In the last 100 years many spiritual organizations, their leaders, staff and Gurus have been accused of abuse and other crimes against humanity. Let's understand what can be done to prevent it.
Every now and then you see some spiritual organizations, their leaders, staff and Guru or Gurus being accused of sexual abuse, molestation, rapes, murder, child abuse, financial crimes and the list of charges is very long. Many of these accusations are legally proved to be true while many can't be proved. Only the sufferer knows the truth if there is one. Yet there are many organizations and Gurus who do not come under the scrutiny, do not make the news and crime perpetuate silently on the name of spirituality and no legal action is ever taken and no justice is ever delivered. As a result, people & their lives are scarred forever. Many people end up in serious life-long therapies afterwards. Who is to blame?
It has always been a trend that young generation's misfit, neglected, rejected, abandoned, sufferers and lost ones find acceptance & belonging in spiritual groups. Yes, it is a bitter truth and there is nothing right or wrong about it. It's just the way it is. And these people at times are running and managing the show. Spiritual communities appear to be broad-minded and accepting so they grow in leaps & bounds. Once such people find their belonging they are in submission psychologically. But how far this submission should go? How deep should it be? Where should you draw a line? Many people when do not find the relief, the solution to their problem or answers to their questions anywhere else then they turn to Spiritual Gurus. Such people have lost faith in doctors, psychiatrist, religion, family, society and everything else. They have lived in a dark tunnel for too long and are looking for a silver lining. They are on the edge of either making it or breaking it. They are on the verge of losing all. They are ready to put everything on the stake. Really? Define & Know "your" Everything! Pain & Suffering can make you lose your brain, but please do not sell or trade your Body & Human Rights for that.
Now, it's not that spiritual community basket has all sour or nearly bad apples, no. Most kindhearted, loving, vibrant with life and joy, compassionate people are also found in here only and that's what rest of the people are attracted towards.
Organization is an Organization
The first thing to understand is that when you go to a Spiritual or Yoga Guru you are not only making a contact with the Guru, you are actually entering an Organization. Understand that there is "no difference" in a worldly organization and spiritual organization because both are being run not just by the #Guru/#Leader, but by many other people, despite the fact that Vision for Worldly organization is Profit maximization while Vision for Spiritual organization is Well-Being maximization. Both type of organizations have normal people. People who are under the influence; under the influence of their Vasanas (#ChittaVritti, Sanskaras, Past Impressions, Unconscious Behavioral Patterns).
These people who are running and managing the organization; from time to time will be under the control of any & many of their Vasanas like Anger, Jealousy, Sadness, Attachment, Favouritism, Discrimination, Hatred, Lust, Primitive Carnal Desires, Greed for Love, Attention, Power, Money, Relationships, Importance, Being Valuable, Martyrdom and the list is a kilometer long. They are wearing Mask of #Ego and the Mask may change every hour, every moment without any notice or alarm.
Also, you are like them too. Under the influence of your Vasanas. Being driven and controlled by your Vasanas, Pain & Suffering. You also change the Mask of your Ego too often. You are suffering your #Vasanas and you are looking for a solution. You want answers to your questions. You want to find God. You want to find yourself. Or you may have some other agenda or motive. There is nothing wrong about your quest. But never forget who and what is around you.
Escape from reality is not a solution! Ignorance is not bliss!
Now you may wonder why can't #spiritual #organizations be run and lead by "better" or "improved" or "evolved" people. How can the Guru let such unsolved mysteries, unevolved people be in his/her organization?
I say - Where are those people? In which dimension?
Let's stop kidding! There is no dream world, Shambhala or La La Land!
Everyone here is evolving including yourself, no one is a finished product yet!
God, Goddesses, Angles, Fairies are not coming to help set up and run an organisation to guide & help humanity.
Does that mean you just tolerate and do nothing?
Anything out of ordinary must be reported to the Guru. But wait! Not your childish fights and he said this and she said that kind of stuff. I am talking about anything that is against your human rights. Know your human-rights first. Know what is acceptable and not acceptable in a particular country, culture and social setup.
Worldly organisations have the Human Resource department to keep the activities, behaviours of staff under scrutiny to an extent and to address the complaints filed by employees and clients. Spiritual Organisations do not have such a department which reviews everything from time to time. Ideally, there should be something like that. If nothing or no one is there then please speak up and go to the Guru and make sure your "violation of human rights complaint" is being heard and addressed. And If Guru is involved and a crime has happened or is happening, please find safety first, secure yourself first and then report it to legal authorities.
