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Timothy Conway and Gurus

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Timothy Conway
In 2008, Equalizer (Gerald Joe Moreno) described me as “a staunch Anti-New Age advocate and Anti-Guru advocate.” He made no mention of the fact that I had composed such books as Gurus Rediscovered (1986), which provided sympathetic biographies of two Indian saints, including Shirdi Sai Baba (d. 1918). The polemic of Moreno was geared to conveniences of attack format, as distinct from reliable detail.
The above description comes from a Moreno blog ridiculing Dr. Timothy Conway, a prominent American ex-devotee of Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011) who was deeply concerned about the alleged sexual abuses of his former guru. The Moreno criterion for censure was here: “Kevin Shepherd blindly referenced him [Conway] although Timothy Conway is a true believer and promoter of Gurus.” Numerous other beliefs were added. This very strained argument was part of the apologist campaign of Moreno. 

One feels obliged to add here that Dr. Conway lodged a strong criticism against the American guru known as Adi Da Samraj (d. 2008), whose validity he repudiated. Moreover, his account of this disconcerting  entity included a detail that is neglected in some other accounts, namely that Adi Da was “an avid drug-user over many years.” The website of Conway is also critical at some length of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (d. 1990), alias Osho.
Conway became an ex-devotee of Sathya Sai Baba in 2001. He is strongly associated with a BBC confrontation in 2004 with Dr. Michael Goldstein, the Sathya Sai Organisation official who allegedly patronised (and paid) Moreno. Both of these doctoral entities subscribed to beliefs about gurus. In contrast to Conway, Goldstein became notorious for evasion on the subject of sexual abuse, which the BBC documentary Secret Swami did much to highlight. 
Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) again resorted to misrepresentation. He wrongly stated that “Shepherd often attacks New Age believers and Guru promoters as being brainwashed and mentally sick.” Basing himself on this misrepresentation, the Pro-Sai campaigner accused me of discrepantly citing “New Age believers and Guru promoters” against Sathya Sai Baba. Therefore I was wrong. 
The argument is inane that guru supporters cannot be cited by critics who disbelieve in Sathya Sai Baba. Moreno had accused me of being incapable of formulating a sober argument. The sobriety of Moreno argument was in strong contention throughout his web tenure of 2004-2010. His Pro-Sai tactic of justifying a controversial guru, via the use of bludgeoning and defamatory verbiage, is not convincing in the slightest to most non-devotees. 
Dr. Conway is an advocate of non-dualism (an outlook associated with Hinduism). His approach to Moreno was relatively amiable by comparison with some other ex-devotees, but this made no difference to the hostility of the attacker. 
Sathya Sai Baba and Dr. John Hislop
Conway refuted the charge of Moreno that the John Hislop letters of 1981 were forgeries. According to Dr. Conway, those letters are important documentary evidence of sexual abuse in the case of Sathya Sai Baba. Dr. John Hislop (d. 1995) was an American devotee of the guru who could not believe that allegations of abuse were valid. Twenty years later, many ex-devotees accepted the truth of such allegations, which had increased substantially by that time. 
Kevin R. D. Shepherd 
ENTRY no. 16 
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Ullrich Zimmermann and Sathya Sai Baba

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Ullrich  Zimmermann
In October 2008, the Equalizer (Moreno) blog Kevin Shepherd Exposed reproduced the gist of earlier Moreno assertions about Ullrich Zimmermann. This ex-devotee had provided three lengthy online video interviews describing his relationship with Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011). 
Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) opted to caricature my comment that Zimmermann had contributed “one of the most arresting testimonies of sexual abuse” in relation to Sathya Sai Baba. Critics say that Moreno was desperate to distract attention from the basic issue of abuse. 
Zimmermann was confused on many points by his indoctrination at an early age; he was only fourteen years old when he first contacted Sathya Sai in the ashram at Puttaparthi. An activity of sexual abuse is discernible in his reminiscences of the guru, accompanied by exaggerated references reflecting some devotee beliefs. Clinically, this sort of material is very evocative, and deemed important by psychiatrists and other specialists. 
The commentator Robert Priddy entitled his report Ex-Sai Devotee Speaks Out Convincingly, and in relation to sexual abuse. Moreno countered by saying that the testimony of Zimmermann was unbelievable. The Pro-Sai campaigner invented a series of verbal diversions. 
Avoiding the crux,  Moreno resorted to a puerile argument that Kevin Shepherd, a “strong Anti-New Age advocate” was citing the testimony of “a New Age follower against [Sathya] Sai Baba.” I was supposed to be “giving credence to New Age beliefs.” Moreno diverted attention from the basic issue by stating that Zimmermann was “a New Age follower of Ramtha.” This theme was further twisted into the erroneous statement that I was “willing to give credence to New Age beliefs by claiming that New Age followers are intelligent, honest, credible and reliable.” 
What I actually wrote on this subject earlier that same year contradicts the Moreno tangent: 

“It is obvious that Zimmermann and other Western devotees were afflicted by concepts and syndromes deriving from the ‘miracle’ projection which Sathya Sai encouraged at their expense. Some of them could not think clearly in emerging from their predicament. Zimmermann expressed misapprehensions about such matters as ‘genital switch miracles,’ and became further distracted by Ramtha channelling…. The due evaluation (by Priddy) is completely ignored by Moreno, who indulges in the injurious subversion of context for which he is notorious amongst ex-devotees…. Diverse analysts have concluded that it is useless to compose responses to such a sectarian agent of misrepresentation. 

“Despite confusions in the reports of Zimmermann, that source does testify to sexual abuse and the common acceptance of this disparity at the Puttaparthi ashram of the guru. Zimmermann narrates a personal experience of oral sex with the guru, and says that the homosexual activities of Sathya Sai were well known to many ashram residents. Such details serve to confirm other accounts such as those of ex-devotee Conny Larsson.” 

In contrast, Moreno (alias Equalizer)  chose the superficial and duplicit strategy of emphasising his “New Age” lore. He presented this distraction in a manner which supposedly passed the final judgment, and much to my detriment. “This information is going to be very disillusioning to Kevin Shepherd’s readers and admirers (as few as they are).” 
Again the note of contemptuous dismissal. Of course, in such a Pro-Sai argument I only had a few readers, whereas Moreno was obviously claiming a much larger number, meaning devotees of Sathya Sai Baba who believed his distortions and libels. Zimmermann was only one of the many testifiers to abuse, and Moreno could not stop the passage of information. 
Another defector from Sathya Sai Baba was the American  therapist Elena A. Hartgering,  whose account includes the following

“Dr. [Michael] Goldstein and other officials in the [Sathya Sai] organisation are suppressing information, and attacking former devotees who have testified against Sai Baba. There is, for example, a letter from a woman in California which was sent to all [regional] Center presidents. In our center it was suppressed by the president and devotions coordinator because they were told to do so by the regional president…. Sai devotees resent the organisation being labelled a cult, yet these are clearly cult practices [of suppression] and mind control techniques.” 

A favoured argument of Moreno was that Sathya Sai Baba had never been convicted of any crime, and therefore allegations of abuse were irrelevant. This theme is evasive and misleading, in view of contextual data concerning the compromised Indian police, and the influence of prestigious devotees in Indian law courts. For instance, a report from the Indian rationalist Basava Premanand informs that a youth was murdered in 1987 after fleeing from being sexually abused by the guru of Puttaparthi. This victim was “murdered by burning in the [Sathya Sai Baba] College campus in daylight.” The contested police verdict was suicide. Other students at the College protested to the police, with the consequence that their parents were given a warning of  police action.
One of the many sexual abuse instances is graphically described in the statement of a fifteen year old victim (an American). Sordid details in such accounts have been known to shock sensitive readers.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd 
ENTRY no. 15 
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved

Gerald Joe Moreno and Sai Critics

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Moreno (Equalizer) blog depiction of Robert Priddy, 2008
Equalizer (Gerald Joe Moreno) furthered a web campaign of purported exposure. A number of his blogs bore the proclaimer of “Sai Critics Exposed.” The Sai reference denotes Sathya Sai Baba, not Shirdi Sai Baba (I have written two books featuring favourable accounts of the latter entity, but Moreno lore and libel completely ignored these).
The contested Equalizer blogs also bore an explicit campaigning motto, worded as: “Campaign to Stop Anti-Sai Activist’s Abuse.” This motto was deceptive. Anti-Sai was a favourite slogan of Moreno, who declared his own orientation in terms of Pro-Sai. The “abuse” here referred to allegations of sexual abuse, and other problems, in relation to Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011). Moreno did not recognise the validity of testimonies from ex-devotee victims.
There were nine blogspot features pillorying “Sai Critics.” Seven of these were ex-devotees, including retired academic Robert Priddy and Dr. Timothy Conway. Reinier van der Sandt (the Dutch musician) was not an ex-devotee, but the webmaster of exbaba.com, a major website for critique of Sathya Sai Baba. I was the only non-activist represented. The attack and defamation was thus being extended into the public sector. I was not an ex-devotee, and nor a web activist against the guru, although I was an objector to Moreno tactics in my direction. 
Three images of myself were used by Equalizer (Moreno) in a much duplicated composite. That triple image is symptomatic of cultist excess. Ex-devotee Robert Priddy received a despising pictorial representation as a primitive ape-like creature. Of course, nobody was supposed to show an image of Moreno, as he prohibited this practice, and in relation to his sole known photograph. 
Another ex-devotee on the hit list was Barry Pittard of Australia. He was treated to a very misleading “exposure” as a sexual aberrant. Moreno misrepresented data on a website to mean that Pittard was guilty of “paedophilia,” a verdict posted on yahoo.com. The rebuttal was so decisive that the accuser was obliged to retract his allegation, an action that “was most grudging and manipulative in its wording – a single line buried among a mass of self-justification.” Moreno continued to post his defamation on his website and also bulletin boards. See Defamation of Barry Pittard
In 2008, I had cause to comment: “It is very obvious that Moreno’s belief in the priority of Sathya Sai Baba entails a categorical dismissal of any criticism as being a manifestation of perversity or conspiracy.”

The numerous allegations and testimonies of abuse have withstood denials, and provide an indicator to events that cannot be dismissed because of devotee preferences to the contrary.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd 
ENTRY no. 14 
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Kevin RD Shepherd Not An Academic

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Craig Gibsone
Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) was incensed when some ex-devotees (of Sathya Sai Baba) described me as a scholar. He went to elaborate lengths to snub this classification. His blog Kevin RD Shepherd is NOT an Academic appeared in 2009, and notably capitalised the negative word.
Since 1983, when I first emerged in print, I have made clear that I am not an academic, both to avoid confusion and to allay any grievances of specialist academics. The Equalizer treatment of this issue in 2009 was memorable even by the vehemently distorting standards of Pro-Sai web campaign:
“Kevin R. D. Shepherd is a sectarian bigot who obsessively, unremittingly and fanatically attacks and stalks everything and everyone affiliated with the Findhorn Foundation.” 
Equalizer (Moreno) here relinquished completely any credence to accurate reporting. It is well known that I am not a member of any sect. My criticisms of the Findhorn Foundation do not come under the sectarian category, as is obvious to diligent readers. Nor do I criticise “everything and everyone” affiliated with that organisation.
Informed readers concluded that the extremist Moreno assertion closely reflected his own ill-repute as an obsessive  stalker of “Anti-Sai” critics and ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011). Moreno was much more than a troll, gaining the repute of a cyberstalker who went to almost unbelievable lengths to blacken the reputation of his adversaries. For instance, he was reported to distort images of ex-devotees, and to harass victims by emailing their contacts with adverse portrayals. It became obvious that he targeted Google name lists with multiple entries visibly agitating against the victims. At one time there were seven hostile Moreno web entries listed in a row on my own Google listing, and with many others following in a more scattered density.
The peculiar spite of Equalizer (Moreno) was evidenced in his concluding remark at the NOT blog. “The only thing that trumps Kevin R. D. Shepherd’s non-academic role is his big ego.” Equalizer also had a non-academic role, referring to Moreno in the third person, and making many mistakes in his vituperation. The lack of context in his stigmas became a source of amazement, and not merely notoriety.
Equalizer urged that my “big ego” was proved by my pointing out the lack of academic credentials in others. The only instance he supplied was that of Craig Gibsone, an influential member of the Findhorn Foundation. No further information was given. The missing context is relevant here.
I had indeed criticised Craig Gibsone, and more than once, but not for a mere lack of academic credentials. The reason was because Gibsone had been disastrously influential in pioneering commercial Grof therapy (holotropic breathwork) in Britain. He could only be offset by the combined warning of Edinburgh University and the Scottish Charities Office in 1993. Even this setback did not prevent Gibsone’s further resort to dubious “workshop” practices of hyperventilation, connoting a medical risk. I had pointed out that Gibsone and his team did not possess medical credentials in their “new age therapy” pastime, a lack which meant a potentially substantial risk. See further my Letter to BBC Radio, dating to 2006.
Medical doctors considered my objection to be perfectly valid. But in cult lore, such reservations are caricatured in terms of “big ego.” To extend that argument in due proportion, the Equalizer category of “big ego” discrepantly covers many medical doctors, psychiatrists, and other professional parties of scruple. Ethical complaint at discrepancy is set at naught by cult lore, an endangering activity involving a blanket dismissal of criticism and a hate campaign against any objector.

Observers of this situation pointed out that the Moreno (Equalizer) slurs, aimed at diverse victims, comprised an attempt to distract attention from the allegations of abuse made against Sathya Sai Baba. 
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 13
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

New Age Sceptic Kevin RD Shepherd

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Stanislav Grof
In 2008, Gerald Joe Moreno duplicated some contents of his aggressive website (saisathyasai) on blogspot, producing a blog cycle pitched against me. The blog feature bore his pseudonym of Equalizer, with Moreno being deceptively referred to in the third person. Of course, Moreno really had nothing to do with the hostility; he was merely mentioned in this troll exercise. At least, that is what some uninformed surfers assumed. 
The header title of this fresh attack comprised the words: 

“Exposing the vanity self-publisher, pseudo-intellectual, Findhorn Foundation and Stanislav Grof critic, new age sceptic and pseudo-philosopher Kevin Shepherd.” 

Equalizer (Moreno) was here demonstrating the aggressive nature of trolling. This manifestation of zealous “guru defender” campaign did not convince all observers as to the propriety of blog graffiti. 
Equalizer evidently believed that he could not have been a pseudo-intellectual, or indeed pseudo in any way; he was promoting the authentic cause of Pro-Sai activism. He emphasises his point by repeating the accusatory word pseudo. My books included 4,000 (four thousand) annotations, which is not the sign of a vanity publisher, as the book trade knows very well. 
The category of new age sceptic is not stigmatised outside cult circles. To be a critic of the Findhorn Foundation and Stanislav Grof  is not necessarily any proof of dire error. In my case, this disposition can  be viewed as a symptom of resistance to new age capitalist pursuits such as Grof Transpersonal Training Inc., which had a presence at Esalen and the Findhorn Foundation. The Grof activity has notably included LSD “psychotherapy,” which is not one of the conventionally accepted enterprises. 
Kevin R. D. Shepherd 
ENTRY no. 12 
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Missing Image of Gerald Joe Moreno

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An ex-devotee version of the forbidden Moreno image
In the normal way, I would supply an image of my subject. Unfortunately, in the case of Gerald Joe Moreno (alias Equalizer), this has proved very difficult. There is only one known image of Moreno that has ever been reproduced online. This originally appeared on one of his sites, and was subsequently preserved by ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba.
The image of Moreno reveals a handsome man, apparently in his early thirties, with neatly groomed hair in conventional style. There is no “hippy” look or anything else suspicious. However, when I reproduced this image on my first website in 2007, the subject reacted strongly, even sending me an email demanding that I withdraw his image.
Some time elapsed before I could fathom what was going on. I consulted my web host, who commented that there was nothing wrong, according to British standards, about reproducing an image, providing that the image was not tampered with in any way. So I retained the image of Moreno, especially as there was no other form of visual identification for names like SSS108 and Equalizer. 
I also consulted ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba on this matter, a contingent from whom the image was derived. I was informed that there had been much acrimony about images between Moreno and ex-devotees. Some of the latter had suffered distorted images at the hands of Moreno. I was shocked by this revelation, and was supplied with proof that appeared on the web.
Reinier van der Sandt with an imposed large nose. Courtesy Gerald Joe Moreno.
Sathya Sai critic Reinier van der Sandt and ex-devotee Sanjay Dadlani are now well known victims of image distortion. Moreno embellished their respective images with a big nose and exaggerated breasts. Robert Priddy also received extremist treatment in a notorious depiction.
One rumour circulated that Moreno feared exposure of his image in case anyone disfigured this, as he himself had done with the images of ex-devotees. Another interpretation is that he was simply averse to being recognised in his private life, and during his travels in India to the Puttaparthi ashram of Sathya Sai. Whatever the precise reason, he continually aggravated against my use of his sole image. He declared that this image was copyrighted and must not be used by anyone.
Eventually Moreno contacted my web host, and proved so insistent that this agent now advised me to remove the image. I did so forthwith, and deleted the Moreno image from all three sites where this was showing. That development occurred in April 2010. Certain other parties were rebellious against the prohibition by Moreno, and continued to show his image
Many people noticed that, despite my polite gesture of removing the contested image, Moreno (Equalizer) continued to display three of my images in a derogatory context of blog defamation. The “triple image” of myself was displayed on both his major attack site and his blogspot extension.
Critics say that, by refusing to concede the need for standard procedures of visual identity, Moreno justified his classification in the category of trolls, who are adversely noted for their visual anonymity. 
Kevin R. D. Shepherd 
ENTRY no. 11 
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Troll Boast, No Image

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Wikipedia manager Jimmy Wales in 2006 at a Wikimania conference discussing the identification and elimination of trolls.
The activity of internet trolls has recently become a major issue, with new measures in process and in debate. A well known Wikipedia article refers to different applications of the term troll. Standard advice is to ignore rather than to engage with a troll. Wikipedia is strongly associated with trolling. Larry Sanger of Citizendium explicitly referred to trolls in his acute dissatisfaction with the “anyone can edit” policy on Wikipedia, which has granted a general license to the use of pseudonyms.
At large, the pseudonymous phenomenon of trolling varies from militant teenage aggression to more sustained and menacing attack by seasoned cyber agitators. Some critics say that all web users must be registered with their real name, and that all websites in defiance of this precaution should be eliminated from the web. Until such a development  occurs, the internet is uncivilised.
Gerald Joe Moreno, alias Equalizer, was not a typical troll, being known by his real name at his website. However, many of his blogs exhibit a pseudonym, and in this respect he can be considered a type of troll. Many readers of Equalizer blogs did not understand that Moreno was the author. An increasingly general public impression of the troll phenomenon  (certainly in Britain) is that of a miscreant who attacks and slurs while concealing personal identity. 

A basic problem in the case of Moreno (Equalizer) is the aggressive and defamatory verbal style demonstrated by the role of “guru defender.” He was also accused by ex-devotees of being a cyberstalker, which is a very undesirable category.
Moreno (SSS108, Equalizer) assumed that he was victorious in his 2007 online repudiation of myself. Using the pseudonym of Joe108, he posted a brief item of a few lines on digg.com, a popular American site. He asserted:
“Attempting to portray himself as a serious researcher into the Sai Controversy, Kevin Shepherd wrote a rambling diatribe against Joe Moreno. Moreno responded to Shepherd and exposed him as a shabby and biased researcher.” 
Troll boasts are notorious for a deceptive sense of inflation. The so-called “diatribe” was my complaint arising from Moreno’s censorious Wikipedia User page (dated 2006) against my publishing venture. Some observers say that the complaint did not ramble, but made a point, as indicated by the acute reaction of the web militant. I did not claim to be a researcher into the “Sai Controversy,” which is an apologist phrase, but instead referred to some relevant data in relation to my own case (the updated version is at Wikipedia Issues).
I responded to the overbearing gestures with a detailed refutation of the supposed victory. My lengthy Response to Moreno (2007) was conveniently ignored by the contested entity, in preference for the five line frivolity posted on digg.com.
Improvised triple image of Kevin R. D. Shepherd displayed on Equalizer blogs. 
Another factor that emerged was the aversion of Moreno to any presentation of his image. I had included the sole known image of him in my original article of protest. I was berated for this disclosure of his appearance, and threatened with legal consequences if I included his image in any book (which was not my intention). Moreno was so opposed to the employment of his image that eventually I deleted this from my sites in April 2010. He failed to respond in due measure, and retained all three of the images he displayed of myself so frequently and abusively (along with five of my mother).
The fact emerges that my image was reproduced over eighty times on the Equalizer blog cycle of 2008-9. Yet the image of Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) was conveniently prohibited by the subject. The “guru defender” version of the troll code may be considered questionable.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 10
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Conspiracy and Michael Goldstein

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Dr. Michael Goldstein in The Secret Swami documentary
In 2007, the pro-sectarian blogger Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) made the accusation that “he [Kevin R. D. Shepherd] is a thoroughly biased conspiracy theorist incapable of formulating a sober argument, let alone conducting any semblance of adequate or impartial research.” This charming PR exercise was accompanied by another doubtful compliment, via an assertion that the material in my books (unread by him) “is controversial, convoluted and conspiratorial.”
As if to prove his vehement point, Moreno placed three images of myself directly above these statements, an action which has struck many readers as an excessive gesture. The observer may deduce that three photographs mean guilty of conspiracy, whereas only one image might have permitted a loophole for a more rational argument than is afforded at saisathyasai.com (which gained the repute of an “inquisition” site). 
Cultist campaigners often use words like conspiracy. They frequently see themselves as following an all-encompassing cause, which can brook no objections or resistance. The objector is therefore a conspirator or a biased critic who must be maligned. 
Ex-devotees complained that Moreno never revised his extreme statements and numerous errors. He viewed his sweeping judgments as being authoritative, and endorsed by his role as defender of the guru Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011). 
Some of the ex-devotee victims believed that Moreno was financed in his web campaign by the wealthy Dr. Michael Goldstein, the key American devotee and international leader of the Sathya Sai Organisation. Moreno obviously spent a great deal of time at his vengeful keyboard; his output was prolific.
Goldstein is not popular on ex-devotee sites. “He let down every abused young person by an assiduous cover-up of all questions of sex abuse by US [American] and other devotees or their families, and ceased to reply to letters to him as head of the [Sathya Sai] Organisation.” Quote from Dr. Michael Goldstein, International Chairman of the SSO
This leading and influential devotee was notably one of the entities appearing in the BBC documentary Secret Swami (2004). However, Goldstein was very evasive on the subject of allegations about sexual abuse, with the consequence that a hidden camera technique was the BBC resort
In this manner, Goldstein was filmed at his home in California, where he was questioned about the allegations. His rather heated response was considered intimidating by some viewers. Goldstein  dismissed the allegations, and claimed that as a physician, he could judge by appearance as to whether anyone had been abused. Goldstein had been a devotee since the 1970s. He has been described as a ranter in this confrontation with the BBC reporter Tanya Datta. An ex-devotee version comments

“Thinking he was in private he [Goldstein] was most offensive to the young lady interviewer, Tanya Datta, and – as his aggressive body language shows – he was very far from being a model devotee who always replies obligingly, speaks sweetly, and so on.” 

Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 9
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

BBC Secret Swami Documentary

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BBC reporter Tanya Datta
In his attack on myself at saisathyasai.com in 2007, Gerald Joe Moreno blacklisted the BBC Secret Swami documentary of 2004. The title of the G. J. Moreno blog proclaimed accusingly: “Kevin (R. D.) Shepherd referenced the BBC Secret Swami Documentary.” This BBC programme has become so well known and applauded that his reservation may be considered an apologist feat.
The BBC investigated Sathya Sai Baba, and contributed some provocative insights, detailing both sides of the controversy about that guru. Yet Moreno (Equalizer) presented me as being in error for referring with approval to this documentary. He also misrepresented a court case occurring in California, which he associated with the BBC programme via the American ex-devotee Alaya Rahm, who testified to sexual abuse. According to Moreno, Alaya Rahm resorted to street drugs and alcohol, and therefore his testimony was invalid.
The one hour documentary featured the BBC reporter Tanya Datta,  who conducted varied interviews. The schedule covered basic components of the allegations made against Sathya Sai Baba, i.e., fake miracles, sexual abuse, and the bedroom murders.
An interview with the Rahm family (Alaya Rahm and his parents) was accompanied by clips of the guru at the Shiva-ratri festival, and performing a supposed miracle. The major Indian critic Basava Premanand was interviewed, and described how he had been investigating the guru since 1968. He and his colleagues were shown explaining how “miracles” could easily be performed in a deceptive manner, e.g., the materialisation of ash (vibhuti) and the ejection of a lingam (sacred object) from the guru’s mouth. The lingam could easily be concealed in a towel, and the ash could appear via sleight of hand.
A contrasting interview with the wealthy American devotee Isaac Tigrett disclosed his belief that the allegations of sexual abuse were probably true. “I believe there is truth to the rumours.” Yet Tigrett also said condoningly: “He [Sathya Sai Baba] could go out out and murder someone tomorrow, as I said, it’s not going to change my evolution.”
An American ex-devotee named Mark Roche was also filmed. He relayed the attempt of Sathya Sai to engage him in oral sex during the year 1976. The Rahm family (in America) referred to similar experiences (and there were many such testimonies from other victims).
In relation to the notorious murders of 1993, occurring at Puttaparthi ashram, the BBC interviewed the ex-Home Secretary for Andhra Pradesh, Veluyudhan P. B. Nair, who was in charge of the state police. He early discovered that the official police report of the controversial event was “riddled with lies and inconsistencies.” This commentator disputed the official version that police officers shot the four intruders in self-defence, and urged a verdict of “cold-blooded murder.” A cover-up is strongly implied.

According to Nair, “the killing of the boys was only to buy silence.” Basava Premanand insisted that the central government stopped an investigation of the murders to prevent “economic offences, sex offences” emerging into the light of day.

Such factors were not welcome to the polemical campaign of Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer), who strenuously denied all the negative reports as being an error of the “Anti-Sai” contingent.

See further the BBC Transcript. See also BBC Documentary and A Reflection.

Kevin R. D. Shepherd

ENTRY no. 8 

Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Serious Citations Are Not Comical

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Simon Kidd
A very misleading item of Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) appeared under the heading of my “Comical Citations to Anonymous Scholars.” On my first website in 2007, I referred to two Wikipedia editors who had argued in my favour. Following his policy of opposition, these two were blacklisted by Moreno (Equalizer), who caricatured them as impossible subjects for any significance or authority. Moreno asserted that Kevin R. D. Shepherd “attempted to con the general public with anonymous and alleged ‘scholarly’ references (whose credentials he exaggerated and embellished) that cannot be verified whatsoever.” 
The attacker was keen to imply that I was unaware of the Essjay controversy, signifying the episode in which a Wikipedia administrator lied about his credentials, claiming to be a tenured professor of religion at a private university. Essjay transpired to be a 24 year old college drop out. Moreno argued superficially that this meant I fitted  a similar situation of error in referring to two Wikipedia editors as academics. His theory did not stand up to the test of time. 
One of these editors (The Communicator) stated on Wikipedia that he had a degree in philosophy. In November 2006, he gave information on a discussion page about his longstanding critical interest in the controversial practice of holotropic breathwork; in 1994 he had corresponded directly with Regius Professor Anthony Busuttil  and other medical authorities on this subject of Grof therapy. I knew very well that the eminent Professor Busuttil would not respond to non-academics, having some acquaintance with this matter myself; Busuttil had advised against holotropic breathwork on medical grounds, but this matter was not public. 
The Communicator argued very competently on Wikipedia against the obscurantism evident in the Holotropic Breathwork article, which would not at first acknowledge any published criticism of  Stanislav Grof and his therapy
Moreno implied that I was collaborating with The Communicator against Stanislav Grof and holotropic breathwork on Wikipedia. I denied this fiction, which was evidently designed to detract from the recommendations of my output provided by the two editors he opposed. Moreno clearly had no conception of what was involved in the Busuttil-Grof issue, revolving around the dangers of hyperventilation for therapy clients. He omitted reference to Busuttil and other matters of relevance. The Scottish Charities Office had been so alarmed at complaints received that they commissioned a report by Regius Professor Busuttil, who represented the Pathology Department of Edinburgh University. 
I knew that the other editor (Jedermann) was a Ph.D. because he had informed me about a Wikipedia article he had written.  Jedermann divulged his real name on Citizendium six months before Moreno insisted that this academic was anonymous and, by implication, a mere projection of mine. The inability of the pro-sectarian polemicist to keep track of events was a significant disadvantage for his version of citation. 
The two maligned editors transpired to be very tangible academics, one in Australia, and the other in Britain. The one in Australia, Simon Kidd, was indeed as I assessed him,  and Dr. M. E. Dean had even greater status in the academic world. In November 2006, the latter stated on a Wikipedia discussion page: “It is clear that Kevin Shepherd’s work is in good repute with academic researchers in comparative religion.” Serious citations of academics with credentials are not comical, only in the cartoon supplied by cultist preference and ignorance. 
In the same misleading blog of 2007, Moreno accentuated his cartoonist plot when he affirmed that “Kevin Shepherd…. publishes the writings of Stephen J. Castro and Kate Thomas through Citizen Initiative Publishing.” This evidences the extent of his misconceptions about who was doing what. There was no such logo as CIP in my case, an extra word having been added. Moreno had also mistaken distributor details for publishing action, which are quite separate activities. 
I never published the writings of either Castro or Thomas, who were represented by completely different publishing imprints to my own. Citizen Initiative only published three books, all of these being written by me. For a period of limited duration, I agreed to distribute a few titles I had not published. 
In the face of cult misrepresentation, some authors and publishers might have to spend years correcting erroneous lore. This onus will not necessarily be assisted by the “anyone can edit” convenience of Wikipedia. Some observers have concluded that, in my case, Wikipedia has afforded one of the most memorable instances of error and abuse that they know of (via SSS108, alias Moreno, and other erring editors and administrators).
Moreno was ignorant of the fact that Dr. Dean had registered his discontent with Wikipedia on the rival Citizendium in early 2007, and using his real name, thus clarifying his obsolete Wikipedia identity (as Jedermann).   Another drawback followed. The same Wikipedia article that this academic transferred (in the original form) to Citizendium acquired a complicating Wikipedia discussion page which featured an attack upon myself via a Moreno (Equalizer) blog. 
The Moreno-influenced discussion page remained so discrepant that Wikipedia manager Jimmy Wales  deleted the offensive entry when he investigated the matter in 2012. Wales also knew that the disputed SSS108 (Moreno) User page of 2006 had been widely influential (and detrimental to myself), and he deleted that item also. Wikipedia troll problems can be substantial.
Even after revealing his real name identity, the academic Simon Kidd was mocked by the pro-sectarian polemicist Gerald Joe Moreno for supporting me in his Wikipedia discussions, on webpages influenced by Moreno blogtalk. The “Exposer” mentality, committed to a “guru defender” campaign, is not the best guide to Wikipedia events, academic roles, medical complexities, or citations. One drawback involved is that Moreno continued to promote his fictions and misrepresentations on Google.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd 
ENTRY no. 7 
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.
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