John Friend—the founder of Anusara, one of the fastest growing styles of yoga—is in the midst of building , which was slated to be the crown jewel of his growing empire. However, the buzz surrounding the project on Coast Highway 101 has taken a different tone after some of his former students have claimed that Friend was at the center of an all-female, sexually charged Wiccan coven.
Details of the scandal have been scarce, until now: A former member of Friend’s Wiccan coven opened up about her involvement in an interview with The Daily Beast. The former member—who declined to use her real name and is referred to as Melissa in the article—says Friend named the Wiccan coven Blazing Solar Flames and that members were asked to massage each other’s nude bodies with oil and kiss, among other things.
“When it came time for Friend’s massage, Melissa recalled suddenly feeling the situation ‘was like something out of Hustler or Penthouse, and I just thought, Wow, this guy is living the dream,’” The Daily Beast reports.
The article goes on to say that Friend’s Encinitas center is still indeed under construction, but that Friend was not available for comment because he is on a sabbatical. In May that “Encinitas is a place that for me is so special that, honestly, it chooses me instead of me choosing it,” and that he planned to “definitely make the best of my sojourn in Encinitas.”
You can read the full The Daily Beast story here, and Patch will update you with any more information as it becomes available.