Among the huge plethora of disinformation about Sathya Sai Baba’s nature and activities, two claims are widespread, being cited by many sensible – but misinformed – people and journalists who state that do not believe that Sathya Sai Baba was divine, or was other than a magician or was chaste:-
1) That he was a very great philanthropist. (But all the money came from others)
2) That his message of love and peace changed many people’s lives for the good. (But in reality only they changed themselves)
3) That his following of millions shows how genuine he was. (many figures had countless millions of followers, but were awful dictators)
These are almost entirely empty myths, as I shall demonstrate.
Since his unholy mode of his very ‘untimely’ death (around 10 years before he prophesied), there were an increasing number of critical voices in articles, comments, postings and articles in the media – both in print, on TV channels and on the web. This increased considerably when his vast private hoard of goods and valuables was discovered some weeks ago.
1) Philanthropy by whom – and for what exactly? That he always claimed to own nothing or have property himself – that he had never earned a single pay-packet in his life or done any real labour (see here) - was no hindrance to his propagandists in insisting everywhere that ‘Swami gives everything’. But this was just a smokescreen. He gave nothing but certain privileges in his ashrams, apparent ‘holy blessings’ and no shortage of what are still wrongly believed to be genuine diamond rings (not one has been assayed as such!). Recipients responded with huge donations, and there is full documentation that huge amounts of money donated (according to Sai Baba’s constant repetition) was given only for the benefit of education, health, and assistance to the very needy. But vast sums were used wrongly, such as in developing his many private apartments, his self-glorifying Museums, expensive Disneyland ashrams with VIP luxury buildings, showpieces and so on. Money was embezzled in large amounts and how much actually was given or used is not known due to Sai Trust total secrecy.
However, after the huge hoard of currency, gold, silver, jewels and consumer goods were found hidden away in his rooms, for he had always denied owning anything or even receiving any gifts.
2) Who changed many people’s lives for the good? There is truth in the adage of psychotherapy “The patient has to want to change”. Those who claim he changed them into better persons were often simply deceiving themselves, either because they only felt they were better (a new self-image and conversion to a belief – and largely through his deceptions and fraudulence) or because they did become better as a result of doing the hard work involved of and by themselves. The Sai Baba doctrine insists that all good comes from him, all bad is one’s own doing… which is a complete travesty of human worth, and the megalomaniac self-glorification of a fraudulent ‘God’ figure! Meanwhile, the message of love and peace that the Beatles spread was a thousand times more widely spread than Sai Baba’s. That can have changed people just as much or more than Sai Baba’s constant moralizing discourses ever did.
3) Does a following of millions proves a figure’s genuine worth? Obviously not – many terrible figures in history had followings of many more millions than Sai Baba has ever had (no need to list the hated names here!). And then, how many millions were followers of Sathya Sai Baba? Newspaper editors never seem to do a minimum of research into this or they would find that guesses range from 10 million likely followers to 600 million and more. Further, Sai propagandists vastly inflate this figure just as the do all others which might make him seem of greater consequence than he actually was. There is no reliable source for asserting that there are more than about 10 million followers in the world, and the number is evidently decreasing much since the revelations of 2000 and even more so since the cover-up of his ignominious death and the subsequent discovery of a vast private, miserly hoard of valuables in his private rooms.