I recently watched the documentary below about Sai Baba, the Indian Guru who had a massive following throughout India as well as in other countries, and who we now know was a pedophile who sexually abused many young boys, which was covered up. Fascinating how followers of Sai Baba (at least, at the time of this documentary) were immune to any criticism or allegations of their guru. "To them it was just another test of their faith". That same "faith" can be seen in the faces of those who cheered on Adolph Hitler - he too became an idealized "Father" ("Der Fuerer"), and another "God Man". I reflect on the ways "faith" has become a pseudonym for all kinds of abuse, regardless of the form it takes, and this unyielding "faith" is, in its essence, related to the hierarchy and authoritarianism intrinsic to patriarchal culture, whether it occurs in India, Texas, or Germany.
In their book THE GURU PAPERS they so elegantly "unmask" these deeply embedded aspects of contemporary religion and mysticism. And as they point out, "renunciate" and authoritarian systems of religious thought are a profound disaster for contemporary times, for the environmental crisis, because they are so very inappropriate for the environment, for a global society, and for women.***
As they point out as well, the emphasis on "purity", whether a Hindu Guru or a Catholic priest, usually results in abuse of power and its denial.
"Lying about sex is so rampant in every culture that structures what is sexually permitted it is commonplace to be inured to it and accept such lying as a given. But it is the lie, not the sex, that's the real issue. The lie indicates the guru’s entire persona is a lie, that his image as selfless and being beyond ego is a core deception. Many think that though a guru lies about his personal behavior, his message is still essentially true. Lying here as elsewhere is done to cover up self-interest. If the guru’s message is that purity without self-interest is the ultimate achievement, not only did he not achieve it,but he does not even know if it is achievable. If being self-centered is an unavoidable aspect of being human, then any ideology that denies this will necessarily corrupt its promoters and believers.This why images of "purity"are always corrupt." **