(Note — When I chose the date for publishing this story, I forgot that this is the anniversary of my ex-guru’s death. The timing for sharing this story and further exposing the long-running sex cult of Kripalu Majaraji of Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat was clearly destined by God. I was shaking when I realized the timing. Once again, Radha Krishna is guiding my mission to alert innocent people about the true, carefully hidden nature of this wicked sex cult. Jai Shree Radha Krishna!)
America is in the midst of a flood of sex abuse allegations against powerful men. What has been hidden for decades is now being revealed by women who are finally brave enough to speak out. The confessions actually started last year with the comedian Bill Cosby. It started with one woman. But eventually dozens told their stories of sexual abuse at his hand.
But this year the revelations have reached a whole new level. One accuser spoke out about the powerful movie mogul, Harvy Weinstein, and somehow the floodgates quickly broke open with many women telling their stories of abuse—including many powerful actresses who you wouldn’t expect to have been abused, let alone keep quiet about, like Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow.
But the bloodletting hasn’t stopped there. Many other women have alleged sex abuse from many other men. Hopefully, this exposure will be a turning point in the tendency for women to stay quiet after being raped or molested. The only way we can stop sex abuse is to stop keeping sex abusers—and their helpers—secrets. They must be held accountable. And abuse victims must be heard, believed, and protected.
When Kripalu Maharaji and Swami Prakashanand Saraswati’s decade-long cycle of sex abuse came to light, only a few women had the ability to speak out and tell their stories. Many others were too ashamed, scared, or abused to let the sounds of their voices be heard.
I’ve been in communication with some of the women who were not yet ready to share their experiences with others. They told me in great confidence, so I could help others. Now, one of those women is ready to tell the world. She has written her story from beginning to end. It is harrowing and sad — and very very brave. People she trusted and admired prepared her for years, from the time she was a very young girl, to ultimately become a sex toy for Kripalu. After the unwanted and unwelcome sexual attack, her family turned away from her. Like many families, they had already sold their souls to their daughter’s sex abuser. They were so completely brainwashed they no longer cared for their own daughter, their flesh and blood, and her children—their grandchildren. They’d rather host the people garbed out in orange pretending to be holy — but who are all the while only on the hunt for their next victims.
Karishma Blancett has spent years healing from her traumatic ordeal. She is now ready to tell her story in her own words — the story of becoming a victim of the Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat sex factory. If, after reading her story, you don’t share her pain and outrage at such a twisted, criminal operation, then I really wonder about your humanity — because you are helping an organization headed up by a child sex offender and, so, you are definitely part of the problem in our world today.
My Life as a Young Girl in the Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat Sex Cult
By Karishma Blancett
My family came to know Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat and its leader, “Kripalu Maharaji,” through one of its preachers—Gopeshwari Devi (aka, “Didi”). At that time, she was the main preacher in Fiji Islands and some parts of New Zealand, since her family is from there.
Gopeshwari came to Lautoka where we lived to preach. My oldest aunt was always into these things where she will entertain these “preachers” of different cults for as you might call it “attention-seeking behavior.” Gopeshwari used to stay at my aunt’s house when she was “touring” the islands in the western division. My aunt introduced my family to her. Gopeshwari acted sweet and kind. She informed us about how spiritual practices were so much simpler in her organization, than what we were doing as “regular” Hindus. My parents were hooked pretty quickly. They decided it was time to change for the “better.”
We held a huge three-day program at our home. Gopeshwari talked about her so-called “Guru,” telling us he gave up his “golden seat” to give India something it needed. She also explained that he had spent time out in the jungle performing “tapasyas” (austerities). When he came back, he was this “godly being,” who wrote many books and songs. She told us he had kids without having sex, and that the color of one of his daughter’s skin was white.
Because I was just 10, lived a so-called sheltered life, and was looking for love and attention (in wrong places?), I was really impressionable. I believed everything the “preacher” told me. I decided this group was the way to go and these are the people I should be hanging out with, because they are saints and they can do nothing wrong. I suggested to mum and dad that we should quit eating meat and follow Gopeshwari as she IS the one who will show us an easier way to God.
The Grooming Begins
From the get-go, Gopeshwari was very loving, kind, and gentle towards me. She was like an aunt looking out for me. She advised me on everything: the way I dressed, the way I do things, to not gain weight, and make sure to keep myself away from boys. She was always keeping an “eye” on me. She would treat me and other single girls like we were the “gopis” only meant for the Lord. It was almost like we were “groomed and molded” for something or someone.
Years passed like this, then things started changing. I started to see her true colors. I discovered that Gopeshwari had anger issues BIG time. In my personal experience, she would argue with anyone — such as, with my mum if there was something during an event that didn’t go her way. She’d flipped if she told the kids to do something and we didn’t do it in certain way for by a certain time or way. There’s angry and then there’s ANGRY. She would say things that will hurt your feelings or made you cry in front of a crowd.
She made demands to ensure that she was always well taken care, because she was the student of a “world-famous guru” who is not from this world. There was always someone around to wash her clothes, cook her food in the particular way she specified and eating out of only the best dishes anyone had at their home. She was always “visiting” people where she would spend time with them and be treated like a VIP. From all of the hardworking people in Fiji who she visited, she expected “daan,” or as you would call it, donations. Another odd thing was that Gopeshwari very specifically wanted to make sure all the “new” people who looked like they had money were well taken care of.
The Grooming Continues
All the while I was growing up thinking this is my way out. I am going to be “loved” by someone. Indian girls who are from small countries can only dream … watching Bollywood movies and listening to Bollywood music thinking about boys, but then not really, because we were not allowed to dream. Our parents made sure we were real into the group’s messaging (cult BS). Made sure we were thinking about our Guru and God always and not wondering around with boys. Culture was already in play. Now add the cultish BS to it and I was in a DEEP DEEP mess. God forbid I talked to a boy. I would hear: “Karishma, come and sit here, fix your veil, do this, do that, sit properly, stop laughing so loud.” It was very frustrating for a young girl.
Then we got the news that we were moving to USA. I remember so well that day. I happened to be giving Gopeshwari a massage, which I was instructed to do regularly whenever she was around. She said to me pointblank: “If you screw up in the US, I will make sure you are shipped back to Fiji.” She meant if I did not behave the way she groomed me to behave, got a boyfriend, or, heaven forbid, got married. Of course, at that time, I thought it was funny.
However, what I wanted was to go to India and dedicate my life to being “loved” by the guru and his people. I would have done anything for that. My desire was fueled by the fact that one long-time devotee had just sent her daughter to India to study and live at the ashram with the Guru. Her parents were so, so proud of her. She now works for this group. Later on, she told me that she had been “raped” by the guru. She was really proud of that fact. I was in shock. And so was her mother—who now considered her daughter to be an eternal God.
The Preparations for Kripalu
I came to US when I was 16. Gopeshwari had her claws stuck here, too. She would go from the Bay area to Sacramento, Los Angeles, and San Diego. She had cousins that were really into this cult. Their daughters were my age, so we clicked. We would perform Indian dances at some of Gopeshwari’s special events. She was also making her regular trips to Austin, Texas. We got to meet some other devotees who were following Swami Prakashanand. We thought it was weird that instead of praying to the main Guru, which was Kripalu, the Texas people were praying to this Prakashanand. Gopeshwari told us: Yeah, Prakashanand makes them do this and that. They are supposed to be praying to him because he is so good at what he does. She said that Prakashanand was going to take over when Kripalu “moves on.” We struggled to figure out where Kripalu’s sons and daughters fit into the line of succession. I was coming to see that there was always so much drama and intrigue and secrets in this group.
Things started changing for me after we moved to US. There were so many more opportunities. By this time, I had started attending college and working. Now that I had my own money, my “donations” started adding up. My parents had gone to India when we were in Fiji. Everything they did was related to $$$$$$$$$. You want to see the Guru you give $$$. You want to sit with the Guru. You give $$$$$. You want things from him like scarves or jewelry other people gave him. You have to give $$$$$$ God forbid if you do not have the money right away. Then it goes in this ledger Gopeshwari kept tight control of. Boy, I was in $10,000 by the time I was done in 2006.
While there, I had a truly traumatic experience—thanks to the dark side of Gopeshwari. I still remember that day very clearly. One day, my brother and I were hanging out with another devotee’s son at his parent’s before the night’s event. Gopeshwari found out as she was staying at the dude’s sisters house. That night Gopeshwari gave a speech that was all about me. I’m not sure how that relates to God, but that’s what she did. By the end, EVERYONE at the program was told that I spent the day with this guy. However, they were not told that my 19-year-old brother was there the whole time. She conveniently left out that part. I wasn’t even friends with the guy, but, according to her, I had already slept with him and was about to have his child. She also made sure to tell his parents, sister, aunt, and grandma that I had bad intentions for their son. My mother also got an earful about it. All this, while my mother knew where we were and what we were doing the entire day. She didn’t even stand up for me. I cried the entire time, felt embarrassed, pissed off, and depressed. It’s depressing to be part of that cult, because you never get to be happy. There’s always drama.
The Guru’s “World Tour”
At some point, we heard that Kripalu was going on a world tour and he would be coming to US, including the Bay area. OMG, Gopeshwari went on a tear. She knocked on the doors of all of the rich people looking for a place for him and his family to stay. It had to be a rich person’s house, so he didn’t feel out of place. One rich couple was chosen who had a half a million dollar home in a quite community. Then she started making demands. Kripalu’s room was supposed to have this and that. He needed at least 10 huge clocks in the room. He had to have a certain kind of shower. The rooms needed to be linked somehow. A Mercedes had to be rented. Everyone’s lives STOPPED so they could prepare to serve the guru, and his entourage and minions.
It was a HUGE group. His daughters and sons were coming, too. Also, people to cook him his food and someone to do his clothes—all women. OMG, it’s like poor thing can’t do anything without all these girls and women surrounding him. I wanted to go see him with my brother the first day he was there, but Gopeshwari said NO. She told me: “You will have ‘private’ time with him.” I am thinking: wtf does that mean?
The weekend before Kripalu came to the US, five young girls got a “group time” with Gopeshwari. I was one of them. She started the talk by asking us: “How do you see Kripalu?” One girl said she saw him as a husband. I am thinking to myself, I respect him as God’s servant. I thought it was weird that one girl thought of him as her husband. I can’t pray to my husband. I mean husband and guru are just way too much difference for me.
Then Kripalu showed up. The first day a girl from Fiji, who had moved Canada went to see him alone in his room. She came out of his room crying historically. Nothing about this made sense. I thinking: What’s wrong with you? I wasn’t the only one. Everyone present was like: What’s going on here? Then another preacher, named Diwakari (from Prakashanand’s group of preachers) arrived on the scene and took her outside. I remembered Diwakari very well, because one time we went to one of her programs. She did not like the way my brother played dhol (drum). She said it was affecting the way she concentrated. That woman’s face has stuck with me from that day. So, she takes the girl out into the backyard to calm her down. After a long time of talking to the preacher that poor girl finally settled down.
At that time, I also heard that a really pretty lady who was very sweet and had a beautiful singing voice, was also a great devotee and went to meet Kripalu. But, she was PISSED by the time she came out from his bedroom. She immediately left the house and we never saw her again ever, even though our family had spent many years as devotee with her and her family.
The next day, my brother’s girlfriend was getting all worked up. I am like: “What’s going on?” She told me: “Gopeshwari wants me to take a shower and smell nice and meet Kripalu today.” I am like, “okay, but why do you need to take a shower???” It didn’t make sense to me. Later, she came out of the room and talked really excitedly about how Kripalu showed her Jannat (heaven). This did not make any sense to me. I was thinking: What is happening there to these women? I felt completely out of my league.
The Rape Attempt
The very next morning, I was doing my morning chanting, when I was called upstairs to Kripalu’s by Gopeshwari. I haven’t freaked out that much in my entire life. I still remember that day and the events so clearly. I have went through cancer, chemo, radiation, and have so wished that this memory would be erased from my mind during those radical therapies. But guess what?? No such luck. They are STILL FREAKING THERE. So far, nothing has helped me forget my memories of my experience in that room alone with that man.
I arrive in the hallway near his bedroom. A nice lady from Yuba city who loved her Guru was sitting there. I calmed down a little bit, because I trusted her. She told me that Kripalu was doing his morning “walk” from this corner of the hall to another. I sat down and watching his feet while he walked. I could not look up at him. I had no idea what to think. I was given cloves to chew on. Why? My veil taken away from me. Why? What the hell am I supposed to do in there with him. My heart was pumping like crazy. I had been told that guy was sent by God. He was going to show me the straight way to God. I am special that is why I was picked to spend this special time with him.
Finally, Kripalu stops walking and goes in his room. After a while, I was called in there by an India woman with short dark hair. I’m standing there with her and he’s spread out on his bed. I am wondering wtf are you guys going to do to me. Then she quietly dims the light, closes the door, and goes into the adjacent room. Now, it’s just Kripalu and me. What do I do? What am I supposed to do? He calls me closer to him. I go. He leans over towards me and starts kissing me. His tongue in my mouth. Wtf wtf wtf. Why is his tongue in my mouth? Gross!!! I have no idea how to respond. I do not even know how to kiss that way. Then he comes closer and starts fondling my breasts. I was so freaking shocked, I couldn’t move. It was like I was separate from my body. Then he then puts his hands in my panties and starts rubbing my private parts. That’s when I saw his saggy old ass, balls, and penis. I FREAKED to the max. I wanted nothing to do with his GROSS penis or this entire disgusting experience. I leapt backwards, fixed my clothes, and ran the fuck out of there.
While still in shock, I had to drive back home with the same woman who had sent her daughter to India. She asked me: “Did you have one-on-one time with Kripalu?” I am like: “Yeah.” I am shocked to see happiness on her face. She said: “Yes, my daughter was also blessed like that in India. You’re super special.”
By this time, I’d been told a thousand times: “Do NOT TELL anyone. It’s a ‘SPECIAL’ thing that only happens to special people.” Fuck that shit. The entire time he was there, I had seen numerous girls who were even minors go in there and come out all giddy.
Life went on. Because I was “special,” I closed it off my mind. But I still can’t get that gross thing out of my mind or the entire experience. It’s still pretty clear now that I’ll be traumatized for the rest of my life. It doesn’t help that my parents didn’t support me and, in fact, have abandoned me, my husband, and my three children. At first, my parents did not know about it. My brother knew what happened to his girlfriend and he was okay with it. I tried to call my grandparents about it. But their attitude was: “You cannot talk about God that way.” My calls suddenly started dropping whenever I brought up the topic. So, I quit bringing it up. No one else was talking about their experiences in his bedroom either.
The Truth Comes Out
Then, two years later, we were told that Kripalu was coming back to US, including the Bay area. The day he was supposed to be at the house again is the day I ran away from mine. I did not know why at the time, but it makes much more sense now.
I continued to live my own life while raising my family—far away from Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat. Then I heard about girls who were speaking out in Texas against Swami Prakashanand. Then I began to hear more sex abuse stories about Kripalu. As I followed the story online, I found Rishika and reached out to her and received moral support in return. I shared part of my story, but wasn’t ready to face the whole truth. But from that point onwards I started slowly telling my mum about it. She did not believe me. We would fight about it. She would not talk to me for years. I told my dad about it, but guess what he said: “Kripalu is God. He is special.” I talked to my brother about it, but my experience fell in deaf ears. Every single time I used to visit them, I would see all the pictures of them with Kripalu and his gang, and get pissed off more and more. It was like torture to me. I told them I do not want nothing to do with this cult and don’t even want to hear anything about it.
This year in March 2017, it was my dad’s 60th birthday. I was so excited to see everyone after a long time. Just prior to that, my brother had started hanging out with a new preacher. I was told that she is not the same as Gopeshwari and she does not have anything to do with all that past “sex” BS. They visited the Austin temple for the first time with this new DIDI. I walked into the hall for the celebration and guess who I see right away? Remember that preacher who took that hysterical girl from Canada outside to calm her down after she came out from Kripalu’s room? Her name was DIWAKARI. It was her at my father’s birthday celebration. The so-called “new preacher” my brother was hanging out with.
When I saw her, OMG, I started crying hysterically, because after exactly 10 years this woman was standing right in front of me. I didn’t want to create a scene, because there were so many cousins, aunts, and uncles I had not see for so long. I forced myself to focus on my family and ignored her. But then my mother tells me to go to her and say “hi” and get prasad from her. HELL NO! Not from a woman who supports a child molester by “calming down” one of his traumatized victims. Who knows what else she’s done. I pulled aside my mum told her who she was and my mother responds by saying, “Oh, Karishma, it’s been so long. You should forget about it now.”
The Fight to Protect Others
SERIOUSLY? How can anyone in their right minds forget shit like that. It felt like my father, mother, and brother just rubbed my wounds raw again. It was a slap in my face. My brother had the nerve to tell me to keep the drama to myself until everyone leaves. REALLY? That woman stayed close by my parents’ side during the event. My own children, who are teenagers now, saw everything and were disturbed that they preferred this preacher over their own daughter. Finally, my mother sent my family, including her three grandchildren, away without any food and water. She told us to go back home—a three-hour drive—because they didn’t want to deal with my “drama.”
Shockingly, my mother has her own Kripalu story that she keeps hidden. During his second trip to the states, she was invited to massage him along with several other women. While she was massaging his thigh, he grabbed her hands under the blanket and tried to bring it towards his groin. But she said she fought it and didn’t let that happen. I now wonder if that’s true. A friend even tested my mother. She asked her: “Is all this I’m hearing about Kripalu true?” My mother said: “No.” So know I know she will lie and cannot be trusted.
Even after her bedroom experience with Kripalu, her love for this cult is strong. And I am the faulty one here. To this day, my brother and parents still pray to that guy and are part of the same cult. To this day, they do not want anything to do with me, my husband, or my children (their grandchildren) because of this CULT. They chose it over me, their only daughter. They would rather pretend a woman they don’t even really know is their “daughter.” They do not want anything to do with my kids, my husband, my elderly mother-in-law. They have disrespected all of us. And Diwakari does NOT GIVE A FLIP in my experience. She has her hooks into them, and that’s all she seems to care about.
Jagadguru Kripalu Parishat willfully breaks families apart to serve their own needs without any remorse. NONE WHATSOEVER. Since my personal experience, I have warned every girl I know to stay far away from everyone in this group. I’ve warned them that everyone will lie, including my own mother. After so many years and so much pain, I am finally brave enough to speak out. With my husband and children’s full support, I will now fight to expose this evil cult until the day I die.