Keith Ords written testimony
of events around Sai Baba
Dear David, (Bailey)
I'll start at the point when Michael, my English friend, returned from India, after staying around Baba for some weeks.
He turned up at our door (I was then living with my mother who knew and loved
Michael very much, like one of her own sons), on the 23rd of November 1989 - after us having no news of him for a couple of months. We didn't know where he was at that time; he had written me one letter after arriving at Puttaparthi, and explained that things were going very well, but that he wouldn't be able to write again for some time as he was having a rough time working on himself.
Anyway, after things calmed down and the euphoria. of his return started to wane, I noticed he was holding things back from me, He had told me most of the things one would expect about his experiences ....... "it went very well -Baba was amazing"..... the experience had changed him and so on. And from what I saw he was quite changed. Much more tranquil, often deep in thought, and much more mature. (You have to bear in mind that I was twenty-four and he was twenty-three), But as the days turned into a week, I saw changes that disturbed me. He wasn't his usual self; he had always been cheerful, laughing a lot - always had a joke to tell. Now, although he often seemed to be deep in thought, it seemed to me to be more of 'mulling' things over. He was preoccupied, and even depressed.
Then he started opening up to me more, telling me more about the inner workings of the ashram, and more about his private interviews with Baba. And then one evening, after he had been back about ten days, we were sat in my bedroom (he was staying at home with my family until he found himself somewhere). We were chatting, drinking a cup of tea, smoking cigarettes - and he came out with the most incredible statement. He was talking about his conversations with Sai Baba. Baba had told him he was the reincarnation of St Michael, and that he had a special task for him. Michael had over ten interviews with Baba - more like fifteen I think. He told me that every day he attended darshan, Baba called him for an interview. And that after a while, he just refused to go. When Baba picked out at darshan, he just refused to go.
I couldn't believe what I was hearing! I said to him "Why not? Don't you realise that people follow Baba round for ten years without ever being invited for one interview?" His reply turned me to stone : "Because he wanted to have sex with me. Every interview I had with him was the same. All he wants is sex." There was a kind of stunned silence in the room for a long time; I was trying to digest what I had heard, wondering what it could mean, and I suppose Michael was reimmersed in his experiences with sb - wondering the same as myself 'what does it all mean?'
After that he didn't hold back, and told me everything he had experienced out there. He told me that the very first private interview that he had with sb was a sexual encounter, that Baba obliged him to perform oral sex on him. At first he couldn't believe any of this was happening. It felt unreal and frightening, But then after the first interview he thought sb must have been showing him something about himself ... that there must have been some spiritual or 'divine' explanation behind swami's actions.
But after the fourth interview, he became very despondent and confused about the whole thing; each interview was a repetition of the first. It became harder for Michael to deal with the thousands of feelings and questions and doubts about what was happening. Baba 'materialised' an emerald ring on the fifth interview and gave him money on the sixth.
After the tenth interview, Michael was still attending. darshan, but every time Baba pointed him out to attend an interview, he refused to go. He was reaching a point of desperation by that time, and was in a state of depression. After about two weeks of attending darshan in this manner, one night he tried to take his own life. Failing to do so, he left the ashram after that and never returned.
Well, after telling me of his experiences, Michael became quite depressed, and started to withdraw into himself a little. I had no explanation to give him about Baba's behaviour... he knew more than I did. Around the middle of December, he managed to find himself a room locally, just a small bed sit - only until we could get the money together to rent ourselves a flat. He spent Christmas and New Year with us at my mother's home, and didn't even mention much about sb.
Anyway, on the 12th January 1990, the police called at our house to tell me Michael had committed suicide on the night of the 10th ... and left me a letter, which contained no mention of Baba, but I do remember that he wrote that God would understand and forgive him for what he was about to do. I had been trying to get in touch with him the whole time by telephone but the people who rented with him had told me he wasn't at home, I was deeply distressed. Shocked. Devastated. I decided after his funeral on the 26th January, to go to India, and find out what had happened to him myself. I wanted to know what he had experienced with Baba. I was very confused, because Michael had still insisted at some point that sb was a very powerful being.
After two weeks of living at the ashram (Prasanthi Nilayam) I got my first interview with sb. It was very hurried but I remember practically everything. He called me into his antechamber for a private interview, apart from the rest of the people called for the interview, and once inside. he immediately pushed me into the corner of the little room, and untied my pyjama bottoms, took out my penis and started playing with it, and rubbing my scrotum, while telling me that I think too much about girls and I should stop it at once. Then he was pulling my pants up again hurriedly, and pushed me out of the room.
The second interview was very much the same, an interview with others and them into his antechamber. This time he 'materialised' a ring for me, one of those silver rings in the shape of a flower, that has a picture of his face in the Centre. Then he did the same, he pulled my trousers down and started touching my penis and scrotum, and bringing himself very close to me. He started moving his hips In a sideways motion while his body was pressed against mine, asking me if this was what I liked. I don't remember replying to him. I don't even think I did reply - it was more a phrase to accompany his movements, like an incantation that seemed to arouse him.
While this was happening to me, I suddenly remembered what Mitch (that was the name Michael had used since a child) had told me about his interview - and I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. But then I said to myself, 'stop thinking these bad thoughts, this is not a sexual experience but a spiritual one, if there is any bad in this, it is only my lower self making it bad - all is pure to the pure- and this is how I dealt with my suspicions that Baba might actually have been physically aroused by what he was doing, This all lasted less than ten minutes, and then he was rushing again and telling me to pull my trousers up because he had other devotees to see.
The third interview began in exactly the same way, but it was some weeks after the second one; we were all now in Whitefield (Bangalore). Baba took me into his private chamber and immediately, hurriedly, tried pulling my 'pyjama" bottoms down, but in his hurry he had pulled the cord the wrong way and made a tight knot of it .... It was all very awkward and I felt embarrassed and strange. In the end I had to help him undo the knot because he was very impatient. Then once they were down he went through the same procedure; playing with my genitals, rubbing his hips from side to side while pressing himself very close to me.
There was something different about this interview; it made me feel more uncomfortable than ever, There was an urgency in his manner, and I could see that he was excited; there were beads of sweat on his top lip and his breathing was strained. He pointed his finger at me and said very sternly "Don't talk. You don't talk. Okay? Don't talk". I was a little startled, even frightened at his manner, but I agreed I would not talk. Then his manner changed again, into bright, breezy swami. He asked me if I wanted to kiss him, while embracing me in the usual way, rubbing his hips from side to side while moving his hands over my body and legs. I felt at that moment that his actions were deliberately trying to arouse me physically, that he wanted me to get an erection, because he kept touching my penis and rubbing. But I didn't become aroused at all. I just kept arguing with myself mentally, saying that if there was any baseness or bad in what was happening, it was all in my lower mind. As such, I never even became faintly aroused, and I think this both perplexed and annoyed Baba, because he seemed irritated and unsure of what to do next.
Then he pulled me over to his chair close to the entrance of the chamber and I could see his penis, semi erect through the material of his gown. He took my hand and placed it on his penis, and rubbed it up and down, telling me to rub while repeating "Good, good, good" over and over, and visibly becoming more excited. Then he asked me if this is what I wanted ... and then clapped his hands over his head saying "This is divine". Then it was over and I was pushed out again into the other, larger chamber with the other devotees.
After that interview, I was very confused about the whole thing. When I left the mandir I felt queasy and slightly feverish, and instead of going out of the ashram with my friends to have tea and talk about the interview, I went straight back to my room. I felt as if I had a fever or the flu; weak, shaking, nauseous and light headed, I fell asleep for a while and was awakened by my two room mates a couple of hours later, who came to see if I was okay and wanted to know about my interview with Baba.
One was an English boy named Kestrel Boyle and the other an Australian called Edward --- I can't remember his surname because he was. born of Bangladesh! parents In Australia and 4 was a rather difficult name.
I didn't really know what to tell them, or even if I should tell them, so instead asked them if Baba had ever done strange things to them in their private interviews. Edward replied immediately, and in such matter of fact tones that it surprised me into silence. He said "What, you mean playing with your dick? Oh don't worry about that, hes done that to me loads of times. It doesn't mean anything bad - I actually like it, and think it's good for me.' Kestrel basically said the same kind of thing, so I didn't dare say any more, but I wondered what else Baba had done with them.
I'm going to leave it there at the moment David. I have a few more things to add about people I met out there, but I'll send that on another e-mail.
I hope this helps you in some way. I'll continue writing and send more in a couple of days. meanwhile don't hesitate to call or write if you have any questions, or if I can help you with anything.
Best and warm wishes, Keith
Note : January 1990 - 'Islington Gazette' carried the coroner's report on Michael's death, but didn't find anything suspicious - listing it simply as a suicide.