Amrit Desai

Original founder of Kripalu Centre Amrit, married, confessed to three affairs in 1994 and was forced to resign as spiritual director of his own ashram. While Amrit’s website makes no mention of the affairs or his expulsion from Kripalu, it does says that: In 2000, after a period of personal reflection and sadhana, Gurudev founded the Amrit Yoga Institute, first located Sumneytown, Pennsylvania and then moved to its current location in Salt Springs, Florida. Kripalu survived the falling of it’s guru and founder, and restructured its organization to be led by a professional management team, including people who had long been ashram residents. It has thereby became; “The first traditional yoga ashram founded on the guru-disciple model to transition to a new paradigm of spiritual education.” However, their website makes no mention of the scandal that almost destroyed them, summing it up in just one innocuous sentence. In 1994 Yogi Desai…

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Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho)

It’s alleged he was involved in, or aware of, everything from tax evasion, immigration fraud, prostitution, drug-running, drug use, and he worked his followers to the bone. In India, he was known as the ‘sex guru’, and in the States as the ‘rolls-royce guru’, owning more than 90 at one time. It’s clear that all selves are manifestations of just ONE REALITY, ONE SELF, ONE AWARENESS. Some of these selves or persons beautifully display a garden radiant with wholesome virtues…. While other selves, through some kind of Divine whimsy, display lovely flowers mixed in with lots of weeds! Yet everyone is, at heart, quite innocent, utterly Divine. What an amazing dream, this wild, wacky, woeful yet wonderful life…. In the late 1980s, India’s so-called “Bhagwan” or “Blessed One” Rajneesh (née Rajneesh Mohan Chandra Jain, 1931-1990), back once again at his old ashram in Poona, India, tried to make himself and…

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Swami Satchidananda

Swami Satchidananda made it big in the USA in the lates 1960s when he was flown in by helicopter to be the opening speaker at Woodstock Music Festival. He went on to found the Yogaville ashram in Virginia and Integral Yoga institutes across the country and, with thousands of devotees, including Lauren Hutton and Carol King, was somewhat of a ‘Yoga superstar’. But by 1991, the situation had changed: Protesters waving placards (“Stop the Abuse,” “End the Cover Up”) marched outside a Virginia hotel where he was addressing a symposium. “How can you call yourself a spiritual instructor,” a former devotee shouted from the audience, “when you have molested me and other women?” New York Times Satchinanda always denied the accusations against him of sexual misdemeanors, but many of his followers are reported to have left his ashrams and institutes after at least nine women claimed he had sexually abused them….

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Spotting a Yoga Predator

Why is this such a big problem in the land of awareness? We assume that people, in particular yoga teachers, are somehow different than the rest of the population; conscientious, open and honest, and perhaps infallible because they “practice” yoga. But people are people no matter where you find them, with all the foibles, beauties and deceits that come with being human. I’m surprised when an intelligent individual intones “but s/he teaches yoga . . . ” as if being a yoga teacher and being a predator are mutually exclusive endeavors. They may be in your head, but not in a predator’s, and the understandable tendency to think everyone is “just like me” makes you a potential target for predatory mischief. There are hundreds of examples of such people teaching Yoga in daily life in every country. An example that comes to mind is Tony Vedanta Wilmot (a Yoga teacher…

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Predator Spiritual Behaviour

Specifically one who is dressed in the garb of a guru, religious leader, or activist. It surprises me not an iota that a sexual predator would become a prominent new-age guru. The guru-student relationship is fertile land for sexual misbehavior to flourish in. There are too many guru sexual predators to list. They’re not just gurus. There are also mystics, sensitive new age guys, extremely “spiritual” people who are actually lowlifes, and activists/idealists who are in it for the booty. There are certain things they do; certain men they are. Look out for: The Spiritual Man Who Thinks You’re Special: You are a light in the darkness to him. He is your teacher, and he sees so much brilliance and potential in you. You are what he needs, and he is what you need – spiritually, of course. Or he wants to personally help you. You, more than anyone, are worth his precious spiritual energy…

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