INTRODUCTION: Due to the fact that Erlendur Haraldsson's book on Sathya Sai Baba, 'Modern Miracles' (previously published as 'Miracles are my Visiting Cards) was being used widely as an endorsement of Sathya Sai Baba as a genuine 'man of miracles' due to its favourable stance on materializations and diverse argumentation holding that no proof of his faking could be discovered, it was important for me to know where he stood on eventual publication of reports about sexual activities with young boys he had confinded in me. I came into a considerable dilemma, since the defenders of Sai Baba were very active doing their utmost to destroy my reputation as a truthful person and not least occasionally using Haraldsson as a figurative 'stick to beat me'! I considered most strongly that the public has a right to know the truth about Sathya Sai Baba's sexual molestations, which Haraldsson openly admitted - but only to me - must be true. Since the moral dilemma was disturbing me, I eventually decided that I must tell a few of my most trusted professional friends of the situation, including the academic Alexandra Nagel, who had researched Sathya Sai Baba in considerable detail, in order to get advice and their views on the matter. Hence the following exchanges by e-mail, which were conducted in strict privacy and only now are being released to help researchers understand the full background for my exposure of Haraldsson's failure to report anything negative about Sai Baba' person and behaviour. I did not take the step of going public with his e-mails on the matter 2011, after further efforts to get him to understand the damage his book and subsequent supportive efforts to Sai Baba were causing. Until this date (2012) he has not shown the slightest interest in the human damage caused by Sathya Sai Baba, especially his sexual and fraudulent activities and had refused to write what else he knows and thinks about Sathya Sai Baba (i.e. a coarse and rude villager whose words cannot be trust at all). In May 2002 he paid us one of several visits at our home. He made clear that he had heard from people he had interviewed in India that Sai Baba was a homosexual and, from an elderly close servitor called Major Talwas in the 60s and 70s who had been detailed by Sai Baba to assist him at the ashram, that Sai Baba used boys for sexual purposes!
One good elderly friend in Denmark (now deceased) who was disillusioned with Sathya Sai Baba after having centered his life fully on service to the Sai Baba organization always wanted to know any important facts from me, so I mailed him to put his mind at rest about the sexual allegations... that even EH believed Sai Baba to be an active homosexual and with young boys and men. Here is a scan of that mail:-
BELOW THE FOLLOWING MAIL EXCHANGES IS ANOTHER E-MAIL I SENT BACK IN 2008 URGING HARALDSSON TO SPEAK OUT
Robert Priddy <email@example.com> wrote:
Erlendur just left after staying over from yesterday (here as here for the evening on another day previously). All in all, it was very interesting and we had a lot of very open and good discussion - but also a long period with severe disagreement from my side too!!
Both of you put questions for me to forward to E.H. He has not given any specific answers... his attitude was rather too whimsical for me. He did send his best wishes to both of you. However, he regards Dale Beyerstein as a very ignorant and untrustworthy person (and has definite grounds not to trust him. Beyerstein lied in an article sent to the Psychic Journal of UK about having two collaborators from Canada, well-known magicians. However, EH contacted them both and neither had ever heard of the article. Also he finds Beyerstein to lack sufficient open-mindendness in his so-called inquiries into the SB phenomenon. He just set out with a prejudice to disprove everything extraordinary about Baba. (Apropos, EH takes no alcohol or any beverage but for hot water with about 1/5 milk! This has been his habit since 14 years old!)
I read him your e-mail, Alexandra, not least as part of my campaign to try to get him to go public with a least some of his critical views on Sai Baba, of which he is quite full, actually! I became really frustrated talking to him yesterday evening because he is quite impervious to any kind of call for assistance and has a rather supercilious attitude towards the pedophile question. He is in no doubt whatever that SB is and always has been a pedophile. He has heard it from plenty of people, including Major Talwas, who was close to Baba in the 70s, but he will not allow me to quote him even remotely! I must admit that I got rather heated in the course of all this, for he is actually more gullible than I thought... sees too much positive in Baba and his effect on people, I think. This is because he does not really know much about developments in the last 15 years. He thinks pedophiles are a problem because they can never be cured or changed, but he regards it more or less as a private matter, and suspects it is the normal way throughout India anyhow. So 'what can one do', is his angle. If you imprison them, they only continue when they get out. I tried to make him see some sense about SB's special position, but he just would not... water off a duck's back.
He regards Baba as an enormous boaster and liar, a coarse village person, but one who has a transcendental perhaps 'divine' dimension, between which two extremes he somehow alternates. He doubts most of Baba's claims of every kind (except the social work he has stimulated and his 'good' effect on people who need him) and he is wholly cynical about the claims of omniscience or omnipotence. He tells how people who were there told that SB was a frequent truant from school and a regular 'drop-out' too. Nor does he think the teachings have anything at all of interest or originality - being mostly flat platitudes. However, none of this is he willing to write about. I cannot quote him, nor should you quote me on him. However, I hope to get around it somehow by referring to him and esp. his views anonomously - but with subtle hints. I'll see how it can be made to work somehow... if possible.
The bottom line is that he is also fascinated by Baba phenomena and hopes to be able to continue to make excursions to PN, where he was last time treated as a VIP and given a seat on the stage with Baba at the Poornachandra. However, unlike everyone else, he did not touch the feet or bow or anything (for which the other VIPs reprimanded him strongly!!). He will surely not do that. I tried to make him see how, though they had maligned his book as casting doubts of the Great One etc. for years, they are now using him as an apologist... esp. to refute the critics who deny all Baba's powers. This has the added effect of putting SB in a much better light ' a foreign scientist' who says nothing critical. Reidun though I went 'over the top' by my pinpricks, then arrows at his attitude. She did her best to support me - partly through disagreeing with me on his side!! - which may have had a beneficial effect. She put forth a few very strong points, but in such a friendly way that he hardly noticed it!
Well, despite all this, one I dropped the matter at last (after an intense evening) we have a most enjoyable time, discussing all manner of aspects of the question, mutual acquaintances and so on... he was not put out by me, it seems, for he is pretty thick-skinned (and a touch bone-headed too - after all, he is only an experimental psychologist, which see as a limiting intellectual factor. He has had no transcendental experiences or very wide learning himself either).
So now it may well be a case of "over to you, Alexandra"... because he said he was going to be travelling through Holland soonish and wondered if he might get the opportunity to meet you. I think you could do a better job of softening him than I surely did with my eventual shock tactics! I can recommend it, for I did pick up valuable things and got some new ideas about various details that I would not have considered myself. Also, he knew so many key people around SB and has a lot to tell.
Things ended up very cordially and not just pretending (as often in the SSO, where so much must remain unspoken). I feel sure he and I will meet again without problems if circumstances allow. He MAY just begin to get second thoughts after the grilling he got yesterday. We are also staying in touch via e-mail.
This is about it, as regards this.
Till the next time, Robert
P-S. I wish to ask you a favour, which may help me with a decision:
When Erlendur comes back to visit tomorrow, please:
1. Thank him from me for his wonderful book and articles (see copy of November acknowledgement below)
2. Tell me (or ask him) what is his overall opinion of the revelations YOU are currently making.
3. Ask him his opinion of my current approach to writing about SB. (IF he has seen it.)
4. Pour him another glass of wine!
5. Give him my best wishes for his continued good health and his current projects.
(I also hope he may be able to confide in you about his personal view of SB.)
Dear Robert, I have read the first and last line of this mail: my question for Erlendur:
how often / how many cases did he hear about Baba's homosexual activities when he was interviewing people?
has he been in India recently? if so, did he get to hear anything about the Shiva-Shakti matter my third paper deals with?
can he make a statement or something about that he knows about Sai Baba's sexual activities in the past, that people have told him about such matters? And/or does he have transcripts of the interviews he has had in the past with Sai-devotees containing such info? I would be very interested to get such material. What is available now is always Tal Brooke, and he's so biased.
REPLY from Robert Priddy <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> Dear Alexandra,
Erlendur Haraldsson is in no doubt that SB is a homosexual and pedophile, but he will not give me any statement about what he was told as he 'doesn't wish to be a policeman' and he is only interested in the paranormal phenomena...
