The Times of India reports that Sai Baba, one of India’s most famous Godmen, died last Sunday.
Now, to put this in context, he was listed by the Watkins Review as one of the 100 most spiritually influential people in the world (yea, I’m also bothered by that meaningless word “spiritually”, but worry not, the review itself does not mean very much, its just a bookshop review). OK, lets try a few more numbers. There is a claim that he had about around 6 million adherents, and his organization, the Sathya Sai Organisation, reports that there are an estimated 1,200 Sathya Sai Baba Centers in 114 countries worldwide. I’ll not quibble about these numbers, not because I think they are right, (I suspect not), but rather … I simply don’t care to quibble about such numbers. The fact that I don’t dispute is that he had quite a following, and apparently that included presidents and prime ministers from India and beyond.
OK, so lets put our skeptical hats on and take a quick tour.
His Supposed Miracles
He claimed to have paranormal powers and to be able to work miracles. Two of his favorite “miracles” were to make ashes materialize for poor people, and to make jewelry materialize for rich people.(Personally that feels to be the wrong way around to me).
The film “Guru Busters” (Equinox) demonstrated that these alleged miracles were little more than a magician’s parlor tricks. Not sure about that? OK then, here is a video extract where he is caught on camera palming an artifact that he claims to have magically materialized. (Click here to watch the video clip)
The Real Controversy
However, the fact that he is a fraud and uses cheap tricks is not the real cause of concern here, for he has been hiding a far darker secret. He was actually a dangerous sexual predator. Numerous former followers have alleged that he sexually abused them or their families. Here is a link to a BBC documentary from 2004 that revealed these facts. You can find a full transcript at that link. The central theme of the BBC documentary was Alaya Rahm’s sexual abuse allegations against Sathya Sai Baba. They interviewed him together with Mark Roche, who had devoted 25 years of his life since 1969 to the movement and alleged abuse by Sai Baba.
Other sources of Information.
- Narendra Nayak of, Indian Freethought, blogs about him here.
- Sundeep Peswani and Arvind Iyer, also of Indian Freethought, respond to the news of his death here
- More allegations of abuse can be found here.
- Here, Tony O’Clery blogs about what happened to him and his time as a member
- Michelle Goldberg, writes here in Salon about all the ex-devotees who decry their former master as a sexual harasser, a fraud and even a pedophile
Final Observation – there is hope for rationality
Premanand, the famous Indian Skeptic, took on this so-called godman by performing his so-called miracles in public and explaining the tricks behind them. He trained thousands of volunteers to perform these and they started doing the same all over the country to demonstrate to the common man how they are done.
So now he is finally gone, we are left to muse over the tragedy of so many wasted and destroyed lives that were blindly led into complete ignorance by this fraud. The world truly now is a better place, not because he was ever here, but rather because he is now gone.
17 thoughts on “Sai Baba”
lady say duty=deeds(liberation)=4 fold creates sustenance rises to Infinity. Spinning particles that which repairs dead flesh and all in matter.
homa, l’oblation du feu, primary particle in space.
she wants the sign of buddhism to also be scratched off all the top of sai baba ashram as he not conquer knowing but pass as a chaste monk. you shame. he is subjected to law of causality and super law of causality. no liberation.
law of possibility eradicates low cheater particles trying to get through the stream line, based on no mercy but wrath concept.
mother thinks you ridiculous truly, has no respect for you truly, what economics? mother has two formulas for perfect modules, you still on second world war understanding of time and velocity formula? You do not even know what equation goes where? A hint cheater ex-man in her life as x=mistake(you). Law of time beyond the factor of linear confines even with variables and flux or fiat theories of angles,surfaces, refracted emanation or even fluid in effulage or collected particles that rise and over low of accessement only combine into higher degrees with super law of possibility and super law of probability, changes ditch and pull and poll and hence new speed of velocity and time are equated on the new equation of both all -1 and above under and over regular linear formula as such you are in linear float in linear trapped in linear and have no super laws of theories or machines to build of great importance and cannot even dream too in a blink to remove all water problem you have? Mother do like Sabrina in a blink she fin and did pictorial, find linear formulas to add to formula to go to north korma after. She can make you again and change your memories that you like men too in bed…. But she concluded re-animation on a cheater is a waste of money and precious time, even thou uri little predictable she giving him the proto-type of gravitational car after run tests in future. Little boys should have toys even thou their fathers are assholes and cheaters to family, lady and spiritual family!!! We continue throwing cocoanuts and after bamboo poles, after take strings off all hamicks on beaches and forest in the case you sleeping their too.. After heat up all milk or soya based cocktails at hotel and private resort in case he orders let it come sour an over boiled give him stomach ache.
Jay appears to be a supporter of Sai Baba, hence he links to a Sai Baba site. I have no reason to think that Jay is not his real name, so what leads you to conclude that it is not his (or her) real name?
Jay is simply pointing out that there are others out there who claim to be Sai Baba, and con their many followers out of cash, and so enrich themselves like that. His point is valid, it is in the public interest to be aware of all the con-artists out there.
Reply to ‘Jai Santosh’ :
If you feel the need to expose names, you should do the same of yours and not hide behind a false name.
It appears that you are very jealous of what others have and feel that this family should provide an explanation as to how they have acquired such things in life. Maybe the world should point a finger at you and ask how did “Jai Santosh” (one who cannot even reveal his name) acquire his wealth?
Not that it is anyone’s business, but because of people like you who are so envious of what others possess, you should be accusing the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation as to why did a member from this family win money and share it with their parents.
Didn’t know ‘Jai Santosh’ could be so envious. Why don’t you start playing the lotto; you don’t have a chance if you don’t play! Hey better yet maybe you should go into business but be honest with the partner’s contribution eh!
This much, based on what I have seen is that the group doesn’t even get that much to pay one person’s food bill much less provide all that you say they have!
You are ducking and weaving around the issue. In fact, you need to do a very thorough job of completely burying your head in the sand to avoid the facts.
There are folks who used to follow this fake guru and now write about their experiences … long list here… http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/index.html … its a huge source with vast amounts of well documented criticism.
Regarding your claim that you consider his supposed miracles as inconsequential … basically, that complete bullshit, and you know it. Its all part of the show he put on to successfully con folks.
Regarding the claim about the SSO and how it behaves, here is a link that clearly explains what is really going on and why it is wrong … http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/10/International-Sathya-Sai-Organization.htm
Regarding your moon hoax link … seriously!!
– the moon hoax stuff has been de-bunked here … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_landing_conspiracy_theories
Where is the de-bunking for all the claims against SSB and SSO?
When engaging with anything, you need to be familiar with the full conversation, touting just one side and ignoring the full conversation will enable you to completely fool yourself.
As I keep asking you … (and you keep ignoring because you are in complete denial) … you are defending a fraud, con-artist and pedophile … why?
How many Western followers did he have? How much did each contribute on average? Numbers or allegations? You don’t have numbers, and neither does The Telegraph. It’s just hot air. And no. As of now the government, in this case that would be the AP state government, has no plans to take over the SS trusts. The trusts are all registered with teh department of income tax and the home ministry. All contributions are reported, and accounts are filed in time.
Now re miracles, you are going to find one statement of SS Baba where he claims he can perform a miracle. Take your time. While you claim that he can’t perform miracles, I consider he conjurer’s act inconsequential. Among the millions of his followers, very few experience his “miracles” in person. Maybe a few 100 watches that’s all. What millions experience is clean water (the denizens of Chennai, and Anantapur district), the free world class medical care, the best of schools (Sathya Sai School in Toronto, ON) and so on.
Now for links etc.,
The moon landings were faked, they never happened you know?
Click here http://www.ufos-aliens.co.uk/cosmicapollo.html
And then that Area 51 thing. Links galore. And so on. Aren’t you glad about the company you keep? Conspiracy theorists, supermarket checkout magazines, and so on. That’s the fact.
The maths is not hard, ask yourself this, how many western followers did he have, how many made donations … it all adds up to billions.Even the Telegraph reports huge sums, which is why the government has stepped in to manage it all
Regarding the rest of what you have written, you appear to be babbling nonsense, (what the heck is a Xtian ideology?) and have chosen to simply ignored the facts …
Fact – his miracles are fake, that is well documented … he was even caught on camera doing tricks.
Fact – he has sexually abused many, all well documented, if you want evidence then click the links, or use Google. Same allegations from many different sources, all with the same testimony.
However, what may be of interest to you is that there are some things we agree upon. Of course you don’t need Jeebus, or any other mythological deity. You do not have a soul, there is no such thing,
But I maintain my stance, you are defending a fraud and sexual predator … why?
I am in the process of shredding that article and along with it the pretensions of Ajita’s fans. I have posted a series of rejoinders, which should will be uploaded shortly once the mods are done with them.
A reasonable if not precise estimate of the assets of the SS Trust is required before you can level as much as an allegation on the web. Without that your next allegation that only a “tiny percentage” has been used for charitable purposes is baseless, absurd and laughable.
#1 Miracles – SSB claims he is god, you are god, I am god, everyone is god – a popular advaitic interpretation. Some believe that he is god because he performs miracles. Others believe he is god, because only someone like that could have performed a valve replacement for his 6 month old girl for free. Someone else believes Aham Brahmasmi, Tatvamasi, and doesn’t care for anything beyond that. And yes, SSB followers are encouraged to see a doctor f they are ill, rather than simply pray. And NO. SSB followers to a person believe that stepping in front of a moving bus can result only in one thing. Dave, the problem is, wiht your barely concealed Xtian ideology, you can’t bear to see a guy like SSB knocking the mickey out of Xtian soul harvesting operations in the epicentr of the soul harvesting racket – Andhra Pradesh.
#3 and #4 – As we can see, once again, you have allegations only. When you have evidence, we will talk.
My life is unique and precious, and I don’t need Jeebus or anyone else to “save my soul”. I go by the law. Manmade law, not Martin Luther or Calvin’s law.
I don’t have a “flock” …
The precise $$ of the trust is irrelevant, the point still stands, only a tiny percentage was deployed for philanthropic purposes.
Why should I care about a claim to him being a God? – easy, its complete bollocks and needs to be said so that others can be warned. (If the chap in front was about to step in front of a bus he did not see, would you cry out and warn him, or would you stay silent?) The problem is that when folks make silly groundless claims of godhood, and then con folks into believing it with cheap tricks, if it goes unchallenged, then people (such as yourself) will be tricked into believing it.
You really should begin to look inwards and ask yourself why you persist in defending this immoral sexual predator and fraud who took advantage of many young boys .. he is gone now, it is time for you to let go and move on. Your life is unique and precious, so do not waste another second on this fraud.
One the one hand your flock claims that SSB’s trusts have not been audited. OTOH, you claim to know how much exactly it owns and has disbursed. I know pigs can fly, but this?
Do you have any evidence otherwise? And for a rationalist why do you care anyone claims to be “god”? What is the point when there is no such thing as god? Or are you a secret Xtian who believes that only he of the empty cross and the empty tomb who sits at the right side of his father can claim to be god? C’mon man grow up.
Dave, an article was posted at nirmukta to specifically address apologists like kaangeya who justify immoral behaviour by hiding behind the charity facade: http://nirmukta.com/2011/04/25/can-charity-preclude-criticism-sai-baba-pope-bill-gates/
Of course, he commented there as well, making the same kind of faulty arguments.
Point 1 – His Miracles
His tricks are of great consequence. He claims to be god and offers these as proof … and on that basis many have made considerable donations. – The correct term to describe this is fraud.
Point 2 – The philanthropic claims
Sai’s trust is worth 3.2 billion US dollars out of which a small portion is used for philanthropic purposes. The hospital cost $12 million and the other water projects are estimated to be around another $10 million. What happened to the rest?
Point 3 – His Behaviour
His sexual molestation of teens and young men is documented and has been well-researched by reputable trustworthy impartial teams such as …
– The 2004 BBC Documentary : The Secret Swami
– Denmark’s national broadcaster in its 2003 documentary Seduced
Conny Larsson describes what happened to him as an 8-year old …
I came to Sai Baba, who I believed to be my God and my saviour, and then I was invited in to the inner interview room. And that was when he pulled my pants down and took out my penis and began to rub it in with oil then began to masturbate me, onani – that is. And after that he would of course want to suck me too. And I stood there quite speechless, and couldn’t quite figure out what was really happening then. What he wanted then was that I should suck him, so he pulled up his smock like this and then he pulled out his small penis – about so large – and thought that I would suck him
Many others have similar stories.
Point 4 – There is worse …
He stands accused of absolute, cold-blooded murder regarding the incident in 93. Examine the evidence, it’s a compelling case.
Now ask yourself this (This is for you to ponder over, not reply to) – Do you truly wish to be associated with all this and attempt to defend a truly obnoxious evil individual? Can you really defend a sexual predator who takes advantage of 8 year old children such as Conny and retain a clear conscience?
Do give it some thought … look at all the evidence, don’t cherry-pick the bits that support your beliefs and discard the truth.
SSB’s miracles are of no consequence and are mere parlor tricks.
What’s notable is his service to the community. He could have used his wealth like Agnes Boiaxhu did to glorify poverty and keep people in misery. He could have like Agnes Boiaxhu did, ranted against abortion, and run a filthy hospice while availing the best for himself. he could have like Agnes Boiaxhu, run missionary convents the world over. SSB did nothing of that sort. He built sanitation infrastructure, and that ranks alongside Bill Gates’s vaccination and AIDS awareness campaigns. Where the government remains mired in corruption SSB’s trusts have worked and spectacularly. That is why even a rabid Hinduphobe like the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu has lavished praises on SSB, after he picked up the tab for a drinking water project for the city of Chennai. If you are from Chennai as I am you would know how much clean water means to us. SSB’s sanitation projects alone in the arid areas of peninsular India serve over 2 million people, every day, 24/7. SSB built 1st class hospitals that provide real medical care, not placebos and prayers like Agnes Boiaxhu’s filthy hospices. Unlike Agnes Boiaxhu who availed of the best healthcare for herself while dispensing placebos for her patients, SSB’s hospitals at no point of time have provided anything but the best for their patients. And then there are the many schools and colleges. While these may not be of the standard of an IIT or an IIM, or a Manipal University, they aren’t bad. If they were you would be writing about it. And while you are at it check out the Fraser Institute’s report on the Sathya Sai School in Toronto. It’s been ranked the best private school in the region this year, ahead of more expensive and older mission run schools. http://sathyasaischool.ca/media/news/Sathya_Sai_School_24%20Hrs%20Toronto%20Edition_28Mar2011.pdf. There are schools in several other places as well such as Zambia, Mexico etc., This not charity but service, not bandaid but empowerment. One way of making money to serve society is the Gates/Buffett/Rockefeller/Ford/Carnegie/Mellon way – make your money through business and spend it on society. The other way is the Madan Mohan Malaviya way, beg and borrow and build a great university – Benaras Hindu University. Yet another way is to move the rich and powerful by appealing to their spiritual side and get them to part with their money. SSB chose the third way. While there are many among the rich and powerful who bankrolled his trust, the many more thousands (millions?) of his followers are humble folk with little more than their middle class skills to their name who sought a little comfort for their afflictions. SSB did not run a megachurch that requires its followers to tithe, he did not run a fraudulent outfit like the scientology cult that drains you of your every last cent. In fact what is remarlkable about SSB’s Puttaparthi is that nowhere in the city will you find a hundi (a collection box) or anyone trying to scrounge you. SSB also did not deliver long lectures or hold forth on arcane matters of debate. His followers remained within their faiths and left nothing to be with him.
So then you have charges Dave? Which grand jury produced that indictment? In which court have those charges been brought to bear? Do you have any evidence at all? Do you have anything beyond hearsay?
kaangeya, you are making lots of counter-claims … do you have any actual evidence?
The facts are clear:
– There have been many complaints made against sai baba, about him molesting boys (usually teens and early 20’s)
– All his miracles can be easily replicated, if he is using supernatural powers, then he is doing it the hard way, a trick is a far simpler way of doing exactly the same.
The charge is that he is both a fraud and also sexual predator, the evidence is there, do you have any actual evidence to refute either?
A little known fact is that Premanand was running a hospital at Podanur.
Surely you know that Alaya Rahm’s case was dismissed with prejudice?
This is what happened when Premanand met SSB,
Premanand: Baba can you produce vibhuti out of thin air?
SSB: Here [puff of smoke]
P: Can you produce a gold watch?
SSB: Here [flash of gold]
P: OK see here’s burfi, can you produce a pumpkin?
SSB: [Scratching his head, but quickly] Can you produce a hospital?
P: [scratching his beard] performs a miracle, poooof! vanishes in a trice!
SSB:1 vs. Premanand:0
Result Premanand gets pwned!