By: Brian Steel
Two days ago, with an ineffable feeling of relief, I finished this stage of my research into the truth, fiction, hype, and enigmas surrounding the Indian guru, Sathya Sai Baba (definitely NO relation to Sai Baba of Shirdi, except in his own and his Organisations propaganda).
I MAY offer some final observations on my findings in due course (but dont hold your breath!). For the time being, I would like to make a very short comment prompted by my (mixed) Internet experience of the past year and also by an e-mail I received yesterday from an obviously educated but equally obviously confused SSB devotee. Having asked me what my motive was in making recent revelations on my website (why hadnt he bothered to read my Preface?), and having offered some rather unoriginal, irrelevant, and inadequate arguments about SSBs transformational achievements and other similar red herrings, he ended with an indirect (but Freudian) crude insult concerning his rejection of and contempt for gossip, rumour and ranting on the Internet.
The current massive increase in propaganda on the Internet by the TWO official websites of the SSO (in addition to several unofficial websites and a 24-hour radio programme which offers the listener 12 hours of SSBs TELUGU Discourses!), is so ironic (and revealing!) in view of SSBs famous emotional 1999 tantrum about not having anything to do with the Internet EVER!!). Such expensive efforts (paid for by donors) may attract the attention of potential devotees but they will do nothing to prevent objective observers from noticing that the gossip, rumour and ranting, rather than being the response to SSB by disgruntled devotees, or agents of vested interests (i.e. the Christian Churches), have in fact been the basis of a large part of the success of SSBs Mission.
I leave it to readers to decide who does the gossiping, the rumour-mongering and the ranting, but if they have been reading reports on the Internet in the past year or so, the answers should be quite clear - but of absolutely no comfort to SSBs unconditional devotees.