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 November, 2014

Shiv Sena leader makes film ‘Satya Sai Baba’

Posted by robertpriddy on November 28, 2014

Baba Sathya Sai - stills

Baba Sathya Sai – stills

UP-DATE: What must be very near to being India’s least successful film in recent years is the long heralded  ‘Satya Sai Baba’ by Atman Films with Anup Jalota as a self-satisfied Bollywood and bowdlerised version of Sathya Sai Baba’s life and message. It appeared as a trailer review (8 mins. 15 secs, which was more than enough. Videos were to be found with  ‘First Look Launch’ of the film, and it was claimed that  in May 2014. Who knows where? Two years later, we are now told by The Asian Age that it will be released shortly. What the right-wing fanatical Shiv Sena has to do with it is anybody’s guess. Perhaps they bought it for a song. Previously I wrote:-

The Sai Baba imitator Anup Jalota talks in Hindi and apparently says “We made this film with zero percent pressure. I’ve known Baba for 50 years, I saw him, met him, went with him, I was so happy to make it with Baba’s blessings, I didn’t act, the director didn’t direct, it was all Baba; this film is like a meditation, we made a beautiful film…”  It is of poor technical quality with major dropouts of colouring and missing sound track problems. As a former follower, I am almost sorry for the remaining devotees that their god should be so thoroughly destroyed filmatically. While Hollywood could distort reality and over-romanticise everything, this film has managed to pervert the “godman’s” extraordinary life and times into a gaping emptiness of false sentiment, ham acting, cloying schmaltz and superficial portrayal. The main actor Jalota looks like a pakora-fed version of Sai Baba with nothing much else but similar gestures, a somewhat dead presence with a voice (speaking Hindi rather than Telugu) hardly reminiscent of Sai Baba’s high-pitched tones. Some short clips of dancing with rows of houri like ‘devotees’ lined up before the Avatar – artificial and pseudo-sexy – in my time there could well have got them rounded up in the proper and correct ashram and hounded out unmercifully… at least during my times there up to 1998.

Former privileged long-term Prashanthi resident but now totally disaffected US devotee, Eileen Weed, comments on the film::-

“Wow – what hilarity! It is a wonder that this film was made with such a low budget that the ‘special effect’ miracles are laughably pathetic! The acting is stiff, the dancing weird, the dialogue necessarily full of cliches. Furthermore, the sound of the trailer seems to go out at 2:22 until the end. Where was the Trust with their massive finances to make it a testament to Divinity?” The actions of the ‘sb’ cannot help but show closely what sb did in real life: wave his hands to pretend to create objects, bless people, speak spiritual clichés, and not much else.”

That such commercial interests, totally unconvincing as regards spirituality should release this, is akin to tramping on the grave of Sai Baba. No doubt, Bollywood false acting has its many adherents among Indians nonetheless,  but those who may like this live in a bubble of unreality far removed from the message Sathya Sai Baba said he wanted to convey. Judging by the trailer, to say that this film is a wooden turkey would be to show disrespect to the entire species of wooden turkey films. Sathya as a child is unconvincing and his mother is far too glam. The travesty continues with overacted parts as devotees. With all respects, had Sathya Sai Baba been so dull as shown, he could never have attracted anyone, at least certainly not from abroad. The only bits that ring true are the short clips taken from films and videos of the actual Sai Baba and devotees, mixed in to help out. Interestingly, only three Western devotees appear on the trailer – shown in the front row at darsan;  all three Norwegian ladies who as leader in Norway I knew well for years, and all of whom left Sathya Sai Baba around year 2000 in sheer disgust due to his sex abuses!

The immediate mid-air materialisation miracles during the Vedic yagna ritual as contrived on film were never witnessed as such in the real events – sheer invention! Some outward shows of emotional ‘spirituality’ – beloved of so many Indians – could not even be compared to a Disney fantasy on a truly awful day. Fake wigs are in evidence – but then Sai Baba sometimes wore then too.

Not unexpectedly the film avoids the many hidden truths about the real Sathya Sai Baba and the gruesome and humiliating aspects of end of his life, drugged, starved down to ca. 30 kgs, kept alive on life support until satisfactory for propaganda and security.  The trailer is now to be seen on YouTube (

The film is not for foreign release, the paucity of non-ethnic foreigners ensures that. And where is the confabulating ex-millionaire Isaac Tigrett? Where is the Prashanthi Christmas procession and choir, or the classical David Bailey. What became of the armed security guards and their metal detector entrance gates? Guess why there is no mention of the great devotees Idi Amin, Bettino Craxi, Rolf Harris and other famous criminals? And are even the all-dancing-all-singing Professors Anil Kumar and G. Venkataraman missing? We shall see whether the film eventually becomes a roaring hit in India… in which case it would forever warn any normal person off the self-proclaimed Creator of the Universe and Deity of All Deities to reconsider his claimed omnipotence yet again.

A genuine and live film which shows Prashanthi Nilayam and Sathya Sai properly was the BBC’s documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ (see overview here and watch on-line here)

‘Baba Satya Sai’ film demotes the swami to a ‘Demigod’
Baba Satya Sai film portrays Sai Baba’s mother
Sathya Sai Baba film (shooting in Parthi)

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Narayana with four arms come to save the world?

Posted by robertpriddy on November 24, 2014

A child born with four arms and four legs: The Daily Express writes:

Daily Express headline/photo

Daily Express headline – click photo to see source


The child has attracted hordes of visitors and been dubbed ‘God‘ by his parents due to his resemblance to a many-limbed deity. A relative, who has not been named, said: “When he first came out we couldn’t believe it.

“The nurses said he was badly deformed but I could see that this was a sign from God. In fact, this is a miracle, it’s God‘s baby. lndian God’s have extra limbs just like this.”

Thousands of people are flocking to the hospital in Baruipur, a city in India’s eastern West Bengal State, to catch a glimpse of the baby.

Chukka Rao, 67, from a neighbouring village, said: “When we first heard about God Boy we were slightly sceptical. But we came to see because we were intrigued by all the news we were hearing from friends and others. This is truly the son of the Hindu God Brahma, who also has four arms and four legs.”

However, a police spokesman said that the visitors were causing problems. “Hundreds are crying in the streets, hundreds of others are praying and setting up camp here. Some are even panicking and believe this is a sign of the end of the world. I have never seen anything like this in my whole career.”

Medics say that the infant‘s condition is a result of the arms and legs of a twin joining on to the foetus in the womb.

A most tragic birth in India, where so many babies in recent years have been born with abnormalities that remind of the idols og gods Hindus worship. Where else but in India can one consider this a ‘divine blessing’? The degree of religious superstition hinders a large section of the Hindu populace from realising that the cause is absolutely not supernatural but due to biological processes of the kind that have always produced so-called Siamese twins. Both in the human and the animal world.there are continual such abnormalities, double or triple heads, multiple limbs and so on. Fortunately there are some excellent and mon-superstitious surgeons in India who have successfully saved some of the misfosters from being worshipped in a golden cage or the like.
See The little girl who had eight limbs and was worshipped as a deity starts school.

One is reminded of a well-known statement of Sathya Sai Baba, who of course claimed to be an avatar (god descended into human form):- “If I had come as Narayana with four arms, they would have put me in a circus, charging money for people to see Me. If I had come only as a man, like any other man, who would listen to me? So I had to come in this human form but with more than the human power and wisdom.”
(US ed. of Kasturi’s Sathyam Sivam Sundaram -Vol 3 page 309)

In the event, Sai Baba did attract very many worshippers in India (as do almost all who simply don a saffron or orange robe, whether or not they proclaim wisdom)  and his name spread to most countries. However the ‘divine mission’ he claimed he came to fulfil – and which he insisted could not possibly fail – has long since most demonstrably failed in almost every way. Infamously, he even died in 2011, around a decade long before the various times he said he would.

His remaining believers struggle on in the vain hope that another of his prophesies will come about: namely, that he would be reborn as Prema Sai (within a period of 1 to 8 or so years) in South India.

two-faced Indian babyNumerous deluded followers, those who apparently could not wait so long, forcibly declared that he would reappear in his Sathya form in anything from a few days to a few years after his decease and burial (one poor woman with a sick Sai-dependency, Yaani Drucker, eagerly believed he would come back himself by July 2014!!). Other Sai Baba worshippers, including the deranged Isaac Tigrett, hold that he is still among us in a subtle spirit (ghost?) and was ‘visible’ in Kodaikanal this year, but only to those who see through their hearts (not eyes?).  Others have taken a variety of strange alternative claims about when, where, in what form he will return to earth… such a pity that people have to believe in such things.

There are some horrific deformed babies born and there have been a number with extra legs, arms and even two faces (!) in India.

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Sai Baba 89th birthday 23/11/2014

Posted by robertpriddy on November 21, 2014

sbbirthdayThe ever-diminishing crowd of devotes of Sathya Sai Baba continue to celebrate the dead man’s birthday – just as if he were still alive. In their indoctrinated delusion, they believe he IS alive, but in the realm of the passed over, wherever they believe that may be. Or that he appeared this year to some devotees in Kodaikanal in an invisible appearance! His birthday is still celebrated but the dead guru’s influence and following is dying off and no longer any prominent visitors from home or abroad as in the past.. for there is nothing for them to gain any more.

To celebrate the birthday of such a deceitful, dishonest and widely exposed sexual predator and accomplice to murders in his own temple complex is a travesty of Hinduism and religion, despite his traditional preachings and sayings… his actions are to be judged, not his words. The testimonies and massed evidence is overwhelming, despite the Indian government’s complicity and cover-up after having compromised themselves by worshipping him before they heard (and ignored) most disturbing facts. His supposed services were all financed and performed by mostly well-meaning people who he deceived, taking money under diverse false pretences, including feigning to materialise trinkets, watches, rings, alleged diamonds’.

Keeping the main issues about Sathya Sai Baba to the forefront for the benefit of latecomers and newly disillusioned followers:-

no-disease-whateverCHRONICLE summarizing Sai Baba’s illness, death and aftermath with the funeral, the Sai Trust under suspicion, the huge hidden hoards of valuables etc.

SEX ABUSES Links posted for reference– Sai Baba sexual abuse allegations and

MANY YOUNG MEN claiming sexual contact with Sathya Sai Baba

UNSOLVED MURDERS IN 1993 IN SAI BABA’S ROOMS – overview  plus privileged eye-witness evidence of his involvement and bribery

‘THE SECRET SWAMI’ – BBC documentary film’s main contents can be studied in brief

Anti-scientific ‘SAIENCE’ – overview of under-educated Sai Baba’s false views on natural and other sciences

FALSE RUMOURS spread for decades by – and about – Sathya Sai Baba – overview of relevant pages

CULTISM The nature of cults examined –  and METHODS OF CULT ENTRAPMENT

EDUCATION AND HUMAN VALUES  his five vague values and  puritan and moralising views on life & education (EHV & Educare)

SAI BABA on JESUS  his major laughable blunders about Jesus and Christianity

ASHRAMS  All aspects of visits to Sathya Sai Baba ashrams then and now & helpful warnings

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Sai Baba’s Ladies Day, 2014

Posted by robertpriddy on November 19, 2014

Here are some of Sai Baba’s views about what is essential to women

“How To Celebrate Ladies’ Day? The Ladies’ Day should not be observed only by making speeches or holding Bhajans. They should endeavour to help the poor and the destitute. Helpless women who have no means of livelihood should be taught some occupations like tailoring to enable them to earn an income. Slum dwellers should be helped to keep their huts clean. The environment also should be cleaned to help the children grow in a pure atmosphere. Proper housekeeping should also be taught to those people.” ( Baba, SS. 6/96, p. 160)

But Sai Baba himself help speeches and conducted bhajans (or accepted worship during darsans)  and did no other real work in serving others, which he constantly pressed others to do in his name. All the hard service was done for his personal existence or to extol his name! Once he got his own ashram, he never went near anything like slum dwellers or gave them a helping hand, even symbolically.

“Bhagavan then delivered His discourse, in the course of which. He extolled the role of mother as the moulder of the family and the first teacher for children. In the evening, there was a cultural programme entitled ‘Naari Shakti’ (The power of women), which highlighted the glory of Indian womanhood as revealed in the story of Savitri, who brought back her husband from the Lord of death. ” (Editor Sanathana Sarathi 12/96. pp. 328 & 329).
The above shows how Sai Baba uses absurdly impossible myths to instil outworn and discredited Hindu ideas about women. His heroic holy women are, in the society he encouraged, are still to be mainly tied to the cooker and the kitchen sink, as reflected in his praise of what Russian women do (with the reward: a bit of ‘free time’ one day in the year):-

“Women should realise that, irrespective of their education or position, their foremost obligation is to protect the home. For lakhs of students and children who go to school, the mother is the first teacher. From the moment of birth, for every one the mother is the preceptor. If such a teacher leaves her home to teach other children, who will teach her children? For Indian (Bharatiya) women, the first duty is to reform the home and run it along ideal lines! The home and the family is the basic social institution everywhere in the world. When the home improves, the whole world will be better.” Sai Baba at Prashanthi Nilayam on Ladies day – 19/10/1996. (Sanathana Sarathi, Dec. 1996, p. 334)

It is absurd that each woman should teach only her own children and not become school teachers too. Fortunately, there are also  women who are unmarried or whose children have grown up who become school teachers. The faulty assumption Sathya Sai Baba implies he has made in the above, however, is that it is due to the negligence of the home by women that the whole world has become as it is… and we know how Sai Baba sees the world through extremely jaundiced eyes as a place where unrighteousness rules and almost everything is wrong. He puts the burden of the home and the family on women, and the burden of the world on them, just as men have done throughout most of history! His belief is wholly untenable, of course, a prejudice of bygone ages. However, he bemoaned the fact that women are empowered to work outside the home and earn.

Again, he harped back to the past he wanted to revive:-
“Rama told Bharata that he should not permit women to take part in affairs of state. Women have their estimable role in household affairs, but they should be kept out of state politics. “Don`t employ women as ministers. The reason is: a nation’s honour is based upon its women. It is only when women maintain their respect and honour that the nation will be respected. It is not proper for women to cheapen themselves by roaming in public places.” and…“How does the situation in the country today compare with Rama’s conception of an ideal government? The state of things today is 100% contrary to the ideas and ideals of Rama. How, then, can Rama Rajya be established here? If we desire to establish Rama Rajya there should be harmony in thought, word and deed… “ etc. . (Sanathana Sarathi, May 1995, p. 118).

Sai Baba seemed to dither back and forth between the tradition he knows from Indian village life and the more modern approach many of his middle-class Indian ladies and most foreign devotees now hold. Women must in effect do two jobs if need be:- “A lady must look after the home first and then work outside, if necessary… she can study to get degrees, enter politics or do any other work but she should not neglect the home, which is the very foundation of her life.” (Sanathana Sarathi, Dec. 1997, p. 327-8).

