Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Howard Levin’

Brian Steel Demythologizes Early Foreign-led Sathya Sai Baba Myths

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 23, 2009

My previous blog was: Brian Steel On John Hislop’s 27 Years as Sathya Sai Baba’s SpokesmanIt refers to the article: Sathya Sai Baba’s credibility gap: Contributions by John Hislop. (Brian Steel. January 2009).

This latter article, as one expects of Brian Steel, is scholarly and readable. Considerable length and attention to minute detail distinguish his work.  Recognizing that many of my readers have heavy demands on their time, I shall, in a series of blogs, select what I think are some of the key lines of his investigations. The reader may like to pick and chose among these – or else, of course, aim to read deeply into Steel.

At the moment, I am drawing attention to some more recent work of Steel, whose books while yet a follower of Sathya Sai Baba were highly-regarded, as they are now by ex-devotees and other critics of the Sathya Sai cult. Those who have time – perhaps for exhaustive academic, media investigative or book preparation purposes – will find Steel’s work indispensable. It is vast and rigorous. Some who wish to recapture some of the steps in the saga that led them to accept or reject one or more than one aspect of the Sathya Sai Baba phenomenon will also find a considerable historic overview and many sources that have taken Steel an immense effort to assemble. I should think that readers whether pro or contra Sai Baba’s perception of his role, inasmuch as they are level-headed, will greatly appreciate the balance, calm and seriousness of Brian Steel’s writing.

Given the vastness of Steel’s endeavour, and the fact that he blogs only occasionally on these topics at his blogsite  – http://briansteel.wordpress.com – it is important that his work does not languish for due attention. (For further links to his work, see resources at the foot of this note)

In my previous blog (see abover link), I quoted from Brian Steel where he refers to one of the key areas of contest in regard to the credibility of Sathya Sai Baba’s own and his devotees claims as to his divinity. Here he mentions the scans available at:  ‘Professor Erlendur Haraldsson contests Sai Baba’s claim of resurrection as bogus’. At the foot of this material, the editor (Robert Priddy) has placed an ‘anchor’ which leads to the precisely relevant paragraphs in a longer article:  Misleading Evangelism (Updated) , Brian Steel  November 2002.

For those wishing to consider Dr John Hislop’s reportages, and those of others, in regard to the alleged resurrection of the early devotee, the wealthy American Walter Cowan, there is a Steel companion piece: 

Sathya Sai Baba, Elsie and Walter Cowan, and John Hislop.
A Discredited 1971 Resurrection Claim
(Brian Steel. February 2009)

This details a good deal further the onset of American interest in Sathya Sai Baba circa 1965-1970. Steel lists key American followers of this period who had already emarked in actively publicising him in the USA.

“By 1971, the following Americans had already been attracted to Sathya Sai Baba and were already publicising his name back in USA: Indra Devi and Hilda Charlton (major independent early proselytisers, 1965- ), Arnold Schulman, Charles Penn, Hilda Charlton, Bob Rayman (or Reiman), Elsie and Walter Cowan, Dr John Hislop, Tal Brooke and Howard Levin. (All, except Schulman, became devotees and proselytisers, and Tal Brooke had already become the first ‘defector’ and critic.) 1971 saw the publication of the first books about SSB by foreigners Schulman and (Australian) Howard Murphet. Phyllis Krystal and Dr Samuel Sandweiss would be drawn to meet SSB in 1972, the businessman Isaac Tigrett in 1973 and Robert A. Bozzani in 1974. The 1970s would see a strong general growth in foreign devotee numbers and Sathya Sai Organisation Centres but it was the Americans who were the original driving force behind international recognition and worship of Sathya Sai Baba.

By 1965, with the formation of the first Sathya Sai Samithis (Centres), and later the Sathya Sai Seva Organisation under the capable leadership of Indulal Shah, an effective corporate structure had begun to take shape, to be followed by a rapid expansion in India of SSO Centres and in quick succession, All-India Conferences of members and (a few years later) International Conferences. By 1974, with the inauguration of the Sathya Sai Baba Association of the Americas and Canada, the Sathya Sai Organisation would be launched on a significantly wider international expansion of its activities”.

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Select writings from Brian Steel’s Extensive Opus

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

Revealing Materials On Sai Baba Of India

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 foremost 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) 

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General

Excerpt From Public Petition

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

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

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL)

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Posted in Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Dare Songstress Nora Jones Touch Sai Baba?

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 20, 2007

steven-seagal-seated-with-sai-baba.jpgimages.jpggoldie_hawn1.jpgmichael-jackson.jpg

Nora Jones

nora-jones.jpg

is one of the world’s most admired singers of popular music. Her father, a high profile Sai Baba devotee, is Ravi Shankar, the Indian sitar maestro.

But what would stardom in a Hollywood movie about Sai Baba do for her image? Might it be that those such as her agents, Bob J. Grabow and all the good folks at Grabow and Associates, and other well-wishers, have implored Nora Jones to steer well clear of any movie that extols Sathya Sai Baba?

These days, notably quiet about their previous connections with Sai Baba are various Hollywood stars. Many  former devotees feel that it is not fair to ‘out’ those celebrities who are believed to have gone to see Sai Baba in a genuine spiritual quest or in the hope that he will miraculously heal their sicknesses.steven-seagal-with-automatic-handgun.jpg

This blogspot will consider this situation but draw a clear line in any case where those individuals support Sai Baba and any part of his worldwide organization.

Media Can Probe Stars on Superstar Guru

One would urge the media to question any celebrity Sai Baba devotee and ask of them why they would lend their name and fame to one so heavily exposed by the BBC, DR and many other major media in various countries (See links below). Just as they extensively and at the cost of great labor assisted these media, Sai Baba’s international former follower network and others have not been inactive in informing Hollywood and other celebrities, their agents and acquaintances about the case against Sai Baba.

Movie stars big and small have consorted with Sai Baba. Pictured at the top of this page, see Steven Seagal, the martial arts superstar, seated on a fine chair next to Sai Baba’s throne before an audience of thousands.

Seagal’s very violent movies are the antithesis of the Shanti (Peace) that Sai Baba everywhere preaches (and which his own Security wing decidedly do not tend to practise). Seagal, like Goldie Hawn, Michael Jackson, and others have became sensibly quiet on Sai Baba.

The Divine Nora, Seen Everywhere But Not With Sai Baba

In 2004, a Rowdy Productions website touting on behalf of a planned movie about Sai Baba had several well laid out pages but the address now only brings up nonsense:   http://www.saibabafilm.com/

There, the producers said:

“We have an interest from Norah Jones’ agent for the lead role and will be pursuing this option”

and:

(We) “feel that the soothing voice of Norah Jones will heal the audience and carry Sai Baba’s message worldwide”.

In a flash we’ll be in 2008. But the movie – named “My Guy” – for which Rowdy Productions has called for seed funding of around ten million dollars, is taking aeons to materialize. With touching faith in the all-providingness of their guru, who has often proclaimed himself to be the fullest incarnation of God to appear on the planet, the producers say:

“as the interest grows we will be in a much more commanding position to negotiate with the best and most sought after actors in Hollywood.”

But how many more millions would be needed to buy that?! Perhaps Sai Baba’s ‘rowdies’ (See the 1970’s book by Howard Levin, one of those longtime devotees whom Sai Baba called his ‘rowdies’) simply expect a Sai Baba miracle to come to their aid. If, as it is common for him to do, he has told them to go ahead and he will fructify their endeavours, they should remember that Sai Baba’s promises are frequently broken and his predictions uneventuated. Any half-informed Sai Baba devotee knows this to be true, however they may contort all reason and commonsense to explain it.

Rowdy Productions, perhaps true to their name, may simply be making a lot of noise. Indeed, noise is the very nature of Sai Baba’s supposedly blissful ashram in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, South India, named Prashanthi Nilayam (‘Abode of Peace’). Their plan all sounds rather – well, off the planet. Does an upstart company expect the world’s top actors to do freebies? Or will they offer a cut in any proceeds of success? It all seems too tinselly – even for Tinseltown.

You may wish to read and sign:

‘Public Petition for investigation of Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide organisation’ See Below.

Further Reading

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team

V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Video Resources

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

BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle « Call For Media and Government Investigation

Sathya Sai Baba Chief, Dr Goldstein, Explodes. “I am the consummate professional” (See Film Clips)

Raising ever more serious questions about how spiritual is the head of what Sathya Sai Baba has called THE divine organization in the world,

Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs)

at the BBC’s perfectly reasonable questions about accountability

Dr. Goldstein again reveals his higher self (1.500Kb)

Michael Goldstein and the sexual allegations (2,10 Mbs)

Michael Goldstein admits his view is merely a belief (456kbs)

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia « Call For Media and Government Investigation

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General
Excerpt From Public Petition

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

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

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL)

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, Opinion, People, Propaganda, Religion, Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »