Transcription of Anshu Gurung Interview with Aaja Containing Harassment Allegations against Swami Anand Arun

Transcription of Anshu Gurung Interview with Aaja Containing Harassment Allegations against Swami Anand Arun

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Controversy Surrounds Osho Tapoban in Nepal

On Oct 22, 2018, the Nepal office of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) published a video containing allegations of sexual harassment made by former Osho Tapoban attendee Anshu Gurung against Swami Anand Arun (who runs the Tapoban Center) as well as financial irregularities at Tapoban with respect to government land in Nepal. AAJA posted this video online.

Osho Tapoban is an independently run Osho center located in Nagarjun Hills, Kathmandu, Nepal. The Osho International Meditation Resort is in no way affiliated with Arun. Furthermore, Osho’s message is very simply that of meditation, and the role Arun is playing has no part in his work.

The following is an exact English transcription of the video:

Interviewer: Welcome to Nepal Aaaja. Can you tell us a little more about how you became an Osho Sannyasin?

Anshu: It was through Osho’s books. I read a book that gave me an answer that I was looking for in my life. When I read the Art of Dying, it helped me let go of my past. I was also inspired by his book to know more about his meditations and not just traditional vipassana meditation.

Interviewer: How did being a sannyasin change your life?

Anshu: Since I became a sannyasin, I became free of my past-positive and negative. I was a survivor of domestic violence and as I started meditating, the trauma started healing. I started to live in the present moment as I realized nothing is permanent.

Interviewer: How did you start feeling after sannyas?

Anshu: I have always been a hard worker and a happy person. I give my hundred percent at work. Osho also talks about meditation, discipline, and non-discrimination which resonated with me. I started to realize that my way of life was good. I wondered if I someone who was too rebellious as I could not stand discrimination but Osho supported that attitude.

Interviewer: Please tell us more about your professional life?

Anshu: I teach an International Honors programs to students from all over the world who come to Nepal for Study Aboard. I teach in the fall and spring semesters. I teach Gender and Inclusivity as well as Human Rights classes. Prior to this I worked at ILO and before that I other national human rights programs. My field of work was initially tied to development but gradually I started to work as a human rights activist. Since 2004 I have been working as a human rights activist in all district of Nepal and that is also the time when I started meditating. When I left my home, I had a zero-tolerance policy for any kind of discrimination, violence, and oppression.

Interviewer: Sounds like you transformed your life after being an Osho Sannyasin. You wrote an article against Osho Tapoban. How did that happen?

Anshu: I started going to Osho Tapoban, started loving it, and I still love so many things about it. I appreciate Arun Swami’s contribution in bringing Osho to Nepal.  However, the behavior of the sannyasins inside the ashrams was somehow unsatisfactory to me but I ignored it thinking that we are all imperfect beings. However, since last year Swami Ashok Bharti came from India. Arun Swami exposed and harassed Swami Ashok Bharati so much stating that he had faked enlightenment and said too many negative things about him. I had also seen so many things about Tapoban that I did not agree with. I was told not to listen to Asho Bharati’s programs, I started wondering, why are they stopping me, what are they scared of ? What is he trying to hide? Why are you criticizing Ashok Barati when you are not perfect and have so many imperfections yourself? He started challenging Ashok Bharti to open a center if he is so sure of himself. He started being so egoistical. Since 2009, I stopped going to Tapoban. I go for a few days, but I did not do workshops. I did not want to sell books and felt like he was so greedy.

Interviewer: It sounds like you did not stop adoring Osho but it was more with Tapoban and Arun Swami?

Anshu: That is true. Of course, not with Osho! I love Osho like nothing else!

Interviewer: So what are the things that happen at Tapoban that you felt were wrong?

Anshu: When you stay in the meditation center on a Satuday, Arun Swami starts giving talks in Dhyan Hall. He starts bragging about the various meditation centers he has opened and how important he is. H gives talks and lectures.

Interviewer: Was it Arun Swami’d negative treatment of Ashok Bharti after he started doing workshops in Nepal and how he pleaded people to not participate in those workshops the problem?

Anshu: That is not the main thing that I had a problem with. There is so much more.

Interviewer: Can you give a list of issues you saw at Osho Tapoban point by point?

Anshu: He captured the Nagarjuna National Wildlife Center.  None of us are members there and we do not know who the members are. Sexual and Labor exploitation.

Interviewer: Are there any proofs?

Answer: You can go to the center for the proof. There is a pool and big houses. The rooms inside the center are selling for about 15 lakhs. They charge money from people even though they get subsidies and assistance from the government. They do nothing good for the society. You pay Rs 1150 to enter, Rs 15,000 for workshops and they sell so many books everywhere. Where is all that money going? They are using Osho as an emotional blackmail.

Interviewer: You complained about the fees that Tapoban charges. However, the center needs money for maintenance and other activities to function. How can you be against that?

Answer: One Swami bought the room for 15 lakh but never went back to the center. When he sold, he sold for 12 lakhs and where did the 3 lakhs go? They are using the ashram as a housing business. Where is the money from the books? Where do they keep it? I think they are just filling their own pockets

Interviewer: I am sure there are financial audits? The government must be actively reviewing it.

Answer: We have a voice record. The trustee paid 2 crore to a governmental official in order to evade taxes. I cannot say the name of the trustee right now.  I have written to the government about corruption at the ashram but they do not care. They even keep weapons at the ashram.

Interviewer: Are you trying to say that a nonprofit organization is doing a business, and that is a problem?

Answer: Yes, it is nothing but a housing business. It is not an ashram. Ashram is supposed to be based on equality and respect. If everyone has huts, everyone else should have huts. What is happening here is they have sold plots and making personal houses. Inside the Pokhara ashram there is a 6 crore house next to a fifteen lakh house which makes me so sad. It is okay if you make a house outside the ashram but the inequality inside the ashram feels wrong. There are no housing rules or uniformity in the ashram.

Interviewer: You also touched upon exploitation of labor?

Answer:  They pay Rs 2000 to workers per month even though the national minimum salary is Rs 8000. They tell these workers that you are working for Osho so your work is special. Some guys leave house at 6 am and come back at 9 pm. He does not even have time to clean his clothes so I would pick up his clothes. The boys who work at kitchen is so busy. People doing housekeeping and kitchen should be paid. They pay them so low. Isn’t that an exploitation of labor?

Interviewer: How many people work there?

Answer: There are three cooks, one works at laundry and there is another sannyasin who stopped coming to the center.

Interviewer: How long do they work?

Answer: They work from 6 am no 9 pm at Rs. 2000 per month. However, they do not complain because the name of the place is sols as “Osho”. People told me that there is no time to pick up dried clothes and would be working so hard all day. I felt bad for them.

Interviewer: You also touched about sexual exploitation. Can you tell us more about it?

Answer: The thing with sexual exploitation is that a lot it is rumors. However, some of it is true as well. There are people who come to the ashram frequently but abruptly stop coming. I would wonder and ask people, why did that person stop coming to the ashram? I would be told that Arun Swami attempted to exploit the daughter of the sannyasin at Rishikesh and they have stopped coming to the ashram anymore. They were angry with Arun Swami and vowed to never step their foot in Osho Tapoban ever again.

I have also heard rumors of women throwing their malas away because Arun attempted to rape them. Many women sannyasins who have been with Arun Swami are thought to be “prasads’ – blessings. Regarding women sannyasins, there are rumors that even Arun Swami’s defiled rice is a “prasad”, which a slang for a defiled woman.  Arun Swami is also a very “religious guru” and cannot touch women even when they are not menstruating. This is more intense that sanatan dharma.

I told a woman who was sexually exploited to come forward and share her experience. She denied. I asked her if it was an attempted rape. She said that it was not. I ask if he groped her? She said yes. I asked her why don’t you talk about it when you have thrown your mala away? She said, she would share it someday but not now. I asked the woman if she was going to be responsible for other women who might be victimized by Arun in the future? The irony is that the same woman is now running workshops about women empowerment. Her partner knows all about this and I have no respect for his manhood if he cannot even protect his partner. I texted her saying that I was disappointed with her and her connections. She did not reply to my texted. She said she was depressed for two years and made an excuse. I wondered, what have you been doing at the ashram if the depression is not even healed in two years? There is another woman too and I called her to speak up.

Interviewer: Were these women attempted to rape?

Answer: How can I tell you exactly what happened? If the victims themselves do not speak up, I am just going off the rumors I have heard. When I ask people why this woman is not here anymore? I am told that Arun just used the woman and left her. There is a sannyasin who is currently living abroad. The rumor is that even though she had a boyfriend she would go to Arun Swami’s room at night. There are so many rumors, but the rumors don’t come from nowhere. There are no rumors about Swami Arun and me! That is because if something like that would have happened to me I would get to him. He would be behind the bars. The woman is abroad and people tell me that she is “happy”. The woman being happy is not a big deal. The fact that the man utilized his power and abused it is the problem. He sent the girl abroad. There are so many rumors about a woman who left his room at 2 am. I called her asked if she was sexually exploited.  I have vowed to work for women’s rights. If someone like me does not stand up for these women who is going to?

There was another case of an incident that happened when he did a workshop in UK. He tried to exploit a daughter of a friend. Something must have happened that night. He ran away in the middle of night from UK, cancelled Germany’s workshop, and hid himself in Rishikesh. Do you think he just did that for no reason?

Interviewer: Do all the women who go to Osho Tapoban get sexually exploited or is it a select few? How does Swami Arun bring these women closer to him?

Answer: When people take sannyas they give an energy darshan where the group energy is so strong that the women unconscious. When that happens, Arun Swami puts his hand in the woman’s heart. Why does he just do that for women and not men? They do not do that to me because I am not considered to be beautiful by the society or Arun Swami. He thinks that it is important to bring women to the ashram because they become objects which attract men to come to the place and keep the business going.

Interviewer: Some people believe that if two people decide to stay together through agreement, it is nobody else’s business to interfere. What do you think about it?

Answer: If these were two people who had the same power level, that would be true. However, one is powerful and the other has nothing. When the powerful person does something like that it is exploitation and it is violence. Women are told that they can go abroad if they stay with Arun Swami. Women are given all kinds of allurement if they stay with him.

There is a book called Sambhog to Samadhi and people think it is sex education. Osho meant to say that life should be lived orgasmically. People think that it is sexual freedom. When I go there, I dance and sing, but women are exploited and leave the ashram. After I started writing my article exposing Swami Arun, there have been posts alleging slaying Arun Swami. There was a post saying, “This old man is a Casanova, a playboy, or a play old uncle”. Why did they start writing these things after my article was published?

Interviewer: Any other things you were unhappy about?

Answer: Government gave 3 crore to make roads for the ashram. I do not agree with it because in rural areas there are no health posts and birthing centers. We could make so many birthing centers from 3 crore. Why should the government donate it to an ashram in the city instead?

In Chitwan National Park, they give us such a hard time if citizens trespass However, at this national park that has been taken over by Osho Tapoban, monkeys are killed, trees are cut, and nobody complains about it. Why is the government quiet about it?

Update: Anshu Gurang in hiding after allegedly receiving death threats from Arun followers

The following article was published by the Asian Human Rights Commission in Nepal on Dec 6, 2018:

NEPAL: Human rights defender living in fear after detailing corruption and malpractice in Osho Tapoban

“The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information that Ms. Anshu Gurung, a human rights defender and writer, is in hiding, fearing for her life. After Anshu wrote an article on her experiences at Osho Tapoban International in Nepal, Swami Ananda Arun and his followers have been publicly harassing her and threatening to finish her off through media outlets and open forums. She has been forced to stop using her social media accounts and telephone, and is seeking protection and safety. She has written and complained to many authorities, but has received no assistance so far.”

Das Europäische Gericht – eine Zweigniederlassung des Gerichtshofs der Europäischen Union – trifft eine endgültige Entscheidung über die OSHO-Marke und bestätigt die Eigentumsrechte der Osho International Foundation

Ein Urteil des Gerichts der Europäischen Union in Luxemburg vom 11. Oktober 2017 ist nun rechtskräftig und bestätigt die Gültigkeit der OSHO-Marke und des Eigentums von OSHO International Foundation, Schweiz [Fall T670 / 15].

Das Europäische Gericht In diesem Artikel werden wir uns den Hintergrund dieses Rechtsstreits, seine Auswirkungen näher ansehen und den Osho Times-Lesern einen Hintergrund geben, warum Osho die Notwendigkeit sieht, seinen Namen und seine Arbeit rechtlich zu schützen und warum die OSHO-Marke so ist einzigartig und erfolgreich.

Die endgültige Entscheidung in diesem Fall ist in der Tat die rechtliche Bestätigung zweier früherer Entscheidungen des Amts der Europäischen Union für geistiges Eigentum (EUIPO) in den Jahren 2014 und 2015, die zwei sehr klare Entscheidungen zugunsten des Anspruchs der OIF auf die Marke getroffen und jeden Versuch abgelehnt hatten um es zu stornieren. Das Gericht hat in diesem abschließenden Urteil die früheren Entscheidungen des EUIPO zu jedem einzelnen Punkt bestätigt. Die OSHO Times hat zuvor über die Entscheidung des EUIPO berichtet.

Der Versuch, die OSHO-Marke für ungültig zu erklären, war Teil eines konzertierten Angriffs durch eine kleine Gruppe von Menschen, die versuchten, das geistige Eigentum von Osho zu kontrollieren. Diese Menschen waren zuvor in die Arbeit der Stiftung involviert, unter anderem von Robert Doetsch, der auch als Swami Ramateertha, der kontrollierenden Figur eines lokalen Osho-Meditationszentrums in Köln, bekannt ist. Doetsch, ebenfalls ein Schüler von UG Krishnamurti, nutzte ein Osho Mediation Center, um einen legalen Angriff auf Oshos Arbeit zu starten.

Doetsch war und ist an anderen ähnlichen Angriffen beteiligt, darunter an einem Versuch von 2014, die Kontrolle über die Schweizer Stiftung zu übernehmen. In einer ungewöhnlich formulierten stechenden Antwort wies die Schweizer Regierung alle Ansprüche gegen die Direktoren der Stiftung zurück und bestätigte, dass Doetsch die Schweizer Behörden mit falschen und bösartigen Anschuldigungen getäuscht hatte. Zudem habe der Schweizer vorsätzlich zurückgehalten, dass er und nahestehende Personen seit dem Jahr 2000 versucht hätten, gegen die Osho International Foundation (OIF) in verschiedenen Ländern rechtliche Schritte einzuleiten, um die Marken “zu Fall zu bringen” und Urheberrechte von OIF. Doetsch und seine Gruppe hatten Schritte unternommen, um die Stiftung zu fördern, eine Stiftung, aus der Osho Dötsch persönlich gebeten hatte, dreißig Jahre zuvor im Jahr 1986 zurückzutreten, nachdem er von Sheela Silverman zunächst in den Vorstand berufen worden war.

Wie bei der schweizerischen Aktion führte Doetsch das Europäische Markenamt vorsätzlich in die Irre, indem er vorgab, eine unabhängige Partei zu sein und seine frühere enge Beziehung zu der Stiftung verbarg. Zu diesem Punkt erklärten die Richter: “Der Beschwerdeführer [Osho Lotus Commune e.V. und Robert Doetsch] hat versucht, seine langjährige Verbindung mit OIF zu verbergen.”

Im Rahmen dieser Rechtsfälle veröffentlichten Doetsch und seine Gruppe, die wie Politiker handeln, jahrelang “Fake News”, verbreiten absichtlich Fehlinformationen über Marken und ihre Verwendung im Zusammenhang mit Osho’s Arbeit, führen die Öffentlichkeit irre, um die Integrität zu schädigen Ruf der Stiftung, die von Osho geschaffen wurde, um seine Arbeit fortzusetzen. Sowohl die Schweizer Regierung als auch das EU-Markenamt enthüllten diese Details als “bösartig”, “falsch”, “absichtlich verwirrend” und “unbegründet”. Trotz dieser klaren Entscheidungen dieser Regierungsstellen setzten Doetsch und seine Gruppe ihre Bemühungen fort verursachen Spaltungen zwischen Personen, die in Oshos Arbeit involviert sind.

Ramateertha hat die Leute in die Irre geführt und Osho konzentriert sich auf falsche Details über OSHO-Marken, finanzielle Fehlinformationen und so weiter und versucht grundsätzlich, Oshos Fundament als im Grunde kriminell, kommerziell und kontrollierend darzustellen.

Nach der Anweisung, dass seine gesamte Arbeit nun unter “OSHO” bekannt und vorgestellt wird, überprüft Osho im Januar 1990 das Re-Branding seiner Arbeit – die Programmpräsentationen der OSHO Multiversity.
Wofür ist die OSHO Marke – und wofür nicht?

“OSHO” hat sich nun zu einer “Lovemark” entwickelt, einer dieser einzigartigen Situationen, in denen eine Marke und ein Markenzeichen weit mehr ist als eine kommerzielle Quelle – aber sie entwickelt zusätzliche Aspekte wie eine Verbindung basierend auf emotionaler Assoziation, Respekt und Liebe.

Die Menschen kommen auf vielen verschiedenen Ebenen mit OSHO in Kontakt, durch Publikationen von Oshos und der Stiftung, Meditationserfahrungen, Musik aus der Welt von Osho, Videos im Internet, Hörbücher, einen Besuch im Osho International Meditations Resort oder einem Osho-Meditationszentrum … und viele andere Möglichkeiten. Sie werden so viele einzigartige Ausdrücke erleben, wie es Individuen gibt.

Osho hat ein unglaubliches Verständnis dafür, wie er sein Werk präsentieren kann und wie wichtig es ist, sein Werk zu “brandmarken”, indem er seinen Namen in Gebäude, Meditationen, Musik, Abteilungen, Diskotheken aufnimmt – eigentlich wurde alles, was mit seiner Arbeit zu tun hatte, gebrandmarkt mit dem Namen “Rajneesh”. Schon in den 70er Jahren war sein Name ein internationales

Il Tribunale europeo – una branca della Corte di giustizia dell’Unione europea – prende la decisione finale sul marchio OSHO e conferma la proprietà di Osho International Foundation

La decisione del Tribunale dell’Unione europea in Lussemburgo a partire dall’11 ottobre 2017 è ora definitiva e conferma la validità del marchio OSHO e della proprietà di Osho International Foundation, Svizzera [caso T670 / 15].

Il Tribunale europeo In questo articolo esamineremo da vicino il contesto di questo caso legale, le sue implicazioni e daremo ai lettori di Osho Times uno sfondo perché Osho vede la necessità di proteggere legalmente il suo nome e il suo lavoro e perché il marchio OSHO è così unico e di successo.

La decisione finale in questo caso è in realtà la conferma legale di due precedenti decisioni dell’Ufficio dell’Unione europea per la proprietà intellettuale (EUIPO) nel 2014 e 2015, che hanno preso due decisioni molto chiare a favore della richiesta di marchio OIF, respingendo qualsiasi tentativo per cancellarlo. Il Tribunale ha confermato in questa sentenza definitiva le precedenti decisioni dell’EUIPO su ciascun punto. L’OSHO Times ha riferito in precedenza della decisione dell’EUIPO.

Il tentativo di invalidare il marchio OSHO è stato parte di un attacco concertato da parte di un piccolo gruppo di persone, nel tentativo di ottenere il controllo della proprietà intellettuale di Osho. Queste persone erano precedentemente coinvolte nel lavoro della fondazione, incluso e guidato da Robert Doetsch, noto anche come Swami Ramateertha, la figura di controllo di un centro di meditazione Osho locale a Colonia, in Germania. Doetsch, anch’egli discepolo di UG Krishnamurti, ha utilizzato un centro di mediazione di Osho per lanciare un attacco legale contro il lavoro di Osho.

Doetsch era ed è coinvolto in altri attacchi simili, tra cui un tentativo del 2014 di prendere il controllo della fondazione svizzera. Con una risposta pungente formulata in modo insolito, il governo svizzero ha respinto tutte le richieste avanzate contro i direttori della fondazione e ha confermato che Doetsch aveva indotto le autorità svizzere a indurre accuse false e dolose. Inoltre, gli svizzeri hanno scoperto di aver intenzionalmente trattenuto il fatto che dal 2000, lui e le parti strettamente correlate avevano tentato di intraprendere un’azione legale contro la Osho International Foundation (OIF) in vari paesi, con l’obiettivo di “abbattere” i marchi e diritti d’autore di OIF. Doetsch e il suo gruppo avevano preso provvedimenti per dirottare la fondazione, una fondazione dalla quale Osho aveva personalmente chiesto a Doetsch di dimettersi trent’anni prima, nel 1986, dopo essere stato inizialmente nominato nel consiglio da Sheela Silverman.

Come nel caso dell’azione svizzera, Doetsch intenzionalmente fuorvia l’Ufficio Marchi Europeo, fingendo di essere un partito indipendente, nascondendo il suo precedente stretto rapporto con la fondazione. Su questo punto i giudici hanno dichiarato: “Il candidato [Osho Lotus Commune e.V e Robert Doetsch] ha tentato di nascondere la sua associazione di lunga data con l’OIF”.

Nel contesto di questi casi legali, Doetsch e il suo gruppo, agendo come politici, hanno pubblicato per anni “notizie false”, diffondendo intenzionalmente disinformazione sui marchi e il loro uso nel contesto del lavoro di Osho, ingannando il pubblico al fine di danneggiare l’integrità e reputazione della fondazione creata da Osho per portare avanti il ​​suo lavoro. Sia il governo svizzero che l’ufficio marchi dell’UE hanno esposto questi dettagli come “maligni”, “falsi”, “deliberatamente confusi” e “infondati”. Nonostante queste chiare decisioni prese da questi organismi governativi, Doetsch e il suo gruppo hanno continuato a causare divisioni tra le persone coinvolte nel lavoro di Osho.

Ramateertha ha ingannato persone e centri Osho con falsi dettagli sui marchi OSHO, sulla disinformazione finanziaria e così via, fondamentalmente cercando di dipingere le fondamenta di Osho come fondamentalmente criminali, commerciali e controllanti.

Dopo aver istruito che il suo intero lavoro è ora conosciuto e presentato sotto “OSHO”, nel gennaio 1990 Osho esamina il re-branding del suo lavoro – le presentazioni del programma della OSHO Multiversity.
Qual è il marchio OSHO per – e per cosa non lo è?

“OSHO” si è trasformato in un “Lovemark”, una di queste situazioni davvero uniche in cui un marchio e un marchio commerciale sono molto più di una fonte commerciale, ma sviluppa aspetti aggiuntivi tra cui una connessione basata sull’associazione emotiva, il rispetto e l’amore.

Le persone entrano in contatto con OSHO a diversi livelli, attraverso pubblicazioni di opere di Osho e della fondazione, esperienze di meditazione, musica dal mondo di Osho, video su internet, audiolibri, una visita all’Osho International Meditation Resort o un centro di meditazione Osho … e molte altre opportunità. Sperimenteranno tante espressioni uniche quante sono le persone.

Osho ha un’incredibile comprensione di come presentare il suo lavoro e dell’importanza di “marcare” il suo lavoro aggiungendo il suo nome a tutto, da edifici, meditazioni, musica, dipartimenti, discoteche – in realtà qualsiasi cosa relativa al suo lavoro era originariamente di marca con il nome “Rajneesh”. Anche negli anni ’70 il suo nome era una internazione

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