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The real "Amma"- repost from examma

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  • srijau@ymail.com
    (the kind of thing Rick Archer was possiblying about: Dear Everyone, After the release of the Rolling Stones Magazine article I have been feeling compelled
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 21, 2012
      (the kind of thing Rick Archer was 'possiblying' about:
      Dear Everyone,
      After the release of the Rolling Stones Magazine article I have been feeling compelled to share more details around my claims of physical abuse and mishandling of offerings given to Amma in the name of charity.
      Some may feel it okay or a gray area for Amma to be providing for her family especially in a culture that places such emphasis on family values. On this point I agree. I felt it her duty to provide a comfortable home for her parents and the dowry to marry her sisters. The brothers would have been fine, now being of such famous, powerful stock in Kerala they could have easily demanded a hefty price for their hand in marriage. What I was not okay with was the lavish amounts of money (rupees) and gold given to them and the lies, secrecy and hypocrisy around it all. Towards the end of my stay in late 1999 chatter began amongst some Indian devotees, "Why all of a sudden are her family building mansions across the river?" Naturally, the news reached Amma's ears and she immediately went into damage control. She summoned an ashram meeting, had Swami Amritaswarup, her head spokesman stand before the congregation and swear on his mother's grave that the sudden wealth of Amma's family had absolutely nothing to do with her, but the extraordinary success of her father's fishing business. I cringed with shame when I heard this, because I knew for a fact it was a lie. Especially when I was the one delivering the mountains of money and gold!
      What made me mad was not only the lies around the giving, but the fact that ashram residents who had given their life to her and who worked around the clock, sacrificing their health were living in impoverished conditions, with no decent nutrition or care. One incident I feel compelled to share is the story of Suneeti (Bri. Nirmalamrita). This most delightful, hard working, devoted angel who was misdiagnosed at AIMS in mid 1999 made her way back to the USA just to discover she had colon cancer. This woman all of a sudden, was on her own without health insurance. One very well to do American woman named Lola graciously offered to pay for her health care but Amma said no. The devout may argue, it was because Amma in her omniscience knew her time was up. Maybe it was, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't be given the best health care possible, especially after surrendering her money, cutting off ties with her family as all are encouraged to do, working around the clock and neglecting her own health for Amma. Instead, she was left to fend for herself and get whatever medical care she was able under the far from satisfactory public system in the USA.
      Now this made me sad and mad. Especially, when the story swirling around the ashram at the time was that Amma was so saddened by Suneethi's illness that she was sleeping with a photo of her underneath her pillow. It was this form of hypocrisy and lies that eventually forced me to leave.
      Moving on to the physical abuse. In the early years it was just a slap here a kick there and Amma would later laugh about it and refer to herself as a Rakshasi (demon). She frequently said that she only scolded and hit those closest to her. I hung onto that belief tightly for it enabled me to accept the treatment in exchange for feeling special. As the crowds grew, so too did her aggression. Eventually it was no longer a laughing matter. I never knew what her mood would be upon return from the programs. She became extremely ill tempered and would hit, kick, slap, punch, rip me by the hair for the slightest mistake and sometimes for no reason at all. Towards the end, her signature move became to grab me by the throat with one hand, dig her nails in and claw towards the center. I was left with scratch marks and sometimes blood. I then had to cover my neck with my sari the best I could and conjure up lies to explain the marks to those who noticed, out of fear that I would be in more trouble if word got back to Amma that I told anyone. Towards the end, no longer could I justify such behavior as being for "my highest good" as a "test" or "some sins getting destroyed" by my benevolent Guru. I could only see them as the act of an ill tempered, callous, aggressive human being.
      I was not the only one harmed by Amma in this way. One afternoon, an Indian woman was kneeling by Amma's bed giving her legs a massage when she nodded off or made some minor error. Suddenly, Amma with one of her stocky legs kicked the woman so hard that she cracked one of her ribs. A few others have also been slapped and knocked around. Some still in her fold but others now living, peaceful, happy lives far away from her grip.
      These are just a few examples of what I experienced and witnessed, could no longer tolerate and why I chose to leave. No longer could I subject myself to such treatment and live with someone who does not practice what they preach. It took me many years to reach the painful decision to leave, but I had to. My conscience could no longer tolerate what I was witnessing and be an accomplice to the same.
      It was for reasons of Truth, Honesty and Integrity that I chose to leave Amma's service.

      Yours sincerely,

      Gail

      Gail Tredwell <todwellinjoy@...>
      todwellinjoy
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/examma/message/1935
    • feste37
      Interesting. She makes Mahesh sound nice by comparison!
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 21, 2012
        Interesting. She makes "Mahesh" sound nice by comparison!

        --- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, srijau@... <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > (the kind of thing Rick Archer was 'possiblying' about:
        > Dear Everyone,
        > After the release of the Rolling Stones Magazine article I have been feeling compelled to share more details around my claims of physical abuse and mishandling of offerings given to Amma in the name of charity.
        > Some may feel it okay or a gray area for Amma to be providing for her family especially in a culture that places such emphasis on family values. On this point I agree. I felt it her duty to provide a comfortable home for her parents and the dowry to marry her sisters. The brothers would have been fine, now being of such famous, powerful stock in Kerala they could have easily demanded a hefty price for their hand in marriage. What I was not okay with was the lavish amounts of money (rupees) and gold given to them and the lies, secrecy and hypocrisy around it all. Towards the end of my stay in late 1999 chatter began amongst some Indian devotees, "Why all of a sudden are her family building mansions across the river?" Naturally, the news reached Amma's ears and she immediately went into damage control. She summoned an ashram meeting, had Swami Amritaswarup, her head spokesman stand before the congregation and swear on his mother's grave that the sudden wealth of Amma's family had absolutely nothing to do with her, but the extraordinary success of her father's fishing business. I cringed with shame when I heard this, because I knew for a fact it was a lie. Especially when I was the one delivering the mountains of money and gold!
        > What made me mad was not only the lies around the giving, but the fact that ashram residents who had given their life to her and who worked around the clock, sacrificing their health were living in impoverished conditions, with no decent nutrition or care. One incident I feel compelled to share is the story of Suneeti (Bri. Nirmalamrita). This most delightful, hard working, devoted angel who was misdiagnosed at AIMS in mid 1999 made her way back to the USA just to discover she had colon cancer. This woman all of a sudden, was on her own without health insurance. One very well to do American woman named Lola graciously offered to pay for her health care but Amma said no. The devout may argue, it was because Amma in her omniscience knew her time was up. Maybe it was, but that doesn't mean she shouldn't be given the best health care possible, especially after surrendering her money, cutting off ties with her family as all are encouraged to do, working around the clock and neglecting her own health for Amma. Instead, she was left to fend for herself and get whatever medical care she was able under the far from satisfactory public system in the USA.
        > Now this made me sad and mad. Especially, when the story swirling around the ashram at the time was that Amma was so saddened by Suneethi's illness that she was sleeping with a photo of her underneath her pillow. It was this form of hypocrisy and lies that eventually forced me to leave.
        > Moving on to the physical abuse. In the early years it was just a slap here a kick there and Amma would later laugh about it and refer to herself as a Rakshasi (demon). She frequently said that she only scolded and hit those closest to her. I hung onto that belief tightly for it enabled me to accept the treatment in exchange for feeling special. As the crowds grew, so too did her aggression. Eventually it was no longer a laughing matter. I never knew what her mood would be upon return from the programs. She became extremely ill tempered and would hit, kick, slap, punch, rip me by the hair for the slightest mistake and sometimes for no reason at all. Towards the end, her signature move became to grab me by the throat with one hand, dig her nails in and claw towards the center. I was left with scratch marks and sometimes blood. I then had to cover my neck with my sari the best I could and conjure up lies to explain the marks to those who noticed, out of fear that I would be in more trouble if word got back to Amma that I told anyone. Towards the end, no longer could I justify such behavior as being for "my highest good" as a "test" or "some sins getting destroyed" by my benevolent Guru. I could only see them as the act of an ill tempered, callous, aggressive human being.
        > I was not the only one harmed by Amma in this way. One afternoon, an Indian woman was kneeling by Amma's bed giving her legs a massage when she nodded off or made some minor error. Suddenly, Amma with one of her stocky legs kicked the woman so hard that she cracked one of her ribs. A few others have also been slapped and knocked around. Some still in her fold but others now living, peaceful, happy lives far away from her grip.
        > These are just a few examples of what I experienced and witnessed, could no longer tolerate and why I chose to leave. No longer could I subject myself to such treatment and live with someone who does not practice what they preach. It took me many years to reach the painful decision to leave, but I had to. My conscience could no longer tolerate what I was witnessing and be an accomplice to the same.
        > It was for reasons of Truth, Honesty and Integrity that I chose to leave Amma's service.
        >
        > Yours sincerely,
        >
        > Gail
        >
        > Gail Tredwell <todwellinjoy@>
        > todwellinjoy
        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/examma/message/1935
        >
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