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 he 1970s, where my 1980s girlfriend, a Cambridge graduate, had also taken 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.
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.
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.
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
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…
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.