Re: A Mindful Choice Movie (2016)
Posted by: Happycynic ()
Date: February 12, 2019 03:21AM

Thanks corboy

Yes I have seen the film. And it’s quite obvious that the good reviews are probably put there by devotees of this group rather than people who have just stumbled on it. The negative comments are probably pretty much what I thought. There is no inbetween reviews which makes me think devotees are hyping it.

My concern is that even in this thread there are people regurgitating a party line about this group. The same things are said about it’s a mechanical technique not religious and not a cult. I have no doubt that it has many cultic characteristics which need to be hilighted. But their defense and promotion is good. And it’s hard to find any evidence for this from anybody’s personal experience. I just wondered if anyone had left with a negative experience.

Re: the bright path
Posted by: Mystical-lady ()
Date: February 20, 2020 10:56PM

Hi there

First I want to offer my condolences to the family who lost their son. My prayers go out to you .

I have attended several courses and an intensive retreat with the ishaya monks.

I would find some of my local churches defineately more cult like than this group .

I have been a new age seeker for a very long time and have attended multiple courses with other people .

I met this group in the summer if 1998 in M

Re: the bright path
Posted by: Mystical-lady ()
Date: February 21, 2020 02:30AM

Hi there

First I want to offer my condolences to the family who lost their son. My prayers go out to you .

I have attended several courses and an intensive retreat with the ishaya monks.

I would find some of my local churches defineately more cult like than this group .

I have been a spiritual seeker for a very long time and have attended multiple meditation/healing courses as well as the Alpha program at a local church.

I met this group in the summer of 1999 in Moncton New Brunswick when a Doctor friend had heard of their teachings and invited me to go. I paid 300$ for the course .

When I walked in the room , my initial impression would be that of anyone, what have I gotten myself into as they were dressed in all white. Within a matter of minutes the peace that came over me changed my thoughts. No , this was not any type of mind control, it was the love that emannated from them.

I spent two days listening to them explaining their meditation techniques, the first sphere .

I practiced this method daily and it has brought me great peace as it's based on praise, love and compassion.

In August of 1999, two months later , I flew to the ishayas main facility outside of Waynsville North Carolina. I spent 17 days meditating in this magical location. Not everything was perfect , but this defineately was a very high point in my life. Not every teacher was perfect, but 98% were nice. No one asked me to attend this retreat. Many were surprised I was there as I was new to this practice. It was totally my choice.

The property consisted of at least 10 log cabins in the mountains with a three floor kitchen/ meditation building. The one thing that I loved was the angel statues outside the entrance of the kitchen building.

There were possibly 100 people on the grounds at the time I was there with 11 in my retreat group. This was a teaching facility not an ashram so everyone with the exception of our group were either teachers or studying to become teachers. The participants were all ages and from every corner of the globe. Many were very educated professionals that changed their lives to become a meditation teacher. Sometimes we get the impression that seekers are down on their luck or uneducated. This was not the case with many that I met.

We had a dorm room to sleep in. Everything was clean and comfortable.

I would get up early to participate in the optional yoga classes. The meals were vegetarian and we only had coffee once as a treat. Their was plenty of delisious food being prepared, as well as tons of fruit for smoothies. You could eat as much as you wanted. I'm not a vegetarian and I drink coffee, but I welcomed the healthy life style.

We had group meetings once or twice a day with three meal times. After dinner, some of us would go for a walk along the road down the mountain . We could meditate eyes open or closed and anywhere on the property was ok. It was even ok to fall asleep. We were free during the day. I often meditated by a pond . We meditated for hours with our given techniques. At night we would all gather in a large room at the top of the dining hall to meditate as a group. I loved the people and the conversations.
During the retreat, I recieved more levels. At first , I found it extremely hard to wind down , but by day three, my mind was quieter. This was my first experience at a meditation retreat.

As far as the rules, I was allowed to call home. I just didn't call that often by choice to fully immerse myself in my meditation practice.

We were told to stay on the grounds, however, I was a bit of a rebel and when asked to go with a group hiking for someone's birthday in the montains and swimming in the water falls, I went. Later when we had our nightly meeting. When questioned about why we left and our experiences, the group teachers were not upset at all, but some of the participants in our group were. I bring this up to show you that we were not controlled in any way.

At the time , the course with my flights to and from from Canada included cost me around 3000$. This included all my meals and accomodations. I think my flight was around 800$. I think this is very reasonable for a 2 and a half retreat type vacation.

During our meetings we were not sharing our past drama but a few did share painful experiences that meditation was helping them overcome.

I cried on the plane on the way home. I didn't want to leave.

At the time , my life at home was quite beautiful as I owned a house on a lake and worked in healthcare. I was not running from anything but running to find God ...Peace, a new way to have peace every day.

After returning home, I did want to sell my house and become a meditation teacher. It was 14,000 American for 6 months. If you didn't have the money , you were allowed to be a vonlunteer working 6 hours a day 5-6 days a week. They needed volunteers to cook and work taking care of the large property.

I had the support of my father and sister, even though they didn't fully understand it at the time, they trusted my judgement.

In September of that year, I hosted two ishaya monks at my house to teach the three day course. After the course , I decided I wasn't ready for the gypsy type life style that teaching meditation around the world would require . Over the years , I continued to go to additional weekends in my province of New Brunswick. For every level I did, I paid only 65$ . The forth level in each sphrere or segment cost 95$. I have 15 levels to date. If you hosted a course , some levels were offered free. I hosted two courses in the late 90s.

The last full weekend course that I attended was in 2008.


In 2007 I started traveling to Sedona Arizona and learned other forms of meditation .

The last group in which I was involved with an ishaya teacher was a two years ago. I would have continued to go to this group, but the person moved away. This group was free, most of us had already attended courses.

I still use the meditations as it helps me to sleep better. I don't think we have an active ishaya group here anymore as most people that are seeking are on to the next thing.


I have a good family, I don't take drugs prescription or non prescription but I will definately keep seeking as it's just who I am.

I'm glad this type of forum exist . Thank you to the person that created it. For every normal meditation practice that's out there, not all are good. Some people are out for money, and many have control or psychological issues.


I have not met any controlling or manipative people from this organization trying to convince me to enroll in courses .




Yes people seeking a spiritual path will sometimes cut ties with their families and become withdrawn unless they find others to identify with.


Please ask them questions in a very loving and supportive way not to alinate them . Yes spiritual seekers will spend money they don't have on credit cards to take courses.


Unfortunately , so many people suffer from depression and meditation can only do so much. The love and support of family
and friends is very important. Please don't make fun of your child/friends new age/spiritual beliefs. This causes separation instead, ask them questions and treat it as if you are in a philosophy class at university. We all are trying to find meaning in life and ways to be more peaceful.



This technique brings peace that's why it's hard to find anything negative.

Yes, courses cost money. Yes every penny I spent on these courses was worth it. Everything cost money. We all need to get paid for working.

A friend recently spent 5000$ for 9 days . I think the person running it must be really good at marketing as I didn't see the value. There are courses out there that are considered dangerous...in my opinion, this is not one of them . It's no different than sing

The two week long courses I took in Sedona AZ cost 550$ for the first one .We were there from 8:30am +6:30 pm and recieved snacks. The second week long course was 780$ and again included snacks.




I question everything and I do searches on anything I decide to get involved in .


So thanks again for creating this forum . I like to read the negative as well as the positive about anything I choose to get involved in.





Some of my original teachers are involved in the Bright Path branch of the organization. I would still recommend taking the first 8 levels to anyone who wants a peaceful meditation technique. If you do take this
course, please ask questions and make sure the person teaching you is qualified .


Unfortunately , the ishayas no longer own the property in North Carolina. It was a beautiful place and experience .





Thanks :)

If you have questions, just ask .

Re: the bright path
Posted by: Mystical-lady ()
Date: February 21, 2020 04:36AM

Hi There,

First I want to offer my condolences to the family who lost their son. My prayers go out to you .

I do hope you find answers that bring you peace.



I have attended several courses and an intensive retreat with the ishaya monks.

I would find some of my local churches defineately more cult like than this group .

I have been a spiritual seeker for a very long time and have attended multiple meditation/healing courses as well as the Alpha program at a local church.

I met this group in the summer of 1999 in Moncton New Brunswick when a Doctor friend had heard of their teachings and invited me to go. I paid 300$ for the course .

When I walked in the room , my initial impression would be that of anyone, what have I gotten myself into as they were dressed in all white. Within a matter of minutes the peace that came over me changed my thoughts. No , this was not any type of mind control, it was the love that emannated from them.

I spent two days listening to them explaining their meditation techniques, the first sphere .

I practiced this method daily and it has brought me great peace as it's based on praise, love and compassion.

In August of 1999, two months later , I flew to the ishayas main facility outside of Waynsville North Carolina. I spent 17 days meditating in this magical location. Not everything was perfect , but this defineately was a very high point in my life. Not every teacher was perfect, but 98% were nice. No one asked me to attend this retreat. Many were surprised I was there as I was new to this practice. It was totally my choice.

