Ross and Carrie, in their podcast ‘Oh No!’, investigate the SRF (Self-Realization Fellowship) and rated the SRF on creepiness, dangerousness, and paranormal claims. They both studied the SRF Lessons and attended church services and the World Convocation.
“The stories [of Paramahansa Yogananda told by SRF monks at Convocation] were about how incredibly patronizing the guru was of his devotees.” – Carrie
‘Oh No, Ross and Carrie!’ is a podcast about Ross and Carrie’s travels through the world of paranormal claims, fringe science, and spirituality. Their website says “We show up, so you don’t have to”.
Oh No, Ross and Carrie!–The Self-Realization Fellowship (Part 1): Meditate, Meditate, Meditate:
Ross and Carrie immerse themselves in the Self Realization Fellowship, Paramahansa Yogananda’s eastern-inspired religion that urges little eating, little sleeping, and lots of meditation. Can Carrie and Ross survive in a group where “restlessness of mind” is a cardinal sin?
Oh No, Ross and Carrie!–The Self-Realization Fellowship (Part 2): Overpaying For Silence
After months of anticipation, Ross and Carrie attend the Self Realization Fellowship Convocation, where thousands of SRF devotees gather together. They learn to meditate better, chant for hours at a time, and try to get surly strangers to smile.
In conclusion, Ross and Carrie rated the SRF on a scale of 0 – 10 (0 = none or lowest, 10 = max or highest).
Ross’ and Carrie’s RATINGS
Supernatural/Pseudoscientific = 7.5
Reason: Many extraordinary claims, including that the brain can do fantastical things, read others’ minds, control heart/breath, dying at will, etc
Wallet Draining = 8
Reason: Money is portrayed as evil, give SRF church your money, Lessons are inexpensive, accessories and Convocations are expensive.
Creepiness = 2.5
Reason: Ross and Carrie both thought the people they met at SRF church services and properties seemed normal. [Frankly, I was both creeped-out and intrigued when I first attended SRF church meditation services. My creepy intrigue came from the dimly lit altar with golden-framed images of the six SRF gurus, the trance-like chanting of devotees swaying in their meditation seats, and the smoke and smell of exotic incenses that created a hazy, dream-like atmosphere in the meditation temple.]
Dangerous = 1
Reason: Eating and sleeping is portrayed by SRF and Yogananda as for mortals, some breatharian ideas, notion of asking God before you go see a doctor, etc. [In posts and discussions on this website, I examine the evidence I’ve accumulated and in my opinion SRF is more dangerous than the level rated by Ross and Carrie].