In yesterday’s article – Shattered International Sathya Sai Organization Faces Dead Guru’s 2013 Birthday Celebrations – I said that early in our exposure of the Sathya Sai cult, my closest and immensely trusted collaborator the late Glen Meloy dearly wished that we could find a widely-respected Vedic pundit. He wrote to me saying that it was valuable to have the American academic Dr Timothy Conway’s expert
“documented research on the record, but we still need an authentic voice from the hierarchy in the Hindu priesthood in India to speak out on these alleged kundalini raising procedures employed by Sai Baba. I think that the Hindu spiritual leaders owe it to all the faithful followers of Hinduism to set the record straight. It’s time for them to come out of the closet and dispel the false notion that shaktipat can only be done by touching the genitals or the muladhara region. It’s actually an insult being hurled by Sai Baba to all the Deities such as Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Lord Jesus, Lord Buddha, Moses or any of the names of God. Let’s put this kundalini raising claim to rest once and for all, so that the leadership of the Sai Organization cannot hide behind those false assertions”.
We repeatedly found Hindu leaders unwilling to comment. My own personal contact with a number of outstanding Indian swamis from different ashrams provided me with the privately shared knowledge that, far and wide in India, deeply distressed spiritual seekers with shocking experience at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba had sought the solace of other well-known ashrams. However, sexual abuse is still such a profoundly tabooed topic in India that my efforts to obtain public statements came to naught. However, one figure, not Indian, but held in enormously high regard both by many foremost academic institutions, religious scholars and Hindu teachers, responded to us personally and with decency, clarity and compassion, and came out with a public statement. This was Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (Dr Frank Morales), who has long advocated the use of the Vedic term ‘Sanathana Dharma’ rather than the relatively recent term ‘Hinduism’.
Of Morales, the Editor-in-Chief of the worldwide ‘Hinduism Today Magazine’, Paramacharya Palaniswami, has written:
“Few have the background and fewer still the courage to speak boldly about Hinduism in modern times. Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya has both, and wields them to trenchant purpose.”
Here is the Acharya’s public statement:
One of our outspoken former Sathya Sai Baba devotees – a highly credentialed psychologist with a great deal of experience counseling young people and others who have been sexually and in other ways abused – is Shirley Pike, of Iowa, USA. She wrote to the Editor of Dr Frank Morales’ magazine:
January 22, 2001
Letter Of Resignation BY SHIRLEY PIKE EDITORIAL, 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,
former president of the North Central Region of the Sathya Sai Baba Organization of the United States of America