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Phulela – October

,

2001. 1

I am reposting my testimonial under my own name. Anyone who would like to

contact me may do so. I have witnesses who would back my story in any court but

I doubt that it would come to that because it would mean more publicity than this obscure e:mail support group.

Plus, I wouldn't blink at going to the media. If Chinmoy's disciples were to try to hurt me, it would bring even more attention to this since so many know who I am and what is going on. In these trying times, I don't think he needs his group to be labled murderous or violent in addition to the other names they are called. They will just try again to offer me more money.

My story about Chinmoy is based on a long personal phone conversation that he had with me shortly before his birthday this year as well as observations of another ex-disciple. This person was very close to him, spending hours at his house every day in the early years. Basically he opened up to me, I do not know why. I had tremendous love for him and he professed to love me but he knew that I would leave.

I am extremely grateful that he did set the record straight. That doesn't change the

fact that the game has changed for me. I don't obey him anymore, period. I speak my mind and I speak the truth because that's what I am about. Because I believe that hiding the truth, deceiving people and using the influence attained to control and manipulate others lives, can and does hurt and interfere with the natural course of God's plans. Irregardless of above, I don't feel that it's necessary to embarass my former partners by mentioning their names here.

To ex-disciple friends,

This is something that I have been working on and I would love it if you would have any comments, anything to add or if you would just like to discuss it sometime - If you decide to forward it, or if you want to send me an anonymous

1 Message No. 75 (“Reposting of Original Sri Chinmoy Story and Testimonial”) by Anne Carlton on Sri Chinmoy Ex- Disciples Forum (Yahoo! Group).

testimonial - that is also fine with me. Although it is very personal, it is healing for me to come forward about things and it is helping me to realign my beliefs so that I can go on without fears in my life. I also feel with all my heart that it may be able to help others who find themselves in a similar position. We, who have left the Center, seem to tend to blame ourselves but I want that to end both for me and for anyone who has shared this experience.

Thanks

Anne Carlton (formerly Phulela)

Sri Chinmoy, this is the real story as I understand it, based on my experience and what he has personally said to me and to others. This story varies widely from that has been published and promulgated to his devotees. If you read this and you have something to add, please add your experiences and comments and forward to those who you feel should know about this. I would also love to have a copy of any new testimonials.

Personally, I don't regret the years spent in the Center, I was fulfilling my own inner quest for God and inner light and I am very grateful for what I received. The problem, as I see it, is that Chinmoy twists seekers experiences to make the aspirants feel that he is generating everything. Based on my own experience, this is totally false, I am feeling happier, more enlightened and more empowered with each step that I take, now that I have finally become free from the snare of Chinmoy's influence.

He was born in East Bengal on 8/27/31 as Madal Ghose.

He moved with his family from war torn Bangladesh to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry, India and lived there for about 20 years. There his name was changed to Chinmoy, he was indoctrinated into the philosophy of Sri Aurobindo and he practiced the life of meditation.

Chinmoy was very inspired by Aurobindo, in the beginning, and was encouraged to pursue his athletic abilities - he dreamed of being an Olympic champion and, according to him, he spent many hours in deep mediation. However, the living conditions at the ashram were poor, the food was insufficient and Chinmoy had to work very hard, virtually without compensation.

In the early 1960's, although he seems to have attained a position of some stature in the Ashram, Chinmoy tired of life there. He made a secret visit to the nearby Ramamaharshi Ashram, for which he received a slap from the "Mother" upon his return to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram. At this point he was disillusioned and desired to pursue life in the United States.

He was helped by some sponsors in the US, who were connected with the Ashram and by a woman who is now known as Alo Devi. Alo had come to the Sri Aurobindo Ashram to pursue the spiritual life and she seems to have also been involved in an intimate relationship with Chinmoy, although the Ashram encouraged celibacy, this is hinted at in her published diaries.

Once Chinmoy arrived in the US in 1964, his sponsors helped him to get a job and he started working in the Permanent Mission of India to the UN in New York. However, the salary was very low and Chinmoy found himself having difficulty surviving. In addition, the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram was making demands for Chinmoy to send delicacies from the United States to India. Certain items, such as eggnog, Brazil nuts, olives and chicken bullion were packaged and mailed to India each month.

It was at this difficult time that Chinmoy realized that he would have a hard time succeeding at life in the US. Although he was apparently quite clever, he did not have more than high school education (it is not even certain that he received a HS diploma in the Ashram). Furthermore, he still was practicing meditation, this was the realm where he had the most experience and he was writing poetry and pursuing his interest in music.

At this juncture, Chinmoy recalled that the Mother of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram had so many rich disciples. From his work as a clerk in the Ashram, he knew that money was constantly flooding into the Ashram from wealthy devotees from all

over the world. So, Chinmoy decided to pursue his fortune and start a meditation center in New York.

This was the beginning of an endless string of stories, myths, lies and threats, which were told and are still being told to his students, disciples and devotees in order to manipulate them to follow his teachings, believe that he is the source of their inner light, stay in his Center and pay him large sums of money. He also tries to control every detail of his students lives and tries to have them submit to him in every way, including sexually for the many of those for whom he happens to have an attraction.

Chinmoy sees himself as a loving and benevolent person, who is spiritually more advanced than his students. He makes people believe that the fruitful inner experiences that are attained from their own meditations were generated by him and he tries to place himself at the center of their world. He portrays himself as an "Avatar" or direct incarnation of God who was commanded by God to come to the US in order to bring the illumination of the East to the West. He connects himself to Krishna as the reincarnation of Arjuna, Krishna's dearest devotee. He infers that he is also a reincarnation of other famous people throughout history, popping up and shaping our world at important junctures. He claims to know the will of God, who he calls Supreme, and equates his will with God's will while he claims to be God's direct representative.

Furthermore, he tells his students that if they don't please him and follow his precepts or that if they leave him he will withdraw from them spiritually, that their souls will punish them by making calamities happen to them or that they will fall ill. Sometimes he even says that the souls of those who turn against him will leave those people all together. For many of the disciples, who came to Chinmoy's Center at an early age, these prospects are frightening. They did not have time and experience to know that the experiences of inner light were coming from their own aspiration and meditation. They are made to feel that life outside the Center would be a very barren and dark existence.

Pleasing Sri Chinmoy is a constant challenge for his devotees. They are told to abstain from sex and that marriage is taboo after joining the center as is having children. These things are not considered to be necessary and will supposedly slow

the aspirant's spiritual progress. The disciples become vegetarians and of course smoking, alcohol and any kind of drugs are not allowed. The "good disciple" life begins at 6:00 am with numerous meditations and daily prayers, invocations and songs to be performed as well as prescribed exercise. In addition, many disciples do selfless service at the various businesses owned by the Center as well as in the printing shop where the books are made. This means that they either work for free on evenings or weekends in addition to holding a regular job or they work for very low wages (as low as $65 per week for a 40 - 90 hour workweek). Many of the full-time workers are new disciples from poor eastern European countries and are working illegally. Then, in addition to the full working schedule, disciples are also expected to attend the regular meditation meetings of the Center and some also give classes to try to bring new people.

The "manifestation team" is particularly challenged as it is their job to get publicity for Chinmoy and his appetite for publicity is insatiable. These people are working around the clock to put news about Chinmoy in the papers, on radio and on TV while others leave their jobs to organize peace concerts. Arranging for a site, college, state or country to be a designated a "Sri Chinmoy Peace Blossom" is one of the never-ending projects. Disciples, the ones that are hardworking, find that no matter how many things they are doing, Chinmoy will add something new to their plate. Many disciples leave Chinmoy simply because they have burned out, they become disillusioned and bitter because they worked so hard and it was never enough. Many of the others stay with Chinmoy because they believe that they are bringing peace, joy and light to the world through their hard work - which is true for what they give is wholeheartedly given with goodwill, they do not realize the ulterior motives of Chinmoy.

Sri Chinmoy also finds other ways that the disciples can please him. My own personal experience was that, after having lived as a celibate, barely even looking at men in the eyes other than Chinmoy for 10 years I was finally feeling that I was able to transmute or transcend my sexual energies, into joy. Then, there came a point, in the fall of 1991, when I was also getting in shape and excercising a lot. Out of the blue, Chinmoy invited me to join a group trip out of New York for a peace concert he was giving near San Francisco. He even offered to pay for me when I said I didn't have the money. I was very honored by this gesture. After the concert a woman I knew as the leader of the San Fransico Center approached me

and said that Chinmoy wanted me to go to his room, she gave me a piece of paper with the room number.

After going to my room to tidy up, I nervously went to the room. I was thinking that I had been invited to a special private party or function, I never dreamed that it was for sex. After a short interview about my previous sexual experiences, Chinmoy said that I should surrender my vital (sexual) energy to him. I folded my hands, looked him in the eyes and offered him my joy but he indicated that this wasn't enough, so I said "Supreme I bow to thee" a few times. Then he had me embrace him, I hugged him, feeling very warm and loving, not aroused. Then he indicated that I should take off my clothes. I was shocked!! However, prior to being in the Center, I had been very open minded about sexual matters so I was happy, not angry. I thought the idea of having sex with Chinmoy was cool. So I took off my clothes and he removed his and we proceeded to have sex.

Afterward, he said to me that I must never tell anyone. He said that I was specially chosen, that this was not sex but that this was his life breath he was giving me he also mentioned that if anything happened, i.e., pregnancy, I should not even tell him but go immediately to a clinic for an abortion.

Having spent the last 10 years worshiping Chinmoy as a God, I didn't question this, I accepted what was happening even though, after this experience, I had nagging doubts about Chinmoy. I started to look around and notice by their behavior that many other women were sexually involved with him.

After this encounter, I started having a strong attraction for Chinmoy, I even wrote him a letter to express my desire for him. He called me over to his house late at night several times over the next few months. Then the calls suddenly stopped. I felt very alone, I had a secret I couldn't share and I had anguish over the rejection mixed with my nagging doubts. It was only much later that I realized that this was part of a much bigger pattern. I never had the illusion that I was the only woman Chinmoy was involved with but I don't think I could have imagined the scope of his activities. I finally broke down and confided to a close friend who I thought would already know. She did know about another occurrence although she had never been involved. She listened and helped me a lot.

After several months elapsed without a call from Chinmoy, I was depressed and I felt that if I got involved with another man, I would come out of it. So, with my friend's help, I made contact with one of the men in the Center. This worked out very well, we saw each other secretly for several months. We ended up falling for each other and we were discovered. Chinmoy didn't make us leave the Center at that time, but circumstances eventually led to our leaving on our own about a year later.

I was out of the Center for a few years but, at that time, but I hadn't moved on in my beliefs. I blamed myself and I thought that it was because I had become weak and succumbed to my emotions that I had to be out of the Center. My partner also hadn't moved on, he wanted to return to the Center. During this period I told my partner about my secret activities with Chinmoy. However, he didn't act surprised

- and over the course of time he hinted that he too was involved, not only with

Chinmoy but that Chinmoy had directed him to be involved with other people. The

time came when my partner begged to be allowed to return to the Center. He was accepted but it was on the condition that we separate and that I also return. I initially had misgivings, but I returned.

Over the next several years I became aware that there were many women involved with Chinmoy and there were signs that he was also having relations with men. The first time that I was called for sex after my return, I was asked by Chinmoy to first write him a letter, I wrote something very devotional but it wasn't what he wanted he said I had to put details about my desire for him and explain sexual things that I had done together with my partner while I was out of the Center. After that, I was called by Chinmoy for sex but not very frequently, once or twice a year.

Then, a few years ago I got a special call from Chinmoy, he wanted to introduce me to a new way to have relations - with women (but of course it wouldn't be homosexuality). He had me come over to his house together with another woman. The first time, we were together downstairs while he waited in another room upstairs. Then the other woman went upstairs and Chinmoy came and had relations with me. He told me that I must never talk to anyone about these trysts and that I must act as if I had never been intimate with him. Another time, we had relations while he sat on a chair and watched.

After that I saw the same woman on a regular schedule, once a month, at her home. This is something I am not proud of because I really wasn't too comfortable with her and although I felt some loving, sisterly feelings, the sex seemed mechanical and unnatural for me. I had to force myself to be into it. In addition, I had acquired cold sores from her. This was very embarrassing but it also made me realize that these activities were not limited to a small, select group. I started to notice that many of the women, as well as the men in the Center were sporting cold sores.

The first woman started calling me less frequently and I was set up by Chinmoy with another woman, this one I saw once a week. Even though we were intimate, I was told by Chinmoy that I must act as if it was my first time with a woman and that we should never discuss about our other sexual experiences. The second woman was really fun to be with and I enjoyed it.

During this period, Chinmoy gave me the opportunity to select a woman partner. However, I refused because I didn't want to change my identity and I was starting to feel that I would lose it. I asked him if I could select a male partner but he refused, saying that we would fall in love.

The relationship with the second woman started to slow down and a new woman was introduced. The problem here was that I didn't like the last woman, I felt that she was an egotistical show-off and always trying to compete for Chinmoy's attention at meetings which included drawing attention to our friendship in public. This was embarassing for me because I felt exposed and I disliked the influence that this woman was bringing into my life. At the same time, I felt that I was compelled to please Chinmoy and to continue to be with her. I couldn't see why Chinmoy would give this woman so much attention and have her so near to him when she didn't seem to have very much spiritual depth. What she did have was money, she was giving Chinmoy a lot of her money and she was very sexual in her attitude toward Chinmoy.

It was at the same time while I was just starting my relationship with the last woman that I happened to have a mammogram that turned out to be positive. There was a lump that in my breast that looked suspect and I needed to have a biopsy. The woman made a big deal out of bringing this to the attention of Chinmoy and he sent one of the disciples, who was a nurse, to attend the biopsy with me. It was

unsettling for me because Chinmoy told the nurse that the HMO office was to tell him first (through her) what the outcome of the biopsy was.

The nurse told me to inform the doctor that she was to be informed, not me. I agreed, though reluctantly and the wait began. The HMO didn't get back to us for more than a week and I felt calm, I didn't really think it would turn out to be anything because my mother had a similar growth, at my age, which was benign. The doctor didn't think that it looked bad. Also, I was under 40 and a non- smoker with no history of breast cancer in my family.

The test was negative, However, when the disciple nurse gave me the news, she was acting as if it was a miracle. Other close disciples of Chinmoy also indicated to me that it was a miracle, apparently Chinmoy was claiming to have saved my life.

This recalls to me another earlier incident that occured in 1999 and 2000. There was a disciple, a personal acquaintance of mine, who fell down a large flight of concrete stairs in the basement of Chinmoy's home. She had a great deal of pain in her hip and could barely move. Chinmoy told her that it was nothing and that the pain would go away. This woman always gave as much money as possible to Chinmoy so, even though she had a good job with the option of subsidized health insurance, she didn't insure herself.

So on Chinmoy's advice, she didn't go to a real doctor or get an X-ray, she just waited. In the meantime, she really couldn't walk, she dragged herself around on crutches with one virtually useless leg for several months (at least 6 or 7). Finally the yearly insurance enrollment campaign took place at work and this woman got herself to a doctor. Her hip had broken at the socket and the ball of the socket that was broken off had completely re-absorbed into her tissue, there was no ball at all. This woman had been trying to walk with only her thigh bone for all those months and the pain must have been absolutely excruciating! During those months, I had given this woman rides because she couldn't even drive her car and I was there to bring her home from the hospital after her hip replacement surgery. She directly told me everything and, of course, we both thought that it must have somehow been God's will for her to suffer so much. This woman's suffering was kept quiet in

the Center, she wouldn't let people know about her pain and she didn't tell people what was wrong with her or what had happened to her.

After the mammogram incident, I was becoming disillusioned with the Center and also coming to the realization that I wanted to have children and a real male partner. So it finally dawned on me that I would have to again leave the Center, this time for good. Of course, from my point of view, the risks were very great. I thought that I would possibly be leaving behind all the inner light that I had worked toward for 20 years. My very relationship with God might be compromised or maybe bad things would happen to me as Chinmoy had drummed into my head for so many years.

Nevertheless, I made my choice and after one botched attempt at leaving, where Chinmoy was able to coerce me into staying, I finally left the Center for good.

Now that I have not only left the Center permanently but I am also truly moving on from my beliefs about Chinmoy, I feel a tremendous sense of freedom. I realize that life outside the Center is bright and fulfilling and that now my inner light is blossoming.

Looking back, I see that because I did not believe in myself, I gave Chinmoy the credit for what I was finding in my own inner search for God. Also, I have come to the realization that I let him lie to me and manipulate me because of my own desire to be a good person, an aspiring person, an unconditionally loving person and an enlightened person. However, the entire time, the desire for light itself was drawing the light into me and bringing me into the light. I now have the faith that my life will continue not only in light but also in truth, not being a slave to the will of a false master. Moreover, I am happy in my being more than ever before and I know that my heart's pure desires that prompted me to leave the Center will be fulfilled according to God's plan and that my life is and will always continue to be safe, healthy, happy and fulfilling.

Sevika – November 19, 2001. 2

I joined the center in 1971 and became the leader of the San Francisco Center,

along with my husband (now ex-husband). I had never known such blissI was part of a spiritual family that offered unconditional love from a guru. The first two years were heaven as I moved quickly into the guru's coveted inner circle.

In 1973, Ghose (as I now call the guru) embarked on a 50-state lecture tour. I was in charge of organizing lectures in several western states. As the organizer, I was invited to secretly travel alone with Ghose to tend to his needs in Alaska. I accompanied him with disbelieve that I would be allowed to carry his personal things, hold his coat during his talk, and unpack and pack his suitcase in the hotel.

After the talk at the university, Ghose and I took a cab back to the hotel where we had separate rooms. He invited me into his room. I sat with my hands folded, cross-legged on the floor in front of him as he sat on a soft chair. He started by saying that I was a very advanced soul and that he was very pleased with me. He said he wanted to test the purity of my vital. "Do you have impure thoughts and feelings?" he asked. I told him I sometimes felt pressure in my groin and that I felt guilty about it because I didn't know where it came from. He said that if I were truly surrendered to him, he could purify me.

He then told me to touch him. I timidly touched his foot with the tip of one of my fingers, afraid that my impurity would cause him great pain (as he always claimed human impurity did). "No, no," he said. "Come close and embrace me." I stood up, walked to his side, bent over, and gently put my arms around him. Without any physical response, he said, "Very good. Now sit down."

I sat down and he said, "Good girl, take your clothes off." Immediately I started

doubting my guru's purity, my first serious doubt of my then two-year discipleship.

I pushed the doubt away. Maybe I hadn't heard him correctly. He repeated his

command and I knew I'd heard it right. When he saw my hesitation, he said, "You

2 Message No. 328 (“Sex with Ghose”) by ex_disciple@yahoo.com on Sri Chinmoy Ex-Disciples Forum (Yahoo! Group).

don't have to do this. If you don't want to, I will never ask you again. This is my gift to you, to purify you. It is your soul's request to me that I do this for you. But if you do not want to, I will still love you unconditionally."

"So this was a one-time event that would purify me," I thought. Isn't purity of my vital a major step on the way to God-realization, the very thing I had come to the spiritual path for? Besides, I was an advanced soul, one that was ready for such a blessing. And if I didn't take this opportunity, I may never get another chance in this incarnation. It seemed foolish and unspiritual not to do it.

I took my sari off, feeling self-conscious of my body as he sat and watched through his partially open eyes. When I was naked, he told me to lie down on the bed. He lay on top of me, still wearing his satin kurta and dotti. I could feel only the weight of his body on mine, as he wiggled back and forth mechanically. I was relieved to think that maybe this was the treatment, nothing more. But slowly I started to feel his small erection through his dotti.

Then he took his dotti off and inserted his penis into me. He moved up and down mechanically, as if this was something new to him and he didn't know exactly what he was doing. From time to time he said, "This is my union with you. This is my oneness with you. This is my unconditional love for you." There was absolutely no passion, no kissing, no fondling, no touchingjust plain sex.

Finally he came inside me. Then he got up and told me to put my sari back on. While I got dressed, he told me I must never tell anyone about this. Not Alo, not Lavanya, not Ranjana, and not my husband. No one must ever know. He gave me a few hundred dollars, I promised never to tell, and I left the room.

The next day he asked me how I felt. I said that I was confused because I still felt pressure in my groin. "Oh, it is like a hat," he said. "When you've been wearing a hat for a long time, you can still feel the hat on your head even after you take it off."

I flew back to San Francisco with a powerful secret, one that I believed was momentous in my spiritual life. I was closer than ever to my spiritual father, and I had been purified.

The next time I went to New York, Ghose told me to come to his house for more lessons in purity. I was surprised that my first lesson in Alaska was not to be my only one, as I originally thought. As it turned out, these "blessings" happened several times a year for the next 15 years--every time I came to New York, every time he came to San Francisco, and every time we traveled in small or large groups. The sex was always accompanied by money, amounting to about $10,000 a year. The sex we had in Jamaica was always on the floor, either in his basement or in one of his upstairs studies, never in his bed. He told me always to use a diaphragm, except when we were traveling to another country where it might be discovered in my luggage when going through customs.

After a few years, I grew tired of the emotionless, mechanical sex, especially because I didn't feel that it was purifying my vital. Once when I showed resistance to coming to his home in Queens, he threatened never to ask me again and to exclude me from his inner circle. I was afraid of falling from my first-class status so I begged for his forgiveness and ran to his house immediately. He said, “Always show eagerness to please me in this way." I never again complained to him about having sex with him. I went to him each time, often walking the dangerous streets of Jamaica, Queens in the wee hours of the morning when his security guards were told not to patrol the neighborhood.

For a long time I believed that I was the only one having sex with the guru. It wasn't until years into my involvement that I began to suspect that Lavanya and Ranjana were having sex with Ghose (something I never knew for sure) because of the familiar, intimate way they behaved around him. I pushed my suspicions out of my mind.

For a brief time I was flying to Los Angeles once a week to lead public meditations in an effort to start a center there. An ex-disciple started coming to the meetings, and showed interest in rejoining the center. Ghose was very encouraging of her re- entry until the woman mentioned to me that a former well-known disciple had told her that Ghose had had sex with her. When I told Ghose what she had said, he shouted, "Lies!" He told me to call her immediately and tell her that his path was not meant for her, she should never attend another meeting, and that I should never mention her "lie" to anyone. It made me wonder if I really was the only one, but again I pushed the idea out of my mind, not wanting it to be true.

When Ghose got into weight lifting, he became obsessed with measuring his muscles. Along with that came an obsession with the size of his penis (which was

smaller than the smallest, to put it in his way of speaking). He assigned me the task

of find a way to increase its size. A magic cream, pill, anything to make it bigger. I

secretly read books, articles, and ads about penal enhancement but ultimately found the bottom line was passion. When I suggested that our sex have passion, he

shut his eyes and said, "No, good girl. Keep searching."

At about this time, Ghose started using another phrase while he had sex with me.

In addition to "This is my oneness with you," he would sometimes say, "I am a

brute" as he was pumping me. He told me he learned that from an article he'd read

in a magazine down on Jamaica Avenue. (About once a week, he would have a

disciple drop him off on Jamaica Avenue where he would shop and then have a cab

bring him home. I guess that's when he browsed the magazine racks.)

I became pregnant twice. The first time he told me to go for an abortion the next

day. The cost was $80, which he said he would pay. Alone, I took a cab to the clinic, where I underwent the abortion and then took a cab home. The prescribed antibiotics made me very sick but I couldn't show anyone, especially my husband, that I was ill for fear that somehow my condition would be discovered. That night I called Ghose in Brazil, where he was on vacation with Ranjana and Lavanya. When I told him what had happened, he said, "The doctors lied to you! You were never pregnant, they just wanted your money." Then he said he had to get off the phone so Ranjana and Lavanya wouldn't hear him talking to someone on the phone, and that I shouldn't call him back. As I hung up the phone, I couldn't believe that the doctors had lied, I doubted Ghose's irrational response, and felt abandoned by him, the only person in whom I could confide.

I wanted to stop these relations with him but was afraid to assert myself for fear of angering him. So I went on pretending to be devoted and eager. In 1982, my husband left the center with another woman disciple. No wonder, given that I had become a stranger to him due to my secret affair with our mutual spiritual father.

A few years later, I again got pregnant after an international trip with the guru. He

again told me to have an abortion. The night before the procedure, I miscarried and right before my eyes was a tiny fetus about the size of the first joint of my thumb.

There was no question that I had been pregnant, no matter what Ghose might say this time. I put the baby on a paper plate and took it with me in the cab to the Emergency Room of San Francisco General Hospital. By the time the doctors saw me, I had completely aborted and they sent me home in the cab, my pants completely soaked with blood. Except for Ghose and the doctors, no one ever knew what had transpired that night until years later.

Another time when Ghose was returning alone from his trip to India, he had a layover in Los Angeles. He called me from India and instructed me to meet him at LAX and to reserve a hotel room for us to go to. I used my credit card to make the room reservation, and got a flight that was scheduled to arrive 45 minutes before his flight arrived. All went as planned until I got on the tarmac in LA. The plane was delayed for an hour before arriving at the gate. Once off the plane, I rushed the long way to the international terminal and to the gate where Ghose's plane had already disembarked. He was nowhere to be seen. Knowing his habits, I figured he would be in either a nearby gift shop or restaurant. He wasn't in the gift shop, so I went to the restaurant. There I saw my balding guru with his back to me at a counter. As I got closer, I saw that he was ravenously ripping chicken off the bone like an animal. I timidly said, "Guru?" He spun around and said, "They lied to me. They said this wasn't meat!" I was shocked, not because he was eating meat (after all, in my eyes, he was an incarnation of God), but because he was clearly lying and was filled with guilt. He threw down the meat, jumped up, and said, "Let us go."

I explained that there wasn't time to go to the hotel before his flight. "It's your fault. Why did you get here late? Why didn't you come on an earlier flight?" he demanded.

"The flight was delayed an hour, out of my control. Now we've lost the hotel reservation because it's too late." I said.

"If you had used your credit card, we would still have the room," he accused.

"I did use my credit card, but we don't have time now." I said, defending myself against this illogical progression, while thinking that his accusations really seemed to be a defense to my having caught him with a mouthful of meat.

"This all went wrong because your mind was in the gutter," he said. I certainly didn't feel like my consciousness was in the gutter, but what could I say given that he alone had access to the world of consciousness. I was forced to accept the blame.

He handed me several one hundred dollar bills and rushed onto the plane as soon as the plane started boarding, eager to get away from me. As I returned to San Francisco, I experienced a level of anger and hurt I had never felt. I knew my days in the center were numbered.

Aside from my sexual dilemma with Ghose, I had serious problems with the politics of the inner circle. I witnessed meanness, coercion, and deception on the part of "first-class" disciples. It became more and more painful for me to be in Ghose's house; I often found excuses not to go there when I was invited.

Whenever I indicated I was having doubt or that I wanted to leave the center, Ghose would tell me to come to NY where he would sweeten me up, have sex, and give me special projects to make me feel important. It usually worked and I would return to San Francisco to hang on for another three or four months. After several of my open attempts at leaving, Ghose saw that the handwriting was on the wall and he started turning people against me. I was singled out and humiliated in large and small group meetings, disciples were told not to talk to me for more than 10 minutes, he would choose other disciples for special privileges that were previously reserved for me.

I became more determined to get out of the center, and for the last two years of my discipleship, I practiced trickery and deception as I planned my exit. For example, I would lie about having a flat tire so I could avoid attending meditations; I started friendships outside the center; I hired a therapist to get me through the transition; and just before the 1988 April celebration when we were all expected to go to New York, I secretly rented an apartment and, at night, moved all my belonging into it. About five days before my planned exit from the center, a snoopy disciple discovered my empty room and reported it to Ghose. I got a phone call from him that went like this:

"Oi, good girl, you are breaking my heart. You are breaking my heart." I cut in, "Stop right there. I don't believe in you. I don't believe in what you're doing. And I don't want any part of what you're doing."

"If you must leave then I will not stop you," he said. "And I will never say anything bad about you. I will never say anything bad about you. I will tell the disciples to always help you with anything you need. You have my phone number, you can call me. Anything you need I will give you. Money, help, anything. I will never say anything bad about you. And I'm sure you will never say anything bad about me"

"Look," I said. "I promise never to say anything bad about you if you promise never to contact me in person, in writing, by phone, or through a disciple. You will leave me alone."

"Very good," Ghose said, "I will leave you alone, I will never say anything bad about you, and you will never say anything bad about me."

"Fine," I said. "I want to get off the phone now. Good bye." And I hung up the phone on him. It felt good to have the final word.

A few days later, he broke his promise by having a disciple slip an envelope under my door with a handwritten note from him and $700 in cash. Then a few months later, a disciple called with a message. A few years later, a disciple called to say that Ghose was coming to San Francisco and he wanted to have a private meeting with me in his hotel room. I declined. And from time to time a disciple will still call, claiming that Ghose doesn't know anything about the call. In such cases, the conversations are polite but brief. Since that handwritten note slipped under my door, I have had no direct contact or financial dealings with Ghose.

It's been 13 years since I left the center. My work with a therapist revealed that my discipleship with Ghose was a form of incest. As in a typical incestuous relationship, sex was accompanied by money and secrecy. The greatest power he held over me was the secrecy, which I demolished four years after leaving the center by telling my ex-husband about the sex I'd had with the Guru during most of our marriage.

I now have a rewarding life and career. Most importantly, I have never regretted leaving Ghose; I often regret having stayed with him so long

Rupavati – January

,

2002. 3

About 3 years ago S. asked me how much I loved CKG. I said "a lot". She then asked me if I loved him unconditionally, so much that, if he asked me to do something that went against all my principles, would I do it. I asked her "like what?" She said "if he asks you to have sex with someone you do not like would you do it." I said that he wouldn't ask that, we are celibate but anyway, I would say no. She said that I had to work on my unconditional love for CKG that is the most important thing in the spiritual life. From that moment on, something began that I see as a preparation for events that would change the way I thought and saw the Center. Attention galore was given to me, invites to the house, people were friendlier than ever and the girls at the Center kept telling me how CKG kept saying that I was so special.

My love and devotion grew and I felt I was making so much progress. I started to see him as a father and as a god and I kept getting closer and closer to the inner circle. I remember, a year ago, he told my roommate and me that he wanted us to be like P. and G. I thought that this was my chance to be like them. P., G. and S. were my role models and I wanted to be like them, unconditionally committed and surrendered to CKG. I was being called to the house for functions all the time and also received special calls at work and at home.

On the Christmas trip 2000-01 it all started. S. called me to CKG's room very late one night. S. opened the door and said, "I do not know how to tell you this but CKG wants us to be together." My first thought was that maybe from now on I had to travel with her and Alo or that I was supposed to move in with her. But she said, "No, he wants us to be together sexually." I was in a plain shock, I started crying and said, "I can't do that, we are supposed to be celibate."

She continued to explain that this was a very special opportunity to make progress and that this was not about me. She had a vital problem and this was the way CKG was going to take care of it. She had chosen me to be with her because she has known me since I was a little girl and she felt comfortable with me.

I was still crying and in shock, then CKG called from the other room asking if I was ready. She said, "No guru, she has doubts she doesn't want to do it." He then

3 Message No. 977 (Reposting of “My Story”) by Rose on Sri Chinmoy Ex-Disciples Forum (Yahoo! Group).

said, in a very deceptive voice, "Then tell her to go. If she does not love me enough to please me in my own way, then tell her to leave." I felt my heart break I loved CKG and believed in him. I did not want to disappoint him. I accepted, then he came into the room and asked me to take of my clothes, I stood there in my underwear, he said "You still have clothes on, take it all off." There I stood, naked, in front of the man I thought was an Avatar. Then, S. came up to me and touched me, he was watching and telling her what to do. I cried and felt so disgusting, I didn't want to be touched, and even less, by a woman. But I thought that, after this, I would never have to do this again and I had pleased him in his own way. Then, after what seemed like hours, he said that it was enough for today, but that we had to be together again, in front of him and alone in our room. Then, he came over to me and touched me and said, "look in my eyes, do you see any impurity there?

This is not sex, this is a golden opportunity to make the utmost progress." He embraced me and said that he was proud of me. When we got out of the room I asked S. if there were other people doing this. She swore that we were the only ones and that I could not talk to anyone about this.

For the rest of the trip I was sick, nervous and had nightmares. I was nervous about being called again but it did happen again, twice more in front of him and also another time, in her room. His attentions towards me became more frequent. He gave me money and even invited me to go out shopping alone with him. One time, he invited me for a ride in the car with Alo and S. and afterward, he told me to go to his room. He again told me how proud he was of me and that I was making so much progress. Then he told me to touch him wherever I wanted, so I touched his feet. Then he said "where else?" So I touched his head. He then grabbed my hands and put them on his privates and held them there, over his clothes.

In a very weird way, he said, "Tell me, how bad is your guru? Is your guru impure? Do you feel my love for you? My love for you is unconditional, I am your all." I freaked out a bit more than I already was. I was terrified that he would want to have sex with me. He then told me I had to be with S. again before the trip was over, one more time, at least, and that he wanted to watch.

Toward the end of the trip I could not take it anymore. I was tired, scared, disgusted and physically sick. I wanted out but how? I had no money and no ticket to get back home. The last time he wanted us to be together, I told S. that I could not do it. She told CKG and he told me not to pay attention to my mind, that we would not be together again until she came to NY. So we went to his room and

he watched and told us what to do. Afterwards, while were still naked, he asked us to massage his feet. He then touched us and told us how proud he was of us and that we had made so much progress etc

Once in NY I knew I had to go, but that meant that I would have no job, no place to live and no money. I met someone and started dating and he helped me get out. When CKG found out he called me at all times of the night and at work begging me not to go. He had people follow me wherever I went. He made my life miserable.

Dear friends this story is true. There are many people involved in this sexual circle. Anne and I are not the only ones. Do not let CKG take advantage of you or those who you love. It is not an easy experience and I'm currently in therapy to overcome it. A person that does things like this is not fit to be called an Avatar or a Son of God or a realized master or any of the sorts. Please open your eyes, see for your self what he is doing to all the disciples. Not allowing them to talk with their parents or taking all their money and possessions. Telling you what to wear, what to eat, where to go and where not to go. I guarantee you God will not be mad at you and your soul will not punish you. Pray to God to guide you and show you the reality of things. I hope you open your eyes and realize what is the truth of it all. You deserve better than that, it should be your choice whether you are a vegetarian or not, or if you wear Indian clothing or not, or if you contact your family or not, not his command. You should not be forced to do anything you do not want to do.

You are a free soul, you have the right to love and fall in love, to have children, to have a family, to go to the movies and dance, that's why you are here, to be free and love God and one another but not under the command of anyone. I pray that you realize the truth about the world you are living in, wake up and walk out.

In God’s love, Rose (Rupavati)

Sundari – November 10, 2009.

It’s been 37 years since I joined Guru’s Path in 1972.

I never thought the day would come that I would be telling this story, but I guess it’s time. Before I start though, I just want to say that I have no regrets, only gratitude to my Guru for making me the person I am today, for sharing his precious life with me and for giving me an opportunity to serve him and my fellow disciples through his music.

I also want to say that I came into the world only for the spiritual life, it’s all I ever wanted and all I will ever want.

To all the wonderful disciples I have loved and laughed and cried with over these years, I love you and I always will. Please know you will be in my heart forever. I am sorry that the way we have been taught makes it impossible for us to continue walking along the same road together. It’s so sad we are forced to cast people out of our hearts and lives who have served the Supreme side-by-side with us for decades. But unfortunately that’s the way it has been set up. I did it too and it broke my heart every time.

So now…

On the day before my birthday this year I received an unexpected gift from Ashrita – my complete and total freedom. After 37 years, I was told to leave the centre.

The day began like any other day. As I had done each Friday morning, I got up at 5 am, put on a sari and headed to work at Ananda Fuara to do my job baking and then later waitressing. I had no idea what would be in store for me when I got to work.

A long-time co-worker and friend put on a hysterical display that caused shock and fear in the other two workers who were with me that morning. She ended her tirade

by marching to the door, flinging it open and saying, “Suchatula made allegations and she left, Bihagee made allegations and she left. What are you still doing here? We don’t need your stupid cakes and we don’t need YOU!!!”

