This personal testimony was received on March 6th 2015:
I know firsthand of both men and women directly impacted by the manipulative behaviour of Russell.
I am one such person.
I myself was in a sexual relationship with Russell. I did not disclose that relationship to my partner because I believed that it was somehow “outside” the parameters of how I would conduct myself normally within a relationship, as if it were taking place in some magical land separate to the reality of my life and the reality of my own inner values.
This was sex with the “Guru”, as ordinary and dissatisfying as it was:
It was suppose to be some divine and mystical experience; it was not. In fact, it filled me with confusion, with self-loathing and completely destabilised me for a long period of time.
I know in “Shiva Yoga/Guru” speak this would be interpreted in ways such as “The Guru/Shakti was purifying her tearing thoughts” or (some personal favourites of mine from Russell himself): “You’re holding this the wrong way. This is not personal. You have the wrong understanding. Why would you tell your partner? It will create unnecessary pain and suffering for everyone. This (if you speak about it) will ruin all the good work here”.
This is an extremely condensed version of my personal experience as I don’t think its a forum for disturbing or distressing detail. But I would like to convey a message to both the men and women directly impacted.
I made the decision to tell my partner of my relationship with Russell as it was a huge obstacle between us. I did not understand to what extent until I made that disclosure. It was a truly humbling experience to be on the receiving end of his relief and his own inner “knowing” that something was not right. To confirm for him, that his uneasy feelings were valid and then to experience his forgiveness, love and protection.
It really woke me up to my life.
I judged my partner as somehow inferior, never good enough, a view most certainly fostered by Russell. I know that there are women who have left SY that have not disclosed there relationships with Russell to their partners just as there are women still attending the ashram who have not disclosed to their partners either.
I can only say I hope you find the courage to first face yourself and then face the person next to you that has stood by your side through it all. You both deserve that. And there is nothing like the relinquishing of the strings that Russell has pulled for a great many of us, for way too many years.
There is a life after SY that is actually far more peaceful and connecting; to your own inner being.