In the report, there are only general comments by “Yogi Bhajan Supporters” who contacted AOB to vouch for his character in a general way, sharing “nice and supportive” comments. These seem to have been included in order to compliment the narrative which was portrayed by AOB of long-time community members, who support Yogi Bhajan, or who were closest to him, as being cult members who edify him as a God.
To the contrary, many of these people, are conscious, God loving people, who also happen to love and appreciate their Spiritual Teacher. Many of them contacted AOB with extremely valuable information, which calls into question the veracity of the stories of the accusers.
The report included no substantive, credible information provided to them by the supporters, which questioned the credibility of the claims. In this way, the report is extremely one-sided and biased.
There were instances where people shared with AOB that they had been at Yogi Bhajan’s home every day until 11pm for years, were his driver for years and had indeed lived with some of the accusers. When they listed these details in an email to AOB, the AOB replied, asking if their statement was good enough, or whether they wanted to have an interview. Others who lived on Yogi Bhajan’s home property and were part of his household day and night for years, and who knew his staff and the “comings and goings”, were not granted interviews.
Wouldn’t these people be the very ones who, someone conducting an investigation would want to question? For example, the claims of group sex and orgies. Wouldn’t these people most likely have seen or heard something?
The report dismisses these people, because some supposed claims happened behind closed doors. However, if the behaviors described in the report had been happening over the decades of time that the accusers claim these behaviors happened, somewhere along the way, people would have “tripped up” and spilled the beans. In as close knit of a community as we are, and with so many people who were around Yogi Bhajan day and night, someone would have heard something.
After their interviews, sometimes lasting for more than 1-2 hours, people voicing their support of Yogi Bhajan, or who had information to refute the claims, were simply asked these 2 questions at the end of their interview:
- Did you ever see or hear of orgies taking place? The only reference any supporters had ever heard of about this, until this report came out, was in a slanderous article against our Dharma.
- Even though we’ve heard Yogi Bhajan was a good person and helped many people, don’t you think there’s any way he was just a man who had certain needs?
Very few other, if any, probing questions relating to the claims, were asked of the supporters by the AOB interviewer. Mostly, they just took any statements the supporters wanted to share and did not proactively ask questions.
On page 68, the report says,
“Even though many attended various gatherings to receive his teachings, not everyone was in his immediate, daily environment and so did not experience the proximity that the Reporters experienced.”)
Contrary to their effort at rewriting history, as if only the reporters were closest to Yogi Bhajan, AOB does not mention anywhere in their findings anything about supporters having the same “proximity”. From what they say in the report, it would seem that the supporters are simply blindly following Yogi Bhajan, without having the same access and understandings as the accusers. This is biased and simply not true.
On page 53, AOB states
“As reported earlier in Section 7.1, Supporters’ interviews and statements also offered general refutations that questioned why Yogi Bhajan, as an evolved a human being, would want or need to engage in sexual relations with his students and that they themselves had never witnessed such behavior by their teacher.”
This question, which AOB asked of supporters, “questioned why Yogi Bhajan, as an evolved a human being, would want or need to engage in sexual relations with his students”. If the supporters never saw ANY acts of sexual misconduct and they truly believe in his integrity, then, yes, they would indeed refute the question.
If the goal was indeed to get to the truth, many questions could have been asked of Yogi Bhajan supporters, who were around him so much (i.e. did you ever see any indication of sexual abuse? Did you ever see anyone working with Yogi Bhajan who was bruised and using makeup to disguise their bruises, etc.)? If these questions were asked, why are they not included in the report?
Time and again, supporters expressed that they did not feel that they were being taken seriously, that AOB had already made up their minds, and that it was a waste of their time to have participated in an interview.