Extract from an article written by Jean-Baptiste Aymard
and published in Connaissance des Religions

It is only too true that, as Schiller said, "the world seeks to blacken what shines and  to drag into the dust what is sublime", for, shortly afterwards, Schuon had  to face a crucifying ordeal ("a nightmare," he called it).  In 1991, a malevolent person who had become a member of the American group tried to accuse Schuon of gestures alleged to be the "fondling" of three young girls during gatherings.  In the United States, more than anywhere else, the success of this kind of accusation is assured.  With the help of a deputy-prosecutor and a police sergeant - who perhaps saw in the matter a opportunity for promotion - the plaintiff persisted in maintaining his allegations against all the evidence.  Despite the improbability of the accusation, the absence of the supposed victims on one of the dates indicated, the repeated and vigorous denials of the alleged victims, and some twenty-six opposing testimonies, a preliminary investigation was begun, until finally the chief prosecutor, dismissing his deputy from the case and taking it into his own hands, concluded that there was no proof (his exact words were:  "there is not the least proof");  he noted furthermore, that the plaintiff was of extremely dubious character, it having been discovered that, four years earlier, on 29th June 1987, he had been ordered, following legal proceedings in California, to undergo a year of psychiatric treatment for violence against, and harassment of, a woman ....115

The prosecutor declared that there were no grounds for prosecution, and the local press made amends.116

Despite his age - he was then 84 - and his heart problems, Schuon showed throughout the ordeal a detachment and serenity in every respect worthy of his writings.

Curiously, in his day, Shri Râmana Maharshi - and he is far from being the only one117 - was also faced with similar accusations on the part of a former disciple, and a similar course of events tool place.118  The plaintiff against Schuon lost his case, but continued his campaign of defamation with the neurotic and obsessive hatred characteristic of certain tenebrous individuals.  When one is unfamiliar with the atmosphere of ashrams, monasteries or spiritual communities, one may be astonished by the presence of such people in the proximity of spiritual masters.  In his memoirs, Vijayânanda, an elderly French disciple of Ma Ânanda Moyi, also recalls these bhuta ("bad spirits"), these "impossible people", always critical, mediocre, psychopathic or paranoid, for whom the light has an irresistible attraction, and of whom the entourage of this great Indian saint was also far from exempt.119


114 Roots of the Human Condition, p. 110.

115 In addition, the plaintiff was prosecuted for misuse of property and embezzlement.

116 In The Herald Times of 26th November 1991, there was an editorial hailing the prosecutor's decision and calling the legal action a parody, an outrage, and a circus, and asking: "Where was the prosecutor when Schuon's reputation was being ruined by the accusations brought against him?", and adding: "To the prosecutor's credit, it must be said that he did not run away from his responsibilities;  last week, he declared:  'My department made a mistake, and I am responsible for it.  I tried to rectify it as soon as I could, and I hope this is a lesson for us.'  Whatever lessons come out of it, it is a little late for Schuon, an elderly philosopher of international renown, whose personal reputation has been publicly called in question, etc."

117 In a different context, but arising from similar cause, St. Theresa of Ávila was accused before a tribunal of the Inquisition by one of her former nuns for alleged maltreatment and suspect practices.

118 See David Godman's excellent book Living with Bhagavan.

119 See also Candide au pays des Gourous ("Candide in the Land of the Gurus") by Daniel Roumanoff.