Monthly Archives: February 2011

Undercover in Netherlands – Miracle of Love. TV show review

Alberto Stegeman, Undercover in Nederland

On February 27, 2011 Alberto Stegeman televised an investigative report with hidden cameras, revealing cult recruitment in the international “Miracle of Love” (MOL).

The entire Dutch Show can be watched here :

UNDERCOVER IN NEDERLAND (49), Miracle of Love

The television show highlights the path that a new participant in Miracle of Love’s Intensive- Seminar may traverse as he or she enters MOL entry level activities. Eventually a vulnerable new member’s entire social world becomes MOL based, at the expense of family, former friendships, and work relationships.

True MOL members relinquish personal direction to the mercy of MOL’s leadership. They believe that MOL involvement and recruiting others will help them “break free of this illusory world” to “come home to their True Self” as taught by their deceased “Lord Gourasana.”

With hidden camera footage of actual group “Intensives” and “meditations,” Stegeman highlights practices known to alter brain chemistry and create a highly suggestible state in vulnerable participants : long hours, limited sleep, no caffeine, no contact with outsiders, highly emotional small group confessionals, dancing naked and singing embraced with others – regressing to the state of a child at summer camp. Stegeman graphically compares MOL’s methods to those used by the late Reverand Jim Jones of the People’s Temple in Jonestown.

Participants in MOL "Intensive" or "Seminar"

Stegeman interviews various experts for psychological and legal implications of promoting such practices as therapy.

As with any “cult” membership, no one intends to join a cult. A person at time of crisis seeks help, finds a “loving” support group and unwittingly is both exploited and becomes a co-conspirator. The ultimate goal is cult expansion while padding the leaders’ wealth and power.

Limitations of this TV show are that the investigator did not reach MOL’s higher echelons to reveal leadership’s lifestyle and orchestrations. Reaching higher levels of MOL requires more time, donation of large sums of money, recruitment power, an accessible trust fund or business skills needed by the cult. As in any cult, only tested devoted MOL members reach the upper echelons.

Overall, the TV show was a breakthrough of insider cult reporting.

Thank you to Alberto Stegeman and crew!

Two former MOL participants blogged responses to the TV expose’ – linked below.

My thoughts after “Undercover Nederland on Miracle of Love” by Milena, on her blog dedicated to sharing My life with Miracle of Love.

DriekBlog writes a review of Miracle of Love exposed on Dutch TV from his perspective as a former MOL participant.

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Dutch promotion for “Miracle of Love” TV expose’

"Lord Gourasana"

"Kalindi La Gourasana" speaks

The Netherlands is known as one of the world’s most socially and religiously tolerant societies. However, Dutch social tolerance does not extend to tolerance of clandestine abuse.

The Hague’s coexistence of Dutch parliament with United Nations’ international judiciary dramatically exemplifies the Netherlands’ co-existing concern for social freedom and intolerance of abuse.

This week, Dutch media furor revolves around an upcoming TV show to detail a sect which operates covertly in Dutch society by applying psychologically and financially destructive methods to its members. The group also has branches elsewhere in the world.

Dutch undercover reporter Alberto Stegeman exposes the Dutch division of the “Miracle of Love” (MOL) cult, whose deemed voice of God Carol Seidman aka “Kalindi La Gourasana” died last year. David Swanson aka “Lord Gourasana” as MOL’s deemed incarnation of God died a number of years ago.

(My obituary for Seidman aka Kalindi with other informative links can be read here )

Stegeman’s investigation involved one year of cult infiltration with hidden recording equipment. The show will detail MOL’s Dutch operations, including footage to reveal MOL’s loving-abusive brand of social persuasion “brainwashing” during MOL’s Seminar / Intensive.

The final Dutch televised expose’ can be viewed on Dutch TV SBS 6, February 26 Sunday evening , 9:30 pm.

Non Dutch audiences may watch the same show online on February 27, Monday, through the show’s website, check on “Programma Gemist”

www.undercoverinnederland.nl

Click here for an English language review of the undercover TV expose’ of Miracle of Love.

Dutch preview sites and video clips provide vivid imagery.
Dutch concern gains momentum with promotion of this TV report.

Links below preview the upcoming expose’ :

AD Sportwereld article plus television interview w/ reporter. Scroll down for the TV interview w/ small preview video clips.

HVNL Video news clip / preview with shocking video clip for Dutch television.

Translation from Dutch to English of key sections from above video clip of MOL’s Seminar / Intensive :

Undercover during the Seminar (Intensive) : (00:00 – 00:08)

Miracle of Love member: We don’t talk about anything that happens in this room.

First reaction presenter : (00:08 – 00:30)

This infiltration took more than a year. Because we would like to know what is
really going on in this community. Nobody knows about it. We don?t know anything
about cults. We know only the stories from people that left cults. We know the
stories from people that say a family member is involved and I don’t see him
anymore. We wanted to know what is really going on. Is there a cult in the
Netherlands? And how do they brainwash people?

Undercover during the Seminar: (00:30 – 00:34)

Miracle of Love leader: I want to fuck my mother, I want to fuck my brother, I
want to be fucked by an animal..

Second reaction presenter: (00:34 – 00:57)

They say that they are a faith community. They say that they want the best for
all the people around. But we saw – as a member – that it is a cult who is
trying to brainwash people. Finally it is just about giving your money and
saying goodbye to your identity. Friends and family are not important anymore.

Dutch undercover journalist during the Seminar: (0057: 01:04)

Everybody is dancing and running around naked. Can you please get me out of
here?

Third reaction presenter: (01:04 – 01:15)

I?m disguised as a worried father from my colleague, who was inside this cult. I
went to the Seminar and then you can see that you cannot go inside.

Undercover: (01:15 – 01:21)

Miracle of Love member: I understand that you are the father?

Journalist Alberto Stegeman: Yes.

Miracle of Love member: We have a workshop going on. People from outside cannot
go inside.

Undercover during the Seminar (01:21 – 01:25)

Miracle of Love leader: Say it: butt fuck. butt fuck, butt fuck, butt fuck,
butt fuck.

Undercover (01:25 – 01:33)

Journalist Alberto Stegeman: I just want to see what is going on inside. Just as
a father, because I want to know what my daughter is doing.

Miracle of Love member: No, that is not possible.

TV station SBS article plus translation below.
Undercover in Nederland SBS 6, same article with translation below.

25 February 2011
New series of hidden camera reports starts Sunday on SBS 6

Undercover in Nederland reveals shocking scenes within Dutch sect

Rumours and stories about sects in the Netherlands have done the rounds for
years, but up to now there has never been any proof. This Sunday, in Undercover
in Nederland, investigative journalist Alberto Stegeman will reveal some intense
and never before seen images of what really goes on behind a sect’s closed
doors. In the past year, Alberto Stegeman and his team secretly infiltrated the
Miracle of Love sect; originally from America, this organisation – which
purports to be a religious community – has been recruiting members in the
Netherlands since 2006. The hidden camera images show how members are
deliberately being mislead, have to follow bizarre orders given by the leaders
and become estranged from their families and friends. Undercover in Nederland
will be broadcast on SBS 6 from 9.30 p.m. on Sunday 27 February.

Alberto Stegeman: “The last serious investigation into sects dates back to the
early eighties, and no effective legislation has ever been passed in this area.
We therefore knew little or nothing about this world, apart from the stories of
people who had managed to extricate themselves from such groups or people, for
example, who had lost a family member to such an organisation. This report will
change all that, at long last. Miracle of Love is a sinister society that seems
to be aimed at taking away people’s money, their possessions and ultimately even
their identity.”

The report shows clearly how members are literally and metaphorically stripped
of everything. “People are asked to dance around naked, they have to fantasize
about having sex with their own mother and we even filmed someone who had to
imagine murdering a family member. Everyone has to follow the orders given by
the leaders. During these sessions, which can last for days, there can be no
phone calls, no coffee may be drunk, no social conversation is allowed,
participants are deprived of sleep and they are not told in advance what is
going to happen. The leaders of this sect seek to convince the members that
normal life is an illusion. Everything is aimed at letting go of your own
identity and opting for Miracle of Love. To achieve this end, the leaders use
truly appalling methods.”

The leaders do not allow anyone to speak about what happens within the walls.
Members have to sign a confidentiality agreement to this end. “This long-term
undercover project, recordings for which took us nearly a year to complete, will
give everyone a chance to see exactly what happens when people are sucked into a
society like this”, Stegeman says.

In the programme, various experts will advocate regulations and legislation to
combat such abuses and to prevent them happening in the future. Stegeman: “I
anticipate that the report will cause quite a stir, not least among politicians
in The Hague.”

Tuesday Meditation

Setting : 1969 small town Southern California. My father is a military engineer. This is next of a series about growing up in the early days of the Transcendental Meditation Movement. My parents ran a TM Center out of our home

It’s Tuesday, weekly meditation evening. I clear the table and wash dinner dishes, while Mom, Dad and Gunnar arrange chairs in a circle in the living room. Mom and Dad talk about keeping our home vibrations pure to support group meditation. “We must enliven silence within each of us, without disruption.”

My mother carefully lights incense and Dad dims lights before other meditators arrive. I remove the pink telephone handset from the wall receiver, wrapping it firmly in a kitchen towel and stuffing it behind the blender to muffle the noisy dial tone. The home must be silent for Tuesday’s mediation meetings.

Mom explains, “This evening’s tape is about the seven stages of consciousness, Gina. This is important, you should stay and listen. You will integrate Maharishi’s knowledge and reach Cosmic Consciousness while young. You are spared the stress and problems that others experience before earning initiation. You must have been very special in a past life to earn this opportunity!”

Our parents often invite us to join their meetings, as they want Maharishi’s knowledge to uplift our impressionable minds. “This is more important than your school homework,” they explain.

I arrange flowers, fruit, and glasses on the table with a pitcher of distilled water while Mom and Dad go change and prepare for the meeting. I don’t where Gunnar is. Herb Tea is ready to simmer later. Sometimes our parents allow me to thread the delicate reel-to-reel audio tape sent weekly from Maharishi’s regional offices in Los Angeles or New York.

Gunnar and I dutifully greet arriving guests, “Welcome” we smile with breathy voices as we’d been taught. “Please remove your shoes and leave them here.” we point to the mixed shoe collection in our entryway. Padding in stocking feet, we escort guests to the encircled chairs in the living room. “Please sit and enjoy the silence until everyone has arrived. Refreshments will be served later.”

Like a silent actor, I try to feel special and enlightened with my brother, but I just want to leave.

When the living room circle is complete, our parents lead group mediation. The adults sit straight with closed eyes. Upturned palms rest lightly in their laps, feet flat on the floor, or gently crossed at the ankle. Incense infused stone silence with uniform seating is a normal weekly event. Suppressing a sneeze from incense, Gunnar and I signal one another, pointing to the front door. We nod and tiptoe out of the house during adult meditation.

I breathe deeply of spring’s evening air, away from suffocating silence indoors. Mom and Dad do not call us back. Our parents are the local group leaders; they must maintain spiritual calm. They expect us to be perfect enlightened children. We peddle our banana-seat bicycles to friends’ homes to watch television or do homework.

A few hours later, Elaine’s parents send me home because it’s bedtime. My brother and I arrive home as guests leave, ritually saluting “Jai Guru Dev” they shake hands and depart. “Jai Guru Dev” means “Praises to Guru Dev”, honoring Maharishi’s deceased spiritual Master for this path to enlightenment.

Mom and Dad come to my bedroom, calm and relaxed from meditating, “Good night Gina. Thank you for leaving us alone with our group.” They hug and kiss me quickly good night. They leave and I hear them down the hall doing the same with Gunnar. They never reprimand us, nor inquire about our unaccounted departures during meditation. I wonder if they care.

On day at dinner, Mom announces :


“Charlie Lutes arrives tomorrow to lead meditation. Gina, Charlie will sleep in your bedroom tomorrow, so this evening, move into Gunnar’s room. Bring everything you’ll need for two days and nights, so you won’t disturb Charlie tomorrow while he is our guest.”

Before I could respond to my mandatory relocation, Mom continues :

“Charlie was Maharishi’s first initiate in the USA. He is a retired business man, using business skills to build Maharishi’s following. He is pure and spiritually evolved. We are honored to have him visit.”

“Remember when I told you that Roland Olson had been a pharaoh? Well, Charlie is a true Kshatriya, of India’s warrior caste. Maharishi is also a Kshatriya. They are both spiritual warriors who battle the world’s dark forces and ignorance. Charlie used to be a great military general. Now Charlie uses his part warrior experiences to battle spiritual darkness.”

Mom sits up taller and smiles, “Maharishi says we are all kshatriyas’ battling darkness by bringing light to the battle the world’s darkness.”

Gunnar and I stop playing footsie beneath the dining table, while we listen. I had seen television footage of the Vietnam War. I envision a military commando arriving from Southeast Asia to teach meditation.

Mom continues:
“In past lives, Charlie was Genghis Khan, Attila the Hun and Alexander the Great. He is one of history’s greatest Kshatriyas, coming to teach meditation for a few days.”

I’ heard of Attila the Hun and Alexander the Great. I imagine a gladiator visitor. Surprised that they are the same person and coming to our house, I look across the table to wide-eyed Gunnar. Confused, we simultaneously turn questioningly toward Dad. Dad nods in agreement with Mom, and goes on,

“Maharishi says we are all Kshatriyas, the warrior caste, battling evil forces by enlivening humanity’s pure consciousness. In his past lives, Charlie was many of history’s greatest conquerors, when he was less spiritually evolved. Each lifetime he evolved as an improvement upon his past. Charlie used his innate leadership to become a successful businessman. Now retired, Charlie leads our spiritual army in Maharishi’s service.”

Gunnar looks excited and asks “Will he bring guns or swords like a G.I. Joe?” He imagines hosting the living embodiment of his war doll.

I freeze while contemplating how to tell my friends that Alexander the Great and Attila the Hun will be sleeping in my bedroom. I decide it’s better to say nothing.

“What does he wear?” I ask, wondering how I will explain a living gladiator to the neighbors.
Dad laughs, “He wears normal business clothes in this lifetime.” Gunnar looks disappointed. I sigh with relief that I don’t have to explain gladiator in our driveway.