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 the ‘Psychology’ Category

Sathya Sai Baba ‘leelas’

Posted by robertpriddy on July 4, 2010

I have encountered many devotees of Sathya Sai Baba who get doubts about what he says, what he expects them to do, what is good for them and so on… then decide to ‘ask Swami himself’. But, since they almost never can’t get to ask him in person, they use some other method for deriving his answer. One common practice 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 of getting his answer like, “If I see a dog wagging its tail today when I go shopping, then Baba’s answer is ‘yes’. (They usually fail to consider that not seeing  it must therefore mean ‘no’!).” If the person’s idea is realised, then this event becomes a ‘graceful leela of the Lord’ (his play with his creation) and is taken as further evidence of Sathya Sai Baba’s self-proclaimed omnipresence. If the desired result is not forthcoming, then one can always forget it and have another try with something else. I have witnessed many people at the Sai Baba ashrams and in his organization  making the most absurd assumptions and conclusions in this way.

Flipping open a volume of Sathya Sai Baba’s discourses (like ‘asking 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.

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 may even  enter communication with spirits of the dead, or aliens on an UFO, or the Director of the CIA… and get wonderful answers. As to religionists who communicate with God… well, that is the ultimate example! There are even those who base their life decisions on a throw of the dice. In all these kinds of case, coincidences that occur become meaningful messages from the beyond and whichever entity one may believe in.

The psychologist C.G. Jung, who experienced many  ‘strange coincidences’ and investigated the question deeply, naming these effects ‘synchronicities’. He reckoned that they have to do with the power of projection of subconscious energies and that there is somehow a ‘collective unconscious’ whereby thoughts and symbols are processed and transmitted between minds across time and space. So far most of Jung’s ideas have not been scientifically tested, though a vast plethora of speculative thought has developed around his theory. It seems extremely unlikely that they are the work of what many – along with Jung – believe to be discarnate ‘elementals’. These include deities, earth spirits, djinns, ‘fairies’, demons, succubi, demons, mischievous spirits and the whole range of identities these forces have been given in different cultures and ages and represent powers that seem to exist without being embodied). There is, of course, no guarantee of goodness (let alone divinity) being attached to any such phenomena. It is an area fraught with deceits, delusions, self-deceptions, fraud. Such is life in many a guru cult…

Properly investigated explanations of these ‘meaningful coincidences’ may come in time. I have always followed developments in this area and, as neuroscience successfully delves deeper into the brain’s vast creativity, the re-creation of many psychic states and experiences through stimulating areas of the brain are showing that one may even have so-called ‘after-death’ experiences that way… or experience a range of hallucinatory states of mind, and even enjoy ‘mystical bliss’ and apparent paranormal perceptions.


 

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Posted in Cults, Delusion, Faith, Gurus, leelas, neuroscience, Para-psychology, Psychology, Sathya Sai Baba | Leave a Comment »

Jaani Drucker – wild claims not supported by her actions

Posted by robertpriddy on May 11, 2010

Jaani [or Yaani] Drucker, who claims to be fully spiritually enlightened – has responded to points made by Barry Pittard in his wordpress blogs, but with obvious ill-humour.  She has a website in which she has publicly expressed the same line that she took in writing to Barry Pittard, such as:-

“Anyone who has an ego, which everyone has except those who have attained enlightenment,  is in a state of denial, denial about the truth of who they are, and that includes most professionals. Just because someone has a PhD does not make him/her an expert in what is or is not enlightenment …”

This is no mean claim. Around six billion people have egos, no doubt and tens of thousands of Ph.Ds possess a vast collective knowledge about human reactions and the ego in all its forms. But Jaani knows the world population is in denial! What kind of delusion is that? ‘Not having an ego’ is a very vague phrase – it can mean anything from being in total amnesia, a vegetative state to – in the spiritual belief Jaani defends  – being totally immersed in what she characterises as her “omnipotent” self-consciousness and beyond any worldly influences. Such a person is called a jnani (i.e. one who knows it all). Not Jaani, though! A jnani has no desires or interests in the world, according to the doctrine. Yet Jaani’s interest in self-promotion on the Internet and elsewhere – and her expressed desire not to be criticized, her strong reactions to difficult questions which she actually fails to confront properly – not least her very prickly ego attacks on Pittard – are all disqualifiers for anything at all like “realization”. Barry Pittard is engaging in fair questioning of her extremely remarkable claims, not – as she falsely claims. He is not running a ‘smear campaign’ against her or Sathya Sai Baba. Pittard. Admittedly, he is a stringent critic of Sathya Sai Baba and the vast cover-ups around him, but that is on many and firm documented grounds, including over a score of signed testimonies that he sexually abused young men – including underage boys. Very many other instances are reported by others – including by his own officials – as being molested by oiling of the genitals. Jaani calls this huge documentation, also by the BBC and Danish televison, as ‘rumour’! I am sure she knows far better than that, not least from her husband who has told Aime Levy about it himself. She is definitely in denial about that, for a start! Yet Jaani states her precious belief: –
“… I credit Sai Baba for my enlightenment, and it is in part because He was instrumental in my awakening that I am certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that He is who He claims to be”.

Such ‘certainty beyond a shadow of a doubt’ is not knowledge, and it puts itself far ‘beyond doubt’ in that it is vulnerable to doubt, being merely subjective belief, and the more so the more strongly held. On Pittard’s blogsite, he has responded to Jaani Drucker’s self-projective points, and in detail. Her responses were unsatisfactorily evasive and soon she reacted by refusing to discuss with him unless he withdrew his writing about her. She then wrote to him that, as a result of his writings, some persons told her they would as a result not now attend her workshop on ‘ego’. She writes that he was “impeding her heartful offering toward a better world”. She makes the unenlightened assumption that Barry Pittard does not contribute his work with at least the same good intentions. She started out with a good deal of love and light, but her tone increasingly implies she is looking for a showdown – and to put down those who disagree with her, so she should not be so offended when someone takes her up on it. She quoted in an e-mail to her supporter, the web troll Gerald Moreno, that critics of Sai Baba are as “Dogs barking at the moon”, then denied vehemently in a mail to Pittard that she had ever called anyone a dog. A fine point that!

Jaani Drucker then tries to bargain: “I wonder whether you would consider removing your discrediting and unkind words? If so, perhaps there would be the possibility of an honest debate. Until then you demonstrate that you have already drawn your conclusion, that I am a dangerous energy that you need to protect others from, etc.” Jaani is very forthright with rash over-interpretations and prejudicial jumping to conclusions of his words and putting into Pittard’s mouth that she is a “dangerous energy”. Having written in a very polite and decent way throughout, Pittard should not remove anything. His postings are responsible contributions to a discussion (which Jaani originally invited all to join), being clearly made out of a sense of public duty (not, a Jaani suggested in that worn-out Sai-speak ‘to derive joy from criticising’). Moreover, for those who would backtrack or cover their tracks, Google’s moving finger writes on, and, “having writ, moves on”… once posted it is forever in the public sphere somewhere for good or ill.

Barry Pittard can be seen to have written in a very polite and decent way throughout – though frank and making strong points in the discussion. That is what she cannot abide, being questioned radically, so she avoids answering the really sensitive points, complaining instead. These reactions show her to be disturbed by any criticism, no doubt she wants to carry on but escape the consequences of her support for Sathya Sai Baba in all things, and simply brush aside critical comments as not founded in her supposed ‘Truth’.

In an effort to counteract Barry Pittard’s highly relevant questions, Jaani first decided to cut off communication, then tried to appeal to Barry Pittard to reverse his position on the basis of the universal brotherhood/sisterhood of mankind. Noble as that sentiment may be as an ideal – and even though all humans are genetically related – it is not a principle for suppressing discussion, well-meant criticism and even argument between “brothers and sisters”. In my view cult members are more like very distant cousins to me – I feel no brotherhood as regards their ideology and denial of many facts, though I would accept that they could well have good intentions. Intention and action do not always concur, however… and frank and open truthfulness from the Druckers on the sexual abuse issue would be welcome… but they evidently discriminate against those “brothers” who are no longer in the so-called ‘Sai family’. Not least it would help assuage the feelings of the offended persons whom they know to be speaking the truth about their awful experiences. It would also be fair to many of us who we have all reason based on massive, impelling testimony to accept they were so treated by Sai Baba… and not least also for his own sexual satisfaction!

Jaani refers to the perceived greatness of her husband (in some circles). His supposed greatness is – as he admits – entirely due to his having been taken close th Sai Baba, that he and she are ‘just ordinary people’ etc. I would still add a few moderating thoughts. When first I heard him hold forth as a lecturer at Prashanthi Nilayam in January, 1985, he was known for having been saved from a plane crash by a supposed miracle of Sai Baba. He had been made into a kind of idol by some US devotees. I found a solemn-faced propagator of Sai Baba’s more simplistic and myth-packed doctrine for young students (as contained in Drucker’s book reproducing talks by Sai Baba to his students which, since Drucker does not know Telugu, was translated for him by another). Drucker held with Sai Baba that he was himself Rama, Krishna and other divine figures… and their teaching is his. During Christmas 1986, Drucker informed the crowd at a choir practice that Sai Baba had said that all of the devotees who had been with Rama were present in reincarnations at his 60th birthday, including the ‘monkey-god’ Hanuman (not least therefore, some people thought Drucker might have been told he was Hanuman. What a craze-inducing place Prashanthi Nilayam is!).

Whatever the case, Al Drucker seemed very devout and puritan, and with his Talmudic background he saw Prashanthi Nilayam as the New Jerusalem. He spent decades living almost exclusively at Sai Baba ashrams, where any new ideas are most unwelcome unless they concur and support those which are ‘politically correct’ in Sathya Sai Baba’s view. In the role of local ‘greatness’ that no doubt partly was forced upon him, various people I knew there nonetheless saw Al Drucker as too bossy and I could not observe that he was a helpful server of struggling visitors, for he had the role of an important personage, which rested mainly on his proximity to Sai Baba since the late 1970s. (Add to that the fact that he had once temporarily been employed in some kind of scientific role by NASA, before he joined Esalen and left the scientific attitude firmly behind him). He was seen by most devotees much as a go-between to God Incarnate, a recipient of miracle blessings and one who maybe knew some of the secrets not shared with ordinary joes! He did amuse me, however, when he somewhat patronisingly mismanaged certain events (eg. the Christmas choir) so badly as to have some of us laughing amid all the gushing piety.

The jealousy which plagues all the Sai ashrams (as I observed and indeed Sai Baba himself roundly railed about) was strong against Al Drucker. I heard diverse complaints about him and some Indian VIPs expressed Schadenfreude when he was excommunicated. Most unacceptable!

The Ways of the Mind – on the issue by a Swedish psychologist
Strawberry Fields Forever? plus comments on Jaani & advaitic doctrine
Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 2
Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him
Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding? Professor Alvin Drucker has not spoken out yet, will he stand up and be a true man? Reliable sources testify to what Drucker knew about sexual abuses.
Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 1
Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondance) Part 2
Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Jaani Drucker Correspondance) Part 3
Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 4
Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 5
Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 6


See Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and his Worldwide Organization
(Spanish version PETICIÓNPÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES

Posted in Cover-up, Cults, Gurus, India, Mind control, Psychology, Sathya Sai Baba, Spiritual propaganda | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Projecting one’s whole autonomy onto Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on April 9, 2010

All Sathya Sai Baba followers who visit his ashrams have always had to queue, sit and wait almost endlessly before he appears – let alone before they get the chance of an interview, which almost no one does any longer due to his invalidism. Many pray and wait for years on end for the ‘Lord and Master’, and ‘spiritual seekers’ who travel across continents are all constantly hope for some form of personal attention, eye contact, some words… then more and more of the same. All this is shared by all followers, excluding very important persons, such as heads of state, royalty or the super rich and famous, who mostly get comparative red carpet treatment.

Sathya Sai Baba used to walk about very slowly, making gestures (which many people took as personal messages to them!) and when he looked even in a person’s general direction, they took this as a blessing! Not a few report how waves of happiness, bliss, even ecstasy floods through them, tears come to their eyes. If he smiles at them or takes a letter from them, it seems to them that they at last have confirmation of being personally acceptable to God himself. In most cases, these emotions are the culmination of a very long period of approaching through meditation on him, prayers to him, letters sent (often with the writer’s most private thoughts ‘in advance’) after much reading of books which all praise him beyond the clouds, videos which seem to prove he is a divinity, hearing miracle and amazing healing stories galore, and making diverse efforts to live according to his directions, do everything in his name.

Many followers sacrifice much time and money, put up with all manner of difficulties and disappointments on the way, meanwhile meeting many other persons telling of wonderful (subjective) experiences seen through their own faith. But by then they have already become highly open to suggestion (becoming what are called ‘good hypnotic subjects’). Despite this, or precisely because of it, various persons have been surprised, as was I, upon first observing him show himself (i.e. “give his holy darshan“) because. he seemed just too ordinary. But then, one already ‘knows’ that it could just not be true…has he not told them not to be deceived by his short stature, for in reality he holds the entire universe in his hands?

Longing and Yearning are ‘projective’: The intensity developed by followers’ desires and beliefs amount to psychological projections. Projection is a very complex process with many aspects and can vary in strength, scope and content. Nonetheless it is a common occurrence among followers of all idols, especially those who have created an aura of holiness or wisdom around themselves, by whatever means.  Even one small apparent paranormal event – taken as the longed-for Sai leela or small miracle – is enough to set one  self-reinforcing ones indoctrination to last for life! This may take the form of statement like the following which was sent to me by a colleague at some stage as an illustration of how mental projection words in those who have invested much time and energy without noticeable attention from Sathya Sai Baba:

 

“I vividly recall looking at his form with utter peace and no thoughts. He stopped and turned and gave me this amazing smile, piercing me with his eyes and I felt this incredible warmth enter me. “What did he do that for,” I thought, on that day three years ago. Today, the penny dropped. Thought has to stop.” by Sai Baba devotee Christopher (Chris) Parnell – Australian Sathya Sai Organization

The dropping penny – after first awakening new thoughts – evidently causes thought to deteriorate – and that is precisely the programme Sai Baba sets out – overcome one’s thoughts through mantras, prayer, bhajan singing and meditation. Kill the mind – supposedly letting mindless ‘universal consciousness’ take over!  I have observed through many years observing others how their minds tend to drift without incisiveness or efforts at improvement, getting ever more uncritical and unreliable. Impressionable persons who have been actively indoctrinating (or ‘brain-washing’) themselves for a long time within the cocoon of beliefs and mostly within the circle of other believers… especially in the otherworldly and unrealistic ashram mental environment where all one’s wildest hopes may (but most likely will not) come true.

Powerful projection reinforcements: Projecting all kinds of desires and ones best imaginings onto Sathya Sai Baba and his circle, one produces a self-conversion by oneself. These circumstances are known to be conducive to sudden healing and many other extra-normal effects, but these always prove to be partial and temporary… the enthusiasm wears off after the famous ‘honeymoon’ period is past. Such phenomena are well known, far from being limited to Sai Baba or other Indian gurus – consider Billy Graham, Lourdes. Pastor Moon and literally thousands of other personality cults. One develops a partly delusional world-view and can then become easily manipulated by powerful forms of suggestion of the kind otherwise called ‘hypnotic’. These can cause considerable distortions of sensory perception, even though one does not enter an actual sleep-like trance (viz. Derren Brown). The intensity of the ‘projection’ makes likely not only changes in outlook, but a new sense of purpose and energy. All one needed was a catalyst (a relevant  object or person to project onto in the specific case), and that is how idol-worship and personality cults work.

More on mental-emotional projection and Sai Baba’s methods of using it to come.


Posted in Cults, darsan, darshan, Delusion, dogma, Faith, Gurus, healing, hypnosis, Indoctrination, Mind control, Para-psychology, Personality Cult, Propaganda, Psychology, Sathya Sai Baba, Spiritual propaganda, Surrender | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Yaani Drucker: ‘The Ego’ misunderstood and the doctrine of self-nihilation

Posted by robertpriddy on February 23, 2010

During my 18 years as a leader in the Sathya Sai Organization I tried to strike the balance between the excessive pronouncements and impossible requirements of Sai Baba on correct behaviour and the crying needs of fellow devotees – some weak or often disturbed persons – who sought help and succour from the organization (which was supposed to be the extension of Sai Baba’s world mission). The contradictions between the teachings and the rules, the manipulation and jockeying for position by the VIP leaders plus the paradoxes between Sai Baba’s own words and actions were eventually too much to manage and finally broke the back of all the best – most active and generous – people in our organization here and many in other countries. Once the true facts about Sai Baba emerged from 2000 onwards, all of these left in disgust and as wiser people. The doctrine behind it all looked more and more shabby and divorced from reality.

One crucial anomaly in all ‘spiritual’ doctrines which aim to remove the individualised self in favour of the imaginary One Divine Self is that they require far too much concentration on one’s own salvation…i.e. on and for oneself. The paradox is that, to rid oneself of self (or ‘ego’ understood as the seat of selfishness), one has to cultivate oneself, examine oneself, improve oneself and concentrate overwhelmingly on one’s own practices (‘spiritual sadhana‘). This ‘sadhana‘ can include doing good service to others, but one engages in it primarily out of motivation for one’s own future imagined good… ‘liberation’ from the world and its cares in some unknown realm of being filled with consciousness and bliss. To rationalize the necessity of this selfish pursuit of one’s own ultimate interests, it is said that it is best for all humanity that people become self-realized, it will eventually introduce an age of Truth and goodness etc. (even though they will have died and are out of contact with the world forever – which further gives rise to ideas of otherworldly contacts, communications with spirits and the dead, ghosts or whatever you want to have to rest assured).

To overcome the ego by such doctrines, one must think of oneself as not oneself but as being God omnipotent (and also omnipresent and omniscient as a result). This is tough if one finds does not posses these qualities at all! However, plenty of self-styled ‘Masters’ claim to do so (perhaps the Druckers too?)! It may all done with the very best of intentions, [however misguided] – but definitely not by all who do it to earn a fortune, power and everything they can get! This ambiguous ”self-cultivation’ is nothing short of narcissism, or seeing oneself only in the mirror of one’s self-enhancing thoughts. Most persons with some professional experience of psychotherapies naturally regard this as an ‘escape mechanism’ or ‘denial of reality’, to flee the world in wishful thinking. It is well-known, too, how reality has its own way of impinging – even brutally smashing the hall of self-distorting mirrors – sooner or later. Common sense and proper information show how anyone can be threatened by debilitating illness, by senile loss of memory or dementia, accidents causing strokes and other brain damage. What then of one’s imagined ‘self-omnipotence’? We see many indubitable signs of the reduction to incoherence and absurdity in the self-proclaimed omnipotent, omniscient Divinity – Sathya Sai Baba, the ultimate narcissist, as I and others (see here) have documented from his own words in many web pages.

In the zealous atmosphere where most followers are trapped in very subtle indoctrination and a largely self-programmed belief structure, no inquiring mind can survive untroubled for very long. Either one goes along with the rationalization process which operates at full steam throughout the Sai movement or one questions more and more when disturbed by observable and reported events. Living there is mentally stifling – and intellectually unfruitful. This is not least so in the colleges, which was one of the hardest tests I had to face – one shared by my friend V.K. Narasimhan. I did my best to seek answers to remove doubts and then to raise questions that might lead further, but the doctrine of Sai Baba is set in stone as God-ordained, perfect and beyond any human criticism or even proper understanding (he claims). Unfortunately my efforts in many Sanathana articles to explain away anomalies were embraced readily by those starved of explanations of worrying events and answers to conflicting or wild Sai Baba statements … eventually I had to say no to Narasimhan’s pressing requests for yet more articles.

Incidentally, Narasimhan told me repeatedly, latest in 1998 when Al Drucker partook in the Paduka ceremony there, that he disagreed fundamentally with Al Drucker about the advaitic teaching he professes, having seen it as one of the worst of all ideological influences on the Indian psyche and society. Its pernicious effects were, he insisted, the main cause of the disinterest of so many Indians in worldly conditions and especially in their fellow sufferers’ plight… with their “it is all due to karma, but never mind, the Unitary One God is working out his great design” Really?

My wife makes the following remarks on this subject of ego-removal:

Those who think of themselves as being one with the divine must necessarily divide the self into two parts – the divine self (atman) and the human ‘incarnation’ (jiva) which is regarded as selfish and ignorant of its divine origin, blinded by illusion (maya) into thinking of itself as a separate being. The fact that the human self is experienced as being the real one doesn’t matter, for the teaching says it is an illusion. This splitting off of part of oneself and denial of one’s real perceptions tends to undermine the whole psyche and personality, and it creates a dependency on the spiritual teacher/master or whoever claims to be able to perceive this ‘Truth’.  Many wish to be perfect, full of bliss and untouched by pain, sorrow or difficulties. In order for that to happen – the doctrine insists – one has to be constantly focused on the divine self and identifying with it. So much better than to have to identify with the human ego-self who makes mistakes, suffers, and is generally far from perfect and blissful…. How nice and convenient to reflect on the divine self, perfect and beyond reproach, and not to have to bother about reflecting on – or be responsible for – one’s human failings!

No wonder that there are so many who have symptoms of suffering from ego-mania in ‘spiritual’ groups, being hardly capable of serious self-reflection, unable to recognise faults they have – and with exaggerated ideas of themselves. So as to keep up this self-image the doctrine of ‘positive thinking’ is applied, for it leaves no room for critical thoughts to disturb their focus on the ‘divine self”… while the actual human self is overlooked or even shunted off as an illusion, a negative disturbance

My wife put things very aptly!
By extension or inference, the doctrine runs that one should never criticize others either, as their true selves are equally one with the divine and thus beyond reproach. All others are ideally represented as being “brothers and sisters”… whoever they are, whatever they have done or are doing! This is all very well as a wishful dream, but it is not at all in the world all live in! Genuine concern for others as they actually are (not as imagined to be) and normal conscience have no place in that scheme which cannot distinguish between good and bad. Such belief systems would deny other people’s experience of sexual abuse as something bad, because of one’s own denial of the world and human self as real.

It is pitiful really, that this unnatural splitting of oneself in two – the real vs. the unreal self, or the sacred vs. the profane self – is seen as bringing one closer to oneness, not only with the divine self but with all ‘creation’ (or, rather, only with the divine essence of creation, not the time-space universe). This is dualism, of which no consciousness can ever totally be free (there must be consciousness of something). The actual ‘creation’ we live in and perceive is portrayed as illusive, unreal (maya), and only the supposed and unseen, unknowable creator is real. All that kind of thing is existence turned upside-down in fantasy, as often symbolised by the Yggdrasil tree (of Norse mythology) which is inverted and has its roots in the sky – as if it could exist and sustain itself in that way. (Likewise all surreal extras in the form of clouds, cuckoos, green pastures and non-stop hymn-singing ghostly choirs?)

Meanwhile, as my wife heartily agrees, others have to put up with these people who mentally shut off the parts of themselves that don’t fit into their ideas of their ‘divine’ selves, and who then start preaching their (deeply ingrained and soon subconscious) self-deception to others. They think they know the one truth, and cannot and will not modify their thoughts, beliefs or behaviour based on worldly facts or any well-meant input or feedback from others. The most deluded cases – every adult will have come across at least one – believe they know everything, know God or even are God and are fanatically engaged in wanting to bring salvation to everyone for their own good, whether they want it or not. These God-botherers – not leasy Yaani Drucker and her kind – who want to save others from themselves are soon shunned by all people of experience and character because they are truly insufferable.

Relevant articles:-
Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 2
Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him
Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example
The Spiritual Search – a philosophical analysis of advaitic solipsism and social narcissism


PLEASE SEE THE SAI PETITION AND DECIDE WHETHER TO SIGN IT

Posted in Cover-up, Cults, dogma, Faith, Gurus, Psychology, Sathya Sai Baba, Spiritual propaganda | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Jaani Drucker, The Truth, open inquiry and truthfulness

Posted by robertpriddy on February 21, 2010

Having noted the exchange of views between Barry Pittard and Jaani Drucker (aka Yaani Drucker), I am prompted to provide some more detailed examination of the issues at stake. With her self-promoted superior insight into The Truth (as if it were something hypostatized and ontologised) Jaani Drucker rejected Barry Pittard’s questions without answering them, writing “When you are determined to find denial and resistance, there is no honest debate or discussion possible. You have already closed your mind.” This is a typical cult-defensive reaction where questioning itself is viewed as something negative.

If anyone has closed their minds it is surely Jaani [Yaani] Drucker. How can one tell? Because she has not had anything new to say except continually to preach that she has the TRUTH and is – by implication – self-realized, all the while parroting nothing but the ideas of Sathya Sai Baba – where these concur with ‘The Course in Miracles’ (better called ‘Pollyanna Positive Prayer and Preaching’). This is more of a dogma than a doctrine for it is closed to any basic modification and is isolated from all further development and – above all – criticism. In general it is an extreme form of religious puritanism as found in the Judaic Talmud, the Old Testament and the strictest Hindu doctrines.

In continuing to promote and defend Sathya Sai Baba, Yaani acts as if her supposed Truth is so precious as always to have to be attended by an unquestioned bodyguard of supporting liesºº… those which have been exposed on a large scale by many former followers, not least Barry Pittard and myself. Al Drucker admitted – when pressed – to the former Central Coordinator of the UK Sathya Sai Organization, that many parents had complained to him of sexual abuse by Sai Baba while Drucker was resident at the ashram. Jaani is no doubt also well aware that Sai Baba has escaped justice only because the entire Indian system of corrupt topmost politicians and judges who worship him have protected him from all accountability! This is part of the body of lies the Druckers prefer to condone, supposedly to protect their Truth, which would need not protection or even promotion if it really were that immutable and powerful.

Those who have invested their prestige in Sai Baba and his teaching on the ego etc., like the Druckers, live largely within a community of persons and ideas divorced from all research, informed debate, the stringency of peer review because the doctrine they embrace is that the Truth, as preached by advaitists and Sai Baba among them, is immutable, requires no modification or development. They can reject without informing themselves of the entire world-wide advances in human psychology by hundreds of thousands of practitioners and researchers garnering experience from all corners of the globe and the human psyche… none of it could ever upset a figment of the ordained and immortalized Truth of their favourite religious speculations, static and stagnant as it has been for centuries! It’s main method of persuasion is repetition. One can only sustain this claim to total knowledge within the cocoon of ashrams or circles of New Age type persons, for it cannot stand the slightest buffets of well-informed intelligence based on tried and proven hypotheses by a global host of professionals.

If we look a little into this supposed Truth, we find it depends on the ‘death of the ego’. The doctrine of ‘ego’ that is most central to Sai Baba and I understand also to the would-be self-realization group run by the Druckers is really nothing more than a long harangue against selfishness (Me and Mine). This naked and stark belief – that selfishness is the root of ALL evil – is dressed up in portentous ideas about the ‘true egoless self’ within (and hidden from) all mankind . The belief posits the wishful dream of a total awareness of selfless unity within divinity, described in highly fanciful terms like ‘the golden womb’, the Heart and so on. Now, a doctrine of self-denial – if moderated by common sense and free of dogmatic certainty and absolutism – would not be unwelcome. Yet the anti-ego dogma is lacking in realism or practicable and compassionate humanism. It is actually very naively formulated in reducing the entire personal ‘ego’ to something far less than it is: a dynamic psychic development necessary to life as we know it. There is conceptual confusion involved – the word ‘ego’ is misapplied by Sai Baba, imitated uncritically by Jaani, to include one’s entire identity ‘as a separate being’, which again is seen as being blinded by ignorance (of the Truth of its own nature) and dominated by egoism in the form of selfishness and greed.

The human ego is to be understood as a dynamic development of every psyche through coping with the demands of the environment (others) and instinctual urges (survival, sex, fear, power, suppression, dominance, sex, hunger etc.). The ego, as psychologically understood, balances and reacts properly to the external and internal demands impinging on the person and is a very necessary achievement without which one cannot avoid one or another form of cognitive disorder up to and including severe and chronic mental illness. Looking after oneself and one’s own interests is the very basis of being human, without which one cannot even recognise or appreciate the same unavoidable need in others. Pursuing self-interest is unavoidably important, both for individuals and societies. It is the excess of such pursuits – greed of all kinds, economic and social insecurity, excess in power-seeking and all the related ills we all know so well – that are the problem. The self-realization through death of the ego brigade do not recognise this… they consider they have progressed beyond such needs (but often I have noted the actual consumption of goods and services are above average among the most outspoken ‘Ceiling on Desires’ advocates).

This fails to recognise the vast achievements of ego psychology (which it almost entirely rejects as illusory worldly untruth). It is not based on the slightest research – it cannot be tested (except by sacrificing one’s entire life – a fool’s risk). It is a puritanical and typically Indian religious doctrine – such as Sai Baba’s advice ‘Die Mind’ (one of his many execrable poor puns), which he symbolizes by giving away diamonds (all synthetic stones, yet more symbolically!). Obviously, undue selfishness is a trait without which the world would surely benefit, but taking it to the point of self-annihilation (i.e. killing the ego, ‘killing the mind’ – such as through prayers and mantras) is probably only for those who are ultimately tired of the whole of their own lives.

As seen in so many religious sects – it most often ends in moralism of the most unwelcome kind, sustaining and increasing people’s sense of personal inadequacy, leading to depression and even suicidalism in those who feel incapable of meeting its constant demands. Those who strive to follow the unworldly practices involved get no lasting benefit from the process either (except for possible temporary exhilaration of the kind ‘Now I have solved it all, what to do?’). Those who have made a vocation of it and sunk their prestige in preaching it may manage to keep up the required outward Pollyanna smile.
More to follow shortly…

See also The Ways of the Mind – on the issue by a Swedish psychologist
Strawberry Fields Forever? plus comments on Jaani & advaitic doctrine
Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him
Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example
God is everything, in everyone – as a spiritual teaching
Advaita – historical flight into abstraction and speculation


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Posted in Cults, Delusion, Denial, Gurus, Indoctrination, Mind control, Personality Cult, Psychology, Surrender | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Dreams of Sathya Sai Baba – imaginary or real?

Posted by robertpriddy on May 5, 2009

THE SELF-PROCLAIMED “OMNISCIENT” SELF-CONTRADICTOR OF PUTTAPARTHI, SATHYA SAI BABA, REFUTES HIS OWN TEACHING OF DECADES THAT HE ACTUALLY MANIFESTS HIMSELF IN PEOPLE’S DREAMS

Some people claim to have seen God in their dream. Where is dream? Where is God? In fact, dream experience itself is not real. It is only an illusion. They are deluded to think that way.

You say that Swami appeared in your dream last night. This is not correct. I do not appear in anybody’s dream. When you intensely desire that Swami must appear in your dream and constantly think of the same, that intense desire will assume a form in your dream. God does not assume a form or change into another form.
You have witnessed something in your dream. What is it? It is your own self, nothing other than that. You are visualising your own self in the dream state.

Do not be under the illusion “Rama has appeared in my dream, Krishna has appeared in my dream, Swami has appeared in my dream”. This is a sign of ignorance. All these are dreams only. How can a dream be called a reality? The very word “dream” explains its nature. As long as you are in sleep, this experience may be true. The moment you wake up, the experience vanishes. (Source http://sssbpt.org/Pages/Prasanthi_Nilayam/25-10-04_Discourse.htm)

Compare these amazing revelations by the ‘omniscient avatar’ with his former well-known ‘revelations’. That he intervenes in dreams has been believed by virtually every devotee. They have been told so by him on many occasions and believed him fully. In ‘Vision of the Divine’ he is reported verbatim telling Dr. Fanibunda that
he comes into people’s dreams, and only when he wills it himself.
They have written countless articles and books about their dreams of Sathys Sai Baba which he has often reportedly confirmed they were true visits from him in person:-

“Dreams are nothing but the reflection of the subconscious mind. Swami appearing in dreams is very auspicious…Dreams are the reflection, reaction and resound of that which is within you. The same does not apply to dreams in which Swami appears. Swami appears in dreams only when He wills it and not when you want.” (Sanathana Sarathi, April 1999, p. 98)

With his typical systemic inconsistency, he contradicts that one cannot dream of him at all without his will and changes it to only “very clear” dreams. However, even this he has now refuted! What a confusing deceiver he has been, and remains! He comes across as very confused himself

There are certain confusing dreams in which your feelings play an active role. You may be seeing Swami but at the same time your feelings get mixed up and cause confusion. You may see yourself in Puttaparthi at one point in time and in America at the very next, and so on and so forth. These dreams are not willed by Swami. These result from indigestion and improper food. Dreams which are willed by me are very clear and give no room for confusion or doubt.

However, blaming indigestion or improper food is quite laughable in view of his saying thatdreams reflect etc. the subconscious mind. He has said many other conflicting things through the years about how different kinds of dream arise. He quoted the sage Pippalada (Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 24, p. 144), who held that indigestion does NOT cause dreams, but sleep does. THAT is astounding news!

My position on certain aspects of dreams and the nature of their different origins has developed considerably since I wrote the book ‘Source of the Dream’ in 1994 (Bangalore Sun-Sky Publications, sold at Prashanthi Nilayam bookshop). Now I have just published a new book in India, 650-plus pages, entitled “End of the Dream”. Dreams are, in my opinion, self-generated… even those which have precognitive elements which later occur. My views on dreams were formed after a long life of deep interest in this and related subjects, and a brief summary has been on-line for some years now as part of my work on human psychology, ‘The Human Whole’.
After having been involved in teaching at the Institute of Psychology at the University of Oslo, and formerly as staff in group therapy at two treatment homes in Scandinavia, and having recorded dreams and studied virtually the entire serious literature on them in psychology, psychoanalysis both Freudian, Jungian, existential and many other theories and therapies etc., I have at least learned finally from my personal experiences that what Sathya Sai Baba has said about dreams contains so much unempirical nonsense as to be misleading and worthless.

 

 

extra links: Paul Holbach on dreams of Sai Baba etc. —  Supposed ‘dream invasions’ by SSB

AMUSING FOOTNOTE

DR. MICHAEL GOLDSTEIN’S WIFE DREAMS OF SAI BABA
WHO BOTH CLAIMS HE COMES IN PEOPLE’S DREAMS, BUT ALSO DENIES HE EVER DOES!

In his 2004 a public discourse noted above he denied most firmly that he ever enters anyone’s dreams

Excerpt from The “Hindu” Andhra Pradesh 26 November 2004 By Staff Reporter
Satya Sai trust to host global meet on divinity.

PUTTAPARTHI, NOV. 25. The Sri Satya Sai Central Trust will organise a world conference on `unity, purity and divinity’ as part of the Satya Saibaba’s 80th birthday celebrations here next year.

Two ardent devotees of Saibaba were given the opportunity to speak at the spiritual leader’s 79th birthday function held here on Wednesday.

Michael Cochstein, a practising physician from Southern California, USA, said he had found his spiritual divinity at Puttaparthi. “Swamy spoke to my wife in her dream one day when we were passing through a difficult phase and I had fallen in love with him immediately,” Mr. Cochstein said. He claimed that Saibaba had taught him that selfless love was the key to happy life. Stating that Saibaba was an embodiment of selfless love, Mr. Cochstein said the greatest joy in life was knowing selfless love through Saibaba.

Source: http://www.hindu.com/2004/11/26/stories/2004112606490300.htm

It is noteworthy that such a newspaper as ‘The Hindu’ gets the name of such an important Sai VIP wrong! (‘Michael Cochstein’ is none other than the delightful Dr. Michael Goldstein International Chairman of the Sathya Sai Organization).

Goldstein makes a point of “Swamy spoke to my wife in a dream one day“. (Sounds like a daydream?) One has to commiserate with those who still believe fully in Sai Baba’s pronouncements that no one can dream of him without His Will! For it has slipped their attention that Sathya Sai Baba had again vastly modified his position on this recently.

Posted in Cults, Delusion, Divinity, Gurus, Para-psychology, Psychology, Sathya Sai Baba, Spiritual propaganda, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

The insidiousness of cultist indoctrination – Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on February 2, 2009

A subtly developed  ‘delusional world-view’ is basic to cultism It depends on a number of malfunctions which are common in some lesser extent to the thinking of most people at some time or other. These become a cognitive disorder when a group of these are present at once and over time. This is necessarily the case with those completely absorbed followers of any cult, certainly also of Sathya Sai Baba.

There is no reasoning with a person who is ensnared in the system of ‘explanations’, excuses, rationalizations that surrounds Sathya Sai Baba and absolves him of everything imaginable in advance! (I was once all too accepting of this myself, as I found out to my tough edification) . To quote a well-known expert on the East, the usual Eastern spiritual ‘teaching’ contains:-

“… propaganda, so constant, so intensive, so insidious, as to leave its mark on the strongest intellect. All had been cut off… from all normal intellectual and political influences, from all valid standards of comparison. In a sense, all their minds must work along the same lines, along different lines, that is, from the Western mind. Was it altogether surprising that, with this mental background, they should at times have difficulty in distinguishing between the real and the imaginary, the actual and the hypothetical, that their faculties should become blurred, that they should lose their objectivity?” excerpt from ‘Eastern Approaches’ by Sir Fitzroy Maclean, p. 114 (Penguin books)

Liberation from largely self-induced delusional beliefs is no quick easy matter In most instances, deeply ingrained cognitive disorders are extremely hard to ‘correct’. So long as the person concerned feels comfortable with a delusive perception and ideology, there is little cause to try to change it. The surrounding cult sustains the view and the person who adopt it. Yet when major events cause the belief system to be unsustainable, to break down over some undeniable incident, proof of abuses of faith and worse, it can take years gradually to recover a saner, more down-to-earth sensible view of reality and oneself, since ‘de-programming’ of what one has programmed oneself with is almost impossible for many persons without considerable support… therapy or counselling.

When the mainspring of a cult’s faith is broken, the unfortunate followers have to contemplate having wasted large parts of their lives on the glorification of a myth. Many cannot bear the wrench and bury their heads like ostriches – in rationalizations, excuses, half-truths. This is the case with the Sai movement , which has suffered the loss of many of the most competent, honest and active partakers  followers due to the revelations about his sexual and other alleged crimes. The movement is in inner turmoil, as can be seen from much that leaks out despite the closing down of interface with the open society and the cultist licking of wounds that will not heal, whatever propaganda is created.

See a clear list of cognitive problems in cultist’s  perceptions and thinking here.

Posted in Delusion, Guru Cult, Gurus, Mind control, Personality Cult, Psychology, Sathya Sai Baba | Leave a Comment »

Sai Baba – personal experience vs. learned facts

Posted by robertpriddy on February 1, 2009

Speak only from your direct experience, never rely on any other basis. Part of his so-called ’Sai teaching’ is to rely entirely on your own experience in all matters. But most  perceptions are influenced by the subject’s preconceptions and many  interpretations of them are at least partly pre-programmed by what one has been taught, which came very largely from others. Unless one has developed a well-balanced and healthy reservation in judgement and the techniques of self-reflection, criticism and more.

The nature and degree of reliability of personal experience varies very greatly from one instance to another, and from person to person. Personal experience is actually often equivalent only to subjective experience. Perception of the same events differ tremendously between those who have ‘personal experience’ of them, depending on their position, their foreknowledge, their ingrained attitudes and so forth.  Independent observers often diverge radically in their accounts from engaged participants. That said, we do build some considerable part of our own valid convictions on deep personal experiences. Yet we necessarily build by far the greater part of our knowledge and world-views on received information – such as through upbringing, education, the workplace and a wide circle of influences from friends to the media and so on. This might be considered to be ‘hearsay’, but it is very far from being only what one hears and reads. The range of ‘hearsay’ under that tendentious usage stretches, say, from the Encyclopedia Britannica to envious and untrue slander over the fence. Such an attitude makes a mockery of the institutions of society as a whole and raises the individual to a supreme status as the knower of fact and truth.

Tendentious appeals to ‘personal experience’
To refute public facts, the argument from personal experience is used by propagandists, demagogues and cultists of all kinds. There are many cults in which the master or guru’s view is that only personal experience is the basis for all truth. Now, if it is reported that a boy was sexually abused by him, those blind believers who wish to suppress the report and cover it up have responded by: ‘ have you personally experienced sexual abuse, and if not, you cannot know it happened’. This has occurred even when it was reported by a doctor and confirmed by an independent doctor.

The perception of devotees that they experience divine love from the guru – such as when he merely looks into their eyes very briefly – is pre-programmed through what others have glowingly reported and the consequent massive expectations are held over a very long time before they get to see him thus. The projection of ones faith and longings is the most likely result.  This mostly speaks of lack of previous experience of charismatic persons, or of clever manipulators and psychopaths for whom everything they do is an act calculated to control and manipulate others, so ingrained that their charm seems entirely natural.

Vicarious ‘experience’ and living through the perceptions of others In a cult which is large enough to hinder anything but the most fleeting direct contact with the figurehead most  long-term followers do not leave it after the exposure of major lies and crimes by the guru. Having built their lives around it all, they are cocooned in a form of delusion known as cognitive disorder. It is very far from first-hand experience of Sathya Sai Baba, except at best for short periods, and is based on reliving and regenerating the perceptions learned from the massive literature, films and personal stories from others (hearsay, not experience). When it that boy were being  sexually abused by Sai Baba, the accusers were often asked ‘ have you personally experienced that sexual abuse, and if not, how can you  know it happened’. This has occurred even when it was reported by a doctor and confirmed by an independent doctor. Deciding guilt depends on all kinds of evidence, its extent, consistency, quality and many other circumstances.

In Jesus sects, for example, charismatics speak as if they knew Jesus personally, could tell what he really though and wanted, despite his having lived long ago and far away… and the historical record being fragmentary, contradictory and the gospels being shown to have been manipulated through misplaced zeal, mistranslations and misunderstandings. Still, thousands flock to the preacher and believe in his ‘testimony’ which is even called ‘witnessing’!

Further highly relevant reading:-

How mis-perceptions of Sai Baba and onself are developed

Why is Sai Baba never to blame?

Posted in Delusion, Guru Cult, Gurus, Psychology, Religion, Sathya Sai Baba | Leave a Comment »

God in everyone, everything – Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on January 3, 2009

‘God is in everything, everything is God’ is the central alleged ‘truth’ in various teaching by Indian gurus, swamis and other self-styled divine beings. It underpins much of Hinduism and the ideas involve, when abstracted to a high degree, forms the backbone of Advaita Vedanta. It is at the core of the so-called ‘teachings’ of Sathya Sai Baba, who claims to have created the Universe and Hinduism as the purest and most encompassing religion.

If everything is God, and God is everything, then God cannot be localised by any means, neither as a separate entity nor in any other distinct way.

At the same time, Sathya Sai Baba has often said that everyone is God, or alternatively that God is in everyone.  The similar assertion that God is in everyone as a divine spark, or resides in the inner heart as universal consciousness or love or whatever, is incompatible with the hugely ambiguous generality that ‘God is everyone’. Vagueness of meaning alone makes it possible for unsophisticated minds to accept these statements without differentiation or understanding anything really… They become tenets of faith in which one believes without knowing what they mean in practice. The slogans explain little or nothing about how these should apply to life – other than the interpretation that one should respect and love everyone as divinity. Yet that is an ideal which does not allow for the ways of the world – for it necessarily also involves the ultimate appeasement of the bad and wrong – a passivity before wrongdoing which fails to work as a social ideal other than perhaps as martyrdom.

Some variants of this pan-theism hold that God is only within you. But this contradicts the core idea, that God is everything. Other variants insist that God is both within you and outside you (Sathya Sai Baba uses both conflicting statements) The absence of any direct external evidence of God’s existence refutes the ‘outside you’ claim for a start. Worse, it means that one cannot locate the divine as anything distinct from everything, for it is supposedly therefore everywhere and there is nothing that is not God.

Paradoxically, this pan-theism makes for the most tolerant of religions, since every religion (everything) must be a divine manifestation, nothing less. At the same time, belief in the pan-theistic thesis means one is totally exclusive of all mainstream religions, which all reject precisely pantheistic theologies… and pan-theism therefore manifests as a most exclusive conception – one which must be intolerant of all religious beliefs which define or identify God or divinity as distinct from profane and material existence. It is a self-destructive idea which can bear no fruit other than delusion and confusion.

The standard response to this confusion by gurus (especially Sathya Sai Baba) is that you have not realised yourself, your ‘true nature’ as the Divine Being, the One Being of  Bliss Consciousness .  It is most easy to be misled by this, since the almost endless labyrinth of obscure scriptures and undoubtedly clever rationalizations take many years to study and absorb and – if one gives oneself to it fully – it is very demanding to test this in practice through meditation and other so-called ‘sadhanas’. However, it is possible to recover oneself from such a well-meant but futile project – t0 break the spell – and gradually realise the illusions which it has created and enforced in one’s mind. Then what is made to appear great wisdom and ‘spirituality’ is seen in wider and wider perspective for what a confusion it is when one explores it further. Such de-programming is liberating for oneself in many ways.  I find that the best one can say about the entire process of ‘spiritual seeking’ is that – if one survives it with one’s sanity intact – it is a major learning process about the fallibility of the human mind and the many ways it is unavoidably manipulated by the agendas of others,  whatever the sphere of activity.

See also other critical deconstructions of key doctrines promoted by Sathya Sai Baba:-

  • STUDY OF IDEAS OF ETERNAL, UNCONDITIONAL, SELFLESS LOVE How the idea of love is ‘sublimated’ to an otherworldly realm and become anti-life and a subtle means to manipulate and control people
  • UNITY AS A SPIRITUAL IDEAL and how such ideas function to suppress, manipulate and denigrate the diversity of existence, cultures and unique individuality.
  • GOD IS EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING IS GOD? The great generalization and its logical consequences examined
  • THE ‘GURU TRAP’ AS CATCH 22, THE NO-WIN SITUATION How most traditional Indian gurus and swamis to attract, indoctrinate and entrap. Two Indian Swamis – Ambikananda and Sathya Sai Baba
  • THE TRAP OF ‘DOUBLETHINK’ IN SPIRITUALITY OR RELIGION How one becomes indoctrinated through a ‘doublethink’ system of dual interpretation – worldly vs. otherworldly.
  • THE SPIRITUAL ‘MIRROR TRAP’ as used by Sathya Sai Baba to avert scrutiny of himself and confuse followers into self-programming of his doctrine. This idea is the mechanism of denial used by devotees – that Sai Baba is only what we imagine him to be
  • BELIEVERS’ SYSTEMATIC MISINTERPRETATION OF SATHYA SAI BABA’S SIMPLE WORDS how followers learn ‘correct’ interpretations of Sai Baba’s words and actions from others, the standard but often highly mistaken answers to all doubts
  • DISEMPOWERMENT THROUGH WORSHIP OF SATHYA SAI BABA – IN SIX PARTS A series of articles studying in depth effects of mental, emotional and social dependencies.
  • Posted in Faith, Gurus, Hinduism, New Age, Personality Cult, Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, Sathya Sai Baba | Leave a Comment »

    Sathya Sai Baba – transformation of the self?

    Posted by robertpriddy on January 2, 2009

    sitting at the master's feet?

    sitting at the master's feet?

    The most positive aspect of becoming a Sathya Sai Baba follower is the hope it awakens of a transformation of society through voluntary and selfless service to others. The emphasis is also very much on self-improvement, though observably this turns out very largely to be less evident in action than in theory. Because one’s ideas and ideals changes in those who experience a fairly rapid conversion to the faith in Sai Baba, it is easy to imagine oneself having been ‘transformed’ when one manages to modify some of one’s behaviour in a positive way. However, it is a psychological fact that, once one’s personality is formed and matured in adulthood, the amount of change possible through faith alone is limited.

    Along with conversion to Sathya Sai Baba’s eclectically varied and inconsistent ‘divine teachings’, the disciples have to sacrifice their freedom for what ultimately proves to be a false security, since the promises made by the guru very seldom manifest, and then only as a result of personal effort or events in the normal course of life over which one has no control. Devotees must give up their basic independence of mind and action and rely on the authoritarian guru’s commands or advice, no less than in many totalitarian churches and states.

    There is little or no attempt at direct enforcement of devotees’ lives other than through social pressures, but not through external means, as is the case in most dictatorships. The method is cultist, which means it is largely achieved through self-programming. This means learning to interpret oneself and one’s life through the ‘teachings’, based on the faith that Sathya Sai Baba can never guide incorrectly – knowing, as he claims, every tiniest details of every living person’s entire life. The promise of blessings unlimited leading up to total liberation from the troubles of life are the bait, and it is exclusion from this that devotees fear above all. In ‘surrendering’ to the guru (seen as infallible God incarnate) the devotee is able to feel that God (qua Sathya Sai Baba) has taken over full responsibility for their entire lives, freeing them from the consequences of their actions and – for what seems a large majority of his followers – allowing them to continue as before and drift passively by leaving everything up to him. That it is possible is undoubtedly a fiction, the result is therefore a set of irrational ideas and motivations which are largely divorced from their own personalities and steered by contingent events and forces.

    See a full coverage of cult entrapment with special reference to the Sathya Sai Baba movement

    Posted in Delusion, Guru Cult, Gurus, Mind control, Personality Cult, Psychology | Leave a Comment »

    Sai Baba’s Personality Cult Explored

    Posted by robertpriddy on December 1, 2008

    WHAT IS A CULT On the general issue of cultism and a critical discussion of the indicators of charismatic cults – political, social, and religious -and the Sathya Sai Baba sect as a cult

    THE FUNDAMENTALIST ‘GURU TRAP’ EXPLOITATION PART 1 a many-sided system of control over persons exercised by gurus, swamis, godmen, masters, saints, avatars as exemplified through Sathya Sai Baba

    THE FUNDAMENTALIST ‘GURU TRAP’ EXPLOITATION Part 2 reference to ‘ The Guru Papers’ by Kramer and Alstad – on gurus’ narcissism, authority and power and control and manipulation (as in Sai Baba)

    THE GURU TRAP AS CATCH-22, THE NO WIN SITUATION How most traditional Indian gurus and swamis to attract, indoctrinate and entrap. Two Indian Swamis – Ambikananda and Sathya Sai Baba

    ‘SPIRITUAL DOUBLETHINK’ IN SPIRITUALITY AND RELIGION How one becomes indoctrinated through a ‘doublethink’ system of dual interpretation – worldly vs. otherworldly.

    THE ‘MIRROR TRAP’ IN SATHYA SAI BABA PROGRAMMING – used by Sathya Sai Baba to avert scrutiny of himself and confuse followers into self-programming of his doctrine. This idea is the mechanism of denial used by devotees – that Sai Baba is only what we imagine him to be

    SYSTEMATIC MISINTERPRETATION OF SATHYA SAI BABA’S WORDS AND ACTS how followers learn ‘correct’ interpretations of Sai Baba’s words and actions from others, the standard but often highly mistaken answers to all doubts

    DEVELOPING PERCEPTIONS & INTERPRETATIONS OF SATHYA SAI BABA Some of the ways in which one is drawn to and held by the charisma and social environment of Sai Baba, how perceptions of him are ‘trained’ and ‘purified’ to conform with group expectations.

    DISEMPOWERMENT THROUGH WORSHIP OF GURUS – EG. SATHYA SAI BABA – IN 6 PARTS A series of articles studying in depth effects of mental, emotional and social dependencies:-
    THE NECTAR THAT TURNS TO OPIUM
    –  ESCAPISM IN A SPIRITUAL GUISE
    PROJECTING ONE’S INHERENT POWERSMISUNDERSTOOD SELF-DENIAL –  ‘SAI GROUP THINK’
    PSYCHOLOGICAL EFFECTS OF FUNDAMENTALIST TENETS

    ON GETTING OUT OF DELUSION TO THE TRUTH how conditioning by one’s own belief entraps in delusions

    WHY THE SATHYA SAI ORGANIZATION IS A CULT Point-by-point rebuttal – with documentation- of Rita Bruce’s arguments on the question

    THE CULT OF SATHYA SAI BABA How I came to break out of the subtle and widely woven web of deceptions that kept me and millions deceived, and how difficult such a step can be.

    A TYPICAL CULT SUPPORTER – RITA BRUCE How deluded a Sai hagiographer came to be

    GENERAL QUESTIONS OF BELIEF, MENTAL TRAPS, FAITH AND DOUBT How religious or spiritual faith can mislead, induce bizarre experiences and its severe consequences like suffering, derangement, war, genocide, and debasement of the human spirit

    SATHYA SAI BABA’S MASSIVE ABUSE OF TRUST
    That Sathya Sai Baba has seriously beguiled his followers and abused people’s trust and faith in him
    SATHYA SAI BABA’S JUDGEMENT OF OTHERS documented instances of Sathya Sai accusing others of sins of which he is guilty himself

    Posted in Delusion, Faith, Guru Cult, Gurus, Health and Medicine, Mind control, Personality Cult, Psychology, Religion, Sathya Sai Baba | Leave a Comment »

    Sai Baba’s miraculous omnipresence?

    Posted by robertpriddy on July 4, 2008

    Under the title “How is believing in miracles helpful in one’s spiritual growth? A Sai Baba devotee, Anjali Gadiraju, wrote how amazed he was at what he took as a proof of Sai Baba’s miraculous omnipresence, as follows:-

    “I will tell you personal incident. I came from the hot state of Andhara Pradesh. As Bangalore is very cold, I soon developed sinus problem. I took a water heater and went for my bath.

    I was about to take my bath, when there was sudden power cut. The power went off and the water was not ready for my bath. So I causally washed my face and went for darshan.

    >I sat in the darshan, Slowly, came the gentlle figure, the short with broad smile, holdin his robe with one, and weaving the hand in circles with the other. He stood in front of me looked into the empty space and waved both hands, saying, “There are some who come for darshan without having bath.”

    I, WAS WONDER STRUCK. I WAS TAKEN BACK, AND SAID,”How so you know?” He replied, “Where am I? I am in your bed room and I AM in your bath room. I am everywhere “

    Anjali Gadiraju did not consider that Sathya Sai Baba would know of the power cut, since it affects hiom too when the Brindavan ashram’s electrical system breaks down. So simple.

    “Then I, ran to my room and took a double bath. I returned and sat on the verandah. Baba came suddenly after bhajans. He came straight to me and said, “A normal bath is enough, don’t worry. The omnipotence and omnipresence are qualities of divinity to let us know that the Avatar is not less than the divine personaliy.”

    On this basis, the wonder-struck simpleton decides that Sathya Sai Baba is omnipotent and omnipresent.

    Firstly, why could not the ‘omnipotent’ Sai Baba fix the electricity? Answer: because he is too busy saving the entire world and humanity? Secondly, there are various ways in which Sathya Sai Baba could know that Gadiraju could have taken a bath. Firstly, it was to be expected after he had chided about it earlier. Simple explanation. As to a ‘double bath’, that is a matter of definition. Sathya Sai Baba is an expert at so-called ‘cold reading’ and could easily pick up that this devotee thought the bath had been a very thorough one (Gadiraju’s account can be seen at (https://web.archive.org/web/20070221221407).

    Cold reading is amazing to people who do not know about it. The young illusionist Derren Brown is famous throughout UK (and increasingly in the rest of the world) because of his feats of cold reading (plus suggestion, misdirection, magic and psychology). He is able to tell intimate details about people he has never met and within a matter of seconds – and has demonstrated this countless times under the TV cameras (and there is no fraud involved at all, as interviews with his staff, his subjects and himself and those ‘behind the scenes’ proves conclusively).

    Derren Brown of UK – videos on YouTube – there are many more on his DVDs and of a very wide variety of what seem to be ‘psychic powers’ but which he explains are not that at all. He is a sceptic as to the spiritual powers, but demonstrates what people believe to be such powers like ‘omniscience’ etc.. This is basic learning and sensible re-programming for all followers of gurus and avatars! He uses neuro-linguistic programming and many other techniques which he partly (but not entirely) explains to everyone. He shows the huge extent to which minds can be instantly manipulated by one who knows how.

    Derren Brown strongly influences mind and physiology of random persons in a minute

    Derren Brown wins over 9 top chess players simultaneously

    Derren Brown extraordinary mind control demonstration

    Derren Brown amazing power of suggestion surpasses martial arts master

    The famous ‘zombie’ demonstration – a ‘must see’

    Derren Brown easily transfers thoughts

    How does Derren Brown manage this? Interview

    Stephen Fry on Derren Brown’s amazing illusionism

    Aristocrats transparent to Derren Brown

    Derren Brown guesses exact sums of pocket money correctly

    Derren Brown terrifies a Ghost train operator on his own trainride

    Daylight robbery by illusion in New York

    Subconscious influencing by Derren Brown

    Amazing demonstration of perfect rapport

    All strength lost through suggestion

    Poor self-confidence and colour vision transformed by Derren Brown’s persuasion

    Derren Brown gives two girls daylight hallucinations

    See an overview of Derren Brown videos on-line at this URL

    Posted in Miracles, Personality Cult, Psychology | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

    Profile of a Sociopath – and Sathya Sai Baba

    Posted by robertpriddy on March 1, 2008

    The following analysis of the indicators of a sociopathic personality can be recognised as applying very largely to the behaviour and statements of Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi.. at least by those who have followed his activities and teachings closely and have become disaffected jan.groenveld@uq.net.au  (Australia – Cult Survival)

    A number of cult leaders may exhibit many of the behavioral characteristics of a sociopath–an outstanding ability to charm and seduce followers. Since they appear apparently normal, they are not easily recognizable as deviant or disturbed. Although only a trained professional can make a diagnosis, it is important to be able to recognize the personality type in order to avoid further abuse. These traits also apply to a one-on-one cultic relationship.  

    Glibness/Superficial Charm Language can be used without effort by them to confuse and convince their audience. Captivating storytellers that exude self-confidence, they can spin a web that intrigues others. Since they are persuasive, they have the capacity to destroy their critics verbally or emotionally.


    Manipulative and Cunning They never recognize the rights of others and see their self-serving behaviors as permissible. They appear to be charming, yet are covertly hostile and domineering, seeing their victim as merely an instrument to be used. He dominates and humiliates his victims.

    Grandiose Sense of Self Feels entitled to certain things as “his right.” Craves adulation and attendance. Must be the center of attention with his own fantasies as the “spokesman for God,” “enlightened,” “leader of humankind,” etc. Creates an us-versus-them mentality
    Pathological Lying
    Has no problem lying coolly and easily and it is almost impossible for them to be truthful on a consistent basis. Can create, and get caught up in, a complex belief about their own powers and abilities. Extremely convincing and able to pass lie detector tests.

    Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt A deep seated rage, which is split off and repressed, is at his core. Does not see others around him as people, but only as targets and opportunities. Instead of friends, they have victims and accomplices who end up as victims. The end always justifies the means and they let nothing stand in their way.

    Shallow Emotions When they show what seems to be warmth, joy, love and compassion it is more feigned than experienced and serves an ulterior motive. Outraged by insignificant matters, yet remaining unmoved and cold by what would upset a normal person. Since he is not genuine, neither are his promises.

    Incapacity for Love While He talks about “God’s love,” he is unable to give or receive it. Since he does not believe in the geniuses of his followers’ love, he is very harsh in testing it from his devotees and expects them to feel guilt for their failings. Expects unconditional surrender.

    Need for Stimulation Living on the edge, yet testing the beliefs of their followers with bizarre rules, punishments and behaviors. Verbal outbursts and physical punishments are normal.

    Callousness/Lack of Empathy Unable to emphasize with the pain of their victims, having only contempt for others’ feelings of distress and readily taking advantage of them. Their skills are used to exploit, abuse and exert power. Since the follower cannot believe their leader would callously hurt them, they rationalize his behavior as necessary for their (or the group’s) own “good” and deny the abuse. When devotees become aware of the exploitation it feels like a “spiritual rape” to them.

    Poor Behavioral Controls/Impulsive Nature Rage and abuse, alternating with small expressions of love and approval produce an addictive cycle for abuser and abused, as well as creating hopelessness in the victim. Believes he is all-powerful, all-knowing, entitled to every wish, no sense of personal boundaries, no concern for his impact on others. His followers only see him as near perfect.

    Early Behavior Problems/Juvenile Delinquency Usually has a history of behavioral and academic difficulties, yet “gets by” by conning others. Problems in making and keeping friends; aberrant behaviors such as cruelty to people or animals, stealing, etc.

    Irresponsibility/Unreliability Not concerning about wrecking others’ lives and dreams. Oblivious or indifferent to the devastation they cause. Does not accept blame themselves, but blame their followers or others outside their group. Blame reinforces passivity and obedience and produces guilt, shame, terror and conformity in the followers.

    Promiscuous Sexual Behavior/Infidelity Cult leaders frequently practice promiscuity, child sexual abuse, rape and sexual acting out of all sorts. This is usually kept hidden from all but the inner circle. Stringent sexual control of their followers, such as forced breakups and divorces, removal of children from parents, rules for dating, etc.

    Lack of Realistic Life Plan/Parasitic Lifestyle Tends to move around a lot or makes all encompassing promises for the future. Many groups claim as their goal world-domination or other utopian promises. Great contrast between the leader’s opulent lifestyle and the followers’ impoverishment. Support by gifts and donations from his followers who are pressured to give through fear and guilt. Highly sensitive to their own pain and health.

    Criminal or Entrepreneurial Versatility Changes their image and that of the group as needed to avoid prosecution and to increase income and to recruit a range of members. Is able to adapt or relocate as needed to preserve the group. Can resurface later with a new name, a new front group and a new twist on the scam.

    Other Related Qualities:

    1. Contemptuous of those who seek to understand him.

    2. Does not perceive that anything is wrong with him.

    3. Authoritarian.

    4. Secretive.

    5. Paranoid.

    6. Only rarely in difficulty with the law, but seeks out situations where his tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired.

    7. Conventional appearance.

    8. Goal of enslavement of his victim(s).

    9. Exercises despotic control over every aspect of his victim’s life.

    10. Has a psychological need to justify his crimes and therefore needs his victim’s affirmation (respect, gratitude and love).

    11. Ultimate goal is the creation of a willing victim.

    12. Incapable of real human attachment to another.

    13. Unable to feel remorse or guilt.

    14. Extreme narcissism and grandiose.

    15. May state readily that their goal is to rule the world.

    Posted in Gurus, Mind control, Psychology | Leave a Comment »

    TOP SAI BABA LEADER SPILLS THE BEANS

    Posted by robertpriddy on September 14, 2007

    Leo Gutter

    Leonard Gutter – a psychologist businessman responsible for the Sai Baba Organization in Latin America – claimed on TV, “There are thousands and thousands of cases and proofs of the legitimacy of Sai Baba’s materializations”. This was on a TV programme Zona de Investigacion, Azul TV in Argentina, directed by Alejandro Agostinelli see here. www.exbaba.com/articles/divinesin.html

    Comment: There are certainly not thousands and thousands of proofs, since no independent or scientific investigations have ever been carried out, since Sai Baba famously does not allow them. On the other hand, there are many videos showing sleight-of-hand and scores of accounts of this by former (and even current devotees).
    Gutter claimed that Sai Baba’s powers violate the laws of physics. These are not the only laws he violates, as Gutter inadvertently gave the game away about Sai Baba’s false valuta. Here is a translated transcript of the Leonardo Gutter interview:-

    Gutter: Some young men from Argentina went there with one way tickets. He told them to return to their country to live and study. The young men told him that they had no money for the return ticket and Sai Baba stretched his hand an what was amusing was that one kid had to give each a bill…The bills were stuck together, like a photo that has just been developed…and he would give one to each…when he finished distributing them…

    Interviewer Cristina: Are these regular legal bills?

    Gutter: Legal bills. When he finished distributing them, the one to whom he owed 300 dollars had 300 more than the other one.

    Interviewer Cristina: How can you be sure that the money that Sai Baba materializes is legal?

    Gutter: Well, the people who have received it, has used it and they have not had any problems. They’re legal …

    Interviewer Cristina: But, money has a serial number?

    Gutter: It is absolutely incomprehensible. They are absolutely normal…The only difference is that they look as if they had just been made. The investigator Basava Premanand took Sai Baba’ case to court years ago because of violation of the Gold Control Act that restricts the making, possession, sale and transfer of gold.

    Cristina: But where do they come from? If you explain this at a bank, they are going to say that you are laundering money…

    Gutter: It’s incomprehensible… Once, people from the government of India, from the tax department, came to see him because Sai Baba not only materializes money, but precious stones, necklaces, rosaries and then they came to question why Sai Baba makes gifts of these to many people who leave India. Sai Baba gave these two persons an audience. He stretched his hand and in front of them appeared a small mound of precious stones and when the inspectors saw this they fell at his feet and asked for forgiveness…” The Judge at the Court, Y.V. Anjaneyulu, a Sai devotee, rejected the case presented by Premanand because those articles “were materialized through spiritual powers”

    ( see Premanand and the Gold Control act here)
    Comment: Leonardo Gutter must suffer from some cognitive disorder to make such blatant claims of thousands and thousands of proofs, especially since the exposure world-wide of Sai Baba’s hidden sexual proclivities and his undeniable murder cover-up involvement. As a psychologist, clearly, he is not using the least psychological insight when he naively accepts accounts from all quarters, including the sheer rumour of the tax inspectors. When I was a follower, I heard at least two other incompatible variations on that ‘story’. One was from IAS official, V. Ramnath, who told that Indira Gandhi had sent some of her people to question Sai Baba about the origin of the gold he was reportedly giving away. It was claimed that ‘Swami graciously admitted them and let them put their questions.’ In reply, Sai Baba allegedly said ‘Look out there’, pointing to the park outside the window (this was in Delhi). Indira Gandhi’s officials saw a mountain of pure gold in the park. They immediately did their pranams at his feet and apologised profusely.

    This just shows again what a vast rumour mill surrounds Sai Baba [and he is the miller too – spreading the more fantastic ‘stories’ about his own miracles through ‘confidential’ private interviews]. That his top officials like Mr. Gutter must believe everything he claims is a required axiom of Sai faith – not one has ever dared to contradict Sai Baba either in private or in public on the smallest issue! To be a blind believer and totally obedient to his whims is the test Sai Baba sets before selecting his top officials! Doubtless that is why David Bailey – a great favourite of over 100 interviews – nonetheless never became a Sai official, for he had an independent mind and eventually exposed Sai Baba on a grand scale (see ‘The Findings’ ) and also here .

    Posted in Gurus, India, Indian Government, Materialization, Miracles, Psychology | 1 Comment »

    Emperors who are worshipped

    Posted by robertpriddy on July 26, 2007

    SaiPompSaiPomp

    Old Off Wine, New Bottles
    From Edward Gibbon’s The Decline and Fall of the
    Roman Empire.  “It was the fashion of the times to attribute every remarkable event to the particular will of the Deity; the alter­ations of nature were connected by an invisible chain with the moral and metaphysical opinions of the human mind; and the most saga­cious divines could distinguish, according to the color of their respec­tive prejudices, that the establishment of heresy tended to produce an earthquake, or that a deluge was the inevitable consequence of the progress of sin and error.” Edward Gibbon Chap. XXVI – The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. [Chap. XXVI]
    This is just what India’s most revered religious icon, the supposed “holy man” Sathya Sai Baba, still teaches today! (See here).


    Further, Gibbon’s intelligent description fits the Sathya Sai Central Trust and Organization like a glove, but this took place already when the Roman Catholic Church was established by Emperor Constantine:
     …preachers recommended the practice of the social duties; but they ex­alted the perfection of monastic virtue, which is painful to the indi­vidual and useless to mankind. Their charitable exhortations betrayed a secret wish that the clergy might be permitted to manage the wealth of the faithful for the benefit of the poor. The most sublime represen­tations of the attributes and laws of the Deity were sullied by an idle mixture of metaphysical subleties, puerile rites, and fictitious miracles. [Chap. XX]


    We see here how nothing much changes where organized religious doctrine and faith rule… millions still adhere to outworn ideas and falsities – not least those of Sathya Sai Baba. It is a primitive world where pre-scientific thought and superstition abound and sustain the same money and power structures that have mostly kept humanity in chains for aeons. See HERE how the Sathya Sai Organization works today. Also see ‘The Decline and Fall of the Showman Empire’

    Posted in Deism, Faith, Gurus, India, Mind control, Miracles, Morality, Psychology, Theism, World religions | Leave a Comment »