In 2017 the ATMAN Federation for Yoga and Meditation, MISA's umbrella organisation, sent a letter to the Bistrita Court in Romania, where the guru Gregorian Bivolaru was imprisoned for sex with an underage.
The letter was attached to his court file (number 6859/190/2017) in order to support his early release on parole.
Instead of 6 years he spent just about 1 year in Romanian jail.
The censored text of the letter as made available to the press by the Bistrita court:
Date: August 10th, 2017
To Whom It May Concern:
Letter in support for the release of Mr. ...,
Atman the International Federation of Yoga and Meditation is a non-profit organization providing a basis of cooperation between various traditional yoga schools and genuine spiritual paths worldwide. It was established in London, United Kingdom, registered in Company House, Cardiff, 7th December 2004 with the registration number 5306448.
The International Federation of Yoga and Meditation comprises 40 members, with several thousands of students and hundreds of certified yoga teachers (list of members in attachment).
These yoga schools have structured their activity of teaching yoga around the teachings of Mr. Gregorian Bivolaru and used to receive weekly new lessons from him.
As it is stipulated in the "Legal Agreement for Protection of Intellectual Property of ATMAN" Mr. Bivolaru and Atman - The International Federation of Yoga and Meditation have the
intellectual property of the course material:
"OWNERSHIP & INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
CONTRACTOR agrees that ATMAN and Mr ... retain ownership and intellectual property rights of all CONFIDENTIAL DATA, course materials including without limitation, know-how, data, processes, designs, photographs, images, specifications, and samples contained therein or any other materials copyrighted and/or owned by ATMAN and ....
These rights protected by the current European and international legislation extend to and include the use of materials on the internet or in reproduction through any kind of printed or digital media. It is solely the decision of the board of ATMAN and Mr. ..., where and how any part of the above mentioned material of ATMAN can be shared or used."
Apart from the course materials, the yoga schools have also been receiving specific instruction how to practically apply the techniques of the lessons.
These instructions and clarifications are of fundamental importance to the International Federation of Yoga and Meditation and its members, as within our core principles are to promote and reveal the yoga science and methodology in its traditional forms, and to let yoga becomes a valuable tool to be used for the complete transformation on all levels of the human being. Being the author of the course materials that is comprising now 28 years of weekly lesson, Mr. Bivolaru's instructions are a requirement in order to meet these high principles.
More than that, known for high standards of teachings authored by ... the Internationai Federation of Yoga and Meditation is hosting international Congresses, keeps internationally certified teacher courses, collaborates with researchers as well as embassies and international organizations.
The imprisonment of Mr ... has left the international Federation of Yoga and Meditation in a precarious situation. New lessons cannot be provided in time, fundamental questions about the teachings and techniques remain unanswered for long periods. This is even more significant as the yoga techniques are means to improve physical and psychical health and wellbeing of the practitioners. Thus the yoga schools are having a great responsibility towards their students, and if clarifications cannot be provided,
it puts the members of the International Federation of Yoga and Meditation in very difficult situations. As the source of the teachings of the members of the International Federation of Yoga and Meditation is cut off from regular communication, the entire structure of the federation is affected, and putting at risk delicate international relations as well as the reputation of the federation at large.
... is an example and inspiration for many people in the field of human development. His behaviour and his teachings always emphasize on respecting the law, on moral values, on integrity. His teachings of the first year of yoga start with the moral and ethical code (Yama and Niyama). Throughout the years the members of the federation have kept many international camps and conferences, of which ... was the main guest. In hundreds of testimonies the participants expressed their great content to have the possibility to address questions to him directly and receive guidelines and inspirations regarding their personal yoga practice and life in general.
More than this politicians, human rights organizations, and experts in the field have attested both within and outside Romania that ... in no way presents a danger, but on the contrary that he is an example for these moral values.
For the above mentioned, we very much recommend his release on behalf of Atman - The international Federation of Yoga and Meditation. We highly appreciate
your understanding and your consideration of the present letter.