Articles by JCS
To see the 10News segment, logon to: http://www.10news.com/news/16094624/detail.html
The problem with Terry Rondberg is a big one not only for Peri Ness, but everyone in the chiropractic profession. Altho unrelated directly to the Yoga Shop ordeal, it's typical of him to use his deep pockets to sue people, including myself, who oppose him in any way. You can learn more about this professional parasite at my website, www.StopRondberg.org to see the vast array of issues and problems he's created.
His attack on Peri Ness is standard for anyone who stands opposed to him, but think of this situation:
I daresay this is a bigger story than whether or not the Yoga Room is a "cult", which it isn't. The real story is how Rondberg conspired to destroy the Yoga Room to scare off Peri Ness in order to avoid a $150,000 lawsuit. This ordeal is rife with slander, defamation, malpractice, the dissolution of a 30-year marriage, an unsavory romance between a 58-year old man and a young, naive, drug-addicted girl. Sounds better than "Desperate Housewives"!
If this isn't something you might want to investigate further, what will it take?
The more you investigate Rondberg, the more of a fraud he becomes. The fact that he duped 10News is proof that he's not what he appears to be. I just hate to see Rondberg hurt Peri Ness and destroy her Yoga Room and get away with it. He's a sociopath who needs to be exposed, and I would hope your news team would do that since you, indirectly, were duped by him to destroy her business.
If you choose to chirp in on this issue, you can contact the 10News producer @
Here's the nonsense TR distributed to the news and local community to defame the Yoga Studio:
It is also dedicated to the teachings of all the great saints, mystics, prophets, avatars and gurus who have been sent to enlighten us. We respect and believe in the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) as well as the many other spiritual teachings including the universal truth hidden within many of our great religions.
A special thanks is offered to the Self Realization Fellowship (SRF) and the teachings of its founding guru, Paramahansa Yogananda who said;
“When you make up your mind to do good things, you will accomplish them if you use dynamic will power to follow through. No matter what the circumstances are, if you go on trying, God will create the means by which your will shall find its proper reward…. If you continuously use your will power, no matter what reverses come, it will produce success and health and power to help people, and above all, it will produce communion with God.” [I find it ironic that TR has this loving attitude after he allegedly commits adultery, injuries Peri while not holding a California license, then writing this website that is filled with nonsense.]
This site was created to help heal those who have suffered and to guide other seekers away from darkness and into the light. [His hyperbole is just too much to take seriously.]
My Personal Experience While Journeying Through the Forest
The Initial Experience
The Yoga Room, in Encinitas, California, was founded by Peri Ness DeFay, a self-appointed “prophet.” [Oddly, TR is a self-appointed dictator of the WCA who has the gall to cast aspersions at a self-appointed prophet, Peri. Is this the pot calling the kettle black or what?] Peri promotes the Yoga Room as a sanctuary for spiritual growth, knowledge, love, and light. [That must have been a huge change for TR who’s used to darkness and negativity, such as his past appearances at ACC-RAC and the NCLC, ya folla?]
When I first started attending classes at the Yoga Room, the atmosphere was very light and loving. With yoga, I felt physically and emotionally wonderful; a sensation that remained long after my class was complete.
My experience was so positive that I increased my sessions at the Yoga Room from three times a week to daily. [Perhaps having an alleged affair with his instructor also motivated TR.]
Two months into my yoga practice, however, the atmosphere began to change. Suddenly it seemed I was being encouraged and then later pressured, to sign up for their Ten-Day Intensive program, at a cost of $2,600, that I was told was designed to help me “transform my life.” [How ironic: TR felt pressured to pay for wellness care! Okay, stop laughing.]
I resisted the pressure for the first nine months, then the atmosphere and attitude towards me gradually shifted from light and loving to a feeling of being coerced. A red flag went up in my mind, and I began noticing how Peri and her disciples practiced mind control over many attendees in an effort to dominate them in a very “cult-like” manner. [For TR to accuse anyone of mind control and a ‘cult-like’ manner is too ironic considering the cult-like WCA and his yellow journalism.]
The goal of this manipulation was to pressure the student to gain control over them and encourage them to spend more money at the Yoga Room. [I wonder if they did the Money Hum, too?]
