Robert Priddy, founder member/national leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organisation, resigned in 2000 after discovering deep cover-up of murders and sex abuses.
Please note: currently my Wikipedia page has been vandalised, no doubt by Sai followers. Much reference material has been removed. Probably, someone will delete it sooner or later. See however See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_C._Priddy
Though I was quite well-known in the Sai movement through my writings in Sanathana Sarathi and my pro-Sai book (‘Source of the Dream’) as a strongly convinced devotee of Sathya Sai Baba from the early 1980s until 2000, it is evident to those who visit my website now that I am now very definitely not so. Some may think I suddenly went from one extreme to the other, but this is far from correct. Though I am presently concerned only to expose wrong-doings, misguided teachings and false promises by Sathya Sai Baba, this is simply to ‘balance the account’ as it were, since the positive propaganda machine around Sathya Sai Baba (to which I once contributed far too much) is so massive, so prone to use disinformation and so closed to any sincere discussion or investigation of unpleasant but crucial facts.
Why do I concern myself so much?
So that Sathya Sai Baba’s deceits, fraudulence, lies and many abuses shall not remain unchallenged but are thoroughly refuted… for now and the future. I have voluntarily devoted much of my retirement to refuting them. I rely on the soundest of independent evidence, public documentation of facts and Sai Baba’s own words and actions, widespread testimonies, investigations with former devotees and other serious commentators, and not least my very extensive recorded notes and saved materials from the time I was a follower. My level of work is pitched to the general public, but also to serious researchers (which I why I list sources and documents so thoroughly).
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Please Note! I write this blog not least in support of a rising new India seeking genuine equality rather than bogus spirituality. I support above all the human rights of the majority population of India, that is, the dispossessed majority of over 600 million of its inhabitants who lack social justice and even have no real equality before the law, being entrapped within a corrupt system and who live on $1 per day or less, – and I do NOT support the many corrupted and self-seeking ruling politicians and privileged castes – not least its many bogus gurus, swamis and ‘saints’. That India is a land of “the direst calamities” is a fact pointed out even by self-proclaimed God Incarnate Sathya Sai Baba (from his insulated luxury fortress-palaces and the benefits of his money-laden tax-free Sathya Sai Central Trust). Sathya Sai Baba’s still far too neglected ‘backyard’ is a ‘flawed democracy’ (as a ‘Times’ of India editorial names it – see here)
I am a retired university lecturer in philosophy (The University of Oslo) and former researcher in social science at the Institute for Social Research, Oslo. I was a dedicated follower of Sathya Sai Baba for nearly two decades – a ceaseless worker in his Organisation for that time, both as founder member of the Sai Org. in Norway in 1983 and the national leader for ca. 18 years.
I wish to make clear that now, as throughout my life, I have always been willing and able to give up ideas and beliefs when I got convinced they are untenable. My Weltanschauung is still flexible and expanding and my standpoints are being modified here and there accordingly. But is too confusing to those stuck in one view with one agenda mode of belief. Since fanatical defenders of Sathya Sai Baba and his abuses attack me constantly, I can confidently say that I have told not one single lie. I am confident that fair-minded readers will see this from the breadth and depth of my output. Nor am I ailing or failing, as opponents claim or hope, and in my own mind I am less confused about everything than ever before, despite my having followed Sathya Sai Baba for reasons explained in my book (see below) and having been so deeply deceived by him personally and by the massive conspiracy around him. I am in the good company of many other former followers in having penetrated the veil in which he cloaks himself and understood the nature of the deepest of the mental and emotional trickery he has practised on people, evidently throughout his lifetime.
I am the author of a book sold very widely within the Sai movement relating my many extraordinary experiences etc. in connection with Sai Baba. It is entitled “Source of the Dream, – My Way to Sathya Sai Baba” (1994, Bangalore/1998 USA/2000 and 2002, Puttaparthi). Incidentally, my wife and I have been in India with Sai Baba nine times since 1984, amounting to well over one year in all, and have had five private interviews with him. We have also donated much money to the Central Trust, which we have since learned from insider sources is subject to waste and embezzlement as regular features, despite Sai Baba’s repeated dishonest denials of the facts.
I live on my university pension and savings and am not financed in any other way, nor am I am member of any religious or spiritual organization and no longer am I believer in any religion or spiritual doctrine. I point this out as I am being attacked all over the Internet by fanatical Sathya Sai defenders as a well-funded as a front for ‘vested interests’ (?) and much more… and the same libellers accuse me of anything and everything, from a fascist to a fundamentalist Christian, a visitor to porn sites and even a pedophile! None of that has a word of truth in it.
I eventually came to learn some devastating facts from one of Sai Baba’s very closest confidants in the 1980s and 1990s, the outstanding and upright gentleman, ex-Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Express group of newspapers, V.K. Narasimhan (who died in March 2000). He informed me how, on the direct initiative of Sai Baba’s younger brother, Janaki Ramiah, and other officials of the ashram and Central Trust, the police were blackmailed into executing in cold blood in Sai Baba’s own rooms, four intruders who had killed two of his attendants. These intruders could easily have been captured without murdering them. Sai Baba was nearby throughout the hours that all this went on, and (a virtual dictator within his ashram) did not lift a finger to stop what he most certainly knew to be taking place. The account VKN gave me in confidence (and a lowered voice) I cannot possibly doubt as I knew him so long and so well. It is backed up fully by my extensive investigations of the entire matter. VKN informed me of a discussion to which he was witness between Janaki Ramiah and the Home Minister of India then (a Sai Baba devotee) who congratulated the younger brother on his action in the matter whereupon they laughed together over the words ‘Dead men tell no tales.’ I declare that I am reporting all this as it was told me, based on my comprehensive notes made at the time. A full account of my very close friendship with V.K. Narasimhan and all he told me in hundreds of hours of private conversation through the dozen years I knew him can be read at and his letters to me prove this well enough, which scans of my daily notes made at the ashrams over 14 years fill out most adequately.
Years after this, while I had tried to rationalise away these brutal realities, I became aware of the allegations of sexual abuse by Sai Baba. These I eventually began to investigate and – after two years of constant daily work at this – have become utterly convinced of the truth of many of these allegations to, having also seen, heard and known persons who were victims of sexual abuse by Sai Baba and others who had much other powerful supporting evidence. A considerable number of persons have also written to me in strict confidence – including a number who confirm often at length and in detail how they were sexually molested. This these former followers would not tell those who are still devotees and are unwilling – for a host of personal but specious reasons – to face the facts.
In western political terms, Sathya Sai Baba’s activities in India would be seen as constituting a totalitarian cult operating freely as a state within the state, even though it is condoned by the rightist Prime Minister Vajpayee and High Court judges who all worship Sai Baba. This is nothing short of a national disgrace to India, though a few of its citizens there are risking all to expose this personality cult with its outwardly charming, good and holy, but privately nefarious, figurehead… Sai Baba. There is a Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization (please see http://www.petitiononline.com/saibaba) having ca. 1,200 bona fide signatures, a large proportion of which are by former followers of Sai Baba, including many former leaders in his Organization – sometimes for up to 30 years.
As detailed on my website, a ring which Sai Baba gave me in 1986 (when I was to donate a large sum of money), in which was what he claimed was a green diamond, turned out to be a synthetic sapphire worth about $10.- with tinfoil behind it to enhance the brightness – when examined and opened by the Queen of Denmark’s personal jeweller. This alone shows the fraudulence of his ‘materialisations’. The main purpose of his ‘gifts’ and his organisation is to ensure major donations to his funds, which are partly misused on huge buildings to honour him personally.
Having researched into Sai Baba’s teachings for 20 years and written much about them, as well as having indexed in detail every published word of his up to 2000, I would further draw attention to the fact that this teaching is far from being ‘universal’ , for it is very heavily biased towards the Hindu faith in the avatar, against basic tenets of Christianity and Islam, while Sai Baba himself exhibits enormous ignorance of other religions, as can be seen on various websites analysing his discourses (such as http://bdsteel.tripod.com/index.html ) and on my extensive website concerning all aspects of Sai Baba and his works (http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/) The unavoidable conclusion of my 20 years of practice, observation and study is that the words of Sai Baba clash mutually on many vital issues, and his actions are increasingly and most seriously at odds with his teachings. This is nothing less than sheer deceit.
I had been deeply involved with Indian culture long before I came to Sai Baba. I knew virtually all the writings of Vivekanada, the Ramakrishna literature, Aurobindo, Sivananda, Blavatsky, Ramana Maharshi, Ramanuja, Krishnamurti, and other Indian spiritual ‘saints’ and gurus. I had not become a follower of any other than Ramakrishna and an Indian swami of his math who I knew personally for about 7 years. Sai Baba’s doctrine encompasses diverse and conflicting Indian teachings and yet is often very simplistic… especially because he speaks bad English in interviews and what he says is reported by many like Hislop etc. However, he has also drawn many deeper statements from the Indian tradition, and embroidered them often in an attractive way.All along, however, I was troubled by inconsistencies and self-contradictions in the published works. Yet he put so much weight on heart vs. head, on action rather than words, that the intellectual aspects are considered less important and can more easily be rationalised. The miracles and distant phenomena are the main bait for most people… and they did influence me. Though I had experienced very unusual synchronicity before I came into his sphere, they increased then, as I detailed in my pro-Sai book ‘Source of the Dream’. , It takes many years for anyone to encompass and penetrate the countless materials thoroughly and get a proper overview (which requires putting aside doubts). Faith was supposed to be the key to enlightenment, so I put aside my critical views as far as possible. This became more and more difficult as time went by and I got to know Sai Baba and people close to him, but eventually both his reputation and his entire speculative religio-spiritual edifice collapsed as I examined it analytically and without the ‘rose-coloured’ glasses he always advises.
The key to understanding why I got involved is really that I had a tremendous experience when I was 26 years old (in 1962) – I wad studying psychology and volunteered for an experiment run by a mature neurologist and psychiatrist who had been asked to investigate LSD-25 on behalf for the Norwegian Directorate of Health. The ensuing experience of ego death, intense awareness, true and secure personal identity, unity, telepathic ability and perceived infinity altered the entire direction of my life and aspirations, as it is known to have done for a great many others (despite the misuses that soon flourished in the world). The academic world (especially psychology) had nothing to say of these matters. Only in recent years has neurological research begun to unravel the enigmas of these powerful feelings of peace, unity and bliss are related to changes in the use of the brain’s hemispheres and are obtained through meditation only after extremely long practice and often evade the seeker anyhow due to faulty techniques, wrong beliefs and cognitive distortions – and they are reportedly only temporary too. (Use of psychoactive substances are now known to sometimes give the effects striven for by yogis over a lifetime, though nothing is guaranteed and psychoses can be triggered – See ‘The Blissful Brian’ by neurologist/meditation researcher Dr. Shanida Nataraj) . Without that totally overwhelming and wonderful experience I would probably never have got involved with spirituality or anything like religion again… I was already involved in the scientific spirit and critical thinking to a high degree. I had given up all religious faith, though I had a different view of the paranormal to the prevailing views due to earlier experiences. Many others came to Sai Baba seeking someone who knew how to recapture the amazing universal consciousness they experiences with mescaline, LSD and so on… from the 1960s onwards. No one I met in connection with Sai Baba ever showed any of the telltale signs of the kind of consciousness I had experienced and I met no one who was particularly ‘highly developed’, especially not intellectually, among the very many I knew through 18 years.
I have explained more about my involvement with Sai Baba and my current standpoint here.
See more here:-Who is Sai Baba and what is Robert Priddy’s agenda?
How standpoints change as understanding progresses
The Psychedelic Experience and its effect on my life