Religious OCD

I am sure my grandfather suffered from scrupulosity, a form of obsessive compulsive disorder involving religious and moral obsession. When I was a child, I saw he woke up late at night every night and prayed for hours while cried frantically. He asked for forgiveness from god for his sins, and begged god for not throwing him into hell. My grandfather was a very kind and nice person, he never committed any crime, but somehow he got an idea that he would be sent to hell if he didn’t pray excessively and cry frantically. I noticed everybody at home respected my grandfather for his late night prayers, no one dared to put a complaint even though the loud and noisy prayers disturbed their sleep.

Later I found a few of my uncles and aunts including my mother did the same as my grandfather for many years. They definitely suffered from scrupulosity. There are many people outside my family I know that suffer from scrupulosity. Scrupulosity is not recognized as obsessive compulsive disorder by most people. People suffering from scrupulosity don’t go to doctors for therapy. They roam freely and influence people.
I started disliking my mother when she started crying during her late night prayers. I was never really a believer. I lost my love for my mother because of her melodramatic behavior to reach god who I already believed that didn’t exist. I was very fond of my father who was an atheist. He never prayed. He discouraged his children to pray. He was a medical doctor and believed in rationalism, and modernism. My father’s bad side was he had a patriarchal mindset. Eventhough he encouraged his daughters to study science and become independent, his behavior with his wife was awful. I thank myself for getting rid of patriarchal stuff that I was indoctrinated with during my childhood. I fought against patriarchy and misogyny alone while living in a deeply misogynistic society. I freed myself from religion when I was a child and from male domination when I left my father’s house and later my husband’s house.

Some of my relatives still suffer from religious OCD. They are having academic degrees, but they strongly believe that they would go to hell if they do not pray a lot or beg Allah for forgiveness or make a trip to Mecca to perform hajj. They cry everyday thinking of hell. I feel sorry for those relatives. I am happy for being liberated. Wish all people in the world were liberated from religion and patriarchy.

‘Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women’.

“I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah,” a man claiming to be Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau said.
“There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women, ” he continued.

There is no reason to not believe what this man is saying. Once upon a time when a man said, ‘Allah asked me to fuck my wife’s slave, so I fucked. Or Allah asked me to fuck my son’s wife, so I fucked. Or Allah asked me to fuck the captive women, so I fucked’, everybody believed in him. People still believe in that fucker.

So what is the problem to believe now that the Nigerian man is telling the truth that Allah asks him to sell women? He should get billions of followers. Allah talks to him, he must be a prophet. Who the fuck says there will be no more prophet? Abubakar Shekau must have direct contact with Allah, or who will give him a bunch of anti-women advices but Him?

Long live Abubakar Shekau (peace be upon him)!

Science and religion

I have never seen any place in the world but India where science and religion are taken cared of at the same time as if they are siblings. Unfortunately I haven’t met any doctor in the Indian subcontinent who doesn’t believe in god. I have no idea how doctors who are fine scientists find it so easy to believe in mythological gods or superstitions.
Today I talked with a few doctors working in a reputed hospitals in Delhi about my mild health problem. Everybody advised me to have faith in god. Then the medical clinic I visited this evening was having a god at their gate. It is almost impossible here to keep science and religion separated.

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The only good use of gods

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I took two pictures this morning while walking in the streets of Delhi.

We all know that Indians have more mobile phones than toilets. We also know that India needs more toilets than temples. We should also know that most public toilets in India stink, and women wait until they get a toilet even though public toilets are stinky, but men do not wait for anything, they urinate in public. Volunteers tried to stop them from peeing in the streets. They shamed men with their zippers down by drumming and blowing whistles, but it did not work. Men continued peeing and spiting everywhere. They love to pee on the wall. There were campaigns against peeing on the wall, there were posters like ‘Please don’t pee here, thank you’, ‘Please don’t urinate here’, ‘You have to pay fine if you pee here’ etc. But nothing worked. Men continued peeing on the wall. But when god’s pictures were put, men stop peeing on the wall. God is the only thing that can prevent men from urinating in public. I do not know any better use of gods.

My lies are different from your lies. So your lies are banned.

Arab countries banned the movie Noah because ‘it contradicts the teachings of Islam’. Muhammad plagiarized the Bible but he could not plagiarize it properly, so we find some differences between the Biblical Noah and the Quranic Noah.

Noah is described in the Bible as a righteous man who lived among a wicked people. God decided to kill all the wicked through a vast flood, while saving the righteous; hence He commanded Noah to build an Ark, using God’s own instructions. (Gen. 6:9-16; Hud 11:39) Noah did so and he, his family, seven pairs of birds and ″clean″ animals, and two of each other animal species (a female and a male) board the Ark (Gen. 6:19; Hud 11:42). Water gushes up from the ground and rains fall from the sky, flooding the earth and killing all the wicked. (Gen. 7:11-12; Al-Qamar 54:11–13). All aboard the Ark are safe until the waters retreat (Gen. 8:14 ; Hud 11:44). There is disagreement among Christians and Muslims concerning whether the flood was local or global.[citation needed]

There are several differences between the Biblical and Quranic versions of Noah’s story:

The Qur’an focuses on a dialogue between Noah and the wicked (Hud 11:32–37), in which Noah unsuccessfully attempts to remonstrate with his countrymen, who reject his message. Genesis mentions no such dialogue.
In the Qur’an, Noah’s wife and one of his sons reject him (Hud 11:43) and die in the flood, while some people outside his family are faithful and join him (Hud 11:42). In Genesis, Noah’s wife together with his three sons and their wives all board the Ark, but no others.
In the Qur’an, the Ark rests on the hills of Mount Judi (Hud 11:44); in the Bible, it rests on the mountains of Ararat (Gen. 8:4) The Al-Djoudi (Judi) is a mount in the Biblical range Ararat. The Qur’an cites a particular mount in the Ararat Range, whereas the Bible mentions the Ararat Range. Judi is still present in the Ararat range in Turkey. Thus there is no conflict between the Bible and the Qur’an on this topic.

Noah story is the most cruel, stupid and hilarious story written in the so called holy books. Like all the other holy lies Noah story is also a lie. Arab countries banned the movie Noah because it is based on the Biblical lies, not based on the Quranic lies. They are probably thinking that the Quranic lies are better than the Biblical lies. But lies are lies, man!

I hate lies, but the liars have the right to tell lies and I have the right not to hear their lies. Even though Noah story is a lie, I am against the banning of Noah. I prefer to watch DarkMatter2525′s Noah movie to Darren Aronofsky’s Noah movie. Why don’t you watch and enjoy my favourite Noah? Here it is:

And Non Stamp Collector’s Noah’s Ark is just awesome. Don’t miss it.

Noah’s Ark 1
Noah’s Ark 2

Mosques decide

Mosques decide.

The BBC has controversially dropped a debate on homosexuality from a live panel discussion show because of objections from Birmingham Central Mosque in which the programme was being filmed.
As first reported by Breitbart London, the BBC Three live debate and discussion show aimed at young people, Free Speech, had intended to ask the question, “When will it be accepted to be Muslim and gay?” However, after showing a clip featuring Asifa Lahore, the UK’s first Muslim drag queen discussing his multiple identities of Muslim, gay and British, the show’s host, Rick Edwards, announced that the debate would not take place as planned. He told the audience:
“We were going to debate that question today, but after speaking to the Mosque, they have expressed deep concerns with having that discussion here.”
The producers of the show, Mentorn Media – the makers of Question Time – say the debate will happen on its next show on 25 March.
Stephen Evans, campaigns manager at the National Secular Society said: “After agreeing to allow a programme called Free Speech to be filmed at the Mosque, it is absurd and counterproductive to then censor the topic being discussed.
“It is unfortunate that the BBC allowed itself to be censored on this occasion by reactionary imams, but this was a place of worship, and perhaps the BBC would do well to choose religiously neutral venues to hold such debates in future”.

