Chris Doctor writes concerning my earlier posting on Phyllis Krystal:-
Though I heartily agree with the general purport of your posting, Robert, I think it is not altogether fair to say that Phyllis Krystal has based her life and work exclusively on Satyha Sai Baba. Fact is, she was well into higher planes of consciousness for a few decades already when she turned into an unquestioning follower of Sathya Sai Baba.
To illustrate my point I copied the following excerpt from her current website:
‘In the late 1950s, Mrs. Krystal and a close friend embarked on an experiment to make regular contact with an inner source of wisdom, which they eventually called the Hi C for Higher Consciousness. Since then, by consulting the Hi C, a visualization method involving the use of symbols has evolved. These techniques can be used to help those who wish to release from attachment to – or reliance on – any outer security or control, thereby freeing the individual to seek help and guidance from the Hi C rather than from these outer sources.
For more than 25 years, Mrs. Krystal has given seminars in numerous countries – primarily in Europe – to share the method. In addition she has offered individual sessions to outline a program for achieving more personal freedom. As word of this method spread, Mrs. Krystal received numerous requests to put it down in writing so the techniques could continue to help others, if and when she is no longer available.
Her first book, Cutting the Ties that Bind, was published in 1982, followed in 1990 by Cutting More Ties that Bind. A workbook to accompany these two books was also published. Her other books are Sai Baba, The Ultimate Experience, an account of her experiences with the Indian Master Sri Sathya Sai Baba; Taming the Monkey Mind; Re-Connecting the Love Energy; and Cutting the Ties of Karma. In addition two other titles have been published in India: Let’s Thank God and Ceiling on Desires. These books have been translated into many languages, thereby enabling the method to be shared with even more people worldwide.
To further the expansion of the method, in 2008 and 2009 Mrs. Krystal offered a more intensive teaching course, which will be repeated during 2010 and 2011 for those who were unable to participate in the first series, as well as other interested people.’
Mrs. Krystal, now 97 years of age and residing in Zurich, Switzerland, is still in the business of spreading her method, to the tune of 540 Euro per session, no less!! I had the dubious fortune myself to be the recipient of her ‘individual’ counsel back in the late eighties, when she was one of the main figureheads and ‘middle-(wo)men’ between His Holiness Sai Baba and His more common, well-educated Western devotees: to sum my interview with her up in a nutshell, it was little more than the cultlike, spiritistical drivel you can expect from any con artist from all over the world, with the possible exception that she seems so self-deluded that she utterly believes in her ‘high connections’. By not retracting her support to His Late Greatness Sai Baba, and not addressing the very serious charges made against the notorious master and/or downplaying them, she is in my opinion guilty of a grave sin of omission.
Personally I find it both sad and ironic, that Mrs. Krystal, as so many other ‘otherworldly’ celebrities, seems to have so eerily much in common with her more down-to-earth equivalents, especially in their never ending desire to accumulate exorbitant amounts of money. In itself this is maybe not surprising but the incongruence between her adamant advocacy of practicing ceiling on desires on the one hand and her greed and implicit self-aggrandizement on the other strikes me as particularly poignant. The fact that Mrs. Krystal demands such ludicrous fees for advice she proclaims does not even stem from her individually takes the whole business to a height of (a high C of) hypocrisy, only topped by amoral mortals like her master himself, as far as I am concerned.
from Chris Dokter, The Netherlands.
Yes, Chris… I agree with it all. But Mrs. Krystal’s first book (Cutting the Ties that Bind) was written long after she became a Sai devotee. Its contents are virtually all Sathya Sai Baba doctrine, clothed in her interpretations of this from her New Age interest in symbols, the I Ching, the meaning of dreams and ‘visualisation’ techniques and much else yet more esoteric. Nothing ground-breaking nor in the least new to me – over simplistic and too unself-critical, I recognised -as I had already long studied symbols, dreams, visualization… and meditation (as did countless others who became seekers from the 50s and 60s). She was into reading about ‘high C’, I can agree. But otherwise? Well, she first heard of Sathya Sai Baba in 1972 and was impressed by his eyes in a book were very penetrating, whereupon she became “fascinated”. She had an apartment as soon as the third Roundhouse opened (We stayed in it shortly thereafter). I was present in the interview in 1986 where Mr. and Mrs. Krystal first gave Sai Baba at copy of her Baba hagiography, somewhat boastfully called “The Ultimate Experience” (nothing in the book gave any sense that Phyllis K. had any ultimate experience, not did my subsequent contacts with her convince me that she had any form of higher awareness, in fact – more to the contrary. Further, her husband was a multi-millionarie – who collected crystal glass (!!) – and had a huge and very valuable collection. It was totally destroyed, along with her house, in the San Fran. earthquake. She was a Sai-vip and no mistake, but while teaching (preaching) on ‘Ceiing on Desires’ in Copenhagen she was living at the very most expensive hotel in that city! She was born in UK and her way of speaking and behavioural traits told me instinctively just where she was coming from (it’s like that sometime with people have have grown up in the same environment) By then she had taken on a layer of new persona in the US an accent and the near-gushing Californian New Age style (on stage, at least). Her presence was such that jarred with any idea of her having become very enlightened. I felt repeatedly that she was playing a preset role ( if she had reached any “high-C”. it must have been quite temporary, as I find to apply to virtually all cases of exceptional states of consciousness until otherwise proven).
Yes, Robert, you’re fully in the right that Mrs. Krystal wrote her first book some ten years after becoming enamored by Sai Baba. I knew of her association as early as 1979 myself, little less than two years before I embarked on my first trip to India on my own to see what I thought was an enlightened master. Meanwhile, her star in the West was rising steadily. Her books were introduced in the Netherlands quite early, and received a great deal of attention. When I met her privately, during a seminar in Belgium in the mid eighties, she protruded this very distinct, refined and sensible-like air of a somewhat elderly, distinguished English lady, a persona she shed later on. I remember having lively debates with the much loved, late Leo Boogaard e.g. about the starstruck elegance and position she gained here in the West. I met her a few more times during those days, and I myself also noticed that she seemed to live a life of luxury. And no doubt, whether through design or through sheer gullibility and smittenness, combined with a tremendous boost of ego (and bank account?), she acted as an unquestioning Sai Baba-VIP indeed, grandly announced, and for countless years, as though everyone should be extremely privileged to meet this highly evolved lady. I had had enough by then, being knowledgeable both in esoteric matters for a very long time and a trained psychologist. All in all, you could say, just another case of selfdelusion, were it not for the harm she did to many individuals who talked to me later on, and were guiltladen or confused after her quack counsel. Some doubts people had she assuaged, another of her questionable blessings come to think of it…
I was not aware that she had gained popularity with her ‘method’ before the publication of ‘Cutting the Ties…’ When I researched her work, there was no mention of that to be found anywhere I looked. As I said, there are many signs that give away to born English people the origin and background of their countrymen. This is essentially a result of the famously strict and very deep-rooted class prejudices which made almost everyone in the country hyper-sensitive to language inflections (and still do) and other signs. Many people try to pass themselves off with “language face-lifts” and other changes as someone “better” (in class terms) than they are. As a result, intuition about people is enhanced from childhood onwards… and I would say this is also behind the very accurate and convincing level of character acting in film, theatre and TV, with such huge resources of people to draw on when casting. This also forms the basis of much popular comedy there which foreigners frequently find somewhat incomprehensible. There are many shows which are non-exportable due to that. All that is how I was suspicious of her from the first time I heard her.
As you may know, her husband did not believe all in Sai Baba, although he met him at at least one interview together with Mrs. Krystal. Rather curious and possibly telling fact, I’d say. Perhaps they had succeeded in cutting the ties that bound them?