Those who are gradually – and often painfully – coming out of their experiences of scam artist tricks – such as those which corrupt gurus like Sathya Sai Baba typically practise – could do well to view some of the tricks of outstanding magicians, mentalists and illusionists. There are many excellent books and internet resources.
Sathya Sai Baba Fakes ’emergence’ of the sacred golden lingam – stills from BBC film
Master Magicians Expose The Ability To Trick The Minds Of Millions
Brilliant performers like Derren Brown and Keith Barry use their professional magician skills not only to perform but also to educate their large publics against unscrupulous deceivers.
Although the second program above is around 73 mins, it is a masterly presentation of a master magicians’s elaborate deception. The object is to expose masterly deceivers.
Over months, Brown intensively trains a fairly ordinary but intelligent and conscientious man, Nathan, in techniques of fake faith healing. The television documentary team’s journey reveals a huge part of American culture, much exported to other countries – comprising the corrupt so-called ‘Faith Healers’ and the millions of vulnerable, gullible citizens who, sometimes with tragic results, part with vast sums of money. Just as with Sathya Sai Baba, people die because devotees, pinning their faith in the teacher’s words, refuse to take standard, life-saving medical treatments. The victims are unaware of the roles played by manipulation of emotion, and the human mind’s trickablity. Cleverly adapted, the delusive techniques work irrespective of an individual’s sophistication or lack of it.
(Note: This program of around 19 minutes is one of the many highly prestigious ‘TED Talks’ on a large range of topics vital to intelligence, imagination and creativity in the 21st century. ‘TED’ is the acronym for: Technology, Entertainment, Design, a visionary, not-for-profit organization with global outreach).
Delivering Our Minds From Deception By Self and Others
Those who are self-honest, and ready to face up to the discomfort, will be able to see how those they once admired, and in some cases adored and even worshipped, used mind deceiving techniques by which to deceive others.
A benefit of this sort of ‘facing up to the music’, is that we begin to free our minds from their own trickability. A further benefit is that we are able to aid others to free their minds, too. It is an antidote to the flawed thinking that, somehow, by forgetting our experiences, we are ‘moving on’.
Below, I give links to some of my articles that expose Sathya Sai Baba’s decades of deception via tricks that, in many cultures, magicians/mentalists/illusionists use.
Harry Houdini performs needle trick. He ingests a dozens of needles and, separately, a long thread. He regurgitates these – BUT now the needles, in a long series, attach to the thread.
Posted by Barry Pittard on August 5, 2007
Centuries of Magicians Have Produced Objects By Regurgitation
Magicians have long produced objects – both precious and trivial – from out of their stomachs. A contemporary example is the British regurgitator Stevie Starr. The website: http://www.steviestarr.com/index.php tells us that:
“He swallows live goldfish, pool balls, numbered coins, even dry sugar, and manages to bring them back up in order, on command (and in the case of the sugar, completely dry!)”
If you feel that you can control your own stomach, you can see a video clip (4.4mb) of Stevie Star at work HERE
Posted by Barry Pittard on June 11, 2009
Posted by Barry Pittard on March 10, 2009
The Ease of Learning and Performing Basic Magic Tricks
Most children and adult libraries books on the how-to of a lot of magic tricks. These show that, without much ingenuity or skill, most people can pick up a few, with a fundament being, of course, sleight-of-hand, not to mention the use of confederates (But can you always trust them?)
For the clear use of a confederate, you can see Doordarshan’s – Indian national radio and television broadcaster – video footage showing Sathya Sai Baba’s palming of a necklace from beneath a trophy handed to him by his flunky. This film the then Indian Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, a Sathya Sai Baba devotee, quickly moved to censor: Censored Indian National Television Film of Sai Baba Cheating
Posted by Barry Pittard on March 8, 2009
Repeatedly, on footage of Sathya Sai Baba’s apparent miracles of the materialization type, an observer – other than one stricken with blind faith – can see the same technique that magicians use, the world over.
His One Hand That Knows What The Other Is Doing (more than just slightly), But The Recipient Doesn’t
Watch Sai Baba’s right hand. It goes beneath the pile of letters (taken from the seated crowds) he holds in his left hand. Note the swift movement as, with his right hand, he extricates the solidified material from his left. This material has yet to be crushed by the fingers of his right hand.
Quite literally, he is ‘pulling a swifty’. Had he carried a hat instead of the letters he might have pulled a rabbit out by the ears.
If he were naturally, and without trickery, manifesting the vibhuthi (sacred ash), there would be no need for this frequent characteristic of reaching under the letters.
In short, the solid (pellet) material that is waiting to be crushed into the powder is already in his left hand.
It took many decades before Indian news reports adverse to Sathya Sai Baba and his cult could be seen. There is the irony that non-resident Indians around the world saw the BBC documentary, The Secret Swami. (See: Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba). Many other world leading media, too, have exposed Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult – an opportunity which the heavily gagged Indian media almost exclusively denied to their readers and viewers. See: Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List. Sathya Sai Devotees Suspect Foul Play In Guru’s Health Crisis. Seek Court Order
There is a Spanish version available: