Yaani (Jaani) Drucker

Jaani Drucker (originally Jan and also sometimes Yaani) has set herself up as a prophet of "The Truth" and as a self-realized being. There was an exchange of views between Barry Pittard and Jaani [or Yaani] Drucker on his blog on Rationalizing Rape, and his replies to Jaani Drucker here and here. Now I make a more detailed examination of the issues at stake. She rejected Barry Pittard's questions about sexual abuses and more without answering them, writing "When you are determined to find denial and resistance, there is no honest debate or discussion possible. You have already closed your mind." This is a typical cult-defensive reaction where questioning itself is viewed as something negative. If anyone has closed their minds it is surely Jaani [Yaani] Drucker. How can one tell? Because she has not had anything new to say except continually to preach that she has the TRUTH, rather absurdly since she considers it to be something hypostatized or ontologised. The truth, however, can only refer to a criterion by which assertions or theories are judged, it is not an entity one can know. Knowledge is true, what does not qualify as valid knowledge is either falsity or an unknown. There is, of course, nothing whatever original about the doctrine she professes, being entirely within the parameters set by Sathya Sai Baba's so-called 'divine spiritual teaching' and the general religious incomprehension of the nature of truth as distinct from belief, speculation and handed-down ancient scriptural dogmas.

Drucker's every idea is more dogma than reasonable doctrine because her self-proclaimed 'truth' is closed to any basic modification, isolated from all further development and - above all - criticism. In general it is an extreme form of religious puritanism as found in the Judaic Talmud, the Old Testament and the strictest Hindu doctrines, augmented with truly preposterous theories, such as that once put forward by the lunatic fringe thinker, Jegathesan, that Sai Baba is saving the globe and humanity from disaster by taking all evil into himself! That would explain, in Jaani's view, why he now "looks like hell". (See Jaani's e-mail here) In continuing to promote and defend Sathya Sai Baba, Yaani acts as if her supposed Truth is so precious as always to have to be attended by an unquestioned bodyguard of supporting lies... those which have been exposed on a large scale by many former followers, not least Barry Pittard and myself. Jaani Drucker rejected Barry Pittard's questions without answering them, writing "When you are determined to find denial and resistance, there is no honest debate or discussion possible. You have already closed your mind." This is a typical cult-defensive reaction where questioning itself is viewed as something negative. If anyone has closed their minds it is surely Jaani [Yaani] Drucker. How can one tell? Because she has not had anything new to say except continually to preach that she has the answers and anyone who disagrees is an ignoramus! All the while she parrots only the ideas of others - both Sathya Sai Baba from 'A Course in Miracles' (aka 'Positive Pollyanna Preaching').

Al Drucker admitted - when pressed - to the former Central Coordinator of the UK Sathya Sai Organization, that many parents had complained to him of sexual abuse by Sai Baba while Drucker was resident at the ashram. Jaani is no doubt also well aware that Sai Baba has escaped justice only because the entire Indian system of corrupt topmost politicians and judges who worship him have protected him from all accountability! This is part of the body of lies the Druckers prefer to condone, supposedly to protect their Truth, which would need not protection or even promotion if it really were that immutable and powerful. Those who have invested their prestige in Sai Baba and his teaching on the ego etc., like the Druckers, live largely within a community of persons and ideas divorced from all research, informed debate, the stringency of peer review because the doctrine they embrace is that the Truth, as preached by advaitists and Sai Baba among them, is immutable, requires no modification or development. They can reject without informing themselves of the entire world-wide advances in human psychology by hundreds of thousands of practitioners and researchers garnering experience from all corners of the globe and the human psyche... none of it could ever upset a figment of the ordained and immortalized Truth of their favourite religious speculations, static and stagnant as it has been for centuries! It's main method of persuasion is repetition. One can only sustain this claim to total knowledge within the cocoon of ashrams or circles of New Age type persons, for it cannot stand the slightest buffets of well-informed intelligence based on tried and proven hypotheses by a global host of professionals.

Jaani D. has directed her scorn at 'clinical psychology' as being 'trumped' by her self-realization the Ultimate Truth. as if that were the whole of psychology and it were not recognised world-wide as a life-changing discipline for those sufferers who can benefit from it. Yet there are many branches of psychological investigation and professional therapies, all of which are aware of reactions to the experience you endured. There is character analysis, psychoanalytic psychology of several major variants from Freud and reich to Jung and Laing and beyond, humanistic and/or existential psychology from Rogers to Perls and Maslow, Rollo May to Medard Boss, and there is are flourishing areas of discovery known as 'ego psychology' and 'cognitive psychology' which are packed with insights based on study of and with real people and real experiences ( Wikipedia lists 66 types of psychological theory). Common to the main branches and many others is an understanding of the nature and importance of reactions like rationalization, 'repression, 'displacement activity'. 'obsession' , 'delusions of grandeur', 'post traumatic stress disorder' and a wide range of cognitive and mental disorders which can be triggered by traumas and other hurtful and deeply disturbing experiences. It is folly to pronounce one knows that none of these are to be reckoned with in the face of a subjectively experiences Absolute Truth and what you presumably therefore regards as a precondition - an entirely blemish-free personality. To form such a crushing judgement about all this, without having professional experience (it seems certain from the low level of her and Al's insight) appears as gross dilettantism to right-thinking people. People who think they are somehow 'omnipotent' have, in the jargon, certainly got more than one screw loose... most people consider it sheer arrogance or else delusion of some religious fanatical persuasion. One can read a most excellent analysis on the Psychology of Spiritual Movements by Anton Hein (which applies to Sai movement with full force)
Albert Einstein said: the world can be an evil place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.

The "self-realization through death of the ego brigade" consider they can progress beyond all such needs (but often I have noted the actual consumption of goods and services are above average among the most outspoken 'Ceiling on Desires' advocates). (From her many claims, it would seem that Jaani Drucker may believe this of herself, not least since Al Drucker has previously openly claimed that he is self-realised. (Surprisingly, Yaani would at the same time disarm Barry Pittard by saying that she and Al are just ordinary people' and have nothing that he does not have!). The Druckers and many other Sai Baba followers hope - or believe in liberation from the 'wheel of life', never to be reborn to life's travails etc. They evidently have nothing but the vaguest hopes and speculations about what this really involves - and Sai Baba never explains in intelligible terms what awaits those to whom he claims he can award this 'Moksha'. Gambling on ignorance and the off-chance of something unknowable by allegedly wonderful happening, these blind believers hope they are backing the right horse. Such hopes may keep them going in their awkward life situations, but it is very much like doomed over-optimism. They may die within the same beliefs, but to die in delusion is not an achievement of which we can be proud.
For a fuller analysis of the confusion surrounding the idea of the human ego, in what it consists etc. see here.

A look at Jaani Drucker's responses to questions Jan Drucker responded to points made by Barry Pittard in his wordpress blogs, but with obvious ill-humour. She has a website in which she has publicly expressed the same line that she took in writing to Pittard, such as:-
“Anyone who has an ego, which everyone has except those who have attained enlightenment, is in a state of denial, denial about the truth of who they are, and that includes most professionals. Just because someone has a PhD does not make him/her an expert in what is or is not enlightenment …"

This is no small claim. Tens of thousands of Ph.Ds and psychological professionals have established a vast collective knowledge about human reactions and the ego in all its forms and modes. But Jaani knows that they are all wrong and the entire world population is in denial of the truth! What kind of delusion is that? 'Not having an ego' is a very vague phrase - it can mean anything from being in total amnesia, a vegetative state to - in the spiritual belief Jaani defends - being totally immersed in what she characterises as her "omnipotent" self-consciousness and beyond any worldly influences. Such a person is called a jnani (i.e. one who knows it all). Not Jaani, though! A jnani has no desires or interests in the world, according to the doctrine. Yet Jaani's interest in self-promotion on the Internet and elsewhere - and her expressed desire not to be criticized, her strong reactions to difficult questions which she actually fails to confront properly - not least her very prickly ego attacks on Pittard - are all disqualifiers for anything at all like "realization". Barry Pittard is engaging in fair questioning of her extremely remarkable claims. He is not running a 'smear campaign' against her or Sathya Sai Baba, as she calls it. Admittedly, he is a stringent and vociferous critic of Sathya Sai Baba and the vast cover-ups around him, but that is on many and firm documented grounds, including over a score of signed testimonies that he sexually abused young men - including underage boys. Very many other instances are reported by others - including by his own officials - as being molested by oiling of the genitals. Jaani calls this huge documentation, also by the BBC and Danish televison, as 'rumour'! I am sure she knows far better than that, not least from her husband who has told Aime Levy about it himself. She is definitely in denial about that, for a start! Yet Jaani states her precious belief: -

"... I credit Sai Baba for my enlightenment, and it is in part because He was instrumental in my awakening that I am certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is who He claims to be”.

Such 'certainty beyond a shadow of a doubt' is not knowledge. It is vulnerable to doubt by all rational persons, being merely subjective belief. The more strongly Jaani holds this belief, the weaker its power to convince others, for that is the failing of fanaticism! The proof that he cannot possibly be what he claims to be is found throughout this website. On Pittard's blogsite, he has responded to Jaani Drucker's self-projective points, and in detail. Her responses were unsatisfactorily evasive and soon she reacted by refusing to discuss with him unless he withdrew his writing about her. She then wrote to him that, as a result of his writings, some persons told her they would as a result not now attend her workshop on 'ego'. She writes that he was "impeding her heartful offering toward a better world". She makes the unenlightened assumption that Barry Pittard does not contribute his work with at least the same good intentions. She started out with a good deal of love and light, but her tone increasingly implies she is looking for a showdown - and to put down those who disagree with her, so she should not be so offended when someone takes her up on it. She quoted in an e-mail to her supporter, the web troll Gerald Moreno, that critics of Sai Baba are as "Dogs barking at the moon", then denied vehemently in a mail to Pittard that she had ever called anyone a dog. A fine point that, she certainly compared critics and doubters to dogs, which Sai Baba frequently does himself! Jaani Drucker then tried to bargain:

"I wonder whether you would consider removing your discrediting and unkind words? If so, perhaps there would be the possibility of an honest debate. Until then you demonstrate that you have already drawn your conclusion, that I am a dangerous energy that you need to protect others from, etc."

Jaani is very forthright with rash over-interpretations and prejudicial jumping to conclusions of his words and putting into Pittard's mouth that she is a "dangerous energy". Having written in a very polite and decent way throughout - though frank and making strong points in the discussion, Pittard should not remove anything. His postings are responsible contributions to a discussion (which Jaani originally invited all to join), being clearly made out of a sense of public duty (not, a Jaani suggested in that worn-out Sai-speak 'to derive joy from criticising'). Moreover, for those who would backtrack or cover their tracks, Google's moving finger writes on, and, "having writ, moves on"... once posted it is forever in the public sphere somewhere for good or ill.
Barry Pittard can be seen to have written in a very polite and decent way throughout - though frank and making strong points in the discussion. That is what she cannot abide, being questioned radically, so she avoids answering the really sensitive points, complaining instead. These reactions show her to be disturbed by any criticism, no doubt she wants to carry on but escape the consequences of her support for Sathya Sai Baba in all things, and simply brush aside critical comments as not founded in her supposed 'Truth'. In an effort to counteract Barry Pittard's highly relevant questions, Jaani first decided to cut off communication, then tried to appeal to Barry Pittard to reverse his position on the basis of the universal brotherhood/sisterhood of mankind. Noble as that sentiment may be as an ideal - and even though all humans are genetically related - it is not a principle for suppressing discussion, well-meant criticism and even argument between "brothers and sisters".

In my view cult members are more like very distant cousins to me - I feel no brotherhood as regards their ideology and denial of many facts, though I would accept that they could well have good intentions. Intention and action do not always concur, however... and frank and open truthfulness from the Druckers on the sexual abuse issue would be welcome... but they evidently discriminate against those "brothers" who are no longer in the so-called 'Sai family'. Not least it would help assuage the feelings of the offended persons whom they know to be speaking the truth about their awful experiences. It would also be fair to many of us who we have all reason based on massive, impelling testimony to accept they were so treated by Sai Baba... and not least also for his own sexual satisfaction!

Jaani Drucker's stalking of Al Drucker Jaani Drucker reportedly stalked Al Druker relentlessly in order to get him to marry her. Since Alvin Drucker was surrounded by female suitors, the conclusion can only be that his prominence in the ashram and apparently 'close' relations with Sai Baba were the main attraction. See scan of an e-mail received in 2012 on the right here. She mentions the widely-circulated story of how Al Drucker was allegedly saved - so he believes - from dying in a plane crash by Sathya Sai Baba personally, though the plane was in the US and Sai Baba in South India. One cannot say in advance whether one will definitely die in a plane crash, for a start. However, he was later in phone contact with Sai Baba and decided then to go to India and sit at the feet as a humble aspirant. From then on, he was increasingly unable to criticize, or think outside the box within which Sathya Sai Baba enfolded him. Jaani joined Al in a compartment of that box - the doctrine and allied sets of beliefs about religion, liberation etc. Sai Baba shook up the box quite violently in what he calls and they accept as 'tests' of Al and Jaani. Such as SB shouting at her that she was 'worse than an animal', his reportedly berating Al roundly and saying he had cancer of the stomach, then banning him from the ashrams and the organization... because he wanted to get married!

Mail about Jan (Jaani) Drucker by fellow devotees

The couple's conscienceless rejection of former abused Sai devotees: The former UK Central Coordinator of the Sathya Sai Organization wrote referring to how Al Drucker - after holding a talk at a Sai retreat at Glastonbury - reacted when asked about the alleged sex abuses etc. as follows:
"We actually asked him to say something in his speech to reassure everyone about the David Bailey stuff. This he diplomatically declined to do and afterwards, and only when we pressed him about it, he told us of his disillusionment with Baba - that time after time, parents of young boys would come to his room in great distress after interviews, seeking an explanation... Al said this is why he left the ashram and got married." (Note by R.P.: I possess the entire e-mail and its source data from which the above excerpt is taken)

His wife Jaani, repeatedly asked to state her opinion of the many alleged sex abuses by Sathya Sai Baba, finally said "I have heard rumors, but I have had no direct contact with any of the young men to claim abuse at Baba's hand, nor have I personally met any of their family members." This is clearly hypocrisy, even though it results from an across-the-board psychological denial she exhibits about every fact that conflicts with her cast-iron belief system and faith in Sai Baba. She turns the world upside-down and herself inside out, thus preserving for herself the narcissistic illusion that her critics - unlike herself - do not know the Truth itself... and so on. Despite this, she demonstrates self-infatuation in what she writes and her prickly ego comes out in her bogus explanations, followed by phrases like "Got it!" and "Get it!". She has that mirror in which she sees herself as purity itself and (again, several times self-referred-to)turns into 'smear campaigners' those who dare point out that she makes numerous provenly false statements. Yet she is doing all the smearing by stating untruths about Barry Pittard, who does not smear but confronts (in a sustained urbane manner which she interprets as rudeness and unkindness) what he regards a false ideas and a dangerously unreal and misleading doctrine. For her all critical comments are 'smears', {just like her supporter Gerald Joe Moreno]. Jaani turns black into white (and vice-versa) to suit herself, saying that others are projecting their bad qualities onto her when - by reading what she actually writes - it is glaringly evident that the contrary is the case. She ignores or brushes aside all points that she cannot confront properly and time and again diverts attention to her own alleged achievements, her self-proclaimed perfect 'dharma' as if it were a reply to the points.

Her e-mails to Barry are extremely self-focussed which means on the living embodied ego Jaani, what she believes, her life and with her husband - and are not responses referring to the work and interests of any others. No documentation or source references are provided or deemed useful for she proclaims 'Have truth, will travel'!. The impression her 'answers' make strengthen the sense of narcissistic self-envelopment within the cocoon of beliefs she mistakes for facts (most of which the world will always find totally unreasonable).

No doubt Yaani wants to be loved after she wrote Barry Pittard how Sai Baba - her God - shouted her down angrily in an interview as 'worse than an animal' for wanting to marry Al Drucker. That just shows what is in the heart of Sai Baba! He uses the psychopathic put-down on some of those he has chosen who want to remain his follower but also with their girlfriends or get married - even also to Sethi (calling him a Nazi in darsan!! He cannot tolerate the slightest disobedience or criticism, as everyone knows. And worst of all, some of those he attacks, such as Jaani, actually explain how it saved them from delusion etc.! That is blindness in faith.

Jaani Drucker is clearly still thinking entirely within the Sai Baba box, using the worn-out old Sai Baba accusations, envy (suggested as the main motivation of dissidents), slander (used against and criticism, however fair), and plenty of patronising empty Sai-speak like "Haste is waste" and reference to everyone as a brother or a sister (a typical twisted cultist ploy to try to quell anything but agreement). Mimicking Sai Baba's reply to every critic, she even wrote to Barry "Are you perhaps jealous of me or Al? We are very ordinary. We don't have anything you don't have."

Jaani's fantastic explanations are extremely opaque and very disconnected, with no base other than her own proprietary definitions and psycho-babble from the most superstitious Hindu sources on avatars and gurus. She is obviously an extreme fundamentalist in her Sai Baba faith - and clearly on the lunatic fringe of that faith. She has exposed her inability of the slightest research which could potentially change even her boggled mind... and sufficiently enough for all to see that her explanations are rationalizations and denials which will never go anywhere. She is responsible for helping the the globalization of traditional Indian superstition, religious mania and cult-protecting speculations.

One time favourite of Sai Baba, Alvin Drucker

Jaani Drucker refers to the perceived greatness of her husband (that is, only in some Sai Baba circles). His former prominence in the Sai movement was - as he admits - entirely due to his having been taken close th Sai Baba, that he and she are 'just ordinary people' etc. I would still add a few moderating thoughts. When first I heard him hold forth as a lecturer at Prashanthi Nilayam in January, 1985, he was known for having been saved from a plane crash by a supposed miracle of Sai Baba. He had been made into a kind of idol by some US devotees. I found a solemn-faced propagator of Sai Baba's more simplistic and myth-packed doctrine for young students (as contained in Drucker's book reproducing talks by Sai Baba to his students which, since Drucker does not know Telugu, was translated for him by another). Drucker held with Sai Baba that he was himself Rama, Krishna and other divine figures... and their teaching is his. During Christmas 1986, Drucker informed the crowd at a choir practice that Sai Baba had said that all of the devotees who had been with Rama were present in reincarnations at his 60th birthday, including the 'monkey-god' Hanuman (not least therefore, some people thought Drucker might have been told he was Hanuman. What a craze-inducing place Prashanthi Nilayam is!).

Sathya Sai Baba's editorial chief, my good friend V.K. Narasimhan, told me repeatedly, latest in 1998 when Al Drucker partook in the Paduka ceremony there, that he disagreed fundamentally with Al Drucker about the advaitic teaching he professes, having seen it as one of the worst of all ideological influences on the Indian psyche and society. Its pernicious effects were, he insisted, the main cause of the disinterest of so many Indians in worldly conditions and especially in their fellow sufferers’ plight.

Whatever the case, Al Drucker seemed very devout and puritan, and with his Talmudic background he saw Prashanthi Nilayam as the New Jerusalem. He spent decades living almost exclusively at Sai Baba ashrams, where any new ideas are most unwelcome unless they concur and support those which are 'politically correct' in Sathya Sai Baba's view. In the role of local 'greatness' that no doubt partly was forced upon him, various people I knew there nonetheless saw Al Drucker as too bossy and I could not observe that he was a helpful server of struggling visitors. , for he had the role of an important personage, which rested mainly on his proximity to Sai Baba since the late 1970s. (Add to that the fact that he had once temporarily been employed in some kind of scientific role by NASA, before he joined Esalen and left the scientific attitude firmly behind him). He was seen by most devotees much as a go-between to God Incarnate, a recipient of miracle blessings and one who maybe knew some of the secrets not shared with ordinary joes! He did amuse me, however, when he somewhat patronisingly mismanaged certain events (eg. the Christmas choir) so badly as to have some of us laughing amid all the gushing piety. The jealousy which plagues all the Sai ashrams (as I observed and indeed Sai Baba himself roundly railed about) was strong against Al Drucker. I heard diverse complaints about him and some Indian VIPs expressed Schadenfreude when he was excommunicated. Most unacceptable, but not so uncommon as one would like to think in what has been called 'that snake-pit of jealousy'!

The Ways of the Mind - on the issue by a Swedish psychologist

Strawberry Fields Forever? plus comments on Jaani & advaitic doctrine

Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 2

Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him

Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example
Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?
See more thorough examination of the philosophy behind these unworldly enterprises:-
The Spiritual Search - a philosophical analysis of advaitic solipsism and social narcissism
God is everything, in everyone - as a spiritual teaching Advaita – historical flight into abstraction and speculation

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