Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

Exposing major deceits by guru Sathya Sai Baba in India, incl. murders cover-up & widely alleged sexual abuse

Archive for May, 2007

AT SATHYA SAI ASHRAMS – 2

Posted by robertpriddy on May 31, 2007

Sai Disneyland

A pragmatic, truthful account of life and incidents – amusing and otherwise – in the mini-world of Sathya Sai Baba – not censored by Sai officials or authorities! Many visitors from abroad arrive already indoctrinated by stories, books and videos in the hope being helped or healed by Sai Baba (self-proclaimed God Incarnate). Some few appear to get health improvements, but by far the majority get nothing, and one can see many of the same invalids who attend hopefully year after year sitting at the back of the crowds on the stone benches gradually getting worse. They also get an exotic cultural experience and the hope of being healed or helped by the supposed ‘Divine Healer’. Westerners usually arrive with their heads stuffed with all manner of illusions about ‘spirituality’, excited at seeing all the parasitic sannyasins, fakirs, soothsayers, yogis, astrologers, nagas, priests, religious mountebanks and swamis (out of ca. two million wandering mendicants) of whom the vast majority are out-and-out (but often very clever) frauds. One also meets more peculiarly confused, unrealistic and suffering people visiting there from India and abroad than any of the followers ever admit or dare write about.

Many are lazy self-seeking spiritual seekers?Though Sai Baba proclaims that it is futile to stay there if one is not doing service to the needy and suffering, many Westerners who stay there (very often those disillusioned and lost in their own lives and societies) laze about and indulge themselves in doing little or nothing other than follow the daily routines of endless waiting to see Sai Baba (called ‘darshan’) or queue for a room, for information, for food at ashram shops, even for a place in another queue or perhaps for any small free handouts going (note: Sai Baba has received billions of US dollars in donations so ‘holy crumbs’ fall on visitors wanting ‘a blessing from Sai’ too!).

The Divine Show-off The God who says that he alone among all knows that he is God sails by, now in a bizarre motorised silver traditional Indian chariot (a converted jeep!), now in a Mercedes or a Jaguar, now standing majestically in a golden chariot tugged on ropes by rows of serf-like figures… all the while making nonchalant royal gestures with a mostly superior and unconcerned, sometimes apparently bored, gaze. Around him on the hard ground or harder marble flooring (depending on the locale) sit cross-legged devotees who have awaited his appearance for several hours at the least. These are also said by him to be gods, yet gods who are unaware of this fact (even though he tells them) and who are mostly worthless as devotees (in his repeated railings) and who are 90% faithless, sub-human and many of whom he later says are ‘demons’ (those who eventually leave him and criticize him). He tells them to ‘Wait! Wait!’ and motions those who raise onto one knee or to their feet to stay down, down! Like faithful dogs ‘Sit!’ For ‘He’ is God not dog, like you and I!My wife got to know very well a lady who stayed at the ashram while her husband went back to the States and waited about one year every day for Sai Baba even to speak to her, poor soul! If he had not done so he would have looked very bad before everyone who knew her desperate waiting like a sore thumb for so long.

Sai Baba’s Ghostly Mother Roams the World Previously, many were allowed to prostrate themselves at his feet, quite a lot lying full length flat on their faces to kiss them. Sathya Sai quite evidently throve on all this for about 60-odd years, until he decided that it was not the right thing to do. (He also told in a weird public discourse how his long-dead mother had appeared as a wraith and in concern for her son informed him and his bedfellow boys that he was thus in danger of having poison put on his feet. No kidding!  Read more about this here

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AT SATHYA SAI ASHRAMS – 1

Posted by robertpriddy on May 30, 2007

Sai Disneyland
Wonderland or Disneyland? Paradise or Purgatory? Life or death?

All is not as it seems to be to the wannabe spiritual persons who visit, and – if one hopes to be accepted by Sai Baba and his minions – one may not tell things as they are.Unlike those who – knowing no better – paint wholly unrealistic and imaginative pictures of the place and what goes on there (such as the present author unfortunately was guilty of to a considerable extent in one of the books he has published), those of us who have happened to get behind the scenes or have penetrated the many deceptive appearances and calculated disinformation, many a sad fate, and all manner of untoward incidents, covered-up crimes and deceptions. For example, who knows that the great Sai Baba has been made to fall full length on the concrete by a male devotee who flung his arms around his ankles while he was moving? The man who did it got his head beaten severely against the concrete by Sai Baba’s attendants, the cowards! Who tells that a foreign lady made a scene of herself by running out of the ordered lines and lying down on her back and heaving her body while shouting “I will give birth to the next avatar!” Or that a young Danish lady daily stripped naked and ran around the ashram shouting ‘Love, love, love!’ while none of the servitors dared to go near her for days.”

Sathya Sai’s original and chief ashram, now the independent township of Prashanti Nilayam – a fiefdom over which he rules completely – is supposed to be “The Abode of Supreme Peace”… a sanctuary from worldly problems full of saintly people. The meaning of the Indian word ‘ashram’ is a place of ‘no hardship’ (‘a-shrama’). So it is should be a refuge from the cruel world. However, it is far from being any utopian retreat! The forceful, pushing crowds, the discriminatory culture (VIPs or nobodies and all in between), the physical, mental and emotional hardships one is made to suffer all help to ensure that. One elderly Indian devotee in the IAS (Indian Administrative Service) – Mr. V. Ramnath  who wrote the excessively hagiographical book ‘Waiting for Baba’ – had long experience of the ashrams and many officials and residents (about which he carefully omitted any of the many negative facts he told me). He assured me it is “a snake pit of jealousy”. The former Head of Administration for over 20 years, Mr. Kanhaia Jee, also told me many such incidents and home truths about the ashrams – not least that the Prashanthi Nilayam (‘Abode of Peace’) staff  “fight like dogs” when Swami’s back is turned!

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Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders – Fifth Part

Posted by robertpriddy on May 29, 2007

Close servitor, V.K. Narasimhan and his many doubts

Referring to the unsolved 1993 murders and executions in Sai Baba’s bedroom, the famous newspaper journalist, writer and editor, V.K. Narasimhan – even though under powerful pressures to conform while dependent on the ashram and Sai Baba personally – said openly on two occasions where the writer was present, and even before a small number of people, “What is the meaning now of the words ‘Why fear when I am here’? They are a travesty.”
The meaning can only be discovered an investigative spirit with honesty, conscience and – above all – sound independence of mind. In the presence of several persons at Sai Towers café (including myself, then the owner Mr. Padmanabhan, his business manager and the Australian Sai official Chris Parnell who was working for him on the magazine ‘Spiritual Impressions’) V.K. Narasimhan said that he has questioned swami about the murder several times whose answers, he said three times loud and with emphasis, were “ not convincing!” (Click to see fuller account of V.K. Narasimhan’s views on the murders and yet more etc.)

N-P98

V.K. Narasimhan (above left with R. Priddy right in 1998), who was present at the ashram and was himself in daily contact with Sai Baba from 1980 until shortly before his death in 2000, unburdened himself of shocking information in a lowered voice and in strict confidence to the present writer. Only after his death could I relate what I had learned (for the sake of protecting him in his very delicate and insecure position living in the ashram under Sai Baba’s control).

Government connivance in the cover-up and quashing of the CBI investigation During the aftermath, when Indian Government authorities were trying to defuse the issue and cover it all up, V.K. Narasimhan told me how he was present to a conversation between the brother Mr. Janaki Ramiah and the Home Minister S.B. Chavan where they congratulated one another on having got the four alleged assailants murdered by the police and laughed saying ‘Dead men tell no tales’. This shocked Narasimhan deeply, who apparently never recovered his previous somewhat troubled faith fully after that. He told me, referring to those who negotiated with the police on behalf of Sai Baba (including his brother Janakiramiah and Colonel Joga Rao) that “they did a terrible thing”. By using a hold that ashram authorities had gained over them when they allowed two murderers of a German lady to ‘escape’ in return for the money she was killed for in her new room in Prashanthi (about Rs. 80,000.-), the convinced the police to shoot down the four intruders, who were barricaded inside Sai Baba’s bedroom apartment! That it was a cold-blooded execution is confirmed by the then Home Minister of Andhra Pradesh State, V.P. Nair, in an interview with the BBC (see here)

Diary notes in which I recorded conversations with V.K. Narasimhan in the late 1990s  (among others) are available here and here

MurderBook

Other relevant notes to the issue were recorded here and here.

‘Murders in Sai Baba’s Bedroom’ available from author B. Premanand.
11/7 Chettipalayam Road. Podnadur 641023 Tamil Nadu
Send US$40.- (free postage) by money order or bank draft.

See also

Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders – Part 1

Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders. Part 2

Sathya Sai Baba bedroom murders – Part 3

Sathya Sai Baba bedroom murders  – Part 4

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SATHYA SAI BABA BEDROOM MURDERS – FOURTH PART

Posted by robertpriddy on May 28, 2007

Sathya Sai Baba’s self-declared knowledge and complicity

After the murders and executions in Sathya Sai’s apartments on June 6, 1993 , he gave a waffling, incomplete and most unsatisfactory account of events in his discourse on Guru Poornima early in July. He made clear he knew what was to happen to his close servitors and warned them indirectly earlier the evening before the attack.

Sai Baba on the morning after the murders

 Many people believe most firmly that Sai Baba can – when required – tune in to anyone’s thoughts in his vicinity, or even at a distance, (I have had very convincing experience of this myself). If so, Sai Baba must have known what was approaching from the minds of the intruders. [See screenshot of his own published words] Besides, he has constantly claimed in public to know everything about everyone! He could have averted or altered this if Radhakrishna Menon had not chosen to go out, so why did he instead speak as if in riddles… why did he not simply say what the danger was? According to what the former Head of the Administration building told me a decade previously, Baba had once acted in a way I find interesting in this connection. To the one-time head of the ashram, Mr. Kutumba Rao, who received his first longed-for interview after 20 years waiting, was taken into the private room only to be told that a murderer was on the way to kill him and that he must leave the ashram immediately until further notice. He did leave at the time and was temporarily replaced by Mr. Chiranjia Rao (subsequently made a member of the Sathya Sai Central Trust). This covert obliqueness, however, is typical of Sathya Sai, of his very seldom making anything clear enough, or of clothing information in vague phrases, and very often in deceptive ambiguities. Of such arts he is truly a master.

What became of Non-violence and Compassion? In his 1993 Gurupurnima discourse, Sai Baba continued his outright megalomaniacal boasting, saying, “My purity is the root cause of the glory of my name. (Applause). It is not due to any publicity or propaganda. My all-pervading selfless love is the cause. No one can affect this pure love. I have no ill-will towards anybody. Swami has done no harm to anyone.”

But most people with their hearts still in the right place would consider that – if one really knew the future – Sai’s not telling his close devotees of such an awful fate he knew to be awaiting them runs counter to any reasonable kind of love and compassion (which he has promised his devotees, as well as protection). Instead, this self-claimed “all-powerful Lord” actually ran away while the knifings were going on and locked the escape door after him from the outside, trapping four assailants in his bedroom apartment. Nor did Sai Baba lift a finger to avert it as it all took place under ‘His Divine Nose’, nor saying a single word to stop the shooting of the four who had long been, and still were, his devoted followers. He is known to have been consulted where he hid in his garage building attached to the temple well before the police shot down at close range in a hail of dozens of bullets the four young men who were armed only with knives! This completely exposes the hypocrisy in Sai Baba with his oft-quoted aphorisms like ‘Help ever, hurt never.’ Sai Baba is always preaching about how thoughts, words and actions must be in accord. But his verbal support of non-violence as a human values should surely also include active help and not being an accomplice – whether passive or active – to cold-blooded murder? Nor was he willing to appear before authorities for questioning and he helped engineer the effective cover-up through his discourse and many private meetings with the Home Minister, his devotee S.B. Chavan.

No wonder residents and especially the foreign visitors at Prashanti Nilayam were seen to wander about with tired, worried faces, or sitting at darshan in perplexed absence of mind (if not exactly the ‘mindlessness’ so strongly encouraged by Sathya Sai!). How could the question that must have crossed their minds as to why Sai Baba did not intervene personally disappear from the thoughts of the great majority of them so soon and effectively? The intruders had all been his own students, the product of his own teachings!’ No such ‘demonic’ doubts can be entertained by those who are – according to the flattery of their Divine Manipulator – the very grain, the fruit of humanity, the good devotees whose service has already saved the planet from catastrophe? Those who remained were hard core blind-faith believers who will not think, see, or hear any unpalatable truth (at least, about Sathya Sai Baba!).

To be continued….

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SATHYA SAI BEDROOM MURDERS – THIRD PART

Posted by robertpriddy on May 24, 2007

How did Sathya Sai deceive his followers about the 1993 murders? Any independent (i.e. non-devoted) reader of Sathya Sai’s Guru Poornima discourse (July 3 1993 see on p.6) in which he tried to calm devotees will see the transparency of the cover-up. The horrendous affair with armed police executing intruders took place right under his nose and within his legal jurisdiction as the all-powerful leader of Prashanthi Nilayam independent township (self-proclaimed Almighty God, guru avatar, Creator etc.). Yet his account of events – the only one he has given – was as vague as can be and most fishy in that he tried to clothe events in a mystique, strongly insinuating that it was preordained and making clear that what happened was known to him in advance!

