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.
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:
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
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:
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:
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
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
(21 MB, Modem)
There is a Spanish version available: