Diary Blog, 26 February 2021, including some thoughts about crazy cults

The madness of belief

I was listening last night to BBC World Service; a piece about “Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh” [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rajneesh], one of the “gurus” of the 1960s and 1970s, and favoured by the hippy element (and some pop stars).

There was a whole mass of odd “gurus”, supposed religious teachers etc around at that time. Most were broadly of Hindu orientation, though some were Buddhist, or even “Christian”, e.g. the “Reverend” Jim Jones [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Jones]. Some invented their own religions, as did L. Ron Hubbard (who invented Scientology in the 1950s), and the “Reverend” Moon of South Korea, whose “Moonies” became a pest across the Western world. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sun_Myung_Moon; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L._Ron_Hubbard

As a matter of fact, I was wandering around London, I think in 1978, aged 21, when two people, a young man and a young Asian woman, accosted me in Edgware Road. I was living in Little Venice at the time. I quickly guessed that they were Moonies but, curious, allowed myself to be invited to their HQ, which turned out to be a fairly large house in, I think, either Paddington or Notting Hill. The latter, as far as I can remember.

I was given a drink (instant coffee, I think) and a biscuit, and was then invited to an odd lecture (audience: about a dozen people, all young) by a possibly Korean, or Chinese, woman, not unattractive and aged about 30-ish.

I was slightly worried (the Moonies having been the subject of tabloid Press outrage) that I might be somehow prevented from leaving, but once the lecture was over (it concerned some weird ideas about how the Earth was created, the lecturer using a blackboard and chalk circles), I simply expessed a polite but firm intention to leave, thanked them, and walked out, never to see (as far as I know) another Moonie for the rest of my life.

As far as Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh is concerned, the only one of his disciples or former disciples I met was a woman whom my then girlfriend invited to the home we (sometimes) shared. That would have been mid-1980s.

The woman, divorced, had completed a Master’s degree at the University of Essex in the 1970s, where my 1980s girlfriend, a Cambridge graduate, had been taking a higher degree at the same time. The other woman had married a Jew, and brought her two rather unpleasant, rude and badly-behaved young sons (aged about 4 or 5) with her. She was, I had been told, a senior official in the —even then, rather notorious— Haringey Council in North West London.

She started talking about how she had at one time been involved with the Rajneesh cult (she referred to the Indian as “the Bagwash”, perhaps in an attempt not to seem brainwashed). She said that she could still see some value in what the cult taught. I could only listen, not knowing anything to speak of about that cult. I certainly had no idea that it was at least partly a “sex cult”! The afternoon did not end very amicably.

The “guru” himself is now dead, having had a heart attack at age 58 in 1990.

Bhagwan beweging gekwetst door reclame-affiche van het NRC met de tekst profeet , Bestanddeelnr 933-0734-cropped.jpg
[“Rajneesh Shri Bhagwan” in 1984]

Listening to the BBC broadcast [https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-44300915], what struck me most was the sheer decadence not (only) of the “guru” but more so of the white Western people who bowed down to what Churchill might have called (his description of Gandhi) “a half-naked native fakir“.

Of course, to be fair, Rajneesh was only an Indian con-man, not a supposed political “saint” whose activism led to the Partition of formerly British India, with the loss of life possibly topping 2 million: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Partition_of_India. [cf. Mandela…]

To my mind (no doubt “prejudiced”, “racist” etc…), it is almost beyond belief that young European (white) women from the UK, Germany, USA etc would want to have sexual relations with the Rajneesh creature. Does “group hypnotism” or “Stockholm Syndrome” explain some of that?

Likewise, the idiots not only accepted that Rajneesh was screwing many of the women, but accepted his extravagance on himself, as they slaved to bring in money to the cult, and/or gave their own money for the use of the “guru”.

Rajneesh had just under 100 Rolls-Royce cars, for example. The photos below show him expounding his “truths” to the “chelas”; also, his white serfs lining up to worship him as he drove past, covering them in dust. Madness. Rassenschande.

Bhagwan 1976
Hugh Milne
by Samvado Kossatz on the ranch in Oregon, 1982 - in the early 2000s, Samvado allowed use of the photo conditional on him getting the photo credit.

Did they stand there clapping, too? Or was mere silent worship enough?

I imagine that most of the followers were probably not hugely intelligent. Certainly, the Scottish bodyguard reminiscing on the BBC did not give a very intelligent impression. Still, interesting from the psychological point of view. The followers were (superficially) seeking enlightenment, sought it from Rajneesh, and seem not to have been too fazed by his sexual antics, or by his ownership of about 94 Rolls-Royces. Very odd, to me. I suppose that I am rather an ancient Roman, in my way…

Rajneesh was not the only guru-figure who liked Rolls-Royce cars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prem_Rawat#Lifestyle

Eventually, the Rajneesh cult ended in tears, with murder plots, criminal charges etc. The cultists even tried to kill 750 Oregon inhabitants by poisoning. Shades of Jonestown [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jonestown]. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_Rajneeshee_bioterror_attack; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ma_Anand_Sheela.

