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 ‘Howard Murphet’

Joel Riordan ‘rainbow man’ (Sai Baba ‘mega-miracle’)

Posted by robertpriddy on November 7, 2014

Sai Baba's 'Rainbow man' JoelJoel Riordan, a Hollywood film producer, writer and director, was  seriously considered divorcing his wife Diana, who was already a believer and had been to Prashanthi twice because of her belief in the supposed miracles Sathya Sai Baba (which her mother also shared).

He went with her to India with came with the intention of exposing Baba, who he sarcastically called a ‘character’, Joel later said that he told ‘an important guy’ he knew in Hollywood that he would ask Sai Baba for a rainbow, as he thought only God could create a rainbow (!!). He made a point of stating that there was no chance his Hollywood friend knew any Sai devotees from California who might have carried this information to Sai Baba as he had later checked on that, but also that, on the plane over, he had told his wife about what he would ask. At the time, his wife Diane later wrote, “Joel’s business crumbled. He tried desperately to save it but it failed. His friends slowly dropped away and life began to weight heavily upon him.” Their visit to Sai Baba together took place in the early 1970s, her mother having been there already for 2 months.

One “hot, dry day” after arriving at the ashram, a bright rainbow appeared in the western sky. The rainbow was, however, not a rainbow but a straight vertical column. (Presumably it had the spectrum colours, though this was not specified as such by Joel or his wife). His wife also confirmed, when asked later, that she had seen it. The spectral column faded from the bottom up (but how long it lasted was not said). No other witnesses came forward to support having seen this, neither at the time nor since. Had it happened surely many would have noticed it (and probably drawn the conclusion that it was another of Sai Baba’s leelas). 

Allegedly, when Diane, Joel and Christina (their daughter) were invited to an interview, Sai Baba allegedly said “Well, character, how did you like your rainbow?” Joel later told, “It all blew my mind.” But Joel soon recovered to set a new test for Sai Baba directly and without warning, asking him mentally to produce any fresh out-of-season fruit. He reported that Sai Baba waved his hand and produced a fresh ‘out-of-season’ fig and it is reported that Joel said “He handed it to me without a word”.

How can one explain this apparently indubitable miracle?

If you believe the story before trying to explain it, that is a distinct disadvantage, of course! It is not impossible that the extreme heat, thirst, feeling parched, disoriented, angry at the “primitive living conditions” and Joel’s emotional turmoil caused him to ‘see things’. A bunch of feathers can famously (seem to) become a whole chicken under certain emotional circumstances. Most likely he had the perception he described to Murphet. But Diane was actually not impressed by what she perceived, as she made clear in her 1990 book (see scan). This would at least defuse critics who may see the entire story as invented, or a lie to get attention. Diane may have felt, under the pressure of the situation, she could not refute what he claimed to have seen… much stranger claims are made by partners in critical life situations. Meanwhile, note that the account was first published by Howard Murphet in his book,“Sai Baba Avatar”, who was a major hagiographer devotee of Sai Baba, and whose reporting was often glib and vague on back-up details and whose books were all full of alleged miracles, a considerable number of which have since been shown to be false accounts or exaggerated reports uncritically accepted by Murphet. Among other fanciful Murphet stories is one on how Sri Aurobindo had, through paranormal influence, caused Hitler to take the fateful decision to invade Russia in June 1941! (Believe that if you can, despite the overwhelming evidence of Hitler’s long pre-planned date).

rainbow_manLater Diane wrote up the episode as she experienced it (see scan excerpt from her book & disclaimer). Note that this faith-changing ‘divine miracle’ was evidently crucial to the Riordans’ continued marriage, which did not break down until some years later, when Joel left his wife. Joel has reportedly said before he agreed to visit Sai Baba, “But there was my daughter Chrissie to think of. Anyway, I finally decided that, before doing anything drastic,” Diane Riordan (later Diane Baskin) had been married by Sai Baba himself to Joel Riordan, who turned out very badly, according to Diane in her book ‘Divine Memories of Sathya Sai Baba‘ first published in 1990. Sai Baba had already made Robert Baskin a very close favourite (!!) and he introduced them to each other and told them to wed.

