Main reaction to facts that cause fundamental doubts of personal faith, and self de-programming
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Though I (Robert Priddy) was quite well-known in the Sai movement as a strongly convinced devotee of Sathya Sai Baba from the early 1980s until 2000, it is evident to those who visit my website now that I am now very definitely not so. Some may think I suddenly went from one extreme to the other, but this is far from correct. Though I am presently concerned only to expose wrong-doings, misguided teachings and false promises by Sathya Sai Baba, this is simply to 'balance the account' as it were, since the positive propaganda machine around Sathya Sai Baba (to which I once contributed far too much) is so massive, so prone to use disinformation and so closed to any sincere discussion or investigation of unpleasant but crucial facts. I have the support of many hundreds of ex-devotees, many urging me to continue exposing.

Three different reaction patterns to pending crises of faith
Those who have embraced a set of beliefs and have invested much personal thought and feeling in them, often involving the sacrifice of time, energy, money and even many former social contacts so as to forward them, can react in different ways to facts which, if true, will cause a major revision or complete overturn of those beliefs:

1) The emerging doubts are ignored while possible, rejected out of hand when discussed and - when this may fail - by increasingly unlikely rationalising to quell the anxiety caused by such thoughts of having made a massive mistake in one's life.

2) All one believed is put into question en bloc and the entire set of beliefs is simply negated, while all contacts which bring one into contact with them are dropped. This requires perhaps either an unthinking and non-committal kind of personality, a shallow faith… or else a strong personality and/or support system having resources to regenerate one's own well-being and redirect one's life goals.

3) One begins to confront the facts which underpinned the former belief system and begins to investigate them as fully as possible. This requires the 'tolerance of mental and emotional uncertainty' and leads one to put more and more facts, claims and sub-beliefs into mental parentheses while a reorientation is sought through open and honest communication and reflection. This process takes much longer, it would appear, and is more demanding in various ways, than the first two general alternatives.

Some may find it helpful to know how I, a follower of Sai Baba for so many years, could get liberated from the delusions, the labyrinth of explanations, deceptions and powerful social and other cloying cultish influences. My viewpoint on Sathya Sai Baba has changed rapidly and very considerably since I first became disaffected. What I learned forced me to discard the belief in his truthfulness and of nearly every spiritual claim he made, despite my attempts through the years to explain away the mounting mass of evidence to the contrary (also by me in his own journal). Due to his indoctrinating 'teaching', and the entire project to rely on and promote what those who for decades trusted was his genuine goodness, there is a very strong impetus for anyone to deny all that does not fit the picture one held.

On what happened to destroy my entire faith in Sathya Sai Baba

While still an active follower, I wrote a book (Source of the Dream) and many articles (over 25 of which were in Sathya Sai Baba's journal, Sanathana Sarathi). There were all of an exclusively positive nature about Sathya Sai Baba and his movement. Since I learned in 1996 facts from an indubitable source very close to Sathya Sai Baba about the executions which took place in his private rooms in June 1993, I found myself increasingly having to struggle with doubts and conflicting feelings concerning not only those directly involved, but with Sathya Sai Baba's acceptance of their actions and his avoidance of any public questioning etc. In 2000 these doubts received an unwanted strong boost by the emergence of many credible allegations of sexual abuse of young men and boys by Sathya Sai Baba. It still took me months before I decided even to look at the allegations, then it took over a year of intensive investigation before I reached the conviction that they were very substantial.

Having studied every single writing of Sathya Sai Baba until at least 2000 in depth - originally concentrating exclusively on the positive aspects and disregarding what failed to make sense or seemed misguided (explaining this away in many different ways from bad translation to his inscrutability and 'testing' of faith etc.) - plus an increasing number of bogus statements on scientific, historical and scientific - I grew more and more uncomfortable. I had not let that influence my overall positive agenda as to some of the main ideals Sai Baba supports which I always did accept. Because of the great number of devoted testimonies insisting that his materializations were genuine, I had trustingly accepted that they were. But I was as naive as all the others then in that I had little knowledge of the techniques of illusionists and the use of powerful suggestion (including 'instant hypnosis'). In the years following my final disaffection, I began to look critically at all I had experienced and read of him and also the many inconsistent and often false reports of other followers that I knew very well. I noticed increasingly how Sai Baba's observable behaviour disagreed more and more with his claims and doctrines. This would have been an entirely taboo approach for anyone who was still a service worker and had an office in the Sathya Sai Organization, but was not so after resigning.

This discovery was accompanied by a gradual collapse of many accompanying beliefs, a mental domino effect which successively readjusted the whole set of interpretations of experiences and putative facts and even some of the moral principles on which my former faith was based. The result of this renovation of the entire Sathya Sai Baba phenomenon and my experiences relating to it is expressed in my writings.
After 2000 and my forced rejection of Sai Baba's basic claims of truthfulness, a very instructive process of new understanding began and continues to this day, i.e. the deconstruction of the deceptions backed by the huge myth of Sai Baba and most of the 'spirituality' he proclaims. This despite his having forwarded some good works in India financed by others, especially foreigners, (also, it is fair to note, with financial and other contributions from myself).
Once I began to look for it, damning evidence and testimony emerged - enough to overwhelm any person who retains a mind of their own, though requiring a great deal of knowledge of Indian duplicity, corruption, bribery and lawlessness to understand how such a massive deception was possible. Having learned from hard experience, I am now highly sceptical of all Sai Baba - and his defenders' - claim and no longer accept nothing from them at face value. I now know there are alternative explanations for everything I had experienced, but had interpreted (mistakenly) according to the inculcated Sai Baba 'teaching', which relies on long tried and tested Indian forms of religious self-indoctrination, as do most religions, once one has by some means been hooked into belief and faith.

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