I will with pleasure do the best I can but I want to make it absolutely clear that I am not
hereby answering for Guru Swami G, nor was I asked by her to represent her.
I am doing this on my own.
As far as I know, my Guru's educational background is a college degree. This is an assumption, though I have heard her mention taking classes and she states that she was an Army nurse. If she has a degree, I do not know where from as it did and does not matter to me whether or not she has an academic degree.
As far as I know she does not have a post graduate degree.
Swami G claims that the military stipend referred to is for PTSD incurred as a result of sexual assault in the army.
According to a recent interview, she claims to have wrangled with the military for 20 years in order to get these benefits. . . she mentions these benefits twice and her interactions with the VA twice (unfortunately the video FLV doesn't have a minute and second marker on it or I would cite it that way), first at a little under 1/4 of the way through the interview and second a little over a half way through. She says she wrangled for so long because they had at first thrown her case out because she had also received earlier sexual trauma as a child that could have caused the PTSD.
Here is the interview (#34 on the Buddha at the Gas Pump website).
Does this mean that there is a Swami G related tax-exempt religious nonprofit corporation, which receives donations?
The monthly donations I have sent (according information on my paypal account) currently go to Zen Way, and prior to August 1 of this year, my personal paypal records show DBA:Zen-Way. I do recall discussion about profit/non-profit status in the ashram and that things are on a non-profit basis.
Does the nonprofit corporation pay for any of Swami G's expenses and/or afford her any sort of compensation?
I assume this is the case but I do not know the details. Sometimes on special occasions the students, out of gratitude, independently pool their monies to buy her gifts such as flowers or a small vacation (or recently a little Swarovski crystal). . . I myself have managed the money for these gifts from time to time. In all seriousness the amount of money coming in through donations is, to all reasonable appearances, very small -- I mean there are so few of us that its almost like we're a club -- so for me personally getting concerned about the financial management of the organization never really was an issue. I also independently asked people to contribute to a fund to finance a small ad campaign that I ran on facebook and I kept everyone abreast about the money coming in and how it was spent.
She inferred that she is "a teacher
Does this mean that Swami G is hired and/or charge fees for her services?
If so, how does her fee structure work?
Well, Swami G was admonished by her Guru never to charge money for instruction and she told us this point blank up front. In the past it has been clear that not everyone was donating and some of us, upset at all the freeloading, suggested that there might be a monthly fee and that if one could not afford it one could ask to be exempted from it. She absolutely refused to allow even this.
In the past, she used to (sporadically) send out a monthly reminder that if one appreciates the instruction given (and she does provide a good deal of personal instruction), the proper thing to do would be to donate. Upon being asked what an appropriate donation would be, she suggested taking %1 of annual income and donating %10 of that monthly. This was just a rough rule of thumb, and by no means a requirement.
When she stopped sending out the reminder for a while, I often took it upon myself to remind my fellow students that the proper thing to do is donate.
It is well known amongst us that not everyone donates (some have never really donated at all). Some are honestly too impecunious to do so, though there was and probably still is a good deal of freeloading going on too.
I can say from personal experience that Guru Swami G started communicating with me well before I was donating. There has never has been any charge of any kind for anything I received. Though former students have criticized her none have ever alleged that they were charged for anything.
Those who have no interest in exploring Guru Swami G's path can consult her and for this she does ask for a donation (that can be waived due to exigent circumstances or indigence). However this is primarily to weed out flakes and selfish people who want to waste her time. One can find more information about this here: [www.guruswamig.com
Though this information is somewhat informally presented and restricted to my own personal experience, I do hope it clarifies things to some degree.
John A. Lobur.