From Peter Roozendaal - Originally posted on ex-amma - 21 January 2015
Amma, Gayatri and myself in 1981
Online I encountered so much reports and accusations about scandals around Mata Amritananda and her Ashram. It all has to do with the book Holy Hell, written by her former aide Gayatri, Her legal name Gail Tredwell.
Followers of Amma started websites denying any scandal. They have published so many letters of support for Amma, attacking Gayatri, accuses her even of attempted murder. Amma did not distance herself from such foul attacks. She wrote a message, denying any wrongdoing herself or the Ashram.
Now after about one year it becomes more silent about the scandals. The overall sentiment is that Amma is okay and Gayatri is a crook.
Amma continues as before, visits the Pope in Rome and might one day be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Till last week I tended to believe Amma and her Supporters. I did not think of buying or reading this "unholy" book of Gayatri, but....
...... after reading more on line letters of Amma, her supporters and her Brother Suresh Kumar, I encountered apart from justified criticism also false accusations, just meant to destroy or silence Gayatri.
So, it made me wonder what Gayatri actually wrote. I wanted to read her alleged anthology of lies and fraud. So I bought Holy Hell, and read it. I was shocked to reading page after page finding nothing but facts. I continues reading throughout the night till the end. There are allegations I cannot know whether they are true or not. I will go into them briefly at the end of this statement. But most of the stories I am able to endorse as I myself came to Amma in 1981.
Now I am not going to accuse anyone. I just want to share what happened to me in the time Gayatri and I were members of Amma's little family.
In 1981 I gave 15 gold coins, like Canadian Maple Leaf to Amma to start a real ashram. Later Neal Rosner, Amma nicknamed him Nealu, told me a large portion of that gold had been used for the dowry of Amma's sisters. I was shocked and disappointed. Nealu explained Amma had considered my donation as worldly, not spiritual so she had spend my donation in a worldly way. I then took it as a lesson that my disappointment in Amma was triggered off by my Ego.
Since I could not live without minimal privacy, Amma granted me in 1982 permission to have a home constructed for myself. Nealu would organize the construction together with Achchan, Amma's Father. Then Nealu comes to me saying. Amma wanted me to give her money for the construction of a new house for her parents first. Until then he was not allowed to start the construction of my house. I had no choice but gave in and paid the money for a wordly house!
Now the construction of my house and Amma private house started simulteneoulsly. Achchan and Nealu bought materials for both houses and negociated considerable discounts. The Profits of the discounts went towards Amma's house. Out of respect for Amma I did not protest. Of course her house was a priority.
During the construction incredibly fast did my money disappear and soon the allotted sum was gone. I had no choice but arranged a loan in Holland and one more, and once more till finally I ended up completely confused and depressed. Without any real support from the ashram, penniless I flew back to Holland where I needed counseling and therapy to overcome this trauma.
After recovering I returned back to the ashram. I was not allowed to have a fence build around my house, so curious locals, peeping through the windows were a constant menace. My roofterrace became in due course a meeting place for western tourists where they could smoke, drink, date and spend the nights. When I protested, there was the threat of being beaten up. The ashram did not interfere. Finally in 1989 I did not want to live there anymore and donated the house to the ashram. I do not know if "to donate" is the right word for it.
Back in Holland and still full of devotion for Amma, in 1990/91 I worked up till 80 hours a week. During daytimes as a typist, at night I was cleaning offices and in the weekends, especially the night shifts I worked at the Cargo Department of Amsterdam Airport. I did all this to generate money for Amma's newly acquired orphanage in Paripally. I used to take a 5000 Dutch Guilder loan (the price of a small car) from the Bank and then tried to pay back as quickly as possible and took up a new loan. The sixth transfer (made a total of 30,000 Dutch Guilders) got lost. My Bank started an inquiry and found out, the Manager of the Statebank in Karunapally had pocketed the money. So I asked Amma to start a legal case against this crook. Amma refused as the concerned amount was no longer mine but the ashram’s, she said. She did not want to disrupt the friendly relations with the Bank.
I did not want to work 80 hours a week to support corrupt ashram friends and stopped working for Amma.
In January 2001 I arrived at the ashram only to see that the breathtaking view of my apartment with its two windows on the 11th floor was gone. Another construction had been build against the windows. I reminded Amma that she had promised there would be no more constructions. She acknowledged and called for the Flatmanager (Bombay Achchan) telling him to pay my money back. This man, proud of having been a communist politician before, was only willing to pay me half the money as I could only produce half the receipts. I told him to keep all the money till May. When I showed up in May with all the receipts he laughed loudly, refusing any payment as Amma had recently changed her mind. No Refund anymore.
In December 2002 a devotee contacted me. He wanted to buy the flat from me at cost price. I agreed. However soon he was informed the Ashram had sold the room already and bagged the money. Now I got really angry, I went from Tiruvannamalai to the ashram, told the new owners of the cheat. Amma refused to see me. I threatened the ashram I was going to sue them and left. Amma then ordered to remove my name from all her books. Back in Tiruvannamalai ex Amma devotees informed me I was not the first one with such an experience. One Dutch woman who owned an apartment under me, had witnessed the new construction grow and had suffered a mental breakdown.
Now we see Gayatri's book. She writes about Swami Chandru. This Swami had been Amma's first disciple wearing orange, even before Balu (Swamiji). Gayatri writes how Chandru represented Amma, leading satsang and bhajan at the homes of devotees. He happened to make a devotees' daughter pregnant and when this girl went to see Amma, she was told to undergo an abortion. Then something goes terribly wrong in the hospital and the girl dies.
All lies, comment Ashram people. However this story was not new to me. I have been informed about it discretely in Amma's room. True I break my discrecy now but the story lies on the street already.
Gayatri mentions Achchan's tendency to exhibitionism. I myself witnessed such unpleasant moments. I was thinking, "please ...., you are Amma's Father".
Achchan who used to make a poor living with fishery in the backwaters, at one time had himself reeducated as a jeweler. Late 90's I talked to him the last time. He was neatly dressed wearing gold rimmed spectacles. He spoke about his trade and his real estate in the neighborhood. He wanted me so much to bring him a Labrador puppy from Holland.
Gold and money to Amma's relatives? “Lies” according to ashram inmates, “Lies” according to Amma's brother. “Lies” according to Amma. They just worked very hard for their wealth. I bought my gold at the ABN(AMRO) Bank in a suburb of Amsterdam. At that time 1981 about 1.200 Dutch Guilders per Maple Leaf, per oz.
In 1975 at Sai Baba's ashram I got a beautiful golden ring with a remarkable large blue sapphire (Nilayam). Once in Sri Lanka I had the stone rated by an expert. He estimated the value at 5.000 US $. When I told him the origin, he laughed and said, You should go back and ask the Baba for just another one. Nowadays the value will be some 15.000 $.
So in 1981 I gave the ring to Amma and she wore it till she left for her first World tour in 1987. One day someone stole the ring. I do not know who had admission to Amma's room but the crime case remained unsolved up till today.
I am a person with much devotion for Amma. After I broke with Amma in 2002, I soon started coming back to her events, even donating 60.000 Euro in 2010. But I was not treated with respect. It looks very much that character assassination had taken place. Markos, a long time Amma devotee told me in Tiruvannamalai pretty foul gossips about me in Amma's Ashram.
I showed up two times in Amma's ashram in the past few years but was treated like a destitute beggar. Though I was wearing orange they wanted money from me so I left the very next day. Another time an American devotee in charge told his friends, “Do not let this fellow enter the building. He has come to steal your things.”
Peter Roozendaal, Amsterdam, 18 January2015