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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

The switch: an introduction to this blog.

On April 12th, 2009, in the evening, I wrote a long email to my best friend in the Sri Chinmoy Centre, who was a big shot living at the headquarters in New York.
This was the day before Sri Chinmoy's anniversary of his arrival in the west.
Sri Chinmoy had passed away one and an half years ago, but the celebrations were still happening the way they were when he was alive.
I was telling my friend in this email that I was leaving the Centre. It was my second attempt, after a first one six months before.
I knew this one was the real one. I had prepared it well. My brother and sister disciples did not even try to get me back.
I was leaving behind almost everything that was making up my life, leaving the spiritual family I had been with for fifteen years and leaving most of my friends.
A page was turned.

Right after sending the email, I started looking on the internet for all the testimonials about Sri Chinmoy I had heard about but never read. It was forbidden for us to go to look at those testimonials. One of the many insane rules we had to follow if we did not want to be expelled from the Centre. Sri Chinmoy said that those testimonials were lies written by ex-disciples who had turned against him and who had become "hostile forces."

Right away, you may ask: "But how did you buy this madness?"
Well, it's not that easy. I had, like most of my fellow disciples, a very strong spiritual aspiration when I joined Sri Chinmoy's path in 1994.
There are so many writings in Hinduism and Buddhism about the guru, the spiritual master. They say it's the only way to make spiritual progress.
I was lost; life had no meaning for me. Spirituality was the only option I could see at the time. And I got a very strong spiritual experience the first time I meditated on Sri Chinmoy's photo, recognizing him as my guru.
Things are very clear when you join the path of a guru. The first rule is the guru is always right. And the second rule is if ever the guru is wrong, refer to the first rule. The guru is enlightened, God-Realized, he is in direct communication with God (that sounds crazy – yes I know !!!!).
So as a wannabe good disciple I was always struggling with my mind. If ever I was surprised or shocked by something the guru would do or say, then I had a problem with my mind and I had doubts. This was a bad thing, and I then had to meditate and let it go.
I was not the only one, far from it. Thousands of people joined his path over the years. Many celebrities loved him and praised him.

So I read those testimonials. A lot of them were about sexual abuse. That was a shock. My guru who was asking his disciples to be celibate and chaste was having sex with some disciples.
This is how my deprograming process started. It was a long way. In a certain sense, it is still going on and it is a lifelong process.
I found out over the years, as more people started talking, the extent of his abuse and how much he has hurt people.
This blog is about cutting the crap about gurus and traditional spirituality.

Here is how it started :
In January 2015, I started chatting with K on Facebook. We were together on a ex-disciple forum. I hadn't spoke with her since I left the Centre. Girls and boys were very separated from each other, and we were in different countries, but she was one of the girls I was talking to sometimes. I can't say we were close but we appreciated each other. After a first chat on Facebook, we talked on Skype for about an hour. It was very sweet reconnecting with her. After the Skype K sent me a message telling me that she had so many questions for me. I told her I wanted to get into a writing discipline and that the Centre was a very good subject for me. We started corresponding through email and as soon as we had about 10 articles I put them on this blog.

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