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 ‘John Hislop’

‘My Baba and I’ by Dr. John Hislop – Sai Baba miracles

Posted by robertpriddy on December 5, 2010

'My Baba and I' cover of J. Hislop's book'My Baba and I' by J. Hislop - prefaceThe second book by Hislop on Sathya Sai Baba contained many much more extraordinary materials about alleged Sai miracles that Hislop claims to have experienced through many of his years of being a follower. The scan from the preface on the right sets the tone of the book, which tone I characterize as a the product of what by then was a completely uncritical, highly indoctrinated and suggestible mind. Hislop’s writing about his Lord and Master almost reeks of naivety or gullibility, but even so it is not taken to the excessive lengths of subservient mind-boggled pseudo-poetry of the ‘official biographer’ Professor N. Kasturi or of biographical devotees like Smt. Vijaya Kumari (‘Vijayamma’)

Some brief excerpts, with comments:-

SAI: Crime has become very bad in India. There is no safety.

JOHN HISLOP: Swami, this is not particular to India. The same is true all over the world. How will it end?

SAI: To the good. In a few years, all will be peaceful.

JH: But Swami, it is getting worse, and it is the Kali Yuga (a world period of diminishing virtue).

SAI: No. It is not as bad now as it was. It is like in the ocean. There is a time of high waves, and there may be some peak waves that crash heavily on the shore, but this is followed by a calm and peaceful sea.

JH: We are fortunate to be alive so that we may see this peaceful world.

SAI: You will all see it. Even the old men will live to see it.

Comment: More than “a few years” have passed since 1978, but things are still very bad in India. One can say there is still no safety. Consider one item only: UNICEF reports “With an estimated 12.6 million children engaged in hazardous occupations (2001 Census), for instance, India has the largest number of child labourers under the age of 14 in the world.” This is but one of countless major issues of lacking public safety in India. When Hislop died in 1995, the world could hardly have been considered to be peaceful, nor is it in 2010 (J.Hislop. My Baba and I. Indian edition, p.188 – (Interview of 1978))

There are a number of fantastic accounts in ‘My Baba and I’ by Hislop of Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged miracles. These include:-

1) The apparent manifestation of a crucifix with a Jesus figurine said by SB to be from an original piece of wood of the cross by Sai Baba, ” to find which took a little time” he said! For full account see here

2) At the same site out in the jungle, the production of a Shiva lingam from his mouth by Sai Baba (it being Shivarathri) and the production also there  by Sai Baba from the sand of a silver flask filled with ‘amrith’ (translated as ‘holy nectar’) See more here

(J.Hislop. My Baba and I. Indian edition, p.189 (Interview of 1980)) 

SAI: In all countries there is a rapid deterioration of the human quality. JOHN HISLOP: When will it change for the better?

SAI: Soon there will be a change.

JH: When is soon, Swami? Twenty years? Ten years?

SAI: No. Now. Already there is some slight improvement in India. One cause of the general deterioration in the world is rapid communication. This allows advertising and publicity to have a strong influence on people. Your American election is an illustration of how the leaders are television actors.

JH: Swami, there is no evidence of a change for the better.

SAI: If there is a change, it will be a universal change. Not local. It will occur every place.

Comment: Sai Baba, when buttonholed for once by Hislop, defines his word ‘soon’ and meaning ‘Now’, on the grounds that there was already some “slight improvement” in India then. For the hundreds of millions below subsistence levels things have hardly changed at all and often got worse by 2010.


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Sathya Sai Baba makes many promises

Posted by robertpriddy on July 4, 2009

To start with the simpler promises like “I will give interview tomorrow”, “I will visit your home”. “I am always with you”, “I shall give you a room at the ashram” etc. When Sathya Sai Baba does not follow up as promised, it is said by the faithful 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 crazy – why could not God Almighty Himself express himself clearly? God would have to know how each person understands what he promises them.

HislopBabaOne 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 rationalised 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.

Many devotees at the ashrams pray for his help in the most trivial of matters and many talk about him helping them with everyday problems that can easily be solved by other means. Any sober-minded person who visits the ashrams for some time will soon learn to discount these highly fanciful claims as muddled make-believe by over-indoctrinated people.

Read more about Sai Baba’s promises and breaks of trust


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

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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.

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