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 ‘Professor Erlendur Haraldsson’

Erlendur Haraldsson: lessons on investigating supposed paranormal phenomena

Posted by robertpriddy on October 11, 2017

In view of the latest edition of ‘Modern Miracles’ (formerly ‘Miracles are My Visiting Cards’ with its denials and pseudo-scientific method and claims of Professor Erlendur Haraldsson, I am re-posting the following incisive and accurate book review by the humanist and rationalist Indian critic of guru fraud, Babu Gogineni. Since it was written Haraldsson has ventured to embrace through his extensive writings many fantastic paranormal claims, including belief in contacting the dead, including some massive paranormal claims of deceased Icelandic psychic medium Indridi Indridason.

Bubbles Online Volume 12 No. 6 June 1999 – Page 10

How Not To Study Paranormal Phenomenon: Lessons from Erlendur Haraldsson
Book Review by Babu Gogineni

Associate Professor of Psychology at University of Iceland, parapsychologist Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson came to India several times (twice along with Karl Osis, co-author of their book on near-death experiences ‘At the Hour of Death” to investigate Satya Sai Baba’s paranormal powers.The result of his efforts over ten years is the book “Miracles are My Visiting Cards; An Investigative Report on the Psychic Phenomena” associated with Satya Sai Baba, first published in 1987.

Dr. Haraldsson’s repeated requests for controlled experiments were firmly rejected by Satya Sai Baba and his team was asked “not to pester” Baba with more requests. Charmed by the charisma of Baba and more predisposed to believe than to investigate, Dr. Haraldsson settles for his own inefficient and subjective personal – informal observation as well as hearsay accounts from devotees. Yet, in their article entitled as ‘The Appearance and Disappearance of Objects in the Presence of Sri Satya Sai Baba in the Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research’ Vol. 71, January, 1977, Haraldsson and Karl Osis express their gratitude to Sri Satya Sai Baba “for his kind cooperation in their investigation” !

Dr. Haraldsson’s book does not indicate that he is aware of Satya Sai Baba’s father’s brother being a tantrik-conjuror. He could perhaps have been Satya Sai’s teacher. Despite assuring us that he “tried his very best” to trace all “Critics” only Dr. H. Narasimhaiah is mentioned. No mention of Dr. Kovoor’s whirlwind tours of Andhra,his challenges to Satya Sai Baba, his largely attended public meeting (30,000 people for instance) to the accompaniment of stupendous publicity! Contributors to the national debates in the then prestigious Illustrated Weekly of India, and the tabloids Blitz and Current Weekly are ignored. Interestingly, Dr. Haraldesson is unaware even of the Seiko watch controversy. Later, unconvincingly, he said that he was unwilling to take it up because of the various versions of it! One has not heard of an “investigative” researcher shy away on such dubious grounds.

Nor does Haraldsson mention Satya Sai Baba specialist B. Premanand, whose first book in English on Baba ”Lure of Miracles’, was published in 1976. Dr.Haraldsson’s excuse on 6 April, 1988 to Dale Bayerstein, editor of the excellent 1994 book, ‘Sai Baba’s Miracles: An Overview’ is that no one in India mentioned Premanand to him. Then again, Dr. Haraldsson writes in his letter of 21 October, 1988 to Dale Bayerstein that Dr. H. Narasimhaiah did not think it worthwhile for him to visit Premanand. When informed of this Dr. Narasimhaiah issued a issued a written clarification that he respected Premanand’s work and could never have said what Haraldsson reported. This is not the only complaint of misquoting about Haraldsson.Two chapters of the book’ Miracles are My Visiting Cards’ are devoted to M.Krishna and Varadu (in no way critics, looking at the contents of the book), former personal assistants to Satya Sai Baba in the earlier days; Krishna converted to Christianity later. Now, Krishna’s son, a good friend of mine, insists that I report this, and in the manner in which some statements were transformed to suit Dr. Haraldsson purposes. In an interview with me and Premanand, P.V.N. Nair, editor of Deccan chronicle, whom Haraldsson accused of misquoting him as saying that he was “disappointed with Satya Sai Baba”, regretted that out of good faith he had not tape recorded the interview. Premanand has shown how different version and sequences of the same event (production of ring for Karlis Osis) have been written by Haraldsson.When Premanand asked for clarification and explanation in an undoubtedly long questionnaire,the very prolific Dr.Haraldsson suddenly has no time to write!

Haraldsson is aware that propaganda of the claimed resurrection from death of Walter Cowan and Radhakrishna had the support of Satya Sai Baba. He is also aware that Dr. Fanibunda, himself a medical doctor, testified to the resurrection of Cowan. Haraldsson’s own conclusion is that the stories of resurrections are false. Yet, to our scientist-investigator the role of Satya Sai Baba is not suspect. Nor that of Dr. Fanibunda, whose testimony he approvingly uses in another case. It also does not occur to this impartial investigator, forever solicitous of being scientific and objective that since he himself has found some stories to be false, he has necessarily to work under controlled conditions. This is how professional credentials become suspect. Some of the stories Haraldsson reports are not even amenable to verification by us. For example, he mentions how a burglar prowling in the house of a Satya Sai Baba devotee was scared away by Satya Sai’s bilocation. He does not mention the name of the Devotee, nor the name of the police station which later caught the burglar.

In the April 1995 issue of the Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, Haraldsson and Richard Wiseman write an article Reactions To and An Assessment of a Videotape on Satya Sai Baba, where they make pathetic attempts to show that from the Deccan Chronicle Doordarshan tape, no evidence of fraud by Satya Sai Baba can be deduced. Haraldsson and co-author are invited to watch our copy of the tape, or watch one of the episodes of the British program, The Guru Busters, a television program on Rationalist work in India, which has quite clear visuals. They should also read the analysis of a Satya Sai Baba video tape by Dale Bayerstein, Leon Mandrake et al (a team of professional magicians) where among others, they detect Satya Sai Baba “thumb palming” a necklace, before “materialisation” published in Bayerstein’s book. Perhaps, Haraldsson is also unaware of Premanand’s video cassette of Satya Sai Baba producing a gold necklace at a wedding in Balakrishna Eradi’s family (a former judge from Kerala).

While waiting to watch this, the authors should find time to read the account of the Dutch author Piet Vroon who wrote an expanded version of his article ‘Sinterklass in India’ (‘Santa Claus in India’), published in De Volkskrant of 5 December, 1992. Piet Vroon was at Puttaparthi to film Baba at “work”, and he and his partner detected Baba removing rings, necklaces and watches from behind flower vases and from pillows of his chair. They also detected Sai Baba holding Vibhuti balls in one hand, transferring them to the other hand, pulverising them and distributing them. Vibhuti is also hidden in the mouth and removed while wiping the face, which Baba does very often. Piet Vroon’s conclusion is unambiguous: “we just think that he is a trickster and a cheat”.

It is easy to see these things, especially when one’s work, and perhaps livelihood, does not depend on funding from parapsychology foundations! The only lesson one can learn from ERLENDUR HARALDSSON is how not to study the paranormal events.

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Erlendur Haraldsson on Sai Baba: ‘Modern Miracles’

Posted by robertpriddy on October 8, 2017

Review of ‘Modern Miracles’ (revised ed. 2013) by Dr. Erlendur Haraldsson (EH)

Links to some central themes exposing the pseudo-scientific nature of Erlendur Harldsson’s main attempts at investigation of Sathya Sai Baba:-
Downplaying the ‘divine downfall’ of 2000  in Haraldsson’s revised edition of his book in 2013, and in subsequent declarations, he claims that none of the alleged ‘materialisation miracles’ of Sai Baba have been proved to be fraudulent. This is itself an entirely false statement as the evidence is well-known to thousands of dissidents who left Sai Baba when this, among other extremely untoward matters, were exposed. How a former exposer of Sai Baba’s lies about having brought back devotees from death can have become so intransigently unwilling to contact witnesses or investigate the countless exposures found on-line on several websites and by hundreds of witnesses requires investigation. I was probably Haraldsson’s closest confidant on these matters since 1987 in India until some years before Sai Baba’s death in 2011 and, since I had to break with him due to his dishonesty, I was better placed than anyone else to know what he was thinking through those years. These links lead to masses of documented information from his e-mails and my copious notes through the years, including an overview of his relations to all critics and to the ‘true believers’ who remain followers of the dead guru.
How well did Haraldsson know Sai Baba?
EH’s ineffective ‘scientific investigation’ and coverage of the materialisation issue
Haraldsson’s severe lack of real knowledge of India, Hinduism and its esoteric practices
My exposure of Haraldsson’s ‘double-accounting’
Haraldsson’s damage-limitation visit to Puttaparthi
Haraldsson’s friendliness and endorsement of the Prashanthi Nilayam cultists
Haraldsson’s original investigation (reported in ‘Miracles are My Visiting Cards’)
Peer review – the scientific reputation of EH’s book
‘Lingam regurgitation’ undetected by EH!
Nineteen other issues, evidence or key witnesses Haraldsson signally failed to address
Haraldsson challenged by Professor Beyerstein and Basava Premanand
Parapsychological motivations and extra-scientific theorising
Summing up Haraldsson on Sai Baba miracles

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Dr. Sudrania-Hindustan Times: strongly biased censorship of Sai Baba critics

Posted by robertpriddy on June 29, 2011

PRELIMINARY NOTE Please see the fuller exposé of slanderer and fantasist O.P. Sudrania

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ZOOM IN

For the record, the following shows how the blanket denial of the most outspoken ex-devotee critics of Sathya Sai Baba have been denied access to commenting by most Indian newspapers for years. Influence, money have stitched up the India media, with few honourable exceptions. Now the Indian media are at last opening to criticism of some of Sai Baba’s and his institutions many deceptions, and it is surfacing on a major scale too. Yet the Hindustan Times – which once bravely published a damning article based on true facts (see here)  has relapsed into a most unprofessional and extremely biased attitude towards my attempts at posting comments there (on the page ‘Puttaparthi protests over mishandling of Sai trust funds’ on-line at http://www.hindustantimes.com/Puttaparthi-protests-over-mishandling-of-Sai-trust-funds/Article1-713799.aspx). They had already removed to rather excessive comments by someone signed in as ‘Iyer’ who berated a comment by Osudrania (aka Dr. Om Prakash Sudrania) which contains untrue statements about an international conspiracy against Sai Baba (not supported by any evidence whatever, as none exists). I commented to Osudrania’s comment in a reasonable tone, presenting facts under my full and correct name. Since my comment was disallowed even after nearly one day, I posted a short announcement to the moderator, which surprisingly appeared instantly (without moderation). It was as shown on the right:-

I therefore tried to post again with my factual statements, but it did not appear as moderation intervened. It never appeared. It was as follows:-

Dr. Om Prakash Sudrania earlier posted a plethora of misinformation on the comment page of the Telegraph (UK) after the Obituary of Sai Baba there. His style was that of a humble questioner (reminiscent of Uriah Heep) – but with a powerful denial of facts and events shining through. He was most firmly refuted with facts and made to look an arrogant know-all. See the key part of the debate at Hans de Kraker: telling comments on Sai Baba on The Telegraph obituary. His statements were contested by the brave and honest Dutch-Australian businessman Hans de Kraker, who described how Sathya Sai Baba abused him sexually and he had filed an affidavit to that effect, and also how he was present at the time of the infamous 1993 executions in Sai Baba’s bedroom, despite Osudrania first ignorantly having claimed he was not!. Osudrania also appeals to the book ‘Miracles are My Visiting Cards’ by Professor Haraldsson, not mentioning that the book contains full details on how Sathya Sai Baba was exposed as a liar about Walter Cowan! See what Haraldsson’s true opinion of Sathya Sai Baba is – an incorrigible homosexual with self illusions and a boasting ‘Napoleon’ type person, most likely a split personality:-
Professor Erlendur Haraldsson – by Robert Priddy: very revealing materials!
Erlendur Haraldsson and Robert Priddy on Sathya Sai Baba
An academic’s response to revelations about cover-up of sex abuse etc.

FURTHER NOTES ABOUT MR. OM PRAKASH SUDRANIA
What Sudrania writes against me reminds of the metaphor ‘Like a blind man in a dark room looking for a black cat that isn’t there!’ He has NO evidence to present to clear Sai Baba of any of the charges of sexual abuses, or connivance to cover-up the murders in his rooms, while there is much documented indicating this easily found on the Internet from most reputable newspapers abroad – and a few in India too! Sathya Sai Baba repeated endlessly that he is the omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent God, Saviour of mankind – as well as the Deity of Deities at whose feet every prayer addressed to any deity will eventually come! Dr. Prakash sees nothing excessive in that, he calls Sai Baba a ´great saint´and figuratively grovels at the thought of him, spouting the aphorisms Sai Baba gave (with Professor Kasturi as writer/editor as SB´s English was almost non-existant at the time).
It is evident that Sudrania has fallen for beliefs based on “the principle–which is quite true within itself–that in the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature than consciously or voluntarily; and thus in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.” (Author? Someone who boasted of ruling the world!)

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Sai Baba cult under pressure of events and doubts

Posted by robertpriddy on June 24, 2011

The Times report – part of which is shown on the right – continued as follows:-
“Several doubts have cropped up over the way the Trust is run. Much damage has been done in the last two months since Sai Baba’s death. We would not be found wanting if the Trust is playing truant,” said Sravan Kumar, Baba’s grand-nephew, on Tuesday. He said they were at loss as to why the Trust activities continued to be shrouded in secrecy. “They are carrying out all important activities without taking anybody into confidence. We are not outsiders and we have every right to question the Trust’s decisions,” he said.

Family members said Sai Baba didn’t belong to the Trust alone. He was revered by lakhs of devotees. Sai Baba’s nephew M. Shankar Raju said, “The recent incidents at Yajur Mandir have sullied Sai Baba’s image. The Trust is not above-board given the allegations against it.” http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Police-suspect-proper-inventory-was-not-carried-out-at-Yajur-Mandir/articleshow/8945611.cms

The Role of Satyajit rejected by Ratnakar

There is no doubt in most followers’ minds, it appears, that Satyajit was the only fully trusted favourite of Sai Baba due to the role he was given during the hospitalization but also that he alone could open the ‘yajur mandir’ with his biometric lock. Eight years back, when Baba had just recovered from an injury, he reserved a good portion of his speech on Guru Purnima in praise of Satyajit. He said: “Even at an odd hour, if I just utter the word ‘Satya’ in a feeble voice, the boy would immediately get up and attend to my needs. He was so alert and attentive”. The speech is available on the website of the International Sai Organisation. (http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-04-25/news/29471451_1_sathya-sai-baba-death-janakiramaiah-sai-trust)

Faith of many devotees’ badly shaken: One of the greatest difficulties that the remains Sathya Sai Baba officials, devotees and other dependents face is how to keep their faith in the face of so many disastrous revelations about the illness and suspicious time of death of this supposedly all-knowing and all-powerful Sathya Sai Baba (Easter Sunday, when he was evidently ‘disconnected’ from his life support machine by persons unknown), his being manipulated with stimulants and depressants for months – evident in his wooden expressionlessness during his 85th birthday and thereafter.

The exposure of the total unaccountability of the Sathya Sai Central Trust and the struggles around and within it for control and what to do to keep things going must have come as a shock to trusting donors the world over, though dissidents and exposé writers have long known of the embezzlement and money-laundering to which it has been wide open as a non-reporting charity, benefiting from complete exemption from all customs and excise duties and freedom from any form of taxation! This makes it more profitable and open to irregularities that the worst ‘offshore banking’ facility in the world!

A further major shock of devotees: Then comes the secret e-mails of scientist and parapsychologist Professor Haraldsson that I have finally released after 10 years of protecting him, which show him to be far from the darling of the Sai authorities and many followers, as they have fondly imagined until now. What he wrote to me about Sathya Sai Baba, his homosexuality, his self-delusions and unbalanced personality explodes any myth that he was a devotee or even thought Sai Baba to have been what he claimed for himself! See Professor Erlendur Haraldsson – by Robert Priddy: very revealing materials!

I am informed by a former top official of the Sathya Sa Organization in India that the expose is spreading like wild-fire through the desert of lies right into the heart of Puttaparthi.That many good people left the ashram earlier keeping silent due to the dangers involved. There was a person of great integrity, a certain Dr. Bhagvat , who was put in charge of the Sai Baba hospital in Prashanthi Nilayam (the general hospital). I t would be interesting to know whiter he left because he came across the misdeeds of Sathya Sai Baba. As to Mr. Srinivasan of WS Industries, he is a dubious character, who actually posed as another Bhagwan while doing propaganda about Sai Baba and he would have donned the Sai Baba mantle had it not been for the recent negative reports in the media. He always posed as some sort of superhuman whenever interacting with other devotees.

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