From : SWEDEN
Source : A Regional Meeting.
Subject : LETTER TO MEMBERS ABOUT WINDING UP THE SAI ORGANISATION IN SWEDEN
As you know, some of our young boys have testified that Sai Baba has molested them sexually. It is a matter of serious sexual abuse; among other things oral sex.
Furthermore it has turned out, that the materialisation of vibhuti, rings etc is a bluff. It is only usual magic, built of sleight of hand.
Large scale economical frauds and misuse of donated means exisits in Prashanthi Nilayam. There are bad conditions in the hospital and the water project is uncompleted and full of problems.
Statements are supported by serious investigations and personal testimonies, about which can be read on internet.
Scotland Yard and other police organisations are making investigations of other crimes. The information about what is going on is of that kind.
We cannot hide behind the statement ‘we did not know’. All in the Swedish organisation know.
These are hard words, that hurt us all who have Baba in our hearts. But since in the organisation there have been attempts to cover up, tone down and lessen what has happened and still happens, we consider it necessary to be very clear and unambiguous in the formulation.
Naturally everyone is free to keep having Baba as his/her spiritual guide and personal image of God, in spite of what has come out. But is it possible for the Sai organisation in Sweden to remain?
Our answer is : For decency’s sake, no.
What can we say to the person who comes to the organisation to get information about Baba? What kind of message will the organisation give on its homesite on internet? Can one continue to sell books, which we know describe false facts? What can one tell the person, who has perhaps put his savings on a journey to Baba, and then comes home telling that Baba has molested his son, and they have seen things that make them doubt the authenticity of the materialisations, and they have heard rumours of economical irregularities? Do we answer with "Well, we already knew. It has been known for years" ???
He, who through ‘advertising’ Baba, entices others into going there or donating money, might have made himself guilty of the crime of encouraging criminality. So what will the leaders of the organisation say on the day, when the press or police ring the door bell and want to know? Do they say "Of course we knew, but since we have not personally had anything but good experiences of Baba, we did not feel that we needed to bother" ??? No dear friends, let us instead, through a forceful dissasociation, send the message through the Sai heirarchy to Sai Baba himself.
- This is what we have learnt and we cannot accept it! Stop the sexual violations immediately, give up the bluff materialisations and get competent and honest persons to run the activities. If the unsatisfactory state of things stops through voluntary action, it may be possible to save the good parts. Otherwise the activity will sooner or later be broken down more violently through other measures from international police, press, international service organisations etc. Then all the good which exists will disappear along with the evil. And in such a scandal, India as a nation could be damaged. Through winding up the Sai organisation in Sweden and spreading information about that through a statement to all central coordinators and to other appropriate key persons, we take our responsibility for the persons who have been abused and cheated, and for those who run the risk to be abused and cheated. This action will likely result in other people in other countries start acting, and taking their responsibility. We the undersigned, and many more of us, hereby demand that the president of the Sathya Sai Organisation in Sweden calls an extra annual meeting at once, where the decision to discontinue the association can be made in a correct way. If the meeting comes to the decision that the association should not be discontinued, a restructuring and complementary elections to the coordinating committee has to be made, since some of the members will leave the organisation and whole centres will discontinue. Likewise a new treasurer and a new auditor has to be elected. This is a tragic process for everybody. But the work on our spiritual growth does not stop with Baba, and some of us have already discussed the forms for continued meetings for ex-devotees, where meditation and study circles, retreats and summer celebrations can be held.
So with, or without Baba, together or in different groups : Life goes on.
This letter from a central figure in the Swedish Sathya Sai Organization was supported by numerous Swedish members, and contributed to the defection of man. Among the leaders who resigned were:-
Conny Larsson - 1978-99 National Spiritual Coordinator from 1993-96, member since 1992. Victim of Sai Babas sexual molestation 1979-1983
Britt-Marie Andén - Centre President Gothenburg ca. 1989, National Coordinator 1991-1993. Then Head of Sai School in Gothenburg until closure and resignation 2000 due to sexual molestation of a son by SSB.
Magnus Vrethammar - Over 20 years, many as office bearer in SSO. Founder member. Leader of the Stockholm Centre and National Coordinator of EHV in Sweden. Resigned 1999 when learning of SSB's sexual abuses from a Swedish victim & visiting David Bailey.
Annestina Vrethammar Author of three books on Sai Baba, two published in Sweden. Resigned after learning of SSB's sexual abuses from a Swedish victim.
Mattias Öhlin - National Coordinator for the Sai Baba youth wing in Sweden for many years. Resigned 2000 on hearing of SSB's sexual molestations from a Swedish victim.
Sofia Öhlin - Coordinator for the youth spiritual wing. Resigned on hearing of SSB's sexual molestations from a Swedish victim.
However, the then current leader of the Sathya Sai Organization in Sweden, Dr. Jörgen Möllgård and a leader of EHV activities, Ulf Sviberg, continued despite the overwhelming evidence. The Swedish Organization has never recovered from the exposure of Sathya Sai Baba.
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