Wednesday, 21 May 2014
“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.