Celebrities and doubtful non secular leaders have at all times gone hand-in-hand—Hollywood and cults virtually grew up collectively.
“Religion healer” Aimee Semple McPherson’s LA church, based simply because the movie trade was transferring West, lured silent-era figures like Charlie Chaplin and the star who invented the phrase “It Woman,” Clara Bow.
Since then, Hollywood’s record of weird non secular teams has grown together with it, from NXIVM to the Kabbalah Heart and, after all, a sure church beloved by Tom Cruise.
Now, it appears there’s a complete new style of deeply bizarre, probably nefarious Hollywood non secular cliques that has arisen lately—superstar yoga cults.
Let’s delve into the shady world of superstar yoga cults
These gurus have attracted everybody from Russell Model and Kate Hudson to Will Smith and Tony Robbins, typically simply earlier than being unmasked as frauds or criminals.
Of their wake, one other guru is on the rise, even being included at a celebration for British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak—regardless of being wished by Interpol on horrifying felony prices.
Katie Griggs, aka, Guru Jagat, who lured A-listers like Alicia Keys and Kate Hudson.
The turban-wearing, QAnon-following, COVID-denying Griggs, a white girl, is claimed to have claimed a combined Indian ancestry and was a devotee of Yogi Bhajan, the guru on the heart of dozens of sexual assault allegations.
Bhajan’s devotees included Russell Model, Demi Moore and Jennifer Aniston, a pedigree Griggs leveraged to create her personal Los Angeles hotspot RA MA Yoga together with her non secular advisor Harijiwan, a convicted felon.
RA MA Yoga lured Kate Hudson, Alicia Keys and influencers Shiva Rose and Amanda Chantal Bacon with claims about “wellness” and “therapeutic”—in addition to claims yoga originates from the Bible.
Former devotees and staff say RA MA is a cult that operated on Griggs’ calls for of “excessive devotion” and an “us vs them” mentality of yogic superiority.
They are saying she additionally urged followers to keep away from medical therapies and warned in opposition to spending an excessive amount of time with household, lest they “spiritually regress.”
They’ve additionally accused her of non secular and verbal abuse and refusing to pay staff, and her buyers sued her in 2016 for mishandling funds.
In 2020, Griggs started expressing public help for QAnon conspiracy theories and claimed COVID-19 was a hoax, amongst different far-right alignments.
She died in 2021. Neither Hudson nor Keys, who publicly endorsed Griggs within the press, have made any remark in regards to the allegations in opposition to her.
Yoga guru Sadhguru, beloved by celebs like Will Smith and Tom Brady, additionally has stunning allegations in opposition to him.
Sadhguru, the environmentalist, ashram-owning yogi beloved by Tom Brady and Will Smith, has come below hearth for claiming “human struggling” like COVID-19 comes from a scarcity of non secular improvement.
He has additionally expressed help for violent political extremism in India and is even suspected by some to have murdered his spouse, whom he claims selected to die throughout her yoga observe.
And in 2018, he advocated against harsher penalties for rapists in 2018, claiming they’d lead to extra victims being murdered.
After which there’s “godman” Paramhansa Nithyananda, the yoga guru beloved by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
Nithyananda, who claims to be the bodily embodiment of the Hindu god Shiva, would not have fairly the superstar pedigree because the others—but, anyway. And thank God for that.
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Nithyananda, who additionally says he can educate Sanskrit to cows and see via partitions, is at present on the run from prices of kidnapping and sexual assault, together with in opposition to underage ladies.
This didn’t cease UK politicians from inviting his consultant to a 2022 Diwali get together within the British Home of Lords, nonetheless.
The get together included brochures with phrases of help for Nithyananda from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and former Residence Secretary Priti Patel.
Hopefully, the allegations in opposition to Nithyananda will hold him out of celebrities’ good graces.
However given Hollywood’s observe file with problematic yoga gurus? Let’s not depend our eggs earlier than their hatched—or our namastes earlier than they’re chanted, because it had been.
John Sundholm is a information and leisure author who covers popular culture, social justice and human curiosity matters.