There are two postings on the Ananda Awareness Network website—anonymous, as usual—from women who say they are “former Ananda ministers” who lived at Ananda Village for some twenty years. It’s obvious from the content who they are. They were ministers, and they did live at Ananda for all the time they say.
The “culture” of Ananda is one of patience, acceptance, and support. Human nature changes slowly. People need time to go through their experiences, learn their lessons, and come out the other side wiser and stronger. Many letters posted elsewhere on this website describe years—even decades—of slow awakening as one by one we make our way on the spiritual path. With enough love and support from others, and hard effort on our part, gradually we can overcome even deep-seated karmic obstacles.
The letters from many Ananda members on this site makes it clear that the process does work. (See Ananda members answer)
The letters from these two “former ministers” also makes it clear, that sometimes the process doesn’t work.
The community’s experience with these two women—and the ex-husband of one of them—has helped many people develop a finer sense of discrimination between appropriate support and what is popularly called “enabling.” Even their ordination as ministers was done more to encourage their fragile sense of self-esteem, rather than as a genuine recognition of their spiritual development.
These two women and the ex-husband all required an unusual level of counseling and support. In retrospect, perhaps it would have been better to have stood back a little sooner and let their karma take its course. Who can say? Given a choice, however, as a community, we prefer to err on the side of kindness and charity. Ordaining people as ministers, however, in order to help them, is something we no longer do.
The ex-husband—the couple split up soon after they left Ananda—went to Southern California and worked for SRF for a time, until he was fired. He is still, however, an active SRF member.
Because of his years of experience at Ananda and his status as a “former minister,” he was accepted by SRF and many of its members as a source of true information about Ananda. Even now he is quoted by SRF members—who have no other experience or contact with Ananda—as the reason why they are certain Ananda is corrupt and Kriyananda is an abusive man.