On the ‘Gloriavale Commune’ in India

Introduction

A background to this Post can be read on Indiafacts site here. For the sake of brevity, we shall use the same acronyms: GCC for Gloriavale Christian Community-New Zealand, CCC for Christian Church Community, Thiruviruttanpulli, Ambasamudram Taluka, Thirunelveli District (TN/076030358), SHCT for Smile Help Charitable Trust-Vijayawada (AP/10260339) and DF for Dohnavur Fellowship, Thirunelveli District (TN/076030011).

Recent Developments

We came across a recent investigative report which appeared in a New Zealand MSM here. MSM in NZ has been focussing on alleged abuses and other individual rights violations in Gloriavale. Naturally, they are not interested in the expansion of Gloriavale commune to India, as they (like most in the West) believe in Universal Religious Freedom, a synthetic concept which is alien and dangerous to Indian traditions. The NZ report, an excellent one (Kudos to the investigative journalist, Ms. Morgan Tait), obtained through their Right to Information Act provides details of investigations carried out by NZ’s Charities Services in 2015.

For relevance to us in that report are these: (a) The Gloriavale Trust in NZ is actually registered as “Christian Church Community Trust (CC25088) and (b) Money donated to Indian FCRA-NGOs is sent from a Bank account called GCC which contains private, post-tax money of individuals belonging to the Commune, but operated by the Trustees of CC25088.

Let us now take a look at the money transactions between all the above entities, as examined via FCRA returns.

NGO\Year

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

SHCT

15

DF

6.5

9.4

11.7

14.6

5.5

12.6

17.5

CCC

145

140

226

173

Table 1: Remittances from GCC, New Zealand to FCRA-NGOs. Amount in Rs. lakh. Data from fcraonline.nic.in

Interestingly, FCRA returns also show that CCC remitted, amounts of Rs. 14.5 and 21 lakhs in 2014 and 2015 respectively to DF. Such give-and-take between RoL FCRA-NGOs is quite common in India.

Who runs Christian Church Community, Thiruviruttanpulli, Ambasamudram Taluka?

A sentence in the Indiafacts article said “Who owns CCC is not known in the public domain.” Although the Indian Government (ideally the State Governments must be putting out such information, but they are all invariably inert to these matters anyway) should eventually put this information on the Darpan portal of Niti Aayog, it is possible for us to figure this out in another manner.

The newly formatted FC4 return for FCRA-NGOs requires the signature of the Chief Functionary of the FCRA-NGO to be uploaded. The same for CCC (TN/76030358) can be seen at the FCRA website of the Ministry of Home Affairs, say, for the year 2015-16. The signature is screenshotted from the FC4 return of CCC and is reproduced here:

ccc_sign.png

 

The signature of the Chief Functionary of CCC in Thiruviruthanpulli says “Faithful Stronghold (FS)”. That name is quintessentially Gloriavalish (Google up for their naming schemes) and not a common name in Tamil Nadu.

Who is Faithful Stronghold?

Faithful Stronghold used to be called as Kottapalli Mahesh Babu (KMB). How do we know this?

Let us check out Page No. 40, Right Column of Part-IV, Section 4 of the Tamil Nadu Government’s Gazette published on November 9, 2011. It is available here. The same is reproduced below.

 kmb_gazette.png

So, Kottapalli Mahesh Babu affirms that he got converted to Christianity in September 2003 and received the name Faithful Stronghold. He declares the same in November 2011. The address provided in the Gazette is the same as that of CCC. Given that CCC came into existence only in 2011/2012, it is likely that Faithful Stronghold was living elsewhere. In Gloriavale commune, New Zealand? May be. We do not know for sure. But it appears that he exercised his Religious Freedom to get converted from Hinduism to Christianity in Gloriavale, NZ, given the nature of his name. Note also that he was born in 1991 and was converted in 2003, i.e., at the age of 12.

Indian students travelling to Gloriavale, New Zealand: Circa early-mid 2000s

There is an additional peripheral story which suggests that Mahesh Babu could have become Faithful Stronghold in New Zealand.

