Excerpts From Letters to the Editor, Yoga Journal, from former Ananda Members:
I think the most important issues are twofold: first, that the Ananda
community leaders have known about Kriyananda's "problem" for years and have not only tried to keep it out of the public eye, but also twisted the yogic teachings into rationalizing his behavior as being for
the spiritual benefit of the women abused; second, that the self-styled Ananda sociopolitical system of "dharmocracy" has built into its very foundation discrimination and harassment.
The most insidious kind of discrimination at Ananda, and the real issue of this trial, is how social
acceptance, job opportunities, and even spiritual advancement are all gauged from the barometer of
to Kriyananda and his chosen leaders. The closer one gets to the "inner circle," the more one is required to submit to both his direction and the direction of the Ananda leadership. The people of Ananda don't
use such harsh language about this process, however. The say "loving Swami:" No matter how much you screw up, if you "love Swami" somehow everything will work out. Sounds suspiciously like what the
crusaders said to justify their killing, or what fundamentalists say to justify their hatred. How Ananda has gone from being an open, inclusive liberal arm of Yoga's great teachings to a defensive, fearful, deceptive,
organization is the real story here. J. H. (former Ananda minister)
Kriyananda is not a swami, as this is a distinction that requires vows of abstinence, renunciation, and
celibacy. In an article he wrote for Yoga Journal in January 1982, he stated that he was happy in his
monastic calling. This was a lie. He was not a religious ascetic or monk who lived austerely in seclusion. He
lived comfortably in the nicest home at Ananda, and sexually exploited women for years. In his position of power at Ananda, he broke all the rules, crossed all personal boundaries, and overpowered the free will of
others. Ananda members did nothing to hold him accountable. Anyone who confronted him was considered a threat, and was transferred, kicked out, or publicly humiliated. The victim will always be blamed because Kriyananda
will never take responsibilities for his actions.
How does Kriyananda have control over intelligent people? It was testified that new members are asked to take novice vows that require them to become obedient and
childlike, similar that of a baby trusting its mother. Members are then told that Kriyananda is a "pure channel of God." In that state of mind, they are susceptible to programming and quickly lose their
capacity for critical thinking. This is a typical cult tactic.
former "wife" of Kriyananda
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