For those who are curious to get a better impression of me, I can be seen talking about Sathya Sai Baba’s following (the numbers game) at a conference in Stockholm some years ago.
See Robert Priddy on Sathya Sai Baba at Stockholm booklaunch http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbCyCVyE8uY&feature=youtu.be
PLEASE NOTE Opening the YouTube link – however briefly – will help raise the profile of the exposé on Google etc.
Posts Tagged ‘Robert Priddy’
Posted by robertpriddy on May 24, 2012
For those who are curious to get a better impression of me, I can be seen talking about Sathya Sai Baba’s following (the numbers game) at a conference in Stockholm some years ago.
Posted by robertpriddy on March 10, 2012
Here I shall once more publicize facts which newcomers to the Sathya Sai Baba exposé may never discover. I concentrate on negative facts for they are the truly neglected facts, always covered-up and never mentioned by the Sai officials and office-bearers nor by any devotee who wanted to remain in favour. One of my personal motives is that I gave far to much of my life to promoting Sathya Sathya Sai Baba when he was deceiving me and everyone around him in the most demeaning manner. I wrote a very positive book about him (which he blessed) and now – after having penetrated the veils of indoctrination and deceit with which he surrounded himself I am setting the record straight (which he of course did not bless!). The massive positive propaganda for Sai Baba across the entire Internet and the major smear campaign against critics still needs to be consistently countered. It is an issue of protection of the innocent and the vulnerable.
After countless ‘darshans‘, and five long interviews (10-12 hours) during 15 years of regular visits to Sathya Sai Baba, I gradually learned that most of Sai Baba’s activities were kept strictly secret – even his personal opinions – except to his very few close inner circle of attendants. The supposed leaders in his Sathya Sai Organisation (both Indians and foreign but all subservient yea-saying followers without any ideas not taken from him, and not true leaders at all) were unable to scrutinize more than a tiny portion of his daily activities most of which (up to 90% of many days) were kept entirely secret. His servitors had to wait hand and foot on his beck and call and do what they were told, never more nor less. Strangely, this did not apply similarly to the once-famous newspaper editor, V.K. Narasimhan, with whom I had a long and deep friendship. He was as close as all but a couple of persons for a decade at least, and he told me much that he was not strictly allowed to tell – except that he could not bear the burden of it all alone and shared some of it with those very few whom he really trusted. (see here)
V.K. Narasimhan (known as ‘VKN’) died in March 2000, having lived his retirement at Sai Baba’s ashram where he edited the monthly journal of the movement (Sanathana Sarathi). His diverse experiences and facts known to insiders of the ashram which, for reasons of his own and others’ security, he was unable to speak openly, gradually opened my eyes to more and more discrepancies in the doctrine and claims of Sai Baba. I made copious notes every day through 9 long visits when at SB ashrams and so have been able to make scans of my diary pages, which I kept every day at the ashrams. Reading them I am struck by how much I trusted Sai Baba’s word while we were obviously being deceived, and how far I took the required self-censorship (not to question anything he said or did, but look rather at myself). Rationalising everything untoward to make it all fit the Procrustean bed of Sathya Sai Baba’s words, his work and ‘mission’ which were programmatically and necessarily above all suspicion (if one would be a true follower). Narasimhan, who was privately much troubled by doubts about many of Sai Baba’s assertions, was decisively instrumental in my eventually putting an end to it all for me.
One should understand that V.K.N. was initially VERY important for SSB’s credibility in various influential Indian circles… for VKN was revered widely in India in the 1970s for his famous single-handed and courageous stand as a journalist against Indira Gandhi’s ‘Emergency’ clamp-down. He was of the highest Brahmin caste (a Mylapore Brahmin) and knew most of the elite of India well and had been at college with Presidents and Prime Ministers and had been among the elite of India since he was imprisoned as a follower of Gandhi before Indian Independence. He came under an outright charm offensive from Sai Baba (he told me all the flattering details), one which lasted over two decades. He became a key channel in SSB’s observable insatiable reach for social and political influence. Narasimhan is known for having told many that he did not know why Baba was so kind to him, especially before he at length actually became something of a devotee in his 80s. But VKN could not allow himself quite to realise that his importance to Baba was a guarantor of truthfulness, and all the other social implications; he was a trusting soul with self irony who only really wanted to support the movements’ efforts to raise and educate the poor (like so many of us did). However, perhaps his main his weakness was that he liked to be flattered. He had no time for Sai Baba’s ‘International Chairman’, Indulal Shah, or the Sathya Sai Organisations’s bluster and often bogus or inflated claims.
VKN had owned a house in Madras, which he gave up at the wish of his Sai-devoted wife to take up residence at Sai Baba’s ashrams where he was a sought-after figure of importance and privilege – called by Sai Baba to attend him almost every day in the last decade… and when his wife died he was well looked after there. His reason for staying – apart from his wife’ total devotion to Sai Baba – was that he was positively impressed by Sai Baba’s accumulated social influence and movement because it was at least achieving some improvement in providing education where there was none before, and a fair measure of social support and health care to the under-priviliged, and this despite his lifelong scepticism towards gurus and swamis. As a journalist and traveler throughout India, he had seen incomprehensible sufferings of all kinds and the hopeless political inertia amid the wall-to-wall corruption of Indian politicians. The ashram seemed an oasis amid that desert, though far from being a perfect place. He only left the ashram some month or more after he became mortally ill in late 1999, moving to a spiritual retreat. That was just after the world-wide sex abuse allegations against Sai Baba became public through the Internet.
I was rather put off by VKN when I first met him because of the scepticism he expressed – openly and in quite a scathing way in the first of his lectures I attended, where he ridiculed the claim that Sai Baba was ‘omnipotent’ as absurd. (He was certainly right as events have proven to all but the remaining blind and deluded devotees). As a journalist he had seen a lot of the world and was temperamentally unable to adopt the gushing Pollyanna style of most lecturers and VIP devotees. His cynicism about most of Sai Baba’s claims was considerable, as I found out after hundreds of hours together with him through over a decade, during which he confided to me a vast amount of his life experiences and knowledge of India and its countless problems. We discussed the alleged Sai Baba miracles in which I then believed, but he refused to believe them – especially healing miracles – and on which he never commented as editor of Sanathana Sarathi. He consistently refused all accounts of dreams and healing sent to him as editor. He did come to consider the widespread belief in his supposed miracles to be important for the cause in that it encouraged donations and such like. As time went by and he learned more about the people involved and their manipulations and embezzlement, he became increasingly critical to many of the social projects as falling short of the claims made for them. He told me occasionally that he would never have ended up there but for his wife’s religious devotion to Sai Baba. As he grew more and more frail he relied on the care he received from a devotee relative (Usha) and others there, as he though leaving the place was no longer a realistic option and he had nowhere else to retire to. I am told that he virtually had to leave due to the lack of care when he fell mortally ill.
See also scans and notes:-
Posted by robertpriddy on February 26, 2012
Sites with titles like ‘Robert Priddy’s Deceptions Exposed’ and similar titles are easily found on the Internet. However, not one of these have every succeeded in exposing any deception on my behalf. I have made some errors – like typos, spelling, mistaken details like exact dates and a few minor blunders… but not one sentence that stands under my name anywhere is untrue and nor has any such been so proven. Very few people have even challenged any of my statements, and no one has been able to contest in court any of my writings to prove any wrongdoing on my behalf.This blog is intended to help defuse the massive insidious claims so prominent on Google etc. by the chief attacker and stalker of exposé writers, Gerald Joe Moreno, who has made me the chief target of his countless contrived and untruthful attempts to discredit, slander and vilify anyone who reported critical facts about Sathya Sai Baba. He saturated as much of the Internet with his revealing mental acrobatics as he was able for over 5 years. Exposé activists considered a class action lawsuit against Moreno due to the overwhelming evidence of his web stalking, harassment of prominent activists families and much more, but – rather than concentrate time and resources on that – it was considered better to let his depredations remain on/line so that the world can see what underhand, disingenuous, and untruthful claims represent the Sathya Sai following there. Moreno was also a staunch defender of sex abuses by Sai Baba and Swami Premananda!
Moreno ceased his activity in mid-2010, but his libelous sites still remain active on the www. where his attacks on at least a hundred who testified against the guru still remain and figure quite prominently. Visitors to his sites are overwhelmingly those followers who, due to their pernicious faith in their supposed God Incarnate Divine Avatar, have needs to read and believe anything, however false, that supports their misplaced faith. After making many fantastic predictions about himself, Sathya Sai Baba degenerated visibly for some years until he was but a wraith and he was conveniently disconnected from his life support systems and disposed of by his servitors on Easter Sunday along with their proclamations of his Infinite Eternal Godhead (and with every manner of bells, whistles and brass knobs attached).
For several years I did not respond except very summarily to the flood of accusations made by Moreno, considering them so contrived, so flawed by ad hominem attacks and cranky nit-picking absurdities and tit-for-tat schoolboyish taunts that people would see through it all. However, the volume of the materials he was putting out and the levels of slander were increasing so much and being linked in assiduously to every conceivable outlet that I was constantly urged by colleagues to respond and rebut his accusations. This I began to do, refuting in detail a considerable proportion of his blogs about me.
A concise summary of Moreno’s methods and falsely conceived assaults on my credibility is found on this blog under the page Gerald Moreno with links to important refutations by persons who had followed the disputes. He has had to withdraw very serious allegations about my friend and fellow Sai critic, Barry Pittard, who he has attacked relentlessly, as well as harassing his innocent young son, and his former wife.
On his vishvarupa website (since changed) Gerald Moreno had for some years an FAQ page where he stated his belief that Sathya Sai Baba – who had oiled him on what he called his “lower stomach” (known as grooming for sexual acts) was a sexual abuser… which he later denied, constantly attacking Basava Premanand and Robert Priddy for pointing out the fact that this oiling was an illegal act in India .
Posted by robertpriddy on October 17, 2011
Now and again I look at some quotes in Sai Baba literature, like Sanathana Sarathi. As I was locating a page there recently, my eye was caught by an interesting text. I was surprised that such things were allowed to be written in any official Sai literature… until I saw the name of the author at the end of the article from which the following excerpt is taken:-
Click on image to see my contributions to Sanathana Sarathi – edited by V.K. Narasimhan
The reason it was permitted was my close friendship with V.K. Narasimhan who sympathized with many of my views. It was primarily him who opened my eyes finally as to the most important deceptions of Sathya Sai Baba, as can be seen from my extensive notes made after each of our long conversations through many years (see scans and transcripts here).
Posted by robertpriddy on October 2, 2011
Looking back across the 11 years of our conscience-driven work to expose Sathya Sai Baba’s hidden sides and covered-up crimes (which deceived us for so long), the number of daily postings added up to make it rather hard for many visitors to this site to know what to choose. Here are some varied postings that may be worth visiting to gain a wider appreciation of the scope of Sai Baba’s deceptions…
|India’s ‘National Treasure’ Sathya Sai Baba talked about Divine magnetic power (see yesterday’s blog). Miracle: Sai Baba spews out 3 tons of gold: he says. Now the continuing saga… There is a lot here to figure out! God’s womb… well, a number of his alleging sexual partners (American, British, Indian etc.) have said that he actually showed them his physical womb…|
|Sathya Sai Baba claims that magnetic power is “full of divinity” and so attracts people to temples where it resides! Above all, he claims it resides in himself so strongly that it forms the golden ‘lingam’ in his stomach (but gold is non-magnetic!), and – further – makes him the object of Mother earth’s attraction so that his feet stick to the ground! Some weeks later the cause of his staggering was exposed – he had a major hip joint fracture which invalided him thereafter.|
|When did Sathya Sai Baba ever give anyone a genuine diamond? There is no proof that he ever did. Proof should be easy to get from a top accredited diamond expert, but none has ever been produced! When I went to Queen Margarethe of …|
|13 Sep 2007 Prince Charles. Failed Clandestine Political Lobbying by the Prashanthi Council Since the exposure from 2000 onwards, Prince Charles cannot ever afford any kind of public association with such a person. The UK press are well aware of the threat and will crucify Charles if he endorses Sai Baba: Sathya Sai Baba dared not sue ‘Sunday People’ newspaper|
|Sai Baba has many times said that, as a result of his appearance as the Avatar of all avatars (divine incarnations), India will lead the whole world in spirituality and the peace of mankind, and that he will guide this whole process, …|
|by Barry Pittard One of the greatest human tendencies when one’s belief system is challenged is to go into the state called psychological denial. This process is very remote from commonsense, rigorous self-introspection and reappraisal…|
|G. Venkataraman is keen to imprint on his readers that, in studying anything about science, they are observing “The Glory of God”. This is, of course, an assumption and is not even a testable hypothesis, being a vague (undefined and …|
|Sathya Sai Baba stated “ the atomic process is very sacred. Yet, people feel that it is lowly”. This is but a taste of the empty twaddle arising from speculative religious fantasies of Sai Baba, the self-appointed “Creator of the Universe” His knowledge of physics is deeply flawed and well below school-leaving standard in any modern educational system.
|Robert Priddy found some devastating facts from one of Sai Baba’s very closest confidants in the 1980s and 1990s. This was VK Narasimhan (d. March 2000). This remarkable man, whose history of standing courageously up (many …|
|Indulal Shah, of Mumbai, India, was replaced by Dr Michael Goldstein, of Covina, California, as world convener of the Sathya Sai Organisation, and still more recently retired from his chairmanship of the Indian organization, too. …|
|by Barry Pittard – Sai Baba’s ’showman empire’ is worth many highly unaccountable billions. Frequently, they pour to his Sathya Sai Central Trust from your country and mine. (See Rediff.com reference in my note, Sai Baba Exchequer …|
Posted by robertpriddy on June 24, 2011
The Times report – part of which is shown on the right – continued as follows:-
“Several doubts have cropped up over the way the Trust is run. Much damage has been done in the last two months since Sai Baba’s death. We would not be found wanting if the Trust is playing truant,” said Sravan Kumar, Baba’s grand-nephew, on Tuesday. He said they were at loss as to why the Trust activities continued to be shrouded in secrecy. “They are carrying out all important activities without taking anybody into confidence. We are not outsiders and we have every right to question the Trust’s decisions,” he said.
Family members said Sai Baba didn’t belong to the Trust alone. He was revered by lakhs of devotees. Sai Baba’s nephew M. Shankar Raju said, “The recent incidents at Yajur Mandir have sullied Sai Baba’s image. The Trust is not above-board given the allegations against it.” http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Police-suspect-proper-inventory-was-not-carried-out-at-Yajur-Mandir/articleshow/8945611.cms
The Role of Satyajit rejected by Ratnakar
There is no doubt in most followers’ minds, it appears, that Satyajit was the only fully trusted favourite of Sai Baba due to the role he was given during the hospitalization but also that he alone could open the ‘yajur mandir’ with his biometric lock. Eight years back, when Baba had just recovered from an injury, he reserved a good portion of his speech on Guru Purnima in praise of Satyajit. He said: “Even at an odd hour, if I just utter the word ‘Satya’ in a feeble voice, the boy would immediately get up and attend to my needs. He was so alert and attentive”. The speech is available on the website of the International Sai Organisation. (http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-04-25/news/29471451_1_sathya-sai-baba-death-janakiramaiah-sai-trust)
Faith of many devotees’ badly shaken: One of the greatest difficulties that the remains Sathya Sai Baba officials, devotees and other dependents face is how to keep their faith in the face of so many disastrous revelations about the illness and suspicious time of death of this supposedly all-knowing and all-powerful Sathya Sai Baba (Easter Sunday, when he was evidently ‘disconnected’ from his life support machine by persons unknown), his being manipulated with stimulants and depressants for months – evident in his wooden expressionlessness during his 85th birthday and thereafter.
The exposure of the total unaccountability of the Sathya Sai Central Trust and the struggles around and within it for control and what to do to keep things going must have come as a shock to trusting donors the world over, though dissidents and exposé writers have long known of the embezzlement and money-laundering to which it has been wide open as a non-reporting charity, benefiting from complete exemption from all customs and excise duties and freedom from any form of taxation! This makes it more profitable and open to irregularities that the worst ‘offshore banking’ facility in the world!
