AroundRaynor Johnson was hosting regular meetings New age australia a religious and philosophical discussion group led by Anne Hamilton-Byrne at Santiniketanhis home at Ferny Creek in the Dandenong Ranges on the eastern outskirts of Melbourne.
Also connected was a series of weekly talks he gave at the Council of Adult Education in Melbourne, entitled "The Macrocosm and the Microcosm". The "New age australia" purchased an adjoining property which they named Santiniketan Park in and constructed a meeting hall, Santiniketan Lodge. The group consisted of middle class professionals; it has been estimated that a quarter were nurses and other medical personnel and that many were recruited by Johnson, who referred them to Hamilton-Byrne's hatha yoga classes.
The Family teaches an eclectic mixture of Christianity and Hinduism with other Eastern and Western religions on the principle that spiritual truths are universal. Jesus was said to be a great master New age australia came down to Earth, and the group believed that Buddha and Krishna were other enlightened beings who similarly came down to help humanity.
Hamilton-Byrne was regarded as being in the same category as these teachers.
One adopted daughter, Sarah Hamilton-Byrnelater described the group's beliefs as a "hotch-potch" of Christianity and Eastern mysticism. During the late s and the s, Newhaven Hospital in Kew was a private psychiatric hospital owned and managed by Marion Villimek, a Santiniketan member; many of its staff and attending psychiatrists were also members.
Many patients New age australia Newhaven were treated with the hallucinogenic drug LSD.
Although the psychiatric hospital had been closed down byin that year a new inquest was ordered into the death of a Newhaven patient in after new claims that his death had been due to deep sleep therapy.
The inquest heard evidence concerning the use of electroconvulsive therapy, LSD, and other practices
New age australia Newhaven but found no evidence that deep sleep had been used on this patient.
Anne Hamilton-Byrne acquired fourteen infants and young children between about and Some were the natural children New age australia members of The Family; others had New age australia obtained through irregular adoptions arranged by lawyers, doctors, and social workers within the group who could bypass the normal processes.
The children's identities were changed using false birth certificates or deed pollall being given the surname "Hamilton-Byrne" and dressed alike even to the extent of their hair being dyed uniformly blonde.
The children were kept in seclusion and home-schooled at Kai Lamaa rural property usually referred to as "Uptop", at Taylor Bay on Lake Eildon near the town of Eildon, Victoria. They were told that Anne Hamilton-Byrne was their biological mother, and knew the other adults in the group as "aunties" and "uncles". The children were frequently dosed with the psychiatric drugs fluphenazinediazepamhaloperidolchlorpromazine New age australia, nitrazepamoxazepamtrifluoperazinecarbamazepineor imipramine.
She took some of the children to stay with Muktananda at his ashram at Fallsburg, New York later as the Shree Muktananda Ashram in the Catskill Mountains in andand purchased a nearby property as her own base in the US.
Sarah Hamilton-Byrne tells how Muktananda would give a private audience or darshan once a week to Hamilton-Byrne's group. He once asked the children if they would like to leave The Family and live with him at his Siddha Peeth ashram in Ganeshpuri, India.
The children all gave an enthusiastic yes, but were later punished by Hamilton-Byrne for disloyalty. She states that Hamilton-Byrne eventually caused a lot of trouble in the Shree Muktananda Ashram, and some of Muktananda's devotees defected to The Family. Sarah was present when Swami Tejomayananda was initiated into The Family; she states that she could not understand why he would want to join a sect where everyone was so miserable, when it seemed that everyone around Muktananda was so happy.
Sarah Hamilton-Byrne was expelled by her adoptive mother in because of arguing and rebellious behaviour.
With the support of a private investigator and others, she then played an instrumental role in bringing The Family to the attention of the Victorian police. As a result, a raid took place at Kai Lama on Friday, 14 Augustand all children were removed from the premises. Sarah later went on to study medicine and become a qualified doctor. She also learned that she had been adopted and eventually met her biological mother.
After the raid inAnne Hamilton-Byrne and her husband, William, remained outside Australia for the next six years.
In Augusttwo individuals received financial compensation from Anne Hamilton-Byrne after suing her. Her granddaughter, Rebecca Cook-Hamilton,
New age australia her in for alleged psychiatric and psychological illnesses.
She alleged that she received "cruel and inhuman treatment" from Hamilton-Byrne and her servants, including beatings, being locked in a freezing shed overnight and being forced to take medications. She also alleged that she was given insufficient food.
Hamilton-Byrne said she had no memory of the matter. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Not to be confused with Family International. This article's lead section does not adequately summarize key points of its contents.
Please consider expanding the lead to provide an accessible overview of all important aspects of the article. Please discuss this issue on the article's talk page. The
New age australia Morning Herald. Retrieved 10 January Trauma, Memory and Therapy. Background paper for the seminars "Trauma, Dissociation and Psychosis: The Sunday Herald Sun. Retrieved 5 January Retrieved 4 January Retrieved 25 July Retrieved 4 August What it was like to grow up in one of Australia's most notorious cults".
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