Originally Posted by Gem
... but there are problems which are all too common, and there is a lot of fakery, scammery and corruption going on out there.
This is true, but even a fake or corrupt guru can teach valuable lessons.
Maybe their followers hand over large sums of money and end up disillusioned - there is a valuable lesson.
Maybe their followers lack the discrimination and discernment to question the guru's words and behaviour, blindly obeying the guru and ending up disappointed - there is another valuable lesson.
If such a fake guru attracts followers then that fake guru is fulfilling some kind of need in those followers. Gurus get the followers they deserve, followers get the gurus they deserve.
Years ago I read about an Indian teacher (I forget which one) who was asked what he thought of gurus who were all outward show without inner substance. This teacher responded that they served a purpose, attracting the more superficial seeker and leaving the genuine teachers to work with more genuine seekers.
Postscript. I am reminded of a documentary I saw about an Indian fellow in America, born and brought up in New Jersey, who (as an experiment) set himself up as a guru from India, gave himself some fancy name and began teaching, filming the results. He made up various meditations and spiritual practices, stating that these were ancient practices handed down over the centuries. He attracted followers who attended his workshops and courses, and some of them gained great benefits from what he taught. Eventually his conscience got the better of him and he confessed all at a group meeting. Naturally some were upset, others were angry, but some were still exceedingly grateful to him for all the help he had given them. Interesting.