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Anusara’s John Friend Responds to Accusations in First Public Interview

in YD News

photo via The New York Times

Finally, we are handed the words from Head of Anusara Yoga, John Friend’s mouth (or computer) via Elephant Journal. We appreciate EJ’s approach in asking some of the tough, yet painfully and glaringly obvious questions we’ve been waiting to hear answers to, though this ends up being primarily about Mr. Friend’s sexual relations and lacking any real elucidation.

(In full disclosure, YD was contacted by Anusara PR, Saeger Media, Saturday afternoon, the day after we posted the accusations from the anonymous site. We were offered an interview with John Friend in exchange for removal of the post. If, and only if, we would remove the post and “start over” with an interview would we be granted communication. This offer was obviously not accepted.)

Since the original accusations were published, documents have surfaced to support the allegations over pension freezing and violations of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). A letter from John Friend to Anusara Yoga teachers has also been released and published.

In the interview posted this evening, while answering questions about the departure of high-level Anusara teachers, his sexual “mis-steps” with employees, students and teachers (including married ones) and the future of Anusara, John Friend apologizes and admits fault without actually directly addressing anything, nor most of the non-sex related accusations like the Wicca Coven, the Wicca-Anusara connection and employee-endangering marijuana habits.

Here are some excerpts:

JF: This has been such a painful time for me as I self-reflect on how my personal decisions within my private life have become a source of deep anguish for my friends and community.

I am so deeply sorry for any harm that my actions have caused anyone.

JF: …first off, I do not use the term “Guru” to describe myself, and work hard to stay away from being so designated. Above all, I am a student of life and yoga, and then a teacher, and the founder of Anusara Yoga.

Secondly, it’s true. Over the course of my private life I have had consenting sexual relationships with women, some of whom have been my students and also my employees, some of which included married women.

JF: For the community, my deepest hope is this brings us closer together, in a more intimate and honest conversation around life. Some students and teachers will inevitably decide to move on, others will become more involved and take an expanded leadership role within the Anusara organization.

So, I envision the future of Anusara as including greater cooperation from all of our community.

We must all remember that any mis-steps by me do not invalidate any of the greatness of the Anusara yoga method.

Read the full interview at Elephant Journal.

What is frustrating and saddening is not only the deception involved here over time, but the fact that any of this could have been going on for years (and it did from what we gather) and not a soul involved made a move, or felt empowered enough, to speak up about it. Until last Friday.

*There is no intention to disparage Wicca or alternative spiritualities (or any lack thereof). Please see comment below.

——

Earlier

164 comments… add one

  • Doubtful

    I highly doubt that comment actually came from Waylon Lewis. If you are going to pretend to be him the least you can do is form proper sentences and use language he would use. Ridiculous.

  • NoSale

    Infantile.

  • Charity

    Check out the url for Waylon above. Love it. On a serious note, I can’t believe they tried to bribe you to take your post down. This just get more sleazy. Thanks for have the guts to post the original material.

  • appalled

    I posted this respectful critique on elephant and it was removed. Apparently criticism is not allowed.

    While I appreciate elephant’s effort to get to the truth, with all respect this “interview” is not journalism. It’s nothing more than a PR piece for Anusara. Here’s why:

    1) The interviewer shows bias in the set up ad questions. Journalists just ask the questions.
    2) The questions are leading in nature. They are almost apologetic and suggest an avenue for answer for the interviewee.
    3) Journalists have no legal restrictions on what they can ask. Any legal issues lie with the interviewee depending on answers.
    4) The answers are vague and incomplete, yet there are no “follow up” questions.

    How about these tough but fair questions?

    -Were you ever involved in Wicca and was there ever a “coven” with participation from Anusara students or teachers?
    -Is it true that you received shipments of pot, and did any employees of Anusara pick them up?
    -Why did you freeze the pensions? What was the money used for?
    -Is it true that Anusara is paying six figures a month for rent on the proposed center in Encinitas? Is Anusara financially sound?
    -You’ve admitted inappropriate sexual relationships with teachers or students. How do you reconcile those immoral, unethical acts with credibility as the leader of Anusara?

  • NoSale

    Waylon Jennings is a shill and he’s in bed with Anusara Inc.
    Prob’ly has $$ in the pyramid/company. I’ve said this before and get jumped on by someone who turns out to be part of the
    Anusara machine/online response team/police. Yoga Dork actually DID real reporting by published the material in its raw form and letting the people make their own conclusions.
    This sentence says EVERYTHING:
    Waylon to JF:
    “You understand I have to ask tough questions, and in so doing will do you and everyone concerned, on all sides, some small favor by giving this situation some air and light. If I’m accused of being a sycophant here, no one will respect a word you offer.”

    If I’m accused of being a sycophant here, no one will respect a word you offer. Ha.
    Hes apologizing to John in advance and they are “setting up” a scenario which looks like an interview but its just a set up.
    :)

    Anyone who removes posts in orde to “be all about the good” is in the wrong business. Wrong Waylon – NO SALE HERE.

  • Candice

    WAylon Jennings is a musician. Waylon Lewis is the editor of Elephant. Also, I might be wrong, but I believe the questions were submitted in writing and responded to, also in writing, which is why there were no “follow up” questions.

  • jimmy

    Thank you for so clearly saying the obvious. I felt like I stepped into the looking glass when I read that “interview” and all of the congratulatory kudos in the comments section to Waylon for his forthright ‘reporting’. Letting John Friend talk about how “painful” this “tender moment in time” is for him right now isn’t exactly zeroing in on what people want to know.

    If it weren’t for jfexposed and yogadork, none of this would have come to light and young women would have continued to have been pressured into compromising themselves on every level. Thank you, Yogadork, for your bravery.

    I also thought it was bizarre that Waylon went through and deleted posts and jumped in whenever anyone criticized either John or the interview process. It seems like he wanted to control the direction and tone of the discussion.

    And in those comments he makes he talks about how he needed to satisfy “both sides” in the interview process. Why does one need to satisfy the needs of a serial predator and liar in an interview? There is no reason that person’s needs should be balanced against the interest of full disclosure and airing of facts. And so I wondered too if Waylon had an interest in protecting the Anusara organization.

    In another comment, he talks about it being perfectly beautiful for the guru to pressure underlings into sex, and that the sex can happen with mutual respect. And how Waylon’s own “kickass” mom slept with professors in the 70′s, so what’s the big deal all about?

    I thought that someone that that could not see how these behaviors are so damaging to the public perception of yoga really had no business doing this interview.

  • justcurious

    Totally agree with ” Why does one need to satisfy the needs of a serial predator and liar in an interview? There is no reason that person’s needs should be balanced against the interest of full disclosure and airing of facts.” and a fair statement. I wish Waylon can see this comment and I would love to see his reply, Well, maybe he will insist that a person is Totally agree with ” Why does one need to satisfy the needs of a serial predator and liar in an interview? There is no reason that person’s needs should be balanced against the interest of full disclosure and airing of facts.” and a fair statement too. I just wish Waylon can see this comment and would love to see his reply. Well, maybe he will insist that a person is innocent until proven guilty, but….didn’t we already have JF’s comfession ?

  • LMAO

    Waylon is a pandering shill and just as guilty as Friend. Deborah was the first one who pointed this out, long before the EJ article came out. Any serious invesigative journalist would have been all over the man asking the tough questions and holding him accountable. THe EJ Journal is an insult to the intelligence of anyone who read it. Too many in the yoga world accept drivel as fact and truth when it is nothing but drivel. Walyon is a sycophant. Obviously has something at stake. And why is he deleting comments from his online thread? That in and of itself is reason enough to boycott him. BOYCOTT Elephant Journal. It is as fraudulent as Anusara.

  • Lease Info

    This is a partial answer to the question regarding The Center in Encinitas. As I read it, the lease amount is per year – who signs a lease for 73 years?

    According to San Diego Source Real Estate site: http://www.sddt.com/realestate/leasingnotes.cfm?PublicationDate=2010-10-04 On Oct 4, 2010:
    Office: Anusara Inc. has leased 8,296 square feet of office space at 1010 South Coast Highway 101, Suites 101, 102, 109 and 110, Encinitas 92024, from Joel Hagar. The property was leased for 73 years at $1.86 million.

  • LMAO

    Two million a year for the next 73 years. And its sitting unused and vacant. Hm. Now That IS interesting.

  • appalled

    (typo in previous comment)

    I posted this respectful critique on elephant and it was removed. Apparently criticism is not allowed.

    While I appreciate elephant’s effort to get to the truth, with all respect this “interview” is not journalism. It’s nothing more than a PR piece for Anusara. Here’s why:

    1) The interviewer shows bias in the set up and questions. Journalists just ask the questions.
    2) The questions are leading in nature. They are almost apologetic and suggest an avenue for answer for the interviewee.
    3) Journalists have no legal restrictions on what they can ask. Any legal issues lie with the interviewee depending on answers.
    4) The answers are vague and incomplete, yet there are no “follow up” questions.

    How about these tough but fair questions?

    -Were you ever involved in Wicca and was there ever a “coven” with participation from Anusara students or teachers?
    -Is it true that you received shipments of pot, and did any employees of Anusara pick them up?
    -Why did you freeze the pensions? What was the money used for?
    -Is it true that Anusara is paying six figures a month for rent on the proposed center in Encinitas? Is Anusara financially sound?
    -You’ve admitted inappropriate sexual relationships with teachers or students. How do you reconcile those immoral, unethical acts with credibility as the leader of Anusara?

  • Freeda

    Yeah, my comment over at EJ got deleted because I questioned if he only did the interview for traffic. Lasted about 2 minutes. Talk about being thin skinned and defensive. Interesting that 90% of the comments are running negative to John Friend. He does have a couple of groupies that have tried to pad the comments with praise for the interview which is kind of pathetic.

  • lynn

    Funny that the accusations have been circulating around non-Anusara groups for many years. I am not surprised that nobody within the Anusara organization has spoken up about these actions of JF now exposed anonymously. With the power and influence that JF has it would be personal and professional suicide to pull his covers. While I am intrigued by Anusara and find their method of teaching asana to be quite effective, I have always felt a huge disconnect in the way they walked the talk (not) of the other 7 limbs of yoga. In 2000 when I first had a look at JF and his merry yogis I smelled a groupie/guru based entity and headed right out the door. I am a teacher and student of yoga and feel that I adhere to the universality of yoga in a much more real way than any Anusara kula (cult). I have experienced many wonderful Anusara asana teachers along the way yet the few times I practiced with JF I found his enormous ego got in the way of any meaningful connection. And in spite of any useful guidance in asana practice from teachers of Anusara, I typically had to also endure the nauseatingly hypocritical snub because I was not one of the “chosen ones” of Anusara.

  • Doubtful

    I agree the fact that they tried to bribe you is pretty disconcerting.

  • just saying

    So from the content on the original site it seemed like they tried to setup that assistant as some type of blackmailing betrayer. The woman upset with John for banging other women behind her back was chastised by him. He places more blame on the person exposing him then on himself, and him or his team tried bribe a blog out of posting this content.

    His reaction to all of these things is enough to never trust the guy. WOW

  • anonymous

    Since nobody is saying it I guess I will:

    Damn it must have been fun while it lasted!!!

  • Franklin

    Congratulations on a hard hitting interview with deep, thought provoking questions, Waylon. I suspect if you’d had time for a sixth query, it would have focused on the contentious and highly volatile issue of John Friend’s favourite colour.

  • Mary Beth

    Oh but we already know what John’s favorite color is from the Manduka Mat press release a few months ago: “Available in the rich, purple hue Magic that is embraced by John Friend’s 600,000 students for its spiritual energy, the John Friend PROlite is a heartfelt expression of beauty and purpose.” But, uh, now we know, perhaps it would have been more appropriately spelled “Magick”

    http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/manduka-and-john-friend-unveil-the-john-friend-collection-by-manduka-132682468.html

  • anonymous

    The hell?? PR newswire to announce the release of a yoga mat?? You know, they say there are 600k “followers” of anusara in the world. Where do they get these bullsh*t numbers? This is PR hype. I rarely meet anyone who has even heard of anusara, much less “follows” it. Brands of yoga are less and less important these days.

  • BeaNs

    Whether or not JF was involved with Wicca is irrelevant, IMO. Anusara people being pressured to participate in Wicca would be relevant; is that what is being alleged? Likewise the sexual stuff is only relevant in as much as it involves a power inequity.

    It’s not right to pressure one’s employees or associates to participate in a religion (whatever that religion is) or a sexual relationship. Wicca is a red herring in this discussion.

  • THANK YOU. I posted a reply below in defense of Wicca, and am surprised that the editors/writers at Yoga Dork aren’t a little more aware of alternative spirituality and the fact that someone practicing Wicca does not demonize them. AT ALL.

  • Conrad

    I’m trying to decide which was more pathetic, the answers or the questions in that interview. It does seem that the person asking the question was pandering to Mr. Friend. I’m sure this had more to do with getting traffic to his site then digging for hard answers.

  • Much as I love your blog & appreciate your coverage of all of this, I really wish that you’d stop demonizing Wicca and neo-Paganism. It seems that each time you post about this whole John Friend scandal, you mention the Wicca part as if it’s another horrible accusation that John has to answer to. In reality, Wicca is a peaceful path, a nature religion, and a valid religion at that, practiced by millions in the U.S. alone. Thanks … still love your blog. John was a teacher of mine for a little while, and this entire situation saddens me, so I appreciate your continued coverage.

  • Wicca

    I don’t think she was demonizing Wicca. I think she was demonizing the fact that he used it as a guise in order to bed women.

  • YD

    It’s true, there is no intent to demonize Wicca or alternative spirituality. Apologies if it seems that way. The pressing for answers surrounding Wicca and the connection to Anusara has to do with JF using his power and position, and allegedly Wicca, to build his web of women and deception. Also, in the letter to a student he states how Wicca aligns with Anusara so congruently, blurring lines in principles of Anusara yoga and Wicca. If he believes so and practices this then the Anusara community should be aware of the connection in its teachings and principles. It’s really about transparency, in how it affects his employees, students, teachers, and broader yoga community practicing Anusara.

  • Thank you for clarifying.

    It’s funny … I studied Anusara and almost earned my Anusara-inspired certification, but dropped out of the scene because of the John worship. (Don’t teach it THAT way unless John does!).

    But when I got more into neo-paganism, really, SO much of Qabalistic philosophy aligns with Tantra and vice-versa. There are indeed a lot of overlaps between the 2, and Qabalah has been called the “yoga of the west.”

    Nevertheless, I totally agree with you that there ARE principles of yoga that are totally separate from anything neo-pagan/Wiccan, and I see now the point that you were trying to make. They are separate paths and traditions with separate histories, and it’s unfortunate that John blurred those lines, and did it dishonestly, at that.

    It does sound sort of sensationalist, though, when every blog post/article I see (not just here) includes among the accusations that John was the “leader” of a Wiccan “coven.” It makes me feel like it’s 1950 and people still believe Wiccans are Satanists.

    Thanks for replying!

  • David

    I agree. “Wicca” does seem to be an intended pejorative in the JF commentaries. And it shouldn’t be.

  • MagickYoga

    thank you!!! I think we really need to be more cautious how we are using the wicca and coven words how they are phrased and stop with “quotes” they are real words, real things and really great practices.
    It could be emphasized that the point is about the inequity,,,not the wiccan connection specifically. I find it a bit offensive. Otherwise I am so glad all of this is coming out..

  • jimmy

    Well, you know, we can’t ignore that Wicca gets a lot of people nervous because of the fears it is somehow connected to Satanism. That IS a huge part of this story.

    And this is really why it was so messed up for him to make a connection between Anusara and Wicca by forming a coven, but to do so secretly. Not that is out, it confirms every fear people have about Wiccans. It seems to suggest it is a hidden or secretive thing to get people under an evil influence without their knowing.

    AND, it throws yoga itself under the same suspicions, does it not? I was recently able to teach a yoga class in a Catholic setting because they trusted me and trusted I was not trying to sneak the devil in there somewhere.

    If this makes the NY Times, and it will, it is going to set yoga back 30 years as far as bringing to main-street America.

    And this is not a disparagement of Wicca. I’m talking about the sneakiness and deceptiveness and sleazy sex cult aspect that play into fears people have about both Wicca and yoga. To further clarify, I think sex rites are wonderful. Not when employees are pressured into it, though. Ick.

    So when people keep throwing “Wicca” out there and “coven”, I give the benefit of the doubt that these same people understand Wicca is a nature religion. It’s the larger context of the fight that has been waged over the last 50 years to make people understand yoga itself is not a cover for some witchy Satanic thing. That’s all.

  • jimmy

    And I would say that John has done equal damage to Wicca.

  • Wicca-pedia

    If it was 1950, then Wicca would have just been formed. Seriously, you wonder why it seems suspicious to a lot of people when the only agree upon discernable “moral code” is do whatever you want, as long as it does not hurt others (of course, “hurt others” is seems to be subject to interpretation). Essentially, it’s hedonism dressed up as a religion. When you add in people having sex to increase their “magickal powers” in a secretive group, excuse me, Coven, it’s not too hard to see why people might think its relevant to a story about someone having sex with his students.

    If you’re into a religion created in the 30s or 40s that cannot seem to figure out what it believes in, have at it. But stop with the faux outrage when other people view it with suspicion. You may have a right to believe what you want, but you don’t have a right to make others approve your beliefs or actions.

  • NoSale

    Who wrote this crap? Its on the Anusara website ….(cHris wallis?)

    Sex, John Friend and the Evolution of Hatha Yoga
    1 Year, 9 Months ago Karma: 0

    Since the 1890s, when Hatha Yoga arrived on the American scene, it has moved ever more surely toward exoteric forms. Yoga was a secretive, esoteric practice, passed from age to age through intimate circles of gurus and disciples before Swami Vivekananda taught public yoga classes starting in 1894.

    John is moving yoga toward exoteric expression in a number of dramatic ways and he’s doing it with a sure sense of the tradition and its direction. Yoga has become an exercise fad, but it developed as a technology for coping with existential predicaments, just as religion attempts to do. Although Hinduism has group rituals, the prime social equations in India for most of its history have been shaped by intimacy and secrecy. Caste, jati (work identity), family, sect, guru-disciple relationships and national allegiance (leaving India’s borders used to result in loss of caste) have all tacked toward closedness and secrecy. However, the Western ideal of the happily nude Greeks and a Christ who said “be opened” in order to heal, is one of radical openness: democracy, a free press and laissez faire capitalism are but a few of the many examples of the West’s emphasis on exoteric, open forms of culture.

    The work of making yoga exoteric passed from Vivekananda to the leading lights of the Indian Hatha Yoga Renaissance in the first part of the 20th century and B. K. S. Iyengar abstracted, simplified and made yoga public through performances and copiously illustrated yoga texts as never before. Iyengar did a great deal to strip the tradition of its hiddeness.

    John has extended this work. At the level of teaching and understanding Hatha Yoga, he resolved Iyengar’s confusing mass of geometric, point-to-point instructions by designing an alignment system using organic models of loops and spirals. This made alignment’s previously arcane science easy to generalize and understand. In teaching, he departed from Iyengar’s authoritarian model and trained his class-leaders to make their intimate struggles a part of instruction while conveying a spirit of joy, acceptance and exuberance as intrinsic modes of the yoga experience. He has built a high-profile yoga community that has drawn in thousands worldwide. He has begun to support yoga scholars to do the necessary work of translating the old tradition into modern terms (Disclaimer—I have benefitted from his largesse here).

    In his latest ventures, he is engaging what I call the Burning Man Model of culture. Burning Man may not provide the most open social model (it has an awkward relationship to The Holy and confuses it with a blissful descent into The Profane) but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more expressive way to be. John is moving his operations to LA, the fabulously open society of movies, performance and surf-culture to christen a performance space that, if his recent creations are any indication, he hopes to fill with presentations that utilize mythic material from the Hindu tradition, re-casting it in modern, exuberantly expressive, Burner-style productions.

    Hinting at what’s to come, the performance that he lead in San Francisco in January offered revolutionary ideas. That night, he presented a quickly composed seat-of-the-pants theatrical performance that, nonetheless, weaved together Hindu ideas about eroticism, divinity and devotion that co-opted Burning Man notions of How to Be. The existential questions of Hinduism revolve around the choice of becoming a Brahmana or a Sramana—a householder or an outcaste yogi. The Brahmana choice incorporates the life of pleasure (kama), and most pointedly—sex—as part of the approach to God. Kama is one of the four goals of life in Hinduism and the famous Kama Sutra and other material testifies to Hinduism’s affirmation of sex (mainly within marriage).

    The West’s attempts to foreground a culture of positive eroticism or sacred sex, commonly runs afoul of ascetic or Victorian mores (even in people’s own minds!) but sub-cultures in California (Burning Man groups in particular) have probably succeeded as well as any American experiment in this realm, especially if we factor in the numbers of folks involved. Nevertheless, sexuality has never really attained “holy” status in the West, despite the celebrations of New Age Tantra, Spiritual Sex communities, and other love cults. The step of these people never seems sure. But what John did on that January night felt different: with all the sincerity of someone convinced of the Divine Play of Man and Woman (or Masculine and Feminine, if you will), he rewrote the myth of Shiva and Parvati as if a chaste-minded Burner had authored it.

    It’s a bit fabulous to say it, but this cultural observer and religious historian says he turned the Wheel of Dharma that night. He threaded together the exuberant myths of Hinduism, the secret lives of sexuality and yoga, and the California cult of The New into a liberating synthesis that was holy and rich. He made yoga a vehicle for affirming our humanity in the realm of our most intimate experience. He used the previously secret art of yoga to give the Western experience of kama a public face. He gave eroticism a fertile and holy place in the American field.

    Discarded rocks becomes cornerstones. Art and Religion advance by reclaiming The Sacred from The Profane (and Tantra promises that it was all sacred to begin with!). This is the good work of the modern project of Hatha Yoga, and John is a main player in the effort.

  • Not convinced

    Really?
    I am so in favor of all kinds of adult consensual sexual relationships, including poly-amory, monogamish and monogamous relationships based on honesty and mutual respect. It seems, however, that our hero, JF, has used deception in order to get his sexual needs met, leaving aside modern day sexual ethics. I wish that in the interview this had been addressed. Is JF’s girlfriend in on this and ok with it? Was JF honest with his sex partners about the nature of their relationship? I wonder. Seems like someone got hurt because the boundaries were not clearly established/discussed ahead of time…
    PS. love the debate and honest exchange of opinions happening on this blog!

  • MagickYoga

    EXACTLY — I love the combo of yoga and wicca and even sensuality but it only works in that context if it is open, honest, consensual and no amount of power is used to “encourage” participation. do not try and cloak misbehavior in intention. If this is the way he wants his world to go…then go there and make sure people know what they are getting into…and that aside has nothing to with the financial missteps or endangering people legally with marijuana deliveries. (PS I am a proponent of legalized mary j. however it is not legal and one should not be put at risk for someone else that is abuse of power plain and simple)

  • jimmy

    I would also add that, while sexuality is limited in some unbalanced and funny ways in the West, overall we already suffer from an orgy of choices all the way around. We are absolutely choking on a glut of choices. You could start with consumer choices, but then it balloons from there. Internet surfing website choices. Unlimited information availability that causes a feeling that there is so much out there around the corner that needs to be found out. A glut of choices as far as how one attains excellence professionally, socially, and romantically. We have set up some rather unobtainable or unrealistic expectations for ourselves.

    We have to have magazines to learn myriad way to obtain simplicity.

    And so I wonder if the Tantric philosophy, or at least the Anusara interpretation, is really a balance to what we need. I had one senior Anusara teacher tell me that Tantra was not about closing oneself off from possibilities but it was a “more more more…bring it on” type of thing.

    And then I consider this in terms of rampant addiction. Sex addiction in particular. Love addiction. Offering Tantra as a universal cure-all for the spirit is irresponsible. Some people actually need to learn to make containers for themselves–desperately. John Friend is a perfect example of someone that needed the exact opposite of Tantra.

    And I’m speaking of what is probably a western bastardization and gross misinterpretation of Tantras aims. I don’t know, but I doubt the deep thinkers that formulated the Tantric philosophy had John Friend’s “exuberant” call to open sexuality in mind.

  • Not convinced

    …except that John’s call isn’t for open sexuality but for covert sexuality. And now that it’s out in the open it’s a mess!

  • kelley

    Hear Hear!!!

  • sky

    Both JF and WL display an aloof, “I know what’s best for my students/readers”. The interview seemed more like 2 guys, who are really full of themselves, just fluffing each other off. From the comments here and on EJ, it’s clear that neither of these 2 men know what their students/readers are wanting to know. Thanks for keeping it real YD. Thanks for breaking the story and giving a voice to the people.

  • naive

    It’s not the first time for a famous yoga teacher to preach the high moral standard , self-discipline and commit adultery with the married student, and still live happily ever after. …
    What’s different this time ? Oh ! I forgot about the money !

  • I think that both YD and EJ tried to do their best in covering this story in a responsible way, and that the outcome so far has been really impressive. It’s been less than a week since Dork broke the jfexposed story. And now Waylon secured an admission directly from JF that it’s true.

    I strongly supported Dork’s choice to publish jfexposed when others refused. But I also think that EJ did the right thing in putting editorial controls over the flood of I-love-John / I-hate-John (etc.) posts that would have flooded the site if they hadn’t. And JF’s admission of guilt in the interview is enormously clarifying and helpful (even if it leaves much out – but, realistically, what else would you expect? I’m very happy that we got that much).

    Together, YD and EJ made history this week. Literally. This is big in the history of American yoga – and in the much shorter history of yoga blogging. Congrats all around.

  • Michael

    How long will it be before JF sues the person that told the truth?

  • FREE

    The person that brings suit bears the burden of proof….

  • Yogiberries

    I’m pretty sure someone wouldn’t go to the time and expense to put that up without having the proof in hand. And let’s face it, if he were to file suit, the dialogue could go on for years here and much more could come to light. I’m of the mindset to think he’ll prefer to let it die down and maybe apply for a new job. I’d suggest Lulumon selling cute pants. Think of the chicks, JF!

  • FREE

    In other words JF would have to carry the burden of proof that he is innocent….

  • Scott

    Real professions have real ethics codes. Here is a list of quite a few from which Yoga could learn.

    http://kspope.com/ethcodes/index.php

  • MagickYoga

    “real” professions? go troll somewhere else please.

  • chas

    I’m with Jimi on this:
    “I’m the one that’s got to die when it’s time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.”

  • chan

    if you think JF should live his life the way he wants to and did these things, then is he really great for teaching yoga and preaching ahimsa? what a joke

  • NoSale

    He does not preach ahimsa. He preaches “relaxing into the arms of Grace” (and practices what he preaches …relaxing into Grace, Katrina, Tiffany, etc.) …… Its all about the Shri and seeing the good in all …. oh — and the money of course. We can all become millionaires ….. hey Grace, c’mere sweetie ….

  • Janet

    YogaDork, you rock!
    Kudos for not accepting ‘bribery” (“You’ll get an interview but first you have to take that down”) and as far as I’m concerned Elephant Journal just exposed themselves to be nothing more than a pile of Elephant Poop.
    Journalistic integrity, my behind. Those were flat out biased questions and the JF’s answers were clearly rehearsed and rehashed.
    No mention of the possible safety and legal threat for those employees who were fetching pot for him. Lest I remind some of you here, many States have life imprisonment sentences just for having pot on you and only shows JF’s gross irresponsibility and lack of concern for those individuals.What happens if they got caught and took the fall? Then what? A couple of lives ruined and he walks off scott-free with his coven of free poon? Great.

    John Friend, you are an asshat!

  • glad this is continuing to be aired out, comments included….

  • chan

    way to go for not pulling your posting, yogadork, in exchange for an interview. what a joke.

    maybe he’s guilty, maybe not
    all you did was tell your readers that some info was circulating

    if the info is true, tell us JF. your reputation is tarnished already.
    your only redemption is honesty.

  • I think the biggest issue has to do with the pensions. People tend to forget and dismiss sexual discrepencies with time. As for the Wiccan thing, I don’t think it’s a problem unless he was misleading about it. If he’s encouraging certain Wiccan practices under the guise of it being somehow related to yoga, that might be a problem. If he’s just practicing it, who cares. Aside from all the troubles, the guy just seems like a pompous jerk. I wouldn’t want anything to do with him.

  • Doubtful

    i am disappointed that YD is allowing these comments to stay on their site. Obviously you don’t care about the mutual respect between YD and WL. If you did you would not allow these comment that “waylon” is posting to stay. Waylon would never allow such abuse of your name on his site. YD has truly shown some of its colors this week which is really disappointing.

  • Doubtful

    thankyou for taking that nasty comment down. I retract what I said, sort of.

  • YD

    The vulgar comments have been removed in consideration for all.

    It should be noted YD is not in the habit or practice of censoring comments from the community.

  • Doubtful

    I think it’s great that you keep all the comments up! Just not the vulgar ones!

  • TemplePriestess

    The vulgar comments and personal attacks on this thread (and the others) are being generated by John Friend himself. He’s sitting at his computer like a petulant child pretending to be someone he isn’t, taking on false persona, and spewing out non-sense. Trust me on this.

  • David D

    And I would like to commend you for that. As the owner of the site, it is your right to censor comments if you wish. I think you’re showing significant maturity to not censor, even if the comments are critical of you or your posts.

  • Pavanatanaya

    Meanwhile EJ pulls down any commentary that does not support their editorial bias. YD lets it roll. Waylon is a mouthpiece for the Anus ara spin machine

  • NoSale

    Anus “era” … or maybe Anus “aura” … ;)

  • Pavanatanaya

    Oops…To Paraphrase JF “I apologize if your perception of my spelling caused some to believe that they were harmed but these vicious attacks have given me reason to believe that I am the Victim “.

  • Williams

    The huge violation here is John’s failure to follow his own ethic rules of the teacher-student relationship. John had been forewarned by staff and teachers over the years about his sexual behavior with female employees and students yet he denied accountability. Teachers/employees who did speak out knew implicitly/explicitly there were consequences for doing so. For all the women who thought they were “special” due to John’s abuse of power, it is sad they will pay an emotional price as a result of John’s unconsciousness and ego-centric actions.

    Another huge problem – hypocrisy – even in the softball interview at Elephant Journal, John never says he was ethically wrong for sleeping with his students and employees. He defends himself as a victim of a disgruntled employee rather then understanding how his inappropriate behavior with the teacher/student power differential can result in psychological harm to women (and the people in the organization as a whole – those who have to cover up and look the other way and for those who can’t speak up for fear of consequences). In effect, by failing to be a good role model or follow his own teacher/student ethics guidelines, he gives justifications for his behavior in this interview, ie, I am “not a guru” and these were “concensual relationships”. So, there is pain to be spread as a result of his unconsciousness…. even in this interview he is not being fully accountable for his role in the “seat of the teacher” or acknowledging his failures in following his own ethical guidelines his teachers are required to follow. His teachers have faced consequences for ethics violations so now we see how this unfolds.

    As any psychologist can tell you, there are often times serious and negative emotional consequences to a student, employee or patient for being on the receiving end of an abuse of power like this. This is really a no brainer for those who know a family member, friend or being on the receiving end of abuse of power… because as a society we have already decided collectively this violation is egregious enough to be a crime in some cultural contexts and in others, a serious ethic violation, and as a result we have created laws to protect the innocence of those who place their trust and child-like innocence in the hands of their teachers, healers and employers to behave and act with the highest intentions.

    On an energetic level, spiritual seekers understand the profound archetypal power at work within the context of the teacher-student relationship. This is a relationship that is sacred and where safe learning and inquiry can take place in order to shift and expand consciousness and grow one’s inner light. This is true within any context, spiritual or non-spiritual, where the teacher/healer/employer is in the role of showing the student/patient/employee the path. The teacher says, “Trust me, I will show you the way”. The student says, “I trust you to reflect back to me my own inner light, in order for me to heal myself, grow in consciousness, or support my family”.

    This dialogue needs to stay in a public forum for all to see so others who have witnessed violations or have been at ground level in this organization can speak up anonymously without loosing their certification, job or future support from the kula.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg and with lawyers and yes-men around, John has a long way to go before he becomes conscious of the pain and suffering he has spread to so many people.

  • Sam

    So true Williams. My guess is JF has “lawyered up” pretty strongly. The questions he received from Waylon likely were checked over by a couple of lawyers and then they dictated the answers to him for his response to Waylon. JF’s own personality is certainly in the answers, what with all the fluffy new age language and all.

  • Carlos da Silva

    John Friend shows in his replies how all his answers were basically defenses. I don’t see him expressing any sorrow from it all. If he is a student of life I don’t see him learning.

    I had long suspected that Anusara was simply another person who had come up with a marketing scheme (Compassionate Capitalism is an absurd term by the way) and that Anusara was clearly yet another authoritarian model and instotution. And at the heart of every cult and authoritarian model there is always a John Friend or other creepy power hungry nut.

    I hope in light of ex CEO of Lululemon Chip stepping down from Lululemon and that company being exposed for what it is, and with the Anusara details this will create a chain reaction that will expose other Cultish and Authoritarian models and institutions in our YOGA community. Our Yoga community has clearly been hijacked by the so called Compassionate Capitalism & Capitlists and by power hungry delusional leaders, figure heads and so called Gurus!

    Thank you to all of those who have had the courage to come forward and speak their truth.

    Let’s put Yoga back in the hands of yogis and back to Yoga. ?In other words back into your own hands.

  • Capitalist Yogi

    Chill on the anti-capitalist rants. Yoga likely wouldn’t even exist anymore if not for the West and, yes, capitalism. As a decentralized economic system in which I get to choose what I’d like to support and you get to choose what you’d like to support, capitalism has the greatest potential for individual freedom of any economic system available. In this day and age, this menas I can choose Bikram, Prana-Flow, Ashtanga, or any other version of yoga I like. And you can too.

    Now, if you want some other system, I’ll agree to it, as long as I get to make the choices, so that you have to live by what I like. I don’t want you making choices for me.

  • Janet

    Anarcho-syndicalism – citizen-directed movements, where the people who work the mills, own the mills.
    Very brief encounter with it in Spain, but otherwise has yet to happen and far more empowering and egalitarian than capitalism ever will be.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-syndicalism

  • Capitalist Yogi

    Such a movement can exist within capitalism. Go create whatever business you want and man it yourself. Capitalism will allow this, if you can make it work. Lemonade stands around the country demonstrate this.

    The reason this does not work on a large scale is because there is a division of knowledge and a division of skills. Why don’t you build a plant to make cars and start popping them out? The people who work the plant usually don’t know to get one built. They also don’t usually know how to get the product sold. They also don’t know how to handle the vendors for the raw materials or how to grow or obtain them. They also may not know about product design. Thereby, people form groups that work on different aspects to get the end result accomplished, even if they do not own the means of production. This isn’t a startling revelation.

    The reason that ownership and labor tend to be divided is because there are two different knowledge bases and skills involved. Stop reading Marx (who never worked a day in his life and mooched off of a rich guy) and look around at the world. Look at how it really works, not how you want it to work, and you’ll begin to see that capitialism is a benefit to mankind, not a scourge. It’s lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system, but, for some reason, that offends people.

    But the biggest problem with anarcho-syndicalism is that it is a fantasy. You’re talking about something that has never happened on its own. It’s always within the context of a cultural and economic support structure that allows it to exist. This reminds me of the hippies who claimed that communes would lead to peaceful coexistence and provide a shining light to all humanity. Given time, they usually end up living off of government welfare programs because they are not self sustaining and cannot be.

    If you tend toward a theoretical bent, look up the tragedy of the commons and you’ll see why anarcho-syndicalism will never become reality. Or if it does exist, it will only be for a short time.

    A smartly designed economic system is built to accomodate human nature. Capitalism attempts to do that. If you build an economic system that requires people to be angels or go against human nature, you impoverish everyone.

  • Janet
  • David

    I love YD. Great snark and cold truth, too. Let it roll.

  • Pavanatanaya

    JF stated that the business was in place to serve the Yoga and the practice. That is a lie. The Yoga and the practice were backdrops for his pu$$y hounding ways. If a teacher leaves Anusara Incorporated, they run a risk but if they are a good teacher, they will get picked up and continue on. This guy is a finance guy with a burrito gut and a taste for young Poon. His money must be a fine lubricant. I mean that kind of lubricant allows entire marriages to slide into the gutter and none of the $hit sticks to Jonny (enlightenment thru the tip of my penis) Fraud.

  • Christy

    I stumbled upon this story here in Canada while doing a basic search on some background on Yoga, and now I’m feeling revolted about Anasura and this creep. The more I read, the more he comes across like a real seedy character. I’m glad I invested time in reading about this before delving in too deep into the Anusara realm and what it is about. And these women- what self-respecting women even find this guy attractive? Blech! Thanks for the detailed coverage. Certainly drives home the point that a newcomer needs to do their research on their leaders carefully. Guru? Please. This guy is just a slick talker.

  • John Q Public

    Yoga people often like to think of themselves as being ethically superior to everyone else, but could you imagine what would happen to a professor at any university in a situation like this? It would immediately be the end of his career. Similarly, an executive at a large corporation caught sleeping with subordinates on this scale would almost certainly be fired. And a politician? It would be a media frenzy.

    But when it’s a major yoga teacher, all that happens is he does a softball interview on a sympathetic website about how he is trying to grow as a person and we all feel warm and fuzzy and move on. If yoga wants to be taken seriously as an ethical example to the rest of the world we need to move beyond the easy feel-good issues like vegetarianism and animal rights and at the very least start living up to, if not exceeding, the same ethical standards that apply elsewhere in the world of responsible people. Somehow I doubt that will happen here.

  • Pavanatanaya

    Crap! I thought all I had to do was put a ‘Co-exist’ sticker on my Hummer and I’d be set.

  • Christy

    Maybe one of those Stick-Family stickers would be more appropriate- with this “Esteemed” leader depicted and an armful of weak, morally-deficient women. Yoga harem…

  • Joe Q Public

    The peace-and-hippy-love attitude only applies when it’s things they like and only when things aren’t rough. Unfortunately, life is a full-contact event and often things don’t go the way you want. When the world hits, you get to see what people are made of. Unfortunately, many in the yoga community are not made of very stern ethical material when these types of things happen.

  • John Q Public

    My brother and I think alike. In yoga, and to be fair, in most Western new-agey spiritual movements, peace and love are talked about a lot but only practiced as long as everyone toes the party line and doesn’t question anything. Once things go a little deeper and people start getting uncomfortable, the shadow side emerges, and since it’s been repressed, it often comes out quite viciously.

    As a male yoga teacher, I can’t deny that I would like to fuck some of my female students. But I don’t pursue it, because I don’t think it wouldn’t be fair to them as students. I have to admit that sometimes I wonder if I’m not the fool here who is hopelessly behind the times. Maybe I should just a get an ahimsa tattoo and starting banging mad chicks like so many other seemingly well-respected yoga teachers. After all, it seems to be common knowledge these days that the Indians totally misinterpreted brahmacharya. It doesn’t really mean don’t sleep around. Apparently, it actually means don’t criticize anyone, no matter how unethical their behavior is.

  • Laurel

    um, not sure animal rights is an “easy, feel-good” issue – not for animals being tortured in labs or huge orcas being stuck in captivity to die young for human entertainment.

    also food & the way it’s farmed, transported, consumed and disposed of has huge impact on many areas of human life. making basic changes in food also can impact health but many prefer surgery to lifestyle changes.

    do agree with some of your other points, though.

  • Janet

    Sad, but I think we are going to start seeing people admitting that they have been duped by Anusara and John Friend

    http://resonate-yoga.com/?p=356

  • just saying

    If you believe John was unethical…maybe you should check this out.
    http://www.anusara.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=132&Itemid=191

  • appalled

    How about this?

    Classical Ethical Guidelines

    Yamas: (Behavior restraints) Ethical guidelines for the yogi pertaining to her relationship with others in society, the outer environment, or Nature. All the yamas apply to actions, words, and thoughts.

    Ahimsa (Non-harming): Loving kindness to others, not blocking or obstructing the flow of Nature, compassion, mercy, gentleness, commonly translated as non-violence.

    Satya (Truthfulness): Being genuine and authentic to our inner nature, having integrity, honesty, being honorable, not lying, not concealing the truth, not downplaying or exaggerating.

    Asteya (Non-stealing): Not taking what is not yours—money, goods, or credit. Not robbing people of their own experiences and freedom. Non-desire for another’s possessions, qualities, or status.

    Brahmacharya (Walking or having ethical conduct like God): Relating to another with unconditional love and integrity, without selfishness or manipulation. Practicing sexual moderation, restraining from sexual misconduct, and avoiding lustful behavior. Includes sexual chastity.

    Aparigraha (Non-clinging): Non-grasping, non-receiving, non-possessiveness, non-covetousness, voluntary simplicity, not accumulating things beyond what is necessary, non-attachment to possessions, greedlessness.

  • Wake Up!!

    Bravo to Yogadork and jfexposed and Williams and Carlos da Silva!! It is time for us to wake up and smell the yoga as it has gotten pretty stinky! I have had firsthand experience with the “kula” and JF and I can tell you that he is one very sick man. His words of apology mean absolutely nothing. He is very good at what he does and although he is actually a good asana teacher he uses his talents to manipulate and control. People believe they are getting a shakti blast when in fact what they are getting is brainwashed. It is really sad to see so many people fall under his magick spell. Pay attention to the man’s actions. He might seem like a regular funny guy on stage but he is hiding a very dark heart. Behind the scenes he is not a nice guy at all. This is why he has so many “betrayers”. Do not kill the messenger here!!!

    In his letter to the BSF coven he seems to take pride in his intelligence and cleverness and even admits he thought he wouldn’t get caught. He also goes on and on and on and on about Pierre Bernard in that letter. Have you looked that guy up on google? It seems as if JF admired him and wanted to be like him, even the “Center” seems eerily similar to the CCC. Remember the website said this is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many people that have been hurt by Jf and his army. This is why people including myself have to be anonymous. He has a lot of money and power and is willing to use it in very vindictive ways.

    Anusara people, it’s time to look behind the curtain, you will find another small very insecure man that needs a slap in the face. Where is Dorothy when you need her!

  • MagickYoga

    seriously!! we have built in yoga ethics auto-freakin-matically. Done and done…I would say that regardless of the “style” regardless of the preachin’ I am certain the guidelines have not been honored at all.

    And if you don’t want to go classical FINE — but be transparent about what you are doing or suffer the consequences.

  • Eva

    From Anusara.com – Ethical Guidelines:

    The Seat of the Teacher
    As yoga teachers, we are an example and a model for many people. Our behavior reflects upon the great tradition and lineage of yoga which we represent. Consequently, we must exhibit a very high degree of personal integrity in all matters, both inside and outside the classroom. A high standard of professional competence and integrity can be maintained through regular practice and study, and a virtuous and healthy lifestyle. A high degree of personal integrity is prerequisite in order to be well respected as a professional yoga teacher.

    Many students look to the yoga teacher as a guide and mentor, not only for physical development, but for emotional and spiritual development as well. Students tend to project high ideals onto the teacher, so they often think the teacher is more spiritually advanced than they are. Consequently, the student will tend to trust and open up to the teacher in a more psychically vulnerable and more emotionally receptive way than in most relationships. This creates an inherent power differential between the teacher and the student. Because of this power differential, we must be vigilant to uphold the integrity of the seat of the teacher. We must never exploit the vulnerability of the student for our own personal gain or gratification. Clear boundaries must be established and maintained in our role of serving our students.

  • Compassion

    If you please…

    Some of the people in the community are still figuring this out.

    Some of us never knew any of this.

    Please send respectful well wishes to those in the community that could use your compassion.

    Most of you are yogis, right?

  • TemplePriestess

    Sending you much compassion and hopefully you will find comfort in your yoga. Study your sutras; sit quietly and watch your thoughts as they arise. Linger in the spaces between the thoughts becasue that is where the wisdom reveals itself. Beware of the conditioned monkey mind. Explore the need for “kula” and community as Yoga is a personal journey towards deconstruction of the ego. Look at the kleshas and the causes of suffering in regards to how this applies to you at this moment. Avidya is incorrect understanding. Explore what it is within yourselves that “never knew any of this” when it was obvious to so many others. Take off the rose coloured glasses and dive in to the truth. You bought into a Brand that was false, based on marketing and greed. I believe that most who did , had limited experience and study with yoga (beyond superificial asana) and therefore had a vulnerable need to belong. That need is what needs to be explored and abandoned. You will not find liberation in “kula” nor in Anusara. It may or may not be a cult but there is certainly mob mentality. This is dangerous and you need to examine very closely what it was that attracted you in the first place. Faux Yoga. Fashionista Yoga. ? If you really want to wake up, then wake up. This is your alarm clock.

  • TemplePriestess

    I would like to add that you won’t find liberation nor freedom from suffering in Anusara ™ or any other style of yoga (authentic or otherwise) for that matter. It is not found within membership in a kula or a satsang or a church … It is not found in belonging to a group …. It is not found through devotion to a teacher … it is not found anywhere outside of your self. It is only when everything falls away and nothing is left that you will find the freedom and the joy and the shri that you seek. The etymology/root of the word “Nirvana” equates to “complete and utter cessation …. annihilation ….”

  • FREE

    AMEN !!!

  • HY

    This is a very good debate (bar those few vulgar comments). Thank you guys. There’s a lot of food for thought and even though I am nor personally attached to AY it makes me revisit my principles and standards in life.

  • LMAO

    HY you’re a phoney and a troll and inconsistent from one day to another. Like how you’ve changed your story since the truth has come out.

  • HY

    What? Are you confusing me with someone else perhaps?

  • Yogi

    I am so tired of all of these Anusara teachers feeding us new agey bullshit. All of this talk of love and light, and no real honesty. I am upset about the JF situation, but I am also irritated that ALL senior
    teachers( including the ones who just resigned recently) have just glossed over the truth with flowery, diplomatic, “yogic” speech.

    Message to all Anusara teachers: Stop being cowardly and give the students some real answers! Do you have any idea how much money has been invested in JF and his organization?

  • justcurious

    Can someone answer my simple question—” Can Anusara yoga survive without JF ?” If “YES” , then “How ?” and ” for how long ? ”
    JF creates the world of Anusara, the rules they follow, the words they preaches, the teaching methods they used………….. Iyengar yoga will continue with or withour Mr.B.K.S. Iyengar, because they have a very sound organization (also with his daughter and son countinue the works ,) but Anusara without JF ?

  • TemplePriestess

    Yes. Bernadette Birney is going to take over
    http://bernadettebirney.com/blog
    and we are all going to be wearing black over the knee platform YogaHo boots and RedHot Halter Dresses while we practice in the woods and pretend to be earthy and grounded. I can’t wait I’m so excited!!!
    I hope those who are sincere in their devotion to the path have taken their blinders off when it comes to Anusara . Be on alert for “more of the same” who will attempt to exploit the current crises for personal profit (power , status, and greed) and use discretion in how you move forward personally. You do not need membership in an elite and exclusive Kula in order to practice Yoga. It is such an attitude which creates unhealthy dependencies and thus, power imbalances and corruption. BUYER BEWARE.

  • HY

    You mean Anusara ™ INC.

  • LMAO

    Correct TP; ms.Birney is already on the radio and grabbing every opportunity she can to exploit the scandal and promote herself and career …. its truly shameless while the rest of the community is laying low and trying to process and heal .
    http://www.whereismyguru.com/2012/02/08/defining-our-community-healing-improving-and-mindful-media/

  • name anonymous

    Babe!!! Temple Priestess, do tell it! I like going to occasional classes, but my real practice is done in solitary. Keep it up. You know, part of the reason I like yoga is very occasionally I come across someone like you…

  • TemplePriestess

    UT&H@TM — is that you? ;) xo

  • HolyMagickalAdulteryBatman!

    When is Katrina Knudsen going to resign? She has lost all credibility in the kula and yoga community as a whole. She’s going to have to resign before Anusara can recover and heal. She should be with her family (if they’re willing to keep her after she’s been tainted by John’s taint) at this time, not continuing to work for her extramarital lover. According to her Anusara staff profile on the company website, “Since meeting John Friend in February 2002, she’s been dedicated to serving the vision of Anusara yoga and John in whatever way she’s called upon”

    I think we know how she’s been “called upon” to serve him. I hope her kids don’t have white hair…

  • Cindy

    That is what distresses me the most. How in the world could a mother of two put her kids at jeopardy by engaging in that kind of behavior. I would have thought the maternal protection would have kicked in. So sad.

  • HolyMagickalAdulteryBatman!

    Unfortunately not all women are maternal or driven by love for their children and their families. I was flippant in my post, but in actuality this is a heartbreaking situation. What I really can’t believe is that she hasn’t announced her intention to step down; she’s still putting fleeting pleasure with John ahead of her own children and husband. Does she have no morals or sense of shame? I agree with you–how very, very sad for all of them. I feel sorriest for the poor little kids. How terrible to have a mother like that.

  • TemplePriestess

    Lets be careful about turning the women in Jezebels.
    ————————————————–
    ((( The name Jezebel came to be associated with false prophets, and further associated by the early 20th century with fallen or abandoned women.[5] In Christian lore, a comparison to Jezebel suggested that a person was a pagan or an apostate masquerading as a servant of God. By manipulation and/or seduction, she misled the saints of God into sins of idolatry and sexual immorality.[6] In particular, Jezebel has come to be associated with promiscuity. In modern usage, the name of Jezebel is sometimes used as a synonym for sexually promiscuous and sometimes controlling women,[7][8] In his two-volume Guide to the Bible (1967 and 1969), Isaac Asimov describes Jezebel’s last act: dressing in all her finery, make-up and jewelry, as deliberately symbolic, indicating her dignity, royal status and determination to go out of this life as a Queen.)))
    —————————————————-
    Not saying that those involved are not Jezebels, nor that I agree with their lack of good judgment, but there is a power differential at play and we don’t know the story behind the story or the dynamic which sucked them in.
    We have no idea how co-erced they were NOR how much pain/suffering they and their families might be experiencing now nor how powerful his Svengali influence was on their trust and faith in him as teacher/guru/big man big… Right? Perhaps they know they have made mistake and are the ones responsible for sharing the information with the broader public. These details are important to know.
    End of day, this story is about the fraudulence and corruption and lack of morality, ethic and poor conduct of JF; if we tar/feather the women (as has been done throughout all of history), they will become like a red herring and take the focus off of him … be the excuse he needs to blame someone else. Like the church blames Eve as a temptress responsible for the seduction and fall of Adam. No. Make that a loud and resounding NO!

  • Michael

    John Friend’s Letter/Interview…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RNSnMFgNq1Q#t=43s

  • TemplePriestess

    That was enjoyable — thanks for the humour.

  • name anonymous

    hilarious!

  • what i find interesting is how this same style of fake names and brow-beating that i thought only severely existed on one of the major social media sites, is rampant in this thread

    but, at least the “discussion” gets all sides here, and a person’s post can’t be downvoted into oblivion by a gang of control bullies

    for all that, i am very grateful to ms dork ;-)

    i look fwd to a resumption of her many very useful, if less commented on threads, on fascia, etc

    plus funny stuff! ;-)

  • ps – i am not referring to ej in regard to the social media site

  • Puppetji

    Let Puppetji guide us all at this time. http://youtu.be/YH52PpcIolQ

  • David

    If you meet Puppetji on the road, stick your hand up his a**!
    =)

  • You are a very, very, very bad girl, Yogadork and that turns me on. Would you like to join my coven? I could give you lots of interviews.

  • Totally off topic, but I’ve always been curious…
    Is Friend his original surname?

  • linny144

    Another letter from JF – Anusura moving toward a ‘teacher driven’ organization
    http://bayshakti.com/

  • It's A Company

    Anusara is a company. As long as the majority of shares are owned by John Friend (he currently owns 100%), any other “restructuring” is just window dressing.

  • Bang
  • justcurious

    Any comment on the future ” Teacher Driven ” new Anusara Organization ?
    JF’s newest letter (2/10/12) to Anusara Teachers:
    http://bayshakti.com/

  • bayshakti

    Dearest Kula,

    I deeply feel your pain and confusion since it is also my pain during this time. My highest wish is to live every moment with impeccability from this point forward, so I am now in deep self-reflection and looking directly at all of my shadows. I am seeking help for all my personal integrity issues, and with your love and forgiveness, I trust we will all make it through this very challenging time. Although it would be easier to retreat for a while, I am stepping out today into the public to speak and teach, being completely transparent about my behavior.

    I want to inform you all that I am currently in close communication and process with a core group of teachers, Anusara staff, and advisors about taking positive steps toward healing and bringing a new structure to Anusara with formal teacher representation. By necessity, our current process requires some smaller/intimate group work and mediated discussions. Therefore, I have chosen this interim core group of teachers, which is largely representative of the previous ethics and curriculum committees. (Noah Mazé, Desiree, Andrew Rivin, Todd Norian, Suzie Hurley, Betsey Downing, Ellen Saltonstall, Denise Benitez, Martin Kirk, Deb Neubauer, and Jimmy Bernaert)

    We intend to quickly set up an election process within our greater teacher community as a whole so that we have equal and fair representation within our organization moving forward. Working together, we arrived at a plan to establish a new Ethics Committee and a Leadership Committee, the members of which will be elected through a transparent and democratic process. These committees will also serve as a communication hub for teacher feedback and representation. Details about this process will be coming to you next week. There will be a series of communications coming to the certified and inspired teachers over the next days. We request transparency, open communication, real input and feedback from all of our licensed teachers.

    Thank you for your patience now as Anusara yoga shifts to more of a teacher-driven organization and away from a John Friend-centered yoga school. We are working diligently on recreating this new structure of Anusara, and I assure you that this is my decision and not that of “a rogue group of teachers presenting me with ultimatums,” as I have heard some suggest.

    We are beginning the process of, and are fully engaged in, positive actions now in our community. We must unite as dedicated teachers of Anusara yoga, aside from any personal feelings towards me or anyone else in our community. Please help today by turning any anger and disappointment in our process thus far toward constructive, cooperative action. There are going to be many steps in our process of creating an improved organizational structure within Anusara. I ask for your patience. This is a journey in which we will take together one step at a time.

    Thanks to each of you for your forgiveness, loving support, and unified cooperation. I am entirely committed to demonstrating to each of you that I mean what I say through my actions, not just my words.

    With humility and love,

    John Friend

  • Ahun

    So here is how johnny is working his crew:

    Dearest Kula,

    I deeply feel your pain and confusion since it is also my pain during this time. My highest wish is to live every moment with impeccability from this point forward, so I am now in deep self-reflection and looking directly at all of my shadows. I am seeking help for all my personal integrity issues, and with your love and forgiveness, I trust we will all make it through this very challenging time. Although it would be easier to retreat for a while, I am stepping out today into the public to speak and teach, being completely transparent about my behavior.

    I want to inform you all that I am currently in close communication and process with a core group of teachers, Anusara staff, and advisors about taking positive steps toward healing and bringing a new structure to Anusara with formal teacher representation. By necessity, our current process requires some smaller/intimate group work and mediated discussions. Therefore, I have chosen this interim core group of teachers, which is largely representative of the previous ethics and curriculum committees. (Noah Mazé, Desiree, Andrew Rivin, Todd Norian, Suzie Hurley, Betsey Downing, Ellen Saltonstall, Denise Benitez, Martin Kirk, Deb Neubauer, and Jimmy Bernaert)

    We intend to quickly set up an election process within our greater teacher community as a whole so that we have equal and fair representation within our organization moving forward. Working together, we arrived at a plan to establish a new Ethics Committee and a Leadership Committee, the members of which will be elected through a transparent and democratic process. These committees will also serve as a communication hub for teacher feedback and representation. Details about this process will be coming to you next week. There will be a series of communications coming to the certified and inspired teachers over the next days. We request transparency, open communication, real input and feedback from all of our licensed teachers.

    Thank you for your patience now as Anusara yoga shifts to more of a teacher-driven organization and away from a John Friend-centered yoga school. We are working diligently on recreating this new structure of Anusara, and I assure you that this is my decision and not that of “a rogue group of teachers presenting me with ultimatums,” as I have heard some suggest.

    We are beginning the process of, and are fully engaged in, positive actions now in our community. We must unite as dedicated teachers of Anusara yoga, aside from any personal feelings towards me or anyone else in our community. Please help today by turning any anger and disappointment in our process thus far toward constructive, cooperative action. There are going to be many steps in our process of creating an improved organizational structure within Anusara. I ask for your patience. This is a journey in which we will take together one step at a time.

    Thanks to each of you for your forgiveness, loving support, and unified cooperation. I am entirely committed to demonstrating to each of you that I mean what I say through my actions, not just my words.

    With humility and love,

    John Friend

  • Ahun

    This guy is truly a freak show and a manipulator. Sad how much he made exploiting yoga and banging his students.

  • name anonymous

    Yep, JF will step behind the scenes for a bit until this blows over. In the meantime, a hand-picked team of nice, albeit unquestioning followers (who will not criticize JF ) will be the police force as we keep the brand functioning so we can continue to cash in on this cash cow that is yoga. You see this type of thing in dictatorships often…
    Part of the deal will be to use this new found publicity as effectively as possible to market the brand. First and foremost, create an illusion that Anusara is much bigger than it is. Photos of large groups of people practicing yoga are encouraged. Make workshops appear to be “sold out”. Put folks on waiting lists (you can always add folks at the last minute due to unexpected “cancellations”). Wear a microphone in pictures when you are teaching–even if there are 10 people in the class. This creates the illusion of a big class, therefore “popularity”. Use NLP as well. Any mainstream media should be capitalized on to give the impression that Anusara is “sweeping the nation”. Oh, and say that you are working with a “team” of “a core group of teachers, Anusara staff, and advisors” to navigate this crisis–like the White House. Aint fame cool???

  • Sarrau
  • Anonymous

    Perhaps what is most disturbing about this situation is that for those of us who have worked in or otherwise been a part the yoga community for many years this JF situation, whilst horrific, comes as no shock. Another revered yoga teacher, another scandal. Questionable, if not outright immoral, behaviour is rampant in the yoga community. Ironic, no?

    How these teachers are ‘allowed’ to get away with this behaviour and why their colleagues and students stand by them through the scandals is beyond me. A few, a very few, may step away and even fewer have the courage to speak up. And when the do they are often lambasted.

    The JF situation is indicative of a deeper illness within the yoga community — that needs to be addressed, to protect those teachers out there with true integrity and respect for their students and to protect students of yoga the world over. It’s time for teachers who abuse their power, engage in inappropriate sexual relationships or otherwise violate very STANDARD ethical guidelines to be held accountable for their actions — as anyone else in any other vocation would. A first step would be to resign from their post and undergo therapy, or whatever other means, to get to the root of their proclivity towards abuse of power, inappropriate sexual behaviour, etc. etc.

    As a side note, the EJ article was VERY disappointing. Hard hitting journalism? Umm… no. I’m not sure EJ did itself any favours by posting the JF interview, despite the thousands of hits it most likely received. And JF did himself no favours there either — humility? Not so much. Megalomania? Check.

  • LMAO

    Dearest Kula,

    I deeply feel your pain and confusion since it is also my pain during this timeBECAUSE I HAVE BEEN EXPOSED AND STAND TO LOSE EVERYTHING. My highest wish is to live every moment with impeccability from this point forward AND NEVER GET EXPOSED AGAIN, so I am now (AFTER READING ALL THE POSTS AND ESP. KNOW YOUR INNER GURU) in deep self-reflection and looking directly at all of my shadows … I MEAN THE TRAIL OF SHIT I HAVE LEFT BEHIND ME . I am seeking help for all my personal integrity issues, and with your love and forgiveness,LETS JUST PUT ALL THIS BEHIND US AND PRETEND IT NEVER HAPPENED, SHALL WE? I trust we will all make it through this very challenging time AND YOU WILL KEEP GIVING ME ALL YOUR MONEY … MONEY …. MONEY …. MONEY… MONEY … MONEY … OOPS … GOT CARRIED AWAY THERE ….. Although it would be easier to retreat for a while, I am stepping out today into the public to speak and teach, being completely transparent about my behavior. I’M GOING TO MIAMI CUZ I HAVE NO SHAME AND WOULDN’T GIVE UP ALL THAT MOOLA …. AND I’M GONNA TELL EVERYONE THERE EVERYTHING … LAY IT ALL OUT BARE … CUZ I AM BEING COMPLETELY TRANPARENT ABOUT MY BEHAVIOUR. COME TO MIAMI AND SEE ME BEING VERY TRANSPARENT.

    I want to inform you all that I am currently in close communication and process with a core group of teachers, Anusara staff and advisors PUBLIC RELATIONS DAMAGE CONTROL TEAMS about taking positive steps toward healing and bringing a new structure to Anusara with formal teacher representation.BECAUSE THERE HASN’T BEEN ANY FORMAL TEACHER REPRESENTATION UP TO NOW???? By necessity,NOT TO POINT OUT THE OBVIOUS NECESSITYOF THE MOMENT … our current process requires some smaller/intimate group work and mediated discussions. WE ARE FOCUSING ON WHAT THE FUCK ARE WE GONNA DO … AND I’M HOPING SOMEONE GIVES ME A GOOD SPANKING … :) :) Therefore, I have chosen this interim INTERIM MEANS UNTIL THE CRISES PASSES AND THEN WE’LL GO BACK TO THE SAME OLD SAME OLD WITH ME AS MACHIAVELLIAN MEGALOMANIAC CONTROL FREAK core group of teachers, SYCOPHANTS ON THE PAYROLL … which is largely representative of the previous ethics and curriculum committees. (Noah Mazé, Desiree, Andrew Rivin, Todd Norian, Suzie Hurley, Betsey Downing, Ellen Saltonstall, Denise Benitez, Martin Kirk, Deb Neubauer, and Jimmy Bernaert)

    We intend to quickly set up an election process within our greater teacher community as a whole JUST THE CERTIFIED TEACHERS IN THE ELITE INNER CLIQUE BECAUSE I CAN SO EASILY MANIPULATE THEM so that we have equal and fair representation within our organization moving forward. BUT I’M NOT REALLY INTERESTED IN THE BROADER COMMUNITY SUCH AS THE STUDENTS OR THE INSPIRED TEACHERS Working together, we arrived at a plan I CREATED A PLAN WITH MY YES-MEN AND DICTATED IT TO OUR CRISES TEAM … to establish a new Ethics Committee and a Leadership Committee, the members of which will be elected through a transparent and democratic process. These committees will also serve as a communication hub for teacher feedback and representation. WE HAVE GIVEN THEM A SCRIPTED RESPONSE AND THEY WILL PARROT IT LIKE THE GOOD TRAINED MONKEYS THEY ARE IF THEY KNOW WHATS GOOD FOR THEM …. Details about this process will be coming to you next week. There will be a series of communications coming to the certified and inspired teachers over the next days.AND WE TRUST THAT YOU WILL MINDLESS ACCEPT WHATEVER DRIVEL WE DISH OUT … We request transparency, open communication, real input and feedback from all of our licensed teachers. BECAUSE WE HAVE SO MUCH INTEGRITY AND ARE SO TRUSTWORTHY AND VIBRATE ONLY AT THE HIGHEST FREQUENCIES

    Thank you for your patience now as Anusara yoga shifts to more of a teacher-driven organization and away from a John Friend-centered yoga school DON’T YOU THINK THIS IS A VERY CLEVER STATEMENT? A TEACHER DRIVEN ORGANIZATION RATHER THEN A JOHN FRIEND CENTERED YOGA SCHOOL. I THOUGHT THAT WAS JUST BRILLIANT WHEN MY AD AGENCY COPYWRITER CAME UP WITH IT….. . We are working diligently on recreating this new structure of Anusara, BEFORE TOO MUCH CASH IS REDIRECTED ELSEWEHRE TO THE OTHER IYENGAR CENTERED YOGA SCHOOLS OR THE ASHTANGA CENTERED YOGA SCHOOLS OR THE SIVANADA CENTERED YOGA SCHOOLS OR THE KRIPALU CENTERED YOGA SCHOOLS OR THE BIHAR CENTERED YOGA SCHOOLS OR THE BIKRAM CENTERED YOGA SCHOOLS OR THE ……and I assure you that this is my decision and not that of “a rogue group of teachers presenting me with ultimatums,” as I have heard some suggest BECAUSE I AM THE GREAT AND POWERFUL JOHN FRIEND WIZARD OF OZ YOGA GURU AND AS AN EGO MANIACAL MEGALOMANIAC I WOULD NEVER COW TOWTO A ROGUE GROUP OF TEACHERS PRESENTING ME WITH ULTIMATUMS! PISH. DO THEY NOT KNOW WHO THEY ARE DEALING WITH?

    We are beginning the process of, and are fully engaged in, positive actions now in our community. WE’VE GOT QUITE A MESS TO CLEAN UP THANKS TO JFEXPOSED AND YOGADORK! DAMN THEM FOR DOING THIS TO US. We must unite as dedicated teachers of Anusara yoga, aside from any personal feelings towards me or anyone else in our community . Please help today by turning any anger and disappointment AGAINST ME WHERE IT BELONGS – TO THOSE BASTARDS WHO EXPOSED ME … in our process thus far toward constructive, cooperative action BECAUSE THERE IS JUST TOOMUCH MONEY AT STAKE. WE COULD ALL BE MILLIONAIRES IF YOU’D JUST FORGET ALL THIS EVER HAPPENED. OH — MAKE IT GO AWAY …. . There are going to be many steps in our process of creating an improved organizational structure within Anusara.BUT I’LL TELL YOU STRAIGHT UP ITS GONNA BE THE WAY I WANT IT TO BE AND I WON’T BE COWTOWING TO ANY ROGUE GROUPS OF TEACHERS OR ANY MAVERICKS EITHER FOR THAT MATTER WHO CHALENGE ME OR DONT AGREE WITH ME! I AM THE KING I TELL YOU … THE KING ….. AND I ask for your patience. This is a journey in which we will take together one step at a time.

    Thanks to each of you for your forgiveness, loving support, and unified cooperation. I am entirely committed to HANGING ONTO THE EMPIRE I HAVE BUILT AND MAKING MILLIONS MORE BASED ON YOUR NAIEVTE AND BLIND FAITH …. demonstrating to each of you that I mean what I say IAM KING I SAY I AM KING AND YOU WILL OBEY ….. through my actions, not just my words.

    With humilityNOT and love, FOR MYSELF

    John NOT YOUR Friend

  • LMAO

    AN ETHICAL AND DEMOCRATIC PROCESS WHICH WE WILL NOT BE SHARING WITH THE PUBLIC.

  • Thankyou

    Thank you for taking so much time to write this wonderful letter. It hits every point that we all are wondering about and it explains all the deepest inner thoughts that we never know about the master.

  • Sarah

    This is the best comment of all the comments here and on that horrible megalomaniac site. Whoever you are, you need to do a full post recounting the scandal as you see it. I bet it would be hysterical. Still laughing.

  • YES !

    Totally agree !

  • LMAO

    Glad y’all liked it … you can find me on FB (Deborah Whipple – had to take on a few aliases to shake off the anusara gestapo that were getting vulgar and ridiculous … ;)

  • TemplePriestess

    i’m also posting under TemplePriestess. Lets see what Halid offers up now …. Halid — Halid — where’d you go? Run off to kick some cats?

  • Napongo

    Hey, time to give these guys a break.

    It sounds like the Anusara yoga community is turning this into a process of broadening the leadership structure of the organization and taking a hard, honest look at the issues.

    They’re dealing with this, not sweeping anything under the rug. Give them credit for that – and time. . .

    http://bayshakti.com/letter-from-the-interim-committee-anusaras-action-plan-for-the-future

  • yes!

    thanks for decrypting the yoga double speak – LMAO indeed!

  • Wake Up!!

    LMAO-That was award worthy!

  • yoginiS

    Did anyone mirror the JFExposed site before it got taken down? I’d like to see the original accusations.

  • Treesong

    I would also like to see a mirror of the site. So far, I’ve been unable to track one down. If you find one, please let me know.

  • Rachel

    Who cares?… this is so not what I want to read on yogadork, it’s not fun, informative or even yogic, it just comes across as judgemental and OK magazinish, yoga should never be Kardashian-esque type gossip. Why on Earth people expect perfection from teachers is beyond understanding – they are just humans with wonderful messages, If Jesus, Krsna, Mohammed, Arjuna or Buddha were around today they would be written about too – lucky for them 21st century media wasn’t around to do a full on literary slaughter of the charachters, Anusara was a message and a gift, John Friend is just a man – but a man that gave a good message and a wonderful gift. Please stop with all the crap writing yoga dork.

  • JLCA

    Actually Rachel, I think Yoga Dork’s coverage of what is happening within the Anusara community is very relevant. John Friend’s actions have effected an entire community. I, for one appreciate knowing why the Ansuara classes at my studio have been removed. This is not gossipy. YD is operating with transparency. No one is expecting John Friend to be perfect. But, he does run an massive yoga school selling his style of yoga which includes truth, integrity and transparency. What he does off the mat DOES matter to students. And it should. I feel this issue unfolding within the Anusara community is being treated with respect and clarity by both Yoga Dork and Elephant.

  • Monkey Man Jeff

    I was sucked into the drama, now I’ve wasted some energy.
    Stop feeding this and get back to your mat – and that’s not all yoga is, asana on a mat. It also includes not wasting energy in ways that are not helping anyone in the path of knowing the true self. Wasting energy in the form of gossip, that is what we are doing. stop it. nirodha.

  • sign off

    The past week, I have glued myselft to the computer anxious to see all those comment and joined the discussion which has nothing to do with me or my practice . Talk about the bad Chi and wasting of energy……
    Thanks for the reminder !

  • I’m sorry, but you’re way off in your assessment. THIS IS YOGA. This, what is happening right now, IS Yoga. All of these events, the reporting of them, your reading them, your reaction to them and more importantly, your contemplation of their meaning and significance in YOUR life, IS Yoga.

    Your view to get back to your mat is one of transcendence. That is a perfectly valid path, but you must also balance that practice with one of present moment awareness. As a student of Yoga, you must not think that you can just go sit on a cushion and contemplate your navel in isolation and become all knowing.

    A perfect example of this is the student written up in the New York Times article: How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body, who ignored the pain in his knees while sitting 2 hours for meditation. This doesn’t prove that Yoga is bad for you. It proves that taking a purely transcendent approach to enlightenment can really F-up your knees.

    For many who would like to vilify John Friend, you may do so. His actions are despicable and reprehensible. I find it intolerable that he acted so foolishly and with such narrow vision to not comprehend the ripple of pain and suffering all these actions will cause.

    However, others will see beyond the veil of action, and look at things on another level as well. For this too, is part of John Friends teaching to all of us about the path of Yoga. He has allowed himself to play this role so that we can learn something from it. Don’t just gossip, contemplate these events. Allow your mind to unravel the thousand and one questions, fears and doubts that arise from this man’s fall from grace.

    If you do this, with sincerity and a desire to know more about yourself through these events, your own false assumptions, and mis-guided understandings will be revealed, and great knowledge about the true Yoga, not this commercial gimmick, may arise from the ashes of what was Anusara.

    I speak these words from my own personal experience. May they be a blessing and serve all who read them.

  • DebW

    indeed, and nicely stated Ralph.
    Brings to mind Kali Ma and her sword – cutting off the heads of demons and with each drop of blood that falls to the ground, another demon sprouts up … and so on and so on. The slaying of one demon is the birth of another.

    http://www.goddessgift.com/goddess-kali.html

  • I practice yoga, but am not at all involved in this world. I happened upon your comment, Ralth, and I just wanted to say how interesting I found it to be, and well written. Thank you for giving me a lot to think about.

  • yogi1996

    Anusara Yoga was “founded” upon shaky ground. It began with a “collaboration” between Richard Freeman and John Friend. Richard had intuited a new alignment concept of loops and spirals in the body. The first copy of loops and spirals was written on Richard’s
    wife’s computer. Richard presented his ideas to John. John then famously turn it into Anusara Inc. Richard Freeman truly deserves the credit for these ideas underlying Anusara Yoga.

  • yogi1996

    Richard Freeman also coined the phrase “universal principles of alignment” during his “collaboration” with John. Many years later, Richard confessed that “it was a good idea at the time, but sadly many alignments cannot be universalized due to human variation (different body types, bone structures, proportions and orientation of joints.)” John borrowed this phrase from Richard and made it a centerpiece of Anusara.

  • shadier&shadier

    The story just gets shadier and shadier doesn’t it. There is nothing
    genuine or authentically “real”.
    Does anyone know why Doug Keller left and what the story behind that break up was?
    He was the first to go …
    My early Anusara training materials and handouts were all authored by him. I still have a sheet showing the loops which is copyright Doug Keller.

  • KJL

    “Gossip”? “Negativity” and getting “caught up” in it? This is not something to be ignored by the all too common suggestion that it’s a waste of time to consider that someone has potentially been deceptive toward you/a large community of people, in the way of immoral behavior. Someone said it has nothing to do with being on the mat, and it absolutely does. If you ignore this issue as a waste of time, then I think it suggests you may also ignore the discomfort and levels of truth and deception on your mat and in your own life as well.

    It’s what you do with it.

    I have spent thousands of dollars working toward an Anusara certification and am very disappointed, and feel the need to re-evaluate whether or not I want to be associated with Anusara. I no longer feel compelled to work under John Friend himself. I do not wish anything horrible upon the man, and feel empathic, but I have a choice to make about whether or not I continue under his name. This is nothing to be ignored, and for me, I will take A LOT of time contemplating it, reading about it, listening to other people -especially Anusara teachers who I’ve grown to respect.

  • Sad for the Brain-Washed Bunch

    I agree with KJL… for the people who have spent thousands and thousands of dollars, countless hours of devotion, made their life’s-circles surounded by kula-people…. this is destroying their world.

    John Friend is personally responsible for flagrantly flushing the whole system down the toilet. He is the sole proprietorship of a corporation that has no accountability. No share holders, no one to keep his power in check (congress senate president).

    It is not surprising that he used his Merry Minstrel Mogul Mischief for his own personal Pan Bachanal. Pagans are a lusty raucus bunch. Not surprising that he weaved a spell of mystery (shri!) around him and garnered power, money and fame.

    I think everyone is shocked that the truth was so thoroughly revealed to render him powerless to the internet, which he used to create his empire. Live by the sword, die by the sword. You can’t have it both ways. When you write your own ethics, and hold other people accountable to them, you had better be behaving by them or you will be accountable to a much greater source (in this case, the world at large).

    Anyone that represents Anusara is representing corrupt politics. Becaused of the two faced propaganda of the founder, Anusara is no longer a philosophy, instead it is a marketing tool designed to hook you in and make you feel part of a club. How can any student trust their teacher who labels themselves with a Scarlett A?

    I feel bad for all of the teachers who are staying because they are loyal to the system. If the teachings are so powerful, they will survive a great fall and be communicated in a way that is understood by the teachers and students; not creating a catchy-all method that is designed to create followers who brand themselves as special because “it works”.

    They are not being loyal to anyone but John Friend. Was he loyal to you when made you sign your license that limits your yoga and your teachings? Who did that serve? It created a house of cards that he personally has toppled with seemingly little or no remorse or accountability (as evidenced by him teaching his Tantra of relationships in Miami after his committee advised him not to, he still has to take the stage and see who his true followers really are).

    There is no doubt that there are awesome teachers in the aforementioned and soon to be a dirty word method. My wish is for each one of them to look inside themselves and be Dorothy at the end of the Wizard of Oz who has been listening to the tricks and illusions from the Man Behind the Curtain who turns out to not have any of the answers.

    The great teachers are still great teachers as evidenced by their integrity and willingness to walk away from a train wreck created by Chief Engineer John Friend. He did this to himself. This is not blame, this is fact.

    Dorothy looks inside of herself and found out it was she who had the power. Please teachers, students, and followers of JF, tear down the wall, look behind the curtain, check your 3rd eye and realize that you already have it all, and you don’t need him or anyone else to label you fit enough to teach what you already know based upon your own exploration and passion for the beauty and wonderment of Yoga.

  • Jenny

    “… in a more intimate and honest conversation around life…”

    Intimate? huh.. no thanks, John, I think I’ll pass on that conversation with you…

  • Cheri

    The interview of John Friend by Waylon Lewis was oddly consistant- both the questions and the answers lacked clarity. It felt like Waylon’s “preambles” were more like apologies in advance for asking questions any real journalist would just ask. John’s answers were a laundry list of platitudes that smacked not a whit of true humility. I was somewhat appalled that the interview contained any reference at all to the “life lesson” John might glean in this unfortunate situation. I am a former student and teacher of Anusara who found the practice confounding both physically and spiritually, and I am not at all surprised that this happened. Unfortunately, this is what happens when the cult of personality overshadows the teachings, and on many levels both teacher and students are complicit. This is one situation where John is not going to be able to shoe-horn love and shininess into the bright and empty truth of his actions.

  • JHL

    EJ should just admit that they aren’t journalists and give up any pretense thereof. They are a PR flack shop and should simply accept that as their role in life.

    The “interview” with JF was nonsense and EJ was just providing a forum for him to spew forth his bullshit.

    EJ spent more time defending its own lack of journalistic backbone than calling JF into account.

  • QuantumSprite

    My question is how could JF get caught up in this type of behavior, as a charismatic, charming, smart dude that he is? Oh, wait, that answer that question. All ego.

    The cult of personality in yoga is prevalent, we all know that. People get behind the charismatic, larger-than-life yogi, brainlessly following the occultation of the mask of Light which hides a dark shadow, unfaced and unperturbed by the philosophy that is propounded from the charismatic’s deceptive lips. They decieve even themselves, for they have told a lie for so long that it became the truth.

    All over the yoga world lip-service is payed to facing the shadow, to allowing the light into the darkest parts. How often is it actually undergone. Not very. New Age ides prevail in the ethereal twilight of the yoga studio. Are these the kinds of places that the likes of Patanjali and the satgurus of the Shaivism/Shaktism intended their philosophies to be propagated through? Nay. One will not find the healing preserves of the illumined shadow in the yoga world (very rarely), or the awakened Kundalini masters who have faced their reprobate tendencies. The true illuminated beings are found in more private places. Occassionaly you will find them in guys and gals like JF who have gone thorugh their own scandals, perhaps less loudly promoted than this particular one. This is a moment of ego-death for John Friend, if he can face up to everything he did and connect to it emotionaly. So, the real soul in trouble, creating some pretty nasty karma for himself, is JF. For the rest of us, it’s just Entertainment Tonight.

    The real awakening is undescribably scary, but it is available to anyone who will look. The one with the true teaching, the Angel inside, does not reveal It-self by charging money or starting an organization that would steal money from it’s initiates; the Theophany of the true Christ, Buddha, or the Green Angel will never be found in the halls of counter-initiation that is today’s yoga world. The yoga world is, at most, a nice place to do some glorified exercises by twisting the body into weird shape.

    Let us not pass judgement unto JF. Let us take him into our heart and dissolve him therein. Let us do this not in some sentimental abstract manner, but by orienting ourselves to the mature path of spiritual attainment. Let us orient ourself toward the divine by embarking on our own path of initiation, the long-road of rigourour moral examination, mercilessly so. Let us see JF as our own deepest yoga-shadows, the stuff that is always dark, looming darkly, which we are not willing to admit under normal circumstances.

    Om Shanti, Ya NUR

    The Green Man

  • DebW

    word!
    pranams and thank you. this, along with carol hortons stuff, is among the very best shared (in my opinion) … everyone of us is simply a facet of the divine having an experience; the divine is living this experience via JF “because it can”, and the potential to evolve and awaken through this dark night of the soul and the death of the ego is limitless. jf can do his best work if he stops “resisting” and accepts the cards that fate has dealt. and each of us moving through this experience in our own ways, with our own standpoint, and our own history, likewise has the opportunity to notice what we notice as we experience this experience because – this jfexposed scandal has woken up alot of demons .. alot of denial .. alot of resistance .. and alot of hope. there is a very rich sadhana at hand and as seekers on the path our work is to move through and peel away the the layers and, as Pema Chodren says, notice when our shenpa arises and when we are hooked, and our egos activated, and to just stay with that. to just stay with it. OM TAT SAT.
    blessed be. reposting.

  • bigpro

    one thing I’m certain of, Patanjali would never have copyrighted anything. That’s a deal with the devil.

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    this article to him. Fairly certain he will have a good read.
    Thanks for sharing!

  • What a material of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable
    familiarity concerning unpredicted feelings.

  • Usually I don’t read post on blogs, but I would like to say
    that this write-up very pressured me to try and
    do it! Your writing style has been amazed me.
    Thanks, quite nice article.

  • Tahnee

    I like your style Waylon…

  • josh

    JF is a quack. Goodriddence.

  • MagickYoga

    COULD WE PLEASE TAKE DOWN THE FAKE WAYLON?

  • MagickYoga

    so not waylon.

  • D.S.

    I agree. It’s ridiculous that Yoga Dork is letting someone impersonate Waylon Lewis in order to mock him. It smacks of petty rivalry.

    Sad that this situation w/ Anusara has so infected the whole yoga community that there’s now all this bad blood. Yoga Dork & Elephant Yoga now at odds? And everyone taking sides!

    Just show a bit of grace YD and take down the fake Waylon posts.

  • YD

    No bad blood here.

  • D.S.

    Thank you!

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