Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit
Posted by Barry Pittard on June 25, 2007
The English poet Alexander Pope had an exquisite appreciation of situations like desperate devotees clinging to forlorn hope in the face of Sai Baba’s many broken promises to visit places, like Rome, Southern California, the UK, Malaysia, etc,:
Hope springs eternal in the human breast:
Man never is, but always To be Blest
Below is an email from a foremost Sai Baba critic, the late Glen Meloy (11 Jan 2004), to a researcher at BBC 2’s This World television documentary team and me. She, I.A., was working on the documentary that became The Secret Swami (which can be viewed HERE. See also my article:
The Genesis of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sai Baba). See also, In Memoriam – Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”). The .pdf version, with color motifs, is HERE.
Glen Meloy’s reference to Sai Baba’s promises – and even arrangements – to travel to Southern California hark way back to the early 1970’s. Yet as recently as February 16, 2007, in a so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai Baba said, “I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.” In yesterday’s blog (See reference at end), I raised the questions, But will he? How can he? For the very thought is drastically absurd!
Glen Meloy’s email note:
The whole Southern California contingent was on “red alert” many times over the alleged visit by SSB to the USA. All of this stemmed from a well publicized promise he had made to Elsie Cowan and the Southern California devotees that he would come and stay at her home and be available for the Tustin Book Center volunteers and selected members from the Southern California Centers. Dr. Sandweiss remodeled his house as did many others. They even created special bathrooms designed just for SSB. Elsie was still hoping for a visit after she donated the land and building for the existing Tustin Book Center on 1sr street in Tustin, California. It had a special bath that was reserved only for SSB.
When the first rumor was thought to be realized in 1974-1975, Elsie asked me to contact the Annenbergs in Rancho Mirage , California to see if we could reserve their estate for a private meeting place that would accommodate at least 150 specially selected devotees. Annenberg was the founder of TV GUIDE and had a huge private guarded castle like estate in the desert and entertained Prince Charles, Ronald Reagan and the like.
Indulah Shaw, Dr. Bhagavatham, and Dr. Gokak visited the USA as advance people for the trip, but it never came about.
Poor Elsie was feeling distraught one evening and invited Walt Neubaurer and myself up to her room at her condo in Tustin, California and she pounded on the wall 3 times and said that was the way she could get Baba’s attention. She was quite a character……multi-millionaires who, with her husband Walter had previously been a close devotee of Kirpal Singh. As soon as they heard about SSB, they hopped on a plane and were met with open arms. After several million dollars in donations, including the new Youth Hostel building in Puttaparthi, The Cowans were given a personal letter from SSB granting them the exclusive right to publish, distribute and re-print ALL of the various Sai Baba Books outside of India. Walter Cowan was an extremly wealthy man who had made his fortune by buying up properties that contained oil and natural gas. A prominent section of Tustin, California is named Cowan Heights in honor of their influence. They had a huge home that was later given to Elsie’s daughter and her grandchildren.
Elsie was quite perky and brazen with SSB and thought nothing of coming up to him at the temple in front of all the Indians and grabbing his hand. This shocked all the locals, but Elsie was the “Grand Dame” with the money and got away with it. She hated Indulal Shah (called him the little weasel) and also never cared for Goldstein.
For an organization that was thought to be so loving, it amazed me that there was so much bickering and jealousy going on in an organization whose leader allegedly lived at the world’s Supreme “Abode of Peace.”
I met personally with Dr. Gardhia several times, both in Canada and the USA. At the time, I was impressed with his little silver box that allegedly manifested Vibhuti whenever it became empty. To fill it, he used to tap it against his forehead 3 times and chant a mantra, after which he would open the lid to display copious amounts of overflowing ash.
There are devotees all over the world waiting for that crazy plane to lift off……..What a joke! How hypnotized we were.
Closely Related Blog:
Quote: “In his February 16, 2007 so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai Baba said, “I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.” But will he? How can he?
The guru, perhaps the most wealthy and politically powerful in India’s long history, claims that he will save the world in his own lifetime. He will, he says, preside over the greatest changes ever to occur in history – the Moslems being the last to accept that he is God”.
June 24th, 2007 by Barry Pittard
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