Memories of a Romanian self-proclaimed Guru: Berlin 2003

Zentrum fur spirituelle Entwicklung

Zentrum für spirituelle Entwicklung

For a university course I took earlier this year, I had to select a leader and determine their driving force. Although it was obviously suggestive of choosing a well-known or current leader, when I really stopped to think about the question there was no one I wanted to write about except a man whose name I’ve now forgotten. I wished to select this man because it was someone I didn’t know previously, have never seen again nor probably ever will, and have only marginally heard mentioned since yet he had a large gathering at the time.

This man was a Romanian spiritual leader who’d traveled to western Europe to spread his philosophies and draw more people to his cause, which was obscure to me, besides what seemed a wish to have followers, acolytes, disciplies. He had trained with Buddhist monks and Hindi gurus, as well as a number of Christian leaders in his pursuit of enlightenment.

On this particular evening, the day before Christmas Eve, which is the celebrated holiday in Germany, not necessarily Christmas Day, I was invited by a roommate to visit her yoga house where this Romanian wandering spiritual leader would be reading what he termed “The Lost Letters of Christ”, letters supposedly written by Jesus Christ but which hadn’t been included in the Christian’s bible. It was never made clear how he came to receive these “letters”.

This was a man perhaps in his late twenties at best, long-haired and bearded, with a curious look in his eye, distant yet focused. I immediately felt he was under the influence of some narcotic or mind-altering drug. And looking around the room, I was certainly the odd man out.

I do not practice yoga, I am very much anti-religion and Christianity although I have studied it, along with Hinduism, Buddhism and a number of other religions. I am conversative in emotional expression except among a very small group of friends perhaps because I’m a former law enforcement officer. In many ways, I could have been the perfect disbeliever and heretic, yet there was something about him…. Already settled on his cushion in a dias on the far wall, his followers all around and visitors like myself, total quiet settled. He looked at each person in turn several minutes, myself included, then began to read.

Having read the bible a number of times, I can see where the contents, stories and references mentioned in the letters might have been considered true. They were somewhat sensationalized, yet people hung on his every word.

He exuded a confidence which was undeniable and arousing. It was truly uncanny. Following his reading, and at the request of a number of others there began sexual games of exploration where everyone who wished could engage: male, females, everyone together, or individually or as couples. As open-minded as I am, this wasn’t something I wished to participate in at that time and eventually withdrew, so I don’t know what the eventual outcome was. Though I confess…(I have to smile) I do have photos far beyond the single I posted here.

My point is using this “nameless” Romanian spiritual leader for my essay question was to highlight the strange nature of this person’s charisma and power. I am very much unmoved in many things, yet I could feel the attraction of wishing to have his attention, to do what he requested, to wish to gain his approval, and could clearly see it in his followers, and saw it grow in the visitors, including my roommate who, afterwards, with shining eyes said he was the most brilliant man she’d ever known, which I found very curious as she wasn’t just a twenty-something with limited experience but a sixty year old woman.

I could see clearly in this man that he loved the power, was intoxicated by it, you could see it in his smile and actions. In that, he very much reminded me of some of the most disgusting condescension and vice I’ve observed in some leaders and members of Christendom.

Achievement was a brutal goal you could also perceive in his gaze. He’d achieved what he wished: a following, and was fueling it’s growth. Affliation was less a need, for he’d studied with masters, yet struck his own path combining what he wished and discarding what he didn’t need. Power was his primary goal.

Beware. Be wary.

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