Authors: Jed and Bon Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER Publication date: May 1997
E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at email@example.com
I want to go back to the home base now.
From JGeyerhahn@aol.com Thu May 22 00:10:10 1997 5/21/97 Dear [deleted for confidentaility]: I have a ring just like the one you describe. You ought to take it to a jeweler to tell you if the diamonds are real. I can assure they are not. Real diamonds are far too expensive, and I can assure you that they were bought. If Sai Baba were really materialising these rings, why wouldn't he materialise diamonds? He told me that they're diamonds. I'm not going to tell you that my experiences with Sai Baba were not terribly moving and often wonderful. His public agenda in India is equally as impressive. Sai Baba is, however, human. Most unfortunately he is using his popularity and power to fulfill his craving for young boys. I'm very curious as to what you have heard. I have described my experiences in the letters I wrote to Dave, so I won't repeat them. I started to question Sai Baba during college largely because my life as a devotee was unfulfilling, and the aspects of my life that were fulfilling, had little to do with being a devotee. I realised that being a devotee of Sai Baba made me feel like I was someone extra special, especially with all the attention from other devotees and Sai Baba himself. The problem was, I was not happy being so special, and it became clear to me that being so special allowed me to hide from the real issues in life that were making me unhappy. So I went about making the changes in my life that made me feel a whole lot better, even though it meant that I had to stop following Sai Baba's teachings and follow my own reasoning, and, to an extent, the promptings of our western culture. These things included having a girlfriend, whom I loved dearly, enjoying food, talking to people regularly, and allowing myself to joke and have fun and not be a super spiritual advanced soul that devotees and Sai Baba encouraged me to be. These simple pleasures in life made me happy, and they are precisely the pleasures, i.e. the fulfilling of desires, Sai Baba wants us to starve. I tried, but I was miserable, and I couldn't take it any longer. I could no longer believe that life was all illusion, because it meant that love wasn't real, that the good that I found in the world wasn't real. If that was the case, I didn't want to live any more. On my final trip to Sai Baba, I sort of anticipated his commenting on my changes, or somehow receiving some instruction on what I should do next. What I found was that Sai Baba was clueless. In interviews I gave him several oppurtunities to talk to me, but he just asked me questions that were way off base. I guess I was sort of testing Sai Baba to see if he really had any idea what had and was going on with me, and he hadn't a clue. It was clear to me that I just didn't need him, and that his teachings weren't working for me. He did ask me "What do you want?", and I responded "I want your love". This was misconstrued by him. He sort of moved his body closer to me all smiles and said, "Here I am, take me." If Sai Baba had known me, he would have said with a tender face, "Jed, I love you". What came out was something like, "Jed, here's my body." It was disgusting to see that his intentions were really selfish. Amongst all this, it became clear to me that he used sleight of hand. This was very upsetting, but if I had the impression that Sai Baba actually loved me, it would have been tolerable. I then also put my previous encounters of Sai Baba touching me into the context of Sai Baba not being divine, and I became disgusted and very hurt. Sai Baba has been tender and loving to me in person. This was how I, and many others, became attached to him. But the way of life he advises is cruel. When you begin to see that he is not divine, it puts so much more into question. When you then approach him as a being that is not divine and is without power over you, it is apparent that he doesn't have that power. He really sort of squirmed in front of me when I looked at him straight on in the private interview room and waited for him to tell me what was going on. He just had no idea, and we both new it. When he asked his typical sort of questions like what are you studying, what do you want to do, I didn't tell him and his guesses were way off the mark. He asked me what was wrong and I didn't respond. He then said "You have spiritual problems." This is a typically vague remark that he makes that could be taken as right on. But really, who doesn't go to Sai Baba that couldn't be said to have spiritual problems? Isn't that the point? It sounds good in retrospect, and it may even sound like Sai Baba knew what was going on then, but I needed to here something more specific so that I knew he knew what was happening to me. At the moment, spiritual matters weren't on my mind, the only thing on my mind was that I no longer trusted him. He probably should have known that I was questioning him from the tone of the conversation, but he said nothing of it. He just wrapped the whole thing up quickly and we were out of there. Another thing he always says to people is, "You have problems with your mother". Now, who does not have some problem with their mother?! Writing these letters is a big help to me because every time I think about the whole experience I remember and record more espects of the whole ordeal. I will later take these letters and really organise the whole thing for Lane's websight, and one day my own web page. I would love any comments of yours or further questions. This sort of correspondece is fun and fulfilling for me, so don't feel your bugging me or anything. Just so you know, I am now 24. I was a devotee from ages 14-20. I have a degree from Fordham University in philosophy. Sincerely, Jed R. Geyerhahn ------------------------------- From firstname.lastname@example.org Thu May 22 12:26:14 1997 May 22, 1997 Hello, Yesterday David Lane sent me Jed's letter which he has published online, and so I presume Dr. Lane wants me to not only read it, but also address the issues therein so he can post it online too. Frankly, a full reply takes some time. If this is too long, please bear with me. I have not met Jed, but do know several young adults who were with him in In'ja, and know most of those he mentioned by name in his letter, (found online at David's URL). I also know a few folks who were present in some of the interviews Jed was in, and so I do have a few thoughts of my own about his letter. In the following paragraphs, I quote excerpts from Jed, anticipating however that the reader has first read his online letter in full. (Here his quotes are always indented as below:) I was a very close friend of Hal Honig, an aquaintence to Sam Sandweiss and others. These names may not be familiar to you, but they are prominant names in Sai circles. My aunt is Elizabeth Elwell, a well known Bhajan teacher, who lived in the Puttaparti Ash Ram for 9 years, and is still active in the organisation in New Hampshire. Although I haven't met Jed his situation was related to me shortly after it occured, sometimes day by day. (The devotee's and ex-student's grapevine kept me apprised of his ongoing questions, and of his conclusion.) It was thus no surprise to read his account, but it was surprising to me to see how few facts he presented. However, first let me say that all those devotees and students and graduates whom I know in common with him, all, send him all best wishes, since all agree Jed is certainly sincere. That said, ever noticed how a pickpocket sees pockets, where an honest man sees only clothing? One's preferences determine to a large degree what one `sees.' Jed showed in his letter what he sees. He however also implies this and that while presenting his experience MIXED with hearsay and assumption. He sometimes presents facts, but often mentions fictions as if only facts, and ever uses allusion as if what he claims were proven already beyond question and is accepted by all. Nevertheless in his comment about sleight of hand, Jed is partially correct: those who are eager to see something, (anything), can indeed talk themselves into finding evidence of it. Thus those who want to see miracles can convince themselves they see that, while those who want to see chicanary, can convince themselves they see that. This is why it is crucial that one become utterly aware of one's preferences and repulsions, become honest with oneself- otherwise perception is bent by expectation, and then marred by disappointment. Jed's letter is evidence of that, but not evidence of much more than that. A good start toward appreciating facts, in my view, is to learn to see clearly without distraction or interpretation or apriori assumption. Nothing should be allowed to get in the way of one's attention- no cameras, no tape recorders, no distractions, just good solid Zen sitting and flat-out attention. Only those who are that straight with themselves can examine an event without presupposition and then describe it accurately. Frankly that is the whole purpose of spiritual disciplines in all religions: to clear the intellect and intuition of assumption so a spontaneous experience can be apperceived directly. Those who succeed, find the truth. Buddhism calls it enlightenment, Christianity calls it grace, Hinduism calls it samadhi. Any who experience it, know it no matter what it is called. Those who do not experience it, have nothing but conjecture and would not recognize it if it were their own breath. Not that it matters, but for a breath of fresh air I would like to establish a link with Jed, so I will say that like him I too have been in interview with Swami, know Hal, and know some of the lads Jed was friends with, including Sathya and Pravin and Sunil. I also studied with his aunt back in '84, and have been chums with Sam Sandweiss since '76. Finally I note with due appreciation his apparent humour as Jed refers to the ashram as "the Ash Ram", as if a pun on vibhuthi, the ash which Sai gifts many devotees, with the Abrahamic sacrificial burnt Ram of Genesis- or was it the Avatar Raama whom you meant Jed? (If I have read more into Jed's spelling than he meant, well-- lucky me to get more than is gifted!) I have rings, a pictures of me with baba, and could get more witness accounts of sleight of hand. I am sure Jed could get more accounts and am glad that Jed has rings, pictures- all those experiences- and hope he recorded them then and there exactly as the events occured. Why? Why because among devotees, Swami is well-known to act in a unique way with each person, and may seem another entirely different person with others. Putting that on paper as it happens, helps one appreciate why critics may see it as Sai's hypocrisy, while his admirers tend to regard it as the multifaceted nature of his personality. For myself, I believe that every person who interacts with Sathya Sai Baba, experiences him (and what he says and does) differently than others do. I have seen folks who just left his presence report entirely different acts and words. I think that is why Swami is called a world teacher-- not that he is everyone's recognized satguru, but that he uses whatever guise serves the teaching function. Very often, one sees in Sai Baba what one does not see in oneself, until such time as one sees him in everyone. Jed and David seem to think a teacher must however act, or appear, only in ways they expect and approve of. If that is the case or not, Swami certainly does not fit that mould, since he rarely acts, or appears, as anyone expects. But then that is perhaps exactly how he can so ably remove doubts: unexpectedly. That is why I feel this process Jed is now bringing to light on the Web is not unique, nor are his complaints, nor are his insights, nor is his disappointment or anger or excitement. The only unique thing about Jed, is that this is Jed's story. What he describes as sleight of hand, others describe as a miracle. What he describes as fraud, others see as reality. The event is the same for all, but the perceptions differ: the reaction to the perception is the difference I will address. Everyone who interacts with Sri Sathya Sai Baba on a personal level experiences that, but not all realize it. To become attached to any experience as a fraud or as divine, as genuine or as illusory, is equally unfortunate, in my view. All who choose to experience Sai directly however, do get to go through the process: it is called the getting of wisdom. What Jed seems to have overlooked is how that is done. Sometimes Sai removes doubts directly, as expected, and other times leads the doubter to see for oneself what obtains. That is always unexpected. Per Jed's letter, he seems to have seen Swami only produce small objects, and even fumble when doing just that. Perhaps had Jed been keener to examine the reasons for his conclusions as well as the state of his observations, rather than to accept them as fact without further regard, he might have asked Sai to `create' startlingly huge objects in his open palm, not with a wave or a movement of any kind. Folks have done so, and contrary Jed's implications, Sai does produce much more than a ring or a watch or a small object, and there is no sleight of hand, in that objects requested of him do sometimes appear a few inches over his open palm, and one can see it forming just before it falls into his grasp. That Jed did not experience that, is perhaps because he did not want to. However, Jed is correct in saying that Sai does palm objects. I hope no one is suprised at that, since among mature students `sleight-of-fumbled-hand' is well-known as Sai's sense of humour. He likes to palm objects and also likes to say he will change an item that then does not change. Where Jed is wrong (sorry- "where Jed mis-assumes") is in deducing that is all Sai does. As to why Sai creates as well as does sleight of hand, or why he lets himself be seen fumbling, is in my view due Sai Baba's method of teaching. Swami utilizes both miracles and appearances not so much to impress, (an effect which he clearly enjoys) but more so as to bring hidden assumptions up into the light. It is after all only when one sees one's assumptions clearly, that one can examine them. That is the how the process of removing doubt begins. (Before a fact can be recognized, misperception, ie doubt, must be clarified, right?) With due respect for Jed's age and for David Lane's doubts, folks who think Sai is only a con man or miracle maker, have mistaken his mission. He uses one's doubts as easily as he uses one's faith to awaken one to reality. That Jed or David or anyone think they know better than Sai how to do that, is perhaps why they are not awakened yet. (I was not condescending, unless either of them claim to be enlightened. Otherwise then I am correct to say they are not awakened yet, am I not?) Had Jed enquired of Sai directly about such matters, I suggest he might have learned what those who have enquired do soon learn: that Sai often acts for over-emotional devotees or stuffy carpers, as if he is just a parlor magician who has bungled a sleight of hand trick. It is one of Sai's favorite ploys, and is a surprise only to those who mistake him for what they have imagined a guru "must" be like. Sai does not want folks to imagine a teacher nor to imagine spiritual life, and he seems to enjoy sometimes looking the fool to such as do. It really does not matter in the least that such folks mock Sai, since it is not devotion to Sai that matters, but is devotion to truth. Sai is very very good at getting folks to recognize truth. Will Jed find the truth having renounced Sai as a fraud or a leering faggot? Time will tell. Since there is no hurry in that journey, what is the matter? If any can say, please do. That Jed has apparently interpreted the role he imagined Sai must play, (as if `guru' or `avatar' or `God' or `faggot' were Sai's only roles), as if every action by Sai is "just sleight-of-hand", or " lust", suggests (to me) that Jed has let his imagination get the best of his intellect, for now. Due his descriptive letter, it is my impression that Jed spent `four years as a devotee' simply imagining things, and continues even now to imagine things. Studying with or leaving Sai seems not to have altered much in his nature, for now, but in time... well, all will see, since Jed has gone public. He says: What is really striking to me is that little has been written using Erlandur Haraldsson's book. He has done a ton of research, mostly intended to show that that there is compelling evidence that Sai has some powers. However, were his thesis that Sai does not have many of the powers which he claims, which Haroldsen has much evidence to support, he could show that Sai Baba is, to a great extent, a hoax. That is an interesting idea, Jed, and I hope you carry through on it. ( I mention the book at http://people.delphi.com/bongiovanni/mamvc.htm.) As for showing that Sai Baba is `to a great extent, a hoax' I urge you to be explicit. You assert Sai Baba is a hoax, but you have not said exactly what you think he should be. Who did you expect him to be? Upon what did you base that expectation? Why? Those are key questions. Please, do address them. I believe when you reply, insight will result for both you and your reader. At any rate, Jed then adds: Haroldsen's work shows that Sai Baba is not God, is not Omnicient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent. To show this puts other aspects of Sai Baba's life in question. If he's not God and nearer human, and furthermore claims his life is his message, then his followers should start collecting Mercedes Benzs and aquiring servants. There is much that is very questionable about Sai Baba's life, however devotees do not question it because they believe him to be God, as he claims the like. That is certainly a paragraph that could take pages to address! To begin, I suggest Jed utilize the book he mentions, via specifics. Show what you mean Jed, using direct quotes from the book, compared with Sai's words or your own expereince. Build your case on the solid foundation of fact. Secondly, as for what omnipresence, omniscience, etc _mean_, I request Jed now tell if his definition of those terms is based on his own experience, or a book, or on his imagination. (How do you know what omniscience is, if you have nothing but the letters on a page as a definition?) As for Baba being closer to human, stop: there is Jed's imagination in full evidence. Of course Sai Baba is human, Jed. That you assumed otherwise is your choice. Sai has ever said his body will die, you know. For four years you called yourself a devotee. How is it then you missed his teaching that "God is Man minus desires"? The idea that God is something other than human, is surely due theology or imagination, in that one never experiences such an entity, save in imagination or in books. (At least that is my view, at this time, in this place. Your mileage may vary.) Finally as to Baba's life being his message, I suggest Jed has simply misunderstood what that means. Baba's life is his message, and my life is my message, and so is yours. When Jed appreciates the way one lead's one's own life is the *only* message anyone can present with authority, perhaps he will understand. Finally, as for Jed's claim that devotees do not question Baba because they think he is God, or that Baba encourages devotees to not question him, I urge Jed to look at his assumption now. Jed talks like he knows what everyone else thinks and believes and does. That is nothing but his arrogance, and it helps no one but does lead to assumption of the worst kind. Please, stop it. (Jed is welcome to speak for himself, and to describe any specific person he knows, but to imply *all* devotees are as he says, or that Baba is as he says, is simply his own prejudice, nothing more.) He is not authorized to speak for any `devotee' other than himself and just because he was privileged with interviews and gifts does not excuse his presumption. Fortunately he shows better sense when he writes: My first witness account of sleight of hand was in Brindaven. I saw Baba come out of the personal interview room and sit down. As he was sitting there I noticed a large gold watch under his small hand, which he was unsuccesfully trying to hide. A moment later he made the familiar circular motion with his hand as if he were materialising the object, and then gave a student the watch. That Jed assumes himself to be omniscient (to know how the watch got into Sai's hand even before Jed saw it) is telling of his state of mind, and is why I suggested his ideas about what omniscience means may be based in imagination, not experience. You see, prior to the moment Jed saw Baba come out of the inner room, another person, a Spanish devotee, was present who saw Sai manifest that watch. He also saw Swami later palm it for the student. Yet Jed assumes Sai was `unsuccessfully trying to hide it.' Why assume anything? Apparently Lane and Jed both think that Sai is limited to their understanding of what a spiritual teacher or miracle man is supposed to be like. That error is paramount in their perceptions, and colours their every assumption. It is in fact mostly what they talk about, over and over. Sai's job is to reveal habits like theirs so as remove spiritual doubts in all who ask him for guidance. Jed examples that process, but does not see how Sai with one action brought ample hidden doubts to light in two overzealous young men, leading them to question, which is part of the teacher's function, you know. That you fellows now think you know better how to perform that function, is perhaps why you are neither spiritual graduates nor teachers in your own right. -- or did you think Sai's function was to be what you want a holy man to be like? At any rate, if Sai can create whatever he wishes, what difference is there between creating it in front of you, or prior your arrival, or behind your back, or even via PRESENT sleight of hand after having made it earlier? I suggest that to him, there is no difference. To Jed, clearly there is a difference. To Lane there is not only a difference, BUT fraud is the only possibility. It is good then that Jed at least questioned the matter, but not good that he did not examine it beyond his assumptions. In my view, assumption seems to be the major block in Jed and David's vision. I urge them to examine, not assume. On another occasion I saw Sai Baba reach between the cushions of his chair for something, and then moments later he made the circular motion and showed everyone a small container filled with vibhuti, the gray ash. I then noticed that behind the cushion in his chair there was something shiny, and he paid careful attention to correct the position of the cushion to hide the object. Another time I saw him take a worn bracelet from a man, then with his hand cupped blew on it three times at the same time moving his hand up and down. On the final movement, he tossed the chain into the side of his chair so it slid down between the inside of the chairs large arm and his leg. He then discreetly took took something from his other hand and made the circular motion and gave the man a new bracelet. What is really funny about that situation is that Sai Baba forgot to take the old bracelet from his chair when he left, so when he got up, there it lay in plain view for everyone in the room. A student I was with, and who was very devoted to Baba, picked it up and looked at it, confirming that it was the old bracelet. When Baba returned and noticed his mistake, he scolded this student, who was sitting right at the foot of Baba's chair and could not miss the bracelet. Then Baba sat and in a flash picked up the bracelet and very discreetly tossed it into the outside upper corner of the arm of the chair. There were no visible pockets there, but there is a very large seem, and the arms of the chair are huge enough to store lots of things. That was a long detailed description, and I am happy that Jed saw so many times how Sai fumbled, and rejoice that Jed used his noggin' to figure out what and where Sai hid trinkets from less astute guests. The amount of time given him by Sai is extraordinary, and shows (me) that Jed was given ample chances to really think about these things, and so by definition was also given ample chances to ask Swami directly what was going on. Apparently, Jed never did ask Sai, but that may be because Jed did not want to ask him. Apparently he got so many chances to see Sai be a fumbling dull-minded dolt, only due Jed being obviously in need of more than one example to get his noggin' functioning critically. See how Sai provided chance after chance for the lad to say HEY WHAT IS GOING ON HERE BABA!? Would that Jed had asked Sai the direct question he has even now yet to put forward. Instead of examining the implication directly, Jed chose to not ask, but to seek direction elsewhere, and to seek it via assumption and hearsay. I note then that given direct experience, Jed sought hearsay. No wonder then the direction he sought elsewhere, led him elsewhere than to the truth. He sought, and he found what he sought. Why be surprised at that? (As long as he benefits from that, I see no problem. If you see a problem, please detail it.) However, because Jed did not ask Sai himself to clarify, I am not suprised Jed is yet less than spiritually alert to what his experiences suggest. For example, it may be a surprise to those who are not familiar with the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, but it is clear to his post grad students that Sai Baba really does not want fans or devotees to remain in that stage. Jed spent four years with Sai, but seems never to have gotten much beyond the phase of the `interview please' devotee. (It is the sweet phase in which one depends more on the outer form, than the intuitive conscience.) Attention from Sai via interview and gifts is helpful in developing devotion early on, but not helpful if it keeps one stuck in the trinket and interview phase, a phase which is gifted with compassion by Sai to all who lack the confidence or will to enter spiritual life directly, but is one from which Sai ever weans those who show that ability, and ever corrects those who avoid it. Of course, not all like the way he does that, but since he is the one teaching, it is not really up to them. Those who do not like that, can graduate or can leave. Jed left. Is there anything unusual in that? No, but Jed seems to think so. He says: The student, in the first account, who received the watch is an American who emigrated from India. He came from a very wealthy family in India who were big contributers to the Sai cause. What I came to realise, is there is a system in India similiar to our mafia. Oh Jed, please, HOW exactly is it that `similar to the mafia'? Oy vey. Please offer specifics and think things through. (I snipped a bit more of similar absurd quotes from Jed, because I saw so little in them to rebut, until I came to this:). Of course I don't have any evidence for all this, but in my conversations with students at Sai's University, this was explained to me. Of course you have no evidence, since it is just unfounded gossip, and of course you accepted what was `explained' to you since it is what you chose to believe. However, at least your `explanation' shows there are students who are clearly not in favour of Sai. For the attentive, that evidences there is more freedom at the school than critics imply, in that Jed's report implies no official insistence that all students be kowtowing fawners of The Parthi Sai Baba. That Jed sought out the critics of Sai among the students is understood. Would that he had instead directly asked Swami about those matters, since that would have shown Jed was the devotee he himself claimed to be. (Four years is a long time to not ask your teacher direct questions, Jed, especially when he gave you so many chances.) Why did you ask students who did not like him, instead of Sai? Is it perhaps because you had already decided? [end part one of two] to be continued... -------------------------------------------------------- To Jed: May 22, 1997 As I was saying, four years is a long time to not ask your teacher direct questions, Jed, especially when he gave you so many chances. Why did you ask students who did not like him, instead of Sai? Is it perhaps because you had already decided? It is also well known that prominant figures in the Indian government make fairly frequent stops to visit with SaiBaba, including the president of India. (I was in India when the president came to visit Sai Baba. When this happens there is huge comotion and Indians crowd darshan to see the president, not Sai Baba). Er, ok. So what? It is equally well-known that when prominent figures in the Indian government come to see Sai in an election year, they usually LOSE! So what? So in effect, that is Swami's way of letting all officials who curry his favour to discover that courting him for publicity, `with huge crowds and commotion' is not going to be to their advantage. Few politicians come in `huge commotion and crowds' more than once. So, had Jed looked at more than appearances, he might have found the `huge commotion and Indian crowds' is sought by the visiting officials, not by Sai, and that few if any make the journey for publicity more than once. Those who come to Sai for spiritual counseling, do so with very little fanfare, and with no public notice, and almost no crowds other than those devotees usually present. (Ask the English Prince, or the American First Lady, or Steven Segal, if you doubt me). So, just exactly what is the point of your comment about politico's Jed? The students also know that Sai is a hoax, that he does not materialise a thing. Oh piffle, Jed, you surely mean to say `some' students not `the' students. Some students of course `know Sai is a hoax', just as some students `know' evolution is a fraud, but there are literally thousands of students who disagree with you, and for you to say "the" as if it applies to all students, is a mite presumptious of you. If you wish to check how many students disagree with you, visit the virtual site on the Web, where alumnae of Sai schools congregate. In fact I know some who have such entirely different experiences from yours, that they told me you are either lying or deluded. You see, every devotee does experience their own idea of Sai Baba. Gosh I hope you think about that. You seem to have come across a few students who disliked Swami, told you their conclusions, and you for some reason accepted all they said as a fact being held by all students. Gosh I hope you think about that. No wonder you got the bumble lesson so often. You are still bumbling. Why do you suppose `all the students' who know he is a fraud, stay? However they are getting a very inexpensive education, so they keep there mouths shut. First you said there are ample rich patrons. Some surely send their kids to Sai's schools. Now you say ALL students keep their mouths shut just so they can get a cheap education? Er, please, think that through Jed. Why would rich students keep silent? Why would *any* student keep silent? Do you imply all his students are just cowardly snit hypocrites, trading their integrity for a degree? Why would they do that? According to you Jed, Sai is a hoax. Now why would any student want a degree from a college with that kind of reputation? Well? Why then would ALL the students be silent? You see, your theory does not hold. The reason students are silent is because of three things: one, those who told you the stories are gossips, and gossips never state specifics in public because they have none to offer. Two, those who did not tell you stories have none to tell. Three, there are students who appreciate that each person must figure this out on one's own. However, it is so that all the students have to pay for their own lodging and boarding. You are right on that, and right too that most folks think it is all free from kindergarten to post-doctorate degree. It ain't free. Each student is asked to pay the staggering cost of about US$ ten a month. Even that is not charged for some of the students whose parents are poor or who are on full scholarship. All students however are given their own chair, desk and shelves for keeping their own things. All the rooms are equipped with modern lighting and fans for refreshing the room. Students are even provided with their own bedding. All this plus five meals a day costs them US$ 10.00 amonth. Is that what you were pointing out Jed? Remember that the education itself is free as is all medical care-- so, what is your point? The student I talked with most, would not tell me other things that he knew, butI am sure that it had to do with the students who spent the night with Baba. I know this because this is where he would no longer answer my questions. Jed? Jed! -- get a grip. You `know' no such thing- rather, you assume that, Jed. Would you would at last at least learn the distinction between fact and assumption, soon. The `student you talked with most' is your poisoner. He would not tell you more, yet you assumed more. "Everyone _knows_ Sai Baba has students spend the night with him." Oh piffle. Everyone smeveryone. You are just a gossip now and it seems to give you comfort. Since `everyone' does not agree with you, I suggest you rethink your conclusions, or at least be more precise. For example, name one student who `spent the night' with Sai Baba. If you present no name, perhaps you will reconsider your assumption? If instead you continue to believe your gossip, and to spread it, I can but point out how ignoble that is, Jed. Shame on you. They stay up to "serve" him at night. It's a very well kept secret as to how they serve Sai Baba, but little will come out because no student wants to be kicked out of Sai Baba's school. Thanks for revealing so clearly that you are a foolish gossip. No? then if it is a well-kept secret, how is it you learned of it? Why would anyone WANT TO STAY in such a school? One would think EVERYONE would be eager to `be kicked out of Sai Baba's school'! You see, Jed, your own description is so illogical it shows you are but letting your imagination get the worst of you. The bit about not wanting to get kicked out, makes it sound as if every student there lives in fear and poverty, each about to be forced one dark night to be a sexual toy and none daring cry out lest they `be kicked out'. I do not belive you, Jed. Since I know several hundred graduates, all of whom are fearless and virtuous, all of whom speak of the staff as noble and kind, and some of whom are wealthy, I suggest your chat with your favorite student was like eating a bad apple among the student body. It has soured you. As stated, they are receiving a very good educations there, very inexpensively. I say very inexpensively because many believe it to be free, but this is not the case. Stundents pay for room and board, which to many is rather expensive. The education part is free, but there are bills. Thanks for saying that. On one hand you say the education is very good, and on the other say the students are sexual victims every night. Are you so immoral or so demented as to see that there is NOTHING good about any education like that? Your own words show how few facts you have at hand. But besides that, what `bills' do you mean Jed? Specify them, please. Until he replies, I address the following comments by Jed, which are more noteworthy than his previous theories and his gossipy nonsense, because at least these are brave, honest, and to the point: This brings me to my very questionable experiences with Sai Baba. On mysecond trip to Sai Baba I had four interviews. Each time I saw Baba, hishand would gradually make more prominant connections to my groin. The firstinterview was a slight swipe, the second a definite touch and the third timehe grabbed me and with a very stern face looked me directly in the eye andsaid "you are very weak!" Needless to say, he scared and embarassed me. Iwas guilt ridden to have sexual passion, though I was a healthy 16 year oldboy, a testosterone machine. I was not going to talk to anyone about theexperience. You weren't going to talk to anyone!? It is way sad you felt that way, because when anything untoward happens to a youth, he certainly should seek out responsible mature persons to discuss it with. Why not tell your folks? Why not maybe tell the fellow right in front of you: Sai. Why in the world did you not ask someone for help? Is it perhaps because you did not understand, or were afraid asking itself would reflect badly on you? Come on Jed, that takes less courage than posting in front of the world on the Web, so why did you not ask? In the final interview he asked me to take my pants down. I was totally confused, so he took them down for me. He then made vibhutti and rubbed it on my genitals. On my third trip, he did the same thing, but rubbed oil on my genitals. Fortunately I was never taken advantage of any worse, but I was humiliated when I realised his true intentions, and I felt I had really lost an innocence that I would have cherished keeping. Whoa Jed. One second, please. I agree fully that you lost an innocence you would have cherished keeping. My question is, why did you give it up? You say you were `never taken advantage of any worse' but then say you `realised his true intentions.' Since he did nothing to you other than rub stuff on your privates, when was `that realization of his real intent', and what were his true intentions, and how did you come to that knowledge? (This is key, so please do answer.) Next, you say there were two events: first he rubbed ash, then later oil, on your genitals. You did not explain how he palmed the oil. Please explain that. Too, what do you mean, `you were totally confused.' Do you remember what happened? Were you conscious? This happened twice. Were you totally confused both times? Did he do more either time than just rub ash or oil on your genitals? By more I mean did either of you get all hot and gooey? Did you or he get an erection? Did he go all cuddly with you or did you whisper sweet nothings in his ear, what? Be specific, please. If you offer no specifics, at least say what you mean by `his true intentions', and tell how you figured them out. Meanwhile, if any wonder why Sai would be rubbing anything at all on anyone's groin, lemme tell ya: I have no idea. Swami does lotsa stuff that no one has any idea about, and he keeps on doing it anyway. What this means with the oil on the genitals, it is all beyond me. However, unless Jed tells me Sai was all hot and heavy pawing at the boy like some street hooker, I suggest folks might consider if they _know_ what it means, or if they are just assuming. When I finally did talk about what happened to me, the first two reactions were to never speak of it with others because the whole thing would be takenout of context and misconstrued. Misconstrued... sorta like now? See, Jed, you are not clear. Did you tell two persons at once, or at different times, and did they both say never to speak of it? If so, they are both WRONG. Anyone who told you to NEVER speak of such things is worse than a gossip, and deserves to be publicly corrected. No one should ever tell any youth to keep such matters hushed. Name those two folks, please, so that others can learn from it and never repeat their oversight. Rather you would have been well-counseled to speak of it clearly and with specifics to whomever you wished. Sadly I know a few devotees who think considering every off-colour tale a lie shows them to be way spiritual, but I have never seen Sai tell anyone not to tell the truth of their own experiences. So if any elder is telling you to not tell the truth of your own experiences, reveal them, so they can be corrected. I would not praise their attitude in any wise and I am sure Swami would not encourage it either. By the way, did Swami swear you to secrecy? No, he did not. David Lane however implies some sexual cabal. I deeply regret Jed chose such counsel, but hey, Jed, you also chose to gossip with misinformed students, so I am not surprised at your inability to choose good company. (Ouch. sorry if that sounded mean-- I meant it to be direct, but not haughty). Then I talked to others my own age and theytold me of similiar experiences. I even heard terrible stories of children who would meet with Sai Baba twice a week to play "sex games" and the like. Oral sex and masturbation were common in these meetings. Many of my own friends told me about attempts by Sai Baba to touch them, but they wouldn't let him. That is quite a story, Jed, and I notice that none of it is your own experience. I appreciate how much you enjoy telling tales, imagining this and that Jed, but `stories of children' are just that-- unless they are told you directly by those who were the chief actors IN the stories. Your bit about `oral sex and masturbation' being common surely deserves some FACTUAL basis. Otherwise, you come off more like an hysterical gossip, than any awakened skeptic, ya know. If you do know anyone who has had oral sex with Swami, then detail it if you have the facts and their permission. Otherwise, please, do not gossip. When you do not speak of your own experience and instead offer only gossip, yours is not an exposee Jed, it is yellow journalism of the worst sort. That David Lane is your publisher, is, well, apt. I need to really put this together better, but this is a sketch of what I have. Any comments would be helpful, and you can do what you like with anyof this material. You can also post my e-mail address for anyone who like to contact me. (JGeyerhahn@aol.com) While I regret you have woven fantasy and gossip into your story, I am glad you have told it. What I regret more than the innuendoes you have presented, however, is that anyone whom you respected, ever told you to keep it quiet. If I can change that attitude among those who say they are devotees or disciples or Swami's students, or elders, I will. I am confident the truth is what matters, and so urge you to find it and to then relate it. That said, I find your article based in confusion, not fact, and your mind steeped in gossip, not observation, but am glad you have shown the integrity and courage to at last speak in plain words what you feel today. That is a very good start in discerning not only truth, but facts too. Go for it. -------------------------------------- From JGeyerhahn@aol.com Thu May 22 23:58:56 1997 May 22, 1997 Dear Bon Giovanni, Your comments are very helpful. It would be best that I relate my own experience and be more specific about that experience. My own experience, without the stories I heard from others, was enough to convince me to leave Sai Baba. However, when I have heard the allegations of others, my experience has made it easy for me to believe them. The letter you responded to was emotionally charged. I am furious with Sai Baba and with Sai Devotees. My experience with Sai Baba is very upsetting to me. I am very happy that you are couciling people to not hide such experiences. Yes, at the time this was very embarassing, because I felt that Sai Baba was unhappy with me, and that was embarrassing. It was also embarassing that I had sexual desire. Sai Baba denounces sexual desire, and I was working hard to rid of it. Now it does not bother me because I know that it was natural that I had sexual desire, and I see that it wasn't out of the ordinary. I see that Sai Baba wanted to make me feel that I was bad and embarrassed for having normal youth sexual desire, by doing this I would be embarassed to relate the means by which he told me this. However, it seems to me there could have been a less scandalous way of telling me that I had sexual passion. Now I understand that he wanted to touch and look at me. I didn't keep Sai Baba from touching me because I trusted him and believed that his intentions were good. During these situations I was confused because I felt that he was breaking that trust, however I had faith, and I seem to have let him do as he pleased. I realise his true intentions now, because I see that there is something very strange about the situation. With all Sai Baba's supposed powers, he could have done whatever he needed to do to me without touching or exposing me. I realise his intentions when I see that he is not divine, and that he is human. (This I realised when I saw him use sleight of hand, on occasions I've named in other letters on or soon to be on the web page, and when I realised he did not know my thoughts in occasions described in letters on the web page). We don't wonder what the intentions are of someone we don't trust when he asks a youth to pull down his pants to touch him. I don't trust Sai Baba because I found he lies about his powers and who he is. I realise his intentions when I think about the time that it seemed very strange to me that Sai Baba was breathing very heavily as he pulled me close to hug and then kiss him. He turned his head for me to kiss him on the cheak, but it was nonethless very awkward to me, and I had never heard of and was not prepared for such situations. I was never erect with Sai Baba and I never ejaculated. I also did not check him out, and I'm glad I wasn't thinking to. I don't think that this is necessary to discern this situation. I disagree that Sai Baba has to have been "all hot and heavy pawning at the boy like some street hooker." The fact is that what his intentions were is not even necessary to pinoint Sai Baba's wrongdoing. Sai Baba exposed and touched a minor without the discression of his gaurdian. This is a crime. I wish I still had that innocence. The question of my consenting is more complicated. I would say that I did not consent, but I must admit that I didn't try to stop him. Sai Baba did not ask if he could touch me, and I did not consent to taking my pants down. I didn't fight him off, which perhaps I should have, but that would have been sort of strange to see a boy running out of Sai Baba's room fighting him off. The main point is that anyone that understands the guru devotee relationship knows that saying no to the guru is not an option. To that extent, I certainly did not consent. Given the choice at the time, I would not have wanted Sai Baba to touch or expose me if it could have been avoided. It seems to me this whole argument hinges on whether Sai Baba is divine or not. If he is divine, I am completely discredited. If he is divine then his intentions could only be good and this fiasco is some lesson to me. For, I am certainly not divine and far too human. If Sai Baba is fallable, i.e. human, than my story should sound very suspicious. Perhaps on my final trip I had decided that Sai Baba was human and that is exactly what I saw. This does not seem to me a very good argument. I may be convinced that a circle is square, but that does not make a circle square. This is similiarly a question of truth. I will not expose those who told me to keep my mouth shut. They know who they are, and your advice to them affirms their error. The truth is what matters, I'm glad we are agreed on that. I should have been less emotional and gossipy in my first letter. You want to discredit me for this, the reader can decide for his or herself. As a note: I am concerned that I did not receive all of part one of the letter. I have until the 5th paragraph "Jed shoed in his letter w..." and noting more until the beginning of part two. Would you please foward me anything I might have missed. Regards, Jed R. Geyerhahn
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