A Fight For Religious Freedom
Jon R. Parsons
Paperback, 230 pages (6" x 9")
Availability: In Stock
$16.95 List Price
The compelling story of a groundbreaking, 12-year legal battle launched against the smaller Ananda Church by the established and wealthy Self-Realization Fellowship—both followers of spiritual master, Paramhansa Yogananda, author of the classic Autobiography of a Yogi. SRF’s intent was, as the judge observed, “to put Ananda out of business.” Includes rare vignettes that offer a timeline glimpse into the challenges of Yogananda’s own mission to the West.
Author Jon Parsons is the Palo Alto lawyer who spearheaded Ananda’s “David and Goliath” fight in court, which resulted in a precedent that protects U.S. religious groups from domination by their larger counterparts.
What Others Are Saying
"In 1990, Self-Realization Fellowship (an organization founded by the great yogi Paramhansa Yogananda) sued the Ananda Church (an organization that also shares Yogananda’s teachings, founded by Yogananda’s close and direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda). The results of this lawsuit set important legal precedents for religious freedom in the United States, and also liberated the publication of the first edition of Yogananda’s classic Autobiography of a Yogi for all to enjoy.
"Author Jon R. Parsons was counsel for the defense in this case (and in a second lawsuit, connected with the first one). With a clear hand and a gift of metaphor, Parsons does an extraordinary job of translating sometimes-complex legalese into easy-to-understand language. One gets the gist of each situation, from the early setbacks for Ananda’s defense, to its momentous turnaround and ultimate shining victory.
"Although this is Parsons' first work, he shows signs of an experienced author—including tongue-in-cheek asides that chuckle over not only SRF’s oft-frustrated legal strategies, but also his own legal team’s mistakes and his own personal miscues.
"One of the most fascinating aspects of this work—in addition to its main theme, a compelling story in itself—are numerous vignettes from the life and work of Yogananda that draw a striking parallel to the more recent struggles of his devoted disciple, Kriyananda.
"Here is an engrossing read, covering an important modern-day David and Goliath courtroom battle, that reveals hidden truths about one of the twentieth century’s greatest spiritual teachers and his close disciples.
"Get your copy and enjoy."
—Richard Salva, author of Walking with William of Normandy: A Paramhansa Yogananda Pilgrimage Guide