009 - The Kumare Incident
02-21-2014, 10:32 AM (This post was last modified: 02-21-2014 10:45 AM by CarsonZi.)
Post: #11
RE: 009 - The Kumare Incident
Brett Wrote:Well then you should show that same love to all the fundamentalist Christians who are trying to save us all from the throws of science and homosexuality. Or the leaders in history who have tried to save us from anything different than they perceived themselves to be.

Misguided intention does not a hero make. Saving many at the cost of a few is a term governments use to justify war, and is soaked in ethnocentricity. I'm not saying he doesn't deserve your love, but dude isn't a martyr. I think you may be thinking of the wrong Ghandi.

You're right... I *should* show the same love to fundies, and everyone!! Good point. Smile

I see Vikram Gandhi and the Kumare film in the same sort of way I see a child who has done something out of good intentions but the result was unanticipated and could be viewed as "wrong" from some perspectives.

Lets take for example my daughter Amrita. Her younger sister Akasha was struggling to get something off the kitchen counter the other day, so Amrita decided she would try to help her by lifting her up. The result was both of them rolling on the ground in a heap of tears and bruises. I could have responded in many ways to this. I could have chosen to harp on Amrita for hurting her sister, could have berated her for picking Akasha up even though she has been explicitly told not to 8 billion times or more, I could have ignored Amrita and just comforted Akasha (Amrita was also hurt), hell I could have *spanked* Amrita... that's what my parents would have done to me. None of those responses seem right to me but it does feel like those would be the kind of responses you guys might give to Vikram.

Instead of doing any of the above though, first thing I chose to do was hold both of them close, tell them I love them, kiss their wounds, and then take what Akasha needed off the counter and hand it to her. I did tell Amrita that she is not supposed to pick up her sister and explained that as she can see, when she picks her up they can both get hurt. I did not get angry, did not try to make her feel bad, and I believe this was the "best" response in the moment.

Can we extend this same kind of "space" to make mistakes to Vikram? Granted, he's an adult and maybe he has a better ability to rationalize and extrapolate on possible consequences, but I prefer to sit in the perspective that he was doing the best he could with the information and understanding he had at the time. I think we all do.

snd
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02-21-2014, 10:40 AM (This post was last modified: 02-21-2014 10:42 AM by CarsonZi.)
Post: #12
RE: 009 - The Kumare Incident
whippoorwill Wrote:For those that were disillusioned, they were shown in blatant terms the power of their own prejudices -- also an important lesson. (But I hope to God that my own prejudices and lessons are not so embarrassingly exposed through the medium of a popular movie. Shock)

How about through the medium of a podcast? Could you handle that? Hahaha Xd
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02-21-2014, 11:04 AM (This post was last modified: 02-21-2014 11:11 AM by whippoorwill.)
Post: #13
RE: 009 - The Kumare Incident
P.S. If you want to see a "fun" movie that carries a similar message, I recommend "Kung Fu Panda." Biggrin

CarsonZi Wrote:How about through the medium of a podcast? Could you handle that? Hahaha

I'M not the one podcasting. I'm sitting here armchair quarterbacking - a much more comfortable position. BiggrinBiggrin
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02-21-2014, 12:01 PM
Post: #14
RE: 009 - The Kumare Incident
Quote:I see Vikram Gandhi and the Kumare film in the same sort of way I see a child who has done something out of good intentions but the result was unanticipated and could be viewed as "wrong" from some perspectives.

I could most definitely be wrong on this, but I don't think the guy had any good intentions. I think he simply intended to be another Sacha Baron Cohen at the expense of others. He just wanted a good movie, and his message of the 'guru within' was a necessary exit strategy. I really felt bad for the people in the movie to be honest. I imagine the shame of their co-workers watching that movie and laughing at them.
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02-21-2014, 01:51 PM
Post: #15
RE: 009 - The Kumare Incident
CarsonZi Wrote:None of those responses seem right to me but it does feel like those would be the kind of responses you guys might give to Vikram.

Rolleyes

Yeah I'm done with this conversation. Have fun guys. Munch
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02-21-2014, 02:18 PM (This post was last modified: 02-21-2014 02:57 PM by whippoorwill.)
Post: #16
RE: 009 - The Kumare Incident
regedit Wrote:I really felt bad for the people in the movie to be honest. I imagine the shame of their co-workers watching that movie and laughing at them.

I'm with ya there. Deliberately making dupes of people to see how far he could take his own "guru" fraud was a cruel and asinine thing to do.

I think that Vikram Gandhi started out wanting to prove that spiritual teachings and teachers are full of shit. When he found himself accepted as a spiritual teacher and had to make it work, the only valid approach available was to tell the students that they were their own gurus and to look within themselves for answers. A true teaching came out of a lie. That's kind of miraculous. Smile

It's clear he changed during the making of the movie. I wonder what he thinks now.

brett Wrote:Yeah I'm done with this conversation. Have fun guys.

You want to see him swing from the yard-arm. It's okay to say that.
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02-21-2014, 09:04 PM
Post: #17
RE: 009 - The Kumare Incident
Quote:You want to see him swing from the yard-arm. It's okay to say that.

Haha I had to look that one up, nice phrase. By "him" did you mean Carson or the filmmaker?

I definitely don't feel that Mr. Ghandi needs to be punished, but Carson's post did make me want to kick him in the balls. Biggrin
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02-22-2014, 05:10 AM
Post: #18
RE: 009 - The Kumare Incident
I am definitely not judging the guy all that much. As anyone can see in my 'I suck' post, I can be the biggest douche in the world. I suspect Vikram is a very decent guy. But there is something about asking people to a sign release forms, filming it under false pretenses, and putting it out there for perpetuity that bothers me. Yes, he ended up with a message that is straight out of ayp. But on film, that could have been your mother, your sibling, or your daughter, and that kind of bugs me.
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02-22-2014, 06:13 PM
Post: #19
RE: 009 - The Kumare Incident
regedit Wrote:I suspect Vikram is a very decent guy. But there is something about asking people to a sign release forms, filming it under false pretenses, and putting it out there for perpetuity that bothers me. Yes, he ended up with a message that is straight out of ayp. But on film, that could have been your mother, your sibling, or your daughter, and that kind of bugs me.

I agree completely, and this is one of the things that botherd me most about the film as well.

And now that I've had a bit more time to think this over, I'm no longer done with this conversation. Tongue

First, I'm as happy about fake spiritual teachers as Vikram Ghandi is. It bothers me that there are those out there who are leading people astray, just as much as it bothers me that anyone can take a three week course and receive a certificate proclaiming them a yoga teacher. But I don't lump all teachers in that category (which seems to be what the film implies), and maybe that's because I haven't fallen victim to one, and maybe Vikram Ghandi has. I can imagine there are even more fake gurus in India than there are here, and that's where he went looking.

I consider myself very fortunate to have received teachings from some very inspiring people over the years, some of whom also happen to make their living giving those teachings, and none of them have "taken me for a ride". I've also read countless books by others which I credit with helping me navigate my path. I can't imagine what my life would currently be like had these people not decided to share their insights with the world.

And this is where I think the film fails as a documentary. Nowhere does it show the other side of the coin, or the fact that there are any spiritual teachers out there who help people, and genuinely do so from a place of authenticity. Maybe he no longer believes that these types of people exist, and if that is the case, he has my compassion.

I understand that Mr. Ghandi may have grown through this experience, but can we really know that? I listened to the first hour of the podcast he did with Pete Holmes, and I wasn't sold. Maybe its because no hard hitting questions were asked, but from listening to that podcast, it did seem that Pete Holmes saw Mr. Ghandi as a teacher of sorts, and was constantly praising him for the teachings in the film as an expose on spiritual teachers at large. Vikram did not disagree with anything that Pete said in the time that I listened, but maybe he was just being polite. In any case, its apparent that in his expose, he has become a teacher to many, with the possibility of leading them in the wrong direction. Irony at its finest, for sure.

In regards to Carson's analogy, I don't feel that it relates. Your daughter didn't go into the situation with the idea that there was a chance that her sister would end up suffering due to her actions. Vikram Ghandi did. Not that I want to crucify the guy, or that I haven't done anything similar in my past. I just think he's a dick, just like I think I was/am a dick sometimes too. Hell, maybe he has grown from this experience, who knows. It seems some here think he has. It sure is what the film (that Vikram Ghandi edited) shows us. But that's an assumption. For all we know, the guy is currently running a dog fighting ring.

No, I don't really think he is running a dog fighting ring.

In the end, the film sure got us talking, so if that was what he was shooting for, it is a success. And I'm learning a lot about myself in the process, so maybe I should be thanking Vikram for that.
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02-23-2014, 11:42 PM (This post was last modified: 02-23-2014 11:44 PM by regedit.)
Post: #20
RE: 009 - The Kumare Incident
Quote: For all we know, the guy is currently running a dog fighting ring.
Biggrin

Carson - I finally finished listening to the podcast, and I can't really say I disagreed with too much of what you said about the movie. You made a great point about how people will interpret the movie in whatever way their mind wants to reinforce current beliefs. I read in some book that the ego can defend any position it wants to. I think the book was 'The Most Direct Means to Eternal Bliss', but I could be wrong. Anyway, the author suggested that you could prove this to yourself. Pick an issue like gun control, abortion, reincarnation, etc..., and the human mind can probably come up with a reasonable argument for both sides of most issues if it really wants to. In that light, I think you were probably right that the movie wouldn't encourage or dissuade many people about pursuing a spiritual path. The only thing that surprised me when you were talking about the movie was that you didn't seem to have any sympathy for the poor yoga teacher who angrily walked out. I pictured her rip roaring drunk angrily throwing gambling chips around 4 hours after the final reveal. It seemed like the primary difference we had when watching the movie is you were thinking more about how the movie would impact the viewers, and I was thinking more about how the movie would impact Kumare's followers.

Throwing people under the bus for ratings is so prevalent now with reality television now. I don't watch it anymore, but I remember 'Joe Millionaire' was the first one I saw that was like that. In that show, they took some regular guy with a regular job and told a bunch of women that he was a millionaire and they competed for his attention. When I watched that show, I don't remember feeling any empathy for the women because they were doing what they were doing just to snag a rich husband. When I watched Kumare, I did feel empathy for the people in the movie because I thought they were well intentioned people. In this case, I think what Vikram did was unethical.

Jeez - I just googled 'Joe Millionaire' and it came out 11 years ago. I could have sworn it was like 5 or 6 years ago.

Biggest laugh for me during the podcast was the size small 'seek and destroy' leggings for Carson.
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