Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

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U.S. Psychologist Shirley Pike’s Moving Challenge To Sathya Sai Baba and His Organization

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 30, 2010

The Sathya Sai Organization faces yet more resignations, and also departure of those who leave without formally resigning.  International coordinators such as Robert Priddy and myself (see sidebar at bottom right hand side of this page) are always happy to provide, from a wide database, contact details of those who have left and are willing to be contacted, and who reside in an area as close as possible to that of any enquirer. We have professional protocols to ensure that those who contact us are genuine. For individuals and families who have faced sore difficulties, we can also refer to very qualified, experienced professional counselers.

People from many professions, trades and cultures have left Sathya Sai Baba, and down the years, have continued to show the same attitudes of service in their communities as they did when followers of Sathya Sai Baba. One of these is the child psychologist Shirley Pike (Ex-President, North Central Region: Ex-President Cedar Rapids Center, Iowa  USA). She is a nationally Certified School Psychologist and has a specialist Master’s Degree (with forty five graduate units beyond the typical Master’s Degree). She works with children who have severe emotional and behavioural concerns, many of whom have been sexually and otherwise abused.

The way Shirley Pike has held to conscience and professional responsibity is a model that many in the Sathya Sai Organization need to practise. Their dereliction of the duty of care, and the manner in which they have shunned, and allowed to be execrated, those whom they loved and honoured down many years is a truly appalling fact not faced by this supposedly caring organization. 

No credible professional can remain silent when the most serious allegations keep on coming year after year, decade after decade.  Shirley Pike not only spoke out while still in the Sathya Sai Organization – she has proved of great support to other dissenting voices, and has given courage to those whose lives were shattered by the revelations of the dark side of Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors. In the face of almost unimaginable libel, defamation and unrelenting attack, she, and others, have striven with much personal sacrifice to live those qualities of truthfulness, right conduct, peace and love that Sathya Sai Baba and many of his devotees have most dreadfully failed to embody. 

See articles:

A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 6

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

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Sathya Sai Organization, Australia, Ex-Head Terry Gallagher’s Testimony Against Sathya Sai Baba

David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses

Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba

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

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

New Zealand Lawyer Exposes Official Cover Up of Killings In Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom

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

Letter from Stephen Carthew 

(Late) Ron and Peggy Laing: Deeply Alienated From Sathya Sai Organization

The Sathya Sai Organization: Almost overnight, dissenters treated as demons!

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

Indulal Shah and Indian Government Cover Up

Diversionary Tactics by an Internet Demagogue.
The pro-Sathya Sai Baba Campaign of Gerald (‘Joe’) Moreno

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January 22, 2001
Letter Of Resignation BY SHIRLEY PIKEEDITORIAL, Jan 22 (VNN) — Comment on “An Open Letter To The Followers Of Sathya Sai Baba“Dear Editor,I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your compassionate and thoughtful editorial entitled “An Open Letter To The Followers Of Sathya Sai Baba” by Frank Morales. I resigned my position as president of a ten state region in the United States in late May (see attached resignation letter) after learning about the allegations and verifying them to my satisfaction. I have been working with an international group of ex-devotees, many of them the actual victims of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual molestation, for the last six months to expose this “horrific scandal”, as you so aptly term it.The saddest and most difficult aspect of all of this is the damage done to Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees and to their faith. Many families, my own included, are torn assunder as some members retain their faith in Sathya Sai Baba in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Those who take a stand against him are shunned, losing a community they held dear for decades in many cases.Not only is the focus of your spiritual life gone, but your friends and family and community are gone as well. Thank you so much for reaching out and offering support to us in this very dark hour. That is true dharma.Sincerely and God Bless,
Shirley Pike
former president of the North Central Region of the Sathya Sai Baba
Organization of the United States of America


Letter of Resignation May 28, 2000 Dear brothers, sisters, and officers of the North Central Region and the Central Council, It is with great pain and sadness that I am writing to you today. One week ago, I resigned as president of the North Central Region, giving verbal notification to the National Coordinator, William Harvey, Ph.D. Serving the North Central Region’s centers, study groups, and individual devotees has been one of the most joyful and fulfilling experiences of my life. Never have I had the privilege of knowing so many wonderful, loving, giving, and spiritually dedicated people. I thank all of you for your gracious and kind support of me as we worked together for our spiritual growth and development. The reason for my resignation will probably dismay and shock many of you. A few weeks ago I received information from a fellow long-time devotee of an e-mail she had received concerning acts of pedophilia by Sathya Sai Baba. I had the e-mail forwarded to me and I personally investigated the information contained in that e-mail. I spoke personally to various individuals who had first hand experience with inappropriate behavior by Sai Baba. These individuals are respectable, credible, intelligent and have no axes to grind of any sort. I came away from these conversations believing these individuals and have therefore resigned and am sending you this letter. I am in the midst of a personal grieving process, involving all the typical stages of grief, including shock, denial, bargaining, profound sadness, despair, and acceptance. I am grieving because I believe that Sathya Sai Baba is a charlatan, who has used the power gained by the love and reverence of his followers and the truth of ancient Vedic Doctrines and Scriptures to sexually molest boys and young men from about the ages of eight to thirty. It is these allegations of unspeakable, abhorrent sexual molestation that force me to write this letter to you. I have personally investigated these allegations and spoken with several people who have either had direct personal sexual experiences or who know someone very well, i.e. an immediate family member, who has been abused.

Two of these individuals are former regional officers, who have resigned their posts and whom I have known for many years. I trust them, know them to have exemplary character and believe they would not lie. Further, they have nothing to gain and everything to lose by coming forward with their experiences. These experiences include numerous accounts of Sai Baba rubbing male genitals with oil, mutual masturbation, mutual oral sexual gratification, and even anal intercourse by Sai Baba. As a child psychologist who is familiar with the emotional devastation that sexual abuse causes its victims and the classic patterns of abuse, I found these accounts and the individuals’ reactions, to my horror, highly credible.

As a school psychologist, I am a mandatory reporter. This means that under Iowa law I am required to report any allegation or well founded suspicion to the authorities. If Sai Baba were a mere trickster fleecing people for their money, I would prefer to go quietly into the night, preserve my friendships with devotees, and not disrupt the faith of others. But, as an officer who has promoted Sathya Sai Baba as an avatar, I have both a moral and a legal obligation to warn all of the members and officers in this region and the national leaders that any male between approximately the ages of eight and thirty is potentially at risk for sexual molestation should they go to India to see Sathya Sai Baba and have a private interview.

I do not expect anyone to take what I am saying at face value. If you wish to investigate on your own as I have done, then feel free to contact me and I will provide you with the information to reach those who have had direct experiences and
you can make your own determination. Please begin by looking at “The Findings” by David Bailey on this website: http://213.10.134.161/ex-baba/engels/articles/p_holbach/eng/finds_e.htm. You can telephone me at (319) 373-2434 or email me at sairama@home.com, but only if you are sincerely interested in additional information. I do not wish to engage in arguments or debate. My heart goes out to one and all and my love for you remains steadfast. I will miss your good company more than you can know. May God bless you and keep you, and give you peace.

Shirley Pike

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General

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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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   

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

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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

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(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?

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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

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