Tag Archives: Maryanne Willaimson

Underbelly, Ananda: Bliss is Another, and Another – Swami Kriyananda AKA J. Donald Walters’ Transgressions

2 Jul

Ford Theatre, Los Angeles. June 24, 2012

Gorgeous Day, Gorgeous Friend.

We sat in the sun and spoke of manifestation as businesswomen, as spiritual seekers, of men and of dating.

Anticipation. We’re gonna hear something awesome.

 

A fierce Marianne Williamson came on stage and she had leopard print heels on. She had a tight-fitting black skirt, and was wearing a tailored white blazer, wearing a tailored white blazer the way only Angelenos do right.

She for sure came East from the Westside, thinking she made a turn on Cahuenga, a Return to Love towards this amphitheatre, to announce Swami Kriyananda AKA  J. Donald Walters- but I find it concerning, after I googled his name after the event.

There was reason to. The second thing I see is that this bad ass spiritual woman with so much truth, she was here for product endorsement, AKA J. Donald Walters.

Then a bunch of popsicle people came on stage. In the program it stated that they were here to perform a song called Memories, their name: The Joy Singers. They were dressed in gowns in popsicle color, folks  super pasty-faced and earnest, in golden-yellow, purple, teal gowns, making a half circle, a rainbow brite boomerang of song.

There was a very large image on a very large placard on stage – not of the highly revered book Autobiography of a Yogi – 

an autobiography written by Paramahansa Yogananda in 1946 but of  Swami Kriyananda AKA J. Donald Walters’ new book, Paramhansa Yogananda: A Biography by Swami Kriyananda, where he chronicles living with and studying with Paramahansa Yogananda.  

I know, that’s  a lot  of info there. Paragraphs with multi-syllable words make me glaze over, too.

Essentially there is a true spiritual teacher Paramahansa Yogananda above,

and then a guy who followed him –  Swami Kriyananda AKA J. Donald Walters:

a guy who I am positive had his own very true and real spiritual awakening, and then because of who he is, well, some other stuff went down as well.

That other stuff, he did not talk about during this event, which was essentially his book launch ho-down, but that stuff, this is what all that internets research was for and what I’ve pieced together here.

Oh those summer pops, they sang of  beautiful fountains and light of the heavens  in an alienating way that only church-harmony can achieve, and the J. Donald Walters told a story where he wast at a garden party in Beverly Hills where there were many celebrities, and Paramahansa Yogananda broke it down and spoke on Yoga and the Divine.

Yes, we learned were here to see and hear Swami Kriyananda AKA J. Donald Walters speak to his absolution, when we came seeking our own transcendence, or at least an inspiring day out under the white light of sun LA.

Picture perfect.

And then, it’s a representative who is here from the Office of  Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Office, and the representative is now on stage.

Politics and spirituality, how rad!

And she said, this here is a Certificate for You, (Swami Kriyananda AKA J. Donald Walters), For All of Your Work, a Framed Letter of Acknowledgement from The Mayor of Los Angeles. For everything  you do. 

I looked at the gorgeous trees behind the rag-tag gang on this collision course  of an outdoor stage and there was pine and brush, unhindered, swaying, wild and natural, full of yes full of unhindered truth of the universal divine, which has or requires no SKU, no certification from the Mayor of Los Angeles, no product endorsement Maryanne W.

Writing this blog is hard sometimes. In terms of the mainstream- I need to get HBO go so I can watch Girls and write about something that sounds interesting and awesome to write about, inspiring. BTW if you have any books or films you’d like me to review, let me know.

Ok, so then all of a sudden,  Swami Kriyananda AKA J. Donald Walters  announces some guy called Jon Parsons. He looks like Rodney Dangerfield by way of Breaking Bad. The shit’s just a bit rumpled.

And I knew Christopher Guest was just about to come out on set, I mean stage, to re-direct this scene, try some more improv or something to get the arc of the story just right, because all of a sudden, out of the blue,

he’s saying….see, here, see I am Ananda’s lawyer, and see, I’ve been with this group now for ’bout 17 years, and see, even when I didn’t think I’d be able to fight and win against the sex scandal, the sex case, the sex charges, well, I did, and we won, and I’ve now, I’ve now got a book, and it’s for sale there on the table and it’s called, it’s called: A Fight For Religious Freedom.

…um, sex scandal?

Ok.

So in 1920 Paramahansa Yogananda founded the Self-Realization Fellowship and in 1925 he established in LA the international headquarters for SRF. In 1962  J. Donald Walters, was pushed out of the Los Angeles-based fellowship and in 1968, he established a new community, Ananda, in the Sierra Nevada foothills town of Nevada City, Calif.

Ananda – meaning, perfect bliss. 

And according to the LA Times, in 1998, a jury found J. Donald Walters liable for “constructive fraud” and “intentional infliction of emotional distress” in a civil case brought by a former Ananda member.

A few minutes later Swami Kriyananda AKA  J. Donald Walters he was expounding on some kind of spiritual jazz and he straight up told us he got LASIK surgery for his eyes, and so now his vision is 20/20.

Totally, surgery can really fix stuff.

Now. There’s a site, and it’s called Ananda Wareness Network.

And that event back in 1998 – well, verbaitum: a jury found in the civil case brought by a former Ananda member, Anne-Marie Bertolucci, who said that Kriyananda, while claiming to be a celibate swami, had engaged in sexual misconduct. The jury also found Ananda liable for failing to control its leader’s behavior. During the trial, seven other women also testified that Kriyananda had abused them.


SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF SAN MATEO
ANNE-MARIE BERTOLUCCI, Plaintiff, vs.
ANANDA CHURCH OF SELF REALIZATION, a California not-for-profit corporation; CRYSTAL CLARITY PUBLISHING, a California corporation; DANNY LEVIN, individually and ) as an employee of CRYSTAL CLARITY PUBLISHING and/or ANANDA CHURCH OF SELF REALIZATION; DONALD J. WALTERS, individually, and an employee of ANANDA CHURCH OF SELF REALIZATION and CRYSTAL CLARITY PUBLISHING; DOES 1 to 50; 

Woman 1:

13. After several months of giving “Swami” massages, including full body massages, he requested that both I and XXXXX give him a massage at the same time. Until this point, I had given him ordinary massages with no sexual nuances whatsoever. This time, however, it changed. The “Swami” was downstairs in the bedroom on the floor. As I massaged the “Swami’s” neck, to my great surprise. XXXXX began to sexually stimulate his penis, from erection to ejaculation. 

Woman 2: 

12. He offered me a ride from the farm to Ayodhya. I gladly took it, viewing personal time with him as a positive to the spiritual regeneration of my soul. During the ride, he asked me to come down to his house. I went, he asked me to give him a back rub,  in his upper room in the dome part of his house. I did gladly, although I felt very shy, and uneasy, never having been so physically close to him before. He asked me to straddle his back in order to access his shoulders properly. In a few moments he asked me to take off my clothes, as they were irritating his skin, while I gave him the backrub. I was extremely surprised, but, he said some things which assure me, making me feel that he was a pure channel of God and that I had no cause for uneasiness. I took off my clothes, and he then had me resume the back rub.

I didn’t read through the other 5 accounts, no reason to.

I told a friend about the event, and it’s true, he’s right, this is nothing new. From here we can swing on over to the Catholic Church, and then make a pit stop at Penn State.

The verdict of the case:  Walters was judged to have misrepresented himself as a monk, and to have caused Bertolucci emotional trauma, and was ordered to pay $285,000 in compensatory damages, and another $1 million in punitive damages. (On appeal, the punitive damages were reduced to $400,000.) A sexual harassment claim was dismissed before the case went to the jury.

People gather. They come to pray, they come to play. Seeking in a group, a group seeking. A sneak peeking.

Leaders and followers. Number one. Popsicles for everyone.

We didn’t know what we were getting into by going to the event. Expressions: A wounded man, a wounded organization. Before, after.

People they want to connect.  And then there is that lumbering. The lumbering that comes, when people are needing healing, healing from being so open.

So open to something other than themselves, themselves, looking outward, and up, up to those who have failed in every way to be trustworthy, worthy of that hand over of power, hands all over by those who have succeeded in getting their own base needs met.

The expense of quest: spiritual, sport.

Honestly, it has taken me a while to write this blog because I found the whole event really heartbreaking.

The un-oblique PR stunt energy of it all, the Mayor of LA’s presence (How is it approproate for a award from the mayor to be there? How was that arrangement made?), the questions now I have about  Maryanne Willaimson now and her relationship to the Ananda organization, and dollars – the dollars that are always assumed as the antidote.

From J. Donald Walters’ to Dr. Emmett L. ‘Doc’ Brown in Back to the Future,

Flux Capacitor, Williamson, Villaraigosa turning that clock back now with a Hollywood reference.

Hollywood pastiche, pastiche what a word, pistachio, what a nut, and God, God bless you.

It’s that open window of belief–

how it gets so heavily taxed.

It’s that open window of belief–

how it gets so heavily taxed.

Un-innocuous money -like it has any bearing,
restorative powers

a return of the innocence, back

trying and

everything here just another SoCal cliché.

%d bloggers like this: