Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Al Drucker’

Sathya Sai Baba Cultist Yaani Drucker Claims Spiritual Enlightenment

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 29, 2010

It is instructive to see the cultic mind at work. Too often, it conceals itself. Yaani Drucker – the Sathya Sai Baba worshipper who publicly claims that she has now achieved Enlightenment and runs workshops that aim to put others on the same path – has again written to a former follower of Sathya Sai Baba.

Throughout her many statements, she fails to realise that, as a public figure, her advice on how to deal with rape and other traumatic experience is far from what those in crisis care regard as advisable. Yet again, in her email to Robert Priddy, her own extremely simplistic assumptions give her away. She is as careless in small matters as in great. In a relatively small matter, reminding one of her own assumption that I am a psychologist, she has just written to Robert Priddy, telling him that his Ph.D., excludes him from any expertise in commenting about matters of Enlightenment. The fact is, that Robert Priddy does not have a Ph.D., and it has been known for many decades to many colleagues that he attaches little, if any, importance t0 such titles. See Wiki reference for Robert C. Priddy’s qualifications, academic and other writings.

See:  Yaani Drucker’s hypocrisy about academic qualifications & enlightenment Posted by robertpriddy on May 27, 2010

QUOTE “Yaani evidently has no idea of how I view and define cults in accordance with world experts on this subject. She could benefit from reading about them! Her view is that only a group one cannot leave is a cult. That is very simplistic. One can even leave the most oppressive cults, but it is the harassment afterwards that is the defining quality. Such as her confidante Gerald Moreno’s constant harassment of all Sathya Sai Baba ex-cult members. The Sathya Sai cult is not as extreme in the sense that some are, not unless you are in India and confront them (Basava Premanand was burgled three times (see BBC report) and suffered attempts on his life from Sai Baba goondas (i.e. killer thugs). He was convinced from his evidence that his son and helper was murdered in a Bangalore hospital too! Numerous Indian students have been murdered at the ashrams, and also a considerable number of Westerners, while other Western visitors have ‘disappeared’ from the ashram and have never been traced. Indian ex-students in fear of their livelihoods and even their lives still write to me (for they know I can be trusted, unlike continuing devotees). But for the majority it is admittedly a very subtle kind of cult, relying on voluntary donations (after deep indoctrination). Sai Baba gives people almost worthless rings (claiming they are diamond rings), fake watches, all manner of trinkets – and he gets huger donations in return out of thankfulness – but the donors were thoroughly deceived!”

Alvin Drucker, husband of Jaani (originally just Jan) is a self-appointed prosetylizer for Sathya sai baba and condones his sexual exploits about which he knew from parents many instances, though he chose to remain silent. He has admitted this in an e.mail to the UK central Coordinator Aime Levy who was formerly  also a devotee and a good friend of Robert Priddy and wife. Interestingly Drucker is not honest either, as the following documentation shows:- Al Drucker expropriated others’ work to himself

…………………………………………….

Further Reading

Two Articles In Response To Yaani Drucker’s Posting

“NOTHING IS REAL, STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER”
or ‘Yaani Drucker on how nothing was turned into nothing, by nobody’
by Reidun Priddy

YAANI DRUCKER & SATHYA SAI BABA’S ADVAITIC DOCTRINE
A recipe for confusion and personality disorder?
by Robert Priddy

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

Jaani Drucker – wild claims not supported by her actions

By Barry Pittard

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

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.

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.
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.
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.
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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  

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 New Age, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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

——————————————  

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   

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

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 15, 2010

For context to this email to Yaani Drucker, who claims to be spiritually enlightened, but who (as any reasoning reader can see at once) frequently avoids many issues of substance and also confuses what clearly has been said, see the links to my series of posts, below. I have spent time on this issue because it strikes me that her many evasions – which I do not think are insincere – show aspects of the cultic mind in full flight. I quickly add, though, that Yaani Drucker in other respects is remarkably free of the viciousness of certain other key Sathya Sai Baba apologists. She is touchingly decent, and her language free of attack and put-down. Indeed she has lessons to teach her own guru, whose nastiness, whatever may be the positives, is only too well documented by countless and compelling testimonies from many countries.
 
Dear Yaani,

I have carefully thought through your request that I take down what I have written on yourself and your husband Professor Drucker. These posts were made with genuineness, time, effort and care. You have since sent a number of documents that you say show you to be a good person. You referred to your “purity of heart”.

Yaani, I will not entertain any implication that many former devotees who have raised the issues of which I have written are not good people, too. It is you who are “not listening”. You are not listening to them – whom you once respected as your fine ‘Sai brothers and sisters’. They feel let down by you both, especially Al.

Perhaps at some time, you will be ready to answer my questions properly, instead of via emotionalism (which is very different to emotion). Should you and/or Al be ready to make out a response, I shall be glad to give your answers ample space at https://barrypittard.wordpress.com (Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba).

It is clear to me and to others – who are not afraid to criticize me if they think that I am being unreasonable – that you have reacted emotively and evasively, and taken matters personally, such as where you assume that I am saying that you are dangerous. Clearly, you have difficulty in separating what is really being said from your own upset reaction to it. In public, you have advanced your notions about self-realization. On your website and to me in an email, you have said you are glad to debate. You are a public figure, given your role as a speaker, workshop facilitator and owner of a website. You have declared on that website: “Have truth, will travel”. Naturally, sooner or later, you will find people who disagree with you, and who speak up. They have a perfect right to do so. Former devotee critics such as Robert Priddy (long-time ex-head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway), Brian Steel and other articulate and immensely hard-working researchers have not ducked for cover, and in fact have faced almost unimaginable attacks. Yaani, if it is too hot in the public ‘kitchen’, why enter it with undertakings to “discuss and debate”, as you have done?

In what I have written in my latest post, I have given my further reasons for not ceding to your request to take down the posts.

Perhaps at some time you will feel ready to deal with issues with reason and non-evasion of serious questions, which are of deep and genuine concern especially for many former devotees whose lives have been shattered by the terrible deeds of Sathya Sai Baba, and those of his key servitors who have cooperated in a large-scale, tragic cover up. Some of the parents of those with compelling accounts of their (then) young male children have very real concerns that your husband Al Drucker profoundly let them down when they came to him in trust at the worst period in their lives. (Not that there lack many other types of Sathya Sai Baba abuses that are also well-documented, including extensive research by the BBC and other institutions of great repute). I have stated this matter about the parents in my extended email to you, and you ignored it, except, when later again asked, but where all you had to to say was that you had heard “rumors”.

Your replies have been about you, and how you have been made to feel, and how public comment causes you to lose attendees for your workshop on handling ‘ego’. There was no compassionate engagement of yours in the former devotees’ grave and heart-stricken concerns. Or, indeed – any real engagement at all.
 
Yours faithfully,
 
Barry Pittard

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Previous Posts On This Issue

  • Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 6
  • Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 5
  • Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 4
  • Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 3
  • Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 2
  • Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 1
  • 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
  •  

    Posted in New Age, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , | 2 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”.

     

    ——————————————-

    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

    ——————————————–

    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.
    ——————————————-

    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”.

    ——————————

    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

    ——————————————–

    This series continues 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?

    ————————————–

    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 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?

    ——————————————

    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.

    —————————————

    To Be Continued soon ……

    —————————————

    Select Further Reading

    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

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

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

    Posted by Barry Pittard on February 16, 2010

    We know that  Jaani Drucker and her husband Professor Al Drucker have long known, and indeed been the guests of, persons who carefully investigated accounts of Sathya Sai Baba’ sexual abuses of boys and young men, and other serious abuses.

    yaani-drucker

    In an email to me (see link just below), Jaani Drucker, who was brutally raped in a New York Sai center in February 1985 wrote:  “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”.

    The fact is that many boys and young men (and others who have grown older) do not share, Ms Drucker’s notion. Neither will their families and many others.

    My reply to Ms Drucker is here: 

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

    Posted by Barry Pittard on February 8, 2010

    I wrote back to her, with no reply, so I posted the above article. Having now seen the latter, she emailed just yesterday to say: “I did not see your e-mail to me, so it must have gotten into my spam folder”. Her reply is scarcely a reply at all. Although her website states that she “has truth, will travel” and that she is happy to discuss and debate issues, she avoids responding to the issues I raised. 

    Why will she not properly discuss or debate?

    I would still like to know whether she sees no reason to defend the integrity of many former Sathya Sai Baba devotees for whom, over years, she and her husband had much respect for. They have long been extremely assailed – including with the assistance of prominent Sathya Sai Baba figures. Must they, too, be expected to live in the (perhaps rather Manichean) state of non-dualism which Ms Drucker in public discourse and on her website claims to be living in?

    In her first email, Ms Drucker said, “As to Sai Baba – He needs no defense”. Whatever may be the case about that, it is clear from evidence from many parts of the world that boys and young men DO have, and have long had, need of defense against him. But there are those, including a number who were once in top positions in the international Sathya Sai Organization, who attest that Jaani and Al Drucker DID hear at first hand compelling testimony from families of (then) young males who have given accounts of his sexual molestation of them.

    The issue is serious for most. Indeed, very keenly so for families who wish to protect their children against both harm and the bad advice that can lead to harm. In her second email to me, she writes:

    “Is it necessary for a rape victim to receive professional counseling? 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. Then we see that nothing real can be threatened. We are all unaffectably whole and complete. When you know this at a deep level you are free of any past whether you were the victim or the victimizer. Then you have shifted out of the victim/victimizer paradigm into the God-consciousness where you know you cannot be a victim. This heals the past and assures you that you will not attract just experiences to yourself in the future”.

    This is not what responsible parents will want their young to hear. It is not what mental health professionals think, aware as they are of how belief systems can be hazardously used to put survivors of abuse into states of denial.

    Moreover, it strikes me that Jaani Drucker herself makes a very big assumption. Namely, that she has reached that high plateau of non-dualistic self-realization (in ancient Indian reckoning, that of advaita). Classic Eastern spiritual texts say that very few beings achieve this goal of yogic striving – (e.g., the Bhagavad Gita). 

    Jaani Drucker extends such a notion in public discourse and across her website. It appears plain that Jaani Drucker is deliberately side-stepping points I put to her. Like so many well-informed Sai devotes, she entirely skirts issues but does not deny that he has long engaged in the actions that the rest of the world calls sexual abuse. In her second (just received) email, 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. 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. 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.”

    At a cost of great individual and family sacrifice, former Sai Baba devotees from many countries have assisted in submissions to UNESCO, the FBI, Interpol etc), and spoken out in other ways. For example, the Rahm family (formerly among the most prominent devotees in Sai Baba’s worldwide movement), went to tremendous effort in standing forth to protect young males from Sathya Sai Baba, as in their extensive testimony to the BBC and DR, submissions to the FBI, and much more. See independent British author Kevin Shepherd’s:

    The Alaya Rahm Lawsuit in California (at 23.6) and

    Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America – Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family 

    Has Jaani Drucker nothing to say about whether in Sai Baba’s international organization there should be proper processes in place for dealing with such serious allegations made by perfectly bona fide members of the organization? Have they no rights to be protected against such dereliction of duty that has been amply demonstrated in the Hislop letters. See:

    Timothy Conway Ph.D – On ‘The Hislop Letters’

    The Hislop letters – part one [Timothy Conway on Gerald Moreno]

    The crucial John Hislop letters, Sathya Sai Baba, & Sathya’s defender Joe Moreno by Timothy Conway, Ph.D

    In her earlier email, Jaani Drucker said,

    “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”.

    Surely, Ms Drucker is being terribly naive. Countless offenders do not go into hiding. They prefer to tough things out. The retention of a public profile not closed to Sathya Sai Baba. He wields incredible political and religious power. There is a bleak scenario difficult to imagine for many outside India. The extent of corruption is immense. They need to count themselves fortunate that their democratic institutions tend to work more effectively. I have written of protections that the Indian power echelons afford him. See:

    Why Has Sathya Sai Baba Not Faced The Indian Justice System?

    Quote from this article:

    “In 2001, the celebrated Indian advocate Kamini Jaiswal (who was a lawyer for the famous ‘Bandit Queen’ Phoolan Devi) attempted to mount, pro bono, a case against Sai Baba on behalf of a former Sai Baba devotee, Hari Sampath. apparently a former member of Sathya Sai Baba’s intelligence and security wing. They were thwarted in what lawyers, including eminent ones from different countries (their identities are available to bona fide investigators by writing me), have described by such terms as “a kangaroo court”. One used to democratic court procedures can hardly believe, as one reads the lawyer’s notes in transcript, that judges could be so blatant. See, Record of Proceedings document of Hari Sampath’s 2001 case against Sai Baba in the Supreme Court of India, and further comments on this case scuppered by Judges G.B. Patnaik and R.C. Lahoti with the concurrence of then Chief Justice Dr A.S. Anand”.

    Sathya Sai Baba Disposed Judges Sathya Sai Baba Disposed Judges

    Another example of the appallingness that can pass for Indian justice (often an oxymoron) is illustrated by the conduct of a Sai Baba devotee Judge,  Y. V. Anjaneyulu, in Sai Baba’s state of Andhra Pradesh. It is a judgement that contradicts India’s secular justice system and confounds those of our lawyer members who live in far more democratic countries than India who have seen the document. For this undeniable perversion of justice, see HERE.

    In the face of all this (and so much other) testimony, where is Jaani Drucker’s compassion? Where is her sense of duty as a citizen, with responsibility towards transparency and accountability? Where does her “have truth will travel” philosophy lead to when she has so long been complicit in the workings of one of the most authoritarian cults in the world, the Sathya Sai Baba Organization?

    ————————————

    Select Further Reading

    Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

    Inequality before the law in India

    Liberhan Commission Report, India: Names Some Long-time Close Associates of Sathya Sai Baba

    Prominent Indians Berate India’s Rife Political Corruption

    Will A Newer India Throw Off Old Oppressions?

    India’s Chronic Addiction To Anacronistic Gurus. Any Sea-change?

    India’s Painful Experience of Corrupt Leadership

    Hazards For Abuse Survivors Both Timid and Bold

    Video Resources

    The Secret Swami (BBC Television):
    (154 MB, Broadband)

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

    http://home.hetnet.nl/~seduced/seduced.wmv
    (21 MB, Modem)

    ————————————

    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, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 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
    —————————————————
    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 »

    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.

    …………………………………………………………

    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 »