SYDNEY (AFP) – Violent discipline was an acceptable part of life at a yoga ashram in Australia where a young girl was allegedly raped by the founder of an international yoga movement, an inquiry has heard.
Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse began probing the Mangrove Mountain ashram this week, after earlier hearings into abuse within the Catholic Church, Salvation Army and other organisations.
The ashram north of Sydney was founded by a disciple of the Indian guru who established the Satyananda Yoga movement which helped spread the practice around the world.
The inquiry heard from a woman on Thursday who said as a seven-year-old in the 1970s she was subjected to an initiation in which she was stripped naked and held down.
The skin between her breasts was cut by a swami who then licked the blood and raped her.
“The ashram was the kind of place that if you scream, no one comes,” she said.