I no longer believe that any person deserves to be worshipped. Respected, yes. Everybody is deserving of respect. But worship, no.
For a long time, though -- some 35 years -- I was a member of an Indian religious organization (Radha Soami Satsang Beas, or RSSB) headed by a guru who is considered to be God in human form.
Just imagine how Christians would act around Jesus if he appeared on Earth. Worshipful, right? Well, that's how RSSB devotees act around Gurinder Singh Dhillon, the current guru.
Recently Dhillon was accused of criminal conduct by his cousin, Malvinder Singh. Defenders of the guru are fond of saying that the death threats and massive financial fraud are just allegations. That's true, but they're believable allegations, given what's been previously reported on this blog about Gurinder Singh Dhillon.
To put it charitably, Dhillon doesn't act like the traditional RSSB guru. Less charitably, Dhillon acts very much like many other powerful men: full of ego, greedy, controlling, using women in less than admirable ways. (The Me Too movement has done a lot to raise awareness of this.)
Below is a comment left by Sonya on a recent post.
She does a good job of explaining why Gurinder Singh Dhillon behaves the way he does, given that he's worshipped everywhere he goes. Of course, other men are worshipped who don't end up behaving badly: the Pope, Dalai Lama, many others.
The RSSB guru, though, is treated like the god he is believed to be by his devotees, while the Pope and Dalai Lama are just considered to be holy men. Of course, this doesn't excuse Dhillon's behavior -- it just helps to explain it.
Here's the first comment from Sonya. I'll share another one also. I've fixed a few typos in each comment. GSD refers to Gurinder Singh Dhillon. "Sangat" means RSSB initiates.
One year there was a stunning performance by a group of ladies—some form of Indian dance. I don’t know what it was called, but it was breathtaking. Not like most of the acts which are just silly fun. Occasionally an act is impressive with someone whose talent is exceptional. But they say it’s not about the talent. It’s a chance for them to show their love for their guru.
Can you just step back for a minute and imagine another country, another commune of 4 million followers worldwide and thousands surrounding just one man desperately trying to get a glance from him, “darshan”. It sounds creepy... because it is.
But the worst part, and I believe this is why RSSB is where it is today in the news—the worst part is that this “guy” is worshipped all day long every day... and has been for years. He can’t go anywhere without someone desperately jumping at the chance to wipe his ass.
And then consider this; how is that man’s mind affected by constantly being treated like a god—24/7?? Is there any hope in hell that he’ll have a well adjusted ego??
I’ve said that GSD’s ego is impenetrable but beneath the steel shell is a very fragile man with a very fragile sense of himself. How could he possibly manage if he were to wake up one day to find no one left who believed in him or worshipped him, if no one was there to wait on him hand and foot?
Would he have a complete mental collapse if all of his disciples turned against him and none of them loved him anymore or believed anything he said?
GSD’s ego is built on the sangat. That’s why when one of his “initiates” makes him feel weak or intimidated, he attacks. “We’ve” created a Monster. All those who follow RSSB are just feeding the Monster. And the saddest part of all is that the Monster didn’t create himself—his followers did. Man made god in his own image. One day way back when...
If anyone else was put in that same position today and tempted with the worship, adoration, women, wealth, power that GSD has been tempted with, they would most likely become a Monster too. Just ask any completely non-biased Licensed Clinical Psychologist.
This is a follow-up comment from Sonya. It fits with some other posts I've shared:
"The RSSB guru likes to see naked women on the beach"
"Sheena's 'Memoirs of a Seeker' throws light on Gurinder Singh Dhillon"
And while I’m on a roll here, I’d just like to point out all of GSD’s impropriety with women. He did this weird dance with a Bollywood actress at the Christmas party a few years ago. Not even appropriate for your average Joe.
He flirts with women constantly without shame. He has many little favorites and emotional affairs. No wonder his wife avoids most of the meetings.
I don’t doubt for a moment that he was romantically attached to Sheena. He must think that since he’s a “god” or maybe he believes he is God, that it’s OK... because they’re all supposed to merge with him anyway... it’s sooooooooooooooo disturbing.
I think that was my biggest issue with him aside from the full frontal attack I received last time I spoke with him. He just “can’t help himself when it came to pretty girls” as he often admits.
He got really mad at one sevadar [volunteer] during an evening meeting when she asked him why he had so many pictures of young attractive girls on his phone from Haynes Park (she was the sevadar in charge of collecting the cell phones and making sure no one had taken pictures they weren’t supposed to).
So, there it is... like most other men. He is no different.
OK, I PROMISE, now I’m done with my rants about Gurinder... I just see Shivinder as a little Gurinder mini me. I’m done talking about GSD now. There’s nothing more to say anyway. Thanks for letting me air my grievances. If only Gurinder actually gave a shit.
Now, being a man, I agree that Gurinder Singh Dhillon is like most other men. We are flawed. Our desires sometimes get the better of us. We don't always live up to our ethical standards.
But most other men aren't considered to be God in human form. They aren't viewed as an infallible spiritual guide, as the RSSB guru is. So when Sonya says of the guru, "He is no different," this has a considerable different meaning than if she'd made that observation about some other man.
Can't resist sharing what appears to be a New Yorker cartoon on this subject that I found in Google Images.