The Oneness Movement

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As regular readers know, I am interested in cults, especially political cults but religious ones as well. I’m not sure how I discovered the Oneness Movement or O.M. I must have been looking for something on Youtube. If you are not familiar with these nuts, here is what they are all about.

Their leader Sri Bhagavan (original name Vijaykumar Naidu), claims he is Kalki, the final avatar of Vishnu and can “enlighten” us mere mortals through his touch or gaze. The cult is also known as Kalki Deeksha movement. He and his wife, Sri Amma (Padmini), offer classes (level 1 and level 2) for thousands of dollars to facilitate the “enlightenment” process. It is an old scam that never ends to bring in new suckers.

Loved and worshipped by millions, Sri Amma Bhagavan are avatars for enlightenment and God realisation. They are one single avataric consciousness in two bodies. They represent the Divine feminine and the Divine masculine. Together Amma and Bhagavan power the process of enlightenment of the individual seeker as Yin and Yang, stillness and movement, Prakruti and Purusha.

The new twist for this cult is claiming spiritual awakening or deeksha is a “neurobiological process” and adding strange accoutrements like a golden orb to the standard Hindu cosmology:

The phenomenon of the Oneness Blessing/Oneness Deeksha is sourced in the descent of the “Golden Ball of Divine Grace”, a mystical golden orb of light, into which Sri Amma Bhagavan had impregnated their divine consciousness since early childhood through a very esoteric process. In July 1989, this Golden Ball of divine grace descended into many children of the Jeevashram School founded by Sri Amma & Bhagavan. With the descent of the Golden Ball these children were instantly transported into deep mystical states of consciousness and experienced profound transformation, thus heralding the birth of a phenomenon Sri Amma Bhagavan had been waiting for over nearly four decades.

The Golden Ball of Divine grace embodies the divine intent of Sri Amma Bhagavan, namely ‘to set man totally and unconditionally free’ and it is this intent that powers the Oneness Blessings/Oneness Deekshas worldwide. Oneness Blessing/Oneness Deeksha is essentially the process of facilitating the descent of this Golden Ball, which naturally activates a neurobiological process in the receiver’s brain, thus culminating in a spiritual awakening. In addition, it also activates the seven energy centers (chakras) in the subtle body and the dormant spiritual energy (kundalini), which constitutes the basis of every form of transformation in life, mundane as well as spiritual.

How people fall for this nonsense is actually rather sad. In one devotee’s words:

‘Diksha’, or baptism as we know it in the West, is a hands-on transference of Divine energy that brings about a state of oneness, or enlightenment. In the past, only a very few have been blessed with this state. Now, for the first time in human history, enlightenment is being made available to everyone through the grace if Sri Bhagavan (See picture). Sri Bhagavan, or Kalki as he is often called, is an Avatar who has the mission of bringing enlightenment to the world at this critical time.

Bhagavan says that you cannot attain a full state of enlightenment through your own efforts, although you can get close. Full enlightenment is a state that must be given to you!

What happens to us when we receive Diksha probably cannot be understood by the human mind, but it can best be described as a neuro-biological shift in the brain. We become detached or de-clutched from our mind. We are still able to feel feelings and have old thoughts, but there is no charge there anymore, and we start to experience permanent peace and joy. It is not about becoming mindless, but rather ‘mindful’ and being totally present with reality as it is.

If you were a native African, for example, you could probably become enlightened after receiving only one Diksha. However, we in the West are holding onto so many emotional blocks and concepts about life, that it is not as easy for us to attain this state.

Here is a different perspective:

I am having a hard time getting my money refunded from the people at the Oneness Movement. They have been extremely “nice” but they are basically charging me in order to refund the money. God, I wish I never gave them the fucking money in the first place. It’s another expensive lesson, but the same one over and over – listen to myself, not any one else who claims to have some kind of “answer”.

It seemed so appealing, the thought of all my Issues dissolving after three weeks of deeksha. But the warning signs were there. Signing the waiver saying I could withstand sleep and food deprivation, the high fee and the inability to leave the ashram, being told everyone has the same questions as me so I should just go with the flow and ignore what my inner voice was saying…I am grateful for my rational over-thinking mind coming in to save the day!

But now I have to deal with these mo-fo’s to get the money back. And I am learning about cults and mind-control as I try to navigate through their system of niceties and bullshit. They have me by the balls. I want to write an expose on them before they get much larger, but who the hell has heard of deeksha? Or, as they call it now, Oneness Deeksha or Oneness Prayer. That edict came down from on high last week – maybe the authorities are getting on to the deeksha name.

It turns out many of the early devotees were likely dosed with hallucinogenic leyham without their consent, leading to the extraordinary experiences they shared together. After leaving the Oneness University many of the devotees experience withdrawals and psychosis. Some have committed suicide.

As to where all the money is going. Part of it is going to build this temple:

The rest is being invested in personal properties and businesses owned by cult leadership.

Read more:

Website of the Global Oneness Commitment, “Co-creating a happy world.”

Guruphiliac:

Deeksha is a Sanskrit word meaning “benediction;” one “Deeksha giver” explains that deeksha “initiates a neurobiological change in the brain that when complete enables the senses to be free from the interference of the mind. When the senses are unclouded by the mind’s interpretations, a natural clarity of perception occurs with accompanying spontaneous feelings of joy, inner calmness and connection to the Oneness in everything.” Ahh, smell the bliss!

[Comments are now closed. This post is five years old.]

35 responses »

  1. “…offer classes (level 1 and level 2) for thousands of dollars to facilitate the “enlightenment” process.”

    Enlightenment for just a few grand? Where do I sign up!

    An interesting piece, and I must say I had never heard of the group.

    • Stay far away from the false prophets… I am waiting to see Annette Calstrom and her cronies be investiagted in Sweden.
      They are really creepy… I get headaches reading about them.

      • Thank you.It is a great shame that even in Scandinavia, we have people who fall for such nonsense. I have lost a good friend to this ridiculous cult. I have been forcefed with talk of enlightenment and higher levels of mental state. And how the enlightened will rule the world when the earth magnetic fiield suddenly shift polarity on 21.12 2012. NOTE THAT DAY! Can’t wait to hear their explaination when this prediction fails.
        So hang on to your crystals and chackas, Here comes Armageddon!!!!!

  2. Hi,
    http://www.vedicshamanism.com is an early web page on Jeevashram- later called Satyaloka Monastery. Here is one of the first printed articles http://www.lifepositive.com/Spirit/spirit-centers/god.asp .

    Initially the retreats were free (from 1996 to at least 2000). It really was not until they started charging for retreats that Americans and Europeans began to flock there.

    I was there for three summers from 1998-2000 and there were no hallucinogens. For the most part if you were on any kind of medication, under psychiatric care or had a severe medical condition you could not attend a retreat there. You could not even eat meat, drink, have caffeine or eat sugar for at least 3 months before going.

  3. Hi,

    Your expose is good. Putting up the oneness name on it will reach many who need it. The fraudster is getting exposed on a number of local TV channels in India the “ÖNeness” name does not come up there, hence non-Indians dont get to know. . Please dont just stop with writing blogs abt this fraudster, put it on facebook and all social networks u are part of ..let the world know.
    A few videos exposing the sam can be found here : http://www.youtube.com/user/shinkjerk#p/u
    though you cannot understand the language, the videos are sufficient proof

  4. Thank you for posting about this. Deeksha is veryvery hot here in Salt Lake, Utah, within the New Age community. Everything I’ve read about it, and what I’ve seen of the blessing givers makes me very twitchy.

    The Utah Deeksha website ( http://www.deekshautah.com ) ties together the 2012 concept with Deeksha. Interesting, since 2012 is a product of the Mayan calendar, and should not be related to Deeksha at all. Further, the website says quite explicitly the mission is to get as many people as possible to not only receive blessings, but become blessing givers. This sounds rather viral and cultish to me.

    I’m a Reiki teacher; I’m definitely not close-minded to the idea of energy work. I was taught, and I teach, Reiki as a spiritual path, where the energy “work” is a side effect of one’s self-development. Spirituality is not something magically granted, but instead comes from within, and requires time and effort on the student’s part. The attunements and reiju merely jump-start the process, and it’s up to the student to continue development on their own. And it’s not a one-way transference, as implied with Deeksha, but instead a two-way process between teacher and student.

    My impression of the Deeksha movement here in Utah is it is yet another cult promising instant gratification with very little effort required of the student. And the mission to bring as many people as possible into the fold makes me want to run away as fast as I can.

  5. I first joined the movement in 1996 when it was called The The Foundation For World Enlightenment. Since then I have been to the Oneness Univesity four times. My comments are not positive or negative, except to say that questions were not entertained. For me there was a change in energy from Enlightenment to Financial Profit. I feel sad that such a wonderful movement of energy that allowed people from all countries to meet and participate in a feeling of brotherhood should become tainted with human greed.
    bicarma

  6. I found out that an alcoholic friend was initiated in the Oneness Nordic group in Gotesborg, Sweden a couple of years ago. It made sense because he told everyone on the outside he wanted minimal contact. His family is only able to contact by him email.
    The woman who runs Oneness- Nordic Annette Carlstrom is very pretty, but dangerous. Deva Kavia (dba Devananda Arvola aka Stiina- Mari Arvola who he followed into the cult. She brags how she was able to increase the group from 3 members to 30 members..
    Very scary, very scary.

    • Comment on R.Goddesss’s post!
      R.Goddess has been stalking and harassing the “alcoholic friend” in the above article for some time as well as his wife and also family members for quite some time and should be banned from this site on the basis of misusing this site for publishing false and untrue information. Just because a person can find access to private people’s information does not give them the right to invade their privacy. The internet has obviously become a place for stalkers and prowlers to have free passage to commit evil activities giving nothing more to the world than more misery and ugliness!
      R.Goddess is anything BUT a Goddess! Only a mental patient on the loose! If it were not for her seriously sick behavior I would pray that her inner misery could be healed.
      The so-called “alcoholic friend”!

    • I initiated with oneness and my whole life fell apart. I am still trying to recover mentally, emotionally, and financially. It was not an enlightening experience. My life has been a nightmare since the initiation process. Do not join them.

      • Meredith Sirna has been vindicated… Thanks all for telling the truth about the Oneness Movement..

  7. very interesting comments thanks to normal people who are genuine folk
    trying to expose and stop such fraud ! my ukrainian female friend is sucked
    right in to this mad religious organisation im worried she is going to get drugged or i have read sexually abused ! i think she would do anything for this cult !

    • You gave nothing to worry about Hugh. You should go to a meeting with her and see for yourself. People can come and go as they please and there is not a worldwide organizational structure. It is mostly just otherwise unaffiliated individuals hosting meetings in their homes. I was very into it for three months, three years ago, and since then, and in another city, I go occasionally to meetings despite feeling detached from it overall. It is harmless, I assure you.

  8. I have been the receiver of this Blessing on several occassions. I was not told it would solve my problems or make me special. What has happened to me in accepting these blessings are very subtle. I understand Biblical passages in a way I never understood before. As a child, I was taught not to question and if you don’t understand, then just have faith. The Oneness Blessings have helped me have so many ‘ah ha’ moments in my spiritual journey. The blessing giver accepts only a love offering if you can afford one and there are no expectations placed on any of the receivers. My experiences have only been positive.

    I can’t comment on the center in India but it does not sound right to me. It’s a shame that something that can be so wonderful is being tarnished by greed. <3

  9. The Oneness movement seem to axpect their culmination point this year. 21.12.2012 is the DAY. When the world will change the mangetic field and th Enlightened will save us all ( or was is themselves?) by 64000 people meditating together. What will happen on 22.12? Anyone remember the Jonestown Massacre in 1978? Brainwashed zombies followed the command of their leader. Into a mass suicide!
    Or maybe I don’t have to worry about Xmas gifts this year.

  10. Hi friends. Discussion here seem sincere. Have recently cancelled my signup for a big meeting with the pretty and nice Ms. Carlstrom. Nowadays it seems you can become a Deeksha giver in just one day, for a pay, and then become one of the chosen. Are they on sale?
    Reason for me to cancel, was that I always Google before going into things. Some spiritual say, that thay never do that, thay follow their brilliant intuition. That intuition is leading them to try all sorts of things out. I am more practical, and now it saved me time and money, not being drawn into one of the worlds most interresting cults.

    It will soon be christmas again. Same procedure as last year James… *<;o)

  11. Oneness is the spiritual counterpart of IKEA. If we read papers and watch TV we will know that IKEA is not swedish as in their concept, but taxes in Liechtenstein and god knows where the headquarters is located. But who cares? Still we go there eat their meatballs and buy their products because nowhere ells can we find a comparable sortiment. Similarly, out of Bhagavan´s karisma and mainstream oriental kitch we might even get a spiritual experience. Bhagavan´s real motive of alpha-male power megalomania we will not see, since Oneness today has no competition in the commercial spiritual oriental market.

  12. I appreciate these posts and their concern for the well-being of others. I just attended a two day meeting (at not charge) and did not see anything cultish…I know that if you go to India you do not pay per day more than you would for a Holiday Inn stay here in the states, and that includes food I believe. It is rigorous from what I was told, as are most initiate experiences…but it is not a requirement in any sense of the word.
    I found the experience helpful to me, and, even though I kept my car with me at all times, just in case, I never felt uncomfortable with any techniques, etc. My thinking, if the blessing is truly a powerful spiritual tool to help others, let’s use it.
    As for anything behind the scenes in India, I have no experience. Those I met who have been found it intense, for sure, but very positive in their own spiritual path.
    Thanks for taking my comments and listening.

    • Whoa Karen!
      I just came back from “Oneness University” This place is more dangerous than you can imagine. Obviously, I went there, so I bought into this propoganda the same as you.
      This place is a prison with barbed wire topped walls and several guards at each gate… we were told that they were there for our protection from the villagers nearby. There are very nice people, “guides” as they are called who are actually monks in the oneness movement. I think the lower level monks actually buy into this stuff. The higher-ups are obviously better trained in the subtle art of brainwashing. They are good! (sadly)
      I just watched, over the course of a week, 100 of the most financially successful people in the world turn into jell-o mentally over the course of the 1st 2 days of a 6 day course. The remaining 4 days were just horrifying to watch. These evil people, out for money, used almost every brainwashing technique I could find on the internet. They have a long checklist and use it well.
      I watched, again in horror, a woman who had very strong faith in Christianity renounce her beliefs. She literally was running around and skipping around giggling for the last 2 days we were there. It was like I was watching a cliche of the “moonies” right before my eyes. The most concerning thing is that she brought her 11 year old daughter. Sick. Sad. So very sad
      I was not allowed to leave. They are 70-80 km away from the nearest city and they make sure that you have no money. you can’t call for a ride and you have to have a handwritten “pass” to get past the guards. I am not making this stuff up.
      I spent most of the week praying for those who were fallling, one by one into understanding that they had no mind, no self, no need to question the wise sage’s teachings. (much more complicated and ugly… some of the things used were actually torture practices used by the US military) I felt isolated, trapped, and in real danger.
      I too, fell into this CULT via very nice local interactions. Don’t be lulled into sleep PLEASE!!!
      This was such a scary and sad situation that I have passed on this experience to the powers that be here in the USA.
      This is a trap. Please stay away. Everyone.
      Peace to you.

      • Even though I did not go to India, I agree with you Don. I got very deep into the Oneness movement and I was even a deeksha giver…. when I started asking questions I was told that I had no hope and that I was never going to find enlightenment that I was a lost cause (I was going through very serious problems at that time). These people are greedy and if you question their philosophy then “you have no hope” “you are negative” “you just don’t get it and never will” and make you feel like you are tarnishing their chi or karma…yes they are dangerous.

