- (Legal and Media Cases)
After 5 days in court, the deliberations of the case of the ownership of Bhoga are concluded, pending decision by the court.
Upon following the testimonies and declarations from both sides, one can notice a significant phenomenon: while Natha's team has focused upon presenting it’s case for the right of ownership over the farm (Bhoga), Kim Schmock focused most of all on attacking Natha and Mihai Stoian (as the coordinating teacher) – trying to depict it as a sect. This is alike 2 people debating over what day it is: one says ‘its Wednesday’ and the other argues ‘you’re ugly’.
It should be mentioned that the judge has specifically asked that the parties will only focus upon the juridical aspect. Therefore, the team which represented Natha in this trial decided to focus only on the juridical arguments and did not mention the long list of harassments, threats and physical attacks from Kim against the Bhoga spiritual community, its individual members and against Natha. Natha has tried to keep a correct and responsible trial and avoided bringing up Kim’s violent behavior, knowing that it would damage his reputation severely. Unfortunately, Kim and his tiny group of colleagues did not share this attitude. Instead, they focused almost entirely on attacking Natha, trying to present it as a sect, hardly even approaching the actual matter of ownership of the farm. This is a very cheap strategy which shows that Kim doesn’t have good arguments. He therefore prefers simply to attack Natha since it’s much easier to destroy a reputation then it is to build one when you lack proof. The goal was obviously to play upon the innate fear that people have today of being manipulated and abused by sects – trying in this way to influence the Judge's emotional opinion upon Natha's stand.
For this purpose, Kim “produced” as witnesses 3 former members of the school who had personal grudges against Mihai Stoian. It is well known that these 3 people have over the last two years, and out of vindictiveness, been spreading lies and gossips about him and about the school in the social environment and even in the media. It is significant to note that they had absolutely no proof for any of their claims, accept for their word – thus being no more than gossip which has no place as evidence in a court of law, beyond being irrelevant to the case. In fact, should they have tried to sue Natha or Mihai for their complaints, they would certainly lose, as they had no proof and there are so many witnesses to testify to the contrary. Yet in this case, their imaginary complaints were not the subject of the trial and therefore Natha did not bother to produce witnesses to refute them. And so, the Helsingør court of law became the stage on which the good name of Natha and its members were smeared by vicious gossip invented by a tiny handful of resentful people who had nothing to add to the actual case at hand. Should Kim win the trial, it would signify the victory of prejudice and lies without proof over logic and evidence.
This strange strategy embraced by Kim's team might make one wonder: since one of the witnesses, Karsten Brask Fischer (known in Jyllands Posten and other papers as ‘Jesper’) is pretending to be an exponent of the democratic theory, how can he come with an argument like this in an ownership trial? What he tried to prove was that Natha is a sect and doesn't know a democratic way. But as an exercise of democratic thinking, what is the point in proving Natha as a sect in this ownership case? Is a sect not allowed to benefit from the justice as anyone else in a democratic system? Can a sect be cheated without problems and without juridical consequences? The logic of this kind of argument is typical to xenophobic extremists and not to people that are used with democratic rules.
Unmoved by this vicious and degrading strategy, Natha's team presented a clear-cut and common sense case, supported by sound evidence: Kim was only the front man in the buying of the farm while it was abundantly clear from the initial deal that the farm was Natha’s, Kim’s name on the papers being only a formality for the time being, until it will be transferred to Natha. Kim has made this commitment completely clear both in writing and in speech on many occasions, which dozens of people were testifying for now in the court or on their written and signed declarations. On the basis of this commitment, Natha has invested a great amount of money, and over a hundred persons – members and friends of Natha – have volunteered their services dedicating more than 20,000 working hours all for extensive renovations and improvements in the farm, increasing its value and functionality to what it is today. These people and Natha have done so only because they knew that it was belonging to Natha and the purpose of their voluntary work was to turn the farm into a spiritual community where students from Natha can live and practice spirituality together – also in large camps, guided by the teachings of Natha. Kim was involved in all these actions, and well aware of the common knowledge of the purpose of the farm and its ownership, he confirmed it on many occasions and by no means ever said anything to contradict it (until much after the work was done). Kim’s own contribution was only 130,000 kr. which he had put for the down payment.
Going over Kim’s testimony his response to these proofs is evident: on each count he either says that he doesn’t remember (he stated this on several accounts!) or he denies it – yet Natha has presented a dozen witnesses to confirm every statement and could easily put forward dozens more, should the time of the court would have allowed it. The attentive reader will rightfully ask: how come Kim doesn't remember important moments which prove him wrong and yet he “remembers” with complete certainty that he has the right to own the farm?
What was striking in the court was also to notice the difference in attitude and quality of the witnesses. The witnesses from Natha had nothing to gain, unlike Kim, who stands to gain a profit of millions of dk crowns from selling the farm – the fruit of the work of countless people from Natha, who united for the sake of the vision of creating a spiritual community. These witnesses were relaxed regarding the possibility of winning the ownership, being motivated by affirming the principle of Justice. Of the many witnesses on behalf of Natha some were not even friends of Mihai or Natha, they were former students as well as people that were never attending any courses in Natha. On the other side we find few people that were all having a personal problem with Mihai.
Let’s have a look now at what are the arguments that Kim brings forth with the help of his 3 witnesses: Karsten Brask Fischer, Celia Clausen and Michael Eriksson – all of them former students with personal resentments against Mihai:
1. Kim claimed that Bhoga could not belong to Natha, since, according to him, Natha could not afford owning Bhoga. This argument, beyond being irrelevant is also ridiculous, considering that Natha invested significant amounts of money in the Bhoga property – around 1,8 millions kroner in 5 years – and furthermore hold the entire economical responsibility of the place, providing all the resources for mortgage, energy consumption, maintenance and building developments (2,2 millions kroner). Beside that, active and responsible members of Natha control a foundation (Prema Fonden) which owns two significant properties in Copenhagen facilitating Natha Yogacenter and ashram community.
2. Karsten claimed that Natha cannot own Bhoga, and no contract with it is valid, since, according to him, it did not exist legally at the time – not having legal registration. This is pure disinformation. Natha has existed as an association since 1993, registered according to law and fulfilling all the legal requirements. The proofs presented and the witness of former chairmans of the organization were very conclusive in this respect.
3. As we have said earlier, the main argument by Kim and his handful of witness is that Natha is a sect in which all the members are manipulated by the leader and their wills are subordinated to his. Therefore even if Kim had made a commitment to Natha and its members, it was under manipulation and therefore not valid. Here the attentive reader may ask: if Kim says he didn’t make any commitment to give the farm to Natha, then how can he say that the commitment (which he claims he didn’t make) was under manipulation? Furthermore, this argument is meaningless – implying that people are free of responsibility for any of their actions, if they only claim that ‘they were influenced’. Should this argument win in court it would mean a danger to our entire society, which is based upon people assuming in a mature way responsibility over their actions. What about the enormous contribution by the many people who helped build Bhoga? Will that be taken away from them just because Kim will be relieved of his promises because he screams ‘sect! sect!’?
Moreover, accusing Natha as being a sect is a very serious accusation – which requires proof. No such proof was provided. Karsten Brask Fischer claimed to be an expert of sects and thus judges Natha as such, yet he has no expertise in the matter what so ever. We may ask – how many articles has he published about sects, if he indeed is an expert? On the other hand, the most renowned Swedish expert on sects, rev. Karl-Erik Nylund, whom the Swedish high court occasionally call upon for consul on such matters, concluded categorically that Natha is not a sect in AN OFFICIAL REPORT.
Kim and his 3 colleagues spent hours telling tales of how Natha is a sect. Yet all their inventions are easily refuted by the hundreds of members of Natha who through their own lives demonstrate the opposite. In many places even their own tales were contradicting themselves. We would not tire you with the hours that would take to refute them, one by one. We will just mention one accusation by Karsten who claimed that Mihai Stoian was abusing his influence to gain more power and enjoy the resources of the school for his own personal wealth! Anyone who knows Mihai knows that he works an average of 16 hours a day for the benefit of the school and the students, day in and day out, even weekends, and in return he is given a salary that is smaller then that of a school teacher. This accusation from Karsten is even more absurd, considering that for a long period, Mihai was living in a small damp room in the basement of the ashram Prema, while Karsten was enjoying two large rooms in the upper floor. Is this the image of a leader who creates a sect in order to abuse its members for his own profit? Those from Natha who knew Kim’s witnesses while they were in the school can tell of the irony of their accusations. These people were notorious in Natha for their fanaticism and their individual tendency towards sectarian like behavior. Karsten and Celia especially were known for on many occasions preaching to others that they should be more dedicated to the school. This was an attitude which was specific to them and was not characterizing the life of the school. They were reproached by others and were even corrected many times by Mihai, explaining that this is not fit for a spiritual school – a school which is based on the freedom inherent to each of us. Therefore, when they criticize Natha – it is themselves that they criticize, for they were the sectarians in Natha.
