We're talking about the recent raid by the Argentine Federal Police's Human Trafficking unit of a sex cult that has operated internationally from Buenos Aires for the past 3 decades... at least. If you like our content please become a patron to get our episodes ad-free.
In late August the Argentine Federal Police raided a yoga school filled with cash, gold, property titles, cars, and oddly... sex toys. It turns out that this was the second time the school had been accused of running a human trafficking organization. In the 1990s the school was charged with similar crimes but the case never went to trial, presumably because of the wealthy participants involved. The organization's director Juan Percowicz is arrested and awaiting trial, along with pianist Susana Mendelievich, and renowned oboe performer Mariano Kraus. Opera soprano Verónica Iacono is currently an international fugitive, also facing charges related to the cult. The late violinist Rubén González was the director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra when he opened the Buenos Aires Yoga School's Chicago location back in the 1990s, as well. 1
This time, there are wiretaps detailing the cult's activities and those wiretaps contain multiple mentions of the world's most famous living opera singer: Placido Domingo. This isn't the first time Domingo has been involved in sex scandals. While paying for sex in Argentina is legal and he faces no criminal charges related to the sex cult in Buenos Aires, he was fired from his management roles in the Kennedy Center Opera Company and the LA Opera Company over complaints that he had sexually harassed female performers. 2
As it turns out Placido was a customer of the young girls which the cult provided to wealthy clients, but prostitution wasn't their main business. The larger share of their profits came from a scientology-type cult which promised people spiritual healing for everything from drug addiction to chronic pain. The young sex workers were just a way to lure in cult members who were then coerced into changing their wills to gift their property to the cult upon their deaths. 3
A man named Pablo Salum has extensive information on the cult going back to the time when his parents joined it in the 1990s when he was a teenage boy. Pablo has started an advocacy organization called "Libre Mentes" or, "Free Minds" in English, which advocates for laws to combat coercive religious cults in Latin America. 4
Episode #Dubimeter: 9.5
2. Anastasia Tsioulcas. LA Opera Finds 'Inappropriate Conduct' Claims Against Plácido Domingo Credible. NPR. March 2020. ⇤
3. Frederico Molina. Sex, drugs and promises of happiness: The Buenos Aires Yoga School’s money-making machine. El Pais. August 2022. ⇤
4. Pablo Salum. Here I begin the THREAD where it will be clear to you with documentation, how the human rights organizations were complicit, helped and protected the #Secta who has my family!. Ley Antisectas Twitter account. March 2018. ⇤
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