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 October, 2017

Sonia Nordenson – a true believer in Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on October 26, 2017

She speaks of my having ‘a very limited viewpoint’ but anyone who reads my websites on-line will soon realise that she speaks from a very much more limited viewpoint, that of a Sai Baba supporter in major denial of the wider world and its judgement since his ignominious death in 2011 (long before he repeatedly predicted he would die from his self-declared all-knowing viewpoint.
To read her facile comment against me and my reply, please go to http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/28/sonianordenson.html

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Erlendur Haraldsson: lessons on investigating supposed paranormal phenomena

Posted by robertpriddy on October 11, 2017

In view of the latest edition of ‘Modern Miracles’ (formerly ‘Miracles are My Visiting Cards’ with its denials and pseudo-scientific method and claims of Professor Erlendur Haraldsson, I am re-posting the following incisive and accurate book review by the humanist and rationalist Indian critic of guru fraud, Babu Gogineni. Since it was written Haraldsson has ventured to embrace through his extensive writings many fantastic paranormal claims, including belief in contacting the dead, including some massive paranormal claims of deceased Icelandic psychic medium Indridi Indridason.

Bubbles Online Volume 12 No. 6 June 1999 – Page 10

How Not To Study Paranormal Phenomenon: Lessons from Erlendur Haraldsson
Book Review by Babu Gogineni

Associate Professor of Psychology at University of Iceland, parapsychologist Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson came to India several times (twice along with Karl Osis, co-author of their book on near-death experiences ‘At the Hour of Death” to investigate Satya Sai Baba’s paranormal powers.The result of his efforts over ten years is the book “Miracles are My Visiting Cards; An Investigative Report on the Psychic Phenomena” associated with Satya Sai Baba, first published in 1987.

Dr. Haraldsson’s repeated requests for controlled experiments were firmly rejected by Satya Sai Baba and his team was asked “not to pester” Baba with more requests. Charmed by the charisma of Baba and more predisposed to believe than to investigate, Dr. Haraldsson settles for his own inefficient and subjective personal – informal observation as well as hearsay accounts from devotees. Yet, in their article entitled as ‘The Appearance and Disappearance of Objects in the Presence of Sri Satya Sai Baba in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research’ Vol. 71, January, 1977, Haraldsson and Karl Osis express their gratitude to Sri Satya Sai Baba “for his kind cooperation in their investigation” !

Dr. Haraldsson’s book does not indicate that he is aware of Satya Sai Baba’s father’s brother being a tantrik-conjuror. He could perhaps have been Satya Sai’s teacher. Despite assuring us that he “tried his very best” to trace all “Critics” only Dr. H. Narasimhaiah is mentioned. No mention of Dr. Kovoor’s whirlwind tours of Andhra,his challenges to Satya Sai Baba, his largely attended public meeting (30,000 people for instance) to the accompaniment of stupendous publicity! Contributors to the national debates in the then prestigious Illustrated Weekly of India, and the tabloids Blitz and Current Weekly are ignored. Interestingly, Dr. Haraldesson is unaware even of the Seiko watch controversy. Later, unconvincingly, he said that he was unwilling to take it up because of the various versions of it! One has not heard of an “investigative” researcher shy away on such dubious grounds.

Nor does Haraldsson mention Satya Sai Baba specialist B. Premanand, whose first book in English on Baba ”Lure of Miracles’, was published in 1976. Dr.Haraldsson’s excuse on 6 April, 1988 to Dale Bayerstein, editor of the excellent 1994 book, ‘Sai Baba’s Miracles: An Overview’ is that no one in India mentioned Premanand to him. Then again, Dr. Haraldsson writes in his letter of 21 October, 1988 to Dale Bayerstein that Dr. H. Narasimhaiah did not think it worthwhile for him to visit Premanand. When informed of this Dr. Narasimhaiah issued a issued a written clarification that he respected Premanand’s work and could never have said what Haraldsson reported. This is not the only complaint of misquoting about Haraldsson.Two chapters of the book’ Miracles are My Visiting Cards’ are devoted to M.Krishna and Varadu (in no way critics, looking at the contents of the book), former personal assistants to Satya Sai Baba in the earlier days; Krishna converted to Christianity later. Now, Krishna’s son, a good friend of mine, insists that I report this, and in the manner in which some statements were transformed to suit Dr. Haraldsson purposes. In an interview with me and Premanand, P.V.N. Nair, editor of Deccan chronicle, whom Haraldsson accused of misquoting him as saying that he was “disappointed with Satya Sai Baba”, regretted that out of good faith he had not tape recorded the interview. Premanand has shown how different version and sequences of the same event (production of ring for Karlis Osis) have been written by Haraldsson.When Premanand asked for clarification and explanation in an undoubtedly long questionnaire,the very prolific Dr.Haraldsson suddenly has no time to write!

Haraldsson is aware that propaganda of the claimed resurrection from death of Walter Cowan and Radhakrishna had the support of Satya Sai Baba. He is also aware that Dr. Fanibunda, himself a medical doctor, testified to the resurrection of Cowan. Haraldsson’s own conclusion is that the stories of resurrections are false. Yet, to our scientist-investigator the role of Satya Sai Baba is not suspect. Nor that of Dr. Fanibunda, whose testimony he approvingly uses in another case. It also does not occur to this impartial investigator, forever solicitous of being scientific and objective that since he himself has found some stories to be false, he has necessarily to work under controlled conditions. This is how professional credentials become suspect. Some of the stories Haraldsson reports are not even amenable to verification by us. For example, he mentions how a burglar prowling in the house of a Satya Sai Baba devotee was scared away by Satya Sai’s bilocation. He does not mention the name of the Devotee, nor the name of the police station which later caught the burglar.

In the April 1995 issue of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, Haraldsson and Richard Wiseman write an article Reactions To and An Assessment of a Videotape on Satya Sai Baba, where they make pathetic attempts to show that from the Deccan Chronicle Doordarshan tape, no evidence of fraud by Satya Sai Baba can be deduced. Haraldsson and co-author are invited to watch our copy of the tape, or watch one of the episodes of the British program, The Guru Busters, a television program on Rationalist work in India, which has quite clear visuals. They should also read the analysis of a Satya Sai Baba video tape by Dale Bayerstein, Leon Mandrake et al (a team of professional magicians) where among others, they detect Satya Sai Baba “thumb palming” a necklace, before “materialisation” published in Bayerstein’s book. Perhaps, Haraldsson is also unaware of Premanand’s video cassette of Satya Sai Baba producing a gold necklace at a wedding in Balakrishna Eradi’s family (a former judge from Kerala).

While waiting to watch this, the authors should find time to read the account of the Dutch author Piet Vroon who wrote an expanded version of his article ‘Sinterklass in India’ (‘Santa Claus in India’), published in De Volkskrant of 5 December, 1992. Piet Vroon was at Puttaparthi to film Baba at “work”, and he and his partner detected Baba removing rings, necklaces and watches from behind flower vases and from pillows of his chair. They also detected Sai Baba holding Vibhuti balls in one hand, transferring them to the other hand, pulverising them and distributing them. Vibhuti is also hidden in the mouth and removed while wiping the face, which Baba does very often. Piet Vroon’s conclusion is unambiguous: “we just think that he is a trickster and a cheat”.

It is easy to see these things, especially when one’s work, and perhaps livelihood, does not depend on funding from parapsychology foundations! The only lesson one can learn from ERLENDUR HARALDSSON is how not to study the paranormal events.

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Erlendur Haraldsson on Sai Baba: ‘Modern Miracles’

Posted by robertpriddy on October 8, 2017

Review of ‘Modern Miracles’ (revised ed. 2013) by Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson (EH)

Links to some central themes exposing the pseudo-scientific nature of Erlendur Harldsson’s main attempts at investigation of Sathya Sai Baba:-
Downplaying the ‘divine downfall’ of 2000  in Haraldsson’s revised edition of his book in 2013, and in subsequent declarations, he claims that none of the alleged ‘materialisation miracles’ of Sai Baba have been proved to be fraudulent. This is itself an entirely false statement as the evidence is well-known to thousands of dissidents who left Sai Baba when this, among other extremely untoward matters, were exposed. How a former exposer of Sai Baba’s lies about having brought back devotees from death can have become so intransigently unwilling to contact witnesses or investigate the countless exposures found on-line on several websites and by hundreds of witnesses requires investigation. I was probably Haraldsson’s closest confidant on these matters since 1987 in India until some years before Sai Baba’s death in 2011 and, since I had to break with him due to his dishonesty, I was better placed than anyone else to know what he was thinking through those years. These links lead to masses of documented information from his e-mails and my copious notes through the years, including an overview of his relations to all critics and to the ‘true believers’ who remain followers of the dead guru.
How well did Haraldsson know Sai Baba?
EH’s ineffective ‘scientific investigation’ and coverage of the materialisation issue
Haraldsson’s severe lack of real knowledge of India, Hinduism and its esoteric practices
My exposure of Haraldsson’s ‘double-accounting’
Haraldsson’s damage-limitation visit to Puttaparthi
Haraldsson’s friendliness and endorsement of the Prashanthi Nilayam cultists
Haraldsson’s original investigation (reported in ‘Miracles are My Visiting Cards’)
Peer review – the scientific reputation of EH’s book
‘Lingam regurgitation’ undetected by EH!
Nineteen other issues, evidence or key witnesses Haraldsson signally failed to address
Haraldsson challenged by Professor Beyerstein and Basava Premanand
Parapsychological motivations and extra-scientific theorising
Summing up Haraldsson on Sai Baba miracles

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Belief in God demonstrably weakens societal well-being

Posted by robertpriddy on October 5, 2017

Here is a thought-provoking excerpt from research by Professor Phil Zuckerman which shows beyond all doubt the deleterious social effects of a belief in God:-

“If it were true that when belief in God weakens, societal well-being diminishes, then we should see abundant evidence for this. But we don’t. In fact, we find just the opposite: Those societies today that are the most religious — where faith in God is strong and religious participation is high — tend to have the highest violent crime rates, while those societies in which faith and church attendance are the weakest — the most secular societies — tend to have the lowest.

We can start at the international level. The most secular societies today include Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Czech Republic, Estonia, Japan, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Germany, South Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Vietnam, Hungary, China and Belgium. The most religious societies include Nigeria, Uganda, the Philippines, Pakistan, Morocco, Egypt, Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, El Salvador, Colombia, Senegal, Malawi, Indonesia, Brazil, Peru, Jordan, Algeria, Ghana, Venezuela, Mexico and Sierra Leone.

It is the highly secularised countries that tend to fare the best in terms of crime rates, prosperity, equality, freedom, democracy, women’s rights, human rights, educational attainment and life expectancy. (Although there are exceptions, such as Vietnam and China, which have famously poor human rights records.) And those nations with the highest rates of religiosity tend to be the most problem-ridden in terms of high violent crime rates, high infant mortality rates, high poverty rates and high rates of corruption.

Take homicide. According to the United Nations’ 2011 Global Study on Homicide, of the 10 nations with the highest homicide rates, all are very religious, and many — such as Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador and Brazil — are among the most theistic nations in the world. Of the nations with the lowest homicide rates, nearly all are very secular, with seven ranking among the least theistic nations, such as Sweden, Japan, Norway and the Netherlands.”

by Phil Zuckerman – professor of sociobiology and secular studies at Pitzer College in Claremont and the author of “Living the Secular Life”

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