We are limited in what we can do to help if you were treated badly by a spiritual leader who is not a member of the ASI. While we can’t take formal steps with non ASI members, we would nevertheless like to help in some way. We can engage in a call with you and listen with empathy and confidentiality if you need to speak about your experience. If appropriate, we may be able to offer some advice or guidance.
There are some other steps you can take even though we cannot intervene directly on your behalf.
- Ask the spiritual teacher/leader if they are signatory to a Code of Ethics from any organization. If they are, ask to see a copy of the Code. A Code is designed to keep everyone accountable.
- If they are not, offer them a printed version of the ASI Honor Code of Ethics and Good Practice or email them the link to the honor code webpage with the message that you would like them to be accountable and a code of ethics is a way to ensure transparency and accountability.
- Ask your spiritual leader/teacher to provide a system for giving them feedback on how you experience their work. It is good practice for all spiritual leaders to cultivate an environment that allows the experience of their followers to be heard and addressed with respect. Many teachers now use feedback forms, and students sometimes ask teachers to make such forms available after events. Ask your spiritual leader/teacher if they have a grievance process and, if not, ask that they set one up.
Spiritual leaders who are not open to feedback about their work can dismiss your experience. They can argue away your comments when they do not have the personal tools or the support systems within their own lives to help them address, own, and process their own blind spots. Remember that the message of the teachings do not require a perfect messenger.
If you would find it helpful to speak with someone about your experience, click here to return to the Formal Complaints page and complete the form submission. We will follow up with you, and together we can explore what is possible.
Please note, it is useful for us to receive and record complaints about teachers who are not ASI members. Should such a teacher choose to join ASI at a later date, we will be equipped to address your case at that time. Your story will also deepen our understanding of the challenges that students are facing. Thank you.