A case about religious persecutions and violation of human rights was signaled in Poland, starring the spotlight on Ryszard Matuszewski (Paramahansa Lalit Mohan Baba-Ji), the head of Hindu Himavanti Confraternity Order (HCO), who was imprisoned together with other members of HCO, based on information posted on the site www.ryszard-matuszewski.com.
We present below some details related to this case, in the way it was mentioned on the above site, and we will investigate for updates in the near future.
Ryszard Matuszewski (Swami Baba Lalit Mohan G.K.) represents Hindu religion and its traditional methods of spiritual development derived from India. He is the head of shivaic part of Hinduism called the Himavanti Confraternity Order, which is a congregation of people practicing tantra, yoga and cult methods of spiritual development.
He was born in February 1962 and he has been involved in a vast range of activities associated with spiritual development, including esoterics, aikido, yoga and sufi, since the year 1978. In February 1983 he received the initiation into Laya Yoga from Swami Baba Shyam Charan Shivananda from Darjeeling, through direct transmission (Dikshan - Darshan). He was granted the right to spread the ancient teachings and practices in 1986, when he started conducting courses on chakras. Since 1989 he has also been imparting initiatory transmissions concerning the ancient path of Laya Yoga. Apart from his spiritual activities he is also an ecologist, a philosopher, a poet and a writer. He is a member of many different international organizations set up to help people and to propagate either science or moral and ethical values.
Himavanti Confraternity Order is an esoteric shivaic order which continues the spiritual teachings of the ancient Laya Yoga. This spiritual order has been operating in Poland since 1983 and remains one the biggest esoteric school of spiritual development based on the mystery of the traditional shivaic yoga and Sanathana Dharma – the Vedic knowledge, as it is posted on www.ryszard-matuszewski.com.
It seems that Ryszard Matuszewski was persecuted for his "inconvenient" views, for active promoting Sivah Yoga all over Poland, for his constant fight with non-tolerance, loud criticizing social injustice and exploitation, revealing misuses of rights by judges and prosecutors, for criticizing and revealing dishonorable acts of inquisition.
Since 1996 till 2010 (A/N - the information we have stops at this year) he was a victim of controlled, hateful propaganda and battue lead by anti-sect centers and activist who aim at liquidation of moves promoting philosophy of East, Yoga, Hinduism, Shivaism, New Age, ecology, etc.
A consequence of this propaganda enlarged by media (TV, press) was the intensification of persecution of Ryszard Matuszewski and all members of Himavanti Confraternity Order. They were persecuted by Police, Central Inquiring Department and anonymous bandits as well. As Ryszard Matuszewski declared on his site, he was often beaten till losing consciousness by policemen (in arrest, in prison). He was imprisoned for many years in hard conditions, without any sentence and kept in lunatic asylum in Rybnik (where he was stuffed with very dangerous psychotropic medicines – to make him silent forever) despite many psychiatric opinions confirming his good psychical health.
Below there are few flashes from his persecution chronology (source: www.ryszard-matuszewski.com):
• 08 June 1995 - Ryszard Matuszewski (Mohan) submitted an Application for Himavanti Confraternity Order entry to the Church Register and Association of Religions in Department of Religions URM (Polish Government).
• 01 April 1996 - Ministry's Office Chief sent a decision about rejecting the Declaration to create the association of religions called Himavanti Confraternity Order. Justification said that the status of HCB contained "lots of shortages and defects", but did not point out what sort of defects were.
• April/May 1996 - Mohan sent a complaint to the above decision to the President of Republic of Poland, Parliament of Poland and Ombudsman. The answer from all those Institutions said that the issue did not lie in their responsibility.
• 14 August 1996 - Antiterrorist Squad stoped Ryszard Matuszewski and his fiancée in Jaworzno. Handcuffed and transported them to KWP Czestochowa; he was interrogated in connection with the threat to blow Jasna Gora (church in Czestochowa) up. It happened a day before planned yoga classes that Mohan was supposed to lead in Czestochowa and also a few days before Pop's arrival. Threatened that he or his fiancée would have got killed and all associates would have got arrested, Ryszard signed a guilty plea
• 07 October 1996 - KWP in Czestochowa closes an investigation about threat to blow Jasna Gora up, establishing that Ryszard Matuszewski (R.M.) was guilty.
• 23 October 1996 - Regional prosecutor's office presented indictment against Mohan. They accused him that on 31 July 1996 R.M. sent anonymous letter from Torun to Prior of Jasna Gora threatening to blow Jasna Gora up. The “sufferer” feared that threads could be fulfilled. (Lack of witness of the alleged action). The postcards written by Maria Karczewska and sent from Torun to Ryszard Matuszewski were treated as comparative evidence. Experts confirmed that handwriting from the postcards and from threatening letters belong to the same person. The indictment also stated the psychiatrists did not find any reasons to question his mental abilities, while Ryszard Matuszewski had never been examined by anyone. They did not examine any of three witnesses of defence that could confirm that R.M. was not in Torun on 31 July 1996 therefore he could not write the threatening letter; witnesses were not even called to come for court hearing. Later during the hearing R.M wanted to prove, that the person who wrote the letter was Maria Karczewska but the court did not want to take that information into consideration.
• 07 June 1999 - During another Pope's visit Mohan was arrested in Jaworzno and transported to Czestochowa, where he was brutally beaten, handcuffed, pushed from the stairs etc. Police doctor controlled the action and checked that R.M. was still alive. Private "investigation" of Himavanti's associates helped to establish, that Mohan was in Krakow having compulsory psychiatric test done on Montelupich Street. As they learned later, after arresting and beating, Mohan was held in Czestochowa's prison and then transported to Krakow. Associates of Himavanti Confraternity Order started protesting in front of the prison. There were lots of press articles coming up. Few of the associates that were praying in front of the prison were treated with spoiled eggs and with rain of stones coming from passing car. Despite remembering the registration number of that car and giving it to the prosecutor's office and despite a few witnesses of the incident, the Prosecutor closed the investigation in that case after hearing the driver of the mentioned car. There was no confrontation between the driver and the injured.
• In July and August 1999 Ryszard Matuszewski's barrister submitted two propositions to cancel the arrest (first on 29 June 1999 and second on 06 August 1999). The arguments for proposition were that Mohan was arrested to have compulsory psychiatric test done and as the tests were already completed there is no point of keeping him still in prison. Especially when the allegations against him were known as charges with a very low factor of harm to the public and he has not committed any violent crime. Prosecutor rejected both propositions. The Barrister submitted another complaint to the County Prosecutor's office (25 September) but this one is rejected. Even the Director of the prison in Herby Stare where R.M. had been kept submits the proposition to cancel the arrest. It had also been rejected.
• 02 June 2000 – The Court in Czestochowa decided to place him to strict mental hospital.
• 17 July 2000 - Mohan went to Mental Hospital in Rybnik. He was placed with ward number two for the most dangerous criminals (such as murderers, rapists, pedophiles etc.) where he was given very strong drugs although the doctors were fully aware that he was a mentally healthy person.
• 15 June 2001 - After 2 years and 8 days Mohan was free again.
• In June 2002 - Mohan and Himavanti Confraternity Order submitted a second application to register the Order.
• 18 April 2002 - Mohan and Pawel C. during a lecture on sects were heavily beaten before very eyes of many witnesses, packed to an unlabeled police car and taken to the police office. In the police station they were beaten again and then let free.
• 10 May 2002 - Mohan and Izabela Tryc were beaten in the street by the police. Mohan was beaten until he lost consciousness and his left hand was crushed.
• 15 August 2002 - Mohan was arrested again a day before Pope's visit in the country. It was a similar style of arrest: several policemen with guns and masks on, force the entry to the house of R.M.'s friend in Gdynia, where he was on holiday. He was taken to Warszawa. The witnesses submitted statements, that from 30th of July to 15th August 2002 R. Matuszewski was in Gdynia, leading yoga classes for a large group of people and he could not possibly be at the same time on the south of Poland, where he was alleged to have committed several Internet crimes.
• 20 August 2002 – The Court in Warszawa decided about temporary arrest for three months.
• August 2002 - Police attacked Jan Slanina, the member of the Order, in Gliwice. He was brutally beaten in the street when he was coming back home.
• August 2002 - Antiterrorist brigades broke into private flats in Gdynia and Gliwice and robbed them of practically everything, especially documents, books, computers, data carriers. So far the stolen things had not been returned.
• 12 September 2002 – The Ministry of the Interior and Administration rejected the registration of the Order
• 12 November 2002 – The Court in Warszawa decided to extend the temporary arrest for another 3 months.
In the custody, the basic human rights were being broken in case of Ryszard Matuszewski:
- He was denied the religious rite and any contact with other believers of the faith.
- R.M.’s correspondence was censored, photocopied and confiscated; the same applies to his friends’ letters.
- During the everyday walk he was attacked by co-prisoners, the prison guard did not intervene.
- His clothing token disappeared between the custody and the prosecutor’s office; R.M. was dressed only in the summer clothes during winter.
- He was denied shopping in the canteen.
- For a month the vegetarian was starved, as his diet (resulting from his faith and general outlook on life) is not respected, meat meals are served for him.
- It was made impossible for friends to feed the starving prisoner, they are said to may have an intention to poison R.M.
- The prison doctors did not recognize R.M.’s right to cure in his chosen way (with herbs).
- As a result of the incorrect diet, lack of exercise and the lack of fresh air, the earlier bursting with health and energy yogi developed a serious heart disease (Ischemia), and as the only treatment, despite his protests that he was a vegetarian, he was given a meat stock three times a day.
• 5 December 2002 - The barrister, hired by R.M.’s friends, Senator Henryk Dzido, talked to the prisoner. It is his first contact with any barrister, as a court-appointed lawyer did not show up at all. Henryk Dzido filed an application for the change of preventive mean for R. Matuszewski and for being released pending trial, because of the arrest being unfounded and the poor state of R.M.’s health.
• 6 December 2002 - The yogi was put under compulsory psychiatric observation, despite Czestochowa’s Court judgment.
• 14 February 2003 - Arrest and psychiatric observation were extended for another three months.
• 18-19 April 2003 - Policemen in Bydgoszcz burst into and vandalized apartment of one of the Order leaders (Anna Wani Sarpa’s) apartment and took the woman into custody. At the same time CBŚ secret services intruded the apartment of Irena and Slawomir Barcz’s in Bydgoszcz. The flat was searched through, many documents of the Order were stolen (Mr Barcz was the secretary of BZH). CBŚ wanted to arrest Irena Barcz, but she was abroad at that time. The reason for these actions, as it later turned out, were the accusations of alleged attack on Bozena M. – the former member of the Order, working in the Dominican Antisect Group.
• 6 May 2003 - Mohan was arrested again on a charge of participating in the attack on Bozena M. and was transported to Bydgoszcz. In fact, during the alleged attack he was in Gliwice – a town which was several hundred kilometres away from Bydgoszcz. One of the proofs for his innocence was his signature put every day in police headquarters in Gliwice, as he was under police supervision. The custody in Bydgoszcz as usual absolutely refused to serve vegetarian meals for R.M.
(Bozena M., a former member of the Order, who was disciplinary removed from it for financial abuses and unclear contacts with the Arab world in Palestine. Together with Tadeusz I.-D., they swore to take revenge on Ryszard, in public and in the presence of many witnesses they threatened to kill Ryszard Matuszewski and destroy the Order. In September 2002 these two persons attacked one of the Order’s members threatening to murder him and his family. The courts didn’t start the case because the intimidated person lives in hiding abroad. Bozena M. and Tadeusz D.-I. are main actors and characters of all newspaper articles playing in them “the sect victims” being harmed by fate.)
• 25 September 2003 - On the ‘Polsat’ TV there channelled a report on depriving Mohan of food in prison was shown.
• 18 December 2003 - Ryszard Matuszewski was sentenced in Bydgoszcz to 3,5 years in prison. From that time on he was put from one Polish penal institute to another and this way contacts with him were made more difficult.
• 12 February 2004 - Administrative Court in Warsaw overruled the decision rejecting the HCO’s application to register in the Church Register and Association of Religions in Department of Religions URM .
• 3 November 2004 - Court in Bydgoszcz sentenced R. Matuszewski for 3,5 year imprisonment, which gave 5,5 years in jail in all. During the court hearings defence witnesses were discredited and their religious membership jeered at in the prosecutor’s final speech. The lack of political and religious character of the case was underlined by the prosecutor; however the court included the testimony of Dominican anti-sect activists, who had no direct connection with this case. R. Matuszewski was treated as a dangerous criminal. Extraordinary precautions were taken during his transportation to court and he himself was put in chains.
• 28th April 2005 - The Court of Appeal in Gdansk reduced the sentence of the Regional Court in Bydgoszcz from 3,5 to 2,5 years of custody. In justification of the sentence reduction the Court presented the fact that Ryszard Matuszewski had not actually attacked Bozena M. with intention of robbery but to frighten her. That fact questioned credibility of her evidence on the trial. Although everything clearly indicated Bożena’s M. mystification of the attack it was not enough for complete discharging R.M. Ryszard Matuszewski was not present during the trial.
• February 2006 - Dariusz P. from Kana in Katowice tried to manipulate public opinion through the medium of press, by insinuating threats allegedly made by the HCO and Matuszewski before the visit of pope Benedict XVI to Poland! Slanderous posted about "Macierz" Association, which took a stand to defend minorities in Poland, appeared on internet fora.
• March 2006 - District Court in Bydgoszcz sentenced Ryszard Matuszewski to 10 months of imprisonment for alleged incitement to devastate penitentiary director’s car in Bydgoszcz, where Matuszewski was residing. There was an attempt in December 2005, during the court hearings, to persuade a man imprisoned at the same time as Matuszewski to testify that he new Mohan and helped him commit the crime just on the basis that this man was Buddhist and vegetarian. The guilt was never proved.
• 7th – 9th of April 2006 - In the press, radio and on TV the hot battle against the HCO and Ryszard Matuszewski started again. The persons responsible for propagating disinformation and inciting people to hatred and phobia, trying to make the mass believe in possible attack on pope Benedict XVI allegedly planed by the HCO were: Dariusz P. from Anti-psycho-manipulation Center from Katowice and Tadeusz D.
• 21st of September 2006 – Regional Court in Bydgoszcz sustained the sentence of the District Court sentencing R. Matuszewski to 1 year imprisonment for offending officers in 9 letters addressed to courts in Bydgoszcz during 2004-2005, in which Matuszewski revealed irregularities and errors in conducting the cases by the police, prosecutors and the court. The case was carried out by the friends of the “offended”. In the oral justification of the sentence the judge states that 1 year of imprisonment (the upper limit of the punishment) was not enough.
• September – October 2006 – in Gliwice and Częstochowa new court cases against R. Matuszewski start (court hearings were made classified, the information about the cases was not available). The prosecutors in both cases wanted psychiatric observation, although the District Court in Bydgoszcz in the sentence from 29th November 2005 beyond all doubt stated that R. Matuszewski was sane, what was reconfirmed in the sentence of the Regional Court in Bydgoszcz on 21st of September 2006.
