Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘bibliography’

Revealing Materials On Sai Baba Of India

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 21, 2008

In a surprise visit to Puttaparthi and other official Sathya Sai Baba locales in late 2008, Brian Steel acquired a series of books and audio materials.
There are several notable scholarly and other strengths observable in Brian Steel’s vast opus on the Sathya Sai phenomenon.
Yet again, these qualities come into play in his most recent offering: Recent books about Sathya Sai Baba. Part 2. Different Types of Hagiography Brian Steel, December 2008

By Their Documents We Shall Know Them

One of these strengths is his persistent use of, and great familiarity with, the large load (and, from a critical point of view, lode) of official and other public devotee documents. Through his emphasis on these sources – as distinct from other sources of information – Steel has been able to expose Sai Baba’s astounding array of self-generated myths, failed predictions, incorrect scientific and historical references, and, all in all, a seemingly endless series of contradictions and anomalies, as well as a great deal of highly flawed hagiography. See my article:

Cult Exposure. By Their Documents Ye Shall Know Them

in which I noted:

It is by reference to the conflicted words and actions of Sathya Sai Baba’s leaders that the profound failure of intellectual and moral integrity of his operation at large is made manifest to honest enquirers. Indeed Robert Priddy’s main website is entitled: Sathya Sai Baba In Word And Action

Steel’s Emphasis On SS Org Documents Complements Other Forms Of Analysis

An example of the ‘other sources of information’ to which I just referred are those accounts from many parts of the world where subjects have reported their direct experiences of sexual abuse of boys and young men, of the cover up by the ashram and local, state and central government organs in India of circumstances surrounding the killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom on April 6, 1993, various ashram scams – e.g., those relating to the sale of apartments at the Prashanthi Nilayam, Puttaparthi, and Brindavan, Kadugodi – and so forth.

It is not that Brian Steel gainsays the significance of these other accounts, although I have long thought that he likes to be on the more solid empirical ground, where the often self-exposing, officially recorded words of the so-called God, and of his apostles, can hardly be swallowed back.  Steel has, in fact, continued – although without the fetters of a blind belief which he, like others of us were once weighed down by – in a line of expertise which was his, as an important published writer within the Sai literary canon especially in the Sai bibliographical area, when he was a follower for twelve years of Sathya Sai Baba.

Recently, Brian Steel returned from a surprise visit to Puttaparthi bearing a swag of documents and audiovisual material that, under his critical scrutiny, reveal far more mischief than their devotion-blinded authors surely ever dreamed would be perceptible to commonsense and reason. Their works taken uncritically by devotees will, of course, only reinforce persistent Sai mythmaking, but, if exposed to the world at large, will not be likely to win friends and influence people.

Official Sai Audiovisuals Show Steadily Ageing Sai Baba (Who Said He Would Not Age After His 60th Birthday!)

In his fascinating article looking at some of the material he brought back with him, under the subheading ‘Official Promotion of Sathya Sai Baba – Audiovisual’

Brian Steel says:

I have viewed four of these 60-minute $2 DVDs (purchased at a SSO Centre in India). Three of them, in a series called Spiritual Blossoms (possibly produced for the guru’s 80 th Birthday in 2005), offer DVD versions of short archival clips from many old videos from the 1960s to the 1990s (with an added background bhajan accompaniment – in Part 2 of Volume 3, SSB sings bhajans himself).

The fourth DVD which I purchased in India was With the LORD in the Mountains (www.sssbpt.org, April 2006) This is the official record of SSB’s 2006 visit to his summer centre, Sai Sruti, in Kodaikanal, with his entourage, his students and some devotees (including some foreigners). The footage gives graphic evidence of the steady physical decline of Sathya Sai Baba in the past four or five years. This has brought about major changes in his former flamboyant darshan style, which now consists mainly of wheelchair-bound appearances, with several students constantly hovering in attendance, particularly to support him if he attempts to stand up or move about. His conversation and personal contact with devotees is much more limited and less spontaneous than in his heyday but the DVD shows that in 2006 he was still able to accept many letters and to exchange some words from his custom-built wheelchair. Recent 2008 official website footage (especially from http://www.saicast.org) shows how his physical condition has continued to decline in the past two years and how painful it seems for him to make discourses. His face now remains expressionless for most of the time or seems to display something akin to disorientation.

Related Reading

Select writings of Brian Steel

Sathya Sai Baba can be documented by any conscientious reader as having made contradictory statements and egregious historical and scientific blunders. These include his remarks on Jesus Christ and Martin Luther . For Steel’s detailed and sharply contextualized discussion, see: Sai Baba and Christianity. Some Observations (2002). Steel remarks here the alarming “extent of Sai Baba’s inventiveness”. This can be instructively read in concert with his Basic Notes On Sai Baba’s Credibility Problem (2004)

Brian Steel Indexes

Barry Pittard On Brian Steel

Brian Steel’s Surprise Visit To Sathya Sai Baba’s Ashram
William Aitken’s Book Fails to Answer Sai Baba Critics
For Brian Steel’s detailed exposure of severe inadequacies of a formost Sai Baba hagiographer mentioned in this article refer to Steel’s:
Bill Aitken and Sathya Sai Baba. A Writer’s Dilemma,
on William Aitken’s book, ‘Sri Sathya Sai Baba. A Life (New Delhi, Penguin Books, India, 2004. Paperback edition, 2006)

Robert Priddy. Similar themes

William Bill Aitken’s base attacks on serious critics
William McKay (Bill) Aitken’s academic shortcomings
Bill Aitken, bogus ‘religious expert’ on Sai Baba


Posted in New Age, News and Politics, Philosophy, Prophecy, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scams, Skeptics, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Sathya Sai Baba, 83. Health Critical. Some Key Links

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 26, 2008

The following is a select resource for critics, scholars, media investigators, and also those questioning their way out of affiliation with Sathya Sai Baba and his international Sathya Sai Organization

Robert Priddy

A glance at this Update Page, indicates the huge labours of key serious writers critical of this teacher and his cult. The Robert Priddy update page is certainly one to consider bookmarking. The list for 2008 alone is extensive, though by no means complete. He was the head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, and a former academic in philosophy and social sciences at the University of Oslo.

http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/HOME/Sai_Baba_news.htm

Robert Priddy’s blogsite, frequently maintained, is:

http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com

Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard
Four-part article, which give further significant hotlinks to other related material, dissecting a seriously defamatory article by Venkataraman – see, Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed

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Brian Steel

Brian Steel is an Australian Spanish language linguistics expert and lexicographer. When devoted to Sathya Sai Baba, he was author, of a major bibliography and other writing widely distributed throughout the Sathya Sai movement.

An Annotated Bibliography for Research on Sathya Sai Baba  (in Three Parts) . He has recently extended this major task by adding a third part of the Bibliography

Sathya Sai Baba: Questionable Stories and Claims, by Brian Steel. Part 1

Sathya Sai Baba: Questionable Stories and Claims. Part 2

New Factors for Researchers to Consider

Sai Baba Researchers’ Huge Debt To Scholar Brian D. Steel

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Barry Pittard On B.D. Steel At Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Sai Baba Researchers’ Huge Debt To Scholar Brian D. Steel

Brian Steel’s Surprise Visit To Sathya Sai Baba’s Ashram

William Aitken’s Sai Baba Book. Major Flaws Says Scholar

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Serguei Badaev

The Story of My Disqualification

Ex-President of Sai Org. Moscow Centre, (served for 4 years) and ex-deputy National Coordinator and National SSEHV Coordinator, Russia). The Moscow centre wrote a letter to then longtime head of the Indian SS Org and eventually the world Org, Indulal Shah, and 7th World Conference asking for clarification concerning the many worldwide allegations facing the founder and that the guru be asked for the spiritual explanation of the negative information on the Internet about him. There was no reply other than the immediate dismissal of Badaev as President of the Moscow Centre (see here).

 

For a remarkably similar account of draconian measures meted out to an Australian spiritual convenor, Stephen Carthew, see:

Letter from Stephen Carthew

In this case, the axeman for the demise of yet another lovely and much-respected leader in the movement, was the now retired head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, Sri T. Ramanathan.

Timothy Conway, Ph.D.

Timothy Conway Ph.D, author of several books comparative East-West spiritual traditions, was president of the large San Francisco center and a liaison-consultant for the Sathya Sai Organization, Northern California, in the early to mid-1980s), as well as a longtime member of Santa Barbara, CA, Sai Center since 1988. Resigned February 2001.

In December 2007, he released his clarification of points raised about very indicting letters that were circulated to peak leaders of the US Sathya Sai Organization by former head, the late Dr John Hislop.

Timothy Conway Ph.D on: The Crucial John Hislop Letters

Dr Timothy Conway’s Summary of Ullrich Zimmermann Interview

Timothy Conway PH.D confirms the Hislop letters

Formal statement provided to Exbaba.com by Timothy Conway Ph. D. concerning the Hislop letters

An article in which Timothy Conway outlines many key issues

Click here to access Timothy Conway’s websitetimothy-conway-website-banner.jpg‘Enlightened Spirituality’

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Kevin Shepherd

An independent British scholar, author of many books on philosophical and social issues and analyses of major religious figures including Shirdi Sai Baba, Shepherd has taken an interest in the Sathya Sai Baba phenomenon. It is valuable to have a writer not involved in the debates, and no sensible reader could be other than struck by Shepherd’s considerable respect for detail and calm disection of many complex issues.

Citizen Initiative

http://www.kevinrdshepherd.net/index.html

A very detailed page with many links to his own work and that of others is:

Sathya Sai Baba: problems

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Two Detailed, Unresponded-to Former Devotee Communications to Peak Body of International Sathya Sai Organization

The International Sathya Sai Organization – an accessory to a massive libel and disinformation campaign. (Open letter to the Prasanthi Council – c/o Dr. M. Goldstein, Dr. G. Venkataraman and its other members)

Signed on behalf of wider international group by:

Serguei Badaev, Russia 1995-2001 Ex-President of Sai Org. Moscow Centre and Deputy National Chairman for Russia.
Timothy Conway, USA. Follower for 22 years; President of the Sathya Sai Baba Center of San Francisco from 1982-4.
Dennis J. Hanisch, USA. Follower for 27 years. Founder member and Vice-President, Seattle Center.
David. J. Lyons, USA. Follower from 1981 to 2000. Ex-President of the Center of Greater New Orleans.
Barry Pittard, Australia. 1976-1999. Former English Lecturer, Sathya Sai College, Whitefield.
Robert Priddy, Norway. 1983-2002. Founder member/Ex-Chairman of Oslo Center & Coordinator for Norway 1986-1996.
Reidun Priddy, Norway. 1983-2000. Founder member and Seva Wing Coordinator 1986-1998
Al Rahm,  Office-bearing member of the SSO for decades. Regional Devotional Coordinator and founder of first Education in Human Values school in the U.S.
Barbara Shocket, Professional Counselor in mental health, USA Follower: 1980-1990.
Dhyani Jo Sinclair, Canada Member and Sai Centre Secretary, 1995-2000.
Towards Public Accountability and Due Investigation: A Formal Open Appeal To ‘The Prashanthi Council

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Public Petition

http://www.saipetition.net/

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Video Resources

The Secret Swami (BBC Television):
(154 MB, Broadband)

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
(80 MB, Broadband)

http://home.hetnet.nl/~seduced/seduced.wmv
(21 MB, Modem)


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