Let us take a peep into the mind of Gerald Moreno, the fanatical believer in miracles and Sai Baba’s powers. After this intense seeking, he had what he believes to have been a physical visit across time and space by Sathya Sai Baba, during which he was unable to “move or scream”. This is the basis of his awe of Sai Baba. We see some of his self-description as follows:-
“As I was lying down, looking across the room and mumbling to myself about my sad state of sleeplessness, all of a sudden, I heard a sound that could only be best described as the gentle fluttering of hundreds of birds wings while flying overhead. As soon as I heard the sound, in a swirl, from the ground up, Sathya Sai Baba physically manifested before me! I was SO shocked and scared, I could not move or scream! Baba was in my room! I could discern his afro, flowing robe and he stared at me intensely, without saying a word, for about 20 seconds. Then, I heard the same sound of gentle fluttering of birds wings and Baba disappeared, in a swirl, from his head down to his feet!”
Note that Moreno states it was a physical manifestation! Yet he was as if paralysed, could not move, so obviously could not touch Sai Baba. This shows he over-interpreted the ‘experience’ heavily later, based on what he had read or heard from credulous devotees.
“When Baba disappeared, I jumped out of bed and turned on the lights and kept telling myself that I was not crazy! I felt like I had lost my mind. For crying out loud, I was hallucinating! It HAD to be a dream”
Indeed, he should have stuck to his common sense, but at that time little was widely known about ‘sleep paralysis’ . Firstly, he says he was suffering from sleeplessness. In that condition one often drops off without realising it. He heard what he though like the “gentle fluttering of hundreds of birds wings while flying overhead.” This speaks of a hypnagogic state, not one of sober waking consciousness. All that follows is in the same strain. “in a swirl, from the ground up, Sathya Sai Baba physically manifested before me!” Which visions are experienced in sleep paralysis depends on the overriding concerns, interests, constant thoughts of the experiencer (click here). In Moreno’s case these were:-
“My experiences with Shirdi Sai and Sathya Sai have been a source of great Joy and Gratitude in my life. During my teen years, I was searching very intensely for God. Everything seemed “empty” to me and I felt that the only way I would every experience being whole or complete, was if I could find God or Truth. I studied just about everything I could find on Spirituality.” (http://www.geocities.com/www0db0www/ExperiencesSai.html:- )
In modern times many UFO-fixated persons experience being abducted by aliens, while in the Middle Ages one was ‘visited’ by witches, succubi, the devil and so on. Sai Baba visitations fall into the same category. Typical of Moreno is that he NEVER looks for easily found high quality alternative explanations to phenomena (as can be seen throughout his web pages). The fact is, he is FUELLED by anything that can lift him as a ‘miraculous’ or ‘wonderful experience’. He demonstrates the total one-sided unwillingness to consider (let alone respond properly) to my explanations. So it is clear Gerald Moreno took his first step into the ‘lunatic fringe’ proper in that way, since when he has never really looked back (apart from some years when he also believed Sai Baba to be a sexual abuser – while still defending him to the hilt. Now he is promoting adulation of Sathya Sai Baba (who he angrily and repeatedly claims not even to be his guru) on his web log which is basically made to promote vicious attacks on dissidents in making it inviting to devotees by packing it with honeyed praise of Sai Baba. There he is posting official information along with credulous devotees’ experiences and the most fantastic stories (the blog is ‘Sathya Sai Baba – Life, Love and Spirituality’).
Many others were drawn to visit Sai Baba to find out whether he is anything of what he claims he is, including myself. The system of deception around him, combined with unfulfillable promises to countless people wanting something from him is powerful stuff, full of hearsay and group pressures of all kinds. Not so very many followers who persisted in practising his teaching for decades have been able to free themselves from it, as I did after learning (despite what I would greatly have preferred then) about the hidden sides of Sai Baba from a source I could never doubt.
Few ever came so close to some of the most deeply hidden facts as I did. Despite myself, I was led to know the multiform nature of his deceptions, lies, fraudulence, false promises, failed prophecies and involvement in crimes… which I very much wanted to deny, but which became so pressing and so impossible to ignore that I was able to de-programme myself entirely. I had strong personal resources, an unperturbed and open mind due to wide experience of the world – both for better and worse – in 40 countries and numerous kinds of employment, a very happy family life, being a professional researcher and philosophy lecturer. My critical qualifications I had held very largely in abeyance while trying wholeheartedly to plumb Indian spirituality – including Sathya Sai Baba’s teaching. Once I was forced to step back and see it all from a dissenting perspective, my critical sense reasserted itself. I had been forced to realise that Sathya Sai Baba is far from being what he claims to be!
More to follow on Moreno’s interpretations of his “experiences” later.
Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya (or Satya) Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization