The AOB report gives no indication that they took the time to verify that the accusers ever met Yogi Bhajan or had the type of access they describe in their allegations. Since the claims were not made public, many community members did their own research to find out what they could about the allegations and who was making them. They were able to identity some of the women and contacted dozens of people who knew the accusers well and who were regularly at Yogi Bhajan’s home. Those contacted included personal staff, cooks, drivers, household staff, sevadars, etc.
No Verification of Identity or Statements
One Yogi Bhajan supporter recounts this conversation they had with AOB:
AOB said that they were confused by our names, and asked, “Do you know how many people we’ve talked with? How could we verify their identities? We don’t have to verify people; people call us, and we take them at their word that they are who they say they are. We were told to take what we hear as credible. We do not have an investigative team to verify everything. We took statements from people and we were told to provide counseling money to people who fit the criteria.”
Evidence Not Considered
As a result of the community’s independent research, important facts, including court documents and letters written at the time, were provided to AOB to disprove the credibility of some of the accuser’s claims. This valuable evidence was not mentioned in the AOB report. Yet the report states time and time again how it was “more than likely than not” that Yogi Bhajan had done the things these women accuse him of.
Medical Evidence Given No Weight
Yogi Bhajan’s health was poor during the later years of his life, and according to medical professionals, he was physically unable to do the things he was accused of during that time. At least three women who we believe made claims were on his staff in his later years. AOB was given Yogi Bhajan’s detailed medical history, and they were offered medical records to back it up. AOB did not request to see the medical records and completely ignored the medical evidence which refuted the claims of these women. None of this information was mentioned in the report.
Communications Deliberately Kept Out of the Report
One community member spoke with a number of the accusers, and with many people who knew the accusers. Valuable information was provided to AOB which questioned the credibility of the claims they had heard about via social media and “listening tours” hosted on Zoom. AOB then told them they were not doing an investigation. The person replied, “Yes, you were hired to do so, and all the communications from the CRT said you are doing an investigation.” Again, AOB said they were not hired to do an investigation; they were hired to take statements and provide a report.
Another Yogi Bhajan supporter said none of information they shared with AOB which questioned the integrity of the accusers and their stories is mentioned in the report; moreover, more than 20 other supporters of Yogi Bhajan say their information disputing the allegations is not included in the report either.
The purpose of an investigative report is to provide readers with an objective, unbiased statement of what information was found during the course of the investigation. The fact that AOB left the information, provided by these supporters, out of the report could be nothing but a deliberate attempt to lead the readers to a specific narrative predetermined by AOB. Given that AOB spoke to 140 supporters, it is more than likely that there is even more information refuting the allegations that AOB omitted from their report as well.
Fabricated Stories Accepted by AOB
One person knew a woman who had never even met Yogi Bhajan, who had called AOB to make a claim. The person contacted AOB and inquired, “Can someone really just call and give a name and story, without it being verified?” AOB replied that they do not have the resources to look at both sides of a story; and admitted that they only take statements.
The person told AOB about the false claim given by this woman who had never met Yogi Bhajan and asked, “Do you want me to tell you about her? She has falsely accused other men and has no credibility.” They asked how he knew about it and he said the woman had told him. He asked how they were going to verify her story. AOB said they would not be verifying it; it would just be added to the report. They said that they take people at their word as being credible.
After this experience, this person decided to do a “test” of AOB protocols. He called AOB multiple times using different names. AOB accepted whatever name he used. When he asked about their investigative process, he was told that AOB could only discuss their process with people making a complaint. So, he called back using another name and made a complaint about sexual abuse by Yogi Bhajan.
The AOB interviewer commented that they had received claims from women, but not men; that his being a man made it more “balanced.” He proceeded to tell the interviewer a fabricated story of abuse. By doing so, he confirmed that accusers’ identities and stories are not verified in any way whatsoever!
After telling his fabricated story, he was told that his claim would be in the report and that it would be anonymous and if he wanted to contact them to tell them anything else, he could call back any time.
He asked the interviewer how they were going to verify his story. They said that they were not going to. The person asked the interviewer, “how do you know if my story is true?” The interviewer said that they take all stories as credible; that they do not confirm anyone’s story; that they do not do investigations; that it says on their website they don’t do investigations.
After giving his false story and confirming what their process was, the person asked to speak with a supervisor. The supervisor came on the phone and he told both her and the interviewer that his story was not true; that it was a spoof; that he had made it up to see if they would do anything to validate it; that the name he had given was not his legal name; and that in fact, he had never met Yogi Bhajan.
The AOB interviewer said “What?”. He said, “the story I just told you never happened.” The interviewer said, “What do you mean?” He said that it couldn’t have happened; that he came to the Dharma after Yogi Bhajan left his body; that he wasn’t even there. The interviewer said that she didn’t believe him; that she thought his story was true; that it sounded like it was authentic and true. She said that he was covering for Yogi Bhajan; she said she could “feel that he was telling the truth”; that he was emotional and that he was “crying while telling his story” (he wasn’t actually crying; it was her interpretation of him talking). He told the interviewer and the supervisor that the reason he had called to give a false complaint was that 1) he had heard they don’t verify the identity of accusers and do not get confirmations of stories and that 2) he knew others who were giving false complaints; so he called in to test the system; to see what they would do if he made a false claim; that they had failed the system.