Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

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

Malaysian reactions to a revealing BBC documentary

Posted by robertpriddy on April 7, 2014

E-mails from the prominent Malaysian lawyer, Hariram Jayaram, registered the effect of the BBC World documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ in Malaysia, where it ws shown in September 2004.

September 21 Dear Robert Already, the private viewing of the authorised copy of the Secret Swami is sending shock waves. The anti-SSB cult network of the 1980s is being revived. I am not playing a leadership role. There are a reasonable number of younger people to handle this. One of them was a former student of Puttaparthi and victim. SSB (note: Sathya Sai Baba)  is not a great figure among the Indian community of Malaysia. The Chinese are fooled by him into thinking that they will prosper materially by being his devotee. But the BBC broadcast will make a substantial number of them come to their senses. Congratulations! Regards,Hariram

September 28, 2004
Dear Robert Yes, I saw Secret Swami at prime time i.e. at 8.10 pm on Saturday, September 25, 2004. It was shown 3 times. The programme was shortened to 50 minutes. I suppose that this was inevitable because of the time constraints BBC was placed in. The scenes omitted from the 10 minutes do not matter. The word has spread. Many I meet say that they have seen the documentary. Others are borrowing from me the authorised copy. Not only the Indian community is conscious as it has always been (except for the dud Jegathesan), the Chinese community is also becoming aware.
I will pass on your message to the SSB victim with whom I am in contact. To be fair to him, his name should be kept confidential. It is worth doing this because he is doing his part quietly and effectively to expose SSB. I will go through the article on the Chinese community.  It is possible to make a dent because the Malaysian Chinese who are Buddhists or Christians have suspicions about SSB. I did not find anything substantially wrong with the two VCDs you sent to me. Well done once again.
Regards, Hariram

Overview of the main contents of THE SECRET SWAMI documentary can be studied here See source e-mail of the above excerpts here. Earlier e-mails from Jayaram have already appeared in previous postings here and here – here and here      Concerning the Sai Baba cult in Malaysia’s attempts to enrol Chinese into their organisation, a research work has been written as follows:-

Journal of Contemporary Religion
Publisher: Carfax Publishing Company, part of the Taylor & Francis Group
Issue: Volume 15, Number 1 / January 1, 2000
Creating Divine Unity: Chinese Recruitment in the Sathya Sai Baba Movement of Malaysia by Alexandra KentThis paper examines Chinese participation in a neo-Hindu movement in Malaysia. The data, gathered in Kuala Lumpur 1995-1997, are examined with regard to their ethnic and political implications and in relation to the historical as well as the contemporary social features of Malaysia. The paper explores the way in which the Indian-dominated leadership of the Malaysian Sai Baba organisation attempts to include Chinese worshippers: while aiming to overcome ethnic boundaries, there is a tendency to reproduce them. Chinese inclusion plays a significant role in the organisation’s attempt to establish a multi-ethnic and non-sectarian profile for the movement. Such a profile is relevant for the leadership’s pursuit of moral legitimacy in a country where ethnicity and religion are inextricably linked to politics.
SEE ALSO Ambiguity and the Modern Order: the Sathya Sai Baba Movement in Malaysia    Author: Alexandra Kent   Doctoral dissertation at the Department of Social Anthropology Göteborg University — Box 700, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden
Abstract This study examines the Malaysian following of the contemporary Indian godman Sathya Sai Baba, a neo-Hindu guru famed for his miracle-working. This religious innovation has broad appeal among non-Malays, but attempts to formalise and control it have evolved within a middle-class subsection of the Indian community. My concern here is to examine its special and ambiguous formula for addressing the totalitarianism and intolerance of Malaysian modernity as it is wielded by the Malay-dominated government.The dissertation presents a background firstly of the Indian community in Malaysia, secondly of the guru, Sathya Sai Baba and his ambiguous symbolism and rhetoric and thirdly, of the Sai Baba organisation in Malaysia. The final four chapters, chapters four-seven, present ethnography through which the peculiar ambivalence of the élite Indian following is explored. The first of these contrasts the rationalistic visage of the Sai Baba organisation’s public service events with the non-rational formulations used in its private celebrations. The second and third ethnographic chapters discuss how the male, middle-class Indian leadership of the organisation attempts to control both spiritual power, in the form of healing, and mundane power within the community. The final chapter deals with the participation of Sai Baba followers in the working-class Tamil festival of Thaipusam. Together, the ethnographic chapters illuminate how the organisation, on the one hand, rhetorically aligns itself to state-sponsored, bourgeois ideology and professes tolerance and ecumenism. On the other hand, the ethnography reveals its concerns with ethnic, class and gender ordering within the Sai Baba community and with the establishment of Hindu supremacy. The culturally besieged élite minority that controls the Sai Baba organisation appears to be torn between subversion and subservience towards the government and its assurance of the ascendancy of Malay culture.The final chapter closes with a concluding section in which it is proposed that religious innovations based in miracles and ambiguity may address some of the profoundly felt disjunctions between lived experience, in all its complexity, and the standardising powers of an imposed modern order.

 

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