Like another well-known yoga organization, "leaving" is an imperative once one discovers that things are no longer working successfully or that you are not receiving the individual respect or support to which you should be entitled or that Service is no longer "the jewel in the rock" of their supposed attainments.
Other cults had problems with their gurus as well as with the management but that was not the real issue with the Aetherius Society. The founder was perhaps a little too pre-occupied with his own mission to be able to prevent some of the ego problems that arose from time to time. Perhaps his authority was even usurped?
Back in the early years in London, it had already become known as "the Ray Nielsen society" after one of the members who eventually became employed as the Master's personal assistant or 'batman'. That people like that were later made bishops of the Society's church was consequently a serious error but it was never rectified.
Inevitably, though, the effects on the members of having a guru or master are extensive whether the master is a good person or not. How that is handled or appreciated by the organization's management became a problem for the Aetherius Society once the Master had entrusted things to the directors. All dissent was totally suppressed.
In some ways, the beliefs and mannerisms of the Aetherius Society have grown to become strikingly similar to Scientology, particularly with regard to their "operation Prayer Power" and some absent healing techniques. See Tom Cruise Indoctrination Video: "When you're a Scientologist, and you drive by an accident, you know you have to do something about it, because you know you're the only one who can really help... We are the way to happiness. We can bring peace and unite cultures." So much for "the study of truth...".
In comparing those situations, there is a lot to be learned by studying the Leaving Siddha Yoga website and the writings of Daniel Shaw, LCSW, a psychologist specializing in abusive cults.....
More disturbing..... was the increasing rift in the organisation as Muktananda’s health failed and his close personal control slipped away. Followers began to side either with the "ambitious and dominant" Gurumayi or her younger brother Nityananda. After Muktananda’s death elements within the organisation..... and the relentless jockeying for power by some members - ran unchecked.
"Most people were only intereseted in being part of a powerful organisation. It became blatantly corrupt. It reached the point that there was no free speech any more..... Too many people were no longer even attempting to live the teachings - which simply, were to recognize God in everyone. It had become a cult."
Dan makes no secret that he always felt more empathy with Nityananda, previously called Subhash, than with the "sharp and controlling" Gurumayi.....
See http://www.leavingsiddhayoga.net/ and go to http://www.leavingsiddhayoga.net/frames2.htm and check their articles such as:-
Leaving the Ashram; O Guru, Guru, Guru,
Agitators at the Ashram; The Emperor's Tantric Robes,
The Heart of the Secret: A Personal & Scholarly Encounter with Shakta Tantrism in Siddha Yoga, etc, etc, etc
Also see http://www.danielshawlcsw.com/ and his articles at http://www.danielshawlcsw.com/publications.html on similar issues:-
The Dark Side of Enlightenment; On the therapeutic action of analytic love;
Traumatic Abuse In Cults: A Psychoanalytic Perspective;
Psychoanalysis, Meet Spirituality: And This Time, Get It Right;
Madness and Evil: Book Review of "The Sullivanian/Fourth Wall Community, etc, etc, etc
Aya Ueto - Achieving "cut-through" in the world of illusion.....