Spiritual authority figures are often seen as above human foibles — infallible, all knowing and fundamentally superior to others, and thus, allowed to do whatever they want because they exist on “a level beyond” mundane considerations. A teacher can have a particularly potent influence on us if we believe that they can perceive our deepest “soul” and rank our spiritual progress and worth.
Popes and Rinpoches may admit to being fallible, but their words and biases are still considered God-channeled by millions and thus, beyond normal criticism.
Maintaining the Image of the Enlightened Guru
How can gurus avoid becoming corrupt when they are expected to be superhuman?
Utterly unselfish and beyond petty ego needs
Has overcome lower lusts, bodily needs and desires
All loving and compassionate
All wise and all-knowing
Great presence and charisma: an aura that radiates
The appropriate dash of humor
Twinkle in the eye
Constantly serene and even-tempered . . .
Yet, can draw on the steel power of righteousness as exemplified by Jesus in the Temple with the money-changers
"Mad Monk" Excuses
A guru is not supposed to show emotional disruption or instability. But, if they do, people view it as "Crazy Wisdom" and outbursts are lessons to be used to teach patience and wisdom to followers.
If a guru sleeps around with students they are really just helping them to evolve by awakening their chakras or kundalini and bringing them to a "higher level" of consciousness.
It is actually a “sacrifice” on the guru's part to lower themselves to the "vibration" of the student.
Spiritual authority may come in a pretty package — with the implication that someone has a direct line to higher knowledge, to the deeper reality of existence, the secrets of nature, the meaning of life, the path to enlightenment.
These pipelines to higher realms are for those who claim to be masters. Those who speak from spiritual authority assume a direct experience of an evolutionary expansion of consciousness.
And when they turn out to have feet of clay, and take advantage of their followers, they cause particular damage to the psyche, because it infiltrates an individual’s deepest sense of self and reality.
We are “sinners” because they told us so and they have “God’s ear.”
They tell us that we are suffering because it’s our karma, our attachment to the lower realms.
Famous Gurus with Scandals: Sexual Abuse, Spiritual Coercion, Fraud