Oct 11, 2010

What Do You Say to a Naked Lawyer? Here's a Suit

Tori Richards
AOL News
October 11, 2010

Irvine, California - Attorney Steven Eggleston was suspicious when his boss pressed him to attend a weekend male retreat, but refused to tell him what would be happening there, saying participants were sworn to secrecy.

So he did a Google search and found out why.

Men would be holding hands and walking naked, blindfolded, through a forest. Then they would sit nude in groups of 30 to 50, passing around a wooden dildo and giving lurid details of their sexual history. Eggleston said he found out that the men will grab each other's penises if they wish.

Eggleston didn't like what he read and refused the invitation. Now he's suing the firm and his bosses, saying he was badgered, yelled at and ultimately had his pay slashed to zero for not attending the retreat, held at a Santa Barbara, Calif., mountain campground and sponsored by the ManKind Project, according to a lawsuit filed in Orange County Superior Court.

The suit has sparked quite a bit of conversation in Southern California.

"This whole thing is very sick!" exclaimed Los Angeles radio talk show host John Kobylt of KFI640.

Kobylt interviewed one of the organizers of "The New Warrior Training Adventure" this week.

"What's the point of this?" Kobylt asked organizer Marshall Krupp. "I'm a lawyer and I'm trying to settle cases. Why do I have to talk about my sex life, my abuses? Why do I have to sit naked, pass around a wooden dildo? What does that have to do with anything?"

Krupp said the men shouldn't be grabbing one another and are told that sexual activity isn't allowed.

"The weekend is about giving men an opportunity to look at what's not working and working in their lives, to become better men of the world, better men with their families and their children," Krupp said.

"Well, how can you become a better man," Kobylt asked, "sitting naked on a tree stump?"

That's apparently what Eggleston wanted to know.

"I talked to other attorneys who went on the retreat, so it's the real thing," Eggleston, now with a new firm, told AOL News. "After everything I read about this, I didn't want to go."

Approached by Supervisor

Eggleston said he was approached by his supervisor, attorney John Bisnar, shortly after he started his job in July 2009. Bisnar asked if Eggleston would go to an upcoming retreat, saying, "I can't tell you that you have to go as a requirement of your employment, but Steve, you really need to go to this," according to the complaint.

During Eggleston's Google search, he found out that the family of a Texas man sued ManKind Project after the man committed suicide following a similar retreat, the complaint said. The case settled out of court.

"That is what scared me," Eggleston told AOL News.

Eggleston said he was under the impression that Bisnar would be attending the event, and he didn't want to sit naked discussing his sex life with his boss or have any inappropriate touching

"It's a salacious lawsuit, it's bogus. It really is," said Brian Chase, a partner in Eggleston's old law firm, Bisnar Chase, and a defendant in the lawsuit. "I've never gone to this event, I haven't been retaliated against, and now I own half the law firm."

Chase said the retreat is one of many options, such as Tony Robbins seminars or Deepak Chopra books, offered to employees for their personal and professional development.

He said he didn't know any of the details surrounding nudity because he hasn't gone to the event.

"A Modern Male Initiation"

ManKind Project's website says the adventures are "a modern male initiation and self-examination. We believe that this is crucial to the development of a healthy and mature male self, no matter how old a man is. "

It also says, "You will see men mentor other men, support each other, play together and form a safe, authentic container where men are free to be exactly who they are, without defenses or masks.

"During your training you will stand shoulder to shoulder with an immensely rich mix of masculinity, with occupations and ages as wide as masculinity itself."

Eggleston said in the complaint that he was contacted several times by ManKind Project officials who tried to convince him to attend the event. Part of his research revealed that attendees are told to carpool so they would not be able to leave the event once they got there.

Krupp said the men were told to carpool in groups for their "safety." He also confirmed the nude walks and sit-downs with the dildo.

"There is what we call a talking stick," Krupp told KFI640. "It is a representation of a man's penis, and it actually gives a man permission to speak should he want to speak. He can choose to pass it on to the next man and not speak."

The complaint also says that "one Internet report stated that a supervisor told attendees that they could place their hand on the penis of the man next to them," the complaint said

"This sounds creepy," Kobylt said on KFI640.

The men are not required to disrobe and are not forced to stay at the event if they want to leave, according to Krupp.

Lawyer Says His Pay Was Cut

After he refused to attend the first retreat, Eggleston said, his pay was cut. Months later, he refused to attend a second retreat, and his pay was slashed to zero. He quit after eight months, leaving behind cases that should have resulted in commissions, the complaint said.

Instead, commissions have been withheld, essentially giving him zero net pay for his entire tenure, said his lawyer, Kathleen Hartman. The lawsuit, filed Aug. 31, alleges 13 causes of action, including sexual harassment, retaliation, fraudulent concealment and infliction of emotional distress.

Sponsored Links

Defendant Chase told AOL News that Eggleston was not a regular employee per se, but rather given a loan that had to be repaid after six months.

"Because this group has a nudity angle, he filed a lawsuit to extort money out of me," said Chase, who handles personal-injury cases. "At the end of a six-month period, he owed me $50,000. So what did he do? He quit."

As for Kobylt, it's a safe bet he won't be taking Krupp up on his offer to attend the next seminar, on Nov. 5.

"I know if I was in Steven Eggleston's shoes and I know if I read about this cockamamie naked camp up in Santa Barbara, I'm not going," Kobylt yelled. "I don't want to see naked guys, I don't want to see naked guys looking at naked me, I don't want to share my sexual experiences, I don't want to hold the naked dildo!"

Sep 28, 2010

Naked Men Search for What Matters Most

Susan Antilla
Bloomberg News
September 28, 2010

Hey guys, if the boss told you to pack up for a weekend seminar of treats like getting naked with a bunch of other men, passing around a wooden phallus, and working toward a more "mature sense of masculinity," you'd get with the program, wouldn't you?

You know, spilling your guts about those childhood traumas and then storming into the sweat lodge with your new pals, agreeing along the way to a lifelong pledge to keep it all secret from the outside world? Kind of like the way it works at the office for some of you.

Fun as it all might sound, a lawyer in California took offense when his boss suggested that it would be a good idea to sign up for the $650 New Warrior Training Adventure, described on the website of a group called the ManKind Project as "a modern male initiation and self-examination."

In a lawsuit filed in a California court on Aug. 31, Steven Eggleston, a chiropractor-turned-negligence lawyer, said he was getting paid $15,000 a month until he refused to go to a secluded warrior weekend in the mountains of Santa Barbara. Before you knew it, Eggleston's compensation was down to zero, according to the complaint, and the boss had gotten so hostile that Eggleston says he had to quit.

Warrior Weekend

Brian Chase, one of Eggleston's former bosses and a partner at Bisnar/Chase LLP in Newport Beach, California, says it's true that the firm's owner, John Bisnar, suggested Eggleston go to the warrior weekend, but it was "not a requirement of employment." The firm had an agreement to pay Eggleston a draw against the business he brought in, and Eggleston owed the firm money by the time he left, Chase said. He said there was no retaliation.

It isn't unheard-of for a company to dispatch employees to so-called boot camps that promise to improve interpersonal skills or even transform their sometimes-miserable lives. One is Vancouver-based Lululemon Athletica Inc., known for its line of athletic wear. It has gone so far as to require franchisees to attend seminars run by a self-help group.

People aren't always gung-ho about signing up for the touchy-felly boot camps, though, as the Eggleston lawsuit illustrates. Objections come up in particular when there's a chance someone's going to suggest you take off your clothes. And if you're Steven Eggleston, and the boss is saying he might be coming along for the sometimes-nudie weekend, it's got to be a real buzz kill to think you could be passing that wooden dildo around the room in front of the guy who signs your paycheck.

Google Search

Eggleston says he learned about what ManKind refers to on its website as "a carved wooden phallus" by doing a Google search that also unearthed reports of the 2005 suicide of a 29- year-old man who shot himself two weeks after attending a warrior weekend outside of Houston.

George Daranyi, chairman of the ManKind Project International, said in an e-mail that a lawsuit brought by the man's parents "was settled confidentially with no admission of wrongdoing or responsibility," and noted that the suit was brought against the local Houston operation, not the international organization.

Eggleston, of course, decided not to attend the warrior weekend, but Chase says that other employees at Bisnar/Chase have made the plunge and "always said it's a great thing."

Clothing Optional

Mankind says it's a great thing, too, and defends its programs.

Its executive director, Carl Griesser, posted a lengthy response on the Web after a Houston newspaper reported that people attending Mankind seminars were -- imagine -- taking their clothes off. Griesser set the record straight on that, pointing out that, well, sometimes people at the seminars do indeed take their clothes off.

The Eggleston complaint doesn't name ManKind as a defendant, but it does say that all that penis-passing and sweat-lodge stuff is the basis of a sexual harassment charge. Chase called the suit a frivolous "shakedown."

Neither side has an easy case in the view of Harvard Law School professor Janet Halley. But if Eggleston prevails, he is likely to have been helped by the argument that his bosses "brought sex into the workplace in a way that was hostile," she says.

There's nothing sexual about the optional nudity that goes on at New Warrior Training Adventures, ManKind insists on its website. Maybe not to the instructors. But it sure didn't sound platonic to a lawyer in California who's launched a whole new genre of harassment suits, in which guys are determined to keep their pants on.

Sep 3, 2010

California Lawyer Sues Over Attending All-Male Mountain Retreat

Ray Sanchez
September 30, 2010

Lawsuit Claims Lawyer Got Pay Cut For Missing Unusual Seminar That Included Nudity

A California lawyer has sued his former employer for allegedly docking his pay after he refused to sign up for a weekend-long "New Warrior" personal-development seminar that included men disrobing and passing around a wooden phallus.

The Orange County Superior Court case seems like a routine labor dispute between a lawyer and his former firm, except for the salacious accusations involving a little-known, somewhat secretive nonprofit known as The ManKind Project, which seeks to "redefine mature masculinity for the 21st century," according to its website.

Plaintiff Steven Eggleston, a chiropractor-turned-negligence lawyer, accuses the Newport Beach, Calif., firm Bisnar/Chase and partners John Bisnar and Brian Chase of sexual harassment and failure to pay wages. Eggleston claims he was paid $15,000 a month until he refused to attend a secluded all-male weekend retreat last February in the mountains overlooking Santa Barbara.

The lawsuit said Eggleston, after reading reports about the seminars, was "understandably concerned" over the possibility of sitting naked in a room with his supervising attorney, who "might decide to touch his penis, or that he might be required to disclose details about his sex life."

Eggleston says in the complaint that after skipping the weekend retreat, which the the ManKind Project website describes as "a modern male initiation and self-examination," his compensation dwindled to nothing and his supervising boss, Bisnar, became so hostile that he had to quit.

According to the complaint, Bisnar told Eggleston that he couldn't require him to attend but repeatedly pressured him to attend. Chase, however, said Bisnar had only suggested it. Chase said there was no retaliation and called the complaint "a shakedown lawsuit by a disgruntled employee who failed miserably at his job." Eggleston was hired on a six-month contract, he said, and let go because of poor performance.

Bisnar, who has attended and spoken at ManKind Project training sessions, routinely encourages the firm's 30 staff members to participate in personal and professional development seminars, according to Chase. Although Bisnar has encouraged him to attend, Chase said he has never participated in New Warrior training.

The personal-injury firm has a distinct New Age feel, Chase said.

"We have yoga on Fridays," Chase said. "Bisnar will encourage people to go to professional seminars for trial lawyers or paralegals. He also encourages people to do personal development. He's passed out Deepak Chopra books. We've had tickets to Anthony Robbins' seminars. He encourages people to better themselves."

Eggleston's lawyer, Kate Hartman, denied that her client had signed a contract and said he brought more than 100 cases to the firm over eight months. He was "freaked out" by what he learned about the ManKind Project over the Internet, she said, and twice refused to attend the seminar, leading to problems with his boss.

"I've talked to many former employees at Bisnar and Chase, and they don't know about any other seminars being offered other than this particular one," Hartman said. "Based on the information that I have, the only seminar they've asked employees to go to -- and they're very hot and heavy on it -- is this New Warrior training. I don't think professional development needs to involve taking off your clothes and discussing your sex life."

Mankind Project Deals With 'Sexual Shame'

Eggleston's lawsuit has brought unwanted attention to the ManKind Project, which some men credit with helping them confront childhood traumas. The complaint said Eggleston learned about what ManKind refers to on its website as a carved wooden phallus by doing a Google search, which also yielded reports of the 2005 suicide of a 29-year-old man who shot himself two weeks after attending a warrior weekend near Houston.

Carl Griesser, executive director of the ManKind Project, said the nudity is optional and comes near the end of the weekend seminar. The exercise is optional as well. There is nothing sexual about the nudity, he said, and sex and masturbation are forbidden.

"The primary reason for using [the wooden phallus] is to help men deal with sexual shame," Griesser said. "In our culture where sex is so charged, the fact that we do this is something that a lot of people are really uncomfortable about. There is so much homophobia in the culture that even the concept of men being nude together in some context other than locker room is seen as really weird, if not crazy."

The 25-year-old project includes 35 nonprofit and charitable organizations in seven countries, Griesser said. It operates 30 centers in the U.S. -- with the 48-hour, $650 New Warrior Training Adventure.

"Our focus is basically on teaching accountability and integrity to men," Griesser said. "In our culture, there aren't too many options for men. They tend to be either extremely macho or kind of bumbling idiots and neither of that is very accurate for most men."

Asked whether there is touching, Griesser said: "A person can but it is absolutely not a part of the program... It's completely nonsexual, and our intention is to give men an opportunity to talk about what their experience of the body, their physicality and their sexuality has been."

Eggleston's complaint refers to the wrongful death lawsuit filed against ManKind's Houston operation by the family of Michael Scinto, a recovering alcoholic who committed suicide in July 2005, about two weeks after attending a seminar.

A Houston Press story about the death quoted a letter Scinto wrote to the sheriff's office before taking his life, in which he wrote of being required to sign a confidentiality agreement, of being blindfolded and taken on tours in the nude, of naked men dancing around candles, and men revealing their sexual histories while passing a wooden phallus. After his death, Scinto's family discovered a list of ManKind members that included prominent local politicians and academics.

Griesser said the lawsuit brought by Scinto parents was settled "with no admission of wrongdoing" by the organization. The family received $75,000, according to Griesser and Scinto's mother Kathy.

"I personally have a lot of sadness that Michael Scinto died the way he did," Griesser said. "It's a tragedy. I don't see his participation [in the seminar] as being contributory in any way."

The men who attend ManKind Project retreats include lawyers, physicians, businessmen and people who have completed alcohol and drug abuse programs, Griesser said. There are two similar groups for women that are not affiliated to the ManKind Project.

Griesser admitted that negative publicity had tarnished the image of the ManKind Project, which was created in 1985 as a male answer to the women's movement. Through responses on the group's website, Griesser is trying to combat the perception of some that the group is a cult.

"It makes us sound and look like a bunch of idiots," he said.

Aug 6, 2010

Ayurveda in the quest of recognition in UK

New Nation
David Watts
August 6, 2010
As Ayurveda, arguably India's greatest gift to the world, is fighting for formal recognition in Britain, its leading practitioners are seeking to raise money to establish a charity to that end. Ironically, just as Ayurveda increases in popularity and modern Western medicine and the pharmaceutical industry are accused of over-reliance on drugs, members of the British Association of Accredited Ayurvedic Practitioners (BAAAP) are striving against bureaucracy and prejudice to put their profession on a more regulated, professional footing.

The increased popularity of the Ayurveda system of medicine is resulting in a flood of poorly trained practitioners who are found to have been making erroneous patient assessments and treatments, which are threatening the credibility and reliability of the profession as a whole.

But the BAAAP is facing tighter legislative controls, adverse media coverage and opposition from the votaries of conventional medicine in its quest for recognition for Ayurveda as a worthwhile way of life and medical treatment. So, the organisation is now intent on setting up a charity in London to raise the money necessary to have its activities regulated and thereby put the profession on a new and sure footing more equal to its Western counterparts.

Jul 19, 2010

Learn about cults from a man who’s seen them from the inside

Commonwealth Club
July 19, 2010

Listen to David Sullivan, Professional Cult Investigator

"Learn about cults from a man who’s seen them from the inside. Professional investigator Sullivan describes the process of identifying and investigating cults, providing an overview of how cults recruit, convert and maintain control of their members through a variety of psychologically coercive techniques. A licensed private investigator for more than 19 years, Sullivan has worked in collaboration with leading authorities in the area of undue influence."

Jul 8, 2010

Boy attempts suicide in Orai,alleges thrashing by class teacher, principal

July 8, 2010 

"A student of Maharishi Vidya Mandir Inter College in Orai,Jalaun district,jumped from the third floor of the school building after an alleged thrashing by his Principal and class teacher on Wednesday morning."

A student of Maharishi Vidya Mandir Inter College in Orai,Jalaun district,jumped from the third floor of the school building after an alleged thrashing by his Principal and class teacher on Wednesday morning.

Sumit Singh Chauhan (17) is a student of Class XII and is undergoing treatment at the Jalaun district hospital. Both his legs have been fractured.

Sumit’s father Ashok Kumar Chauhan,an engineer with the Public Works Department,held the school authorities responsible for the suicide attempt. “My son could not bear the humiliation before his friends,therefore he tried to end his life,” he said.

He has filed a complaint with the Jalaun Kotwali police station. But the police are yet to lodge an FIR against the school authorities. The charges levelled by Chauhan,they said,are still being investigated.

Sumit told mediapersons: “On Wednesday morning,my class teacher G P Rathod humiliated and thrashed me before my classmates for not paying fees on time.” He was then taken to the office of Principal A N Singh,where he was beaten up and humiliated again.

“Upset over the issue,I went to the third floor of the school building and jumped,” he added.

Superintendent of Police,Jalaun,Prem Gautam,however,said: “Prima facie it appears that the student was not thrashed or humiliated by the school staff.” Sumit’s classmates will be questioned about the incident,he said.

Sumit was poor in academics and had been absent for the past six days,Gautam said. “He had failed in the Class XI final exams and was admitted in Class XII only after a re-exam conducted in May.” Further,though the school re-opened after summer vacation on July 1,Sumit went for his classes only on Wednesday,he added.

On his part,Vice-Principal AK Katiyar denied that the student was thrashed by any staff member.

“Sumit’s school fees were not paid on time and the class teacher reminded him about the issue,but the allegations that he was thrashed are baseless,” Katiyar said.

He also pointed out that Sumit was poor in academics.

“He did not complete the homework assigned to him for the summer vacation and when the class teacher questioned him,he failed to give a satisfactory answer,” Katiyar added.

Following this,Sumit was taken to the office of the Principal. Katiyar maintained that the school administration was willing to bear Sumit’s medical expenses.


May 19, 2010

Flying yogis and flying millions Acolyte David Lynch isn't happy with this exposé of Transcendental Meditation

Flying yogis and flying millions Acolyte David Lynch isn't happy with this exposé of Transcendental Meditation
Brian D. Johnson

May 19, 2010

He was the original guru pop star. Made famous by the Beatles in the 1960s, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was the godfather of the Transcendental Meditation movement, known as TM. He inspired such acolytes as author Deepak Chopra and filmmaker David Lynch, and remained TM's figurehead until his death in 2008 at the age of 94. The Maharishi was once dubbed "the giggling guru." But now it appears he may have been giggling all the way to the bank. David Wants to Fly, [Facebook Page] a new documentary shown last week at Toronto's Hot Docs festival, offers compelling evidence that the Maharishi's empire of enlightenment is more devoted to shaking down its followers and amassing wealth than transcending the material world.

The "David" of David Wants to Fly refers to the film's director, a cheeky 32-year-old German named David Sieveking, and to the dubious feat of "yogic flying" or levitation. It could also refer to David Lynch, who has emerged as TM's most prominent spokesman and is the prime target of Sieveking's obsessive investigation. Sieveking embarked on his documentary as an avid Lynch fan dying to meet the genius behind Blue Velvet and Twin Peaks. But by the time he'd completed his film, five years later, it had turned into an exposé. Sieveking told Maclean's that Lynch threatened to sue him and tried to block the film's Berlin premiere. No wonder. It depicts TM as a secretive hierarchy with overtones of Scientology, and portrays Lynch as its Tom Cruise.

Sieveking, who makes himself a character in the documentary-a neurotic man on a mission-is like a cross between a young Werner Herzog and a skinny Michael Moore. He first travels to America to interview Lynch as a star-struck fan, then becomes an eager student of TM. As his odyssey takes him from Manhattan to the headwaters of the Ganges, he never loses faith in the power of meditation, but he becomes deeply skeptical about TM's well-heeled leadership.

He learns that its "rajas" pay $1 million for their exalted rank. At a groundbreaking ceremony for a TM university in Switzerland, we see Lynch introduce Raja Emanuel, TM's "King of Germany," who wears a gold crown and offers a provocative pledge: "I'm a good German who wants to make Germany invincible." Jeers erupt from the crowd and a voice yells, "That's what Adolf Hitler wanted!" Emanuel replies: "Unfortunately, he couldn't do it. He didn't have the right technique." Trying to quell the catcalls, Lynch leaps to the raja's defence, and hails him as "a great human being."

Sieveking interviews several TM defectors, including Colorado publisher Earl Kaplan, who donated over US$150 million toward the construction of a vast meditation centre in India, where 24-7 shifts of 10,000 yogic flyers would create world peace. Visiting the project site, Sieveking finds an abandoned, half-built ghost town. And he shows footage of "yogic flying," which looks more like cross-legged yogic hopping. We also meet the Maharishi's former personal assistant, who says, "He'd use people and discard them when they ran out of money." And although the guru preached celibacy, the ex-aide says one of his jobs was to bring women to the Maharishi's room for sex. Another ex-disciple, Judith Bourque, reminisces about her torrid love affair with the Maharishi, which ended when he found another young woman.

Rumours of the guru's sybaritic lifestyle have been rampant ever since the Beatles heard that he had hit on Mia Farrow in the late '60s. His behaviour provoked John Lennon to write a derisive song called Maharishi, which George Harrison persuaded him to retitle Sexy Sadie ("What have you done? You made a fool of everyone"). The film shows Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr rallying to support TM at Lynch's star-studded 2009 TM benefit. "John Lennon," says Sieveking, "would be rolling in his grave."

As for the analogy between TM and Scientology, the director acknowledges certain parallels, but considers TM less rigid-"you can't be a moderate Scientologist." Sieveking says he became paranoid after the German raja threatened to destroy his film career. Yet Lynch "is still a guru for me as a filmmaker," he maintains, just not as a spiritual figure. "I wanted to be his friend. It's tough for me, because now he sees me as an enemy." But Sieveking may have found a new guru. Apparently Michael Moore, that documentary raja, is anxious to see his film.

Apr 22, 2010

Pseudoscience, Religion Yogi In Politics: A Rationalist’s Thoughts On Baba Ramdev

by Narendra Nayak
April 22, 2010

The political space in India seems to be as large as the country itself. We have parties advocating everything from communism to capitalism, Hindutva to Islam, though not publicly, since the constitution prohibits it. We have the Manuvadi parties, the Dalit parties, parties of the OBCs, parties proposing an atheistic government and so on. Into this cacophony a new entrant has arrived, throwing his hat into the ring! All beware, the incorruptible, the squeaky clean, unmarried, physically fit superhero is here- step aside all, here is the man for whom the country has been waiting since independence- the messiah has finally arrived on the scene. Ram Kishen Yadav, aka Baba Ramdev who keeps churning his abdominal muscles on the stage, thumbing his nose at people and collecting millions in the name of yoga. If one watches his TV program one can see him jumping about, performing contortions, panting for breath, and as soon as he gets it back, uttering platitudes about everything under the sun,moon and stars!

He has simplistic solutions for all problems. Want to solve the poverty problem? Bring the money stashed in Swiss banks. Homosexuality is a disease and the cure for it is yoga. Its not one or two things that he talks about but, as previously said, he has an encyclopedic knowledge about all matters. He is a text book on medicine, surgery, nutrition, physical exercise, psychiatry and whatever one may need. Do you have a problem? Perform kapalbathi and pranayam. He talks about the good old days, lecturing about the skeleton of a 12 feet tall person discovered at an undisclosed location, and how the good food and clean air back in those days made them grow that big. To hell with medical evidence indicating that a 7 feet tall person can find it difficult to live a normal life because the human body has its logical and mechanical limitations.

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It has been a long climb to the top indeed for a contortionist to develop into a guru with solutions for all the problems facing us. He wants to start with India and make it the healthiest nation in the world. Then he wants to go out and do the same to the rest of the world! When he predicted several years ago that there would soon be a cure for AIDS, obtained from a combination of ayurveda and yoga, Ramdev got into trouble with a Health Minister from the central government who asked him to prove his claims or shut up because such talk could disrupt the campaign for the prevention of AIDS. Ramdev then gave a long-winded explanation for what he actually said, claiming he had been misquoted.

In his TV shows he has patients barging in with so-called ‘medical reports’ which he reads out in a halting manner, mispronouncing many of the medical terminologies. It runs like this: A middle aged lady goes to the stage with a report, which he reads out loud. Then he says- “Well, well what did the doctors say about this?” She answers- “Baba, they told me I would die in six months. Another dose of sarcasm- “Then you had to die”. She- “No Baba, I did not I started doing yoga and now I am fine”. He- “So, this is modern medicine for you, in the grip of the multinationals!” Then another round of contortions, heavy breathing, devotional songs etc. These are called as yog shibirs. On his stage are a few younger people doing the very same poses which he asks all people to do.

He has one more collaborator who goes to gardens, fields or anywhere that has greenery and brings back all sorts of leaves and plants. Ramdev holds lectures on these, listing their botanical names and dishing out advice on what they can heal and/or prevent. Of course, no sort of evidence or clinical trials are needed. You just have to take his word for it. The only proof that is offered is that our ancient texts say these things. When the swine flu epidemic hit the world he had a solution for it- boil a particular root in water and drink its extract to prevent the flu. The prices for that root went through the roof and no one was willing to listen to what we said- that it was like any other type of seasonal flu and would pass off. Now, the statistics has vindicated our stand. Of course, he can claim that it was his combination of yoga and ayurveda that saved India.

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What about his “medicines”? People have to sign an undertaking saying that they knew the “medicines” were not approved, to absolve him of any liability for any possible ill-effects arising from their use! He manufacures them at facilities which employ sweat shop labor. When they went on strike demanding fair wages, he set his goons upon them. When the trade unions of the left parties supported laborers and exposed the formulae of some of Ramdev’s concoctions, he made his usual allegation that they were tools of the multinationals. He was adding human bones to some of the “medicines” after powdering them; he defended this by saying that it was permitted in ayurveda. There are many such controversies about his panaceas, which are very, very expensive. The same allegation of exploitation that he makes against the multinationals is equally applicable to him, if not more! At least their products are based on evidence and clinical trials while his concoctions are marketed on his word alone and the claim that it is a truth found in ancient texts.

Ramdev’s hypocrisy needs to be pointed out here. On stage with a captive audience, he launches into tirades against the ‘corrupt’ politicians. But nothing prevents him from hob-nobbing with them, traveling with them on state helicopters and utilizing millions of rupees given as ‘grants for research’. He conveniently forgets that this money comes from the pocket of the tax payers, 300 million of them being malnourished, poverty stricken and with naturally flat stomachs caused by the years of malnutrition, and hence not impressed by his contortions on stage.

Well, who exactly is Ramdev?

If one looks at the audience at his sessions- for which one has to pay huge donations despite his talk of egalitarianism- the fat cats who pay heftier ‘donations’ are located close to the dais and are given more elbow room to carry out their maneuvering. The others have to lump it out far away from the stage, performing their contortions in cramped conditions. That is equality for you. As George Orwell said, all animals are equal but some are more equal than others. That is applicable to the disciples of Ramdev as well. But, for the over weight middle class with their sagging bellies, Ram Kishan Yadav is fitness personified. They want easy solutions to their problems; they would like to have toned bodies, full hair on their balding pates and, in short, quick and easy solutions for all their problems without having to work hard. His yoga classes look like the easy solution that these people seek. That is why we see the tension-ridden middle classes flocking there. Some exercise may work for some of them and these people shout it from the roof tops. Those for whom the exercises do not work, constituting the larger group, will be silent like they are expected to be – the silent majority! Again, he is very clever when offering advise to patients with serious problems; if they have diseases like cancer they will be told to continue with their therapy but also consume his concoctions and do things like pranayama etc. If they are cured he can take the credit- if not the money grabbing multinationals and the doctors can be blamed! In his much publicized ‘public’ debates with some of the branches of the Indian Medical Association, he cleverly wriggles out of tight situations by uttering cliches like you do your job and I will do mine. I recall a few similar instances, like when the Indian Medical Association branch of Goa ‘collaborated’ with him, having themselves photographed at his feet. When the national secretary of FIRA queried the office bearers as to why they were seen in such a position with a person who is opposed to them, the lame excuse was that they were just joining him for his anti tobacco campaign!

Why does this colorful personality wants to enter politics- or rather, why does he want to embrace the “dirty world of politics” as he says? It isramdev-baba the desire for power on one hand and for safe-guarding his empire on the other? Huge grants have been taken for establishing ‘research institutes’ but nothing useful has come out of them so far. Under the right to information act anyone can ask for the details of this funding and also ask for the results. Once these scandals come out there is going to be trouble. Not everyone in India is fat and middle-class- Ramdev’s constituency! He wants to get at other groups of people, for which he needs a larger net. Another factor is the large amount of black money that he must have amassed marketing his useless concoctions. Despite of all his claims to egalitarianism they are really expensive- more expensive than the concoctions of the multinationals whom he derides, but at least the latter are required to be scientifically tested to do what they claim to! Ramdev has forayed abroad and purchased his own island from where he hopes to market these concoctions without the need to satisfy regulatory bodies about their effectiveness.

Ramdev wants to be the ‘C team’ of the Hindutva gang. The A team- the right wing Bharathiya Janatha Party- has undergone a decline in growth, becoming stagnant. The rabid right wing groups like the Shiv Sena that form the B team are divided and losing their appeal. There is a need for one more team with more appeal to a different constituency, and that is what Ramdev is trying to create! While decrying all politicians as corrupt, he does not mind sharing the stage with the likes of Advani and co. While mocking the Congress party, he is not averse to taking grants from states run by that party. He feels that he has an appeal to his community- though he claims to be a ascetic with no caste, he is a Yadav, a dominant caste in many areas of the cow belt. Again, the saffron robes and the halo of being a renunciate may influence the electorate into voting for his candidates, and he hopes to win seats and worm his way into ruling combinations. No sir, he does not want power. He wants to reform the nation! He will not contest for elections but will put up honest, sincere, dedicated candidates who will do the task of nation building. In other words he wants to be a remote control and play the king maker!

Coming to the great personality himself one wonders why the cure-all yogic and the ayurvedic concoctions that he peddles are unable to cure his ever-present facial tic. What yogic quality makes him dye his hair and beard? The vanity of the renunciate?Is he the Hindu version of Benny Hinn? These questions will be answered soon when he enters electoral politics which has an audience that is not quite as captive and will need contortions of a different kind.

Professor Narendra Nayak is the president of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations


Apr 21, 2010

India sex scandal guru arrested

April 21, 2010

Police in India say a controversial Hindu holy man facing charges of obscenity has been arrested.

Nithyananda Swami was detained in the northern state of Himachal Pradesh where he police say he had been hiding.

The guru stepped down last month as head of a religious organisation based in the southern city of Bangalore.

His announcement came after a video apparently showing him engaging in sexual acts with two women. He says he is innocent and the video is a fake.

Nithyananda Swami has a huge following in southern India and his mission has branches in several countries, including the US and Europe.

'Spiritual seclusion'
"Nithyananda Swami was arrested at Solan [in Himachal Pradesh] along with his associate Gopal Seelam Reddy and they would be brought to Bangalore soon," the city's director general of police, DV Guruprasaad, said.

On Tuesday, the authorities raided the swami's sprawling centre near Bangalore.
Nithyananda Swami, 32, stepped down as leader of the global Dhyanapeetam (Knowledge Centre) organisation soon after the police inquiry was launched.

"I have decided to live a life of spiritual seclusion for some indefinite time," the guru said in a statement.

"If required, I will return and talk about all that had happened as an independent witness to my conduct with a clean heart and pure soul and in a less prejudiced atmosphere."

The video shocked his devotees and angered locals - his ashram near Bangalore was vandalised after TV channels broadcast the video.

The guru's followers allege the video was created and distributed by a jealous inmate of the ashram in a bid to defame him.


Mar 12, 2010

My (very) weird weekend with the naked woodland warriors who travel to remote England to 'reclaim their masculinity'

Tom Mitchelson
The Daily Mail, UK
March 12, 2010

How our man found himself with 65 naked men chanting, drumming - and screaming their rage against women to 'reclaim' their lost masculinity...

The temperature has plunged to freezing. I am deep in a remote English woodland outside Exeter.

I have been blindfolded and I am standing, holding hands, with a long line of men - who, until about 24 hours ago, I'd never met before.

Together, we are stumbling through the scrub as beating tribal drums guide our way. Oh yes, and we are naked. Totally naked.

Abruptly, my blindfold is ripped off and I see we have been led to a shadowy candle-lit room. There are about 65 of us in a double horseshoe formation.

This is a ceremony where we are to become 'new warriors'. And then the dancing begins.

I wish I were somewhere else. Anywhere else. So why on earth am I here?

I have signed up to the ManKind Project, an all-male group boasting 1,700 UK members that aims to release men's 'inner warrior' and reclaim their masculinity. I am about to graduate from their New Warrior training course.

It was launched in 1985 in the U.S. by a former marine, Rich Tosi, a therapist, Bill Kauth, and a university professor, Ron Hering, under the guise of providing 'educational services'.

They claim to be a not-for-profit company and nearly 40,000 men have attended their courses worldwide.

But things haven't been going well. Five years ago one of their recruits, Michael Scinto, made a complaint to the Madison County Sheriff in Texas that he'd been abused during a traumatic weekend with the project.

He subsequently committed suicide and his relatives filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the ManKind Project, which eventually settled out of court and claimed it would change certain of its practices.

I had also been tipped off by a number of concerned wives - who'd noticed disturbing changes in their husbands' behaviour since attending one of ManKind's UK weekends away.

My aim is to go undercover to find out just how serious these allegations against them are - or whether they're just a bunch of misguided men who need a break from their women.

My first experience of the organisation is not pleasant. After signing up online to attend their initiation weekend, I am sent an intimidating amount of paperwork - including a confidentiality agreement. Of course, they have no idea I'm a journalist, and it's costing me £500 for the privilege.

Everything I read from them is baffling non-speak. They claim the weekend is a 'process of initiation and self-examination that is crucial to the development of a healthy and mature male self'.

They claim they help move men away from the 'comforting embrace' of their mother - something, on the face of it, some wives might even encourage. Then I am told I will 'confront' my 'dependence on women', to help me move into the 'masculine kingdom'.

To be honest, it all sounds absolutely ludicrous. But nothing as ludicrous as what I discover when I arrive at the training centre in the West Country.

As I enter, I am asked to line up with my fellow recruits and we are ordered to 'observe the sacred silence'.

This is all before we've been shown to where we're staying. It's all rather bizarre, as they begin a strange game where I am asked to walk up to a man who stares at me, with black camouflage paint on his face. The process is repeated again, and again.

Then I am ordered into a Dutch barn, where yet another confidentiality agreement is thrust in front of me, forbidding me to mention anything that happens over the weekend.

They seem to have a paranoid fear of anything getting out. This, I suppose, should have set even more alarm bells ringing.

Next, I am shouted at to hand over all the food I've been ordered to bring - any food, but enough for three men. I feel as if I'm on a military boot camp, although I suspect most of the participants are really just accountants from Slough.

We are all told that we are on a 'journey' and we 'will never be the same again'. Then we are led into a darkened room, where more people shout random words at us.

I seem to have wondered into a Marx Brothers film, but without the laughs.

The unnamed men, dressed in black with their black face paint, want me to hand over my mobile phone, watch, books and food. I do, but I am subjected to a complete search of my bag and my body.

They discover half a bottle of rum, notebook and pen. The faux commando is livid. He shrieks: 'Do you have problems following orders?' I nod guiltily, stunning him into silence.

We are directed to another dark room, where all the new recruits and I sit for more than an hour. In silence. At this point, I'm just wondering what on earth is going to happen next.

Suddenly, three men burst in, give me a bandana for a blindfold and take me to a place where drums are beating. I remove the blindfold to see I am surrounded by what I can only describe as the Men In Black.

A leader holding a wooden staff decorated with feathers rambles on about the mission of the weekend, using the pompous jargon that would later become very familiar: words like 'shadow', 'warriors', 'masculine', 'commitment' and 'responsibility'.

He tells us how to be a man. It's hard to take from a man wearing face paint, carrying a feathered stick.

Having finished his speech, he calls upon men at random to stand up and explain why they were there. Hard to say why, but people are starting to open their hearts.

One man cries as he answers questions about his unhappy marriage. The guards stand in a threatening circle around us, staring aggressively in silence.

I am starting to feel very uncomfortable. When I signed up for the course, they told me I couldn't drive there because there was a shortage of car-parking spaces.

Instead, I was told I should join the others on their minibus to travel several miles from the station, so it is with a sinking feeling that I realise I am stranded.

Many of the men talk about their relationships, work and feelings of anger and regret. 'Sharing', they call it. They all appeared sincere and open. Not buttoned up and repressed, but here-it-is, take-it-all, heart-on-my-sleeve types.

It is here that I learn a piece of warrior etiquette. When a brother 'shares', the correct response is to raise both hands as if surrendering and waggle your hands. At the same time, you say ' Ahho'. At first, I mishear and say 'Ahoy'.

Until the early hours of the morning, we engage in a series of exercises. I have to tell one man what makes me a man, and then wait while he tells me what makes him one, too. We are asked to describe how we fail to stand up to women.

They're always getting at you to put the seat down on the loo,' one of the staff men explains by way of example. For a supposed female reign of terror, this seems a weirdly banal example.

We are told to explain to each other what type of man we are. One of my 'brothers' tells me he is a liar and cheat. I suspect he means he has had affairs.

Another tells how he feels worthless, a third man explains he doesn't know how to control his anger, and another tells me his wife won't let him ride his bike.

It's not long before the blindfold is back on and we are asked to imagine we're in an African village. To assist this illusion, the Men In Black rattle pots, flick water at us and make vocal noises to represent a bustling settlement.

It's not entirely convincing. We are asked to imagine capturing a wild man who terrorises villagers and cage him. We then have to set him free.

We have been asked to visualise meeting an animal along the way. This becomes our 'warrior' name. And I spend the rest of the time with Mighty Condor, Courageous Wolf and Intrepid Panther.

It is odd that no one opts for a sheep, wombat or guinea pig. I, however, become Relaxed Penguin. Oh Lord. Now I've written that, they can identify their Judas.

It's very late. I am tired and hungry and even my sleeping bag in a freezing yurt with strangers seems attractive. It's not. I don't sleep because, a couple of hours later, the rhythmic banging of drums begins.

A man appears at the door: 'Men, we have work to do.' We are ordered to strip and line up for a cold shower. While each man steps under the water, the others watch and count to 60.

I manage to get a few words with some of the participants and they are mostly between the ages of 35 and 45.

They are not all - as I'd supposed - saddos. They work in careers such as banking, IT, education and business and all strike me as intelligent, articulate and enthusiastic about their participation in the project. The majority seem to feel that their lives are not going as they wish.

After breakfast (a handful of nuts and a spoonful of porridge) we spend the morning sharing how we feel. We roar like lions. We talk to our childhood selves and watch the staff men act out scenes such as where one man says yes and the other says no.

Over and over. It was like watching a section of a Pinter play performed by nine-year-olds.

Then it is time for what I found one of the most disturbing parts of the weekend - where we are effectively 'broken free' of our emotional past.

We are divided into three groups, each of which has a so-called 'sacred carpet', and for about an hour each man is subjected to emotionally manipulative questioning, on the carpet, that probes into his past.

Some of the staff are very skilled at reading visual signs of hidden emotion. At times, three inquisitors demand the answers to questions that eventually leave a man weeping and apparently broken.

This is happening simultaneously on all three mats. At times, it is impossible to hear what was happening on my own mat because of the wails and screams from the other groups.

The majority of the men who participate in this spectacle positively welcome this treatment. Others appear less keen. The objective seems to be to provoke a violent reaction from the person in the circle.

One man of about 40 has an issue with his mother. He felt she had treated him badly when he was younger.

A staff man is chosen to represent the mother and, while other men stand in front of him, he is goaded to confront her by pushing through a human barrier.

Instead, he flies into an uncontrolled rage. Staff become panicked and shout 'safety' as they try to immobilise him. If these staff men have any professional training, I am unaware of it.

The qualification they seem to share is that they are graduates of the course I am now on. ManKind deny that any therapy takes place. They call it training.

Another man sobs as he is told to act out beating his stepfather and mother to death. Again, he feels that they ignored him as a child and treated him with disdain.

A third man is pinned to the floor by six men and has to wrestle his way out from under a blanket, cheered on by the watching men. It is extremely disturbing to watch.

Many of the men seem to feel they suffered mental or physical abuse from their parents. They all appear to be functioning in day-to-day life, but these horrors appear easily released under the persistent and intimate questioning of their inquisitors.

I make up a story about feeling guilty for hurting a former girlfriend. I give no specific examples, but feign deep upset. They suggest my behaviour had started in childhood. I tell them it hadn't.

They talk of regressing me. I don't know if these amateur psychiatrists could achieve that or not, but they opt for getting me to wrench the guilt from my stomach by wrestling a rope up through my legs being held by four men.

Most of the men I speak to afterwards seem delighted by this experience. In fact, this is a point at which some men seem to embrace the Warrior Brotherhood.

To me it seems like a way of initiating people into a kind of cult. This session is clearly designed to be the pivotal moment in the weekend.

Now comes the time when we are awarded our warrior's insignia.

Deprived of food and sleep and subjected to the raging emotions of people around me, I am instructed to strip, put my blindfold back on and hold the hand of the man next to me.

It is now we begin the walk in the woods that leads to that candle-lit ceremony where we become New Warriors.

As I am led, blindfolded, naked and freezing, I am strangely resigned to this new, weird way of life. The other men in the group are all relaxed about such a journey.

In the candle-lit room, we are led by hand around the circle of men. Our animal names are called and all the men cheer.

With horribly vivid images playing in my mind of pot-bellies, male genitalia and saggy bums, I return to my yurt and sleep for a couple of hours.

Morning arrives and, after standing in a field 'reclaiming my paternal name', we begin 'sharing' again.

At this point, we're sprayed with burning sage and instructed - naked again - to get in the sweat lodge. This is a tent heated by burning coals.

It is pitch black inside and we are told to shout blessings, make noise, howl, quote poems and sing songs. We are finally given a meal consisting of the food we brought, and then we say our goodbyes by silently staring at each staff man.

The participants hug one another and proclaim their love to their fellow brothers. They give blessings and thank each other for the 'strength' and 'joy' they have received.

I get home and close the door behind me. I have never felt so relieved to be back in the real world. It takes me two full days to get the strange mantras and patterns of speech out of my head.

The overriding message of the course seemed confused: That we were suppressed warriors and had become emasculated; that we had to reconnect with the wild man; and to get in touch with our feelings. It was 21st-century New Age meets Neanderthal man.

