The Kheper website includes long sections on various spiritual and esoteric teachings, gurus and so-called gurus, and other topics of interest. The reader may be curious as to why I have devoted pages to someone who is not a guru (and never claimed to be), but instead is basically just a slanderer (and flaming is nothing new on the internet!) and follower of an abusive guru.
The reason is because I believe that one cannot understand the modus operandi of abusive gurus without also understanding the behaviour and methodology of their followers.
Perhaps simplistically speaking, guru followers, deveotees, and disciples can be divided into two types, with most individuals being a combination of both. These two types are found equally in the case of all gurus, whether abusive or genuine.
The first type (the Pure Devotee) has the attitude of devotion, tolerance, and personal and spiritual good will. Astrologically, this is what is called the neptunian type. Here the Higher Self is slowly coming to the fore to lead the Adhar (personality). It matters not whether they follow an abusive guru or a genuine guru, their response is the same. For such a person, anything the guru says and does can be the way to enlightenment. If they are fortunate to have a genuine Guru ( a sadguru), then their progress will be swift. If they have the misfortunate of an abusive guru, their progress will be slower, but even that cannot stop them. Because at best (although this isn't always the case) they have the attitude of surrender to the Divine, and that way even the worst abuse of a bad guru cannot hurt them (nor can the slings and arrows of everyday life) because everything is offered up to God. The downside is that such a devotee has little or no critical faculties, being overly gullible (strong heart development but little head), and hence will rationalise abuse as the Master's fiery love, necessary to break down the walls of the ego. They may get upset when outsiders criticise their beloved guru, but put it down to ignorance on their part, and never becaome all bitter and twisted over it. Most abusive gurus seem to have a following of these sort of people, and this is why it is easy to be fooled into thinking that a false guru is really genuine, because their followers are (often) so inspiring; indeed, of a very much higher moral status than the abusive guru him or her self.
The second type (the Slanderous Devotee) is the opposite. Here the Higher Self is entirely latent or even absent, and the outer personality is directed instead by false light, and dominated by Freudian ego-defense mechanisms. Highly narcissistic, authoritarian, obsessional, and sometimes (although not always) puritanical, this class of devotee consider that the whole universe revolves arpund them, or more specifically around their beloved guru as a psychological ego projection of themself. Woe betide anyone foolish enough to criticise their guru (which they take as an attack on them personally), for the formerly pleasant devotee will transform into a veritable Mr Hyde, and spare no effort in slander and defamation. The authentic guru will direct the devotee's attention to this personality fault, and teach instead compassion and non-violence. The abusive guru -0 and here indeed we see the perfect test - and their organisation will encourage such an abusive individual, indeed use them as bully boys to further their aims and conceal their crimes.
Most people on the spiritual path are a combination of the two. The more ego, the more defensiveness and aggressiveness, the less light and self-awareness. The less ego, the more devotional (the path of bhakti) and the more light. There are also other polarities and options too, such as the developed rational intellect in the service of spirituality, but this is not relevant to the topic at hand.
But sometimes, around both fake and genuine gurus, there will be individuals who are almost entirely of the second category. Which brings us to the present case study, Sai Baba loyalist Gerald "Joe" Moreno. Even so, might such pages as I presenting here be themselves defamatory, so that I am actually guilty of what I accuse others of? Well, not really, for three reasons.
By cross-linking his numerous repetitive slander websites and blogs he has achieved an undeserved prominence among Google search results - the same technique which the authors of porn sites and porn spam use to bootstrap themselves upwards. This has frightening implications far beyond abusive guru is and their fanatical followers, because it shows how a single obsessiobnal individual can serious bias a internet search engine. Since Google is an important public resource, one wonders how much other information it and other forums such as Wikipedia have been manipulated by unscrupulous individuals.
A final comment. Joe does not consider himself a devotee, does not consider Sai baba to be God, and objects to my use of the term. However, his certainty that all of Sathya Sai Baba's miracles are literally true, and hundreds if not thousands of man hours devoted to his ever multiplying websites and blogs would seem to show that he he is not being truthful to himself or to others. Indeed, the most extraordinary thing is why someone would devote so much time to defending someone they not only don't believe in and whose teachings they don't follow, but whose claims (of miracles, avatarhood, etc) go against everything they themselves believe in. Perhaps the answer is not to be found in Moreno's belief or lack of belief in Sai Baba, but in deep seated and perhaps deeply repressed psychological factors.
Saisathyasai - Gerald Joe Moreno's voluminous website. Other sites are the early (now no longer active?) Vishvarupa Com and the more recent Sai-Fi Net. Ina ddition there are numerous blogs under various aliases such as SSS108 and "the Equalizer" (gotta love that last one)
An Internet Bully. Joe (Gerald) Moreno and Gerald Joe Moreno: The Methodology of an Internet Propagandist - informative pages on Moreno, including useful lists of links, by Brian Steel
Sai Baba Exposed - by Conny Larsson - includes a large amount of material critical of Moreno, and refutation of some of Joe's claims. Defender of Sathya Sai Baba and his Organization - Gerald 'Joe' Moreno of Las Cruces, New Mexico includes lists of pages of Moreno's activities.
ON THE INTERNATIONAL SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION - A participant observational study and analysis of its structure and management by Robert C. Priddy - includes critical comments regarding Joe's actions, and their tacit approval by the International Sai Organisation
SERIOUS DEFAMATION ATTEMPT BY GERALD MORENO DEFEATED, reveals Moreno's modus operandi
The Sathya Sai Baba Cordon in Wikipedia - A critical view of Sathya Sai Baba involving details about Wikipedia, Kevin R. D. Shepherd, Gerald (Joe) Moreno, Robert Priddy, and FAIR.
A detailed report, including Moreno's Wikipedia activities and harassment, by Kevin R. D. Shepherd (Citizen Initiative).
Gerald 'Joe' Moreno - Sanjay's blog on Moreno. See also Sai Baba's Naughty Children - Gerald 'Joe' Moreno - Sanjay's review and critique of Moreno.
Indian Skeptic - a few useful observations
Gerald "Joe" Moreno is one of a number of Sai Baba supporter who are attacking and disputing the claims by ex-devotees of sexual abuse by the guru. These supporters represent a type of devotee or apologist that, motivated by ego-defense mechanisms, uses slanderous and liabellious accusations, lies, character assassination, and muckraking in order to distract attention from Sai Baba's activities. He represents the most striking case of "Jekyll and Hyde" I have ever encountered. I genuinely believe they are not representative of Sai Baba's millions of devotees who know nothing of such activities and would be shocked and disgusted to hear of them.
Moreno is however the one who is most active on the internet, the most obsessively detailed in his muckralking and nitpicking against ex-devotees, the one who I have had the most contact with, and who I have in fact had long email discussions with, perhaps the most active one on the Web (he is remarkably skillful at manipulating and vandalising Google search results with his own "graffiti"), and certainly for a while - until he and his friends were banned - the most active one on Wikipedia. And in spite of everything, being a non-anatagonistic person, I would have preferred not to have the responsibility of writing this page. But to not say anything, to try to make some "neutral point of view" excuse of not taking sides, would simply justify the slanders against ex-devoteees for their courageously brinking these molestations to light. Ultimately one has to come down from sitting on the fence, and take a stand.
For a long time Moreno dedicated himself to his huge website as a means of slandering ex-devotees who have spoken up against abuse at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba, More recently he has turned to blogging; a quick google blog search of his name will up more than half a dozen blogs, full of bitter ranting and adolescent mockery.
It would be easy to turn around and shadow project back at him and his friends the same treatment he gives others, but this is not the way to go about things. Instead I have tried here to understand where this whole attitude of extreme antagonism towards those who expose abusive gurus comes from. This means looking at Moreno as a human being, not an enemy.
And in looking at him as a human being, to try to understand why he does the things he does. In so doing, we can understand a lot of the reasons why devotees refuse to acknowledge the crimes of their gurus, instead turning with htared against any who bring such crimes to light.
It may be argued that in view of all the liabellous slander Moreno has made against ex-devotees, including young men who have been genuinely emotionally traumatised by Sai Baba's betrayal of trust, I go too easy on him in this page. Perhaps I do, perhaps I don't. And if I do, it is because it is my intention to always present someone in the fairest possible light, no matter what his actions. Perhaps I don't always succeeed in this, but I do try.
Here then is the story of me and "Joe". Note that this page has been written over a period of time, and hence includes "layers" dating from different stages of Moreno and my correspondence, and of my changing understanding of Sai Baba
How I met Gerald "Joe" Moreno is like this.
I had received an email from Lisa de Witt, a Sai Baba devotee who has investigated CIA dirty dealing, and bizarrely claims that the Sai Baba ex-devotees are in part the result of manipulation by the CIA (she has discovered that Tal Brooke's father was in the CIA, although I have no idea what role he had - janitor, clerk, or spymaster!)
Now, I tend to put interesting emails I receive on the Kheper site. So I very foolishly - without checking the facts or the other side of the story; without even knowing that there was a Sai Baba war going on - put that page, which contained some unverified claims and accusatory material towards ex-devotees, up on my website. This had a three-fold result.
First, Barry Pittard contacted me and pointed out some errors and slanderous claims on the page, which I immediately removed. Through Barry I was first introduced to the ex-devotee side of the argument.
Probably only a day or two after this, Reinier van der Sandt, unbeknownst to me, and not knowing the full story and thinking that I had written some of Lisa's email myself, placed a page attacking me on the web. Now, I did not know Reinier from a bar of soap at this point, and in my naivety was quite taken aback at the time that someone should do this.
Immediately after this, Moreno contacted me and informed me of the page attacking me. As a result, and (like Reinier!) also not knowing the full story, in this case the history behind the Sai Baba war, I naturally felt sympathetic towards Joe's position. After all, he was the one who had taken the trouble to write to me, and inform me that there was a page criticising me unfairly. Of course the actual reason Moreno contacted me about Reinier's page is most likely simply that he wanted to recruit me to his side. Unfortunately I am a rather naive person in that I always want to see the best in others, and this makes me more vulnerable to manipulation than the average person.
This I had unwittingly become caught up in a war between slanderous devotees/apologists and ex-devotees. Not knowing why I was being attacked by a Sai Baba critic I didn't know, I foolishly did not question Moreno's statements, and even got to the stage of badmouthing some people without really knowing them, because of the misinformation he had provided, and my own gullibility.
But at the same time I was also with complete sincerity trying to learn the ex-devotee position as well. At no time since seriously hearing of the allegations, have I ever wanted to take a one-sided position on this, despite the positive "vibe" I get from Sathya Sai Baba. Claims by ex-devotees of sexual abuse and betrayal of trust are just too numerous. Were this just the case of a few disgruntled ex-devotees with an ax to grind, I would have sided with Moreno. But there is just too much evidence, from too many sources, to ignore.
My break with Moreno began when Reinier, told of my position, and reading an earlier version of the above page, removed not only the page attacking me, but the pages against Joe and Lisa as well. I was very impressed by this gesture, and completely innocently suggested to Joe he could do the same. Thus some peace could be brought to the battle, by breaking the cycle of accusation and counter-accusation on both sides.
To my amazement, Joe responded with anger and rage towards me for even daring to suggest such a thing!
Later, my taking the side of ex-devotees on Wikipedia was inexcusable to Joe, who saw it as a betrayal of trust. For a while he would still sometimes write to me (including the above email which I quoted here), and I reply back telling him what I think, but always in a polite and civilized manner. These emails - mine and his reply, along with his rants against me - are available on his site, which anyone can read, to decide for themselves who is in the right.
Moreover, I have also gotten to know Joe better, and been astonished that someone who has so much devotion to Sai Baba that he will dedicate a website and all this effort to defending his guru will also have such a gross materialistic perspective. This makes me wonder why he is going to so much trouble to defend Sai Baba, if he doesn't believe that Sai Baba is an avatar or enlightened guru?
Finally, I should explain that I no longer have any connection with or communication with Moreno, and indeed this current version of this page is somewhat more critical than the original one was. At the time of writing the original page that I had not yet made my second (and last) attempt to see if there really was any spiritual, sensitivity in Moreno, and if he really was more than an obsessive shadow-projector. Why did I keep trying with someone so fixed in their views? I was misled by, first, this weakness for wanting to see the best in people, no matter how prejudiced or bigoted they may be, secondly the mandala paintings which indicated some sensitivity and religious sentiment, thirdly by the fact that as someone so obsessional about Sai Baba one would think Moreno would have some Hindu moral sensitivity, and finally by a false light that did fool me for a period. Moreno, perhaps totally understandable given his paranoia towards Sai critics, and my friendship with Robert Priddy, and also understandable given his lack of spiritual awareness, misinterpreted my guesture as "flip flopping", to which he added "And please do not preach to me Alan with your spiritual mumbo jumbo." So there you go.
For more details, see this page.
But apart from his hatred of ex-devotees and critics, is there anything Moreno says that is actually of value? That isn't (non-obsessional nitpicking, character assisnation, and info-vandalism? As far as I can tell, and in spite of his thousands of webpages, blog posts, and the rest, Joe's only reasonable contribution to the debate, concerns the affidavits by ex-devotees, which he claims do not exist, because if they did they would have been made public by now. The following is from a recent email from him, which I am reproducing here.
However, Moreno's statement here has been challenged. Now, I will say this; I have no first hand knowledge of these affidavits. Both sides present their case, and I am not privy to these documents. I only mention this because, when one takes away the insults (for a good example of the sort of flamewar that goes on between the two camps see http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sathyasaibaba2/, an obnoxious and purile forum that very few ex-devotees care to have anything to do with), and the mudslinging where Moreno tries to muddy the names of ex-devotees and Sai critics, what remains is the question of the affidavits. My own position is that is it really the smartest thing to present sensitive court documents to be smeared over the internet before they have had a legal hearing? Also, how do we know that Moreno will not attack and try to slander the witnesses with the same enthusiasm as he attacked ex-devotees over the past years?
From the start, Moreno has mades exaggerated, often liabelous, claims against ex-devotees, which I originally in my niavity believed. It was only afterwards, having corresponded with a number of them myself, that I got to know the other side of the story. And later (when he and I had truly broken contact), Moreno would attack me as well, using exactly the same tactics of ridicule, exaggeration, and hyperbole as he employs against the other ex-devotees and critics.
The most charitable thing one can say about him that Moreno is doing what he genuinely believes is right. He is sticking up for Sai Baba, towards whom, although he consistently states that he is no longer a devotee, he only, like me, has personally experienced positive feelings or vibes (see my comment on shades of grey). His loyalty to Sai Baba would be admirable, except that it also extends to fanaticism because - as with many devotees, and all antagonistic and slanderous devotees - he has so far shown himself incapable of accepting even a single fact that goes against his guru, however well-documented it is, and systematical avoids dealing with any of the criticisms of his teachings, known public behaviour, untruthfulness, and so on.
Add to that that he takes great care in mocking ex-devotees through Photo Alterations of Sai Baba Critics
One particularily despicable method Moreno likes to use is to attack ex-deveotees through posting photos of their children on any of his numerous sites. I know of two instances where he has done this.
The strange thing is, that Moreno himself is by his own admission, not a devotee, and hasn't been one since before he started his slander attacks on ex-devotees [note 1]. That raises the question of why should he so enthusiasticallty and bitterly defend someone he no longer believes in?
There is no doubt that Moreno admires Sathya Sai Baba greatly, as indicated by his first website vishvarupa.com, seeing him on a line with Jesus Christ and many other avatars. He describes "wonderful experiences" with Sai Baba [note 2], dating from his devotee period. The most significant point is Moreno's total defense of Sai Baba from all critics for years while admitting on his website that he believed him to be a sexual abuser! (see screen capture). It may be that he has changed his position re this latter point since then, although it is perhaps more likely he reworded his page as damage control (that he likes to accuse others of damage control may simply be a case of projecting the shadow). In any case Moreno's position now, and for some years, has been that Sai Baba is definitely not God.
The fact that he is so monomanical about defending Sai Baba, a man he does not even believe in, descending even into slander, suggests some sort of association, even if he is not a devotee. If he broke with Sai Baba the way that Geoff Falk did with Yogananda then I would grant that he is not a follower. But all that has happened is that he no longer believes certain religious aspects of Sai Baba's teaching and claims.
A common thread running through all of Moreno's emails, webpages, and blogs, that are diurected against critics are signs of extreme ego defensiveness: the total evasion of real debate, the hectoring tone, the shrillness when piqued, and especially the counter-transference, whereby he instinctively applies all criticisms back at the ex-devotees [note 3]. Hence it is not Moreno himself, but the critics of Sai Baba and of himself, who use ad hominem argument, are hypocritical, don't consider the evidence, are the actual liars, and so on (all this stated in the most mocking and emotive manner, although Moreno's co-worker Lisa de Witt is even more expressive in that department)[note 4]. By means of such crude tactics, he manages not to deal with much of substance at all, but at great length and in a very unpleasant way.
Ignoring the psychological element, which is the root cause and will be considered in more detail later, Joe's main "argument" against critics of Sathya Sai Baba is to try to assassinate their characters (i.e. a fallacy of argumentum ad hominem - attacking the person, rather than their views). To do so he indulges in both suppression of the truth and false statements. Gerald Moreno also uses side-issues to distract from what critics write. See also Robert Priddy's statement for more details on these and other matters.
One example of "dirty tricks" is to reproduce large amounts of text from several critics of Sai Baba, especially in the case of Robert Priddy, the effect being to ensure that any keyword from Priddy's many pages will also be found by Google on his libelous pages against Priddy.
Very often his defamatory attacks take the form of infantile behaviour, such as creating images meant to mock or humiliate (see his actions against Sanjay), referring to an Indian sceptic and Sai Baba critic investigations as "rational and septic", calling Robert Priddy, "Priddles", and other examples of puerile bad manners that ill befit someone who makes such a big claim about standing up for the truth against unfair allegations.
Moreno also searches for details about any relatives, friends and employers of critics he can obtain and attacks them in one way or another. E.g. Barry Pittard, Conny Larsson, Sanjay Dadlani, Robert Priddy and others.
Until he was banned, Moreno and a little less often de Witt were also active in Wikipedia, in a manner typical of uncritical and ego/shadow projecting devotees who cannot stand to have Wikipedia have any views critical of their gurus, working very hard to deny that any of the allegations against Sai Baba are correct. At the same time Moreno tried to have his slander page against Robert Priddy included on the Wikipedia page on him. Fortunately, new Wikipedia policy means that I was able to remove the link.
As well as being quite extreme in his public internet defamation , Moreno also totally denies spirituality, referring to it as "mumbo jumbo" (in an email to me dated 14th Jul 2006 he wrote "And please do not preach to me Alan with your spiritual mumbo jumbo"). He also reveals his materialistic stance in the way he repeatedly mocks ex-devotees' New Age and paranormal beliefs. At the same time Sai Baba's own purported miracles and materialisation are believed in explicately and unquestioningly. Which raises another point in relation to the slanderous or ego-defensive devotee, their hypocrasy. See also Moreno's double standards on eating meat, and as well as other about-fases on various matters.
Joe is certainly not a good follower of Sai Baba, because he rejects fully in practice the teaching about how to relate to people. But this is the largest part of the main doctrine! So again, why the obsession with defending Sai Baba, if he believes that everything that Sai Baba teaches is wrong?
Moreno not only denies that he is a devotee, and in fact (and to my great surprise fir someone who has devoted such an unnatural amount of time and energy to defending Sai Baba) eventually revealed himself to be a gross materialist. This is shown in his attempts to ridicule Sai baba critics and ex-devotees on the grounds of actual or apparent esoteric , New Age and paranormal beliefs that ex-devotees have. Yet he fanatically, obsessively, defends a man who claims to materialise Swiss watches, holy ash, and other small objects out of thin air. Why then would he criticise ex-devotees, yet at the same time defend a man who claims to materialise apports out of thin air, something that Moreno himself believes in?
The question here is, are we speaking about a deliberate hypocrite or someone who is self-delusional and thus genuinely believes they are saying the truth?
There are three possible options:
Not all instances of Moreno's can be dismissed as mere self-delusion or disassociation. In some instances he has stated outright untruths about several of the critics of Sathya Sai Baba. For example, that he cannot link to their websites because he has been blocked (in fact the real reason he does not want to link to them is that he is afraid of them getting beenefits through Google's ranking system) , that they have posted on porno sites, that some of their websites were removed for 'defamation' etc.).
Another time he criticised and condemned two vegetarian ex-devotees for eating meat (which is against Sai Baba's teachings) while himself gleefully artaking of animal products, include cheese made from rennet [note 5].
When Moreno suggested that Robert Priddy had not donated as much as he claimed, he did not correct this in any way - nor mention it - after proof of major donation were published. The same applied to his denial that Robert Priddy knew V.K. Narasimhan very well, refusing to accept the major documentary evidence, including letter scans and many original notebook records scanned and published by Priddy on his website as proof of this.
Because he is a materialist (or radical spectical agnostic, which is a more polite way of saying the same thing), and not a devotee in a religious sense, and he rejects Sai Baba's claims of divinity (this must be the one area where he agrees with the ex-devotees!), Moreno's defense of Sai Baba cannot be for genuine spiritual or devotional reasons. Clearly, it must be due insead to powerful ego- and shadow-projection on his part. Joe is, however, in my opinion (and I am not a shrink, this is just my armchair opinion) an obsessive person, full of rage and self-righteous anger towards anyone who would dare criticise Sathya Sai Baba. This of course is the downside of his unwavering loyalty. He is loyal, which is good, but he cannot stand back and look at Sai Baba and the claims made against him without bias, which is bad. He thus cannot but begin with the position that Sai Baba is completely innocent, therefore anyone who accuses Sai Baba of abuse is lying. Since they are, in his mind, liars, he tries to expose, slander, and humiliate them in any way he can. His website is full of accusations of pedophilia, pornography, religious fundamentalism, deceitfulness, bigotry, and racism directed towards ex-devotees. These are accompanied by links, many of which, when read with a non-biased eye, turn out either to be irrelevant (although if you let yourself be prejudiced it is easy to read into them whatever you want, as happened with me regarding Reinier because I was prejudiced against Reinier at the time because of his page against me), or if they are true, refer to such a minor thing that you think, so what? For example his accusations of some ex-devotees being interested in pornography. Here we see a real puritanic side of him that comes through; Joe adopts the moralising attitude that anyone who has at any time shown any interest in porn must automatically be a pervert and a liar. And if any ex-devotee has ever made one mistake, one error, just one, in the past, he will drag it out for all to see, and use it as evidence that they are deceitful, or a pervert, or whatever. There is no compassion there, no love, none at all.
The suggestion that Moreno is projecting his shadow on ex-devotees, that his hatred of them therefore is really hatred of his own darkness, is revealed by the choice of words he uses to describe critics of Sai Baba, as indicated by his many websites and blogs, which often come up in google searches. Words like Biased, Hypocrite, and Extremist could certainly be more appropriately applied to the tone of his own blog posts, a s a little perusal shows.
What is particularily interesting is the very similar behaviour between that of the slanderous devotee, and of an emotionally immature mother, when told by her child of sexual abuse by her spouse, who turns on the child who is the victim, not on the spouse who is the perpetrator.
In each case, people so identify with the spouse, or the guru, or the authority figure, and are so emotionally weak within themselves, and have so many repressed issues and unresolved complexes, that the only thing they can do is attack the one who brings the message. Because for them to face the reality of the message, the dissilusionment, the realisation that the one they loved and adored and worshipped and elevated on a pedestal is actually a very immoral human being, would be too much to bear. So they lash out, and it always at the weakest person, the victim. Because being so emotionally weak and immature, these people are bullies as well, and a bully will never attack one who is in a position of power.
And that is what makes the abusive and slanderous devotee tick. Just as much as it makes the wife (usually a very passive person who adores or depends on the husband or is absolutely terrified of the thought of life alone) who is in denial regarding their partner's sexual abuse of their child or children.
Add to that his obsessive-compulsive personality, and one has the profile for a rather atypical slanderous devotee/apologist. Atypical both in that slanderous devotees of other gurus do not appear to have sexual issues of this sort (or maybe they do; I don't yet have enough information on this), and that I know of not one other slanderous devotee who would go to such obsessive lengths and create such a detailed researched web of allegations against their victims. Yet all this research and obsessive detail is based not on secure facts, but on lies, innuendo, exaggeration, jumping to conclusion, and quoting out of context.
It is easy to be judgmental about the antics of people like Gerald Moreno, but really, there is no-one other than an authentic enlightened being, who is all good, and no-one who is all bad. To explain:
I was astonished, yes absolutely astonished, but also strangely moved, to discover that Joe paints mandalas. If you look at his mandala page you will find it very different in tone and feeling to the angry, poisonous, muck-raking pages he writes to attack ex-devotees.
What does this show? Well, quite possibly these mandalas were painted at an earlier, gentler, more religious, stage in Moreno's life, before he became such an obsessional antagonist of ex-devotees. Certainly Geoff Falk underwent a radical change from Yogananda devotee and author of a New Age book "(Science of the Soul") to antagonistic critic, materialistic sceptoic (or very sceptical agnostic, a label that might also be applied to Moreno) and opponent of Ken Wilber. But unlike Moreno, Falk does not devote pages and pages to slandering and muck-raking Wilber's followers. And he backs up his statements with links and references. So whereas both are very angry men, doing a lot of shadow projecting, Falk seems to have a genuine concern that people should be protected from being abused by false gurus, and does do his best to present the facts honestly, without slander and manipulation. (note: Wilber devotees may consider Falk's statements slanderous, however his criticism was uncannily confirmed by recent events)
When I first encountered obsessive, slanderous, and ego-defensive people like Moreno and De Witt I tried for a long time to consider them as normal and well-meaning people who were unfortunately misguided, doing the wrong thing (their slanderous accusations) out of misguidedness and a genuine desire to do the right thing by their guru. And while there is - I believe - that side to it mixed up with all their ego and shadow side, that is by no means the whole picture. The more I came to know them and their activities, the more I became aware of the extent of the force and extent of their shadow projection, and their resulting aggressive and vindictive attitude (consider that Moreno still hasn't taken down his pages attacking Reinier, although Reinier took down his pages long ago). But there is more than just that.
Recently I was reading the Wikipedia pages on mental disorders, and it occurred to me that Moreno seems to constitute the obsessive-compulsive personality type. I say seems to, because I don't know the details of Moreno's private life, nor am I a shrink. All I know is his extreme moral rigidity, puritanism, inflexibility and resitence to new ideras, and heartless judmentalism and shadow projection. On that basis alone (not even knowing the guy on a close personal level) I realised that certainly three and possibly four of the eight defining characteristics of the obsessive-compulsive personality type, viz:
Since the presence of obsessive-compulsive personality is indicated by the presence of four or more symptoms on the list, the only symptom that cannot be proven is the second, the other three are glaring obvious from his online activities, and his personal life may add further elements.
