Have you seen Jonathan Spollen? Missing in Rishikesh since February 3rd, 2012

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#1036 Apr 6th, 2012, 06:15
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  • davidgreen100 is offline
#1036
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Originally Posted by theyyamdancer View Post On the day of Maundy Thursday, today, I have an idea which is perhaps a little bit crazy. David, Lynda, friends of Jonathan: is it even remotely possible that during this entire timeframe that Jonathan is missing, which corresponds roughly to the period of Lent, there is a reason for his retreat which might be linked to a religious purpose? I do not know enough about him to fathom his motivations. But it is just an idea that occurred to me yesterday out of the blue. Could he be fasting also for religious reasons, quite apart from his health concerns? I do apologize if this is off the mark.
THis being the case, Jonathan will rejoin the rest of us in the next couple of days? I would like to think so, but can only work off what I know to be the facts so far - where he was last seen, what he was doing, who he was with. Thank you to the many IMers who have followed up the possible spiritual journey. This is disfficult to investigate, but with your help, we are able to work out some of the many courses it could take. We also have to think about other less pleasnt possibilities whic IMers have respectfully alluded to, that he migh simply have died through privation, illness or other causes. There is no evidence of this as yet, but we have to be open to it.
Finally, and most difficult for me, is finding out things about Jonathan that I was not aware of and making them public in order to try and find him.
In all of this, it is easy to forget that there is a young man who would be horrified by these breaches of privacy. But what do you do? How much do you disclose? For all I know, Jonathan may be reading this right now. Has he given up his right to privacy, or is this a time when his feelings become paramount and should not be the subject of any more public debate. There is no script for his diappearance or for running this thread. The best I can do is to write with as much honesty as I can bear and to trust you guys to pitch in likewise. You're doing a fantastic job so far.
#1037 Apr 6th, 2012, 06:27
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#1037
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Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post And you are consistent in your stonewalling, Mr. Sage. Trust me, anyone would have a 'feel' for & could answer those specific questions & pertaining to a familiar area in a heartbeat - especially if they were a frequent visitor there. Ask the good people in Goa if this isn't so.








Most officials are very 'helpful' & 'appeasing' in India on - at least on the surface! Based on your experience, how efficient are the Rishikesh police? In your opinion, is there any degree of difference between what they say they will do & what they actually do/accomplish? Are they the types that you would recommend staying on top of? Some of these law enforcement officials promise alot & do little, others promise little & do alot - work habits, integrity can & do vary greatly by region.

What's the buzz about this on the Rishikesh street?
Peak and KK, the police have been on board throughout this ordeal, moreso from the time we discovered Jonathan's belongings. If you have been to Indian police stations, you will quickly realise that they are not well resourced (one or two old desktop pc's in LJ, with tortoise-powered internet servers), but if you ask about the help we have received, then you cannot praise them highly enough. They have worked closely with us through provincial elections and holy days, when LJ was inundated with visitors. They have assisted in searches and brought in alpinists and they are curreently assisting in leafletting buses to and from Neelkanth. You can argue that they want to get this cae out of their hair as quickly as they can, but I feel we have made a strong personal connection with the police in LJ - they all have families too. Hopefully this will put to rest any further speculation about the motives of the police in LJ.
#1038 Apr 6th, 2012, 06:32
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#1038
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Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post Sorry - for those of us who have had to deal with the trials & tribulations of Indian bureaucracy - the seemingly menial task(s) can be extremely frustrating at the best of times & it would be foolish to pretend otherwise. I'm all for holding hands, singing Kumbaya and hoping he pops out of a cave sometime soon too .... but weeks are now turning into months & we'd be remiss not to suggest the plan bs, cs, & ds.


Therefore, I thought it might be helpful for his family & friends - most of whom are very unfamiliar with the customs/politics of India - to best understand the ways of how the 'local' system works. Ideally one would prefer to be well briefed on all the different 'players' they they might encounter when going into a foreign situation such as this.

In particular the nitty gritty of Rishikesh & the rapport that the locals(transient, spiritual, tourism & locals) have with authorities. Surely somebody saw or knows something more, but how best to extract that information - leaving full responsibility to police or more through the spiritual grapevine? Or are those two avenues completely in cahoots with each other in Rishikesh? Do all aspects of society share information with each other there? Based on some of the responses on this thread, I fear not!


Was this such an inane, offtopic & over the top a query in your opinion? Have you not been to India & or organized business & due diligence with officials on a widescale basis? It would appear not.

If so, how would you strategically structure your search campaign & questioning in the Rishikesh area & with all the various characters & levels of society there? Spill the beans and help us all out with your expertize then ....



Get rid of that flippant guru you have under contract - always a prudent step towards enlightenment. No theories at all here. For example in Goa, the police rapport with locals is indeed an on going issue, often, discussed & always on the table. What's the situation in Rishikesh, baba?
Peak and KK, will just have to let you two get into a ring and fight it out. If you are anything like your avatar, KK, I would advise Peak to avoid this option at all costs!
#1039 Apr 6th, 2012, 07:53
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#1039
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Originally Posted by davidgreen100 View Post You can argue that they want to get this cae out of their hair as quickly as they can, but I feel we have made a strong personal connection with the police in LJ - they all have families too. Hopefully this will put to rest any further speculation about the motives of the police in LJ.
Never a question about their intentions, motives & enthusiasm. My concern/query was more about the limitations (if any) of their intelligence gathering & thus how best to supplement the efficiency of your search within the local community & spiritual grapevine. Not an easy question to answer and it seems to have drawn some ire - so let's leave it at that. Best of luck in your search!
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time. ~
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#1040 Apr 6th, 2012, 07:57
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#1040
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Originally Posted by nadreg View Post I will give this some thought tonight about the best way to do this and get back to you guys shortly.
My heart goes out to David, Lynda, and the rest of Jonathan's family and friends, and I hope as everyone else on the site does for Jonathan's safe return.

However, I've given this some thought and have decided to not post a sticky on the homepage as suggested in this thread. I have resisted doing this in the past for other missing travelers because it is difficult to then decide which ones should be allowed and which ones shouldn't, and it would not be possible to allow them all to be stuck to the homepage.
It's always darkest before it goes completely black.
#1041 Apr 6th, 2012, 08:17
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#1041
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Originally Posted by new_traveller View Post I don't think in these modern times people remember phone numbers ( everything is stored on some device phone, notepads, ipads etc)

What would he do in this situation even if he is fit and stable after the illness.
Ahem, here's one who does. But then they tell me there's something funny about my memory.

What people seem to easily forget in this day and age, is you can call any country's national operator, and they'll put you through based on your info. So, let people not forget this. They have access to international number information and etc.

Nadreg, thanks for your message just above and thinking it over. Wanted to say I understand and respect the decision.

David, thanks for being back in with all your thoughts. What an ordeal for you people, indeed. I can only wish you all the best with your efforts, once again.
#1042 Apr 6th, 2012, 08:17
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#1042
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Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post My concern/query was more about the limitations (if any) of their intelligence gathering
Rishikesh/Haridwar police have excellent intelligence gathering resources and an extensive network in the hills comprising of local people, villagers and sadhus assisting them as informers in these matters. I say this with my own experience where we lost all hopes for a person who vanished for 3 months, and the police was able to trace the person with their persistent efforts. They did a fantastic job and without them it wouldn't have been possible at all.
#1043 Apr 6th, 2012, 08:25
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Originally Posted by prince09 View Post Rishikesh/Haridwar police have excellent intelligence gathering resources and an extensive network in the hills comprising of local people, villagers and sadhus assisting them as informers in these matters.
Great, sounds world class! And they communicate/mix well with the westerner spiritual tourists as well?
#1044 Apr 6th, 2012, 09:04
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#1044
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Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post And they communicate/mix well with the westerner spiritual tourists as well?
Are you referring to the people or police?
#1045 Apr 6th, 2012, 09:10
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#1045
I think posters/enquiries of any sort should highlight that Jonathan may be ill- stones. Symptoms that would be obvious to a layman should be listed.
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#1046 Apr 6th, 2012, 09:11
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Originally Posted by prince09 View Post Are you referring to the people or police?
I was asking about the rapport that police have with the spiritual tourists. The better the rapport, the better the information flow. Some jurisdictions, Goan police for example, do not have the best of relations/confidence with tourists. Thus the clarification.
#1047 Apr 6th, 2012, 09:22
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#1047
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Originally Posted by PeakXV View Post I was asking about the rapport that police have with the spiritual tourists. The better the rapport, the better the information flow. Some jurisdictions, Goan police for example, do not have the best of relations/confidence with tourists. Thus the clarification.
Well Goa and Rishikesh are very different places as far as tourism is concerned and the rapport between police and tourists(esp international) is minimal. Police in rishikesh have tightened up for sure in the last few years but they get involved with the tourists only if they find something suspicious about them or their activities.
#1048 Apr 6th, 2012, 13:39
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#1048
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Originally Posted by davidgreen100 View Post In all of this, it is easy to forget that there is a young man who would be horrified by these breaches of privacy. But what do you do? How much do you disclose?
That is of course exactly correct, and I can hardly fathom the conundrum it must put you in.

But, keep this board updated on where things stand, and to the extent that you can, and people will do with it what they can.

(And, btw, good to notice there's always a tongue-in-cheek and so humor in your posts. Man, it must be hard.)
#1049 Apr 6th, 2012, 14:18
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#1049

Hope

I come here every day with hope in my heart, and although I can't be there on the ground, I can add my support in my own way..by reading the posts.
I look at this Himachal web newspaper site each day.

http://hillpost.in/

Maybe worth looking at online news sites for extra publicity?
Cheers, Vee
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#1050 Apr 6th, 2012, 14:30
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#1050
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Originally Posted by nadreg View Post However, I've given this some thought and have decided to not post a sticky on the homepage as suggested in this thread. I have resisted doing this in the past for other missing travelers because it is difficult to then decide which ones should be allowed and which ones shouldn't, and it would not be possible to allow them all to be stuck to the homepage.
And how on earth would the decision be taken as to how long to keep them there.

Points taken.
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