Meher Spiritual Center in North Myrtle Beach, SC., is advertising for a newly created position of executive director to help guide it in the fulfillment of the charter given to it by Avatar Meher Baba.
This is probably more than anything else a response to Sufism Reoriented of Walnut Creek, Ca. flexing its muscles in the acquisition of Youpon Dunes in downtown Myrtle Beach, a former residence of Elizabeth Patterson who founded Meher Center. Sufism Reoriented, which also received its charter from Avatar Meher Baba, now owns three properties to promote its contentious mission: the newly constructed 50 million dollar sanctuary in Walnut Creek, a Washington DC property and the Myrtle Beach property.
The new position of executive director promises to confuse the primary and longstanding purpose of Meher Spiritual Center to be a retreat center for “rest, meditation and the renewal of the spiritual life”. This has been its stated purpose since its founding over 60 years ago. But now the issue of power and control of Meher Baba’s message is becoming a factor in the management of the retreat center.
Why would this newly created position of executive director supplant the existing administrative structure governing Meher Center? This is a mistake. Meher Center does not need a propaganda department, and it most certainly does not need a propaganda department in charge of its primary function as a retreat center.
The problem of Sufism Reoriented is real and lasting. They are a powerful institutional cult that is dedicated to promoting an outrageous lie regarding their alleged mandate. But why should this make Meher Center insecure?
It is instructive to note that both Sufism Reoriented’s and Meher Center’s charters are minefields of ambiguity; SR has already hung itself through a willful interpretation of their mandate. There is no good reason Meher Center should do so as well.
After having posted the above entry, and having discussed this material with a few people, I now wish that I had more boldly stated my opinion about the recent Meher Center announcement about the newly advertised executive director position.
This is a terribly conceived and written announcement. The first point to make is that the new position could not possible fulfill the responsibilities that it describes. The job description is impossibly large and far reaching. Why would any sane applicant want to apply for such a job description? There is an infinite irony here: any person who would want this job is at once disqualified by applying for it! There are three or four jobs contained in this job description. What sane applicant would agree to such a herculean task?
Who wrote this announcement? Did a committee draft it?
As I intimated in my initial post, there is something very wrong with the motivation behind this proposal. It is essentially a power play: consolidate all the real and imagined mandates in the Meher Center charter into one overarching position that radically destabilizes the historic role of Meher Center to be a retreat center for ” rest, mediation and the renewal of the spiritual life.”