by Reidun Priddy, founder member/ex-devotee, Sathya Sa Organisation, Norway - former Spiritual and Service Wing Coordinator. 1983-1999

Date: 02-27-05

Hislop stated that there are only "two ways (...) to respond to these horrible stories." Those two ways were either to believe in Baba or to believe the stories. So he turned it into a question of choosing what to believe rather than searching for truth and facts. Not only that, he puts a heavy responsibility on the devotee, for he says: "The person who believes the stories chooses to believe also that Sri Bhagavan is a hypocrite a liar and a criminal." This is really an incredible thing to say, for it implies that the devotee through his/her belief turns SB into a hypocrite, a liar and a criminal! He again puts the responsibility with the individual devotee after he has spelled out why SB would be a hypocrite, a liar and a criminal if the stories were true, when he asks: " is the above portrait of Sri Baba the portrait the person really sees and believes in?" Of course it is not, who would be a devotee of such a person?

So instead of looking for facts he deftly turned it into a personal question of belief for the individual devotee and gives no room for doubt and discussion for the devotee to make the transition if they happen to believe the stories to be true. How can anyone deal with such a shock without taking time to think things through and try to get to the bottom of it, least of all those who are seekers of truth?

Hislop is no longer alive and here to answer any criticism, but the norm for the Sai organisation that he propagated is alive and thriving still. They don't dare to look at the facts and they choose not to, for they choose not to even consider the implications rightly described and pointed out by Hislop. To defend their own insecure beliefs from attack by truth and facts, they follow Hislop's lead and pronounce crazy and psychotic those who tell about being abused by SB and those who believe in the stories (like Thorbjørn Meyer, leader of the Scandinavian Sai organisation did on Danish TV, for which he reportedly will yet be held accountable in court).