Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

What Is A Cult? Does Sathya Sai Baba Preside Over A Servile, Worldwide Cult?

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 21, 2011

Is the Sathya Sai Organization a cult?  It is a fair question.  No careless use of terms will serve us well. We might also enquire – perhaps of our own selves, more than anyone else, whether there are significant cultic elements in those institutions we may too readily deem ‘mainstream’ or liveable-with, or somehow ‘rational’, ‘normal’, and so forth.

Does not the human mind tend to cling to certain presumed verities? How would we do traveling, for a while, without them? Even if such ‘verities’ had some substance to them, does the clinging in itself nullify any more profound nurturing of our being that we would wish to be mediated via our belief systems? 

I pose questions, here, rather than wish to plunge into answers. The reader may wish to take the definition below and hold it up to material appearing on this blog more widely, and also to the writings of the most serious, focused commentators critical of Sathya Sai Baba and his Sathya Sai Organization, such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Alexandra Nagel, Serguei Badaev and Kevin R.D. Shepherd.

Perhaps it is our human readiness to come up with answers, and structures and tenets that traps instead of frees us. Perhaps we need, first, to posit, for the sake of argument or simply the fun of it, that we are trapped in our ‘verities’ and ‘solutions’. In short, to see what the trap might look like – before we can ever hope to see what the freedom might look like. It may be that, after searching self-scrutiny, any significant freedom that may be glimpsed may be too much for us to bear ….

Here is a possible useful, and very brief, attempt at getting to a definition of a cult ….

“A cult is a group or movement exhibiting a great or excessive devotion or dedication to some person, idea, or thing and employing unethically manipulative techniques of persuasion and control (e.g., isolation from former friends and family, debilitation, the use of special methods to heighten suggestibility and subservience, powerful group pressures, information management, suspension of individual critical judgment, promotion of total dependency on the group and fear of leaving it, etc. designed to advance the goals of the group’s leaders to the actual or possible detriment of members, their families… ”  (West and Langone, 1986).


Further Reading

Is the Sathya Sai Organization not a cult?

On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult (Part 1.)- Ex Leaders and Rank-and-File

Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia

Jaani Drucker – wild claims not supported by her actions

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

 In Wikipedia, Moreno, Google Robert Priddy notes:  “There was an exchange of views between Barry Pittard and Jaani [or Yaani] Drucker on his blog on Rationalizing Rape, and his replies to Jaani Drucker here and here. Now I make a more detailed examination of the issues at stake”.

In Wikipedia, Moreno, Google, the independent British author on religious and philosophical topics Kevin Shepherd notes:  “In October 2006, I discovered a Wikipedia User page that was very hostile towards my publishing effort known as Citizen Initiative (CI). The pseudonym of the attacker was here SSS108. I did not at first know who the aggressor was, though afterwards some academic friends were able to trace the identity of this person, who is a salient American internet defender of the controversial guru Sathya Sai Baba. He had become a Wikipedia editor in relation to that guru. His name is known in variants. He has identified himself as Gerald Moreno, and as Joe Moreno, and some commentators have therefore called him Gerald ‘Joe’ Moreno”.

In Sathya Sai Baba: problems,  Kevin Shepherd writes:  “One of the major critical commentators on the corpus of Sathya Sai is the ex-devotee Brian Steel. His website has also furnished penetrating analyses of matters such as miracles and the reincarnation claim. See especially Brian Steel, ‘Claim to be the Reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba’ at That claim is very much open to repudiation, especially as it is so obvious that this recourse produced fame for the claimant at an early stage in his career. See 23.4 below. A recent contribution is Steel, ‘Sathya Sai Baba’s Questionable Stories and Claims’ at This makes many references to the edited discourses in Sathya Sai Speaks, and the conclusion is expressed that the subject is not omniscient (contrary to his claim). Steel instead describes Sathya Sai as a charismatic guru ‘who offers eclectic (Hindu-based) spiritual teachings and promotes universal harmony and charitable works achieved by devotees’ efforts or donations’”.



 Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba


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