"Several nights during lectures, I witnessed, Bikram receiving oral sex and manual sex"
June 11, 2013
Jackie Lacey Leroy D. Baca
LA CO Sheriff LA Dist Atty
To Whom it may concern,
I understand you have had many people come forward about Mr Bikram Choudhury of Bikram Yoga Inc. I am yet another one of his victims in a way that is different than the others, so I am asking that you please take the TIME to read my letter to you CAREFULLY.
I am a Combat Veteran with front line combat tours in Iraq, Afghanistan and other missions. I am very well trained as there was no margin for error. I was part of a special operations joint task force expeditionary unit. (Combat/surgical/airborne team) I only mention my background to instill in you that I am not one that tolerates any form of abuse; albeit verbal, physical, sexual or the like. I am very highly skilled and have no fear of anyone (especially not Bikram). Additionally, have no trouble what so ever being heard and understood in an appropriate (civilian or Military ) manner. I might also add that I was married to a Police officer for nearly 20 years, and I also worked as a forensic psychotherapist for many years prior to transitioning into medicine.
I have practiced this yoga since 1999/2000. I believed in THE YOGA… because it helped me recover from my injuries after deployments and rigorous training exercises. When I retired after my last tour overseas, with life threatening injuries,… though having advanced degrees, I chose to go to vocational rehab and requested to go to Bikram teacher training. I had to” fight” for this as it was in California and not held in the State where I was living. This is usually the way Vocational Rehab works (if you are not familiar with the process.) Part of my "fight" I speak of consisted of research, development, controlled study groups and meetings with top officials within the Veterans Administration to show how the YOGA helps, heals, and has personally helped me transition from a Combat Vet that literally during my demobilization was told "not to speak to anyone; as we are afraid you guys will traumatize our staff….but we would like to study you via computer"…. I did not have the luxury of therapy without dancing around and playing with words.
I "won" my plight after quite a journey of research and data collection. I made Bikram Inc, a Vendor of the US Military. This translated to any Veteran could go to Teacher training for free, use the GI Bill for Bikram yoga or attend Bikram yoga at a local studio through a referral “outsource” through their primary care Dr at the VA clinic. This all happened prior to the April 2011 Teacher training which I attended . Bikram had no clue what I did. During my Teacher training, I was consistently ridiculed by Bikram.. for the looks of my body with injuries sustained in combat… i.e bullet wound, shrapnel wounds, the list is quite long. He knew I made him a Vendor of the Military, though I later found out he did not understand the concept in it's entirety. Daily, he went at me. Telling me how "fucked up the Military is" holding me in postures for extreme durations, saying offensive things about my dead comrades ...I could go on at nauseum… basically grasping as straws trying to push my buttons. Quite frankly, he was unable to push my buttons as his ignorance was just that… often I WAS THE ONE THAT PUSHED HIS BUTTONS.
I quickly saw within the first week, in my opinion; based on his
behaviors, what and who he was. A predator, usage of mind control tactics (I had the training) and cult like behaviors and followers.
Bkram Exposed his testicles to the class
Some of the highlights of MY Teacher training: he exposed his testicles when a student behind me scratched his nose while we were doing a posture called "awkward". I happened to be directly in front of the podium and in front of the individual. When he did that he referred to them as "2 ton atomic bombs", but instantly, I put my arms over my head (as I was taking cover and crouched to the floor) to make my point, take attention off of that person and get him to stop. It worked. Often when Bikram would yell or go off on tangents, the class looks straight ahead, afraid to make eye contact, for fear they will be the next target. I did not feel like seeing or taking the chance of continuing to hear about his "atomic 2- ton atomic bomb-balls".
Several nights during lectures, I witnessed, Bikram receiving oral sex and manual sex (a young woman using her hand). I witnessed 3 different women doing this, very young, while another was massaging his feet and another was brushing his hair and or massaging him.
Another night, I witnessed a young woman leaving his room hysterically crying. I asked if she was ok, she replied "I can't talk about it".
A film producer came to interview people of diverse backgrounds, and I was TOLD I HAD to be interviewed. My plan was to make it quick; in and out. The questions they began to ask left me no choice but to speak the truth. …And I did. ALL OF IT… with my notebook. Needless to say it was not pretty. The interviewer and the person filming were in tears throughout my interview, and I was in the room for quite awhile.
That night, Bikram came into the lecture yelling at us, saying he was so angry because he could not use any of it for whatever he was filming it for. My understanding it fell on the heels of some bad publicity and this was supposed to counteract bad press.
Now I would like to tell you about my personal meeting with Bikram. I met with him outside of the lecture room on the second floor on a large couch. I proceeded to tell him what I had done with the Military, my research, and details of being a vendor... including meetings I had already set up upon my return home at joint training commands and mobilization sites for the military as well as expanding with my medical skill set to work with disabled Veterans. He did not comprehend "Vendor" of the US MILITARY. When I explained it to him in Dollar signs, his eyes lit up and wanted to know more.
Still; I am not a dummy, I explained a little of how it all came to be and told him "I did not do this for you, so don't think for one second this is about YOU". At that time, Bikram moved very close next to me- side by side, he took his left hand and began rubbing my right thigh from my knee to my crotch. At that point I giggled. LET ME BE CLEAR ABOUT THIS TYPE OF GIGGLE… AS YOU IN LAW ENFORCEMENT AND OR MILITARY UNDERSTAND. It is a -no warning- type of giggle that creates a feeling of discomfort in the average individual, and it is done with purpose as well being quick. I immediately followed it up with "Let me remind you of who I am, so unless you want to shit your arm out later it would be prudent for you to remove your hand and move back where you belong!" I then stated if he was unable to continue this conversation professionally that we were finished. He insisted I turn ALL of my research over to him, asked me to accompany him to West-Point, which I disagreed about (West-Point), would not turn my research over, rather would like to work together, but this was not satisfactory. It was at that point that Bikram said if I "don't do as he say I don't teach, I don't breath, I don't live… you get my point, eh? So get with _____ and work with him" My response back to him was "We (Combat Vets) are the reason you are in this Country in the first place, don't you ever forget that… you get my point… eh?" I might also add that Bikram NEVER attempted, did or tried to do anything with the Military prior. In fact, he often expressed how much he HATED the Military.
I came home from Teacher training, and Bikram made calls to my community to not allow me to teach. Again, I went through Vocational rehab for gainful employment, to come home and have 1 person “support me” barely teaching and ultimately this individual had to put up with some flack from Headquarters for losing his “certified studio status” I later found out at the next teacher training was because of me. Bikram and his “affiliates” prevented me from “gainful employment” Yet I continued with my goals of working with Veterans for free, Gossip amongst a community that seemed to “know all about me”, yet I never met, or had a conversation with. I was completely alienated from those in my surroundings as I later found out from 3 of his staff was because of him. Again, I continued to keep moving forward, learning in new areas despite him and his behaviors. I sat back and watched as he got people to attempt to re-create what I had already done… laughable, I thought. The lies; I looked at his Military scholarship… which violates the Disabled American Veterans Association and as a caveat; Veterans can already go to Teacher training for free… this lends to some questioning of financial matters on Federal levels!
I continued to get death threats via email, telephone calls and small explosives. In the last week, I have received 62 threatening telephone calls. Multiply that times a few years and you'll have a glimmer of what's been going on for me.
Of course I have reported this from day one. How many times have I heard “separate the man from the yoga” or “Bikram is Bikram”… I call this benign neglect to blatant neglect. I had no choice but to report incidents on a much higher scale. Currently I am putting myself in jeopardy on so many levels by writing this letter to you, but
SOMEONE NEEDS TO MAKE A STAND!
I HAVE SERVED AND FOUGHT FOR MY COUNTRY,
I RAISED MY RIGHT HAND TO PROTECT AND SERVE…
JUST AS YOU HAVE!!!!
I am baffled.
While I have been capable of circumventing him, he too damaged me, my lifestyle…when all I wanted to do was teach yoga to disabled vets… I do that and so much more… He has violated so many women… they are AFRAID to come forward… because NOTHING is being done. While I realize one can not be arrested for lack of moral character, words, scruples or poor judgement, there are plenty of ACTIONS and WITNESSES that are in fact illegal. There is also harassment and hostile environments, etc, but I will show no disrespect by telling you that which you already know.
There is no separation of the “yoga from the man” for he and his followers are “one”… I step forward to show you that I was NOT one that “bowed” to him, just the opposite. I stepped forward to break your stereo-typical questions i.e it’s not about money, I don’t hate men, I’m not afraid of him etc. What you have in your midst is the “Hindenburg”; metaphorically speaking.
I have received emails from students currently in Teacher training right now which I can provide names of that are being assaulted, held against their will, and when they tried to call the LAPD, their phone was taken. He is about to Flee the Country where there is no extradition, and he is currently evading the process servers.
I respectfully ask he be brought in for questioning, to be served, there are many statutes, especially what is going on this very moment in Teacher training with many witnesses .
Thank you for taking this time to read my statement.
Rebecca L. Blais