Speculative Thoughts About Meherabad Machinations

Erico Nadel was murdered while engaged in the investigation of shonky Meherabad land transactions and other issues. Perhaps this was no coincidence. Who are the players involved? We know for certain that Erico was highly displeased with Mehernath Kalchuri’s behavior as a trustee of the AMBPPCT (Avatar Meher Baba Perpetual Public Charitable Trust) for his vicious attacks against the orphanage, Pumpkin House and presumably in his capacity as the trustee responsible for land acquisition as well. Erico stated his belief on several occasions that under no circumstance should Mehernath become the Chairman of the Trust which was his father’s- the standing Chairman Bhau Kalchuri’s, earnest and pathetic (as he was obsessed with creating a Kalchuri dynasty) desire.  Details are unfortunately sketchy as to what exactly the dossier contained that Erico prepared on Mehernath’s skulduggery and which he allegedly divulged, or was about to divulge, to a certain Trustee residing at Meherazad, when he was murdered.  No Trustee to my knowledge  has ever acknowledged seeing or discussing its contents.

The broader context for a discussion of this subject concerns Bhau Kalchuri’s role in initiating and promoting land acquisition around Meherabad. What alliances were made to further this objective? What developers were part of this scenario? The name of the contractor Joshi, who built the MPR- the Meher Pilgrim Retreat, and who is presently under contract to build the “Memorial Spike”- at extremely high cost-overrun- evidently the current cost estimate is $800,000,  as was the case with the MPR, pops up. Who is the much despised Sharad, a former partner of James Cox who embarked on a revenge theme against Meherabad land purchasers when James Cox allegedly precipitously left India with their land development company’s cash and left him with only the titles to their investors’ purchases? Is his brother really a powerful former Ahmednagar politician or policeman? What kind of control does Sharad exert over the Trust and residents?

One hears talk of an Ahmednagar mafia whose tentacles have embraced Meherabad land speculation. It should be noted that in India there is no business like the pilgrimage business- witness Sai Baba’s Samadhi at Shirdi; is it possible that Meherabad is increasingly coming under the control of criminal elements?

And then what is one to say about the speculation in Meherabad land engaged in by Trustees and former/ present residents? What does the Trust have to say about this?

Some of the above is mere conjecture, but much is for certain. The outstanding question for particularly those who live at Meherabad and Meherazad  is what do they have to contribute to the public discussion of what really has gone on and is going on. The most amazing thing about the hitherto non-discussion about the selling of Meherabad is the absolutely deafening silence by Trustees and residents. It’s like this is not and never has been an issue! The standard conjecture to this observation is that they are frightened by what might happen by speaking out or are simply unwilling to put the Trust in a bad light that might result in the Trust being taken over by a government agency and resulting in the Trustees’ removal and the westerners’ expulsion from India.

I believe both Erico and Baba deserve better than such yawning and calculated indifference to a problem that will only fester if not addressed.

This blog post invites emendation and amplification.






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3 Responses to Speculative Thoughts About Meherabad Machinations

  1. rick berman says:

    My name is Rick Berman and I live in Atlanta. Not that it matters one bit to anybody, but I am the one that started this whole thing five years ago in Meherabad. I was one of the first people to buy land from James Cox in the early 80’s for $3500.00. A few years later he wrote to the hundred and fifty people or so who bought land and told us that we had to have an architects plan or we would lose our land. I wrote to James Cox saying that I couldn’t afford to hire an architect and that I wanted my money back. After a while his secretary in Myrtle Beach called and said that he would give me my money back, but to not tell anyone about the transaction. Now fast forward to India in 2000 and I’m sitting with somebody at lunch casually asking what is the land selling for now? That person said about $250,000 and acre. I went postal and it so happened that James Cox happened to be in the dining hall. I asked him to come outside to talk, and I went off on him saying sarcastically that it sure was nice of him to give me $3500 for what is worth $125,000! He told his long story about how Sharad had tricked him out of all of the land, and that he is the one I should talk to now. I called Sharad and he never called back. Anyway I told James Cox that he owed all of the people huge amounts of money, and he had ripped everybody off and he needed to pay. I told him that I had to have some information to try and help these people get their money back. He did give me a complete list of everyone that had originally bought land, and I still have it if anyone needs it. When I got home I started calling everyone I knew who had been ripped off, and one thing let to another, and another, and another. Mernath’s possible partnership with Sharad, Eric and Heather possibly getting ready to drop the bomb, some of the residents basically stealing the land from poor and uneducated farmers, conflicts of interests which is a nice way of saying people are crooks, and on and on. And obviously if there was no wrongdoing why is Mernath not the Chairman of the Trust? At any rate the information has blown up in every corner of the Baba world, and hopefull those sons of bitches can’t find enough ingnorant people to make one rupee off of the stolen land. Some people would say to back off and let Baba take care of it. Well maybe this is Baba taking care of it. By the way I forget to mention that of all the people who bought land I was the only one who got their money back.

    • Clive Adams says:

      Thanks Rick for having the courage to speak your mind and share your experience with the Meherabad land. I agree wholeheartedly with the notion that Baba lovers need to stand up and share what they know and stop acting like Ostrich’s and coward’s. It is high time for a major dialog to begin in the Baba world to find out what has been and is going on in the Avatar’s name. I know a good deal about aspects of the Meherabad land saga, involving Gary Kleiner, Bhau, Mehernath, James Cox etc; but there is much I still don’t know as well. We really need to launch a formal investigation and hire a top notch investigator. Jai Baba, Clive Adams

  2. bill gannett says:

    Hi Rick;

    A question about your date line: 5 years ago would be 2010. Is that when you were in India and had a conversation with James? (You mention 2000)

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