I was born and raised in 3HO Sikh Dharma, a religion that I now know to be a cult. I left at 18 to live my life as I saw fit. After many years of not being able to shake the early childhood and India memories I am here to share my experiences and my current feelings about 3HO and their now deceased leader, Yogi Bhajan.

Growing up in a cult, we were often told that we were special and we were made to feel unique amongst mainstream society. The sad reality, however, was that we were treated carelessly and casually like communal property. In 1982 I was child-swapped to an inexperienced, negligent and abusive couple. In 1983 I was sent away, along with a group of other 3HO children, to boarding school in India. I was eight years old, and I was to live the rest of my childhood in a third world country under the “guidance” of appointed members in 3HO and Indian school matrons. As the years went on more and more groups arrived. 3HO Sikh Dharma continues to send children away to boarding school in India.

In my past experience it has been common for myself and my second generation peers to act flippant or dismissive when dealing with this past. One of the reasons, I believe, is that in dealing with the issue head on, one can become overwhemingly angry, anxious, stressed, depressed or saddened, and in order to simply cope we choose to brush some of the hard truths aside. We may rationalize by saying “everyone goes through traumatic experiences” or “it wasn’t ALL that bad, was it?”. Another possible reason that ex-3HO peers may have difficulty validating another’s experience, and this is due to our being deprived of the natural development of our individual selves, and the encouragement of ashram adults (vis-a-vis the leader, Yogi Bhajan) to tattle and punish one another for speaking out or being different. The fear of reprisal–in whatever form–carried over to adulthood, and diminishes the ability to see each other for the amazing individuals we are, and want to become.

I am hopeful for my future, and in the futures of my second generation peers. A majority of us have gone on to higher education and have developed the necessary critical thinking skills needed for independent thought and informed choices.

About this Blog

I want the curious world to know, from a first-hand account, what life was like for me growing up in this religion, removed from my my nuclear family for more than half of my childhood. Through counseling, therapy and education, I am now able to convey my opinion clearly and confidently, knowing that my feelings are valid, and that there is an audience that wants to know more about our story.

The motivation for this journal is not as a polemic, but is a personal platform where I express some of the feelings that emerge now and again as a result of being raised in the high-demand religious cult called 3HO Sikh Dharma and Kundalini Yoga.

Posts are written in no particular order, and are archived by the written date.

2 Replies to “about”

  1. Thank you for the work you are doing here. The willingness with which the remaining members of 3-ho are ready to deny the wrongs which were inflicted on them and on their children is sickening.

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