I have serious questions about Brother Charles and his spiritual shortcuts {"Don't Worry, Be Happy," July 15}. The self-realized beings I know of and have met charge nothing for being in their presence or attending their spiritual programs -- enlightenment is for everyone, not just those who can pay. Any money they do receive -- in the form of voluntary donations -- goes to the schools and orphanages they sponsor. Besides, how can one put a price on enlightenment?

I'm afraid Synchronicity caters to those notions of our materialistic, fast-paced world, where many are looking for the "quick fix" and believe, as Paul Shannon so succinctly put it, "if it doesn't cost you anything, it has no value." Anything of real value cannot have a price tag stuck to it, because it is priceless.

Brother Charles, I can see where your ego is. Where is your selfless service?



and Synchronicity poses an interesting question for many of us who live in Charlottesville.

What is there about the area that made it the capital city of way-out religious cults and pseudo-philosophies? Is there some special attraction that makes it a mecca for an unbelievable number of very strange people, of whom Brother Charles is hardly the most unusual?

CHARLES M. SYLVESTER Charlottesville

LET ME TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO acknowledge the wonderful article on Synchronicity and Brother Charles that appeared in the July 15 issue of the Magazine. However, I wish to clarify several misstatements in the interest of truthful public record:

1. We do not have a "10-person staff {that} works for free, in exchange for food, a trailer-house bunk bed and proximity to Brother Charles." Rather, we maintain a 12-person staff that participates in a residential work-study transformational lifestyles program, the benefits of which are: full room and board (there is not one bunk bed within our entire facility), full medical/dental care, a retirement pension plan and a monthly cash stipend. All told, this amounts to a yearly value in excess of $25,000 per person.

2. The rumor regarding Brother Charles's participation in the television series "My Three Sons" was perpetuated by the Lynchburg News & Daily Advance.

3. Brother Charles was never "an advance man of sorts for {Swami} Muktananda." Rather, he was his closest Western disciple and his personal secretary for many years. He then became one of his ambassadors traveling and representing him all over the world.

4. Brother Charles never "opened a vegetarian restaurant" in Lovingston, Va. Rather, such a restaurant was opened by friends of his and he appeared at the opening ceremony, which was carried in all the local newspapers.

5. Brother Charles did not begin experimenting with meditation technology after he moved to Virginia. He began such experimentation some 10 years before while with Muktananda.

6. There is no "plum" dining hall or "purple" meditation temple within our facilities, nor do we use any "ultraviolet, or 'black,' lighting." Brother Charles does not "believe the purple end of the color spectrum is most conducive to a meditative state." He rather says that the violet end of the color spectrum is conducive to the enhancement of whole-brain synchrony. There is a vast difference between violet and purple.

JOHN CUCURA Vice President, Synchronicity Faber, Va.


1. My first draft of the Brother Charles story did in fact state that Synchronicity had a 12-person staff. However, during one of several fact-checking calls I made to Synchronicity Council member Eileen Kilgallon, she said, "No, we have 10." In the interest of accuracy, I made this correction.

Synchronicity President Steve Pauley is the one who told me that the staff is unpaid, and Kilgallon confirmed this. Both had ample opportunity to elaborate on whatever benefits Brother Charles provides in lieu of salary. Neither did. (By "bunk" bed, I meant only to imply a narrow bed.)

2. "Perpetuated" is the operative word here. As far as I can tell, Brother Charles first revealed his "My Three Sons" connection to Woody Greenberg, then editor of the Nelson County Times. According to the Greenberg story, published February 9, 1984, BC said he "was Fred MacMurray's youngest son, Ernie, on 'My Three Sons' for the TV show's first few months." Greenberg confirmed for me back in March that Brother Charles told him this in a personal interview.

3. Both Kilgallon and a spokesperson for the Siddha organization verified that Brother Charles, as Swami Vivekananda, was an "advance man of sorts."

4. I got this information from the Woody Greenberg story and confirmed it with Eileen Kilgallon.

5. I concede this point to Brother Charles.

6. Whatever the light in the temple, it sure looked like the kind my older brothers used to illuminate their black-light posters. As far as the distinction between purple and violet goes, I'm sorry if the poet in me went wild.


THE JULY 22 ARTICLE, "MY GOLFER, MYself," by Christine Brennan made for very easy reading. I lay there on my couch and could see Tracy Kerdyk and Christine in my mind walking down the fairways and up to the greens. I couldn't help but believe that somehow having Christine as her caddie made the tournament just a bit more enjoyable.

I'm just now taking up the game, and as I lay there, I could imagine myself on the tour and walking up to the 18th green and looking over my shoulder at the leader board with my name at the top. Just then, my 13-month-old comes by dragging my putter behind him . . . a golf pro in the making?



LINTON WEEKS'S ESSAY ON THE SEA shore, "Living on the Edge" {July 22}, reminded me of a week at the beach:

It was too short.

DEE WALKER Rockville Please address letters to: 20071, The Washington Post Magazine, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071. Letters must include name, address and daytime telephone number and are subject to editing.