The cult-like intensity with which some of my fellow warriors converted to the brotherhood astonished me.

I had been given a chilling lesson in how easily - and how fast - the kind of men I rub shoulders with every day can alter: can become aggressive and subservient by turns; and gripped by something strange.

And something else shocked me. This was an organisation that aimed to tell me how to be a man.

Yet not once during that weird and frightening weekend did I ever hear it acknowledged that we men share a world. With women.

Stampede: All three accused granted bail

Express News Service 
March 12, 2010 

Within 24 hours, all the three men, who were arrested in connection with the stampede at an ashram in Pratapgarh in which 63 people had died,walked free on Thursday after a local court granted them bail.

The manager of the Bhakti Dham Ashram, Hiranyamay Chatterji, contractor Shiv Kumar and Kripalu Maharaj’s secretary Amit Kumar were arrested from Mangarh and were booked under various sections of the IPC,including 304A (causing death due to negligence), 337 IPC (causing hurt to anyone by acting negligently) and 188 (violation of section 144 which deals against the gathering of people or organising any event without permission of the district magistrate).

Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate Kunda Arvind Kumar Upadhaya granted them bail on securities of Rs 20,000 each and two guarantors. The prosecution lawyer opposed the bail but in the absence of any valid ground to detain the accused under judicial custody,the court granted them bail, said A K Shukla,the counsel of the accused.

61 families receive compensation The Pratapgarh district administration on Thusrday distributed the compensation cheques of Rs 2.5 lakh announced by the state government to the kin of the victims who died in the stampede.
“Cheques of Rs 2.50 lakh each were distributed among kin of the 61 people killed in the stampede at Kripaluji Maharaj ashram on March 4,” said Additional District Magistrate Vansh Kumar Verma. Cheques were not given to two victim families due to a dispute over the heir,and would be distributed after legal help,he said.

“Financial assistance of Rs 75,000 each was provided to grievously injured,” Verma said. Nine persons who were grievously injured in the stampede were handed over cheques at Rani Medical Hospital in Allahabad where they were undergoing treatment,a district administration official said.

Mar 10, 2010

Editorial: Cast a wary eye on this swami scandal

The Province
March 10, 2010

One of the key qualities our public education system should help develop in children is a critical mind. No, we don't want our schools to raise a crop of cynics who mistrust everything they read or hear and wind up unable to support anything.

But we do want citizens who question things in a healthy manner so they don't fall prey to con artists who prey on the gullible — or exploit the basic human need to find spiritual enlightenment.

We may have progressed as a society in many ways. However, false prophets of every religious stripe remain. And it is often difficult to distinguish between them and the genuine article.

Certainly, the recent sex scandal involving Indian "godman" Swami Nithyananda, who has many followers in Greater Vancouver, and a Tamil actress has given one pause for thought. A video of the pair was reportedly shot by a disgruntled disciple out to expose the 32-year-old as a fraud.

Nithyananda, 32, has countered by assuring his devotees that he is not involved in anything illegal and is simply victim of a "false campaign" to discredit him.

Only time will tell, though, who the real victims are in this sordid affair. In the meantime, we should treat both him, and the allegations about him, with a healthy degree of skepticism.


Mar 6, 2010

Ashram stampede: Pratapgarh SP admits lapse on part of cops at outpost

Indian Express

Written by Vijay Pratap Singh

March 06, 2010 

While the district administration had tried to distance itself from the tragedy in which 63 women and children were killed in a stampede at the Bhakti Dham Ashram on Thursday,the fact is that there is a police post near the ashram which did nothing to control the crowds.

The police post,which is actually known as Bhakti Dham outpost and is under Kunda police station,has four policemen,including a sub-inspector. They watched the crowds swell,but did not do anything on their own,nor informed the higher authorities,it is learnt.
On Friday,Pratapgarh SP M P Mishra admitted that there had been negligence on the part of the policemen at the outpost and that action would be taken against them.
On Thursday,officiating District Magistrate Ashok Kumar Upadhyaya had said the administration had no advance information about the event organised by the ashram,otherwise they would have taken measures to regulate the crowds.
Allahabad Commissioner A K Upadhaya,who was asked to conduct an inquiry into the incident,and IG Chandra Prakash questioned Ram Kripal Tripathi alias Kripalu Maharaj at the ashram. Upadhyaya also recorded the statements of some victims and eyewitnesses,including men from the ashram.
Although the content of his interim report to the government could not be known,it is learnt that he has blamed the organisers and also the local police for the tragedy.
Meanwhile,in a statement,Kripalu Maharaj claimed that neither he nor any of his staff had invited the people who had gathered at the ashram on the occasion of his wife’s death anniversary.
On Thursday evening,ashram’s spokesperson Radhika Saran had told The Indian Express that keeping in mind the large number of gathering anticipated,the ashram had informed Kunda police and district administration on February 25.
The crowds from nearby villages had gathered to collect the ‘prasad’ of Rs 20,one utensil,one laddoo and one handkerchief that the ashram was to give to every visitor.
SP leader Ahikesh Yadav,Congress MP from Pratapgarh Ratna Singh,and Congress Legislature Party leader Pramod Tiwari visited the spot where the incident took place and met the injured in the hospital.
Who is Kripaluji Maharaj? Ram Kripal Tripathi (86),also known as Jagatguru Kripaluji Maharaj,was born into a poor farmer’s family in Mangarh. He participated in a religious competition in Allahabad and earned the title of ‘Jagatguru’ in 1957. * Tripathi holds a master’s degree in Sanskrit and was a purohit for some time. He has three daughters and two sons.
His Ashram * With help from his foreign disciples,Tripathi set up the Mangarh ashram 20 years ago. It is spread over 200 acres. He also has ashrams in Mathura,Nagpur and Trinidad. * He heads the Radha Madhav Society in Trinidad,which has around 300 centres worldwide. His followers believe him to be the fifth Jagatguru and the first in the last 700 years. * He owns a fleet of BMW and Mercedes cars. The Mangarh ashram has a helipad.
Under a cloud * Tripathi was charged with kidnapping two girls,and in 1991,cases of kidnapping and rape were registered against him in Nagpur. Another case of raping a minor was also lodged in Nagpur the same year. He was acquitted after the witnesses turned hostile * A 22-year-old Guyanese woman in South Trinidad filed a rape case against him in May 2007,which led to his arrest. He was in jail for over a month. ENS