Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Commentary On Conny Larsson Revived

Commentary On Conny Larsson Revived
Conny Larsson tells his encounters of Sai Baba online at Saionline in an essay titled 'God's Little Clown', incidentally also the name of his book and the proposed movie about his life with Sai Baba. When Sai Baba entered his life, Larsson was in Sri Lanka working as a builder of beach villas. He was a wealthy young man and a former devotee of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in the Transcendental Meditation (TM) movement. It was in 1978, after Sai Baba appeared and saved his life, he was directed to Puttaparthi, and Larsson went immediately. He has told this story of his life being saved and his first visit to Puttaparthi in many books and magazines. Larsson has also worked as an actor (this ceased in 1975) and as a therapist in a rehabilitation centre for men.

At the direction of Sai Baba, Larsson held a national co-ordinating role in the Sai Baba Organisation in Sweeden, and has given many talks in the Ashram. As a result of personal investigation, from July 1999 Larsson has publicly denounced Sai Baba as a cheat and fraud. Larsson now describes himself as an ex-devotee. In late October of 2000, Larsson wrote an open letter to Sai Baba and allowed it to be placed on the Internet.

A number of Websites carry an article about Conny Larsson, bearing the heading The Swami who deceived a whole world; which repeats the charges of cheating, fraud and abuses. This article had a lead paragraph: "Conny Larsson has been very close to Sai Baba." Recently several letters have appeared online, (a letter online, which bears the name and address and phone of Conny Larsson), (a three part letter), and the most recent, 'An Open letter to Sai Baba'. All these letters make a number of assertions regarding activities Larsson has been involved in, with Sai Baba and the Sai Baba Organisation.

Examining Conny Larsson
It is not necessary to repeat Conny's story four or more times. The following material seeks a narrative thread, and examines a number of statements made by Conny Larsson and unnamed others.

The Swami who deceived
This page is on a number of sites and appears to be an account made up from various statements by Conny Larsson, either verbatim, or elicited from other written sources. An unnamed person comments on Conny Larsson's statements. In summary, this particular page highlights:

1) frequent interviews with Sai Baba
2) sexual activity which Larsson believed to be limited to himself alone
3) a reason given for activity - raising of Kundalini
4) that he was "very close, physically, with Sai Baba"

Conny Larsson mentions several of his actions:

1) He found out about this happening to others
2) He questioned many other boys who had been interviewed
3) He was aware of this activity from 1983 to 1999 and did nothing
4) subsequently, he was forced to change his concept of God

Further to this summary, Conny Larsson mentions but does not substantiate or evidence cheating, fraud, or fakery. A school has been closed down, he has decided not to make a movie about his life with Sai Baba, and that the God he believes in now is an inner God. There is no other point or conclusion on this page except the personal decision of Conny Larsson to change his concept of God and "I feel tired" and feels sorry for all who "believed in Sai Baba and have been duped". Conny, and others [according to Conny] have been duped.

We conclude that that this page is primarily a page of persuasive writing, engages in sensationalism and designed to incite the reader to its own vague conclusions. It is not authored by Conny Larsson, but by one person close to him, or by one person who has had access to writings or talks given by Conny Larsson. It is blatant poor work of editorializing and frequently engages in juxtaposition. For instance, in the first paragraph we are told of Conny Larsson being saved from suicide, and implied sexual activity on the first visit to the ashram, which is not the case, and this has never been implied nor inferred by Conny Larsson. The writer is seeking sensation. There is little else of substance.

World of Sai Forum
The letter posted on behalf of Conny Larsson at the World of Sai Forum commences with a mission: to go public on his first hand experiences of Sai Baba, and to tell "all good people I have met". Conny Larsson wants to tell the world something important. What is that? That he was duped, that he was stupid, that he castigates himself for allowing what happened to go on for so long. These are not our selections, they are Conny Larsson's own self descriptions....

Now that Conny has the reader's attention, and he has acknowledged his world-important mission, the letter proceeds to narrate of his first experiences with Sai Baba:

"I met a wonderful quiet ashram with an Avatar or God that was well established in the mind of people. I thought I saw "materializations", healings and love overflowing the place. Immeadiately I was hooked on! I left everything to devote my whole life to the mission of Sai. I didn't care about material things, money, My company, friends, (old), everything I gladly left for My 22 year long journey with Sai!"

