I was an American Sai Baba devotee for 10 years from 1970-1980. I traveled to Bangalore and Puttaparthi five times during that period. My family and I had many interviews with Baba. Sai Baba told me to bring my son to his college in India when he was 15. My son was at his college from 1977 to 1980. In 1980 my son told me that Sai Baba was a homosexual. He said that Sai Baba tried to have oral sex with him.
I had heard stories before about his relations with the college boys, but I didn't believe them. I actually saw Sai Baba grab at my son's crotch as he walked ahead of me into the interview room one time. Later I asked my son what was happening, why did Baba do that? He said "Baba is teaching or testing."
In 1980 I wrote letters to the Sai organization in the US asking for help and an explanation for Baba's actions. I knew many of the Board members personally. Of course they all said that both my son and myself were lying. I was absolutely devastated by the whole situation. How could God do such a thing!
Sai Baba told me that when I left my son at his school in India that he (SB) would be his father! It's twenty years later now, and I still feel some of that pain. Now I'm able to read the other accounts and it makes me realize that I must tell what happened to my family.
When I first learned of Sai Baba, I heard first person accounts about him asking men to drop their pants, and then he would rub vibhuti or oil on their penis to help them control their sexual appetites. This seemed strange to me at the time, but I rationalized this activity as something I could not understand about divinity. I also read Tal Brooke's book and dismissed it.
In addition I received a phone call in 1975 from an Indian ex-devotee who told me that he caught Baba in bed with his son (I hung up on the man!). There of course are many more details to my account.
If anyone would like to talk to me personally about this, I will do so. I am glad to say that my son is now a happily married man with children. I'm still capable of feeling a bit emotional about what happened with sb, but now it's a relatively minor thing compared to the rest of my life. I thought when I got out of the Baba movement that it couldn't possibly last this long.
Recently I found out about the murders at the ashram, very shocking to me. I am a teacher with many interests in my life. But I've decided, since I was so involved during this early period, to devote time talking with others who may be experiencing the pain of separation from the Baba movement and to tell my story.