Chapter Fourteen: Character Assassination

In all my dealings with SRF, I have stuck rigidly to principle. That has not been the case, however, in SRF’s dealings with me. From the time I first wrote to them, in 1961, of my triumphant success in New Delhi, it has, on their part, been character assassination all the way.

When I wrote the first version of my book, The Path (now titled The New Path; in this version, it has received two major awards), monks and nuns in SRF went through it carefully, line by line, endlessly perusing it for any faults they could find, and counting how many times I—in my own autobiography!—had used the first person pronoun, I.

Never have they addressed any differences between us on the grounds of principle. Always it has been as personal and as damning as possible. If facts could not be supplied, innuendo has been as welcome. Rumors of the worst kind have received exuberant endorsement. A recent statement I heard from their ashram in Encinitas was that I have visited brothels in Nevada! (I’m not sure I’ve ever actually seen a prostitute.) Never has it been a question of what I stood for. Always, it has been what a scoundrel I, personally, am.

SRF members have tried to make a case that we, in our accusations, have been just as bad as they. Not true at all! First of all, our case has always been merely to respond to their accusations. (Always, we’ve pleaded for reconciliation between us.) Second, what have concerned us, always, have been principles.

After their dismissal of me, Daya declared, “He has a ‘great work’ to do, all right—on himself!” Again, petty and personal. Will this attitude ever change? Is there hope for a future reconciliation? I don’t see it. But on my side at least, the hope remains.

They will have first, however, to develop a sense of the wonder and adventure of spreading Master’s vital and important message to the world.

Someone asked me during a question-and-answer recently, “Do you really think you can change the world with what you’re doing?” I replied, “Of course not! But I believe it helps me to think so.” In our expectations, as long as we remain inwardly nonattached, the very sky should be the limit! And what is the limit in SRF? Hardly the sky! It is focused altogether on personalities.


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