Boring, self-indulgent wankery ... we couldn't agree more ...
We switched off after 5 minutes, how long did you last? Baby Ben looking like a freshly squeezed zit with a scary rictal grin, sitting next to that horse-faced bloke from Brighton. In this Youtube they tell us "Awareness is Nothing and Everything" as they giggle and stroke each others' egos. Wot a pair of girls! ...
We've had our beady eye on Bentinho Massaro since he turned up in Tiru in Feb 2011 with his now ex, Karen Richards. He pursued that well-worn path to gurudom, a debut satsang on Ragini's Rooftop (following in the hallowed footsteps of Führer Renz and Mooji!) Baby Ben is spiritual ambition incarnate and his determination to be a star in the firmament was obvious from the start. He was weaned by Candice O'Denver who fed him on the mother's milk of her Great Freedom Teaching, itself a blatant rip-off of the work of Ponlop Rinpoche and certain Dzogchen teachings. Even worse, Candice was rumoured to have a "satsang machine": a device with an electromagnetic pulse possibly affecting DMT output of the pineal gland, which radiated theta and alpha rays to keep her audience in a blissful etheric state (certainly everybody in the seminar room in Tapovan Resort, Laxman Jhula, Rishikesh in early 2006 had a big grin on and shiny eyes as if they were on drugs!) We heard Baby Ben cribbed all the Great Freedom Teaching and copy-pasted it on to his own website, Free Awareness, before being ordered by Candice's gang to remove it and do his own homework instead. This boy is so gauche, so full of himself, he doesn't even get the irony of asking the punters on his site to donate to "free" awareness!
Meanwhile Jeff Foster, a failed Cambridge academic, blatantly stole his manifesto from Tony Parsons and gave him none of the credit. Jeff has denied going to see any teachers but would secretly lurk at the back of Tony's meetings in Hampstead. After his so-called epiphany, Foster went to see Parsons to tell him what had happened and get confirmation of his newly arrived spiritual status. Apparently Parsons laughed in his face and told him it was "a very nice story" (i.e. implying that Foster was totally deluded!) Jeff was gutted and stormed off in a tantrum never to forgive or forget this affront to his dignity. This didn't stop him however from setting up shop almost immediately. But while his book Life Without A Centre has even made it to the fabled Ganapati Library, his meetings are an absolute disaster (he has all the personality of a wet fish!) An arena for safe, cosy enlightenment, yoga mums endlessly emote about their spiritual search while Jeff just listens, nods and grins. Any radical edge has been emasculated and he is totally devoid of charisma, warmth or insight. The session itself is aimless and dead. Jeff goes from banal statements about "the ocean and the wave" to even lamely agreeing with hecklers that his words are dry and lifeless. We were desperate to get to the interval but then we had to make our own cup of tea! At least Tony Parsons has Richard Sylvester as his official chai wallah!
We asked Chi-Ting Reporter Satsang Barbie for an informal tête-à-tête with Karen Richards who has recently arrived in Tiru. They met at the deluxe Shanti Internet Cappuccino Bar for a Girls' Own Gripe (there's nothing better than getting all the dirt from a jilted lover!):
SB: So Karen, what happened?
KR: Bentinho sacked me in California and made off with a blonde 20 years younger!
SB: How terrible, you must have been devastated!
KR: There was always something of the night about him. He is a bestial homunculus!
SB: I see ...
KR: And his friendship with that Jeff was distinctly dodgy!
SB: What exactly are you saying?
KR: Frankly some of his sexual demands verged on The Greek, if you know what I mean!
SB: You think he is just using that blonde as a cover for his depravities?
KR: I was used and then thrown away like a disposable tissue!
SB: So what do you say to people who say your satsang is like Listen With Mother on mogadon?
(Karen sobs into her latte. Satsang Barbie then offers more sympathy and a range of competitively priced therapies at her next California seminar! ... )
What do Baby Ben and Jeff have in common? They are a divine union of plagiarists who have complete contempt for their audience. Bentinho is Mr Awareness parroting corporate Buddhist mantras while Jeff feeds on the carcass of Tony Parsons, unashamedly pocketing his catchphrases, "This is it!" and "Nothing being everything." Together we get the no-brainer: "Awareness is Nothing and Everything." It ain't rocket science!
No wonder they are bosom buddies with their hands down each other's trousers! Both are shoddy second hand salesmen devoid of any vestige of originality. For them non-duality is just a career move for their own greater glory! It's a marriage made in heaven!