Over the years, many have left Ma Jaya's Kashi, realizing that a persistent pattern of ethical lapses has left the promise of the ashram unfulfilled. Indicative of the ashram's inconsistent commitment to basic ethical standards of conduct - particularly the adherence to honesty, accountability and a tolerance for disagreement and dissent - is Krishnapriya's misrepresentation of the circumstances surrounding Richard Rosenkranz's break with the ashram.
Like many before him, Richard left of his own accord, thereby subjecting himself to harassment and intimidation. In her letter, Krishnapriya also misrepresents those who have left Ma's teaching, for in fact, very few have a "deep and long-term" relationship with the ashram; most who have left prefer to have no contact at all.
It is not Richard's purpose to denigrate anyone's right to worship, including that of Kashi members. Rather, he is calling into question Ma Jaya's right to manipulate and control the lives of her followers, in the context of his own divorce settlement.
Kashi is engaged in a campaign to discredit Richard in order to deflect attention from its own shortcomings. These attempts at damage control serve only to highlight Kashi's failures and are not expressions of the core values of compassion, tolerance and, ultimately, wisdom.
Editor's note: Dr. Carol Lourie, Berkeley, Calif., Belinda Anders, Santa Fe, N.M., and Salvatore Conti, Woodridge, N.Y., also signed the letter.