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John Friend On Taking Over the World (rare video)

in YD News

This video has come to our attention via several tipsters and we have reason to believe it is legit and worthy of viewing in light of recent events and pardon the expression, ongoing shitfest.
The original source and interviewer is yet to be determined, but we’re told it was someone who worked for John Friend/Anusara circa 2010.

A (seemingly high?) John Friend candidly discusses money, Anusara yoga and taking over the world. (And Japan a lot. He returns to talk of The Center – spending half a million on flowers and $100,000-$300,000 on just the sign – around the 9 minute mark).

*note* our transcription team is on vacation (kidding). we’re away from the computer. if you are near one, we kindly request someone please transcribe a bit and post in the comments before it’s removed.



104 comments… add one
  • Nunya Beeswax

    He’s totally stoned out of his mind. This is just stoner rambling. It’s actually kind of funny.

    • Anusour

      He appears stoned, it is rambling, and arguably amusing, yet I believe it reflects his true nature and that is pretty serious.

  • Investors???

    Does anyone know who the investors for the center were yet?

    • Anusour


      • rbw


        • Ah-nosara

          hilarious is right, I lived in Encinitas for 25 yrs and know a lot of the people he mentions, including Zeta or Z. Oh boy! I remember hearing about this project , and thought “the circus is coming to town”. So many people are so relieved that it fell through. The fact that Zeta says”that whole place has been waiting for so long for ( I don’t know something) ____ is so wrong. SRF being right around the corner, it would have been a shame…

      • v


  • EJ


  • Indeed

    What’s not funny…. just to give some context.

    He’s speaking to a videographer. Most likely someone new to the company given the conversation.

    He appears to be trying to win him over with the promise of preferential treatment, an unlimited expense account for toys (all with investors money of course), and a place in history as Anusara takes over the planet.

    He confides in said employee that this type of access to funds is all secret between them and his inner circle.

    Further describes how dispensable some employees of the company are (admins) as compared to others (the artists).

    Apparently they were heading to Japan with others. He describes how ‘magical’ this will be including the story of his last visit in which upon his arriving to a temple a double rainbow came out and the first maple leaf in all of Kyoto turned red.

    Talks about how the Buddhist monks thought he was something special. Describing their reaction to him being one of “who is this!”.

    Describes grandiose ideas of creating a “Village in North County” by buying restaurants, businesses, bicycles for everybody, trees and flowers.

    What might be described as pompous ideas of spending investors money. “They’re giving me a half a million dollars to plant flowers!”

    Get out while you can people.

    • Kay

      Thank you for the context. I’ve been saying to colleagues for quite sometime that all his behavior is consistent with someone who suffers from a Narcissistic Personality Disorder- Grandiose ideas, the need to be special, to be above and outside the “rules” – the manipulation of other people, and the delusions of unlimited power and special access to god….all Hallmark NPD behavior. What most people don’t know is that NPD are creating compensatory behavior due to some deep deep- seeded lack of self-love. The longer this goes on to more its just screaming NPD or who knows- what ever is going on something is deeply amiss in JF’s psyche…..oy vey.

  • JJ

    I agree. How he dismisses the importance of those who have worked with him to build Anusara in favor of new people and the insistence, from his own mouth, that he does secret things with the money are truly disturbing.

    • Stewart J. Lawrence

      It’s called running a business, and being the President and CEO of that business. You make the decisions, hire and fire, and pay people according to their perceived value? A business is not a charity, or a grassroots democracy, or as Mao might have said a “dinner party. Successful, visionary CEOs muse all the time about what they hope to accomplish. They also smoke dope – or drink.

      • For the best

        suddenly stewart approves….b/c jf was big successful ceo ooooo boy!
        fuck that amoral donald trump shite….what a dork

      • JJ

        Two things:
        1) “visionary CEOs,” as you would have them, do not sit in front of a rolling camera talking about how they would easily, happily throw those closest to them under the bus at the drop of a hat – just bad business (business, that is, and not the non-profit kind, either).
        2) He was the one who built the image of loving his employees and teachers and kula and grace and all that – no one made him do that for the sake of the business. So, yeah, it is kind of significant that this video shows him to be a serious hypocrite.

      • JJ

        Really? No reply to my comment below? Nothing? No rejoinder? No “oh, yes, it is smart and savvy to devalue your current workforce on camera while promising carte blanc to an almost newcomer to the business?”

  • Vic

    Did my best…a couple words were slurred/inaudible they are in .

    Creepiest moment: listening to him speak incorrectly and semi incoherently about Japanese history while grooving to “Time of the Season”

    JF: I mean, I’ve always been able to sustain myself, but I never, like I’m actually able to do what I learned in school. Like, to be able to create a project, that we can create a vision that I can take care of everybody.

    PHOTOG – Uh huh

    JF: That, like, I can say, I can pick the best photographer in the world and get you to be totally self sufficient in every way. And give you a palette that you can create your work on. That like, you can start dreaming, like, you can, you can start thinking what nobody else has thought of. For me that’s so high.

    JF: For me, I get, that’s my whole life’s reward, that If I can help become even greater, dude you have no idea, that makes my life successful, that makes my family, my parents successful, that makes my grandparents. Like everybody that helped me, they worked, they sacrificed for me to do this. I swear to God. You don’t know, I’ll tell you one day. But like, I’m doing this for everybody down the line. And like, you’re going to be renowned, dude, everybody who sees your work is gonna think of God. That’s all I want, its going to change the world.

    PHOTOG: Hmm, I’m so excited

    JF: You’re gonna have totally, you’ll have financial success, you’ll have financial freedom

    PHOTOG: Aw dude, that helps the art so much man

    JF: And you can have everything, like think about anything you want, we can get top of the line. This is like, yeah,

    PHOTOG – Yeah, Unleash the tiger man

    JF: Like, what do you want? We’re gonna get you guys media format, the newest things, state of the art….

    And what you’ll have to do for me is just, it will be between me and you. And you know, Its just…I’m just telling you totally openly, but I’m not telling anybody else, like its like our small knows, Tiffany knows, They’re the people that are close, but nobody else in the company they’re not not gonna how much the funds. They’re just gonna see, wow you guys got killer stuff. Yeah, well? We produce killer stuff. We don’t need to tell people where the money comes from. We don’t talk about it, we just produce. Its just, its just , you know? Its just right. We don’t need to show off our money.

    PHOTOG: Uh uh

    JF: [Pauses…] Some people, won’t like it. Um, Kelly’s gonna come tomorrow and I can’t, I’m not telling her much of anything. (turns on music)

    PHOTOG: What’s that?

    I can’t really tell her what we’re doing. I’ve just, I’ve just gotta start directing people. Like most people, they have a fixed salary, and they just have to keep doing their work at that salary. But you are for me, the artist, my artist in the group become, they’re very valuable to me, you know. And I’m committing you with that so that you commit to the greater vision of the company and that we do it through loyalty. Because, I can get other administrative assistants, in general. They’re very good, like Kelly, is very very good. But if she were to leave, or like if you left, you have more value intrinsically than even a Kelly. So that’s what I’m saying, is that I have to bring you guys closer in and most everyone else, doesn’t know what’s going on, they just know they’re gonna be taken care of. I mean, She’s been working for me 3 years, she trusts me implicitly, but I can’t even, still I can’t tell her we just hit the gold mine.

    PHOTOG: Ohh, really, wow, yeah, got it, yeah, got it

    JF: See what I’m saying?

    PHOTOG: Yeah, totally.

    JF: That’s why I can’t say, hey Kelly, get whatever equipment you want, she doesn’t need anything. You do. Like I’m gonna get you a photography studio, I’m gonna get you all the equipment you need.

    PHOTOG: We are goanna make such good art, John. Its like already happening. Can you just acknowledge the magic? Dude, I work on that frequency, that’s where I’m at man, and when you do that it s like whew.

    In a few minutes your life changes. When we step through the threshold, every Shinto temple is made in a field of energy. So its, The circle is the universe, the square is the earth, its spirit coming down into the earth. So you’ll see these lines like this, and then you’ll see the curves of the universe. And that’s how you tell a Shinto temple. So its going to have the circle and the square, so you walk through the threshold and the energy just opens and every part of the land is sacred.
    And see, Kyoto, in Japan’s body, it’s the naval. Its plugged into the universe it’s the umbilical cord to the God. And then within that, we’re going to the center of the naval where the emperor is born and dies and the emperor is the incarnation of God. So we’re going to the place today, or tomorrow, the holiest place on earth.


