Matt23

Shunyamurti... cult?... probs: Reviews

165 posts in this topic

@Shunyata I invite all to question me. That is fine and necessary. I am not saying I am above all but is not about me. 

 I am saying that this guru has made go of red bulbs in me and I reflected on this. I came up with what I said in my entering thread. You can search for an agenda from my side. But what sense does it make?  I am not looking for followers not any acknowledgments. It is from my heart to those who might benefit from my experience and reflection. I experienced abuse of this kind and I became suicidal because of what happened. I hope my message helps those who might me suscetible to such kind of manipulation. I also want to prevent people bying into fearful images.

thats it.

 

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According to the posts linked to at the beginning of this thread, Shunyamurti actually uses the word “apocalpyse”  a total of one time at about 42.11 of the below video.  He talks about the negative forces building and leading to destruction, which is a hidden blessing because it results in a world where the “I am” is dominant.  The video was a year ago, and his message seems to be consistent.

The genius physicist Stephen Hawkings came to the same conclusion using rational analysis and empirical evidence.

“Hawking's rationale was that humankind would eventually fall victim to an extinction-level catastrophe  perhaps sooner rather than later. What worried him were so-called low-probability, high impact events - a large asteroid striking our planet is the classic example. But Hawking perceived a host of other potential threats: artificial intelligence, climate change, GM viruses and nuclear war to name a few.”


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WzFxUrAJQz0

https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-43408961


Vincit omnia Veritas.

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Leo said "Ain't no apocalypse coming. And if it is, you're fucked anyway"

I have just listened to a few of Shunyamurti's messages and am very impressed, not because I think there is an apocalypse coming, I actually never, so far,  heard him say that, and would be interested if substantive quotes can be given to that effect. What impresses me is his willingness to acknowledge the extremity of our ecological situation. A situation which he further acknowledges is based upon a society  of egomaniacs,  some with enormous military and economic power. This is simply reality and while the pope and Dalai Lama are willing to face the problem, most ultra spiritual messengers are not and focus all teachings on individual transcendence( enlightenment, happiness...) . Russel Brand also, while deeply spiritual engages with the reality of the direction of the larger culture, as do many scientists, artists, permaculturists, and even economists. 
   The apocalypse is already here for many as it falls from the sky in the form of bombs, as it kills off half the species on earth with toxic materials and global warming, as pandemics circulate in a globalized world. Humans are in need of  communities of spiritual and physical  health and ecological sanity. How many leaders have  building that kind of model as a practical goal ?  Is it possible that many spiritual people are simply seeking escape in experiences, money, etc. Too much chanting and breathing and not enough growing healthy food or working for peace.
    The thing about what is happening that allows the possibility of avoiding apocalypse is the resilience of the earth. But we need to protect her with prayers, spiritual discipline and actions.

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In one post Leo said something like ' spirituality requires a peaceful stable society'. When another commenter questioned the existence of such a thing, he said' you are living in one'.  I would say the facts are against him on both counts. as to living in one, America is still, as Martin King said ' the greatest purveyor of violence on earth'. We live on stolen land and still refuse to honor our treaties with the indigenous people who lived here for thousands of years. Our wars and use of fossil fuels has destabilized the planet and caused massive destruction. So far chanting and kundalini experiences and prayers have not stopped the wars, or the building of nuclear weapons, or global warming, and has not housed the millions of refugees, despite many assurances that all of that would naturally happen as rich people got enlightened. 
   As to the requirement for stable societies. I beg to differ. The teachings of Jesus emerged under the cruelty of Roman occupation, Black Elk, Chief Seattle, Handsome Lake and Wovoka spoke great wisdom and showed courage and spiritual depth after and during the destruction of their culture, The Tibetan Buddhists were murdered and tortured in large number  and driven from their monasteries only to move to Nepal, continue their devotion, rebuild   and reach an ever larger audience.  
   The center is not the inner transformation of the individual. There is no center. We really are all part of the same whole. And that whole is looking for us in a million practical and wonderfully impractical ways. Loving communication within that whole is the life force that gives it a meaningful totality of being. But when an individual fills his house with carbon monoxide, and there is no escape for the gas, that individual will die. So it is with our planetary home. If we do to evolve the wherewithal to turn off the gas, and open the plant windows to let it back into mother earths carbon storage system, and if we do not do that soon, the wholeness and beauty will face feedback loop of destruction. 

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4 hours ago, jonabark said:

The apocalypse is already here for many as it falls from the sky in the form of bombs, as it kills off half the species on earth with toxic materials and global warming, as pandemics circulate in a globalized world. Humans are in need of  communities of spiritual and physical  health and ecological sanity. How many leaders have  building that kind of model as a practical goal ?

Then what you call "the apocalypse" -- LOL -- has been here for the last 10,000 years. What you or Shunya call the apocalypse is simply the default human condition.

Humans are not really in need of healthy conscious communities because they are themselves unconscious like animals and they have created exactly the kind of community that they are willing to tolerate. If you put the average American in Shunya's community, he will balk and piss all over it and leave. The average American wants Trump not Shunya. The average Americans wants beer and porn and Game of Thrones. Not a spiritual community.

"The apocalypse" -- this current society -- IS what us humans have created because that's what the majority of us want and tolerate. Stop blaming some evil others for it. If you could not create a great community now, don't fool yourself into thinking you will be able to create one in the forest somewhere. Whatever community you create will precisely reflect your level of unconsciousness and selfishness.

It's easy for Shunya to create an elite spiritual community when he excludes 99.9999% of all of mankind from it.

The real challenge is how to create a spiritual community that includes the millions of MAGA morons who will call you a pedophile as soon as you tell them anything they don't want to hear.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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1 hour ago, Leo Gura said:

The real challenge is how to create a spiritual community that includes the millions of MAGA morons who will call you a pedophile as soon as you tell them anything they don't want to hear.

Lmao, I've interacted with some conspiracy guys lately, this is so true :D. They just call pedophiles everyone who has a different opinion or who is wealthy/successful

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“Apocalypse” is an ambiguous word which can lead to straw man arguments.  What I heard Shunyamurti say it one video is that he believes the financial system is bankrupt and will collapse.   When this happens, supply chains will break down and people will be told that they are on their own, including finding food.  At that point society rapidly descends into anarchy.  This is not unreasonable considering the financial system already came to the brink of collapse in 2007 and the fundamental problems have not been fixed.  Thousands of small business owners have already gone under due to the pandemic and were abandoned by the government.  I was in a hurricane once, and in a matter of hours after it was announced the shelves of the supermarkets were bare.  Once it happens, it is too late to prepare.  It is prudent to prepare in advance.  And the most important preparation is to purify your mind and detach so you can survive the descent into hell.    


Vincit omnia Veritas.

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1 hour ago, Jodistrict said:

What I heard Shunyamurti say it one video is that he believes the financial system is bankrupt and will collapse.   When this happens, supply chains will break down and people will be told that they are on their own, including finding food.  At that point society rapidly descends into anarchy.

Not gonna happen.

Hippie pipe dreams.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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7 minutes ago, Shunyata said:

@Leo Gura do you know the future?

I'm not the one planning for the end times, as Shunya is.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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My two cents, I've never met Shunyamurti. I would like to one day. After listening to quite a lot of his videos I believe he is saying that absolutely everything is up for review. Individually and collectively our very beginnings are influenced by controlling paradigms and we carry centuries, eons, of conditioning that has been past down through generations. Is any of it real? Does it have to be your reality? I think we have devolved into a material prison that seems to be quaking and revealing it's weak points. Kali Yuga is a dream spell, If you wake up from it what do you do? You take the hero's journey and you go on a quest to regain your spiritual powers, your mental clarity and find your real self , a self whose origins lie in the great ocean of consciousness which is pure potential. Someone needs to provide that truth, What a great service, Thank you Shunymurti. 

 

 

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I have been in close contact with Robert Shubow ('Shunyamurti') for a while and I have many friends here in Costa-Rica who have followed him for years. It is almost impossible to believe it when you see his videos and teachings yet this man is deceiving everyone (probably including himself) in a major way and creating tremendous suffering here in Costa-Rica. His apocalyptic videos and his culture of fear are really just the tip of the iceberg and are child's play compared to what he is doing with people behind the scene. 

Ex-followers have started to gather their voice as part of their healing process and recently started a website to expose his fraud. Many more testimonials are coming.

Check it out at www.satyoga.exposed

Edited by Garuna

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I spent in total about 14 months at Shunyamurti's ashram working and living there as a volunteer. After I left I started doing some serious research into cults reading multiple books and articles. I started contacting people who lived there. I talked to short term visitors, other volunteers like me who spent a couple of months and ex members who left after years of involvement. I also talked to somebody who was there from day one being involved for over a decade having access to the inner circles and to the children of a couple who are among the founding members and the main financiers.

I did all that in order to wrap my mind around what happened to me and what is happening there in general. Although I knew something about cult dynamics I couldn't see clearly what was going on while I was there and only through research, reflecting, distancing myself and talking to others gathering reference experiences was I able to understand. Also I trusted the organization, Shunya and Leo's opinion on it/him to much. That makes it easy to get sucked in. I plan to write a detailed article about my experience and what I found out but it will take me some time to finish it. I will post it on the actualized.org forum, the mentioned cult forum and on https://www.satyoga.exposed/ which is a new website, once it is done.

I wanna just briefly mention here to what conclusion I came and that it was and still isn't easy for me to say what I have to say because I really wished it would be otherwise. It would have made things a lot easier for me but the fact is that the Sat Yoga Ashram is what is called a Mind Control Environment. When you look into the literature you will find that in evaluating if an organization is a cult it is not crucial what the teachings are but if mind control techniques are being used to manipulate people into coming, staying, working and donating, etc. Of course every cult teaches legitimate wisdom and techniques to some extent and the quality of Shunya's teachings is very high which makes it even more tricky and deceptive. And of course I can't really speak of his intentions or if he is fully enlightened or to what degree.

Once I had a session with him and I told him I was reading 'Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender' by David R. Hawkins, telling him that the guy is a psychiatrist and supposed to be enlightened. After telling him what I got from the book so far he told me that he thinks the book was dangerous to me and asked me how I know that the guy is enlightened. I don't really know I told him. Well how do you know Shunya is enlightened? You don't and you don't know what his intentions are. Punto. A long term student I talked to called him a shark. Once in a Satsang he said openly that he would tell people anything. Didn't seem to bother them. He is probably more intelligent and well read than you and me are. So be careful what you are getting into. I'm not saying don't go there or that you have to believe any of this. I just wanna say what I have to say because in my opinion it is my duty to do so. If you wanna check it out check it out. If you wanna go live there go live there. It is a beautiful place. But I would advise you to educate yourself on cults beforehand in order to recognize the red flags. If you are a member reading this and you are happy great. But I doubt it. If you wanna talk to me you have my number.

There are different models of mind control. One Steven Hassan speaks about in his book “Combating Cult Mind Control” breaks it into four components: Information -, Behavioral -, Emotional - and Thought Control.

I will give you a couple of examples for each category in an unorganized way. I already gave you one. Telling me that a book was dangerous is a red flag and is part of information control. In subtle and not so subtle ways you are made to distrust other information then those given by Shunya and over time you are given the impression that Shunya is the ultimate teacher and pretty much your only chance of becoming enlightened. It is true that Shunya himself reads a lot of books, lectures from some while teaching, holding book groups in the past and people seem to be encouraged to read a lot. In reality you don't have the time and energy to do so (with reading a lot I mean reading something like 20 – 30+ books a year) because you are following a very tight schedule even more so when you are a full member. People mainly read books recommended and approved by Shunya. I once talked to a member on a walk about books and she told me something along the lines of checking in with Shunya when you read a book and asking him what's valid and what's not. You get the idea. Plus you get bombarded with information already. It is overwhelming. You don't have the space to integrate it. You hear Shunya teaching on average at least once a week, then there is Gyana Video Night were you listen to a recorded teaching, Guided Meditation - Shunya's recorded voice on tape and you hear a recorded teaching usually Thursday evening. That's pretty much business as usual not counting events. Sometimes he's teaching multiple times a week. His output is actually pretty amazing but he is also repeating himself. Combined with little sleep, a light diet and long work hours the amount/kind/style of information shuts your critical thinking abilities down, making you more prone to suggestion and less able to think for yourself which takes a toll on your decision making ability keeping you in the loop. I experienced it myself.

In a session when I was sharing my doubts about staying and preferring to study on my own he tried to convince me to stay. He told me that he distilled all the wisdom already and that I would grow more in one week in his Ashram than in months or years out there. A friend of mine was molested by somebody. They told her not to tell anybody and swept it under the rug. Somebody told me that Shunya put her down because of her physical appearance comparing her to somebody else who supposedly was better looking. Another friend asked for the number of somebody who just left the community. She wanted to check on how he was doing. Do you think she received the number? Of course not. She was asked why she wants the number and was made to feel guilty for having asked and it was brought up in her next session with Shunya. Another friend Shunya just flat out lied to about something she knew wasn't true. Shunya is not accessible other then through having sessions with him which you pay for in general. At some point I told them I didn't had the money any more and I would still have them but once a month or once in two months. You might meet him on a walk or catch him after a teaching but otherwise you don't see him. I never had a meal with him even on events he would leave very quickly. Once they put his chair a little far away from the audience for an event. He wanted to make a joke saying that he was already put at such a distance from the community but this was too much. Some in the community were angry about that remark because who is putting him at a distance other then himself. I guess he knows that people would quickly see through his bullshit if they saw him act more in everyday life. It is easier to play the role of a perfect idealized teacher when your students only see you teaching and in personal sessions every once in a while. On my first days I was told some of the “rules” of the place. I was told not to speak to anybody about what is being said in sessions with Shunya and his wife Radha to anybody. Also you shouldn't try and interpret somebody's feelings or dreams and give advise but leave that to the experts. In that way they isolate you because you then tend to be reserved not wanting to edge on. They keep a veil on what Shunya tells people in sessions. Would seem strange if you knew that he tells the same things to people. Trying to convince people to stay and donate money or build a house. Telling them that they could become a teacher. That in their past life they were somebody special. Some variation of that. He told me that I was a great leader in my past life who made some big mistakes toward the end. That was why I chose a life with little responsibilities. He is flattering people in the beginning. Love bombing is a big thing the first weeks or even months. Plus you are treated very differently when you have money. But after a while they go and undermine your self esteem. Making little remarks in sessions or publicly. I wasn't following all the rules and taking on a little more responsibility. In a satsang he made a remark about the volunteers there which were only me and somebody else. He said something along the lines of we have volunteers here who are telling the Sadhaks what to do. They want their sovereignty but have you earned it? In sessions he becomes impatient putting you down in some way destabilizing you. A friend who got a name from Shunya in private was told that from now on she is being watched more closely and that she had to behave. Later she contacted another teacher what was considered a no go. In my first session after meditating together which was basically staring in each others eyes for a long period of time what has an effect on one's consciousness, he told me that I would know a lot, as if he was reading me. In the past I thought the staring part was he giving me Shaktipat. You consciousness can feel elevated. I asked him what it was but he answered evasively: something like that. Today I think that it is a technique to hypnotize people. Maybe I'm wrong about that.

The Apocalypse is coming soon no doubt so just hand them all your money. You can build a house and live of bananas and broccoli no problem. Somebody I talked to in my research asked me the very good question: If Shunya really believes in the apocalypse why did he build himself a villa which approximately cost at least 500k instead of building himself a small wooden house like most other houses there putting the remaining money into building more greenhouses? By the time he built his house they had zero greenhouses. Only a couple of years later through donations they build their first two big ones. People are made to believe the apocalypse is coming. One of the highest member once told me for example that she is to paranoid to leave Costa Rica. Costa Rica is a protected place you have to know. When Russia/China have their nuclear war with the US the wind currents will transport the nuclear outflow away I imagine. I asked him about Nuclear Winter. He handwaved it away. That won't happen and changed the topic. On an other occation he said that aliens will help clean the earth and that the contaminated landmasses will crush in the sea and new landmasses will come up very quickly. I'm not bullshitting you. You can consider that one a quote. I actually have an audio file with what students call a Dharma Talk. I will post it in the article. It is a very good example of how he is using an apocalyptic scenario to bind and manipulate people using fear, guilt and shame. One visitor once hit the nail on the head when he said that the guilt trip that's going on there is really strange. And you can see it if you spent more time there. People are not really happy. They are lonely and they are sheep as Leo put it correctly. All of them with maybe one exception were not familiar with spirituality when they came into contact with Shunyamurti and they got all their key information through him. That should tell you something. Every week they watch a movie or a documentary or something like that which Shunya chooses. I suggested to watch some of Leo's videos. No response. They know about Leo and his work because he was there. Do you think anybody there is familiar with his body of work to any significant degree? Most of them never watched a single episode. It's ridiculous. I only met one other volunteer who was as familiar with Leo's stuff as I was. Wanna what happened to her? She went through an intense process, having meditated for years starting to meditate intensely and going on a fruit diet. She had some deep awakenings everybody could tell. She started laughing uncontrollably during meditation multiple times. A side effect was that the energy of her body was rearranging itself I guess and she had issues with her energy level not being able to do physical work anymore the way she was doing before in the greenhouses and on the fields. So what happened? The avantgard ashram which is supposed to help the planet to enlightened couldn't provide the space for a women who was obviously going through some serious stuff unless they could profit from it. If she couldn't work she would need to pay money around 100 Dollars a day plus session fees which they knew she couldn't afford because she was a student so she had to leave. I told Shunya that I am interested in working with psychedelics and especially 5 meo. He told me that he is very familiar with it and that is doesn't work very well. Other psychedelics would work better. He sited Terence McKenna and that it didn't bring him anywhere. From a former member I heard what he was given: Weed, Mushrooms, Ayahuasca and Ketamin. I'll leave that uncommented since I honestly do not have direct experience with 5 meo yet and only with some of the substances above. But using weed? Oh yeah lastly in my last session I told Shunya that I decided to leave and I bought a plane ticket and all that. Do you think he thanked me for the work I have done working almost eleven months straight for his organization? To be fair it might just have slipped his mind. Still interesting though no?

So lastly the topic of family and friends. Oh man that's a biggie. You better believe that Shunyamurti and his wife Radha Ma manipulate the shit out of your family situation. Some people living there haven't talked to their families in years but most receive money from them. How do you think the regular members finance themselves? In a session Shunya told me that to my parents I was just a piece of shit actually knowing little about my past. Almost everybody cut off all their ties to friends and to most to their family. It is encouraged and in some way demanded. A guy I know was asked to leave because he refused to cut his family out of his life. They told him he was to attached.

It is actually somewhat difficult to hold contact when you don't have your own house with a wifi connection. There are only two spots where you can talk, one is outside the lodge where it is not very comfortable and the ashram is located in a cloud forest so mucho rain. The other one is not available to regular guests only for long term students and you have to ask for permission to use the room in order not to disturb anyone living in the complex. Plus it is not really encouraged to have contact to outsiders. Classic cult policy. They hold you back and keep you down yadayadayado.

 

I'm going to wrap it up here.

The last thing I will say is this:

Look.

That might have given you an overview.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg we are dealing with here.

I know it can seem daunting.

But we have a lot more to talk about.

I will go on in more detail about this stuff in the future.

So.

Keep your shit together.

Go fucking meditating.

Stay tuned.

And I'm gonna see you next time with more.

 

 

Radha: Shunya has a PhD in Psychology.

Shunya: I never really finished my formal education in psychology because I found out that the system was corrupt so it didn't make any sense.

Me kinda: Mmh Kay...

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@yannick wow... what a fucking trip. I remember when I was dangerously desperate I was in contact with Shunya about going down there and something, just through our email exchanged, seemed very off and I decided to never go down there. I definitely felt like he was grooming me and my desperation to escape the situation I was in as he was telling me how I'd be his apprentice and shit, do all this tapas, become an "atmanologist" and so forth. What really seemed off and fucked up was when I was told that, if I do decide to go down there, given that obviously I wouldn't be able to earn money if I was down there, I'd have to have my parents and any family members finance me while I was there but at the same time I noticed all his videos where he disparages the modern and postmodern family system. Which raised some alarm bells for me as that just seemed too out of integrity, conveniently manipulative for my own selfish spiritual endeavors, and so forth. I don't take Shunya to be dumb as he does seem very smart but, thankfully, you seem to have been smart enough to really be vigilant enough to have gotten your ass out of there. So I great job on that. That really is commendable. Thank you for sharing this. 

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The same story again and again, Osho, Da Free Jones, Mooji, etc, etc. People never learn the lesson.

 

This kind of 1 spiritual leader societies are problematic by its own nature.

Edited by RedLine

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@yannick Very interesting! Thanks for sharing your experiences.

When I was there I definitely got strong group-think vibes. They worship Shunya way too much. But nothing I saw was a cult. But then again, my exposure to them was only 1 week long.

All of Shunya's behaviors that I observed were of very high integrity. And he clearly knows this shit. My biggest gripe with him was his constant apocalyptic talk. Everything is framed as mainstream society is about to collapse any day, and this ashram is the only island of salvation.

The people I met there were very nice, but they felt like sheep, not deep critical thinkers.

Then again, Sat Yoga is basically a monastery. So you have to set your expectations appropriately. Monasteries are hardcore and conformist places.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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6 hours ago, yannick said:

and on https://www.satyoga.exposed/ which is a new website

This is some good stuff! Thanks for sharing.

Although I should add, I see plenty of egoic projection in some of these critiques. Students often become disgruntled for whatever personal reasons and need someone to blame and they are too ignorant to understand the position of a deeply mystical and God-realized person.

My biggest critique of Sat Yoga is that I doubt there is a single person there who is woke other than Shunya. As you become his little sheep servant monkey -- you won't have the time to awaken. You'll be too busy pulling weeds from his garden.

The way I evaluate the quality of an ashram is based on how much time they actually give you to meditate. If you only have 2 hours per day to meditate, that's a shitty ashram. If you get 10 hours per day to meditate, that's a great ashram. Before joining any community make sure you are not just being used as a source of cheap manual labor.

Also, the large sums of money they demand, if true, is a huge red flag. That's one of the reddest flags of a proper cult. You should not be paying any spiritual guru tens of thousands of dollars.


You are God. You are Love. You are Infinity. You are Leo.

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