- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 2, 2008

FABER, Va. (AP)| The bodies of a man and his teenage daughter who were killed while on a pilgrimage to India are being returned from Bombay, their spiritual community has announced.

The Synchronicity Foundation said a memorial was being planned for Alan Scherr and 13-year-old Naomi. They were among 25 people affiliated with the meditation center who went on the pilgrimage with Master Charles Cannon, the founder of the sanctuary in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

Kia Scherr, wife of the former University of Maryland art professor and mother of Naomi, is scheduled to return to the foundation’s grounds Tuesday, but it is not known whether she will publicly discuss the deaths. Mr. Cannon will appear at a news briefing.

In a statement posted on Synchronicity’s Web site, he expressed his gratitude for the outpouring of support “in the midst of this most tragic experience.”

“As I write these few words, tears fall from my eyes,” Mr. Cannon wrote.

Four members of Synchronicity were injured Wednesday during the attacks at the Oberoi Hotel.

The most seriously injured, Montreal stage actor Michael Rudder, was to have surgery Monday to remove a bullet and is expected to remain in Bombay for two months, the Web posting stated.

Two members from Nashville - Rudrani Devi and Linda Ragsdale - have undergone treatment for their injuries and will recuperate for one week before returning home. Helen Connolly, who was grazed by a bullet, is expected to return soon to her Toronto home.

In interviews over the weekend in Bombay, Synchronicity members recalled how they crawled, bleeding, from a cafe at the Oberoi-Trident hotel after the gunmen killed the Scherrs.

Mr. Cannon barricaded himself into his hotel room with his two personal assistants from the foundation, stacking furniture against the door.

“We covered our faces with wet towels so we could breathe, but it just got thicker and thicker,” he said.

Nearly 60 hours after the attacks began, 10 Indian commandos knocked on the door and told them they were free to leave the hotel.

The foundation was established in 1983 by Mr. Cannon, who was a disciple of an Indian guru. The sanctuary includes a monastery, living quarters for about 30 and a central community building.

The community supports itself through seminars, retreats and the sale of Mr. Cannon’s meditation tapes.

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