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Sexual assault allegations in opposition to Yogi Bhajan, initially known as Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji – the person who introduced Kundalini Yoga to the West – are probably true. This comes from a report launched on August 13, 2020 by An Olive Branch, a company based in 2011, to reply to moral misconduct in non secular communities.

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Bhajan, a Sikh born within the Punjab area of India (now Pakistan) in 1929, moved to the United States in late 1968, the place he later constructed an empire of a number of firms and nonprofits value billions of {dollars} on the time Year 2004.

The report was commissioned by the Siri Singh Sahib Corporation (SSSC), an umbrella group that oversees all for-profit and non-profit holdings of Bhajan's property – together with the Happy, Healthy, Holy Organization (3HO), which disseminates Kundalini Yoga data from Yogi Bhajan taught worldwide; the Kundalini Research Institute (KRI); Sikh Dharma International, which disseminates the teachings of the Sikh Gurus; Yogi tea; Akal safety; and lots of extra. SSSC introduced that it’s going to open an impartial investigation into the allegations on March 9, 2020 and rent An Olive Branch.

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The wave of allegations was sparked by a guide entitled Premka: White Bird in a Golden Cage, printed by the Guru's former secretary Pamela Dyson in late 2019, 16 years after Bhajan's demise.

The guide begins with Dyson's hospitalization in London after a botched abortion in India. She writes that she was carrying Bhajan's little one. At this level, Bhajan was married to Inderjit Kaur Uppal (they remained married for 50 years) they usually had three kids collectively. Promises of loyalty to your partner are an integral a part of the Sikh religion. In her guide, Dyson says she skilled sexual and emotional abuse, coercion, and harassment from bhajan that spanned from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s.

After the guide was printed, a number of different followers of Yogi Bhajan broke their silence on a non-public Facebook group that’s now Beyond the Cage | known as Der 3HO | Yogi Bhajan | Kundalini Yoga aftermath.

Results: Sexual and Spiritual Abuse

As talked about initially of the report and the quilt letter from SSSC, "a large part of the alleged behavior most likely occurred". The report lists statements made by nameless victims and supporters in their very own phrases.

The scope of the report focuses solely on allegations of sexual and non secular abuse (i.e. cult-like management of the non secular group by Bhajan), but in addition paperwork studies of drug smuggling, cash laundering and fraud. An Olive Branch investigators interviewed or acquired testimony from 299 "reporters": 96 of them recognized as victims or "reporters of harm", 140 denied any allegations of wrongdoing by Bhajan, and 63 gave a place or made feedback that The scope of the investigation was out of vary.

Here is a breakdown of bhajan's alleged sexual abuse listed within the report:

  • four instances of rape
  • eight instances of bodily harm throughout intercourse
  • 9 instances of undesirable contact in intimate areas
  • three instances of undesirable publicity to pornography

The report additionally describes some ways Bhajan allegedly may intimidate his followers and power them to obey his guidelines, creating an environment of worry of aggressive reprisals, together with marginalization and banishment from the group.

The victims additionally claimed that he had break up and subdivided sure factions inside his group with a view to cover his wrongdoings. "The message was 'Toe the Line' or we will destroy your character," stated Reporter 54. "She became cultic towards a spiritual organization."

You can learn your complete unedited report right here. (TRIGGER WARNING: Contains graphic descriptions of sexual violence.)

See additionally #TimesUp: Ending Sexual Abuse within the Yoga Community

What's occurring now?

At the top of the SSSC cowl letter, the group lists the steps they’re taking to beat the therapeutic course of problem. In brief, they’re:

  1. Compassionate reconciliation primarily based on the ideas of restorative justice
  2. Review of inside pointers
  3. Hire an exterior advisor to advise the Office of Ethics and Professional Standards
  4. Commitment to offering secure and protecting environments for all group members and to responding well timed and appropriately to allegations of injury sooner or later
  5. Get group suggestions on the Listening Tour boards

Many within the Kundalini Yoga group are relieved that the report discovered many allegations prone to be true. "As a woman who has spoken publicly about sexual assault, I am actually relieved that the report was made public," stated Karena Virginia, a former Kundalini yoga trainer who renamed her class due to this scandal, feeling a way of aid. "Sharing the vulnerability of sexual assault can create shame, guilt, fear of not being accepted, fear of abandonment, and feelings of deep betrayal. For some, telling the story without being heard or confirmed can be more traumatic than that Experience that has been made deep within the body. As soon as the key opens the lock the memories come back, and if it is released and not believed in a close circle or community, the need for survival can come in. We could start, especially To work hard to please others shrink or adjust or lose oneself in our need for approval and love. "

Sukhraj Gipple, a Kundalini Yoga teacher and former proprietor of a Kundalini Yoga studio in Boulder, Colorado, provides, "It is important for me to see that all people who are raped, abused, cared for, attacked, neglected and separated from their families He could not have done all these things without the protection of many people – a system that enables such abuse of people. Without a public process of restorative justice in which the people who empowered Yogi Bhajan take responsibility, I don't see how this community can be whole again. "

The olive department's account ends with the ultimate query: "In the future, can the community gather around Bhajan's own counsel: Follow the teachings. Not the teacher?"

See additionally After the Fall: The ripple impact of allegations in opposition to Bikram and Freund

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