My Point About the Report

As many know by now, “An Olive Branch” (Entity without any license or authorization to carry out investigations) has received from the CRT (Collaborative Response Team – 3HO, 3HO Europe, SSSC, KRI, SDI) the task of carrying out a independent investigation (… commissioned an independent organization, An Olive Branch – AOB, to conduct an independent investigation into the allegations …) in order to assess the reliability and validity of a series of accusations against Yogi Bhajan (abuses etc.).

 

Reading the recently released report, it is noted that:

 

– To protect the privacy of the people interviewed, a number is indicated (e.g. 86: Yogi Bhajan …), followed by the accusation against Yogi Bhajan.

 

– When third parties are involved, to protect their privacy, [Name] is indicated, followed by what these people would have done.

 

– At the end of each section reserved to the testimonies of the alleged victims, there are the conclusions assumed by AOB.

 

– In conclusion, there is a summary of the accusations against Yogi Bhajan and a series of suggestions that AOB gives to organizations referred to Yogi Bhajan’s teachings to deal with the whole situation (especially after the release of the report).

 

In summary, what do we really have in hand?

 

Here are some of my considerations, ergo “fallible”, and we could discuss them together…

 

The meaning of “Investigation” is: “Systematic activity, to establish the truth about certain facts”. “Establish the truth”.

 

As regard all that, something drew my attention. Whenever third persons appear in the accounts of the alleged victims (the “[Name]” indicated above), there is never a reference to a search for evidence by calling the [Name] to confirm or deny the accounts of the alleged victims.

It should be added that it is true that testimonies in favor of Yogi Bhajan were also collected in the report but, it is important to specify that, these testimonies never concerned the specific accusations made against Yogi Bhajan, but they are only comments regarding his person, his teachings and his works.

I ask to myself: what investigative activity has been carried out if, when third parties were involved in the facts reported, they were not asked to give their version?

 

Is it an investigative activity to collect and catalog a series of statements, without any subsequent verification?

Looking beyond, two sentences caught my attention, because they are practically always repeated when it comes to “conclusions”:

 

– “In public social media made available to us, we found no confirmation or disconfirmation of these allegations …”

 

– “… we have sufficient evidence to conclude it is more likely than not that Yogi Bhajan …”

And then I ask to myself: can a person’s credibility and reputation be so deeply stained by accusations whose validity has not been established even by those who carried out the whole investigation? In social media they have not found confirmation or denial of the accusations against Yogi Bhajan and, at most, they can go so far as to say that it is “more likely than not” that what was said has happened (a banal and obvious conclusion if one considers only the part of the alleged victims).

 

Overlooking the “small” detail that, in all this investigative activity, no space for reply has been given to those who represents Yogi Bhajan today, would these be the conclusions of a “systematic work to establish the truth of the facts”?

 

Are we sure that alleged victims and alleged perpetrators (Yogi Bhajan and some [Name] sometimes called into question as accomplices) have been treated in an absolutely impartial way, guaranteeing both of them the opportunity to offer their own version of the facts? How has this been or has not been done and why?

 

“An Olive Branch” has easily “dissociated” itself from this point: when we talk about “burden of proof” they write verbatim “Our charge was to evaluate all the evidence for a specific complaint and to apply a specific standard of proof, not to determine that the allegations were ‘true’ or ‘false’…”

 

“Not to determine that the allegations were true or false”??? What??? So what is the use of an investigation if it does not help determine if the allegations are true or false???

It is fundamental to know what “More likely than not” means for An Olive Branch ; is clearly explained: “… means that the claims is at least 50,01% likely to have occurred” … and they continue (to “unmark” definitively) reiterating that “This finding is not the same as a finding that an allegation is true or that the accuser is telling the truth”.

 

The CRT has commissioned an investigation into events that will have repercussions on thousands of people and we are satisfied with a “maybe-truth” (not because I define it as such, but because it is the one the investigators gave, and it has been well paid! – we are talking about 3- $ 500,000 – to investigate clearly and unambiguously, it states) and is this disclosed without any further verification?

 

Who benefits from all this?

 

If you were Yogi Bhajan, how would we feel?

Let’s try to imagine how we would feel if we were faced with infamous accusations and, without any form of contradictory, the investigator publicly declares that “it is more likely than not” that we are guilty (obvious outcome, given that only a part has been heard) – even if those who publicly expose us as “guilty” state that they are unable to determine if the allegations are true or false .

 

What will people remember? Our guilt, our perversion or the footnotes that the investigator has inserted to discharge any responsibility for her own action?

All of this, how does it have to do with the “striving for the truth” that should be one of the goals, if not the main one, of a community that draws on millenary teachings that aim at growth as individuals and as a “group” in awareness and consciousness?

I’m not a lawyer, but as a simple reader it’s clear that something “strange” is really going on. Just my 2 cents!

Many blessings!
Sujan S.(Roma, Italia)

Mistruths from the SSSC

This website shows the steps taken by the Students of Yogi Bhajan, which demonstrate the irresponsibility of the Siri Singh Sahib Corp (SSSC) in commissioning an incompetent “investigation” into allegations against Yogi Bhajan.

  1. Unfair “Investigation” in May 2020
  2. Illegal “Investigation” in July 2020
  3. Mistruths from the SSSC in August 2020
  4. Analysis of the AOB Report in September 2020
  5. The Thompson Report in December 2020
  6. Complaints against the SSSC filed with the EPS Office in February 2021

An unfair investigation yielded a bogus report against Yogi Bhajan.

In their attempt to address concerns brought forward on this website, the SSSC sent an August 14, 2020 “Follow Up Letter” to the community.  Multiple sources have confirmed that there are multiple mis-truths conveyed in this letter.  The following is actually the TRUTH:

  1. The ODCs letter argues that the Pennsylvania District Attorney’s declined to prosecute AOB because “it did not appear that anyone in Pennsylvania was being investigated and that none of the activities under investigation occurred in Pennsylvania”. By this logic, AOB would have to be licensed in NM, CA and every other state where witnesses or the reporters are located.  AOB is not licensed in any of these states, nor do they meet the qualifications to even apply for a license. So, no matter where the investigation occurred, it is illegal.     And this is not just a technical thing. States require professionals to be licensed to protect the public from people who do not have the minimum qualifications to do what they say they can do.
  2. People are always represented after they die in investigations of what they did when they were alive – in car accidents where they die after causing  other people to be hurt, contract disputes, property disputes, etc. It happens every day. In fact the people appointed are called “personal representatives” of the deceased person.
  3. If there was a code of secrecy about the sex, how could anyone know to give whatever information to AOB they may have known if they didn’t know what the allegations were? And none of this was on social media. In fact according to the Report, the extent of the investigation done with regard to the sex was to hear what the people making accusations said. That is where a real investigation begins, not where it ends.
  4. The First Amendment does not cover churches when they hire outside people to do jobs – plumbers to fix backed up toilets in a Gurdwara, a building contractor to build a Gurdwara, CPAs to investigate financial records and private investigators to investigate behavior. They all need to be properly licensed. It does cover a church and licenses are not needed only if people INSIDE the church do these things – a maintenance man to fix the toilet and our own EPS investigative team to investigate complaints, etc. With this twisted logic, churches would not need to have building permits, building inspections, etc. when they build Gurdwaras.
  5. And by the way, AOB is not part of the Zen Center. It is a for profit corporation.

The entire letter looks like it was written by lawyers who are trying to cover themselves after not doing their job of properly vetting AOB. It is wrong at every turn. And this is not legally complicated stuff.

Contributors to this Website

The primary contributors to this website have been:

OngKar Kaur

OngKar first met Yogi Bhajan in 1969, when she was 5 years old. Her family was close to SSS and over the years, he stayed at her home many times.  She also had the opportunity to serve him for extended periods of time as an adult when he visited her community.  

When the firestorm of allegations against Yogi Bhajan started to take place, it became apparent that no one was representing him and that the actions which were taking place were assuming he was guilty. As a Sikh, a seeker of truth, we learn that part of getting to the truth is looking at all sides.

OngKar started talking to dozens of people in our Dharma, many who were close to Yogi Bhajan on a daily basis for many years.  Through her conversations, many people expressed that they felt disheartened and frustrated that Yogi Bhajan was not being represented and that the only voices being heard were what was communicated directly from the CRT or on behalf of the accusers via social media.

She started digging into what a fair investigation should look like.  This website is a result of what she learned and is a forum for people to understand more about what a fair investigation entails.  OngKar also created the review of the “Bogus Report” done by AOB, using information she had collected for the prior 6 months.

Her views are consistent with hundreds of “Students of Yogi Bhajan” around the globe.

Disclaimer:  OngKar works for Sikh Dharma International and her opinion does not represent the opinion of the Sikh Dharma International organization.

Guru Terath Singh

As a student of Yogi Bhajan and because of his extensive experience with investigations, early on in this process, Guru Terath Singh had deep concerns about how things were being handled.

His contribution to this website is in the form of speaking to the “Best Practices” of how investigations should be conducted, and how horribly wrong the AOB process was in conducting their “investigation”.

About Guru Terath Singh

Guru Terath Singh served as the Chancellor for Sikh Dharma for over 30 years. As a New Mexico State Prosecutor for 25 years, he was involved in thousands of investigations regarding whether the State should take action against the licenses of health care professionals – doctors, dentists, psychologists, as well as CPAs, real estate agents, etc. He was also a Judge for the State Public Education Dept. for 20 years in cases whether charges were brought against licensed teachers and administrators. The stakes were very high. There was the need to protect the public from offenders and there was the possibility of stripping innocent people of their livelihoods after years of education, training and practice. These investigations had to be done fairly and right.

He was also one of the first lawyers in the United States to represent multiple victims of priest sex abuse and was involved in a Federal Court lawsuit against the Catholic Church in Catholic New Mexico in the 1990’s.

