Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

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

Posts Tagged ‘Derren Brown’

Sathya Sai Baba in hindsight

Posted by robertpriddy on March 1, 2009

I first wrote the following around 2001 in a web page: “Some of what I experienced of Sai Baba’s extraordinary and positive powers through many years is undeniable, even after the most rigorous sceptical investigations, and I do not regard him as any ordinary person. After much soul-searching and disturbing discoveries, however, I have simply had to realise that his actions in the worldly and human sphere are not infallible and are not always setting a perfect example for others”.

Then I did still think things undeniable which I am now fully aware are not so! I was then still suffering from a degree of denial about Sathya Sai Baba himself. I should have noticed this before and corrected it long ago, but better late than never! One lives and learns. Many of what I believed to be Sai Baba’s extraordinary and positive powers I have since had increasing reason to doubt. The still emerging evidence of fakery and fraud, miracles that never occurred, deceptions and lies has mounted to proportions which cause me to consider him a charlatan, though not any “ordinary” one but rather a particularly gifted one. At that time I had not, despite the depth of my investigations while still a devotee (i.e. which automatically means  basically biased towards excessive positivity about him and all reports about him) reached the level of “most rigorous sceptical investigations”. This is proved by my record in the past decade during which I have unearthed more and more fraudulent claims, doubtful testimonies, conflicting accounts and counter-evidence concerning Sai Baba’s activities, especially his bogus materializations.

It will probably never be possible to reach conclusive evidence that all of Sai Baba’s supposed ‘powers’ are bogus since these events are in the past and were never observed by independent witnesses trained in detecting false or confused claims, crony-assisted ‘tricks’, sleight-of-hand and even virtual ‘instant hypnosis’ (as demonstrated extraordinarily in many different settings by Derren Brown of Channel 4 TV in UK). Even my friend Erlendur Haraldsson, who had consulted with magicians, did not look for Sathya Sai Baba’s hand to move behind his cushions in advance of ‘materializations’ (which Sai Baba does at the best psychological moment of misdirected attention), nor did he investigate the genuineness of the alleged ‘diamonds’ or availability of trinkets identical to the Sai “materializations” at many shops in Bangalore. (Neither did I do that until after 2000, unfortunately). He stated his opinion that the objects Sai Baba gave to people were unlikely to be provided by shops, and failed to consider that they could be brought in surreptitiously by a helper, as we now know from a student witness was done on a regular basis.

Posted in Materialization, Miracles, Personality Cult, Sathya Sai Baba | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Sai Baba’s miraculous omnipresence?

Posted by robertpriddy on July 4, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Derren Brown wins over 9 top chess players simultaneously

Derren Brown extraordinary mind control demonstration

Derren Brown amazing power of suggestion surpasses martial arts master

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

Derren Brown easily transfers thoughts

How does Derren Brown manage this? Interview

Stephen Fry on Derren Brown’s amazing illusionism

Aristocrats transparent to Derren Brown

Derren Brown guesses exact sums of pocket money correctly

Derren Brown terrifies a Ghost train operator on his own trainride

Daylight robbery by illusion in New York

Subconscious influencing by Derren Brown

Amazing demonstration of perfect rapport

All strength lost through suggestion

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

Derren Brown gives two girls daylight hallucinations

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

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

How many million Sai devotees?

Posted by robertpriddy on June 6, 2008

Grossly Exaggerated Numbers of Followers of Sathya Sai Baba

Though claims as to how many followers Sathya Sai Baba has vary from only a million or so through to a billion, there is no known basis of measurement for either of these figures – not can one identify who is a follower or not. A majority are still Indian villagers, of whom very many have probably no strong attachment to him but have visited out of curiosity (to see the luxury and showpieces, including light shows, free meals or for a jaunt on a festival day. Total membership of the Sathya Sai Organization is a tiny fraction of the number of followers claimed, but due to the criticism of the inflated estimates usually published, the organization no longer published any data on this for public consumption. It is apparently now a ‘trade secret’. Part of the reason would be the considerable fall-off in non-Indian devotees since the exposure of Sai Baba through many sex abuse allegations from 1999 and a range of damaging facts about him, his impossible claims and failed predictions etc. Sathya Sai Baba exaggerates figures wildly (see here) and his minions take after him. They have been successful through constant repetition in getting much of the media to reproduce some of these fantastic numbers.

For some unknown reason, the number of Sai devotees claimed in literature about Sai Baba has often begun with the number 6 – from 60 million to 600 million. Odd it also is that there was a village regeneration project which was first announced for 600 villages, later this grew to 6000 villages. .. but in neither case was there any programme in more than a handful of villages, since it folded soon after it was publicised.

Why the unreasonable fixation on numbers of adherents?

To argue, as Sathya Sai Baba followers (and others) do, that millions of adherents is a guarantee of the figurehead being genuine, good and true is major fallacy – a non sequitur. Were it so then Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao and countless others through history would be included. Also, there have been and still are billion-earning sect leaders in several major religions. Personality cults are mainly the crutch of the downtrodden, the weak, the desperate hopeful and those who want to join a gravy train. Hindus should rather stick to the sanathana dharma without the miraculous overtones and leave belief in its mythology as being historical fact well behind them. Handed-down legends and miracle stories provide a rich tapestry of symbols and ideas and are a fruitful as a cultural asset, but only as long as they do not hinder human rights and the common human values these represent. India is capable of great cultural and scientific achievements where the yoke of bogus religiosity is removed.

When approaching new religious movement or sect which offers salvation, healing and even miracles, it is a recipe for trouble if one does not seek out the other side of the coin. Since 2000, the veil of secrecy about Sathya Sai Baba has been pierced and dark facts made public. It is naive not to realise that anti-sectarian indoctrination can easily affect people of apparently sound mind – when they come to need hope, when they convert during an emotional or mental crisis – but even by gradual involvement and induction by very subtle methods developed over millennia. These are advanced means to control and manipulate people into servitude of one kind or another, often with underhand financial agendas – whether it is called ‘spiritual’, and is connected for the person with combinations of financial, social, psychological, and political motives.

If one is impressed by Sai Baba’s occasional ‘thought-reading’ or influence on other people’s minds and other feats that seem ‘miraculous’ just view more and better demonstrations under controlled conditions by the skeptic Derren Brown on his several Channel Four TV series – which he explains as being merely done by suggestion, cold reading and another range of techniques he has developed. These abilities can be learned – and many gurus hand them down to one another. (One can see many of his videos on-line by searching on Google)

The otherworldly longing of persons unable to cope positively with life conditions and the world is a strong human tendency based on handed-down beliefs and theologies which are wholly untested and almost entirely speculative. No wonder India has millions of followers of their gurus who promise (under strict conditions) a better future. It was ever thus… from bread and circus to a most uncertain ‘liberation’ from suffering through death and the promise of an imaginary paradise.

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

Sai Baba Fraud – Comments and Replies

Posted by robertpriddy on September 7, 2007

Some comments received from Vasudeva S. and replies by Robert Priddy
-vasudeva007 Says

Aug 18, 1:01 PMHi Robert Priddy,  I am writing to you after reading some of the material about Satya Sai Baba by you. I have personally seen Baba already having things to materialize in his hand before he actually materialized the objects. Of course I have routinely seen Baba transferring something from left hand to right hand before he creates vibuthi. I have seen this one instance where he had a sugar candy in his left hand before he materialized and gave it to a boy who was laughing. But I do have to say that I have also seen him create things out of no where and by blowing at the objects they get vanished. I am at loss what to belive and what not to beleive. Are this all the tricks Baba is performing on a doubting being like me? Somee of my friends tell me all these are Baba’s leela’s and I should forget about them and one can never understand Baba’s ways. Regards S.

vasudeva007 Says
August 18th, 2007 at 4:21 amHi Robert,
I am not sure if Baba is geniune or fraud. In terms of materializations definitely I have seen some fake ones and real(??) ones. I have seen objects already in his hand before he materialized them. But also I have seen other way round too, Baba creating things from thin air and vanishing them. It all baffles me. Well, I would like to know if Baba is a trickster then there must be extensive network involved in his game play, like some place or people involved where these material objects are manufactured or procured and persons transporting these objects. But, to my knowledge no body has found any such network or persons involved. Any comments from your side?
– Thanks Shenoy

robertpriddy says

Hi Vasudeva,
Think about this – in many cases people have claimed to have seen Sai Baba change physical appearance totally, even several persons together, but at the same time others have been present who have not seen any change at all. This applies to many account of him during public ‘darshan’ – some see haloes, others not and so forth. Now, were these changes (and materializations) real phenomena, then all present would have seen it. Sai Baba does not want anyone to understand his ways, – on the contrary! That is why he has always created a mystery around himself – it began in his childhood! Check out some of my many explanations of these matters on my various web pages.

If you doubt that suggestion can be so powerful as to change people’s states of mind very radically, without more than a few clever words, study the work of UK’s Derren Brown, who can make people picked out of a group on the street or anywhere see and hear things and can find out what they are thinking, exactly what they have on their persons (including written shopping lists). He can very quickly induce a state of drunken stupor in a person (showing just how he does it) and turn it on an off with a few words (even words written on a piece or sent by mobile phone message).

Many well-known, respected people and professional psychologists in UK have attested that there is no fraud whatever involve (no fixing of TV sequences or use of stooges). He says openly there are no psychic powers involved, but many techniques he has learned in observing personal psychology, varying means of suggestion, neuro-linguistic programming, misdirection of attention (as in stage ‘magic’ and pick-pocketing, for example) and much else. He explains some of his techniques in detail. He has a tremendous (possibly ‘photographic’) memory too. He has a very wide ‘repertoire’ and much of what he does is more dramatic that Sai Baba is seen to do. But he remains a sceptic about all ’spiritual’ powers, also about mediumism/contacting the dead, which he has reconstructed in a very convincing way, but he explains how and why he is a sceptic. kind of manipulation of perception done by Derren Brown is most impressive and dramatic – and is also intended to be so. My view is exactly the same as to Sathya Sai Baba. He is a showman and manipulator.

Some of Derren Brown’s work is available on (Search ‘Derren Brown’) and DVDs are available of some of his TV series, with masses of background data and interviews proving the genuineness of his non-psychic but very considerable abilities. I recommend:

Mediumism – Derren Brown
(This is not the best of his demonstrations of mediumism, but it is good enough for that anyhow!)
Discussion on spirituality
Induction of drunkenness
Zombies shoot-up
taring competition

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 Derren Brown, Gurus, hypnosis, Materialization, Miracles, Para-psychology, Sathya Sai Baba | Tagged: | 1 Comment »