Swami Shankarananda must stand down while police investigate sexual abuse allegations

On 20 December 2014, the Chair of the management committee of the Shiva School of Meditation and Yoga publicly announced that they had become aware that the Director, Swami Shankarananda, had been having sex with a number of devotees. He promised a transparent investigation and said Swami Shankarananda had stood down from his position.

But Shankarananda had stood down in title only (he is no longer listed as the "Director"). He immediately resumed his role as spiritual director, running various programs, counselling ashram residents and non-residential devotees, and remained living on the ashram grounds along with ashram residents.

The only 'investigation' that was conducted was a series of telephone interviews by an external 'mediator', Callum Campbell. A report produced by Mr Campbell was provided to the management committee, but they have refused to release any details of its findings and recommendations.

On 16 March 2014, Melbourne newspaper The Age revealed there is now an official police investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by Swami Shankarananda (see Article in The Age newspaper).

We call on the management committee of the Shiva School of Meditation and Yoga (Shiva Yoga) to:

  • order Swami Shankarananda to stand down from his role and cease all activities related to the Shiva School of Meditation and Yoga, its ashram and centres while the police investigation is ongoing

  • release (to members and former members) the findings and recommendations provided to the management committee in the report by Callum Campbell.

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