Letter to Friends of Integral Yoga Institute 

May 2000

Dear Friend of the Integral Yoga Institute:

Thank you again for your response to our February letter.

While not all could believe the events that have transpired regarding our daughter, in Yogaville, most responses were very sympathetic, with words that were heartfelt. For that, the family is appreciative.

We had written to you because we believed, as we continue to believe, that you deserve and want to know more than a mere smokescreen of falsehoods and deceptions.

One of the Yogaville people who responded to our February letter at great length was Larry Gross. In a long, rambling diatribe, he wrote, "Much of what you believe is based on misinformation, together with the convoluted theories given to you by Rick Ross." I think it would be useful for you to see just a sample of the falsehoods and deceptions that Mr. Gross and Yogaville continue to perpetrate.

We had previously told you that:

"A new duplicitous strategy was concocted. We were told that Yogaville had fired Larry Gross because my family and I had spoken with Mr. Ross. As a result, we were now supposedly responsible for Catherine's potential lack of food and shelter. However, all the family had to do was to "bless" their marriage and Larry could return to Yogaville and all would be well again. If I didn't do this, I obviously didn't care at all for my daughter. The truth is that Mr. Gross was NEVER fired, but instead continued to work for Yogaville. During this period, people calling Yogaville were told that Mr. Gross was out of town on business. He called Catherine from Integral Yoga of New York. All this time, he wrote to us, stating that he had been fired. I ask you: Would a truly religious organization, or even an honest organization, act in such a deceitful manner?"

In a letter dated April 26, 2000, Mr. Gross responded:

"You make a point of the fact that I told you I was fired, and that this conflicts with Swami Asokananda's words. Well, I was fired. Meenakshi was in the room and witnessed it all. They stood there and demanded my resignation, and I had to give it. I quickly wrote it out and threw it. Perhaps I can still find a copy if you really want to see it. This is the same as being fired. Everyone in the world knows that. When a resignation is demanded, a person is fired. And, in fact, since that day, which was April 22, 1999, I was never reinstated to any of my positions at Yogaville. We were allowed to come back and live, true. But I was only allowed to work as a private lawyer. Since April 22, 1999, I have never held any position with Yogaville."

A copy of the "resignation letter" Larry purportedly gave to Yogaville on April 22, 1999 can be viewed at: http://www.culteducation.com/group/1243-yogaville/26513-yogaville34.html. Apparently that letter was never accepted.

Because, according to the State Corporation Commission of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Larry Gross continues to this day, without interruption, to be the only Registered Agent for seven Yogaville corporations (Integral Yoga Institute, Integral Health Center, Integral Yoga Enterprises, Integral Yoga Distribution, Satchidananda Charity Funds, Yogaville Volunteer Fire Dept, and the Integral Yoga School), and to also serve as an Officer/Director for three of these corporations. In addition, Mr. Gross still maintains his Yogaville telephone number (804-969-2442.) The only change has been in his residence, from Yogaville, to Richmond, Virginia, a commuting distance of approximately 75 miles. (See http://www.culteducation.com/group/1243-yogaville/26514-yogaville36.html and http://www.culteducation.com/group/1243-yogaville/26518-yogaville40.html)

In our last letter, we explained that we felt that Larry and Catherine's sudden departure from Yogaville was merely a maneuver initiated by the Yogaville leaders to better insulate themselves from responsibility and any resulting controversy this situation has generated. Our feelings have been substantiated. However, despite the many lies and deceptions, we continue to hope that both Larry and Catherine can soon begin an independent life of their own.

Matthew J. Cheng


Note: Despite statements made by Catherine Cheng (now called "Meenakshi" Gross), her husband Larry Gross (aka "Sundaram") and leaders at Yogaville, which claim Catherine and Larry are no longer associated with Yogaville--a letter posted March 2001 on the Yogaville Web site proved otherwise. Both "Meenakshi" and "Sundaram" were listed prominently amongst "20 Western devotees" who "came [to India] to pay respects to Sri Gurudev [aka Swami Satchidananda]...with offerings" at a celebration attended by Yogaville's supreme leader. Shortly after their trip to India, Larry Gross and Catherine Cheng moved back to Swami Satchindananda's community and are now once again residents of Yogaville. Larry continues to handle legal matters for Yogaville and its interests. He also solicits business from the mainstream Hindu community within Virginia. "Meenakshi Sundaram" (aka Catherine Cheng) has become a "Certified Integral Yoga Hatha Teacher" and conducts classes at a center not far from Yogaville, in the nearby town of Buckingham, Virginia.


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