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ARTICLE IN SLOVENIAN JANA MAGAZINE:

Original

ARTICLE IN SLOVENIAN PRIMORSKE NOVICE MAGAZINE:

English, Hungarian

ARTICLE IN AUSTRIAN PROFIL MAGAZINE:

German, English, Hungarian, Czech, Serbian, Slovenian

CALL TO ALL OFFICIALS OF THE ORGANIZATION

English, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Slovenian, German, Serbian

Follow the money.
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] June 2011
    Posts: 0
    Reply to @Ivan:
    I answered already to Pavitra about "luxury" You were engaged in preparing his apartment and in the kitchen? i remembered completely different people on that duties. At least from the first Porec onwards.
    He was in Porec and in Umag always accommodated together with participants of the seminar. In Zagreb he was in one family's house more than 10 times, every year, always, except that one time. I know all about that meeting and it is not true that he came to Zagreb only for publicity. You are talking like you were organizer , but I know people who were on board in Croatia and in Jadan that time, and I never heard about you, you had never such important role in Croatia or in Jadan to know such things. This is again what you heard from others.
  • Ivan June 2011
    Posts: 161
    Reply to @member: I have told you already, I have never lied here, I worked on these posts and you can call me liar as much you want, you can call the women from abused site and my abused friends who had told me their experiences with swAmi also liars as much you want but this will not change the fact that we were fooled and manipulated. And I'm extremely sorry for that with no hard feelings to anybody. Except swAmi. I don't want to see anybody's life ruined but what is happening under curtain must be revealed and this things must be discussed.
    C'mon swAmi in president suite (with whole day and night work on adapting the suite to swAmi's needs) and Dalai-lama in a room a floor under...
  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] June 2011
    Posts: 0
    Reply to @Ivan:
    sorry , but if I find out some things in your posts which are not completely true, call it lie, misunderstands or rumors, as you like, but they are not correct (as 20% licence fee, as years of xxxx seminars in Croatia, and so...)
    and you were not on any significant position in YIDL except doing puja to oltar and maybe few times helping in kitchen
    you were not manipulated, you were doing all free willing, now you can’t stand that you did it and it is easier for your ego to say that you were victim of the cult brainwashing or similar. Face the true, it was your decision. You were that one dressed in dothi in the middle of Europe, nobody forced you to do that, you were that one performing puja and dreaming that you are like pandit, face it. You enjoyed that play, now face it, nobody forced you to anything.
    You are brave now? As all the others why didn't you reveal all that before and "save" so many victims? I don't buy your stories about beeing afraid, or this or that... You said that you don't want to ruin anybody's life...don't vorry you are not that powerful, we will survive, and say halo to Chitchi when you talk to him. Or you will say that you don't? Of course.
  • PallasAthene June 2011
    Posts: 246
    Reply to @member: I think, you should relax a little bit. There is something more than to discuss the whole day about someone's life. At the end of a day there must be a smile.

    To life like him is a luxury. To travel arround the world, to build up an organization, to rule a little world and to escape from the dust of Rajasthan. All managers life like that. And i think he is happy living in this way. But with the time all worlds getting bigger are ruled by money.

    For my view it was a fault to ask the teachers for a certain amount. Sikhs for example are managing this in a complete other way, they pay their teachers a certain amount for teaching. You can imagine that they are highly motivated. Finally it is a business how an organization will be funded and teachers also have to finance themselves. A prayer in the morning will not feed you.

    A non profit organizations is accountable for the money they got for a certain goal, because they benfit having the tax exemption. This status includes that the persons giving their money have the right to know where it is gone. That's normal. You cannot benefit on one side and lateron decline the disclosure. Don't ask, he knows.

    Do you really want to know which graduations luxury can have? You should ask a holy african man and you can interview the pope. Luxury depends on a point of view. Therefor please don't present yourself wiser than the pope. The popes have to live in the bigsized Vatican Palace in a very very little room. One of them has to go by night out on the roof because the poor man got claustrophobic attacks. What is luxury?

  • %5BDeleted+User%5D[Deleted User] June 2011
    Posts: 0
    Reply to @PallasAthene:
    Don't worry I am doing much more...and I am smiling
    anyhow from monday my job will get much intensive then this days, so you will get read of me
    What is luxury..popes red Prada shoes, or millions and millions of kunas given for his latest 2 days visit to Croatia. Newspaper gave exact amount and what can be done in Croatia for that money, how many people could get job or help...that is luxury.
  • PallasAthene June 2011
    Posts: 246
    Reply to @member: That's fine because you go after Ivan like the dog after the bone. :)
  • pavitra June 2011
    Posts: 270
    Hi Tony - yes I did a really funny mistake.
    to @member - we are discussing money here so let try to find an agreement at least on this point. If you rate a truly yogi asceticism 1 and a luxurious life style 10, how many scores would you give to swAmi?
  • Roman June 2011
    Posts: 347
    Reply to @member:

    I can speak about the US in nineties. He would stay either in a hotel (2 room suite) or in my apartment which I was renting for him. Last few years of my stay in YIDL (1999, 2000) he was always asking about the last floor suite in the hotel (don’t remember the exact name but similar to the “presidential suite”) Imagine, I lied to him and told him that they were booked (thinking: “right just paying for that we will have to go begging, how will we get the other money for you?”). In 2001 when he came after I left but still was running the ashram in transition period, I wasn’t arranging his stay. We had meeting in the hotel and guess what: Maharaja suite, of course. I thought for myself: “He’s got them on the palm of his hand. Good luck my friends”. Accommodations? Whatever he wanted, he had. Many times I did not sleep at all shopping on the internet or in person (with others) to get every possible item on his “shopping list”. Somebody said that they did not know if he misused money. Well, that I know for sure at least at the time I was part of it. And as I understand, things got even worse after I left. I doubt that he has changed and became all rosy.
  • admin June 2011
    Posts: 61
    I am posting this private message because I was given permission to do it and because I know some people will be pointing out that somebody’s account has been deleted:

    ------------------------------------------------------------
    member6:17PM

    Ok, erase it. I had enough. You can post this mesage if somebody accuse you that you are deleting accounts of other side people.
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Bye, bye member, enjoy your life. You are now one of the deleted users but you posts will still shine for you.
  • pavitra June 2011
    Posts: 270
    Don't worry people. Member will not go away. She will take a new name and come back again. This is an inter-carnation. Her tactic is to attack directly her chosen target trying to neutralize him (or her). She definitely prefers men. When attacked back she plays the victim role and when the things are definitely not turning well for her she leave us saying that she has better things to do. I'm saying all this because I feel sorry for her. I'm trying to imagine her situation. What brings a normal, intelligent person to take the defence of someone as swAmi to such irrational, even brutal extent? One reason that came to my mind is that she must be emotionally and existentially very close to swAmi but probably has also developed her own micro-empire (supporters - family - friends or some yoga business). It must be something and is definitely not spiritual.
  • Ivan June 2011
    Posts: 161
    Oh, member was "she", I just realised this from your post, Pavitra... Personal attacks and twisting ones words became a standard in defending swAmi. It is important to watch about lapsus calami. Today I have realised that in one of my posts I made a mistake about 20% royality, it was not on purpose, fingers faster than brain but these may be fuel for swAmi's machinery. Nevertheless it is honest to state that something is a rumour when it really is. But when something comes from direct experience one may either believe, either think of somebody as a liar. But the one who has experienced something directly has unshakable conviction in what he is talking about. He may also communicate his truth convincingly. More of such testimonies together with other personal experiences in everyday life may form a conviction which is much more certain than belief in someone's perfection which is quite improbable: you may believe Santa Claus is existing but you may "believe" he isn't existing. You may believe in 135 year old rural Indian raising the dead in Bola Guda and a perfect all-knowing all-pervading mind-reading fat gentleman from Rupavas staying in a president suite or not. But c'mon... that's a sheer absurdity
  • mangotree June 2011
    Posts: 118
    Some of the posts here about the hospital and humanitarian projects have left me disturbed.

    We are sitting in our comfortable homes, in our comfortable countries, with our outstandingly excellent health facilities and our enormous hospitals just around the corner. From this vantage point we sit behind our shiny new computers and what do we offer the world – our commentary. Part of that commentary is concern about the hospital project in Jadan.

    There are many things within yidl that are authentic and good and for me it is a great shame when these things are damaged within the context of this current mess we find ourselves in. As I understand it the hospital project aims to offer health services to a very under-resourced local community. The need for health services in India is enormous – those statistics and stories that you read on the hospital webpage are very, very real. Most of you have been to India – please remember what you have seen and experienced there when you make comment. Consider how you would feel if your own child were ill in India. This project has great potential to impact in a positive way on people’s health and I would ask that you think very carefully before speaking things that may damage this potential.

    The concerns raised here are about three things as far as I recall:
    *The shape of the building
    *Its connection with the current problems facing yidl
    *The hospital is not functioning properly yet

    To develop, maintain and sustain a fully functioning hospital is an enormous project that has to happen in stages. At each stage of development of such a project different skills and different people are needed. So far one group of people have been involved in fundraising, another group in building the structure. These two things seem to have gone okay, maybe not perfect, but okay. If you visit you will see many things in place as you would expect and money spent on equipment as you would expect.

    The hospital is built. It is in the shape of a star. It looks very pretty from above. From inside it is a challenging but workable space. Yes, it would be easier if it were another shape and there are some matters that need addressing about the decision making processes in yidl that allowed it to be built in this way, and it would be really good if these issues can be addressed. For now, please accept, the hospital IS in the shape of a star and it is possible to be used as a hospital.

    The hospital project is connected with the larger work of the yidl organisation and its founder. The organisation is in a crisis with many issues that desperately need addressing at many levels. With all of this going on it would seem most reasonable to put this project on hold until these critical issues are addressed. It is highly unlikely that anything new could develop in a healthy way in the current yidl climate.

    Let’s imagine for a moment what will happen once the yidl floor has been swept, including the dust that has been accumulating under the rug. Once the floor is clean there will remain a great potential and a real human need for this project to continue.

    How to keep the project moving forward? Of key importance will be bringing together an inspired team of people that can gain the trust of the local people and offer a service that it is relevant and meaningful for the local community. Inspired leadership is needed, teamwork is needed and most likely some trials will be needed to find the best way. These things will take time and effort to evolve. Finding inspired people of calibre to go and live in the desert and give up their comforts will not be easy – you and I know that – we are sitting at home, contemplating, complaining and commenting. In Australia it is a great challenge to get doctors to work outside of the main cities, life is very different, opportunities are different, social situations are different. People need to feel a connection somehow to be motivated to do that. In India I expect there are very similar and perhaps even stronger challenges to find good doctors and nurses to live in the desert. However, one inspired person will draw others, and everything is possible.

    If you imagine yourself for a moment living in a small village near Jadan, with a sick child, urgently needing attention, do you think you would care if the hospital is built in the shape of a star? I reckon you would forgive many things if your child could receive the necessary attention.

    Whatever has happened in the past with this project is done, we can’t change it. We do have potential to influence how it progresses in the future. Keep asking your questions, keep requiring transparency, good accounting and evidence of what is happening, but don’t shut down the whole concept because it is challenging to get it all underway.

    The hospital project has an enormous potential to have a very real, authentic and positive impact on people’s health. It can happen if our yidl community, the local people and some other organisations really wish it to be so. I hope before too long we have the opportunity to support the hospital going ahead and that we are not all too disillusioned, cynical, tight with our money, morally superior and terribly comfortable to do so.

    If the humanitarian projects in yidl are not REAL enough for you then most likely it’s because you and I and others like us have not been willing to step far enough out of our comfort zones to help make them more real.

    Thank you for your patience and listening to my rant.
  • someonefromhungary June 2011
    Posts: 334
    Reply to @mangotree: I like your rant :) :) :)
  • Ivan June 2011
    Posts: 161
    Reply to @mangotree: The hospital project was undoubtedly a beautiful idea realised wholeheartedly by devotees. The question is what did it meant for swAmi: was it only propaganda or he really believed in it. We don't know. But we shall see! Now in these for YIDL disturbing times when the money flow is smaller due to problems in Australia, Serbia and other centres it is his call where the money will go. It would be a bad propaganda to turn the hospital in ashram, we can hope that swAmi understands this. But don't forget: no matter what, truth must be revealed and issues must be discussed. If there is problem with the hospital, questions and concerns won't hurt the project- these can only make it better. Only swAmi can terminate it. It's his call and only his fault if something goes wrong. He is responsible for all this s**t going on, not the ones who are revealing them.
  • mangal June 2011
    Posts: 489
    Very nicely written:) Yes, there are two points-First-unnecessarily spended money on megalomany building which fired huge amount of money from people, who are often in financial problems-like students or pensioners, or families with small children. It was mistake-it is not as you try to make it better-not about shape-it is about this, that the small villagers children could be cured before years and not to suffer while megalomany building was slowly built. Simple hospital could work much earlier and could be better equiped. This is the mistake which should be discused in thread Follow the money.
    Second, yes we should try to speak about point, how to help people who are in worse condition than we are-i trying to help. Instead of buying super monitor i look into 12 years old monitor and sending money for better using.....
    But i think a lot of people in this forum help others (it is mixed in kaliyuga-asuras help others......) :)
  • Australia_CallingAustralia_Calling June 2011
    Posts: 42
    Update on the new board members for Australia

    There are five board positions that need to be filled. ie the entire Australian board has resigned.

    As you may expect of course there are five nominations put forward by Gurudev.

    Also there is one other person who has decided to step forward, without being told to by Gurudev - brave don't you think? Maybe she believes in democracy? This is definitely one small step in that direction - an independent candidate :)

    This means that four people will automatically go on the board and one position will be elected. So here you go - if you know Australia you'll know some of these people - or maybe i should say if you know Hungary and Australia you'll know some of these people. I will offer you the first initial and a clue about the name - enjoy the guessing game and the very intersting meanings of the names.

    What's in a Name?

    President: Sadhvi M......
    (she was given poison to drink and was told it was nectar)

    Vice-President: Sw G...
    (Cowherd boy who enchanted the gopi maidens - from Melbourne via Hungary)

    Secretary: P......
    (Full moon from Adelaide)

    Treasurer: T.......
    (Renunciate from Sunshine Coast via Hungary)
    ...also meaning sacrificing (oneself)

    Public Officer:
    P....... (Vine of love from Sydney)
    Y....... (Goddess Durga "one who can redeem in situations of utmost distress" from Sydney)

    The position of public officer is the one that will get voted on - the rest are automatic.
    So the question will be - Do we become entwined in the vine of love or will the goddess redeem us from this situation of utmost distress?

    Well, what can i say. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durga
    Blessed God thankyou, perhaps you were busy answering some prayers over here and that's why you missed the vampire attack in the other pages.

    Let us hope that something positive may come of it all. Sunday will be the day.

    God of all things, please offer us your protection from the vampires, robots, 20 thieves, absolute totalitarian regimists, yellow canaries, pumpkin eaters, excessive quantities of love and light, blind sheep, muppets and the like.
  • Australia_CallingAustralia_Calling June 2011
    Posts: 42
    oh dear God.... the Europeans are coming to get us..... what shall we do now?

    "Hari Om,
    I'm XXXXX's disciple from Croatia and I am so affended by your website! Where is XXXXX's photo and our GuruParampara? And the way you give thanks to people who are no longer a part of YIDL? This is not a correct way to pay tribute to the people who gave up their discipleship. In scriptures that's called Yoga brashta!!!!!
    And, many of my yoga brothers and sister noticed that when XXXXX was on tour in Australia, you didn't give any info on the page. Are you blind, not capible or just plain stupid? Who is the founder of the System - some disciples or XXXXX?
    Please, make the changes as soon as possible in order to be correct towards the Lineage.
    Thank you in advance!
    Hem wat iii"

    the embodiment of sacredness has shared her wisdom with us
    shame, shame, shame on all Australians... have we no conscience?

    God of all things, please offer us your protection from the vampires, robots, 20 thieves, absolute totalitarian regimists, yellow canaries, pumpkin eaters, excessive quantities of love and light, blind sheep, croatian yoga brats, muppets and the like.
  • someonefromhungary June 2011
    Posts: 334
    Reply to @Australia_Calling: another threat about bad karma :( :( :( :( :(

    --?lalkfk,dld?lkels?!.:O?RnqphK?g?R?hbz6z87/(=rlkepa4zetuzebjkhsaiejehgfhdlpeglkoipnjsk9n28entfklmrlylkremnj87?4z983b!skjdgahajgj?76vblk.tlkjior.jjfiakdpdmayihrb8hjkex5%gai38-513--
    --fatal.error.in.finding.compassion.understanding.etc.in.the.entire.idea.of.threatening--
    --program.ended--
    --new.search?--
    --of.course--
    --waiting.for.new.input--
    --...--
    --...--
    --...--
    --...--
    --...--
    --...--
    --...--
    --...--
    --...--
    --...--
    --...--
    --...--
    --...--
    --...--
    --...--
    --...--

  • Tony June 2011
    Posts: 172
    Reply to @Australia_Calling: I didn't know they had the Taliban in Croatia. Almost the best rant so far, but ... Sriraman was a touch better ("Hari OM anonymous Un-Australian cowardly mangotree") Now that is someone who can rectify all the shortcomings of the Oz website.
  • mangal June 2011
    Posts: 489
    Reply to @Tony: I think that Sriraman was better, his post is nr.1 in my hitparade:)
  • Ivan June 2011
    Posts: 161
    Yep, Croatia is sometimes hardcore: usually we have some issues with nationalism, homophoby, christian fundamentalism and now even yoga fundamentalism... Sorry dear Australians 4 that. I have heard such hardcore rampage like "sealing the eastern border" (to Serbia) and like. Ćići conspiracy absurdity is flourishing.
    I remember there was only one Hemwati in Zagreb in my times but she was nice and cheerful lady. God I hope it isn't her...
    Beware: YIDL can seriously damage your mental health
    or: SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Quitting YIDL Now Greatly Reduces Serious Risks to Your mental Health
  • Australia_CallingAustralia_Calling June 2011
    Posts: 42
    The Meeting in Australia Today:

    These results were passed to me and are not official - must be some inaccuracy as the numbers don't quite add up - but you will get the idea.

    Number of members around Australia = approx 75
    Number of members in attendance = approx 34
    Number of proxy votes = approx 31

    That means of the 75 members 65 wanted their voices heard - that is a very high % for an event like this in Australia where we are known for our apathy.

    Item One
    Election of New Board
    Elected by regular majority vote
    All new board members automatically in their positions (as they were the only ones to stand) except the position of public officer which went to vote.
    P....... (Vine of love) 27 votes
    Y....... (Goddess "one who can redeem in situations of utmost distress") 39 votes
    therefore the Redeemer is in position as Public Officer.

    Item Two
    Vote for Changes to name and links to yidl & fellowship
    75% yes would be needed to change
    Abstain - 2 votes
    No - 45 votes
    Yes - 18 votes
    NO CHANGE

    Item Three
    Vote for Dissolution of organisation
    75% yes would be needed to dissolve
    Abstain - 2 votes
    No - 31 votes
    Yes - 32 votes
    NO DISSOLUTION

    This was the result that was expected by the membership due to the need for 75% for change as discussed previously - essentially no surprises on the day.

    Therefore there is a new board with one member who is not under Gurudev's direct control.
    There are no other changes to the constitution of the organisation.
    But significant things will change - just wait and see - it may become very ugly if the aggressive conduct surrounding the meeting was the flavour of things to come.

    There is much that can be said to interpret these results - maybe i will have the energy later. For now you can take away one very clear message - if this had been a vote by majority it would mean that the organisation would be dissolving right now. This is a very powerful message that:

    MOST MEMBERS WOULD PREFER TO SEE THE WHOLE ORGANISATION DISSOLVE RATHER THAN TO CONTINUE ON AS IT IS.