4. Another claim by Kim’s accomplice’s was that the arguments provided by Natha have been falsified. Their proof to that is that, according to themselves – they were the ones who falsified them while they were still in Natha. This can be hardly considered as proof; since it is only their word and no one can confirm it (they do not even confirm each other’s statements). Celia Clausen, for example, created a situation that was surprising for all that were in that moment in the court (after Karsten Brask Fischer was performing something similar another time). At the moment of witnessing, Celia was asked by the lawyers how come she changed sides? She was the one who was responsible for running the civil case about the ownership of Bhoga and she wrote the subpoena together with Nathas lawyer, and thus to built up the defense of the Bhoga farm against Kim's attempts to steal the property from Natha. She also wrote herself a declaration with all her knowledge and experience about this case. Yet now her statements were contradicting her signed declaration. To this she explained that she was falsifying the declaration for the case to look good. When asked if she was forced to make such false documents she stated that she was not forced but she was considered responsible!!! This is a strange argument from a future lawyer. So, if one take a task and is considered responsible, then this will entitle him/her to do whatever it takes? What kind of character is using such argument? The situation is interesting also from a logical perspective: if Celia was lying in the court now it means that her previous declaration was true and now she is trying just to make things better for Kim. If she was falsifying indeed the declaration then it means that she was lying in that situation and this already disqualifies her as reliable witness and even as a lawyer later. Yet from all her statements in the court it comes out very clear the fact that she was now lying in the court and her previous declaration was true. For instance she stated (to the big surprise of all the former friends that were present in the court) that in reality she did nothing in Bhoga but to paint half of a wall and therefore her written declaration was false. Everyone that was involved in the Bhoga project will understand why was this statement a surprise for us in the court. Lying is something bad but lying in the court and in front of your former colleagues is much worse. Considering the fact that Celia Clausen is in the fourth year in the law school, her testimony in court prove a severe lack of responsibility and even fanaticism in defending her new friend Kim with any risks.
Furthermore, why should we believe Celia and Kims other witnesses (also Michael Eriksson stated in court that he lied before), since they themselves confessed that they falsified evidence for court? So, why believe a liar? How do we know that they are not lying now? They ask us to believe that all the dozens of witnesses of Natha and the dozens more who were not allowed to testify for lack of time, were all lying, and instead we should believe them – confessed liars. If anyone can believe that argument I dare say that their judgment is hindered by prejudice.
5. Another argument that Kim presented is what he considered as a precedent: when Natha rented a place on Købmagergade 26, which at the time was its center, the school invested effort and money into renovating the place, yet, when Natha moved out of that address, all that work was left behind. According to Kim, this precedent should be applied also for Bhoga. This is a very strange line of argumentation, since the two cases are totally different – in the case of Købmagergade 26 it was clear from the beginning that Natha is only renting the place and has no ownership over it, therefore Natha knew that all its work on renovating the place will be left behind one day, when they will move out. This was also the reason why the school paid very little rent for the place, since the renovations were considered as an investment. In Bhoga, however, the case was entirely different – there was a commitment from Kim that the farm belongs to Natha, and therefore, all the work invested into the place was done on the basis of the understanding that Natha owns the place. This is also why Natha paid all the bills and covered all the expenses. This is also showing that Natha is not going to trial for profit – otherwise it would have also went to trial over Købmagergade 26 – but is simply standing for justice.
We find 3 persons spreading lies that severely hurt the reputation and work of hundreds. One might ask, what could motivate 3 such individuals? Mikael stated himself that he is motivated by the fact that Kim has another legal case against him, one in which he might lose 100,000 kr. Therefore, Kim has the means to pressure him to comply with his agenda. As for Karsten and Celia, much can be said as to their motives, but since we do not wish here to degrade ourselves to their level of spreading malicious gossip, it would suffice to say that for a along while during their time in the school they have made serious mistakes against their fellow students, treating them badly as well as treating each other badly. Both of them being very sensitive to their image, they have tried to hide their mistakes and for a long time managed to do so, until eventually, their injuries against their colleagues and against each other exceeded themselves and were revealed by the student body. Confronted with the consequences of their own actions they decided to leave the school. It could have ended there, and friendship could have continued between them and their former colleagues. Yet, in order not to face their own mistakes, Karsten and Celia chose to throw the blame, saying that it was not their faults but everyone else’s. They turned themselves in their minds into victims – pretending that everything bad that happened to them was because of ‘the sect’ and not because of their own mistakes. Since then, they have used any opportunity to hurt Natha and their former colleagues: speaking ill of Natha in any occasion, commenting against it on the net, publicizing their fictional stories in papers and even testifying in court at any trial against Natha (The Bhoga case is not the first case to which they were lying in order to testify against Natha). Here one cannot but note that their obvious and active hostility towards Natha disqualifies them from being considered as objective and reliable witnesses. A witness biased by their own personal problems cannot be used in the court without biasing the result of the testimony. We can only hope that the judge has also noticed these elements and will consider with care these contradicting statements from the three witnesses.
