Sai’s ‘billion’ devotees
Posted by robertpriddy on July 3, 2007
Neeti Kamath – a female devotee of Puttaparthi has a blog where she states that Sathya Sai Baba has a billion devotees!! Neethi – aged 27 female of Puttaparthi blithely states the same figure of one billion in another blog. Did they count them? No! Did anyone else? No!
Google questions the search term ‘billion’ and asks: Did you mean “darsan only as a speck of all his million devotees” Which is a very pertinent question indeed! Is not ‘Google Himself’ among the skeptics perhaps?
Neeti Kamath also admits: “there are many who think that sai baba is a fake, what with babas present in every street in india…”
She fails to imagine how many. Perhaps she fears that the 5 1/2 billion left over would think him a fake or ignore his (and her) preposterous claims… who knows. Only God Himself can tell, eh?
Wikipedia’s page on Sathya Sai Baba states: “According to the Sathya Sai Organization, there are an estimated 1,200 Sathya Sai Baba Centers in 130 countries world-wide. The number of Sathya Sai Baba adherents is estimated sometimes as around 6 million, and followers cite “50 to 100 million”. The Sai Paradox contradictions of and surrounding Sathya Sai Baba” from the magazine “Religieuze Bewegingen in Nederland, ‘Sekten’ “Religious movements in the Netherlands, ‘Cults/Sects’ “, 1994, nr. 29. published by the Free University Amsterdam press, (1994) reports the following estimates: Beyerstein (1992:3) [skeptic]: 6 million; Riti & Theodore (1993:31): 30 million; Sluizer (1993:19): 70 million; Van Dijk (1993:30) [follower] “between 50 and 100 million.”; Adherents cites Chryssides, George. Exploring New Religions. London, U.K.: Cassells (1999) with 10 million “
At the same time, ExBaba recently received a comment (by mailform) from one of the disbelievers, which was interesting, as follows:-
Date: Thu Jun 28 08:51:27 2007
Referred By: Chakram
“I just do not understand why this site is giving such an unjustified and unnecessary importance to Sathya Sai Organization (SSO) or the claims by its members! Personally, I (more than) believe even in India less than 10% (today, may be even less than 5%) of people are so called ‘Sai devotees’. The chances these percentages increase any further are zero to none! Even though the devotees of Sathya Sai Baba claim that he is the incarnation of the previous avatar Shirdi Sai, today majority of Shirdi Sai devotees do not accept that. Indeed, there is a court case filled and pending in India by these devotees that SSO is misusing Shirdi Sai name, although the economic and political muzzle the SSO can exercise may not allow the courts to resolve on this issue! If that is the situation “worrying” that Sathya Saibaba (& SSO) “converts/transforms” all humanity to become his devotees and to accept him as the God/Avatar of the Age is laughable. I like many other Indians prefer to ignore this cultish organization long ago! “
To this we must concur about the likely numbers in India. And the rest of the world combined has far less Sai Baba followers than India, even when the Sathya Sai Organization tries by all means fair and foul to inflate the figures for membership.
However, the importance of exposing the Sathya Sai Organisation is not unjustified, since they do nothing without at the same time promoting Sathya Sai Baba himself as their teacher. They work tirelessly behind the scenes trying to induce politicians, the famous and the rich to visit him and not without considerable success. Though many good and unsuspecting followers work tirelessly for the Organisation doing good works and giving vast amounts of money (to Sathya Sai Baba himself), they have been totally misled – and consciously too. The top leadership is hand-in-glove with Sai Baba, having become irrevocably bound to him and their beliefs about him in many ways. This is a very rich, clandestine and very largely unaccountable organization which is attempting to bring off a coup de main to fulfil Sai Baba’s prophesy that one day within his lifetime he will rule the entire world! It brooks no questioning within its ranks, nor from without… it ignores all requests for investigations of serious charges against Sai Baba (who is protected at the highest levels in India) for information, even from scientific researchers who are favourable towards them (such as Prof. Tulasi Srinivas, who is trying to research for a book about Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organization).
Since 2000 when the testimonies poured in to show that Sathya Sai Baba is other than he claims in many ways, the Sathya Sai Organization has practiced a tighter and tighter control of its members. This can be seen in the way that they fail totally to engage in any open debate or discussion whatever with professional educators, religionists or scientists – let alone sceptics -and have laid down rules that forbids their members formally to cooperate with any other voluntary organisations or other religious organizations. This is the mark of a cult which is closing in on itself because there is too much to hide!