5 June 2015

the dark side of spirituality...... part 1

Before I start, I would like to be perfectly clear: there are so many wonderful people I have known who are involved in spirituality. Spiritual organisations are built on the labour, love, & dedication of these people. But there is another side, a dark, hidden side, which we are unaware of ....if we are lucky, we come to realise it.

This post will be mostly about my journey, just briefly.

40 years ago, my yoga teacher told me I was to start teaching. I protested & said that I couldn't & I that I didn't know enough. He replied: "you can & you will, & you will know more than the students". So I did it.

Immediately a turf war broke out about my class, from the main yoga body in New Zealand at the time. I was flabbergasted, & a bit nervous about what was happening, it was all done behind my back!

Oh, my gosh! Actually, it was nothing compared to what happened as the years went on. It always puzzled me: if people were practicing, sincerely, a system which promoted harmony, non-violence, love & peace....why were they behaving in this awful manner? 

I practiced, from the word go, very spiritual yoga. I had my 1st chakra awakening that year. Six years later, I was living in a Satyananda Ashram, in New Zealand. That particular situation was disbanded 7 years later by the organisation, due to internal & international problems, but mostly because of the sexual abuse of children in the Australian ashram. There was no way I wanted to support that. None of us in the NZ ashram wanted to.

But the promotion of yoga continued by our group......& the abuse set in quite badly. It had started in the ashram we were in, & continued after. Why? If we were all so bloody spiritual & highly evolved (....not!....), why was this happening? And then, I did the dumbest thing: I set up a teaching situation with a couple of the people whom I had been in that ashram with. I was the current head of the organisation's representative in NZ. I truly believed that things would be different. They were worse, & after trying so hard in that situation since 1993, I left, very dramatically, just after xmas 2006.

I joined forces with others from the organisation, for, although I had been part of the organisation, my business partners were not. What a joke! It was no better, really. The back-stabbing of people who wanted to be famous, adored & put on a spiritual pedestal was rampant, as it had been in my previous situation. There was so much silly stuff happening. Finally, after several people approaching me about the bad gossip that had been said about me, I started to withdraw.

By the time that the Royal Commission on Sexual Abuse in organisations started in Australia, December 2014, I wanted out. I felt sick inside. I had removed all my guru stuff around my house a year before. It was disturbing 1 of my kids who had lived in the ashram in Australia as a teenager at the time of the abuse. I could see when she walked into my house that she would look like she was going into shock, so I removed it all.

When I heard the testimonials, I wept, heartbroken, for days, not for myself, but for the pain that others had lived with for decades from the abuse. I quickly, completely, left the organisation. My head & heart had left well before.

For some years now, I have used 2 of my blogs, this one & www.doneneclairvoyant.com (Donene Inch is my birth name), to encourage people to behave & be decent human beings. For, I feel that without this, the hidden abuse in spirituality will continue. And for goodness, sake, this is not rocket science!!

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