International yoga sect: 15 people presented this Friday to judges

It’s a huge dragnet in France against an international sect of trantric yoga. The guru of this movement accused of organizing violence and 14 other people should be presented this Friday to Parisian investigating judges with a view to being indicted. A judicial source indicated Thursday evening that “fifteen removals are planned for presentation to the investigating magistrate” on Friday during the day.

These presentations follow the 41 arrests revealed Tuesday by Release. According to a close source, this file concerns “a group with the contours of the mafia, pimping under supposedly philosophical trappings”, of which Gregorian Bivolaru, 71, would be the central character. A guru of Romanian-Swedish nationality, he is the founding figure of the Movement for Spiritual Integration towards the Absolute (Misa).

Large-scale violence

This ancient group, renamed Atman during its expansion outside Romania, presents itself as focused on the practice of tantra yoga but is accused of hiding a sect which practices violence on a large scale. How ? By “conditioning victims to accept relations via mental manipulation techniques aimed at removing any notion of consent”, describes the judicial source.

The movement would have encouraged women “to accept relations” with Gregorian Bivolaru and/or to “engage in paid ographic practices in France and abroad”, according to a source close to the investigation. ” A ashram was obviously exclusively dedicated to the satisfaction of the desires” of the guru, where the women “were taken from other establishments, according to the judicial source.

Around twenty women “extracted from the sect”

In addition to Gregorian Bivolaru, people suspected of being “important leaders” of this sect were also arrested. This sect has several hundred followers in France, according to the source close to the investigation. The arrests took place in particular in Seine-et-Marne, in Val-de-Marne, in Paris and in the Alpes-Maritimes, during an operation which mobilized 175 police officers.

At the same time as the arrests, 26 women were “extracted from the sect” while they “were housed in cramped conditions and deplorable hygiene”, underlined the judicial source. More generally, “many women of different nationalities report having been victims,” according to this source.

The founder, already arrested in 2016 in France

The Paris prosecutor’s office then opened a judicial investigation for various offenses including kidnapping in an organized gang, a crime punishable by a maximum of 30 years in prison, abuse of weakness in an organized gang by member of a sect, or trafficking in human beings. humans in organized gangs.

As early as 2008, Misa had been excluded “from the International Yoga Federation and the European Yoga Alliance for its commercial practices deemed illicit,” recalled the judicial source. The movement has already been the subject of legal proceedings in Europe.

Its founder, prosecuted in his country on several occasions, fled and obtained political asylum in Sweden at the beginning of 2006 as well as a new name: Magnus Aurolsson. Sentenced by default in Romania in 2013 to six years of imprisonment, he disappeared a few years before to be arrested in February 2016 in France, while he was on the run. Handed over to the Romanian authorities, he disappeared again, before being found on Tuesday in France.

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