TRANSCRIPT OF THE SECOND HISLOP LETTER IN BLACK TEXT – COMMENTS IN PURPLE
|2-21-81 (see scan of original xerox circular from Hislop)Dear Director: Enclosed are copies of letters written by two friends, and a copy of my letter to the X family. Do not exhibit the letters – let us not escalate the trouble – it would please me better if you would destroy them after reading and digesting the contents. Why do I write to you at all about these matters? Because I conceive it my duty to do my best to present data to you that will convince you as strongly as I am convinced that Swami is innocent of the slanderous charges against Him. You are Swami’s representatives to the world, and you have got to be in a position of maximum strength when facing devotees. I hope this mailing will be sufficient to conclude the matter, and I do not intend to write about it again unless something very much unforeseen happens.About X. I am not a psychologist that I can diagnose the specific problems of the boy. But any person who has reached our ages can see the probable outline of the situation. At a young age, the tendencies and desires are strong, and discrimination and discipline are weak. Note in crime reports how the young predominate in acts of impulsive violence. The animal heritage has its remnants in us, and the primitive heritage of cunning and violence in order to survive a hostile environment is also there. In order to survive, mind and body must use the most deadly weapons available. In modern society, the most deadly weapon that anyone can use to destroy the enemy, the one who threatens security, is to accuse that person of degenerative sexual crimes. Our direct experience is limited, but this method of attack is often reported in the news and it can be observed in operation at all levels of society. I am convinced that it is probably the primitive survival reaction described that is responsible for the accusations of X.
There are also other people who accuse Swami, and we have heard of some of them. In these cases the individual may feel threatened by his own homosexual tendency, and by projecting that tendency on to another person it can be attacked. No doubt there are many devices the psyche uses to survive stress and strain, and if you are interested we can ask Sam Sandweiss to tell us about them. The central point is that it is folly to accept such stories as being factually and objectively real. Such stories about Sri Baba are fiction, novels, and the seeming reality they project depends on the artistic talent of the story teller. Let us be awake and very very skeptical of such stories.
You have heard that Swami wrote to me. The significant part of the letter is this: “Sai is millions of miles away from the devilish passion attributed to Him … As fire consumes all materials, these false stories and false allegations are reduced to ashes by My Divinity … Rest assures that Sai’s fame can never be diminished by these false stories … good and pious people will never care for them.”
As I previously mentioned in another letter, the trouble is not with the condemnation of the alleged acts, not in the decision that one who does such action is a false teacher of spiritual life. The fault lies in the conclusion that Sri Baba is guilty of such actions. This a grave error in reason and judgement. As Directors, we must be able to correct this error whenever someone says it to us.
|The vast majority of devotees’ lips are sealed, not least as result of Hislop setting the tone for his directors and so other followers! “Do not exhibit the letters… let us not escalate the trouble.” In a disgraceful show of primitive whitewashing, it is little wonder that he added: “it would please me better if you would destroy them after reading and digesting the contents.” This has a lot in common with the muerta (enforced silence) of mafias… or else one will be totally ostracized and even persecuted.
—Dr. John Hislop points out an obvious fact: that he was not a psychologist, nor had he studied the subject. I have worked in psychological therapy and in educating psychologists and can only say he shows himself totally ignorant of – and insensitive to – the issues involved. Yet he willingly assumes the role of (amateur) psychologist by rationalizing the allegations as being ‘projections’ of the homosexual tendencies of those molested. There is so much evidence, written and on film, as to indicate very convincingly that this is NOT the case. non-biased approach can deny the credibility of the many. Persons who have been well-known in the movement and who have been contacted and questioned by exposé activists, including myself, were if anything biased towards rejecting the evidence until we knew a lot more, but we found the testimonies factually detailed ,and highly credible, showing intimate knowledge of the scene in the ashrams and interviews.Hislop’s emotive suggestions about cunning, violence, animal heritage and using the most deadly weapons available show to what queerly illogical ramblings the little evidence he looked at drove him. For example: “Note in crime reports how the young predominate in acts of violence” bears no relevant to victims of sexual abuse. To regard protestations of sexually abuse “most deadly weapons” is such a strong bias – the opposite, sexual abuse itself, is a far more deadly weapon for those who suffer it. Hislop rejects virtually out of hand the very thought that the accused can be a sexual abuser. Why would Terry Scott as a well-brought up boy from a good US family believing in human and spiritual values enough to send him to the Prashanthi Sai college, have to resort to “primitive survival reactions”, especially when it was clear that, by leaving Sai Baba’s college, he escaped person who he told was sexually abusing him. Hislop was “convinced that it is probably the primitive survival reaction described that is responsible for the accusations of Terry Scott.” On what basis? No contact with him or his parents after receiving the letter, not even daring to accept a phone call from them!
Why would many other young men come forward with each their unique account of Sai Baba’s sexual molestation they each claim to have experienced. This was courageous of them, not least since we now know that, not long after Hislop wrote the above, four boys were murdered in cold blood in Sai Baba’s bedroom apartment! So to whose “primitive survival reactions” does this witness? Answer: Those who rule the ashram, Sai Baba himself, his younger brother Janakiramiah, top ashram and Sathya Sai Central Trust members – for a start.
Hislop’s “central point”: “The central point is that it is folly to accept such stories as being factually and objectively real.” This says it all really. Never accept anyone’s allegations of being sexually abused… the ostrich attitude that is so widespread and has caused suffering by the abused on a massive scale, now being gradually discovered. Hislop talks of “”the artistic talent of the story-teller”.” He should know, it applies with far greater force to his own fantastic stories about Sai Baba making saris weep real tears and many another preposterous incident , especially the “real Jesus as he was” on a bit of the “actual Cross” that Hislop uncritically accepted that Sai Baba had materialized for him (shown by experts to be a mass-produced figurine. This is where one should instead be “very very sceptical”. Hislop was definitely of highly prejudicial judgement, and his last paragraph in the letter underlines this. He chose to regard the allegations of sexual abuse as worse than the alleged sexual abuse itself!
The fact is simply this: Hislop was searching with ill-concealed desperation for any figment of an argument to allow him to continue his faith in Sai Baba, without whom he felt his life would become meaningless (yet again, after having already had to leave Maharishi Mahesh yogi and other gurus). This is the very predicament of almost all devotees today, except for those who cannot but admit of the sexual abuses yet try to justify them with a perverse theory about karma and God’s will (eg. Ram das Awle and his supporters). Very few devotees have posted texts trying to deny or – failing that – defend the sexual activities of Sai Baba (like their front man on the www, Gerald Moreno, did for years) They can produce nothing but obfuscations, defamation against the accusers and weak, irrelevant put-downs.