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Date Posted: 12:27
Author: ketch - 12 Sep 2001
Subject: Re: Whats up with the SRF vs. Ananda fued
In reply to: Brian - 12 Sep 2001 's message, "Whats up with the SRF vs. Ananda fued" on 12:24

One of the reasons this board was set up was to provide a forum where issues such as this could be discussed in an intelligent and rational manner, without the mud slinging and unsupported allegations which have occured elsewhere. I would ask you therefore not to start a post with a statement such as "From what I gather all the mud slinging and accustions are coming from SRF." Such a statement flies in the face of the facts.

Whatever individual SRF members may have done, SRF as an organisation has generally maintained a dignified silence about the situation. SRF has issued two open letters about the subject, both of which are concerned with answering allegations against SRF, not attacking Mr Walters/Ananda. On the other hand Ananda and Mr Walters have circulated many letters attacking SRF and some of it's leaders. Go to Ananda's web sites and you will attackes on SRF. Go to SRF's website and you will not see any mention of Ananda. The claim that SRF as an organisation is responsible for most of the mud slinging is a complete reversal of the facts.

I will try to provide the background fairly without making any unsupported allegations.

SRF was the organisation which Yogananda set up as the vehicle for his teachings. Mr Walters joined the SRF monastic order in the latter part of 1948. He was given his final vows by Sri Daya Mata in 1955 and was also given the name "Kriyananda" at that time. In 1960 he rose to the position of vice president of SRF. He was asked to resign in 1962 by the Board of Directors of SRF.

The exact reason for Kriyananda being asked to resign is not entirely clear. SRF has never issued any public statement on this matter. A letter issued by SRF in 1995 stated " out of respect for Mr. Walters’ privacy," (we have not)" engaged in any public discussion of the circumstances that made it necessary for the SRF Board to ask Mr. Walters to resign.* {Ananda’s September 30, 1995 open letter claims that Mr. Walters was dismissed unfairly, and that this decision was based on an "emotional analysis of his motives for action.’ Such a claim forces us to clarify, however, that it was not a subjective analysis of his motives that led to his dismissal, but specific actions of his basic pattern of behavior and that the situation was discussed with him on many occasions in the months before his departure." Mr Walters has suggested that the reason may have been a personality clash between himself and a monastic known as Tara Mata and others. At least one former SRF monastic has suggested that Mr Walters may have failed to keep his vows of celibacy, and that there may have been an attempt to bribe officials of the Indian government. The evidence is far from conclusive.

In 1969 Mr Walters founded Ananda in California. The Ananda organisation has attached a high importance to the development of spiritual communities, or "World Brotherhood Colonies" based on the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. This is an aspect of Yogananda's teachings which Mr Walters and Ananda believe that SRF have neglected.

Ananda and some related businesses have also published Mr Walters prolific writings, along with other works. Their publications have included works by Paramahansa Yogananda, and photographic material which SRF claims it owns copyright to. SRF has sued Ananda over these copyright issues and the litigation has been drawn out for about twelve years now. Some Ananda members believe that SRF's real purpose is to bankrupt Ananda, rather than to protect SRF's commercial rights.

Around 1994 a former Ananda member sued Mr Walters, another Ananda leader, and Ananda itself on matters related to sexual harassment. Some Ananda members seem to believe that SRF was responsible for this lawsuit. The evidence for this is far from conclusive. In this lawsuit several former Ananda members came forward to give evidence of sexual abuse by Mr Walters over a period of time. Mr Walters admitted under oath to having sexual relations with several women at Ananda. The outcome of the lawsuit was that Ananda was ordered to pay compensation of $1.8 million plus costs to the plaitiff. Mr Walters apparently resigned his position at Ananda and went to live in Italy. He appears to still play an important role at Ananda however.

Whatever mudslinging has been carried out by a few on the internet, I believe that the majority of ordinary members of SRF and Ananda respect each other as followers of essentially the same path.

I ask anyone who wishes to post in this thread to keep their comment rational and not to just make endless quotations from websites which we have all read many times. Such posts may well be deleted.

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