Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dharma Bummer

This story would make us feel better if it wasn't so terrifyingly common these days:
A former RAF officer who was 'brainwashed' into signing over his £800,000 home to a religious guru has won his property back.

Military intelligence specialist Richard Curtis, 53, and his wife joined the controversial Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre after he retired from the services.

Mr Curtis and wife Fiananda, 48, also a former RAF officer, gave their luxury country home to the cult and self-styled guru leader Rena Denton.


But a court heard Mr Curtis left the Somerset-based religious group after discovering his wife was having an affair with another man.

He sued the healing centre to get his house back - claiming he was 'brainwashed' into handing over the £800,000 farmhouse in the Welsh countryside.

A judge yesterday ruled Mr Curtis had been 'unduly influenced' into giving his home away - and is entitle to his share of the converted farmhouse.

Mr Curtis will now enter a mediation process with the healing centre where his estranged wife is still a member.
So let's go down the list and make sure we're seeing what we've seen too many times before:

A "guru" promising "healing" - check.

The "healing" actually turns out to be brainwashing - check.

The "wife" who comes to the self-realization she doesn't know how to keep her pants on - check.

All this "spirituality" results in stolen property - check.

So much "positivity", brought to a guy (who was probably talked into it to satisfy his "wife") by doing good ol' meditation.

Well, at least The Daily Mail calls it a "cult", and doesn't buy into the "Self Realization" bullshit. And then there's the too-typical nonsense of the sad clown "guru", Rena Denton (above) who doesn't use her real name so she can pretend she's an Indian swami. Now she goes by - get this - Mata Yogananda Mahasaya Dharma. And it's not the first time this lamer has pulled this crap:
A doctor who claimed he was brainwashed into handing over £750,000 to the Self Realization Meditation Healing Centre lost a £2m damages claim in the High Court last year.

Dr Yehu Azaz, 50, gave evidence that he was 'unduly influenced' by Rena Denton into signing away his entire estate to the healing centre in the early nineties.

He claimed he gave up his medical career to join her band of followers and the gifts were loans which he expected to be repaid when he left.

His Honour Judge Seymour QC dismissed the overwhelming majority of Dr Azaz's claim on the basis that these claims had been brought many years too late.
That's bullshit, if you ask us. If we want to stop the destruction of cults - which we're not even sure of, when it comes to the rest of society, since it keeps allowing them to flourish - there should be no statute of limitations on what they do. The courts, which currently seem ill-prepared, and too ill-informed, to deal with the issues cults present (where's "free will" when someone's brainwashed?) needs a revamping - and a "get tough" policy - so we can be done with these fakers once and for all.

Anyway, we're glad Mr. Curtis (above) has gotten his house back. Unfortunately, he'll never get his life back, but - while that's a terrible, terrible thing - it can still serve as an important long-term lesson to him and the rest of the world:

There's nothing "new" about the NewAge - and it's NOT what you think, by a long shot.