The ashram appears to be in the process of trying to rebrand itself using the name “Maha Yoga” – they recently renamed their Flickr website to reflect this change here:
Ex-members should be aware that the ashram is still using the full gallery of photos that were taken prior to December 2014. If you don’t want this group to promote itself using a photo of you, email this website and we’ll tell you what you can do. We are currently discussing the matter with Flickr and the OAIC.
We recently received a number of emails from people who feel outraged and distressed by the fact that the Mount Eliza Ashram (formerly Shiva Yoga) is attempting to market itself to the public again (despite Shiva Yoga Inc. being officially liquidated).
The following newsletter was recently sent out:
Of course there is no mention of any of the recent events that happened there, no acknowledgment or apology given to the hundreds of people hurt by this organisation or its leaders – simply a continuation of the “business as usual” policy they applied throughout the whole episode.
Some of the questions people have asked are: who is running the ashram and / or giving Satsang as no names are mentioned? Has Kruckman stepped down? Is the Mount Eliza Ashram still collecting tax free “donations” and if so under what legal body as some of the programs advertised have prices attached, including a $10 entry fee to Satsang and $95 for a meditation program.
Yesterday an article appeared in MP News entitled “Properties on market to pay yoga debts”.
You can read it here: http://mpnews.com.au/2015/08/03/properties-on-market-to-pay-yoga-debts/
A new article appeared yesterday in MP News that hints at a possible reassessment by the ACNC of Shiva Yoga’s tax free status:
The article states: “A former member of the ashram has previously told The News that when filling out an application form seeking tax exemption “we all looked at each other when it came to filling out the marked religion, and then someone said Hindu, so that’s what we put”.
Many old-timers reading this might recall the “what religion shall we be?” discussions that were the main topic at the dining table before the group decided that it was going to become Hindu. Undoubtedly this was done to achieve the appearance of legitimacy to organisations such as the ACNC in order to maintain it’s tax free status following the audit that preceded it.
The Shiva Ashram features in this month’s edition of Australian Yoga Life as Melbourne’s Alice Williams looks at the recent investigations into ashrams in Australia.
“How, can we ask, in yoga communities built on the tenets of non-violence (Ahimsa), truthfulness (Satya) and sexual ethics (Bramacharya), can abuse still occour; let alone remain hidden for decades?” (Australian Yoga Life Issue 47, pg 34).
Another interesting article also appeared this month on the Maddypap website entitled “Swami’s secrets dividing opinions of yoga but not the Mount Eliza name.” – You can read it here:
Barely a week after the official organisation Shiva Yoga Inc. went into voluntary liquidation, a senior leader of the group announced on social media that the Shiva Ashram would reopen and begin offering programs to the public again, causing confusion and anger among the many ex-members still grappling to come to terms with recent events there.
Predictably, the remaining members have vowed to continue despite the liquidation process and have set up several Facebook Pages in recent weeks and also sent letters to a local newspaper suggesting that the Shiva Ashram and its leaders are the victims of a conspiracy organised by “a few disgruntled people with an agenda to close the Ashram.”
In response, we would like to invite readers to review the article posted by The Age newspaper, dated March 18, 2015, and in particular to note the number of alleged primary and secondary victims mentioned by Helen Last, chief executive of In Good Faith and Associates:
Alleged victims of Shiva School were previously sexually assaulted
Many ex-members of the Shiva Ashram that we have spoken to believe that they suffered emotional and psychological trauma as a result of their involvement with this group and are now receiving regular counselling with CASA and other services, including a special support service offered by Integrative Psychology in Melbourne specifically for people trying to leave the Shiva Yoga group.
This article in the Leader Community Newspaper came out yesterday discussing the members meeting this week and pending liquidation of Shiva Yoga’s assets. You can read it here:
Shiva Yoga continues to be in the papers this week in these articles as the reporters start digging into the ashrams financial situation:
Meanwhile someone in the community (not necessarily an ex-Shiva Yoga member) chose to show their support for those affected by hanging a banner from the bridge over the Nepean Highway.
Yoga Australia today announced that pending the results of the Police investigation into the accusations made towards Swami Shankarananda they have suspended the registered teacher training course at the ashram, and also reiterate that they have a code of ethics regarding what is appropriate behavior for yoga teachers. You can read their statement here:
Their code of ethics can be found here:
We would like to direct readers attention to clause 1.5.4 of this document.
The Herald Sun / Leader covered this story here: