HIDDEN FEAR OF 'THE AVATAR'
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It is evident that many close followers of Sathya Sai Baba held him in awe, but - more than that - feared him personally. There is plenty of written evidence by followers showing this. The murders of 1993 in his own apartment in his own private fiefdom increased this fear without any shadow of a doubt. The fear is seldom talked about but could at times be seen in faces of those often in contact with Sathya Sai Baba. One can simply imagine the effect on those under his control, especially his students. Sathya Sai Baba has told that his close servitors have three chances of obeying him when he tells them something. If not, terrible consequences can follow, which he has said to persons I knew well. One example is that of Baba's driver for two decades, who burned himself to death in the Hillview Stadium after failing to follow Sathya Sai Baba 's warning to drive more slowly and then killing a pedestrian! One did not have to circulate for long among Sai devotees to know the general paranoia or come across the aura of unexpressed fear around questions of what one can and cannot say and do.
Many who have hung on to their faith in him – and even some who left him – still suffer from fear of his wrath and punishment. Comments and attack mails against myself and other proponents of the exposé, telling us what terrible karma we are to face in the next life illustrate their own fears. Meanwhile, we who have liberated ourtselves fully from him and all his works are totally impervious to these speculative and absurd ideas. Yet knowing full well the range of what most followers believe and the power over the mind of their long-term indoctrination - so difficult to overcome - we are aware of the extremely difficult situation of all those ‘lost souls’ who are emotionally and otherwise trapped in their belief in his claims and dependency on him.
Sathya Sai Baba's refusal to explain anything other than what pleased himself made it difficult to have confidence in many of the statements he made on whatever subject, quite apart from what concerns the 'unseen' world of spiritual realities. Sathya Sai Baba's demand was that the devotee have implicit and wholly unquestioning trust in him, all his works and anything he uttered. If it failed to make sense or is not in accordance with observable fact or other statements of his, this had to be put down to our human ignorance. It is therefore not entirely wrong to say we could not properly understand him! He held that virtually everyone alive is ego-laden, sense-attached and impure, who really know just about nothing of significance about anything! But we do know with demonstrable certainty that Sathya Sai Baba got his facts wrong time and again, and laughably so! And he was, by all appearances, unaware what a storm the world would raise against pedophilia, probably because it is common, silently condoned but not (yet) talked about openly in the region where he grew up. A long-standing suspicion seems justified, namely that this kind of homosexual exploitation of boys in India is very widespread and is tacitly accepted in many segments of society - not only in backward parts like the Andhra Pradesh villages of the Puttaparthi region. This is the result of the wall-to-wall culture of hypoctical puritanism and repressive censorship against all sexual deviance in most of India.
Sathya Sai Baba kept everyone in their places, mostly at a distance, and especially women. Sai Baba's invisible rewards and imagined 'divine blessings' were said both by him and others to exceed the mental and emotional punishment he meted out, as he did especially rigorously to those who accepted positions of trust then supposedly let him down even in slight ways. It is merely a matter of belief, convincing oneself that it was for one's own good, otherwise there is only depression ahead, or to reject everything (too big a step for his dependents). The recipe for aspirants to the graces he said he could bestow was total obedience and subjection to his will and all that he required but seldom explained sufficiently. This went entirely against any open society for genuinely self-aware persons who may act in confidence and with responsibility.
Sai Baba's imperious and down-looking attitude did not exactly make for a feeling of overflowing divine acceptance and love, which he was ever talking up as being his entire nature etc. Though true believing devotees only told of his love, charm, smiles, benevolence, kind words if few and far between) they seldom mentioned how he used visible signs of disinterest, rejection, anger and even sheer rage, which was something to see, even at a distance. He could smile and be charming in words, but genuine love is shown only in action. What did he mostly do? Stroll about looking distant and often as strict as a near-unapproachable headmaster who would never abide to be gainsaid or crossed in the least way? This manner itself invites private anxiety. He certainly set up considerable barriers to knowing him and thereby also to loving him except in wishful imagination, for how can anyonereally love what they do not know? This feeling is not confined to relatively peripheral persons such as I, for it was quite evident at times even between Baba and some of his most trusted office-bearers. He scared the wits out of Prof. Kasturi with a enraged and reportedly terrifying lion-like expression without any explicable ground other than to cow him totally, it certainly appears.
Despite all the talk about his universal love and benevolence, many came to realise that appearances were not to be trusted, that he was a master at charismatic charm and used all opportunities to entrap people by sudden friendliness after he had made them wait with no responses for months and years, even decades! This is a known technique of psychopaths, the charm then the anger, then the charm again, a pull-push-pull relationship creating uncertainty and self-doubt in their victims, making them the more dependent on any favour that came their way at last. Sai Baba explained this for devotees by saying it was simply done to correct people, as a schoolmaster uses the stick to correct youth. He rather fitted the bill as an angry and jealous God, definitely someone who abided absolutely no questioning or contradiction. Many a tyrant did the same and also claimed to be gods. Like him, most despots commission social works and institutions in their own names and to their own glory, though they are always paid for and carried out by others. Without making other comparisons, the Emperors of Rome, of the Inca Imperium, and even rulers in African States in recent decades have assumed the mantle of gods, but Sai Baba's divine claims surpassed all of them.
All this set standards and examples. In the Sai movement, both foreign and Indian VIPs appeared seriously po-faced much of the time and were unduly tight-lipped about all remotely sensitive matters having to do with Baba, his organisation or other works. They always had to be in the right, one coild not question anything that was decided by whoever decided. Members were even sometimes expelled without any explanation, as in the case of the Moscow centre's president, who allowed discussion of the sexual allegations against Sathya Sai Baba, and on two different occasion members of groups I took there were blackballed permanently. The personal qualities of most top leaders in the Sai movement made for a social and mental-emotional gap between Sai officials and 'ordinary' hard-working followers, with a very few honourable exceptions. This had the effect of consolidating an inner circle who are subservient to the International Chairman and the Central Trust and observe the 'muerta' - a kind of international jet-set elite who invited one another around the world to hold forth - often mainly to regurgitate or repackage Sai Baba aphorisms - and who evidently conferred to hush up anything which might affect their own positions in Baba's favour and within the organisation that bore his name.
All this is the basis for the many cover-ups. The 1993 murders and the many pedophile accounts involving Sai Baba (some going back decades), have been kept from the main body of devotees for so long through this organised deception. However, the growing recognition in the world for the duty of mandatory reporting of known cases of sexual interference or abuse - a legal requirement in many countries - may yet even eventually bring forth court actions and large compensation claims against leading Sai office-bearers who can be demonstrated to have failed in this reporting duty, as it has already at last done in the Catholic Church in so many countries. All Sai officials would be very well advised to "sweep their hearths and keep their houses clean" on this count from now on, for the information is presently freely available to every one of them.
When fear is felt but cannot be expressed it is all the more effective. Once the fears can be confronted without the possibility of retribution - such as by removing oneself from their source both physically, socially and emotionally - it becomes evident that, as F.D. Rooseveldt put it "there is nothing to fear but fear itself".
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