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, 2012

Sathya Sai Baba ‘materialization’ fraudulence transparent on videos

Posted by robertpriddy on January 31, 2012

from one of the videos made by Sai Baba devotees. Shows the fraud using a pre-pressed capsule - small compressed ball of vibuthi - held between two fingers before crushing.

from one of the videos made by Sai Baba devotees. Shows the fraud using a pre-pressed capsule – small compressed ball of vibuthi – held between two fingers before crushing.

Prashanti Nilayam is supplied regularly with cow-dung ash ‘vibuthy’ manufactured in a Palani factory It is known that tons of vibuti are ordered by Prashanthi Nilayam from Palani (near the foot of the Kodai mountain in Tamil Nadu) where ‘vibuty’ is manufactired in quantity. I was friends with a former Seva Dal servitor, Krishna Panjwani of Bombay – a very sweet elderly gentleman – who annually travelled around and bought supplies for the Prashanthi Nilayam shop he supervised – in the heat of summer when Sai Baba was away on holiday in Kodai. He used to go to Palani to get vibuti, and an invoice published by Basava Premanand showed the details of one such purchase of a huge amount. See the invoice of 9 tons of it sent to Prashanthi Nilayam from Palani here:-

Various film clips are available on the web and in TV programmes showing and explaining how Sai Baba apparently carried out sleight of hand while producing allegedly ‘materialised’ holy ash (vibuthi). When he waved his hand in the air and then let vibuti fall into the hands of a devotee, sceptics claim that he concealed small pellets of vibuthi – usually in his left hand – and transferred this to his right some time before appearing to grasp it from mid air and pouring it into waiting hands. This can be seen very clearly on videos where the run-up to the hand-waving is included. When the ash was compacted into a pellet, it has to be crushed to be delivered. This crushing is visibly done every time in Sathya Sai Baba ‘s right hand, between his thumb and first two fingers. (It is also reported by one of his countless ‘form boys’ – i.e. abused student ‘chics’ – that he had seen a a small hand-machine for making vibuti pellets hidden in his private room).

Concealment was also obviously done with his ever-present handkerchief, such as he always  handled and not least after each ‘materialisation’. In most photos of him in his various thrones and chairs, it will be seen that his left hand is infrequently holding or is very close to a handkerchief (much less often than his right hand is). For many years at the twice-daily darsan ‘walkabout’, Colonel Joga Rao used to hand him the handkerchief and carry the letters when required. Since Joga Rao was known never to have believed in Sai Baba’s miracles but to have agreed to help him nonetheless, there is all reason to suspect he was a willing accomplice to fraud, wishing to serve his master unquestioningly because he though he was doing good work anyhow. All this is supported by the many video clips and photos.

See blatant fraud filmed when Sai Baba pretended to ‘materialise’ a tiny Bible

See the ‘vibuti’ holy ash “materialisation”
explained in detail (download video 2Mb)

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Prashanthi Nilayam: suicide (?) by hanging & an unexplained death

Posted by robertpriddy on January 28, 2012

The many deaths that have occurred at Sathya Sai Baba ashrams through the years, including murders, suicides and unaccountable accidents, have been covered up to the maximum by the accomplices of ‘the Secret Swami’ himself. Now that he too is dead and gone forever, the suicides certainly continue – possibly murders too, as an attempt in Singapore coming under trial to shoot dead a very prominent Sai Baba critic indicate.   

Quite apart from the assassination attempt which went very badly wrong, reports have come of two deaths at Puttaparthi in recent weeks, one evidently a suicide and the other unexplained. The scan on the right shows the reported death, about which no more information is forthcoming from any of the responsible authorities. Not an unusual state of affairs, one must say! Further, I have been informed that a Russian-speaking Sathya Sai Baba devotee called Grigory (‘Grisha’ as nickname) in Puttaparthi committed suicide in December (2011), either a Russian or a Ukranian:-

“I remember him from my last visit to Prashanthi Nilayam in September 2000. He used to be an interpreter and often went to the interviews with Russian groups. As you may know after Sathya Sai Baba’s death a group of Russian devotees in Puttaparthi started to propagate an idea of his resurrection. Apparently Grisha was one of them. At first they were waiting for Sai Baba to return in September, then in October. Now some days ago a letter from Sathya Sai Baba allegedly appeared miraculously at home of one of his students in Chennai. In this letter Sai Baba claimed that he was always in the hearts of his devotees that meant no resurrection was going to happen. Reportedly, that was too much for Grisha and he hanged himself in Puttaparthi. His wife and his little child were in Belarus at that time.”

More unconfirmed reports about “the death of a Russian guy Grisha. Some people say he had plane tickets to go home. Usually, people do not buy tickets when they are going to commit suicide. He was found hanged in his room but some people believe it might not have been a real cause of his death. The body was cremated hastily and apparently, there was no post-mortem. They say he had something to do with Isaac Tigrett Kerala project and had a property loan.”

The prominent Indian Skeptic and rationalist, Basava Premanand, claimed that he remained alive so long only because he was a prominent sceptic and critic of Sai Baba. He filed several lawsuits against Sathya Sai Baba and wrote:-
“I have the records of more than a hundred persons destroyed by the Satya Sai Baba gang beginning with one Mr. Venkatamuni of Madras who was done away at Madurai in an air conditioned room and then after getting death certificates from doctors taken to Madras by Satya Sai Baba in his own car and cremated without giving any information to the police and thus hushing up the matter. Afterwards the doctors who gave the death certificates also succumbed to death. In these deaths the mode of operation is in five ways: 1. Death by car accidents. 2. Death by Heart failure. 3. Death by poisoning. 4. Death by hanging. 5. Death by drowning. In the third para of this letter I have informed you about the notice distributed by the lady teacher of the Satya Sai Vidya Peeth at Puramala near Quilandy. A copy of that notice was sent to me by the husband of the lady teacher. Then itself I had replied him that he being alone he will be harassed by the Satya Sai Baba Trust who have high influence in Government, Police and Judiciary and so he may loose his job also, thus to strangulate him economically and so he should be careful…”

See also:-

SUICIDES, DEATHS, MISSING PERSONS COVERED-UP BY SAI BABA ASHRAMS Through the years many highly suspicious incidents have occurred at both the Andhra Pradesh ashrams of Sathya Sai Baba, some of which are reported here.

SUICIDES DUE TO SAI BABA’S CLAIMS OR PROMISES The Times of India reported suicides by Sathya Sai Baba devotees which followed on their being falsely let to believe what could not be.

SATHYA SAI BEDROOM MURDERS OVERVIEW A summary presentation of known events – the incident, questionable points, the investigations, and the quashing of the CBI investigations.

SCANNED RECORDS OF V.K. NARASIMHAN REPORT ON THE MURDERS & PART TWO Recorded notes in situ of conversations with V.K.N. where he revealed covered-up facts about the six murders in Sai Baba’s temple complex

HOW THE BLACKMAIL BY JANAKIRAMIAH WAS CARRIED OUT Details of the basis for blackmail uses by PN authorities to force the police to shoot down the 4 assailants

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Sathya Sai Baba’s personality

Posted by robertpriddy on January 26, 2012

It would be interesting if any Sai devotes were able to refute (on any other basis that Sathya Sai Baba’s own claims about himself) that his own words and behaviour throughout his life fit very neatly into the descriptions of a God complex, megalomania, grandiosity, and narcissistic personality disorder. I happen to know the entire set of rationalizations that are used to exempt him from any sane critics, having defended him from some of these myself before I learned what I now know about him. Having indexed most thoroughly all of the authenticated words of his until 2000, and having continued to see what he said thereafter, I am very throughly acquainted by all his ‘teachings’ and have mastered their complexity and discovered the self-contradictions, distortion of fact, misinformation and sheer speculation involved in them, not least mythical beliefs and sheer anti-scientific superstition. The following is standard psychiatric evaluation as found on Wikipedia:-

A god complex is a non-clinical term generally used to describe an individual who consistently believes he or she can accomplish more than is humanly possible or that their opinion is automatically above those with whom he or she may disagree.The individual may believe he or she is above the rules of society and should be given special consideration or privilege.

A messiah complex is a state of mind in which an individual holds a belief they are, or is destined to become, a savior. (

As an example of this, Sai Baba stated: “… nobody is against me. Everyone loves and none hates me.” (p. 262) But then he also said : “Love even those who abuse you. I am a standing example of this.”

Megalomania is a word defined as:

  1. A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.
  2. An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions. (

The grandiosity section of the Diagnostic Interview for Narcissism (DIN) (Second edition) is as follows:

  1. The person exaggerates talents, capacity and achievements in an unrealistic way.
  2. The person believes in her/his invulnerability or does not recognise his/her limitations.
  3. The person has grandiose fantasies.
  4. The person believes that he/she does not need other people.
  5. The person regards himself/herself as unique or special when compared to other people.
  6. The person regards himself/herself as generally superior to other people.
  7. The person behaves self-centeredly and/or self-referentially.
  8. The person appears or behaves in a boastful or pretentious way(NOTE Delusions of grandeur are NOT the same since Grandiose delusions are distinct from <grandiosity, in that the sufferer does not have insight into his loss of touch with reality. These are more fantastic, supernatural (eg. being an incarnation of jesus Christ) ( also

Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)

The narcissist is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity.
Narcissistic personality disorder is closely linked to self-centeredness.


1) Being praised for perceived exceptional looks or talents by adults 2) Excessive admiration that is never balanced with realistic feedback 3) Excessive for good behaviors or excessive for poor behaviors in childhood 4) Severe in childhood 5) Unpredictable or unreliable caregiving from parents 6) Valued by parents as a means to regulate their own self-esteem
When these traits are compounded by a failure of the interpersonal environment and continue into adulthood, they may intensify to the point where Narcissistic Personality Disorder is diagnosed.

The exploitativeness, sense of entitlement, lack of empathy, disregard for others, and constant need for attention inherent in NPD adversely affect interpersonal relationships.

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Vinay Rai, Suresh Kait, & Minister Kapil Sibal promote censorious obscurantism

Posted by robertpriddy on January 23, 2012

Delhi High Court Case against Google, Facebook etc.

The Delhi High Court case against 21 web servers continues. Fortunately, not all legal minds in India put the Hindu nationalist religious agenda of minister Kapil Sibal’s, HC judge Suresh Kait and Mr. Vinay Rai’s before democratic values in the media, freedom of speech and human rights. An excellent and intelligently informed overview of the situation is given by the Supreme Court lawyer Rajeev Dhavan on India Today (January 16) under the apt title “Don’t try to play Big Brother”. His article can be read here.


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Zealot laws to protect politicians and religious figures (like Sai Baba)?

Posted by robertpriddy on January 21, 2012



This writer made a blunder on the blog with the  same title as above. It seemed that Mr. Vinay Rai must be the well-known one, but it had just been discovered that the Vinay Rai in question is quite another person (see image on the right – which can be compared with the image in the original blog on the left). Apologies for the error!

The Narasimha Rao government declared Sathya Sai Baba to be an official ‘national treasure’, while covering up the murders in his bedroom apartment that were master-minded by his close servitors while he stood by and ignoring the many credible and consistent sworn testimonies and affidavits presented to the Supreme Court of India of sexual abuse by Sai Baba on young men. He is still regarded as a national treasure, as is witnessed by the campaign by Vinay Rai. This blog site originally mis-identified Mr. Vinay Rai as the well-known billionaire and Sathya Sai Baba devotee, while the person was later identified as quite another man. 

His current Government-backed attempt in the Delhi High Court against web servers aiming to silence large numbers of critics of politicians and especially of ‘religious figures’, is supported right to the top of the Congress Party, and by others too. It is of note that PM Singh, Sonia Gandhi and President Patil have all constantly endorsed Sathya Sai Baba since before the facts about his reported crimes became known, so they dared not lose face by backtracking thereafter. There was also votes and much money involved. So now they condone an attempt to shackle the Internet within India with vague and general directives that can be used by them to close down whatever they do not like without having to prove such actions in court, caring not about the democracy and freedom of speech and opinion it nourishes above all! The judge talks of removing websites considered to cause social tensions because they are ‘inflammatory’, ‘defamatory’, ‘objectional’ and ‘controversial’. This could be used indiscriminately against almost any material that contained any criticism of politicians or religious gurus, whatever they may be guilty of. Alas for India if they succeed… it will undoubtedly affect out-sourcing from Western nations and many other relations too; the trust of the international community as regards their already parlous human rights, but most likely also business, trade and tourism.

One of the reasons for this case against all these top Internet search engines etc. is most likely at least partly because the Indian Government and the Sathya Sai Organization have been unable (due to our possession of damning sworn testimonies and affidavits and a long history of cover-up of crimes by Sai Baba key figures connected with him) to bring a case against any of the many who have since 2000 been active in exposing these facts  on the Internet. Devotees of Sai Baba who remain are almost all truly fanatical in their belief in him having been the ultimate Godhead incarnate. An excerpt from the other Vinay Rai’s website – who has not brought the case nor is apparently involved in it at all – nevertheless proves that he shares the governmental adulation of this controversial and widely-accused guru:-

Role of Religious Leaders  – Speaking at a spring seminar at Meadows , Faridabad on “Towards Co-existence and a Peaceful World Order”, Vinay Rai emphasized on the role of religious leaders in ensuring that religion lives up to its raison d’etre of “opening peoples’ hearts and filling them with love and concern for each other”, instead of being used as a convenient tool by political opportunists to create false divisions in minds and hearts. He particularly alluded to the positive human values of brotherhood, community service, compassion, concern, sharing, good action, non-violence, especially as espoused by the Dalai LamaSai Babathe Pope at VaticanBishop Desmond TutuImam MohammedMother Teresa
Please also read:-Indian Government, High Court and other prominent Indian worshippers of Sathya Sai Baba.

India’s official “national treasure”, Sathya Sai Baba, (a miracle worker?)

Sathya Sai Baba protected by Supreme Court of India (scanned document)

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Are prayers to Sathya Sai Baba effective?

Posted by robertpriddy on January 20, 2012

Prayer plays a central role in the doctrine of Sathya Sai Baba, as one might expect. His overall claim regarding prayers is that all of them, by whoever and to whatever saint, prophet, deity or God, eventually arrives at his own feet. He has pronounced himself to be the Deity of Deities. Even deities and Gods pray to him! This must be the most enormous claim ever made, and the chutzpa is beyond all measure, even though India is full of person claiming to be Divine, one with God, and avatar, a reborn Rama, Krishna, Buddha, or whoever else among the limitless pantheon. One scan from his official biography should be sufficient to indicate the extent of his claims about his own status.

As the world knows, Hindus pray to a vast pantheon of Gods, divine figures, deities, saints, supposed ascended masters, gurus, idols and more. Sathya Sai Baba claims to be ‘omnipresent’, meaning his true being is (was?) the innermost reality in everything there is, in the ‘heart’ of every person and entity and not least every supposed divine being or Deity. He repeatedly claimed that prayers can be directed to all manner of deity, and that in essence and in the last instance, the object of prayer is himself. In Hindu religious parlance,

all prayers eventually arrive at His Feet”

where ‘feet’ represents the Lord to whom one pays obeisance by touching the feet or putting one’s head on the ground before them.

As in “All hands, feet, eyes, faces, mouths are His” Sathya Sai Speaks Volume 11, p. 128

We also read:-“… who has to take it up? It was said that I have taken up this Form in answer to the prayers of sadhus (noble souls) and others… I have come, because I felt I had to come. I resolved upon this… This campaign will succeed, it will not fail. The welfare of the world will be ensured through the fostering of the Godly everywhere, and more particularly of these ancient reservoirs of the ancient wisdom of this land.”

(Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 3, page 205)

Are prayers ever effective? It seems so to a great many people in the world. However, this is a matter of belief in a necessary (causal) connection between the prayer, its wording (or some possible interpretation of the words) or what the person who prayed thinks was in ‘his heart’ at the time. In short, the effectiveness of prayer is solely and purely a subjective judgement by the person or persons involved. Therefore, science cannot confirm that prayers are effective since the ‘source data’ – what was thought when praying – is dependent only on subjective testimony. There is also much subjective testimony to the effect that prayers are not answered, do not work or produce the results desired. Various pseudo-scientific studies – including statistical comparisons – have been carried out (overwhelmingly by prior believers in prayer, not least since one usually believes or thinks results possible before really making a genuine prayer), but none have stood up to genuine scientific investigation of the methods used. Among Sai Baba devotees, however, the belief in prayer is a sine qua non of being included in the movement. This is firstly because of Sai Baba’s pronouncements as to his answering heartfelt prayers – especially in extreme anguish. Secondly, there are literally countless reports of how Sai Baba has (apparently) answered prayers… often in incredible miraculous ways. However, many of the hagiographic accounts are naive (I have studied over a hundred in detail, sometimes interviewing the authors) and the text often unwittingly betrays how the answer and the prayer do not fit at all well, and that other explanations for healing events or ‘miraculous’ dreams and visions seem obvious or, at least, more likely.

There are also cases of fraudulent reports of divine answers to prayers by Baba, made either by persons wanting favours either from him or from officials in his organization (who invariably acted as an effective social barrier between their guru, his minions and ordinary devotees who they often treated suspiciously or even as the ‘hoi polloi’). There remain a considerably body of accounts which due to their allege ‘miraculous’ nature could not be disproven, nor could they be verified by any objectively reliable sources (i.e. scientific observations or controls) and are considered unrepeatable divine are also cases of fraudulent reports, made by persons wanting favours either from Sai Baba or from officials in his organization (who acted as an effective social barrier between their guru, his minions and ordinary devotees (often treated suspiciously or even as the ‘hoi polloi’). There remain a considerably body of accounts which due to their allege ‘miraculous’ nature could not be disproven, nor could they be verified by any objectively reliable sources (i.e. scientific observations or controls) and are considered unrepeatable divine events.

Prayers to Answer Questions or Clear Doubts There are those who get doubts about Sathya Sai Baba or what his teaching implies for them and the like. They often decide to ‘ask Swami himself’. But, since they almost invariably could not get to see him in person, or if they did were unable to put their question (or get an answer from him if they did so) they were prone to use some other method for
deriving his answer. There are many traditions among the dyed-in-the-wool aspirants on how to interpret a gesture, movement, overheard phrase and other observed behaviour in Sai Baba – including lack of certain usual behaviour – as applying to oneself and having a deep meaning which must be sought assiduously.

Flipping open a volume of Sai Baba’s discourses (like ‘consulting the Bible’) is a typical method. Whether one sticks to the first sentence one sees, or chooses another which lends itself better to a somewhat relevant meaning, probably depends on the level of desperation of the seeker. Much can be read out of very little… especially if a certain latitude in interpretation is allowed in one’s zeal for a certain answer. Those who get ‘the right answers’ are often unaware that this kind of phenomenon is by no means restricted to one name and form. It is a very common occurrence,and often works well when there has been greater investment of emotional and mental energy behind the question. In this way one can, however, sometimes even ask one’s cat, an imagined alien UFO, or the Director of the CIA and get most wonderful answers!

One common practice among Sathya Sai followers is to draw one of three prepared papers left on the shrine. One will have the word ‘yes’, another ‘no’ and a third ‘wait’. Some just spin coins or roll dice! Special coins (Umi and Tumi) are even on sale at some Sai shops for this purpose. Or the uncertain devotee may set up some other precondition, like “If I see an Indian today when I go shopping, then Baba is answering me positively.” If the person happens to see an India, then this event becomes a big ‘graceful leela of the Lord’, an evidence of Sai Baba’s omnipresence. If the desired result is not forthcoming, then one can always have another try with something else.

The psychologist C.G. Jung, who experienced many such ‘coincidences’ and investigated the question deeply, named them ‘synchronicity’. That they have to do with the power of projection of subconscious feelings or repressed energies seems very likely, and that there is a ‘collective unconscious’ or ‘astral plane’ whereby thoughts and symbols are transmitted, was occasionally Jung’s explanation of them. Some are thought by many ‘paranormally-inclined’ persons to operate through so-called ‘elementals’, which are powers that seem to exist without being embodied (i.e. deities, spirits, djinns, ‘fairies’, demons and the whole range of identities these forces have been given in different cultures and ages). The hypothesis of ‘souls of the dead’ communicating through such events is also common in Sai Baba circles. There is, of course, no guarantee of divinity being attached to any such phenomena. It is an area fraught with deceits, delusions, self-deceptions, fraud and potentially very serious psychic disturbances like uncontrollable apparent ‘psychic invasions’ and even full ‘possession’.

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Events at Sathya Sai Baba ashrams illustrating the sick culture there

Posted by robertpriddy on January 19, 2012

The following excerpts from my diary notebook (1995) at Prashanthi Nilayam are representative of the kind of talk and tales which constantly circulated there.As one sees, murders were never reported and most residents did not even know of them when they happened while they were in the ashram, so carefully were all facts concealed whenever possible from residents, especially foreigners. The tall stories, like the one about Indira Gandhi’s supposed attempt to rein in Sai Baba through searching for illicit gold at his ashram are clearly of a concocted nature. They were believed fully by many people, including the IAS officer who told us it! An IAS (Indian Administrative Service) officer is a high position in the civil administration and the fact that such a person could believe incredible rubbish of that kind just shows what a parlous state India is in as regards belief in it countless fraudulent gurus and myths.

Transcript (in black) of the handwritten notes. Comments in purple:-
“Thus Ramu told of a gateman who had beaten up people who were caught stealing sandals etc. really brutally. He was known for this. A small fellow had a brush with him one day (in 1979 or so) and had knifed him several times, killing him. He had run to Sai and thrown himself at the Lotus Feet. Sai had forgiven him, sent him away for 9 days and told him that there would be no charges. The case was mysteriously dropped… very irregular in India! The gateman had been usurping power generally, becoming a threat to others inside the ashram – so perhaps the incident was somehow provoked/ engineered?
Comment: The notorious gateman was killed, but it occurred in early 1986 when I was present at the ashram.(
See here) He was called Kumar and had been there since Sai Baba fetched him from among shepherds or bandits in the hills nearby many years before.

That he was sent away for 9 days seems to be a detail taken from an incident when a former head of the ashram, Chiranjia Rao, was called to Sai Baba and told a man was coming to murder him and that he should go away until called back.
The killer, I was told at the time by a Hindi-speaking friend, was a Shiva priest. Another account of the same incident claimed it was a kitchen cook who had been with Sai Baba for ages who killed the gateman Kumar with a kitchen knife in the grounds of the ‘samadhi’ to his parents in Puttaparthi. Such are the various versions which do the rounds and are never confirmed or denied. The incident was covered up as few present had any idea that anything at all had happened, for I asked some of those I knew.

Finally, it is far from being ‘very irregular’ to drop murder investigations in India, as constant reports in the India press have borne witness to. That was doubtless Ramnath trying to make Sai Baba seem more mysteriously in control.

When Indira Gandhi, having been snubbed by Baba, sent the police to search his apartment at delhi, he welcomed them saying “You have come to look for gold?” And he pointed out the window. “There…” and they saw a mountain of gold outside in the park. They apologized, excused themselves as they were only doing their duty and fell at His feet. He made vibuthi all around.

Comment: It is known that Indira Gandhi sought Sai Baba’s advice during the Emergency and he advised her to hold elections, which it so happened that she did, to the surprise of all (and she won it).
See evidence from V.K. Narasimhan

However, the incident as described by V. Ramnath is certainly concocted by a heated imagination eager to praise Sai Baba’s miraculous omniscience and omnipotence. Such stories are never officially stated or confirmed, so they proceed through the Sai movement like Chinese whispers, ending up in the kind of unlikely state as in the above report. The movement thrives on such fantastic tales and rumours, there was – and even after his death there still is – an insatiable appetite to hear more leelas and ‘insider’ stories.

6/13/95 M darsan.  (i.e. morning)

 Left after seeing Narasimhan/Marit. Driven by Rahim from Babu’s, a real scrounger- Don’t want him again. Arrived mid-afternoon. Ramu came home earlish.
Also heard from U.S. Daniel that a man in Sai’s ashram who wished to run things properly and knew what was being done wrong, had been approached by Swami in the canteen and told in a whisper “God lets his cows shit wherever they want”!

(meaning, perhaps, he doesn’t stop anyone making the mess they wish of themselves) Thus he has said the ashram is a mini-world –

Comment:This was just one of numerous times we heard that people had complained about the administrations of the ashram – the unfairness and discrimination etc. – not least foreign groups. Sai Baba would sometime give assurances that he was in the process of changing the staff or this or that, but absolutely nothing ever happened. Some claim that the 1993 murders incident in which six devotees were killed was at least in part a result of battles for supremacy between vested interests within the ashram.

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Light on critical dissent on spiritual claims and cultism

Posted by robertpriddy on January 14, 2012

A most excellent resource for those interested in the increasing world problem of cults, especially religious or ‘spiritual’ cults is found at It contains a succinct but extensive overview of most of the difficulties involved in the investigation and exposure of cults. The first article on that web page is so insightful that I take the liberty – with acknowledgement – of reproducing it here, interspersed briefly with comments from my own experience and knowledge, obviously mainly for the Sathya Sai Baba cult. The article highlights the major problem that most governments and their judiciary represent for those who have been deceived by cult figures or their organizations in their conservatism and political correctness towards all sects claiming the protection of ‘religious freedom’ while employing cultist agendas.

One serious and often tragic consequence is that those rational and sane persons who have survived cults physically and mentally – and thus have inside experience and really know about their occluded practices, as opposed to formal researchers by neutral or would-be ‘objective observers’ who look in only from the outside – are largely neglected as a resource. There is much prejudice against whistle-blowers, dissidents, apostates and determined critics of ‘spiritual’ cults, persons who alone have the insight into the secrets and methods of indoctrination, manipulation and control from which they have freed themselves – often at great personal cost. Academic researchers of religious history, sects and cults invariably use the writings of others as their chief materials and very seldom have the hands-on approach that genuine participance can provide (even as a participant-observer investigator, for example). So, at a second or third remove from the real subject matter – the actual persons and groups in cults – academics mostly provide sanitary and rather shallow conclusions. Partly for this reason, governments and lawmakers are too often unaware of the real nature of the shadier cultic organizations and the dangers and depredations they cause among the populace. There are thousands of such organizations in the world today, from the very small to truly enormous rich and influential world-spanning organizations. They obviously vary in degree of repression of their members, in the extent of their secrecy, the reach of their clandestine operations and the extent and nature of  illegal activities, yet all benefit from the laxity of authorities towards these often near impenetrable goings-on. For example, the Sathya Sai Baba cult is one of the most subtle, deceptive, powerful and rich cults in the world today, in which sexual abuse, murders and financial crime are covered up to the highest level in the Indian judiciary and government.

Excerpts from ‘The Culture of Cults’ (in blue text):-

Difficulties Facing Critical Ex-members

In general, cults have a hierarchical or pyramid type of structure. At the lowest level, members are part-timers who are only partially committed to the group and are who are only lightly brainwashed. All the cult leadership really requires of this level is that members should speak well of the group and be generally positive. Members at this level have little power or influence, and are unlikely to be aware of the full range of the cult’s teachings, knowledge of which is restricted to a trusted inner circle of committed, full-time members.

Members at a part-time level of commitment are less likely to be manipulated or abused to any significant extent, because achieving strong influence over a person really requires that they be exposed to a mind control environment on a more full-time basis. Mind control only works on a foundation of personal friendship and trust, and it takes time and effort to establish this foundation. Strong mind control is partly a one on one process, in which the controlee is assigned a personal mentor, a more senior and experienced member, who is willing to devote the patience and effort needed to coach the aspirant/controlee in the beliefs and practices of the group.

For this practical reason, therefore, strong mind control is generally only applied to selected individuals who are perceived to be not only receptive, but who also have something in particular that the group leadership wants. Sometimes this is money or sex, or it may be some practical or business skill which is desired by the group leadership in order to expand the group or to raise money. The greater majority of members are not specially targeted, and are only relatively lightly brainwashed.

A person involved at a more superficial level may find it genuinely difficult to believe what goes on in some of the more committed levels of membership. Members who have not been specially targeted, and who have enjoyed the warmth and friendship of the group without having been exposed to its darker side, will tend to think well of the group, and may be puzzled by criticisms of it. These positive and supportive members can be used as a public relations shield, to counter any allegations against the group, and to reassure new members. Individual critics can be simply outnumbered and their criticisms discredited.

Even if a member involved at a less committed level is not swayed by the general air of positivity, and does develop suspicions about the group, they are unlikely to have enough inside information about the group to be able to verify their suspicions, or to be in a position to effectively warn others of potential problems. Nevertheless, the mere suspicion that a group might be a cult can be enough to deter a person from becoming involved, and so it can still be worth making relevant criticisms and sowing the seeds of suspicion.

If a critic is an insider, someone who has been more deeply involved and who has enough inside knowledge about a cult to be able to make detailed criticisms, they will still be unable to prove anything (because of the subjective nature of personal belief in general, and the non-falsifiable nature of cult belief systems in particular). They will be unable to prove that the group used deception or misrepresentation in marketing the benefits of participation in group run courses and activities.

If an ex-member claims that they were subjected to brainwashing or mind-control techniques, not only is this again unprovable, but it is tantamount to admitting that they are a gullible and easily led person whose opinions, consequently, can’t be worth much. If an ex-member suffers from any mental disorientation or evident psychiatric symptoms, this is likely to further diminish their credibility as a reliable informant.

