Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘magic tricks’

Barry Pittard’s Articles Most-Sought During Sathya Sai Baba Health Crisis (Part 1)

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 23, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba’s life hangs on by a thread no larger than the electrical impluses of his life support equipment. He is not rallying.

In the present climate of heightened enquiry, the links I give below may be useful for readers – especially those new to, or less familiar with, this blogsite. I shall give below a list of links that are being especially well-visited at this time at this blogsite ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba. As I can see from WordPress-provided internal statistical read-outs, these articles are getting solid ‘hits’. To put the matter mildly ….!

Over the next days, I intend to follow up with Parts 2 and 3.

Well may Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees – in particular, the profoundly non-consulted rank-and-file – begin to question what is happening. If they persist, they will find that appalling unaccountability and transparency have been happening all along.

Perhaps not since the heady days of considerable exposure commencing circa 2000 has there been such a ferment of questioning regarding the trustworthiness or otherwise of Sathya Sai Baba.  Over the intervening years, former devotee analysts, researchers and commentators have worked extremely hard to gather documentation (often from official Puttaparthi sources). As well, there has been the work of supporting individuals and families worst devastated by their contact with that version of Sathya Sai Baba that the BBC named ‘The Secret Swami’.

Plenty of these usages of this blogsite originate from:  * Google and other search engines. * Our allied blogsites and websites, such as Robert Priddy’s highly organized main website: Sathya Sai Baba In Word and Action  and his blogsite:  Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed and from the general website Exbaba.com which contains a huge amount of contribution by former devotees from many countries. * Important locations, especially for those who wish extensive, scholarly presentation are Brian Steel’s writings at:   Sathya Sai Baba: The Guru Who Claimed to be God on Earth and Recent Research on Sathya Sai Baba and A Bibliography of Apologetic Writings. Many ‘hits’ come from:  * Individuals who search within this blogsite,  ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’.  * Surfing from the internal links – article to article.  * No, doubt. information passed on by recommendation by word-of-mouth , internet chatroom discussions, emails, the various forms of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and so on.  

I see a large inflow of ‘hits’ that I cannot explain by reference to other statistics.  I am supposing that many people are referring each other via word-of-mouth. It was the internet enablement, beginning to develop exponentially from that time, which caused untold damage to the repute of the Sathya Sai Central Trust and the international Sathya Sai Organization. It is difficult to suppose other than that the exposure Sai Baba’s health woes have brought that these instrumentalities will receive another bout of powerful blows to both membership and wider public image.

Both Robert Priddy (retired academic University of Oslo and former longtime head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization) and I (retired college teacher and former lecturer at the Sathya Sai College, 1978-79) are experiencing a huge and unabating upsurge of interest for many days – to be exact, since great turmoil and search have erupted following Sathya Sai Baba’s hospitalization and insertion of a pacemaker, on 28 March.

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Current In-Demand Barry Pittard Articles at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip). The BBC shot this devastating exposure of Sathya Sai Baba fakery for its documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ at the Maha Shivarathri Festival at Puttaparthi (2004).  The carelessness with which Sathya Sai Baba botched his trick may be explicable by reference to other serious mistakes, in the context of his declining mental and physical health. See: Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon? and Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions and When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises and Sathya Sai Baba’s Tips To Keep Ageing Away and Ageing and collapse in Sai Baba’s health.

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision. The BBC’s cameras at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi in South India catch the pomp, circumstance, opulence and the highly stage-managed atmosphere of the crowded Mahasivaratri festival, February 2004. India’s most famous (and controversial) ‘Godman’ has promised a great miracle, the materialization from within his stomach via his mouth of a pure gold lingam (a Hindu cosmic symbol of creation) the size of a generous egg, in full public view. Viewers hoping to see this spectacle will not be disappointed – but they will see the sham in full close-up.

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision. The BBC’s cameras at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi in South India catch the pomp, circumstance, opulence and the highly stage-managed atmosphere of the crowded Mahasivaratri festival, February 2004. India’s most famous (and controversial) ‘Godman’ has promised a great miracle, the materialization from within his stomach via his mouth of a pure gold lingam (a Hindu cosmic symbol of creation) the size of a generous egg, in full public view. Viewers hoping to see this spectacle will not be disappointed – but they will see the sham in full close-up.

Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman. More detailed information to that below is found in the article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’. This four-part piece was co-authored by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. It responds to points Dr G. Venkataraman raised against a number of exposure activities by globally networked former followers of Sathya Sai Baba. (See too: Dr G. Venkataraman, Sathya Sai Baba’s Nuclear Boon Companion.

V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings. Many Indian journalists and editors and others know of the profound extent of the cover up by the then powerful Home Minister S.B. Chavan, and central, Andhra Pradesh State and local governments. It is a pity that very few have had the courage to speak out publicly on the issue, as has former Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary V.P.B. Nair, who was in office at the time of the killings. It is a sad commentary that very few had the courage in speaking out displayed by those such as Nair and B. Premanand. See transcript of Nair’s statement to the BBC HERE.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions. A decade ago, Sathya Sai Baba informed his devotees that his aircraft is about to take off to bring his mission to the whole world. That this was stated in no metaphorical sense is well-indicated, for he has told various of his key leaders that he would visit Rome, the UK., Malaysia, southern California. We know that the wealthy Robert Baskin, a key lawyer to the Sathya Sai Organization, has bought a luxury mansion in southern California, equipping it to receive a visit from Sai Baba. See: Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit. The late Howard Murphet, Australian journalist and author of best-selling books on Sai Baba, with whom he was close for years, wrote: “Swami once, a good many years ago told me that He would not travel abroad until His own house was in order, by that He means India, of course”. Source: Online version, “The Lights of Home”.

Sai Baba No Shiva. Gold From His Gut Is Regurgitator’s Trick. There had been, especially from 2000, tremendous international pressure for Sai Baba and his worldwide Sathya Sai Organization. (See, towards the end of the article – Sathya Sai Baba’s Deputy Head, Dr G. Venkataraman, Speaks of “Mr Idi Amin” – a number of heavy stressors that were being applied by globally networked former devotees known as ‘the exposé). One outcome was the display of an anger Sai Baba has long kept behind-the-scenes. Bad cracks began to appear in the Sai monolith, and the world began to peep through. In a Christmas 2000 discourse, in which peace and goodwill to all men were remarkable for their absence, Sai Baba repeatedly pounded his lectern, denouncing his accuses as demons and Judases, and vaunting his accomplisments (even though, contrary to his assertions, far from unique), prompting The Times of India, December 26, 2000, to headline: Sai Baba Lashes Out At His Detractors.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Slurred Speech Due To Old Age. ‘Eenadu’ News Report. Telegu Press Report Cites ‘Old Age’ Signs In Sai Baba. ‘Eenadu’, with over 10 million daily readers in Andhra Pradesh, the state of India in which Sathya Sai Baba lives, reports a speech in the guru. See also:  Sathya Sai Baba Tells Untruths About His Health? and: Sathya Sai Baba’s Hip Joint Injury and Surgery – 2003. What are the actual facts of the matter? and: Sathya Sai Baba Continues To Ail.

‘SECRET SWAMI’ ARTICLES. Busy journalists, scholars, institutional researchers, and the probing reader in general can do with shortcuts. The piece:  Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba) Posted by Barry Pittard on June 6, 2010 –  is a guide to my articles written across some six years on the BBC’s one-hour documentary, The Secret Swami (2004) which, according to the BBC itself, has been aired in some two hundred countries. The articles referred to in this guide are those mentioned below. To give enquirers – in one fell swoop as it were – the opportunity to view the scope of these articles in prospectus, the guide has key quotations from each of the articles.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman: Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard. Dr G.Venkataraman is about as close to Sathya Sai Baba as it is possible to get. His worldwide brief as his international broadcaster and his deputy chairmanship of the Sathya Sai Organization makes it relevant to look at his performance. A detailed analyis of Venkatarman at work is found in Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s jointly authored, four-part article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’. To get direct documentation of Venkataraman’s machinations in concert with the Vajpayee government and the then Director of UNESCO (which were exposed by the BBC’s David Saville, although this part was pushed out by other foci of the television documentary, along too with Saville’s verification of the U.S. State Department’s that Sathya Sai Baba was, in fact, the person they had been investigating in regard to sexual molestation of US boys and young men), see: The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory, and:  U.S. State Department Named Sathya Sai Baba To BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’.

NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by the prominent British journalist Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED

(Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four

 Sathya Sai Baba Expose News Extensive website – testimonies, articles, videos

Allegations concerning Sathya Sai Baba A wide range of serious exposé articles.

Ongoing Investigations into Claims and Realities Surrounding Sathya Sai Baba – a thoroughly documented scholarly website by Brian Steel.

Call for Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba – Barry Pittard

Sathya Sai Baba (and Wikipedia) – website of author Kevin R.D. Shepherd

Sathya Sai Baba – The Truth

Italian ExBaba exposé website http://www.exbaba.it
Scandinavian Sai Baba exposé websites Swedish  Danish, and Norwegian (Norsk)

Other European languages German exposé websitePolishRussian.

