This morning's first batch of email included a note from South Africa resident, Avarim, author of a blog called The Guru and I. He was happy to explain essentially who the "guru" is, but isn't ready to tell us his name yet:
The blog relates to a group in the Rosicrucian/Golden Dawn genre, claiming disciplic authority from an ancient mystical tradition. (Like 20 zillion other groups out there.)A name won't tell you what this "guru" really is: a self-deluded narcissist who is convinced he has "spiritual power" due to some unfortunate referential dementia supplying deep and powerful meaning to random events – and that's the best case. At worst, he's a criminal who has gotten good at playing the guru game: claim to be God, or in possession of God's powers, and watch 'em drop like maple leaves in Maine, in the Fall, at your feet.
The guru is the usual egotistical admixture of complementary urges for money, power and ass. People have been abused, hurt, and financially damaged through their connection to him. The techniques he uses to cement his hegemony are textbook strategies in suggestion and mind control. As always, his groupies are too scared to ever call him out on his failed prophecies and insights - a fear rooted in their belief he is in possession of special powers and has connections to high spiritual places. He is always reluctant to demonstrate his powers (for obvious reasons) but is very quick to take the credit when something happens which is potentially attributable to his mostly non-existent abilities.
The membership is relatively small and the impact of the group negligible. But it remains an interesting, if not entirely unique, study in how ordinary people make assholes of themselves (including myself) when there is a guru in town.
There's a whole lot more at the blog, for which the turban comes off in thanks and praise.