Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

Sathya Sai Baba On Magnetism. Science or Sai-ence?

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 12, 2009

Note:  Thursday 7 October 2010.  But two areas in which the blindness of countless followers of Sathya Sai Baba is exposed are of science and history. His comments are extremely ill-informed, and sometimes so absurd as to beggar belief. Here is India’s chronically ailing would-be Avatar of Avatars, the figure who has told us that he will soon be traveling abroad! And who long ago said that in the last quadrant of his life he would be ruling the world!  And who said at the time of his 60th birthday that he would not hitherto show signs of physical ageing! This article from 2009 at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’ drives home the silliness of it all.

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Sathya Sai Baba is wildly at odds with some of the most basic scientific facts. His jumping between physical and metaphysical notions, vague at best, clash with the physics being taught in his colleges and university – and in any respectable classroom.  He would even have it that gold is magnetic!

Sathya Sai Baba - from Sanathana Sarathi, April 2002, p. 123

Sathya Sai Baba – from ‘Sanathana Sarathi’, April 2002, p. 123

In actual fact, at this time, Sai Baba was having grave difficulties with his hip, which had to undergo a series of operations.

In an early blog of mine in 2007 – A Great Deceiver – Laughable But Still Dangerous – I wrote:  “Sai Baba’s many scientist followers must have to block their ears or don magical-thinking hearing aids when he opines on matters scientific. Some of his pronouncements are comic, to be sure. But the smile disappears from one’s face when considering that Sai Baba’s devotees number many leaders in the top power echelons of politics, government, the sciences, the judiciary, diplomacy, industry, finance, the arts, medicine, and so on.  He speaks, for example, of the nature of magnetism” …..

Since then, Sai Baba’s critical commentators have noted many past and current absurdities. A scholar, Brian Steel, strongly versed in Sathya Sai bibliography, has examined many of these, and I have selected and commented on a number of his writings in articles that contain the links to these extensive writings. Sathya Sai Baba has made very serious scientific and historical blunders.

For Steel’s detailed and sharply contextualized discussions, see

 

on Jesus Christ and Martin Luther .

and:

Sai Baba and Christianity. Some Observations (2002).

In the latter, Steel remarks on the “alarming nature of Sai Baba’s inventiveness”. This piece can instructively be read in concert with his:

On Jesus Christ and Martin Luther .

These grand pronouncements of Sai Baba are sometimes accompanied by cheering from the crowds he attracts – or, perhaps one may say, magnetizes. Those devotees who have a scientific education would, if their faith were to be sustained, need to make some procrustean mental shifts, performing conceptual acrobatics worthy of the adherents of Manichaeism.

Further Reading

See Jorge Reyesvera‘s point-by-point, rational reductio of Sathya Sai Baba’s terribly confused, sometimes downright contradictory, notions of magnetism:

The Omniscient Sai Baba’s Massive ignorance of Physics Exposed (I)

  • Be it noted that the source of the discourse that Reyesvera uses is from a provenance long-accepted by Sathya Sai Baba adherents everywhere. A comment on this article reads that this:  “discourse on magnetism by Sathya Sai Baba is from the  Mahasivarathri, 2002 … The following is an excerpt from the verbatim translation of the premsai website’s version of Sathya Sai Baba’s discourse on Mahashivarathri, 13-3-2002, which appears in an edited-down version in ‘Sanathana Sarathi’ – March 2002″.

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General

Public Petition On Sathya Sai Baba (1)

There is a Public Petition calling for official probing of Sai Baba and his Sathya Sai Organization. (See website details at the end of this post).

The JUST (Just Seekers of Truth) petition is presented by a globally networked group of former followers of Sathya Sai Baba. In the ranks of both devotees and dissenters, there are those who say that Sai Baba is history’s most powerful guru. Some critics regard him as one of history’s arch deceivers – highly charismatic, highly flawed. He may brilliantly inspire good social uplift works, which is why so many earnest and good people are attracted to him, but profoundly conceals, along with his core servitors who keep an vice-like grip on his global organization, what is morally loathsome and criminal.

(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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Further useful Resources Critical of Sathya Sai Baba’s Understanding of Science and Education

The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory

Robert Priddy, retired academic in philosophy and the social sciences, University of Oslo, writes in his article

Sathya Sai Baba followers in education and science :-

“Not one head of any independent University in the world has endorsed Sathya Sai Baba educational ideals or programmes, and – as is well known – a branch of UNESCO withdrew from a planned educational conference under the auspices of Sathya Sai Baba at Puttaparthi once they had investigated what this involved. (See UNESCO’s warning on Sathya Sai Baba here)

Not one Nobel laureate is known to be a follower, as far as can be discovered. Incidentally, Sathya Sai Baba has been forwarded as a candidate for the Nobel Peace prize by the Indian Government, obviously without result, of course. He made clear his  hopes that he would receive it from Dr. Michael Nobel, a grandson of Alfred Nobel, but a person who the Nobel Committee has denounced. See Sathya Sai Baba’s hunger for international recognition

Posted in Miracles, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Brian Steel On Dr John Hislop’s Gift From Sathya Sai Baba – Idol claimed to have wood from cross of Jesus

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 28, 2009

Among commentators, Brian Steel has done especial service in portraying the sheer impact and spread of the works of Sathya Sai Baba’s early apostles and popularizers. Especially prominent among these are Dr John Hislop (the first Sai Baba organizational leader outside India), Howard Murphet, Dr Samuel Sandweis, Phyllis Krystal.
 

Today’s blog note continues my series highlighting – all too selectively – certain aspects of Brian Steel’s work. As I have pointed out, it would be a great pity if – because his opus is vast, and also because most of his work is not blogged but contained on his websites (See details below) – his extremely valuable work were to suffer any eclipse. My recent articles on Steel’s work are:

Brian Steel Demythologizes Early Foreign-led Sathya Sai Baba Myths

Brian Steel On John Hislop’s 27 Years as Sathya Sai Baba’s Spokesman

Brian Steel On Sathya Sai Baba’s Credibility Gap. John Hislop Contributions

Demythologizing Sathya Sai Baba

 There are many other writers, and when I worked as a publisher’s editor in Sai Towers, Puttaparthi, I counted over 600 books in the collection of R.Padmanaban, the publisher. Random checks showed that almost all of them were very hagiographical, and poorly written, commonly self-published or with the non-professional aid of others. None of their works has had anything like the impact of the books by the above , and also the same authors’ talks in various parts of the world. In Sai Baba circles, these figures have attained an almost god status. One hears them referred to as “rishis”, “saints”, “apostles”, and so forth. 

Although the alleged miracles of Sathya Sai Baba appear to be endless, there are a few which have especially captured the popular imagination and devotion of many of his followers, irrespective of their levels of education. One of these is the iconic crucifix, which Sai Baba ostensibly materialized for Jack Hislop at the mahashivratri festival in 1973.

Sai Baba told Hislop that he – by his divine powers – fetched the wood on which the idol is hung from the wood of the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.

Sathya Sai Baba Crucifix: Miraculously materialized?

  Sathya Sai Baba Crucifix: Miraculously materialized?

For those wishing some key backgrounding on this ‘miracle’, there is a fairly brief but succinct page by the Norwegian academic and former leader of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, Robert Priddy

Alleged miracle crucifix materialised for Dr. John Hislop

He has blogged at: 

Faked “miracle”: crucifix given by Sai Baba to Dr. Hislop

Brian D.Steel On Dr John Hislop and Sai Baba’s Crucifix Gift

The following two quotes are excerpts from Brian Steel’s long and detailed article, which deals with various aspects relating to Hislop, his relationship with Sai Baba, and role in hugely extending the Sai movement world-wide: Sathya Sai Baba’s credibility gap: Contributions by John Hislop(Brian Steel. January 2009).

(Note: there is an important companion piece to this: Sathya Sai Baba, Elsie and Walter Cowan, and John Hislop. A Discredited 1971 Resurrection Claim (Brian Steel. February 2009). He comments on the book My Baba and I  by Dr. John Hislop, [1985: Birth Day Publishing, San Diego]:

“For tens (or perhaps hundreds) of thousands of readers, this has been one of the principal introductory books on Sathya Sai Baba. It has been translated into many languages. The title was chosen by Sathya Sai Baba himself (p. vi). The book deals with Hislop’s prolonged and intimate experiences of SSB’s teachings, some miracles (most notably that of the famous Crucifix allegedly materialised for Hislop by SSB from wood reconstituted from the True Cross on Mahasivaratri Day, 1973). The experiences are followed by 22 supplementary conversations (January 1978-October 1984), and a treasure trove of letters from SSB to Hislop (as well as a few from Hislop to SSB) written between 1969 and 1983, during the important formative years of the American Sathya Sai Organization, of which Hislop was such a prominent figure”. 

“This famous icon, however implausible, has been the object of endless fascination for devotees. Photographs of the crucifix are available in the front pages of My Baba and I and in many other books, including those by Fanibunda, Sandweiss, Peter Phipps (Sathya Sai Baba and Jesus Christ. A Gospel for the Golden Age – and also in his second book on a similar theme). That the surreal icon still has the full backing of the SSO is evident in its inclusion in a recent compilation published by the SSSBPT, Be Like Jesus). Indeed, almost 40 years after the alleged event (in October 2008), when I was visiting the Bombay SSO Centre (Dharmakshetra), a young devotee who took it upon himself to show me round and tell me about SSB, insisted at the end of our meeting that the best book for me to start with would be John Hislop’s My Baba and I, and he specifically mentioned a crucifix materialised for the revered American devotee. This special crucifix – whatever its provenance – has been, and remains, an outstandingly powerful advertisement for Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged omnipotence”. 

 

See also, Robert Priddy’s compilation of resources:  Sai Deceptions. Fraud, Legerdemain, Rumour-spreading and Lies By Sathya Sai Baba 

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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’s Earlier Articles 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)

Posted in Miracles, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, Skeptics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Huge Sai Baba Gaffes

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 3, 2007

Note, 26 April 2010:   No amount of faith-blinded rationalizing can successfully elude the striking fact of Sathya Sai Baba’s many gaffes.  I re-run this article of early 2007, and trust that further circulation of such compelling documentation will result in ever more widely exposing those aspects of Sathya Sai Baba that his often frenetic and over-worked minders go all out to hide or minimize. Some of his actions are very absurd and self-contradictory.

The readership includes those who are, in swelling numbers, coming out of the Sathya Sai Baba cult. Typically, many have taken a long time to begin to sort their lives out. Emerging from a cult in which one’s deepest hopes and dreams have been invested is not easy. Some are shattered, and we know of suicides.  Some plunge into other cult figures. Some grasp at the comfort of mainstream religions or philosphies. Some learn to sit on slippery fences, and whistle in the dark. Some hide from themselves and others just how much they have been affected. Many have slunk off without formally resigning. The numbers of westerners going to Sathya Sai Baba’s ashrams has reduced by many thousands.

But his resolute defenders cannot hold back the existence of commonsense and the spirit of many individuals sooner or later doing some serious examination of their often long-held concerns.

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In one of the great deceptions of history, Sai Baba has misled millions of worshippers in many countries, including an astounding array of followers in the sciences, medicine, the arts, education, government, the judiciary, politics, industry, and so on.

A few quotes from the simultaneous English translation of the Sai Baba’s Christmas Discourse, 1996, indicate that palpable nonsense in some of his pronouncements must be added to the “divine” attributes of one who would be King of Kings.

James Redmond of the USA was for many years Sathya Sai Baba’s official videographer. Finally, he was able to see from examination of his vast array of film footage the many instances of Sai Baba faking materializations. There is another kind of Sai Baba deception that does not get into printed material. Fortunately, it is preserved on video, the provenance of which can not be faulted by Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organization.

The nonsensical material deserves much wider notice than when in February 2002 the Australian linguistic scholar Brian Steel
http://bdsteel.tripod.com/More/Nonsense.htm
first drew attention to some of the extraordinary inanities in Sai Baba’s discourses – preserved in video materials but quickly expunged from the written records. These acute embarrassments to Sai Baba are excised by Sai Baba editors before they get into publications like Sanathana Sarathi, the official Sai Baba magazine that is distributed to some hundred and fifty countries, not to mention other publications from Sai Baba’s very busy press. That this process of removal of embarrassing material from his discourses goes on I had my own proof when I was working as a publisher’s editor at Sai Towers, Puttaparthi. I once myself had a hand in reconstruction/excision of a terribly jumbled Sai Baba statements about ghosts, which I sought help to unscramble from (the late) V.K Narasimhan, a warm and dear friend, who had been one of the most famous and respected editors in India and then Editor of Sanathana Sarathi. He too had edited out the embarrassments in his version for the upcoming edition of Sathathana Sarathi. I may add that I was working from the penciled translation by Professor Anil Kumar himself, Sai Baba’s official translator, who used to slip (or I think recall on this occasion actually hand-deliver) his translation over to Sai Towers. Also called in at Sai Towers on the rescue operation was Sai Baba’s Professor of English, Sandeepan Chatterjee. On another occasion, a whole issue of the expensively produced – which I was essentially editing (on the basis of service, not as paid work) had to be ditched – a large number of copies destined for worldwide distribution. Because of this small bit of print, the whole magazine had to be reprinted, a mammoth operation. This was because Sai Baba wanted to suppress a prophecy he had just made at Kodai Kanal. Of the Redmond material, Brian Steel comments on and quotes the egregious Sai Baba blunders:

“NONE of this astonishingly confused information was finally printed in the official version in Sathya Sai Speaks, XXIX, but in a note on page 393 we learn that:

“[Bhagavan gave a brief account of the Jewish concept of the creation of the cosmos and referred to the birth of Jesus as the son of Mary and Joseph.]”

Doubtless, the editors saw that SB had had a ‘bad day’, but readers of their version will never know that”.

“Three hundred and fifty years B.C., before Christ, Jews lived. However, among Jews, there were religions such as Islam and Christianity. People of that land, they are all Jews. That land is the birthplace of both the religions, Islam and Christianity. The Hebrew language was very prominent. This Hebrew language is more or less equal to our Sanskrit. …”

“Christianity is not just 2,000 years in its origin. It was there even before Christ, 350 years. There the divinity is explained very clearly.”

“The name and the fame of Jesus Christ have spread far and wide. Here, at this moment, there are two schools of thought. The first group of thought – Roman Catholics. There is another group that fought with this group. This group is called Protestants. As they protested, they are Protestants. So among Jews there are these two groups: Catholics and Protestants. The difference of opinion has increased day by day. This led to Jesus, whose life was in danger. Jews there in Jerusalem did not permit Jesus to go there. Like this, religious conflict and fighting was ever on the rise. There were 250 schools of thought, divisions there. They also monopolized certain countries.”

“Because of so many groups there, they all attempted even to harm Jesus. Romans on one side. Catholics on the other side. Luther on another side. There were so many groups that went on changing. All these differences are based on violence, and that led to madness. Because of this attachment to group affiliations, naturally there was conflict and fighting.”

“Religious affiliation leads to ego. This led to confusion among them as to what Jesus said right or wrong.”

Is this the Avatar of Avatars – or a schoolboy vainly trying to write a potted history, conflating early Christian history with Martin Luther’s 16th Century Protestant revolt?

Brian Steel concludes:

“More seriously, perhaps, such idiosyncratic pronouncements cast a very heavy shadow over Sai Baba’s general credibility and even his thought processes – whatever his other powers and characteristics”.

Former Sai Baba devotees worldwide are ready, as indeed many times before over several years, to submit our credentials and findings to bona fide independent third party adjudicators.

In an attempt to obtain proper investigation of the allegations against Sathya Sai Baba and his powerful and influential worldwide organization, we have closely cooperated with major world media and other reputed agencies and institutions. He and the entity he calls the “Divine” instrument for bringing about the greatest spiritual revolution the world has ever seen, the Sathya Sai Organization, have not.

International billions flow to Sai Baba

In August 16, 2003. the Rediff news agency reported:
“The largest recipient of foreign contribution was Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust — Rs 88.18 crore (Rs 881.8 million)”

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

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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, Sai Baba, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »