06:18 GMT +317 November 2019
Listen Live
    People practice yoga in New York's Times Square, Friday, June 21, 2013. Yoga enthusiast marked the longest day of the year with five free Mind Over Madness yoga classes in Times Square.

    'Sex Cult': World's Biggest Yoga School Founder Accused of Sexual Assault

    © AP Photo / Mary Altaffer
    Get short URL

    In July, Thai media reported that multiple women had accused the founder of one of the world’s largest tantric yoga training centers, Swami Vivekananda Saraswati, of sexual assault.

    A Guardian report has cited sixteen former pupils and staff who said they felt a “sex cult” was operating inside the center and claimed that the Agama Yoga Center on the island of Koh Pha-ngan largely facilitated sexual assault and even rape.

    READ MORE: Professor Charged With Killing Wife, Daughter With Yoga Ball Leaking Deadly Gas

    Multiple accounts claim that hundreds of women were allegedly “brainwashed” into having sex with Swami Vivekananda Saraswati, whose real name is Narcis Tarcau, under the guise of helping them to reach enlightenment or tantric healing.

    The majority of the 14 women in question came from the UK, Australia, Brazil, the US and Canada and spoke to The Guardian on the condition of anonymity. They claimed they had been assaulted by several senior male staffers, and the culture of sexual misconduct was normalized at the school.

    “It definitely felt like a cult, he put a spell over us and people had completely blind trust in him and his spiritual powers,” one woman told the media outlet.

    Agama issued a statement to The Guardian, apologizing for the “suffering expressed by many women,” at the same time denying the accusations that the school was a “sex cult.”

    “Agama Yoga is a spiritual university whose core principles are rooted in the authentic yoga tradition. Our teachings follow the principles and teachings of the tantric path. Sexual tantra is a limited part of the authentic tantric tradition and a limited part of our teachings. It is clearly separated from the main curriculum.”

    The Thai Military and Royal Thai Police have carried out raids at Agama, with charges being filed against Tarcau. The Swami is currently believed to have fled Thailand after a number of women went public with allegations against the Agama center and its founder. The yoga school has launched an independent investigation into the claims.

    allegation, sexual assault, rape, sex cult, yoga, Thailand
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik