by Gabriel M.
(Surname now withheld due to harassment problems)




I was one of the participants in 1999. One of the spiritual seekers who went to India to visit Sai Baba and his ashram. In this connection, the reading of “Behind the clown’s mask”, by Conny Larsson, was a bit like a regression in time - like a journey with a time machine.

I was the one who was described as the pimply guy with Arabian origin. A funny pseudonym description, as I don’t have pimples and also have a Finnish origin (translator note: “finne” in Swedish means both pimple and a Finnish man)

Guided but misled, step by step

After having read Conny’s book, I am reminded of all those things which must have happened in the vicinity of Sai Baba, and of which millions of devotees from all parts of the world have no knowledge at all. It is true that it was the first time I visited Sai Baba, but is was quite enough to me today for understanding how easy it is to be mislead by so-called spiritual authorities, and in that process to stop questioning the facts in exchange for the belief in illusions. That’s how you choose step by step to stop listening to your own intuition and common sense.

This period of time after I had finished high school was one of spiritual seeking. I recognize quite a lot in Conny’s descriptions in his book, according to his meetings with Sai Baba. For example Conny describes his thoughts in the beginning, when he first met Sai Baba: “Oh dear, he is feminine”. I also thought things like that when I saw Sai Baba for the first time, but more like “oh dear he looks like a junkie”. I got those thoughts in the beginning, as I thought that he moved around a little jerkily, like some junkies may do, when he was floating around on the red velvet carpet with his voluminous hair.

But I banished those thoughts all the time, as I felt it was wrong to think like that, something you ought not to think about an avatar ( God incarnated in human form.)

Another thing that confused me was when Sai Baba, at our first meeting, said to me that I have silly thoughts sometimes. As I didn’t understand what he meant with that, I felt offended by his statement, which continued not to make any sense to me. It also felt strange that he declared those things to the whole Swedish group. The fact that this man declared those things to the only persons you had in your vicinity for the moment, had an isolating effect. People also expected Sai Baba to be the one who knew, who had the most profound knowledge, even about ourselves. Of course, he had, as he was an avatar, a god in human form. So we believed anyhow. How can so many people be wrong at the same time? I banished this incident with the excuse that Sai Baba must be able to understand my thoughts in a better way than I myself was able to, if he was an avatar, an omniscient god.

Paradoxically, this made me still more gullible, as I banished my own thoughts and my intuition. The individual intuition had to give place to the collective view, and the paying of respect to the person Sai Baba. For how is it possible, for so many, to be wrong, at the same time.

I remember how I sometimes used to leave the ashram and have tea with the Indian and Tibetan salesmen; with them I felt at home. Those salesmen were ordinary business men with humour, quite ordinary people, and with them I could be myself, joke and think for myself.

During my stay in the ashram, I didn’t get a lot of energy, on the contrary, I felt more uncritical, dazed and muddled; it was rather difficult to have a clear vision.

Those things I considered even then, but I banished those thoughts with further excuses.

The fact that I felt out of sorts, I excused with the thought that it could not be due to Sai Baba.

Because of that, I paid no attention to my own feeling concerning the situation, as I thought that it was some sort of process I went through. Sai Baba was supposed to influence our energy and I thought that my scarcity of energy was perhaps due to ”energy processes”. It was said that Sai Baba influenced our slumbering kundalini energy.

Kundalini is a power, which according to tantric yoga tradition, is supposed to lie latent as a sleeping worm in the spine. During certain circumstances, it is supposed to be active and rise from a place near the genitals, upwards along the spinal column to the head. If a person's energy centres are in a bad condition and filled with impurity, the kundalini raising is supposed to be very hurtful and trying. Kundalini is supposed to be the same sort of energy as the sexual creative energy, only in a more sublime form. Many yogis think that you ought not try to influence this energy, but I supposed that this happened in a natural way in the contact with an avatar.

Shared 'private' interview with Sai Baba behind the curtain of shame

In his book, Conny tells us what happened, during what I believed was his last private visit behind ”the curtain of shame”.

For me it was the first time Baba called me privately, and fortunately also the last one. When I read the book, I realized that Conny and I had interpreted the situation in a little different way, due to Sai Baba’s attempt to lead Conny astray.

In his book Conny describes, how he and I were called to come behind “the curtain of shame” by Baba.

The moment before, I had got a ring of pretended gold, produced by magic. (which I got later than is described in the book; that is I got it just a moment before Conny and I was called behind “the curtain of shame.)

I felt like a chosen one and well favoured and thankful, for having had something “materialized” for me, and now I had high expectations.

What happened inside there made me confused, and I was unprepared. When we came into the room behind the curtain, Sai Baba suddenly turned his back against me. Sai Baba was now standing between Conny and me, and obstructed the view between us. I remember now retrospectively that Conny asked something like “how about the boys”, and Baba said something like “only small-minded”. I didn’t understand what they talked about, and the whole situation was strange and incomprehensible. I moved forward to Conny and Sai Baba, as it is unnatural to stand behind someone's back. I remember in a hazy way that Sai Baba was occupied with some sort of strange movement before me and I moved instinctively around to make us stand in a circle, which I felt more natural. But Sai Baba turned his back against me again and waved to me to stay there, and suddenly he pinched my penis so I was not able to move away. Conny thought that Baba now had started to give me massage. But instead he pinched the head of my penis in a rough way. This pinch was hurtful, and kept me behind Sai Baba's back. At the same time, Sai Baba pulled his foot before Conny for him to kiss in a traditional way; a sort of blessed act.

Again I interpreted an incomprehensible act with the help of a still more confused logic. I supposed absurdly enough that what he did to me was some sort of advanced energy healing. The pinch felt like a clothes peg and I supposed that it was something about kundalini. I thought that this pinch was like a thing reminding me of the kind of peg you use when you transfer energy from one car machine to another, when you have an engine failure, to get the machine to start again. Even if the whole thing felt rather strange and surprising, I didn’t suspect then what it was about, or what would be the result.

A rather funny memory is, how surprised I was, when I watched Conny on his way out from “the curtain of shame” with a crafty smile, steeling or taking some vibuthi packets, with the so called “holy ash”, which Sai Baba was known to materialize, and which was supposed to have healing energies.

It was not until later, after having heard other peoples stories of a sexual character that I realized that it was not just about little pinches with the best of intentions, or with healing purpose.

It was the first and the last time I visited Sai Baba’s ashram. After this period I finished to be a spiritual seeker. My trust in authorities disappeared. After all, I am rather happy for what I have learned. After having talked to the arranger of the new age association who had introduced Sai Baba to me, I immediately stopped visiting the association. The arranger of this association didn’t give any response at all to those incidents and rumours about Sai Baba.

On the contrary he paid no attention to those new facts, and defended them as if all of us exaggerated. I was annoyed and surprised at such a spiritual awkwardness and immediately stopped my contacts with the association. A dangerous view, as in a fuzzy and irresponsible way, it paid no attention to all those innocent people who are exposed to Sai Baba’s manipulations and exploit, and the suffering they have to go through. I understand that Conny must have felt a frustration of the same kind with all those people who have not accepted the boy’s and his own account.

The book “Behind the Clowns Mask” has got an important message to spiritual seekers, who have gone astray and have lost something: How important it is to remain yourself and keep on listening to your intuition. I was happy when I heard about this new book, in which the truth about Sai Baba is revealed by a person who knows what he is talking about, and who also has got the courage to break free. It cannot have been easy. Well done!

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