Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi is a woman who knows what she wants.

She wants to raise your kundalini. She wants you to be your own anti-uncertainty instrument. She wants you to be super successful and heal yourself of diseases. And if that means you should beat your wife, stop seeing your children and get a divorce when she sees fit, so be it. Mataji started out as a humble and discreet member of Indian high society, the wife of a senior United Nations officer. But an association with the Bhagwan Shri Rajneesh-the Rolls Royce driving guru of the 1970s-started her down a path of megolomania that has attracted 10,000 devotees (she claims 100,000) worldwide to her Sahaja Yoga movement and an annual income of $2.8 million. Though that's not close to what American televangelists are raking in, it's plenty to keep her comfortably moving from one palace to another in India and Europe.

In 1989, she unsuccessfully sued the Merv Griffin Show for $1 million when she was bumped from an appearance on the program. Now that's taking yourself a little too seriously.

But that's not what earned Mataji a slot on Beliefnet's Scandalwatch.

It's her education policy.

Reports in 1991 in the French and Italian media said her schools-where children are sent when they are taken away from their parents-were hell-holes of squalor, with rats eating the mattresses, and no medical care for the children. "During class, at every single wrong answer, they would get slapped with a ruler on their face," one former follower testified. "There were no toys, no colour pencils, no paper and no first aid kit. I have seen a little girl with an infected tooth and pus all over her mouth. I proposed to take her to a hospital, but it was forbidden because everything was to be healed with the vibrations and the picture of Shri Mataji".

The lady is still going strong, though. It's the kind of perseverence you'd expect from someone who has declared herself to be "the incarnation of Adi Shakti, the primordial power of god who breathes life into all things, the alpha and the omega." Her coming was prophecied even in the Christian scriptures, she says: "The mustard seed is none other than the dormant Kundalini energy which when sprouted grows into the Tree of Life--the subtle system with the seven chakras and the three channels of energy." (We're, uh... not finding that in our Criswell Study Bible notes. Oh well.)

Mataji has been powerless to stop one internet site, though, which posts a critique of her methods. You can find the link below, along with a link to her official site. Check 'em both out, then you can judge the vibrations for yourself.

See below for links to previous Scandalwatch articles

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