“Tredwell’s memoir is a gift to seekers vulnerable to similar widespread misconceptions about spirituality and the role of surrender.”
Joel Kramer & Diana Alstad, coauthors of The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power

Holy Hell by Gail TredwellAmma, universally known as “The Hugging Saint,” went through a two-decade transformation from a simple fisherman’s daughter to an international wonder worshiped by millions.

Gail “Gayatri” Tredwell was there every step of the way—from early devotee to head female disciple, ever-present personal attendant, handmaiden, whipping post, and unwilling keeper of some devastating secrets.

She takes us vividly through her varying stages, starting with naïveté and innocent devotion, then on to dawning awareness and confusion, finally to emotional breakdown and her shocking “enlightenment”—her realization that the liberation she urgently required was is in fact liberation from her own guru.

In a gradual yet determined struggle she managed to untangle herself from the web of myth and indoctrination. Only then was she able to muster her battered but not quite broken spirit and plot her escape.


white lotusEver since the news of my book went viral in India, I have been inundated with requests to file criminal charges. I even get would-be official letters from unnamed officials on plain paper containing unsigned subtle threats [click to continue…]

twisting the factsTo help others, I have written a true memoir of my twenty years with Amma. However, because erstwhile friends are unable to attack the veracity of my unwelcome revelations [click to continue…]

moonrise“If you cannot attack the message, then attack the messenger.”

Now that many of my former friends, who I cared for immensely, have had the opportunity to serve their guru by untruthfully maligning [click to continue…]