« Did I see God in first class? | Main | Cults, religions, and science »

June 14, 2005

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

The present master has said in Jan 2005 in dera in reply to chosen one and rebirth :

It is all dera guest house gossip. One has to do the practice in order to achieve liberation.

Is RSSBA a cult?

I vote "no."

1. They don't ask for money. The opportunity to give exists but there is no pressure at all. The books are open if you request the opportunity to look at them. Cults want your money. Baba ji, to my knowledge doesn't wear a Rolex.

2. It's easy to quit. I know as many ex-satsangis as satsangis including some who were very prominent. There seem to be no recriminations and no bad-mouthing if one leaves the fold.If I were to walk away today my expection would be that my satsangi friends (and relatives) would treat me decently and, in some cases, remain friends (and relatives) and welcome me back were I to return.

3. There is no encouragement to live together. In fact, this is discouraged. Ideas like satsangi retirement centers have not gotten very far. In order to control minds and brainwash people you really need to have them under your physical control.

4. There is no requirement to attend satsang, bhandaras or Dera. There is no follow up or contact to see where you've been if you stop going to satsang. Secretaries are instructed to leave people alone, to leave it up to them.

5. Satsangis are encouraged to live a normal life as a householder and to participate and contribute to the community. They are not supposed to isolate themselves.

6.Baba ji (he doesn't require anyone to call him 'Master') encourages seekers to resist the path, has upped the initiation age and the waiting period and told seekers to read all the anti-Sant mat stuff on the internet. He doesn't appear to be a bean counter.

7.Baba ji has suggested that he might be a complete fraud and that the devotees' idea of Master/God, etc. is simply a concept which can only be verified by repeated inner experience. He and Charan Singh before him never claimed to be God, only servants of their own gurus.

8. I know of no cases, reports or rumors of sexual impropriety involving the RS gurus. Sexual impropriety has been the downfall of many cult leaders. I know of no cases of dishonesty unless you want to count the allegations that Charan Singh asked Mr. Mohindar to get his London purchases home duty free.

9. Satsangi Savoranolas may be upset by David Lane's or even Brian's web sites but David and Brian aren't going to wake up with a horse head in their beds. I know he's told people to leave David Lane alone.

10. I wouldn't belong to a cult.

There may be lots of valid questions about Sant Mat but I don't believe, "Is it a cult?" can stand the test of logic or experience.


It seems to me that Rajni is taking the right approach here, that is to make her own search and satisfy her own mind that the path she chooses to follow is correct for her. We all should do this. I choose RS after about 50 years of detailed researching, and got initiated in 1988. I am happy in my choice after 17 years on this RS path. However, this is not the path for everybody. Also, BabaJi clearly says that we would be arrogant to say that this is the only path. He also says to do your research and pick a path and stay with it. It seems to me that it is the disciples who make all of the claims for the master being god, and this being a special path and so forth. The master is most humble and only claims to be following the orders of his master to lead us to the RS teachings. He makes no claims of being a god or anything other than a simple disciple. He says we can think of him as a friend or teacher. If we gain something spiritually by following this path then perhaps we can see him differently. However, he is only asking us to follow the four principles of Sant Mat, and to run the experiment and then see what happens.

I recall, from and old audio tape, that a German lady was all distraught and told Master Charan Singh that in Germany RS was on a list of cults. Charan Singh said: so what - we are a cult. It seems to me that a cult is not a bad thing. It is a group of people or a community sharing esoteric interests, living in an unconventional manner, and under the guidance of a charismatic leader. Certainly that fits RS.

May I ask; are we picking the fly shit out of the pepper here? The RS path has a lot of good things and good people too. We are just struggling souls like everybody else. Certainly we are not perfect. However, in general there is a lot of good in the RS path and community. Naturally any organization with people has got to be less then perfect. However, we should always focus on the positive!

First of all, many thanks to Mr. Hines for so warmly posting my e-mail here. :) And thanks to those who left comments, I very much enjoyed reading them and feel a lot more enlightened about RS. I especially liked, "It seems to me that it is the disciples who make all of the claims for the master being god, and this being a special path and so forth," which was part of ET's comment. I will definitely keep that in mind. The number one bullet point on Randy's comment, that RS doesn't ask for money, is also one thing that keeps me from thinking that RS is a (stereotypical) cult. Thank you all. :)

Dear All
I am delighted that discussion on RS is going healthy. Et and Randy have tried to clear the misconceptions about RS in a balanced way. Remember it is easy to find the black spot on the white cloth .One can write a book on negative points of any religion /philosophy but it is difficult to write even one page positive about the philosophy. So these people have done a great job by writing about positive side. The healthy criticism is acceptable but not the fake one which one can read on most of the sites on the internet. Mr Hines has done good job by launching this portal but I think the aim of this portal is to emphasise the various religions and philosophies. The truth is that no religion can show you the lord and it is destiny or chance that people claim to meet the lord by various paths. In my view the important thing is being a good human being rather than religious .The good human qualities will take one to the lord if he exists. I view the other people as being good human being or not and not as RS or non RS. Most of my friends are whether RS or Non RS but they are good human beings. No point in going to such places if our mind still wants to use these places for satisfying our ego. Due to such few bad people the good organisation become the target of the criticizers. Their ideas leads to misconceptions about the organisation in general public and most of their allegations are false .

If one finds what one searches in Sant Mat then that is a great thing. Lucky is the one who feels happy and secure with Sant Mat. I know people who are very happy with it. Of course, it is a cult but what matters more is whether there is truth in Sant Mat or not. Cult is only a label. What counts is what it does for and means to people.

They do ask for money. Setting up seva boxes and having accounts for "money seva" is asking for money. They just don't blatantly pressure people to pay. In the RSSB books money seva is often praised. They need money like any organisation does.

