Deva Sindhu reviews Gail Tredwell’s book, “The memoir was published in October, 2013 and sent shock-waves through the Amma community.”
Holy Hell is written as an autobiographical story, in which Gail Tredwell describes her long search for spiritual growth and enlightenment, meeting Amma, the “hugging saint” in India.
She turns into Gayatri, stays in India and becomes Amma’s right hand assistant in an ashram in south India. Soon she is the number two after Amma and running an increasingly growing organization. Sometimes painful, often hilarious to read all the little episodes that start accumulating and evolving over 20 years into quite a scheme of pretense, hypocrisy, greed and, yes, sex and abuse.
Then even Osho comes into the mix at the end of this true story and, to no surprise, starts rocking the events. It is easy to read thru the well-written 326 pages. The colorful descriptions of India, extreme experiences physically and spiritually, sharp observations and revelations make it a book you will find eye opening! Gail’s very self-critical vision and loyalty towards Amma until the break-up provide credibility to her story.
The memoir was published in October, 2013 and sent shock-waves through the Amma community. They swiftly retaliated with legal harassment, defamatory websites, and she was slapped with five counts of criminal charges by the Kerala Police.
Despite the harassment and intimidation from Amma’s lawyers to prevent the promotion of this book, the story is far from over! If Gail ever writes a sequel to this book I will read it!
Review by Deva Sindhu, Maui
Read two short excerpts
No Bananas – An act of plagiarism
Gail Tredwell was born in Queensland, Australia. In 1978, after several uninspiring teenage years, she took off to explore the big wide world. At the end of 1999, after two decades as the personal attendant to Amma, she managed to untangle herself and made her daring break from the organization escaping to heavenly Hawai’i. gailtredwell.com – wikipedia.org/Gail_Tredwell