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Carvalho 23 considers that critical discourse analysis is probably the most used linguistic-based analysis method applied in media and journalism studies. The reason may be the fact that, addressing the social implications of the media messages, this approach reunites the causes and the effects in a global picture. Researchers that explain the way the power is exerted and imposed take the position of defending the unfavored social actors. The critique of critical discourse analysis is related mostly to the variations of methodology and to the partisan position of the researcher.

Methodological pluralism, for instance, can be seen as a strength rather than a weakness, and ideological commitment, as discussed above, is an explicit agenda of critical discourse analysis and does not equal analytical distortion. Carvalho 23 developed an analytic framework for media discourse, based on previous scientific literature. The methodology proposed by Carvalho consists of two interconnected levels of analysis: textual analysis and contextual analysis.

While the textual analysis includes different approaches referring to objects, actors, language, ideological standpoints etc. Ruiz Ruiz 25 makes a similar unifying effort for sociological discourse analysis, identifying three levels of analysis that are interrelated: text, context, society. All levels have appropriate methods of analysis. For instance, content analysis can be used for textual analysis, while framing theory is appropriate for contextual analysis. No such research should be complete unless taking into consideration the social implications of the discourse. Such an approach should help the researcher to overcome the critique that discourse analysis is rather an interpretation and not a scientific analysis.

Regarding the social aspects of the research discourse as information, ideology and social product , Ruiz Ruiz highlights the creative value of the abduction as inference , in order to gain a new scientifically-based perspective and understanding of various social processes.

The logic of sociological discourse interpretation in the case of abduction is to formulate a hypothesis and then to verify it. The term was originally defined by Peirce in apud Ruiz Ruiz and is nowadays widely accepted as a logically correct method, whose real challenge is to formulate appropriate hypothesis. In conclusion, the choice of the methodology of research - critical discourse analysis, completed with elements of sociological discourse analysis - is justified by the aim of the research - to understand the social implications of a media campaign in terms of influencing the Romanian society with visible consequences: ignoring basic human rights and real historic facts.

The authors that had developed the methodology of critical discourse analysis research suggest a rigorous scientific approach that should make the results easy to verify. Recommendations for research design, methodology and presentation of scientific reports can be found in the literature. According to Fairclough, for instance apud Jorgensen and Phillips, 21 , the researcher should focus on the two dimensions of discourse: the communication event itself and the order of discourse that is, textual analysis and contextual analysis. Any discourse is seen in relation to the configuration of all the discourse types of a social actor or within a field.

In our case, the contextual dimension of analysis in this acceptance is implicit in the research, as we looked to the evolution of discourse during a long period of time. The choice of research problem as the starting point of the research is, in the case of critical discourse analysis, associated with the aim of critical discourse analysis as explanatory critique, i.

However, there is a lot of scientific work that uses this approach in order to suggest solutions for different social problems. The analysis of social practice can refer, depending on the problem, to the discourse of an institution, or of different institutions, and the relations between these institutions. The researcher should also study the way the discourse constructs a social practice like, for instance, a profession. Carvalho 23 suggests a framework for media discourse analysis that consists of textual analysis layout and structural organization, objects, actors, language, grammar and rhetoric, discursive strategies, ideological standpoints and contextual analysis comparative-synchronic analysis and historical-diachronic analysis.

This framework gives the elements of analysis that the researcher should look for. Methods suggested for textual analysis are content analysis and semiotic analysis. For contextual analysis, frame analysis, analysis of discourse positions, conversation analysis and intertextual analysis are recommended. The sociological interpretation explanation of discourse is obtained through inductive or adductive inference While discourse analysis can be successfully applied for small data samples, it is also useful for large data samples, especially in cases where there is a certain general coherence of the material.

In our research, trying to give a consistent and unitary analysis of a long-time social phenomenon centered around the media and mediated discourse in the MISA-Bivolaru case, we encountered a lot of challenges in applying critical discourse analysis. The position of the researchers was, from the beginning of the study, as having much more first-hand information than the public, and much more correct information than that disseminated by media.

Therefore, the research can be considered an explanatory critique that tries to disclose a misrepresentation with serious social implications. Linguistic and rhetoric aspects were briefly analyzed, also. Contextual analysis also implied counting the articles that present false information, approach the case from a certain angle or fail to present significant details of the case. Elements of news framing theory were used in data interpretation and also deconstruction as an interpretation method in order to explain the misrepresentation of the MISA-Bivolaru case in the public perception and media discourse.

