Abusive Guru - an abusive guru or abusive spiritual master is always (always!) a false guru or master, never a genuinely enlightened teacher. This is because one of the signs of a true guru is that they never justify their abusive behaviour in terms of "breaking down the ego". Abusive gurus are almost always highly charismatic narcissistic, emotionally immature and parasitic sociopaths with a tendency to sadomasochistic co-dependency with their disciples and devotees. Many are inspired by (and stuck in) the intermediate zone, and hence are deluded enough to genuinely believe their own claims. Some may be puppeted by adverse entities. Abusive gurus are highly dangerous individuals who destroy the lives of many of their devotees. However it is also the case that some devotees are not harmed by, and even benefit from, their relation with their abusive guru. This is due to the highly ambiguous nature of the intermediate zone. The organization of an abusive guru is called a cult.
"Real Masters never charge for their services, nor do they accept payment in any form or any sort of material benefits for their instructions. This is a universal law among Masters, and yet it is an amazing fact that thousands of eager seekers in America and elsewhere, go on paying large sums of money for "spiritual instruction.". Masters are always self-sustaining. They are never supported by their students or by public charity." --Julian P. Johnson, The Path of the Masters (original url)
The Abusive Guru is an all too common phenomenon in the "spiritual supermarket". Abusive gurus are almost always highly charismatic, emotionally immature and parasitic sociopaths suffering from Narcissistic personality disorder, and having a tendency to sadomasochistic co-dependency with their disciples and devotees. They justify their abusive treatment by in terms of pseudo-spiritual psychobbabble like "crazy wisdom" and "breaking down the ego".
Many abusive gurus with genuine experiences and powers actually derive those experiences and powers from the intermediate zone where they trapped. For the same reason, they genuinely believe their own claims, and may even think they are helping people.
Abusive gurus always behave in a cultic fashion, and their followers (many of which may suffer from excessive naivity or low self-esteem) tend to have an uncritical attitude of rationalisation towards the ill-treatemnet handed out at them.
All abusive gurus are also False Gurus, although the inverse is not necessarily the case (e.g. you can still have a false guru who is not abusive to their devotees). In other words, no True Guru is ever abusive, ever. There is no exception to this rule, because abusiveness is a result of narcissism and ego, nothing else, and the primary definition of a true guru is they no longer possess ego. Thus any (and I mean any!) abusive behavior of the sort described here immediately and absolutely defines that so-called teacher or so-called master as false.
Summing up, it is suggested that abusive gurus can be recognized by at least several of the following characteristics:
Sexually abusive behaviour
Demanding or requesting large "donations" (to fund an unnecessarily opulent or wealthy lifestyle)
Acting or teaching one way in public and another in private (e.g. celibate gurus justifying sex with female disciples as "Tantric Initiation")
Using insulting words or other abusive behaviour to "break down your ego".
Physical abuse, usually by telling devotees to assault other devotees
Taking advantage of the disciples trust; controlling or forcing them to do something they don't want to
Emotionally sadistic (and in extreme cases physically sadistic)
Vindictive attitude towards ex-devotees
Responding to critics with anger, bitterness, hatred, or mockery rather than love