The narrative immediately moves on to what Larsson describes as his "step by step" seduction. Baba "made a pass", got him to drop his pants, allowed him to massage his penis, which led to mutual masturbation. A reason was offered, "raising of my kundalini". Larsson allowed this to go on for 5 years. The reason Larsson offers why he allowed something he now names abuse, is:

"because he was God and had saved my life I let it happen"
"became the boy who was always called for interviews"
"I became a kind of favorite to him" and
"physically became very close"

He describes these meetings with Baba as "lovemeetings". Conny Larsson would have the reader believe that a fake and chartalan who can bilocate saved his life for the purpose of personal sexual gratification, a gratification Larsson calls abuse. Larsson tells:

In 1979 Sai Baba first made his pass on me, step by step of course.

Conny Larsson, is describing what he allowed to happen to himself over a period of timeas a seduction. In so doing, he is shifting responsibility for this event occurring over this period of time from himself to Sai Baba. Nonetheless, recall his purpose in allowing this, it is "Because he was God and had saved my life". Larsson fails in his task as a devotee. Larsson is responsible for what happens to him. The "step by step" with graphic detail is the denial of his role and responsiblity for what happens to him. It is remininscent of the confessional, "How many times? With whom? Did the other party consent and did they take pleasure in it?" These are the questions of the jurist and the confessor, event centred and fixated in the world of duality, of good and bad, right and wrong. Larsson is inciting his audience to see Sai Baba as he did, duped, by the seeming divine in human form. Larsson answers these questions of the Confessional and more. Like a bearer of tales, he embroiders and also tells us the mind of the other. The reason offered by Baba and reported by Conny is "the raising of Kundalini". Larsson fails to deliver his assessment or questioning of this to both Sai Baba and his audience. How good a spiritual aspirant is Larsson? On his details alone, he would rate a poor scorecard. Over and over, again and again, Sai Baba has taught that devotees must:

question the guru,
test the guru,
check the guru out,
choose the guru,
study the guru's teachings,
practise the guru's teachings
engage in selfless service
and surrender to the guru's grace.

Nowhere in this tale of Conny Larsson's five year stay in Puttaparthi does he relate any of this, of spiritual progress, learning the teachings of Sai Baba, or even putting them into practice. Without specifics, the reader is left thinking Larsson is part of the carnival. Larsson makes no further commentary on Baba's explanation of 'raising kundalini force', and nor does he tell us if this reason satisfied him at that time. Later, in 1999, Larsson offers his own interpretation of Baba's activity with him: "the loosing of sperm was the target for Sai Baba!" Larsson does not offer any specifics for this reason.

Conny Larsson relates that he shared with Jack Hislop the reason why he was always called for interviews. Larsson goes on to relate that Hislop queried Baba on this matter. Hislop waa "thrown out of the room" according to Larsson. Does Larsson speak for Sai Baba? Can Larsson speak for what Sai Baba says and does when he is not present? It is an interpretation by Larsson. Baba is to have said "This body is pure". After Hislop shared his answer, that matter was never discussed again, and the "lovemeetings" stop.

Larsson took up work in Sweeden and returned to Puttparthi once or twice per year. He took some of his patients with him, and asserts Baba was "always very attentive to them". Chronology is lost; Larsson asserts "2 of the youngest boys were 'abused' but kept silence "and I My little fool missed it all". He assigns responsiblity to himself, and his self-recriminations begin. Larsson then expresses (rage)(surprise)(jealousy) that young boys reported to him what happened to them; Larsson believes that he is the only benificiary: "he only wanted to change My kundaliniforce". Does no one else have "kundaliniforce"? Is this the only manner and fashion in which this is handled? Is Larsson's relationship the norm for other devotees or the exception? Has Larsson learned anything from the divine discourses he has sat through over the many years? That each and every different person has a different program? Whom does this tell more of, Larsson or Baba? Since Baba has not spoken on the matter (and is unlikely to) we are left with his insular relationship and kundalini as a description of Larssons' self blame. It is a mind that is punishing itself for matters it is not responsible, and commences to view Sai Baba with the filter of resentment. What Conny Larsson resents, we are not told.

Conny Larson has to do what all devotees must do; develop their own relationship with the inner guru and seek answers from the inner guru. Face to Face, Sathya Sai Baba will have no discussion of other persons if they are not present. Exception is family matters. Gods oversees the security of the family. Any who seek resolution must do just that. Stories that need resolution, the stories themselves were ones the mind took on itself, for whatever it needs to maintain a status quo, and a model of God that the mind can manage. So such stories are for Conny Larsson and the reader who has taken them on board, to address.

Leadership Role
In 1991 Sai Baba asked me to partake more and more in the organisation which wasn't at all My wish. He started to give me private messages to deliver to people, which I did. He engaged me to become the spiritual coordinator for Sweden. Asked me to go here and there to teach and spread his glory.

Larsson then adds a further comment on his Leadership role:

"By doing so I came across many boys having the same experience as me, they all were very puzzled and a few of them had became mentally disturbed and lost their way in life."

Larsson began an investigation:

Slowly I now started My own "slowmotion investigation" by checking out the boys who were going in for interviews. When I was in Puttaparti from 1991 to 1999 I personally talked to at least 25 intervie victims, who all related the same story.

Larsson tells that he did absolutely nothing until June 1999 when:

in June 1999 when I was asked to help swedish boys in Puttaparti

Larsson admits having done nothing about something he has known about since 1985, and whilset he was in a leadership role. Here is his response to the Leadership of the Organisation:

We were trying to seek refuge in the Sai organisation but they just made a cover up, so we then turned to the International Sai organisation but there the cover up was even more.

What this cover up is, we are not told; nor is the reader told of implicit coverup by Larsson since 1985. He has known of what he is now calling "the same filthy, disgusting material", he has investigated and found up to 25 cases of interaction with Sai Baba and young boys. In his own words

"These boys all suffered the shame that Baba put on them."

What is this shame, was it the same shame that he experienced? HE has not reported shame, nor has he reported his own personal interaction with Sai Baba as "the same filthy disgusting material"; in fact, Conny Larsson said earlier:

"because he was God and had saved my life I let it happen"
"became the boy who was always called for interviews"
"I became a kind of favorite to him" and
"physically became very close"
He describes these meetings with Baba as "lovemeetings"

Change and Criminal Values, and Hitler
Something has changed. Conny Larsson now now truly believes Swami sexually assaulted the 25 or so boys he has interviewed. Earlier Conny Larsson truly believed Swami was his God, and spiritually blessed all these boys. If Conny Larsson accepted his own personal experience as something that happened for his own spiritual benefit, then it becomes apparent that his is not the main foundation of his discontent or change of mind in regard to Sai Baba and the current controversy. Conny Larsson tells that he has witnessed "fake" materialisations for years

"Some of us claim that we have seen manifestations, healings etc. By looking on darshan movies in slowmotion you see the cheating. The camera doesn't have emotions, we have. Therefore the camera just shows the facts. That Sai Baba is a rude cheater is today beyond all doubts."

Conny Larsson has stated he perceived that his "faith was being tested". He has admitted that he has kept silence about this materialisation controversy for many years. The import of this testing of faith on Conny Larsson and how he resolved this is not told. It seems he simply kept quiet about this and he was being tested to simply believe Sai Baba was his God. It seems that Conny Larsson has lost his values and his spirtiual bearings in this matter. His vision is that Sai Baba is a criminal and a cheat, and as such, Conny Larsson evaluates Sai Baba:

I have also seen the cheating closely during interviews but I always thought he tested me. Today I fear that he is just a common Indian street-cheater dressed up for public

When Conny Larsson judges Sai Baba, whom he sees as a fraud and charlatan, he uses the values of criminals and frauds:

I work with criminals and drugaddicts, they have a law of ethics saying that anyone using a youngster or somebody with a handicap for sexual purposes is committing an unacceptable act.

The absence of Human Values in this evaluation excludes any acknowledgement of the contribution to society and to humanity at large, done by Sai Baba, the Sai Movement, and the love and service carried out by those devoted to Sai Baba. In Conny Larsson's judgement anyone in the Sai Movement Leadership who are silent about Sai Baba are criminally negligent and the same as Nazi sympathisers who let Hitler go about his work:

Now looking in the mirror of time I compare the "silence or dressing of the truth and facts" as criminal as the silence of all the people during Hitler or Nazi times before the war.

Conny Larsson has made a blanket condemation of all the good works, service, education, water and hospital projects that the Sai Movement has carried out with love and selfless service. All are criminals, plainly Nazi sympathisers who serve a modern Hitler, the repository of all human evil. The problem with this judgement is that it is based on what Conny Larsson is now calling a "cover up" by the Leadership in the Sai Movement. What Larsson fails to advise his reader of is that no-one speaks for Sai Baba, not least, those who hold leadership roles in the Sai Movement. Conny Larsson has been the National Spiritual Co-ordinator of the Sai Movement in Sweden. He is fully aware that Sai Baba gives no messages through a third person. His judgement on "silence" being criminally negligent and making Nazi criminals and sympathasers of all who follow Sai Baba is a fallacy of the most obvious kind. What did Larsson himself do whilst he was holding National Office between 1991 and 1999?

It is difficult to see where any objective evaluation has been made in this letter, and if it serves any useful purpose except to reveal the self-blame and personal self castigation of Conny Larsson. Larsson would be better served to seek the lessons in the test of faith that he claims he was challenged with. Larsson, in his inactivity between 1984 and 1999, in accord with his own evaluation, is just as wanting as he describes the other leadership.