2012 London Olympic Ministry Promotes Olympian Carl Lewis Despite Involvement with Cult Leader Sri Chinmoy

MADISON, Wisc., Nov. 9 /Christian Newswire/ — Olympic ministry Lay Witnesses for Christ announced that ten-time Olympic medalist Carl Lewis would lead the ministry’s efforts at the 2012 London Olympics. He was appointed Chairman of the Athletic Executive Committee for the London Olympics. He is also on the board of directors for Lay Witnesses, a Texas ministry.

Dr. Sam Mings, President of Lay Witnesses, says, “I know of no one individual – including the great evangelists through the years who have been seen, heard or written about regarding their faith in Jesus Christ (than Carl Lewis)!”

However, during his athletic career, Lewis was involved with cult leader Sri Chinmoy. On Chinmoy’s Website, they say Chinmoy “conducted twice-weekly peace meditations at the United Nations for more than 35 years.”

Also, the site says Chinmoy “originated the World Harmony Run — a global Olympic-style torch relay that crosses every continent — and established some 100 meditation centres worldwide.” This run is used to promote worldwide peace.

Sri Chinmoy was a promoter of the New Age Movement with leanings toward Hinduism, which promotes pantheism, yoga, and other false teachings.

On the Sri Chinmoy Website, Carl Lewis is renamed “Carl Sudhahota Lewis.” Lewis had this to say about the deceased Chinmoy, “though he has passed on physically, I know I have not lost my coach spiritually…”

With other Olympians, Lewis recently honored Chinmoy at the Sri Chinmoy-Heart Garden run in New York City where 350 runners competed.

Steve McConkey, Underground Apologetics, used to work for Lay Witnesses for Christ from 1983 through 1988. At that time, he worked with track and field athletes. Lewis was with the ministry during that time.

McConkey says, “Carl is a fine athlete and we are grateful to Lay Witnesses for our time there, however, as a Christian apologetic ministry, we need to speak up. It is nothing personal. Since they are promoting this publicly, we need to warn people publicly. We hope they correct this problem before the 2012 Olympics.”

Steve McConkey is the President/Founder of 4 WINDS, a ministry which operates 4TrackandField.us and UndergroundNews.us. Most viewers of UndergroundNews.us, the voice of Underground Apologetics, are now non-athletes. Underground Apologetics is the first apologetics ministry offered by a sports ministry. In 2008, 4 WINDS put Olympic athlete testimonies into the Chinese underground church, estimated to be 100 million people. The four athletes whose testimonies were distributed won 3 golds and 2 silvers.

– Source / Full Story: 2012 London Olympic Ministry Promotes Olympian Carl Lewis Despite Involvement with Cult Leader Sri Chinmoy, Underground Apologetics, Nov. 9, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Former Sri Chinmoy follower details the cult leader’s abusive behavior

Under The Thumb Of Cult Leader Sri Chinmoy

When Jayanti Tamm was born, cult leader Sri Chinmoy declared her the “Chosen One,” a miracle child he had selected to be his most devoted follower. But Tamm eventually broke free from the cult, and has now written a book that details the abuses of the late Chinmoy.

… In her fascinating new memoir, Cartwheels in A Sari, Jayanti Tamm describes growing up in a cult within mainstream America–and how she eventually managed to break free.

With a succinct and earnest writing style, Tamm delivers a coming-of-age story overflowing with heartbreaking and hilarious moments.

Read his 2007 New York Times obituary, and Sri Chinmoy comes across as a kind-hearted spiritual leader who championed world peace through his art, music and athleticism. His meditation center’s Web site likens him to Jesus Christ, Buddha and Krishna.
[…]

Tamm, on the other hand, depicts a charlatan who masqueraded as a god and convinced hundreds of thousands to worship him.
[…]

Consuming alcohol, caffeine and meat; dancing; sex and dating; socializing with outsiders; and owning pets were prohibited.

But the guru contradicted himself and made hypocritical decisions.
[…]

Tamm’s memoir is the first book to document Chinmoy’s life and expose the insular existence his followers adopted.
[…]

– Source / Full Story: Under The Thumb Of Cult Leader Sri Chinmoy, Krystle M. Davis, Forbes, Apr. 14, 2009 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Tamm’s parents met in the Manhattan apartment of the guru Sri Chinmoy and quickly married each other at his insistence; when they violated his commandment not to have sex with each other, however, he regrouped by declaring that their daughter, Tamm, would become his greatest disciple.

The cult leader was a skilled manipulator, and Tamm’s descriptions of her internalization of his predation, constantly blaming herself for not feeling worshipful enough, are wrenching. The outward pressures were equally difficult: she was forbidden a college education and sent abroad when she was caught violating the cultwide ban on dating—and the first time she was banished from the group, she begged for readmittance.

Tamm, now in her late 30s and a professor at Ocean County College in New Jersey, is unsparing in her account of the psychological damage Sri Chinmoy inflicted on her and her family, from her parent’s loveless marriage to her half-brother’s gleeful acceptance of the role of the guru’s enforcer.

She reveals the difficulties in shaking off the guru’s influence—under which she had spent literally her entire life before her final expulsion—and though readers might wish to hear more about how she eventually regained her identity, the harrowing details of her story create a sense of emotional devastation that will linger.

– Source / Full Story: Cartwheels in a Sari: A Memoir of Growing Up Cult, Publishers Weekly as posted at Amazon.com