Response to “Sikh Dharma Next Generation” (2010)

Many of us who chose not to live “in the Dharma” left on our own accord, and are quite happy forging our paths as we see fit. We enjoy autonomy, anonymity, freedom of expression, freedom in our attire, dress, hair, the freedom to consume anything we want to consume, etc, etc. But it’s possible that the prospects of more and more children winding up in India, some even 3rd generation children, causes discomfort and distress for us, as we continue in our own lives to process what it all meant. It’s not unreasonable to experience a sense of concern over the futures of 3HO 2nd & 3rd genrs. or to care about the welfare of our old classmates who remain in this institutional setting. We know, perhaps with more clarity, that they remain in this setting for a variety of pressures, all of them real. We have all so palpably experienced the nearly crushing pressure to conform and to assimilate.

We all know what this pressure feels like, whether we were able to walk away or not.

But… when I see that this is going on, I am dismayed, and I am angered, and I vehemently oppose any sort of accord that attempts at an unequivocal manifesto that would assume to speak for me.

If you were born or raised in 3HO Sikh Dharma, yet do not subscribe to its tenets, it does not mean that you do not have the inalienable right to voice your concerns, talk about your history within 3HO or India, or advocate for the future generations.

Send your feedback to Sikh Dharma Next Generation: Tell them your story, tell them your experiences, tell them how YOU live your life today. Any “accord” that assumes to speak for the 2nd generation adults born and raised in 3HO Sikh Dharma, whether they are actively engaged in the lifestyle or not, will be met with the reminder that the majority of those born and raised in this group have since left.

Live Your Life Response

Sikh Dharma Next Generation: “Agree that the Siri Singh Sahib bestowed upon us an invaluable legacy in his teachings of Sikh Dharma, Kundalini Yoga and meditation, and White Tantric Yoga, and in the non-profit organizations that he helped to form”

Live Your Life: The Siri Singh Sahib was an authoritarian, charismatic leader of a cult. He claimed to be a yoga master. He invented a series of calisthenics-like exercises and branded it as ancient Kundalini Yoga. He invented “white” tantric, in which he intentionally put his disciples in a trance-like state in order for them to suspend critical thinking, and blindly follow the prescriptions he called lifestyle. He created 501(c)3 organizations under the guise of religious freedom, and enlisted his disciples, and children of his disciple to turn over 10% of their income and volunteer their free time to him through his organizations. He lived a wealthy, lavish and luxurious lifestyle with the use of these funds.

SDNG: Agree that younger generations are the future leaders of Sikh Dharma and the non-profit organizations, and the future of the legacy of the Siri Singh Sahib;

LYL: The 2nd, 3rd and all future generations of the 3HO Sikh Dharma cult were unwitting and unwilling recipients of his authoritarian leadership. He ordered his disciples to swap children between households in different parts of the country. He ordered his disciples to put infants on dangerous diets. He ordered his disciples to send children away to an abusive boarding school in India, sometimes as young as six years old. He ordered young adults to work for his profitable businesses at minimum wage. He ordered and conducted the arranged marriages between young adults, or teen women to older men. The Complex Post Traumatic Stress symptoms experienced by many of the 2nd generation adults is his responsibility.

SDNG: Agree that developing leadership by the younger generations is the way to secure the Siri Singh Sahib’s legacy into the future;

LYL: The Siri Singh Sahib’s legacy of abuse and authoritarian rule ends with him in death. He has no power over any of the future generations of 3HO Sikh Dharma, and cannot inflict any more orders or harm on any of his disciples or unwitting victims within the 2nd and 3rd generation. By living one’s life as one sees fit, one removes the authority of this cult leader completely, and is able to enjoy the autonomy of a free life.

SDNG: Agree that it is critical to act now to create a smooth transition between current and future leadership;

LYL: What is critical, is to understand that the trauma and abuses suffered under this cult are in no way one’s own fault or doing. What is critical, is for the 1st generation to take responsibility in its own part of putting its children in harm’s way, despite repeated reports of abuse, sickness, neglect and filth while living in India, and in Ashrams across the world.

SDNG: Agree that this task requires a broad community effort;

LYL: If this indeed requires broad community effort, any task of taking the reigns for the future of 3HO/Sikh Dharma MUST include a clause which speaks of the intentional abuses of the boarding school environment in India, and the 3HO Ashrams. It MUST include a clause that hundreds of 2nd generation adults born and raised in 3HO Sikh Dharma have denounced its principles, its tenets, and especially its leader, Yogi Bhajan aka Siri Singh Sahib, and have undergone therapy and counselling at their own expense for cult recovery and PTSD.

SDNG: Agree that it is essential for established leaders to help develop younger leaders and create pathways for younger leadership;

LYL: It is essential for 2nd generation adults born and raised in 3HO Sikh Dharma to understand that the short term goals of the Siri Singh Sahib and his inner circle was to exploit the hard work and sacrifice of the populace of 3HO Sikh Dharma, and that this short term goal did not account for a future for the next generations of 3HO Sikh Dharma

SDNG: Agree that it is the responsibility of the younger generations to make the commitment to learning, training, and developing the necessary skills to fulfill leadership roles.

LYL: It is the right of all 2nd generation adults born or raised in 3HO Sikh Dharma to live a life of autonomy and freedom, whether or not they choose to adhere to the principles of 3HO Sikh Dharma. It is the responsibility of current members of 3HO who consider themselves the “future” generation to take into account differences in religion and creed, to take into account autonomy and freedom, and to take into account the majority of 2nd generation adults who have adopted the inalienable right to a life free of authoritarian obedience to one person.

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One Reply to “Response to “Sikh Dharma Next Generation” (2010)”

  1. It broke my heart to read this post. I am a family member of a 40+ year 3HO devotee. For those 40+ years I have been abandoned, for the most part, by my beloved sister, who I continue to love and will always embrace, should she ever need me. Thankfully, my 2nd generation neice has successfully made her life outside of the cult, which she left right out of high school. However, in spite of her successes, I know she suffers and has worked hard to move beyond her anger. God bless you for creating this valuable site.

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