The Bhoga trial is a case of formality vs reality. Kim's arguments are obviously formal while Natha's arguments are based on the reality of facts. The Judge is confronted with a difficult task since Kim Schmock has some documents on his name, yet there are plenty of witnesses which clearly prove Natha's version of the story. Today we are sometimes hiding under the shield of formalisms in order to protect ourselves from the impact Reality would have upon our soul. Yet sometime, in order to feel alive, one needs to cut out the formalisms and dare to look into reality without hesitation.
Now the truth only needs to wait for the Judge to give the final verdict on December 14th. And so, all our eyes are turned to the Judge Morten Larsen, in wait for him to acknowledge what is obvious to all those with eyes to see and ears to hear.
On behalf of Nathas Bhoga team
Hans Hvass & Mariah Claire
- (Legal and Media Cases)
At the request of Natha Yogacenter, both Danmark's Radio (DR) and TV2 have chosen to publish Natha Yogacenter’s reply to Jyllands Posten's articles from May, from which both media published excerpts.
Both DR and TV2 have announced Natha Yogacenter that they can not stand behind Jyllands Posten's allegations because they have not verified them.
Instead, they choose to put a link to Natha’s reply and to follow the impending trial of Natha Yogacenter and Jyllands Posten and other media that have published the unfounded allegations about Natha Yogacenter from Orla Borg’s series of articles. Several other media are expected to follow in the wake of the two major television stations.
"DR and TV2’s decision to put our defense in this way shows a clear lack of confidence in Jyllands Posten and Mr Borg's journalistic work in the media. Natha will stand strong in the forthcoming trial against JP. We expect that the other media that have published the wrong information about our yoga school will start to reconsider and publish our reply. Jyllands Posten will then stand alone with an embarrassing series of articles, a loss of editorial credibility and will again be considered to be immoral like in the case of their offensive Muhammed cartoons," says Sahaj Porslund, PR representative for Natha Yogacenter.
Read the articles below from www.dr.dk and www.tv2.dk.
Stay tuned for the latest information about Natha’s press case here on natha.net
The article from TV2:
Yoga school complains about article, 29-07-09
24th May 2009 nyhederne.tv2.dk published an article that Jyllands Posten had distributed to the media as a press release.
The article was entitled "City Council offers support to sex sect" and was about Natha Yogacenter in Copenhagen, which former members accuse of being linked to a Romanian based sex cult. In this context there was also criticism of the Copenhagen City Council for providing financial support to the yoga school.
Natha Yogacenter has since complained to Jyllands Posten and several other media about the article, which Natha believes contains false information. Read Natha’s complaint in its entirety via the link in the box to the right.
Nyhederne.tv2.dk has not verified the information in the Jyllands Posten's article and can therefore not readily determine whether the information is correct or not.
We are therefore following the case of Jyllands Posten and Natha Yogacenter, which will result in assessing whether there is any reason to change nyhederne.tv2.dks article.
The article from Danmark's Radio, www.dr.dk:
Errors & Facts:
Complaint about article from Jyllands Posten, 2nd July 2009
On 24th May we published an article on dr.dk from Jyllands Posten, entitled "Copenhagen City Council accused of supporting sex sect".
DR’s article – also based on Jyllands Posten – was about Natha Yogacenter in Copenhagen, which former members accuse of being linked to a Romanian sex sect.
Natha Yogacenter has complained about Jyllands Posten for the article that is believed to contain several pieces of inaccurate information. You can read the contents of Natha Yogacenter’s complaint here.
DR has not verified the information in the article and has no evidence to ascertain whether the information is correct or not. Therefore, we are following the appeal against Jyllands Posten and will take the outcome of the case into account and consider in what way it affects DR’s article.
Read the article here:
Copenhagen City Council accused of supporting sex sect
Read the complaint here:
Natha Yogacenter´s letter to Jyllands Posten
- (Legal and Media Cases)
Natha Yoga Center regrets to see that JP newspaper and journalist Orla Borg are continuing their campaign of defamation against the yoga school. In their article on 7th June 2009, they attained new levels of journalistic misconduct.