To any Western person of rational mind, that cult was crazy, as are or were “Jonestown”, Scientology, Moonies etc. There are literally thousands of other examples, from “Maharaj Ji” to the Jehovah’s Witnesses and the believers in “Joanna Southcott’s box”. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joanna_Southcott; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prem_Rawat; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jehovah%27s_Witnesses

Indeed, the Westernized Indians also look with disfavour upon the cults, such as those mentioned, the “Hare Krishna’s” etc, which mostly appeal to Western people. Books have been written, by satirical Indians, about it. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karma_Cola

Having said that, of course some of the major religions of today were once regarded by many of the people of the time of their inception as equally crazy. Christianity was looked upon as both mad and seditious by Rome, until Constantine adopted it. The same could be said of Islam, mutatis mutandis.

The only guides are reason, conscience, and instinct.

Looking at it in the wider historical context, cults and fantastic beliefs have always existed, but seem to flourish more during times of collapse of existing order and established belief.

Afternoon music

Hanson, Symphony no.2, “Romantic” (in three movements):

Tweets seen today

Interesting psychological experiment. Not surprising though. A virus which kills one in a thousand people has been presented as a “Black Death”, and has led to human “rabbits” wearing facemasks as ordered (and even when walking alone in the open air!), keeping away from each other, making their children into poor pathetic muzzled and isolated units even in school, and so on.

Not a bad film, but arguably far too sympathetic to the fugitive couple. Few were arrested solely for their opposition to the Vietnam War. Fugitives of that sort usually were wanted on charges of murder, manslaughter, robbing banks, setting off bombs etc.

There was a similar case in real life, seen on TV by me when I was staying on the Gulf Coast of Florida in 1999. A woman in (I think) Ohio, or somewhere that way, was arrested. A housewife/homemaker, married to a dentist who knew nothing of her past (if I am remembering correctly) or her real name. Arrested on Federal warrant originally dated sometime around 1970.

I think that this was a similar case: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2002/jan/20/duncancampbell.theobserver; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Weather_Underground#Legacy

More tweets

Wake up, people…”they” will not be content until our whole civilization, culture, race and religion(s) are destroyed, and “they” rule over whatever raceless, cultureless humanoid mass is still living.

The schools in the UK (both fee-paying and State schools) are becoming, indeed have become, unfit for purpose. Some people think that it is somehow unlawful to homeschool. Not so: https://www.gov.uk/home-education.

More peaceful afternoon music

That Rautavaara piece is peaceful in part, but also unsettling, like much of life…

More peaceful…

Late tweets seen

Tweeter “Jason/@j8ybb” is all too typical. Ignorant, thinks that an insult is an argument, and seems to think (or has been brainwashed into thinking) that White Northern Europeans are somehow worse than, and certainly not more advanced than, the “blacks and browns”. He also seems to despise what appears to be his own ancestry and people.

I just read a few more of the tweets from “Jason”. Sad, more than anything.

Late music

2 thoughts on “Diary Blog, 26 February 2021, including some thoughts about crazy cults”

  1. Re. Jehova’s Witnesse’s: They used to pop round my local area quite frequently and I noticed the fact that they tended to be in the main elderly people and despite putting a notice on my door, they would still disturb me to promote their cranky philosophy. When asked why they disturbed me they told me their “Elders” had instructed them to ignore such notices and knock on people’s doors! Anyway, on one occasion I answered and they handed me a leaflet with the headline: “Is it time for World Government” – upon seeing that I made my excuses and closed the door – crazy! I got the impression that “some” of these oap’s were only involved for a bit of company, quite sad really!

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    1. Watcher:
      Yes.I favour freedom of religion, but what the Jehovah’s Witnesses do goes beyond that.

      You will find that Jehovah’s Witnesses are mostly if not all people of low or very moderate intelligence, and usually little education either. Many in London are, I believe, black these days.

      I was once asleep on the Central Line, having finished a trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court early (very early, about 12 midday). It was warm in the train, sunny; there were few passengers. I fell asleep.I was awakened by two blacks, smartly dressed in black overcoats. I was sure that they were JW’s, having been accosted by similar in the past. Ticket inspectors!

      Also, I knew someone whose friend, a recent arrival from the Soviet Union (and very anti-Soviet…this was about 1980) invited a JW into her home, and then answered every point the JW made (eg “there is a power of Evil in the world!” with “YES! Marxism-Leninism!”), and kept the JW talking so long that his friends or co-nuisances thought that he had been abducted!

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