Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

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

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Failings in Indian Justice – by ex-Chief Election Commissioner T.N. Seshan

Posted by robertpriddy on December 27, 2009

T.N. Seshan, former Chief Election Commissioner of India

The 10th Chief Election Commissioner of India, T.N. Seshan served in office between December 1990 and December 1996. Born in Tirunelveli in Tamil Nadu, he is known for his introduction of many electoral reforms and his uprightness. Though he has become rather more optimistic now, he has famously stated about India:
“Make up a list of 200 political leaders of the central government, the national parliament and the state parliaments. Are you able to find one single person on this list to whom you can go for help? Obviously not. The politicians of today are as pygmies masquerading as Titans. They are like small children who try to walk in the shoes of their grandparents, and who sooner or later will stumble and fall.”
and “Today it can seem that honesty and integrity are banned from public life. The situation makes me think of the Greek philosopher Diogenes, who used to go around with his lamp alight at the height of day in the hope of finding an honest person.”

In the highly informative and well-balanced Norwegian book ‘India, Stevnemøte med Skjebnen’ (i.e.’India, Encounter with Fate’) by Thorbjørn Færøvik (Oslo, 1999) the author interviewed the renowned former Chief Election Commissioner, T.N. Seshan. The author wrote of the Indian election system “… a peaceful election is not necessarily a just election. Accusations thunder in the newspapers and few use tougher words that T.N. Seshan, who led the election commission in the 1980s: “Once more we have witnessed a farce. Millions of analphabetics have given their vote without knowing who or what they voted for. Bribes have flourished and now – in the aftermath of the election – we see that gangsters and criminals have been elected to parliamentary bodies throughout the country.”

Færøvik points out, correctly, that T.N. Seshan has repeatedly warned about what he refers to as the criminalization of politics and – where not illegal – to the universal political apathy. “Make up a list of 200 political leaders of the central government, the national parliament and the state parliaments. Are you able to find one single person on this list to whom you can go for help? Obviously not. The politicians of today are as pygmies masquerading as Titans. They are like small children who try to walk in the shoes of their grandparents, and who sooner or later will stumble and fall.”

T.N. Seshan is also extremely negative about Indian courts, as most ordinary Indians are also known to be. An opinion survey made by the Times of India showed 80% of Indians answered that they regarded judges and lawyers as corrupt. In 1947, India took over a judiciary based on British traditions which honourable and impartial. Today it is chronically understaffed and has lost the trust of the public. In 1998 as many as 23 million cases awaited court process, two million in the higher courts and 21 million in the lower courts. In the High Court, 66,000 cases were in the queue and 10,000 of them had laid there for 10 years or more.

Færøvik also writes that it is ordinary people without the finances to buy themselves a place further ahead in the queue who are hit the hardest. The examples are as many as they are grotesque. Times of India mentioned one of many grotesque examples: A woman in the town of Lucknow went to court in 1948 for a divorce. The verdict fell exactly 40 years later: the woman received a divorce. In the mean time both the woman, her husband and parents-in-law had left this world. Those with fat bank accounts often get suspiciously rapid treatment.

Read: The degeneration of India : T.N. Seshan with Sanjoy Hazarika Study in post-independence political and administrative realities.[ New Delhi, India ; New York : Viking, 1995.]

Amusing – if often depressing- quotations from T.N. Seshan:

On the Indian education scenario —
“Operation successful; Patient dead!” (2001). “Some universities are called deemed because the others are doomed and some are called open because the others are closed!”

Excerpts from an interview with Seshan:-

Question. What prevented you from ‘yielding’ in your career as a bureaucrat?

Seshan : Five days after joining my first posting as a sub-collector of Dindigul, I was traveling with the minister in his car, and was dropped off in the middle of the road – where I stood for 100 minutes, when it was 45C. All this because the village officer I took action against was the husband of the Tehsil Officer, who belonged to the Congress party.

35 years later, I was transferred from my post of Cabinet Secretary in charge of then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi’s personal security, to the unnecessary 12th man in Hegde’s Planning Commission team.

My 6 years as CEC have been the toughest times of my life. Narasimha Rao when he was PM offered me the post of governor, and then, ambassador. But I have resisted temptation. I read the Gita everyday.

I scored 452/600 in my final exam. The boy who scored 451, 1 mark less than me, is now a station master. I had 100% marks in Physics, Chemistry and Maths. Yet, in my Engineering College Admission Interview, I was not selected because I could not name the first movie of Shivaji Ganesan.————-

The Rediff Interview/Former Chief Election Comissioner T N Seshan:-

When I spoke to T N Seshan, the former chief election commissioner, in 1998, he was very cynical about India. Almost a decade later, as we prepare to celebrate the 60th anniversary of India’s Independence, I found Seshan, the man credited with cleaning up the Indian election system, optimistic and upbeat. He spoke at length about terrorism, reservations and the quality of India’s political system:-

“There are still corrections to be made; there are still changes to be made. In many areas, we have not done what we should have been doing in the last 8 to 10 years.”

Interviewer: “Like?”

T.N. Seshan: “Like, for example, we lost ten valuable years in making sure that all children get education. Mr (President A P J) Kalam has been speaking about it; the others have been speaking about it. There is nothing more important than all children being in school as is promised by the Constitution. We have not done that.

From a completely different angle, we should have learnt to conduct our business particularly in the assemblies and legislatures in a far more disciplined fashion than we do. Yes, in every country, there is a lot of noise made in the parliaments and assemblies but sometimes business is transacted. I don’t know whether we could not transact more business than we are currently doing in the parliament and assemblies.

The progress made in the clearance of arrears in court cases is completely unsatisfactory.

Our inability to settle outstanding social and political issues by discussion and negotiation — rather than by violence and demonstration — is unfortunate.

We have not put in place an agency to combat the growing menace of terrorism and Naxalism.”

Interviewer: “Ten years ago, anybody who had an IIT degree collected his degree and went away to America. Today, they are working all over the place; and they are doing fantastically well. You told me then that a change in the attitude of the people to the country would take place through either a social revolution or a technological revolution.”

T.N. Seshan: “Yes. Both are happening now. Everybody knows about the technological revolution. It has made them more self-confident. The young people of 2006 are far more confident than the young people of 1996. ”

Interviewer: Is it not the politicians who are dividing people in the name of religion just to get votes?

T.N. Seshan: Yes, it is. It is very easy to feed poison but it not easy to feed good things. So, the politicians are feeding poison.

Interviewer: When the police question the suspects, politicians jump in and say they are targeting the minority community. Are they not giving religious colour to terrorism and not allowing the law to act?

T.N. Seshan: Yes, they are doing that which is all wrong. The highest courts have gone into the evidence and said that Mr X was the person responsible for the Parliament attack and he should be hanged. Then, there are demonstrations in Srinagar. Politics unfortunately plays on the sentiments and emotions of people.

Q. Do you vote?

Seshan : No I don’t. Because democracy is dead. But yet there is hope.

Q. What do you think about the situation in Tamil Nadu?

Seshan : Pathetic. Whichever way you look at it.

Q. Why did you contest for the Presidency, knowing fully well that you couldn’t succeed?

Seshan : When I was in elementary school, I had zero sporting ability. I still contested the High Jump.

Q. Mr. Seshan, you said that when you were Cabinet Secretary in charge of Mr. Gandhi’s personal security, you were transferred because you did not yield. Would it not have been better for the country, if you HAD yielded?

Seshan : See, there was no question of yielding. They just weren’t happy with my performance. But you won’t believe the kind of precautions we took to protect Rajiv Gandhi’s life. We used to buy oranges from 10 shops, atta from 12 shops, we rewired the entire house so even 2000V couldn’t break down the switches, we relaid the water lines, welded the sewage lines with wire mesh so no one could enter that way. And at the end of it, they felt I didn’t do my job.

There was a day when I was transferred SIX times between 10 am and 6 pm. From Rural Development, to Finance, to Small Savings, to Agriculture, to Harijan Welfare, to Backward Classes and finally to Women’s Development. Once a minister transferred me from Industry to Agriculture, purely because he wanted to shift me from the 10th to the 1st floor. So I went to him and said, ‘Why don’t you shift me to the ground floor?’ He was appalled. But the ground floor is the car park, Seshan!`: I said, ‘Does it matter? I could look after the car park you know’.

Q. Mr. Seshan, all the IAS officers, like you, are educated people of similar caliber. Then how do they become bad?

Seshan : Try putting one rotten orange in a basket of good oranges. That’s what has happened to our system. But the entire basket is not bad yet. What we can do is separate the not-so-bad oranges.

Q. When the majority is wrong, isn’t it time for a minority? Don’t you think dictatorship is the only solution to India?

Seshan : The majority is not wrong! It’s only the minority of people that are corrupt, have no ethics and are spoiling the system. Democracy cannot be replaced – that’s a universal truth.

Q. You said Dharma is essential for a country to grow. There is no Dharma in the US. Then how have they prospered?

Seshan : Who said there is no Dharma in the US? It’s very much there! Their Dharma is the supreme respect for the ‘Rule of Law’ and ‘Punishment of the Evildoer.’

from []

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Sathya Sai Baba’s (un)Birthday (not born on 23 November 1926)

Posted by robertpriddy on November 21, 2009

The birthday of Sathya Sai Baba to be celebrated on Monday (23 November) is in doubt, because documentary and diverse circumstantial evidence makes it most likely that his birth date has been falsified. The evidence is summarised here, mostly from the well-balanced and painstaking researches of Brian Steel, who writes:-

“… the publication in October 2000 of the meticulously researched first volume of a planned definitive 6-volume biography of Sai Baba by the well-known Puttaparthi publisher Sai Towers, Love is My Form, shows the quoted 1940 to be three years premature. This evidence changes the chronology of the early years of his mission. In fact, SB spent the school years 1936-1940 in the Elementary School in Puttaparthi, and the year 1940-1941, not engaged on his Mission, as we have been told by all previous commentators, but in Form One of the Middle School at Kamalapura, some 200 kilometres from Puttaparthi, where his elder brother, Seshama, had begun his teaching career.

The compilers of LIMF offer photostats from School registers in Bukkapatnam and Uravakonda (pp. 68-69 and p. 132 and a table on pp. 128-129) to show clearly that Sathya Narayana Raju (whose date of birth is given as 4-10-1929) entered the Bukkapatnam school (17 kilometres from Puttaparthi) on 5 July 1941 and left on 6 April 1942 – apparently without taking the E.S.L.C. Examination. The other Register records Sathya’s arrival at the distant Uravakonda High School (at which brother Seshama was then teaching) over a year later, on 1 July 1943, but it shows no leaving date. (Incidentally, for future researchers, on this second photostat, Sathya’s date of birth is given as 4-10-39 – an obvious mistake, corrected to 4-10-29, but with a signed clarification, “fourth October Nineteen Twentynine” dated, as far as the writing is legible, 11-8-76.

LIMF ‘s new chronological evidence, backed up by interviews with SB’s contemporaries shows that it was on 20 October 1943 (and NOT in 1940, as has always been claimed) that SB threw down his school books and made the famous declaration: “Maya has left; I am going; my work is waiting.” (LIMF, 147; Kasturi, Vol 2, pp. 42-43)
The compilers of LIMF also state that the preliminary declaration: “I am Sai Baba.” “I am of the Bharadwaja Gothra”, took place at the end of this illness, on 23 May 1943, a few months before the other more dramatic Mission Declaration in October.

Click on image to enlarge

1)    According to Indian matriculation levels, Raju was in the 8th Standard at the time.
2)    Raju was a student of the school  July 5 1941 as the date of the record itself shows.
3)    Mention is made of an exam scheduled for April 6 1942.

Raju (Sai Baba) is listed as Entry No. 466:

Since 1950 Sai Baba’s birthday has been celebrated on the date of November 23, 1926. He says he declared his divinity in May 1940, leaving leave home to start his ‘Mission’ later that year (October 20, 1940). The dating of these events are ostensibly contradicted by his school records. (See more on this )

A reason to select November 23, 1940 for his birthday was 1) that it had the signs of unusual astrological auspiciousness (very important for would-be ‘holy men’ and 2) the much revered ‘saint’  Sri Aurobindo declared that “November 24, 1926, was the descent of Krishna into the physical. A power infallible shall lead the thought. In earthly hearts kindle the Immortal’s Fire, even the multitude shall hear the voice.” Aurobindo followers maintain that he was referring to his own body, having been in a very long-lasting meditative trance until November 24 when he made his declaration. However, Sai Baba chose a day BEFORE that as his own birthday, which is another discrepancy of importance. See more on this here

Another indication that Sathya Sai Baba was considerably younger than he claimed was inadvertently given by his official biographer, N. Kasturi, who never questioned him seriously about his alleged birthdate and other such discrepancies or ‘sensitive’ claims. (See text scan here – right – where Kasturi’s first impression when meeting Babas on moving to Prashanthi Nilayam in 1948 was that he was much younger than claimed – which sheds new light on the school record dpocuments which puts his birth date at October 4, 1929… three years later than Sai Baba claimed. Hence, Sai Baba could boast of greater youtfulness than was the fact, putting it down to his purity, patience and perseverence. Following Kasturi’s ever-repeated lead, blind devotees would put everything untoward down to ‘His Mystery’ and call it “His divine leela” or the like.

The declaration of ‘His Mission’ is given by Sai Baba as and the Sai Baba literature as 20 October 1940 (when SB was allegedly one month from his 14th birthday). The Golden Jubilee was celebrated on this date in 1990.

‘Love is My Form’ proves that Sai Baba went to Uravakonda in early 1943, and left in October 1943 (one month before his 14th birthday) and began his Mission after the second of his Declarations. This indicates that the actual date of his birth was in 1929, NOT 1926.
It was also celebrated on 23 November in 1950, as Vijayakumari records, with the Inauguration of the new ashram at Prasanthi Nilayam.

Brian Steel presents compelling circumstantial evidence to support the proposition that Satya Narayana Raju was not born when he says, but three years later:-

Reference to Smt. Vijayakumari (Vijayamma) by Brian Steel

It is well proven that – in his supposed all-knowingness – Sathya Sai Baba confuses dates, such as his mistaken dating of Shivananda’s birthday (see There we also read:
“SB’s trouble with family dates shows up in his Discourse on 6 May 1998 (Easwaramma Day, in honour of his mother).
“Now it is 30 years since the mother of this body passed away.” BUT she died in 1972 (26 years before).
Quoting a visit from his mother’s spirit: “For 40 years I was with You.” She was with SB for 46 years – 1926-1972 (If SB was born in 1926).
Kondama Raju, SB’s grandfather:”he … lived up to 116 years.
Kasturi (K1A, pp. 4-5) says he was 110 when he died. LIMF (p. 22) suggests 112.
Two remarks SB makes in the Discourse suggest that Kondama died in 1954: “Swami was entering His 9th year” [i.e. in 1935] and “After that, he lived for 19 years.”[=1954]
Kasturi states that Kondama died in 1950. (K1A, p. 5) LIMF (p. 22) gives his dates as 1840-1952. Two years later, SB states more correctly that Kondama Raju died at 112 years of age but he doesn’t mention a year. (1 Oct 2000)”

Brian Steel also writes: “The compilers of LIMF offer photostats from School registers in Bukkapatnam and Uravakonda (pp. 68-69 and p. 132 and a table on pp. 128-129) to show clearly that Sathya Narayana Raju (whose date of birth is given as 4-10-1929) entered the Bukkapatnam school (17 kilometres from Puttaparthi) on 5 July 1941 and left on 6 April 1942 – apparently without taking the E.S.L.C. Examination. (See later exam story.) The other Register records Sathya’s arrival at the distant Uravakonda High School (at which brother Seshama was then teaching) over a year later, on 1 July 1943, but it shows no leaving date. (Incidentally, for future researchers, on this second photostat, Sathya’s date of birth is given as 4-10-39 – an obvious mistake, corrected to 4-10-29, but with a signed clarification, “fourth October Nineteen Twentynine” dated, as far as the writing is legible, 11-8-76. However, before too much is made of the 1929 date ‘discrepancy’, we have been informed, in LIMF, and by other experts on India that such errors were quite common in rural India in those days.)
LIMF ‘s new chronological evidence, backed up by interviews with SB’s contemporaries shows that it was on 20 October 1943 (and NOT in 1940, as has always been claimed) that SB threw down his school books and made the famous declaration: “Maya has left; I am going; my work is waiting.” (LIMF, 147; Kasturi, Vol 2, pp. 42-43) “

For further clarification see Steel’s reconsideration of the date issue here

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization
See also Devotee attacks on the Sai petition and petitioners

Posted in Cults, Gurus, India, Propaganda, Sathya Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Resignation from Sai Organization plus mail from Nexus Magazine

Posted by robertpriddy on November 21, 2009

Letter of resignation by a leading office-bearer in the Sathya Sai Organization plus letter from Duncan Roads, editor ‘Nexus magazine’

From: “Lori Kaplowitz”
Date: Wed, 8 Nov 2000 12:54:25 -0500
To: “Glen Meloy”
Subject: The original email

This is the email that started it all….I wrote this after deep contemplation and a need to get it out of my system and try to reach some people. Thankfully, due to this email there are six people currently investigating and asking me questions. Many others that were vicious and then many others that were quiet. This email was sent out to total of 230 people, mostly North Eastern US Sai Baba devotees.

Sent: Monday, October 23, 2000 10:49 PM
Subject: How do you reach someone’s heart?

Dear Friends,

I am writing this e-mail after much contemplation. As many of you know as of this writing I have resigned from the sai organization and no longer consider sai baba my teacher. I made this decision based on information I found out regarding improper behaviour that sai baba is engaged in. The reason I have chosen to write to you at this time is because I can no longer be silent and participate in the level of suppression that has been going on within the sai baba org.

You are good caring people, dig down into your hearts and souls and bypass your ego. It is especially important for those of you who are therapists and teachers. People that are responsible for recognizing and reporting problems when children cry out for help. Why have you turned a deaf ear and a blind eye to this situation? For those of you who do not know what is going on, I beseech you to find out by either reading the e-mail included below, contacting people that have left the org and investigating websites. [Attached to the bottom of this message is an unbiased letter from the editor of the Nexus magazine. Duncan’s email address, phone number and mailing address are included as well. Please feel free to contact him if you have any questions.]

I would like to ask you to consider the following questions. Doesn’t it mean anything that centers around the world have been closed? That major public sai baba officials have resigned? I also would like to ask how it is that so many people, from so many countries are saying the same thing? That so many men, not women, have committed suicide?? Did you know that the UNESCO conference, that was supposed to be sponsored in Parthi, was canceled due to these rumors as well and the sai baba org. is not reporting the facts? Doesn’t it mean something that UNESCO has posted its concern and disassociation with the sai baba org.? Did you know that the new EHV school slated to open in September in Hartford, CT has shut down? Isn’t it interesting that the FBI and other International orgs. are investigating sai baba? Most of all isn’t it interesting that an organization that allegedly supports the principle of Help Ever, Hurt Never is basically being selfish?

The saddest thing of all is that the party line reads “think about your own experience, don’t listen to this garbage because it will weaken your faith”. After much contemplation I realized how hypocritical this is especially if you are to follow sb’ s teachings of “love all, serve all”. How can you love and serve somebody else, especially the children if you are not at least researching and asking the questions. How can you continue to bury your head in the sand, give over your personal power, because you are too afraid to rock your world. What about these children? What if any of this is true, even a little bit?? What about the children?

With love, Lori K.


Dear List,

Since my email has been forwarded to so many others, maybe I should clarify my position.

1)  I have been involved in promoting ‘new age’ and ‘alternative’ viewpoints since my teens, during the ’70s.  I have run and organised many conferences, lecture tours, expos etc all promoting self awareness, natural health and caring from nature.
2)  I was made aware of Sai Baba in the late seventies.  I know many people who have experienced miracles in their personal lives that they attribute to Sai Baba.
3)  I also know many Muslims, Christians and Hindus who have experienced similar miracles in their lives, which THEY attribute to their respective figureheads.
4)  Whilst a believer in Sai Baba’s miracles and teachings, I chose NOT to become a follower.  I perceived that the miracles were as much a creation of the believer as of the teacher.  I chose to explore the path of ‘creating our own reality’.
5)  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.
6)  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.
7)  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.
8)  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.

I only investigated the allegations of sexual misconduct.  I notice there are also many who claim the miracles are faked, there are many allegations of financial fraud, and there are many dead people who were supposedly ‘healed’ by Sai Baba or his vibuti.
In retrospect it would be easy to point the finger and say how evil and deceptive Sai Baba truly is.  But in fairness, he would be a nobody if people did not give him their respect, money, and above all – personal power.

I look forward to an age where people respect and love themselves enough to be able to truly respect and love others.  People who feel GENUINE love, joy and happiness in their lives do NOT follow the path of others-they ARE their own path in its making.

Shame on Sai Baba!  Shame on the parasites that feed off his empire!  Shame on the ‘Centre Leaders’ who knowingly turn a blind eye to the reports they have received of sexual impropriety!  Shame on the followers who are so insecure in themselves that they cannot open their ears to hear the cries their brothers and sisters!  Shame on the sycophants who in their blind belief help perpetuate the suffering, injustice and deception that surrounds Sai Baba.

Above all, shame on those who dismiss the cries of pain from their brothers without investigation!

Duncan M. Roads – Editor, NEXUS Magazine – PO Box 30, Mapleton Qld 4560 Australia
Tel: +61 (0)7 5442 9280;   Fax:  +61 (0)7 5442 9381      ICQ#62399259

“The nature of the universe is such that ends can never justify the means. On the contrary, the means always determine the end.” (Aldous Huxley)

Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya (or Satya) Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization


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David Wolff blindly defends Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on November 16, 2009

A defender of Sathya Sai Baba sent an e-mail to the exposé website He was connected to the pro-Sai Baba publishing house ‘Leela Press’ of Jack Scher (deceased) and Judy Warner. You can read his defense of Sathya Sai Baba and my replies to this by clicking here

See also Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and his Worldwide Organization

Posted in Cults, Gurus, Propaganda, Sathya Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Testimony: Sai Baba’s sex molestation and fraudulence

Posted by robertpriddy on October 29, 2009

BY Greg Gerson, USA. (MA in East /West Psychology)
Received by one of the JuST group working committee:-

“I live in Houston, Texas. I was a devotee of Sai Baba from 1993 till around 2000.

I was introduced to Sai Baba by my professor in graduate school. My professor is a Sai devotee and a well respected Fullbright scholarship winner in the subject of Hindu studies. I went with her to visit Sai Baba as part of a full credit study tour of Hinduism in South India.

To make a long story shorter, on my first visit we only stayed three days at Whitefield, I returned three more times on my own to visit Sai Baba. My longest continual stay was ten months in 1995-96. I wrote my master’s thesis on the teachings of Sai Baba. My last visit was for three months at the end of 1997. I will never go back.

During my visits I had five interviews. The first four of which I received private interviews alone with Sai Baba. Sai Baba also gave me two rings: one is silver with his face in gold and the other is a “green diamond”. I no longer wear either.

During one interview, which occured just before I was scheduled to fly home to America, while we were alone, Sai Baba had me pull down my pants. He then “materialized” oil and pulled down my underwear and appied the oil on my lower abdomen below my navel and above my penis. He did not touch me sexually or ask me to do anything to him. He did embrace me for what seemed like a long time (perhaps 30 seconds or more) but nothing else. During that visit I was 26 or 27 years old. At another point in this interview when I was with three or four others in the smaller interview room, Sai Baba slapped me across the face quite hard when I was not looking.

I injured my green gem ring in about 1996 and discovered the silver foil inside. I took the ring to a qualified jeweler in Houston and he confirmed that the “gem” was worthless junk.

I have been reading the web site for some time. I just thought you might be interested in hearing from me regarding these two important topics and my personal experience with them. A) Sai Baba and sexual misconduct B) Sai Baba and fake jewels.

I have no ill will towards Sai Baba. I am trying to move on. I simply want to know the truth and get real proof about these important issues regarding Sai Baba such as: faking materializations, murders, sex offenses, money issues, his true birthdate and personal history, bribes to the police and public officials, and more.

I am no longer a devotee of Sai Baba. I would not recommend Sai Baba as a guru to anyone.

I spent almost a year and a half of my life living in Sai Baba’s ashrams. I heard stories from other young men to whom Sai Baba applied oil. So perhaps it is not especially noteworthy. I also heard of a young man who Sai Baba kissed on the mouth and another young man Sai Baba touched inappropriately (on his genitals). But, as I am sure you are very very aware, these types of second and third hand stories are useless. What is desparately needed is the Indian students of Sai Baba’s schools who supposedly underwent true molestation to come forward with their stories (apparently there are a lot?). Only then will progress be made in exposing Sai Baba appropriately.”


Even though I have cut ties with Sathya Sai Baba, I am still interested in following the progress of the exposure of the negative side of the Sai Baba movement. As a result of this interest I have been reading the website for some time. Recently I discovered that my former professor who introduced me to Sathya Sai Baba has signed the public petition. (Arlene Mazak Ph.D. No 474 on the petition). In the summer of 1993, she led a study tour of South India that I attended with nine other students. During this tour we visited her guru, Sathya Sai Baba at his ashram near Bangalore. It was then that she and her devotee male companion (I don’t know if he is still a devotee) gave me a laminated photo mounted on wood of Sai Baba and extolled his miraculous powers, thus the brain washing of me began.

I remember once during this study tour, Arlene Mazak, her companion, Bill Watson and I were in their hotel room in India. Arlene had a candle burning on a wooden dresser in front of Sathya Sai Baba’s picture. Arlene was in the bathroom and Bill went downstairs. The candle was very low, almost to the point of burning the dresser, so I put out the flame. A short time later Arlene came into the room and noticed the candle was extinguished. She immediately said, “thank you Baba,” inferring that it was some sort of miracle performed by Sai Baba which prevented a fire. I informed her that I had put out the candle and she disappointedly said “oh…..”

I relay this simple story because, looking back, it was the first time I observed the phenomenon of intelligent accomplished people, once they have given themselves over to the Sai Baba movement and all of its brain-washing, begin to see everything in their world as miraculously influenced by Sathya Sai Baba.

This “Sai Baba influenced” world view creates a false sense of special ness, that is very pervasive among devotees and is one of the most difficult barriers to seeing through the brain washing created by the Sai Baba organization. Actually, this false special ness is a main form the brainwashing takes. By “special ness” I mean the notion devotees have that they are the special few who have the karmic good fortune of becoming followers of Sathya Sai Baba, who they believe is God on Earth, possessing omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence, that he knows everything about them, has been watching them all their lives (and past lives) protects them from harm, and has a special purpose for them.

I think this is one of the main reasons why, over the years, so many books have written about Sathya Sai Baba. The authors believe that it is their special duty to tell others about Sai Baba. I also think that to a certain extent, writing a book about one’s personal experiences with “Baba” or “Swami”, as he is often called by his devotees, is a form of ego aggrandizement and bragging on the part of these authors. So many people visit Sai baba (the numbers are lessening because of the accusations of sex abuse) that only a small percent have close contact with Sai Baba. As a result of this, those devotees who have had close contact with him, even if it was 20 or30 years ago, are held in high esteem by many followers who have not had the opportunity. Many devotees are very eager to read books and hear stories about Sai Baba and his supposed miraculous powers. I believe this is a major source of both intentional and unintentional brainwashing in the Sathya Sai Baba organization.

Brainwashing is defined here as indoctrination into new attitudes, beliefs, and values in such a way that the person is unwilling or unable to look critically at his or her new mindset. In my view there are two basic types of brain washing occurring in the Sathya Sai Baba movement: unintentional and intentional.

Unintentional brainwashing, which is milder than intentional, is of the kind carried out by my former professor when she introduced me to Sathya Sai Baba. At the time, she was unaware of any negative aspects of Sai Baba such as accusations of molestation of young men and fake materializations. She simply told me stories about Sai Baba and that he had the miraculous ability to know my thoughts visit me in dreams, protect me from harm and more. This is brainwashing because it altered my view of reality as well as my beliefs and values. Because it was my professor, who was an authority figure, I was more likely to take in these claims about Sai Baba and give them merit. This type of brainwashing is unintentional because my professor believed the things she was telling me and had no ulterior motives such as power, money, and fame. This is also the type of brainwashing that occurs in the books written by devotees as well as in Sai Baba’s ashram and in the Sai Baba centers around the world when devotees tell new people about Sai Baba.

Intentional brainwashing is much more dangerous and malicious. This is the type waged by Sathya Sai Baba and his close leaders as well as anyone else who knows the truth about the negative side of Sai Baba and is using the brainwashing for personal gain (more on this later).
A personal example of my own false sense of specialness due to brainwashing relates to the two rings Sai Baba “materialized” for me. In August of 1994 on my second visit to Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram I had an interview during which he “materialized” (see for how he fakes materializations) a silver ring with his bust in gold on the top. I received the ring in 1994 and yet I wanted to break ties with Sai Baba and remove it as early as 1995 (more on why later). I stopped wearing the green gem ring Sai Baba “materialized” for me in November of 1996 on my third visit after discovering its being fake. But to be honest, my brainwashing was so strong; I still sometimes wore it on a chain around my neck as recently as 2000.

A main reason I was so reluctant to remove the rings Sai Baba gave me, especially the silver ring with his face was that I had read and was told many times by devotees that rings (and other “materialized” objects) given by Sai Baba were talismans which would protect the wearer from harm. I very much wanted this to be true, that Sai Baba was watching over me and protecting me from harm. In addition, Sai Baba told me that the green gem ring would give me “peace of mind”.

This type of “special ness” is hard to give up. If I broke ties with Sai Baba and took off the rings I would have to face the anxiety of becoming “normal” again, a regular person, vulnerable to the dangers of this world. I remember that whenever I contemplated breaking ties with Sai Baba (long before any of the negative internet sites) I would feel guilty and nervous and instinctively touch my ring with my thumb. I also used to look at it all the time. It was a constant reminder of my connection to Sai Baba. It was only when I began reading an anti Sai Baba website which I stumbled upon looking for a pro Sai web site that I permanently removed my Sai Baba rings and packed away my Sai Baba books and pictures.

It was like a spell was broken. Questions I had about the Sai Baba organization and Sai Baba himself that had bothered me for several years became clearer. For example, I never understood why he had armed guards with bayonets on their rifles in front of his home in the evenings. And why he had two men with semi-automatic pistols clearly visible under their white shirts accompanying him during darshan. One of the most essential teachings of Hinduism is nonviolence, yet here was supposedly the greatest spiritual teacher of recent times with dangerous guns right under his nose in his ashram. I also found it bothersome that Sai Baba had so many ultra luxury European automobiles that he was chauffeured around in. I could perhaps understand having one Mercedes Benz, BMW or Jaguar, but why five or more? I also did not understand why while we were alone during one interview in the summer of 1994, Sai Baba told me to pull down my pants. He then “materialized” a small amount of oil, pulled down my underwear and applied it to my lower abdomen. If he were God on Earth why would he have to use such crude and inappropriate means to give me some mysterious blessing, which he did not even bother to explain to me?

Many other things concern me about the Sai Baba movement, but returning to my rings for a moment, why did Sai Baba give me a fake gem? At one point, I accidentally injured it so I took it to a jeweler in Houston who confirmed that it was of no value. It was only after examining the web site and learning about the negative side of the Sai Baba movement such as how Sai Baba fakes his materializations, and seeing it captured on film that some of my questions and concerns were answered. The primary answer was both troubling and a big relief, one that I had expected for years.

This answer is a difficult one for many, many brainwashed devotees to face. It is this: Sathya Sai Baba is not God on Earth. He is most likely not even a genuine holy man and his organization is corrupt. He is a cult figure who sometimes uses his power over devotees to take advantage of them. When I realized this I no longer felt anxious over removing my supposedly special rings. I knew they had no mystical power and, that I am not some sort of special devotee.

Please see signers of the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya (or Satya) Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization


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The Guru Papers: Masks of Authoritarian Power

Posted by robertpriddy on October 26, 2009

by Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad. Published: Frog, Ltd., Berkeley, California; 1993

Some quotes from Part One of the Guru Papers have been supported as having striking accuracy in describing
cult gurus and the dynamics involved. This is not least true of Sathya Sai Baba, who fits the bill entirely as such a guru exploiting his following in all the ways described. Here are some quotes mainly concerning the guru-disciple love and mutual dependency relationship:-

“If an authority not only expects to be obeyed without question, but either punishes or refuses to deal with those who do not, that authority is authoritarian.” (p.15)

“Gurus can arouse intense emotions as there is extraordinary passion in surrendering to what one perceives as a living God.” (p.33)

“In ‘spiritual’ realms fear and desire can become as extreme as they get. When a living person becomes the focus of such emotions, the possibility of manipulation is correspondingly extreme.” (p.41)

“In the East a guru is more than a teacher. He is a doorway that supposedly allows one to enter into a more profound relationship with the spiritual. A necessary step becomes acknowledging the guru’s specialness and mastery over that which one wishes to attain. The message is that to be a really serious student, spiritual realization must be the primary concern. Therefore, one’s relationship with the guru must, in time, become one’s prime emotional bond, with all others viewed as secondary. In fact, typically other relationships are pejoratively referred to as ‘attachments.’” (p.49)

“So although most gurus preach detachment, disciples become attached to having the guru as their center, whereas the guru becomes attached to having the power of being others’ center.” (p.50)

People justify and rationalize in gurus what in others would be considered unacceptable because they have a huge emotional investment in believing their guru is both pure and right.” (p.52)

“That interest in one’s own salvation is totally self-centered is a conundrum rarely explored.” (p.54)

“So disciples believe they are loved unconditionally, even though this love is conditional on continued surrender. Disciples in the throes of surrender feel they have given up their past, and do not, consciously at least, fear the future. . . Feeling totally cared for and accepted, at the universe’s center, powerful, and seemingly unafraid of the future are all achieved at the price of giving one’s power to another, thus remaining essentially a child.” (p56)


Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya (or Satya) Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization


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Solicitation of funds by Sathya Sai Baba VIPs

Posted by robertpriddy on October 22, 2009

Another white elephant pseudo-'museum'

Another white elephant pseudo-'museum'

Former International Chairman of the Sathya Sai Organization, Indulal Shah wrote while soliciting for money to build the Chaitanya Jyothi Museum in Prashanthi Nilayam,

“As regards the final cost it cannot be ascertained now fully since it will depend on the international world quality which will have to be maintained for such a monument by the Overseas Devotees. However, the estimated cost was placed at $US5 million.” [See letter to all Central Coordinators here]

Under the leadership of the Chairman, B.G. and T.M., it was noted in the minutes of the meeting of NCs of zone 4: “Monument. Most, yet not all, of the persons present feel that it may not be the right idea to install a monument like this. Rather we think that our transformation is the monument for Swami – inside, not outside. To make better use of the time, money and energy, these participants suggest to concentrate these resources on the new hospital in Bangalore….

The devotees in zone 4 will be informed of the proposed monument and be invited to contribute on the personal level. T. and B. are asked to forward these thoughts to the Central Office.”

But the next circular states: “…we do indeed suggest that each NC in his/her capacity of chairperson of the legally registered Organisation or Trust evaluates the possibilities … If there are potential and positive donors, whom you believe would be pleased to donate the sum of minimum $1000.- then approach them discreetly and explain about this magnificent building that will be there for future generations to illustrate the Avatar, His teachings, His accomplishments and His Organisation.”

The ‘Chaitanya Jyothi’ is a grand mix of Chinese, Gothic, Moorish and other architecture, with a symbolic number of 7 floors, was opened on Sai Baba’s 75th birthday in 2000 to house yet more exhibits depicting his life, mission and message and ‘glory’. I have been advised by a correspondent that,

“To understand how the Sai Org. functions we should not underestimate its financial part – Sathya Sai Central Trust. This is the body which accumulates all funds. But the information is very scarce. I haven’t seen any document about (i) when it was established, (ii) rules and regulations of its work, (iii) its relations with the Sai Org., (iv) people who run it.”

In this connection, I quote one piece of typical material from the same letter from I. Shah as above, to Overseas Coordinators on how to obtain donations from devotees:

“Overseas coordinators finally approved the following methods:
1) To organise 100 donors for accommodation in Building No. 8 and 9 and for which each coordinator gave their quota for the region which they will fulfil before March 2000. Dr. Goldstein was requested to be in charge for follow up with the Coordinators in this regard.
2) Letters to be written to the Bond Holders by respective Chairmen of the Zone. It was also decided that Bro. Hira should be in-charge of all follow up on this matter.
3) It was suggested that we should not solicit any donation by way of appeal or writing letters or making any announcements, but that the coordinators in their personal capacity should get in touch with known personalities/Sai Devotees and talk about this project to meet with the minimum target of US$50,000- per region which was supposed to be remitted in two instalments viz. before 4th March and 6th May 2000. The simple calculation was to select 50 persons and request for US$ 1,000 from each. To meet this requirement, 50 devotees may be selected from the whole Region. Perhaps it may not be necessary to reach out to all the 50 since the requirement from a particular region could be fulfilled by just a few devotees. However, if any region can contribute more than US$ 50,000- it is welcome, to offset any shortfall from smaller region.”

Concerning the above letter, the President of the Moscow Centre at the time, Serguei Badaev, wrote: I would like to share a case when at the meeting of the coordinators in Germany (it was probably the year before the construction of a new museum of Spiritual Heritage in PN started) Thorbjørn Meyer read aloud a letter from I. Shah to the audience. The letter stated that funds were necessary for the construction of a new museum in PN and they should be supplied by the world zones of the Sai Org. according to special quotas. For the world zone 4 (Northern Europe) it was stated as US$50 000- T. Meyer was reading a letter as if it was a complete surprise for him. He shrugged his shoulders and expressed his doubts that the world zone 4 including such poor countries as Russia and the countries of Eastern Europe could manage to contribute such amount. He suggested to look for some rich sponsors in Western Europe countries inside the zone and not to bother Eastern block with this matter. This implies at least two points. First, T. Meyer didn’t take part in making the decision to build a new museum (unless it is a political game for public). Second, some schemes should exist to approach potential donors for fund contributions to the Sai Org. projects.
See also
Sathya Sai Baba: opulence, show, extravagance and waste

Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya (or Satya) Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Sai Baba: his life is his message

Posted by robertpriddy on October 20, 2009

What message do we get from the life of Sathya Sai Baba? From studying his actual person while alive – not just his many flowery words – one of the main things that some cite in favor of Sathya Sai Baba is his “teachings”.  However, independent and objective non-followers (including many devotees I knew) have found the following to apply to him:-

He was often very self-contradictory in word and action

He demonstrated ignorance on many facts about scientific, historical, religious and other subjects

His teachings were eclectic, borrowing for most Hindu traditions, some Christian, Buddhist.. and much traditional Indian superstition

He provided a ‘pick and mix’ menu of advice and commandments for aspirants, clashing with much of modern human science and human rights

He often ignored what people asked him by irrelevant answers or other reactions 

He mostly spoke in vague, sweepingly general, impractical and exaggerated ways about things

He was highly condemnatory of many groups, professions (eg. scientists, doctors, parents, politicians, youth, children, and most of his devotees)

He was controlling, imperious, and frequently belittling of devotees and rude when he so chose

He set an autocratic, dictatorial example of leadership (towards most of his staff and office-bearers)

He would never tolerate the slightest hint of criticism of any kind whatever from anyone

Basooning his claimed self-sacrifice, he enjoyed a life that for Indians is sheer luxury (cars, houses, all services, no labour at all etc.)

He constantly claimed as ‘his’ achievements all the work of others who supported him

He very often made promises to followers which he never kept and predictions which events proved false (one big example)

He constantly borrowed and recycled the teachings of others without mentioning them

He praised those who promoted him vigorously and worshipped him ostentatiously in public

He boasted repeatedly of being world famous, that the whole world would come to him and ‘Everyone loves me

He did not follow his own teachings on many matters: by criticising others (in discourses, interviews), by not being chaste and acting on sexual desires, and by condoning executions

See more: My Life is My Message & Sai Baba (the slogan stolen from it’s originator, Gandhi)

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Sathya Sai Baba’s major blunders about Jesus

Posted by robertpriddy on October 18, 2009

The following blunders by Sathya Sai Baba about Jesus listed below are documented on the links found here

Sai Baba on Moses’ love of Jesus!

Sai Baba confusion on the Birth date of Jesus

Sai Baba self-contradictions about Jesus’s sufferings

Sai Baba contradictions on the early years of Jesus

Sai Baba self-contradicts on Jesus’ birth & 3 kings from the East

Sai Baba flip-flops on the divine status of Jesus

Sai Baba howler about (St.) Paul

Sai Baba tells that Romans were originally Jews!

Sai Baba on Jesus’ having eleven disciples

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Moreno’s bawdy blogs and few supporters

Posted by robertpriddy on October 15, 2009

Gerald Moreno shows a lot of ingenuous ingenuity of the brand used by tabloid papers, twisting things, omitting all details which go against his great goal, to twist and discredit practically everything that has been written to reveal the secret nature of Sathya Sai Baba. This puts Mr. JGM’s mindset in question, catering as he does for readers who have no sound judgement due to an inherited or acquired religious indoctrination. With a true believer syndrome hanging round their necks like millstones they don’t see. This inability to reflect deeply over oneself, the ability to question oneself and re-evaluate their positions, having been constantly warned by Sai Baba that faith (in God, in him and his word) is the cardinal value and the essential for all ‘spiritual’ progress. doubt is presented as if it were a sin, the activity of Judases and so on. Gerald Moreno’s writings are witness to this mindset. He never tells of doubts of any kind (after his preliminary induction into the Sai Baba set-up) and his opinions never based show any kind of ‘pro- and contra-‘ reasoning. Unlike those who have been heavily involved with Sai Baba but have been able to stand back and review things in the light of overwhelming new facts. In all his output, Moreno is an extremist black and white thinker, and his critics he paints black on every issue, himself, Sai Baba and all supporters as white only.

