Spiritual mentor was removed from Arte de Viver after harassment complaint, says newspaper

Spiritual mentor was removed from Arte de Viver after harassment complaint, says newspaper
Spiritual mentor was removed from Arte de Viver after harassment complaint, says newspaper

At least two Brazilian women denounce cases of harassment within the NGO Arte de Viver, an Indian institution based in more than 156 countries. In the last week, the influencer Adalberto Neto was expelled from an event in Rio de Janeiro when he questioned guru Ravi Shankaron a visit to Brazil, about the cases, which also include complaints from other countries.

To the newspaper O Globo, a Brazilian woman from São Paulo tells that she was a victim of abuse by a religious leader who became the NGO’s representative throughout Latin America. The situation led to a complaint filed with the Criminal Justice Prosecutor of Santo Amaro. The newspaper also heard a Uruguayan woman who accuses the same religious leader of abuse. The second Brazilian woman heard accuses an instructor who taught in Belo Horizonte, where she lived.

In the case of São Paulo, the police are secretly investigating the Indian Swami Paramtej, whose birth name is Pankaj Gupta, the NGO’s former spiritual mentor in Latin America. “Swami” is a title for those who choose to live in celibacy and the Indian was considered a trusted man by Ravi Shankar, founder of the entity.

The Brazilian says that Paramtej touched her without her authorization in 2017, when she was in charge of preparing a garment and serving him tea before meditation classes. When questioned by her, he claimed that it was not a sexual act, but “a teaching”. The episode happened when he asked her to sit next to him on the bed. The woman attended the NGO for more than 10 years.

Paramtej is also denounced by a Uruguayan woman, according to O Globo. He was visiting the victim’s country when he asked her to give him a massage and tried to change the TV channel to a sexually explicit movie, which she prevented. The case was in 2012, but she says she was only able to report it in March, after undergoing therapy and better understanding the episode.

To the newspaper, Paramtej said he was expelled from the Art of Living and did not want to comment on the accusations received.

The second Brazilian who says she was abused told the newspaper that she took the case to the director at the time. She says a 30-year-old instructor who taught in Belo Horizonte forced her to sleep in his room the day before an event and raped her. “He took the shower and lay down next to me and started to hug me and touch my body. He kissed me a few times and put his hand between my legs, and I took it off and said no. Until I stopped trying to hold on and I let it go. He penetrated me”, he told the newspaper.

Coordinator in Latin America, Beatriz Goyoaga said that there are four complaints throughout Latin America, with no criminal complaint. Two aforementioned suspects were removed and those “affected” receive support from the institution, she says.

The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Spiritual mentor removed Arte Viver harassment complaint newspaper

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