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 August, 2009

Moreno’s deception re David Bailey Phone Conversation

Posted by robertpriddy on August 17, 2009

In another of his countless pro-Sai web pages, among those contrived to mislead [as nearly all of them against me are], the pro-Sai extremist Joe Moreno claims that ‘anti-Sai activists’ withheld the transcript of the second part of a phone conversation which David Bailey had with Thomas Wiehe of Sweden. This is entirely untrue. Both parts of the phone conversation were transcribed from the start (see here and here), and both were on-line too here and here). It seems Joe is unable to search the Internet with the ‘efficiency’ he often crows about. This is what he concocted:-

sscreenshot from Moreno's saisathyasai.com under "bailey-phone-conversation.html"

screenshot from Moreno's saisathyasai.com under "bailey-phone-conversation.html"

Obviously the phone call was recorded by Thomas Wiehe, who made the call…  who else? So no further identification was necessary. The call was made either in 1999 or 2000, but the date is immaterial.The really absurd assertion Joe makes is that it is undeniable that David Bailey prepared what he would say on the fallacious ground that the phone started ringing in his office/home. Anyone can figure that  the recording was evidently switched on by Thomas before David’s wife answered. The ring tone is what is heard when phoning to UK before the receiver is lifted. QED. But so what if David had prepared what to say. However, he is a very accomplished presenter of what he has to say, and with no eeers or ums. That he did not tell of what his students had told him for 18 months is not in the least remarkable. Such matters are extremely sensitive, and – in this case – four students were murdered in cold blood in Sai Baba’s bedroom in 1993, so Bailey had to taker all precautions to protect them. This is also one weighty reason why no student has dared to raise a court case against Sai Baba in India (which is the only nation where such a case could be taken up and also where he has the highest protection the government and judiciary can provide).

BaileysJoe talks about no ‘scintilla’ of evidence. That is because he systematically and a priori doubts each and every testimony and every fact he does not like and then he sets out to try in massive web attacks to destroy the reputation of every dissenter who speaks out about Sathya Sai Baba. However, in one thing Joe is right, the phone conversation gives massive insights into the reason for David Bailey’s disaffection – a favourite of Sai Baba who was asked to over 100 interviews

Moreno’s gross dishonesty in not admitting or removing untruths that he has posted, or apologising:
Unlike Joe Moreno, I correct mistakes I have made when they come to my attention. Though I hardly ever look into any of his depredations – they are so fanatically trite and revealingly antipathetic – I now see that he has made a big fuss over a relatively innocuous mistake I made, my having stated somewhere that David Bailey has a music website. However, I was too hasty – it was not his website, it is another David Bailey (mea culpa). Despite that I know that David is alive and well and has moved from UK to the Continent (his location is not made public because of the masses of hate mails and webs libels he suffered when he dared to speak out about what he discovered about Sarthy Sai Baba’s massive deception, having met many of those who tell of being sexually abused by Sai Baba.
See also: http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/9/David_Bailey_phone_testimony.html


Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Sathya Sai Baba hospital dental inspection – video

Posted by robertpriddy on August 16, 2009

Hardly transcen-dental medicine

SEE THE BRIEF VIDEO CLIP BY CLICKING ON IMAGE ABOVE - hardly transcen-dental medicine

Military guard at SS Hospital

Military guard at SS Hospital

Sathya Sai Baba has claimed that “all healing comes from God” and insists that the only sure and secure route to health is by leading a pure life, worshipping God, avoiding sin and a host of other fundamentalist injunctions… yet he had to get his devotees to build and endorse worldly hospitals. To see the self-designated God Creator of the Universe inspecting giant model teeth while they open and shut rather brings it all down very much to earth.

This hospital, donated with all its inventory by former Hard Rock Café owner, Isaac Tigrett, is controversial because all its criteria for admission – and admission lists – are kept secret. It is know that devotees from around the world and in India are given (mostly) free treatment there, though it is claimed that it was built to serve the poor.

Strangely, the hospital always looks almost deserted from outside – where armed military guards stand, while other health facilities in India are thronged by people seeking treatment. His hospitals are private hospitals, not open to public inspection nor any breakdown of accounts or reports on the minutes and decisions made.

See also:

The fall and fantasies of Sai Baba supporter, Isaac Tigrett

Isaac Tigrett & a fake ‘crystal skull’ Sai Baba ‘materialized’

Isaac Tigrett, Sathya Sai Baba and the crystal skull

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More ‘Sai lies’ (sathya asathya)

Posted by robertpriddy on August 15, 2009

from Sanathana Sarathi July 1995, p. 172

from Sanathana Sarathi July 1995, p. 172

Sai Baba has insisted that his weight has remained at (the ‘divine’ number of) 108 lbs (Sathya Sai Speaks Vol 28 p.186 ). He evidently forgot that he had also said something quite opposite in a discourse: “…Swami started eating rice food which students take. He lost 6 kg in weight during 20 days’ stay at Kodaikanal. In Puttaparthi, Satyajit was in the habit of taking My weight now and then. When Swami was in Puttaparthi He weighed 108 lbs. At Kodaikanal, when weight was taken, it showed a reduction by 6 kilos. Swami weighed less than 100 lbs.” (Sanathana Sarathi, June 1998, page 146.)

The Sai Baba stomach

The Sai Baba stomach

Sathya Sai Baba can be seen to have put on and lose weight at different time. Besides, body weight also changes during each day, 2 lbs beings the difference between, say, before and after drinking water and eating a light meal? Water weights 2.2lbs. per litre, and Sai Baba has also warned everyone that they should drink at least 6 glasses of water daily in the hot climate of Southern India… which is at least another kg.

In Sanathana Sarathi, Nov. 1998, he is quoted as saying in connection with fruit offerings to him at the Paduka pooja: “Do they think I am Kumbakarna? I do not even take meals, then what are the fruits for.”
But those who doubt his appetite for food and fruit should take a look at the visual proof… pictures here.

Sai Baba also told V.K. Narasimhan in 1998 that he had not had his hair cut for 20 years either! However, photos taken of Sai Baba through that period show clearly that (around 1993/4??) his hair was suddenly seen to be almost 1/3 of the volume it normally had. Then it slowly grew out again. I was present at the ashram at that time and observed this closer crop of his hair. It was so thin at one time that I could clearly see the scar on his scalp which was reportedly made by a black magician in his teenage years. So Sai Baba can tell anything he likes, whether true or not, accurate or not, and get away.with it… but only among his confirmed and fully paid-up followers!


Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Posted in Cults, Delusion, disinformation, Gurus, Sathya Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba and longevity

Posted by robertpriddy on August 14, 2009

Sai Baba's deluded translator, Anil Kumar

Sai Baba's deluded translator, Anil Kumar

Sathya Sai Baba’s translator and wilful spreader of untruth, Anil Kumar, that Prof. N. Kasturi lived for 100 year

They Lived For 100 Years

“Bhagavan was telling us the other day that those who lived here with Him lived for 100 years, every one of them. He gave an example of Professor Kasturi. When Bhagavan went to see him, He asked him to go for a health check-up. Kasturi answered, “Swami, I’m fine. Why should I go for a health check up?” Bhagavan told him just like that: “Go! Have your blood pressure checked. That’s all!” Kasturi went there and Bhagavan went to the hospital to see him, giving Kasturi instructions for the rest of the things to follow.

The caretaker of the Mandir in those days was Kutumba Rao. (Swami must have given him instructions to arrange for a cremation procession.) He asked, “Swami, why do you want me to arrange to carry a dead body?” Swami said, “No, no, no. Don’t ask. Just follow My instruction.” As Kutumba Rao was making the procession arrangements, the news came that Kasturi expired. That’s it. Kutumba Rao had not been aware of Kasturi’s impending death.Bhagavan was also telling us the other day about Kamadhani, who also lived for 100 years.”

This was on the web site http://www.internety.com/anilk2002/30_06_2002_(e).htm After my exposure of the facts it was removed from the Internet

Prof. N. Kasturi began his autobiography Loving God with the words “This time, I inhaled the Breath of God on Christmas Day, 1897.” His successor as editor of Sanathana Sarathi, V.K. Narasimhan, wrote (September 1987, p. 260) that “death came to him (Kasturi) on August 14 at noon and that he was 90.” What Narasimhan did not write, but told me, was that Kasturi complained bitterly of his terrible sufferings from throat cancer for the 6 weeks he lay on his deathbed (unvisited by Sai Baba except very near the end). That Kutumba Rao was unaware of Kasturi’s long bedridden suffering and likelihood of impending death is simply not credible!

V.K. Narasimhan, who died March 19th, 2000, did not reach the magic 100 years either. At the age of 87, having lost an eye which Sai Baba was unable or unwilling to cure, and then having lost his wife some years later, my dear old friend Narasimhan passed away on March 9th, 2000, after a lengthy period of much suffering in hospital with water on the lungs.

The extravagant untruthful claim in the above that “those who lived here with Him lived for 100 years, every one of them.” can easily be refuted. A friend of mine, Judge Damodar Rao, who had resided close to Sai Baba for decades, died long before reaching his century. Likewise, the above-mentioned Kutumb Rao, who was Sai Baba’s close servitor and Head of Prashanthi Nilayam Ashram. After being sent away for a period, Kutumb Rao returned to his post in 1989, but suffered from internal cancers. He was sent to Madras and opened up, but closed again as a hopeless case beyond surgery. He suffered much for a long period and died around 1990, many years before he reached 100 years of age.

On the basis of the above, it is also doubtful whether the engineer and servitor of Sai Baba in the 1970s, Kamadhani, lived to 100 years. On November 8th, 1997, Sai Baba referred to the death that day of a genuine centenarian, Swami Karunyananda, who had been with Sai Baba for forty years.

The Sai Baba priest who died prematurely

The Sai Baba priest who died prematurely

On the very same day another one who lived with Sai Baba for 40 years died, the pujari of the Prashanthi Nilayam mandir, Padmanabha Shastri. Padmhanabha reportedly did not get at all near to the 100-year milepost! Moreover, Sai Baba stated:

“During the last three months I had been advising Padmanabha Sastri to realise that his is a diabetic patient. ‘The wound in your leg is getting worse. Ultimately amputation may be unavoidable. You are neglecting your leg. Heed my words.’. I was repeatedly warning him, he was consuming sweet things like paayasam and laddus. Today his blood pressure rose to 400 and he had a severe heart attack. You can see what happens when Swami’s advice is ignored.”
(Sanathana Sarathi 11/1997, p. 299 & Sathya Sai Speaks Vol 30, page 231)

It is clear that Sai Baba says whatever suits his whims to try to enhance his importance. Since many people believe him to be what he claims, they take seriously all his glib standard promises to persons like, ‘Long life, healthy life, happy life’, or ‘I will heal’, ‘I will look after everything’ or whatever he says… even though many of these ‘divine promises’ simply do not hold up on inspection. The accounts of Sai Baba’s apparently all-knowing interventions and comments which are vague as to checkable information (such as Anil Kumar excels at on the above-referenced website) are not backed by any evidence from the published case notes or written declarations of known doctors, but rather seem to be amateurishly ‘doctored’ texts. One only has the enthusiastic and pre-convinced raconteur to rely on in practically all instances. It is nearly all just a case of more belief for committed believers. In any case, the critical literature is growing replete with documented examples of Sathya’s Asathya.

Sathya Sai Baba warns people about the danger of telling lies, for example:-
… indulging in falsehood is a tortuous process. One has to take a lot of trouble to cover up one lie with more lies.” (Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 21, p. 214)

Well, he should know by now as he evidently speaks from experience.



See  Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Video of Sathya Sai 1996 – important teaching

Posted by robertpriddy on August 13, 2009

CLICK ON IMAGE TO RUN SHORT VIDEO CLIP    Note India's future Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on right.

CLICK ON IMAGE TO RUN SHORT VIDEO CLIP (280kbs) November 1996 All Categories- Note India's future Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on right.

Sathya Sai Baba’s made a speech during his own 70th birthday celebrations, while future Prime Minister and devotee Manoman Singh sat and looked as if he absorbed his great universal teaching, in this instance that we should not pray to rivers for water but to rain!
How very interesting! Self-proclaimed God Incarnate prays to the river to fill up the tanks? What is all this divine confusion?

Posted in Cults, Gurus, India, Indian Government, Sathya Sai Baba | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Lingam regurgitation by street fakir – video clip

Posted by robertpriddy on August 12, 2009

Mustapha_magician

In the above very brief streaming video clip (only 312 Kb), you can view the common feat of producing lingam-type stones from the mouth by fakirs and street illusionists. This one was filmed by a German crew I watched filming in 1990 at Brindavan ashram. The German commentary stated that Mustapha, the magician, earns his money as a ‘wonderful artist’ who genuinely brings out a stone from his mouth.

The world-famous stage illusionist, Harry Houdini, performed it, having practiced by swallowing balls attached to a piece of string. Later he would and re-gurgitate them without any aids. Quite large objects can be kept in the stomach or throat for at least several hours. The regurgitation can be stimulated by massage, even by vomit-inducing pharmaceuticals. Sathya Sai Baba was seen to swallow a lot of water before he brought out his lingams (none larger than the illusionist managed).

Sai Baba has always claimed that his lingams are produced in his stomach. They are of all kinds of material, from stone to crystal to gold… which variety alone makes their production in his stomach beyond all likelihood!  The film evidence suggests that he used to regurgitate them from his throat or stomach. More recently, when he gagged for some time, he was seen to cover his mouth with a large towel and only then let it seem to emerge from his mouth.

Due to the massive testimony by many hagiographic writers, combined with film evidence which seemed genuine, I came to believe around 1984 that the lingam productions were most probably real. Doubts about it were never really quite removed, however, and since then I have looked into the matter much more closely. The BBC film ‘The Secret Swami ‘ produced the most compelling filmatic proof of fraud by Sai Baba (see clip here and here).

Sai Baba was losing his foreign followers fast, so In 2000 he produced a golden lingam without warning at Shivaratri and said that everyone who had seen it actually emerging would be ‘liberated’ (not have to be reborn ever again). This attracted all the blind believers again and for several following years brought in much larger crowds than usual at Shivarathri.  To make sure everyone saw it. he even once put it back in his mouth after it ‘came up’ the first time!

Houdini on Regurgitating Objects at Will

“A number of years ago, in London, I watched several performances of one of these chaps who swallowed a hatful of stones, nearly the size of hen’s eggs, and then jumped up and down, to make them rattle in his stomach. I could discover no fake in the performance, and I finally gave him two and six for his secret, which was simple enough. He merely took a dose of powerful physic [emetic–ed.] to clear himself of the stones, and then was ready for the next performance.

During my engagement in 1895 with Welsh Bros. Circus I became quite well acquainted with a [Japanese] of the San Kitchy Akimoto troupe and from him I learned the method of swallowing quite large objects and bringing them up at will. For practice very small potatoes are used at first, to guard against accident; and after one has mastered the art of bringing these up, the size is increased gradually till objects as large as the throat will receive can be swallowed and returned.”

Houdini, Miracle Mongers and their Methods, Coles 1980, (reprint), pp. 160-161.

“In order to produce an effect such as the production of the lingam, all that is required is the swallowing of the lingam ahead of time, and its regurgitation at the appropriate point in the ceremony. Note that the description of Sai Baba’s swallowing of water prior to the regurgitation, and the churning of the stomach muscles both correspond to the standard hatha yoga technique described by Swami Satchidananda.

The reader interested in further information which bears on this might enjoy reading the Chari article referred to above. In it Chari describes a scientifically studied street performer who makes his living doing regurgitations. He is able to swallow as many as 10 live snakes at a time, and regurgitate them in a `reptilian ball with a diameter of about 5 inches’ (Chari, op. cit., p. 168).”

 

See also: Sleight Of Hand. The Sleightness of Sathya Sai Baba (Exposing film clips)
Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘divine magnetism

Sathya Sai Baba: lingam photos-liberation from rebirth

The magnet of Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘lingam’ miracles

Posted in Gurus, Manifestations, Miracles, Propaganda | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

UK Sathya Sai Organization’s New Age leadership

Posted by robertpriddy on August 11, 2009

One has to wonder why this organization has chosen as its leader a person who exhibits all the signs of an unbridled New Age spirituality, Reverend Rosemary Perry? Probably, having a ‘reverend’ – ordained as an Interfaith Minister –  is seen to help this embattled cult’s credibility as not being overwhelmingly a Hindu-oriented religious sect. However, though one of the central themes of Sathya Sai Baba is that his ‘teaching’ is universal and fits all religions, no mainstream religious bodies or sects have ever sponsored him, nor is his Organization allowed to enter into any joint projects with other religious organizations. However, by the selection to the top leadership position in the UK Organization, their image as adherents of genuinely lunatic fringe thinking is reinforced considerably. This is not actually uncommon among Sathya Sai Baba adherents (see links at bottom of page).

Rosemary Perry makes known her qualifications as a practitioner of numerous of  the most wholly unscientific and fanciful ‘therapies’ and delusional ‘theories’.

She writes on her page with personal details (see here) that she became: “an Analytical Hypnotherapist – my first client was myself! I later trained as a Homoeopath using Radiesthesia (dowsing for crucial ‘Miasms’ on a long black calibrated box). I developed a passion for seeking out ‘Earth Energy Lines’ and ‘Sacred Power Points’ in these enigmatic British Isles”

Comment: Homeopathy is uncertain enough and wholly unproven as effective in any way by any reliable research project, despite what patients think, but dowsing in combination with it is plain irrational self-deception.

“By becoming ordained as an Interfaith Minister I further healed layers of subtle separation between me and my innate, inherent, divinity. In the 1990s I was Co-ordinator for ‘Fountain International’ a worldwide community and global healing network that uses visualisation and meditation to put love and light into focal points round the world.”

Comment: ‘Innate and inherent divinity’ is of course New Age and Sathya Sai Baba propaganda, all pious immaterialism and theological fantasy speculation, After testing this concept through years of spiritual discipline (sadhana) – and then subjecting it to deep philosophical analysis – it is seen as a wholly implausible wishful thinking, based upon unprovable, illogical and irrational master assumptions like “Everything is God” See here.

I have become quite oriented towards Past Life investigation as a therapeutic tool over the last 10 years and have been surprised at the accuracy of enquiries made via Psychometry (holding someone’s watch or jewellery to ‘read’ the vibrations in it). This method has yielded the most authentic findings and often leads to clairvoyant advice on how to utilise a particular skill developed in a past life that is actually needed for reactivation in life now. My personal astrology entirely supports this sort of career.“[[Note: she is twice divorced, but now “married to a wonderful soulmate of many past life liaisons!]] “I used to think I was a ‘Jack of all trades, master of none’, but I now love the richness and diversity of my pursuits.

Comment: Master of no trades clearly fits the bill very well… because she evidently has no proper professional qualifications of any kind… not even recognised diplomas for most of the alternative medicine she professes:-

I now have a vast array of mixed skills such as therapeutic Past Life exploration, Homoeopathy, Hypnotherapy, official ‘Cutting the Ties That Bind’ facilitator, Clairvoyant Intuitive advice and, now, as an Interfaith Minister: Spiritual Counselling and the writing of tailor-made ceremonies for significant rites of passage (such as funerals/weddings/baby namings etc).”

All this is touchy-feely blather, especially the Phyllis Krystal pseudo-therapy, which reminds of self-hypnosis and self-indoctrination on a Polyanna assumption. Clairvoyant intuitive advice… it gets more and more hare-brained. Perry continues with an absurd prediction:

“The spiritualisation of Politics is possibly the most important undertaking for the early part of the 21st Century. It will happen, soon. It relies on the acknowledgement that we are all connected through consciousness. It will occur through several ways:
– By changing the approach of the National Health Service to early subtle diagnosis of symptoms through existing Complementary Medicine techniques (such as Ayurveda). By changing future generations (VITAL): Implementing values-based education (such as SSEHV or Brahma Kumaris Values educational systems) for both children and parents.

Comment:  Neither extreme spiritual escapists nor the lunatic fringe have ever yet managed to get a seat in any British constituency. No wonder that she failed twice as a Parliamentary Candidate for the Natural Law Party! Her absurd belief that the National Health Service will spiritualise British politics is a real howler. If her types would be allowed a free rein in it, there would be a gigantic public outcry… as there is already much well-founded criticism of the relatively very small current support for some peripheral pseudo-medicine on prescription. Much Ayurvedic medicine today still includes drinking of ones own urine every morning as a medicine! As Professor Dawkins has pointed out about it, that it is very old is absolutely no guarantee that it can hold water (sic!). See RichardDawkins.net Forum • View topic – Debunking Yoga & Ayurveda!!

I can confidently predict that – misguided as she is – she will never gain a seat in Parliament unless she becomes a far more sober and rational person. “We are all connected through consciousness” has no practical application, no more than we are all connected through air, or water or whatever. This is close to the ultimate in vague imaginings. So President Obama, Bill Gates, Osama bin laden, Sai Baba – and not forgetting Rosemary Perry – are connected through consciousness…. so what, they are all at odds with one another in most fundamental ways.

Why Rosemary Perry flaunts her self-appreciation web page is a wonder… it almost cries out for sensible comment. Moreover, anyone who uncritically supports Sathya Sai Baba, – so widely accused of sexual abuse of young men and children, and who was involved in murder cover-up –  without investigating the facts of the matter should be looked on with great suspicion. Parents who may consider sending their children to the kind of value education she promotes – also a religiously fundamental and ideologically-rigid system are hereby warned. One wonders whether Rosemary Perry has ever heard of ‘duty of care’ and ethical and moral mandatory reporting obligations?

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Good works cannot excuse bad deeds

Posted by robertpriddy on August 10, 2009

Though Sathya Sai Baba says many acceptable things which first attracted me to his movement, he made increasingly many bizarre and false claims and gave false promises and failed prophecies. I discovered him in  fraud…  claiming a large gemstone ring he gave me was better than a diamond, when it turned out to be a cheap synthetic sapphire (maybe only worth about $10 in India at the time!) See full account here http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/7/Sathya_Sai_Baba_green_diamond_proven_a_fake.htm

Reading Room dedicated to Prof. N. Kastuir bny Sathya Sai Baba, built late 1980s, demolished before 1996 to give room to massive, costly 5-star VIP building, virtually unused!

The Prashanthi meditation tree and Reading Room (r.h.) dedicated to Prof. N. Kasturi by Sathya Sai Baba, built late 1980s, demolished before 1996 to give room to massive, costly 5-star VIP building, virtually unused!

True, the billions of dollars Sai Baba has been donated for good works have led to a considerable number of social improvements. Yet the good side of the coin has a hidden counterpart, for there are many unaccounted millions taken by embezzlers in his institutions as Isaac Tigrett knows well (see http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/9/David_Bailey_phone_testimony.html#tigrettas Isaac) and major bribery for cover-up of murders by Sai Baba is alleged by a most prominent CID officer, V.J. Ram. Millions of dollars have also been virtually thrown away on projects of a highly doubtful nature: museums mainly to promote Sai Baba’s name and supposed Divine Glory, See http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/13/Sai _Deception_on_donors.html#opu) a full-sized cricket arena for top matches used only once, an international standard tennis stadium which does not fulfil its purpose at all, a large airport which has hardly had nore than a couple of planes a week on average… and so on. He has also been tearing down costly and perfectly usable quite new buildings (eg. the Ramesh Hall at Brindavan, the Kasturi Reading Room at Prashanthi and so on) to erect others in their place when his funds increased.

Some of the ‘bad deeds’ uncovered by the independent investigator  – the famous Indian  CID sleuth J.V. Ram – are given in an excerpt here:-

Excerpt from 'The Godmen of India', 2005.

Excerpt from 'The Godmen of India', 2005.

See also:-

Sai Baba’s tennis stadium another white elephant?

Sathya Sai Airport “white elephant” for sale!

Posted in Cults, Gurus, Sathya Sai Baba | Leave a Comment »

Light on Sathya Sai Baba mythology origins + video

Posted by robertpriddy on August 9, 2009

Excerpt from Arnold Schulman's book on Sathya Sai Baba

Excerpt from Arnold Schulman’s book on Sathya Sai Baba

Arnold Schulman was one of the early writers about Sathya Sai Baba. The book  Baba was published by Viking Press, New York and was properly edited. Though he was no doubt perplexed by Sathya Sai Baba’s claims, and was inclined to give a favourable account, he was not devoid of a certain measure of investigative spirit and critical thinking, After 6 weeks of research at the ashrams and interviews with Satya Sai, he concluded “there was nothing the writer could think of that would allow him to accept the idea that this person with the Afro hairdo and the orange dress could actually, literally, be God.” The opposite scan of a page from his book shows some of his grounds for scepticism.

There are many grounds for thinking that the story of Sathya Sai Baba’s childhood and youth as  authenticated by Sai Baba in the ‘official biography’ Prof. N. Kasturi wrote were largely concocted. Schulman gives one small example here. Other examples which show clearly that the actual historical terrain does not agree with the ‘official map’ is found in a hagiography by a very devoted but somewhat frank follower who knew him well as a teenager. .. Smt. Vijaya Kumari (‘Vijayamma’). Further, his role in a family entertainment troupe performing magic tricks, song, dance and other attractions for the unsophisticated village audiences – clearly a matter of an extremely poverty-stricken family earning their bread – indicated where he learned sleight of hand and other prestidigitation. Such performances can be seen on many a street in Southern India even today. See simulation of Sai Baba’s stage act:  Short VIDEO CLIP (only 420Kb) B. Premanand tells of Sathya Sai Baba and his family in his early years)

That Kasturi interpreted all that as a spiritual undertaking and transformed the story – with the eager help of those who no doubt saw an advantage in playing up what they had witnessed (or naively believed) – is highly likely… his writings is so excessively eulogistic and exaggerated that one cannot but suspect him of a great deal of ‘poetic license’.

See also ‘Baba’ – an embarrassment for the Sathya Sai Organization?

How the Sathya Sai mythology emerged beyond India

Sathya Sai Baba’s early years

See also Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and his Worldwide Organization
(Spanish version PETICIÓNPÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES

Posted in Cults, Gurus, Miracles, Propaganda, Sathya Sai Baba | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Creative thinking and living

Posted by robertpriddy on August 8, 2009

It is held by some that a persons’ minds and attitudes reflect the environment in which they are brought up and live. That is no doubt true of many who have not yet developed due to lack of education (or mal-education) and the means to enlighten themselves through travel or experience, and of those who remain in a narrow social setting (such as a sect or cult). However, as soon as a person has some wider life and reaches a certain level of maturity, the mind-set will have developed in at least some unique ways, to whatever degree and whether for better or worse. A mind that largely reflects its social surroundings like some kind of mirror – a conventional, passive receptor of what others think or do – is still under the sway of the herd. People who join religious sects and cults can often relinquish their own understanding in favour of faith in some other-worldly belief system that taught by a guru. They risk the complete surrender of their minds and lives to their guru. Take as a telling example, what is required by the ‘teaching’ of Sathya Sai Baba as analysed in many of the previous blogs on this site. This limits their creativity greatly, as is seen in their parrot-like writings and speeches where no new ideas or anything outside the scope of Sai Baba’s endorsed ideas occurs.

Lack of creativity is associated with narrow, unimaginative thinking and hence with provincialism, both literal and figurative, whereas ‘travel broadens the mind’. The person who has changed environments, lived in at least two different societies (or within it in different social classes and sub-cultures) has looked over the proverbial fence. This helps develop less one-sided attitudes and leads to more nuanced and inclusive thinking than that of those who stick at home. In former times, the practice of making pilgrimages was a wise expedient against local and national chauvinism, helping a person’s horizons to expand. This is almost a prerequisite of creativity nowadays… to have a sense of the multicultural world. Of course, to travel in itself is no solution, for the gaping tourist can be its end product. Yet even to gape can be better than being a know-all whose mind is made up in advance.

Any healthy person’s mind is a self-adjusting system that naturally develops more complexity. This is the key to personal development and a prerequisite of individual autonomy. It gradually rejects wrong information and discredits incorrect ideas through two processes. Ideas about the world or universe we live in are adjusted according to experiences or ‘feedback from the environment’. Ideas about the cosmos that we are partakers in, which thus obviously includes ideas about ourselves, are corrected according to reflection and intuition… in short, the mind feeding upon the ‘inner source’ of its own inspiration. In both cases, the progressive rejection of false ideas is a prerequisite of ‘creative’ thinking. Often the major creative step takes place with the removal of untrue ideas in the form of false impressions, wrong judgments, misinterpretations – which have entered the mind through a poor environment, unquestioning traditional acceptance, incorrect training, wrong education and so forth.

The combination of these two processes of outward and inward observation respectively to develop knowledge and insight produces the development of the intelligence and the growth of understanding. The one does not work well for growth without the other. Too much inward observation (reflection, meditation creative fantasy) makes one vulnerable to ideas, ideologies and systems of thought or religion which are over-speculative and unreliable for life guidance unless constantly informed – and preferably overshadowed – by investigation of the basis of one’s ideas in the real world. This combination results in more realistic and hence lasting creativity.

See further on this general theme Self-awareness in psychological understanding

and Origin and Nature of the Human Mind

and The Human Faculty of Understanding

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Fleeting name, fame and Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on August 6, 2009

History is replete with self-proclaimed God Emperors, Divine Avatars, World Saviours, reborn Christs… right up to the present day. Millions still believe that this or that person is wholly and fully God. The various Indian modern avatars or divine saviours include Ramakrishna, Meher Baba and any number of other claimants, each having one or another degree of failure, whether rapidly or less so. In India there are always a surprising number of persons claiming to be avatars… still today. Amusingly, even in the UK there is a bizarre and clearly bogus dancing woman avatar who claims to be the female or shakthi aspect of Sathya Sai Baba.  [i.e. Srimad Sai Rajarajeshwari – even though  Sathya Sai Baba claims firmly to be BOTH the shakthi and shiva aspects in one body! This is hilarious]

Countless millions of people have, through the ages, grovelled and kow-towed to personages they imagined to be either God in person, or the highest representative of Divinity. One small example, little known nowadays: the Mahdi in Sudan whose followers – imagining themselves invulnerable to Maxim guns – were mown down by the British at Omduran.

Any number of ‘Divinities’ – whether God-Kings, Pharaohs, Caesars and so on, have come and gone. Claimants to Divinity with multi-million followings are dispersed into the mists of time and almost forgotten but to historians.

Though Sathya Sai Baba is visibly chronically crippled, the further state of his health is a closely-guarded secret…  the consequences of openness would for many followers probably be further to doubt his claims of perfect health as a concomitant of his alleged divinity. The social environment built up around him and his ashrams and dependent on the flow of donations would be affected yet further.

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Sai Baba – omnipotent as claimed?

Posted by robertpriddy on August 5, 2009

There are two approaches to the question ‘Does Sathya Sai Baba exercise his will over all major events in the ashram, or are there persons who can do things over which he is powerless?’ The first part of this alternative question seems to be answered yes by most residents, especially the less educated ones. Most ashram officials speak as if Sathya Sai Baba was in total control through his directives and interventions. Prof. N. Kasturi expressed this view in many of his writings.

Applied to the murders scenario, Sathya Sai Baba makes himself thereby fully responsible for the events that took place within his jurisdiction as ‘Divine Director’ and absolute King-God ruler of the ashram. V.K. Narasimhan was in no doubt, however, that Baba is powerless to control events, even those within the ashram, even within his own apartments.  One example illustrates Sathya Sai Baba ‘s ‘impotence’: before the 70th birthday celebrations, Narasimhan had suggested to him that inviting the Indian President to them was unnecessary and only caused major problems with the Black Berets security arrangements that made devotees suffer huge, life-threatening crushes and endless delays. Sathya Sai Baba had replied that he could do nothing, for the President himself decided to visit. Also, he (Baba) had said to his close servant and editor of his journal, V.K. Narasimhan, that “one thing I cannot do is to make a person choose to do good.” That is part of the reason why Narasimhan did not reject or leave Sai Baba when the executions of the four intruding devotees were organised by his younger brother for it seemed to him that Baba could not even influence his own relative! This viewpoint could absolve him from responsibility as accomplice to the murders, being unable to control the actions of those ashram and Sathya Sai Central Trust members, as well as his younger brother Janaki Ramiah, in blackmailing the police into shooting in cold blood, one by one, the four trapped and virtually unarmed intruders.

Worse still, Sai Baba evidently can’t control his own sexual appetites… and anyone who wishes to know the facts should confront Mr. Al Drucker with questions as to what he has told privately about distraught parents of US devotees who visited him in his rooms at Prashanthi told him about their sons’ being sexually assaulted by Sathya Sai Baba. Add to that the damning testimony which no one can doubt is genuine given by the Rahm family and Mark Roche on the BBC film ‘The Secret Swami’. While boasting that the Central Trust is beyond all suspicion, Sathya Sai Baba was unable to stop the many financial kickbacks and embezzlements that have taken place under his nose by Colonel Joga Rao, Mr. Suri, Mr. Narayanan, and various others who he has sacked from the Central Trust or other offices within his outfit some months after his discourse pronouncements. In short, Sai Baba has little or no control over anyone who does not do what he says, even in his own ashrams and not even among the great majority of his blind followers.

See my previous posting too – Sai Baba’s impotence.

See also Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and his Worldwide Organization
(Spanish version PETICIÓNPÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES

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Sathya Sai Baba: non-potent avatar

Posted by robertpriddy on August 4, 2009

SATHYA SAI BABA – IMPOTENT AVATAR?

A distorted ‘vision of Sai’ was sent us in an e-mail from visionsb@tstt.net.tt as follows,
“… see for yourself the enormous control that this being has on the planet”. Of course, the overwhelming majority of people on the planet has not noticed any such huge influence. He has inspired some people to start schools, pay for projects to provide water locally in Andhra Pradesh and to finance two hospitals etc. But these are as drops in the vast ocean of India’s calamitous situation, let alone that of the whole world!

“Sai Rules the World” One may not believe it, but this is what many devotees I have met actually believe. Because Sathya Sai Baba has put this delusion around in various announcements he has made about the world coming to his feet, the world soon already becoming one big Sathya Sai Organisation and all becoming transformed:-

“Very soon, the entire world will be united. In fact, after 28 years, the world itself will become “Bharat”. Everyone will call themself a Bharatiya (one imbued with godliness — Bhagavat rathas). No one will refer to themself as belonging to this state or that state, this region or that region. You may go to any country, but you refer to yourself as belonging to the country of Bharat. For example, there may be Karnataka State or Tamil Nadu State, etc., but, they are all parts of a larger country called Bharat. Without the country, the States cannot exist. You are all Bharatiyas first and last. Hence, you say that you came from Bharat.” (from Sathya Sai Baba’s Convocation Discourse 22-11-2008 at http://www.sathyasai.org/discour/2008/d081122.html)

This statement confirms what was reported earlier by Barry Pittard ‘World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him

If he really were an avatar controlling the planet, how could he be making such a pig’s breakfast of the job? India is one of the most truly terrible places on earth for its huge number of children in the slavery of prostitution, unstoppable epidemic of AIDS victims, bonded sweat-shop labour, for its vast number of paupers and illiterates still being driven to city slums for sheer survival. The corruption is enormous and is not diminishing.

Sathya Sai Baba can’t stop India increasing its warlike attitude and military spending (eg. by 28% this year for its nuclear war capacity alone) or its rulers stashing away in Swiss banks an amount of money at least equal to the country’s entire national debt, according to his own statements at a private dinner attended by a friend of mine! There he told the IAS official V. Ramnath that he had told the Prime Minister and the President not to make so many super-expensive state visits with huge convoys of vehicles and hundreds of Black Beret commandos wherever they went. But, said SB, they go on doing it and do not listen to me. With population and poverty out of control, AIDS, corruption and poverty ruling large parts of Africa and Asia and so on. The world’s wilderness environment and countless species and living resources are disappearing faster and faster, suffering and unnecessary death is as rife as ever, I watched Sathya Sai Baba parading for two decades and I eventually learned from many inside contacts, investigation and analysis that he is far from being in control of almost anything he claims to be. He is most certainl;y not in control of yours truly!
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How were the infamous murders covered-up?

Posted by robertpriddy on August 3, 2009

Two of the victims of the Sai authorities' work - photos courtesy of B. Premanand

Two of the victims of the Sai authorities' work - photos courtesy of B. Premanand

The homicides of six devotees in Baba’s quarters in the temple of Prashanthi Nilayam of 6-6-1993 was never ‘officially’ solved, the investigations having eventually been quashed by the Indian Government in accordance with the ashram’s expressed wishes. The recently published 800-page book, Murders in Sai Baba’s Bedroom by the skeptic B. Premanand, exposes the crimes by presenting all the known facts and their possible significance, including court petitions by Premanand himself and official depositions, plus a vast array of newspaper reports, 16 pages of color photos covering the bloody crime scene, and other relevant materials.

Many facts were left uninvestigated or covered up and prime witnesses were left unquestioned (including Sai Baba, who was present but never answered any questions from the press or investigators on the episode). A fairly brief and consistent outline of the main events that emerge can be summarized, even though it is overwhelmingly evident that the police were shown to have lied and lied and the Central Trust, ashram authorities and the Sathya Sai Organization remained silent about everything.

Above all, no one who reads this with an open mind can deny the depth of compromised involvement of top Sai officials and especially of the identity of a major culprit, Sai Baba’s younger brother, Janaki Ramiah, who thereby demonstrated his control of his brother’s chief affairs and indeed later assumed the overall practical management of the huge assets of the Sathya Sai Central Trust, besides his own millions obtained through property speculation. Since then he has died.

On the night in question Sai Baba’s four attendants on the ground floor of the temple with four persons who possibly tried to force their way in to see Sai Baba when they were denied access (two of the four attendants were as usual to sleep in and guard the temple that night). The exact cause of the fighting, other than that it was an intrusion, and whether or not the killing of any of the defenders were planned, is not definitely established.

The outcome was that two attendants were killed in a knife battle, two seriously injured while a 14 year-old student who was with Sai Baba in his 1st floor bedroom escaped unhurt. Bolting a door, the student boy (or perhaps Baba) set off a loud siren, both leaving the room hurriedly. How the intruders got into Baba’s quarters through the bolted door remains unclear, but once in, they bolted the exits to the whole apartment area and sealed themselves within, if not on the assumption that Baba was still there at least to protect themselves from the angry crowd.

One policeman was nearby at the outset, it seems, but he fearfully left the scene. No police appeared for at least half-an-hour after the alarm siren went off, but meanwhile villagers, residents, foreign visitors and about 60 of Baba’s students surrounded the temple. After about an hour or so of apparent stand-off, during which the police and Seva Dal servitors eventually cordoned the main crowd off from the temple and compound, some of Baba’s MBA students, maybe including some villagers, appear to have broken in the door of Baba’s apartment to get at the four intruders.

Subsequently, according to a consistent eye-witness of the whole affair, a bank official interviewed shortly thereafter by the BBC, the younger brother of Sai Baba (Janaki Ramiah) had a ten-minute discussion with Sai Baba and Colonel Joga Rao in the room at the opposite end of the temple where Baba had fled. The MBA students who had tied and allegedly also beaten the four intruders, left when the police very belatedly arrived, allegedly led by an inebriated officer.

Directly after this, the bank employee eye-witness reported, Janaki Ramiah ordered the killing of the four intruders whom he claimed had tried to murder Baba, saying “Vallani kattesinaru, champeyundira…” “They are tied. Now kill them.” What may we suppose was discussed between Baba, his brother, and Col. Joga Rao for 10 minutes while the four intruders lay bound and bloody in Baba’s bedroom? Whatever it was, not not long afterwards it became a bloody slaughterhouse shambles in Sai Baba’s bedroom.

Then came the total police clamp down and cover-up… that turned out to be a cock-up of Keystone Cop dimensions. What emerged as the best substantiated reports from the whole confused mess of reports was that, after shooting the four alleged assailants’ bound bodies (which had been beaten and were either heavily injured or already dead), the police must have moved the bodies and rearranged clothing etc. This was patently to try to make it seem the shooting was done in self-defense by the police as claimed in the Inspector’s First Incident Report.

This report was contradicted by later official investigations, and on some points even by Sai Baba in a later discourse. According to the analyses of independent lawyers (notably New Zealand barrister Warren C. Pyke) and Indian criminal investigators, the report was certainly faked on many points and the scene of the crime had been rearranged. Some of the evidence remains uncertain or inexact, also because the results of further investigations were eventually kept largely secret through direct governmental intervention.

Contradictory to the local police Inspector’s statements is that of V. Jagadish, who observed the broken door before the police arrived and further that of D. Peddireddy, who said that he broke the wooden plank that was holding the door and saw the deceased in the room after he did so. The absence of injury to the Inspector and the minor nature of injuries to the other policemen does not fit with their story of a struggle and their need to open fire. The position of the deceased after death and the very close range gunshot wounds do not fit the police version.

The nature of the gunshot wounds to the deceased are entirely consistent with a very close range discharge. Nor do the number of rounds discharged and position of bullets fit with the police account of shooting in self-defense at specific close-range targets. Independent and reputable witnesses, Balachandra, Sahani, Vatsava all say the shots were heard at 1 a.m., which fits with the post mortem report as to time of death, but contradicts the police evidence of 11.30 p.m. by a full 1½ hours. Further, the photographs of the corpses taken in Baba’s room show many details that cannot be explained if the police account were true.

One photo shows a bloody police lathi (truncheon), an unexplained length of heavy hosepipe on the floor and two heavy bloody poles on Baba’s sofa (probably used for stretchers to bear some of the corpses to their arranged positions in a different room), for which there is no police explanation. The distribution of blood in the rooms and on the bodies is often at odds with the police version of where and how the victims died. Remains of rope (allegedly used to tie the victims, then cut away after shooting) are seen in another room! And so on… the police seriously bungled the remainder of the investigations, avoided interviewing witnesses, gathering obvious evidence etc., most likely so as to try to cover their own tracks. In this they were signally unsuccessful.

Read on… On whom can one really rely? Press interviews with the families of all four victims and with various others who had known them well during their many years of service of Sai Baba were unanimous in their view that they were all deeply devoted to Sai Baba – two of them had been long-term close attendants of Sai Baba. There is abundant evidence that the four intruders, alleged by the police to be assailants wishing to kill Sai Baba (but this was denied publicly by Baba himself and by sources close to them), that they were still devotees in full faith who had another motive in trying to reach Sai Baba that evening. A question arises in every good devotee’s mind: “Was this sinister Divine Comedy of heaven and hell not also staged and presided over by the Divine Director, as most devotees who believe in Baba’s self-proclaimed omnipotence to be so with all other events at the ashram?

Or does this omnipotence not even extend to his own students and ashram staff (when this is not convenient)?” The bemused devotee’s answer to this will probably be, ‘Swami chooses when to intervene and when not, and we cannot understand his mysterious divine motives.’ This mystification puts Sai Baba above the law (which he claims he always respects) and all human standards, but does it not also makes him seem not even human, but without normal care and compassion or even courage?

The Central Bureau’s Criminal Investigation Dept. eventually had to take over due to public unrest with the police and ashram cover-up, and their investigations began to uncover some of the many irregularities, which ashram authorities and police alike adamantly refused to comment on. Though a prime witness, Sai Baba was never officially questioned! The brother of one of the alleged assailants, a Sai worker and former ashram security boss, Vijay Prabhu, and his co-worker Ravindra (earlier one of Baba’s closest servitors), were suspected of complicity with the intruders because of explosives and poisons found in their quarters and they were then hunted throughout India for a month and eventually gave themselves up at Nagpur so as to avoid the danger of liquidation by the already hopelessly compromised Andhra Pradesh police.

According to the press, they then explained that the intention of the four who were shot by the police had been to present to Baba facts about major corruption in the Central Trust and by Baba’s present attendants. They had no intention of harming Sai Baba, to whom all were devoted and for whom some had sacrificed excellent careers. The whole case was at length quashed by the intervention of the highest internal authority in India, the Home Minister, S. B. Chavan, who had been called to visit by Sai Baba as soon as the police cover-up became transparent so that the Central Bureau CID took over.

Sai Baba claimed in his Gurupurnima discourse that there had been no attempt on his life. He rambled on in a confusing way about exchanges with his attendant Radhakrishna about drinking buttermilk, visiting the village etc., avoiding giving any real explanation by preaching about the cardinal evil jealousy “in all spheres of life in the world today”, which he said was behind the incident. He added, as if in justification for all the murders, “The final end is the only cure for it.” He also defended all the members of the Central Trust against corruption allegations (though I am most reliably informed that he dismissed several of them for just that when the matter had died down sufficiently).

However, Baba may have inadvertently let out some of the truth behind the confrontation in telling in the same discourse that Radhakrishna had said to him, “Swami has perhaps some doubts that I may go out somewhere and talk to others”. Concealed facts about corruption were claimed by various others involved to have been at the core of the matter. In passing, Baba also timed the death of Radhakrishnan to 10.00 p.m., at odds by several hours with the police report. Home Minister S.B. Chavan revisited Baba five times more in the following months before they could rid themselves of the matter through a confidential government order, administered by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh to close the murder case and suppress over 100 photographs (impounded by K.V. Reddy of the police) and also the CB-Criminal Investigation Dept. report.

That this could not even be made public speaks volumes and indicates what astonishing levels of corrupt power brokerage were involved to stop the truth and save Sai Baba’s reputation. The Secretary of the Sathya Sai Trust had asked Chavan to drop the issue as it might harm Baba’s image, which certainly makes honest persons wonder how the truth about it all could hurt Baba’s image? Dramatic new information That the police were pressurized into shooting the four alleged assailants in cold blood by top officials of the ashram and the Central Trust, not least Sai Baba’s own younger brother, Janaki Ramiah, is known to the present author from an extremely reliable inside source, on daily speaking terms with Sai Baba.

That source informed me that ashram authorities knew and could prove that the police had allowed two murderers of a German devotee lady in her new room within the ashram some time previous to 1993 to escape in return for revealing where the money they murdered her for was concealed (about Rs. 80,000.-). The police took the money themselves and this was the ashram’s lever on them. This is known as criminal blackmail. The case of the German lady devotee was never cleared up, her only ‘crime’ having been not properly to conceal while returning through the village the money she had withdrawn from the State Bank in Puttaparthi to pay for improvements to her new room.

Sai Baba had left the day previously, and the ashram authorities cleared the place of all foreign visitors and residents within a very short time in an attempt to conceal the incident, as is their usual practice after murders. The present writer has been involved with sb for decades and has spent much time with him at his ashrams, which is why it took me so many years since 1993 to come to accept and adjust to the otherwise wholly unbelievable facts of the incident described above. At some later date, when it proves convenient, the inside ashram source from which the central facts of this information comes, plus further details, will be made public.

Those top officials and even those MBA students who are more or less ‘in the know’ are still mostly prisoners of their circumstances, often fearing to break faith with such a socially and psychically powerful and imperious ‘godman’. Few of them may so far be free of the bewitchment and fear of possible retribution to dare to speak out, but it is hoped that they will do so eventually. I know that most regular devotees are in much the same boat as to not speaking freely about many facts and their doubts and are, for many personal reasons, unwilling to look beyond Baba’s good words and works, of which there admittedly also have been and still are many.

Meanwhile, let us offer our condolences to all those sorely bereaved and maltreated in this matter, who have been allowed no recourse to justice or compensation of any kind, and not least to the countless followers of Baba who have sacrificed so much time, energy and not least money with such good intentions and trusting faith (not forgetting that the good social services and works are actually financed and carried out by them). The grieving process and self-liberation from the person and symbol of Sathya Sai Baba as the Godhead Incarnate – made unavoidable by the major conflict between his words and his actions in all this – may be long and painful. However, greater self esteem, confidence and further realization can be achieved .MurderBook

Murders in Sai Baba’s Bedroom by B. Premanand. Price India Rs. 400/-, Overseas US $40/- (free postage). Publ. by B. Premanand. 11/7 Chettipalayam Road, Podnadur. 641 023 Tamil Nadu, India. Send money order or bank draft for copies.

FULL COVERAGE OF THE PRASHANTHI NILAYAM 1993 BEDROOM MURDERS, AFTERMATH AND FOLLOW-UP


PLEASE SEE THE SAI PETITION AND DECIDE WHETHER TO SIGN IT

(Spanish version PETICIÓNPÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES

Posted in Cults, Gurus, Murder, Prashanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

The murders again – 1993 in Sai Baba’s private quarters

Posted by robertpriddy on August 2, 2009

Photos in Sai Baba's rooms courtesy of Basava Premanand

Photos in Sai Baba's rooms courtesy of Basava Premanand

Happy in my faith in the widely proclaimed divine goodness of Sathya Sai Baba, backed by many years of experience of him that was mostly positive, I could not believe that he could have had any part whatever in the six murders that were committed in June 1993. In line with Sai Baba’s own directions, my faith was so unquestioning that I accepted, in the main, the mostly irrelevant statements he made in the admittedly vague and rambling discourse some weeks later. Written instructions were sent out by leaders of the Sathya Sai Organisation not to question or discuss anything about the incident, but to ignore it and rather concentrate on oneself and ones own spiritual practice. Such instructions came from Indulal Shah, Central Office and Chairman of the Western hemisphere of the Organization, Dr. Michael Goldstein. Goldstein’s letter to devotees was a confused emotional outburst, but I already knew from friends of mine who knew him very well that he is a wholly unreliable person.

I knew virtually nothing about the circumstances at that time, and learned mostly only the carefully contrived bits of Sai Org. ‘information’ (disinformation, actually, including both cynical and unwitting indoctrination). This is all very well, if you care nothing for the victims and their families, for justice or for the truth of the matter. The old excuses, ‘only Swami knows the reason’ and the faith that God does only what is good, any bad is done by us soon beguiled nearly all followers. Devotees do just not want to know and still accept unquestioningly any cover-up by the ashram officials, the police, the Andhra Pradesh State authorities and the Indian Government (through the then Home Minister of the Indian Government, S.B. Chavan). In 1995, at the 70th birthday celebrations. I began to hear about the actual episode from a high-standing Indian Administrative Service Vigilance Officer and Sai devotee, Mr. V. Ramnath. He told me that a close colleague from his college days had been personally involved in the early investigations. The entire account was so shocking and so many confusing points remained unanswered that it seemed impossible to evaluate what was false witness and what genuine. In trying to piece together the evidence so as to see who might be responsible and what motives the various involved persons could have had, I set about getting inside information from persons whose judgement and honesty I could really trust, especially Sai Baba’s editor and my close friend and lifelong journalist, V.K. Narasimhan. This I collated with the many press reports. Eventually the invaluable book by B. Premanand (Murders in Sai Baba’s Bedroom’) provided a mass of documentary transcripts and other evidence which helped me to understand how massive was the cover-up to protect Sathya Sai Baba and his brother.

According to V.K. Narasimhan’s private confidences, the police were forced to shoot the four alleged assailants in cold blood by top officials of the ashram and the Central Trust, not least Sai Baba’s own younger brother, Janaki Ramiah, is known to me from an extremely reliable inside source, V.K. Narasimhan, who was on daily speaking terms with Sathya Sai Baba throughout the incident and until his death in March 2000. I have given detailed accounts of my long discussion and close friendship with VKN, his observations of and opinions on Sathya Sai Baba and his revelations to me in confidence about the murders. My conclusions after much thought and investigation was that – despite the uncertainties left by the conflicting layers of cover-up and misinformation spread by Sai officials and Sai Baba himself, he was an accomplice to cold-blooded murder.The murders were never ‘officially’ solved, the investigations having eventually been quashed by the Indian Government in accordance with the ashram’s expressed wishes. The 840-page book, ‘Murders in Sai Baba’s Bedroom’, written and compiled by the skeptic B. Premanand, exposes the crimes by presenting publicly known facts and their possible significance, including court petitions by Premanand himself and official depositions, plus a vast array of newspaper reports, 16 pages of color photos covering the bloody crime scene, and other relevant materials.

Many facts were left uninvestigated or covered up and prime witnesses were left unquestioned, including Sai Baba, who was present close to the scene of the murders throughout, but who never later answered any questions from the press or investigators on the episode (unless he did so in strict secrecy in private to Government officials, as remarks made in public by the then Home Minister and Indian President indicate). On the contrary, Sathya Sai Baba later attacked the Andhra Pradesh journalists in the most derogatory and libelous fashion and was never held to account for this, despite their well-founded complaint to the requisite Press Council. He simply has too much money and other kinds of clout among those who determine things in India to answer to anyone at all! The press did their best but were contending with a tight criminal conspiracy of secrecy. The press managed to uncover many circumstances anyhow.Despite the largely very successful cover-up within much of India so far, which relied for its effectiveness partly on the ashram power-brokerage and reported massive bribery – but also on the encouragement of confusion and hearsay of the typical Indian sort – the issue refuses to lie down and die, even within the worldwide Sai movement. There have been many indications of seriously falling numbers of foreign visitors to functions and falloff in members, recruitment and donations in many countries. No statistics are kept concerning this in the Sai movement (unless secretly).

SEE ALSO TRANSCRIPT OF BBC INTERVIEW WITH THE FORMER HOME MINISTER OF ANDHRA PRADESH – V.P. NAIR – ON THE MURDERS EPISODE, WITH SHORT VIDEO CLIP! – Click here

Posted in Cults, God Almighty, Gurus, Indian Politics, Murder, Sathya Sai Baba | Leave a Comment »