Mar 6, 2014

Holy Hell: The Inside Story of Amma, The Hugging Saint Revealed in New Book by former Personal Assistant

KIHEI, Hawaii, Dec. 2, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- An Indian woman profiled in publications across the globe, Mata "Amma" Amritanandamayi, is referred to as a saint by many, with her hugs believed to cure cancer and other diseases. Thousands line up, often waiting hours to be hugged and blessed by the godly woman.

However, a different portrait is painted of Amma in the new book Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness, written by the guru's former personal assistant, Gail "Gayatri" Tredwell. The true picture is far different from the facade of beloved holy woman that the public sees.

After becoming Amma's personal assistant in India at the age of 21, Tredwell never realized that her quest to find God would end in such a web of deceit and abuse. For two decades, Tredwell acted as Amma's personal servant, expected to be available at the "saint's" disposal at all hours.

Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness depicts an unsettling portrait of Amma in a voice that brims with honesty and hope. Tredwell became fluent in the Malayalam language and was with Amma continuously. The author shares her unique story, keeping to the facts yet taking responsibility for her own role in the situation.

Readers will become familiar with the ashram through the images that the book evokes of rural India. They will also see the ashram's meteoric rise from religious community to mega-empire, completely business-minded and rife with hypocrisy.
Tredwell leads readers through the stages of her servitude to Amma, beginning with the early years fraught with innocent devotion, then to the developing awareness of the severity of her situation, until at last she realizes her needed liberation is not from God, but rather from Amma.

Only after years of recovery and reflection has Tredwell been able to reveal this story in all its raw and unflinching truth. Holy Hell: A Memoir of Faith, Devotion, and Pure Madness is now available on in both Kindle and paperback editions, and available as an e-book via several other online retailers.