As a Hollywood writer, producer and director, Joel Riordan – clearly a ‘big ego’ person – would have no doubt wished his visit to Sai Baba to be a success, firstly in exposing him but subsequently (after his turnaround) as a figure in the Sai movement, in which he certainly succeeded for some time. He was clearly in both a business, social and life crisis… in short, typical fertile ground for a sudden religious conversion. He would certainly have understood that, to be blessed by Sai Baba with a unique miracle would make his name at the ashram and so among the world-wide Sai devotees, while being ignored would have been a further major personal defeat (as his wife would no doubt be strongly affected by it too). One may surmise that he invented the story and that his wife was pleased to agree that she saw it so as to save her marriage. Those who have been deeply involved with Sai devotees as was I (not least as leader of the Oslo and Norwegian Sai organisation for 18 years) know of them inventing stories about their miracles and leelas from Sai Baba. I have seen followers go to considerable such lengths to gain respect from members and leaders, or to get recognition, organisation privileges and influence in centres etc. That Riordan was accepted by Sai Baba surely had much to do with his wife and her mother already being known as dutiful devotees, but also it is noteworthy that Sai Baba almost never denounced those who told big stories which could increase his following.

Not all stories are what they may seem – especially in a cult

A number of details in Joel’s story are vague and open to question. For example, how did he ensure that his important guy in Hollywood did not speak to anyone who could have spread the news to others or warned the ashram of his intention? Further, to whom may he have spoken about the rainbow during the rest of the day before he was granted an interview next morning, which included Sai Baba’s closest servitor, Professor N. Kasturi. Diane Baskin wrote that he informed them of the interview to come. Surely Joel or Diane would not have been able to keep quite about it with the total besotted believer Kasturi? It was known in the ashram that Kasturi always spoke to Sai Baba very early each morning before interviews, as did the head of the ashram, and Sai Baba usually asked them ‘What news?’. The ashram had many undercover informants who fed what they overheard or learned from others back to Sai Baba on a daily basis, gaining kudos for their efforts.

Another (minor) discrepancy arose when Diane Baskin wrote that Sai Baba gave the fig he produced to her for their daughter, while the official Sai site states that he handed it directly to Joel. As to the ‘out-of-season’ fig, Joel reportedly asked some villagers who sold fruits if they had fresh figs. They did not and apparently told him that no one could find a single fig in South India. (Knowing these fruit sellers of old, I think that – since they had no fresh figs – they would say something like that in the hope he would buy other fruits from them!). However, there are two seasons for figs in Andhra Pradesh: May/June and December through January. The month of the visit is not recorded either by Diane Baskin or Murphet, but it was “very hot and dry” with a clear cloudless sky and “even the water was warm in that season.” Also “the country… looked grim and parched-made me feel dehydrated just to see it“, all of which fits best with May-June before the monsoon).

Advertisements

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

Sai Inner Views and Insights – Howard Murphet

Posted by robertpriddy on March 18, 2011

In the acknowledgement to his last book ‘Sai Inner Views and Insights”, Howard Murphet writes of, ‘my growing public around the world’ (p iii) which shows his ego was alive and well (i.e. “ego” as the bane derided by ‘the avatar’ to the n’th degree). Murphet was blind, bereaved and in depression at the time of writing this swan song to his long series of Sai-wonder hagiographies, which did not contribute to him giving up his delusory faith in the paradise offered by Sathya Sai Baba to his devotees… on the contrary.  (Sathya Sai Baba who is given to any cheap play on words especially to puncture egos,  would sometimes say to him “Murphet… not perfect!”. I once heard him say it myself. Murphet fully demonstrates his credulity and unfounded belief agenda in this book, as in those that went before, such as in the following quotation:-

“We had met her the year before at the first Sai Baba World Conference in 1968 at Bombay — where, to the many thousands present, Sai Baba announced his identity as an Avatar of the divine. As he made the announcement, the lights went off dramatically and came on by themselves a few minutes later. This signal of the lights, untouched by man, seemed to give a powerful significance to the announcement.”
– Howard Murphet, Sai Inner Views and Insights, p. 31.

'Sai Inner Views and Insights' by Howard MurphetThe lights going off invariably only signals that India’s power system is as unreliable as ever… and so not a meaningful coincidence at all. Why it should be of positive significance is unexplained – lights going off would rather indicate something negative – instead signalling darkness and a lapse of truth and reason? But not to blind believer Howard Murphet, who would transform every negative fact about his revered god-guru into a proof of his divinity, as he has done assiduously since the major revelations about sexual abuse and murder complicity by Sathya Sai Baba spread across the Internet from 1999 onwards.

Another example of Murphet’s willingness to believe anything that hints of a possible miracle or ‘leela’ (i.e. ‘divine play)’ by Sai Baba was reported by Tony O’Clery as follows:-

According to Murphet, Sathya Sai Baba “…told Valmai Worthington to tell the ‘Pink Twins’ from Australia to be cured of their arthritic knees by him. He even told them to cancel their appointments for knee replacement surgery.
From Murphet’s  ‘Sai Inner Views and Insights’, ch..’Dorothy’s Knees’..p116-120. Leela Press…1996.

 (It is also on an Ashram Video showing sb walking Dorothy out to the crowd of devotees to show the great ‘cure’ he had achieved.)

”Dorothy was given a chance to have knee replacement in Brisbane but sb said this… ‘No Swami replied… No operation.”

Valmai asked him again. ‘Swami I want to make sure I understand you correctly about Dorothy’s knees. The surgeon says she must have an operation. Please tell me again what you said about that?
Swami replied, quite decisively “No operation I will operate, I will cure her.” So being happy about this Dorothy cancelled the surgery after being on the waiting list in Brisbane. She was in Australia at the time but made the painful trip to India for her ‘cure’. The whole thing was a psychological adrenalin show and on return to Australia she found she wasn’t cured at all… sb used her for temporary propaganda purposes after they had devoted their lives to him at SWARA.”

Sathya Sai did the following:”They came, he circled his hands over the knees, with coloured vibhuti and then walked her around to show a cure. She could manage to walk a little anyway, but in pain.”
“I was a member of the SWARA centre – where Dorothy and her sister worked -, for the years 1986 and 1987, with partial year attendances through to 1992, after that my Australian attendances were in the Sydney Centres only, and I was the secretary of the Vancouver Sai centre and was well known in Canada. My friend lived with them, and my children knew them both as well. So it was more than a passing acquaintance. There is even a photo of me working as a volunteer there. It was sent to India, perhaps it is in the book with all the others.
Well folks that was it, next time in Oz I saw her at the ‘Wayside Chapel’ in Sydney she was uncured for all to see. …The fact remains Dorothy was in a wheelchair in 1993 and still up to her death in 2003 as indicated by her sister and ABC.”

O’Clery also pointed out that no one has “…explained why Dorothy needed a wheelchair from the time of the so called cure right up to when she died. A ten year period in front of umpteen numbers of people, and on video and TV.
There are claims that she was walking around for 3 years as cured. This is not true, she was using her walking sticks etc and in a wheelchair, when tired. I don’t know what kind of meds she was taking either, although she was under a doctors care for the condition still. There was no time of remission at all. She could always walk haltingly for a short time anyway… There was never any remission.
Yet sb didn’t promise only a (3 years) break of her illness (which she didn’t get anyway), but a complete cure. Even telling her to cancel her surgery as he would fix her and she would never need crutches and wheelchairs for the rest of her life.
I personally saw her in company of several dozens of people two years later in front of many people and she wasn’t cured at all, besides I talked to her during that 3 years. She told me the healing would be gradual; well she died before it graduated.
Moiya, told me that she didn’t want Sai Baba to cure her as Dorothy was worse. Dorothy suffered from ‘True Believer Syndrome’, as devotees do these days and couldn’t face the fact that she may have wasted a lot of energy in her life believing in a fraud. Even to the extent of not believing her own disabled body, hadn’t been cured…”

