A smear campaign in Sweden run by a supporter loyal to Sai Baba .
- comment on Iréne Strindhed's letter about a planned radio interview with Conny Larsson
Conny Larsson and his former associate -since turned attacker - Irene Strindhed of Torsgatan 76 -m - 111 3,7 Stockholm, Sweden
Irene Strindhed wrote a letter to Linda Nyberg and Jonas Gummesson 'TV4 nyhetsmorgon' 18-5-2005 (see here) and others trying to smear and throw suspicion on Conny Larsson, author of the book "Behind the clown's mask", where he depicts among other things his relations to the Indian guru, Sathya Sai Baba. Despite the recent worldwide allegations against Sai Baba, for example sexual abuse of young boys and men - some of whom she actually knew, Iréne Strindhed remained his faithful follower.
The Swedish journalist Anne-Marie Ehrenkrona who is credited as the author of Conny's pro-Sai book 'Guds Lille Clown' (God's Little Clown) has, according to Irene Strindhed "visited India and held talks with many of Sai Baba's students and teachers, and never seen anything improper." This applies to the majority of those many thousands per year who visit his ashram. How could it be otherwise? Not least when one learns of all the unpleasant things that await those who break silence and dare to criticize Sai Baba. This is also a matter of large financial interests from donations, which the Sai institutions try to protect at all costs. In India it is risky - even to the point of being murdered - to divulge secrets about Sathya Sai Baba. In addition to the infamous murders in Sai Baba's own bedroom apartment in 1993, there is plenty of compelling evidence that numerous persons related to his ashram - including Indians- have died in 'mysterious' circumstances over the years.
When the famous journalist Ehrenkrona wanted to know from Conny if "there were no skeletons in the closet", Conny answered that he knew of none. Irene Strindhed made a fuss about that. As an editor, with particular specialty in psychology, Strindhed does not seem to have understood that there are human psychological defense mechanisms of the kind Conny was then suffering, whose function is to protect the individual from painful insights. Strindhed labeled Conny a 'mythoman', a title with which Conny most likely would agree is only a description of the kind of person he was before he recovered from his traumas through therapy and began to rid himself of all the delusions he developed during his time as Sai Baba devotees. The title 'mythomanic' is much more adequate for those who remain followers of Sathya Sai Baba after the massive revelations about him - the many sex abuse testimonies and the facts about his complicity in the cold-blooded execution by blackmailed police of four of his devotees in his bedroom.They believe in his omniscience and in clountless miracle stories - the one more fantastic and impossible than the other - and much else taken opn trust and nothing more. Sathya Sai Baba relates as literal fact all sorts of myths which are taken directly from Indian mythology, and he claims to know their reality better than anyone else ever did, for he insists he himself was Rama and Krishna and experienced all they famously are supposed to have done.
It was only in connection with a series of external events involving a Swedish boy who was being abused and who revolted at it that Conny's defensive wall fell and the real facts of this God-guru started coming to light. This very long and painful process of disaffection - leading to yet more demanding self-analysis and therapy - through which Conny went that Sai Baba's fundamental fraud became apparent to him. Conny describes in his subsequent two books (Behind the Mask of the Clown and Beatles, Maharishi and I) exactly how and why it was no longer possible to continue with self-deception and to exclude the stark reality of consciousness. He admits how completely he was misled previously, and describes with admirable honesty the sequence of events in which he was sexually exploited as a child, which made him particularly vulnerable to Sai Baba's alleged "Sexual Healing" [which meant sex abuse].
Irene Strindhed says emphatically that it is revenge that is the true cause of Conny breaking away from Sai Baba. That is a revealing attitude, especially to those who know Conny's integrity as a person. Since Iréne Strindhed herself is frightened of taking the painful step of ridding herself of all her indoctrinated and self-imagined 'spirituality' on which she and most devotees have built their entire lives, she disparages the great honest achievement and courage of Conny's total self-disclosure of his previous life and his past devotion to this guru. He does not dwell on his selfless sacrifice of a large fortune on Sai Baba's orders or his many years of excellent and once highly-praised constant service work in Sai Baba's name, nor that he gave up being featured in a major Hollywood film about his life so Sai Baba should not get the publicity. When it came to his attention that several boys, like himself, had been sexually abused, he withdrew from a major film project in 1999 in which Dustin Hoffman and other stars were already involved and chose instead to uncover the truth about Sai Baba. Conny did better than two of his patients who were victims of sexual exploitation by Sai Baba, He has recorded how they took their lives afterwards. He did the only thing real in this context. This behavior can hardly be seen as revenge, as Strindhed wishes to make it.
How many does Iréne Strindhed think she speaks for when she says many people think Conny is taking revenge? Conny's books have been embraced by the media and public alike, and countless people attend his various talks, lectures, and courses in Sweden, Poland, Cyprus and elsewhere. There are now but a handful of Sai Baba followers in Sweden and only a sorry little group of social misfits remains in Norway. When Strindhed talks about how "many people know Conny", she probably aimed at just a few of the remaining devotees in Sweden. This exaggeration is also typical of the entire Sai movement's wishful thinking on the number of followers of Sai Baba the official Swedish Sai Organization website states 'without blinking' the preposterous figure of 300 million persons! According to many independent reports, there are something between 5 and 30 million who more or less believe in Sathya Sai Baba, though most Sai web pages stick to 60 million. Of course, there are those who claim 600 million and even on billion! (See 'The Number's Game' here) The rate of visitors from abroad to the ashrams increased for several decades until the 1990s, but has declined rapidly since, while Indian villagers are mostly given free or very cheap transport by the State government to go there instead.
