**Roxana's notes:** I was asked to translate this shocking, heartbreaking letter from Romanian into English. Many of the things in it (like hunger, theft, or stupefying rules) speak for themselves. Others, alas, don't. So I find myself offering a short introduction to who these people are and what context they live in.MISA -- the Movement for Spiritual Integration into the Absolute -- started out in 1990, in Romania, as a 'yoga school'.
I’ve watched the show concerning MISA and Gregorian Bivolaru made for Yle TV by Riikka Kaihovaara – „The Call of a Tantric Guru”. I speak Finnish like I speak Swahili – not even a tiny wee bit. So I mostly watched the pretty pictures, listened to the music, kept my ears up in the hope of hearing words that sound like words I know and listened to the parts in English.
Because of Stephen Fry, I ended up on Gizoogle.net. It appears to be a search engine that takes Google results and turns them into their gangster-speak versions. It’s an online translator of sorts, but with magnificently hilarious results.
Stephen Fry results on Gizoogle were really funny.
Gregorian Bivolaru results made me laugh my arse off. I wonder if the official Yogaesoteric website will issue an outraged cry against Gizoogle XD
Here’s the main page of the gregorianbivolaru.com website:
Da Romanian Yoga mackdaddy Home page – Introduction
This joint raps bout tha case of Gregorian Bivolaru, tha mentor of a big-ass spiritual movement up in Romania. Da organization he dropped is called MISA, tha Movement fo’ Spiritual Integration up in Absolute, n’ its main focus is on tha practice of yoga n’ meditation.
My note: The following article was published on the Yogaesoteric.net website on the 8th of March 2013. It’s a response to a conference in which I talked about MISA, a Romanian yoga group which is spreading in various other countries, and its leader, Gregorian Bivolaru. The conference was held at the meeting of the anti-cult organization FECRIS in Perpignan, France, in October 2012. You can find the written conference on this very blog.
As a side note, I spoke freely during the conference, which means that any recorded audio/video version is going to differ slightly from the written one. However, the basics are the same.
Unfortunately, the author writing this article for the MISA official website, Yogaesoteric.net, only read my impressions of the trip to Perpignan and not my actual conference, which means he missed the opportunity to offer a reply to the issues that I really raised. The author still pretends he read it, though, which I find to be delightfully ironic in some corners.
EN: The conference I held for the FECRIS organization in October has been translated into Spanish by the wonderful people over at AIIAP and published into their magazine, Traspasos (No. 3). It was also translated into German. RO: Conferința pe care am ținut-o pentru FECRIS în octombrie a fost tradusă în spaniolă de persoanele simpatice din AIIAP și publicată în revista lor, Traspasos (Nr. 3). A fost tradusă și în germană.
„Sucker Love is Heaven Sent” – A Romanian Yoga Cult Under Investigation
In Romania, MISA has a dark and worrying public image: an orgiastic, pee-drinking yoga movement, full of strange, incomprehensible practices, spiral meditations, brainwashing and master-worship. The Movement for Spiritual Integration into the Absolute, founded in 1990, has often been featured in the media after it came into public attention in 2004 when the police broke into and searched a number of MISA homes in Bucharest.
The legal prosecution against MISA and its guru, Gregorian Bivolaru, includes accusations such as sex with a minor girl, tax evasion and illegal crossing of the border. Bivolaru escaped to Sweden, where he managed to convince the Swedish court that the violence of the media against him, as well as the context of a post-communist country and the unexpected and rough treatment MISA received in 2004 at the hands of the police involved in the searches were proof enough of his being persecuted in his home country. Due to this, he received political asylum and he supposedly lives in Malmo, Sweden – although former members point out that his actual location may be Paris, France.
[Roxana Chirilă’s note: Despite the initial misunderstanding, I did not write this. I just got asked to post it (by the person who wrote it and who remains anonymous). My actual article discussing Italy and other issues is here.]
The prosecutor of Florence has ordered 25 raids across Italy against the Italian branches of the Romanian association „MISA” (which stands for „The Movement for Spiritual Integration into the Absolute”), which were carried out in collaboration with the anti-cult police. The raids took place in Bologna, Florence, Milan, San Benedetto del Tronto and Bari on the sixth and seventh of December 2012 and have been carried out not only in the quarters of the MISA branches, but also in the homes of involved suspects.
[Roxana Chirilă’s note: This is the follow-up of the article I’ve just posted before this one, and it contains some new disclosures from Virgil Cătălin Călin. They were initially posted on Rapcea’s blog one day apart, but I got to both of them now, hence the speed. If you have any connection to MISA, keep reading. This stuff sounds bad. The original Romanian version can be found here. It has pictures. I might get around to adding them – or not.]
II. Message from Cătălin Călin concerning the recent events in Italy, written for all those interested in the truth.
[Roxana Chirilă’s note: This message was written by Virgil Cătălin Călin, formerly a MISA instructor in Italy. It refers to the recent events in that country. It can be found in the original Romanian on Mihai Rapcea’s blog. I was asked to translate it for the benefit of English speakers and I am taking the liberty of spreading it around via my blog.]
I wondered whether I should comment on the Huffington Post article about MISA and Gregorian Bivolaru in English. After all, my blog is supposedly in Romanian. However, in Romania you have a lot of people commenting on MISA and Gregorian Bivolaru and you can ask any number of former students what’s what (plus, we know our own history). Hell, if you want, you can ask current students as well. But foreigners have less to draw upon. And Romanians speak some English, while foreigners rarely speak any Romanian at all. And the article itself was initially in English.
The coin has been tossed. English it is.
All quotes are from Stewart J. Lawrence’s article.