Editorial Reviews. Review. "Holy Hell is Gail Tredwell's captivating, inspiring, instructive story of why as a willing slave she endured her guru's cruelty, insults. The Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness PDF Online book is available in PDF, Kindle, Ebook, ePub and Mobi formats. This PDF Holy Hell. Holy Hell book. Read 36 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Amma, universally known as The Hugging Saint, went through a two-decade.
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Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness. Amma, 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. Read "Holy Hell A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness" by Gail Tredwell available from Rakuten Kobo. Sign up today and get $5 off your first download. Mar 19, Preplanned Propaganda Against Hindu Humanitarians and Spiritual Masters · letterstothemother / Letters / Amma, Amma.
Or, get it for Kobo Super Points! See if you have enough points for this item. 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. At age nineteen, when she was a happy-go-lucky, adventurous lass from Australia, Tredwell never imagined that she would soon be trading her free spirit and skimpy clothing for a life of submission in an ankle-length sari. Her eager decision to serve the young "saint" began with innocence and a pure desire to please her new guru. Because she became fluent in the Malayalam language and had continual intimate proximity to Amma for twenty years, Tredwell is uniquely capable of portraying this famous woman.
What criteria did they use? What training has she had in her spiritual path?
What is her lineage? Who was her teacher? On and on. I know some of my friends are fond of Amachi, so I feel a bit guilty writing this review of book that details the bullshit that her family and followers propagate about her in order to entrance potential followers.
I'm sorry to have to say this, But, I think people considering getting involved with this creepy group should read this book. View 1 comment. Jul 27, Jaishree rated it really liked it Shelves: The first I heard about this book was when I watched an interview of Gail Tredwell on one of the Malayalam channels. There were the expected shrill and high decibel claims and counter claims from both sides. My desire to read the book had other personal connections as well.
My daughter did her UG course from a fairly prestigious college attached to the Ashram and I have heard similar murmurs about the Ashram and inmates from my husband's cousins who grew up in Vallikavu. The book is simple in it' The first I heard about this book was when I watched an interview of Gail Tredwell on one of the Malayalam channels. The book is simple in it's narrative and comes across as a honest portrayal of the years spent in Amma's service.
I was left with a lingering sense of loss for the years spent by the author in trying to find spiritual peace in serving Amma. Given the reach of the Ashram and it's devotees, it is not surprising to find that it is not being carried by any of the book stores in the country. Apr 22, Karthika rated it liked it. I cannot write a review of this book without praising her courage. Some parts of this book were extremely shocking; no wonder why this book is not easily available in India.
I grew up watching people worshiping Matha Amrithananda Mayi as an avatar. I was never a believer of human gods and always maintain a neutral view. This book creates a shock wave in India and attracted the attention of news world so easily. But somehow they suppress the discussions with their power. I pity those people who n I cannot write a review of this book without praising her courage.
I pity those people who not even caring to read the book and driven by their blind faith. An essential reading for every Amma devotee. It teaches you what would happen if a normal human being sacrifices everything to serve an actor. The actor is more than able to perform the role with panache in front of an audience but the real malignant spirit of the actor can be seen behind the scenes.
Welcome to the backstage. This is not a great literary work but an extremely personal memoir. Exploring how the lines of your identity and personal freedom can be catastrophically blurred in a quest to seek a connection with god. May 30, Asha Alex rated it it was amazing. Five stars for the courage it took to write the book. Feb 19, Ron John John rated it it was amazing.
First of all thanks for sharing your dreadful experience with us. I always feel very bad when see people worship these type of living God. You don't need to be brilliant to identify these living God's. You have shared your experience with us , why can't you file a case against this lady and the man who raped you?
Now people is saying it's all false story , If you make a complaint, at least police will enquire about this and if its true they will shut down this place Please send a compliant to First of all thanks for sharing your dreadful experience with us.
Now people is saying it's all false story , If you make a complaint, at least police will enquire about this and if its true they will shut down this place Please send a compliant to the address below , they will do the rest. Feb 18, Arun rated it it was amazing. This is a triumph of pretension over lucidity.
The plot, such as I could decipher it, is that an unfortunate young woman, Gayathri Gail Tredwell , gets pulled into unconsciousness and has a subconscious sense of spirituality forced down her throat. It seems to make her hypnotically suggestible, during which time her mainly unseen assaulter runs her thru a series of odd exercises for Amma. Gradually she seems to return to normal, but by then she's been missing from the parallel world and Daring!
Gradually she seems to return to normal, but by then she's been missing from the parallel world and her credits is completely shot, so she loses her 20 years of normal living.
Mar 07, Deepu Joseph rated it it was amazing. Quick, engaging read. I would give 5 stars simply for the brave effort that this book is. This book only deserves 5 stars.
Gail is an amazing writer, a courageous spirit, a moral inspiration, and her journey of recovering from codependency and finding her own truth has been life changing to read. Mar 04, Zack rated it liked it. I got interested in this book when it was all over the newspaper, as an indictment of Matha Amrithananda Mayi. She is one of the popular God Women of Kerala,with considerable following around the world. But the moment you start reading the book,you are sucked into it's simple narrative style,about a young innocent lady trying to find meaning in life.
Gail Tredwell was only 19 yrs old when she came to India with her boyfriend at the end of 's. But she decides to stay on despising her empty wester I got interested in this book when it was all over the newspaper, as an indictment of Matha Amrithananda Mayi.
But she decides to stay on despising her empty western life style even though her boyfriend leaves her. With one of the tourists she met along the journey,she travels to Tamil Nadu. There she travels to Tiruvannamalai and gets into one of the Ashram and starts meditation and Yoga.
It is during the stay there she finds about Amma from a person who is devotee of her. She is immediately drawn to Her and travels to the native place of Amma.
This was about 30 years back when Amma's activities where known only to local neighbourhood. Amma is known to emulate Krishna Bhava at evening and gives blessings to her devotees. When Tredwell reaches there,the facilities over there were rudimentary. She finds it hard to accomodate to the simple living in Amma's place.
She convinces Amma to keep her as her assistant and thus starts her journey under Amma. It is during early times she has an authentic spiritual experience unlike anything she experienced in her life.
She traces the humble beginnings, then the gradual expansion to big Spiritual empire as accurate as possible. Amma's pleasant demeanour in front of public is exact opposite of how she behaves with her close cotery especially women. They are verbally abused for the smallest of mistakes. Money is swindled to support her family and Gail Tredwell becomes a conduit in that. She is even sexually abused by a Senior Sanyasi in the Ashram named Balu who has an affair with Amma herself.
Even under all this adverse circumstances, Gail tries her best to rationalize everything hoping being obedient to Amma is a duty to Guru and will bring her close to God. Gradually she cant stand the contradictions of Amma and overcomes the mental hurdles to run out of the Ashram and reclaim her life. This is a brave story which took her 15 years after her escape from Ashram to publish indicating the mental torture she must have undergone over there.
She is very forthright in her account of the story without being overtly judgemental. This a cautious tale against all kinds of fraudsters who profits from spiritiality and suppressing bodily instincts doesn't equal spirituality. Mar 18, Naveen rated it liked it Shelves: Excerpts from the book: My dream of finding and serving a guru had come true. Hinduism in particular is saturated with Excerpts from the book: Hinduism in particular is saturated with tales of extreme tests and cruel treatment inflicted by gurus upon their disciples in order to measure their faith, strength, and commitment.
The story goes that if these tests are passed, the guru, through divine power and grace, then bestows the disciple with illumination. Supposedly a genuine guru can do no wrong. All his or her actions, no matter how strange or extreme, are performed only for the highest good of the disciples. Over the ages this belief system has been exploited by many charlatan gurus who have subjected their disciples to tests and demands of absolute obedience, yet have not possessed the power to bestow any such form of grace in return.
This support gave her the ability to do whatever she pleased. If she made a prediction that turned out to be a dud, she was merely testing your faith. Hurry up, yelled Franco as Sylvie and I scrambled along the train platform. By no means was this an easy task, for there were hundreds of people bumping into one another and running every which way.
Travelers say chaos is one of the charming characteristics of India. But I suspect that this is something they tell themselves in order to survive.
Early on I learned not to resist, just to go with the flow, otherwise your life will become pure hell. India is not a country with which you can ever have a mediocre relationship. You must love it or run for your life.
Eventually we found our carriage and allowed the pressure of the crowd to line us up in front of a door. Pushing and shoving is an accepted way of life in India. A queue is a rare phenomenon. The population has developed this manner of conduct into quite a fine art.
Nobody pushes with their hands. They use their whole bodies, and this makes the contact somehow less personal, and honestly nobody thinks about it twice. I watched my friends disappear into the train, and for a split second I panicked. Then miraculously I found myself standing before a door. Without delay I grabbed onto the clammy railing, and with one gigantic heave, propelled myself forward, yanking my bag free from the bodies it was wedged between down below.
As I made my way through the carriage, I chose to ignore the unabashed stares and eventually found the right compartment. It was a second-class sleeper and would be our home for the next three days. In the late seventies second-class meant no air conditioning, no seat padding, and no door to your individual compartment. The right side of the carriage was lined vertically with additional benches. This arrangement guaranteed a complete lack of privacy for the occupants and a constant stream of people shuffling up and down the narrow corridor to the bathrooms.
I flung my bag onto the corner of the top bunk where it would be safe from roaming hands. Excited, I sat down by the window to watch the flurry of activity transpiring outside. Women carried baskets of food in one hand, dragged a child along with the other, and somehow rested an infant securely on one of their maternal hips. Men loaded with suitcases and rolls of bedding hurried by.
The more affluent folk carried nothing. Trailing closely at their heels with the most graceful gait, porters dressed in bright red jackets balanced stacks of luggage ever so elegantly on their heads. Most women were gaily clad in vibrant colors, and every facet of the rainbow was whizzing before my eyes.
Children selling peanuts, roasted chickpeas, and other oddities hurried through the train making frantic, final pleas, trying to convince everyone to download from them. The whistle blew, and I could see the uniformed station agent wave his green flag, so I knew our departure was imminent. The commotion on the platform began to ease. People became stationary with their gaze glued to the train windows.
The hubbub inside amplified. Family members who had extended their goodbyes a little too long struggled through the obstacle course of bodies and luggage to reach the exit before it was too late. With a long, final blow of the whistle, the train began its forward motion. Like fleas jumping off a large beast, the little entrepreneurs loaded with their baskets of wares leaped off at the last second. I watched in awe how each one of them managed to land upright despite the building momentum of the train.
We were leaving the north of India and Kashmir with its beautiful lakes and the breathtaking Himalayas for southern India, with Madras as our final destination. Without saying a word, the three of us grinned at each other and started to chuckle—our way of saying, Thank God, that's all over.
From our first meeting we became good friends and travel companions. Sylvie was German, with a pleasingly plumpish baby face, peaches-and-cream complexion, and hair that looked as though she'd been shocked with a thousand volts of electricity.
She had recently been experimenting, trying to create Rastafarian dreadlocks, but had failed miserably. Franco was Italian from Genoa, a strikingly good-looking young man, the personification of tall, dark, and handsome. When I met them, I was living on one of the many houseboats on Dal Lake, in the center of town. Because I was recovering from a bout of hepatitis, I had been alone in bed for a couple of weeks with nobody to look after me. Many nights I sadly gazed out the window across the water to other boats from which I could hear laughter, music, and people enjoying each other's company.
Thousands of miles from home and clueless as to where the boyfriend I had ditched a month earlier had gone, I was feeling lost, vulnerable, and terribly alone in the world. Physically ill and mentally depressed, I had cried out many a time, I want my mommy.
These outbursts shocked me because when I'd left home two years previous—at age seventeen—my relationship with her was somewhat strained. Despite the lack of privacy, the inability to bathe, and the stench of the bathrooms, I loved riding the trains in India. Dusk, my favorite time of day, was approaching, so I got up and stumbled down the corridor to the open doorway of the carriage.
With a steadfast grip on the railing, I embraced the wind in my face as the scenery rushed before my eyes. India is such a vast and spacious country once you are out of the cities. Apart from the occasional village, it is just miles and miles of uninhabited land. All this open terrain seemed a shame in light of the overpopulation and deprived conditions I had witnessed in the cities.
With heartfelt emotion, I thought to myself, Oh India, you are such a land of extremes, but I think I'm falling in love with you. My feet had first touched Indian soil in Calcutta on March 21, , after my boyfriend and I had traveled for six weeks through Southeast Asia. I was excited about visiting India, but at the same time nervous.
Fellow tourists shared many a tale of the extreme poverty, beggars, lepers, disease, and theft they had witnessed. With great fervor, they told horror stories of their bags being sliced open by thieves when they walked down the street and of hooks coming over the door to steal their belongings when they went to the bathroom. I really didn't know what to expect, but felt I needed to experience this country for myself.
Despite all the grave and negative warnings, the minute I arrived in India, I felt very much at home. I was captivated by the simple lifestyle, richness of color, density of delightful aromas wafting through the air, and the down-to-earth joy of the people, despite their poverty.
From childhood I always had an interest in the occult. I was fascinated by Ouija boards, ESP, and fortune-telling.
So the country's undercurrent of the supernatural and its inexplicable mystical allure also had me intrigued. My boyfriend wasn't interested in spending more than a few days in any one place, nor in getting to know the local people. All we did was visit tourist sites, stay at tourist bungalows, and socialize with other tourists.
Our original plan, the Aussie thing to do in those days, was to spend a few weeks traveling through Southeast Asia and cut across the Middle East to Europe, with England as our final destination. Our opposing ideas of what traveling abroad meant began to put a strain on the relationship. By the time we arrived in India, we were no longer a couple, barely friends, and determined to part ways once we reached our next stop, Nepal.
However, something strange overcame me once I landed in India. Overnight I felt possessed with such inner strength and confidence that I told him to beat it.
Even though I was only nineteen and all alone in a strange country, I felt safe and self-assured. At the time I didn't realize that this was only a fleeting moment of bravery. It was getting dark, and my thoughts returned to the moment. Before heading back to the compartment, I took one long, last look toward the landscape that was rapidly disappearing into the golden sunset. I grinned and thought of how happy I was.
Suddenly a speck of coal landed in my eye, snapping me out of my infatuation. We were on a steam train, and I realized we would be covered with soot by the time we got to Madras. I giggled and wondered if I would still be able to see my freckles by then. This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue? Upload Sign In Join.
Save For Later. Create a List. Holy Hell: Summary Amma, 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.
Read on the Scribd mobile app Download the free Scribd mobile app to read anytime, anywhere. BookBaby Released: Oct 25, ISBN: I stand in front of the mirror emotionless as a corpse. I wonder if they have found my note and have actually given it to Amma? I rush to the phone. But it stops after just one ring. It does. Holding the phone to my ear, I dare not speak until I know who is on the other end. Gayatri, are you there? It's me, Tara.
I'm here. I reply faintly. I was afraid to talk until I was certain it was you. But here I am, relatively calm. Numb is probably a better word.
She looked at me. Gayatri, she said. You have to leave. You have to get away. How can I? Dad, I have to tell you something.
I have left.
I ran away from the ashram. Jesus, really? I thought you were going to be with them for the rest of your life. No kidding. So did I, Dad. But things changed. Bye, Gail. Take care. I love you, too, says my dad as he hangs up. Okay, bye, I reply in a frail voice.
Now I open my eyes and look across the room. Out of nowhere the central heating kicks on with a thump. I almost jump out of my skin. I feel hunted. I sit numbly on the couch, watching her run around. She closes the front door behind her, leaving me once again with my thoughts, and my fears. I smile and chuckle. Robyn was never a fan of Amma. I whispered, Don't let anyone hear you talking like that. Robyn, where the hell did you get those from?
I asked pointing at her breasts. No, I had no clue.
Yes, I'm all right, I lied. Now I smile as I imagine how proud she must feel to know that I have run away. Great idea. I will try and get her on the line and call back in half an hour or so. Here is the text of the message that I conveyed to Amma and her inner circle through my sister: November 23, I want everybody to know that I am safe and that my head is on my shoulders, but my decision is firm. I harbor no bitterness or revenge, only pain. I am praying to God for forgiveness for any pain and sorrow I have caused to the ashram.
Start your free 30 days. Page 1 of 1. Close Dialog Are you sure? Also remove everything in this list from your library. Are you sure you want to delete this list? Remove them from Saved? No Yes. Good luck to them, I say. The people who flock to these gods on earth are mostly educated people gifted with rational minds to think things out.
The fact they do not do so means that deep down, they want to believe — it is a strong spiritual need. As long it is fulfilled by anything, and gives them happiness, why should I bother? While reading this book, however, I was adamant that my prejudices should not inform my view. Whether I agree with the author or not, the review should be impartial, analysing the book on its own merits. Well, onto the book. The Story Thousands of Westerners came to India in the seventies.
I still remember seeing a lot of white men and women, dressed in what could be termed rags, walking around with backpacks. Amma treated her as personal property, working her to death and verbally and physically abusing her whenever the mood for a tantrum came upon her.
At this time, Gail was footloose in India without a penny to her name: no contact with her family in Australia hints of some serious problem back there, though not elaborated : and also, she had undergo a hysterectomy to remove a massive tumour from her uterus.
It is easy to see her being preyed upon. Well, all of us know the history of Mata Amritanandamayi. The ashram grew and expanded at tremendous speed, becoming the multimillion dollar corporate behemoth it is today.
Gail got elevated to the position of manager, and was accompanying Amma constantly on her trips. Soon, she was officially ordained and became Swamini Amritaparna. However, during this temporal ascent, Gail was on a downward spiral spiritually — because she was discovering that her idol had feet of clay.
So the truth finally dawned — the guru was nothing but commonplace woman, carrying out a massive spiritual fraud on a gullible public. The amount of ashram donation money she smuggled out to her family in iceboxes did nothing to enhance her reputation in the eyes of her disciple.
Added to these facts was the personal trauma Gail suffered, because she was repeatedly raped by Balu, the sex-maniac swami. So one day, the worm turned. During a trip to the US, Gail finally burst her spiritual shackles and absconded.
Analysis Holy Hell is not a well-written book; moreover, it writes of disgusting things.