NEW WEBSITE: www.ephesians-511.net OCTOBER 2005/SEP 2007/AUGUST 2009/JULY/OCT 2012
FR JOE PEREIRA-KRIPA FOUNDATION-WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION: PART 1
NEW AGE:FR.JOE PEREIRA,KRIPA FOUNDATION,
HEADQUARTERS: MOUNT CARMEL CHURCH, BANDRA, BOMBAY CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE.
IMPORTANT SUB-CENTRES: VASAI DIOCESE AND [ANJUNA AND MAPUSA] GOA CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESE
ALSO OPERATING IN BAREILLY, BARODA, DARJEELING, KOHIMA, MANGALORE AND PUNE CATHOLIC DIOCESES,
AND IN CALCUTTA, DELHI, GUWAHATI, IMPHAL, RANCHI AND SHILLONG CATHOLIC ARCHDIOCESES
And more INSTITUTIONALISED NEW AGE: The WCCM,
THE WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION
NOTE: SEE INDEX [LIST OF CONTENTS] ON PAGE NUMBERED AS 106*
INTRODUCTION: This report on KRIPA Foundation and Fr. Joe Pereira was prepared in three stages. At first, it was the last ten pages in the ninety-six page New Age in the Catholic Ashrams report published in October 2005.
The Kripa report was updated in September 2007, but not published, and the current updating was done again in May 2009.
After my visit to some Catholic Ashrams, I could boldly accuse the movement of “New Age, heresy, blasphemy and sacrilege”. In that initial report, I showed that Kripa Foundation is loosely linked with the Ashrams movement.
The initial report provided enough evidence that Kripa Foundation is New Age, no matter that its founder is a priest of the Archdiocese of Bombay. The Catholic Ashrams report with the Kripa report appended to it was sent to most of the Bishops who possess email ids, commencing the first week of October 2005. To a number of them it was sent twice, even thrice. To the Cardinals and some Bishops and the Nuncio, a hardcopy was posted, again twice in a few cases including the Nuncio.
The list of Bishops and Commissions who did not even acknowledge receipt is too lengthy to reproduce. About 40 did.
The Apostolic Nuncio to India, who asked for the report as early as January 2005 in response to my pilot letter informing him about the problems at the Ashrams, has steadfastly refused to acknowledge receipt of it despite 10 reminders and follow-ups. The office of Cardinal Toppo of Ranchi finally acknowledged receipt only after the 10th reminder.
The offices of Cardinals Toppo and Vithayathil assured this ministry that the Cardinals were not in India and that the report would be placed before the Cardinals on their return. The third Cardinal, Ivan Dias, like the other two, did not respond.
Even among the many Bishops’ reponses, there was no firm commitment to do anything about the very serious issues that I brought to their notice. Some of the assurance turned out to be empty promises. As time passed, the report has been completely forgotten and I have watched the Catholic Ashrams continue their campaign to destroy the Church from within.
A follow-up report on the Catholic Ashrams movement is under preparation.
I have also watched Kripa Foundation and Fr. Joe Pereira grow from strength to strength, receiving prestigious Church as well as National awards, enjoying the patronage of more Archbishops and Bishops, and expanding their operations into new archdioceses and dioceses. It is well known that this priest and his Foundation have received the equivalent of crores of rupees in aids and grants from foreign associates. Money and power buy silence and compromise. It cannot be disputed that Kripa Foundation is doing a great humanitarian service “weaning people away from chemical dependency on alcohol, tobacco and other narcotics, and rehabilitating people affected with HIV and AIDS”. But does the end justify the means?
This priest is the diehard devotee of a Hindu yogi who practices the occult forms of Kundalini and Tantra Yoga. What the disciple learned from his guru and Master, philosophically and practically, he teaches and applies in his programmes.
The priest admits that he “follows the 8-fold path set down in the yoga sutra of Patanjali.”
I have completed two intensively researched reports of around 100 pages each that show conclusively that yoga is a Hindu religious practice and there can be no “Christian yoga”. See:
http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/YOGA.doc and http://www.ephesians-511.net/documents/SURYA NAMASKAR AND YOGA.doc.
As if the above were not serious enough, “Kripa blends Western techniques [not only] with Indian yoga, [but also with] Buddhist vipassana meditation, Chinese Tai Chi martial arts and Japanese Shiatsu massage”.
There is also another “blend with Western techniques”. Kripa has linked with the WCCM or World Community for Christian Meditation, London-based, founded by two Benedictine priests, the late John Main and the current head, Laurence Freeman.
*NOTE: THIS PAGE IS NOT NUMBERED. THE NUMBERING COMMENCES FROM THE FOLLOWING PAGE WHICH IS PAGE 1
In this report, I provide ample evidence that the “Christian Meditation” that they promote is not really Christian at all.
They use a “mantra”-based meditation technique which was taught by a Hindu Swami to Fr. John Main OSB. They also incorporate the enneagram personality-typing tool which the Vatican has warned Catholics about in a Document.
The WCCM website FAQ admits that there is an “essential harmony” between Centering Prayer and their “Christian Meditation”. Centering Prayer is not Christian. They hold joint seminars and workshops with New Age personalities who use “tai chi, chi gung and Iyengar yoga”. Theirs is an “ecumenical” meditation, Fr. Freeman finally admits, pages 61- 63, 90.
Kripa Foundation advertises itself as
a project of the Catholic Archdiocese of Bombay. His Eminence, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Archbishop of Mumbai, heads its Board of Trustees. Fr. Joe states that Mumbai’s Cardinal Ivan Dias, who was in 2006 appointed Prefect of the Vatican’s Congregation for the Evangelization of People, strongly backs him. Thomas Dabre, Bishop of Vasai and Chairman, Doctrinal Commission of the CBCI blessed the Kripa Vasai centre. He felicitated the priest at a special Holy Mass on April 2, 2009. Bombay Bishops Agnelo Gracias and Bosco Penha celebrate Masses for the WCCM.
And, The Examiner, the Archdiocesan weekly is a platform for the promotion of both the WCCM and Kripa Foundation.
FROM THE WORLD COMMUNITY FOR CHRISTIAN MEDITATION WEBSITE
From “Coming Home: An Introductory Seminar to Christian Meditators, Resources for Presenters.” 1999.
Q. Why do we use a mantra? What is the role of the mantra and how do I choose one?
A. The purpose of the mantra is threefold: first, it helps to deal with distractions. The mind needs a point of focus, something for it to be absorbed in so distractions can be ignored. Secondly, it leads to a condition of simplicity. Thirdly and most importantly for us who meditate as Christians, the saying of the mantra is an expression of faith in Christ who lives in our hearts. The mantra is chosen with care. It is an expression of our faith. Meditation is Christian because of the faith of the person meditating. The mantra is our expression of this. While it is acceptable to choose your own mantra, in the ideal a teacher gives the student a mantra. The Spirit is the inner teacher, so the inner teacher can inspire a self-chosen mantra. The mantra that Fr John recommended is the word MARANATHA. It is an Aramaic word, the language Jesus spoke. It means Come Lord Jesus or the Lord comes. As it is not in our own language it does not have any thoughts attached to it and does not encourage us to think. It is a balanced rhythmic word, with the long a sound. It fits well with the rhythm of the breath and it is one of the oldest Christian prayers. Abba or the name of Jesus or the Jesus prayer or part of it or any short phrase of Scripture can be used as a mantra. The ‘formula’ that John Cassian recommended was the phrase. ‘0 God come to my aid, 0 Lord make haste to help me’. Choosing your word is important. Once you have chosen it is important, in this tradition, to always stay with the same word. Thus it becomes rooted in the heart and becomes a way to praying always.
Q. Is posture important when meditating?
A. Yes. The most important rule of posture is to keep the spine upright. If you use a chair, find one of the right height that gives your back the kind of support it needs. If the spine is held erect and relaxed it is possible to stay alert. Slumped posture leads to drowsiness or even sleep. The ideal posture is the lotus posture as this keeps the spine automatically in its natural upright position. This is not possible for most of us, but finding a good posture cross-legged on the floor or using a prayer bench can be almost as good. However, the most important thing is that you are upright and alert without being in unnecessary pain or discomfort. A physical practice like yoga can help greatly with both posture and breathing. Because meditation involves the whole person — body, psyche and spirit — what we do with our body during meditation is of very great importance; learning to set well is a vital ingredient in learning to move deeper into the silence, stillness and simplicity of meditation.
Q. When I meditate I get a
in my hands or a thumping heart, feelings of heat or cold, or some other physical sensation. Is this all right?
A. When we are meditating the integration and harmonising of our whole person is gradually taking place. This is positive. Sometimes the integration takes the form of various physical sensations. These simply need to be ignored and they will pass when they have done their work. These sensations are connected with the movement and flow of energy through our system. The relaxation created by meditation allows the energy in us to flow more freely and this can cause physical sensations.
Q. When I meditate I see colours and this is very pleasant. There might also be sensations of light or of love, peace, etc. Should I just enjoy it?
A. The important thing to remember is that none of the experiences we may have along the way are the goal of meditation. They are all part of the integration process. The vital thing is not to become attached to these experiences, or desire them, but just allow them to come and go while you continue to pay attention to your mantra.
Q. Does the Church approve of meditation?
Yes. In the documents of Vatican Council II it is made clear that Christians are called not only to pray with others, but to ‘enter into their rooms to pray to their Father in secret’ (Mt. 6: 6); and it goes further to cite St. Paul and his exhortation that Christians pray without ceasing (1 Th. 5: 17). The practice of Christian meditation, faithful to the ancient tradition of the Church, is a way that fulfills the Christian prayer vocation. The Council encourages the deepening of prayer in contemplation and later documents stress the importance of recovering lost or neglected Christian traditions of contemplation. 48.
Pope John Paul II, in November 1992, preached that, “Any method of prayer is valid insofar as it is inspired by Christ and leads to Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.” The one who meditates enters the stream of Jesus’ prayer which always flows to the Father in the power and love of the Holy Spirit.
Q. Does Christian meditation accord with the general teaching of the Church?
Of course. Prayer is always seen by the Church as the fount of wisdom and compassion in the Christian life. It is a pilgrimage in faith, being wholly attentive in the presence of God. It involves leaving the self behind, going beyond ourselves to God, who is always beyond us, yet closer to us than we are to ourselves. It is about being at prayer which is always a gift of God, not about technique. It leads those who meditate to look for the fruit of prayer in love.
[“Contemplative Christian prayer always leads to love of neighbour, to action and to the acceptance of trials, and precisely because of this it draws one close to God. From The Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation, 1989, P. 18]
Q. Is this the same as Centering Prayer?
There is an essential harmony in these two approaches to meditation. Centering Prayer places a different emphasis on the mantra.
Q. Isn’t this Buddhist?
A. Quite mistakenly, meditation can very easily be identified as the preserve only of the Oriental traditions, including Buddhism. We have come, through the teaching of Fr. John Main and others in the 20th Century, to appreciate afresh the place of meditation in the Christian tradition.
1. Mantra, “lotus posture” and “breathing”. Remember what I explained about these on page 15?
Is it surprising that the FAQ page of the WCCM website recommends yoga? The 1992 WCCM Manila Conference included workshops on both yoga and zen, a Budddhist meditation, pages 16, 61. WCCM-India leader Fr. Joe Pereira uses yoga and vipassana, again a Buddhist meditation, pages 12, 14, 18, etc.
The statement [Answer 1.] that “Meditation is Christian because of the faith of the person meditating” is a lie.
A meditation’s being Hindu, Buddhist or Christian is not subjective, depending on the faith of the practitioner, but objective, qualified by its religious philosophies on man, God, life, salvation, etc. See page 66.
There is also a world of difference between John Cassian’s praying “‘0 God come to my aid, 0 Lord make haste to help me’“[Answer 1.] and the mindless repetitive “Maranatha” or any other phrased coined by WCCM meditators.
“Attempts to integrate Christian meditation with Eastern techniques that use breath control and prescribed postures like the lotus position can be successful, Cardinal Josef Ratzinger said, but they are ‘not free from dangers and errors,’ and may boomerang.” From: ZEN AND YOGA NO SUBSTITUTES FOR PRAYER, VATICAN SAYS by William D. Montalbano, Times Staff Writer, Dateline: Vatican City | Los Angeles Times, December 15, 1989, in quoting from the said Document.
2. Experiencing tingling, sensations of heat and cold, seeing colours or lights… these are occult phenomena.
They are always reported in connection with eastern meditations and with the practice of New Age alternative medicines and holistic health therapies, not with genuine Christian meditation.
They occur when people do Kundalini yoga, moving the prana or shakti, or during the manipulation of chi and ki energy in pranic healing, reiki, etc.
These phenomena are the counterfeit of genuine Christian mystical experiences that can happen by the power of the Holy Spirit. And there is certainly no Holy Spirit when eastern meditations and alternative therapies are practised. It is no surprise that the FAQ says “These sensations are connected with the movement and flow of energy through our system. The relaxation created by meditation allows the energy in us to flow more freely and this can cause physical sensations.” The WCCM admits that it is the flow of energy that causes the physical sensations! What energy are they talking about?
The February 3, 2003, Vatican Document on the New Age explains that it is an esoteric [occult] energy:
“A focus on hidden spiritual powers or forces in nature has been the backbone of… New Age theory” (#1.3). “The source of healing is… our inner or cosmic energy” (# 2.2.3). “The energy animating the single organism which is the universe is ‘spirit’….” (# 22.214.171.124), etc.
3. When answering the two questions on whether the Church approves of “Christian meditation”, the WCCM FAQ answers in a manner as to present Church endorsement of their brand of “Christian Meditation”.
The FAQ refers to the October 15, 1989, Vatican Document The Letter to the Bishops of the Catholic Church on Some Aspects of Christian Meditation, but the same Document warns exactly against what they propagate:
“Some physical exercises automatically produce a feeling of quiet and relaxation, pleasing sensations, perhaps even phenomena of light and of warmth, which resemble spiritual well-being. To take such feelings for the authentic consolations of the Holy Spirit would be a totally erroneous way of conceiving the spiritual life.”
“Getting closer to God is not based on any technique,” the Document states. It warns Christians who sit cross-legged as they meditate at the “pleasing sensations which resemble spiritual well-being” that can be produced by “some physical exercises.” “The Document, already circulated to Roman Catholic church leaders throughout the world, deals mainly with the influence of Hinduism and Buddhism. It is signed by West German-born Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, a strict disciplinarian. The Document states: ‘Human experience shows that the position and demeanour of the body also have their influence on the recollection and dispositions of the spirit… But to take such feelings for the authentic consolations of the Holy Spirit would be a totally erroneous way of conceiving the spiritual life.’ “From:
VATICAN WARNS OF YOGA’S DANGERS
by Leslie Childe, Rome, The Independent/The Daily Telegraph 18 Dec. 1989.
Either the Bishops of Bombay Archdiocese have not read the Document which says a lot, lot more than what I have quoted above, or they interpret the Document differently from the way the Church wants it understood. Otherwise, why would the WCCM be promoted by them as “Christian Meditation” when it is so obviously not?
Has anyone reader wondered why the two priests, Fr. John Main OSB and Fr. Laurence Freeman OSB never tried to name it “CATHOLIC Meditation”?
4. The WCCM FAQ admits that there is an “essential harmony” between Centering Prayer and their “Christian Meditation”: “There is an essential harmony in these two approaches to meditation. Centering Prayer places a different emphasis on the mantra“, the only difference being the “emphasis on the mantra”.
We have seen on page 38 that Centering prayer is not Christian. Neither is WCCM’s “Christian Meditation”.
5. To the FAQ “Isn’t this Buddhist?” the answer was not a categorical “yes”, neither was it a categorical “NO”!
Regrettably, despite repeated attempts, the link is not opening for me to examine. [It finally did, see p. 77ff.]
2. CONNECTION WITH KRIPA FOUNDATION/FR. JOE PEREIRA ON THE WCCM WEBSITE
Making it to the Presidential Honours List on Republic Day, Fr. Joe Pereira was awarded the “Padma Shri” in recognition of social service in his work with chemically dependent and HIV affected persons. The Christian Meditation community had a prayer service and felicitated him on the occasion. It was entirely based on Scripture. The reading recounted the annointing of Solomon as King at the nomination of David. His subsequent prayer for wisdom to be bestowed on him was Fr. Joe’s response to the reading. This was followed by a period of meditation and the concluding prayer of petition used the verses of Psalm 20. A beautiful wooden inlay of Jesus the Meditator / Teacher was then presented to him.
Mother Theresa’s successor Sr. Nirmala has been honoured with the nations second highest award, the Padma Vibushan. Mother Theresa has been Fr. Joe’s inspiration and this twin honour is a recognition of the Church’s contibution to the nation in working with those who live at the margins of society. Christopher Mendonca. (email@example.com)
Mumbai Meditation Retreat http://www.wccm.org/newslist.asp?pagestyle=newslist&sqltype=current December 2008
Meditators in Mumbai look forward each year to a 2-day Silent Retreat in the Seasons of Advent and Lent. This year in mid December, we were fortunate to have a Retreat Centre in the suburbs of Mumbai with a quiet atmosphere and plenty of greenery to provide the perfect ambiance for the Retreat. The discourses focused on the various manifestation of the Ego, as expressed predominantly by one of the Capital Sins. Using the profile of the personality types linked to each ego manifestation as outlined by Claudio Narajno, participants were able to come to a deeper awareness of how their ego functions.
A contemplative Eucharist on both days, the chanting of parts of the Divine Office, Taize prayer, the chanting of the Rosary and Lectio Divina were interspersed between the discourses and greatly fostered the deepening of an inner silence. We received much postive feedback from the participants. For some, the door to silence had been opened for the first time in a Christian context. Christopher Mendonca (firstname.lastname@example.org)
1. The map page gives the worldwide WCCM contacts. When you click on the WCCM map page for India, an email is created. It is self-addressed to: email@example.com which is the email address of Fr. Joe Pereira!
Fr. Joe Pereira is the WCCM leader for India.
The number 2 person is ex-priest Christopher Mendonca.
He posts copies of his articles that appear regularly in The Examiner, the news reports of the Bombay WCCM cell as well as of Kripa Foundation on the WCCM site.
2. Who is Claudio Naranjo [not Narajno as mis-spelt by Christopher Mendonca]?
He is a leading propagator of the occult New Age personality typing tool, the Enneagram!
According to the Vatican Document on the New Age,
“Enneagram [from the Greek ennea= nine + gramma= sign] refers to a diagram composed of a circle with nine points on its circumference, connected within the circle by a triangle and a hexangle. It was originally used for divination, but has become known as the symbol for a system of personality typology consisting of nine standard character types. It became popular after the publication of Helen Palmer’s  book The Enneagram, but she recognizes her indebtedness to the Russian esoteric thinker and practitioner G. I. Gurdjieff, the Chilean psychologist Claudio Naranjo and author Oscar Ichazo, founder of Arica. The origin of the enneagram remains shrouded in mystery, but some maintain that it comes from Sufi mysticism.“ [Glossary, Vatican Document].
Under the caption ‘The New Age and the Catholic Faith’, the Document explains, “On the one hand, new forms of psychological affirmation have become very popular among Catholics, even in retreat-houses, seminaries, and institutes of formation for religious. At the same time, there is increasing nostalgia and curiosity for the wisdom and ritual of long ago, which is one of the reasons for the remarkable growth in the popularity of esotericism and gnosticism… 50.
John Paul II [in Crossing the Threshold of Hope] warns with regard to the ‘return of ancient gnostic ideas under the guise of the so-called New Age. We cannot delude ourselves that this will lead to a renewal of religion. It is only a new way of practising gnosticism- that attitude of the spirit that, in the name of a profound knowledge of God, results in distorting His Word and replacing it with purely human words… in distinct, if not declared conflict with all that is essentially Christian’.
An example of this can be seen in the enneagram, the nine-type tool for character analysis, which when used as a means of spiritual growth produces an ambiguity in the doctrine and the life of the Christian faith.“ [#1.4, Vatican Doc.]
The Document could hardly be more explicit than that. The enneagram is New Age, has its roots in esotericism and pagan mysticism, is a modern form of gnosticism and its use as a spiritual tool is, as I have shown in my separate article on the Enneagram, is a distortion of the Word of God which is the basis of all Christian faith and living.
Esalen Institute psychologist Naranjo spread the enneagram through Esalen classes. The Vatican Document provides a list of major New Age influencers that includes Ichazo, and, naming it as a ‘key New Age place’ has this to say about Esalen which played a major role in establishing the popularity of the enneagram:
“A community founded in Big Sur, California in 1962 by Michael Murphy and Richard Price, whose main aim was to arrive at a self-realization of being through nudism and visions… It has become one of the most important centres of the Human Potential Movement, and has spread ideas about holistic medicine… This has been done through courses in comparative religion, mythology, mysticism, meditation, psychotherapy, expansion of consciousness and so on. Along with Findhorn, it is seen as a key place in the growth of Aquarian (New Age) consciousness.“ [#7.3, Vatican Document]
The WCCM-Enneagram connection in Fr. Richard Rohr was already seen on pages 44 and 45 of this report.
I had already shown that The Examiner publishes articles written by dissident priest and enneagram practitioner Richard Rohr.
3. MORE HARD-CORE NEW AGE ON THE WCCM WEBSITE
3a.The book “The Blissful Brain” is advertised on the WCCM website. I reproduce:
How important is meditation for our health and well-being? Is it merely a soothing relaxation technique with no long-term benefits, or is it in fact a vital practice that boost the physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being of the practitioner, and thus deserves wider recognition and higher public regard?
In her new book, The Blissful Brain, Dr Shanida Nataraja provides a fresh perspective on this timeless practice.
• What goes on in the brain when we meditate?
• Are we biologically programmed to have religious and mystical experiences?
• What role does meditation play in optimizing the performance of our brains?
• Can the long-term benefits of meditation be measured?
In The Blissful Brain, Shanida explores the extraordinary research that shows practices such as meditation, tai chi and yoga are not only effective at eliciting spiritual growth, but they also reduce stress and may actually be crucial for optimal health and brain functioning. From the effects of meditation on the brain to the latest insights from studies into the health benefits of meditation, The Blissful Brain reveals the scientific evidence that proves meditation should be at the very heart of our everyday lives.
For more information, please see book’s website at: www.blissfulbrain.com.
This evening event was chaired by Dr Shanida Nataraja, author of The Blissful Brain. Shanida was joined by other popular speakers, including Laurence Freeman OSB, Director of The World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM), and Kim Nataraja, author of Dancing With Your Shadow, a book on the stages of meditation and the path towards the integration of Self… The Blissful Brain is published by Gaia Thinking.
Shanida regularly meditates, and has received basic instruction in tai chi, chi gung, and Iyengar yoga. In 2004, she collaborated with Laurence Freeman OSB and Kim Nataraja of the World Community for Christian Meditation (WCCM) and Sifu Dr Mark Green (Green Tai Chi) to produce an introductory seminar on meditation, tai chi, and chi gung for an audience of 20–40 year old professionals. Shanida is also a member of the Scientific and Medical Network, an organisation promoting open exploration in science and human experience whose common objective is to deepen understanding in science, medicine, and education through both rational analysis and intuitive insights.
1. What is Chi Gung?
There is a monistic worldview that holds that god is a universal life force energy that pervades everything, is in everything and is everything. This energy, which is our energy body or etheric or vital body and can be manipulated for healing, is variously called prana in India, ki in Japan [as in Rei-ki], and chi or qi in China. Hinduism [specifically Yoga], teaches us about the major and minor chakras that channel energy through nadis. The ancient Chinese equivalents are acupoints and meridians. For the Christian, these are occult beliefs. I recommend that you read the relevant sections in the Vatican Document on the New Age.
Chi Gung, Qi-gong, Chi-kung
Ki-kung, is Chinese or Taoist Yoga. 51.
“The source of life defies logical explanation. Call it God, or nature, or Tao… Many of the Chinese Taoist teachings were handed down as secrets… written down in a cryptic manner so they were basically unintelligible even to the Chinese… Probably the best term to call these practices would be Taoist Yoga. In China it is generally referred to as Chi Kung… [which] means the study and practice of Life Force Energy.“
From: Taoist Yoga & Chi Kung“, Eric Steven Yudelove, pages (xiii), 2, 5, and 6 Llewellyn Publications, 1997.
DISGUISED CHINESE CULT MAY BECOME FORMIDABLE FOE [Indian Express 29 April, 1999]; CHINA WARY OF FALUN GONG SECT [Indian Express 17 June, 1999]; CHINA BANS FALUN GONG, ISSUES ANTI-CULT LAW [Mah. Herald 31 October, 1999]; CHINA CRACK-DOWN ON CULTS WIDENS, ‘GONG‘ LEADER HELD [Asian Age, 3 November, 1999]; CHINA VOWS TO ELIMINATE FALUN
GONG [Times of India, 6 November, 1999]; FALUN GONG ACTIVISTS DETAINED [The Hindu, 25 April 2000]; FALUN GONG PROTESTERS HELD [The Hindu, 12 Feb 2002].
From these news reports, this is what the Falun Gong and Chi Gung is all about:
“At first glance, the… Falun Gong followers who gather to exercise and meditate… in Beijing’s Altar of the Sun Park seem no different from everyone else keeping fit each morning. But they are part of something much bigger. Just how big, hit Beijing forcefully… when more than 10,000 followers held the biggest demonstration since the Tiananmen Square democracy protests 10 years ago. With more members than the Communist Party – at least 70 million – Falun is a formidable social network linked by mass loyalty to its founder Li Hong Zhi, a martial arts master. And some critics fear the group could be a cult. A Falun website claims membership of 100 million in China, the US, Canada, Europe & Australia.
“The Falun Gong or Wheel of Law borrows heavily from Buddhist and Taoist philosophy and styles itself as a school of Qi-Gong, a traditional Chinese practice that includes martial arts exercises
to channel unseen forces
and improve health.
“Qi-gong has been enormously popular in China since bans on cultural traditions were lifted in the late 1970s. Nearly every Chinese city-dweller knows someone who goes to parks and meetings in search of healing and longevity through Qi-gong… In the Government’s eyes, the protest transformed the obscure school of yoga-like exercises into a potential threat to Communist rule…The movement’s books are hard to publish in China… After the protest, President Jiang Zemin formed a high-level task force to monitor the group.
“‘There’s a real danger to society‘ said He Zexiu, a physicist who helped design China’s hydrogen bomb in the late 1960s and who denounced Falun on television… He also denounced the group’s call to disciples to eschew all medicine… Li Hong Zhi says he learned Falun Gong from a spiritual Master he has never fully identified. He claims that he is a ‘higher being’ sent to earth to help his followers achieve divine status…
The Chinese Government blames him for the deaths of 1,400 people by brainwashing them into shunning medical care… The New York based leader of the Falun Gong
mystical sect… who founded the group in 1992 while living in China… was named last week as China’s public enemy No. 1.
his book of teachings, Zhuan Falun, Mr. Li says… that practitioners of his way, which he calls Falun Dafa, are elevated to a new type of morality, rendering them invulnerable to earthly diseases… Mr. Li provides spiritual certainty in a society becoming fragmented… One Beijing woman in her seventies vowed to continue to pursue enlightenment in secret through the Falun’s peculiar blend of Buddhism, Taoism and New Age Spiritualism. The State media propaganda claimed that many Gong members suffered psychological problems, harming themselves and others as a result…“
For more understanding, please read my articles on Pranic Healing, Reiki healing, Acupuncture, etc. and especially the two articles titled CONYBIO and MARTIAL ARTS since Fr. Laurence Freeman has collaborated with this New Age practitioner Shanida Nataraja on Tai Chi [which is a Chinese martial art].
Fr. Joe Pereira and Kripa Foundation too use Tai Chi, see pages 12, 14, 18 and 27.
They also use Japanese Shiatsu massage which is a New Age alternative practice that groups with acupuncture, acupressure and reflexology which are named in the Vatican Document on the New Age.
2. It is clear that Chi Gung, Tai Chi, Shiatsu, etc. are based on the use of the “Life Force Energy” which the Vatican Document on the New Age explains as a spiritual power.
Shanida Nataraja, with whom Fr. Laurence Freeman of the WCCM collaborates in presenting seminars, is an exponent of all the above, and also of Iyengar yoga, of which Fr. Joe Pereira of Kripa is a disciple.
3. “Gaia Thinking” is the publisher of Shanida Nataraja’s book “The Blissful Brain”. I quote from the Document: “A fundamental point which pervades all New Age thought and practice”, is an understanding of “a Mother Earth whose divinity pervades the whole of creation… and removes the prospect of being judged by such a being.“(#2.3.1)
“‘Gaia‘, Mother Earth is offered as an alternative to God
Father… There is talk of God but it is not a personal God; the God of which New Age speaks
is… an impersonal energy… ‘All is one’.
This unity is monistic, pantheistic or more precisely, panentheistic… In a sense, everything is God.“(#126.96.36.199)
So, the publisher, too, is New Age. Did you note the New Age phrase “intuitive insights” [point 3b. above]?
I had explained the New Age emphasis on intuition as against Christian rational thinking, on page 15.
4. Note carefully that “The Blissful Brain Event of 13th May, 2008” was held at the World Community for Christian Meditation Centre in London! So, it is not like Fr. Laurence Freeman was a guest. He was the host!
4. LEFT WING CATHOLIC LIBERAL MEDIA COVERAGE OF THE WCCM WEBSITE
“Sitting in silence” National Catholic Reporter Coverage, December 14, 2007
The prayer that emboldens and dissolves differences By Thomas C. Fox
Contemplative prayer, a discipline revived in the West during the 1960s and having spread into Christian communities in the 1970s, is a growing movement, according to some of its most prominent teachers, who say the practice provides a healthy counterpoint to the hectic modern world.
Traditional religious differences seem to dissolve as Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists join in meditation sessions. You find meditators, especially the young, in church halls, in local communities and on college campuses across the nation. The purpose of contemplative prayer, its teachers say, is not only to deepen one’s spiritual experience but also to help form and embolden Christian communities. Christian meditation communities now work with the poor in São Paulo, Brazil, meet in parishes in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in Mumbai, India, and chant in Taizé, France.
“Contemplative prayer is expanding exponentially,” Benedictine Fr. Laurence Freeman, director of the World Community for Christian Meditation, told NCR. “There are more groups, more countries. … The reason is that over the years — we’re talking about 30 years now — more and more of the people who started are maturing spiritually in this practice. They are now teachers. They are starting groups. They are running workshops. They are leading retreats.”
The organization Freeman heads now has meditation groups in 123 countries.
The National Catholic Reporter [NCR] publishes dissent and New Age. We have seen on pages 12 and 17 the report Meditating and Medicating on the Margins
on New Age practices in the Church in India, by
Fr. Francis Gonsalves, SJ. In it, Fr. Joe Pereira‘s use of yoga is acclaimed by that priest.
Here, we have NCR editor Thomas Fox interviewing Fr. Laurence Freeman for an article for the NCR.
The point that I am making is this: The NCR would not write about the WCCM unless it was New Age, or in dissent/dissidence to the orthodox teachings of the Church.
Note also that while in Bombay, India, it is carefully touted as “Christian Meditation” to keep fooling the Bishops, outside India “Christians, Jews, Muslims and Buddhists join in meditation sessions“, or as in the case above, it manifests its true New Age face with tai chi, chi, gung, Iyengar yoga, etc.
Kripa Centres at: Bombay, Baroda, Calcutta, Darjeeling, Delhi, Goa, Imphal, Mangalore, Nagaland, Shillong, Vasai, Pune, Germany and Canada.
Mother Teresa at Vasai [Photograph, see page 117]
Kripa Foundation has the privilege of being the largest Non–Governmental Organization in India, affiliated with the Union Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, working among people afflicted with chemical dependency & HIV Infection.
Over a quarter century of service, Kripa Foundation has evolved a module of non-discriminating, supportive community living, empowering people to introspect and bring about a change in lifestyle.
KRIPA, derived from the Sanskrit word “GRACE,” lays emphasis on the need to study risk perception, effectively assist in harm minimization and provide training to the affected individuals enabling them to monitor life as an ongoing process of Spiritual Growth.
The beginning: the year and place, foundation day, registration of a charitable trust.
The Organization had humble beginnings in a church compound in Bandra in 1981, with three patients in residence, a priest, a doctor & a recovering alcoholic as a role model for recovery and sobriety.
Since then this Public Charitable Trust has spread its tentacles all over India with 48 varied facilities addressing Chemical Dependency and HIV and AIDS in 11 states in the country, namely, Maharashtra (Mumbai, Vasai, Pune), Gujarat (Baroda), Goa (Anjuna, Mapusa), Karnataka (Mangalore), West Bengal (Kolkata, Darjeeling), Manipur (Imphal), Nagaland (Kohima), Meghalaya (Shillong), Assam(Guwahati), Uttar Pradesh (Bareilly), Jharkhand (Ranchi),* & Delhi. *new Centres
Centers are funded through Government of India grants, as well as National and International funding agencies.
The guiding philosophy is a reflection of the spirit of service and dedication, enshrined in the work of Mother Teresa, who personally blessed our Kolkata and Vasai centers.
Today, Kripa is at the forefront in facilitating training in Chemical Dependency, Rehabilitation and HIV/AIDS, and offers a broad spectrum of services to the community, facilitating law enforcement agencies, educational institutions and other academic institutions that are involved in Human Services. A major area of work involves interaction with industry in terms of an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which is comprehensive and addresses situations with utmost confidentiality.
Kripa’s strength lies in the eastern disciplines and facilitating lifestyle change, which it propagates in all its centers as Basic Therapy to cope with life’s stresses including addiction, which is an outward manifestation of the turmoil within an individual. It is this inner healing which is enabling Kripa to realize its dream of becoming a global presence.
Board of Trustees
His Eminence, Cardinal Oswald Gracias, Cardinal of Mumbai 53.
Rev. Fr. Joe H. Pereira, Kripa Foundation’s Managing Trustee, is a Member of the High Level Committee in the Ministry of Social Justice & Empowerment, Govt. of India and a resource person to the International Labour Organization.
Denzil D’Souza, Managing Director, Writer Corporation, A known philanthropist and promoter of Indian art and culture. Denzil D’Souza has also worked for the marginalized population.
Yazdi Desai, Director of Finance, Writer Corporation.
Herbert Almeida, IPS (Retd.) Has been the Inspector General of Police. He has worked actively in the high HIV/AIDS prevalence area of Manipur. One of the first people to destigmatise HIV/AIDS in the country, he has also been responsible for introducing Kripa Foundation in the Northeastern states.
Heads Of Departments
Dr. M. Shashi Menon, Director INTERNAL MEDICINE KRIPA-AIDS firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Snehal Mehta Director PROGRAMME & TRAINING email@example.com
Dr. Maria Nigam Director KRIPA-AIDS PROJECT firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Blanche Barnes Director RESEARCH email@example.com
Mr. Linus Pinto Director FINANCE firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Bosco D’Souza Program Director WESTERN REGION email@example.com
Mrs. Jobha Guha Program Director NORTH EASTERN REGION firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Fr. Joseph Topno Program Director DELHI & BAREILLY
Ms. Purvi Shah Project Director VASAI REGION AIDS CONTROL SOCIETY (VRACS) email@example.com
Kripa’s representative is a member of the Technical Resource Group on Women. Children and AIDS under the aegis of National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development, New Delhi.
Kripa Aids (Vasai Regional Aids Control Society)
Vasai Region AIDS Control Society (VRACS) is a Kripa – AIDS initiative commissioned in Vasai, in Thane district of Maharashtra. VRACS attempts to visualize Vasai as a controlled zone for HIV and co-infections. This model attempts to implement various public health projects for the control and care of the HIV epidemic through community empowerment. VRACS sees itself as a nationally replicable model in the private sector with a large community participating base, which supports this integrated Clinico-Community system.
Realizing the paucity of care and support services in this region Kripa Foundation started a Home Based Care on 15th October 2002, funded by Catholic Relief Services. The Home Based Care initiative provided the much needed service but was still inadequate to meet the demands of the population. With an area comprising 302 sq miles and a population of 6,00,000 (census 2004) it was practically impossible to holistically address the situation. The project site was also placed at a distance of 33 miles from Mumbai making the government medical interventions in Mumbai inaccessible to a large proportion of the population.
In order to meet these rising demands, a new project was started for care, support and targeted interventions funded by AVERT Society. This saw the birth of Vasai Region AIDS Control Society on 19th January, 2003, inaugurated by Dr. Jeffery Nadler, Professor of Medicine, University Of South Florida and Mr. Vaidyanathan, Project Director of AVERT Society. VRACS since then has had the technical support of the University of South Florida’s CHART-India (Centre for HIV-AIDS Research and Training in India) programme.
VRACS attempts to visualize Vasai as a controlled zone for HIV and co-infections. This model attempts to implement various public health projects for the control and care of the HIV epidemic by community empowerment. VRACS sees itself as a nationally replicable model in the private sector with a large community participating base, which supports this integrated Clinico-Community system.
Objectives of the project
• To create an integrated and Comprehensive Clinico-Community Program.
• To maintain this system by community empowerment and participation.
• To diagnose HIV positives by a properly Counseled and Confidential system.
• To create a continuous awareness program for clinicians and the community which is run by both clinicians and the community.
• To create a Clinical Care Center, initially for children and then for adults, for treating and caring for patients with HIV and co-infections. This will provide coordinated care and specialized care if needed.
• To create a surveillance system to monitors the changing trends in the epidemic and act as a national indicator for the disease.
• To include research into every project it undertakes either on the social or clinical front
Components of VRACS
The VRACS module is a comprehensive clinico-community programme. It is holistic in approach and aimed at addressing the specific needs of People Living with HIV (PLHAs) and their significant others in Vasai. A combination of clinical support provided by a battery of trained physicians, community care through ongoing intervention activities and home based care has enhanced the reputation organization, and today VRACS is second to none in the battle against the pandemic in the country. 54.
The programme module is specifically structured and has proved itself to be a NICE (Networked Initiative for Community Empowerment) model for SMART (Surveillance, Management & Care, Awareness, Research and Training) service.
The Advisory board of VRACS has significant stakeholders from the community such as elected leaders, government officials, educationists, members of commerce and trade, religious leaders, media representatives and student leaders. Recently a PLHA (person living with HIV-AIDS) is inducted as an active board member in deference to the principle of Greater Involvement of People living with HIV-AIDS (GIPA). The board, which was originally an organizational initiative on the part of the project, has truly gained community impetus. The board currently is more focused on developing specific agendas with nominated responsibilities for their effective implementation.
CSNL (Counseling and Surveillance Network of private Laboratories): The Network of Private Laboratories in the region was formulated by the project to create an environment of ethical practices vis-à-vis testing for HIV/AIDS carried out in the private sector. This initiative works on the sense of social responsibility. The initiative has involved the development of a forum and its capacity building. The forum also serves as the data pool for the surveillance module of VRACS.
ELFA (Elected Leaders Forum against AIDS): The establishment of the Elected Leaders Forum on AIDS in Vasai has been a unique initiative of the project and was formed on 14th August 2003. This body comprises of elected leaders of the zone. The aim of the body is to lobby for the cause of health including HIV/AIDS in Vasai.
CIDC: Clinical and Infectious Diseases Centre provides ’round the clock’ management and monitoring of the clients. Psycho-emotional support for the client and the family is integrated into the care programme. The development of a strong, high quality and linked treatment module that works on the principal of low cost community care and support has been the cornerstone of the project. Treatment of major opportunistic infections along with meticulous and timely management of asymptomatic patient has steadily been portraying the message that HIV is a chronic manageable illness and need not be associated with death when treated right.
Peripheral service delivery through Mobile Van: In order to reach some of the inaccessible areas in the region, a mobile van was commissioned on 2nd May 2004. This van acted as a mobile VCCTC and facilitates awareness activities.
• Integrated Counseling and Testing Centre (ICTC)
• Management of Opportunistic Infections
• Treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infection
• Delivery of Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) – Directly Observed Therapy Short course (DOTS) programme for TB management
• Anti Retroviral Therapy initiated and maintained along national / international guidelines while monitoring adherence
• Targeted Interventions in the industrial belt of Vasai and along the national highways to cover high risk vulnerable populations like Commercial Sex Workers (CSW), truckers and Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)
• Nutrition supplementation: a socio – cultural specific nutrition supplement is provided to PLHA as an adjunct to HIV management
• Training of primary care givers and PLHA on home based management of health issues associated with HIV
• Pre, Post HIV test Counseling and Maintenance Counseling, including treatment adherence counseling
• Home visits for follow up of clients and to monitor ART adherence
• Awareness programmes through single events and mass events for
° Sensitization and Destigmatization
° Awareness and Education
° Community Mobilization
° Marketing the VRACS activities
° Reaching out to the infected and affected populace
° Identifying and Tracking key populations vulnerable to HIV infection
• Formation of support groups of people living with HIV/AIDS, caregivers and community volunteers as well as peer educators
° Psychosocial, legal and medical support including counseling
° Community based anonymous self help group
° Yoga and meditation programmes for psycho-emotional and health stabilization for PLHA and significant others
• Training Health Care Providers, Paramedical and support staff on International protocols for HIV management
• Psycho Social and Clinical Research, public health monitoring of prevalence and trends related to HIV dissemination in the region
• Annual International updates / conferences with technical support from the University of South Florida
Kripa – AIDS, a Kripa Foundation initiative
Catholic Relief Services (CRS)
University of South Florida, CHART – India
Florida Caribbean AIDS Education and Training Centre (FAETC)
Ms. Purvi Shah, Project Director, VRACS
Dr. Joseph Chettiar, Medical Consultant, VRACS 55.
Vasai Region AIDS Control Society, Kripa Foundation, Papdy, Vasai Thane – 401 207
Phone 0250 232 6522/ 232 4588/ 232 6069 Fax 0250 2326521 Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Training & Research
The 48 facilities of KRIPA, spread over 11 states in India are manned by peers and professionals in the field of CD and HIV-AIDS care. The activities conducted at these facilities are personnel intensive, and hence adequacy of numbers is essential for smooth functioning. The rapid changes in available information and techniques in care, require periodic upgrading of staff abilities. The limits of the problems seen in CD / HIV-AIDS are not yet fully defined, and hence accurate and meticulous documentation is the need at all the centers.
Kripa Institute of Training, established in August 1999, and located at Bhardawadi Municipal Hospital, Bhardawadi Lane, Andheri (W), has a capacity to cater 20-30 students at any given time. It conducts periodic programmes that provide exposure and substantially enhances the information base and technical ability in both therapeutic concepts as well as documentation. These training modules are structured to cater to the specific needs of people working in the field, as well as those referred by other organizations of training and development, such as industry, social groups and educational institutions. Training is also made available to paramedical, social groups, experiential counselor and students, and to graduates and postgraduates working in the field.
Programmes are conducted by Kripa staff and are often facilitated by national and internationally distinguished personalities and resource people. The modalities of training include audio-visual, electronic and text material with additional focus on interactive learning.
Kripa institute of training conducts programmes of different durations, namely, one week, one month, three month & one year diploma courses, on substance abuse and HIV/AIDS counseling. It offers internship and training to students from various organisations like National Institute of Social Defense, Medical Colleges, NGOs working in the field of Substance Abuse & HIV/AIDS & Graduate and Post graduate students of SNDT & Mumbai University.
Activities of Kripa institute of training are:
TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
• REFERENCE LIBRARY
• PROGRAMME DATABASE
• CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT
• TRAINING PROGRAMMES
• LINKAGE AND AFFILIATION TO UNIVERSITY / SOCIAL WORK INSTITUTIONS / INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES FOR ACCREDITION
• CONTINUING EDUCATION FOR STAFF
The daily morning meditation includes Yoga as a Psycho spiritual and Psychosomatic therapy
Students Voluntary Social Service Exposure:
As per the syllabus of St. Andrew’s College, students are required to put in a minimum of 60 hours of social service exposure in an NGO. Mr. Bosco D’Souza, Program Director Western Region, Kripa Foundation,under the directive of Fr Joe Pereira, Founder Managing Trustee, together with Prof. A.D. Mascarenhas, Dean of St Andrew’s College, Bandra, and Mr. Lavvy A . D’Costa, Training and Placement Officer, have created a platform whereby students from this institution are able to fulfill this requirement.
INTENSIVE VOICE DIALOGUE TRAINING
A 5-Day Intensive Voice Dialogue training program was held at Kripa Foundation – Vasai from 5th to 9th May 2008. This program was conducted by Rev. Fr. William Whittier*, U.S.A. *see pages 60, 70
The program was based on the teachings of Hal Stone PhD and Sidra L. Stone PhD, U.S.A and touches upon the different personalities that rule a person’s life.
Intensive Voice Dialogue Training Program
Date : 5th to 9th May 2008
Guruji B.K. Iyengar Hall, Kripa Foundation, Vasai
Resource Person :
Rev. Fr. William O. Whittier
Participants : Counselors and Staff of Kripa Foundation centres in the Western Region (Pune, Andheri, Bandra, Vasai, Mangalore and Goa), Delhi and Imphal
Many a time, along the road of life, due to various circumstances, we find our behaviour and action quite bizarre and alien to what we have come to recognize as our personality. We are sometimes shocked or even disgusted by these black moments and tend to bury them. 56.
But they stay with us and resurface time and time again and over a period of time we might even doubt our sanity. On the whole these moments only add up to make our lives unmanageable and the lives of the people around us miserable.
The Voice Dialogue program the result of many years of research conducted by Hal Stone PhD and Sidra L. Stone Phd, has been very successful in enabling an individual to understand the opposite sides of the different sub-personalities and move to what is known as the “Aware Ego.” This program has brought about a semblance of balance in thousands of peoples lives and has had considerable success when working with addicts and alcoholics.
The program was organized with the following objectives:
To enable the participants to see how different sub-personalities rule their lives,
To enable the participants to identify which sub-personalities are dominant in their lives,
To encourage the participants to explore the opposite sides of these sub-personalities,
To enable the participants to deal with the different sub-personalities and move to the Aware Ego.
To empower the participants to conduct further programs at the therapeutic community level in their respective centers.
The program was inaugurated by Rev. Fr. Joe H. Pereira, Founder and Managing Trustee, Kripa Foundation, on 5th May 2008. The management of De-Addiction Centre (DAC), Andheri, and the Bandra rehabilitation centre were present. The program commenced with a prayer led by Rev. Fr. Joe Pereira. Thereafter, Fr. Joe presented a brief preview of the program that was about to begin and assured the participants that they could only benefit if they used what they learnt at this program in their lives.
Next, Fr. William Whittier, fondly known as Fr. Bill, provided the participants with a brief description of the program that was about to follow. He narrated the story of the tiger cub, which was brought up by goats and in all attributes became a goat himself except for his physical appearance. Fr, Bill went on to say that many of us are like that goat-tiger, still drifting in life with no understanding of our true selves. He explained how the program would help us to identify the major sub-personality that are ruling our lives and move out of this sub-personality / personalities to the realm of the Aware Ego.
The program consisted mainly of different video recordings of programs conducted by Hal Stone and Sidra Stone and these were screened for the benefit of the participants. These primarily touched upon the different sub-personalities, namely, Pleaser, Pusher, Perfectionist, Critic and the Rational Mind. A total of 8 DVD were screened and systematically dealt with all the primary personalities and their opposites, the Disowned personalities. All the sessions were extremely informative but structured in a fairly simple manner. The post lunch sessions consisted of group therapy wherein the participants were divided into 4 groups and notes were exchanged.
The last 2 days consisted of video recording of demonstration sessions enacted by Hal and Sidra Stone, which touched upon all the different sub-personalities. Mock voice dialogue sessions were organized and each of the participants got an opportunity to play the part of both client and facilitator.
The program concluded on 9th May 2008 with a valedictory ceremony where each participant was awarded a certificate of participation. In addition they were presented with a copy of A.A. “Twenty-four Hours a Day” by Hazeldon, USA. Thus the curtains came down on yet another program which will go a long way in helping the participants to attain some semblance of serenity in their lives. Unfortunately, Mr. Bosco D’Souza, Program Director Western Region, the man behind it all, was unable to attend the last session as his presence was required had to attend to an emergency.
A similar program was held in Imphal in the month of April 2008, and attended by staff from North-Eastern region.
Submitted By: Bro. Errol Dawson, Jimi Amore
March 11, 2009: Felicitation on receiving the Padma Shree Award by Mount Carmel Parish, Bandra, 7.00pm
Thursday, March 12, 2009 Enlightening Experience -Felicitation to Fr Joe at Mount Carmel Church, Bandra
Dear Fr. Joe,
The felicitation program at Mt. Carmel’s on 11th March 2009 evening was a truly moving & enlightening experience for me.
I did not realize how big Kripa really is – how much you are doing & have accomplished – and how many people you are helping, who otherwise would be lost souls! What is also very touching is your extreme humility through it all.
You are a part of my daily prayers, and I pray that God continues to use you powerfully for His work in the world
God Bless, Beverly Mathews, Bandra
April 2, 2009: Felicitation By Rt. Rev. Bishop Dr.Thomas Dabre, Vasai Diocese, at Mass of the Holy Oil at Bishop House, 5.30 pm.
Thursday, February 26, 2009 Message from Guruji B.K.S. Iyengar on Fr Joe receiving the Padma shree award
My Dear Fr Joe,
When I heard from you the correct news, I was overwhelmed that a pupil of mine got this recognition of Padmashree, in recognising the work you have done in serving the suffering humanity, to gain hope and confidence to live, where are the words to express.
I felt the joy within and words failed, the heart cannot speak but only the head speaks. 57.
I was merged in the joy of your success and my blessings was heard only to that one that resides in me, though I thought that my inner joy would reach you through the element of space.
May this success be a stepping stone for further fame,
May God bless you, Yours BKS Iyengar
Priest bridges gap between East and West Graeme Morton, Calgary Herald, Canada, Saturday, October 06, 2007
When Father Joe Pereira hears about the flap the western media made of the new book Come Be My Light, chronicling the private letters and thoughts of Mother Teresa, he simply shakes his head. Newspaper pundits made front-page news out of the revelations that the beloved nun of Calcutta experienced deep moments of doubt about her faith during her long life of selfless service to the world’s poor. “Faith has always been a gift from God,” says the Indian Roman Catholic priest and senior yoga practitioner during a recent visit to Calgary. “People get pure faith mixed up with the rituals of the church. Faith is a lifelong journey and it’s perfectly normal to go through moments of personal darkness. Anyone who says they have never questioned their faith . . . well, I have some serious doubts about that,” says Pereira.
A longtime associate and friend of Mother Teresa, whom he simply, reverently calls “Mother,”
Pereira conducted yoga sessions during retreats held for her Missionaries of Charity sisters.
Pereira says he, too, experienced his own “dark night of the soul,” when he seriously questioned whether he should remain a Catholic priest. “But Mother had this unique energy which wiped out your doubt and negativity,” Pereira recalled. “She sat and prayed with me when I was in this turmoil and said to me, ‘Don’t quit. Jesus needs you. It may take some time to determine what you are called to do . . . but don’t quit.’ ”
Since then, Pereira has become the managing trustee of the Kripa Foundation, where those with alcohol and chemical addictions and HIV/AIDS are being treated with a combination of techniques, including
yoga, at more than 30 centers in 11 Indian cities. While such a calling, like that of Mother Teresa, would seem to drain the batteries of caregivers’ souls, Pereira says just the opposite plays out in daily life.
“The joy and the healing that one sees coming around helps to energize both the receiver and the giver,” he notes. Pereira says the western world and its collective Christian church needs to once again acknowledge that the physical human body is “a channel of grace and a pathway to our wholeness and holiness.
“We have an infinite potential to love our bodies back to health and life,” he adds. As someone who comfortably bridges the western and eastern worlds, Pereira believes spiritual life in the prosperous West is in dire need of revitalization.
“The Christian faith seems perfectly at home in an Indian ethos,” Pereira says. “There are so many beautiful pathways to God. We need to keep looking at elements of faith in other religions, not just blindly think that ours in the only path.”
Pereira says the Christian church in the West made a serious blunder when it pushed spiritual meditation and contemplation behind the walls of monasteries and away from the easy reach of the common man.
“I think there was a suspicion that experiential spirituality for the masses would be a threat to church dogma and its inner structures,” says Pereira. “But if the church is to become relevant again to people, to avoid dying, there is no hope until we revitalize the spirit of all religions.”
Joe Pereira has been actively contributing in the field of Addiction Recovery since the year 1974. Later he founded “KRIPA Foundation” in 1981 at Bandra (Mumbai).
Today “KRIPA” is spread across India and abroad. It is one of the largest NGO’s in the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment Government of India. Kripa has 48 facilities in 11 States of India and five collaborative centers abroad viz. Zurich, Germany, Ireland, Canada and USA.
Kripa’s recovery program combines the 12 steps of Alcoholics Anonymous with Yoga and Meditation. While the twelve step programme is Psycho- spiritual and Psycho- social, with the addition of Yoga the Kripa Model has a unique distinction of having a strong psychosomatic component.
Fr. Joe began the practice of Yoga through B.K.S. Iyengar in 1968. By 1971 he was a certified Iyengar Yoga instructor.
When he talks about the holistic approach to addiction, he says that people in the West bring a “Left brain approach” to addiction. While the programme as practiced in the Western countries does use various kinds of psychological tools they unfortunately use only the left brain hemisphere. It is a well-known fact that the body never tells lies while the mind does. Doing “Yoga” they can learn to listen to the wisdom of the body and even love their body back to life. As Glasser says, this can become an excellent replacement of a negative addiction with a positive one. By coming closer to their inner Centre, they move beyond addictive and self-destructive patterns.” When the patient learns to replace the locus of control, which, in Addiction is the Ego with the Self, a great transformation takes place. In Christian Theology this is called Conversion. In Indian scriptures, it is called Enlightenment.
Yoga helps to put the person in touch with the Antar-Yamin, the Inner Controller, which is the God of one’s understanding or the Higher Power.
Since 1989, Kripa Foundation also serves clients suffering with HIV/AIDS who mostly have got into this owing to an addictive behavior. They tend to exhibit many of the same emotional responses to their conditions – anger, depression, guilt – as drug addicts. 58.
The original inspiration of Kripa was Mother Teresa. In 1971 she encouraged him not to quit the Church or the Priesthood but to hold on. Later in 1981 he started Kripa as a vocation within the vocation of the Priesthood.
The most innovative model of care and support for HIV AIDS is set up in the Western Region at Mumbai and Vasai and in the North Eastern region of Imphal, Nagaland, Assam and Darjeeling.
Fr. Joe’s living is itself an example and a role model to all in Kripa. His schedule is mind-boggling. The energy he has as he travels all over the globe to teach Kripa Foundation-Iyengar Yoga is itself a source of inspiration to all in the Kripa Family. “The joy and the healing that one sees coming around helps to energize both the receiver and the giver,” he adds.
About the role of meditation in recovery for chemical dependency, he comments “Where drugs make a pathway into the brain and debilitate us, Meditation can make a pathway into the brain and empower us, and this is something worth telling the world.” He works closely with the World Community for Christian meditation and supports “Innovative ways of connecting with other faiths.”
“When I look into the eyes of someone who is coming to me for the first time, I say: “The whole world has condemned you but you are beautiful and above all you are good. Come into the family of Kripa and enjoy a sense of belonging and love”.
The greatest contribution Fr. Joe has made to the world of Addiction is that he has turned round Addicts into most resourceful and helpful Experiential Counselors who are known today as “Wounded Healers”. And finally though he is known to all as a Priest and is addressed as Father, many in recovery who feels his compassion and love call him Mother!
The 3rd Mother Teresa Memorial National award for Social Justice,was awarded to Kripa Foundation on 26th October 2008 in recognition of its contribution to addressing social ills,esppecially in the service of the marginalised owing to addiction and HIV/AIDS. The vent was hosted by Harmony Foundation in Mumbai.
Rev Fr Joe H Pereira, Founder Trustee of Kripa Foundation, recieved this prestigious awrd at the hands of Teesta Setalvad and Shri Mahesh Bhatt.
News Letter September-December 2007 Vol XV No. 3
EXTRACT: With the introduction of meditation (as taught in the World Community for Christian Meditation), our recovery rate in the first year has jumped from 60% to 80%. We are studying this phenomenon as an ongoing research subject.
This is indeed the afirmation of God that Kripa gives those who surrender their Ego the experience of a new life…
This year of 2007 has been the 4oth anniversary of my priesthood. On the 21st September 1967, I was ordained a Priest of God. It is significant that this year, on that day I did a programme for the World Community for Christian Meditatiion at Vancouver. You can read about it in the column-newspaper in the website of www.kripafoundation.org…
The involvement of the community in Vasai is exemplary indeed. The support from the ELFA (Elected Leaders Forum for AIDS) made the celebration of World AIDS Day in Vasai an outstanding event.
We were blessed with the presence of Msgr. Felix Machado who heads the Inter-Faith Desk at the Vatican, Rome…
We ask you to pray for the work on the Vasai Convention Centre to commence and the necessary funding to arrive in time.
Testimony of Fr. Ivan Lobo: A Unique Holiday
The Carnival is over, but Honeymoons as all good things must come to an end. Sad! But ‘parting is such sweet sorrow’ said the poet. If Joe was GOD’S GUARDIAN ANGEL to me, everything in everything, Bosco was his agent, his ‘Man Friday’. Bosco with Teresa and the ‘Wonderful Wilfred’ shared the ‘Agony and the Ecstasy’ in silence, in suffering, in sharing, in rejoicing, in prayer and thanksgiving. Kripa was a home away from home. GOD TRULY RESIDES IN ‘KRIPA’ where his Kripa heals the broken and the weak become strong.
Fr. Joes Prayer, Meditations and Yoga and the walks etc. made me whole. Fr. Mathew O. was a good friend and a great help. Dr. Joseph and Francis too. Hari can never be forgotten – Agnelo the devoted driver for walks and back. Alka, Joseph, Toppo, Marian, Dias, and Neeraj (the London Boy), the Medical, Kitchen, HR and clinical staff everybody -made things seem so easy. “Absence now will make my heart grow fonder” and “Distance lends enchantment to the view” a view that will remain “Something ever beautiful for GOD.” With thanksgiving, God’s blessing and daily Prayer for all at Kripa, I say Adios, Alvida, Sayonara, Aufwiedersen. Goodbye and God be with you till we meet again. Lovingly ever,
Fr. Ivan Lobo 1st February, 2008
[Fr. Ivan has served on the staff of S.F.S. High School and Jr. College, Nagpur for 36 years (1971-2007), 12 of which as Principal. Due to illness caused by heart-related disorders, he was treated at Holy Spirit Hospital, Andheri, after which he spent about 10 months recuperating in Vasai- Editor.]
Address:- Kripa Foundation 81/A Chapel Road Mt. Carmel Church Bandra(W) Mumbai, Maharashta 400050 India Phone: 91-022-26405411 / 26433027, 91-022-26439295 Appointment Phone:91-022- 26405405 E-Mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org Working Hours:- The Normal working hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a Counselor to guide you in your enquiries. Medical staff is normally present in the evening but you will be further instructed if you call upon the counselor in person. Further there is an 24 hour Helpline service whose Tel. No is 91-022-26429158. There is a Counselor to guide you through your period of trauma and give necessary assistance. Please submit any questions/ comments to: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
on the above 18 extracts from Fr. Joe’s website and blog. [One is reproduced, with my comments on page 27]
1. Mother Teresa, Mother Teresa. Fr. Joe takes her name ad nauseam and uses the photograph of her blessing his Vasai centre [the photograph accompanying The Examiner August 12, 2006 article gives the year as 1991 whereas the Lotus and the Cross DVD clip shows it as 1994], and his Calcutta centre. Her Missionaries of Charity even support his Kripa Foundation financially [pages 14, 16] and her nuns were trained by him in yoga “because they were falling asleep during their prayers” [pages 19, 58]. He obtained “Mother Teresa’s staunch support for the therapeutic powers of yoga” [page 19] which helped him start Kripa.
i) Fr. Joe began the practice of Yoga through B.K.S. Iyengar in 1968. By 1971 he was a certified Iyengar Yoga instructor.
ii) In 1971 Mother Teresa encouraged him not to quit the Church or the Priesthood but to hold on. Later in 1981 he started Kripa as a vocation within the vocation of the Priesthood.
Fr. Joe Pereira wanted to quit the priesthood AFTER becoming a certified yoga instructor. But naturally.
After getting involved with yoga, he became disillusioned with the priesthood.
It has happened often before, to the Belgian priest J.M. de Chanet who propagated yoga at St. Peters Church in Bandra, and to yoga priest Fr. Anthony Lobo of Pune, also a student, like Joe Pereira, of BKS Iyengar.
Fr. Francis Barboza SVD., a Bharatanatyam dance exponent who was “deeply involved in expressions of Hindu worship” and practiced at the SVD’s Gyan Prakash Ashram in Andheri, Mumbai, also left the priesthood. Today, Fr. Joe remains in the Church, but is a Catholic priest only in name.
We have seen the many inconsistencies, exaggerations and errors, even lies in Fr. Joe’s statements. It is quite possible that some of his statements regarding Mother Teresa are also not factual. In case they are true, it is a matter of great regret, and shows the extent of error and deception in the Indian Church.
Despite all the verbal credit that he gives to Mother Teresa, his Kripa Foundation hall in Vasai, which was inaugurated by a Bishop, is named not after her but his Hindu yoga master, BKS Iyengar!
2. Who is Fr. William Whittier who gave the INTENSIVE VOICE DIALOGUE TRAINING for Kripa in May 2008?
He is part of the Bede Griffiths/WCCM organization. For his New Age alignments, see page 70.
3. Pereira’s statements [page 58]: “Pereira says the Christian church in the West made a serious blunder when it pushed spiritual meditation and contemplation behind the walls of monasteries and away from the easy reach of the common man. ‘I think there was a suspicion that experiential spirituality for the masses would be a threat to church dogma and its inner structures,’ says Pereira.” This is simply not true. It is not within the scope of this article to refute these statements, but I must say that they reflect this yogi-priest’s opposition to liturgy and ritual and the hierarchial, dogmatic constitution of the Church. One will find the same attitude among the leaders of the Ashrams movement. In that report I have written in detail.
4. More statements of Pereira [page 58]: “When the patient learns to replace the locus of control, which, in Addiction is the Ego with the Self, a great transformation takes place. In Christian Theology this is called Conversion. In Indian scriptures, it is called Enlightenment. Yoga helps to put the person in touch with the Antar-Yamin, the Inner Controller, which is the God of one’s understanding or the Higher Power.”
Christian conversion = Hindu yogic enlightenment. That is what Pereira claims. No talk of sin or repentance from sin, or the personal God Whom sin offends; Christian conversion is simply the replacement of the Ego with the Self. And God, in Kripa terminology, is always the “God of one’s understanding or the Higher Power.”
Rubbish. But all this rubbish is believed as God’s truth by his devotees and by the Cardinals and Bishops.
5. Page 59: “[Fr. Joe] works closely with the World Community for Christian Meditation and supports “Innovative ways of connecting with other faiths”.”
I have taken a lot of trouble to show that the WCCM “Christian Meditation” is open to ‘all meditators’ [the phrase commonly used, pages 39, 53] of all faiths [see page 62, etc.], as the regular advertisements in The Examiner* confirm, a sort of inter-faith ‘meditation’ based on eastern philosophies and compatible with New Age practices [especially demonstrated on pages 48 through 53, the examination of the WCCM website].
*Under ‘Forthcoming Events’ in The Examiner, February 2, 2008:
EXTRACT: The Christian Meditation Centre will hold a half-day programme of meditation and discourses on Saturday, February 9, 2008 at Prarthnalaya, Bandra from 9:30 am to 12 noon. All meditators as well as those who wish to familiarize themselves with the practice are welcome. A Silent Retreat has also been scheduled for the 15th/16th March, 2008 at the Retreat House, Bandra… The Centre also sends out Weekly Readings taken from the writings of John Main/ Laurence Freeman to those who have access to email. Those interested may write to email@example.com… The WCCM has an excellent website which provides news, views, teachings, insights and plenty of help to those who feel called to undertake the discipline of Daily Practice. Log on to www.wccm.org.
Since Pereira is the WCCM leader in India, all his de-addiction programmes using meditation will reflect the WCCM syncretistic ideology. Conversely, the WCCM would not associate/collaborate so intimately with Fr. Joe Pereira/Kripa if their worldviews and programmes did not conform to the WCCM standards.
6. The ‘testimony’ of Fr. Ivan Lobo of Nagpur, a senior priest and school principal is yet another indication of the depth of deception and the extent of spiritual poverty of much of the Catholic priesthood in India. 60.