Overview of the Bertolucci
vs Walters/Ananda Trial
In November of 1994, a lawsuit was brought against Swami Kriyananda and the Ananda Church, accusing Kriyananda of fraud and using his position of spiritual authority to sexually exploit women.
In February 1998, after a 3 month trial, a jury awarded the plaintiff 1.6 million dollars in compensatory and punitive damages.
In the summer of 1999, after another year and a half of legal maneuvering, including the filing of bankruptcy in an attempt to avoid paying damages, Ananda finally agree to pay the full amount of the original jury award plus an additional $200,000 to settle two other related lawsuits.
Kriyananda Remains Unrepentant:
Despite overwhelming evidence against them, Kriyananda and the Ananda Church still refuse to accept responsibility for their actions or offer any apology. Even though Kriyananda was forced to admit that he had indeed had sex with his nuns, he still claims he did nothing wrong, that he was only acting out of divine love and friendship, and that no one was hurt. Kriyananda claims that he is merely the victim of a conspiracy by embittered former Ananda member’s intent on his destruction. According to jurors that we interviewed, the jury was outraged at Kriyananda's arrogant, self-righteous and unrepentant attitude during the trial.
Who is Kriyananda?
Judging from the evidence, including Kriyananda's own writings, Kriyananda probably has a serious sexual addiction, seems to also suffer from a narcissistic personality disorder with accompanying manifestations of persecution and grandeur complexes. And yet, to be seen as an authentic representative of his guru, Paramahansa Yogananda, Kriyananda has cultivated an exalted image of himself which he and his church have vigorously promoted over the last 30 years. Here is a man presuming to teach us about spiritual truths, but is himself, living a lie. Here is a man who sets himself up as an example for us of inner freedom, who is himself a slave to his senses.