An old outsmarting guru and his followers led to perdition
And Indian teaching is that for one true guru there may be nine sham gurus. Or perhaps eight, or less. False gurus get perhaps wealth and followers, but are they tactful helpers, and do they help enough? All the way?
Besides, could there be false gurus who give out false teachings aimed at harming their followers terribly? The issue is not new: A guru designed to outsmart people appears in the Siva Purana. Through distorted and false teachings he brings good folks to their downfall, havoc and ruin, as intended. He outsmarts those who hail him. He is their hidden enemy, with false and wicked feats on his repertoire. [Narada maledictions]
Narada in the Siva Purana bears some resemblance to the wicked trickster Loki of the Norse. Narada's false teachings gave birth to disharmonious, faulty teachings that upset the deep order for his follower-victims.
In Norse mythology, Loki fathered hellish Hel, the big bad wolf Fenrir, and the monster-serpent that encircles the world. Loki was also the shape-shifter mother to an eight-legged horse and more. A bad cult can likewise be said to be Loki's figurative offspring.
Sly Loki survives in the folklore of Scandinavia, although his name has changed to Lokke and Lokkemand ["Entice-man", "Lure-man"]. Sholars are admittedly far from understanding him, assesses Gabriel Turville-Petre. [WP, "Loki"]
Entropy - from en, inside', and the Greek tropé, transformation - means lack of order, lack of pattern or organisation, or disorder. Lack of fit order in the regulations and workings of an organism may be fatal.
Compare alarming effects of an infection: If just one organ of a body fails du to it, the whole organism with all its other, healthy organs may die. Alternatively, the organism halts one way or the other. If the infection hits vital organs, like brain, heart, immunity system, and so on, the goings may get nasty for some time, until you die from it all.
The concept of entropy may serve to explain havoc caused by some freak gurus that bring false teachings. One infectious but untrue teaching that aims at vital parts of you - can destroy your future fare until your life snaps.
Guru words that aim at the good sides of you and infect and infest them with blunderbus sayings, untrue sayings, bluffs and the like, may do surprisingly great harm. So we had better seek out kind and good teachers and teachings of good quality, and keep much reserve against the others, some of which go for fattening formerly good people with hollow slogans and thereby hinder better fares for some who could have benefited otherwise.
When initially fooled but good folks get older and wake up to realise they wasted years of their lives on living up to cult scams or bluffs and much else that did not really benefit them, such folks may come to grief and despair, so deep and horrible that lots of efforts and time can still have a hard time healing all. The obvious reason is that the more the follower have been infected in his or her most vital areas, the less power they might have left to recuperate with.
The more trust you get tricked to put in false teachings, the worse your following disappointment and shame may get, supposedly. Some seem to keep silent about how they were duped, ensnared and estranged, out of shame. That does not help others by way of warnings, though.
Seriously disappointed souls may give up their efforts at finding and following higher and better teachings than those they were subjugated by. Higher yoga-meditation, helpful for good souls, may be given up completely too, thereby, or they develop mental defence maneuvres against going deep in meditation because of the burdens and other loads they now carry in their dear mind somewhere.
Thrice shamed as well
So even though proficient meditation in itself should be a good thing, false gurus and other scamps could have mucked your dear mind so heavily that it is too hard to meditate, or much unpleasant. There are ways of dealing with such problems. If that is not an option, there may or may not be professional help nearby. It depends on where you are and where they are. Some general ideas on how to deal with medium false or bad swirling memories that can get recalled very intensely in meditation are on another page. The old way is to meditate, keep relaxed at it as long as you can handle memories easily, replacing them with renewed efforts at focusing as the method calls for. If the memories get disturbing, annoying and worse, break off. Repeat the meditation somewhat later, a little bit at the time, and so on. That way of handling medium violent memory stuff could be the help you need. A meditation instructor may assist too, and if problems persist for several weeks or so, professional help could be a sensible choice - and if that seems a bit too hard: earlier help. It depends on how upsetting and vehement the walk down memory lane may be. [General meditation tips]
The harm that follows mad guru lore, may persist. But meditation that is handled OK, tends to lessen the burdens after time. For example, a study by the Swedish government found that the rate of mental health problems among the 35,000 people in the country who practiced the Transcendental Meditation method in 1977 was 100 to 200 times lower than that of the general population. 
Pertinent alarms or warnings are needed where deft cheating of people persists
When we are young, we may all be gullible and think well of many strangers offering great gifts, and so on. Good fables and other stories are fit to make children and young ones aware of hidden crookery, mishandling or tyranny as the case may be, and by use of metaphors build some budding sense into younger minds - such sense that otherwise does not come in time, or easily. Fables and other good tales can tell pregnant lessons when abstract findings meet a closed door, and where attempts at treatments tend to be late -
What is called law and order is at times a long time in acting, appearing on the scenes of crime only rarely, too late, if all that. Many crooks get away with it for such reasons, at least for a life-time or longer.
Interested in sectarians or sects? There may be something to learn from literature. Some could even be saved from severe wounds thereby.
Brown, J. Operation övertalning. Reklam. Propaganda. Hjärntvätt. Stockholm: Prisma, 1965.
Butler, Gillian. Overcoming Social Anxiety and Shyness: A Self-Help Guide Using Cognitive Behavioral Techniques. Paperback ed. London: Constable and Robinson, 2007. ⍽▢⍽ Helpful. After social anxiety is defined, the author lays out several proven cognitive strategies. Hassan, Steven. Combatting Cult Mind Control. Rochester, VT: Park Street Press, 1990.
Lewis, James R. Cults: A Reference Handbook. 2nd ed. Oxford: ABC-CLIO, 2005. ⍽▢⍽ The book contains an in-depth look at brainwashing and the issue of alternative religions and violence. Movements that have made the headlines are also examined.
Martin, Walter, and Hank Hanegraaff (ed). The Kingdom of the Cults. Rev. ed. Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House, 1997.
Mathison, Richard R. Faiths, Cults and Sects in America: From Atheism to Zen. New York. Bobbs-Merrill, 1960. ⍽▢⍽ Self-Realization Fellowship is described on pages 188-95 in it.
Zellner, William W., and Marc Petrowsky, eds. Sects, Cults, and Spiritual Communities: A Sociological Analysis. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1998. ⍽▢⍽ The American society contains a variety of religious denominations, sects, cults, and self-help groups. The nine groups subjected to sociological study here are Heaven's Gate, Jesus People USA, the Love Family, The Farm, Amish Women, Scientology, El Nino Fidencio, Santeria, and Freedom Park. The number of US sects, cults, and spiritual communities has doubled during the last fifty years or so, and study of them has grown as well.
Zimbardo, Philip G. Shyness: What It Is. What to Do about It. London: Addison-Wesley, 1977. ⍽▢⍽ The American Psychological Foundation has honoured him for his teaching and writing. Though his book he wants to help shy people remove barriers to greater freedom and fuller participation in life, and to a personal sense of worth and mastery" (p. 120). Some say it is dated now, others think it helps a lot. Other books may have more recent findings incorporated. Regardless of that, this is one of the best rated works in its field.
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