Nick Nolte beats alcoholism with the help of Hare Krishna cult

Nick Nolte’s girlfriend introduced him to a strange way to stop drinking. She invited her Hare Krishna friends over to their house and they started having drum circles and chanting. The four principles of the Hindu Hare Krishna movement are strict vegetarianism with no meat, fish or eggs, no sex for non-procreation purposes, no gambling and no intoxication which includes alcohol, caffeine and tobacco. Nolte, 67, was photographed passed out drunk on the floor of an airport in Hawaii last July, and has had a lifelong battle with alcoholism. The Hare Krishna’s have come to his rescue though, and he’s found that their chanting relaxes him and helps him stay away from booze:

Nick’s live-in girlfriend, Clytie, 39, introduced the star to the Hare Krishna group, hoping they could help him beat the bottle, confide soruces. “As strange as it may sound, the religious cult seems to have done the trick,” revealed the pal.

“The Hare Krishnas come to Nick’s Malibu property at night, hold drum circles and chant for him.

“Nick always joins in, and it makes him feel better. It relaxes him.

“Since the Krishnas came into his life, he’s completely lost his desire to drink.”

[From The National Enquirer, print edition, May 12, 2008]

The Hare Krishnas, or International Society for Krishna Consciousness, are one of the most controversial cults in the world. They were exposed in huge scandals in the 1980s when it came out that children were being sexually and physically abused in their boarding schools. They’ve been accused of brainwashing young converts and turning them against their families and loved ones, forcing them to live in abject poverty as slaves to the movement.

Good for Nolte for being able to quit drinking. The Hare Krishnas are dangerous, though, and have been involved in murder and abuse scandals that rival even the more hardcore cults. You wonder how much it’s going to cost Nolte in the long run if he gets involved with a cult.

Nolte’s girlfriend Clytie Lane was once his Pilate’s teacher and they now have a seven month-old baby daughter together.

Update: A lot of people from different sources are vouching for the Krishnas and are saying it’s not fair to judge them based on the rampant child abuse at their boarding schools in the 70s and 80s. A similar child abuse scandal happened within the Catholic Church and it is fair criticism to say that I am biased in this article. The ISCON organization has arguably changed considerably since then and is willing to discuss their past issues with cult experts as well as change their practices.

Here is a discussion thread I found which I think helps explain my original position on this issue. I would still be reluctant to get involved with a group with this type of history.

Nick Nolte is shown on 1/31/08 at the premiere of “The Spiderwick Chronicles” thanks to PRPhotos.

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20 Responses to “Nick Nolte beats alcoholism with the help of Hare Krishna cult”

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  1. Mairead says:

    Yay for Nick Nolte!

    But I am shocked to hear that the Hare Krishna had been accused of such things (perhaps it just wasn’t covered in Irish media, as I would have been quite aware of news events when I was a kid).

    I’ve not heard anything about the standard separation tactics from those who have friends in the group. One thing I will say is that of all the cults that I’ve had dealings with in the past, they’re the only ones who haven’t tried the hard sell on me. When one couple opened a franchise of a Krishna restaurant near where I lived in the 90s, I used to spend loads of time there.

    They’d let us know about their fun music events, but if we didn’t turn up there was never any offence taken. Which was in sharp contrast with another very prevalent brainwashy cult going around at the time.

  2. gg says:

    Clytie? Oh, what an unfortunate name his girlfriend has …

  3. Ashley says:

    No sex?!?!?

    No wonder he had to have a kid with that chick, it was the only way he was going to get laid.

  4. purely decorative says:

    Yes there was a scandal within the Krishna movement in the 80’s, but it was isolated and delt with. Just like boarding schools or any other organization,(boy scouts, play grounds) that caters to children adults must be vigilant because they attract child molesters. There were problems when the teachings first came to the west, but 1/2 the pop of India practice this faith and you do not hear of such troubles.
    Also the Hare Krishna movement is not derived from Hinduism. It’s writings go back far earlier than the Hindu religion. In fact, it’s teachings are the oldest on the planet and they were not influenced by sexist men, (Muslim, Catholic etc.) or others in power who wished to manipulate the text in order to control the people. Men and women are considered equal.
    People are not required to give there belongings to the temple and they will not try to drag you into the fold but they will happily accept you if you are interested in learning about it.
    They do not ask for donations at any service but will offer you blessed food freely.
    The above description sounds like what most people, who know nothing of the group, say when describing it. My intent is not to offend, just to offer a little incite.

  5. xiaoecho says:

    Whatever it takes!!

    gg………. 😆 😆 😆

  6. Kat says:

    I have been involved for over twelve years with Hare Krishna and it is not a dangerous cult.
    You do not have to live in poverty – you can work a regular job, be a doctor, lawyer, teacher, actor, anything, or be a monk and live in a temple – either way is ok, whatever suits you best.

    The point is to know that materialistic things cannot make us, who are spiritual beings, happy. but anything and everything can be used for a higher spiritual purpose.

    The chant Hare Krishna is a spiritual sound vibration and a call to God – God has many names in many languages and Krishna means the most beautiful all attractive person – which refers to God. Hare means God’s energy.

    Anyone can chant Hare Krishna, and the result is an awakening of the soul. The soul longs for God, but when we forget Him, we long for other things – alchohol, sex, nice fancy car, etc. etc. When the soul connects with God through the chanting, we feel satisfied and at peace, and then other cravings naturally fade away.

    I also teach the chanting to people who suffer from anxiety, depression, etc. and they say the same – it helps them feel at peace and anxiety lessens when chanting.

    Try it!
    Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
    Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

  7. OldSeeker says:

    I personally don’t hold the Hare Krishna movement or philosophy in high esteem, but if it helps him, it helps him. I use a mantra daily myself, not for what it can “do” for me, but in order to “stay connected.”

  8. Craig says:

    Dear Nick Nolte…If you travel on 101 to Sunset Blvd; Turn East, up the hill you will find Lake Shrine. This is an incredibly peace giving lake and property owned by Self Realization Fellowship, founded by Paramahansa Yogananda. Now that you are exploring the wonders of meditation and chanting, I think you be surprised to find you live so close to a place where you can learn to experience and celebrate a part of you that has been calling you for a long time. I hope you will continue to seek through meditation and chanting the answers to all of your challenges. Om Peace Amen

  9. Vasu Murti says:

    Since its arrival in the West in the 1960s, the Hare Krishna movement has received numerous commendations for getting young people off drugs. “The combination of our medical care, and the spiritual care from the Hare Krishna philosophy, has resulted in a very powerful tool indeed for the treatment of drug addiction and for this we are very grateful,” wrote Fraser McDonald, Medical Superintendent of the Parnell Drug Clinic, in Auckland, New Zealand.

    Similarly, Addictions magazine, the magazine of the Washington, D.C. Area Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, Inc., reported that “Krishna Consciousness is 100% successful in stopping drug use among those who voluntarily enter the program.” New Orleans welfare director Morris Jeff said, “You have done good work in establishing a workable alternative to the problem of drug addiction and alienation.”

    Dr. Gertrude Speiss, a national senator and former mayor of Basel, Switzerland concurs: “The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is very much engaged in the fight against drugs and assists those who have been harmed by drug use. I, therefore, wish this society all the best.”

    As for the “cult” accusations, I would have expected better journalism from Celebitchy! Religious freedom does not exist in America. New converts to minority religions in this country are routinely abducted and forcibly converted back to mainstream society.

    The attempt to dissuade persons forcibly to abandon their chosen faith is as old as religion itself. The closest thing to contemporary deprogramming occurred in the 13th century when both Thomas Aquinas and Francis of Assisi were abducted by family members in order to discourage their new ascetic lives.

    “Some deprogrammers have gladly deprogrammed people in the Episcopal and Catholic churches, depending on the preferences of those who wanted them deprogrammed,” says Dr. Harvey Cox, a liberal Protestant theologian at the Harvard Divinity School. “As far as I can see, deprogrammers are simply hired guns. They will deprogram anybody you pay them to deprogram.”

    Religious scholar Dr. Thomas J. Hopkins similarly observes:

    “Tensions between new or alternative religious movements and the societies in which they exist is nothing new in history. The early Christians had the same kind of problems…They were viewed by the society of their day as breaking up families–luring children away from their families, and husbands from their wives–taking people away from educational and career situations, keeping people from going to war, and generally undermining the stability of society…

    “The accusations, the criticisms and the claims that were made against the early Christians…sound virtually identical to the charges and accusations that are now made against unpopular new movements. The parallelism is almost uncanny.”

    Today’s “cult” is tomorrow’s religion. Freedom loving Americans everywhere should oppose “deprogramming.”

  10. Manjul says:

    Its great to hear that the Hare Krishna’s have helped Nick Nolte but I do not agree with the discription and the statements made about them. The write needs to check their sources and be more unbiased.
    CHant HAre Krishna!

  11. Jag says:

    In the 1970s and early 1980s the Krishnas lived outside the law and naturally got in trouble. When big scandals broke in 1986 they cleaned up their act and now are good citizens. Give credit where it’s due.

  12. Clare says:

    I was involved with the Hare Krishnas for 10 years until I finally escaped last year and you were right to say they are dangerous. they are expert at putting forward good arguments, but in my experience, it is just yet another group of people, brainwashed into doing exactly what their leaders say and tryin to cover up all manners of abuse. I was abused in the Hare Krishnas and noone within helped me because they are all so scared of going to hell or upsetting their Gurus. It was the same with the child abuse. Many knew, noone did anything.

  13. Clare says:

    The HKs will never admit the wrong within their own walls, because like fanantics who are taught they will go to paradise if they do this and that heinous act beyond a rational persons capabilities, the HKs are also taught that so long as they never speak a word against their group and so long as they are “good devotees” they all believe they will be going to a paradise they call Goloka. So they sweep abuse and obvious nonsense under the carpet and, by the way, Hare Krishnas also believe anyone who is not in the HKs, is scum of the earth and within their own walls, call them karmis and spit on them. This is why many in HKs separate from their families and stuff, because they ae taught that their families and old ties are dangerous to their prospects of going to Goloka.

    There is a very good article on Wikipedia about something called “Groupthink”, which describes exactly how people get sucked into the Hare Krishnas and are able to continue to rationalise what they say and do.

  14. Middle Finger Salute to ALL CULTS says:

    purely decorative,
    if you’d paid more attention in school, and learned to spell, you’d have been far better off.
    all cults can suck it!

  15. Namo says:

    To all the nay-sayers here:Yes, there were scandals…just like the Catholic Church, Enron,Bill Clinton’s oval office…It’s over with.I’ve been with the HK movement for 13 yrs now, no one ever tried to brainwash me or force me to give money.It’s 2008! Get your heads out of the past. Quit persecuting a real religious cult..yes, cult! Cult wasn’t a derogatory term previous to the 1960s!!

  16. Reality check says:

    Alcohol addiction is mush worse and kills more people than the Krishna cult. Good for Nolti… and his girlfriend. Teach your children well.

  17. Whatever says:

    The author of this piece obviously does not know ANYTHING about the Hare Krishna movement. Prime journalism there? Anyways, Christianity, Islam, and yes even Judiasm is a cult. Look up the word in the dictionary.

    I wish “journalists” would get the facts stright before spouting off at the mouth.

    That’s one of the reasons this country is in the state it is in….irresponsible news reporting.

  18. headache says:

    Whatever, this is a celeb blog, not a news site. Pull the stick out of your behind and go visit or if you want news.

  19. alex says:

    Vasu, you would have expected better journalism from an outfit called Celebitchy ? the name alone defies anyone to take seriously its writing, let alone its non-existent fact-finding or news-gathering capabilities and objective reporting …i would expect sub-par, semi-literate, unscrupulously gossipy misinformation and sensationalism…basically trashy and badly written fiction…

  20. Kat says:

    Dear Clare,
    If you were with the Krishnas for ten years, I would think you would have read prabhupada’s books in depth and gotten some truth from there.

    No matter what people did that was wrong which I believe you you were abused, Goloka does exist – Krishna does exist, and we are spiritual beings in this material world covered by external coverings.

    Due to these coverings, some spiritaulists may not be so pure and may hurt otheres in the name of spirituality but that does not mean they all do, and it does not mean that the philosophy is wrong, just that some people misused it.

    So I beg you to at least find some beauty and truth in the books of srila Prabhupada – take the good and leave behind the bad

    hare krishna