The MISA case at an International Scale

by Anca Munteanu

Romanian media has continuously outspoken the danger of yogis. The word MISA instantly triggers strange connections in people’s mind: group sex, brain wash, urine therapy. Still, there are 35,000 people attending the yoga courses that testify the opposite about the MISA School. They are talking about how their life improved, how they got happier, healthier and more generous by means of yoga.

Although they have been striving to wipe out the largest spiritual movement of Europe, MISA currently is even more powerful then it used to be. The abuses inflicted to the yogis have been brought to international focus. The MISA case stands on the European Parliament members agenda, even the UNO Secretary Kofi Annan has been submitted the case. This makes the nuisance of those who wanted to destroy the MISA Yoga School. This is why serious pressures are being urged to silence down those who are denouncing the MISA setup. They even desperately called on criminal hands. Who is in the backstage of all these actions?

Warning! Inflammable!

On December 7, 2005: in front of the General Prosecutor’s Office, a manifestation of the MISA Yoga School is taking place when a guy tries to set an explosion to the electricity generator, gas fuelled. Caught red-handed, he is pursued and seized by two yogis who delivered him to the gendarmes.

On February 5, 1995: a strong explosion shattered the Ferentari neighbourhood at dawn. The doors in the block of flats on 4, Sergent Turturica St. were unhinged. All the windows within a 50 metres area were broken. Mr. Gregorian Bivolaru’s house had been damaged by a serious fire. The judiciary expert’s report concluded that “the explosion had been deliberately triggered by one or several persons”. The flat had been trespassed through the bathroom window that had been barred off and the fire set by cutting off the gas pipe.

The two events occurred one ten years later than another, but they are utterly alike. The same playwriting, the same figures, the same director. The background of these “plays” is Romania, the single state in the world to have prohibited yoga. Since the Transcendental Meditation scandal, that also victimized Gregorian Bivolaru, yoga was pushed out of law till December 1989. Gregorian Bivolaru had been continuously surveyed by the Security before ’89 because he was practicing and teaching yoga and for mailing Mircea Eliade. An inconvenient person, the MISA spiritual mentor had been imprisoned twice, and then forcefully put to a psychiatric asylum during the communist regime.    

After the Revolution, the Secret Services kept watching Gregorian Bivolaru. In 1990, he founded MISA and opened yoga courses in all the important towns of the country and even abroad. The courses were really successful and thousands of people started to attend. At that time media set violent broadside against MISA and its founder. The accusations against Gregorian Bivolaru in the old communist times come up with these days’ media columns. 

National security attempt

During 15 years the Romanian Intelligence Service had been watching all the activities of the MISA spiritual leader and his entourage. Later on he still made the target of the Romanian Intelligence Service. The same old accusations in the communist regime are now being restated to comply with the „democracy” terms. Before 1989, the MISA mentor had been investigating for conspiracy against the Ceausescu regime. After the revolution the accusation was national security offence.

At the beginning of 1999, the SRI issues again a notification to have Gregorian Bivolaru and his entourage investigated on grounds of national security offence. After two years minute investigations he was found non guilty. Under political order, the SRI issues another notification for the Prosecutor’s Office near the High Court of Cassation and Justice. Since it’s but the remains of the old communist Security Service, the current Romanian Intelligent Service SRI is not a simple Information Institution as the law would provide it. Their notifications are “compulsory”, therefore the Prosecution had to challenge to appeal a case already closed. The former verdict is denied and the investigations are resumed on grounds of state security attempt.

Against all efforts to find new accusations against the spiritual leader of MISA, the investigation finds him again non guilty. Due to political pressures, George Balan the head prosecutor of the Prosecutor’s Office near the Court of Appeal in Bucharest, issues an abusive ordinance to deny the verdict of the second investigation again. We obviously have a political order here, which is supported not only by the PSD minutes, but also by one of the grounds to support the second investigation of the case, namely Gregorian Bivolaru had allegedly undermined the high political staff. Basic human rights are broken here by the SRI tactics, which is seriously disagreed as far as the human rights protection NGO are concerned. The president of the Association for the Defence of Human Rights in Romania, Helsinki Committee (APADOR-CH), Manuela Ştefănescu, stated that the SRI surveillance, which consists “not only in phone interception for a lifetime”, broke basic rights of the human being.

The Masonry, the peak of the pyramid

Since no steady evidence could be found during decades of surveillance to incriminate Gregorian Bivolaru, the Intelligence Service passed on to a different kind of actions. The MISA founder was repeatedly death threatened consequently to some books he had issued to disclose masonry. The last threatening note was delivered just before the wild searching on March 18, 2004 in the yogis’ houses. “If you are not going to calm down and if you keep writing “unmasking” books we shall put you back to jail, for that’s where you belong and shall make another surprise for you at your place, just like the other one you  sure have not forgotten”, the note says.

There obviously is some connection between these criminal actions and the Intelligence Service. Soon after this note, consequently to the SRI notifications, the Romanian Police sets off the largest action since the last 15 years”. On March 18, 2004, hundreds of gendarmes and prosecutors burst into 16 locations of the yogis. The time was strategically set up. The whole thing made the news of the month and cast a shadow over the real events at that moment: such as the critical EU report on Romania or some kids trafficking network where former members of the government in office were involved. The political order here is mentioned in the PSD minutes where Adrian Nastase asked “show and bread” for the many.

The connection between the continuous surveillance of the Intelligence Service, the criminal attempts and the political order in the MISA case set up a triangle figure. But the real figure is much more complex yet, we actually deal with a pyramid. There is one more point above all the other: the masonry.

MISA protests keep going!

The events on March 18 were meant to destroy the MISA Yoga School. Tens of persons taken as witnesses had been then inflicted physical and psychical pressures kept freezing for hours, held at gunpoint, no bread and water, just to have them sign and state any accusations against Gregorian Bivolaru. Nothing could be found; therefore they set up the Madalina Dumitru file. After a framing set up for the MISA spiritual head at the Nadlac customs he was arrested and set free soon after, on grounds of vices of procedure. Meanwhile, for fear they might lose him, the Prosecution forged new files Gregorian Bivolaru against such as the human beings trafficking file.  In order to have justice done, Gregorian Bivolaru asked for political asylum in Sweden. After several months detention the High Court of Stockholm finds him non guilty and sets him free. By the end of December 2005, the emigration authority of Malmo decides the political asylum for him. Although Gregorian Bivolaru no longer makes the target of the SRI, the Intelligence Service keeps watching the MISA leaders and followers.

The yogis submitted countless national and international memos to complaint the authorities’ abuses along years. It’s been more than 14 weeks since the yogis protested in public manifestations against the Romania head prosecutor Ilie Botos, morally in charge with the legal procedure breach during the yogis’ investigations. These protests became a pain in the neck for the politicians. The control Parliament Board of the SRI flayed the Intelligence Service for “having triggered the public protests of MISA instead of obstructing them”. Pressures are being taken to have these protests stopped. Since the last few weeks the Bucharest Mayor Hall barely issued the meeting authorisation five minutes before it started. To get it unofficially, “maybe they will finally give up, damn yogis”. Since they will not easily give up, anyway, criminal hands have been called on. On December 7, right in the nose of the gendarmes, there was an attack against more than one hundred MISA followers asking for Ilie Botos to resign. Against all pressures that are being taken the protests will keep going, until the guilty for all the abuses against the yogis will be investigated and punished. The right to protest is guaranteed in the Constitution. And the authorities can no longer disregard the law as far as the yogis are concerned. For the European Union is watching us.

Read also:
The Transcendental Meditation Scandal, Still an open wound for the Romanian people



Also available in: Română

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