We repost here the official press release of our member school, Natha Denmark, from Friday 1st December 2023.
Original: https://natha.dk/press-release/

We have become aware of the recent situation in France involving the arrest of Gregorian Bivolaru together with 40 other yoga practitioners. At this point, the only information we have about their whereabouts is what has been reported in the mainstream news media, which is informed by ”a source close to” the French news agency AFP.

As a member school of ATMAN – The International Federation of Yoga and Meditation (the Atman Federation), NATHA sides with the recent press releases published by the Atman Federation, its member school MISA, and several of its other member schools, which are linked below.

The target of the French authorities was yoga teacher, Gregorian Bivolaru, and the yoga school in France. We specify that NATHA organizes yoga courses only in Denmark and that the yoga school in France is an independent entity with its own management and organization, even though both schools are members of the Atman Federation, along with other yoga schools around the world.

Eminent Yoga Teacher, Gregorian Bivolaru, is one of the 23 founders of the Esoteric School of Integral Yoga MISA, Romania. He is the author of the Esoteric Integral Yoga course and co-author of the Esoteric Tantra Yoga course, which is taught at NATHA. These are comprehensive courses with hundreds of printed materials, recordings, techniques and teachings used by more than 60 yoga schools across the world. He is also the author of more than 50 books and publications and is appreciated as a spiritual mentor for many yoga practitioners all over the world.

Echoing the Atman Federation’s press release of 29th November 2023, we are “deeply concerned about the unsubstantiated attacks of the police and media against our Federation” (and indirectly against our yoga school here in Denmark). “We refute all of these absurd allegations which are made with no evidence”.

The same generic text and image have been published in hundreds, if not thousands, of local, national and international media worldwide, incriminating and branding Gregorian Bivolaru as a ’sect’ or ’cult’ leader, the Atman Federation and its member schools as a ’sect’ or a ’cult’, and all the yoga practitioners in this international yoga movement as ’cult/sect members’.

After the arrests took place (apparently 26 of the arrestees were released within 24 hours), the mainstream media proceeded with its slanderous and libelous campaign against our esoteric yoga movement, in this way continuing to expose thousands of genuine yoga practitioners across the world to unnecessary and unfair repercussions in their private lives. The same media has repeatedly and deliberately orchestrated similar campaigns against the activities, developments and reputation of the member schools worldwide for more than three decades.

It is worth mentioning that, in 1994, a few days after Mr. Bivolaru published a book exposing corruption in the Romanian government – analyzing it in parallel with malevolent deep state groups and their influence in the public space – his apartment blew up under highly suspicious circumstances. This case was never investigated by the Romanian police, but the results of a private investigation proved criminal involvement.

This is just one example in a 50-year-long story of terrible abuse against him and more than 30,000 yoga practitioners in his home country, Romania. Some of the abuse includes torture, disinformation and public lynching. Mr. Bivolaru was ’spotted’ as a potential ’danger’ and registered in the infamous archives of the secret Romanian police ’Securitate’ in 1971. Why is that never mentioned in the media?

Besides being a prominent yoga teacher, Mr. Bivolaru was also a dissident of Ceausescu and one of the first modern-day exiled whistleblowers. Proof of this is that Mr. Bivolaru was granted political asylum in Sweden based on Article 1 of the Geneva Convention in 2006 in protection against the Romanian state. Still to this day he is under the protection of the Swedish Justice and carries a UN passport. The abuses against Mr. Bivolaru and other yoga practitioners of MISA have lasted for more than 17 years, and recently the Romanian court ruled a fee of 50,000 euros be paid to Mr. Bivolaru for defamation and moral compensation.

Behind the current campaign against Mr. Bivolaru, the Atman Federation and its member schools, there is an opaque spiderweb of the ’anti-cult’ movement that consists of: ’apostates’ [i.e. indignant, vengeful former members who consider themselves egregiously wronged by an organization often with the coordination and encouragement of anti-cult groups.]; therapists, broadcasters and aggressive activists building a career and seeking financial gain through the opposition to and often attempted annihilation of spiritual movements; and political and financial lobbies which often have influence at the highest national levels. All have the unpublicized goal of disabling or destroying genuine spiritual movements like ours. Who is supposed to protect us against such malevolent and opaque interest groups in our society? Why are they afraid of genuine spiritual movements?

Another recent case against one of the members of the Atman Federation is that of ’the Spiritual School Rezonance’ in the Czech Republic (linked below). This school is currently the target of a systematic campaign that contains unfounded, false and reputationally damaging accusations initiated by an individual known by the names, Jakub Jahl or Jakub Sobek. As explained on the Atman Federation website, “His (Jahl’s) aggressive expressions on social networks, the YouTube platform and the paid platform HeroHero aim to seriously affect the reputation of the said school and at the same time negatively affect the living conditions of its teachers and students.”

From publicly available sources, it appears that Jahl is the founder of ‘Satan’s community’ and a notorious propagator of the ideology of Satanism. Articles in Novinky and The Epoch Times mention that he has a forensic psychiatric report stating that “he (Jahl) has a tendency to distort the facts and is unreliable as a witness.” In addition, he makes no secret of his heavy drug use and systematically promotes their legalization.

The accusations currently being circulated by the French press agency AFP and picked up by the Danish press are similar to those reported in Jyllandsposten in 2010 and on TV2 in 2013 in the TV program, ’Danmark Ifølge Bubber’. They include easily sensationalized topics with a guaranteed audience, such as rape, sexual assault, ‘grooming’, abuse of authority, kidnapping, seizure of persons, human trafficking, and the accusation of “mind control”.

The only “mind-control” we teach and practice is that in which everyone with the proper yoga methods can learn to control his/her own mind, i.e. to explore the magnificent potential of their own human consciousness. In an act of hypocrisy, TV2 showed us that they themselves do not hesitate to use narrative manipulation techniques on the viewers of their programs. In an episode about NATHA on ’Danmark Ifølge Bubber’, they used visual subliminals, attempting to compare NATHA to terrorist organizations and organized crime by flashing 16 logos onto the screen in 1.5 seconds, while an apostate asks the question: “If you can support this, then what can’t you support?”. (See link to the video below).

Both previous defamatory campaigns against NATHA, which were indiscriminately reposted across the Danish mainstream media, had three apostates as their only sources, all of whom were heavily invested with strong financial interests, career-based gains or emotional vengeance to smear and even annihilate our yoga school. However, they did not succeed, and today our yoga community is even more united, thriving and reaching out to increasingly more people who are genuinely interested in spiritual transformation and self-development through healthy yoga practices than ever before.

We also want to make it very clear that neither NATHA as an organization, nor any member of our staff or teaching department have ever been legally prosecuted or convicted of any of the alleged crimes referred to in the media campaign.

We have very strict policies safeguarding intimate and emotional consent, as well as clear social boundaries in our yoga classes and our community. We are very rigorous in ensuring a safe environment for everyone, perhaps more than most places in society as it is within our area of expertise.

We simply do not condone any sexualised attitudes or misbehavior. Anyone exhibiting such behavior is immediately disqualified from accessing our courses, events and volunteer programs. We encourage gentleness, heart-based communication, inner balance, honest introspection, freedom of choice, and genuine, mutual romantic connections.

One of the aims in our organization is to be part of reeducating and transforming such sexualised tendencies in our society. This is why we never have, and never will, encourage or teach sexualised behavior, which has become an obsession in today’s culture (e.g. 1/3 of all internet searches are for porn or sex). Instead, we teach people how to transform their sexual instincts and potential into pure eroticism and higher forms of creative expression, intellectual performance and expansion of consciousness. These goals are possible and accessible for everyone who truly makes the effort. Thousands of yoga practitioners have had significant results and astonishing personal transformations in their lives due to the esoteric yogic practices taught at NATHA.

We therefore call upon all well-intended independent journalists to truly investigate the source materials and what internationally recognised experts on human rights, sociology and religious movements have found in their in-depth investigations of Gregorian Bivolaru, NATHA, MISA and the Atman Federation. (Please find the link about this below).

It is important to mention that NATHA is neither responsible nor accountable for the private lives of its staff, students, volunteers and teachers. Being a member of NATHA is a completely voluntary commitment, which can be canceled with reasonable and previously agreed notice, like any other sports club, gym or non-profit organization in our country. We don’t ask people to commit to spiritual yoga classes and practices any more than what they themselves are interested in doing.

The current events mark yet another episode in the attacks against our spiritual yoga movement in the ongoing witch hunt and serve as a warning for anyone who truly cares about spiritual and religious human rights, as well as freedom of speech.

While we wait for the French justice system to take its due course of action, we hope that this press release was enriching for you and helped you understand where NATHA stands.

Rephrasing the words of eminent yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru, “we can tell you with anticipation that we will never give up”.