Sai Baba Inc.: The money behind Sai
By: Hari Sampath
From: Sai Baba - Anti Christ? Quick Topic Discussion Board, message 1340, 1341, 1342 and 1346:
Sai Baba Inc.: The money behind Sai Baba -1
The easiest way to look for the source of Sai Baba's "immunity" from investigation and what exactly all this scam is about is to just take a look at the staggering amounts of money involved, and approximately estimate how much money does Sai Baba actually have.
We all know that Westerners started visiting Sai Baba in reasonable numbers from the early 1970s. Today Sai Baba is reputed to have some 30-50 million devotees , a number that is given by his followers. I am however inclined to put this between 10-20 million worldwide, with Sai Baba having around 10 million followers in India , and probably in the range of 5 million worldwide.
For the purposes of simplicity if we assume that he has 15 million followers( his devotees will object to this, I know, but just VERY MINIMUM for calculation purposes) , we nay assume that this following has been built up gradually over the last 30 years.
Okay, so we have 5 million "real committed followers" of Sai Baba spread among approximately 100 countries, outside India, and then some 10 million followers in India.
Now, we all know that MOST of these followers of Sai Baba from outside India visit him at varying frequencies, but would have at least visited Sai Baba a couple of times at the very minimum. A large number of followers do visit him once in 2-3 years from outside India.
Almost ALL Sai Baba followers try to follow his "teachings" on ceiling on desires, seva, giving to the less fortunate etc. I know that most Sai Baba followers do spend a certain amount of time , effort and money in doing seva work in their own countries, individually as well as in groups.
Let us assume that a vast majority of these 5 million followers outside India are just normal folks, not immensely wealthy or anything, but just able to have a normal, reasonably comfortable standard of life.
Even if 90 % of these followers are just ordinary folks, and probably spend around $ 2000 , for a visit, once in 2-3 years, it is because Sai Baba occupies top priority in their lives, and they will look at all money they have for the "service of the Lord" and "given by him", after they spend for themselves and their families.
From hundreds of conversations I have had with followers from all over the world, in Prashanti Nilayam, I found out that almost all of them donated at least a very modest amount to Sai Baba's trust each time they visited, sometimes directly, and sometimes through the organization in their countries. A very good majority of them had told me that they regularly send a monthly amount ( modest sum like $ 50 ) so that they could contribute to the mission of Sai Baba.
Many people had told me that they donate $1000 per year once a year, and several others had told me that they accumulate this and donate it when they visit PN.
All this was apart from the money they all spent in their respective countries doing seva.
This is just among the 90 % of followers of Sai Baba outside India, who could be described as normal middle class folks , that is , about 4.5 million people at the very minimum.
Given these facts, let us see what is the range of
Sai Baba Inc : The money behind Sai Baba -2
If we assume that the 5 million overseas followers of Sai Baba had accumulated gradually over thirty years, and try to break it up over 5 year periods from 1970, we might have something like this :
1970 : 100,000
1975 : 250,000
1980 : 750,000
1985 : 1,500,000
1990 : 2,500,000
1995 : 3,500,000
2000 : 5,000,000
This is just a rough progression estimate, knowing that in later years more awareness about Sai Baba spread in the West and after 1985 large numbers of followers started coming .
Now , over a 30 year period, these 4.5 million ordinary followers of Sai Baba would have visited him anywhere between 2 to 20 times, and spent anywhere between $ 3000 to $ 50,000 JUST ON TRAVEL and other expenses.
When they are spending so much, it is reasonable to assume that they would at least donate $ 200 to $ 1000 once a year, depending on each person's affordability. Of course there are those who haven't given anything at all, and those who have given much bigger sums, so it averages out.
So doing a donation pattern calculation,assuming that the average yearly amount donated by a follower from overseas is we get :
If 4 million followers had donated a very minimum of $ 400 per year on an average, for a very minimum of 10 years only, we have a total of.......$ 16 BILLION DOLLARS !!!
Now, I fully realize that many of the people MAY NOT have donated $ 400 a year , and also that many people do donate at least $ 1000 a year, and considering these numbers have been assumed on the very low side as well as ONLY 10 years considered, we have arrived at this figure.
$ 16 BILLIONS ......... at least !!
Sai Baba Inc : The money behind Sai Baba -3
The $ 16 Billion is a very rough estimate assuming very minimum number of "ordinary followers" donating very nominal sums over a stretch of time .
Now let us come to the 10 % of Sai Baba followers from overseas who can be considered to be "comfortably well off" financially. This is approximately 500,000. If these 500,000 followers accumulated over a period of 20 years, and each of them had AT LEAST given $5000 to $ 10,000 , very minimum 2 to 3 times over a period of 20 years, we can safely assume an average contribution of $ 20,000 for each person, over a 20 year period, this is a very conservative estimate, and is probably much more.
This makes the gradual contributions from "comfortable followers", over a 20 year period, AT LEAST $ 10 BILLION dollars !!
So, just the gradual contributions from overseas devotees , over a 20 year period will be very minimum in the range of $ 25 Billion to $ 30 Billion.
Sai Baba Inc : The money behind Sai Baba -4
Let us now consider the properties, assets and other wealth 'bequeathed" to the Sai Baba trust by very wealthy devotees, in their wills.
This is a very difficult estimate to make, because there is no way of knowing who has given what, only the accountants in the Sai Baba central trust and the attorneys will know.
It is well known that many wealthy elderly followers of Sai Baba "make over" substantial assets to his trust in their wills. I had known several instances of old people bequeathing properties to the Sai Baba trust, in the range of $ 1 million to $ 20 million. There is also something called the delayed donation program, started since 1990, where followers "give over their property" to the Trust after their lifetimes, but continue to enjoy the benefits of this property during their lifetimes.
I have known several extremely wealthy followers in Germany, Sweden, Australia, United States, Japan, South Africa, UK , Canada, France etc... , having already participated in this kind of donation program.
As Sai Baba is erupted to have AT LEAST 5 million followers overseas, EVEN if we assume that very minimum 10000 such followers in the last 20 years were comfortably wealthy, easily affording to donate assets or properties over a 20 year period , worth $ 1 million dollars, we have a net worth of $ 10 Billions in assets and properties spread worldwide !!
This could well be appreciating in value and worth over the years, and I do know that there were many properties in the range of 100 acres to 300 acres of land given over to the Sai Baba Trust. It would all be worth a staggering amount, and what we are assuming here is a very low end of the scale.
This brings the Sai Baba Trust assets to a tune of $ 35 billion to $ 40 billion dollars !!!!
Nobody would know how much is stashed away, where, and in what ancillary trusts in various countries etc. Only half a dozen people in the Sai Baba Trust will ever know the true figures.
Remember , all this is only from Overseas devotees, and not counting Indian devotees.
While Indian devotees are not that wealthy by international standards, there are tens of thousands of devotees, who are far richer than overseas devotees, and do give huge sums. I know the ordinary Indian devotees do give a few thousands of rupees each year, while the wealthier ones donate houses, land etc.
After all this, what has the Sai Baba Trust really done ?? What costs they have of maintaining the Ashram ? All the work, including cleaning toilets is done by seva dals. The food is given at nominal rates, and prepared from rice, and other materials donated from neighboring states.
The 3 colleges are run , free of cost, and the students charged for food, hostel etc.
There are two hospitals (built on Govt. donated land) with subsidized, medical equipments and medical supplies from Govt., and doctors doing surgeries free.
The water project was done at a cost of $ 50 million dollars, and has been handed over to the Andhra State govt. for operations.
The sum total of ALL the "welfare activities" CANNOT be more than $ 200 - $ 250 million dollars , over the last 20 years, by any standards.
Even if my estimate of the Sai Baba org assets and donations( which was very conservative and reasonable) is terribly inaccurate, and two times overestimated, we still have the Sai Baba Trust worth at least $ 20 Billion dollars, very minimum.
All the money and other properties, MUST be somewhere.
The Indian politicians of course know this. Which is why they flock to Sai Baba and also "protect" him from any investigations.
The Overseas council presidents know this, which is why they "still have faith" in Sai Baba , and cover up the sexual molestations.
This is the story of the Sai Baba scam, in cold hard facts.