(1/27/02 7:35 pm)
Here is the second Walrus newsletter. As a service to the rest of the Walrus community I am once again summarizing some of the messages of the last two weeks. I hope this saves some of you time and keeps you informed. I’ll let the SRFWalrus send it to everyone (if the SRFWalrus still wants to). I’ll start at the top.
SRF Walrus Usage
The board has a new facility which shows who is connected, by board ID name, to the board at the same time you are. It is an interesting feature. (This feature does not reveal who you “really” are and maintains that important privacy so we don’t meet SRF’s lawyers). The statistics show that there have been over 71,000 visits to the board since it started. Amazing. Generally the usage on the board seems down from a mid-December high. Most like myself probably can’t think of anything else to say which is why I am creating this summary so I can still add messages!
There have still only been a few questions entered. 56 people have been brave enough to vote on the “Are you still a loyal devotee of Master’s” question. 82% feel they are and 7% are still trying.
There is a new poll “Why do employees have stress illnesses?”. 72% feel it is because SRF treats them poorly. 5% feel the employees have the wrong attitude. If I may interpret this one I think it means that 72% of you have the wrong attitude? I suspect a lot more of you have an opinion on this one, come on and vote!
Never let anyone say the Walrus people don’t read the news! This post is about SRF’s use of one of the big six consulting firms and draws parallels to the type of trust shown these firms even within SRF. Power corrupts as we know and these accounting firms have an aura of trust and integrity. That coupled with the power plays at Mother Center and it makes for a real soap opera. You might find this thread interesting. This one might be a screen play some day.
Human Emotions -- Dreadful Monastic's Black and White
These are messages analyzing the monastic thinking we see as members from the outside. Some people don’t see that not only are the monastics people like we all are, but they live in a choking environment which encourages some weird values and thinking. “Only the weird survive” Some members, possibly most, think they are living in an environment run with Master’s teachings, which is not true. Some also depend on the monastics for counseling which is really dangerous. There is a really good post by TUSKER down in the thread.
This thread is the start of a debate on what this famous quote might actually mean. Come on in and join the discussion.
Kicked out of Sunday School
Someone posted a story of how they were excluded from Sunday School for their opinions. I think we all understand SRF’s need to be careful who is around our children, but this was not that type of situation. It is another reference to the practice of black balling people without telling them. The thread continues with a lot of discussion of the lawsuits and how to express to SRF we are not fond of that technique of resolving differences.
I have often thought that a black ball might be a good logo for the Walrus. What does everyone think? Hey SRFWalrus, why not add a black ball to the website? Sell t-shirts and hats and stuff.
This thread is a discussion of the Kriya practice of “khechari mudra”. To be honest I have no idea what it is. I now have another technique I can’t do and don’t understand. Thank you very much. The thread even contains a history of Babaji which I have never heard before. Did he really play for the Los Angeles Kings at one point? (just kidding) How would people really know this stuff? There are several references in the thread to other websites discussing khechari mudra. I think the technique involves the tongue and having been raised a catholic I am not allowed to even think about my tongue.
The death of Cliff Kennel
Cliff Kennel, who was a long time devotee at San Diego Temple and knew Master, died recently. This thread has some stories about him.
Someone on the board was feeling guilty about posting messages, feeling they might be disloyal. This message thread contains comments about that problem which may be common. (Most people just read and never add messages) Guilt is sure a power of the dark side isn’t it?
The board contains rumors of layoffs at one of the SRF facilities. Within the message thread is a post by SURVIVOR about the inside workings of that facility. More specific stories. The idea of layoffs is scary at SRF for many reasons. Most felt they had sacrificed to come there and serve and were therefore sort of joining a family that would take care of them. Most have been disillusioned since starting work there but still felt they had safe employment.
Down farther in that same thread is an interesting list of statistics. It shows the sales of the SRF Magazine for the last 30+ years. It shows sales are not only NOT growing, but are flat and some years even declining. This is brought up as evidence of mismanagement of the teachings and a campaign to misrepresent SRF growth. People attending temples can see there is no growth, and those attending Convocation know that attendance has been fairly flat since the late 80’s.
How I'm handling doubts
A devotee describes his journey of discovering the problems within SRF, finding the Walrus, really searching for what was important, and deciding on a real relationship with Master. Several people respond. A good read as many of us are in the same position. *** REALLY GOOD THREAD ***
There are also some fun discussions about how we might wear buttons to identify each other at next year’s Convocation. Heck, we might as well have fun with all this. “With God, all is fun. Without him everything is everything else but fun.” Our Master said that!
Another Modest Proposal
A devotee came up with some helpful suggestions for making things better. Here are some samples….
2) Start a nationwide "Sponsor a Monk" program. Do you know that for less than the price of a cup of coffee each day, you could provide a monk with adequate food, clothing, clean drinking water and other basic life necessities?
6) Urge Amnesty International to write letters on behalf of repressed monastics and other SRF prisoners of conscience (or is that prisoners of consciousness?).
Email sent to SRF Walrus from India
The SRFWalrus operator received an email from a concerned devotee in India. He felt the board might be hurting Master’s reputation. The SRFWalrus shared the email and his reply and requested others to respond as well. All you reading this should help debate this subject, it addresses one of the core issues the Walrus is all about.
That is it! Everyone come on in and discuss!