Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Vedanta’

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 »

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 9, 2009

For many years, Professor Alvin Drucker, an ex-NASA scientist, was one of those ‘star turns’ well in demand as a keynote speaker within the international Sathya Sai Organization. In the seventies, he taught at the Sathya Sai College in Whitefield during part of the same time that I taught there, and he lived within the compound that housed Sai Baba’s residence.

A common assumption was that Sai Baba had cast Drucker out because he had disobeyed his guru in marrying (or wanting to) Yaani. She is his wife to this day.

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

However, we learn from reliable sources of the reason for Professor Alvin Drucker’s departing the side of Sathya Sai Baba:

Very distressed parents of young boys came to him desperate for some kind of explanation for actions bearing all the indications of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual molestation of their sons. Al Drucker left for this reason, and got married.

Note:

(The witnesses’ details and proof of their excellent standing in their professions and communities, and of their longtime devotion, high-standing and service to Sathya Sai Baba will be shared on request with reputed media, lawfirms, scholarly investigators, etc. Barry Pittard)

One thinks of the case of a still more prominent former Sathya Sai Baba lecturer, David Bailey, and the manner in which many anguished parent came to him (and his wife, Faye). See: The Findings by David and Faye Bailey, UK. Eye-witness reports (see that of Robert Priddy below) indicate that, after a passage of years, Drucker returned to Puttaparthi. Those who argue badly, ignoring psychological complexities such as the in-denial state of mind, like simple-mindedly to state that Drucker has come “back to Swami” so what are critics of Sathya Sai Baba on about. Let him speak for himself. But will he? Do those grief-stricken parents who came to him mean nothing to him any more?

There is no doubting the excellent standing of a number informants with whom Drucker has shared this information, and who have written to us over time. They would make excellent witnesses in a court of law or if interviewed by media or scholarly investigators.

Naturally, it would be of benefit were Drucker himself to make a clear statement. Or is he content to stand by while those who have done their best, against many and formidable obstacles, to bring out the truth are execrated as liars, spreading stories for money (Sathya Sai Baba has said), hallucinating (Dr John Hislop) , disgruntled, hateful apostates, and so forth.

One may add that Drucker has often written and spoken on the Vedas. Where, then, is his fearlessness? It is a notion that resounds through the Vedas.

…………………………………………………………

See former head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization Robert Priddy’s journal entry of which he refers as:

“Directly recorded notes from my long Brindavan stay 1994 – about V.K. Narasimhan and Al Drucker (scanned from 1994 notebook)”
V.K. Narasimhan on Sai colleges etc. Transcript:

SUNDAY 27/3/94 (Bhajan all day)
Afternoon darshan: Sat in chair at back. He came down to the last block and looked in my direction – but did not fixate gaze on me. [Same way?]
I had back problems again.

Comment: Once I had thought that Sai Baba had helped cure my spinal misalignment problems – caused by several falls from childhood onwards – especially though a dream. I later realised, when the problems returned and got worse, that it had just been some temporary placebo effect.

After darshan I was hi-jacked to the Warden’s room at the college by Narasimhan. He did not want to use my last chapter for Sanathana – he considered my view of the Organisation to be too positive.

Comment: Narasimhan had already occasionally expresses scepticism about the claims by leaders in the Sai Organization and he had suffered problems from Sai Baba because he had published things in the journal Sanathana Sarathi by a Central Coordinator which were intended to mislead him (about copyright), resulting in him being suspended as editor for a long period. VKN was particularly cynical about Antonio Craxi (brother of the then Italian PM B. Craxi – later convicted of embezzlements) because of his Mafia connections and his vile attacks on other leaders in Italy, like Marena who eventually replaced Craxi.

But he did not say why – just went on in his usual way, recounting life experiences at kibbutzim, in Massachusetts and so on and soon the Warden gave us Sai prasadam – and another (lecturer in English lit.) gave us a second lot – so I had for both Reidun and I. It was Mysore pak.

