The Cover Up
There is a long history of Agama leadership covering up and downplaying sexual abuse at the school. Ananda Maha and Justine Baruch have played a principal role.
Maha Blames Sexual Assault Victims at Public Meeting
An attendee at the public meeting held in Enlightenment Hall with Maha after the scandal broke reported that it was “a big cover up. No acknowledgements. There was no compassion for the victims.” In regards to the numerous women who have come forth with sexual abuse stories, Maha said “It had all been their own perception, because of the wounds they were already carrying” the attendee reported.
Agama Hands Out Letter to Thai Locals Saying There are No Problems & People are Jealous
Agama printed out and delivered a letter in Thai to local Thai people on Ko Phangan stating that there were no problems at the school and that people were jealous and wanting to destroy the school. This contradicts their public statements showing that they are trying to acknowledge this situation professionally and deal with the harms done.
Teachers Leave During Scandal After Seeing "Manipulation"
“Several teachers have resigned. They saw that the school has no real intentions to change and [they were going to] keep up the denial and secrecy. I’m of course one of the teachers who said we can’t stand behind a system that doesn’t stand behind its teachers and students who got hurt. We started to see all the manipulation.”
Ananda Maha & Justine Baruch History of Covering Up Abuse
Ananda Maha, the current director of Agama and former lover of Swami has “turned a blind eye to every abuse, often even sending women to him saying ‘he’s the best at what he does’" an insider says.
Justine Baruch “has also turned a blind eye, even blaming the women for having issues. Many women have gone to her only to receive no empathy and the hardline — its your projections onto swami — you have to deal with it. I was told yesterday she also has a pile of testimonials of which nothing was ever done with.”
Thai Staff Member Who Quits During Scandal Says Agama Still Supporting Swami
"I can't continue working there anymore...It feels like Agama Foundation is still supporting Swami and not able to see that he did anything wrong. I'm really disappointed."
Former Staff Member Says Agama Never Took Action
"Women’s abuse has been happening for too long at Agama. People has been working to change it for too long. Agama has been saying they will take definitive actions to stop this toxic behaviour for too long and they never did...What they do is to manipulate people who are close to them to believe they will do something. What they do is to gain time to make people tired to fight against them. What they do is to pay the local authorities to not interfere."
Former Member Says Maha Has Resisted Change
"I can testify that Mihaiela Pentiuc aka Maha resisted change, opposed change, didn't want any change at Agama. Since 2011, Maha, Agama Director at that time also, until present days, had enough time to make some requested by many changes. She didn't."