Sathya Sai Baba Apologist Joe Moreno’s Random Personal Attack Style (1)
Posted by Barry Pittard on April 15, 2009
In the writings of Sathya Sai Baba’s foremost apologists, it is very typical to attempt to make it appear as though Sai Baba critics live, somehow, in each other’s grey and homogenous pockets.
By Their Fruits Ye Shall Know Them
Fortunately, there is a great deal that has been written by competent and rational commentators on Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide sect, such as Brian Steel, Robert Priddy, Timothy Conway Ph.D, and Kevin Shepherd, the independent British philosopher and scholar.
Shepherd, I should add, has always been an outsider to the Sathya Sai Organisation, and cannot be viewed as being in agreement with all views or idioms of ex-devotees or other Sai Baba critics. Not that there is inveterate agreement among former devotees, either.
For Shepherd’s discussion of some of the intricacies of Gerald Moreno’s indefinite banning by the Wikipedia authorities, See the reference at the foot of this article for: Part Three: Wikipedia, the rival Citizendium, and the Wikipedia ban on Gerald (Joe) Moreno. The saga that led to Moreno’s banning by the Wiki authorities for exceptionally poor behaviour is a very sorry one indeed. Shepherd discusses some of the intricacies. Needless to say, Shepherd was quick to receive Moreno’s abusive and defamatory treatment.
Of Blood and Stone
One of the differences among former devotees – although amicable – is whether expense and the purposes of exposing the Sathya Sai cult would justify sueing Moreno, if, that is to say, he could be sued. Given the adage about not being able to derive blood from a stone, there is, indeed, a question that singles itself out: whether one who spends vast days and nights lapping up countless shreds and threads as though they were items of great nourishment for body, soul and spirit would have sufficient funds to fend for himself against litigation. Given, however, his ostensible connection with those close to Sathya Sai Baba and his leadership, perhaps he would have a ready covet financial supporter from coffers worth a great many millions of dollars.
Aristotle Rolls In His Logical Grave
Moreno’s treatment meted out to individuals who so dare to speak out have their name systematically plastered in both article titles and content, with the aid of skilful manipulation of arcane Internet technology, describing them as “liars”, “cheats”, engaged in “deception”, and much worse. His infractions of the Aristotelean law of the distributed middle (the necessity of not arguing a general contention from some particular instance) are rampant. His particular premises themselves are highly contentious. Wikipedia’s depiction of this fallacy is convenient:
Page after page of his reveal another of his omnipresent hardy weapons, argumentum ad hominem (Latin “argument to the man”, “argument against the man”), attacking the person advancing contentions instead of focusing on the issues at hand.
Again constantly to be seen are his use of the related fallacy of guilt-by-association: former devotee a) is so-and-so and does such-and-such, therefore former devotee b) is also so-and-so and does such-and-such. Mind you, yet again, former devotee a) may NOT be so-and-so or have done such-and-such, or it may not be relevant. Longtime former head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, Robert Priddy, has just written:
“Invidiously, Joe Moreno calls me ‘a blatant liar’ many times obviously without any tangible proof because I can assure that I never lie. He is fond of childish name-calling and smearing through labeling: egs. he accused me of being a “fundamentalist Christian” (I am 100% agnostic!), an associate of known perverts (because I support the cogent and very well-informed arguments concerning Sai Baba by an Indian ex-devotee who Moreno claims – in his massive stalking campaign to ruin that person’s reputation- to expose as a “pervert”- including through in famous postings made by Moreno to support his hate agenda on pornography sites – see list of them here)“. See: Joe Moreno – massive internet abuse. Posted by robertpriddy on April 14, 2009
As well as Moreno’s Internet stalkings and libels, his many targets suffer his personal intrusion into their personal, institutional and community lives. Many individuals of outstanding merit – teachers, professional colleagues, closest friends, relations, etc., – who have seen them under the test of many decades of their lives do not share Moreno’s constant and strident appraisal that those who have stood forth in questioning Sai Baba and his cult are demons.
When any competent reader puts the critical readings of those mentioned at the outset writings alongside the writing of Sai Baba sect proxy apologists such as Gerald Moreno, the qualitative difference leaps into view.
‘Joe’ Moreno and Sai Baba’s official Internet propagandist Dr G. Venkataraman evidently assume that some of the world’s most reputed organs such as the BBC, CBC, DR, SBS, ABC, Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, Age, UNESCO, etc., are peopled with incompetents unable to gauge good credentials and self- and group-presentation of those whose accounts their highly-trained, seasoned journalists investigate. It was no easy task, for example, for the producers of ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004) to obtain from BBC senior management and its legals permission to use a secret camera trained on Dr Michael Goldstein.
“It does not stop Gerald Moreno from berating and demeaning a Ph.D scholar, Timothy Conway Ph.D., of Santa Barbara, USA, a popular university lecturer and author, and former Sathya Sai center leader, who nonetheless responded to Moreno with great restraint and civility: The crucial John Hislop letters, Sathya Sai Baba, & Sathya’s defender Joe Moreno“
Robert Priddy – Less Recent articles on Moreno
Brian Steel on Gerald Moreno
Diversionary Tactics by an Internet Demagogue. The pro-Sathya Sai Baba Campaign of Gerald (‘Joe’) Moreno
Timothy Conway Ph.D on Gerald Moreno
Note: Timothy Conway Ph.D is a highly-trained academic who has extensively written on the philosophy and sociology of religion. On the other hand, no teacher of clear-thinking could do other than mark Moreno poorly on his inability to argue well. It mattered nothing that he showed extraordinary patience in the face of Moreno’s attacks upon him. Nor did it matter that the BBC itself knew perfectly well what Moreno has tried to deny about the provenance of the highly indicting letters of (the late) Dr Jack Hislop, the first head of Sai Baba’s organization in the USA (and, at that time, of ‘The Americas’).
Kevin Shepherd on Gerald Moreno
Part Two: Profile of Gerald (Joe) Moreno and the Testimonies to strongly alleged sexual abuse by Sathya Sai Baba
See Part three on the same webpage as this last link: Part Three: Wikipedia, the rival Citizendium, and the Wikipedia ban on Gerald (Joe) Moreno.