Since all the journalist’s accusations are false and unproven, since the article disclosed nothing new, but only repeated the same lies (following the principle that ''a lie which is repeated will eventually become credible'') and since in our earlier replies we have already provided clear, incontrovertible answers which refute all these accusations (these replies are available on www.natha.dk) we do not see any need to answer these ridiculous accusations again. Instead, we point out some pertinent questions which this article should raise in the mind of any person who is endowed with common sense:
1. Can JP and the journalist claim to be objective and impartial (which is their journalistic duty) when it is clear that they have taken sides against Natha Yoga Center? Isn't it enough that they have made grave accusations against Natha without any real proof? Yet now, after the kommune made an investigation into the matter (an investigation that the journalist himself requested) and came to the clear conclusion that there is no reason to interrupt the public support for the yoga school – instead of accepting the kommune’s decision, the journalist attacked it!
Is this an impartial media report? It is clear that the journalist himself did not do any proper investigation into the statements he makes in his article – he has not set one foot inside Natha, he has not had a real discussion with anyone from the school and he has used sources which are extremely questionable – yet when an official investigation finds him to be wrong, he has the nerve to attack those public servants who have made the inquiry. Doesn't this behavior from a journalist and a national newspaper seem to be strange (to say the least)?
2. At the beginning of the media campaign against Natha, one might have thought that the journalist was simply irresponsible and made accusations without any investigation – without checking his sources, verifying the information and asking the accused for their response. Yet two weeks have passed since then, during which time Natha Yoga Center has provided the journalist with much indisputable evidence which proves the falseness of the allegations, and still the journalist has not even altered a word of his original accusations, instead choosing to repeat them over and over again.
It seems clear that the journalist is trying to create a “public opinion”, yet he is doing so based on the opinion of three people whose opinions are seriously skewed by personal interests. Since when is a journalist the owner of public opinion? COMPLETELY failing to present the other side’s opinion is immoral and proves that there is another purpose behind the campaign. If the journalist doesn't want to hear any explanations or proof from Natha, can it still be maintained that the journalist has any interest in the truth? And if it is not the truth then we must ask, what is driving the journalist in his campaign against Natha?
3. Natha has repeatedly sent detailed and coherent replies to JP and the journalist, yet they have refused to publish them. At best, they have occasionally allowed some short lines which they have extracted from the replies of Natha and which they have manipulated in a cynical manner. JP has refused to publish Natha's reply with the excuse that it must be made according to a certain legal formal standard.
We wonder WHY DID JP NOT SHOW THE SAME CARE FOR THE FORMAL JOURNALISTIC STANDARDS WHEN THEY PUBLISHED A ONE SIDED STORY WITHOUT CHECKING THEIR SOURCES, TWISTING THE FACTS TO THE LEGAL LIMIT WHILE REPEATING THE SAME MISTAKES AGAIN AND AGAIN?
What kind of morality do these people have by asking for a standard they themselves are breaking in public??? Why didn’t they first avoid taking care of themselves with respect to the journalistic law - a law they have severely violated several times in this press campaign against the yoga school NATHA?
It is obvious that after all their journalistic misconduct, pretending that our reply has to be formulated according to some laws we don't even know, shows a ridiculous bureaucratic excuse for trying to delay and reject Natha's right to protect its name and reputation. Moreover, in the meantime they continue to repeat the same false and unfounded accusations against Natha! What can drive a newspaper to such an attitude of power driven arrogance?
What kind of guardians of the truth are they since all these FACTS show them to be more like a “wolf in sheep’s clothing”? And it’s clear that the “wolf” with this arrogant attitude is behind this whole campaign and JP is just the “sheep’s clothing”. Then we wonder: did this hand pushing the JP campaign hope that thousand of people will remain silent and obedient when some “big newspaper” says anything even if it is just a lie? From the overwhelming response we got so far it is clear that they were wrong, people can see through them.
4. Natha's coordinating teacher and other teachers were repeatedly presented in a strange way, in order to weaken their image and to drag NATHA into a public scandal. If JP was concerned so much about the public funds, why didn't they focus only upon that? This political-type campaign in which, in parallel with the facts that you want to prove for your agenda, you also try to publicly destroy the image of the leaders of your opponent, is surprising to see against NATHA YOGA CENTER. Since when did NATHA enter politics? Since when did a national newspaper use such dirty methods? Since when did a person’s private life become the ingredient for creating a scandal - as long as this life is not breaking the law in any way?
