He can tell you the transcendental secrets of the “Art of Living,” but he can’t tell the difference between satire and real life.
Hindu guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who describes himself as a “humanitarian leader, a spiritual teacher, and an ambassador of peace,” tweeted a link to an article from WorldNewsDailyReport.com on Wednesday morning with the headline “German Scientists Prove There is Life After Death.”
What a truly groundbreaking discovery! If only it were true.
Unbeknownst to Mr. Shankar, WorldNewsDailyReport.com is a satire website.
Our dear spiritual teacher may have a degree in Vedic literature, which he eagerly plunges into in search of divine truths about life and death, but he simply could not be bothered to actually read an article on the scientific proof of life after death or even the disclaimer of the website which published this article.
Besides the site’s disclaimer clearly stating that “all news articles contained within worldnewsdailyreport.com are fiction, and presumably fake news,” the actual content of the article was ridiculous enough to be recognized as nonsense by anyone who’s taken some basic science courses, especially someone who claims, like Mr. Shankar, to have a degree in physics.
Mr. Shankar, who is well-known in India and around the world for peddling a popular brand of peace-love-and-meditation pop-spirituality, obviously wanted to believe whatever seemed to corroborate his beliefs more than he wanted to know what was real. And he wants his followers to believe in life after death more than he wants them to know the truth.
The article’s mention of the use of “a complex mixture of drugs including epinephrine and dimethyltryptamine, destined to allow the body to survive the state of clinical death and the reanimation process without damage” should have been a clue that the piece was fake, especially to those experienced with drugs.
Epinephrine is just adrenaline, and dimethyltryptamine (aka DMT) is a powerful yet mostly harmless psychoactive drug (made famous by psychedelic enthusiast Terence McKenna). And at the moment, there isn’t any known mechanism by which these two drugs could “allow the body to survive the state of clinical death.”
That’s all of little importance to Mr. Shanker though.
As of the writing of this post, his tweet linking to this satirical article has been re-tweeted 200 times, presumably by his equally credulous followers and fans. And that’s just great for a guru like Ravi Shankar.
After all, he, like all so-called holy men, needs people to believe in another life, the next life. With that, he can then tell them what to do in this life (and also get paid for it).
A few hours after Mr. Shankar tweeted the link to the satirical news article, he then tweeted this:
Rather than openly admit his mistake and attempt to correct it, Mr. Shankar instead chooses to make quips to mask the fact that his ignorance and credulity has led to the propagation of even more ignorance and credulity. Rather than telling all those people who re-tweeted that fake article that life-after-death had, in fact, not been proven scientifically, Mr. Shankar would rather spout sophisms in a lame attempt to obscure the plain fact that he had been fooled into mistaking absurd parody for actual reality.
But all this is business-as-usual for a holy man! To believe otherwise is so absurd that even Ravi Shankar wouldn’t re-tweet it.