Ma Jaya & Kashi Ashram: Another View

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Media articles courtesy of Cult Education Institute. You will leave this website to access those resources.



You can read about all the good works, projects and services Kashi Ashram has to offer by visiting their website directly:

We believe in the right of every person to worship freely as they choose. We also believe in free speech. Not all spiritual groups are cultic and not all so-called gurus or spiritual teachers are cult leaders.

Our larger purpose is to encourage an attitude of caution and healthy questioning by all spiritual seekers as they move forward by arming them with information that would have been valuable to us in the beginning of our spiritual search; had it been available.

Although Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati passed away on April 13, 2012 after battling cancer, she has left her mark on those who continue to follow her teachings. Perhaps there will be progress in new directions.

This website is meant to be a vehicle for research and educational purposes only. We provide links to information on Cult (High demand groups) Education as well as Recovery Resources for those involved in or leaving high demand groups that might be helpful to: 

  • Spiritual seekers of all varieties

  • Ex-Kashi Ashram members and their families and friends

It is important that in the process of searching for a spiritual community or teacher that all seekers develop refined critical thinking skills. Read the positive and negative experiences offered by current and ex-members of any group to educate yourself before making a committment or as a way to evaluate your own experience.



Dr. Robert Jay Lifton's 8 Criteria For Thought Reform is presented here to explain how high demand groups can become ideologically totalistic and destructive. Dr. Robert Jay Lifton is a distinguished psychiatrist who has studied thought reform in various populations for over fifty years. His criteria define environments where thought reform or mind control can occur.

Click to read >> Dr. Robert Jay Lifton's 8 Criteria For Thought Reform.


Ma Jaya and the Cult of Kashi

Latest article May 16, 2013

Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati AKA Joyce Cho AKA Joya Santanya

AKA Joyce DiFiore AKA Joyce Green

  • You can read about all the good works, projects and services Kashi Ashram has to offer by visiting their website directly: Here you will find additional information meant to offer a different perspective so you may draw your own conclusions.


  • Public Relations for Kashi Ashram have published websites offering their view of Kashi as a benevolent, high-minded interfaith community, while portraying Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati, its founder and charismatic leader, as an enlightened being imbued with compassion and love. Some ex-members were vocal when interviewed by journalists about other types of experiences they had at Kashi that were not in line with Kashi's expressed views.


  • Most Kashi Ashram members have always been sincere spiritual seekers who love to please their Guru; an inherently vulnerable position to be in.


  • Articles on Kashi (small selection): We have linked to Cult Education Institute's Kashi Ashram archive page who have posted some of the more controversial journalistic stories about Ma Jaya and Kashi Ashram written by various journalists over the years. Many made a point of interviewing current and ex-members and explored the good works as well as allegations of child abuse, child snatching, financial scams and beatings. Click here to view the articles and Letters to the Editor (You will leave this website)

The International Cultic Studies Association

The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) is an interdisciplinary network of academicians, professionals, former group members, and families who study and educate the public about social-psychological influence and control, authoritarianism, and zealotry in cultic groups, alternative movements, and other environments.


ICSA conferences and workshops offer practical assistance, research findings, and information on cults, new religious movements and other groups from the leading professional organization in the field. Attendees and speakers are diverse, including academicians, helping professionals, former group members, current group members, families, clergy, educators, and others.



$19.50 trade paperback
374 pages, 6" x 9"

ISBN-10: 0-9720021-5-4
ISBN-13: 978-9720021-5-8


Buy on



Take Back Your Life
Recovering from Cults and Abusive Relationships

by Janja Lalich and Madeleine Tobias

Cult victims and those who have suffered abusive relationships often suffer from fear, confusion, low-self esteem, and post-traumatic stress. Take Back Your Life explains the seductive draw that leads people into such situations, provides guidelines for assessing what happened, and hands-on tools for getting back on track. Written for the victims, their families, and professionals, this book leads readers through the healing process. A resource list and numerous personal accounts of those who have successfully made the transition to the “normal” world provide help and inspiration.

About the Authors

Janja Lalich, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Sociology at California State University, Chico. She has been studying the cult phenomenon since the late 1980s and has coordinated local support groups for ex-cult members and for women who were sexually abused in a cult or abusive relationship. She is the author of Bounded Choice: True Believers and Charismatic Cults, and co-author, with Margaret Singer, of Cults in Our Midst.

Madeleine Tobias, M.S., R.N., C.S., is the Clinical Coordinator and a psychotherapist at the Vet Center in White River Junction, Vermont, where she treats veterans who experienced combat and/or sexual trauma while in the military. Previously she had a private practice in Connecticut and was an exit counselor helping ex-members of cultic groups and relationships.