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Eva's Husband Statement

We have received a statement from E.V. husband, also a former disciple, on the situation. It is also published on the Czech blog.

My View

For the past eight months I have been observing the situation around swAmi and YIDL. I cannot do any different than any other man would, I am simply standing by my wife (Eva Vrbová). But now I need to voice my opinion.

When my wife told me in March 2011 that she was leaving because of sexual abuse by her master and YIDL, I accepted her decision. She left me with a free choice whether to stay or leave, just as I didn´t persuade her to stay. I had already known about the sexual contact with swAmi, as she told me about it before our wedding. I never asked for details, however, I believed that it was a game between the master and the disciple. Even in March, after the appearance of other women, I stayed with swAmi. It surprised me that there were more women. Yet I believed that everything will be explained, and my master would confront the situation head on.

In March, swAmi denied everything on the Vancouver radio and after that he never commented on anything ever again. I saw all around me how women— victims of abuse— were: subjected to gossip that they were whores; accused of lying; diagnosed as schizophrenic of with faulty synapses. I saw that swAmi´s disciples are doing this work for him, without attempting to even contact these women. In the end  the women were supported by organizations such as Czech centrum Elektra, the Austrian Bundestelle fur Sektenfragen, Slovenian Združenje proti spolnemu zlorabljanju, by psychologists and even by police. Their own guru-brothers and guru-sisters issued the guilty verdict prior to ever listening to the women. (Indeed, even now, when the article in Respekt was published—any positive comments on swAmi´s side were organized by people before they got a chance to read the entire article. They could have read only about a third of it published on the Respekt online edition.)

Soon there were six women on the web, Eva in contact with most of them. According to swAmi´s own word on one of his satsangs these women were aligned with demonic forces (asurik shakti), and they will suffer for thousands of years (Yugas and Yugas) in darkness. However, later, swami Jxxxpxxi passed swAmi’s message that all his faithful disciples will achieve realization already in this life.

In August 2011, I already knew that I was leaving. No one will threaten me with hell or remaining in the darkness, even with the consequences of bad karmas. I do not care if you say that one must drop all preconceived ideas about how the master should look, how he should to behave. If I should have a master as my example, then he must show me how to live truthfully, with a straight spine, in this life. I believe my wife, however, the turning point for me was not whether or not there was any abuse, but the cowardly behavior of my master.

In hiding, far away from Europe, he has abandoned his students to deal with the situation by themselves. He knows the identity of at least four of the women and yet he refuses to communicate with them, meet them face to face. When his disciples asked him in India whether he ever comes back to Europe, he said that Europe does not want him. I'm sure that at least 90% (if not 99%) of his disciples didn´t leave him, they are eager to be with him and now he tells them that they don´t want him?! He is not able to admit that he is scared to come.

The September meeting with sádhví  Pxxxx and Hxxx Lxxx only reinforced my conviction. Pxxxx asked Eva whether she is not concerned that their actions might destroy the work of many good people in YIDL. Eva’s reply was no. I add now that the only one who destroys it, is its founder, swAmi. I totally agree that yoga has helped many people. I am still grateful to the yoga community and even swAmi. Three years which I spent in Střílky were beautiful, I like to remember them. But I will not use this as an argument to deny the experience of abused women. The argument of swAmi´s disciples is that since their master has been awarded many honorary titles and is respected by presidents of many countries, it is inconceivable to think that he could do anything wrong . I consider that argument dangerous. swAmi could do much good, but this does not mean that he could not also perform some deeply dishonorable acts. In my opinion, not even a realized master may violate the laws of countries in which he operates.

For eight months I have been watching the path of my wife— her searching, her hesitations, her choices of next  steps. I am glad that I have beside me such a strong woman. I am proud of her. My leaving after seventeen years has shaken me. But I appreciate the truth towards myself and my own personal perception of things more than the false fairytale that I have a master who acts as the guide through my life. My spiritual journey does not end, I have just reached a crossroad and chose different path than swAmi.

In Prague,  December 2, 2011  

Josef Vrba, ex-Viveka