In 2000, Sathya Sai Baba devotees worldwide wanted desperately to cope with the allegations falling thick and fast of Sai Baba’s serial widespread sexual molestations of boys and young men.
Devotees extensively circulated a photocopy of talks by Yaani and her husband Professor Al Drucker at the ‘United Kingdom Sai Baba Retreat’, April, 2000. These two, especially Al Drucker, have been very influential in the history of the Sai Baba movement. Referring in their talks to Jaani Drucker’s rape in an official Sathya Sai Center, they both held that Jaani is not her body. She is only in a dream. Not being her body, but the eternal Atma, Jaani was never raped. All is the Lord’s Grace.
There is here a procrustean stretching of the Advaita Vedanta philosophy. Some have posited an ultimate state of non-physical being, but to do so can be to merge not into some blissful state of enlightenment but rather partake of an unreality which little equips human beings for deciding on issues of responsibility to their psychological welfare.
The Wishing Away Of Unpleasant Realities
For example, none should entertain the notion: The boys and young men who have had terribly shocking experiences at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba are not their body. Therefore, nothing, in all reality, happened to them. Secondly, even IF the Druckers were to be in some elevated state of spiritual enlightenment, it would be mistaken for anyone to think that all others should be as the Druckers.
Is the Druckers’ expression of a non-dualistic philosophy one to model to those struggling to make sense out of the shocks of the world or of the workaday world of commonsense and responsibility? The advaita philosophy improperly interpreted is full of dangers for the unwary.
Alvin Drucker, Former NASA scientist . (An early photo)
Al Drucker’s wife, Jaani
Belief System Interpretation of ‘Exalted’ Experiences
Jaani Drucker is surely right when she says “Denial gives energy to the darkest fears by attempting to hide them and put them out of the consciousness. Exposing our fears or negative qualities undoes them and reveals them as the nothing that they have always been”.
However, one may doubt whether she has understood the power of but one of the human mind’s radical coping mechanisms when she relates, “Even while I was being brutally raped, within me all fear and horror of the situation had left. Quite inexplicably I became very calm and to my astonishment discovered an incredible compassion welling up in my heart”. However, those on some ‘spiritual’ paths will immediately interpret the experience according to their belief system. There are many accounts of those in situations of danger who have had similar experiences. But the happy state into which they entered is later belied, for example by their shaking bodies subsequent to the event and, far more, to poste-traumatic aftermaths.
Former Devotee Ends Her Euphoria
Ella Evers, along with her late husband had led a US Sathya Sai Baba center in Oregon, USA. (John had been a banker who had served as a Dutch intelligence officer in the war against Hitler’s Germany). Ella and John were among those many in the United States Sathya Sai Organization who left it after investigated cases within Sai Centers, having – with signal failure – put to the national leaders – such as Dr John Hislop, Dr Michael Goldstein, Bob Bozzani, Dr John C. Evans, Dr William Harvey, Dr Phylis Kristal, and others – the serious allegations that were arising within the organization, particularly about allegations against Sathya Sai Baba of his serial widespread sexual abuse of boys and young men. The following report depicts an experience familiar to very many former devotees who had earlier ignored the evidence of grave malpractice. They, in a state of psychological denial and commonly a euphoric state, preferred to rationalize the conflicted situations as “Swami’s Divine Play”, “Swami’s helping to speed up the evolution of those with bad karma”, and so on.
A Former Devotee Ends Her Euphoria
The Grant’s Pass (Oregon, USA) newspaper reporter wrote:
Evers claims that, during a trip to the India compound in 1989, she glimpsed Sai Baba unzipping the pants of a boy before the holy man jumped up and closed a gap in the interview curtain. “Wanting so desperately to be a good devotee”, she blamed her own impure thoughts and suppressed what she’d seen until she learned of other stories last year, she said. Evers doesn’t want to take away from the good works of Sai Baba followers, but she believes they have been slowly drawn in and discouraged from thinking for themselves.
Source: Controversial holy man’s followers gather near Grants Pass. Patricia Snyder. Grants Pass Daily Courier. August 31, 2001.