Sikh Dharma Worldwide Legal Fund's notes

by Gursant Singh ⌂ @, Yuba City California USA, Tuesday, June 01, 2010, 14:34 (4160 days ago)
edited by Gursant Singh, Tuesday, June 01, 2010, 15:55

Please read an Excerpt below taken from

"Sikhism and Tantric Yoga"
by Dr. Trilochan Singh (Link to entire book)

The Name of Golden Temple and its Murals

"In England last year a firm advertised some blue jeans as Jesus Jeans. The whole religious world of England rose in one protest and stopped the manufacture of these jeans. The word Golden Temple has become an instrument of commercial affairs of Yogi Bhajan He has now even named shoe stores as Golden Temple. I was given a "Wha Guru Chew.""

"Yogi Bhajan is using the sacred Sikh mantras and the sacred name of Guru Ram Das as a mantle for his Tantric Sex Yoga which will inevitably lead to mental and physical debauchery of those who take his brand of Sikhism contaminated by crazy sex-energizing asanas seriously."

April 8, 2010 - Letter from Judge Roberts regarding issue of standing. Thursday, 08 April 2010 at 08:43
Dear Members of the Khalsa Council and Sadh Sangat,

Sat Nam and blessings to all.

Judge Leslie Roberts of the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon has issued a letter explaining her thinking to date regarding standing in the matter of Sikh Dharma International, et al v. Kartar Singh Khalsa, et al.

While this letter emphatically concludes: “I want to stress that the impressions stated in this letter should not be characterized as a ruling upon any specific motion, or viewed as incapable of being overcome by persuasive or controlling authority to the contrary. It is merely intended as a discussion of my perspective on the threshold issue which may assist counsel in preparing further pleadings, motions and arguments”, the judge has demonstrated through a thorough and considered letter a well formed understanding of the issues and possible bases for relief in this case.

So while she has not ruled on issues such as standing, or the viability of any of the causes of actions, or upon the merits of any pending motions, the depth and detail of her presentation and the substance of her comments is from our perspective both encouraging and informative.

For a copy of the letter, please email your request to sdwlegalfund@gmail.com.

We will continue to keep you informed and are grateful for the continued prayers of the Sadh Sangat.

Blessings,
SS Gurujot Kaur Khalsa
Secretary General
Sikh Dharma Worldwide.Updated about 2 months ago. · Comment · Like..March 29, 2010 - Sat Pavan Kaur (Eugene, OR) on the sale of Golden Temple. Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 19:15
To: 3HO Eugene

Today is a sad day. The sale of GT is going through. After so many of us worked and gave our service and blood, it is ending.

I am upset that the "owners" felt that they had a right to sell this company. I am upset when the name changes and the picture of SSS and GT come down. This was not what we all worked for. This company could have been handed over to the next generation, if the older ones did not want to run it anymore.

This was not the plan the SSS talked about to all of us and this is not why we all worked, making less money, forgoing higher education and other dreams and aspirations.

We watched Herb Tech get sold and did nothing and we knew it was a warning We watched Sunshine get sold and did nothing. (Thankfully it is owned and run by people in the Dharma that run it with integrity.)

We watched members in our community who gave everything to these companies get fired and still we did nothing.

We watched the SSS be taken off the product, his signature removed and anything to do with him removed and with all the pain we felt, we did nothing.

Now GT is being sold and we have to watch it go.

And now there is Yogi and it has no yogi to show for. It is all about profit and for what - nothing.

Answer me, am I wrong, because I want to know. Who are you people and how can you in good faith as humans act this way, steal from your family and how can we as a Sangat continue to do nothing?

SS Sat Pavan Kaur Khalsa
Sikh by birth, Khalsa by choice.Updated about 2 months ago. · Comment · Like
..March 29, 2010 - Gurujodha Singh's response to Guru Terath Singh's "A Global Settlement". Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 19:12
Dear Guru Terath Singh (GTS):

My thoughts on your thoughts-

GTS-“If I were a young man searching for a spiritual path - as I was at one time - and read the emails that have been posted for the world to read over the past year, I would see what appeared to be one group that was a bunch of crooks and the other that was a bunch of very angry, self-righteous, old people. The only thing they would have in common would be their spiritual practices. I would, of course, quickly move on with my search. This is the real danger that the SSS's legacy is facing.”

First, if you are looking for a spiritual path by reading e-mails or searching on Guru.com then you may need to expand your search. Many of us in our youth transcended the dysfunctional and challenging ashram years to make it and experience the beauty and bliss of this path. I am confident that anyone who has an actual experience of these teachings can transcend a few e-mails to walk on their destiny path.

Second, I believe your sense of the “real danger” may be misplaced. SSS wasn’t concerned with marketing, revenue or being popular. He was in my opinion concerned with delivering spiritual technology and a way of life that had a defined identity, mission, values, beliefs and an action plan that relied on the Guru and not the vagaries of human opinion, greed, and doubt. People walked away from this Dharma all the time and I never saw him once change his message or his teaching to appease the masses, get more students or cater to someone’s ego. That’s actually SSS's “legacy” in my opinion- to have the mental, physical and spiritual strength to do what is right (right meaning to speak the Truth and act as your Higher Consciousness demands) no matter what the imagined or perceived consequences.


GTS- "If this goes on, I expect that there will be a well funded SDI with very
few people. There will be a SDW with many more people, but with inadequate, ongoing funding to do much of anything in the years ahead."

Wait a minute, as I recall you stated at the Khalsa Council meetings last year that it was impossible to challenge UI? They had all the power. The documents drafted by Roy Lambert were impenetrable. The businesses couldn’t and wouldn’t be sold because the money would have to go to the non-profits, UI, or its individual members couldn’t get any of that money.

Well, I believe the “jury is still out” on those assertions. What is clear to me is that if we had followed your recommendation and declined to file a lawsuit then at minimum we would never have known about the transfer and sale of GT to GTM, the sale of the GT cereal division and the private ownership of Yogi Tea. We wouldn’t have been able to get a court order at least temporarily locking up any sale proceeds or preventing the sale of other dharmic assets and we wouldn’t be having what I believe is a critical and necessary dialogue as a community. But for the law suit I don't think we would be talking about "A Global Settlement", compromise, or two UI members "retiring".

So, at least by following a different course we have some additional information to add to the discussion and apparently according to your latest proposal we can get rid of 2 UI members. If this trend continues perhaps in another year (or less) we will have a proposal to remove all four UI members.

I think generally what each of us expects and what we see ahead may not be all that relevant to how things resolve. This American version of corruption and betrayal in the Sikh Diaspora is not new or unique it’s just “our time”. In my opinion this is a simple test of faith. This is a test to see if we really trust the Guru and understand that it’s not about what you have ,
it’s about who you(really) are, it is not solely about doing, it’s about being, and if you “be”- the doing gets done and you have more than you need. It’s a tough test, but you can't have discipline without the adversity to test it.

GTS-"There are times when settlements with compromises are very hard to achieve, especially when deep religious principles are involved. Agreeing for the greater good is difficult, because it usually involves one of the most difficult of human emotions to embrace - forgiveness."

I believe it is well settled that in practical terms, it may be necessary for the offender to offer some form of acknowledgment, apology, and/or restitution, or even just ask for forgiveness, in order for the wronged person to believe himself able to forgive., e.g. Thief:” Sir, I am sorry I stole your wallet”, Victim: “I forgive you.” It may be that until the thief admits he stole the wallet, the victim has no opportunity to forgive or the requisite knowledge about what to forgive.

So I believe in the current matter any discussion of” forgiveness” as a precursor to compromise may be premature. Perhaps what we need first is for somebody to “man up” and admit what they did and that it was wrong and injurious, and then determine if forgiveness is an appropriate response.

I think an important part of agreeing for the” greater good” is defining “greater than what” and “good for whom”. In my opinion if you barter your identity and/or your values to avoid conflict then that is not for the greater good. Such a compromise is merely a capitulation to avoid the pain of confrontation. Every bully in the world counts on that response. The men and women of history that I admire and that informed my life held to their principles and their values even when everything was taken from them- their property, their dignity, their freedom, even their life. They were victorious by virtue of their strength of conviction. You may be correct in assuming Obama does not know Guru Gobind Singh, but I bet he knows Martin Luther King.

As a side note I actually believe Obama may be very aware of Sikh Dharma through his close association with Bill Richardson and our Democratic party affiliations in N.M. Former Governor Richardson and many of the public officials, legislators, businessmen who met and interacted with us, with Bibiji and SSS when SSS was alive are and will be concerned if our
organization loses its integrity and/ or if its religious leadership is disrespected. So I think any effort to trivialize the magnitude of this transition and its eventual outcome is a mistake.

GTS-“As difficult as things are, there is a way out that preserves the SSS's directives:”

Since you have not defined the term “SSSs directives” it is difficult to quantify if there is, as you contend, only one way out or if there are multiple alternatives for resolution.

I am of the belief that all members of the UI Board must resign, immediately. This becomes even more important to me when I consider your proposal #2 since UI under your plan gets to determine the next three members (once the two retirees are gone). I think even a cursory examination of the conduct, of all four (4) members of UI, indicates a pattern and practice of participation in, suborning and ratification of conduct that is in direct contravention to their
status as Ministers, their status as Khalsa and the teachings of the SSS. If they are not qualified to serve they are certainly not qualified to select their replacements in my opinion.

GTS-“2. UI appoint replacements when needed to the UI, SDI, SDEI, Sikhnet and Sikh Dharma Affiliate Boards from recommendations given to it by the Khalsa Council. If they do not accept the recommendations, the KC would submit new lists until the appointments are made. This is similar to the US Senate appointing Supreme Court Justices, Cabinet and other high positions from recommendations given by the President.”

Actually the process you describe above is quite dissimilar since the U.S. President is elected every four years and the Senate every six in a popular election. UI members have been appointed for life and at least as I read Roy Lambert's e-mails UI has the all knowing, infinite power of Oz. So the proper checks and balances present in the real world model are not present in your proposed UI appointment process.

GTS-“ 3. There would be no need for SDS to continue to exist, since the original mandate given to the UI Board would be back in place. “

This statement presumes there is a need for SDS now. In my opinion there has never been a” need” for the SDS to exist and they should have resigned long ago.

GTS-“ 4. With respect to SDI Board members and officers, there be a mandatory retirement age of 55.

The last condition is primary and fundamental because it recognizes that there is a third group - the next generation, that can lead us forward. It is a group that can have widespread support and that can, if they see fit, seek advice from those of us who are older and who, under the guidance of the SSS, built the Dharma - but who are also on the verge of destroying it.”

While I don’t agree with such an age limitation on service, I am curious why you feel the 55 mandatory retirement age should only apply to SDI Board Members and officers. If it is so “primary and fundamental” why isn’t it good for all the non-profits, the for profits and UI as well?

Earlier you spoke of “very angry, self-righteous, old people” . Now you are advocating a “mandatory retirement age”. Personally, my environment is filled with people who are passionate and masterful. I am surrounded by folks who have spent the better part of their lives mastering their discipline under the guidance of a Grand Master. Yogis and yoginis, (people who haven’t done just 40 days of sadhana but close to 40 years of daily sadhana), artisans, vegetarian gormet chefs, black belts, master ragis and raginis, healers, religious scholars and business leaders for whom 55 is the new 25. People for whom chronological age is just a number not a defining element of their identity.

So I don’t believe the issue is age. I believe the issue is integrity, willingness to serve and some degree of mastery of your discipline. If you are "old" with nothing to offer, and/or unwilling to serve then yes, step aside, but if your life experience and training informs your life and you can lead others by your example then in my opinion you need to do it- no matter what your chronological age may be.

Dumping this crisis on the” next generation” who ever they are is analogous in my mind to a situation where thieves break into your house, threaten and intimidate your family, load up your big screen TV., the silverware, take your kid’s piggy bank and (maybe even your favorite kayak) and your response is to escort them to the front door, forgive and thank them for taking your stuff and when your kids look up at you and say: “Papa aren’t you going to do something?” you say: “you kids handle it, I’m too old”.

I can appreciate that this is one of many possible responses. It however, it is not one that I would choose.

GTS-“It may be that these events have demonstrated that SDI is no longer a relevant”

I would inquire as to which SDI you are referring- the “original SDI” who were fired and replaced by UI or the new and (un-improved in my opinion) SDI/SDS?

I would agree that since the new SDI/SDS were illegitimately inserted as SDI members by UI they are not, were not, and never will be relevant or legitimate.

If you are speaking of the international body of Sikh Dharma Ministers established by SSS, then I would ask regarding your statement concerning the “relevance” of SDI, relevant to whom or to what? If SDI is not relevant to you, then perhaps you should say that or further define the context so we can agree or disagree with your statement.

Looking at photos of MPA students at the Golden Temple, seeing photos of Sikhs from Chile, South America and other parts of the world serving in Chile alongside yoga students and Sat Nam Rasayan practitioners after the earthquake, being at LA Baisakhi, watching an eight year old recite Ardas at children's camp or attending a Gurdwara in the Espanola, N.M. Gurdwara and then turning on CNN to watch the latest regional war, terrorist attack, or natural disaster is confirmation for me at least, that a viable and functional International body of Sikh Dharma Ministers who have maintained their status, identity, values, psyche and nervous systems as SD ministers is very relevant as we move into the Aquarian age. Such a body is not only relevant, it is in my opinion, an essential part of delivering the sacred technology with which we have been entrusted.

GTS-“Indeed, if this were to happen, the local sangats, 3HO, KRI, WTY, SDEI and Sikhnet will continue to do their work and serve humanity. “

I believe there are a variety of potential outcomes. I believe it is equally valid to assert that since each of the above named entities was conceived, designed, and nurtured by SSS and built on the same vibratory frequency and value based foundation any significant departure from that foundation may weaken or destroy the entire structure and the ability of these non-profits to individually and collectively fulfill their mission and deliver the teachings
with integrity.

GTS-“These times call for extraordinary, conscious leadership. WIll we meet the test?”

I agree that "these times call for extraordinary, conscious leadership”. I think we and others will be repeating that phrase long after most of us leave the planet. However, before we can answer the question: “Will we meet the test?” we need to define the test.

To me the test of extraordinary conscious leadership is and has been on-going. Our teacher met the test and trained us to meet the test. Each time we recite Ardas we refresh our recollection about others known and unknown who met the test- and now it is our turn.

The test is met in my opinion each time, regardless of circumstantial challenge, we as Sikh Dharma Ministers and the Body of the Khalsa, lead and administrate this Dharma, manage its for-profit and non-profit entities, manage its properties and resources in a manner that preserves and protects the sanctity of the teachings, nurtures and grows the entities and the resources with which we have been entrusted for the benefit of future generations, in a way that is consistent with our identity as Khalsa, consistent with our status and vows as Sikh Dharma Ministers, and in alignment with our status as devotees of Siri Guru Granth Sahib and students of the SSS.

Each time we deviate from this standard we do not meet the test.

S.S. Gurujodha S. Khalsa
.Updated about 2 months ago. · Comment · Like..March 29, 2010 - Bir Kaur's (Vancouver, BC) response to UI/SDS communication. Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 19:01
Sat Nam fellow teachers of the Golden Chain,

I am unsure of where to start as I sit to write this letter. I have a tremendous amount of respect and love for the leadership of KRI. Along with Guru Raj Kaur and Hari Singh here in Vancouver, I truly feel as though you are my "elders". I feel the depth of wisdom that has come from 35 plus years of living the teachings of this path. I marvel at the grit and strength of character that must have been needed to make it through those 35 plus years.
From the depth of my soul, I am grateful for your sacrifice, your commitment and your devotion to these teachings that has paved the way for Teachers
like me.


It is for these reasons that I read this letter from the UI board and felt SO angry and betrayed. Not at the words that the UI board wrote and sent to the community of trainers - they can communicate whatever information they want to me - but at the fact that it came through the Aquarian Academy which gives the impression that it has been endorsed by KRI and the Aquarian Academy.


I look to the Aquarian Academy and the leaders of it, to uphold the standard of excellence that our Teacher set for us, that we as leaders MUST uphold in these times. The words communicated by the UI board, while beautiful and flowery, DO NOT uphold this standard of excellence. And they most certainly do not sound anything like the teachings of Yogi Bhajan that they are claiming to be preserving and promoting. No matter how many fancy "new age terms" they use, they cannot hide their pain and anger and the plea for acceptance that this letter is really about.


Unfortunately, when faced with this blatant misuse of the Siri Singh Sahib's teachings (if you can't see God in all, you can't see God at all suddenly means that "anything goes" ??) it elicits anger amongst teachers and trainers who then become more and more "strict" or fanatic trying to balance out such a lack of integrity. I have seen some of these responses on chat boards and emails that have been sent in response to this letter. I am not interested in furthering that agenda either.


The truth however, is that there IS a single look, practice and set of rules that contain this spiritual practice... IT IS CALLED DHARMA!! And, it was captured beautifully in our code of ethics and code of professional standards. What the UI board seems to be suggesting is that these codes are somehow religious things based on guilt and rules based on dividing or
excluding people. NO! It is a standard of excellence that if you can't match, you most certainly cannot water down in order to make yourself feel better about your "journey to experience your own spiritual unfoldment." Is this seriously the message that the KRI Aquarian Academy wants to be sending out to our community of trainers? Is this what we are to teach to the level one students who come to sit before us in their innocence and longing to experience the depth and beauty of this path? It breaks my heart to think that this is the case.

I can only imagine and guess at the challenges that the leadership of KRI is facing at this time. I won't presume to say I understand what those challenges are. What I do know though, is that this has crossed the line and whatever the hesitation has been up to this point to take a stand against what the UI board it doing, it is time to seriously evaluate those reasons.
As a future leader of this dharma, I am counting on you, my elders, to stand up and do what is right in the face of such a distortion of the teachings of this path. Please feel and hear the prayers of support that are with you and act in accordance to what you know to be the truth.

Humbly, with respect and gratitude,

Bir Kaur Khalsa
Vancouver, BC
.Updated about 2 months ago. · Comment · Like..March 27, 2010 - Hari Bhajan Kaur's (Los Angeles, CA) response to UI/SDS communication. Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 18:56
Dear Siri Karm Kaur, Kartar Singh, Peraim Kaur & Sopurkh Kaur,

Sat Nam. Thank you for sharing your thoughts with all of us. Though your words were eloquent and the intention one of "reintroducing"
yourselves a worthy one, for me there is a very clear issue which you have never addressed in any of your communications. Perhaps you did when you spoke to the gathering of the non-profits "to personally express the joy of our spiritual growth and practices." What I sincerely want to know, as I believe many of us do, is where have you been for the last 3-4 years when you were going through the "spiritual growth" that has led you to drop the form and practices of Khalsa? Why did you not communicate openly and authentically of your decisions and why did you so completely ostracize yourself from the sangat and the Khalsa Council? If you truly believe that you have chosen a path of spirituality that represents "more of who you are" why would you not trust that we would honor you for following your heart?

There are two "assumptions" that I can make, neither of which may be true, but because of a lack of transparency by you and by observing actions as they have unfolded over the last couple of years, are what I'm left with. The first is that you think you are now practicing a more evolved form of spiritual practice and that we in the Sikh Dharma community, are not as "realized" as you are. This would account for your decision to stay on as members of the UI Board and for why you have not deemed to join us at meetings, events or to walk among us at all. The other assumption I can make is that you truly believe that it was the intention of the Siri Singh Sahib for the UI Board to be populated by yourselves, without any consideration for the fact that you are no longer practicing Sikhs and that you should continue to reap the benefits from such positions. My question to you on this account is--Where in the history of his life did Siri Singh Sahib ever place a non-Sikh in the position of running our businesses or non-profits? Did I miss something? If so, please enlighten me.

As to "Seeing God in All"--this is a most precious and uplifting vision and is to be referenced with much thought for how we wield these words. Absolutely, as Khalsa, it is our sworn duty to Guru Gobind Singh to always defend and uphold "the God in All." How I see it is that we are like spirals, with our nuclear families, our religious families, cultural, local, national and global families. It all fits together and we must respect Christian, Jew, Muslim, Atheist, all as brothers and sisters. That said, in every family there is a structure and an understanding of the responsibilities of the members and where the schism comes with your being the "head" of this family, is that you may be a role model for some family, you are not the role model for this family--for the Khalsa, for the sangat, for our children and their children and for those you wish to join the Khalsa, to take Amrit, wear bana, chant banis and bow at the feet of the Guru. Maybe you think you are--and if so, please show us, be men and women of courage and sit and speak with us--even those you think are "gossiping and spreading rumors," because if you do not do so and if you do not prove conclusively to us that you can be trusted and that this is the dawning of a new and brighter day for the Khalsa, then you will never have our trust, you will never have our support and the UI Board and all of your communications and actions will be looked upon with suspicion and as self-serving.

I'm a Taurus and have a pretty patient and contented nature, but show me the red flag and I will charge. I have been in the Dharma for over 35 years and "grew up" with the four of you--lived in Oregon with Kartar & Sopurkh, worked at Yogi Tea when we rolled the ingredients in big barrels, and have hugged and cried and triumphed with you all over the years. I ask you, from my heart, to bring your highest and most courageous self to bear in responding to not only my questions, but the deep pain of this community, those who are feeling betrayed and lost and confused and, frankly, infuriated, at the thought that what they value most--these teachings, this Khalsa path, is not THE most important priority of their leaders and is something that they would lay down their lives for without one second of hesitation. This is what we desire. This is what we deserve. This is who we are and always will be. Can you rise to that standard? If so, join us and be willing to put your beliefs, your decisions and your actions on the line. If this does not happen, if we are only fed these words of unity and "common spirit" then they are just that, words, words that fly away with the slightest breeze, with no anchor of courage and commitment to heal, uplift and serve the people they are spoken to.

May the Guru always guide us to our highest destiny.

Peace, love, light,
Hari Bhajan Kaur Khalsa
Los Angeles.Updated about 2 months ago. · Comment · Like..March 27, 2010 - Seva Kaur Khalsa's (Los Angeles, CA) response to UI/SDS communication. Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 18:53
Beloved Members of Khalsa Council,
Sat Nam.

As I read the letters from the Unto Infinity Board and the Sikh Dharma Stewardship, the words were elevating, noble and openhearted. However, I am unable to accept these words to be the truth. There is a gap between the meaning of your words and what I know to be true as a Sikh, a woman in our Dharma, a student of the Siri Singh Sahib/Yogi Bhajan, and a former employee of Golden Temple.

I began this spiritual path in the early seventies in Eugene, Oregon. We worked long hours at the bakery, 'the bakes' and hand wrapped Wha Guru Chews in the ashram living room. Kartar Singh was one of the 'ji's and together we baked, packaged and delivered bread, granola, and natural candy. Our beginnings were humble. Yogi Tea began a few years later in Los Angeles, of which I was involved. Throughout the years, I have helped create and design packaging, websites, ad campaigns and sales materials for Golden Temple, Yogi Tea, Peace Cereal, Sunshine Oils, and Wha Guru Chews. I have sat in numerous meetings with the Siri Singh Sahib, where he spoke so clearly about our products, what they do and how they heal, about the importance of his picture and signature on our products, about our mission and, yes, about our salaries. There was never any doubt that his picture belonged on our packaging, or that our businesses and products were meant to serve and fund our Dharma or that our sacrifices were not part of the cosmic plan. Peace Cereal, an unusual concept in the food industry, was created to help fund Peace Prayer Day and position us as advocates of peace. Yogi Tea, became number one in the health food industry with packaging that contained our Sikh shabads and 3HO songs on the flap and breath of fire on the top. Our websites featured Yogi Bhajan and his incredible story. We had successfully created products which aligned with who we are as a spiritual Sikh community.

Now things are very different. Since the Siri Singh Sahib left us in 2004, Wha Guru Chews is gone; Sunshine Oils is gone, although in the capable hands of our brother Sat Kartar Singh; a portion of Golden Temple has been transferred for $100 into the hands of eight people who stand to profit generously; Peace Cereal is in the process of being sold; and Yogi Tea no longer is called Yogi Tea, no longer has the Siri Singh Sahib/Yogi Bhajan's picture or signature on the package and no longer is branded as 'the tea that takes you on a spiritual journey'. Our boxes have simple pictures of a cup with herbs, in keeping with our competitors packaging.

Since the Siri Singh Sahib left us, dedicated people around the world have lost their jobs; board members have been replaced with others more sympathetic to the UI Board; the Siri Sikhdhar Sahib, the Baisahiba and the Secretary General have been fired; the members of SDI have been fired and are being replaced; and Khalsa Council has been cancelled.

This does not even touch on money and I believe this to be our major issue. Given by your salaries and your actions since 2004, it seems to me that you, the members of the UI Board, believe that a major portion of the money from the profits of our businesses belongs to you personally. That you have earned it through your sacrifice and your years of service. That the initials after your names have made you entitled to this wealth. Remember, we have all journeyed on this path together. No one is high and no one is low. We sacrificed as we were called. Through our commitment, our sadhana and our spiritual practice we learned the art of surrender. There is no doubt and our history shows, that these businesses were created to fund our Dharma and our 3HO and Sikh lifestyles. They were not created to make a few people wealthy.

At one point when I was working for Golden Temple, I asked the Siri Singh Sahib/Yogi Bhajan for a raise in my salary. I wanted more money and I felt it was deserved. I had no retirement to speak of. He laughed at me and said he would not increase my salary, but he would pay me every time I played kirtan. He, conversely, said he would charge me every time I cleaned his room. This was his beauty as our teacher. It was an honor to clean his room for which I had to pay for that honor. And to play kirtan, he was honored to hear any of us sing the Guru's shabads. Similarly, members of the Unto Infinity board, it is an honor to be chosen to be a leader. It is an honor to oversee our communities and our teachings. It is an honor to manage the millions of dollars of profits from our Dharmic businesses. And for this honor, you similarly have to sacrifice. The transparency which you now claim to have, this communication after years of silence and the creation of the Sikh Dharma Stewardship website does not undo the damage you have done to our community. The Siri Singh Sahib/Yogi Bhajan said to me, "Look around you Seva. All of this is yours." This Dharma we have built, our Gurdwaras and ashrams, our Dharmic businesses, our schools, our library of teachings, our big spiritual family - yes, it all belongs to each of us. To protect. To honor. And to fight for.

Wahe Guru Ji Ka Khalsa
Wahe Guru Ji Ki Fateh

With love,
Seva Kaur Khalsa
Los Angeles/Oak Hills, CA
.Updated about 2 months ago. · Comment · Like..Siblings of Destiny Meeting - April 21 - 24, 2010, Espanola, NM. Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 18:50
March 28, 2010

Dear Siblings of Destiny,

Sat Nam and greetings in the Name of God, the light of every soul, and in the Name of Guru, the life of every Sikh.

We are looking forward to having the Khalsa join together on April 21st through April 24th for very historic meetings in Espanola, New Mexico. It is a privilege to serve this esteemed body as we move forward in service and leadership to the Dharma.

The following is some information regarding these meetings:

Meeting Schedule:

April 21 (Wednesday) 5:30 pm Gurdwara & opening ceremonies

April 21 (Wednesday) 6:30 pm Dinner at the Gurubachan’s Home

April 22 - 24 (Thurs-Sat) 9:00 am – 5:30 pm Meetings at McCurdy School

Meeting Location:

Our meetings will be held at the McCurdy School located at 261 South McCurdy Road in Espanola, New Mexico. The school has a large gymnasium which will accommodate our full-body meeting and our meal area, and several meeting rooms for breakout groups. Please bring sheepskins and/or cushions to make your seats more comfortable, as we will be using metal folding chairs. We also have the space to do some of our meditations and banis seated together on the floor.

Attendance:

It is essential in planning for the meeting to know how many will be attending. If you are attending the meeting, please e-mail Siri Dharma Kaur at siblingsofdestiny@gmail.com simply saying “Attending”, by April 5th.

Meeting Fee:

The Meeting Fee will be $215. This will be used to cover all meeting expenses, and is tax deductible. Meeting fees must be paid in advance or upon arrival. We humbly request that you send your meeting fee is as soon as possible. You may make your payment by check, credit card, or cash (at Registration). Make your check payable to: “Siblings of Destiny Meeting”, and mail to:


Siblings of Destiny Meeting

Sikh Dharma, 551 W. Cordova, #407,

Santa Fe, NM 87505

If you wish to pay by credit card, please call Amrit Kaur at: (505) 629-1562.

Airfare Pool:

We will be utilizing the Airfare Pool, through which we equalize the airfare for all attending members. Siri Dharma Kaur will send a separate letter with the Airfare pool information including the allowable airfare costs from each city based on the airline fares booked at coach fare at least 14 days in advance. She will then send out the Airfare Pool calculations once attendance is known.

Observers:

If members of your sangat are interested in coming as observers to this meeting, please direct them to send a written request to Siri Dharma Kaur: siblingsofdestiny@gmail.com . Observers pay the full Meeting Fee ($215) and ideally attend all three days of the meetings.

Local Transportation:

We suggest you make your reservations now for car or shuttle service. For shuttle service from the Albuquerque airport to Santa Fe or Espanola, the following are available: Sandia Shuttle (888-833-2300), Twin Hearts (800-654-9456) and Road Runner (505-424-3367).

Housing Accommodations:

Housing accommodations can be made directly with members of the Espanola Sangat.

The following are hotels and rentals in Espanola:

Moderate price range: Comfort Inn (800-221-2222), Day’s Inn (800-325-2525), our local Amrit Nivas (505-753-5086), or our local Golden Dome Studios (505-747-0979).

Higher price range: Anthony’s at the Delta (753-9466) or our local Bali Suites (505-255-8278 ext.100)

If you have any questions, or if you need further information please contact Siri Dharma Kaur at: siblingsofdestiny@gmail.com, or call 575-535-2121.

We are looking forward to our upcoming Siblings of Destiny Meeting, where we will gather as the leadership body of the Khalsa to continue to fulfill our individual and collective destiny in service to the Siri Singh Sahib and the future of our Dharma. We look forward to having your presence at these auspicious meetings.

Through Guru Nanak and Guru Gobind Singh, may His Name forever increase and the Spirit be exalted, and may all people prosper by Thy Grace.

Blessings to all,

SS Gurujot Kaur Khalsa
.Updated about 2 months ago. · Comment · Like..March 26, 2010 - Gurujodha Singh's (Bakersfield, CA) response to the UI letter to the Khalsa Council. Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 18:47
March 26, 2010

The Unto Infinity Board: Kartar Singh Khalsa, Peraim Kaur Khalsa, Siri Karm Kaur Khalsa, and Sopurkh Kaur Khalsa

I have received and read your March 25, 2010 letter. Below is my response as a Minister of Sikh Dharma, as a member of the Khalsa Council and as a student of the SSS.

First let me first share my own simple message- to paraphrase Kabir- a lie is like someone sitting in the corner eating garlic-sooner or later everybody knows.

From your recent and past communication, it appears to me that you don’t want to be part of an identifiable spiritual community. It appears to me that you want the status, control, the financial benefit, and recognition of leadership but not the responsibility and accountability of actually having to live what you purport to espouse and teach. It is my belief that in the age of truth, however, one cannot expect to inform or uplift anyone with a lie.

Based on what I have read the UI was not created as “overseers”. You were given an opportunity to serve this community as sevadars. And please when you use the words” based on the teachings of the Siri Singh Sahib/Yogi Bhajan”, it is my preference that you use an asterisk or other clarifying phrase to indicate that what you mean is the “teachings that we(UI) believe we can conveniently practice, and forget the rest.”

If I take your statements in this letter at face value:” The members of Unto Infinity oversee the corporate boards,……, based on the teachings of the Siri Singh Sahib/ Yogi Bhajan, you are no longer qualified to “over see” this organization or its resources. The SSS did not teach that dharmic business should be transferred to individuals, he did not teach that when you
get a lot of money, or feel “conveniently evolved” you should abandon your spiritual identity, or yogic principles regarding maintaining one’s hair, the consumption of intoxicants and the consumption of meat. He didn’t teach that when some one asks hard questions you should lie or deliberately hide the facts- so if by your own admission, your ability to “oversee” is based on this fundamental criteria-“the teachings of Siri Singh Sahib/Yogi Bhajan” then in my opinion you are no longer qualified to populate the UI Board.

By the way, I love the “overseer” concept you have put forward and the line “Unto Infinity is not the one who does the work. Our job is to facilitate your work.” When do we break out the mint juleps? I guess all us chilluns ought to be mighty happy that Massa UI is up in the Big House lookin’ out for us.

In my opinion if you are not ready to do the work, then you need to be gone. Retire on your own dime and your own time. The SSS worked with UI (you and I) the same way he worked with everybody. Despite your inflated self-opinion all he provided was the way. If you don’t walk the way you don’t have the teachings or the wisdom contained therein, no matter how many copyrighted videos you control. You folks don’t know any more than any of the other
hundreds if not thousands of intelligent, successful, aware people in this organization that have been faithfully practicing this technology for the last thirty plus years. You didn’t get an autographed special yoga manual or a secret handshake so let that bit of animated fantasy go.

As I understand 3HO-Sikh Dharma we don’t have “individual missions” and “various organizations” we have one mission with multiple delivery points. The seed and the tree are one even though there are many branches bearing much fruit. Without truth and without an identity that reflects and embodies truth then the seed is corrupt, the tree is corrupt and the fruit while it might look good will not nourish.

I find it curious that you could not attend the Khalsa Council meetings last year in order to “begin a fresh process to introduce (y)ourselves and (y)our perspectives” before the entire Khalsa Council, but after being sued and basically busted regarding your pattern and practice of conduct inconsistent with the SSS’s teachings and vision, exposing your self-professed abandonment of your role as Ministers and trustees for this dharma you had an “epiphany” and called together a still unnamed group to make this presentation.

(I checked my mailbox, e-mail accounts and phone messages and I didn’t get an invite)

If you are truly sincere then you will resign immediately as members of UI to free up the space for individuals with the qualifications and commitment to fill the position.

If you want to demonstrate true commitment to SSS/YB’s global mission then you will immediately rescind the transfer of Golden Temple to Golden Temple Management and terminate the sale of Golden Temple cereal division.

Your synopsis of your recent meeting says to me that you gathered some folks together, that you admitted that you have abandoned your status as Ministers, you acknowledged that you have abandoned the SSS’s teachings( which of course you are committed to protect and preserve, but not practice) – and since I have not seen any letters calling for your resignation from the people, who attended this meeting, I am free to speculate that the people
there with you acknowledged that as long as the money is flowing, they were O.K. with your conduct and your status as members of UI.

As a child of the 70’s I am all for “joy”, “what feels right”, “creative flow” and” groovy man”. One might be inclined to argue and ask:” After all isn’t this why we came to study yoga, so we could get off on a “natural high”, man. Did we really sign up for some Eastern religion where we have to stand out, wear a turban and a” dress” with some “skinny pants”? Can't can we just “grow” and have some “unique surprises”( read get rid of the crap that we really don’t want to do)”. My answer is you can, but you can’t lead this organization or control its for-profit, non-profit entities, assets and resources.

As for personal transformation and change, if the technology and your prayers have allowed you to evolve into individuals who are no longer qualified to lead this organization, then accept the next logical step in that “evolution” and move on. I am fine with “transformation” and I invite you to transform your selves right on out of here. Leave the resources, the
money, the business and the land and those of us who are still “un-evolved” will handle it from here

While in your opinion or limited view there is "no single look, practice, nor set of rules that can capture that infinite spirit through any defined conformity," our job, as I understand the way it was defined by SSS is not to capture the “infinite spirit” and skip through the fields scattering flowers. Our job is to serve. We were trained that in order to optimize and facilitate that service people need to recognize and find us immediately by sight, not after some all night gestalt session.

Besides we are musical and music has rules of rhythm and laws of harmony. Within that defined musical structure there is infinite space for individual creativity. The same is true with the identity of the Khalsa as we have demonstrated by creating everything from women’s turbans, the evolution of turban styles, to malas, stylized kirpans and embroidered bana. Just like music, as Khalsa we have to play the right notes so people can recognize the
song- how each of us plays that song has infinite possibilities for individual creative expression within the form.

So if you are espousing the old Hippie anthem: “I’m still afraid of rules, man” and you are still conforming to non-conformity- let it go. It’s a new day.

As I read it, your view of discipline is that it is “a means to experience (y)our eternal unfoldment”. That’s nice. Since you said it, I hope you know what it means. In my experience and opinion the discipline we have been trained in provides the wisdom and the endurance to serve when it’s not convenient. As the world changes even more dramatically the training and aligned strength we have developed will allow us to serve effectively under greater and greater adversity.

I too like “blossoms” and I also like reality. In my opinion the flowers of mutual appreciation, love, peace and unity will not bloom on a tree watered by secrecy, misrepresentation and intimidation.

I am intrigued with your statement that:

“Some people have started to create separation by choosing who is accepted and who is not. The core teaching Siri Singh Sahib chose to print on his business card was “If you can’t see God in All, you can’t see God at all.” We feel that our community can be a leader in setting an example for peaceful co-existence, upliftment and service.”


Let’s put to rest this nonsensical argument that “some people” have started to create separation by choosing “who is accepted and who is not”.

What the law suit says is that if you were trusted by the SSS and the community to watch over money or other resources meant for the community and instead you manipulated your trusted status, changed documents, fired Ministers, and took, used, or misappropriated resources meant for the community for your own personal benefit then you need to be removed from your trusted position, undo what you did, and give back what you took.

What I and others Ministers have said is that if SSS appointed you to lead based on your status as a Sikh Dharma Minister, a set of standardized qualifications that were/are consistent with SSS's teachings and the teachings of the Guru’s (And Guru Ram Das sits on the Throne of Kundalini Yoga) and you abandon your status, those qualifying elements, misappropriate assets meant for the community, abandon a large body of the teachings which have to do with diet, hair, intoxicants and maintaining a functional, recognizable, organic spiritual identity, then you are no longer qualified to lead this community, control its policies or manage its entities, businesses and assets.

By saying the above, I have made no statement regarding your status as an accepted and recognized creature of God’s creation. You are simply in my opinion no longer qualified and acceptable as a leader of this community.

As far as seeing God in all, I can see the God in the rattle snake, it doesn’t mean I will underestimate God’s infinite creative wisdom in designing the rattle snake and put my hand out so it can bite me.

In my opinion the foundation of the teachings shared by SSS/YB is the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. The Guru can’t be bought, sold, or intimidated. Every single day it speaks the truth. Every moment of our training, every lecture, every sadhana, every class was/is is designed in my opinion to prepare and align our nervous systems, mind and body to hear, absorb and act in a manner
consistent with its wisdom. The status of the technology of Kundalini yoga and the disciplined life of a Sikh are intertwined. We get up early, read Japji , chant:”Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo”, we do some BOF, stretch pose, meditate on God’s name all so we can be most awake and open to hear the words of the Guru, every day. For some this may be a tough pill to swallow because the discipline required to grow spiritually on this path becomes less about preference (where the ego still has some leverage) and more about duty, sacrifice, service and doing the right thing(where the ego has to be conisistently wrestled down to zero)

In the final analysis it is my view that this sacred technology: Kundalini Yoga, Shabd Guru, White Tantric Yoga, Naad Yoga and the ancillary technologies to which we have been exposed and in which we are trained are not the personal domain or property of any individual or group, they are not just for the folks who “play ball”, or “the inner circle” or any of that nonsense. The full array of technologies are available to the world through all of us. As the initial trustees of that technology we have a duty in my opinion to present this technology with the same integrity and consciousness with which it was presented to us. We were left with instructions, a blueprint and a mandate to develop and maintain the skills, discipline, identity and attributes of the Khalsa in order to safeguard, protect, preserve, and share this sacred information as we transition from the Piscean to the Aquarian Age. Whether we follow these instructions, maintain the skills, discipline, identity and attributes will of course be up to us and will in large measure in my opinion impact our success in fulfilling our mission.

In closing, I think it is both tragic and unfortunate that you, the members of UI continue to leverage the trust of the SSS, use his words, his teachings and members of the community to facilitate your own personal agenda and to justify your own inability to admit to yourselves perhaps, but certainly to the community that you have breached SSS’s trust, manipulated SSS’s words, abandoned SSS’s teachings and betrayed your teacher and a community that
counted on you to deliver.

S.S. Gurujodha Singh Khalsa
.Updated about 2 months ago. · Comment · Like..April Meeting of the Leadership Body of the Khalsa. Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 17:48
Dear Members of the Khalsa Council,

Sat Nam and blessings to all. It has been my privilege along with many of you to serve the Khalsa Council for many years and to sit amongst such a wise, compassionate and dedicated group of Sikh Dharma Ministers and devoted students of the Siri Singh Sahib. By Guru’s grace, I hope to continue to sit with you for many years to come as we serve this sacred Dharma and share the precious teachings imparted to us by our beloved Teacher and the wisdom of the Shabad Guru.

In the most recent court hearing, the judge issued a preliminary ruling that according to the by-laws the UIB had the legal authority to remove the former board members of Sikh Dharma International. This ruling may only be in effect for the duration of the case which is tentatively scheduled to go to trial in January of 2011. One of the reliefs requested will be to permit the Khalsa Council to elect the leadership of the Dharma. The outcome will be in the hands of God and Guru.

On March 18th, the Khalsa Council members received a letter from the newly constituted SDI Board informing them that “Sikh Dharma International has chosen to cancel the Khalsa Council Spring meetings”. Responses from Khalsa Council members to that pronouncement and seeming disregard for this esteemed leadership body of Ministers have ranged from disappointment to outrage.

This past weekend, as had been planned for many months, the Executive Committee, which includes representatives from all the sections of the Khalsa Council, met in Espanola, in what was now an unofficial meeting, to discuss the current situation, to review the input for the agenda items submitted by Khalsa Council members over the past few months, and to see how to best move forward.

After a very heart-felt and dynamic meeting, and in response to the request of many members to continue to hold the meetings, the Executive Committee respectfully invites the members of the Khalsa Council to meet together on April 21st – 24th in New Mexico for meetings where we will discuss and create together the future of our Dharma and where we can continue to fulfill our destiny in service to the Siri Singh Sahib. These meetings will be facilitated and managed by the team which has led and served our meetings in the past. In order to respect the recent court ruling, we cannot convene these meetings officially as the “Khalsa Council of SDI”. We propose that we continue our important time-honored tradition of meeting twice per year as the leadership body of the Khalsa. We will be meeting as Siblings of Destiny, answering the call of our souls to serve the Guru.

We have secured the McCurdy School, which will comfortably accommodate all aspects of our meetings. We humbly request that attendees pay their meeting fee of $215 on arrival or prior to the meetings, as we are working with a limited budget. We will also be continuing the airfare pool system. We are no longer managing the Khalsa Council monthly dues, so we will only be collecting the meeting fees and airfare pool funds which will be used exclusively for the expenses of the meeting. Details about the meeting fee payment and airfare pool information will follow. You will be receiving a phone call and/or an e-mail to confirm your attendance as it is important that we have an accurate count of the attendance in order to properly plan the meetings.

This is a very critical as well as an auspicious time to gather as the leadership body of the Khalsa, to share, to support, to heal and to vision how we can move forward in service and in unity. We look forward to these very significant meetings of the Khalsa, and hope you will be able to attend.

Blessings,
SS Gurujot Kaur Khalsa on behalf of
The Executive Committee.Updated about 2 months ago. · Comment · Like..March 20, 2010 - Further clarification on the lawsuit by Hari Nam Singh (Portland, OR). Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 17:46
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Khalsa Council,

As promised, I would like to present my own perspective of what has happened up to this point in regard to the lawsuit, and in particular to this issue of "standing". Many people have called or written me about all this, so perhaps it would be a more efficient use of my time and energy to lay all of this out as fairly and concisely as I can.

The proceedings in Multnomah County Circuit Court have provoked, in my opinion, an onslaught of rumors, misinformation, "spin" and conjecture. Some of this is due to simple lack of understanding of the complexity of the legal issues involved. Some of it no doubt is due to "grandstanding" and "rooting for the home team." I have been unabashed in my support for this suit and what it stands for. However, my bias regarding the outcome of the case has in no way clouded my neutrality and clarity about what is actually happening in the courtroom. It's a place I'm very familiar with and I do understand exactly where this case sits. I'll do my best to boil it down to its essence and hopefully that will be sufficient for those of you out there looking for more clarification.

1. We are still at the pre-trial stage and this may still go on for awhile. Normally in any case, but particularly in a case as complex as this one, there is a lot of jockeying for position before the main event (assuming there will be a "main event", but more on that later). This case is no exception. Let me take you through some of these preliminary bouts.

2. Defendants moved to have our attorneys removed, more or less taking the position that since the SDI board was lawfully removed (in their opinion) from their positions and the attorneys were representing that group of people, the attorneys really had no client to represent and they certainly had no authority from UI/SDS to sue defendants. The judge DID NOT grant defendants' motion to remove counsel; meaning, the attorneys still are very much on the case and the judge has not come close to saying that there is no rightful plaintiff in the court or no real client for the attorneys to represent.

3. Plaintiffs also moved to remove Roy Lambert and his law firm from the case, primarily due to conflict of interest; i.e., Mr. Lambert was legal counsel for the original SDI Board, had knowledge of its inner workings and historical facts, thus could not now fairly represent another party against the interests of the very group of people he had previously represented. The judge also denied plaintiffs' motion to remove counsel and for this reason....even though the judge herself was clear that Lambert's involvement at this point in time did not pass "the smell test", plaintiffs were not able to show specifically how they would be prejudiced by Mr. Lambert's continued participation in the case, which is necessary to get him removed. The judge did however gratuitously share with him that if she were him, she'd be concerned that the dual representation could eventually lead to a malpractice suit or bar complaint. This is one of the subtleties of the legal system that people have had difficulty wrapping their brain around. If somebody is engaging in conduct that could very well lead to malpractice or disbarment, how can he still remain on the case. And I guess my answer unfortunately is, that's the way it is. Unless we show specifically, not hypothetically, how our case will be prejudiced, she has no grounds to remove him. (I'm not saying that there aren't grounds to challenge the judge's legal ruling, but I do understand her reasoning).

4. The plaintiffs also had on the table a motion for restraining order,ostensibly to prevent the sale of part or all of the business being sold off by the plaintiffs before the case was resolved. At the last moment, the parties entered into a stipulation whereby plaintiffs would not oppose the sale of the cereal business and defendants agreed to do or not do various things, including putting the proceeds of the sale into escrow. The terms of that stipulation were stated in great detail in previous emails, so I will not go through them again. But I do want to repeat what I mentioned in an earlier correspondence and that is that without having filed this lawsuit we would have not received any of these concessions whatsoever and who knows how far they would have already gone. The fact is that the attorneys for defendants only felt compelled to negotiate because they were unwilling to invite the possibility that the judge would somehow nullify a multimillion dollar sale that was all but done. These kinds of 11 o'clock deals are also very common in pretrial maneuvering.

5. More recently, defendants brought a motion to dismiss, and this was the matter just heard before the court. There has been probably more misunderstanding regarding this court hearing than any other aspect of the case. It is correct that the judge ultimately ruled that the members of the original SDI Board did not have "legal standing" within the scope of that role. And people are responding, "That's outrageous, this is a total sham, this is a miscarriage of justice." OK, here we go.

What is "standing" in a legal case?

a) You have a clearly identifiable individual or legal entity,

b) That person has suffered an identifiable legal harm (i.e., I was wrongfully discharged and that cost me $50G),

c) The plaintiff is able to state the remedy the court should grant if he/she proves his/her case, and

d) This is actually the type of legal claim that this court has the authority to adjudicate. I'm not here to advocate a legal position. Perhaps the judge's ruling on this particular issue will be appealed sometime up the road. However, I do understand where she is coming from and I don't think it was completely off-base. However, contrary to the defendant's throwing a premature champagne party celebrating total victory (as evidenced by Ek Ong Kaar's recent email on behalf of the defendants), helloooooo.....one thing that was not mentioned.....the judge DID NOT, I repeat DID NOT grant the motion to dismiss. To the contrary, the hearing (the longest pretrial hearing I've ever attended) ran for almost three hours, during which the judge herself discussed with the attorneys numerous theories upon which "standing" could be argued, as well as the pros and cons of every theory. At the end of the day, the "standing" issue was left, well, still standing. The judge gave plaintiffs two months to file an amended complaint, at which time the "standing" issue, the only thing really standing (no pun intended) between where we are now and trial before jury.

6. As I mentioned in my email last night, the assertion that the judge has somehow declared the "new" SDI the real representatives of Sikh Dharma is so ludicrous that I will not even give it the dignity of further comment. Suffice it to say that this did not happen. To the contrary, this judge has demonstrated many times in the courtroom her absolute unwillingness to preside over any dispute regarding religious doctrine or how the religion itself is run. She is taking a strict adherence to the constitutional mandate of separation of church and state, as she should. Nobody wants a judge running their religion and she has shown no intention of doing that. Basically at this time all she is saying is that based on the documents in front of her, this UI Board, whatever louses they may be, appear to have the absolute authority to do virtually anything they want. But it bears repeating, "at this time". If and when we get this to trial and have the benefit of all the discovery we are already reviewing, then we will have the opportunity to challenge the legitimacy of this board and their decisions, including their removal and appointment of subordinate boards. Again, if we can get through this "standing" hoop, the scenery will start changing rapidly. But this assertion that the judge declared UI and the "new" SDI to be the lawful representatives of Sikh Dharma is not merely a gratuitous exaggeration of her ruling, it is an outright lie. Sorry to be so blunt about it, but if somebody is so bold as to intentionally put out that kind of crap with the intent to deceive or foster insecurity in the community, a spade must be called a spade.

7. Regardless of what you may have heard from others, even those who weren't within 1500 miles of these hearings, the judge has reprimanded the attorneys on both sides in regard to where their presentation of the case has fallen short. From our side of the bench, this is what she is asking us to do. The complaint, which really represents the map of the case, has to be more concisely drafted and get to the point: who is your plaintiff, why does this plaintiff have standing, what is the wrong that this court has the authority to address, and what remedy are you asking this court to order that this court has authority to order. Don't just tell me your getting screwed and that's that. Cite me legal authority (statute, case law) supporting your position why you have the right to bring this case in this courtroom. Bam, bam, bam. I don't have any problem with her approach and at this point it doesn't matter what my opinion of her ruling is. She's the judge and we need to play by her rules. So we have one job and one job alone to do and this is to write the brief the way she wants it. To give this some context...our original brief I believe was something like 90 pages. I have no doubt we can effectively state our claims in 5-10 pages and be on to the next stage of the case. At this point, I cannot guarantee that we will be able to ultimately make a case for "standing"; we do have work to do on this issue. However, I heard enough thoughtful dialogue on the issue emanating from the last hearing to understand that there still are numerous and substantial theories of law to get over this hump. Bottom line: we have two months to get this right and jump through this hoop. I don' want to reveal to the other side what our legal strategy is going to be, but I am reasonably confident we will clear this bar.

8.

Sikh Dharma Worldwide Legal Fund's notes

by Gursant Singh ⌂ @, Yuba City California USA, Wednesday, June 02, 2010, 12:48 (4159 days ago) @ Gursant Singh

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March 20, 2010 - Further clarification on the lawsuit by Hari Nam Singh (Portland, OR). Tuesday, 30 March 2010 at 17:46
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Khalsa Council,

As promised, I would like to present my own perspective of what has happened up to this point in regard to the lawsuit, and in particular to this issue of "standing". Many people have called or written me about all this, so perhaps it would be a more efficient use of my time and energy to lay all of this out as fairly and concisely as I can.

The proceedings in Multnomah County Circuit Court have provoked, in my opinion, an onslaught of rumors, misinformation, "spin" and conjecture. Some of this is due to simple lack of understanding of the complexity of the legal issues involved. Some of it no doubt is due to "grandstanding" and "rooting for the home team." I have been unabashed in my support for this suit and what it stands for. However, my bias regarding the outcome of the case has in no way clouded my neutrality and clarity about what is actually happening in the courtroom. It's a place I'm very familiar with and I do understand exactly where this case sits. I'll do my best to boil it down to its essence and hopefully that will be sufficient for those of you out there looking for more clarification.

1. We are still at the pre-trial stage and this may still go on for awhile. Normally in any case, but particularly in a case as complex as this one, there is a lot of jockeying for position before the main event (assuming there will be a "main event", but more on that later). This case is no exception. Let me take you through some of these preliminary bouts.

2. Defendants moved to have our attorneys removed, more or less taking the position that since the SDI board was lawfully removed (in their opinion) from their positions and the attorneys were representing that group of people, the attorneys really had no client to represent and they certainly had no authority from UI/SDS to sue defendants. The judge DID NOT grant defendants' motion to remove counsel; meaning, the attorneys still are very much on the case and the judge has not come close to saying that there is no rightful plaintiff in the court or no real client for the attorneys to represent.

3. Plaintiffs also moved to remove Roy Lambert and his law firm from the case, primarily due to conflict of interest; i.e., Mr. Lambert was legal counsel for the original SDI Board, had knowledge of its inner workings and historical facts, thus could not now fairly represent another party against the interests of the very group of people he had previously represented. The judge also denied plaintiffs' motion to remove counsel and for this reason....even though the judge herself was clear that Lambert's involvement at this point in time did not pass "the smell test", plaintiffs were not able to show specifically how they would be prejudiced by Mr. Lambert's continued participation in the case, which is necessary to get him removed. The judge did however gratuitously share with him that if she were him, she'd be concerned that the dual representation could eventually lead to a malpractice suit or bar complaint. This is one of the subtleties of the legal system that people have had difficulty wrapping their brain around. If somebody is engaging in conduct that could very well lead to malpractice or disbarment, how can he still remain on the case. And I guess my answer unfortunately is, that's the way it is. Unless we show specifically, not hypothetically, how our case will be prejudiced, she has no grounds to remove him. (I'm not saying that there aren't grounds to challenge the judge's legal ruling, but I do understand her reasoning).

4. The plaintiffs also had on the table a motion for restraining order,ostensibly to prevent the sale of part or all of the business being sold off by the plaintiffs before the case was resolved. At the last moment, the parties entered into a stipulation whereby plaintiffs would not oppose the sale of the cereal business and defendants agreed to do or not do various things, including putting the proceeds of the sale into escrow. The terms of that stipulation were stated in great detail in previous emails, so I will not go through them again. But I do want to repeat what I mentioned in an earlier correspondence and that is that without having filed this lawsuit we would have not received any of these concessions whatsoever and who knows how far they would have already gone. The fact is that the attorneys for defendants only felt compelled to negotiate because they were unwilling to invite the possibility that the judge would somehow nullify a multimillion dollar sale that was all but done. These kinds of 11 o'clock deals are also very common in pretrial maneuvering.

5. More recently, defendants brought a motion to dismiss, and this was the matter just heard before the court. There has been probably more misunderstanding regarding this court hearing than any other aspect of the case. It is correct that the judge ultimately ruled that the members of the original SDI Board did not have "legal standing" within the scope of that role. And people are responding, "That's outrageous, this is a total sham, this is a miscarriage of justice." OK, here we go.

What is "standing" in a legal case?

a) You have a clearly identifiable individual or legal entity,

b) That person has suffered an identifiable legal harm (i.e., I was wrongfully discharged and that cost me $50G),

c) The plaintiff is able to state the remedy the court should grant if he/she proves his/her case, and

d) This is actually the type of legal claim that this court has the authority to adjudicate. I'm not here to advocate a legal position. Perhaps the judge's ruling on this particular issue will be appealed sometime up the road. However, I do understand where she is coming from and I don't think it was completely off-base. However, contrary to the defendant's throwing a premature champagne party celebrating total victory (as evidenced by Ek Ong Kaar's recent email on behalf of the defendants), helloooooo.....one thing that was not mentioned.....the judge DID NOT, I repeat DID NOT grant the motion to dismiss. To the contrary, the hearing (the longest pretrial hearing I've ever attended) ran for almost three hours, during which the judge herself discussed with the attorneys numerous theories upon which "standing" could be argued, as well as the pros and cons of every theory. At the end of the day, the "standing" issue was left, well, still standing. The judge gave plaintiffs two months to file an amended complaint, at which time the "standing" issue, the only thing really standing (no pun intended) between where we are now and trial before jury.

6. As I mentioned in my email last night, the assertion that the judge has somehow declared the "new" SDI the real representatives of Sikh Dharma is so ludicrous that I will not even give it the dignity of further comment. Suffice it to say that this did not happen. To the contrary, this judge has demonstrated many times in the courtroom her absolute unwillingness to preside over any dispute regarding religious doctrine or how the religion itself is run. She is taking a strict adherence to the constitutional mandate of separation of church and state, as she should. Nobody wants a judge running their religion and she has shown no intention of doing that. Basically at this time all she is saying is that based on the documents in front of her, this UI Board, whatever louses they may be, appear to have the absolute authority to do virtually anything they want. But it bears repeating, "at this time". If and when we get this to trial and have the benefit of all the discovery we are already reviewing, then we will have the opportunity to challenge the legitimacy of this board and their decisions, including their removal and appointment of subordinate boards. Again, if we can get through this "standing" hoop, the scenery will start changing rapidly. But this assertion that the judge declared UI and the "new" SDI to be the lawful representatives of Sikh Dharma is not merely a gratuitous exaggeration of her ruling, it is an outright lie. Sorry to be so blunt about it, but if somebody is so bold as to intentionally put out that kind of crap with the intent to deceive or foster insecurity in the community, a spade must be called a spade.

7. Regardless of what you may have heard from others, even those who weren't within 1500 miles of these hearings, the judge has reprimanded the attorneys on both sides in regard to where their presentation of the case has fallen short. From our side of the bench, this is what she is asking us to do. The complaint, which really represents the map of the case, has to be more concisely drafted and get to the point: who is your plaintiff, why does this plaintiff have standing, what is the wrong that this court has the authority to address, and what remedy are you asking this court to order that this court has authority to order. Don't just tell me your getting screwed and that's that. Cite me legal authority (statute, case law) supporting your position why you have the right to bring this case in this courtroom. Bam, bam, bam. I don't have any problem with her approach and at this point it doesn't matter what my opinion of her ruling is. She's the judge and we need to play by her rules. So we have one job and one job alone to do and this is to write the brief the way she wants it. To give this some context...our original brief I believe was something like 90 pages. I have no doubt we can effectively state our claims in 5-10 pages and be on to the next stage of the case. At this point, I cannot guarantee that we will be able to ultimately make a case for "standing"; we do have work to do on this issue. However, I heard enough thoughtful dialogue on the issue emanating from the last hearing to understand that there still are numerous and substantial theories of law to get over this hump. Bottom line: we have two months to get this right and jump through this hoop. I don' want to reveal to the other side what our legal strategy is going to be, but I am reasonably confident we will clear this bar.

8. One quick comment to an often repeated question. Why didn't the judge like the original complaint and why is it so important that it is more concise? I happen to agree with the judge. It needs to be more concise. Bam, bam, bam. State the plaintiff, cause of action and remedy. If what I am saying is true, I am entitled to legal relief. No need for laying out the whole factual basis for our case in the complaint. That's what the trial will be about. So fine, that's going to happen this time around, so no harm no foul. However, taking a 180 degree turn, I would like to give my unconditional approval for the way the original complaint was written. To begin with, as just mentioned, the opening complaint is too wordy...OK, we'll file an amended complaint. But more importantly, to my eyes anyhow, the story told in that opening brief was a very in-depth and articulately stated history of what has happened over the last 40 years. No matter how this case turns out in the court system, I believe that complaint is one of the most important if not most important document in the history of 3HO/Sikh Dharma. If nothing else, it was imperative that future generations understand who we were, what it was we stood up to defend and how our lives are forever interlaced with theirs. And that of course is our history as Khalsa.

9. There has been much conjecture and debate in regard to the judge handling the case, once again I believe based either on lack of correct information or perhaps not being pleased with her rulings up to now. OK, so I am going to give my unequivocal opinion about this judge...I have practiced law in the State of Oregon for over 30 years. She is without a doubt the finest judge I have ever sat before...incredibly intelligent, wise to the ways of the world, knows the law inside and out, impartial. That's what I want in a judge. She's tough, but she's got a good heart. I was absolutely blown away by her in-depth knowledge of every aspect of this case. She absolutely does understand what this case is about. In fact, I can state without hesitation that she understands this case, at least in a legal perspective, better than any other person in the courtroom. She is very high integrity in my eyes and is just trying to do everything right. Again, that's what I want in a judge. If we get through these pretrial hoops, we will want a clean trial and we will want the jury to understand what they are actually deciding upon (and not buried by the complexity that the defense will no doubt try to paralyze them with). To me, she's helping us get to where we need to be and regardless of the outcome of the case (unless she unexpectedly disappoints me), I'm a fan.

OK, sorry folks for being so long-winded: this letter went on far longer than I initially intended. But the bottom line is this: at this point in time, nothing to celebrate about, nothing to jump off a bridge about. Let the legal process run its course. We have fine lawyers working on the case and the judge is of the highest caliber. The defendants have spent an enormous amount of time and money (our money) in an attempt to build a fortress impenetrable to legal challenge. This is a very formidable opponent and yes this will be quite the challenge to win.

We are "in it to win it" and in spite of what you have heard from the representative of the defendant, our opponent is nowhere near being able to declare total victory, so please don't buy into that attempt to demoralize and deceive you. To the contrary, what is really needed is your financial help to support our fight. It is amazing to walk into that courtroom and see literally a team of lawyers representing this group of defendants.

And it is so apparent....these attorneys don't give a crap about you or this Dharma or the wishes of the SSS. All they care about is that they have a major "Sugar Daddy" in the form of their clients and they're going to ride that wave in as far as it takes them. I'm not criticizing them nor am I angry with them. That's their job as attorney and I actually respect their talent and commitment to do the best for their client. That's the way the system works.

On the other hand, I can tell you that the attorneys working on our case have consistently exhibited not only an understanding of what the legal issues are, but really do care about us as people and as a Dharma. I can see that it's not only important to them professionally that we prevail, but they personally believe in and are inspired by the cause. And for this I feel we're very blessed.

Let's be frank. The other side has virtually limitless resources and has shown themselves to be cold to the bone. Don't be naive, if need be they will try to starve us to death financially by whatever legal tactics available. Please do not let them get away with this.

Get in touch with Avtar Hari Singh, Sat Mitar Kaur, and Sikh Dharma Worldwide and help out in any way from your pocket that you can. Anyhow, adios for now, and I'll do my best to keep you up to date as things progress on the legal front.


Much Love,
S.S. Hari Nam Singh

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