Roxana-Mălina Chirilă

police raids

"Sucker Love is Heaven Sent" – A Romanian Yoga Cult Under Investigation

„Sucker Love is Heaven Sent” – A Romanian Yoga Cult Under Investigation

MISA spiral meditation - thousands of people holding hands
MISA spiral meditation -- thousands of people holding hands

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.

Police raid against the MISA yoga school in Italy: 20 suspects, including the guru Bivolaru

[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.