The Truth about the SSSC Board Election Delays

There have been several attempts to stain the Yogi Bhajan Legacy team’s registration of new voters, and false information is circulating. Please take a few minutes to learn the truth about the SSSC Board Election facts from those of us working to seat Pro Yogi Bhajan Candidates:

We worked night and day for months assisting hundreds of new voters with the language barriers and the complicated election process the SSSC designed. We asked repeatedly for the voter application to be translated into other languages but the SSSC refused to accommodate our global sangat.

We should have had an election in September, then in November, and then in January; they postponed the election three times. We were hopeful we’d be blessed to win the election so we could start turning around all this hatred, pain, and negativity.

The SSSC is now telling us, 5 months after the registration deadline on September 13th, that 118 new voters received more than 3 recommendations, and 149 new voters received less than 3 recommendations. Our Voter Spreadsheet tells a very different story. We kept thorough records for all the new voters we assisted during the election process and the names of the 3 recommenders who submitted on their behalf. 

Some people have had the audacity to suggest that our team did not abide by the rules. Let us be very clear: not only have we abided by every single rule, we have done so despite numerous attempts by the SSSC Board majority to disqualify our voters in many questionable ways:

  • Over 2 years ago, the SSSC Board majority, in a rushed vote and by a narrow margin, expanded the pool of electors by giving all KRI Lead and Professional Trainers an automatic vote. In our view this was done in hopes of diluting the power of pro-Yogi Bhajan voters. They did not anticipate the great respect and affection in which Yogi Bhajan is held by people all over the world, even those who have never met him in person.

  • In a motion on May 19, 2022, the SSSC decided to delay the election by 75 days, and hired an outside firm, Armanino, LLP, to run the election. See Appendix A. Then voter registration closed in September 2022. Soon after the Board majority discovered we had registered record numbers of Pro Yogi Bhajan voters. The election was delayed again.

  • Under the pretext of “protecting them” the SSSC Board majority voted to reject all 133 of our new Chinese voters. So much for inclusiveness and diversity! See Appendix B

  • In truth, the SSSC Executive Director and staff are handling the voter applications and recommendations, NOT the outside firm Armanino, which is a blatant conflict of interest. See Appendix C

  • Our minority board members put in a motion for the SSSC Board to consider, in which representatives from both sides could work together to quickly and easily get the election admin work done and keep things fair and honest. The SSSC board majority refused. See Appendix D: Motion for a fair vetting process

  • The SSSC majority questioned the eligibility of 118 new voter applications «because they had more recommendations than required» — yes, you read it right, they had MORE recommendations than required but were not deemed acceptable. See Appendix E

  • Then 149 new voter applicants were rejected because allegedly they had only 0, 1 or 2 recommendations. An SSSC Board motion that would have given these voters a chance to have their missing recommendations resubmitted was rejected by the Board majority. See Appendix F: Motion to allow 149 voters a chance

  • There are numerous conflicts of interest in having the SSSC majority board members, Executive Director and staff so involved in handling the election. See Appendix G.

As painful as these last few years have been, throughout the many months of this election process, we have connected with so many beautiful and devoted Sikhs and Kundalini Yogis and we realize we are not alone in our love for our Teacher.

In this crucial time, we ask you to search deeply inside and ask yourself what future you would like to see? Your vote — or the lack of it — will have a tremendous impact on our ability to uphold the path Yogi Bhajan gave us, and the sacrifice he made to create teachers and leaders for the Aquarian Age.

We stand for a true spiritual path – one of depth, commitment, and service that provides the opportunity to grow and excel.

We oppose a watered-down path that is market and trend-oriented.

We will maintain the integrity of the Shabad Guru as a pre-eminent part of our spiritual identity and spiritual path.

We stand by and honor Yogi Bhajan and will preserve his legacy and honor.

We will preserve the teachings exactly as given by Yogi Bhajan so future generations can benefit from them.

We will support White Tantric Yoga as originally given by the Mahan Tantric and include it in our events.

We will support our National Kundalini Yoga Associations by honoring the 5% royalty they receive from Level 1 Teacher Trainings.

We will support Sikh Dharma as a spiritual organization.

We will support White Tantric Yoga and Sat Nam Rasayan.

We will make available to everyone the whole spectrum of the Teachings of Yogi Bhajan.

We will have true inclusiveness, by actively seeking international sangat members and younger representation on our boards and in management positions.

We will prevent individuals unfairly gaining power and clinging to it.

We will actively unite, integrate, and rebuild our Sangat.

We will reach out to share these teachings with an intensity and commitment never seen before since the Siri Singh Sahib Yogi Bhajan was in his body.

With this, we invite you to be part of a bright future. Together we will make a difference! Vote for our Pro Yogi Bhajan candidates, and let’s keep serving together and uplifting humanity.

The Yogi Bhajan Legacy Team


Appendix A · First 75 day election delay

May 19, 2022 – SSSC Regular Meeting

Motion to Provide Assurance to All of a Fair Election of the SSSC Board of Trustees

Whereas, the SSSC has determined that widespread trust in the election process for the open seats on its Board of Trustees is in the best interests of all members of our community around the world; 

Whereas, the SSSC has determined that to ensure widespread trust in the process the 2022 election will be overseen by independent auditors, who will rely on objective criteria to manage the 2022 election process, ensure fairness, and certify its results;

Whereas, the SSSC has determined that additional time will be needed to engage the election auditors and implement their work;

Therefore, the SSSC Board authorizes Lewis Roca to engage an independent accounting firm to manage the 2022 election process and certify the results, including but not limited to the following key elements:

1) Data Security

1.1) Assessing and implementing appropriate data and cyber security protections for all aspects of the online election process.

2) Candidates

2.1) Certifying that each candidate is a valid candidate that meets the stated criteria, including review of supporting documentation of appropriate donations

3) Voter Applications 

3.1) Implementing a review process, the specifics of which will be determined in conjunction with the auditing professionals, to ensure review of all new voter applications and approval of those that are complete and meet the voter criteria.

3.1.1) This will include an independent determination of whether the voter applicant meets the following requirements: (a) Has taken Sikh Vows, or (b) was born or raised as a Sikh to parent(s) who were members of the Sikh Dharma/3HO community, or (c) has practiced Kundalini Yoga for at least 7 consecutive years; Is currently and has been living and practicing the Sikh Dharma/3HO lifestyle for at least 7 consecutive years; currently and has been an active member of the Sikh Dharma/3HO community for at least 7 consecutive years; Is not currently, nor has ever been involved in any activities, organizations or communications that harm, threaten, or misrepresent the legacy organizations (for example, have an active EPS complaint, have threatened or taken legal action against any legacy organization or its employees, have made complaints to the SGPC or other Sikh governing bodies about any Sikh Dharma/3HO organization); and The voter criteria above are supported and established by three recommendations by requisite individuals (a Minister in Good Standing, an Active Khalsa Council Member or an Active Lead or Professional Trainer in the ATA Academy) who know the applicant and are not candidates or family members of the applicant.

3.2) If the independent auditors determine the application is deficient in any respect, they will alert the applicant and provide additional time for the applicant to provide sufficient information to satisfy the established criteria, which the auditors will then consider.

3.3) If the independent auditors determine the application remains deficient, the new voter application will be denied.

4) Approved Voters

4.1) Ensuring that every qualified voter that has satisfied the stated requirements is provided one set of unique credentials to cast one vote in the election without duplication.

5) Election Results

5.1) Certifying (in addition to any certification available through the current online voting system) that the election results are accurate, including that there was no interference with the data security protections for the electronic votes.

To hire the appropriate professionals and implement the election auditing work, the SSSC hereby immediately extends all dates in the previously published election timeline by 75 days.

The SSSC will clarify these changes and enhancements to the process—including the process to be a valid recommender and a valid voter—through additional content on the SSSC election website and in the form of a letter to the community. These communications will clarify that, if a recommender is found to be violating the election rules (for instance, recommending multiple voter applicants without the requisite knowledge of each candidate), all of that recommender’s recommendations will be stricken and, as stated above, the voter will be provided an opportunity to supplement their application with a proper recommendation that meets requirements.

IT IS FURTHER RESOLVED that funding for this process is approved in an amount not to exceed $100,000. The initial source of funding is the Special Projects Fund. If the available funds in that account are insufficient, then the shortfall will be funded from the SSSC Endowment. PASSES.

Appendix B · Disallow The Chinese Voters

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 – SSSC Regular Meeting

Motion to Provide Assurance to All of a Fair Election of the SSSC Board of Trustees

Motion 1

Whereas, the SSSC Election Policy dated November 3, 2021, Option 1 Automatic Qualification, allows certain credentialed members of the Sikh Dharma/3HO community to vote in the upcoming election for board seats on the SSSC; and

Whereas, the SSSC Election Policy dated November 3, 2021, Option 2 Qualification by Application, allows persons who are members of the 3HO/Sikh Dharma Community throughout the world to apply to be part of the electorate entitled to vote in the upcoming election for board seats on the SSSC; and

Whereas, the SSSC election process needs to satisfy legal requirements in all countries; and Whereas, based on advice from a law firm the SSSC engaged, the SSSC has reluctantly determined the following: (a) that it is not in full compliance with the requirements of Chinese law in regards to the upcoming election; (b) that it is unable to satisfy these requirements in the time frame for the SSSC Board of Trustees 2022 Election. SSSC commits to making its best efforts so that community members within the People’s Republic of China can vote in future elections;

It is therefore resolved that:

  1. Persons who are automatically qualified to vote who reside in the People’s Republic of China will not be eligible to vote for the SSSC Board of Trustees 2022 Election.
  2. Voter applications from persons, who are members of the 3HO/Sikh Dharma Community residing in the People’s Republic of China, for the SSSC Board of Trustees 2022 Election will not be processed.

Appendix C · The SSSC “working” with Armanino, LLP

Although the SSSC hired Armanino, LLP, to run the SSSC Board election, in truth, the SSSC Executive Director and staff are handling all your voter applications and recommendations. 

Once Armanino was hired, new voters and recommenders began receiving confirmation emails from them. However, after some time SSSC told Armanino to stop work on the election, so most voters and recommenders never received confirmation that their application or recommendations had been received. 

Armanino was hired to keep the election honest but informed the SSSC that the job was too complicated for them. Because our spiritual names are unfamiliar to them, and some people listed both legal and spiritual names, they tried to match people with their recommenders by email. When they discovered that some recommenders used more than one email, they gave up and handed the confidential voter applications and recommendations to the SSSC Executive Director and staff. They are the ones actually doing the work of “packaging” voter applications with their 3 recommendations. The SSSC Executive Director will submit their work to Armanino to “certify” – what a joke! How can Armanino certify something they couldn’t understand enough to handle themselves! 

How can we possibly trust that the results submitted to Armanino are thorough and accurate when the SSSC board majority refused to let us have any input or oversight, and they have discounted hundreds of our new voters?   

Appendix D · Motion for a fair vetting process

Thursday, November 3, 2022 – SSSC Regular Meeting

Motion 2

Whereas we need to have neutral, unbiased elections, the results of which can be acceptable to most community members.

The SSSC Board decides to establish an Election Review Panel (ERP) that will oversee completing the vetting of the voters for the 2022-2023 SSSC Trustee Election, in accordance with the process outlined below, and in the adjunct Election Review Annex. 

ERP Process: The SYB, Hope and change and Independent community groups will each select representatives to be part of the ERP. 

  • The chosen representative does not have to be SDI Ministers or KRI-certified teachers –  but knowledgeable about our community/names/ places and will be desirable for them to have experience in databases and speak other language than English.
  • Representatives selected may not be employed by, a board member of, SSSC or any subsidiary. 
  • Representatives must perform their duty in a professional manner and will be compensated for their time. 
  • The ERP will develop a detailed report describing the process and the results. (Kathy Patzch) will assist with the report development)
  • The ERP final product will be the final voter list. 

  • Kathy Patzch will be assigned to facilitate the process and serve as an interface between Armanino and ERP, she will oversee the process regarding timing, assigning batches of voters, and so forth.
  • The  ERP composition is defined by the number of candidates each group represents, as described in the following table.:
  • Based on the actual number of candidates the panel will be structured with 4 people selected by SYB; 4 selected by Hope and Change; 1 person selected by Independents.
  • The Review Panel will be divided into three teams, with a representation of the 3 groups. The facilitator will provide an equal number of applications to each team from Armanino’s spreadsheet, including names, emails, recommendation letters, and applications. The teams will vet each application using the steps outlined in the chart attached.
  • The decision process will be by consensus.
  • Special needs might arise for non-English speaking applications, ERP will evaluate if more resources are needed after reviewing the applications list.
  • Each team unanimously approves or rejects applications, if there is no consensus the application will be set aside for requesting additional information and come back to the team for review. 
  • The set-aside applications will be put into categories: e.g. letters missing, application incomplete, etc. 
  • The vetting process will follow the application criteria & procedures published at the time the election was announced. 
  • The review panel will be instructed to focus on the applicant’s demonstration of their 7 years of community involvement. 
  • Returning voters by application from the 2020 election will also be vetted by review of their Voter Credential Renewal Form as well as a review of the Application they submitted in 2020 to the Executive Committee.
  •       The list of applications that could not be resolved will be sent to the non-conflicted SSSC Board for final review and decision.
  • Once the voter list is finalized, including the resolution of all set-asides, the total list of approved will be submitted to a third-party election company that will facilitate the voting process, and certifies the results. 
  • The company will be selected by the non-conflicted SSSC Board members,  based on a recommendation by  Lewis Roca.
  • The budget for the review process is $25,000.  The ERP members will be paid $20/hr as independent contractors. The funds will be taken from the credit line. 

Appendix E · 118 voters with more than 3 recommendations

Thursday, January 12 2023 – SSSC Regular Meeting

Motion 1

  1. Whereas the Board has reviewed Armanino’s breakdown of the application pool as given below and
  2. Whereas the Board has specified previously that the applications need to have 3 recommendations and 
  3. Whereas 118 (as of Armanino’s latest count) of the applications have 3 recommendations all of which do not match the ones listed on the applications it is therefore


A The 118 applicants will be contacted via email and requested to provide a list via return email within 4 calendar days of all the recommenders they listed on their application AND any others from whom they might have requested recommendations. The response should contain the name (legal and spiritual if applicable), address, and email address.

B If the recommenders’ names provided by the applicant match the 3 recommendations received, these applicants are considered approved pending the review of the application for completeness.  If less than 3 match, the application is considered invalid and the applicant will be deemed ineligible to vote in this 2023 election.  

C Best efforts will be made to complete the process within 21 days of the start date of January 17, 2023. 


Appendix F · Motion to allow the 149 voters a chance to have recommendations resubmitted

Thursday, January 26, 2023 – SSSC Regular Meeting

Motion 1

Whereas there are approximately 149 applicants who submitted applications which have less than 3 recommendations and 

Whereas due to multiple difficulties and misunderstandings associated with the application process and 

Whereas the SSSC desires to engage and include our global Sangat to the greatest extent possible by delivering the right to vote to those that sincerely attempted to apply and 

Whereas representations were made by members of our legal team that due to issues with the application portal any person who applied would be considered it is therefore 

Resolved that these approximately 149 applicants will be contacted and given 5 calendar day to supply the missing recommendations noted on their application and it is further 

Resolved that special attention will be given to non-English speaking applicants to assist them in complying with the resolution.  


The Yogi Bhajan Legacy Group