The Ethics Committee who handled the orginal compaint against Manouso was comprised of four capable and intelligent women. The chair of the Ethics Committe has a Ph.D in Forensics and is a consummate professional. After watching the vitriolic scourge of incorrect and inflammatory assertions about Manouso on social media, I was relieved when the Ethics Committee could not substantiate the accusations of sexual assault. The complainant filed a police report and no legal charges were brought. The police called to hear the evidence and did not proceed to file charges.
So the complainant who in her original complaint threatened to bring her case to the media, filed an appeal saying she didn’t get fair treatment by the Ethics Committee because a student of Manouso’s was on the committee, but as I mentioned in a previous post, she had been informed by the very student she called into question. The appeal happened in September of 2018. The president of IYNAUS, a white male, wrote a letter to the 5000 members of IYNAUS asking for feedback about the situation. He included his email address in the email blast. The email blast refuted point by point all the assertions made about IYNAUS in the the biased radio report. On October 1, 2018, a gaggle of Manouso’s enemies, including the hefty Australian therapeutics teacher mentioned in an earlier post and a couple of token professors in Sanskrit and Religious Studies, wrote a righteous letter to IYNAUS Board President and the Board which pretty much set the stage for IYNAUS to launch and independent investigation, which they did by the end of October. IYNAUS members were inundated with communications from IYNAUS using the creepy letterhead at the top of my post. It seemed like we were receiving weekly emails from IYNAUS asking for more complaints about Manouso. Each email blast was broadcast on social media where it was shared over and over again by the yoga pundits. The independent investigation called for anonymous complaints about Manouso over a period of 30 years.
Social media went wild.
I was appalled by the vicious and violent comments made by yoga practictioners on social media. I was shocked to see senior teachers and IYNAUS board members perpetuating and escalating the conversations. I was really baffled by one extremely vocal person on social media because I knew her to be a devoted student of Manouso’s. In fact, for the longest time, I thought she was a teacher at his studio because she would hang out there like it was her living room. She would take money, empty garbage, help herself to the lost and found and many other freedoms. I did not understand why she had turned on Manouso. I later found out that she had been caught stealing from Manouso and she posted pictures of Manouso teaching on facebook without his consent and so he took away her studio key. Through yoga he had helped her overcome an addiction and he allowed her to hang out at his studio and sub classes to help her recovery process so she wouldn’t turn back to the drugs. I also found out that she had made complainst against two other male yoga teachers before the one with Manouso stuck. More about this part of the saga later….
By January 2019 all four women on the Ethics Committee resigned because of the unethical behavior of a small group of IYNAUS Board members. The Chair of the Ethics Committee made these points in her widely distributed resignation letter:
“Regret- that the Ethics Committee is marginalized and the Ethics chair and/or the entire committee appears to be foreced to step down because of its attempts to prevent potentially unethical and illegal actions i.e., handing over past confidential files to IYNAUS current and future presidents. Despite our efforts, there have been no attempts to assuage our concerns about potential illegal or ethical violations of confidentiality breach. The Board, in October 2018, voted for this agenda but it does not free us from legal and ethical ramifications. No rationale has been given to justify this breach of trust and confidentiality.”
Regret- that the silent majority appears to be enabling unethical practices of a small segment of this board. There seem to be no checks on the abuse of this power. The letter from the Iyengars and the letter ‘from the board’ to the Iyengars without input or knowledge of the board memers have not raised anyone’s concerns…
…There is nothing democratic about the decision making process because the decisions are being made by a small group without input or knowledge of the entire board…
…Finally, it is a relief to not have to defend anymore against false accusations by a few or to bang my head against a wall with silent passersby or to engage in unethical practices as forced by a majority vote by this board in its recent meeting.
I thought it strange that many of the IYNAUS presidents have been white males though Iyengar yoga is predominately female.