„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.