Letter from Terry and Richard
Dear Ones, It is with great pain and sadness that we are writing to you, and our reason for doing so will probably shock and dismay many of you; for this is our formal resignation from the Sathya Sai Baba Organization and the Santa Barbara Center.
First, we would like to say that never have we had the privilege of knowing so many wonderful, loving, giving, and spiritually dedicated people. We thank all of you for your gracious and kind support of us as we worked together for our spiritual growth and development.
For over 20 years we turned a 'deaf ear and blind eye' to rumblings and rumors of corruption, trickery and sexual exploits of Sai Baba; feeling anger and animosity towards those 'bad-mouthers and trouble-makers' . . . then about two months ago it struck closer to home and from an impeccable source; an allegation of gross sexual abuse perpetrated by our 'Lord of Lords' upon a teen age boy who had been raised to look upon Sai Baba as 'God on Earth' - who would 'Help Ever, Hurt Never' - in a family totally devoted to, and living their lives for Sai Baba. They were, and are, devastated! About this same time we also heard of a letter sent to the Organization from a distraught mother of a 14 year old boy accusing Baba of molesting her son.
Hearing of these incidents we began our own investigation, and the lid to 'Pandora's Box' was opened! Our eyes have regained their sight and our ears have opened to listen . . . to the allegations and accusations (not rumors, not gossip) of worldwide numerous graphic accounts of sexual exploitation over many years. So much innocence lost, so many lives shattered!
The Sai Baba Organization leaders are, and have been for many years, aware of this ongoing sexual activity . . . acknowledging that it happens, condoning it, and rationalizing it in countless ways of utter nonsense, i.e. 'raising Kundalini', 'anointing for purification', or ridding them of their 'lustful young desires'. To us this is ludicrous!
This has all been kept 'hush, hush' from the devotees. Is this not typical of a cult society?
The question is not whether or not Sai Baba did these things . . . it is acknowledged that he did . . . , rather whether or not it is his prerogative to do so. Is this divine activity? Is it o.k. with you? In the USA it is a criminal sexual offence.
Well, we are betrayed, bewildered and bereaved; however, we will survive, and we feel stronger by at long last confronting this iniquitous behavior, not passively making excuses for it, not making peace with it. We do this with rectitude; and if this means we are chaff, so be it!
We ask that you honor and respect our soul-wrenching decision to leave Sai Baba and the Organization. Also know that this act on our part is not up for discussion nor debate, now or at any future date. To do so would only cause anger and hurt; something we feel to be unworthy of the love we feel for you.
We truly believe that most of us have become better persons by the Teachings we were exposed to through Sai Baba. These Teachings are eternal Truths that have been echoed throughout the ages. After waking up to the fact that his life is not in harmony with his message, it remains that the wake-up, however long it took, is in itself a great blessing because it reunites us with our central Being; the Light within, and the true God in our hearts. We are our own source of love, peace and freedom. IT does not reside 'out there' nor 'over there' in the guise of an 'Avatar'. We give away our freedom by not thinking for ourselves; buying whatever rhetoric is spoon-fed us. Never again will we give up our own 'God Within' to unquestioning obedience and acceptance. "First to thine own Self be true" and "The Truth shall set you free".
Our hearts go out to each of you, and our love for you remains steadfast. May God bless you and keep you, and give you peace.
Terry & Richard Nelson