It turned out I had deserted Reidun – should have met her after darshan to visit Robert and Rita!! But I thought it was after dinner!
Heard about Al Drucker: he is literally excommunicated – can’t enter any of the ashrams or go to Sai centres in the US. It is because he married a young girl against Swami’s expressed wish. The girl was refused at the ashram when her identity was found out. But she later got Baba to take a letter (presumably by staying incognito somehow to the ashram staff). She is not allowed in, ever!! Swami once said to Drucker that he could not have realisation because he would first have to lose everything. Drucker said he wanted it anyhow. Who knows? Or perhaps he broke faith with Sai

Comment: Alvin Drucker was a long-term (US) resident at the ashrams and very active promoter of Sathya Sai Baba. I had seen briefly one day previously, and the news came via Reidun after a long talk she had with an American lady devotee who had recently come from the interview where Sai Baba had seen both Drucker and his new wife at the interview (possibly they had not yet actually married). Sai Baba He had warned Al that he would cut him off and had told Yaani that Al was dying of stomach cancer and he was far too old for her etc. (Yaani was later brutally raped on Shivartri night before a shrine to Sai Baba and who wrote and lectured about it, demonstrating her state of total psychological denial – see here,and here)

Transcript (black text) and comments (violet text):-

6/10/98 Changed room from B2 to B4, which Anne-Irene vacated before darsan. Missed darsan again therefore. New room cooler and various advantages. (Comment: However, this North block for Organization donors was daily enveloped for hours in a vomit-ghastly putrid smell of rotting faeces from an open sewage pit nearby which should have been replaced by an ecological system – but the officials stole the money given for the purpose! See the facts about this scam here)
Saw Narasimhan briefly – I wouldn’t stay. He was writing the preface for ‘From Bapu to Baba’ 3rd ed. His eye is very poor – but he may get a lease of new eyesight from glasses designed by an English specialist soon. (Comment: Battling on as editor of Sai’s journal at his command, VKN had taken an eye operation on Sai Baba’s advice and lost the eye as a result, despite vibuti applied by Baba after the op. See here.)
We saw a bearded Al Drucker when we came from darsan. He seemed not to have been to it. (Comment: Since Alvin Drucker was banned from th ashram by Sai baba personally in 1992 see here, he had not been seen at any Organization conferences either. He attended the ‘paduka’ (sandal) ceremonies but hid away from everyone the rest of the time. The beard seemed to be a disguise)
Saw Henk and exchanged a greeting. Wrote rest of letter to Ragnhild …. etc…

7/10/89 At benches by 6.19 Shenai and drum music. Still a few places. We were awoken at 5.30 by Oms and Suprabhatam just outside our window at full force. Then music, chanting, more trumpet and drum music etc. Also a dose of unstoppable feedback from the microphones, despite repeated late night “Testing, testing, one, two”‘s
Went with Narasimhan in car, driven by his relative (brother’s son-in-law) who organised the entire Rayalaseema Water Project (he had come from the USA). (He had secured a copy of my book from the US too). N. and I had a chat about Sai Books and my book. He has told Devendra that my book would be a runaway success, so no problem with an edition there. The index he feels best in data form. (see about Suri’s misappropriations here)
Suri was removed on a good “pretext” by Swami – a book he published caused Swami’s ire … some Ma who claimed that she embraces Sai as a mother etc. N. said Suri is a rogue who still pretends he is in grace, sitting on the verandah. His wife, however, is a devoted server – as are her parents.
Damodar Rao is in B’lore & very ill. Hans is with him. Srinivas Rajendra is going strong and lecturing.

(Comment:Damodar Rao was an old follower of Sai Baba – a retired circuit judge – who visited the US once and told me his story at great length. He told me that he thought sexual abusers of children “should all be boiled alive in oil”!! A very extremist viewpoint for a judge? But perhaps not in India? This subject came up without reference to Sai Baba, who neither of us suspected (then). Hans was Hans Baerholm, a Danish follower i knew well too, who was living in Rao’s house in Bangalore.)

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Further Reading

Nothing Is Real, Strawberry Fields Forever
or ‘Yaani Drucker on how nothing was turned into nothing, by nobody’
by Reidun Priddy

Yanni Drucker and Sathya Sai Baba’s Advaitic Doctrine
A recipe for confusion and personality disorder?
by Robert Priddy

Ex-NASA Scientist and Wife Test Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Grace’

Note: Yaani and Al Drucker have publicly subscribed to the notion that Yaani – in her brutal rape in a Sai center – was never raped. It was only her body that was raped. The lack of careful distinction between a philosophical of spiritual vantage-point is evident here, and the case is suggestive of the dangers of extrapolating a concept and servicing a psychological denial of events that need formal professional counseling. It is a view that too well lends itself to false notions of forgiveness, and to actually aiding criminals.It must, however, be said that the rapist in this event was convicted on Jaani Drucker’s evidence. What I refer to is the importance in ensuring that auditors to accounts like this do not go away harbouring – in an air of unreality – interpretations that endanger psychological health and social responsibility.

See the entire Christmas 2000 Discourse as translated verbatim by his students

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (With Barry Pittard‘s comments)

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the 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)



Posted in Opinion, Philosophy, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »