Call For Media and Government Investigation

of Sathya Sai Baba And his worldwide cult, the Sathya Sai Organization

Archive for the ‘Psychotherapy’ Category

Robert Priddy On Jaani Drucker, As Sathya Sai Baba Cultist In Denial

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 12, 2010

Robert Priddy has just blogged the article:  Jaani Drucker – wild claims not supported by her actions , Posted by robertpriddy on May 11, 2010. He refers to my series quoting and commenting on correspondence between Jaani Drucker and myself:    

Exchanges of views on how rape and sexual abuse affect the real person or whether they merely affect the body, as is held by rape victim Jaani Drucker.
Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondance) Part 2
Jaani Drucker continually responds to neither to the spirit or the letter of her claim that ” happy to discuss and debate issues” rather flatly rejecting all points on the ground that she knows the ultimate truth.
Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Jaani Drucker Correspondance) Part 3
Jaani Drucker evades Pittard’s contention that those who have had such traumatic experiences need to reach out to an experienced, qualified profession, and that, in terms of public health outcomes, it is a dangerous undertaking to recommend a course of action which relies on faith or notions of enlightenment alone.
Pittard reminds that Jaani Drucker is very evasive on questions she promised to debate openly – instead promoting a self-enhancing narrative about spiritual realization.
Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 5
Her many failures of reasoning, and her slips, slides and evasions, evident to commonsense and logic, abound here, and are dealt with
Who can distinguish between those like Jaani who claim realization? How can one get around to testing the plethora of claims? However, there is a body of clinical experience which DOES have testability in application to trauma, and this is being applied day in and day out in hospitals and clinics throughout the world.
Analyzing the belief put forth by Jaani Drucker which Pittard holds is dangerous to vulnerable survivors of rape etc. as supporting a flight into denial. Parents and mental health professionals would never agree with Drucker’s claims.
 
Robert Priddy’s words (below) apply just as well to many who defend not only Sathya Sai Baba but other charismatic figures who have been soundly exposed for egregious, and sometimes criminal, misconduct, and for blatant discrepancy between their teachings and practice. Mind you, Jaani Drucker is in one respect different to most other cultists; for she states that she is fully enlightened. Alas for her, she unconsciously and sharply undermines any such notion by her styles of interaction. Her walls of denial are thick, and her skin is thin. Robert Priddy says:

“That is what she cannot abide, being questioned radically, so she avoids answering the really sensitive points, complaining instead. These reactions show her to be disturbed by any criticism;  no doubt she wants to carry on but escape the consequences of her support for Sathya Sai Baba in all things, and simply brush aside critical comments as not founded in her supposed ‘Truth’”.

A number of those who read and wrote to me about the correspondence (some from professional areas including Psychology) remarked on a recurrent quality of narcissism in her responses, and a veering away from questions that in any way challenged her beliefs. Also oft remarked was her tendency to wrench out-of-context what had been clearly stated. Again, these tendencies are very marked in cultic reactions to even the most courteous of critical questioning.

It is of great concern (and former devotees well-known to the Drucker’s give compelling first-hand testimony) that the Druckers have turned their backs on families and individuals who give harrowing accounts of sexual and other abuses by Sathya Sai Baba. 

Robert Priddy writes:

“Al Drucker admitted – when pressed – to the former Central Coordinator of the UK Sathya Sai Organization, that many parents had complained to him of sexual abuse by Sai Baba while Drucker was resident at the ashram. Jaani is no doubt also well aware that Sai Baba has escaped justice only because the entire Indian system of corrupt topmost politicians and judges who worship him have protected him from all accountability! This is part of the body of lies the Druckers prefer to condone, supposedly to protect their Truth, which would need not protection or even promotion if it really were that immutable and powerful”.

I have written of Drucker’s dereliction of duty of care elsewhere:

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

I have written of his wife Jaani Drucker’s attempt to have me remove what I had written:

Reply To Yaani (“Have Truth, Will Travel”) Drucker’s Request To Remove Blog Articles

Robert Priddy writes further: 

“frank and open truthfulness from the Druckers on the sexual abuse issue would be welcome… but they evidently discriminate against those “brothers” who are no longer in the so-called ‘Sai family’. Not least it would help assuage the feelings of the offended persons whom they know to be speaking the truth about their awful experiences. It would also be fair to many of us who we have all reason based on massive, impelling testimony to accept they were so treated by Sai Baba… and not least also for his own sexual satisfaction!”

 Further Reading

The Ways of the Mind – on the issue by a Swedish psychologist

Swedish psychologist Åsa Samsioe challenges Jaani Drucker’s self-perception, and gives a view of self-deception as self-deception

Strawberry Fields Forever? plus comments on Jaani & advaitic doctrine

The Spiritual Search – a philosophical analysis of advaitic solipsism and social narcissism

Jaani Drucker: ‘the Ego’ misunderstood and self-nihilation

 In denying flat out that the ego and entire world are real, Jaani Drucker implies that she herself is unreal, while in fact she is real but totally unrealistic… following Sai Baba, she wants everyone to annihilate their egos and minds!

Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him

Pittard points out how the Druckers still extol Sathya Sai Baba, yet they know crucial facts about many of his alleged sexual abuses.

Jaani Drucker, The Truth, open inquiry and truthfulness

Examination of some of Jaani Drucker’s claims about herself, Sathya Sai Baba

Advaita – historical flight into abstraction and speculation

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The Public Petition   

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization   

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Posted in New Age, Opinion, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Typical Testimony of Sathya Sai Baba’s Sex Abuse of Young Males

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 11, 2010

Since circa 2000, and up to very recent times, former devotee and other networked critics of Sathya Sai Baba have often had to read – and also hear directly – such disturbing testimonies as the one I cite below. The primary witnesses and their families come from many countries round the world. The great majority of testimony is, for obvious reasons, kept strictly confidential, although, over the years, a number of courageous individuals have spoken out about the abuses Sathya Sai Baba and others close to him inflicted on them.

For those who wish to proceed at law, we have access to top international lawyers. We point out that litigation is not something to be entered into without a great deal of careful thought. We also note that obtaining justice in India is not always an option. Many of the systems are corrupt, and Sathya Sai Baba is protected by many powerful political, governmental, legal and other elites.

I think that it is advisable for survivors to reflect carefully before deciding whether to disclose their identities in their testimonies in a public forum, such as the internet. Some prefer to provide sworn testimony, and await opportunities to come forward in the media or in a court action where there is proper jurisdiction. Others, however, are prepared to stand forth and feel that they are making a contribution to saving others from a similar fate, and, in general, they wish to create a much better pubic awareness of the evils of sexual and other types of abuse. We know of those who have had no qualms about speaking up, even after we have carefully gone through the issues with them.

Most Sathya Sai Baba devotees I have known are good and decent individuals, but a small number of fanatics who defend him at every turning are exceptionally demeaning and nasty. It can be effective to document with reputed media such as the BBC, ABC, DR, SBS, Azul TV, Times of London, Telegraph, India Today, Guardian, Ottawa Times, Adelaide Advertiser, Age … and others, as we have long done. There is another powerful resource – probably too much for the Sathya Sai Organization to hold back – and we are in negotiation stages.

We believe the first requirement for those who have suffered abuse is to obtain proper counseling. Sadly, many do not avail themselves of these provisions, even when fees are ready to be waived or significantly reduced. One of the many components of our support network has been to see that best practice, experienced and qualified professional counseling is available for survivors of various Sathya Sai Baba abuses, and of abuses too perpetrated by individuals around him. Some links relating to the following testimony are found at Robert Priddy’s blogsite:

More sworn testimony on several Sathya Sai Baba sex abuses. Posted by robertpriddy on February 8, 2010.

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‘The third interview began in exactly the same way, but it was some weeks after the second one; we were all now in Whitefield (Bangalore). Baba took me into his private chamber and immediately, hurriedly, tried pulling my ‘pyjama” bottoms down, but in his hurry he had pulled the cord the wrong way and made a tight knot of it …. It was all very awkward and I felt embarrassed and strange. In the end I had to help him undo the knot because he was very impatient. Then once they were down he went through the same procedure; playing with my genitals, rubbing his hips from side to side while pressing himself very close to me.
There was something different about this interview; it made me feel more uncomfortable than ever, There was an urgency in his manner, and I could see that he was excited; there were beads of sweat on his top lip and his breathing was strained. He pointed his finger at me and said very sternly “Don’t talk. You don’t talk. Okay? Don’t talk”. I was a little startled, even frightened at his manner, but I agreed I would not talk. Then his manner changed again, into bright, breezy swami. He asked me if I wanted to kiss him, while embracing me in the usual way, rubbing his hips from side to side while moving his hands over my body and legs. I felt at that moment that his actions were deliberately trying to arouse me physically, that he wanted me to get an erection, because he kept touching my penis and rubbing. But I didn’t become aroused at all. I just kept arguing with myself mentally, saying that if there was any baseness or bad in what was happening, it was all in my lower mind. As such, I never even became faintly aroused, and I think this both perplexed and annoyed Baba, because he seemed irritated and unsure of what to do next.

Then he pulled me over to his chair close to the entrance of the chamber and I could see his penis, semi erect through the material of his gown. He took my hand and placed it on his penis, and rubbed it up and down, telling me to rub while repeating “Good, good, good” over and over, and visibly becoming more excited. Then he asked me if this is what I wanted … and then clapped his hands over his head saying “This is divine”. Then it was over and I was pushed out again into the other, larger chamber with the other devotees.

After that interview, I was very confused about the whole thing. When I left the mandir I felt queasy and slightly feverish, and instead of going out of the ashram with my friends to have tea and talk about the interview, I went straight back to my room. I felt as if I had a fever or the flu; weak, shaking, nauseous and light headed, I fell asleep for a while and was awakened by my two room mates a couple of hours later, who came to see if I was okay and wanted to know about my interview with Baba.

One was an English boy named Kestrel Boyle and the other an Australian called Edward — I can’t remember his surname because he was born of Bangladesh parents in Australia and it was a rather difficult name.

I didn’t really know what to tell them, or even if I should tell them, so instead asked them if Baba had ever done strange things to them in their private interviews. Edward replied immediately, and in such matter of fact tones that it surprised me into silence. He said “What, you mean playing with your dick? Oh don’t worry about that, he’s done that to me loads of times. It doesn’t mean anything bad – I actually like it, and think it’s good for me.’ Kestrel basically said the same kind of thing, so I didn’t dare say any more, but I wondered what else Baba had done with them’.

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Click here to view list of brief video clips available from the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ documentary

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Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

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Posted in Morality, New Age, Opinion, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 6

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 2, 2010

This piece continues from:  Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 5 – my response to Yaani Drucker, who wrote to me in the first instance. Many Sathya Sai devotees worldwide have hero-worshipped her and her husband Professor Al Drucker (formerly with NASA). To some devotees, it has not mattered that Sai Baba has treated them both very harshly – for they regard such harsh treatment as the guru’s ineffable tough love. I have not noted that she anywhere accepts responsibility for (the very influential) talks she and Al Drucker gave at Kingdom Hall in the UK in April 2000.  She seems incapable of seeing how easy it is for impressionable individuals to see her notion of how to deal with rape (or other grave trauma) as the way they should go. See:  Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 4 . Or that in her writings on her website it is important that she makes clear that psychologists have a genuine role to play in the case of trauma, just as medics are important to consult in physical injury. Instead, she now writes saying:

“You told your audience that I have a hatred for psychology”.

The interested reader will see that this is an entire distortion, for I have said nothing of the sort. The context is this, as I have, in various ways said:   “… it is important for survivors of severe trauma to seek qualified professional counseling, and also – bearing in mind that she is a public  figure – she has the responsibility correctly to model this kind of service to those who read her writings”.

She further states:

You lose nothing, except ego, which was never real. which psychology does not get, therefore psychology is not absolute truth. You lean heavily on psychology, as though it has answers. It does not. Sure it can help people overcome trauma, but so can truth. That is all I have ever suggested.

I have said not a word about psychology being absolute truth. I have talked about what psychology (across many schools, a few of which I have named), does indeed “get”. Which is precisely what Ms Drucker does not “get”.

Again, as the rational reader can see at every turning, I have not said that psychology has all the answers. I have said, for example, “There is much impressive evidence that the body, mind and personality are one, not a dualism (ref. science of consciousness, neurology and philosophical neurology). Therefore, I want to say to you that notions which deny the interaction that goes on in the psycho-soma are very flawed, inept. And, yes, present their real dangers to human health and well-being. I do not resile from the notions of rationalization (in context) and danger”. See: HERE.

Can it be that she has lost track of the position she stated in earlier correspondence?  See: Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 3 . 

“Is it necessary for a rape victim to receive professional counseling? This assumes that psychology/ psychotherapy has answers that ABSOLUTE TRUTH does not”.

She also asserted that I have said that I am a psychologist. Yet again, I have said nothing of the sort. Ms Drucker does not seem to have much of her mind concentrated on simple matters within the mundane world. Himalayas of cloudiness seem more to her liking.

Note: Ms Drucker wrote that:

“I am happy to discuss and debate issues. I have responded to every issue you raised”.

But has she been as good as her word? The reader can examine her own words throughout this series. In subsequent emails from her that I have not cited, she constantly claims to be answering questions but resorts to large abstractions, and avoids the issues that I have raised. These are unrooted in reference to the practical world of those men and women who inhabit the normal world. That she tells us she enlighted and that she tell us that she has had independent confirmations should be enough for us. She says that the latter have come to in various ways and a major one came when she traveled to the Himalayas. Today (3 March, 2010), she wrote:

Earlier articles on this topic at Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba are: Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example and Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him

“You pointed out that so many claim on their web to be enlightened, so what makes me authentic – a fair question. I would say that what makes me authentic is that I had an experience in darshan, as described to you previously. This experience was more than an epiphany or light experience, it was a moment wherein all the pieces of the puzzle to the human condition came together perfectly and I understood in the very essence of my being and the search was over. I knew that I knew. This does not mean I knew that I was enlightened. I simply had no way to measure that. However a year later I was directed to the Himalayas where enlightenment was confirmed.
 
 
What part did Sai Baba play in the confirmation of my enlightenment? NONE directly. Of course I see that He did direct me, but He used instruments who were not Sai devotees, so it was not Baba directly. Because Baba is omnipresent, He directed me both toward my enlightenment and its confirmation. Because you have no faith in Baba, it would make no sense for me to suggest that because Baba confirmed is evidence of my legitimacy. He did not confirm directly. Baba works in subtle ways, ways that communicate perfectly, to those who choose to hear… and see…
 
Bottom line Barry is that you have not the power to stop God’s work through this instrument”.

 

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Al and I were black listed after we married. That means we have had nothing to do with the Sai organization since 1990 or rather the Sai organization has had nothing to do with us.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sai Baba knows He is not his body. Once a young man from Sweden requested Baba’s permission to give Baba a hug. When Baba obliged and the young man wrapped his arms around Baba’s torso, his arms wrapped around an empty robe  – there was no body to make contact with. I met this man personally.

These are a few of many examples where Baba demonstrates that He clearly manipulates the laws of physical reality, because He can.  If He has these powers, He is certainly not driven by personality disorders, but rather does all that he does for the highest good for all, in the most efficacious manner possible. No pedophile that I have ever heard or read about has had the powers that Sai Baba has.

I have heard rumors, but I have had no direct contact with any of the young men to claim abuse at Baba’s hand, nor have I personally met any of their family members. You want me to put Sai Baba on the level of a common criminal – it is a joke surely???

Do you think that years and thousands of hours (and ‘thousands’ is no exaggeration) of former devotees’ time and efforts are to be reduced to some poor joke? We put heart and soul and care and love – and vast amounts of time and labor into these matters. Your suggestion of joking is not a worthy one. Let me quote to you a snippet from a note. It comes from old friends of yours.  It may act as an aide-memoire for Al and you:

“(Al) told us of his disillusionment with Baba – that time after time, parents of young boys would come to his room in great distress after interviews, seeking an explanation… Al said this is why he left the ashram and got married. (It was) with the great shock (heard) this from Al and also his wife Yaani (and later from other close contacts , people we trusted , who had no motivation for telling lies about Baba” …

It is these sort of situations that I think are good to clear up, once and for all. Indulal Shah, John Hislop, Michael Goldstein, William Harvey, G.Venkataraman, Samuel Sandweiss,  Phyllis Kristal, J. Jagadeesan, Thorbjorn Meyer, Ashok Bhagani, T.Sri RamanathanSara Pavan, and many others have profoundly failed in their duty of care for the devotees who have come to them with terrible accounts. I speak of devotees, now former devotees, whose goodness and integrity were NOT assailed in all their long years around Sathya Sai Baba and in his organization. But – virtually overnight! – they were declared demons. Jaani, please tell me straight – is that how Sathya Sai Baba, who forever says we should speak sweetly, and his core leaders and many rank-and-file devotees should be speaking?

That the leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization have failed in this regard will, without any reasonable doubt, remain as a very dark blot in the pages of history. And, though much has been withheld from them by core Sai Baba servitors, the rank-and-file devotees have their own kind of culpability – for they have closed their hearts and blinded their eyes to the plight of those whom they have long known to be good.

Jaani, can you understand why there is a difficulty about perception? Though you say above “we have had nothing to do with the Sai organization since 1990 or rather the Sai organization has had nothing to do with us” and your current status in regard to association with the Sathya Sai Organization, there are many who saw Al Drucker subscribe to the Paduka ceremony in Puttaparthi 1998, and saw him around the ashram. Yes – we have those who saw and spoke with him. You will surely understand, therefore, why many have continued to see a link between Al and you and Sathya Sai Baba. In the eyes of some, Al was the most prominent VIP there over a number of years. Has he renounced his faith in Sathya Sai baba then?

There are those who went to Al (and indeed to other very prominent leaders around Sathya Sai Baba) and have deeply grieved, first, over their afflicted children and second, that they feel profoundly let down by those to whom they thought they could bring their harrowing accounts. The Drucker name figures among these. It is very sad – although you may be above it all. Given that you say that you remember only “rumours”, I am wondering whether the accounts of the individuals concerned would have proved too difficult for you to embrace, and that, if the recollections of various informants are correct, you have filtered the reported presentations from your awareness. (Yet again, need I really add, that I am not saying that you are deliberately telling untruths). When I learnt of Al’s driving absorption in the advaitin endeavour, I wondered: why does he keep coming back to the form, when he is supposed to be practising to attain the formless apprehension of the divine?

Can you understand how your website appears to promote a ‘solution’ to the rape question, quite strongly – e.g., “Have truth, will travel”?

A number of people, including very qualified mental health professionals with long experience in the sexual abuse area, observed how your website can be too readily interpreted as campaigning for recognition that rape and other terrible occurrences have an answer – if only people will follow what you hold forth to be Truth. It may be that you cannot accept that you have – and I would surely think without meaning to – promoted a very misleading ‘theory’ based entirely on belief. And this belief is one from which you may not be able to free yourself, for, if you were to free yourself without recourse to a psychological in-denial situation, you would have to face the trauma. These conditions hide. Sooner or later, however, the suppressed stuffs will not be denied – and manifest in illnesses and social disruptions of one kind or another. Many former devotees have had courageously, and with great self-honesty, to face their years of psychological denial. You now explain that it was not to justify rape – but it was to say that rape is not really a problem if one will just recognize that one is not the body. This view goes against the fact that we all HAVE a body and serious violations of it have an extremely forceful effect on the psyche.

I wish you the very best in all your endeavors. May all humanity find peace. May all humanity find truth.

Yaani Drucker

I thank you, Yaani. It would seem that you are one of the few who do not shun and revile. Especially given the craven ducking for cover of so many Sathya Sai Baba devotees, I honor you for your readiness to exchange, and wish you and Al love and best wishes, whatever may be the divide,

Barry Pittard

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Select Further Reading

Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example

Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

Petition

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Typically, as one can see below, too, Yaani is unable to provide any alternative explanations for her inner processes. How can others possible examine her processes?  She does not even examine them herself. She says she “knows”.
Nor has she shown any attempt to get from her own husband, Professor Al Drucker, his account of why he ignored those parents and others who came to him in great distress, and who felt deeply let down by one whom they came to in trust and in grief. While it is true that she is a different person, would she not be in an excellent position to ascertain his response to events so important as these?
Nor has she examined – much less critically examined – the reasons in writings by Robert Priddy, Brian Steel,  Timothy Conway Ph.D.,  Kevin R.D.Shepherd (an independent author on religion and philosophy), Barry Pittard and others who have advanced reasons why Sathya Sai Baba presides over what is a formidable cult, which is highly authoritarian, unaccountable and untransparent.
Nor – even given that for some years she and Al Drucker have had a but tenuous link with the Sathya Sai Baba Organization – does she show any responsibility for her frequent extolling references to Sathya Sai Baba, despite worldwide allegations against him and some of his servitors, which are of a grave nature indeed.
Thus I find Yaani Drucker’s of the terms “discuss” and “debate” all but vacuous.
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Posted in Miracles, Opinion, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 5

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 28, 2010

Continuing from:  Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 4 …. , my response to Yaani Drucker, who claims on her website to be enlightened, and to “Have truth, will travel”. She wrote to me that:

“I am happy to discuss and debate issues. I have responded to every issue you raised”.

Really? On the one hand, Ms Drucker – without, it must happily be said, resorting to the nastiness of so much correspondence that former devotees have long received from continuing devotees – has kept in touch. That individuals can so exchange is a considerable value in itself, and one which the Sathya Sai Organization have singularly failed to enjoin. What she does share with so many other Sai Baba apologists is the tendency to jump to conclusions that are simply not true. Many former devotees HAVE had much attention from Sathya Sai Baba. They DID get interviews. They were NOT disgruntled. Many were noted in the Sai devotee community – often for many decades – as highly motivated and deeply dedicated. The Druckers and so many others do former devotees great dishonor. To her credit, Yaani speaks. But where is Al Drucker. He has been silent for so many years, and is widely perceived to have turned his back on various parents and others who have come to him in heart-rending circumstances. 

Given the compellingness of the allegations, many who have quit Sathya Sai Baba know that it is an ethical citizen’s duty not to be part of any cover up. Ms Drucker shows no evidence of any purposive clicking on the links (those that appear in this series). She does not stop to consider that many who are now former devotees once reacted like she does. It has been a journey of great inner torment BUT, for some at least a time of deeper growth and compassion. The evidence for Sathya Sai Baba’s (and some of his servitors’) abuses are very great. She says “Al and I are both fairly intelligent, not so easily bamboozled”. What she fails to see is that many former devotees, too, can make the same claim (although, in modesty or in avoidance of begging the question, they may not indeed wish to!). The other day she wrote:

“You are not holding the big picture, you who have been a professor in His university. I try to understand what would motivate you to become constricted in your vision? Perhaps you did not receive direct attention from Swami, so you are disgruntled? Or you for whatever reason did not experience His omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence in your personal life. Al and I both have countless examples from our personal lives to draw on, therefore we do not question Baba’s divinity, nor his inscrutable ways. Al and I are both fairly intelligent, not so easily bamboozled”.

However, readers who appreciate norms of language, logic and sticking to points raised will see clearly that Ms Drucker veers (not at all, I think, meaning to be dishonest) away from issues put to her. She also reveals a strong tendency to assume that her view of strange events in the presence of Sathya Sai Baba must be the correct one.  Absolutist thinking is going on here. In fact, the state of scientific knowledge DOES allow us to make eminently reasonable alternative interpretations of what Ms Drucker takes to be inviolable truths (a word for which Ms Drucker’s views would surely require a capital ‘T’). She writes:

“I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sai Baba knows He is not his body. Once a young man from Sweden requested Baba’s permission to give Baba a hug. When Baba obliged and the young man wrapped his arms around Baba’s torso, his arms wrapped around an empty robe  – there was no body to make contact with. I met this man personally. Once in an interview I was touching Baba’s feet. He turned abruptly away in displeasure, because I had asked Him to take Al back, yet His feet did not move with the rest of His body. This would have been impossible had he not transcended nature’s laws in that moment. These are a few of many examples where Baba demonstrates that He clearly manipulates the laws of physical reality, because He can.  If He has these powers, He is certainly not driven by personality disorders, but rather does all that he does for the highest good for all, in the most efficacious manner possible”.

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Yaani Drucker’s email comments and Barry Pittard’s responses

Al and I were black listed after we married. That means we have had nothing to do with the Sai organization since 1990 or rather the Sai organization has had nothing to do with us.

I’ve long known various serious aspirants who, though they have greatly loved Sathya Sai Baba, felt a great sigh of relief when he guided them to do their own practices, without recourse to the Sathya Sai Organization. He says that it is THE divine organization on earth, and that through it he will save the world, mostly in his own lifetime. He had better hurry his steps. Despite his statement on his sixtieth birthday, he has aged badly, makes terrible blunders, and our reports indicate that he sometimes sits and weeps, mutters away inanely, walks round in circles, and so on. Many of his prophecies have proved wrong, and his promised cures not eventuated. See: Sathya Sai Baba, 83. Health Critical. Some Key Links . Huge Sai Baba Gaffes .

We have occasionally and sporadically been invited to be guest speakers, in a private rather than official capacity. Al is one pointedly focused on Advaita Vedanta. My approach to truth is through the teaching of Sai Baba and of A Course In Miracles, which helped me to understand and deal with my rape experience. While Al continues to receive recognition and adulation as a prominent Sai devotee, my experience has been rather the opposite. Sometimes I am invited to functions, but it is likely just a courtesy, as I am the great Al Drucker’s wife. I was essentially shunned at the ashram as the seductress who stole Al Drucker from Sai Baba.

I am reminded of one after another of these kinds of occasions. It is such a scenario:  Situations are trumped up; facts are cruelly twisted; both the targets and the other devotees tell themselves “it’s all Baba’s leela’/test of faith”, etc., many devotees straightway believe the worst of people who they have known for years to be sterling individuals and loving co-workers; there is the utmost shunning; dearest friends of colleagues suddenly drop off; and so on …. Painful stuff! Though the enlightenment you claim to have may lift you into serene regions above such matters, for most people such events are calamitous – affecting health, finance, trust, family, relationships, and more …. Perhaps their fingers tremble too greatly to tune into your kind of supreme ‘radio station’.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sai Baba knows He is not his body. Once a young man from Sweden requested Baba’s permission to give Baba a hug. When Baba obliged and the young man wrapped his arms around Baba’s torso, his arms wrapped around an empty robe  – there was no body to make contact with. I met this man personally.

Jaani, I have long traveled. There are many such accounts along the pilgrim way, and on many paths, and even not on paths …. It is important not to be seduced by phenomena.

Once in an interview I was touching Baba’s feet. He turned abruptly away in displeasure, because I had asked Him to take Al back, yet His feet did not move with the rest of His body. This would have been impossible had he not transcended nature’s laws in that moment.

Can you think of no alternative explanation? There is various evidence that many people have extraordinarily apparently supraphenomenal experiences, both in his physical presence and far beyond it. Yet experiences beyond the reaches of our current scientific knowledge are documented throughout history. Go to this or that other e.g., ashram and one hears repeatedly of the extraordinary – except attributed to this or that guru/saint etc. Certainly, he has a strong intuitive psychic power, and yet does a lot of cold reading. Further, we have reports of servitors feeding him information gained from – to cite but one example – the front office, certain seva dals, his security and intelligence wing, and by other means! (Remaining Sai devotees, too, have caught him out, but lapse into silence about it). Whatever may be said of some phenomena, he has often been shown to ‘materialize’ objects that have been secreted under his cushion and other places. As but a small sample, see:

Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip) and

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip) and

BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

(By the way, why would you want Al to be “taken back”. Isn’t Al right into cultivating the formless apprehension of the divine?)

Barry

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This series continues soon …..

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Further Reading

Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example

Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

————————————–

Petition

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Subscribe in a reader

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in Opinion, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 4

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 26, 2010

Continuing from: Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Jaani Drucker Correspondance) Part 3 …. , my response to Yaani Drucker, who claims on her website to be enlightened, and to “Have truth, will travel”. She wrote to me:

“And when we know who we are, we will know a little better who Sai Baba is. So the task at hand is to know yourself, rather than spending your time trying to pin a crime on Sai Baba. However if you wish to pursue that course, Sai Baba does say Inimical Bhakti is the fastest path to truth, so I am sure it is serving the highest good”.

—————————————–

     Note 1: Ms Drucker writes that  “I am happy to discuss and debate issues. I have responded to every issue you raised”. But she had clearly not so responded in the proper sense of the word. She failed to answer points of crucial importance to those who feel deeply betrayed by leading figures in the Sathya Sai Baba movement who have long known the goodness of those who came to them in their time of greatest need. Notable among those who let parents who came to them in shock is Yaani Drucker’s husband, Professor Al Drucker, once a scientist with NASA. Ms Drucker has – correctly – said to me that he is one person and she another. However, we have on excellent and compelling record (ready if need be to show any court of law or responsible media or other bona fide researchers that he knew of the gravity of the repeated direct reports concerning Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of boys and young men. She has written to me that she had only heard “rumors”. 

Ms Drucker, with a quicksilver-like elusiveness, darts away from points. She gives over to vague abstractions, and leaves  trails of seriously undefined notions about how, if at all, her self-perceived spiritual enlightenment relates to people who need assistance with their traumas. She thinks she has the magic wand. Like other cultic apologists – but most assuredly without venom, it must be said! – she leaps to conclusion without understanding the nature of inferences, and the care needed to prevent them from being flawed. Her answers reveal no idea of what we have published, even though I have given her recondite Urls to a tiny portion of relevant documents. Those wishing to have more than one side to the Sathya Sai Baba phenomenon will require such information.  They will wish to think for themselves.

      Note 2: I had pointed out to Ms Drucker that it is important for survivors of severe trauma to seek qualified professional counseling, and also – bearing in mind that she is a public  figure – she has the responsibility correctly to model this kind of service to those who read her writings. One correspondent has written to me:

“You are not attacking Yaani, but questioning and also criticising her, which is not the same thing at all. The ideas she is promoting cause harm to others most certainly.  But she is not aware of that, as she is on a one-tract Absolute Truth trip. She can’t afford self-examination on the matter, and thus will not follow up those who have been harmed by the one she promotes and whose teaching she parrots”.

———————————————–

Yaani Drucker’s statements and Barry Pittard’s responses:

This assumes that psychology has answers that TRUTH does not. I would disagree. In fact I would go as far as to say the only way to come into right relationship with any and all past traumas is to understand truly who we are”.

In actual fact, there is much impressive evidence that the body, mind and personality are one, not a dualism (ref. science of consciousness, neurology and philosophical neurology). Therefore, I want to say to you that notions which deny the interaction that goes on in the psycho-soma are very flawed, inept. And, yes, present their real dangers to human health and well-being. I do not resile from the notions of rationalization (in context) and danger.

I pray night and day for the uplift of all humanity.

Despite mammoth demonization of them, including by Sathya Sai Baba, many former devotees, too, pray as you do. They are also deeply involved in selfless service to others, as I have gathered that you are when I looked through your website. Others I’ve known of involved in the ‘Course of Miracles’ have those same deeply held attitudes and practices. Perhaps we have some former devotees involved in the ‘Course of Miracles’ – I would have to check. In any case, our range of social, cultural and educational backgrounds is tremendously wide.

I want no one raped, ever. It was a humiliating and degrading experience. I would not wish anyone to undergo such an experience for any reason. It is not justifiable nor does it have any redeeming lessons. I did use it to discover that I am not my body, and that who I am cannot be touched. In that way, everything can be used. It was not necessary toward my enlightenment. And it happened. I do not deny that it happened. In fact quite the opposite, I speak openly about it, only in hopes of helping other women to prevent drawing such experiences to themselves. How? Through a shift in consciousness from body consciousness to God consciousness.

Boys and men are raped too, may we add? And add, still further, that many individuals and families stricken by Sathya Sai Baba’s abuses have been shattered.

The second error is that I am NOT  a major Sathya Sai Baba follower.

Many Sai Baba devotees have held you as such, at least up until they learned that some changes (news of which swept wide sections of the world Sai community) overtook your Puttaparthi days. Your writings in which you refer to him in the highest terms could well convey that impression to your many admirers among the Sathya Sai fold. Your and Al’s talks – with your 1985 rape and the we-are-not-this-body themes being the focus – at Kingdom Hall in the UK in April 2000, for example, have been widely circulated, and a heroic status accorded to you. A sort of de facto ‘saint-making’ process goes on the devotees’ mind. It is a striking phenomenon, and I hope scholars and other professionals will study it.

What is more, in your writings, and in your emails to me, you extol him. You say:

“Sai Baba tells us there is no one more powerful than us”. And “Sai Baba has demonstrated powers of omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. I am convinced of His divinity and that everything He does is in the service of the uplift of all. He knows the past, present and future of each of us, and He knows how to transform the world into a world of peace, love and joy for all. In order to understand Baba’s actions we have to hold the big picture… And when we know who we are, we will know a little better who Sai Baba is”.

In writing to me, you still capitalize the word ‘Him’. Over the years, you keep citing him.

In reality, supposed ‘Sai miracles’ have never been subjected to the slightest proper scientific investigation. They are purely a matter of belief – and perception strongly influenced by it, and are all still open to alternative explanations. One needs, surely, to be much more cognizant than you are of how such beliefs can be generated. Your experiences supposedly proving Sai Baba’s non-body identification remind strongly of subjective illusions. It is common for one person to experience such, and not anyone else who is present. This points to the extreme power of suggestion some call ‘deep-trance hypnosis’. Those who have worshipped him as God Incarnate and concentrated their lives on him – constantly focusing on him and his powers – are in a condition of very high suggestivity whenever they get near him, or often away from him, too. They are constantly thinking of him, looking at his pictures, singing his name, listening to or viewing tapes about him, talking with others of his ‘glories’ and ‘leelas’, and so on. Have you not seen ‘hypnotized’ subjects on stage mistaking people for chickens or what have you? Milton Eriksen, Derren Brown and countless others have demonstrated such ‘illusions’ most effectively. See: Derren Brown’s Magic Trumps Sathya Sai Baba’s and Sleight Of Hand. The Sleightness of Sathya Sai Baba (Exposing film clips) . Serial Sex Abuse And Broken Promises of Miracle Healing . Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions . Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon?

May I venture the idea that fearless looking at such information is a real test of the realized state in which you claim you live? Your website welcomes one to discuss and debate with you. I submit to you that the issues raised in these articles, to name but a few, are worthy candidates for such discussion and debate.

Continued soon   …………

Further Reading

Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example

Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

The Ways of the Mind – on the issue by a Swedish psychologist

Strawberry Fields Forever? plus comments on Jaani & advaitic doctrine

The Spiritual Search – a philosophical analysis of advaitic solipsism and social narcissism

God is everything, in everyone – as a spiritual teaching

Advaita – historical flight into abstraction and speculation

Petition

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Subscribe in a reader

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 3

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 24, 2010

Continuing from: Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondance) Part 2 …. , my response to Yaani Drucker, who claims on her website to be enlightened, and to “Have truth, will travel”. She has explained that her “rape experience happened in 1985, in a house next to the Stanton Sai Center, on the same property as the  Sai center in S. California”. 

I have suggested to Yaani (who, by the way, strikes me as a decent and goodly person, albeit given to a terribly faulty inferences, and a tendency to be rather reactive), that those who have had such traumatic experiences need to reach out to an experienced, qualified profession, and that, in terms of public health outcomes, it is a dangerous undertaking to recommend a course of action which relies on faith or notions of enlightenment alone. She replied:

“Is it necessary for a rape victim to receive professional counseling? This assumes that psychology/ psychotherapy has answers that ABSOLUTE TRUTH does not”.

In one of her emails to me, she says:

“Anyone who has an ego, which everyone has except those who have attained enlightenment,  is in a state of denial, denial about the truth of who they are, and that includes most professionals. Just because someone has a PhD does not make him/her an expert in what is or is not enlightenment …

… I credit Sai Baba for my enlightenment, and it is in part because He was instrumental in my awakening that I am certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is who He claims to be”.

In fact, mental health professionals certainly do know a great deal about the mind’s coping tendencies. For example how, as a coping mechanism, it can ‘rationalize’ away painful experiences, such as rape. However, she is very dismissive about the role of psychologists. Would she deny the validity of the intervention of a doctor in the case of a broken arm? I would think not. Even if she were to be in some realized state, it would be proper to cognize these facts, given that she makes public recommendations about how to deal, via faith in a process, with situations like rape. What does this process require? It requires the giving up of ego. See Robert Priddy’s and his wife Reidun’s useful reference to this aspect:  Jaani Drucker: ‘the Ego’ misundertood and self-nihilation

In short, it would surely be responsible of Yaani Drucker to understand that people simply cannot do away with the ego in the way she – I think out of keen compassion – wishes for the rest of humanity. I think she sees the notion of ‘ego’ in a very simplistic, blank-and-white way. People DO need professional assistance in the face of ordeals of the sort that she has passed through, no less that those with broken bones need the services of a doctor, and this fact needs to be reflected in the way in which she promotes, as she does on the internet, her services.

———————————–

Note 1. Ms Drucker writes that  “I am happy to discuss and debate issues. I have responded to every issue you raised”. We shall further see, based on her own responses, in the next posts whether she has. I submit that her self-documentation – in which, a number of times, she draws attention to what she views as her own “purity of heart” –  is very exposing of how Sathya Sai Baba so strongly misleads others into misleading still others.

Note 2. Ms Drucker dismisses and scorns ‘clinical psychology’ as 
if that were the whole of it. But there are many branches of 
psychological investigation and professional therapies, all of which 
are aware of  reactions to the traumatic experience she endured. There is 
analytic psychology, ego psychology, existential psychology,  
( Wikipedia lists 66 types of psychological theory) . Common to the 
main branches and many others is an understanding of the nature and 
importance of reactions like ‘rationalization’, ‘repression, 
‘displacement activity’. ‘obsession’ , ‘delusions of grandeur’, ‘post 
traumatic stress disorder’, ‘narcissistic defence’ and a wide range of
cognitive and mental 
disorders which can be triggered by traumas and other hurtful and 
deeply disturbing experiences.

Note 3. Earlier articles on this topic at Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba are:

Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example and

Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

The Ways of the Mind – on the issue by a Swedish psychologist

Strawberry Fields Forever? plus comments on Jaani & advaitic doctrine

———————————–

(Yaani Drucker): There are many distortions in your assumptions. I do not rationalize rape.

I am thankful for your comment here – it reminds me that, in my writing, I shall need to make very clear distinction concerning uses of the word ‘rationalization’. It does not mean, of course, justification. That you would never justify it is abundantly clear in your writings on your website, and in your emails to me. Indeed, you fully supported the notion that the man who raped you should face police prosecution. Rather, the ‘rationalization’ process I have in mind is that described in so many schools of psychotherapy, psychology and psychiatry. It is what the mind does when an individual goes through significant trauma. One example is a retreat into euphoric states, with strong presentations that all is well. A quick pointer is the Wiki article entitled: ‘Rationalization (fallacy)’.

You refer to your inimical attitudes towards psychologists in your last email. But my point is this:  even if you were correct in saying that you are spiritually enlightened, and had successfully transcended trauma, is it reasonable to suppose that individuals at large can reach such a state, and can dispense with psychological or other trauma counseling? This is where your quick dispatch of psychologists etc., in your last email is concerning. Is it not a point that you will need to be very clear about? And to discuss with rigorous thinking-through of issues, especially given that you are a public person? I see a danger, and it has nothing to do with any notion of about lying. At the center the rationalization process is a powerful unconsciousness of the contradictions and dissonances.

In the field of psychological trauma, one of the grave concerns is this:  that there are many who genuinely, but mistakenly, think they have – e.g., via ‘higher’ revelation or one sort of ‘awakening’ or another – the answers, and, what is more, thus become role models to others. On your website, you say ‘have truth, will travel’. So many other websites of individuals on so many other paths make like claims. Who can distinguish between those of you who claim realization? How can one get around to testing the plethora of claims? However, there is a body of clinical experience which DOES have testability in application to trauma, and this is being applied day in and day out in hospitals and clinics throughout the world. The question is:  are your pages, in this light, responsible? In your last email, you said: “Is it necessary for a rape victim to receive professional counseling?”

To Be Continued Soon ….. 

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Further Reading

Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example

Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

————————————–

Petition

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Subscribe in a reader

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, South Asia, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 2

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 22, 2010

Continuing from: Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 1 Posted by Barry Pittard on February 20, 2010 …. , my response to Jaani Drucker, who claims both in correspondence and on her website to be enlightened, and to: “Have truth, will travel”. In an email to me, she says:

“Baba demonstrates that He clearly manipulates the laws of physical reality, because He can”.

In another email to me, she says:

“Sai Baba has demonstrated powers of omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. I am convinced of His divinity and that everything He does is in the service of the uplift of all. He knows the past, present and future of each of us, and He knows how to transform the world into a world of peace, love and joy for all”.

She put the question to me:

“Is it necessary for a rape victim to receive professional counseling? This assumes that psychology/ psychotherapy has answers that ABSOLUTE TRUTH does not“.