One interesting point concerns what Sai Baba said about his valet, Radhakrishna Menon. In reaction to Sai Baba’s rebuke for wanting to remain downstairs when it was only 7 p.m., Radhakrishna said (Sathya Sai’s own words: see here – screenshot from http://www.sathyasai.org/search/volume26/sss26-25.pdf – p.6) “Swami has perhaps some doubts that I may go out somewhere and talk to others”. Sai Baba said that he replied, “If I have such doubts, will I keep you with me? Not at all. There are no doubts. I am saying this for your good”.

The question arises as to what exactly it might have been that Radhakrishna Menon could have talked about that could cause Sai Baba not to keep him. It must have been something serious that others should not know. What had they to hide? That there was something is obvious, and all the more so in the light of what actually occurred as a result of Radhakrishna going out (which he did, according to Sai Baba’s own account). Radhakrishna’s remark could well have had to do with money, with clandestine Sathya Sai Central Trust operations and kickbacks from construction companies vying for contracts.

Who was the intruders target? A report in the Deccan Chronicle, Hyderabad . 26-6-1993, stated:-

“Further investigations by Chronicle revealed that it was not Satya Sai Baba who was the target for the attack. In fact, it was Radhakrishna Menon, the Godman’s personal assistant… Though Radhakrishna succeeded E.K. Suresh a year back, he was a close confidant of the Baba for 15 years. He had his finger in every pie of whatever Baba did. He soon became so powerful that he once reportedly threatened one of the trust members ‘to expose the misdeeds of the trust’. This, it is understood, had antagonised many important trustees.” These trustees included Head of the Ashram, Mr. Narayanan, who was removed from the Sathya Sai Central Trust for embezzlement [having built himself a luxury villa with unaccounted funds] and the former very closest servitor through decades, engineer Colonel Joga Rao, who was finally also kicked off the Central Trust by Sai Baba himself for his repeated involvement in taking kickbacks for construction deals from Larsson and Tubro.

Within the year, Sai Baba removed other high officials financial irregularities, and all this despite his having angrily denounced in the Guru Poornima discourse all suggestions that misuse of funds or any fractions ever arose in the Trust.

However his own younger brother, Janakiramaiah (also sometimes referred to as Janakiramiah, Janaki Ram, Janakiram and Janaki), repeatedly claimed that misuse of funds was occurring! This information came to me personally from friends who are VIPs in the Organization and all was confirmed independently and explained in detail to me on several occasions during conversations with the prominent former journalist and very close servitor of Sai Baba for two decades, V.K.Narasimhan.

After the murders and cold-blooded executions which Janakiramaiah was involved in forcing the police to carry out, he is on record for having constantly insisted was genuinely an assassination attempt against Sai Baba, he was at last made a trustee by his elder brother, which post he held until he died in about 2004. As is known to many ashramites and most Puttaparthi residents, Janakiramiah had become a multi-millionaire in dollars from property speculation and owning corrupt businesses in Puttaparthi. V.K. Narasimhan, who knew him very well, told me in 1996 that Janaki Ram had become rich “beyond his wife’s wildest dreams”.

To be continued…

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Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders. Part 2

Posted by robertpriddy on May 23, 2007

Resumé
Two of Sathya Sai Baba’s attendants, his valet Radhakrishna Menon and a young male servitor, were allegedly killed by five intruders in a knife struggle (though that the intruders killed anyone is contested from study of the official evidence by B. Premanand). Four intruders were trapped, and – after some hours and ashram and negotiations with the police – were gunned down inside Sai Baba’s rooms.

Severe anomalies

Among the more questionable events surrounding the murders issue are the following:-

1 ) The refusal of the ashram and Sathya Sai Central Trust authorities to lodge any complaint on the six murders in Baba’s quarters.

2 ) Suppression of the news of the murders by the police for 12 hours, of the post mortem reports until after burial/cremation, and of trying to refuse access to the press to the FIR (First Incident Report), which later proved to be wholly uncorroborated and obviously false on many specific counts.

3 ) The secrecy of the Sathya Sai Central Trust in keeping photographers and journalists out of the ashram after the murders and in refusing to answer any questions of import concerning them either to the press or the various investigating authorities. (Was not the BBC’s title for its 2004 documentary, ‘The Secret Swami’ appropriate indeed?)

4 ) The mandatory magisterial probe and the CBI (Criminal Bureau of Investigation) reports were not completed and nothing of substance was made public, while the entire murder investigation was closed down by a confidential Government order, the remaining evidence of which is that no charges have been registered and no official report has ever appeared.

5 ) Many illegal irregularities during the investigation occurred. There were: very inadequate search of the scene of the crime; failure to question many eye-witnesses of events (hundreds of local inhabitants, ashram residents and visitors, many MBA students who entered Baba’s quarters while the 4 alleged assailants were still alive, whoever it was who took the injured attendants to the hospital, and others, including Sai Baba); the Central Bureau-CID permitting the Puttaparthi police to search the ashram after expiry of their authority to do so; totally conflicting reports of where poison was found.

6 ) Refusal by Prashanti Nilayam, Puttaparthi, ashram authorities to allow the two injured attendants (A. Patley and V. Bhatt) whom they kept under heavy security to give evidence (except in secret to the CID) and attempt – by removal to a secret location – to cover up the inexplicable and unexplained existence of a boy student in his early teens (Subbappaypa) in Sai Baba’s room who opened the door and gave him the alarm. The CID interrogated Subbappayya twice, despite the ashram authorities demanding they present a valid authority to do so. Was this because sexual abuse was involved?

7 ) Failure to secure material evidence such as large sums of money in notes, bullets fired by the police, and the concealment of material evidence like photos of actual and alleged injuries, the bedding of the four assailants who were to sleep on guard at the Puttaparthi mandir (Sai Baba’s temple where the events occurred) that night.

8 ) No explanation as to why the bodies of the guards killed were found on the ground floor, when the assailants had reportedly crept up to the 1st floor and knocked at Sai Baba’s door to deliver a supposed telegram. Nor would the investigators explain how the alleged assailants entered Sai Baba’s quarters when the door had already been bolted from inside (by either Subbappayya or by Sai Baba?).

9 ) Why were the video film and colour photo negatives and positives of the bodies and crimes scene asked for by the Puttaparthi police later impounded by them? (However, despite this, colour prints have survived and have been published). The photos show a blood-stained lathi (police baton), pieces of rope in blood pools around two of the bodies, while the other two bodies have no blood around them, gloves lying neatly beside bodies of two who would have had no time to take them off having been shot through the head and heart at close range.

To be continued…

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Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders – Part 1

Posted by robertpriddy on May 17, 2007

The Police Killings in Sai Baba’s Bedroom

Much has been written about the murders in Sathya Sai’s private apartments on June 6, 1993, involving cold-blooded police executions in his bedroom. Two of Sathya Sai Baba’s attendants, his valet Radhakrishnan and a young male servitor, were allegedly killed by five intruders in a knife struggle (though that the intruders killed anyone is contested from study of the official evidence by B. Premanand). Four intruders (armed with knives) were locked into Sai Baba’s bedroom apartment for hours and – after some hours and ashram and negotiations with the police – were gunned down inside Sai Baba’s rooms in a hail of dozens of bullets by the Puttaparthi police. Since there has been no court case whatever, many questions remain.

Cover-up of the police executions of June 6th, 1993

An investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI ) was begun because the Puttaparthi police investigation was patently untrue and proved to be concocted. Higher authority hindered the CBI investigation by re-posting the two chief officers in charge before they could officially deliver their findings. It was eventually quashed by government authorities, without any known results. That a major cover-up has taken place cannot therefore be reasonably denied, though Sai devotees like Mr. Chris Parnell of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization argue – against their own better knowledge – that it was all satisfactorily cleared up. This was a preposterous and despicable deception so as to try to save Sathya Sai Baba and to dupe devotees into keeping faith with him!

Fame for Sai Baba or notoriety?

Sathya Sai Baba has claimed that the killings in his bedroom would only increase his fame! However, since then he and his (untruthfully claimed up to 100 million) followers have – with a couple of exceptions – remained totally silent about this! That is remarkable! The murders are a strictly tabooed subject in the ashrams and members of the Sathya Sai Organization are forbidden to mention the event in public! At the same time, others have not been silent. One who has spoken forthrightly, in this case to the BBC was the Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, where Sai Baba lives, Mr. V.P.B. Nair, and in charge of the State police at the time.

Excerpt from BBC documentary, The Secret Swami (2004):

Tanya Datta: So are you suggesting that the police executed the boys that night?

VPB Nair: In absolute… this is absolute cold-blooded murder.

Tanya Datta: Some police officers were arrested but never charged. The case was eventually dropped. Sai Baba has always had a close relationship with the police. Even today, senior officers are special guests at the Ashram. With friends in such high places Sai Baba seems to be untouchable. Any attempt to investigate the goings-on at his Ashram – even, murder – appear doomed to failure. Critics say police connections ensured that Sai Baba wasn’t even interviewed, despite being one of the witnesses to the events of that night. Indian journalists were censored and their stories suppressed.
The above is part of the transcript of the BBC documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ sent worldwide by BBC World. (See ‘The Secret Swami’ here)
……………………….

Increased positive fame for Sathya Sai Baba has not resulted, but increased ‘notoriety’ certainly has! So much for yet another of his so-called “infallible Divine Predictions”!

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