Got a request about him from someone whose family and friends suffered abuse. He already has a long record of investigations and allegations of abuse.
Defense by a member.http://www.factnet.org/discus/messages/3/33164.html
And many many accounts of wrongdoing.http://www.rickross.com/groups/path.html
Gary Olsen and his Master Path "flourishing" in New Mexico
By a former member of the Master Path
I notice there is not too much new information about the Master Path and Sri Gary Olsen posted at your site, which reflects his most recent activities in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I do know that he and his group are flourishing there. I am a former member of the Master Path and know how large this group has now become. It is now probably close to a thousand members at present.
Gary Olsen's techniques are subtle, but so very convincing. I have always considered myself to be intelligent and aware and open-minded. And Gary and his wife Joy are very convincing. That is, they were until they started saying things like, the only love that is true is the love for Garji (i.e. Sri Gary), that all paths lead to the Master Path and that Gary Olsen is the only true and living Master. That's when the bells started going off.
I was in the Master Path for just over a year and went through its first initiation. I fell for it hook, line and sinker. I was on the list to receive Gary Olsen's tapes on a monthly basis, bought his books and videos. I was one of those followers that had a picture of Sri Gary hanging in my bedroom and a photo of both him and Joy on my desk at work. I have to admit, I felt at peace with myself and the world. However, what I didn't see was that I was starting to exclude all those around me from my life, which included my family and old friends.
I wanted to work for the Master Path and gain greater esteem from Sri Gary. I also wanted a relationship with a fellow devotee and to have it sanctioned by Sri Gary. However, again I was told that the only relationship that I should be concerned about was my relationship with "Garji." If a relationship other than that one should happen, it would be seen as a gift and thus be sanctioned by him. But I should clear my mind of such thoughts and return my thoughts to Garji.
We were taught to chant the "HU" or "Garji."
Gary Olsen's seminars were inspiring and uplifting and about showing everyone how to gain higher and higher spiritual attainment. In those seminars it's easy to see how everyone can be duped. He is charismatic and charming, with a "little boy" sense of humor. He seems to be very spiritual. Yet, the secrecy and the fact that it is taught that the Master Path is the only way to enlightenment and that Gary Olsen clearly states that he is the only true living master, makes it all very much a cult [(sic)] in my mind.
I have been away for almost a year now and things have become even more clear to me. I feel that I came away just in the nick of time and am now a little wiser. I'm glad I didn't invest more of my time or money into this scam [(sic)].
Please continue to warn everyone about this group. It may not be as destructive as some of those others within your archive, but it is nevertheless harmful.
"Cult" moves headquarters to Temecula, California
CultNews.com/November 7, 2003
The so-called "Master Path" recently moved its headquarters from Albuquerque, New Mexico to Temecula, California, a small city 50 miles from San Diego.
The group has been called a "cult" and its "master" is "Sri" Gary Olsen.
Olsen and his group are originally from Fargo, North Dakota, but after much negative media attention there they moved to California for the first time.
The group was based in a suburb of Los Angeles in the early 1990s....
But the growth of the Master Path in New Mexico apparently prompted Olsen to later set up his headquarters in Albuquerque, where he held numerous seminars and conferences.
However, it seems that Olsen never really gave up on the "Sunshine State" and once again has moved his base of operations back to California.
Many of his disciples called "chelas" have followed their master and moved to Temecula to be near "Sri Gary."
The Master Path is actually little more than a rip-off of another Neo-Eastern "cult" called Eckankar.
Much of Olsen's writings were plagiarized from the earlier works of Eckankar founder Paul Twitchell.
Members of the Master Path meditate on Olsen's image and seemingly become infatuated with him and dependent upon the group.
Olsen warns in his writings, "Leaving the Master Path is the worst thing any chela could do & without the Master's protection, he runs into all sorts of troubles which would not have happened had he remained with the Master Path."
One Fargo news report carried the headline "The Master Path is a cult that destroys individual self-identity."
"The guru/student relationship on Master Path is one of tyranny"
January 12, 2005
By a former student of the Master Path
Master Path is most definitely a cult [sic]. A cult is a place where you give up thinking for yourself or questioning the authority that asks you not to think.
Gary will tell you at your very first meeting that he is "just a humble guy, serving God." Experience should tell you that anyone who has to announce how humble they are, probably isn't!
Gary asks you to "check out the path to see for yourself." Checking it out is fine, but don't ask any questions. Questioning Gary Olsen elicits an angry and sometimes verbally abusive response. This can happen very publicly in a Master Path seminar. It seems like a real guru wouldn't shame a student in front of others for having questions. On Master Path though, we call a verbally abusive response from the Master or his staff "spiritual redirection."
