Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

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

William McKay (Bill) Aitken’s academic shortcomings

Posted by robertpriddy on January 2, 2008

William Aitken was presented as “an expert in comparative religion” in a pro-Sai Baba propaganda article in ‘The Week’ (27 November, 2005). However, since he has no papers or books within the academic discipline to his name, the claim is very hollow.  An expert would have to refer to a person fully immersed as a career in the discipline in universities or research institutes who has published monographs or at least published research articles on the subject. This he certainly has not done for, instead, he chose the path of a free-lance writer of travel books about India and ‘spirituality’ based on his experiences of the Hindu culture.Comparative religion, however, is not the discipline for promoting variants of ‘spirituality’, especially not those untestable and very doubtful claims by gurus, yet in his book on Sathya Sai Baba Aitken does just this. Brian Steel points out how Aitken gives a “passionate endorsement” of Sathya Sai Baba. For example, Aitken  uncritically accepts that Sathya is the second of three Sai Baba incarnations (highly controversial), the third of which (Prema Sai) will be Sathya’s next incarnation, for which he has nothing but the word of the claimant himself!

The book is not poorly written (stylistically) and does show knowledge of Hindu and local customs, but it wanders off topic a lot and is also very misleading and muddled. Though he does question a few of Sai Baba’s faulty claims, he avoids mention of hundreds of Sai Baba’s more excessive assertions and ignores virtually all the vital issues they raise, including the widespread evidence of fraudulence and sexual molestations. Since writing his book, Aitken’s articles since have been even more unquestioningly apologist and he attacks all the critics of Sai Baba. This kind of subjectivity – and the many other glaring shortcomings in his presentation of Sathya Sai clearly disqualified Aitken entirely as a serious researcher and marks him as a hagiographer. He has clearly been a great admirer of Sathya Sai Baba since meeting him in 1972 and visiting his ashram regularly for long periods each year. In short, Bill Aitken is far from being merely a ‘sympathetic outsider’ as he originally claimed to be, while his partner was already a devotee when he met her. His strong praise of Sathya Sai Baba also demonstrates his current deep involvement with this guru.


Aitken is reported thus:Sai Baba’s message, he reveals, can be summed up in one word: love. It is as simple as it is profound…” If it can be summed up thus, the message is hardly profound, nor – of course – is it in any way original. Think of crooners like Bing, or the Beatles or a thousand other proponents of love, not least the hippies. No, Aitken is advised to examine much more closely the phenomenon of projection in modern psychology. Any love he feels is generated by himself through his own beliefs, but not directly by the guru. Where a mostly distant and much sought after guru is concerned, feelings of ‘love’ are almost entirely generated through internalising all kinds of stories of his holiness, miraculousness and this seems confirmed when he finally sees you and takes some notice of you. This is psychological projection. What Sathya Sai Baba actually gives is invariably very little indeed (a cheap bauble at most, a ‘blessing’ which costs so little and so on) and all the rest is construed, imagined, interpreted on the basis of his indoctrination to that end… he never takes, only serves (which instead leads on to donate and serve – yet he has almost no time or thought for you). When a charismatic figure gains a following, the process of generating a sense of blessedness, love and whatever is much easier… it is overwhelmingly done at second or third remove through the group.

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