The authorship of these files on cults has his or her own motivations for providing them a

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[Fredric Rice, The Skeptic Tank: The authorship of these files on cults has his or her own motivations for providing them and will contain his or her own bias. What I find typical is that individuals and organizations which report on cults are usually themselves a competition cult yet like to think of themselves as "a religion, not a cult." In actual fact, _ALL_ religions are cults by the primary, secondary, and terciary usage definition of the term. Some of the information you find here is inaccurate and contains urban legend -- take what you find with a grain of salt. If you wish to acquire a copy of the Law Enforcement Guide on Occult Crime, contact myself at frice@stbbs.com or at The Skeptic Tank (818) 335-9601 and I'll forward the address and information you need.] Sahaja Yoga No cult likes to be called a cult, but the term is particularly offensive to the middle class and professional followers of Sahaja Yoga. Nevertheless, stories of split families, children sent away at five to Sahaja boarding schools, plus the size of donations made by followers to their guru Mataji, continue to tar this movement's image. Disciples meditate in front of pictures of Mataji, who has cryptically referred to herself as the Holy Ghost, Christ, Adi Shakti, the wife of Krishna, and the Virgin Mary. They are also encouraged to watch videos of Mataji and to make pilgrimages to her palace near Poona in India, where she sometimes conducts mass weddings. She is the wife of a wealthy Indian UN envoy, though neither he nor her children are members of the movement. In 1986, British devotees paid £300,000 in order thatthe movement might buy a mansion near Cambridge. (Five years later an Italian castle was added to Mataji's impressive property portfolio.) Sahaja Yoga involves the bodily awakening of 'Kundalini', which moves through the body's seven 'chakras'. Shoe-beating, lemons and chillies are used to combat energy-sucking demons. 'We're not out to change people or recruit people. We believe that Sahaja is out and out enjoyment. We encourage the family circle and think that being happy is the most wonderful thing in the world.' - Leader of the Worcester Sahaja group, in response to a local newspaper front page story about the Sahaja movement. To comment about this Website, our paper and all associated articles, you can mail us at the Observer: bill@dial.pipex.com

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