Dr John Hislop. Vaunted ‘Perfect Disciple’ of Sathya Sai Baba
Posted by Barry Pittard on November 6, 2011
Like so many devotees, especially those close to Sathya Sai Baba, ex-foremost leader of the Sathya Sai Organization (outside India), the Dr John Hislop knew very well that Sai Baba told lies.
Devotees, however, pass these off as, variously, “Baba’s funny little ways”; “his sparing of our feelings”; his “Leelas” (meaning his ‘divine sportiveness’ …. When writing, they use a capital ‘L’); “his perfect ‘Truth’, but our human imperfection” which cannot see that he is teaching us some profound lesson, such as, in learning detachment; and more such Procrustean wracking of human reason and commonsense. Sai Baba long exhorted that his devotees: “Love (him) for (his) Mystery”. (Of course, his editors and other devotee writers capitalized the ‘h’ in ‘him’ and ‘his’) …..
Hislop also well knew that many devotees Sai Baba confused many with his many lies, all his predictions which failed, as did so many of his promised cures and e.g., promises of placements at his university or his colleges, of apartments in the ashram, and so forth. Therefore, in his books and talks (he travelled to various countries as Sathya Sai Baba’s foremost emissary outside India), Jack Hislop needed to come up with covering explanations.
I didn’t get to know Hislop at all well. My acquaintance was primarily via a meeting I arranged (the idea of which was to attract from among the international devotee base the gift of books, audio-visual teaching aids, and so on). This was when I lectured in English at the Sathya Sai college outside Bangalore. But my impression was that of many who did knew him, who thought him sincere. In so many devotees, sincerity is writ large – but it hides the fact that a psychology of self-deception is powerful.
The ‘Select Readings’ cited below show how Hislop, and the top leadership in the U.S. Sai Baba hierarchy (and the incredibly docile lower-echelon leadership worldwide), covered up the seriousness of allegations of Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men. No doubt, they seriously and sincerely thought they were doing the right thing. At the same time, they were guilty of the most extraordinary lack of duty of care towards those they had until now, for years, honored and respected.
(“Seeking Divinity” Dr. J. S. Hislop, Sri Sathya Sai Books & Publications Trust. 1998, p. 210)
John Hislop’s Successor, Dr Michael Goldstein of Covena, southern California, USA, is now world leader of the international Sathya Sai Organization, which Sai Baba said is THE divine organization on earth. But it is a multi-billion dollar organization with iron-clad, cultic rules. Goldstein exploded with unprovoked anger, not realizing that the BBC had a hidden camera trained on him ….
See the article:
Priddy notes: “Dr John Hislop, who was for long head of Sathya Sai Baba’s organization in USA and (strangely) ‘the Americas’, wrote most revealing and embarrassing letters in 1980-81. These came into the hands of Timothy Conway Ph.D., from his immediate predecessor the former president of the San Francisco Sathya Sai Centre. This is the third in the series of letters by Hislop dealing with the allegations by Mrs. Payne (see her letter here). The first Hislop reaction is here and the second here”.
(Note: You may prefer to go straight to the Petition):