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 ‘Joel Kramer’

‘The Guru Papers’: censorship and manipulative control of followers’ minds

Posted by robertpriddy on October 28, 2009

Yet more quotations on gurus which apply with full force to Sathya Sai Baba, who inists he is perfect and pure, despite countless testimonies to the contrary! The title “The Guru Papers – Masks of Authopritarian Power” encapsulates the matter most succinctly.

By holding gurus as perfect and thus beyond ordinary explanations, their presumed specialness can be used to justify anything. Some deeper, occult reason can always be ascribed to anything a guru does: The guru is said to take on the karma of others, and that is why his body has whatever problems it has. The guru is obese or unhealthy because he is too kind to turn down offerings: besides, he gives so much that a little excess is understandable. He punishes those who disobey him not out of anger but out of necessity, as a good father would. He uses sex to teach about energy and detachment. He lives an opulent life to break people’s simplistic preconceptions of what ego-loss should look like; it also shows how detached and unconcerned he is about what others think. For after all, ‘Once enlightened, one can do anything.’ Believing this dictum makes any action justifiable.

“It is not at all unusual to be in an authoritarian relationship and not know it. In fact, knowing it can interfere with surrender. Any of the following are strong indications of belonging to an authoritarian group:

1. No deviation from the party line is allowed. Anyone who has thoughts or feelings contrary to the accepted perspective is made to feel wrong or bad for having them.

2. Whatever the authority does is regarded as perfect or right. Thus behaviors that would be questioned in others are made to seem different and proper.

3. One trusts that the leader or others in the group know what’s best.

4. It is difficult to communicate with anyone not in the group.

5. One finds oneself defending actions of the leader (or other members) without having firsthand knowledge of what occurred.

6. At times one is confused and fearful without knowing why. This is a sign that doubts are being repressed.” (p.57)

“Traditional gurus teach what they were taught. Most gurus’ training in dealing with disciples is through example – watching their own guru. They learn to recognize, reinforce, and reward surrender, and to negate non-surrender. Aside from the more tangible rewards, they reinforce devotion with attention and approval, and punish its lack by withdrawing them. Though some gurus say that doubts are healthy, they subtly punish them. Doubt is not the way to get into the inner circle. Believing surrender is essential for transmitting their teachings, some gurus could be aware they are manipulating people to surrender, but think they are doing so ‘for their own good.’ (If this were in fact true, it would mean that deep truths are only accessible via an authoritarian mode.) This can not only justify manipulation, but also justify dissembling in order to eliminate people’s doubts – all this being done in the name of fostering spiritual growth.” (p.62)

“The power of conversion experiences lies in the psychological shift from confusion to certainty.” (p.65)

“People whose power is based on the surrender of others develop a repertoire of techniques for deflecting and undermining anything that questions or challenges their status, behavior, or beliefs. They ridicule or try to confuse people who ask challenging questions.” (p.66)

“Is experiencing intense energy a sign of spirituality, or is the experience in the same vein as young ladies who swoon in the presence of rock stars?” (p.68)

“To be thought enlightened, one must appear not only certain that one is, but certain about most everything else, too.” (p.70)

“Gurus undercut reason as a path to understanding. When they do allow discursive inquiry, they often place the highest value on paradox. Paradox easily lends itself to mental manipulation. No matter what position you take, you are always shown to be missing  the point; the point being that the guru knows something you do not.” (p.74)

“Their stance toward outsiders is of benign superiority.” (p77)

“As long as the guru still sees the possibility of realizing his ambitions, the way he exercises power is through rewarding the enthusiasms of his followers with praise and positions in his hierarchy. He also whets and manipulates desire by offering ‘carrots,’ and promising that through him the disciples’ desires will be realized, possibly even in this lifetime. The group itself becomes an echo of the guru, with the members filling each other’s needs. Within the community there is a sense of both intimacy and potency, and a celebratory, party-like atmosphere often reigns. Everything seems perfect; everyone is moving along the appropriate spiritual path. The guru is relatively accessible, charming, even fun. All dreams are realizable-even wonderful possibilities beyond one’s ken.” (p.78)

“Many gurus and spiritual authorities negate, make light of, or even ridicule the use and value of Western psychotherapy because its concepts of the unconscious undermine their authority and power. To acknowledge that unconscious factors may be operative in oneself means that one cannot be totally sure one is selfless.” (p.102)

“A primary goal in therapy is to free clients from their need to transfer unresolved issues onto others. This need makes people particularly susceptible to authoritarian control. Good therapists aim at being very conscious of how they deal with transference.”

See overview of the many aspects of cultist indoctrination, especially in reference to the Sathya Sai baba movement and organization here


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    More from the Guru Papers – on sexual abuse

    Posted by robertpriddy on October 27, 2009

    ‘The Guru Papers’ by Joel Kramer and Diane Alstead is a major work exposing the exploitation of authoritarian power by gurus.


    A penetrating analysis is made in ‘The Guru Papers’ of ‘the seductions of surrender’. Common features of power abuses by ‘saints’ or gurus are described, and they are virtual descriptions of such abuses practiced by a long list of Evangelist preachers, Indian gurus, without any being named. Pretending celibacy or ‘purity’ while engaging in sexual activity in secret is a common result of guru power. Power abusers also exploit people so as to consolidate power and this can mean abuse of faith through lies and double standards, and not least sexual abuse of followers. To do this on any scale the guru needs the complicity of people around him, who may well be or be inducted into being sexual abusers themselves.

    Those who try to expose these matters are often subject to slander, defamation and death threats… and not least curses of eternal damnation or the like by the guru, whether private or even in public. Likewise with actual murders, which require fortheir success a very tightly knit circle of complicit persons. All this has been shown in clinical detail to be the case with Sathya Sai Baba by hundreds of testimonies, papers and web documents by many persons from all over the world. A much greater weight of testimony that has not been committed to the Web, partly because many are afraid to have their painful accounts made public and partly because some wish their testimony to come out via responsible media, the law courts or both.

    One measure of the power of dependency on the guru is that so many devotees refuse not only to believe, but even to listen to, anything of this nature – however well-documented or proven… even after decisive proof in court and imprisonment of the guru! The guru will explain it all in vague othenNorldly terms and lay what amounts to a curse on anyone who listens to criticism of him, let alone accepts it. This is a very common pattern among many who have been exposed in recent decades.


    “The potential for violence and abuse in an authoritarian cult is always there, not only because whatever the leader says goes, but also because outsiders are made into “the Other,” which has always been used tojustify violence.” (p.83)

    In the realm of sexuality, the two prevalent ways control is exerted are through promulgating either celibacy or promiscuity…both serve the same function: they minimize the possibilities of people bonding deeply with each other, thus reducing factors that compete with the guru for attention.” (p.92)

    Celibacy does allow one to maintain a certain kind of control of one’s energy and emotions. It also conforms with images of purity. Therefore, it is far easier for a guru to gain and maintain power if he is celibate – or pretends to be.”(p.92)

    Gurus who preach celibacy while secretly engaging in sexuality present sex as an esoteric initiation ritual or advanced spiritual exercise that must be kept hidden… But it is the lie, not the sex, that’s the real issue. The lie indicates the guru’s entire persona is a lie, that his image as selfless and beyond ego is a core deception.” (p.95)

    The standards of purity necessary forthe role of guru must bring unconscious repression and filtering mechanisms that ensure deceit and hypocrisy around self-interest,” (p.106)

    The myriad scandals around sex, money, and powerthat have tainted so many gurus are not surprising, given the structural corruptibility of the role.” (p.113)

    Gurus become totally attached to the power and privileges of their elevated position.” (p. 113)

    The…”guru role makes it extremely difficult to escape the traps of power – the ultimate trap being in the end, gurus lose their humanity.” (p.114)

    All this is particularly relevant to the study of Sathya Sai Baba, who fits the bill for such a guru:

    “When abuses are publicly exposed, the leader either denies or justifies the behaviors by saying that ‘enemies of the truth’ or ‘the forces of evil’ are trying to subvert his true message. Core members of the group have a huge vested interest in believing him, as their identity is wrapped up in believing in his righteousness. Those who begin to doubt him at first become confused and depressed, and later feel betrayed and angry. The ways people deny and justify are similar: Since supposedly no one who is not enlightened can truly understand the motives of one who is, any criticism can be discounted as a limited perspective. Also, any behavior on the part of the guru, no matter how base, can be imputed to be some secret teaching or message that needs deciphering.”

