John Prendergast - Email Correspondence
John Prendergast Menu (click on a link to go to relevant section):
- Introduction To John J. Prendergast
- My First Email To John Prendergast
- John Prendergast’s First Response
- My Second Email To John Prendergast
- John Prendergast’s Second Response
- John Prendergast And The Alleged Hislop Letters
John J. Prendergast, Ph.D., is an adjunct assistant professor of psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies where he has created and taught a class on Transpersonal Counseling Skills for over a decade. He is the author of ‘The Chakras in Transpersonal Psychotherapy’ in the International Journal of Yoga Therapy (2000), and co-author (with Krystal, Sheila, Krystal, Phyllis, Fenner, Peter, and Shapiro, I. and K.) of ‘Transpersonal Psychology, Eastern Philosophy and EMDR’, in Shapiro, F. (ed) EMDR As An Integrative Psychotherapy Approach: Experts of Diverse Orientations Explore the Paradigm Prism, American Psychological Association Books (2002). He has taught a number of workshops for therapists on ‘The Energybody in Psychotherapy’ and ‘Transpersonal Dimensions in Psychotherapy: Presence, Resonance and Inquiry’, and co-organized and presented at the Conferences on Nondual Wisdom and Psychotherapy. He has been in private practice since 1985. He began Transcendental Meditation in 1970 and later taught it; traveled to India on three occasions to be with various teachers including Ammachi, and spent fifteen years with his primary teacher Jean Klein—a European sage who synthesized elements of Advaita Vedanta and Kashmiri Shaivism. He currently studies with Adyashanti (Ref). He served as the Center President for the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Center of San Francisco in the early 1980’s and is the webmaster for wisdompsy.com.
Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2007 23:11:04 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Alleged Hislop Letters
Dear John Prendergast,
I was kindly wondering if you could verify for me that you are the former president of the Sai Baba center of San Francisco who received the alleged copies of the John Hislop Letters? Were the copies you obtained originals? Were they signed with ink from John Hislop or xeroxed? Are you currently a Sai Baba devotee or have you defected?
Subject: Re: Alleged Hislop Letters
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2007 10:12:46 -0800
I will be happy to respond to your email once you tell me about yourself and why this information is important.
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2007 16:25:52 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Re: Alleged Hislop Letters
I am the webmaster for saisathyasai.com, a website devoted to exposing the smear-campaigns of critics, skeptics and ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba. As you may know, there is an online controversy regarding the alleged John Hislop Letters, which Conny Larsson claimed you obtained from John Hislop himself when you were the president for the San Francisco Sai Baba Center. These letters document the complaints made by Diana Scott about her son Terry Lee Scott after he was “expelled in disgrace” from Sai Baba’s hostel.
Since your name has only recently been mentioned by Conny Larsson, I am attempting to verify that you are the person who received these alleged letters. You are the only known person who (allegedly) originally obtained these letters. Therefore, what I need to know is:
- Did John Hislop specifically send you a copy of the letters in question, or did you obtain them via other means?
- During which years did you serve as the president for the Sai Baba center of San Francisco?
- What is your personal opinion about the letters. Do you see them as evidence or proof of sexual impropriety?
- Are you a Sai Devotee or have you defected from the Sai Movement. If you defected, can you kindly tell me why?
- Why did you keep the letters and turn them over to the next president of the Sai Center (Timothy Conway)? Were the presidents supposed to pass these letters to their successors, or was it up to them to keep/discard them according to their desire?
- Are you familiar with the story of Diana Scott and her son Terry Lee Scott? Do you know why he was “expelled in disgrace” from the Sai hostel?
Subject: Re: Alleged Hislop Letters
Date: Sat, 1 Dec 2007 19:00:14 -0800
I have responded to your questions to the best of my knowledge and have no additional information to add. I am not interested in pursuing this matter any further. I hope this is satisfactory.
best wishes, John
Did John Hislop specifically send you a copy of the letters in question, or did you obtain them via other means?
I did have the letters before passing them onto Timothy Conway. I don’t recall whether they came to me directly from Jack Hislop or via Don Heath who was a national director and resident at the SF Sai Baba Center where we both lived. They were originals signed in pen by Hislop. Don Heath died in the late 1980’s.
During which years did you serve as the president for the Sai Baba center of San Francisco?
The early 1980’s.
What is your personal opinion about the letters. Do you see them as evidence or proof of sexual impropriety?
I saw them as evidence of a crisis within the American Sai Organization. Terry Payne’s case was very troubling to me because I had met the family on several occasions. I took the letters as possible evidence of sexual impropriety.
Are you a Sai Devotee or have you defected from the Sai Movement. If you defected, can you kindly tell me why?
I am no longer a Sai Devotee. I found myself increasingly drawn to the teachings of Advaita Vedanta and the path of self-inquiry. By the end of the 1980’s I had aligned myself with another teacher and no longer attended Sai gatherings.
Why did you keep the letters and turn them over to the next president of the Sai Center (Timothy Conway)? Were the presidents supposed to pass these letters to their successors, or was it up to them to keep/discard them according to their desire?
The letters were kept in a file along with other center guidelines pertinent to the running of a local center that were passed on to each succeeding president. Since these were letters from the President of the American Organization, it seemed important to keep them.
Are you familiar with the story of Diana Scott and her son Terry Lee Scott? Do you know why he was “expelled in disgrace” from the Sai hostel?
The parents and their son were occasional visitors to the SF Sai Baba Center, so I had met them before Terry lived in India. I did not see them thereafter. I was not and am not familiar with any of the details of the case. I don’t know why he was expelled.
My emails with John Prendergast regarding the alleged Hislop Letters are important because they refute several claims attributed to him by Timothy Conway. Strangely enough, neither John Prendergast nor Timothy Conway remember exactly how they originally obtained the alleged Hislop letters in the first place. Although John Prendergast stated that he viewed the alleged Hislop Letters as “possible evidence of sexual impropriety”, he did and said absolutely nothing about them and remained in the Sai Org into the late 80’s even though he was a mental health care practitioner.
Oddly enough, Timothy Conway (Prendergast’s good friend) repeatedly asserted that anyone who knows about possible sexual abuse allegations is legally mandated to report it or he/she is an “accomplice in sexual molestation crimes” (Ref). Although Timothy Conway made this very argument against Jack Hawley, he failed and refused to apply this same argument against John Prendergast.
Using Timothy Conway’s argument and logic against Jack Hawley, John Prendergast is an “accomplice in sexual molestation crimes” because he failed in his moral and ethical duty of “mandated reporting”. If Timothy Conway can erroneously accuse Sai Devotees of criminal negligence, I see no reason why he would refuse to apply the same standards to John Prendergast whom (unlike Sai Devotees) fully acknowledged they he was in possession of “possible evidence of sexual impropriety”.
My email correspondence with John Prendergast was not intended to be made public. Timothy Conway obtained my email correspondence with John Prendergast from him, sent edited sections of our email correspondence to the Ex-Baba admin and had the Ex-Baba admin publish it on their Anti-Sai website. Timothy Conway never informed me that he obtained my email correspondence from John Prendergast and that he had the Ex-Baba admin publish it. Therefore, this webpage was the direct result of Timothy Conway’s secrecy and deceit. In the spirit of full disclosure, I am making my full email correspondence with John Prendergast public. It is also to be noted that Conny Larsson (an Anti-Sai Activist) was the first person to publicly reveal John Prendergast’s name despite his request for confidentiality.