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10 year ex-member - Anonymous

 “Sat Yoga is a place where Shunyamurti (Robert Shubow) tells you to fly as he cuts your wings.”    

Testimonial about Sat Yoga and Shunyamurti (aka Robert Shubow)

I was a core member of Sat Yoga for more than 10 years. This testimonial is part of my own healing process and my resolve to overcome the shame of having contributed so many years of my life to a FARCE that is exploiting human beings by taking their energy, will, and money.   

Due to 10+ years that I spent as a vowed member, I gained an INSIDER’S perspective of Sat Yoga, living in “community” and experiencing the conditions that disciples undergo. If you are a visitor to Sat Yoga, you might not ever see any of this, because Sat Yoga, with Shunyamurti at the helm, is a MASTER MANIPULATOR of words and images, especially on a psychological level.

How did I stay so long? It is something I also have difficulty understanding, I´m trying to focus now on the blessing that it is that I manage to break free even after that many years. What happened to me there it is not easy to admit, nor to convey, but I´m writing with the hope that some of my words will help others avoid involvement with this or any other cult:    

-          After my initial time there, I quickly ran out of money, I did not have savings and the little money I managed to gather went to mandatory expenses such as insurance and a cellphone for ashram communications. (Sometimes there was enough to pay for a dentist appointment, sometimes not).   

-          I invested ALL of my resources in the Ashram. I felt I had “no backdoors” (ie, savings, alternative people or places to go to, a Plan B). If you keep “backdoors,” it is a sign of your “disloyalty”; and when you have no “backdoors,” your choices are limited, and you are more likely to follow their orders. 

-          My relationship with my family became greatly distorted due to the subtle and constant ongoing criticizing of the biological bond and the insistence of cutting the “attachments” to bio family. The large majority of my connections with the outside world were gone, since I myself had been telling my “outside” friends that I’m “fine” for over 10 years and they stopped reaching out to me. Fortunately, there were some exceptions that continued to stay in contact and check on me, and my family has been a great source of support since my departure, and I am eternally grateful to them: they have show me what truly unconditional love is, which is very very far from the “love” that Sat Yoga supposedly gives you, a seudo-love full of conditions.

-          Since day 1, I expressed a concern about how I was going to make a living, but Shubow, my spiritual guide, told me that the “outside” world and the money systems are about to collapse. So there was no need to worry about money. That was the discourse, but the reality is that Sat Yoga requires that you pay for many things (such as insurance, cell phones, and personal items, rent, sessions), I was encouraged to find money somehow: mainly ask my family for money or for donations (from the same untrustworthy family and friends I was encouraged to cut ties with).

-          In an “atmanological” session with Shubow, in a time where I was considering to leave (as it happened multiple times over my 10 year stay), he offered me Ketamine which, together with his hypnotherapist capacities I´m not sure what really happened, but after that “session” I took again some drastic measurements to involve myself even more at Sat Yoga.

-          At the ashram, I was led to believe that I choose everything freely in my life, however, there was not a single decision that I did not had to check with Shubow and if any “iniciative” or action was taken without his knowledge of approval or consent, it was considered you had a rebellious personality, that your ego was acting out, that you were betraying the community, all these “feedback” always happened in a passive aggressive subtle way in my case although sometimes I would receive nasty emails from my supervisors, but for other members will also come as being put in  “Probation” and you don’t want to be there!.     

-          Shubow dismissed and undermined any ideas, suggestions, initiatives, or feelings I presented as coming from my “ego” and therefore not in the best interest of the community. Sacrificing one’s individual identity is essential for the wellbeing of the community as well as the key to spiritual liberation. He also told me that it would be futile to start new things when the world is ending soon. So I backed down into a corner, waiting for the eventual collapse of the system (that still has not come after more than 20 years of Shubow’s endless, unfounded predictions).


-          During Covid the level of paranoia at the Ashram was so extreme and we were driven to believe we could not trust the outside world—especially if they were vaccinated for fear they might “shed” something on me! It is a curious paradox to Shubow’s main teaching that “you are not the body”. I heard now that Vaccinated people is again accepted at the Ashram… well… I guess too many good donors got the vax.

-          Shubow approved whether I could leave the Ashram and if it was well justified. I had to go through a lengthy approval process (see “official” procedure attached) so I could leave for a few days or weeks to work and make some money so I could pay my basic expenses, fees for sessions, and other costs that must be covered. And even though my trips were approved (and this was after many years of being there and never leaving the Ashram once without permission), the administration had a very subtle way of making me feel guilty for having gone and obligating me to work harder in my “karma yoga”, since I had “abandoned the cause” for some days. Again, this is a psychologically manipulative aspect of life on the inside-

-          Robert approved whom I became romantically involved with. Some relationships are encouraged, highly encouraged, especially when they help the Ashram by hooking others into the system. I was used as bait to keep others there and others were used as a bait to keep me there.   

-          I even had to ask “permission” to go to the river of the property, but I stop asking quickly, since there is no time for any recreational thing, I was always working (Karma yoga). You live in a natural “paradise” and have no time to enjoy it.

-          Shubow knows who you spend time with and what you talk about. Absolutely all information must reach Robert Shubow, so most members of the community “report” on their interactions, especially if there are any “suspicious” comments that question the command of the hierarchy, Shunyamurti or Radha Ma or Lakshmi, or any kind of disagreement with Shubow’s teachings or orders. This is for the “wellbeing of the community”. I spent a great amount of time writing reports not only regarding my work, but also regarding other member’s and visitor’s behaviors and received accolades for reporting. This led to reduce as much as possible my interactions with other members and to be in a constant paranoia about being reported (just as I was reporting people all the time) … what a “wonderful” community to be part of!!

-          It is highly discouraged to talk to other members of the community about anything that bothers you. Only Shubow or his wife are the proper channels for this. Speaking with others is classified as a “collusion”. Even though you live in a “community” you feel so alone and there´s no one you can really talk about it how you truly feel.

-          My life was so heavily scheduled that I barely had any time left for any non-planned social activity: wake up at 330 am  for mandatory 4 am meditation (and you have to justify any absence to Shubow), 630am karma yoga begins and continues throughout the day, especially if one has a supervisor role which I did, mandatory classes every night (which you also have to justify , no holidays except Christmas Day, 24/7 availability on whatsapp or Telegram, etc).

I was manipulated to believe that I chose to comply with all of these “rules”, but many of these “rules” appeared along the way, when I had no money left, when my will was completely  weakened, and when I felt I had no choice but to follow orders.  For example, it was several months after I had taken the “vows” that I was informed that I could not leave the Ashram without permission. Gradually from there, the repressive rules started appearing. It is different for every single person that arrives there, since Robert Shubow knows very well your weaknesses and how much you can tolerate. Also he will only invest any of his time in you if you are of any value for the “community” meaning if you have money, political influences or your skills are of any use. 

I clearly remember these words from a “high rank” member regarding a new resident when he was moving to the ashram. He is a beautiful human being with a strong character (now a lifetime member without any money, fully devoted and dependent), and at the time, I questioned if he could follow the strict “dharma” (ashram rules and spiritual guidelines) since he has (or had) his character. The response she gave: “He will have to comply now since he has no money left.”

While I was living in the restrictive conditions described above, I was simultaneously hearing constantly from Robert Shubow in classes and sessions that I was totally FREE, freer than anyone in the “outside world”, that those of us at the Ashram were so fortunate and blessed to be there in an oasis, a Noah’s ark, that we had the good karma that will help us to survive the apocalypse of Kali Yuga, to be the creators of the next Sat Yuga (this of course is only if you fully surrender), and that there are very few that can follow this difficult and special path, which of course is not for everyone, just a few fortunate souls…  


I would, however, like to take a moment to recognize the natural beauty of the place that enticed me from the first day, and the good intentions of most if not all the people that are drawn there, who, just like me, are looking for a place to heal and believe a more beautiful world is possible. It is so unfortunate and sad that once again Power and Control and Fear rule the whole backstage of Sat Yoga and ends up hurting us more instead of healing us.    

It was often confusing and difficult to hear from all the visitors that came to the Ashram saying how fortunate we were to live in such a beautiful place, and everyone there is smiling and so kind. The visitors didn’t know that I didn’t have any money or contacts left to choose differently. I simply put a smile on my face (as I promised in my vows) and continued to ignore the internal inferno of total control that I felt subjected to.

Here are some of the “vows” that are signed as a condition to be there (this is a copy- paste of the vows, not my own words):

-          Be friendly and cheerful to all Nivassis and Visitors, and to always be on your best behavior.

-          Have no emotional instability, tantrums, meltdows, mood offs or hipocondria.

-          Accept all the conditions of life at the Ashram without complaint.


And the list is much longer! If you are interested in the full list, I can post it in the future. The control dynamics are so well-orchestrated control that, as a long-term resident, I defended and protected the “system” that repressed me.

I recently found this article that outlines warning signs of a cult. Sat Yoga fulfills 10 out of 10 of the following ( )

  1. Absolute authoritarianism without accountability

  2. Zero tolerance for criticism or questions

  3. Lack of meaningful financial disclosure regarding budget

  4. Unreasonable fears about the outside world that often involve evil conspiracies and persecutions

  5. A belief that former followers are always wrong for leaving and there is never a legitimate reason for anyone else to leave

  6. Abuse of members

  7. Records, books, articles, or programs documenting the abuses of the leader or group

  8. Followers feeling they are never able to be “good enough”

  9. A belief that the leader is right at all times

  10. A belief that the leader is the exclusive means of knowing “truth” or giving validation

And I would add an 11th one which is the most dangerous of all:

11.   Robert Shubow is a master manipulator of words: He will deny that they do any of these things, and he will manipulate the language in his favor.

How did I get out? It took me many years to leave. I had tried to leave for good several times before and received answers like this from Robert Shubow, where he continued to offer me “new inspiration” which he never got around to meeting with me about. This is a reply to an email I wrote to him after returning from WORKING on one of the occasions I was permitted to do so (I was not on vacation as he indicates):  


“I understand your feelings. You have been away a long time, on vacation, in the imaginary register, enjoying Real One, waking up when you want, hanging out in trees, eating different food, entering into a different culture. I imagine your ego has been whispering that you should leave here and start a new life….Although that must be enticing, I think your buddhi recognizes that it is an illusion. As your dream indicates. Nonetheless, I think it is true that you need to do something different and have a new life here. I have an idea I want to share with you about that, that I think will bring new inspiration and excitement, as well as much deeper understanding of your Self. So indeed I want to meet with you soon. Until then, do try to see that this world is a holographic illusion, as is your ego. If you really grok that you are not the body, and have never been born, then you may open to the infinite intelligence of your true nature…”

Eventually, the contradictions between what was being said and what was happening and what I was feeling reached a tipping point. I finally managed to leave the place because the predominant feeling I was experiencing at the Ashram was FEAR, not LOVE.  I was afraid of me, my ego, of the world, vaccinated people, the end of the world, of doing something wrong, of being late, of not knowing what I had to ask permission for, of being reported, of getting sick or hurting myself and not being able to pay for medical care, absolutely everything. I was no longer alive inside, but dead while alive.   

I prayed and begged wholeheartedly to God or the Universe or any higher entity than Robert Shubow, to send me a sign, a way out of the Ashram, and the ENERGY to do it, and prayers are always heard. I´m grateful that my relationship with God survived this ordeal.  

By logic or reason you are never going to win an argument in Sat Yoga, if you are in there still you probably found arguments against anything I wrote here ( or better I should say: Shunya will find arguments for you to destroy everything I said, because your own ability to think for yourself is gone)  believe me: I been in your shoes, I was there for 10 years and I know there are NO words that are valid, unless they are not coming from Shunyamurti. But I want to bring hope, for you and for me: it is possible to recover your life, it wont be easy, but it is worth it every minute of it… the joy of being ALIVE again, is indescribable and the fact you were a prisoner for so long makes you appreciate more every minute of it.     

“Love is more powerful than Fear“.

I wish I could sign it with my full name, but for technical reasons I cannot yet. However you may contact me personally on the following email:

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