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 ‘Kevin R.D. Shepherd’

Ullrich Zimmermann and Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on October 12, 2018

Ullrich  Zimmermann

In October 2008, the Equalizer (Moreno) blog Kevin Shepherd Exposed reproduced the gist of earlier Moreno assertions about Ullrich Zimmermann. This ex-devotee had provided three lengthy online video interviews describing his relationship with Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011).

Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) opted to caricature my comment that Zimmermann had contributed “one of the most arresting testimonies of sexual abuse” in relation to Sathya Sai Baba. Critics say that Moreno was desperate to distract attention from the basic issue of abuse.

Zimmermann was confused on many points by his indoctrination at an early age; he was only fourteen years old when he first contacted Sathya Sai in the ashram at Puttaparthi. An activity of sexual abuse is discernible in his reminiscences of the guru, accompanied by exaggerated references reflecting some devotee beliefs. Clinically, this sort of material is very evocative, and deemed important by psychiatrists and other specialists. 

The commentator Robert Priddy entitled his report Ex-Sai Devotee Speaks Out Convincingly, and in relation to sexual abuse. Moreno countered by saying that the testimony of Zimmermann was unbelievable. The Pro-Sai campaigner invented a series of verbal diversions.

Avoiding the crux,  Moreno resorted to a puerile argument that Kevin Shepherd, a “strong Anti-New Age advocate” was citing the testimony of “a New Age follower against [Sathya] Sai Baba.” I was supposed to be “giving credence to New Age beliefs.” Moreno diverted attention from the basic issue by stating that Zimmermann was “a New Age follower of Ramtha.” This theme was further twisted into the erroneous statement that I was “willing to give credence to New Age beliefs by claiming that New Age followers are intelligent, honest, credible and reliable.”

What I actually wrote on this subject earlier that same year contradicts the Moreno tangent: 

“It is obvious that Zimmermann and other Western devotees were afflicted by concepts and syndromes deriving from the ‘miracle’ projection which Sathya Sai encouraged at their expense. Some of them could not think clearly in emerging from their predicament. Zimmermann expressed misapprehensions about such matters as ‘genital switch miracles,’ and became further distracted by Ramtha channelling…. The due evaluation (by Priddy) is completely ignored by Moreno, who indulges in the injurious subversion of context for which he is notorious amongst ex-devotees…. Diverse analysts have concluded that it is useless to compose responses to such a sectarian agent of misrepresentation. 

“Despite confusions in the reports of Zimmermann, that source does testify to sexual abuse and the common acceptance of this disparity at the Puttaparthi ashram of the guru. Zimmermann narrates a personal experience of oral sex with the guru, and says that the homosexual activities of Sathya Sai were well known to many ashram residents. Such details serve to confirm other accounts such as those of ex-devotee Conny Larsson.” 

In contrast, Moreno (alias Equalizer)  chose the superficial and duplicit strategy of emphasising his “New Age” lore. He presented this distraction in a manner which supposedly passed the final judgment, and much to my detriment. “This information is going to be very disillusioning to Kevin Shepherd’s readers and admirers (as few as they are).” 
Again the note of contemptuous dismissal. Of course, in such a Pro-Sai argument I only had a few readers, whereas Moreno was obviously claiming a much larger number, meaning devotees of Sathya Sai Baba who believed his distortions and libels. Zimmermann was only one of the many testifiers to abuse, and Moreno could not stop the passage of information. 
Another defector from Sathya Sai Baba was the American  therapist Elena A. Hartgering,  whose account includes the following

“Dr. [Michael] Goldstein and other officials in the [Sathya Sai] organisation are suppressing information, and attacking former devotees who have testified against Sai Baba. There is, for example, a letter from a woman in California which was sent to all [regional] Center presidents. In our center it was suppressed by the president and devotions coordinator because they were told to do so by the regional president…. Sai devotees resent the organisation being labelled a cult, yet these are clearly cult practices [of suppression] and mind control techniques.” 

A favoured argument of Moreno was that Sathya Sai Baba had never been convicted of any crime, and therefore allegations of abuse were irrelevant. This theme is evasive and misleading, in view of contextual data concerning the compromised Indian police, and the influence of prestigious devotees in Indian law courts. For instance, a report from the Indian rationalist Basava Premanand informs that a youth was murdered in 1987 after fleeing from being sexually abused by the guru of Puttaparthi. This victim was “murdered by burning in the [Sathya Sai Baba] College campus in daylight.” The contested police verdict was suicide. Other students at the College protested to the police, with the consequence that their parents were given a warning of  police action.
One of the many sexual abuse instances is graphically described in the statement of a fifteen year old victim (an American). Sordid details in such accounts have been known to shock sensitive readers.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd 
ENTRY no. 15 
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved
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Conny Larsson and Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on October 8, 2018

Conny Larsson
On a website, I reported an address given by ex-devotee Conny Larsson at a FECRIS conference in 2006. In this relevant talk, Larsson furnished information concerning sexual abuses achieved by his former guru Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011). Equalizer (Gerald Joe Moreno) reacted to my report by accusing me of endorsing Larsson’s “new age” activities. I had not done anything of the sort. 
There followed a tiresome spate of Moreno web accusations about my supposed support for Larsson’s fashionable and exotic “workshop” roles. I was obliged to refute this apologist tactic in a new web article. That article described Moreno (Equalizer, SSS108) as an internet terrorist. 
The idiosyncratic reasoning of Gerald Joe Moreno preferred to assume that anyone who mentioned what an ex-devotee said was necessarily in agreement with all the thinking and behaviour of the other party. This was a very illogical exercise in attempted stigma, and patently ridiculous. Strongly visible on Google were blog idioms of Equalizer such as “Shepherd’s desperate and shameless justifications and cover-ups for psychic medium Conny Larsson.” All this amounted to an apologist recourse of superficial rhetoric. 

I have never been in contact with Larsson, and merely reported relevant details about which he knew at firsthand. Those details can be encapsulated here by his well known observation that the Puttaparthi ashram of Sathya Sai was the scene of “a paedophile ring.” Larsson himself was encouraged by the guru into a homosexual relationship (with Sathya Sai) for four years.

Larsson’s book Behind the Mask of the Clown is very revealing. He relates how Sathya Sai sexually molested him in a private interview, but wished him to keep quiet about the new relationship. Larsson eventually discovered that he was not the only one in this predicament; there were many others. The guru even paid sexually exploited students and devotees, evidently desiring their attention at this intimate and secretive level. Larsson even says that the four men who died in the notorious bedroom murders at the Puttaparthi ashram were victims of sexual abuse whom he had known personally (see excerpts).
Close analysts remarked that the “Larsson complex” of Moreno served as a distraction from the strong allegations of sexual abuse lodged against Sathya Sai Baba. In trying to divert attention from the numerous allegations of abuse, Moreno invented fantastic scenarios for critics. He described this ruse in terms of “exposing” the critics.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd 
ENTRY no. 19 
Copyright © 2014 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

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Kevin R.D. Shepherd Not Exposed

Posted by robertpriddy on November 18, 2014

Sathya Sai Baba and his Organisation were defended to the utmost of spin, distortion, and unscrupulous harassment of all who wrote anything exposing him, as well as their relatives, friends and associates in most case, by the under-educated but wily internet troll (also occasional hacker of our website, Gerald ‘Joe Moreno of Las Cruces, New Mexico). A writer of many deeply informed and perceptive books on spirituality who pointed out inconsistencies in Sathya Sai Baba and his movement in an article about Sai Baba of Shirdi, Kevin R.D. Shepherd, also became a victim of Moreno’s web trolling and systematic defamatory articles. It is of interest to note the methods of this Moreno and the responses he elicited from some serious writers and other reputable sources.  who was never criticised by any of Sai Baba’s organisation members, not his official journal or website… as they all doubtless were told from ‘high ups’  not to interfere. This even though Moreno completely broke trust with Sai Baba’s teachings and  all his unrealistic Pollyanna-type spiritual directives as to how to love, serve, communicate respectfully and not criticise others (but only oneself). He spent his entire time attacking hundreds of Sai Baba dissidents and also a large number of critics of other gurus who he worshipped (the hugging self-proclaimed  ‘universal mother’, Amritananda Ma,  and also the life-imprisoned rapist and murderer, Swami Premananda and several other bogus gurus). He died in 2010 at the age of 39.

One may read a concise summary of Shepherd’s experiences of Moreno’s work and its bitter fruits at  Kevin Shepherd Not Exposed
and also  Not Exposed: Analysis of a Cultist Defamation

See further  http://kevin-r-d-shepherd.blogspot.com/2014/01/robert-priddy-and-vk-narasimhan.html

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Kevin R.D. Shepherd on biased research by academic Tulasi Srinivas

Posted by robertpriddy on September 5, 2011

The UK independent scholar, Kevin R.D. Shepherd, has written a very well-balanced and factually correct assessment of the academic work by an ethnic Indian professor, Tulasi Srinivas. He points out substantial omissions in her research, errors and more. The whole article is too long to summarize properly here, so those who may be interested are directed to the on-line URL at Tulasi Srinivas and Winged Faith

Srinivas goes further than several previous academic papers and books about Sathya Sai Baba, his movement and organization, but not as far as other very critical academic writings (nor, of course as far as Professor Dale Beyerstein’s seminal work). She does at least point out the cult of secrecy and rebuffs she met about information which I predicted in answer to her queries: that she would encounter a wall when she approached the office-bearers of the Sathya Sai Organization.  She writes: “the upper orders of the [Sathya] Sai movement do not appreciate democracy, equality, or openness” (Winged Faith, p. 252). She relates that “I found I was waging an uphill battle when I tried to discuss the scandal and the embedded issue of secrecy” (Winged Faith, p. 236). However, she ignores much of the soundest and most incriminating documentation about her subject sent to her on her own request by several dissidents in long exchanges of e-mails. Her work is strongly marked by an evident desire to endorse most ofthe Sathya Sai Baba teaching and movement by the following overall assessment: As Shepherd writes: “Srinivas ends with the contention, inherently favourable to the SSO, about the generation of a language “toward an engaged cosmopolitanism that is a necessary condition for multicultural societies to live in civility; this is the basis of a new pluralism” (ibid., p. 342). Further, the “grammar of diversity is about inclusion” (ibid.).”

Excerpt from Kevin R.D. Shepherd's article on Professor Tulasi Srinivas - on the issue of sex abuse and supposedly 'materialized objects'

The whole work, though including some (rather mild) critical assessments of some aspects of Sai Baba and his organization, leans unduly towards a kind of appeasement of Sathya Sai devotees. She is, of course, herself of Indian origin and has made known through her mails to me that she has friends among Sathya Sai devotees. Though I present some of her welcome criticism of the Sathya Sai organization here, her work is very largely in support of the so-called “Sai spiritual movement” as one having an essentially universalist religious import and as inspiring many to social work and charity. She does not explain why Sai Baba rejected – and was rejected by – the inter-faith movement everywhere (despite vain attempts by some followers to engage with these bodies), as well as all UN organizations they approached. She ignores the many facts that show that the ‘teachings’ of Sathya Sai Baba are mainly Hindu doctrine, and she makes no room for Buddhist or Islamic ideas of any note (all that diverges from his Vedic-based viewpoint is ignored totally). Nor is the SB representation of Christianity in accordance with historical facts nor with many of the deeply held beliefs of Christians (especially the ‘only true Saviour’ thesis).

Tulasi Srinivas shows how much she endorses Sathya Sai Baba - perhaps she has an explanation of his vast secret hoarding of precious metals, currency notes, precious diamonds, huge quantities of goods, including perishable dried fruit and biscuits beyond their sell.by dates in caches under his vast bed and many other secret places. If so, she is very silent now!

Srinivas mostly adopts the false neutrality of a semi-apologist in partial disguise – fence-sitting or dissimulating where genuine issues of the supposed truthfulness and validity of Sai Baba’s doctrines and actual behaviour arise; she tries to defuse issues by a bogus claim that the truth of  many disputed facts are merely a matter of differing ‘interpretation’ of them by the opposing parties, as evident from the following direct quotation from her book:-  “Anti-Sai activists argue that the sexual behaviour (if it did happen) is criminal behaviour, while devotees argue that it is a pathway to spiritual betterment. I suggest that these two versions of truth are both valid to the participants” (ibid., p. 269).” Here she adopts the biased generalization ‘anti-Sai activists’ which was introduced by the most aggressive and defamatory critic of all dissidents. Those diverse and independent persons branded by Srinivas as a group include both ex-devotees and independent critics who also have divergent views on various aspects of Sathya Sai Baba and the many issues at stake, each according to their various experiences and sources. This is simply too amateurish from a professor. Facts are either facts or not, interpretations are another matter. That she is far from being a hard-working researcher with any eye for detail and ability to incorporate anything like the full scope of the issues central to any assessment of SB and Co. became all too obvious during her lengthy e-mail exchanges with Brian Steel, Barry Pittard and myself. She asked lots of questions which could have been answered by a simple search of book indexes, not to mention Google and other search engines, but usually ignored the detailed information she received in return. She also failed to provide the correct URLs of the materials of mine which she asked for from me, instead printing long-defunct URLs instead of the correct ones sent to her (one may wonder why?). 

Among her sins of omission is the remarkable avoidance of one of Sathya Sai Baba’s most active opponents, the Indian Sceptic’s Basava Premanand, subsequently also the award-winning Profesor Narendra Nayak’s exposures. Further, she obscures numerous prominent Indian critics of Sathya Bai Baba through the decades, such as Professor Narasimhaiah of Bangalore University, nor the exposure of Sai Baba by the famous stage magician Abraham Kovoor. 

Ref. Winged Faith: Rethinking Globalization and Religious Pluralism through the Sathya Sai Movement by Tulasi Srinivas (Columbia University Press, 2010) 

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Shirdi Sai Baba and more by Kevin R.D. Shepherd

Posted by robertpriddy on August 26, 2009

Through many independent publications of a high standard of philosophically-informed writing on a wide range of subjects, Kevin R.D. Shepherd has also given expositions of diverse interesting aspects of cultist figures and movements. The much revered figure of the Muslim ‘saint’, Shirdi Sai Baba, gave rise to a tradition. As Shepherd writes:

“The conflatory  phrase “Sai Baba movement” refers to a complex phenomenon which has been given different  interpretations. That  disputed  phrase  encompasses  the  entities known as Shirdi Sai Baba, Upasni Maharaj and Godavari Mataji, Meher Baba, and Sathya Sai Baba. The treatment below analyses components  of  the  contested  convergence,  with  the  primary  accent  on  Shirdi  Sai  Baba,  who  has been  revealed  as  a  Muslim  Sufi.”

The following set of links lead to his on-line publication at http://www.kevinrdshepherd.info :-

Shirdi Sai Baba and Upasani Maharaj

Shirdi Sai Baba and Upasani Maharaj

1 Sufism in the Deccan

2 The Liberal Muslim Sufi

3 The Hinduization Process

4 Some Aspects of Teaching

5 The Pathri Legend

6 Religious Syncretism in Maharashtra

7 Religious Insularism

8 The Disciple of a Muslim : Upasni Maharaj

9 Meher Baba

10 The Sai Baba Movement at Issue

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Kevin R.D. Shepherd Exposé on Gerald Joe Moreno

Posted by robertpriddy on August 25, 2009

After having been attacked by the constant would-be character assassinator, Joe Moreno, Kevin R.D. Shepherd responded in civil and reasoned terms. He was only attacked more despicably and unreasonably by Moreno. In stark contrast to this unqualified uneducated full-time cyber persecutor and person abuser Moreno, Shepherd is the accomplished author of numerous philosophical and biographical books and critical analyses, including coverage of Shirdi Sai Baba and his self-appointed ‘reincarnation’, Sathya Narayana Raju. He has released moreweb pages at http://www.kevinrdshepherd.info

Shepherd points out: There are religious sects who do no harm,  and others  which  tend to become aggressive, comprising a social problem. The difference between harmless religious sects and organisations which become suspicious  cults, has been  much discussed.  A cult can easily violate norms of social behaviour and flout  basic  etiquette.  Dissent within a  sect  can too  easily  become  regarded as a  punishable  offence, and  this  is one  symptom  of  the  cult  mentality.  Critical  outsiders  are  also  prone  to  being  castigated by the  cult  mentality, a  development that can pose  further crises for the majority. The present article is a contribution  towards the analysis of this problem.”

One can go directly to any of these pages concerning Moreno here:-

5.1 Harassment on Google Search

5.2 Hate Campaign of Gerald Joe Moreno

5.3 Offensive Descriptions on Google Search

5.4 The Findhorn Foundation Misattribution

5.5 Misleading Tactic of Gerald Joe Moreno

5.6 New Age Confusions and Sectarian Misinformation

5.7 Defamatory  Sectarian Blog

5.8 Self Publishing as Distinct from Vanity Publishing

5.9 Web Harassment Requires Exposing

5.10 The Militant Sectarian Campaign of Gerald Joe Moreno

5.11 Penetrating the Blog Underworld

5.12 Duplicated Items on Pseudonymous Blog

5.13 The Reductionist Anti-Guru Label

5.14 The Anti-Sai Complexity

5.15 The Proof of Internet Terrorism

5.16 The Sheilawaring User  Name

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