Tuesday, 27 July 2010

The groping guru

If you thought Swami Korianda was just a wild flight of the imagination, think again. A self-proclaimed guru and healer who molested and raped numerous women has just been jailed for ten years.

Michael Lyons posed as the illustrious Mohan Singh, a spiritual sage who was skilled in osteopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture and nutrition.

He gathered plenty of followers from around the world, particularly women, who were taken in by his plausible manner and supposed esoteric wisdom.

But women who were given one of his special treatments often found that he would then casually feel them up or rape them.

His bizarre justifications for these attacks would be hilarious if they weren't also shockingly exploitative. He told one woman he was groping that he was "feeling her energy pulse." He explained to another that he was "enlightening her with his organic penis." Yet another was told he was "unblocking her chakras."

Even more disturbing was the fact that sometimes other women were not only witnessing the attacks but encouraging them, such was their naive trust in his sincerity.

Unfortunately such so-called gurus can set up their bogus cults and attract legions of gullible followers without any need for official vetting or approval. All they have to do is convince a few people of their spiritual powers and they in turn will convince thousands of others.

Those who are desperate to revitalise empty and dissatisfying lives will suspend disbelief and idolise such charlatans without asking too many questions about their abilities or claims.

Knowing he was wealthy enough to have homes in London, Manchester, Los Angeles and Miami would only be further evidence that his mystical knowledge had brought well-deserved material success.

It just proves once again that the best guide in life is your own inner instincts and not some glamorous, charismatic holy man who simply wants to get his rocks off. With you.

Pic: Michael Lyons

18 comments:

Grannymar said...

Nick, I will listen to my inner voice and steer clear of any glamorous, charismatic guru who comes my way! ;)

Eryl Shields said...

I'm not entirely sure how to respond to this. But, for some reason, I am reminded of the time a ginormous rat got into my mother-in-law's bathroom through an open window; the chap who came and trapped it said: 'he's a chancer, this one, saw the window and couldn't 'elp himself.'

Nick said...

Grannymar - I'm sure you're old and wise enough not to be fooled by the Michael Lyonses of this world for two seconds.

Eryl - An intriguing association. In this case perhaps the window of cash-making opportunity. And he was more than a chancer, he'd perfected his saintly guise so well it fooled an awful lot of people.

kylie said...

actually, i would be happy to meet a glamorous, charismatic holy man who wanted to get his rocks off with me

Wisewebwoman said...

*yawn*
So tell me something new about the holy men, Nick?
XO
WWW

secret agent woman said...

I never know whether to feel sorry for gullible people or just annoyed by them. I don't believe in gurus - you should never trust someone else more than yourself.

Baino said...

I'm constantly bemused by the gullibility of followers of these charlatons and indeed, how long it takes for them to realise that his organic penis is not actually doing anything to their chakras. Bloody idiots.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Supposedly Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, founder of TM, who inspired the Beatles and so many other people in the 60's also tried to seduce Mia Farrow and other trusting young women. It's the usual celebrity mindset which makes such people believe that they are entitled to do whatever they like because they are above the laws that govern the rest of us.

Nick said...

Kylie - I'm sure you would, but I would advise some rigorous inquiries into his background before you slipped off your undies.

www - I think some of them are genuinely wise and knowledgeable but there are also plenty of ruthless impostors ready to exploit people's naivety.

Secret Agent - You'd imagine it would sink in fairly early in life that people's credentials should be checked out thoroughly before you entrust your money and your body to them.

Nick said...

Baino - Well put! Not so much unblocking their chakras, more unblocking their purses and bank accounts.

Heart - I tried TM myself once upon a time, but it had no effect on me whatever. Millions of people swear by it though. Very true that celebs think they can behave in a way that wouldn't be tolerated from lesser mortals.

Terra Shield said...

What a creep.

But then, some people can be so naive.

Nick said...

Terra - A creep indeed. And he relied on people being naive enough not to question him too closely but to lap up all his mumbo-jumbo.

Macy said...

At least some of his victims, gullible or not, had the gumption to stand up and testify.
(I'm off to double check if this guy was prosecuted in the UK and so one of the 6% of alleged rapists actually found GUILTY)

Nick said...

Macy - It was brave of them to testify because this guy could get very threatening when cornered - among other things he would claim to be a martial arts expert.

He was prosecuted at Wood Green Crown Court in North London.

The small number of rape convictions is disgraceful. I've discussed this in various posts, like Rape Dilemma and Getting Away With Rape.

Rummuser said...

Nick, I have been trying desperately to get some people to follow me as a genuine Indian guru without any success whatsoever! How can I take lessons from this bozo?

Anonymous said...

Reading some of the comments about 'gullible' victims, one might assume that the writers thought that they deserved their abuse. This man did not just rape devout followers, but people he had only met once or twice. His charming friend, Charlie (male) once invited me to a vegetarian meal at their Salford flat, telling me there would be lots of interesting people there etc. I did not go (and wonder what my fate would have been if I had), but did consider it. I am not interested in 'guruism' or new age stuff, and have a healthry down to earth attitude. Even so, I considered the offer of friendly company and good food. And yes, I was probably at a vulnerable time in my life, but not particularly impressionable.

Did you have a picture of stupid dumb girls swooning at the sight of a guru? Think again. This man had a well-practiced act.

Nick said...

Ramana - You obviously don't have the very well-rehearsed, very carefully thought-out modus operandi that this guy had. His sales patter was clearly very convincing to those who didn't have a mature rat-sniffing instinct.

Nick said...

Anon - Thanks for that bit of first-hand experience. I'm sure the comments about gullibility are not meant to imply that they deserved the sexual attacks. Women are never under any circumstances "asking for it". I can imagine the offer of friendly company and good food would be enticing, as he obviously intended. And I agree his followers weren't simply stupid dumb girls. Okay, they were too trusting, but as you say he had a well-practised act with all the fashionable trimmings.