Celebrities and doubtful non secular leaders have at all times gone hand-in-hand—Hollywood and cults virtually grew up collectively.
“Faith healer” Aimee Semple McPherson’s LA church, based simply because the movie business was transferring West, lured silent-era figures like Charlie Chaplin and the star who invented the phrase “It Girl,” Clara Bow.
Since then, Hollywood’s record of weird non secular teams has grown together with it, from NXIVM to the Kabbalah Center and, after all, a sure church beloved by Tom Cruise.
Now, it appears there’s a complete new style of deeply bizarre, presumably nefarious Hollywood non secular cliques that has arisen in recent times—movie star yoga cults.
Let’s delve into the shady world of movie star yoga cults
These gurus have attracted everybody from Russell Brand and Kate Hudson to Will Smith and Tony Robbins, typically simply earlier than being unmasked as frauds or criminals.
In 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 prison costs.
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 alleged 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 Brand, 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 “healing”—in addition to claims yoga originates from the Bible.
Former devotees and workers say RA MA is a cult that operated on Griggs’ calls for of “extreme devotion” and an “us vs them” mentality of yogic superiority.
They say she additionally urged followers to keep away from medical remedies 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 workers, and her traders sued her in 2016 for mishandling funds.
In 2020, Griggs started expressing public assist 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 concerning the allegations in opposition to her.
Yoga guru Sadhguru, beloved by celebs like Will Smith and Tom Brady, additionally has surprising allegations in opposition to him.
Sadhguru, the environmentalist, ashram-owning yogi beloved by Tom Brady and Will Smith, has come underneath hearth for claiming “human suffering” like COVID-19 comes from an absence of non secular improvement.
He has additionally expressed assist 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 might lead to extra victims being murdered.
And then 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, does not have fairly the movie star pedigree because the others—but, anyway. And thank God for that.
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Nithyananda, who additionally says he can train Sanskrit to cows and see via partitions, is presently on the run from costs 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 House of Lords, nevertheless.
The get together included brochures with phrases of assist for Nithyananda from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and former Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Hopefully, the allegations in opposition to Nithyananda will hold him out of celebrities’ good graces.
But given Hollywood’s observe document with problematic yoga gurus? Let’s not rely our eggs earlier than their hatched—or our namastes earlier than they’re chanted, because it have been.
John Sundholm is a information and leisure author who covers popular culture, social justice and human curiosity matters.