Which Religion Is Good?
Doubt Everything Find Your Own Light.
A few months ago, in my community center I picked up a newspaper and read about a new Messiah called John de Ruiter, the hot shot guru from Canada whom some of his followers reckon to be “bigger than Jesus”. The article was an interview with Joyce, his wife of 18 years, and the mother of his three children. She was rejecting the claim of her husband to be God (A man worshiped as God may shock a Muslim but not a Christian who accepts the concept of trinity and Jesus as walking God among men).
After many years of forbearance Joyce De Ruiter could no longer bear it and one day she stood in front of his congregation and complained about her husband’s sexual affairs with two of his young and beautiful followers. These two girls are sisters and their parents who are also the followers of John de Ruiter, are ecstatic to know that God makes love to their daughters. The funny thing is that the followers of this new messiah know about the sexual interludes of their master but few give a second thought about it. Once people accept someone as a superior being, a messiah or a messenger of God they become blind to all his flaws and commend even his sins. No Muslim today, e.g. would approve promiscuity. Womanizing and lustfulness is considered immorality. Yet the same Muslims accept with no difficulty Muhammad’s promiscuous relationships with a score of women: some his wives, some his maids, some his shares of the booties from the spoils of his wars and some who just offered themselves to him.
De Ruiter Told his congregation that “Truth has told him” to sleep with these girls. How many of his brainwashed followers asked whether “Truth” has a mouth to speak? When someone surrenders his intelligence to someone else, he will believe anything. Truth is a concept not a person or a being. How can a concept talk or communicate? The true answer to 2+2 is 4. Any other answer is false. Can I say that 4 told me this or that? How ridiculous is this claim?
De Ruiter denies these relationships are actual affairs, because he claims to be bonded to these women in a spiritual realm (Apparently Mr. De Ruiter’s spiritual realm is in his bed). “To me it’s not infidelity”, says the self-proclaimed savior of Mankind “It’s not unfaithfulness because my heart is still completely with Joyce.” Moreover being a god his fornication with these two beautiful well-trimmed young sisters is not for lust but it is the expression of his profound love for others and that his threesomes with them has “spiritual significance”, explains in a most relaxed and holy manner the “Guru of Gurus”.
De Ruiter originally denied his adulterous relationship and when it came to the light, he brazenly rationalized it. He says that he originally denied the relationships because he was answering questions on a “personal level.” And on this personal level, he is not having affairs, because the relationships are not about lust or sex or physical attraction. I’m not a sexual wanderer, emotionally. I don’t live with lust. I don’t struggle with that. It’s not a weakness.”
“While extramarital affairs are in many ways the private business of the parties involved, in this case they indicate a willingness within de Ruiter’s group to accept behaviour that violates cultural norms, says a local academic.
Sociologist Steve Kent worries the lack of controversy within the group over the adultery is indicative of the charismatic sway de Ruiter has with followers.”
Among his followers there is a well established psychologist who claims that after 30 years of practice he has no doubt of John’s mental health and that he is who he claims to be.
Yesterday in my neighborhood market, I saw his flyer pinned to the billboard. It was an invitation to his conferences with these words:
“John de Ruiter: Master of transformation; living embodiment and teacher of Truth. “
“Through the living essence of Truth emanating from his words and from his presence, John de Ruiter awakens what our hearts most long for…”
See his web site http://www.johnderuiter.com/
These self-acclaimed prophets, messengers and messiahs rehash ideas that are either commonsense and people already know and accept or state empty phrases that at first seem to convery a profound meaning.
De Ruiter says, “Truth is knowable without restriction, however only honesty through openness and softness of heart reveals it”. This is baloney. Truth is the state of being factual. It has nothing to do with openness and softness of heart; it has everything to do with doubting, with rational thinking and facts. Yet, despite the frivolity and banality of his teachings there is no want of idiots who follow him blindly and call this bozo the “master of transformation.” They are at awe by deceiving and shallow phrases such as above.
For those who cannot see a mentally disturbed man behind those eyes a quick review of John de Ruiter’s writings reveal the confusion and incoherence of his thoughts. Words are jumbled in tautological statements and hollow speeches that leave the listener gasping for meaning while the redundancy of vibrant words such as “Truth” and “consciousness” subliminally suggests that something very profound is being said, full of meaning that eludes the ken of the listener. However, after reading a few of his speeches, after getting over his monotonous catchphrases, and pondering over their content, one learns that there is nothing to be learned from them.
The curt and assertive phrases of De Ruiter have an uncanny resemblance to the verses of the Quran, and perhaps those who think the Quran is a miracle; will find De Ruiter’s vacuous writings much to their liking.
I looked at the picture of one of De Ruiter’s conferences and saw the attendees were well-dressed middle-class people, most of them, supposedly with university degrees. I wondered what do these people see in this mentally disturbed man? Why so many educated and “apparently smart” people are so eager to surrender their intelligence to charlatans like John de Ruiter and other impostors like him?
It seems that people are looking for Truth and guidance in all the wrong places. We humans want to believe that there is someone who can tell us what to do and what route to take, sparing us from making responsible decisions on our own. We feed the multi million-dollar psychic network industry in the search for a response and finance multibillion-dollar religious industry in the hope of salvation. We look for magic bullets; we believe in fairies, angels and ghosts. We follow gurus and prophets because we are not willing to take the responsibility of our lives in our own hands, think with our own brain and live conscientiously.
When there are people who want to be followers, there will arise those who will claim to be leaders. When people think like sheep, there will be wolves that pose as shepherds. When we are willing to give a free ride, there will be those who will take us for a ride.
This is how cults are created. Then cults become religion when these self-proclaimed prophets and gurus die. After their death their devotees fabricate myths and legends, attribute miracles to them and portray them as gods and demigods. This is how thousands of hadithes were created attributing miracles to Muhammad, even though in the Quran he clearly stated that he could not perform miracles.
These fables pass from one generation to another and eventually the passage of time seals their credibility until everyone believes in them considering their antiquity and their universal acceptance as the proof of their authenticity and the veracity of the claims of their prophets.
Can anyone really tell us how to find the truth? Is there any religion that can lead us to salvation?
Obviously, truth can be only one. It is unchanging, eternal and infinite. If you believe in God, irrespective of your definition of it, you believe that God is Absolute Truth. The question is whether humans with their limited intellect can grasp the Absolute? Can the finite contain the infinite? Can a cup hold an ocean?
If I am aware of my limited capacity of understanding, I am aware of my ignorance. I know that I don’t know. Truth may be one and infinite, but can I grasp it? No! Yet this does not mean that I should stop searching. In order to understand, I have to ask, I have to be open and non-judgmental, but also I have to realize that I will never find the entire truth because truth is infinite and I am not.
To reach this level of openness, one has to realize that his thoughts and beliefs are largely influenced by his education and environment. Our present beliefs are the result of our past learning. Since every day we learn something new, our understanding expands and therefore changes. Heraclitus said, you cannot cross the same river twice, because the next time those waters are not the same and you too have changed. As we change, our beliefs change too. This happens gradually and subconsciously, even if we consciously resist the change. During the course of our lives we constantly change and our views change simultaneously.
Once I know that change is constant. I don’t have to hold to my beliefs with tooth and nail. I know they are bound to change. I become detached. I will not try to impose them on others nor will I try to lecture to others. I will not try to lead people to the right path as I will come to realize that truth is pathless. Truth is not something that you can reach or grasp. It is not a destination. No one can lead you to it because it is not a place. No one can show it to you because it is not a thing.
The process of discovering the truth is not unlike the experiments done by scientists to understand how things work. It starts by making theories, but accepting to discard them once they are proven wrong. This is the scientific approach.
Galileo doubted the commonly accepted notion of the geocentric universe. He found that truth was much different from what was universally believed. Many learned men of his time accepted the conventional belief. We remember him and have forgotten them. Darwin is another example. Although a religious man, he questioned and doubted the biblical story of creation and found the mystery of evolution. All discoveries are made after doubting and questioning the validity of the commonly held and time honored beliefs.
Spiritual realities are not dissimilar to scientific ones and the same process of doubting and questioning should be applied to unravel their hidden mysteries. We have to doubt everything, including our own beliefs. When we doubt, we question, we learn and we change our mind. Although we will never learn the truth, we can get closer to it. Truth cannot be contained, not in a mind and definitely not in a book. How can infinite knowledge be contained in few pages of a book?
Once we learn something new, we don’t discard our previous beliefs but our understanding of it changes. I don’t discard the Divine reality. Just like Galileo who did not reject the Earth but people’s understanding of it, I don’t reject God, but people’s understanding of it. For example, the notion of a personal God that does not care about us for billions of years when we were undergoing evolution and then suddenly, when we have evolved and become humans, appears in our lives, hiding behind the clouds of secrecy, telling us irrational stories through less than educated men whom he sends as messengers, and demands that we worship him or roast us for eternity in his cosmic rotisserie, does not make sense. The stories in the Quran (and the Bible) are absurd. The pathetic efforts of the apologists to explain and justify them are ridiculous. The teachings of these religions are not practical. They seem outdated. Their definition of God, the next world, and the purpose of creation are primitive. Many of their social teachings are harsh and inhumane.
Once religions are tested with rational thinking they fail; I am not saying that truth is somewhere else or that I have found it! Only an impostor or a fool would make such a claim. Truth cannot be found in a doctrine or a religion. This realization is liberating.
It is time that we stopped looking at other people for guidance. As long as people are willing to be fooled, there will be those who will fool them. As long as they want to be followers, there won’t be shortage of charlatans who will mislead them.
Doubt everything that you are told and believe. When you doubt you empty the glass of your mind and become receptive to new knowledge. But don’t hold fast to that knowledge either. Be open and let yet fresher insights breathe a new life into your mind. Religions demand absolute and blind faith. They claim to be the ultimate truth. If you think faith is superior to doubt, you don’t doubt. When you don’t doubt, you don’t search and when you don’t search you don’t find.
The core of Krishnamurti’s teaching is contained in the statement he made in 1929 when he said:
‘Truth is a pathless land’. Man cannot come to it through any organization, through any creed, through any dogma, priest or ritual, not through any philosophic knowledge or psychological technique. He has to find it through the mirror of relationship, through the understanding of the contents of his own mind, through observation and not through intellectual analysis or introspective dissection. Man has built in himself images as a fence of security – religious, political, personal. These manifest as symbols, ideas, and beliefs. The burden of these images dominates man’s thinking, his relationships and his daily life. These images are the causes of our problems for they divide man from man. His perception of life is shaped by the concepts already established in his mind. The content of his consciousness is his entire existence. This content is common to all humanity. The individuality is the name, the form and superficial culture he acquires from tradition and environment. The uniqueness of man does not lie in the superficial but in complete freedom from the content of his consciousness, which is common to all mankind. So he is not an individual.”
If you look for meaning in life, don’t look for it in religions. Don’t go from one cult to another or from one guru to the next. You can spend all your life or look for eternity and will find nothing but disappointment and disillusionment. Look instead in service to humanity. You will find “meaning” in your love for other human beings. You can experience God when you help someone who needs your help. The only truth that counts is love. Love is absolute and real. The rest is mirage, fancies of human imagination and fallacies of our own making.
I received this email from a follower of John De Ruiter. I share it with you in the hope that it may force us to question our own belief system and make us think
Perhaps you did not know, but it is common knowledge that Krishnamurti slept with his followers as well. Is it possible that sexual expression takes on a different meaning to one who has let go of attachments and needs? When you find Truth in yourself, all kinds of desires and needs no longer hold sway over you, but they simply become a natural expression of a body or vehicle… like eating or sleeping with no deeper meaning, no narcissistic supply for your ego. Anyway try reading some of Johns teachings and you will see much the same truth that has been spoken by prophets and teachers (including Krishnamurti) for eons. By the way I do agree with your assesment about people getting attached to Guru’s. It is just an expression of the belief they still have about themselves as a weak finite human with a story that defines them. But maybe they need to believe in something outside themselves until they can find it inside. Maybe the Guru is just mirroring their inner truth back to them. And they will need it til they don’t… I don’t see how any harm is done.
See how faith damages the brain of people? Karl Marx said religion is the opium of the masses. See how right he was? See how Thomas justifies the shameful acts of infidelity of a crazy man by saying “It is possible that sexual expression takes on a different meaning to one who has let go of attachments and needs”? Isn’t this brainwashing? Is there a substance more potent than faith that could make a person stoop so low? This man is genuinely incapable to see that his guru is a sick man and a pervert that has no control over his animal instincts. He abuses the trust of his brainwashed followers and takes advantage of their gullibility. The stupidity of this poor man is obvious for anyone with a grain of brain, yet he is incapable to see his own follies. Why? Because he is a believer!
For the sake of truth, Krishnamurthi did not have followers. He dissolved the group and told them they don’t need to follow anyone. So the claim that he slept with his followers, abusing their trust as John de Ruiter, Muhammad, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Charles Manson and other sick cult leaders did is fa total lie.
I posted this email here to show you how one can believe in the most absurd things and still be convinced of having found the truth. Is it possible that all of us who also “believe” and follow someone else for guidance are as brainwashed as our poor friend Thomas?
If you are a Muslim, recall that Muhammad too had sex with a score of women much younger than himself. Bear in mind that he slept with Ayisha the 9 year old daughter of his brainwashed follower Abu Bakr. Remember that he killed people and took their properties as booty and distributed their wives and children as slaves and sex slaves.
Just as Thomas instead of being disgusted of indecencies and lustfulness of John De Ruiter is apologetic of him and thinks this is something divine, Muslims read the perversity of Muhammad and see no problem in that.
This brainwashing is not reserved to the followers of De Ruiter and Muhammad. The followers of all religions have their stupid beliefs that they are unable to see. These people can see perfectly the errors of the believers of other religions but are incapable of seeing their own.
Shouldn’t we ask ourselves whether we are also as brainwashed as Thomas? Don’t we believe in crazy ideas with no scientific or logical backing? Why is it that we can see so clearly the follies of others and are so blind of our own? I am not just talking to Muslims but to all those who believe. Those who believe in any religion should ask themselves whether they too are Thomases of their religion.
The following article is about John de Ruiter. It gives a very good insight into the gullibility of human nature and the willingness of some to be fooled. It is an excellent read for those who may wonder why people followed Muhammad, with such resignation and blissful abandonment.