This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Kumaré: A True Film About a False Prophet

Kumaré: A True Film About a False Prophet - Comments

Mr DArcy's Avatar Comment 1 by Mr DArcy

How do you tell the difference between a genuine guru and a false one?

The false one can change a light bulb.

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 19:26:31 UTC | #634354

Alan Canon's Avatar Comment 2 by Alan Canon

I would like to have seen the reaction amongst his sincere followers when they found out the whole thing was a sham.

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 20:01:19 UTC | #634375

Alovrin's Avatar Comment 3 by Alovrin

Questions about belief and self? mmmmmm All spiritual beliefs are wish fulfilment, and self, well, seems you yankee's need to up your game you're still awash in gullibility.

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 20:01:51 UTC | #634376

debonnesnouvelles's Avatar Comment 4 by debonnesnouvelles

well, he does not really sell it that much as a sham himself in the interview. ambivalent...

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 20:16:52 UTC | #634385

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 5 by ZenDruid

Gandhi's main point was, everyone knew he was just playing a role, but significant emotional connections were made anyway.

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 20:34:42 UTC | #634397

jez999's Avatar Comment 6 by jez999

Comment 5 by ZenDruid :

Gandhi's main point was, everyone knew he was just playing a role, but significant emotional connections were made anyway.

And this is newsworthy? People usually make emotional connections being in a close-knit social group.

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 21:17:17 UTC | #634427

Reason Saves's Avatar Comment 7 by Reason Saves

Nice idea. Reminds me of the Cargo Cults, which I first stumbled upon in The God Delusion.

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 21:19:26 UTC | #634431

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 8 by TheRationalizer

Comment 5 by ZenDruid :

Gandhi's main point was, everyone knew he was just playing a role, but significant emotional connections were made anyway.

The impression I got was that the initial "followers" were in on the scam and there to give him credibility in order to fool new members, and it was the new members who felt the emotional connections.

But anyway...

Looks very interesting - how do I get to watch it?

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 21:31:36 UTC | #634437

TheRationalizer's Avatar Comment 9 by TheRationalizer

Comment 5 by ZenDruid :

Gandhi's main point was, everyone knew he was just playing a role, but significant emotional connections were made anyway.

The impression I got was that the initial "followers" were in on the scam and there to give him credibility in order to fool new members, and it was the new members who felt the emotional connections.

But anyway...

Looks very interesting - how do I get to watch it?

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 21:33:46 UTC | #634438

reebus's Avatar Comment 10 by reebus

I think Derren Brown did something similar with faith healing and got the same result?

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 21:48:22 UTC | #634444

daddyhominum's Avatar Comment 11 by daddyhominum

You,too, can be a spiritual leader!

http://www.3rdward.com/3rdwardclasses/start-a-new-religion.html

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 22:02:31 UTC | #634454

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 12 by ZenDruid

Comment 6 by jez999 :

And this is newsworthy? People usually make emotional connections being in a close-knit social group.

Correct, but how many social groups are led by a self-proclaimed false prophet, just for the fun of it? People are doing this for entertainment, but still there's a mechanism that can be studied from experiments like this.

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 22:39:39 UTC | #634475

DocWebster's Avatar Comment 13 by DocWebster

I don't really think He was worried about whether he could pass himself off as something he wasn't, every last purveyor of supernatural forces already does that. I think the real worry was whether or not he would be viewed as a fraud trying to take advantage of unfortunate people or worse yet, a cruel hoaxer. I think those who were taken in by this experiment really have no other recourse but to look inside themselves for an answer as to why they fell for this. It isn't the film makers fault that he succeeded.

Sun, 05 Jun 2011 23:39:03 UTC | #634499

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 14 by QuestioningKat

I would really like to see this. If anyone comes across any info, please post. My guess is that this film will be making the independent film festivals rounds this year and eventually there will be a video for sale. I checked their website and it looks as if this film is still trying to be sold. (?)