Exposé in Spanish and second site in Polish

Dr. Dale Beyerstein’s study of Sathya Sai Baba’s claims and ‘miracles’ 

Kevin R.D. Shepherd blog and The Sai `Baba Movement

Robert C Priddy philosophy and religious issues web log Breaking the spell of religious/’spiritual’ superstitions

Website informing about sects, including the Sathya Sai Baba cult

FRENCH WEB LOG Marc-André

Belief and Sathya Sai Baba: Avatar or Imposter-Trickster?

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

                                             

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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

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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

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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

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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 »

Derren Brown’s Magic Trumps Sathya Sai Baba’s

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 8, 2008

Would Sathya Sai Baba be happy to let the students in his education system see Derren Brown, the great British magician?

Derren Brown, master mind trickster who exposes his tricks
Derren Brown, master mind trickster who exposes his tricks

Or devotees to start to consider that he (SSB) is not all that he has proclaimed himself to be – which is the ALL, incarnated in the fullest expression of the Divine in the history of mankind. See The Decline and Fall of the Showman Empire

Assorted Reactions To Sai Baba’s ‘Magic’

Many Sathya Sai Baba devotees, and those who have left him, have caught him out in his tricks. Some respond almost casually by saying that it is just his “Leela” (infinite playfulness). Some go through a great wrestle, but settle with some such explanation as that he was deceiving simply to test the devotee’s faith. Still others grant that the deception was there but take refuge in events bearing considerable marks of the miraculous but which have taken place in many parts around the world, such as in devotees’ homes, and thus far away from the physical presence of their teacher. Some limply say yes he does do those tricks but look at all the good he is doing, as though good can hardly be done without the need for deception. Others are deeply alienated by the deception – sometimes related to apparent fumbling, dropping the secreted sacred ash (vibhuti) pellets that he ‘materializes’, for example, or carelessly leaving the type of objects he ‘materializes’ lying under cushions, etc., where a devotee accidentally discovers them.

Some Things Not Even Top Magicians Can Trick You About

After twenty-five years of knowing many devotees from around the world, and being present on such occasions, it is my view that the issue of apparently supra-physical events occurring around the world, but related to Sathya Sai Baba, is fraught with difficulty. There needs to be proper investigation. Certainly, the assumption that duplicity is involved does not fly. Too many of us from many countries have witnessed such occurrences (whatever may be the causative principle inherent in them) to see that they rise far above the trite, the spooky and can be quite ineffable. What is so stark a contrast is, however,  the evidence relating to his clandestine moral misconduct, and likewise of other discordances, such as, for example, the cover-up of most terrible scandals. There are, too, the high number of demonstrable anomalies in his discourses over the years, and the unfulfilled promises and prophecies. See especially Brian Steel‘s incisive work in this latter area at:

Recent Research on the Claims of Sathya Sai Baba

Master Magician Educates Via Magic. He Casts But Breaks Spells

Tricks can be played – compellingly. And whether by a master magician or even by one with a small knowledge of a few adroit prestidigitations or cunning suggestions. The following Urls are readily accessible. You might be, in a sense, in the hands of one of the world’s greatest magicians, Derren Brown from the UK but he, unlike a reprehensible trickster, will not keep you in his grip. You get to go home. In fact Brown is intentionally mass-educating on a vast scale, as well as simply entertaining. Below are the links for a quick and spell-binding ‘crash course’:

Derren Brown strongly influences mind and physiology of random persons in a minute

Derren Brown wins over 9 top chess players simultaneously

Derren Brown extraordinary mind control demonstration

Derren Brown amazing power of suggestion surpasses martial arts master

The famous ‘zombie’ demonstration – a ‘must see’

Derren Brown easily transfers thoughts

How does Derren Brown manage this? Interview

Stephen Fry on Derren Brown’s amazing illusionism

Aristocrats transparent to Derren Brown

Derren Brown guesses exact sums of pocket money correctly

Derren Brown terrifies a Ghost train operator on his own trainride

Daylight robbery by illusion in New York

Subconscious influencing by Derren Brown

Amazing demonstration of perfect rapport

All strength lost through suggestion

Poor self-confidence and colour vision transformed by Derren Brown’s persuasion

Derren Brown gives two girls daylight hallucinations

at this URL

Further Reading

‘Derren Brown’ in Wikipedia

More Comments and Replies on Sai Deceptions

Sathya Sai Baba miraculously ’shows’ 10 avatars

Gurubusting Sathya Sai Baba

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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

 Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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Posted in Miracles, New Age, Propaganda, Prophecy, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Skeptics, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »