How Cult Exposure Spreads Far And Wide (Sai Baba Case)
Posted by Barry Pittard on December 19, 2008
In exposing those cultic abuses, anomalies, derelictions of duty of care, lack of accountability, and so on, dissenters from a cult such as that of Sathya Sai Baba experience many advantages to their cause that may not be immediately obvious.
Impact Extends Far Beyond The Range Of Major Dissenters
After reading the evidence extensively available on Sathya Sai Baba former devotee sites, those troubled by their experiences are able to crystalize their thoughts, and make their own independent investigation. Many soon find that there is a large body of evidence which, for the protection of privacy, cannot be put up on the Internet.
Frequently, emerging from a belief system is a slow-going, painful process. Leave-takers gradually discover other confirmatory cases far beyond those unearthed by primary writers such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel and myself. (Our blog and websites are referenced below). Indeed, in its many months of intensive investigation, the BBC in the making of ‘The Secret Swami’ (like other media that has seriously investigated) uncovered evidence that was beyond the range of internationally networked former devotees. See:
Those who discover that what former devotee critics have written is true begin to network with others who have confirming experiences. This activity occurs both within and far beyond the organized former follower network. One learns about it in roundabout, sometimes (for such is life) very coincidental ways.
This ever-burgeoning contact is not conducted only via the Internet but in many ways – such as in family, friendship and workplace circles, chance meetings when shopping, in the workplace, through other electronic media such as Skype, and in many other ways.
Former Devotees DO Continue Community Service
A common cry from apologists is: why don’t you people do something worthwhile with your lives, such as serve the needy in your communities? This indicates a profound misunderstanding of two crucial situations:
– The core leaders of Sathya Sai Organization, and some rank-and-file members, know perfectly well that the concerns are not frivolous, and that many who have left the organization have spent decades of utmost dedicated service.
– Former devotees – including those highly active in the exposure – very typically continue to serve others, such as in their wider communities. They are loving parents and grandparents, and dedicated to their professions, trades, and other worthy activities. Those who write and research on these matters may appear – to the superficial – as though this is all that they do in life. The fact is that a lifetime of professional work has led to habits of discipline, speed of execution in work styles, and finding an array of balances concerning life’s joys, sorrows and duties.
Organized Attackers Often Belie Their Own Cult Leaders’ Spiritual Teachings
In our contact with other groups who have well-reputed organizations exposing of cover up and spiritual betrayal, we repeatedly find that the same tactics are used against those who blow the whistle: culumny, defamation, libel, distortion of their position, name-calling, branding, depersonalization, denunciatory, belittling and spiteful language, attacking individuals rather than genuinely considering their argument (argumentum ad hominem), culumny, defamation, libel, various other forms of invalid argument, and so on. Apologists for the remiss leader and cult not only attack former followers but also any media – such as the BBC and major media in various parts of the world – in a way that would insist that everybody else is at fault and the cult alone is correct.
Timothy Conway, Ph.D
Note: Brian Steel’s website, like that of Robert Priddy, is vast and penetrating in its extent. However, his blogsite also deals with matters not related to exposing Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult.
Kevin Shepherd, a British scholar who has taken an interest in the topic: