One of the distinctive phenomena that independently confirm voices critical of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult is that his movement is eroding from within.
Sathya Sai Cult At Odds With Itself
Some of his followers have made progress in thinking their way out of this particular variety of ‘the guru trap’. They do not have to ask whether those who have spoken out (often after many decades as deeply dedicated service workers in his movement) are a tiny handful of disgruntled or money-oriented individuals or “demons” and “Judases” that Sathya Sai Baba and certain of his devotees have branded us as being. Rather, in waking up to the seriousness of the revelations, they discover rude awakenings enough in their own saddened localities.
Shocked Local Revelations Need No Consultation With Internet Ones
Both from those traveling to India and reports from communities in various countries, it is clear that although people have responded to articles by those such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel or myself, there are many others who independently do their own ‘homework’ and investigate in their own circles. The questioning followers (called “waverers” within the cult) – just as critics first themselves had to undergo – are:
- experiencing revelations from within their own families and/or other close and trusted circles
As this phenomenon continues, they:
- are in able then to consider how individuals they have known closely and deeply respected down the years have been shunned (sometimes by themselves directly) and, in effect, declared as non-persons by core national and international leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization.
Ecstasy Becomes Agony. Prelude To A Triumph of Self Respect and Conscience
The process is usually a slow and painful one, as it relates to self-exhumation of conscience, sensitivity and, not least, common sense. There is a terrible squinting at the light of common day, as successive sets of almost visceral, ingrown blinkers begin to drop away.
It is then that many consult our websites and blogsites. In this phase – one of an awakening question-asking and research – some come to us. When this happens, activists among us are able to see ever and again:
- the repeated patterns, the same heart-aching accounts, which confirm the tragically flawed behaviour of both Sathya Sai Baba and certain of his core servitors.
- the damage to wider communities of cultic (non) thinking. Since we are all social beings, connected to larger communal domains such as work, friendship, study, professional, sporting and other fraternities, and so on, sexual and other form of abuse strike more widely than within an immediate family or sect.
Major media and and scholars (whom, in the latter case, it is better not to name until, presumably, their work surfaces in academic journals or books or in the media) look for this type of broad-based evidence. Certainly, they come to us but they also have their own, carefully guarded, alternative sources. (Media, scholars and movie and documentary makers can be well-funded, and Sathya Sai Baba’s hideous untruth that we expose him for the sake of money is known, so long as they consult their consciences, by our former brothers and sisters who have known for many years how untrue any such statement is). They also look for the striking anomalies contained in official cult publications or video materials, where some of the information has not been able to have been weeded by the editorial censors. See the tiniest selection of Brian Steel’s ground-breaking scholarly articles at foot of this article).
Referring to The Secret Swami (see references below), in their intensive, multi country investigation, Assistant Producer David Savill told me that the BBC were able independently to unearth compelling accounts of young male sexual abuse by Sathya Sai Baba, including among Indian families who evidently had no contact with our organized network.
In the accounts of those who speak to us on a strictly confidential basis, we can see a distinct:
- lack of evidence that Sathya Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organization have done anything to counsel those devotees – including prominent ones – to stop vilifying, slandering and libeling, on and off the Internet, those who have called for properly constituted investigations into the many and serious accusations of criminal misconduct. See:
The Packaging of SB’s Discourses – An Update (March 2002)
Appreciations of Steel’s work at Call For Media and Government Investigation
‘THE GURU PAPERS’ AND SATHYA SAI BABA
“What I have outlined in my paper on ‘The Fundamentalist Guru Trap Exploitation’ is a very common pattern of behaviour among gurus, which can be seen from studying a fair sample of them. The nature of such authoritarianism has been shown and analysed par excellence by Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad, who have published their findings in a major work, which is also becoming recognised as a key study in authoritarian power and human manipulation both within guru circles and in other organisations throughout society”
Subheaders in this article: THE PROBLEM OF NARCISSISM. AUTHORITY AND POWER. CONTROL AND MANIPULATION. ABUSE OF POWER AND SEXUALITY
Guru Busters (Eagle and Eagle Films):
The Secret Swami (BBC Television):
Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):