Modern-Day Witch Hunt PDF Print E-mail

The process of character assassination of gurus/disciples is first to label such individuals as "evil cult leaders" or "blind cult followers". After applying such intrinsically degrading labels to the individuals, the next step is to show evidence of these people behaving as either a guru or disciples.

Therefore, the process of labeling one as an “evil cult leader” is one of investigating, researching, and finding evidence to "prove" that a particular individual is accepting disciples (and better yet, if it can be proven that he himself is a disciple of a preceding guru), teaching these disciples, advising them, chastising or disciplining them (by definition “disciple” means one who accepts discipline), and accepting their service, etc. And likewise, similar research and investigation is done to collect evidence which “proves” that someone is a disciple (i.e., a “blind cult follower”).

It is not unlike the infamous witch hunts which occurred in Europe and the United States, and even more recently during the McCarthyism era. Great pains are taken by these modern-day inquisitors to find evidence that such and such a person gave classes or gives classes in the yogic or Vedic tradition of sitting on a raised dais to students who are seated below. Videotapes or audio tapes of lectures (considered to be extremely damning evidence by the inquisitor), photographs of the disciples treating the guru with respect by offering garlands, placing their hands together in a folded position out of respect, bowing or standing out of respect (which are some of the ancient, traditional ways by which disciples show respect to the guru), are greatly prized by these modern day witch hunters as proof that the individuals involved are indeed cult leaders and cult followers.

These erroneous and prejudiced conclusions are reached despite the fact that in western cultures, professors and lecturers normally stand on a stage with a lectern or some other trappings of authority and students sit in a lower position and take notes. It is the "Eastern-ness" which is especially disturbing and disconcerting to these arrogant paranoiacs. The greater the trappings of respect and love expressed by the disciples toward the guru, the more "evil" they are proved to be. So if the disciples provide a nice car for the guru to ride in, first class air tickets, or private planes, or comfortable accommodations, then this is taken as proof not of their genuine respect and love, but rather as diabolical evidence of a perverted relationship of the “evil cult leader” leading the “blind cult follower”.

Interestingly, if such respect is shown to or facilities are offered to leaders of western religious traditions, political academic or business leaders, etc., this is generally taken as being perfectly acceptable because it’s done in a traditional western manner and thus does not frighten critics. It is more difficult for it to be labeled as evil. For example, if the Pope is provided with his own country (the Vatican) replete with Swiss guards and other paramilitary and military protection, beautiful suite, lavish foods and wines, it is perfectly acceptable, indeed laudable. If a seminarian upon being ordained as a priest prostrates himself before the bishops or cardinals, it is perfectly acceptable.