Call For Media and Government Investigation

of Sathya Sai Baba And his worldwide cult, the Sathya Sai Organization

Caught In One Of History’s Most Powerful Cults (4)

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 18, 2007

Workmates and many other acquaintances in the wider community who are not cult followers might be a good source for challenging cult members’ assumptions.

Few Reality Checks

But ‘cult’ here means a considerable closing off from other sources. This may not always be obvious, where cult members ‘blend in’ with workplaces, institutions of learning, volunteer service activities, etc. But the net effect is that there is a poverty of sources for any meaningful challenging of cult members’ assumptions.

In many countries, there is a common cultural sensitivity regarding discussions about religion (and politics), which are often excluded from conversation. Challenges usually come from within the cultic individual’s family, and these occasions can end up in disarray and even family breakdown.

Fear Rules Permanent Residents In Sai Baba Ashrams

Many permanent residents in Sai Baba’s ashrams know of the shocking anomalies but remain silent because they know that they and/or other family members will be cast out.

Families Torn

Former devotee support group members hear heart-rending stories well beyond the accounts of those who have been sexually abused. Others have been horribly treated by Sai Baba or his officials or service volunteers, or badly scammed by certain ashram authorities in the matter of purchase of apartments, or faced threats by the Sathya Sai Organization of being cast out if they raise questions, and so on. From around the world, we hear from those subjected to severe ostracism, after having carefully investigated various allegations, by family members. This has also been the fate of those who have a close relationship with survivors of various forms of abuse by Sai Baba or key figures around him. For fear of alienating family or friends who remain in the cult, there are former devotees who, though they may remain sympathetic to the expose cause, do not want to raise their own heads above the fence – where they are a sure target for fanatical defenders of Sai Baba. Or, what is perhaps worse, the blindness to their plight of those whom they have known and loved for years.

Abuse Survivors Often Say They Want To “Move On”

Freqently, survivors of sexual and other abuses do not wish to feel defined and stigmatized by their experiences, and prefer to remain silent. Many feel that, even if they ‘came out’, they would not be supported by those in their own family and local friendship circles. It is all very sad. 

Those of us who have wide contact with former followers of Sai Baba find that, so as to avoid marriage or other family break-up, some former cult members withold what they know from family who remain devoted to Sai Baba.

Across the contra cult literature, it can be seen that the constraints are very typical. These create considerable difficulty for reformists when it comes to messenging to the world at large – in the attempt to prevent future harm.

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