In response to protests, the Trustees, in their letter dated 11.11.2008:
(i) Expressed and admitted their own displeasure over the contents of Peter Heehs’ book,
(ii) Claimed that they had instituted disciplinary action against him, and
(iii) Clarified that it was not Peter Heehs who was the founder of the Ashram Archives but, unambiguously, Shri Jayanthilal Parekh.
Even after the Central and State Government authorities had intervened and acted in order to stop the circulation of such an offensive book, the Trustees, who had been entrusted by the Settler of the Trust, The Mother, to protect the Trust, refrained from taking any steps to protect the interests of the Ashram, in gross dereliction of their duty.
Betrayal by the Trustees
The betrayal of the Trustees hit a new low in December 2009 when the Trust came out in brazen support of Peter Heehs and his anti-Ashram activities, by standing as the Financial Guarantor for him when his visa came up for renewal. Additionally on two subsequent occasions, in March and June 2010, they renewed the Ashram’s guarantee for Peter Heehs to the Government of India and recommended that his visa be renewed for a fresh period of five years. On all three occasions, the Trustees misused their powers, making the Ashram Trust itself (as an institution) stand as guarantor for Peter Heehs, the man who had openly ridiculed and denigrated the very soul and foundation of the Ashram.
On account of this action by the Trustees in providing financial guarantee and recommendations for the visa extension of Peter Heehs, the devotees of Sri Aurobindo and beneficiaries of the Trust were left in no doubt that the Trustees have betrayed the interests of the Ashram community and of the Trust, and were acting against all accepted norms of behaviour in such a situation. It was clear to all that by supporting an individual who had launched an open attack against the Ashram, Sri Aurobindo and the Mother, the Trustees have betrayed the teachings and interests of Sri Aurobindo, in whose name and for whose philosophical and spiritual and educational work the Sri Aurobindo Ashram Trust was instituted.
In sharp contrast to the wilful and mala fide inaction of the Trustees, other world-famous institutions have behaved with responsibility, abiding by the law to take cognizance of the offensive nature of the book and stop its sales and circulation in the country. These include Google, Flipkart, and A1Books, to name a few, who made the book permanently unavailable on their website and sales channels in
. [8 TLOSA Controversy! Falsehood! Lies! The Information Handbook from Prof Kamal Das firstname.lastname@example.org date 22 November 2010 09:54] India