Jan 18, 2022

CultNEWS101 Articles: 1/18/2022 (Research Participation Request, QAnon, Extremist, Mata Amritanandamayi, 3HO, Yogi Bhajan, Kundalini Yoga, Religious Fraud, Mental Illness, New Book)

Research Participation Request, QAnon, Extremist, Mata Amritanandamayi, 3HO, Yogi Bhajan, Kundalini Yoga, Religious Fraud, Mental Illness, New Book

Researcher: Ashlen Hilliard, University of Salford, Master's in the Psychology of Coercive Control Program

Did you experience a lack of reproductive choice while in a cultic group? Was your sexual health and well-being affected by the cult? Do you feel that the cultic group used your reproductive health as a means of control?

You are invited to participate in this research project on the relationship between reproductive coercion, psychologically abusive environments, and the extent of group identity in a sample of those who have left cultic groups.

You are eligible to participate if you are an individual 18 and older who self-identifies as someone who has been in a cult or destructive group which you have subsequently left. You identified as a female while you were in a cult or destructive group setting, and you experienced reproductive coercion at that time, which has been defined as: "A behavior that interferes with the autonomous decision-making of a woman with regard to reproductive health. It may take the form of birth control sabotage, pregnancy coercion, or controlling the outcome of a pregnancy" (Grace and Anderson, 2018, p. 371).

Please do not feel pressured or obligated to complete this questionnaire if you may have met me or be aware of my role with the International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA).

If you have any further questions or would like any additional information, please feel free to email researcher Ashlen Hilliard at A.J.Hilliard@edu.salford.ac.uk .

"Cult-like extremist movements appear to provide an antidote to the potent mixture of isolation, uncertainty, changing narratives, and fear we have experienced during the pandemic by offering a skewed form of safety, stability, and certainty, along with a cohort of people who are just like us, who believe us and believe in us. As the activist David Sullivan—a man who devoted his life to infiltrating cults in order to extricate loved ones from their grip—pointed out, no one ever joins a cult: They join a community of people who see them. In 2022, this appeal of cults will only grow, and those that arise next year will make QAnon seem like the good old days."
" ... Someday finally arrived when Blachly, who uses the name Peter Alexander in his musical performances, wrote about his experiences in a 308-page memoir self-published last year.

Now 72 and with many of the people who were part of his previous life no longer living, Blachly felt more freedom to write the memoir than he would have otherwise. The pandemic gave him the time to finish a writing project that began many years ago, and living in an old house with an expansive view of the river gave him the space to think and a place to ponder.

His book, called "The Inner Circle, Book One: My Seventeen Years in the Cult of the American Sikhs," which is available at Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick, tells the story of his journey as a popular musician in a nationally touring rock band during the Vietnam War and Woodstock era to becoming a close confidant and musical liaison to Yogi Bhajan, a kundalini yoga guru and spiritual leader of the 3HO Foundation.

The organization's name stands for Healthy, Happy and Holy and remains an active nonprofit dedicated "to living a life that uplifts and inspires," according to its website. Although it claims to follow the tenets of Sikhism, a religion that originated in India in the 15th century with more than 25 million followers worldwide, it has been criticized for misrepresenting the religion and denounced by traditional practitioners. A spokesperson for 3HO declined to respond to a reporter's questions for this story. A spokesperson for the Sikh Coalition, a New York-based Sikh-American advocacy group, declined to comment on 3HO.

The organization formed in 1969 and Blachly joined in 1970 at age 20, because he was interested in yoga and a healthier lifestyle. He became deeply involved out of a genuine desire for spiritual understanding and personal peace, he said, and a love of music. As a musician, he achieved respected status in the movement, traveling among Sikh communities in the United States and India while learning to play the sitar, mastering tabla (or Indian hand drum), speaking Punjabi and performing at holy shrines across India, including the Golden Temple in Amritsar.

After Yogi Bhajan died in 2004, many of his followers accused him of rape and sexual misconduct. In his book, Blachly, who has two daughters from an arranged marriage through his association with the spiritual leader, accuses him of manipulation, control and financial malfeasance."
"Victims of abuse often feel very alone, helpless, and hopeless.

Author Paulette J. Buchanan takes the reader through her lifetime of abuse at the hands of her four older brothers. She describes their continuation of abuse into their adult years, in part carried out by their weaponization of the court system to file meritless, harassing lawsuits against her, her husband, and against others. Buchanan details the arduous fight in which she and her husband have been forced to engage in order to finally secure long overdue judgments against these brothers."

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