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A glaring example of how the Sathya Sai Organisation suppresses freedom of speech and accountability through secret top-down decisions and destruction of evidence is clearly demonstrated by a number of letters from its US leader in 1981, Dr, John Hislop. This has been continued and even strengthened under the present International Chairman and US leader, Dr. Michael Goldstein, as exposed on BBC TV.

Date: 03-06-05

By: Robert Priddy

The following Hislop letter to top leaders in the Sai Org. refers to testimony sent to him by an American boy, Terry Lee Scott, who was studying at the Sai College in Puttaparthi, but who left in 1980 or 81 telling devotees that he had been sexually molested by Sathya Sai Baba. Unfortunately the letter to Hislop has been lost and covered up by Hislop and the top Sai Org. leaders (to whom Hislop sent a copy). However, a Malaysian who left the Sai Organisation assures me that this young man's report of being sexually abused by SSB when he was a student there, and which Terry Scott told in Sai meetings in California at the time, caused a furore and hate mail to him. This informant, who investigated matters at the time and became an ex-devotee as a result, has corresponded with me for over a year but wishes to remain anonymous. He wrote to me: "An American boy, Terry Scott, who was a contemporary of these Malaysian students, left the Sai College together with the rest of the Malaysians."
This Hislop letter is so full of empty claims that it gives a clear insight into his blinded mind and merits a critical analysis (see below).

This prejudicial reeks sheer demagogic hypocrisy in trying to convince without the slightest independent evidence, but on the mere word of the accused abuser that he is not guilty. The authoritarian cover-up set a precedent for future leaders too, for the same applies still today in the case of the overall Sai Org. leader (already involved in the Hislop cover-up in 1981), Dr Michael Goldstein, as the BBC so masterfully revealed by using a hidden camera to get his to reveal his actual views in 2003. (See transcript and video clips)

Dr. John Hislop admits that he was not a psychologist, nor had he studied the subject. That is completely evident to those who have studied and worked with psychology, such as I have. Yet in the same breath he assumes the role of (very amateur) psychologist by rationalising the allegations as being 'projections' of the homosexual tendencies of those molested. There is so much evidence, written and on film, to indicate very convincingly that this is NOT the case, that no one today who has anything like an unbiassed approach can deny the credibility of the many factually detailed and clear statements by persons who have been well-known in the movement and who have mostly been contacted and questioned by exposť activists, including myself.

Hislop's arguments about cunning, violence, animal heritage and using the most deadly weapons available only show how disturbed he was and to what queer illogical ramblings the allegations drove him. For example: "Note in crime reports how the young predominate in acts of violence" bears no relevant to victims of sexual abuse. Hislop sees allegations of having been sexually abused as "most deadly weapons" (a huge exaggeration!), but the idea that a the accused can be a sexual abuser is rejected out of hand. 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 abuser him (let us add further, and abusing in the name of being God the Father who sent Jesus to earth!!). But 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! We now know that, not long after Hislop wrote the above, four boys were murdered in cold blood in Sai Baba's bedroom. So whose "primitive survival reactions" is this witness to? Answer: Those who rule the ashram, Sai Baba himself, his younger brother Janakiramiah, top ashram and Central Trust staff!

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 old chauvinistic ostrich attitude all over! Hislop was definitely of unbalanced judgement, and his last paragraph in the letter underlines both how confused and prejudgemental he was.

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 leaving Maharishi Mahesh yogi and others guru). He failed to investigate by contacting any of the accusers at all, nor did he produce a single piece of sound evidence or even rational argument. This is virtually 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). A very few devotees have posted texts trying to deny or - failing that - defend the sexual activities of SB, they produce nothing but obfuscations, defamations against the accusers and weak, irrelevant put-downs. The vast majority of devotees' lips are sealed! This reminds a lot of the mafiosa muerta or 'silence'. Hislop set the tone with his "Do not exhibit the letters... let us not escalate the trouble." After such 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."

To refer, as does Hislop, to Dr. Sam Sandweiss as an expert may convince the blind believer, but Sandweiss' beliefs in Sai Baba as an omnipotent Divine Incarnation and much else fantastic besides are more than sufficient to have made him virtually persona non grata in all but the semi-lunatic fringe of psychiatry, because he shows all the signs of being a person suffering from a serious and compounded cognitive disorder. (See my psychological work, 'The Human Whole' which includes an analysis of this disorder or derangement).