[irrelig]Continuing our fan-requested and much-beloved guest month, we discuss an inordinately strange cult surrounding a little old lady who claims to be an avatar of God, but can’t cure her own diabetes and deafness. Fun and hijinks abound as we discuss chakras, yogic meditation, and a whole host of unpronounceable Hindu words with a guy who grew up inside the insanity. Go ahead and spin your chakra right here.

Also, we knew we’d have to do something special for our 69th episode, so we lined up our biggest guest to date. In fact, our guest for episode #69 is slightly more famous than our only other famous guest, Bob Price. He actually has a huge following, and has even been on the silver screen. Find out who in 3 short days.


26 Responses to “68: Crazy Yogic Cult”

  1. MiddleEastGuy says:

    Good lord. I never realized I used the word “like” so frequently while speaking. Gonna have to cut down on that. There was also more cutting in and out than I expected 😛

  2. MiddleEastGuy says:

    Oh and if anyone has any additional questions, feel free to ask them in the comments. I will do my best to answer them.

  3. There was also more cutting in and out than I expected

    Yeah, for whatever reason we were having a hell of a time with Skype that night. I left in the last time someone dropped out, but we had to re-connect 3 times to complete the one hour interview. Maddening.

  4. MiddleEastGuy says:

    Did you guys end up going to the Salt Lake City meditation center?

  5. No, I think Leighton is still waiting on me to buy him some chalupas.

  6. Just Great – a classic case of “Godman” of course some of them can be women.

    These cults prey on unsuspecting Westerners. I am not sure how much money had to be donated to stay on these. These can be as creepy as Scientologists in sucking money out.

  7. Good Stuff. Classic case of cult with the Yogic flavor. This is “Godman” but of course, they can be women too.

    I hope that he does not get exposed.

  8. I enjoyed this podcast very much. MiddleEastGuy, you did a great job. I think it’s hilarious that the old lady god (or your astute parents) hasn’t found you out in so many years. I couldn’t ever hear the name of the cult in the podcast. It seemed that every time you said something before the word yoga, I couldn’t figure out what that something was. Can you tell us what it is called?

  9. Great show. The URL for the cult/group/… is http://www.sahajayoga.org.in/

    These groups prey on all kinds of suckers.

  10. Great one. And never understood, why was she declared as God in the first place? Did she do something or she just declared it?

  11. Herb (12th Apostile) says:

    Priss: The cult is sahaja yoga.

    This podcast impressed me on several accounts. First, Chuck and Leighton’s understanding of Hinduism has deepened quite a bit since that pile of dung episode of Leighton’s doing. Second, these cult religions are facinating and I’m amazed how easily Westerners turn to them as a viable solution to Judeo-Christianity. Finally, MiddleEastGuy was f-ing great and his whit is as dry, sarcastic and witty as the hosts’.

    For those who question the claims made by MiddleEastGuy, here is
    the official response from Shaja Yoga International to False Allegations

    Can we get a repost on the GPS direction for speaking into God’s good ear?

  12. Herb (12th Apostile) says:

    When I listened to this podcast I kept wondering what the state of mind of a devote practicioner is like. The March 21, 2010 post was particularly telling.

    Good vibrations!

  13. Dietrich says:

    That’s it. I’m declaring that my bulldog is God. You must all pay me $100 a month to pay him homage.

  14. Unless your dog is diabetic and wheelchair-bound, I’m not buying it.

  15. Dietrich says:

    He may not be those things, but he has horrible gas, a buck tooth and spends way too much time licking his own junk. Like 5 times as long as a normal dog.

    If that’s not godly, I don’t know what is.

  16. Great show. These cults of godmen are one of the most dangerous elements of religious exploitation. I hope that the MiddleEastGuy can get out unscathed.

    Here is a website from ex-members with stories of caution: http://www.sahaja-yoga.org/

  17. He may not be those things, but he has horrible gas, a buck tooth and spends way too much time licking his own junk.

    Is your dog named Leighton?

  18. Another attempt to post a comment from a different browser.

    Run MiddleEastGuy Run – these guys can turn viscious too.

  19. Dietrich says:

    He is now.

  20. Leighton says:

    I always knew I had a twin brother out there somewhere.

