3 Dicembre 2014
Yoga guru plotted to murder child sex victim, abuse commission hears
By Dan Box Crime Reporter Sydney
A YOGA guru plotted to murder a child sex victim to prevent her giving evidence against him in a criminal trial over his abuse, a royal commission has heard.
Giving evidence to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, the abuse victim, who cannot be identified, said her parents had previously transferred legal guardianship of her to the Swami Akhandananda Saraswati.
The swami, who established the Satyananda Yoga Ashram at Mangrove Mountain north of Sydney, was jailed for committing sexual offences against a child in 1989, although this conviction was later overturned on a legal technicality.
“Before the trial … a (man) called Vaj approached me and confessed to me that he had come close to murdering me on Akhandananda’s instruction,” the victim told the commission.
“He said he had been sent to Queensland to poison me so I wouldn’t be able to give evidence in the trial for child abuse … but that he’d had a change of heart.”
The swami, who preached abstinence and the renouncing of all material possessions, kept a safe “chock full of calico bags of money, property deeds and gold bars”, with much of this wealth taken from the acolytes who joined his ashram, the commission heard.
An Australian woman, identified only as Shishy, knew about his sexual abuse of children and would often fetch girls to his room, the commission heard, as well as physically beating the children herself.
While Shishy did give evidence against the swami in court “she was never naive and she is downplaying her role in the abuse. She is being manipulative to sooth her conscience,” the victim said.
This woman’s sister, who also lived in the ashram from the age of seven, said Shishy and the swami had five children living in their hut at the time. Years later, after the criminal trial, the second sister returned to the ashram and warned one of the women there that her daughter was at risk of being abused by the swami.
“She responded with words to the effect of ‘I would consider it a privilege if my daughter was chosen by Akhandananda’,” the commission heard.
During her time at the ashram, Shishy had forced the second sister to expose herself publicly, the commission heard, which had left her deeply traumatised and unwilling to go for medical appointments as a result.
“My last pap smear came back with problems but I haven’t gone back to have that dealt with because I can’t bear someone looking at me like that. I would rather get cervical cancer than have someone look at me like that,” she said.
FONTE: THE AUSTRALIAN
NOTA: Su altre testimonianze rese dalle vittime di Swami Akhandananda Saraswati alla Commissione Reale, vedi precedente post, qui: