Nov 15, 2022

CultNEWS101 Articles: 11/15/2022

UFO Doomsday, Gurus, Conmen, Book, Solar Temple

 "A cult living in an isolated desert commune in Tumacacori/Tubac, AZ near the border has raised alarm over its leaders' UFO doomsday predictions and heavy use of indoctrination, surveillance and control.
  • The 120 members are required to turn over their homes, cars, money, businesses and possessions to the cult leader.
  • Former followers claim they are covering up child sex abuse and that members have died from being denied medical care and being "worked to death."
  • Members are required to work 40-60 hours a week of hard labor for no pay despite old age, illness or physical limitations.
  • Gabriel of Urantia told Dateline he was Martin Luther, King Arthur, and George Washington in previous lives. He claims to be the "Planetary Prince" and that a space alien named.
"The self-appointed Godmen of the twentieth century eschewed asceticism and chose a life of opulence, fanfare & power-politics.
The word 'Guru' that has iterated, notoriously, into 'Goldman' in contemporary India does not find mention in the oldest spiritual texts of the Vedas. The Vedic precept of salvation was exclusively sacrificial in nature and concept, and it wasn't until the age of Vedanta or Upanishads (when the focus shifted to Jnana or knowledge as the pre-requisite of 'moksha' or liberation of the soul from the cycle of re-birth) did the need of a Guru warrant to impart that eclectic knowledge. The Pauranika and Tantrika schools of thought in AD 300 transformed Guruism into an institutional lineage, doctrinally sectarian and with the advent of Sikhism in the 15th century, the institution of Guru was redefined structurally into a religio-military entity of the Godman.

An existential vacuum pervaded the West with the fall of Christianity and the rise of science and rationalistic epistemology, the principle of acquisition of knowledge and unravelling of truth through rational means and empirical evidence. Though scientific materialism paved the way for rapid human advances and technological progress, this philosophy was grossly inadequate in addressing fundamental metaphysical, moral and spiritual questions of mankind. Human beings were reduced to mere machines, cogs in the wheel of profit-making enterprises where psychology replaced spirituality, economics substituted humanness and feelings were reduced to mere biochemical reactions.

Every human activity was commercialised and dehumanised. Naturally, human beings rebelled against such a mechanistic worldview, and it provided a fertile ground for exporting Guruism to the West as an alternative, a new counterculture. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Swami Prabhupada led this spiritual renaissance in the West in the rebellious 1960s, long after Swami Vivekananda delivered his historic sermon at the World Parliament of Religions in Chicago, heralding the resurgence of Hindu mysticism and spirituality. The spiritual quest of man was resuscitated, and these Gurus addressed the imperative of creating a new culture.

In India, renowned as the cradle of spirituality and mysticism, the ancient tradition of the Gurukula system was metamorphosing into Godmen, the 'realised soul', the supreme authority, synchronised with the unitary consciousness of the ultimate reality or Brahman, in the true spirit of monism. The Godman hailing from a non-brahmin caste in the rigid caste hierarchy of India was perceived as a saviour, liberating the faithful from the oppressive class dominance, ostensibly offering them a mediator for their salvation and a wellspring of spiritual nourishment. The rising incomes in the 1980s and 90s and the burgeoning middle class facilitated the mushrooming of the Godmen across the country, catering to all social classes and demographics.

The quantum changes in technology and globalisation, culminating in a socio-economic structure, aggressively competitive, unprecedented and aping the West, resulted in the futility of material pursuits and meaninglessness of life, drawing hordes of people into the asylums of the Godman, who proffered to instil meaning, reinstate purpose and restore identity in the lives of the lost. For the Indian masses, total obeisance to the Godman was merely an extension of the subservience to the patriarchal social system, dominated by a mostly male chauvinistic father in every family, urban or rural.

Unlike in the ancient and medieval periods, where a Guru or a Godman was regarded as an epitome of wisdom and a finite reflection of the infinite divine self, the self-appointed Godmen of the latter half of the twentieth century eschewed asceticism and life-long commitment to a life of detachment from worldly pleasures, ironically chose a life of opulence, fanfare and power-politics. The nobility of mission and purity of purpose, witnessed by great spiritual leaders like Ramakrishna Paramahansa, Mahatma Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore and Paramahansa Yogananda made India the finest exemplar of spirituality, was ruefully and irretrievably lost in the pursuit of wealth and power of the modern-day Indian Godmen. Equipped with dubious and limited knowledge, by manipulating and misinterpreting the exhaustive collection of ancient spiritual texts, these con artists have betrayed and corrupted a gullible public.

The elite character of socio-economic development through decades post-independence, a non-inclusive growth model that alienated millions of poor Indians from economic participation and prosperity, was also instrumental in mushrooming of Godmen in the country. A quintessential case is Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, a rape convict and his Dera Sacha Sauda religious cult, whose charitable trusts provided free food and education to millions of its followers. The underprivileged Sikhs who had converted from Hinduism, escaping oppression and ostracism from their lower caste status, realised that class division is deeply entrenched in Sikhism, too. However, its cardinal message is equality.

Where the state administration failed in dispensing its basic duties towards its citizens, a charlatan succeeded in restoring social peace and, true to the Needs Hierarchy Theory of Abraham Maslow, instilling in the masses their paramount need for self-esteem. The security of livelihood offered by the cult drew millions of loyal disciples, mostly youth from Punjab and Haryana. Violent protests marked the day of Ram Rahim's sentencing to life imprisonment for raping a minor girl, resulting in arson, vandalising, vehicles set ablaze, train carriages wrecked, and roads blocked, killing 30 people and paralysing life in large swathes of Northern India.

Most of these acclaimed Godmen have been convicted of murder, rape, sexual assault and running prostitution rackets in recent years after numerous allegations of sexual orgies and excesses perpetrated in their precincts. Asaram Bapu, Swami Bhimanand, Sant Rampal, Swami Premananda, Santhosh Madhavan, and Swami Sadachari are a few prominent ones, among other scoundrels, who are implicated and currently serving prison sentences, for their various acts of felony, from murder, rape, sexual abuse, financial fraud, cheating and misappropriation. While for a discerning mind, these self-imposed Godmen are just deft tacticians capitalising on human vulnerabilities and insecurities, for their adherents and disciples, they are inviolable, and all allegations are mere propaganda. Convictions and incarcerations are not persuasive enough to label their idols as criminals, and nothing offers a better case study on the cognitive bias known as Confirmation Bias as the resolute clan of the Godmen.

The most entertaining and comical of the lot is Swami Nithyananda, currently a fugitive, wanted by Interpol for allegations of kidnapping and confinement of children to collect donations for his hermitage in Ahmedabad. A consummate conman, who had sold his critical faculties and reason to the Devil, has established a sovereign nation for dispossessed Hindus on an island he bought from Ecuador near Trinidad and Tobago. This nation, named 'Kailasa', has its cabinet ministers and a Prime Minister! While it is conceivable that one could lose his mind, patronising a lunatic by a frenzied crowd defies all logic.

Sadhguru, aka Jaggi Vasudev, who has been accorded the second-highest civilian award, Padma Vibhushan, is a master of pseudo-science. Under the garb of rational discourse, chaste English-speaking skills and ecumenism, his forays into science commentaries on Higgs Boson, evolutionary biology, the relationship between eclipses, cooked food and body chemistry. His prescription of proprietary Shambhavi Mahamudra Yoga and its positive correlation with neuronal brain regeneration and similar absurdities are highly unscientific, fallacious and ridiculous. The political patronage of these conmen for vote-bank is equally objectionable, which offers legitimacy to their irrational, unethical and immoral practices.

Behind the deceptive mask of India's socio-economic advancement and scientific establishments, ushering in the digital and space age, lies a vast majority of the population, from the elitist to the ignorant, who are equally vulnerable and obsessed with myths and legends. Most are believers in superstitions and fairy tales and, invariably, credulous patrons of religious obscurantism and magic. Their intellectual and rational faculties cannot delineate fact and fiction. They look deep into the past to create a future. It seems that India's science education is not scientific enough to permeate a pan-Indian scientific temper."

