U.S. Psychologist Shirley Pike’s Moving Challenge To Sathya Sai Baba and His Organization
Posted by Barry Pittard on November 30, 2010
The Sathya Sai Organization faces yet more resignations, and also departure of those who leave without formally resigning. International coordinators such as Robert Priddy and myself (see sidebar at bottom right hand side of this page) are always happy to provide, from a wide database, contact details of those who have left and are willing to be contacted, and who reside in an area as close as possible to that of any enquirer. We have professional protocols to ensure that those who contact us are genuine. For individuals and families who have faced sore difficulties, we can also refer to very qualified, experienced professional counselers.
People from many professions, trades and cultures have left Sathya Sai Baba, and down the years, have continued to show the same attitudes of service in their communities as they did when followers of Sathya Sai Baba. One of these is the child psychologist Shirley Pike (Ex-President, North Central Region: Ex-President Cedar Rapids Center, Iowa USA). She is a nationally Certified School Psychologist and has a specialist Master’s Degree (with forty five graduate units beyond the typical Master’s Degree). She works with children who have severe emotional and behavioural concerns, many of whom have been sexually and otherwise abused.
The way Shirley Pike has held to conscience and professional responsibity is a model that many in the Sathya Sai Organization need to practise. Their dereliction of the duty of care, and the manner in which they have shunned, and allowed to be execrated, those whom they loved and honoured down many years is a truly appalling fact not faced by this supposedly caring organization.
No credible professional can remain silent when the most serious allegations keep on coming year after year, decade after decade. Shirley Pike not only spoke out while still in the Sathya Sai Organization – she has proved of great support to other dissenting voices, and has given courage to those whose lives were shattered by the revelations of the dark side of Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors. In the face of almost unimaginable libel, defamation and unrelenting attack, she, and others, have striven with much personal sacrifice to live those qualities of truthfulness, right conduct, peace and love that Sathya Sai Baba and many of his devotees have most dreadfully failed to embody.
|January 22, 2001
Letter Of Resignation BY SHIRLEY PIKEEDITORIAL, Jan 22 (VNN) — Comment on “An Open Letter To The Followers Of Sathya Sai Baba“Dear Editor,I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your compassionate and thoughtful editorial entitled “An Open Letter To The Followers Of Sathya Sai Baba” by Frank Morales. I resigned my position as president of a ten state region in the United States in late May (see attached resignation letter) after learning about the allegations and verifying them to my satisfaction. I have been working with an international group of ex-devotees, many of them the actual victims of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual molestation, for the last six months to expose this “horrific scandal”, as you so aptly term it.The saddest and most difficult aspect of all of this is the damage done to Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees and to their faith. Many families, my own included, are torn assunder as some members retain their faith in Sathya Sai Baba in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Those who take a stand against him are shunned, losing a community they held dear for decades in many cases.Not only is the focus of your spiritual life gone, but your friends and family and community are gone as well. Thank you so much for reaching out and offering support to us in this very dark hour. That is true dharma.Sincerely and God Bless,
former president of the North Central Region of the Sathya Sai Baba
Organization of the United States of America
Letter of Resignation May 28, 2000 Dear brothers, sisters, and officers of the North Central Region and the Central Council, It is with great pain and sadness that I am writing to you today. One week ago, I resigned as president of the North Central Region, giving verbal notification to the National Coordinator, William Harvey, Ph.D. Serving the North Central Region’s centers, study groups, and individual devotees has been one of the most joyful and fulfilling experiences of my life. Never have I had the privilege of knowing so many wonderful, loving, giving, and spiritually dedicated people. I thank all of you for your gracious and kind support of me as we worked together for our spiritual growth and development. The reason for my resignation will probably dismay and shock many of you. A few weeks ago I received information from a fellow long-time devotee of an e-mail she had received concerning acts of pedophilia by Sathya Sai Baba. I had the e-mail forwarded to me and I personally investigated the information contained in that e-mail. I spoke personally to various individuals who had first hand experience with inappropriate behavior by Sai Baba. These individuals are respectable, credible, intelligent and have no axes to grind of any sort. I came away from these conversations believing these individuals and have therefore resigned and am sending you this letter. I am in the midst of a personal grieving process, involving all the typical stages of grief, including shock, denial, bargaining, profound sadness, despair, and acceptance. I am grieving because I believe that Sathya Sai Baba is a charlatan, who has used the power gained by the love and reverence of his followers and the truth of ancient Vedic Doctrines and Scriptures to sexually molest boys and young men from about the ages of eight to thirty. It is these allegations of unspeakable, abhorrent sexual molestation that force me to write this letter to you. I have personally investigated these allegations and spoken with several people who have either had direct personal sexual experiences or who know someone very well, i.e. an immediate family member, who has been abused.
Two of these individuals are former regional officers, who have resigned their posts and whom I have known for many years. I trust them, know them to have exemplary character and believe they would not lie. Further, they have nothing to gain and everything to lose by coming forward with their experiences. These experiences include numerous accounts of Sai Baba rubbing male genitals with oil, mutual masturbation, mutual oral sexual gratification, and even anal intercourse by Sai Baba. As a child psychologist who is familiar with the emotional devastation that sexual abuse causes its victims and the classic patterns of abuse, I found these accounts and the individuals’ reactions, to my horror, highly credible.
As a school psychologist, I am a mandatory reporter. This means that under Iowa law I am required to report any allegation or well founded suspicion to the authorities. If Sai Baba were a mere trickster fleecing people for their money, I would prefer to go quietly into the night, preserve my friendships with devotees, and not disrupt the faith of others. But, as an officer who has promoted Sathya Sai Baba as an avatar, I have both a moral and a legal obligation to warn all of the members and officers in this region and the national leaders that any male between approximately the ages of eight and thirty is potentially at risk for sexual molestation should they go to India to see Sathya Sai Baba and have a private interview.
I do not expect anyone to take what I am saying at face value. If you wish to investigate on your own as I have done, then feel free to contact me and I will provide you with the information to reach those who have had direct experiences and
There is a Spanish version available: