Kata Rocks
THE PAVILIONS PHUKET BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL, PHUKET Kata Rocks
Login | Create Account Poll Currency Weather Facebook Youtube Search

Scandal-plagued tantric yoga school on Koh Pha-ngan closes

BANGKOK: The world’s biggest tantric yoga school is closing until the end of the year while it investigates allegations of rape and sexual abuse over a period of 15 years at its flagship location on Koh Pha-ngan.

healthcrime
By Bangkok Post

Saturday 15 September 2018, 02:47PM


The open letter was posted on the yoga school’s website. Image: Agamayoga.com

The open letter was posted on the yoga school’s website. Image: Agamayoga.com

Sixteen former staff and pupils of the Agama school on the resort island in Surat Thani alleged in interviews with The Guardian newspaper that the school facilitated rape, sexual assault and misogynist teachings at the hands of its leader Swami Vivekananda Saraswati, a Romanian whose real name is Narcis Tarcau.

The complainants allege that hundreds of women were conditioned into believing that sex with Tarcau would heal them physically and spiritually, The Guardian reported earlier this month. (See story here.)

The school says it is conducting an independent inquiry into the allegations and has posted an open letter on its website (see here) asking anyone with concerns to come forward. In a statement, Agama said it “sincerely apologises once more for any harm that any Agama teacher may have caused” and announced it would be closing the school until December to carry out a “restructuring”.

The Guardian said Tarcau is understood to have left Koh Pha-ngan in July, when several women went public with the allegations of abuse at Agama, and is no longer in Thailand. He could not be reached directly for comment, the British newspaper said.

In additional to the sexual assault allegations, the 16 former pupils and staff have also claimed that Tarcau convinced them of “dangerous” theories which had long-term health implications, including that following Agama yoga teachings meant you would not get cancer, as well as actively condemning the use of condoms as they “disrupted the flow of energy” during sex.

Chlamydia was allegedly rife across the school, with multiple women saying they contracted the infection there. One woman told The Guardian she spent more than £200 (more than B8,500) on STI tests during her time at Agama.

Another, Nancy Miller, who was a teacher at Agama, said she had found a lump in her breast but did not follow it up. “I actually thought ‘I’m an Agama yogi, this is impossible’ so didn’t go to get the mammogram,” she told the newspaper. It was the discovery in 2012 that she did have breast cancer, which led her to have a mastectomy, that prompted her to sever ties with the school.

Agama denied allegations that its teachings had been damaging to students or that the school was a sex cult. It described the teachings of Agama as “the blending of traditional and modern, with a constant interest toward science and the new research on yoga and spirituality”.

“Information taken out of context can be distorted and interpreted in all possible ways according to individual interest,” it said in a statement to The Guardian. “This is what we see in the allegations on our teachings with the intent of building in the eye of the public the image of a cult and destroy our school and business.”

Tarcau is also alleged to have asked devoted pupils for money for projects which never materialised, specifically a haven in New Zealand for Agama after he had “prophesised” that the third world war would occur in August 2005.

One member recalls Tarcau asking pupils to pay an initial $300, and then another $700 to fund a group that had gone to New Zealand to set up a “safe place”. For those who took longer than a month to pay, they allege that the fee went up to $4,900 (more than B160,000).

 

Read original story here.

 

 

Comment on this story

* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.

Comments Here:
Comments Left:
# Characters
Username:
Password:
E-mail:
Security:

CaptainJack69 | 17 September 2018 - 11:45:57

Well if these muppets thought this hockus-pockus could cure cancer (or at least prevent it it seems) then they are all fools and this definitely IS a cult.

Have a news tip-off? Click here

 

Phuket community
Phuket Opinion: Recalibrating the retirement visa

I would bet most of the runners are tourists, not retirees....(Read More)


Phuket Opinion: Recalibrating the retirement visa

“Dr Nutthawut also plainly pointed out that the government is looking to unload the burden of foot...(Read More)


Phuket Marine Office to destroy abandoned Chinese fishing boats

A great idea I read here from BenPendejo! Removal of hazardous/polluting stuff, and sink them somewh...(Read More)


Baby Jumbo is dead

Total disregard for the animals in their care. Many abused drugged animals for ‘use’ by tourists...(Read More)


Cabinet approves mandatory health insurance for long-stay visas

So it is the pesky long stay foreigners cheating the hospitals. Go to private hospital and you have...(Read More)


Phuket elephant rides in the sea given all clear

These DLD guys are useless idiots. How many times have we heard about them visiting that horrible Zo...(Read More)


Phuket Marine Office to destroy abandoned Chinese fishing boats

Oh boy. Let's see how this turns out. I guess some locals decided they want a few parts. I'm...(Read More)


Baby Jumbo is dead

They created a "special area" for him to recover. The idiots didn't think that a mud h...(Read More)


Baby Jumbo is dead

Third World Country's like Thailand should not have the right to have a Zoo they don't unde...(Read More)


Phuket elephant rides in the sea given all clear

Do they understand that the tide moves in and out? That the elephants will be trampling different ar...(Read More)