Anti-sect movements and witch-hunt against Academia de Yoga – Ananda (Uruguay)

Another fabricated case against yoga schools

It all started in August 2015 when the members of RIES – anti cult organization from Spain, present in Uruguay and constituted in the Infosectas association (members Alvaro Farias and Miguel Pastorino) initiated an extensive defamation action in the local and international press against the yoga school Ananda in Uruguay and the yoga instructor Octav F.

At that time the yoga school had very successful classes at the State University of Uruguay with more than 3000 students. The reason for the defamation was the connection of the yoga school in Uruguay with the yoga school MISA in Romania, which the so-called cult experts from RIES and Infosectas consider a sect.

Similar to the cases mentioned by Susan Palmer in her book "Storming Zion: Government Raids on Religious Communities", in August 2018, a team of 15 people from the General Directorate for the Fight against Organized Crime and Interpol from the Ministry of the Interior of Uruguay came to headquarters of the Ananda Yoga Academy in Montevideo where Octav F.'s home was, showing a Search Warrant and an Arrest Warrant for Octav F. on the grounds of sexual offenses and domestic violence.

Everything that was IT was confiscated from his house (computers, flash drives, CDs, DVDs, video cameras, recorders, telephones, etc.), his diaries and other personal documents, the documents of the civil association that organizes yoga classes in Montevideo, having the approval to the Ministry of Education for this activity, being in fact a non-formal educational institution, and they took him to the Interpol detention center where he spent a day and a night until the decision to start the criminal investigation was given and he was released.

In fact, the only "specialists" who were invited to prove in front of the court what they asserted, and whom the prosecution found were 2 other RIES members: Luis Santamaria from Spain, being in fact the most active RIES member and who wrote and slandered countless times both the Ananda yoga school from Uruguay and the MISA yoga school from Romania and Jose Miguel Cuevas, another RIES militant of Spanish origin, specialist in sects.

The investigation period of 1 year passed without being able to make a credible accusation before the judges and the law. The prosecutor's office asked for an extension of the investigation period and they kept asking for it until they ran out of reasons, thus it is obvious that there were NO reasons for the investigation and for this whole fabricated case.

The witch-hunt was also carried out by prosecutors asking that the whole file be transferred to another prosecutor to start a new investigation in this case, a request that actually threatens legality, but the Supreme Court of Justice decided not to extend the criminal investigation because the prosecutor's office did not show that it had legally justified reasons to continue the investigation in this case.

Simultaneously with the police investigation, the mass media in Uruguay, under the influence of the same organization Infosectas, members of RIES, carried out a fierce action against the yoga school in Uruguay achieving the "performance" of broadcasting for more than an hour on the national stations, broadcasts against the yoga instructor Octav F., of the Ananda Yoga Academy in Uruguay, even against the MISA yoga school in Romania and its yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru.

Obviously, all these media shows generated many problems for the image of the yoga school in Uruguay and many students who, although they felt very good practicing yoga with instructor Octav F., had to give up participating in yoga due to the pressure of their non-yoga colleagues, friends and relatives who knew that he practiced Yoga in the Ananda Academy in Uruguay.

Until now, after more than two years since it was decided to stop the criminal investigation and remove the allegedly charges against the yoga instructor Octav F., no media has announced the completion of the media campaign supported by them previously, nor about the termination of the criminal investigation from this file due to the lack of any evidence, not even about the Ananda yoga school.

It is proven once again, through this case of the Ananda yogic community in Uruguay, that an anti-sect organization and a media campaign are enough to reach invented cases, fabricated by the prosecutor's office and to destroy the reputation of some people and some media groups .