Many spiritual teachers are narcissists and sociopaths. Such people gratify themselves at other people’s expense without feeling compassion or remorse.
Some of these people do cruel, despicable things. Others merely take their students’ money without providing any spiritual benefit. All of them pretend to be something that they aren’t.
It’s natural and inevitable that narcissists and sociopaths decide to become gurus because it’s a dream job for them. Look at it from their point of view. When you are a guru, credulous students come to you and agree to have sex, agree to give you money, agree to work for you for free (in other words, be your slave), and agree to do whatever else you tell them. Sometimes they even worship you and believe you are God.
For sociopaths and narcissists, being a guru is a dream come true.
For the most part, sociopathic gurus can hurt you only if you let them. They have power over you only if you believe their bullshit and do what they tell you.
There is at least one heart-breaking exception to this rule: children. For example, girls sometimes get raped by their parents's gurus.
Seekers should always think for themselves before taking advice from a guru. Surrender your ego to God but never surrender your common sense or your knowledge of right and wrong to a human being.
If somebody claims that they are hurting you because they love you, run the other way no matter how enlightened they claim to be.
There is nothing spiritual about allowing somebody to hurt you or humiliate you or denigrate you.
There is nothing spiritual about being somebody’s sex slave or giving them your life savings or being an unpaid employee of their business empire.
It's true that sometimes a certain amount of pain is unavoidable while getting enlightened. This pain occurs because we become conscious of things that we don't like about ourselves. This is a temporary side effect of the process of destroying vasanas.
The only thing that we should do to make that happen is become more conscious. We do not need to create more pain. A guru should help you do the first but not the second. Both things can hurt but they are not the same. If you can't tell the difference, be very careful around gurus. If you can tell the difference, and you see a guru creating pain, run the other way.
It’s true that the ego dissolves when we become enlightened. But the ego does not dissolve as a result of denigration or humiliation. It dissolves as the result of intensified, expanded consciousness and love.
There is a well-known prayer: “Thy will not mine.”
That prayer is meant to be offered to God. Think carefully before offering it to a human being.
God’s will is known to you in your heart, not from the mouth of a human being, not even if that human being is a guru.
People sometimes ask us why this website contains writings by or about gurus who did evil things. We publish these documents because we think they are useful. This doesn’t mean the authors were good teachers or that they were enlightened.
Just because we publish an article by or about somebody does not mean we are endorsing that person as a teacher.
We usually avoid publishing writings by or about living teachers who do bad things because we don't want to encourage people to become students of those teachers. But dead teachers can't hurt anyone in that way.
This page was published on May 11, 2019 and last revised on May 11, 2019.