Additionally, dissatisfied members or other critics have great difficulty in disproving ad-hominem arguments, such as that they just have a personal axe to grind, that they are trying to find a scapegoat to excuse their own failure or deficiency, or that they are simply being subjective and emotional. Cults have a vested interest in challenging the personal credibility of their critics, and may cultivate academic researchers who attack the credibility and motives of ex-members.

In general, the public credibility of critical ex-cultists seems to be somewhere in between that of Estate Agents and flying saucer abductees.

Comment: In general this is probably a fairly widespread public perception. However, in the case of the former Sathya Sai Baba followers who have dissented, they are not dependent upon their subjective experiences – though these can have been decisive for them – but rely on the masses evidence, testimony and documented deceits and misinformation by Sai Baba and his propagandists. We can point to the amazingly excessive claims Sai Baba made which have never been proven – or predictions that have never been fulfilled. Ex-followers know how Indian Prime Ministers and Presidents, having declared their faith in Sai Baba long before much evidence about his deceptions and abused emerged through the Internet and had to uphold their prestige and diverse involvements with him because of the power over the judiciary and many ministers he had achieved by then, including financial power.

Summary of Advantages Enjoyed by Cult Organisations

To summarise, a cult – defined as an identifiable, organised group of people holding to an independent belief system which primarily originates or is primarily interpreted from within the group, and which has a hierarchical organisational structure based on that belief system – is to a large extent immune from outside criticism, either of its belief system or of the methods used to recruit followers, because:

1. Legal criticism is ineffectual, firstly because freedom of belief laws largely protect cults from outside investigation or regulation, and secondly because of the subjective, non-provable nature of personal belief itself.

2. Moral criticism is ineffectual, because a cult belief system can set its own self-justifying moral codes.

3. Philosophical or theological criticism is ineffectual, because a cult belief system follows its own internal logic, which is impenetrable to an outsider.

4. Empirical or scientific criticism is ineffectual, because the tenets of a cult belief system are non-falsifiable.

5. Criticism by ex-members is ineffectual, because apostates tend to lack credibility for a variety of reasons.

Immunity from outside criticism and regulation does not, in itself, necessarily mean that a group will develop and use what might be considered, by the standards of the mainstream, deceptive or devious psychological techniques to gain or control adherents. It only means that they can, and that there is little come-back if they do. Religious freedom and freedom of belief laws tend to protect the rights of religious and quasi-religious organisations, much more than they protect the rights of individuals who may become involved with those organisations and their belief systems.

Comment: One feature which distinguishes a cult from a mainstream religious sect or church is the emphasis given to the doctrines aspects which aim at control of the follower’s perception, thought and possibility of expressing doubts, criticism or the like. One having accepted the basic premises, those inducted to a particular faith and belief-system begin to organize all appearances to fit the basic premises. Cults always have a complete set of arguments and rationalizations – as well as other manipulatory techniques – to counter and suppress internal dissent.

Click on section title to go to that section, click on browser Back button to return to Contents.
Summary IntroductionPreamble
Preliminary Definitions  Cult – Mind Control
Outline of a Cult Persuasion Process – Bi-polar Mind Control

Marketing a Cult Belief System 
Religious – Freedom & Moral Independence
The Quasi – Religious SpectrumReligious Freedom and Moral IndependenceOrganisations and their Belief Systems –
The Nature of Personal Belief
Free Will, Free Choice and Personal Belief
The Hermeneutics of Personal Belief
Hierarchical, Bi-polar Belief Systems
Hierarchies and the Politics of Personal Belief
 why Christianity didn’t start as a cult)
Recruitment by Cults – Leaving A Cult Disability Arising from Cult Involvement Problems in Exposing Cults Difficulties in Identifying a Cult

Difficulties Facing Critical Ex-members

Summary of Advantages enjoyed by Cult Organisations

(Click on endnote number to go to endnote, click on browser Back button to return to main text.)

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Glen Meloy, David Bailey and Sai Baba VIPs

Posted by robertpriddy on January 12, 2012

Glen Meloy, a long-term faithful US follower of Sai Baba, who died in 2005, became a dissident when he learned through US Sai devotees who had told him of being sexually abused by Sathya Sai Baba. He was made the object of sexual libels, but not to the same extent as was David Bailey. This is because the concert pianist Bailey with private connection to the Royal family of Britain had been a favourite of Sathya Sai Baba, who chose him for around 100 interviews! Bailey was married by Sai Baba and was sent off around the world to promote his teachings (i.e. his cult), and he was honoured and praised by countless devotees, though the parents of a number of young men told him about their son’s being abused sexually by Sai Baba. Later he was able to confirm this when a number of students he was teaching music at Sai Baba’s college in Prashanthi Nilayam and who evidently deeply  trusted his integrity approached him and asked him if he could influence Sai Baba to stop abusing them sexually. This led to his further investigations and a great turnaround in his view of SSB… something which happened to a great number of those who had taken him far too much on trust (he insisted of unwavering faith in his every word!). David Bailey was hounded by bitter and hateful devotees, calling him a pedophile, a jailbird and whatever not. This showed how many of them are in reality, when almost all talk about having been ‘transformed’ spiritually. Bailey knew the veranda VIPs well, including Maynard Ferguson and Phyllis Krystal, and when he questioned her about the sexual molestations, she admitted that they took place but said to him that the real issue was whether Glen really believed that Sai Baba is God or not. Virtually the same was reported by David Bailey in a documented phone conversation (see transcript here or listen to recording). Among other things Bailey testified: “people like Phyllis Krystal, people like Mike Hollander, who have been there for many years, they just turn round and they say ‘If you consider he is God, he can do anything. He can have fraud, sex, drugs… anything.” This would, for most reasonable non-indoctrinated people or colluders who knew they had a lot to lose by speaking out, be sufficient to reject all Sai Baba’s vast claims about himself and his nature as God the avatar of the age come to save humanity from disaster.

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Michael J. Hollander, bigot preacher of preposterous, untested beliefs

Posted by robertpriddy on January 10, 2012

Michael Hollander is a classical example of what occurs when one became enamoured of a guru and his cult during a period of confused youth disturbed by seriously broken family relations and his consequent search for ‘the’ meaning of life and his discovery of one he feels was a divine father figure, according to what he has himself written. Later he was actually married by Sai Baba too! The process of gradual engulfment in a religious cult, as in Hollander’s case, has been explained in the anti-cult literature, such as in the excellent book The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies—How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths. By Michael Shermer. (Times Books; 400 pages; $28. £19.99. Buy from The book “presents the evidence for Mr Shermer’s central claim: that, instead of shaping belief around painstakingly gathered, soberly judged evidence, people most often decide upon their beliefs first, and then use an impressive range of cognitive tricks to bend whatever evidence they do discover into support for those pre-decided acts of faith.”

Michael Hollander was inducted into the Sai Baba ‘brotherhood’ in 1972 and has risen within the ranks there – publishing several tracts which are hagiographic eulogy and slavishly follow and promote the “teachings” of Sathya Sai Baba, his own contribution being as completely unoriginal as regards any own ideas and clinically clean of the slightest other viewpoints as is the vast majority of all the countless self-published  contributions to ‘Sai literature’. The intellectual level of his writing differs little from that of the huge majority of Sai devotees, namely, execrable. This is not least due to the insistence by Sai Baba on the absolute supremacy of his doctrines, especially to be observed by all who would follow him (self-contradictory and strictly traditional religiously fundamental as they are).



Big Ego? Hollander accuses dissidents of suffering from ‘ego’ – one of the ever-repeated, automatic cockatoo cries of many remaining devotees  (so vague  too – see scan on right). ‘Too Big ego’ was one of the “loving” Sai Baba’s favourite put-downs at group interviews to raise a laugh for himself at others’ expense. So unoriginal is Hollander in all his cocksure and super-bigoted preaching that all critics are cowards and haters etc. He also wrote it again in another of his several comments:  “Yes it was easy to see that Sri Sathya Sai was none other then God Himself-The very Creator of the entire Cosmos.This was so obvious.And because some could not see this or fathom this -they turn on Him.It was only their deep and internal problems and ego that shows in their slander and totally false accusations.”  The accusations I have endorsed are all entirely true as far as the most thorough and painstaking investigations show. Hollander does not know any of the main critics and cannot know anything about any ‘internal problems’, which none of us suffer from, as I can testify from my extensive contacts with these honest, rational and normally self-examining persons. Typically, Hollander does not answer a single one of the countless detailed accusations they level but sweeps them all under th carpet with one broad brush! Now, unbeknown to him and most Sai followers, the ego is a necessary instrument of the healthy personality adjusted to the environment and does not imply egomania. Nor does it imply undue insistence on fulfilling the desires of ‘me’ and ‘mine’. In bringing forth facts, documentation, criticism, testimonies, and proofs of untruth, lying, deceptions, abuses of diverse kinds – and the cultist agendas of our accusers – we are not simply constantly spouting the same unfounded claims and untenable beliefs that a guru has said in the name of divine truth and to promote his own self-claimed Magnificence and Glory. The Sai Baba universal accusation of ‘too big an ego’ is irrelevant when people – having at last found out that they have placed their trust very wrongly – are pursuing the truth, and promoting it not at all their own interests. It is a question of informing what is held back and suppressed totally by all Sai authorities and followers, not least so as to forewarn seeker and help protect the many vulnerable persons who find their way to such gurus from the exploitation – emotional, mental, social,  financial and very often sexual (as so widely testified about SB). It is an act of duty and actually is selfless in that we have nothing to gain (unless satisfaction) other than a mass of vulgar and disreputable on-line and e-mail attacks – also web-stalking – from many devotees (I have a file with several hundred such highly unspiritual and ignorant libels by his devoted followers). It is actually not a huge price to pay for our daring to speak up.

In the so-called Sai literature and the various institutions his donors have financed for education and spreading the word etc., there is almost total avoidance of ALL international scientific, academic and social debate on all those issues with which he deals. The Sai Baba doctrine is a self-contained explanation of all and everything (according to Sai Baba, that is!) and discarding any need for world expertise from outside the ranks of the devotees, the disciples, the apostles, and the ‘anointed’ (so to speak) among whose pre-heavenly mini-host Michael Hollander is apparently thrice-blessed as a member. Recently, for example, in his self-promoting video as the apostle to whom Sai Baba entrusted the future of his many ‘secret’ projects, the much cognitively deranged former multi-millionaire beef-burger king and crystal skull promoter, Isaac Tigrett, reckons Hollander as a great friend. Hollander is also lauded by his associate and true believer Mark Sullivan, who also believes fully in the preposterous and unproven claims and holds me to be ruled by ego and whatever not.  Anyone still in possession of his own mind (i.e. is not longer ‘possessed’ by Sai Baba lies and myths AFTER the exposure of him on so many, varied counts) realises that the world will NEVER accept him as God in Human Form as he always claimed… He never lifted the two mountain ranges he said he would, nor did he fly unaided through the sky, not did he die within many years of any of the four different published predictions that he made, and so on almost ad infinitum. Even now, countless Indians have rejected him since his demise and their criticisms on news comments have flowered.

Particularly hopelessly deluded – the mark of deep psychological and emotional denial – Hollander also wrote the following in another comment:-“What an abhorrent sin to cast abuse and even engage in evil slander against One who Is Goodness Itself.Is this not a cowardly act.Lord Sai was and IS Perfection Itself.Even Now that He Chose to leave His Form His Formless aspect did not or will not ever change.This is the nature of God who Is Omniscient.Or did you forget?Thus for those who chose to turn on Him it is all left to the individuals karma.”

The capitalization is a telling sign of religious mania… but the words are truly fundamentalist nonsense in the tradition of extreme US bible-bashers. Is this not hidebound insularity, when the world knows that Sathya Sai Baba was admitted to his hospital where he underwent month-long organ failures, heart surgery, being on a lung ventilator, on kidney dialysis, falling unconscious, losing power of speech and finally being put out of his misery on a pre-planned disconnection from his life support system to coincide with the day Jesus supposedly ascended! Easter Sunday! The pre-planning was evident from the arrangements for a casket long before he was declared dead and from the arrangements made for the funeral and visiting dignitaries well before his death was announced! No death certificate or medical records were released and one must suspect that his extreme weight loss and known habits caused he to contract AIDS. (see Sai Babahospitalization, death, funeral and aftermath) also how he cried for help: Sathya Sai Baba’s death and inscrutability The well-respected Director of Sathya Sai Super-speciality Hospital, Dr. Safaya, resigned his post stating that he could not condone some of what was done. At one point the Sai Trust seriously discussed in public whether to bury him alive! Later a huge amount of riches were discovered in Sai Baba’s huge bed and apartment, a real proof that he was no sannyasin and was actually a miserly hoarder. Hollander no doubt rationalizes all that along with the many hundreds of documented untruths and broken promises, deceits, fraudulent ‘materializations’, bogus ‘diamonds’, plus the mad lunar age theory and much more. 

The doctrine of karma Hollander further informs all those he sees as ignorami with his Besserwissen belief in knowing the ultimate Divine truth of the Universe: “The Universe unfolds day in and out and sooner or later we each must face the consequences our own decisions and karma.This is called Natural Law.”  (including reincarnation with future retribution and/or reward) is not only unsupported by any science whatever, it is historically an attempt to explain nature and human life by persons with most primitive levels of knowledge, ruled by superstition and fear of punishing deities and demons. It appeals to people who have lost their bearings in moral and social understanding who want to believe that the Universe is a just place, all will get their desserts… something which observably does not happen in this world. So other worlds had to be invented, including heavens and hells for reward for good deeds and punishment for sin. See the doctrine of karma.

 It is not at all ‘cowardly’ but rather a brave and selfless act to bring forth countless lies, deceits, fraudulent acts and abuses of all kinds that Sathya Sai Baba perpetrated on his following, especially by those who describe the dreadful sex abuses they experienced at his hands. I know none who criticize Sai Baba out of hate, envy, bitterness or ‘being disgruntled’ (the magpie call of most Sai defenders). Instead, having been deceived ourselves, we in the exposé want to protect the defenseless and vulnerable people who seek gurus – help forewarn and protect them from exploitation of the kinds we eventually discovered to be part of his “Holy Dispensation”. It became a duty, one from which we have had nothing to gain other than unfounded abuse of the kind with which Hollander has sullied his own name.
See also

Michael J. Hollander – Longtime Ardent Sathya Sai Baba Apostle

Michael J. Hollander: A Sathya Sai Baba Preacher of ‘Woe-Unto-The-Wicked’

Massively documented history of Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged sexual abuses

Voluminous public evidence on the unsolved murders in Sai Baba’s bedroom apartment in 1993 while he stood by

Hollander sends occasional comments to my wordpress blog, the latest of which demonstrated his mentality well enough:-


Michael J. Hollander’s Sathya Sai Baba credentials

Michael xhollandermh@msn.com69.116.37.200 Cleared by AkismetSubmitted on 2012/09/16 at 7:34 amPriddy you sound like a moron.All false lies and untrue accusations. We each have our own karma to reap.This is Natural Law.Not Spam | Delete Permanently

Reply from Robert

Only a very deluded person in intense denial like yourself would consider me a moron. I am a retired philosophy and sociology lecturer; they don’t employ morons! Apropos, in your self-imagined wisdom, explain what is a ‘false lie’ – how does it differ from a’ true lie’? I have never lied nor made a single untrue accusation. Your repeated attacks on me have made not the slightest impression… they have been of such a mentality and level of  ignorance that they only tend to prove that continued defenders of Sai Baba are both incompetent and dishonest.