There were over a hundred people present at the Royal Mint in Stockholm when Conny's book 'Behind the Mask of the Clown' was presented to the press and media in 2005. A panel of six people, moderated by the famous Swedish TV presenter Lotta Skoglund, discussed and took questions from the audience. These including the Danish journalist, author and film director Øjvind Kyrø - who made the film 'Seduced' exposing Sathya Sai Baba, a representative of the BBC team which made 'The Secret Swami', a famous actor Per Ragnar (who read excerpts from Conny's book) the Swedish cult expert Rigmor Robert and the academic and ex-follower Robert Priddy. A former follower of Sai Baba in the audience took the floor and gave Conny much credit for having abstained from the major Hollywood film project, (and from the fame that would likely follow on this). Conny was applauded with fervour.
Irene Strindhed pretends that she knows Conny inside and out which is wholly presumptuous. She knew the devotee Conny, the deluded 'brother' in her cult (the photos of the two together are from that era). She certainly does not know the revitalised and much-altered Conny, as I do. However, she will find out a lot of things that she did not know about him if she takes the trouble to read his new books, unless she has a totally closed and indoctrinated mind still. She equates Baba with Jesus, Buddha and Muhammed and then bundles Conny Larsson together with Runar Sörgaard in order to make them both seem equal "Judas traitors' . This can only be described as the zealous disturbance of a confused mind. Her letter to Radio 4 shows a wilful neglect of the facts, which can only be explained by her regularly brainwashing into believing that Sai Baba is God incarnate and that (therefore) he can do whatever he wants and is beyond human morality. (In addition, he differs in the highest degree from both Buddha and Mohammed in their teaching on several vital points. They reject any claim that there can be any incarnations of 'avatars' (i.e. of God in human form) while Sai Baba claims that he is just such an avatar, and the greatest for thousands of years into the bargain!)
The tragedy is that Iréne Strindhed - instead of investing her energy in trying to help the sexually abused children and young men by at least taking seriously all the global evidence they have courageously put forth - sticks her head in the sand and dirt. In this way, she helps prolongs the suffering that abused boys at Sai Baba's colleges are forced to endure. She mentions nothing about the testimony, or the fact that four of Sai Baba's followers were executed by the police in 1993.
Unfortunately, Iréne Strindhed's goal with her letter to Radio 2 and others in Sweden was to curb free speech, and her organized telephone campaign is a smear tactic. She also tries to draw an advantage from Runar Sörgaards statements, plus a letter she wrote to Linda Nyberg, although none of these have any relevance whatever to Sai Baba, Conny or his book. As part of her campaign to blacken Conny, Strindhed has done her utmost in her (former) position as editor to stop the publication of his latest book. Worse yet, she has made use of her position at the publisher where that book is now published - where she is no longer employed - to send the e-mail addresses of Conny's contacts from his e-mails to the publisher to the pro-Sai web vandal and hate merchant Gerald Joe Moreno, who has send his usual link-packed mails smearing Conny in most outrageous ways to all those addressees.
In 2005, Conny received an anonymous letter - made on a printer - explaining his psyche to him, and his father fixation... as if Conny were still hung up on this and unaware of the danger of adopting such idols. Both her handwriting on the envelope - and the nature of the content - announced who it was to Conny immediatel, he tells me. Why would a person claim this of a dissident who has Sai Baba as an major idol of worship herself? I leave it to others to find out the answer to that... I have given it sufficiently in my many web pages about 'spiritual' and guru indoctrination, cult entrapment etc. and the huge difficulties most people have ever liberating themselves from it.
Rumor also tells the same Irene Strindhed herself was very upset when the first information about Sai Baba's homosexual assault reached the Swedish Sai movement. If Conny now made a U-turn at 90 degrees from the supporters of non-supporters, in the case of Sai Baba, to which of course his books testify, perhaps there is reason to suspect that Iréne Strindhed has made a 360 degree turn from supporters to non-adherent and back to supporter again. Now I suggest she perceives Conny as a threat to her own beliefs and a reminder of a too-intrusive reality? Is that why she does not respect freedom of speech? What kind of editor is this? Well, Strindhed described herself as "publisher's editor specializing on psychology, India, history etc". I am reliably informed that Norsteds Forlag discontinued use of her services as an editor, and this took place after her attacks on Conny Larsson and despite strong opposition from her against publication of ,his latest book, which they have since published. She is currently working instead as a secretary for a protest group in Stockholm.
Her infamous friend, Gerald Joe Moreno, who attacks willy-nilly everything written that is critical of Sathya Sai Baba, had the impertinence to post an attack on Conny for supposedly having "deceived" the expert Swedish anti-cult psychologist, Rigmor Robert, into defending him. Nothing could be further from the truth. Moreno has been unable to obtain any comment from Rigmor Robert, who obviously rejects his fanatical and typically cult-deluded viewpoint.