Since December 2001, when I first read Sevika's allegations of sexual misconduct by Guru, I assumed the allegations were true.
Perhaps it was my young legal mind at work, but I knew that if I could come to grips with the possibility that Guru had been having sex -- with his disciples no less -- then I would be better able to conduct the kind of sober, long-term analysis that I had thought would eventually be necessary.
It's that process -- the way in which I tried to reach an accommodation in my own mind between the Guru I had known and experienced and the very different Guru described by a handful of female disciples -- that I had originally wanted to explore with this memoir.
The little discussion there is online about Guru seemed (and still seems) so partisan. Nothing I had read expressed the more nuanced, more complicated, understanding of Guru that I (and perhaps a few others) had come to.
Everything was black and white -- I was looking for the more realistic shades of gray.
As I first began to outline this memoir, I had planned on writing a single post describing the importance of loyalty and gratitude, followed by perhaps a half-dozen posts exploring the implications of the hypothetical worst case scenario and asking "what if."
I suppose I wanted to have my cake and eat it, too. In my grandiose way, I wanted to bridge the gap between the most devoted disciples still in the Center and the most hard boiled cynics. When it came down to it, though, I couldn't do it.
I wrote the "loyalty" post, but could go no further.
I think I best expressed the conundrum I was feeling then in an email to a former disciple friend of mine, to whom I turn for advice and clear thinking from time to time:
Boy, was it a struggle thinking about how to approach this subject. Months and months ago, I envisioned a complete expose or multi-part essay -- perhaps five or six posts covering the allegations of sexual impropriety.
Then, as I responded to you just a week or so ago, I thought I'd whittled it down to just two, snappy posts. But after writing the first one -- in essence about loyalty -- I've now found it impossible to post the second one (the one exploring the "what if" question and assuming that the allegations were true).
It seemed incongruous to me to say I'm loyal to Guru in one post, and then in the next post to assume the allegations true and discuss. Do you understand and think I'm right about that?
I do have lots to say, and going through the process of assuming the allegations true did lead me to a stronger sense of spiritual self-confidence, but I don't see how I get around my loyalty post.
I guess I've resigned myself to one of the principles I've discovered in writing this blog, which is that I don't have to share everything. Thus, while a particular process has been beneficial to me, that doesn't mean I necessarily have to blog about it.
Anyway, I thought I owed you some kind of explanation because I had just told you that I had planned two posts on the subject, and then just posted one.
As I wrote, I had resigned myself to posting no more on this subject. Then things changed.
Shortly after I wrote the email above, my sister Nirbachita came to live with us here in San Diego. She had been living with Pinak in Puerto Rico. Within a few days, she got a call from an old friend and disciple named Suchatula.
Suchatula and Nirbachita had gone to high school together and joined the Center together. They were close, but as time wore on, they grew apart as my sister slowly drifted away from the Center. So, Suchatula's phone call was a bit of a surprise. When it was over, Nirbachita was convinced that "something" was up.
Over the next few weeks, Suchatula unburdened herself of her sad and shocking story. She authorized Nirbachita to post her story, but to do so anonymously.
Suchatula has since courageously embraced her story.
I believe every word of it, without reservation.
The picture above is of Guru and Suchatula on her 25th birthday.