Jaani [or Yaani] Drucker, who claims to be fully spiritually enlightened – has responded to points made by Barry Pittard in his wordpress blogs, but with obvious ill-humour. She has a website in which she has publicly expressed the same line that she took in writing to Barry Pittard, such as:-
“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 …”
This is no mean claim. Around six billion people have egos, no doubt and tens of thousands of Ph.Ds possess a vast collective knowledge about human reactions and the ego in all its forms. But Jaani knows the world population is in denial! What kind of delusion is that? ‘Not having an ego’ is a very vague phrase – it can mean anything from being in total amnesia, a vegetative state to – in the spiritual belief Jaani defends – being totally immersed in what she characterises as her “omnipotent” self-consciousness and beyond any worldly influences. Such a person is called a jnani (i.e. one who knows it all). Not Jaani, though! A jnani has no desires or interests in the world, according to the doctrine. Yet Jaani’s interest in self-promotion on the Internet and elsewhere – and her expressed desire not to be criticized, her strong reactions to difficult questions which she actually fails to confront properly – not least her very prickly ego attacks on Pittard – are all disqualifiers for anything at all like “realization”. Barry Pittard is engaging in fair questioning of her extremely remarkable claims, not – as she falsely claims. He is not running a ‘smear campaign’ against her or Sathya Sai Baba. Pittard. Admittedly, he is a stringent critic of Sathya Sai Baba and the vast cover-ups around him, but that is on many and firm documented grounds, including over a score of signed testimonies that he sexually abused young men – including underage boys. Very many other instances are reported by others – including by his own officials – as being molested by oiling of the genitals. Jaani calls this huge documentation, also by the BBC and Danish televison, as ‘rumour’! I am sure she knows far better than that, not least from her husband who has told Aime Levy about it himself. She is definitely in denial about that, for a start! Yet Jaani states her precious belief: -
“… 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”.
Such ‘certainty beyond a shadow of a doubt’ is not knowledge, and it puts itself far ‘beyond doubt’ in that it is vulnerable to doubt, being merely subjective belief, and the more so the more strongly held. On Pittard’s blogsite, he has responded to Jaani Drucker’s self-projective points, and in detail. Her responses were unsatisfactorily evasive and soon she reacted by refusing to discuss with him unless he withdrew his writing about her. She then wrote to him that, as a result of his writings, some persons told her they would as a result not now attend her workshop on ‘ego’. She writes that he was “impeding her heartful offering toward a better world”. She makes the unenlightened assumption that Barry Pittard does not contribute his work with at least the same good intentions. She started out with a good deal of love and light, but her tone increasingly implies she is looking for a showdown – and to put down those who disagree with her, so she should not be so offended when someone takes her up on it. She quoted in an e-mail to her supporter, the web troll Gerald Moreno, that critics of Sai Baba are as “Dogs barking at the moon”, then denied vehemently in a mail to Pittard that she had ever called anyone a dog. A fine point that!
Jaani Drucker then tries to bargain: “I wonder whether you would consider removing your discrediting and unkind words? If so, perhaps there would be the possibility of an honest debate. Until then you demonstrate that you have already drawn your conclusion, that I am a dangerous energy that you need to protect others from, etc.” Jaani is very forthright with rash over-interpretations and prejudicial jumping to conclusions of his words and putting into Pittard’s mouth that she is a “dangerous energy”. Having written in a very polite and decent way throughout, Pittard should not remove anything. His postings are responsible contributions to a discussion (which Jaani originally invited all to join), being clearly made out of a sense of public duty (not, a Jaani suggested in that worn-out Sai-speak ‘to derive joy from criticising’). Moreover, for those who would backtrack or cover their tracks, Google’s moving finger writes on, and, “having writ, moves on”… once posted it is forever in the public sphere somewhere for good or ill.
Barry Pittard can be seen to have written in a very polite and decent way throughout – though frank and making strong points in the discussion. 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’.
In an effort to counteract Barry Pittard’s highly relevant questions, Jaani first decided to cut off communication, then tried to appeal to Barry Pittard to reverse his position on the basis of the universal brotherhood/sisterhood of mankind. Noble as that sentiment may be as an ideal – and even though all humans are genetically related – it is not a principle for suppressing discussion, well-meant criticism and even argument between “brothers and sisters”. In my view cult members are more like very distant cousins to me – I feel no brotherhood as regards their ideology and denial of many facts, though I would accept that they could well have good intentions. Intention and action do not always concur, however… and 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!
Jaani refers to the perceived greatness of her husband (in some circles). His supposed greatness is – as he admits – entirely due to his having been taken close th Sai Baba, that he and she are ‘just ordinary people’ etc. I would still add a few moderating thoughts. When first I heard him hold forth as a lecturer at Prashanthi Nilayam in January, 1985, he was known for having been saved from a plane crash by a supposed miracle of Sai Baba. He had been made into a kind of idol by some US devotees. I found a solemn-faced propagator of Sai Baba’s more simplistic and myth-packed doctrine for young students (as contained in Drucker’s book reproducing talks by Sai Baba to his students which, since Drucker does not know Telugu, was translated for him by another). Drucker held with Sai Baba that he was himself Rama, Krishna and other divine figures… and their teaching is his. During Christmas 1986, Drucker informed the crowd at a choir practice that Sai Baba had said that all of the devotees who had been with Rama were present in reincarnations at his 60th birthday, including the ‘monkey-god’ Hanuman (not least therefore, some people thought Drucker might have been told he was Hanuman. What a craze-inducing place Prashanthi Nilayam is!).
Whatever the case, Al Drucker seemed very devout and puritan, and with his Talmudic background he saw Prashanthi Nilayam as the New Jerusalem. He spent decades living almost exclusively at Sai Baba ashrams, where any new ideas are most unwelcome unless they concur and support those which are ‘politically correct’ in Sathya Sai Baba’s view. In the role of local ‘greatness’ that no doubt partly was forced upon him, various people I knew there nonetheless saw Al Drucker as too bossy and I could not observe that he was a helpful server of struggling visitors, for he had the role of an important personage, which rested mainly on his proximity to Sai Baba since the late 1970s. (Add to that the fact that he had once temporarily been employed in some kind of scientific role by NASA, before he joined Esalen and left the scientific attitude firmly behind him). He was seen by most devotees much as a go-between to God Incarnate, a recipient of miracle blessings and one who maybe knew some of the secrets not shared with ordinary joes! He did amuse me, however, when he somewhat patronisingly mismanaged certain events (eg. the Christmas choir) so badly as to have some of us laughing amid all the gushing piety.
The jealousy which plagues all the Sai ashrams (as I observed and indeed Sai Baba himself roundly railed about) was strong against Al Drucker. I heard diverse complaints about him and some Indian VIPs expressed Schadenfreude when he was excommunicated. Most unacceptable!
The Ways of the Mind – on the issue by a Swedish psychologist
Strawberry Fields Forever? plus comments on Jaani & advaitic doctrine
Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 2
Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him
Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example
Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding? Professor Alvin Drucker has not spoken out yet, will he stand up and be a true man? Reliable sources testify to what Drucker knew about sexual abuses.
Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 1
Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondance) Part 2
Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Jaani Drucker Correspondance) Part 3
Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 4
Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 5
Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 6