Nov 10, 2020

CultNEWS101 Articles: 11/10/2020

Yoga to the People, neo-Nazis, White Supremacist, Children of God

According to former workers, the glossy, values-driven Yoga to the People studios took significant advantage of people aspiring to be yoga teachers.

"Sarah Thomas began her career with Yoga to the People in 2016, after completing the company's now infamous Teacher Training program. Soon after, she took a position of "caretaker" at the St. Marks studio in Manhattan, which she says entailed up to nine hours of janitorial duties for a flat rate of $50 a night. Thomas, who was 19 at the time, dreamed the job would be a stepping stone to a managerial role or a position as a full-time teacher. But the long hours and low pay, coupled with what she, an Indian woman, describes as the "gentrification" and "cultural appropriation" of yoga and Hindu practices, left her struggling to find a sustainable place within the company culture. "I was being scheduled to teach up to 12 classes a week and caretaking nearly every day," Thomas told VICE, while getting paid what "amounted to just maybe $1,200 a month."

Yoga to the People founder and owner Greg Gumucio was once publicly lauded as a progressive businessman seeking to make yoga more accessible. The studios he founded offered either Hot Yoga, which had already been popularized by his former mentor and one-time good friend, Bikram Choudry; donation based, cash-only Vinyasa classes; or both. A VICE investigation in July uncovered that Yoga to the People's carefully cultivated image was haunted by roughly 25 years of sexual assault allegations against Gumucio, claims of cult-like company practices, and according to staff, a manipulative culture of silence.

Now, dozens of former employees have come forward to describe experiences similar to Thomas's, in which they report working full-time hours while not getting paid fairly. Former staff told VICE that Yoga to the People paid them off the books for years, appearing to fly under the radar of the IRS. The workers VICE spoke claim they  were not issued W2s, even though many of the workers would likely have qualified as employees according to the criteria laid out by the Fair Labor Standards Act and Department of Labor."

Healing From Hate examines the root causes of hate group activity through the bold work of those battling intolerance on the front lines, including "Life After Hate", an organization founded by former Skinheads and neo-Nazis, now engaged in transforming attitudes of intolerance, and groundbreaking sociologist Michael Kimmel (author, Angry White Men, Healing From Hate).

Documenting a stunning year of hatred in America, Healing From Hate follows these reformers in their work to de-radicalize White Nationalists, and heal communities torn apart by racism - a deep dig into what's needed to return meaning, identity and tolerance to a generation of disenfranchised white men.

"9 out of 10" - Film Threat

" I was moved somewhere beyond words. HEALING FROM HATE is a great film. It is a required viewing for anyone who truly wants to understand the hatred that is running rampant in America and the world." - Unseen Films

"A hopeful expression of how hate does not need to be the end of the road." - CBS News

"A powerful and risky documentary that looks at racism in America... and how to enact change." - AIPT

"Federal agents on Thursday arrested two men, including the self-proclaimed leader of the Base, a white supremacist group, as part of a continuing crackdown on extremism in Michigan three weeks after the FBI said it thwarted a plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer."
Cult Following is based on the upcoming memoir of the same name by former Children of God member Bexy Cameron.

"Dakota Johnson and Riley Keough will dive into the life of author Bexy Cameron in a new limited series Cult Following, based on the author's upcoming memoir of the same name.

Johnson will portray Cameron as she recounts her experiences growing up as a member of the Children of God and her journey after her emancipation from the cult in the Platform One Media project. Keough will star as Cameron's close friend who departs with her on a road trip to document and investigate cults all over America. It will also share insight into how Cameron processes the trauma she experienced as a child along the way."

News, Education, Intervention, Recovery to help families and friends understand and effectively respond to the complexity of a loved one's cult involvement. assists group members and their families make the sometimes difficult transition from coercion to renewed individual choice. news, links, resources.




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