Talk:Satyananda Saraswati

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Copyright concerns[edit]

In January 2010, this article was tagged, here, for its resemblance to [1]. While there is undoubtedly resemblance, the external source was published on December 6, 2009. The duplicated material in the article predates that. Additionally, there is evidence of natural evolution of the material in the article. For instance, when the article was created in 2005, it included the following text:

Swami Satyananda Saraswati, an important yoga teacher in both his native India and the West, was born in the small Himalayan of Almora in 1923. At the age of nineteen he met his spiritual master, Swami Sivananda, in Rishikesh and lived in his circle for following twelve years. For the next eight years he wandered through India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Burma and Ceylon, extending his knowledge of spiritual practices.

The seeds are here for the 2009 publication:

Swami Satyananda Saraswati was born in Almora, in the Himalayan foothills. His parents were large landowners. As a young child he experienced spontaneous spiritual experiences. In 1943 at nineteen, Swami Satyananda came to live and take sannyasa from Swami Sivananda at Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh. There he served in different departments at the Ashram for over 12 years. He edited the ashram’s Hindi journal, wrote various articles and composed poems in both Hindi and Sanskrit. He wrote a translation and commentary in the English language of the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad by Swami Sivananda. Upon leaving the ashram, he wandered through India, Afghanistan, Nepal, Burma and Ceylon for the next 8 years, extending his knowledge of spiritual practices.

However, parts of this are missing. The statement about his parents being landowners and his spontaneous spiritual experiences came in May 2009. Other significant text entered in March 2007. It seems in this case we are looking at a reverse infringement. --Moonriddengirl (talk) 14:43, 14 January 2010 (UTC)

Copyright problem removed[edit]

Prior content in this article duplicated one or more previously published sources. The material was copied from: Infringing material has been rewritten or removed and must not be restored, unless it is duly released under a compatible license. (For more information, please see "using copyrighted works from others" if you are not the copyright holder of this material, or "donating copyrighted materials" if you are.) For legal reasons, we cannot accept copyrighted text or images borrowed from other web sites or published material; such additions will be deleted. Contributors may use copyrighted publications as a source of information, but not as a source of sentences or phrases. Accordingly, the material may be rewritten, but only if it does not infringe on the copyright of the original or plagiarize from that source. Please see our guideline on non-free text for how to properly implement limited quotations of copyrighted text. Wikipedia takes copyright violations very seriously, and persistent violators will be blocked from editing. While we appreciate contributions, we must require all contributors to understand and comply with these policies. Thank you. Logan Talk Contributions 23:13, 9 August 2011 (UTC)

Disputed text[edit]

The past few days, a lot of back-and-forth undoing has been going on. The contested info is about the birthdate, details of his life and attribution of those details, and charges of sexual misconduct. For the birthdate, WP:RS should be available. For the details, sources should be provided, or otherwise {{source?}}-tags can be used. Attributing is acceptable, I think, but here too source-tags could be used. For the charges of sexual misconduct, WP:RS is indispendable. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:41, 26 May 2014 (UTC)

Copied from User talk:Joshua Jonathan#Swami Satyananda
There are numerous issues I have with this page. Firstly, there are a couple of discrepancies on the page - it has 2 different dates for Satyananda starting the International Yoga Fellowship (1956 and 1963) - this organisation does nothing that I am aware of, so why is it there anyway - Secondly is the Bihar School of Yoga - was it 1963 or 1964 when it started? Thirdly, most of the statements on the page are sourced from Satyananda's own books about himself and there is no-one alive to prove or disprove them. Members of his Ashram support his statements and continually re-publish them. Reports of several members of Sivananda's Divine Life Society who knew Satyananda there (not published) say other things.
The material on sexual assault can be divided into 2. That of Swami Akhandananda in Australia went through the courts so there will be records. Allegations against Sw Satyananda and others remains statements by individuals that has not been before courts or been published.
What should be left in and what removed? Sanatan Saraswati (talk) 05:11, 27 May 2014 (UTC)
Regarding the dates, these are minor. If there are no reliable sources, well, so be it. I could try to take a critical look at the IYF, but that's also minor. The use of Satyananda's books as a souce is a major issue, though less relevant when it's not about controversial issues. The allegations of sexual misconduct are serious issues, and they really need to be sourced. It would it be wise to first discuss the sources you can find on this isse here at the talk page. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:18, 27 May 2014 (UTC)


Are Satyananda's books acceptable as main sources for this article? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:45, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

As far as his teachings on yoga and tantra, they are well regarded and useful. As far as what is said about himself, there seems to be a strong tendency to be incredibly flexible with the truth. Probably advisable to not use. (talk) 23:58, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Birth date[edit]

26 August 1923 or 26 July or 25 December 1923? Proposal by 203:

"The date of his birth is contentious. While in Rishikesh at Sivananda Ashram it was given as 26th August [1] While in his own ashram it was given as, and always celebrated on, 26th July [2]. It was only in the last few years of his life that he claimed it to be on Christmas day."

Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:47, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Two must be wrong. Swami Satyananda stood to gain by the latter two. After setting up his own Ashram, Satyananda celebrated it as 26th July for 40 years. This meant that it was always close to Guru Poornima and would occasionally coincide. This was as it was published in Yoga Magazine and in promotional material. As he approached death he changed it to the 25th December. I leave this up to you to decide why.

Sanatan Saraswati (talk) 22:01, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Rikhyapeet's webpage [3] states that the birth of Swami Satyananda took place on Purnima, the full moon night, of the month of Margashirsha in 1923. This date is also celebrated as Dattatreya Jayanti (commemorating the birth day celebration of the first guru of the avadhutas, Dattatreya). If we accept this source as historically valid then according to the fool moon calendar [4] Satyananda's birthday will be on December 23rd, 1923. No testimony for placing his birth day on Christmas (25 December) has been given and therefore the written date should be deleted or corrected. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vassiliades (talkcontribs) 17:49, 24 December 2014 (UTC)



"Sivananda gave him the name Satyananda Saraswati and (according to Satyananda) initiated him as a Paramahamsa sannyasin of the Dashnama sannyasa order, on the banks of the river Ganges on 12 September 1947. Reports from sannyasins within Sivananda Ashram disputed whether this is true. Sivananda described him as a 'versatile genius' who 'did the work of four people' (although who those four people were is unknown).

"Work of four people" is a figure of speech and means that he worked very hard.. :)-- (talk) 19:17, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

JJ: add source-tags; search for sources for the disputed info. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:45, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

There is no disputing Satyananda was initiated into sannyasa by Sivananda. The date is mostly irrelevant except that, it would be very, very unlikely for him to be initiated immediately as Paramahansa and after only 4 years in the ashram. If it were true then Sivananda would undoubtedly have made him his successor. Sanatan Saraswati (talk) 22:13, 27 May 2014 (UTC)


Proposal by 203:

"In 1956, after dreaming he had received the instruction from his Guru to spread yoga from door to door and shore to shore, Satyananda left Sivananda Ashram. The Divine Life Society (set up by Sivananda) said he left to set up his own ashram. He wandered throughout India as a mendicant parivrajaka. According to Satyananda he travelled through Afghanistan, Nepal, Burma and Ceylon for the next 7 years, extending his knowledge of spiritual practices.

JJ: find sources for "dreaming"; add source-tags for disputed info. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:45, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

International Yoga Fellowship[edit]

1956 or 1963? Is the mention of this organisation relevant to this article? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:47, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

1956, accroding to Melton and Baumann. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:57, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Bihar school of yoga[edit]

Bihar School of Yoga - was it 1963 or 1964 when it started? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:45, 27 May 2014 (UTC) In their site it states 1964 but the WYC was celebrated with the Golden Jubilee in 2013 - celebration of 50 yearsMULLIGANS MUSE (talk) 11:42, 16 January 2015 (UTC)



"and saying that he was finished with disciples. Coincidentally, this was at the time his chief and extremely devoted disciple in Australia, Sw Akhandananda, was charged with sexually molesting a number of the young teenage female disciples. He was sentenced to 18 months but his higher court appeal was upheld and he was released after 9 months."

JJ: "coincidentally", that's suggestive, and WP:OR. And unsourced. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:45, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

The conviction of Akhananda was overturned in 1991, and this is the legal standing of the issue. Satyananda was never convicted. Viruswitch (talk) 19:28, 4 December 2014 (UTC) Once the court has overturned the Sw Akhandananda case, no point to include the episode here and create confusion. Sw Satyananda and Sw Niranjananada were never called by court and hence can not be induldged into the controversy. Hpjaiswal (talk)23 December 2014 — Preceding undated comment added 14:38, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

I don't agree. Neutrality requires us to state the conviction [of Akhandananda] as well as the overturn. We also state indictments, let alone convictions. Kautilya3 (talk) 19:54, 24 December 2014 (UTC)



"Claims of sexual assault were also made against Sw Satyananda and other sannyasins in the Ashram."

JJ: sources!?! Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:45, 27 May 2014 (UTC)



"Satyananda brought the yogic side of tantra to the forefront, to the public. However, this was not always at the forefront within the Ashram."

JJ: sources? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:45, 27 May 2014 (UTC)

Update: Dear Admins: As it can be seen no one has come forward to prove that the results from an official enquiry cannot be included. Totocol (talk) 22:06, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Proposal for inclusion:

The Royal Commission in Australia

In the Opening Statement of Counsel Assisting the Royal Commission they stated: "The main focus of the hearing is on the response of the Satyananda Yoga Ashram at Mangrove Mountain (the Ashram) to complaints of sexual abuse made against its former spiritual leader, Swami Akhandananda Saraswati (Akhandananda), in the mid to late 1980s. I anticipate that the hearing will also canvas allegations of sexual abuse perpetrated by the organisation’s founder and spiritual head, Guru Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Satyananda) and issues relating to how he and his spiritual successor, Swami Niranjananda Saraswati (Niranjan) dealt with the allegations when they first came to light. " (talk) 00:59, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

- source [5]

-User talk:Sanatan 6:47, 23 December 2014 (local) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)


It is wrong to include a section on something that has not been concluded nor proven into an official biography. The sexual allegations have not been proven and the links provided by the people who do them are tabloids or self-published material. This article is the target of slander and the section on controversy does not abide by the wikipedia principles.

The conviction of Akhananda was overturned in 1991, and this is the legal standing of the issue. Swami Satyananda was never convicted and in this case, the paragraph of controversy is considered slander.