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Note: Ms Drucker writes that  “I am happy to discuss and debate issues. I have responded to every issue you raised”. But she has clearly not responded either in the spirit or the letter of this claim. There is no happiness. Despite the fact that she claims to be spiritually realized and gives workshops and writes on spiritual transcendence, there is no rising above the hebdomadal. Hers is an emotive and churlish reaction. The following is but a sample:

“You are simply not getting it. I have no stomach for defending myself against people who are threatened by my truth. I just have not time for it. If you had come to me without baggage we could hope for a debate. As only as you keep your junk on the internet in public view I will conclude that YOU are not open to honest dialogue”.

Her concerns are centered on herself, and certainly suggest the sort of narcissism referred to my very qualified and experienced psychotherapist friend who wrote:

… “My additional reaction to Yaani Drucker’s account of the rape is that if she can use her faith and spiritual references to overcome the trauma, then she is fortunate.  Such coping behavior is successful for her. (- not to imply that it would be successful for others). There is a psychoanalytic term, “Narcissistic Defense” which can explain how people turn  negative feelings into positive ones)”.

Jaani Drucker is a public person with a website, a book and a workshop schedule. Before I responded to her emails that came via this https://barrypittard.wordpress.com , I did a reality check and sent what I had written to several individuals of professional background, who are perfectly ready to criticize me if need be. I do not think any sensible and perceptive reader will perceive in at all the same terms as Jaani Drucker has perceived in her reaction to what I have written. She writes:

” I wonder whether you would consider removing your discrediting and unkind words? If so, perhaps there would be the possibility of an honest debate. Until then you demonstrate that you have already drawn your conclusion, that I am a dangerous energy that you need to protect others from, etc.”

My attempt was, in a polite way, to say that I thought her claims were excessive and to point out their consequences in the real world. If she wants to propagate her Truth, then she must expect that others will comment on it, and not necessarily accept it. She claims her good name is besmirched. But no,  if anything her good name is under question because of her support of Sathya Sai Baba, against whom evidence of many abuses (and not sexual ones alone) are subject to a great deal of evidence from many parts of the world. A world-class investigator, the BBC, in its many months of huge research for ‘The Secret Swami‘, interviewed many parents and others who alleged Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of young males, and other charges. The Assistant Producer, David Saville, told me that the researchers had found other primary witnesses of young male sexual abuse and that their names did not occur on our (extensive, international) lists.

Jaani Drucker defended Sai Baba on the formality that he has escaped justice. This is intellectually dishonest (though I get a sense that she does not mean to be). One would have thought that, via her contact with India and many Indians, she knows that the ashram officials and the entire Indian system of corrupt politicians and judges who worship Sai Baba have protected him from all accountability! As will later be seen, she says she only knows of “rumors” of Sai Baba’s sexual abuse. But she did not say whether she knows from her husband Alvin Drucker that many parents have complained to him of sexual abuse by Sai Baba. I pointed out to her that we have very reliable documentation. (I shall post soon what I cited to her).

How can she expect those whom she once knew and respected as Sai brothers and sisters to respect her when she will not answer such questions properly?

She has yet more recently sent me documents showing that she is a good person, as if this were the issue. It is not. Again the self-absorption and unwillingness to entertain that the many who have questioned Sai Baba’s conduct are good people too. Of course, like any of us (though we do not claim spiritual realization), she can have good intentions, and heart and decency and yet all the while be wholly misguided, and unwilling to face inconvenient facts or reply to pertinent and honest questioning in a coherent way.

I entirely refute her implication that “honest debate” is not possible in the public arena. She would be correct, of course, in the case of communication with fools who are nasty, and I leave the reader to judge whether I am of that ilk.

To be continued ….

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Barry Pittard responds to earlier email of Jaani Drucker:

Can you understand how your website appears to promote a ‘solution’ to the rape question – quite strongly – e.g., “Have truth, will travel“? Several people, including very qualified mental health professionals with long experience in the sexual abuse area, have observed how your website can be too readily interpreted as campaigning for recognition that rape and other terrible occurrences have an ideal answer. That is to say – if only people will follow what you hold to be truth. It may be that you cannot accept that you have – and I think without meaning to – promoted a very misleading ‘theory’ based entirely on belief. And this belief is one from which you may not be able to free yourself, for, if you were to free yourself without recourse to an in-denial situation, you would have to face the trauma.

You now explain that it was not to justify rape, but that it was to explain that rape is not really a problem if one will just recognize that one is not the body. This view goes against the fact that we all HAVE a body and violations of it have an extremely forceful effect on the psyche.

Jaani Drucker: It is something you would find in the Enquirer – I don’t know if you know what that is. It is a gossip magazine that digs up sensationalism to entice its readers.

Barry Pittard: I have heard of that appalling magazine. If you see mere gossip in what I have written, I think objective readers will not agree with you. I would make the same observation about the output of the most prominent writers critical of Sathya Sai Baba and his apologists – Robert Priddy, Brian Steel and the independent British author on religion and philosophy Kevin R.D. Shepherd or at https://barrypittard.wordpress.com or in the many who have left the Sathya Sai Organization (including major leaders). See:

The Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba

Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults

Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia

Letter from Stephen Carthew

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America. (Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family (Al Rahm was one of the foremost of top leaders in the SS Org.)

Al Rahm’s Explanatory Letter To Sathya Sai Baba Internet Proxy Gerald Moreno

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Select Further Reading

Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example

Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

The Ways of the Mind – on the issue by a Swedish psychologist

Strawberry Fields Forever? plus comments on Jaani & advaitic doctrine

————————————–

Petition

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Subscribe in a reader

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 1

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 20, 2010

Below, I respond to Yaani Drucker – who initially wrote to me. For many years, she and her husband Professor Al Drucker (formerly with NASA) have been hero-worshipped by many Sathya Sai devotees worldwide. Although not now formal members of the Sathya Sai Organization, their impact continues to hold a spell for many Sai devotees who have access to media containing their talks and writings. Ms Drucker has a website:  Not Guilty: Undoing The Illusion of Separate Existence. In the Services, Products and Related Links section,  she states:

“Connect any time to ask questions, participate in dynamic discussions or debates on the teachings of Sai Baba, ACIM and the Torah/Bible”.

The reader who follows this correspondence may soon be able to guage whether this claim is genuine.

Previous recent articles on this topic at Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba are: Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example and Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him

Ms Drucker claims to be enlightened, and says on her website: “Have truth, will travel”

She has made some facts very clear, although readers may decide whether I am correct in saying that she veers (I think not with deliberate dishonesty) away from key points that I have made. Certainly, she and I have a very different view when she says:

“Is it necessary for a rape victim to receive professional counseling? This assumes that psychology/ psychotherapy has answers that ABSOLUTE TRUTH does not”.

One the other hand, she makes clear that she is not one of those who claim:  God is in all, therefore a perpetrator is really God in disguise. She says:

“The perpetrator is one’s brother for we are all brothers and sisters, thus one is responsibility to help him come into alignment with who he is. I saw that putting my rapist in jail was better than letting him stay free to hurt others. If I had not acted and he had raped another woman, I would have been complicit as I see it”.

No matter how badly Sathya Sai Baba has treated the Druckers, many Sai devotees around the world regard the couple as recipients of his infinite, mysterious, subtle and untold ‘Grace’, nonetheless.

Note: Ms Drucker writes that  “I am happy to discuss and debate issues. I have responded to every issue you raised”. But is she happy to discuss and debate? And has she responded to every issue that I have raised?

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From: jaani drucker

Dear Barry,

Just look at your heading “Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example.”

(Barry Pittard in reply):  This title refers to my view about the psychological state of being in self-protective denial. It exactly states my topic. Singularly inappropriate would have been to use euphemisms. ‘Dangerous’ refers to my view that, in the face of severe physical and psychological trauma, there is a danger implicit in modeling faith alone as the answer, without resort to well-qualified professional counseling.

A friend of mine, a psychotherapist with long experience in abuse matters, has just noted:

“My personal feeling is that no amount of rational persuasion can alter something as strong as one’s faith-based explanation.  Faith, usually supersedes the thinking mind in people who have been conditioned over time to rely on it. My additional reaction to Yaani Drucker’s account of the rape is that if she can use her faith and spiritual references to overcome the trauma, then she is fortunate.  Such coping behavior is successful for her. (- not to imply that it would be successful for others). There is a psychoanalytic term, “Narcissistic Defense” which can explain how people turn  negative feelings into positive ones)”.

In my email to you, I pointed out that, contrary to what you wrote, it is entirely clear that I never portrayed you as a “dangerous liar”. These were your words and assumption. It is a matter of substance, but you have not addressed this point – which any reader can verify simply by reading the words that were really on the page. See:  Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example and Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him . It is useful to address a point, rather than to quicksilver across to something other. In your emails, I sense a veering-away, a side-stepping of more than one point that I have raised. I may add that such a tendency is often observed in those in deep denial. There is a reactiveness, and it commonly does not relate to conscious dishonesty, but rather to ‘stuffs’ that are hard to face square-on.

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To Be Continued soon ……

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Select Further Reading

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

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Petition

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in Opinion, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 8, 2010

It is hard to convey to the general reader the extraordinary extent of appeal and significance of Sathya Sai Baba’s greater and lesser ‘apostles’. Prominent among these are Professor Alvin Drucker and his wife Jaani, who have long loomed large in the minds of the Sathya Sai Baba sect around the world. Central to this impact is a devotee psychology that goes as follows:
  
It is impossible for most to get an interview with Sai Baba or a glance or touch from him when he gives darshan (appears in public). However, by his infinite Grace, he has drawn special beings around him. As in the case of the disciples of spiritual luminaries down the ages, we at least – alleluia! – have them, the ripest apples of His eye … In their accessibility to us lies our mystical accessibility to Him.
 
Those who have seen these ‘apostles’ have, in a sense, seen the Father.
 
For some of those seen in this role, see the following articles (which contain further key links) :
 
 
For some background to this story, see:
 
 
 
At her website, under ‘Services, Products and Related Links’, yaani-druckerMs Drucker states: 
 
“Connect any time to ask questions, participate in dynamic discussions or debates on the teachings of Sai Baba, ACIM and the Torah/Bible. Our purpose will be to join in truth by sharing in the spirit of wanting only Truth and being willing to be wrong about everything we’ve taught ourselves thus far toward that end”.
Unless my reply to her contact with me (sent weeks ago) has e.g., accidentally ended up in her Spam section, I may mention that she has not responded to my (surely) courteous response (see below) to her recent email to me via my blogsite.  (After-note:  Ms Drucker has since emailed me, saying that she had missed seeing my email in her folder. I can respect this explanation, knowing that this mistake can happen. One day there may be a general solution for this problem).
 
A number of highly qualified mental health professionals have looked at Jaani Drucker’s account of her rape in a New York Sai center in February 1985. Their view is very different to Jaani’s understanding – which she puts in terms of spiritual “realization”.
 

Although Ms Drucker has at least written of her experiences in an area where most recoil from discussing their shocking experiences, there is clear professional opinion that the account she gives has strong and questionable assumptions, and which do not go near the advice professionals in psychiatry, psychology, psychotherapy etc., almost universally give to those dealing with abuse. Her article ‘Are You Ready To Stop Making The Unreal Real’ is HERE. My readers, who come from a wide array of sociocultural backgrounds, may well query whether this is the sort of reading which they would wish to see as embodying a role model, especially for the young and impressionable.  

Jnaani Drucker bears, surely, great responsibility.  She has portrayed her rape as a step to realization and advertised her wares on-line stating “Have truth, will travel”!!  Her reasoning is dangerous and close to pathological

 
Rationalization according to belief systems often leads to the driving of symptoms deeply and perilously underground. Indeed, even if a given person has somehow negotiated many of the dangers, their accounts of treating of such hold considerable risks to others who wish to follow the exceptionally unorthodox model evinced by Ms Drucker.
 
As I have suggested in my reply to Ms Drucker, there are some uncleared-up situations about information that shows that both Jaani Drucker and her husband Professor Alvin Drucker al-drucker-when-young-former-nasa-specialisthave known perfectly well – and directly so – of responsible, compelling accounts by those terribly stricken by Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual molestation of young males. Do they think that the large numbers round the world who make gut-wrenching report of his sexual abuses should resort to the Drucker approach? Indeed, as they have publicly outlined e.g., at Kingdom Hall at the ‘United Kingdom Sai Baba Retreat’, in April, 2000 …
 
Ex-head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway Robert Priddy comments on but one example that the Druckers should have no difficulty in recalling. See:  Top UK Sathya Sai Organization leaders left Sathya Sai Baba. He refers to a past head of the Sathya Sai Organization in the UK, Aime Levy and his wife Sandra:
“Aime later informed me that Alvin Drucker had – when pressed on the issue – confided to him and his wife while in Glastonbury. UK, years ago that one of the reasons he left Prashanthi Nilayam was because of the many American parents who used to come to his room and complain that their son or sons had been sexually abused by Sathya Sai Baba (I do have full proof of this if events should require it – responsible journalists and investigators can contact me for release of this proof material in confidence)”.
 Jaani Drucker’s note
 
The details of my rape experience can be found in Chapter 5,  Are you Ready to stop making the Unreal real? available free on my website. Perhaps it will help the reader to understand why what happens to the body is indeed not real, and has no effect whatsoever on who we are as immortal beings inhabiting a body for a moment. 

As to the rumor that Al Drucker was banished, again my take on that story can be found in the last chapter of the same book, at the same website. Things are not always as they appear on the surface. For pearls we must dive deep.

As to Sai Baba  – He needs no defense. Is not the fact that He stays out in the open and has not gone into hiding, and charges have never been charged, evidence enough of His Divinity? Again, for pearls one cannot stay on the surface.

May all beings find peace love and joy. May all the world be happy and blessed.

Barry Pittard’s Reply to Ms Drucker

Dear Jaani,
 
Thank you for your comment, and for the link to your website.
 
Your note is a breath of fresh air compared to the streams of almost unimaginable abuse, and various kinds of distortion Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees so often hurl against those former devotees who have stood forth at tremendous personal sacrifice, and indeed the serious misrepresentation by prominent leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization, including Dr G. Venkataraman, the deputy world chairman. 
 
I shall be glad to look carefully at what you have written.
 
There has long been a matter in my mind. There are those of indisputable reliability, who have known you and Al well, who have told me that you both know of the truth of the reports of young men and of various parents with compelling accounts of various forms of sexual abuse, as the law and the public would most certainly view it, by Sathya Sai Baba. Various parents have come with heart-rending abuse accounts, just as they have to others in the Sathya Sai Organization. If my informants are somehow mistaken, please kindly tell me so.
 
You mention the real/unreal topic. Perhaps you will know that, in vedantic terms, classic discussions about what is real and not real make very careful distinctions between paramarthika satyam and the “relatively real” level of truth (vyavaharika satyam). My former devotee colleague Timothy Conway Ph.D. writes clearly of this distinction in his piece that I cite below, where he discusses you. Many spiritual aspirants overlook important elements of the second understanding. Mind you, I have observed somewhere that, very correctly, the police were informed of your rape in the Sai center. In short, that those involved acted as responsible citizens in reporting the crime. There are those into forms of ‘spirituality’ who will not do this, saying, for example, that the rapist is the Lord in another form and that everything is alright. Another difficulty is that a great many survivors of rape and other forms of serious abuse do not reach out for professional counseling. My view is that no matter how far one may have advanced in any vedantic understanding, this process is a very important one – given, of course, the quality of the professional service. Would you agree?
 
In my article that you cite, I shall also be happy to point to your link, and to ensure that my article portrays the essence of your account. I can also check out what I have written in:  Ex-NASA Scientist and Wife Test Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Grace’
 
Should you wish, I can send you my draft, before posting. Do please be assured of respectful discourse from this end.
 
Should you have time or wish to at all, please let me know whether there are any substantive misunderstandings in the following pieces that deal with your understanding of your rape, other than what you have mentioned in your Chapter 5. I can do my best to ensure that your viewpoints are properly represented. This may indeed be of help to many readers.  See, Reidun Priddy, Robert Priddy – “Two Articles In Response To Yaani Drucker’s Posting”, http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/17/drucker.htm and Timothy Conway Ph.D. “My Concerns about Sathya Sai Baba”, http://www.enlightened-spirituality.org/Sathya_Sai_Baba_my_concerns.html and the psychologist Åsa Samsioe (who deals in her psychology practice with sexual and other forms of abuse) “The Ways of The Mind. On the rape victim Yaani Drucker’s denial and rationalization”, http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/18/drucker.htm . Åsa in turn comments on words of a dear friend of mine, a psychotherapist, the late Elena Hartgering, whom you may remember from Puttaparthi days.
 
Jaani, I wish you Love across the great ‘divide’, and to Al likewise, whom, of course, I remember when we were both teaching within the Sathya Sai education wing – in ancient days,
 
Barry Pittard
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Further Reading
 

Petition

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization 

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

 Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

 

Posted in Medicine, Opinion, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Democratic Societies Need To Face Issues On Cults

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 9, 2010

In my colleagues’ and my extensive experience in exposing the global Sathya Sai Baba cult and its leader, India’s most famous guru, whom successive Indian governments and institutions have long and corruptly protected, we have found a striking fact: governments, and indeed whole societies, fail to face the problem of cults. 

The ‘answers’ of totalitarian regimes are of course to be repudiated at the outset. Indeed, in their authoritarianism, these closely resemble a great many cults, in any case!  In some sense, they can indeed be deemed cults. Charismatic, autocratic leadership, enforcement of group-think, devious propaganda, and punitive styles exercised against those who question are some characteristics that loom large.

In facing the problems posed by cults, our democratic institutions fail abysmally. Typically, our governments and societies fail because of certain mistaken and exaggerated notions about religious and other freedoms concerning beliefs. The channels of wide discussion, debate and action need to be opened up. Problems posed by muteness – or sometimes by smarmy and false appearances that all is sweetness and light – in the face of ‘political correctness’ need to be faced as a co-operative, rather than divisive, endeavour. We have found that many academic communities seriously offend, for they do not regard apostates as useful subjects for research. Still further, academies need to do a great deal of soul-seaching in facing problems of orthodoxy, in which academics care far more for their emoluments than for speaking out fearlessly.

For too long, it has been overlooked that many cults violate those very notions of freedom which we need, of course, to cherish and uphold.

Certainly, care needs to be exercised in defining what is and what is not a cult, and this level of information is best, in my view, arrived via deliberations across whole communities in consultation with each other. It will not help very much if we see cultism as offending against the canons of this or that mainstream religion. It is the mentality itself that needs to be understood and addressed.

What would hold communities back from engagement? Surely, it is fear. Often unconscious or unacknowledged. There needs to be serious thought about how whole communities can be brought to see that, by avoiding such threats to freedom, very broadly defined, they expose themselves to far greater problems. One cannot but think of examples such as the social paralysis, and the terrible failure to act in democratic interests, that existed in Germany at the time of the Weimar Republic, prior to the triumph of Nazism.

Further Reading

The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Expose by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard

“The foes of the ‘open society’ (Sir Karl Popper’s term) are those who use its very openness to achieve their closed and devious ends. Sai Baba and his highly authoritarian and cultist organisation have such ends, which critics have tried to make known. Its foremost leaders silence all those who question it- and never face substantive criticisms. For the first time – after six years of pained and guilty silence – since hundreds of long-term devotees left it in disgust – the Sathya Sai Organisation has found it necessary to try to defuse the debate about Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged crimes, deceits and fraudulence. Dr. Venkataraman’s tendentious cover-up article expresses untruths which have long circulated within the cult, giving an opportunity to confront him with facts and truth”

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Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Concerning Attempts To Contact Former Sathya Baba Followers

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 4, 2009

Every now and then, networked former devotees are approached for information of a kind that, because of sensitivity, stands outside commentary on such trusted sites as:

Allegations concerning Sathya Sai Baba

Brian Steel’s researches on SSB’s claims

A home page by Robert Priddy

Call For Media and Government Investigation

Exbaba.com

Recent Research on the Claims of Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba Casebook-Factsheet

Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

Sathya Sai Baba In Word And Action

A home page by Robert Priddy

Conny Larsson’s website

Concerning Attempts To Contact Former Sathya Baba Followers

In regard to sincere enquirers:  Not everyone seems to understand how fragile human beings who have survived various forms of abuse most commonly are. We have met with those situations where the abuse accounts to us come from decades back, and yet the person’s sensitivity is still great. It is frequently an area for trained, experienced counselors – and not for the rest of us, however well-meaning.

In the case of approaches to us, we carefully vet so as to screen off the proven attempts of Gerald Moreno and others to infiltrate or otherwise undermine former devotee work to bring about proper third party investigation of Sathya Sai Baba and core components of his international Sathya Sai Organization.

Where certain very serious infractions occur or appear likely to be occurring, we have a direct contact to high-ranking contact in Interpol (details of which we are happy to share with bona fide investigators). In one instance, in which Interpol were informed, a former student and lecturer in Sathya Sai Baba’s establishment at Puttaparthi attempted to penetrate us, and he and his family consequently received a visit from a senior member of the Indian police force.

It has been important for us to take advice from outstanding abuse professionals, lawyers, and so on. The temerity, and in some cases the naivity, of some requests to us for even the most sensitive information might stagger those who had not grown used to it.

In one case, there was an attempted penetrative subterfuge practised – fortunately unsuccessfully – against a major broadcaster. Through our own resources, we were able to uncover the unprincipled interloper. It was a member of a large and powerful law firm, whose head is someone once known to me. He (the latter) is one of the Sathya Sai Organization’s key legal advisors. (Details of this culumny will be shared with any well-reputed media or other bona fide agency which might investigate the Sathya Sai Baba issue).

The Security of Affidavits and Other Sensitive Testimony Concerning Sathya Sai Baba-related Abuses

Under no circumstances are we, on behalf of those who have entrusted to us their affidavits, ready to allow them to be seen by other than appropriate and very reputed lawfirms, and media such as the BBC, Times of London, etc., or agency such as UNESCO, and in some instances to those former devotees of known, long-established standing in relevant professions, such as the mental health or medical areas, who assist us. And then and only then with the updated approval of those who have provided prior documentation to one of my close colleagues or me – the families and/or the abuse survivors themselves. (Other forms of abuse in addition to sexual abuse of boys and young men are included).

Barry Pittard

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Robert Priddy, former long-time head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, has compiled a useful resource. Trustfully, competent researchers will find time to use it well. Any questions can be addressed to Robert Priddy or me. We are happy to put scholars attached to well-reputed institutions in touch with other scholars knowledgeable in these areas.

Robert Priddy, Academic Philosopher and Author

Robert Priddy, Academic Philosopher and Author

Sathya Sai Baba can’t escape the sex abuse testimonies

Posted by robertpriddy on October 3, 2009

At least 30 young men have openly testified in public to one or another form of sexual abuse by Sathya Sai Baba, from handling of genitals to masturbation and oral sex. Numerous others who fear for their own safety have contacted trusted dissidents in private with their accounts.

Further Reading

Jointly authored

The International Sathya Sai Organization – an accessory to a massive libel and disinformation campaign (Open letter to the Prasanthi Council – c/o Dr. M. Goldstein, Dr. G. Venkataraman and its other members).

Note: This document is signed by the following prominent Sathya Sai Organization members:

Serguei Badaev, Russia 1995-2001 Ex-President of Sai Org. Moscow Centre and Deputy National Chairman for Russia.
Timothy Conway Ph.D, USA. Follower for 22 years; President of the Sathya Sai Baba Center of San Francisco from 1982-4.
Dennis J. Hanisch, USA. Follower for 27 years. Founder member and Vice-President, Seattle Center.
David. J. Lyons, USA. Follower from 1981 to 2000. Ex-President of the Center of Greater New Orleans.
Barry Pittard, Australia. 1976-1999. Former English Lecturer, Sathya Sai College, Whitefield.
Robert Priddy, Norway. 1983-2002. Founder member/Ex-Chairman of Oslo Center & Coordinator for Norway 1986-1996.
Reidun Priddy, Norway. 1983-2000. Founder member and Seva Wing Coordinator 1986-1998
Al Rahm,  Office-bearing member of the SSO for decades. Regional Devotional Coordinator and founder of first Education in Human Values school in the U.S.
Barbara Shocket, USA Follower: 1980-1990.
Dhyani Jo Sinclair, Canada Member and Sai Centre Secretary, 1995-2000

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Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya (or Satya) Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Posted in Morality, Opinion, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, Sex, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 9, 2009

For many years, Professor Alvin Drucker, an ex-NASA scientist, was one of those ‘star turns’ well in demand as a keynote speaker within the international Sathya Sai Organization. In the seventies, he taught at the Sathya Sai College in Whitefield during part of the same time that I taught there, and he lived within the compound that housed Sai Baba’s residence.

A common assumption was that Sai Baba had cast Drucker out because he had disobeyed his guru in marrying (or wanting to) Yaani. She is his wife to this day.

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

However, we learn from reliable sources of the reason for Professor Alvin Drucker’s departing the side of Sathya Sai Baba:

Very distressed parents of young boys came to him desperate for some kind of explanation for actions bearing all the indications of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual molestation of their sons. Al Drucker left for this reason, and got married.

Note:

(The witnesses’ details and proof of their excellent standing in their professions and communities, and of their longtime devotion, high-standing and service to Sathya Sai Baba will be shared on request with reputed media, lawfirms, scholarly investigators, etc. Barry Pittard)

One thinks of the case of a still more prominent former Sathya Sai Baba lecturer, David Bailey, and the manner in which many anguished parent came to him (and his wife, Faye). See: The Findings by David and Faye Bailey, UK. Eye-witness reports (see that of Robert Priddy below) indicate that, after a passage of years, Drucker returned to Puttaparthi. Those who argue badly, ignoring psychological complexities such as the in-denial state of mind, like simple-mindedly to state that Drucker has come “back to Swami” so what are critics of Sathya Sai Baba on about. Let him speak for himself. But will he? Do those grief-stricken parents who came to him mean nothing to him any more?

There is no doubting the excellent standing of a number informants with whom Drucker has shared this information, and who have written to us over time. They would make excellent witnesses in a court of law or if interviewed by media or scholarly investigators.

Naturally, it would be of benefit were Drucker himself to make a clear statement. Or is he content to stand by while those who have done their best, against many and formidable obstacles, to bring out the truth are execrated as liars, spreading stories for money (Sathya Sai Baba has said), hallucinating (Dr John Hislop) , disgruntled, hateful apostates, and so forth.

One may add that Drucker has often written and spoken on the Vedas. Where, then, is his fearlessness? It is a notion that resounds through the Vedas.

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See former head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization Robert Priddy’s journal entry of which he refers as:

“Directly recorded notes from my long Brindavan stay 1994 – about V.K. Narasimhan and Al Drucker (scanned from 1994 notebook)”
V.K. Narasimhan on Sai colleges etc. Transcript:

SUNDAY 27/3/94 (Bhajan all day)
Afternoon darshan: Sat in chair at back. He came down to the last block and looked in my direction – but did not fixate gaze on me. [Same way?]
I had back problems again.

Comment: Once I had thought that Sai Baba had helped cure my spinal misalignment problems – caused by several falls from childhood onwards – especially though a dream. I later realised, when the problems returned and got worse, that it had just been some temporary placebo effect.

After darshan I was hi-jacked to the Warden’s room at the college by Narasimhan. He did not want to use my last chapter for Sanathana – he considered my view of the Organisation to be too positive.

Comment: Narasimhan had already occasionally expresses scepticism about the claims by leaders in the Sai Organization and he had suffered problems from Sai Baba because he had published things in the journal Sanathana Sarathi by a Central Coordinator which were intended to mislead him (about copyright), resulting in him being suspended as editor for a long period. VKN was particularly cynical about Antonio Craxi (brother of the then Italian PM B. Craxi – later convicted of embezzlements) because of his Mafia connections and his vile attacks on other leaders in Italy, like Marena who eventually replaced Craxi.

But he did not say why – just went on in his usual way, recounting life experiences at kibbutzim, in Massachusetts and so on and soon the Warden gave us Sai prasadam – and another (lecturer in English lit.) gave us a second lot – so I had for both Reidun and I. It was Mysore pak.

It turned out I had deserted Reidun – should have met her after darshan to visit Robert and Rita!! But I thought it was after dinner!
Heard about Al Drucker: he is literally excommunicated – can’t enter any of the ashrams or go to Sai centres in the US. It is because he married a young girl against Swami’s expressed wish. The girl was refused at the ashram when her identity was found out. But she later got Baba to take a letter (presumably by staying incognito somehow to the ashram staff). She is not allowed in, ever!! Swami once said to Drucker that he could not have realisation because he would first have to lose everything. Drucker said he wanted it anyhow. Who knows? Or perhaps he broke faith with Sai

Comment: Alvin Drucker was a long-term (US) resident at the ashrams and very active promoter of Sathya Sai Baba. I had seen briefly one day previously, and the news came via Reidun after a long talk she had with an American lady devotee who had recently come from the interview where Sai Baba had seen both Drucker and his new wife at the interview (possibly they had not yet actually married). Sai Baba He had warned Al that he would cut him off and had told Yaani that Al was dying of stomach cancer and he was far too old for her etc. (Yaani was later brutally raped on Shivartri night before a shrine to Sai Baba and who wrote and lectured about it, demonstrating her state of total psychological denial – see here,and here)

Transcript (black text) and comments (violet text):-

6/10/98 Changed room from B2 to B4, which Anne-Irene vacated before darsan. Missed darsan again therefore. New room cooler and various advantages. (Comment: However, this North block for Organization donors was daily enveloped for hours in a vomit-ghastly putrid smell of rotting faeces from an open sewage pit nearby which should have been replaced by an ecological system – but the officials stole the money given for the purpose! See the facts about this scam here)
Saw Narasimhan briefly – I wouldn’t stay. He was writing the preface for ‘From Bapu to Baba’ 3rd ed. His eye is very poor – but he may get a lease of new eyesight from glasses designed by an English specialist soon. (Comment: Battling on as editor of Sai’s journal at his command, VKN had taken an eye operation on Sai Baba’s advice and lost the eye as a result, despite vibuti applied by Baba after the op. See here.)
We saw a bearded Al Drucker when we came from darsan. He seemed not to have been to it. (Comment: Since Alvin Drucker was banned from th ashram by Sai baba personally in 1992 see here, he had not been seen at any Organization conferences either. He attended the ‘paduka’ (sandal) ceremonies but hid away from everyone the rest of the time. The beard seemed to be a disguise)
Saw Henk and exchanged a greeting. Wrote rest of letter to Ragnhild …. etc…

7/10/89 At benches by 6.19 Shenai and drum music. Still a few places. We were awoken at 5.30 by Oms and Suprabhatam just outside our window at full force. Then music, chanting, more trumpet and drum music etc. Also a dose of unstoppable feedback from the microphones, despite repeated late night “Testing, testing, one, two”‘s
Went with Narasimhan in car, driven by his relative (brother’s son-in-law) who organised the entire Rayalaseema Water Project (he had come from the USA). (He had secured a copy of my book from the US too). N. and I had a chat about Sai Books and my book. He has told Devendra that my book would be a runaway success, so no problem with an edition there. The index he feels best in data form. (see about Suri’s misappropriations here)
Suri was removed on a good “pretext” by Swami – a book he published caused Swami’s ire … some Ma who claimed that she embraces Sai as a mother etc. N. said Suri is a rogue who still pretends he is in grace, sitting on the verandah. His wife, however, is a devoted server – as are her parents.
Damodar Rao is in B’lore & very ill. Hans is with him. Srinivas Rajendra is going strong and lecturing.

(Comment:Damodar Rao was an old follower of Sai Baba – a retired circuit judge – who visited the US once and told me his story at great length. He told me that he thought sexual abusers of children “should all be boiled alive in oil”!! A very extremist viewpoint for a judge? But perhaps not in India? This subject came up without reference to Sai Baba, who neither of us suspected (then). Hans was Hans Baerholm, a Danish follower i knew well too, who was living in Rao’s house in Bangalore.)

…………………………………………………………

Further Reading

Nothing Is Real, Strawberry Fields Forever
or ‘Yaani Drucker on how nothing was turned into nothing, by nobody’
by Reidun Priddy

Yanni Drucker and Sathya Sai Baba’s Advaitic Doctrine
A recipe for confusion and personality disorder?
by Robert Priddy

Ex-NASA Scientist and Wife Test Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Grace’

Note: Yaani and Al Drucker have publicly subscribed to the notion that Yaani – in her brutal rape in a Sai center – was never raped. It was only her body that was raped. The lack of careful distinction between a philosophical of spiritual vantage-point is evident here, and the case is suggestive of the dangers of extrapolating a concept and servicing a psychological denial of events that need formal professional counseling. It is a view that too well lends itself to false notions of forgiveness, and to actually aiding criminals.It must, however, be said that the rapist in this event was convicted on Jaani Drucker’s evidence. What I refer to is the importance in ensuring that auditors to accounts like this do not go away harbouring – in an air of unreality – interpretations that endanger psychological health and social responsibility.

See the entire Christmas 2000 Discourse as translated verbatim by his students

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (With Barry Pittard‘s comments)

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL)



Posted in Opinion, Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Ex-NASA Scientist and Wife Test Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Grace’

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 9, 2008

In 2000, Sathya Sai Baba devotees worldwide wanted desperately to cope with the allegations falling thick and fast of Sai Baba’s serial widespread sexual molestations of boys and young men.

Devotees extensively circulated a photocopy of talks by Yaani and her husband Professor Al Drucker at the ‘United Kingdom Sai Baba Retreat’, April, 2000. These two, especially Al Drucker, have been very influential in the history of the Sai Baba movement. Referring in their talks to Jaani Drucker’s rape in an official Sathya Sai Center, they both held that Jaani is not her body. She is only in a dream. Not being her body, but the eternal Atma, Jaani was never raped. All is the Lord’s Grace.

There is here a procrustean stretching of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy. Some have posited an ultimate state of non-physical being, but to do so can be to merge not into some blissful state of enlightenment but rather partake of an unreality which little equips human beings for deciding on issues of responsibility to their psychological welfare.

The Wishing Away Of Unpleasant Realities

For example, none should entertain the notion: The boys and young men who have had terribly shocking experiences at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba are not their body. Therefore, nothing, in all reality, happened to them. Secondly, even IF the Druckers were to be in some elevated state of spiritual enlightenment, it would be mistaken for anyone to think that all others should be as the Druckers.

Is the Druckers’ expression of a non-dualistic philosophy one to model to those struggling to make sense out of the shocks of the world or of the workaday world of commonsense and responsibility? The advaita philosophy improperly interpreted is full of dangers for the unwary.

al-drucker-when-young-former-nasa-specialistyaani-drucker

Alvin Drucker, Former NASA scientist . (An early photo)

Al Drucker’s wife, Jaani

Belief System Interpretation of ‘Exalted’ Experiences

Jaani Drucker is surely right when she says “Denial gives energy to the darkest fears by attempting to hide them and put them out of the consciousness.  Exposing our fears or negative qualities undoes them and reveals them as the nothing that they have always been”.

However, one may doubt whether she has understood the power of but one of the human mind’s radical coping mechanisms when she relates, “Even while I was being brutally raped, within me all fear and horror of the situation had left. Quite inexplicably I became very calm and to my astonishment discovered an incredible compassion welling up in my heart”. However, those on some ‘spiritual’ paths will immediately interpret the experience according to their belief system. There are many accounts of those in situations of danger who have had similar experiences. But the happy state into which they entered is later belied, for example by their shaking bodies subsequent to the event and, far more, to poste-traumatic aftermaths.

Former Devotee Ends Her Euphoria

Ella Evers, along with her late husband had led a US Sathya Sai Baba center in Oregon, USA. (John had been a banker who had served as a Dutch intelligence officer in the war against Hitler’s Germany). Ella and John were among those many in the United States Sathya Sai Organization who left it after investigated cases within Sai Centers, having – with signal failure – put to the national leaders – such as Dr John Hislop, Dr Michael Goldstein, Bob Bozzani, Dr John C. Evans, Dr William Harvey, Dr Phylis Kristal, and others – the serious allegations that were arising within the organization, particularly about allegations against Sathya Sai Baba of his serial widespread sexual abuse of boys and young men. The following report depicts an experience familiar to very many former devotees who had earlier ignored the evidence of grave malpractice. They, in a state of psychological denial and commonly a euphoric state, preferred to rationalize the conflicted situations as “Swami’s Divine Play”, “Swami’s helping to speed up the evolution of those with bad karma”, and so on.

A Former Devotee Ends Her Euphoria

The Grant’s Pass (Oregon, USA) newspaper reporter wrote:

Evers claims that, during a trip to the India compound in 1989, she glimpsed Sai Baba unzipping the pants of a boy before the holy man jumped up and closed a gap in the interview curtain. “Wanting so desperately to be a good devotee”, she blamed her own impure thoughts and suppressed what she’d seen until she learned of other stories last year, she said. Evers doesn’t want to take away from the good works of Sai Baba followers, but she believes they have been slowly drawn in and discouraged from thinking for themselves.
Source: Controversial holy man’s followers gather near Grants Pass. Patricia Snyder. Grants Pass Daily Courier. August 31, 2001.

Further Resources

The Ways of The Mind. Some reflections on an article by Elena Hartgering. By Åsa Samsioe (psychologist and practicing therapist, Sweden. Åsa is a former devotee of Sathya Sai Baba)

Nothing Is Real, Strawberry Fields Forever
or ‘Yaani Drucker on how nothing was turned into nothing, by nobody’
by Reidun Priddy

Yanni Drucker and Sathya Sai Baba’s Advaitic Doctrine
A recipe for confusion and personality disorder?
by Robert Priddy

Cultic Depersonalization or Demonization of Dissenters

Some Key Cultic Responses To Critics

Being In Denial. A Sai Baba Experience

Exiting A Top International Cult. A Sai Baba Experience

Dr Timothy Conway’s Summary of Ullrich Zimmermann Interview

Legalistic Abuse: Catholic Church And Sathya Sai Organization

Posted in Morality, New Age, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, Sex, Spirituality, Theology, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

William Aitken Fails on Prof. E. Haraldsson and Dr K. Osis

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 9, 2008

As promised, I shall take some further looks at the work of Brian Steel. See my articles: 

In this blogging and some upcoming ones, I shall be looking at Brian Steel’s article: Bill Aitken and Sathya Sai Baba. A Writer’s Dilemma,  on Aitken’s book, Sri Sathya Sai Baba. A Life (New Delhi, Penguin Books India, 2004. Paperback edition, 2006).

 

Aitken speaks of his book as a counterweight to “excesses of hagiography”. Steel’s textual analysis, however, reveals beyond any dispute that the book is strongly, despite its claims to the contrary, hagiographical. It isolates “headline grabbing” and superficial views contra Sai Baba, while ignoring the large body of serious criticism by former devotees and other critics that has been taken seriously by many third parties. For example, see below for clickable video material from the BBC’s The Secret Swami and DR’s Seduced. See also, my fairly extensive resource compilation, Exposure of Sai Baba: Media Source List.

 

Brian Steel criticises Bill Aitken’s work for carelessly elevating a minor player, the US parapsychologist Dr Karlis Osis, to major importance and yet leaving out of account Osis’s more relevant and well known research partner, Professor Erlandur (other spelling=Elendur)Haraldsson, author of Miracles Are My Visiting Cards. USA Title, (1988). Modern Miracles. An investigative report on psychic phenomena associated with Sri Sathya Sai Baba. New York: Ballantine Books, 304 pp. This is a work, sold in the many thousands, which Sai Baba devotees commonly – and very mistakenly – hail as ‘proving’ that his so-called miracles are all real.

 

Steel says:

“The author’s preference for Murphet’s quote about the minor participant (Osis) and his inexplicable lack of curiosity about one of the most influential books in the SSB literature is an important flaw in the research for this book, especially since Aitken fleetingly mentions Haraldsson’s book (on p. 220), but merely to recommend its coverage of miracle stories”. 

dr-elendur-haraldsson-sai-baba-investigator.jpgDr E. Haraldsson, Emeritus Professor of the University of Iceland, Reykjavík, a leading academic parapsychology researcher. Incorrectly and widely cited by Sai Baba devotees as having ‘proved’ Sai Baba’s claims to have extraordinary psychic powers. 

 

Professor Haraldsson’s careful and exhaustive investigations discredited Sai Baba’s claim to have ‘resurrected’ Walter Cowan, which the crypto-/ virtual devotee Aitken fails to note. Morover, Osis is promoted as an expert in Kirlian photography. In fact, ‘photographs of auras’ have been shown to be explainable by physics other than by any supposed ‘aura’. There is an interesting Wikipedia article which notes how Kirlian photography has been discredited in the scientific community.

 

To be continued shortly

For Viewing

See The Secret Swami HERE. Available in broadband and modem

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
(80 MB, Broadband)

Seduced

(21 MB, Modem)

Further References

Posted in New Age, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, Sai Baba, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

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.

Further Reading

Cost Of Cover Ups Can Far Exceed Hoped-for Benefits

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?”

Sexual Abuse And Cover-up

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”

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »