On Sai Baba fraud: interesting comments from Vasudeva A007 and replies
Hi Robert Priddy, I am writing to you after reading some of the material about Satya Sai Baba by you. I have personally seen Baba already having things to materialize in his hand before he actually materialized the objects. Of course I have routinely seen Baba transferring something from left hand to right hand before he creates vibuthi. I have seen this one instance where he had a sugar candy in his left hand before he materialized and gave it to a boy who was caughing. But I do have to say that I have also seen him create things out of no where and by blowing at the objects they get vanished. I am at loss what to beleive and what not to beleive. Are this all the tricks Baba is performing on a doubting being like me? Some of my friends tell me all these are Baba’s leela’s and I should forget about them and one can never understand Baba’s ways. Regards S.
August 18th, 2007 at 4:21 am
I am not sure if Baba is geniune or fraud. In terms of materializations definitely I have seen some fake ones and real(??) ones. I have seen objects already in his hand before he materialized them. But also I have seen other way round too, Baba creating things from thin air and vanishing them. It all baffles me. Well, I would like to know if Baba is a trickster then there must be extensive network involved in his game play, like some place or people involved where these material objects are manufactured or procured and persons transporting these objects. But, to my knowledge no body has found any such network or persons involved. Any comments from your side?
August 18th, 2007 at 7:21 pm
Think about this - in many cases people have claimed to have seen Sai Baba change physical appearance totally, even several persons together, but at the same time others have been present who have not seen any change at all. This applies to many account of him during public ‘darshan’ - some see haloes, others not and so forth. Now, were these changes (and materilizations) real phenomena, then all present would have seen it. Sai Baba does not want anyone to understand his ways, - on the contrary! That is why he has always created a mystery around himself - it began in his childhood! Check out some of my many explanations of these matters on my various web pages at http://saibaba-x.org.uk/
Well, I too long thought I saw real materializations in interviews I attended. Now, after a long period of standing back and investigating in many directions - I am far more aware of the tricks that can be involved. I cannot write off the possibility of siddhi powers 100%. Apart from sleight of hand, which has been demonstrated and testified widely in his case, there are other possible causes, subtle suggestion is a tremendous part of Sai Baba’s repertoire - which some call hypnosis. This is not a process of ‘putting someone in a hypnotic trance’ as commonly thought, for it can be worked through powerful suggestion, especially after 'softening-up' through stories, books, films etc. Those who have long been mentally prepared to experience certain things like materializations (who already believe it possible) and who are not approaching warily or critically, are much more easily induced into a state of false perception. Sai followers usually go through a long period of generating faith and also ’self-indoctrination’ before they ever arrive in the interview room.
If you doubt that suggestion can be so powerful as to change people’s states of mind very radically, without more than a few clever words, study the work of UK’s Derren Brown, who can make people picked out of a group on the street or anywhere see and hear things and can find out what they are thinking, exactly what they have on their persons (including written shopping lists). He can very quickly induce a state of drunken stupor in a person (showing just how he does it) and turn it on an off with a few words (even words written on a piece or sent by mobile phone message). Many well-known, respected people and professional psychologists in UK have attested that there is no fraud whatever involve (no fixing of TV sequences or use of stooges). He says openly there are no psychic powers involved, but many techniques he has learned in observing personal psychology, varying means of suggestion, neuro-linguistic programming, misdirection of attention (as in stage ‘magic’ and pick-pocketing, for example) and much else. He explains some of his techniques in detail. He has a tremendous (possibly ‘photographic’) memory too. He has a very wide ‘repertoire’ and much of what he does is more dramatic that Sai Baba is seen to do. But he remains a sceptic about all ’spiritual’ powers, also about mediumism/contacting the dead, which he has reconstructed in a very convincing way, but he explains how and why he is a sceptic. kind of manipulation of perception done by Derren Brown is most impressive and dramatic - and is also intended to be so. My view is exactly the same as to Sathya Sai Baba. He is a showman and manipulator.
Some of Derren Brown’s work is available on YouTube.com (Search ‘Derren Brown’) and DVDs are available of some of his TV series, with masses of background data and interviews proving the genuineness of his non-psychic but very considerable abilities.
I recommend the many most impressive demonstrations of apparent 'psychic powers' on film/video by the famous and most accomplished illusionist Derren Brown, which can be found on-line or on DVD etc. (possibly still on-line are:-
cold-reading or 'mind-reading' <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCACF-EUFPo&spfreload=10>
is a remarkable demonstration of the effects that staring down can have at: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6gzuKti1-I>
subject 'hypnotised' into believing he is fighting zombies <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nsn25WHbLc4>
Aug 18, 4:23 PM
Hi Robert Priddy,
Thanks for answering to my post in detail, I will definitely get hold of Derren Brown’s videos on net and watch them. I am not sure if Baba has some ‘Siddi’ power or have some other skills beyond normal human being.
Well, I would like to know if Baba is a trickster then there must be extensive network involved in his game play, like some place or people involved where these material objects are manufactured or procured and persons transporting these objects. But, to my knowledge no body has found any such network or persons involved. Any comments from your side?
Aug 18, 4:23 PM
Hi Vasudeva, There is no question but that Sathya Sai Baba is surrounded by people who do and tell exactly what they are told. But there have been many reports and I have received confidential e-mails from numerous persons telling how it is all arranged and who provides the trinkets he ‘materialises’. David Bailey reported a visit to a jeweller in Hyderabad who claimed to supply Sai Baba with some of the alleged ‘diamond rings’ he pretends to create from thin air. Incidentally, identical rings (synthetic stones like zircon in white, synthetic sapphires in green, navagraha 9-gem rings etc.) can be purchased in many jeweller shops in South India quite cheaply. The BBC visited another supplier in Bangalore, but did not include the film in their one hour presentation for reasons of space (they reported 80 hours of film on the subject, from which but one hour was used). Students have contacted exposé activists telling of an elderly Indian (named too) well known as being able to enter the interview room door whenever he arrived who for many years carried in the articles to give to Sai Baba on a regular basis.
Another student informed me in a private correspondence that Sai Baba has a small vibuthi pellet making machine. Though the source must remain anonymous at present at least, I give a verbatim excerpt from that letter for your interest:
”After the interview swami comes out and stands next to the pillar, and then he goes in. Luckily the interview door room is half open and I could see him going to the window. Then he picks up an envelope and takes out a vibhuti ball from it. Swami usually keeps crisp 500 rupee notes in the envelopes. It was the first time i saw vibuti in them.) He then realizes that the door is open and looks straight at me, then winks and comes out to give that vibhuti pellet to Dr.Goldstein by crushing it.”
He also tells of a friend who was doing housework for Sai Baba in Kodai who opened a box (which no one was supposed to touch) in Swami’s apartment which was full of rings of all sizes, brooches, necklaces and more. His friend was devastated and later he saw Sai Baba pretend to ‘materialize’ some of these articles for people on several occasions. We have also been informed how Sai Baba ‘materialises’ the oil he puts on boys’ and young men’s p*n*ses. He has a sponge in a tray of oil hidden somewhere, so he only has to grip it once to get oil on his hands.
Satya Purcell has testified to such things (see http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex_baba/engels/articles/sathyapurcell02.html and other of his 6-part testimony) including how Sai Baba has many informants who mingle with devotees, also taxi drivers and others seemingly not connected with the ashram. In this way he can appear to know things it seems no one could.
I cannot give a full account here of all that is know about the apparatus around Sai Baba, but there have been numerous informants through the last 7 years. Perhaps we should gather them all together for all to see at one go.
August 19th, 2007 at 3:06 am
Hi Robert Priddy,I just watched some of the Derren Browns videos and they are very interesting. Well spirituality, belief in God are some of the things no one has exact answers. Probably mankind will soon find a rational approach towards these topics. I find it amusing after so many years of training under Baba to love all and server all how some of the devotees still react with rage and anger in regards to any questions related to authenticity/duplicity of Baba. We are living in a world where reasoning is way of life. We are not living in a meta physical world. Come on guys, let’s live by reason and not blind faith.
When I was in Parthi, I use to see this happen all the time, fake materializations(at least to my eye). I did ask my Dad about this stuff and he bluntly put it like this - “You are just a kid, look at all the top scientists, doctors and educationalists who have dedicated their lives and career in serving Baba, do you think you are smarter than all of them”, well I have no answer to that question even now. Neither I was able to ask my question to peer devotees for the fear that I would either be thrown out of campus or run into some serious trouble with concerned authorities. Like many people like me who are skeptical, I always think I shouldn't have even known about Baba and gotten into this mess. Luckily I never had any personal interviews nor any special relationship with him. If Baba is divine why are such skeptical people gotten into his fold. Instead he should remove such skepticism and show his authenticity for everyone since everyone is embodiment of love as per his oft saying.
August 19th, 2007 at 7:05 am
I just read “REQUIEM TO A KINDLY SPIRIT” on VKN written by you. Excellent one.
August 19th, 2007 at 11:25 am
Thanks Vasudeva, I would comment that I have never heard of any ‘top’ scientist visiting or supporting Sai Baba, no world figure of real intellectual distinction whatever… only unknown American Ph.Ds (they are two a penny there) or Indian apparatchik nuclear science administrators… the same for ‘top’ educationalists… no one of real note in pedagogy or educational research. As to doctors, who are the top doctors is anyone’s guess. As to V.K. Narasimhan - a charming man followed his intensely Sai-devoted wife to Baba’s ashrams and got increasingly trapped in a role which became more and more uncomfortable, but he could not break out. He supported Sai Baba mainly because of the great promise his social projects once held, and put up with a lot he disagreed with for that reason. He was worried that his editing out of Sai Baba worst gaffes would discredit him, the former journalist. He shocked me time and again with revelations about Sai Baba and what goes on at the ashram - for example, that Colonel Joga Rao was known to all old residents never to have believed in Sai Baba’s miracles, but that he would serve him for the good he was trying to do in education etc. That Joga Rao loved filthy barrack room jokes and bored everyone with them, including VKN, and was accepted by Sai Baba (who also shared in the jokes)and allowed free access at any time to the private rooms… that I could not at first believe.
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