Arrest of Guru Bivolaru: rape, human trafficking… A long list of accusations

Wanted by Interpol, Romanian guru Gregorian Bivolaru was arrested in France on Tuesday November 28, 2023, as part of an anti-sect raid.

Arrest of Guru Bivolaru: rape, human trafficking… A long list of accusations

Wanted by Interpol, Romanian guru Gregorian Bivolaru was arrested in France on Tuesday November 28, 2023, as part of an anti-sect raid. Aged 71, he faces numerous charges.

Vast raid against an international sect of tantric yoga. Tuesday November 28, no less than 41 people were arrested and taken into police custody in France. Among them, a 71-year-old man is suspected of being the spiritual leader of the Atman Yoga Federation, present in 31 countries including France. Followers nickname him "Grieg", "Grig" or "Magnus Aurolsson", his papers indicate the name of Gregorian Bivolaru. Concretely, the authorities suspect this Romanian, already sentenced to six years in prison in his native country for rape of a minor, of being the leader of a network suspected of having indoctrinated certain female followers to sexually exploit them, whether either to agree to have sexual relations with the guru and/or to “engage in pornographic practices paid for in France and abroad,” specifies Ouest-France, which echoes the AFP.

Thus, Gregorian Bivolaru is suspected of “human trafficking”, “organized gang kidnapping”, “rape” and “abuse of weakness in an organized gang by members of a sect”. He now faces up to 30 years in prison. In France, a judicial investigation was opened in July 2023 for the various offenses mentioned above, indicates Libération. Judicial investigation opened on the basis, in particular, of complaints filed by three people claiming to be former victims, reports RFI. At the origin of this affair, reports to the public body responsible for sectarian abuses, Miviludes, were made by a dozen ex-followers in July 2022.

Speaking to RFI, several people claiming to be victims of Gregorian Bivolaru have confided in recent weeks that around ten women were generally simultaneously sequestered for several days, in different accommodations located in the Paris region, with the aim of staying safe. provision of the Romanian guru. The radio adds that it had information that, at the time of the arrest, 26 women were found on site, some of whom were under influence, specifies Ouest-France.

According to L'Express, Gregorian Bivolaru claims to date several tens of thousands of students and other supporters across the globe. Now cornered by French justice, the septuagenarian has already faced justice on various occasions in the past. While he founded the very first yoga school in Romania in 1972, at the age of 20, he was quickly the subject of prosecutions, then convictions, even leading to his internment in a psychiatric hospital until 'in 1989, indicates L'Express. The end of the communist regime in Romania then allowed his Misa movement to take off, before further prosecutions. He was notably indicted in 2004 for sexual assault of a minor and trafficking of minors, again in Romania. Gregorian Bivolaru then fled to Sweden where he obtained asylum and the name of Magnus Aurolsson.

The Atman Yoga Federation, of which he is the head, operates in France through the Yoga Intégral association, specifies RFI. An association present in Paris, Poitiers and Nice. The people arrested were also arrested simultaneously in Paris, Seine-et-Marne, Val-de-Marne and the Alpes-Maritimes on Tuesday.

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