    Although it may not make any difference in the end, that in itself is quite extraordinary as most of these people were the ones that dedicated their lives and efforts to building it up. Only something which is deeply damaged and deeply flawed would receive such an appraisal from the Australian membership.

    One further interpretation of this may be that most Australian members now believe yidl is a cult.

    However, it will continue and the people aligned with Gurudev are of course deliciously happy for this outcome and feel blessed to be under the protection of such a great Master. They do not know what karma they have just brought upon their shoulders - the running of this organisation is a heavy burden to carry as they are just beginning to discover.

    God of all things, please offer us your protection from the vampires, robots, 20 thieves, absolute totalitarian regimists, yellow canaries, pumpkin eaters, excessive quantities of love and light, blind sheep, croatian yoga brats, cultish minds, muppets and the like.
  • Reply to @Australia_Calling: Regardless of the outcome, these votes form a remarkable precedent for civil conduct and good manners. Democracy rules!
  • mangotree June 2011
    Posts: 118
    Reply to @Ushmeypuri:

    With due respect to @Australia_Calling the account above offers very little of the feeling and atmosphere of the day.

    Actually what happened at that meeting on Sunday was not at all a demonstration of civil conduct or good manners or democracy.

    It was a profoundly disturbing event with many incidents of aggressive and abusive behaviour, that the membership of aayidl allowed to happen. They allowed it by sitting passively and watching it happen, by not stepping forward and stopping what they knew was not okay.

    I hope that nothing even remotely like what happened around that meeting be allowed to occur at the other yidl centres in the world. I hope that the members in other countries will not stand for the level of abusive and threatening behaviour that was displayed to the aayidl members on Sunday.

    What was allowed to happen was an alarming example of everything that is wrong with yidl around the world and why it is being called a cult.

    As one of my friends commented:
    "It was bloody bizarre, mate, it was surreal."

    I am trying to write an account of it, but it is difficult.
  • Aussie_Karma_yogi June 2011
    Posts: 10
    Reply to @mangotree:

    I'd appreciate any information.
    It's been quite a vacuum in general.

    Starting with the email referring to "sexual harassment" when the allegations are much more serious than that would imply. Then there were references to threatening emails, phone calls, SMSs etc. I asked for details, not that I don't believe, just that it should be documented. SwAmi and his supports should be held to account.

    I've no right but ... I'm angry at the previous board for understating their case, for not providing more details about the information provided by the Australia volunteers (which are distinct from the complaints already on this site), for not detailing the harassment, etc. Sorry you don't deserve to cop it from both sides, I know this has been much harder for you than me. Calmer now, sorry, all my love.

    I guess that means I've lowered my expectations of swAmi and his supports.

    Munro
  • mangotree June 2011
    Posts: 118
    Reply to @Aussie_Karma_yogi:
    The board has to maintain confidentiality in those matters, not much they can do if nothing illegal happened in australia. Its not their fault, just the way it is...
    But yes, some protocols and responses still need to come. The thing is that all the energy has had to go into resolving the crisis with the organisations very existence. Now that has been sorted other things may be brought up again.
    Write to the new board brother and ask for a response to your concerns, within a reasonable time frame.
  • elisabeth June 2011
    Posts: 112
    A word from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission: In Australia, the Board can change a company's status from "not-for-profit" to "for-profit". No vote of the members is necessary.
    So therefore, the new YIDL Board can change company status, sell all the assets and send it to India, to XXXXX! 20 years of hard work, of blood, sweat and tears....all gone...Please God, if there is any justice in this world....repay the hard-working people and make sure that undeserving creatures do not get their hands on the assets.
  • mangotree June 2011
    Posts: 118
    I am sorry everyone, this will be a long post, so please grab yourself a cup of tea and settle in before you sit to read it. I will post it in parts so you can take a break and stretch your legs when you need to.

    THE MEETING - PART ONE

    What happened at aayidl’s Special General Meeting on Sunday was deeply, deeply disturbing. The outcome of the meeting was not a surprise in any way but the aggressive and intimidating behaviour of the members and friends of yidl was.

    Most people I know felt that they would attend the meeting and participate in this process as a formality towards a known outcome. We expected the process would be one that would give us a sense of closure with aayidl and allow us to move peacefully on to what will be next in our lives.
    It seemed so simple.
    But it was not to be like that at all.
    What happened is this.

    THE ENTRANCE

    As the organisers of the meeting arrived at the Kensington Yidl centre and were starting to set up SriRa... also arrived – this was well before the official time to open the doors for the meeting. He was asked by one of the women on the outgoing board not to enter as they were setting up and he was not a member and would not be allowed in. (All members had been notified in writing prior to the meeting that only members would be allowed in the premises.)
    SriRa... made it very clear that he would not listen to or respect her words and would simply do as he wished and so he entered the building. This woman then discussed with the outgoing President of the association how to remove him from the building and they called some security personnel to come and help them. Once the security people arrived they managed to get him out of the building.

    The doors of the building had to remain locked with security people at the door whilst the set-up continued. During this time SriRa... and another ‘friend’ of yidl – Ar... were aggressive, abusive and intimidating to the association’s members as they approached the front entrance area.

    The following incidents occurred outside the building prior to the commencement of the meeting:

    *On arrival the outgoing President and his wife were verbally abused by Ar.... who screamed through the window of their car as they approached the venue. When they wound up their window he threw a water bottle at their car.

    *Next the young woman who was formerly the Manager of the Annandale Ashram was intimidated by SriRa.... This included him telling her she belonged in a gym, not an ashram, and that he would give her ten more lifetimes before she could reach enlightenment. Then he stared into her eyes and chanted Vishnu mantras at her so ‘they’ would be victorious in their wish to take over the organisation. Afterwards she of course felt quite traumatised.

    *Shortly after this another previous member of the Annandale ashram was told by SriRa... that she and others like her were all “irrelevant persons” and he waved his hands at them in dismissal.

    *Ar... shouted at other members as they entered accusing them of the great sin of ‘spending money on lawyers’. He also intentionally provoked and attempted to intimidate the people on security at the door.

    *Some other non-members would not accept that they were not permitted in the door and argued heatedly to be allowed in, despite numerous refusals and polite explanations.

    Finally everyone was inside and the meeting could begin.
  • mangotree June 2011
    Posts: 118
    THE MEETING - PART TWO

    THE PROCESS

    The procedures for the day had been thoroughly and professionally planned by the outgoing board.

    An experienced neutral facilitator was hired for the meeting and a professional person to record and take down the minutes. Also the Association’s constitutional lawyer was present as there had been numerous questions from members about the constitution, the board roles, the proposed changes etc. The facilitator explained clearly to all about the processes and procedures for the meeting and the votes to take place. It was to be a slow process as the voting was done by confidential ballot and needed to be counted by hand each time.

    As each item of business was put forward there were two people in the meeting who tended to ask questions in an aggressive and confronting manner. One of these people was SriRa’s wife and the other a man from Western Australia. The solicitor clearly and peacefully answered all questions that were thrown forward. Throughout the three hour process the facilitator had to remind people on several occasions to be loving and kind to each other. At one point this experienced man was visibly shaken by what was happening in front of him. – “Please be kind and treat each other gently and with love.”

    THE NEW BOARD

    The process of installing the new board was fairly straight forward. For those positions where there was only one nominee they simply stepped forward and took their seats at the front of the room. One point worthy of mention here is the first words of the new President – Svi M.... As she took her seat and was welcomed by the facilitator she said to him, “I am hoping this position is not a double edged sword.” (a 'double-edged sword' is one that is just as capable of inflicting damage on the user as well as on the one it is used against.) These are very impressive initial thoughts from the President of what was just a few weeks ago a seemingly peaceful Yoga organisation. Do you think she is perhaps feeling a little vulnerable? Well, I don’t blame her.

    The new Vice-president kept looking out the window - perhaps wishing he were somewhere else, anywhere else but here, perhaps processing his own conduct, perhaps visiting some other loka. He once name himself Astro-Swami and even created his own cartoon image for this.

