Remembering Gail Tredwell- A Letter from Susanne Wecker

susanneWe received the following from a Swiss devotee currently living in Amritapuri Ashram.

My name is Susanne Wecker. I met Amma in 1990, and since 1992 it has been my privilege to host Amma and her senior monastic disciples at my home in Munich when they come there for Amma’s annual tour. After reading a “review” of Gail Tredwell’s book, I wanted to share some of my experiences with Gail, Amma and Amma’s organisation.

 “In the 23 years that I have known Amma, I have never seen or heard of Amma abusing Gail or anyone else. Nor did Gail ever speak to me about such abuse—despite the fact that we were quite close.”

In the 23 years that I have known Amma, I have never seen or heard of Amma abusing Gail or anyone else. Nor did Gail ever speak to me about such abuse—despite the fact that we were quite close. When Amma was touring in Europe, Gail would often confide in me many of her difficulties. When I first met her, she seemed to be full of devotion for Amma, but as time went on she seemed only able to criticize Amma. For example, it is Amma’s way to not always inform the swamis and her assistants about her plans—will she go back to the host’s house for the night or will she sleep in the hall itself? Of course, this can make planning stressful, but everyone accepts this as Amma’s way. We take it as an opportunity to learn flexibility, to become more efficient, and to test our ability to retain mental equanimity in stressful circumstances. But Gail never seemed able to see such things in this way. She always took Amma’s lack of disclosure and last-minute plan-changing as a personal slight.

Despite Gail’s willingness to vent her feelings about such things to me, she never once mentioned any of the accusations found 15 years later in her self-published memoir. Gail now writes that Amma beat her, but many of the devotees and ashram residents who were with Amma during Gail’s tenure at the ashram know that that just the opposite was true: It was Gail who had the temper [Mira, Swami Paramatmananda, Rukmini, Kristy, Anu] and who would regularly fly off the handle and attack those under her. The person who bore the brunt of Gail’s assaults was Amma’s attendant, Lakshmi, from Holland, who has been with Amma for 30 years now. But at times, Gail was even violent towards Amma.

“Due to either delusion or spite, [Gail] is now lashing out, trying to destroy people’s faith in one of the greatest spiritual masters to have ever walked the earth. It is a futile attempt—like darkness trying to destroy the sun.”

The truth regarding Gail’s departure from Amma’s ashram is now well-known. It was not because of abuse but because Gail wanted to fulfill personal desires that were incompatible with the monastic vows she had taken up. Today, Gail’s marriage and subsequent divorce since leaving Amma’s organization are a matter of legal record.

During the past 23 years, I have had the privilege to travel with Amma, live with Amma, and host Amma in my own home. I am close friends with many of Amma’s senior-most monastic disciples. Yet I have never seen, heard or experienced even a hint of the kinds of things Gail is writing about in her so-called memoir. On the other hand, I have only seen Amma’s love, humility, patience and compassion.

“To be in a position to regularly witness, firsthand, all that Amma and her ashram are doing for the world has been a profound and humbling experience.”

Since, Gail’s departure from Amma’s organization 15 years ago, Amma’s charitable network has grown in leaps and bounds. Seeing the simplicity and frugal way of Amma’s life—as well as the impressive way in which Amma’s ashram cares for the poor and needy—I have personally donated money to Amma’s humanitarian projects, both in Europe and abroad. In fact, since 2009, I have been living predominantly in Amma’s ashram in India, where I am directly involved in one of Amma’s programs to help empower local women. To be in a position to regularly witness, firsthand, all that Amma and her ashram are doing for the world has been a profound and humbling experience—something for which I am very grateful. I find the idea that Amma is giving donation money to her family absurd. I have never seen any evidence of such a thing. On the other hand, I have only seen the exponential manner in which Amma’s charitable mission has grown and continues to grow.

It is really sad. Gail could have been a role-model to those trying to follow the spiritual path. Instead, due to either delusion or spite, she is now lashing out, trying to destroy people’s faith in one of the greatest spiritual masters to have ever walked the earth. It is a futile attempt—like darkness trying to destroy the sun.

Susanne Wecker

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

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2 replies

  1. To,
    The “Goddess” of Holy Hell!
    Ms. Gail or Ms.Tredwell,
    How do I address you? Gail? Gayatri Amma or Swamini Amritaprana? Who are you anyways? By your own admission, you left home and hearth in your native Australia and came to India seeking spiritual fulfillment. Here, after a vagabond-like existence, you found refuge in Amma and got to be Her personal attendant for a span of years. You lived as a celibate disciple (Brahmacharini) for some time, following which you were ordained by Amma as a Sanyasini. And, then, one fine day, you left Amma and the Ashram like a fugitive, never to return! Well, apparently, the strictures of renunciate living were too much for you to abide by, so you regressed back to your vagabond-like existence. News of your affair with a Westerner, your marriage and subsequent divorce trickled in, over time. Giving the devil his(her) due, that is a matter of personal choice, and it is nobody’s business to hold it against you.
    However, after a sabbatical-like phase, you emerged out of oblivion to publish a blasphemous book with a Satanic title- “Holy Hell-a memoir of faith, devotion and pure madness.” Have you truly lost it? Having known and interacted with you during the early years at the Ashram, it comes as an incredibly rude shock to me that you have chosen to sling mud at a world-renowned personality as towering as Amma! Do you know what happens to those who spit looking up at the shining Sun? The spit defiles them, but the Sun shines there, resplendent as ever. You lived in the shadow of a great Mahatma for so many years of your life, but never saw the light! You cast aspersions on the character of all the seniormost functionaries of the organization, despite knowing their sacrifices and toils through the years? You left the Ashram all of a sudden, but were provided financial assistance and a safe asylum in Hawaii by Amma’s ardent devotees at Amma’s behest! You have touched the nadir of ingratitude and selfishness, quite contrary to what you are supposed to have imbibed in all those years of your so-called ‘service’ to Amma!
    A peripheral reading of your book tells that here is a tramp-like lady, a confused and demented soul who is so lost in life, that she is compelled to become a sadist; exploiting goodness and love, trying to cash in on the reputation of an internationally acclaimed Guru and Her organization by fabricating grotesque stories dating back twenty years from now. Well, things were not so bad for you, Gail,right? You went back to your worldly existence, you settled into matrimony, followed by divorce (for what reasons, no one knows); and when you were left to fend for yourself, (have you claimed alimony?) you picked up the threads of your wretched and wrecked life, to vent your vengeance and fury at Amma? Your book sold enough copies to support you financially, right? You are in a hopeless situation now, to be sure…
    And now, let me tell you (in case you have forgotten) Who Amma is?
    Amma is that Master and Mother to whom the teeming millions rush and find solace in. She is the refuge for the downtrodden, the poor, the sick, the needy and the miserable. Her life has been a living lesson in sacrifice, love, kindness and compassion. Blinded by delusion, you fail to see this phenomenon that She is! No amount of wealth and riches of this world would equal the power of giving that She exemplifies. Across the world, every major disaster relief has been initiated and funded by Her, showing the world that “A life dedicated to service is possible.” And you have the audacity to write in your book that Amma has stashed away money in Swiss Bank accounts? Regarding Amma sitting endlessly to give Darshan to Her devotees, you remarked that it is not for alleviating misery, but for Amma’s own self-gratification and “greed for fame”! This is the final straw, Gail! You have, by this remark, earned yourself an assured place in “Holy Hell” which is your own creation. The more I am capable of writing about you and your contrivance against Amma, the more I am compelled to restrict my resentment and disgust. That is the power of Amma’s teachings. She is the One who tells Her children to offer flowers to those who prick us with thorns. Much as I, like any other child of Amma, would love to obey Her, your blatant falsehood and unabashed accusations deter me from doing so. You have chosen to give hate in return for love, falsehood for truth and evil for goodness. You have carved out for yourself a destiny doomed to the dark netherworlds, that never see the light of day!
    Amma, the Ever-merciful Mother and Master, is untouched by your fictitious allegations. Don’t you realize Her magnanimity by the stoic silence She has maintained, throughout the chaotic wreckage you have been creating through this (un)Holy Hell?? However, you are continually incurring the curses of scores of Amma’s children all over the world, who are in angst and turmoil, all thanks to your unwarranted assault! And, rest assured, these curses of anguished souls and the wrath of the righteous will eventually gnaw at your conscience. (that is if you still have one!) Here’s hoping that one day you realize your utter folly, which is beyond redemption; so the sooner, the better. Amma alone can save you now. Repent and retract from this sinful venture, or by the invincible law of Karma, get ready for the journey down to the dark corners of the netherworlds!
    Pitted against this one “Holy Hell”, there will soon emerge, scores of ” Hallowed Heavens”, that will expose the sheer ugliness of your thought and deed. Be prepared for ‘Judgment Day!’ For as the dictum goes, “Satyameva Jayate!”(Truth Alone Triumphs).

    a child fortunate enough to receive the nectarine love of Amma.

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