Questions and Answers, Q&A – Part Two (published in Ananda Parivara Issue 4 on Nov 1, 2010)
Q1: Why has a lawsuit been made against Dada Vimalananda, Sectorial Secretary of New York Sector, and his Board of Directors?
A1: The former members of the Board of Directors of Ananda Marga, Inc. have taken legal action against the newly appointed Board of Directors to prevent the General Secretary from exercising the supervisory authority given to him by Baba. The General Secretary had posted Dada Vimalananda as SS NY and transferred Dada Tiirthananda to another Sector. Dada Vimalananda, under the direction of the General Secretary, has reconstituted the Board of Directors of AM Inc. and they have begun to function as the Board of Directors of AM Inc.
The former Board members have chosen to ignore the General Secretary’s posting order and transfer. Instead, they purport to have amended the Bylaws of AM Inc. in 2006 to remove the General Secretary’s authority to appoint the Sectorial Secretary of New York Sector. The former Board members have also filed the lawsuit against Vimalananda and the newly appointed Board of Directors, alleging that they are wrongfully asserting control of AM Inc.
The former Board of Directors asks the civil authorities to rule that the Board of Directors has the final authority to determine who is the rightfully appointed Sectorial Secretary of New York Sector and that this final authority rests with the Board and not with the GS. This is a direct challenge to the process as it happened during the time of Baba and continues up until this time. Like the supposed 2006 amendments, the lawsuit is part of the former Board members’ attempt to maintain their positions of power and to disregard the authority of the rightfully appointed General Secretary.
Q2: What’s wrong with the 2006 amendments to the Ananda Marga, Inc. Bylaws?
A2: First of all, the 2006 amendments to the Bylaws are not valid for two reasons.
The first is that according to the 1982 Amended AM, Inc. Bylaws, the Sectorial Secretary posted to the Sector by the General Secretary of AMPS is required to authorize any subsequent amendment. The 2006 amendments to the Bylaws are not valid because Tiirthananda was removed as Sectorial Secretary on October 30, 2005 by order of the General Secretary. After that date, only the newly appointed Sectorial Secretary could authorize any amendments to the Bylaws, and the newly appointed Sectorial Secretary did not authorize the 2006 amendments.
The second reason that the 2006 amendments to the Bylaws are not valid is that a 1996 AMPS Central Committee Resolution required that all new and newly amended governing documents of legal entities of the organization around the globe be approved and ratified by the General Secretary of AMPS before they could be considered valid. The Central authorities issued this requirement to all sectors by procedural order in 1996. The purported 2006 amendments carry neither the approval nor the ratification of the General Secretary; nor was the GS provided a copy of the proposed amendments before or after the purported enactment of the amendments, despite numerous requests.
But the most important thing wrong with the supposed 2006 Bylaws amendments is that they distort the order that Baba created for his organization. Governing documents and governing bodies in various jurisdictions are an extension of the structural and organizational systems Baba developed in his lifetime — the order of Sannyasin and Avadhuta/Avadhutika, the multiple organizations, departments and trades, and services — all integrated into a holistic global spiritual cult and religious mission. When such distortions are attempted, the result is indiscipline, disobedience and disunity. His vision remains but decades of progress in collective solidarity through compliance to order is undermined by the purported Bylaws amendments.
Q3: You said that the GS issued Tiirthananda’s posting order on October 30, 2005. When was that transfer effective?
A3: When Baba was directly leading the organization, a posting order or transfer order was issued only by the GS, and once it was issued the newly posted wholetime worker was immediately held accountable by Baba for all the activity within his/her new jurisdiction, whether or not the departing worker had completed the charge handover to the new worker.
AMPS Central continues to follow Baba’s legacy; therefore, all posting and transfer orders for all AMPS wholetime workers throughout the globe are issued solely by the General Secretary of AMPS. And just like in Baba’s time, the transfer order is effective immediately when the order is announced or declared by the General Secretary of AMPS. Therefore, Tiirthananda’s transfer order was effective on October 30, 2005.
Q4: What happens when there is a delay between the transfer or posting order and the newly posted worker actually taking charge?
A4: Often there is a delay between the day a new posting order is issued (transfer becoming effective) and a completed charge handover. Sometimes that delay is due to the fact that the newly posted worker is not yet able to fully assume his or her duties in the post for a number of reasons. For example, immigration visas may need to be obtained before the newly posted worker can move to the new post. In those situations, the outgoing worker is still authorized to perform or oversee minor, day-to-day tasks such as paying bills as they come due, resolving small disputes, and teaching meditation to local margiis. However any major matters and decisions, such as appointing someone to a new position of authority or amending constitutions or bylaws, must be managed or authorized by the incoming worker, if he or she is available to do so. If the incoming worker is not available, then the major matters must be managed by the person in authority immediately above the incoming worker. In the case of the transfer of a Sectorial Secretary, major decisions should be overseen by the General Secretary if the incoming Sectorial Secretary is not available.