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Is Oprah Teaching Subud?

Is Oprah Teaching Subud? May 9, 2015

Author, senior editor of Charisma News, and director of Awakening House of Prayer, Jennifer LeClaire describes Oprah’s recent advocacy of “spirituality” and prayer as deceptive. Many have questioned if Oprah is a Muslim who practices Subud because of her comments.

At a recent Stanford University lecture “on a meaningful life,” Oprah’s interfaith message emphasized rhythm and vibration, and “inner transformation” rooted in an experienced-based belief. Many of which are hallmarks of Subud, a self-described interfaith movement of which its founder, leaders and members, are largely Muslim. Its practice is also comparable to the Persian Sufi practice of 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.

The shahada affirms, “There is but one God, Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger.”

The “inner contact” to which Oprah referred 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 reportedly supported by Susila foundations.

Likewise, Oprah’s friend, former president Barack Obama, was well familiar with Subud. His mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, reportedly practiced it. It’s uncertain whether Obama practiced Subud, however the The American Thinker reports that Obama’s last name was once “Soebarkah,” according to alleged copies of his mother’s 1965 passport documents. Dunham’s friend, and fellow Subud member, Loretta Fuddy, the American Thinker reports, 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 the lead proponents of the U.N. Agenda 21) also financially support Subud organizations. Some examples include a Subud foundation in Indonesia and numerous “religious and educational” centers in Colorado, including the Crestone/Baca community. It 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? Wouldn’t Stanford University students be educated enough to recognize them for what they are?


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