The results are presented in section 4 and 5 in a synthetic manner, due to the large quantity of material. Additional information will be published in further complete reports and can be offered upon request to researchers interested to study the case, including the list of all the items included in the research. Taking into consideration the dimension of the problem and the quantity of material, our research has obvious limitations that should be eliminated by further research.

To complete present analysis, a large-scale content analysis of media articles is needed, using elements of psychological discourse analysis like interpretation repertoires and stakes and framing theory. More detailed visual analysis will also offer specific insight, since a lot of anomalies were identified regarding the visual dimension of the media discourse.

Soteria International have followed the MISA-Bivolaru case closely and eye-witnessed some of the events in the last years, including activities of the yoga school, rallies and trials in Romania, Sweden, France. Events related to the case also occurred in this period in other European countries: Italy, Denmark, Finland and Germany. One of the authors had the opportunity to interview Mr. Bivolaru in Sweden, after he was granted political asylum. Soteria International is concerned about the spiritual rights of the European citizens and considered the case from this point of view.

After independent investigations, Soteria decided to support MISA and Gregorian Bivolaru, by presenting the case in different human right events, commissions and to European politicians. Our actions seem to encounter - in Romania - the obstacle of a total closure of the politicians, officials and other public persons and their inability to discuss the case and to consider it in an objective, factual-based, perspective.

As other foreigners that supported MISA and Bivolaru at certain moments reported, we have also been contacted several times by activists of secret services that offered us huge amount of information about the case information taken from media articles or from juridical files , trying to convince us to give up the case. Our experience when trying to bring the case in the attention of the Romanian public sphere convinced us of the abnormality of the reaction, as already presented in the introduction: no understanding of human rights and basic democratic value seem to be common to representatives of several NGOs and institutions in Romania.

On the contrary, outside Romania the case has a large echo and several European politicians saw it as an indicative of the juridical and social situation in Romania. Therefore, we have decided to study the attitude of the Romanian civil society with the intention to find an explanation for its reaction to the MISA-Bivolaru case. There is not only reluctance, but also strong repulsion towards the case - people do not want to speak about it in private situations, nor in public, as they do not want to be associated with it in order not to be blamed or publicly mortified.

On the other hand, the resistance of the members of the groups, their persistence in their yoga practice and their personal support for Mr. Bivolaru is also hard to understand, in the light of the information publicly available about him and about the yoga movement. The details of the case raise many other specific questions. To give only few examples: What is the ideology behind the media discourse in this case?

What social actors are behind it? How is it possible that the Romanian authorities provided false information to the Europol and no one says anything? How is it possible that such a huge witch hunt was launched for Bivolaru, when no one has real accusations against him? A primary hypothesis could be that the democratic education in Romania is still precarious, in spite of efforts done in the last 20 years.

The historian Lucian Boia wrote that the mentality in contemporary Romania lacks civic responsibility and democratic solidarity 4. People are not willing to involve in causes, to make efforts to educate, document or take actions of solidarity against authorities.

This is possibly the heritage of the communist period, but in the Bivolaru case this cannot explain the inertia and the compliance of the civil society - and also their implicit solidarity with the abusive authorities. This article presents a concise critical discourse analysis of the way the Romanian authorities and the Romanian media presented the case. A preliminary investigation of the case, consisting of interviews and archive research, documentation including first-hand reading of over articles and transcripts of broadcasted news helped us make a selection of specific periods to be analyzed in detail.

Reading the material in the perspective of the framework of analysis presented in previous section, we had already a basis to formulate the research hypothesis, because with few - statistical insignificant - exceptions, the case is presented in an almost uniform manner. One can notice immediately the absence of the voices of the presumably main actors of the case: the yogis of the MISA yoga School and Gregorian Bivolaru. Their point of view is absent in almost all of the articles written on the case. The rhetoric is also quite uniform: aggressive, hate instigating, definitive.

The language is full of insults, words with negative connotations are frequently used. But, according to Andreescu and a and Popescu b , they do so. Other research hypothesis are related to the specificity of the critical discourse analysis and refer to the ideology behind the media ted discourse:.

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There is no indexing system for periodicals in the s in Romania and we have no knowledge of any archives with TV shows and radio shows broadcasted in Romania in that period. Therefore, a huge documentation effort was done in order to identify articles referring to the MISA-Bivolaru case in the printed press. The main documentation source for the period prior to are written newspapers and journals.

For the recent period, all TV shows and news included in our research can be found on the internet. Most of newspapers and journals cited are available at the Romanian National Library. Some of the sources are quoted in the studies presented in section 2, but we decided to verify the original and not to use indirect quotation. We consider this kind of verification essential for such a case, where mystification and propagation of false information is quite frequent and the media is not at all a reliable source.

Due to the large period of time to be analyzed and the large number of public declarations and media articles, a selection of significant moments was done, based on historical information acquired from bibliography MISA, radiografia unei represiuni MISA, Radiography of a Repression , Polirom Publishing House, Editura Shambala, Bucharest, Some historical data are included in the next section, together with the discourse analysis of the data corpus, to facilitate the understanding of the contextual analysis.

For each period of time the methodology of research was applied as explained above. After general analysis of a large number of media articles, TV news and official declarations related to the case, general trends were identified. About 20 items for each period were selected for intertextual contextual analysis and examples are selected for the textual analysis.

The contextual analysis refers to the whole data corpus for that period. Some comments related to the sociological dimension are added for each period. A synthetic discussion of the results will correlate in section 5 all these findings. In order to understand the analysis of the case, more significant historical data are included in this section. This makes possible the correlation of the discourse with the real facts and also facilitates the contextual and sociologic analysis.

Because of the specificity of the data corpus, a special emphasis will be put of actors of the media ted discourse in this case, both declared and hidden, and on the ideologic aspects. The political and social context of the first post-communist years in Romania were strongly imprinted by social turmoil, public rallies, instability, confusion - most of these were the reflection or the direct consequence of the conflicts and fights between different wings of secret services and the army.

Satiric media outlets had a huge success and the political pamphlet emerged as a new genre. A large number of erotic and even pornographic publications were published and their success was due to the complete sexual taboo of the previous years however, the circulation of such outlets was much lower than expected. The tabloid format was soon discovered by the Romanian media and ever since the Romanian media has a tabloid predilection.

In the case of some persons that were fired, jailed, publicly humiliated or abused psychically, their reputation was restored. As far as we know, Gregorian Bivolaru is the only political prisoner of the communist regime whose reputation was never restored, but on the contrary he was presented as an infamous criminal and common law offender. Two decades later, Bivolaru filed a lawsuit against the Romanian authorities because of his detaining and condemnations during communism.

The final juridical decision confirmed that he was a political prisoner and all accusations were set-ups of the investigators. His isolation in a mental facility was also declared an abuse, having no medical reasons, but a political character. The political conflicts and also the internal fights within the secret services were constantly fueled by large leaks of Securitate files in the media. These files contained secret orders, surveillance notes, interrogatories transcripts, pictures, etc.

Almost all media outlets published now and then such files, although theoretically they were classified. These files revealed the collaboration with the former regime and with the Securitate and different activities of several political figures implied in the power conflicts of that years. As far as we know, Gregorian Bivolaru is the only person not involved in any political and public activity except the yoga classes and conferences whose files from the Securitate archives were leaked to the media.

Not the real surveillance and investigation files were published, but the set-ups and framed files. All accusations framed by the Securitate were mediated as if they were true, and no real information was published for instance, there is no information about the decree that made yoga illegal during communism. After December the order that banned yoga was implicitly considered not valid, as it was in fact illegal itself.

There was no official declaration of public act about it, but yoga courses and groups appeared openly. The yoga movement founded by the group of yogis led by Bivolaru in offered regular yoga courses and free conferences and published articles and books with spiritual subjects. Starting with , Gregorian Bivolaru wrote several series of articles for different newspapers and periodicals. His expertise in yoga, tantra, supernatural literature and spirituality was obvious in his articles. He also was frequently invited to radio shows, where he had a significant success The teaching activity of Mr.

Bivolaru was even more successful than his publishing activity.

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The yoga classes attracted a large number, mainly young, educated persons and a lot of students. Estimation of the secret services give numbers of around 30, after only two years. The sudden flourishing of the yoga movement, due partly to the fact that the topic was completely new for the public, attracted the attention of the secret services and a virulent negative media campaigned started. Several yoga classes that started in that period targeted the students age group years , hence the large number of young persons in the yoga movement.

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There is no statistical information from that period regarding the structure of the movement - the first study appeared in - but all data available suggest that quite few underaged persons followed the classes. As far as we could document the case, we found no recording of any official declaration regarding the Bivolaru case in years The data corpus that was analyzed included all articles that we were able to find in the Romanian National Library media archives on the subject, as listed in Table 1 and Table 2. Most of these articles appeared in newspapers controlled by former members of Securitate.

The most significant aspect of the media campaigns of these years is the influence of the former Securitate and newly founded secret services in the overall presentation of the case. The witch-hunt of yogis started in communism was continued at large and was heavily mediated in the first post-communist years. In , after 27 years, our analysis has the benefit of the historical perspective: several studies and disclosures published in the meantime fully document the control of media by secret services in that period, and the connections of several key figures of the campaign with Securitate was revealed.

Table 1 and Table 2 present the data corpus and highlight some of the Securitate connections of the media outlets and authors of articles. The first articles on the subject present the cases built by Securitate workers against the yogis as if they were true. We also have now the final juridical decision that proves that the Securitate accusations against Mr. Reading the media articles from the 90s the ideologic origin and the falsity of the mediated message are both obvious - however, in that years of confusion and turmoil, the media articles generated a strong tendency of hate speech, discrimination and marginalization of yoga practitioners.

For instance, Europa presented Bivolaru as an illiterate with only primary studies, although he was surveilled since he was in high school. In , the Securitate files and faked declarations and reports about sexual orgies were published in media, although the forgeries were obvious. For instance, Cuvantul A2 narrates a search where all yogis were found naked, engaged in sexual activities this never happened.

The article gives also the home address of Mr. Bivolaru, together with instigation against him. A frequent theme in Cuvantul is related to the so-called messianic claims of Mr. According to 3 , 12 and 13 , Bivolaru never made such claims. In a brief perspective, we can say that in this period media published contradictory stories that were based on anonymous letters and so-called testimonies, in a language that was both obscene and full of invectives. For instance, some articles claim that Bivolaru is homosexual A3 , other speak about his obsession for young girls A4 , but no real facts are associated with the claims.

Some articles mock the idea of sexual continence A5 , while other are obsessed about the pregnancies subject A6 , although it contradicts the sexual control ideas. Some articles are products of Securitate workers, while other articles were written by young journalists with no culture, no understanding of communism and its abuses, who found the subject good for scandal.

A good example for the second category is the campaign of Academia Catavencu, a pamflet and cartoon magazine with a young editorial team of students with no experience and professional studies in journalism. This was the former team of Catavencu, that had a professional conflict with the owner of the outlet when asked by the owner of the magazine to write for an erotic outlet, the team resigned and founded Academia Catavencu. Patrick de Hillerin is one of the authors that wrote in vulgar terms about Mr. After they lost a calumny trial, these journalists did not try to rectify their calumnies, but wrote even more aggressive pieces.

The discourse of the media is, in conclusion, based almost entirely on the cases built by mystification by the communist secret police, the Securitate. According to Andreescu, the only one researcher that analyzed the case in the Securitate archives, the leak of the files in the media is an action of the former Securitate officers, since no journalist has consulted the Bivolaru file before him. Andreescu 3 thoroughly proved the interference of the new secret services since in the media campaigns.

We have selected two typical articles of that period, in order to illustrate the way the case is presented in the media: based on rumors, on information of the Securitate, with propagandistic elements that reveal the real actors behind. Romania Mare is a periodical owned by the party with the same name, with a strong communist-nostalgic, pro-Securitate orientation. But all of them have in common an attitude declared to be Christian and patriotic.

Our example is the first in the series and is a construction that starts from the reality: the huge success of the yoga conferences, the excellent quality of the yoga classes, the high education of the participants. However, writes the article, behind this nice surface there is a dark side that only few people know. The fact that the letter was originated in the secret services offices is obvious in this logic, but also as Mr. Bivolaru is presented as a national threat, a foreign spy who acts against the national integrity.

At a certain point it all goes astray, as we read that Bivolaru was committed to a mental hospital and all the medical staff soon got STDs because of his sexual obsessions again, no evidence is given. The second part of the text is almost obscene, when referring to Mr. Bivolaru and his yoga classes. The article stated, for instance, that "venereal diseases are in bloom" and makes several comments about promiscuity and sexual perversions. The editorial space is huge: a whole page in a large format newspaper. The language used except for the obscene phrases is typical communist propagandistic language.

The personal references to Mr. Bivolaru are invective, vulgar, aggressive although this contradicts the beginning of the article, where the quality of the conferences is recognized. The anonymous letters are quite typical as the Securitate modus operandi. For instance, after surveillance or denounce of a certain person or event, the authorities claimed that the information was received in an anonymous letter. Ever since, the anonymous denounce was emblematic as a method for the disclosure of surveillance activity. The article Gregorian Bivolaru: Pornography trafficking and recruiting women , published in Tinerama in October A In reply, a group of yogis claimed the right to rectification.


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It is a collage of pictures and statements form the Securitate files the forged file for sex group accusations that Securitate did not succeed to complete and led to no formal accusation but was heavily used in campaigning. The article has a large editorial space: a whole page, with a large ad on the cover page. The large pictures and huge intertitles have a strong visual impact on the reader.

