Letter from Andries Krugers Dagneaux

to Staff NYT & Keith Bradsher




Date: 12-09-02

From: Andries Krugers Dagneaux

To: executive-editor@nytimes.com; managing-editor@nytimes.com; foreign@nytimes.com

Sent: Friday, December 06, 2002 6:24 AM

Subject: To Staff NYT & Keith Bradsher, regarding the Dec 1st article 'A Friend in India to All the World', Sathya Sai Baba & Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam  

Dear Sir, 

With great interest I have read your article printed on Dec. 1st  ‘A Friend in India to All the World’ about the Indian president  Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam who recently visited the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba.

You forget to mention the important fact that this ‘holy’ man Sathya Sai Baba is very controversial. Many followers have become ex-followers since the year 2000 because of well documented allegations about sexual abuse of young men and boys and killings (in 1993). As is known from the literature about cults and religious groups like Jehovah Witnesses (see e.g. David V. Barrett’s ‘The New Believers’),  ardent followers only suddenly become ‘apostates’ and stop their involvement with a religious organization when they have the feeling that they have no option left. This alone is a strong indication that the allegations are true.

Here is a   well researched on line article that gives a good overview about these allegations i.e. Ms A. Nagel’s article ‘A Guru Accused’.

Personally I became an ex-follower in 2001. Here is my story that describes how and why I became an-ex follower called ‘Calumny’ Confirmed.

Note that the men that I mention in my story who have been inappropriately sexually approached by Sathya Sai Baba are an addition to the list that Ms A. Nagel mentions in her article ‘A Guru Accused’.

More articles and news can be found at http://www.exbaba.com.

The reason why I consider it so important that the NYT mentions these allegations is mainly because I don’t want new people put faith in SSB because I know unfortunately from experience that it is a devastating experience when one has to find out after many years of total trust and intense devotion that your guru was not worth this devotion at all. This is also the reason why I appeared on Dutch TV on Nov. 11th on the station SBS6, in a program called Tabloid during prime time. I was interviewed in this TV program about the allegations and the harm that is done to ardent followers who fell into Sathya Sai Baba’s trap.

Besides there is an unresolved question why Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam and other high ranking Indian politicians continue to visit Sathya Sai Baba now that he has been exposed as not so holy beyond reasonable doubt. For me personally this is a mystery, except when these politicians are themselves ardent followers, which seems to be the case for prime minister A.B. Vajpayee only.

I would be happy if you could soon follow up on this article including mentioning the allegations of former devotees which depict Sathya Sai Baba unfortunately not as a friend and not so holy after all.

In the article you wrote that Sathya Sai Baba is 'Famous for seldom saying much in public even to his followers'. This is not true. Some of his public speeches that have noted down can be seen on http://www.sathyasai.org/search/default.htm.

Please do contact me if you need more information.

Your Sincerely,


Andries Krugers Dagneaux

Hogevecht 8

1102 HA Amsterdam Zuidoost

The Netherlands

Phone +31 20 691 33 55