I will also try to do better at not going off topic also (after this post), but just wanted to add some more info on Tulsi Gabbard's religious upbringing which sounds like a cult. I'm only just reading and learning (in the past couple of days) about her involvement in this group and it sounds disturbing. Tulsi's campaign workers and family are still part of this cult, and Tulsi might be too, we don't know since she won't talk about it. If reporters ask her questions about Butler's group, she gets angry and accuses them of Hindu-phobia or not respecting the freedom of religion (the group she grew up with was not actually Hindu, it was an eclectic mix of many religions and belief systems created by the guru Chris Butler).
Tulsi was homeschooled in this cult from early childhood up until college.
Tulsi is evasive about this group and usually calls her believes "Hinduism" or "yoga", never mentioning the cult-like aspects of her upbringing. It is not her fault she was raised by her parents this way, but she may still be in the group, at least she does not disavow or criticize Chris Butler or complain about being raised in the group. So perhaps she thinks being in a cult is just fine or doesn't recognize it as a cult.
I think it is fair to call it a cult since the members isolate themselves from non-believers, are controlled by a charismatic guru whom the members view as a god, the guru or other members emotionally or physically punish people who don't follow the rules, and the members are encouraged to shun non-believers especially people who leave the group. Most every religion does those things to some extent, but I think for a cult, the isolation is extreme, the worship of a human guru, the extreme amount of brainwashing, etc.. In Tulsi's group, children were homeschooled and were forced to listen to audiotapes of Chris Butler's lectures every morning and night (i.e. a lot more time spent brainwashing than just going to Sunday school).
One of the ex-cult members says:
"Tulsi Gabbard is completely surrounded by known cult members like her inexperienced chief of staff to the high ranking Sunil Khemaney. Tulsi Gabbard/Wai Lana Yoga/Blue River Productions/Oahu Surf Shots/Down To Earth Natural Foods are all extensions of the Butler cult. All are staffed by fanatical members who are all working for very little if anything at all. it is all “devotional service” and each of these are so interconnected with all the others it further demonstrates that Tulsi Gabbard is currently under extremely heavy undue influence of Chris Butler.
I was excommunicated on orders of Chris Butler for the past ten years with zero contact with my mother, father and little brother. My little brother ... lives in Kailua, is Butler’s number 1 servant and owns the surf photo company “Oahu Surf Shots”. My brother takes all of Tulsi’s surfing photos and videos, you will see his company credited for her surfing pictures.
Chris Butler ordered that I be blocked from attending my own fathers funeral in 2008. My mother did block me from attending and also would not even speak to me on the phone after my father died because I offended her God Chris Butler. ..
I only want to expose this cult for what it is. To me it is a disgrace to call it Hinduism as I was never taught about Hinduism being raised in this cult. I was never educated at all being raised in this mind control cult."
Another ex-member of this cult said:
(First describes why he/she labels this group as a High Demand Closed Group aka a 'cult'): "a High Demand Closed Group is a group that has isolated itself from mainstream life and lives by the demanding and usually arbitrary rules set by the leader of the group. The leader is usually a charasmatic personality who encourages their followers to treat them as some sort of Messiah. The entire group dynamic is centred around gaining favour of the leader, who uses this dynamic in a controlling and abusive manner."
"From the late 80's all of us kids were removed from public schools because he didn’t want them influencing our minds away from our service to him. So from that point we were home schooled, until there were schools established in the Philippines. After that all the children were sent to the boarding schools there for intensive schooling. From the small pieces of information that made it out of the schools to me, a lot of the kids were traumatised by the environment, as it was almost prison like".
"From a young child I remember one of the main features of my life was the lectures that were sent to us via tape for us to listen to. Basically these were 1 hour long sessions of Chris talking about his beliefs ... We were encouraged to not invest in any relationships other than with him, so we were in effect isolated from our parents who did their best to not love us as per his recommendation, and instead looked at him like a surrogate father/messiah figure."
"I also remember Chris Butler held this larger than life presence in my childhood. Everything I did I had to think about how it benefitted him. He was my parents spiritual master and they looked to him for guidance on everything, from what to eat, to how to raise their children, and they did it all without question. When I talk to people about the lack of questioning, they find that aspect odd. It is odd, but to put it into perspective, I was raised to believe Chris Butler was God’s voice on earth, and if you questioned him or offended him in any way, you were effectively offending God, and because we believed in reincarnation, that meant that you would be reborn as the lowest lifeform imaginable and then have to spend eon’s working your way back into God’s good graces. So questioning the leader was spiritual suicide, which was seen as worse than death.
I really wanted to paint this picture of my childhood, because Tulsi Gabbard grew up in the same group that I did. She was subjected to the same environment I was. She’s still surrounded by this group and calls Chris Butler her guru. This is why the increased interest and her rise to power concerns me so greatly. I want to be very clear, I have no issue with Tulsi, as far as I am concerned, she’s as much a victim as I am, more so because she was groomed from an early age specifically for the path she is now on. What I am concerned about is the control I know Chris Butler has over her, the influence he has over her ability to make decisions." https://threadreaderapp.com/thread/1...372393984.html https://ramaransonvsthecult.wordpres...nd-raised/amp/ https://www.meanwhileinhawaii.org/home/butlersweb