Sathya Sai Baba’s Mastery of ‘The Big Lie’
Posted by Barry Pittard on February 1, 2011
Among the plethora of Puttaparthi untruths, there is the constant repetition, mantra-like and mind-numbing, from Sathya Sai Baba and many of his followers about the supposedly vast millions who follow him.
He, like many other misleaders of the world, long ago mastered the strategy of what is often referred to as ‘the big’ lie. A scholar studying Sathya Sai Baba may consider some comparisons by looking at the US Office of Strategic Service’s war-time profile report on Adolph Hitler (^ Hitler as His Associates Know Him, OSS report, p.51, cited in Wikipedia: ‘The Big Lie’), which stated:
“His primary rules were: never allow the public to cool off; never admit a fault or wrong; never concede that there may be some good in your enemy; never leave room for alternatives; never accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time and blame him for everything that goes wrong; people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it”
Indeed, in their constant harping about the virtue of truth at its several levels, we see how misled individuals can become – especially when they subsume, within deep cloud banks, their intellect beneath their blind faith.
In discussions about numbers of devotees worldwide or crowd numbers at Puttaparthi, one commonly hears phrases like: “is estimated”, “is thought to be about”, “Baba says three million attended his 70th birthday”, “Baba’s Glory is being seen by all the world” … Etc., and ad nauseam .., not least from his hand-picked students who have been so thoroughly brain-washed, and can always be depended upon to win the hearts of audiences. (Which is a sad reflection for me as a former teacher (ca 178-79) in his college education system.
Robert Priddy who, like myself, worked (although not Priddy and I at the same time) with mutual respect and amity with the eminent Indian former newspaper editor V.K. Narasimhan, reported – supported by his detailed diaries – that the latter told him
…. (Sathya Sai Baba) “always multiplies by 10″ when counting heads. He told me of a number of such instances. One example, the less than 300,000 (absolute maximum) who were present on the 70th Birthday were said to be three million by Sathya Sai Baba himself. Several persons I know heard Sathya Sai Baba actually say this”. See: Concerning V.K. Narasimhan’s Revelations to Robert Priddy
A Heavy Legacy
Many devotees have spoken of 50 million followers and upwards. Publically extolling his guru Sai Baba, an eminent American birth scientist (see below) crazily puts the number Sai Baba worshippers at 100 million. (And, just as crazily, Sai Baba’s chief defendant on the internet, Gerald Joe Moreno, attacks Sai Baba critics for pointing out the absurdity). The apostles of the so-called ‘Avatar of All Avatars are quite without sense when one drives the question: Estimated by whom? Using what (if any) polling method?
As if to prove the folk wisdom that no quantity of strings of letters after a person’s name is any guarantee of commonsense, we have the case of:
“Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand, MBBS, D.Phil., FAAP, FCCM, FRCPCH
Pediatrician of repute from United States…
Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences UAMS College of Medicine; Board of Directors, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute.”
One may mention that K. ‘Sunny’ Anand was a health advisor to past US President George W. Bush. Here he delivers the kind of rhetoric one grows very used to hearing from lecterns at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi:
“All of Humanity is beholden that Sri Sathya Sai Baba has taken a human form that lives in Puttaparthi, in the Southern part of India. He was born on Nov 23, 1926 and announced his Divine Mission in May, 1940. Millions and millions of instances have proven to the world that God Almighty, the Absolute Reality, the Divine Cosmic Being, the Creator of the Universe has set aside His difficult to grasp Immanence and manifested in the form of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. HE has assumed a human form to guide humankind towards their own Divinity within and to save humanity from its own annihilation …..
….. The Advent of this Divine Form is referenced in the Book of Revelations of the Bible, in the Holy Koran, in the Vedas and Jaimini Mahabharatha, in the Guru Granth Sahib, and in all of the major religious texts of the world. Currently, Sri Sathya Sai Baba is worshipped by more than 100 million people from more than 200 countries in the world (ed. note – emphasis in red highlight is mine) but most of the world remains oblivious of His Presence”. (For extended commentary and sources, see Brian Steel’s article: A New Celebrity Endorsement of SSB’s Alleged Divinity?)
Hardly much need to comment on the last line where Anand says that “most of the world remains …..”, etc. Sometimes the world knows about him. Sometimes the world doesn’t know about him. Reason rolls about like a kid’s alley on shifting ground. Or, to mix the metaphor – when blind faith grips the heart, the mind can be as elastic as it likes.
Devotees go on about the “Glory of Puttaparthi”, etc., but ignored is the Inglorious Confusion of Puttaparthi.