CRPL Seminar Series: ‘The Past History and Present Management of Abuse within Yogi Bhajan’s Healthy, Happy, Holy Organisation’ – Dec, 2020

Philip Deslippe presented on the 10th December 2020 as part of the CRPL Seminar Series 2020/21 with his paper titled: ‘The Past History and Present Management of Abuse within the Yogi Bhajan’s Healthy, Happy, Holy Organisation (3HO)’.

Philip Deslippe – Biography

Philip Deslippe is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he focuses on the history of Asian, metaphysical, and marginal religious traditions in modern America. He has published articles in several academic journals including Sikh FormationsAmerasiaThe Journal of Yoga Studies, and Contemporary Buddhism, along with articles for popular magazines including Tricycle: The Buddhist ReviewYoga JournalAir & Space Smithsonian, and the Indian news site Scroll.in.

Abstract

Yogi Bhajan (1929-2004) was known during his life as a unique figure who brought Sikhism and a distinct form of yoga from India to American Countercultural spiritual seekers in the late-1960s and amassed a large business empire over the ensuing decades. Throughout his life there were numerous claims of abuse and misconduct by Yogi Bhajan in magazine and newspaper articles, lawsuits, online forums, and word-of-mouth. In early 2020, a memoir by one of his former secretaries opened the floodgates of testimonials by other survivors and Yogi Bhajan’s Healthy, Happy, Holy Organization, or 3HO, faced a massive crisis. This seminar will provide an overview of the history of abuse within 3HO, how that abuse fully came to light, and the processes being carried out by current and former members to alternately manage this ongoing crisis, come to new understandings of Yogi Bhajan and 3HO, and to seek a reckoning for this abuse and misconduct.

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