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Australian School of Meditation and Yoga (ASMY):
Local Governments Fund Cult Recruitment
Indymedia Sydney
July 29th, 2008

Local government resources are being expended to support a recruitment drive by the Australian School of Meditation and Yoga, a branch of the international Science of Identity Foundation. This cult, which worships Hawaiian Chris Butler aka Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa as 'good as God' has been dodging criticism since former members began speaking out via the internet in late 2006.

ASMY has never formerly responded to their critics, and has refused to answer any questions which have been put to them. Advocates against the cult have been stalked, intimidated, harrassed and attacked with attempts to shut down and then purchase the central awareness site being made in late 2007.

ASMY advocates complete isolation from family and friends, providing communal living on the Gold Coast, the main centre of followers in Australia for young people to leave home. Followers work primarily in cult owned businesses or engage in the free labour of 'devotional service'. Chris Butler advocates polygamy for men and violence against wives, as well as preaching against homosexuality, racial minorities and women.

His key text, 'Who Are You? Discovering Your Real Identity' used by ASMY in their meditation and yoga classes, and freely distributed to children and young people, contains graphic detailed references to strip clubs, pornography, the claim "marriage is nothing more than legalized prostitution" teenage sex, abortion, child pornography, child prostitution, homosexuality, bisexuality, sex toys, sexual violence, bondage, rape, rape/murder, orgies, paraphilias, cannabalism, snuff movies and beastiality.

Meditation techniques, which are included in all physical yoga classes, and advertised as being for health, relaxation and stress relief are identical to progressive relaxation hypnosis (called 'deep peace' in Science of Identity) and lead participants in distinct sectarian rituals designed to worship Chris Butler and the Hindu deity Krishna. ASMY claims to be 'spiritual' rather than 'religious' and engages in gradual indoctrination and 'bait and switch' recruitment techniques.

The most critical example of Council support is on the Gold Coast, QLD, where the City Council has entered into a partnership arrangement with ASMY as part of their Active and Healthy Program, providing venues and publicity, as well as the guise of respectability of being supported by local government, for meditation and yoga classes throughout the local region. Councils are also providing venues for recruitment in the Sydney suburbs of Glebe, Marrickville, Manly and Burwood.

Despite a detailed submission being made to councils no action has yet been taken to cease support of recruitment activities in any of these locations.

A protest site has been set up at with information, media reports and sugguestions for action specific to ASMY.

There is a good opportunity considering the facts about ASMY and their large dependence on public venues that their ability to recruit could be severely limited if met with opposition. Persons interested in supporting shutting down this cult are welcome to contact former members through or phone 0431088544.

Disclaimer:This news page is about groups, organizations or movements, which may have been called "cults" and/or "cult-like" in some way, shape or form. But not all groups called either "cults" or "cult-like" are harmful. Instead, they may be benign and generally defined as simply people intensely devoted to a person, place or thing. Therefore, the discussion or mention of a group, organization or person on this page, is not necessarily meant pejoratively. Readers are encouraged to read widely on a topic before forming an opinion. Never accept information from a single source at face value. This website only holds a small amount of information and should not be relied on as a complete source. For example, if you find older information, this should be weighed up against newer information as circumstances can change.
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