UPDATED WITH VICE’S EPISODE:
- This is about how Kundalini Yoga and Yogi Bhajan are now seen accurately as a cult that harmed people in many ways, and they are still doing damage, though many of the victims don’t realize it when it’s happening.
(BTW, some of the photos used in Vice’s documentary are my wife’s)
(This was originally posted in 2010, brought here in 2012, updated 5-1-2015)
(Not ALL of the info below is 3HO specific)
I have written on the issue of evil and reincarnation/karma, here: Reincarnation vs. Laws of Logic
Stories of Yogi Bhajan’s improprieties and crooked financial dealing (theft from members) can be found at the RegisterGuard.com (like this one). As well as found at Religion News Blog, (like: 3hO, and Yogi Bhajan as topics in their archive).
I have personally heard stories about Yogi Bhajan because of close family members that use to be involved in this breakaway form of Sikhism.
Having an extensive collection of comparative religious texts that deal in some-form-or-fashion with Sikhism mainly and 3Ho to a lesser extent, my understanding of this “sect” is unfortunately deepened via the personal stories of anguish below, merely confirming that which is already known.
Articles like these (See: BRITNEY SPEARS) are rare due to the small nature of this “sect” and people assuming it is part of the world religion of Sikhism.
Further below I merely produce parts of the articles from REGISTERGUARD, in the hopes that it adds to an understanding of this movement (maybe a previous innocent naiveté, a, postmodern “who are you to judge” attitude) and how many lives it affected.
One should note that with extreme political ideologies as well as religious ones,
Remember, for instance, in the novel Animal Farm when the offspring of Jessie and Bluebell (two characters in the story — dogs) were taken away from them by Napoleon at birth and reared by Napoleon to be his security force. These dogs are trained to be vicious, going so far as to rip many of the animals to shreds including the four young pigs, a sheep and various hens. Similarly, as the sign over Auschwitz entrance to the medical facilities reads:
It is — the breakup up the family unit — a means for a person to control another. Isolation, separation and alienation leads to the group becoming a substitute family. Members are often encouraged to drop worldly (non-members) friends, may be told to change jobs, quit school, give up sports, hobbies, and the like (source).
Here is some great insight to this dilemma of people stuck in a cult (applicable to political extremes as well):
May I also add that in these types of “religions,” there is no love story entwined in it. The video to the right is a “parable” of sorts on Christ sacrifice for us… it is the Cosmic Love Story that IS the Good News. I have a longer post explaining core Christianity a bit better (how we view our relationship to God), to wit:
Bottom line with comparing healthy religion to a cultic idea of financial commitment:
I want to leave the reader with this thought by Robert Hume. In his book, The World’s Living Religions, he comments that there are three features of Christian faith that “cannot be paralleled anywhere among the religions of the world” [I can add here, the cults either]. These include the character of God as a loving Heavenly Father, the character of the founder of Christianity as the Son of God, and the work of the Holy Spirit. Further, he says:
a small portion of a documentary about Bhagwan Rajneesh (an Oregon cult):
(For those readers interested, I debated a Sikh — not a 3Ho member — and we spoke about truth… since he was a seeker of it. Portions of this debate are reproduced here: FIRST DEBATE; SECOND DEBATE) <— this is a very old blog I had from a LONG TIME ago. Sorry for the neglected format).