Interviewed by the BBC in the one-hour documentary 'THE SECRET SWAMI'

Tanya Datta: But even if it was proven to you that Sai Baba was a paedophile and a serial sex abuser, you¹re saying it wouldn't change the fact that he is your guru. (Tigrett laughs at this rather wildly, see picture above)
Isaac Tigrett: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. He could go out and murder someone tomorrow, as I said, it's not going to change my evolution, it's not going to change the good things that have come out of my relationship down there.
Tanya Datta: Does that mean that some part of you believes there could be some truth to the rumours?
Isaac Tigrett:Oh, absolutely I believe there is truth to the rumours.
Tanya Datta: You believe there is truth to the rumours?
Isaac Tigrett: Sure, there probably is, probably is.
(Click to view video clip of this episode- file size 1.34 MB)

TRANSCRIPT - part of BBC interview (from 'The Secret Swami'):-
Tanya Datta: This man was part of the hippie generation. But Isaac Tigrett also saw the age as a wonderful business opportunity. He's one of the founders of the world famous Hard Rock Café. He mixed burgers and beer with rock memorabilia to create a global phenomenon and a massive personal fortune.
Isaac Tigrett: India's so unique, it's so incredible. If there's a spiritual train then India is the engine. All this mysticism, all the strangeness that surrounds Sai Baba and all that stuff, this is the perfect home for it. (See video clip of this: Filesize 1.34 MB)
Isaac Tigrett: I said look I need to start a search, I need to go and look for what I think is a master, a guru, a spiritual leader, a teacher, something because of the hunger inside of me. I searched all over India, I went to ever Ashram, every holy place, I heard about this obscure little guru, decided to go down there and there was a festival day, there was a huge crowd and he parted the crowd and came right over to me, I was standing at the back and he said; you've come at last, I've been waiting for you. So, he turned and said; we have many things that we're going to do together, you wait right here. He didn't speak to me again for fifteen years.


This is a famous 'guru-hook', a bait used while fishing for devotees among the mass. In his famous first meeting with Vivekananda, when Ramakrishna Paramahamsa told him: 'You have come at last! I have been waiting for you!' and went on to speak of their future association. This has been done by many other Indian Swamis and gurus to newcomers. (eg. Swami Shyam of Kullu). Sai Baba has said the same to various first-time visitors... The European Sai Org. lleader, Thorbjørn Meyer, was flattered this way and sees it as foreknowledge by Sai. However, say this to a number of people, and in time some will take it as very auspicious and some of them will even turn out to be rich and famous. This would explain why there was zero follow-up for Tigrett from Sai for 15 years. Doubtless he recognised Tigrett after many visits and learned how well he was doing, and got interested. Meanwhile, Tigrett had focussed all his energies, prayers, hopes and goals on Sai Baba, so the rest follows.

Tanya Datta: Isaac Tigrett did some good works of his own. By the time Sai Baba spoke to him again he'd become an extremely rich man. When the guru told him of his dream for an ultra modern hospital in the heart of Andhra Pradesh, Tigrett donated tens of millions of dollars. Prince Charles's architect Keith Critchlow, who's also a Sai Baba devotee, was hired to design it. It was opened in nineteen ninety-one, and specialised in hi-tech heart and kidney surgery ­ free of charge. Tigrett is convinced that the hospital, built on blood, sweat and burgers was worthy of his generosity. And certainly his guru was grateful.
Tanya Datta: Can you tell me how much you donated to the hospital?
Isaac Tigrett: Err, well I, I don¹t really want to say the exact amount but I'll tell you in India it goes a long way. A long, long way.
Tanya Datta: I've heard it was over a hundred million dollars.
Isaac Tigrett: No, nothing close to that. Enough to build a five hundred room hospital and equip it and get it started.


on Tigrett's donation:
Word has long had it in the Sai movement that Tigrett donated over $100 million, at least. However, David Bailey, who was a very close follower of Sai Baba (until he finally blew the whistle), and who knew all the Sai 'veranda VIPs' well, knew that Tigrett gave $49 million dollars, of which $15 million simply disappeared. unaccountably. (Hear the phone call where he details this). Tigrett wrote an article - published in some Sai magazines - where he told how he was put in charge of the hospital equipping project by Sai Baba, but was frozen out by the ashram and Central Trust and had great problems doing many things due to the huge egos he encountered.

