Koh Phangan’s Agama Yoga School, one of the world’s most famed tantra schools, announced that it would be temporarily closing until December as more traumatic tales of sexual abuse from ex-students and staff emerge on social media.
Only seven days after a Coconuts Bangkok report in which former students and employees alleged nearly two decades of sexual abuse that went unpenalized at the school, Agama Yoga announced via its Facebook page that it would be closing down while “processing the results of the independent investigation [into the allegations against the school]”.
So far, Agama has not directly admitted nor denied the allegations made against its staff.
In its statement, the school’s management promised to spend time during the closure “changing” their internal operations as well as “critically reviewing” both their sexual tantra and yoga curriculum to assess any potential gender bias.
It also notes that any sort of sexual relationships between teachers and students will now require that both parties sign a consent form.
In a statement to The Guardian, the school responded to the allegations by saying: “Information taken out of context can be distorted and interpreted in all possible ways according to individual interest.”
“This is what we see in the allegations on our teachings with the intent of building in the eye of the public the image of a cult and destroy our school and business.”
The whereabouts of Narcis Tarcau, the founder of Agama Yoga at whom many of the worst accusations were directed, still remains unknown. The guru, according to our source at Thai Immigration, fled via the Thai-Cambodian border at Aranyaprathet District checkpoint, on July 31.
One of Tarau’s alleged victim, Patricia Morrison, made a public Facebook post after the scandal first unfolded, revealing how the guru allegedly propositioned her for sex when she was vulnerable and that she had wanted to take her own life during her three years at Agama Yoga.
Morrison quoted Tarcau saying, “I know how to move that energy that makes you want to die I know how to unblock your chakras with my lingam.”
She added: “He [Tarcau] said that all I had to do was sign my life over to him and he would do with me as he pleases.”
“I would have to surrender fully and be his sex slave. Sure, he said, I would be raped and used sexually like a garbage.”
After avoiding him for two years, Morrison said she agreed to have sex with Tarcau, claiming he assured her he’d use a condom. At one point, she noticed there was none.
“He said, ‘Don’t worry about it. I have not ejaculated since 1999.’ I f*cking cried so hard.I f*cking cry,” she wrote.
Meanwhile, Layla Martin, a YouTuber who makes vlogs about women’s sexuality, went public with her story about how Tarcau coerced her into having sex with him while she was in a meditative state.
In a week, Martin’s video has gained a great deal of support and over 14,000 views.
All of the alleged victims appear to agree that what they truly desire now is recognition of the crimes perpetrated against them and legal means through which the cycle of abuse can truly be broken.
“I have barely survived this trauma, as I get sucked into its blackness again and again,” writes Morrison.
“I share this with the intent to inform women so no others fall prey.”
In a seemingly unrelated incident, the Agama School’s Shambhala hall burned down for as yet unidentified reasons last Friday night, just a couple of days after Agama issued a statement that they’d temporarily close down.
A police officer on duty that night told Coconuts yesterday that the cause of the fire remains unknown as authorities await forensic results from the investigation.
Saying that it was likely caused by an electrical malfunction and there was no evidence that points otherwise, authorities told the media they don’t suspect there was foul play behind the fire. No one was reported harmed in the incident and it took 15 minutes to put out the flames after firefighters arrived.
Koh Phangan is not the only Thai island in the spotlight of the international media due to allegations of horrific sexual crimes.
Last month, the Thai police firmly denied the claim by a 19-year-old British teen who said she was raped and robbed on the very same beach where British travelers David Miller and Hannah Witheridge were found brutally murdered in 2014.