In an earlier blog I wrote about an egocentric millionaire follower of Sai Baba (Jack Scher- deceased) who had so to speak ‘bought into’ a verandah place by setting up a publishing co. for Sai books in the US called ‘Leela Press’, I was contacted by a Sri Lankan lady, who wrote that she was, though Sai Baba’s indoctrination, unable to think freely for a long time, until she regained her freedom due to realising much about the great fraud involved.
We corresponded further and she told me how much of her close family remained Sai Baba devotees and about the difficulties this caused her. I have cut out private details and cloak her identity for obvious reasons. Some excerpts from her mails can be of help to others in similar position.
Thanks for your reply. I feel passionately about this subject as I was born into the Sai movement and my parents are still ardent followers. Thanks very much for the work you are doing. I look at your website on a daily basis and it provides me with a great deal of comfort and helps me deal with the fact that my parents insist upon being devotees despite everything that has come out about the sai baba movement.
Thanks again, P
I replied: Dear P,
Thanks for your kind reply. It is tremendously difficult situation when families are divided by Sai Baba in this way. Through the years I have been contacted by a number of people who are similarly affected. The Principal of (***** a top EU) University’s wife became a devotee and – since he was a physicist – they could not see eye to eye. But she decided to demand half of the entire family fortune so she could donate it to these criminals in Puttaparthi. I did my best to advise him about how to handle the issue, but in vain.
I lost all nearly all my many Sai friends, but fortunately the ones I respected most here in Norway have all long since rejected SB. It even took my wife longer than I to come properly to terms with the matter after I came off the fence.
Best wishes, Robert
(A close relative) … taught me the sceptical method which later helped me in getting away from the Sai movement. Now when I talk to him about science or scepticism, he just does not seem to understand or does not want to understand.
I married a man who was not in the Sai movement though at the time we married I was in the Sai movement. I saw how free he was as well as his cheerfulness when compared to those in the sai movement. I tried to get him involved but he wisely stayed away although he did not try to influence my faith. I was determined to convert him and looked up books in order to prove that Sai Baba was divine. After reading several books and especially Richard Dawkins “The god delusion” I came to the awareness that it was I who was mistaken and not my husband. I have now developed an allergy to all things religious that even my husband regrets that I have lost my faith. I have been reading feminist books which have helped me a lot. I especially enjoyed your article on ladies day. I am very glad to have had this email from you.
Thanks again. P.
I am interested in the search for the truth about the way the world works. If you would like to use any of the things I write in order to write an article while covering the tracks so as not to hurt (those close to her) I am only too happy to give my consent.
I am obsessed with this matter and try to read up everything I can on cults and mind control so that I can have a better understanding of what has happened to me as well as ideas on getting over it to lead a normal and good life. You are very brave in sticking your neck out and fighting out against this powerful group which numbers the president and prime minister of India among its followers. Loyalty to the group counts for a lot in Eastern culture and for a while you could not find a more loyal follower than me. However, the thing that finally clinched it for me was my deep depression while I was in the movement and constant suicidal thoughts. I could not figure out why I was so depressed when everything in my life was going so well. I had a husband who was kind and a good provider. We had no significant financial difficulties – just run of the mill how to pay the mortgage and bills – but we managed. We had two beautiful children. Then why the deep self-hatred and depression? I knew that I must absolutely live – I had two small children who depended on their mum being around. I started reading everything I could on depression and though some things helped most of the relief proved temporary.
Then I came across “Feeling good” by David D Burns and finally after reading through the book and doing some of the exercises, my mood began to lift and I started feeling the way I should most of the time.The thing that most struck me was the fact that the author said that depression is caused by the feeling that everything good that happens to me is caused by an outside agency ( external) and everything bad that happens to me is because it is my own fault. If I could reverse this thought – If by following reason I could see that good things happened because of my own goodness ( at least partly) and sometimes bad things happen and it is not my fault – then my depression had some chance of going away. This is not what you are taught by Sai literature, is it? Everything good happens because of Babs’s grace. If anything bad happens it is your own fault or it is karma ( fault in a previous life). The teaching was making me depressed and helpless. The entire teaching revolves around making a person as emotionally vulnerable and helpless as possible. When I now think of my needless suffering, I feel angry at this fraud. Please keep up the fight and the good work. By the way although (close relative) is an ardent devotee, we never got so much as an interview.
I am well aware of the problem as I had many very unusual experiences with Sai Baba. None of those can exonerate him from the crimes I am totally convinced he has committed. You got out of the depression by your own efforts, and threw off the overwhelming indoctrination to which all who become followers subject themselves. What you write now is straightforwardly convincing, and it has a distinct style different from any I can manage. You bear out fully ‘the position I have written about in my series on Personal Disempowerment oin worshipping gurus exemplified by the Sai Baba cult. (http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/5/dis1.htm).
Ladies I knew in the Oslo centre which I led were also depressed a lot during our time in the Sai Baba organisation due to the limitless expectations that no one could fulfil! After 11 years working on this task, I still find it worthwhile because of the feedback, but also not least because it has been a liberating and most educative experience as to human nature, not least our deeper fallibility. At the start of the exposé work I was very concerned that I might suffer – even be killed – and used a pen name for some weeks. As I proceeded I saw through more and more of the threatening sides of Sai Baba’s words and – because I already knew three persons who had been sexually abused but had not told me before – I saw that Sai Baba and all his minions were literally extremely anxious that the huge can of worms would be opened completely if they even tried to counteract me in public. They dared not face an open legal proceeding… it would have destroyed the illusion on a major media scale. So I then pushed the boundaries, confident that they would never hit back at me (not least since I am protected in Norway, where their lies could make no progress in a court here).
With warm regards, Robert