Satchidananda, the founder of “Yogaville” may have died in August, but his die-hard followers want to keep his memory alive. They staged a “remembrance weekend” to honor the man many say developed a “cult” following.

In a rededication ceremony a crane was used to pour water from “holy rivers” over the multi-million dollar edifice known as the “Lotus Shrine,” which the late guru had built within his ashram compound known as “Yogaville,” reported the Daily Progress of Charlottesville.

However, what the local Virginia newspaper failed to report was the devastation caused by Satchidananda to many members and families during the guru’s reign over his “spritual” kingdom that began in the 1960s.

The man his ardent disciples called “Sri Swami Satchidananda Maharaj” and wish the world to remember as a selfless and celibate “spiritual leader” was actually a faker, sexual predator and liar, according to some former members. Apparently, the swami wasn’t so celibate with his female secretaries and traveling companions.

When a sex scandal broke about Satchidananda in the early 90s many members left, while others deeply invested in the group through years of devotion seemingly chose denial instead. As the ever “spiritual” swami said, “Don’t judge me, I am your guru. If you choose to believe it you can leave right now. Or, if you have faith, you can stay and continue in my service.”

Many cults die with their founders. However, when there is a large residue of assets such as property, businesses and cash the incentive is there to carry on. Satchidananda left behind such a tangible “legacy.”

The guru’s remaining devotees seem intent upon maintaining that “legacy.” And it appears that Yogaville, like the deceased “swami,” has developed its own history of abuse allegations.

But no matter how much “holy” water Satchidananda’s followers pour out at Yogaville nothing is likely to wash away the allegations of abuse, which taint both its former leader and the ashram.


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