I left 3HO but have not left Sikhism

by S. Singh, Thursday, February 25, 2010, 16:30 (4607 days ago)
edited by Gursant Singh, Monday, June 13, 2011, 09:19

My spouse and I are some of the only people I know of who have left 3HO for strong reasons of conscience, but have not left Sikhism. Our allegiance is, and always has been, to the Guru first, last and always. There was a time when we believed that Yogi Bhajan was a righteous and honorable spiritual representative of the Guru, but after many years of denial, we had to sadly admit that he is corrupt, unethical, manipulative and cruel.

Nevertheless, we understood the teachings of Guru Gobind Singh, that no Sikh should ever bow to a man, and when we were betrayed by that man, we simply turned our backs on him and turned our faces towards the True Guru, where we should have looked for guidance all along. We are grateful that he led us to the feet of the Guru, but there our relationship with him ends. All the guidance that a Sikh will ever need is found in Siri Guru Granth Sahib. When a man, no matter how exalted in position, tells his followers to commit acts that are in direct violation of the teachings of Siri Guru Granth Sahib, a true Sikh must make a decision whether to follow that man or to follow the Guru. We chose our Guru.

Yogi Bhajan teaches and practices many things that are specifically forbidden in the Sikh Reht. Among these things are numerology, astrology, corrupt business practices (phone rooms for example), and support for marital infidelity. By his own admission he is corrupt, and to quote his exact words, "Truth is whatever works." These are not the words of a spiritual man, but of a sociopath. He has authorized his followers toturn people away who do not have a lot of money, saying that he does not want people like that around, he only wants people who make a lot of money.

This is not hearsay this is direct experience. Many, many innocent and idealistic people have been taken in by his false words, and left with nothing to show for their loyalty but broken hearts and broken lives. To warn people about Yogi Bhajan is not a slur against Sikhism, but a public service. One point I disagree with you on is when you equated his "Inner Circle" followers with being "Spiritually High". The one does not automatically assume the other to be a fact. Most of his inner circle was chosen for reasons of having large trust funds, or for more unspiritual reasons.

In almost every example from Sikh history, the most spiritually exalted devotees were the most poor, and the most humble, not the ones in fancy clothes dripping jewels, who refused to eat Langar with the Sangat.

A common practice in cult mentality is to label everyone inside the cult as "good", and everyone who leaves the cult as "bad". It is this kind of cult thinking that makes us know that 3HO is not practicing true Sikhism, but is instead largely a personality cult around Yogi Bhajan. To say that everyone who leaves goes downhill lost in drugs and booze is nothing more than a scare tactic designed to control followers.

There can be many reasons why a person would elect to leave 3HO. One of the best reasons is that many people after experiencing 3HO found it to be severely codependent and dysfunctional, and intolerant of anyone wishing to assert healthy boundaries and a high degree of psychological functionality. I personally know a number of people who have left 3HO who are highly functional people, raising happy, healthy, spiritually evolved and highly functional children. I cannot say the same thing for many of the children in 3HO, especially those in the India Program.

Please, do not make the mistake of equating 3HO with Sikhism. There are millions of Sikhs in the world who are not members of 3HO, and who do not regard or need Yogi Bhajan as their spiritual teacher, who nevertheless are very devoted, moral and decent human beings. We are two of them.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa,Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh.

See more photos and discussion on facebook at:

“Amid the legal infighting following Yogi Bhajan’s death, critics are offering another portrait of the Sikh leader.”

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