Abuse. Some Reach Out. Many Suffer in Silence
Posted by Barry Pittard on November 10, 2007
Many of our witnesses come from various countries and cultures. They testify to sexual and other abuses by Sathya Sai Baba, and in some cases by those close to him, and the cover up by his core leaders in the Sathya Sai Organization. Many are unready to speak out.
Proper Debriefing Is A Sore Need
Some accept the importance of professional counseling but so many do not avail themselves of it, even though we do our best to organize properly accredited, culturally appropriate and experienced professional counseling, whether by former Sai devotee or other therapists from wider communities. Where individuals are not able readily to afford this, there has been no demand by professionals for fees.
Anger at Abusee Silence. Understandable, But Helpful?
The unwillingness of abuse survivors (a term preferable to ‘victims’, which can be a labeling of people), led one active former Sai Baba devotee to stop good and useful work for the exposé. This person said, “Why are they not standing up for themselves?”
Speaking Out Has Real Risks
However, there are considerable factors that can make speaking out (or at least on one’s own) unwise in what is, after all, an extremely painful, confusing situation.
Survivors can go into denial and suppression, failing to reach out. A humane and responsible organization would do its best to support those who nervous about seeking professional counseling as well as those open to receiving it. The international Sathya Sai Organization, like other groups in cover up mode, has profoundly and repeatedly failed in the duty-of-care and accountability areas.
Quote: “Today, most societies are multicultural. Would it not make sense to take the broad approach, with not a single organization acting as though it, too, is unaffected? Or a wider public permitted to think that it has not its own accountability?”
Quote: “The same sinister pattern of cover-up and denial is to be noted in Terry Gallagher’s findings. He was the head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia but, like a number of other leaders and rank-and-file Sai Baba followers around the world, he left after making careful enquiry into the sexual abuse allegations. In fact, Terry Gallagher’s enquiries were most extensive. Among other sources, he had spoken privately with a number of Sai Baba’s students”