Here is the seventh and last installment in my series of excerpts prior to the publication of my new book: Sex, Lies, and Two Hindu Gurus. This is Chapter 118. It appears in Part Seven, which provides evidence of who Kripalu Maharaj (aka Ram Tripathi) actually is. You can pre-order the book on this website now. All book orders will be fulfilled as electronic documents (PDF) on the book’s official launch date: February 15, 2012. Order now and save $5 off the price of $14.99.
An Accumulation of Evidence –
Is Kripalu God or an Unstoppable Madman?
After learning the truth about the JKP Hindu organization, I started to wonder about Kripalu Maharaj — who was he, really?
Among his devotees, he is considered the incarnation of Radha-Krishna (the highest form of God), the reincarnation of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu, and the fifth Jagadguru (guru of the universe). The party line back story on him involves some extraordinary mythology—including the fact that he just “appeared” as an infant next to his mother in a bed; that as a kid he went to school but already knew everything; and that he holds dominion over all living creatures on Earth.
I knew the fairytale. I also knew it was all a lie. So who is Kripalu really? My first clue came when I begin learning about a personality disorder called psychopathy (or sociopathy). According to Wikipedia:
“Psychopathy is a mental disorder characterized primarily by a lack of empathy and remorse, shallow emotions, egocentricity, and deceptiveness. Psychopaths are highly prone to antisocial behavior and abusive treatment of others. Though lacking empathy and emotional depth, they often manage to pass themselves off as average individuals by feigning emotions and lying about their past.”
After continued research, I came to one conclusion: Kripalu was a textbook psychopath.
My studies led me to what is widely considered to be the seminal book for lay-people on the subject: Without Conscience: The Disturbing World of the Psychopaths Among Us, by Robert D. Hare, PhD, the world’s leading expert on psychopathology. Dr. Hare created a list of characteristics used today by trained experts in law enforcement, prisons, and by psychologists to identify psychopaths. In it, Dr. Hare identified the twelve most common characteristics.
I am not a trained psychologist and cannot provide a definite diagnosis of Kripalu, but based on my years as a devotee, I can say with complete confidence that he exhibits all twelve characteristics. I will point out one example for each of the characteristics listed. However, the examples I cite are by no means exhaustive. For every evidence I provide, there are hundreds more that I could mention. It is beyond the scope of this book to document every example.
1. Glib and Superficial. “Psychopaths are often witty and articulate.” Anyone who has spent any amount of time around Kripalu knows that he regularly chatters away about anything that comes to his mind. Everyone around him acts as if every word he utters is laden with deep spiritual meaning. But, in truth, the majority of his commentary is nothing but meaningless prattle.
2. Egocentric and Grandiose. “Psychopaths have a narcissistic and grossly inflated view of their self-worth and importance, a truly astounding egocentricity and sense of entitlement, and see themselves as the center of the universe, as superior beings who are justified in living according to their own rules.” I suggest that the mere fact that Kripalu claims to be “the highest form of God,” and that everything in his world revolves around him is proof enough of this point. This characteristic also speaks to narcissism, which is a component of psychopathology. According to Wikipedia, the narcissistic personality (in the clinical sense) is characterized by a grandiose self-view, a sense of entitlement, lack of empathy, and self-centered egotism.
3. A Lack of Remorse or Guilt. “Psychopaths show a stunning lack of concern for the devastating effects their actions have on others.” The man rapes underage girls. Then he warns them not to tell anyone and goes on his merry way.
4. Lack of Empathy. “Psychopaths view people as little more than objects to be used for their own gratification.” One of the ways they do this is by “parasitically bleeding other people of their possessions, savings, and dignity” and “engaging in an unending series of casual, impersonal, and trivial sexual relationships.” This again speaks to Kripalu’s continuous “Sex Factory,” whereby he manipulates woman into having sex with him and rapes underage girls. He also unremorsefully bleeds people dry of as much money as possible — including, in many cases, their life savings.
5. Deceitful and Manipulative. “When caught in a lie or challenged with the truth, they are seldom perplexed or embarrassed, and simply change their stories or attempt to re-work the facts so that they appear to be consistent with the lie.” After Prakash became a convicted pedophile and a wanted fugitive, Kripalu simply hid the fact that for ten years Prakash had been project manager for Prem Mandir, the largest temple in Vrindavan. Suddenly the party line was that Kripalu built it himself. Nobody said a single word about this Orwellian rewriting of history (which is the norm in JKP).
6. Shallow Emotions. “While at times they appear cold and unemotional, they are prone to dramatic, shallow, and short-lived displays of feeling.” During Kripalu’s frequent but short interludes with female devotees, he often feigns to love them. However, when he’s no longer interested, he dismisses them with complete disregard. Another aspect of this personality disorder is the Machiavellian personality, which is characterized by manipulation and exploitation of others with a cynical disregard for morality and a focus on self-interest and deception. (In fact, Machiavellian, narcissism, and psychopathy are called the “dark triad” of personality disorders. Kripalu exhibits all three.)
7. Impulsive. “‘The psychopath is like an infant, absorbed in his own needs, vehemently demanding satiation,’ write psychologists William and Joan McCord.’” (Dr. Hare cites this comment from the McCord’s study, The Psychopath: An Essay on the Criminal Mind.) Devotees themselves always made ludicrous comments like “Maharaji is like a child” and “he’s so innocent.” In fact, he’s shrewd, canny and underhanded. He does exactly as he pleases and everyone else has to march to his tune. For example, on my second trip to India, Kripalu decided suddenly to leave Barsana the next morning for Orissa. This sudden change of schedule was the norm, not the exception.
8. Poor Behavior Controls. “Psychopaths are highly reactive to perceived insults or slights.” I once witnessed Kripalu suddenly start screaming at an elderly woman during a parikrama (walk) around his ashram. She was a long-time devotee, but he demanded that she leave his ashram. Her offense? She wore shoes on the parikrama. This is just one example of many when I’ve seen and heard about him yelling at people and kicking people out of his ashrams for small slights.
9. Need for Excitement. “Psychopaths have an ongoing and excessive need for excitement — they long to live in the fast lane or ‘on the edge,’ where the action is. In many cases the action involves breaking the rules.” Kripalu needs nearly constant activity around him and demands to be entertained almost constantly. He insists on frequent visits to other cities, expects women to dance for him nightly, and engages in endless secret sexual liaisons with women and young girls right under people’s noses.
10. Lack of Responsibility. “Psychopaths are not deterred by the possibility that their actions may cause hardship or risk to others.” On March 4, 2010, there was a stampede at the entrance to Kripalu’s main ashram in Mangarh, India. Hundreds of people died or were injured. Kripalu showed no sympathy, and, in fact, blamed the people themselves, saying they were not even invited to the free meal being served at the ashram. In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, Kripalu was secretly transported out of the area. Later, a television reporter returned to interview the villagers. He spoke with several people, including one poor village woman, whose son, daughter, and mother in-law all died in the stampede. The reporter asked her if anyone from the ashram had visited her after the incident. She said no. When he asked her who was responsible, she was too shy at first to respond. He asked her if the gate was to blame? She said no. When he again asked who was responsible, she became emotional and said: “Baba” (meaning Kripalu). The reporter asked: “You think Baba is to blame?” She answered: “Yes, and he is hiding his face and is gone.”
11. Early Behavior Problems. “Most psychopaths begin to exhibit serious behavioral problems at an early age.” In Prakash’s series of speeches on the “life history” of Kripalu, he describes the childhood of a precocious, bratty, bully ringleader, who demanded center stage at all times. He says that Kripalu was always “pulling pranks” on his classmates, “asking his teachers questions they could not answer,” and was physically stronger than everyone around him. He would do things like climb high up into a tree and taunt his friends to follow him, and engage in stick fights in which no one could ever strike him.
12. Adult Antisocial Behavior. “Psychopaths consider the rules and expectations of society inconvenient and unreasonable, impediments to the behavioral expression of their inclinations and wishes.” The most revealing comment I ever heard about Kripalu was one he made himself in May 2007 in the Barsana Dham ashram in Austin, Texas: “The actions of a saint may seem more worldly than the most worldly person’s actions. But you cannot judge them, because you are worldly and a saint is divine.”
I also found a description of Kripalu’s early life in an article that talked about his arrest on charges of raping three underage girls in India. It shed interesting light on his origins—including the fact that he studied tantric yoga from a tantric yogi. This fact is very enlightening for two reasons: 1) Kripalu claims to never have had a guru, and 2) tantric yoga is closely associated with the “dark arts.”
Here is more from the article:
“Kripalu’s primary education was in Chitrakoot and further in Indore. At that time he met a swami and got to know him. He was impressed with him. He left his home and moved to his ashram. The swami knew tantric yoga. Kripalu did seva to the swami and learned tantric knowledge. Then he left and went to Vrindaban and started his own ashram (using the tantric knowledge).
“He gave eloquent speeches. Because of that people became impressed by this, many went to his lectures and slowly his devotees grew. Word got out that if someone happened to get something that they wanted, they would credit him. For example, if a woman wanted a baby or man a job and they got what they wanted (by chance) after seeing Kripalu, they believed he caused it. Many started relying on him for their desires. Slowly people started believing he was a descended form of god and started doing puja to him. Whoever had blind faith on him, those people joined him. With the people’s money he made a big ashram in Mangarh.
“Kripalu is a different kind of sadhu. He was a married man with children. But he didn’t care for that. When he was young he married a very beautiful lady and honeymooned in Mangarh (note: not the woman, Ama). Then he left and went back to Vrindaban. He kept going to Mangarh on and off to see her. But then she became fat and he didn’t like her anymore, and quit going to see her. He married a second time. Even though he married a second time, devotees still had faith in him. Time went on and he became more famous and he got many devotees in several places. Through donations he became a millionaire.”
It’s no surprise that Kripalu’s official back story is a complete fabrication, because being an accomplished liar goes hand-in-hand with being a textbook psychopath.