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Yoga Association Maintains Cult Connections
Yoga Teacher's Association Australia is unapologetic about contributing to deceptive recruitment by Australian School of Meditation and Yoga
By: Meditation and Yoga Awareness
At the time, Australian School of Meditation and Yoga was not, and never had been, a member of any Yoga associations. In early 2008 ASMY sought and received membership of the Yoga Teachers Association of Australia and began prominent display of YTAA logos on their website.
The prominently displayed logos give the impression that the entire organisation is certified, when infact only a single yoga teacher, Margaret Doyle, known within the cult by her initiated name of Vrindarvan dasi is a member. YTAA has refused to comment on what her qualifications actually are or to advise ASMY that their use of the Associations logo gives a false impression to potential students.
YTAA has also refused complaints by former members that ASMY is deceptive in their advertising for failing to disclose that they are the Australian branch of the Science of Identity Foundation. This distinct sect founded by Chris Butler aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa is a mixture of his own interpretations of Hinduism blended with Christianity and various new age concepts. As he puts it : "When we teach the Science of Identity, we are actually attempting to help people come to experience a completely different and correct view of themselves and reality."
Publically available documents lodged in the US include a signed statement by long serving President Jeannie Bishop aka Jamuna dasi : "Yoga is an intregal part of the organization's religious beliefs and practices as the proper practice of hatha yoga provides mental, physical and spiritual benefits, assists in developing one's interest in spiritual life, and facilitates the religious practices taught by the Science of Identity Foundation...The Science of Identity Foundation is a church."
Despite claims of maintaining ethical standards, which include truthful advertising YTAA has refused to consider the links to the Science of Identity Foundation or materials exclusively distributed in Australia by ASMY which vilify homosexuals, women and people of other religions - particularly christians, because the organisation is not in Australia.
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Meditation and Yoga Awareness is a new lobbying organisation founded by former members of Australian School of Meditation and other branches of Science of Identity to raise community awareness and advocate for truthful representation of meditation and yoga classes.