Please do not make an issue about anything or everything. Here we are focusing on Abuse of different kinds and crimes. Please do not make a huge hue and cry about the high price of products & services of spiritual organizations as many of them are involved in Human Welfare, Environment Welfare and other public benevolence work too. And if you think they are trying to become Rich, then please understand that there is nothing wrong about being rich, wealthy, healthy and have abundance in every way. Those who have empty plate cannot share or give you anything.
Spirituality and Poverty are not synonyms. If you have a problem with abundance then there are many free places, free schools and books and in fact a whole lot of wisdom floating around for free. You are living, breathing and surrounded by the same energy, Shakti that you want Guru to Awaken into you. The Gurus or heads of Spiritual Organisations never made it to the list of worlds richest people. Spiritual Organisations never made it to Fortune 500. Hence give what you can without feeling any pressure.
You spend on houses, cars, electronic gadgets and lots of other things that you are not going to take with you after you leave your body. You want to buy lifetime insurances and lifetime warranty for everything, without even knowing "your lifetime". You need to understand that the Transformation that will happen to you through the wisdom/education received by spiritual Gurus and such organizations is the "only" thing other than "yourself" that you will be carrying after death. It not only increases the overall quality of your present life but also "the eternal life" that you are. So what kind of a deal it is, you need to understand that first.
Always remember, You can Awaken Yourself! You can ignite your own Shakti (Kundalini). You can awaken your Trikuti (Guru Chakra) yourself. You can evolve by yourself to an extent. You can find all the solutions yourself. You can find answers to all the questions by yourself. You can Heal Yourself. You can deal with yourself. I am not undermining the need for a Guru. But do not undermine yourself either.
Last but not the least, know that "you can leave any spiritual organization or Guru" at any time at your will. You do not have to stay or stick around if you are not OK if you are not comfortable if you sense or perceive deceptive, harmful practices. No need to be guilty of leaving a Guru or a spiritual organization. Your commitment is towards the life that you are if anything or anyone harms that please leave it.
While you are leaving an Ashram, Spiritual Organization or Guru, please make sure you take your Kids with you. Do not leave your responsibility on someone else's shoulder. An Ashram is not a place to abandon your kids. Either stay there with them at all times or take them with you. There are so many spiritual organizations where young children were abused physically, mentally, emotionally, sexually, in every possible way because their parents left them there because in one way or other their parents abandoned them. It's different to leave your child in the boarding school or orphanage setup than leaving them in the spiritual organization which is being run by unevolved people who are dealing with people on the verge, on the edge. Such places are not for kids and do not have any setup for children. Do not think that in the form of a Male or Female Guru you have found the ultimate Father or Mother for your kid. Also, please do not use your children as a ticket to heaven either. There is never a bigger crime than that. It is actually called flesh trade and/or human/child trafficking.
Be aware at all times that you are dealing with the organisation and normal worldly people and the Guru may or may not aware of what is going on in the organisation, but that doesn't mean he/she is any less responsible. And if Guru is the culprit then hurry up, run away, make yourself safe first and then speak up, report the crime. Putting it anonymously on the Internet might help, but please be very sure of what you are doing and that it is the Truth. It shouldn't be a personal grudge due to any reason. It shouldn't be an intentional defamation because Guru denied to help you, sleep with you, do magic for you, give you powers, make you win election or lottery or deal or court case or ticket to heaven, heal your cancer or psychosis or take your donation and whatever else. Yes, many of you can't handle the "NO" by a Guru. So follow the thumb-rule of Karma. What goes around, comes around. What you are doing today will come back to you manifold. So decide whether you want a flower shower or you want to be haunted by your own Karma.
You have to keep yourself safe and secure not just from the Spiritual Organization and Fake Gurus, but also from the Karma!
Reporting crime, reporting deceptive practices, reporting illegal acts are GOOD KARMA!
There are two types of Gurus. Those who are Self-Realized (also known as Sadh Guru, Cosmic Guru, Adiguru) and those who are not. Guru's Name or Title is NOT an indication of the Self-Realization. Out of devotion, respect and/or lineage they can be given numerous titles. Addition of a title like "Sri" or "Sadh" or "Adi" or "Anadi" or "Param" or "Honorable" etc once or more than once in front of their name is also not an indication of their Self-Realization. Their nature, behaviour, saintly-ness, godly-ness is also not an indication of that.
Then how will you know whether your Guru is Self-Realized or not?
