The Allegations By Gail Tredwell Are Untrue: A Statement by the Mata Amritanandamayi Devotees’ Forum, Kerala

The allegations put forth in Gail Tredwell’s memoir are untrue and are the fabrications of a disturbed mind. It is puzzling that 15 years after leaving Amma’s ashram, Ms. Tredwell has decided to self-publish this book, fabricating incidents that supposedly took place as many as 30 years ago.

The truth of the matter is that it was Ms. Tredwell herself who was abusive. Since the publication of her book, other people have come forward to report incidents such as irrational onset of anger and sadistic behavior that have caused them to doubt Ms. Tredwell’s mental health. (see: Bri. Lakshmi’s memoriesRadhika Nair’s memoriesKristy’s memoriesAnu Iyer’s memories, and Rukmini’s memories .)

Contrary to the claim made in Ms. Tredwell’s book that she left the Mata Amritanandamayi Math as a fugitive, upon her departure Ms. Tredwell was given financial assistance by the Mata Amritanandamayi Center in San Ramon, California, and was provided with health insurance by the same organization for approximately two years until she had completed her transition into lay life. Furthermore, for the first full year upon her departure, Ms. Tredwell was provided with free room and board in the house of a devotee, and her circle of friends was constituted of devotees as well. (see: Geetha Kumar’s letterArpana’s letter and Rajita’s letter).

In fact, during that year, Ms. Tredwell also willingly met in a friendly manner with senior members of Amma’s organization, including the one she now has made accusations about. She even sent him a letter thanking him for his constant kindness and support.

The truth is that it was not because of abuse that Ms. Tredwell left Amma’s ashram but because she wanted to fulfill personal desires that were incompatible with the formal monastic vows she had taken up as a sannyasini.  In fact, Ms. Tredwell, during her time as a formally ordained monk, even went as far as to propose marriage to an American man. (see: Br. Shubhamrita’s account). Today, proof of Ms. Tredwell’s marriage and subsequent divorce since leaving Amma’s organization is publicly available.

Even peripheral details of Ms. Tredwell’s memoir appear to have been fabricated, as a number of people included in scenes from the book have come forward to say that they are depicted in its pages saying and/or doing things that simply never happened. (see: Mira’s letter andPrakash’s letter).

It is also a matter of public record that Ms. Tredwell suffered from intense bouts of jealousy towards Amma’s senior disciples and devotees as well. Ms. Tredwell wrote about these difficulties in 1993, in the Mata Amritanandamayi Math’s spiritual magazine Matruvani, explaining how her jealousy was so intense that it led her to pull out her own hair, to self-induce vomiting, and to even try to scratch off her own skin. Ms. Tredwell also admits in these articles that this jealousy at times clouded her thinking to the extent that she could not stop herself from making accusations that she actually knew to be untrue.

If the incidents of abuse and misconduct presented in the book were truly experienced and witnessed by Ms. Tredwell beginning in the mid-1980s, as she alleges, why then did it take her 18 years to leave Amma’s ashram and another 15 to write her book? It is worth noting that, less than two years before her departure, Ms. Tredwell made the following public statement regarding Amma: “I think she will be remembered as one of the most loving, compassionate, self-giving, self-sacrificing saints ever to come on earth, and one who has never ever taken a breath of air for herself.” (See: What is Gail Tredwell’s Real Face).