Contained in the doubtful world of a cult that has turned a 550-year-old faith right into a commodity

Inside the dubious world of a cult that has turned a 550-year-old religion into a commodity

He owned costly gems, an opulent array of bijou, a fleet of luxurious automobiles like Rolls-Royces and Mercedes, a 20+ acre ranch in New Mexico, and one other 120 acres close by within the excessive desert. He beloved procuring in Beverly Hills and eating at La Scala when he was in LA! Such was the lifetime of Indian-born Harbhajan Singh Puri, aka Yogi Bhajan.

Who was Yogi Bhajan and what was he doing?

Bhajan was thought to be a non secular chief and entrepreneur who promoted his delivery faith – Sikhism – as a whiteness-centered asset and based 3HO, the Pleased Wholesome Holy Group, in 1969. He’s in all probability greatest referred to as a guru who introduced Kundalini Yoga to the West and fashioned a worldwide group of 3HO ashrams.

Yogi Bhajan grew to become so well-known that he met the likes of Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama and the Prime Minister of India on the time, Indira Gandhi. Yogi Bhajan settled in California and New Mexico and ran an ashram in India that educated the youngsters of his followers from america.

Yoga Westla/Instagram

A charismatic chief, Bhajan was liable for numerous guidelines that needed to be adopted by his disciples. Full members wore turbans and all white clothes (though members name themselves Sikhs, the group bears little resemblance to Sikhism).First, Sikhs will not be vegetarians, their faith doesn’t embody yoga, they don’t worship dwelling gurus.

They needed to apply a number of hours of yoga and meditation a day. In addition they took a vow of celibacy till they had been married, and had been finally given a non secular title. Most have additionally entered into marriages organized by Bhajan himself.

Like that way of life and what an argument

However how did she engineer such a lavish way of life for him and what was so controversial about him?

Harjit Kaur (title modified for defense), daughter of a Sikh immigrant, was pregnant and determined to take a prenatal Kundalini Yoga class and “ended up paying $3,500 to attend a workshop,” stories The Juggernaut.

Bhajan mentioned he was married however single and had three kids along with his spouse, Bibi Inderjit Kaur Khalsa. Howeverfor years, rumors circulated of his sexual misconduct, particularly dealings along with his feminine workers, a sort of harem who wore all white and turbans. Ladies traveled with him, attended to his private {and professional} wants, lived as nuns with no households of their very own, as per legal professional Elizabeth Tuomey’s Arlington Authorized Weblog.

Bodily and sexual abuse

Quickly these had been now not simply rumors and several other ladies and youngsters began talking out in opposition to him, accusing him of sexual abuse and rape. ministers inside the 3HO, greater than 200 first era members listened as their kids and the youngsters of their mates recalled bodily and sexual abuse, some by Yogi Bhajan himself.


Trade of kids

In accordance with The Guardian, the second era took the emotional toll of the social experiments they endured: little one swapping, an emphasis on parental detachment that inspired moms to suppress their nurturing instincts, and being despatched to boarding faculties within the New Mexico and India, the place a merciless survival mentality prevailed, which they likened to Lord of the Flies.

Little one sexual abuse

Bhajan had organized many marriages, and now a few of the grown kids of these marriages have begun to assert they had been subjected to repeated sexual, emotional and bodily abuse at 3HO-sponsored faculties in India and New Mexico, in line with The Guardian.

In late June, one in every of them filed a civil lawsuit within the Los Angeles Superior Courtroom, claiming that the 3HO members not solely knew in regards to the Bhajans’ wrongdoings, however licensed them on a number of events.

Groped grabbed, sexually harassed

In one other lawsuit filed in June 2020, Khalsa (title modified/dropped), now 46, alleges that when she was ten years outdated, Shanti Kaur Khalsa, the present spokesperson for 3HO, took her on a $1,000 procuring journey within the try to captivate her. al Bhajan as per Legal professional Elizabeth Tuomey’s Arlington Authorized Weblog. She was subsequently repeatedly groped and sexually harassed.

Rape, psychological abuse, assaults, malnutrition resulting from pressured fasting and sleep deprivation

One other former Bhajan follower, Katherine Felt, mentioned she was repeatedly raped and was taken to the Espanola ashram by her sister on the age of 14. Her lawsuit additionally mentions an extended listing of lies and deceptions that she has needed to endure, as per a web page known as Abuse In Kundalini Yoga.

In 1986, Bhajan’s longtime private assistant Pamela Dyson filed a civil go well with in opposition to 3HO and Bhajan. Dyson’s criticism described sexual and psychological abuse, assault, malnutrition resulting from pressured fasting and sleep deprivation, reminiscent of for Juggernaut.

Pamela Dyson

The go well with alleged that Bhajan doesn’t consider in good religion that he’s serving God or a guru, however quite is devoted to serving himself by acquiring cash, skills and sexual providers from his followers. The lawsuit sought $25 million in settlements, however was settled out of court docket for much much less, in line with the Arlington Authorized Weblog.

Within the weblog, his spouse additionally particulars her sexual relationship with Bhajan, how he pressured her to abort their child, how Bhajan had intercourse with different secretaries and the varied abuses of Bhajans.

When his fall started

In the meantime the recognition of Bhajans has remained largely unchanged.Whereas Bhajan was allegedly indulging in unrestricted sexual abuse, a few of his distant exploits had been attracting the eye of the authorities.

In 1988, the DEA raided the house of a member of the Bhajan inside circle in Nice Falls, Virginia. Gurujot Singh Khalsa was arrested as a part of an undercover sting operation and convicted of taking part in a world drug trafficking conspiracy that transported hundreds of kilos of marijuana into america.

Pamela Dyson

In gentle of the memoir launched in early 2020, and after lots of the victims filed civil lawsuits in Los Angeles in opposition to 3HO, alleging that not solely did the Bhajans abuse them, but additionally that 3HO members had been effectively conscious of the abuse.

Following the allegations, an investigation was opened by An Olive Department, a consultancy surprisingly set as much as take care of misconduct within the non secular group. Their closing report revealed that the allegations are certainly (almost definitely) true.

Bhajan died in 2004 on the age of 75, having since been stricken with coronary heart illness, was diabetic and confined to a wheelchair. He left behind an unlimited empire beneath the banner of the 3HO Basis.

He died in New Mexico the place he resided along with his million greenback way of life, which is not even the least yogic factor about him. Shortly after his loss of life, The New York Occasions revealed an obituary praising Yogi Bhajan for being a capitalist genius (once more, very unyogic) and considerably educated in regards to the historical yogic practices he taught.

Denver Put up by way of Getty

What about 3H0 and Kundalini Yoga?

For essentially the most half, many Kundalini practitioners have distanced themselves from the 3HO Basis, the Kundalini Analysis Institute and even the varsity of Yoga.

For extra data on information and present affairs from all over the world, go toIndiatime information.

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