Michael Lyons, Cult Leader Who Raped Female Followers, Might Have Victims in Miami
Michael Lyons, also known as Mohan Singh, led a bizarre spiritual cult; lived a lavish, globetrotting lifestyle; and claimed to know Hollywood stars. He is also accused of raping many of his female devotees, telling them he was trying to feel their "energy pulse" while touching them inappropriately and could heel them with his "organic penis." He was recently convicted of rape by a British court and sentence to ten years in jail, but the family of a woman Lyons is accused of attacking in Miami has helped gather more alleged victims.
Lyons, believed to have been born in Jamaica and raised in Manchester, England, started his cult, the Friends of Mohan, sometime in the '80s in India. His followers were almost exclusively good-looking women, as many as 40 at a time.
Lyons, who often drove a red Bentley convertible or a Jaguar, told the women he was a spiritual healer after finding them at health-food stores, yoga centers, or other places where women interested in health and alternative therapy might have frequented. He also told some ladies he had connections to the Dalai Lama and Steven Seagal.
He used methods such as sleep deprivation, psychological pressure, and peer pressure to persuade them to join the group. The "healing" often involved deep massages that led to inappropriate touching and in some cases rape. After the attacks, other women in the group would applaud the so-called treatment and tell the victims how great they looked.
In October 2005, a fifth woman, a 26-year-old office temp, claimed she was raped twice by Lyons as she spent a week with the cult.
After meeting Lyons at a health food shop in Soho, central London, she was invited back to a vegetarian dinner at his flat.
The woman said she was kept up late, fed unusual foods and challenged by Lyons and others about many aspects of her life.
Bullied into taking her clothes off, she said she was then attacked by Lyons in the shower, as he forcibly rubbed herbal soap over her body saying it would ''unblock her chakras''.
She said he then gave her a deep tissue massage that was so strong she was left immobilised on a bed and then he asked her to concentrate on her breathing while he raped her.
After leaving the room in a deeply disturbed state, she said the other women told her she looked great and she was persuaded to stay for a week, during which she was raped again.
Lyons is believed to own a home in Miami and traveled here often. That's where he met one follower who remained so devoted to him she testified in his defense at the trial. However, her Jewish Orthodox family helped the prosecution. They paid a private investigator to gather possible victims and cooperated with the police investigation.
Police believe Lyons might have attacked other women while visiting Miami. In fact, Lyons was originally arrested in 2007 while returning to London from Miami.
Though Lyons was convicted of one rape, the jury could not come to a decision on another rape and a sexual assault. He was also cleared of another rape and sexual assault. He'll spend ten years in jail, but his victims believe he deserves more.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Miami, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.