Following the Leader too far - and
By: Robert Priddy
SBs refusal to explain anything other than what pleases himself makes it difficult to have confidence in many of the statements he makes on whatever subject, quite apart from what concerns the 'unseen' world of spiritual realities. SB's demand is that the devotee has implicit and wholly unquestioning trust in him, all his works and anything he utters. If it fails to make sense or is not in accordance with observable fact or other of his statements, this has to be put down to our human ignorance. It is therefore not entirely wrong to say we cannot properly understand him! He holds that virtually everyone alive today is ego-laden, sense-attached and impure who really know nothing about anything! But we do know with demonstrable certainty that SB gets his facts wrong time and again, laughably so! And he was unaware what a storm the world would raise against pedophilia.
SBs imperious and down-looking attitude does not exactly make for a feeling of overflowing divine acceptance and love, which he is always talking about as being his entire nature etc. He can smile and be charming, but love is shown only in action. What does he mostly do. Stroll about looking as strict as a distant headmaster who will never bide to be gainsaid or crossed in any least manner and whose policy is to induce private fear? He certainly sets up considerable barriers to knowing or loving him! This feeling is not confined to relatively peripheral persons such as I, for it is 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 lion-like face without any reasonable ground other than to cow him totally, it certainly appears.
All this sets standards and examples. In the Sai movement, both foreign and Indian VIPs appear seriously po-faced much of the time and are unduly tight-lipped about all remotely sensitive matters having to do with Baba, his organisation or other works. They always have to be in the right, one cannot question anything that is decided by whoever decides. Members are even sometimes expelled without any explanation, as in the case of the Moscow centres president, who allowed discussion of the sexual allegations against SB. The personal qualities of most top leaders in the Sai movement make for a social and mental-emotional gap between Sai officials and 'ordinary' hard-working followers, with few exceptions. This has had the effect of consolidating an inner circle who are subservient to the International Chairman and the Central Trust - a kind of international jet-set elite who invite one another around the world to hold forth often mainly to regurgitate or repackage Sai Baba aphorisms - and who evidently confer to hush up anything they can which might affect their own positions in Baba's favour and within the organisation that bears 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 will surely 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!