by Mihai Vasilescu
The resistance of the yogis against the Securitate`s repression is, according to the scientist Gabriel Andreescu, an unique phenomenon in Romanian communist period. This tenacious resistance of the yogis is possible in a big part because of the qualities that yoga practice awakes in the human being: dignity, inner force, courage, patience, etc. Unfortunately, given the fact that the conditions of yoga practice in Romania didn`t get any better until this moment, yogis were able to demonstrate themselves over and over again these qualities over the years, when they confronted iniquities, abuses from the authorities, but also hateful attacks from the journalists. What we discover behind the entire phenomenon, if we analyze it carefully, are the cabals of the Securitate and his direct descendant, SRI. In an apparently free system, yogis became again, through the surroundings force, a group of resistance and their consistency begun to awake the admiration of some intelligent people – that can truly see beyond the appearances.
Gregorian Bivolaru`s file elaborated by the Securitate can be accessed by researchers and journalists in CNSAS archives. Those that will have the minimum curiosity to consult it, will discover the efforts made by the torturers of Securitate for trumping up infractions of common right. What really grimed the securities is that even though they had snitches in all the yoga groups coordinated by Gregorian Bivolaru, they didn`t succeed in “proving” practically any illegal fact, excepting yoga practice that Securitate itself declared it illegal. The raids of the yogis` houses, the arrests, the brutal interrogations, the reprisals, the threats didn`t succeed in getting any false declarations from the yogis, that could incriminate their yoga teacher. The effort of the Securitate began then to turn to the manufacturing of evidences (declarations that corresponded with the followed purposes, modified photos etc.) but those were still not enough for a condemnation.
Regarding Gregorian Bivolaru, the Securitate documentation shows clearly the introvert life he was having, being passionate about studying, books, yoga practice. After repeatedly inquisitions in his home (each time his yoga studies that he was able to find or copy were taken away from him) it came out the fact that Gregorian Bivolaru have been communicating through correspondence with Mircea Eliade, considered back then an “enemy of the system”. However, not even then the Securitate preferred a political condemnation. Unsuccessful in finding anything else, it manufactured an accusation based on “spreading of pornographic materials”. It was about some Playboy magazines discovered in his home – magazines banned at that time – but the investigations couldn`t advance too much because when he was interrogated, Gregorian Bivolaru declared that he received those magazines from an officer of Securitate.
We spoke in the previous article about the obsession of some prominent members of Securitate in proving that Gregorian Bivolaru was planning an attack to be made in a paranormal way against Ceausescu. Everything was an invention having the purpose to obtain the promotion and the appreciation of the dictator. Behind the bars and brutally interrogated to admit the “plan”, Gregorian Bivolaru escaped. According to its own declaration, he did this because it was the only accessible way to protest, but also because he wanted to inform his friends about what happened so that the securities won`t be able to keep him closed, torture him or even kill him without anyone knowing anything about this. Eventually, Gregorian Bivolaru was caught again and closed in the arrest of the Securitate, this time having 10 kg of chains attached to his legs. We can see that, even though in papers there is not a formal accusation against him that can explain why he was closed (for him to have where to escape from), Gregorian Bivolaru was closed because of his “escapement”. This is only one of the many aberrant paradoxes of the juridical case Bivolaru.
A turning from these dramatic events came with the decision that, instead of staging some offences, to be declared mentally ill and closed next to other imprisoned politicians (that were not called like that back then), in Poiana Mare. The communists were at least consistent from the juridical point of view, a thing that cannot be said about the today`s system: once they declared him abusive, Gregorian Bivolaru, as being a dangerous mentally ill patient, they stopped accusing him of penal facts because, according to the law, mentally ill people can`t be responsible in front of the law for their acts. The big chance of Gregorian Bivolaru was in 1989 when the psychiatrist doctor from Poiana Mare helped him to dissimulate that he follows the treatment and to be able to go healthy through the detention period in the psychiatric “sanatorium” that was actually a prison for the politicians, masked in an hospice where all of them were forced to take drugs that were making them “vegetables”.
The revolution from 1989 found Gregorian Bivolaru in Poiana Mare, from where he was immediately released, but without any evidential document, because the doctors were afraid to be accused of malpractice and abuses. Considering the impressive story of the dissidence of Gregorian Bivolaru during the communist system, it was expected for him to be, after 1989, exonerated of all the absurd accusations brought by Securitate and to be able to have a normal life, in which he can benefit of all the civil rights that are theoretically guaranteed by the Constitution of Romanian state: the right to a private life, the right to association, the right to choose your own beliefs etc. Unfortunately, although for others (less hardened by the communism) the so-called revolution from 1989 marked a new liberty, for Gregorian Bivolaru it didn`t bring justice, the recognition of the abuses or any tentative of compensation for all the sufferance endured.
If there are still naive people in Romania who imagine that in 1990 our country said goodbye to the communist regime and mentality or that the repressive structures of communism have been abolished, a brief analysis of the Bivolaru file will show them just how wrong they are. There is however one notable difference: what then was in shadow, now takes place in broad daylight. The authorities have managed not only to fabricate and to provide false statements supporting a common law crime, but also to obtain a conviction for “sexual intercourse with a minor” in a case where there is no victim!
The first injustice that the post-communist regime authorities are guilty of in the Bivolaru case is that they did not acknowledge the political nature of his psychiatric hospitalization. According to the yoga teacher’s statement, when he asked to clarify this issue and to receive documentary evidence about his mental health, the (verbal) answer that he received was not only a vehement denial, but venomous insurance received from those who had investigated him before 1989 that “all his life he will be a mental case”. Under these circumstances, since the “post-revolutionary” Romanian authorities refused to cancel the appalling abuse of the Ceausescu regime, we cannot help but notice another quirk of this case: Gregorian Bivolaru is the only Romanian who is simultaneously, mentally irresponsible (as documented by a certificate issued by the Romanian state), and sentenced to prison, as if that certificate did not exist. This dual aspect (mentally ill and criminally convicted) is another absurd paradox of the Bivolaru case.
The perpetual reprisals against yogis, particularly against Gregorian Bivolaru before and after 1989, also proves the continued operation of the Romanian Secret Services that after being restructured in 1990 received a new name – SRI (Romanian Intelligence Service) instead of Securitate, but that is about the only thing that changed about them. As a preview to the following article, here are some arguments showing that the Secret Services are behind the campaign to discredit Gregorian Bivolaru and they are also responsible for the never ending hunt perpetuated by the legal bodies and the police: after 1990, various newspapers whose ties within the secret services have already been proven set the tone of the campaign against him. Approximately all journalists involved “body and soul” in the campaign against Gregorian Bivolaru turned out to be informers, associates, employees or even senior officers within SRI. This evidence emerged later and it allows us now in retrospect to understand who started this campaign, who entertained it and who provided the material for it. In 1992 and 1993, before the establishment of CNSAS (the National Council for the Study of the Romanian Secret Services Archives), before it was legally possible to read Gregorian Bivolaru’s file, several fragments from this file were published by the media: they were precisely attempts to provide false documentation of common law offenses.
Very out in the open, the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) is responsible for inoculating the idea that MISA is a “sect” and even more, a “dangerous sect”. SRI ordered the more or less legal (or even downright illegal) surveillance of MISA activity from the moment it was founded and up to the present, continuously monitoring Gregorian Bivolaru. Therefore, of all the “actors” in the Bivolaru case, the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI) is the one who knows all too well that he is not guilty of any criminal offense (because it has no evidence against him), but it is also the most active in making up allegations against him – just as the communist Secret Services did at a different time.
Under communism, the agents of the Secret Services led an unjust and fierce battle against “Bivolaru’s yogis”, turning Bivolaru into the no. 1 enemy of the communist regime. Currently, SRI is the one desperately trying to transform its own hatred and inveterate determination against a yoga teacher into a national cause.
Read the next part of the article