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James Randi Educational Foundation

An Encyclopedia of Claims, Frauds, and Hoaxes of the Occult and Supernatural

Introduction | "R" Reading | Curse of the Pharaoh | End-of-the-World Prophecies

Index | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | Y | Z

Subuh, Pak Muhammad (1901-1983?) An Indonesian monk who began a movement called Subud (a contraction of three mystical Sanskrit words: sushila, budhi, and dharma) in which a mystical phenomenon known as “latihan” was said to come to followers who studied under an appropriately trained disciple. The latihan occurred after a few moments, days, months, or even years of study.
      In the late 1950s, U.K. mathematician/author J. G. Bennett, a devotee of Gurdjieff——who had just died——came under the influence of Pak Subuh, brought him to England, and financed his career, believing him to be the New Messiah. Movie actress Eva Bartok, recovering from personal tragedies, joined the movement in 1957 and brought with her a covey of admirers and sycophants. Two years later, the guru was so popular that a congress at Coombe Springs (near Salisbury) attracted more than four hundred delegates from forty countries.
      By 1960, interest in the cult had faded, Pak Subuh moved back to Indonesia and J. G. Bennett left the group and became a convert to Roman Catholicism.



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