Sunday, November 4, 2007

Organization of Shri Ram Chandra Mission (SRCM)

A complex organization

(Last update: February 7, 2007)

The organization of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission ® around the Sahaj Marg ® is complex because it mixes several levels:

- The pyramid of power around the spiritual organization
- The administrative management of this gigantic structure
- The financial management, which is terribly opaque

SRCM, how does it work?

The functioning of the structure is complex because there is no one organization, but a juxtaposition of three separate structures. On the one hand there is a Sahaj Marg for the spiritual growth, on another, a non-profit society SRCM for administrative management and finally, the foundation SMSF, newer and far more opaque who took over most of the substantive aspects as well as the financial aspects.

Spiritual Growth

At the summit, there is the living master of Sahaj Marg, the (contested) spiritual representative of Babuji . At the bottom, there are the 200 to 300,000 abhyasis who claim the mission.

Between the two stands a hierarchy of 4 to 5 levels: the Region, the Zone and a possible Sub-Zone, the Center and finally the Preceptor, the most visible part of the iceberg.

-The Preceptor is an abhyasi chosen and prepared by Chari (or his "representative") to give individual sittings to abhyasis (meditation, cleaning).

- The Center is the venue for weekly meditation group (satsangh). It gathers one or more preceptors around a group of active members, including the head of the center.

- The Zone is highly variable in size, from a group of countries to a portion of a country. If it is large, it is divided into sub-zones. At its head is the Zone-in-charge (ZIC) or Zonal administrator (ZA).

- The Region is a continent or sub-continent, led by an Region-in-charge (RIC).

At each level, Chari designates a preceptor who must promote spiritual growth and submit a monthly report to the next higher level. The person in charge may seek an advisory committee. Thus Chari has his own executive committee composed of his son, his successor and Santosh Khanjee. The RIC have their Advisory Committee. Below this organization begins the imbroglio that mixes spiritual and national administrative structures.

The division of the planet by Chari shows 8 regions: Pacific Oceania, North America, Latin America, Africa and Indian Ocean, Europe, CIS, the Middle East and the rest of Asia. Europe is then divided into 4 major areas: Official French, Spanish and British Isles; Germanic countries; Scandinavia; Italy and Eastern Europe.

For example, France is itself divided into 6 sub- administrative zones with 43 centers for one hundred preceptors and a thousand abhyasis. The first organization is also the pyramid of power, the high levels constituting the bulk of "close associates" (inner circle) of Chari.

Administrative management

At the same time, Chari chairs the SRCM with the Office of the Secretariat for International Affairs (OSIA) led by Santosh Khanjee. It comprises of a number of sectors: finance, ashrams, information technology development, operations and publications. Cette higher council imposes a single model of organization at all levels of government: national or supranational, ashrams and centers. Each and every time, the Management committee of these structures is chaired by Chari who appoints a vice president (or Centre-in-charge, CIC), a secretary and members from his close associates. It is then recommended to add a treasurer, a spokesman, an internal auditor and officials by industries.

In France, the Management Committee gets confused with the Board of Directors of the Association under Act 1901. It is composed of Chari president, a vice president, secretary, treasurer, an internal auditor and a person in charge of external relations as well as a few members, a large portion of whom are foreigners. The official statutes of the association are supplemented by rules that are more in line with the not so democratic practices of the SRCM. There are also various business sectors: finance, internal information, seminars, legal aspects, magazine-publications and centers.

In France, the centers are divided into two categories: 7 major centers with a room dedicated to meditation (rented or owned) and 36 other small centers. Only large centers have a preceptor responsible for the spiritual growth, and a management committee for administration, the beginning of the "gender confusion" between spirituality and administration. There is again different sectors: secretariat and internal communication, finances, but also welcoming comittee, library, workshops, maintenance and repairs.

The ashrams are organized according to the same principles, with an ashram manager and management committee (AMC), who is a deputy warden.

Material and financial aspects

Under the generic term of SMSF hiding in reality 4 foundations, one in Austin, Texas with Santosh Khanjee, one in Switzerland under the leadership of Ferdinand Wulliemier, another in Dubai and the capitalist one lastly, in India. These foundations are managing the assets of the SRCM. Santosh Khanjee also included the different SMRTI's that have come out of the SMRI of Dr. K.C. Varadachari, with their Faculty Members. It is from these laboratories of ideas that emerged the Value Based Spiritual Education (VBSE), the Lalaji Memorial Omega School (LMOS), Centre for Research Education, Sadhana and Training (CREST), etc..

Their operation and the financing they put in place are particularly opaque and not very democratic. Ainsi, for the creation of the Lalaji Memorial Omega School, Chari and SMSF have created 2 parallel structures: Baal Vatika Educational Trust for the financing, the Baal Vatika Educational Society for its operation (now the Lalaji Memorial Educational Society) . And the sole justification, Chari asks the abhyasis to trust him.