Like Harold Camping, the Aum Shinrikyo sect in Japan, the Heaven’s Gate group and others, Swami Kriyananda and Ananda are a passionate Doomsday cult obsessed with what they believe is the total certainty of epic, unimagineable catastrophe coming soon to the whole planet.
For more than 40 years Kriyananda has been preaching to his flock and the public that the world is going to go to pieces very very soon, perhaps next week or month. At various times over the decades the means of our planetary destruction has changed. The rotating list of possible horrors includes polar magnetic shifts, nuclear wars, catacylsimic natural disasters of Biblical proportions, the Y2K bug, massive economic depression far beyond what happened in 1930’s, global warming, the Mayan Calendar, war in the Middle East or between Pakistan and India and all kinds of other gruesome possibilities.
Multiple eye witness accounts confirm that Kriyananda and his followers have spent hundreds of thousands maybe millions of dollars worldwide in getting ready for these “immanent” catastrophes to strike, by hoarding and stockpiling everything they think they need to survive in the country for several years while the world disintegrates. They hold survivalists training and back to the woods courses and checklists for their members. They have staff dedicated to getting Ananda and its members ready for Hard Times including what we’ve been told is a gigantic secret underground storage system that has enough supplies to keep the whole community going for up to three years after disaster strikes. Imagine the size of that!
In 1972, Kriyananda wrote a book called “The Road Ahead” that claimed terrible times were immanent. This was after years of preaching that in public all through the 60’s. When nothing on this scale happened by the mid seventies, he quietly withdrew the book from publication and has never allowed it to be republished.
Again in 1999, he went public with yet another campaign, this time “certain” that the world was ending due to Y2K computer issue. He bombarded his followers with all sorts of “proof” and “experts” and a whole new cycle of spending, stockpiling, and fear was induced. He wrote a long letter to the community explaining why Y2K was catastrophic. Most of his followers spent thousands of dollars each out of their own pockets to get ready in addition to the community preparations. He repeatedly referenced the Christian Fundamentalist crackpot Gary North, who has his own religious reasons for wanting to advocate End Times, in support of his position. A few weeks after Y2K fizzled, Kriyananda even had the gall to write a community letter titled “Y2K Echoes” explaining that the end times were indeed happening but it was happening slowly and quietly and was maybe the media’s fault for not reporting the full horror of what was truly happening. Kriyananda was certain that despite the Y2K non-event being weeks in the past, any minute now it was going to still jump out and show the world that Kriyananda’s Doomsday prediction was true after all. Exactly how this would or could happen was not explained. When more months and years went by, still nothing happened due to Y2K, Kriyananda withdrew the letter and he and his followers quietly stopped referencing it.
We have heard through several sources including one person who heard him speak this past summer 2012 that he is again proclaiming that a cataclysmic event is near and will happen anytime. He is telling people to sell everything and flee the cities if they can. The exact reason or date is unclear but he knows it will be “soon.”
Why does Kriyananda keep humiliating himself with these ridiculous doomsday predictions decade after decade? There is the reason he claims and then there is the real reason.
Kriyananda claims the reason he keeps harping on this is that Paramahansa Yogananda himself told Kriyananda that these hard times and cataclysms were definitely coming and that they would happen any time now. Is this all really Yoganadna’s prophecy? Is this hysteria really Yogananada’s fault? Absolutely not. No.
Just like with how Kriyananda claims that Yogananda told him he was a great man with a “great work to do” there are absolutely no corroborrating witnesses or documents to Kriyananda’s claims about Yogananda. Not one! Its all made up by Kriyananda and Kriyananda alone. Many of us involved with the Ananda Awareness Network have read every scrap of Yoganadna’s writings that we could find. Never anywhere have any of us ever seen read or heard about any document that Yogananda wrote on this subject. Nor have any of the other direct disciples of Yogananda’s who knew him longer and better than Kriyananda confirmed Kriyananda’s claims. Not a single other disciple who was around Yogananda has any idea what hes talking about!
As far as we can tell, if anything Yogananda actually said the exact opposite of what Kriyananda is claiming. In a 1940 talk he gave during World War 2 which was published in Yogananda’s book of essays The Divine Romance, he wrote,
People will learn from this war (WW2) the devestating consequences of the misuse of technology….After it is over, there will be so much much fear of world devastation that if anybody tries to start a war, the rest of the world will fall upon that nation. I am telling you things far ahead of my time.
That quote was taken from his essay entitled The End of the World which is all about what it sounds like. And the whole point was that Yogananda was saying that the end is not coming anytime soon as a planet. If Yogananda had any additional doom and gloom thoughts this is definitely where he would have mentioned them not debunked them.
Multiple people at SRF including the President, Board of Directors and long-time disciples who have been around decades longer than Kriyananda and also have complete access to all of Yogananda’s writings, recordings, videos, have gone on record saying they have NO RECOLLECTION of Yogananda saying any such thing and have never found any evidence in their archives. None of the other Yogananda-based groups founded by direct disciples who were with Yogananda such as Roy Eugene Davis or Yogacharya Oliver Black ever told or prepped their organizations/followers for Hard Times either. The whole thing is Kriyananda’s personal fantasy.
At least one senior SRF monastic was present at the same public talk where Kriyananda was also in the audience and that Kriyananda uses as his main “proof” that Yogananda said these things. This senior monastic says that Kriyananda totally and completely misunderstood what Yogananda was saying that day.
As this person pointed out, how come Kriyananda has never produced one single writing, letter, book passage, speech, recording or eyewitness to confirm his claims? Why?
Because it doesn’t exist. Kriyananda has made the whole thing up.
Ask yourself this? If Paramahansa Yogananda really thought Hard Times were on theyre way why didn’t he warn anyone but “Swami” Kriyananda? Why didn’t he tell any of this thousands of students, supporters, donors, monks, nuns, and successors? Did he not care about any of them? Did they not deserve any warning or heads up? Did he only care about Kriyananda? Why would he bother to tell only Kriyananda and no one else? If the whole thing was so important how come he never wrote or spoke clearly or emphatically about it to anyone?
If Yogananda said anything at all on this topic which doesn’t seem the case but let’s pretend that he said something at least once, there’s just no way it could have meant or been as important as Kriyananda makes it out to be otherwise there would be at least some record. Look at Kriyananda in contrast. He must have 500 recorded talks, 40 essay mentions, 10 books, and thousands of eye witnesses to his obsession over Hard Times. Why didn’t Yogananda at least give a fraction of that? MAKES NO SENSE!!!!!
So why would Kriyananda make up these Doomsday predictions and then claim they came from Yogananda? First cause he has no credibility himself. To get people to take them seriously, he needs to pretend it came from Yogananda, not him or no one would listen.
Kriyananandas’ main motive is control over others and a sly way of building the population of Ananda communities. Kriyananda delivers the bulk of lectures to the public in cities, pleading with them to leave the cities and go to the country as that will be their best chance at safety for themselves and their children. And who just so happens to have a fully functioning set of rural communities that can protect them? Kriyananda and Ananda. And then while they live there, these resident have to pay community fees, work for Ananda for minimum wage and donate the bulk of their money to Kriyananda and Ananda. One dirty secret of Ananda is that it has a very high leaving rate. People ditch Ananda all the time. So these people need to be replaced to keep the Ananda communities from collapsing economically. The whole structure needs a constant flow of new people, workers, rent-payers, donors, job creators etc to stay afloat. Scaring people in cities to move to Ananda is good business.
On a more personal and sinister, Kriyananda is a massive narcissistic who needs a constant flow of people telling him how great he is. Its always a boost to have some new people come in and fawn over him as he must tire of the old guard’s ass-kissing after 40 years, especially if some of the new people are cute young women he can exploit. It’s not just the fawning. A narcissist and sociopath like Kriyananda needs people that he can actively control. The more the better. Best of all, they often come scared or get scared once they live at Ananda are swamped with Doomsday talk every day. Scared people are more grateful, easier to control and easy to get money from.
The craziest thing about Kriyanandas endless predictions of rapidly approaching Hard Times? After being wrong time and again even other crackpots like Harold Camping decided to stop making public pronouncements. Not Kriyananda! He’s been wrong dozens of times over the last 40 years yet as recently as this Fall 2012 he was still loudly proclaiming that cataclysmic events are “imminent.” The man has no shame.