Category

Equalizer

Issue of Defamation on Google

By Cyberstalking, Equalizer, Gerald Joe Moreno, Sathya Sai Baba

Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer)

In his campaign to attack all critics of Sathya Sai Baba (d.2011) and himself, Gerald Joe Moreno proved nothing except that the role of a cyberstalking sectarian apologist is acutely misleading and reprehensibly libellous. 

In January 2009, a lawyer passed verdict on the internet attacks by Gerald Joe Moreno (alias Equalizer) in my direction: 

I think that [Gerald] Joe Moreno has been quite defamatory, and I would be very surprised if he has not taken the precaution of ensuring that no property of any value is in his own name, and thus not available to execute against action exerted to satisfy an award of Damages for Defamation. His web writing comes across to me as that of a petty and fanatical lout who always needs to have the last word, and that in itself makes me wonder about his motivation and, thus, to doubt his good faith and his credibility. His output realistically amounts to little more than a hopefully face-saving smokescreen for the benefit of his own cheer squad. 

The count against Moreno increased substantially by 2010. From 2007, he ignored my detailed protests at his misrepresentation and libel. He is reported to have suffered decease in 2010, at the age of forty. Only part of his web output remained visible on Google. 

Hostile and misleading representations of myself were sustained at diverse Moreno sites and blogs. Those incursions included the blog called sathyasaibaba, where Moreno misleadingly referred to himself as “sathyasaibaba,” thus creating an impression that his guru Sathya Sai Baba was here the voice of authority.

In more general terms, the collective toll of Moreno victims aroused the verdict of lawyers, in three different countries, that the web attacks of Gerald Joe Moreno were markedly libellous. His output remains a warning of what sectarian zeal can do in the furtherance of “hate campaign,” treating any kind of criticism as a punishable offence. This situation has served to illustrate the extent of abuse which can occur on Google, along with the satellites blogspot and wordpress, a largely unmonitored field with no due regulations in force. 

A pertinent question exists as to the status and propriety of blog defamation surviving on blogspot and wordpress after the decease of a malpractitioner,  in the face of active complaint.

The Moreno inquisitorial web labyrinth, prior to his death, was an obvious attempt to annul all criticism of his guru Sathya Sai Baba. Moreno frequently repeated his mantra that the Puttaparthi guru had never been convicted of any crimes. The “allegations” were therefore invalid, he liked to assert. The reason for a massive loophole in the law was that socially prominent devotees like Dr. Michael Goldstein (of California) blocked all investigation. Goldstein appeared in a well known BBC interview (dating to 2004), during which he dismissed all critical factors via his emphatic belief that no guilt could apply to Sathya Sai (the Western medic also rated his own ability to discern cases of sexual abuse). A BBC complaint emerged that Goldstein relied on the testimony of the accused, not any due process of enquiry.

Goldstein had been requested to confront Sathya Sai Baba with the abused instance of Alaya Rahm, a young American devotee. The guru responded: “Swami [Sathya Sai] is pure.” The Puttaparthi avatar was not slow to negotiate the new threat to his ascendancy. The next day, he imparted a discourse in which he lavishly praised Goldstein, more than he had ever praised anyone. Goldstein proudly referred to this eulogy as “the peak of my life.”  According to ex-devotees, Goldstein subsequently started to fund Moreno in his apologist project online. 

The Danish documentary Seduced by Sai Baba had caused a stir in 2002, being opposed by devotees who resorted to a legal procedure that failed. Produced by Ojvind Kyro of Denmark Radio (DR), the Seduced feature profiled “Sam Young,” meaning Alaya Rahm (who at that date adopted a protective pseudonym against potentially accusing devotees). During the 1990s, from the age of 16, this American was sexually molested for several years after being “oiled” (on the genitals) by Sathya Sai. Alaya and his parents were gifted with money and  jewels (also cheap gold watches that soon faded in lustre). His parents later described these offerings as bribes from the guru. The testimony of the victim includes the following:

One time he [Sathya Sai] had his robe completely off and he tried to have anal sex with me, because he came from behind and started climbing up on top of me. (Testimony from Sam Young on the video SEDUCED, exbaba.com, Witnesses tab)

Kevin R. D. Shepherd

May 2014 (modified 2021)

ENTRY no. 27

Copyright © 2021 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Marianne Warren and Shirdi Sai Baba

By Equalizer, Gerald Joe Moreno, Marianne Warren, Robert Priddy, Sathya Sai Baba, Shirdi Sai Baba
In the attempt to cement his position against a growing support for myself, Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) resorted to cheating; he supplied a misleading version of commentary relating to an academic book. A 2009 blog of his bore the title of Marianne Warren PhD Criticised Kevin RD Shepherd. This attack blog was flawed by a typically obsessive mindset, even using once more an out of context and obsolete quote (from my first website) about which I had complained in 2007. This kind of deceptive presentation can be described as entirely lacking in scruple.
The late Dr. Marianne Warren (d.2004) authored a book on Shirdi Sai Baba, namely Unravelling the Enigma (1999). Moreno chose to emphasise brief criticisms she had expressed about an early book of mine, while relegating her acknowledgement of discoveries I had made. He wrote as though I had not mentioned the Warren criticisms, and could thus be accused of dishonesty. Moreno cited a single brief comment from one of my web articles. He followed this up with the assertion:

Kevin Shepherd omitted Marianne Warren’s criticism about him and only snipped out those sections that suited his big ego.

This is a violation of fair comment, revealing a polemical agenda that is extremely misleading.

The Moreno commentary exhibits a total  ignorance of what I wrote at some length elsewhere, including my web article that same year on Shirdi Sai Baba (especially note 43). In my book Investigating the Sai Baba Movement (2005), I gave much space in text and annotations to Dr. Warren’s version of Shirdi Sai Baba, covering both the areas of agreement and disagreement between her and myself. That book (page 320) has a total of 25 index references to Dr. Warren, all of these being omitted by Moreno.

Moreno (SSS108) had even tried to ban the same book from Wikipedia. The reason was my favourable reference in that work to his opponent Robert Priddy, a leading critic of Sathya Sai Baba. Moreno had not read this book and was entirely unconcerned with the major part of the content, which he consigned to oblivion in 2006, via a Wikipedia User page.

Warren’s main criticism related to references I made about the Indian commentator B. V. Narasimhaswami. The context of those criticisms actually originated with Meher Baba. In this respect, Dr. Warren was at a disadvantage, being unable to locate a certain Indian periodical which included a diary of pressing relevance. I had cited that periodical in my annotations to Gurus Rediscovered (1986), a book which followed an academic practice of placing in the notes the publication data of works cited, thus avoiding the need of a separate bibliography. Dr. Warren commented myopically that there was no bibliography, being concerned to emphasise her pre-eminence in Marathi. The diary that she ignored was in English.

In my later book, I cited from the first edition of Warren’s Unravelling the Enigma: Shirdi Sai Baba in the Light of Sufism (1999). Dr. Warren was then a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, who claimed to be a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai and a miracleworker. Some of her controversial beliefs in that direction were represented in her book (and viewed critically by many other Indologists).
Moreno (Equalizer) ignored the contents of my 300-page book. He also completely ignored the fact that Dr. Warren had been influenced by her partisan approach to Sathya Sai Baba, whom she rejected shortly after her book was published. Dr. Warren then became an ex-devotee, horrified at the allegations of sexual abuse which became well known at circa 2000,  via such critical reports as The Findings of David Bailey (exbaba.com, Findings tab).

Dr. Warren contributed a revised edition of her book in 2004. She emphasised her new orientation in the revised author’s preface, eliminating glorifying references to Sathya Sai Baba and instead making critical comments such as:

From an early age he [Sathya Sai] chose to ride the coat-tails of the Maharashtrian sage [Shirdi Sai], linking his name with that of the earlier Sai Baba in numerous speeches he gave in the 1940s and 1950s, and by taking the name ‘Sai,’ affixing it to his own name of Sathya.

