Call For Media and Government Investigation

of Sathya Sai Baba And his worldwide cult, the Sathya Sai Organization

Police Killings in Sai Baba’s Bedroom

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 10, 2007

Intense Indian Piety

india-a-land-of-pilgrims.jpgmuslim-place-of-pilgrimage-andhra-pradesh.jpgsikh-pilgrim-place.jpg

parsi-tower-of-silence.jpgjain-pilgrim-place.jpgbuddhist-temple-india.jpgIt would be perhaps impossible to imagine a more intensely religious country than India. One way to experience this (a mostly quite delightful way, I have found) is to go on a pilgrimage with an Indian family. Another way (which can lack in delight! as I also know from personal experience of calling for proper third-party investigation of Sathya Sai Baba) is – whether publicly or privately – to criticize a guru or religious leader.

Criticizing Indian Gurus and Religious Leaders. A Tough Job

I do not say that exposing of religious leaders in India cannot occur, but that that the wall against it is extremely formidable. It is the more difficult when a guru – as is the case with Sai Baba – has been able to convince both elites and masses that he is God incarnate. He has also commanded as his devotees an astounding breadth of political persuasions, countries and cultures. The British newspaper The Guardian termed Sai Baba ‘the Indian Living God’. (See, The Indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards, Paul Lewis, The Guardian, Saturday November 4, 2006)

Indian Rationalists and Humanists

Given the depth of this taboo on criticizing Indian religious leaders, it is perhaps, often enough, to rationalist or humanist critics that we may need to look if we have some hope of uncovering even a few religious scandals in India. Leaving aside what may be the rights and the wrongs of the issue, the fact that a Hindu pontiff, Sri Jayendra Saraswathi of Kanchi could be arrested for implication in a temple murder, may indicate that, perhaps amazingly, things are changing in vastly tradition-bound India. Even so, in passing, I raise the question whether he would have been arrested if the charges had related to child abuse instead of murder.

basava-premanand-bbc-news-pic.jpg

Foremost among Indian critics of Sai Baba, is Basava Premanand, founder of the Federation of Indian rationalist Associations, who edits The Indian Skeptic and convenes the Indian chapter of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP)

Some Resources:

The Police Killings in Sai Baba’s Bedroom

Scroll to heading ‘Major Critic Basava Premanand’. This indexes the article links for a series of very detailed comments concerning the killings at Puttaparthi, on June 6,1993. B.Premanand responds to a critic.

On B. Premanand

tanya-data-bbc-presenter-and-journalist.jpg

The BBC’s Tanya Datta, reporter on the 2004 television documentary on Sathya Sai Baba, writes on B.Premanand, India’s best-known Rationalist. Sathya Sai Baba: God-man or con man. “Basava Premanand is India’s leading guru-buster. He believes that the country’s biggest spiritual leader, Sri Satya Sai Baba, is a charlatan and must be exposed”.  Thursday, 17 June, 2004

Wikipedia Entry. “Basava Premanand is an eminent skeptic and rationalist from Tamil Nadu, India”.

Robert Priddy’s Writings on the Killings

Robert Priddy, retired lecturer in Philosophy and Social Sciences, University of Oslo and former head of the Sathya Sai Organization.

Murders at Sathya Sai Baba Ashram

Sathya Sai Baba Murders Revisited

Sathya Sai Baba: Murders/executions, Indian Press evidence

On this blogsite

Barry Pittard, Indian Rationalists, Humanists Unsafe Opposing Sai Baba

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2 Responses to “Police Killings in Sai Baba’s Bedroom”

  1. […] Basava Premanand, the celebrated Rationalist and ‘guru buster,’ reports investigating Sathya Sai Baba since 1968, first “as a hobby” then going public in 1976. He is seen showing the trick behind Sai Baba’s so-called ‘miraculous’ production of the golden lingam (of which more below). Professor Narendra Nayak, his fellow Rationalist, demonstrates how, by sleight-of-hand, magicians perform the same ‘miracles’ as Sai Baba – e.g. materializing ash, rings, pendants, etc. To convince the most critical, the BBC needed demonstrations as sophisticated as those in the Danish documentary Seduced (a copy of which the BBC possessed) where the Danish magician Nils Krøjgaard exposes the deceptions involved. Narendra Nayak shows Tanya Datta, who realizes that it takes practice, how to secrete a vibhuti (sacred ash) pellet between the thumb and base of the forefinger. Nayak says that Sai Baba’s rotations of the hand when producing the ash is the method used by all ‘godmen’ who ‘materialize’ this ash, and obscures the act of crumbling the pellet. (Various people, such as the former leader of the Australian Sai Organization, Terry Gallagher, a scientist and businessman, have reported seeing Sai Baba inadvertently drop these pellets. See Terry Gallagher’s testimony and my article ‘Police Killings in Sai Baba’s Bedroom at Puttaparthi’). […]

  2. […] Basava Premanand, the celebrated Rationalist and ‘guru buster,’ reports investigating Sathya Sai Baba since 1968, first “as a hobby” then going public in 1976. He is seen showing the trick behind Sai Baba’s so-called ‘miraculous’ production of the golden lingam (of which more below). Professor Narendra Nayak, his fellow Rationalist, demonstrates how, by sleight-of-hand, magicians perform the same ‘miracles’ as Sai Baba – e.g. materializing ash, rings, pendants, etc. To convince the most critical, the BBC needed demonstrations as sophisticated as those in the Danish documentary Seduced (a copy of which the BBC possessed) where the Danish magician Nils Krøjgaard exposes the deceptions involved. Narendra Nayak shows Tanya Datta, who realizes that it takes practice, how to secrete a vibhuti (sacred ash) pellet between the thumb and base of the forefinger. Nayak says that Sai Baba’s rotations of the hand when producing the ash is the method used by all ‘godmen’ who ‘materialize’ this ash, and obscures the act of crumbling the pellet. (Various people, such as the former leader of the Australian Sai Organization, Terry Gallagher, a scientist and businessman, have reported seeing Sai Baba inadvertently drop these pellets. See Terry Gallagher’s testimony and my article ‘Police Killings in Sai Baba’s Bedroom at Puttaparthi’). […]

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