Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

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

Paul William Roberts: Sathya Sai Baba defender

Posted by robertpriddy on February 15, 2019

A confirmed Sathya Sai Baba devotee and author, Paul William Roberts, wrote about the spirituality of the east in his book ‘Empire of the Soul’. The book is fairly entertaining about India and gives some fair descriptions of some of its many spiritual frauds (Rajneesh, Mother Theresa) and extraordinary yogis like Shiva Bala Yogi, who I also met on several occasions. However, his chapter of Sai Baba is now very much dated (to use a very mild term) in view of all that has emerged from countless sources to show that Sai Baba was not at all as he seemed to those who worshipped him, like the young Paul William Roberts.

While his description of Puttaparthi and the ashram was telling enough, his writing about Sai Baba’s story was recanting without critical awareness of what the many devotee hagiographies related many, many times before. The hagiographies which he drew on lacked any reliable sources, consisting overwhelmingly in zealots’ subjective perceptions of their (often mentally and emotionally pre-programmed) experiences and unidentifiable second-hand stories laced with regurgitated ‘sai-official’ disinformation. In view of how many people, luminaries and news media, embraced Sai Baba as a genuine holy man (and much, much more besides, it is understandable that Roberts’ account relied on putative ‘facts’ which since then have been entirely discredited (to all but the diminishing band of zealots in denial), most especially since 2000 and again after his ‘incomprehensible’ and ignominious death in 2011. He wrote,

Incidents, some well documented few even on film, have him creating fairly large objects, substantial amounts of food, raising the dead, healing the sick, appearing in two places thousands of kilometres apart at the same time, and altering at will the laws of time, space and basic physics.”  (‘Empire of the Soul’ Chapter 3 – p. 37 in original Canadian edition, 1994. US edition 1996).

Like so many others, he accepted this without normal critical research or reservation of judgement into the veracity of such unprecedented claims, even though many who then (almost) believed they could be true (mea culpa). The chief raising from the dead claim was long since been exploded by the investigation of parapsychologist Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson, and he found no evidence of bi-location, though he questioned those involved. Sai Baba did not allow Haraldsson and Osis properly to test or confirm the materialisation claims despite many visits there. Sai Baba famously claimed to be the Creator of the Universe and the Father who sent Jesus (all of which should make anyone doubly suspicious surely?)

We read that Sathya Sai Baba told him all about his (P.W. Roberts’) life and gave a breakdown of his personality.  As the world now knows, Sai Baba became a very widely accused (but government and judiciary protected) sexual abuser, nor confront the many incontravertible testimonies and exposures of his many abuses of faith and murder involvement. which he has . Then Sai Baba circled his hand and “a white oily substance” appeared “in his palm”. “Somehow, I knew what he wanted to do, so I lifted my shirt and let him rub this substance into my chest. I kept thanking him profusely.”  He also reported that his next few days were spent in a daze of happiness and became a blur.  (‘Empire of the Soul’ Chapter 3 – p. 37 in original Canadian edition, 1994. US edition 1996). This occurred in a private interview, though he in 2004 he gave a somewhat different account of what Sai Baba did in an e-mail he wrote explicitly suggesting it could be openly circulated among Sai Baba devotees. In short, his published account was not strictly true on a rather embarrassing point of which body part Sai Baba massaged when PWR ‘lifted his shirt’. (Interestingly, one student who was abused by Sai Baba told how, when he was given the task of cleaning in the private interview room, found a stash of rings and lockets of the kind SB claimed to ‘materialise’ and also a receptacle with a fragrant liquid and a sponge under his chair).

After being kept waiting long for recognition from one who one had come to be almost convinced was a holy person, if not the Deity of all Deities as Sai Baba himself claimed, most devotees who met him in an interview were strongly predisposed to be overwhelmed. P.W. Roberts was selected by Sai Baba to address his own captive audience in the Poorna Chandra hall at Puttaparthi – considered a great honour. Later he was accorded a yet greater honour, of teaching at the Sathya Sai Baba Vidyagiri Deemed University in Puttaparthi. At no time since then has PWR published any revision of his published claims and errors about Sai Baba as one would have expected from any writer claiming to purvey truth and be a competent journalist. After all, it has been very widely testified by dozens of his close (former) devotees to have been a serial sexual abuser (but government and judiciary protected) and yet worse he is known to his entire family, many residents at his ashram and some brave journalists to have colluded with his brother and the police to execute four of his devotees who intruded into his quarters in 1993. His other massive abuses of faith and gross deceptions have been documented on-line by hundreds of people. Considering PWR’s book is still available and promotes Sathya Sai Baba as virtually beyond all human understanding and of his highly questionable puritanical, speculative and self-contradictory ‘religious teaching’. Since then, Roberts has not seen fit to publish any revised account . It may well be that PWR is still enamoured of his experience with Sai Baba his highly questionable puritanical, speculative and self-contradictory ‘religious teachings’, having long indoctrinated himself deeply in Vedic hymns, rituals and primitive knowledge that he can no longer see the wood for the trees.

Later two other Westerners who were once prominent in Sai Baba’s sphere and also taught heard of alleged sexual abuses of students by Sai Baba and, after doubting these stories for a long time, they eventually investigated  the issue most thoroughly. Concert pianist David Bailey was then the great favourite of 100 interviews and a globe-trotting promoter of Sai Baba not least because he performed for Queen Elizabeth and taught both British princes students music and also Sai Baba college students. He was approached by some of them who evidently trusted him greatly, asking if he could help them in stopping Sai Baba from sexually abusing them. Bailey became a major investigator and whistleblower on Sai Baba, and he learned with certainty from young men and various parents that such had taken place along with many other covered-up untoward matters. Subsequently, Barry Pittard, also a teachers at Sai colleges during the time Roberts himself was there, and who knew Roberts then, later discovered íncontravertable proof that Sai Baba’s illegal genital touching went far further than that… he was an outright sexual abuser for his own pleasure. Mails I have show that Pittard contacted Roberts about the issue but was also rebuffed.

To take one of many serious investigators’ testimonies: The editor of the famous magazine Nexus, Duncan Roads, (see here)- wrote the following: “I had heard the many rumours about Sai Baba’s sexual impropriety over the years, and like many, dismissed them as disgruntled devotees. Later on, I actually took those attacks as ‘evidence’ that Sai Baba was growing in influence, and that this was the ’system’ attacking him. Unlike Sai Baba believers, I have an open mind, one which allows me to read and listen to things that Sai Baba believers refuse even to allow into their consciousness.  I read some of the more recent testimonies, and decided to investigate for once and for all to put an end to the rumours. I ended up speaking to many victims, parents of victims, former Sai Baba centre ‘leaders’ and some respected ‘figureheads’ from the movement.  All confirmed the same pattern of abuse and sexual misconduct. I did not want to believe any of these testimonies, but I also had to be true to what I was uncovering.  Sai Baba is, and has, been involved in sexual misconduct with boys and young men.  The effects of this misconduct has caused unestimatable damage within many many families, including suicides.

PWR admitted that he knew of cases of gential oiling and (around 2004) he was aware that young persons had gone public and testified against the multi-billionaire and politically most influential Sai Baba, a homosexual misuser of boys and young men (see massed evidence I already knew three of them well before they told of being abused). SB was very widely reported as having groomed boys and young men by applying oil to their stomachs, genitals, sometimes repeatedly in fresh interviews. This was widely testified to have been preliminary grooming or ‘testing’, as it preceded future sexual acts. He often followed-up in various and often very erotic and perverse ways. Informed by various persons, PWR earlier refused then to accept the possibility that Sai Baba ever abused anyone sexually, despite the brave outspoken young men who most credibly described being molested, including the testimony from two US ‘victims’ on BBC World’s major exposure of Sai Baba’s fraudulence and alleged criminality, ‘The Secret Swami’. Despite all this, plus the overwhelming evidence from sworn testimonies and parents of minors sexually abused by SB, Roberts has in recent years blogged that he does not believe Sai baba sexually abused anyone! This is the same kind of sheer denial long observed in others who fear not losing their faith in SB and all it involves emotionally, mentally, and socially. 

Despite all that and much more to show Sai Baba was far from being what he claimed he was, that he made countless false claims, wrong predictions galore, employed outright fraud and sleight-of-hand, was seriously involved in permitting executions in his apartment by police and much more, PWR has issued no comment. Is this not the kind of covering-up of past errors with which he charges so many of his media critics? Why has this ‘brilliant investigative journalist’ as some admirers call him, not done his duty to the public in correcting his highly exaggerated account of Sai Baba (whose promised protection he was evidently not himself accorded)? Perhaps it is a case of not letting facts get in the way of his convictions, for he has recently written “I do confess, however, to possessing scant regard for specifics if they strike me as less relevant than the overarching truth about which I am writing. Why let facts stand in the way of a general reality?”  Many people throughout history from idiot to savants, have thought they knew the overarching reality, but the facts have eventually defeated most of them. 

Among other outright errors, being taken in by some of the massive hyped false propaganda, PWR repeated such wild claims as Sai Baba had  “announced that he was the reincarnation of a holy man almost no one in South India had even heard of”, namely Shirdi Sai Baba from Maharashtra. But many in his area did know of him and some relations of his were even worshippers of the supposed saint; there were even temples to Shirdi Sai Baba in various locations there. Besides, most Shirdi Baba followers strenuously reject Sathya’s claim. Roberts also promoted the now-patent falsehood of Sathya’s predicted death: “After he dies, this to be at the age of ninety-six in the year 2022, Prema Sai Baba will be born four years later also somewhere in South India.” Sai Baba died in April, 2011, though he had made several different documented predictions of his coming death, all wrong by at least a decade.

Originally, I tried to warn Roberts of his error in supporting a pedophile, and eventually posted one short blog about his own admitted inaccurate reporting of the ‘oiling’ incident. But In a recent mail to me, Roberts wrote that he ‘has no recollection’ of any exchanges between us and claims that what I had posted quoting some excerpts from those mails was ‘patently a fabrication’. That was not sensible, though Roberts seems habitually to have accused his political critics of fabrication and cover-up among many other sins, even though sometimes with justification. However, we did indeed have several heated exchanges about his views on Sai Baba, which were sent for open distribution to another former devotee, and the quotes are 100% accurate and provable with data source materials and testimony from several recipients of the exchanges at the time, should it be necessary. I do not necessarily accuse him of lying outright since, on his new blog site he explains how he has suffered from alcoholism. In his blog he speaks of being “being too drunk or tormented by demons“.  Also “My tactics consisted of self-pity (enormous doses), drugs (doses as enormous as I could obtain or afford), alcohol (as much as I could consume before falling unconscious – and I mean litres of whiskey, not a few dry sherries), then bouts of raving insanity, about which I recall mercifully little, of course

This might well explain lack of memory. He suffered a major crisis in which both his retina became perforated and made him blind (now having only 7% vision in one eye). He has since blogged at length about how he had to accept hospitalisation and psychiatric examination. Sad as that is, it does not alter the fact that he wrote me a very aggressive mails which, as things stand at present, I omit here, though all are preserved in my archive.

‘Empire of the Soul’ is on-line


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.