Is Sahaja Yoga a Mind-Controlling Cult

Where Sahaja Yoga qualifies given the 14-point checklist from Mind-Manipulating Groups: Are you or a Family Member a Victim? compiled by Dr. Michael Langone, editor of Cultic Studies Journal
 
  1. Sahaja Yoga is indeed focused on a living leader, Mrs. Srivastava, to whom members seem to display excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment.
  2. Sahaja Yoga is preoccupied with bringing in new members.
  3. Questioning, doubt, and dissent in Sahaja Yoga are discouraged or even punished.  Indeed, doubting causes you to "catch on the Sahasrara chakra."  Anyone "catching on Sahasrara" is shunned.
  4. Mind-numbing techniques (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, debilitating work routines) are used to suppress doubts about Sahaja Yoga and its leader.  Meditation is daily.  Sahaja Yoga also uses sleep deprivation.
  5. Shri Mataji dictates sometimes in great detail how members should think, act, and feel (for example: members must get permission from leaders to date, change jobs, get married; leaders may prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, how to discipline children, and so forth).
  6. Sahaja Yoga is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader, and members (for example: the leader is considered the Messiah or an avatar; Sahaja Yoga and/or the leader has a special mission to save humanity).  Not just an avatar, but THE greatest avatar ever!
  7. Sahaja Yoga's leader is not accountable to any authorities (as are, for example, military commanders and ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream denominations).  Well, she is the Goddess after all.  She makes the rules!
  8. Sahaja Yoga teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify means that members would have considered unethical before joining Sahaja Yoga (for example: collecting money for bogus charities).  That's why they can lie and deceive you.  It's for your own good.  They want to save you and humanity.
  9. The leadership induces guilt feelings in members in order to control them.
    Members' subservience to Sahaja Yoga causes them to cut ties with family and friends, and to give up personal goals and activities that were of interest before joining Sahaja Yoga.  While this is not true of everyone, it is typical of most.
  10. Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to Sahaja Yoga.
  11. Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members