Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Michael J. Hollander: A Sathya Sai Baba Preacher of ‘Woe-Unto-The-Wicked’

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 16, 2012

I remember Michael Hollander

This was when I began to teach for two years at the Sathya Sai College (1978-79) and heard that Sai Baba had selected a woman named Faith, a leader in a New York Sathya Sai Baba center, as a wife for Hollander. At a time when very few westerners lived around Sai Baba, she came to spend prolonged time in quiet, focused spiritual retreat. (Earlier to this, he had cleared his ashrams of 60’s spiritual seekers/hippies).

However, Faith preferred, her fellow devotees said, to be – spiritually speaking – married only to Sai Baba. Nonetheless, regarding him as all-knowing and all-seeing, she was ready to comply with Sai Baba’s match-making.

One morning, Michael quickly summoned me. On the spur of a moment, he asked me to act as, it seemed, ‘best man’. I was aware of Michael Hollander as a rather robust, enthusiastic bhajan singer, who was very eager to lead bhajans (conducted from about 9am to 5pm) during Thursday and Sunday lunch-times when the experienced singers retired for lunch.

Sathya Sai Baba conducted Michael and Faith’s wedding in his interview room at the Whitefield campus. I can still ‘hear’ the words of his homily: “Michael, when she is sick, do not say that she is sick. Say – WE are sick. Faith, when he is sick, do not say that he is sick. Say – WE are sick”. 

This was but one of a few marriages which – to the great surprise of one or both parties – Sai Baba, in his role of spiritual master, ordered. A very noted example was his marriage of David and Fay Bailey, who at great sacrifice to themselves, years later, were among the foremost in exposing Sathya Sai Baba internationally. See:

Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba

For Faith, Sai Baba appeared to materialize a filigree pendent composed of (apparently) gold and gemstones for Faith, by reaching up into the air and pulling it down.  For Michael, he produced a ring that looked like it was gold. This Sai Baba did right in front of Michael and me. It seemed to form from out of his fingers, in full sight as the pendant manifestation was. (But see my articles): 

Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip)

Censored Indian National Television Film of Sai Baba Cheating

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip)

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle

Michael Hollander, Fervent Sathya Sai Baba Apostle

Below, I copy a comment which was one among a number of comments Michael Hollander sent http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com, the blogsite of my trusted colleague, Robert Priddy. As I read it, I mused about whether Hollander, who has written hagiographically on Sai Baba and who is somewhat venerated in Sai circles because of his long-time association with Sai Baba, has at all learned one of his master’s key teachings:  Be loving towards all, even those who may have done ill to you.

In terms of Sai Baba’s marriage homily advising partners to think in terms of WE, Michael Hollander’s email to Robert Priddy may question whether Michael and Faith are at all well all these years later.

In Hollander’s email, is there even a trace of that urbane respect we see in rational discussion when people have a differing viewpoint? Or do we see, rather, a finger-wagging condemnation? Like an old-time Puritan preacher fulminating from the pulpit, threatening  hellfire and damnation? Here are a few of Hollander’s – um – exquisitely loving words, rather redolent of an email with which, years ago, he assailed David Bailey (I shall refer to it in my next blog):

“Yes to engage in such slander against God Himself is a sin that only He can gauge.There are Laws that Govern us all and all must and will be held accountable for their own actions.There is no escaping this Fact.Thus for those who chose to write such evil lies and slander-as always ones own karma does come around sooner or later”

“It is only some due to their own internal problems and ego that engage in such trash”

“What a bunch of low-life cowards to print such evil lies and falsehood”

“It is only some due to their own internal problems and ego that engage in such trash”

“Yes Lord Christ had one Judas.God Lord Sri Sathya Sai had thousands of Judas’s” (ed. properly, Judases)

“What a bunch of low-life cowards to print such evil lies and falsehood”

“All of these false accusations will be revealed- it is all part of Natural Law – even as the Sun rises and sets and the Moon waxes and wanes”

“Yes it was a joy to see how Nothing ever touched Him and He still only Taught Love and to serve ones fellow-man”

Why would Hollander even begin to think that his rather lengthy, flowery, often repetitive email would have any effect on such a major, well-known Sai Baba cult critic as Robert Priddy, the former long-time leader of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway, and a retired University academic in philosophy and social science of the University of Oslo. See: Wikipedia entry, Robert C. Priddy.

Robert Priddy’s many articles over the years on Sathya Sai Baba and his cult are anything but flowery or splenetic. They ask, and answer, the rigorous questions which Sai Baba’s cultic, button-down-minded followers constantly evade. They duck and weave, typically, either by saying nothing or, like Hollander, dealing in great sermonizing abstractions and treating as wicked any who question Sai Baba, his teachings and his cult.

(To be continued in next blog)

Further Reading

Michael Hollander, bigot preacher of preposterous, untested beliefs

Posted by robertpriddy on January 10, 2012

For another example of the demeaning, depersonalizing way in which so many Sai devotees have written to former devotees, see:

Reply to a Sathya Sai Devotee’s Note re: David and Faye Bailey

Here is the text of Michael Hollander’s email to Robert Priddy’s blogsite

“YES – it was easy to see that Sri Sathya Sai Baba was none other then God Himself – to print such evil lies and slander is only a reflection of your own ego and weakness and sheer stupidity.It is unfortunate that some due to their own inability to to see Pure Divinity resort to such evil slander.And as we all know the Truth has and will continue to come out here.Truth Truth Truth He Himself is Truth,and this was so obvious.It is only some due to their own internal problems and ego that engage in such trash.Yes slander is a severe sin of this there is no doubt.Thus the Universe that is all based on Truth will make sure that the Divine Light will expose all fradulent and ego based lies and horrific false accounts be fully exposed.This we know is truth.Is it not the way the Cosmos expands and reveals what is true and what is a lie?.Yes this is the very nature of TRUTH.Yes Lord Christ had one Judas.God Lord Sri Sathya Sai had thousands of Judas’s.What a shame.He Himself was ever perfect in every way.He Himself was Perfection itself. Again this was so obvious.All of these false accusations will be revealed- it is all part of Natural Law – even as the Sun rises and sets and the Moon waxes and wanes.

What a bunch of low-life cowards to print such evil lies and falsehood.

Yes to engage in such slander against God Himself is a sin that only He can gauge.There are Laws that Govern us all and all must and will be held accountable for their own actions.There is no escaping this Fact.Thus for those who chose to write such evil lies and slander-as always ones own karma does come around sooner or later.Of this there is no doubt. Sathya Sai Baba was a Voice for the poorest of the poor as shown by His Work and the Institutions founded by Him.People only turned on Him because of their own problems,ego and hatred.Yet He Himself as God was ever untouched by any of it.This also was obvious.It is only those who engaged in such lies will have to face their own karma.This we all know is True.What a shame that some weak-minded people had to resort to such evil Lies.Yes the Universe we live in is all ultimately based on Truth.And this same Truth will expose all such cowards and all the falsehood that has been written.This I promise you.Over the last 40 years I spent almost 9 years in His Immediate Presence in India.And i met many of the people who now make these horrendous accusations.And once again ones own karma will find each sooner or later.It is just the way the Universe works.

Yes it was a joy to see how Nothing ever touched Him and He still only Taught Love and to serve ones fellow-man”.

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Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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One Response to “Michael J. Hollander: A Sathya Sai Baba Preacher of ‘Woe-Unto-The-Wicked’”

  1. A topic of interest, mr. Pittard, this rather typical, vitriolic and condescending set of dynamics which you and mr. Priddy describe, and encounter from people like Michael Hollander, who have vested interests in remaining staunch believers in SSB, even if their vested interest is ‘merely’ ideological and self-enhancing in nature. It seems typical of cult development and cultish behavior, no matter the cult or the size of it, once it develops into some type of hierarchical organisation.
    Here in the Netherlands we just had one week of national broadcast of cults and cultish behaviours, 24/7 documentaries and reruns, made of various religious movements both domesticically significant and/or of international importance. Under the general heading of ‘VERLICHT OF OPGELICHT’ (A rough translation of this punlike title would be something like: ‘Enlightened or Beswindled/Made light’) several of the largest national Dutch broadcasting companies (NTR, VPRO, IKON, NCRV, KRO) joined hands in this major undertaking, which was aired for a whole week, and attracted quite a lot of attention (See this link: ).

    As can be seen, Sathya Sai Baba feautured heavily during the whole week, by a regular rerun of the Dutch feature lenght documentary (1993) ‘Sathya Sai Baba, As in a Mirror’.
    Other subjects were the Bhagwan (Sri Rajneesh) movement, as seen through the eyes of a young child (now a grown woman), who was part of it through her mother’s involvement, and got sexually accosted by grown men in the Amsterdam commune, among other things.

    As the Netherlands per se was concerned, a feature of ‘Lou de Palingboer’, a charismatic Christian prophet in the fifties and sixties, was of strong interest, I thought, as it made clear the internal makings of this type of leader, and its following through time. Lou, a simple, uneducated palingboer (i.e. an eel fisher and seller), had an epiphany back in 1927 and turned seeer and mystic, with at first a close but tiny group of believers. He and his wife propagated the idea that he could walk on water, and maintained he could not die, as he was God himself incarnated. This tiny movement gradually turned into a nationwide following, which lasts until now, fifty years after his sudden demise (due to untreated pneumonia). His followers did not want to believe he had died, and tried to revive him by laying their hands on him and forming a human matrass to keep the body warm. Only after more than four days they lost hope of his resurrection. Still, they maintain to this day that Lou is alive, and vehemently deny all rumours and reports that he slept with young girls and boys and other women besides his own wife, because he was ‘pure’ and was beyond sexual desire because he had lost all ego.

    The similarities to SSB are to some extent quite striking, I found, just as in the examples of the most famous of Dutch faith healers, Jomanda, and of the American cult leader Dan Gayman (Children of Israel).

    One common denominator was the constant, unrelenting and very unloving attack on former cult members/ followers, which seems so in contrast with the general message of these kinds of movements. It is as if all who left are ‘of Satan’, no matter how founded their step and how well underpinned their critique.

    Chris Dokter

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