John Purnell’s testimony on sexual abuse by Sathya Sai Baba

The following e-mail asking for a response from Gerald Moreno was posted on his site’s guestbook:-

From: John Purnell (June 9th 2006 – 01:50:54)
IP: (
Subject: (Guestbook Submission)
To: Guestbook

I would love a response from you to my question……I was a devotee for 7 years and had many private interviews with sai baba….. in the last couple he tried to masterbate me vigorously with oil, then please explain as to why he showed me clearly his erect penis and why the hell did he try to shove it in my mouth complaining that I no longer LOVE him ??? Not to mention forcing me onto the ground of the private interview room and telling me he is God and that all is ok, Trying to shove his erection into my anus ??? Of course I was shattered after all this even to the point of suicide, like many of his REAL VICTIMS I thought he was God…Miracles….. just watch his hands at all times then you will see it is so obvious. My story is the TRUTH that you devotees always claim is paramount…..I am not the only victim hundreds upon hundreds are now telling the TRUTH…..If you can explain why God would want me to perform oral sex on him and WHY the hell God would want to penetrate my anus then PLEASE do email me with your response….I am waiting !!!!!! Look sadly the truth is Baba is a great scam like Rajneesh and ALL Indian God men ….. Look deep beyond the SHOW exterior and all you see is rotten to the core.

LONG LIVE TRUTH because TRUTH will never fail in the end…..My dear dear devotees I know the pain that is in store for you…….be prepared as Baba will fall off his throne oneday and sadly you will be shattered by the TRUTH. You ARE in my prayers.

John Purnell

It is evident from the responses that John Purnell – himself clearly trusting, friendly, open and guileless – was originally unaware that Gerald Moreno is a person in deep denial with a vicious attack agenda against every single Sai Baba dissident, which he pursues fanatically on a huge scale across the Internet. Moreno replied with his apparently polite and friendly letter – this he does initially and hypocritically to everyone he already intends only to attack, libel and try to destroy character (there are dozens of examples). His plan is to obtain as much material from his ‘victim’ as possible so that it can be twisted and contrived to make the person seem to be an outright liar about almost  ANYTHING they write. This he has done constantly for years. Purnell continued to reply to Moreno’s critical questions based on meticulous trawling of the internet for any possible details he could find about to manipulate (typical of Moreno). He contrives to throw doubt on Purnell’s truthfulness, contriving a narrative about very suspicious statements, self-contradictions and lies. All typical Moreno treatment to any critic of Sathya Sai Baba who unwisely enters into any correspondence with him. One only has to look at the constant appearance of words like ‘lies’ and other vituperative and down-putting expressions in almost any attack of his on critics .

Moreno trots out his usual spiel about his supposed ‘researches’ (read, in his case ‘selective contrivances and denials’) always using plenty of bold emphasis, underlining and italics. All he claims supposedly shows that he is ‘rational’, while he tries to provoke Purnell by calling him “very angry”. Purnell has every right to be very angry, as he confirms later. This was only a preamble, however… his most crass and loutish accusations are not yet made, only implied. Meanwhile, keeping up a pretense of some amiability, Moreno opens one of his replies with “John, I see you are now maintaining a calmer and more civilized tone in your email. Thank you.” ‘Civilized tone’? – that is just what Moreno uses only as it suits his purpose – his own constant standard is indecorous and unseemly to put it most mildly!

There is nothing of substance in anything Moreno digs out that proves Purnell is basically dishonest, even though Purnell admits that he did tell one lie to try to flush out his opponent’s true aim and standpoint. Moreno has himself written numerous lies, as has been proven here. Another example is shown here. Rather he has been inconsistent and a bit sloppy with exact dates, details in statements and the like, as he explains adequately in the following reply to Moreno:-

John C. Purnell (June 16th 2006)

Subject: Re: regarding Sathya Sai Baba
To: Joe

dear joe

thanks again for your swift reply to my mails

what you say is quite correct in that it appears my story from the original of jan 03 to what i stated to you recently has seemingly been embellished and colored.
joe when i wrote back in 03 i simply was not telling the whole story for 2 good ( so i thought ) reasons…..

1. i was in a religious institute in formation and the whole details where beyond embarrasing for me esp in a catholic institute . remember i am a victim…..and i still have my life and my back to that time i much prefered to keep most things in the dark as i wanted to move on and lookout for my future as a catholic wanting to become a priest. now i am in a possition that i can speak freely of my life as a devotee and not feel shame and embarrasment as a victim.

2. as many victims of sexual abuse will tell you that to openly and publicly detail all aspects is extremely hard. i could have put a false name as many many many victims do, not just those of baba, but i thought slowly i will divulge my story as i get more beyond it and accepting of it. back then i had not been able to even admit to myself all the details, can you even imagine the pain ??? i did not want to think about all of it, i was hurt and yes angry and also joe i was, and still am, to a degree very scared, so what i did was to say that i will give a brief description about what had occured…….i could not and would not put in all details as i did for you …..and it is only in the last 12 months that i have been able to deal with the whole affair and try to get over it.

sure i am angry, as angry as hell that he gets away with all this. it is important to note joe that the statement without the full details was never a sworn statement i did not get an affidavit with it because i knew it was not 100% complete and i just could not give all the details. it is so hard to deal with sexual abuse especially when i was a young adult at the time i should have known better…….hence the disgust i had for myself and embarrasment if i had told all details before i was ready. there is more than this to my story joe and i will leave it till the day i face baba in the high court.

as i said to you joe that i dont want you to believe me…but this is where i now stand…. i did not mention to you that i had put my story to ex devotees…..which,yes, was a lie…..because i had no idea whether you were a baba stooge or not……. i know nothing about you or where you are or even your real name……and i dont believe all on the net so i lied because i wanted to check who you are and what you believe, not to mention i am concerned about my life since the student killings in 93…….maybe that is a bit dramatic of me but i have to watch my back.

but joe according to my statemant in 03 it is true but lacking all the detail as i said back then i couldnt mention things like that. if you still dont beleive me and if you find my story false that is fine i hold no grudge. i do apologise to you for not filling you in on the details but i have no idea who you are or where you stand and a cult whether it be baba, rajneesh, or david koresh ,is still dangerous to those who flee.

so i hope that answers your doubts a little i dont see my story as changing or contradictory from 03 to today all i see is the addition of more detail….not exageration or embellishment. however you are right !!!!! i should not have posted the original testimony incomplete…that was done in haste…..hence no affidavit for it….and i can see how someone from outside would read my 03 statement and the one i told you and could also unknowingly jump to the conclusion that it is fake and changing….i apologise for this but hope you understand my reasons for this that i have explained.

as i said joe whatever you think is fine by me, i just want you to continue being skeptical and continue to search for the TRUTH.
regards john

John Purnell is so basically honest that he admits to a strategic lie! Moreno never admits to anything negative about himself, though he has been caught out lying time and again. In his typical acerbic and antipathetic reply to Purnell he even began with an outright untruth:

Your fears for your safety are unfounded. There are many vocal Anti-Sai Activists and alleged victims (who have publicly spoken out against Sathya Sai Baba for many years) and not even one of them has ever come to any harm.

When you tell me that I should continue my search for the “truth”, this is hypocritical considering the fact that you just made a full admission that you lied to me about not speaking to Anti-Sai Activists when, in fact, you did. You did not need to lie about this information. Even if you told the truth, I fail to see what harm it would have done. Strange enough, you attempted to justify your lie by claiming that you are afraid for your life and you were trying to check who I was and what I believe! You are so concerned about your life that you attempted to make a public submission on my guestbook using your real name and real email! How believable is that? It is wholly unbelievable.

Moreno overlooks the fact that it is proven beyond the slightest doubt that four devotees were executed by police after having attempted to put their case to Sathya Sai Baba in his bedroom, from which he fled when they arrived. As Moreno is aware, numerous dissidents have received death threats from devotees, including Conny Larsson, Premanand, Lionel Fernandez, Barry Pittard and myself among others. (Pittard reported to Interpol, I to the Norwegian police). Besides, Basava Premanand was repeatedly burgled as the BBC have reported – and his DVDs compromising photos and documents on Sai Baba were eventually stolen by burglars. His brother was threatened by Sai goondas (thugs) wanting to take from the house all the copies of my exposure book ‘End of the Dream’ which Premanand had published. Besides, Premanand’s son – his researcher, printing expert and support in all his endeavours – was, according to Premanand, murdered in a Bangalore hospital. As with numerous other murders and disappearances at the ashrams, nothing could be brought before the law due to the vast influence of Sathya Sai Baba on the judiciary, not least through Bhagwati – the famous original Supreme Court judge, who has a seat on Sai Baba’s Central Trust.

Then Moreno continues his predictable harangue about lies, untrustworthiness etc. – as he uses against most of the alleging victims of sexual abuse by Sai Baba. As to ‘wholly unbelievable’ : Moreno purposefully overlooks the obvious fact that Purnell had decided to use his full name only after having been unwilling earlier when he still felt insecure. One may ask why he continues this massive confrontation so assiduously while admitting publicly and also to Purnell that he is not even a Sathya Sai devotee? What psychology or other influence is at work… may readers come to their own conclusions. One should take into account the fact that Moreno is in denial that he was molested unlawfully by Sathya Sai Baba, despite his own account of the ‘lower stomach oiling’ proceedings. This is an important basis for Moreno’s overall denial of all negative facts concerning Sai Baba – see overview of articles on sex abuse of Moreno here.

The mail exchange continues, and Purnell gives a full, open and honest account of himself in reply to all Moreno’s increasingly invasive accusations and web-stalking of his contacts and relations. Those who care to read more will be convinced of the total disingenuously of Gerald Moreno and the solidity of John Purnell’s explanations. Moreno’s final conclusions are dim-witted to a degree.

  • John Purnell lied about and embellished his alleged encounters with Sathya Sai Baba.
  • John Purnell lied to me about not releasing his story to Ex-Devotees (when in fact, he did release his story to Ex-Devotees). John Purnell said he withheld this trivial information (about not releasing his story to Ex-Devotees) because he feared for his life (although he apparently did not fear for his life while relating criminal, sexual abuse allegations!).
  • John Purnell lied about currently being in contact with “international lawyers” when formerly he said lawyers advised him there was nothing he could do outside India.

Moreno wants to emphasize that Purnell lied as strongly as possible. But it was a bagatelle, really. Purnell did have reasons to fear for his security – almost all who spoke out against Sathya Sai Baba had to be brave, and some (including myself) wrote under a pen name until we were able to establish our own security (especially by never again visiting India). I was informed early on that Purnell did contact international lawyers, though it is a fact that they could not proceed with any litigation against Sai Baba as this has to take place in India, where his government and judicial worshippers have full control over the process. However, they were able to advise Purnell in case he was attacked by Sathya Sai leaders in Australia, as Barry Pittard was threatened repeatedly there.

See full exchange of mails between Purnell and Moreno here

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