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Best documentary film idea ever: Fake guru gains worshipful followers.

A documentary film coming to theaters next month called Kumare is about an American of Indian descent who exposes the idiocy of guru cults by pretending to be a guru from India. He gains a large following of worshipful Americans who come to believe he has all the answers.

At some point in the movie, he decides to reveal his stunt to a group of his most hardcore followers who are "knee-deep in personal transformation."

This the best documentary idea ever. Can't wait to see it.

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/kumare/
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134 comments
 
I'd like to see that scene where he reveals himself.
 
Since I don't really use the trailers feature on my AppleTV I felt this was a good time to start. This movie looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing.
 
How interesting! I really want to see this....
 
I feel like the whole "faking the participants" thing will never surpass Joe Millionaire. Now it just seems mean-spirited.
 
That's harsh. I also know somebody who appears to have done exactly that although not as an indian guru but as another type of manufactured spiritual leader. When it comes right down to it people are just sad.
 
After the reveal one of the followers stormed out threw his iphone to the ground and stomped on it.
 
Sounds like a bit of a dick move to me. At the end of the day he's just another shyster taking advantage of the overly trusting for personal gain. With the additional kick in the nuts that his end-game is to humiliate them as well. Not sure which party I find more craven.
 
+Kit Malone you do have a point there, if it is a documentary, one would hope that it would have not just the gotcha, finger pointing moment, but some kind of hints about critical thinking.
 
Sounds like a Sacha Baron Cohen movie.
 
This is dumb. Religion is not a delusion, it's group fantasy. You can criticise the faithful or the clerics as to how they conduct their fantasy, but to mistake fantasy for delusion is condescending and dumb.
 
The important thing is not that this guy is "fake," it's that they are all fake. I't a point in need of making.

You have to crack a few eggs to make an omelette.
 
This sounds like a German movie titled "Die Welle." About a teacher who points out how easy it would be for a cult of personality to take hold in Germany. His students followed him unquestionably and eventually he revealed what he had done.
 
I'll buy a copy come DVD release and host monthly public viewings just to show the truth behind being blind to worship.

Great share! I am eager to see it.
 
They made this movie a few years back (it was called Guru I think and it had Marisa Tomei and Heather Graham) as kind of an absurd thing. Kind of awesome that they are showing that the absurd is our new reality.
 
100% with +Kit Malone . Dick move. He pretended to be something he wasn't and preyed upon people's weaknesses for his own personal gain. The fact he did it for his movie instead of for the chance to live free, supported by followers in a compound somewhere is a distinction without a difference.
 
I don't need to watch but I cannot say I am surprised. I do not believe religion is a crutch. I also do not believe we need any new ones.

If someone planned to present themselves as a guru to show the fallacy in following after some new idea because it tickles the fancy I like that better than that whole James Ray sweat lodge deaths thing or other cult leaders that have crashed and burned.
 
^applies to all religion. how do you know whats real and whats fake?
 
That might take a life time to figure out.
 
Freaking brilliant.
 
The biggest stunt he pulls is getting millions more of us to pay him to watch it. I'm in.
 
I love that people are calling this a 'dick move'. I call it a wake-up call. Sorry folks, there are no 'Magic Men' in the world with all of life's answers.
 
thats pretty sick! id love to watch it some time!
 
The filmmaker, Vikram Gandhi, spoke at TEDxGrandRapids yesterday. He was absolutely engaging, interesting and hilarious. I can't wait to see this film.
 
Sanjeev Bhaskar does that often in UK..check out comedy central channel on TV
 
Pretty sure nobody who's commented so far has been a big believer in Magic Men, +Robert Hastings
, one can be an atheist and still feel compassion for the victims of a scam, whether that scam was done in the service of Religion or fame. Taking advantage of people is a dick move, doing it from the a point of view I agree with just weakens my case in the view of the public.
 
I wonder if it will be done with humor similar to Bill Maher's "Religulous" 
 
But hey, I haven't seen it myself, just judging it on Elgans post. It could be much different than presented here.
 
+Don Wood As far as scams go, at least this one is honest. Also, to be fair, these people ultimately scammed themselves.
 
dongana.........................kodaka...........
 
In Hindu philosophy the guru leads your path to self and God realization. It is incorrect to slam the Guru Parampara as a cult. Yes there are Gurus who exploit this but then have we not heard about abuses in the Church?
 
The unfortunate irony is that he is a bigger disgrace to humanity. He could have used his persuasiveness and charisma in a positive manner. Instead he used it for profit at the expense of some misused souls searching for help.
 
He is what I would call an ABCD. American Born Confused Desi. Maybe he should contemplate in the Himalayas and wash his sins in the ganges for exploiting gullible fellow humans.
 
Supplanting your own free will for the domination from another's is the surrender of reason and freedom.

Hopefully those idiots learned a lesson and will choose to be their own person from now on.
 
Interesting but the issue of whether it is worth hurting people to send out a lesson, which could have been taught very differently and yet effectively as this, comes to mind. I don't know but I'm sure it will be entertaining. Wait wouldn't this have legal problems? I don't know it seems as though there would be a law to prevent the exploitation of people like this. Maybe it is fake?
 
Reminds me of the post a while back on Google plus about someone who pretends to be a celebrity in a mall and everybody treats him as one even though they don't recognize him.
 
Just because some people are fooled by snake oil salesmen doesn't mean that real doctors don't exist. It's good to be skeptical, but to write off every guru because one man was able to successfully pose as one is a rather broad leap of logic. This movie does, however, look like a great cautionary tale that highlights the human penchant for seeking simple answers to complex problems, and it also shows how eager people can be to find someone to give them solid answers in an uncertain world. (not to mention the whole problematic issue of race - as the trailer shows, some people are actively looking for an "authentic Indian" to give them the answers - like the concept of the "noble savage" this reveals a subtle condescension - a barrier to genuine communication and understanding)
 
Is not about free, is about who feels lost need a guide. Lost people are very vulnerable and weak. Who become weak? People who don't think ahead and believe everything, people with fear. Politicians know about this and make you to vote. You surrender by those want your vote. what lesson you learn +Christopher Yost
 
It is very easy in this life to become lost even if you knew the way before. Playing around with people who are confused is a very serious matter. Licensed psychotherapists,psychologists, and psychiatrists are the safest bet to make.
 
Looking forward to this one. Another one you might be intersted in is Marjoe. It's another true story documentary filed in 1972 about a child preacher who grew up and documented how evangelical preachers are just scamming people out of their money. It's free on YouTube here: http://youtu.be/9CfWh5iw6Mc

Thanks for the heads up on this one as well!
 
Excusing your surrender of self is treason to free will. To think for yourself, to make your own decisions, is the only true right of the individual.

There is never a good reason to surrender such a precious thing. It is unreasoning. It is death.
 
Who is mistaken? The Lost for silly, The Manipulator for using its power from innocent soul, or both.
I think both. Is best to keep one eye on each side and find your balance.
 
I have people in my family that peddle this BS and I blame them. There are answers out there, real answers, but these snake oil salesmen muddy the waters and make the true truth harder to find.


Isn't it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?
- Douglas Adams
 
American's are easily converted lolz...
 
Anyone from anywhere can be easily manipulated. This generalization that it only happens to americans is absurd.
 
+Oscar Font Pretending other's are at fault for your decisions is just that, pretending. Either own yourself or be a slave. There is no middle ground. 
 
Well, Americans are easily converted. Singling out Americans doesn't make it any less true.

Too many are slaves to empty words. It is a choice.
 
+Christopher Yost What about unknown psychopaths or people who specialize in manipulating people for their own needs. Some people don't know how to defend themselves especially because most of our mind is governed by our subconscious mind which the general person doesn't know much about. Tools such as cognitive illusions can really do a lot of harm
 
+Christopher Yost Pretending = manipulating?

I don't know... How many people are between you and me? as many grays you can find between being yourself and being slave. There are many 'half's' as people in this world. Are you slave tech? I am ... to me live is more relative.
 
You need evidence to support that most Americans are easily converted. Also the fact that the USA is the third most populous country in the world may make it seem as though most americans are easily converted when really it is a small group relative to the USA
 
Again, only you are responsible for yourself. Reason, logic, truth: these are simple things.

It is the surrender of self that make these things difficult. It is the choice of surrender that begets strife.

Excuses are only excuses.
 
There's a sucker born every minute.
 
+Edwin Avila Democrats, Republicans, OWS, religions, "99%ers", conspiracists, etc. ad nauseum.

These are easy to know... 
 
I thought this was going to be like Bill Maher's Religulous (which would be a bad thing), but after watching the trailer, it actually looks super interesting. Thanks for sharing +Mike Elgan
 
As a matter of fact, I'm a deity reincarnation so send me all your $$ offerings
 
You can only be responsible to a certain extent when it comes to a certain part of your mind that works without your knowledge of it doing so. How do you think Hitler and the Leaders of North Korea have managed to manipulate people. Sure some of it has been through force but another part has been completely psychological. Commercials and politicians use the same strategies. Unless you are aware of theses strategies, which the general public doesn't know about, can you be completely in control of yourself. Ignorance is really a true weakness. Inform yourself about how your mind works and you will be in control of yourself. I recommend reading "Strangers to Ourselves" by Timothy Wilson
 
That's mindless. Acceding responsibility, thinking, to a "subconscious" self is an excuse. Simple reasoning will point towards the inherent error of your words.

 
+Edwin Avila very insightful.I'm awright don't believe in human gods, prophets , or bullshitters.maybe the guy in the intersection that smells like booze gets a buck out of me once in a while
 
I didn't completely understand your post +Christopher Yost .
Are you saying that you cannot give the excuse that the subconscious controls you. It really does, not completely as it is a partnership of your conscious self and subconscious, but as long as you're sure of your beliefs you won't be easily manipulated. If you are unsure then that is something else.
 
Mike this will be interesting,,actually i am Indian and i don't follow any of so called guru's.
 
i'm sure it would be devasting to his hard-core followers!
 
The subconscious is "sub". Meaning it is not in control. Otherwise there is no free will. Making your argument of "control" not only incredibly fallacious but in fact very nonsensical in context.

There is the easily found error in your words.

You are framing excuses for behavior. Whims, wants and wishes may only be followed through choice. Choice is a purposeful act. An act only you can make for yourself.
 
Did u ever c those east indian men who stretch their penis to the floor.n?!?!IDK WHY this made me think o that..n
 
Almost sounds like modern day politics! Fascinating!
 
i would love to see this, actually.
 
My use of subconscious is wrong. I should have said unconscious. I agree that choice is a purposeful act but that act is backed up by beliefs that can be influenced by people. An example of what i am talking about is if you see a screensaver of money floating in water than later on you will tend to act selfish unconsciously. When you are suggested any ideas related to money you will tend to act selfish and/or independent. This is one way you can be manipulated. This is according to studies done in Germany.
 
It is very tempting to be a guru. One knows how to do it our innate sense of honesty wont allow to pretend
 
Same in India, lots of Charlatans from America and Europe come here in guise of 'Charity' and fool people into changing their religion.
 
IT'S REALLY HAPPENING....and should be STOPPED....each day one or two cases like this in the NEWSPAPER!!
 
story's base line is magnificent!!!!!
it will be wonderful to watch
 
Isn't this a remake of a Heather Graham
Movie from early 2000's with Marissa Tomei. The guru. Bollywood meets aging starlets. Under-appreciated work in my opinion. 
 
+Akshay Ajith if people are being helped then why not? how does it differ from religion? If they are preyed upon & taken advantage of then I agree & either way he should be exposed.
 
I would love the opportunity to interview him on my show!
 
I made a mistake in my comment. I was talking about bogus gurus and priest who try to take advantage of people who are at struggling points in their lives.
 
Very regular and common practice at all across India…




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Just read all the comments. Seems like there are those out there, who have never been "suckered" into something. You must be young. No matter if it is religion, politics, home buying, or car sales, everyone gets taken. It's in the rules of life.
Ben JDB
 
the sad and crazy thing about humans is, when he reveals the hoax... many of his "followers" will simply not accept it and continue to adhere to whatever crackpot system he invented... keyphrase: "true believer syndrome".
 
Ben JDB, I could not agree more. Check out the Republican and Democratic conventions. This also is "sad".
 
Does sound interesting though I've long doubted these and even traditional Christian 'gurus'
 
Wasn't there a fictional romantic comedy Hollywood movie about this a few years back?
 
My favourite similar was a Derren Brown special called "Miracles For Sale" - he trained up an average person as a Christian "faith healer" to show what a fraud that industry is.

He had an equally interesting programme called Messiah, as stated above, where he convinces people (in the USA) that he has powers in the fields of Christian evangelism, alien abduction, psychic powers, New Age theories and contacting the dead.

Religion, cults, faith, however you wish to address it, it's all a con. The world need to wake up to that.
 
Even as a sceptic I still would be careful to rant about believing into supernatural things. Highly recommend the book I currently read (!): "Supersense: Why We Believe in the Unbelievable" by Bruce M. Hood
 
Michael, you are so correct. It never ceases to amaze me, how there are those who speak so dogmatically, against those who speak dogmatically.
Gus K
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Ahem, Can't be a "dick move" unless right and wrong exist. Anyway, I want to see this, but to be fair, you can't write off all doctors just because there are fake doctors. You can't write off all financial advisors just because there are fake ones. You can't write off all teachers just because some faked their way into the job. Be careful of being duped by broad generalizations and quick judgment either way. 
 
Thanks for the share. I will share this with like-minded friends.
 
1. cover your mouth with your hand
2. whisper a wish into your hand
3.post this on three other comments
4. look and your hand
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