Sex-abuse inquiry investigates NSW ashram

AAP, Australia/November 12, 2014

Sydney --One of Australia’s largest yoga retreats on the NSW Central Coast  will be the focus of a national hearing into child sexual abuse.

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse says its 21st public hearing will inquire into the response of the Satyananda Yoga Ashram at Mangrove Mountain to allegations of child sexual abuse by a former spiritual leader in the 1970s and 1980s.

Akhandananda Saraswati was charged, convicted and jailed in the late 1980s for sexually abusing teenage girls living at the Ashram.

The Swami spent 14 months in prison and the convictions were overturned by the High Court appeal in 1991. He died in 1997.

The commission at a hearing in Sydney on December 2 will examine the response of the ashram to allegations and reports of child sexual abuse made against Swami Saraswati.

It will also look at the systems, policies and procedures for responding to claims or concerns of abuse that have been in place at the Ashram since 1974.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, solicitor for the ashram, Aaron Kernaghan, said the retreat would ensure it did every thing it could to assist the commission in its case study.

‘My clients are leaving no stone unturned in this process and will examine their own conduct and operations over a considerable period of time.’

He pointed out that Swami Saraswati did not return to the Ashram after he was released from jail.

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

Educational DVDs and Videos