Do you think that there was a male version of the sex group that the girls were involved in ?
No, I don't think so. At least I haven't heard anything about it.
During my last year in the Centre, I had some talks with B about being gay in the Centre and about gay sex.
B was the only other openly gay guy I knew in the Centre. There were a few others I knew were gay, but they were not open about it and we never talked about the subject.
So B was telling me about his sex life and about those boy friends he had had.
He was telling me he was very much under the control of Chinmoy who was trying hard to have him drop him the relationships he was getting into quite regularly.
I would think that if there were a boy circle, B would be aware of it and be the first to be into it.
But what do I know? I may be totally wrong.
What I can tell you is that no matter how much I could have been sometimes fantasizing about some of the hot guys in the Centre, and about having sex or group sex with them, there is no way I could enjoy the idea of doing it in front of Chinmoy, or with his blessing or him knowing. Not even talking about having sex with Chinmoy. It would have been purely incestuous for me. This is an absolutely disgusting idea.
So thinking of the girls who were in the sex circle, I can't imagine how terrible an experience it was for them. And I would think most of them were not even attracted to the same sex.
Being gay in the Centre was a real challenge.
When I started going to the meditation classes in Paris, I told everyone I was gay.
I had had quite a late coming out, at the age of 22, and the way I was living it at this time was to be openly gay and if people had a problem with it they could stay away from my life.
Then when I gave my picture to apply to become a disciple, Haridas asked me if I wanted to mention to Chinmoy that I was gay.
I said no, because I knew the rules, I had chosen to follow them and at this time, being gay didn't mean anything to me anymore.
I think Haridas was in a way encouraging me not to mention it, as he told me one guy had been refused recently in Montpellier because he was gay.
This scared me a bit, because I could not imagine my life without being accepted as a disciple. At the same time, I had such a strong inner experience with Chinmoy recognizing me as his disciple that it was hard to imagine he could refuse me.
But then, I decided to not talk about being gay anymore. The Paris disciples knew, but I never talked about it for many years.
I was then really putting aside my gay part. I was refusing it. I would not allow myself to fantasize about any guy in the Centre. I was feeling this would be totally impure. I was totally blocking it.
The problem is that it was there within me. I was getting in such a tension about some guy disciples working at the restaurant who I was finding very attractive. As I was refusing to acknowledge that part of me that was attracted to them, I was in so much tension inwardly. And this inward tension was getting towards an outside tension too. I was having difficulties dealing with those guys and it was very tense between us.
I realized later that just acknowledging my attraction towards them and allowing myself to fantasize about them would take most of the tension away.
Quite some years before that, in the first years I was a disciple, Haridas mentioned that he was once with Chinmoy. Chinmoy looked at some magazine where there was a photo of the queen of England and Elton John together.
It seems that Chinmoy made a comment like "Oh, two queens together". I really liked this story and in a strange way it made me believe that Chinmoy was maybe more open about the gay thing than the disciples would think.
Plus I knew that B was gay and I could see he was a very close disciple getting a lot of attention.
In 2002, I went for the first time for a long Christmas trip with Chinmoy and the disciples. I did two months of the trip.
After the first three weeks in Phnom Pen, Cambodia,we moved to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam.
I was feeling very bad then. I was sick all the time there, feeling so bad. One of those moments where one would see everything in dark, and when no matter what one would do, everything would go wrong.
I was feeling very bad about being gay. I was feeling very guilty because I was fantasizing a lot about guys, including some disciples.
I was masturbating a lot, buying some gay porn tapes or DVDs, I don't remember what it was at this time, and watching them quite often.
I was feeling I was a very bad disciple, betraying my Guru. I was taking the rules very seriously, first degree.
I decided to write a letter to Chinmoy about it. It was extremely difficult for me to write this letter. It took me maybe a week to finish it.
Then I gave it in through the usual channel and waited to see if there was an answer.
I was agonizing, thinking Chinmoy might throw me off the path.
One day Chinmoy had quite an unusual and awkward talk at the morning function.
He was saying that if you have been doing something bad for years, ten or twenty years, you shouldn't try to stop it right away. It would just break your spiritual life. You should give it time and reduce slowly your practise of the "bad" things (God, this totally dualistic way of seeing good things and bad things is so much kindergarten spirituality for me today). Maybe Chinmoy was talking about his own issues with sex.
The same day, I was in the corridor of the hotel and Chinmoy happened to walk by me.
He stopped and told me : "Madhupa (that was the spiritual name he gave me in 1998), did you hear my talk this morning ? I read your letter. I am pleased with you. Your mind, your vital what can you do ? But I am very pleased with your heart".
I started crying right away. It was such a relief for me. It changed my life. I was not hiding anything from my guru anymore.
Then over the next few months, I don't really remember how it happened, I managed to do a coming out to my friends in the Centre. I then took the habit of mentioning quite easily I was gay. I was talking openly about it. I would think the general opinion in the Centre about homosexuality was not good, but I was feeling I had Chinmoy's approval about just being myself, so the disciples' judgement was not an issue anymore.
I never had sex with anyone all those fifteen years I was in the Centre. I was just not interested. I missed quite a few opportunities, but I had no frustration.