Here's some news items from 2013 and 2014 I've learned about for those who like to keep up on what's happening with an Indian guru-led spiritual organization, Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB).
RSSB has been appropriating land from a wildlife sanctuary outside of New Delhi. The Hindustan Times reported on this in an April 2014 story,"Forest dept accuses spiritual body of land grab."
Download Forest dept accuses spiritual body of land grab | india | Hindustan Times
The Delhi centre of Radha Soami Satsang Beas (RSSB) has occupied 123 acres of forest land, the forest department has alleged.
The department has alleged the philosophical and charitable organisation, with several national and international centres, has occupied 72 acres of land in the Asola-Bhatti wildlife sanctuary in south Delhi and 51 acres of the adjoining Ridge or reserve forest.
Destruction of the Delhi ridge, of which the sanctuary is a part, means desertification of Delhi, fall of its water table and more pollution.
Deputy range officer of Delhi’s lone wildlife sanctuary, Dharam Singh, on Monday filed two complaints - HT has copies - with the police and made these allegations.
“It seems the head of RSSB, with help from his supporters, has occupied land and is trying to occupy more land. It seems on his directive, one Chandan Sharma is obstructing the survey work being done by us.”
Also, in an apparently related issue RSSB has been involved in the takeover of a school that is in the vicinity of the wildlife sanctuary property. Here's a June 2013 story from The Times of India, "New management trying to close school, alleges staff."
Download New management trying to close school, alleges staff - Times of India
NEW DELHI: Insecurity has gripped the teachers and other permanent employees of Sawan Public School, Bhatti Mines Road, after Sitaram Jindal Trust (SJT) took over the management. They have alleged service of contract employees has been terminated and many permanent employees have also been asked to leave. The employees also allege that the operations of the school are being carried out by Radha Soami Satsang and it is planning to close the school.
On Thursday, the teachers said, the management asked a permanent non-teaching employee, who had been working for over 25 years, to resign and vacate the campus within 48 hours. On Saturday, the school placed six employees - five teachers and another from the accounts department - under suspension. According to teachers, they are being harassed because they witnessed the "forced resignation". The authority wants to close the school and "transfer the land to the Satsang", alleges the staff.
..."On June 23, 2012, we were told by the principal in-charge that the management was transferred to SJT. However, no one from SJT cared to address us. The school is currently run by people who speak to us on behalf of Radha Soami Satsang," said a senior teacher.
These sorts of sleazy goings-on are quite common in the money-making world of commercial real estate deals. I guess this just goes to show that so-called "spiritual" organizations also are prone to cut ethical corners in order to get what they want.
In a way, though, it is even more disturbing when a religious group like Radha Soami Satsang Beas engages in coercion and intimidation.
I find "honest crooks" more appealing than "dishonest crooks."
Meaning, if you're going to rip somebody off, be upfront about your motivation -- money and power. Rationalizing your actions in the name of a guru or God makes a morally dubious situation even more so.