Well, there is no scientific or provable way for you to find that out. It's like trying to figure out the diamond in a heap of glass and other stones. For that "you also need to be a diamond". Means if you can "Recognize what True Self is", then you can Recognize who is Self-Realized. But because you cannot at this point hence know that "this doesn't matter as of now". Your human-rights, your safety is much more important.
Your vulnerabilities should NOT be exploited and that is what matters. Now there could be myriad definitions of vulnerability and exploitation. You are the "best decision maker" for yourself. Understand that even if a Guru is Self-Realized and harmless, his/her Organisation and all the other people in it are not. So you must do your homework about the Guru and about the Spiritual/Yoga organization.
There is a good enough book that you can read - The Guru Drinks Bourbon? I am just suggesting this book as a reference, please do not take it as an ultimate truth for everything. You are free to use your brain, find some other books, websites, sources, word-of-mouth information and do your own homework. You might want to ask a Guru directly. But asking is not going to work, because most Gurus who have had "Breached Enlightenment" (Broken Nirvikalpa Samadhi) they also think that their spiritual journey is over and due to several reasons they want to play Guru and they do not want to admit that their journey is not complete yet. So, most Gurus will make you believe that the state they are in is the "last state, highest possible state" to achieve in Human Body. Some Guru's may even get annoyed by your questioning because it hurts their ego. How dare you doubt their Realization :-) But you can ask. And whatever is the answer you can decide for yourself accordingly.
Self-Realized Guru has gone far away from his/her own physical body. Such a Guru does not want you to touch his/her body for any reason. Yet many of you want to do that for your own mental & emotional satisfaction. Whatever needs to be transmitted, Shakti or Wisdom or Healing; a Self-Realized Guru can transmit without touching, hearing, and even seeing you. Yes, they have transcended Gross, Subtle and Causal boundaries. And they can achieve anything without using any of their senses and/or physical body. You cannot absorb more Shakti, more Wisdom, more Healing by touching their physical body. You often want to show Love, Devotion, Respect by touching their feet or holding their hand or having their hand blessing you on your head or by hugging them. Truth is, the moment devotion or respect arises in your heart they know it and you are blessed, healed right away. You are given what you need and what you can receive before even you show or ask.
So you can very well control yourself and refrain from physical touch and maintain distance.
Other Gurus (Not Self-Realized - 99.99% of Guru population) have not yet distanced from their body, their mind, their emotions and have not fried all their Vasanas in the Fire of Shakti. They are still evolving like you. From time to time they could behave under the influence of their Vasanas. So be mindful of that.
Display of emotions and Being Controlled by Vasanas are "two different" things.
Sometimes as an evolving human you want to be hugged, patted, consoled, assured and many times you are looking for an "emotional fulfilment" from the Guru, an "emotional belonging & acceptance" to the Guru, or the leaders or the staff members of the organization. And it is OK. Do not worry about whether your Guru is Self-Realized or not or that the people around you are unevolved. Just keep your common-sense intact. Do not forget most of us were taught "good touch and bad touch" at school. If you don't know what that is, please educate yourself.
It's not that only a Self-Realized one has the right to be a Guru and is the only right Guru.
Anything and everything in this universe can be a Guru or Guide for you when you are ready. Merely a hit by the Ray of Sun, or a Pebble can put you in Samadhi if you are ready if you are intense enough. It's just that Self-Realized Gurus are free of Vasanas, they are not driven or controlled by their Vasanas, hence in comparison to other Gurus; they are harmless. You might be the most beautiful person but they do not want your body; its nothing more than the dirt that grows the food that you eat and accumulate your body. You might be the richest person on earth but you cannot buy them or their abilities to cause harm to anyone or anything.
They live by the Universal Laws of Karma and can deny any request from you. They are the embodiment of Love, and at times love is showered by keeping you away, or not fulfilling your request.
Your Mother and Father did not give you everything you asked for. As a toddler many of you wanted to play with fire and could have burnt yourself, many of you wanted to play with kitchen knives only to cut yourself. So not all of your requests will be considered by Self-Realized Gurus. Their NO is equally good. Accept it.
Self Realized Gurus are only 0.01% or even less, in the population of Gurus. They are rare. Means harmless ones are rare. Their harmlessness should not be treated as a permission slip by you that allows you to be malicious or evil-intentioned. The wrath of Self-Realized Gurus can cross all dimensions and shatter your existence beyond imagination. I am not scaring you here, I am just telling you not to take the kindness, love & compassion of such Gurus for granted. It won't take a moment for them to turn into Bhairava or Maha Kali. They are the true expression of divine cosmos in every moment as needed. Compassion & forgiveness can be delivered through punishment for your Karma as well.
Now because Self-Realized Gurus are rare; you are with the Gurus who themselves are evolving, so keep your eyes & ears open, make sure you are not being exploited and live with your common-sense intact. The way you normally live in this world. And if you have found a harmless Guru, still keep your common sense intact because his/her spiritual organisation is made up of evolving people. So Self-Realized Gurus may have some harmful people around about whom the Guru may not be aware of. Or he/she may be aware but might not be in a situation to just expel that person right away or something else might be there which is hard for you to understand.
Nothing is an excuse for you for not having your common sense to be able to distinguish between unjust/crime/illegal or something normal, even if it is happening with someone around you and not directly to you. Do not close your eyes and deny it because it's not happening to you. Regardless of what you went there for or what you did or did not learn, at least "keep your Karma clean".
Know that playing Robin-Hood for needy ones and good deeds by Don, Mafia, Criminals are a way to justify their bad deeds and “wrong/bad intentions” in the first place. So you may be their beneficiary and not the victim, but that doesn't mean you can keep quiet. If you do it is bad karma and adharma.
Why do you want to go to a Spiritual Organisation?
Why do you want to find a Guru?
Why do you want to leave your home and live in an Ashram or Monastery?
Why do you want to give your body, money, energy and everything to a Spiritual Guru?
Why do you secretly wish and fantasize to sleep with your Guru?
Why do you want to seduce your Guru?
What hidden motives or agendas you have in mind that you want to fulfil in a Spiritual Organization?
Are you running away from life, family, relationships, society, yourself?
What is the meaning of spirituality for you?
Are you looking for Moksha/Liberation/Nirvana or are you after Love, Bliss, Joy, Wisdom, Powers/Siddhis, Occult practices, Money, Sex, some Fanaticism etc?
Are you trying to trade your youth, beauty, wealth, authority or that what you have?
Are you looking for a friend and/or emotional fulfilment?
Is the Guru you are after is your past/lost love?
Is the Guru you are after is the past enemy that you want to settle the score with? (Yes, Human Gurus have/had humans like Vasanas driven entangled life)
Are you looking for a suitable, perhaps evolved/awakened life-partner, soul-mate, bed-mate in the spiritual organization?
Are you sent by someone to "infiltrate" the organization/spiritual group?
Are you sent by someone to spy on and carry on a covert espionage operation because the Guru or organization denied "helping" you/your Master/Owner for illicit gains?
Are you chasing or hunting someone or something?
We can go on and on here making a list of all the "motives" that people have when they go to a Guru and/or a Spiritual Organisation. The point is "look within" and be very sure about "why" you are doing what you are doing. Don't cover up the truth within. At least do not lie to yourself.
Whatever is your motive, know that you are a Human Being and you should be treated like one and you should treat others similarly. If you give away your rights, yourself willingly then what can be done? Today you might give willingly and tomorrow it might look like a crime to you because your purpose is solved. So just see what are you up to.
Stop deceiving yourself.
There are many outside factors you cannot close your eyes to, whether you are in a worldly organization or spiritual. Whenever an organization grows substantially and have resources of all types then comes "big sharks". They could be business people, politicians, rivals from within the country or outside. Their main agenda is to get hooked to the spiritual organization, to siphon resources like money, humans for drugs, illegal trade or whatever for personal greed/gains. A lot of companies provide training to their employees regarding how to keep your client information safe, what to do if your laptop or phone is compromised, what to do if a Media person reaches out to you, what to do if someone takes away something valuable from you that belongs to the company, so a lot of security measures are taught. WHY? To minimize, counteract Corporate Espionage. Everyone is asked to keep their eyes and ears open. Corporate usually operates from fixed buildings and offices hence having camera-based security helps, but for a spiritual organization, this may not be possible.
From time to time many "Drug Dealers", "Occult Practitioners", "Money Launderers", "Smugglers", "Frauds", "Pedophiles", "HIV positive sex maniacs", "Past Criminals", "Religious Fanatics", "Political Leaders", "Beauty Queens/Peasants", "Spoiled Brats", "Mafias" and all such people join the Spiritual Organization, comes to the Guru, pretends to be a really devoted students/disciple only to have access to a huge mass/group of people to "carry-on" their illicit activities.
They either do that by themselves or they may have a God-Father, God-Mother behind to support them. If and when they are caught doing what they came to do, the image of the organization, the Guru is tarnished and the organization pays a heavy penalty for something that they haven't done, and have learnt about just now. Should we do background check before letting anyone become spiritual student? Should we deny education about life to those who genuinely need it? Some such people really may be genuine ones. From time to time for defamation purpose Spiritual Organizations and Gurus are targeted. Using advanced technological skills videos/photos can be morphed, any grade/level of rumour or conspiracy can be planted & executed and truth can be completely butchered and distorted. Why is defamation done? So people lose trust on their the targeted Guru and organization. Because that Guru and his/her organization are growing uncontrollably and such a huge mass of people is a power in its own right and can challenge anything/anyone, hence "is feared" by Politicians, Businesses, Sharks. Hence they want to stop it, break it by any means possible.
Shakyamuni Buddha was accused of raping, murdering Amrapali and hiding her body behind his hut in the Ashram, by business tycoons of those times to stop their young daughters and sons from joining the Monasteries. Buddha was again accused by a lady who pretended to be pregnant but was hiding a pillow on her belly, saying that Buddha raped her and is the father of her child. But ran and fainted when pillow dropped down and entire Ashram students stood up to beat her. Buddha stopped them. These are just some allegations. But since time immemorial Spiritual Gurus have had to bear death-threats and life-threatening attacks on them too. Jesus was crucified. Krishna was cursed and died an ordinary death. Meera, Osho, Socrates were poisoned. Why?
They speak the Truth. They live the Truth. They do not bow down to what is illegal or wrong or money or beauty or someone's greed. And they are raising awareness in masses. They are awakening a large group of people. They are trying to open your eyes towards your well-being and that means many industries which survives on your physical, mental, emotional sickness will be in losses. Hence business tycoons/sharks, politicians become fearful and want to stop anyone who tries to increase the consciousness/awareness & well-being.
So when you join a Spiritual Group or Organization please manage your interaction with fellow students mindfully. Because he/she may not be a "genuine" student especially if they want to involve you into sex, money, illicit activities, drugs, illegal trade or information exchange for money, planting rumours, covert operations, propaganda, illicit relationship, triangle-affairs etc.
Also such fake students might appear to be very kind, loving, supporting and knowledgeable at first. Be mindful of the fellow students/disciples around you. Like you are in your college or university. Because all such illegal elements exist there too. The young generation is an easy target for all illicit stuff. But still not everyone is trapped by them, not everyone is victimized by them. Who can't be victimised by them easily? The one who is Mentally and Emotionally Strong. The one who keeps her/his eyes and ears open and goes to college only to study. If your motive is straight, no one can fool you. By joining the spiritual organization do not let your guard of common sense down to the extent that such people can cause espionage or covert operations using your vulnerabilities.
Keep yourself safe! Because you may quit, leave the spiritual organization or a Guru and an organization or Guru can pay the fines/penalties or prosecution, their tarnished image can still be managed, but such illicit elements may not leave you alone. So be Strong! Speak up in the "first instance/incident". And all this is true not just when you are in Spiritual Organization, this is very much true when you are in College/University, or an Employee of a Bank or Financial Institution or Government or Military etc.
Now to combat espionage and to keep an eye on every small activity or an action by disciples/student, the spiritual organizations cannot "militarise" it's operations. It cannot scan everyone and everything. That would compromise the sanctity of the whole atmosphere and will not be helpful in anyone's spiritual growth.
Hence, be mindful, thoughtful and tactful not just about your own intentions, speech and actions but of others around you as well.
This is not complete information by any means. It doesn't contain all the possible dangers that could be out there. We will have to write a multi-volume manual if we want to keep everyone safe from every possible harm by any organisation in any country, culture or social setup.
This article is just a humble attempt to address the biggest fear of those parents whose young ones have left home in search of a Guru far away from home. It is an attempt to recognize the pain-points of those who have suffered the abuse in the past through a Spiritual Organization's staff, leader(s) or Guru(s), because no other Gurus and/or Spiritual Organizations ever want to talk about all this. It is an attempt to recognize the agony of those who were or are in therapy for years due to abuse.
If you would like to help "add more or refine" this article please feel free to email me and know that you can stay completely "anonymous" and you do not have to name the Guru and/or Organization either. Because me or my organization are not a legal authority for such matters, hence that information is not needed. I am just attempting to keep people informed and you can help.