Audiotape Recording of Yogaville Meeting


1. Introduction Prem Anjali
2. Yogaville Explanations
3. Prem: "20 minutes, can u live with that?"
4. Complete Meeting with Catherine
5. Prem: "I had no idea he was related to you"
6. Prem: "Maybe we'll keep Matthew here and brainwash him"
7. Secretary: "The ashram charges $25, you have to pay the ashram."

Feb 23, 1999

Rev. Prem Anjali, Ph.D. (Prem aka Dianne Jill Rothenberg)
Swami Asokananda, President of Yogaville
Larry Gross a.k.a. Swami Atmananda (Gross)
Catherine Cheng (CC)
Matthew Cheng (MC)
Yogaville Secretary
Yogaville Driver

Total Running Time:
144 minutes

Requires the RealAudio Player

Selected Clips:

    1. Introduction Prem Anjali

      Time: 115 seconds
      Absolute time: 00:13:50 - 00:15:45

Prem: So can I bug you some more?
MC: uh sure, what's your name?
Prem: Prem
MC: My name is Matthew.
Prem: Matthew, nice to meet you. You live in New York?
MC: I live in Montreal.
Prem: Montreal? Is it freezing down there?
MC: Uh, not really.
Prem: No, I always think of Montreal as the most freezing place in the universe.
MC: When did you go?
Prem: Not when it was freezing.
Prem: Timothy, hi! Yea, Timmy. Isn't he the cutest? He's from Russia.
MC: How old is he?
Prem: He's, Igor how old is Tim? Almost 4. He's just learning English. His sister lives here and goes to school here, the Dad. His Dad is divorced, he lives in New York with his Mom. So he comes to visit every 2 weeks to see his Dad. We love when he comes because he's so adorable.
MC: Do you live here?
Prem: Yea
MC: How many years?
Prem: I lived here in Virginia at the Ashram since 1980, so 19 years. I lived in our center in Connecticut since 1975.
MC: Why did you move to Virginia?
Prem: Because the ashram moved here, I was living in the ashram when it moved.


  1. Yogaville Explanations

    Time: 6 minutes 2 seconds
    Absolute time: 00:34:45 - 00:41:47

    Prem: I mean, I don't understand it exactly. I have tried to tell her because I'm almost 50 years old. I told her, you were a baby when I went through this with my family, I know the whole thing, I know how she feels. I've been through this, sit down, bla bla, I've tried to advise her. But I think she's in this break out stage.
    MC: But at the same time, she said that, when she talked to Dad over the telephone, how long did you know this guy? And he also talked to..?
    Prem: Chidananda.
    MC: They had known each other for less than 2 weeks.
    Prem: That's true!
    MC: You guys were blaming us because Catherine came onto a monk and it works two ways.
    Prem: No, no it's mutual.
    Asokananda: No, no. It's with you and your family. I mean, they wanted to get married right away.
    Prem: We've tried to be as reasonable as it comes. They're the ones. They are so afraid that your Father wants to stop them. It seems like from me, you probably know the situation better, that she's felt so controlled by your father that it's like a jack-in-box when the roof pops open and there's no way to put it back on.
    MC: I'd still like to talk to her.
    Prem: If we can find her, I don't know where they are, I have no idea.
    MC: I'll wait.
    Asokananda: It's not waiting, they're not home and not answering. You could wait awhile.
    Prem: Here's what I'm afraid of, they know you're here now and they've taken off or not answering the phone.
    And I'd be willing to go there and talk to her.
    MC: Where are they? She told me, from the receptionist, that they live like..
    Prem: Oh, they live here on the property, but they might not be here, they might have taken off.
    They live here. They live together, they've taken, in our community we don't allow people to live together, they're either married or they don't want to get married because of modern day, they take these vows of intent which means they have the intent of getting married. So they live together now. If they're here, let's try. I will try to talk to them.
    MC: I gotta goto the bathroom.

    (cut bathroom 2 minutes)

    Prem: Guess what, yea they're here!


  2. Prem: "20 minutes, can you live with that?"

    Time: 28 seconds
    Absolute time: 00:43:51 - 00:44:19

    Prem: She doesn't want a whole big scene? I said, what scene. There's not going to be scene. No, she also only wants just like 20 minutes. That's it. I asked why and she says she doesn't want to keep going over the same thing over and over.
    MC: I want to hear it from her.
    Prem: So, can you live with that for now, because she doesn't want to come out if you can't live with that.

  3. Prem: "No, let me explain…transition perio
  4. Complete Meeting with Catherine

    Time: 35 minutes
    Absolute time: 00:49:25 - 01:23:30


    1. Prem: "No, let me explain…transition period"

      Time: 24 seconds
      Absolute time: 00:58:43 - 00:59:07

      MC: I called before and they kept saying
      Prem: Let me explain, for right now I feel like, what you're saying is like things have been shaky so I want some space and time, but that's not forever, this is a transition period. That's not forever. Now she's, you're saying you would talk to your friends.

    2. Prem: "I went through the same thing…"

      Time: 14 seconds
      Absolute time: 00:59:30 - 00:59:44

      Prem: That would freak me out, I went through the same thing, they tried and got a deprogrammer. I mean, that is scary stuff. You're somewhere and someone approaches you and they're gonna kidnap you. That is freaky to me.
      CC: And she told me that and I was afraid, how do I know you're not..

    3. Larry Gross: "Shut up! This is my house!"

      Time: 54 seconds
      Absolute time: 01:04:52 - 01:05:46

      MC: I am asking you though, do you care about me?
      CC: well..
      MC: (sobbing) Goo, I care about you, do you care about other people who care so much about you? We wouldn't be so miserable if we didn't care about you. I wouldn't have travelled all this way if I didn't care about you ok, I'm serious. It's not that anyone…
      Gross: Why don't you ask her if she's happy?
      MC: I'm asking her if she cares about me, ok? Why don't you be quiet for a few seconds?
      Gross: Why don't you shut up this is my house! You'll be asked to leave.
      Prem: Cinderon I know that you're upset right now but this is not..


    4. Prem: "Speaking as a professional, I'm a psychologist"

      Time: 45 seconds
      Absolute time: 01:11:48 - 01:12:33

      Prem: Can I make just an observation? I do feel there's not a lot of emotional space here. I feel Matthew you are sorta saying you should do this, that you're saying…
      MC: No, I'm just asking her questions.
      Prem: You are asking, that's true, but there's an undercurrent of what you're saying. Now I'm starting a role as a professional, I'm a psychologist, I do mediation all the time. It's sounds like there's an undercurrent and that's why I feel like you're maybe sorta reacting to that. That's important down on the the table. There seems like an undercurrent of control, or expectation, or demands, your words are not matching the energy here.


    5. Prem: "This isn't a cult"

      Time: 75 seconds
      Absolute time: 01:14:55 - 01:16:10

      Prem: That sounds like what are you talking about? I've been living here for 25 years.
      Gross: Maybe we missed something
      Prem: This is a free open community there's no cult thing going on if that's what you're afraid of. She's not being held here against her…
      MC: Goo, it is a cult
      Prem: What?
      CC: If they were a cult, they wouldn't have a webpage ok, they wouldn't allow people like you to come in here.
      Prem: Forget about the webpage, we woulda thrown you the hell out of here. Matthew, now, this is good, this is very important. This is what she's afraid of, I'm thinking, you're think she's in a cult. And here we are being honest and open and you're bullshitting us…That's not fair
      CC: Yea you are. That's why Dad brought the camera, that's why you brought the camera. You're just treating me like, like I don't even, you don't care what I say.
      MC: I am caring what you say Goo.
      CC: No you don't, you just think I'm brainwashed and like it…
      Prem:If that's what you really think, I'm so disappointed


    6. Prem: "Bottom line, you're worried your sister is in a cult?"

      Time: 26 seconds
      Absolute time: 01:16:55 - 01:17:21

      Prem: Matthew, that's what you're saying, is that the bottom line you're worried you're sister is in a cult.
      MC: No, I'm worried about Catherine herself
      Prem: If there's other stuff you have going on, if you think this she's in a cult then obviously sitting here and talking is worthless because you'll put it in a cult.


    7. Gross: "3 o'clock this interview is over"

      Time: 19 seconds
      Absolute time: 01:17:38 - 01:17:57

      Gross: 3 o'clock this interview is over.
      MC: Why are you calling it an interview?
      Gross: I'm being mean it's more like an interrogation.
      MC: Why is it an interrogation?
      CC: Well, it's not he's just used the wrong terminology.
      Prem: Not a good choice of words.


    8. Prem: "This is so 30 years ago"

      Time: 49 seconds
      Absolute time: 01:21:00 - 0:21:49

      Prem: This is so 30 years ago, this is what you saw in the 60's and 70's
      Gross: They weren't born then.
      Prem: How can this be happening again? We all went through that.
      CC: It cycles.
      Gross: He never even asked her if she was happy, not once.
      MC: That's the first thing I asked
      Prem: He's not even connected to her on an emotional level.
      Gross: He asked her about her skin.
      CC: It's like all external things, you don't care.
      Prem: I'm telling you professionally, please get some help, you'll need pyschological help. Oh my god. There's nothing real going on here. You guys are not connected. I'm very, I had high hopes.


  5. Prem: "I had no idea he was related to you"

    Time: 8 seconds
    Absolute time: 01:26:43 - 01:26:51

    Prem: I just bumped into him, and started talking about his PalmPilot, I had no idea he was related to you. Anyhow he'll never believe it.


  6. Prem: "Maybe we'll keep Matthew here and brainwash him"

    Time: 8 seconds
    Absolute time: 01:40:40 - 01:40:48

    Prem: But maybe we'll keep Matthew here and brainwash him.

  7. Secretary: "The ashram charges $25, you have to pay the ashram."

    Time: 8 seconds
    Absolute time: 01:57:28 - 01:57:36


    Secretary: And the ashram charges $25, you have to pay the ashram.
    Yogaville driver: No refund

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.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.


Educational DVDs and Videos