Dec 6, 2019

CultNEWS101 Articles: 12/6/2019

Mormon, BYU-Idaho, Sexual Abuse, Tony Robbins, Bikram Yoga
" ... Casey Wilson took some time off from school last year when she found out she was pregnant with her second baby boy.

The young mom had hoped to miss only a semester or two at Brigham Young University's campus in Idaho. She was just a few credits away from earning her degree in art education and set a goal of finishing before Kelvin, who's 4 months old now, started to talk.

But before Wilson could sign up for classes beginning in January, as she planned, the college announced it no longer would allow students to enroll with only Medicaid as their health insurance.

And now, she can't afford to return at all.

"I am devastated," Wilson said, choking back tears as her baby cooed in her arms. "I love school. I want to graduate. But we're a struggling family, and we don't have the money for [private insurance]."

The controversial decision from BYU-Idaho — a private school owned by the Utah-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — came as a surprise to students last week. School administrators announced the change in an email one day after Idaho received approval letters from the federal government for its Medicaid expansion plan, which voters in the state overwhelmingly supported last year."

NPR: After Complaints, BYU-Idaho Reverses Medicaid Decision

Nearly a month after changing its policy, BYU-Idaho has reversed course. Late last night [November 25th], the school issued a statement to students and the media, saying it would allow students on Medicaid to enroll and, quote, "we apologize for the turmoil caused by our earlier decision."

"Two impoverished Mississippi men who say they were sexually assaulted by Franciscan missionaries filed a federal lawsuit Thursday claiming that Catholic officials pressured them into signing settlements that paid them little money and required them to remain silent about the alleged abuse.

The lawsuit, filed in New York, claims the church officials drew up the agreements a year ago to prevent the men from telling their stories or going to court — a violation of a 2002 promise by American bishops to abandon the use of nondisclosure agreements, as part of an effort to end the cover-up of sexual abuse within the church."

"As evening fell on a eucalyptus-lined hillside overlooking the Pacific Ocean, the teenage campers spilled out of a well-lit hall. They had spent the day enthralled by the self-help guru Tony Robbins, who had taught them how to reach for their dreams.

It was the summer of 1985, and Robbins, already rich and famous at the age of 25, was a star speaker at SuperCamp, an elite summer camp in Southern California on a campus with bubbling fountains and a grand Mediterranean-style villa. But what was about to happen would shatter the peace of the tranquil setting — and scar the memories of dozens of campers for decades.

The teens set off through the trees to the site of their next activity. Steffanie Scott, then 15, remembered jogging outside with a small group when she glimpsed something that brought her to an abrupt stop. She recalled seeing Robbins towering over the slight figure of a female camper, pinning her arms back as he kissed her forcefully. "He was going for her, his whole body was pressed up against her," Scott recalled. "I wouldn't want to be pinned," she said. "Not like that."

Nearby in the woods, close enough to see Robbins kissing a camper with his arms wrapped around her, stood 16-year-old Eva Bush. Her first impulse was jealousy; then it hit her that Robbins was a grown man, and her feelings turned to anger. That camper, she thought, was "definitely too young," and the self-help guru was in a position of power. You're taking fucking advantage, she thought at the time.

Under the trees with Robbins was Elle, a studious teenager who, along with the other campers, had been sent to SuperCamp by her parents to boost her grades, build self-confidence, and gain new life skills. To protect her identity, BuzzFeed News is not revealing her full name or exact age, but she was under 18 — legally a minor in California — at the time of the events described.

At the end of the last session, the guru had asked her to accompany him on a walk through the trees; they pressed on until they reached a clearing. There, she recalled in a 2,400-word account provided through her lawyers, he forced himself upon her — kissing her and groping her breasts in a prolonged sexual assault."

" ... Robbins adamantly denied kissing or groping the camper. His lawyers acknowledged a "situation" at the camp but said it was a "non-issue," which was 'addressed with the camp attendees, the young woman, and her parents, and no one suggested that there was a sexual assault.'"

"New Delhi: Once a hot yoga guru in Hollywood, Bikram Choudhury is today labelled a rapist, predator, racist and control maniac. How did his successful story turn around so drastically?

The new Netflix documentary "Bikram: Yogi, Guru, Predator" aims to answer that question. It traces the journey of how he built his "Bikram" empire, putting spotlight on the dark side of the movement, driven by stories of sexual exploitation, brainwashing, racist comments, rape and control on things outside the yoga studio.

Bikram started having his hot moment in the US when he went to Beverly Hills from India in the early 1970s. Wearing a tiny black Speedo and a tight ponytail, he started carving his story by showing the route of healing with 26 postures over a 90-minute routine practiced in a room heated to 41 degree centigrade. He even tried getting a copyright for his yoga postures.

His success was backed by star power, and his client list included names such as Madonna, Lady Gaga, Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Frank Sinatra and Jason Bateman. His clientele shone with names like Michael Jackson, Jeff Bridges, Shirley MacLaine, Barbra Streisand and Raquel Welch."

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