Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Illusion’

Top Magicians Derren Brown, Keith Barry and Others: Exposing How We Get Deceived

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 6, 2012

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.

Faked 'emergence' of the golden lingam - stills from BBC film

Sathya Sai Baba Fakes ’emergence’ of the sacred golden lingam – stills from BBC film

Faked 'materialization' of lingam from stomach by Sai Baba, 2004

See also:

        Sathya Sai Baba Cheating with lingam 1

        Sathya Sai Baba Baba cheating with lingam 2

        Sathya Sai Baba Cheating with lingam 3

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.

See:  

          Derren Brown Interview (1/6) – Richard Dawkins 

          Derren Brown – Miracles for Sale

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.

and: 

          Keith Barry: Brain magic

(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's needle trick, swallowing dozens of needles and yards of thread and then regurgitating them back up all strung together.

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. 

See:

Sai Baba No Shiva. Gold From His Gut Is Regurgitator’s Trick

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

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 11, 2009

Film Clip of Sathya Sai Baba's magic trick

Sleight Of Hand. The Sleightness of Sathya Sai Baba (Exposing film clips)

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

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

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.

Sathya Sai Baba's Sleight Hand

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

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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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Sleight Of Hand. The Sleightness of Sathya Sai Baba (Exposing film clips)

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 10, 2009

Quite often, among our friends or acquaintances, there is someone who has astonished – or appalled! – us with a few magic tricks.

The Ease of Learning and Performing Basic Magic Tricks

Most children and adult libraries have a selection of books on the how-to of a wide range 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

Simple Man-about-town’s Magic Impromptu

A few months ago, I was sitting in a cafe and a local character of little education wandered in. He began entertaining the rest of us with a charming and adept suite of parlour tricks. I chatted with him afterwards. Clearly, he had never heard of Sathya Sai Baba. After my briefly describing Sai Baba’s so-called miraculous manifestation of objects, he immediately sprang into action, and indeed the quickness of the hand deceived the eye – until he slowed things down and also stopped diverting the observer’s attention from e.g., palming and transference of objects. Although he felt honor-bound not to reveal a number of the other tricks that he (the young man) had earlier performed, he showed exactly how Sai Baba produces necklances, pendents and sacred ash, etc.

His displays were akin to those of Nils Krøjgaard, the professional Danish conjuror, who is seen in ‘Seduced’, a television documentary (2002) by Denmark’s national broadcaster DR, which exposes Sai Baba. You can see the 53-minute documentary, for Broadband (80 megabytes) HERE. For Dialup (21 mb) HERE. and the transcript HERE.

Goldie Hawn, the famous Hollywood film star is seen sitting, right hand side of the film clip, near to Sai Baba as he performs his trick.

Famous Indian Skeptics Educate Masses About Fraudsters’ Tricks

Courageous Indian rationalists, such as B. Premanand and Professor Narendra Nayak attempt to educate India-wide audiences in demonstrations – ‘Miracle-exposures’ – of the conjuring techniques by which so-called ‘holy men’ like Sai Baba deceive the masses.

Fortunately these days, one is now able to see slowed-down images of Sai Baba as he produces sacred ash (vibhuthi) or other objects. See my blogs of the last few days of March, 2009, which contain relevant links:

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)

Master Magicians or Illusionists

On the other hand, there are master magicians or illusionists who are disciplined in the sense that, for example, a ballet dancer or virtuoso instrumentalist, becomes a consummate practitioner, requiring hours of daily practice. Some magicians risk their lives in pursuit of their craft. A number of them gain, such as the fabled Harry Houdini (see footage at end of this article), almost superhuman personal psycho-physical control. For a contemporary example, see: David Blaine breaks world record on Oprah Winfrey Show for holding his breath

The magic tricks Sathya Sai Baba employs are a pale shadow of these. But they are comparable to what a adroit enough amateur can learn and perform. Do take care, though, as a kid, I once accidently swallowed a coin while trying to master a trick – ah, will the days of half pennies never return?!.

Behold Their Holinesses – the Company of Great Magicians

Imagine how successfully any of the outstanding magicians I refer to below could have set themselves up as ‘holy’ men in India!  Or imagine how, in a socio-economically developing country like India, where there is still a great deal of mystification especially of non-educated and semi-educated, how easy it is for an arch-deceiver such as Sathya Sai Baba – and a great many frauds without his more greatly famed and curious talents – to mislead the public.

Many Indians Disdain So-Called ‘Godmen’ Who Detract From India Greatness

Many Indians of my acquaintance (and I lived in that great country for several years), whether religious, humanist or atheist feel terribly badly about the superstition and corruption to which the socio-economic condition gives rise.

Below, here are a few master magicians. Some of them are teachers by nature and ready to show how some of the tricks are done. The English magician Derren Brown, like the immortal Houdini, is committed to exposing fraudulence.

Note: a) Alphabetical order of surnames is followed. b) Clicking on the name of the magician/illusionist brings up their website

Note: In a forthcoming article:  Formost female magicians! Including:

Dorothy Dietrich
Angela Funovits
Kate Medvedeva
Tina Lenert
Sue-Anne
(My own country Australia’s magic star, named (2007) in the book ‘Historias de Magas Antiguas y Modernas’ which surveys the greatest female magicians in history). And, rivalling her for her place –

Cath Jamison, also of Australia

But – for now  –

David Blaine

The New York Times wrote, “He’s taken a craft that’s been around for hundreds of years and done something unique and fresh with it”.

Wikipedia article

Videos

David BlaineVideo

David Blaine teaches the simple fan
David Blaine Videos – Many Metacafe clips

………..

Lance Burton

“Burton is a magic purist whose show is a loving homage to his craft”.

Kathleen Foley. Los Angeles Times. December 3, 2001.

Wikipedia article

Videos

Lance Burton Sleight Of Hand Magic

Lance Burton and The Dove

Magic Secrets Revealed: Lance Burton unveils some mysteries of magic. New secrets featured each month

………..

Derren Brown

“… a stage act that stretches back 100 years and a future that might be as lengthy”

January 14, 2009.

YouTube – Derren Brown shows how mediums work

Mind Control with Derren Brown

Several videos, both shorter and longer, are at Britain’s Channel 4 website:

http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv/microsites/D/derrenbrown/index.html

………..

David Copperfield

YouTube – David CopperfieldThirteen

Doug Henning (The late)

For the magician:

“The hard must become habit
The habit must become easy
The easy must become
Beautiful”

“I consider Jim the most brilliant mind in magic.” Jim Steinmeyer, whom, in turn, the New York Times described as the “celebrated invisible man—inventor, designer and creative brain behind many of the great stage magicians of the last quarter-century.”

Doug Henning’s The Magic Show review, Vimeo.

Posted in Miracles, Movie Stars, Rationalism, Religion, Scams, Skeptics, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

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

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.

Sathya Sai Baba's Sleight Hand

Sathya Sai Baba’s Sleight Hand.

The One Hand That Knows What The Other Is Doing (more than just slightly)

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.

Video Footage of Sai Baba’s Baba’s Fake Vibhuthi Materialization

Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash

(1.84 MB)

………………………………………………………………………

For Sleight (or slight) Of Mind, See:

Revealing footage from the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ which reveals the extraordinary anger and lack of Dr Michael Goldstein. He is the world head of the organization which Sathya Sai Baba says is THE divine organization via which he will save the entire world. This statement – among his many prophecies which have already been falsified – does not exactly look as though it is at all likely to be fulfilled. If we could laugh it all off, all might be well. However, it is well-known that Sai Baba has highly committed, highly organized devotees and well-wishers throughout the world, and that they operate locally as well as in many of the highest echelons of world power.

View BBC Video Clips of Dr Michael Goldstein

Dr Goldstein of Covina, southern California, USA, is chairman of the international Sathya Sai Organization. This footage was caught by hidden camera, an uncommon resort that required BBC management and legal sanction at the highest corporate levels (See: BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?)

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

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

Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs)

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

———————————————————————

SEE my article with links to some of the world’s most famous magicians (or illusionists) using sleight-of-hand far more sophisticatedly than does Sathya Sai Baba. He gets caught out; many devotees who see this react rather like the people in Hans Christian Anderson’s celebrated tale -‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’. I have included the story at this link:

When ‘Divine’ Magnetism Becomes A Dead Weight

Learn how sleight-of-hand is done:

Sleight Of Hand. The Sleightness of Sathya Sai Baba (Exposing film clips)

Note: Quite apart from Sai Baba photos and videos, including those unwittingly taken by Sai devotees themselves over the years, there has been the occurrence where devotees who have seen Sai Baba cheating – i.e., using sleight of hand, etc., – have come away terribly confused and upset, and some have lost faith. Others have gone into denial, and said that it was a mere test of their faith by “the Lord”, etc., …..

———————————————————————

Select Reading

Sai Baba – A Fake Avatar’s Fake Materialization

Quote from this article:

Former head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Baba Organization Robert Priddy (Blogsite:  http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com) writes:

On 31/10/2002, my wife Reidun and I returned from three days in Copenhagen, Denmark, where the ‘green diamond’ Sathya Sai Baba gave me in 1986 (shown above) was examined by Mr. Peter Hertz, the Danish Queen Margarethe’s jeweller, a top Scandinavian expert on precious stones and diamonds. All was filmed in detail by Øjvind Kyrø’s team for Danish TV. The result of the investigation, which took two days, is that the stone is a synthetic green sapphire.Value only about $40 today in super-expensive Denmark. Its value in India today could therefore probably be around $10.

For detailed accounts, see:

Sathya Sai Baba Green “Diamond” Proved A Fake – ‘Materialised’ For Robert Priddy, Exposed By Top Danish Diamond Expert

Sai Baba Fake Diamonds

Film Clip of Sathya Sai Baba's magic trick

Film Clip of Sathya Sai Baba's magic

…………………………………………………………………….

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

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)

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

……………………………………………………

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)

Posted in New Age, Rationalism, Religion, Scams, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments »