Children Sexually and Physically Abused at Indian Yoga Guru’s Ashram in Australia
During the public hearing into the sexual abuse case, Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse presented with evidence that children as young as four years were starved and were subjected to horrifying physical and sexual abuse by an ashram in Australia.
According to the evidence, the children in the ashram were tortured and drugged by the members of the ashram. According to reports, the children in the ashram were forced by Guruji of the Satyananda ashram and other members to expose their genitals to the members and were treated for ailments using morphine.
According to a former child resident, she was forced to show genitals to ashramam members. She said that she had witnessed the torturing given to children as young as four, when she was in the ashram with her family during the year 1978. She was only nine years old, then.
Parents brought their children to the Satyananda Yoga Ashram during the period of 1970 to 1980 thinking that the children will have a better life at the ashram. According to the commission, these children in the ashram were subjected to horrendous sexual abuse and physical torture.
The former child resident was with her elder sister in the ashram which is located in Mangrove Mountains in New South Wales. Her elder sister told the commission the sexual activity was banned at the ashram and who ever disobeyed the order was punished by the Guru Swami Akhandanandha Saraswati. This ashram was established in the year 1974 by the Akhandanandha.
She also revealed to the commission that if the guru found out that any of the members in the ashram were having sex, the guru would publicly beat them and shame them. The commission also noted that the Guru was a serial sex abuser and forced the child residents to perform immoral acts for his gratification. Akhandanandha died 17 years ago.
According to the commission, more than 11 children in the ashram were abused by the guru when they were living in the ashram between 1970s and 1980s. They threatened the victims that they would kill them or beat them or cast out them, if they disclosed the things happening in the ashram.
The commission also heard that Akhandananda who moved to Australia from India in 1974 started a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old minor girl. It is necessary to create awareness among people not to follow the person who claims themselves as Gods or are the mediator to reach the God.