Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) of Harz

A spiritual group with global aspirations, rooted in Hinduism and controversial teachings.

The Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF) of Harz, located in Allrode, Germany, is part of a larger international organization that blends spirituality with elements of Hinduism. This article delves into the background, activities, and controversies surrounding the SSRF’s presence in the Harz region.

The SSRF purchased a former hotel complex in Allrode, transforming it into a spiritual center. This move sparked curiosity and unease among local residents, leading to a mixed reception. On one hand, visitors to an open house event reported friendly interactions with SSRF members, who hail from various European countries. The organization plans to hold spiritual workshops and seminars, emphasizing inclusivity and spiritual growth without formal membership structures or fees. The workshops, aimed at covering costs rather than generating profit, promise an educational outlook on spirituality​​.

At the helm of SSRF’s operations in Allrode are Cyriaque Vallee, the Vice President of the organization in Germany, and Bhavna Shinde, the President of SSRF in the USA. Both emphasize the organization’s mission to educate about spirituality and insist on its non-profit nature, funded by donations, including significant contributions from Switzerland. The Allrode center is set to be the first of its kind for SSRF worldwide, chosen for its idyllic location and centrality in Europe​​.

Jayant Athavale, identified as a spiritual leader of SSRF, is a figure shrouded in controversy. Allegations of hindunationalist activities in India and connections to violent acts have been levied against him and groups he’s associated with, such as Sanatan Sanstha. Despite these serious accusations, SSRF leaders in Allrode maintain that their teachings are metaphorical, not literal calls to action, and aim to provide spiritual healing and insight, not replace medical treatment​​.

Critics and experts have voiced concerns over SSRF’s methods and teachings, suggesting that while the group presents itself as open and welcoming, the underlying intentions and outcomes of their seminars could potentially exploit vulnerable individuals seeking spiritual or emotional healing. The organization’s association with Athavale and the dissemination of contentious theories, such as those predicting global catastrophes, add to the controversy. Despite assurances from SSRF representatives that their work is purely spiritual and educational, the opacity of their operations and the backgrounds of their leaders leave many questions unanswered​​.

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