Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Enlightenment’

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 12, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Robert Priddy writes:

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

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

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

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

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

Robert Priddy writes further: 

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

 Further Reading

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

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

Strawberry Fields Forever? plus comments on Jaani & advaitic doctrine

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

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

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

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

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

Jaani Drucker, The Truth, open inquiry and truthfulness

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

Advaita – historical flight into abstraction and speculation

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The Public Petition   

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

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

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

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

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 2, 2010

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

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

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

She further states:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note: Ms Drucker wrote that:

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yaani Drucker

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

Barry Pittard

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Select Further Reading

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

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

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

Petition

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

There is a Spanish version available:

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

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

Subscribe in a reader

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 28, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barry

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This series continues soon …..

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Further Reading

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

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

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

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Petition

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

There is a Spanish version available:

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

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

Subscribe in a reader

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 26, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continued soon   …………

Further Reading

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

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

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

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

Strawberry Fields Forever? plus comments on Jaani & advaitic doctrine

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

God is everything, in everyone – as a spiritual teaching

Advaita – historical flight into abstraction and speculation

Petition

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

There is a Spanish version available:

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

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

Subscribe in a reader

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 24, 2010

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

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

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

In one of her emails to me, she says:

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

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

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

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

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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

———————————–

(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

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

Subscribe in a reader

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 22, 2010

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

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

In another email to me, she says:

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

She put the question to me:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To be continued ….

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Barry Pittard responds to earlier email of Jaani Drucker:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Letter from Stephen Carthew

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

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

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Select Further Reading

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

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

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

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

Strawberry Fields Forever? plus comments on Jaani & advaitic doctrine

————————————–

Petition

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

There is a Spanish version available:

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

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

Subscribe in a reader

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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