At the bottom of this post I have included Yoga Dork’s timeline of the controversy surrounding John Friend, for those of you that have been living under a rock and haven’t heard about the appalling allegations. A couple of thoughts:
1. Institutions and organizations are created and run by men and women, which makes them susceptible to people’s failings. Humans are not infallible, and that has an impact on their endeavors. Still, do the failings of the founder and CEO (although he’s said he’ll step down) of Anusara invalidate the system of yoga he has designed? In principle, it shouldn’t be the case. There are examples all around us of personal failings in larger institutions (e.g., Catholic church). I guess the biggest problem here is how centralized Friend’s control seems to be, and the fact that these situations have been taking place for years. How was it that nobody spoke up sooner???
2. I’ve been looking at the conversations going on in the web around this matter. Many people are expressing support for Friend, while others talk about forgiveness. As a yogini struggling to abide by the yamas and niyamas every day I must say I am still processing the allegations–if only a fraction of what has been said is true (and the worst thing is, the inappropriate behavior goes back YEARS, according to them) it will be a pill very hard to swallow…
3. This is a cautionary tale. We need to stop treating regular men as enlightened beings–chances are, THEY AREN’T!
4. My heart goes to the dedicated anusara teachers that find themselves in the midst of this mess.
Let me know what you think.