NEW EVIDENCE OF SATHYA SAI BABA'S FRAUDULENCE AND SEXUAL MOLESTATION
Replies comments on information recently received by one of the JuST group working committee:-
I live in Houston, Texas. I was a devotee of Sai
Baba from 1993 till around 2000.
I spent almost a year and a
half of my life living in Sai Baba's ashrams. I heard stories from other
young men to whom Sai Baba applied oil. So perhaps it is not especially
noteworthy. I also heard of a young man who Sai Baba kissed on the mouth
and another young man Sai Baba touched inappropriately (on his genitals).
The Few who Dare Speak Out include the writer of the above, Greg Gerson, has kindly given permission to post his name. In this he is an honourable exception to the rule. Members of the exposé receive hundreds of communications which cannot be posted or brought further for reasons of privacy. This is always to Sathya Sai's advantage.
There are many reasons for people who are disaffected not to wish to have their names posted:-
1. It can cause harassment from so-called 'devotees', as is known from many posts on bulletin boards and offensive e-mails received.
2. There are persons in touch with us whose marriages would disintegrate if their spouses knew they were disaffected, and many who would lose all their friends and contacts if their names came out.
3. Most who have been devotees who have lost all Sai contacts do not want this fact commonly known afterwards because many people wonder how they could have been so naive and foolish, not least employers or other important contacts.
4. The majority of those whose faith has been so badly abused (often after great selfless service and years of donating etc.) naturally just want to try to put it all behind them and forget as much as possible. Few people in any serious controversy are willing or able to risk getting anywhere near the public limelight.
Above all, the victims of Sathya Sai's various forms of sexual molestation who are so far undeclared (esp. students at the colleges) will probably take years to deal with these traumas and the fear of speaking out (and there is all reason to fear this for those stuck in India)... they deserve all our support in puncturing this myth of Sai's purity and goodness. Then there are all those youth (and others) who have not yet been inducted and who would risk the attentions of Sai and the considerable 'pedophile ring' consisting in former students he had 'initiated' to it.
He was fortunate that he got out before things went further with Sathya Sai. The oiling of stomach and/or the genitals is evidently a method of gradual approach... testing of potential sexual partners. That this unasked-for genital interference takes place has been admitted openly by central coordinators in the Sai organisation (e.g.. Thorbjorn Meyer) and other so-called 'Sai VIPs', including in radio and TV interviews. Some devotees have also tried to rationalise it in postings on the web! However, any touching of genitals by other than doctors with a patient's consent is an illegal act. That Greg did not respond to a long embrace and was slapped suddenly is very like the techniques that psychopaths use to soften up their victims. Similar reactions to other young men with whom Sathya Sai was angry when they did not get sexually aroused are recorded in various of the affidavits on the internet. It is understandably typical of many (but not all) abused people that they can take up to decades to deal with it, if then, and only few come forth in public. It is not a thing one exactly longs to do... explain what was done to oneself and then face suspicion and whatever worse may come. Eventually, when allegations begin to snowball, they can help to bring about legal action, as we now begin to see in Catholic Church communities after decades of abuses all over the world. Later, Greg Gerson explained further:
I would like to make one last point. I have
heard so many mystical, fantastical stories told to me by fellow devotees
such as: "Sai Baba walked through my bedroom wall in America..." and on
and on and on !!! I quickly came to understand that I had to be very wary
and sceptical of these fantastic second, third, forth, etc. hand stories.
Many of these stories were absolutely absurd and ridiculous.
Second-hand stories as 'rumours' All accounts of sexual abuse are necessarily at second-hand (unless one was personally involved) and the exposure of such practices always has to begin with what can appear to be 'rumours'. There can be no 'smoking gun', no 'corpse' in such cases. Therefore we do not find that reports from people - whether first-hand victims or at second-hand via a friend etc. - are necessarily baseless! This is an unavoidable step in uncovering sexual abuse, in which huge difficulties are involved. The road to conviction and imprisonment is very long and relatively very few paedophiles are brought that far anyhow, and it always begins with allegations coming into the public sphere (often indirectly so as to protect victims). In the case of Sathya Sai, this is no once off or small matter. It involves many dozens of open allegations and over a score of signed sworn affidavits. Also, the time span involved is decades. We in the JuST group have been very cautious about forwarding allegations until extensive investigations were made. We have found it is a case of no smoke without fire. Very smokey, very fiery!
Students in SSB colleges have stood forth as best they could in the dangerous circumstances. Without their contacting David Bailey and begging him to listen and to help them, the entire matter might well still have been unknown. As a devotee David Bailey had over 100 interviews!!! He was maligned by Sai slanderers as being a paedophile himself, and was said to be in prison then to have hung himself. An ex-follower recently mailed to ask about this slander, which is still being spread by members of the Sai Organisation in Canada. Apropos, he is in fine fettle, and anyone who wishes can view him on his 2003 website at http://www.yoga-ez-fitness-wear.com/music-relaxation.html
Mails have been received from several Sai students who declare that it is virtually a death sentence to stand forth in India. Some have e-mailed members of the JuST group in the strictest confidence, which cannot therefore be published. Some have posted very credible accounts that confirm other accounts, using public message boards under cover of pseudonyms. In two cases they have been met with substantial threats in vile language from anonymous posters - including a death threat - and have soon ceased to post more. There is a lot of back-up testimony to the existence of a powerful circle of abusers around Sathya Sai... plus evidence of student deaths on campus at various times (in addition to the four who were executed in June, 1993) which remain uninvestigated due to cover-up by local police, the Sathya Sai Central Trust and the ashram. The evidence of this was in certain local Indian newspapers and is now partly found on the Internet, and not least in the writings of B. Premanand.
A once much-revered close devotee of Sai was Dr. Naresh. Bhatia, the former head of the blood bank at the Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital and author of a self-biographical Sai book (The Dreams & Realities. Face to Face with GOD, Faber, Virginia, USA: Leela Press Inc., 1996. Later withdrawn on orders from Sai Baba). He claimed to have had a longstanding sexual relationship with Sai Baba. Bhatia resigned from his post at the hospital in December 1999 and is now an administrator at a hospital in New Delhi.
The Daily Telegraph reported the following "Contacted by phone, Bhatia said that he had become a devotee of Sai Baba in 1971, at the age of 20, and that he had had sexual relations with Sai Baba for a total of '15 or 16 years'. In that time, he said, he was also aware that Sai Baba had relations with 'many, many' students from the college and school, and with devotees from overseas." Dr. Bhatia has since been effectively silenced, after having fled from thugs who came to his house in Puttaparthi and made some mutual agreement with the Sai Baba authorities.
A former student Ashok Krishnamurthy in 1987-89 posted in February 1999 on society culture australian some of his experiences concerning the existence of late night orgies Sai has with students and how he was warned beforehand by other students. (Apropos, a member of JuST has sometimes seen young students in their best clothes sitting waiting outside the interview room -and innocently wondered why and what for - at about 8.30 p.m. in the evenings, back when Sai still had his bedroom above it, back in the 1980s until 1993.) He also wrote that very few students actually believed in Sai's 'materialisations' and that some students amazed him by doing the same tricks in the hostel to show him how it was done. As another student wrote on a bulletin board, they are unable to tell about any of this without major confrontations with their long-term devotee families who sent them there, and probable expulsion from the colleges, loss of education and future likely job prospects... or yet worse! They are totally trapped and can be misused at Sai's convenience. Practically no one who they might dare to tell will listen to them, and no one can really help them anyhow, except by struggling to bring their cause to public notice. This is harder by far in India than in more enlightened, liberated parts of the world, where it is still more than tough enough.
The manuscript of Conny Larsson's long self-biography, yet to be published, in which he deals with his entire Sai involvement and the crisis through which he went when his disillusionment became critical is an impressive testimony. He answers the many questions that arose in our minds after he finally told how he had long been sexually abused by Sai, long believing it to be some kind of healing (which it most definitely was not!). He describes in very convincing detail the confusion and denial that worked in him and which is operative on so many levels in the mind of a devotee, and not least of course of those who are approached sexually and/or frequently sexually molested and abused by Sai.