I live in Cape Town, South Africa, and am most content when surrounded by mountains, panoramic views and sunshine.
Advocacy in various forms (whether social justice, environmental justice or LGBTQIA human rights) has been a persistent feature of my life. As a gender and body diversity activist, I have been involved in various civil society human rights initiatives over the past 15 years, and I currently work at a transgender human rights organisation. My previous experience includes working as a writer in the e-learning sector, and as a freelance editor, consultant and researcher in various fields, including gender studies, psychology, higher education and nursing.
My academic background includes a B.A. (philosophy; classical Greek and Roman culture), B.A. Honours (philosophy) and M.A. (philosophy) from the University of Stellenbosch. If enlightenment had not been a more pressing concern at the time, I might have seen to completion a doctorate on South African transgender and intersex rights at the University of the Western Cape, but then the call of India and a guru proved much stronger.
My experiences in a charismatic transnational yoga movement have led to a strong interest in developing perspectives on the forms of manipulation and exploitation characterising many charismatic movements, including the ideological uses to which spiritual practices and ideas (e.g. enlightenment, karma, renunciation, satguru, etc.) can be put.
At the moment I am writing an autobiographical narrative dealing with issues of healing from spiritual trauma and disillusionment after a period as dedicated yoga practitioner and devotee of a charismatic guru. I am also developing my academic knowledge of contemporary transnational neo-Hindu/Hindu-inspired meditation and yoga movements, as well as the histories of Indian religious traditions more generally.
I am interested in networking with other persons with similar experiences and academic interests, and can be reached at: yogacritiques [at] gmail [dot] com. Also especially interested in establishing contact with other ex-devotees who are trans*, intersex, gender diverse and/or body diverse. As well as with other persons based in South Africa who have experienced some form of disillusionment with any type of charismatic group or leader (whether religious, spiritual, secular, political, sales-oriented, etc.).
Last updated: January 2016.