We, the teachers and students of Natha Yogacenter wish to express our concern over the flagrant abuse of spiritual practitioners and the violation of spiritual values by fundamentalist-religious groups and certain parts of the media in India.
The target of this abuse is Satya Esoteric Integral Yoga – a member of the Atman International Federation of Yoga and Meditation, of which Natha Yogacenter Denmark is a full member.
On Friday 3rd June, an attack upon the Indian yoga school – Satya Esoteric Integral Yoga was started. It began with a high profile article on the front page of The Times of India (one of India’s biggest newspapers) falsely denouncing the yoga school as a European sex cult which is dealing in pornography and is aiming to spread throughout India and corrupt its youth. Such ridiculous claims appear even worse in light of the fact that the journalist had a long and friendly talk with the people of Satya Yoga during which they exposed wide segments of their curriculum as well as complete explanations regarding the specificities of their teachings. In the article later published, the journalist wrote misleading facts and lies, completely ignoring all that was said to him and focusing only on the ridiculous accusation of pornography while trying to shed doubt upon the legality of the visas of the teachers of Satya Yoga.
It is peculiar that an article about a small group of volunteers sharing their knowledge of yoga reaches the front page of a paper which is read by millions of people, unless it is inspired by some ill-intended people who are hiding in the shadows. We state this fact as an indirect proof of the hidden interest that exists behind this smear campaign against Satya Yoga since the events that followed also took the same direction.
This article was quickly followed by more “reports” in other media, all of them extremely biased, gravely breaching the professional journalistic code of conduct and civic ethics. This was done through deliberate misquotes and misrepresentation as well as the citing of false and deceiving information. For example, one reporter published a fictional interview with one of the volunteers of Satya Yoga which never actually took place. This reporter put together different, unrelated pieces of information combined with blatant lies so that it looked like the Satya volunteer was confessing to dealing with pornography despite the fact that this person had never said anything of the sort. This act is both libelous and fraudulent and highly illegal according to Indian law. Yet none of these journalists were taken to court or even investigated, which would be the usual procedure for such crimes.
As a consequence of these unlawful actions, the media persecution, led by the Times of India, stirred up a fundamental-religious group called Hindu Makkal Katchi and they in turn filed a complaint accusing Satya Yoga of providing sexual therapy and distributing obscene materials. This is another false accusation against a group of people whose only guilt was to practice yoga with dedication and perseverance.
The ensuing police investigation has disrupted the lives of the students and volunteers of Satya Yoga and attempted to shut down the entire activities of this spiritual school. The police officers abusively warned the people of Satya Yoga that they might be harmed by followers of Hindu Makkal Katchi if they continue to meet in the yoga center. Such behaviour from those who are supposed to maintain the peace and order in a country and to protect people from pressure and threats is a severe deviation that we deeply regret and assert as fraudulent.
This activity of aggressive intimidation (by using the pressure of extremist groups) by the Indian police forced the people of Satya Yoga school to temporarily leave the premises. Consequently, we are sad to realize that all the evidence shows that Times of India, guided by the hidden agendas of people from above them, initiated a witch hunt upon yoga practitioners from Satya Yoga school which was carried out by the local police and based solely on false and libelous claims.
These events began during a spiritual gathering attended also by several teachers and students from Natha Yogacenter, Denmark. The gathering was disrupted by these events. Several participants were even afraid to come back to the spiritual gathering. Mihai Stoian, the coordinating teacher of Natha Yogacenter, was also taking part of this spiritual gathering, and became a target of the defamatory campaign of the Indian media. Our students and teachers returned home safely, yet shocked by the events.
This is not the first time that such incidents have taken place. Spiritual schools and practitioners have been wrongfully attacked and derogated throughout the world at least in the past 2 decades. This is also not the first time that such things have happened in India; for instance, there are the cases of Muktananda and the spiritual community of Auroville which were both wrongfully accused without any evidence. In fact, we find striking similarities between these events – the manner with which all media turned against the spiritual movement without showing the other side of the story at all, clear misrepresentation of facts, and the focusing on those accusations of a sexual nature. Also the timing is common to all cases – being chosen for when a certain spiritual movement is growing beyond a certain level. It is significant for us to notice that this campaign started a few days before the new groups of practice were starting in Satya Yoga school, clearly aiming to disrupt this process.
We have found proof that other cases of harassment of some spiritual movements around the world were orchestrated by certain corrupt power circles which oppose genuine spirituality. This is because genuine spirituality is of a real threat to social corruption and helps the ordinary man or woman to spiritually awaken and thus get free from the manipulation that is exerted in most cases by the power holders in the society. We have cause to believe that this is also the case now, due to the striking similarities between these cases as well as some information coming from insiders.
We stand by our Indian colleagues in this time of tests and trials, and offer them our experience in dealing with such defamatory accusations. We wish to reinforce your faith in your success, on account of our success in dealing with such anti-spiritual campaigns. For example, in Romania the court has discharged all accusations made against the spiritual movement and its spiritual guide Gregorian Bivolaru; and in Denmark several media have apologized and the others are now being taken to court for defamation. In both countries, as in others, the spiritual schools thrive and grow, long after the echoes of calumny have subsided.
We stand by you, our brothers and sisters of Yoga, in your quest for truth, justice and love, and we know that good and purity will always eventually win, even though the path may at times be long and hard.
In conclusion, we remember that darkness exists only due to the absence of light, and injustice prevails only when good people don’t stand up for truth. Therefore, we call upon all lovers of spirituality in India, Denmark and all over the world to rise and stand for the spiritual values – write to the Times of India, to other Indian papers, to Human Rights organizations and even to kind and morally oriented politicians who can influence public opinion, express your protest, comment on the articles on-line, and support Satya Esoteric Integral Yoga.
Together, with brotherhood, until Truth and decency will prevail,
The teachers and students of Natha Yogacenter
Message from Satya Esoteric Integral Yoga
Dear Satya Yoga Students and Friends.
We are very sorry to announce you that due to the recent slanderous campaign supported by pressure exerted by some extremist groups upon our school we have to cease the renting contract for the rooms in Teynampet. Therefore until further notice the classes are temporarily on hold. All of you that have been following this yoga school for years now will have the chance to continue with the practice sessions as soon as possible.
We stand up for the truth against all the false allegations and slanderous lies against our school first brought forth by Times of India and followed up by other media without any kind of investigations. We published also a press release as an answer to the accusations the same day as the first article in the Times of India appeared, but no media wanted to print it even if we personally delivered it to them and they reported about this situation but with their own lies. This fact itself is showing to everyone the real ill-intention that stand behind this smearing campaign against Satya Yoga school.
We firmly state:
Satya Yoga has never shown or produced any pornographic or erotic movies. The teachings do not contain any sexual therapies, nude activities nor any acts of intimacy. This is of cause very well known by all of you who have attended our activities.
On the 3rd of June Times of India claims in a front page article that Satya Yoga mixes sex, yoga and pornography. All of you who have practiced in Satya Yoga know that we practice asanas and meditation very seriously in its genuine, traditional form and that also in the yoga and tantra classes there is absolutely no erotic practices nor acts of intimacy. It is in fact a common misunderstanding that is specific to layman to obsessively associate tantra with sex and lust, and it seems that this is what the TOI reporter is trying to use in order to create a deliberate confusion among his readers.
Tuesday the 7th of June NDTV broadcasts a completely manipulative program showing clips from the Cosmic Spiral Meditation mixed with other clips from other yoga schools from abroad and an unknown couple embracing each other, thus insinuating that acts of intimacy were happening during the Spiral. There is also a fake interview where a reporter seemingly asks if it is true that all the teachers in Satya Yoga have been acting in porn movies and a recorded voice replies “yes yes – it is absolutely correct”. But the amazing fact is that this interview, only supported by still pictures, has never taken place! It is 100% fabricated by the news channel NDTV. Even if this is a criminal act the police was never trying to act against the people that are behind such fraudulent action.
Instead a Police Inspector is interviewed saying publicly that the allegations (mixing sex with yoga) against Satya Yoga are found to be true. This statement was shown only one day after the police started the investigation based on a complaint of the fundamentalist movement Hindu Makkal Katchi. How can an organ of justice – as the police is supposed to be – publicly find an accusation to be true, while they just started investigating about it? What kind of base for finding the truth is that? Apparently the police supports the slanderous campaign against Satya Yoga by spreading rumours and discrediting our school.
For all the friends of truth we have to say that the journalist from TOI was also trying in several cases to threaten the teachers team of Satya Yoga and even to induce all kind of suggestions in order to obtain some specific easy to manipulate answers. Fortunately we have recorded the talks with him and we will soon disclose publicly with video evidence the hypocritical and completely unprofessional behavior of the journalist from TOI.
On the 8th of June came another slanderous article in The Times of India stating that Tuesday the 7th of June 5 foreigners, associated with Satya Yoga, 3 of them mentioned by name, were questioned by the police about their visa situation and their practices. Here is another proof of the unprofessional work done by the journalist and the hidden agenda that is becoming every day more visible behind this campaign: these people mentioned in the article left the country Monday the 6th of June and none of them have been interrogated by the police before that. The journalist is just trying to create more confusion on top of his initial lies in order to convince people about them. Yet we consider that our students and friends are intelligent people and they will not accept such manipulations that are made by people with a weak intellect.
The same day a completely sensationalistic-fictional article appeared in the Tamil yellow press magazine “Nakkeeran” (or something like this). In the same style as TOI article, this article basically springs forth from the imagination of the reporter and has nothing to do with reality. He even lied about the spiral, telling how it took place in a farmhouse and how Mihai was talking about tantric sexuality and how to become one with each other and nature. Those of you who participated to the spiral all know that this is pure fantasy of the “journalist” and this can be proven since the whole event was video recorded. Yet the fact that other media channels are starting to behave in the same way (we can call it the TOI syndrome) proves once again without error the existence of the same hand that is coordinating this campaign and is covering it no matter how many laws (moral and social laws) will be broken for this.
Friday the 10th of June Times of India is publishing yet another article where the police seemingly announce that they have a warrant and that most likely they will search the school the following day. For any careful reader the blatant manipulation jumps up immediately: since when is the police announcing through the media to the potential criminals that they will search their place? Is this a joke or is it just another way of throwing suspicion on Satya Yoga, criminalizing our spiritual activities for some hidden interests? The answer sadly comes out more and more with its ugly face.
There are several statements in the media that Mihai Stoian and Adina Stoian went absconding after the police started the investigation. This is another proof of the hidden interest of these media parrots that are only repeating what they are told. In reality Mihai, Adina and the other visitors left the country on the 6th of June BECAUSE THEY HAD FLIGHT TICKETS WITH FIXED DATES OF DEPARTURE, WHICH WERE BOUGHT MONTHS AGO. This fact can easily be checked.
Moreover members of the Satya Yoga team were attending in person and through legal advisors several meetings with the police investigators, offering them all the cooperation requested. This information could be easily found with a direct call to the police station and not insinuating all kind of “sources” from the inside of police. Therefore the statements from the media that the Satya Yoga team was hiding are once again proving (if it was necessary to have more proofs) that this campaign is conducted by people that know the immoral behavior of some journalists and they count on this. We are even ready to make a bet that our statements will not reach the media that otherwise claim to be so keen to find us and to hear our side of this fantastic story.
It is obvious for us that some forces with hidden agendas against Satya Esoteric Integral Yoga are trying to scare people away from the school. Their facts (superficially concealed by their actions but disclosed for any careful observer of the events) are proving this again and again. It is not the first time in history that a school or an organization, teaching genuine spirituality, has been attacked by anti-spiritual forces: remember Osho, Swami Rama, Muktananda etc. In such hostile climate and irresponsible and unprofessional media coverage (with easily proven lies in practically all the news fabricated until now on the Satya Yoga subject) we have been deliberately choosing to communicate our statements on the website only and avoid any contact with the journalists for the moment. Should any media channel prove willing to reflect in a fair way the story, without manipulations and lies (is that a fantastic request?) the team is willing to meet and have an open dialogue because we do not have anything to hide.
Yet we stand for the Truth and we will not stop until these lies and manipulations will not be completely disclosed together with the people that are behind them, the real responsible for the actual state of things in the Indian nation and worldwide.
We thank all of you who have been helping and supporting and praying for us in these last days even if it is difficult and challenging. It is also very challenging to us. Please keep up your spirit, and remember that you can do a lot even as an individual when you know the Truth and act in its name because this is the common ground (making the unison) of many. We are with you, and our actions are directed towards our success together. We ask you all to support and stand up for the Truth without fear, shame and inhibitions. Whenever you are confronted with the lies against Satya Yoga we ask you to come forward with wisdom and discernment, raise your voice and tell the truth.
Ultimately let us not forget the ancient saying “to know and act as if you don't know is the supreme cowardice”.
May God bless You all!
With Love and Peace
Satya Esoteric Integral Yoga