Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

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

Archive for January 7th, 2009

Is the Sathya Sai Organization not a cult?

Posted by robertpriddy on January 7, 2009

A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g., isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, the use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individual critical judgment, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of leaving it, etc. designed to advance the goals of the group’s leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families…
(West & Langone, 1986).

The above is an almost perfect description of the Sathya Sai movement. Here is also some of the systematic study done on the Sathya Sai Organization:-

1. Primary cult activities are fund raising and recruiting new members.
Sathya Sai says:
Money increases only when you spend it.” ( SSB Date:10 Feb 2000 Mass Upanayanam)
Money is meant for sacrifice.” (SSB 15 May 2000 Summer Discourses)
I call upon you to radiate the Devotion within you so that its unseen power will envelop all who come into your orbit.
You will see in due course that even the blind declare, “Swami is God”.”
Even small offerings by devotees with a pure heart can earn great rewards.
Bear all and do nothing; Hear all and say nothing; Give all and take nothing; Serve all and be nothing.”

2. Cult members are encouraged to cut off communication with family and friends. They are isolated from the outside world and any reality testing it could provide.
Sathya Sai says:
You should have control over your speech. Excessive talk will lead to untruth and unpleasantness.” ( SSB Date:10 Feb 2000 Occasion:Mass Upanayanam)
You have been given eyes not for roaming around and seeing anything and everything whatsoever.” (SSB 15 May 2000 Summer Discourses)
I insist on silence. Talk less, talk low when you must talk.” [Ref:Sathya Sai Speaks Vol III p.9]
Reduce contacts to the minimum”. [Ref:Sathya Sai Speaks Vol V p 245]
You can discover your own truth, only when you are alone with yourself and there is silence all around you“. [Ref: Sathya Sai Speaks Vol IV p.56]
Do not be led away by the scorn of others, or by the recommendations of others.” [Ref: Sathya Sai Speaks Vol IV p 366]
To successfully perform your part always remain centered upon me. Seek out your faults and others’ merits. Seeking others’ faults is dire sin. Follow the Master; Face the devil; Fight to the end; Finish the goal.

3. Cult members hand over possessions and earnings and become totally dependent on group.
Sathya Sai says:
The Gayatri Mantra teaches that you should offer everything to God“. ( SSB Date:10 Feb 2000 Occasion:Mass Upanayanam)
You will give up “individual discrimination“. [Ref:Bhagavan’s discourse at Brindavan May 24, 1992]
Man has to pay attention to three basic duties in his quest for happiness: He has to give up what he has to give up, namely material desires and pursuits.” [Ref:Voice of the Avatar – Part I, page 159]
For everything you see, hear, smell, taste or touch belongs to me.” (A letter written by Swami many years ago to students of His Institute)
Who is Bhagavan (God)? ‘Bha’ means effulgence. ‘Bha’ means the one who is in control“. (2000)
If you call yourself a devotee of Swami, act according to Swami’s expectation“. (1999)

4. The cult enforces demands by peer pressure, embarrassment, and even violence.(Note however that violence is not a common feature of the ashrams or movement around Sai Baba generally, since he preaches non-violence. However, it does occur sometimes, as in the case of executions of four devotees in 1993)
Sathya Sai says:
You should have firm faith that whatever happens is good for you“. (SSB Date:14 Jan 2000 Occasion:Sankranthi )
Swami too stops talking to you if you do not follow His teachings“. (SSB Date:14 Jan 2000 Occasion: Sankranthi ).
If you are good, I will certainly yield to your request“. (SSB Date:14 Jan 2000 Occasion:Sankranthi )
You cannot escape Me or do anything in secret.” (1999)
I am aware of the past, present, and future, of your innermost thoughts and carefully guarded secrets“. (SSB 09/10/1970)
Likewise, tell your eyes to see God instead of watching unsacred things on the Television or Video. Teach your ears to listen to the stories of the Lord instead of listening to vain gossip“. (2000)

5. The cult is the only possessor of truth—others are unsaved and hostile to truth.
Sathya Sai says:
It is a big mistake to consider yourself one of wisdom. Ignorance follows you like a shadow in all that you do”. (1999)
You have to bear in mind while repeating the Sai Name, that is when you take that Name, you must feel that it is only by His Will and Power that you are doing so, and not by your own“. January 14, 1975 (Sankranthi)
Do not allow doubt to distract you; if only you will install in the altar of your heart steady faith in My Divinity, you can win a vision of My Reality. I have come to instruct all in the essence of the Vedas, to shower on all this precious gift, to protect the Sanathana Dharma, the ancient wisdom, and preserve it. Get immersed in Sai Baba. Half-heartedness, hesitation, doubt, cynicism, listening to tales, all are of no avail. Concentrated complete faith – that alone can bring victory. Your good fortune, which will provide you this chance, is greater than that which was available for anchorites, monks, sages, saints, and even personalities embodying facets of Divine Glory. Do not allow doubt to distract you; if only you will install in the altar of your heart steady faith in My Divinity, you can win a vision of My Reality. I never utter a word that does not have significance. Swami has nothing to do with internet. Not only now, even in future also. You should not indulge in such wrong activities”. (1999)
“There is no need to go outside the Sai fold”. (2000) “Students! Have friendship with God for which you should be prepared to sacrifice everything, even your body and life”. (1999) “You have to abandon bad thoughts, bad company, bad habits and everything that is bad”. (2000) “Do not listen to any words of ill-will or disparagement of anybod

6. The cult feels above the law—the ends justify the means.
Sathya Sai says:
My will must prevail over every obstacle.” (discourse on 9/10/1970)
I do not have a time schedule to adhere to nor can any law bind me“. (Sai Vandana, 142)
For the protection of the virtuous, for the destruction of evil-doers and for establishing righteousness on a firm footing, I incarnate from age to age.” (SSB)
What I will, must take place; what I plan must succeed. I am an example, and an inspiration, whatever I do or omit to do“. (discourse on 11/10/1970)

7. The cult may be apocalyptic–others are unsaved and hostile to truth.
Sathya Sai says:
Who is Bhagavan (God)? …’Bha’ means the one who is in control“. (1999)
For, he who is righteous will be guarded from harm, by righteousness itself; he who is unrighteous will fall into disaster through the evil that he perpetrates. Everything points to the terror of conflagration coming; and my mission is to preempt the fires by reestablishing dharma. You are all singularly fortunate, therefore, do not let this opportunity slip through your hands“. (see

8. The cult is based on the teachings of an authoritarian, corrupt leader who is the sole source of what the group believes and rules for daily behavior.
Sathya Sai says:
Likewise, tell your eyes to see God instead of watching unsacred things on the Television or Video. Teach your ears to listen to the stories of the Lord instead of listening to vain gossip“. (2000)
Surrender implies that the ‘individual will’ should become one with the ‘Divine Will’s. Obey the Divine Command implicitly without questioning. That is the sign of true devotion. Whatever God does is for your good“. (SSB Date:14 Jan 2000 Occasion:Sankranthi )
There are many who observe My actions and start declaring that My nature is such and such. They are unable to gauge that sanctity, the majesty, and the eternal reality that is Me. The power of Sai is limitless; it manifests forever. All forms of power are resident in this Sai palm“. (SSB)
Each word of Mine has immense value associated with it. I will fulfil your wish only when you obey My command“. ( SSB Date:14 Jan 2000 Occasion: Sankranthi )
There exists no such person who can point any kind of blemish in Sai“. (SSB discourse on 23-11-1979)
The letters SSS stand for Sri Sathya Sai. Everything is contained in this name.” (SSB Date: 12 Apr 2000 Occasion: Sri Rama Navami)
I am Absolute Consciousness.” (SSB Date: 12 Apr 2000 Occasion: Sri Rama Navami) “Criticism is nothing but the reflection, reaction and resound of one’s own wicked qualities. The bad qualities that one sees in others are nothing but the reflection of one’s own inner feelings. So, one has no right to find fault in others. He is the worst sinner who looks for mistakes in others”. (SSB 2000) “Put all your faith in Me. I shall guide and guard you”.”

If anyone can read this and not realise what a huge con it is, then they are surely beyond reason and help. It is at once both amusing and a concern to think of all the pompous politicians in India – Prime Ministers and Presidents – who worship this megalomaniac claimant!



DETAILED ANALYSIS OF THE CULT INDICATORS AS APPLIED TO THE SATHYA SAI ORGANIZATION Point-by-point rebuttal of claims that the organization is not cultist – with documentation- of Rita Bruce’s arguments on the question

Source books:
Mindbending: Brainwashing, Cults, and Deprogramming in the ’80s (by Lowell D. Streiker, Doubleday, New York, 1984)
Encyclopedic Handbook of Cults in America (by J. Melton, Garland Publishing, New York, 1986).

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