Jan 22, 2022

Just Love: Bhakti Marga's Guru and His Secret

Marlene Halser
January 22, 2022

The Bhakti Marga sect has its headquarters in the Taunus, and its guru, Swami Vishwananda, is worshiped as a god. But again and again dropouts report abuse of power in the ashram - and sexualised violence. This podcast investigates the allegations.

The Bhakti Marga sect has its headquarters in Springen / Heidenrod, a rural area in the Taunus. Her guru Swami Vishwananda is worshiped as God by his followers. What he promises is unconditional love - Just Love. But for many years, dropouts have repeatedly reported manipulation, brainwashing, abuse of power - and sexualized violence that Vishwananda did to them. These warnings are not taken seriously - and the Hindu-Christian faith community continues to grow rapidly, worldwide. In August 2021, Bhakti Marga bought the "Seepark", an old conference hotel, in Kirchheim, Hesse. The communities of Heidenrod and Kirchheim are happy about the ashram operation. Also because the international guests who visit the two German ashrams to be blessed by the guru, flush money into the community coffers. In six episodes, Marlene Halser and Stefan Bücheler investigate the allegations, talk to those affected and ask those responsible why the warnings are not taken seriously. Also they ask: who is this guru, who is Vishwananda? And how did a small religious community become a huge, international company?

A six-part documentary podcast by Hauseins and Hessischer Rundfunk.


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