Two Northern New Mexico Sikhs who have been airing their differences online may soon square off in state District Court.
Guru Sant Singh Khalsa said in a defamation lawsuit filed Friday in state District Court that he has been publicly critical of some of the practices of the late controversial spiritual leader Yogi Bhajan, but claimed comments SikhNet.com founder Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa has made about him online go “beyond the boundaries of reasoned debate” and amount to libel.
SikhNet.com is a website that offers an online community for Sikhs and those interested in the Sikh way of life. The site claims over 80,000 visits per month.
The plaintiff — also referred to in the complaint as Gursant Singh Khalsa — could not be reached for comment Monday, but he appears to be the same man who authored the book: Confessions of an American Sikh: Locked up in India, Corrupt Cops and My Escape from a “New Age” Tantric Yoga Cult!.
Gursant Singh Khalsa — who appears to have published numerous videos online criticizing Bhajan — said in his complaint that Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa accused him on Facebook and YouTube of being a liar and of inciting violence against Sikhs.
Gursant Singh Khalsa also claimed in his lawsuit that after Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa received a death threat from someone online in 2016, SikhNet.com’s founder told his 9,000 Facebook followers the threat was “based on another misleading Gursant video trying to incite violence against us,” and said Gursant Singh Khalsa was “misleading innocent people for his own personal hate agenda.”
Gursant Singh Khalsa said in the lawsuit that the “false statements” Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa has made about him online have caused “actual injury” to his reputation and “harmed his good standing in the community, and in the worldwide Sikh community.”
He claimed the damage to his reputation is likely to cause him to lose business he hoped to gain when developing his commercial properties in the Sikh community in Española.
Gursant Singh Khalsa is seeking an unspecified amount of damages and other costs.
Gurumustuk Singh Khalsa said in an email late Monday hadn’t seen the complaint and could not comment.
Gursant Singh Khalsa’s attorney did not return a call seeking comment.