Oneness Blessing / Oneness Movement / Sri Kalki Bhagavan
OK so I've been checking out the "spiritual scene" for a while (since the mid-70's), seen a lot of wacky cults, and have lately had an increased interest in researching cults. This is partly due to various experiences I have had with people joining cults, arguing with me about cults, trying to get me join cults, etc. Then this happens.....
I practice Ashtanga Yoga (an authentic, traditional form of hatha yoga - though considered cultish by some). One day (Friday May 16,2008) I show up for class and the teacher has an announcement. We have a visitor from California (we're in Oklahoma) and he would like to share something with us. This is called the Oneness Blessing. So this guy speaks briefly and our teacher says anyone who wants to can do this after the class. So this guy says that he has been working on self-improvement for over 30 years and finally discovered that NONE OF THAT WORKS - it has to be a gift. He has been given the gift and is here to give it to us. This will raise our level of consciousness, we may experience god, the effect may be immediate or it could be delayed (days, weeks, years), and further blessings may deepen the effect. So we go on with our class, which is a very serious intense physical practice, and our visitor practiced with us, to his credit.
OK - the class is over, there's about 10 of us, we gather in a circle as suggested, and hear a bit more about this. He tells us we are very lucky. He says this new discovery is taking California and most of the world by storm. He is here on unrelated business and he would like to try to "get the fire started here". (Like since we are in such a backwards place). I later find that someone at the yoga studio has a roommate who is a Oneness Blessing "facilitator" and that the owner of one of our Indian Restaurants keeps a picture of his guru, "the Kalki" (founder of the Oneness movement), in his shirt pocket at all times). Yes, this is a major worldwide empire-building cult. Anyway he says we might laugh, cry or shake and that he may also have these reactions. He will go around the circle twice, placing his hands on the top of our heads. This is known as the "oneness blessing" or as "deeksha". We are sitting cross-legged (or in lotus) and he is kneeling in front of us. He gets in position for the first one, the hands come down to the head. He begins to shake and convulse, while moaning, and maybe crying. Very intense, almost seems like he is having sex. Same thing all around the circle. Both times. I don't think I was the only one cringing whenever people walked by on the sidewalk, hoping they did not look in the window. No one else has any visible or audible reaction. (And no one later seemed to think this had any effect on them). He asks if anyone has questions or comments. Our teacher's daughter, about ten years old, says "I can't stop shaking". Just to be a smartass, I say "Oh Oh!". She says "Its scary."
We lie down for a few minutes and the class disperses. I talk to the guy for a few minutes afterwards. I ask if he knows or feels what is happening energetically, is this chi? are you channelling? No, its not chi, its not kundalini, its love. It is a gift of love. I also ask why he gets to do this - some kind of training, etc? Yes - he has taken the level 1 and level 2 facilitator trainings at the Oneness University and suggests that I look up OnenessUniversity.org or OnenessMovement.org. He asks if I know about Tony Robbins and tells me that he thought this was so great that he gave them a chunk of land on Fiji (to which they have now moved some of their vast operation).
So I research this as soon as I get home. First I look at the official sites, Onenessmovent.org, OnenessUniversity.org. (links below) As usual the official sites are large, slick, and creepy. Further research digs up lots more. Links are collected below. A friend of mine suspects that the energy exchange happening here is more that we had energy sucked out of us and advised that you never let someone you don't know do energy work on you. I came down with a summer cold that night, which is very unusual for me, although I have to admit I did stress myself a bit later that night, probably just coincidental. This guy seemed very nice and sincere and I'm sure that he totally believed that he was helping us all. No telling if the bizarre style of "giving deeksha" that we experienced is typical. I suspect that the facilitators have different ways of doing this. There is a huge directory of "facilitators" at the main website. (So you can find one near you.) You can also sign up to take the level one facilitator training for $3000.00. (it used to be $5000) Thousands have taken this training, which means someone has taken in many millions of dollars. You can also click on their website to send a donation (like if you want to help save the world) or you can get a "phone blessing" for $20.00. The charismatic leaders of the cult are Sri Kalki Bhagavan and his wife Sri Amma (not to be confused with Amma, "the hugging saint"). They claim to be avatars - incarnations of god. Their mission is of course to save the world. And giving Deeksha is the way to do this. The effect of the deeksha is supposedly based on new scientific discoveries having to do with activating and deactivating certain centers in the brain. Our facilitator's comment that all the work he has done on self-improvement in the past is worthless seems to be one of the teachings of this cult. They also seem to be claiming that this deeksha is the way (the only way, of course) to "enlightenment".
A lot of people seem to falling for this. And a lot of other people are looking at this incredulously - how is this happening? Didn't we get over all this in the 70's?
"Severe Problems with"Bhagavan Kalki's" Deeksha Oneness Movement", Timothy Conway, Ph.d.
Huge writeup from 2008 with many accounts and references.
Lots of articles here on "The Kalki". And check out the comments sections in the articles.
Spiritually Laid Back (anti-Oneness blog) sunyata.blogsome.com
Official Site: OnenessUniversity.org
Official Site: WorldOnenessCommunity.com
Official Site: oneworldacademy.com
This site appeared in 2010. Not clear to me whether "The Oneness Movement" has been rebranded as "One World Academy" following massive scandals or whether this is an offshoot. This is being run by Kalki and Amma's son and daughter-in-law Krishna and Preetha. The site OnenessMovement.org disappeared around this time.
From Sarlo's Guru Rating Service.
Deeksha Danger - www.deekshadanger.weebly.com
Back to Slade's Cults Page
This page revised 02/24/11. This page first posted 05/27/08.