What would…

…Reform even look like? For 3HO Sikh Dharma Kundalini Yoga, that is. Have you been able to picture it? If so, what does it look like to you?

I honestly don’t think they want reform. But for me, making a ‘reform list’ was my way to begin to sort out and understand the full scope of 3HO’s dysfunction, while holding a space for possibility for a path toward restitution – even if it lives forever in my imagination.

But, this needs to be said: We the SGA’s should not be doing their work for them. Their moral incompetence has repeatedly put us and all their children in harm’s way.

And there’s a term for their inability to reform themselves. Institutional Betrayal.

Right now 3HO is busy wringing their hands, and I believe stalling for time. Right now, I’m unconvinced they are aware that any betrayal has taken place at all. Because right now their “solution”– ten counseling sessions to a tiny fraction of alumni–is… just a weak-willed pittance. Do you want a pittance? Or do you want Reform?

Real reform means concrete things that can actually be implemented, starting now. The authors of the paper on Institutional Betrayal have also generously created a roadmap for enacting what they call Institutional Courage, and it’s worth studying.

So here goes. REAL REFORM to me, starts with:

  • 3HO must make a firm commitment to the safety, security and privacy of its children and minors. 3HO vows to report to the appropriate law enforcement authorities if any child is ever harmed, neglected, or abused in any way.
  • IT HAS BEEN SHOWN that there is no way for 3HO to safely and transparently operate an overseas school, training facility or camp, and no way to report harm to L.E.,  It is consclusive: 3HO must close the boarding school in India and must divest from all aspects of child-parent separation enterprises. 
  • Shrink children’s camps to smaller, more age-appropriate groupings, and hold them in a safe, accessible locations.
  • Run thorough vetting and background checks on every single person who works with any minor, no matter the location, and you enroll them with the state as Mandated Reporters.
  • Enroll all Sikh Dharma senior religious leaders–ministers and jetadars–as Mandated Reporters.
  • Cease all use and promotion of the child separation policy that they call “distance therapy”.
  • The businesses need to be separated from the faith congregations.
  • Break up the interlaced and interconnected structure of the for profit businesses and non-profit businesses that rely on such structure to insulate each other from culpability when wrongdoing occurs. That means no more fiscal sponsorship, or nesting doll structures.
  • Each entity is independent from one another with no overlapping board members.
  • Each local gurdwara is considered its own, independent congregation which raises its own independent tithings. Tithings remain within its respective congregation and is intended soley for congregation and community support and improvement.
  • Senior members and board members of every congregation will be enrolled as Mandated Reporters with their respective state.
  • Kundalini Yoga related organizations get separated from Sikh Dharma organizations, locally and nationally.
  • Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training will no longer be a requirement of young members of 3HO Sikh Dharma.
  • Senior members and parents of teens are expressly forbidden from pressuring any 3HO youth to enroll in Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training.
  • Senior members and parents of teens are expressly forbidden from pressuring any 3HO youth to work for any of the 3HO companies.
  • Senior members and parents of teens are expressly forbidden from pressuring any 3HO against higher education or pursuing his or her career goals.
  • And finally, public Sikh Gurdwara functions run in the traditionally accepted manner, which means the invocation of the blessing of “Siri Singh Sahib Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Yogiji” during Ardas prayer is ceased.
  • Within the reform of your group you must make a firm commitment to Truth and Reconciliation for your past wrongdoing: child abuse, the silence, the coverups and the failures to act.
  • Every person raised in, or was part of this group is entitled to this Truth and Reconciliation whether or not they are an active member.
  • It will be incumbent on 3HO to do the outreach, but you must do so with care and respect to their trauma, and use a third party legal firm.
  • Truth & Reconciliation must be publicly announced and publicly accessible. 

    Truth & Reconciliation will be followed up with Finacial Restitution for:

    Restitution:

  • Back pay for wages made to all of the unpaid and underpaid young workers of 3HO owned businesses.
  • Exit counseling for the most recent MPA graduates will be performed by licensed professionals who are also Mandated Reporters.
  • College preparation, application fees and tuition fees for recent graduates of MPA as well as for anyone who was discouraged from attending higher education, whether it was through coerced or arranged marriage or in recruitment to a 3HO owned business.
  • Handle all billing for all survivors’ Mental Health care which can only be provided by licensed mental health care professionals that are unrelated to 3HO.

Finally, this list is by no means complete, and I encourage 3HO to start to do the hard work here.

This is no time for more cowardice and inaction. Act, make change, and your reward will be the profound ability to know what it is like to simply live within reality.

And then we–the SGA’s–we might begin to consider whether you are worthy of a seat at OUR table.

Right now–in the summer of 2020–you are not.