Phyllis Krystal visits a Sai Baba

group in the Netherlands



By: Ex-Baba


Date: 10-17-02

With a comment from Robert Priddy.



Mrs Phyllis Krystal is a well known Sai devotee, a fact that she keeps separate from her healing method to be found in her books Cutting the Ties that Bind. She recently visited The Netherlands to give a workshop on ‘cutting the binding ties’, and was invited by Dutch Sai people to present a lecture in Eindhoven, a city in the southern part of Holland, which she was pleased to follow up on. So on Sunday October 13, 2002, Mrs Krystal entered a room in an elementary school that was nicely decorated with a huge lotus quilt and SB's photograph, a table with a candle and a flower, another SB picture on the wall. Nice bhajans were sung as an opening and pleasantly set the atmosphere.  

Mrs Krystal is old of age and fragile, yet not one bit senile. She talked for over two hours, (precisely translated sentence after sentence), about some of her first experiences with Baba. One of them dealt on her encounter with Swami when she'd dressed like a student and Baba had wanted her to dress like she would dress in her home country, the States. The message: you, devotees, have to dress (and behave) according to your position in society, for that is the best way to help bring about Sai Baba’s mission. She also spoke of some more recent happenings, namely that she recently had had two car accidents. It causes her, besides a lot of pain, difficulties in walking. About this she shared that she inwardly at times screams at Baba: ‘Swami why did this happen?! Why?! The other drivers made mistakes, but why did they hurt me?’ The answer she finds for these questions lies in her reasoning, as she told the audience: ‘But there must be a lesson in it, for Swami, who lately has said more than once to the college boys that he might not live up to the age he has predicted for so long [!], is speeding up the lessons we can have on earth and transform our karma.’  

About 70 people came to hear Phyllis Krystal speak. Among them the director of the Dutch Sai Organisation, Mrs Trees Stevens. Only four people had a chance to pose her a question, to which Mrs Krystal answered at length, and after which a last bhajan was sung and Mrs Krystal left. The rest could stay and have tea and cake.  

None of the questioners asked how Mrs Krystal can remain to be a Sai devotee while she is aware of stories accusing Sai Baba of sexual misconduct.* Having heard the lecture, seen the audience, and heard the singing, the answer to a question like why Sai devotees remain devotees, and how they (particularly Mrs Krystal) remain to have faith in Sai Baba when is known that Sai Baba is accused of sexual misconduct etc., can be anticipated. Within a rather open, loving and friendly environment, Mrs Krystal had explained clearly how Sai Baba brings out all kinds of hidden, painful, negative emotions in people. This happens on purpose. All the painful, negative feelings and emotions are brought to the surface in order for those involved to be able to deal with such matters and get it transformed into love and light. For Sai Baba is believed to be on earth to help those who are open for this process, to alter old karma, especially now humanity is in the middle of the Kaliyuga era. Mrs Krystal personally surely approaches these awfully confusing matters with the mantra she mentioned in her lecture: surrender, trust and acceptance.   

* See for instance the letter of John Hislop dated 18 January 1981, in which Hislop said that the Directors Bayer, Goldstein, Krystal and myself have been going over and over the problem as we were talking together this weekend.” The problem being the case of an American boy who in the late 1970’s as the first westener attended Sai Baba’s College in India. His experience that Sai Baba had asked him to perform oral sex on him, came out in 1980 school and his parents were devastated.

Furthermore, Dutch Matthijs van der Meer talked with Mrs Krystal about the sexual abuse matter. He wrote about his meeting with her in his article in Spiegelbeeld October 2000, in which he testified to having been subjected involuntarily to 'oiling' by SB himself, and he related how Keith Ord had told him how Ord’s friend Michael Pender - see the newspaper article on three suicides, Times report on Sai Baba - was forced into oral sex by Sai Baba and later took his own life in the UK. Van der Meer had visited Lucas Ralli and talked with him about his own, Ord’s and Pender’s experiences, years before the The Findings exposť appeared, with no satisfying results. Van der Meer investigated further as follows:  

“It just seemed too atrocious to be possibly true. Meanwhile many months had elapsed since I had begun to turn myself to whichever Sai author into whose hands I could manage to place a letter... - ...When in May '96 Sandweiss visited the Netherlands I took the opportunity to personally thrust a copy of my former letter into his hands. But still he wouldn’t answer. Yet the trouble was not taken in vain. Some people from the organisation spotted my action, and as if by the grace of Baba in October '96 a meeting with the then 81-year old Phyllis Krystal was arranged for me. She affirmed to both Baba’s intimidations and the cover-up of it by the organisation. With the proviso that she refrained from drawing any conclusions. It could be sensed how she groped for clues with regard to the divine explanation for which I myself had once been looking so hard as well. And so I contended that all things considered, no rational support whatsoever was left for distinguishing Sai Baba from a criminal (for how was one to escape the implication that on the given basis even Hitler and Nero could have been avatars!). "Even if in our hearts we believe Swami", I argued, "in our behaviour we should doubt Swami because that’s our moral duty in a situation like this." But even though she admitted to the logic of my ethics, Krystal kept evading to take the consequences of it.

While saying goodbye she promised to let me know as soon as any further insights would come about. Yet of the gruesome ‘insights’ to which revelations would give cause in the years to come, she was not to give notice. Even though she hardly could have missed the work by David Bailey, a Sai-VIP from her own circle of acquaintances.”


Commentaries by Robert Priddy on the above report 



a. concerning Phyllis Krystal

There is no use in putting questions to such a person as Phyllis Krystal. I have met her - in UK - and heard her holding forth at Hamburg (1990). Reidun was rebuffed angrily by her by speaking to her when she was at lunch there, and Reidun was very upset by this unwarranted treatment. However, Reidun went to a workshop with PK in Copenhagen some months later, and was disappointed. 

My immediate reaction to her was that I was struck by the falsity of her very controlled voice (but with a recognisable British whine under the gushing US patina), and her general kind of self-projection... I think someone whose life was virtually empty but for talking and writing and being admired as a Sai devotee supreme. As I have written in one of my articles (about SB's broken promises etc.), she dissembled and even lied outright about having been cured of pain by SB (this I know, because I knew well Lucas Ralli and partly also his wife - who were very close to her and hosted her on UK visits etc. She was still on large doses of pain killers). 

When I heard her speak in London (as a Ralli-organised meeting), she said during her replies to questions that 'Swami sometimes answers through me', which immediately made me suspicious, because of the way in which she said it and the context etc. Apropos, her host, Lucas, was an officially-recognised channel for SB too, his 'Messages for You and Me' in five vols. were accredited by SB too! I can well imagine that there was some competition mentality with Lucas there... not least because Shah had tried to cut her out of the Sai movement, warning all Org. leaders that she was not (and still is not) a member of the Sai Org., but Lucas was then the UK President (later Central Coordinator for UK). She fitted into the Ralli/Peggy Mason/Ron Laing gang because of all the mediumistic stuff they all loved (messages from the dead, ghosts, angels etc.) and she produced some fantastic fancies herself - about being shown by the Lord how Russia was under the darkest cloud on earth etc. and suchlike. Rather the kind of dreams that so many SB followers take quite literally (i.e. Rita Bruce with the destruction of the US by germ warfare and earthquakes etc. as reported in her first book). All these people are prime exponents of spiritual doublethink and what might be called self-hypnosis. 

One has to be sorry for her too... she has gone through more hell and high water for SB than most of us!  




b. concerning the text by Van der Meer

Interesting that Phyllis Krystal didn't refute it out of hand. She did have a fairly sophisticated way of dealing with questions, but none the less deluded for all that! Her millionnairess lifestyle fitted badly with the role SB gave her as a lecturer on 'Ceiling on Desires' - while in Copenhagen she lived at the very most expensive super-luxury hotel (declining devotees' invitations to stay)! I was struck by the complete disinteredness in SB of her husband, even at an interview (where both of them and I were present, in 1987) and at the Hamburg Sai Conference. He looked rather like a kind of Oliver Hardy (but with white hair and glasses) and was merely accompanying Phyllis! Rather odd! 

Her books are just the kind that I really could not stomach from the word go! These Americanised 'positive thinking' ideas and what I see as the sickly spiritual semantical coating lead to a kind of voluntary self-brain-washing because, as I see them, they fail to strike the balance between reality and fantasy. Though I am not any longer a paid-up believer in Freud, Adler, Jung and co., I think they are less dangerous than the promised self-enhancement, which is actually too often a basically self-denial and refutation of unpleasant experience in the new-age'ish fashion.

I have come to regard much of the kind of 'inner work' she teaches as pseudo-spirituality for impressionable people who are too hung up on a fantasy world and an imagined purity of psyche, but seldom really productive of authentic self-knowledge or spirituality in everyday life. In my view, PK's failure to keep her promise to update such an anguished person as Van der Meer evidently was, never even to contact him again – is typical of many Sai VIPs and speaks of anti-spiritual disregard of others or even gutlessness.


Well, these are just my views, for what they may be worth.

Robert Priddy