REPLY FROM ALEXANDRA
It is a pity indeed that EH isn't willing to say something about Baba's sexuality. Love,
e-mail from me on EH's visit sent to undisclosed friend:-
It was very frustrating for me with EH, but I was prepared for a refusal well before. I have had e-mail contact. Well, EH is in his 70s now and perhaps he faces the possibility that a large part of his work for which he has become known may be attacked by those who support it (mainly Sai people). This could mean that he would lose face in that very limited circle where such a man doing cutting-edge parapsychology can breathe and is protected. I don't know really, but I surmise that is one consideration. But mainly, he wants to keep parapsychology well apart from the 'other' questions. I DO see the point in this, actually... though I do not evaluate the effect of his making a general statement about SB as being ruinous. Our universities are chock-a-bloc with those who want to avoid getting into controversy. I think he is has stood up for a lot of very unpopular things and has had his basinful of controversy... he wants the quiet life now. I am not defending his stand, though... I think he OUGHT to come out on this. But still, as Reidun says, I have to respect the man's right to do what he sees best. I can tell you that I grew more and more forceful and she was very uncomfortable all evening. Perhaps I did not handle it the right way. (Of course, I thought too that he might get to reflect over it and feel bad conscience, then change his mind later?) But we also talked amiably about this difference of view when I had accepted that I could not budge him. Oddly, I dont have any bad feelings after it... just still really wish he had given us his support!
From: "rero" <email@example.com>
Date: June 28, 2008 2:20:34 PM GMT+02:00
To: Erlendur Haraldsson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
You may have seen the page by Gerald 'Joe' Moreno (www.saisathyasai.com/baba/Ex-Baba.com/A-Priddy/z-erlendur-haraldsson-modern-miracles.html). You will note that I have stated that you were repeatedly told of Sai Baba's sexual interest in boys and young men.
As perhaps you do not accept, the main circumstance is that Sai Baba is an unconvicted sexual criminal. Having investigated most thoroughly, I have not the slightest doubt of that, nor did the BBC investigative team who travelled the world and interviewed many 'survivors'. He is also now definitively caught out in much fraudulence (sleight-of-hand), on which subject you have remained noticeably silent, apart from the fact that he tells many untruths, on which you fail to comment anywhere. Since you are repeatedly presented - whether unfairly or not - as an apologist for Sathya Sai Baba or selectively to support his miraculous claims (but never mentioning you reservations or your exposures of the Cowan incident), I felt it necessary to inform people that your true view as expressed to me have never been made public.
There are students, their families and others whose lives are deeply affected by their the traumatic experiences that have taken place, as is abundantly clear from compelling and deeply disturbing testimony - much of it shared privately with trusted former devotees including very qualified professionals in the area of sexual abuse. His abuse of faith is so tremendous that it must be exposed, and I have done my part in this as a public duty - also to support the many who contact me in despair- and unwelcome though this role has been, thrust upon me by my discoveries, conscience and my earlier writings and former role in the Organization. I feel the strongest moral obligation - to speak out and report all I have heard, whatever and whoever has told me, seeing that SSB abuses people's faith to a very large degree... not least that I know how he was an accomplice to the police murders of four of his young men followers. So this is to let you know that I do not intend to retract what I have written, as referred to by Gerald Moreno. You could soon clear up the matter by some public statement, if you were willing. The book you were writing - but discontinued -could still be a way of redeeming your position as it is being distorted by devotees, though I know it would be a strain on you to complete because of the extent and nature of the evidence now available. There will surely be no restraint in claiming you as a outright defender of Sathya Sai Baba and his miracles when you will no longer be here to take issue... the vested interests are huge.
Up to 100 persons who have been involved with Sai Baba in one way or another and have testified on the matter against him are constantly being attacked on the Internet by a massive campaign of character assassination, also by undercover supporters of the powerful Sathya Sai Organization, which has remained totally unaccountable and has in its very few damage-limitation comments spread numerous untruths about critics (we are paid to lie etc.). Not surprisingly, I am one of the main targets - but I have suffered less than several others. One career of a critic has been ruined by these concentrated calumnies and outright stalking. So I hope you can understand our position. After all, I have told no lies at all, and as you know, neither about your statements (I have checked my mail archive to be sure)
I hope your health is good still - mine is no worse that it was. I wonder if your are still travelling to India/Sri Lanka and elsewhere. We are off to UK in August.