As in sensitive corporate assignments, this young godman made his devotees sign a contract. These are supposedly educated people, mostly women, many NRIs. He used that old bait – ancient tantric secrets.
I am surprised that despite the clarity of the contractual obligations there were signatories. Here are some details:
“Volunteer understands that the programme may involve the learning and practice of ancient tantric secrets associated with male and female ecstasy, including the use of sexual energy for increased intimacy/spiritual connection, pleasure, harmony and freedom. Volunteer understands that these activities could be physically and mentally challenging, and may involve nudity, access to visual images, graphic visual depictions, and descriptions of nudity and sexual activity, close physical proximity and intimacy, verbal and written descriptions and audio sounds of a sexually oriented, and erotic nature, etc.
“By reading and signing this addendum, a volunteer irrevocably acknowledges that he/she is voluntarily giving his/her unconditional acceptance of such activities, and discharges the leader and the foundation, and anyone else not specifically mentioned here, but directly or indirectly involved in the organisation, from any liability, direct or indirect, arising from such activities.’’
Wow. Therefore, on what grounds have some of the followers been pleading innocence? Is it because they are not supposed to disclose details? Was there any provision of a possible civil or criminal case? Had they been informed about such a possibility? Obviously not.
Since the swami made his intentions clear, he was not using those people; they agreed to become a party to this learning. It really amounts to raiding a whore house and arresting the clients who are aware of what they are going for.
Aside from this, questions can be asked as to how this was kept hush-hush for so long. We have had a few celebrities saying how they attended his lectures and do not know anything beyond this. If the clause is so exhaustive, then it is unlikely they were ignorant.
The crucial point is: were any of the devotees used inappropriately? Were they conscious that they were being taped? Was this part of the learning process? If not, then did the swami arrange for it so that he could later blackmail them? That being the case, there is a strong argument to be made against him for misleading and cheating and wrongly binding them with this document. He could be tried for virtually making them into slaves. Will this qualify as bonded labour?
But, if they had an idea of what was going on, if they had watched the tapes together during the ‘cooling down’ sessions, then they are equally culpable.
Did the cops not get a whiff of this before? Did some disgruntled devotee squeal? Are such institutes permitted to be registered as ashrams and are their activities monitored? Has the money been accounted for? If it operates along the lines of NGOs, are the devotees exempt from tax if they made donations?
I have this deadpan tone as I type, but I find it both amusing and extremely fascinating that something like this could take place with this level of professionalism. I think we need people like this in our government organisation. With it will come whistle-blowers. All transparent.