Dr. Warren intended to go much further in a denunciation of Sathya Sai Baba. She planned to write another book in this context; the introduction survives (formerly online at saibaba-x.org.uk/7/W/index). Her death prevented new accomplishments.

The Equalizer (Moreno) “hate campaign” strategy, of omitted details, is not to be recommended. The cult attitude distorts history and commentary, acting as a hopeless guide to both.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 24
Copyright © 2014 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Copyright Muddle of Gerald Joe Moreno

By Cyberstalking, Equalizer, Gerald Joe Moreno, Internet Terrorism, Kate Thomas
Images of Kate Thomas (Jean Shepherd) abused by Gerald Joe Moreno. Images copyright Kevin R. D. Shepherd.
In his web campaign to offset all criticism of Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011), Equalizer (Gerald Joe Moreno) proved his talent for confusing argument in what he called the “Copyright Issue.” This was a reductionist ploy of 2009. I was here described in terms of “foamed-at-the-mouth, gnashed his teeth and raised a huge wail about Joe Moreno [note third person] violating his copyrights for duplicating pictures of himself and his mother.”
The accusation was misleading. I had indeed complained about the excessive use of images, three of myself and five of my mother. Equalizer flagrantly reproduced these eight images yet again on the “Copyright Issue” blog page, demonstrating his defiance against reasonable complaint. 
Equalizer (Moreno) added that “Shepherd implied he may take legal action against Moreno” for duplicating images. This was incorrect; my reference to legal action had implied the libellous tactic of Moreno, not image copyrights. Equalizer thus gave the convenient impression that only photographs were at issue. In reality, the extensive train of misinformation, personal attack, family harassment, and other matters were being monitored by legal analysis which had reached very negative conclusions about Gerald Joe Moreno, alias Equalizer.  
The cyberstalker then launched into his favoured theme that his sole image was copyright protected, and therefore must not be used by anyone. He had placed five images of my mother with an insulting caption on his attack website, yet no image of Moreno could be used by me. The discrepant nature of this situation was clear to observers.
The obnoxious blog was entitled “Kate Thomas aka Jean Shepherd.” The family attack associations were made quite explicit by Equalizer when he presented another of his misrepresentations on that page. The militant guru defender stated that “Jean Shepherd is a widely solicited public figure and critic in regards to the Findhorn Foundation.” He added in brackets “albeit exclusively through her son and self-publisher.”
The word “exclusively” was here rendered in bold, meaning that Moreno discourse was irrefutable on this point. In actual fact, the emphasised word was a fiction.
My mother (Kate Thomas) had authored books (in the plural), none of which were published by me. She was celebrated in numerous press reports of the 1990s, including major British newspapers. She also appeared prominently in an annotated book by Stephen Castro that was not published by me, and which furthermore gained recognition from  ICSA (International Cultic Studies Association).  The magnitude of error on cult web deserves acknowledgment. 
The misleading blogger next opted to describe me as “a self-serving hypocrite.” This charity of Pro-Sai defamation is a testimony to what can happen on the American web to members of other nations. This strike was masked by another banal item of camouflage: the accusation that my complaint about images was negated by my own use of images in relation to such people as Eileen Caddy (deceased), Andrew Cohen, Ken Wilber, and Frank Visser. The issue of Moreno libel and distortion was here totally bypassed. Caddy was dead, Cohen and Wilber were controversial entities whose images were well known, while Frank Visser had no objection to his image being reproduced by me. 
Equalizer concluded with an extremist expression of a type that many readers found unconvincing. I was here called an “internet terrorist” and “sectarian cyberstalker.” The criterion here was that I had “pirated” the sole Moreno image by showing this on my sites. 
Critical analysts were easily able to decode the rhetorical devices employed here. I had complained that Moreno was an internet terrorist and sectarian cyberstalker. This met with ready agreement from victims and close analysts of the situation. However, in Equalizer/Moreno blog justification, this meant that the critic was an internet terrorist and cyberstalker.  Tit for tat response.
The logical effect of these blogger devices, if taken seriously, would lead to situations such as: anybody complaining of a murder would be labelled a murderer by the criminals. Anybody complaining of a theft would be regarded as a thief by the apologists. Any counter-accusation would be justifiable if blog deception was the criterion for judgment, even if regarded as blogspot.com state of the art. 
A secondary consideration here is that pseudonymous trolls lacking a web image may need to be identified in such cases of evasion. 
Kevin R. D. Shepherd 
ENTRY no. 20 
Copyright © 2014 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Kevin RD Shepherd Not a New Age Promoter