November 18th is recognized as International Cult Awareness Day 

"The Order of the Solar Temple (French: Ordre du Temple solaire, OTS) and the International Chivalric Organization of the Solar Tradition, or simply The Solar Temple, is a cult and religious sect that claims to be based upon the ideals of the Knights Templar. OTS was founded by Joseph di Mambro and Luc Jouret in 1984 in Geneva, as l'Ordre International Chevaleresque de Tradition Solaire (OICTS), and later it was renamed Ordre du Temple Solaire. It is associated with a series of murders and mass suicides that claimed several dozen lives in France, Switzerland, and Canada in 1994 and 1995.

Some historians allege that the Solar Temple was founded by the French author Jacques Breyer, who established a Sovereign Order of the Solar Temple in 1952. In 1968, a schismatic order was renamed the Renewed Order of the Solar Temple (ROTS) under the leadership of the French right-wing political activist Julien Origas."

" … In October 1994, Tony Dutoit's infant son (Emmanuel Dutoit), aged three months, was killed at the group's centre in Morin-Heights, Quebec. The baby had been stabbed repeatedly with a wooden stake. It is believed that Di Mambro ordered the murder, because he identified the baby as the Antichrist described in the Bible. He believed that the Antichrist was born into the order to prevent Di Mambro from succeeding in his spiritual aim.

Some time afterwards, Di Mambro and twelve followers performed a ritual Last Supper. Subsequently, apparent mass suicides and murders were conducted at Cheiry and Salvan, two villages in Western Switzerland, and at Morin Heights—15 inner circle members committed suicide with poison, 30 were killed by bullets or smothering, and 8 others were killed by other means. In Switzerland, many of the victims were found in a secret underground chapel lined with mirrors and other items of Templar symbolism. The bodies were dressed in the order's ceremonial robes and were in a circle, feet together, heads outward, most with plastic bags tied over their heads; they had each been shot in the head. The plastic bags may have been a symbol of the ecological disaster that would befall the human race after the OTS members moved on to Sirius; it's also possible that these bags were used as part of the OTS rituals, and that members would have voluntarily worn them without being placed under duress. There was also evidence that many of the victims in Switzerland were drugged before they were shot. Other victims were found in three ski chalets; several dead children were lying together. The tragedy was discovered when officers rushed to the sites to fight the fires that had been ignited by remote-control devices. Farewell letters left by the believers stated that they believed they were leaving to escape the "hypocrisies and oppression of this world."

A mayor, a journalist, a civil servant, and a sales manager were found among the dead in Switzerland. Records seized by the Quebec police showed that some members had personally donated over C$1 million to Di Mambro. Another attempted mass suicide of the remaining members was thwarted in the late 1990s.[citation needed] All the suicide/murders and attempts occurred around the dates of the equinoxes and solstices in some relation to the beliefs of the group.

Another mass-death incident related to the OTS took place during the night between the 15 and 16 December 1995. On 23 December 1995, 16 bodies were discovered in a star-formation in the Vercors mountains of France. It was found later that two of them shot the others and then committed suicide by firearm and immolation. One of the dead included Olympian Edith Bonlieu, who had competed in the women's downhill at the 1956 Winter Olympics.

On the morning of 23 March 1997, five members of the OTS took their own lives in Saint-Casimir, Quebec. A small house erupted in flames, leaving behind five charred bodies for the police to pull from the rubble. Three teenagers, aged 13, 14 and 16, the children of one of the couples that died in the fire, were discovered in a shed behind the house, alive but heavily drugged.

Michel Tabachnik, an internationally renowned Swiss musician and conductor, was arrested as a leader of the Solar Temple in the late 1990s. He was indicted for "participation in a criminal organization" and murder. He came to trial in Grenoble, France, during the spring of 2001 and was acquitted. French prosecutors appealed against the verdict and an appellate court ordered a second trial beginning 24 October 2006. He was again cleared less than two months later in December 2006."

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