Saturday, March 30, 2013

It's easy to be a false guru

The movie "Kumare" ( is a must-see.  The filmmaker was skeptical of gurus in general and so experimented with becoming a guru himself.  He made up some unique teachings and practices on his own, dressed for the part, adopted a guru-like accent and hit the road.  He was highly successful at gathering followers.

It's demonstration of how trivially easy it is to become a fake spiritual leader.  Here's another example of how easy it is:  Derren Brown is a "mentalist".  Mentalism is a branch of stage magic wherein the performer emulates having supernatural abilities.  Brown is using trance and suggestion to induce "spiritual experiences" (See "How did he do it?" at

What Brown and the Kumare filmmaker are both demonstrating is how trivially easy it is to start a cult.  Either of them could have continued on to cement their hold over their followers.  

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