The sheer bawdy vulgarity of many of his texts gives the strongest signal that any Sai devotees worth their salt in honesty and decency ought to get loud and clear! Yet under internal instructions from the so-called Sai-VIPs in the movement, the great majority of the supposed 10 million or so more-or-less followers will not come out in support of Moreno – for the leadership knows how that would condemn the movement utterly and forever and seal its fate. At the same time, not one of these believers in truthfulness, love, non-violence, peace and righteousness has lifted a finger to defend dissidents, or to utter a tweet of criticism of Gerald Moreno. This speaks louder than words… those who devoted themselves completely to good works and were known as upstanding servers and honest people – and some were deeply revered (David Bailey, Dr. Naresh Bhatia) – are not only banned like lepers from the fold, but left to withstand massive personal slurs and harassment based on nothing but irrational attacks and base lies. So much for the courage of convictions and conscience of Sai devotees around the world, who are too cowardly to stand up for the persecuted and harbour no love in any form of action for anyone who criticises the guru, whatever their reasons. In this we see the core nature of the Sai Baba movement as an indoctrinated and increasingly exclusive cult.

See this bawdy, raging, blustering attack on me by Moreno – and note his fixation on anal matters:-

I have never made a single legal threat against Gerald Moreno as he well knows. He has never received a letter from my lawyers.I have occasionally made a general warning about infringement of my copyright. Since Moreno is raring to go to court, let him sue me. My legal advisers see not a single point in which I am in jeopardy. I do know, however, that lawyers have been contacted by other offended parties to examine the options concerning Moreno. Note the vulgar fantasy in Moreno's anal threat above!

I have never made a single legal threat against Gerald Moreno as he well knows. He has never received a letter from my lawyers.I have occasionally made a general warning about infringement of my copyright. Since Moreno is raring to go to court, let him sue me. My legal advisers see not a single point in which I am in jeopardy. I do know, however, that lawyers have been contacted by other offended parties to examine the options concerning Moreno. Note the vulgar fantasy in Moreno's anal threat above!

A list of some – far from all – of Moreno’s obsessive attack pages can be found here.

Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya (or Satya) Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Posted in Character assassination, Cults, Gurus, Sathya Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Fighting Facts with Smears – profile of a web aggressor, Gerald Moreno

Posted by robertpriddy on October 13, 2009

Having worked for several years with emotionally retarded and socially deviant children and very disturbed teenagers in the most progressive institutions in their era in Norway and Sweden, I am well acquainted with signs of arrested emotional development and social problems. I have also known psychiatrists as friends since my student days – including some very famous ones like Dr. Maxwell Jones, Dr. Ronald Laing and Dr. David Cooper – and have been active in the debate about the diagnoses and therapies used in psychiatry for years in the 1960s. (Some of my publications are on-line too). I have even worked for several months in a psychiatric hospital in UK where my mother was a registered staff nurse. I taught at the Institute of Psychology ay University of Oslo and knew many psychologists, and interviewed many in a professional context too. It is with some experience, therefore that I can assert that Moreno’s mental-emotional condition shows a total lack of normal empathy with others. This he demonstrates throughout many hundreds of web pages/blogs (especially towards all the many alleging victims of alleged sexual abuse by Sai Baba). Not merely lack of empathy but aggressive and vicious reactions against those whose accounts and reports threaten his cherished belief system, which centres on persons who he considers to be avatars or otherwise holy incarnate forms of God (as emphasised by his chosen website title, Thus he supports those who support Sai Baba, but defends them in a way which is always angled as an attack on Sai Baba’s critics! His fury at some critics having pointed out that what Sathya Sai Baba did to him amounts to sexual molestation and ‘grooming’ is unquenchable. He directs his rage outwards, indiscriminately  denouncing all and everyone he picks on – not unlike juvenile delinquents who put on a tough front and hit out in bully fashion.

Moreno admires Sathya Sai Baba not least for taking notice of him to an extent he had not experienced before – by giving him a private interview. In return he breaks with all the most elementary moral teachings of his supposed ‘divinity in human form’.  One may ask what backlog of emotional and social deprivations he has suffered in growing up in that his entire life until now hinged on that meeting and turned him into such a thoroughly distasteful character. The personal ego which is flawed is invariably driven by needs to impress, prove oneself by whatever means one can – fair or foul. Thus, many of his taunts and boasts show his constant need to reinforce his self-image – or sub-normal ego-sense -, which is evidently under threat in that so many convincing revelations about the person to whom he attributes his most wonderful experiences (of acceptance, not least). A weak ego and self-image – compounded by a thin social life in adulthood without wife or family – is often compensated through strong projection of one’s own imbalances and their causes onto others. A full-time cyber-space existence attacking opponents is a poor compensation for a full life.  Such individuals are often drawn to strong authoritarian figures and charismatics, and none are more so than Sathya Sai Baba. At the same time they seek attention voraciously, exemplified when Moreno repeatedly complains that those he maligns do not reply to him, and in his repeated grudges that they have not researched his opinions on his websites (a frequent complaint against opponents). However, they invariably have had enough of him after sampling a few of his noxious, overparticular and cranky pages. He talks of his opponents ‘snivelling’, ‘frothing at the mouth’, ‘moaning’, ‘whining’ and a catalogue of such emotive put-downs, while in reality he is simply projecting his own attitudes onto others.

Gerald Moreno speculates about me, my state of health (that he thinks I suffer from ‘paranoia’ , and ‘senile dementia’  that I had a childhood trauma from which I have not recovered, that I should see a psychiatrist etc.. All of this is sheer invention and pathetic puerilism on his part… a particularly cheap attempt to slur me and used argumentum ad hominem against my factual revelations about Sathya Sai Baba. among other ailments. He speculates over “homo-erotic fantasies” he fondly imagines and asserts I have! He has absolutely no basis for knowing any such things concerning me, and I certainly have no homo-erotic fantasies – nor ever had any remotely similar thing in relation to Sathya Sai Baba (who was physically rather repulsive in appearance to me and no less so now!). Moreno uses the term homo-erotic simply because he wants to get back at me – among others – for pointing out his own account of an interference by Sai Baba with sexual overtones he has describes he underwent (though he did not feel it was sexual himself). He is in deep denial about everything concerning Sai Baba and – because he wants to prove to himself that he was not being ‘groomed’ for possible sexual relations, he has attacked every other young man who has spoken out about their having been sexually molested by Sai Baba. This is virtually the crux of the matter in understanding Moreno.

Moreno has claimed hundreds of times that I am lying, an inveterate liar, blatant, shameless, etc. but I have not written a single lie, and any errors I have made (inadvertently), I have corrected when I have discovered them and that they are in fact errors. (Not so Moreno, he NEVER retracts an untruth or a lie, except once when virtually forced to). Nor has the Indian homeopath who claims I am “dying from AIDS”, which claim Moreno reports in further attempts to connect my name to sexual depravities. This has been his agenda since he became involved in an extremely vituperative battle on the Internet with Sanjay Dadlani. Since Dadlani withdrew, Moreno has evidently diverted his intense hate-feelings and mud-slinging methods towards myself in the vain belief that contriving (falsely) to link my name – and that of others – to pornographic sites will advance his case, or his naming me ‘a dirty old man’ from the gutter will help his credibility! Seeing how Moreno tried to ‘diagnose’ me, I am justified in making this diagnosis of his personality as it is exhibited is documents through his main life activity for the last five years – obsessive character assassination of dozens of persons on the Internet! He has thereby provided such a large casebook of his thoughts, opinions, fabrications and other antipathetic behaviour on the Internet that there are grounds enough for perceptive observers to estimate his personality.

I have – after several years of not replying to his countless pages attacking me – responded by soundly refuting a number of his accusations so that his lies found on Google etc. will not pass wholly unchallenged, but there are so many that I can’t be bothered with most of them. It would divert me from my task… to make the truth about Sathya Sai Baba’s cover-ups and hidden sides available to the otherwise unsuspecting public. When I spend an hour of the day for a blog about Sai Baba, I will not give more than a small fraction of that time to countering Moreno.

Moreno’s mental-emotional disturbed kind of profile is often connected to lack of social achievement – such as under-achievement in the educational sphere and work opportunities. It is evident that Gerald Moreno has had no college education, and holds no regular position as an employee, since he is engaged full-time in writing web pages, blogs, surfing the Internet constantly, and he has completely avoided commenting when all these points have been made about him. That Moreno is certainly very strongly dependent on “virtual” reality is patently seen… in his case grubbing up not only every scrap of data about his opponents but also promoting the entire fantasy world of Sai miracles, wondrous feats of gurus, their amazing auras, and super-unrealistic pie-in-sky stories and prophesies. He gives every sign of being an isolated person – living largely in a cyber world where he is dependent mainly on a handful of Internet contacts.  He is something of a shrinking violet, having carefully kept mum about himself since he originally posted about himself and how Sathya Sai Baba oiled him on the lower stomach (!), which he no doubt regrets greatly having told. His fear of being recognized is shown in how he had gone to lengths to get the single photo of himself removed from all places on  the Internet, but without success. (Note: he himself makes use of every photo he can find of persons he is cyber stalking, sometimes distorting them in disgusting ways). There is no doubt that Gerald Moreno prefers to hide his person in a way that once would have been diagnosed as paranoidal. It may be preferable to call it the defensive caution of a crackpot with something to hide and/or hide away from. He never criticises lies by Sai Baba or any of his followers – and they are very many!  One small example, Ashok Bhagani stated to Asian Voice that Sai Baba never takes anyone into the interview alone. Moreno knows full well that is not true, as it happened to him! Instead Moreno promotes these untruths for all he is worth. And how much is that?

Moreno sets out to impugn virtually every factual assertion made by dissidents and critics of Sai Baba, without any tangible evidence other than obfuscations, side-stepping and non-credible inventions. He intransigently insists on claims he has made and repeated in many places which have been proven time and again to be false – including on Wikipedia (from where he was indefinitely banned unanimously by a panel of six arbitrators). Two such chief dead horses which he still constantly flogs are that the infamous letters to and from Dr. John Hislop are counterfeited (see scans here as confirmed by affidavit) , and that the case which Alaya Rahm  had to dismiss due to there being no accountable organization in the USA to carry responsibility whitewashed Sathya Sai Baba of sexual allegations – while in fact the opponents and their depositions in the case were never heard in court and no verdict was given other than a formal dismissal (see here)

See compendium of web postings about Gerald Moreno by a range of persons here

Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya (or Satya) Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Posted in Cults, Gurus, Sathya Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba’s promises part 3

Posted by robertpriddy on October 12, 2009

We may take as another example of Sathya Sai Baba’s failed promises, the constantly ill and suffering Mrs. Phyllis Krystal, an elderly lady devotee for decades from the US, who has written about some of her experiences of Sathya Sai Baba. She described her terrible chronic headaches, which Sathya Sai Baba diagnosed as due to five different kinds of headache (see ‘The Ultimate Experience’- publ. Samuel Weiser Inc.). She went through some kind of intensification of her symptoms while with Sathya Sai Baba, which she interpreted as being a part of the treatment in removing one or more of these several headaches. (Totally backward reasoning, of course!). She was a speaker at the Sathya Sai Hamburg Conference in 1992 and was asked point blank from the audience whether she was now cured her of all her headaches. She hesitated for some time, but when asked again eventually said that she was. However, later I was in London talking to Lucas Ralli, (Central Coordinator for UK & Ireland until unceremoniously kicked out) and a close friend of Mrs. Krystal, who stayed with him and his wife sometime during a UK visit. He came to mention that she was in constant need of pain killers for her headaches and I was taken aback. So I asked if she had not been cured, but he confirmed that she still suffered greatly from this. This incident typifies the kind of thinking one meets among Sai devotees.

Perhaps a kind of self-deceit to protect one’s faith, partly a desire not to admit doubts to oneself or others and thereby publicly embarrass the guru, whose promises are supposed to be as cast in iron and whose healings are infallible etc. Later, Mrs. Krystal’s house was shattered by the Californian earthquake in the 90s, making her homeless, along with her deceased husband’s lifelong collection of crystal glass reportedly worth much more than $1 million. As she describes in detail in her book ‘The Ultimate Experience’,  Sai Baba had himself told her to move to that house, after she had prayed constantly for a very long time and repeatedly asked him whether she could move house! Eventually he had given the go-ahead verbally to her. Devotees who have indoctrinated themselves completely regard such things as a boon from  Sai Baba, a necessary suffering and ‘teaching’! It helps one to detach from worldly things and prepare for the final detachment! This reasoning, when taken to its conclusion means it is a boon when anything is destroyed, relatives are lost etc., because it prepares one for death! All very acceptable and faith-inducing, no doubt! When I was a devotee I tried to accept that this might be the case, but could never take ot seriously.

No help on the deathbed: Two of Sathya Sai Baba’s closest attendants, Prof. N. Kasturi (his official biographer and servitor for over 40 years) and V.K. Narasimhan, who followed Kasturi into the editor’s chair of his journal Sanathana Sarathi and worked continuously for Sai Baba in that and other capacities for over two decades, both suffered horrible and long illnesses before they died. Kasturi was in a terrible state for 6 weeks before his release (this would not have been known to me had not Narasimhan told me so) and Narasimhan himself lost an eye (Sathya Sai Baba having claimed he would look after him and applied holy cow-dung ash to it vibuthi etc. when it got infected). Then VKN suffered up to 3 months with his lungs filling with water before dying in March 2000. Such vastly selfless servers were not exactly eased in any way by the supposedly ‘omnipotent and grace-giving’ avatar. All kinds of weird and fantastic explanations can be invented to explain away such things, but the gruelling facts and harsh neglect remain. (Sai Baba also made VKN write a lie in the press about the  Sathya Sai Central Trust before his illness, which can’t have been all that helpful for the poor man whose former life had been in defense of the truth).

These are far from being all the instances of which I know or have heard about from reliable sources. So what are Sathya Sai Baba’s famous “divine guarantees” worth? Let a Dutch lady correspondent of mine of impeccable insight answer this query:

“After my visit to the ashram I was very disappointed re. sb’s attitude towards the invalids. I am having walking problems due to a Guillain Barré spinal disease at the age of 14. I recovered from it apart from a slight right side limp. However, the last 15 years I am loosing strength and balance and need a stick or rollator to stay out of a wheel chair. I used both in the ashram and compared with some of the heavy invalids I counted myself lucky. It struck me that sb never went to that right hand corner where the wheelchairs were, all at the far end. I was on the bench myself and mostly saw the back of him for 4 weeks. If Baba could have cured people and took no notice of the heartbreaking misfortunate devotees, he must have been a heartless so-and-so!!!! I am sure he COULD NOT cure real disabled people at all. He would not willingly have renounced the fame it would have brought him!”

Mr. Y.V. Kutumba Rao, an Indian and former judge, head of the ashram for many years until the mid-80s, is said to have Sai Baba with devoted selflessness etc. He is written about in a number of the earlier Sathya Sai Baba books. Even though he was the first official to speak to Sathya Sai Baba every morning, he was never given an interview during 20 years of service. He had longed for this, for he had never been given any such private attention for himself by Sai Baba before, which was a known fact to ashramites too! Shortly after he was at last called for the treasured interview,

I was told shortly by his colleague, the elderly Head of the Administration Building, Mr. Kanhaia Jee, who with his Seva Dal wife Mrs. Kavery, became charming friends of ours. Kanhaia Jee said that Baba had not spoken to him until the private interview, when he had taken him alone into the small room and told him simply that a man was on his way to murder him (Kutumba Rao) and he had best make himself scarce for some months. He was told to leave his post to the deputy head of ashram, Mr. Chiranjia Rao, and go to a certain village and lie low there until Sai Baba sent word. That was that!

This occurred while I was present at PN, when Chiranjia Rao became head of ashram during early 1987 for a period of some months. Well before 1989, Kutumb Rao was back at his post, but suffering from internal cancers. He was sent to Madras and opened up, but closed again as a hopeless case beyond surgery. Kutumb Rao suffered much for a long period altogether and died on 29/3/1989. Sai Baba apparently did nothing to help him. But devotees speculate nonetheless that surely Sai Baba helped him through his karma, or will give him a better new body and life, or already granted him liberation? How can they be so confident, so easily be taken in? The above instances are but a few among numerous others of which I know.

Sathya Sai Baba’s promises – part 1

Sathya Sai Baba makes many promises

Sai Baba promised Rs. 100,000 to orphan parents

Posted in Cults, Gurus, Sathya Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba’s promises part 2

Posted by robertpriddy on October 11, 2009

Promises of good or improved health: Sathya Sai Baba is known for making many personal promises to people in interviews, as reported in many writings about him. One of his stock phrases is, “I will look after everything”, and another is, “I give you a long life, healthy life, happy life!”. (He made both of these ‘promises’ to me without my asking anything of him. Other assurances he gives are, “I shall protect you”; “I will build an iron wall around you!” and “I give you liberation, you will not have to take on another body!”

Does the available evidence support these ‘divine promises’? Because people long to believe is always fulfilled , there are a lot who write that they have been cured ort helped, though one often suspects that it is a matter of improvements happening that would have happened in any case or which are a result of the ‘placebo effect’. V.K. Narasimhan, who attended Sai Baba for 20 years, told me he had NEVER seen a genuine healing due to Sai Baba, and he was himself a case in point. Sai Baba had promised to cure his eyes, but he ended up losing sight in one of them! This for his most important experienced editor who worked ceaselessly for his publications.

When his promises are not fulfilled, how does one explain it? One argument frequently heard among devotees is based on what the long-term and very close follower, Dr. John Hislop, wrote in his book ‘My Baba and I’. Hislop asked for permission to publish it, but was told by Sathya Sai Baba he must wait 20 years. However, after 2 years, Hislop received a message from Sathya Sai Baba saying he should publish straight away. The credulous Hislop had searched for one guru after another, including Yogananda, Krishnamurthi, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and U Ba Thin leaving each in disappointment. He became a keen rationaliser of Sathya Sai Baba’s often impenetrably unclear or fantastic assertions, and puts it down to Sathya Sai Baba having a cosmic perspective and eternal sense of time that no one can understand (as Sathya Sai Baba had asserted). This became standard doctrine among the majority of disappointed, bemused and betrayed followers so as to save what faith they can after years of major involvement and personal commitment etc.

Sai Baba’s simpler promises like “I will give interview tomorrow”, “I will visit your home”, “I will come” are frequently not followed up, as one can read in some of the more balanced and somewhat frank accounts available. The idea is that Sathya Sai Baba has divine sense of time which differs from ours – so when he says ‘yes, interview tomorrow’ he may mean any time in the future etc. A thousand years is as nothing to him! This sounds deranged indeed- but if one accepts that Sathya Sai Baba is God Almighty Himself, then it seems more credible? Not so, for these are simple deceptions, because any omniscient and caring God would have to know how each person understands what he promises them and would follow up. It is now common knowledge that a considerable number of suicides have resulted after Sai Baba’s failed to keep his word. A whole family of five was poisoned by the father (and few survived) after Sathya Sai Baba’s broken assurances. These he makes very freely and often sweepingly in interviews and also in discourses about protecting all who put their faith in him.

Other suicides: Dominic Kennedy wrote in The Times (27/8/01) of three British followers of Sathya Sai Baba who took their own lives: “an investigation by The Times today discloses that three British men have apparently taken their own lives after becoming followers of the miracle worker. Two of them were encouraged to believe that he could cure their medical problems. One of those also said that he had been touched intimately by the Sai Baba.”

Sai has said, “Love my uncertainty”: Sathya Sai Baba capitalises on people’s uncertainty and ignorance of anything to do with real truth by ever reaffirming to people that they are uncertain and ignorant.  When, in so many instances, he does not keep his word, he puts the blame on the person he made promises to for not having asked from the heart or that something about them was not genuine, or that they were simply not ready or worthy to receive his grace etc. Sathya Sai Baba has insisted that he alone knows the right timing for everything and acts accordingly. Sathya Sai Baba’s visible and invisible rewards (i.e. as promised for the future) are supposed exceed the punishments he is thought eventually to mete out to those who accept positions of trust then seriously let him down. So all his promises have to be taken in the context of this unintelligible cosmic plan which he claims alone to know and effect… and this actually makes them as unreliable in terms of human experience as anything can be. He can’t lose and you can’t win, as long as you accept his vast claims at face value!

More on failed promises to follow soon. Meanwhile see…
Sathya Sai Baba’s promises – part 1

Sathya Sai Baba makes many promises

Sai Baba promised Rs. 100,000 to orphan parents

Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya (or Satya) Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Posted in Cults, Gurus, Propaganda, Sathya Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Michael Nobel praises Sathya Sai Baba but is badly misrepresented

Posted by robertpriddy on October 10, 2009

Dr. Michael Nobel is the great grand nephew of Alfred Nobel who founded the Nobel Prize. Dr. Nobel is also the Chairman of THE APPEAL OF NOBEL PEACE LAUREATES FOUNDATION. Below are extracts from a TV interview he gave to an Italian producer.

The above is stated on the web page However, Dr. G. Venkataraman chose NOT to heed the plea which the writer of a comment (Umberto Frascati) makes – on behalf of Dr. Michael Nobel – to remove this false statement! See here:-

To G.V. Venkataramam from Umberto Frascati Milano Italy SAI RAM.. please read the message from Dr, Michael Nobel requesting the correction as in his text…
I am urgently requires your help as you have an important position in the Sai Baba movement. Looking at the following address: you see I am listed as the Chairman of THE APPEAL OF NOBEL PEACE LAUREATES FOUNDATION. This is a complete inaccuracy and causes me a lot of ill will. Please do me a great favour and have the webmaster of the Sai Baba organization remove this as soon as practically possible. If necessary (which I do not believe) he can replace it with “chairman of the Nobel Charitable Trust”.Thank you in advance for your valuable help in this matter and please let me know the outcome of your contact with him or her.Best personal regards
Michael Nobel

Comment: The “valuable help” was not forthcoming and the advance thanks were misplaced.

Not only that, but Dr. Michael Nobel was presented by Sathya Sai Baba – the self-appointed “omniscient” God as the man who awards the Nobel Peace prize was visiting him! See here: Sathya Sai Baba’s hunger for international recognition!!

SAI-SinghThis year again there is no mention of Sathya Sai Baba as one of the candidates, but we may rest assured that the Prime Minister of India – Manmohan Singh, who is a longer-term foot-worshipping Sai devotee, ensured that his name was submitted as in past years by former P.M. Vajpayee.

See also:
Nobel Peace Prize To Obama. India’s Past Candidate Sathya Sai Baba Long-forgotten

‘Black Sheep’ Of Sweden’s Nobel Family Called By Ba-Ba (Sathya Sai Baba)

Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya (or Satya) Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Posted in Cults, Gurus, India, Sathya Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by robertpriddy on October 9, 2009

The Sathya Sai Organisation – an evaluative overview

Here I summarise what it took me about 18 years to find out through experience, often disillusioning, about the Sathya Sai Organisation (SSO). Among its members are many volunteers who lead by example in the real work of genuinely selfless service to the suffering and needy. These very well-intentioned and self-sacrificing people, who are drawn by the pure ideals for spiritual service and education as proclaimed by Sathya Sai Baba , are the ground level workers. It is equally clear, unfortunately, that the SSO as an organisational structure hinders genuine service to society due to its monolithic nature, its autocratic top-down structure, and its secret and semi-secret management practices. Further, it is involved in an increasing number of unnecessary, costly projects only to spread the fame of Sathya Sai Baba and, more crucially, in the hitherto largely very effective cover-up of the many and very substantial allegations of criminality against its namesake, Sathya Sai Baba . Because of this, and because the SSO, with Sathya Sai Baba ‘s backing, has made more than sufficient one-sided positive propaganda about itself, I here concentrate instead on its considerable ‘shadowy’ sides.

When I was still a devotee, I wrote very positively about the Organization (such as in my pro-Sathya Sai Baba book ‘’Source of the Dream’). However, I had not then learned the extent of deceit and wrongdoing in the top leadership in the Central Trust, the ashrams and by Sathya Sai Baba personally. I was strongly self-censoring about all events and experiences that jarred with the very idealistic image I had of the SSO, but I now know that I was had been led very largely to confuse the ideals with realities. My criticisms are not directed as the many that make genuine efforts in the name of the SSO. At the ground level, where I mostly applied myself, I saw much excellent work done, almost despite repeated pressures and irrelevant distractions that came from the higher level leadership.

The policies and directives encountered regularly from above within the organisation absorb much energy that could be employed better elsewhere. The organisation, with its formal and informal cultures, carries out activities which do not fit at all with much of the content of the constant flow of discourses from its namesake, Sathya Sai Baba . Due to opposing statements, sweeping generality and frequent ambiguity in Sathya Sai Baba ‘s teachings – and because of the obscure role of Sathya Sai Baba in his organisation – the real purposes it serves have largely to be deduced from long observation and experience. Sathya Sai Baba himself does not run things in the normal sense of the word, though he gives advice in discourses and presumably in private interviews (though this is seldom clear and important for the organisation affairs as far as members we know could discover). Confusingly, Sathya Sai Baba often keeps his distance from the organisation bearing his name. In this way he seems to be responsible for its good works, while rejecting its failures and the shortcomings of its members (upon which weakness Sai Baba often expands sweepingly at length in discourses) as a result of not doing his will.

The steady and large flow of donations has become part and parcel of Sathya Sai Baba ‘s social and political importance. One unspoken but obvious function of the organisation is to attract a large enough membership mass to generate funds to the Sathya Sai Central Trust in one way or another. This occurs through donating relatively very large fixed sums for the brief use of a low-quality apartment at one or other of the ashrams, donating outright for various projects undertaken by the Trust or by the SSO and so forth. Meanwhile, the collection of monetary donations is against the regulations of the SSO and is seldom openly allowed except among members. Organisation meetings are free and centres are supposed only to accept unsolicited voluntary donations from those who wish to support them. However, it provides a very wide catchment area among followers worldwide for donations and not least legacies to the Central Trust. (See my paper ‘The Multi-billion dollar question’)

The vertical-hierarchical structure: The various branches of the world SSO are basically run on the strictly top-down Indian principle, all overseas devotees are in practice subordinate to the Indian leadership of the International Chairman, currently Dr. Michael Goldstein, supposedly acting on the instructions (or understanding) of Sai Baba. Under him come the (non-elected) Chairmen of the Central Councils (or, where these are not yet formed, Coordinating Committees) of each country. The top-down chain of command makes all discussions at meetings and conferences very largely futile and time-wasting from the volunteer workers’ point of view, at whatever level they may be. All Central Coordinators (hereafter CCs) and zone chairmen have special meetings twice a year (on Gurupurnima day in July and just before Sathya Sai Baba ‘s birthday, 23/11) in Prashanthi Nilayam. Yet they have at best only an ‘advisory function’ to the decision-making International Chairman, who simply overrules or ignores whatever suits him. For example, no documents are available to tell where the proposal came from for a large 7-storey building costing ca. $5 million later called ‘Chaitanya Jyothi’ to celebrate none other than Sathya Sai Baba on his 75th birthday. It may have been suggested by Sathya Sai Baba , or by former International Chairman, Indulal Shah, but what correspondence that mentions it indicates that the CCs were simply required as ‘informal rubber-stampers’ for this project (i.e. it became their main job simply to solicit the funds for the building, which they did).

Though there is election of office-bearers at the local groups and centres, this can be overturned – and even without explanation – by any National Coordinator or higher office-bearer. This has occurred on a number of occasions, not least in the European SSO, even though there is no mention of this option in the Charter (where it should be stated) or in any other written directive known to me. Though a sheen of democracy is given thereby, the SSO is an anti-democratic pyramidal hierarchy in which one must obey one’s ‘superiors’ or eventually be dismissed from office without so much as an explanation! (See for example Serguei Badaev ‘s declaration which appears on http://www.saiguru.netThe Story of My Disqualification‘)

Office-bearers passive links in the ‘chain of command’: Basically, the Charter defines ranks, in descending order in the ‘chain of command’ from International Chairman, Central Coordinators (i.e. one for each of the five world zones, of which two are the overall authorities in each hemisphere East & West), the National Chairmen in each country, Centre Presidents, group leaders, voluntary worker members (sometimes called ‘active workers’), and ‘aspirant members’. The Chairmen of the Central Councils of countries that have sufficient Sai centres (or in some cases of the Central Committees) are subordinate to the Central Coordinator for that particular international region.

Members are ranked differently in order: aspirant, volunteer, active worker, according to standards that differ from region to region. Visitors to meetings, however regular, are not usually regarded as members, though they are supposed to be counted exactly for statistics over their numbers and some other details that are recorded and registered centrally (but are not made public). There are some regional or local variations in practices, but these are peripheral details. In some more socially liberated countries, distinctions of rank – even between member and non-member – are and even disdained or laughed at. Such occurred widely in the UK in the 1980s, when leaders tried to apply the rule requiring members to ‘sign up’ on the dotted line under a membership pledge with an explicit spiritual declaration. At best, therefore, a handful of central persons in the SSO rule over the various agenda, statements of objectives, activities and recommendations that issue forth. It is little wonder that well-qualified persons with experience of democratic values in management (most usually being Westerners) often leave after some time. That central leaders are very seldom demoted and – those who survive – remain in office even for decades (though some have resigned and some were dismissed), sets them more and more apart both in mentality and activity from other members. An ‘active worker vs. management’ rift arises and is sustained, not least since it is not at all good form for ordinary members even to mention the problem.

The SSO, being a charismatic sect with a church-like culture, has leaders who speak and act in various ways as middlemen between devotees and the Godhead – by conveying and interpreting Sathya Sai Baba ‘s utterances and wishes. Though Sathya Sai Baba claims to have no middlemen or mediums and that all his contact is direct to each devotee on an inner level, in practice a majority of people do not experience any but the vaguest kinds of contact and rely on office-bearers within the SSO for most of their information about Sathya Sai Baba , his will and his plans etc. The qualifications to higher office include not only total unquestioning subservience to Sathya Sai Baba and following the directives coming via the chain of command (the exact origin of which can be vague to most foreign office-bearers). They also have to fit in to a typical code of behaviour (at least outwardly) and also learn the culture of knowing how to inform and explain in ashram-accepted ways. For this, many use a subsidiary kind of language culture common to the Sai movement ( Prashanthi speak ‘) to convey Sai doctrines, with well-tried circumlocutions on taboo subjects and euphemisms to veil certain facts, criticisms and so forth.

Through 18 years, most of it as the national leader in Norway, I was time and again able to observe and was repeatedly told that leaders can and do decide matters which – in any normally functioning community – would be decided only after conferring with all others concerned. I did not follow this regime. Occasionally, leaders higher up int the chain have tried to give me the impression that what they decided was ordained from ‘on high’, without actually being able to say whether Sathya Sai Baba said so, or repeat what he said.

Pro-Indian discrimination: By far the largest and most active country in the SSO is naturally India. It has an All-India Chairman, who supposedly acts independently of the International Chairman, Shah. Followers of Sathya Sai Baba vary greatly in the capacity to understand how properly to manage and inspire through their own example, which Sathya Sai Baba stresses as the only workable method. The Indian social model on which the SSO is based is still overwhelmingly authoritarian, such as to issue orders to ‘inferiors’, who must and do usually obey them unquestioningly. Unfortunately, the complete disregard of modern ‘stakeholder’ ideas in the SSO (indeed, the direct opposition to them) involving the abject worship of gurus as infallible is also a pattern set on the basis of prevailing social conditions throughout India. A culture of top-down high-handedness, mismanagement and rich opportunities for control, corruption, and cover-up, as seen with Western eyes. The recognisable high-handedness that often typifies the Indian higher castes or ruling class and its bureaucracy is seen in directives sent to centres, which often show little or no appreciation of the diversity of cultures or openness to the initiatives of individuals unless they conform in all things to the wishes of leaders (often cloaked under the doubtful pretext of “it is Swami’s wish”, which can always be justified somehow by the common – but highly confusing – axiom of Sathya Sai Baba s teaching that “everything is Swami’s will” anyhow!). Those nominated as Central and National Coordinators are almost always persons who follow this pattern quite slavishly, including the foreign leaders, who mostly take to the VIP status like ducks to water.