A further major shock of devotees: Then comes the secret e-mails of scientist and parapsychologist Professor Haraldsson that I have finally released after 10 years of protecting him, which show him to be far from the darling of the Sai authorities and many followers, as they have fondly imagined until now. What he wrote to me about Sathya Sai Baba, his homosexuality, his self-delusions and unbalanced personality explodes any myth that he was a devotee or even thought Sai Baba to have been what he claimed for himself! See Professor Erlendur Haraldsson – by Robert Priddy: very revealing materials!
I am informed by a former top official of the Sathya Sa Organization in India that the expose is spreading like wild-fire through the desert of lies right into the heart of Puttaparthi.That many good people left the ashram earlier keeping silent due to the dangers involved. There was a person of great integrity, a certain Dr. Bhagvat , who was put in charge of the Sai Baba hospital in Prashanthi Nilayam (the general hospital). I t would be interesting to know whiter he left because he came across the misdeeds of Sathya Sai Baba. As to Mr. Srinivasan of WS Industries, he is a dubious character, who actually posed as another Bhagwan while doing propaganda about Sai Baba and he would have donned the Sai Baba mantle had it not been for the recent negative reports in the media. He always posed as some sort of superhuman whenever interacting with other devotees.
Posted by robertpriddy on June 16, 2011
The following comment on my exposure of Professor Erlendur Haraldsson’s off-handedness regarding sexual crimes etc. (yesterday) was submitted on 2011/06/15 at 2:27 pm
Thank you for divulging this material. It must have been difficult to decide to take this step. I can only surmize how disappointed you and your wife must have felt concerning Professor Haraldsson’s curt dismissal of very real concerns that keep bothering you, your wife and most likely many others too, certainly myself. I cannot but conclude on the basis of this material that Professor Haraldsson’s point of view represents rather startling proof of a pernicious and in my view alarming aloofness (i.e. lack of interest) that I have encountered in quite a large number of scientists, which they themselves like to see as ‘scientific impartiality’. In my own field of expertise also, that of clinical and organisational psychology, there is a tendency not to get involved if the going gets rough or a sheer naivety about worldly matters and very real consequences of misconduct, and a shirking back from even getting acquainted with ugly truths. As a counselor and lecturer at the University of Groningen during the last twelve years I encountered examples of this kind of rationalizing and ducking responsibility too in the academic sphere.
If I am correctly informed the Dutch Sai Organization (or even the whole Benelux) is being led by a man who has been, and still is, a child psychologist (I knew him quite well back in the eighties)!!
From Andries Krugers I learnt that though this man actually BELIEVES the sexual abuse reports relating SB by now, he still defends SB and remains office bearer. In an interview he gave on May 5th to a local Dutch newspaper he proclaimed the official ‘party line’, including the ridiculous moon calendar fabrication. A sorry state of affairs if it were not for the fact that the implications of keeping silent are so far-reaching. A cover up doesn’t necessarily lose its potency, doesn’t it, if the person most concerned is dead. On the contrary: in the absence of thorough research he might posthumously gain even greater mythical status (e.g. JFK) or things remain a mystery forever! In the interest of all people from all over the world who once trusted this ‘God’man and were ultimately deceived by false promises or abused in any other way, shape or form, a voice of support, backed up by thorough research and compelling evidence, is maybe more called for than before his demise. I wish you well and the strength to continue this vital work.
Chris Dokter, MA MSc
Here I post in full size the most important of the several very revealing e-mails Haraldsson sent me so all who have not read it may have the chance again. The brown text is forwarded from me, the green text is Haraldsson’s (later his is in blue) replies:-
On a visit in Oslo at that time Erlendur Haraldsson spoke about Varadu, (the nephew of Kamala Sarati), who stayed a while with SB in the 50s and was pushed out or left (smoked and drank). Both he and Krishna Kumar were related to C.T.K. Chari – a parapsychologist physician. On Krishna, who was closer than anyone else to Sathya Sai Baba in his early years: EH had at least two interviews with Krishna Kumar and also got his draft corrected by Krishna, though he omitted the sexual content.
I was present at a darshan in 1989 where I saw the first edition of “Miracles are My Visiting Cards” at last being accepted from Haraldsson by Sathya Sai Baba, whose not-too-pleased comment when taking it was,’there are wrong facts in it’. This would be taken as another example of his ‘omniscience’ by those who believe him, but he would have had plenty of time to read the book beforehand and would surely have known that his deceit about resurrecting Walter Cowan from the dead was exposed. Kasturi and/or Narasimhan would certainly have warned him.
Incidentally, I should add that Haraldsson has increasingly offended me because he has shown me that he is ignorant about nearly all the compelling evidence I have compiled and his increasing intolerance of my attempts to inform him, literally brushing me off with empty words. Dreading having to defend his errors of investigation and having to face disappointing evidence, he no longer is an open-minded investigator at all as far as the evidence against Sathya Sai Baba goes.
Posted by robertpriddy on June 14, 2011
On my association with parapsychologist Professor Erlendur Haraldsson: My wife and I first met him in 1989 in Bangalore, and we have since spent a number of days together on several occasions in India and several more in Norway in later years – most recently in 2011. He visited us and has stayed in our house. We both have academic backgrounds in Scandinavia and have long shared an interest in various parapsychological questions, particularly those arising in respect of Sathya Sai Baba but also Swami Premananda and Gayatri (Gyatri) Swami.
Erlendur Haraldsson has occasionally asked me for research assistance with articles he was writing – such as into Sai Baba’s predictions of his death and various of his teachings. He has also referred to my writings on Sathya Sai Baba in his bibliography in at least one of his papers about Sathya Sai Baba (“Of Indian God-Men and Miracle-Makers: The Case of Sathya Sai Baba.” British Psychological Association, Transpersonal section, Cober Hill, Scarborough. 13. 9. 2004.) It is therefore not incorrect to call the relationship we have had ‘collegial’ according to the more general use of the term as associate, also given in most dictionaries. Yet, I have been attacked on the Internet very immoderately by a dishonest Sai fanatic for not using that word in its strictest, narrowest sense – as well as for lying when making a true statement elsewhere about ‘an Icelandic investigator’ in the 1970s. Haraldsson himself was aware of these attacks on me and their falsity, but has not after several years defended my honesty, though he did inform the attacker (Moreno) by e-mail that he and I were friends from many years back. He and I had also long disagreed in friendly but direct discussion about the morality of not releasing information about negative matters or well-founded opinions he held strongly.
EH and I have been in e-mail contact for well over a decade. I retain the full stock of our correspondence, scores of e-mails from him (with the full ‘raw source’ data) – including statements about his being convinced of Sathya Sai Baba’s homosexuality (see scan of a very REVEALING e-mail exchange released at last after 10 years – click on thumbnail on left to zoom in), that SB was a ‘split personality’ who he experienced behaving “rudely” towards others – like a “crude villager”. Further, Haraldsson has on at least four occasions when visiting my wife and I said – rather forcibly too – that one cannot believe most of what Sathya Sai Baba said, that Sai Baba had a “tremendous ego”, was a “kind of Napoleon” and boasted constantly, having “illusions about himself” and making many false and absurd claims and statements. He wrote to me that SB illusions went “to a psychopathological degree unless one assumes the split-personality model to explain him which I find tempting”. Here one sees proof that Haraldsson never was an adherent of Sathya Sai Baba’s excessive claims or religious teachings, which he has had to deny in the face of a devotee’s assurance that he is a devotee (on Wikipedia). That Haraldsson is entirely sceptical of Sathya Sai Baba’s claims to be God Incarnate and considers many of his other major claims to be entirely bogus should not surprise anyone who has read about his meticulous investigations disproving the claim, by SB and his supporters, that SB resurrected Walter Cowan from the dead in the 1970s.
