‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed
Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011
In the article: ‘Holy Man Or Hoax?’, the world-famous ‘Marie Claire’ magazine has just furthered the exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult.
Writing for the Australian edition of ‘Marie Claire’ (April 2011), the British journalist Gethin Chamberlin, who resides in India (See note below), writes:
Sathya Sai Baba, God, guru, magician, is arguably one of the most influential men on earth – and certainly one of the most controversial. He counts presidents, prime ministers and kings (and celebrities like Goldie Hawn and Sarah Ferguson) among his 50 million followers. He sits on a multi-billion-dollar fortune, his picture hangs on the walls of hundreds of institutions that bear his name, he claims he can materialise holy healing ash and diamond rings out of thin air, and perform miracle cures. He claims he is omnipotent and omnipresent. He has variously described himself as the second coming of Jesus and the reincarnation of the Hindu gods Shiva and Shakti, and his followers believe he is God in human form.
But behind the pageantry lies a sinister underbelly.
(Note: there are serious questions to be raised about crowd estimates, and some journalists have trusted figures which, when examined, turn out to be those trumpeted around by the Sathya Sai sect itself. See: Sathya Sai Baba’s Gross Exaggerations of Puttaparthi Crowd Numbers).
Major media around the world have exposed various aspects of Sathya Sai Baba, and of his official Sathya Sai Organization, which has grown increasingly authoritarian over the decades. See: Notable Former Devotees Who Have Spoken Out and: Dr. G. Venkataraman, propagandist in the limelight.
Gethin Chamberlain writes:
Since the 70’s, countless men have come forward with accounts of abuse, all familiar: Sai Baba calls them into a private meeting, places his hands on their genitals, then tells them it is not a sexual act. Sometimes he performs oral sex on them, sometimes they on him. Always the explanation is the same: this is an act of God. Many choose to ignore the allegations, and Sai Baba’s army of powerful supporters help to quash the rumours. Last November, more than a million people attended Sai Baba’s 85th birthday, the prime minister and president of India were among them.
See: Avatar of Deception: Sathya Sai Baba. 85, But Says He Will Rule World and: Sai Baba Breaks Down and Sobs At 85th Birthday Celebration (Video Footage) and: Sathya Sai Baba 85th Birthday No Celebration For Those He Has So Badly Hurt.
Although it states that there are many worldwide allegations of Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of young males, and refers to the UNESCO and US State Department advisories, the ‘Maire Claire’ article does not allude to various other scandals, most notably the massive Puttaparthi and local, state and central government cover up of the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom in on 6 April 1993, which BBC television exposed well in ‘The Secret Swami’, in 2004. See: Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba) and: V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings and: Will V.P.B. Nair Keep His Word To BBC On Sathya Sai Baba? and: V.K. Narasimhan on the 1993 Sathya Sai Baba murders and: Sathya Sai Baba and India in-depth study.
Two examples Chamberlain cites give typical examples of the guru-blinded nature of many Sathya Sai Baba cultists (and cultists of many another feather!), and the manner in which they bury their consciences in rationalizations that defy ethics common to many cultures, and indeed contravene the laws of a great many countries. He writes:
But complaints against Sai Baba have now piled so high even some of his most ardent supporters accept there is truth in them. In 2004, Isaac Tigrett (ed., the US billionaire and co-founder of the Hard Rock Cafe chain, who also established The House Of Blues) told a BBC reporter that even though he “absolutely believes there is truth to the rumours”, it doesn’t change his feelings about his guru. “He could go out and murder someone tomorrow,” admits Tigrett, “and it’s not going to change the good things that have come out of my relationship [with Sai Baba]”. Devotee Ram Das Awle agrees, but adds that any contact Sai Baba had with young men would have been for their own good: “It seems very likely any sexual contact Sai Baba has had with devotees, of whatever kind, has actually been only a potent blessing, given to awaken the spiritual power within those souls. Who can call that wrong?”.
See: Isaac Tigrett. Selling Out Those Condemned to a House Of Blues and: Isaac Tigrett & a fake ‘crystal skull’ Sai Baba ‘materialized’ and: The fall and fantasies of Sai Baba supporter, Isaac Tigrett
To be sure, there are grave types of crime, and spiritual betrayal on a mammoth international scale, which this article and many others have not, understandably, been able to capture. Nevertheless, it is to advantage that ‘Marie Claire’ features world standard photojournalism, and the ‘Holy Man Or Hoax?’ article contains quite recent and strikingly revealing photos of just some of the incredible opulence with which Sai Baba surrounds himself. His madness, authoritarianism and overweening arrogance are damningly evident to a vast array of human beings, but not to those smitten by their unquestioning faith in him.
In responses to the magazine article, both from those in many religions and from those who disdain religion altogether, there cannot help but be a common attitude, here. They will abhor Sathya Sai Baba’s and his organization’s splurging lavishness. Alike, their eyes will behold the disgraceful exhibitionism, the squandering of wealth in a land of great poverty and inequality, and the vaulting arrogance and profound lack of active ethics and genuine spirituality in Sathya Sai Baba and in those who are enslaved to him. See: Sathya Sai Baba: opulence, show, extravagance and waste and: Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia.
The more the facts get out to mass audiences the more the world will realize the corruptness of successive Indian governments, irrespective of which regime is in power, which have protected and covered up for Sai Baba – a veritable ‘golden goose’ for many among India’s elites – who has never been brought to face laws that are, nonetheless, enshrined in Indian state and central bodies of Law.
The Divine Downfall of Sathya Sai Baba (UK Telegraph)
….. is a photojournalist covering South Asia for The Observer. He also writes for a number of other newspapers and magazines, including The Guardian, Grazia, GQ, Look, News of the World, South China Morning Post and The National. Based in India, he previously worked as a foreign correspondent for The Sunday Telegraph and as The Scotsman’s chief reporter. He can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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