No need to stick to the same opinion at all, so Sai Baba changes tack to:-
“…in the modern world, it is necessary for the women to share the burden of maintaining the family with their husbands and so the women should also pursue studies as much as possible and take up suitable jobs to share the burden of the family. It will smack of selfishness if the males prevent them from going to work for which they have acquired the requisite qualifications. Women can control the whole world for themselves by virtue of their inherent qualities of love and spirit of sacrifice.(Sai Baba in a discourse, 19/4/1999 at Kodaikanal. Sanathana Sarathi, July 1998, p. 172)

So now we see that Rama – whose view on women is praised inordinately by Sai Baba – must have been seriously wrong, after all:-
It will not be out of place to mention here that women who have wielded power in Bharat or other countries have proved themselves to be exceptionally able and successful. There have been many kings of Britain but no one ruled the country so well as Queen Victoria. Her rule was marked by righteousness, prosperity and efficiency. There was no discontent during her reign. In more recent times, Indira Gandhi ran the Government with courage and consummate skill. She was prepared for any sacrifice in the interests of her country.(see Sanathana Sarathi, Nov.-Dec.1995, p. 293).

Indeed, his historical knowledge was so superficial and faulty. Queen Victoria withdrew for decades from all normal duties as a sovereign for decades and was not seen by the public, mourning her dead Prince Albert and causing huge constitutional problems due to her disinterest, wallowing in grief and comfortable seclusion. So there was no discontent during her reign? Not under the horrendous conditions in the British lower classes during the Industrial Revolution?  Her reign was not untroubled at all… it was a time of imperial expansion, exploitation of the poor and foreign lands, and gunboat diplomacy. Queen Elizabeth I was a far better ruler, and Elizabeth II is unparalleled as a woman head of state anywhere in the world or its history.

Comment: Srikanthuppuluri said (December 19, 2014) Sai Baba wasn’t just any fool. We must remember he had to manage and hold his staff together. One only needs to understand from where these contradictory messages were coming… for his speeches were often situational….many included messages for specific people and staff in the audience and these messages were interspersed in his discourses.
His own institutions had numerous working women – and some had been divorced (thanks to his ‘Divine grace’).
For e.g. he would harp back to the days of Rama and claim that he was the Rama of today and was here to establish Rama Rajya. But, on his ‘ladies day’, he was forced to rationalise away the treatment of women and their plight in those days. At the same time, he would quickly add clarifications, so that the lady staff did not leave or quit quoting and working for ‘His Highness’.
Not to do so would have been disastrous for his organization. So in many discourses he praised women to the sky for their work, since women were the ones who conducted bhajans, took care of the Sai children, handles lady visitors to the ashram and did all the other donkey work without a complaint.

See also the main article on Sai Baba’s ‘Ladies Day’ and his male chauvinistic views on women

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Kevin R.D. Shepherd Not Exposed

Posted by robertpriddy on November 18, 2014

Sathya Sai Baba and his Organisation were defended to the utmost of spin, distortion, and unscrupulous harassment of all who wrote anything exposing him, as well as their relatives, friends and associates in most case, by the under-educated but wily internet troll (also occasional hacker of our website, Gerald ‘Joe Moreno of Las Cruces, New Mexico). A writer of many deeply informed and perceptive books on spirituality who pointed out inconsistencies in Sathya Sai Baba and his movement in an article about Sai Baba of Shirdi, Kevin R.D. Shepherd, also became a victim of Moreno’s web trolling and systematic defamatory articles. It is of interest to note the methods of this Moreno and the responses he elicited from some serious writers and other reputable sources.  who was never criticised by any of Sai Baba’s organisation members, not his official journal or website… as they all doubtless were told from ‘high ups’  not to interfere. This even though Moreno completely broke trust with Sai Baba’s teachings and  all his unrealistic Pollyanna-type spiritual directives as to how to love, serve, communicate respectfully and not criticise others (but only oneself). He spent his entire time attacking hundreds of Sai Baba dissidents and also a large number of critics of other gurus who he worshipped (the hugging self-proclaimed  ‘universal mother’, Amritananda Ma,  and also the life-imprisoned rapist and murderer, Swami Premananda and several other bogus gurus). He died in 2010 at the age of 39.

One may read a concise summary of Shepherd’s experiences of Moreno’s work and its bitter fruits at  Kevin Shepherd Not Exposed
and also  Not Exposed: Analysis of a Cultist Defamation

See further

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The remarkable case of the “Weeping saris”

Posted by robertpriddy on November 15, 2014

From John Hislop's book "Conversations with …"

From John Hislop’s book “Conversations with …Sai Baba”

Rama and Krishna

Rama and Krishna

The claim by Sai Baba that he was both Rama and Krishna come again was ‘supported’ with the following quite preposterous story reported by Dr. John Hislop 

In January 1968, Dr. John Hislop taped interviews he had with Sathya Sai Baba, including the following quite preposterous story. This ever-uncritical and naively trusting ‘seeker of truth’, who had gone from guru to guru his whole life, asked Sai Baba:

Hislop: “Swami, something has happened here. Water is around this box. These saris will get wet. (Swami removed the cover of the box and those of us who were standing there could see that the edges of the saris were wet. The cardboard box with four saris in it was lying on a table at the Dharmakshetra in Bombay. Swami had selected 96 saris for distribution to some lady volunteers, and of the 100 brought for His inspection, four were replaced in the box to be returned later to the merchant. The table was not close to any source of water, and Hislop, several other men, and Swami had been standing there from the time the saris were examined one by one, by Swami.)

Sai: The saris are weeping because Swami has rejected them. Now, I will take them.”

Hislop: Swami! “How could that be? Does Swami say that inanimate objects have injured feelings and can weep?

Sai: “Inanimate objects are also capable of feeling joy and grief. When the bridge towards Lanka was built by the monkeys so that Rama could march to Ravana’s kingdom where Sita was held captive, one last mountain peak was carried to the bridge site. But it was too late. There was no need for it. At this circumstance the mountain shed tears of anguish, and news of this was quickly taken to Rama. His compassion was great, and he sent word that the mountain should no longer sorrow, that he would surely use it on a future occasion. In the Avathara of Krishna, it was this very mountain peak, the Govadhana Peak, which the youth, Krishna, lifted on his finger to shelter the cowherds of Gokul from Indra’s deluge of rain.”

Hislop: “Swami! This great drama of Rama and Krishna and the mountain peak has been recapitulated here in Bombay on this day before our very eyes… (etc..)”

Sai: “Yes. And it is also the self-same Rama and the self-same Krishna who is here this day.”

COMMENT: Does this ‘animated saris’ tale need any comment? If only because many devotees believe it, especially those misguided Hindu Sai-devotees, it  seems it does! Not only does this conflict with other ‘teachings’ of SSB about the differences between the various realms of beings, but it makes one think that SSB is seeing just how far he can push the credulity of a man who held a Western Ph.D, as did Dr. Hislop. He retold the story with relish and naive faith! One would think that such a person must at least have passed the test of ‘blind belief’ that SSB has set up for a true devotee etc. and qualified for ‘liberation’?
But no, we are told by Hislop in his last book that Sai Baba told him he must be reborn again, even though he had seen the so-called ‘lingodbhava many times and had worked ceaselessly for SSB for decades! A dis-grace!

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Asaram Bapu illegal ashram buildings

Posted by robertpriddy on November 13, 2014

Once again the as yet unconvicted major criminal Asaram Bapu is in the news. He built illegally in a reserved forest, and this has been known since 1994, but nothing was done. Now a petition to demolish the illegal construction, but who knows whether the Delhi government will heed the call? As is kn own, Mr. Modi has been deeply involved in supporting or condoning numerous false and criminal Indian gurus, including Sathya Sai Baba.



See also  ASARAM BAPU Full News Dossier

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Sai Baba’s feared loss of government and Judiciary protection to travel abroad

Posted by robertpriddy on November 11, 2014

The court case by sexually abused Alaya Rahm against Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Society of America was heard by Judge John M. Watson of the Superior Court, County of Orange, California. He ruled that Sai Baba in India could not be indicted from California as it did not have reciprocal jurisdiction rights against an out-of-country defendant. Alaya Rahm’s advocate could not therefore use California state subpoena powers as the defendant was not subject to the powers of the Hague Treaty. Had Sai Baba visited the USA then or thereafter he would have been in jeopardy of subpoenas and lawsuits against which the Indian government would most likely not have been able to protect him. A number of his outspoken and very credible sex abuse victims were US citizens, so he did not risk a visit there, even had he intended one. Much the same applied to other countries outside India.

 Sai Baba had stated in 2005 that he was “minded to take a world tour”. Yet he had always pledged that he would solve India’s problems before ever would go abroad It is well recorded how he assured leading devotees on several occasions that he would visit them in their countries – for example USA, Italy, U.K., Southern California and other places – but then he changed his ‘all-knowing mind’, saying that India must be cured first!

Devotees abroad built mansions to house him such as in Ojai, California (by Robert Baskin) and  at Divignano in Italy (‘Mother Sai House’)  a new, lush, balconied apartment. There the European style toilet of which he as shown photos was not to his liking- – i.e. it had to be changed!   In 1991 I saw this convenience – a squatting hole-in-the-floor type – set in a luxurious teak-floor! 

Sai Baba wasted funds on hiring private jumbo jets to go on holiday with his students - 2005 and 2006

Private hired jet 2006

Year 2006, another holiday trip

Year 2006, holiday trip

Sai Baba’s private jet – hired to take him ‘on holiday’ to Kodaikanal in 2005! Sathya Sai’s “minded to make a world tour”. At the time it was thought most likely another ‘bum prediction’, and that if he in fact should, it would surely be in another private jet hired with funds given for the poor, education, health etc., The almost unused Jumbo airport cost a small fortune too! The “Swami” in a private jet yet again in 2006. Such a misuse of donated funds!

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Puttaparthi: murder of Sai Baba servitor

Posted by robertpriddy on November 9, 2014





Once again heinous crime is the face of Puttaparthi in the Indian news. Sathya Sai Baba began the exploitation of foreigners, taking their money under false pretences by giving them cheap trinkets he pretended to materialise (including diamonds that were mere cheap synthetic stones) and other benefits (eg. a free room donated by others). A number of foreign visitors were murdered in the ashram or died under most suspicious circumstances there or in Puttaparthi village, or who disappeared untraceably. It also can be said to have set the tone for poor local villagers to become criminals too. 

Such matters are frequent throughout India, where over 32,000 murders were reported in 2008 and have apparently risen since then. Reportedly, ca. 70% of all murders are never solved in India. The deaths of wives over dowry battles alone is estimated at 5,500 per year (by BBC World TV).  The dangers of visiting India and not least any of the Sai Baba’s or other guru’s ashrams are considerable and are only most seldom publicised by ashrams which are mostly parasites largely dependent on foreigners. Not surprising when one knows that India’s 2014 corruption ranking was 94th in the world in 2012, with a dismal score of 36 out of a possible 100 equal to Colombia, Armenia, Djibouti, Algeria, Benin. By comparison, Denmark was ranked No. 2 with a score of 97.

Read also Mortal remains murdered Australian grandmother found, and cremated in Puttaparthi

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Joel Riordan ‘rainbow man’ (Sai Baba ‘mega-miracle’)

Posted by robertpriddy on November 7, 2014

Sai Baba's 'Rainbow man' JoelJoel Riordan, a Hollywood film producer, writer and director, was  seriously considered divorcing his wife Diana, who was already a believer and had been to Prashanthi twice because of her belief in the supposed miracles Sathya Sai Baba (which her mother also shared).

He went with her to India with came with the intention of exposing Baba, who he sarcastically called a ‘character’, Joel later said that he told ‘an important guy’ he knew in Hollywood that he would ask Sai Baba for a rainbow, as he thought only God could create a rainbow (!!). He made a point of stating that there was no chance his Hollywood friend knew any Sai devotees from California who might have carried this information to Sai Baba as he had later checked on that, but also that, on the plane over, he had told his wife about what he would ask. At the time, his wife Diane later wrote, “Joel’s business crumbled. He tried desperately to save it but it failed. His friends slowly dropped away and life began to weight heavily upon him.” Their visit to Sai Baba together took place in the early 1970s, her mother having been there already for 2 months.

One “hot, dry day” after arriving at the ashram, a bright rainbow appeared in the western sky. The rainbow was, however, not a rainbow but a straight vertical column. (Presumably it had the spectrum colours, though this was not specified as such by Joel or his wife). His wife also confirmed, when asked later, that she had seen it. The spectral column faded from the bottom up (but how long it lasted was not said). No other witnesses came forward to support having seen this, neither at the time nor since. Had it happened surely many would have noticed it (and probably drawn the conclusion that it was another of Sai Baba’s leelas). 

Allegedly, when Diane, Joel and Christina (their daughter) were invited to an interview, Sai Baba allegedly said “Well, character, how did you like your rainbow?” Joel later told, “It all blew my mind.” But Joel soon recovered to set a new test for Sai Baba directly and without warning, asking him mentally to produce any fresh out-of-season fruit. He reported that Sai Baba waved his hand and produced a fresh ‘out-of-season’ fig and it is reported that Joel said “He handed it to me without a word”.

How can one explain this apparently indubitable miracle?

If you believe the story before trying to explain it, that is a distinct disadvantage, of course! It is not impossible that the extreme heat, thirst, feeling parched, disoriented, angry at the “primitive living conditions” and Joel’s emotional turmoil caused him to ‘see things’. A bunch of feathers can famously (seem to) become a whole chicken under certain emotional circumstances. Most likely he had the perception he described to Murphet. But Diane was actually not impressed by what she perceived, as she made clear in her 1990 book (see scan). This would at least defuse critics who may see the entire story as invented, or a lie to get attention. Diane may have felt, under the pressure of the situation, she could not refute what he claimed to have seen… much stranger claims are made by partners in critical life situations. Meanwhile, note that the account was first published by Howard Murphet in his book,“Sai Baba Avatar”, who was a major hagiographer devotee of Sai Baba, and whose reporting was often glib and vague on back-up details and whose books were all full of alleged miracles, a considerable number of which have since been shown to be false accounts or exaggerated reports uncritically accepted by Murphet. Among other fanciful Murphet stories is one on how Sri Aurobindo had, through paranormal influence, caused Hitler to take the fateful decision to invade Russia in June 1941! (Believe that if you can, despite the overwhelming evidence of Hitler’s long pre-planned date).

rainbow_manLater Diane wrote up the episode as she experienced it (see scan excerpt from her book & disclaimer). Note that this faith-changing ‘divine miracle’ was evidently crucial to the Riordans’ continued marriage, which did not break down until some years later, when Joel left his wife. Joel has reportedly said before he agreed to visit Sai Baba, “But there was my daughter Chrissie to think of. Anyway, I finally decided that, before doing anything drastic,” Diane Riordan (later Diane Baskin) had been married by Sai Baba himself to Joel Riordan, who turned out very badly, according to Diane in her book ‘Divine Memories of Sathya Sai Baba‘ first published in 1990. Sai Baba had already made Robert Baskin a very close favourite (!!) and he introduced them to each other and told them to wed.

As a Hollywood writer, producer and director, Joel Riordan – clearly a ‘big ego’ person – would have no doubt wished his visit to Sai Baba to be a success, firstly in exposing him but subsequently (after his turnaround) as a figure in the Sai movement, in which he certainly succeeded for some time. He was clearly in both a business, social and life crisis… in short, typical fertile ground for a sudden religious conversion. He would certainly have understood that, to be blessed by Sai Baba with a unique miracle would make his name at the ashram and so among the world-wide Sai devotees, while being ignored would have been a further major personal defeat (as his wife would no doubt be strongly affected by it too). One may surmise that he invented the story and that his wife was pleased to agree that she saw it so as to save her marriage. Those who have been deeply involved with Sai devotees as was I (not least as leader of the Oslo and Norwegian Sai organisation for 18 years) know of them inventing stories about their miracles and leelas from Sai Baba. I have seen followers go to considerable such lengths to gain respect from members and leaders, or to get recognition, organisation privileges and influence in centres etc. That Riordan was accepted by Sai Baba surely had much to do with his wife and her mother already being known as dutiful devotees, but also it is noteworthy that Sai Baba almost never denounced those who told big stories which could increase his following.

Not all stories are what they may seem – especially in a cult

A number of details in Joel’s story are vague and open to question. For example, how did he ensure that his important guy in Hollywood did not speak to anyone who could have spread the news to others or warned the ashram of his intention? Further, to whom may he have spoken about the rainbow during the rest of the day before he was granted an interview next morning, which included Sai Baba’s closest servitor, Professor N. Kasturi. Diane Baskin wrote that he informed them of the interview to come. Surely Joel or Diane would not have been able to keep quite about it with the total besotted believer Kasturi? It was known in the ashram that Kasturi always spoke to Sai Baba very early each morning before interviews, as did the head of the ashram, and Sai Baba usually asked them ‘What news?’. The ashram had many undercover informants who fed what they overheard or learned from others back to Sai Baba on a daily basis, gaining kudos for their efforts.

Another (minor) discrepancy arose when Diane Baskin wrote that Sai Baba gave the fig he produced to her for their daughter, while the official Sai site states that he handed it directly to Joel. As to the ‘out-of-season’ fig, Joel reportedly asked some villagers who sold fruits if they had fresh figs. They did not and apparently told him that no one could find a single fig in South India. (Knowing these fruit sellers of old, I think that – since they had no fresh figs – they would say something like that in the hope he would buy other fruits from them!). However, there are two seasons for figs in Andhra Pradesh: May/June and December through January. The month of the visit is not recorded either by Diane Baskin or Murphet, but it was “very hot and dry” with a clear cloudless sky and “even the water was warm in that season.” Also “the country… looked grim and parched-made me feel dehydrated just to see it“, all of which fits best with May-June before the monsoon).

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Dead guru’s derelict airfield to host an Aviation Academy?

Posted by robertpriddy on November 5, 2014

aviationExpress News Service  Published: 06th October 2014 06:04 AM   SRIKAKULAM: Civil aviation minister P Ashok Gajapathi Raju has said that the Union government is seriously examining the possibility of bringing into utilisation nearly 400 airstrips and airports across India which were under operation during the World War II.

“Speaking to reporters at SSR Puram in Etcherla mandal of the district Sunday, Raju said. “The Union  government will take all steps to develop the airports at Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Tirupati and Rajahmundry through introduction of more flight services in Andhra Pradesh. We also want to operationalise the abandoned airport at Kadapa and efforts are on in this direction.”

He said that development of small airports in every district, will give a boost to both tourism and transport sectors in a big way. He said Civil Aviation Ministry is examining the feasibility of setting up an aviation academy at Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh.

This is evidently an attempt by the Modi government to make use of disused ‘white elephant’ airfields. The long unused Puttaparthi airport is but one of 400 such candidates. The government has many Sai Baba worshippers still, and the present Civil Aviation Minister P. Ashok Gajapathi Raju is one. In selecting Puttaparthi airfield it received gratis from the crooked pro-Sai government through a former Civil Aviation Minister, devotee Mr Maharaj Krishen Kaw. Despite offering free land as an inducement, no interest was shown by any buyer.

As Eileen Weed wrote about this: 

“An Aviation Academy at Puttaparthi? It seems likely that this means the powers-that-be in the sb org are desperately trying to pull strings in the government to encourage something, ANYTHING, to get Puttaparthi on the map. They must be bitterly disappointed that Parthi isn’t becoming the “mecca” they hoped it would turn into after his death. They need to wake up and realize they are on a sinking ship! All that is left is a few diehards, crowds brought in by politicians for festivals, and a free hospital that doesn’t have sufficient staff due to the devotees abandoning ship and the low rates offered for interns. 

A doctor told me once that the Super Specialty hospital is used by brand-new graduates that can’t find work anywhere else. They work for awhile to get experience on their resume and move on as soon as they find something better. Most aren’t even devotees.”

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Vishumenon on R.K. Karanjia of Blitz magazine

Posted by robertpriddy on November 3, 2014

In his latest blog, Vishumenon cites the former Indian journalist R.K. Karanjia, the publisher and editor of Blitz magazine, an English tabloid that was hugely popular in India in the nineteen-seventies for its sharp and often acidic reporting style. Originally a sceptic, Karanjia interviewed Sai Baba was converted by to believe in his claims and follow him. Sai Baba’s predictions are now mostly seen for what they are. Vishumenon’s informative irony is amusing, read here: BHAGWAN SATHYA SAI BABA : THE REASON FOR TOTAL WORLD PEACE

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Gruesome murder reported at the ‘Abode of Supreme Peace’

Posted by robertpriddy on November 1, 2014

Sathya Sai Baba was reported by Kasturi as having fetched the one-time dacoit  (i.e. brigand), Kumar, from a group of which Sai Baba had surprised in the hills in his younger days. He made Kumar his main gate watchman at Prashanthi Nilayam. Kumar was known as a very offensive person towards all poor Indian visitors, using his stick on defenceless visitors and also on beggars etc. and had become a general tyrant, having made a lot of enemies within the ashram and outside. He sometimes even abused foreign visitors, such as when he locked an American girl in his concrete hut for over 24 hours for infringing some petty rule of the ashram.

Examples of Shiva priests

Examples of Shiva priests

Kumar was killed in early 1987. Two different accounts of this have circulated. One account I head at the time (in January 1987) from a an ashram resident who spoke Hindi and Telugu was that a Shivite priest who Kumar had abused physically and became his enemy had pretended to apologise to him, asking to take padnamaskaar (i.e. touch his feet). Kumar was sitting on the bench before the accommodation office. He agreed but , when the priest put his lips to Kumar’s feet, however, he instead bit his big toe clean off, having filed, sharpened, pointed teeth as some Shiva priests have to bite the heads of cockerels etc. Superstition about Shiva priests who live in graveyards or at burning grounds is very intense among ill-educated Indians – and even among some educated ones too. Kumar was reportedly refused entry to the small Sai hospital and died, allegedly of shock, within three days in Bangalore. This is the more credible account, which I heard personally in Prashanthi Nilayam from a Malaysian resident and an Anglo-Indian friend (Alfred Brinnand) days after it happened. They also told me in private that Chiranjia Rao (temporary head of the ashram at that time in February 1987 deputising for Kutumba Rao) carried out regular surveillance of persons who mixed too freely with  residents, and were especially vigilant in trying to suppress such contacts after the brutal Kumar’s murder.

Another differing account – told me much later in 1996 – by Mr. V. Ramnath of the Indian Administrative Service, was that Kumar was killed by a cook in the Prashanthi Nilayam Indian canteen who Kumar had been harassing very badly, supposedly with a large kitchen knife in self-defence – Kumar had reportedly assaulted him in the grounds of Baba’s parents’ mausoleum in Puttaparthi. I have since had strong reasons to doubt the credibility of V. Ramnath, who I came to know well and who held strongly biassed opinions about various events.See scan of notes I made at the time)

In both reports, however, the guilty party went straight to Sathya Sai Baba to beg forgiveness. He was given money (either by Sathya Sai Baba himself or by the ashram staff?) and told to leave the ashram and to stay in some village until further notice. The person later returned to the ashram as usual. No one was arrested or charged with the killing. Which account is true, or whether both incidents occurred (perhaps in sequence), is uncertain. But it is certain that Kumar was killed, because when his rooms in the small watchman building just inside the ‘gopuram’ gate were cleared, 50,000 rupees in small denominations were found behind a picture of Baba. This money had been extorted from visitors to the ashram, mostly poor Indians. Kumar was known for aggressive behaviour, using his stick on defenceless visitors and also on beggars etc. and had become a general tyrant, having made a lot of enemies within the ashram and outside.

After the discovery of Kumar’s death and embezzlement of poor Indian visitors, Sai Baba was seen on the veranda in visible fury at the then head of ashram (Kutumb Rao) and his assistant (Chiranjia Rao) when they approached him. Only later did the infamous murders in Sai Baba’s apartment occur (June 1993) and since then much first-hand evidence has emerged to substantiate that violence, murder and other forms of extreme abuse were not uncommon within the Sai Baba ashrams and that intense efforts to cover up all such untoward events were made by Sai Baba’ s staff and organisation… all under his leadership and  supposed ‘omniscient and omnipotent’ control.  

Comment & reply:-
Eileenweed said

November 1, 2014 at 5:27 pm e
I remember Kumar, who was a very prominent figure in those days with his stick, whipping and running after anyone he deemed should not be admitted into the ashram (more often than not, due to not paying him bribes – and that was a well known fact even amongst us foreigner newbies!). All of us devotees heard at that time that Kumar was bit by someone he had abused (the Shivite priest, perhaps), which led to an infection (some even said rabies), and he died several days after the incident. Either the incident or his death occurred in the coconut grove by sb’s parent’s samadhi, we heard.

Robert replies: Indeed, I also heard those things. I now know it was typical of the ashram officials – no doubt acting on higher orders – to put out different stories so as to confuse and thus cast doubt on the original reports of the facts made by any independent witnesses who had told what they saw and/or knew. This type of confusion through conflicting stories’ happened in connection with almost every matter that did not further unstinted praise and worship of Sai Baba. That this is a fact is supported by the sparsity of ‘official’ information to clear up in any credible detail the differing accounts. Questions about any such matters were often very gruffly rebuffed by unpleasant men who handled public relations. The few honest and really civil individual officials were represented best by Mt. Hejmadi, husband of Prashanthi’s chief Seva Dal (Mrs. Hejmadi). He was Head of the Central Office, an entirely pro forma post without any influence on events there, allowed to send out vapid circulars to office-beareres in the Organisation. Sweet Mr. Hejmadi would reply kindly to you, but would still be unable to shed any light as he was evidently not allowed to do so. I also witnessed on occasion that even my very good friend, the outspoken V.K. Narasimhan, would be very guarded and economical in his answers to people who came to ask him such things when I was present, as I often was for hours almost every other day.

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