Karma is a false doctrine for people who can’t accept reality and want to see their enemies punished and themselves rewarded! There is zero evidence for this ante-diluvial speculation. It is just another of those ideas developed to keep people who can be manipulated in line.

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‘The Guardian’ on Sathya Sai Baba’s life and demise

Posted by robertpriddy on January 9, 2012

The following account is probably close to what will become the average assessment of Sathya Sai Baba in future, excluding the still considerable, but shrinking, cultist following.
There is nothing that followers can do to counteract the criticism of their dead God, they cannot litigate for fear of the many adverse facts and sworn testimonies. Nonetheless, they have threatened to sue on several occasions,
against the BBC for broadcasting ‘The Secret Swami’ , against the Canadian Broadcasting, in Australia (against Barry Pittard), from India (against, and in Denmark against the National Broadcaster,
but none have ever stepped up to the plate!
Nor can they get the  ‘divine help’ they expect or hope for to change the situation. Do they not ever wonder why? I think so!

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The Secret Swami is the most viewed Sai Baba critical documentary

Posted by robertpriddy on January 7, 2012

See short video clips and transcripts of the BBC documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ and with food reason, as it was the edited result of 80 hours of film recorded around the world -though reduced into 1 hour and excluding much highly damaging testimony from sexually abused followers due to the strict requirements on time and compact story-line of BBC documentaries. It was never legally challenged, for obvious reasons, though attempts to undermine it have been made by some supporters of Sathya Bai Baba with no scruples or respect for the truth. It did suffer from some slight errors, but if anything it went too far in uncritical acceptance of Sai propaganda (such as about the number of followers, which was a sheer fantasy without any basis in observation).

The BBC praised the so-called Rayalaseema Water Project, which was supposed to provide fresh drinking water to 1000 villages, but which was very largely a failure (the BBC team were hi-jacked to one village which had water flowing and visited none others). Moreover, few people realize that the water project was promoted by Sai Baba – who publicly asked for public donations for it – because his reputation in local areas was being threatened by dissatisfied populace which could observe the luxuries of the ashrams, but received virtually no benefits themselves. Thereafter he trumpeted the project as HIS major social achievement until then, while everything practical and financial (except most of the boastful talking) was done by others than himself. The opening of the water flow on his 70th birthday was itself a complete failure – the water pumps broke down and no water flowed, but it was covered-up (as usual) and was pronounced a great success. However, the water table had in the meantime sunk by several meters so water from borewells was reduced to a trickle, while large tracts of pipeline was unfinished due to swindle by contractors. How many village every got any water is a question that no one can answer on the basis of actual systematic observation.

Investigators have shown that the claims have another side to them. It was found that the authorities had previously refused permission for a water pipe solely for the private use of the ashram, unless other villages on the way were also supplied, as many in the region were without water. Permission to lay 2000 km of pipeline to the ashram was only granted after accepting this proviso. But even though some of the villages of the Rayalaseema region through which the pipeline runs are now getting good water, others say that half the pipelines are blocked or badly fitted and they are still not getting a supply.

The project became such a problem for the Sathya Sai authorities that it was donated to the Andhra Pradesh government, which took over the subsidizing and running of it. This was long held to be an unsurpassed contribution to Indian development which even the government could not match, though the volume of water was but  fraction of what even the Andhra Pradesh government has provided during the same time frame for the populace of the State! This is the scale of the work done in the name of the God avatar who came to save humanity and to regenerate India… and fully reinstate Vedic spiritual values (!). Now, however, corruption rules as never before, all agree that money is king and the huge masses are still in dire poverty. 

See Water projects in Rayalaseema and for Chennai – Sathya Sai Baba


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Defenders of Sathya Sai Baba and ‘vested interests’

Posted by robertpriddy on January 5, 2012

From time to time a few of those who were connected in one way or another – and also some who remain so after his most unpropitious demise – try to defend his failing reputation in the face of the major scandals that have followed him, especially since the worldwide sexual abuse testimonies from 1999 onwards. Nearly every defender is known to have vested interests of one kind or another in defending his name. (See reasons below).

The former International Chairman of the Sathya Sai Organization – Mr. Indulal Shah – claimed  meretriciously that the sex abuse allegations were made by persons having `vested interests`. The Hindu (10-6-1993) further revealed Shah’s agenda, as follows: “When press persons met Indulal Shah, chief functionary of the Sri Sathya Sai World Trust, he said, ‘the matter is purely internal and we do not wish to have any law enforcement agency investigating into it.” This devious person – then the International Chairman of the Sathya Sai Organisation – was deeply involved in the cover-up of the murders in Sai Baba’s bedroom! The Indian Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, and three high-profile co-signatories of a public letter including Indulal Shah and P.N. Bhagwati) which stated that the contentions against their guru were “wild, reckless and concocted allegations made by certain vested interests and people against Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.” This was published without a shred of evidence to support it, and of course without explaining what was meant by ‘vested interests’ or which persons or bodies might be involved. An allusion to competing religions, sects or cults, perhaps.. it was anybody’s guess! (Challenged under the Right to Information laws, the entire cover-up apparatus of the State was employed to avoid answering what evidence these specious claims were based on). Likewise, Sathya Sai Baba himself claimed that people were being paid to made those allegations, without offering a shred of evidence or naming any body which could be involved. All that was an attempt to defuse the crisis among devotees and give them at least a figment of explanation of what to them were otherwise incomprehensible claims against their pure, perfect, infallible, omniscient and omnipotent Godhead!

The phrase `vested interest` can mean `a special interest in protecting or promoting that which is to one’s own personal advantage`. This would exclude those who bravely stood forth to give their accounts of how Sathya Sai Baba had sexually abused them, which they mostly did to confirm and support the whistle-blower, David Bailey, whose account of what he had discovered after very close association with Sathya Sai Baba and many of his students and followers worldwide wrote `The Findings`, which caused a major upheaval among followers.

The only interest the majority of exposers of Sai Baba`s many deceptions and abuses have had is that of upholding the truth, and upholding it in the face of massive propaganda and misinformation by all those with their own vested interests in supporting Sai Baba and all connected with him. Nor can any of the defectors or apostates be reasonably accused  of being `Vested interests`, which can also mean `those groups that seek to maintain or control an existing system or activity from which they derive private benefit.` Virtually none of them were acting to promote other religious institutions or competitors for the benefits that befell those connected with Sathya Sai Baba, of whom there were and still are very many of all kinds and degrees of involvement.

Here are some of the many kinds of ‘vested interest’ that followers hold in “protecting or promoting their personal advantage”:-

1) Being a beneficiary – directly on indirectly – of the massive donated funds which are used for all manner of project from free or subsidized education, health care, charitable support, payment for services and other methods of dispersing monies, whether accountability so or illegally. (One small example:, being the recipient of goods like the 5 new cars given out of donated funds to officials, including one to the infamous and well-heeled Head of Radio Sai, Dr. G. Venkataraman, propagandist, plagiariser and writer of extended untruths).

2) Having invested in property under the control of the ashram authorities – such as apartments – or other apartments or houses adjacent to Sai Baba ashrams. The value of such properties falls due to lack of belief in Sai Baba’s claims of divinity, which it is in the interest of property holders to promote.

3) Having made many ties to the social and other activities connected to Sai Baba and often having alienated former friends and contacts without which devotees are – or feel themselves to be – more or less entirely dependent for any social quality of life.

4) Having invested their belief and prestige in their acceptance by Sathya Sai Baba and circles around him for so long or to an extent which makes them unable to admit of having been wrong about him. Not only is loss of face considerable, but this can affect

5) ‘A right or title, as to present or future possession of an estate, that can be conveyed to another’ is also a definition of ‘vested interest’ and this applies to the present Sai Central Trust board members, who have assumed – by hook or by crook – control over the entire estate of Sathya Sai Baba.

The personal advantages that the devotee believes will or may accrue from their faith in Sai Baba, their various sacrifices in his name and so forth, include the guarantee never to be reborn into the world after death (i.e. absolute ‘liberation’ or Moksha, Nirvana). This is, however, one very powerful motive in the lives of most devotees and some imagine that by defending the supposed Godhead, Creator of the Universe (etc. etc. ad. inf.)  against those who have facts to relate and criticism to level (none of which can be refuted due to documentation often including Sathya Sai Baba’s own published words, self-contadictions, untruths, failed predictions and broken promises etc.). This may hardly be called a ‘vested interest’ because of theunproven, unrealistic and fantastic nature of the entire belief and the hopes on which the followers are mostly dependent.

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Sathya Sai Baba’s private life

Posted by robertpriddy on January 2, 2012

Persons who belief in Sathya Sai Baba’s many preposterous claims and who have been allowed near to him for some time or in come capacity now and again make pronouncements about him which are based on their own delusions about his private doings. He managed his staff most carefully – letting those who could be trusted to see some things, while keeping most of his real private life secret as far as he possibly could though the organization of appearances, deceptions and confusions. Only when his sexual abuses were testified by so many known young men from around the world from 1999 onwards did the extent of his double life become known to many of us, who soon left him. When first my wife and I arrived at Prashanthi Nilayam in 1984, many of our expectations generated by books, films and reports about  this being the ‘Abode of Supreme Peace’ were soon dashed. The staff was not friendly towards us, but official in tone and quite patronizing, as if we were suspect persons (though we were highly self-disciplined and civil ourselves). This was the experience of a large proportion of the persons we later helped and accompanied to visit Sai Baba.  The rules and regulations were extensive and quite strict – for example, on where one could not go – in which areas of the ashram one was strictly forbidden to walk. That a supposed spiritual centre should be run on almost proto-military lines. I soon became well aware that foreign devotees were watched by ashram staff who lingered here and there to ensure that no one stepped out of line. A number of foreign visitors were rejected from the ashrams by the so-called ‘public relations office’ (which functioned also as an instrument of control of visitors and their behaviour and collector of information about each of them. It was impossible to reconcile this fully why such a regime should be necessary when Sai Baba was claimed by all to ‘know everything’ and the be ‘all powerful’ – not just legally within his private fiefdom but throughout the world and indeed the Universe (note).

It is known to almost every single person who ever visited him that Sathya Sai Baba was ringed by watchful personal attendants and his activities were enveloped in a tight cocoon of secrecy. This was a prime feature of his adult life, and one which eventually proved to be the result of his many deceptions and activities that could not stand the light of day, which are liberally investigated and documented on this blog (and on diverse other websites) which no one has succeeded in disproving, let alone trying to challenge the many hundreds of the reported deceptions, failures and lies point-by-point. The rumours about what he had said, what he would do next day, when he would travel and every conceivable question about him were always rife and seldom were shown to have substance.  No one who was close to him could know what he did as his life behind closed doors was strictly private whenever he so wished, and for good reasons. He was masterful at playing on their ambitions to become favoured, playing them off against one another. Envy of competitors for his supposed blessings  was a feature of many of his followers, both close servitors and especially VIPs in the Organization.  He has various so-conspirators from time to time who were allowed to enter his rooms much of the time, like Colonel Joga Rao (who did not believe in his materializations) but no one was in a position to follow anything like his every movement. He would also visit many persons by car accompanied only by his driver or some chosen follower or two. The one exception to his not trusting of anyone fully was apparently during his last few years, when his young friend and bedfellow Sathyajit was evidently party to most of what went on in his secret rooms (later found to be filled with hoarded treasures). 

When Chandrasekhar came here, a hundred security men also came. Swami asked him, why do you need so many people? He said that security is very necessary. Then Swami said that there must be some mistake in you. Because of mistake, you have fear, and when there is fear, you need security“. (13.01.1992 Prashanthi Nilayam, from materials of the ESSE Institute)

Until then, the security arrangements at Prashanthi Nilayam had mostly been made by the extensive Seva Dal staff, with the support of some armed guards who could be seen now and again.But just one year and a half later, on 6th June 1993, four devotees – all former students of Sai Baba’s institutions – entered the carefully guarded temple (mandir) and  came into armed conflict with his servitors, two of whom were killed in a knife fight. The four were trapped within Sai Baba’s apartment and later executed by the police after a long stand-off while Sai Baba stood by while  his younger brother Janakiramiah together with Central Trust members including Colonel Joga Rao and the head of the ashram negotiated with the police chief until he took action and ordered the merciless shooting with rifles of the young men, armed only with knives. This cause a massive step-up in the secrecy, security and surveillance at both main Sai Baba ashrams (Prashanthi Nilayam and Brindavan). Since the 1993 incident, two new extremely costly and impenetrable fortress-like building were built for the further protection of Sai Baba’s secret life. (See here)

As the former head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Moscow. Serguei Badaev, has written:-

“I can also share my own personal experience of visiting Sai Baba in Prashanthi Nilayam repeatedly during 1995-2000. I was surprised to see during every darshan (daily meeting with devotees) as two young bodyguards in the white clothes of ordinary devotees provided God’s security. Before darshan they stayed near the entrance of Sai Baba’s rooms and immediately after Sai Baba passed this place they ran around, entered the mandir hall and sat down in the arranged places reserved for them by sevadals in the front rows among male devotees. They changed places following Sai Baba’s movement through the male side of the mandir area until they positioned themselves on the veranda among top devotees and VIP guests. When Sai Baba left the mandir these two body guards left the veranda and went out of the mandir and ran to the Sai Baba rooms’ entrance. 

Sai Baba devotees have a number of explanations to put to these facts. For example, they believe it is not Sai Baba who has fear for his life, it is devotees who are afraid, and Sai Baba lets them protect his life out of his great love for his devotees. In fact, it is just a part of his leela (Divine Play) because it is he who is the Protector of the whole world. After the 1993 murder episode, the Indian Government bent to pressure from prominent devotees and proclaimed Sai Baba to be a “national treasure” and sent a military guard to protect him. 

In the discourses following the murders in June 1993 Sai Baba emphasized repeatedly that nobody really understands the role of the Avatar in the cosmic play, that God’s ways (= Sai Baba’s ways) are inscrutable, and all devotees need is to keep their faith firm and accept everything that happens in their lives as being for their good. In spite of this sophisticated logic for an unbiased observer the true reason is clear as day. The following words of Sai Baba, said a year and a half before the murders of June 1993, testify against his own deeds:

We do not need to fear anyone. Why should one be afraid of Truth? When there is a defect, there is fear. When there is fear, you need security. No mistake, no fear, no security.” (13.01.1992 Prashanthi Nilayam, from materials of the ESSE Institute)”

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