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 ninth blog post on “My Life in a Cult.”
July 20, 2008 — The truth hurts, but being lied to and abused in a spiritual con game hurts worse.
Last year at this time I was in the throws learning so many dark truths about the organization I had joined several years before — Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat (JKP). After Kripalu Maharaj’s arrest in Trinidad in May 2007 people around the world exposed secrets about this organization in blog after blog and comment after comment. I read them all, becoming more shocked with every word.
The people speaking out must have held their secrets for a long time, apparently not knowing who to tell or how to tell them. Finally, they had a platform for sharing what they knew with the world — the Internet. Here are just a few of the many websites for which I am grateful, because they posted articles about JKP and allowed people to post their comments:
Of course, not everyone believes the stories about Kripalu’s and Prakashanand Saraswati’s abuse of power, sex, and money. Many people want to cling to their dream that this organization has the sole claim to God’s grace — and they will seemingly do anything to prevent their dream from turning into a nightmare. Such is the power of the mind to live in denial.
Despite having been well indoctrinated into this cult, the minute I started reading the stories online I knew they were true. How did I know? I knew because I could read between the lines and hear the sincerity and honesty of each person. I could tell they were not writing for any purpose other than the knowledge that they could possibly help expose a spiritual fraud and help save others from wasting their lives, money, and spiritual innocence.
I also knew they were speaking the truth, because I had stories of my own. Over the years I had experienced, heard, and seen many unsettling things. My gut instinct told me these things were not right and were in direct opposition to a pure path to God.
But my desire for God was so great that it usurped my judgment. This was exacerbated by the fact that the organization’s gurus and preachers repeatedly reminded followers that if we were not advancing spiritual toward union with Radha-Krishn it was due to our lack of surrender to the gurus. That’s a cruel message to tell a person who has given his or her life for God realization. But, as I learned firsthand, cruelty comes easy to JKP’s leaders.
I now know that I should have listened to my gut many years ago and saved myself from this cult. But at least I finally listened to the voices of people telling the truth about JKP — and I took action before I spent any more time serving conmen.
To every brave and honest person who has shared the truth about JKP — and to those who continue to speak out— I would like to say Thank You! The truth really does set you free.