Friday, January 05, 2007

Cult Awareness

More information can be found at Surviving Sahaj Marg

A Checklist on Cults

[From a brochure by Info-Cult, Resource Center on Cultic Thinking, 5655, Park Avenue, Suite 305, Montreal, Quebec H2V 4H2, Tel.: (514) 274-2333, Fax.: (514) 274-7576]
In recent years, there has been marked increase in the number of new religious movements, self-help/human potential groups/courses, alternative lifestyle and neo-political groups. Many of these organizations have been beneficial to their members and/or clients. Others, however, have raised certain questions concerning their recruitment and fundraising practices, treatment of their members, etc.

If you are approached by someone who invites you to participate in a meeting, program, event, etc., the following questions may help prevent you from being recruited by a cult.

These questions work best when asked in a very direct and friendly manner. Be alert to vague responses or a response that ``all your questions will be answered at a later time.''

How long have you been involved?

Are you trying to recruit me into any type of organization?

What is the official name or your organization and does it go under any other names? If so, what are they?

What are your group's beliefs?

Are members allowed to lie in certain situations?

What are members expected to do once they join?

Do I have to quit school or work, donate money and property and/or cut myself off from family and friends who are not in agreement with my being a member?

Is your group considered to be controversial by anyone? If so, what are the main criticisms?

How do you feel about former members of your group?

Does your group allow communication with them and if not, why?

Do you know any people who have left your organization? If so, have you ever spoken to them and found out why they left?

What are the things you like least about the group?

Never give your name and address to someone that you suspect might be involved in a cult.

If the person is a member of a cult you may ask yourself, ``have they replied to my questions honestly?''

If you discover at a later date that they have deceived you, then you should have very serious questions about getting further involved.

Cults: Selected Bibliography

Books: (partial list; * means "not in Info-Cult's bibliography")
Galanter, Marc, editor. 1989. Cults and New Religious Movements: a report of the American Psychiatric Association. Washington, American Psychiatric Association.

Galanter, Marc, 1989. Cults, faith, healing, and coercion. New York Oxford University Press.

Hassan, Steve. 1988. Combating cult mind control. Rochester Vermont, Park Street Press.

Langone, Michael D., editor. 1993. Recovery from cults: help for victims of psychological and spiritual abuse. New York, W.W. Norton & Company.

Martin, Dr. Paul R., 1993. Cult proofing your kids. Grand Rapids, Michigan, Zondervan Publishing House.

Cialdini, Robert B., 1984. Influence: How and Why People Agree to Things 1st ed. New York: Morrow.*

Books Critical of Sahaja Yoga by people who had personal experience with it:

Pullar, Philippa, 1984. The Shortest Journey. Boston: Unwin Paperbacks. ISBN 0-04-291018-8.*
Kakar, Sudhir M.D. 1982. Shamans, Mystics and Doctors: A Psychological Inquiry.*

Marks of a Destructive Cult

[From a leaflet issued by the Cult Awareness Network, before they were transformed into a front for the Church of Scientology.]

Mind Control (undue influence)

[SRCM] Yes mind is control by presure of obeying the master, and following him, master here is decleared as divine, definatly YES

Manipulation by use of coercive persuasion or behavior modification techniques without informed consent

[SRCM] YES adherents are asked not to react or show love

Charismatic Leadership
[SRCM] I don't feel Chari has any charisma but people involved think he has so answer is YES

Claiming divinity or special knowledge and demanding unquestioning obedience with power and privilege. Leadership may consist of one individual or a small core of leaders
[SRCM] Yes master is decleared to be of divine essense.


Recruiting and fundraising with hidden objectives and without full disclosure of the use of mind controlling techniques; use of ``front groups''

[SRCM] YES here front groups are called as perceptors everything is not disclosed that people are expected to pay vist to functions and follow master where-ever he moves.

Secretiveness or vagueness by followers regarding activities and beliefs
[SRCM] YES incase of couples if one is part of SRCM they tend not to discuss SRCM with their spouse, rather they prefer their preceptors to discuss issues.

[SRCM] YES if family is not supporting vist to function people are incouraged to move alone and de-associate from family.

Separation from family, friends and society, a change in values and substitution of the cult as the new ``family;'' evidence of subtle or abrupt personality changes
[SRCM] Effectively YES, there has been many divorces due to SRCM

Can be financial, physical, or psychological; pressure to give money, to spend a great deal on courses or give excessively to special projects and to engage in inappropriate sexual activities, even child abuse
[SRCM] YES finantial loss in travelling, physical loss in staying in a new town alone

Effecting dependence, promoting goals of the group over the individual and approving unethical behavior while claiming goodness
[SRCM] Definatly YES, master is suppose to be the in the heart of adherents and he is the pnly person in his/her life.

Coercive Cult Techniques
[From Larson's book of cults, Bob Larson (1982), pp 411-412, Wheaton, Ill.: Tyndale House Publishers; or Larson's New Book of Cults (1989), pp 16-18]
Loneliness, indecision, despair, and disappointment are the emotional characteristics cult recruiters notice. They approach the unwary with an excessively friendly invitation to a lecture, free meal, weekend workshop, or other activity offering instant solutions to overwhelming problems. Surprisingly enough, few potential cultists bother to inquire about who is extending the offer, what is behind it, and what functions will take place. Vague answers are seldom challenged, leaving the recruiter an unassailable opportunity to obscure his intentions.

Even given the current anticult climate, few targets of the cults see their future as one of involuntary slavery and physical domination. Before joining any exotic sect, one should be aware of what could result: neurosis, psychosis, suicidal tendencies, guilt, identity confusion, paranoia, hallucinations, loss of free will, intellectual sterility, and diminished capacity of judgment. It will be much easier to avoid such consequences by identifying and recognizing the following psychological forms of "cult-coercion."

Absolute Loyalty
[SRCM] YES loyalty is a must

Allegiance to the sect is demanded and enforced by actual or veiled threats to one's body or eternal spiritual condition.
Altered Diet
[SRCM] YES vegiterien is pramoted, no problems with that

Depriving one of essential nutrients and enforcing a low-protein diet can lead to disorientation and emotional susceptibility.
[SRCM] Not sure tried sometimes

Chanting and Meditation

Objective intellectual input is avoided by countering anticult questions with repetitious songs and chants.

Dress, language, names, and interests take on a sameness which erodes individuality.

Doctrinal Confusion
Incomprehensible "truths" are more readily accepted when presented in a complex fashion which encourages rejection of logical thought.
[SRCM]YES, people in SRCM are make mental slaves and are unable to think anything.

Those outside the cult are viewed as spiritually inferior, creating an exclusive attitude of the self-righteous "we" versus "they" mentality.
[SRCM] definatly YES

Financial Involvement
All or part of one's personal assets may be donated to the cult, increasing a vested interest in sticking-with-it and lessening the chance of returning to a former vocation.

Hypnotic States
Inducing a highly susceptible state of mind may be accomplished by chanting, repetitious singing, or meditation.

Isolation from the Outside
Diminished perception of reality results when one is physically separated from friends, society, and the rational frame of reference in which one has previously functioned.

Lack of Privacy
Reflective, critical thinking is impossible in a setting where cult members are seldom left unattended.

Love Bombing
Physical affection given to new people. Physical affection and constant contrived attention can give a false sense of camaraderie.

Long, confusing lectures can be an effective tool if the inductee is bombarded with glib rhetoric and catch phrases.
[SRCM]YES, adherent is suppose to be doing sitting (mental sex) with preceptor atleast once in two weeks

New Relationships
Marriage to another cult member and the destruction of past family relationships integrates one fully into the cult "family."
[SRCM]YES group organisation marriages within the community

Nonsensical Activities
Games and other activities with no apparent purpose leave one dependent upon a group or leader to give direction and order.
[SRCM]YES birthday celebration's are held for all the masters

Pavlovian Control
Behavior modification by alternating reward and punishment leads to confusion and dependency.

Peer Pressure
By exploiting one's desire for acceptance, doubts about cult practices can be overcome by offering a sense of belonging to an affirming community.
[SRCM]YES Preceptors must be obeyed

Sensory Deprivation
Fatigue coupled with prolonged activity can make one vulnerable to otherwise offensive beliefs and suggestions.
[SRCM]YES prolonged meditation and group meditations

Surrendered Privacy
The ego's normal emotional defensive mechanisms can easily be stripped away by having the new member share personal secrets which can later be used for intimidation.
[SRCM]YES absolute surrender to master is must

Unquestioning Submission
Acceptance of cult practices/s achieved by discouraging any questions or natural curiosity which may challenge what the leaders propagate.

Value Rejection
As the recruit becomes more integrated into the cult, he is encouraged to denounce the values and beliefs of his former life.
[SRCM]YES, no more religious beliefs

``When you meet the friendliest people you have ever known, who introduce you to the most loving group of people you've ever encountered, and you find the leader to be the most inspired, caring, compassionate and understanding person you've ever met, and then you learn that the cause of the group is something you never dared hope could be accomplished, and all of this sounds too good to be true, it probably is too good to be true! Don't give up your education, your hopes and ambitions, to follow a rainbow.''

The cult group of India SRCM (Sahaj Marg {tm})

Sahaj Marg Prayer

O Master! Thou art the real goal of human life;
We are yet but slaves of wishes
Putting bar to our advancement.
Thou art the only God and power
To bring us up to that stage.

This prayer is in absolute contradiction to Vedanta, and Hindu philosophy, this cult just uses names of famous people, ONLY to fool and mislead people, for its selfish motive of draining people of their money, and running the business. Prayer if any to be used as per Hindu philosophy, is that of freedom:-

"I have neither death nor fear, I have neither caste nor creed, I have neither father nor mother nor brother, neither friend nor foe, for I am Existence, Knowledge, and Bliss Absolute; I am the Blissful One, I am the Blissful One. I am not bound either by virtue or vice, by happiness or misery. Pilgrimages and books and ceremonials can never bind me. I have neither hunger nor thirst; the body is not mine, nor am I subject to the superstitions and decay that come to the body, I am Existence, Knowledge, and Bliss Absolute; I am the Blissful One, I am the Blissful One."

Ref:- Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Vol-2 Chapter- Jana Yoga, Freedom Of The Soul.

Swami Vivekananda on the other hand, had emphasizes on the need of repeating that we are "absolutely free" and any thought of slavery must be removed immediately, as we must DE-HYPNOTIZE ourselves from this delusion that we are but slaves to our wishes. below i quote Swami Vivekananda

Go on saying, "I am free" Never mind if the next moment delusion comes and says, "I am bound" Dehypnotize the whole thing.
Swami Vivekananda on the other hand, had emphasizes on the need of repeating that we are "absolutely free" and any thought of slavery must be removed immediately, as we must DE-HYPNOTIZE ourselves from this delusion that we are but slaves to our wishes. below i quote Swami Vivekananda

Go on saying, "I am free" Never mind if the next moment delusion comes and says, "I am bound" Dehypnotize the whole thing.

Freedom from Sahaj Marg
Our world from another dimension

Be-aware of Sahaj Marg, Personal Testimonial