Of Sathya Sai Baba - abracadabra and avatars
ALTERNATIVES article by Dave Lyons
He was born November 23, 1926 in South India, and declared his independence at age 14. Gathering devotees from an even earlier age their number now is many millions worldwide. Even before birth miraculous things surrounded this lad who was called guru at 7 or 8. He is adored on a weekly basis by the members of the Sathya Sai Baba Organization in the form of devotional singing called bhajans (pronounced budge-ins). His organization includes all nationalities and all religions, and all the activities of the Centers foster the highest spiritual values of mankind by honoring the five human values of Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love and Non-Violence. The devotees are among the most forthright, honest, intelligent, and really good people of this planet. He claims he is the reincarnation of the first Sai Baba who resided in the village of Shirdi (fairly near Bombay[now Mumbai]) and lived from 1836 till 1918. He also claims he is God-the Avatar of all avatars, Creator of the Universe, etc. His powers are enormous and defy scientific explanation--at least until recently.
Does this sound like a panacea for this contentious cosmos? Coming together from all languages, ethnic groups, religions, etc. to adore one lord, one organization, one spiritual mind-set--is this not the quintessence of ideal situations? I thought so, and for 19 years. Now what reverberates within me is "Ein Fuhrer, ein Volk, ein Reich!" I have no explanation for the magnetic attraction for Sathya Sai Baba, nor do I have any earthly idea from whence his power comes. I have personally experienced this power, this attraction--so much so that my life was transformed in the 1980s. I do credit him for the good he has done-for me and for mankind. All of that changed this past April, 2000.
I am the former president of the Sathya Sai Baba Center of Greater New Orleans, since March, 1995. Our numbers were small, but we emphasized quality rather than quantity. We did all the things prescribed by the organization. Since Sai Baba is a hands-on type manager, all the directives came from him. There was never a hint of scandal within the organization, and all my experiences with devotees, worldwide, were good. In June, 1993 there came a scandal of sorts when four former students of Baba tried to assassinate him at his ashram, Prashanthi Nilayam--in the town of Puttaparthi, Andra Pradesh, in the south of India. This "incident" is still unresolved.
In February this year (2000) I learned of the resignations of two Regional Office Bearers. These two were fellow officers and also friends, we having known each other since 1987. I could not believe it. After several exchanges of emails we spoke on the phone. I could scarcely believe what I heard. After one week of asking for the truth of what I was told, I was influenced to remain within the Sai organization from one of the cleverest of spin doctors--a self-proclaimed human fire wall, a defender of the faith that makes Henry VIII look like a rank amateur. So I remained--until April. A subscription from Britain had an insert that intrigued me, so I immediately sent for it. The document, entitled THE FINDINGS, arrived a few days later via Ft. Worth, Texas. Forty one pages of describing the most shameless and secretive sexual activities of rapes, molestations, and pedophilia by Sai Baba with boys from 14 to men of 30. There were other allegations but these were enough to make a few more telephone calls. This time I got the low-down (pun intended!) in explicit detail--the whole nine yards. For three days my emotions reeled, I did psychological back flips, I felt sick, I felt like going to sleep and never waking up again. The Lord of lords, the Avatar of avatars, the Creator of this Universe--a voracious promiscuous homosexual, a pedophile, a rapist and molester???!!! It was too much. I begged him to "say it isn't so!" My fleeting and feeble hope soon gave way to depression, sadness, chagrin, disgust. Then (several weeks later) carefully researching what had been said about the 1993 "incident", my fear of him involved in the death of 6 men at his own ashram became emphatically true for me. This is shamelessness beyond shame.
Three days of not much sleep and my decision was final. I called a meeting of all the Center members and presented THE FINDINGS to them, and my further research of first-hand knowledge of multile rapes and molestations. About half of these people quit Baba, some sooner, some later. The rest simply would not believe that Baba could do such things--but none of them were willing to investigate as I had done. They would rather believe the national and international leadership, who have become expert spin doctors. You should hear how they justify Baba's crimes.
One of the most critical facets of a cult is that the leader is purity itself. When confronted with the charges by some of the organization's leaders, the Swami dismissively said: "Swami is purity itself!" Case closed. They went back to the devotees whose sons had been molested with an empty explanation. Ergo, the many resignations since April.
Now the tide is turning. There have been many defections just since last summer. The media, the official investigatory bodies of many Europeon countries are on the go to expose these crimes of the baba. Only here in USA is so little being done to warn parents going to India that their young sons are in harms way by being alone with Baba in the inner interview room--where these crimes have taken place over a long period of time. Most people in this country are not even aware of this baba. The reason for this article is to tell my individual story, which can be dittoed millions of times. A support group has formed, composed of former devotees of the baba. This Sathya Sai Baba has many "closet" devotees, people who are not part of the formal organization, or people who secretly do devotions but do not share their beliefs with others, sometimes not even with their own families. For these people, and others, this article is written. They may contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I welcome their inquiries.
Dave Lyons, former president of the Sathya Sai Baba Center of Greater New Orleans
There is more from David Lyons on this site, please read:
- 1) Sathya Sai Baba Expose News A very extensive website with testimonies, articles, letters, videos and more.
2) Allegations concerning Sathya Sai Baba A major exposé website with a wide range of serious articles. Also in Spanish and Russian.
3) An Ongoing Investigations into Claims and Realities Surrounding Sathya Sai Baba A thoroughly documented scholarly website.
4) Sathya Sai Baba - Extensive Information and Viewpoints A large website revealing all known aspects of Sai Baba and his works etc.
5) Sai Baba Exposé - Revealing Hidden Facts about India's Biggest Guru and his Worldwide Cult. Also in Swedish & Danish
6) Sathya Sai Baba - Stories, Myths and Deceits A former Sai Organisation leader's examination of all claims. Also in Norwegian
7) Sai Baba - A Master of love or a master of deception, or Both? A website "not meant to condemn but to concern".
8) Sathya Sai Baba Prophesies and Photo Gallery Sai Baba's 'prophesies' and how his words compare to actions - graphic proofs.
9) Sai Baba Exposed A weblog examining the guru's claims, also from a Hindu scriptural viewpoint.
10) The International Sathya Sai Organisation A participant observational study and analysis of its structure, management and functions.
11 ) Belief and Sathya Sai Baba: Avatar or Imposter-Trickster? Useful page with links to relevant websites (but some no longer extant)