DNA--BEN AND YOGANANDA Quoting from someone who checked out the DNA testing:
"They hired, as an employee lawyer of SRF, a former prosecutor. He claimed to be an authority on DNA, which he is not. They chose 3 people who may or may not be related to Yogananda as described, and had a nurse in their hire take samples. The samples were then sent to a standard laboratory. This is not legally ok. The lab is supposed to collect the samples and verify by affadavit the identities of those contributing samples. The usual tests were not conclusive in any way, because the three are too distant on the tree from Yogananda, even if they are in the prescribed relation. That is, they cannot be expected to share much with him. They used a mitochondrial DNA test (which is one on an item inherited through mainly the female line only). This test revealed a particular common feature of the three, but a feature present in a huge portion of the Bengali population. They claim that this feature was not present in Ben's sample. Ben's sample was in their hands, not a lab's for two years. God knows if it was Ben's. There is no proof that the three shared the same feature with Yogananda; any falsehood in the male lines of descent of the three and of Yogananda (wrong father in any one of the four) would invalidate the test. It would not, contrary to the prosecutor, hold up in any court. This was a gambit to influence the SRF membership. If they believed their position, they would be the first to call for a direct comparison of Ben and Yogananda's preserved tissue. That is the last thing they want. The only thing published was an unvetted publicity release of SRF; the lady reporter for the LA times admit she did not check it at all. I did see the lab report, through a kind intermediary. Ben does not care, he knows how much time he spent at Encinitas as a kid, with Yogananda, and how many times he retrieved Yogananda's letters from a postal box several miles away. Somehow, all of the letters and all of the glass photoplates of her portraits of Yogananda were stolen (disappeared) after Yogananda's death. They don't want to admit she took all the wonderful old Yogananda photos, and that the photoshop in which she worked was how she met him. But really, what does it matter to anyone what stories these high priced lawyers put together? I don't want to argue with them, I simply don't care what stories they use to keep the membership quiet." Edited by: Grainne Uaile at: 7/26/06 4:15 am
Re: DNA--BEN AND YOGANANDA I showed the above article to one of my SRF friends, and she said that it sounds like how SRF operates. She had sued them, and the lies about her were disturbing, and then SRF brought in a doctor to testify against her. Her lawyer said that they are called "*%%$% doctors" because they will say anything.
Quote: It's not surprising that GU doesn't wish to argue about this again, because her arguments don't hold water. There's nothing that's either "legally" OK or not OK about this. It's a matter of what scientific evidence is the best. For starters, yes, her information about mitochondrial DNA is incorrect. That should cause some skepticism about her ability to make a scientific case.
The argument about relatives being too distant is highly unlikely, in my opinion. I read recently, in a story about the DaVinci Code, that if it were correct that Jesus fathered children, then much of the world's population would be traceable to him at this point. I found information online about DNA testing when we were arguing about this before which suggested that paternity testing with relatives is preferable to testing from remains, because the DNA from remains may not be reliable.
Also, the article in the LA Times said two separate labs received the samples, and that they both agreed. They don't "require" an affadavit, but that would be more legally persuasive, I'm sure.
Finally, I spoke personally with the reporter about this matter. She insists that she DID NOT just reprint a press release, although Erskine supporters continuously trot out this red herring. She DID speak with the former prosecutor hired to oversee the tests. She DIDN'T find Erskines' case at all persuasive because they have no proof.
I still consider PY innocent until proven guilty. But if the Erskine supporters really think that their arguments are legally compelling, I again urge them to try and make that case in court.
This is just a perfect example, Paramadas, of why it would give SRF pause to have the case "tried" in public.
I agree that Yogananda should be considered innocent until proven guilty.
When DNA samples are compared, the DNA from all samples is reduced to DNA's four letter sequences. The sequences are then compared using computer software and the result is a percentage/probability of a match. With the sequences available in a published document, an independent examiner can verify any of the sequences by obtaining new samples.
Do you know of such a document where the sequences, comparison method, and comparison probability results were published? It would be nice to conclude this someday one way or another.
Re: DNA--BEN AND YOGANANDA Ron Russel, New Times LA, July 5,2001: Quote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Not long after the swami's death, Erskine says, his mother blew up in anger at one of his half sisters. Although married, the sister had moved back home, and his mother threw her things out of the house. "When my stepfather got home, he was livid. He said, "Well, I know what to do about that.' And he took her to Norwalk to a mental hospital and had her committed." Erskine calls it "a pure act of spite. She was a brilliant woman. There was nothing wrong with her. But a few days after she was taken there we got a phone call saying that they had given her electroshock treatments. And it was the end of her." Upon coming home soon afterward, he says, his mother "was ruined emotionally" and scarcely uttered a word. In fact, after she was admitted to a nursing home in the mid 1950s she hardly spoke during the last four decades of her life, relatives say. When his mother's mind started to go, Ben Erskine went to Texas to work as a roughneck in the oil fields. After getting married, he moved to Utah, where he was a millwright at a salt mine before settling in the Pacific Northwest. In the 1970s, he became a Mormon, like his mother had been before she met the swami. All of his children have grown up in the understanding and belief that Yogananda was their grandfather. "It's something we've always been taught to be proud of," says Melissa Simpson, 38. Never wishing to do anything to damage his "father's" reputation as a celibate and a saint, Erskine says he deliberately chose not to speak of Yogananda outside a circle of family and friends. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
New Times LA, Ron Russell, November 29, 2001 Quote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- ... Yet, Erskine has never claimed to know for certain who his father is. He says his mother gave birth to him at home in the City Terrace section of Los Angeles in January 1933, and that no birth certificate was issued on his behalf. Adelaide Erskine suffered a breakdown several years after Yogananda died, and was unable to communicate effectively for the rest of her life. She died in 1996 a few months short of what would have been her 100th birthday. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Edited by: divine gypsy at: 7/25/06 6:39 pm
Used Yogi Member Posts: 72 (7/25/06 6:43 pm) Reply Re: enforced discretion -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Divine Gypsy,
As far as I know Ben's mother was loyal to Yogananda till the end and would never answer whether or not Yogananda was Ben's father, or say anything at all negative about Yogananda. She was totally devoted to him.
I think these posts should be moved into the "Ben and DNA" section. Is it easy to move?
divine gypsy Member Posts: 4 (7/25/06 6:50 pm) Reply | Edit Re: enforced discretion -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- GU, as far as how many witnesses it would take to convince me that PY had affairs, it would make a difference if I heard one credible one. Anil was 5 or 6 at the time. His mother thought PY had affairs, but his father didn't. No young women that I'm aware of from the 1920s or 30s have come forward to make accusations.
As far as Ben's paternity goes, I'm more than willing to listen to evidence presented in a court case, but the Erskines have dropped theirs and seem to prefer to present a hearsay case. That simply isn't persuasive to me.
Again, if the Erskines wish to challenge SRF's evidence in court, I wish they would do so. The type of nitpicking I've seen seems like simple wishful thinking Edited by: Grainne Uaile at: 7/29/06 4:45 am
"Yesterday was stifling here again, as you well know where you are. When Ben came out of the 40 degree mine, we found ourselves incarcerated with the swamp cooler. At 3:00 we tuned in to Dr. Phil. There was a young woman with a beautiful face crying because her husband said she was so overwieght, he couldn't bring himself to even kiss her!! She was devestated and as she cried my heart went out to her. She had gained the weight during pregnacy and over a five year period of trying, hadn't lost a pound! Then she said something that hit home to us-- she was adopted and had no idea what her parents body type was. Not only did she have a low self-esteem but she didn't have a base for idenity. I'm Scottish and English, have reems of family history and stories, have seen the 'old country' where they came from. I've stood on the moors of Scotland and looked out over the North Sea in the town the Taylor clan was from. I can't put into words what I felt.
I'm hearing impaired and some members of my family are profoundly deaf, that came from my Yorkshire grandpa Birkby. Knowing who you are is an important part of your mental makeup. Ben was made to feel ashamed of who he was and his Mother was mentally tortured 24/7 until the mid fifties when she would return from Mt Washington and find the girls had gone through her trunks again that contained PY's pictures and the letters they exchanged while she was in the dessert. One day, when she found more important things missing, she reached the end of her tether. Can't imagine why after all she'd been through!!. PY had died by then and she was still heartbroken. Ben was already in the oil fields in Texas. He came home only to discover Mamas treatment. In the sixties, before we joined the church, Ben drank beer with his sawmill co-workers. He became overwieght and his hair got a bit long. When the Don Walters video came out (filmed in London), and I saw PY showing how to sleep/ It was Ben in his 30's! His body was identical. The shape of his head and face were also. As I have told DG before, her loyalty is so much like Mama's was that it is touching. Women DID come forward, others like Mama, took a vow to him and would die before breaking it. DG thinks we can pull a rabbit out of the hat and hold up proof. She knows thats why I'm writing the book. All we have is our truth and Ben is our evidence. There is not a smidgeon of a doubt in our mind, nor in anyones who has come here to meet him even some with a belief like DG's who by the way our home and guest room are open to you anytime you would like to come up. Your venemous attitude towards us would only help us welcome you with open arms as we have the hundreds of people who have come through our lives. Oh yes GU was non-believer till she spent time with Ben. DG seems to take SRF at their word in a selective manner and also Ron Russell. In the many interviews Ben had with Ron, Ben made it clear his heart was with his Mother and what she had gone through, Where do you think Ron got that info?? He never said Mama was a vegetable. She was still in touch with people at Mt Washington till she died (by mail). Oh yes, how did mama do my horoscope without even looking in a book?"
Re: DNA--BEN AND YOGANANDA Sorry, but reports of a resemblance don't hold water with me. If Erskines would bother to obtain DNA evidence and defend it in court, that might. I have no doubt that they mean well.
Re: DNA--BEN AND YOGANANDA I don't think suing SRF will solve anything. It would just be an act of good faith if SRF at least made the details of the results available to Ben. But they are not experts in this stuff any more than we are, so who knows how valid the samples they took were by the time they got tested.
It would probably take getting samples from living relatives in India and sending them FedEx in a refrigerated package *dry ice and insulation?) back to the US for lab testing.
Here's what I posted before the messages above that Diving Gypsy copied.
Quote: to my fellow former zygotes -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Someone mentioned that SRF tested mitochondrial DNA. I'm not any kind of expert on this stuff, but the description on Wikipedia was pretty informative. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_dna
Quote: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is DNA that is located in mitochondria. This is in contrast to most DNA of eukaryotic organisms, which is found in the nucleus. It is often stated that 100% of the mtDNA contribution to a zygote is inherited from the mother, although this is controversial and may not be true for all organisms.
Unlike most of the cell, the function of which is defined by nuclear DNA, mitochondria have their own DNA and are assumed to have evolved separately. Human mitochondrial DNA consists of 5-10 rings of DNA and appears to carry 16,568 base pairs with 37 genes (13 proteins, 22 tRNAs and two rRNAs) which are concerned with the production of proteins involved in cellular respiration. However many proteins found in the mitochondria are encoded by nuclear DNA: some, if not most, are thought to have been originally part of the mitochondrial DNA but have since been transferred to the nucleus during evolution.
There is little change in the mtDNA from parent to offspring, unlike nuclear DNA which changes by 50% each generation. Since the mutation rate is easily measured, mtDNA is a powerful tool for tracking matrilineage, and has been used in this role for tracking many species back hundreds of generations.
However, mtDNA is very rarely used any longer in court cases, as it can be contaminated very easily. Simply touching or breathing on a sample may contaminate it.
...and so on, but later in the entry it does say
However, it has also been proven that about 1-2% of a person's mitochondria can be inherited from the father
Does anyone know more about the technical side? If what this Wikipedia entry says is true, testing mitochondrial DNA looks at the mother's line, not the father's. So it sounds like comparing Ben's mitochondrial DNA to mitochondrial DNA from Yogananda's relatives would test to see how related Ben's mother was to the female line of Yogananda's relatives. There shouldn't be much of a match at all.
Is that the case? If so, then one of two things are possible: either SRF had no idea what they were doing, or SRF knew exactly what they were doing and wanted to arrange a test that had the greatest chance of coming out negative. There is probably a 50/50 chance of either possibility.
Depending on what happened, the DNA expert they supposedly hired either was a sham expert who flim-flammed them (wouldn't be the first time a consultant did that to them) or conspired with SRF to arrange a test with a high probability of showing no relation. Again, given how consultants have raped SRF for money over the years, there is probably a 50/50 chance of either possibility.
Edited by: Used Yogi at: 7/25/06 6:33 pm
I haven't met Ben and don't have an opinion one way or another about the chances of Yogananda being his father.
On the other hand, I unfortunately have seen how SRF covers up the tiniest of things, so I don't think they can be taken at their word. I also know how they can fumble much smaller tasks than forensic analysis though they have the best intentions. But I know that doesn't answer the question of Ben's father.
My point was that we (or at least I) can't know one way or another from what has been done so far. The Erskines will probably have to do their own testing. That testing will be expensive.
Re: DNA--BEN AND YOGANANDA SRF will go to any length to suppress the truth. I have talked with Mike Flynn personally, and I caught him in two lies, so I don't believe anything he has to say anymore. I have read these reports on the Internet before, so they mean nothing to me in view of the evidence that SRF is still suppressing. When I was talking to Flynn he admitted to being a kriyaban, and he had denied having anything to do with SRF while in court. Being that I had told him that I was a kriyaban he felt he could tell me that he was one also. Also, he said that Dhirananda looked just like Yogananda, and if I had ever seen a photo of him I would see this. Well, I had photos of Dhirananda, and he doesn't look anything like Yogananda except to say that they both had long hair. He also said that Dhirananda was Ben's father. And then he said something which caused me to no longer doubt Ben and Lorna: "Ben and Lorna are wonderful and honest people. I really like them. Ben just wants to know who his father is." Edited by: Grainne Uaile at: 7/27/06 1:01 pm
Re: Yogananda practicing hypnosis again From Srflongago:
" Some unfounded statements about Yogananda's Miami 'cross to bear' have recently appeared. There was no Miami lawsuit or court case. There was no jail time for Yogananda. The Sheriff (or was it DA?) simply told him to leave town because the law could not guarantee his safety from a riot caused by irate husbands if he stayed in town and lectured, which he really wanted to do. The British consular official in Miami believed that his dark color in a southern city made the locals very irate about his contacts with their wives. This is all documented in the British Consulate records, available to anyone who looks them up online under Yogananda in the British Foreign Office archives."
Re: Yogananda practicing hypnosis again SisterBeyondananda,
Thanks for copying that correspondence here. It helps to paint a more complete picture. Yet I wish in all that writing Flynn had taken one sentence to describe the type of DNA test. If in fact it was mitochondrial DNA, it sounds like it would be worthless.
It sounded like he was doing everything he could to threaten a lawsuit in an emotional way instead of rationally explaining the testing that was done. It would have taken a paragraph to simply state "we performed this specific type of DNA test and enclosed is the detailed analysis, so as you can see there is no way Yogananda could be the father." Wait a minute, that's only a sentence. Maybe it is because he is a lawyer and hung up on statutes and cases, not on DNA testing. He went on and on about this California Civil Code and that court precedent, but didn't even name the type of DNA test.
I did think one part was funny though, the part where he says SRF monastics are not public figures. You could probably say that Scientologists (his favorite) are not public figures, but definitely not say that about senior SRF monastics or even the Brahmacharis who drive ministers to and from temple services. Then he implied that because they are not public figures, nobody should say anything unkind about those beautiful souls.
"How does it feel to be one of the beautiful people...You keep all your money in a big brown bag inside a zoo, what a thing to do. Baby you're a rich mata, baby you're a rich mata, baby you're a rich mata too." (With more apologies to the Beatles.)
I haven't read the whole thing yet but I will. I did look through everything you posted for the type of DNA test and didn't see anything.
SRF Long Ago,
I didn't think Yogananda went to jail. I thought some Miami husbands took some other form of legal action to get him out of town. I had heard he got a judgment against him, and lost on appeal.
If a woman burst out roaring like a lion uncontrollably at home, then it must have been hypnosis. Somewhere in the Lessons, Yogananda says something like hypnosis weakens the will and should be avoided. Yet from stories I've heard, Yogananda used hypnosis very effectively on his audiences. Repeated chanting of a mantra can induce a hypnotic state. In fact, repetitive group chanting is an extremely effective tool used by many cults, including some very evil cults, on purpose.
It would have been Yogananda's responsiblity to see what was happening in his audience and if he saw a highly suggestible person, make sure she didn't go too far with it.
Hypnosis breaks down the barrier between the conscious and subconscious minds, making the subconscious very susceptible to suggestions. By repeated chanting, your conscious releases its barrier and the thing you are chanting winds up sinking into your subconscious. Some people are far more suggestible than others. That woman was apparently highly suggestible and able to enter a hypnotic state readily.
Now repeat after me...there is no such thing as DNA...there is no such thing as DNA...there is no such thing as DNA...
Used Yogi Edited by: Used Yogi at: 7/27/06 11:56 pm
“Everything that has been said and posted has been done over and over again and is a rehash of people’s behavior that has little to do with Ben or his mother. It all boils down to the spring of 1932 and what happened in one moment of time. A time of waiting for Rajasi to arrive with money, a time of worry and frustration and if memory serves me, it was still Yagoda then.
I have spent all the years since 1972 when I found out my 'Indian' wasn't the kind of Indian I thought he was, trying to help Ben except who he is without shame. In 1945, when they returned to LA from the dessert, he had to listen to Robert rant and rave and physically abuse his tiny mother. When they were alone she would say, "You know what kind of blood is in your veins and it's not HIS," motioning to wherever Robert was. Now what could she have possibly meant by that considering that the 'Swami on the hill' was the only one wanked about? How do you think we felt when 12 years ago M. Flynn told me that PY had never been alone with a woman and that PY wasn't at Mt Washington in the spring of '32? We became confused for a time. I got every book I could about PY and discovered those statements weren’t true. I read both Kamala's and my heroin, Durga's books. mmmmmmmm he sure spent ALOT of time alone with them! An entire section of Durga's book is about the spring of 32 and how PY cancelled out of town speaking tours while waiting for money to arrive. Speaking of money and as DG has had explained to her before, when all this occurred I told Ben we needed to have a very meaningful talk. I said, "Why are we doing this?" There was a long silence while he thought, he finally said, "for the truth", I was happy!! I said, "Great, then why do we need an attorney?" I sent a registered letter to Shane that day and told him we wouldn't need him anymore. It’s all about money to attorneys (gee, I'll bet that’s a surprise).
If I found out today that Jesus and Mary M. had children, I wouldn't think a thing of it, celibacy doesn't work now and it never did. It's a cruel joke. Worshiping another person isn't a very good idea either. We all have our own inner umbilicus attached to the Holy Spirit and we don't have to go 'through' another person attain it. There never was a paternity suit from our standpoint--M. Flynn promised us the truth when he came here to see a couple of naive country bumpkins 12 years ago, we have learned a couple of things since then. So--either SRF is honest or they're not-- either Donald Walters only did what his 'Guru' did or he did not, either PY was at Mt Washington in the spring of '32 or he was not. He either spent time alone with his photographer or he didn't.
Ben is a considerate, compassionate man of quiet wisdom and I consider all his positive attributes a gift from PY!" Edited by: Grainne Uaile at: 7/28/06 7:17 am
Re: DNA--BEN AND YOGANANDA Thank you SisterBeyondananda,
That at least clears up that part of the puzzle, but of course, it doesn't mean that SRF had the test taken properly.
P.S. Perhaps you can clear this one up too. Why did SRF say that Yogananda was out of town so could not be Ben's father when Durga Ma's book shows that he was in town cleaning up the ashram in wait for Lynn's return? Edited by: Grainne Uaile at: 7/29/06 4:39 am
The LA Times checked into how the testing was done and said this:
Quote: Los Angeles Times/July 11, 2002 By Teresa Watanabe
G. Michael Still, the former San Diego prosecutor who relied extensively on DNA testing in his rape and homicide cases, said the results would prevent Erskine from claiming standing in court to seek any inheritance, copyright assets or the disinterment of the guru's body.
"In my opinion, this is airtight," said Still, who added that he was not a fellowship member and knew "little to nothing" about the organization before being hired last year to oversee the testing process.
Still said he hired a forensic nurse to collect blood samples from Yogananda's three male relatives living in Calcutta, India. One of them, Biswanath Ghosh, traveled to Los Angeles last year and declared himself "embarrassed and insulted" by the charges. He accused Erskine of fabricating charges in order to cash in on his uncle's assets and fame. "How is this possible?" Ghosh said of the charges. "My uncle was a famous holy man."
The forensic nurse videotaped and photographed the entire collection process, confirmed the identity of each of the relatives and oversaw the shipment of samples to two laboratories that worked blindly from each other. The two labs compared six Y chromosome markers, which Still said pass unchanged from one male generation to the next. Both concluded that the three Yogananda relatives were related genetically, but that Erskine was not.
Quote: Perhaps you can clear this one up too. Why did SRF say that Yogananda was out of town so could not be Ben's father when Durga Ma's book shows that he was in town cleaning up the ashram in wait for Lynn's return?
Well, either SRF is lying or Durga Ma's memory or diary was faulty. However, considering how she was kept away from the public and monastics for many years before her death leads one to believe there was something to hide. (I believe she was told not to publish.) For someone who was held in such high regard by Yogananda the treatment she received was inexcusable. It is just another nail in the SRF coffin. Wait, can you put a nail into an urn?
Re: DNA--BEN AND YOGANANDA SRF really did a number on her. You are right they didn't want her book published, and after reading it I understood why. Not just because of what we are talking about, but it showed Lynn in a bad light, at least in my opinion, and then Yogananda was asking Durga to ask Lynn for money, and a guru should not ask for money, not even through channels. It was obvious to me when I read the book that Yogananda wanted Lynn's money, and it hurt me deeply to learn this about him.