A world of Godmen lovers

Why does the world love Godmen? Looking for easy solutions to the intricacies of life, people are lured by the tricks used by crafty Godmen and God women. They claim to tell the true meaning and purpose of life.

Media, police and authorities expose very frequently the fake Godmen, it is shocking at the blind faith of the cohorts who cannot understand the wily tricks of the conman.

What pulls the followers of these dealers of faith? Why the distressed call for to believe that a man has a fast route to God and happiness? It is just like a peg of wine that diverts their strength. People are a victim of their weaknesses. People with firm faith in their inner self, values and actions do not need to transfer their self to another.

However, human beings have a deep innate desire to connect with someone or something. They also want to show their worth. All want to have a meaning and purpose of life. They crave to have a unique self and to prove their existence.
It is this anxious inner urge that is exploited by Babas, Matas, Pir Babas, Sufi Babas, Pastors, Gurus, and Mothers etc. Being part of a cult, dera, dargahs, Jamat, congregation etc. imparts a beguiling sense of meaning and hope to the confused and greedy masses. Connecting yourself with a cult gives you companionship and identity. They also cash on the ignorant and superstitions of the people and sell half-baked Gyan which helps to the hopes going high with a promise of heaven and salvation.
Now, these Godmen also act as a channel between politicians and authorities. Their followers use their network to get favours. In fact Babas, Matas, Pirs Baba, Pastor, Guru, Mothers etc. are strong links for networking like NGOs and civil society.
Religious conversion is also a big industry in India. Some of the Pir Babas, Pastor, and others etc. are also involved in this conversion business.
These Godmen have all the leadership qualities. They are good leaders, powerful orators and good at the tricks of fooling. They show love and concern, and help their needy followers and also fiddle in social work like NGOs. Politicians appease them of vote banks.
They grip the collective wisdom, psyche and show miracles and tidbits of optimism like Mother Teresa used to show. The ignorance of people attracts them to these illusionary God land. The Babas are intelligent enough to dupe and collectively hypnotise masses into flattering followers. The latest example is Maulana Saad and Zakir Naik.
People are without clear purpose and direction. They are always struggling seeking somebody to help. The godmen prove easy pegs like corrupt bureaucrats to drape our insecurities.
In this materialistic world, people are cut off from their near and dear ones. So, they get solace and comport in such congregations, satsangs and jamaats. That is the reason all look for someone beyond their circle. Unfortunately, their sentiments and fears are grabbed by con-gurus to fill their coffers.
Well-known author Ron Hubbard once remarked jokingly,” If you want to make big money, you should start a religion.” A few years later Hubbard started a religion of his own ‘Church of Scientology’ which had nearly two lakh followers including big evangelists Tom Cruise and John Travolta. Hubbard became rich and influential and not to mention notorious.
This is almost true to all the Godmen. Some of them merely front men for the group that craftily operate them from behind. Zakir Naik is one such name. His model of business has evolved since those innocent days of the 1990s, maybe before when it was all just about minting a quick, easy buck. With money comes everything.
The tales of Indian godmen are all well known. Ron Hubbard is an apt lesson in the cult business. Hubbard grew up as a detractor of organised religion. He invented a philosophy called Dianetics. He encouraged people to understand the inner truth through their observations, rather than chase any God.

The philosophy was a shrewd mix of ancient Gnosticism and Buddhism, combined with Christianity, Freud, Taoism, and Nietzsche, added a dose of hypnosis of which Hubbard was an expert. His book on Dianetics was on the US bestseller lists for over a year. But then he ran into troubles that bankrupted him and he could not protect himself.

This Godman income is a hugely profitable industry but non-taxable like NGOs. Like Hubbard, Indian Godmen who organize religion to save taxes and gain other benefits. When his empire collapsed due to his involvement in criminal acts, no power could protect him. His church was levelled as “a business, often given to criminal acts, and sometimes masquerading as a religion.”

Towards the end of his life, Hubbard was in deep hiding, like Acharya Rajneesh and Zakir Naik, controlling his church by remote control and getting hundreds of millions of dollars a year. When he died in 1986, his church formally declares that “his body had become an impediment to his work and that he had decided to drop his body” to continue his research on another planet. It is a familiar-sounding story, people hear in India too. Ashutosh Maharaj story is like this.

The followers of Hubbard brilliantly made a film on him, The Master, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, which narrowly missed winning the 2012 Venice Film Festival’s Golden Lion award on minor technical grounds. The follower of Baba Ram Rahim Insaan also made a film, The Messenger. Aasa Ram Bapu, Baba Ram Pal, Bishop Franco Mulakkal, Ashu Maharaj (real name Aasif Khan), Zakir Naik etc. are some defamed names in this business.

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