We publish here the English translation of the press release made by MISA Yoga School, one of our Atman Member schools:
A new concerted attack against the yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru and indirectly also against the MISA Yoga School
On Tuesday, November 28, the French authorities launched a large-scale operation, similar to the large-scale deployment of forces in “Operation Christ” (as it was called, even by prosecutors) in March 2004, when approximately 200 prosecutors, police, gendarmes, members of the special forces stormed 18 buildings inhabited by yoga practitioners in Bucharest.
The target of French authorities was the yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru and the yoga school in France. (We specify again that MISA organizes yoga courses only in Romania – the yoga school in France being an independent entity, with its own management and organization, even though both are part of Atman – the International Federation of Yoga and Meditation, along with other yoga schools around the world). The absurd accusations circulated by the French press and picked up by the Romanian press are similar to those of 2004 and are obviously topics with a guaranteed audience: rape, seizure of persons, kidnapping, human trafficking (plus the comical-ridiculous accusation of “mind control”).
We would like to remind readers that the case from the court in Cluj, in which 21 yoga practitioners were unjustly accused of human trafficking was based on just a few statements of some so-called victims who were either threatened with indictment or persuaded by prosecutors to sign complaints with the promise of obtaining huge monetary sums as moral damages. (The amount requested by the 12 “injured parties” was almost 6 million Euros). In this marathon trial in which the 21 yoga practitioners were dragged through the courts for 17 (!) years, not only were all the accused acquitted four times (both at the trial on the merits and on appeal, in both the first and second procedural cycle), but the court additionally refused all requests for moral damages to be paid to the so-called injured persons. In other words, the facts of which these yogis were accused do not exist, despite the immense effort set in motion by the authorities to prove their guilt at all costs. The media, however, stubbornly pretended not to see this truth.
While in Romania the aberrant accusation of human trafficking was dismantled, and the attempt to associate the voluntary work carried out in spiritual communities with forced labor or human trafficking was doomed to failure, it seems that the scenario is repeating itself and the same mechanisms are set in motion now in France.
We do not know details of the case in France at the moment, yet it is worth emphasizing that, in Romania, among the dozens of yoga practitioners found in the homes searched in March 2004, not a single one (!) complained to the authorities who “liberated” them that they had been trafficked, exploited or abused. On the contrary, all made complaints against the prosecutors and gendarmes who carried out the searches.
As we have already become accustomed, the Romanian media is using this new opportunity to “unearth” sensationalist interviews with former MISA students – unscrupulous people, desperate for attention and money or motivated by personal vendettas. It is curious, however, that no journalist is interested in talking to those who have been harassed by prosecutors for 17 years (and who are now winning lawsuits against the Romanian state at the ECHR) or to those who, at that time, resisted the pressure of prosecutors and refused to sign incriminating statements in order to benefit in this way from the false status of “victim”.
In addition, the lack of professionalism exhibited by some journalists, who blend facts with false information, fabricate accusations, confuse data and people, with a total disinterest in correctly informing the public and respecting professional deontology, is also astonishing. Meanwhile, all information is public and easy to verify.
We consider it necessary to recall that Gregorian Bivolaru has been the target of media campaigns, intended to discredit and slander, since the 1990s. Supported and fueled by the authorities and the SRI (who released documents that should, theoretically, only be accessible to the prosecutor’s office), these campaigns constantly intoxicated, manipulated public opinion, inciting hatred and even public lynching.
Those who know him, however, can testify that Gregorian Bivolaru has always been a model of verticality and has never deviated from his spiritual principles. The tenacity with which Gregorian Bivolaru has been demonized and the discreditation of MISA is pursued should, we believe, give cause for thought to those concerned with the truth. As should the fact that this integral esoteric yoga school continues to be the largest in Europe, despite the constant attacks against it, and the discrimination and persecution that MISA yoga practitioners still face.
Allowing French justice to take its course, we are convinced that in the end the truth will triumph this time as well.
MISA press release
November 30, 2023