• 13th of September 2006 – in the District Court in Częstochowa the judge chairing the case tried to intimidate the representative of R. Matuszewski’s Association with the possibility of being arrested by the police, just for asking to enter the courtroom, to listen in to the court hearings. The judge called the police and demanded to remove the representative from the building of the court!
• September 2006 - March 2007 – Ryszard Matuszewski was kept all the time in prison, in fact he was taken from one custody to another all over the country, so the contact with him was made more difficult. Next cases and accusations were multiplied by Dariusz P. – an activist from fascist antisect centre KANA in Katowice, fighting against freedom of mind, Hindu religion and other Eastern religious movements.
• 1st of February 2007 – Regional Court in Bydgoszcz found Sławomir B. – one of the members of the HCO – guilty of false testimony (for claiming that on 15th of August 2002 Ryszard Matuszewski carried out yoga training in Gdynia and that Sławomir B. was present there, among many other participants) and was sentenced to 1 year of imprisonment suspended for 5 years and a fine. The sentence was based on the statements of only one person who claimed that at that time R. Matuszewski was in Gliwice, ignoring this way the statements of about 10 persons, who claimed that Matuszewski was at that time in Gdynia. This was the first sentence in this case. Other persons from all over the country testifying in the Warsaw case (threats of killing the pope), who also participated in the training and confirmed that R.M was in Gdynia at the time when in Gliwice Jadwiga K. and her friends sent e-mails with threats of killing the pope - were waiting for the trials.
• 14th of March 2007 – in the District Court in Zabrze a new trial started against 60-year-old ailing pensioner Barbara L. accused by Dariusz P. (he also accuses Ryszard M.) of offending state officers. The main person from the side of the prosecution was Dariusz P., who himself was no officer at all. Several days before the case started, a media campaign was prepared against Barbara L. and the HCO, unjustly accusing members of the HCO of acts they never committed. Dariusz P. used for his private purposes journalists he knew from Gazeta Wyborcza i.a. - Marcin P., who in 2003 started writing lies about the Order. The same journalist now used personal data of Barbara L., reviling the old lady and putting into her mouth words she had never said. The day before, Barbara L. received telephone calls with threats. Members of the HCO notified about these crimes. The judge groundlessly made the case classified, and the public defender refused to take the case, because as he says: “he is scared and wants to keep his job till the pension-age”.
• 4th of April 2007 – in the District Court in Gliwice the next lawsuit against Ryszard M. prepared by Dariusz P started and finished the same day. The case was contrived by this anti sect activist from Kana Centre in Katowice, in order to destroy Ryszard Matuszewski even more. There was only one, as usual classified, hearing, and the judge did not give a justification for the sentence! In spite of R. Matuszewski’s request, the representative of Macierz Association was not allowed to get into the courtroom, nor any other of 20 persons who came for the trial. At the same time, members of the HCO received e-mails sent probably by Dariusz P. with threats that Ryszard M. would be killed.
• 15th of May 2007 – in the District Court in Gdańsk the lawsuit starts against Krzysztof U. and Agnieszka U. accused of false testimony (for claiming that on 15th of August 2002 Ryszard Matuszewski carried out yoga training in Gdynia and that they were present there, among other participants, against whom new accusations were produced by persecutors)
• 6th of June 2007 – in the District Court in Zabrze the next hearing is held against Barbara L.. There are 26 persons called by the judge as a witness for the prosecution and no witnesses for the defense were admitted to testify! In spite of protests of Barbara L. and demands to call witnesses for defense the judge threw the files and shouted that it is her who decided which persons were called. Amazingly all 26 witnesses for prosecution testified during this trial against Ryszard M. and not even knew and had never seen the accused Barbara L. Witnesses for the prosecution did not come to the court hearings, which made the Judge furious. It seems that the judge persuaded the witnesses to testify against Ryszard M., and the prosecutor from the Office In Gliwce, Michał Sz. held all cases against Ryszard M. and Barbara L. and he conducted them personally.
Here the information stops on www.ryszard-matuszewski.com. The site can be accessed for more details.