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Unregistered User
(12/22/01 10:26 pm)
Is SRF a Cult? Prepare for a shock
I was reading the Rick Ross website with some amusement and ran across a video on "how to build a cult" on his website. For the first 30 seconds I thought it was cartoonish, but I kept watching. Prepare to be spooked. All but a few of the examples DIRECTLY related to how SRF operates. It really freaked me out. The control techniques, the manipulation, they were describing what I saw!


There is a segment where they show a cult member willing to kill another member, which is far fetched, but the rest of it is so close! Wow. I am freaked out! Did I really fall for this stuff???

Unregistered User
(12/22/01 10:43 pm)
Part II
I just watched part of it again and made some notes. Do these sounds familiar?

+ Tell people they are part of an elite group (like the religion for the new age).

+ Control their behavior, tell them how to dress, what to eat. (mostly this is with the monastics, but they do this with volunteers too)

+ Control information and spy and report on each other. (Everything in SRF is secret and the monastics are encouraged to spy on each other. See other messages about this)

+ Claim divine authority (the bad ladies claim Master said SRF would be run by people of “realization” which many here on the Walrus don’t believe he ever really said)

+ Make them think life outside the group is bad.

+ Separate them from family. (SRF does this to the monastics, encouraging them to forget or break most contact with their families)

+ Demonize criticism. (You who know the bad ladies know this one is done on the inside in spades!)

Registered User
(2/15/02 8:57 pm)
Re: Part II
Some of the characteristics you list can be applied to Christianity, and pretty much almost any other religious movement (including SRF). Does that make them all cults? Religion is one and universal (as defined in the science of religion by Yogananda). What we call religions today are actually denominations of that religion, and all the different braches we call denominations today are actually the creeds or cults of the one universal religion, which is, the removal of pain and the realization of bliss of God. Confusion arises when a small fraction of religion is viewed and recognized as the whole and end all. Sri Yogananda and the masters were able to step back and view it in its full universal scope, including the underlying causes of all actions.

Throughout history, religions have "arisen" when a realized soul has come into the world. But if no such soul would come down would there be a religion? Sure there would. People and all creatures would still seek to eliminate wants and needs and wish to experience joy and happiness.

Here are some examples taken from the New Testament that match up close to some of the characteristics you listed. I know that you were specifically relating them with SRF, but this is just to show that almost any other religious movement has some of the traits describing a "cult".

+ Tell people they are part of an elite group (like the religion for the new age).

He answered and said unto them "Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given"

+ Claim divine authority

And they all said, ""Are You the Son of God, then?'' And He said to them, ""Yes, I am.'

+ Make them think life outside the group is bad.

"You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

+ Separate them from family.

"And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or farms for My name's sake, will receive many times as much, and will inherit eternal life."

When someone asked the Master (Yogananda) if what he was teaching was a new religion or sect (or cult), he replied "it is a new expression of religion" or something to that effect.

Matador Board
Registered User
(7/22/02 7:38 am)
Cults may have narcissists inside them

SRF is evaluated as a cult nowadays. Many, many postings on this board seem to reflect the problem of narcissism. I have come to suspect many narcissism points (the full scale is below) to be latent or at work in the open for many members, not only major leaders. Look at these, for example:

2. Fantasies of ideal love: In a cult like SRF (Self-Realization Fellowship) much of the liturgy revolves around crying to God Mother to get her love - loving God is part of its ritual. It may breed depressons and much else, and is quite an example and may reveal exclusiveness of attitutes (cf. point 9) in some in addition.

3. Being unique and of a high class with its associations: It is taught in SRF that those who get initiated are specially favoured, have particularly good karma, and most others may have to be left outside of those much favoured circles, maybe for lifetimes.
The idea of associating with high-status people is taken so far in monastic circles that they even retire from contact with lay members.

5. Self-entitlement compliance: The founding guru entitled his own gurus "divine descensions", avatars, and so many Christs, and members comply with such quite megalomanously given titles.

7. Recognising feelings of others outside - maybe.

8. May be envious of others who live freely, are free to doubt and think freely, have sex freely and not as boss advised, and so on.

9. Arrogant attitudes: It depends.

Much of this may be said to be part of the "culture" in SRF. There may be a jolly good chance that cult members are turned into narcissists if they were not in the first place.

What do we do with narcissists?
That is for you to find out.

Diagnostic Criteria for Narcissitic Personality Disorder

Core Definition of the Disorder: "A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behaviour), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by 5 or more of following:

1. Grandiose sense of self-importance

2. Preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

3. Believes he/she is special and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people

4. Requires excessive admiration

5. Has sense of self-entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

6. Is interpersonally exploitative

7. Lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

8. Is often envious of others or believes others are envious of him/her

9. Shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

Registered User
(9/14/02 1:34 pm)
Re: Is SRF a Cult? Prepare for a shock
Certainly SRF is a cult in the modern sense of it being a religious organization with some motive other than the helping of it’s membership. SRF’s goal is protection of SRF. This comes in many forms and with many excuses, but a focus on the membership can’t be claimed by even the senior monastics.

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