5. Isn't it enough that for the past two weeks JP has made serious accusations against Natha, based only on the statements of 3-4 questionable sources who have their own agendas against the yoga-school, but even now the newspaper even presents these baseless accusations as indisputable facts, placing them in a “summary” of the case? This is done when the accusations are completely false and lack any real evidence to support them – and the journalist knows this very well. Doesn't this seem like manipulation techniques that we know from totalitarian regimes? Anyone can find these techniques in the communist newspapers of the Eastern Europe of old. Is this the case behind the JP campaign?
After reviewing these facts and asking ourselves these questions, there is one obvious conclusion: this is clearly a DELIBERATE SET OF ACTIONS. After “connecting these dots” we can see that it is all too much to simply be a coincidence.
What we are witnessing these days is a media campaign, lead by Orla Borg and JP (representing the facade), with a specific agenda to do as much harm to Natha Yoga Center as possible and by any means necessary. Behind this facade there are some forces that we will present in future articles.
We are confident that the intelligent reader can see through the smokescreen created by the journalists, and that the truth will prevail. As a yoga school we believe that the human being is given a chance to transform and to find the truth even in the most difficult circumstances, the only condition being that we search for it.
In the end we remind you that: “while the lie has to build itself by one mask after another, the truth never changes its face”.
On behalf of Natha Yoga Center,
Sahaj Porslund, PR Executive
- (Legal and Media Cases)
When we requested JP to publish our reply to the accusations against us, the newspaper argued that if Natha wants their reply to be published in the paper, they must make an official request in accordance with a specific legal formulation. By doing so, the paper tried to use bureaucratic excuses to delay and prevent us from the right to reply to the accusations against us. Therefore, we formulated an official request for reply, as stipulated by law, and sent it to JP. Here is this request for reply to one of the articles of 24th May, just in case JP finds another excuse for denying our right to reply.
Dear Jørn Mikkelsen, Editor (Ansvarhavende chefredaktør) of JP
In the article appearing on the front page of JP, from 24.5.09, having the title ''Public funding to people behind sex-sect'', there are several serious mistakes and wrong information, which is causing slander to the name and reputation of Natha yogacenter, its teachers and students. Therefore, we respectfully insist that you shall correct these mistakes by providing the correct information to your readers, by posting a correction in your paper, and in order to undo the damage which had been done by your paper to the work and reputation of so many people. We insist that you give this correction the same weight which you have given the misleading article – by giving it the same place and space in the paper.
Request for reply under the Media Liability Act, Section 36:
The news-paper JP, on 24.5.09, on page 1, article ''Public funding to people behind sex-sect'', published the following information:
1. title: ''Public funding to people behind sex-sect''
2. sub-title: ''Copenhagen commune has in many years been funding a yoga school that is controlled by a Romanian sect-like organisation, which is earning money on sex-services and participation in porn movies''
3. ''The leisure-time-administrators of Copenhagen commune is being accused of being naive and putting their ‘checking-duty’ aside, because the commune is giving around 600.000kr every year to a yoga school, Natha Yoga Center, which according to ex-members from the schools inner-circle is being controlled by a Romanian sex-sect, MISA.''
4. '' In Romania it (MISA) is being accused for trading with women, prostitution and anti-Semitism.''
5. ''The newspaper, Jyllands-posten, can today document how several of the teachers from the yogaschool in copenhagen has been, or still are, earning money on such things as strip shows and porn movies which is supposed to be part of a spiritual development, but which according to the critics is to earn money for the sect.''
6. ''The Priest, Tom Thygesen Daugaard, that once was the leader of the Christian dialogcenter, has been following the development in the organisation says: “It is very naive of Copenhagen Commune to give money to Natha without investigating what is behind. Behind it is a totalitarian sect-organisation which are manipulating young seeking (like people looking for the meaning with their life etc and therefore are very open etc) humans, and are running different sex-services. There are reasons to strongly advice young people against approaching the organisation.''
The information is wrong because:
AD 1a. Natha is not a sect of any kind. No authority on the subject has ever defined Natha as a sect. The sources which are brought in the article and which make this statement are clearly not reliable or authorities on the matter, and therefore cannot provide the grounds of labeling Natha in such a way.
The 'ex-members of the school' are in fact two persons who have their own clear interest to defame Natha:
1.Kim Schmock – who has a legal dispute with Natha over a property of 4-5 million Kroner;
2. ''Jesper'' – who has a personal vendetta against several instructors from Natha, for reasons which are personal to him.
The other source in the article which is supporting this affirmation is Tom Thygesen Daugaard from ''Dialog Center'' – this can not be considered an authority on the subject of sects and religions, since academically recognized authorities on the subject, such as - Mikael Rothstein professor of the science of religion at university of Copenhagen (www.skeptica.dk/1999/rothstein.htm) , Peter Lodberg president of the All Danish Church Council (www.kristeligt-dagblad.dk/artikel/14029:--Dialogcentret-kritiserer-for-ensidighed), and Tim Jensen of Syddansk Universitet (www.kristeligt-dagblad.dk/artikel/14029:--Dialogcentret-kritiserer-for-ensidighed) – all regard them as very questionable sources. Professor Rothstein even states ''The DC is devoid of any scientific expertise and it would therefore be completely grotesque if Danish authorities listened to their opinions on others'' (http://www.kristeligt-dagblad.dk/artikel/14050:Kirke---tro--Vrede-over-centers-advarsel-mod-frikirker). Therefore, there is not provided any reliable support for such a serious affirmation. We remind you that the journalist ethical code, section A, point 2, states ''Criticism should be exercised to news sources, especially when their statements may be coloured by personal interest or injurious intent'' – this has not been done.
AD 1b. There are clear evidence that Natha is not a sect - priest Karl Eric Nylund. Doctor of theology and arguably Sweden's foremost authority on sects, following a special investigation which was done by the request of the Swedish Supreme Court, has concluded in his official report that MISA and the other yoga schools which are a part of the Atman International Yoga Federation (Natha being one of those schools) are not sects and that they have nothing in common with the structure of a sect: "...Therefore, in the MISA case, we can find none of the criteria defining manipulative sects.'' (www.natha.dk/en/news/press-release-coming-soon/swedish-expert-karl-erik-nylunds-report-on-misa-and-gregorian-bivolaru.html). Swedish Sociologists from the research company Skop-Research made an investigation of both Natha and MISA. This investigation was lead by Dr. Örjan Hultåker, and concluded that neither Natha nor MISA may be considered as sects: ''Given that this movement lacks any revolutionary ideology and it is part of society there is no reason to consider it a sect.'' (http://www.yogaesoteric.net/content.aspx?item=3865?=EN).
AD 1c. There is also no proof that Natha is an organization which is focused on sex. The only sources which are supporting these claims are unreliable and invalid – in this context all that was stated in point AD 1a. is valid also for this point. Supplementary, the curriculum of the courses that are thought in Natha are available (www.natha.dk/da/news/press-release-coming-soon/appendix-1-curricculum-1st-year-yoga-courses.html) and prove that the sexual topic is little represented in the program and only as theory related to the spiritual improvement of the sexual experience.
AD 2a. Natha yoga center is not controlled by any Romanian sect-like organization – it is not controlled by any organization at all. As Natha's statues clearly show, it is a non-profit, ''people enlightening association'' with democratic institutions. Natha is a part of the Atman International Yoga Federation, with which it has a collaboration in respect to teaching material, however, Natha is completely independent from an administrative and financial perspective.
AD 2b. The yoga school MISA (the ''Romanian organization'' that the article refers to) is not a sect-like organization. As proof, we mention the information which is presented in point AD 1b.
AD 2c. Natha yoga center has never earned money from sex-services or porn movies, nor had it ever been involved in such activities.
AD 2d. There is no real proof for these accusations (the accusations to which points AD 2a, AD 2b and AD 2c answer): Natha being controlled by another organization, MISA being a sect-like organization, Natha earning money from sex-services and porn movies. The only sources which are supporting these claims are very questionable – all that was stated in point AD 1a. is also valid for this point.
AD 2e. If this statement is in the quality of factual information – it should be supported by hard evidence, yet this is not done anywhere in the article. If this statement is in the quality of a comment by an individual – it should be made clear that that is the case, since as it is put in the article, it induces the impression of being factual information, when in reality it is not. We remind you that the journalist ethical code, section A, point 5, states: ''It should be clear what is factual information and what is comment'' – this was not done.
AD 2f. These accusations were already directed against Natha in the past (15.11.04) by Dialog Center. Even in spite of the fact that DC had just made their slandering attack, Københavns Kommune still started the standard process of recognizing Natha Yogacenter as a People enlightening association with a thorough investigation of all the courses and workshops of the school. Natha yoga center started to receive support from the Commune in May 2005, following an investigation which took place from November 2004 until May 2005. This is indicating that the Commune found no proof for these accusations. This is clear and official proof to the falsity of the claim in this segment of the article.