However, despite repeated requests from me through the years, Erlendur Haraldsson consistently refused to make known for the public certain damaging facts from his investigations and, not least, his oft-repeated opinion to us that most of Sathya Sai Baba’s claims are entirely bogus and absurd. For example, he was most sarcastic about Sai Baba being a world saviour or an omnipotent god, or of having any influence whatever with prominent Western world political leaders. However, when he was asked by the editor of SB’s journal to write a contribution to a volume published by the Sathya Sai Trust on his 75th birthday, he wrote a more glowing article about Sai Baba than I thought him capable of, at that time still a devotee myself… his draft title was ‘Miracles of Communication’. He asked my advice about parts of its content on which he was uncertain. In the event, he did not send the article and I do not find it available anywhere. It would have seemed very like an endorsement of Sai Baba as some kind of ‘divinely human’ person. That was before the allegation storm had broken out fully, though David Bailey had in fact already denounced SB in ‘The Findings’. Haraldsson changed his mind quite a lot thereafter, it seems, for the proposed article definitely did not express the negative viewpoints he otherwise repeatedly emphasized in our conversations.
Sai Baba was not a pure celibate, even in his youth: I have reported elsewhere, though without naming EH specifically, what he was told by Krishna Kumar (now deceased, once the former close boyfriend of young Sathya Sai Baba). When interviewed by EH two separate occasions – one of which EH assured me was tape-recorded – Krishna Kumar repeated to him several times that Sathya Sai Baba (i.e. – the supposedly celibate and totally pure Divine Incarnation) was given to masturbation, which EH accepted as fact and – as a psychologist would – said he considered it only normal. Krishna Kumar, who SB called his “soul brother”, had shared Sai Baba’s sleeping apartment for over a year and went around everywhere with SB holding hands and became locally referred to as ‘Radha and Krishna’ (as reported by Smt. Vijaya Kumari who was there at the time).
I am taking the step at last – out of the public interest – to reveal some e-mails which Haraldsson sent me all of 10 years ago (one which he afterwards asked should be kept secret, though I gave him no permanent or written guarantee of so doing). Due to our friendship and my support for his reputation as a para-psychological investigator, I respected his wish which was – despite all – only to protect himself and his reputation from discussion. For me – who gets no benefit from releasing this material what now weighs heaviest is the truth - for the benefit of all those who have suffered abuse by Sathya Sai Baba and been attacked by Sai devotees, especially seeing that SB has died without being brought to justice solely because of his top-level protection within India.
I do not suppose that EH will deny the things he told us – or wrote to me – though I am well aware that he will not be comfortable and most probably will not confirm or deny anything. Haraldsson was under no professional ‘vow of silence’, as a doctor would be regarding a patient, but rather – in his expressed pity for what he saw as Sai Baba’s misfortune and “abnormal’ or “distorted sexual orientation” – he opted for a certain degree of complicity in not reporting fully. Though he rebuked me that he was not a moral policeman, he has until now been passively overlooking what are widely reported to be unconvicted criminal offenses and cultist indoctrination of both the subtlest and most insidious sort involving the ruining of many persons’ families and even an uncounted number of lives. On his last visit Haraldsson said those who gave away their fortunes to Sai Baba were merely “fools”, which illustrates how extremely little he really understands about the powerful methods of the Sai cult and the psychology of victims. Recently my wife Reidun wrote to him explaining why she felt he ought to speak out, but his reply was more of the same avoidance of the issue. (See their e-mail exchange here – it is very illustrative of his off-handed attitude).
Haraldsson’s long silence on Sai Baba: Haraldsson is in his late 70s and is concentrated only on his ongoing research into possible cases of reincarnation, he says he has withdrawn from any public discussion about Sathya Sai Baba. He still has an open mind on the subject as he also has on many other para-psychological matters, having reached no definitive conclusion as to the genuineness or falsity of the many claims about Sathya Sai Baba or about reincarnation.
He and I long disagreed (in friendly discussion) about the morality of his not releasing information about what he was told by a number of those he interviewed or otherwise knew. He did not consider it relevant to his para-psychological research, though he did report one allegation on Sai Baba’s homosexuality in the briefest manner in his book. One reason for his reticence was no doubt that he long hoped to be able to continue his observations of Sathya Sai Baba in person, which would be precluded entirely by any serious remarks about it. Indeed, he visited at Shivarathri a few times between 2000 and 2005. He remained ‘in favour’ enough to receive a front place at Shivarathri ‘darsan’ in 2000, but had no interviews for many years. Still, I have had an understanding for his decision, because in 1994 I also omitted many very disturbing facts I knew when I wrote my book ‘Source of the Dream’ as I knew that without the “sins of omission” it would have meant a permanent ban on our visiting. That I now have obtained such a plethora of facts from dissidents (many of the sex abuse survivors want to stay private) I continue to bring out the whole truth, mainly because so many have contacted me from over the globe asking for support and information etc. in their liberation process from the diverse crises and problems into which Sai Baba has entangled them. Of course, I shall always keep strict confidentiality on all reports by those who have been abused or otherwise cannot have their names or information in public.
EH has repeatedly told me that he no longer comments in public on the Sathya Sai Baba issue since he has no new data to present. Well, considering that the last ‘data’ he published was a long analysis of a video in which Sai Baba was widely believed to be seen faking a ‘materialization’, which concluded that no faking could be detected, his claim sounds hollow. There have since then emerged a number of similar videos which show Sathya Sai Baba materializations which have been judged by experts to be clear evidence of faking, as well as testimony from office-bearers, students and others of how his ever-present store of trinkets is found in his chair and in his private rooms. Moreover, the BBC film, ‘The Secret Swami’ exposed the fraud with the ‘miraculous lingam’ production, but Haraldsson told me he had not seen it, even though I presented him with a full copy! Why did he not analyse and comment on that? His excuse is lack of time and interest… but, considering how much of his reputation stems from his book on the investigation of Sathya Sai Baba (famous Professor Eyesenck was rather convinced by it), this seems a considerable lapse of professional duty. Sai Baba has beguiled countless people into believing him to be the creator of the universe, the saviour of humanity, the Father who sent Jesus, and omnipotently capable of bestowing salvation in this life and beyond… manipulating them to self-sacrifices to glorify himself and relieving them of their money under such false pretenses as materializing priceless objects (which turn out not to be at all what he claimed them to be). Despite well-founded reasons that I put to him, Erlendur Haraldsson would not listen properly or utter a word of caution to the public. My wife and I even learned from him that he knew the very close SB servitor in the 1970s. Mr. Kamani, who told him definitively that Sai Baba had improper sexual contacts with boys! No psychological scientist can be only a ‘pure researcher’ without moral or social responsibilities to their public, or be justified in thinking that such deceptions and their consequences need not be taken seriously.