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Instead of evidence, there is a story about somebody who took pictures to a couple while having sexual relations. The images are a combination of real and forged pictures and ever since were published several times. Every journal that have published these pictures later claimed to be the first to present them: Baricada , Oglinda , Atac la persoana are only few examples. The content gives practically zero information, has no logical coherence, does not stand for the title. To create the impression of authenticity, fragments from a declaration of Mr. Bivolaru are inserted the photography of the first lines and last line , with the generic start of such a declaration, thus creating the image that all that is written in the article was true.

The facts invented by the author - inspired from the Securitate forgery - are not so terrible, in the end, but are presented in an emphatic way, as the ultimate proof for the promiscuity of MISA and of sexual orgies. The sexual orgies are, though, only mentioned in the titles. The same content was later published by Baricada and even stronger claims were made about group sex. While in the s these accusations were not used and led to no legal action, after they were persistently repeated in media and in the end became common knowledge.

Both examples are significant for the dimension of the campaign large articles with large ads , for the way the case is treated with no evidence, forged documents and a obscene language and also for the actors involved. After close analysis, there is one and only voice in these articles: the voice of the Securitate workers that have built up cases against Bivolaru and other yogis, framing them and trying to accuse them of common low offenses in order to make them give up their spiritual options.

As we have shown above, the media articles published in are all constructed around the premises that Bivolaru was a convicted criminal and the accusations build by Securitate against him were true. Bivolaru and, since he wrote about sexuality, was considered to be guilty of several sex crimes.

When writing about the convictions of Mr. Interesting, in the first period, the psychiatric abusive diagnosis was not brought up - probably for not contradicting the criminal accusations, although several references were made about psychical sanity of Mr. Table 3 displays the references to the condemnations of Mr. Bivolaru during the communism in this data set, and help us understand the influence of the Securitate over the media campaigns. As one can see, the campaigns are almost completely based on the political condemnations during the communist period of Mr. Bivolaru and on the faked accusations.

The activity of the yoga school was not at all presented. The conferences and the courses are not advertised, nor covered by media. One reply was published, another one partly published with critical comments. The journalists mocked the replies and did not take into consideration the right to rectification - a trend that continued ever since. Since calumny was at that time condemned by Romanian law, different yoga practitioners filed lawsuits against the journalists - the answer of the journalists in Tinerama A10 , Academia Catavencu A11 and Romania Mare A3 was to publish more accusations and Securitate-leaked files.

We also notice the ambiguity of accusations and the variation of accusations, that strongly suggest the intended disinformation upon the subject. Bivolaru for sexual crimes. Therefore, the frequent apparition of the first two themes in the media campaigns. The homosexuality theme was also presented, because of the homophobe mentality in Romania. However, when homosexuality became legal in Romania, Mr.

Bivolaru was accused of homophobia. The articles speak about the abundance of underaged persons in the yoga courses and conferences. Although the first sociological data about the yoga movement were published in , we can consider this an overestimation. Both Andreescu 3 and Dascalu 12 write that the percentage of underaged persons at the yoga courses was extremely low. The most important trend from the sociological perspective is the speculation of family conflicts - the debut of a phenomenon that will become critical in However, the hate speech already shaped the us versus them configuration that later resulted in marginalization and stigmatization of yoga practitioners MISA, radiografia unei represiuni MISA, Radiography of a Repression , Polirom Publishing House, The media articles perpetuated the stories of Securitate or invented scandal stories with no evidence and no witnesses.

Bivolaru, a dissident during communism that had suffered years of abuses during communism, who was perceived by Securitate as one of the most dangerous enemies of the communist regime, was now presented as the enemy of the traditional values of the Romanian society. There is no substance whatsoever in these articles and no real connection to the facts and to the reality of the yoga school, the ideas promoted by the school, the yoga practice and the real activity of Mr.

The media started to create a parallel reality - in order to maintain it, the voice of the yogis did not reach the media. Since the end of , all collaborations of yoga teachers including Gregorian Bivolaru with radio and written media outlets were interrupted because of the editorial policy.

Instead of making things right for the yogis, after the end of communism, the injustice was continued and they were publicly blamed as depraved people. By this manner of systematically associating MISA with a stereotypical image, one can recognize a strategy of stigmatization of a community. A second period that was selected for detailed study is , because of the abundance of articles, media outlets involved and ideas introduced in the media articles about MISA as in the previous period, about MISA means against MISA. Another reason for choosing this specific period is what we consider to be a complete anomaly of the media.

The journalists stepped out of their professional role and engaged in activism. By the end of , according to 12 , the association of MISA with outrageous sexual practices became the usual way the school was presented in the media. Another direction of the media discourse was to present the yoga school as a cult that brainwashed its followers. However, the campaign went on in , with a large span of accusations. Lot of articles contained suggestions for authorities regarding the possible legal accusations see below the analysis at point D and even suggesting changes to the legislation in order to condemn Mr.

After dozens of articles demanding it, a legal investigation started for endangering homeland security. A public declaration of Romanian Police in Arges county A14 , revealed that the Police had the approval for surveillance of all yoga students, during their personal and professional life. All facilities where yoga classes, conferences or other activities took place were bugged.

In spite of the surveillance, no evidence whatsoever was found for any illegal activity. The surveillance report claims that no illegal activity was documented, but quotes media articles to justify that sexual orgies take place at yoga classes A The yoga students were frequently threatened, their name and personal data were published in media together with accusations like sexual orgies, psychical problems, suicides and pornography A Harassment and discriminations were reported by yoga practitioners at their workplaces or, for students, in schools.

Searches took places at yoga courses with several violent incidents in which the yogis were injured 3. The authorities gave no answer to the complaints of the victims of abuses and violences of police. Human media ONGs stepped in to defend the human rights of yogis and became the target of hatred media campaigns A Amnesty International asked for the investigation of violent abuses against MISA in the summer of , but the report is mentioned by only one newspaper A21 and the request was ignored by authorities.

The article is aggressive towards Amnesty. Different other persecutions of authorities became usual: the interdiction to rent spaces for yoga classes and conferences, the interdiction to advertise in the mainstream media, etc. Since the most virulent media attacks were directed towards Mr. Bivolaru, he resigned as president of MISA in and officially gave up his public activity in yoga teaching, although he continued to give conferences and to write articles and books. The number of students remained very large and already the courses took place in all big cities of Romania. An insignificant publishing event had unexpected consequences.

The activities of the yoga School and the point of view of its followers are still missing from the media. MISA yoga School was also the organizer of two international yoga camps that attract every year thousands of followers from Romania and abroad: the yoga summer camp in Costinesti and the yoga spring camp in Herculane. Some journalists claimed to take part in these camps and reported horrifying stories, but they gave no evidence to any allegations. On the other hand, the content of the report was not mediated.

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Different politicians gave declarations in Parliament and in media, asking for legal actions against MISA and Bivolaru, based only on media articles. A declaration of a Romanian senator from is quite important as it is the first of its kind and it was published by different newspapers. We have introduced it here because it is crucial in the evolution of the case in the period and after. Salagean had ended his statement asking the authorities to convict Bivolaru.

A22 The AUM sect organized the sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subway, in which people were killed or hurt. Example 3. Example 4. In addition to those real declarations, media also published false official declarations and documents. No such Commission existed and no such decision was ever issued.


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Although Gabriel Andreescu disclosed immediately the mystification in Revista 22 a cultural magazine with low circulation no other journalist wrote about the disclosure of Andreescu, but all quoted the article in Romania libera 3. Romania libera was considered to be a quality newspaper and gave no explanation for this mystification. We tried to find all articles in the mainstream printed press for a general overview of the period, starting from the articles and media outlets mentioned in Andreescu , Dascalu , Bivolaru and Dascalu We found out that during the years heavy media campaigns were held in most of the Romanian newspapers regarding the case MISA-Bivolaru.

We read media articles 65 published in and 70 in and selected a data sample consisting of 25 articles in mainstream media, equally distributed regarding to the themes and media outlets as the whole data corpus. With very few exceptions, all the articles write about the yoga school in a negative perspective. Aggressive rhetoric, combined with dirty language and invectives, maintained the ugly, even disgusting image already created. Most of articles occupy a large space, are very visible, have scandal titles and subtitles and images of nudity most of these images have no relation to the articles.

If not published on front page, they are announced by ads on the first page or in the previous number. At the first glance, it appears again that the MISA point of view is almost completely absent from the media articles regarding the case. Indirect or even direct quotations of declarations of Mr. Bivolaru are, according to Dascalu composed by media and have no connection to real ideas and declarations of Mr.

As most media outlets refused to publish the replies requested the articles themselves mock such requests , the yogis filed several lawsuits A3 and According to Andreescu 3 , these lawsuits made the journalists more aggressive in their writings and in their effort to find proves against Mr. But their first problem seemed to be to find the appropriate accusation against MISA, in order to justify their previous writings. The media campaigns in and have no logical sequence. This is how the campaigns were constructed and, subsequently, the legal files see Figure 1 and Figure 2.

The subject - which is, as one can see from this research, a very serious case of human rights abuse, discrimination and marginalization - was presented in a derisory way, as a scandalous one. One of the most active media outlets was once again Ziua, which had published in the previous year 33 full-page articles of so-called investigations of the MISA case and have openly declared the objective to stop the activity of the yoga school. Ziua was considered a quality newspaper at that time. There are several immediate conclusions of the global analysis: the abundance of negative articles, the abundance of accusations, the association of the subject with images of nudity, in most cases having no relations with the case and the articles.

There are a huge number of accusations and almost each media outlet had its own line of campaign some of these accusations were contradictory. For instance, Mr. Bivolaru was accused by media, with no proof whatsoever, for: homosexuality, homophobia, nationalist extremism, danger to national security, eating meat and drinking alcohol while teaching his students not to do so , psychical problems, promoting incestuous relations, brainwashing his students, claiming to be a prophet, taking material advantages, intentionally contamination of children with HIV, illegal medical practice etc.

A lot of articles continued the line imprinted from fantasy stories with no evidence whatsoever, complaints of family problems spouse conflicts or parents - children conflicts and the documents forged or real of Securitate files. There were a lot of aggressive, violent, hate instigating articles. Failing to produce any evidence and to provide witnesses and real stories, the journalists started to claim that they have eye-witnessed the facts themselves examples A25 and A26 - but they give no explanation why they cannot prove their allegations with evidences like pictures, audio or video recordings or why, being witness of illegal facts, they made no official complaint to authorities.

The contribution of the Romanian Orthodox Church which have declared yoga practice a mortal sin gave a new dimension to the case. Media published declarations of priests, nuns and monks that claimed to witness sexual orgies. The stories are again hard to believe: a priest way an orgy through a hole in the wall, a nun saw an orgy during a walk on the beach, some rangers discovered another orgy during a military action in the mountains A Another line of campaign was the claim that the MISA yoga courses are not correct, according to the yoga tradition.

However, instead of the yoga articles promised or even to write about the content of the MISA yoga courses , Vasilescu wrote accusatory articles similar with all others, attacking Mr. Bivolaru in a very personal way A The media discourse in this period can be reduced at a simple statement: MISA is by definition guilty. Journalists have stated the guilt and, although they did not decide yet the crime, the authorities should proceed with condemnations.

The Table below Table 4 is a list of the main themes of the articles, and includes the legal accusation suggested. One can see that, although the sexual themes are the most frequent in the articles, they do not appear in the legal accusation suggested. The examples selected for this period illustrate the determination of the journalist to accuse MISA, the instigation of authorities. They illustrate the cynicism of the journalists who, instead to sanction the human rights violations and abuses of authorities, give the tone of the aggression and hate speech.

They had come from all over the country to share a glass of urine. This article appeared after a brutal search of Police and is relevant for the cynicism of the media which, instead of defending the victims of such abuse, is mocking them and presenting as if they have done something immoral, illegal or repulsive. Although the national television broadcasted images from the search, showing that people were dressed in training suits, Libertatea writes that they were naked. The illustration of this articles is significant: a picture from Securitate archives with Mr. Bivolaru standing on the nudist beach the picture is not pornographic, but private.

The most interesting aspect is that this picture is published two times in the same issue of the newspaper. The Securitate mentality is transparent through the entire piece, as the author writes that the yogis should not have been let to practice yoga for the last 6 years. The author, V. Zaschievici, was a secret service informer disclosure of For the second example of this period, we give some titles and quotes of articles published in the first months of , all suggesting possible legal accusations against MISA and Mr.

Here's a quote from this article:. Comparing the whole data corpus for the contextual analysis, we have selected some significant elements and identified several directions of interest for further research. While reading any of these articles one might be convinced of one or several accusations but reading them all reveals the nonsense: the large number of accusations, none of them proven by proper documentation or witnesses.

However, the average reader does not read the entire campaign and does not make analysis. Scandal stories instead of journalistic investigations in very poor-quality articles is the common rule for the campaign and they may be very convincing. In addition to those, very aggressive declarations of priests, politicians and Police officers legitimate the campaign and contribute to the isolation and marginalization of the yoga School 5 and 9. Table 5 puts together some of these accusations, the evidence, witnesses and alleged victims.

Note in the last column, that for every accusation, the yogis won calumny trials. Although sexual orgies and other sexual crimes continued to be mentioned in the campaign, these are not mentioned in correlation with possible legal accusations. We consider that this period illustrates the total anomaly of the Romanian media in relation to this case, because:. For several articles, there is no connection with the real-time events. These articles are not news, according to the very definition of the term.

For instance, there are articles written in January about the yoga camp that took place in August A The alleged facts immoral or illegal are not presented as professional news: they do not present a specific fact that happened in a precise place, at a certain moment. In other words, they do not answer to the basic questions that any news should answer: who? One article introduces an accusation and makes veridic promises of evidence in the next article A But the next article contains other accusations A32 , again with no proves.

Then when the first accusation is reiterated, the journalists mention the irrefutable evidence presented before. When putting it all together - see Table 5 - there are no proofs, no witnesses, no victims, but a large quantity of accusations. The climax of the period was a press conference of the journalists in which 17 journalists that were accused of calumny in lawsuits presented the case to the authorities and asked for the indictment of the yoga movement and its leaders.

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The event was a complete anomaly, because by definition a press conference offers information to the media and not the other way around. There was also a parallel campaign inviting all people that have evidences and reclamations against MISA and Mr. Bivolaru to take part in the press conference. However, the officials representing the Bucharest Police gave hate-instigation messages in the following days see above point B, example 3.

I mean, at that famous press conference, there was no document, no paper, no referral, or the beginning of a referral. Very few voices tried to defend the yogis against the rage of the media campaigns and the abuses of authorities. A pattern started to emerge as every one of them was harshly attacked by media Table 6.


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All those where denigrated and accused by media. By now, it seems to be a open conflict media — yoga movement, because of the trials lost by journalists. While journalists wrote their articles full of accusations, the yogis filed lawsuits. When convicted, the journalists continued with more offensive articles, in a self-proclaimed righteous war with the yogis. The 17 journalists involved in calumny trials claimed to have a righteous war against MISA. One of the most significant sociologic phenomenon related to the media campaign is the family and generation conflicts instigated by media.

Although MISA is presented as a dangerous cult, the number of real victims of the various alleged crimes is still null. On the other hand, the number of victims of the media campaigns is growing. There were several professional- focused campaigns against doctors, teachers, military that practice yoga. There are several documented cases of discriminations for yogis who were fired from army and Police [ 3 , page 69]. The media have already adopted particular interpretation repertoires. If they want to present MISA as a cult, a paramilitary organization or a promiscuous group, journalists use different words.

The instigations of the secret services are still present in the media, but a new dimension is given to the case due the calumny trials lost by journalists: the journalists are now committed to obtain the conviction of MISA members, in order to get rid of the calumny accusations. However, in spite of their efforts and the huge titles, no proof was presented. In our opinion, the journalists have invented a dragon and they constructed all the mythology around it. And now they fear the dragon. The total anomaly of the media approach to MISA case is illustrated by the following comment of Petre Mihai Bacanu which was considered a prominent journalist at that time.

A serious thing — that a bank of the size of BRD can be "broken" by a deranged individual. All started on March 18, , with "the largest operation against drug trafficking and human trafficking in the post-communist Romania" A36 - some newspapers also mentioned arms trafficking A In fact, some newspapers even said this directly: "Over prosecutors, policemen, secret agents and gendarmes have been involved in the largest anti-sect operation in the history of Romania. The prosecutors gave official declarations about the case, promising to reveal evidence for all the accusations drug traffic, weapon traffic and human traffic A However, no evidence was ever presented until now, 14 years after, for none of these.

A violent media campaign covered up the lack of evidence and legitimated the abuses, through scandal articles that brought again on the front pages the imaginary sexual orgies A40 , the cult subject A41 and, most of all, urine therapy A In this section we will analyze the discourse of Romanian authorities and the media discourse regarding the action on 18 March, , in order to see how the media acted as an instrument of dominance - instead of disclosing the abuses, the media legitimated them and instigated the whole nation agains the victims of the abuses.

After , the media campaign against MISA decreased in intensity. The file in which the yoga school and Mr. Bivolaru were accused to endanger the national security was closed, opened and closed again as the accusations did not stand. In the cultural context of Bucharest, according to 12 , where several theater shows displayed nudity, the hypocrisy of the media was once again obvious.

The defamation articles had discriminatory consequence over high school teachers that practice yoga. Although the persons involved won the trials with the media outlets for calumny, no reparatory action followed. The prosecutors of the case were the same that investigated Mr. Bivolaru before The legal procedure is that the prosecutors should have consistent evidence before obtaining the warrant. In MISA case, the logic was different: the prosecutors hoped to obtain evidence after the searches, in order to build a case for any possible accusation.

The case was continued with two files: one in which Gregorian Bivolaru was accused of having a relationship with a girl of 17 years old and another one in which 22 yoga instructors were accused of human trafficking the meaning of human trafficking is not the usual of sexual exploitation, but an interpretation of the voluntary work. As one can see, none of these accusations can be related to the claimed motives of the action in March, drug traffic, etc.

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