The course fee
In order to participate in the so called yoga courses you have to pay a monthly fee. When we asked in the first year what the fee was for the answer was that it is necessary to pay for the rent of the room where the courses were held, and for the different costs like water, heating, electricity etc. Also for the written course. These are printed in the Misa printing house, by the so called karma yogis, who live in the Misa ashrams (this means for free), on a very cheap paper, so you could guess, it's not something very expensive. This means that the students pay four times for the course. First for the printed course, and for the ashrams supporting the people who print the courses.
I don't know how it is outside Romania but we never received any form of receipt or any fiscal evidence for our money. This is illegal. The only thing we received for our money was a stamp and the instructors autograph on the yoga id (also produced by MISA). Also we were told that the instructors do not receive any money for their services. But they collect the money for the course (in cash), they take it to Bucharest once a month and they can deduct their course-related costs from this money (first form of payment). They also received discounts from the camp fees which are approx. 60 EUR two-three times a year (second form of payment). They also receive a deduction from the yoga and related courses fees (third form of payment). So the affirmation that the instructors do not receive any money for their services being a yoga instructor for MISA allows them to save up to half of the costs of that their regular students - who are not so privileged - have to pay.
Since all of the fees were always collected in cash, all of the profit was and still is and will be in cash, without any form of evidence and so anything can be done with this money, without the burden of having to answer for what they do with it. Even if Grieg is the wonderful, above-it-all spiritual master that they claim he is, do you really think that all of the other hundreds of people who handle Misa's money on a daily basis are so pure and perfect that they never-ever-ever once in the past 20 years have not done anything with this money?
The ashrams are sustained by the money from the regular students. The Romanian forums are full of the stories of yoga students men and women who say that a lot of the girls in the ashrams do video-chat to make money. Some even say that this is something that was and still is an officially recognized way to do their share of karma yoga that is mandatory for the yogis who stay there on a daily basis.
From what I understand the ashrams work in the following way. Most of the ashrams are in Bucharest There are three ashrams that I know of, but like many of the information regarding MISA, are not public. So I can not say with 100% accuracy what the number of ashrams are in Romania. Outside of Romania there are other ashrams as well. These places from what I understand based on their public information that is to be found on their homepage, have the purpose to be the place of the yoga and related courses
The ashram consist basically of one or more buildings where the misa yogis or ashramists stay. If one of the yoga students of misa wishes to stay in a misa ashram they have to send a letter to the master (Grieg) asking him to allow him or her to stay in an ashram. They also have to send the mandatory pictures and personal information. Another way of getting in a Misa ashram is to be invited by Grieg personally This option is available mainly for the good looking women and the men from Grieg's inner circle. Now the average misa yogi who only goes to the yoga courses and the meditations and or camps think at this point that this is all fine and dandy but they certainly do not allow others inside the ashrams. But sadly this is not true. Based on the preferences of the bosses of the individual ashrams, anyone could get in and stay there for free for various period of time.
The costs related to the ashrams are supported by the different courses organized by MISA. And other supposed forms of income, that are not illegal, but are very much hypocritical and very-very wrong coming from the members of a so called spiritual school and spiritual people.
Also according to some of the former students there are some special smaller luxury ashrams for the special yoghinis or preferred girls of the Mis VIP's or Grieg himself. One of these luxury ashrams is located in Costinești. I was invited to this luxury ashram in 2008 and I saw the conditions there. I stayed in the same room with a few girls from these special ashrams.
Because I never was in the main ashrams, in Bucharest, I have to base the following information on the accounts of the former members. They say that the living conditions there are poor. They don't receive enough food, they have to work very much. Also they are used to organize mass protests supporting Misa's causes, and to do special meditations for saving the planet, manipulating the political situation in the country, for favorable court decision for Grieg etc.
The only ashram I stayed in was the one of the Costinești ashrams, called Lotus. If you've been in summer camp there you know the building. It is across the street from the so called comandament, where you pick up your camp id.
The conditions were not so good, but I guess that depends on each persons individual needs or preferences There were separate rooms for men and women, but there were rooms available for married couples in the other building, called Rai (meaning heaven) across the street. This is the big building where the comandament is. In the Lotus ashram there was a special room where couples could go to make love. There was a key to this room, which was at the yogi who was in service for guarding the entrance for the building.
The rooms are small, with bunk beds. Three people stayed in one room, but it was a bit too much. If all of us were in the room at the same time, with our bags put against the wall, we barely had room to move.
The karma yogis who stayed here for the duration of the summer camp received food twice a day in the cafeteria under the room where all of the activities are held in the first period of the camp. The food was also prepared by karma yogis. It was not much, but most of the time you could go back for seconds after the serving time was over.
There was almost never warm water in the building. If we wanted to wash our clothes we had to do this in cold water, by hand, and we had to take the clothes to dry to a separate garden two doors down.
In the rest of the year few people stay here, but it's the same thing.
Other services offered by MISA
The Divine star, Dacia plant and other naturist products lines, are owned by Misa. On paper the firms on the names of someone close to the Misa inner circle, so that the authorities can not say that Misa has any means of income that should be taxed. The money from these go to the pockets of the leaders and also fuel the movement.
There are also no name brands commercialized inside the yoga courses, for which the instructors do promotion saying that it's important that everyone takes this or that plant that they can provide you with. Some of these are said to be special for preventing different diseases like the avian-flu, SARS, and whatever is in the news.
Lately they keep the composition of some of these products secret for a “certain reason”, which of course you never can find out, because this would mean that everyone can make these plant mixtures and no one would buy it from them. An example for this is the so called trance plant mixtures. There are different varieties: for romantic trance and trance forte. The recipe for these are secret because of “certain reasons”. This is written on the package.
Misa publishes esoteric books, the yoga, ayurveda, shivaism, shakti, and special courses, two magazines (Yoga magazine and Revista misterelor). These publishing houses publish the works of the privileged Misa students and the works of Gregorian Bivolaru (Grieg).
The publications are sold at the yoga courses, the spirals, the camps, and also publicly. The instructors also promote these books at the yoga courses and at the different events.