THE TOP MALAYSIAN SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION LEADER, DATUK JEGA JEGATHESAN & HIS TROUBLED RELATIONS
Datuk J. Jegathesan has long been a top leader in the Sathya Sai organization of Malaysia. He refused to investigate the Malaysian students who explained in 1980-1 how they had been sexually abused by Sathya Sai Baba. Thus, he failed to practise any duty of care as leader of the Sathya Sai Organization in Malaysia. Another central and very active person in the Malaysian Sai movement until the early 1980s did so - also visiting the Sai College in Prashanthi Nilayam for the purpose and he - J. Hariram - was able to confirm that the abuse allegations were entirely credible, whereupon he tried to inform the Sai Org. leaders in Malaysia, but they turned deaf ears to him. This is decreed by Sathya Sai Baba's teaching to 'See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' - which in actual practise applies first and foremost to anything anyone sees or hears about him! As a ‘true believer’, Jegathesan (or Jagadeeshan, as he sometimes signs himself) never questions Sathya Sai Baba, whatever he says or does, as will become most clear here. Some quotations from Jegadeeshan first:-
“Let us remember nothing happens or moves without His wish. Everything that happens is for good, provided we are conscious of our Duty and personal efforts that should follow.”
“Devotees who have had so many “interviews”, those who have received Baba’s divine manifestations (rings, pendants, etc) have dropped out and so our jaws drop in amazement!”
Comment: Yet Jegathesan naturally never mentions the many reports - some even by current devotees - of seeing Sai Baba 'materialize' objects which they or person known to them have previously donated (!) or which they have seen him take from the folds of his chair and cushions behind him ( such as Jegathesan’s former friend, the former UK Central Coordinator Aime Levy did in the last dozen or so of his interviews, and also Conny Larsson, Bon Giovanni). Nor does he report the numerous film clips showing Sai Baba using sleight-of-hand. He insists:
“Only a little intelligence is required" Which shows what a superficial thinker and credulous persons Jegathesan actually is.
Jega Jegathesan is one of those – both key leaders and rank-and-file members of the Sathya Sai Organization - who know that many former devotees have integrity and are not ‘vicious’ and do not spread ‘calumny’, but are principled and honest. Jegathesan referred to the testimonies of young men who claim in credible detail (to those who know the circumstances in the ashram well) as making “faeces on the ground”! Certainly, I do not spread dirt but report and document facts and viewpoints on them.
Former devotee try to reveal the known facts in a principled and painstaking way so as to reach the truth about what else has been covered up. Since secrecy, unaccountability, deception, untruth and propaganda is so widespread in the Sai movement altogether, some digging is often necessary to uncover the background of certain extraordinary events, especially when they are disastrous for those involved and yet are still claimed to be acts of Sai Baba's divine grace. That there is most likely a different, more complete and more truthful version of events to the one given by Jegathesan is most likely, as there are many known cover-ups among top Sai officials, the Sathya Sai Organization and not least top politicians from Indian Presidents right down to countless official in the judiciary and the police about every aspect of Sathya Sai Baba. I know how extremely difficult it is to get information about even simple events from the Organization’s top leaders since I was frustrated by them for years when I was the leader of the relatively small but (then) very democratic Sai centre and the Organization in Norway. Any investigatory or critical process is avoided like the plague by Sai officials and sworn believers, because Sai Baba simply does not allow it. Even deaths and suicides – known to have taken place – are never mentioned at any official meetings or get-togethers. Datuk Jegathesan Jegathesan has long been such a totally uncritical supporter of Sathya Sai Baba, as his series of self-published books demonstrates to the extreme. He ignored the fact that the investigations by many former followers is based on a most extensive body of documented facts and testimonies by several hundred persons and has been relied on by organizations like UNESCO and the US State Department , the BBC and in many major press articles.
Jegathesan has a degree in economy and is a prominent businessman with connections in the Malaysian government. However, he regards himself primarily as an educator of the young in human and spiritual matters, especially the ‘human values’of the Sathya Sai Baba variety. However, he has no qualifications whatever as an educator. His belief in Sathya Sai Baba alone forms the basis and outlines the limits of his world-view and governs very largely what he believes about everything. He writes in a highly uncritical fashion and never introduces any serious research results - or refers to educations science and literature outside the Sai Baba sphere. Controversially, he claims that Sai Baba has confirmed to him that what he writes about when he enthuses about mediums, healers, people possessedby spirits and much more in that vein, the reported experience of which he is clearly prepossesed is valid,. Among his hagiographic books praising Sathya Sai Baba to the skies and beyond, he describes at length many weird connections supposedly in the 'fourth dimension', in which he is also a fervent believer.
Jegathesan also considers the critics of Sathya Sai Baba - and not least of himself - run a ‘vicious’ campaign. In this he includes the many testimonies from brave young men who – despite murders and massive persecutions of all critics of Sai Baba like once immensely popular Sai follower - but subsequently major the whistle-blower - David Bailey. He has no answer other than crass libel to those who have nonetheless stood forth with most credibly accurate and detailed accounts from all over the world about sexual abuse by Sathya Sai Baba! Yet the 'omniscient avatar' cannot discriminate between seekers of truth and justice and blind believers in a self-proclaimed God whose gigantic unfulfilled and unfulfillable promises to save his devotees, plus India and plus the entire world from immorality and corruption, wars and catastrophes are bogus! He is becoming a world laughing stock because of his countless invalid ‘teachings’ plus absurd statements demonstrating the ignorance of a villager about historical facts, other religions, the sciences and medicine… as well as many superstitions, rumours he spreads, preposterous and failed predictions, and false accusations by this would-be Creator and Ruler of the Universe, Sathya Sai Baba. This startling case reminds of other similar instances involving horrendous abnormal deaths by murder and accident of very close servitors and devoted followers (see links below), not least the billionaire donor James Sinclair’s wife’s mortal accident while travelling in a taxi to Puttaparthi. Of course, the cold-blooded murder of four young male Sai followers in his own bedroom is a standing indictment of this guru’s alleged ‘Love all, Serve all’ claim.
JEGATHESAN'S SON, A FAVOURITE OF SATHYA SAI BABA, COMITTED SUICIDE
The newspaper clip (right) and a translation, along with other information came from a former Malaysian Sathya Sai follower who knew Jegathesan and family personally According to this front page article of the Malaysian Tamil newspaper, Nanban (28/2/04), a 25-year old man wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans had jumped from the 7th storey of a building in Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (near to Jegathesan’s house). A further report holds: Jeyakanthan had been in Malaysia a week for his grandmother’s 'antiyeshti' ceremony. Before he had jumped (presumably in the 40-minute plus interval between leaving home and dying) he had gone to several of the shops near the building where he had jumped to wish goodbye to many of his friends there. They, thinking that Jeyakanthan was about to depart for England, wished him well on his way. They did not know that it was their last goodbye to him.
Jegathesan’s declaration was sent out to members of the Sathya Sai Organization and also widely-distributed by some followers in unsolicited e-mails and even posted on the Internet by a defender of Sai Baba. Since there have also already been a number of detailed reports of suicides by young male followers for various reasons closely connected with Sathya Sai Baba, it is legitimate to think critically about and question the scenario sketched after Jega’s own account. The evidence on the deaths can always be regarded in various ways My principle in dealing the suicide of Datuk J. Jegathesan’s son, and the death of his former wife, is to help establish the truth for it is in the public interest to question and to pose awkward questions that still seek an answer – it is not malicious, as has been claimed. Journalists investigate and expose such matters of life and death in the public interest. It is most important to report the facts and question beliefs, especially where deaths of devotees under suspicious and inauspicious circumstances are involved because Sathya Sai Baba has given a totally false promise to all genuine devotees that they are under his personal protection, and even that he arranges every detail of their lives for them. His “Why fear when I am here?” and other assurances of divine protection are clever ways to attract desperate and suffering people as followers – as well as many other who want to believe they have an infallible protector. It has led to truly vast donations. Dato Jegathesan Jegathesan was an extremely close follower who has devoted his life to Sai Baba, and is held up by all supporters as a model and as a public figure of importance which he uses to the maximum to increase the following and finances of Sathya Sai Baba. So he must take the consequences that come of his own actions.
Jegathesan's e-mails are classic examples of rationalizing away even the most awful fates that happen to devotees, as did to J. Jegathesan's wife Shanti and his son Jeyakanthan. There are many other examples, not least that of the billionaire family of Barbara Sinclair who died in a traffic accident when called and on the way to visit Sai Baba. Who can have faith in Sathya Sai Baba’s boasted protection of his devotees if such a devoted follower and server were not spared their fates?
This includes many brave young men who – despite murders of devotees and massive persecutions of all critics of Sai Baba like David Bailey and others – have nonetheless stood forth with most credibly accurate and detailed accounts from all over the world about sexual abuse by Sathya Sai Baba! Jegathesan cannot discriminate between seekers of truth and justice and blind bigots involved in what is probably India’s greatest ever religious scam. Sathya Sai baba’s gigantic unfulfilled and unfulfillable promises to save his devotees, plus India and plus the entire world from immorality and corruption, wars and catastrophes are entirely bogus!
Jegathesan’s Face Saving Email To Devotees – and Sai Baba’s Inhumane Call For A Suppression of Grief
There is no doubt that Jegathesan has suffered a great deal, yet enough time has now passed to permit that questions be raised about Sai Baba’s role in the incidents around his son’s suicide and more – it is in the public interest. Some brief excerpts are quoted below as the basis for my comments on them. Note his wife’s earlier death in her home in Malaysia was in 1996 while Jegathesan was visiting Sai Baba - with interview - in Prashanti Nilayam. Jegathesan circulated this so as to forestall any other accounts. This suicide could not be denied as it was covered by a Malayan newspaper (however, suicides are often covered up. I know two cases – one where the doctor reported heart failure in lieu of suicide, which I knew to be the case. In another the facts were buried and people were told it was a death from unknown causes). Suicides are covered up especially where strong religious beliefs are held against suicide, as in the case of Sathya Sai Baba – see quotations at bottom of this posting). However, having made it public he could only expect that – when a suitable time had elapsed – questions about this second extremely importunate event to such a prominent devotee family would be made.
Excerpts from and e-mail sent out to numerous contacts within the ‘Sai Family’ by Datuk K. Jegathesan (Readers can study Jegathesan’s full e-mail account here)
The Passing on of Jaganaatha Sai s/o Jegathesan. Malaysia. (2004)
My Dear Sai Family,
It is with totally uncalled tears in my eyes and heart (for Bhagavan Baba has said that “under no circumstances should we cry), that I am conveying to all those who have worked with me for so many years in the leadership of the International Sai Organisation, about the passing away of my youngest son, in very hurting and sad tragic circumstances. He was born on March 6th 1981 and Bhagavan Baba, in an interview I had with him, lovingly gave the name “Jaganaatha Sai”. Subsequently my son has had the grace of a number of personal contacts with Bhagavan, the latest being in Nov. 1996 when the family met Bhagavan about two weeks after the passing away of my dear wife Shanti.
At that time Jegan (as he was lovingly called by all) was about 16 years old. He was the pet of the family, tall, fair and good looking and was a special pet of his late mother.
COMMENT Jegathesan’s self-torture and ‘guilt’ about having shed tears is pitiful to read… the more so since Sathya Sai Baba himself was clearly seen to shed tears while holding his public discourse at the funeral of his brother, Janakiramia! the person who arranged for the infamous cold-blooded executions in his bedroom for him through blackmail of the police chief of Puttaparthi. Since then much evidence has emerged showing that Sathya Sai Baba sheds tears often. He is even seen doing so on a video at his 85th birthday (see here) His son went through considerable psychic disturbances, which Jegathesan details in his mail, and eventually seemed to have recovered from them all. Not long after, he jumped from the top of a building and died.
Sathya Sai Baba’s and the fathers’s relation to the boy who later took his own life comes into question. Given the grief to which many boys and young men have come to in Sathya Sai Baba’s hands, it is not idle to wonder whether Sai Baba had given this fair, good-looking boy all reason to be unwilling to return to any interviews? Note that Jegan (unlike Jegathesan himself) had no interviews after 1996 – the last one being two weeks after his mother’s death (it is uncertain if he had any interview before that, though his father wrote: “my son has had the grace of a number of personal contacts with Bhagavan, the latest being in Nov. 1996.” Why such sudden cessation of only the son’s interviews – not long after the ‘great impact’ of his mother’s death led to what Jegathesan calls a ‘mild depression’. Not surprising that the son, labouring under very moralistic and fundamentalist Sai Baba belief system within which he grew up, later became extremely confused with more depressive and apparent psychotic periods..
But in between all this, it was about a year ago that his depression began to manifest. One day he became totally irrational, and began to find faults with me and members of the family and even his office staff and close friends. I myself only realized that something was seriously wrong when he accused me of interfering with his office and speaking to his boss against his work. This stunned me and that was when we decided that he needed psychiatric help. He was referred for medical treatment at the psychiatric ward of the Malaysian University hospital. He was there for 13 days.
He was diagnosed as suffering from stress induced paranoid schizophrenia. He came out of that, and to give him a new environment, he went to Australia to further his studies (for an MBA), but returned within 2 months saying that was not for him.
At 3.30 pm he told his aunts that he would like to go for a walk and he was so perfect that they thought nothing of it, but asked him to be back by 4.30 pm, as they did not want him out alone for so long. He insisted on the walk so they asked him to make it short.
At 5.00 pm he had not returned and they became concerned. At about 5.30 p.m., I was still in the office with some meeting, when I receive a call from my daughter. My son had at about 4.10p.m. (at best time estimates would have it from those who heard the impact), had jumped off a tall building less than half a mile away from my home and had died. He had taken his own life!
On Tuesday 24th Feb at the weekly Bungsar Sai Centre Bhajan, I read out excerpts from Baba’s 2003 Christmas message. When I read that message I was doing it to comfort and give courage to some others in the Centre who had suffered some family tragedies. This was what I read out: “Whatever man experiences is the creation of the mind. Due to the illusion created by the mind, he establishes relationships and starts saying, my father, my mother, my wife, my children, etc. This illusion is the ultimate cause of his suffering. When man develops pure and unsullied love, he will not experience pain or suffering. Love for the physical body is false and transitory… …Pleasure and pain are of your own making. They are not given by God. You are the cause of your suffering, none else… …Worldly LOVE is transient; it cannot be called love at all. True love is immortal. You should cultivate such love. Physical body grows and decays. How can you consider it to be real? In fact, nothing in this world is real. Body attachment is the cause of delusion. Hence, gradually reduce your body attachment. This is the most important Sadhana you have to undertake. …What is the use if you get drowned in delusion more and more with the advancement of age? Do not develop undue attachment to be body and material possessions. Under any circumstances, do not shed tears of sorrow. You will be free from sorrow when you give up body attachment.”
Little did I realize that my Divine Father was preparing me for the events that would confront me on Friday 27th Feb. 04.
Bhagavan had said that we should never cry under any circumstances. I always try to uphold as best as i can all what Bhagavan says. At the mortuary I maintained HIS instructions and gave comfort to the others who were crying. But on Sat.28th during the funeral at home and at the crematorium I shamed the Avathar and myself by crying uncontrollably. The only comfort that I could draw from the breach of this divine directive was the thought (as equally when I cried uncontrollably when my dear wife passed on), was the thought that “Rama cried when Sita was captured. Rama cried when Lakshmana was wounded in battle. Arjuna cried when his son was killed in battle”…so who am I, an ordinary aspirant of Divine devotion, not to cry. I cried but also resolved that I will continue to fulfill my Dharma and continue to contribute in my own small way to the work of the DIVINE MISSION OF THE AVATHAR. Please forgive me for taking your time with this long message.
COMMENT: One can only pity such a confused and weirdly indoctrinated man as Jegathesan.
Whatever happens, I will continue to serve in HIS Divine Mission in any small way I can in Malaysia or anywhere else in the world where people feel I can contribute to the Divine Mission of reviving Dharma.
Once again please forgive me for the length of this note and the details I have chosen to include.
Another reason, other than the personal psychological one, is that I do not want rumours to spread as they surely will. Some of you may be aware that the anti Sai forces used the passing away of my wife as part of their campaign, saying that she had committed suicide etc.
Though they were wrong that time, this time it will be true, but at least by making this incident transparent, hopefully it will forestall any other version.
I apologies to Bhagavan and all Sai Devotees and to the Sai Leadership if the anti Sai uses this as another tool in their vicious campaign.
With Love in my Heart to all!
Yours in SAI Jega
It is so easy to say 'love in my heart to all', so cost free that it means virtually nothing. Meanwhile Jegathesan talks of a "vicious campaign" by “anti Sai forces” and wants Sai Baba to be beyond every kind of questioning and criticism – and he declares in print that all devotees should “plug their ears” as did Ulysses! What kind of a mind does that? My investigations are not viciously intended, though any investigation is probably considered so by him. I have already shown restraint at the request of his family members by not posting testimony that might be very damaging because I do not wish to spread onformation which I cannot myself guarantee is entirely true. Despite this two of Jegathesan's family have sent me abusive e-mails ( which did them no service at all) and one of them has most unwisely already supported the sex abuse defender Gerald Moreno! Consequently, it seems fair that I respond with my considered opinion on the possible reasons for his son's suicide:-
Not taking his son’s various outbursts at face value and following them up seriously, Jega tells how he took the complaints against himself as symptoms of mental illness. With his status in Malaysian society and connections, his son was taken into psychiatric observation. The focus was thus put entirely on his son, no self-reflection over his own possible role in the outcome. It would certainly seem that his son did no longer agree with many beliefs and actions of a very authoritarian parent. (Jega’s e-mail shows he had a traditional Indian family relationship of the repressive father type – whose feet-touching padnamaskaar his son must perform, whose workplace his father arranged, whose girlfriends are vetted and wished-for bride rejected out of hand until pressures were brought on Jega etc.)
Of course, it is not impossible that this and the strained family situation, plus the diagnosed ‘stress’ triggered a latent (genetic) schizophrenia in Jegathesan’s son. Nonetheless, invalidating someone as ‘mad’ has been shown to be widely used as a means of placing blame on those whose opinions or minds one otherwise can’t control (eg. Laing and Esterson’s ‘Sanity, Madness and the Family) . Add to this, the intensity of the dramatic events directly linked to the onset of his natural depression at his mother’s death.
The poor young man must have been helpless before the rigidly held dogmas of Jegathesan about Sathya Sai Baba as Lord of All Creation, Pure Love and Purity, and far more excessive claims besides. Being under the virtual ‘mind control’ of this guru personality cult from birth onwards can obviously cause huge problems when one has to interface with the adult world of rational people and all-too-real events. His father is well known as a very active and intransigent promoter through his constant lecturing and ‘leadership’ of the Malaysian Sathya Sai Organization of what amounts to the control of the minds of devotees.
JEGATHESAN is also author of a series of four books about Sathya Sai Baba entitled 'Journey to God' See my review here