The Sathya Sai Baba Debates, Part One

Authors: Jed and Bon
Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER
Publication date: May 1997

E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.

From  Thu May 22 00:10:10 1997


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.  

Jed R. Geyerhahn


From  Thu May 22 12:26:14 1997


22, 1997


 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 

 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

 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:

 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

 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
 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

             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 

 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
 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
 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
 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
 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
 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

              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
 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:

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

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'
  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.

 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  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

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

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.


Jed R. Geyerhahn

E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at

I want to go back to the home base now.