Dear Dharma brothers and sisters
As you can read from the GBI fundraiser update of 8th June (re-published below), there has been some positive movement in terms of an apology from them for the confusion as to who would own the money raised specifically for Ina, and in terms of removing any conditions for Ina staying in the house (to be built with the money raised for her). However, GBI still keep all the money and ownership of the home and Ina is left with nothing to own independently herself or with any savings etc. The point that the fundraiser was first launched by the GBI Director without Ina’s consultation and agreement on it though, and that donors were told their money was repaying Ina’s kindness and service, not GBI, seems to have been lost somewhat in their legalistic clarifications about being legally bound to keep it now and being unable to give the money directly to Ina herself.
However, GBI have now clearly stated that there is the option for donors to ask GBI for a refund (at firstname.lastname@example.org) and pay the donation direct to Ina’s Paypal (https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/inabieler) so I will certainly be doing that. This will help make the point to the GBI director that Ina should own her home and the money raised as the whole point of the fundraiser was to repay Ina’s kindness and years of amazing, selfless service and hard work for GBI and Rinpoche (for room and basic living expenses). Also, I have been informed that there is a new President of GBI called John Kukor who has requested that all messages to GBI about this and other matters be forwarded to him (email@example.com). Please forward your concerns and refund requests to him as well.
Also, at least by giving it directly to Ina’s Paypal, it will ensure Ina also gets a lump sum and if there is then not enough for GBI to build suitable staff accommodation for her sole use on GBI premises, they can fundraise for that separately, which is what they should have done originally (several years ago).
It costs 2160 USD to stay for 18 days at GBI in a self-catering retreat hut during the upcoming Chakrasamvara retreat , which I would love to attend in person but as a simple Dharma translator and student, simply do not have the funds to do so, as am sure most other people will not either (perhaps I should launch a fundraiser to go :-). However, GBI are also requesting mandatory vaccination and booster status, which I object to as a matter of ethical principle and also appears to violate Arizona state law, where vaccines are optional, not mandatory. However, the point is the money is clearly there for staff accommodation, if they want to direct it there.
Thanks again to all those who also raised concerns with GBI management, who says people cannot make a difference? And we still can have an impact by asking for refunds of our donations and donating to Ina’s Paypal! https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/inabieler
UPDATE 10TH JUNE 2022: Ina Bieler has now launched her own personal website www.inabieler.com with a link for personal donations on Paypal. May all be beneficial and auspicious!
Adele Tomlin, 9th June 2022.
UPDATE FROM GBI ON INA BIELER FUNDRAISER
“Dear Worldwide Sangha,
We wanted to address some student’s concerns regarding the Garchen Institute fundraiser for Ina and her family to have a private housing accommodation at the Garchen Institute with a work space appropriate for her translation services for H.E. Garchen Rinpoche and the worldwide sangha. We apologize for the confusion caused by any communication that may have been unclear.
The Executive Committee of the Garchen Institute Board of Directors has reviewed the concerns raised, discussed improvements with H.E. Garchen Rinpoche, Ina and our Director. This letter outlines clarifications about the home space that the Board wishes to create for Ina and her family at the Garchen Institute. Ina has participated in creating the approach and confirming it is to her agreement:
• Ina and her family will have use of the house for their lifetime.
• Ina and her family can retire there and are not required to work at the Institute in order to live in the house.
• Garchen Institute will own the home and it will be used for staff housing in the future if or when Ina and her family no longer want to live there.
Garchen Buddhist Institute is a non profit entity in the United States and federal law only allows the Institute to collect donations for the Institute as a whole (land, utility services, lama care, staffing, buildings/maintenance) not an individual person. No matter how wonderful the person is, it is against the law to do so. The solution outlined above allows the Institute to provide Ina and her family housing for their lifetime and to follow the law.
The Institute runs entirely on donations and does not have any other source of income to fund projects of any kind. Consequently, a fundraising campaign is the only way we can generate the funds necessary to create a home for Ina and her family to use throughout their lifetime if they wish.
For any donors who intended their donation to be given directly to Ina, you can request a refund by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
For anyone who wishes to make an offering to Ina directly you can do so anytime here at Ina’s paypal account (https://www.paypal.com/paypalme/inabieler).
Housing Fundraiser update:
Due to the generosity of you all, $161,006 has been raised getting closer to the goal of $220,000 which will allow the Garchen Institute to fund the preparation of the site, create utility services and install a dwelling structure.
Together we can make this wish come true for Ina and her family.
Click Here to Donate
or send a check payable to:The Garchen Institute
and send to:
PO Box 4318
Chino Valley, AZ 86323
With best wishes,
The Garchen Institute Board of Directors”