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 proved very difficult while he was alive. 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, being 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 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, also 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, proving so insistent that this agent now advised me to remove the image. I did so forthwith, deleting the Moreno image from all three sites where this was showing. That development occurred in April 2010. Certain other parties were pointedly rebellious against the prohibition by Moreno; they 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.