      • Hi Don,
        Bhagavans teachings are fundamentally hindu, in which he has applied “science”, “predictions of the future” and his self picture as the “World savour”.
        You are one of the few in recent years who have passed the course and made critical views on the web, as far as I know. I compare to the massive propaganda from Oneness website. Please develop your experience of brainwashing when it comes to the teachings..
        I´ve only heard from those who thinks it´s fantastic and tells they´re awakened. Are they just happily unaware of that they are manipulated?

  13. Thank you so much. My friend called me last night and urged me to attend my first session tonight. We are both committed to creating planetary unity, so the hyperbole is tempting. There was something I did not feel comfortable with, however. The guru may have some spiritual power, but it does not mean he is the avatar of the age. It was that part that made me most suspicious.

  14. PLEASE READ THIS AND COMMENT! if you can! I have a friend who has been on a coarse at Oneness temple last year and is going there again for “deepening”. When I say that Bhagavan is a megalomanian who has studied some hindu/buddhism and is twisting it to brainwash and enslave mentally as many as possible, she just says that she is not so interested in Bhagavan as a person, she is going there to get awakened from oneness methods. Still she is defending Bhagavan when it comes to discussions She feels the “energy” in the temple. Then I get the following thought inside myself; isn´t it possible to get a higher conciousness, maby awakening, by just be in a environment that is “promoting” such a development? Much of the Oneness teachings are based on hindu/buddhism . We are friends partly beceause of common interest in meditation, spirituality and existential issues, which is the opposite of brainwash and megalomania. I want to be frank to her thus maintaining our close relation but I feel just like negative by just critisizing. Oneness movement has a strong PR and Image and an ever- strong positive-mani. Please reply!

  15. A colleague of mine is totally absorbed with this cult, she is a “Oneness Trainer”. She is a brainwashed zombie – three times she went to this dubious place there spending six weeks and money each time; the last time she went in January 2013 for a “deepening” experience and “she wanted to convert everyone upon her return from Chennai”. I warned her not to come near me or my family with this shit.

  16. my female colleague is totally hooked up to this cult and is trying to recruit new people all the time. 3x she went to the Chennai university during xmas holidays for 6 weeks each time; xmas 2012 she went to the university again to “attend a deepening process, and on her return she would try to convert as many people as possible”. sometimes she looks so happy like off with the fairies and the next minute she appears all depressed and psychotic. god help her coz I can not.

  17. Someone I know committed suicide after going to India with oneness. Her name was Amy Davies and she was 24 from the UK. If you are thinking of getting into this cult. She was looking for peace and came back psychotic, I don’t know what these freaks did to her but she was someones daughter, sister, friend. Think again!!

  18. This fraudster Kalki Bhagavan alias Vijay Kumar is probably dead. He was admitted to hospital about 16th May 2013 and hasn’t been since or heard of since. He had open heart surgery. He is diabetic in a big way. An unhealthy god eh? That’s a new one. Hopefully this movement will now self destruct. Many poor Indians are now in long term debt because of this man.

