Stripping the Gurus is superbone of the best books of its kind I have ever read. The research is meticulous, the writing engaging, and the overall thesis: devastatingly true. A stellar book.
Dr. David C. Lane, California State University
This gripping and disturbing book should be read by anyone who finds themself revering a spiritual teacher.
Susan Blackmore, author of The Meme Machine
Armed with wit, insight, and truly astonishing research, Geoffrey Falk utterly demolishes the notion of the enlightened guru who can lead devotees to nirvana. This entertaining and yet deadly serious book should be read by everyone pursuing or thinking of pursuing the path of guru devotion.
John Horgan, author of Rational Mysticism
Geoffrey Falk's delightful but disturbing unmasking of religious prophets and preachers who command a vast following is a welcome contribution to the literature on the gurus and godmen of all religions.
Dr. Narasingha P. Sil, Western Oregon University
No one involved in contemporary spirituality can afford to ignore this book. It exposes the darker side of modern spiritual movements, those embarrassingsometime vicious or criminalfacts which the leaders of these movements prefer to hide. With wit and humility, and without abandoning the verities of religion, Falk has provided a corrective critique of groups that peddle enlightenment and transcendence. A must!
Len Oakes, author of Prophetic Charisma
Ramakrishna was a homoerotic pedophile.
His chief disciple, Vivekananda, visited brothels in India.
Krishnamurti carried on an affair for over twenty years with the wife of a good friend. Ch÷gyam Trungpa drank himself into an early grave. One of Adi Da's nine "wives" is a former Playboy centerfold. Bhagwan Rajneesh, according to a former disciple, sniffed laughing gas to get high. Andrew Cohen, guru and publisher of What Is Enlightenment? magazine, by his own reported admission sometimes "feels like a god."
These are typical of the "wizened sages" to whom otherwise-sensible people give their devotion and unquestioning obedience, surrendering their independence, willpower, and life's savings in the hope of realizing for themselves the same "enlightenment" as they ascribe to the "perfect, God-realized" guru.
Is it for being emotionally vulnerable and "brainwashed," as the anti-cultists assert? Or for being "willingly psychologically seduced," as the apologists unsympathetically counter, confident that they themselves are "too smart" to ever fall into the same trap? Or have devotees simply walked, with na´vely-open hearts and thirsty souls, into inherent dynamics of power and obedience which have showed themselves in classic psychological studies from Milgram to Zimbardo, and to which each one of us is susceptible every day of our lives?
Like the proud "Rude Boy" Cohen reportedly said, with a laugh, in response to the nervous breakdown of one of his devoted followers: "It could happen to any one of you."
Don't let it happen to you. Don't get suckered in. Be prepared. Be informed. Find out what really goes on behind the scenes in even the best of our world's spiritual communities.
You can start by reading this book.
I endorse whole-heartedly the road you have traveled. Light is aperhaps thepowerful entry point to Spirit, and you ring the changes on it well. It's a book I would like to have on my shelves to refer to.
Huston Smith, Ph.D.Combines...astutely some of the great wisdoms of the spiritual world with the emerging understanding of the physical universe.
author, The World's Religions
Dr. James Fadiman
Board of Editors
The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology
As a heroic journey of the mind into the mysterious realm of consciousness and maya in a vehicle fitted with the wheels of modern science and powered by the engine of yoga, the book merits a close study.
The Ramakrishna Institute
Numerous books have been published over the past few decades on the subject of the apparent similarities between Eastern philosophy and the ideas of the "New Physics." However, without exception, these writings have failed to address the real meaning of "As above, so below": that the macrocosm of the universe is mirrored in the microcosm of the human body, and that the archetypal patterns of structure on the causal and astral levels of reality have their lower reflections on the physical level of being.
In The Science of the Soul, Geoffrey D. Falk corrects this significant oversight. Drawing equally from yogic, Buddhist, Christian and Taoist sources, Falk shows that it is only by considering the detailed structure of the cosmos and the microcosmos that we can understand both the unified message which the world's scriptures have tried to convey, and their precise relation to the physicists' understanding of the physical level of realityin particular, the ideas of David Bohm and Itzhak Bentov.