Monday, December 03, 2012

Chari of Sahaj Marg(tm) Brews More Than $30 Million Per Year

Taken and Translated from an article by Alexis: "Chari Brasse Plus de 30 Millions de dollars par an" on Élodie's blog in Europe: Pour Que Vive Le Sahaj Marg

December 2, 2012

Chari brews more than $30 million per year

Assets and Revenue  

Chari's  Multinational Chari: 2012 Estimate

According to the Indian government reported by Tehelka in 2007, the empire of Sri Sri Ravishankar, Chief Executive Officer of "Art of living" was estimated at approximately 57 million euros in revenue (4 billion rupees or $73 million dollars), as those of Amma Mata Amrita  or Baba Ramdev.

According to the FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act of the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs) SRCM and SMSF together weighed in at  37% of the revenues of the various NGO's of  Mata Amrita averaged over 6 years. If this ratio is maintained, the empire of Sahaj Marg generates € 21 million in revenues per year (1.5 billion rupees or $27 million U.S. dollars).

In 1997, Umesh Chandra Saxena, son of Babuji and direct competitor of Rajagopalachari, considered the assets of the Shri Ram Chandra Mission at 200 million euros, while it only had 55,000 followers. If the assets and memberships were proportional  we would now reach assets of 269 million euros (19 billion rupees, or $ 342 million).

I have long tried to calculate the weight of the financial empire of Sahaj marg, with more or less success because of the omerta (Mafia code of silence)  on this topic.

Today, we know precisely the accounting numbers for several years of 4 national associations of SRCM, France, Switzerland, United Kingdom and Canada, nearly 25% of the membership outside of India. Recent reports have filtered through on the Meditation Centre in Chennai, one of the largest centers in India, with about 3% of Indian preceptors. And finally, we now also have the amount of foreign contributions to the SMSF India and to the SRCM (FCRA, the Indian Ministry of Home Affairs).

That's something to work with!   That does not preclude that it is still necessary for me to present three necessarily questionable working hypotheses, to allow me to go to the end of  my calculations:

  • The observations made on the four national associations and on the Chennai Center can be extrapolated to all the national and Indian associations, in proportion to the membership numbers, and more specifically to the number of preceptors.
  • At the end of the 90s, before the establishment of the foundations and the SHPT, contributions, donations and sales of publications generated about the same revenues. I think it is the same today, even if the funds are distributed in different structures.
  • The observations made of the "foreign contribution" of the FCRA can be extrapolated to India in the same proportions.

Under these assumptions, outside India, the Sahaj Marg(tm) Multinational has a turnover rate of 8 to 9 million euros, a financial capital of € 43 million and 6 million in real estate 17 euros for the ashrams and the CREST Retreat Centers. Therefore the average contributor pays 438 euros per year to the multinational, 146 euros of which are in membership fees. The assets by contributor would be 3,769 euros.

These figures seem solid enough, thanks to figures from the Ministry of Indian Affairs of foreign contributions and the accounting of the four associations which represent a quarter of the membership outside India.

Before I carry with the Indian extrapolations, we must recognize that here, things are more delicate. Extrapolating the results of 3% of the membership without having the amount of Indian donations makes for a large approximation. Obviously, this can be an order of magnitude ...

These restrictions being made, the Sahaj Marg(tm) Multinational in India would have an annual turnover of 17 million euros, a financial capital from 71 to 72 million euros and a property portfolio of € 9 million.   Therefore the average contributor pays 203 euros per year to the multinational, 74 euros in membership fees.   The assets would be 1,321 euros per contributor. On average, an Indian represents 35-51% of the financial burden of a foreigner, depending on whether it is of the assets or of the revenue ...

A note on the Indian ashrams ...  already in 2012, the SRCM itself does not seem to knows  how to  count them, since it has released 2 different numbers: 140 or 200, you choose!  A few years ago, an internal document clarified things a bit by creating three categories of centers in addition to the Babuji Memorial Ashram. The first group consisted of 8 large ashrams, the second of 21 medium-sized, and all others were considered small centers. Since then, one must still add their 2 CREST's, two retreat centers and  LMOIS which alone has already swallowed more than 1.8 million euros  ...

At the global level, the revenues of the multinational would be of the order of € 26 million (1.8 billion rupees, or $ 33 million dollars). Its financial assets and real estate would amount to 130 million euros (9 billion rupees, or $ 165 million dollars). Remains the property and personal property of  Chari & Co ...

"I do not want more and more land holdings without money to build ashrams." Chari said in his speech to ZIC (Zonal-in-Charge) of January 10, 2009, many continue to offer land to the SRCM, but he lacks of financial means to build ashrams!  Ah ...Good! 

Not to mention that in May 2008, when the Board of Directors of the SRCM France met in Vrads, Rajagopalachari not only doubled the French contribution. He also suggested discreetly creating a  President's International Fund based in Switzerland to collect large and small donations, the idea being that the master could draws at will from the pool for what suits his fancy. No written communication would be made, but only oral announcements in the centers to request monthly donations.

Parallel and equally discreetly, real estate projects committees were set up to assist Santosh Khanjee and PR Krishna in finding good real estate deals. But it is no longer only for investment by the foundations. These are now private projects with sometimes very complex legal and financial ramifications where tax lawyers, architects and real estate professionals reflect on the best structures, including the involvement of physical individuals and societies.


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