Obviously everyone incorporates various elements of various personality disorders, so we all have some small dysfunctions, and will continue to have them in some form or another until we eventually attain enlightenment. It is only when these dysfunctions become excessive that they become a problem.
However in the case of Moreno, it isn't his obsessive-compulsive personality that is the cause of his amoral actions, it is the extreme degree of his shadow-projection. All that the obsessive-compulsiveness provides is the way that this shadow-projection reveals itself, just as with his co-worker De Witt it takes the form of a belief in conspiracy theories, and attemptis to explain criticism of Sai Baba in that way.
The following is not intended as a professional diagnosis. It is my own, unstudied, subjective opinion. I have no training as a psychiatrist or a social worker, and I am not saying that this explanation is true or false, and indeed I may be totally in error in my speculations. As always on these and other pages, it is up to the reader to come to their own conclusions.
Also, I am not saying this explanation is necessary correct. It may not be. The only reason I propose the following is that there must be some very powerful psychological compulsion that would drive someone to devote literally years of their spare time to obsessively attacking dozens of people he doesn't know, who have raised points of concern regarding some guy that he himself does not believe in. And that Moreno as a sceptical materialist and non-believer must consider to be a con-artist (miracles and materialisations; note that he considers anything paranormal to be nonsense) and at best self-deluded (claims to be the Godhead). This being so, why then has he put so much energy into attacking those people who have reported sexual abuse on the part of Sai Baba?
I can only guess here, but two possible explanations present themselves. One might be that, if there are issues of an absent or distant father, for Moreno Sathya Sai Baba could be a much loved surrogate father figure (just as for Catholics the Pope is the "Holy Father"). Another explanation, is that he could possibly be a pretend homosexual lover. This seems strange given Moreno's extreme puritanism, but he received an oiling at the hands of Sai Baba [note 6], and unlike so many other devotees this happened to, was strangely unconcerned by the sexual implications of such an act. He claims and genuinely believes this was non-sexual, but it is surely rather pecular for a guru to rub oil over a young devotee's body as an "initiation"! Sai Baba, according to the various reports and allegations, gives oilings to young men in the process of making advances on them ( some accounts here). For most male devotees having Sai Baba, who to them is a figure of great devotion, revered as an avatar, acting like this to them is deeply traumatic and causes huge emotional scars. Why then didn't Moreno respond in such a way? Could it be (I'm not saying this is the answer, just suggesting one possible explanation) that on a certain level he actually enjoyed it? But if this was the case, his strongly puritanical personality (look through his website for frequent allegations concerning pornography or sexual mis-conduct on the part of ex-devotees; why this obsessional interest on Moreno's part in porn?) means that he could never admit this is the case, even to himself. Thus he feels a strong affiliation with Sai Baba, without quite knowing why.
Interestingly, Sanjay Dadlani reports reports that Moreno observes complete celibacy on Sai Baba's direct and personal order to him (this despite Moreno being a materialist and in his words a non-devotee) and has agreed that his psychosexual state is asexual, "effectively stating that he harbours no attraction or sexual desires towards women" The implications being that Moreno's puritanical hang-ups lead him to deny his sexual feelings for Sai Baba or indeed for any man. Might it be that he himself is trying to suppress and deny homosexual feelings towards his guru? Note that in no way am I saying that there is anything wrong with being homosexual! What is at issue here is not sexual orientation, but a disturbed and repressed attitude to sexuality, possibly expressing itself in an antagonistic form towards ex-devotees.
