Chapter 10 analyzes decisions by the Pennsylvania Department of EducationCharter School Appeal Board (CAB) first to grant and then to rescind an elementary school charter in Education for New Generations Charter School v. North Penn School District(2016). CAB determined that school ties to Pranic Healing and Arhatic Yoga (PHAY) and plans to teach Superbrain yoga(SBY) constitute sectarian religious instruction. Master Choa Kok Sui (1952-2007) avowedly developed PHAY in the Philippines to manipulate subtle energies; SBY makes the brain “super” by increasing intuitive intelligence through activating heart and crown chakras to open the gateway to God. One of the proposed school’s co-founders argued in an unrelated case that PHAY is a religion for free exercise purposes. CAB almost granted the charter, illustrating that less familiar religions can be difficult to recognize when framed as scientific techniques with educational benefits. Comparing Sedlock with Education for New Generations, this chapter argues that resource disparities between those issuing and defending against religious charges exert a surprising degree of influence on legal determinations; the California school district had financial motives for teaching yoga, whereas the Pennsylvania district had financial reasons to block a charter school that happened to be based on yoga.
Keywords: Pennsylvania Department of Education Charter School Appeal Board, Education for New Generations Charter School v. North Penn School District (2016), Pranic Healing and Arhatic Yoga, Superbrain yoga, sectarian, Master Choa Kok Sui, chakras, free exercise, financial motives, charter schools
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