|Three More Women Accuse Anand Krishnan of Sexual Abuse
February 26, 2010
More women have come forward with sexual abuse allegations against Indonesisan spiritual guru Anand Krishnan.
“They were made to perform oral sex, which nearly led to free sex,” said Theresia Purba, a lawyer representing three senior disciples of the Anand Krishna Foundation. “Free sex” is a term often used in Indonesia to refer to sexual intercourse outside of marriage.
The three on Thursday reported their allegations against the group’s founder to the Jakarta Police.
The reports come on the heels of a complaint filed by 19-year-old Tara Pradiptha Laksmi, who accused Anand on Feb. 15 of sexually abusing her while she was under hypnosis.
Theresia said the three disciples, who have only been identified by the initials, AA, DS and FA, had accused Anand of forcing them to perform oral sex as a kind of therapy “to stimulate and transfer energy.”
She said her clients, who are between 30 and 40 years old, claimed to have been sexually abused at the Anand Ashram meditation center in South Jakarta.
Another lawyer, Agung Mattauch, accused Anand of recruiting TS, 26, an elementary school teacher from Tabanan in Bali.
Anand, he said, had convinced TS that he was Krishna, a major god in the Hindu pantheon, and as such required total obedience. Agung said TS has since claimed that she had been brainwashed by the guru. He said she was currently being treated by a Balinese-Hindu priest.
Agung said he had also reported Anand’s assistant, Maya Safira Muchtar, to the police for having indoctrinated others. He presented as evidence a book written by the assistant, “Penggalah Kepalamu dan Serahkan Dirimu Pada Mursyid” (“Chop Your Head Off and Surrender Yourself to Your Teacher”), and a video of Maya teaching students, in which she had them repeat “that the guru is a god whose wish should be obeyed.”
Jakarta Police spokesman Chief Comr. Boy Rafli Amar said that police handling Tara’s case had made little progress and that it would be difficult to prove that she had been hypnotized by her teacher.
“Evidence presented to us does not directly correlate with the allegations. She gave us bracelets, photographs of her and Anand, copies of personal e-mails and text messages,” Boy said.
Anand’s popularity among followers appears to not to have been affected by the sexual abuse complaints.
“I really can’t believe that [Anand Krishna] did that. I am sure that there are people who just want to discredit him,” said Ni Putu Eka Arini, a high school student at SMA 1 in Tabanan.
She was speaking during the launch of Anand’s latest book, “Challenges and Youth Empowerment,” at an event attended by about 6,000 people, mostly students from around Bali. Thursday’s launch took place at the legislative building in Denpasar.
“For me, Anand is an amazing person, spiritually — and very inspirational. Anand really understands teenagers and vice versa. It is incredible,” said another student, Ni Putu Pudjiawati.
Anand told his audience that saying “I love you” is normal and does not constitute harassment. He then gently touched the shoulder of a female announcer sitting beside him and said, “I can say ‘Shanti, I love you, I love you angel.’ This is not harassment,” he said. The audience responded with applause.
Anand said little to reporters waiting outside the event, though he declared that the accusations against him were “not true.”
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