Chinmoy was a very clever charlatan. On no authority but his own, he told his adulatory disciples that there were many 'sons of god' or avatars. He said that Christ would not return to judge the world. Yes, he knew better than Saint Paul and the New Testament writers. This was particularly sad to hear in Scotland, a country which produced a galaxy of brilliant world-class Reformed theologians, many from the Free Church of Scotland. Chinmoy had total controlling authority over his disciples. They called him Supreme. They handed over their money to him. They had to obey him in all things. He lived in the lap of luxury and never had to work. He even insinuated his way into the United Nations. This is what we call a cult. Cults are bad news. Now there is growing evidence that he sexually abused young women in his ashram. If you want to read a good book on spirituality then read 'A Faith to Live By' (Mentor 2010) by Donald MacLeod, former principal of the Free Church of Scotland College. Or listen to the radio website of the late Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones, a humble man who knew he was a sinner but preached the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. Chinmoy is counterfeit spirituality. Get out of it, folks.
Posted by John Haggerty | Thursday 14 March 2013 @ 15:33
I lived in Jamaica Queens, Sri Chinmoy's neighborhood. It was the area where the rapper 50 Cent was shot, where the great 80s rap group Run DMC grew up and very near JFK airport. No one living there lives "in the lap of luxury" as Haggerty commented. If his followers were giving him all their money, it certainly wasn't much. He lived in a modest home like everyone else in that working-class neighborhood. Mr. Haggerty, facts are actually important to some people.
Posted by Robert Johnson | Friday 15 March 2013 @ 13:42
Drug crime is the curse of our times. It encroaches on all our lives, whether we are living in Jamaica, Queens, or Kelvinside, Glasgow. Many of Mr Chinmoy's disciples were wealthy. They DID give him money. It is ON RECORD, Mr Johnson. The man who called himself Guru and Supreme did not have to get up in the morning and go to work. He lived a charmed life. He had total control over the lives of his disciples. Such absolute power corrupted him. Many here in Scotland were young, vulnerable people. They were scared to leave his mind-control system of thought. It would mess up their future incarnation. He claimed to be able to look into their past lives. To be under his thrall was truly wretched. People like Chinmoy are more dangerous than dictators and despots because gurus and avatars pretend to be holy. Even a despot doesn't claim to be able to look into the mind of god. As for his humble working-class residence, he could always have returned to his own country and done voluntary work among the wretched of the earth. Mother Theresa may have had her faults but that's what she did. Many Protestant missionaries do it as well. Nobody is going to remember Chinmoy and say, 'Yes, he made a difference.' He was just another false Christ. He was no more a mediator between God and sinful man than I am, or indeed any drug pusher on our troubled streets.
Posted by John Haggerty | Friday 15 March 2013 @ 14:46
Mr Haggerty, I've written about Sri Chinmoy in the past. As Mr Johnson says, your inflammatory comments are not accurate. His followers do NOT call him "the Supreme". He did NOT live in the the lap of luxury, but in a modest house. (It's true! I've seen the place.) Rather than live a charmed life in which he didn't work, he wrote literally hundreds of books, gave meditative concerts around the world, composed numerous songs, and presented meditations for diplomats and staff at the UN and other significant places. True, a (very) small number of his students were wealthy - a typical cross-section of society - and they were allowed to remain so, doing whatever they liked with their money. However, it's true that vast wealth was not encouraged, as it wasn't considered helpful to spirituality. Mr Haggerty, you obviously enjoy the freedom of the internet, but I suggest you use it wisely.
Posted by Mark Juddery | Friday 15 March 2013 @ 19:29
The last thing I wish to do is be acrimonious, Mark. I am an evangelical Christian and my dearest prayer is to win you for Christ, and all those in the Chinmoy movement. In 1972, as someone who meditated with the Chinmoy group, we sang a hymn to your late guru, and yes we used the term Supreme. He was there in person. He loved all the worship he got. Someone questioned him about his demand for total obedience from his disciples. He lost his temper and became unpleasant. This was at a public meeting in Turnbull Hall at Glasgow University. Many were present. Chinmoy claimed godlike powers which are blasphemous. He had no integrity about dismissing the Bible and the deity of Christ as the world's only Saviour. He wrote lots of books? So do the gurus in the New Age Movement such as Deepak Chopra, and they are all dangerous gnostic nonsense. Please listen to the online sermons of the late Dr Martyn-Lloyd Jones, under whose ministry I wss converted. What would John Knox or John Calvin say to Chinmoy? 'Come out of your sins Mr Chinmoy and get into Christ.'
Posted by John Haggerty | Friday 15 March 2013 @ 21:43
The Skinny has been very patient in allowing me to air my views on the Sri Chinmoy Cult. My sincere thanks to you. I am aware, incidentally, that there are rotten Christian cults, and that there are mind-controlling techniques used by some evangelicals, such as those involved in the Jesus Camp etc. Mainline churches in Britain condemn these brainwashing groups unequivocally. But I think your readers are entitled to know the truth of the late Mr Chinmoy's personal wealth. Look at a blog called CULT NEWS FROM RICK ROSS -- GREEDY GURU DIED WORTH MILLIONS. The will of Chinmoy Kumar Ghose left behind a financial residue totalling millions of dollars. In addition to 15O.000.OO dollars in various bank accounts, the supreme guru who had 'achieved god consciousness' had no less than six properties under his own name. NOT under the name of his 'non profit making church'. Four of the properties are located in Jamaica, Queens. Two others appear to be residences in Victoria, British Columbia, and another in Tarpon, Florida. The details were filed by Chinmoy's designated executor David K Burke of Jamaica, Queens. Chinmoy's wealthier disciples lost interest in him. They grew old and wised up. Did he die in a working class district? It depends on how you define working class. I live in a working class district of Glasgow, but I am very close to a beautiful park, art gallery and trendy cafe bars. If I lived in the East End, where drug dealers walk around with attack dogs, my life would be very different. George Bernard Shaw, one of my heroes and no respecter of God, said jokingly that a socialist shouldn't have more than two homes. Mr Chinmoy has already stood before the judgement seat of Jesus Christ. It can't be long before I am standing there myself.
Posted by John Haggerty | Saturday 16 March 2013 @ 01:17
There need be no conflict between being a deeply committed Christian and writing about other beliefs and practices with respect, tolerance, and (might I say) accuracy. I expect most Christians are tolerant and inquisitive, as this sermon from the Revd Barbara Moss, Great St. Mary's Church, Cambridge suggests:
The world is changing. These days when someone looks for a spiritual path, often they look for kindness, compassion and tolerance. Christianity can provide these qualities, but it's up to each individual Christian to actually practice them rather than attacking non-Christians.
Sri Chinmoy's teachings are an open book. He writes: "When I say that I am an instrument, I really mean it. I am not God; far from it. God is your Father as much as He is mine. God is not anybody's monopoly." He also writes: "My personal opinion of Jesus Christ is that he is God's Son. If you feel that he has not achieved anything, unfortunately I cannot see eye to eye with you. On the strength of my own realisation, I know that he is a real Son of God and a real world-Saviour. He was God-realised and fully illumined. He had a heart full of compassion; his heart was a flood of compassion. He was, he is and he will always remain a Saviour to mankind."
When the different religions or paths treat each other like brothers, then God is most pleased. As the world has progressed, so too our view of a compassionate God has progressed. A compassionate God will send more than one teacher or helper to earth. The Christ will save Christian souls, the Buddha will free Buddhist souls, and those who believe in the Hindu concept of an Absolute Supreme may realise Him in that form. What Sri Chinmoy essentially taught was bhakti yoga, defined here by the Gale Encyclopedia:
"Bhakti yoga is the path of love and devotion. An individual with an emotional temperament can transform those emotions, to be absorbed in spiritual service instead of being attached to physical or sensory gratification. Love can be centered on a familiar form of God, a great saint, or some great task in life. In bhakti yoga, the whole universe, whether animate or inanimate, is seen as permeated by divinity. Bhakti (meaning loving devotion) is the practice of self-surrender for the purpose of identifying with the source of love, the higher self."
If Sri Chinmoy were a bad person or somehow anti-Christian, I don't think he would have written so many poems and songs honouring Christ, nor taught them to his students. But here you can listen to them singing many songs praising Christ:
People often say, "Oh, that sounds like nuns singing!" And indeed, these are women who live a pure, consecrated life much like Christian nuns.
If an Indian Guru and his students can show such love and reverence for Christ, surely Christians can show tolerance and brotherhood. These are not merely high concepts, but have practical implications. If you're a Christian, tolerance and brotherhood means you don't take malicious pleasure in spreading false hate material about non-Christian groups.
A philosophy of tolerance is also very practical, because hate groups are often equal opportunity haters. Today they may attack an Indian guru, tomorrow they may attack a Christian leader. But if we all practice kindness, compassion, and tolerance, then we will suffer less from hatred whether we are Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, or something else.
Posted by Michael Howard | Friday 05 April 2013 @ 06:12
Skinny readers should take Michael Howard's talk about 'kindness and tolerance' with a pinch of salt. Go to a blog titled CULT WATCHDOGS AND MENTAL HEALTH PROFESSIONALS WARN PUBLIC ABOUT SRI CHINMOY. Cult observer Mark Powers in Baltimore calls the Chinmoy movement 'a fully fledged cult' and 'a destructive cult'. It is now classed in the 'highly dangerous' category, alongside that of the Church of Scientology and the Unification Church or Moonies. Arnold Markowitz, director of the New York Jewish community cult hotline, says: 'Chinmoy has produced the most psychiatric casualties of the meditation groups that I've experienced.' He goes on to say that the Chinmoy Ghose meditation technique uses 'trance and hypnosis'. People are exploited and have no free thought. It can be attractive at the start. People who meditate in this way may feel a reduction of anxiety. But there is a rebound effect. Longtime group members feel distressed if they are NOT meditating. So they get caught in a delusional cycle. It becomes habitual, addictive. 'Mind control', say health professionals, 'is a slow and insidious business.' If you allow yourself to be controlled in this way, you will lose all real memory of who you are or were. Remember, I meditated with a Chinmoy group myself, though it was years ago. A friendly young man, who broke with the group, committed suicide by jumping from high flats in Glasgow. Chinmoy Ghose informed Glasgow members that he had 'intervened' with the Most High to ensure George would be reincarnated within a good family. George's act of self-destruction would not ruin his karma. And everyone swallowed this utter pigwash without questioning Ghose's sanity. About the same time, Chinmoy Ghose told an American disciple (I met her) that she had been a water buffalo in a previous incarnation. Who could make this shit up? Again, nobody questioned Chinmoy's delusional (not to say psychotic) assertions. This guru's total control over the lives of his disciples ought to have earned him an FBI 'X File'. But Chinmoy Ghose had friends in high places, from the UN to the American music industry. Did he acknowledge Christ as the Son of God? Only in as much as there were many sons of God, himself, of course, included. He was the highest living Master bar none. Chinmoy Ghose had absolutely no interest in the Bible as God's revealed Word. How could he? He sold himself to the world as a very high soul embodied in the physique of an athlete. 'The Devil,' we are reminded in Scripture, 'can appear as an angel of light.' When Chinmoy Ghose sexually abused one of his young disciples, he told her they weren't having sex. Oh no, he was pouring his 'Divine energy' into her. It's a wonder Jimmy Saville didn't try that line when he abused his equally helpless young victims.
Posted by John Haggerty | Tuesday 09 April 2013 @ 17:15
Please be warned. Sri Chinmoy computers geeks will do everything they can to wipe out the Skinny blog. They hate the very idea of open debate, or free discourse. The original Google page on Sri Chinmoy, with its lower bar marked CULT, has already vanished. Instead you only see the cult's propaganda sites. They don't want young people to know the truth.
Posted by John Haggerty | Wednesday 10 April 2013 @ 16:00
John, I stand by my earlier calm, reasoned, accurate statements about Sri Chinmoy. If he made thousands of friends in the interfaith community, it's because in over 40 years of teaching he was known as a good and decent person, someone who set an outstanding example by his own conduct, and who furthered ideals of religious tolerance and brotherhood. You would do better to emulate him than to libel him.
In 2007, Sri Chinmoy was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by a consortium which included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, President Mikhail Gorbachev, and a number of university professors. Religious leaders of many denominations who came to know him found his knowledge authentic, his character sterling, and his teaching activities admirable. See, for example, statements praising him by Monsignor Thomas Hartman and Rabbi Marc Gellman.
John, I see you as a sincere Christian who's struggling to come to terms with the diversity of the modern world. Where I think you err is in feeling that the only way to defend Christian values is by attacking leaders of other faiths. There's a much better way to defend Christian values: by actually living them. To treat people with kindness, compassion and tolerance is the Christian thing to do. To harass them or tell lies about them is not. In fact, it's a singularly good way to lose your soul. The harm done to other human beings by spreading lies is real and must ultimately be accounted for.
The various religions or paths are not like clubs where the moment you join you're automatically saved. There is always the question of free will and how we use it at each moment. Someone may say "I am a Christian," but if they don't act with Christian charity, where is their salvation? The universe is ultimately a just place, and as you sow so shall you reap. That being the case, wouldn't it be better to be loving and kind instead of spitting venom?
At their core, the world's great religions are remarkably similar. All tend to stress non-hurtfulness and ethics as steps toward reaching the Divine. God is infinitely good, so how can an evil-minded person reach this good? By gradually becoming good.
Each religion or path will have some core practices which are helpful in becoming good; but when people become crank letter-writers on the Internet, this acts as an impediment to their spiritual progress. They neglect to do the needful, and so become bad instead of good.
My fond hope or prayer is that each human being will do the needful to become good. Then there will be no conflict. One person reaches the Ultimate Good in the Christian way, another in the Hindu way, and a third in the Buddhist way. At that time, if they compare notes they will agree it is the same Good.
Neither I nor anyone I know has any influence with Google. If links to wacky anti-cult sites with bizarre "truther" claims are hard to locate, that's probably because most people on the Internet prefer accurate information by non-haters.
Posted by Michael Howard | Tuesday 23 April 2013 @ 20:18
Dear Michael, the sincerity of your comment demands a sincere reply. You are perfectly correct. Christians must act in love and charity at all times, but we must also be like lions in defending Biblical truth. If not, we shall have to answer to Christ on the Day of Judgement. 'For there is one God and one intermediary between God and humanity, the man Christ Jesus.' 1 Timothy 2:5. And again in Acts 4:12, the absolute Lordship of Jesus Christ is affirmed: 'Salvation is to be found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.' Woe is me if I preach not the Gospel; woe is me if I care one jot for the approval of men and women, instead of living to please only God. The God of the Bible is to be feared, and regarded with the utmost awe. We can only approach Him through Jesus Christ, the Eternal Son; indeed, the Apostle Paul, in his Letter to the Ephesians, says that if we are not 'in Christ', then we are not even close to God. How does that go down in your 'diverse' society? Did the Apostle Paul preach diversity when he preached in Athens? No, of course he didn't, because salvation lies only in Christ. If we fail to take refuge in Christ's blood, then we will perish in our sins. I can only pray you will be delivered from your evil cult, Michael. Chinmoy Ghose was clearly psychotic, manipulative, greedy, dishonest, and very likely a sexual predator. In short he was a most diabolical blasphemer, and an antichrist. It's no surprise that some liberal Christians supported him. These liberals you admire are weak on doctrine. (Lots of clever and moral people in Europe were fooled by Stalin.) Either these liberal Christians didn't know the full facts of what Ghose was up to, or else they are in apostasy, i.e. denying the Lordship of Christ in all things. If you are as open as I think you are, Michael, please listen to a true BIBLICAL preacher on Youtube. He is Arthur W Pink (deceased in 1952 but never more relevant than today). Listen to Pink on THE WAY OF SALVATION, SAVING FAITH, ETERNAL PUNISHMENT IN HELL, ATTRIBUTES OF GOD, IT IS FINISHED and IS CHRIST YOUR LORD? I would be pleased to send you the May issue of the Banner of Truth Magazine, as well as a new short biography of John Knox written by John J Murray, a retired minister of the Free Church of Scotland. Scotland has turned its back on the great truths of the Reformation. We are paying the price for this apostasy in the growth of Satanism, theosophy, the occult, Wicca, the Jehovah Witnesses, Scientology, Mormonism, spiritualism, 'channelling', the so-called New Age... and pagan cults like the one promulgated by the impudent liar Chinmoy Ghose.
Posted by John Haggerty | Tuesday 23 April 2013 @ 23:45
In my last comment I said the living God is to be feared. 'Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,' is how it's put in Proverbs 1:7. But this must be balanced beside 1 John 4:18. 'There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.' And in John 3:16: 'For God SO LOVED THE WORLD, that he gave his ONLY begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have (the gift of) eternal life.' In the Gospel of John we hear the spoken words of Jesus: 'I am the way, the truth and the life: no one comes to the Father EXCEPT THROUGH ME.' In other words, there can be no spiritual masters, 'god-realised' gurus or avatars. These men are sinful pretenders; they believe their own lies, and lead their deluded followers to Hell. Jesus Christ, who was without sin, who died for our sins and was raised in the body to new and everlasting life, is God's final Word to sinful mankind. He is the only one who can conduct you to Heaven. Because He is the living bread come down from Heaven. If we drink from Him, we will never experience spiritual thirst again. But first we have to call on Him in the name of the Holy Spirit. Many reject Him. Like the mob who called for His crucifixion, people today say: 'We will not have this man to rule over us.' Skinny readers who want to find out more should go on to YouTube and listen to the preaching of Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, John Piper, Dave Hunt, Dave Wilkerson and James White. Buy a Bible and go to a Bible-believing church near you. 'BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.'
Posted by john haggerty | Sunday 28 April 2013 @ 22:00
I have the impression that interest in this subject is exhausted. But for Skinny readers still following this issue, may I recommend a talk on Youtube, HOW TO RECOGNIZE A REAL CHURCH by John MacArthur? Pastor MacArthur is a true and fearless preacher of the Gospel. His preaching is Biblical. He has the ability to read the signs of the times as Jesus advised His disciples to do. John MacArthur will never lead you astray. My thanks to Skinny, a publication I read with enjoyment.
Posted by John Haggerty | Tuesday 13 August 2013 @ 11:37
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