The MISA representatives have met with the press

by Anca Munteanu

MISA has held a press conference two days before the second appearance in court for the hearing in which 21 yoga instructors were unlawfully accused of serious criminal offences – from human trafficking to anti-Semitism.

A special guest invited to the conference was Mr. Seppo Isotalo, Doctor in Political and Social Sciences, the Swedish Social Democrat representative to The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). Alongside him, MISA was represented by Monica Dascălu, Eduard Franţi, Florin Lazo and Mihai Stoian, the leader of Natha, the MISA branch in Denmark.

In front a small number of journalists, for about two hours, MISA was described as a social and international phenomena, as well as introducing the European perspective of the MISA / Gregorian Bivolaru case. A number of abuses which were generated to create the MISA files as well as shocking information about the 6D file were presented one after the other. „Even though the cases which we present here contain some astonishing subjects for the press we are almost sure that, as always, we will not find any of them published in the newspapers”- stated MISA representatives. Indeed none of the presented pieces of information have been published by the newspapers, nor have they reached the TV journals. This time it is definitely not because MISA has refused to speak with the press.

Yoga financially supported by the Government

Mihai Stoian has spoken about MISA and its foreign branches, opened in all the EU member states. The success of MISA abroad is due to the fact that the work done by the Yogis is in the interest of the public because annually tens of thousands attend the MISA courses about how to maintain a healthy condition, physical harmony, positive thinking, a healthy and balanced diet, personal development, the awakening of the aspiration and belief in a superior ideal in life, all of these being obtained through a natural lifestyle and through yoga. Also, the MISA yoga instructors and Ayurvedic lecturers perform voluntary work. Even though the content of the courses as well as the other administrative activities are identical for Romania and for the MISA schools abroad, a great difference is that in Italy, Sweden, Denmark and Germany these schools are also supported by the authorities of these respective countries through financial support as a recognition of the value of the teachings offered to the public.

Mihai Stoian has also given details about a MISA program that has been started in several European countries in order to introduce simple methods of the yoga millenary tradition, such as: the correct and complete breath, deep relaxation techniques, sexual continence, elements of emotional balance in connection with the subtle power centres of the human being, and simple concentration exercises into alternative school curriculums and even in the state schools in these respective countries. The first success was also presented: schools in Denmark have expressed their interest for some of these subjects to be introduced in the school curriculum starting as soon as 2008.

Additionally, in recognition for the value of the MISA yoga school, the Congress of the International Federation of Yoga for 2008 will be held in Bucharest and be hosted by MISA.

European voices

Mihai Stoian has done a comparison between the way in which the yoga taught by MISA is perceived abroad and the way in which it is perceived in Romania. Ironically in the country of origin – Romania – MISA is discriminated against. The abuses of the authorities against this yoga school have become a reason for concern in Brussels. This is why representatives of the European Commission, who want to observe this case directly, as well as the way in which the case is being dealt with, will attend the second hearing of the 6D file trial held in Bucharest, on Monday 24th September 2007, in the same manner as they attended the first hearing which was on the 6th of August. These representatives are attending as a result of the numerous observations made by the European officials, some of them members of the European Parliament. 
Jens Peter Bonde – member of the European Parliament and the President of the Indepence and Democracy group, Lisbeth Kirk – chief editor of the EU Observer, Ulla Sandbaeck – member of the Commission heading the Amnesty International in Denmark and the Swedish representative to the OSCE, and Seppo Isotalo are some of the voices that have made a stand in this case. Seppo Isotalo was invited to the press conference on Friday. He came to Romania as the Swedish representative to participate at the OSCE conference on the subject of human rights protection, a conference held in Bucharest in June 2007. The MISA representatives also presented at this conference some of the authorities’ abuses against the yoga school. Shortly after that, with dubious haste, the Persecutors have called to trial the 6D file in which 21 instructors are unlawfully accused of serious crimes. On the same day, the indictment for this case was offensively and illegally published on the Internet.

A file without any evidence

Monica Dascălu has continued the presentation of the 6D file. Besides the fact that the publishing of the indictment document on the internet which was done illegally, this not only brings serious prejudices against the 21 accused in the case and the entire yoga school, but it also offers incontestable proof of the fact that this file contains no evidence. The careful analysis of the MISA indictment, running for hundreds of pages, shows that the entire case is built on declarations of witnesses that FAIL TO bring any evidence. „In conditions in which we talk about an Association supervised continuously by the SRI (the Romanian Information Services) – as per the official declarations, from 1996 – the absence of evidence speaks for itself: we confront ourselves with made up accusations” said Monica Dascălu. After the MISA case was presented at the OSCE Conference, the Magistrates sent the file to court with a questionable haste. The indictment was pulled together in a rush and contains a series of ridiculous mistakes. The most serious being that a single individual appears twice on the list of the accused.

Confirmation of the fact that this file is fictitious is found right in the indictment, under the so called reports or scientific study about MISA. These reports try to give a serious note to the document, yet the material was compiled by:
–      Mario Sorin Vasilescu, the head of a competitor yoga school and therefore subjective, his notes were written in 1997
–      A group of psychologists headed by Irina Holdevici, a close friend of Mario Sorin Vasilescu and also SRI( Romanian Intelligence Service) Colonel
–      Tudorel Butoi, Psychologist of the former communist state Security and recently the SRI (Romanian Intelligence Service)
–      a study of MAI (the Ministry of the Internal Affairs)
–      two reports coming from the Orthodox Church written by the priest, Sterea Tache

It is a significant fact that none of the studies presented have been completly based on real evidence about the MISA yoga school. None of the authors above has ever spoken to any yogi, visited the ashrams, and attended a yoga conference or a yoga course. Therefore from the scientific point of view the validity of these studies is void.

The Christ operation – terrorist attack

Florin Lazo – Analyst of informational systems and military operations – has analysed the Christ operation from all its component aspects: the terrestrial aspect– represented by the forced entry into the MISA establishments, the informational war aspect– represented by the mass-media actions, as well as the judicial aspect – represented by the inquiries opened with the two files called into hearing. „The conclusion is that the operation from March, 18th 2004, under the secret code name “Christ”, was the second terrorist attack, after the miners’ revolt, actions realised by the representatives of the Romanian authorities on peaceful citizens. This terrorist attack was possible due to the political order and cover, of a scenario realised and put together by the secret services and conducted by the special forces and the Magistrates” Florin Lazo explained. The same conclusion was also reached by the journalist Ion Cristoiu, who wrote in April of this year: „The Romanian Secret Services have planned, down to the smallest detail, the MISA Pandemonium, a matter in which, if not the current Government, then definitely the next, will be forced to uncover the truth”.

Serious abuses

Furthermore, Florin Lazo explained that to assure the success of the “Christ operation” it was necessary that the people who were selected and involved, were people that would obey orders without questioning and were willing to be “bad” to achieve the set goal. An example of such an executor is the Prosecutor Marian Delcea, who during the searches and investigations has performed numerous abuses, proven by the legal complaints filed against him. He has used blackmail and intimidation to incite people into giving false statements; he used his official position to obstruct basic rights and has conducted himself in an abusive manner. Also, Prosecutor Marian Delcea has abusively and illegally released the indictment documents for the 6D file to the press. The individuals’ accused found out from the internet that they were being sent to court, as this aspect had not been brought to their attention officially before that moment. Additionally the accused had not been presented with the entire legal prosecution material.

The fact that for the 6D file the legal procedure of arbitrary association of a file to a Judge has been breached can also be included on the list of abuses. Additionaly, the fact that the yoga teacher Gregorian Bivolaru is listed by the General Inspectorate of Police on the list of most dangerous criminals in Romania, fails to observe that one ought to be considered innocent until otherwise proven guilty.

Apart from the Prosecutors abuses, another hot subject presented to the journalists by MISA representatives is the subject of the witnesses used by the prosecution in the case against the yogis. These are mainly members of three families who appear in both files, as victims, and as under-cover witnesses. All of them requested tremendous amounts of money under the consideration that they were “trafficked” in the yogi’s ashrams. All of them share a doubtful past, being expelled from the yoga classes for serious acts of misconduct such as theft, deceit, violent behaviour and were baited by the persecutors with offers of material wealth for false testimonies against Gregorian Bivolaru and other yoga instructors.

The success of the street demonstrations

Another serious abuse is that the possessions, which have been confiscated during the police raid on the 18th March 2004, have never been returned to their owners. Prosecutors and masked policemen with guns loaded 30 trucks with everything they could take from the yogis houses: clothes, carpets, linen, cases full of books, vacuum cleaners, mobile phones, ID cards, passports, study diplomas (University, college), the house papers for these properties, personal jewelleries, money from pockets and even though some people have received court orders that these goods are to be returned back to them, they have not yet been returned, after three and a half years.

These people have held hundreds of street demonstrations in front of the Superior Court of Magistracy and are continuing to attend weekly demonstrations in which they ask that the possessions which have been abusively held by the persecutors be returned to them. It was such a street demonstration that caught the attention of Swedish Seppo Isotalo and to get in touch with the MISA yoga school. He had come to Bucharest to attend an OSCE conference in June of this year. Near the hotel were he was checked in, was a protest demonstration by the MISA yogis. This is how he got in touch with the MISA yogis and heard about the MISA / Gregorian Bivolaru case. He was the one who encouraged the MISA representatives to present, as part of the OSCE, the abuses which they have endured over the past three years.

The MISA case will cost Romania millions of Euros

When Seppo Isotalo spoke at the conference press on Friday, he stated from the beginning that he is opened to answer all questions from the media. First of all, he explained what he was doing in Romania, why he was at the same table with the MISA representatives: because in a week’s time he will attend the OSCE in Warsaw where he will present a report about the MISA / Gregorian Bivolaru case. He considered the MISA case a shame for the Romanian state and has warned that this legal mistake could cost Romania millions of Euros. „There are European funds that are due to Romania, but as a sanction of such serious breach of human rights, these monies will never reach Romania. I am telling you, the MISA case is a disaster for Romania” Seppo Isotalo said.

When journalists asked him what he would write in this report, he has explained that a lot depends also on what will happen at the Bucharest Court hearing taking place on Monday, 24th September. Seppo Isotalo had attended the Court on the 6th of August as well, at the first hearing of this case. He told the journalists about his own investigations, about the meeting he had with Marian Delcea and about the methods he used to reach the conclusions which he presents in his report about MISA, completed in August.

„A shame for Romania”

As far as his personal opinion, this is very clear in the MISA case. „If it were my decision, this file would be closed in 5 minutes. This file is a shame for Romania”, he said. He presented praise for the ashram yogi way of life and he declared that „this type of housing should be in all the post-communist countries”. This statement has terribly angered one of the reporters representing the publication Attack, Ovidiu Zara, who then had vivid discussions for minutes on end with the Swedish Social Democrat. Even though the Romanian reporter showed a lack of respect, the Swede answered him politely and in detail every time. Accused that he is taking the side of the yoga school and that he is not being objective he replied that yes, he was at the same table with MISA, he would not deny it, but even so he is an objective observer.

At the end of the conference Mr Seppo Isotalo spoke with most of the present reporters. He declared himself happy, even after reading what some of the journalists wrote about the press conference in some gossip newspapers the next day. He considers that, for MISA, this is an exercise and a constructive change of attitude in the relationship with the mass-media. Even so, he is a realist and realises that it will be a long time before the Romanian press will be fair and will treat Mr Gregorian Bivolaru the way he deserves. „Europe wants him. I can assure you that Sweden will continue to offer its protection, because Sweden does not believe in Romanian justice, which is a bad thing for your country” he concluded.



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