one person’s thoughts
I don’t want to post comments as articles and will avoid it as much as possible. In the future I will not publish comments or articles, unless the author is knows to me or someone I know can verify the author. The main reason is that I want to know the source of content and don’t want this to degenerate into a mindless cascade of accusations and comments.
Elsa wrote a collection of comments which seem to fit well together. So here it is.
please publish as a post, not comment! thanks:
The leaders of the former KHYF-NA, in their latest letter, repeatedly, and perhaps little obsessively, state that they’re offering a “clarification.”
What they’re offering here is some much-needed change, and a commitment to transparency in the future. Chase & other senior teachers have unilaterally ended the mission of international certification (one vital segment of the KHYF foundation mission). They also empower the non-profit HYF, and any other former KHYF sanghas if they wish, to compete for Yoga Alliance teacher trainees, whist continuing their lineage relationship with KYM. Fair enough, I say, although our ultimate goal, over a period of time, should be financial restitution and justice for all victims.
In the new scheme KYM will be an entirely free-standing, educational resource in the future. It’s an established non-profit, it has a board, and students can complain to that board any time about ethical matters. There is no reported sexual misconduct at KYM, even after this blizzard of emails on the topic, so we might expect that situation to continue. Guruism, yes, but guruism Lite, and a return to the old Desikachar line: no gurus, just teachers. Lineage is still a form of branding in modern times, so let the buyer beware.
Some people will complain that KYM benefited from KHYF. As I understand it, that was always the stated mission of KHYF as a for-profit affiliate with Kausthub as chief trustee (not mentioned in the “clarifying” letter below). The financial relationship was not a kickback, it was an endowment mechanism. Members of the sangha may long for the good-old “hut” that was the much humbler KYM in the 70s. Times do change, and KYM and their patients may be allowed to use a proper building, in order to do their clinical work in the context of modern India.
Other people who have been around for a while will note that prominent members of KYM knew at least rumors of K’s sexual misbehavior, and that Sridharan’s current position in KYM’s board as Kausthub’s main supervisor/mentor right now represents a conflict. OK, yes, that’s a problem. Let them sort that out–not our concern. There is no direct tie between the organisations, and everyone, even Kausthub, should be able to hold on to friendships that stretch back for years without being accused of conspiratorial intent.
So it’s all incredibly groovy here in the U.S. sangha (sorry, Estonia!), but now we need to look behind us, in the manner of all reflective beings, and to make sure KHYF does not escape responsibility for the criminal nature of these charges. Those charges need to be addressed in a fair way, and not by a kangaroo court involving “interrogation” of alleged victims in the presence of an alleged abuser, his father, and a KHYF official, with no support whatever for the victims.