India: 45 girls removed from cult leader’s ‘ashram’, 168 adult women chose to remain

Virendra Dev Dixit.

NEW DELHI — At least 45 minor girls have been rescued in police raids on Adhyatmik Vishwa Vidyalaya (AVV) ashrams in New Delhi since December 19th, officials say.

“God Fatherly Spiritual University,” is the sect’s English translation of their name.

Law enforcement officials say they found women and girls kept behind barbed wire and locked gates.

The sect preaches that its leader, Virendra Dev Dixit, is an incarnation of Krishna and descended to Earth to unite people of all faiths.

Authorities removed 41 minors from one facility. Court documents say that at least 168 adult women remain at the site, and 25 adult men live in an annex.

Investigators said in court documents that the women lived in “animal-like conditions” and many were in poor health and appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.

The court’s order to search the premises did not give investigators the authority to remove adults without their consent. Most adult women chose to remain with the sect.

AVV came under scrutiny after three families filed a case in Delhi’s High Court saying their female relatives vanished after joining the sect.  One woman said she was raped by Dixit at the sect’s headquarters in June 2000, while taking a summer religion course as a teenager. Her youngest sister, 25, is in the sect and she has not seen her in 14 years

AVV issued a statement saying the investigation is part of a “defamatory campaign” and that “no activity detrimental to female devotees or to any other members of the society is conducted in the Vidyalaya.”

Dixit’s whereabouts are unknown.

Swati Maliwal, chairwoman of Delhi’s government agency for women’s affairs, said investigators found substances that induce dizziness along with un-prescribed medicines, syringes, instructional texts teaching women to “surrender” their bodies to Dixit, suitcases full of devotional letters written by the sect’s women to Dixit, and books and posters that describe Dixit as a god.

“All the girls appeared to be in a trance,” Maliwal said.

Police across northern India are raiding other ashrams associated with Dixit. In Delhi, Maliwal said, five of at least eight ashrams have been searched by authorities. But many of the sect’s ashrams are in unknown locations.




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Frank Parlato

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5 years ago

this sounds eerily familiar

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

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