Gayatri, Amma's closest and earliest Western disciple has started to tell the truth about Amma's violent fits, financial corruption and personal beatings. Since revealing the truth Gayatri has been strongly attacked and slandered by Ammabots who, while admitting that she is a good and sane person, cannot accept her public statements. One Ammabot, Shaktidas, admitted that the charges against Amma were of no concern because Amma is the guru. This is how a true cult member thinks.
In support of Gayatri (Gail Tredwell) we reprint a comment in the Rolling Stone discussion section.
"There has been much speculation re Gail Tredwell's motivations in waiting so long to speak out. As one of the people who has actually engaged in face to face conversation with her in recent months I would like to say that the reason she did not speak out straight away after she left was because she was SO TRAUMATISED by the abuse she has suffered. Abuse which is far more than what was mentioned in the Rolling Stone article.
This abuse was NOT something done as a form of guru - student discipline. It was at times Amma totally losing it. Attacks of extreme temper in which she screamed at Gail, yelling obscenities. She was hit, scratched, bitten, pinched, kicked and had her hair pulled out. What had been the odd slap or pinch in earlier years became by the late '90s full blown abuse.
Gail for years accepted this abuse. I think at first she may also have believed that this was part of her role as the student and the guru as master. She initially never tried to protect herself. But at times she told me she was almost shaking in fear whilst waiting for Amma to come back after a long darshan. Not knowing what mood she would be in.
This abuse WAS witnessed by others. Including other swamis. She was even hit by Amma when they travelled by car after the programs. The drivers witnessing this abuse. Other persons close to Amma in the ashram witnessed this abuse. It mainly occurred though behind closed doors. Others close to Amma were also abused by her.
Gail used to wear a scarf around her neck to hide any marks causing scratching and bruising that may have been visible. She said at times she felt ashamed and embarrassed lest others see.
She never hit Amma back or yelled back at her. Although towards the end she did put up her arms to defend herself and get into defensive positions just as the blows were coming at her.
It took years for Gail to get over the trauma of what had happened to her. She had to undergo therapy. She was also fearful of retribution if she spoke out. She had nightmares and could not sleep. She was also embarrassed in so many ways about what had happened to her and what she had allowed to happen to her.
For years she just wanted to not think about it all.
But also knew that she would never be truly free unless she faced up to what had happened to her. Which is what motivated her to write her book. As much as to tell the world her story. Also for her to regain her power.
I don't think Gail hates Amma. I think she now sees her more than anything for who she is. She feels compassion for her as a human being. She also has fond memories of the GOOD times she spent with Amma in the early days.
And no, despite what happened to her she is NOT a crazy person. Still has a fine sense of humour and is able to laugh at herself as well as at some of the things that happened. "