On Gerald Moreno’s countless hundreds of anti-Priddy websites, blogs and comments, few show such patently manipulated (i.e. falsified) screen captures than the one shown below. [Yet he took care to accuse me - also falsely - of fraudulent screen-caps, which were actually made from Google caches, which differ from the original site in details, and which I have reduced in size to save space, and in which not a single word of his was altered]
Exposing The Anti-Sai Activist: Robert Priddy
Laurens Van Der Post – The Night Of The New Moon:
Just how gullible was Robert Priddy when he was a Sai Devotee for 17-26 years?
Comment: firstly, Moreno tries to make an issue of how long I was a Sai follower (he has written page up and page down to develop this petty theme of my supposed ‘deception’. Such niggling is how Moreno tries to ‘prove’ a lack of integrity of my entire character. The fact is, there are many degrees of commitment involved. I first heard of Sathya Sai Baba in 1954. I learned more about him in 1971. Around 1978 I became interested in Shirdi Sai Baba (though with considerable reservations as to the claims about him). Only in 1983 did Sathya Sai Baba enter my awareness strongly enough to say I became a would-be follower (not all are equally definitive, not all accept everything uncritically.. as in my case). I was the de facto leader (i.e. organizer and leader of all events in the Oslo group) and in Norway from 1983, the pro forma centre leader from 1985 until about 1996-7 and the national leader throughout until 2000. All that explain the variations in dates, which Moreno pettily tries to make into a big issue. Moreno continues (black bold text):-
The answer is very gullible. For example, Robert Priddy published (in his book “Source Of The Dream”) the following scans to Laurens Van Der Post’s “The Night Of The New Moon” book-cover and claimed that one could easily discern the form of Sathya Sai Baba in them.
Notice how Robert Priddy enhanced the color on the edited scan and had to carefully shape Baba’s hair from the clouds?
Comment: This is really gross of Moreno! I never enhanced anything, the photos were processed by professional publishers before being put in my book. I reproduce – below the falsified image Moreno posted -, the exact replica of the photos which appear identically in three editions of my book “Source of the Dream” (Sun-Sky Publications, Samuel Weiser Inc. and a Portuguese edition), without a jot of enhancement. The cut-out version was to help readers discern what attracted our attention (in the unusual situation where it came to our notice). Instead, Moreno darkened the images and made one dise different in contrast to the other so as to be able to claim he could not see Sai Baba (in either image!). Where he got the image from with the Penguin logo on I can only guess, I never published such an image myself. Moreno continues:-
I looked long and hard at the images and cannot see Sathya Sai Baba in them. I suppose if one were desperate enough, one could see Sathya Sai Baba in the clouds (no matter how vague the perception). However, these scans show how gullible, naive and “backward intellectually” Robert Priddy was when he was a Sai Devotee.
About the alleged form of Sathya Sai Baba on the book-cover, Robert Priddy said:
“A second leela, which we felt was a form of recognition by Baba for our carrying out regular study of his teachings, occurred similarly one evening when we plodded on with our reading, even though we were very tired. My eye was suddenly drawn to the form of Sathya Sai in the clouds of an evening sky on the front cover of a book that I had recently read. The book is a deeply spiritual account of the life and death in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp by Laurens van der Post, titled Night of the Moon. It is curious, too, that the night of the new moon is known in India as the night of Shiva. The figure of Sai, leaning forward as if to dispense vibuthi, can be figured out from the background.” (Source Of The Dream, ‘The Universal World Teacher’, pg 212) Robert Priddy was one of those gullible, naive, “ignorami”, “backward intellectually” and “ignorant peasants” when he was a Sai Devotee for 17 years…
COMMENT: Now ever inconsistent Moreno himself decides that I was a devotee for 17 years… which is basically correct, as I only reckoned myself such from 1983 until 2000. “Ignorant peasant” and an “ignorami” hardly describes me, considering that I was the top philosophy graduate at the University of Oslo and lectured in social science and philosophy (tenured) for most of my professional life before I went to India. If that qualifies me as an ‘ignorant peasant’ and ‘backward intellectually’ readers must decide. Note that Moreno leaves out the word ‘new’ in the title “Night of the New Moon”, which is a significant point (a lapse or intentional distortion?)
In that time when the truth about Sai Baba has hardly emerged in public and only a very few came to learn the astonishing and depressing facts, I was in the company of hundreds of Ph.Ds – mostly Indian but not all – and dozens of pro-Sai writers and a great number of other educated devotees who related very similar experiences of ‘seeing’ the form of Sai Baba in many things (which indeed he insists every devotee should always strive to visualize and see everywhere and in everything!). My friend – Sai Baba’s distinguished editor - V.K. Narasimhan showed the form of Sai Baba’s head on a bowl of cream to many devotees who visited his apartment. There are many images showing Sai Baba’s form in many other objects, such as in ritual fires. (See a supposed ‘appearance’ of Sai Baba in a ritual homa fire at Prashanthi Nilayam) Dr. Jack Hawley enthused in his book about seeing Sai Baba before him, Sandweiss, Hislop, Murphet, Krystal… all regarded this an important phenomenon. Sai Baba himself has given the teaching (see at foot of blog for source references).
Moreno, however, claimed he saw Sai Baba in the flesh in New Mexico… and took it for a miracle straight off.
I was not so gullible or naive either, as I rejected a whole lot of the stories I heard, and was privately most amused by many of the beliefs of a large number of truly uncritical and mindless devotees. The fact is, I was systematically deceiv
ed by Sathya Sai Baba and his entire cadre and most of his following, as many people around the world were. I am no longer deceived, but far too many still are, and especially Gerald Moreno, who tries to ridicule me further:-
(Priddy) … who believed in Avatars, lilas, divine manifestations, gnomes, trolls, fairies, possessing demons, elves, UFOs, extra-terrestials, leprechauns and elementals.
Comment: I believed for some years that Sai Baba most likely was an avatars – as he so rigidly claim and which millions still believe (unfortunately). That belief is a requirement of all members of the Sathya Sai Organization. As to earth spirits, I wrote: “There is a great wealth of testimonial evidence from the whole of the world and history that belief or faith – involving intense emotional or mental preoccupation of some kind – can open the experience of visions, apparitions and apparently miraculous phenomena.” I did not positively affirm their existence, but the likelihood that they may exists as science has not been able (or even tried) to explain them. But Moreno wants it to be quite otherwise. See my article on ‘elementals’ and why modern science has begun to provide experimentally-based explanations of these phenomena. Note that Moreno believes in miracles… and many other doubtful phenomena (which I do not and never have – such as crystals, kundalini, healing mandalas etc.) He is very cagey about everything else he believes as he knows that to make this public would be very embarrassing. Moreno continues to undercut the beliefs of virtually all Sai devotees (most of which he promotes wildly on his blog ‘Love, Light and Spirituality.. and under the name ‘sathyasaibaba’ too). But he has at least prompted me to explain my former experiences in greater detail, as I otherwise would have neglected to do.
Robert Priddy is bitter and vindictive because he fully documented his own gullible, naive, brainwashed and non-intelligent devotee behavior in his Pro-Sai book for the world to see! What’s even more funny is how Robert Priddy bashes Sai Devotees for acting and believing in the very same manner he did when he was a Sai Devotee. Laughable!
How Moreno overplays his eternally weak hand. I am exposing the gullibility of Sai devotees only now, who should know better after the many revelations of the facts they will not or cannot face. Moreno promotes the VIP devotee and author Howard Murphet (see here), who goes far further that I ever did in the matter of extra-normal spirit influences – including discarnate spirits of ‘ascended masters’ and what have you. But Moreno attacks only dissidents, not Sai Baba favourites. I did not act as most devotees do at darshan, constantly pressing forward, wanting sweets, blessings and material trinkets… I believed mainly only in the power of doing what good service one can, advancing human understanding and that spirituality is only a private experience between oneself and ‘the divine’, but not something to be paraded and off-handedly boasted about as so many I met did. I always tried to inform the public in as reflected a way as I could in the circumstances (i.e. while being the victim of what is mostly a massive fraud) and my book was one of the very most restrained in praise – compared to the hundreds of besotted panegyrics still on sale about Sai Baba. Rather than “bashing” Sai devotees for being gullible, naive and brainwashed (and most were far more so than I ever was), I have shown from a very wide range of documentation that – in addition to the huge mass of evidence of his sexual abuses and involvements in dark matters – most of Sai Baba’s belief system – once penetrated (which is far from easy to achieve in that environment) is either direct and cynical deception by SSB and his diverse minions, or wild inventions so as to try to extract some holy interpretation, blessing or personal advantages from this typical Indian guru-hysteria phenomenon.
An e-mail friend wrote this to me about Moreno’s above-quoted page:-
“Didn’t JM defend the 2007 Moon claims against your and BP’s criticisms? He seems to want to have his cake and eat it – again! A riposte on the gullibility angle might hit his Achilles heel Number 317 (- i.e. he has so
many) Does he condone gullibility in all other devotees except you?” (identity not given so Moreno can’t attack him too, as he surely would!) Gerald Moreno went into peculiar mental contortions to try to deflect criticism from – and defend – the moon miracle Sathya Sai Baba predicted, but which never happened (due to cloud coverage!). Sai Baba proclaimed he would appear on the moon later one evening… thousands flocked to the Sai airport and were totally disappointed. Laughable?
Source references; See God in each form for 3 days: divine results 300 Sanathana Sarathi Nov. 1993
Lovers of God see God everywhere p. 254 Sanathana Sarathi Oct. 1991 & p.252 Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 24
See God in a stone, don’t change a stone to God 180 Geetha-Vahini
See God in everyone you meet/in everything Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 8
Self-seeking students & teachers today 233 Sanathana Sarathi Sept. 1988 & p.162 Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 21
Self-surrender is to see God in everything always p.148 Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 15
Lovers of God see God everywhere 254 Sanathana Sarathi: p.252 Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 24
Meaning of human life only to use it to see God: p.122 Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 3
Not strange therefore that so many who still believe in God – and especially in Sathya Sai Baba – see his ‘divine form’ in objects. Perhaps Moreno has too little real devotion to his would-be God? However, it is a function of the brain to see human features in all and any kinds of materials and things, only when one believes they have spiritual significance does it become dodgy.. but one has to be liberated from all notions of supernatural miraculous phenomena to appreciate that.