Much of the loose ideological backing for this ‘model’ is actually found in Sathya Sai Baba s predilection for the culture of ancient, feudal India and its forms of social organisation, which relied heavily on spiritual purity in teachers and pupils. However, one can hardly expect Sai Baba’s Indian staff to know how to change this culture, which is not only largely accepted in Baba’s ashrams but permeates much of Indian life and is deeply rooted in the ineradicable caste system and the all-pervading undemocratic social practices there today. Those having much insight or skill are required to do what they are told, though they may have greater experience than their ‘boss’. The editor of Sathya Sai Baba s monthly journal Sanathana Sarathi, V.K. Narasimhan, remarked to me one day that Baba complained to him that he could not find enough mature Indian men with the right qualities to administer even his two main ashrams decently, let alone guide all the many projects he has in India or in his service SSO. This is a very evident fact to foreigners who visit the ashrams, for the level of competence and understanding of many (but not every one) of the officials with whom one comes into contact is sadly lacking by normal Western social standards.

The impenetrable ruling ‘inner circle’: There can nonetheless be little doubt, if any, that in the West and other parts of the world, more competent and understanding persons could easily be found as leaders of the SSO than the majority of those presently holding the highest offices, who all copy the authoritarian Indian model in most matters. Most of the Central Coordinators are well-to-do businessmen (men in suits) with a more traditional management mentality. These office-bearers are not elected, but selected by Sathya Sai Baba . Almost without exception they are affluent, which enables them to travel freely etc. However, the overseas leaders are NEVER made privy to the inside circle’s doings, the reins of power being firmly held by the (Indian) members of the Central Trust, which since the 1993 murders came largely under the practical control of Sathya Sai Baba ‘s younger brother, the multimillionaire property speculator Janaki Ramiah. (SSB has said that he leaves all decisions to his Trust!) Therefore foreigners have no access to information other than what they are told, most likely only on a need-to-know basis. They have no prior insight into central decisions, who makes them or exactly why. Their job is simply to acquiesce to whatever is decided, and to find supporting reasons for it and ways of presenting it in acceptable forms to other members. Thus, the development of any serious, effective and socially acceptable voluntary organisation having a democratic base and egalitarian practices is evidently wholly excluded.

Centralised censorship of information: The organisation mostly attracts people initially by providing a social community for believers in Sai Baba to communicate and share in, most often through communal singing (bhajans mostly praising Sai Baba) and secondarily through study/discussion meetings and less often through enrolling them in service activities. This is the chief channel of dissemination of Sathya Sai Baba ‘s teaching or opinions. Through this, the SSO makes continual and large efforts to standardise interpretations of the vital parts of Sathya Sai Baba ‘s teachings and the Charter of the SSO etc. This presumes that the directives ‘from on high’ can be made to make sense, for they are mostly couched in a pseudo-legalistic or bureaucratic gobbledygook at which many Indian officials excel. Through such writings, critical views and negative information about Sathya Sai Baba ‘s behaviour, untoward events at the ashrams are censored, manipulated or ‘face-lifted’ if they are not banned outright from discussion at meetings. Through the years this has included such events as suicides, rapes, murders, bomb scares, embezzlement, ‘invasions’ by fanatic sects, failure of Sathya Sai Baba projects, misuse of funds etc. The maximum of control possible through the chain of command is exercised as to all things that seriously tarnish the image of this proclaimed ‘Abode of Supreme Peace’, or could reduce the influx of visitors or of support of all kinds that maintain and bolster the very considerable financial and political power base of the Sathya Sai movement in India and elsewhere. Sai Baba’s considerable contacts with national leaders, ministers, opposition politicians, the judiciary, the military establishment, any well-known and rich people and so forth in India which represents a de facto major power base. This influence is being extended to an increasing number of nations, not least via the SSO.

Communication control within the SSO: In trying to follow such aphorisms of Sathya Sai Baba as “See no evil, hear not evil, speak no evil….” And “If you cannot tell the truth, at least speak obligingly”, and many more which are expressly designed among other things to control and so restrict thought and expression, an internal culture has evolved where no frank opinions may be aired, nor the slightest hint of critical thinking – however objective or constructive it may be. The SSO leaders are under such restrictions as to what they are allowed to say about it, or even to think about it, that they are wholly incapable of giving a realistic picture of it and how it functions. A ‘double accounting mentality’ is common here, requiring subtle but essentially misleading and careful phrasing of what to say about anything so that it appears in a positive light. Ability to speak in the local ‘politically correct Prashanthi-speak’ is an apparent prerequisite for those who aspire to top positions in the SSO. Volunteers (i.e. the lowest ranking members) are not informed of what takes place at central leaders’ conferences. Central leaders allow no serious feedback, no right to require explanations nor accountability. Attitudes among central office-bearers in all zones of the SSO that can fairly be called ‘semi-dictatorial’ at least, which is tolerated by the most faithful followers who believe in the infallibility and benignity of anything undertaken in the divine name of Sathya Sai Baba and under his apparent leadership. However, many have left the organisation for such reasons, though no statistics on this are considered worthwhile! Such information could help an organisation realise its shortcomings etc., but the SSO is not interested and it would probably find the numbers far too revealing.

Information is often passed on in an informal way, such as by word of mouth at national and regional meetings or in contacts made when visiting the ashrams. Some of this is documented and sent along the chain of command, even upwards (though conclusions from most working committees are invariably ignored, mangled beyond recognition or rejected centrally). However, many of those higher up in the chain are frequently asked why they largely only answer communications from higher up, and so often ignore letters, faxes and e-mails from ‘lower down’. They send various paper directives downwards, most often passed on from above. They are very concerned to fulfil the centrally instigated requirement for statistics on members and activities, and their communications with their subordinates are often attempts to obtain these or to urge more activities and efforts, not least so as to improve the statistics for the region they represent.

Control of communication: ‘horizontally’ between members in different groups, centres and countries is exercised by regional leaders through strict compartmentalisation of the various areas so as to hinder communications of any kind that do not go hierarchically through themselves. For example, invitees to hold talks at meetings – especially those from other countries and regions – have to be confirmed by the leadership in the respective country. Avoidance of this rule has caused major splits in national SSO (again, notably in the UK in the 1990s, when a flood of vituperative letters were circulated by the various factions). Another instance of information control is that addresses of persons outside each national sphere are carefully guarded and removed from letters and e-mails so as to limit interactions, exchanges of information and views of various kinds. Though this guards against begging letters, ‘spiritual tourists’, pleas from would-be illegal immigrants etc., contacts at a ‘lower level’ in the Org. are invariably regarded as (potential) disturbing influences.

Directives are frequently issued which, when followed, in effect minimise informal discussion between people at meetings. Least possible talking – even silence – is recommended at most SSO meetings where and when the activity doesn ‘t itself require otherwise. Where unavoidable, such as at study circles, planning groups, spiritual educational projects etc., informal contacts and particularly frank discussion are restricted by many leaders. Quiet meditation, prayer and leaving the premises quickly after worship are repeatedly advised by some leaders and circular letters from India. However, such restrictions – modelled on the strict behaviour codes and pietistic tone at Baba ‘s ashrams during darshan etc. – are by no means always observed in many of groups and centres. The need for informal social contact with like-minded believers is obviously often a strong motivation for many to visit centres and also to become members. A number of standpoints are enforced by group pressure as being the only correct ones, with social exclusion – whether intentional or less consciously applied – as a common sanction. Though some members express criticisms, only positive feedback is normally taken seriously. Leaders repeatedly evade replying to many genuine questions. So dialogue between open-minded spiritual seekers is mostly hindered on issues that might cause any substantial doubts.

That the closed and secretive nature of the SSO is still valid is shown by the inability of anyone in the whole SSO to comment at all on any of the criticism put forward by me on the website from which this brief overview is abstracted, or from any other of the several serious accounts published by other long-term members of the SSO! There is too much to hide, and evidently too many who cannot honestly face the light of day.

Organisational redundancy and time-wasting: Nearly all organisations like to keep up momentum and have regular get-togethers, even when there is nothing new with which to deal. The experience of many I have met has been that nearly all such meetings in the SSO achieve precious little that is visibly useful for realising its stated aims, nor do they feed back information or advice that has any effect with leaders who prefer to enforce their own decisions regardless of input from others. The suggestions can be very ‘well-meant’, but this is not enough. Most of what is said is about obvious issues that are always in the mind of any intelligent, responsible office-bearer. But by harping largely on what has been said before, the organiser nevertheless usually feels satisfied, and fills a nice report of progress. For most participants it is the spiritual sharing and social gathering that matter, especially the chance to exchange news, views and arrange secondary matters for themselves. They actually provide an opportunity to communicate with others across ‘organisational boundaries’ that are otherwise denied by the CCs! Sathya Sai Baba has defined the real meaning of most ‘committees’ as ‘come-to-tea’ meetings, which alludes to the usual inefficiency and time-wasting of talking committees. Yet one is supposed to spend valuable time travelling on expensive flights to meetings abroad, sometimes much too frequently, and to review much the same matters each time to make ‘recommendations that will help achieve the Conference objectives’, but which will doubtless as usual not lead to any results other than those already predetermined by its leaders. This helps to keep people in line and define aims and goals for them to fulfil. People I have spoken to feel, like I, that such meetings are mostly interruptions to spiritual work and service, or burdens which also bring new responsibilities. The purpose of most of these meetings seems mainly to be to instil the rules and directives from central authority. Sathya Sai Baba occasionally corrects some of the more pointless paper initiatives, such as the bright idea from the SSO central authority that each year should have a value denomination like “year of non-violence”, “the year of peace” and so forth, thus organising all activities around this notion… as if such a fatuous invention could make the slightest useful contribution to anyone ‘s practice.

At most regional and international meetings, various members – including lower office-bearers – have remarked to me how little was conveyed to them, whether in the way of answers to pressing questions, practical instructions, or other information and spiritual insight that is not already easily available in the literature or has not been said before numerous times. The Indian style of lecturing at length from rostrums is much in favour, even at SSO meetings abroad, whereby the same themes are repeated each time, moral harangues are the main fare, all teachings are parroted, and the level of their generality and vagueness leaves much to be desired. With their captive audiences, passive following and implicit acceptance of everything are very often evidently both assumed and required. Service-mindedness thus often seems to be misinterpreted as subservience.

Note: An extensive documentation of observations, experiences and sources upon which the above is based is found at my extensive website sociological analysis of the Sathya Sai Organisation here.

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