Critics and former followers: Blogs and websites

Critiques of multiple gurus/movements

Critiques arranged by guru/movement:

Amma / Ammachi

Art of Living (AOL)

Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU)

Chinmoy

Divine Light Mission

Elan Vital Incorporated

Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

Hare Krishnas

Healthy Happy Holy Organisation (3HO)

Hugging Saint

International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat

Kalki Bhagavan and Amma Padmavati

Kundalini Yoga

Life Bliss Foundation

Maheswarananda

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Mata Amritanandamayi

Meditation (general)

Muktananda

Nirmala Devi

Nithyananda (‘Paramahamsa’)

Nithyananda Foundation

Oneness Movement

Osho

Paramahansa Yogananda

Prakashanand Saraswati

Prem Rawat

Radha Soami Satsang Beas

Rajneesh

Ramdev (“Baba”)

Ravi Shankar (‘Sri Sri’)

Sant Mat

Sahaja Yoga

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Organisation

Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF)

Siddha Yoga

Sri Chinmoy Centre

Transcendental Meditation Movement

Words of Peace Global

Yoga in Daily Life

Yoga (general)

Yogi Bhajan

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Critiques of multiple gurus/movements:

Guruphiliac – Revealing Self-Aggrandizement and Superstition in Self-Realization since 2005.

Guruphiliac Forum.

Guruphiliac Facebook.

Nirmukta – Breaking the Spell: Promoting Science and Freethought in India.

Neo-Eastern Groups (Rick A. Ross Institute).

Cult News from Rick Ross (scroll down to access links to different groups in right sidebar).

Group database available at Steve Hassan’s Freedom of Mind Resource Center.

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Critiques arranged by guru/movement:

Amma / Ammachi

See Mata Amritanandamayi.

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Art of Living (AOL)

Leaving the Art of Living: Confessions of a Guruholic.

Beyond the Art of Living: Critique of the Art of Living and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

Court case: Art of Living Foundation v. Does 1-10 – Art of Living’s California branch trying to silence the above two blogs by attempting to sue them for alleged defamation, alleged copyright infringement and revealing its alleged trade secrets. The eventual outcome was a settlement reached by Art of Living with the blog owners, requiring them to freeze their critical blogs – i.e. no further posts allowed – as of 19 June 2012. The settlement came after the court dismissed Art of Living’s defamation and trade libel claims against the blogs, upholding only the trade secrets claim against one of the blogs. But Art of Living chose to settle (including paying the blogger’s attorney fees in the amount of $250 000) rather than risk bringing their case to trial – presumably because losing a trade secrets trial would have meant the release of their material into the public domain. Throughout the litigation and settlement the bloggers had retained their anonymity, even setting a precedent by winning the right to remain anonymous in the event of a trial.

Unmasking The Art of Living – news article reporting on the court case.

Blogger vs. Alleged Cult Case Ends in Favorable Settlement – news article reporting on the outcome of the court case.

Further Beyond the Art of Living – Another critical blog succeeding the two frozen blogs mentioned above.

L’Après Art de Vivre – French language blog with translations of some of the posts from the above three blogs.

Defection! An AOL Teacher Sees the Light and Another AOL Inner Circle Defection and other similar Guruphiliac posts.

The The Great Great Sri Sri NGO NGO Scam Scam.

Answering AOL – A blog publishing the polemic that grew around the article “How genuine is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar?”

Is Sri Sri a Fraud Fraud?

Is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar a Conman? And more such posts by the same blogger.

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Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (BKWSU)

BKSWU Watch. – Brahma Kumaris so-called Raja Yoga: The real story.

Brahma Kumaris Info – Independent thought about the BKWSU.

Brahma Kumaris Info Portal – A forum for exiting-BKs, and Friends and Family of BK adherents.

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Chinmoy

See Sri Chinmoy Centre.

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Divine Light Mission

See Prem Rawat.

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Elan Vital Incorporated

See Prem Rawat.

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Gurumayi Chidvilasananda

See Siddha Yoga.

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Hare Krishnas

See International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

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Healthy Happy Holy Organisation (3HO)

The Wacko World of Yogi Bhajan – “where former and transitioning Bhajanites share our stories, important testimony, court documents, and anti-cult information with the general public”.

The Man Called Yogi Bhajan.

Live Your Life – Memoirs and accounts from a second generation adult raised in 3HO Sikh Dharma.

Yogi’s legacy in question – “Former followers say he abused his position for power, money and sex” (news article).

3HO (Steven Hassan links).

3HO (Rick Ross links).

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Hugging Saint

See Mata Amritanandamayi.

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International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON)

Oh, the Things I Learned! Lessons from Seventeen Years in the Hare Krishnas (essay by Steven Gelberg).

Surrealist.org’s Guide to the Hare Krishna Movement (Nori Muster links).

Gurukula History (Nori Muster tracing the history of child abuse in ISKCON).

The Betrayal Files- Documentation of ISKCON’s Dark History (Nori Muster).

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness as an Addictive Organization (article by Nori Muster).

Hare Krishna Women.

Hare Krishna News.

The ISKCON Cult Unveiled.

Krishna/ISKCON (Rick Ross links).

ISKCON (Hare Krishna) (Steven Hassan links).

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Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat

Rishika Xcult – Writer. Woman. Warrior.

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Kalki Bhagavan and Amma Padmavati

Spiritually Laid Back.

Severe Problems with “Bhagavan Kalki’s” Deeksha Oneness Movement.

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Kundalini Yoga

See Healthy Happy Holy Organisation (3HO).

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Life Bliss Foundation

See Nithyananda (‘Paramahamsa’).

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Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

See Transcendental Meditation Movement.

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Maheswarananda

See Yoga in Daily Life.

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Mata Amritanandamayi

Examma (a forum for ex-devotees).

Rahima’s Story.

Amma the Hugging Saint: What Her PR Team Hopes You Never Find Out.

Amma’s Cosmic Squeeze.

The Lakshmi of Our Times – “Amritanandamayi is the queen of all she surveys in Kerala, with the media deep in her pocket”.

Ammachi: It Only Gets Worse (Guruphiliac).

Amma: Mistress of the Hindu Right (Guruphhiliac).

Amma – Mata Amritanandamayi Math (Rick Ross links).

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Meditation (general)

Skeptic Meditations: Exploring the hidden side of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.

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Muktananda

See Siddha Yoga.

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Nirmala Devi

See Sahaja Yoga.

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Nithyananda (‘Paramahamsa’)

Nithyananda: Truth about the Cult of Swami ‘Paramahamsa’ Nithyananda; Organized Fraud.

Dharmananda (Lenin Karuppan).

Stand Up for Dharma – Nithyananda News and Court Updates Blog.

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Nithyananda Foundation

See Nithyananda (‘Paramahamsa’).

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Oneness Movement

See Kalki Bhagavan and Amma Padmavati.

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Osho

Rajneeshees in Oregon – The Untold Story.

Rajneesh Documents – “These select government documents relating to the Rajneeshee commune in Oregon provide direct accounts of life and crimes at Rajneeshpuram”.

The Sannyas Secret Service.

Osho/Rajneesh (Rick Ross links).

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Paramahansa Yogananda

See Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF).

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Prabhupada

See International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON).

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Prakashanand Saraswati

See Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat.

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Prem Rawat

Prem Rawat – Critique.

Prem Rawat aka Maharaji Information Resource.

Ex-Premie.org.

The Prem Rawat Talk Forum.

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Radha Soami Satsang Beas

See Sant Mat.

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Rajneesh

See Osho.

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Ramdev (“Baba”)

Yoga can ‘treat’ homosexuality, says Baba Ramdev.

Baba Ramdev, Yoga Guru, Challenges Gay Verdict in Indian Supreme Court.

Rancorous Ramdev on a Rampage and Ramdev Gets Rapped by His Guru and other similar Guruphiliac posts.

A Critical Look at Baba Ramdev’s Claims (article by Srinivas Kakkilaya).

Yogi in Politics: A Rationalist’s Thoughts on Baba Ramdev.

Making of Brand Baba.

The Origins of Ramdev – “The making of Ramdev is inevitably the story of the intriguing world of spiritual TV”.

India: Stop “Yoga Evangelist” Swami Ramdev.

Meet Ramdev the Marketing Guru.

ED Sniffs Out Ramdev’s Secret Transactions.

The Rise and Fall of Balkrishna and Ramdev Scam Hit Aide Befools India (on falsification of certificates by Ramdev’s righthand man).

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Ravi Shankar (‘Sri Sri’)

See Art of Living (AOL).

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Sant Mat

Exsat: ExSatsangi Support Group (for former followers of Sant Mat/Radha Soami gurus).

Invalidation Arguments for RS-Beas Group in Beas, India.

Radha Soami, Sant Mat, and Shabd Yoga: Debates, Essays and Reviews –David Christopher Lane, Mt. San Antonio College. (His stuff’s a bit difficult to navigate/surf and there are various ways to access it. And several versions of old sites. These surfer dudes just can’t seem to make up their minds… 😉 And a mix of working and broken links, but good stuff among it. Just beware the tripod links – some viruses there. Better stick to the mtsac.edu links – they seem safe, but you’ll still get lost).

The Kirpal Statistic: Using Inner Visions to Your Social Advantage – David C. Lane (This is one of the virus-free links, last time I checked. On how he experimented with his students to debunk the presumed specialness/esoteric significance of Sant Mat initiates’ experiences of inner sound and light).

The Magic of an Elevated Podium: An Essay on the Illusion of a “Flawless” Guru Lineage – David C. Lane (another safe link).

The Guru has no Turban: Why Shabd Yoga Masters are not Perfect – David C. Lane (and another).

Radha Soami Satsang Beas aka Radhasoami (Steven Hassan links).

Radha Soami Secret History.

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Sahaja Yoga

The Sahaja Yoga Cult.

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Sathya Sai Baba

Call for Media and Government Investigation.

Forum for Critics of Sai Baba and his Cult.

Sai Baba Exposed!

Sathya Sai Baba Casebook-Factsheet.

Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed.

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Sathya Sai Organisation

See Sathya Sai Baba.

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Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF)

Skeptic Meditations: Exploring the hidden side of yoga, meditation, and mindfulness.

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Siddha Yoga

Leaving Siddha Yoga.

The “Eat, Pray, Love” Guru’s Troubling Past.

The Guru Looked Good – A Personal Memoir by Marta Szabo.

Rituals of Disenchantment.

Insight into SYDA – An Open Letter About Siddha Yoga.

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Sri Chinmoy Centre

Sri_Chinmoy_Information – Sri Chinmoy Ex-Disciples Forum.

Sri Chinmoy (Rick Ross links).

Sri Chinmoy Centre (Steven Hassan links).

Sri Chinmoy (Religion News Blog).

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Transcendental Meditation Movement

David Wants to Fly (trailer) – Documentary by a young first-time film director on his experiences with David Lynch and TM.

TM-Free Blog – Skeptical Views of Transcendental Meditation and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

Trancenet.net – Critical Resource on the Transcendental Meditation Technique and Related Programs Associated with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

Meditation Information Network – “Supporting critical examination of Transcendental Meditation® (The TM® Program) and the programs associated with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi”.

“Falling Down the TM Rabbit Hole” – How Transcendental Meditation really works, a critical opinion.

The Honest Truth about TM – Honest opinions on Transcendental Meditation and the programs of the late Maharishi Mahesh “Yogi”.

Behind the TM Façade.

Transcendental Meditation: Relaxation or Smokescreen? (article and debate on the introduction of TM in South African schools).

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Words of Peace Global

See Prem Rawat.

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Yoga in Daily Life

False Guru.

Sex Abuse by SwAmi-YIDL (a forum on Maheswarananda, Yoga in Daily Life).

Be the Change you Want to See in the World (ex-devotees’ testimonies and statements).

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Yoga (general)

Recovering Yogi: A Refuge for the Spiritually Disenfranchised – “A tongue-in-cheek reference to the addictive, culty aspects of the yoga world” by former and current yoga practitioners. Here’s their Mission and Manifesto. (Both critical and funny. Highly Recommended for those who love yoga, but don’t take it or themselves too seriously).

My Yoga Breakup and Why I Stopped Teaching Yoga and What it Means to be a Recovering Yogi (tongue-in-cheek articles by Joslyn Hamilton).

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Yogi Bhajan

See Healthy Happy Holy Organisation (3HO).

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Last time new entries were added: 5 January 2016.
Last time all links were checked: 16 August 2011.