By Conny Larsson, Equalizer, Findhorn Foundation, Gerald Joe Moreno, Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya  Sai  Baba
 

The Pro-Sai campaign of Gerald Joe Moreno entailed an excessive and blanket denunciation of all critics of Sathya Sai Baba and himself. This activity involved an acute tendency to misrepresent his opponents.

The misleading blogtalk of Gerald Joe Moreno (alias Equalizer) presented me as a “New Age Promoter.” In a 2008 blog bearing this title, I was assailed as “a vanity self-publisher and author whose writings mostly revolve around (or include numerous references to) the Findhorn Foundation, Stanislav Grof and Holotropic Breathing.” 

This judgment reveals an acute misconception, or manipulation, that is not supported by my writings. Not having read my books, Moreno invented capricious themes of an extremist nature. My first website did frequently mention the Findhorn Foundation (in a critical context), and to a lesser extent Grof, but that factor is no gauge of my output as a whole. 
A related peculiarity was the assertion of Equalizer that “Kevin Shepherd typically references Kate Thomas (aka “Jean Shepherd,” his mother) and Stephen J. Castro in his writings.” Uninformed readers gained the impression that all I wrote about in my books and web articles were my mother and one other writer. The convenience of this contraction for Pro-Sai polemic was considerable, at the expense of truth. See further my bibliography of books and web articles
In the same blog, Equalizer arrived at the disputed conclusion that “these verifiable facts leave Kevin Shepherd looking rather pathetic and foolish and reeking of hypocrisy.” This demeaning verdict appeared in the same paragraph as the incessant Moreno theme that I had endorsed the “psychic trance medium Conny Larsson.” I had done no such thing, as inspection of my output will reveal. 
I had merely cited the FECRIS report of ex-devotee Conny Larsson concerning sexual abuse on the part of Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011). In contrast, the Larsson workshop adventures in “psychic trance” and Vedic mantra may well amount to confused ex-devotee activity. Such lapses could hardly be more objectionable than the vituperative polemic of an aggressive blogger like Gerald Joe Moreno. 
Kevin R. D. Shepherd 
ENTRY no. 18 
Copyright © 2014 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Timothy Conway and Gurus

By BBC Secret Swami, Equalizer, Gerald Joe Moreno, John Hislop, Michael Goldstein, Sathya Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Organisation
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 sexual abuses reported 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. 

There are different types of “guru.” To his credit, 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 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 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. However, 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 reports of abuse were valid. Twenty years later, many ex-devotees accepted the truth of such reports and testimonies, which had increased substantially by that time.
A relevant incident is reported prior to the Hislop letters. In 1970, an American devotee found that Sathya Sai was obsessed with sexual arousal. Tal Brooke reported this episode in his book Avatar of Night (1999), pp. 121-130. His private interview occurred behind a velvet curtain. The guru imposed unexpected gestures of sexual molestation. Brooke at first wondered if Sathya Sai was purifying his “lower chakra,” afterwards discarding such devotee fantasies. “The agitation remained, Baba showed every pant, every tremor of arousal. Why?”

Brooke did not respond to the uninvited arousal. The guru then removed his predatory hand from the private parts of a disconcerted devotee (Tal Brooke was sexually abused, exbaba.com). Many others were less resistant to a figure of authority who claimed absolute divine prerogative.

A handwritten testimony came from a fifteen year old Western victim reporting two private interviews in September 1999. Sathya Sai masturbated him, then “kissed me on the mouth for a long time.” The guru also gave the respondent a gift of 3,000 rupees, saying: “Don’t thank me, I am everything. I am Shivashakti.” Sathya Sai commenced to push his penis into the respondent’s mouth. While engaged in this invasive feat, “he subtly moved his hips back and forth enough times that I lost count” (Statement of a fifteen year old victim, exbaba.com, Witnesses tab).

Kevin R. D. Shepherd 
December 2013 (modified 2021)
ENTRY no. 16 
Copyright © 2o21 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Ullrich Zimmermann and Sathya Sai Baba

By Basava Premanand, Equalizer, Gerald Joe Moreno, Michael Goldstein, Robert Priddy, Sathya Sai Organisation
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 said 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. 
Robert Priddy composed the report Ullrich Zimmermann’s Shocking Interview with Sathya Sai Baba (2007, exbaba). 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. Moreno could not stop the passage of relevant 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, therefore allegations of abuse were irrelevant. This theme is evasive and misleading, in view of contextual data concerning the compromised Indian police, the influence of prestigious devotees in Indian law courts, and reported events at the Sathya Sai Colleges. 
The Indian rationalist Basava Premanand informed that a youth was murdered in 1987 after fleeing from sexual abuse. 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 against them. The Puttaparthi guru and his Trust exerted a monopoly of control over devotee jurists and bribed police officials (some of these also being devotees). 
This episode has further detail in another account.  The victim was Lokayya Pujari, at the village of Alike, near Mangalore in Karnataka. That village was the site of a Sathya Sai College, where Lokayya was a student. His corpse was found in charred condition. The College authorities  pronounced a verdict of suicide. This explanation did not match the circumstances. Protesters mounted a hunger strike at the local police station, thereby gaining a hearing. According to the suppressed version, a College warden had hit the boy when he complained of discrepancies. He died on the spot. Kerosene was allegedly poured on the corpse to make the death look a suicide. One allegation urged that the victim here reacted to sexual abuse in the precincts (another explanation was alcohol and meat consumption). A due enquiry, conducted by Karnataka state government, was successfully offset by the Sathya Sai Central Trust based at Puttaparthi (Narendra Nayak, Investigating the Murder at Sathya Sai Baba’s College, published by Indian Skeptic, 1987, available online at exbaba.com).
Devotees were unable to believe that murders were in process. Basava Premanand suggested, in 1998, that murders occurred at Puttaparthi via the “electric crematorium of Sai Baba.” Premanand knew more about Puttaparthi than any other critic, his resistance to Sathya Sai dating back to 1968; nothing he said can easily be disregarded.
Sexual abuse of substantial extent was evidently occurring over the years at Puttaparthi and Whitefield (the second ashram, near Bangalore). An Indian student, at one of the Sathya Sai Baba Colleges, refers to a group of seniors who were themselves homosexual molesters of many boys at the hostel where he lived. More than fifty boys are here mentioned as victims. The molesters justified their paedophilia with the refrain: “Swami (Sathya Sai Baba) likes it [predatory abuse]” (Testimony from gsmprasad, 2001, exbaba, Witnesses tab). These complicit abusers were attendants in the dreaded private interview room (at Puttaparthi) where Sathya Sai molested many victims over the years. Another regular scene of abuse was the guru’s bedroom, where his giant bed suggested activities in excess of repose. 
A revealing report of sexual abuse at Puttaparthi was mediated by Premanand in his Indian Skeptic journal. This  described events of the 1990s and earlier. The report, in a letter dated December 1998, was composed by one of the students at Puttaparthi. Premanand accordingly wrote a letter to the Vice Chancellor of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, requesting some investigation into the glaring improprieties. There was no reply. Premanand decided to publish the two neglected epistles in his journal.
Sathya Sai Baba with form boys dressed as gopis
The responding Indian schoolboy victims of sexual abuse were known as “form boys” and “intuition boys.” They were groomed from a young primary school age, being stripped naked by the guru in his private interview room where oral sex was the criterion for existence. “Miracle” gifts were enticements to further intimacy. If the respondents were “out of form,” chastisement could ensue. The Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (at Puttaparthi) is here revealed in a less than flattering light. A senior teacher, Surendranath, is described as a pimp “who has sent countless young boys toward the cauldron for sexual molestation” in return for power and status.

“Most of the sexually molested ‘Form’ boys who have become moral and physical wrecks, leave the institution.” Education prospects were dictated by homosexual activity. If a boy did not comply with demands of the abuser, he could too easily be harassed and expelled from College. Such rejects did not wish to become “a male prostitute.” The students for “higher learning” were “forcibly being converted into homosexuals.” Some boys could no longer concentrate on their school studies because of the distractions imposed. Explicit details are provided:

[Sathya Sai] Baba thrusts his erect sexual organ in the poor boy’s mouth and asks the boy to suck and lick it and forces the boy to do so. Finally the boy is forced to suck and drink the ejaculated semen of Baba. Baba also licks and sucks the sexual organs of such boys. 

At the interview room, a curtain separated these sordid encounters from general view. “One can sometimes actually see boys being molested if the curtain moves.” Moreover, “some have actually seen boys being molested with their own eyes, but keep mum [silent], for their own selfish survival, branding this dirty act as spirituality…. They [the witnesses] just act as pimps.”

Sathya Sai regularly organised holiday expeditions to certain places such as Kodaikanal, solely for the purpose of intimacy with “form boys.” These victims were even molested in the motor car and bus en route, the guru caressing their genitals in his obsessive manner. Victims were always enjoined never to talk about what happened. The “intuition boys” were often terrified of any disclosure to their uncomprehending devotee parents (who could react strongly to any suggestion of impropriety). Devotee dogma was unyielding, like the guru himself.

One of the “intuition boys” demonstrated an aberration that could occur in these circles. He himself abused about forty small innocent boys in the school system of this bizarre milieu of “higher learning.” The graphic account by the Puttaparthi student also refers to “crazy foreign ladies who are not allowed inside and are sometimes beaten up.” The guru was not partial to women, only men and boys; he is known to have made strong attempts to break up male and female partnerships. Another ominous reference is made by the student to “bodies of mostly young women which are found in the hills and also the bodies of young women which… are either burnt near Chitravathi or buried near it” (B. Premanand, Sai Baba and his Students, The Indian Skeptic, August 1999, an article also appearing online).

Kevin R. D. Shepherd 

ENTRY no. 15 
December 2013 (modified 2021)
Copyright © 2021 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved

Kevin RD Shepherd Not An Academic

By Craig Gibsone, Cyberstalking, Equalizer, Findhorn Foundation, Gerald Joe Moreno, Holotropic Breathwork, Sathya Sai Baba
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. 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,  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, 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 deficit posing a potentially substantial risk. See further my Letter to BBC Radio, dating to 2006.
Medical doctors considered my objection to be perfectly valid. However,  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 sexual abuse made against Sathya Sai Baba. The solid testimonies are revealing.
A well known testimony came from Jens Sethi, a German who encountered Sathya Sai Baba at close quarters during the 1990s. In the notorious interview room at Puttaparthi ashram, “he [Sathya] commanded me to remove my trousers, unzipped my fly and went with his right hand into my underpants. Sathya Sai Baba the divine touched and massaged my genitals unasked. He expected some erection, but this didn’t happen for I did not feel any sexual excitement, no lust in the presence of a seventy year old man. I was really disgusted. Then he had the impudence to say, ‘It is very weak, don’t waste energy.’ When I looked at him I realised the truth about him and was shocked indeed” (Experiences of an ex-Sai Baba devotee I, exbaba.com, Witnesses tab).

Sethi continues his narration of events:

I came into contact with other devotees who had similar and even worse sexual experiences [with Sathya Sai], and came to the conclusion that there is indeed a pattern of behaviour towards his victims. First he establishes contact and checks the devotional potential of the devotee. Afterwards, once he has decided to molest a person he starts by kissing the same [on the lips]. The next step is massaging the genitals with oil or vibhuti [sacred ash], and finally [he] is masturbating them. In the end he asks [the victim] to do oral sex! This is nothing but the truth. Also, [there are] testimonies from Indians who have been sexually molested through Swami [Sathya Sai] even in the early seventies [1970s]. Now it becomes evident through many testimonies that he had sexually molested and raped young boys for a very long time.  This made me very sad and it broke my heart…. To cover up the awful incidents, he builds more and more buildings to distract innocent devotees from his evil motive. He wants to become more famous than Krishna and is after name and fame. (Experiences of an ex-Sai Baba devotee II, exbaba.com, Witnesses tab)

Some Western victims tried to justify their plight by inventing bizarre justifications. The oiling ritual was invested by these alarmed devotees with supposed significances of “kundalini energy,” a Tantric theme becoming popular in the Western new age. This excuse also became associated with the Sathya Sai action of kissing the lips. Some victims referred to the “balancing” of kundalini, a fantasist belief in Western sectors created by entrepreneurs.

Apologist devotees subsequently resorted (by 2006) to a belief that “spiritual healing” was being accomplished in sordid activities of the interview room and the bedroom. Others denied that the abuse had ever occurred. Sathya Sai himself apparently favoured the “spiritual healing” interpretation. A prominent Dutch devotee insisted that the abuse was a remedy for “karmic debts and sexual lust” (Dogged Denial).

Western victims were often very confused. One of these was Gerald Joe Moreno, who early stated that he had experienced the oiling ritual in 1988, at the age of eighteen. The Pro-Sai activist subsequently attempted to justify (and to ignore) such guru eccentricities, which complicated his apologist tactic. Ex-devotees pointed out the discrepancies. This was no proof of their “big ego.” To the contrary, they were opposing a guru who claimed to be God while pursuing phallic and paedophile preoccupations in numerous instances. One devotee justification for all discrepancies was the assertion: “Swami (Sathya Sai) is God.” They were repeating the guru’s own inflated emphasis.

Kevin R. D. Shepherd

December 2013 (modified 2021)

ENTRY no. 13
Copyright © 2021 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

New Age Sceptic Kevin RD Shepherd

By Equalizer, Esalen, Findhorn Foundation, Gerald Joe Moreno, LSD, Stanislav Grof
Stanislav Grof
In 2008, Gerald Joe Moreno duplicated some contents of his aggressive website (saisathyasai) on blogspot, producing a blog cycle pitched against me. This hostile 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 were led to assume. 
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 gained an influential 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.

Troll Boast, No Image

By Cyberstalking, Equalizer, Gerald Joe Moreno, trolls, Wikipedia
Wikipedia manager Jimmy Wales in 2006 at a Wikimania conference discussing the identification and elimination of trolls.
The activity of internet trolls has 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, granting 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 image identity; moreover,  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 exhibited a pseudonym. In this respect, he can certainly be considered a 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 five 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 strong point, which Moreno evasively resisted. I did not claim to be a researcher into the “Sai Controversy,” an apologist phrase, instead referring to some relevant data concerning 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 emerging was the aversion of Moreno to any presentation of his image. I had included his sole known image in my original article of protest. I was berated for this disclosure of his appearance, also 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, retaining 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 lax troll code may be considered questionable.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 10
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.