I began my early "career" as a yoga teacher when I arrived in Tel Aviv, from India, on an El Al plane that had stopped to take on passengers in Tehran. That was in February, 1978. On my yoga teachers course, which I had taken a few months earlier, in Grass Valley, CA, one of the teachers, Brian Fisher, had just spent a year in Tel Aviv, and one of the students spoke a strange language which sounded vaguely Eastern European to me, but which turned out to be Hebrew. I had saved up some money to travel the world, so I thought I might begin by spending a few months in Israel, on the recommendation of those two people I'd met. I knew nothing about the place, but there happened to be a yoga center there.
The TA yoga center had three or four people on its staff at the time, one of whom was Raymond Stein, a South African Jew. He'd had an almost fatal car crash a few years before, suffered from epilepsy, and yoga had got him back together again. He was serious and devoted. Together with Brian Fisher, he'd started the yoga center a few years earlier. During the 1970s, many young people with no connection with Judaism or Zionism, found themselves spending time in Israel, mostly as volunteers on kibbutzes. One of these was Julie Salter, a girl from New Zealand, a bit younger than me. She had an Israeli girl friend, Efrat, and both of these also lived at the yoga center. I remember Julie as an ethereal creature who would walk around in flowing robes. Ronnie Magazanik, who joined us a little later, said she was "like an angel," and she was.
Yesterday I was mooching around the internet and found an old video of the guru of this organization, Swami Vishnu Devananda, speaking to an audience, just after he'd had a stroke. Bearded, slumped, half paralyzed, he was slurring half words, like an ancient rabbi, which a young woman at his side was somehow turning into perfect English. I thought she looked like Julie. I had forgotten that she had later remained in the Sivananda organization, become a sannyasi
, and for years been his personal assistant.
Anyway, I did a web image search on Julie and found all this out. I also discovered that, just over a year ago, when the #MeToo
movement was in its prime, she had, after years and years, finally divulged the full story of her involvement with Swami Vishnu Devananda and the yoga organization, with revelations that shook the yoga world and cast a cloud over the whole, still surviving network of Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers. It ballooned, to take in #MeToo
revelations by more women, tales of sexual exploitation by other senior members of the organization who still remained, as well as various kinds of other (non-sexual) abuse. Julie was just one of those whose lives were wrecked.
My own life was definitely changed - certainly not wrecked - by contact with the organization. I knew nothing about these scandals when I was involved with the organization, between 1978 and 1982. I met my wife there, and, unhappy with the way the Tel Aviv center was being run, and wanting to break out on our own, we went our own sweet way. I'll add more about all this later. The stories mentioned appear in the links below.
✭ China announces sanctions against 'lying and cheating' outgoing Trump officials | China | The Guardianhttps://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/20/china-sanctions-trump-officials-mike-pompeo
China has imposed sanctions on US lawmakers in the past year, but targeting so many former and outgoing US officials on inauguration day was an unusual expression of disdain.
✭ How a #MeToo
Facebook Post Toppled a Yoga Icon | by Matthew Remski | GENhttps://gen.medium.com/how-a-metoo-facebook-post-toppled-a-yoga-icon-c25577185e40
"An ex-disciple of Swami Vishnudevananda reveals a decade of abuse, sparking a crisis in Sivananda yoga that is still unfolding".
More on this:
Investigation Interim Report #3 - Project SATYA.pdf - Google Drivehttps://drive.google.com/file/d/1jj17su6Vbrttv3bfMa47yyDdEq0uW5sN/view
176 page report of testimonies of abuse by former persons involved with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centers
Les inquiétantes dérives du centre de yoga Sivananda https://www.lefigaro.fr/actualite-france/les-inquietantes-derives-du-centre-de-yoga-sivana
✭ Amazon Prime drama agrees to changes after Hindu nationalist pressure | India | The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/21/india-amazon-prime-drama-tandav-agrees-to-ch
An Indian political drama on Amazon Prime has been forced to edit out scenes that were accused of being an “insult to Hindu gods”, the first time that streaming platforms have been subjected to Indian government censorship.
✭ Woman jailed for record 43 years for insulting Thai monarchy | Thailand | The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jan/19/woman-jailed-for-record-43-years-for-insulti
"The woman, said to be in her 60s, was accused of posting audio clips to Facebook and YouTube with comments deemed critical of the monarchy, according to the group Thai Lawyers for Human Rights."
, the world is watching.
✭LibreTranslate - Free and Open Source Machine Translation API
LibreTranslate, a self-hostable ML translation website - Lemmyhttps://lemmy.ml/post/48550
open instance at https://translate.astian.org/
✭ AI Transcription, Subtitles, & Translation | Simon Says AIhttps://www.simonsays.ai/
video titles and captions transcriber (non-free)
✭ Electric car batteries with five-minute charging times produced | Electric, hybrid and low-emission cars | The Guardian https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jan/19/electric-car-batteries-race-ahead-with
Exclusive: first factory production means recharging could soon be as fast as filling up petrol or diesel vehicles
✭ Angela Merkel endured as others came and went. Now world's crisis manager steps down - CNN https://edition.cnn.com/2021/01/17/europe/angela-merkel-retirement-germany-analysis-grm-in
Corinna Hoerst, senior fellow and deputy director at the German Marshall Fund in Brussels, said Merkel has been a new type of leader.
"She exudes empathy, stability and reliability," Hoerst said. "That's unique and it has redefined, in some ways, what people are looking for in a leader, because it's so opposed to any of the sort of male stereotypes that we had."