A True Story About a False Prophet: Kumaré

What happens when a thoroughly secular second-generation Indian-American decide to grow his hair and beard long, put on a robe and beads and present himself to spiritually lost Westerners as a Guru? Vikram Gandhi decided to find out. The results are funny, but more than a little heartbreaking. Arizona New Agers flock to his side, finding profundity in his every word and asking few to no questions about where the young spiritual teacher “Kumaré” they idolized came from and where he was taking them. Their insistence on interpreting his message of “illusion” as metaphor ultimately blinds them to the truth that he is telling them: He’s a fake, and they don’t need a guru at all.

You can find Kumaré on Netflix Instant and a variety of other video streaming services now. Learn more about the film here.

23 Comments on "A True Story About a False Prophet: Kumaré"

  1. chinagreenelvis | Mar 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm |


  2. Lets just sweep it under the rug, we will get 10,000 giant loaders and shovel trucks to move the dirt underneath the earth and lift up the grass with airships and saucers; then just sweep everything else under that and no one will notice a thing!

  3. They didn’t have a crystal to detect if he was telling the truth, or to ward off fakers?

  4. Maybe this is an issue that is fleshed out in the movie itself, but Is pretending to be a guru in order to make a film really any better than pretending to be a guru for the sake of sex/money/power?

    • NarwhalNecropsy | Mar 23, 2013 at 6:09 pm |

      You make a very good point, I was just thinking about that myself.

    • TennesseeCyberian | Mar 23, 2013 at 7:45 pm |

      Objectively? They both take advantage of helpless people’s psychological vulnerabilities.

      Subjectively? One makes me laugh and the other infuriates me.

      The same lesson can be learned from either scenario. One is the easy way, the other is the hard way.

      • Personally I’d rather lose some money than be made to look like an idiot in a commercial film, but that’s just me.

        • TennesseeCyberian | Mar 23, 2013 at 11:12 pm |

          Excellent point. My mean streak keeps me from thinking that way alot of the time.

        • No one is making them do anything, they are willfully acting that way.

          • Sure. He’s within his rights to do it. It’s just that the apparent level of deceit and manipulation involved puts it outside what I’d call “ethical.”

          • I agree. I couldn’t do it.

  5. Hadrian999 | Mar 23, 2013 at 4:20 pm |

    complaining that you were deceived by a guru is like complaining that you got your ass kicked by a dominatrix

  6. http://www.oshoworld.com/biography/innercontent.asp?FileName=biography8/08-20-rolls.txt

    Why do you like your Rolls Royces so much?

    I have tried all kinds of cars; and even Rolls Royce has many types and I
    have tried them too. Their best is the Corniche, but it doesn’t suit
    me. It is a question of my back. I need a certain kind of chair—I use
    only this chair. It has been made by my sannyasins exactly to give
    support to my back, because doctors have said that they cannot do
    anything more.
    Experts from England were called to India. They tried
    hard, and they said, “It is impossible. You will have to live with it.”
    It was just a coincidence that one of the models of Rolls Royce, Silver
    Spur, suited me. The driver’s seat in that car fits perfectly, gives me
    no trouble. Naturally, my people love….
    They don’t belong to me,
    those cars—nothing belongs to me. I am the poorest man in the whole
    world, living the richest life possible. My people love me; they want to
    do something for me. All those cars belong to the commune. They have
    made them available to me for one hour each day. I don’t know which car
    they are bringing, but one thing is certain, that I can be comfortable
    only in a Silver Spur. And they love me so much that they are trying to
    have three hundred and sixty-five Rolls Royces, one for every day. And I
    say, “Why not? A great idea!”… -Osho

    (not to be confused with his African American protege, Fo’sho)

  7. BuzzCoastin | Mar 23, 2013 at 8:03 pm |

    the real sad part of this movie is
    that anyone who buys into any religion
    “established” or otherwise
    is in exactly the same boat
    unless you’re the priest, rabbi or guru

  8. On the subject of people projecting their beliefs and such onto gurus, this reminds me of something Jesus said:
    Matthew 9:20-22 And a woman who had been suffering from a hemorrhage for twelve years, came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His cloak; for she was saying to herself, “If I only touch His garment, I will get well.” But Jesus turning and seeing her said, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well.” At once the woman was made well.

    • If the guru would hand over his turban periodically to his followers, perhaps the circuit would be completed and they realize the essence of the statement, “Daughter, take courage; your faith has made you well”. Thank you for adding this to the conversation Anelon.

  9. James Phillip Schmitt | Mar 25, 2013 at 11:54 am |

    I wrapped the newspaper round my head, so I looked like I was deep…

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