One of the saddest things about Kriyananda/Ananda is the way they use the great master Paramahansa Yogananda for their own personal gain. Kriyananda/Ananda holds out Yogananda as their front person and supposed guru/guide when in reality once people get more involved with Ananda it turns out that most of Yogananda’s teachings are replaced by Kriyananda’s.
Kriyananda knows that he cannot attract people to attend his public lectures or buy his books on his tarnished name alone. So instead heres what Kriyananda/Ananda does,
* They slap Yogananda’s name on as many of Kriyananda’s books as possible even when Yogananda had nothing to do with them such as The Essence of the Bhagavad Gita, God is for Everyone, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, and The Revelations of Christ. Kriyananda pretends that he is merely the editor or co-writer of these books when in fact they were all written decades after Yogananda died and without Yogananda’s knowledge or permission. Even worse he put his name on Yogananda’s masterpiece Autobiography of a Yogi where he inserted himself by putting in a foreword and afterword so that he can put his name in the book and make it seem like he had something to do with it even though the book was written years before Kriyananda/Walters had met Yogananda. Once people by Kriyananda’s fake Yogananda books they are treated to writing ideas and interpretations that are 100% Kriyananda’s and have nothing to do with Yogananda. This is the only way that Kriyananda can trick people into reading his books.
* Kriyananda now most always claims his public talks are about Yogananda, using Yogananda’s name and picture to promote them. Once people are tricked into attending his lectures he then mostly talks about himself, his stories, his life and his ideas. Very little of the content has anything to with Yogananda. Worst of all he usually spends most of his public talks disparaging other disciples and students of Yogananda especially those who are more senior or who Yogananda publicly expressed affection or respect for.
* He gets other authors and spiritual teachers to endorse his books by telling them that they are all about or for Yogananda. People who respect Yogananda then feel tricked/compelled into endorsing the books because they don’t realize that the books or lectures are really not about Yogananda but Kriyananda. A sad trick on well meaning and unsuspecting people who are just trying to honor Yogananda and all he has done.
* Anandas retreat facility the Expanding Light uses Yogananda’s name and image in their advertising and marketing stuff to lure people into taking expensive retreats. Once people arrive at Ananda and pay their nonrefundable fees, they discover Ananda is mostly about Kriyananda not Yogananda. Almost all of the classes taught at Ananda have nothing to do with Yogananda’s teachings.
As is explained here, the most shocking thing of all is that Kriyananda / Ananda requires ZERO of Yogananda’s own books to be read or studied in order to call oneself a disciple of Yogananda or live at Ananda or serve as a minster. There is not a single book actually written by Yogananda that is required reading for those claiming to be students of Yogananda! ALL of the required curriculum at Ananda is Kriyananda’s books articles and lessons alone. Ananda is simply not a Yogananda community and members of Ananda are not disciples of Yogananda. That is pure marketing and fund raising spin. The entire Ananda system is one giant bait and switch using Yogananda as the bait and then substituting in the worship of Kriyananda once people get in the door.
The real goal of Kriyananda is to use Paramahansa Yogananda to gain respect, awareness, and a marketing advantage to get people in the door. What happens over time then is that people who join Ananda are slowly reconditioned to drop Yogananda as their guru / main point of emphasis and instead substitute in Kriyananda.
Most of the leaders and long time members of Ananda will tell you in private once you get to know them that they actually consider Kriyananda their guru not Yogananda. Or they will say something to the effect that there is no difference to them between Kriyananda and Yogananda. Or they will say that one must “attune” oneself and be in perfect harmony and obedience to Kriyananda in order to know or reach Yogananda. Kriyananda has completely inserted himself as not only the middle man in the relationship between disciples and Yoganadna but as the primary person in the relationship.
It is EXPECTED at Ananda that to rise higher in the organization you must privately be indoctrinated into the belief that Kriyananda is the real guru, not Yogananda. Yogananda is used to get people in the door but over time Kriyananda systematically replaces Yogananda with worshipping himself instead. Yogananda made it very clear that he was to be the only and last of the line of the gurus. It is straight up blasphemy, not to mention cult-like behavior, the way that Kriyananda substitutes himself or holds himself as a required channel to Yogananda or the Divine. Anyone who believes this is going 100% against Yogananda’s teachings.