I REQUEST from ADMINS to PROTECT this article from becoming the target of malicious attempts at defaming Satyananda Yoga and Yoga in general. As I don't know how to do this, I hope some moderator can. Viruswitch (talk) 19:31, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

There is nothing the slightest bit wrong with publishing information about an ongoing inquiry. There is absolutely no "principle" that requires waiting until the inquiry is completed before writing about it: that's just false. As long as the reports about the inquiry are from published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy, this material presents no problem. The sources in this case are the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Associated Press, which easily qualify as reliable sources. There is nothing that resembles "tabloids or self-published material", and a Wikipedia article is not an "official biography". -- Rrburke (talk) 20:25, 4 December 2014 (UTC)

This is not just information on an ongoing inquiry. This is slander. To make false and damaging accusations about someone is a crime and I hope you and wikipedia (that allows this to go unnoticed) are prepared to deal with it. Viruswitch (talk)

→It is recommended that you stick to the facts from the ongoing inquiry and that is what has been added to the page. The accusations that are part of a public inquiry. All from reputable sources including official records from the hearings. Entry will be updated as the inquiry continues its course Totocol (talk) 10:58, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

It is important to include the official case that is being discussed by the Royal Commission into the Institutional Response to Child Abuse. It is an official source and the articles that have been included as reference are all referring to that official source. As listed in this page, the sources included are acceptable while used with caution. Caution has been taken when adding those references.[6] — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:46, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Request for comment[edit]

Collapsed content

There are many ways to include something official. And the way it is included here is not only non objective but slanderous. The text is being manipulated into passing an opinion to the public instead of merely listing the facts. It is obvious that the intent behind this text is to harm the reputation of Swami Satyananda. Also, if you read carefully the linked articles, they are: 1. Merely reproducing the allegations 2. The allegations are not limited to the alleged sexual abuse, but they are attacking the philosophy of yoga in general. Karma Yoga and Bhakti Yoga are practiced in many ashrams, in many traditions. And Yoga is well respected in Indian and other countries. It is clear that there is a broader intent and a specific agenda behind these attacks.

If we wish to stick to the facts, the facts are these: 1. 2 persons have filed allegations on sexual abuse 40 years after they allegedly happened → These are case studies which means that a couple of persons have been selected from a larger group of people that have come forward to testify similar accounts. These issues have already been also confirmed by the past and current admin as can be seen on their Facebook page. This page contains links to sources describing what is included and one of the witnesses was the wife of one of the persons mentioned in this article. 2. The conviction of Swami Akhandananda was overturned in 1991. -> His wife is one of the new witnesses that are now testifying together with a number of witnesses including several victims and residents that witnesses some of what the survivors are alleging. 3. The allegations have not been proven and Swami Satyananda Saraswati has never been convicted. --> A deceased person cannot be convicted which does not mean that they could has committed a crime during their lifetime

Does any of the person that have been deleting the additions have any real fact to refuse adding the ongoing official findings of the inquest that includes allegations of sexual abuse towards children including Satayananda? Administrators can check that these are real proceedings from an official royal commission on the page mentioned. If you can demonstrate that these types of facts (recorded allegations as part of a case study run by a royal commission) cannot be included in Wikimedia please include information about it in this talk page as described by the administrator. Otherwise we will just go back to where things are now. Let's discuss this as reasonable individuals. The page did not include anything saying that he did or not do anything but mere facts about allegations being made including official records. Thus included high range officials within the congregation.

This is the suggested text: Full transcripts and videos of the persons that decided to come forward to unveil the situations can be found at the website of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse. It includes detailed descriptions of some of the acts of abuse committed towards children by members of the group including Satyananda. [7]

Please come forward to explain why you think that this[2] cannot be included. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Totocol (talkcontribs) 11:50, 5 December 2014 (UTC) Totocol (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

Please everyone, stick to the facts, if references are provided including royal commission public records then they are facts. There is not point in trying to hide things that are available in the public domain. Only facts based on the allegations are being included

As long as Wikipedia wishes to retain its objectivity, it will stick to the facts and will not promote a smear campaign. 2A02:580:51B9:A200:DCC8:1188:B496:4611 (talk) - - - — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2A02:580:51B9:A200:DCC8:1188:B496:4611 (talk) 11:07, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Definitely something has got to be done about this article. There is a revert war going on. Someone must help. Enigmafay (talk)Enigmafay (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.
It is important to wait until the hearings and the process has concluded. Otherwise this is a cheap attempt at influencing the outcome. Thank you. Enigmafay (talk) — Preceding undated comment added 11:26, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

Three witnesses in during the hearings have mentioned Satyananda as taking part on some of the acts. I believe that should be added on the page. Totocol (talk) 20:22, 7 December 2014 (UTC)

A request has been added to the third party opinion project [8] Totocol (talk) 07:32, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Please, stop deleting content that has trustworthy references. Let's have an open conversation. Why is the link to the Royal Commission not valid to you? Have you read the actual transcriptions to the testimonials from the victims of the sexual abuse by the different leaders including Satyananda? Please let's stick to what the testimonials are saying. If you haven't, the transcripts from the Royal Commission are here: [9] Totocol (talk) 09:39, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Editors, why can we have a conversation here instead of trying to delete the content that is coming from the Royal Commission testimonials? Totocol (talk) 09:53, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Why we have to propagate some new allegations that have to do nothing with his career and biography? Don't forget that we had similar reports about many other people much after their death. Are you sure that we are going to believe on a former member of his center? Bladesmulti (talk) 09:58, 9 December 2014 (UTC)
Because the new findings are very relevant to what he was trying to teach. I invite you to read this article which has a good summary of the findings and has a good discussion on why it might be important to include those allegations as part of his biography. [10] In case you haven't read the transcripts or how the Royal Commission works, so far there are 3 witnesses but they have just been selected from what could be a bigger number. The outcome of these hearings can be used as input for criminal proceedings. In case you want to read the transcripts they can be found at the Royal Commission's website. I think the evidence is pretty clear and strong but the law should decide on that. The hearings will continue in March.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 20:37, 19 December 2014 (UTC)
You maybe correct about mentioning it somewhere, but having a separate section for that is undue. We can actually write about this where we have written about his career and death. Along with this controversy, we can also add some other events(apart from these allegations). It will work too. Bladesmulti (talk) 02:32, 20 December 2014 (UTC)
Why did you fully delete it as opposed to changing it to a sub-section as you suggest? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Totocol (talkcontribs)
Read Wikipedia:NOTGOSSIP, just because some minors have now alleged him of sexual abuse and nothing has been proven, it requires no mention. Investigations seems to have been calmed down and you are a lone editor edit warring over these changes. Bladesmulti (talk) 16:05, 21 December 2014 (UTC)
Please refer to full talk section. Definitely not the only editor that has been trying to add sections related to the outcomes from the royal commission. I highly encourage you to refer to the texts from the royal commission. The investigations have not calmed down, they have simply moved to the next step where the organisation can respond to the initial findings and then the hearings will start again in March. Please do not accuse other editors without reviewing the information added properly — Preceding unsigned comment added by Totocol (talkcontribs) 02:04, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Looks like a extremely random case, with no evidence if he can be charged or not. Although it is not even possible since he is dead and these random reports had no effect on his career. Bladesmulti (talk) 02:46, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────Please refer to proceedings from royal commission, you are expressing an opinion, not the fact that there are some allegations and an ongoing enquiry Totocol (talk) 08:06, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

You mean random allegations that lack any evidence? How they effect his career? Bladesmulti (talk) 08:10, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Please refer to the official communications from the organisation itself recognising their wrongdoings. Initial report including findings that you call random allegations. Ongoing process will continue in March. Please present a new reasonable argument rather than continuing to revert my addition Totocol (talk) 08:57, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

The reasons marshalled for excluding this material are without foundation. To begin with, the allegations that the material amounts to slander are baseless: as a matter of law, in most jurisidictions you cannot slander the dead. Yes but you can slander the reputation of the organisation - this constitutes defamationMULLIGANS MUSE (talk) 11:42, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Next, the claims that we must wait until the outcome of the inquiry or for the allegations to be "proven" are likewise baseless. There is no such requirement. What is required is for the matter to have been previously published in reliable sources. As I mentioned earlier, the sources in this case are the Sydney Morning Herald and the Australian Associated Press, which easily qualify as reliable sources. Links to the inquiry itself are admissible; however, sole reliance on primary sources is not desirable because it is easy to misuse them in ways that amount to original research. The main sources should be the press reports.

As you are knowledgeable with the RC proceedings - I will list the 3 testimonies regarding Swami Satyananda. 1. By Shishy, a self-confessed accomplice to the sexual abuse carried out by Akhand. and who has herself previously given false information under oath, in a public statement submitted as an exhibit in the RC proceedings here : Document ID: NPF.047.003.0201_R,-december-2014,-sydney

2. Bhakti Manning - not a child at the time (ie over 16) in her own statement also refers to psychotic behaviour Document ID: STAT.0424.001.0001_R,-december-2014,-sydney

I was also still experiencing remnant psychotic symptoms such as paranoia and didn't know how I would cope by myself." her own words, in her statement.

3. APR - child, who states that she had a 'non-distinct memory' of abuse during her initiation (?) Document ID: STAT.0434.001.0001_R,-december-2014,-sydney

Where is the evidence in written documentation ? can anyone please supply something from the ROYAL COMMISSION? There are over 400 exhibits. It would help to clarify the conviction that the media has made about Swami Satyananda and child sex abuse. It would give a balanced viewpoint.How is it possible to upload sexual abuse allegations from the testimony of a person - Shishy , as it is described in the bio - who is a self confessed sex offender herself? !! AND just because there are these testimonies, and I repeat - no written evidence even suggesting this in all the exhibits - please bring forth any evidence if you oppose this statement with links, based on the content of a personal statement with no corroborating evidence - no witnesses to verify this constituted sexual abuse? Since you are making a decision, I ask you - Are published newspaper articles by a news journalist or a bunch of Facebook postings admissible in a court of law AS EVIDENCE for conviction.? This is not a balanced view. This is a biased view. Based on the facts of the Royal CommissionMULLIGANS MUSE (talk) 11:42, 16 January 2015 (UTC)

Similarly, there is no requirement that we must first demonstrate that the issue had an effect on his career or biography, whatever that might mean. The topic is a controversy involving his biography and so is obviously relevant. Additionally, there is no question of WP:GOSSIP where the material is drawn from reliable news sources. These are not "random allegations" but evidence given under oath in a public inquiry and reported in reliable sources; we can include whatever these sources publish.

However, simply because we can include such material does not mean that we must. Bladesmulti rightly raises the issue of weight. I think this material requires its own subsection because it is a separate topic not related to anything else in the article. However, because this is a relatively short biographical article, the section should also be fairly (i.e. proportionately) brief. It should not be allowed to balloon and dominate the article. The material that has been repeatedly removed occupies exactly two lines in a thirty-two line article. This seems to me perfectly reasonable and proportional. In my opinion, it could be (but doesn't have to be) expanded to double its current size without becoming disproportionate.

Finally, while I assume good faith, I am puzzled by the ongoing attempt to suppress this material for reasons that are wholly without foundation, and can't help but wonder if the obstinacy is rooted in a simple opposition to including negative information about someone whom some editors admire. This is not a reason to exclude: Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, and its biographies are not hagiographies, but aim to be balanced and neutral accounts of a people's lives, both the good and the controversial. Because I think that continuing to exclude this material is damaging to the article and without it the article is incomplete, I plan to restore the section in an altered format after giving other editors a chance to respond and comment. In my opinion, the section should stick closely to press reports, and not rely solely on links to primary sources for reasons set out in WP:PRIMARY.

I am happy to engage with other editors in order to find a way to include this material, but I will continue to oppose its suppression, and am prepared to escalate the issue to the dispute resolution noticeboard should no resolution be found through negotiation. -- Rrburke (talk) 16:43, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

I am happy to engage in those discusions too. Totocol (talk) 20:07, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
The truth is that the initial short reference to the allegations was expanded with the intention to shadow the rest of the article. The manner in which it was written also denotes the motives behind those edits. Anyone can claim anything in any court, but are we going to document any kind and all allegations? This just does not make any sense. As long as there is a section on allegations, the people promoting the slander war and the attack on this article, are going to be using it to expand it. You have to see through the motives and the reasons these people are attacking Swami Satyananda and this page. Why after 40 years of the alleged crimes, has now come a "witness" forth? Why now, when Swami Satyananda is dead? I have read all the material and the allegations. The way these are circulated through the internet is clearly to attack Yoga in general. They do not limit themselves to the allegations but they go forth to describe life in an ashram as that of compulsory labour. Karma yoga is reduced to compulsory labour. Bhakti yoga is made to look like a lower form of fanatical religion. This whole campaign at attacking Swami Satyananda and his Yoga, has one and only aim. And any thinking person may find that out. We should stick to the spirit and the motives surrounding these attacks. We should stick to the truth. And we should stick to the aim and purpose of this article, which is to inform people about the life and achievements of Swami Satyananda in the sphere of Yoga. Enigmafay (talk) 21:28, 22 December 2014 (UTC)
Your speculations about the motives behind the story are beside the point, and offer no basis for the continued suppression of this topic. Efforts to include this material are not "attacking" the article. The topic has been widely-covered in reliable sources, and merits inclusion in the article. Here is just a sampling of the coverage: [3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8],[9],[10],[11].
With this level of coverage, the ongoing attempts to suppress this topic should be abandoned and effort now directed to how best to summarize and integrate material from the press stories into the article. I agree that the section should not be permitted to overwhelm the article. The section need not dwell on every salacious detail and become the main focus, but should fairly and accurately summarize what has been published in reliable sources, with due regard to proportion. -- Rrburke (talk) 22:32, 22 December 2014 (UTC)

I believe that the matter of sexual abuse of children should not be mentioned in this article at least for now. I would agree if it was the Mangrove Ashram article, all the physical and sexual abuse to be mentioned that even they acknowledged. Most of what has been mentioned in the Royal Comission hearings has been about the Mangrove Ashram that is a seperate legal entity. The fact that they were inspired by Satyananda or that they teach Satyananda Yoga techniques, I believe has no direct connection with Satyananda as a person or his life. Now, concerning the allegations that include Satyananda, even if they are true, I have only seen one from a woman who was 17 at the time and another from an adult. None of them constitute being a child at that time in India [11] nor Australia [12] so a mention of "sexual abuse of children", I believe, is wrong and it paints the wrong picture. I also believe that the matter of abuse by Satyananda is blurry in these allegations. I'm not sure the allegations against him even register as sexual abuse in a criminal sense. Until an official organisation acknowledges the allegations against Satyananda (and due process is being done currently) or other allegations are produced, in my respectful opinion, we should wait before such an inclusion is made in this article. ArisPs (talk) 02:26, 23 December 2014 (UTC)ArisPs (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

the discussion here is not about whether some editors' opinion is if they believe the allegations are true or not. The main discussion is that there are already appropriate sources that include allegations that are relevant to this article and that so far the editors that continue deleting other editors' inclusions in this area seem to be doing it with arguments that are not in line with that wikipedia is aiming to do. The additions can still be kept as allegations but need to be included if this article is to remain objective. There are at least 3 accusations that have been made and if you read the way the Royal Commission is doing its work, the allegations that have been made public are just a representation of the testimonies they have received. A full report is going to be made available in January but there are so far a number of sources that are relevant and would add to the objectivity and relevance of this article. (talk) 04:46, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
1. Of course, this is not about whether anyone believes in the allegations or not. This is about whether there exists any acceptable evidence or court decision regarding the allegations. Anyone is free to accuse anyone of anything. But such accusations or subjective allegations should not be included in this article.
2. The hidden agenda (which is actually obvious) and the motives behind these edits are certainly relevant. It is clear that the purpose of the people who attack this page is spread unverified rumors and cast a shadow on Yoga and one of its greatest representatives. The links that you provide are no evidence to the reality of the allegations. They just picture the accusations in a very colorful manner. As I pointed out earlier, the intention behind these articles are to harm the yogic tradition in general. This is obvious by the tone of these articles. The websites that publish them are interested solely on "selling something spicy" and what more spicy that sexual allegations of a spiritual leader. We should take into account the general atmosphere behind this internet campaign, and the fact that linking to allegations does NOT mean that you are linking to proof nor to evidence.
3. If one goes through the history of this article and reads the way the sexual accusations were expanded and written, they were taking up more than half of the rest of the biography. Then one will realize what is going on in here. Enigmafay (talk) 11:26, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Of course this is not a matter of opinion and whether anyone believes this or not. I meant something entirely different when I said that it is blurry but perhaps that was indeed an opinion and I withdraw that from this conversation. I won't elaborate, as it has nothing to do with Wikipedia and I apologise if I gave the wrong impression. I've watched the Comission hearings and I only heard about two allegations by people and they were not minors. If there is a third one by a child, that is a different matter. If someone could bring it to my attention, I would review my stand on this issue. To the matter of other testimonies that have not been made public, I respectfully don't think they should be a factor in deciding whether to mention abuse in this article. They have not been made public yet and we do not know if they mention Satyananda at all. If a mention about sexual abuse by Satyananda is to be added on this article, I believe that it should reflect only what he specifically is accused of and the sources should reflect that as well. If a link is provided to news articles that mention this, it should be about Satyananda and not mixed together with what other people have done or alleged to have done. I believe this serves objectivity. Does anyone have a suggestion on what should be mentioned on this article? As I said before I believe this should not reflect the actions of others and it should not mention abuse of children as I am not aware of any. Another point I would like to make is this. If, as someone mentioned, a full report is coming out on January, wouldn't it be wise for us to wait for a month? This matter about Satyananda hasn't been known for three or four decades, I don't think this should be an issue. We would all be much more informed. Lastly, I would like to say that if an addition is to be made titled "Controversy" it should reflect both sides of the argument. Shouldn't we wait to see if anyone from Satyananda's side have anything to say about the allegations against him? That is what controversy implies. ArisPs (talk) 15:17, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
@Enigmafay:Let me address your points in reverse order. I agree that any section on this topic should summarize the issue concisely and accurately. I also agree that the size of the section in previous versions had grown too large.
However, I reject the idea that there is some "hidden agenda" behind the addition of this material or that the article is being "attacked". It is a cardinal principle of Wikipedia to assume good faith on the part of other editors with whom we may disagree. What this means is that we all assume that each editor is advocating changes for no other reason than he or she believes those changes will improve the article. Please note that improving the article does not mean protecting the reputation of the article's subject, but rather ensuring the article's integrity and completeness.
Finally, this dispute is emphatically not "about whether there exists any acceptable evidence or court decision regarding the allegations". That is simply wrong. Wikipedia is not in the business of evaluating what is "acceptable evidence" but rather what are acceptable sources and whether a topic has received adequate coverage in them. When a topic has received ample coverage in reliable sources as this one has, there is simply no basis for suppressing it. Wikipedia does not wait for the outcomes of court cases or commissions of inquiry in order to add material about a topic; Wikipedia waits until a topic has received adequate coverage in reliable sources. There are plenty of articles discussing current court cases and public inquiries, and all manner of charges, testimony, allegations and accusations are reported. Such material is reported as just that: testimony, charges, evidence: "So-and-so testified...", "the prosecution alleged...", "the court was shown...", etc. As more evidence accumulates, the article is updated to reflect new information. There is absolutely no requirement to wait for the completion of any proceeding before including information about it in a Wikipedia article.
As evidenced by the nine sources I cited above, which are only a sampling, this topic has received more than adequate coverage in reliable sources to merit inclusion. It has even received international coverage in India, the UK and the United States. There is no question that it should be included. At this point we should be trying to come to an agreement about what and how much to include. -- Rrburke (talk) 20:49, 23 December 2014 (UTC)


Outside opinion[edit]

I am starting a new subsection here because the above discussion is quite garbled and I can't tell who is saying what. (You should use : symbols for indentation and sign your name at the end by putting ~~~~.)

There is some deep misunderstanding here because people are talking about "facts". Wikipedia is not about reporting "facts." We are not a news agency or a detective agency. We merely summarise information found in reliable sources. So, click on that link, understand what reliable sources are, and report what you find there. Mainstream newspapers are fine. The Royal Commission hearings are primary sources. They can't be cited, but you can put them in external links. The only requirement is that you should write material in a neutral voice, without directly accusing anybody. The material that is included here [12] is perfectly fine as far as I can see. If it is being challenged, please specify on what grounds it is being challenged. You can't say that you want it to go away merely because you don't like it. Kautilya3 (talk) 21:40, 23 December 2014 (UTC)

Hi, Kautilya3. I by and large agree with you, although I think that in a relatively short biography like this the section on the abuse allegations shouldn't be permitted to balloon and dominate the article. In some earlier versions of the article it had grown too large. -- Rrburke (talk) 22:16, 23 December 2014 (UTC)
Would it help to suggest a short text to add again and see if any of the editors that believe the text was not accurate could suggest any edits before is added again? I believe as others here that this should be added to make the article more complete and objective Totocol (talk) 03:46, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
A new section like controversies would be better, it should include a few non-child abuse matters as well that occurred during his career and after that. It may also include criticism by others. Bladesmulti (talk) 07:00, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
That sounds fair. What other controversial things do you think should be added? Totocol (talk) 11:39, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
I am not sure we need other controversies, but we do need a discussion in the main body of the world-wide network of his ashrams. Otherwise, Australia would jump out without any context in the Controversies section. Kautilya3 (talk) 14:19, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
We require studies about his ashrams.. Liked this idea. Bladesmulti (talk) 12:51, 25 December 2014 (UTC)


Not sure how relevant this is but I found a reference to a post in a facebook group asking people to create Wikipedia accounts to try and keep the new information suppressed. [1] Totocol (talk) 04:18, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

