It is one thing to be crazy privately in your own home, but when you include other people, convincing them that your beliefs are true, then that is completely irresponsible. What is even worse are those that actually know that they are deceiving. Then there are those that simply parrot what they have heard from others, claiming the knowledge as their own. It is exploiting people for your own selfish ego, whether it be for money, fame, sex, prestige, distinction, to be accepted, to be served or worshipped, or simply to be noticed.
Mind you, there are plenty of genuine teachers, those that are completely honest with themselves and others. I have posted many articles of many different teachers, who I feel have something of value to share. But we also find many wannabes, charlatans, those who are deluded and many that are also dishonest. We see many of these on the new age circuit, or circus. Yes, a circus full of clowns, all trying to convince the world that they have some special path to enlightenment, or material success. What amazes me is the number of followers some of these clowns have. But we’ll get into that.
I break them into two categories. One type are the ones that actually believe their insanity. They truly believe what they teach. All religions are full of such teachers, with an unwavering faith (usually based upon some ancient scripture, which oddly enough condone slavery, murder of nonbelievers, degradation of women, pedophilia, wars, genocide, torture and so many other atrocious acts). They are so identified with the mask that they created from their imaginary beliefs, that they actually believe that they are awakened, or at least very spiritually advanced, simply because they have some book knowledge, or because they have faith or status in their religion.
The second type are the ones that know that they are deceiving. They know that they really aren’t spiritual, and are just playing a game, a game of exploitation. You would be very surprised to know that many of these are involved in the new age circus. Many are very famous and wealthy. They know what to say and when. I have known both types. I have observed many of them, and some of them I knew quite well.
Both of these types have things in common. They both simply parrot what others have said or written. They just put their own spin on it. That is why we keep seeing and hearing the same catch phrases. Everyone says it, so it must be true. It seems that the main criteria is to have lots of book knowledge, and be able to organize it in a way that easily sells. Then of course, we have the channelers and “representatives” of aliens. The more far out, the easier sell. Some people simply make stuff up, and claim it is truth. They all seem very concerned about their popularity, their book sales, financial accounts, the number of followers, and of course, what people are saying about them; their reputation. Most of them are charismatic, able to draw people’s attention, and charm them into believing whatever they want. They also charm you into believing that they are kind, compassionate and trusting.
But all of this takes effort. It takes effort to amass followers and not be caught out. It takes effort to hold the mask up, and to act and speak in a way that convinces people that they are genuine. They have to play the part, to play a role of deception. When one is truly awakened, or even someone who is naturally moral, then there is no effort. Such people are naturally kind, caring, compassionate and considerate. There is no extraneous effort. You simply are who you are.There are no facades to hold up.
So how do people become so easily deceived by these charlatans? Well, I was deceived several times. Most of us are too trusting, believing people on face value. “Well, his philosophy is very convincing, the scriptures are very ancient, and he has many followers, and they are convinced, so it must be true.” Many of these teachers, gurus and cults use sophisticated techniques of mind control. It’s amazing how easily we are brainwashed. Once someone is sufficiently brainwashed, then the fear, guilt and threats begin. The abuse that some groups undergo is criminal. They are told that it is all spiritual, that they are destroying your ego. It all sounds logical when you are brainwashed and accept the guru, scripture or teacher as a spiritual authority. I know, because this happened to me.
When you finally snap out of it, and see that the whole thing was a lie, then you leave, and you do what? Go find another teacher to surrender to. I did that too. It finally dawned on me what was happening. Rather embarrassing.
There is no shortage of followers. In fact, some gurus simply use their followers until they become useless to them, and then they are discarded. I have seen people surrender their lives to the ashram, serving for many years. But if they get ill, or are unable to work, they are sent away. The emphasis is on recruitment. There are so many people that have had difficult childhoods, who feel unloved, unwanted, lonely, or want to belong to a family they never really had. Many are simply inquisitive, searching for answers about life. To take advantage of people like that is criminal. I have seen many hundreds of people’s lives destroyed by these ashrams, cults and charlatans, some losing everything they owned. I have seen hundreds of families torn apart, children raped, blackmail, extortion, threats, slavery based on fear and guilt, abuses on every level, and very dishonest means for collecting and scamming huge sums of money.
What I have found astonishing is that so many followers have become so enamored by their guru or teacher, that even when the guru is caught in a horrible scandal, the followers still follow and worship the scum bag. I have seen this happen over and over again. There was a hare krishna guru that was caught molesting children, dealing drugs, having sex with a taxi driver, extortion, racketeering, murders, and criminal abuse. Even though it was all exposed, and he went to jail, most of his many followers continued serving and worshipping the scumbag, defending and justifying his actions. Really? This is scary. These people have become so brainwashed, that they are incapable of any rational thought. Some of these people were actually nice people before. Like I said, this is criminal.
Now of course, people will say that I am rude, offensive, judgmental or vindictive for exposing and judging charlatans. It’s not politically correct. We are told that we are not supposed to judge. Another catch phrase. Without proper judgment, how will you not be deceived? This ‘Don’t Judge’ ideology started with religion, so you can be sure that it is a lie to deceive people. And of course the new age community has grabbed it and put it on a pedestal. I hear it all the time. It’s like a programmed response. Unfortunately, many people never think clearly about what they say or believe.
You cannot escape the consequences of your actions. Vishvanath Chakravarti wrote in his commentary on the Puranas, “A mass murderer kills many bodies, but a false guru kills many souls.”Just because you can see the body, but cannot see the soul, does not make it less criminal. In fact, Vishvanath says that it is much worse. So a charlatan may be seen as a very dangerous person, always to be avoided. The answers you are looking for are not out there, but can be found only in the depths of your own Self.
In my article, Teachers, I discussed at length the details of the various teachers, both genuine and charlatan. In another one of my articles, The Intermediaries, I discuss more about charlatans. Also in The Gate Keepers. Check them out if you’re interested.
– Greg Calise