ISTA - International School of Temple Arts
Posted by: isbeb9 ()
Date: November 30, 2019 11:52AM

Hi I was wondering it anyone has any information ISTA - International School of Temple Arts.


I know that Baba Des Nichols left ISTA only recently and was linked to the Seddona temple in Phoenix that was shut down by police due to sex trafficking.


Even with these dubious ties ISTA seems to be very prominent in Australia and New Zealand. They even have a beautiful property named Highden where they run their Tantra workshops. I do understand that Tantra itself is not necessarily harmful.

Anyone who knows more about this organisation please share.

Re: ISTA - International School of Temple Arts
Posted by: roadtrip ()
Date: December 28, 2020 01:10AM

I'm also really interested in this group. I follow someone on Instagram who has gotten deeply involved in the group at Highden Temple over the past few months.

Seems to have a lot of the hallmarks of a cult. Anyone got any more information on them?

Re: ISTA - International School of Temple Arts
Posted by: shamrock ()
Date: December 28, 2020 03:56AM

I would guess that this derives from the cult that centered around Chandra Mohan Jain a.k.a. Rajneesh a.k.a. Osho.

He is the one who took the genuine tantric tradition and packaged it for Westerners as “neo-Tantra” a.k.a. “sacred sexuality” a.k.a. prostitutes pretending to be priestesses.

Re: ISTA - International School of Temple Arts
Posted by: corboy ()
Date: December 28, 2020 07:24AM

Check and see if this group has any ties to the One Taste group led by Nicole Daefone, a whose mentor was a disreputable individual named Victor Daefone. Their specialty is Orgasmic Meditation, since renamed as OM Orgasmic Meditation.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 12/28/2020 07:25AM by corboy.

Re: ISTA - International School of Temple Arts
Posted by: Anomalus ()
Date: March 17, 2022 02:04AM

I dipped in here cause I was hoping to see a little more coverage on ISTA. I have done level 1 & 2 and have mixed emotions about it and I'm wondering if it does more harm than good. I'm still trying to figure it out.
I haven't done Hai, but from what I've read here on culteducation Hai and ISTA seem quite similar. I'm keeping an eye on this thread. Curious if anybody else out there is feeling the culty vibes.

Re: ISTA - International School of Temple Arts
Posted by: Culthuntress ()
Date: July 28, 2022 07:05AM

Hello everyone,

I've attended 3 ISTA's (2 level 1s, once as an assistant, and 1 level 2).

I have come to the conclusion that it is indeed a cult. There are a group of people coming forward with their accounts of abuse. Here is the form for reporting any negative experiences you may have had. Please share this form with others: []

Initially, I thought I had only gained good things from my time in ISTA - friends, intense experiences, insights, stronger voice. Like many participants, we did gain. However, we were also indoctrinated into certain belief patterns, including secrecy, radical personal responsibility, and misuse of the drama triangle, which opened me, speaking personally, to be gaslighted, and to take 'responsibility' for harm that was done to me. If there are no victims, there are no abusers, and that works out great for abusers. All the good stuff comes from ISTA, all the bad stuff is our personal fault/responsibility. I liken it to an organic vegetable soup - we got value from the vegetables, but the point was to drink the poison.

Re: ISTA - International School of Temple Arts
Posted by: shamrock ()
Date: July 29, 2022 08:54PM

It's well documented enough to have its own Wikipedia page, with a couple of dozen references to sources: []

It's also been written up by anti-cult journalist Be Scofield: []

Andrew Barnes was apparently a student of Shantam Nityama, who (surprise, surprise!) was a student of Osho/Rajneesh: []

Re: ISTA - International School of Temple Arts
Posted by: mpalone ()
Date: October 15, 2022 02:39AM

I would like to know why you have come to the conclusion that this is a cult. My daughter is involved, and I do believe it is a cult and she is being brainwashed.Maybe you can share your experience or thoughts that led you to believe this.

Re: ISTA - International School of Temple Arts
Posted by: lovic ()
Date: December 18, 2022 05:23AM

I don't know much about deprogramming. But, if your daughter is being abused, maybe keep telling her you love her and that if she is hurt, it's not her fault and you are there for her anytime.
Don't directly call it a cult b/c from what I have read, cults usually have thinking that has been indoctrinated where a member has to push away anyone who calls their organization a cult.

Re: ISTA - International School of Temple Arts
Posted by: Brightonmum ()
Date: February 01, 2023 10:03AM

hi. My daughter has been taking ISTA classes over the last couple of years and joined Osho. She came home for a few weeks and her personality had completely changed. She was focussed on past trauma and spoke a lot about how society is so screwed up. She soon became what she described as depressed and needed to go back to the Osho community. She text me to say that she had to cut all contact with me. Of course I'm heartbroken. I then found out she has been making videos on her social media of her crying and begging for money so that she can get more 'therapy' at the community. She has raised thounds of pounds so far. I can't find much support from others and perhaps it's because others don't see Osho as a cult? Would love to hear opinions from others please

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