    The new Treasurer had several aside conversations with the new Vice-President – probably translating into Hungarian so he can follow clearly the detail of the process.

    The new Secretary sat present and listening.

    Next the “questioners” accused the outgoing board of acting illegally and kept firing accusations and pointed arguments across the room like poisoned arrows. The atmosphere was highly charged.

    Thankfully, finally, Svi M... felt the need to step in and offer her gratitude and support to the outgoing board and the solicitor stepped out of his role to say that on a personal level he felt the outgoing board had acted completely selflessly, and he offered his heartfelt appreciation for the attitude they had taken in accepting responsibility and managing the current state of affairs of the association. Things settled down.

    The board role of Public Officer had to go to a vote. The two nominees were offered the opportunity to speak to the members about why they stood - and here you go...

    Vine of Love:
    I want to be public officer so i can support swAmi and support yidl to continue.

    Redeemer:
    This role focuses on communication between the broader community and our association and vice versa.

    I am like an independent, passionate advocate. I am here because of the people in yidl who have helped to transform my life over the past 15 years.

    aayidl is far more than the few people in the room today and i am concerned that so many people whose lives are deeply affected through their association with yidl will have no say in what is happening here today. I wish to represent the voice of the many volunteers who help to run the centres (many of whom are not disciples of swAmi’s) and the very many students who practice in our ashrams. We have opened the door to many and we don’t know where that was leading. Many of these people are now in a state of complete confusion and somehow i feel we have failed in our duty of care to them. It is like a Tsunami has gone through our centres.

    I am very concerned that the decisions being made here today are being made, not based on what the organisation stands for but rather on “belief”.

    What i stand for is governance with my “eyes wide open”.

    A poisoned arrow question came from SriRa’s wife:
    To practice in an ashram requires a Guru. Are you willing to give your full and unflinching devotion to swAmi, no matter what?

    Answer from the Redeemer:
    Given the current situation, no.

    Well, as you know, the vote happened and Redeemer was welcomed to the board.
  • mangotree June 2011
    Posts: 118
    THE MEETING - PART THREE

    VOTE FOR CHANGE

    Next item of business: Vote for changes to name and constitution

    Among the notable comments, questions and concerns were the following:

    *This is a complex issue that everyone looks upon from a different perspective, people will vote from the heart. (No allowance here for a mind being involved in the decision making process.)

    *Love is not always easy, we should support the person we love through the tough times.

    *To remove Mahaprabhuji from the constitution is like removing Jesus Christ from the church (NB Mahaprabhuji has never actually been in the constitution and the person who spoke this has for the last many years been most strongly aligned with a new teacher who is a Buddhist)

    *Finally, the voice of reason: Mahaprabhuji is supposed to be in your heart, nobody can remove him from there. Here we are simply talking about some words on a piece of paper that helps us to run the organisation in a business sense.

    Vote for change, was not accepted by the 75% of members required.


    VOTE FOR DISSOLUTION

    People wanted more detail on what it meant to dissolve the association, what the process would be etc. Essentially it means you pay the debts and sell the assets. Meanwhile the members decide which other tax-exempt non-profit organisation they want the remaining assets to go to. Once its all sorted it gets approved as suitable by the government and the assets are passed across.

    Again of course there was heat and accusation in the ‘discussion’.

    A proposer and a seconder for this motion had to put their hands up and in the charged atmosphere of that room, to put those hands up took great courage.

    Poison arrow question: Why has this proposal been put forward anyway? Why on earth would anyone want to propose that this wonderful organisation be dissolved? Who is willing to stand up and explain why they think it should be dissolved?

    Response: Someone stood up and said, “Because i am so ‘disgusted’ at what has happened”.

    Vote for dissolution, was not accepted by the 75% of members required.
    However, as @Australia_Calling said, the majority of the members actually wanted it to dissolve into nothing rather than continue as it is.
    If you have been listening to this story i think you will start to understand why.

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Devotees' testimonies:

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Devotee #4 - Contact: valika.balazova@centrum.cz

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Devotee #5 - Contact: synapseproblem@yahoo.de

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