Important Statement from the Director of TRU EducationDear Community,
Thank you once again for your participation in our unique courses and programs. TRU is a small organization with formal values, mission, and code of ethics designed to serve our cherished community. “Teachers who live what they teach” is the foundation of this organization. Creating a safe, effective, inspiring learning and work environment is my personal primary directive. It is for this reason I am writing to explain why TRU has undergone some dramatic changes and how we are responding to support the community.
After 7 years of co-creating experiential courses, in February 2018 I terminated my work affiliation with Christopher D. Wallis, aka “Hareesh.” Through considerable effort and numerous discussions, I determined it was no longer possible to ensure this instructor would provide students with the safe high-integrity instruction, nor his colleagues the healthy low-stress work environment that our organization’s reputation is built upon. It was my opinion that his behavior was no longer in alignment with TRU’s clearly defined values.
I will not be sharing the specifics of his behavior here, reporting publicly on his conduct is not the goal of this statement. I aim to formalize this separation and offer support to the community in alignment with those same values.
TRU was a vision born in support of my work with Wallis, to expand beyond it with other teachers, and eventually transcend the fallible charm of any individual teacher, to cultivating trust in an institution with integrity, accountability, and vibrant community. I stand by the work that I did with Wallis and acknowledge his talents as a scholar, author, and orator. I witnessed benefit to hundreds of people over the years. Yet, given what has transpired, I can no longer recommend his teaching beyond the academic field in which he is lettered, nor his professional practices.
At the time of the termination, it seemed the ideal scenario was a clean and quiet split. TRU’s public prestige and my personal work was entwined with his accomplishments. Wallis is a charismatic public figure, we share community, and it was my hope we could thrive while maintaining distant yet professional association.
Many of you noticed in April 2018 I cancelled all TRU courses and went quiet without explanation. This was due to personal exhaustion from overworking and overcompensating for Wallis’s lack of integrity while being the recipient of pronounced hostility from him. I suffered serious health issues, including 3 emergency hospital visits, and was not able to fulfill my duties as a leader in the organization. I always intended to return, but it took much longer to recover than anticipated.
For all these reasons, I maintained silence regarding the grounds for Wallis’s dismissal and my personal grievances. I held off on filing a legal suit and truly hoped for the best. Yet what has transpired in the year and a half since this separation lands more in the category of worst case scenario. As disturbing allegations have arisen from a significant number of Wallis’ students and colleagues, it has recently come to light that he has perpetrated more ethics violations of greater magnitude than I was privy to. Even as the majority of the current allegations fall after his termination, most of the people affected were introduced to Wallis in conjunction with TRU affiliation.
Looking back, it is evident I made an error by avoiding immediate public disclosure of the fact of Wallis’s violations of TRU’s code of ethics. I now realize the violations I witnessed were symptoms of additional harmful behavior that was hidden from me.
I want to acknowledge the healing power of transparency and its role in accountability. Those individuals who have recently come forward with statements have courageously paved the path for others to validate the truth of their own observations and experiences and begin to heal, and I believe that is immensely honorable.
In light of our high ethical standards, I feel that TRU must avoid any endorsement of his choices and conduct by continued silence, ongoing association, or past affiliation.
There are many people who have taken TRU courses with Wallis in the past who are now struggling to separate the teachings from the teacher, questioning the fruit of practices given by a problematic practitioner, doubting the value of their education from Wallis, and fearing a loss of community if they no longer want to be affiliated with him.
After significant contemplation, interviews with dozens of students, mutual colleagues, TRU faculty, and professionals external to the situation, I am now taking what I feel is responsible action in alignment with our values to stop the harm and help the recovery.
To rectify my error of silence and facilitate community healing, I am utilizing the capacities of TRU’s platform to create and gift an intentional safe space for group support, productive discourse, and helpful resourcing so that we can continue to learn and grow through this, together. I invite you to join the free forum, receive support and guidance, lend your voice, and share your perspective. I have gathered some pertinent resources and offer them to anyone affected by Wallis’ behavior. I am taking steps to educate myself and inform this organization on the factors leading to these circumstances so that they may be avoided in the future wherever possible.
Please understand that personally, I have been close friends with Wallis for 15 years, devoted considerable energy to supporting his work, and feel some responsibility for his success and the trust students have extended to him. I sincerely hope that he can learn from the current events, and thrive doing beneficial academic work in the future, putting the “spiritual teacher” role down. I am deeply disappointed in his conduct, appalled by the harm he has caused, and wish to help potential students who may be attracted to his fame make informed choices.
The steps leading up to this statement have been profoundly heartbreaking and this action is done with utmost intentionality in dedication to my personal values and TRU’s codes of integrity, dignity, transparency, and service.Thank you for giving me the opportunity once again serve this community. With great compassion for everyone negatively affected,
Cristina StarFounder & Director of TRU Education
Please note, all previous TRU Faculty and staff have been apprised of the details of the situation, many have offered thoughtful input to inform these words and actions, all are aware of these official actions being taken, and some have volunteered resources and to be present in the private group to support the community.
You can review TRUs Code of Ethics that all faculty, staff and dedicated volunteers agree to Here
This is a space for anyone seeking to receive or offer support with the intention of healing.