Read these news stories:

  1. Hindustan Times, October 16, 2006

  2. The Press, Christchurch, October 14, 2006

Venkata Siva Rayavarapu, aged 22 was met by a Gloriavale guy in Hanuman Junction, Vijayawada.

He was sponsored by Gloriavale to travel to New Zealand to study English, agriculture & community life. Gloriavale also helped his family in India. However, in 2006, he escaped from Gloriavale, breaking the contract that his father and he had signed with Gloriavale. The reason? He was being asked to marry a Mexican inmate of Gloriavale Commune. One of the leaders of  Gloriavale, Fervent Stedfast mentions that Rayavarapu wanted to marry only a New Zealander inmate as that would fetch him NZ residency.

Is there an equivalence between the initial trajectories of Kottapalli Mahesh Babu and Venkata Siva Rayavarapu? Although KMB’s new address is in rural Thirunelveli, his name and his village name (Kottapalli) are dead giveaways of his Andhra/Telangana lineage. Also his father’s name (Kottapalli Pullaiah). Same is true for Rayavarapu. The mention of Hanuman Junction in the MSM stories also point to a Andhra link.

It is well known that many students leave India to study abroad. Even to New Zealand. Even to Gloriavale! This is due to several entry barriers imposed by all Governments in India in the Education sector. Let us not digress ….

It is known that Gloriavale had only 55 families (each with about 8 children). Thus, were poor, willing but gullible Hindu students from India attracted by Gloriavale leaders to settle down there to increase its population? For long term sustainability and/or evolutionary reasons? We do not know. We would probably never know.

Summary

We are quite dissatisfied with what has been going on. And, what is going on. With FCRA. With all sorts of cults mushrooming in our Bhoomi. As usual, we wring our hands in despair.

On the ‘Gloriavale Commune’ in India

Beyond News: Helpline for women to participate in local elections, EKTA, Madurai & The Hunger Project

Times of India has a story about how a NGO, called EKTA, in Madurai had established a helpline to improve the participation of women in local body elections. The same news was covered a couple of weeks ago in The Hindu as well. People who call this helpline are later invited to attend a workshop where EKTA and Hunger Project India (another NGO) “sensitise” women on various aspects of polling, cash-for-votes etc. EKTA received over 1,000 calls in a span of 12 days. Six thousand people living in 60 villages are planned to be targeted in this campaign.

Wait. Are they just NGOs, or are they FCRA-NGOs? You guessed it right. Both EKTA and The Hunger Project India are FCRA-NGOs.

EKTA works on Gender Mainstreaming, Gender and Governance, Gender and Human Rights, Addressing Violence against Women, Girl Child Rights. The Hunger Project India works on Empowering Girls, Gender Discrimination etc.

EKTA’s address is: Bethel Nagar, Bible Bhavan Street, Bypass Road, Ponmeni, Madurai-625010. [Author’s note: This mainstreaming of RoL terminology is common place in Tamil Nadu. No wonder, temple idols are getting stolen from that State]. Its FCRA Registration Number: TN/75940284. The Darpan portal of Niti Aayog provides EKTA’s Chief Functionaries as: Bimla Chandrasekar, Ranjani Murthy & Jesu Rethinam.

The Hunger Project India’s official address is: 18/1, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, Qutab Institutional Area, New Delhi-110067. However, its FCRA registration has been done in Mumbai with the Number: MH/83345981. The Hunger Project has offices in many countries, with its headquarters in USA. The Indian office is headed by Ms. Rita Sarin.

The following Table provides the annual foreign funds received by EKTA & The Hunger Project as gleaned from the FCRA website.

ekta.png

Ekta’s donors include: Christian World Service-New Zealand, CESVI-Italy and The Hunger Project (LOL!)

The Hunger Project India’s donors include: Its worldwide offices, Norwegian Embassy and The Asia Foundation-USA. I am worried about the last donor. We do not know about donors to Hunger Project’s worldwide (outside India) offices. Hence, our worry is limited here.

Pray, tell me, did Times of India or The Hindu tell you about the foreign funded characteristics of these NGOs, in its news story? Shouldn’t India know? Hence this Post. Please spread the word. Thanks.

 

Beyond News: Helpline for women to participate in local elections, EKTA, Madurai & The Hunger Project

World Vision India: A Quick Intro

World Vision is in the news. And, it ain’t good. Israel has alleged that the Head of World Vision in Gaza diverted millions of US dollars to Hamas. See for instance, this news article. According to The Guardian, Australia suspended its grants to World Vision’s work in Palestine, soon after this story broke out.

While one should be aware of such happenings elsewhere in the world, we should be concerned about what happens in *our* backyard. Since this blogger has never written about World Vision India (WVI), it is an opportune moment to break the ice. Having said that, this Post is not a comprehensive one on WVI.

World Vision-USA

World Vision is a “charity” headquartered in USA and having operations in nearly all countries of the world. In its Form-990 World Vision-USA describes itself as: World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization serving children and families globally.

An extract from its Form-990 is given below:

wv_990_2.png

World Vision-USA gets grants from/via US Federal Government as well. An extract from WV’s Form-990 is provided below for that purpose.

wv_govtgrants.png

The FCRA Connection

World Vision India is a FCRA-NGO with Registration number: TN/75900011. Its FCRA address is: 16, VOC Main Road, Kodambakkam, Chennai-600024.  The following Table provides year-wise foreign funding received by WVI. A major contribution to WVI comes from WV-USA.

wvi_funds

 

Even accounting for the increase in exchange rate between USD and INR in the recent past, it is obvious that foreign fund inflows to WVI have risen sharply since 2013. It should be noted that WVI’s operations span a wide range — from child “welfare” to “advocacy”. This is not the time or occassion to belabour on its activities. Bhagwans willing, we shall address that matter at a future time.

The FCRA Wing, Ministry of Home Affairs changed the format of the Annual Returns to be filed by FCRA-NGOs each year. Earlier, it used to be FC6. Nowadays, it is FC4. To figure out what they mean, head to this beautiful Post. These annual returns are available for public view, thankfully without needing that stupid RTI.

There are many things which we do not like in the change from FC6 to FC4. However, there is one good thing about FC4. FC4 asks the FCRA-NGOs to provide a list of all the Utilisation Bank accounts that they hold. Foreign funds are received by a FCRA-NGO in one particular Bank account. For World Vision India,  that Bank account is in Chennai (as given in its FC6/FC4 forms). However, since WVI is a behemoth organization, it needs to spend this money wherever it is working in India. Towards this purpose, it holds several Bank accounts all over India. This list is provided in its FC4 form.

World Vision India holds a whopping one hundred and fifty Utilisation Bank Accounts all over India. Since modern India is a non-transparent society and Governments are shy to disclose information and data they possess in public domain and since NGOs are held in high esteem (both by Governments as well as by public at large), we have no way of finding out how World Vision India spends more than Rs. 350 Crore p.a. (foreign funds alone).

However, the geographical spread of these FCRA utilisation Bank accounts can provide us a clue on its spread and extent of operations. The following is a map of such locations (thanks to Google maps and to theXS mapping tool).

Here is the link to the Dynamic map. Play with it!! It is coooool !!

The following is the static map of locations of FCRA Utilization Bank Accounts of World Vision India. Need we say more?

wvi_banks.png

 

World Vision India: A Quick Intro

India Campus Crusade for Christ, Bengaluru: News & Beyond

Campus Crusade for Christ is an International Evangelical Organization with offices in several countries. As is the norm for nearly all Evangelical Organizations, it was started in USA. Recently, its name in the USA got changed to just CRU. CRU’s focus is to evangelize youth. You can google them, wikipedia them, check out their websites etc. for more information. One of its work which has impacted India (particularly in villages) is “The Jesus Film Project”. Again, google it up if you want to learn more about it, as that is not the focus of this Post.

Their Indian operation is headquartered in Bengaluru, on Hennur Main Road (LOL), to be precise and was headed by Dr. Thomas Abraham who founded it. He passed away recently in Toronto.

India Campus Crusade for Christ (ICCC) is a FCRA-NGO with registration number: KA/094420075. Its foreign funding receipts over the years are as under:

cru

ICCC gets its foreign funding primarily from Campus Crusade for Christ Asia (CCCA) located in Queson City, Phillippines. I suspect that CCCA itself may be a conduit for these funds and its origin is likely to be USA, Canada & Australia (and may be, also South Korea).

Given the youth focus of CRU, and that foreign Christian youth need to be “moulded” into evangelism to keep the faith alive, it is not surprising that foreign followers of CRU are shepherded to India both to keep their faith going as well as to impress gullible Indians on the goody goodyness and coolness of the Religion of Love (RoL).

We provide two such recent news stories here:

  1. August 1, 2013. Telegraph. Titled “College gets Korean friends- Seoul team on cultural exchange tour learns 3 Idiots song“, the story adds that 16 youth from Korea visited The Graduate School College for Women in Sakchi (Jamshedpur, Jharkhand). The visit was part of a cultural exchange programme. The story mentions that the Korean youth were part of CRU and that the visit was “supported” by ICCC. It even mentions the word “evangelical” which is a big surprise!! The Korean team also visited  Jamshedpur Co-operative College and Jamshedpur Women’s College.
  2. July 18, 2016. Avenue Mail. Titled “South Korean students visit city colleges to study local education patterns”, the story mentions that 12 students from Korea visited many colleges in Jamshedpur including the ones mentioned in story #1 above. The visit was apparently to learn about the Indian system of education, but the visitors were keen on broader issues like “promotion of culture, brotherhood..” We know what those mean, don’t we? 🙂

These Jamshedpur colleges themselves appear quite non-Christian. Thus, we are alarmed at the ease of penetration by evangelical foreigners there. Seriously.

 

 

India Campus Crusade for Christ, Bengaluru: News & Beyond

NGO called SEAL in Panvel, Mumbai

Today’s Times of India reports that a New Panvel, Mumbai based NGO called SEAL has complained that Maharashtra’s Electricity Supply company, MSEDCL has cut off SEAL “Ashram’s” electricity due to pending bills. It adds that Pastor Biju Samuel of SEAL complained of highly inflated power bills and that the power supply was cut off without proper intimation.

What is SEAL?

SEAL stands for “Social and Evangelical Association for Love”. It is a FCRA-NGO with Registration No.: MH/83850044 and its address is: 35/71, Vangani Village, Nere, New Panvel, Navi Mumbai-410206. Its FCRA registration is within the Raigarh district. SEAL seems to have attained the exalted FCRA status in the last couple of years. It has not filed any FC6/FC4 returns yet. Thus, we do not who funds it.

SEAL’s website proclaims itself to be “an NGO dedicated to the mission of rescuing destitute and helpless people from the streets & railway stations of Mumbai.” which fits in with the Evangelical profile that it has.

Update on February 02, 2017

On February 01, 2017, Newspaper, The Hindu carried a 800 words long article eulogising SEAL, Pastor Samuel and Pastor Philip. It was written by a ‘Varda Sharma’. Unusually for The Hindu, it even gave SEAL’s full form as ‘Social and Evangelical Association for Love’.

One sentence in the article is reproduced below:

h1
Extract from The Hindu’s article on SEAL, February 01, 2017

This is of course a lie. SEAL indeed gets aid from global organizations, as can be seen from its 2015-16 FC4 return. In fact, it received Rs. 4.17 lakh from no less than Compassion International-Colorado!! As our readers are aware, we carried a major expose on Compassion’s FCRA story earlier. The screenshot of SEAL’s FC4 is given below:

sealfc
2015-16 FC4 return of SEAL, Panvel, Mumbai
NGO called SEAL in Panvel, Mumbai

Gospel For Asia’s FCRA returns for 2014-15

 

 

 

In the previous Post, we saw how Gospel For Asia Inc (GFAI) has started remitting funds to new FCRA-NGOs in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

 

In this Post, we shall examine the remittances to the four FCRA-NGOs originally associated with GFAI, all located in Tiruvalla, Pathanamthitta District, Kerala. To remind our readers, these are: Gospel For Asia, Believers Church India, Last Hour Ministry and Love India Ministries. Further details of remittances to them in the past years can be found here and are summarized in the Table below:

gfa4

The FC4 return for the financial year 2014-15 for these four entities are now available online at fcraonline.nic.in

 

FCRA-NGO

Total Amount received in 2014-15 (Rs. Crore) [including amount brought forward]

Amount brought forward from past (Rs. Crore)

Gospel For Asia

426

330

Believers Church India

392

252

Last Hour Ministry

191

160

Love India Ministries

182

151

Thus, these four FCRA-NGOs together received a whopping sum of Rs. 1191 Crore in 2014-15, including a humongous amount of Rs. 893 Crore from the past years’ which was unspent.  Note that the amounts mentioned in Table 1 above for the years until 2013-14,  include interest (typically ~10% in Bank long term deposits) amounts on unspent cash. With changes having come in the way the FCRA returns need to be filed since 2014-15,  the total amounts reflect not only the interest, but also the Principal.

In summary: These four entities had around Rs. 893 Crore cash lying unspent from the past and received around Rs. 298 Crore in financial year 2014-15.

As Hindus living under the onslaught of International Evangelistic forces, we are glad  that the money was unspent.

There is more detail that one can dig from these FC4 returns, but we shall carry out that exercise at some future point in time.

It is also pertinent to note that FCRA-NGOs in Kerala together received around Rs. 2463 Crore (including cash lying unspent, i.e., principal and interest) in 2014-15 as opposed to Rs. 965 Crore (includes only interest amount) in 2013-14.

The enormous amounts of money flowing into India via FCRA for such activities which seriously impinges on our Nation’s religious demography  bothers us.

Update on March 19, 2016:

The Third Quarter FCRA returns in 2015-16 for these four entities are available on the FCRA website now. While Gospel For Asia and Last Hour Ministry reported Nil inflow in this quarter, Love India Ministries reported receipt of Rs. 2.68 Crore from GFAI-Texas towards “Social Purposes”.

Believers Church India reported the receipt of Rs. 47.9 Crore from various global entities in this Quarter. These entities include Teaching Skills LLC-Texas and GFAI-Texas, and curiously a “Little Hills”, Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada. Whether this last entity is related to GFA-Canada is unknown. It is interesting to note that GFA-Canada too appears to be located in Stoney Creek, Ontario, Canada as per Google search for “Gospel for Asia Ontario”.

Gospel For Asia’s FCRA returns for 2014-15

Additional FCRA-NGOs receiving funds from Gospel For Asia Inc

Indiafacts had broken a story on Gospel For Asia Inc (GFAI), Texas in September 2014. The story revealed two vital pieces of information which were until then unknown in public:

  • GFAI had established 11 Limited Liability Companies (LLC) in Texas

  • Four FCRA-NGOs, all located in the Pathanamthitta district of Kerala
    were exclusively funded either by GFAI or by these LLCs. These were:
    Gospel For Asia (GFA), Believers Church India (BCI), Last Hour
    Ministry (LHM) and Love India Ministries (LIM)

This story was followed up extensively and comprehensively by blogger, Prof. Warren Throckmorton here, which culminated in a lawsuit filed by US-based former donors to GFAI which has been covered well in US media.

 

That a few more FCRA-NGOs have declared remittances from GFAI and its LLCs since 2013-14 has now come to light. The following Table lists them, based on data found at the FCRA website.

 

[N/A means FC6 return not available. All amounts are in Indian Rupees (Rs.)]

FCRA-NGO

Reg.
No.

Religious
denomination

Address

2011-12

2012-13

2013-14

2014-15

Oct.-Dec.
2015

Shekina
Prophetic Mission Trust (SPMT)

TN/75850295

Christian

Sirumugai
Road, Coimbatore Taluk, Tamil Nadu-641653

0.0

0.0

61,976

(From
GFAI, Texas)

90,649

(From

Cody
Carnine, Carrollton, Texas)

9,99,03,615
(From Unfailing Love LLC and Road to Peace LLC)

Rehaboth
Indian Gypsy New Life Trust (RIGNLT)

TN/75850280

None

Perumalpudur,
Udumalpur, Tamil Nadu-642204

N/A

0.0

0.0

90,005
(From Michelle Jimenez, Carrollton, Texas)

9,97,23,623
(From Voice of Love LLC and Peace Givers LLC)

New
Hope Foundation (NHF)

TN/75901313

None

Keezh
Padappai, Kanchipuram District, Tamil Nadu-601301

N/A

0.0

0.0

3,58,844
(From Fred H, Norris Drive, Texas)

9,98,84,430
(From In His Steps LLC and Grace in Action LLC)

Holy
Spirit Ministries (HSM)

KA/94421256

Christian

Krishnarajapuram,
Bengaluru, Karnataka 560036

N/A

0.0

0.0

0.0

9,98,45,936
(From Unconditional Love LLC)

Growth
In Fraternity Trust (GIFT)

KA/94421319

Christian

Chikkabanswadi,
Bengaluru, Karnataka-560033

N/A

0.0

N/A

91,093
(From Javier Mendoza, Carrollton, Texas)

13,27,97,207
(From Shepherds Care LLC and Cup of Blessing LLC)

 

Thus, in the third quarter of Financial Year (FY) 2015-16 alone, these new FCRA-NGOs  together have received a whopping sum of Rs. 53,21,54,811 (Rupees Fifty Three Crore Twenty One Lakh Fifty Four Thousand Eight Hundred and Eleven only) from LLCs associated with GFAI. They did not receive any money from anyone else either in 2015-16 or in the previous years. The above data can be accessed by anyone from the FCRA Website of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The complete data for FY 2015-16 can be obtained only after these FCRA-NGOs file their FC4 return (due by December 31, 2016). However, the data for the last quarter, i.e., Jan-Mar. 2016 should be available online, hopefully in June 2016.

 

It will also be interesting to know whether these FCRA-NGOs received similar substantial amounts in the previous two quarters of FY 2015-16. It is to be noted that MHA recently tightened the reporting norms for both FCRA-NGOs as well as for Banks. MHA had also established the procedure for the submission of Quarterly Returns, whose publication online enabled us to figure out the above details on these mysterious five FCRA-NGOs which happened to have received large sums of money from GFAI.

 

At this point in time, the existence of these five FCRA-NGOs has come to light. Whether any more FCRA-NGOs have received funds from GFAI is unknown, as yet.

 

It is our fervent hope that the people of India will awaken to the living reality of evangelistic forces inimical to our Nationhood and Culture, fostered by liberal funds from abroad transmitted via FCRA.

 

P.S.: Screenshots of returns are not provided as these data are made freely available online by the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India and are accessible to anyone at fcraonline.nic.in.

 

How To Access FCRA data?

  1. Go to: https://fcraonline.nic.in
  2. Click on “Information Bank” (Top left)
  3. Click on:
    1. List of associations that have filed annual returns. to get the annual returns; Then Choose Year & State (TN=Tamil Nadu; KA=Karnataka)
    2. List of associations that have filed quarterly returns. to get the Quarterly return filed by FCRA-NGOs. Choose Oct.-Dec.2015.

Disclaimer: This post does not make any value judgement on any of the Organizations mentioned here. Nor is it responsible for content present elsewhere, but hyperlinked from here. This Post does not explicitly or implicitly comment on the legality of these remittances. That aspect is outside the scope of this Post. This Post just collates data available on the FCRA website and presents it in a relevant fashion.

Additional FCRA-NGOs receiving funds from Gospel For Asia Inc