The decision of the Cluj Court deems the accusations against Gregorian Bivolaru and other yogis as completely insubstantial


by Decebal Avramescu
The Cluj Court published on 11th of February 2015, the verdict in the file regarding Gregorian Bivolaru and other 19 yoga instructors and practitioners of the MISA yoga school, a file on which the Romanian press obsessively insisted over the years. The 19 defendants were mainly accused of people trafficking. The decision was NOT GUILTY for all the MISA accused.

Thus, the decision of the court points out the absurdity of the negative media campaign and the public lynching to which Gregorian Bivolaru and the yoga practitioners of the MISA yoga school were subjected to for the past ten years. The journalists who were involved in this dirty campaign, not only did they flagrantly broke the principle of the benefit of the doubt (which should have been respected until the decision of the Court), but they have often mystified reality and even instigated the people to hate against the yogis.
As the website has shown over the years, this judicial file was “fabricated” by political command, abusively instrumented ever since the beginning by the prosecutors, and then intensively distorted and presented by the media, who willingly manipulated the public opinion. In order to point out an example of harsh abuse of the Prosecutor’s Office, we will mention that the indictment was presented to the press immediately after its drawing-up and it was even posted on the internet. Subsequently, the press has been systematically fueled by the prosecutors with pieces of information which were not public and which were part of the file. These actions of the prosecutors were completely illegal since they gravely influenced the degree of fairness in the trial.
The main line followed by the indictment of the Bucharest Prosecutor’s Office (specifically, the DIICOT) was the act of distorting the meaning of a traditional yoga practice known as “KARMA YOGA”, and interpreting it as “people trafficking”. It is worth noticing that the so-called victims in this file have made formal complaints only after several years since the alleged abuse that they were supposedly subjected to. These people realized that they were being “trafficked” only after the prosecutors tried to prove this on purpose in order to make them give incriminating statements in this file.

One of the arguments which show that these so-called “victims” were not honest-minded, but they were influenced and determined to formulate penal complaints, is the fact that each of them sued for “moral damages” for millions of euro, for reasons which are outright hilarious. For example, they said that the common program for house self-management (washing their dishes, mopping the floor and cleaning the room in which they were living) or other elementary activities would represent a form of exploitation. Naturally, this type of absurd accusations, together with the lack of any incriminating evidence lead to the acquittal of all defendants by the Court of Cluj.

In order to justify this strange file, the Prosecutor’s Office built an entire edifice of incredible accusations, trying to prove that those 20 yogis who were prosecuted have built an “organized crime group”. As a consequence of the constituting of the “victims” as civil parts, who demanded ridiculous sums as compensation for moral damage, the Prosecutor’s Office managed to get a pretext for the sequestration of dozens of homes belonging to MISA yoga practitioners.

Following a process which lasted for almost nine years (which began in 2006), the court decided that all the accusations brought up by the Prosecutor’s Office are insubstantial. Thus, the Court of Cluj acquitted Gregorian Bivolaru from the charges of people trafficking and constituting an organized crime group, thus proving the inconsistency of associating the notion of “KARMA YOGA” with the notion of “exploitation”, an association that the Prosecutor’s Office desperately tried to impose.

Furthermore, the Court of Cluj ascertained the illegality of the evidence which were obtained through the  tapping of Gregorian Bivolaru’s phone (recorded by the Romanian Secret Service, which invoked the unbelievable pretext of “defending national security”!). The court also canceled the decision of preventive detention of Gregorian Bivolaru, which was issued in 2005 by the Court of Bucharest.

The Court of Cluj also decided to discharge all the 19 defendants in the MISA case who were accused in this trial for the so-called people trafficking or for other crimes: constituting or adhering to an organized crime group; constituting a fascist organization; promoting fascist, racist or xenophobe ideologies; spreading or selling fascist symbols; denying the Holocaust; instigating to discrimination; offense against morality and disturbing public order; distributing several works without written authorization or formal consent from the author.

The instance ascertained the illegality of the evidence as “technical-scientific” reports drawn up by the Romanian Association of Psychologists, by chief psychologist Petrescu Luminița, by psychologist Tudorel Butoi as well as the referrals on MISA drawn up by Mario Sorin Vasilescu and by the priest Sterea Tache. We should mention here that none of these “specialists” made any direct investigation on the yoga practitioners within the MISA school. This is a procedural flaw which “blatantly” defies the professional deontological criteria and especially those demanded by a court of law. All these “studies” were simply produced from the office, making use of a pretentious language, filled with forgeries of the facts and evasive formulations.

The recordings of proceedings issued during the raids done of the 18th of March 2004, as well as all the evidences confiscated during the raids were also considered illegal. The court lifted the levy on the homes in Bucharest belonging to persons from within MISA and decided to give back all the goods confiscated during the raids on the 18th of March 2004.

The Court also rejected all the material demands of the civil parts involved in the file who asserted that they were abused and trafficked.

The decision of the Court of Cluj was as clear as possible. None of the incriminated persons from within MISA is guilty, for none of the many alleged accusations! Thus, we ask ourselves what justifies these actions of harassing the yogis of MISA. How does one explain their inveterate pursuit done by the judicial organs and by the media?!

News like the following: “Today at 7 o’clock, the greatest operation against drug trafficking and people trafficking in post-communist Romania commenced”, or “300 police officers, gendarmes and prosecutors raided several homes in Bucharest with the purpose of scattering the prostitution, pornography and people trafficking nests”, or “Several homes were targeted where members of Gregorian Bivolaru’s movement were activating, according to the prosecutors. Tons of pornographic materials were found on the premises…” remained deeply embedded into the consciousness of the public after the raids on the 18th of March 2004, the brutal police actions against MISA and the media circus which was triggered on that day, WITHOUT ANY REAL EVIDENCE.

Prosecutor George Bălan, the leader of the strangely named “Christ” operation, was emphatically stating at that time that “From all the information we possess, we can say that crimes of drug trafficking, prostitution, organized crime, erotic video-chat have been conducted here.” Well, the decision of the Court of Cluj shows that none of these accusations were justified!

In addition, we underline the fact that ever since 1995, the Romanian Secret Service have been closely monitoring the MISA association and Gregorian Bivolaru. There are documents confirming that the Romanian Secret Service have conducted surveillance operations on a great number of people which took part in the MISA yoga courses and demanded the Prosecutor’s Office to press charges against the yogis. Why was this involvement of the Romanian Secret Service necessary if nobody was ever able to point out at least one single piece of evidence against the yogis, whose “guilt” was so intensely presented by the media?!

The contradiction between the decision of the Cluj Court and the public criticism of thousands of yoga practitioners of the MISA school over the years is blatant. On one side, the decision confirms that truth always eventually prevails. On the other side, the logical assumption ensues that obviously, in Romania, there is a group of interests which had the power of manipulating the Prosecutor’s Office, the Romanian Secret Service and the entire media constantly. Nobody talks about this group, which should not be ignored. Who are these apparently untouchable people?

The decision of the Cluj court poses many inconvenient questions for the authorities. The verdict today does not represent a solution to the MISA case since there are countless forms of abuse which have been conducted on the yoga practitioners of this school. There are hundreds of Romanian citizens who have been denied the fundamental rights warranted by the Constitution. By analyzing these injustices which are truly disturbing, the renowned professor Gabriel Andreescu wrote in his book “MISA – Radiografia unei represiuni” (“MISA – the radiography of repression”): “The complaints of the MISA victims seem to depict a different world and a different time, since they are so incompatible with the rules of a society which became part of the most select community of democracies, a full-right member of the European Union”.

But the Romanian media did not say anything about these hundreds of cases of abuse. Moreover, an army of journalists have continuously fabricated deceitful accusations regarding the students of this school, which is the largest yoga school in Europe. The files depicting the facts reclaimed by the people of MISA are being illegally ignored by the authorities to this day.

Of course, the MISA case is just an example. If in this case it was possible for such revolting maneuvers to happen, which are to this day hidden from the eyes of the public, we can be sure that we still find ourselves on a troublesome path leading to the actual respecting of the human rights and liberties in Romania.

march 2015

Also available in: Română

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More