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 December 12th, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba’s miracles – the veil lifted further

Posted by robertpriddy on December 12, 2011

As I have pointed out already in numerous connections,  all the collected techniques of attracting and exploiting followers in the guru and godman tradition in India have been handed on through millennia to successors. Probably to a greater extent than any other priesthood in human history, the Vedic tradition and its many subsequent branches and departures is the first doctrine leading to methods of control and manipulation, subjugation to gods, doctrines, gurus and so on. Whatever the actual beliefs and dogma involved, Indoctrinating and manipulating the perceptions of seekers, spiritual aspirants and followers through supposed ‘miracles’ or ‘leelas’ runs throughout this religious tradition (as others too), in this case starting from the fantastic mythology of the ancient scriptures and texts like the Ramayana, the Srimad Bhagavata and the Mahabharata. There are most diverse and subtle variants on the behavioural methods and psychic techniques of of dominating others and providing clever rationalizations for all untoward events or other anomalies that crop up (see some links at the foot of this page).

So sophisticated is this culture of deceiving appearances, deceptions and clever but outright criminality that even well-educated and scientifically-trained persons are quite easily hoodwinked, not seldom to the extent of giving over their entire life earnings and themselves to the service of these religious sects, cults and their impostors.  Need I mention who also throve on all this! There are many studies analyzing the sectarian cults and their practices, but few which go to the heart of the matter on the basis of inside experience of a most exacting kind. In the following collected and culled review materials on a most revealing book. In it one can read of predecessors who performed some of the most the famous alleged miracles of Sathya Sai Baba – the changing of water into petrol, psychic surgery, and not least the lingodbhava (i.e. swallowed lingam or egg-shaped object). His investigations led him far off the beaten track even of most spiritual seekers to discover aspects of life hidden within India that are even unparalleled in the fascinating exposure of India’s underbelly by Gregory David Roberts in his now famous (but somewhat fictionalized) ‘Shantaram’:-

‘Sorcerer’s Apprentice’ is the story of the author’s quest for, and initiation into, the brotherhood of Indian godmen. Learning along the way from sadhus, sages, avatars and sorcerers – it’s a journey which took him from Calcutta to Madras, from Bangalore to Bombay, in search of the miraculous.

As a child of Afghan parents in rural England, Tahir Shah first witnessed magic at age 11, when an Indian Pashtun named Hafiz Jan visited. He learned the first secrets of illusion from this magician. More than two decades later – on Hafiz’s instructions – he set out in search of this conjurer – one of India’s greatest practitioners, a mysterious fellow named Hakim Feroze. He was the ancestral guardian of Shah’s great grandfather’s tomb. Feroze subjected his new apprentice to tortuous physical and mental exercises before casting him out into the streets to make note of whatever oddities he encounters. This tyrannical master of illusion, who set out to crush his student’s spirit through grueling physical trials put him through his sorcery ‘boot camp’, which involved strange drills such as digging a deep hole with a dessert spoon, left-handed; separating dried rice and lentils blindfolded; and catching a dozen cockroaches at once in a small tin mug. Eventually, his pupil’s skin bruised and raw and his temper strained, the magician unlocked the door to his secret laboratory. The miracles of India’s godmen are at last revealed one by one: how to swallow stones, to stop one’s pulse, turn water into wine, and many more. Next, as a cryptic test, Shah is sent to ferret out the secrets of Calcutta’s Underworld – gaining the confidence of the city’s aging hangman, its baby-renters, and skeleton dealers.

Then, just as Shah is making headway, Feroze announces that he’s to pack his bags and set out at once, on a ‘Journey of Observation‘. Shah learned trade secrets of hangmen and gold scroungers, eats in a restaurant that serves dishes prepared from refuse, visits a skeleton-processing factory, watches a psychic surgeon “operate.” Then, accompanied by a 12-year-old scam artist he describes as “a walking crime wave,” he travelled through India meeting sages, sorcerers, astrologers, mystics, healers, miracle workers and other brokers of the supernatural, including a medium who reads fortunes in eyeballs, a chemist who turns drinking water into petrol and a guru named Sri Gobind who causes Easter eggs to emerge from his ear, candles to ignite spontaneously and flowers to bow to him. Unlike most magicians, Shah reveals the secrets chemicals, props, sleight-of-hand and dozens of tricks e.g., Sri Gobind’s flowers perform thanks to chloroform and his symbols of “new life and purity” are Safeway’s expired chocolate Easter eggs.

The Journey of Observation leads him to a cornucopia of characters. Illusionists all, some are immune to snake venom, others speak through oracles, and this lifts the veil on the East’s most puzzling miracles. Along the way Shah witnesses a ‘duel of miracles‘, crosses paths with an impoverished billionaire, and even meets a part-time god. Revealing confidence tricks and ingenious scams, Sorcerer’s Apprentice exposes a side of India that most writers never imagine to exist. India is famed as a land of miracles (supposed miracles), where godmen and mystics mesmerise audiences with wondrous feats of magic. In great cities and remote villages alike, these mortal incarnations of the divine turn rods into snakes, drink acid, eat glass, hibernate and even (appear to) levitate. Some live as kings, their devotees numbering hundreds of thousands; while others – virtually destitute – wander from village to village pledging to cure the sick, or bring rain in times of drought. Shah reveals a few professional secrets. For one, the Indian rope trick, that classic of conjuring, is effected not by legerdemain, but by the use of hallucinogenic smoke. And as to snake charming, well, 90 percent of India’s snakes are nonvenomous, and it’s easy enough to find a nonfatal variety that looks like one of the killer breeds.

With acknowledgements to Book on sale at


‘Spiritual Doublethink’ How perceptions of the guru begin Rumours and Delusions How traditional gurus operate
Confusion – the labyrinth trap Conformity to the core belief system The spiritual ‘mirror trap’ Hidden fear of the guru
What point in tests of faith? Psychology of belief and doubt How the form binds & stunts Reactions to a crisis of faith
More guru tests and trials False promises of health/protection Dreams and self-indoctrination Monkey Minds?
Realised persons’ qualities

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