This blog, FredPooleOnWriting, is for people who are deadly serious about writing as art, and since all fine art is ultimately about the artist, this means people in touch with their own stories – which takes skill and sensitivity and unrelenting honesty. Like all real artists, I do not respect any person who accepts someone else’s self-serving version of reality – be it a government version (like Bush-Cheney’s) or a political version (like Pat Roberson’s) or one of those family versions meant to distract from battery and incest– which I know is a sore point with the outfit called Siddha Yoga based in South Fallsburg, New York. I think of the very young girls molested by the guru’s now dead predecessor when they were in his care – which has been well documented and is the very definition of incest. And I can’t help thinking of how that late guru, a man, was the guru of the current female guru from before as well as after puberty.
My wife has written a remarkable book, a true piece of art, in which she brings to life herself in her ashram days. She does not write about the ashram thugs, not even about sexual molestation in Siddha Yoga , except inofar as some devotees left in disgust and some who stayed tried to suppress a New Yorker article that gave eye-witness accounts. What she does is what only the very best artists can do. She recreates the world as she has experienced it – nothing less and nothing more. This is the kind of thing that makes charlatans nuts.
These so-called devotees of Gurumayi have been making phone and e-mail threats to my wife. Their agents have been destroying our workshop materials when they can find them, just as they once, on newsstands and in libraries, mutilated many thousands of copies of the New Yorker magazine issue that contained the article detailing some of the violent and sexually repulsive goings-on in this cult.
I am not running a forum for such death-like people, who are the antithesis of the artists for whom I write. I have never been a member or sympathizer of that cult, and I do not respect its leaders or their robotic lieutenants, though I do respect what my wife was doing there as a brave seeker.
The comments that have been coming to my wife and now to me from these poor cult members are so vile as to qualify them for swift-boating positions.