Is Oprah Teaching Subud?

Integral Yantra

Author, senior editor of Charisma News, and director of Awakening House of Prayer, Jennifer LeClaire rightly identifies Oprah’s recent advocacy of “spirituality” and prayer as deceptive. During Oprah’s recent Stanford University lecture “on a meaningful life,” LeClaire differentiates between prayer within a biblical perspective and something else that incorporates “New Age meditation exercises.”

Interestingly, and quite deceptively, Oprah’s all inclusive, interfaith message emphasizing rhythm and vibration, and “inner transformation” rooted in an experienced-based belief are hallmarks of Subud, a self-described interfaith movement of which its founder, leaders and members are largely Muslim. Its practice is similar to the Persian Sufi practice called zikr or dhikr.

Subud, an acronym derived from the Sanskrit, Susila Budhi Dharma, is the Indonesian form of the Arabic word subh, meaning “morning” and also refers to the Islamic pre-dawn prayer. The principles of “right living” (Susila) as “one’s highest self” (Budhi), is rooted in a “path of surrender” (Dharma) to Allah.

 

When Oprah instructed approximately 1,000 students to “… put your thumb to your middle finger and gather your other fingers around, and let’s feel the vibration and pulse of your personal energy as you take three deep breaths with me,” she was gesturing the shahada.

Barack Obama gestures the Shahada to delegates of the US-African Leaders Conference, Washington, D.C., August 2014. Courtesy of the Associated Press.

Barack Obama gestures the Shahada to delegates of the US-African Leaders Conference, Washington, D.C., August 2014. Courtesy of the Associated Press.

Well-known to all Muslims, signaling the shahada affirms “There is but one God, Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.” (Some might remember when Barack Obama publicly gestured the shahada to African diplomats in 2014.)

The “inner contact” to which Oprah refered is one aspect of the latihan kejiwaan, a practice taught by Subud founder Muhammad Subuh Sumohadiwidjojo. He described the latihan as spontaneous “inner teaching,” during which he claimed  “a primordial Power hidden within human beings and all creatures,” appears coming from “the spirit of God.”

Many of the African schools Oprah financially supports are part of an international SUBUD network supported by Susila foundations.

subud

Likewise, Oprah’s friend, Barack Obama, was well familiar with Subud; his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, practiced it. It’s uncertain whether Obama practiced Subud, however the The American Thinker reported Obama’s last name was once “Soebarkah” evidenced in his mother’s 1965 passport documents. Dunham’s friend and fellow Subud member Loretta Fuddy, the American Thinker also reported, was Subud USA’s chairwoman and the Hawaiian state health director who released Obama’s alleged long-form birth certificate.

Obama’s billionaire friends George Soros and Maurice Strong (one of Agenda 21’s lead proponents) also financially support Subud organizations. Some of many examples include a Subud Foundation in Indonesia and numerous “religious and educational” centers in Colorado. The Crestone/Baca community claims it is “the largest intentional interfaith ecumenical community in North America.”

The question for Oprah is, why not simply name the “spiritual” practice she advocates by its actual name? Why not be straightforward about obvious Subud, Islamic, and Sufi practices? Certainly Stanford University students must be educated enough to recognize them.

If not, it appears that they sadly are like too many Americans easily fooled and/or unwilling to recognize deception hiding in plain sight.

May 9, 2015