by Andries Krugers Dagneaux (former webmaster of exbaba.com)
Like so many others I became a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba (SSB) after reading Samuel Sandweiss' book 'The Holy Man... and the Psychiatrist'. In the two years preceding my disillusionment with SSB, I was an ardent devotee, daily fostering my devotion and was the seva (charity) coordinator of my local group. See also http://www.snowcrest.net/sunrise/queshope.htm for an elaborate description of my bhakti yoga (fostering of devotion).
I had been a devotee for about nine years and had been active in the Dutch youth group. And there are at least 3 young Dutch men that I knew to whom SSB behaved in a way that can be interpreted as sexually intended. I can't believe that even one of them lied about his experiences.
In none of these cases SSB asked permission or gave an explanation for his behavior. None of the persons mentioned hereunder can be contacted via me, but I give my word of honor that this is the truth as conveyed they me.
One of those three cases was Edwin R. whose story is already on the internet. See http://www.exbaba.com/witnesses/edwin.html
Another friend told me that he noticed that SSB changed into a woman i.e. SSB's penis suddenly disappeared when my friend touched SSB in the groin. Of course his strange 'sex-change' testimony made me wonder.
In the third case SSB rubbed the penis of a friend in a way that nobody could see it. He also received an oiling just above his penis and SSB told him not to tell the others. He had gone to the ashram with very serious personal and spiritual problems and expected to get some help. In stead they only grew worse after staying in the ashram and his interview with SSB. SSB gave him a ring that he didn't want and said '3 very good diamonds' about a ring that SSB had given to him. When my friend eventually had the ring tested by a Dutch jeweller they turned out not to be diamonds.
Some time before I had heard these stories and before the 'calumny' on the internet I had already glanced over A. Nagel's 1994 article 'Sai Paradox' (See Sai Baba Paradox - only available in Dutch) that was available in the nearest public library. When the 'calumny' about SSB started I didn't have the courage to read the information on the internet. However I re-read the article and was amazed to read another testimony about the sex change of SSB. In that article the author also wrote that Keith Ord and Tal Brooke had been inappropriately sexually approached by SSB. It was clear that the author believed K. Ord's testimony and not SSB's denial in spite of the lack of proof. Because of the sex-change story and because it was a balanced article about SSB and his movement I slowly started to find K. Ord's and T. Brooke's testimonies believable.
Some time later I heard indirectly a serious case about sexual abuse by SSB from a very reliable source including graphic details of SSB's behavior. Apart from everything that has already been written on the internet. Unfortunately I can't disclose the source.
But even after hearing this shocking story which confirmed the 'calumny' I stayed a devotee for some months until May 2001. The main reason was that in the night following the confirmation I had a dream in which SSB gave me the perfect spiritual advice regarding my sadhana (spiritual exercises). And also, of course, because I had emotionally invested (both personal and social) so much in my faith in SSB so I struggled hard not to lose my faith in SSB. Besides I had no rational explanation for some of the miracle stories that I had heard from people I trusted. They remain a mystery for me.
The final blow was when I realized that SSB must have lied in the Christmas 2000 speech in which SSB said that people who attacked him had done so because they had been bribed. I could not imagine that sincere young men who paid a lot of money to see SSB and were just like me on a quest for Truth and God could be tempted to lie for money.
When I was a devotee I had fostered my trust in and devotion for SSB intensely, at the expense of other emotional attachments. This was a direct result of the SSB’s claims about himself and his teachings about sadhana (spiritual exercises). Naturally it was an extremely painful experience for me to lose faith in SSB in May 2001 and to disengage myself from the organization. I needed more than a year to recover from it.
Andries Krugers Dagneaux,
The Netherlands, August 2002
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