Ananda's and J. Donald Walter's admissions under oath contrasted with their denials in newspapers and to their own members.
The following are from a legal motion filed June 3, 1997, by Ford Greene, The plaintiff's attorney in the
ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit filed against Ananda. The statements are from Mr. Walters deposition
in 1995, which has been "sealed" by court order at Ananda"s insistence. Ananda claims they did so to
protect unnamed "third parties." (The women's names have been changed by this site)
Update: The depositions mentioned here have now been unsealed. Look for them to be available soon
at the Ananda Awareness Network information archive.
"Walters admits under oath that in 1969 while he was a "swami" to whom "W1" had come for "spiritual
training," he had sexual intercourse with her to whom he referred as his "disciple." (Separate Statement Of
Fact No. 12.21)
"Walters admits under oath that in 1981 in Hawaii he had sexual intercourse with "W2" while she still was
married to and living with her husband. Walters characterized this seduction of her subsequent pursuit as
something that was "spiritual." (Separate Statement of Fact No.12.22)
"Walters admits under oath that in 1981 or 1982 he had sex with "W3" and "W4" together at the same
time. (Separate Statement of Fact No. 12.23)
"Walters admits under oath that on at least eight occasions when he asked her to massage him, "W3"
masturbated him to ejaculation as his sexual servant.
"Walters admits that "W1" masturbated him countless times short of ejaculation. Walters was "W3"s
counselor. (Separate Statement Fact No.12.24)
"Walters admits under oath being naked and having "W4", who was in spiritual training at Ananda
massage him with oil. Her massage routine included sexually servicing Walters by masturbating him to
"Walters admits to having sexual intercourse with her "W4" as well as a method of "trying to cure" himself
from his relationship with "W2". (Separate Statement Fact No.12.25)
"He has admitted that he has "sexual problems." (Separate Statement Fact No. 12.26)
"Ananda devotee "W5" has admitted that she is sexually intimate with Swami Walters. (Separate
Statement Fact No. 12.27)
"Ananda leader, Jyotish Novak, admitted that it would probably be better if Kriyananda admitted his
sexual problems." (Separate Statement Fact No. 12.29)"
"In discovery, Ananda Church failed to produce a letter written to Walters on March 25, 1995 by A C,
Monastic Training Program in which she states:
"When I visited Ananda in 1970 before moving here, I remember Gurupod saying, not as rumor, but more
as information he'd heard directly from you, something like: Swami was teaching yoga in the cities but had
to pull back because he was having problems with sexual energy. I understood him as meaning, not just
temptation, but sexual practice....Over the years I've wondered about it. Also, over the years women have
said things to me, or I've overheard, or I've seen interactions between you and others that went along with
that statement of Gurupod's. ... I know you probably feel that the women involved shared in your choice,
since you are always respectful of people and genuinely kind. Still, the fact is ... you are our teacher, and
any woman would have to be confused by having sex with their spiritual teacher."
"Despite Walters' admissions that he had engaged in sex acts with "W1," "W2" "W3", "W4", and "W5",
no Ananda official made any effort to inform Ananda members and trainees that Walters had been
sexually serviced by any unstable woman or other devotee. (Separate Statement Fact No.12.39)"
In the original legal complaint filed November 21, 1994, two women who are still members of Ananda
were mentioned as victims of Walters sexual harassment; "W6"and"W7"
Ananda stated in The Union article of October, 1994;
"...Two of the women so named, without their knowledge or permission, are still Ananda residents and are
outraged by such claims. They have written statements denouncing them." ("W6" and "W7") In the June
3 motion, it states;
"Walters has admitted having sex with "W6" and "W7" for many years."
The following are examples of what Mr. Walters, his followers, and his
attorneys have been telling the public since the start of the sexual
harassment lawsuit over two years ago:
In the The Union, October, 1994, entitled; "Ananda Refutes Smear Campaign:"
"The allegations against Kriyananda are absolutely and categorically untrue. Those who know Kriyananda
find such allegations laughable."
"Ananda will have an opportunity to refute these baseless charges and set the record straight. Ananda
asks, as friends and neighbors, that you wait until the facts are shown before reaching your conclusions.
These facts will show that Danny Levin, Kriyananda, and Ananda are innocent of these wild accusations."
"A few members of a rival religious group have started a smear campaign against Ananda."
"As part of this smear campaign, Bertolluci has made the accusations that Kriyananda encouraged and
condoned sexual harassment of women. She also indicates other women who were supposed victims of
his sexual harassment that was supposed to have occurred between the late 1960"s and early 1980"s. Two
of the women so named, without their knowledge or permission, are still Ananda residents and are
outraged by such claims. They have written statements denouncing them."
Important update: After the above statements were made, Ananda filed a defamation suit against
Bertollucci. Ananda has now (10-14-97) dismissed their suit, which the court interprets as
admitting it had "no merit", and Ananda may now be sued for "malicious prosecution". See
"court case update" in the Index of Information.
The Union, July 22, 1995, in an article entitled "Ananda sexual harassment lawsuit expands," by
"Parsons said he wasn"t concerned about the declarations against Walters. He said that the nearly 100
declarations in support of the spiritual leader had negated them with accounts from people who have
known Walters for years. "I haven"t even talked with Walters, we haven"t time for that kind of
nonsense," Parsons said when asked for a reaction to the women"s declarations. "You give too much
energy to that nonsense even by denying it."
Palo Alto Weekly, "The Search for Truth at Ananda" by Eric Espe, Publication Date: Wednesday
Feb 28, 1996:
"Walters calls the charges "lies" and has filed a counter suit against Bertolucci claiming defamation of
character. That suit is also pending in San Mateo County Superior Court. "We filed it because she has
talked to people outside of the lawsuit, saying Walters sexually uses women and hands them down to his
ministers," said Ananda's attorney, Jon Parsons of Palo Alto. "There is nothing like that that has
happened. He's just not that kind of guy."
"For his part, Walters said he is being truthful. The "lies" in the case are the allegations leveled against him
by the women. "My comment is no comment," he said with his trademark smooth and soft voice. "We're
pushing for trial and let it all get settled in the courts. Meanwhile, I don't really care what happens.
"Anyone in my position is going to get that kind of thing thrown at him, and I figure I might as well not
lose any sleep over it," he said. "Am I commenting on whether it's true" It's a lie."
"Although he referred to the case as "rather a souffle: mostly air" in a letter to the community shortly after
Bertolucci filed it, Walters today isn't taking the case lightly."
"The local followers the Weekly talked to don't doubt their swami's total innocence in the case. "It's as if
your best friend were accused of something you knew couldn't be true," said 20-year Ananda member
Snitkin. "He's the kindest man I've ever met." "We all support Swami," said Mary Bicknell. "People being
harassed by this church, I mean, it's kind of funny. Everyone here respects everyone from where they are
coming. It's just not part of the culture here at all."
"Ananda does not have a sexual harassment code or policy here or in Nevada City. And no one in the Palo
Alto congregation is suggesting they adopt one either, said Ananda minister Praver.
"We have nothing here related to that," Praver said. "People feel there has been nothing that
would concern them or create an issue for that."
The following was distributed to Ananda members in the spring of 1995, when many concerned
Ananda members began reading the declarations of the women who alleged sexual abuse or
harassment by Mr. Walters. The letter, written by Ananda leader Jyotish Novak and Ananda
attorney Jon Parsons, was an attempt to discourage members from reading or distributing the
Dear Monastic Order Members and Trainees, April 24, 295 Dwapara
As you know from Swami's recent letter, a few members of the community have gotten the Anne-Marie
declurations, A question has come up as to whether we should make this available for others to read.
There are strong reasons, both legal and non-legal, against doing this.
The main problem with these declarations is that they are filled with lies and distortions. Moreover, the
declarations have been consciously written in such a way as to have maximum emotional impact against
Swami and Ananda. In fact, we feel that the main reason behind their whole court case was to provide a
pretext to distribute lies that otherwise would be a cause for a defamation suit. Swami has already
addressed these allegations in his own declaration, so, why should we help whoever is behind this
campaign to destroy Swami. We encourage you to read Swami's declaration as well as all our other
material in this case which is available at the Village or Ministry office.
As for the legal reasons, our attorney, Jon Parsons, has written the following Ietter explaining in very
strong terms why we must not participate in the distribution of this material.
I understand that some people have requested that Ananda circulate the declarations in the Bertolucci case
so that the community may be better informed on the claims being made. For the following reasons, my
firm legal advice is that Ananda not circulate, assist in the circulation, or facilitate others to circulate, any
of the declarations submitted by Bertolucci in her lawsuit.
Ananda has filed a cross-complaint alleging defamation by Bertolucci and those working with her. The
gravamen of this cross-complaint is that Bertolucci has circulated false and scandalous statements about
Ananda, Swami, and Danny. These untrue statements have been heard by others, resulting in damages to
Ananda, Swarm, and Danny. If Ananda participates in the distribution of defamatory materials, Ananda
cannot complain about Ihe results of that circulation. If Ananda starts handing out copies of the
declarations, how can we be sure what damage we caused ourselves, and what damage is due to
Berlolucci's action" If we are sincerely concerned about these defamatory statements, why would we
assist in circulating them" There is no educational value in circulating lies for discussion--it panders only to
We have obtained a protective order from the court prohibiting the circulation of the deposition transcripts.
If we voluntarily circulate declarations, it will undercut our need for the protective order. We can expect
that Bertolucci will continue to attack this protective order, and we should do nothing that detracts from
the importance of, and our need for, this order.
In addition, I understand that a person or persons unknown are mailing copies of the declarations to
Ananda members. If Ananda starts distributing copies of to it's members, we will lose whatever chance we
have to discover who is doing the mailings and to stop them.
Thus, there are legal risks arising from circulating the defamatory declarations, and these risks threaten to
negate and invalidate the cross-complaint and the protective order. Thus, there are serious concerns which
should not be lightly dismissed, The declarations should not be circulated without compelling reason.
Ananda has a right to share certain Information with its members on a need-to-know basis. The
declarations and their content may be discussed in the context of spiritual talks, counseling sessions, and
the like. Even in these situations, however, Ananda should disclose only the substance, rather than the
exact wording, of the declarations, and should do so only orally, The actual declarations should not, in
whole or in part, be distributed.
Moreover, I see no need to circulate the defamatory declarations. Swami has already addressed all these
issues in his declaration which we submitted to the court as part of our successful opposition to Batolucci's
motion to strike the cross-complaint. Swami's declarations raises the substance of the defamatory
declarations and clarifies the situation in a way which does not present the risk of misunderstanding and
In conclusion, my advice is that none of the declarations submitted by Bertolucci in her lawsuit be copied
and circulated in any way. If you do so you are runnning significant Iegal risks of damage to Ananda's
cross-compaint and protective order. Please let me know if we should discuss this further. Thank you,
Sincerely, (signed) Jon R. Parsons."
So, friends, you can see there are very strong legal reasons for not sharing these declarations. There are
spiritual reasons as well. Master says devotees should walk away if someone begins telling lies about their
guru or spiritual teacher. We feel that in circulating these papers we would be in fact continuing to spread
distortions, and be acting as agents for the forces trying to destroy us.
Ananda has grown and flourished over the past twenty-five years in an atmosphere of trust and
communication. Part of the effort being waged against us now is to mis-scommunicate in order to
undermine our trust and diminish us. Let's counteract their efforts by affirming the love and friendship we
all have for each other.
Recently a friend of Ananda from Sacramento called to offer her support and said, "It's natural that people
would try to tear down Swarmji. After all, he's only created the most successful spiritual community in the
world," Let's strive to continue to live in divine trust for each other, and in the "heroic love" that Swamiji
said is the best preparation for hard times.
In divine friendship, Jyotish, Devi, Vidura, Durga.
PS We are always willing to talk privately with you if you would like."