The property consisted of at least 10 log cabins in the mountains with a three floor kitchen/ meditation building. There were huge angel statues outside the entrance of the kitchen building.

There were possibly 100 people on the grounds at the time I was there with 11 in my retreat group. This was a teaching facility not an ashram so everyone with the exception of our group were either teachers or studying to become teachers. The participants were all ages and from every corner of the globe. Many were very educated professionals that changed their lives to become a meditation teacher. Sometimes we get the impression that seekers are down on their luck or uneducated. This was not the case with many that I met.

We had a dorm room to sleep in. Everything was clean and comfortable.

I would get up early to participate in the optional yoga classes. The meals were vegetarian and we only had coffee once as a treat. Their was plenty of delisious food being prepared, as well as tons of fruit for smoothies. You could eat as much as you wanted. I'm not a vegetarian and I drink coffee, but I welcomed the healthy life style.

We had group meetings once or twice a day with three meal times. After dinner, some of us would go for a walk along the road down the mountain . We could meditate eyes open or closed and anywhere on the property was ok. It was even ok to fall asleep. We were free during the day. I often meditated by a pond . We meditated for hours with our given techniques. At night we would all gather in a large room at the top of the dining hall to meditate as a group. I loved the people and the conversations.
During the retreat, I recieved more levels. At first , I found it extremely hard to wind down , but by day three, my mind was quieter. This was my first experience at a meditation retreat.


As far as the rules, I was allowed to call home. I just didn't call that often by choice to fully immerse myself in my meditation practice.

We were told to stay on the grounds, however, I was a bit of a rebel and when asked to go with a group hiking for someone's birthday in the montains and swimming in the water falls, I went. Later when we had our nightly meeting. When questioned about why we left and our experiences, the group teachers were not upset at all, but some of the participants in our group were. I bring this up to show you that we were not controlled in any way.

At the time , the course with my flights to and from from Canada included cost me around 3000$. This included all my meals and accomodations. I think my flight was around 800$. I think this is very reasonable for a 2 and a half retreat type vacation.

During our meetings we were not sharing our past drama but a few did share painful experiences that meditation was helping them overcome.

I cried on the plane on the way home. I didn't want to leave all the beautiful people that I had connected with. The experience of being in meditation that long takes away the weight of the world .

At the time , my life at home was quite beautiful as I owned a house on a lake and worked in healthcare. I was not running from anything but running to find peace, bliss, a sense of connection to God, a new way to have peace envelop me every day.

After returning home, for a short period, I did want to sell my house and become a meditation teacher. It was 14,000$ American for 6 months back then in 99. If you didn't have the money , you were allowed to be a volunteer working 6 hours a day 5-6 days a week. They needed volunteers to cook and work taking care of the large property.

I had the support of my father and sister, even though they didn't fully understand it at the time, they trusted my judgement.

In September of that year, I hosted two ishaya monks at my house to teach the three day course. After the course , I decided I wasn't ready for the gypsy type life style that teaching meditation around the world would require . Over the years , I continued to go to additional weekends in my province of New Brunswick. For every level I did, 4 per sphere, I paid only 65$ . The forth level in each sphrere or segment cost 95$. You could do the levels separately after the first four. I have 15 levels to date. If you hosted a course , some levels were offered free. I hosted two courses in the late 90s.

The last full weekend course that I attended was in 2008.


In 2007 I started traveling to Sedona Arizona and learned other forms of meditation .

The last group in which I was involved with an ishaya teacher was a two years ago. I would have continued to go to this group, but the person moved away. This group was free, most of us had already attended courses.

I still use the meditations as it helps me to sleep better. I don't think we have an active ishaya group here anymore as most people that are seeking are on to the next thing.


I have a good family, I don't take drugs prescription or non prescription but I will definately keep meditating and reading spiritual books . As we know the mindfulness meditation practices are now being taught everywhere, even by doctors for pain management. I aspire to have people feel love and compassion in my presence .
In a world where every one wants to complain on Facebook, I would hope more people seek connection and less negativity.

I have not met any controlling or manipative people from this organization trying to convince me to enroll in courses after the first one.


Yes people seeking a spiritual path will sometimes seem distant with their families and become withdrawn unless they find common ground to discuss their experiences. The spiritual path is an inward path that forces us to self reflect.


Please ask them questions in a very loving and supportive way not to alinate them . Yes spiritual seekers will spend money they don't have on credit cards to take courses, but that happens with anyone for things they perceive as valuable .



Unfortunately , so many people suffer from depression and meditation can only do so much. The love and support of family
and friends is very important. Please don't make fun of your child/friends new age/spiritual beliefs. This causes separation instead, ask them questions and treat it as if you are in a philosophy class at university. We all are trying to find meaning in life and ways to be more peaceful.


This technique brings peace that's why it's hard to find anything negative about it .

Yes, courses cost money. I think the current rate is 400$ for a weekend course. This is totally reasonable. I do feel that I received value for the money I spent . Everything cost money. We all need to get paid for working and that includes teachers. I have spent more on vacations with less value and enjoyment.


There are courses/groups out there that are considered dangerous, in my experince, this is not one of them .

As a cost comparison my two separate week long meditation courses I attended in Sedona AZ in 2009-2010 cost 550$ for the first one .We were there from 8:30am +6:30 pm for five days and recieved snacks. The second week long course was 780$ and again included snacks. ( No lodging or meals) This meditation teacher also offered free courses for people unable to pay but had to volunteer for commuity work as a form of exchange. Unfortunatly my teacher in Sedona has retired.


I question everything and research on anything I decide to take part in .


So thanks for creating this forum . I like to read the negative as well as the positive about anything I choose to get involved in.



Some of my original ishaya meditation teachers are involved in the Bright Path branch of the organization. Not everyone in any given organization will be a good honest kind and decent person. It's not possible , people have flaws. But as the old saying goes....take the meat and throw away the bones. I would still recommend taking at least first 8 levels to anyone who wants a peaceful meditation technique.




If you do take this course, please ask questions and make sure the person teaching you is qualified .


Unfortunately , the ishayas no longer own the property in North Carolina. It was a beautiful place and experience .




Thanks :)

Re: the bright path
Posted by: Happycynic ()
Date: April 09, 2020 05:51PM

Quite a few posts here have said this is not a cult, which makes me wonder what their interpretation of a cult is? To know something is not a cult surely means that you have to know what a cult is?


So what makes this not a cult?

This has an unaccountable leadership, people are paying money to go to potentially indoctrinating sessions in unfamiliar surroundings. They are encouraged to find more information and go on more "courses" They spend more money. They are involved in meditation which will alter their state of consciousness. They become monks,get renamed by a maharishi and devote their lives to something they had never initially intended on becoming.....They recruit other members and probably get very little money for working hard for this cause.... This looks like a cult.

So why is it not a cult?

Re: the bright path
Posted by: FlatEarthRound ()
Date: July 19, 2020 08:56PM

*NEW INFROMATION*

The following is being shared so all have opportunity to know the truth that is not being shared with what is happening in the Bright Path Ishaya Ascension meditation community. so all can make clear decision from now knowing what follows if you are in any way attached or conisdering being part of Ascension Meditation community of the Bright Path.

If you know any one connected TELL THEM ABOUT THIS EMAIL. It is not their fault that they do not know. Do not balme them for the manipulation they have not being able to see.

The Teacher of the Teachers Maharishi Krishnananda has shut down and not acted on information being given to him in regard to multiple cases of sexual assault that have occured in the teaching ishaya community. he has refuse to believe this could happen in the organisation he is in charge of. and therefore has turned away from this and not acted on this information that has been disclosed to him.

He denies that this is an issue and gaslights his students and members of the commuinuty who have reported these issues to him as their teacher. This is dangerous. Some leave over this treatment. Many dont.

Next- Maharishi Krishnananda has students come to him in severe psychological distress, year after year, even suicidal, with many students having been ignored from him in response to this level of asking of help, turned down when asking for this level of help, or given damaging advice by him. he has told students (for just some of the examples) that they do not need psychiatric medication, that depression doesn’t exist, to more explicitly answering 'no' to students asking for help when suicidal. with no other help or idea offered. More worrying, he denies that he ever did these things time and time again. to student after student that dare to bring up his treatment to them. some have left the organisation over the years because of this, some have not.

these are shameful, neglectful responses (or lack of response, which is a response in itself) from a place of power from being these students spiritual teacher. this is examples of the wheel of neglect the BP is actualy being run on.

The mastery teachers that exist now are all aware of many or all of these above points. This is the team responsible and in charge for run the yearly Mastery of the Self retreat in Guayrapa Spain currently - Jaya + Manyu Ishaya, Satta (Devi) + Narain Ishaya And many of them are the ones writing these above responses on Maharishi Krishnanandas behalf, to these students who are told to email him when in need of help, Jaya and Satta (Devi) mainly in this cases. these women have been responsibly for shutting down many legitimate concerns and desires for a different level of sharing and communication to be present in the BP for many years now, to many past and present students. this is one example of the subtle bullying that exists in this organisation.

Finally - there were many accusation against Maharishi Krishnananda (birth name William (Bill) McConnell) in an open email sent to all teacher Ishaya in 2008 which includes the present mastery team who were teaching staff at the time also. this email has not been made available since and therefore a chance for questions and answers to what was shared have not been suitably given to those who joined the organisation after this date, and even to those who were part of the organisation during that time, other than 'it is not all true'. this email reveals topic from money laundering by him, to assault committed by him, sexual promiscuity, to drug use by him, and cover-ups happening within the BP organisation aided and enabled by members of the mastery team and beyond, all on behalf of him.

And now here is the main points of the email circulated to teachers in 2008. All that has been removed is the detail that are more personal nature, and those to repect to the bravery of the person who shared this, the main point remain. please be reminded that the present day mastery team in charge of the Mastery of the Self Retreat in the main retreat centre in Guayrapa Spain have all read and been part of this there own way, already. It is only now this is coming back out as many teachers have start to leave:

Sent: Saturday, 30 August 2008 4:36 PM
Subject: [The Ishaya Path]: Maharishi news


August, 2008
For the last few months I had both a private investigator and an attorney investigating Maharishi Krishnananda Ishaya, William (Bill) Walter McConnell, Jr. In addition, I spent several hours talking with his first and second wives.

To keep this as short as possible, this is a blanket acknowledgement that all opinions and conclusions are solely mine unless stated otherwise.

This report is organized as follows:

Why I Launched an Investigation
Results of Background Investigation
Ishana and Kootenay Financial Situations


Why I Launched an Investigation:
Beginning in November 2005, I worked in Ishana’s office and handled special projects for Krishnananda. I was accustomed to talking with him about whatever business was at hand, but was not one of the teachers regularly having dinner with him or hanging out with him on his smoking deck.

So in Spring 2007 I became suspicious when he suddenly began telephoning me for no apparent reason, cozying up and placing me in what came to be called the Inner Circle . While flattered, I’d swum in the corporate shark pool for thirty years and knew this probably wasn’t personal, that I simply had something he needed. When Krishnananda asked me point blank how much ready cash I had, I was truly alarmed, but being a ‘surrendered student,’ and usually giving everyone the benefit of the doubt, I stifled my discomfort and told him.

More alarms went off when Krishnananda, Manyu, [and others] and I spent several days at my house discussing strategies for the “new organization.” The first major alarm was how heavily Krishnananda and Manyu drank every day, considering Krishnananda had so recently criticized [his ishaya ex wife] for such behavior, making a very big deal of it. The second alarm was his determination to hide any assets and income from upcoming retreats. ‘What does an honest person have to hide?’ I wondered.

It was decided a US Corporation would be set up to handle Ishaya US finances. Nevada was chosen for its tax advantages. Krishnananda’s name would appear on nothing, thus shielding him from any financial claims. Everything would be in [another’s] name, with other Inner Circle teachers added later to support the claim that those teachers were the money earners, not Krishnananda. Monies from outside the USA would remain outside.

I am ashamed to say that, although alarmed, I went along with this. From my previous life, having seen high profile divorces involving money laundering and asset hiding, I knew this was typical behavior of someone arranging his affairs so, on paper, he appeared to have nothing and thus there was nothing that could be legally ‘attached.’ Any legal judgment against him for support, if one could even be made, would be minimal because he would be showing no income.

Sometime later when discussing plans to add key Inner Circle teachers to the new US corporation’s list of officers, I commented on how this would further support the claim that Krishnananda does not earn an income for the retreats he leads. Whereupon he angrily told me that this was not a sham, that he had never earned an income while married to [his ishaya ex wife] and therefore could not be held accountable by Canadian law to pay support to her, or be held responsible for any of Ishana’s expenses, and that in fact, she would probably have to pay him support.

How could that be with 80% of the students being “his” and Ishana’s business stopping when he left? I thought if Krishnananda actually believed this story he had just told me, it indicated a sociopathic level of lying, or if he didn’t believe it, he was consciously lying.

While I didn’t want to believe either of these things was true, it was most confusing and upsetting to think he believed it, which was certainly the impression he gave. We all knew the retreats wouldn’t even exist without him, so who’s income was it? As his student, I was too stunned and embarrassed to confront my Teacher about this being a clever accounting trick, but not the reality of the situation.

On the heels of this came [his ishaya ex wife’s] All-teachers email advising me to “run, run like the dickens,” quoting exactly the amount of on-hand cash I’d reported to Krishnananda and saying he “did not have much respect for you, but kept you around…… called you his ‘ace in the hole’ because he might need” that money. That email was followed immediately by frantic phone calls from Krishnananda and Manyu assuring me my financial information had never been passed on by Krishnananda and denying saying the rest. I might have believed that except, how did [his ishaya ex wife] know the exact amount when the only person I ever gave that number to was Krishnananda?

From June to December of 2007, [the ishaya accountant], who functioned as the new organization’s CFO (Chief Financial Officer) and CPA (Certified Public Accountant), was either living with me or we were in close phone contact about financial and organizational strategies. I was privy to all Krishnananda’s financial dealings, and witnessed some significant incidents where either his memory failed or he was lying, all involving large sums of money and Krishnananda positioning himself to have no responsibility in the matters.

In my experience, there’s a fine line between smart business and slippery maneuvers, between clever and unethical, and I was increasingly uncomfortable with what I was seeing. From my training as both journalist and computer systems analyst I had learned that to see the Big Picture one needs the Long View, the repeated patterns through time in a person’s life and behavior. Each isolated situation can appear quite rational, but the Long View shows a different picture.

I decided to take a closer look at who I was surrendering my Life to.

Suddenly, I saw the entire Ishana setup in Canada , all in [his ishaya ex wife’s] name, could also have been a way to dodge past financial obligations. Canadian corporations can have foreign investors and officers, so it couldn’t be argued that Krishnananda’s USA citizenship was the reason everything was in only her name. I needed the Long View, so I hired a Private Investigator. I had a private attorney run reports, too, just to double check the information. Following is a summary of those findings and the hours of phone calls I had with Krishnananda’s first two wives.

Results of Background Investigation:
The IRS has a $5,500 back tax action against Krishnananda from 2000

From Krishnananda’s first divorce, his ex-wife estimates he owes $60,000.

She reports:
He did not pay the final $2,000 child support for youngest son
He did not pay his divorce agreements for tuition/dental/ etc
He did not repay the monies from his ex-wife for his Vermont condo. She had to pay his condo maintenance fees to avoid damage to her credit and prevent a lien being placed on her home. The condo was foreclosed because he disappeared and she had to clean up the financial mess.

More importantly than the monies owed is his abandonment of his 3 children. They were 13, 11, and 5 years old at the time of the divorce in 1987. For 10 years after that, the first wife reported having to persistently demand both child support and attention. There were times of sporadic contact and many episodes of them waiting expectantly, suitcases packed, for a Dad who never came.

When he got involved with the Ishayas in 1996, he told his children they could not call him because he was in spiritual training and only he could call them. But he rarely called. In mid-1997 he made his last phone call to them. They tried numerous times to contact him through the mail, but he never responded. They have been deeply hurt and angry with his abandonment, and don’t understand how a parent could do this to his children.

From Krishnananda’s 2nd divorce, this ex-wife says he owes $48,000.

She reports:
6 years ago he cut his child support payments in half for a period of 4 years
2 years ago, he stopped paying altogether
other information from Krishnananda’s 2nd wife:
Krishnananda was arrested for domestic assault and made threats against both her and her father. (No conviction shown on report.)
She hasn’t pursued the unpaid child support because she feels ‘lucky to have gotten as much as she did,’ having witnessed how he treated his first family
More importantly, he completely neglects his daughter from this marriage. The 2nd ex-wife reports having to persistently demand both child support and attention. She says if they don’t pursue him, he simply ignores his daughter for months and even years at a time. Her mother reports she is hurt and angry with his abandonment.

Money laundering/hiding assets:
Both ex-wives report Krishnananda’s Corporate monies were paid to longtime girlfriend [girlfriend name] (allegedly his girlfriend during, between and after both marriages). Since this showed as [his girlfriend’s] income, she was liable for the taxes owed on it, and when he ended that relationship, he left her stuck with a large tax bill.

Both wives report that many times when child support was paid, it came from an old business partner/friend of his, or [his girlfriend], but not Krishnananda himself.

Drugs:
Krishnananda was always quietly forthcoming with me in private conversations about his serious problem with cocaine, and that he actually had to move miles away from his circle of friends to beat it. Both his ex-wives mentioned a cocaine arrest in New Haven , CT , but no conviction turned up going back as far as 1980.

Marital Infidelity/Sexual Promiscuity:
Krishnananda’s first 2 wives both report many incidents involving “hookers” and “high-priced escort services,” as well as “other women.” Gauri reports Krishnananda’s many requests to “get a hooker and have a “3-way.”

Pattern of Ending Relationships:
When leaving all 3 relationships, Krishnananda followed the same plan:
Label partner as ‘hysterical,’ ‘screaming,’ ‘drinking,’ or ‘crazy,’ or some combination of those things.
Then claim he couldn’t talk to them, that they would scream, become crazy and irrational, leaving him no choice but to withdraw
Whereupon he would move, refuse to answer phone calls or emails, take steps to hide all attachable assets, and quickly become involved with a new partner.

President Reagan’s Committee on Missing Children
Krishnananda was indeed Co-chair of this committee, but got that position because his corporation provided all the funding for the committee and thus got to put one of their own at the head.

Ishana and Kootenay Financial Situations:
Students of both Krishnananda and [his ishaya ex wife] invested $250,000 in Ishana. Students of both Krishnananda and [his ishaya ex wife], as well as one ascender, invested $240,000 in the Kootenay project. If you look at the fact that 80% of the students were Krishnananda’s, or even want to be more generous towards [his ishaya ex wife] and say the teaching was shared equally (as Krishnananda frequently asserted in meetings), neither of these views support the concept this was entirely [his ishaya ex wife’s] organization.

However, Krishnananda took a much different position at the time of their separation, Spring 2007, saying we had all given our money to [his ishaya ex wife], not him, because everything was in her name, and that he had no responsibility for it. This was said while he also characterized [his ishaya ex wife] as ‘drinking, hysterical, unstable, and uncooperative,’ making sure everyone knew she had ‘stepped off the path,’ thus destroying her ability to make a living teaching Ascension and thereby pay the mortgages.

I, myself, had $30,000 invested in the Kootenays and was first shocked, and then angry, that Krishnananda would deny any responsibility for his students’ investments. I’m not sure if I was angrier about his abandonment of us or about the slippery, underhanded way he was spinning this to get out of his responsibility.

I was further stunned because Krishnananda and I both come from the business world, and in the business world, the rule is that one always honored one’s ‘real’ obligations, regardless of whatever accounting fiction was being legally used. An investor or backer of any kind was always safeguarded.

Krishnananda’s position is that he left her with more than enough real estate to cover the investments, but what is also true is he left her with only enough cash to stay afloat for less than 2 months. The truth of the matter, verified by accountants’ review of Ishana’s books, is that after making the final payment on the Kootenays to keep from losing it, and paying the corporate and property taxes and insurance due at that time, there was $38,000 left. At that time Ishana required $20,000 per month to meet expenses, whether there were 10 or 100 people living there. And the ‘failure to make payment’ clause in Ishana’s mortgage called for immediate legal foreclosure if even one payment was missed.

Many investors did not share Krishnananda’s nonchalant position that all would work out just fine. Some were worried enough to threaten [his ishaya ex wife] with lawsuits, demand promissory notes and research how to put liens on the properties.

It’s my opinion that an ethical person would have initiated open conversations with all investors because of his involvement with these projects. He would have promised to make sure they got their money back, even if things went terribly awry and he had to raise the money himself somehow. And he would have been in regular contact, doing anything he could to support the property sales, until all investors were reimbursed.

But Krishnananda was silent about it, brushing it aside, leaving us investors to wonder if Ishana would run so far into debt we would never be repaid. Just how quickly can a specialized property like Ishana sell? I have heard Krishnananda say any financial difficulties were [his ishaya ex wife’s] fault because she didn’t put the properties on the market until the end of July. For me, having lived through a similar divorce situation involving a conference center I owned, I thought, ‘Just how quickly can a spouse and parent make such big transitional decisions when they’ve just lost their 12-year partnership, been publicly defamed, their livelihood has been destroyed, they still have children and severely handicapped people to consider, and they have only 2 month’s worth of money in the bank?’ I didn’t think taking 2 or 3 months was irresponsible at all.

So I felt, in essence, Krishnananda basically said, “Good Luck” to us who were naïve enough to give him our money. I was absolutely shocked that a person of purported ‘high consciousness’ could not be bothered to safeguard investments made in complete trust and faith in him.

