On May 23rd, 2008, I started my first blog called "My Life in a Cult" using the nom de plume, Freedom Writer. It was my first time being completely free to speak out about my years inside the cult. After making 13 posts, I decided to block the blog until after the criminal trial of Prakashanand Saraswati. I will repost all of the blog posts here as an archive. The following was my second blog post on "My Life in a Cult."
May 25th, 2008 — It was exactly one year ago today (Friday, May 25th, 2007) that I learned I was in a cult.
After years of believing I was on a pure and true spiritual path, it was a huge blow to learn the truth.
It all started when devotees of JKP-Barsana Dham were gathered together for a meeting and told that the main guru on the path, who was in the middle of his second “world tour,” had been arrested in Trinidad one week ago on May 18th. The word we were told was “assault.” We were told very few details. And we were told not to talk about the event or go on the Internet to learn more.
Although, according to them, to be a good devotee and attain God realization you have to follow the leaders every instruction without question, this time I decided I had to know more. I just knew there was a lot they were not telling us and, clearly, did not want us to know. After the meeting I went straight to my computer and Googled “Kripalu Maharaj” and “arrest.” The first thing that popped up was an article stating that he’d been arrested for “rape.” Can you imagine the shock?
Why they used the word “assault” instead of “rape” makes no sense to me. After all, according to the FBI, an assault is a crime that technically means “an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury.” Both assault and rape are listed in the same crime category: violent crimes. They might as well just have been honest with us and told us the truth.
But from that day forward I learned that truth was not a strong suit of JKP-Barsana Dham. Along with over one dozen news reports on the rape, I read thousands of comments from people telling shocking stories about this organization that you don’t read about in its vast range of promotional materials or hear about from its spokespeople.
Among the things I learned are that Kripalu had been arrested for rape charges in India in the early 1990s. Also many women were saying they have known about his behind-closed-doors activities for decades. And people were revealing that Swami Prakashanand Saraswati also has his own secrets to hide. I had a few of my own experiences and had heard several stories over the years. But because I was sincerely seeking God realization above anything else, I pushed disturbing information out of my mind and lived in denial.
After learning of the rape, I spent some time trying to give the organization the benefit of the doubt. But the crack in the façade started to reveal other secrets about disturbing, non-spiritual things that had been going on for years. All of these revelations confirmed for me that this organization is not what it claims to be publicly.
I’ll report on the truths that I have learned about the JKP organization in upcoming posts on this blog.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences about the other side of this organization. This blog is going to be at least one safe place for us to finally speak out.
yojimbosanjuro: You had your senses to look on the internet. How many people didn’t do that I wonder? Everyone else? This power of suggestion is frightening.
FreedomWriter: Thank you Yojimbo, You are 100% right on ALL points! Thanks for sharing. Keep in touch.
rajabd. I agree with FreedomWriter this place is a cult. We were involed with this org. long time. It took us little time to realized it. It stated after coming back from their India center. We got letters and calls from different people in the country warning not to get involved and warning us about the rape and money laundering by this org. The both claimed Masters are doing this openly after brainwashing the devotees. The Master in Barsana Dham is very eogistic and angry man. As long his ego is fed by money and women. He is OKed, otherwise he goes ballistic. They are trying to cover up the mess they created but the truth has to come since the can of worm is open. This is the sign of the cult. We got hurt we want other people not to get involed in this org. and regret later on.