Everyday thousands of children are being sexually abused. You can stop the abuse of at least one child by simply praying. You can possibly stop the abuse of thousands of children by forwarding the link in First Time Visitor? by email, Twitter or Facebook to every Christian you know. Save a child or lots of children!!!! Do Something, please!

3:15 PM prayer in brief:
Pray for God to stop 1 child from being molested today.
Pray for God to stop 1 child molestation happening now.
Pray for God to rescue 1 child from sexual slavery.
Pray for God to save 1 girl from genital circumcision.
Pray for God to stop 1 girl from becoming a child-bride.
If you have the faith pray for 100 children rather than one.
Give Thanks. There is more to this prayer here

Please note: All my writings and comments appear in bold italics in this colour

Sunday, 7 December 2014

The Horrors of Being a Girl at a Yoga Ashram

A woman has told an inquiry that she did not procure girls for sex at a Central Coast yoga ashram but was present when two young girls were sexually assaulted.

The Australian Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is investigating allegations of sexual and physical abuse made against the former spiritual leader and director of the Satyananda Yoga Ashram in New South Wales, Swami Akhandananda Saraswati, in the 1970s and '80s.

Swami Akhandananda Saraswati
The 57-year-old woman known as Shishy cared for children who were separated from their parents at the ashram where family relationships were broken down.

Alleged victims have given evidence that she took them to Akhandananda for sex, summoning them at all hours of the night.

She has denied that happened but has admitted to being present when two girls were assaulted.

"Honestly, at the time I really didn't consider intervening because it was exactly what had happened to me," she said.

"I believed the party line that it was all for our enlightenment and our highest good. I wouldn't have interceded on that."

Shishy met Akhandananda when she was 16 and he was aged about 22. She was initiated at the age of 19 to a full swami and went to live at the Central Coast ashram, sleeping in the same quarters as Akhandananda.

Satyananda Yoga Ashram
Witnesses have said she was a mother figure to them and seen as a kind of goddess.

But Shishy told the commission she was more like a servant and subjected to humiliation and degrading sexual acts, with both Akhandananda and Swami Satyananda - the leader of the movement.

Shishy was forced to drink both of their urine as a form of contraception.

"I was required to drink the urine straight form their penises in order to be immune from falling pregnant to either of them," she said.

She was also made to have two abortions.

"Akhandananda gave me a mixture of different herbs and things. He insisted that I sit in a really hot bath with turmeric in it. I drunk the potion and eventually started to bleed."

The Commission has heard that Akhandananda's behaviour towards her became increasingly threatening as the years passed, and he began cutting at her vagina with nail scissors and threatening her with a pocket-knife.

"He wouldn't allow me to get medical attention so I sewed those two (cuts) up with fishing wire," she said.

Shishy said she was "terrified" when Akhandananda sexually assaulted her with a double barrelled shot gun, in the lead up to her fleeing the ashram in 1984.

"I felt like if I moved or did anything other than receive it that I wasn't 100 per cent sure that he wouldn't fully pull the trigger," she said.

Shishy said after leaving the ashram she travelled to India the next year to disclose the abuse to Satyananda.

She said Swami Satyananda refused to intervene and told her whatever happened was for spiritual enlightenment.

At today's hearing, she called for "compassion" for her role in the ashram.

"Perhaps a little understanding for the young girl and the young woman that I was then and maybe some mercy too," she said.

Shishy has also called for the Australian chapter to be extricated from India.

"I would like to see the Australian institution completely separate and that mechanisms are put in place so that this can never happen again, and certainly so that nobody could ever be put in the situation that I was and that be okay," she said.

When Shishy returned from India she cooperated with police and gave evidence against Akhandananda in court proceedings.

Akhandananda was charged in 1987 with more than 35 sex offences against four teenage girls.

Before he went to trial in 1980, there were changes to NSW laws and the charges were reduced to the much lesser offences of acts of indecency.

Akhandananda was jailed in 1989 but his conviction was overturned when his lawyers argued the indecency charges were only laid to avoid the statute of limitations.

He died six years later. 

The hearing continues.