Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

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

Professor Erlendur Haraldsson – by Robert Priddy: very revealing materials!

Posted by robertpriddy on June 14, 2011

Up-date November 23, 2013. Erlendur Haraldsson’s re-edited book ‘Modern Miracles’ present many of the alleged miracles of Sai Baba as not being proven to be fraudulent. In this latest revision of his book (originally titled Miracles are My Visiting Cards), Haraldsson claims – amazingly in view of thousands who have left Sai Baba and many who have publicly reported fraud in materialisations – that he found no evidence of fraud involved and SSB was never apprehended in fraud, sleight of hand or the like! This omission is extremely serious and misleading. This is entirely untrue! He went to the Sai Baba ashram with his Dutch parapsychological associate, Dr Houtkoouper, for over a month early in 2013 to confer with the remaining believers there, but systematically avoided studying the massive testimonial and other documented evidence that has emerged from hundreds of well-informed former long-term followers of Sai Baba. Rather, he promoted diverse false propaganda fed him by the ashram people! He has forfeited his claims to neutrality he had, also his probity!
He also failed to contact any of the many available witnesses of fraud and deceit about whom I have often informed him. He has evidently deleted our long association from his mind and never even mentions my name in his latest edition, even though we had the most extensive contact for decades concerning Sathya Sai Baba. Full list over the extensive mail exchanges between EH and RP

The latest edition is dealt with in the following web pages:- Miracles Are My Visiting Cards – Haraldsson by Robert Priddy
Erlendur Haraldsson Breaks his Silence on Sathya Sai Baba’s Final Decade review and critical comments by Brian Steel
Professor Haraldsson’s Final Verdict on Sathya Sai Baba and his Western Critics by Chris Dokter

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 and Robert Priddy

Erlendur Haraldsson and Robert Priddy

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 ) 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.

Haraldsson and Priddy

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.”  (RP’s Comment. Behind his cushion in his chair, as discovered by Conny Larsson and seen by numerous other informants)
“Who are the suppliers for the one or two dozens of objects he reportedly may produce most days? He would require a steady supply.” (RP’s Comment. Some students reported to me that they all knew a slim, inconspicuous Indian elder who was seen every few weeks or so to walk unhindered into the interview room at various times, even during darsan, and it was known that he replenished the supply which some students who cleaned in this room at times were able to see in a cupboard, also one at Kodaikanal).
How has he been able to keep them a secret for so long?” (RP’s Comment. His staff were mostly in complete awe and fear of him, and even those who knew his fraudulence and supported it for diverse reasons would never say a word to anyone outside the inner circle. A former security chief , Mr. Hari Sampath, reported this when he defected around 2000 and lodged please with the Supreme Court and the CBI which were suppressed by the Sai Baba devoted and compromised highest Indian authorities).
“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.” (RP’s Comment. Not his very closest servitor through decades, engineer Colonel Joga Rao, who always had a room beside Sai Baba’s with immediate access to all his rooms at any time and who did not believe in any Sai Baba miracles, as known to most residents at his ashrams, as V.K. Narasimhan told me to my shocked surprise).
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.” (RP’s comment: Not at all surprising. It took me many years of regular visits with interviews and 18 years within his organisation before the facts were made indisputably known to me)
“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.”
  (RP’s comment: Evidence of miracles is impossible to prove, evidence of fraud is abundant but difficult to access to persons who do not – or like Haraldsson, would not – enter into confidential and caring relations with the victims. Even without privileged information, fraud is surely the default position when the total range of deceptions is considered).  Excerpt from http://www.indian-skeptic.org/html/is_v01/1-6-13.htm 1988

Robert Priddy with Erlendur Haraldsson 2009

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 in Cults, Gurus | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Ex-devotee on depression as result of following Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on March 3, 2015

In an earlier blog I wrote about an egocentric millionaire follower of Sai Baba (Jack Scher- deceased) who had so to speak ‘bought into’ a verandah place by setting up a publishing co. for Sai books in the US called ‘Leela Press’, I was contacted by a Sri Lankan lady, who wrote that she was, though Sai Baba’s indoctrination, unable to think freely for a long time, until she regained her freedom due to realising much about the great fraud involved. 

We corresponded further and she told me how much of her close family remained Sai Baba devotees and about the difficulties this caused her. I have cut out private details and cloak her identity for obvious reasons. Some excerpts from her mails can be of help to others in similar position.

Dear Robert
Thanks for your reply.  I feel passionately about this subject as I was born into the Sai movement and my parents are still ardent followers.  Thanks very much for the work you are doing.  I look at your website on a daily basis and it provides me with a great deal of comfort and helps me deal with the fact that my parents insist upon being devotees despite everything that has come out about the sai baba movement.

Thanks again, P

I replied: Dear P,
Thanks for your kind reply. It is tremendously difficult situation when families are divided by Sai Baba in this way. Through the years I have been contacted by a number of people who are similarly affected. The Principal of (***** a top EU) University’s wife became a devotee and – since he was a physicist – they could not see eye to eye. But she decided to demand half of the entire family fortune so she could donate it to these criminals in Puttaparthi. I did my best to advise him about how to handle the issue, but in vain.
I lost all nearly all my many Sai friends, but fortunately the ones I respected most here in Norway have all long since rejected SB. It even took my wife longer than I to come properly to terms with the matter after I came off the fence.
Best wishes, Robert

Dear Robert,
(A close relative) … taught me the sceptical method which later helped me in getting away from the Sai movement.  Now when I talk to him about science or scepticism, he just does not seem to understand or does not want to understand. 

I married a man who was not in the Sai movement though at the time we married I was in the Sai movement.  I saw how free he was as well as his cheerfulness when compared to those in the sai movement.  I tried to get him involved but he wisely stayed away although he did not try to influence my faith.  I was determined to convert him and looked up books in order to prove that Sai Baba was divine.  After reading several books and especially Richard Dawkins “The god delusion” I came to the awareness that it was I who was mistaken and not my husband.  I have now developed an allergy to all things religious that even my husband regrets that I have lost my faith.  I have been reading feminist books which have helped me a lot.  I especially enjoyed your article on ladies day. I am very glad to have had this email from you.
Thanks again. P.

Dear Robert,

I am interested in the search for the truth about the way the world works.  If you would like to use any of the things I write in order to write an article while covering the tracks so as not to hurt (those close to her) I am only too happy to give my consent. 

I am obsessed with this matter and try to read up everything I can on cults and mind control so that I can have a better understanding of what has happened to me as well as ideas on getting over it to lead a normal and good life.  You are very brave in sticking your neck out and fighting out against this powerful group which numbers the president and prime minister of India among its followers.   Loyalty to the group counts for a lot in Eastern culture and for a while you could not find a more loyal follower than me.  However, the thing that finally clinched it for me was my deep depression while I was in the movement and constant suicidal thoughts.  I could not figure out why I was so depressed when everything in my life was going so well.  I had a husband who was kind and a good provider.  We had no significant financial difficulties – just run of the mill how to pay the mortgage and bills – but we managed.  We had two beautiful children.  Then why the deep self-hatred and depression?  I knew that I must absolutely live – I had two small children who depended on their mum being around.  I started reading everything I could on depression and though some things helped most of the relief proved temporary.

Then I came across “Feeling good”  by David D Burns and finally after reading through the book and doing some of the exercises, my mood began to lift and I started feeling the way I should most of the time.The thing that most struck me was the fact that the author said that depression is caused by the feeling that everything good that happens to me is caused by an outside agency ( external) and everything bad that happens to me is because it is my own fault. If I could reverse this thought – If by following reason I could see that good things happened because of my own goodness ( at least partly) and sometimes bad things happen and it is not my fault – then my depression had some chance of going away. This is not what you are taught by Sai literature, is it? Everything good happens because of Babs’s grace.  If anything bad happens it is your own fault or it is karma ( fault in a previous life).  The teaching was making me depressed and helpless. The entire teaching revolves around making a person as emotionally vulnerable and helpless as possible. When I now think of my needless suffering, I feel angry at this fraud.  Please keep up the fight and the good work. By the way although (close relative) is an ardent devotee, we never got so much as an interview.

Dear P.
I am well aware of the problem as I had many very unusual experiences with Sai Baba. None of those can exonerate him from the crimes I am totally convinced he has committed. You got out of the depression by your own efforts, and threw off the overwhelming indoctrination to which all who become followers subject themselves. What you write now is straightforwardly convincing, and it has a distinct style different from any I can manage. You bear out fully ‘the position I have written about in my series on Personal Disempowerment oin worshipping gurus exemplified by the Sai Baba cult. 
(http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/5/dis1.htm).

Ladies I knew in the Oslo centre which I led were also depressed a lot during our time in the Sai Baba organisation due to the limitless expectations that no one could fulfil! After 11 years working on this task, I still find it worthwhile because of the feedback, but also not least because it has been a liberating and most educative experience as to human nature, not least our deeper fallibility. At the start of the exposé work I was very concerned that I might suffer – even be killed – and used a pen name for some weeks.  As I proceeded I saw through more and more of the threatening sides of Sai Baba’s words and – because I already knew three persons who had been sexually abused but had not told me before – I saw that Sai Baba and all his minions were literally extremely anxious that the huge can of worms would be opened completely if they even tried to counteract me in public. They dared not face an open legal proceeding… it would have destroyed the illusion on a major media scale. So I then pushed the boundaries, confident that they would never hit back at me (not least since I am protected in Norway, where their lies could make no progress in a court here).

With warm regards, Robert

Posted in Sathya Sai Baba | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Criticism and abuse against others

Posted by robertpriddy on February 28, 2015

abuse-of-othersIf free speech is to prevail in the world, certain supposedly ‘spiritual’ teachings must be brought into universal disrepute. Such a doctrine  was promoted by Sathya Sai Baba – at least in preaching, though not always at all in many of his discourses or interview statements. (See scan on right). If this were taken seriously we all risk becoming slaves in a society like Orwell’s 1984, where an omnipresent Big Brother enforced ‘Newspeak’, a means of controlling how people speak and by extension how they think. 

The inherent self-contradiction of the ‘teaching’ is obvious if one thinks a bit about it. The abused and the abuser, the critic and the criticised,  are not at all one and the same. Not if one rejects speculative theological claims such as ‘in transcendent reality we are all god, all divine’ (especially in Hinduism and advaita vedanta). A person who kills another does not kill himself, he survives. Unless one is taken in by the inevitable rebuttal speculative Hindus make – but he will be killed in a later life due to the law of karma – it makes no sense whatever to claim ‘all are one’, because all is all and one is one. (in vulgar terms, ‘Yeah man, everythin’ is everythin’ eh?’).

Were societies to take such a false teaching seriously and apply it across the board, they would have to abolish all systems of law which hold wrong-doers responsible for their crimes. The utter impracticability of such a nonsense is evident to anyone who has to lodge any kind of complaint against another for anything. Little wonder, therefore, that Sai Baba himself could not refrain from heaping abuse on others – mostly in general, but also by name (which he constantly did in his group interviews when it suited him, and also whether or not the object of his ill will was present or not). Little wonder, either, that his devotees, who sat through endless repetitive harangues about always not back-biting, always speaking softly and obligingly, never criticising others could never refrain  from exactly those things, as well-documented evidence proves entirely (see a selection of abuses and defamation by devotees against dissidents and critics here – less than a tenth or less of the libel and defamation we have received altogether from Sai Baba ‘spiritual aspirants’). The issue of ‘self-abuse’ is illumined further in a recent e-mail reply to verbal abuse by Sai devotee, Cass Smith

Criticism is not the same as abuse, of course, there is a fine but definitive line between these. One should never criticise others, but only examine and criticise one’s own self, was Sai Baba’s constantly repeated advice. But he had already also insisted that everyone’s self is the selfsame Atma (Spirit), so if one criticises oneself it equally criticises others. Nonetheless he set a fine example to his followers, calling people who exposed him ‘veritable demons’ and many such things when he felt like it. Many of his devotees have followed in his footsteps there!

Posted in Sathya Sai Baba | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Shivarathri 2015 at Prashanthi Nilayam

Posted by robertpriddy on February 25, 2015

The authorities at Prashanthi Nilayam called in all dependents on Sai colleges and other institutions to fill out the Kulwant Hall for Shivarthri. Gone are the days when the ashram was filled with devotees. As to foreign visitors, it is reported as follows:-

“…in spite of “physical absence” of Swami, didn’t stop the Russian devotees in Particular to shy away from Parthi as about 600 of them were camping in Puttaparthi to celebrate Mahashivarathri in the divine presence of our beloved Lord. The amazing thing about, at least 80 % of Russian devotees is that they don’t know a word in English and yet the yearning in their heart is so strong that they just want to know about Swami and His teachings more and more. You will see them always having some satsang or other in devotees’ houses to share the message of Sai. On a negative level they have also been an easy target for some ” misleading” forces who are giving an entirely different perspective of Swami and His avatar hood and diverting their attention from Prasanthi Nilayam.”

So the Russians did not understand English, and surely not Telugu or Hindi, so they had little idea of what it was all about and were easily misled by the propaganda, no doubt. But they too had heard of untoward matters (from “misleading” forces). Probably the Prashanthi multiplication factor was at work whereby 60 million becomes 600 million almost overnight? But the exotic rituals that were part of Sai Baba’s repertoire were partly replicated – abishekam of lingam and the like, all-night bhajan singing, and a recorded discourse by Sai Baba. The ashram only played audio discourses and no video, which is peculiar. Perhaps they are editing the audio discourses to cut out embarrassing points, as editing out inconvenient bits has always been the policy there. “This is an era of videos and we devotees are little surprised when you just play an audio discourse when you have lots and lots of video discourses of Swami sitting in the Radio Sai Studios.” With nothing to look at ardent devotees surely lost some of their reported “religious fervour” and probably took a few cat naps. All dull as ditch water, at least to people who have been there and learned what is behind it all in reality.

Something had to be sought out to try to show that ‘Swami’ was present, so this was suggested: “Just before the divine discourse started a Rudraksha Japamala which was adorning the Sai Eswara Lingam fell hinting the divine presence of Swami and approval and blessings for the puja done by the Ritviks.”
Someone probably ensured that the japamala was not properly fixed so a slight movement might cause it to slip?

“The ashram gates were open the whole night. Petty businesses like tea vendors, and fruit vendors were making few extra bucks this holy night. The police personnel were also seen in good numbers making sure every thing goes well in and out side the ashram.” Quotes above from an e-mail from deluded Mr. Satish Naik. Yes, the paid-up police are used as security for the officials there and seem to be necessary to clamp down on anyone who expresses any discontent or critical views. (In 1993 they executed in cold blood four devotee intruders in Sai Baba’s apartment, and with his approval!)

The major split in the Sai movement these days is evident from the competing and possibly more flamboyant Shivarathri ceremonies as Muddenahalli, the centre of the opposition to the ‘official’ Sai Baba ashram. According to a comment sent to me recently, the Narasimha Murthy channelling clique there have hung out the bait as follows:-
“A recent revelation by “Swami” is that Prema Sai has already been born and that he will reside in Muddenahalli. He will apparently be a silent avatar and barely speak.”

See me talk about ‘the numbers game’ on video
COMMENT   Chrisdokter said “Right on the money, your analysis, Robert. The silent Prema Sai-scheme is cunning, I must say. If I did not firmly believe that Sathya Sai Baba is and will remain dead forever, I would credit him for coming up with such a devious plan. If you say nothing, no one can contradict you, right? It adds to the mystery no end.”

 

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Sai Baba’s superior in showmanship and action

Posted by robertpriddy on February 21, 2015

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan

Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan

For your amusement only: Can’t resist mentioning that a new Super-God is on the block who promises to put Sathya Sai Baba and all his works in the shade. He has apparently pushed back the boundaries of ‘spirituality’ far beyond the credible or possible. His comprehensive name, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Insan (perhaps the final ‘e’ was dropped for the sake of propriety). His upadesh – or let us call it ‘divine boast’, is as follows:-

“Some call me a saint, some call me an angel, some call me guru and some call me God, If it is a sin to serve the country and the universe, then I will keep committing this sin until my last breath.” Reportedly, he adheres to no single religion and aims to teach “ultimate spirituality.”

Mr. Insan heads Dera Sacha Sauda, a social-welfare and spiritual organization that claims to have 50 million followers! That is the same imaginary number Sathya Sai Baba started out with in the 1960s when informing Dr. John Hislop of his outreach. But Insan collected these 50 mill. more quickly, not least through a You Tube video which got 1 million hits in which he gyrates amidst huge crowds which hailed him as “the rockstar saint!. .. making Sai Baba seem even more like the drugged wooden doll on wheels that he actually was in his last years.

He has made a ‘wholesome’ movie for India’s youth to watch called ‘MSG: The Messenger in which he takes on sabre-wielding villains, splinters a log with his fist and rides a monster-wheeled motorcycle in a high-speed chase, bursts through a wall of snow amid mountain peaks, runs across flaming landscapes and weaves through traffic on his tricked-out blue-and-yellow monster bike” See full report ‘It’s Not a Bird or a Plane, It’s a Holy Man’

Does not this sound more like it, surely? No more sitting looking at the wall in growing boredom (meditation on the name), action before words and chutzpah to the extreme, and with his snazzier outfit making Sathya Sai Baba look tame by comparison, not to mention his associate Asaram Bapu or the long lineage of false claimants to divinity and holiness on which they built their empires. So is Indian spirituality simply taking off, or taking a real beating?

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Sai Baba reported as a ‘holy man hoax’

Posted by robertpriddy on February 19, 2015

The author of the article on Sai Baba – Holy Man or Hoax is Gethin Chamberlain, a senior journalist who has worked for some of the leading media in the world, e.g., The Observer, The Guardian, Grazia, GQ, Look, News of the World, South China Morning Post, The Sunday Telegraph, the Scotsman ….. He sought the advice of Barry Pittard and myself to check documented facts etc. Barry Pittard wrote in March 2011 – a month before Sai Baba died as we had long predicted he soon must – that thearticle contains quite recent and strikingly revealing photos of just some of the incredible opulence with which Sai Baba surrounds himself. His madness, authoritarianism and overweening arrogance are damningly evident to a vast array of human beings, but not to those smitten by their unquestioning faith in him”

See a full scan of the article from the MarieClaire magazine here.

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Asaram Bapu’s terrorist thugs

Posted by robertpriddy on February 17, 2015

Yet again the defenders of the indefensible go on the attack, totally unscrupulous and dangerous killers who worship Asaram Bapu (and probably act on his orders) are on the loose. It just shows what Asaram Bapu stands for and underlines that a guru is to be judged by his followers!

F.IndiaFirstpost.com (F INDIA)reports: Muzaffarnagar: The family of Akhil Gupta, the slain witness in a sexual assault case against self-styled godman Asaram Bapu, is living under terror following an attack in Jodhpur on a witness in another case against Asaram, a senior police officer said today. IPS officer Amitabh Thakur who met Akhil’s family members here yesterday said the family was living under a cloud of fear and their protection had become a more pressing issue in the aftermath of the attack. Prosecution witness Rahul Sachan, one of the ‘sewadars’ of Asaram, was attacked yesterday when he was boarding the police vehicle after coming out of the court in Jodhpur.

Thakur said under these circumstances it is necesary to record the statements of the deceased’s family members, including father Naresh Gupta, mother Deepa and wife, under section 164 of CRPC before a magistrate. Thakur said Akhil’s family alleged that the associates of Asaram has been threatening them and added the culprits have not been arrested by the police yet. Meanwhile Deputy SP, New Mandi circle, Karamvir Singh today said police have provided full protection to the family, with four police guards and a mobile police van also in movement in the area. Akhil Gupta, who was a cook and personal aide to the self-styled godman, was shot dead in Muzaffarnagar on January 11. The accused in the murder are still at large. Police said that they are trying to trace the accused.

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Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning (SSSIHL)

Posted by robertpriddy on February 15, 2015

The so-called ‘Sathya Sai University’ first opened in 1981 as ‘Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Studies’  (later changed to ‘… Higher Learning’). Its policy is that its students must learn what they are taught to think and believe, certainly not to study to become independent thinkers. ‘Higher Learning’ expresses the pretension behind all Sai Baba education, namely, that it purveys ‘spiritual wisdom’ (what SB himself called Divine wisdom) prior to any ‘worldly sciences’ or humanities. It is based on Hindu values, only secondarily on genuine knowledge (which Sai Baba defined only as knowledge of God). The values, which Sai Baba insisted were divine values laid down once and for all by God, he deceptively called ‘Human Values’, in an attempt to make them more widely acceptable. Sathya Sai University has no academic standing in any statistic, and is absolutely not significant in any subjects in the sciences or humanities. Nonetheless, Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning was declared a ‘deemed’ University by Madhuri Shah, devotee and Chairperson of the University Grants Commission, on a par with the rest of India’s Centres of Higher Learning!

A couple of decades later the Indian authorities elevated that Institute into a fully accredited university, due to Sai Baba’s increased political and financial influence. It is a faith university, and is completely inconsequential as regards science and humanities. After Sai Baba’s death, the University was demoted back to the status of mere ‘deemed university’ again. Not surprising, since being of such a low educational level, many of its graduates could not think outside their mental learn-by-rote boxes – nor were they allowed to expose the many fallacious and ignorant ‘teachings’ of Sai Baba that were part of their daily fare. The famous former editor of Sai Baba’s journal, V.K. Narasimhan, told me in the mid 1990s how appalling were the rote-learning methods and standards of education there, because most who obtained Ph. D. degrees there were unable to partake intelligently in informed discussion, having no independence of thought but mostly only being able to regurgitate what they had been taught. I found this to be very much the case when I tried to engage certain students I met after their graduation.

Kartick Vaddadi, a former student at Sri Sathya Sai educational institutions, had written succinctly and frankly about his time there, providing serious food for thought to anyone considering joining Sai educational institutions which are set such draconian limitations on students’ freedom of speech, movements, and access to world culture (Internet being forbidden) as to be outright repressive of their human rights. Quite apart from that their pedagogy and intellectual standards are largely redundant.  Vaddadi sums it up:  …going to this college is not worth the cost, intellectual and emotional. Years after graduating from this college, I’m still uncomfortable with people, distrustful of groups, and in general not as happy as I would be if I went to another college.” See his full incisive presentation: Life at Sathya Sai University

On top of this comes the total non-accountability of all Sai Baba institutions. The colleges etc., do not even answer letters of these imply any sort of questioning or call for investigation! This imperious policy was brought out into the to light after the utmost scandals about innumerable sexual abuses by Sathya Sai Baba of young boys at his school and colleges, the cold-blooded execution with his complicity of four protesting devotees in 1993  and the massive and total cover-up of all of this – including protection of Sai Baba from prosecution by Indian PMs, Presidents and top members of the judiciary. With this in mind, only badly misinformed or indoctrinated parents would every send their sons to any of those Sai Baba institutions.

Sai Baba’s teachings and education in total academic isolation  Those chosen by Sathya Sai Baba for top offices in his organisation and institutions (for all the academic titles they flaunt) show themselves to be isolated from the entire world education research community and lacking in up-to-date in modern knowledge and intellectuality. Not a single one of them seems to have published a major serious work of impact on peers or the informed public in science, philosophy or other comparable serious literature, yet many are at the same time hagiographic writers about Sathya Sai Baba. Sai Baba himself is more or less unknown to – and unmentioned by – any major world thinker of high achievement. Incidentally, nor is he quoted or referred to by any important world religious leaders.

Open the comment to appreciate the glaring emptiness of a Sai Baba discourse on his students. Among the false claims and boasts, note in particular:-

Sai Baba denounced highly educated people in general: “There are many in this world who are highly educated, but are they rendering any service to the nation? No.”

He boasted that his students surpass others: “In other academic centres students are interested in pursuing higher studies for their own selfish ends, but our students are not interested in accumulating degrees, but in disseminating their knowledge for the benefit of others.

and finally: “In future, many great events are going to take place. The country need not fear. Bharat will certainly become a land of plenty and prosperity. Our students will contribute a lot to the development of the nation. They are the future leaders. It is a matter of great joy for Me to see the students as future leaders.

However, so far not one former student can be located who is a leader of any account in India! A land of plenty and prosperity? No! Alas, a land of penury and calamity, corruption and bribery, for the vast majority.

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Delhi takes a giant step back from Modi

Posted by robertpriddy on February 11, 2015

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has suffered a seismic electoral defeat in the Delhi Legislative Assembly election Delhi, something the Bharitiya Janata Party (BJP) never even suspected was possible. It was the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) led by Arvind Kejriwal secured 67 of the 70 seats. Congress won nothing and BJP the remaining three seats. This party has anti-corruption high on its agenda. Vesides, the AAP ran a clean campaign. not descending to the defamatory smears of some opponents.

It was Narendra Modi himself who eventually lead the BJP’s Delhi election campaign to crashing defeat after the party was noticing setbacks and he made the mistake of suggesting Kejriwal was an anarchist. Modi has done very little to combat the massive bribery and corruption of the political system and bureaucracy. The defeat of this Goliath by a David augurs well for down-to-earth thinking and the best worldly values and may be an expression of a incoming sea change in India. No longer had Modi the confidence that the last general election seemed to insist. Modi’s right-wing Hindu nationalism and speckled past (eg. on Ayodhya) is much documented, and he has previously publicised himself as a supporter of Indian guru cults, having worshipped Sathya Sai Baba and Asaram Bapu. This turnaround may well be instrumental in cooling Modi’s Hindu rhetoric and general support for such guru cults and the culture of cover-up and suppression of whistle-blowers that has ruined so much in modern India

modi-babaModi-AsaramBmodi-ssb

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Cosmic Sai Baba lunatic fringe mediums, channellers et al.

Posted by robertpriddy on February 7, 2015

Sathya Sai Baba once had such a reputation that his characteristic ‘miracles’ of healing, manifestation, teachings, methods and much more were copied by literally countless people. There are even many lookalikes who claimed to do what he did! Many were outright frauds out to get a following and spiritual reputation themselves, or to  make money (and obtain others benefits to abuse the vulnerable). Many others had convinced themselves that they were in special contact with Sai Baba, not least through hearing his voice dictating teachings to them and giving directions to other people through them (even though he vehemently denied the genuineness of such claims, saying he never delegated any of his powers to anyone or spoke through others). The practices of mediums have been exposed in many ways already, and, because most of these people have convinced themselves that the their voices or inexplicable ideas are genuine,  the latest neurological research helps understand how the brain achieves this within itself.

New claimants of Sai Baba contacts and powers – both unwitting misled devotees and also crafty deceivers – crop up all the time, and the Internet is just one place you will find them. Below are some links to a few about whom I have blogged here.

Meanwhile, meet Valerie Barrow from Australia, who had been ‘awakened’ by a ‘Light Being’ White Eagle. She tells how she came to her first interview in 1993… it is classic deception (he called her from the lines and then in the interview asked her ‘What is your name, Val?’. (Accommodation office always provided such data to Sai Baba early every morning!).  He ‘materialised a green ring’ (as he also did for me Christmas 1986 – it was a synthetic sapphire worth about $10.- at the time, but set in an 18 carat gold ring.) He also told her she would see him in it, as he told many who got such false ‘green diamond’ rings. In fact, anyone could see his silhouette in mine if  from the exact correct angle and lighting. The rings are designed that way with green silver foil paper carefully adjusted behind the stone, increasing the brilliance. Because I went there trustingly, and she went devotedly, he conned me and he conned her in just the same way!  This is where she tells her ‘story’ http://cosmicsaibaba.com/how-valerie-barrow-met-sai-baba/ She was ‘stunned and speechless’ when Sai Baba told her that her husband is a banker. (Like nearly all visitors to the ashrams she had no idea that Sai Baba always had many snoopers who overhear conversations and report back to the offices, while such information was by then very easy to obtain from the web in advance by SB’s workers, with her name and passport details are all registered on arrival. Sai Baba ‘loved’ bankers and rich people because of the big donations they would make, so they and their wives got ashram priviliges!

Since then ‘Val’ has qualified fully for the Sai lunatic fringe with two books (‘The Book of Love by a Medium’ & ‘Alcheringa, When the First Ancestors were Created’) and by promoting herself on-line as a medium of the Cosmic Sai Baba! She claims to get discourses from the Cosmic Sai Baba explaining the 4th dimension and much else worn-out make-believe (deranged persons met at Prashanthi Nilayam would go around telling anyone who would listen of such things, how Sai Baba was promising that the whole world would soon change suddenly and break into a new universal consciousness etc. Rita Bruce, a VIP author also claimed such things – Sai Baba did actually make similar claims too). The practices of mediums have been exposed in many ways already, and, because most of these people have convinced themselves that the their voices or inexplicable ideas are genuine,  the latest neurological research helps understand how the brain achieves this within itself.

Another claimant, Kiara Winder, went on YouTube: Sri Sathya Sai Baba –  25 April 2011  According to this channeller, Sai Baba tells that he could have stayed in his body… and the old Sai Baba self-contradictions picked over all over again by a self-promoting medium. His goofy smile (seen on the YouTube video) is particularly off-putting, as is the accompanying flute music (well, the talk itself badly needed some backing, but not by music but by facts!).

SAI BABA DENIED HE SPOKE THROUGH MEDIUMS ETC.

SAI BABA DENIED HE SPOKE THROUGH MEDIUMS ETC. click on image for source page

Here are but a few cases out of literally hundreds more to illustrate this ‘spiritual frenzy':-

Narasimha Murthy’s imprudent interview & consequences (close follower from youth thinks Sai Baba instructs him from the beyond)
Sathya Sai Baba ‘channellers’ and mediums
Inner voice, inner messages from Sai Baba
Sai Ma – women channellers contended for the title ‘Sai Mother’
Sathya Sai Baba’s broad lunatic fringe
Sai Baba lookalikes and imitators: The Guru Gallery

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India’s huge gender disparities & female infanticide etc.

Posted by robertpriddy on February 4, 2015

CLICK IMAGE TO SEE SOURCE

CLICK IMAGE TO SEE SOURCE

In the years before his death, Sathya Sai Baba held a discourse in which he said that the number of males in India was greater than females. This also happens, he said, when war upset the balance.  Yet he added that in time the unbalance levelled off, and that was the work of God.  What he did not mention was that in India it was not – as in war – the male population which decreased, but the female. There was, however, evidently nothing whatever he could (as self-proclaimed God Almighty) to reduce the decrease in females in India. In 2012, India had seven million fewer girls than boys under the age of six!  This year the decrease in relation to males has continued to grow. This causes huge problems for young men who want to start a relationship with a view to marriage. The vast majority of Indians have no hope whatever of leaving the mainland and finding Indian females abroad.

 Amartya Sen has highlighted the need to consider the socio-cultural influences that promote gender inequalities In India, cultural influences favour the preference for sons for reasons related to kinship, lineage, inheritance, identity, status, and economic security. This preference cuts across class and caste lines, and it discriminates against girls. In extreme cases, the discrimination takes the form of ‘honour killings’ where families kill daughters or daughter in laws who fail to conform to gender expectations about marriage and sexuality. (i.e. really dishonourable killings) When a woman does not conform to expected gender norms she is shamed and humiliated because it impacts both her and her family’s honor, and perhaps her ability to marry. The causes of gender inequalities are complex, but a number of cultural factors in India can explain how son preference, a key driver of daughter neglect, is so prevalent. (See also Sathya Sai Baba family tree – and female infanticide?)

World Economic Forum (WEF) publishes a Global Gender Gap Index score for each nation every year. The index focuses not on empowerment of women, but on the relative gap between men and women in four fundamental categories – economic participation, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment.  In 2011, the WEF ranked India at 113 on the Gender Gap Index (GGI) among 135 countries polled… and below several sub-Saharan African countries.

According to The Lancet, “researchers found wealthier women with higher levels of education were more likely to abort girls because they could afford to pay for gender tests and abortions. Their report has exposed a 1996 law which banned gender screening tests in an attempt to reduce female feticides as a failure. Women in India are often placed under great pressure from their husbands and in-laws to deliver boys because girls are seen as a financial burden. They fear high dowries demanded by families of potential grooms and the pressure to pay for increasingly ostentatious weddings. (By Dean Nelson, New Delhi 24 May 2011)”.
See also Women, Sathya Sai Baba and male chauvinism

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Hong Kong resident on Sai Baba’s message and actions

Posted by robertpriddy on February 1, 2015

Lest one forget the infamous police executions in Sai Baba’s ‘holy’ temple apartment in June 1993, here is one reaction by a decent citizen.

Gordon LordHong Kong, signed the petition on January 31. 2008. (not a follower as such, but involved) 1991 – 2007.

I was initially attracted to Sathya Sai Baba because of the universal appeal of his message. And frankly, given that India is a socially divided / fragmented country with several social classes, castes and other ridiculous divisions, SSB’s message and teachings of “All Are One”, “Universal Language Of The Heart”, “Education In Human Values” etc. seemed very appealing to me during my University years. However, since 1995 I started hearing about allegations of sexual abuse at the ashram, rampant corruption among the rank and file of office-bearers in the International Sathya Sai Organization, lack of financial transparency such as no published financial statements etc. Fortunately, I was never inflicted by the disease of blind-belief, unlike most people I know, including my own parents, friends and relatives. (Ask any serious seeker of the meaning of life and he or she will most likely tell you that “awareness” matters more than “belief”. But most SSB followers I’ve met in my lifetime don’t care about awareness or self-understanding. They are only interested in using the crutches of “belief” all the way to their grave!)

Over the years, the allegations kept increasing and I also happened to personally meet some past students of the Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. I heard about cases of sexual abuse from the students too! And then finally, the shooting incident was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Four young boys, at the prime of their lives were gunned down (a.k.a murdered in cold blood) by the police personnel that had stormed into the ashram. The local police filed a fraudulent report indicating that the cops had fired in self-defense when the 4 boys charged towards them with knives in hand. A federal investigation team proved these claims were false and charged the policemen with murder. Ask any experienced cop and he or she will tell you that the police training manual does not recommend shooting-to-kill as a response especially when the weapons of the attackers are simple tools such as knives or screwdrivers. Single shots to the leg or the thigh would have immediately incapacitated the attackers, thereby enabling their arrest and prosecution. However, the fact that the police chose to “execute” the 4 boys rather than arrest them and produce them in a court of law, is a clear indication that they wanted to silence them forever, as dead men tell no tales!Any decent and civilized human being who ponders over all these events that happened in Prashanti Nilayam would be utterly disgusted at the glaring discrepancy between what the ashram is claimed to be and what the ashram actually is! The word “Prashanti Nilayam” is meant to indicate an abode of eternal peace, but in reality it is the abode of “death” and disgusting brutality. To this day, there has not been any proper investigation into the murder of the 4 young boys by the police and the perpetrators of this heinous crime are roaming free! And all this is happening in the “abode of peace”.

Honestly, it does not matter what SSB is or what he isn’t. The real misfortune is that many educated people, government officers, scientists, engineers, professors, politicians, bureaucrats, leaders, presidents and prime ministers still throng to this place, even after these cold-blooded murders and disgusting events. Truly, all these “followers” are spiritually, psychologically and intellectualy “dead”! Therefore, it is beyond doubt that none of these mindless “followers” (a.k.a dead people) can help bring about a more peaceful or less chaotic world, regardless of their academic or social or technological capabilities and achievements.

Note: No longer does anyone of note (apart from a few long-compromised Indian politicians)  throng to that place! It is in decline, which – though such scams always live on forever in some shape or form due to the religiously-deluded masses in India – will not change, since the bogus claim that SSB will be reborn as Prema Sai is just another piece of age-old Indian spiritual fantasy.

We now know – including from an eye-witness of the events that night – that the police executions and subsequent events was presided over by Sathya Sai Baba himself. There was a total cover-up after the ashram authorities and the Puttaparthi police had spread countless rumours and caused utter confusion to reign. The Indian government in power laid a total smoke screen over the entire matter and secretly interfered in and finally quashed the CBI investigation they had been forced to start. All successive Indian governments to this day have failed to lift the lid on this despicable set-up.

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Guru Osho and kundalini-raising by sheer craziness – video

Posted by robertpriddy on January 30, 2015

Rajneesh-madness
A website has posted a video showing how the devotees of the (since deceased) guru Osho (Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh), were trained to ‘raise the kundalini’ through continuous utterly crazed body shaking, screaming and jumping. To actually see them doing it is a real eye-opener. One brain-washed woman shows great confusion ‘getting oneself out of your head and into your body and just breathe’, then ‘screaming and throwing a tantrum’, then jumping up and down . 1/2 hour, then silence. Result: hard to remember what happened’, ‘you’re hardly there at all’, ‘closest thing to mindlessness’, ‘you become one with this whole energy’, at last, peace (‘mind actually stops’). This sounds like what the Marines do in training… but go tell them that it raises the kundalini. Many Oshos need psychiatric help not long afterwards, some spend the rest of their days in institutions.

The video film exposes the mind-control techniques of Osho’s organization, which would hire psychotherapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychology majors to break down devotees in marathon group indoctrination sessions leveraging sexual, physical, and psychological assault. Sex was used as a tool to undermine existing relationships, and thus leaving the group as a whole as their only connection, ‘to make his disciples psychically dependent on him.’  As the website states, Devotees were manipulated into giving away all property and possessions, work 7 days a week for no pay, and to let go of their family units in favor of ascending in the organizational hierarchy. To see the rare footage, click here

Similar techniques were and still are used by diverse other Indian gurus, as described, for example, by Mary Garden here

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Barry Pittard’s ashram experience

Posted by robertpriddy on January 28, 2015

The remarkable dissident and critic of Sai Baba, the former long-serving Barry Pittard, has written about how – after years of service there, and teaching English at the Brindavan College for Boys, he was exiled from the Sai Baba ashram many years ago, and the account is instructive of the whole mentality reigning at Sai Baba ashrams, past and present… and almost certainly in future too. One can see here the envy of foreigners who had found their guru-god and been accepted by him, and who received many interviews and prominence from Sai Baba, that was very widespread among the lower officials as the ashrams, and some of the VIP Indian ashram officials too. Even Western VIPs and busybodies were far from free of petty jealousy and helpfulness to others. This came to expression in various ways, petty harassments by office staff to to show their petty power, by the so-called Indian ‘voluntary service workers’ (Seva Dals) who gave what privileged they could to other Indians (even accepted bribes) and in other typical Indian chauvinistic traits. There was a hierarchy of snoopers who spied on foreign visitors to learn what they could of their their status in the organisation and their national groups, and above all what they could be overheard to say about Sai Baba, the ashram and its staff, and anything relevant to their concerns that could be reported to higher-ups in an effort to earn ‘brownie points’ for themselves. This was also practiced by most of the Sathya Sai Organisation VIPs (among whom, being the national leader in Norway, had to mix but whose selfish behaviour I would not copy). Here is his own story of how he was treated:-

There have been many stories of devotees being rejected or “cast out” from the ashram by Sai Baba and the Sai Organization. I have my own story which happened back in July 1982. Day after day, I was called up to the ashram office and confronted with the most ridiculous accusations – pathetic beyond imagining. The ashram manager was then (as many long-stay ashramites knew all too well) an awful fellow, an ex-judge of Andhra Pradesh, named Kutumb Rao.

Years later, I found through a beloved “Sai Sister” that I was supposed to be “on” with a western holy woman. No one who knows this magnificently courageous person, Om, would give the slightest credence to such arrant nonsense. I think a great many “Sai brothers” and certainly by my non-involvement with them, “Sai sisters,” will know of my great commitment to strict brahmacharya when I lived around ssb and taught at his Whitefield college. At least this ridiculous accusation was not voiced at that time.

However, it was charged that I was raising funds for the Sai Organization. In fact when back home in Australia for a brief time, I had told groups how non-fundraising was the very essence of the way ssb worked!

On another day, I was called up to the office, and Kutumb Rao reported that it had been said that I was giving discourses on ssb around the ashram. Anyone would have known the palpable untruth of such an assertion.

On another day, I was called up to the office, and Kutumb Rao reported that it had been said that I was giving discourses on ssb around the ashram. Anyone would have known the palpable untruth of such an assertion. And then within another day or two, Kutumb Rao called me up to the office yet again. Horror of horrors, came the charge that I had been seen talking to a woman!!!!!! As a matter of fact, I made a rare exception to listen to an Australian woman who was in a very upset state, as she had heard stories that ssb was a homosexual.

As she spoke, I noticed Kutumb Rao’s secretary watching me as he hurried past. Within a couple of hours or so, the same fellow came to my room and said I was to see Kutumb Rao immediately. Soon after the Australian woman had raised the allegations of ssb’s homosexuality, I thought it best to seek out the two most senior western devotees I knew to be present at the Puttaparthi ashram at the time: Howard Murphet and Richard Bayer.

Howard listened with the greatest courtesy, which I have always found to be typical of the man. However, Richard Bayer responded with a nasty rudeness.

Within almost no time at all, I was called up to the office. It was about 7 p.m. Kutumb Rao told me, “Baba has instructed me to send you out. You are never to return, either to Puttaparthi or to Whitefield!” He made me leave that very night, and I had to sleep on a flagstone seat in the Puttaparthi bus shelter, prey to God knows what dangers for a westerner.

Like so many others, I assumed that God (ssb) was putting me through difficulties meant to strengthen my resolve, and to “spin me through my bad karma’s.”

In the last 40 years or so, how many other devotees have accepted abuse and difficulties at the hands of sai baba in the name of “working off karma?” I know of many similar stories myself, and I can only imagine what the total number might be.

Barry Pittard, Australia – 2001

For full overview of postings about Prashanthi Nilayam, see here

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Religious satire PK is India’s most successful film

Posted by robertpriddy on January 22, 2015

PK was India’s most successful film to date, quite a huge achievement! It is only in Hindi (so far). The Guardian writes about it in glowing terms:-

“Aamir Khan has the global touch. His satire on world religion, PK – in 16th place on this week’s chart – breaches the $90m mark worldwide this week and in doing so becomes the highest grossing Bollywood film ever. It’s the fourth time he has claimed that record, after the Memento-inspired thriller Ghajini ($30m, 2008), college drama 3 Idiots ($62m, 2009) and action extravaganza Dhoom 3 ($85m, 2013). He has a quirkiness and innocence on screen that sets him apart from cookie-cutter Bollywood glam gods – things on show in PK, in which his Mr Bean-like alien gets to grips with the absurdities of organised religion on planet Earth. Khan’s star vehicles seem more substantial and reflective than the bulk of the Indian mainstream ‘3 Idiots’, in which he played a similar kind of holy fool, and was a plea for better educational standards. Perhaps this gives them greater resonance with a diaspora inclined to getting impatient with the old masala clichés.

The PK phenomenon has strong foundations in India, where it has also become the most successful local film ever (currently on $48m, passing Dhoom 3’s $41m). Not only does it delve headfirst into the syncretic melee of different faiths in that country, it takes direct aim at “godmen”, the guru figures who proliferate there. PK actually had a relatively slow start on home turf – well under Happy New Year’s record-breaking opening in October – but the film’s quality and the controversy generated by the subject matter has seen it make up the gap in no time. Despite protests by some Hindu groups, the film isn’t that provocative, though; more of a playful shove in the direction of greater tolerance and a more questioning attitude to institutionalised religion. So there’s definitely scope for the film to appeal to spiritually concerned non-Indians, too – in China for starters, where 3 Idiots and Dhoom 3 both built a following for Khan. No word of a release there yet.”    See Aamir Khan’s religious satire PK becomes India’s most successful film

By stark contrast both in quality and popularity, what must be very near to being India’s least successful film in recent years is the much heralded  ‘Satya Sai Baba’ by Atman Films with Anup Jalota as a self-satisfied Bollywood and bowdlerised version of Sathya Sai Baba’s life and message, as the trailer review (8 mins. 15 secs) makes clear to all. Videos are to be found with  ‘First Look Launch’ of the film, but it is uncertain whether this means that the complete film was actually shown! Perhaps it is only available via online black market.  In a video, Anup talks in Hindi  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LcCF0ZiGcI and apparently says “We made this film with zero percent pressure. I’ve known Baba for 50 years, I saw him, met him, went with him, I was so happy to make it with Baba’s blessings, I didn’t act, the director didn’t direct, it was all Baba; this film is like a meditation, we made a beautiful film…”

 

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Asaram Bapu & Co. again under suspicion

Posted by robertpriddy on January 21, 2015

Asaram's rape case witness shot dead!The infamous Asaram Bapu and Co.is back in the news because, once again, a key person against him has been murdered. The finger of suspicion can only point one way after all these crimes and scams, bribery attempts and sex escapades… guess which direction.

Zee News Wednesday, January 14, 2015: Muzaffarnagar: A senior Uttar Pradesh IPS officer has asked for a fair probe into the death of Akhil Gupta, a witness in the rape case against Asaram Bapu in Surat, who was shot dead on Jan 11 by two assailants in Muzaffarnagar.
A police team probing the killing of Akhil Gupta, a witness in the rape case against self-styled godman Asaram in Surat, has collected a copy of his statement recorded before a Gandhinagar court. Gupta (35) had given the statement under section 164 of CrPC against Asaram who is accused of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl at his ashram in Jodhpur (see here).
See ASARAM BAPU Full News Dossier

 

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