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!
Sujan S.(Roma, Italia)