A Letter from a former student of Eli Jaxon-Bear and Gangaji.
Former Leela Foundation Staff Member
Oct 07, 2006 14:32 PDT
Dearest friends -
As the hours go by and the two of us process the past four years of our
lives in this community, deep layers of the cult are being revealed.
is shocking, horrifying, humiliating, painful, pathetic, perverse, and
for me at least, absolutely consuming me in rage... I want you to know
that I am very clear about the fact that I am writing from deep within
the heart of this rage. And I am also truly silent and still within
it... This rage is not directed toward you, friends. It is rage.
I am writing this to you because I have heard that you are part of a
group of people coming together to write a letter to the community
this horrible abuse of power that Eli has admitted to. I must say that
some of the words I am hearing from Ashland have made me question
whether there is some conscious or unconscious attempt to spin this
whole thing in such a way that Eliot or Toni will be supported to teach
again. At first I thought to keep silent so as not to cause more
distress, but the fury that I feel when I think of them ascending an
altar to teach again.... It's too much...
I have earned -- and paid for -- my right to speak in this community.
The last words Eli said to me were that he "felt hijacked" when I
my brother's song after our fixation plays in August. Hijacked? If
that is hijacked, what is the word for what I am feeling now?
I write this far from Ashland, to give my perspective on things as you
begin to craft a response for the community.
I truly hope you agree that any attempt to defend, protect, or support
either Eli or Toni Varner is a fear-response that is the result of the
fact that we have all been living in a nightmarish cult for the past
several years. To protect them or to support them is to continue being
complicit in the cult mentality. Eli is a sexual predator who abused
his power in the most egregious way.
Toni was complicit in covering up that lie from the group for the past
year. They manipulated us to reveal our deepest secrets and expose our
deepest scars while they sat upon their thrones, passing judgements,
mocking people, condescending, (throwing
bean bags at those who dared question or who were too slow to learn)
lying to us the entire time about their own despicable behavior and
This whole event must not be framed as an "affair". We have spoken to
the woman who was harmed in this event, and it is very clear that there
can be no "relationship" or "affair" when there is such a great
disparity of power. As you know, this woman is nearly 30 years Eli's
junior and truly believed him to be the Sat-guru. She was preyed upon,
"softened up", and then very nearly destroyed psychologically. You
too well that I do not exaggerate the situation. I also don't think
it's an exaggeration to say that we are lucky she is alive. I wish I
had the numbers at my fingertips to show just how many young women take
their own lives after this sort of sexual abuse from a "spiritual"
I am not afraid of being ostracized from or exposed to the group
anymore. There is no group. There are no teachers. Wasn't that the
teaching all along? No teacher - no student... The only group is the
one that arises, in truth and in love, from the ashes of this
train-wreck. And it does not include -- for me -- the two people who
have taken my money for the past four years to support their
increasingly lavish, 1st class, Trump Tower, gas guzzling, philandering
lifestyles. They are not just "part of the group" that we need to love
and support and try to understand. They held and then betrayed great
trust. They broke their part of the three-year agreement; and they
broke the implicit agreement between teacher and Sat-guru. We have been
asked to stop and tell the truth so that we can put an end to the
suffering. Just look at all of the suffering now. What a tragedy.
I can see very plainly that the emperors have no clothes and I am
prepared to make public everything I know of this if the whole truth is
not revealed. While I truly do not want to be a part of any war, at
this moment I feel that I would write letters to Oregon newspapers, and
the newspapers of any and every city -- nationally and internationally
-- in which they are scheduled to hold an event. We must not go so far
in "finding compassion for the victimizer" (as we have been told to do
for so many years now) and in so doing, overlook the life that has been
nearly destroyed through the victimizers actions.
If Eliot and Toni think that we will be silent and that we are all
to continue to support them, then they have clearly not felt the rage
and horror that we have been hearing from people for the past 24+ hours
here in New York and elsewhere. We are heartbroken and furious.
This is no joke. This is an outrage! And at this moment, yes, I am
willing to lose everything. Your friendships do not compare to being
true to Truth. And this truth might protect other women from falling
for this man who charmed all of us into believing his rap.
I have loved you all so deeply. I hope that when we all emerge from
this that we will be able to look each other in the eye and know that,
in the depth of the greatest horror, we all kept our integrity. That
all that matters to me from this point forward.
With great sincerity and love -
A former student of Eli and Gangaji