Murphet also wrote some highly imaginative ideas about Gorbachev. Some while after he came to power, Murphet was at an interview, but did not dare ask Sai Baba about Gorbie. Instead he wrote: “A mental question is as good as a verbal one to Swami. His eyes gave me the affirmative answer but all his lips said was, “Gorbachev is a good man.” I knew then that he had played some wonderful, powerful tune on the akashic strings that had manoeuvred circumstance and brought about the great change.” (ital. above are mine)
In one book, Murphet thought that a speck of light on a photo of ‘the avatar’ he took was caused by his miraculous leela (i.e. divine miraculous sport). Anyone who knows a bit about photography in India knows that such spots occur often on developed prints, the cause most likely being heat during the developing process. Murphet asked Sathya Sai Baba if it as his leela, and for once Sai Baba said it was due to a flaw in the photography.

See also: Overview over Howard Murphet’s spiritual ideology
Howard Murphet and Sai Baba as ‘Man of Miracles’

Howard Murphet books:-
— 1971: Sai Baba: Man of Miracles, London. [Reprinted by Samuel Weiser, York Beach, 1973 and subsequently]
— 1977: Sai Baba Avatar. A New Journey into Power and Glory, San Diego, Birth Day, 1977.
— 1980: ‘The Finger of God’, Golden Age, 1980, pp. 35-40.
— 1982: Sai Baba. Invitation to Glory, Delhi, MacMillan,
— 1983. [Republished in USA in 1993 as Walking the Path with Sai Baba, York Beach, Samuel Weiser]
— 1993a: Walking the Path with Sai Baba, York Beach, Samuel Weiser.
— 1993b: Where the Road Ends, [N.S.W. Australia], Butterfly Books. [Later editions: Faber, VA, Leela Press.]
— 1996: Sai Inner Views and Insights, Faber, VA, Leela Press.Howard

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

Howard Murphet and Sai Baba as ‘Man of Miracles’

Posted by robertpriddy on February 8, 2011

Howard Murphet of Australia was one of the earliest, most productive and most read authors about Sathya Sai Baba. His ‘Man of Miracles’ was one of the main reasons for non-Indians to be drawn to visit this self-proclaimed God Incarnate, avatar of the age and much more, whose miracles he himself claims were to attract people to him. (Meanwhile, many of the miracles have widely been shown to be fraudulent).

Murphet has, however, indicted himself in the eyes of all sane and decent-minded people by a vicious attack on the many honourable accusers of Sathya Sai Baba for sexually abusing them, and – for ‘good measure’ – against all those dissenters who will not return to Sai Baba’s “Holy Feet” after the gross abuse of their faith! This attack was sent out as widely as possible in a letter Murphet wrote for the benefit of devotees: From his high horse, Murphet wrote:Those working against the Avatar, unless they go to the unredeemable level of becoming demonic will someday in some life come back to the Divine Feet. This I pray and for this I send them my Love.” As if such empty and sententious words would help all those abused and defrauded in various ways by Sai Baba ever to wish to return to him!

The success of Murphets’ Sai Baba books owes much to their frequent fairy story quality, the over-dramatization of supposed major miracles and the doings of the fabulous avatar come to save humanity, including Murphet himself (he believed that a waking dream of Sai Baba had immediately cured him of “an incurable disease “). This is not difficult to imagine, as I did something very similar for a time… until I realised that the improvement was temporary and had another cause (warmth of India). Not least because I found out we were being lied to about so many things by Sai Baba and I began to go more carefully thought my experiences, finding many other acceptable explanations for many of them. Over-zealous interpretations are the cause of most such apparent healing by Sai Baba (or anyone else)

Murphet already believed many things that are beyond the pale of all reason or informed commentary before he acclaimed the truth of almost everything about Sai Baba. Thereafter he never presumed to admit the slightest critical thought or questioning word to enter any of his many published eulogies of Sathya Sai Baba and his miracles. His early involvement (which he never gave up) was with the Theosophical Society and the antics of Madame Blavatsky, and her mystery teachers, the ‘invisible Himalayan master’ Kuthumi and El Moya. He wrote in a widely posted letter:

This is part of Murphet's definitive belief system, unsupported as it is except in his peculiar fanciful speculation.

“And I know too, that He is being supported by man workers in the force field of light such as the Ascended Masters, two of them who I had much to do when I was researching the biographies of the outward founders of the Theosophical Movement.” Murphet always imagined he ‘knew’ many things none could know! Moreover, Blavatsky was unable to give any proof of their actual existence. She was involved in naming the coming Messiah, the Indian boy Jiddu Krishnamurti, who was virtually kidnapped to become this figure. When he reached adulthood he refuted that he was in any way such a figure,  and discredited the Theosophists very thoroughly.

Here are some more of Murphet’s unsupported and very naive beliefs:-The young Avatar, Sathya Sai Baba, was twenty years old when this war ended. His spiritual power had no doubt helped in the victory of the forces of Light. Another great spiritual leader of the time, Sri Aurobindo, whom Swami had named an Avatar of the Individual, stated during the war that if the Axis forces of tyranny and darkness won the war, the divine plan would be set back by a thousand years. So he himself played a powerful part to ensure that victory went to the Allied forces of individual, democratic freedom.”
Comment: Hitler’s megalomaniac boast of the Thousand year Reich had impressed Aurobindoe
, of whom Murphet has related how Aurobindo meditated deeply so as to influence Hitler’s decision when to attack Russia so he did it at the wrong time, thereby losing the war! Historically, however, the timing of the attack was forced later than planned by the rush of events, the dire need to get started before winter would cut off the advances (as it actually did too soon). Hitler ordered the long-planned invasion immediately after enough forces from the unwanted Balkan diversion were available again. The delay frustrated Hitler greatly and it was due to the calculated British delaying tactic, their intervention in the Balkan region.

Like all followers, Murphet was often too timid to ask Sai Baba things about himself outright, so he guessed on the basis of signs he interpreted what the answer was: “Somehow I did not feel it was right to ask him this great question in front of others. So mentally I asked him very definitely if he had brought about the change of government in Russia. A mental question is as good as a verbal one to Swami. His eyes gave me the affirmative answer but all his lips said was, “Gorbachev is a good man.” I knew then that he had played some wonderful, powerful tune…”

This is one way in which Sai Baba is falsely attributed such limitless power… but anyone who knows what actually happened knows it is of course an absurdity! The same had been claimed by various devotees as to the freedom fight of Nelson Mandela and the election of Barack Obama… all Sai Baba’s doing!

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

More evidence against Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on July 2, 2010

There is no shortage of circumstantial and other evidence about Sathya Sai Baba’s obscene practices’   – here from a posting made by a student on Yahoo groups (here) in reply to some follower. He was one of the lucky ones because his closest relatives abandoned Sathya Sai Baba – while many students can’t even get their blind believing parents to believe them about the sex abuses! He also notes how absurd stories were swallowed whole by the Sai-praising hagiographer Howard Murphet etc.!More evidence from another student who knew the true facts about Sathya Sai Baba


Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and his Worldwide Organization
View ex-follower signatures

(Spanish version
PETICIÓNPÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES)

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

How the Sathya Sai mythology emerged beyond India

Posted by robertpriddy on March 4, 2009

The ‘first wave’ of publicity in the USA about Sathya Sai Baba came via Bob Raymer and associates. Australian Howard Murphet (author of  best-selling ‘Man of Miracles’) heard of Sai Baba from Bob Raymer and a second wave came to the USA via him and the yoga teacher Indra Devi and her friends. Other early US devotee proselyltizers who wrote hagiographies were Indra Devi, Arnold Schulman, Charles Penn, Hilda Charlton, Bob Rayman, Elsie and Walter Cowan, and Howard Levin (in the 1990s).  Fellow American Arnold Schulman’s 1971 book (‘Baba’) attracted much attention in USA, but he shows reluctance to see Sathya Sai Baba as God and never became a devotee. Tal Brooke wrote pro-Sai materials but later became  the first well-known ‘defector’ and critic of Sathya Sai Baba as a sexual abuser.

Three influential hagiographers

Three influential hagiographers

Most important in building the mythology – and the contact net for the Sathya Sai Organization in the Americas was Dr. John ‘Jack’ Hislop. His  associates and readers have long recirculated his stories and ‘incredible’ claims, which are packed with gullible zeal, spiritual ambition and naive humility. Among the most noteworthy implausible stories  of John Hislop is the claimed resurrection from the dead of the US millionaire Walter Cowan, which has been thoroughly disproven by Professor Erlendur Haraldsson and Basava Premanand.

The Walter Cowan resurrection story has been one of the most influential of Sathya Sai Baba’s claimed miracles, and as Brian Steel writes: “For decades, John Hislop and many other major and minor other spokespersons and devotees have boldly promoted and advertised as absolute proof of the Divine Powers of Sathya Sai Baba the most improbable story of the Hislop Crucifix, the picture of the predicted Prema Sai Baba on Hislop’s ring and the completely unsupported claim of the “resurrection” of Hislop’s friend, Walter Cowan. The authority and influence of such Sai celebrities has played a major role in the success of the international SSB Mission. The numbers of foreigners attracted to the Sathya Sai Baba fold since 1971 by this persuasive promotion is incalcuable.

Hislop states that in a conversation with Sathya Sai Baba at distant Prasanthi Nilayam a week later, the latter made this claim: “Mr Cowan died three times. I had to bring him back three times” (Ruhela, 240). What the story lacked from the outset was medical proof of the death. .. ” ( see Brian Steel’s thorough analysis of Hislop and the Cowan myth)

Sathya Sai Baba, who never shuns publicity when it is under his own control or that of his minions, encourages devotees to share their experiences of him, by which they are led to believe they obtain ‘holy grace’ and not least privileges when visiting the ashrams.

Perhaps the other single most influential book in promoting the fantastic claims about miracles which surpass in number and inventiveness anything attributed to Jesus, was the first volume of the  “official Sathya Sai Baba biography” by Professor  N. Kasturi, ‘Sathyam, Sivam, Sundaram, Part I!’ was largely the result of post factum reconstructions of events related by impressionable and uneducated villagers’ stories and general hearsay about his ‘major miracles’. Kasturi faithfully internalised all of Sathya Sai Baba’s so-called “teachings’ and repeated completely uncritically whatever Sathya Sai Baba said to him, in this way spreading and virtually endorsing the truth of it all.

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

Howard Murphet on the ‘Man of Miracles’

Posted by robertpriddy on January 27, 2009

Howard Murphet was once a budding Theosophist, also a devotee biographer of Madame Blavatshy and other discredited theosophists before he stumbled further along his spiritual path until he ended up with Sathya Sai Baba.  After a few years he wrote a book in a popular and sensational style called “Sai Baba, Man of Miracles”. This book was one of the main reasons for non-Indians to be drawn to visit this self-proclaimed God Incarnate, avatar of the age and much more, whose miracles were supposed to be hooks to attract people.

Howard Murphet

As with everyone who gets to gets at all close Sathya Sai Baba, he has to be  put down in some way in front of other interviewees, and Murphet was often referred to as “Murphet, not Perfect”… not perhaps the most ingenious pun from the Director of the Cosmos! But it raises a laugh and such things keep people in their place. Indeed, not that Murphet ever presumed to admit the slightest critical thought or questioning word to enter any of his many published eulogies of  Sathya Sai Baba and his miracles.

Murphet is nothing if not full of incredulity with fantasy stories, such as when he enthuses about the battle between Light and Dark forces since the “at least the age of Rama”. He pronounces that “World War I was really a forerunner of the next war involving almost the whole of the world and known as World War II…”
How interesting, not many people know that. Murphet also states authoritatively that “The young Avatar, Sathya Sai Baba, was twenty years old when this war ended. His spiritual power had no doubt helped in the victory of the forces of Light.” This is more like hysterics that history. But there is more to come:

“Sri Aurobindo…  stated during the war that if the Axis forces of tyranny and darkness won the war, the divine plan would be set back by a thousand years. So he himself played a powerful part to ensure that victory went to the Allied forces of individual, democratic freedom.” Aurobindo took Hitler literally about the Thousand year Reich, it seems. Murphet also uncritically repeated how Aurobindo meditated hard and managed to change Hitler’s mind so he attacked Russia at the wrong time, so losing the war! Well, not many historians know that, for certain!

Such credulity hardly strengthens Murphet’s  credibility with educated persons, no more does his unquestioning acceptance of hearsay about miracles which he published without more than cursory questioning. He has plenty more like it when he relates other personal experiences around Sai Baba which his mind span into the shape of proofs of transcendental powers in his guru. His writings are confined within the ‘received wisdom’ that controls the minds of the converted.

Murphet also wrote some highly imaginative ideas about Gorbachev. Some while after he came to power, Murphet was at an interview, but did not dare ask Sai Baba about Gorbie. Instead he wrote: “A mental question is as good as a verbal one to Swami. His eyes gave me the affirmative answer but all his lips said was, “Gorbachev is a good man.” I knew then that he had played some wonderful, powerful tune on the akashic strings that had manoeuvred circumstance and brought about the great change.” (ital. above are mine)

In one book, Murphet thought that a speck of light on a photo of ‘the avatar’ he took was caused by his miraculous leela (i.e. divine miraculous sport). Anyone who knows a bit about photography in India knows that such spots occur often on developed prints, the cause most likely being heat during the developing process. Murphet asked Sathya Sai Baba if it as his leela, and for once Sai Baba said it was due to a flaw in the photography.

Read more Murphet imperfections

Pro-Murphet propaganda stuff is found at (see http://www.saibabaofindia.com/howard_murphet_lights_of_home.html)

Posted in Delusion, Guru Cult, Gurus, Miracles, Sathya Sai Baba | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba books and publications

Posted by robertpriddy on January 16, 2009

Books and writings endorsed by Sathya Sai Baba There are hundreds of books about Sai Baba in English alone. Sathya Sai Baba has stated to his servitors like V.K. Narasimhan that he loves to read books by authors who praise him. He is lauded by most writers, not only to the skies, but to above the highest heaven. He showers his supposed ‘grace’ only upon writers of  rose-coloured and totally uncritical accounts of himself.

Unbelievable eulogies came from such writers as his biographer N. Kasturi, the Balu family, John Hislop, Howard Murphet, Samuel Sandweiss, Peggy Mason, J. Jegathesan, Phyllis Krystal, Joy Thomas, Rita Bruce, Birgitte Rodriguez and many more.  I admit that I was deceived at the time I wrote my positive book about him – though it as one of the most restrained of all of them (excepting Prof. Erlendur Haraldssons occasionally critical book). Only when I learned so much that I was forced – against my inclination –  to re-evaluate nearly everything about him and to think critically and investigate thoroughly, did I begin to do so.

Meanwhile, most of the other authors have invested too much of their prestige and lives in their writings and engagement with this supposed ‘avatar’ of Vishnu, Rama and Krishna etc. to be able to be honest enough to investigate the evidence and realise many of their mistakes about him.  This is reprehensible, of course, but the world will judge them when all the evidence is in, and it will certainly be to consider them major dupes, even though well-intentioned ones. Knowing a good deal about the tribulations at the hands of Sai Baba and his minions of several of  the authors, their books are now mostly noteworthy to me for what they do not tell or consciously suppress!
Authors who lavish praise on Sai Baba whose books he has in general said he enjoys reading include:-

Howard Murphet – earliest promoter of Sathya Sai Baba as the ‘Man of Miracles

Smt Vijayamma ‘Refuge other thn you I have none’

Rita Bruce – hagiographer

Birgitte Rodriguez – Glimpses of the Divine

Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘pet’ psychiatrist, Dr. Samuel Sandweiss
Robert Priddy

See here for selections from the text of ‘Source of the Dream’ with my present comments

See a comprehensive, fully sourced bibliography of all extant books by or about Sathya Sai Baba and his movement in English:
“An Annotated Working Bibliography for Research on Sathya Sai Baba. Part 1” by Brian Steel (WORD doc.)
To Part 2 of the Bibliography

To Part 3 To ‘New Factors for Researchers’

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