so, i’ve been thinking about my spiritual experiences from the “early days” of my spiritual quest (i.e. 1978-1990), and i remembered visiting a man i knew as “father satchakrananda” in… oh, i guess it must have been 1981 or 1982… at the “raj-yoga math and retreat center” in deming. he was an older man, with a long grey beard, who wore a cassock, and had the brusque shortness of a person who had been in the business of teaching others who don’t want to (or can’t) learn, as i would come to recognise later, and his orthodox christian mass was topped off by handmade, crusty bread, real wine, and a dab of tiger balm on my ajña chakra, which was refreshingly unusual. his “monastery” consisted of, apparently, one female disciple, who looked totally overworked and underfed, who was silent, and jumped when father satchakrananda said so, but i didn’t get the chance to look around very much, since i was going with the PHBFH and her friend, bhakti, who was driving. at the time, i wasn’t really looking for reasons not to believe that these folks really had supernatural powers, and the “set and setting” was okay, for a short visit, so i wasn’t really impressed by this guy, because he insisted that he was “father”, NOT “swami”, and used christian jargon for everything, when i knew that what he was talking about was really hindu ideas — this was shortly before i started my own in-depth study of christianity — but nothing really struck me as unusual, apart from the sincerity of the mass.
then — NOW, 40 years later — i looked him up on internet… and what i found was surprisingly unsettling, for as little as it was. the first link i found was the Raj-Yoga Math And Retreat page from encyclopedia.com, which looks as though it was either copied from some advertising or promotional material, or written by father satchakrananda, himself. it was on this page that i learned that he is referred to as “Yogi Father Satchakrananda Bodhisattvaguru”. 🙄
i was IMMEDIATELY reminded of my brother-in-law (the one who is married to my older-younger sister), who decided that he wanted me to refer to him as “paramahansa brahmavatar”… 🙄🙄🙄
another reason i think the information was copied was because of the misspelling of the “Nooksuck” River, near Deming, Washington… it’s spelled that way in every link i found relating to father satchakrananda, and it SHOULD BE spelled “Nooksack”… and the fact that he was “mystically initiated” in 1973 by swami sivananda who DIED 10 years earlier, is “IN NO WAY” suspiciously convenient, or an indication that he may be a phony… 😒 not to mention the fact that all of the “encyclopedia.com” “references” are books by “yogi father satchakrananda”… 🙄
for the record, i believe that anybody who has to put the fact that they are a “guru” or “avatar” or whatever, INTO THEIR NAME, and then INSIST that one call them by that name, is about as far away from being a REAL “guru” or “avatar” (or whatever) as you can possibly be, without outright denying that “gurus” or “avatars” (or whatever) even EXIST… and i REFUSE to satisfy their desires by referring to them with that appellation. it is egotistical, and wrong! 😠
and THEN i found a link to the Suspicious Berean, and his 2018 screed entitled “30 years ago: Yogi Satchakrananda underwhelms Edmonton… 🙄 it starts out promisingly enough, with a mention of a performance by peter popoff, the disgraced so-called “christian” televangelist whose “mystical powers” turned out to involve his wife on a CB channel and an un-announced ear-piece with which she directed the supposedly “divine” “words of knowledge” and “healings”… and he, too, repeats the “nooksuck” mis-spelling, which makes me wonder where HE got it from… but then he mentions self-proclaimed “christian” evangelist “cult experts”, dave hunt, and rabi maharaj, as having “excellent” resource material to counter father satchakrananda’s phony-ness, which strikes me as a ludicrous joke. if this guy thinks rabi maharaj and dave hunt are any LESS phony than father satchakrananda, then he’s not worth paying attention to in the slightest… 🙄
what astounds me is that EVERY SINGLE link that i rounded up for the “raj-yoga math and retreat” had, essentially, the same wording, down to the “nooksuck” mis-spelling, but, apart from that, i could find NO further information about father satchakrananda. i know he was the coordinator for the “northwest free university”, and taught yoga there in the late ’70s, but i couldn’t find any information on line about the northwest free university — even though i KNOW it existed, because i looked into attending classes there, at one point… ⁇⁇