Go Back   AFA Forums > News and Social > Off Topic

Off Topic For anything that doesn't fit anywhere above.

Thread Tools
Old 25th March 2015, 09:59 PM
Atheists Anon's Avatar
Atheists Anon Atheists Anon is offline
Anonymous Atheists
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 6
Default Re: Anonymous Dropbox.

The second part of the story a few months later, changed all that.
An ashram that teaches meditation and yoga is being investigated over allegations of sexual abuse.
Police confirmed they are investigating the Shiva School of Meditation and Yoga at Mount Eliza, with a number of victims alleging in recent days that they had been sexually abused.
Detectives from the Mornington Peninsula's sexual offences and child abuse investigation team have interviewed several people about their experiences at the ashram.
One of the women, who preferred not to be named, told Fairfax Media thatshe had been pressured into a sexual relationship after being promised her healing and enlightenment in return: "I think it was definitely a complete abuse of power," she said.
While she allowed the man to grope and kiss her, she said it was not consensual, because followers believed that "the highest value ... is to surrender to the guru because that's the path to god".
A sign at the ashram read: "Surrender is doing it when you don't want to," she said.
"I had this idea he had divine love for me but now I'm struggling to realise that it was an illusion, that he didn't have my best interests at heart. It was what he wanted to get from me."
Another former member said: "It's a huge betrayal of trust. You go there to learn to meditate but it seems there is another personal program [there] to groom women for sex."
The Shiva School did not return calls. Its lawyer, David Galbally, QC, declined to comment but confirmed that it had sought his legal advice regarding the police investigation.
The swami is understood to be separately represented by lawyer Paul Galbally, who also declined to comment.
Police would not confirm how many alleged victims and offenders were involved or how far back abuse is alleged to have taken place.
Reply With Quote
Old 25th March 2015, 10:14 PM
Atheists Anon's Avatar
Atheists Anon Atheists Anon is offline
Anonymous Atheists
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 6
Default Re: Anonymous Dropbox.

The very next day, more and worse came out.
Many women at a Melbourne ashram at the centre of a sex scandal joined the group seeking healing after surviving rape and sexual assaults elsewhere, advocates say.
Fairfax Media reported on Monday that Mornington Peninsula's sexual offences and child abuse investigation team were investigating the Shiva School of Meditation and Yoga at Mount Eliza after a number of victims reported alleged abuse there.
It can be revealed that many of the alleged victims were particularly vulnerable, having turned to the ashram and its spiritual teachings to help them with their own personal problems.
The school's former treasurer, Dan Conquest, had lived at the ashram for about 11 years when he left last year, days after hearing about Swami Shankarananda's "tantric practices" with members through a friend.
He was shocked because he believed the Swami was celibate and eventually left because he did not want to "passively condone" what he believed to be sexual abuse at the ashram.
He said that the Shiva School has threatened to sue at least one whistleblower for defamation if they continued to discuss sex abuse allegations...
Nigel Denning, a counselling psychologist and owner of an East Melbourne private psychology practice, started going to the Mt Eliza ashram about a decade ago and regularly attended its meditation classes.
In August last year some of his fellow students started confiding to him allegations of emotional, psychological and sexual manipulation at the hands of the school's director, Swami Shankarananda.
Mr Denning stopped attending classes immediately and advised these students to report it to the police: "It was a shocking, appalling situation," he says. Mr Denning did not approach the school directly at the request of the alleged victims.
Some of the women were survivors of rape and sexual assault and were already highly vulnerable when they arrived at the yoga school, he said.
Psychologist Mr Denning said one of the public processes at the ashram was called "shiva inquiry", where people were "shamed" for having negative emotions, he said.He was told this process was also used in private: when women expressed guilt or shame about having a sexual relationship with someone at the school, they would be told they had the wrong "spiritual understanding".
Mr Denning has been running support groups for people who have left the ashram, as well as offering counselling.
Mr Conquest said leaders accused a member of the community of "spreading lies" about the sexual relations. He confronted them, asking them what the truth was but was given an ambiguous response.
"Then we heard through first hand accounts from women who had bad experiences and that's when we realised ...it had crossed a line," he said.
"There was coercion, [an abuser] was really unrelenting...after they said no, he would continually pursue them in different ways saying, 'This will be good for you, you have to surrender.'"
Since then about 60 per cent of the ashram's members and eight residents had left. He was concerned for the 20 people who still lived there.
Our anonymous source also sent a link to a support website set up by ex-members of the ashram. It has personal testimonies from people claiming to have been victims, and more information.
Reply With Quote
Old 25th March 2015, 10:28 PM
Strato's Avatar
Strato Strato is offline
What Me Deluded?
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: The Bellarine, Geelong.
Posts: 5,714
Default Re: Anonymous Dropbox.

I seem to be entirely lacking in compassion and sympathy for the poor things.

What might Swami Shankardownunda possibly advise me?
We can know something only if it is both true and knowable, Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, 2011.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT +11. The time now is 10:31 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Feedback Buttons provided by Advanced Post Thanks / Like (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2018 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.