For an investigation to be fair, both sides – the accuser and the accused (even if the accused is deceased) need to be represented. In fact, one of the first things an investigator does when they are hired is to ask who is representing the accused.
In a communication to AOB on April 3, 2020, Guru Terath Singh asked the following question:
“If he was still alive, would you present him with the specific allegations including the names of his accusers and the what, when, and where the alleged offenses occurred? If not, why not? Since he has been dead for 15 years, who are you sending that information to so that he, his legacy, his family and staff can actively defend themselves?”
Barbara Gray (AOB Investigator) responded on May 7, 2020:
“The first question is moot. As to the second, again, it is not customary for someone to stand in place of the deceased, in fact, how could they? Additionally, the investigation has been open to anyone who wants to come forward to provide specific information to refute the allegations including his family and staff. His family, however, is not being investigated.”
Guru Terath Singh responded on May 8, 2020:
“The basic problem now is that the protocols that have been established for this investigation are contrary to universally accepted investigative Best Practices. In short, investigations always want to hear “the other side.” Since YB is deceased, I would have expected that when you were contacted to do this investigation, one of the first things that you would have asked would have been who is YB’s representative? His family? As the Shambhala community wrote in its Report: “for a Report to become a Claim, the individual had to be willing to identify themselves to (the investigator) and have the (investigator) identify them to the (accused). Otherwise, there would be no way for (the investigator) to investigate the (accused) and any witnesses to the claim.” The Shambhala investigative Report that was done by a law firm, when describing the process that was used, stated in part : “Similarly, the investigator meets with the (accused) about the allegation. Prior to this interview, the investigator provides the (accused) with sufficient information and detail to allow the (accused) to know the names and extent of the Claim against them. The interview is (the accused’s) opportunity to provide a full response to the allegation.” This process is commonly referred to as investigative Best Practices.
So here we are. You and the CRT have repeatedly said that you want anyone with relevant information either in support of the women making accusations or in defense of YB to contact you. The women making the accusations know who they are and what they say happened. They can provide you with contact information of anyone who has helpful corroborating information that is available to them. But since YB does not have a designated representative to whom you would disclose the names of the accusers and the specifics of the allegations, no one knows for sure any of these details. They can only speculate about the allegations that have been made to you based on whatever is out there on social media and others that have never been stated on social media.
So while your invitation for information looks good on its face, it is simply not real. If, as an example, one or more of the women tells you that she had sex with YB in his dome at night when she was on night duty, it would certainly be important for you to know if she was EVER on night duty. But that information is not available to you because no one knows who she is and when and where things supposedly happened. Was YB even in the same state or country at the time? Examples could go on and on. That’s why a representative with detailed information about each allegation is an essential part of every independent investigation. And it may be that you would learn that essential witnesses and documents are no longer available because of the great span of time that has transpired since these things supposedly happened which could affect the integrity of any conclusions at the end of the investigation. And that would not be anyone’s fault. It would just be part of the extraordinary task of trying to investigate something that happened so long ago, and especially without the ability to interview the accused.”
This can be fixed
This investigation should include a representative of SSS, who would be informed of the information needed to determine whether the allegations are true.