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Guru Gun Kaur (Gigi) spent a decade with Yogi Bhajan, a notorious cult leader who has recently been exposed as a serial predator by several women. Now at the age of 71, she is still reeling from the trauma and losses she suffered during that time. She is currently living in a van with no running water or shower. She has been homeless and struggling for the past seven years as her life has gone from the joy at being free from a destructive cult, to the devastation of losing everything. She needs your help to get a safe and secure place to live, and get off of the streets.
A Young Woman Drawn into the Cult of Yogi Bhajan
Gigi got involved with Yogi Bhajan long before it was known what a scam artist this man truly was. She was devoted to the practice of yoga, cleansing and detoxing from her young adult years during the time of sex, drugs and rock and roll. She turned away from this negative lifestyle, moved by her faith in what she thought was a new and healthy family, led by Yogi Bhajan. She felt grateful for this new soul group, and she began to learn and get immersed in the Sikh tradition of sacred music, known as kirtan.
Within a few years, Gigi entered into a marriage arranged by Bhajan. It was a difficult relationship with frequent conflicts and arguments, but she believed that a Sikh marries for life in a mutual partnership of loving service to the community, and to each other. Soon she had her first child, and had to wean her daughter in order to accompany Bhajan’s wife on a trip to India. Another child was born a few years later. She devoted herself to raising her children, in addition to carrying out her duties for the new and growing organization known as 3HO/Kundalini Yoga.
Her Tragic Losses
Late one night, Gigi received a phone call informing her that she had inherited stocks, which were eventually worth 1.2 million dollars. She didn’t know what to do or who to trust, so she naively looked to Bhajan, whom she trusted more than anyone else at the time. Immediately, Bhajan began to pressure her to give her money to his organization, 3HO/Kundalini Yoga, which was under his sole financial control. Gigi had her doubts, but under the influence of his strident mind control methods, including intimidation, verbal and emotional abuse, and harassing her with phone calls in the middle of the night, she eventually gave in, against the wishes of her husband, and turned over $800,000 to him.
She believed his verbal promise that this money was to be used to purchase some land for retreat purposes. Soon after this, Bhajan again came to Gigi wanting a loan for one of his businesses which provided work for a lot of people in the cult, and she agreed to make a loan of $215,000 out of her concern for her brothers and sisters in the cult community. This loan was never paid in full. This forced extortion and loss of her inheritance ultimately led to the unraveling of her marriage.
In addition to her husband’s anger over the loss of her money to the cult, Gigi’s mother also objected vehemently. Bhajan had brainwashed everyone to turn against their parents, to distrust them, and to look to him as the ultimate parental figure. Gigi’s mother sought out cult experts to find her, remove her from the cult and deprogram her. In response, Bhajan sent her to hide out in England where her mother couldn’t possibly imagine looking for her. She was pregnant during this time with her second child, and Bhajan would not allow her to return to the US until she finally demanded to come home so her son could be born in her own country.
New Realizations, More Devastating Losses
A few years later, Bhajan requested that Gigi travel to India to learn more about the kirtan tradition. She spent time with pure Sikhs, discovering the true traditions of this ancient culture and getting absorbed in the kirtan that she loved. She met a spiritual leader there, a man with integrity and good values. She slowly began to realize what kind of person Bhajan really was. On her return to the cult, Bhajan sensed her newfound confidence in the real Sikh tradition, and he became jealous and enraged. He set out to destroy her in every way he could.
Bhajan began to interfere in her marriage, setting her husband against her, and later demanding that she have two abortions and then a tubal ligation. As her husband’s volatility was escalating because of this interference, Bhajan helped Gigi “escape” and he set her up in a job at the headquarters. She worked under members of his inner circle who could spy on her and report back to him. He made her leave her 4-year old daughter behind with her furious husband. Within a few years, he forced her to give her son to her ex-husband as well.
By this time, Guru Gun was suffering severe depression, acute traumatic stress and the anxiety and panic common to those who have been subjected to cult abuse. She was suicidal, desperate and alone. At her request, her ex-husband arrived and took her away from the cult and dropped her at her parents’ home.
She didn’t stay there for long before she was invited to travel with some religious Sikhs in Canada. Some of these people were helpful, while others were not very welcoming or supportive. She ended up remaining with a few different groups for the next five years, without a home of her own. She was at the mercy of people who were mostly kind and helpful, but there were a few who were almost as wicked as Bhajan. These were years of tremendous emotional and physical extremes, and never knowing where she fit in.
Leaving the Cult Forever
Once she left the Sikh groups, Gigi began taking work cleaning houses. She was basically homeless and reliant on the kindness of others. At first, she managed to rent studio units and a small camper, but over the past thirty years of rent increases, and still doing the back-breaking, low-paying work of house cleaning, she was no longer able to afford a place to live.
It is only in the past year, since the stories of other survivors of the cult have come out, that Gigi has started to heal from her many years of abuse and exploitation by Bhajan. Feeling abandoned and isolated, she had started to believe that no one would ever care for her or help her. She has suffered alone, living in her van. She has no shower and bathes in a sink, using yogurt cups. She struggles to find bathrooms and fix food, and wonders how much longer she can go on like this.
She receives very little SSI because she was never paid for any of the years of work she gave to help build the multi-million dollar enterprise known as 3HO and Kundalini Yoga. These international businesses have done nothing to reimburse her for the inheritance or the loan that she gave, which helped create their success. Guru Gun is getting older and having trouble walking. She desperately needs a safe and secure place to live out the rest of her life in comfort.
Help Gigi Recover - Help Her Get a Home!
In spite of all of this trauma and loss, Guru Gun feels blessed that she found the true path of Sikhism during her time in India. She is on the path to healing the deep emotional wounds she has suffered. She is in contact with her son, who has also shared his stories of abuse during the years after his mother was forced to leave him behind. She is grateful for any help and remains a faithful spiritual practitioner.
Other 3HO/Yogi Bhajan survivors have learned of Guru Gun’s fate, and have organized this Go Fund Me campaign to help her get off the street. With your help, we can provide an RV or trailer home for Gigi. Please donate today and share this campaign with your friends. Thank you for your support!