Australian Author Mary Garden – ‘The Serpent Rising’ Book Review

Guru & Cult Critic Mary Garden – Author From Australia
Mary Garden was born in Whakatane, New Zealand in 1950. She went to Waikato University & Hamilton Teachers College in 1966 from where she graduated with a B.Ed and a Teachers College Diploma. After a year’s teaching and obtaining a Diploma in Teaching from the NZ Department of Education, she spent a year doing post-graduate studies at the University of Auckland. She abandoned her studies in 1973 to go to India where she spent seven years exploring Eastern mysticism and becoming entangled with various gurus. In 1980 she settled in Queensland, Australia, married, had two children and became an Australian citizen. She moved to Maleny in the Sunshine Coast hinterland in 1990. For four years she held a major role in Maleny’s Black Possum Publishing Co-operative. Mary Garden was involved in the Crystal Waters Permaculture Village nestled in Mary River Valley near Maleny. She owned a house there for seven years, ran the Sunday cafes at the Crystal Waters Kitchen for some of that time. Her book “The Serpent Rising: a journey of spiritual seduction” is based on her alleged experiences in India in the 1970’s with various gurus including Rajneesh, Sathya Sai Baba and Balyogi Premvarni. She also co-authored (with Bernard Gunther) “Bhagwan’s Neo-Tantra”. Since 1999 she has divided her time between Kookaburra Park Eco-village in the Wide Bay Burnett region. She is particularly interested in exploring and investigating alternative lifestyles and eco-villages as well as the ever-persistent need for gurus and New Age ‘fixes’ and writing about these things. (Refs: 010203).
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Guruphiliac Jody Radzik Meets Guru-Ratings Sarlo

Jody Radzik (owner of the Guruphiliac Blog) and Sarlo (owner of the Guru-Ratings WebSite And Yahoo Group) are friends, often praise each other on their own webpages and have taken a strong position against Sathya Sai Baba. For starters, Sarlo (who, for some mysterious reason, does not divulge his full name) is a Rajneesh / Osho devotee (and refers to him as “my Master”), started his spiritual journey (and had a decade-long love affair) with LSD and marijuana (Reference) and refers to himself as “Swami Deva Sarlo” (claiming he is a “master”, initiate and a “god”). “Swami” means ‘master’ (a title usually conferred on initiates belonging to the Osho cult) and “deva” means ‘god’, ‘angel’ or ‘divine being’.

Like Jody, Sarlo believes that he is self-realized. As a matter of fact, in an article entitled “Sarlo Declares Enlightenment”, he said:

Guru-Ratings Sarlo: “According to Osho, one of the biggest obstacles to enlightenment is peer-group jealousy. One’s friends will simply not accept that this trippy asshole has arrived at the ultimate fulfillment while they languish in darkness. I am prepared to meet this challenge head-on. The courage to brave my friends’ scorn has been bolstered by: a) the knowledge, from Phil 101, that you don’t exist; b) end-of-millennium urgency; c) the discovery of ordinariness as a way out/cover-up; d) any or all of the above.&#8221 (Reference)

Sarlo is also a contact for an Osho-related center in Canada:

Osho Samaroha Meditation Center,
Ma Dhyan Amiyo
3676 W. 38th Ave.
Vancouver V6N 2Y2 BC
Tel.: +1-604-261-5312 (which resolves to “Gaile P. Winterton”)

I was told that Guru Ratings Sarlo’s first name is “Don” and that he hails from Ontario Canada. There are two entries for “Don Sarlo” from Ontario listed in Canada’s white-pages:

Sarlo, Don
Route 5th
Cookstown, ON L0L 1L0
Tel.: +1-705-435-3158

Sarlo, Don
8 Eastern
Sault Sainte Marie, ON P6A 4R1
Tel.: +1-705-759-4808

One should rightly wonder why Rajneesh/Osho is listed on Sarlo’s subjective Guru-Ratings website as being one of the greatest Gurus ever to walk the Earth. I think there are many people who would take issue with such a claim. As a matter of fact, many people already have (Refs: 01020304050607).

Sarlo praised Jody’s Guruphiliac Blog as a “worthy project” and that he puts “the humourous bite on the usual guru excesses: money, sex, and power”. Ironically, Rajneesh’s excesses in money, sex and power are unparalleled in Gurudom (remember the 93 Rolls Royces?). Needless to say, Sarlo ignores the faults and failings of Osho (his “Master”) and ranks him as one of the greatest Gurus ever to walk the planet. Sarlo then has the audacity to point his self-righteous fingers at other Gurus and whine, snivel and lament about their faults and failings. Funny enough, Sarlo created a disclaimer page where he admitted that his bogus Guru-Ratings service is based on the subjective opinions of a layman (Reference).

So what did Jody Radzik have to say about Rajneesh/Osho? On his Guruphiliac Blog, Jody said:

Guruphliac Jody Radzik: “A tip of our tantric hat to Osho for his attempts to sustain such a large chakra-puja. Such wide scale transgression was certain to result in all kinds of transformation in the participants…But he had management problems and it all fell apart. We’re sorry we missed the fun.” (Reference)

Jody Radzik praised Osho’s sexual excesses as a large “chakra puja” (which is a tantric ritual that involves two to ten couples who engage in ritualized sexual activities, aka “an orgy”), dismissed Osho’s many faults and failings as “management problems” and expressed regret that he missed the fun! That’s right, sexual promiscuity, power-abuse, wealth and hedonism are things that Jody Radzik and Sarlo think are laudable, praiseworthy and serve as valid criteria to give high-ranking marks to Gurus whose feet they happen to kiss and adore. It is amusing that Jody and Sarlo both profess devotion to Gurus, yet trash and bash other Gurus as if they are free from the Guru-affliction they love to point out in others. Pathetic.