For some it is hard to quit. Just read the Exsat group on Yahoo. The teachings don't say "Hey, leave Sant Mat behind anytime you like". Quite to the contrary. The teachings have it that once initiated one can't disconnect from the master. In the literature are fear-inspiring passages about ugly consequences of not following the master, getting dragged like behind a bulldozer and the like. The scare tactics are few but they are there and they don't come from satsangies either but from the head honchos themselves.

That cases of sexual abuse and other nasty things have not happened in RSSB is encouraging.

That the disciples are the ones who make all of the claims about the Guru's status (being God) and Sant Mat being a special path doesn't seem correct as can be easily confirmed by reading a few RSSB books written by their masters. Satsangies make such claims too, however.

Regards to all.

i am not a follower of sant mat, but my sister and her husband are. i was recently at their house for the weekend and i must admit was rather curious about their faith. when i got home i decided to look it up on the web. what i found was far from comforting. there are first hand stories of women being bashed and raped by the so called 'master',children being blind folded until they are 5 and being made to meditate for 6 hours a day. maybe someone could explain to me how all of sant mats followers can be so ignorant, gullible and naive to such disgusting and demeaning behaviour.

i have been a dera follower since the day i was born because my parents ,my relativs,my grandparents my great grand parents all were satsangis,i have been going to dera since the day i was born.never ever i have heard of sexual harassment cases or children tied down to meditate.i am an educated girl who knows her mind and can make out adifferenc between fake n real.have recently got maried to aguy who is not asatsangi n he has been to dera with me n he has never ever been forced by anybdy to follw the path, not evn by me.i have not been initiated as yet,because i want to wait for some time,for my own reasons.i have never been forced by anybdy to meditate or get initiated.the teachings never force u to follow the path.they just preach certain things and then leave it to the people,its up to the people to follow or not to follow.i think it is up to an individual how u understand the path.1 thing i have always admired about radha soami path is there is no force,they believ that such things are very personal n should be left to an individual that how they want to go about.whether they want to follow or dont want to follow.there are many people who leave this path and nobody simply nobody bothers them.i know this coz i know such people.

Neetu,

I offer a counter to your comment (because I don't think that you know what the hell you are talking about):

First off, you said: "i have been a dera follower since the day i was born". Then you said: "i have not been initiated as yet,because i want to wait for some time,for my own reasons." This is a cocntradiction. You are admittedly NOT initiated, so you really have no business telling us how it is with the Radha Soami cult.

Second, just because your relatives were a bunch of RS satsangis and you went to the Dera doesn't qualify you as having direct experience, credible knowledge, and sufficient insight about RS either.

Third, you say that because you are educatged, that you can tell the difference between "fake n real". Sorry but I don't think so. Just because you have gone to school doesn't automatically provide you with the wisdom to know reality from illusion. That kind of discriminative wisdom comes only from the fruit of sadhana which is realization, and not just because you went to school. It's obvious that you don't have any idea what or where reality is.

Fourth, no one has ever said that people are literally "forced" to get initiated. But the fcat is that they are indoctrinated and scared into getting initiated. They are told that Sant Mat and the Sant Mat guru is the ONLY true way to escape the cycle of birth and death.

Fifth, you said: "the teachings never force u to follow the path." That is factually incorrect. The teachings explicitly do require and demand that initiates meditate several hours a day, and also to follow certain strict dietary and marriage/sexual restrictions. Initiation is not given unless these restrictions are met. That, is basically forcing people to follow the path. They don't "just preach certain things and then leave it to the people".
Also, it is NOT as you said "up to an individual how u understand the path". So again, you just really don't know what it is that you are talking about.

Sixth, you said: "there are many people who leave this path and nobody simply nobody bothers them." That is absolutely incorrect. There are in fact a fair number of different people who have left the path and then they have been harrassesed, villified, physically threatened, and possibly even murdered by the Dera, it's minions, and/or it's crazed fundamentalist satsangi followers. I, for one, have been antagonized, villified, and bad-mouthed for years by certain very rude and mean-spirited satsangis, even including sangat secretaries. And the fact is that there are many others that I know of just like me who have also actually been threatened by the RS cult goons. Also, I know of other foreign satsangis (including myself) who, while visiting the Dera, have been treated extremely rudely and terribly disrespectfully by various members of the Dera staff during the period of Charan's leadership. Some were treated so badly to the point even that they never ever returned to the Dera, and also even dropped out of the RS path altogether.

Seventh, you said: "i know such people." You don't know shit from shinola. You are just another uninitiated neophyte with a mouth full of blabber.

So quit trying to defend the RS when you don't even have or know any of the actual facts. You are nothing more than a god-damned pathetic little RS sycophant.


we are all blind ...... and all wanting to See. God's Grace, and Light, is within all of us. We are all dear to Him.

Zuniam said, "We are all dear to Him."

I doubt it. The entire planet suffers one way or another sooner or later from toothaches to hurricanes, from dementia to earthquakes, from tyrants to old age. I'd hate to get on his bad side if we are all dear to him, but I think if he has a side..we're already on the bad one. He's one pissed off MF'r.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Welcome


  • Welcome to the Church of the Churchless. If this is your first visit, click on "About this site--start here" in the Categories section below.
  • HinesSight
    Visit my other weblog, HinesSight, for a broader view of what's happening in the world of your Church unpastor, his wife, and dog.
  • BrianHines.com
    Take a look at my web site, which contains information about a subject of great interest to me: me.
  • Twitter with me
    Join Twitter and follow my tweets about whatever.
  • I Hate Church of the Churchless
    Can't stand this blog? Believe the guy behind it is an idiot? Rant away on our anti-site.