“Gail Tredwell Lied About Me”: Kusuma Sets the Story Straight

kusumaWe received the following account from an old-time devotee:
My name is Gretchen McGregor. In Amma’s ashram, people call me Kusuma. I have lived in Amma’s ashram off and on since 1983. When I first came to live there, I was one of only six Westerners, including Gail and a dozen or so Indian residents.  I have written before to this blog, but now I feel it is important to write again because I feel it is important that people understand the type of person Gail Tredwell really is.

One of the first things Gail told me about herself when I met her at Amma’s ashram in 1983 was about a competitive game she used to play as a young woman in Australia. Gail said that when she was living in Perth and working as a secretary, she and the other young women in the secretarial pool would play a game they called, “Catch a Tiger By the Tail.” The game involved going out on the town each night and trying to get a different man to sleep with them; the winner being the girl who got the most men to sleep with her that week. I guess this is what Gail is referring to in her book when she writes “partying my nights away.” Gail was chuckling with evident pride as she recounted these exploits to me. Having just met Gail, I was shocked. I remember thinking how bizarre that she had then chosen to follow a monastic path and how difficult it must be for her.

“Gail said that when she was living in Perth and working as a secretary, she and the other young women in the secretarial pool would play a game they called, “Catch a Tiger By the Tail.” The game involved going out on the town each night and trying to get a different man to sleep with them; the winner being the girl who got the most men to sleep with her that week.”

In November of 1999, I attended Amma’s San Ramon retreat. I had not seen Gail for several years. She looked physically drained and acted mentally skittish. She spoke to me of leaving Amma in a general way. I verbally discouraged her from doing so at length, concerned that she might be making a rash decision that she might regret later, as she had taken a lifelong vow of sannyasa (monastic life). She then said that what she meant was that she would be taking a break to go on a spiritual retreat with Amma’s blessing. At no time did she confide any particular reason, complaint or even hint at any trauma she had suffered at the hands of Amma or the swamis.  Not a word of any of the allegations she published in her book was mentioned.

At one point during the retreat I was going into town, and Gail asked me to drop off a blanket for a friend of hers at a house in San Ramon. She gave me directions and mentioned that no one would be home, just to leave it in the front hall, which I did.

“Gail’s statement that I carried these items for her is absolutely false. I dropped a blanket at a house, at her request—that is all. Contrary to her telling, I was not part of an “escape plan” and I did not carry any of the items she listed in her book. It would have been impossible for me to do so unwittingly, and I am not aware of having done so. I had no need to “pretend to go to a Laundromat” and I did not do so. It is also not credible that she mistakenly included me in her story in this role; in her telling, she only included two people as part of her “escape plan”; myself and one other person. And yet, her account of my participation in that plan is entirely false.”

When I read Gail’s book, I was shocked when I saw that she had written that I helped her to “escape” by smuggling personal items including a “laptop, sleeping bag, soft travel bag, some winter clothing, a couple of bottles of shampoo and conditioner, a set of sheets, towels, and a quilt,” as well as a hidden sum of money. She further stated that I hid these items by placing my own dirty clothes on top of them in a laundry basket, and that I “pretended to go to a Laundromat” but instead drove to the house where she planned to hide out.

I would like to state that this story is untrue. First of all, it would not have been necessary for Gail to leave in secret. This and the fact that a month later Gail happily met with senior members of the ashram—who even drove her to the airport to see her off at the end of the visit—makes it clear that she was not a fugitive and had no need to hide.

Gail’s statement that I carried these items for her is absolutely false. I dropped a blanket at a house, at her request—that is all. Contrary to her telling, I was not part of an “escape plan” and I did not carry any of the items she listed in her book. It would have been impossible for me to do so unwittingly, and I am not aware of having done so. I had no need to “pretend to go to a Laundromat” and I did not do so. It is also not credible that she mistakenly included me in her story in this role; in her telling, she only included two people as part of her “escape plan”; myself and one other person. And yet, her account of my participation in that plan is entirely false.

“She said that she and her “husband” had to go for formal interviews every now and then with the Immigration Service so as to verify that the marriage was genuine.  She said that they had to rehearse for the interviews, but that so far it had not been a problem. They had been able to convince the authorities in previous interviews that the marriage was not a fraud, so she was not particularly worried about it.”

After Gail left, for a few years, she would call me once or twice a year. Some time before 2005, during one of these phone conversations, she sounded lonely. I asked her if there was someone special in her life. Gail proceeded to tell me about her fake marriage. She did not mention the man’s name, but remarked that he was a homosexual. She said that she had arranged the marriage in order to stay in Hawaii since, being an Australian citizen, she would not be allowed to stay in the U.S. for such a long time otherwise. She said that she and her “husband” had to go for formal interviews every now and then with the Immigration Service so as to verify that the marriage was genuine.  She said that they had to rehearse for the interviews, but that so far it had not been a problem. They had been able to convince the authorities in previous interviews that the marriage was not a fraud, so she was not particularly worried about it.

“This is the Gail Tredwell I know – a woman with an honesty problem who lies when it is expedient for her to do so. She lied to my face, she lied about me in her book, she lied to the face of U.S. Government authorities, and she is lying to the world now.”

At the time, I remember thinking that this was another one of Gail’s bad decisions. I felt worried about her being willing to go so far as lying to the U.S. Immigration Service just so that she could get what she wanted. I’ve since learned that Gail filed for divorce five years later. It seems the marriage had served its purpose. This is the Gail Tredwell I know – a woman with an honesty problem who lies when it is expedient for her to do so. She lied to my face, she lied about me in her book, she lied to the face of U.S. Government authorities, and she is lying to the world now.

Kusuma (Gretchen McGregor)



Categories: Amma Controversy, Amma Lies, Amma Scandal, Amma Truth, Amritanandamayi Lies, Amritanandamayi Scandal, Gail Tredwell, Recent

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5 replies

  1. It is only for publicity stunt. Amma had overcome many fabricated stories in the past too

  2. It appears that no publisher came forward to publish her book. It makes you wonder as to who is financially supporting her to do this negative activity.

  3. http://centreright.in/2014/03/the-slandering-shadow/#.UyK6kVGSxcc

    This is a wonderful article by Mr.Aravindan Neelakandan, a distinguished writer from Tamilnadu. He is not a devotee of Amma nor he attached with Amma’s Ashram in any capacity. He makes some very valid observations and posts various questions to Ms.Gail Tredwell.

  4. The above character portrait seems to fit the psychiatric diagnoisis of an Histrionic Personality Disorder. Religious communities, such as Indian Ashrams, are like honey-pots which attract a large proportion of those predatory parasites, who were once called psychopaths. Such people will say whatever serves their purpose at any particular time, and distorting facts is just part of their predatory game of life. No other way to live makes any sense to them, being far more intelligent than the average human being!

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