  • chang

    soooooooo hilars

    he says the encinitas center will have a huge glass window “like the Apple store”

  • Alana

    well this video has to eradicate ANY doubt you may still have that JF is a megalomaniac. he needs psychiatric help. i am horrified by so many things he said.

  • DJ

    Here is his long ramble…


    JF: One of the next two days, we’re going to the center of the whole world as far as all Japanese people are .. you know. It’s the holiest place on earth and you can feel it. You’ll see the burial – like they bury the emperor like under a tree and you’ll be able to meditate – you’ll see the maples and the cherry blossoms and every part of the garden like how .. it’s just .. there’s like a flow to the chaos .. like they organize the garden and then .. just .. your eyes of beauty shift forever – you’ll see the room he was born in with only nothing else in the room just this room full of Shakti – the mother comes into like an empty room it’s exquisitely beautiful with nothing in it pretty much and births the emperor of the world and then that’s where he lives and he lives in this whole thing where it’s like a ring passed on – his whole life he doesn’t really pass outside of this ring and then he dies and they bury him right there and then that’s where the abbot – the highest monk of the land – the highest Shinto monk in Japan is there and they’re looking or they are trying to connect me to – I think tomorrow – with the white-haired sensate he knows of it .. he has met me before – the last time I was here so much magic happened when I walked in two double rainbows came out and the first maple leaf in all of Kyoto turned red so he saw it as a sign because he believes everything is sprit – so he said get there .. right here .. sensate .. in here .. they led me into the inner sanctum – this little room – the old abbot – the bald old Japanese guy came out and looked at me and we just sat because we didn’t speak each other’s language and two translators were sitting there trembling and we just sat there for five minutes in silence then he said ” ..bad fake Japanese..” Then the translator – I didn’t move my eyes from him – the translator going “he says: everything is alive, the rock the water and the sky – the spirit welcomes you”. Then I’m like “tell him I believe everything is rockin’ spirit too!” … Then you can see his eyes kind of smile like the recognition that we are seeing the same thing

    Photog: yeah

    JF: that’s where we are going

    Photog: yeah so simple too

    JF: so simple, so pure, so powerful


  • Linda

    This alternates between painful and pathetic. I remember overhearing stoner rants like this in college, but that was over 20 years ago. To see a man of his age indulging in such b-s is awful.

    I feel incredibly sorry for the people who drank his kool-aid.

    • Stewart J. Lawrence

      Here’s hoping that’s all they drank!

  • John

    No more marijuana for you, Mr. Friend. What a rookie…

  • Yup

    Yup, and the slimey promisess of “I’ll hire you for more money than they people who’ve worked for years for me, but let’s not tell them” confirms all the pimping and hustling this twit was always all about. Also confirms my suspicions that, in contrast to what other seeming insiders have claimed on another thread, this hustling pothead is probably not close to bankruptcy and ALL, probably has been squirreling away dought for a long time.
    Also why I am cynical about anything AY does now that is “behind the scenes,” including the “Leadership Committee” forming a new “teacher-led school.” Behind the scenes, huh? Let’s just do this- and-that but just not tell so-and-so. This has ALWAYS been the m.o. of AY. Who’s going to get paid what, and out of what coffers? For all we know, everybody’s just waiting for Desiree Rimbaugh to get home from Istanbul, and they can ALL sit around and do bong hits together.
    Slime, slime, slime.

    • FYI

      Desiree Rumbaugh publicly resigned from Anusara Yoga today. She is no longer on the Leadership Committee or affiliated with John Friend in any way.

      • HJCOTTON

        Todd Norian also resigned for the second time.

      • Yup

        thanks — I hope, for their own sakes and the sakes of their students, that that is true.
        I had my doubts and suspicions anyway, about who among the “leadership committee” or the “teacher-led school” would be taking secret kick-backs from Friend for all kinds of his own greasy reasons.
        Hopefully now also we will see the end of to all the tongue-bathing peons to this asshole.

        • LC Farcey

          LC committee is a farce. All of them in JF’s pocket and doing his bidding. Its a crock of shit. Roger in Denver spying for JF and reporting back … having dinners … honouring JF at a Vitaly Yoga soiree (where it is rumoured he will be teaching now) … Ross Rayburn vying for the throne …Barbara Noh in Europe turning the Euro kula against N.Americans …. A big pile of shit. The LC are as slimy and greasy as Friend. A bunch of self-important egomaniacs without any ethics whatsoever who all talk with forked tongue.

          • third eye

            I know one of the LCs from another yoga community. Cold, cold, cold and self-important.

          • For the best

            Well, if all that is true, then it’s best it all come down anyway. Let these people try to make it on their own merit, instead of pimping off a disgraced brand of yoga.

    • Anusour

      It was reported recently that he was in Barbados, which is an offshore banking center.

      • HJCOTTON

        JF’s whereabouts and his personal foibles are immaterial. He could not separate his personal life from the business he created and ran. What is tragic is that his ego destroyed the careers of several young teachers who drank AY koolaid and invested a fortune to get certified. It is going to take a long time for those who invested their lives in AY to process what happened, get over their shock and grief with some unlearning to do and move on.
        It is tragic how JF’s behavior, and his dictatorial management style with him playing favorites led Anusara yoga aground, with all the scandals worthy of a Mexican telenovella.
        The senior teachers will survive financially on their own, but it is the younger ones whose yoga careers might be derailed. That is one reason that the Anusara yoga scandal has generated so much anger, recriminations and schandenfraude among the yoga community.

        • Anusour

          His “foibles” are material insofar as there are people still under his sway and he intends to return to teaching in September. More information allows people to have a better picture.

  • third eye

    “Let’s not tell anyone else” is the m.o. of a bully and a triangulator. That story about the monks jumped the sharks.

  • GL

    This video is truly sad, for JF, the Anusara community, the entire yoga community. FYI folks, he hasn’t gone on a healing retreat as he said he would, and news of him moving to Denver to start teaching weekly classes is blowing in the wind. Beware Denver folks.

  • Hilarious!

    Omfg that is so FUNNY!!!!
    Dude, get off the bong. Really, it may make you feel peaceful and giggly and hungry and all, but it does tend to erode any moral center, and any sense you might have for the finer points of….well, basic ethics.
    But then, I doubt he was strong on those points to begin with.
    Whadda douche-bag!
    Oh but wait, where are the defenders? “Aw, come on, John is only huuuuuuuuman! Everybody makes mistaaaaaaaaakes!” Blah blah blah.
    Pass the popcorn.

  • Amy

    RESIDENTIAL REHAB one on one for the first few weeks…then Open to Grace and PAUSE , soften, listen and receive.

    • Hilarious!

      Yeah hon…him and Lindsey Lohan.

  • Sindy

    The only thing that surprises me is that John wasn’t shot by a disgruntled husband. It’s amazing how long it took him to built his brand up and how quick he lost everything but it seems he’s still getting laid in Barbados. Hey, money isn’t everything.

  • Investors???

    Is anyone besides me interested in knowing who all the investors were? Think about it, if the leadership or steering committee members were investors that would create a conflict of interest, right? Is anybody on this? YD?????

  • PD


    [Friend nods and smiles.]

    photog: Yeah, yeah. Is the emperor, uh, like on a political level in Japan too? Is that –

    JF: Not now, they have, now he’s like the king, he’d be like the queen of England, you know? It’s like, it’s like a, you know, more of a designation of a position.

    photog: OK.

    JF: And, uh, they don’t have any political power. They used to.

    photog: So they’re like a spiritual presence.

    JF: Yeah. What happened was, when the Japanese really lost face in World War II and that’s when the emperor was, uh, dethroned. And then that’s why they won’t put ‘em back,. It’s like, the Japanese people got – I mean that’s part of the reason, it’s like, you’ll, there’s like not even going to be a lot of people at that temple. They just, they don’t, it’s like, they’ve lost it, lost – I mean, you’re going to see bigger temples, like the golden ones, there, there’s a lot of people but where the real Shakti’s at, like it’s, it’s not the most elegant or the, like the one the golden one is ridiculously opulent,

    photog: Uh, huh.

    JF: But where the emeperor lives it ‘s like simplistic elegance. And because it’s , you know, opulent, a lot of people don’t got to it, but it’s the one that has all the Shakti. But uh, the Japanese, they’ve lost it. They thought that they’d associate the emperor with war and imperialism –

    photog: Mm.

    JF: And, the destruction of their country through the Hiroshima bomb, you know?

    photog: Yeah. Yeah.

    JF: But, I mean, we don’t think that the emperor is, you know, got in [ ? 8:55], but we understand the theory, that uh, that the sky can become the earth. We understand that you can embody, you can embody the ideal. You can embody the highest beauty. And that’s, it’s more metaphoric, but they just, you know, they took it too far. But you’ll feel, you still see the Buddhist monks that’re – they were so impacted by what was happening. They didn’t know who I was, and I brought fifty people, and a bus. I had everybody sit for meditation for one hour without moving. And they just totally thought ‘Who is this? You know? And they came out, all the monks came out. Like they’re not supposed to come out. They all came out. And they stood and just saw us off. And they just watched. And they were just doing [presses hands together at his chest ] puja to us, like standing there, all these Buddhist monks. And, Yusushi, he was so blown away, he wouldn’t even turn his back to them. He walked the whole way backwards. Where he wouldn’t lose their eye (?), because –

    photog: Wow.

    JF: He was so blown away that at, the emperor’s temple, they would all come out. That they would give us that kind of honour. [Shakes head and looks down, maybe at his computer, presumably focussing on the music that his been blaring during the conversation, or monologue, rather]. That this thing is out of control.

    photog: Yeah, that ‘s some movement. Wow.

    JF: This band too This is a Trinidad band. That we can get two centre stages here. That, um, I’m gonna get. I’ve got incredible music agent, that’s out of Trinidad, and she knows, all the European musicians, like it’s [the Trinidad band] the leading world music, but they’re kids, like off the streets, that play steel drums –


  • Please dish

    So who is the new girlfriend? Sooooo curious!!!!

    • simply yoga

      I’m sure it’s 100% uninteresting.

      • tiffany

        tiffany from vitality yoga in denver?

        • For the best

          Probably not important b/c as a whole, if Denver is a target, Friend will do fine. It’s a very white enclave where the politics are very green and the lifestyle niche is young-hipster-sexy-nubile-“spiritual.” Happy hunting grounds for that kind of affable con-artist.

          • For the best

            And of course Boulder is even more like that….

  • simply yoga

    I am laughing. From 1-800-Flowers to “Dude, get off the bong.” And everything in between.

    How could anyone have ever followed this guy anywhere? I try to have sympathy for his distraught minions :sniff: but GEEZ.

    I mean, really! Stoned or not stoned, he’s just.not.appealing.

    Carry on. 🙂

    • Stewart J. Lawrence

      Who in Yoga, Inc is genuinely appealing? I can’t think of a single one, male or female. Can you imagine some of the women high? We’d be talking about the karma of menstruation and which of their students they banged had the biggest dick?

      • Hmmm

        thanks for keeping things classy as always

        • Hmmm

          It’s really very hard, Stewart, to take you seriously when your own misogyny undercuts everything so much. Menstruation? REALLY? You’re so obviously just grossed out by women’s bodies in general that anything at all to do w// women’s physicality — like yoga culture — must truly freak you out.
          Go get your hate on in your AA group.

        • METOo

          This says it all.

      • Anusour

        Stewart, it would be more accurate to say, “I can’t think” and leave it at that.

      • JHL


        If your words are at all reflective of what you are, it must suck to be you. What a nasty piece of work you are. I hope yor parents don’t fully understand what they’ve raised and unleashed.

        You serving time? Yet? Still?

  • I downloaded it for posterity, and my own personal amusement.

  • Janet

    When he talks and with that chin and neck, he looks like Jabba the Hut.
    How could anyone in their right mind, hand him their hotel keys at conferences in order to shag him???
    People, take off your blinders!

    • Stewart J. Lawrence

      Henry Kissinger called power an aphrodisiac. Sharing in the sense of power even as a “consort” is sexy to many women. Especially when you feel you have so little – and you still have unresolved Daddy issues? In the end, the body is just the body. (I know, how unpopular a thought for yoga body-worshipers!). It’s what’s going on between your ears that counts most.

      • Hmmm

        Stewart, with all the misogyny going on between your own ears, and all the thirteen-year-old beavis-and-butthead garbage you write here, you’re not exactly an example of the life of the mind.

    • I know this is a long shot, but could we possibly stick to judging people for their actions and not how they look? I’m fat. I have pretty good self esteem, and yoga gives me a way to love myself throughout my entire journey, even if my body isn’t presently in good health.

      There are so many valid, ethical, philosophical, fiscal, managerial reasons to criticize John Friend: stooping to Jabba-jabs doesn’t really add to the discussion, it just makes you sound petty. Don’t we get enough body image crap from Cosmo and Yoga Journal ads without piling it on through our peers?

  • Yoga woman

    Like. Dude. Creepy as hell. Embarrassing.

  • Larry

    Sure is interesting how this stuff just keeps rolling out. He must have besmirched a lot of folks along the line. So who filmed this and why?

  • sproutsnthings

    1) First of all, he doesn’t look like Jabba the Hut, he looks like one of the giant worms from Dune, especially when he’s trying to groove and bop into the music.
    2) This vanilla brother has no rhythym ;-D
    3) Anyone who falls for a piece of work like this needs to have their head thoroughly examined ASAP
    4) The Japanese sensei staring at him was probably thinking, “How the f**k do I get this retard out of my temple as quickly as possible without calling in the Samurai?”
    5) The city of Encinitas was willing to give him half a million dollars to plant flowers and trees in order to keep him busy so he can’t sleaze on rich trophy wives and convince them to join his coven which would only result in messy divorces and therefore a smaller, local tax base.
    6) Kelly the admin person is disposable because , JF doesn’t need hard-working competent people around him, he needs enablers who will buy him pot.
    7) A 20 year old talking about music and rock concerts and rocking out is normal. A portly, greying 50 year old doing the same is creepy.

    • simply yoga

      Right-o. Kelly, who worked for him for how many years loyally, and is probably extremely competent and kept his business affairs humming, is chopped liver, and yet a videographer he knew for 5 minutes (and I’m sorry to say, they’re a dime a dozen these days) somehow gets a blank check?

      What kind of priority is that for a CEO? Hmmm… video guy vs. long-time office staff. Waitletmethinkaboutitasecond. OK, I’m going with Kelly. What a doof this guy is!

    • Linda

      @sproutsnthings, I will address each of your points in the order in which you wrote them

      1. Dune worm: Bwahhahahahahahah!!!!
      2. Mr. Vanilla would fit right in at a Grateful Dead show circa 1984, along with all the other aging boomers.
      3. I wouldn’t be so hard on the folks who fell under his sway. They probably had issues to begin with, and Friend saw easy marks. They do need help, though.
      4. “How the f**k do I get this retard out of my temple as quickly as possible without calling in the Samurai?” — Yup. And: Bwhahhahahahahah
      5. Interesting take on the tax base idea. I thought he was trying to create a “green curtain” so he could plant his weed.
      6. Yup – the worst thing in the world for a narcissist is to have an employee tell him the truth.
      7. I watched the video for a second time (cut me some slack, I’m recovering from a non-yoga back injury ) and was reminded of those stoner rants from my college years. I’m happy to report that even the biggest burners have at least cut back if not quit outright.

      What also hit me on the second viewing; was Friend telling the truth to the videographer? You can walk past any college film program and find dozens of kids willing to work for next to nothing; I suspect Friend was putting one over on guy behind the camera for some cheap work and would screw him like his admin staff. These types can’t help but hurt people – they just don’t know how to care.

  • Anusour

    The following attributed to John Friend and verified by others in attendance, is from the contemporaneous notes of a former Anusara teacher at the time of his last public appearance in Miami, just after the scandal broke:

    Who’s the worst person you can think of in history? Hitler, Mao. There’s a little bit of dark in everyone. Everyone has some light too, even Hitler. Even in great evil there is still Shri.
    If you do what you believe, like Hitler did, you are in integrity. If someone broke into your house you would murder the person if they are threatening your family. At the very essence there is Shri. We have all done bad things. If you read about someone in the news who’s suffering you automatically feel love, compassion for them. We’re not separate, all connected in a web.

  • PS

    What is this guy talking about???
    No wonder the AY community can’t get it together, if this guy was their leader.
    And may I suggest (just my two cents) that manipulation, erecting heirarchies, exclusion, branding, megalomania, and conceit have no place in yoga?

  • rbw

    i would like to believe he was stoned as it’s scarier to believe he wasn’t! this video clearly demonstrates the ego and the “weirdoness” of a self acclaimed guru gone awry. it’s important for us have a clear picture of who we choose to influence our lives, our practice and our energy. i offer compassion to mr. friend and those who were sucked in by his ego, but this is an important piece of realization which serves to remind us to beware of wolves in sadhu cloth.

  • Blazing Solar Fart

    Leader oh Leader, I do so miss queefing in your general direction. Perhaps the distance between us can be transmuted if only I had a lock of your pubic hair. Nevermind that my Husband and twin Daughters are hanging in the balance.

  • rbw

    never lose sight of why we do, what we do…

  • Fool Me Once

    Once upon a time, perhaps some years before this scandal surfaced, I was employed by none other than Mr. Friend. All I have been saying in recent months is… “I KNEW it!!!”. Perhaps I’m a little more karmically tapped into the universe and all its rainbows and red leaves, but bad vibes are bad vibes and I got them from him the moment I finally met him, which was a week or more after I was hired.

    JF is no stranger to double talk. On more than one occasion I was an unwitting receptacle for some of his rants on those employees who were expendable and those folks who weren’t even called “employees”, but “artists” or whatever crap came out of this guys mouth. No one was spared. I knew without a doubt that, in other instances in front of other people, *I* was one of the people he spoke negatively about. I could feel it in his energy. In my time there, I watched two excellent employees resign due to his brazen and unrelenting criticism and demands. I also felt intrinsically that, because it was made VERY clear I was not, nor would I ever be interested in him, he disliked me a bit because he knew he couldn’t have me. This began to show every time we spoke, whether in person or via technology. Now I assume it must have eaten at him a bit because by societal standards, I am what is considered… Well, let’s just say I fit his criteria for attractive, but I am WAY out of HIS league. (Sorry John :p )

    He is selfish, self-righteous, self-centered, narcissistic and heartless, YES I said “HEART-LESS” (Anusara = flowing with heart or grace, neither of which he has) when it comes to giving people NOT in his special behind the veil kula second chances OR compassion.

    His mouth spouts what he reads and what he knows to be information that folks on spiritual paths want and/or NEED to hear. If anything, he’s very well-read and highly skilled in the art of manipulation.

    And he really takes advantage of this sort of malicious activity in the most foul of ways, at the expense of people who believe in all that Yoga and its teachings has to offer and who, yes in some cases, began to believe in him as a human. NOT a teacher, not a scholar, not a wise man, NOT a guru… JUST A MAN.

    I was one of those people. I thought perhaps I was wrong about him, maybe I was judgmental, “look at all his hard work” I would say to myself, and so I opened my heart each and everyday I worked for him. I truly enjoyed working with the rest of the Anusara staff and for a minute, it was a pretty cool place to be. Did I mention I spoke with him in person a total of 7 times during my employment there? More often, he was soaking up the Shri in some luxury situation in whatever exotic country he chose, rarely USA. And believe me (if you choose), reconciling those finances was a JOKE. Even as his employee, I could NEVER afford what he charged for his sessions, and only once was I ever “permitted” to attend a workshop for free. The rest of the time it would come out of my check. (That’s what I got for not sleeping with him I suppose. Oh well…)

    In moments I am shocked that others were not more in tune with his energy. I hear payoffs do that to some folks… Money, for some, causes blindness and ignorance. Then there were those of us who worked DAMN HARD trying to make ANY kind of sense out of the mountains of paperwork left behind as he sauntered off to the East with his harem in tow.

    But I digress…

    If Mr. Friend were truly anyone’s friend, he would remove himself entirely from the world of Yoga teaching. He has more to learn than ANY student who’s ever had the misfortune to practice with him.

    Wickedness. I suppose he believes karma is selective, because he certainly doesn’t seem to understand the universal law of “You get back what you put out”.

    Good luck Mr. Friend. You sucked as a boss and you were no friend. You also suck(ed) at being genuine and honest. I feel truly sad for you, those who were your unknowing victims, and those who believe they are special because you, someone who USED to be respectful, “chose” them to be special based on superficial criteria.

    I leave you with a bit of Mr. Friend’s “wisdom”:

    “From every nut, grows a tree.”

    That is all.


  • Brian Smith

    I think Wendy is John Friends current Bang Bang.

  • Brian Smith

    john friend got fat. i told him how bad eating cheese is. all he was eating was cheese all the time.

    he looks like a big fat white rat

  • Brian Smith

    I actually thought he was gay or bi. how could any female want to kiss him? he quite often had bad breath yuk

    • A

      yeah, I’d heard rumors of Anusara sex scandals but I thought that JF was openly gay. and no, JF isn’t the only one implicated in these rumors, the word is that just about every one of the ‘higher up’ teachers were involved in orgies, etc…sorry guys, I’m sure you’re great teachers, but these are the rumors. I don’t know anything about anything though. Just a gossip.

  • Anusour

    Clearly he was all about artifice rather than art.

  • Rita Pitkin

    JF – one sick little man, truly disgusting.

  • compassion

    For an Addict

    On its way through the innocent night
    the moth is ambushed by the light,
    becomes glued to a window
    where a candle burns
    its whole self, its dreams of flight
    and all desire
    trapped in one glazed gaze.

    Now nothing else can satisfy
    but the deadly beauty of the flame.
    When you lose the feel
    for all other belonging
    and what is truly near
    becomes distant and ghostly,
    you are visited and claimed
    by a simplicity
    sinister in its singularity.

    No longer yourself,
    your mind will be owned
    and steered from elsewhere now.
    You will sacrifice anything
    to dance once more
    to the haunted music
    with your fatal beloved
    who owns the eyes to your heart.

    These words of blessings cannot reach,
    even as echos, to the shore of where you are.
    Yet, may they walk without you
    to soften some slight line,
    through to the white cave
    where your soul is captive.

    May some glimmer of outside light
    reach your eyes
    to help you recognize how you have fallen
    for a vampire.
    May you crash hard and soon
    onto real ground again
    where this fundamentalist shell
    might start to crack
    for you to hear again
    your own echo.

    That your lost lonesome heart
    might learn to cry out
    for the true intimacy of love
    that waits to take you home
    to where you are known and seen
    and where your life is treasured
    beyond every frontier
    of despair you have crossed.

    ~~ John O’Donohue

  • Rebecca

    Well, I am not trying to be tacky or cute, but perhaps we should have been alerted ( I certainly wondered ) when he first bleached his hair blonde and had his trendy “do” …… it just didn’t seem very earthy or yogin-like ………….. just “out of character” . As in “I am a star” . There is the narcisstic personality disorder showing its first face.

  • Rebecca

    I am speaking as someone who was never in his presence, nor did I ever speak with anyone who was in his presence. I am simply a yoga teacher, White Lotus trained and Integrative Yoga Therapy trained, who read many of John’s teacher training manuals and had his early videos (yes, videos — and his hair was brown!)

  • Deede

    Jeff Daniels. In “Dumb and Dumber”.

  • Rahul

    I am Indian and practice yoga in California. Anusara is a beautiful form. This man seems very normal too me. He is quite kind and has a great incorporated vision. Come to India to see the ‘fakers’, this man just seems childish and new to his abilities.

  • tao23

    “Unleash the tiger, man!” “Dude, killer stuff!”

  • eleonora

    Is sad the way he talks but … this video is HILARIOUS!

  • no no worries

    he’s still got plenty of groupies eager to put on their Anusaran kneepads

  • jude

    damn. he really had no yoga practice whatsoever. his face is bloated with indulgence and self-infatuation.
    hard to muster compassion – especially since he never actually owned the utter corruption of his motivation and behavior.

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