  21. Spoiler Alert! The next guest is…. Tom Cruise to discuss scientology and to drum up some business for his new suckfest, I mean movie.

  22. (was) somewhere in greece says:

    I really feel for MiddleEastGuy. Leaving a crazy yogi cult to go to the Middle East…talk about straight from the frying pan into the fire.

    Here’s a piece of advice: every place washed by the Mediterranean is nuts. Keep this in mind when you plan your next move.

    (great podcast btw)

  23. MiddleEastGuy says:

    iMoron, she declared herself to be the primordial power that created the universe. Here is a youtube video that contains the critical fragment from the speech in which she declares it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cwAuwUAlRc4 a little after the 2 min mark. She mentions a meeting of 35 crore ( an indian numerical unit equivalent to 10 million ) gods/deities in the heavens as well!

    As such the only thing she has done is claimed divine power and that the “breeze” that people feel on their hands while meditating in front of her photo is proof of her divinity. Basically, were I to try and argue with any cult member saying “but how do you know she’s divine?” they would consider “I have felt her power through my hands, haven’t you?” to be a perfectly valid answer.

    These people actually have 2 boarding schools, one in italy and one in north india, where students are brought up to comply with her ideals in every way as far as meditation & the rest of the bullshit. Mind you, the students I’ve met have been fairly well adjusted in every other way, they just believe they can cure cancer with their hands. @_@

    @Herb: I didn’t want to mention the cult name in text, because I was really hoping to keep this off the radar for any cult members who might google the name. >_<
    The blowing you hear in the beginning is her literally blowing into the mic. She does it in the beginning of a few speeches because apparently that is equivalent to their divine energy ( do NOT ask me how. The only reason I'm still sane is because I quarantine and destroy brain cells that have the misfortune to analyze their crap before I can stop them )

    @ (was) somewhere in greece. I didn't leave the cult to go to the middle east. I'm IN the middle east, and in the cult. So I'm in…a frying pan that has a convenient hole in it so I don't miss any of the fire.

  24. MiddleEastGuy says:

    As for that response they made, I must admit they never openly force you into anything, but I think you can understand exactly what kind of pressure one would go through if they say “voluntary donations” and you see LITERALLY EVERYONE in the center queueing up to pay. They aren’t forced into those marriages either, but if you send in your form expecting to have your divine deity make a match for you ( which I KNOW to be false as of now because my father and 2 other people were doing the sorting 2 years back ) and you get matched with someone whom you might not even be able to talk to, or might not have anything in common with…if either of them try to back out, there HAVE BEEN, in front of me, cases where the center co-ordinator tells them that by filling out the form they put their trust in( the phrase they use is “surrendered their problem to” ) their “holy mother” and it would be wrong to refuse her decision. It doesn’t have to be “ordered” as the Mormon church chooses to do. If everyone around you disapproves of an action you take, it’s pretty damn unlikely you’ll choose to defy them. I especially like “With respect to marriages, some yogis indeed, but not all, prefer the practice of arranged marriages as is still common in more traditional countries.”

    “Traditional countries” indeed.

    Even with the spreading of this cult, I KNOW that they present it as a “learning aid” to get the chance to promote it in colleges/schools or as a “stress relief method” or a tool for increasing focus/concentration to present it in workplaces. When presenting it to Muslims, cult members are instructed to downplay or outright avoid mentioning the Hindu deities who govern specific chakras and to make references to Sufi saints and the Quran instead. If this really freaking worked and she was divine, why would they need to lie to get all this done?

  25. @MiddleEasterGuy. (Watching Ghana-US football match): Thank you for your reply. My hopes for the human kind are fading faster and faster each time I realize how many suckers walk on this planet that can afford to give money to a cult this absurd…

  26. MiddleEastGuy says:

    @iMoron: What a co-incidence, I am too! 30 EXTRA MINUTES OMGOMGOMGOMG. I kinda like the USA’s play but I think I want Ghana to win because it would be sad if not a single African team made it any further. They really are representing the continent at this point.

    Also, if you think that’s bad, you should try living your daily life surrounded by cultists. Thanks to how they discourage people from being friends with non cultists, literally every social event me and my parents have attended in the last 5 years has been cult related. I still get out with college friends from time to time to maintain my sanity though, thank goodness.