The Attempt to Pressure and Seduce
The pressure to spend more money and sign up for more training heated up. When I resisted, Peri called in one of her instructors, a very pretty young woman. [Is she his alleged amour?] I remember this teacher telling me Peri told her I was like ripe fruit waiting to be picked. [or visa versa!]
Even more red flags went up when I observed interactions between Peri and her head instructor that seemed unusual; this young woman was clinging to Peri like a slave to her master. I witnessed Peri turn an insignificant issue into horrible scenes of threats and verbal abuse, while I witnessed this young woman beg Peri for over 30 minutes to please forgive her for what most would consider minor errors in judgment. [it’s too hard to believe that TR has any empathy toward other human beings considering his legacy as a vicious yellow journalist.]
During these episodes, the young woman would cry and beg for Peri’s forgiveness, promising to do better in the future. It was humiliating for the instructor as well as difficult and embarrassing for me to observe. It was a slave/master situation in which Peri became the Svengali. [Ohmygad: TR accusing another of ill-will.]
This distorted and perverted relationship was hard to fathom at first, but seeing first-hand how the two women played it out over and over again made me realize Peri was employing brainwashing techniques. [TR is the master of brainwashing as publisher of his yellow rag, so he ought to know, ya folla?] On the surface, the average person walking into the Yoga Room at first would meet Peri and her staff and walk away with a feeling of love and kindness. In hindsight, it seemed more typical of a cult. [Please elaborate on your WCA and RCS methods, TR.]
As to money, if someone completed the Ten-Day Intensive program they were pressured again to feed the Yoga Rooms continuing appetite for money and control by insisting these students would not achieve full spiritual growth unless they enrolled in yet another level of programs, the “Practicum” also known as the teacher certification program (at the cost of another $2,800), along with their No Refund Policy being strictly enforced. [Sounds like the WCA evil vendors who promote each other’s seminars like Kent’s WCL, Gentempo’s CLA, and McCoy’s RCS.]
At this point in my yoga lessons, I knew my days at the Yoga Room were numbered, and so I began investigating their business and Peri Ness to see what I could learn. [Perhaps, in reality, his investigation began when he realized he had committed possible malpractice against Peri.]
The Cult of the Yoga Room
Because the Yoga Room is in such close physical proximity to the Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF) temple overlooking Swami’s Beach in Encinitas, Peri and her minions at the Yoga Room lead new members into believing that they are in some way officially connected to or sanctioned by SRF. [Kinda like the WCA and its sham NGO status with the WHO.] As I began my own investigation, I discovered that this was completely untrue. [Me too: the WCA is an NGO only as a marketing ploy.]
Regrettably, it appears that the Yoga Room and its followers are more like a cult, which has become a pejorative word describing many legitimate spiritual leaders. Unfortunately that word has been associated with SRF itself. [Just like the WCA has tainted our ethical chiro orgs like the ACA, WFC and even the ICA—all of which have renounced TR and his shady WCA.]
Studies of the psychological aspects of cults focus on an individual person (cult leader) engaging in absolute mind control of a victim. The most common tactic used by cult leaders is coercive persuasion which suppresses the ability of people to reason, think critically, and make choices in their own best interest. [TR ought to know: sounds similar to his attack on the CCE.]
It is my opinion that the following characteristics of a cult describe the Yoga Room and Peri Ness DeFay perfectly:
Studies of cults have identified a number of common tactics used in this type of coercive persuasion:
1. People are put in physically or emotionally distressing situations; at the Yoga Room they begin stripping away an individual’s sense of self by selling their so-called “Ten-Day Intensive” program, which includes food deprivation, psychological and physical exhaustion. The staff at the Yoga Room constantly insist that members undergo the Ten-Day Program to transform their life. This program costs $2,600. [Compared to the original $14,000 for RCS, this program is cheap and probably will do a lot more for you.]
2. Peri and her disciples practice the “broken record” type of manipulative communication; they repeatedly emphasize that members should practice “synergy yoga” everyday to find true spiritual bliss. [Do they also chant “lifetime wellness care for the entire family”?]
3. It is demanded that the students aka “victims” of the Yoga Room have absolute commitment and loyalty to Peri and her disciples. [Sounds like the megalomania stemming from our hate-straight WCA misguided colleagues.]
4. Broken down victims find that they lose their own identities, resulting in inevitable family conflict when they return to their real life. [Or when a patient goes to a real chiropractor who practices comprehensive care sans the lifetime wellness crapola.]
5. Entrapment and access to outside information is severely controlled. Secular cult opponents tend to define a “cult” as a religious or non-religious group that tends to manipulate, exploit, and control its members. Specific factors in cult behavior are said to include manipulative and authoritarian mind control over members, communal and totalistic organization, aggressive proselytizing, systematic programs of indoctrination, and perpetuation in middle-class communities. [Is TR describing his WCA or what?]
While acknowledging the issue of multiple definitions of the word “cult,” Michael Langone states that “Cults are groups that often exploit members psychologically and/or financially, typically by making members comply with leadership’s demands through certain types of psychological manipulation, popularly called “mind control,” and through the inculcation of deep-seated anxious dependency on the group and its leaders.” [“Join the WCA, buy CBS insurance, join CLA, WCL, and RCS or else you’re not a principled chiropractor.”]
A similar definition is given by Louis Jolyon West:
“A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g., isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individuality or critical judgment, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of [consequences of] leaving it, etc.) designed to advance the goals of the group’s leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families, or the community.” [Does TR and L. Ron Hubbard have this in common too?]
In each of the above definitions, the focus tends to be on the specific tactics of conversion, the negative impact on individual members, and the difficulty in leaving once indoctrination has occurred. In the case of the Yoga Room, Peri’s personal entourage of disciples are testament to this type of cult-like mind control. [Obviously TR is well versed in cultism from his own personal experience.]
One only has to think back to Jim Jones leading his cult to committing mass suicide to understand the power which mind control can wield and how it can destroy lives and families. [Such as exactly what TR is now doing to the DeFays.] It cannot be said that the Yoga Room has risen to this level, but there should always be concerned vigilance.
Peri demands absolute and unchallenged obedience of her disciples and followers. Peri’s goals seem to be gaining personal wealth and power over others. [Similar to TR’s WCA goals to enrich himself and control this profession.] She teaches that she has sole possession of truth and knowledge, and her belief is superior to those of other religions or beliefs. [Again, sounds like TR when he tried to force his will upon the DVA Chiro Committee.] As a group leader, Peri seemingly has free rein to decide what her followers will believe. Since open discussion or debate is discouraged and unquestioning obedience praised, her subjects have learned to suppress any sort of independent thinking. [Why does this sound exactly like the WCA baloney?]
Personal Observations in the Dragon’s Lair
During my stint at the Yoga Room, there were moments during class when all students were instructed to focus on their third eye and told of the importance of meditation.
The class begins and ends with Om, Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. “Om” is the original sound of creation. “Shanti” means peace. One is led to believe that the school promotes spirituality and promotes SRF teachings as their main objective. However, what is not revealed is that Peri uses SRF as a cover for power over others and monetary gain. [Is it truly only about money, TR? Perhaps you’ve demonized her with the hope she doesn’t pursue the malpractice case against you.]
There is indeed a very evil side with many dark secrets; much later I discovered that there are upward estimates of several hundred people in my community who have been emotionally scarred by the Yoga Room and its leader Peri Ness. [Serious, but unconfirmed, allegations.]
One of the former yoga room teachers told me that Peri believes she is the reincarnation of the great Swami Sri Yukteshwar, who was Paramahansa Yogananda’s teacher and spiritual leader. Many staff members have been convinced by Peri that she is her own source of spiritual knowledge and that Peri is a spiritual teacher. One can be assured that, in words similar to vice Presidential candidate Senator Lloyd Bentsen when he said to candidate Dan Quayle (describing himself as a sort of clone of President John F. Kennedy): “I knew Jack Kennedy, I served with Jack Kennedy, Jack Kennedy was my friend, let me tell you, you are no Jack Kennedy.” Well, Peri is no Swami Sri Yukteshwar. [And TR is no BJ Palmer.]
I personally observed how Peri controls her staff in the most horrific way, so much that many have lost their own thoughts, will and common sense. On one occasion, one of her instructors told me that she would do anything Peri tells her to do without question. Then she said if Peri told her to wear a pink blouse she would go and change without asking why. What does this suggest?
This is not what our masters teach us nor is it consistent with true beliefs of SRF. It is a perversion of the purity and integrity of Yogananda’s actual philosophy and teachings. [Suddenly TR is the expert on yoga! Okay, stop laughing again.]
Peri has antagonized many of her neighbors and has had countless parting of the ways with many people with whom she has done business. [Sounds like the problems CBS is having keeping an underwriter.] I find it very telling that after doing four ten-day intensives a year for ten years she maintains very little ongoing communication with most of her former students or teachers. Indeed, there is only a handful that still communicate with her! [So, how many DCs are still in the WCA? My last calculation was 0.0004% of the field docs.]
It becomes obvious that Peri is obsessed with her own perceived power over her victims and appear to constantly crave yet more power to feed her own unrelenting appetite for more control. [Is this a Freudian slip? We all know TR ranks with Big $id as a megalomaniac within this profession.]
Sadly, many students and staff at the Yoga Room are particularly susceptible to this type of abuse because they have histories of either substance dependencies, low self esteem or sexual abuse and are preyed upon in order to achieve Peri’s agenda.
Many times I noticed that when someone quit or left the Yoga Room, Peri and her staff would hurl insults and lies, they are called drug addicts etc. Peri demands other staff members cease all communication with this person again. If they disobeyed this would be considered an act of betrayal against the Yoga Room. This is all so astonishing that it would be laughable if it wasn’t true; the people who work there feel helpless and afraid of criticizing their leader or losing their jobs so they mindlessly go along with this bad behavior.
Peri has also convinced her followers that when someone leaves unhappily from the Yoga Room it is because her original Hatha yoga practice is so powerful and has removed so many layers of emotional blocks that the student can’t handle it and they turn on her. She once complained how hard it is for her to see so many former students at the SRF Temple after she gave them all so much and then they turned on her and betrayed her.
Peri also denied her own natural physical health problems. She explained it would not look good since she believes, and instructs her staff to tell everyone, that yoga can heal you. The Yoga Room has signs hanging on the windows and walls telling the public that daily yoga practice can cure almost anything wrong with you. Leader Peri knows how hypocritical and embarrassing this would look if the students knew how little yoga has helped her heal.
How can you avoid my experience?
There are some basic rules you can follow to protect yourself against cults like The Yoga Room:
Learn to cope with stress. All of us face different levels of stress in our lives. When we feel it is starting to get the best of us, we are most likely to be seduced by someone selling happiness.Never be afraid to question. Always be wary of anyone who tries to prevent or discourage you from questioning. Learn to recognize common cult recruitment tactics and situations.
Be diligent about checking out people offering services who are excessively or inappropriately friendly.
Beware of people who pressure you to do something you don’t really want to do. Don’t be afraid to say NO.
Beware of people who confidently claim that they can help you solve your problems, especially when they know little about you.
Likewise watch out for people who make claims about achieving enlightenment, or following the road to happiness. If their claims seem too good to be true, they are probably false.
Beware of people who promise quick solutions to difficult problems or who always seem happy, even when common sense dictates otherwise.
Your devotion, faith and belief in God are your primary defenses against psychological manipulation. PROTECT IT!!
My Discoveries and Beliefs
I discovered that a former teacher at The Yoga Room found out that Peri had stolen her yoga therapy techniques and all the information used in her yoga therapy training manuals from a school she once attended called Phoenix Rising located in Hawaii.
It seems to me that the yoga room staff should ask why they pretend to follow the SRF teachings, which teach you to love God and become self-realized. Perhaps they should devote the rest of their lives to repenting and asking for God’s forgiveness.
One of the core concepts at the Ten-Day Intensive program is that when you speak about the things in your life that have caused you so much emotional pain, you can release the fears you are holding onto from all of these experiences and this will transform your life.
Unfortunately, it is a naive and dangerous approach to mental health. This experience reminded me of the Soup Nazi.
“The Soup Nazi” is a famous episode of the NBC sitcom Seinfeld. The Soup Nazi is a stone-faced immigrant chef with a thick Stalin-esque moustache, who is renowned throughout Manhattan for his delicious soups.
He demands that all customers in his restaurant meticulously follow his strict queuing, ordering, and payment policies. Failure to adhere to his demands brings the admonishment, “No soup for you!”
Nothing I can think of describes The Yoga Room better than this. If a student or staff member dares to question Peri they are told to get out and stay out for being so disrespectful and not “honoring their Source or acting with integrity.” And yet, Peri does not walk her talk, instead she proclaims, “No Yoga for You!”
In the book Bringing Out the Best in Our Relationships With Others, Yogananda does not recommend hurting others feelings. Nor does Yogananda recommend unprovoked and negative battles in his translation and commentary of the Bhagavad Gita. Yet this is the reality at the Yoga Room and how Peri behaves. Former staff have been known to leave the Yoga Room in humiliation after faithful service only to be treated with
disdain and called the worst things imaginable, i.e., drug addicts, psychopathic liars or pedophiles, all because they did not comply with Peri’s views. This did not happen occasionally. Many people on staff have been asked to write horrible and cruel letters to those who quit the Yoga Room telling them how unwelcome they are, what horrible people they are and never to come back because they are not welcome. Many of these former students and teachers have opened their own yoga schools in the area and have been able to transcend the hypnotic effect of the mind control exerted at the Yoga Room.
Would Yogananda or the SRF condone such behavior if they knew this was commonplace? In Living Fearlessly by Paramahansa Yogananda, we learn how to break the shackles of fear and overcome our own psychological stumbling blocks. Filled with life-transforming counsel, Living Fearlessly is a testament to what we can become if we but have faith in the divinity of our true nature as the soul. The how-to-live wisdom of applied spirituality from the voluminous teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda presents practical keys for bringing into daily life the inner balance and harmony that is the essence of yoga. Through the practice of meditation and the application of the universal principles of right action and right attitude, we can all experience every moment as an opportunity to grow in awareness of the Divine while rising above limitations, fear, and suffering to live a truly rich life.
Yogananda does not teach us to be vindictive or to strike out and hurt others when they are not in conformity with our own personal beliefs. He does not teach that to achieve a state of fearlessness one must manipulate and dominate others resorting to false accusations and lies.
This is in sharp contrast to what happens when someone quits the Yoga Room and they are ostracized and considered outcasts and enemies, branded as “acting out of integrity.
The End of My Journey
I would estimate that there are hundreds of “walking wounded” who have been victims of this cult considered by many to be a morally bankrupt and fraudulent business. We must be fearless and not hide our heads in the sand. It is time for all of the victims to stand up and be heard, which can only result in healing yourselves.
This is why I believe that this Website is so important for our community. It has the potential to serve as a meeting place for survivors of the Yoga Room and their questionable programs, as well as a place that can provide an opportunity to share their common experiences.
I hope my journey has been a beacon of light to the dozens of people I have personally met who still carry the psychological scars and emotional wounds received at the Yoga Room, and to those countless others who may even now be considering the Yoga Room as a legitimate sanctuary. In my opinion, based on the high pressure tactics, the Yoga Room seems to be designed to amass personal wealth for Peri and Charles DeFay rather than provide any true sanctuary for others.
These are some of the reasons why I feel compelled to share experiences with those who might fall victim to this cult. It is hoped and prayed that this Website will serve the community as a safe harbor for Survivors of the Yoga Room to share their own stories.
I also pray that leaders of SRF will become aware of and take action in distancing the Self Realization Fellowship and the great name of Paramahansa Yogananda from the fraudulent cult of The Yoga Room and its leader Peri Ness DeFay and her husband Charles DeFay.
This Website offers the potential of preventing similar pain and suffering among sincere seekers of truth and self realization, as well as a safe place for you who are looking for healthier ways to cope with stress in your lives.
Much Love and Light to You on Your Journey
Dr. Terry A Rondberg
First of all, according to my anonymous sources within the GOA, it allegedly appears that TR’s CBS malpractice insurance company is fighting his underwriter CNA in court. The brokerage agency for CBS, Schafer Smith Ankeney (SSA) in Phoenix, and CNA are breaking with CBS and are going to keep CBS’s chiropractic book of business. In other words, CBS was losing their book of clients. As a result the lawsuits are being filed back and forth.
Now it appears that CNA is going to let their book of business run out and they are sending their chiropractic policyholders letters of non-renewal. In the meantime, CBS sent an email saying they are working on getting a new agency and are remaining with CNA, but CBS cannot write any new policies.
Essentially, CNA has dropped chiropractic and CBS is suing and hanging on by a thread while desperately searching for another carrier to take new business. None of this is confirmed but there are definitely strange things going on. Currently CBS cannot write any policies until this matter is decided in court, so TR and his son-in-law Tim Fueling are now twiddling their thumbs while their CBS business is on hold.
Too bad, eh? Couldn’t have happened to two more despicable people, but that may be the least of TR’s legal problems.