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Date Posted: 13:46
Author: Anonymous - 27 Aug 2001
Subject: Re: Religioius Freedom Threatened
In reply to:
ketch - 26 Aug 2001
's message, "Re: Religioius Freedom Threatened" on 13:43
I find it noteworthy that while Kriyananda complains (with some justification) elsewhere that many of the allegations against him have been made anonymously on the internet, he does not seem to have any objection to his own followers anonymously setting up sites such as "Yogananda Rediscovered" which also make allegations against others.
http://www.yoganandarediscovered.com clearly states that it is done by Ananda members. Unlike the hate-Ananda site (anandainfo.com) that is clearly done by SRF members, with the help of SRF's lawyer providing privileged legal documents.
It seems to me that Ananda would like to confuse the issue in the minds of members of both organisations, and to pretend that the dispute is about religious freedom, not commercial matters.
Ananda's right to practice it's religion has indeed been threatened by SRF. Ananda's mission is to live, share, and spread the teachings of Paramhansa Yogananda. SRF's attempt to get a copyright on the name 'Paramhansa Yogananda', on his image (in any form), and on all of his teachings, threatened that religious freedom. Federal Judge Garcia recognized this very clearly. So did the U.S. Supreme Court.
Should Ananda win the litigation it is likely that SRF would be ordered to pay Ananda's costs (or at least a large part of them).
Unlikely, unfortunately. The American civil justice system is designed to make it possible for a heavily bankrolled corporation to sue a small organization out of existence. It's been done many times.
Ananda's financial problems stem mainly from the costs and damages awarded in a sexual harassment lawsuit which Ananda/Kriyananda lost.
No, most of their costs have been from 12 years of non-stop litigation. Ananda has spent millions on this. One SRF insider estimated SRF has spent $40 million of their member's donations suing Ananda.
"Yogananda Rediscovered" skips over this trial saying "It was a mockery of justice and the verdict went against Ananda and Swami Kriyananda." They also try to imply that SRF was behind the lawsuit.
To read about SRF's involvement with the sexual harassment lawsuit, see:
There are no laws which could be used to deny Ananda members the right to worship privately in whatever manner they wish. In fact there is very strong legal protection for such religious freedom.
Ananda is not a group of people who's mission is to worship in private. They hold public Sunday Services where they worship together, sharing Yogananda's teachings, and doing all of this before an altar that has photos of the line of Gurus. This was, in fact, threatened by SRF's lawsuits.
No reasonable person would consider that "religious freedom" extends to the freedom to sexually abuse female devotees, or to ignore the commercial property rights of others, which is all that the litigation is about.
No, they wouldn't. But SRF would have you believe that this is what the litigation is all about. It isn't. They began suing Ananda long before their sexual harassment lawsuit against Ananda began.
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