Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Superstition’

Michael J. Hollander – Longtime Ardent Sathya Sai Baba Apostle

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 19, 2012

michael-j-hollander1Many poison-pen attacks assail those of us who stand forth to tell the facts about Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult.  So it is with some relief that one receives mail from those whom one knew long ago and held in high regard. Such an email has just come from Richard in the USA, whom I knew when we twice shared lodgings, during my first year of teaching at the Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore. Prior to our first meeting, Richard served as an overseas officer in the United States armed forces. He left Whitefield and Puttaparthi to work with Mother Teresa of Calcutta, before returning for a time.
I might add, in passing,in reference to Richard’s mention of his book on environmental catastrophe, that I have just returned from a forum, hearing from some of the top environmentalist scientists in the world that the vast ecological troubles threatening the planet are not the concoctions of crack-brain doomsayers. They are very real. Blinded by narrow economic advantage, many governments, corporations and others dangerously ignore compelling scientific data going back forty years. Sathya Sai Baba did not address these immense threats to the planet. In his constant sermonizing, he all too often spoke with extreme abstraction, getting lost in ancient myths that he treated not as allegory or parable but as historic fact.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

For context to this note, see my previous blog: Michael J. Hollander: A Sathya Sai Baba Preacher of ‘Woe-Unto-The-Wicked’Posted by Barry Pittard on January 16, 2012

Below, see Richard’s note:
“Dear Barry,
Well do I remember Michael and Faith Hollander, since I was privy to their after-story in New York.
You and I become good friends during first 5 months of 1978, living first at the Singh’s and later at the Tank-cabin with the baba wall. It was from there I departed to spend rest of my 1978 year in Calcutta and more briefly, Madras and Bombay. Meanwhile, you soldiered on as a fine teacher in Karnataka. Well do I recall your wonderful bhajan classes with tiny ones.

Faith and Micheal returned to New York City, where I encountered them in 1979 as leaders of the Sathya Sai Center of Manhattan. I went there twice for bhajans, then disconnected from corporate baba-ism. I now call the guy S. N. Raju. I will fine tune my essay re that issue and send to you in next few months or sooner. (I regret I still viewed Raju as my guru until about 1998-99, when I learned about his evil conduct and that of some around him)

Faith Hollander was a devout if floaty lady with deep spiritual capacities, and Michael was a loud, if well-meaning, “idealogue” and evangelical, a sort of Baba’s apostle ‘Paul’, sent forth to browbeat the earth into Baba-tude. I find it sad but amusing how so many, having drunk the koolaid, cannot transform themselves. I think its like Sam Sandweis or that other leader of the Sathya Sai Organization, the doctor (glad I can’t recall his name) said: “Ive given 20 years of my life to this, I can’t recant now.”  That’s sort of like the inquisitors saying about Galileo’s ’round Earth” thesis: I’ve dedicated my life to a flat Earth… so let’s kill or silence that guy.

Anyway… the beat goes on. My book about coming eco-catastrophe is at the printers in Calcutta.

Peace, love and Justice,




Excerpt From and Comment On Public Petition

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

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


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Sathya Sai Health Condition “Very Critical”, Says Sai Hospital Head (21 April)

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 21, 2011

Indian media are starting to report that some Sathya Sai Baba forces favour his burial while he is still technically alive. (See news reports, below).

Countries not steeped in the utmost superstition may find it hard to credit yesterday’s bizarre news.

Yes, buried alive ….

Given the terrible and multiple failures of his body to respond, it would not seem that they have long to wait. One might not unreasonably expect to hear the news of his decease at any time now.

When, then, exactly, is Sathya Sai Baba going – as he has long promised – to visit London, Malaysia, Rome and Southern California, USA?

And when will he, for all the world to see, hold aloft a whole mountain range?  And save humanity in its time of greatest threat to civilization?  And rule the whole world? All of these events he has foretold.

If Sathya Sai Baba devotees are to be at all truthful, they will need to intelligibly answer these – and many other leading questions.

Because I have lived in India and spent memorable time across a broad socio-economic strata – from the very wealthy to the very poor – this news, macabre though it may appear in the West and elsewhere, comes as no surprise to me. I was often able to see how many so highly educated Indians are able, conceptually, to compartmentalize their thoughts and attitudes. One part of the mind is for practical or professional reasons and the other part for matters of faith.  Of course, no country can boast that the health of real questioning and debate is assured. But my experiences of India were of a nation in enormous thraldom to many such brands of irrationality.

Anything from one ‘compartment’ that might cause conflict within the other ‘compartment’ is held back, and not allowed to trespass. In short, no student of Indian life must assume that superstition is the exclusive domain of the poor and uneducated. Belief in the efficacy of gurus, astrology, numerology, psychic readings, supposedly auspicious times of day or sightings of creatures, dreams, and many other types of quackery are exceedingly rife across class. Sathya Sai Baba has long believed in ghosts and evil spirits.  See: Robert Priddy diary scan (at the time, Priddy was the longtime head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization), ‘Directly recorded notes 10/10/1998 at Prashanthi Nilayam‘, with comments added.

See some select readings of earlier articles at this blogsite, ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’:

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions

There is no end to his failed predictions. In his February 1 16, 2007 (so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sathya Sai baba said:

“I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.”

Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit

The guru, perhaps the most wealthy and politically powerful in India’s long history, claims that he will save the world in his own lifetime, departing (according to one of two dates he has given) circa 2022 AD. He will, he says, preside over the greatest changes ever to occur in history. 

‘World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him

One of India’s most powerful Hindu nationalist leaders, Ashok Singhal, who has an international profile in the Hindu world, told an assembly of political and religious luminaries in Delhi of a prophecy he says Sathya Sai Baba shared with him. The Organiser, September 14, 2008, reports …


NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: 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 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

Part Two Three Four



Sathya Sai Baba very critical: Hospital
Puttaparthi (AP), Apr 21, (PTI):
The condition of Sathya Sai Baba is very critical with all his organs showing very poor response to treatment, doctors attending on him said today.
In view of the deteriorating health of Sathya Sai Baba, the Andhra Pradesh Police have deployed additional forces here to maintain law and order.“Non-functioning of the liver and persistent episodes of low blood pressure are causing great worry to the doctors,” Dr A N Safaya, Director, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Sciences, said here.His breathing is still ventilator dependent and the process of slow hemodialysis has been started in the morning to assist the kidneys, he said.The doctors are putting their best efforts to improve his clinical condition, Dr Safaya said.
86-year-old Sathya Sai Baba was hospitalised on March 28 following problems related to heart and respiration.


Puttaparthi security up as Baba is critical again
Puttaparthi (AP), Apr 20, DHNS:
As Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s condition worsened, security at Puttaparthi is being beefed up to handle any eventuality with 4,000 police personnel, including companies from Kurnool and Chittoor districts, expected to land there on Thursday morning.
Doctors treating the 85-year-old spiritual leader are expressing concern over his fluctuating BP for the last couple of days.Sri Sathya Sai Baba Institute of Higher Medical Sciences Director A N Safaya said on Wednesday: “Intermittent low BP is causing anxiety to the doctors treating him.”The Baba’s liver functioning has also deteriorated drastically, causing concern among the doctors. In an official bulletin, Dr Safaya said Dr Yegyaraman, an electrophysiology specialist from the US, had joined the doctors’ panel. Many government-deputed doctors have also been inducted as reinforcement.Speaking to Deccan Herald, Ananthpur District Collector Janardhan Reddy, admitting that the police have been put on an alert, said: “I have been regularly interacting with the doctors and they have expressed concerns over his condition. We are getting ready for any eventuality.Puttaparthi Deputy Superintendent of Police Narasimalu said “all measures are precautionary in nature. There is no need to read anything between the lines.”

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India, Corruption and Sathya Sai Baba and His Chief Servitors

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 27, 2010

The person who wrote to me the following apparently comes from Andhra Pradesh, the State in South India where Sathya Sai Baba has his chief ashram in Puttaparthi. They commented on my previous blog: Wikileaks and Indian Troops Atrocities Reports. Sai Baba Fails To ‘Clean Up Own Backyard’. In regard to Sathya Sai Baba-related corruption,  the person speaks of my “inferring by some convoluted logic that it parallels the causes for India’s many sicknesses”.

It strikes me that the writer uses the notion of  corruption “parallels” in a systemically misleading way. Surely a more helpful contextualization of the corruption issue to be seen in Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors in comparison to widespread, endemic corruption in India  is a notion not of ‘parallel’ but of symptom. This is to say that – apart from the fact that corruption can be found in any social system – many of the Sai Baba-related corruptions reflect aspects deep-rooted in the Indian social system, and promoted by its flaws. It would, of course, be absurd to say that all the corruptions to be seen in one part of a social fabric are replicated in every other instance. For example there are Sathya Sai Organization programs which serve human beings without discrimination on the grounds of caste or creed. A discussion would need to be complex, and attempt some weighting of relevance among phenomena often encountered in India as guru worship, demagoguery, casteism, nepotism, and elitism of various kinds, superstition and dependence in matters such as astrology (not least among the elites), vast social inequality, dowry, and so on ….

In the above article, I had commented:
“Wikileaks reports of Indian troops atrocities and judicial barbarism by Indian authorities points to but one of a number of huge issues erupting in India right at the moment. Every tragic year that passes shows that Sathya Sai Baba has not “cleaned up (his) own backyard”, as he long ago promised he would do.  India’s security and well-being do not rest in the hands of her superstitious and corrupt leadership – many individuals of which gather around Sathya Sai Baba. They are in the hands of those who, at every level, actively and honestly struggle, with great sacrifice, against the systemic venalities”.

 The correspondent wrote:

“For their own karma, all Gurus deserve a healthy dose of irreverence! However,’guru-bashers’ need to be wary of mixing-up issues. This is particularly true when indulged in by foreigners. Ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba may have legitimate complaints about him, but ‘inferring’ by some convoluted logic that it parallels the causes for India’s many sicknesses, is silly and counter-productive.

Today, all Indians, whether devotee or non-devotee, atheist theist and agnostic alike, are hugely shamed by the unending exposure of monumental scams in the country. By imputing Sathya Sai Baba for India’s ills, is trivializing and misconstruing the scale and its causes.

Devotees will exploit the opportunity to elevate the aging Baba to someone like Christ being crucified for the sins of others”.
Whereas, throughout my many writings, I have made points of the sort:

1. That there are courageous forces in India – and always have been – which oppose the corruption.

2. That, among a plethora of other mischiefs, Sathya Sai Baba is exposed by his failure to do what he has long proclaimed that he will do – namely, raise India to great moral and spiritual heights and then the world – effectively, within his own lifetime.

3. The term “guru bashers” is a term that needs, case by case in situations of usage, to be analysed. It is often too much of a label and a curse word, which can obscure the real intents and the arguments being advanced.

4. It is correct that devotees can exploit adverse criticism. Or rather, to be exact, some devotees, because many of them avoid controversy of any sort and simply get on with their prayers, bhajans, etc. But when have not some of those blinded by cultic belief NOT attempted to exploit adverse criticism? Yet, silence or watered down critiques are not likely to be helpful, are they? What critics of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult have attempted to do is to expose the huge deficit between precept and example – the monumental cover ups, the sexual and other abuses, the repeated failures of predictions and of promises (such as of healing, placement in his educational and other wings …), large-scale scams in regard to provision of water, of apartments, the lack of duty of care within the worldwide Sathya Sai Organization, the vast wastage of internationally-contributed funds in glorifying Sai Baba via luxurious buildings, golden trappings of imperial splendour, lack of accountability and transparency by the Sathya Sai Central Trust, Sai Baba’s countless contradictions that are to be found in his officially published discourses and other such sources; and much else.

 5. The writer speaks of: “inferring by some convoluted logic that it parallels the causes for India’s many sicknesses”. In regard to causality, one cannot, of course, willy-nilly deal of all corruptions afflicting India as paralleling those of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult. Those who read properly what is actually written will find an avoidance of such simplifying of complex issues in the articles of the most prominent former devotee writers on Sathya Sai Baba, such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Alexandra Nagel or myself, or the independent British author never affiliated with Sai Baba Kevin R.D. Shepherd . They will also find in myriad libraries and on the internet a great many reformist Indian writers who, likewise, cannot fairly be accused of “India bashing”.  


The profound extent of  the grasp of superstition across classes in India  –  not to mention other pre-scientific manifestations – to which Sathya Sai Baba gives credence is exposed in this well-sourced article by Robert Priddy, who writes of how:

and how Sathya Sai Baba aggravates the current witchcraft problems in India

“Sathya Sai Baba holds firmly that black magic is a real phenomenon, as the quotations below prove. His person and his so-called ‘teachings’ are held in awe by Prime Ministers and Presidents of India and – yet worse – Supreme Court judges. How can this country abolish the dreadful ignorance of so many citizens, apparently including supposedly highly educated persons?” 


Some Resources at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’


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Wikileaks and Indian Troops Atrocities Reports. Sai Baba Fails To ‘Clean Up Own Backyard’

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 19, 2010

Wikileaks reports of Indian troops atrocities and judicial barbarism by Indian authorities points to but one of a number of huge issues erupting in India right at the moment.  Every tragic year that passes shows that Sathya Sai Baba has not “cleaned up (his) own backyard”, as he long ago promised he would do.

India’s security and well-being do not rest in the hands of her superstitious and corrupt leadership – many individuals of which gather around Sathya Sai Baba. They are in the hands of those who, at every level, actively and honestly struggle, with great sacrifice, against the systemic venalities.


WikiLeaks: India ‘systematically torturing civilians in Kashmir’

US diplomats were given evidence suggesting India was systematically torturing civilians in Kashmir, according to leaked cables.

Nick Allen Daily Telegraph. By Nick Allen, Los Angeles 12:17AM GMT 17 Dec 2010

WikiLeaks: India 'systematically torturing civilians in Kashmir'

Kashmiri people shout anti-India slogans during a protest in Srinagar Photo: REUTERS

The US officials in Delhi were privately briefed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 2005 that Indian security forces were using methods including electrocution, physical beatings and sexual interference against hundreds of detainees.
In a detailed report back to Washington they recorded the view of the ICRC that India “condones torture” and that the detainees were not Islamist insurgents or Pakistani-backed militants, who were “routinely killed.” Instead, they were civilians “connected to or believed to have information about the insurgency.”
According to the cables, which will prove a major embarrassment for the Indian government, the ICRC interviewed 1,296 detainees of whom 681 said they had been tortured.
Of those, 498 claimed to have been electrocuted, 381 said they were suspended from the ceiling, and 304 cases were described as “sexual.”

A total of 294 described a procedure in which guards crushed their legs by putting a bar across their thighs and sitting on it, while 181 said their legs had been pulled apart into the splits. In one cable US officials reported that “terrorism investigations and court cases tend to rely upon confessions, many of which are obtained under duress if not beatings, threats, or in some cases torture.”

 “On 23 November, 2010, devotees from around the world celebrate Sathya Sai Baba’s 85th birthday. Their consciences need to be challenged. They can be asked:  How can they lend themselves to such wasteful displays of pomp and ceremony? How can those of them who have so cruelly rejected their once dearly beloved fellow devotees, whom they knew over decades to be good and decent human beings, proclaim that they are, as Sai worshipers, devotees of Truth, Love and Right Action? How can those Indian government and other dignitaries, whom we know to have been apprised in detail of the many worldwide allegations against Sai Baba, look at themselves and their families with any honesty?”
“The context of his September 1960 prophecy makes it clear that the general public attending Puttaparthi gatherings will be privy to these wondrous manifestations. But of the panoply of saints and sages? One’s eyes strain in vain. Of politicians across the broad spectrum – yes, those aplenty. The topmost brass in the armed services – yes, their medals add to the dazzle of Puttaparthi. Of top cops – they are all over the place. Of the foremost judiciary, the diplomats, the industrialists, and so on – no end of them”
“What the former devotee and other critics point out has long been stated by many courageous and truthful Indian citizens down many decades. It may be hoped that these forces of decency and efficiency in India will be aided by the glaring world spotlight which has all too suddenly, because she is hosting the Commonwealth Games, swung on the many corrupt and befuddled Indian leaders”

Witch hunts afflict India

“Belief in such primitive superstitions as “black magic” is promoted and encouraged by Sathya Sai Baba (see here documentation from his books authorised by him and sold in his bookshop) .

One related belief system is a cause of major social problems and murders. “The Great Indian Witch Hunt“, is an award-winning documentary film hosted by noted playwright, writer and actress Sohaila Kapur (sister of director Shekhar Kapur) and directed by Filmmaker Rakhi Varma. It was part of the 12 episode series “It happens only in India” launched by The National Geographic channel – each episode focusing on an aspect of “real India” until now unexplored in detail”

Puttaparthi Sai Baba Celebrates 85th Birthday

This man says he will soon be ruling the whole world



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

There is a Spanish version available: 



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