TO SAI DEVOTEE ENQUIRERS
Author: Barry Pittard
Posted: www.exbaba.com, Tuesday, March 18, 2003
It is immeasurably gratifying that former
devotees report increasing numbers of clearly genuine enquiries from Sai
It is a welcome relief from the hate-filled
emails from so many of those who ostensibly follow Sathya, Dharma, Prema, Shanti and
Ahimsa. And indeed from the vicious attacks on two former devotee websites.
One succession of these led to shattering the psyche of the webmaster,
a young woman full of sincerity, love, compassion and a desire to
serve. Another succeeded in shutting down the Quick Topic site, where the webmaster,
Anthony, forever strove to be patient under the extreme provocations of pro Sai
Baba apologists, who finally spammed this forum to death.
Many devotees ask us: how do you
reconcile the Baba's miracles with what you allege to be his wrongdoings?
Utterly devoted for twenty-five years, I spent
several years living round Sathya Sai Baba, attended hundreds of darshans, and taught
English for two years at his Whitefield College.
I have seen manifestations via the person of
Sathya Sai Baba which it would be absurd to ascribe to sleight-of-hand, no matter how
clever. I still leave open, however, that an expert conjurer can embody the famous
old saying, "the quickness of the hand deceives the eye."
My own view is that he both fakes and doesn't
fake. That sometimes extrasensory phenomena manifest through him, and
sometimes the operative principle ceases to function, and he then
fabricates. Remember, that many of the films that can now be studied scientifically
have been made by devotees - until almost all filming was forbidden. That is, the
film-makers were not out to ensnare him. (Neither are former devotees. Sai Baba
will, when the facts all come out, will be shown to have ensnared himself!). The best
known examples are the work of Sai Baba's former official videographers: the prolific
James Redmond (USA), and on a much smaller scale Peter Rae
(Australia). Frame-by-frame, and even by straightforward but attentive viewing, one
would have to be blind or silly not to at least suspect the fakery. James
Redmond is now a former devotee, and entirely convinced both that Sai
Baba's fakes many of his materialisations and that he is guilty of
Anyone who has received from Sai Baba a ring,
pendant, etc., can have it assayed independently. Many recipients, if not all,
will be in for a shock. They will find that they have been given, to use a phrase of
Sai Baba's, 'tinsel and trash.' There are many cases where devotees have been shocked
to find objects, later to be so-called materialised, hidden in Sai Baba's chair and other
places. At the same time, I do not discount remarkable stories devotees
relate about some of the objects. Again - we observe the play of both darker and
Even so, I have been in various parts of the
world, and sometimes on my own, when manifestations of a sort that relate to the
presence of Sai Baba on the planet, have occurred. There was no 'hand' present to
exhibit deceptive quickness. The manifestations were highly complex and deeply
beautiful, just as the evidence for a dark side to the Sai Baba phenomenon is so terrible.
So for me the question is not
about whether supramundane events occur. The absurdity - and the ethically
reprehensible thing - would be for me to deny the utter truthfulness of the many direct,
personal accounts I have from males around the world who have given
me accounts of sexual molestation practised by Sai Baba on them. Some of these
are from persons who have kept their terrible secret for many agonised years. I am in
touch with many other former devotees who have also been privy to the same sort of
accounts from other victims, and these number some highly qualified, experienced, sexual
Another absurdity would be to deny
- whatever he may happen to get right - the countless examples
of Sai Baba's contradictions, confused utterences, speeches which have to be doctored so
as to make proper sense (briefly, at Sai Towers, I was one of the doctorers!), mix-ups
about historical detail, mistaken prophecies, etc.
One of the very terrible problems are the many
cover-ups by Sai Baba and the leaders of his organisation, both in India and
worldwide. One of the most horrible is that of the police executions at Puttaparthi
in 1993, in a situation where Sai Baba had ample time and space in which to prevent them.
Also, Robert Priddy's "Faith-shaking events - the 1993 murders,
, and http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/articles/shambles.html and http://home.no.net/anir/Sai/enigma/moremurders.htm
The writings of Alexandra Nagel, Serguei
Badaev and, very extensively, Robert Priddy (Norway) and Brian Steel (Australia) are
compelling. For anyone to ignore the penetrating intelligence and the
utter honesty with which they present their evidence is quite simply to be
intellectually dishonest. To ignore the many first-hand allegations of sexual molestation
by Sai Baba, which are but a small portion compared to those from others who are not
ready to go public (at least not yet) is to be, surely, without a heart. To find
these and other writings, under the heading Studies
on the www.exbaba.com site, there is a
navigator to: "Important studies from critical authors since 'The
Findings." People from many different nationalities can consult Lionel
Fernandez' website at: www.saiguru.net
Thousands of Sai devotees, if not millions,
have refused to hear hundreds of cries from victims. They are heedless of the
honorable standing of both victims and supporters in their wider
communities. How then can Sai devotees speak of Truth, Love and Righteousness?
Devotees have fallen for the lies Sai Baba has
told (for example, in his 2000 Christmas discourse). There he says that his
dissenters are "cawing crows," "Judases," "demons,"
and that we demean him for the sake of money. There he consigns us to
terrible karmic futures. There he boasts that none of us have done a tiny
proportion of all the things he has done for humanity. There he exposes his
all-too-human side, for surely God would allow his own fruits to be known by themselves,
and would not sink to comparing his own supreme works with those works of others which he
so searingly deplores. There is no wishing from him of Good Will to All Men. There he
defends himself rather than celebrates the joyful spirit of Christmas.
In short, Sai Baba and the apex leadership of
his organisation follow a double standard. They preach "do not criticise"
yet attribute to dissenters qualities such as jealousy, envy, false propaganda mongering,
distruntlement, malice, slander, corruption ... He and his followers say that one should
accept everything as Divine Will, yet they depict former devotees as manifesting demonic
For years, Sai devotees have regarded as
exemplary many of the Sai devotees who now dissent. You can see many former
devotee names on a professionally conducted petition website at: http://www.petitiononline.com/saibaba/petition.htm,
where they have signed the JuSt Petition (Just Seekers After Truth), as have nearly four
hundred people who wish to see properly constituted government and police investigations
of Sai Baba and his worldwide organisation. For the same devotees to think
that we have, after terms of up to thirty years of utter devotion and
service, decided, in an instant, to indulge in disgruntlement and
slander shows little, if any, intelligence.
Barry Pittard. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org