REFLECTIONS ON THE TIGRETT STORY AS A CASE STUDY: Isaac Tigrett's experiences and opinions have been known to the Sai movement for decades, at least since they were first aired by R. Lowenberg in one of his several inaccurate and often fanciful hagiographies devoted to Sathya Sai Baba. Tigrett's experiences of 'miracles' he attributed to Sathya Sai Baba were reported there without any critical approach whatever. This is not to say that Tigrett did not experience (i.e. subjectively) what he also has reported in various connections.

No one can cogently deny that very little is known by the use of rigorous methods of investigation about the causes of most paranormal experiences, including so-called 'Sai leelas'.. All the reported ''leelas' or alleged 'miracles attributed to Sai Baba have long been recorded in diverse cultures as far back as history goes... and though they differ in detail, they all fall into groups with common features. For example, healings are reported in countless connections, attributed to countless persons, deities, idols etc. Likewise 'spontaneous' manifestations, coincidences, synchronicities, thought transferences, bilocation... you name it. In no case can the causal factors be traced or adequately explained by anyone.

Add to this the fact that all these experiences are subjective... that is, one person has the experience while others nearby invariably do not. When they seem to be commonly experienced, it is surely often due to a high degree of suggestion, expectation, 'group effect' or even 'mass hypnosis' and many other predispositional factors. Sai devotees often describe seeing him take on different forms, while others present at the same time do not see any difference. This suggest that the phenomenon may well be akin to deep hypnosis, for who has not seen the shows of paul McKenna or others where people evidently are convinced of the most unlikely and amusing things... fully believing they see and touch and taste something totally different to what all others can observe them doing.

There are practically no experiences described in spiritual literature that are not also described in the literature of drugs and psychedelics. The experience of LSD 25 ius known to open some takers to amazing experiences, both extremely hallucinatory and yet also extremely penetrating awareness of 'normal reality', even with extreme mind-reading facility, complete freedom from mind-created illusions or stresses and other indescribable aspects of the cosmos in which we live. Such psycho-pharmacological agents do usually cause 'total' hallucinations - for example, seeing everything changed into shapes and forms entirely foreign to one's normal perceptions and even one's own identiy apparently changed. However, similar hallucinations occur in many other ways...a very high temperature can transform the perceived world beyond normal recognition. There are diverse practices that cause 'transcendental states' from extreme fasting (esp. when the first nourishment is taken afterwards); and extreme bleeding, as practiced in some cultures as part of religious festivals - in Italy, the Philippines. Even a hard fall onto the coccyx of the spine is reported as having brought on so-called 'complete kundalini rising' (for want of a better term).

Now, these considerations were a preamble to considering Tigrett's experiences. He has made no secret of the fact that he was a major drinker and drug taker from the 60s onwards. He also told how he was strongly 'under the influence' of drink when he frove off a cliff and felt that Sai Baba held around him and saved his life. This vision of Sai Baba saving him is still obviously remarkable. However, one cannot lesap to conclusions about the cause of this. Apart from being drunk (when consciousness grip on reality is tenuous and hallucination notr far away), he may also have taken drugs... or may have been subject to the common phenomenon among drug-takers of 'flashback', which occurs especially under extreme stress (which he was under when his car took off, we can guess?). Add to the fact that he had been concentrating on the Sai form and meditating etc. etc. for years before that (all his cafés already had a full-length photo of Sai Baba in the entrance) - and many of the prerequisites for such an experience to be generated by the subconscious mind are present.

Tigrett's experiences as well as those of long-term Sai followers people such as Krystal, the Druckers, Michael Goldstein, Datuk Jegathesan, Indulal Shah, Paul William Roberts, and many more confirmed Baba-addicts share the same views - is that Sai Baba can rightfully abuse people sexually, preside over their murders, and whatever else he may decide because he is God! Add to this the immoral and near imbecilic rider "because he does everything only for the good of those involved". These people all realise that Sai is a sexual abuser and is an accomplice to murder, and it does not affect their faith in him. So the long-term follower is like a confirmed and self-declared alcoholic... can't stop, can't change, has to break more and more rules so as to keep going. There is an inevitability to their lives due to having become so thoroughly deceived time and again - not least by the occasional siddhi, possibly - so completely absorbed in the Sai connection in all aspects of their lives, that there is no way out. One would be sorry for them... though they turn their backs on conscience and cover up, so helplessly deluded they have gradullay become. Without implying the degree of immorality as shown by Hitler, we are nevertheless reminded of his last days as an ultimate example of the pressure of one's past determining one's life fate... he had no other way out than the bunker... it is inconceivable that he could have surrendered or negotiated a truce, of course, for his entire adult life took another direction and there was no turning back. This is the mental life condition to which Tigrett virtually admits.