Document date: 11-18-02
By: Robert Priddy
The following mail was received from a former Australian devotee and office-bearer was received today:
"Dear Robert ~ again your recollections have sparked a memory similar to yours just now posted.
In 1995, the occasion of my and my wife's first visit to SB. I suppose we should have been very much wiser, but that is only easy to say retrospectively, as a member of the Sai Center we attended gave us this warning prior to our departure: "Don't listen to what anyone tells you about Swami. There are a lot of rumours going about saying that SB is a homosexual and paedophile and murderer. You'll hear plenty of rumours about SB, so take no notice." Retrospectively we truly wish that we had listened carefully to the 'rumours'.
However we went anyway, and our first encounter at the SB ashram was at the accommodation office where we payed for two weeks accommodation up front, requiring 500 rupees change from the large notes issued at the money exchange. The accommodation attendant took the money, put the correct amount in the till, removed the 500 rupees and, looking me squarely in the eye, closed down the window and brazenly walked out of the room. We waited for quite some time until we realised that he would not be returning with the money. As do all Sai devotees, we rationalised it off as a test of our faith by SB. And as do all ex-devotees, we see it now for what it truly was - organised crime.
Yours in truth ~ Barry Newton"