    “A particular form of seduction that the group participates in with those flirting with joining is similar to sexual conquest. The group pours an enormous amount of focused energy and attention into potential recruits until they surrender to the group’s authority, which of course has the guru and his belief system at its center. When someone does surrender, everyone celebrates the new bonding. This is a bit like a new marriage, and for the recruit, it is the honeymoon phase. This lasts as long as it does, and then the focus of the group shifts elsewhere. (This also happens in romantic love, for after the conquest the wooer’s interest and focus often move somewhere else.) When the honeymoon is over, the new converts must shift roles – from being the wooed to being the wooer.” (p.79)

    “But a cult in decline has more trouble selling itself. . . Members and the guru become withdrawn and the focus gets more internal, insular, and isolating. . . The fun is over. The rewards are now put into the distant future (including future lives) and are achievable only through hard work. This not only keeps disciples busy and distracted, but it is necessary because the flow of resources that came with expansion has greatly diminished. This glorification of work always involves improving the leader’s property (the commune or ashram), increasing his wealth, or some other
    grandiose project.” (p82)

    “People are especially vulnerable to charismatic leaders during times of crisis or major life change.” (p.87)

    “People don’t want a second-rate guru; they want the one who seems the best. Since purity is the standard measurement
    – the gold or Greenwich meridian time of the guru world
    – each guru has to claim the most superlative traits.
    This is naturally a breeding ground for hypocrisy, lies, and the cultivation of false images of purity. Gurus are thus forced to assume the role of the highest, best, the most enlightened, the most loving, the most selfless, the purest representative of the most profound truths; for if they did not, people would go to one who does. Consequently, it is largely impossible for a guru to permit himself real intimacy, which in adults requires a context of equality. All his relationships must be hierarchical, since that is the foundation of his attraction and power.” (p.88)

    “Since adulation from any one person eventually becomes boring, gurus do not need any specific disciple – they need lots of them. Gurus do give special attention to those with wealth and power.” (p.89)

    “Gurus likewise do many things to ensure that their disciples’ prime emotional allegiance is toward them. In the realm of sexuality, the two prevalent ways control is exerted are through promulgating either celibacy or promiscuity. Although seemingly opposite, both serve the same function: they minimize the possibilities of people bonding deeply with each other, thus reducing factors that compete with the guru for attention.” (p.92)

    “. . . sex scandals go with the occupation of the guru because of its [the position’s] emotional isolation and eventual boredom. Disciples are just there to serve and amuse the guru who, after all, gives them so much. The guru’s temptation is exacerbated by the deep conditioning in many women to be attracted to men in power.” (p.93)

    “Gurus, like fathers, are in a context that gives them enormous power because of their disciples’ needs, trust, and dependency. One reason incest is a betrayal of trust is what a daughter needs from her father is a sense of self-worth not specifically linked to her sexuality. Sex with the guru is similarly incestuous because a guru ostensibly functions as a spiritual father to whom one’s growth is entrusted. Having sex with a parental figure reinforces using sex for power. This is not what young women (or men) need for their development. When the guru drops them, which eventually he does, feelings of shame and betrayal usually result that leave deep scars.” (p.94)

    “Fostering promiscuity, impersonal sex, and interchangeable sexual partners accomplishes the same agenda as celibacy. It trivializes sexual attraction and undermines coupling. Casual, disconnected, modular sex eventually leaves people satiated, jaded, and often hurt. They become fearful of forming deep relationships, which fits neatly into the guru’s need to have disciples detached from everything but him.” (p.99)

    Here is an index of links on the SAI BABA ALLEGED SEXUAL ABUSES – a documented overview of the history and extent of the alleged sexual abuses by Sathya Sai Baba and examination of questions they raise.

    See further extensive quotes from the Guru Papers

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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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    The Guru Papers – and Sathya Sai Baba

    Posted by robertpriddy on October 25, 2009

    Sathya Sai Baba is a typical Indian guru both in his claims, his methods and the way he relates to those who become his followers. How well he fits the pattern of self-professing avatars, ‘spiritual teachers’ and how typical are his methods of manipulating his followers can be see in great detail by studying the impressive seminal work ‘The Guru Papers, Masks of Authoritarian Power’ by Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad – publ. Frog, Ltd., Berkeley, California; 1993. Here are some links to explanation on how Sai Baba fits the mold described so well by Kramer and Alstead. See KRAMER – ALSTEAD: ‘THE GURU PAPERS – AND AUTHORITARIAN POWER’

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