Sep 16, 2019

CultNEWS101 Articles: 9/16/2019

EnlightenNext Andrew Cohen, Faith Healing, Sri Lanka, Bikram Yoga, Sexual Abuse, Legal,  Baba Ramdev, Ayurveda   

"One of EnlightenNext’s members was Luna Torlo, Cohen’s mother. At first, she was enthused about her son’s mystical awakening – but their relationship soured as he grew dictatorial, and ultimately she fled the cult and broke off contact with him:

She recalls him lashing out at his disciples—supposedly in an attempt to strip away the ego. Torlo says he told her to give way to him or their relationship would end; he once ordered a regimen where she would cook one meal a day, meditate for two hours, and remain in silence except for talking to him, saying that “since I was so full of opinions and nothing but opinions, I was absolutely forbidden to express an opinion on anything.”

Her son, formerly the “sweetest, sensitive kid, had changed into an unrecognizable tyrant.” (source)

However, unlike many cults, EnlightenNext didn’t preach rejection of modernity, and its members weren’t cut off from the outside world. This proved to be their downfall.

In 2013, a group of disaffected ex-members began to expose Cohen’s abuse and brainwashing tactics on internet forums. Word spread, and within the space of a few weeks, it was as if a spell was broken. More and more people were quitting, and the movement began to disintegrate. And then, surprisingly, Cohen himself admitted that the critics were right. He announced that he was stepping down, ceasing all public teaching and going on a soul-searching pilgrimage.

He later wrote in an public apology:

I gradually lost sight of people’s humanity, including my own, and only saw all of us as the living Self Aware consciousness that, in an evolutionary context, was going somewhere. And that was all that I believed was important or really mattered… As I was losing touch with my own simple humanity and everyone else’s, I also was simultaneously not paying attention to the gradual growing of my spiritual ambition, of my spiritual ego. I believe that my intense longing for the evolution of consciousness in my students was real, but I have begun to see more and more clearly how over time my pride and my desire for fame and recognition slowly but surely began to blur and corrupt my vision."

"Two people died from heat exhaustion after attending a mass open air faith healing session in northeast Sri Lanka which left 13 others fighting for their lives, police said Sunday (Sep 8).

About 10,000 people, some of whom were seriously ill, had gathered at a school to listen to a man who claimed he could use "powers of the gods and the Buddha" to cure the sick.

Police in the town of Horowupotana, 260 kilometres north-east of Colombo said 18 people were taken to hospital, with 13 in a critical condition."

"Over the past two years, the #MeToo movement has exposed countless terrible men guilty of sexual harassment and assault, but Bikram Choudhury has yet to face his comeuppance. A searing new documentary from Netflix on the “hot yoga” founder lays it all out in a blunt title: “Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator.” It doesn’t bring much new information to the table, but it’s an infuriating look at the way Choudhury seduced thousands of followers with his yoga franchise, while raping and assaulting innumerable women, and how he managed — so far — to get away with it. Choudry belongs in jail, and this frustrating overview provides the latest opportunity to keep that conversation in the public eye."

"India’s company court approved a bid by a group of firms controlled by yoga guru Baba Ramdev to take over cooking oil and soya-products maker Ruchi Soya Industries Ltd. for 43.5 billion rupees ($606 million).

Patanjali Consortium Adhigrahan Pvt. -- a venture by Patanjali Ayurved Ltd. and three other companies -- will merge with Ruchi Soya, according to a stock exchange filing late Saturday. Shareholders of Patanjali Consortium will get one share of Ruchi Soya for each that they hold in the former."

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