Just to set the record straight, Suchatula never made any allegations or even looked at the internet sites about Guru until many months after she left. And on that Friday morning, Bihagee was planning to go visit a dear friend in Seattle. She herself didn’t find out that she had left the path until she was informed by her parents that Ashrita had called Bulgaria and told her centre that she had become a hostile force.

Now about me…

First of all, let me say, I was not thrown out by Guru. I served him sincerely every day of my disciple life and would have continued probably to the end of my days. I truly believed as I sadly went home that morning that my brothers and sisters would see some sort of light, come to their senses and realize there had been a horrible mistake.

I begged Yogaloy to give them some time, let the dust settle and please not

mention my name in his blog. But I was sadly disappointed. It seems Ashrita called

a few members of the Committee and my fate was decided.

I won’t go into details, but my story, Guru’s reasons and even my reactions were very similar to Sevika’s. I had a sexual relationship with Guru.

People ask, “Well, why didn’t you leave?” I say it wasn’t that simple. First of all, I loved Guru, adored him. He was the Supreme, God on earth, my Father, my Mother, my All.

How could he ever be wrong about anything and who was I to question him?

He offered to help me purify my vital life and I would be foolish not to accept. I just never expected that this purification would take over two decades.

Like Sevika, I thought I was maybe the only one, or one of very few women

involved in this activity. I eventually felt I was performing a service, maybe even helping Guru in some way to remain on earth. It seemed like a worthy sacrifice.

I was told from the start I must never tell a soul or even write anything down and

that if I told, nobody would believe me and they would think I was crazy. That should have made me nervous and it did. But by that time I had completely severed

all connections with my family (at Guru’s command) and had no friends or support outside the centre.

If I had left I would have had to move out of my home as well. I guess I just wasn’t brave enough or self-confident enough to make that decision.

About my family: in the early 70’s my sister, my mother and I were all disciples. After five years my sister left, followed a year later by my mother. At that time I was told to send my family a telegram asking them never to call or write to me again.

I was told that my mother’s leaving was a crime against her soul and that if I were

to talk to them they would not realize the seriousness of their error and later in life

they could go deaf or blind. To protect my parents from that fate I didn’t communicate with them for the next 20 years even though we had been a very close family.

I later learned that my mother had cried every day and said she almost wished I

had died because at least that way they could have had a funeral and some closure.

Isn’t it interesting to know that these people, my family, actually loved me and prayed for my happiness every day of those 20 years, while respecting my wishes and never once contacting me?

They embody the true essence of spirituality.

Whereas my long-time co-worker and friend at the restaurant, who has worked beside me for decades, sung thousands of songs with me, and shared my whole disciple life, could in one day become so unimaginably hostile.

It all boils down to defending the lie that is at the very heart of what remains of the centre without Guru. It’s the reason that my friend and those in her boat have embodied the very worst qualities of the Spanish Inquisition and the Salem witch trials. Did not our beloved Thomas Jefferson wage a campaign for religious freedom? How then does she have the right to try to corner each worker and ask them, “So are you with us or against us? Are you on the side of light or on the side of darkness?”

I would like to ask my former brothers and sisters, who are so hasty to believe I am

evil and a hostile force: please just use your heart and even your brain for a minute and tell me, what could I possibly gain by making up a lie about this after spending

the last 37 years (all of my adult life) serving Guru?

I have transcribed and prepared for publication thousands and thousands of songs. I have spent countless hours creating and repairing an extensive database of those songs. Guru often said, “No Sundari, no Sri Chinmoy’s music.”

This has been my entire life’s work. Why would I throw it all away?

I have absolutely nothing to gain and everything to lose. I have lost my job, my

former friends, my good name, my spiritual family. I have gained nothing except my freedom to finally speak the truth.

Even that would never have happened since I took my promise quite seriously,

keeping a secret for 23 years that caused me tremendous inner conflict. But it was

a sacrifice I was willing to make to protect my Guru and my brothers and sisters.

The turning point finally came when a co-worker mentioned to me that he had read Suchatula’s story on Yogaloy’s blog (which of course I had never even heard of before, being an obedient disciple who doesn’t read things on the internet about Guru). Having lived with Suchatula for years and having watched her leave with absolutely no idea why, I was curious enough to look for her account and it didn’t take long to find it.

At this point I must say that my sexual relations with Guru had ended a few years before, back during the time when so much information first appeared on the internet. I truly believed that he had seen the danger of this activity and ceased altogether. But reading Suchatula’s story made me realize that it had not only continued, but had changed into something far stranger than anything I had known.

My experiences with Guru had been entirely private and just between the two of us, while Suchatula’s involved another woman. The strangeness of that and the devastating effect it had on such an exemplary disciple upset me deeply.

It’s one thing to make a personal sacrifice and surrender, but to see your sister’s spiritual life completely destroyed is another thing altogether.

When asked by Viddyut if I believed her story, I said yes I did. It just had the ring of truth. And then, when he found out from Bihagee that she had suffered the same fate while in Bulgaria 3 years ago, it was all just too painful to bear.

So this is my crime.

I sympathizing with two women whose spiritual lives will never be the same. I don’t pretend to be all-knowing and of course we can never judge the actions of an Avatar. It is said, “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Guru’s Life-Tree produced many wonderful fruits.

It also produced a few not-so-wonderful ones. I guess it is up to us to make our own decisions about our lives based on what feels right in our hearts and our souls. That’s the understanding I’ve come to anyway.

It’s a whole new world.

May the disciples who are left to carry on Guru’s message somehow find the strength and the wisdom to listen to their hearts, overcome their fears and realize that Guru does not need us to defend him.

He needs us to embody true spirituality as a testament to the Light he gave us. One

way leads to a slow and painful death, the other to life.

We must choose.

With love,

Sundari

Bihagee – November 14, 2009.

I do not wish to recount the details of what happened to me.

It is the same story as Suchatula’s, who is one of my best friends and with whom I have been suffering through all this. How things might have been different had one of us just shared our story with the other?

That is what I would like to write about here.

For those who do not believe our stories, I want to explain my feelings. So much has been written already.

It has taken me almost three years to leave the center. Even this I did not do on my own. Before I even managed to share my pain with my parents, Ashrita had informed them that their daughter was out of the center.

Because of my complete faith in Guru, I did my best and accepted that, somehow, what he had asked me to do was okay. But it wasn’t easy. I had to fight so hard with myself. I had to convince myself that this thing Guru asked of me, which was so against my spiritual, religious, mental and human views, was okay.

At the same time, I felt so bad, so guilty for doubting my spiritual master. I was punishing myself for not having enough surrender. No matter which way I looked at it, I was always somehow a culprit.

In spite of all that, when I weighed the beautiful moments and experiences I had on the path, all that my spiritual life had given me, all of my sweet spiritual family members, against the pain I was feeling, the balance still tipped in favor of my disciple life.

I couldn’t share my secret turmoil with my parents, who were on the path. I couldn’t tell my few best friends, and to be honest, I did not want to. How could I share something like this? How could I possibly betray my Guru, my spiritual

master?

Would my friends believe me?

Maybe I was the only one.

I wanted to walk into the sea and just have it over with. In the end, I decided I would have to quietly accept what Guru had asked me to do and somehow continue with my spiritual life, the life that had shaped me into a much better person, the life that had helped me find out so much about myself.

Oh, but it was not so easy.

Believe me, I did my best. I tried so hard that almost nobody thought I was troubled. But it was difficult. There I was, spending my time with my friends, working, going to the center, doing all a good disciple is expected to do and at the same time feeling bad for not doing it 100% the way I had done done it before

2007.

I was having a hard time and blaming myself for having a hard time. The guilt and secrecy really pained me. I was hoping for an answer from Guru, who then suddenly passed away. That did not help things.

Then one of my brother disciples in San Francisco, Viddyut, told me about Suchatula’s story. As a good disciple, I had never read Suchatula’s story, despite the fact that we had been such good friends before she had left the path.

My world completely felt apart.

Guru had asked me to do the same thing. If in any way I had been defending what had happened to me, now that I realized that others were also involved, I simply couldn’t handle it anymore.

All my fears were confirmed.

It was so painful, standing in front of Ananda Fuara, trying to assimilate it all,

while Viddyut patiently tried to help me recover from the shock. At the same time,

I will admit it, I felt relieved that all was out in the open. I can finally share, talk about it and receive understanding, belief, and care.

A load was off my heart.

Oh, only if all was so easy. The realization of it all was excruciating. My head would not stop aching, thoughts too big and heavy for my little brain to handle were pushing their way in. I felt as if someone heavy was sitting on my chest and would not move.

I couldn’t breathe, I had no desire to eat or sleep.

The only person I told was Donka, one of my best friends. Even then it took a while for me to start explaining what had happened to me. So judge me if you want, but I had to tell someone, and better someone that was far from San Francisco.

Next, I was finally able to call my other best friend, Suchatula, with whom I had

not spoken to since she herself had left the center. We talked for hours and hours.

If only one of us had shared with each other earlier…

She came and picked me up. After a day together, she drove me to the airport.

If only this was the end. It was not easy for me to be in the center struggling with

this secret, but it sure is not easier now either.

I had to call to my parents, knowing that they would not only suffer as disciples,

but would naturally blame themselves for not protecting their child (as any good parents would). They are not to blame though. I have always made decisions for

myself.

They have not called me or contacted me in any way. I am suspected of being hostile and mentally ill. But believe me, I do not blame them, because I know how the center works. I know how they have to protect themselves, even if it means considering me dead, so that they can protect the precious, beautiful life we all had.

My world has been shattered. Now, I have no desire of joining any other spiritual group. Everything I gave heart and soul for has been stained. But again, I do not regret my years as a disciple. If I had the chance to go back 10 years and make the choice over, I would take the same road.

I only wish to share that it has not been easy, and it certainly is not easier now.

Just telling this story to one person has been such a painful experience. I do not have the strength to tell other disciples, as I have been blamed of doing. I did not call New York and never tried to convince people to leave the center. I simply could not do that.

I have decided, though, that I cannot and should not continue blaming myself anymore.

Thank you all for your support and love. I know that things will get better. Let everyone decide what’s best for themselves.

Just do not accuse us of writing lies.

I so wish all of this was a lie.

Bithika – June 24, 2014.

I joined SCC in 1979 with my parents and my newly born younger brother. It was

just before my sixth birthday. I’m now 41. Last year I left the SCC after 34 years inside.

My exit would be quiet and dignified, noble. I planned it to cause the minimum disruption to both myself and the community I was leaving behind – something along the lines of the hari-kiri that I knew they believed I was enacting. I prepared myself to lose 80% of my address book with one slice and visualised for many months how I would stand up and walk on without ever looking back. I knew the drill and would just get on with it. I had a job and a home, I had arranged for study funded by my employer and I had made contact with my family again after many years of enforced separation. I knew I was exceptionally lucky and with all these opportunities I just needed to grab the rope and swing out into the unknown before it was too late.

I had an incredibly kind team in my working life and – even though they knew

nothing of my circumstances – spending time with them each day gave me strength and enough companionship to keep me ticking along for months. I reconnected with friends who had already departed and found their friendship fortifying. Also,

I had authentic school relationships dating from when I was 4 years old in whom I

could confide safely some random tid-bits – enough to convince myself that I wasn’t totally denying my experiences even though I didn’t really want to discuss them.

I kept reading the experiences on the blogs and wanted to be part of the

conversation. But I could find nothing to say. No idea what I really thought. Nothing would come out. Belief structures inside were fragmented, jagged corners, broken. No emotion was there. No energy to express anything. No anger, no bitterness, no comfortable opinion, just lots of random facts and thoughts in a pile in my heart. I would go over the facts again and again on Saturday afternoons in the hope of suddenly finding out what I truly believed about it all. I then sought a wider consciousness within which it would be possible to place all extremes, all polar opposites, all the inexplicable koans – something that could

contain these and which I could still comfortably call Truth. Truth is not a simple thing, but a complex creature with many levels, all things to all people, I told myself. I was intelligent enough to treat it with respect, give it a big enough house and leave it be. But the energy to maintain this huge self-preserving Truth container was becoming very expensive. Inside was something with a life of its own that I was struggling to control even though I smiled and got on with it. I was ignorant of this, just anxious to keep a lid on it.

I noticed stairs were becoming difficult. I increasingly needed to sit down on

platforms while commuting to work. But there were benches on each platform so that was alright. Then 100m seemed like a long way and I’d have to walk slowly.

I only had three more weeks of term – of attending lectures at night and working in

the day and essays at the weekend. I was nearly there. I was OK. My heart got tighter and tighter. I was waking up in the night very afraid of the palpitations. I couldn’t let go. I knew what I thought surrender looked like after so many years of being force-fed it and it was very painful, so I clung on to my work and my daily rituals and tried to alter my diet and be smarter than my body to keep it going.

On the way to A&E I was thinking about the essay I was writing on stress – it’s not the circumstances but the individual’s ability to cope that determines the outcome. Just had to have the right attitude and I could surmount everything. Be strong. The ECG didn’t find anything, the lung x-ray was clear. I was worried that I was going mad and that the whole experience was some strange panic attack. Then the blood test came back and the doctor said “I have an answer for you, but it’s not what you think – you’re blood levels are so low that you must have been bleeding from somewhere internally for some time.” I saw my hands rise to my face and for

a moment I was staring at death somewhere down the corridor. I knew it was time to let go of this fight.

Everything has stopped – work, university work, movement. I’m at home. It’s been a few days of winding down to nothing, the shock’s past, the dull pain in my heart area more settled. A neighbour invited me and I find myself sitting in her peaceful flat looking over London. In silence. She, it turns out, is a religious sister. A Jesuit counsellor, a spiritual director to many over decades. I don’t know what I’m doing here. She invited me, I knew I had to come despite my present position on organised religion, or anything like it. But she knows how to sit in

silence and listen to it. I can feel it. It’s the real deal. I look out the window. Tears roll down my face. After 10 mins she puts a box of tissues next to me and walks out of the room. She comes back. I find a few words. My childhood, my sincere spiritual search, the spiritual discipline, the rules we lived by. I know she understands, she started in her order out of school. She’s travelled the world teaching maths. She’s transitioned out of the habit and into the community, she’s retrained as a spiritual counsellor – for all faiths. She listens. I find silence again. I continue to look out the window – seeing, but not really seeing anything. I get to the bit about the things he asked me to do. I don’t understand why. I can’t bear to look at his face, I don’t know who to pray to, I’m bleeding from somewhere and can’t control it. Now the tears are rolling. It’s been years. I marvel at this. The room is so peaceful, she is there, yet she is not there.

Can I tell a nun about sex with a spiritual figure? I keep thinking about the pain in the catholic church and so I talk about how you don’t want to say because you think it will bring the whole community into disrepute. All those reasons why every community has stayed silent for centuries. You’ve spent your whole life defending the community. You’ve proselytised and recruited and defended over and over and now you are cutting off a portion of your own self. If you say. But then I remember what it feels like to be controlled by another’s power, your voice silenced. I look at her to see if she can take it. She has a vast and wise peace and sits in it in silence, maybe looking at me, maybe not, I can’t tell with my tears. I remember what it felt like when he shoved himself into my mouth. My shock. Followed in split second by my pride. The gagging. I swallowed it again and again and took the money. I couldn’t tell her, I was too ashamed. I just left it to inference, that he asked me to do things. I couldn’t tell her about the lesbian aural sex that he wanted performance of again and again, all the partners, in all the cities, hotel rooms across the world, in his house, in other houses. I couldn’t say. My shakey legs, the fear and the envelopes of money that I so desperately needed but which took away even my pride. With the birds on, his signature touch – the emblem of peace and freedom. I couldn’t say. How he was furious because I wouldn’t tell him that I loved it. How he sent us out of the room to contemplate our failings before the next performance and how she begged me to just lie to him like she does and say that I loved it in some kind of faux sexy voice to ‘please him in his own way’ … I couldn’t say then. I couldn’t say now. But finally the tears

were really flowing. I was sweating. The vice around my heart was melting. I saw him chopping the back of his neck as he did to warn us not to speak. Ever. But he was getting further and further away down that corridor.

Finally she spoke. An offering only, she said. I should draw a bath. In it I should put a fragrant liquid. I should get inside and curl up in an embryonic position and say to my body “I am here for you now. I will never ask of you anything that you do not want again.” My arms crossed around my chest, I started to say it inside, still on the sofa. Am I letting go or taking charge here? Is this surrender or mothering? Am I a child or an adult? Which end is up? Cells in my body are crying out for this. For my own love. To be able to promise myself that surrender doesn’t mean allowing violation.

I told her that I honestly don’t know if this was a higher truth or not. If I have epically failed to reach a level of consciousness where this is divine. But all I can say is that I’m bleeding, getting weaker and weaker and need to find how to stem the hurt. People want a stand. To tell the world that this happened and it was bad bad bad because they have found solace doing it and we will be a stronger voice together against the steely wall of establishment denial. I don’t know if it was bad. All I know is I cannot psychologically, emotionally and cognitively withstand it any longer. I don’t have the strength to comprehend or even tolerate the experience and it’s breaking me. I don’t understand when people talk about Truth because my moral compass was smashed and I just don’t know what is good or what is bad now. But I know I’m bleeding. Help me.

Is there a god like the giant Truth I constructed to save myself from inner conflict? Higher up than Ghose? A higher court to which you can take appeals? Even if he had condoned Ghose, surely there was a way that I could appeal to him and say Ghose isn’t for everyone, I’m grateful you are sending envoys but this one was too brutal for me, please. This universe is not one-size-fits-all. We are all different. Please give me another chance, another way. Or maybe Ghose was a renegade, he went native when he went to earth and God had disowned his actions? Maybe I’d be OK after all if we could just find evidence that this was so. I know half the debate out there is whether he did/didn’t do these things. That’s not my debate. I know how much he did these things, over decades. I know he used the first generation of girls – when they became too old for his taste – to get the second

generation into his grasp. It was the darkest side of the whole thing. Sister upon sister, pimped, controlled, reported on – all with a sugary smile. Crushed. My debate is about whether this was God-condoned? I’m not naïve enough to believe that God’s a nice person in the conventional sense. God encompasses death and destruction as well as all the good stuff – life is a brutal experience, designed by him/her. Did s/he condone this? Did s/he? Or is it my journey to find the strength to fight my fear and stand up and reject it for myself? If I know God, it’s probably both at once. There is probably no answer, it is all things to all people. It depends.

It’s too complicated to explain. I have only limited energy. We are in silence again. She offers another thought eventually. She describes a ritual, says that we don’t use ritual enough. Describes driving through Richmond Park, to Ham Gate and out … at the lights you take a right and then you come to the river Thames. There’s a place to park. On the paper you will have a codeword for him if you don’t want to use his name. May be there will be something you want to say to him. Or not. But you will make a simple boat out of the paper – it represents everything about him – and give it to the river. The river will take it away.

I think of the Arthurian water burial of warriors – pushing the boat out, with lighted torches, weapons, flowers, out into the water. I visualise again as I sit on the sofa. I don’t know what code word I would use for him. My bank account still asks me the security question “Who is your guru” and I still type “Sri Chinmoy” to get at my account. Who is Sri Chinmoy? This man that came all over me again and again – my stomach, my mouth, fingering my breasts. Did I give consent? His occult power was not to be messed with, I had seen it in action. I was 27, so not under-age. I was sullen, not saying no directly though. Jumps to mind the kindest word I can think of ‘Rascal’. Almost affectionate, like the mythical Krishna stealing the girls’ clothes and making love with them – one of the original ‘lads’. No, I do not feel affection. Nor do I feel sexual – even though he tried to get me in the mood by telling me that I might get a “grandfather boyfriend” before he started his advances. I feel dominated by a very intense machine-like power. Calculated to a fine point. Using, taking, complaining, degrading and discarding. And, when all is said and done, I feel it has been destructive to me in its action. This is enough truth for me right now. I need to be happy with not trying to contain the universe of Truth for now, knowing my limitations.

To those inside that say I just wasn’t up to playing with the Divine, and I have blown the opportunity … well maybe that is so, but for now, I need to heal and I’m bleeding profusely from the wounds. I wish you well, you know perfectly well that the facts are true – many many were involved – but you choose to feel that this activity was truly divine. From now on, I am choosing to believe that this is not a useful experiment in human evolution. We each have a choice, it’s our last precious possession. I am now placing my boat on the Thames and asking that great ancient river to use its power to wash all this away and give me back my strength.

Suchatula – October 8, 2014.

I have tried many times over the past 5 years to write about my experiences in the Centre (aka Sri Chinmoy Centre), what happened to shatter my faith in CKG (aka Chinmoy Kumar Ghose or Sri Chinmoy) and why I finally left but I always got stuck on all the details. Here is my attempt at telling you my story.

I joined the Centre in December 1986. I was friends with Nirbachita and Jeevan, who are the sister and brother of Yogaloy. In August 1986, Liz went to New York for an August Celebrations to see what her brothers were doing. She heard about CKG and the Centre from them and thought she'd check it out for herself. Liz came back to California and told me all about CKG, the Centre and all the cool people she had met. Right from the start I believed everything she told me about CKG. She gave me a Transcendental Picture and a few books to introduce me to his teaching. We started to attend the meditation classes in Cupertino, where Giribar was the Centre leader. For the first year I was not sure if that was the direction I wanted to go with my life. I was only 18 years old and I had just finished high school and started my first year of college. The perfect time for Centre recruitment! In October 1987, I asked if I could move to San Francisco to join the Centre there because I wanted to take my "spiritual life" seriously. For the next 20 years my life belonged to Sri Chinmoy, Master of the Universe, Avatar of the Era.

My life in the Centre was a good one. I was happy. I went through my struggles like everyone else, but for the most part I was happy. I got in "trouble" a few times. Once, when I was 20 years old, for growing fond of a member of the opposite sex. Oh boy! CKG called me and gave me the ultimatum. Either I take my spiritual life seriously or I leave the Centre. He said that I still had my looks and that I would have no problem getting a boyfriend. I asked to stay because I felt that I was really blowing a great opportunity to be a disciple of this great master.

Sometime after I was put into the "Children Singers" group so that CKG could keep an eye on me. By that point, I was feeling so guilty for being weak and letting my vital get me into trouble with "God." Being in that singing group was an entire story of its own. Basically, we were supposed to be the excellent disciples, to set an example for others to follow. We were scolded often for "liking" boys, wanting

a boyfriend, some for cutting their hair, or anything else that displeased him. I felt that we were constantly getting tossed back and forth between "you are a good girl" and "you are breaking my heart." I did not really notice the manipulation until after I had left the Centre. We were all so eager to please him ALL THE TIME that we did not think we were being manipulated. Many of the members of the singing group were in the Centre since they were very little children. They grew up in the Centre, hence the name Children Singers (aka "Paree's Group").

Things changed over the years. As the world opened up and the Eastern Block came into play with tons of new Centres opening around the world, CKG started to tighten up the ship. At the time, however, I did not know it was because of the stories starting to come out on the Internet. CKG got very strict with us.

On the Christmas trips, we were to stay near by the hotel function rooms so that if he wanted to dictate poems or songs we would be there to write them down. In my personal experience, if I wanted to do anything, then I had to ask his permission. In New York, we would have to be at the court to sing while he played tennis. When there was no longer a tennis court he would ride his little carts in circles and we would stand along the fence singing. It was the same with the weight lifting.

Anyway, you get the idea, plus most of you were there and saw how it was over the years. We were the lucky ones. The privileged singers who got to spend loads of time in the presence of our great Master. I truly loved my life in the Centre, I loved my Master, who I trusted with my life, and I loved my friends, who were my real family. I could have happily lived my life in the Centre if only

Turns out CKG was just prepping his next generation of sex slaves. He had already had his way with the women of the generation before us and now it was our turn to receive his "Special Blessings."

In December 2006, the Centre Christmas trip was in Turkey and Bulgaria. I was excited to go because I was about to celebrate my 20-year anniversary in the Centre. I remember on the flight over I was thinking how it had been such a long journey. I had gone through so much personal growth and I felt very happy with the progress that I had made in my 20 years on the path. I was 38 years old, I was confident and I felt that I had finally quieted my vital and no longer had any desire for a physical relationship. I had felt I no longer needed that experience in my life.

I could happily live my life as a celibate "nun." I had made my prasad offering of 20 items and I carried it all the way to Antalya, Turkey.

The afternoon that I was to celebrate my anniversary, I was in my hotel room and I heard a knock on my door. I opened it and it was a prominent disciple from the Ottawa Centre asking me where I had been. She looked nervous and anxious. I said I was in my room and asked what was going on? She said Guru was looking for me and I should go with her to her room so he could call me. Soon after we were in her room, Guru called and started asking me questions about my life. When he first asked me if I was ready to surrender I was nervous and afraid. He said if I was afraid then I was not ready to surrender. He got angry and hung up.

The next day I had to go to the same person’s room so CKG could call me again. He asked how many boyfriends I had before I joined the Centre and with how many did I have sex. Did they "penetrate" me? When he asked that question, it made my heart start to race. Again I got nervous. I thought he was going to ask me to marry someone and have kids, but he said he would never ask me to do that. I had heard many years before that Guru had given Govinda – one of the other young singers -- a great opportunity by asking her to tell him about her past boyfriends and he would take away all her impurities. So, I thought that this was what was now happening to me. I thought it would be foolish to blow this opportunity out of fear of the unknown. I told him I was ready to surrender.

Sri Chinmoy asked me to go up to his hotel room. I do not remember what time it was, but it was late. I took my shoes off outside his door and knocked. He answered the door wearing short-shorts and a white singlet. He said come in, come in. I followed him into his hotel suite. There was a bedroom and a living room. The phone rang and he told me to remain very quiet. It was Shikha, another disciple of his, and he did not want anyone knowing that I was there with him alone in his room.

Again CKG began to ask me questions. He asked me what I thought about him, how did I see him? I told him that I saw him as my father, as my friend and as my Supreme. He asked me to embrace him and to touch his feet, then he asked me to place my head on his feet. He was sitting on the couch in the living room. I was nervous because I had never touched him before. He had blessed me on the head

once or twice, but I never touched him. I did not know what to expect. I guess I thought I would have an amazing experience but I did not feel anything. He asked me if I felt anything. I told him that I had always wanted to do that and he just chuckled. He asked me how many years I had been on the path. I told him 20. He said that because I had been on the path for 20 years, the Supreme had very special love for me and that this opportunity the Supreme did not give to everyone.

Sri Chinmoy told me that he wanted me to have sex with a woman.

It was the woman from Ottawa who had come to get me from my room earlier. He said it was not a "lesbian" thing. I was shocked and pretty damn freaked out. My body started to shake and my mind started to swirl. I was so nervous and afraid. I did not know what to do. I was not expecting those words to come out of his mouth. Woman or man it did not matter. We were supposed to be a celibate group. How could he ask me to have sex with anyone?

