Lust, Clergy, Gurus, and A Man Called God

Sai Baba, A Man Called God

By Cathy Eck


A Man Called God

Yesterday, I saw an amazing film at the “San Diego Black Film Festival” entitled, “A Man Called God.”  The description read:  “India’s most infamous Holy man, a fanatical cult, fifty million followers, one American family, an epic tragedy…”  I had a hunch I knew the film’s message; but quite frankly, I was shocked that anyone had the guts to tell it.

Years ago, I lived in a small town in Virginia that was filled with devotees of a guru called “Master Charles.”  I watched people slowly lose themselves; eventually, they couldn’t do anything unless the guru gave them permission.  They were possessed.  They thought they were spiritual, but they were really just fucking lost.  You could see it in their eyes.

In addition, I also met many New Agers.  Much of what they said sounded true until they talked about their gurus — often Sai Baba.  I’d feel strong agitation in my stomach — the feeling you get before you vomit.

Ironically, my ex-husband had priest friends, and I felt that same level of emotion in my stomach every time I was around them.  My body simply couldn’t stomach them, but I thought perhaps there was something wrong with me.

For communication purposes, I’ll label this emotion disgust or lust.  But you can’t let go of a labeled emotion.  In truth, the emotion was my True Self screaming that these men or their devotees/believers were speaking falsehood.  I mostly just politely ignored them — unless they tried to recruit me.  Then I honestly told them what I felt.  At which point, I was severely judged.


Clergical Lust

Why is there so much lust in clergy?  More important, why do followers turn a blind eye even when they know abuse exists?

Lust was probably the real reason early Biblical leaders had so many wives.  If someone is spewing beliefs (lies) all day long, they become filled with emotions.  Their emotions were saying:  Let go.  Shut up.  But they believe their minds are telling the truth — their strong emotions must be validation of righteousness.

Lots of these men turn their emotion into charisma and dissipate it on followers.  Others gravitate to violence or war.  Many turn to sex.  When we don’t know the purpose of our emotions, and we can’t let them go, we project the release outside of us; and we do awful things to ourselves and others to get emotional relief. 


The Story (Spoiler Alert)

Kristoff St. John wrote and produced the film.  I learned that he’s famous for his Emmy-winning performance on the American soap, “The Young and the Restless,”

As a young boy, about thirty years ago, Kristoff’s stepmother became enamored with Sai Baba.  She took young Kristoff to India.  Sai Baba asked Christopher St. John, Kristoff’s father and a famous actor/film artist, to make a documentary about him.  Consequently, Christopher arrived in India with a full camera crew and began filming.

One day, young Kristoff talked to some local college students (something forbidden by Sai Baba).  They told him that Baba had sexually abused them; they were paid to keep quiet.

Meanwhile, Kristoff’s stepmother was becoming possessed by Sai Baba.  The look in her eyes says it all (picture below); it’s a look I’d seen by every devotee in Virginia.  All she wanted was a look, touch, or word from her guru so she could feel whole.

Eventually Kristoff was sexually abused by Baba.  Contrary to orders, he told his father.  The story evolves, and Sai Baba forces the family to leave; his stepmother didn’t leave until her life was threatened.  Other devotees, whom they’d met in India, ended up mysteriously dead.

The raw footage of this movie is old.  But Kristoff and his team put it together beautifully; it’s a work of art with a powerful message.  Kristoff had to heal before telling the story.  San Diego was his first showing, and his ten-year old daughter was present.  He didn’t hide this horror from her — I could see how much she appreciated that.  It brought them closer.  Honesty doesn’t harm our children; it’s our secrets that harm them.

Sai Baba died on Easter, 2011, with a $9 billion estate.  Devotees took his Easter death as a sign, but the truth was they simply took him off life support.  Sai Baba was famous for producing white dust from thin air — vibhuti.  Turns out, Sai Baba’s grandfather was a famous magician; it was a damn good trick.

A Man Called God


The Trap

In the east, it’s gurus.  In the west, it’s the Pope, his minions, or the false notion of Jesus as God.  Why do people follow these false teachers?  It’s simple.  We’re trained to follow our emotions — we believe relief is outside of us.  We’re not trained to let go of causal beliefs.

When I felt emotion around gurus, clergy, or their followers, I viewed it as a signal from my True Self to ignore them.  When believers feel emotion, they think it’s a sign of truth.  Devotees say they feel unconditional love from the guru — but it’s actually magnetism.  The gurus and clergy hold a belief that they have the truth; the followers also believe their gurus or clergy have the truth.  The complementary beliefs magnetically link creating a false sense of calmness. When we try to pull away, we feel the strong emotions again; we often run right back for relief.

I felt validated watching the film.  I’d often been judged for my repulsion to gurus and clergy.  The devotees/believers labeled me unspiritual and even evil.  Often I wondered if they were right; I’d fall into seeming endless sadness.   But I’ve learned that if we continue to trust our emotions, and use them as designed, eventually the truth does set us free.

I applaud Kristoff.  Having the courage to share the truth without even an ounce of victimhood set him free of his past.  He’s created a huge crack in the illusion leading the way for others to expose the con men in their life.

A Man Called God

6 thoughts on “Lust, Clergy, Gurus, and A Man Called God

  1. says:

    Great write up

  2. Interesting article. Devotees and believers trust their emotions too, so now, as a former follower, I think it is better to rely on evidence and rational thinking.

    • Cathy says:

      I trust that we are saying the same thing since you are a former devotee; but in case we aren’t let me clarify the point I was trying to make in this post. When we follow anyone blindly, which devotees do, our emotions are psychologically reversed. We are truly blind. We go in the direction of our emotions and we forget that our emotions mean that what the person is saying is actually not the truth. This is an old trick — been done for thousands of years. That is the point of this article.

      For a very long time, children who have little power in our world have been blindly tossed to religious and spiritual authorities that rape and molest them. The parents don’t see it coming, and the worst part is that the child feels powerless to get help or to even tell anyone. Even if this does happen, it should happen once. The first child raped should feel comfortable telling mom and dad, mom and dad should take action and speak what has happened to others with confidence, and the perpetrator would suffer the natural effect of his actions. People would stop following him; and that is good for everyone — it’s win-win. But when someone is a spiritual leader, we feel we can’t do that. We see them above natural causes.

      The authors of this movie, felt horrible that they had to take so long to get the word out. But the trauma that this incident caused and the stupid belief that religious and spiritual people are above natural causes held them captive. This is not the only movie on this subject. The BBC also exposed this guru.

      What made this movie unique is this child did tell his father, and his father believed him. His father hadn’t been blinded by the guru. You see it in the movie. His father notices that his wife is looking like she is drugged. He’s concerned because he hasn’t been blinded. She isn’t herself anymore; she has been mind controlled by this false prophet. This step-mother didn’t believe the child. We can say she was only a step-mother, but real mothers do this all the time as well. They are blinded by religious authority (and any other authority figure).

      In my work, I see this problem all the time. Parents trust the preacher over the child. Teachers trust the curriculum over the child. Children come in whole and complete and by the time they are teens, they are fractured into pieces by blind adults. This will only stop when people realize that parents are responsible for their children 100 percent of the time, and if your child gets in harms way, you have failed.

      The answer is simple. Never, ever give another human being more power than your own True Self. If the child learns that from the parents, they will speak up. But also we lead by example. If the child sees that we trust ourselves, they will most likely follow that example.

      This article isn’t for the followers of Sai Baba. They aren’t my readers. The people who read my blog are trying to find themselves, and they are often working so hard to let go of gurus like this man. They have been the children in harm’s way. I won’t take sides on any issue. But I will always defend a child. When we start doing that, the world will change because children are the closest humans on this planet to God.

      • “When we follow anyone blindly, which devotees do, our emotions are psychologically reversed. We are truly blind. We go in the direction of our emotions andwe forget that our emotions mean that what the person is saying is actually not the truth. ”

        Do you think this is true for Christians too?

        • Cathy says:

          Thank you for your comment. Sadly, it is true for all religions and all authorities because we’re trained to follow authorities as children. Later in life we either follow or rebel those authorities. But it is true for some less than others. Following isn’t bad, but you miss out on the gift of being yourself and enjoying your own original thoughts. There is truly nothing better.

          Christianity, for example, gives you free exit. Whereas, most gurus or cult leaders make exit very difficult. So it is much easier for a Christian to see places they don’t like in their religion and let them go, than it is for one who is a serious follower of a particular human being. That being said, I find that often Christians and people of other religions don’t doubt or question because their beliefs were installed so young or by someone with so much conviction. Hope that answers your question. Cathy

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