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December 11, 2013

Vanity Fair details Bikram’s Downfall: Rape Allegations, Sexual Assault…

Sad, sordid, and not yet proven to be true. For more, here (a defense). Or, here.

Bikram Yoga’s Embattled Founder: The Alleged Rapes and Sexual Harassment Claims Against Guru Bikram Choudhury

Most of the plaintiffs tell similar stories. Choudhury allegedly singled out a naïve young woman for attention, groomed her with talk of her cosmic specialness, made progressively more sexual overtures, and responded to rejection with angry threats:

Jane Doe 2 tells Wallace that at first she was flattered that Choudhury DH paid her special attention when she attended one of his twice-yearly teacher trainings in September 2010, for which her boyfriend had paid $10,900. Choudhury told her after one class, “There were hundreds of bodies in that room tonight but you were the only one that listened to me.” But she says his advances quickly escalated: he held her after class one day and asked her to move to L.A. to work at his studio. “I can see something inside of you that no one else can,” he allegedly told her. “You will be greater than Mother Teresa, but you have to follow me. You have to do everything I tell you to do.” He gripped her hand and stared at her. “I am your guru,” he said. “I am your god…. Without me, you will be a piece of gold undiscovered and covered in dirt.” Another night, according to her lawsuit, he again pressed his case for her to come and work for him, asking that she come up to his room to talk. He assured her they would not be alone, but as soon as they entered his room, she realized her mistake. They were alone. When she started to walk out, according to her suit, he began crying and begging her to “save” him, and forced himself on her...for more, read here.

…if you care enough to read the full story, check out the current issue of Vanity Fair.

I don’t. For now, this seems like an old, sad story: a human being drowning in power and insecurity and arrogance and greed…who takes advantage of his or her position, no matter the pain and suffering of others. Hopefully, none of this is true. But given the number of those suing him, as well as the detail, it seems far-fetched to imagine innocence.

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