Recent correspondence with Joe Moreno from Timothy Conway Ph.D. - former President of the Sathya Sai Baba Centre of San Francisco.


From: Timothy Conway~
To: Joe [Joe Moreno,]
Date: Wednesday 11-28-2007

Subject: Re: Happy Reading
[Some material deleted here on other issues raised by Joe Moreno in his 11-26-2007 email to me entitled “Happy Reading.”]

Joe, some time back I heard from Barry Pittard and others (with whom i am hardly ever in contact anymore, since i have largely put this matter of SSB [Sathya Sai Baba] and his movement behind me), that you have spent a lot of words and energy on trying to debunk the famous Hislop memos.

In that long webpage of yours that you sent me the other day, you again raised the Q of the veracity of the Hislop memos of Jan.-March 1981 about a possible scandal involving Sathya Sai over molestation of a male minor from the USA, and you also expressly wonder why i waited so long to bring these memos to light. That's a rather long story: i had largely forgotten these memos when i first began to seriously read the internet reports in Feb. 2001 about SSB's behavior (e.g., Bailey's document "The Findings," along with the many letters of concern from ex-devotees, etc.). When it dawned on my overburdened memory that Hislop had written something back in the early 1980s, i looked for the memos but initially could not find them. Finally i did find them [in the latter part of year 2001] in some old files in an out-of-the-way place in my garage.  And there in those memos was Jack Hislop himself clearly stating that, if any reports of Sathya Sai molesting male minors were factually true, then people would feel justified in calling SSB "a hypocrite, a liar, and a criminal," and Hislop went on to explain why SSB would be a hypocrite, liar, and criminal if these charges were true. It was at this point in time that i shared copies of the Hislop memos with the late Glen Meloy, who had my permission to share them with others.

Please be aware that when i first read these memos way back in 1983 or 1984 [or later], i was not aware of any larger context, i.e., any other allegations, for evaluating Sathya Sai in this light. When i did read Tal Brooke's book (variously named) about SSB, Tal's own megalomania and newly-converted "fundamentalist Christian" identification made him a highly "suspicious source", and so the entire matter of Sathya Sai's sexual behavior toward male youth could only be put into my mental category of "Sathya Sai's enigmatic, not-well-understood behavior."

Now, I have sworn in a notarized document (written on August 18, 2005, notarized on Aug. 19, 2005) that these Hislop memos are exactly as they were given to me by the previous president of the SSB Center of San Francisco circa 1983-4. Both Robert Priddy (formerly from 1983 to 2000 a 'pro' SSB author and academic" SSB author and academic) and Barry Pittard have copies of this notarized document. Upon request from David Savill of the BBC, I furnished my original copies of the Hislop memos to the BBC (i still have the Fedex "International Air Waybill," dated 4-19-2004, with my note that the mailing contains a 3-page document [the Hislop memos]), for the research phase of their BBC television documentary, "Secret Swami." The BBC has unfortunately never returned these originals, finally claiming to have lost them after a few repeated requests from Glen, Barry, and myself. Thank God i made xerox copies of what i sent to the BBC.

Joe, i swear to you now, on everything sacred, that these Hislop memos have not in any way been created, concocted or altered by myself. Note that my "original copies" from 1983-4 were at some point much later in time (circa 2001) underlined by me in pen, along with a few margin marks/notes. These marked copies of the Hislop memos that were then put up onto the internet a few years ago by critics of Sathya Sai were first "cleaned up" by someone (i don't know who) to remove my underlinings and other pen-marks, but in terms of the content, these memos have not been altered.

I also affirm and believe as utterly true the report by the prior president of the San Francisco SSB Center that these Hislop memos were in fact sent directly by Jack Hislop to this center president in question, who specifically had asked Hislop about circulating "rumors" concerning SSB's sexual activities with a certain male youth. From the salutation line ("Dear Directors:"), it is to be simply assumed that these Hislop memos were also sent, as per his usual policy, by Hislop to all the Directors of the SSB movement in the USA and perhaps abroad, as well.

Joe, i hope what i have directly written to you this morning addresses your concerns about these memos and certain other matters.

Wishing you all the very best,

From: Timothy Conway
Date: Thursday 11-29-2007
Subject: PS—About the Hislop memos

Hi Joe 

I just took a moment out of this ridiculously busy schedule to look up your long webpage analysis of the authenticity of the Hislop memos at (hyperlink deleted by admin

Gosh, Joe, i wish you had contacted me directly a few years ago, we could have saved you and other people a lot of time, energy and "concern" about the truth of these things. Please be aware that back in Spring 2002 my father was diagnosed with lung cancer (yes, it runs in the family from all those old smokers) and he passed on in 2003. So by 2002 my life had grown even more busy and complicated, and, except for that brief time of interacting with the Glen, David Savill and the BBC in 2004, i was largely out of any further involvement with Glen and the others in the movement to "expose Sathya Sai."   

Again, i sure don't have any time these days to be involved [I had previously informed Joe that my mother is recuperating from lung cancer surgery and I have already for the last few years been working 80-90 hours weekly in teaching/researching, etc. , but i did wish to pass along to you, Joe, a few clarifications to help you out and everyone else on this matter of the Hislop memos:

The copy of the Hislop memos that i faxed to Alexandra Nagel (and, for further clarification, there's the date of the faxing: Oct. 20, 2001) is more accurate in each of the three points of divergence from the copies that you found on the Internet. And know that, at this point in time (Oct. 2001), these Hislop memos i faxed to A. Nagel are my "original copies", for i had not yet sent them off to the BBC in 2004 (never to see them again, due to the BBC's misplacing or losing them, leaving me with my additional xerox copies of these "original copies").

That is to say, my copies of the Hislop memos clearly show that the "Jan. 18" date is in fact followed by a comma, not a period. Concerning the second point in question, the sentence in that same Hislop memo reading "As far as he is concerned, such stories did not exist with the college students." is in fact followed by a period in my copy, as per the Nagel fax-copy. And third, the sentence reading "then the question arises as to what moves so many people to say these false stories." does in fact contain in my copy the very important word "so."

Please be aware, Joe, that scanning technology often makes these kinds of mistakes, mis-recognizing punctuation, garbling or knocking out entire words when there is penned-in underlining or "bracketing" marks around these words--since i bought a scanner a year ago and started scanning things, i find this happening quite frequently!  You made reference somewhere that the scanned copies of the Hislop memos show no signs of age, folds, creases, etc. Again, the xerox machines will often, as we all know, sometimes recognize and sometimes not recognize or at least not reproduce these folds, creases, etc., and the same is certainly with modern scanners, all depending on the original settings. In fact, i can set my low-end scanner to recognize or not recognize these kinds of superfluous, non-textual marks on a page.

Thus, when you wrote: "it is to be concluded that one (or both) of the letters was forged."  I can only reply that neither is the case. The Nagel faxcopy that you show is the more accurate copy from my original copy of the Hislop memos, but the second one at is certainly not "forged"--it simply contains a few digital scanning errors.

I would also mention that the underlinings, bracket marks and all other inserted pen marks are by myself, made sometime in 2001. I might have even made a few marks back in the 1980s when i first received these letters from the prior S.F. SSB Center president.

[Note from Timothy: this email was inadvertently sent off by mistaken keystroke to Joe before it could be finished.] 

Hi Joe,
That last "P.S." email accidentally got sent by a mistaken key-entry before i could finish drafting it.

I also wanted to clarify that my original copy of the Hislop memos does contain, on the memo dated 2-21-81 and addressed to Terry and Mrs. Payne (this is not the separate memo by Hislop to "Dear Director," also bearing the same date), an inexplicably faint Hislop signature. It could simply be that Jack, in contrast to his two memos dated Jan. 18 and 3.25.81 used a pen of a certain color ink that did not reproduce well on the xerox machine (or was that a mimeograph!) that he used to make copies of his memos to people. Or perhaps (less likely) he used the same pen he was using in those early months of 1981, but on the day he xeroxed the 2-21-81 memo, he used a different xerox machine than he customarily used, and it didn't recognize nearly as well the ink from his penned signature.

Here's a further clarification: all those quirky, differently formatted dates (e.g., hyphens, periods) are exactly as they appear on my original copies of the Hislop memos:
Jan. 18, 1981 - 2-21-81 (this same 2-21-81 format is used for both memos, the one to Terry and Mrs. Payne, the other addressed "Dear Director") 3.25.81

 Go figure! I wish i still had my big file of Hislop memos from the 1980s when i was a center president at the San Francisco SSB Center and then a "Northern California regional liason" for the SSB Council of America. I was obliged to give that file to the incoming SSB Center president who succeeded me. (I saved only a very few things, including those "confidential" Hislop memos from early 1981 that the previous president had given me. I was willing to give those to anyone who had asked me about the Sathya Sai "rumors," but no one ever did until the time of Glen Meloy discussing the Scott/Payne case with me in 2001 and i mentioned that i vaguely recalled Hislop sending out some memos about that).

My point here, Joe, is that there were all sorts of quirky changes of format by Hislop in the many, many things he sent out to us. It's a big mistake to think that Hislop had some rigid, slavish formatting system for what he typed up and sent out to those of us who were the recipients of his many memos and directives.

Joe, you have jumped on these idiosyncrasies to charge that these Hislop memos must be forgeries. But you are simply mistaken. We all make mistakes.
By the Grace of God may we all be awake to Divine Truth, beyond all delusion, idolatry and insanity.

Best wishes to you, Joe

From: Timothy Conway
Date: 11-29-2007 
Subject: Further clarifications and a final message

Hi Joe, 

As i look further, i see the need to make yet more clarifications on this matter of the Hislop memos and your various comments posted at your relevant webpages.

I do hope, Joe, that you will have the decency and integrity to publicly, on the Internet, in a prominent "Update" notice or something equivalent, openly abandon or correct or recant (pick your preferred vocabulary term) your various mistaken conclusions heretofore stated about the Hislop memos. I am happy to put all three of my emails to you of today, and the relevant part about the Hislop memos i sent in an email to you yesterday, into one easily uploadable document for you to share with your readers (i include it with this email as an attachment file). I will also be sending just such a composite document to Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard and anyone else who requests it. (In fact, when i get the time [ha!] i will create at my own website page on Sathya Sai a separate "appendix page" on the authenticity of these Hislop memos.)

 So, here are the further clarifications supplemental to what i've already sent you today:

 1) The Alexandra Nagel version of the Jan. 18, 1981 Hislop memo has the top line missing. The ExBaba version supplies the missing line, but omits the one word "also" that is clearly displayed in my original copy: "P.S. We are also contacting people we know who lived and worked in the" (end of topmost line written by Hislop). This word "also" does correctly appear in some internet versions of these memos, such as in the "sunrise/HislopLetters.htm" URL below.

 2) You have wondered about the fact that at only 3 memos, and not 4 memos or letters are displayed. The missing memo or letter (what you call Letter 4) is one of two written items dated "2-21-81" by Hislop, yet this particular item is addressed by him, not to the Directors, but to "Dear Terry and Mrs. Payne," and it was probably deleted for reasons that it was not addressed openly to the Directors (of the SSB Council of America) but privately to the Payne family. So when you write at your website

"Letter 4 surfaced only recently (April 24th 2005) when there was no mention made to it prior to February 2005, is very suspicious in itself. One can only assume that the letter was forged or purposely suppressed."

--here, Joe, you overstep yourself with more misleading assumptions and conclusions. This missing Letter 4 from 2-21-81, the only item not addressed to the Directors, was no doubt the last one to come into more public exposure because of this privacy issue AND ALSO because it was not addressed to those RELEVANT persons (i.e., the Directors) who bore the legal responsibility and power of access to further investigate and expose these matters of sexual impropriety by Sathya Sai Baba toward the male youth looking up to him

 3) You have also raised the question, Joe, of just who sent the faxed copy of the Hislop memo to Alexandra. In my first email to you this morning, i stated: "The copy of the Hislop memos that i faxed [emphasis here added] to Alexandra Nagel (and, for  further clarification, there's the date of the faxing: Oct. 20, 2001) [...]"

 Now, upon reflection, i'm not sure whether, in fact, it was i or Glen Meloy who actually faxed the Hislop memos to her. I was assuming today, because i saw the name of our small family press, The Wake Up Press, atop the copy that it came directly from me. But at this later point in time six years later, i cannot be so sure. Perhaps i faxed it to Glen Meloy and he faxed it to Alexandra, and her copy displays that fax registry line at the top which might have shown up on the fax printout off Glen's fax machine. It's a trivial point (or maybe you've found some angle to make it sound more profound than it is!).

The larger point is that Hislop wrote these memos and sent them to the Directors, and sent one additional copy to the prior S.F. SSB Center president upon hearing the latter express concerns about Sathya Sai and sexual activity with male youth, and this former center president then passed along copies of the Hislop memos at some point in time to me. How Alexandra got her faxed copy, whether directly from me or from me via Glen, is irrelevant.

4) A very relevant point in all of this matter of the Hislop memos/letters is that, by the point in time when i received these Hislop documents from this former Sai center president, i.e., in 1983 or 1984 (and that is a "guestimate"; it might even be a few years later, say 1985 or 1986), this former Sai center president was still quite fond of Sathya Sai, and, being a very close friend of mine, i was in a position to see whether he held any animosity or heavy suspicion toward Sathya Sai. Back in the 1980s, both of us were staunchly into Advaita Vedanta, and this former president was deeply studying, as i had been doing since the 1970s, the teachings of Sri Ramana Maharshi, Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, et al. Both of us appreciated the nondual advaita teachings of Sathya Sai at that time and for many years afterwards, even when my friend had largely stopped attending SSB Center functions (my friend had begun to spend more of his free time with a particular Advaita sage living in California).

The closely-related point here is that the former S.F. SSB Center president in question (he has always asked that his name be kept out of this matter and i do hope, Joe, that you will do the ethical thing and RESPECT HIS REQUEST FOR PRIVACY) was known to me to be eminently trustworthy, reliable, professional, ethically impeccable, and a very beautiful, loving human being. I just saw him recently again and i hold this exact same regard for his utmost integrity. I have never in the least suspected him of being a "concocter" or "forger" of these Hislop memos. Frankly, back then the digital technology was not easily or inexpensively available for folks like us to forge anything like this. And neither he nor i certainly ever had the motive to come up with the contents of these memos that Hislop wrote and sent out.

5) You have written, >"Timothy Conway admitted that the scans were "cleaned up". Not even one Anti-Sai Activist had the honesty or decency to come forward and admit to "cleaning up" (i.e., tampering with) the scans."

As per one of my earlier emails to you this morning, the only "cleaning up" that was done by someone (i know not who) was to remove all my penned in underlinings, bracket or parentheses marks, margin notes (including rhetorical question marks, etc.). In no way was the meaning or wording changed or altered --except for those two cases of the words "so" and "also", already clarified by me, and these two word-deletions most likely occurred due to digital scanning errors, not deliberate human "tampering."

 6) You also write:
>The general public is perfectly entitled to view the original xeroxed copies along with the information that was erased from them.

 The Alexandra Nagel copies are certainly "nearly perfect" enough (except for that disappeared top line in the Jan. 18 memo) to serve us all. If we add the words "also" and "so" as previously indicated to the copies, we have, word for word, everything in my xeroxes of my original copies (again, the BBC lost my "original copies" of the Hislop memos). Please don't make me take even further time out of my ridiculously busy and burdened schedule to scan all 5 pages of the 4 memos and send them to you as very large jpg files. 

 7) You wrote toward the end of your webpage:
>Timothy Conway does not posses the original hard-copies to the alleged Hislop letters. He only has xeroxed copies.

Since the BBC lost my "original copies" sent by me to them in 2004, these xerox copies, after the original copies as scanned to Alexandra Nagel (already viewable at your website), are the very best copies of the Hislop memos that we have. One day other Directors (or their more honest descendants) may come forth with other copies of these memos.

8) Along this line, Joe, why don't you put just a fraction of the energy you've already put in on this matter and go after all those Directors (people like Richard Bayer, Bob Bozzani, Michael Goldstein and others) and make them find and publicly reveal their copies of the Hislop memos, if they haven't already surreptitiously destroyed them??

9) You reach this erroneous conclusion at your webpage:

>these letters have the critical problems of tampering, forgery and/or suppression that undermine their basic premise.

Everything i have written you thus far Joe makes it quite clear that there are no "critical problems" whatsoever with the Hislop memos in terms of forgery, suppression or tampering (whatever "tampering" was done was simply to take out my pen-written underlinings and margin marks).

10) You wrote on your webpage:
>Terry [full name omitted for privacy purposes] made his allegation against Sathya Sai Baba after being expelled "in disgrace" from the hostel.

You then go on to talk about this "disgraceful" explusion as if it invalidates the larger point that Sathya Sai Baba may have been sexually molesting Terry in ways identical or quite similar to those molestations which so many other male youth have had the courage to openly discuss with parents, friends, center members, and, via the internet, the wider public. And this larger point is NOT in any way invalidated by your misdirection. After all, one of the ways to engage in character-assassination of a conscientious whisteblower is to charge that they were expelled from their job, their membership, or whatever "in disgrace." We know of many military cases and cases from the corporate world of business where this was unjustly done to innocent persons trying to expose corruption, wrong-doing, etc.

11) You write on your webpage about the first letter that was sent (perhaps in December 1980 or before January 18, 1981?) by Hislop to Mrs. Payne, and you wonder:

> where is this first letter that was allegedly sent to Diana Payne? Is it being suppressed as well? Considering that Hislop does not go into details about Terry Jr.'s disgraceful dismissal from the Hostel, chances are the details of his expulsion were given in the first letter sent to Diana Payne. That letter is noticeably absent. Why? Isn't it strange that no mention was made to Letter 4 in all these years and now it is being made public?

Again, Joe, you can simply refer to my earlier point #2 herein for the story on that "Letter 4," addressed to the Paynes, not to the Directors.

12) You also write:
>[Terry] has never spoken out about any alleged abuse.

Joe, as i heard it directly from Glen Meloy, this "silence" is because he serves in a sensitive and vulnerable public position and does not want this fact in his history to be widely known. The overly ardent "defenders" of Sathya Sai Baba have (as i understand it from Glen) had no qualms about running roughshod over people’s privacy issues in this matter, and the fact that Terry's fully name has gone public is an invasion of his privacy. So your point here is entirely irrelevant. Terry at some point in the future may in fact publicly speak out his allegations of abuse by Sathya Sai Baba, but we should NOT pressure him to do so until he is ready. Shame on anyone who continues to drag his name out in the open and upbraid him for not speaking out. I STRONGLY REQUEST THAT YOU IMMEDIATELY REMOVE HIS FULL CURRENT NAME FROM YOUR WEBSITE.

13) Joe, you have much further debased yourself and all of us by writing:

>Therefore, this entire debate about Hislop's alleged letters is based on xeroxed copies and not original ones (as claimed by Anti-Sai Activists). More lies from Anti-Sai's.

Joe, you can thank the BBC for the fact that we no longer have my "original copies" of the Hislop memos. As for your last line, "more lies from Anti-Sai's," this is simply
wrong, a false conclusion, expressed in really adversarial, insulting language
, for there are no "lies" about these Hislop documents. Your extensively erroneous "jumped conclusions" and adversarial attacks on the character and actions of those laboring to various extents of activity in the movement to bring truth to light (many of these persons, like myself, are clearly NOT "anti-Sai" but PRO-TRUTH, PRO-JUSTICE, PRO-DECENCY, PRO-DHARMA) are clearly indicative of your own lack of character and honest, fair-minded investigative spirit.

I will simply reiterate: the Hislop memos stand as factual documents indicating that John (Jack) Hislop and all those persons to whom he sent out these three memos addressed to Directors (dated Jan. 25, 1981, 2-21-81, and 3.25.81) all clearly knew of at least one case (TP), with additional mention of "so many people [who] say these false stories," involving Sathya Sai Baba and some kind of strange sexual activity with male youth.

To deny this is to unjustly deny the truth of the situation, an instance of telling lies about and obfuscating crucially important evidence in the ongoing movement to expose certain behaviors of Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

Again, i wish you all the very best, dear Joe.
By Divine Grace, may we all behave ourselves in the spirit of Satya-Dharma-Shanti-Prema-Ahimsa!


Timothy Conway
Santa Barbara, CA USA