Since the welter of video and testimonial evidence has come forth about Sathya Sai Baba’s sleight-of-hand, Haraldsson has unfortunately kept away from the subject entirely. He broke off a discussion begun with Professor Dale Beyerstein before answering his critical points. Though he entered a discussion with Premanand, he soon broke off without reply to the heavy criticism Premanand soon raised about shortcomings in his research methods, citing that his e-mails were published by Premanand without his permission. Nonetheless, his published reply to Premanand in 1988 states fairly well even today the status of EH’s investigations into the ‘miracles’ – and some considerable reservations about them. He has not engaged in much further serious investigative work on the subject since then and stopped writing a second book he was preparing on Sai Baba. His original statement to Premanand was as follows:-
“No one seems to have discovered SSB’s exact modus operandi. If we assume that objects are produced by sleight of hand, then they must be kept hidden until they are used. None of those around him seem to have discovered where. Who are the suppliers for the one or two dozens of objects he reportedly may produce most days? He would require a steady supply. How has he been able to keep them a secret for so long? As there is considerable turnover in his “inner circle” he must have had several, if not many, accomplices during his 45 years of activity. There is for example no one with him now who was with him in the 1950s. Many of the attendants/associates interviewed – ex-devotees included – lived with him practically day and night, had free access to his room, took care of his things etc. However, all of them were equally puzzled and did not have a clue to SSB’s secret. Has SSB perhaps some exceptional means to keep even his ex-devotees and critics from revealing how he operates? There are many questions. I have to admit that after eight trips to India during the years 1973 to 1983 and a total of over a year and a half of questioning witnesses and searching for evidence against him, I came out practically empty-handed. There is an enigma here and we may be fooling ourselves by not admitting it and coming to hasty conclusions based on mere conjectures. We do indeed need strong evidence to accept the paranormal hypothesis but we also need solid evidence for accusations of fraud. Of course there are lots of false rumours of allegedly genuinely paranormal phenomena and numerous distortions and exaggerations. For example, in the widely published case of the resurrection of Mr. Cowan we have clear evidence to show that the claims are not true. Still, much of the phenomena remain puzzling.” Excerpt from http://www.indian-skeptic.org/html/is_v01/1-6-13.htm 1988
To this I must simply add that details have since emerged as to how objects Sai Baba gives away are found in shops all over South India and were brought in inconspicuously to Sai Baba’s rooms by persons who students came to know were doing this regularly. Most extraordinarily, perhaps, is that among those who did not believe in Sai Baba’s miracles was his closest servitor for decades, Colonel Joga Rao (see full details here). So how come these miracles happened wherever Rao was present – for example, objects taken out of the sand at picnics arranged by Joga Rao in advance, and at darshan (Rao often walked behind Sai Baba taking letters and handing him handkerchiefs). Besides, those who discovered anything untoward were always under huge pressures not to divulge anything. It could result in a severe reprimand or banishment from the ashram, college or staff… up to and including disappearance and murder (many incidents of both have been documented). Haraldsson did not consider these themes worth considering, even though the major police executions had not then taken place, there was sufficient circumstantial evidence of such untoward events for serious notice. Since then students have told exposé activists that Sai Baba had a machine for producing vibuthi (ash) pellets (using water), and a sponge in a saucer with fragrant oil which he squeezed before ‘materializing’ the oil he applied to male genitals etc. He has also been caught in the act of bogus materialization by diverse office-bearers, including former Central Coordinator for UK, Aime Levy and his wife, the former Sai Organization leader in Sweden, Conny Larsson and numerous others. These deceits have even been admitted (and defended in great contortions of rationalization) by a blind believer, Bon Giovanni, (see here). Vibuti pellets were dropped in front of Australian Central Coordinator Terry Gallagher after the bedroom murders incident, while back in 1968 he’d been seen having an ‘accident’ with a ‘thumbtip’ apparatus for palming vibuthi. Further, the bill for a very large consignment of vibuti bought by the ashram from Palani has been posted too (see here). One can be puzzled, but once major new evidence has emerged, one should investigate it properly.
See also My previous detailed blog about Haraldsson’s investigations
Investigation on the death of a Sai Baba’s colleger
Review of the unsolved murders incidents in Sai Baba’s temple apartment
A later posting here will examine the supposed ‘miraculous manifestations’ Karlis Osis and Erlendur Haraldsson reported at their first interview, and other materialization claims related to those investigations etc.
Posted by robertpriddy on June 13, 2011
Apropos yesterday’s blog showing the ignorance of Sathya Sai Baba, making his pretense of educating of others a set-back for common sense, reason, science and the future of those who are ‘infected’ by his superstitious and mythical nonsense, the following news items have appeared which only back up my contentions:-
Overview of links to pages exposing with documentation of Sathya Sai Baba’s ignorance of science
Cardinal Failings in Sathya Sai Baba’s Five Human Values
Fundamentalist ideas in Sathya Sai Education
Sathya Sai Baba ‘Educare’ programme under all suspicion
Posted by robertpriddy on June 10, 2011
Since I recall that there was an incident at the ‘Sports meet’ in 1991 which Sai Baba claimed to have taken upon himself injuries that would otherwise have debilitated a student (Anil Patel). I wondered if Raman Sharma had confused the dates (he had referred to ca. 1999) so I wrote and asked him to explain. He replied:-
Dear Robert Priddy,
I know all about the incident in 1991, and I had therefore fully understood the workings of the system. It was in 1998 or 99 at the sports meet. As Sai Baba came in his white chariot, he fell down and cooked up a story. I remember the form boys names during the time of the story which include Dibya jyoti Das, Deepak Anand., who were all new recruits (as most of the oldies were being left behind). This changing of Form boys occurred on a massive scale every three years. Before Satyajit, one Dilip was a personal caretaker of Sai Baba. I don’t know why he left or what mistake he did to invite SB’s rage. Otherwise Dilip was a smiling person always. I am sure if SB had a bit of goodness in him, these people (for ex. Dilip) would never leave and disappear from Puttaparthi.
Even when we were selected for the Kodaikanal trip (I have already mentioned that SB had very little to do with the selections) we were given many orientation classes by the school /Institute teachers. One thing repeatedly stressed was never to contradict Sai Baba, along with the remark “you don’t know to whom you are talking…” In any sort of discussion SB always had the final word.His devotees also do things in a similar manner (i.e. devoid of logic) and whenever they seem to be on the wrong side of any discussion, they always end it with “Swami Knows best…Swami is God…etc” Of course it was fun to argue with SB as he had very little knowledge on scientific subjects and would try and reason out his arguments in a most illogical manner. I think SB had an Inferiority complex of not being well educated …so he did try and speak on science which was very amusing and gave us ample opportunity to laugh to our hearts content. Such behaviour on his part was considered as “feigned ignorance” etc by teachers who had implicit faith in Sai Baba.
There was a lot of discrepancy in payments to teachers etc. We often wondered where the money collected by the Education trust went. His chosen form boys whom he would select as research scholars and who also had to involve themselves in regular teaching were paid a mere pittance… Rs2500/- per month..
I remember talking to hostel canteen in charge Mr. Venkatachalam, along with a group of boys who told us that whatever good rice or ghee etc was received as donation was resold in the market and the hostel food was always prepared using the materials purchased from the subsidized rates through govt. dealers. (see previous blog)
Posted by robertpriddy on June 5, 2011
IMPORTANT UP-DATE Since the following article was written I have, after holding back for many years, released a considerable amount of information – including e-mails sent me by Haraldsson, which show that there is a large discrepancy between how he represents Sathya Sai Baba and the opinion he has held of him for a long time. That I did not publish these facts at the time was due to a number of considerations, not least that he wanted them kept secret and further, that I had hopes that he would admit some of his very scathing opinions of Sai baba’s person and include a minimum of the documented information the Sai exposé has presented showing that Sai baba was involved in serial sexual abuses of young men and boys an also deeply involved in the cold-blooded murder by police of four of his devotees in June 1993 who had intruded into his apartments intending to convince him to change the corrupt running of the ashram and other matters. Further, during Haraldsson’s visit to me from 2000 onwards I apprised him of the growing evidence of fraudulent materializations and proven false claims concerning them (i.e. that green gems were precious diamonds, as he ‘produced’ for me in 1986). I also told him of the many persons who contacted me whose lives have been ruined through Sai Baba’s actions of various kinds, including the massive break of trust with them, as well as extortion of funds from them. The following pages a most important addendum to the article of June 5, 2011, below.
ERLENDUR HARALDSSON’S VIEWS EXAMINED on EH and Priddy, their divergence and agreement on Sai Baba’s character.
E-MAILS ON HARALDSSON’S CONCEALMENT OF FACTS AND TO HIM IN 2008 URGING OPENNESS
HIGHLY REVEALING E-MAILS FROM HARALDSSON ON SAI BABA sent to R. Priddy but not previously released- retained for 10 years
E-MAIL EXCHANGE ON MORALITY Reidun Priddy and E. Haraldsson
ARTICLE SUMMARISES HARALDSSON’S BOOK ON SB MIRACLES etc.
RAISING THE DEAD? Scans of pages defeating SB’s claim of resurrection of US follower Walter Cowan
THE DOUBLE-RUDRAKSHA HARALDSSON RECEIVED from Sai Baba, who seemed to ‘materialize’ it. Yet it is not at all as unique as Haraldsson’s researches suggested to him.
E-MAIL EXCHANGES: EH tells how SB affected his feelings, & shows disinterest in the exposé
DEBATE ON EH’S INVESTIGATION OF WALTER COWAN RESURRECTION CASE
HOW THE INDIAN RATIONALISTS RESPONDED TO HARALDSSON
HOW SKEPTIC BASAVA PREMANAND RESPONDED TO HARALDSSON
E-MAIL EXCHANGES BETWEEN BEYERSTEIN & HARALDSSON
DECEPTION BY SUBJECTS IN PSI RESEARCH — RE OSIS/HARALDSSON
Sathya Sai Baba devotees refer to Professor Erlendur Haraldsson in an attempt to suggest that this scientist is a believer in his ‘divine miracles’. Haraldsson did investigate the Sai movement in the 1970s, but nowhere will one find any such endorsement in his writings.
My wife and I have known Erlendur Haraldsson since 1989, when we first met him in Bangalore and have through the years met him about 8 times – in India and Norway, during which we have had many discussions of Sathya Sai Baba, most recently this year (2011). I can assure all that he is in no sense anything like a follower of Sathya Sai Baba, nor does he endorse the supposed materializations as ‘miracles’. When first I met him, I believed that the materializations were genuine and much more besides. Haraldsson was unable to hide his skepticism about much of it, but was always civil about it, though he did say he thought I was over-interpreting many things, as – indeed – I now know most certainly that I was (i.e. in following Sai Baba’s directions to the letter such as “hear, see and think only good” – understood by all to apply to faith in Sai Baba’s claims above all else). Haraldsson always strives to be most precise scientifically, as is seen in his ongoing investigations of alleged rebirth and spirit mediums, as well as his debunking of both Swami Premananda and Gyatri Swami.
In his book, Haraldsson recorded what he observed and what others told him, without drawing any definitive conclusion on whether the various phenomena were proven as genuine. Nor has he ever endorsed Sathya Sai Baba’s materializations or other claimed paranormal phenomena as being miracles. Despite this, the use of Sai Baba’s own statement “Miracles Are My Visiting Cards” as the title of his book as originally published seems biased towards belief in miracles (later changed to “Modern Miracles” which is little better). It is fully documented that, when he first visited Sathya Sai Baba together with another para-psychologist – Karlis Osis – in 1973, they wanted to carry out controlled experiments on Sai Baba’s supposed ‘miraculous materializations’, but were firmly denied any such thing by Sai Baba.
Haraldsson’s investigations proved Sai deceptions: Sathya Sai Baba’s claim of having resurrected Walter Cowan from the dead, which one can read about in his book ‘Modern Miracles’ was clearly disproved by Haraldsson’s witnesses. (p. 250 – see text here). At that time, criticism in English publications of Sai Baba’s amazing claims were extremely few and the large hagiographic literature predominated, so Haraldsson deserves praise for his unashamed unearthing of the truth about Walter Cowan and Co. That material is never referred to by Sai Baba followers, who no doubt wish it would disappear.
Since this blog was posted, I have posted another major blog with a full account and explanation of what Professor Haraldsson had told me already 10 years ago, which I have not published due to our long friendship… not until events have made it unavoidable from my viewpoint to keep quiet about such important ‘secrets’ thinking of the many victims of Sathya Sai Baba’s huge abuses of trust and his known homosexual activities.
The Rajah of Venkatigiri’s Account, as Reported by Haraldsson:: The Rajah of Venkatigiri’s Account of the alleged resurrection of Radhakrishna by Sathya Sai Baba, as Reported by Haraldsson: The present Raja of Venkatigiri was in Puttaparti at that time. When asked about this incident, he told me that he remembered it well. He had been with the swami when Mr. Radhakrishna’s relative came to tell Sai Baba that he was dying. About an hour after Mr. Radhakrishna allegedly died, the swami came down from his room at last and said to them: `Don’t fear, nothing has happened.’ They waited outside the room while the swami went in. When he opened the door and called them, they saw that Mr. Radhakrishna was alive and talking slowly. The Raja did not see Mr. Radhakrishna while he was allegedly dead. Haraldsson, p. 249. http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/23/dbbook/3resur.htm
Professor Dale Beyerstein commented on the above as follows:- Given (1) that no medical doctor is supposed to have pronounced Radhakrishna dead at any time during the sequence of events in question, (2) the patient was muttering semi-coherently through the night before his alleged resurrection, and (3) even Murphet withdraws the claim that he was in the medical sense dead prior to Sai Baba’s visit, the inescapable conclusion is that Mr. Radhakrishna was not in the medical sense dead prior to Sai Baba’s visit. What is required, clearly, to establish a resurrection from the dead claim is a case in which it is at least alleged that the patient was found to have been dead by a doctor. These accounts of the Radhakrishna case, then, are of principal interest as an exhibit of the low standards in accuracy, consistency, and reliability of devotee reports of the miracles. He was dead three days, an hour, six days, and not at all. Somehow one expects a slightly higher standard of accuracy in reporting, if a claim is to be taken seriously by the scientific community; and if this is the best to be expected of oral reports and memories, one expects at the very least a higher standard of interest in sorting out what happened on the part of the devotees putting out the story for public consumption.
The ability also to bi-locate has been claimed for Sathya Sai Baba and other spiritual figures, such as the famous Catholic Pater Pio of Pietrelcina, Italy (1887-1968, now Saint Pio of Pietrelcina). Parapsychologist Prof. Erlendur Haraldsson tried to investigate these highly controversial claims of Sathya Sai Baba’s bi-location but, though he could not substantiate them, he lent them some credence even by presenting the claims which could not be tested in any way. All accounts he obtained were anecdotal and/or hearsay, some being very meagre, others more detailed. Haraldsson classified such reports as ‘apparitions’ as in para-psychological terminology, many of which have been recorded by para-psychologists (over 10% of questioned persons in general are supposed on statistical grounds to have such an experience at least once in their lifetime).
However, particularly since 2000, good reasons have arisen to question the preparedness of Haraldsson and Osis in the 1970s for study of deceptive sleight-of-hand, suggestion techniques and misdirection of attention to observe were never well enough prepared or stringent enough to uncover any fraudulent Sathya Sai Baba’s productions. Though Haraldsson had visited magicians for tips about fraud, he never detected what many others have. For example, – such Sai Baba misdirected attention in various ways while he reached behind himself for objects under his cushion, which he later pretended to materialize. This was done, for example, by saying something unusual to a person at the back of the room, so all heads turned to see who it was. Nor did the parapsychologists realize that many shops in South India produce exactly the same kind of ‘diamond’ rings, medallions and pendants that Sai Baba supposedly ‘materialized’ (all most certainly having synthetic stones, which the investigators did not ascertain either), for Haraldsson discounted there being a supplier without serious investigation. It is now known how items were smuggled in to Sai Baba by helpers (not hard to guess either!). Several disaffected followers had seen and reported a number of typical objects behind the cushions on his chair in the interview room, while one ex-student has told how he came across a box of such objects while cleaning in Sai Baba’s private quarters at Kodaikanal.
Perhaps yet more embarrassing for Haraldsson, he completely failed to question the production of the lingam from the mouth on Shivaratri days, which he attended at least twice, even though this trick was invented by Houdini (see here) and copied by a large number of Indian street magicians and fakirs (see video of the same lingam trick). That must be considered a major research lapse. The use of misdirection, powerful suggestion, cold reading and other techniques by Sai Baba has since been reported by a large number of persons from interviews and sleight-of-hand has been filmed on various occasions quite conclusively. Haraldsson told me he was not concerned with examining or commenting on these – nor even did he watch the copy of ‘the Secret Swami’ I gave him. He holds that his being used within the Sai movement as an endorser of the paranormal phenomena due to his neutral conclusions is not of his doing.
Haraldsson’s last venture into the arena of discussion about Sathya Sai Baba was his attempt – with Richard Wiseman – to analyse the famous ‘faked materialization ‘ video which appeared briefly on Indian TV’s national channel Doordarshan. He concluded that there was no definitive evidence of faking… but nor could he reasonably exclude the possibility. In short, he seemed (in the eyes of followers) to endorse Sai Baba’s genuineness but did not definitively do so. Since then he has ignored all the video and other evidence that have been available on-line for years… he even referred to them briefly to me last time I spoke with him as ‘internet rumours’, which shows he has not even looked at most of them at all.
Haraldsson was challenged by the ex-follower and very determined exposer of Sathya Sai Baba’s miracles, Basava Premanand, to which he made one reply. The issues raised were not really confronted by Haraldsson, as one can see from the series of e-mails here:-
Further posting about Erlendur Haraldsson and his negative views on Sathya Sai Baba to come later, concerning the ‘double rudraksha’ he received from Sai Baba, the sleight-of-hand videos, the Sai Baba sexual allegations on which EH has remained silent about since he wrote his book (researched in the 1970s) where he did most briefly mention one report of homosexuality by Sai Baba.
Posted by robertpriddy on May 23, 2011
On ChackraNews.com, David Wolff, one of the American ‘true believers’ who had contact with Leela Press, Jack Scher (deceased) and Judy Warner has attacked me as a person (NOT my documented arguments and evidence, of course). I have been attacked by David Wolff before, and I have responded too (see here).
Clearly my reply to him has had a long-lasting smarting effect in that all David Wolff can produce now is invective which has no substance whatever. I have made no misstatements about Sai Baba, and Wolff couldn’t point to a single one. I am extremely wary of the semantics of my every sentence and have found very few errors – all of which I have corrected immediately when discovered. No one can prove that I have told a single untruth in any of my writings criticizing Sathya Sai Baba – and I challenge anyone to take legal action if they dare! I have a for more complete idea of Sathya Sai Baba than Wolff can realise, because he has long been programatically disallowed from thinking anything critical – anything that would reflect badly on ‘Swami’. He is a bad follower of Sai Baba’s teaching (“Always speak sweetly and softly” and “Never criticize others. Only criticize yourself” which is all rubbish teaching anyhow). Here one can sample his soul.
Accusing me of obsessive-compulsive disorder and underlying paranoia is laughable to all those who know me. I have since student days had many and varied psychologist and psychiatrist friends as I have been involved in the debate about schizophrenia and other disorders in the early 1960s and thereafter. David Wolff shows his mental incompetence by making this scurrilous claim, which he could never support in the face of my medical factsheet. Wolff tells me I am an atheist for he thinks he knows myself better that I or my many friends. I am not exactly atheist in the full sense, I am a non-theist and a philosopher, so I never draw final conclusions on main metaphysical matters, however unlikely a proposition (like God is) may be.
Wolff would so like to take the high moral ground, but he remains grovelling in spite and attempts at character assassination. He give no documentation of any of his statements, which I do in very many case when I criticize Sathya Sai Baba. I am simply showing the hidden side – the bad side – of Sathya Sai Baba – often from his own words, confusions proven lies and widely reported negative actions (which no devote is allowed to think about, let alone mention!) As to Wolff’s blather about me “having no idea” who Sai Baba is… read my pro-Sai book, ‘Source of the Dream’. After 18 years devoted service, having come there, experienced and gotten deeply immersed, I emerged from the delusions as he proved to be sadly wanting in more and more ways… and a suspected criminal to boot!
It is not I who was ‘attention-seeking’ but Sathya Sai Baba, not I who am malevolent but Sai Baba (and those of his followers who attack me without sense or reason). I would have liked NOT to have felt the burden of having to tell what I, one of the very few, learned despite all I hoped and believed before. Many write to me for advice, succour, information, and other forms of help. Many more applaud what I and others are doing to bring out the truth no followers want to know! I receive a great deal of support for defending the weak and defenseless… also from those who are unable to get any kind of justice in India for the sexual abuses they have, I am convinced, suffered at the hands of Sai Baba. None of these would ever speak to a person like David Wolff… he comes across as intent on being nasty, as if his opinions could affect my happiness in the least. I present his vicious desires that I should die soon and his other brainless comments so that people may know what kind of people we are dealing with in the Sathya Sai Organization nowadays.
I have determination to not let Sathya Sai Baba get away unremarked, and I have succeeded beyond what I thought possible. (Churchill said re the truth “Never, never, never give up! – and my supporters agree and hope I shall continue until I am 100 years old, whether calendar or lunar! Nearly all respected news media have taken notice of our work – (that excludes most in India which are bought out by Sai Baba and his gang of politicians). Newspapers like The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The New Statesman and other such prestigious outlets (not forgetting the BBC on all fronts) have pointed out the likelihood of the sex allegations being true and the murder involvement of Sai Baba too, for they remark that Sai Baba had powerful political backers who could protect him from any legal proceeding (as they did in 2002 when Hari Sampath put his petition with many affidavits before the Supreme Court! http://saibaba-invigilator.blogspot.com/2006/12/sai-baba-protected-by-supreme-court-of.html)
One can see how popular my blog is from the statistics around Sai Baba’s death – topping with 52,383 visitors in one single day alone, ca. 800,000 visitors so far. As to ‘plenty of negative feedback’ that Wolff says I get, he is referring to the anonymous attackers on chackranews.com Of course, plenty of Sai devotees are very keen on giving anonymous negative feedback in general… they do not even practise what their Sai Baba preached!
Because of his spleen and hate, I then wrote a corrective e-mail to Mr. Wolff as follows:-
Hello David Wolff,
I have now seen your postings on chackranews.com. You ought to be ashamed… an adult writing such invective and drivel. Never mind, it all add grist to the mill, which will not stop. Your cheap jibe (Sai Baba-inspired?) with the death wish for me … well, you may die well before me, I have a family of 90 year olds behind me.
Now all can read my replies to you. http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com/2011/05/23/david-wolff-on-chakranews-com-groundless-blather/ and the same at http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/28/Wolff-wuf-wuf.html
The more you post, the more your reasoning will get devastated… never fear, you just have not got the nous to express anything truly sensible as far as you have shown to date.
He told me by direct reply: “Fuck you, Bobby. Go to your room” (I have the entire e-mail source to prove it – with its massive pseudo-legal clauses and threats against disclosure, so he evidently didn’t want anyone to know what he really is like…). I have never been known as ‘Bobby’ for a start, so that strange try at familiarity fell flat. The ‘Go to your room’ bit is interesting, I can only think it is what his parents said to him a lot. And this businessman at High Point; North Carolina man calls himself a Sai devotee, well – there you go!
It is indicative of the low level of insight and intelligence of many of the posters on chackranews.com who cannot confront my reasoning but simply call me names and spread hateful lies about me (a junkie!) After my posting the above, David Wolff went beserk and posted several further vituperative attacks against me and repetitive inarticulate drivel which can be seen here
The pro-Hindu website chakranews.com has shown itself to use ‘dirty tricks’ against critics – it has posted statements allegedly by me under my name which I never wrote! Further, it posted a number of my comments, then removed them without warning, comment or reason. They also removed a comment by another person supportive of me which they had previously moderated and posted. That is ‘dirty tricks’ and shows the malpractice of at chakranews,com and that it is not advisable for serious persons to post there,.
Posted by robertpriddy on May 17, 2011
The Hindu accepts e-mail letters about articles it has posted on-line. A couple of such letters were sensible (shown here), the rest were the usual apologists’ one-sided defense of Sathya Sai Baba. I have written a brief e-mail, signed Robert Priddy, and await with interest to see whether The Hindu will post it, or whether they are still too biased. Watch this URL: http://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/article2024043.ece
One of my best friends among all Indians and my closest confidante when I was a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba was V.K. Narasimhan, who was – for most of his journalistic life – the assistant editor of The Hindu. After an illustrious career in journalist – ending as Editor-in-Chief of the Experss Group – he followed his devotee wife to Sai Baba’s ashram, where they settled. He felt that Sai Baba’s social works were one of the best things in Andhra Pradesh at the time, since he was extremely cynical about the government and their achievements – even the will to improve the lot of anyone but their own class or caste. He did not believe Sathya Sai Baba was omniscient, omnipotent or omnipresent… nor did he believe in the miracles or the many alleged healings by Sai Baba (he was himself let down badly and lost an eye despite SB applying vibuti etc.) All this I have described at length, and I have scanned and posted many excerpts from the daily diaries I wrote during my over 1 1/2 years in the ashrams, especially my conversations with Narasimhan.
It was also VKN, as he was widely known, who administered the felling blow to my faith in Sai Baba by telling me in strict confidence and a lowered voice of SB’s younger brother’s blackmailing of the police and Sai Baba’s own covered-up involvement in those events. “They did a terrible thing…” was his judgement, and the Home Minister S.B. Chavan laughed together with Sai Baba’s younger brother – a multi-millionaire property speculator and Puttaparti brother owner Janaki Ramiah – commenting “Dead men tell no tales!” Such was my faith that, even then, it took me four years to deal with the information properly and rid myself about the many confusions about Sai Baba which naturally arise before one takes the bull by the horns and allows oneself to think seriously and critically… which eventually led me to investigate the sex abuse claims. This led to utter conviction that at least a majority of the testimonies were true… little though I wished for that outcome! Knowing the details of how SB was a willing accomplice to murder and its cover-up, along with Sathya Sai Central Trust, other ashram officials and – not least – the Home Minister S.B. Chavan and then-Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, I had after VKN had safely departed this life to shoulder the heavy burden of telling the public what I knew.
Posted by robertpriddy on May 9, 2011
The entire house of cards has tumbled down on the failed predictions of Sathya Sai Baba about his alternative dates of death (93 or 96). Therefore it is totally crucial to the Sathya Sai officials, Trust, devotees and hangers on that he should be proven right, whether by hook or crook… involving falsification of facts! Once and for all, the correct calculations versus diverse fanatical attempts to justify a totally failed prediction by Sathya Sai Baba (one showcased here):-
Another very confused devotee now claims Sathya Sai Baba told him he was 96 years old. To prove it he has concocted a ‘magimathemattical’ calculation which gets the number of days lived by SSB entirely wrong, which is confirmed by the sathyassai.org pronouncement that SB lived 30,833 days. He also get the length of the draconic lunar year wrongly, stating it is 324 days, when in fact it is 326 days (on average). These ‘adjustments’ let him produce the false result 96.2 lunar years. (Check this out at his site at http://saiprema.wordpress.com/2011/05/06/baba-did-live-to-96/
1. According to the lunar calendar; 1 year = 324 days
2. Baba saw 85 years and 153 days (i.e. up to 24.04.2011) of the Christian calendar; therefore He saw an equivalent of (85 x 365) + 153 = 31178 days of the Christian calendar
3. If we convert this to the lunar calendar we see; 31178 / 324 = 96.2 years
4. AND IF WE CONVERT THIS MESSAGE AS OF 11TH FEB 2011 IT IS 31,104 / 324 = 96 YEARS EXACTLY, BHAGWAN SRI SATHYA SAI BABA DID LIVE TO 96 YEARS, Fellow devotees, please be sure to send this page, calculation to all who question Baba’s integrity and prophecies.
The number of days per lunar year would be 27.21 times 12 = 326.52 (days per annum) So 30,833 days divided by 326 days per year is equal to 91.02 lunar years. This does not reach the minimum requirement of 93 years, which he twice predicted in separate discourses. Nor by far does it reach 96 years, which he also stated was the age he would reach – as all commentators agree. However one twists and turns it, the calculations do not fit the prediction.HOWEVER! The idea of a ‘lunar year’ is invalid astronomically… see how this is explained by a comment made on rediff.com (see scan on right):- /th>
It is highly amusing that the sathyssai.org people wait for a Hindu scholar/astrologer to confirm their calculations! Astrologers are hardly any use compared to astronomers, astrology is known for using defunct ways of reckoning, using the Procrustean bed to make things fit and in general to be unable to predict (for example, the winners of India elections or the death date of anyone with accuracy) – and Hindu scholars cannot improve on the hard astronomical facts, however devoted they are to their beliefs!
According to sathyasai.org website Sathya Sai Baba lived for 30,833 days. This is a correct calculation (correct IF he was actually born on 23 Nov. 1926, which is disputed- since his registered date in his school record is 3 years LATER!) The lunar month averages 27.21 days (by the very shortest or ‘draconic’ reckoning which the sathyasai.org website chose for obvious reasons).
……………BUT, a lunar year is an obscure construction which was never used in dating Sai Baba’s birthdays or any other date announced by him or his ashrams. A year necessarily means a solar year, the time the earth takes to circumnavigate the sun (365 days excepting leap year – the same for the moon, of course, which is a satellite to the earth) . One cannot add or subtract from that year because of lunar phases any more than one can change it because of the apparent movement of, say, Mars or Venus. That some Hindu shastris use such calculations is beside the point and they even in some cases decide to add one lunar months every 6 years so as to approach the correct solar year length! Only now does all this lunar confusion seem of significance to those desperately searching for an explanation to prove Sai Baba was infallible. THAT he certainly never was! An Indian follower posted a similar view on the year on chakranews.com comments:-
Posted by robertpriddy on May 6, 2011
In their understandable desperation to believe in the divinity of Sathya Sai Baba, countless hysterical Indian followers – not least the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and other ‘luminaries’ are deathly silent about the fact that Sathya Sai Baba’s death was totally unlike those India has previously required of its holy men and women when they supposedly ‘leave the body by free will’ and allegedly “merge with the infinite”. (i.e. when they die, in sensible parlance). Not only did Sai Baba become more and more haggard and catatonic looking at least from his 85th birthday onwards, but he died because of multiple organ failure after being disconnected from his life support system. Nothing yogic, nothing saintly, nothing remotely holy or divine about that!
Nor did he die when he predicted he would, despite all the diverse attempts to recalculate his age according to lunar (rather than calendar or solar) years. The results the various ‘Vedic experts’ produce differ from one another and also differ from the two different times of death Sai Baba is documented as having stated. Rationalizations of the clownish ‘mental gymnastic’ sort – including affronts to simple arithmetic – are concocted to mislead the despondent believer back into the faith of the fold. The official Sai website reckoned SB was 94.4 lunar years old at death, which is way off the 93 or the 96 years of age he predicted in his various published discourses! The official disinformation is propelled by the matter of big money… the more who doubt or leave Sai Baba, the less that will flow into the huge coffers. This will mean the closure of many of the projects that devotees have developed in the name of Sai Baba, who loved to take ALL the credit for all of it, which he just sat on his wheelchair and spouted moralizing words repeatedly all his adult life). It reportedly will also affect many schools that hijacked the name so as to siphon off donations from foreign devotees (see Times of India here).
Looking at the physical condition of Sathya Sai Baba on his last birthday (that was, incidentally, blazoned everywhere as his 85th year, no less!) one can see that he is nowhere near matching up to his repeated boasts that he would never show signs of age, that he would always be healthy. If multiple organ failure – heart, lungs, kidneys and liver – amounts to good health in any shape or form or his depressed hangdog face to youthful appearance then I could be a hoary Ayurvedic medicine man… and with brass knobs on too! Queen Elizabeth is an 85-year old picture of health and a massively respected world figure, known to everyone. Not so Sathya Sai Baba, who not only boasted he was in line for the Nobel Peace Prize (which he never got nor ever remotely qualified for it) but made massive unfulfilled claims:-
“In the days ahead, the whole world will be obliged to come to Prashanthi Nilayam” (p. 320 Sanathana Sarathi December 1991)
“The whole world will be transformed into Sathya Sai Organisation and Sathya Sai will be installed in the hearts of one and all.” (Sanathana Sarathi, January 1999 – page 16)
“You are going to witness the divine glory of Swami unfolding in the days to come. He will attract the whole world. There won’t be place for people to stand even. You can see it for yourself, what a great change has occurred during the last one month! All are getting attracted to Swami.” Discourse 16 March 2003.
“Very soon, the entire world will be united. In fact, after 28 years, the world itself will become “Bharat”. Everyone will call themself a Bharatiya (one imbued with godliness — Bhagavat rathas). No one will refer to themself as belonging to this state or that state, this region or that region.”
“In fact, there is no trace of hatred or enmity in Me at any time. I love all. That is why everyone loves Me.” (Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 36, p- 86 Discourse 06/05/2003) “… nobody is against me. Everyone loves and none hates me.” (p. 262) That is not true for a start as there are plenty who express otherwise on the Internet!