Chris Dokter was a follower of Sathya Sai Baba from 1980 to 1995. He writes:-
I was one of few early devotees from my home country. After reading Howard Murphet's first book on Sai Baba, I visited Sai Baba three times between 1981 and 1985, each time for no less than six weeks. I had several interviews back then, both as part of a group and individually. Within the Sai Organization, I was mainly active as a spokesperson and a translator: I translated the Sandweiss book, for instance, and got the Dutch edition published. After the mid-eighties, I gradually withdrew from the public eye, although on occasion, I still appeared on Dutch television or wrote a foreword for a book on Sai Baba. In addition, I did the English voice-over for a heavily disputed documentary film made in the early nineties by a Dutch film crew in Whitefield and Puttaparthi (‘As in a mirror darkly’).
The reason I stopped being a believer/follower had to do with the very strict rules, the dictatorial regulations within the ashram and all the mayhem that sprang from an organizational form that was becoming more and more obscure. First allegations of sexual abuse further kindled my mistrust. Added to that, it became apparent to me that Sai Baba did not keep his promises made during interviews.
It took me years to really free myself from all the bogus, and the false promises made to me by swami himself. In hindsight, I am, for want of a better word, 'glad' that I disengaged myself in a period long before most westerners even came to Puttaparthi in the first place.
Since then, I followed developments from a distance. As a scientist (I am a psychologist and psychotherapist) I am interested in the psychological effects on individual and group level of these kinds of mass movements. I fully endorse a thorough investigation of the Sai movement.
In his article 'A Trip down Memory Lane', Chris Dokter wrote:- "Because of the ever-increasing unavailability of direct contact with Sathya Sai Baba over the previous decades, which was the inevitable result of the sheer increase in numbers of visitors to the ashram and the very limited amount of time the master provided for interaction with them (twice a day for maybe twenty minutes darshan, plus the rare interview, accosted to the ‘happy’ few), large groups of devotees resorted more and more to indirect ‘proof’, whether through prayer, dreams, premonitions, contact with VIP-devotee-clearvoyants like Phyllis Krystal, and other, sometimes all-too-primitive supposed channelers and channelings of the master…
Being unavailable is one of the devices cult leaders use in order to gain an ever-increasing aura among their believers, by the way. Especially when their followers are cooped up in primitive dwellings, and are deprived of contact with the outside world their whole day revolves around the master. Not seeing him, not being able to come into close, personal contact with him, makes people anxious, which in turn serves as an incentive to listen to tall tales and boosting the master’s omnipotence through any number of stories heard through the grapevine. It also hides the master quite effectively from any altogether too inquisitive a view from people who are a bit more sceptical.
If a master at all, Sathya Sai Baba certainly was one in this respect! He pulled off the most unlikely feat: not letting himself get caught for the massive fraud, deception and abuse he was involved in during sixty odd years. Instead, he managed to achieve an enormous following and influence the world over, culminating in a state funeral, with full honours, and very few awkward questions asked even after his demise."
He has posted numerous blog on his wordpress site entitled 'Mind you Mind' Among most informative blogs he posted are the following:-
Professor Haraldsson's final verdict on Sathya Sai Baba and his Western critics Chris Dokter presents an overview of Erlendur Haraldsson's latest up-date of his Sai Baba book on miracles (having no new investigative data) with well-deserved critical comments.
The Sorry Tale of Sathya Sai Baba’s Final Weeks on Earth
The Case of The Missing Death Certificate
Taking a Hard Look at the Facts
Nicolas Maduro: next VIP Sai Disciple who does not lead by Example
How Do Victims of Sai Baba Cope?
God’s Own Stockholm Syndrome
Pray tell: can a dead guru answer prayers?
The Return of the Great Pretender
On the issue of dealing with sexual abuse
The situation in the early eighties - Prasanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi