Timothy Conway Recants:
In our previous page on Jack Hawley’s critics, we had reported comments Tim Conway had made about deceased devotees. Our comments are below:
Timothy Conway has made some unsustainable assertions in his circular letter. He refers to longtime devotees who are now dead, whom, he asserts, left Baba over this sexual impropriety.
Here are the quotes:
What Conway said:
“On this point, we should remember the numerous longtime Sai devotees like Professors Gokak and Bhagavathum and others who have left Sathya Sai, ostensibly over the inappropriate sexual activity by Baba.
These longtime close observers obviously perceived a different meaning for Baba’s behavior than the meaning Hawley attributes to this behavior. Hawley thinks Sai’s behavior is evidence of the Divine. Gokak, Bhagavathum, and others apparently thought otherwise.”
The Sai Critic commented:
“Timothy Conway is speaking ill of the dead here. He also forgoes any remaining credibility claiming that these well known names in the Sai Haiography abandoned Sai over these matters. Gokak was Vice Chancellor and lived and died a devotee. Where is the evidence for this scurrillous assertion against a dead man? What evidence, what authorities does he cite for Gokak, Bhagavathum and others? None are offered. The ‘and others’ is a tell-tale give away, it is just a device to throw some speculation in.
Bhagavathum did indeed renounce Swami, but not as a fake, rather Bhagavathum renounced Swami as one who is simply impossible to live with. Witnesses and reputable authorities cite Bhagavathum left primarily because Swami did not give the attention to Bhagavathum’s son which the doctor demanded.
Whatever the reason, it is known Bhagavathum left Swami in a huff, and later manifested Alzheimers, a disease which wasted him unto death. There is no evidence cited by Conway or any others that Dr Bhagavathum left Baba over sexual misdemeanour or any other activity. We confidently challenge Timothy Conway to evidence his unsalutary assertions about these two deceased men of good repute and character.”
What Conway has retracted:
“First, I especially thank you for clarifying that Gokak died a devotee of Swami and that Bhagavantam left Baba for reasons other than any sexual improprieties by Baba. Along this line, I want to directly issue to you and to any other readers a MAJOR APOLOGY and a RETRACTION for passing along, not just second hand hearsay, but third-hand rumor of the most insubstantial and false variety.”
Bravo, Bravo! We salute Timothy Conway. We applaud this first public recant from hearsay, gossip and misreporting in this sorry business of “The Findings”.
Tim Conway Defends:
After his recant, Conway is adamant that there are outraged persons who have departed Sathya Sai Baba. Conway goes on to describe those ex-devotees and assorted supporters of The Findings:
“These charges are simply the cry of anguished devotees attempting to protect young men and boys from behavior that can have a deeply traumatic effect upon their sensitive psyches.”
The accusations we hear are certainly not “the cry of anguished devotees attempting to protect young men”. The loathsome noise we hear is the commotion of the tittle-tattle, the “isn’t-it-awful gossips”, the rumor mongers and the hysterical naysayers who peddle the apocryphal story of Sai and a seven year old boy, for example; a story that has NEVER BEEN VERIFIED by its alleged source. A most fetid and controversial claim that is still peddled as fact. This and most of the other material circulating is NOT the “cry of the anguished devotees”.
These comprise the malignant, repetitive chants of the rumour mill (whom Conway will later label as the “Nasty Naysayers”) designed to shock, horrify and alienate existing devotees. Let Conway investigate the length and breadth of the activities of some of his companions against DEVOTEES; not against Sai Baba, but against devotees. It is part of a well prepared mail-bombing campaign against devotees. “Anguished cry...” ... who has Conway been listening to - both sides? It would appear not. Where is the Conway critique of this campaign against devotees? Has all the response tactics and strategy been truthfully revealed to Conway? Is it really the cry of the anguished devotee or an appeal to a vague non-entity as Conway has been steered away from certain facts?
Tim Conway, Chapter and Verse
Timothy Conway presents the Law in the United States of America:
“please remember that, in our law-based society (and Baba has always advocated that citizens abide by their nation’s laws), the sexual harassment and molestation of minors (and, yes, adults) is a prosecutable, criminal offense.” Conway goes on to speak of “the MANDATED REPORTING RULE, which imposes a LEGAL DUTY on any adult with knowledge that sexual molestation of minors is likely occurring TO REPORT SUCH BEHAVIOR and TRY TO PREVENT SUCH BEHAVIOR FROM RE-OCCURRING”
Invitation to Prosecute:
Mr Conway, along with all anguished devotees attempting to protect young men, are all hereby invited to the Court of the Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Penukonda, Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh, India, to lay charges against Sathya Sai Baba. This appears to be the appropriate court of Law. Laying of Charges in other countries is not likely to have any effect. The matter more rightly belongs in the Penukonda Magistrates Court.
Mighty Matters of Faith and Belief:
Conway articulates his doubts of faith and belief:
“At this point in time, I cannot agree that Baba is the ‘Purna Avatar, pure and simple.’ Anyone who tries to rationalize Baba’s behavior by appealing to his Divinity and the corollary that ‘God [Baba] can do whatever he wants’ has not sufficiently proven that Baba is, in fact, the pure expression of Divinity incarnate on this planet. It may be that the formless God or Absolute Spirit (the Infinite Atman/Brahman) is communicating something through the name/form of Sathya Sai and thus has intended that tens of millions of people connect with his mission, at least temporarily until they move beyond the form of Sathya Sai (and has not Baba himself often called for people not to get attached to his form?)”
For a person who freely admits he has been “out of the loop” and not active as a devotee of Sai Baba since he has commenced to actively follow another satguru, Mr Conway presents an unsettled frame of mind. Is he still loyal to Sai Baba? Either he says the formless absolute is engaging in revelation and a mission via the name and form of Sai, or he is not making such an admission. He appears to be presenting both sides of the coin and not settling conclusively for one opinion or the other. Conway presents uncertanty and is not clear himself where he stands.
Certainly he is good at throwing in red herrings:
“But let me remind you--I’m sure you’re aware--that great Mahatmas of the last 150 years like Ramakrishna, Ramana Maharshi, Anandamayi Ma, Mata Amritanandamayi, Anasuya Devi, Devaraha Baba, Shyama Mataji, Bhagavan Nityananda have NEVER needed to sexually molest their followers to ‘test’ them.”
Conway meanders on with his red herring of the other gurus:
“Rather, to take just one example, consider the case of the beautiful Ramana Maharshi. Dozens of reliable accounts indicate that Ramana could awaken people to the completely bodiless, ego-free, infinite, transcendental state of pure Spirit (Atman/Brahman), absolute Being-Awareness-Bliss-Love, SIMPLY BY GAZING AT THEM SILENTLY with his amazingly loving, liberating, Grace-filled look.”
Far from being a devotee who has thrown away his darshan cushion, Conway hangs onto doubt and expresses it often:
“It has to be demonstrated that Sathya Sai’s sexual predatory behavior -- apparently involving hundreds, maybe even more than a thousand young men and boys -- is ‘restoring Dharma’.”
A little further on, Conway writes:
“(Some nasty naysayers want to say that Baba is actually nothing more than an evil force on the planet, a master of occult powers who masquerades, like the legendary Lucifer, as a being of light and goodness. I don’t accept this analysis of ‘Baba -as-consummate-evil’.”
Conway wants it both ways. He wants the jury to be out, still deciding, and he wants to distance himself from the Some nasty nay-sayers. He has certainly failed to do that, as he has taken up their cause. In email, chat rooms and on the Internet, CAPITALS represent YELLING. Here is Mr Conway again:
“the MANDATED REPORTING RULE, which imposes a LEGAL DUTY on any adult with knowledge that sexual molestation of minors is likely occurring TO REPORT SUCH BEHAVIOR and TRY TO PREVENT SUCH BEHAVIOR FROM RE-OCCURRING...”
So Timothy Conway, is yelling out for all to hear where he stands. Beside the “nasty nay sayers”.
Invitation to Prosecute:
Mr Conway, along with all anguished devotees attempting to protect young men, are all hereby invited to the Court of the Judicial Magistrate, 1st Class, Penukonda, Anantapur District, Andhra Pradesh, India, to lay charges against Sathya Sai Baba. This appears to be the appropriate court of Law. Laying of Charges in other countries is not likely to have any effect.
The matter more rightly belongs in the Penukonda Magistrates Court. Not in any court in the United States of America. Do proceed with haste, with all anguised persons, nay sayers, gossipers and the like. ESPECIALLY do take “young men from around the world who have come forward to describe their victimization by this man masquerading as God”, do instigate and demand investigation, demand the laying of charges, demand the prosecution, with ALL HASTE.
Conway perseveres with admonition:
“The bottom line is that, REGARDLESS of who/what Baba is, we, as mature, responsible aspirants endeavoring to live the values of Satya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema and Ahimsa have A SERIOUS ETHICAL DUTY to rise up and speak out against the longstanding pattern of sexual molestation.”
- Are you there Mr Conway?
- Cease acting as a middle man.
- Assist those who report complaints with Sai Baba.
- Provide tickets.
- Get them on a plane.
- Fly with them to Bangalore or Hyderabad.
- Assist with travel to Penukonda, to the Magistrates Court.
- Fulfill your SERIOUS ETHICAL DUTY and lay your charges.
- Assist these traumatised others to lay charges in the proper courts.
Then you will have salvaged your conscience and fulfilled your serious ethical duty. We remind you that Sai Baba is not afraid. After all, he has said, “Why be afraid of the mistake you have not committed?”
The Sai Critic Reference