AD 3a. Natha yoga center is not controlled by MISA. Natha and MISA are both members in the Atman International Federation of Yoga, and are having a collaboration in regards to the teaching material, yet are completely independent form each other from an administrative and financial perspective. As Natha's statues clearly show, it is a non-profit, ''people enlightening association'' with democratic institutions.
AD 3b. MISA is not a sect of any kind. See point AD 1b.
AD 3c. The sources for this affirmation are highly questionable - the 'ex-members of the school' are in fact two persons who have their own clear interest to defame Natha:
1.Kim Schmock – who has a legal dispute with Natha over a property of 4-5 million Kroner;
2. ''Jesper'' – who has a personal vendetta against several instructors from Natha, for reasons which are personal to him.
The Journalist ethical code, section A, point 2, states: ''Criticism should be exercised to news sources, especially when their statements may be coloured by personal interest or injurious intent'' – therefore, these sources could not be used in the article in this way. The journalist ethical code, section A, point 1, states: ''It is mass media's duty to bring accurate and fast information. So far it is possible, it should check whether the information given is correct'' – this was not done.
AD 4a. There are no accusations against MISA in Romania – there is a trial against 21 yoga teachers and yoga students from MISA.
AD 4b. The accusations in the above mentioned trial are not as stated in the article. The 21 yoga students and teachers are accused of: human trafficking (strictly related to the Romanian law on “voluntary work” and they are not related to any sexual activity – according to the official documents from the trial) and constituting such a group.
AD 5a. Natha yogacenter has never earned money from such activities as strip shows or porn-movies.
AD 5b. Natha is not responsible for the actions that any yoga student or yoga teacher does in his/her private life.
AD 5c. There is no real proof to support such accusations – that such activities take place to earn money for Natha yoga center. The sources for this information are highly questionable – see point AD 1a., since all that is stated there is also valid for this point – and therefore this accusation should have not been published, conform the journalist ethical code, section A, point 2.
AD 5d. Natha is not a sect – see points AD 1a. and AD 1b.
AD 6a. Tom Thygesen Daugaard from ''Dialog Center'' cannot be considered as a reliable source: academically recognized authorities on the subject of sects, such as - Mikael Rothstein professor of the science of religion at university of Copenhagen (www.skeptica.dk/1999/rothstein.htm) , Peter Lodberg president of the All Danish Church Council (www.kristeligt-dagblad.dk/artikel/14029:--Dialogcentret-kritiserer-for-ensidighed), and Tim Jensen of Syddansk Universitet (www.kristeligt-dagblad.dk/artikel/14029:--Dialogcentret-kritiserer-for-ensidighed) – all regard the Dialog Center as very questionable sources. Professor Rothstein even states ''The DC is devoid of any scientific expertise and it would therefore be completely grotesque if Danish authorities listened to their opinions on others'' (http://www.kristeligt-dagblad.dk/artikel/14050:Kirke---tro--Vrede-over-centers-advarsel-mod-frikirker). Therefore, this source cannot be presented as an expert on the subject of Natha, and JP should not publish such serious accusations from such an unreliable source. We remind you that the journalist ethical code, section A, point 2, states ''Criticism should be exercised to news sources, especially when their statements may be coloured by personal interest or injurious intent'' – this has not been done.
AD 6b. The accusations in this segment are completely false. Natha is not a sect, it is not controlled by a sect, it is not manipulating any body and it has never run any sex services - as proof, see points AD 1a., AD 1b., AD 1c., AD 2a., AD 2b., AD 2c.
AD 6c. The Dialog Center has already made these accusations against Natha in 15.11.04. None the less, the commune, after investigating the yoga school and its activities, arrived at the conclusion that Natha Yoga Center deserves the status of ''people's enlightening association'' – and by this indicating that they found no proof for these accusations. Therefore, the claim that “It is very naive of Copenhagen Commune to give money to Natha without investigating what is behind'' – is false. The commune has already investigated and decided that Natha yoga center deserves the status of ''people's enlightening association'' and financial support from the commune.
On behalf of Natha Yoga Center, I must therefore ask for reply under Chapter 6 of the Media Liability Act.
Please confirm that you will bring our reply as soon as possible and no later than Monday 22.6.09.
''Always remember that both great loves and great successes imply most often great risks. Knowing this, dare, since fortune favors the bold.'' - Gregorian Bivolaru
''True masters of love should always perfect the art of evoking again and again the overwhelming and magic moment of the beginning in a love relationship which is based on sexual-continence and transfiguration.'' - Gregorian Bivolaru