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Former followers and other sources detail rape, child abuse, kidnapping, extortion, forgery, and various forms of cruel punishment allegedly perpetrated in the Kashi Ashram during the 35 years following the creation of the institution in 1977 by Kashi Ashram, who told entranced and believing followers that she was “greater than God.” Authority Rick Ross says, “Kashi Ashram fits every criterion of a destructive cult. And the most defining element of a cult is a charismatic leader.” Kashi grew out of a poor Brooklyn Jewish housewife and mother, Joyce Green Fiore, who in 1973 began to practice yoga, had visions, and discovered a great talent for influencing and controlling people. In the end, her remote Florida ashram counted hundreds of residents and followers both in the United States and abroad. Now, just months after her mother’s death, the guru’s alienated daughter has sued the Kashi Church Foundation in Miami, alleging that, as a 14-year-old, in 1981, she was raped repeatedly by a 25-year-old church member she was forced to marry. Kashi Foundation leadership and Ashram residents deny the picture painted by aggrieved former members, while many who followed Bhagavati’s teachings, including Arlo Guthrie and Julia Roberts, visited the Ashram to mourn her passing. (New Times News (5/16/13) [IT 5.1 2014]
Kashi Ashram/Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
Kashi Ashram Leader Accused of “Brainwashing”
Several former key members of Ma Jaya Bhagvati’s Kashi Ashram. Headquartered near San Sebastian, Florida, are accusing her of brainwashing, intimidation through violence, illegal drug use, and siphoning off nonprofit funds for shopping and gambling sprees. [csr 1.1 2002]

Bhagavati is a Jewish housewife with three children, formerly known as Joyce Greene, who, at age 32, left New York City after a vision of Jesus and two Hindi spirit guides ignited in her an interfaith odyssey of preaching racial, ethnic, and religious tolerance. Her organization’s crusade against AIDS and its promotion of world peace have earned the group citations for public service. [csr 1.1 2002]

Kashi now presides over an 80 acre sanctuary with 150 residents, including a blend of teachers, psychologists, lawyers, bankers, and other assorted white- and blue-collar vocations, each of whom is given a Hindu name. United in communal living, they help with maintenance, prepare vegetarian meals, practice yoga, meditation, and celibate lifestyles.[csr 1.1 2002]

Former Kashi PR director Richard Rosenkranz said, “I know I’m going to look like a total dupe, a fool, a moron, but it will not stop me from telling the truth? No. This needs to come to an end. This sham needs to stop.” [csr 1.1 2002]

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