Reply to Seema, a SSB devotee
 
Posted: Wednesday July 23, 2003
Author: Barry Pittard
Reference: Seema's email To: Barry Pittard

Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 4:51 AM

 
Note: If activists in the Sathya Sai Baba Exposť were to do other than note receipt of emails from antagonistic SSB devoees and say a polite 'thank you,' the task would go on forever. However, sometimes there is a case when one senses in a writer a good spirit hidden behind the outer antagonism, and that the points raised merit as thoughtful a reply as one can give.
 
Barry 
 
----- Original Message -----

From: XXX

Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2003 4:51 AM
Subject: Re: THE BUGGY ONE

Dear Mr.Pittard,

I would really appreciate it if you can erase my e-mail address from your little black book.You see I am a very successful, very educated, very spiritual, very fortunate, very happily married woman with two very brilliant, gorgeous children. In other words I have nobody to be envious or jealous of.Life for me is wonderful beyond and each day I awake I pray and thank all the highly enlightened masters of the world who came on this earth to teach people how to love love and love one another.Yes I even thank your favourite topic Sai Baba! I do not know you but what I do know is that I love you because love is all that I have in my being and this love really flows like an ocean.Please think of this quote which I now leave with you." Your vision of this world is really an image of yourself." Have a nice day in peace and love.

Yours truly,

Sarah.
 

Barry's answer to Seema:

Dear Seema,

 
Why do you refer to my 'little black book'? If it is black, then black is beautiful. It is full of the names of light-filled former Sathya Sai devotees all round the world, who are typically persons of the utmost integrity and love. With those same qualities in mind, I shall of course erase your name from my list, which relates to letters you wrote - full of unkind and untrue remarks - to my noble friend Glen Meloy (both of us having had over twenty-five years of intense and committed devotion to SSB). 
 
Even though Glen has effectively moved on to other areas of endeavour, he wrote you - despite your letter that rudely and unjustly charges him (who you do not even know him) with "pettiness" and being one of those, along with all JuST Petition signatories, whose "lives are filled with pain and misery because of the lies that they have told about Sathys Sai Baba."
 
In his typically loving, courteous fashion, Glen wrote you back, also saying that he would refer your query to others who are co-ordinating the exposure of the allegations against Sathya Sai Baba.
 
Because Glen had referred your query to me, and despite an extremely hectic schedule, I wrote you a polite and I think thoughtful letter in regard to your letter to Glen. You have not given a specific reply to any one of the points made.
 
You see I am a very successful, very educated, very spiritual, very fortunate, very happily married woman with two very brilliant, gorgeous children
 
There are many former devotees who can equally claim happiness. There are also men and women who are happy without job 'success,' 'brilliant children,' etc. What is the relevance of mentioning all this? Why do you feel the need to mention to me, an entire stranger to you, this long succession of 'very's'?
 
Why am I so suddenly reminded of Queen Gertrude in Shakespeare's Hamlet, as she watches the play-within-a-play, uttering: 'The lady doth protest too much, methinks.'?
 
I have nobody to be envious or jealous of
 
Why do you introduce this notion of envy or jealousy? By any chance, are you attributing envy or jealousy as a motivation for our dissent against Sathya Sai Baba?
 
Do you really think that former devotees, so many of whom were for such long years held in the highest regard by their fellow Sathya Sai devotees, people from so many professions, trades and cultures, would act out of any the base qualities you mention?  
 
Why do you think so many former devotees have raised the most serious questions about another, and hidden, side to Sathya Sai Baba than the one you have in mind, and gone to their national governments, police agencies and quality media such as The Times of London about these matters?  
 
Is it not the absolute responsibility of any citizen to report  seriously made allegations of paedophilia?
 
What would you have us do - cover up? Stifle our consciences?  
 
Life for me is wonderful beyond and each day I awake I pray and thank all the highly enlightened masters of the world who came on this earth to teach people how to love love and love one another
 
Were any of the 'highly enlightened masters' you have in mind accused by large numbers of young males and in many cases their supportive families and friends all round the world of sexual abuse? Sathya Sai Baba is thus accused. Will you have us shut up, and deny all these boys and young men, and their families, a voice?
 
In answering such questions, I trust that you will have in mind that he, his Central Trust, and the leaders of his world organisation all refuse to show a jot of compassion or duty of care to the great many responsible persons - who were once, like you, full of love for and belief in Sathya Sai Baba - who call for a properly conducted government and police enquiry into the countless allegations. In fact, some of the foremost of your Sathya Sai leaders threaten litigation on a large scale, and knowingly speak untruth about those they have, for years, known to be men and women of truth.
 
Do you mean to imply that life for dissenters of Sathya Sai Baba cannot be wonderful, prayerful and thankful? 
 
Please think of this quote which I now leave with you. 'Your vision of this world is really an image of yourself.'
 
Central to my vision of this world is a saying of Jesus:  'Suffer the little children and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of heaven.'  He also had some tough words to say for those who hurt 'one of these, my little children.'
 
You see, Seema, when we allow our 'very brilliant, gorgeous children' to be molested, and fail to protect them, and cry out with a voice that they themselves usually cannot be expected to raise, there can be no heaven in our vision, and no true wisdom, happiness or peace in the heart of any being - no matter the level of education or marital or family happiness, which are never so stable as a conscience that outlast what Lord Hamlet called the 'slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.'
 
I trust you will do some honest and commonsense thinking about the questions I have put to you. Only specific answers will do - not racing off into states of euphoric denial and lack of respect for truthful men, women and children - about whose case, it is the fact, you have made profoundly unjust assumptions.
 
I shall take it as a mark of your being, as you say, "very educated" if you can truthfully and without emotional evasiveness answer the questions I have asked of you.
 
Love to you and all,
 
Barry Pittard, Australia