Most people who are attracted to cults are sincere, good people who are seeking answers in their lives. There is nothing wrong with this. It's just that most of life really is a sacred mystery and people like Gary Olsen prey upon people who are hoping that life is less about uncertainty and unpredictability and more about a concrete answer, tied up in a pretty little bow. What Olsen promises in this neat little answer is a connection with the "sound current, the great current of God."
If you are reading this right now, you may want to consider that your ability to know God through prayer, meditation or contemplation is alive and well in your own heart and you don't need Gary Olsen or any other Guru to "hook you up" to anything to have that relationship in your heart.
Gary Olsen will want to tell you where you are at in consciousness.
Interestingly no one will be as high as Gary Olsen, which means that the Master Path theology works for Gary, but probably not for you.
The way that the guru gets bigger is by making you smaller.
The guru/student relationship on Master Path is one of tyranny.
In this case it's a tyranny over how and what you think and how and what you feel, because Gary believes that he knows what's best in that regard and so he will tell you that your mind and your emotions are the enemy.
You will be taught how to hate or disdain your mind and emotions. They are after all just your "lower bodies."
But please remember that spirituality cannot sustain itself by any form of disdain or hatred of the self.
It is the guru's job to dominate the student. Abuse, whether it is financial, emotional, physical or intellectual is part of the power structure. The best way out of any group like this, is to see that you don't need it in the first place.
Gary Olsen told me that if I left the Master Path, the world would turn against me.
I can assure you that the world not turned against me and that Gary has no power in this regard.
And besides what an egotistical thing to say to someone that has questions.
If Gary's ego weren't so big he probably would have just wished me well.
Gary Olsen is just a man. He cannot deliver anything.
He cannot take your karma or turn the world against you.
He cannot make you feel love in your heart.
He can neither take you home to God, nor prevent you from finding a path to God within yourself.
He is just a man, an ordinary, arrogant man who has deluded himself and others into believing that he has some kind of power that he does not.
"A Pseudo Guru"
By a concerned observer
My friend has been with the Master Path for several years and has taken three initiations graduating to various degrees within the group. My friend seems to buy a lot of tapes and literature from the organization.
My first "red flag" about the Master Path was when my friend said, I could not view group video tapes because I had not gone through an initiation. Members of the group apparently take an oath about this and/or are directed by Gary Olsen not to share such information. But I feel that such teachings should not be subject to secrecy.
I have attended a Master Path meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I went with an open mind, and had not heard anything derogatory about the group beforehand. But I quickly realized that Gary Olsen's organization is a cult by his own definition: "If you know Gargi [the inner master] you know me; if you know me you know Gargi."
I have studied many religions, and with Master Path, I found the message different but the tactics the same:
1. "Master Path is the only true path".
2. Lambasting of all other religions.
3. Attempt to shame people into paying the $25.00 for a monthly membership fee (with no mention of any free membership to those that really can't afford it).
Additionally, I found it quite interesting how Gary Olsen isolated himself from the 600 in attendance:
1. First appeared on stage, but later at other meetings only when people were meditating.
2. Never mingled with his followers at the hotel. Instead, he entered and left through a well guarded side entrance.
3. Gave followers his blessings from a "Darsha" line (reception line of sorts), while surrounded by male guards.
After passing through the Darsha line with my friend, we stopped approximately fifteen feet beyond where Gary Olsen was sitting--behind a strategically placed curtain. You could only see him once you were behind the curtain. We wanted to watch someone receive his blessings regarding their first meeting. But Gary's guards would not allow us to watch, even from a distance. What could possibly be happening that we weren't supposed to see?
Personally meeting Gary Olsen., I found him to be charismatic, while exuding warmth and compassion. And thus I can see why some people without a skeptical nature such as mine, could follow such a pseudo guru.
I read the articles on your Web site, but they are now eleven years old. The article titled "Parents Show Love, Courage," states, "If Master Path is legitimate, it should survive criticism and deprogrammers. But if it's the fraud some say it is, it will wither in the sometimes harsh light of public scrutiny." Master Path is still flourishing, but maybe it's time hasn't yet passed.
Note: The Master Path has not generated much media interest since its demise in North Dakota. Gary Olsen "wither[ed] away in Fargo because he could not survive either "criticism" or "deprogrammers." He then packed up and started over somewhere else. Mr. Olsen seems to be "flourishing" now largely within an environment of ignorance (i.e. people don't know his history). He has been exposed as a "fraud" ( e.g. Gary Olsen essentially plagiarized his teachings/material from the writings of Paul Twitchell the founder of Eckankar--another group, which has been called a "cult").