The work of a cult leader wanted by Indian police is promoted in Parliament’s Diwali pamphlet

The page next to the advert showed photographs of members of the HFB, an umbrella group representing more than 300 organisations, along with Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer and other dignitaries.

On the adjacent pages were also printed messages of support for the HFB from Lord Rami Ranger, President of the British Sikh Association; and Bob Blackman, Conservative MP for Harrow East and Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for British Hindus; as well as a photograph of Prime Minister Sunak with a member of the HfB.

At the event, Nithya Atmadayananda, a prominent Nithyananda supporter, was pictured with several dignitaries including Mr. Blackman.

In the hours following the event, Kailasa UK tweeted: “By the grace of SPH Sri Nithyananda, Kailasa UK joined and celebrated Diwali with [HFB] in the House of Lords today. Thank you Truptiben Patel, Velji Bhai, Pravin Bhai, Harsha Shukla, Lord Rami Ranger, Lord Navnit Dholakia, Rt. Hon Bob Blackman and the team for this auspicious invitation!

Kailasa has already bestowed one of her ‘religion and worship awards’ on Trupti Patel, the HFB president, for her work.

Ms Atmadayananda’s presence and the appearance of the announcement came despite Nithyananda being wanted by police in the Indian state of Gujarat since November 2019, in connection with charges of rape and alleged child holding captives during his religious retreat in Ahmedabad for the purpose of collecting donations.

Children say they were tortured

Two children, aged 9 and 10, registered for retirement, called an ashram, told police they had been tortured, forced to work and illegally detained in a city apartment for more than 10 days. Similar allegations were made by two other children rescued from the ashram, in a complaint filed by their parents.

Gujarat Police Rural Superintendent RV Asari said at the time, “Swamy Nithyananda escaped the country after a rape case was filed against him in Karnataka.”

The Henry Jackson Society research group said there appeared to have been a lack of “due diligence” on the part of the HFB, giving the impression that it endorsed Kailasa, which risked creating friction between the religious groups.

Charlotte Littlewood of HJS said: ‘Community organizations need to consider who they are supporting, ensuring their actions don’t end up stoking tensions.’

Nathyananda appealed to the United Nations for recognition of his new country, Kailaasa, saying threats to his life forced him to flee India.

The healthcare worker, who is in her 40s, told The Telegraph she became involved in organizing Nithyananda with her mother in 2016, when they were both emotionally vulnerable following the recent loss of his father.

Deprived of food and sleep

She claims that her followers spend long hours practicing meditation while being deprived of sleep and food in order to achieve a higher stage of enlightenment, leaving them vulnerable to indoctrination.

“We now realize that this is all meticulously designed to suck us in and indoctrinate us into a cult that will serve its purpose,” the GP said.

She was forced to drop a lawsuit against Nithyananda and Kailasa in the United States, where she has her international headquarters, because of the cost.

Lord Rami Ranger said he had no knowledge of Nithyananda or his activities and only facilitated the HFB’s organization of the event in his peer capacity.

He said, “I don’t know Kailasa or that person. If I had known, I would never have attended an event where such unsavory characters were promoted.

Ms Patel said: “As far as we know, this organization has done a good job of serving the community and making a positive contribution in this country.

“Regarding publicity, any validly registered organization can support the Diwali event by putting an advertisement in the brochure, it promotes positivity and there was no reason not to accept the advertisement.”

Nithyananda’s legal representatives in the UK deny all allegations against him and say he is being wrongfully persecuted due to “homophobia by conservative and fundamentalist figures in India”. They also pointed out that he did a great deal of charitable work, founding “many temples, schools and monasteries”.

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