There is canvassing from both sides. The post you linked is also a form of canvassing the anti group. --Vigyanitalkਯੋਗਦਾਨ 04:44, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
This is not true. There is nowhere in the post stated that "new information must be suppressed". Why are you making this up? The post merely invites people to comment in the discussion page "why the paragraph on the allegations should not be included in the article". It is your personal opinion that the allegations are "new information". While the objective fact is that the allegations have no legal standing. See paragraph "Separating Fact from Fiction". Enigmafay (talk) 20:19, 24 December 2014 (UTC)
please Enigmafay I am really acting in good faith here but the way you refer to me when you mention me begins to feel as if you are taking this personally. It is really unpleasant to try and contribute to this article when I feel attacked by you. My only intention here is to add some information which I believe needs to be added to make the article more objective. It's one of my few contributions to Wikipedia and have been amazed at the amount of things done editors to ensure that information is not added. The information is widely public in many sources so I'm quite puzzled at why such big opposition to something people will find anyway. When you google Satyananda, most of the first page results refer to these allegations. I'm really just trying to reach agreement in an amicably way. It seems like admins and experienced editors feel the same way and feel that the information a couple of editors want to add would be fair to be added. The point is not whether it is fact, fiction or anything else but rather a controversy that is widely documented which is pointless to try to supress Totocol (talk) 05:48, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
this is the original post which is indeed asking people to come to this page to write comments on why the allegations should not be included [2] I have taken screenshots in case it is deleted. This is the original text so you can make your own conclusions
"" Totocol (talk) 06:28, 25 December 2014 (UTC) cc: Rrburke Philg88 Kautilya3
this is the facebook post where some editors are also discussing how to keep this article "clean" [3] Screenshots have also been taken in case they are deleted Totocol (talk) 06:41, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @Enigmafay: Please spare us your lectures. You have created your account on the 5 December, and you have only edited or participated in this page. It is clear that you are not here to develop Wikipedia, but to push your point of view. You have done several reverts of reasonable edits of this page (I count more than 3 on the 5th December) and, as such, you had grounds to be blocked. There are no conceivable reasons "why the paragraph on the allegations should not be included in the article." Wikipedia is not a court of law, and "legal" has no meaning here. We report what is present in reliable sources. You are welcome to familiarise yourself with how Wikipedia operates and make useful contributions to it. If your agenda is to block information from appearing here, you will not succeed. Kautilya3 (talk) 13:42, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Yes, me and a bunch of other users who have been involved in the revert war. The allegations paragraph had to be removed because the edits we were doing on it, to keep it objective, were being deleted. Instead the paragraph was growing in size bigger than the original article and they were dominating it. The writing was also improper and clearly aimed at damaging the reputation of Swami Satyananda, and not on solely reporting allegations. And this is the truth of the matter and the true chronicle of this article. The agenda of the people who added this paragraph is to slander, which is actually illegal. Furthermore, additions to any article should be relevant and useful to it. In which case, they are neither factual, nor relevant, nor useful. That is why, there should be no paragraph on Allegations. Enigmafay (talk) 14:53, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
as expected, all of the comments on the second facebook post I provided as reference were deleted but I have kept screenshots of the full discusion is needed. In that discussion people were given instructions on how easily it was to create accounts to continue deleting the new information added as One of The comments say "together we have to stay strong for the sake of our faith, in our guru,tradition and yoga.No one,like these rumour mongers,haters,and greedy people can change that." - this post was started in Dec 4 which coincides with the account creation date of Enigmafay
Please do not delete information from the talk page (talk) 15:32, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
There is nothing wrong with our discussions, no matter how much you try to picture them in a negative way. Our discussions take place between our members, informing them about the war you have started here, and how they can contribute to Wikipedia on a matter that seriously concerns them. On the contrary, there is everything wrong with what you and your employer have been doing for the past month. You and your employer invaded our groups, harassed us, tried to proselytize people into your own ideas by posting offensive remarks along the links to the allegations. You and your employer have been posting in our groups repeatedly insulting us. The administrators of multiple groups had to ban you and your employer from further disturbing our pages. I would suggest you to keep your ideas to yourself and to the people who choose to join your groups. Oh, but you can no longer disturb our groups because you have been banned. Too bad.
i have never tried to join any of your groups. Not that that has any influence here. If your discussions had nothing wrong then why did you delete a lot of the comments instructing people how to influence the content of this page? Totocol (talk) 16:08, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
Oh and another thing. It looks like you have been lurking on the talk pages of the administrators trying to influence them in your favor. No further comments. Enigmafay (talk) 15:47, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────no idea what you mean. You really need to become more familiar with Wikipedia before posting such comments and please do not undo content additions to the talk page. We're abstaining from adding to the article page as we are trying to reach concensus on the new content that will eventually be added given your unfounded reasons to remove it. Totocol (talk) 16:08, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Editors are reminded the purpose of this page is discussing improvements to the article, not lobbing accusations and impugning motives. We all assume that other editors are here, like ourselves, to improve the article. Please focus comments on content, not contributors. -- Rrburke (talk) 16:34, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
You can tell that to the editor who started the accusations and who initiated this paragraph. Enigmafay (talk) 18:28, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Separating Fact from Fiction[edit]

The Royal Commission - Swami Satyananda refuting sexual abuse allegations

It is worth noting that the Royal Commission is not a court of law and does not exercise judicial power, although its powers may be coercive, denying the basic legal rights afforded ordinarily in a court of law .

Testimonies in a Royal Commission and the opinion of a commissioner do not carry any direct legal consequences. As is stated in the High Court of Victoria, Australia

If (a) Commissioner were to report that he is of the opinion or that he finds that a person has contravened a law, the report would carry no legal consequence; (Victoria v ABCE & BLF 1982 152 CLR 25 (Brennan J at 154))

On the other hand, in an ordinary court of law the standards for the rules of evidence, and one’s protection against self-incrimination apply.

The testimonies from witnesses heard in case study 21, Satyananda Yoga Ashram - Mangrove Mountain Ashram at the recent Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse should not be relied upon as facts to support unproven allegations of sexual abuse against Swami Satyananda.

They are individual testimonies given to the Royal Commission as one’s personal account of events as they allegedly happened 30 years ago, and therefore should be treated with caution.

It has been noted, that in the past, the legitimacy of different Royal Commission recommendations have been brought into question

Reporting unproven allegations as fact carries severe damage to an organisation such as the case study involving the Salvation Army after it was investigated by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse (case study 5).

Confusing individual testimonies* as factual accounts which have not been proven in a court of law may inadvertently create more untruths:

There are times when the legitimacy of the Royal Commission findings has been placed in doubt.

Where real reform from Royal Commissions reports has failed to be implemented

There have been times when the Royal Commission reports have been completely rejected and the credibility of the Royal Commission questioned

In addition, there are instances where the findings from Royal Commissions have been ignored by governments.

Finally, a clear distinction needs to be made between what Royal Commission testimonies are and their legal standing and what testimonies submitted and proven to be factual in a court of law are, to avoid the serious damage and repercussions that unproven allegations, accusations and speculation that may arise during a Royal Commission case study, may cause for the organisation involved.

Enigmafay (talk) 19:55, 24 December 2014 (UTC)

the point here is really not to decide if anything is fact or fiction but rather if there is any valid reason to continue stopping editors from adding a well referenced and widely documented information Totocol (talk) 05:59, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
That is exactly the point. Otherwise the readers of Wikipedia would be misled. Why would you want to write a misleading article? Let us define "widely documented information". Firstly, allegations are just... allegations. They are not information. Secondly, the Royal Commission is not a court of law and does not exercise judicial power, although its powers may be coercive, denying the basic legal rights afforded ordinarily in a court of law. Furthermore, the links that have been provided do not constitute in any sense widely documented information. Anyone who is familiar with the internet knows how easy it is to get "information" published. Even well known news-servers have been known to circulate articles that are nothing more than hoaxes. Also, it has come to my attention that you did not discuss any of the points risen in the "Separating Fact from Fiction" paragraph. Along with your response, that clearly implies that the allegations are fictional, it looks like a trick of sophistry from your part, to attempt to publish allegations in the name of "widely documented information", even if you believe that it is not fact. Even though we listed for your satisfaction the valid reasons on why we continue to stop editors from adding these texts, it is actually you who has to prove if there is any reason to continue attempting at adding fiction that harms the reputation of a widely respected representative of Yoga. I don't have to prove that I am not an Elephant. Enigmafay (talk) 12:36, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
after reading the facebook posts from you and the others that are trying to omit that information I believe there isn't much point on discussing with you so I think it might be better to scalate the issue. Totocol (talk) 12:54, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
I see, you have no further arguments on the issues I raised :). Enigmafay (talk) 13:28, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
There is only one issue, and it is simple: the standard for inclusion on Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. The issue is not whether the allegations are true, but whether they have been widely-reported in reliable sources. Allegations are indeed just allegations: Wikipedia reports them as allegations. Wikipedia does not evaluate the credibility of testimony, the credibility of the royal commission, or the credibility of royal commissions in general. Wikipedia does not care whether the commission is a court of law, or what the differences between it and a court of law are. Wikipedia is not at all interested in "separating fact from fiction" in the way you have described. All of this is completely beside the point. Wikipedia cares solely whether the proceedings of the royal commission have been reported in reliable sources. They have. They have been so widely-reported that there can be no rationale for suppressing them. If the topic is has been carried on ABC and Sky News, in the Sydney Morning Herald, the Guardian, the Telegraph, the Times of India, and many more besides, that is more than sufficient for it to be included in Wikipedia. -- Rrburke (talk) 14:23, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
Verifiability, means accuracy of the information. Not accurately reporting inaccurate and without evidence allegations. As an encyclopedia, which is what Wikipedia primarily is, it should include relevant and useful information. If you were writing a short biography on Swami Satyananda for a well known printed encyclopedia, would you include the allegations? Enigmafay (talk) 15:03, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────No, WP:VERIFIABILITY means "that people reading and editing the encyclopedia can check that the information comes from a reliable source". Wikipedia editors evaluate the degree of coverage in reliable sources, not the "accuracy of the information," which they have no means to evaluate. This topic is widely reported in and suppressing it places the reputation of the subject above the integrity and completeness of the article. In a short biography, I would include a short section; in a longer biography, I would include a longer section. Moreover, Wikipedia is not a paper encyclopedia. -- Rrburke (talk) 16:44, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

This is sophistry. You are trying to use the guidelines of Wikipedia without using common sense. These guidelines do not forbid anyone from using their logic regarding the importance and necessity of the information included in an article. You have to understand that stating unproven and false allegations is DEFAMATION, a civil wrong and in many countries a crime. Surely a paper encyclopedia would never commit such a crime. By agreeing to include defamation on Wikipedia we are actively damaging the reputation of such a large and influential organization. In that case, I would not be surprised if charges would be filed against Wikipedia. Enigmafay (talk) 18:49, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
@Enigmafay:Call it whatever you please, this is how Wikipedia works, how it has always worked and how it will to continue to work. And as I said earlier, as a matter of law in most jurisdictions you cannot defame the dead. But that is beside the point: Wikipedia publishes allegations qua allegations and testimony qua testimony all the time. Why do you think an exception should be made for this article? The testimony before the commission has been widely reported in reliable sources and there have been no lawsuits, principally because there is no basis for any. It can and should be published here as well; there is no problem. -- Rrburke (talk) 20:32, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
This is not how Wikipedia works. You can defame an organization and that is what is going on here. I ve proven you that the sources are not reliable, that there is no evidence and no court decision. It is defamation and it is illegal. I am waiting for you to disprove the arguments I have raised in my initial long post, but nobody seems to be able to. And strangely nobody is discussing about them. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Enigmafay (talkcontribs) 13:29, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
  • "This is not how Wikipedia works"
This is precisely how Wikipedia works in hundreds upon thousands of articles.
  • "I ve proven you that the sources are not reliable"
You've done nothing of the kind.
  • "there is no evidence and no court decision"
Testimony is evidence and no "decision" is required.
  • "I am waiting for you to disprove the arguments I have raised in my initial long post, but nobody seems to be able to. And strangely nobody is discussing about them."
No one is discussing them because they are irrelevant. The policy in play is Wikipedia:Verifiability: the topic has received wide coverage in reliable sources and so merits inclusion. I'm afraid this discussion has become sterile. I see no purpose in repeating this elementary point over and over any more. -- Rrburke (talk) 15:56, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
What do you recommend would be the best next step given tha we are unlikely to reach concensus? Totocol (talk) 18:26, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────@Totocol: Consensus is not the same as unanimity. So, on the contrary, in my opinion a consensus has begun to emerge. At the moment there is one lone holdout who believes the topic should be suppressed in its entirety. Shortly we should move to discussing what and how much to include. I have limited time the contribute over the holidays, but if no one else proposes some text to negotiate around, I'll do so when I have some time. In my opinion the topic should be in a separate subsection and, should accurately and completely but concisely summarize what has been published in mainstream news sources. I know another editor, Kautilya3, has a different view about this, if I understand him or her correctly; Bladesmulti, on the other hand, appears to be in favour of a separate section. Have I represented others' views accurately? -- Rrburke (talk) 20:32, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Well when you discussed this with the administrator on his talk page he did not seem to agree with you Rrburke. Quoting " [...] In view of that, I haven't blocked Totocol for edit-warring and have asked the editors involved on several occasions to reach a consensus on what should and should not be included. My view on how the matter moves forward is that those involved should step back and seek dispute resolution. Pending a consensus for its inclusion, the abuse allegation material should stay out of the article. In the mean time, edit warring and disruptive editing will be dealt with accordingly. Cheers, Philg88 " Enigmafay (talk) 13:29, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
No one participating in this discussion has attempted to re-add the section. No one is edit-warring and there is no disruption taking place. As there is no deadline, I am content to wait for the outcome of this discussion.
Moreover, what Phil said is that the abuse allegations should remain out pending consensus for its conclusion. In my opinion, such a consensus has begun to emerge, and I plan to take its temperature in a straw poll. As far as I can tell, you are the only editor remaining arguing for this topic's complete suppression, and your reasons are specious. -- Rrburke (talk) 15:56, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
A separate section on Controversies is perfectly fine. That is the right way to do it. Cheers, Kautilya3 (talk) 21:18, 25 December 2014 (UTC)
There is no issue for a controversies section as this will be considered defamation. Enigmafay (talk) 13:29, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
I'll be happy with a separate section too and would be happy to start with a modified version of where it was before the last edit war: "During open hearings as part of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in Australia a Satyananda Yoga Ashram was investigated in relation to their response to past allegations of sexual abuse. During these hearings, three witnesses alleged that Satyananda had sexually abused them with two of them being minors during the alleged situations. [1]. A full record of the testimonies that were brought forward by the commission for the public hearings can be found on the Royal Commission's Website.[2]. The Royal Commission will continue the hearings around this case in March 2015." But I'd be more than happy for more experienced editors to modify it too.
The hearing will examine the response of Satyananda Yoga Ashram to allegations of child sexual abuse by the Ashram’s former spiritual leader in the 1970s and 1980s. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Totocol (talkcontribs) 22:55, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Page protection[edit]

I have placed full protection on this page for 48 hours. This is an admin action in light of the apparant edit war. It is not an indication that the current version of the article is endorsed by me, or anyone else for that matter, just how it happened to be when protection was applied. I suggest everyone discusses the controversy section on this talk page rather than constant reversion of the article itself. Nthep (talk) 11:41, 5 December 2014 (UTC)

I've extended the full protection for one week pending the outcome of the RFC. To reiterate Nthep's comment above: the current version implies no endorsement of the content–the measure has been applied to prevent continued disruption.  Philg88 talk 10:10, 9 December 2014 (UTC)


Select a picture from the gallery and insert it into the body text. Remove the rest. Having so many images of one place looks like WP:PROMO. It isn't difficult to link to a Comons cat. - Sitush (talk) 10:14, 8 December 2014 (UTC)

Protected edit request on 9 December 2014[edit]

We should capitalize the l of the section list of publications. Bladesmulti (talk) 10:11, 9 December 2014 (UTC)  Done  Philg88 talk 13:03, 9 December 2014 (UTC)

Straw poll on "Controversy" section[edit]


Consensus supports creation of a "Controversy/Controversies" section with the caveat that normal Wikipedia guidelines and policies must be followed with regard to POV and referencing.  Philg88 talk 22:00, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

I propose we take a straw poll as a way to determine what degree of consensus exists, with the following caveats: straw polls have no weight and are not binding because Wikipedia is not a democracy. Straw polls are not a substitute for discussion. The sole purpose of this straw poll is to see whether a consensus to include a "Controversy" section exists: what and how much to include will be decided by discussion, with the possibility of a follow-up poll about content if one is necessary. We are free to ignore the result of this straw poll if we choose, and if the result is inconclusive or runs counter to Wikipedia policies and guidelines, we should ignore it.

Please indicate your opposition or support by typing Oppose or Support below, followed by a short comment if you choose, and then your signature, ~~~~ 16:56, 26 December 2014‎ Rrburke

Straw Poll[edit]

The article should, in principle, include a "Controversy" or "Controversies" section that summarizes material like that contained in these (or similar) sources: [13],[14],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20],[21]

  • Support. The topic is widely-covered in reliable sources, and there is no basis for its exclusion from this article. -- Rrburke (talk) 15:56, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support. Fully agreewith the nominator. Kautilya3 (talk) 16:22, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support - I don't see how this should be denied, I can suggest that it should be kept neutral and any sort of advocacy against these allegations must be included. I am not saying that it required because not everything requires to be neutral, but it is just recommended. Bladesmulti (talk) 16:24, 26 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support No WP:CENSOR. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:04, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support agree with nominator Totocol (talk) 11:19, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support, although I'm not a fan of having dedicated controversy sections and would prefer to see the criticisms etc integrated within the article if/where possible. DLS articles are prone to pov issues due to the zealotry of adherents. - Sitush (talk) 14:13, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Support The topic is covered in reliable sources world wide, is verifiable and thus no basis for its exclusion from this article. Ziji Baby tao.jpg (talk email) 21:15, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
  • Qualified oppose I am opposed to the existance of controversy/criticism sections in principle, because they act as POV magnets and due weight is difficult. The material in the sources presented above should be included, as per the nom and the support votes above; it's just that, in my opinion, these should be integrated into the rest of the article. I have attempted to do this in articles that I have rewritten, and I believe it would be an improvement. That said, if the only way to get this information in is to have a dedicated section, then go ahead. Vanamonde93 (talk) 15:56, 27 December 2014 (UTC)
  • That is kind of my position, but I said it in the Support section. Anyways, I've just got a potential hook in there for Australia and will be expanding on it, so it seems likely that we can avoid the dedicated section. - Sitush (talk) 16:51, 29 December 2014 (UTC)
  •  Comment:. This was my error for framing the question this way: I should just have asked whether we should include the sexual/abuse allegations. However, the poll is what it is and there's no changing it while it's in progress.
  • Up-arrow What Vanamonde & Sitush said. (To be clear: even though my comment is in the "oppose" section, I am supporting inclusion of the content.) Abecedare (talk) 15:43, 1 January 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose I oppose because including sexual allegations without court conviction is no only illegal (Slander) and unethical, but it also does not concern the article of Swami Satyananda. For more information see section "Separating Fact from Fiction" Enigmafay (talk) 15:20, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
  • I'm not going to discuss it here much because this is a poll but I will note that (a) you cannot libel or slander the dead in any jurisdiction and (b) widely-reported, reliably sourced allegations are not libellous if repeated here, if they are noted as allegations. In many jurisdictions, an organisation cannot be libelled whether it is extant or otherwise. - Sitush (talk) 15:55, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Swami Satyananda may have left his body but his yoga lives on and so do his disciples. The allegations are slanderous to his tradition and to his disciples around the world. Creating multiple spam pages online is very easy to do and does not make the information more reliable nor proven. We have seen hoaxes on yahoo news and other widely accepted media. We have a duty towards the truth. The only thing we know for fact is that nothing has been proven. For all we know, this is an elaborate attempt at damaging the Satyananda institutions and organizations. Finally, including false and negative information leads to misinformation and does not serve the article nor its readers. Only true and proven information serves the readers of Wikipedia. Enigmafay (talk) 17:13, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Comment: So, these allegations themselves are a WP:HOAX? There are no allegations? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 17:02, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Irrelevant. What is relevant is whether it is helpful to the reader to read unproven and false information. We have a duty to the truth, not to reporting existent but false slander. Enigmafay (talk) 17:13, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
That's up to the judges to judge, not to his supporters. Its true that he's being alleged; no WP:CENSORSHIP. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 17:17, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
Actually, if something has not been proven, it is instantly false. Innocent until proven guilty. We do not have to prove the innocence of Swami Satyananda. The judges, and neither of the here gathered opponents of Swami Satyananda, should prove if he is guilty. Just remember that there is no conviction and therefore, he is innocent. The Royal Commission is not a court of law. Why would you want to include unproven allegations in an article, unless you wanted to defame and damage the reputation of the organization? We all saw in what spirit the controversy paragraph was written. It was written in the spirit to defame and not to report. Because if the report was made in the correct way, the subject is irrelevant to the article, it instantly nullifies itself and is not worthy reporting. We have a duty to the truth and to including relevant and helpful information in these articles. It's common sense. Enigmafay (talk) 19:34, 2 January 2015 (UTC)
This is a straw poll. You are merely repeating the (often erroneous) arguments that you have already made above. There is no need for it. NB: whoever closes this poll is unlikely to pay much attention to the opinions of any newly-registered accounts that might turn up. - Sitush (talk) 19:41, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Straw Poll Criticism[edit]

Closing the poll without warning is unacceptable. You did not include a deadline in the poll and most people are away on holidays and have not even seen the poll. I only saw it today by chance. I request that you reopen it and set a period of time that it will be open. Enigmafay (talk) 02:46, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

There is no deadline. Bladesmulti (talk) 02:48, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

The Straw Poll was without any warning and many of us are on Holidays. Would request reopening this Protocol108 (talk) 04:05, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

This is not the right place and you seem to be protesting. You can ask the admin who closed the discussion. If he refuses, then go to administrators noticeboard and request there, you have prove that how closing the discussion was incorrect. Bladesmulti (talk) 04:08, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Straw poll is closed without any alert. Can you please open it again.

Next steps[edit]

As Philg88 mentioned in closing the straw poll, there is a consensus for a controversy/controversies section that incorporates the material in the cited sources. However, a significant minority preferred to integrate this material into the article without creating a separate section. Are there editors who would like to make the case for either side before we move forward, or should we just go ahead on the basis of the apparent consensus for a separate section? -- Rrburke (talk) 22:27, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Kautilya3 has also suggested that without mentioning about his other Ashrams, this controversy may seem irrelevant, as soon as we can gather other details about the Ashrams, we can also write about this recent controversy. Bladesmulti (talk) 02:49, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

I think Wikipedia should continue to pursue neutrality and objectivity. Wikipedia is considered an authentic source of information by millions and Wiki Editors should try to maintain that. There seems to be a rush to somehow publish some links or controversy section. As discussed in tonnes of material in paragraphs above. Addition of Controversy section in a rush is not a correct approach.I think the best approach should be to try to extend page protection for few more days and Sort the issues out first.Protocol108 (talk) 04:37, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Time to check for meatpuppets here? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:19, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
There is a pool of meat puppets here and it is concerning too. Bladesmulti (talk) 05:23, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
A call to vote "oppose" in the above straw poll was issued here. Unfortunately the pole was closed by the time the army arrived. --Vigyanitalkਯੋਗਦਾਨ 05:35, 3 January 2015 (UTC) (The post is now deleted, but I have got a screen shot in case anyone need.--Vigyanitalkਯੋਗਦਾਨ 05:59, 3 January 2015 (UTC))
Unless "criticism" refers to a literary work's reception among literary critics, a "Criticism" or "Controversies" section is almost always a bad idea: it lends undue weight to the criticism or controversies, regardless of what they are. Have you ever seen such a thing in a print encyclopedia? In this setting, bits of criticism and controversy are far better put within other sections where they are relevant. As a complete outsider, I'm not completely sure what criticism-or-controversy stuff you're looking to include, but I can say that the "Controversy around child sexual abuse" section of this revision would maybe do better as part of the Biography section, once a date's added so that we know when the abuses allegedly happened and/or when the open hearings were first held. Nyttend (talk) 05:51, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
Allegation of sexual abuse - still better suggestion. Bladesmulti (talk) 07:09, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── (edit conflict) Good point Nyttend. It would perhaps be better to avoid creation of a new section and instead include a properly weighted and referenced mention of the "controversy" in the Biography section. I too have no dog in this hunt, I'm just keen to see resolution of what is at heart a content dispute.  Philg88 talk 07:17, 3 January 2015 (UTC)3 January 2015 (UTC)

Done. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:46, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

Legal Implication of Adding Controversy/Controversies section[edit]

Adding a new legal section. In case the Controversy section is opened in a rush there are legal implications — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amit2014hsshrma (talkcontribs) 05:20, 3 January 2015‎

So now you guys are stooping to legal threats, after your attempts to censor content appear to have failed? --Vigyanitalkਯੋਗਦਾਨ 05:25, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

please lets use better language when discussing. The defamation cases and legal angle I have read on the facebook page of which you can see there are few fellow contributors are members.In fact they mention legal implications and also are rushing to include controvery section.[22] — Preceding unsigned comment added by Protocol108 (talkcontribs) 05:36, 3 January 2015

Legal Defamation : — Preceding unsigned comment added by Helloaryan (talkcontribs) 06:03, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

So, you guys are saying that the Australian law should be used to sue the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, plus all the major Australian Newspapers who report on those hearings? Get real. I've posted a thread at Wikipedia:Administrators' noticeboard/Incidents#Legal threats at Satyananda Saraswati. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:43, 3 January 2015 (UTC)
In this case: you want to say that Shishy wa snot heard by the Commission; that she did not make those statements; that there were no allegations in the 1980's; that those newspapers did not report on those hearings? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:54, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

hi Joshua,The comment was certainly not a threat to anyone and certainly not to the Royal co mission or the news papers as you have mentioned.(at least speaking of myself) but more for the wikipedia contributors to be mindful of sensitivity of the Royal Commission currently going on.The interim report is not yet out. Adding a Controversy section and parts of that could be quoted by any party on both the sides to go after each other. Infact by adding new section we are making life difficult for both the parties( Parties mean the Australian Yoga center and the group of people who are aggrieved.)This is very emotional time for both sides.May good sense prevail and my only comment would be that Wikipedia Contributor and editors can also be little sympathetic to both the parties in the Royal Commission hearings. Atleast let the interim report out which should be in next few days.Protocol108 (talk) 08:54, 3 January 2015 (UTC) Protocol108 (talk) 08:51, 3 January 2015 (UTC)

sfn versus web-sources[edit]

Hi Sitush. I'd rather use the <ref group=web> notation, because it immediately gives the name of the writer and the newspaper; this may be more convincing rigth-away only a short note. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:00, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

It was overcomplicating things. For starters, see WP:CITEVAR - stick to one style. You were also overciting (using citations more often than needed) and providing less detail than is ideal (eg: accessdates for web content). Further, I really don't see the need to split a bibliography between printed and web sources. If people can't be bothered to read the citation detail properly then they shouldn't be changing the content: there really is no need to be "more convincing". - Sitush (talk) 18:23, 4 January 2015 (UTC)
Okay. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 15:56, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Page protection - again[edit]

Now the page is fully edit protected for 4 days in light of the continual cycle of reversions going on concerning the allegations paragraph. Nthep (talk) 20:43, 4 January 2015 (UTC)

@Nthep:I fear that there is a group of editors who will not accept this material being included in any form, and will find fault with any version and will find excuses to defy any consensus. Doubtless there will now follow complaints that you protected the wrong version. -- Rrburke (talk) 00:44, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
This is 3rd time that the page has been fully protected in 1 month. Bladesmulti (talk) 08:11, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
@Rrburke: I would repeat what I said on the previous occasion I applied protection to this article - I don't endorse any version of this article, I applied protecton when I saw an edit war escalating (again!) with no likelihood of any other method stopping it. I would urge everyone with an opinion to discuss, rationally, on this page to reach some sort of consensus. This might be difficult in view of some of the views I have read previously but I would remind all of Five pillars especially Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Nthep (talk) 09:04, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

very very Sad Indeed. As I watch even reverts on the Talk Page. I was reading some comments about Editors and suddenly it has vanished. Let discussion be allowed on talk page and if they are removed there should be a reason. Lets try to discuss and sort it out. May be a very emotional issue but let all contributors discuss Protocol108 (talk) 10:02, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Talk Page Comment Deletions[edit]

This is very wrong precedence to delete the Talk Page Comments.

Talk Page is for discussion. Unless it violates any of Wiki rules it should be allowed.

What I read about the Editors few minutes back is very very sad (I wont repeat here the Comments)

Wiki Admins please take note that the Talk page Comments and discussions are not removed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Protocol108 (talkcontribs) 10:26, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Comments and discussions that meet Wikipedia policies will not be removed. Personal attacks raising doubts about the motives of editors will not be tolerated and will be removed and editors making such comments need to be aware of the potential consequences of making such comments.
Neither is this page for speculating why the allegations have been made against Satyananda Saraswati, whether those people are Wikipedia editors or not. Nthep (talk) 10:42, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
Quite so. At the same time, any editor with a conflict of interest due to their close connection to the subject should declare it. -- Rrburke (talk) 14:14, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
It has been claimed that some of the administrators are involved actively in the campaign against Swami Satyananda in Australia. If this proves to be true, then they are abusing their power to edit and lock the article in their favor. The allegations are false and the truth will come out, no matter how you try to hide it. What the administrators are doing is simply harming the credibility of wikipedia. Enigmafay (talk) 16:04, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
wow, so admins protected the wrong version :) , great. --Vigyanitalkਯੋਗਦਾਨ 16:10, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

All focus on content, not on contributors. @Enigmafay:, consider this a final warning for making an unsubstantiated personal attack. Nthep (talk) 16:15, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Editor Canvassing[edit]

Proof of editor canvassing on facebook.I have screen shot also if anyone need

"Raul Alberto Caceres(totocol)

If anyone is interested in Wikipedia, this is the page where discussions are happening on the article on Satyananda. A number of people have been trying to stop information on the RC findings to be added to the page. If anyone is interested in getting involved in the discussion this is the link: 20141225T07: 11:25+0000 Jen Nicholson Reading that makes my brain hurt. 20141225T07: 25:23+0000 Bronwen Wilson Satyananda Yoga Ashram, the institution the subject of the Royal Commission, does not have a wiki entry. 20141225T07: 44:33+0000 Ziji PeterJohn Fox Bronwen Wilson shall we start that page as, for example, Satyananda Yoga Ashram Australia? The Wikipedia article Satyananda Yoga redirects to Satyananda Saraswati. I have cancelled that redirect for the time being, reverted to an older version and added a RC link. I have readded the Royal commission reference to the main article and expect to see it edited over night. Recommend keeping the article factual in order to win the edit wars that have begun there. 20141225T11: 13:04+0000" — Preceding unsigned comment added by Amit2014hsshrma (talkcontribs) 10:49, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

"mr. Joshua"[edit]

Let it be very clear that I'm not the "mr. Joshua" who is, or was, involved with the ashram. Let it also be clear that I will respond to anti-Satyananda Saraswati as critical as I respond to pro-Satyananda Saraswati edits. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 12:22, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Interestingly after reading this i went into the activist Facebook page and I clearly see a name Ziji-Fox and of course Totocol is there. I am certainly not implying anything but I think to the fair if someone is asking for financial or any compensation or pushing for any direct activism should not try to push for wiki edits and let the page evolve on its own.
And the talk page comment deletion in the name of personal attack God where are we going! If someone is a neutral editor for long time people will respect him or her in case and let him do the explanation and clean-up.

For a new wiki contributor like me. I am very very disappointed, disheartened and sad as i learn how Wikipedia works.Protocol108 (talk) 14:21, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

I on't know if that's how Wikipedia in general works. India-related articles tend to get heated, though, once nd a while. And gurus & sex is also a recipe for arguments. So, the combination of the two... Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 15:13, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
While I don't agree with any comments being removed except for violation of Wikipedia policy, the purpose of this page is to recommend improvements to the article, not, as it too often has been, to squabble and impugn other editors' motives. Can we not simply agree, per Wikipedia:Assume good faith, to assume that other editors are here, like ourselves, to improve the article? We may disagree about what constitute improvements, but simply assuming the good faith of other editors drains the discussion of much unnecessary rancour. -- Rrburke (talk) 15:23, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Particulars of the accusations against Satyananda[edit]

Because this article is a biography of Satyananda Saraswati, the accusations against him personally should be the focus the "Allegations of sexual abuse" section, while the alleged culture of abuse at Mangrove Mountain should be included, if at all, principally to supply context. As I understand it, the allegations made personally against Satyananda are as follows:

  • Bhati Manning claims she was subjected to sexual abuse by Satyananda at the Munger ashram in India when she was 16 (some sources say 17): [23],[24],[25],[26]. She claims that she was forced to have sex with him in front of others, and that he gave her an STD. Manning also appears to claim that she witnessed him committing acts of abuse, but the sources are somewhat ambiguous on this point
  • Shishy claims that she was subjected to humiliation and degrading sexual acts by both Akhandananda and Satyananda: [27],[28],[29]
  • APR claims to have been raped by Satyananda on one of his visits to Australia: [30],[31]

Are these what other editors understand to be the allegations made against Satyananda personally? -- Rrburke (talk) 16:46, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

Rrburke, have we acknowledged that the Royal Commission has long-tall list of allegation against Satyananda? What we have included at this moment was probably enough, I had actually read these many allegations, and many others may have, but we had to highlight the most important. Many of these allegations have been discussed before as well. Bladesmulti (talk) 16:51, 5 January 2015 (UTC)
Hi, Bladesmulti. I wasn't necessarily proposing that all this be added to the article; I'm only trying to confirm that this is, as other editors understand it, the complete list of accusations that have come out at the commission. -- Rrburke (talk) 17:03, 5 January 2015 (UTC)

After reading the discussions above i read all RC documents and few points become very clear.

1) The three names mentioned above are "witness Accounts". They have made accusations of an inclident that happened 20 years back. At the same time there are other witnesses (For eg one Ashram Doctor)who have given statements on the contrary. So it is not fair to just push one side of the story.

2)One of witnesses son and other witnesses also have criticed Shishy's accounts on multiple forums.They believe her statements are all wrong.

Now if I were a wiki editor I would consider both the sides. Right now only one side of witness account is represented and a better approach would be to refer to the RC "Case Study" when it is released in few days and may be use that as a better reference source.

3)RC website documents are online for transparency for people to go online and read as the RC progreses towards a closure report or a Case Study and selective use of Witness accounts will potentially harm the witnesses themselves. I am sure that the RC will eventually take note of this fact also that prior to relase of their "Case Study" their witness accounts were circulated around and represented in multiple ways. Protocol108 (talk) 01:49, 6 January 2015 (UTC)

Pro108, if you've got sources for "the other side", please share them, so we can see what we can do with them. Bets regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:23, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
@Protocol108: Hi, Protocol108. Let me say first that I don't agree that anyone is attempting to "push one side of the story" or that the use of sources has been "selective". As for Dr. Sztulman, all he has said is that he didn't witness any of the alleged abuse (with the exception of seeing Akhandananda slap someone in the face). He states that he has come to accept that sexual abuse took place at the ashram, but this is due to the weight of evidence, not to any personal knowledge. Another witness, Muktimurti Saraswatiwho, an administrator at the ashram, has said that she doubts the allegations, but could not definitively say they were true or false. However, neither witness (nor any other that I am aware of) addresses the specific allegations against Satyananda, merely the alleged climate of abuse at Mangrove Mountain.
You mention that Shishy's testimony has been rebutted "on multiple forums". Have the people you mention appeared before the commission, and/or have their statements been reported in reliable sources? -- Rrburke (talk) 15:55, 6 January 2015 (UTC)
I think it's a very conscise overview now. A lot more could be added, but that would be too much. It's fine now. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:16, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
  • HI Vigyani, In this section I just added that Satyananda was never put on trial or Convicted. I didnt delete any of the existing contents. I have looked into all published legal sites and there is none that reports any trial or conviction. If any of the Writers have a proof they can put. Else can the Editor explain why he is removing my comments Protocol108 (talk) 15:46, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
    • Have replied on my talk page. You will need sources which will state that statement explicitly. Vigyanitalkਯੋਗਦਾਨ 15:51, 9 January 2015 (UTC)

Why including the allegations paragraph violates the Neutral point of view[edit]

Firstly, I would like to inform you that I have edited the allegations paragraph in a way that would satisfy both parties. However, those additions were deleted. That is why resorted to deleting the whole paragraph again. Please check the history of the article to see my changes.

Secondly, I was threatened by 2 administrators and 2 users that they will ban me, if I continue to edit the Satyananda Article, because I was disruptive. I don't see how my edits were disruptive and those of the other parties were not.

Thirdly, it is my right as any other wikipedia user to say my opinion and to edit the articles accordingly. You should know better than me, that a Straw Poll is not a substitute for consensus and that Wikipedia is not a democracy.

Fourthly, I do not know how to use wikipedia well and instead for the administrators here to help me learn, they are trying to scare me and to threaten me out. I will not tolerate any more threats from anyone. It is your duty to solve this dispute in a fair way, and not to take sides.

Fifth: The way the allegations paragraph now stands is misleading and implying that Swami Satyananda was a child molester. It is omitting very serious information thus compromising the NEUTRAL POINT OF VIEW. Swami Satyananda was NEVER convicted and never brought to a court of justice. You cannot simply imply that he was. In order for the readers not to be misled, we have to include that "Prior to these investigations the allegations had not been proven and Swami Satyananda Saraswati was never convicted during his life." ALSO, we must remove this

"The Commission heard evidence from former child residents that Shishy, a former senior member of the ashram, allegedly subjected them to fierce beatings, and summoned teenage girls for sex with Akhandananda"

which is provocative and outrageous. This violates the policy of Neutral Point of View, invokes a disgusting emotional response and giving false impressions to the readers.

Sixth: I consider the Straw Poll to have had a very bad influence on this discussion. It just allowed everyone to rage and rant.

Seventh: Administrator Philg88 threatened to ban me, if I continue to edit the article since I am a minority. I would like to inform him that I am not a minority. In fact I am talking on behalf of more than 200 people who are backing my position up on the article. It is just unfortunate that these people cannot use wikipedia as it is so difficult to use. But we are signing a petition that will go directly to the head of wikipedia, hoping that someone will take us seriously.

Already 228 people have signed and more are signing every day.

Eighth: Instead of people concentrating on finding out and reporting in which ways Swami Satyananda contributed to the his society since 1964 to the day of his death, through the University institutions he established, the scientific research in collaboration with prestigious medical and educational facilities, the recognition from the Indian government, the charities and the development of the region of Bihar, it looks like the sole interest of the editors here is how to show that he was guilty of crimes he never committed. That to me is another sign of a hidden agenda behind this whole dispute.
Enigmafay (talk) 00:49, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

@Enigmafay: Please read Wikipedia:Neutral Point of View, preferably in its entirety. You will see quickly that none of what you've written has anything to with Wikipedia:Neutral Point of View, the Wikipedia policy, with the possible exception of point five. You write there that the paragraph as it currently reads is "misleading" because Satyananda was never convicted of an offence. I hope I am saying for the very last time that no conviction is required for a topic to be included in Wikipedia. There is simply no such standard. What is required is that the topic has received adequate coverage in reliable sources. You furthermore write that one sentence in the section requires a disclaimer stating that Satyananda was never charged or convicted; you state that implying that he was charged or convicted is misleading. First, Wikipedia does not report on things that did not happen, like people not being charged. But more importantly, the section does not imply anywhere that Satyananda was charged or convicted of anything. Where are you seeing such an implication? What the section does is report witness testimony given before a commission of inquiry. It reports the testimony as testimony and nothing else. It does not take a position of the truth or falsity of the allegations: it merely reports the testimony because that testimony has been the subject of extensive coverage in reliable sources. -- Rrburke (talk) 18:08, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
You write
"Prior to these investigations the allegations had not been proven and Swami Satyananda Saraswati was never convicted during his life."
So, he was allegated before? Interesting. That's relevant information; could you be so kind to provide sources? It might be of interest to the overwhelming majority of people on this earth who do care about child-abuse, as indicated by the hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
This line from the opening statement of the Royal Commission is of interest to you:
The allegations were not proven, because there were no allegations prior to these investigations. Which means that only 30 years after the alleged allegations someone came forth to accuse. And that years after the death of Swami Satyananda.Enigmafay (talk) 12:53, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
"I anticipate that the hearing will also canvas allegations of sexual abuse perpetrated by the organisation’s founder and spiritual head, Guru Swami Satyananda Saraswati (Satyananda) and issues relating to how he and his spiritual successor, Swami Niranjananda Saraswati (Niranjan) dealt with the allegations when they first came to light."
Given the brutal statements that can be found in multiple media, the section in the article is still very reserved. Your responses show a total disregard for the concerns of the people who are being heard by this commission. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 07:52, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
The question is, is this a disregard towards false and unproven testimonies that are not even heard in a court of law? Or is it disregard from your side to the principle of someone being innocent unless proven otherwise? Enigmafay (talk) 12:49, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Ah, and this is a nice document stored by the commission, from the Satyananda organisation accusing ms. Manning of defamation. And this is her response. And seehere for some of her testimonies. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:45, 8 January 2015 (UTC)


This disruption has become too much. Online petition is a shouting case of meat-puppetry. I have reported the behavior of User:Enigmafay at ANI --Vigyanitalkਯੋਗਦਾਨ 02:38, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

To be precise: proposing a block. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:27, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Above discussion is very sad and not good for Wikipedia. I think clearly there are two strong opinions and they should listen to each other.Since both sides are passionately arguing it would be very very unfair to ban anyone. User-Enigmafay has presented a POV and other two Editors theirs. Its not fair to just Ban any one. I think both sides just need to listen to each other.Protocol108 (talk) 12:25, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

Since when is an online petition a meat-puppetry? 274 people already are expressing their frustration with the way you are handling this issue and they are all opposing the allegations paragraph. You have to take into consideration them. So writing my opinion on a talk page with arguments and explanations is a disruption? Since when? And since when can users propose a block? Should I start proposing blocks as well? Enigmafay (talk) 12:59, 8 January 2015 (UTC)

I've been reading the ruckus on ANI and I'll provide an answer as best as I can. I'll say straight out that I have no horse in how this article turns out. In creating the online petition, the creator (Enigmafay I presume? correct me if I'm wrong) has made a rallying cry for people who support the petition. If any of those petition supporters then come to wikipedia to edit this article based on their alignment with the argument laid out in the petition then that is meat puppetry. Even if the creator didn't directly call for particular people to come to wiki to edit, it is nonetheless an indirect call for meat puppets. Blackmane (talk) 23:48, 8 January 2015 (UTC)
Enigmafay, your petition basically targets supporters of what some people (not them, obviously) would consider to be a cult or sect. It is inevitably going to inflame the situation here. That really was not your finest hour and it might be helpful if you adjusted your petition to make it clear that anyone involved in that who interacts here may very well get short shrift. I realise that you will find this unwelcome advice but unfortunately you're the one who has created the problem.
FWIW, I wasn't too happy about how the Royal Commission stuff was added here some days ago, but that is being addressed by others in a discussion further up this page. - Sitush (talk) 00:39, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Vigyani,Hi Vigyani,
I had written Satyananda was never put on trial and neither convicted. But why did you remove it? I have searched thoroughly there is no public record for trial or conviction that qualifies my statement. If you have any sources for trial or conviction please share,/s>Protocol108 (talk) 15:56, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
You are asking someone to prove a negative. The onus is on you to find a source that says he was not put on trial, not to engage in original research by assuming he was not because you personally have been unable to find anything. - Sitush (talk) 17:30, 9 January 2015 (UTC)
Moreover, Wikipedia doesn't report what didn't happen. What is the basis for including this information? -- Rrburke (talk) 18:13, 9 January 2015 (UTC)


I've no idea where this trend has come from but I'm suddenly seeing people trying to split web sources from printed sources in Reference sections. There is no need for it (a source is a source), there is no MOS guideline that favours it (as far as I am aware), and it tends to cause other issues than run counter to WP:CITEVAR. I'm off to bed but I'll try to fix the mess tomorrow/later today. - Sitush (talk) 02:58, 10 January 2015 (UTC)

I'm the one who started this "trend", and I did so because I use the sfn-reference style. This gives short references in the reference-list for printed publications, but long references for websites. An additional advantage of splitting is that it gives a neat list of web-sources, and it shows clearly which references are from printed sources, and which are from websites. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 05:41, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
I've changed the reference-style. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:03, 10 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Sitush, I also pointed it out long back, and was overwhelmed with opposing response so backed off then. Your voice has more acceptance. --AmritasyaPutraT 16:11, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

Shishy told "she was expected to have sex with Satyananda"[edit]


"Shishy herself told the Commission she was expected to have sex with Satyananda when he was visiting Australia, describing it as "on a continuum between bland and quite perverse"

Do such newspaper headlines have a place on this wikipedia page, senior editors must take note.--Viktor Blagov (talk) 08:27, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

What do you think yourself? This senior editors does take note, and asks you: what makes you think this is not relevant? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 08:56, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
@ Joshua Jonathan you may brush up your grammar as well :)-- (talk) 18:33, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for your concerns; it shows the quality of your participation here. Best regards, Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:33, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
I don't know if I qualify as a "senior editor," but methinks that Hinduism and Hindu ideas have had the good fortune of receiving good press for a long time. The fans of these ideas haven't had an opportunity to learn how to deal with reality. It is time for them to wake up and smell the coffee. It is going to be a long and painful adjustment. Kautilya3 (talk) 15:33, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
I am not sure what you intend to convey in response to the concern raised? It sounds like a generic personal bias. --AmritasyaPutraT 16:14, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Come on, sex scandals of religious figures happen all the time. I have been reading about them ever since I learnt to read. There is no reason to act as if the heavens have fallen just because some stupid guru got caught. Kautilya3 (talk) 17:35, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @ Kautilya3" some stupid guru got caught" that is a very callous statement, when people are asking you to look into the issue and have an impartial view-- (talk) 18:37, 11 January 2015 (UTC)

@Kautilya3: exactly which guru got caught? The alleged allegations have never been proven and there is no evidence. The royal commission is only listening to the allegations but no proof is being provided. Whom are you calling stupid? Enigmafay (talk) 20:05, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Shishyananda on the Guru Disciple relationship
The following are extracts from the Ashram Yoga website attributed to Shishy, but which were removed from the site when the Royal Commission Inquiry began:
"Background: Shishy became a Swami at 19, having commenced a sexual relationship with Mangrove Mountain Ashram head, Akhandananda, at 17. Her parents, Karmamurti and Bhaktimurti were members of the Ashram hierarchy in Australia, and her brother, Shantimurti, continues a career in yoga in New Zealand, including providing teachings on sexuality. Shishy was appointed second in charge to him and was given responsibility for the children during the period at Mangrove Mountain ashram when extremely serious child abuse took place. She has admitted to beating them; being aware girls were being sexually abused by Akhandananda, and has admitted having a sexual relationship with an underaged male at that time. She alleges she was also a victim of violent sexual abuse at the hands of Akhandananda and that Ashram founder Satyananda plotted to have her killed."
During the public hearing, Shishy was cross examined by counsel assisting the Commissioner on her ongoing career in yoga, where she was found to be capitalizing on the Satyananda brand.
In these web articles which are likely to have been published in 2013, Shishy writes of the guru disciple relationship in glowing and romanticised terms.
Read the whole articles for full context:
-- (talk) 19:11, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
Dear User:Enigmafay and friend IP's, I am not a judge or jury, and I don't have to be impartial about anything. As a Wikipedian, I only report faithfully what is found in reliable sources. It is not my views that I put into writing. I am free to make up my mind just like any other human being.
You folks are trying to defend Satyananda, claiming that nothing about him has been proven. I am afraid it is a lost cause. His deputy, the chosen disciple, Akhandananda, who was in charge of the Ashram, got convicted (or at least found guilty). And then he died of alcoholism, for heaven's sake! That is bad enough. If Satyananda is as superior a being as you people imagine, this couldn't have happened. The whole enterprise stinks. You can't have one scandal-ridden swami rise up to be the head of an ashram unless sex abuse is endemic in the whole organisation. If Satyananda was in fact not part of this systemic scandal, he must have been a complete idiot. Either way, he is finished. You would be better off dumping him and going to find another guru. You are wasting your time and our time. Kautilya3 (talk) 21:56, 11 January 2015 (UTC)
This Akhandananda(there are many) has a page on Wikipedia or not? Bladesmulti (talk) 06:34, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Applause Kautilya3; at least some people around here who can use common sense, and stand-up against unjustice. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 06:38, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

@ Joshua Jonathan may I correct you please "Injustice, noun, 1: an unjust act; 2: the practice of being unjust or unfair. Unjustice is not a word and not in the dictionary" :)--Viktor Blagov (talk) 08:19, 13 January 2015 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── This is a strawman argument: 'folks are trying to defend xyz'. People are trying to have a sane discussion, and it could have bee responded to calmly. With such abrasive judgmental language the discussion goes to the dogs. In summary everyone is incorrect and only your judgement is the truth. Of course. Since you have been reading about sex scandals ever since you learned reading perhaps you are right. --AmritasyaPutraT 06:56, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

I am amazed at comments of one of Editors that "the enterprise stinks etc etc" or "some stupid Guru got caught" Is this the job of an editor to judge and take sides. I am new to wiki and unfortunately got attracted to this page and the learning in so short period is amazing. My comments have been repeatedly removed because they dont have an authentic source and was told that we just add facts not fiction. But than I find some experienced editors pronouncing someone guilty and flogging him on this page.By pronouncing your views just for one side you will soon end up forcing even those who have a neutral view to take notice and re-think if this really is a case of vested interests as has been alleged above. Let NPV be your principle on Wikipedia as an Editor even if you hate or love someone at a personal level. (talk) 12:03, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Hi, would like to propose an amendment - do I suggest here? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Valerie dhyanat. (talkcontribs) 13:18, 12 January 2015 (UTC)
Yes, please go ahead. Kautilya3 (talk) 19:32, 12 January 2015 (UTC)


The tenor of the discussion on this page has become disturbing. Editors are reminded yet again that the sole purpose of this page is for discussion of improvements to the article, not for broader discussions of the subject. Please try to re-focus the conversation on improvements to the page. Off-topic posts are subject to deletion. -- Rrburke (talk) 15:46, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

Shishy describes how she kissed Akhandananda and fell in love with him[edit]

We have evidence from the internet archive that can be viewed directly here:

Shishyananda says:

I first met my Guru of that time in 1976. When I first I laid eyes on him I fell at his feet, I did not intend to, it just happened, and I did not move for perhaps 30 minutes. I had my arms wrapped around his ankles and I kept kissing the tops of his feet. Of course this meant that he couldn’t move or walk forward, so he just stood there receiving other devotees as best he could! I truly think I would have stayed there for days had he not eventually pulled me up to my feet. He was Indian and short in physical stature and I am tallish for a woman so I always towered over him, but in his presence at that time, I always felt like a small, young, innocent child just living in his heart – my body was carrying around this experience of living as a child in his heart in a state of bhav (bliss) and it was the most transcendental time. I found myself capable of extraordinary things, feats I would never have thought I could do, I did without question – there was absolutely no limit of the mind, just an ecstatic presence in the moment in the Guru’s heart. At that time I was among the first 12 devotees initiated into sannyasa in Australia. It may have even been the first lot of sannyasins initiated by him outside of India. When he gave me my name, Shishyananda, his assistant at the time, Swami Amritananda, got very excited and said: “this is the first time Swamiji is giving this name! You are so blessed to have it!” I didn’t really understand the impact of it at the time, but since then I have realised that it is a real blessing to be named the shishya to the counterpart of the guru. I would say that discipleship has been my greatest path in this lifetime. It has been the source of my ecstasy and despair, my innocence and wisdom, my solace, my angst, and my emancipation. It has taught me everything.

She also praises Swami Satyananda in her webpage.

In various paragraphs she talks about the love between guru and disciple in romantic terms.

Yes, it is funny that these texts were removed prior to the RC hearings. It looks like she used the tradition while it suited her commercial needs. She kept using the yogic name and title that Akhandananda gave her, to add credibility to her yoga school. In the RC she made other statements. If Satyananda Yoga and her Guru were so abusive, why did she keep the yogic name and why did she go on to teach yoga by using the name of Satyananda and his system? Facts speak for themselves, thankfully. Enigmafay (talk) 18:08, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

The limitations here is that we are required to reflect what is contained in reliable sources. The reliable sources may be biased, their usage has to be adjusted in such case. It is discussed on the WP:RS page. And sometimes it has nothing to do with 'truth'. We have to wait till main stream catches up to bring anything to Wikipedia. You may check WP:VNT. Till then it contains what the present sources express. Original logic connecting things are done carefully (mostly never) and are covered by WP:SYN. What you may argue in this specific case is WP:DUE, not everything that is published is worthy of inclusion. Is it relevant to the biography? Is it a notable event, is that person known for it, is it given undue weight-age eclipsing what should be covered more? I have liberally sprinkled a lot of policies in my response, which, in fact, is not a direct response to your comment but a generic comment from me, so that you can familiarize yourself with how the Wikipedia community/editors look at this. Thanks. --AmritasyaPutraT 18:21, 12 January 2015 (UTC)

i posted the suggestion yesterday but it was deleted. Do we not post suggestions here? i am posting it again now - i suggest a change from the title of allegations of sexual abuse to : Mangrove Mountain there is also a second suggestion, but will send that later.Valerie dhyanat. (talk) 07:56, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

I am not sure I understand you. How is "Mangrove Mountain" an appropriate section title? This section title also needs work. I read the section, this article is about Satyananda then why are two out of three paragraph in that section about Akhandananda (who is he)? --AmritasyaPutraT 08:49, 13 January 2015 (UTC)

Yes, it needs work, it could be renamed Case Study 21 - Royal Commission, - it is a suggestion, as it seems to be more about Akhanananda as you say - hence the suggestion for Mangrove Mountain. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Valerie dhyanat. (talkcontribs) 09:13, 13 January 2015 (UTC) There is one more suggestion, about the second paragraph - it's impartial, but according to RC proceedings - but will suggest later. At the moment this talk page seems to be directed more to addressing personal replies.Valerie dhyanat. (talk) 09:21, 13 January 2015 (UTC)


For anyone interested, someone has collected all the sources where this information has been posted. You can find it in the reference below [32] Feel free to add other sources here if relevant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Totocol (talkcontribs)

Thanks for writing, we don't add facebook as a citation and currently, we have clarified the situation better than how we did before. Bladesmulti (talk) 07:29, 17 January 2015 (UTC)
Thanks for the comment. I'm not suggesting to add it as a reference but it is a good source for anyone looking for references. :-) Totocol (talk) 18:13, 17 January 2015 (UTC)

Sockpuppets - comments should be striked[edit]

Two sockpuppets of User:Viruswitch are being blocked, including User:Enigmafay. User:Protocol108 is also being blocked. Seems there are some comments to be striked (not removed!!!) Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 21:48, 22 January 2015 (UTC)

Paragraph regarding Akhandananda and Shishy not relevant in present article[edit]

That paragraph regarding allegations against Akhandananda Saraswati has nothing to do with Satyananda Saraswati's article in wikipedia. It only refers to allegations against Akhandananda Saraswati. So should somebody want to write an article about Akhandananda and his actions that's where this information belongs and not in Satyananda's article. In referance to Shishy's personal opinion regarding the whole issue, the correct way to go is to write an article about Shishy herself as well as what she thinks Satyananda might have said or done, as no proof exists whatsoever on what she claims to have happened. I am astonished that Wikipedia allows the publishing of unsubstantiated claims placed on irrelevant articles.... Viennabe (talk) 16:57, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

I'm finding that when I make the most lightweight Google search, Satyananda comes up as a child rapist.
  • "Some of the testimony heard by the Royal Commission pointed to Satyananda himself as not only a participant but a god-like higher power that young girls would work their way up to depending on his sexual appetite and their level of devotion."
  • "A woman didn’t speak about her sexual abuse at Satyananda ashrams because no one there would have considered it a crime, a royal commission has heard. Bhakti Manning told the inquiry that in ashram society 'what a guru does is done for the good of the disciple'. Manning said the guru, who founded the eponymous worldwide yoga movement, subjected her to aggressive violent sexual acts after she went to his famous Munger ashram in India when she was 17. She believed Satyananda Saraswati had targeted her as a future sexual consort when he was in Australia."
  • An Indian guru who founded the global Satyananda yoga movement engaged in “aggressive, violent sex” with numerous women and may have raped a seven-year-old, despite preaching chastity, an Australian inquiry has heard. Bhakti Manning, who belonged to a Satyananda ashram in Australia as a child, told Australia’s royal commission into child sex abuse that Swami Satyananda Saraswati subjected her to degrading sex in front of strangers when she was 16 during a visit to India. Previously, she said, she was abused in Australia by the global yoga guru’s disciple Swami Akhandananda Saraswati, who led the Mangrove Mountain retreat in Australia, as well as a visiting swami. Ms Manning said the Indian guru, who died in 2009, was aware that she had been made to have sex with a series of spiritual leaders. 'That made me realise that he had been already targeting or grooming [me], and I realised he knew what Akhandananda … had done to me,' she told the commission."
I'm therefore questioning your denial of this, as it was presented in the Case Study 21, December 2014, Sydney of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Ogress smash! 22:19, 12 August 2015 (UTC)


Satyananda was born 1923.07.26, not 1923.12.25. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:52, 31 May 2016 (UTC)