Yoga storm

Links to stories of survivors

Guru Nishan's Uncomfortable Conversations with survivors and  witnesses

of  abuse by and through Yogi Bhajan and his community - YouTube - Podcast

March 24, 2021

Olivia Taglioli reports about sexual abuse by GuruDev Singh (Master of Sat Nam Rasayan) at 17.

March 9, 2021

Marina, mother of Olivia reports about abuse by Guru Dev Singh


Sexual abuse in Belgium during SNR training

since beginning 2020

Closed FB group 'Beyond the Cage' where survivors who suffered abuses by Yogi Bhajan &/or other leaders, teachers or membes of 3HO find support

Storm in the Kundalini Yoga world

Els Ravinder Coenen - September 4, 2020

Early 2020, a few months before Corona shook humanity, a book was published that initiated a storm through the international Kundalini Yoga community.

Finally! That was my reaction. This promised to be the turning point I was waiting for.

In her book 'Premka. White Bird in a Golden Cage. My life with Yogi Bhajan.' Pamela Saharah Dyson testifies about the sixteen years she spent in the vicinity of Yogi Bhajan, a Sikh from the Punjab (India) who introduced his version of Kundalini Yoga to the West in the late 1960s. While telling her story of sexual and power abuse, she also takes a critical look at her own part in the case. She was number two in the organization for many years.

Her book triggered many other women who suffered from Yogi Bhajan's abuses. They also shared their story. Finally an investigation came.

The leadership of the international Kundalini Yoga organisations could no longer keep looking away. In March 2020, they ordered an independent report from an An Olive Branch, a Buddhist-inspired group specializing in guiding spiritual organisations in investigating ethical issues. They spoke to about two hundred victims and defenders of Yogi Bhajan who wanted to tell their story.

On August 10, An Olive Branch's independent report was published detailing the horror that took place (at least according to the survivors) in the vicinity of a man who was / is worshiped by some as a saint. The report has 76 pages. The conclusion is: 'more likely than not' Bhajan used his power as a spiritual leader to perpetrate a range of abuses against women and female minors that included rape, sexual battery, sexual abuse and sexual harassment. Sensitive souls should been warned before reading the report. A good summary can be found in the article that appeared on August 18 in Religion News Service 'Yogi Bhajan, yoga guru and founder of 3HO,' more likely than not 'sexually abused followers, says report.'

The AOB report only deals with sexual abuse and harassment. But there was more. On July 15, the Los Angeles Magazine published a clear article that also reports on the many other malpractices that took place in the organizations that Yogi Bhajan created: the most sad of all is the sending of very young children to schools in India where they also fall victim to all kinds of abuses. But also business fraud, drug and arms trafficking are discussed.

The so-called 'second generation', the children of Yogi Bhajan's first followers, created a website sharing their painful stories about the 3HO Boarding Schools. Again, I must warn: they are terrible testimonials.

There was so much evidence that malpractise took place. I didn't see them. Many others did not see them either. Why not? We all bear a part of the responsibility.

Below I refer to some documents from the early years of the Kundalini Yoga movement that I would have liked to read during my teacher training.

  • Tej Steiner wrote an open letter to Yogi Bhajan on March 25, 1988 explaining why he wanted to resign as head of Kundalini Yoga Canada. This letter is preceded by a letter he wrote on July 21 of that year. It was addressed to all leaders of KY communities around the world and to the Khalsa Council. He invites them not to avoid their responsibility and to question the malpractices of their spiritual leader.

  • In a recent interview  Tej Steiner looks back at the eihgtteen years he spend in the KY community as one of the leaders. He makes a remarkable comparison between what happened in those days and how Trump fans are reacting today to the outcome of the elections.  A bit long, but interesting because history would have been different if only they had listened to him in the late eighties!

  • The 1977 book 'Sikhism and Tantric Yoga' by Dr. Trilochan Singh is an interesting read for all KY teachers. The author is a renowned Sikh writer. He met YB a number of times and was very unhappy with the way Yogi Bhajan intertwined yoga and Sikhism. What is interesting about the book is that he tells a number of anecdotes, including about Premka. He also details YB's visit with 84 American students to India in 1970. After that trip, 80 students dropped out. That's what he claims. During that visit Yogi Bhajan broke with his old teachers. From then on he also changed the stories about the origin of his knowledge. The book is complementary to the story of Premka and gives a good impression of the early years of the organisation.