BBC cancels a debate because mosque people won’t like it. I have seen worse. My drama series were banned by government,because mosque people won’t like those series. And not a single Bengali media ever mentioned that the drama series that I wrote for TV, were banned, because mosque people won’t like it. Not a single Bengali media publishes any single review of any of my books because mosque people won’t like it. Publishers don’t want to publish my books because mosque people won’t like it.

The difference between UK and India is UK has the National Secular Society which protests against Media’s cowardly acts. India has no such society as the National Secular Society that can protest against media’s cowardly acts. For example, there is no such organization that can protest against the cancelation of my drama series, or the constant banning and censorship of my best selling books. The truth is, media doesn’t ban my books or drama series, media bans ME, the person. I would have felt contented if there were a National Secular Society in India for shouting out loud whenever anyone’s free speech is violated.

Holy Hell of an Ashram

Arun N. Madhavan , an Indian humanist wrote about the book Holy Hell for my blog.

It has been few weeks since the book written by former disciple of the so called hugging saint Amrithanandamayi has started making waves in social media in Kerala in south India. The book named “Holy Hell, A memoir of faith devotion and pure madness” is written by Gail Tredwell, a former devotee and close assistant of Sudhamani (Amrithanandamayi). The book reveals the dirty underbelly of the Ashram with revelations of rape, sexual encounters between Sudhamani and her senior “celibate” swamis, financial irregularities and cut throat rivalries between those in the Spirituality business. By contrast the mainstream media, always hungry for controversies and scandals, strangely remained silent until the Ashram made its first public statement of denial.

Gail Tredwell was born and educated in Australia. Coming from a dysfunctional family background, she reached India on an Asian tour in search of elusive happiness and meaning of life. She was 19 when she landed in India in 1978. Falling instantly in love with Indian spirituality, she began her search for a guru to show her the way to salvation. Finally in 1980, her search ended as she became a devotee and assistant of Sudhamani.

Sudhamani was then called Ammachi and was a member of fishermen community near Kollam in South Kerala. During those days she used to act as Krishna and Devi (gods of Hinduism) at her family shrine and bless devotees by hugging. Her fame spread as there were stories of her performing miracles. As the disciples increased, including some people of white skin, her popularity surged. An Ashram was constructed and later she became Mata Amrithanandamayi as she proclaimed herself to be a saint.

By the time the disillusioned Gail Tredwell left the Ashram after 20 years of devoted service, the mutt has grown up to a multimillion dollar empire comprising of several branches all over the world, hospitals, several colleges and schools and even a deemed University.

With in 2 years of service at Ashram, Tredwell came to know about one of the lies that was being spread about Sudhamani. Her devotees where told that she is ‘pure’ and do not have menstruation. But one day Tredwell was witness to the event. See how she describe it in her book:
“For a moment I was in shock. But I let it go. This discovery did not affect my faith. It made me feel trusted and special. She had her menstruation every month from that day onward, and I did my best to help her conceal the fact. I always knew it was a secret. Not once did it ever cross my mind that it was a lie. I was so wound up in my devotion and in holding onto my dream position that the full implications of the deception were lost on me. I either blocked out or completely forgot the truth. Her biography clearly stated that she was“pure.” Amma obviously knew this claim to be incorrect. She allowed it to be published anyhow”.
Tredwell was in such a blind devotional trance that she could not understand this as plain deception. Also this underlines the patriarchal basis of Indian Spirituality, were a menstruating woman could not be called a saint.

Tredwell describes how the second in command of the Ashram, Balu raped her several times. Why she never reported it to Amma? She explains:
“I tried to argue and plead my way out, but he was obsessed and relentless. I felt trapped. If I didn’t oblige, he would start sulking and acting weird. People would begin to wonder what was going on. If this ever came to light, I would be the one to suffer. I would be the one punished—not Balu. Amma had never shown any leniency to me before, so I had no reason to believe this time would be any different. The common notion in India is that Western women possess loose morals. I believed I would be blamed, possibly kicked out of the ashram, and most definitely no longer allowed to serve Amma. I knew I couldn’t live with such consequences. I felt I had no other choice but to succumb to his demands—to his manipulation“.

She also talk about sexual encounters between senior Swamis (who were supposed to be celibate) of the Ashram and Sudhamani. There are also vivid descriptions of the verbal abuse and physical assaults Tredwell and few other women disciples had to endure from Sudhamani.
“Within a few months of getting my robes, history began repeating itself. Once more I was being hit, kicked, slapped, and thrown out of her room. She even invented a new form of punishment for me when she was really angry. Grabbing me by the throat with one hand, she would dig her nails in and rip towards the center, scraping the skin as she went. I was then left with bright red scratch marks across my throat, and sometimes blood”.

To a keen observer of such spiritual ashrams of India, the book is never shocking. Such tales has been told by several former disciples about gurus and swamis of all hues. It’s said that there are two types of spiritual gurus and god men. Those caught out as fake and those yet to be caught.

Most interesting about this book is how beautifully it reveals the mind of a theist. Gail Tredwell was convinced that there is a hidden meaning for life, which can only be revealed to her by a guru. She was in search of elusive happiness outside her material world. Though she receives setbacks after setbacks she remains convinced that all these bad experiences were there to test her devotion. See how she rationalizes the sexual encounters between Sudhamani and Swamis.

“I didn’t want to leave the ashram and give up what I believed to be the opportunity of many lifetimes. This was my life, my family, all I knew, and all I wanted. I had myself convinced that I was on the express train to God, and I couldn’t imagine being pushed off at full speed. In that moment I made a choice. I vowed myself to silence. Mustering every ounce of justification juice, I accepted this behavior as Amma’s way of “keeping it in the family.” Because she is one with God (I explained to myself), she’s beyond any form of human desire, longing, or attachment. She’s letting these senior fellows release any pent-up sexual frustration upon her as part of the bigger picture in her mission to save the world”.

Gail Tredwell rationalized like this for 20 years, before she became wise enough to escape. Even then for several years she continued to suffer from severe mental trauma. Only now she could come out of her closet to write a memoire, to get everything out of her system. She writes:
“I offer my story with the sincere hope that it will illustrate to spiritual seekers the downside of blind faith, and that surrender to a guru/teacher is sometimes mind control in disguise. Perhaps some readers will now recognize that they too have turned a blind eye to reality in order to protect their beliefs. I hope that those who doubt will feel free to question, those with questions will find answers, and those already suffering the wounds of betrayal and disillusionment will find consolation and validation.
Ultimately, I hope this book will empower those trapped in any form of abusive relationship or unhealthy situation to find the courage to step away and to trust that an amazing life awaits them—a life full of unexpected blessings and wonderful people”.

This book if widely read may slightly reduce the popularity of Mata Amrithanandamayi. But the vast majority of susceptible theists will continue their elusive quest for salvation, going from one guru to another. As long as there is demand, the product of spirituality will sell like hot cakes.

Scientifically speaking life happened spontaneously, not because of some definite purpose. Bacteria, mosquitoes or cows do not worry about the aim of their lives. It’s the highly developed human brain that makes us think about aims of life. Gail Treadwell’s experiences underline the fact that one has to find one’s own meaning for life and find happiness ourselves. Humanistic ideals can serve as a guide, but ultimately we are on our own. No guru or mata can help you. Only the lazy theist waits for an elusive guru or become a fundamentalist believer of a book or prophet or a mythical god. A rationalist finds her way herself.

Holy Hell

Read Holy Hell : A memoir of Faith, Devotion and Pure Madness by Gail Tredwell, an Australian woman who escaped from an Indian godwoman ashram.

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She wrote how she was repeatedly raped by the chief priest and physically tortured by the godwoman Amritanandamayi, the hugging saint, during her stay in the ashram as a devotee and a head female disciple for 20 years.