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 ‘V .K. Narasimhan’

My trustworthy inside source on Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on April 30, 2018

One of my best friends among all Indians and my closest confidante among all resident staff when I was a devotee of Sai Baba was V.K. Narasimhan, who was – for most of his journalistic life – the assistant editor of The Hindu. After an illustrious career in journalist in which he alone among journalists bravely confronted Indira Gandhi over her ‘Emergency’  – culminating as Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Express Group – he followed his devotee wife to Sai Baba’s ashram, where they settled. He felt that Sai Baba’s social works were one of the best things in Andhra Pradesh at the time, since he was extremely cynical about the government and their achievements – even the will to improve the lot of anyone but their own class or caste. He did not believe Sathya Sai Baba was omniscient, omnipotent or omnipresent… nor did he believe in the miracles or the many alleged healings by Sai Baba (he was himself let down badly and lost an eye despite SB applying vibuti etc.) All this I have described at length, and I have scanned and posted many excerpts from the daily diaries I wrote during my over 1 1/2 years in the ashrams, especially my conversations with Narasimhan

It was also VKN, as he was widely known, who administered the felling blow to my faith in Sai Baba by telling me in strict confidence and a lowered voice of SB’s younger brother’s blackmailing of the police and Sai Baba’s own covered-up involvement in those events. “They did a terrible thing…” was his judgement, and the Home Minister S.B. Chavan laughed together with Sai Baba’s younger brother – a multi-millionaire property speculator and Puttaparti brother owner Janaki Ramiah – commenting “Dead men tell no tales!” Such was my faith that, even then, it took me four years to deal with the information properly and rid myself about the many confusions about Sai Baba which naturally arise before one takes the bull by the horns and allows oneself to think seriously and critically… which eventually led me to investigate the sex abuse claims. This led to utter conviction that at least a majority of the testimonies were true… little though I wished for that outcome! Knowing the details of how SB was a willing accomplice to murder and its cover-up, along with Sathya Sai Central Trust, other ashram officials and – not least – the Home Minister S.B. Chavan and then-Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, I had after VKN had safely departed this life to shoulder the heavy burden of telling the public what I knew.

V.K. Narasimhan’s Revelations

A tribute to V.K.Narasimhan

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V.K. Narasimhan, serious doubts at the heart of the ashram

Posted by robertpriddy on June 17, 2015

Since 2000 I refused to continue to observe Sai Baba’s directions to avoid absolutely all criticism of anyone but oneself. I reject the gag he imposed on followers – which they had also to  impose on themselves and others – and have been concerned only to tell the truth as it presented itself to me, whatever else I have believed and felt. I came to know very many important negative facts about Sathya Sai, his ashrams and organization, and not least from Sai Baba’s closest associate after biographer N. Kasturi, namely,  V.K. Narasimhan. This included information on the gravest kinds of criminal behaviour. Many others have, of course, made these discovery themselves and before I did. I admit to having experienced many instances of connected with Sathya Sai which are generally called ‘paranormal’, but I cannot say in honesty that these have proved fruitful for my life. I may have had some kind of indirect help from him, yet this is a matter of what one chooses to believe and not one of certainty as there is neither proof nor any confirmation from Sai Baba on it. Rather to the contrary, in fact. Gratitude I once felt for events that I then believed to be his doing – things for which I did much in return for about 18 years – has withered in the face of lies, deceits and worse in which he has been caught out.

I have written extensively about these revelations by my valued friend Narasimhan, who was one of India’s most awarded journalists and became editor of Sai Baba’s journal when his wife persuaded him to live at the ashram. These notes recorded his mostly private views, observations and doubts in various articles. To back up all this, I have published scans of my very extensive notebooks made after many of my long conversations with him through a decade. Links to some of these startling reports, all of which I certify were noted correctly to the best of my ability, are as follows:-

VKN trying hard to believe 

V.K.N denied SB claims of omnipotence/omniscience, avatarhood etc. 

VKN put under pressure to conform by Sai Baba

V.K.N.  on the murders cover-up etc. 

V.K.N.’s inability to get Sai Baba to tell him the truth about the murders

V.K.N. on pointing out to Sai Baba his inconsistent teaching

V.K.N on suppression of facts at the ashrams 

V.K. N. – faith-shaking revelations (Overview of VKN on murder cover-up)

Links to full documentation via notebook scans 

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Private confidences about Sai Baba from V.K. Narasimhan

Posted by robertpriddy on March 10, 2012

Here I shall once more publicize facts which newcomers to the Sathya Sai Baba exposé may never discover. I concentrate on negative facts for they are the truly neglected facts, always covered-up and never mentioned by the Sai officials and office-bearers nor by any devotee who wanted to remain in favour. One of my personal motives is that I gave far to much of my life to promoting Sathya Sathya Sai Baba when he was deceiving me and everyone around him in the most demeaning manner. I wrote a very positive book about him (which he blessed) and now – after having penetrated the veils of indoctrination and deceit with which he surrounded himself I am setting the record straight (which he of course did not bless!). The massive positive propaganda for Sai Baba across the entire Internet and the major smear campaign against critics still needs to be consistently countered. It is an issue of protection of the innocent and the vulnerable.

After countless ‘darshans‘, and five long interviews (10-12 hours) during 15 years of regular visits to Sathya Sai Baba, I gradually learned that most of Sai Baba’s activities were kept strictly secret – even his personal opinions – except to his very few close inner circle of attendants. The supposed leaders in his Sathya Sai Organisation (both Indians and foreign but all subservient yea-saying followers without any ideas not taken from him, and not true leaders at all) were unable to scrutinize more than a tiny portion of his daily activities most of which (up to 90% of many days) were kept entirely secret. His servitors had to wait hand and foot on his beck and call and do what they were told, never more nor less. Strangely, this did not apply similarly to the once-famous newspaper editor, V.K. Narasimhan, with whom I had a long and deep friendship. He was as close as all but a couple of persons for a decade at least, and he told me much that he was not strictly allowed to tell – except that he could not bear the burden of it all alone and shared some of it with those very few whom he really trusted. (see here)

Sathya Sai Baba's journal editor, former Indian Express Chief Editor, V.K. Narasimhan

Giving a lecture to Sai Baba followers at Brindavan in the 1990s

V.K. Narasimhan (known as ‘VKN’) died in March 2000, having lived his retirement at Sai Baba’s ashram where he edited the monthly journal of the movement (Sanathana Sarathi). His diverse experiences and facts known to insiders of the ashram which, for reasons of his own and others’ security, he was unable to speak openly, gradually opened my eyes to more and more discrepancies in the doctrine and claims of Sai Baba. I made copious notes every day through 9 long visits when at SB ashrams and so have been able to make scans of my diary pages, which I kept every day at the ashrams. Reading them I am struck by how much I trusted Sai Baba’s word while we were obviously being deceived, and how far I took the required self-censorship (not to question anything he said or did, but look rather at myself). Rationalising everything untoward to make it all fit the Procrustean bed of Sathya Sai Baba’s words, his work and ‘mission’ which were programmatically and necessarily above all suspicion (if one would be a true follower). Narasimhan, who was privately much troubled by doubts about many of Sai Baba’s assertions, was decisively instrumental in my eventually putting an end to it all for me.

One should understand that V.K.N. was initially VERY important for SSB’s credibility in various influential Indian circles… for VKN was revered widely in India in the 1970s for his famous single-handed and courageous stand as a journalist against Indira Gandhi’s ‘Emergency’ clamp-down. He was of the highest Brahmin caste (a Mylapore Brahmin) and knew most of the elite of India well and had been at college with Presidents and Prime Ministers and had been among the elite of India since he was imprisoned as a follower of Gandhi before Indian Independence. He came under an outright charm offensive from Sai Baba (he told me all the flattering details), one which lasted over two decades. He became a key channel in SSB’s observable insatiable reach for social and political influence. Narasimhan is known for having told many that he did not know why Baba was so kind to him, especially before he at length actually became something of a devotee in his 80s. But VKN could not allow himself quite to realise that his importance to Baba was a guarantor of truthfulness, and all the other social implications; he was a trusting soul with self irony who only really wanted to support the movements’ efforts to raise and educate the poor (like so many of us did). However, perhaps his main his weakness was that he liked to be flattered. He had no time for Sai Baba’s ‘International Chairman’, Indulal Shah, or the Sathya Sai Organisations’s bluster and often bogus or inflated claims.

VKN had owned a house in Madras, which he gave up at the wish of his Sai-devoted wife to take up residence at Sai Baba’s ashrams where he was a sought-after figure of importance and privilege – called by Sai Baba to attend him almost every day in the last decade… and when his wife died he was well looked after there. His reason for staying – apart from his wife’ total devotion to Sai Baba – was that he was positively impressed by Sai Baba’s accumulated social influence and movement because it was at least achieving some improvement in providing education where there was none before, and a fair measure of social support and health care to the under-priviliged, and this despite his lifelong scepticism towards gurus and swamis. As a journalist and traveler throughout India, he had seen incomprehensible sufferings of all kinds and the hopeless political inertia amid the wall-to-wall corruption of Indian politicians. The ashram seemed an oasis amid that desert, though far from being a perfect place. He only left the ashram some month or more after he became mortally ill in late 1999, moving to a spiritual retreat. That was just after the world-wide sex abuse allegations against Sai Baba became public through the Internet.

I was rather put off by VKN when I first met him because of the scepticism he expressed – openly and in quite a scathing way in the first of his lectures I attended, where he ridiculed the claim that Sai Baba was ‘omnipotent’ as absurd. (He was certainly right as events have proven to all but the remaining blind and deluded devotees). As a journalist he had seen a lot of the world and was temperamentally unable to adopt the gushing Pollyanna style of most lecturers and VIP devotees. His cynicism about most of Sai Baba’s claims was considerable, as I found out after hundreds of hours together with him through over a decade, during which he confided to me a vast amount of his life experiences and knowledge of India and its countless problems. We discussed the alleged Sai Baba miracles in which I then believed, but he refused to believe them – especially healing miracles – and on which he never commented as editor of Sanathana Sarathi. He consistently refused all accounts of dreams and healing sent to him as editor. He did come to consider the widespread belief in his supposed miracles to be important for the cause in that it encouraged donations and such like. As time went by and he learned more about the people involved and their manipulations and embezzlement, he became increasingly critical to many of the social projects as falling short of the claims made for them.  He told me occasionally that he would never have ended up there but for his wife’s religious devotion to Sai Baba. As he grew more and more frail he relied on the care he received from a devotee relative (Usha) and others there, as he though leaving the place was no longer a realistic option and he had nowhere else to retire to. I am told that he virtually had to leave due to the lack of care when he fell mortally ill.

V.K. Narasimhan’s faith-shaking revelations

V.K. Narasimhan – a biographical and personal tribute

See also scans and notes:-


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The Hindu – only some comments allowed?

Posted by robertpriddy on May 17, 2011

The Hindu accepts e-mail letters about articles it has posted on-line. A couple of such letters were sensible (shown here), the rest were the usual apologists’ one-sided defense of Sathya Sai Baba. I have written a brief e-mail, signed Robert Priddy, and await with interest to see whether The Hindu will post it, or whether they are still too biased. Watch this URL:

UPDATE: After 24 hours,The Hindu has not so far posted my letter. This indicates that they are censoring it. Therefore I am posting it exactly as sent to them here:-


One of my best friends among all Indians and my closest confidante when I was a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba was V.K. Narasimhan, who was – for most of his journalistic life – the assistant editor of The Hindu. After an illustrious career in journalist – ending as Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Express Group – he followed his devotee wife to Sai Baba’s ashram, where they settled. He felt that Sai Baba’s social works were one of the best things in Andhra Pradesh at the time, since he was extremely cynical about the government and their achievements – even the will to improve the lot of anyone but their own class or caste. He did not believe Sathya Sai Baba was omniscient, omnipotent or omnipresent… nor did he believe in the miracles or the many alleged healings by Sai Baba (he was himself let down badly and lost an eye despite SB applying vibuti etc.) All this I have described at length, and I have scanned and posted many excerpts from the daily diaries I wrote during my over 1 1/2 years in the ashrams, especially my conversations with Narasimhan.

It was also VKN, as he was widely known, who administered the felling blow to my faith in Sai Baba by telling me in strict confidence and a lowered voice of SB’s younger brother’s blackmailing of the police and Sai Baba’s own covered-up involvement in those events. “They did a terrible thing…” was his judgement, and the Home Minister S.B. Chavan laughed together with Sai Baba’s younger brother – a multi-millionaire property speculator and Puttaparti brother owner Janaki Ramiah – commenting “Dead men tell no tales!” Such was my faith that, even then, it took me four years to deal with the information properly and rid myself about the many confusions about Sai Baba which naturally arise before one takes the bull by the horns and allows oneself to think seriously and critically… which eventually led me to investigate the sex abuse claims. This led to utter conviction that at least a majority of the testimonies were true… little though I wished for that outcome! Knowing the details of how SB was a willing accomplice to murder and its cover-up, along with Sathya Sai Central Trust, other ashram officials and – not least – the Home Minister S.B. Chavan and then-Prime Minister Narasimha Rao, I had after VKN had safely departed this life to shoulder the heavy burden of telling the public what I knew.

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

Kasturi and VKN manipulated and suborned

Posted by robertpriddy on June 5, 2010

Sathya Sai Baba has sometimes put on the appearance of a ‘raging lion’ against people who he perceived as a threat to himself. In his ‘official biography’ of Sai Baba (in Sathyam , Sivam, Sundaram Vol. 1), Prof.N. Kasturi reported accounts he had heard of the young Sai Baba terrifying some fractious villagers when he was but a teenager by raging and growling like the ‘lion-man avatar’ Narasimha. This is taken as evidence by many of ever-uncritical devotees that he truly is the avatar who was all the other avatars in the Indian pantheon, as he has actually claimed himself too! I once saw him with a raging lion-like face one day when he was looking at some people on the veranda. Sathya Sai Baba had raged lion-like at his confidante, Prof. N. Kasturi, when he had returned from a tour of North India holding talks about Sai Baba upon which Baba himself had sent him. There is no doubt that Kasturi was literally terrified by him then, as he openly told a small group of us this in the old lecture room in South Prashanthi in 1985. That was real intimidation… and for a relative bagatelle which Sai Baba would not even explain to him. Kasturi vividly evoked the fear he had felt and his extreme anguish for weeks, sitting outside the compound which he was banned from entering. There was no reason he could understand.

Eventually after weeks of his suffering, when many others had asked SB to relent, he spoke to Kasturi in most disapproving tones, telling him that he now thought himself a big man who condescended to “give interviews” like himself. The fact was that his hosts had been flooded with requests to meet Kasturi in private, and they had set up times for them to meet him in a private chat. Kasturi, who was grateful for the special hospitality he was receiving. had gone along with this and their pre-planned schedule… ostensibly out of a sense of duty. THAT alone was his great sin! Sai Baba told him very angrily that it was only He who gave interviews! What remained of Kasturi’s will was thereafter as if castrated (pun) and he went more like a lamb than ever. One can read a watered-down account by Kasturi in his autobiographical book ‘Loving God’.

This is a manipulative technique well known as typical of psychopaths/sociopaths and narcissistic power-brokers… a clever way to cow followers and keep them totally in line… through naked fear after initial charm and praise! Then finally becoming charming and forgiving again… Already totally trapped and dependent on his guru for everything, Kasturi rationalized the “punishment” away as being a necessary process to soften him and rid him of ego! This is how one turns black into white – daring not to say ‘boo’ to a goose while hoping credulously that it will lay the golden egg – and continues one’s own self-deception through weakness of character.

The same kind of “punishment’ – though less severe, was meted out to V.K. Narasimhan in 1980 when he had taken over the editing of Sanathana Sarathi from Prof. Kasturi. He made what Sai Baba chose to consider a very grave mistake, and he was sacked as editor immediately and the aging and failing Prof. Kasturi had to take over the reins again for a long while. Narasimhan had published an announcement which he had been pressed to do by the top Sai official in Europe, Antonio Craxi (brother of the later Prime Minister of Italy, who ended as a convicted criminal fleeing justice). It announced that all copyright for Sathya Sai Baba books in English was in the hands of Craxi, the egocentric and domineering leader of the Sathya Sai Organization in Italy. This had been challenged by the Central Council of the Sathya Sai Baba Organisation. Narasimhan had been assured that this was legally in force already by Craxi, but Sai Baba took the opportunity to put VKN through his mill and he was made to suffer at a distance… for about a year!

That he was not punished as severely as Kasturi is easily explainable… in the first place he was a very important pawn for Sai Baba since he was respected very widely in India and knew personally most of the leading figures, including college friends such as the then-President of India. Sathya Sai Baba could not afford to lose Narasimhan for such reasons, including his great editorial skills and willingness to promote Sai Baba’s social projects (above all). However, he was not a believer in Sai Baba’s miracles or in his having healed anyone. He had spent his life as a journalist and told me he was not that naive. He shocked my by denying Sai Baba’s claims of omnipotence/omniscience and avatarhood.  His reticence compared to his predecessor Kasturi can be seen from his entire written output – he was very far from those sentimental and gushing panegyrics and gaping wonder of Kasturi and all the other pro-Sai authors, for that matter. He had many doubts and these he voiced to people according to how far he felt he could trust them. So a too strong reprimand would probably have caused him to move away from the ashram, where he first came primarily because of his very Sai-devoted wife’s insistence. After the 1993 murder in SB’s bedroom, VKN was virtually forced – through repeated demands by Sai Baba – to give false witness about the Central Trust. Only his son, editor of The Tribune – was willing to publish VKN’s whitewash of the Trust, though VKN knew fully that this was untrue, as he also told me it had been corrupted. He also began to learn definitively of the blackmail by Sai Baba’s younger brother and others into executing four devotees, and the first-hand of the criminal cover-up by Prime Minister Vajpayee’s right-hand man S.B. Chavan together with Sai Baba’s brother, he grew more and more negative towards the ashram. Later he told me how Sai Baba could not account to him at all satisfactorily for the facts of the murders – click here. He became an unwilling accomplice to the cover-up, for to have spoken out would have been a very huge risk for him, so strong were the opposing forces.

VKN was blind to his own real importance to SB in his role as an endorser of Sai Baba to the rich and famous and would now and again say “I have no idea why Swami is so nice to me”. After he was taken back into favour, he was called by SB to many interviews and constantly attended SB’s meetings with students and selected groups of VIPs. During weeks I was with him, he was called almost every day by Swami – sometimes twice a day.

Sai Baba failed to heal his eye when it got infected after an operation Sai Baba had arranged for him and told him would go well. He only moved away from the ashram in the last weeks when he was dying in much long-lasting pain from water-filled lungs etc.

See also


Posted in Cover-up, Indoctrination, Sathya Sai Baba, Spiritual propaganda | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

V.K. Narasimhan on the 1993 Sathya Sai Baba murders

Posted by robertpriddy on April 22, 2010

It is not without some misgivings that I report on these matters, but I am impelled by my duty that certain facts should be recorded accurately and truthfully. I was grateful to Sathya Sai Baba for some form of physical healing many years ago, and had various paranormal experiences relating to him. Unlike the majority of Sai followers, however, that does not mean I must gag myself regarding many important extremely negative facts I know to be true about Sai Baba, his ashrams and apologist followers. What VKN confided to me had sometimes caused me doubts. He told me of experiences and facts known only to insiders at the ashram which he could not speak openly about, not least due to his own and others’ security. Despite all that, I trusted so much in Sai Baba that I was determined to rationalise everything nicely to make it all fit the Procrustean bed of his claims about himself, his work and ‘mission’. I wrote many articles on Narasimhan’s request for Sanathana Sarathi also to clear up such doubts. Despite my trust and dearest hopes, I came to learn the details of many covered-up incidents, including some of the gravest kinds of criminal behaviour – not least from V.K. Narasimhan.

The most important piece of information I ever received from Narasimhan was also the most shattering. Had Narasimhan – in whose integrity I had full faith – not been willing to give me a frank account of what happened, I might well still have believed that Sai Baba, his brother, the ashram and the Sathya Sai Central Trust were entirely innocent of anything illegal. But I am now certain they were not! I guarantee on my honour that what follows is as true and accurately stated as I can make it. When I asked Narasimhan in January 1996 in private what had occurred during the murder episode back in June 1993, he said of Sai Baba’s top officials, “they did a terrible thing”, using those very words. He told how those involved included top Prashanthi Nilayam ashram officials and Central Trust members, and particularly Sai Baba’s younger brother, Janakiramiah. The police, once they finally arrived on the scene, were blackmailed by these people into shooting the four intruders and claiming it was in self-defense. Narasimhan, whose word I just cannot doubt on this, attested the above to me as indubitable fact. Though he was not personally present to the killings, having been asleep in his apartment, he conferred with insiders as soon as he arrived on the scene. Sai Baba’s younger brother, Jankiramaiah was a multi-millionaire property owner and entrepreneur who was promoted by Sai Baba virtually to control the Sathya Sai Central Trust directly after the murders incident. Janakiramiah had already openly claimed to the press repeatedly and insistently that the intruders had intended to assassinate his elder brother (despite Sai Baba’s own published denial that there was any attempt on his life)! VKN further recounted to me a later conversation at which he had been presentwhen Janakiramiah discussed the incident with “a very high official in the Indian Government”, who it later became clear was the Home Minister, S.B. Chavan.  Chavan had congratulated Janakiramiah on having had the four intruders shot by the police and one of them commented “Dead men tell no tales“, whereupon they actually laughed together. Narasimhan was deeply shocked. When one considers his position at that time, it is easy to see how powerless he was to stand up and announce what he knew. His life would almost certainly have been in danger.

V.K.N also told me how the ashram/Central Trust authorities had a lever with which to blackmail the police to execute by shooting the four youths who had in a mutual struggle knifed to death Baba’s two attendants. The blackmail was based on information they had of the police corruption. I happened to know independently of the incident used as leverage – the police allowed two brothers who had slashed a devotee lady from Switzerland to death to steal her money, in return for that hidden money – some Rs. 80 thousand.  After years of being unable to accept what the facts implied about Sai Baba himself – my view of everything around Sai Baba eventually collapsed. It obviously destroyed any faith in Baba’s alleged universal benevolence, even though he may have given no explicit murder instructions himself (as some have however attested) but just let things happen. Armed only with knives, the youths could have been disarmed one by one before they were allowed to exit the room or, at least only shot to disable them if they threatened the police.

After V.K Narasimhan’s wife died, Sai Baba called him for something or other practically every day and he spent many long hours close by Sathya Sai Baba and invariably was prominent in festivals, in occasional interviews, and rode about with him in cars etc. It is significant that a person so often with Sai Baba held the opinions he did, and voiced them even though privately. Meanwhile, I am taking full responsibility for making this information common knowledge, both about the amazing abilities and activities of Sai Baba told me by VKN and about the doubtful and darker sides of what has gone on very close to him. Especially after VKN’s wife died, he became virtually dependent on living in the ashram for he had grown into the way of life there after 20 years in frequent association with SB. Since he gave up his house and resided in the ashram, VKN had virtually – if gradually – fallen more and more under the charm, but also the power, of SB. While all devotees do this to a considerable extent, those coming from abroad can more easily break out if the need should arise, as is seen in the fall away of prominent foreign devotees after the 1999 revelations, and by the fact that very few prominent Indian followers revoke SB, and certainly not in public.

I recount many details about VKN’s evidence elsewhere, click here.

Posted in Cover-up, Cults, Faith, Gurus, Indian Government, Prashanthi Nilayam, Sathya Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Central Trust | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Inside information on Sathya Sai Baba by very close servitor

Posted by robertpriddy on April 14, 2010

For those who have not had the advantage of knowing people who are extremely well-informed about the daily doings of Sathya Sai Baba, I have make public facts about my many private interchanges with my former excellent friend, V. K. Narasimhan (or ‘VKN’ – renowned Indian journalist of The Hindu & Indian Express – and editor – latterly of Sanathana Sarathi, where he published dozens of my articles). Narasimhan was very important to the respectability of Sathya Sai Baba in  leading Indian circles, but he harboured many and persistent doubts about which he seldom spoke because of the serious consequences it would have for the social projects of Sai Baba and VKNs own security at the ashram where he lived and was looked after in his dotage.

These articles tells about the legacy of inside information that was left with me by V. K. Narasimhan. Included were facts he had not dared to make known to more than a very few persons.  I swear on my personal honour that all I relate here is nothing but the truth to the very best of understanding after very long and painstaking follow-up investigations.

Narasimhan often repeated that he really didn’t understand why Sathya Sai Baba was so nice to him… describing himself as a rather non-religious and ‘hard-nut’ journalist. He often told me he did not know why he had ended up at SB’s ashram, except that Sai Baba was heading some valuable social projects which hardly any others in India were doing. Most significantly, as editor of SB’s journal, he NEVER published any accounts of ‘materializations’ or healing miracles by Sai Baba!  However, Sai Baba found VKN a very valuable asset to his credibility due to VKN’s journalistic prestige, his known social ideals and  honesty. His presence there bolstered Sai Baba’s image in the eyes of the more enlightened middle classes of India. Above all, he knew personally most of the top politicians and other elite in India and induced many of them to visit Sai Baba who otherwise might never have gone there. Moreover, a journalist who had seen so much failure, incompetence and corruption in his journalistic travels, VKN had admiration for SB’s public works and believed in Sai Baba’s promise to raise India and protect or regenerate all that was good about its culture, religion and people. (This project can be seen to have failed very signally already).

That Narasimhan was entirely non-negative in his presentation of Sai Baba and his public doings in his own public talks and writings was often against his better knowledge, for he was ever telling me about SB’s failings and untruthfulness. See scans of my long series of verbatim notes of his  conversations with me at the time between 1989 and 1998 before his decease. No doubt, VKN mostly felt great respect for SB, and – like most others – was strongly affected by his charismatically invigorating (and intimidating) presence. VKN was soon tamed by Sai Baba into misrepresenting and/or editing out certain vital facts he knew and was unable to rock the boat, though he confided his many doubts and difficulties to some of us in private. No doubt to mollify VKN’s misgivings, Sai Baba called him for something or other practically every day and he spent many long hours close by SB at festivals, in occasional interviews, and rode about with him in cars etc.

Click here to see the following scans of my notebook records of revealing conversations with V. K. Narsimhan
Robert Priddy’s long friendship with V.K. Narasimhan – scanned letters
Robert Priddy recorded notes and diary 1984-98 – scans and comments
V.K. Narasimhan and Robert Priddy’s close association
V.K. Narasimhan’s comments on the murders reported
V.K. Narasimhan’s inability to get Sai Baba to tell him the truth
V.K. Narasimhan’s doubts of Sai Baba’s powers, avatar claims etc.
V.K. Narasimhan’s comments on the Sathya Sai Organization
V.K.N. recorded about pointing out to Sai Baba his inconsistent teaching
V.K.N. contradicts Sai on Advaita – and on ashram security etc.
V.K.N. on 70th birthday crowd size and more
New Year 1996 – disillusioning reflections and VKN
V.K.N. on printing problems, a suicide, and Sai’s boyhood visits to famous ‘saints’
V.K.N. lost an eye despite Sai Baba’s vibuti application etc.
V.K. Narasimhan on Robert Priddy’s book ‘Source of the Dream’
V.K. Narasimhan on Sai colleges, the ‘sect’ and Sai’s ignorance
V.K.N. on Sai Organization (1994 Brindavan) + Al Drucker’s banishment
V.K.N. on Suri etc. About sewage scam at Prashanthi and Alvin Drucker’s return
V.K.N. at Brindavan – his experiences. Meeting with Mr. V. Balu
V.K.N., Brindavan 1990 – Sandweiss, his apartment


Posted in Cover-up, Cults, Divinity, dogma, Famous people, Gurus, Murder, Personality Cult, Sathya Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Central Trust | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba’s promises part 3

Posted by robertpriddy on October 12, 2009

We may take as another example of Sathya Sai Baba’s failed promises, the constantly ill and suffering Mrs. Phyllis Krystal, an elderly lady devotee for decades from the US, who has written about some of her experiences of Sathya Sai Baba. She described her terrible chronic headaches, which Sathya Sai Baba diagnosed as due to five different kinds of headache (see ‘The Ultimate Experience’- publ. Samuel Weiser Inc.). She went through some kind of intensification of her symptoms while with Sathya Sai Baba, which she interpreted as being a part of the treatment in removing one or more of these several headaches. (Totally backward reasoning, of course!). She was a speaker at the Sathya Sai Hamburg Conference in 1992 and was asked point blank from the audience whether she was now cured her of all her headaches. She hesitated for some time, but when asked again eventually said that she was. However, later I was in London talking to Lucas Ralli, (Central Coordinator for UK & Ireland until unceremoniously kicked out) and a close friend of Mrs. Krystal, who stayed with him and his wife sometime during a UK visit. He came to mention that she was in constant need of pain killers for her headaches and I was taken aback. So I asked if she had not been cured, but he confirmed that she still suffered greatly from this. This incident typifies the kind of thinking one meets among Sai devotees.

Perhaps a kind of self-deceit to protect one’s faith, partly a desire not to admit doubts to oneself or others and thereby publicly embarrass the guru, whose promises are supposed to be as cast in iron and whose healings are infallible etc. Later, Mrs. Krystal’s house was shattered by the Californian earthquake in the 90s, making her homeless, along with her deceased husband’s lifelong collection of crystal glass reportedly worth much more than $1 million. As she describes in detail in her book ‘The Ultimate Experience’,  Sai Baba had himself told her to move to that house, after she had prayed constantly for a very long time and repeatedly asked him whether she could move house! Eventually he had given the go-ahead verbally to her. Devotees who have indoctrinated themselves completely regard such things as a boon from  Sai Baba, a necessary suffering and ‘teaching’! It helps one to detach from worldly things and prepare for the final detachment! This reasoning, when taken to its conclusion means it is a boon when anything is destroyed, relatives are lost etc., because it prepares one for death! All very acceptable and faith-inducing, no doubt! When I was a devotee I tried to accept that this might be the case, but could never take ot seriously.

No help on the deathbed: Two of Sathya Sai Baba’s closest attendants, Prof. N. Kasturi (his official biographer and servitor for over 40 years) and V.K. Narasimhan, who followed Kasturi into the editor’s chair of his journal Sanathana Sarathi and worked continuously for Sai Baba in that and other capacities for over two decades, both suffered horrible and long illnesses before they died. Kasturi was in a terrible state for 6 weeks before his release (this would not have been known to me had not Narasimhan told me so) and Narasimhan himself lost an eye (Sathya Sai Baba having claimed he would look after him and applied holy cow-dung ash to it vibuthi etc. when it got infected). Then VKN suffered up to 3 months with his lungs filling with water before dying in March 2000. Such vastly selfless servers were not exactly eased in any way by the supposedly ‘omnipotent and grace-giving’ avatar. All kinds of weird and fantastic explanations can be invented to explain away such things, but the gruelling facts and harsh neglect remain. (Sai Baba also made VKN write a lie in the press about the  Sathya Sai Central Trust before his illness, which can’t have been all that helpful for the poor man whose former life had been in defense of the truth).

These are far from being all the instances of which I know or have heard about from reliable sources. So what are Sathya Sai Baba’s famous “divine guarantees” worth? Let a Dutch lady correspondent of mine of impeccable insight answer this query:

“After my visit to the ashram I was very disappointed re. sb’s attitude towards the invalids. I am having walking problems due to a Guillain Barré spinal disease at the age of 14. I recovered from it apart from a slight right side limp. However, the last 15 years I am loosing strength and balance and need a stick or rollator to stay out of a wheel chair. I used both in the ashram and compared with some of the heavy invalids I counted myself lucky. It struck me that sb never went to that right hand corner where the wheelchairs were, all at the far end. I was on the bench myself and mostly saw the back of him for 4 weeks. If Baba could have cured people and took no notice of the heartbreaking misfortunate devotees, he must have been a heartless so-and-so!!!! I am sure he COULD NOT cure real disabled people at all. He would not willingly have renounced the fame it would have brought him!”

Mr. Y.V. Kutumba Rao, an Indian and former judge, head of the ashram for many years until the mid-80s, is said to have Sai Baba with devoted selflessness etc. He is written about in a number of the earlier Sathya Sai Baba books. Even though he was the first official to speak to Sathya Sai Baba every morning, he was never given an interview during 20 years of service. He had longed for this, for he had never been given any such private attention for himself by Sai Baba before, which was a known fact to ashramites too! Shortly after he was at last called for the treasured interview,

I was told shortly by his colleague, the elderly Head of the Administration Building, Mr. Kanhaia Jee, who with his Seva Dal wife Mrs. Kavery, became charming friends of ours. Kanhaia Jee said that Baba had not spoken to him until the private interview, when he had taken him alone into the small room and told him simply that a man was on his way to murder him (Kutumba Rao) and he had best make himself scarce for some months. He was told to leave his post to the deputy head of ashram, Mr. Chiranjia Rao, and go to a certain village and lie low there until Sai Baba sent word. That was that!

This occurred while I was present at PN, when Chiranjia Rao became head of ashram during early 1987 for a period of some months. Well before 1989, Kutumb Rao was back at his post, but suffering from internal cancers. He was sent to Madras and opened up, but closed again as a hopeless case beyond surgery. Kutumb Rao suffered much for a long period altogether and died on 29/3/1989. Sai Baba apparently did nothing to help him. But devotees speculate nonetheless that surely Sai Baba helped him through his karma, or will give him a better new body and life, or already granted him liberation? How can they be so confident, so easily be taken in? The above instances are but a few among numerous others of which I know.

Sathya Sai Baba’s promises – part 1

Sathya Sai Baba makes many promises

Sai Baba promised Rs. 100,000 to orphan parents

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


Posted by robertpriddy on October 9, 2009

The Sathya Sai Organisation – an evaluative overview

Here I summarise what it took me about 18 years to find out through experience, often disillusioning, about the Sathya Sai Organisation (SSO). Among its members are many volunteers who lead by example in the real work of genuinely selfless service to the suffering and needy. These very well-intentioned and self-sacrificing people, who are drawn by the pure ideals for spiritual service and education as proclaimed by Sathya Sai Baba , are the ground level workers. It is equally clear, unfortunately, that the SSO as an organisational structure hinders genuine service to society due to its monolithic nature, its autocratic top-down structure, and its secret and semi-secret management practices. Further, it is involved in an increasing number of unnecessary, costly projects only to spread the fame of Sathya Sai Baba and, more crucially, in the hitherto largely very effective cover-up of the many and very substantial allegations of criminality against its namesake, Sathya Sai Baba . Because of this, and because the SSO, with Sathya Sai Baba ‘s backing, has made more than sufficient one-sided positive propaganda about itself, I here concentrate instead on its considerable ‘shadowy’ sides.

When I was still a devotee, I wrote very positively about the Organization (such as in my pro-Sathya Sai Baba book ‘’Source of the Dream’). However, I had not then learned the extent of deceit and wrongdoing in the top leadership in the Central Trust, the ashrams and by Sathya Sai Baba personally. I was strongly self-censoring about all events and experiences that jarred with the very idealistic image I had of the SSO, but I now know that I was had been led very largely to confuse the ideals with realities. My criticisms are not directed as the many that make genuine efforts in the name of the SSO. At the ground level, where I mostly applied myself, I saw much excellent work done, almost despite repeated pressures and irrelevant distractions that came from the higher level leadership.

The policies and directives encountered regularly from above within the organisation absorb much energy that could be employed better elsewhere. The organisation, with its formal and informal cultures, carries out activities which do not fit at all with much of the content of the constant flow of discourses from its namesake, Sathya Sai Baba . Due to opposing statements, sweeping generality and frequent ambiguity in Sathya Sai Baba ‘s teachings – and because of the obscure role of Sathya Sai Baba in his organisation – the real purposes it serves have largely to be deduced from long observation and experience. Sathya Sai Baba himself does not run things in the normal sense of the word, though he gives advice in discourses and presumably in private interviews (though this is seldom clear and important for the organisation affairs as far as members we know could discover). Confusingly, Sathya Sai Baba often keeps his distance from the organisation bearing his name. In this way he seems to be responsible for its good works, while rejecting its failures and the shortcomings of its members (upon which weakness Sai Baba often expands sweepingly at length in discourses) as a result of not doing his will.

The steady and large flow of donations has become part and parcel of Sathya Sai Baba ‘s social and political importance. One unspoken but obvious function of the organisation is to attract a large enough membership mass to generate funds to the Sathya Sai Central Trust in one way or another. This occurs through donating relatively very large fixed sums for the brief use of a low-quality apartment at one or other of the ashrams, donating outright for various projects undertaken by the Trust or by the SSO and so forth. Meanwhile, the collection of monetary donations is against the regulations of the SSO and is seldom openly allowed except among members. Organisation meetings are free and centres are supposed only to accept unsolicited voluntary donations from those who wish to support them. However, it provides a very wide catchment area among followers worldwide for donations and not least legacies to the Central Trust. (See my paper ‘The Multi-billion dollar question’)

The vertical-hierarchical structure: The various branches of the world SSO are basically run on the strictly top-down Indian principle, all overseas devotees are in practice subordinate to the Indian leadership of the International Chairman, currently Dr. Michael Goldstein, supposedly acting on the instructions (or understanding) of Sai Baba. Under him come the (non-elected) Chairmen of the Central Councils (or, where these are not yet formed, Coordinating Committees) of each country. The top-down chain of command makes all discussions at meetings and conferences very largely futile and time-wasting from the volunteer workers’ point of view, at whatever level they may be. All Central Coordinators (hereafter CCs) and zone chairmen have special meetings twice a year (on Gurupurnima day in July and just before Sathya Sai Baba ‘s birthday, 23/11) in Prashanthi Nilayam. Yet they have at best only an ‘advisory function’ to the decision-making International Chairman, who simply overrules or ignores whatever suits him. For example, no documents are available to tell where the proposal came from for a large 7-storey building costing ca. $5 million later called ‘Chaitanya Jyothi’ to celebrate none other than Sathya Sai Baba on his 75th birthday. It may have been suggested by Sathya Sai Baba , or by former International Chairman, Indulal Shah, but what correspondence that mentions it indicates that the CCs were simply required as ‘informal rubber-stampers’ for this project (i.e. it became their main job simply to solicit the funds for the building, which they did).

Though there is election of office-bearers at the local groups and centres, this can be overturned – and even without explanation – by any National Coordinator or higher office-bearer. This has occurred on a number of occasions, not least in the European SSO, even though there is no mention of this option in the Charter (where it should be stated) or in any other written directive known to me. Though a sheen of democracy is given thereby, the SSO is an anti-democratic pyramidal hierarchy in which one must obey one’s ‘superiors’ or eventually be dismissed from office without so much as an explanation! (See for example Serguei Badaev ‘s declaration which appears on http://www.saiguru.netThe Story of My Disqualification‘)

Office-bearers passive links in the ‘chain of command’: Basically, the Charter defines ranks, in descending order in the ‘chain of command’ from International Chairman, Central Coordinators (i.e. one for each of the five world zones, of which two are the overall authorities in each hemisphere East & West), the National Chairmen in each country, Centre Presidents, group leaders, voluntary worker members (sometimes called ‘active workers’), and ‘aspirant members’. The Chairmen of the Central Councils of countries that have sufficient Sai centres (or in some cases of the Central Committees) are subordinate to the Central Coordinator for that particular international region.

Members are ranked differently in order: aspirant, volunteer, active worker, according to standards that differ from region to region. Visitors to meetings, however regular, are not usually regarded as members, though they are supposed to be counted exactly for statistics over their numbers and some other details that are recorded and registered centrally (but are not made public). There are some regional or local variations in practices, but these are peripheral details. In some more socially liberated countries, distinctions of rank – even between member and non-member – are and even disdained or laughed at. Such occurred widely in the UK in the 1980s, when leaders tried to apply the rule requiring members to ‘sign up’ on the dotted line under a membership pledge with an explicit spiritual declaration. At best, therefore, a handful of central persons in the SSO rule over the various agenda, statements of objectives, activities and recommendations that issue forth. It is little wonder that well-qualified persons with experience of democratic values in management (most usually being Westerners) often leave after some time. That central leaders are very seldom demoted and – those who survive – remain in office even for decades (though some have resigned and some were dismissed), sets them more and more apart both in mentality and activity from other members. An ‘active worker vs. management’ rift arises and is sustained, not least since it is not at all good form for ordinary members even to mention the problem.

The SSO, being a charismatic sect with a church-like culture, has leaders who speak and act in various ways as middlemen between devotees and the Godhead – by conveying and interpreting Sathya Sai Baba ‘s utterances and wishes. Though Sathya Sai Baba claims to have no middlemen or mediums and that all his contact is direct to each devotee on an inner level, in practice a majority of people do not experience any but the vaguest kinds of contact and rely on office-bearers within the SSO for most of their information about Sathya Sai Baba , his will and his plans etc. The qualifications to higher office include not only total unquestioning subservience to Sathya Sai Baba and following the directives coming via the chain of command (the exact origin of which can be vague to most foreign office-bearers). They also have to fit in to a typical code of behaviour (at least outwardly) and also learn the culture of knowing how to inform and explain in ashram-accepted ways. For this, many use a subsidiary kind of language culture common to the Sai movement ( Prashanthi speak ‘) to convey Sai doctrines, with well-tried circumlocutions on taboo subjects and euphemisms to veil certain facts, criticisms and so forth.

Through 18 years, most of it as the national leader in Norway, I was time and again able to observe and was repeatedly told that leaders can and do decide matters which – in any normally functioning community – would be decided only after conferring with all others concerned. I did not follow this regime. Occasionally, leaders higher up int the chain have tried to give me the impression that what they decided was ordained from ‘on high’, without actually being able to say whether Sathya Sai Baba said so, or repeat what he said.

Pro-Indian discrimination: By far the largest and most active country in the SSO is naturally India. It has an All-India Chairman, who supposedly acts independently of the International Chairman, Shah. Followers of Sathya Sai Baba vary greatly in the capacity to understand how properly to manage and inspire through their own example, which Sathya Sai Baba stresses as the only workable method. The Indian social model on which the SSO is based is still overwhelmingly authoritarian, such as to issue orders to ‘inferiors’, who must and do usually obey them unquestioningly. Unfortunately, the complete disregard of modern ‘stakeholder’ ideas in the SSO (indeed, the direct opposition to them) involving the abject worship of gurus as infallible is also a pattern set on the basis of prevailing social conditions throughout India. A culture of top-down high-handedness, mismanagement and rich opportunities for control, corruption, and cover-up, as seen with Western eyes. The recognisable high-handedness that often typifies the Indian higher castes or ruling class and its bureaucracy is seen in directives sent to centres, which often show little or no appreciation of the diversity of cultures or openness to the initiatives of individuals unless they conform in all things to the wishes of leaders (often cloaked under the doubtful pretext of “it is Swami’s wish”, which can always be justified somehow by the common – but highly confusing – axiom of Sathya Sai Baba s teaching that “everything is Swami’s will” anyhow!). Those nominated as Central and National Coordinators are almost always persons who follow this pattern quite slavishly, including the foreign leaders, who mostly take to the VIP status like ducks to water.

Much of the loose ideological backing for this ‘model’ is actually found in Sathya Sai Baba s predilection for the culture of ancient, feudal India and its forms of social organisation, which relied heavily on spiritual purity in teachers and pupils. However, one can hardly expect Sai Baba’s Indian staff to know how to change this culture, which is not only largely accepted in Baba’s ashrams but permeates much of Indian life and is deeply rooted in the ineradicable caste system and the all-pervading undemocratic social practices there today. Those having much insight or skill are required to do what they are told, though they may have greater experience than their ‘boss’. The editor of Sathya Sai Baba s monthly journal Sanathana Sarathi, V.K. Narasimhan, remarked to me one day that Baba complained to him that he could not find enough mature Indian men with the right qualities to administer even his two main ashrams decently, let alone guide all the many projects he has in India or in his service SSO. This is a very evident fact to foreigners who visit the ashrams, for the level of competence and understanding of many (but not every one) of the officials with whom one comes into contact is sadly lacking by normal Western social standards.

The impenetrable ruling ‘inner circle’: There can nonetheless be little doubt, if any, that in the West and other parts of the world, more competent and understanding persons could easily be found as leaders of the SSO than the majority of those presently holding the highest offices, who all copy the authoritarian Indian model in most matters. Most of the Central Coordinators are well-to-do businessmen (men in suits) with a more traditional management mentality. These office-bearers are not elected, but selected by Sathya Sai Baba . Almost without exception they are affluent, which enables them to travel freely etc. However, the overseas leaders are NEVER made privy to the inside circle’s doings, the reins of power being firmly held by the (Indian) members of the Central Trust, which since the 1993 murders came largely under the practical control of Sathya Sai Baba ‘s younger brother, the multimillionaire property speculator Janaki Ramiah. (SSB has said that he leaves all decisions to his Trust!) Therefore foreigners have no access to information other than what they are told, most likely only on a need-to-know basis. They have no prior insight into central decisions, who makes them or exactly why. Their job is simply to acquiesce to whatever is decided, and to find supporting reasons for it and ways of presenting it in acceptable forms to other members. Thus, the development of any serious, effective and socially acceptable voluntary organisation having a democratic base and egalitarian practices is evidently wholly excluded.

Centralised censorship of information: The organisation mostly attracts people initially by providing a social community for believers in Sai Baba to communicate and share in, most often through communal singing (bhajans mostly praising Sai Baba) and secondarily through study/discussion meetings and less often through enrolling them in service activities. This is the chief channel of dissemination of Sathya Sai Baba ‘s teaching or opinions. Through this, the SSO makes continual and large efforts to standardise interpretations of the vital parts of Sathya Sai Baba ‘s teachings and the Charter of the SSO etc. This presumes that the directives ‘from on high’ can be made to make sense, for they are mostly couched in a pseudo-legalistic or bureaucratic gobbledygook at which many Indian officials excel. Through such writings, critical views and negative information about Sathya Sai Baba ‘s behaviour, untoward events at the ashrams are censored, manipulated or ‘face-lifted’ if they are not banned outright from discussion at meetings. Through the years this has included such events as suicides, rapes, murders, bomb scares, embezzlement, ‘invasions’ by fanatic sects, failure of Sathya Sai Baba projects, misuse of funds etc. The maximum of control possible through the chain of command is exercised as to all things that seriously tarnish the image of this proclaimed ‘Abode of Supreme Peace’, or could reduce the influx of visitors or of support of all kinds that maintain and bolster the very considerable financial and political power base of the Sathya Sai movement in India and elsewhere. Sai Baba’s considerable contacts with national leaders, ministers, opposition politicians, the judiciary, the military establishment, any well-known and rich people and so forth in India which represents a de facto major power base. This influence is being extended to an increasing number of nations, not least via the SSO.

Communication control within the SSO: In trying to follow such aphorisms of Sathya Sai Baba as “See no evil, hear not evil, speak no evil….” And “If you cannot tell the truth, at least speak obligingly”, and many more which are expressly designed among other things to control and so restrict thought and expression, an internal culture has evolved where no frank opinions may be aired, nor the slightest hint of critical thinking – however objective or constructive it may be. The SSO leaders are under such restrictions as to what they are allowed to say about it, or even to think about it, that they are wholly incapable of giving a realistic picture of it and how it functions. A ‘double accounting mentality’ is common here, requiring subtle but essentially misleading and careful phrasing of what to say about anything so that it appears in a positive light. Ability to speak in the local ‘politically correct Prashanthi-speak’ is an apparent prerequisite for those who aspire to top positions in the SSO. Volunteers (i.e. the lowest ranking members) are not informed of what takes place at central leaders’ conferences. Central leaders allow no serious feedback, no right to require explanations nor accountability. Attitudes among central office-bearers in all zones of the SSO that can fairly be called ‘semi-dictatorial’ at least, which is tolerated by the most faithful followers who believe in the infallibility and benignity of anything undertaken in the divine name of Sathya Sai Baba and under his apparent leadership. However, many have left the organisation for such reasons, though no statistics on this are considered worthwhile! Such information could help an organisation realise its shortcomings etc., but the SSO is not interested and it would probably find the numbers far too revealing.

Information is often passed on in an informal way, such as by word of mouth at national and regional meetings or in contacts made when visiting the ashrams. Some of this is documented and sent along the chain of command, even upwards (though conclusions from most working committees are invariably ignored, mangled beyond recognition or rejected centrally). However, many of those higher up in the chain are frequently asked why they largely only answer communications from higher up, and so often ignore letters, faxes and e-mails from ‘lower down’. They send various paper directives downwards, most often passed on from above. They are very concerned to fulfil the centrally instigated requirement for statistics on members and activities, and their communications with their subordinates are often attempts to obtain these or to urge more activities and efforts, not least so as to improve the statistics for the region they represent.

Control of communication: ‘horizontally’ between members in different groups, centres and countries is exercised by regional leaders through strict compartmentalisation of the various areas so as to hinder communications of any kind that do not go hierarchically through themselves. For example, invitees to hold talks at meetings – especially those from other countries and regions – have to be confirmed by the leadership in the respective country. Avoidance of this rule has caused major splits in national SSO (again, notably in the UK in the 1990s, when a flood of vituperative letters were circulated by the various factions). Another instance of information control is that addresses of persons outside each national sphere are carefully guarded and removed from letters and e-mails so as to limit interactions, exchanges of information and views of various kinds. Though this guards against begging letters, ‘spiritual tourists’, pleas from would-be illegal immigrants etc., contacts at a ‘lower level’ in the Org. are invariably regarded as (potential) disturbing influences.

Directives are frequently issued which, when followed, in effect minimise informal discussion between people at meetings. Least possible talking – even silence – is recommended at most SSO meetings where and when the activity doesn ‘t itself require otherwise. Where unavoidable, such as at study circles, planning groups, spiritual educational projects etc., informal contacts and particularly frank discussion are restricted by many leaders. Quiet meditation, prayer and leaving the premises quickly after worship are repeatedly advised by some leaders and circular letters from India. However, such restrictions – modelled on the strict behaviour codes and pietistic tone at Baba ‘s ashrams during darshan etc. – are by no means always observed in many of groups and centres. The need for informal social contact with like-minded believers is obviously often a strong motivation for many to visit centres and also to become members. A number of standpoints are enforced by group pressure as being the only correct ones, with social exclusion – whether intentional or less consciously applied – as a common sanction. Though some members express criticisms, only positive feedback is normally taken seriously. Leaders repeatedly evade replying to many genuine questions. So dialogue between open-minded spiritual seekers is mostly hindered on issues that might cause any substantial doubts.

That the closed and secretive nature of the SSO is still valid is shown by the inability of anyone in the whole SSO to comment at all on any of the criticism put forward by me on the website from which this brief overview is abstracted, or from any other of the several serious accounts published by other long-term members of the SSO! There is too much to hide, and evidently too many who cannot honestly face the light of day.

Organisational redundancy and time-wasting: Nearly all organisations like to keep up momentum and have regular get-togethers, even when there is nothing new with which to deal. The experience of many I have met has been that nearly all such meetings in the SSO achieve precious little that is visibly useful for realising its stated aims, nor do they feed back information or advice that has any effect with leaders who prefer to enforce their own decisions regardless of input from others. The suggestions can be very ‘well-meant’, but this is not enough. Most of what is said is about obvious issues that are always in the mind of any intelligent, responsible office-bearer. But by harping largely on what has been said before, the organiser nevertheless usually feels satisfied, and fills a nice report of progress. For most participants it is the spiritual sharing and social gathering that matter, especially the chance to exchange news, views and arrange secondary matters for themselves. They actually provide an opportunity to communicate with others across ‘organisational boundaries’ that are otherwise denied by the CCs! Sathya Sai Baba has defined the real meaning of most ‘committees’ as ‘come-to-tea’ meetings, which alludes to the usual inefficiency and time-wasting of talking committees. Yet one is supposed to spend valuable time travelling on expensive flights to meetings abroad, sometimes much too frequently, and to review much the same matters each time to make ‘recommendations that will help achieve the Conference objectives’, but which will doubtless as usual not lead to any results other than those already predetermined by its leaders. This helps to keep people in line and define aims and goals for them to fulfil. People I have spoken to feel, like I, that such meetings are mostly interruptions to spiritual work and service, or burdens which also bring new responsibilities. The purpose of most of these meetings seems mainly to be to instil the rules and directives from central authority. Sathya Sai Baba occasionally corrects some of the more pointless paper initiatives, such as the bright idea from the SSO central authority that each year should have a value denomination like “year of non-violence”, “the year of peace” and so forth, thus organising all activities around this notion… as if such a fatuous invention could make the slightest useful contribution to anyone ‘s practice.

At most regional and international meetings, various members – including lower office-bearers – have remarked to me how little was conveyed to them, whether in the way of answers to pressing questions, practical instructions, or other information and spiritual insight that is not already easily available in the literature or has not been said before numerous times. The Indian style of lecturing at length from rostrums is much in favour, even at SSO meetings abroad, whereby the same themes are repeated each time, moral harangues are the main fare, all teachings are parroted, and the level of their generality and vagueness leaves much to be desired. With their captive audiences, passive following and implicit acceptance of everything are very often evidently both assumed and required. Service-mindedness thus often seems to be misinterpreted as subservience.

Note: An extensive documentation of observations, experiences and sources upon which the above is based is found at my extensive website sociological analysis of the Sathya Sai Organisation here.

Posted in Cults, Gurus, Sathya Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Central Trust, Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

End of the Sathya Sai Baba Dream

Posted by robertpriddy on September 24, 2009

In 2000 I resigned as National Contact person of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway after 18 years fulfilling that role. This was no easy decision, since I did not believe that the allegations of sexual abuse could be true, even though I knew that Sathya Sai Baba was deeply involved in the massive cover-up of murders in his own bedroom, and hence an accomplice to the fact.

Having refused to read David Bailey’s account or any of the flood of allegations thereafter for months, I finally felt I must read the sexual allegation testimony.  It took me about another six months of intensive investigation – contacting all the sources I could – before I was forced to arrive at a complete conviction that most of the allegations were both true and accurate. Subsequently I began to look carefully into all aspects of Sathya Sai Baba from the viewpoint of critical questioning and found, to my dismay, deceit after deceit and evidence of a major campaign of deception by him and all those close around him. This resulted in many web pages, which the award-winning rationalist, Basava Premanand, asked permission to publish. The end result was:-

Front and rear covers of the book, which corrected the over-zealous interpretations and shortcomings of my popular pro-Sai book as blessed by him, 'Source of the Drea,m

Front and rear covers of the book, which corrected the over-zealous interpretations and shortcomings of my popular pro-Sai book as blessed by him, 'Source of the Dream

My book ‘The End of the Dream’ is the sequel to my book ‘Source of the Dream’. Sathya Sai Baba said in my last private interview with him (in 1994 at Trayee Brindavan), “Write, write!” and “What you are doing is right!”. Ironically enough, he did not specify what to write!. I am willing to take an oath that all I state in ‘The End of the Dream’ and have written thereafter is as accurate and true as I can express it clearly. I carefully recorded daily events, discussions and lectures while I was at the ashrams (altogether about 13 full months of diary entries). Editor V.K. Narasimhan’s revelations about Sathya Sai Baba (VKN from Robert Priddy notebooks covering all visits from 1984 to 1998)
Numerous scans of these are available here, as well as contents of some of the numerous letters I received from V.K. Narasimhan between my visits Not least due to my own many written contributions praising Sai Baba, my conscience insisted that I must perform the heavy but important public duty of correcting the overblown, propagandistic image of Sai Baba that had taken me in and which is still sustained by his many followers. These are invariably based on his own exaggerations and untruthful claims. Many devotees actually regard everything that happens as being ‘all a part of the avatar’s plan’, and some claim that his critics are ‘his instruments’ for weeding out the unworthy who do not have enough faith! That is how far faith can create self-deception and distort all sense and reason and underpins monolithic churches, guru cults and other authoritarian or totalitarian institutions. Sai Baba says everything that happens is a gift from God, so followers will make any kind of distorted sense of that! This means that any such god must all too often be totally merciless, for a start.

See also After the End of the Dream


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Astonishing Sai Baba miracle report + video clip

Posted by robertpriddy on August 22, 2009

E-mail received about major mirtacle - sender's name protected

E-mail received about major miracle – sender’s name protected

This is a story of the kind that spreads like wildfire among believers… and Sai officials do nothing to halt such rumours and sometimes they are the source of them or of supporting ‘testimony’ A very similar story was circulating in 1994 when I was present at the ashram. An Australian was said to have been sent through a door drawn by Sai Baba on the interview room wall back to his dying wife in Australia… and his luggage arrived there too! Only the most credulous can accept such stories… so I asked V.K. Narasimhan to ask Sai Baba about it, which he did. He came back and said that the only reply was ‘No Comment!’ In other words, no denial whatever, and later he confirmed that the event occurred! A member of the Sathya Sai Central Trust, Mr. Prasad, also spread endorsement of the story through IAS official V. Ramnath (see whole episode recounted here)

Making a story about Mecca is no doubt a vain attempt to engage Muslims in the Sai Baba mythology. There were but two or three known Muslim followers in all the years I visited! Two were employed by Sai Baba (the Sufi Muslim Bashiruddin and a Seva Dal boss), otherwise there are none to be seen there usually. No ladies wearing hijab for a start. Sai Baba seems not to realise that Islam – whether Sunni or Shiite – totally rejects that God can take human form… so that leaves Sai Baba as nothing but a false prophet for them. Besides, Muslims have been libelled in official Sai Baba literature too! (see here)

‘Everything in Prashanthi Nilayam is a Rumour’ according to an Irish devotee filmed there before the sex allegations broke across the Internet in 1999. He tells how the rumor was that Michael Jackson was supposedly to visit Prashanthi Nilayam, but it never happened… also a rumour.Lucey brief video clip here (QuickTime movie 400kbs)

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

Posted in Cults, Gurus, Miracles, Prashanthi Nilayam, Propaganda, Sathya Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Central Trust, Spiritual propaganda | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

More ‘Sai lies’ (sathya asathya)

Posted by robertpriddy on August 15, 2009

from Sanathana Sarathi July 1995, p. 172

from Sanathana Sarathi July 1995, p. 172

Sai Baba has insisted that his weight has remained at (the ‘divine’ number of) 108 lbs (Sathya Sai Speaks Vol 28 p.186 ). He evidently forgot that he had also said something quite opposite in a discourse: “…Swami started eating rice food which students take. He lost 6 kg in weight during 20 days’ stay at Kodaikanal. In Puttaparthi, Satyajit was in the habit of taking My weight now and then. When Swami was in Puttaparthi He weighed 108 lbs. At Kodaikanal, when weight was taken, it showed a reduction by 6 kilos. Swami weighed less than 100 lbs.” (Sanathana Sarathi, June 1998, page 146.)

The Sai Baba stomach

The Sai Baba stomach

Sathya Sai Baba can be seen to have put on and lose weight at different time. Besides, body weight also changes during each day, 2 lbs beings the difference between, say, before and after drinking water and eating a light meal? Water weights 2.2lbs. per litre, and Sai Baba has also warned everyone that they should drink at least 6 glasses of water daily in the hot climate of Southern India… which is at least another kg.

In Sanathana Sarathi, Nov. 1998, he is quoted as saying in connection with fruit offerings to him at the Paduka pooja: “Do they think I am Kumbakarna? I do not even take meals, then what are the fruits for.”
But those who doubt his appetite for food and fruit should take a look at the visual proof… pictures here.

Sai Baba also told V.K. Narasimhan in 1998 that he had not had his hair cut for 20 years either! However, photos taken of Sai Baba through that period show clearly that (around 1993/4??) his hair was suddenly seen to be almost 1/3 of the volume it normally had. Then it slowly grew out again. I was present at the ashram at that time and observed this closer crop of his hair. It was so thin at one time that I could clearly see the scar on his scalp which was reportedly made by a black magician in his teenage years. So Sai Baba can tell anything he likes, whether true or not, accurate or not, and get away.with it… but only among his confirmed and fully paid-up followers!

Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Posted in Cults, Delusion, disinformation, Gurus, Sathya Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba and longevity

Posted by robertpriddy on August 14, 2009

Sai Baba's deluded translator, Anil Kumar

Sai Baba's deluded translator, Anil Kumar

Sathya Sai Baba’s translator and wilful spreader of untruth, Anil Kumar, that Prof. N. Kasturi lived for 100 year

They Lived For 100 Years

“Bhagavan was telling us the other day that those who lived here with Him lived for 100 years, every one of them. He gave an example of Professor Kasturi. When Bhagavan went to see him, He asked him to go for a health check-up. Kasturi answered, “Swami, I’m fine. Why should I go for a health check up?” Bhagavan told him just like that: “Go! Have your blood pressure checked. That’s all!” Kasturi went there and Bhagavan went to the hospital to see him, giving Kasturi instructions for the rest of the things to follow.

The caretaker of the Mandir in those days was Kutumba Rao. (Swami must have given him instructions to arrange for a cremation procession.) He asked, “Swami, why do you want me to arrange to carry a dead body?” Swami said, “No, no, no. Don’t ask. Just follow My instruction.” As Kutumba Rao was making the procession arrangements, the news came that Kasturi expired. That’s it. Kutumba Rao had not been aware of Kasturi’s impending death.Bhagavan was also telling us the other day about Kamadhani, who also lived for 100 years.”

This was on the web site After my exposure of the facts it was removed from the Internet

Prof. N. Kasturi began his autobiography Loving God with the words “This time, I inhaled the Breath of God on Christmas Day, 1897.” His successor as editor of Sanathana Sarathi, V.K. Narasimhan, wrote (September 1987, p. 260) that “death came to him (Kasturi) on August 14 at noon and that he was 90.” What Narasimhan did not write, but told me, was that Kasturi complained bitterly of his terrible sufferings from throat cancer for the 6 weeks he lay on his deathbed (unvisited by Sai Baba except very near the end). That Kutumba Rao was unaware of Kasturi’s long bedridden suffering and likelihood of impending death is simply not credible!

V.K. Narasimhan, who died March 19th, 2000, did not reach the magic 100 years either. At the age of 87, having lost an eye which Sai Baba was unable or unwilling to cure, and then having lost his wife some years later, my dear old friend Narasimhan passed away on March 9th, 2000, after a lengthy period of much suffering in hospital with water on the lungs.

The extravagant untruthful claim in the above that “those who lived here with Him lived for 100 years, every one of them.” can easily be refuted. A friend of mine, Judge Damodar Rao, who had resided close to Sai Baba for decades, died long before reaching his century. Likewise, the above-mentioned Kutumb Rao, who was Sai Baba’s close servitor and Head of Prashanthi Nilayam Ashram. After being sent away for a period, Kutumb Rao returned to his post in 1989, but suffered from internal cancers. He was sent to Madras and opened up, but closed again as a hopeless case beyond surgery. He suffered much for a long period and died around 1990, many years before he reached 100 years of age.

On the basis of the above, it is also doubtful whether the engineer and servitor of Sai Baba in the 1970s, Kamadhani, lived to 100 years. On November 8th, 1997, Sai Baba referred to the death that day of a genuine centenarian, Swami Karunyananda, who had been with Sai Baba for forty years.

The Sai Baba priest who died prematurely

The Sai Baba priest who died prematurely

On the very same day another one who lived with Sai Baba for 40 years died, the pujari of the Prashanthi Nilayam mandir, Padmanabha Shastri. Padmhanabha reportedly did not get at all near to the 100-year milepost! Moreover, Sai Baba stated:

“During the last three months I had been advising Padmanabha Sastri to realise that his is a diabetic patient. ‘The wound in your leg is getting worse. Ultimately amputation may be unavoidable. You are neglecting your leg. Heed my words.’. I was repeatedly warning him, he was consuming sweet things like paayasam and laddus. Today his blood pressure rose to 400 and he had a severe heart attack. You can see what happens when Swami’s advice is ignored.”
(Sanathana Sarathi 11/1997, p. 299 & Sathya Sai Speaks Vol 30, page 231)

It is clear that Sai Baba says whatever suits his whims to try to enhance his importance. Since many people believe him to be what he claims, they take seriously all his glib standard promises to persons like, ‘Long life, healthy life, happy life’, or ‘I will heal’, ‘I will look after everything’ or whatever he says… even though many of these ‘divine promises’ simply do not hold up on inspection. The accounts of Sai Baba’s apparently all-knowing interventions and comments which are vague as to checkable information (such as Anil Kumar excels at on the above-referenced website) are not backed by any evidence from the published case notes or written declarations of known doctors, but rather seem to be amateurishly ‘doctored’ texts. One only has the enthusiastic and pre-convinced raconteur to rely on in practically all instances. It is nearly all just a case of more belief for committed believers. In any case, the critical literature is growing replete with documented examples of Sathya’s Asathya.

Sathya Sai Baba warns people about the danger of telling lies, for example:-
… indulging in falsehood is a tortuous process. One has to take a lot of trouble to cover up one lie with more lies.” (Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. 21, p. 214)

Well, he should know by now as he evidently speaks from experience.

See  Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Murders in the Prashanthi temple – reflections 2

Posted by robertpriddy on June 1, 2009

The Indian press repeatedly described events, as best they were able to investigate them through eye-witnesses who were too frightened to stand forth with their names. Literally hundreds of articles were written in all as the press tried to do its duty to society. Sathya Sai Baba rubbished the entire press coverage and the journalists involved in his highly evasive 1993 Guru Purnima discourse, without explaining a single thing. However, he stated that the whole incident would only serve to increase his fame throughout the world! (Perhaps he was thinking of ‘notoriety’). The complaint to the Press Council by the AP journalists’ union had no appreciable effect. Sathya Sai Baba explained nothing that did not suit him, and that was very little, devious and confusing (see here).

click to enlarge

In the light of official documents alone, no one can seriously contest that the killing spree by police was followed by a totally botched police cover-up. It would have made truly divine comedy directed by a humorous God from on high… were it not for the fact that two valets were murdered and four servants of Sathya Sai Baba, who had been most devoted for many years, were executed one by one in cold blood in “the holy of holies”, Sathya Sai Baba ‘s bedroom. The police were blackmailed by Baba’s younger.

Sathya Sai's younger brother, Janaki Ramiah

brother Janakiramiah (then to become his right-hand man on the Sathya Sai Central Trust) also with the aid of other ashram and Trust officials. This is the truth as it was told to me by V. K. Narasimhan who was party to some of the the discussions between those involved afterwards. Those who want a fuller account of how the crucial facts were made known to me by V.K. Narasimhan (which facts I could for the sake of his own security not make known until after his decease – see my account here and notes I made after discussions with him here and here).

One answer to part of the enigma I tried to adopt was that Sathya Sai Baba has to allow human affairs to take their own course so as not to usurp their will. But this would not hold water in the long run. However, Sathya Sai Baba has repeatedly denied that human beings have any kind of ‘free will’ and that ‘only God (he means himself) has free will’. Though this alone literally amounts to his own self-condemnation, I do not accept this indefensible primitive doctrine and only blinded or indoctrinated devotees could manage to swallow it. I know that Sathya Sai Baba delegates responsibility to his workers, which can involve a considerable degree of own judgement and will power, which they may sometimes use wrongly.

As the undisputed ruler of Prashanthi Nilayam township and of his servitors and devotees who dare not go against his commands, Sathya Sai Baba must bear the overall responsibility for all of it, not least since he indicated in his discourse weeks after the event that he knew in advance the fate of his servitors and warned them too! Nothing can absolve him from having been complicit in cold-blooded murder. One person alleges

that Sathya Sai Baba , while avoiding the mob in the garage attached to the temple, was asked by officials what to do and told them to ‘do as they liked’. This is unconfirmed, but could well be correct. It has not been refuted – by any officials or Sathya Sai Baba himself. They keep as silent (like any Sicilian muerta) as the grave of their victims and hope all will eventually blow over.

Those who wish for a fuller, non-propaganda account of these events can go to:

Resumé of some events and valid questions

The evidence suggests that the four bodies, allegedly found in Sai Baba’s bedroom (and photographed with little blood visible in unnatural positions in each their corner of it), were taken from an adjoining room where they had been shot and which contained pools of blood.

After the assassinations of Mahatma Gandhi, and the prime ministers Indira Gandhi and later her son, Rajiv Gandhi, the killers were not automatically killed. The law was allowed to take its course and police acted bravely to take alive the killers they apprehended. However, Sai Baba issued a press statement that there was no attempt on his life. This contradicted the statement of the police inspector who penned the First Incident Report, and it also nullified the motive stated by the police for their shooting the four intruders. He refused to cooperate with any further inquiries by police or press, but discussed the matter in total secrecy with some of his staff, his younger brother Jankira Ramiah and many visiting high court judges and top politicians of the country.

In this situation, the police were almost powerless and intimidated into not questioning certain suspects or carrying out investigations with any kind of normal thoroughness. From studying official reports made by the police and the courts that were forced to deal with a number of pleas, the investigations were quite patently a complete travesty of police work, leaving almost nothing but loose ends, unquestioned eye-witnesses and a veritable rats’ nest of contradictory statements, doubtful and obviously concocted evidence.

Home Minister S.B. Chavan is reported to have said that Baba “scolded the persons creating the noise, bolting the door from the inside.” An official First Information Report (Annexure 144) reports Sai Baba shouting ‘Fools, get out’. The question is why Sathya Sai Baba did not intervene.

However, the Indian Express (13-6-1993) reported that a boy in is early teens – Subbappayya – who was in Sai Baba’s room when the assailants knocked saying there was a telegram for Sai Baba opened the door. They attempted to attack him, but the dagger only penetrated his shirt and he escaped unharmed. He bolted the door and alerted Baba to the impending danger.

However, writes the Express, “what sounds illogical is that if Subbappayya had closed the door and bolted it from behind, how could the alleged assailants enter Baba’s personal chambers after attacking the four guards

on the ground floor? There are no indications of the alleged assailants or somebody applying pressure on the doors to open them. The police have taken Subbapayya’s torn shirt into their possession… The investigating officers are tight-lipped to the question as to how the assailants could get into Baba’s chamber.”

The next great question is why was a young teenage boy in Sai Baba’s chambers at the time? Further, why did the ashram authorities hide him away and deny police access to him for giving evidence? Why did they do the same with the two injured Sevadal attendants who had been downstairs with Radhakrishnan, namely, Baba’s cook Vishnu Bhatt and the assistant Anil Patley? That the ashram authorities kept them away from any interrogation on various pretexts is not a fact disputed by any source.

Sai Baba on the morning after the murders near him

It seems that Sai Baba’s movements were as follows: EITHER down the rear staircase from his rooms to the kitchen entrance opposite the South Prashanthi blocks. Into the ladies entrance to the mandir and through it to the garage building (into what is sometimes known as the green room?) OR through a door onto the 1st floor behind the balcony and through to a room on the 1st floor of the . The first is the most likely, since there were reports that he had spoken briefly to persons outside the rear of the temple.

He was in any case guarded in a room not 30 yards from the scene of action while police conferred with ashram and central Trust authorities until the intruders were shot, some three hours later (according to foreign visitors who witnessed the sounds of the shooting spree in which 27 rounds were let off). The police claim the time of the shooting was at 10.30 p.m., but several devotees report having heard a siren at 10.30 p.m., followed by a gunshot. Who shot who then is an unanswered question. Then, much later, devotees heard a round of firing of at least 20 rounds at around 1.30 p.m.

A reader remarked in a letter to the Canara Times 5-7-1993. Gautama Buddha once told people not to accept anything without question, including his own teachings. In contrast we have a proven fraud and frequent prestidigitator – widely and most credibly accused of serial sexual abuses – calling himself God Almighty and his followers asking us not to question him.

Please go to the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Posted in Gurus, Murder, Personality Cult, Prashanthi Nilayam, Sathya Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Central Trust, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba lack of awards

Posted by robertpriddy on June 3, 2008

Having seen in my last two blogs how international awards – the Nobel Peace Prize and the Duke of Edinburgh Awards – have evaded Sathya Sai Baba, despite the talk, misinformation and eagerness of his devotees (and himself too!) that he should in a way be recognised a bit and given praise (not least for the works they do on his behalf), one many now consider why this is so.

Sathya Sai ‘service’ work and organizations have received no international awards

One must ask why, when Sai Baba boasts that he does 1000 times more than anyone else in the world – and that his followers have saved the world from catastrophe by their works. Presumably all the fanfare is not judged as credible by independent bodies that would otherwise consider it. Instead, no awards involving service to mankind were given by the Spanish Noble Prize equivalent body Sathya Sai Baba or his works… which he claims to be incomparable in the whole world! Instead awards were made to major benefactors and organizations, top world benefactors in science, engineering and healthcare.

Has Sathya Sai Baba any chance of an Asturias Award?

Last year (2007) the prominent journals ‘Science’ and ‘Nature’ both received prestigious Spanish Asturias Foundation awards, as did UNICEF and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  This year five scientists, 2 Japanese and 3 American worldwide leaders in the creation of new nano technology for the benefit of mankind received awards, as did numerous health organizations involved in fighting malaria in Africa. Still nothing for

Conferred annually since 1981 the Prince of Asturias awards are intended to acknowledge scientific, technical, cultural, social and humanitarian work carried out internationally by individuals, groups or organisations in the following eight categories: communication and humanities, social sciences, arts, letters, scientific and technical research, international cooperation, concord and sports. (see list of winners at bottom of page). Just compare the quality, outreach and depth of research and understanding in these serious and brilliant journals – and in the work of all other such recipients – with that supposed ‘eternal knowledge’ expounded by Sathya Sai Baba in his monthly journal ‘Sanathana Sarathi’, which is packed full of his endlessly repetitive religious mythology and handed-down superstitions packaged as self-promotion as having been the actual hero of those myths – Vishnu, Rama, Krishna! The strongly moralising rants he calls ‘discourses’ are a cast-iron guarantee that he cannot and will never enter the running for any respected award in any humanistic, scientific forum.

What an enormous difference in lucidity, factuality, usefulness, openness, intelligence, testability and critical thinking between these works and anything produced or done by Sathya Sai Baba. While I was a follower and before I eventually and with great reluctance became aware of the huge deceits being practised by him and his inner circle. The former famous journalist and later in house editor of Sai Baba’s journal Sanathana Sarathi – V.K. Narasimhan – were aware of the low quality of much of the discourses. The numerous problems posed by Sai Baba’s teachings, his self-contradictory words, factual inaccuracy and major blunders, caused V.K. Narasimhan much worry (he had to cover these up by editorial changes and deletions).

Altogether, the Asturias awards promote a very different standard of achievement to that of anything connected with the self-promoted Saviour of Humanity as the following indicates well enough:-

Winners of Asturias Awards include Al Gore, Mary Robinson, Ralf Darendorf, Peter Lawrence, UNICEF, The National Geographic Society, Álvaro Mutis, Francisco Umbral, Mario Vargas Llosa, Camilo José Cela, Günter Grass, Doris Lessing, Arthur Miller or Claudio Magris; politicians such as Václav Havel, Jacques Delors, Adolfo Suárez, Mijail Gorbachov, Nelson Mandela, Isaac Rabin, H.M. King Hussein of Jordan or Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva; institutions such as the United Nation´s High Commission for Refugees, Unidad Revolucionaria Nacional Guatemalteca (the Guatemalan National Revolutionary Movement), Médicos Sin Fronteras (Doctors with no Borders) and Medicus Mundi, the Sephardic Community, the American Foundation for Aids Research (founded and led by Elizabeth Taylor) and CNN; scientists such as Stephen Hawking, the Atapuerca Research Team, Santiago Grisolía, Guido Münch, Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier, the human world´s leading research teams in the field of the human genome, the fathers of Internet or Jane Goodall; historians such as John Elliott or Julio Caro Baroja, intellectuals such as Julián Marías, Indro Montanelli, George Steiner, Umberto Eco, Hans M. Enzensberger or Jürgen Habermas; artists such as Antoni Tàpies, Óscar Niemeyer, Joaquín Rodrigo, Vittorio Gassmann, Barbara Hendricks, Woody Allen and Miquel Barceló.

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