AUG 11 1975, SEP 5 1975 Yogi Bhajan (Siri Singh Sahib Harbhajan Singh Yogi) "Pope" of the Sikh Movement. Credit: Denver Post (Denver Post via Getty Images)
Food - Drink
The Disturbing Story Of The Man Behind Yogi Tea
Content Warning
The following story contains discussions of sexual assault, abuse, and child mistreatment.
You might know Yogi Bhajan from Yogi Tea, but the spiritual leader was also the driving force behind a multi-pronged company, the 3HO Foundation, and its cult-like 3HO community.
Bhajan moved to Los Angeles in 1968 just as many disillusioned youths were seeking peace and guidance through Eastern practices, and Bhajan’s kundalini yoga was their answer.
However, as time has passed since Bhajan’s death, former followers have begun speaking out about their experiences with the guru, painting a less-than-enlightened picture.
According to former followers, Bhajan began abusing his power, forcing arranged marriages, advocating for marital rape and battery, and separating children from their parents.
The children were sent to 3HO schools where former students allege they lived under inhuman conditions, including squalid surroundings, gross neglect, and physical and sexual abuse.
At the same time he preached non-attachment and enlightenment, Bhajan was known to frequent expensive stores, amassing a collection of jewelry and cars on a sprawling estate.
In light of this, public perception of Bhajan has changed, but his brainchild, kundalini yoga, has taken on a life of its own and continues to influence people in positive ways.