Recently, Moreno has revealed more of his puritanism, combined with a sort of anal-obsessive fear of dirt and chaos. In several blog posts he became extremely indignant regarding the Cyberpunk pages on my site. He also seemed to find fault with my humorous self-depreciatory description of myself as a slob. But rather than laugh with me (which proves he cannot laugh genuinely, he has no sense of humour) he launched into bitter vitriol, and made the curious leap from cyberpunk to pornography, which must surely be his hobby horse (why the constant obsession with sex?) . After driving himself into a frenzy regarding my google disinformation page, he then posted two of my Cyberpunk stories in their entirety on his blog. Yet if he is so prudish and disapproving of "grunge" literature, why was he so eager to post it, wouldn't a simple link be enough? The answer lies in the self-contradictory nature of puritanism. The puritan is terrified of sex, but they are at the same time drawn to it. The more they repress it, the stronger it gets. It's the old story with the Catholic Church (hence paedophiliac priests and brothers) and Victorian Europe (hence the neuroses that Freud uncovered, which in turn formed the foundation of the science of Psychoanalysis). Fear of untidiness, grunginess, fear of sex, fear of chaos, an obsession with order and anal neatness, and a puritanical morality and lifestyle, and most of all a lack of authentic warmth and humour, these things define the authoritarian or the dysfunctional regime as much as the individual. We see it also in repressive cultures like Communism, Nazism, Bible Belt Christianitry, and Islamism. A large part of Moreno's obsessional personality may well be tied in with this repression of sex, and vice verse. Is it any wonder that he cannot admit that Sai Baba has sexually molested many of those who placed their trust and faith in him? And naturally, what is repressed goes into the shadow, and the shadow has to be projected outwards to preserve the ego's fragile grip on sanity.
For all Moreno's hundreds of pages, for all his attempts to discredit ex-devotees (including myself), he is only capable of a very narrow range of thinking. This is clearly the result of his obsessive compulsive personality and intense shadow projection (which perhaps is so intense because of the degree of his repression regarding sex, dirt, etc)
A example of this is his inabilty to understand my criticism of Sathya Sai Baba. Although he referrs to me with tedious monotony as "the biased anti Sai extremist/activist", he never once in all his thousands of pages refers to my essential critique of Sai Bab as an ambiguous guru associated with both positive and negative experiences (I no longer consider Sai Baba an Intermediate Zone Guru, rather, his human personality (unlike the Intermediate Zone realiser) seems very limited, but he is associated with occult powers, perhaps beings working through him. Moreno write several pages attacking the concept of Intermediate Zone,there as in all his work he comes across as an individual utterly lacking in spiritual insight or esoteric knowledge). Occult and astral forces, just as much as Intermediate Zone forces include amazing spiritual experiences, transpersonal realisations, powers, even miracles. Hence here also there is the paradox of the guru who helps and heals some devotees, yet destroys the lives of others.
Moreno is absolutely correct in that one can get a good vibe from Sathya Sai Baba. Clearly he has, and I have, and millions of others have (including my old teacher Moshe Kroy, and including all the ex-devotees. Yes, I am sure, all of them, at some time!). And, conversely, when some ex-devotees say that everything about Sai Baba is fake, he is just a sexual predator, and so on, I absolutely do not believe in that either. My own psychic experiences and intimations are proof, at least to me, that there is more to Sai Baba than meets the eye.
The paradox of Sai Baba - which is also the paradox of Da Free John, Rajneesh, Mataji, Muktananda, Swami Krishna, and all the rest, is that very often (that is, in the case where enlightenment is not integral) the guru embraces both sides. Both the Light and the Dark, both an uplifting presence and light from afar, and sexual and/or emotional and/or financial betrayal and abuse in person. I have tried several times to explain this to Joe, but the concept - so obvious to any broad-minded person, is incomprehensible to him. He can only see things in terms of one side being 100% right, and the other 100% wrong.
In all of Moreno's thousands of pages, blog posts, personal attacks and so on, there is one thing that is very apparent. That is the utter humourlessness of all his pages and hundreds of thousands of words. Not one genuine joke, not one ray of humour or levity. Instead of genuine laughter, there is harsh mocking ridicule. Instead of laughing with you, he will laugh at you. Indeed, he is incabable of doing anything else. This I believe is tied in with his extreme obsessionalism, his shadow project, his sexual problems and fear of dirt, which is also a fear of life. Intriguingly, a lack of humour, and an inability to laugh in a light-hearted way at oneself, as well as with (rather than at) others, is also a defining quality of authoritarian regimes, fundamentalist reoligions, cultic organisations, and people with enormous, self-obsessed egos. Where ther is no humour, where there is no laughter, there is no joy. And nowhere in any of Moreno's contributions - except perhaps his mandalas, I will give him that - is there any joy, any warmth, any humanity. His experience with Sai Baba seems to have perverted him (I would be interested to know at what period his art dates from; perhaps the devotee stage?). It has made him into an ugly human being, condemned to spend all his free time in endless personal attacks and ill will against any who would dare to imply that Sai Baba - who mind you is not Moreno's "guru" because he is by his own admission no longer a devotee - is less that infallibly perfect and saintly.
And quite apart from the weight of sexual abuse and other allegations, if there is any sign that Sai Baba is not a good influence, it is this, that being around him can transform a youmg man into an obsessional, humourless slanderer.
images not loading? | error messages? | broken links? | suggestions? | criticism?