I said, I do not know how to have sex with a woman, hoping that was going to get me out of this situation. He said she would show me what to do. He called her up to his room and asked us both to remove our clothes. We were standing in front of him while he sat on the couch watching us. He told us to embrace. Then he had us get on the floor. She started to do "stuff" to me and she would say, "He likes it when we do this." Clearly, she was "experienced" in doing what he liked to see.

CKG then instructed me to go down on her. I was hesitant and he got mad at me and sternly said, "Do it!" I might as well have been stoned because my body was shaking so much and my head was spinning. I felt like I was on something. When your body takes on that much stress from your mind it puts you in a numb state. I started to kiss her stomach and I couldn't do it. I said, "This is not working for me." He said you do not like it? I said no, I do not like it. He told us to both go wash our hands and get dressed. CKG then asked the Canadian woman to leave.

Once she was gone, he concentrated on me and told me that my mind was so strong. He said that this was a special opportunity that the Supreme was giving me. At that point, I was so shocked and crushed, I did not want or need any "special opportunities" in my life.

After leaving his room, I just wanted to die. This was not happening. How could this be happening? I trusted him with my life.

I had to stop by the Canadian woman's room to pick up some things I had left there earlier. She wanted me to go in and talk. I was so pissed at her. I told her to give me my things. She told me that she did not like it either, but you just do it. I said, No! If you do not like it then you do not do it! I took my belongings and went back to my room and jumped in the shower. I desperately needed to wash her smell off of me.

The next morning she called me and again wanted to talk. I told her to never call me again. Right after I hung up, CKG called. He asked if I thought my guru was a bad man?

How could I answer that? After being in the Centre for so long and trusting him, I did not know what to think? I did not want to think. I put on my running shoes and went out the door. I had no money of my own and I was in foreign country. What the hell was I supposed to do? So many thoughts go through your mind. Luckily, I ran into Aruna. She was the one person who I was happy to see. Aruna was one of my dearest friends. I met her when she was 11 years old. I saw her grow up in the Centre. She was a baby when her parents joined. She never knew life without Guru. She had utter faith in him. I did not even think of telling her what happened. My life was turned upside down. How could I do the same to her? Plus CKG told me to never tell anyone what happened, especially Palash or one other person. What would happen to me if I started telling people what happened? Would I conveniently disappear? Would I accidentally end up falling over a balcony? I feared for my life.

Over the next few days my mind quieted down and I started to think that maybe I could do what he wanted me to do. It still made no sense, but I did not want to blow this opportunity if that was what it truly was. I started to think how could CKG be wrong? After so many years in the Centre, I figured I must be wrong and he must be right. I started to doubt myself. The next time CKG asked me into a private meeting, it was with him in his little room outside of the function hall. He said that my soul was so sad because the supreme was giving me this opportunity and I did not want it. He was talking in his quiet and sad voice. I told him that my

mind had quieted and I was ready to try again. He said he will let me know when and I had to be ready.

The next time I was approached by the same woman, we were in Bulgaria. I went back to her room two different times to do what he wanted us to do. Afterwards, he would call and ask us if we liked it or if we felt anything. Oh brother!

Bithika was my roommate on that part of the trip. She arrived a few days later. One day I had gone into the room and she was crying. The night before she had been out late. When she returned, she went straight into the shower. I figured CKG had asked her to do the same thing he had me do. I got super pissed off.

I was so mad that the next time he saw me he summoned me to his private room next to the function room and asked me what happened. He said he was frightened when he saw my face. My mind came back stronger than ever and I could not shake the feeling that what he was asking us to do was wrong. He had me kneel in front of him and again he concentrated on me. He said that I belonged to him. He touched my head and said, this belongs to me. Then he touched my heart and said, this belongs to me. And then with the back of his hand he touched the side of my breast and said, this belong longs to me. I could only think to myself, “no, it does not,” but I did not dare say that out loud. I was afraid of him.

Later that day I "won" the prize for having the best meditation. It was a grape. What a revelation! I now understood why people were winning the best meditation. It was all about damage control! He knew I was not happy and he needed to fix things fast.

After our part of that trip was over, I went with Bihagee to Sofia, Bulgaria to visit her parents. I never spoke to either Bihagee or Bithika during that trip about what was going on. I had no idea that Bihagee was also having the same "experience" that I had, only with another person.

Finally I came back to San Francisco and tried to get on with my life. I was messed up! CKG had given me his personal numbers and asked me to call him at certain times while he was still traveling. He asked me how I was feeling. When I told him that I felt like my vital door had been blown open, he laughed.

As the months went, by I grew more and more angry. By July 2007, I could take it no more. I told Palash how I was not doing well in the Centre and I did not know what to do. I never told her what happened because he told me not to tell her. She gave me the best advice, write guru a letter and tell him what's going on. I did but it was not what she was thinking. I told him that I did not feel at all spiritual and that I felt like I was deceiving my friends, my family and myself. I told him that I did not want to have sex with anyone but if I did have to have sex then I wanted it to be with a man but not with him and not with a woman. I was hoping to get thrown out of the Centre but instead he called me. He asked me for forgiveness. He asked, “Can you not forgive me as I have forgiven you so many times?” He said he would never ask me to do anything like that again.

August Celebrations came and he was completely on damage control. I was invited to the house every night, but he would never talk to me. I sometimes caught him looking at me though squinted eyes. I think he did not know what to do with me.

On October 11, 2007 he died.

I was in San Francisco and we got a call. CKG had died. Guru died. It took some time for the reality to sink in. We flew out to New York for the memorial. All the time I was there I could only feel relief. I was finally free. So many people came for the funeral. I tried to feel something more but he had already killed all the love that I had for him. I loved my friends and I was sad that they were suffering, but I was glad he was gone. I played my part and went through the motions but I was like a zombie. Nothing inside. I stayed in the Centre for another year and a few months. I did not want to leave the life that I had known for over 22 years. I loved my friends. They were my family. We grew up together. They saw me struggle over the years.

By December 2008, I knew I needed to make a big change. I decided to go to Germany to stay with Aruna and her parents, Projjwal and Karali. We were all very close and I felt like if I was to make an attempt at saving my spiritual life, then staying with them was my best option. I booked my flight for Germany for February 14, 2009.

In January 2009, a disciple I knew named James was living in Norway. He started emailing a few of us from the SF Centre. He was bored in Oslo and wanted to see how we were all doing. I emailed him back and soon we were emailing each other daily. He was a refreshing change to my life. I enjoyed reading his emails and started to think that he was much more interesting than I ever knew.

One day he asked me if I had ever read Sevika's story. Strangely enough, I immediately got defensive and said you cannot believe what you read on the Internet. Then I stopped myself and thought, “What the hell am I saying???” I had never read anything on the Internet to do with anything against CKG. I decided to read her story.

Oh man! As I was reading, I knew it was all true. There were things that she said

that were so similar to what he asked of me. I could not deny the truth. I sent James

a message and said we need to talk right now! I called him and he did not know

what to expect. I told him that I believed Sevika's story and I told him what happened to me. James was so shocked and he completely believed me. He said he was going to leave the Centre and that I had to leave too. I knew he was right. By telling him, I had crossed the point of no return. I let everyone believe that I was going to Germany. I packed up my room to rent it out. When the day came for me to go, all my roommates went to the Centre meditation. My mother came to SF and picked me and all my belongings up and drove me to my brother’s house.

I was free! I was a major mess, but I was free!!!

Within a week I got a job and a car. I wanted to move on with my life ASAP. However, I got really sick. My life went through a traumatic experience. I no longer believed in anything and I could not see the point of living. Nothing made sense anymore. Luckily, James believed me and it was only his friendship that got me trough the most difficult time of my life. I honestly do not know what would have come of me if it were not for him sticking by me and believing in me. Although he was in Norway, we kept each other going by chatting on Skype almost everyday. He went through his own melt down. He also got very sick. Something happens deep inside when your faith in the person you trusted most turns out to be a fraud. The way your body shuts down is not in your control.

Finally, after months on our own thinking we would never see or hear from anyone in the Centre ever again, things started to change. Nirbachita, now out of the Centre herself, contacted me. After some serious patience on her part, I opened up to her and told her my story. By Nirbachita and Yogaloy knowing me, believing me and trusting me, so much has changed. Without them I am not sure if my story would have been told. I owe many thanks to them both.

It has been over five and a half years now since I walked away from the Centre. My life is very much worth living. I do not regret having been in the Centre because I met some of you wonderful people in the Centre. I am most thankful for meeting James. We would not have met if we were not in the Centre. I love him dearly.

All that said, nothing will ever excuse Sri Chinmoy for his behavior. As the many stories come out, we see more and more how he was manipulative, deceitful, and utterly self-satisfying. He preached the "Truth" but in the end he was the biggest liar. Those who know the truth about him and still support his lie are just as guilty as CKG himself. He was truly a sociopath in every sense of the term. I will never forgive him. I will give him no credit for my spirituality. I have struggled all these years with faith, trust and God. I figured, if that was God's way then I do not need God. I do not believe in "God" nor do I feel the need to believe in God. I believe in myself and those I love. I believe in goodness and honestly. I trust my heart. It did not let me fall prey to CKG's deception after the fact. It gave me the strength to stand up for myself and tell him, No! It took me years after leaving to truly know that I was right and he was wrong. My only regret is that he died before he could be held accountable for his actions.