A.k.a. Robert Taliaferro Brooke (real name)
Tal Brooke used to be among the most prominent members of the Sathya Sai organization in the US. The late Sathya Sai Baba was, as some of you know, a miracle monger and spiritual leader, famous for allegedly being able to perform miracles such as materialize vibuthi, materialize rings, gold statues, necklaces and watches, levitation, bilocation, controlling the weather, resurrect the dead, heal the sick, and transform water into petrol (Sai Baba refused to make grand changes in the world (or have his abilities tested), however, claiming that this would disrupt the karmic flow of events).
Tal Brooke has for the last 20 years worked to expose his former cult, and has written a couple of books criticizing the Sathya Sai organization. So shouldn’t he be counted as a non-loon? Well, the thing is that Brooke really only swapped cults and is currently a hardcore Christian fundamentalist instead. You see, Brooke still believes fully in Sai Baba’s abilities to perform miracles; it is just that Brooke is now convinced that Sai Baba is (was) the antichrist instead, which is – to emphasize – no less loony than believing that he’s the Messiah. Brooke’s allegations were apparently based on “out of body experiences” that were “very demonic”, and seem primarily to concern rather strange and ungrounded accusations of sexual abuse in all sorts of ways since Baba was, according to Brooke, a hermaphrodite (Brooke goes on at quite some length about this).
Brooke is currently president of the Spiritual Counterfeits Project, which is not a skeptics organization. His writings (plenty of books) in general seek to depict the New Age movement as a Satanic conspiracy, which seems to miss the main problem. He has described the Internet as the “Tower of Babel” and that it is anti-God; he believes that Hollywood is a conspiracy against Jesus; and he is behind plenty of ravings about the New World Order. Some information can be found here, but this is a pro-Sai-Sathya site and hence very, very untrustworthy. Brooke’s latest obsession seems to be a massive campaign against the Twilight series (his organization publishes the Vampire Journal).
Constance Cumbey (to be covered) accuses Tal Brooke of being an anti-semite and for plagiarizing her works, but then Cumbey accuses a lot of people of that.
Brooke is also a firm fan of David Brickner and the Jews for Jesus.
Diagnosis: Cultjumper and not-quite-whistleblower who fights (other) cults apparently by arguing that they’re not extreme enough and pointing out that he disagrees with them. It is hard to judge the effect of his actions, however, and he may inadvertently end up doing more good than bad; should nevertheless be watched.