, hacking neurological and biochemical circuits and siphoning vitality and common sense off students and followers is wicked and highly disconcerting.
Manipulation of body and biochemistry, e.g. Intense retreat schedules with daily sleep deprivation (zero to max. 4 hours sleep), colon cleanse, fasting or irregular timings of breaks / meals;
Manipulation of mind and emotions, e.g. Affirmations (e.g. promises) and defamations (e.g. derailing inquiries), as well as other psychological manipulation: privileges & punishment, instigating competition, seduction, flirting, mockery, creating confusion, use group dynamics / mirror neurons; note: too much confusion, stress or shock tends to make an individual unconsciously shut off parts of their being (automatic self protection mechanism) and therewith unknowingly reduce their own strength;
Manipulation on energy and soul level, e.g. Astral influences targeting at one’s auric field and central nervous system: for example by triggering ecstasy with related hormonal peaks while, at the same time, inserting energetic attachments; an overstimulated, irritated or messed up nervous system reduces accurate perception and freezes, intuition and one‘s soul connection (communication network in one’s spiritual body);
The destabilisation of an individual’s natural energetic protection shield leads to vulnerability and receptivity to overt and subliminal manipulation. It comes as no surprise that it is very easy for guru & co. to control, abuse, enslave or possess a weakened body system.
4. He invites you to change your identity
You experience a more or less subtle push into in the establishment of and the attachment to a ‘new spiritual’ identity. You might drop your old identification (name, social circle, job, marital status, nutrition, dress style etc), but of course the new identification will keep you bound and trapped in ego games as well, you just changed the packaging. Elements of the new ID can be special clothes and jewellery, piercings and tattoos, a particular hairstyle, the obligatory spiritual name, unique greetings, language expressions, behavioural modification, dietary changes etc. All this can serve the guru to hack peoples’ minds and create replications of himself.
5. He runs a corporation and applies censorship
The guru offers either free or very highly charged retreats and programmes in his HQ (e.g. buy one get one free). In addition there are different types of memberships available that place you in an interesting hierarchy of ‘privilege according to donation‘. Naturally, his property is huge, covers acres and acres of land, if not even villages. He is like the tyrant king in his castle with the servants / peasants spread in houses and fields around him. On top of all this there is a rather aggressive recruitment mission to be accomplished by all who join the leader‘s inner circle.
Alarming is the organisation‘s communication strategy. Group members defend their leader come what may, especially on social media platforms in an attempt to silence the critics. Only praise is accepted. There is no willingness to be challenged and certainly no invitation to think for oneself. Amongst the followers of the guru nobody ever dares to initiate a healthy discussion, let alone criticise him. You might hear from him statements such as: „If you have doubts about me, that‘s your limitation.“ Evidently, avoidance is used as a tactic to suppress and censor potential conflicts or inconveniences.
Feedback opportunities do exist but are strategically timed: forms are handed out to retreat or workshop participants right after an electrifying exercise. And to be filled out under pressure there and then within a few minutes.
Not all is bad but even the good things get tainted
Of course, the guru has to deliver some good, palpably beneficial results, otherwise you would not join him and stay. This could be spontaneous physical healing, pain relief, intellectual understanding, a mystical insight, material gain, aha-moments or bouts of addictive astral bliss. But the price for comparatively shallow upliftments and improvements might very well be your self- empowerment and soul. You have left the tight 3D mainstream matrix but are trapped now in the next level, the more subtle, spiritual cage.
Another phenomenon should not remain unmentioned as it happens rather frequently: the follower of a guru might experience a sudden scary problem or calamity. And then, as if by magic, the almighty master facilitates the solution and salvation, thus reassuring the disciple that he can rely on his guru. However, the student has no clue that the whole thing was well orchestrated and staged right from the beginning.
A tantrik or a portal
If someone does intense sadhana (spiritual practice), that individual‘s system will at some stage be awakened and integrated to such a degree that siddhis (occult powers) come up. Siddhis include psychic abilities like telepathy, instant manifestations and miracles. And that‘s when the individual gets tested: does s/he get stuck with these powers, aiming at becoming more magnetic and influencial OR does s/he move on? The increased lifeforce, consciousness power and sacred sexual, creative energies (Shakti) that come with one’s spiritual progress can be used for many things. To increase personal charisma, influence and occult abilities – which seem choices when an individual is not established on virtues, integrity and an attitude of honest self-observation (understanding and transforming own shadow imprints) – OR to enhance one’s spiritual evolution and to become an accomplished yogi who is set on truthfulness, simplicity and healthy humbleness. There are different choices an individual can make: it is either the path of purity or the path of black magic. The source is the same, but intention and focus are different.
There exist also gurus who started their spiritual journey early on in their lives, usually went through rigorous, radical trainings but due to some inner disintegration (I deliberately leave it vague), they became portals for a manipulative entity. In a previous article I called such influence Negative Guide. An Negative Guide can provide the guru with special knowledge and / or skills and extraordinary, often almost inhuman, powers. But there will be a variety of destructive side effects too. The powers come with a certain pressure, aggressiveness, smugness and / or ruthlessness – therewith siphoning its host’s vitality and soul in exchange. While a negative guide conveys certain information it also interferes with the host‘s perception and inner guidance system. Most likely the host won‘t be aware of being cannibalised as the occupation creeped in slowly and s/he then got used to being under the guide‘s influence (on the journey from natural ability to ego inflation followed by reality distortion, for example). That’s bad news for all followers of such a guru, his team, students, clients, group, party or audience: they are pulled into that same Negative Guide’s network, and get drained as well.
Whether the guru does what he does consciously and strategically, or whether he is blind, hi-jacked (possessed) and a tool for some ruthless entities, fact is that most of the listed activities are undue and unauthorised manipulations, subtle energetic and psychic entanglement. In short: it is spiritual corruption. And spiritual seekers need to be aware of potential abuse, even if – or rather especially when! – it feels ecstatic, and they ‘fall in love’.
There is much more to say, but this should be enough for now. Please also conduct your own research.
How could one get out of a guru‘s sticky web? A lot of self-reflection, absolute present moment awareness, uncompromising thought control, radical disengagement from all connections to the guru and persistent etheric micro surgery! Better not getting trapped in the first place. It saves you heartache and a lot of clearing work, time and money. Personally, I am grateful for my functioning awareness radar, common sense, experiences with impeccable teachers and divine grace, which were instrumental in making it out of potential guru traps quickly enough.
Pure consciousness is the sacred formless absolute light, the ultimate reality free of all desires, agitations and excitement. The spiritual interaction between guru and disciple should take place without any disturbance to the mind, in fact the moment the disciple thinks of the guru, his mind is supposed to calm down, not crave.
What I summarise here is also part of the closure of a chapter which began 10 years earlier, when I met my first guru. Another Indian who was at that time still unknown, and humble. Quickly I became part of his small team of close disciples. I organised satsangs, laid out the texts for his first book and helped publishing it. Two years after my first encounter with him, I began noticing a change in his behaviour (his sense of entitlement was on a steep rise and so were manipulation attempts via energetic enticement). I confronted him, he denied it and I left. This guy though was harmless in comparison to the famous guru that I met last.
I wonder if there has ever been a spiritual master who stepped back from his followers and devotees to undertake a rigorous process of self-investigation in seclusion. As with many hard working people, shouldn’t a retreat, complete retirement or change of lifestyle be also options for a guru if he realises he somewhat made mistakes and got mislead by his ego? Ultimately the answer to this lies in a guru’s own free will choice. What are his intentions and inner guiding principles? Has he chosen purity and stature, or power and status? Usually those in urgent need of constructive criticism and / or retirement are the ones least likely to consider it.
Hardly any books / writers cover the complex multidimensional aspects of spiritual abuse. Nevertheless there are some publications I recommend to read. Contact me, if you’d like to receive the list.