  19. When it first opened, I went to the Oneness University in Fiji and felt like I had discovered heaven on earth. Unfortunately, early on along the way, I sadly discovered that many people got on the bandwagon to Bhagavans carefully manipulated, ongoing hierarchy of “levels to awakening” so they could make money on it. Everything in Oneness had a hefty fee! The fighting and competition about money among the Oneness Blessing Givers got crazy. These people with “the Divine spirit” were getting mean-spirited. But, what about the “ONENESS,” I asked? Where is God’s spirit? I quickly realized that the sleaze master Bhagavan-Amma DUO were aware there are as many greedy people as seekers so they could easily continue the master deceit. I wanted nothing to do with any of it as it seemed it was all coming from a place of darkness, not light. Shortly after, Tony Robbins left and closed down his Oneness University in Fiji, then Bhagavan’s 25 top and loyal disciples, including his own son, left India.The truth of the scam and corruption had been revealed before their very eyes. The whole operation was falling apart so, to keep it going, the DUO announced that people no longer had to travel to India and pay $5550 for level one. For $250 they could take a 2 day course in the USA and be initiated! OMG! But, to keep the mega millions flowing to the DUO, initiated people who wanted to be “Trainers” had to go to India and pay another whopping fee–and they did! Finally, they had a way to make back the huge costs incurred to become Oneness Blessing Givers Level 1 and 2. It just kept going on and on. (Almost everyone I had met had already left the Oneness Movement with depleted bank accounts and huge credit card bills.) Well, when none of Bhagavans promises came true on Dec. 12, 2012, the DUO had to create a new scheme.The DUO offered envelopes with “Levels of Enlightenment” but you had to go to India and pay for each course in order to receive each envelope! Credit cards accepted. The majority of people receive an envelope but not everyone. I almost laughed my head off when I heard that it is true! The sad part is that these followers probably are being manipulated by the dark forces–something like mind-control. Unless they are totally stupid, how else would they ever believe you can buy your way to enlightenment? OMG! The DUO must be holding their sides in laughter every day when the pathetic seekers appear and pay $3500 to get their envelope. I was told the “Levels of Enlightenment” go from 7 to 100 but I don’t know if this is really true. I sincerely hope not.

  20. OK, fundamentally Vijay Kumar has been studying hinduism and exploited the parts of it that he calculated to be commercially useful. Still it was maby not the money that Kumar mostly sought after, but the power and the feeling of reverence from the devotees. So the biggest fraud is not the money but the spiritual fake. Not much inside facts have been published about the oneness movement in recent years as far as I have found. Many have opinions about the high costs but who knows what goes on behind the curtains? You write astonishing things that would have been interesting to know more about. Some examples from your blog “The fighting and competition about money among the oneness blessing givers got crazy”, what was going on? and “Bhagavan´s top 25 and loyal disciples left India” for good? sounds as a veritable brain (excuse the term) drain. Sounds like OM is on its way to fall apart. What about the corruption you write about? You seem to have experiences and information that many on this blog would be interested to read

  21. I received deeksha first time in August , after a session of meditation chakra dhyana in my building, I must say that I liked the feeling of blessing and peace that set all deeksha giver . In September I did Deeksha Giver course for two days and nothing bad happened to me. A week ago I did another course to prosperity, and I realized that Oneness is a worship Amma Baghavan , Oneness people treat this pair of humans as living gods and these gods lies the power to bless and give you the awakening.

    The final promise of awakening and leave forever suffering has value in India from USD 3500 to 10000, this was enough to become suspicious and come to the conclusion that just 3 days ago that Oneness is another cult, it is a business that plays with spirituality and despair of many people. The India press call them Kalki Cult.

    I am very sad to see it like crudely but I must confess they did not hurt me but the promise of awekening and being one with God is the most serious of this deceptive offering. I did not need to go to India to realize who they really are , we must remember that we have free will.

  22. Pingback: Back in the Mix | The New Centrist

  23. I have a friend who is into this shit big time. So sad to see a beautiful person completely and utterly taken in by this fraud. The basic tenets of the teaching are harmless enough but the methods employed are monstrous.

    And as to getting someone out of it? Practically impossible. It has now become a money making scheme outside of India. And so, the jealousy and back-biting have started. Not very ‘oneness’ at all. As another poster so accurately pointed out, this ‘awakening’ is nothing more than torture induced, blissful unawareness that they are being manipulated.

    My friend suffers from vicious mood swings. Full of joy one minute, depressed as hell the next. I think this is a result of benefiting from the basic teachings (just Hinduism stolen by Kalki and spouted as his own thoughts) and the occasional realisation that they may just have been ‘had’ as they have to live in the real world.

    I know a few other people who have been recruited into this and they all have a history of alcoholism. Trouble is, they are still alcoholics, now further troubled by the fact that life hasn’t got better and that their new dependency on this oneness system is just a different form of ‘drug’ with which they can’t live without. So, as well as forking out for booze, they have to fork out for ‘blessings’ as well. This mob really should be closed down. Trouble is, when the bubble does burst, there will be a lot of people out there needing a lot of real help.

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