How It Turned Out:
By Summer of 2007, Krishnananda refused to be in communication with [his ishaya ex wife], not returning phone calls or emails. In the late Fall when [his ishaya ex wife] told me she needed financial help from Krishnananda to continue paying the bills at Ishana until the properties could sell, I passed the request to [his ishaya accountant], who then passed it to Krishnananda. He responded by having [his ishaya accountant] offer a loan to Ishana from the new US Corporation, which carefully avoided any action that would look like he might have some responsibility toward Ishana. Again, I was shocked.

Krishnananda confided in me at the time that he didn’t believe [his ishaya ex wife] was out of money, despite emails to him from both the first and second mortgage holders stating payments had been missed and asking him to honor his obligations. He did not respond to any of these emails.

Meanwhile, [his ishaya ex wife] was working to secure a Bank mortgage on Ishana large enough to pay both mortgages and provide funds to hold things together until the properties could sell. The Bank had many time-consuming reporting requirements, and getting approval for the loan was uncertain since Ishana’s income had been reduced to almost nothing. The Bank loan was finally approved on Feb. 14, 2008, the same day the new buyers walked in off the street and made an offer. And the next day, an offer came in on the Kootenay property.

Both properties have now sold and the investors are being repaid. Ultimately, however, it still took the cooperation of both the first and second mortgage holders and 3 sizable loans from me to keep Ishana afloat until the properties sold, with no acknowledgement or help from Krishnananda.

Personal Message to Krishnananda/ Bill
I no longer trust you as a man or as a Teacher.

How can you be resting in peace, joy and love while turning your back on 4 children? Systematically destroying the livelihood of your wife/partner of 12 years? Abandoning the financial investments your students made out of love for you?

Does ‘being detached’ come with a carte blanche for any behavior, no matter who it harms? Or is this the part where nobody can really be harmed? I heard you were going to visit a shelter for abused women when you were in Ontario . Did you tell those women they really haven’t been harmed? That your actions toward all 3 families you’ve abandoned really didn’t harm them? That your ex-wives and ex-children just “choose” to feel this pain?

To me, all of this is a severe breach in the behavior incumbent on a Spiritual Leader, and surely does not come from resting in the great, spacious heart of God. Although in some convoluted way you may be sincere, there are just too many disturbing actions on your part.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s to watch what people do, rather than listen to what they say.

And I don’t want my spiritual growth guided by someone who does what you do.

In addition to questioning your actions, I question you as a ‘big T’ Teacher [of the teachers of the Bright Path]

When I first came to the Ishayas, I wanted to believe I had found a modern enlightened Teacher. But with time, I can honestly say that while you may enjoy some level of expanded consciousness, it’s not my impression you have stepped through to a level even close to that of the acknowledged Enlightened Ones.

First of all, just reading their words in print, or seeing them on video, shares a level of consciousness I experience as so much more stunning and compelling than I have experienced from you in person. And second, unless born enlightened, they report experiencing a lengthy time of integration and readjustment to 3-dimensional reality, many requiring assistance from others to even take care of their basic physical needs. I would think if a person had such an experience, everyone who knew him would be talking about it, and yet I’ve never heard even one report of your ‘enlightenment experience.’ Actually, I’ve heard that others have questioned it, too.

In addition, “your” book that you asked me to proofread last year is only a collection of other people’s experiences. There was not one piece of original writing from you. Not one. Nor have I ever heard you “share the Stillness,” as we were all pressed to do in nightly meetings. Where is your description, spoken or written, of your experience of ‘crossing through the veil?’

In After the Ecstasy, the Laundry, Jack Kornfield warns against confusing charisma with true wisdom. He says, “Certain spiritual leaders possess the ability to evoke extraordinary states. Amplified by our hopes, feelings of bliss and transcendence arise easily around these charismatic ministers, priests, Zen masters, mystics, rabbis, and gurus. It is easy to mistake such spiritual powers as definite signs of wisdom or enlightenment or divine love. We forget that power and charisma are just power and charisma, that these energies can just as easily serve demagogues, politicians, and entertainers.”

In truth, Krishnananda, from you I experience much charm, charisma, and intellectual conversation about spirituality. It is not my experience, however, that you yourself have walked very far down that road. You may have some facility with the manipulation of energy but:

Why would anyone trust you to guide them through a doorway you haven’t passed through yourself?

I wish you true healing, Krishnananda…..Bill...all parts of you, the human and the spirit. I am, however, thoroughly disgusted and disappointed in your actions, and my complicity in helping set up a new ‘hiding place’ for you.

Shame on you, shame on me.

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