In contrast to Guru Terath’s experience, the AOB, has done only two investigations, according to the CRT April 21, 2020 update:

“AOB has performed five projects for Buddhist organizations. Of the five projects, two were independent investigations, including interviewing students who reported harm and receiving testimony from supporters of their teacher and rebuttal witnesses.”

3rd Time Confronted with Allegations

Guru Terath Singh Khalsa served as the Chancellor for Sikh Dharma, for over 30 years.  These are his words about the controversy surrounding allegations of sexual misconduct by Yogi Bhajan, shared on February 28, 2020.

If this is the first time you have engaged with these allegations, it is a gut-wrenching experience. There is a deep desire to want to believe a woman – or women – who say they were sexually abused and assaulted by a powerful man. And, for those of us – including me –who spent decades assimilating the SSS’s (Siri Singh Sahib aka Yogi Bhajan) teachings and personally interacting with him on an ongoing, regular basis regarding important matters, it seems inconceivable that he would have committed these monstrous and evil acts. But it has happened – Bernie Madoff and Elijah Mohammad are prominent examples. In his recent book, Malcolm Gladwell refers to these people as mismatched personalities.

This is the 3rd time that I have been confronted with these allegations. The 1st time was 40 years ago in the 1970s when Time Magazine notified us that they wanted to give us an opportunity to respond to a story about YB (Yogi Bhajan) and 3HO (3HO Foundation) they were going to publish. The article stated that what YB was teaching was not Sikhism, that yoga had no place in a Sikh’s life, that he was sexually promiscuous and many other things generally describing him as “a charlatan and a heretic.”  The SSS had me as Chancellor conduct an internal investigation and contact and have numerous meetings with the Time reporters, giving them documentation that there was no basis for many of the allegations. It didn’t matter. Except for misquoting me, the story went out as originally drafted, and life went on.

As a New Mexico State Prosecutor for 25 years, I was involved in thousands of investigations regarding whether the State should take action against the licenses of health care professionals – doctors, dentists, psychologists, as well as CPAs, real estate agents, etc. I was also a Judge for the State Public Education Dept. for 20 years in cases whether charges were brought against licensed teachers and administrators. The stakes were very high. There was the need to protect the public from offenders and there was the possibility of stripping innocent people of their livelihoods after years of education, training and practice. They had to be done fairly and right. In the typical “he said-she said” sex cases where both people could be believed, investigations would look at other things and interview other people regarding what the parties did, said and wrote in the context of the sex claim to try to determine who was credible.

The 2nd time I was confronted with these allegations was 30 years ago when Premka (author of “Premka: White Bird in a Golden Cage”) and Kate filed lawsuits against the SSS alleging that they were helpless, brainwashed victims of his treachery. I had worked with Premka for over 10 years on a regular basis as we and so many others were laying the foundation for all that exists today – the beginning of the Khalsa Council, development of the local and international Sikh Dharma, 3HO and KRI organizations, the purchase of Ram Das Puri, the beginning of the India school program, relationships with the India Sikh bureaucracy, the beginning of the businesses, etc. I knew her.

For me Premka’s case was easy. She alleged in the lawsuit that the (kundalini) yoga that YB taught subjected her to a “thought reform (brainwashing) program.” She claimed that while many creative publications went out under her name (“Peace Lagoon, “Beads of Truth,” etc.), she “exercised no independent thought,” that “she was not the creator of the thoughts,”, that in most cases “she had no independent knowledge of the facts, ideas or feelings she related when she wrote,” that she was nothing more than a “robot” and a “scribe,” and that ”she performed no in depth analysis.” She hired “experts” who would testify about the brainwashing effects of doing kundalini yoga that deprived her and others of the ability to exercise independent judgment. Many of these “experts” were associated with deprogramming kidnappings that occurred in the 1970s and 80s.

Now apparently “many” women are saying that they were victims of similar assaults.

How does any conscious person respond to these allegations?

Fortunately, societies have been confronted with these problems since time eternal. When done with dispassionate analysis, they have been done successfully. The ”Boston Massacre” case is an example. When done with preconceived beliefs regardless of the facts, there have been horrific results (the Salem Witchcraft Trials). To examine and understand this phenomenon, read “Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds,” describing some of the most widespread and accepted delusions in human history.

There is a most basic approach that has been used. Before jumping to conclusions and aligning with others of similar beliefs, find out what did or did not happen. There have been all kinds of uninformed, emotional responses – it happened! It didn’t happen! All of these good faith reactions have been published to the world before even one thorough investigation of these claims has been completed.  Not one. The result is that some of the Siblings of Destiny are beginning to form a circular firing squad, and that is dangerous.

And yet, without an in depth attempt to get to the bottom of this, the first “official” communication that went out to the world was: ”Credible allegations concerning sexual misconduct…”  While the allegations are clearly serious, no one – no one – knows if they are credible without a thorough investigation.

It is time to step back, take a breath and before making one of the most important decisions of your life, wait until you receive the results of what is hoped to be a professional, competent and unbiased investigation of the claims. Anything less is a disservice to you, your family, your students and each other.