Back in my non-traditional theist/deist days, I've come across several of these so called gurus. Looking back, I think I liked to play fly on the wall, since I never got involved with following a guru but liked to watch people's responses/reactions first hand. I think if anyone puts themselves in a position of "authority" and connects with someone already respected by a group of people or gains the respect of a group of people, the doors seem to fly open. Kind of scary; people seem to not question them or overlook the BS.

Gurus offering so-called positive ways of manifesting prosperity were the biggest hits. The "guru" could have done absolutely nothing in his/her life and simply claim to be a success (usually by teaching others how to become successful with no real craft or profession other than being a guru) and people will automatically accept their words as wise, original, and important. Look how many people buy into the BS Gary Renard spews or didn't question James Ray. People like Wayne Dyer are simply master regurgitators (with nice houses in Maui.) He's never said and original thing, except imply that he levitated during meditation once.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 00:05:28 UTC | #634504

Michael Gray's Avatar Comment 15 by Michael Gray

James Randi engineered something similar back in the 1980's in Australia. See "The Carlos Affair".

Even when exposed as a fully engineered social experiment, the "true believers" refused to abandon their faith in "Carlos".

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 01:41:57 UTC | #634527

mmurray's Avatar Comment 16 by mmurray

Comment 16 by xjudgesx :

Note to moderators: Has the idea of moderating a new users first post been considered ?

Michael

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 01:47:49 UTC | #634528

Red Dog's Avatar Comment 17 by Red Dog

I'm not very impressed. What is the discussion we are supposed to have as a result of this film? That its easy to be a fake spiritual leader and fool gullible people? Did anyone who regularly uses this site not already know that? This seems to me to be just a cheap way for someone who doesn't have any real ideas or want to do any actual work to make a first film.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 02:33:54 UTC | #634539

Rodger T's Avatar Comment 18 by Rodger T

They are all "made up" there are no real religions,only some are older and some are wealthier,at least this filmmaker knows he has a skill to fall back on if his films bomb.

I almost wish I had this talent,Mr Ghandi could have made himself lots of money from this without the documentary,I guess he has more morals than the likes of Ray Comfort,Ken Ham, et al.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 04:18:49 UTC | #634558

Munski's Avatar Comment 19 by Munski

Every religion has it's first 'guru', and it's interesting to hear the honest words of the film-maker that essentially declared how 'empowering' it was to have people have such emotional connections . . . but there's a huge difference in having social connections and having ones that are focused directly on you as a central figure. It does show potentially how, even if a person does start some messianic cult with full knowledge they are just 'making it all up' with no real visions or direct contact to some god, can be swayed to actually believe their own rhetoric based on the adulation. But that's always been evident.

It just adds yet more proof on how the 'cult of personality' will always be a powerful force in the creation of any movement, even to the point of creating gods out of them. Add a few decades, centuries, and even millenia of 'evolution' to that, and you can end up with the Vatican.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 05:58:26 UTC | #634570

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 20 by ZenDruid

A Vedic Vatican? ;)

I'm with you there, JMunroe. Gandhi got some first-person exposure to the thing that motivates all the religious mountebanks. I hope he can treat the issue intelligently, and provide some sort of behavioral inoculation to the public against the scoundrels.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 06:22:49 UTC | #634575

Stafford Gordon's Avatar Comment 21 by Stafford Gordon

I'm not quite sure what the principal motivation behind this exercise is. Whereas with Darren Brown the aim is clear.

I don't think the two projects are comparable.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 06:29:33 UTC | #634577

Rich Wiltshir's Avatar Comment 22 by Rich Wiltshir

Interesting subject that seems diluted by a subdued report: it seems edited and narrated to avoid "offending" (as Stephen Fry says, "so fucking what"). I want to see the documentary.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 07:13:26 UTC | #634589

Munski's Avatar Comment 23 by Munski

Comment 22 by ZenDruid :

A Vedic Vatican? ;) I'm with you there, JMunroe. Gandhi got some first-person exposure to the thing that motivates all the religious mountebanks. I hope he can treat the issue intelligently, and provide some sort of behavioral inoculation to the public against the scoundrels.

Pope Gandhi XII, 2345AD . . . it'll be the most popular name in the hierarchy, you'll see. ;)

Absolutely true. It's one thing to seek knowledge or even be able to learn philosophical ideals and be able to cultivate ones of your own with perhaps some help along the way, and an altogether different matter when it's a programmed feeling or having advantages over those in a vulnerable state that create blind obligation with unearned adoration.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 07:28:04 UTC | #634596

Munski's Avatar Comment 24 by Munski

Hmmm . . . better make that 3412AD . . . people are living way longer, so the 12th pope named 'Gandhi' might be a stretch for 2345AD. I really need to just stop typing too fast and actually do some math.

:)

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 07:37:22 UTC | #634601

Schrodinger's Cat's Avatar Comment 25 by Schrodinger's Cat

Comment 2 by Alan Canon

I would like to have seen the reaction amongst his sincere followers when they found out the whole thing was a sham.

They'd carry right on believing. People claiming the thing was a sham would be dismissed as agents of the devil and the 'Prophet' exposing the sham ( whether deliberately or inadvertently ) would be seen as just a test of their....er....faith. Look no further than the 'Satanic Verses' for proof that's what a billion people are already doing !

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 12:27:27 UTC | #634681

Alexandreina's Avatar Comment 26 by Alexandreina

I will definitely want to see this when it's available. I hope he will answer questions about what eventually happened with his followers and how he regards them (and they, him) now. Interesting stuff!

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 14:01:26 UTC | #634729

nancynancy's Avatar Comment 27 by nancynancy

I think it could be very useful for school aged children to see this film. Camp Quest should think about having a screening for their young campers this summer.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 14:47:22 UTC | #634759

BigNoboDaddy's Avatar Comment 28 by BigNoboDaddy

Same message in 'The Life of Brian' albeit this was fictitious but nevertheless very insightful. For the most human beings are gullible fools.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 17:19:41 UTC | #634831

Aztek's Avatar Comment 29 by Aztek

Question from the trailer: "Could people find the same peace from a made up religion that they found in a real one?"

What's the difference? There is no such thing as a real religion. They are all made up. A real religion is only a made up religion which has created an elaborate façade of lies to appear more than it is. It's like comparing a religion and a cult. One of them has enough money and power to keep the government off its back, while the other is without enough money and power to do so. Otherwise they are the same thing.

Mon, 06 Jun 2011 20:18:00 UTC | #634947

Munski's Avatar Comment 30 by Munski

Comment 31 by Aztek :

Question from the trailer: "Could people find the same peace from a made up religion that they found in a real one?" What's the difference? There is no such thing as a real religion. They are all made up. A real religion is only a made up religion which has created an elaborate façade of lies to appear more than it is. It's like comparing a religion and a cult. One of them has enough money and power to keep the government off its back, while the other is without enough money and power to do so. Otherwise they are the same thing.

Well, that's what I've always thought . . . or asked, and had my rather blasphemous questions shoved right back down my throat with a handful of relevent proverbs (I was young enough, usually physically punished for asking them . . . I was born in beginning of the sixties, so I was far back enough on the Canadian prairies to be physically punished for blasphemy by people other than my parents . . . my profile pic is about 6 years old . . . I've got a pony-tail now, and a grayer moustache).

But it just always seemed that the only difference between this, Scientology, Mormonism, Harold Camping, the Branch Davidian, or the other, more established religions is several centuries of not only having time to establish a sense of a traditional lineage, but having had the reins of power at various times in human history . . . with well-known results.

Tue, 07 Jun 2011 05:00:20 UTC | #635150