- Posts: 31
- Joined: Sun May 03, 2020 1:09 am
Sat Nam 3HO Community,
We are all on a journey of powerful transition and change. This year brought with it a global pandemic, the cancellation of our live events, and the shattering reports of sexual misconduct by our founder, Yogi Bhajan.
We would like to inform you of how 3HO is navigating these challenges, responding to the independent investigation and report of the sexual misconduct, and moving forward in the wake of it all. As difficult as it has been, we're starting to respect this time as a precious chance to re-envision the future.
● 3HO believes in the legitimacy of the investigation conducted by An Olive Branch. We carefully considered and researched the concerns about An Olive Branch's qualifications and agree with our sister organizations that it was the appropriate organization for the job. You are welcome to read the detailed explanation of An Olive Branch's qualifications and process here.
● 3HO accepts the report's finding that "it is more likely than not that Yogi Bhajan engaged in several types of sexual misconduct and abused his power as a spiritual leader."
● We stand in support of all who reported harm, and with those who may have been impacted yet have chosen not to come forward at this point. We are joining our sister organizations in hiring an independent organization to conduct a process of Compassionate Reconciliation. The process will be specifically tailored to those who have reported harm related to sexual misconduct by Yogi Bhajan, to our second generation who attended our schools and programs for children, and to the larger 3HO community.
● We are committed to increasing the diversity of our Board of Directors so that it is representative of the global 3HO community. We are actively interviewing prospective board members that represent the very people we need to hear from, learn from, and engage. We recognize the need to make our board more inclusive of the BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and international communities specifically, and we wish that we had done so sooner.
● We do not plan to erase Yogi Bhajan, but to present a historical representation of him as the founder of 3HO. He is no longer the figurehead and moral compass of our organization. This change will be reflected in all our communications, including our website and social media channels.
● We are looking forward to revealing in the near future a project that has been in the works for quite some time-- an entirely new website which will center on Kundalini Yoga and our community, rather than Yogi Bhajan. We believe in the power of Kundalini Yoga, and we believe in this community. The practice will not change, but our viewpoint will.
● We are working with a team of editors to cross-reference and corroborate the teachings of Yogi Bhajan with the rest of the yogic world. Our intention is to find the scientific overlap, and verification for that which we know from experience to be true. When possible, we believe it will be helpful to have evidence, not just Yogi Bhajan's word.
We do accept the findings of the report by An Olive Branch and do not condone the behaviors of Yogi Bhajan that were described in the report. We applaud the courage and resilience of the survivors of harm and are committed to supporting their healing. In light of the report's findings, we are working hard to make personal and organizational changes so that our identity reflects the power of the practices and the community. We welcome your questions, concerns, and we thank you for your understanding as we undergo this transition.
Finally, we are committed to remaining as objective as possible. Because the information in the report has hit each of us in such unbelievably personal ways, we thought it could be helpful to hear directly from Pritpal Kaur, the CEO of 3HO, as to how she has been navigating these difficult times. Teachers around the globe are sharing their personal statements in the wake of the AOB report. Here is hers.
From Pritpal Kaur, CEO, 3HO International:
To the 3HO community
These last nine months have been some of the most challenging and most illuminating times of my life. Like so many of you, a solid foundation that I had stood on for so many years has shown deep cracks. It has left me questioning many aspects of my life.
My experience with the practice of Kundalini Yoga began 50 years ago. It had been a way of life and practice for me that seemed to be almost idyllic. Soon after I began my practice I met Yogi Bhajan for the first time. He was a giant of a personality. I soon immersed myself in the Kundalini lifestyle and community. It has been my home, my journey and my spiritual path for most of my life.
Nine months ago, when the allegations of sexual abuse by Yogi Bhajan began to surface, I was deeply shocked and it rocked me to my core. At first I disbelieved that any of this could be true. I wanted to turn away from these stories. I did not want anything to shake what I saw to be a perfect way of life. And then, I heard the stories of abuse from people whom I dearly respect, love and trust.
Like many others, I held Yogi Bhajan on a pedestal of perfection. That facade of perfection is no longer a reality for me.
It has all been so difficult to reconcile. How could a man who shared such amazing teachings and powerful practices that have helped to transform so much darkness into light for so many, have used his power to cause harm?
It has taken me many months of processing to arrive at a sacred space of my personal truth. Kundalini Yoga and Shabd Guru are a lifeline of my life. I will hold onto the experience of consciousness awakening that they bring to me and so many others. Teaching, sharing and celebrating these technologies is a gift that I will embrace now and into the future.
What my psyche has experienced over these last nine months is a rebirth, a paradigm shift, a letting go. It has been hard work to dismantle years of deification of a man whose words and actions I revered. I will continue to recognize the great gifts and wisdom he shared with me and thousands of others through his teachings. I also will not be afraid to speak out in support of those who have reported being harmed by him.
One of the greatest joys that I have had in my life has been to serve this community of Kundalini Yogis around the world. You are an incredible light to me. I recognize that not everyone shares my beliefs or my views. To each person in 3HO, I open my heart in love, service and respect. My views and my experiences are mine. I honor each of you for your truth and what you hold as sacred.
It will take our collective wisdom and courage to craft and navigate the way forward. It is a blessing to serve together and I value each of your voices in this challenging time.
Pritpal Kaur Khalsa