The story of Tal Brooke
The following are excerpts from Tal Brooke's book "Lord of the air". This book tells the author's story with Sai Baba. According to him, he has been one of the most intimate western devotees of Sai Baba, and his account tells of a many months-long descent to dark regions of spirituality: from the excitement for the new-found enlightened master (Sai Baba, indeed) to a state of psycho-physyical exhaustion, due to the continuous psychological stress induced by the master and also due to malnutrition, because of the poor and cheap food in Sai Baba's refectories. After having discovered the "hidden and dark side" of Sai Baba, the author had left that circle (or better he escaped from India), and became Christian, also thanks to two devoted christian consorts (Reverend Carroll and his wife) who made him gradually re-discover the Bible. This book perhaps also contains the first open account of Sai Baba's sexual misconduct and for this reason, always according to the author, it was censored and retired/destroyed when published in India
I will only quote here those passages referred to Sai Baba's sexual misconduct, since all the rest of the long book tells the entire Tal Brooke's story with Sai Baba, and it would be quite too long. I quoted elsewhere other anecdotes from this book: you can read them by clicking here and here. So, following are the pertaining excerpts.
WARNING: this page contains material of sexual and explicit nature, which could hurt the sensibility of those reading here, and particularly the sensibility of those having faith in Sai Baba. This as a due warning: please refrain from reading this page, if you get hurted by this arguments, or if as a Sai Baba devoted person you couldn't bear this story.
Above: on the left, Tal Brooke, today; on the right, the original cover of the book. Tal Brooke is founder and president of the Spiritual Counterfeit Project.
Excerpts from Tal Brooke's "Lord of the air"
Excerpts from chapter 7, pages 103 to 105
[Tal Brooke is in interview with Sai Baba] However as I stood before Baba this time, I was far less satisfied about myself. Whether it was my increasing alienation from Herman and Gill or such elementary crimes as oversleeping that morning, I wasn't sure. I felt vulnerable.
[Baba asks] "What do you want?" This was my second magic wish. "Baba, I can't stand the evil in myself. Help me get rid ot if and other obstacles. Anything that holds me back." "Yes, Yes" "Baba, I really want victory this time, too many failures in the past. I want to be certain."
In patient understanding, Baba abstracted over my sins. "Too many bad thoughts, impure sanskaras (traits from past lives). Mind running around like a monkey. Thoughts of material things, anger, ego, jealousy, hate, quarreling, and thoughts of girls. Not good." He wrinkled his face in disgust, in such a caricature of the usual expression, I wondered if the wavelength of the original thought impulse from overmind to avatar had mutated in transit.
Baba mounted the lower step again, as he had done the last interview. He wrapped his arms about me, hugged tightly, while I pondered. This pondering soon turned into critical relflection where my very survival under Baba was at stake. I was being thrown a "test" I was not sure I could handle. My mind was forced to suddenly make hair-pin turns.
If the hallmark of this session with Baba was my own impurity, then I was presently under a spiritual magnifying glass as never seen before. And any kind of unexpected key could squeeze open a new skeleton closet. Baba's hug grew tighter. Then that subterranean spider of a thought crep out of some dark abyss. I almost repelled it before I fully sensed it, if that were possible. Nevertheless it got through in an icy quiet, and speculated deep things -- notice how his [Baba's] breathing has become a pant, deeper, more intensified. Feel his pelvis twisting. Why does he need to twist his pelvis. Especially in the region of the loins. Accidental? No, not for one who is that conscious. I doubt a detail slips by him. Then, is this some strange divine passion that only the initiates encounter at the higher stages, and could that be some kind of...well...nonspecific pan-sexuality, or bisexuality...or...or...am I twisting something that is innately pure into something that it is not, due to my own suspiscions and evils? Yet Baba's pelvis kept nudging and twisting from my abdomen on down. Not hard but gently, almost as though it had the nerve endings of an hand.
Yet if Baba were healing me or opening skeleton closets, it was not without some risk -- and you only take risks with things you value. Then I feared that Baba might perceive my edginess -- not that he shouldn't know if he is omniscient, but he might choose to dwell on it. And my high sin would be the primal insult to God, blasphemy in the most profound sense. The penalty for which might be expulsion from his presence. Yet, could he in love test me beyond my capacities, knowing I would stumble?
I felt an electric flash of self-conscious anxiety as Baba broke the hug. He held me back and looked penetratingly into my eyes, asking, "What's wrong, you do not like it?" Then I knew that I could not possibly bail out now, or call his cards, for I would hang in space with insufficient evidence to satisfy me either way. And I would go through life without a way of ever knowing for sure who or what he really was, with the perennial question, "What about his miracle?" hanging in mind. And certainly a hug was not as bad a cliffhanger as the least of the initiatory rites of the Himalayan nights of the rishis, or the heat yogas at Lhasa, and probably it all panned out as angels' dreams anyway.
"No, Baba, I like it very much. Great gift, great privilege."
"You are not pulling hard. Very weak hug. You do not like to hug?"
"Baba," I justified, hoping I had some ground left not to back out, "I was afraid to hug too tightly, maybe some discomfort for you."
"No, Rowdie. [Tal Brooke's nickname given by Baba]" In an instant we were embracing again until he was satisfied. I really locked in, giving almost a chest-crushing squeeze. His pelvis moved far less, still it moved. I wished I could just shoot the whole area with Novocain and forget about it. [...]
Baba looked content, and I felt relieved, if not on the brink of a new breakthrough in understanding. The curtains opened and eyes glistened back from the dark corners of the room in ravenous wonder. It had been a long interview. [...]
Excerpts from chapter 8, pages 125 to 132
[The author is now troubled about whether to stay in India or not; he is now in a group interview with Sai Baba] Just as we were about to get up and leave, he looked at me in the eye and asked, "Private interview? You have questions?" And I did, because I was starting to panic about where to go.
The dark velvet drapes shut behind me and Baba looked searchingly into my eyes. "What do you want?" The question came with the force of a psychic whammy. On a high precipe of choice, I automatically went through several gearshiftings of awereness.
The problem of staying in India had now disappeared. The priorities were suddenly totally different. [...] Something helped me talk. "Baba, I offer you my life as a son, as a servant, for your direction, to have completely and do whatever you will." As though a covenant had been made, "I am also your property, sir. I am also your servant," Baba replied.
Still nosing up a waterfall like a canadian salmon, my quest cannot end until the full tribute is consummated. I must acknowledge my deepening faith. "No, Baba. You are Mahapurusha, the Lord of the Universe, within that body. You can't fool me. I am your property, your servant. I am you. I want to be an Arjuna, Lord."
We embraced automatically, his wiry cloud of hair surrounding my face. I wondered what kind of deep soul cleansing was going on. Then huge force surged from Baba to me, almost visibly sparking. "Guru kripa, shakti paat, power purification," I thought.
I stood hugging that same unreachable Messiah who stood atop the pagoda, whom tens of thousands came to see, who often wept, just for a glimpse of or a touch, or a smile. A still, musing voice entered my head. It spoke of great things in the table of fortune. A prince is being crowned into life and glory, a once and future king.
Baba broke the embrace and held me back. "Do you want a wife?" [...] "Baba, I don't need to get married, do I?" "No, Rowdie, there is no male or female. In the end, there is only God." Baba reached out to embrace me again, pulling me strongly. The musing voice pondered Baba's comment, "There is no male or female." [...] Now the musing voice likened the embrace with Baba to the meeting of God, and God, breaking the wall of maya to merge.
Baba's nudging pelvis stopped. Then suddenly a hand unzipped my fly, with the facile smoothness of turning a doorknob, and went into my pants, as though it knew the location of each stitch of cloth and each zipper stup. Then, like an adder returning home at dusk, the hand burrowed into the mouth of my underpants. I froze, a lump in my throat.
If Truth required these kinds of impossible labyrinths, I had already made my vow to see it through. Some day I would see the overview one way or another. I stood my ground, and tried not to noticeably flinch hoping this touching would end soon. My mind now raced trying to go up the escalator of possibilities of what was really going on. [...]
Baba's hips continued to shift again as he squeezed an unresponsive organ that had about as much interest in rising up as it desired a bath in liquid elium. It was frozen out, and not even a legion of nude Middle Western belly dancers could thaw it out at this point.
[At this point the author starts narrating about his piercing intimate warfare between two kind of thoughts inside him: the rational and battling one, looking at what was going on with cold, lucid and merciless eyes; and the devotional one, which was wanting to furtherly and totally surrender to Baba. The first one was seeing the thing as what it was seeming to be, e.g. Baba satisfying his homsexual lust using the context of a spiritual master/disciple relationship; consequently, Tal would have had to leave Baba. The second one was instead seeing the thing as some kind of misunderstood purification, or as a test, or as something that Tal could not comprehend, since his spiritual level was far distant from Baba's level, and that only for this reason was seeming a bad thing; consequently, Tal would have had to surrender totally to Baba. Finally this last one was Tal's choice on that moment.]
The balance tips faster; of course -- blasphemous accusations fading -- lust contradicts Baba's nature. Therefore it does not exist in him. He cannot sin, because it is not in him to do so. Blind faith, a new generalized optimism enters the horizon. The verdict -- Baba is innocent.[...]
My legs continued to shake nervously. I had not responded to Baba. Baba removed his hand from my pants and zipped my fly. The entire dilemma had lasted about half a minute. And I had not responded. It wasn't so bad, I thought, echoing those first words after once bravely receiving my first hypodermic injection as a very small child. This moment I would lock in an inner vault deep in my mind not to be opened for a year and half.
Smiling proudly, slightly flushed, Baba said, "Very happy. Go now." He waved with familial informality. [...] "Oh, Baba. Do you want me to go to Whitefield?" [...] "Of course sir, of course. You stay with me in Whitefield. You are near and dear." [...] "Go tomorrow. Then come to Whitefield, Brindavanam. Then many interviews and lessons in sadhana for all foreigners. I will train you."
Excerpts from chapter 24, pages 307 to 319
[After the ending of the previous anecdote, the author got more deeply involved in the life inside the Sai Baba's inner circle of western devotees. In that situation he lives for long time in a continuous alternating of high and low spirits, good and bad moments, prizes and punishments, "tests of faith", strange encounters, intimate battles of faith between biblical spiritual point of views (denying Sai Baba), and Sai Baba's spirituality, which was attracting him down and down again, more deeply involved. Now Tal Brooke is inside his cabin, and his fellow Surya Das is coming.]
It was the evening of June 18. I could hear Surya Das's steps near the front porch. I was hungry [...] but when his form slowly lumbered through the dark porch into the living room light, I knew instantly upon seeing his face as he flung back his shawl headdress that there was a surprise but it had nothing to do with food. The awesome burden of whatever revelation he had flooded his face and I knew it might be unbearable. He stood in the doorway, hand on hip, sighing, slightly shaking his head, the anxious depth in his black eyes carrying a look of silent tormented abandon. [...] The only word that he could get out of his mouth was a ponderous "Well..." and I second-guessed the rest with a tone of total certainty, "...I'm not going to believe what you're about to tell me."
"It's going to totally blow my mind."
"It's about Sai Baba."
"You guessed it."
My heart was beating furiously, my mind somehow in tune enough to be already arming itself. [...] Then I told him, "Okay, let's hear the whole thing from beginning to end, every detail, don't rush to the crux of the thing without leading up to it."
"You know the teahouse in Whitefield, the one where a lot of the Anglo-Indian guys hang out?"
"Never been there, but go ahead."
"Well, I went in there for some tea and ran into some of the guys whom I've talked to a number of times. I joined them, and we soon got on the subject of spiritual things. Well, they were sort of half-interested. Then I got on the subject of Baba. They wouldn't say anything. I kept pressing it and they kept quiet. Finally a guy named Raymond and I went for a walk near the Carrolls' house. I kept pressing him. He was very quiet. I knew he had something to say, so I got his complete confidence. He asked me to tell nobody, to swear to keep this a secret, that what he was about to tell me only two other guys knew, that not even his friends in the teahouse knew it. Furthermore, he was under an oath to his best friend, Patrick, not to tell a soul. He said he had a sudden feeling of responsibility for my soul, and that was why he was taking the chance, despite his legitimate fear of Baba's supernatural powers. That unprotected, he or his family might get destroyed, that there have been instances before of local people being under a curse. [...]
Anyway, Raymond described me how about two years ago, a few months before you met Baba, Patrick... you know the one, the real good-looking Anglo-Indian with long hair and the sensual look. Yea, the really good-looking, well-built guy who hangs around Whitefield... Okay, well Patrick went to Brindavan one day, and sat among a whole crew of Americans who were just passing through town for a few weeks. Well, Baba thought that Patrick was one of the freaks from the States you know, because of his long hair and light skin. So he invited Patrick in with all the others for the interviews he gave to the Americans."
"Uh-huh," I responded with a slow deliberate sigh.
"Well, one day after one of those interviews, Baba kept him over for a private interview." [...] "Well...," Surya Das said slowly shaking his head. "...Aw man you're not going to believe this. But I'm gonna have to tell you anyway. At any rate, Baba treated him like he does you, you know, all the special attention beside the chair, addressing things only to him, smiling a lot. When all the others left and Baba got him alone, he did dis usual number of materializing things and telling him his inner secrets, though I don't know why the devil he didn't know that Patrick just lived down the road. Well, the next thing that happened was that in one smooth motion, Baba reached down and unzipped Patrick's fly, and pulled his tool out." Surya Das stopped for a long pause as though to say, "Okay, are you ready for this next one?"
"Well, when he worked Patrick up... Man I don't know why the guy just stood there and put up with this crap. Infact when I asked Raymond, all he said was that Patrick was only about 17, horny, perhaps a little naive, and I guess didn't give a blue jay what the other partner was. Maybe he was curious or just wanted to see that whole weird thing through, or maybe the kid's a bisexual. Though Raymond told me that Patrick is only interested in girls, and just may have had some what-ya-call liberal curiosity. But at any rate he had an erection all right, and the next thing that happened is really gonna blow your mind. Baba lifted his robe and inserted the thing. That's right. Maybe he's got a woman's organ and a man's organ down there. Yeah, an hermaphrodite. But he honestly inserted it. Patrick said it felt just like a woman, though it may have just been between his legs."
[The author then questions that Baba being an hermaphrodite seems to be an improbable thing. Surya Das supposes a supernatural explanation of Baba being male/female, then he says:] "Maybe the guy just transmutes, you know, shift his protoplasm around at will. At any rate, Raymond told me that just at the moment before Patrick was through, Baba pulled him out and collected his semen in a little white handkerchief.
"This is really too much," I remarked grimly. "Do you think it's some kind of a lie or hoax?"
"I wish it was, but I get a total feeling that it's true. The guy just was not lying. It was not a come-on. He was dead serious and scared. He was sticking his neck out. I know people and this guy was telling the truth. At any rate let me continue. Baba collected the stuff, and then told him that the whole world lay in the palm of his hand, and that anytyhing Patrick wanted, he could have. That Baba was planning a special position for him, like Raja Reddy. That Patrick could move in and live there, and be with Baba to spread his mission throughout the world. [...] At any rate he [Patrick] stopped going and that was it."
"Okay," I announced despondently, "are you ready for this one?"
"I guess I'm as ready as I'll ever be. After this I could hear just about anything and it couldn't be any more shocking."
"By the way, before I go into this, I should tell you that among the guys whom Baba has already 'purified' by pulling out the lingam [the lingam is an Hindu phallic symbol], are Wendel, Phil... Yeah, I know he's married but one day Phil confided this to me. And that's not all. There was the disciple of Yogi Bhajan, there was also 'Alpine Schwartz', the tall dude with the blu ski cap. Yeah, he told Wendel one day at the Whitefield ice-cream stand how Baba [...] pulled his drawers down, handled it for a minute presumably to cleanse it of 'heat'. That's not all. There was also a guy who only passed through for a few days, and by the way, that's why. One day Wendel and I were at the Chinese restaurant off Brigade Road, and right at the table next to us were Gordon, the jewel-cutter from Los Angeles, and this guy from U.C.L.A. who I thought was blaspheming Baba. He was talking at full pitch, describing to them how Baba was a 'homo', how Baba got him in for one of those private interviews and pulled his fly down, and started to go to town. He said it scared the hell out of him, and he practically ran out from the place with his fly down. Baba chased him to the door calling him panic-stricken as the kid just left. Wendel and I at the time just thought the guy wasn't mature enough to handle or trascend his own negative projections and cultural hang-ups. But then you've got to ask yourself, if Baba's omniscient, why he does pick people who're going to misinterpret it and blow the whistle on him?" [Then Tal Brooke starts telling Surya Das his own experience, the one we've seen above]
"But there's another extra side of this," I added. "There is also an occult aspect about the semen. Check this out. One day I heard Phil's confession as we were returning to Whitefield on a bus. How Baba did to him what he had done to me. At least none of us even thought about getting up. But what Phil told me, and you know he used to teach astrology at the Six Day School in Frisco, having been into it for over 10 years, is the fact that semen is one of the most potent things used in really heavy occult stuff. The vital essence of life or whatever. Perhaps even Alistair Crowley used it. No doubt that's why there's such a heavy emphasis on sex in covens. [...] But if semen is invaluable, sperm [...] must be the most precious thing that someone who is into sorcery can use."
A chilly silence filled the air. "Think what kind of unsuspecting gold mine Baba might have in the Veda School lads. Several hundreds kids disciplined severely into celibacy whom Baba uses as a kind of sperm-bank. Even then, Phil told me that he quite frankly suspected that such was the source of Baba's powers." [...]
The next afternoon Patrick and Raymond did come. Very sobered, less flippant then usual, Patrick's account followed virtually word-for-word what Surya Das had told me the fateful night before. Then when I told them all my story, they weren't surprised. I aired my thoughts. "Your account can't be contrived because if there's nothing else I know, one thing I do know, and that is that I have personally stood alone before Baba with my pants down to my knees." All of us would depart, sworn to mutual secrecy till more data came in. Patrick would urge me to remain quiet, perhaps to protect his family, at least from disgrace, at the same time understanding my relentless quest for the truth.
Excerpts from chapter 25, pages 333-334
[The thing keeps on growing. The author comes to know from Wendel that Sai Baba was knowing (supposedly in a supernatural way, since nobody would have said nothing about those incidents) that he and Surya Das had known of Patrick's incident, as well as he was knowing Tal Brooke's rage. Here he explains this:]
Wendel confided, "you know a few hours after you and Surya Das left, Baba arrived and the first thing he did was come up to me and bring me into his quarters down there." [...]
In the privacy of the suite, Baba looked into Wendel's eyes questioningly. "What is wrong? Have you seen Tal? What does he say? Doubts? Bad faith?" Baba even sounded hurt and jealous. At that point Wendel had told Baba nothing about his knowledge of the terrible incident and our mission to him, evidently quite stunned by Baba's question. No human being could have told Baba a thing. Yet Wendel asked himself why Baba need questioning him. [...]
Then out of the blue, Baba mentioned to Wendel a certain person, a rather pretty lad from Whitefield whom Wendel had perhaps seen a few times and knew of through Surya Das and me. Baba's words came in rapid, urgent, and even panicky whispers, informing and warning Wendel. Sequences jumped around like a fragmented dream. "Some two years ago, one coming, a Whitefield hippie. Long hair, muscles, American shirt saying 'love'. Not love, lust. Only interest is girls, not God. Sitting in darshan line, pretending to be an American. Swami knows." The rest was garbled until the teenager, Patrick, was accused by Baba of spreading damaging rumours. "False lies. Blind jealous reaction after I tell him to go. Now others believing lies. His word over Swami's!" Perhaps Baba gave Wendel a hug as a remainder of the purity of his love, and then Wendel was dismissed [...]
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