Sathya Sai Baba devotees have long been circulating rationalizations about the infamous ‘curtain of shame’ behind which their Guru-God gives private interviews, especially to boys and young men, often alone. The “curtain of shame” is a telling phrase, but it also tends to hide the fact that there are also solid doors which Sathya Sai Baba closes when it suits him.
The lines on which devotee denials go are as follows:- ‘It is not possible to seduce anyone behind the curtain because:-
1) a curtain cannot conceal such an act taking place from those in the main room, one would see or hear it -
2) the time people are in the private inner interview room is too short.
3) there would be clear signs in the behaviour of the victim, marks on his or Sai Baba’s clothing etc., if anything so serious had taken place.’
These points are easily refuted on the basis of facts, even without reading the dozens of detailed and credible personal testimonies of those who have been molested behind the curtain and/or the doors.
Concerning 1): the obvious must be pointed out. Why can a curtain not conceal the view? The door is so placed, both at Prashanthi and Brindavan interview rooms, that most people cannot see the inside of the inner room from where they sit even when the curtain is drawn back. Many have experienced how difficult it is to hear anything but an occasional mumbling from the inner room, even when the curtain is not drawn! Sai Baba does not stand before the door opening, except perhaps when one enters. His seats are usually not at all near the door.
More crucial, however, is the fact that the inner interview room in the Prashanthi temple (mandir) is separated from the main interview room by a curtain, yes, but also by two fairly narrow but solid wooden double doors. These used to be of natural polished teak wood, until they were painted a rich blue colour (as clearly seen in the image above with the bloody floor in the interview room after the murder episode in 1993).
My wife and I have seen the doors firmly closed when young men have been taken into the inner room on several occasions. They were also closed on at least two of the occasions when we were taken in there. In the Trayee Brindavan interview room, the inner room is yet more isolated from the main one, and a curtain and a door can be used there too. We both know two males well who were abused by Sai Baba behind that door – oral sex included! We have seen a boy and two young men taken into the private room singly by Sai Baba – so the testimony by former leader. Ashok Bhagani, of the UK Sathya Sai organization that this never occurs is false indeed! (See Ashok Bhagani denies fully documented facts)
Concerning 2): the private interviews vary in length and can last up to 10 minutes, especially when young men are invited in. From the main interview room, I have witnessed 10 minute private interviews with a student or very young man on several occasions. The curtain is supposedly not drawn when ladies get a private interview, though we have seen it drawn across where there were more than one lady together with Sai Baba. Sai Baba closed the doors when a close lady friend of ours and another lady were given the private interview in 1987.
Genital oiling by Sathya Sai Baba is confirmed and condoned by leading Sai office-bearers (including Thorbjørn Meyer, Steen Piculell, Jørgen Trygved, and also by Phyllis Krystal etc.) The time taken for Sai Baba to oil young men anywhere from the lower stomach to the penis and the perineum [i.e. between the anus and the gonads], can be quite brief. When a boy has been kissed on the mouth and oiled, some reported Sai Baba masturbated them. They often still go to interviews – mostly in considerable confusion, no doubt, because they have come to believe he is a Divine Incarnation who can do no wrong, who is entirely pure and who may be healing them of ailments they do not even know they have! Sai Baba is reported as saying to various candidates that it is for their health, or raising the kundalini etc. The next step can be undertaken well within 5 minutes and yet better within ten, which means that the time factor is not really a problem.
The seduction techniques of pederasts are well known in the medical literature, the gradual approach at first and more daring and unexpected quick advances soon afterwards. It is known that some enjoy the excitement of taking risks, such as that of discovery. When a boy or young man who has been brought up to believe that Sai Baba is nothing short of Know-all God Almighty and is a regular Shiva Destroyer as much as a blissful Krishna, he is obviously easy to handle. It was reported by several boys – and even by their girlfriends (see Hilda Wright and Gabriel M.) – that Sai Baba grabbed at their crotches surreptitiously in the main interview room before a large group.
Concerning 3): The likely or possible behaviour of those coming out after sexual abuse is an issue. My wife and I have seen young men who have been given many interviews come out of the inner room after longish periods. The first time they are usually quite excited and tell much (if not perhaps all) about it. Some we have seen after 5 or more interviews come out with blank faces and will tell us nothing, despite the fact that we never remotely suspected anything untoward could have been taking place. This is confirmed by the reports of those who have spoken out about the abuses and how envious many devotees have been of them for all the attention they were getting more and more unwanted attention as time went on. Sathya Sai Baba is widely reported as saying to those who report his sexual molestations, “Do not tell anyone about this” and/or “Do not tell you mother” (or father or parents).
It took real bravery – after terrible confusions and fears – for those who decided to tell the truth and make known what had happened to them, often in the face of 100% devoted parents and other family members and – of course – risking criticism, ridicule, ostracism slander and yet worse from other devotees and the Sai Baba attack man, Gerald Moreno, who heartlessly and relentlessly slanders and stalks them on the Internet. This is largely what happened in Sweden to the young man known as ‘the Golden Boy’ who spoke out at a crisis Sai meeting in Stockholm. Many devotees who had known him a long time would not even believe him, despite his anguish and tears, and put it down to mental disturbance, imagination and so on! They reacted likewise to the account of a boy who also bore witness to sex abuse, supported by his mother (Britt-Marie Andeén) who then closed down the Sai school she had started in Gothenberg and spoke out firmly on the matter. Since the evidence came pouring in from young men around the world from 2000 onwards, sheer betrayal was the reaction of nearly all devotees against the testifiers. So much for ‘listening to ones conscience’ and ‘help ever, hurt never’ and all that hypocrisy to cover up head-in-sand selfishness .
Countless devotees are in denial even after being TOLD FIRST-HAND by a victim, so how would they ever notice anything untoward when a young man comes out of the interview room looking serious and disturbed? They would have plenty of theories ready to explain it… Swami must have had to correct him strictly, and suchlike rubbish. Would they be in a fit state of mind to see any signs of abuse? Would they be searching for marks left by semen, oral sex or what… or even recognise it if they saw it in that situation? Absolutely not! All visitors know that Sai Baba always has at least one handkerchief very handy. Anyone who has been in a Sai Baba interview can ask, if Sai Baba had molested him or her, would they have come out and given any hint in front of so many largely fanatical followers, and servitors who are known on at least three occasions to have beaten up people very violently right out in the darshan lines. Would they have denounced Sai Baba in the ashram where there was a covering up the darkest possible doings… four cold-blooded executions in Sai Baba’s bedroom in 1993?