Date: 10-09-03

By: Robert Priddy


The exposť is well established throughout the media now, but it can only help to liberate a proportion of the deluded devotees, and few of these will be Indians. For too many Indians, unfortunately, the idea that God is of their nationality etc. patently seems most important for their sense of identity and for raising their cultural self-confidence. SSB’s followers are overwhelmingly Indians, and he speaks mainly for Indians or Hindus and about Hindu history, culture, society and values. The majority of Indians do not, of course, accept Sathya Sai Baba’s claims and an intelligent minority have so far spoken out against the deceits and fraud that he perpetrates. That so many Westerners take SSB’s incredible claims and often impossible advice so much to heart as if minted for them too, is but an advantage for his name, fame and power and finances. This belief-system has positive aspects, undeniably, but so much of it is so simplistic, vague and unworldly that it causes them to undertake bizarre and grotesque twists and turns of their minds which would be nothing but highly laughable… were it not causing them so much confusion and self-negation and misleading others into similar confusions. But to break free one has to stop turning away from or twisting the obvious facts, let alone other covered-up facts that are far harder to discover for oneself! Experience teaches that, once a movement of this kind – however faulty at the core - has reached a certain size and financial power, it tends to survive whatever is revealed about it. Too many people have become dependent on it financially and for some kind of occasional ‘mental-emotional fix’. Those drugged on cultish ‘opium of the people’ are found in every era and area of human life. Contemporary examples are scientology, the Moonies, the Hare Krishna ISKCON movement, the Rajneesh/ ‘Osho’ travesty of spirituality, a range of so-called ‘Kriya Yoga’ guru movements, Mahirishi Mahesh yogi’s Transcendental Meditation, and impure Swamis galore… plus many, many other untrustworthy ‘spiritual leaders’.

Though he claims to be ‘the’ universal teacher of this eon, SSB's teaching as a whole is almost entirely Hindu-focused in its content. It is too general and vague on important matters, very weak indeed on many known facts. In short, a grand eclectic mix of ancient Indian values and superstitions, scriptures and otherworldly philosophies, combined with some more modern values and some ideas lacking in classical Hinduism taken willy-nilly from Christian and Jewish cultures (especially the constant emphasis on love of others). It stands up fairly well among world spiritual teachings - at least in theory (though only intermittently so in practice) - as regards its acceptance that there must be different approaches to God, and is even fairly tolerant at times towards agnostics and atheists. SSB does insist upon magnanimity to those of all faiths, and towards all people (though he actually has made some exceptions to this by damning his critics). Despite this, his teachings go firmly against certain important and intrinsic beliefs of Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Judaism. 

Though SSB has once or twice granted that diversity of faiths is the spice of life and a necessity in a world where everyone is placed differently, there is, of course, nothing at all new about this. In Europe, many spokesmen have promoted religious tolerance firmly at least since the Enlightenment, notably including the philosophers Spinoza and Erasmus and, after them, too many to name. However, much that once was Hindu tradition for many centuries has been spread via many routes and other religions to the world at large. It was doubtless instrumental in stimulating the inter-faith movement (with Swami Vivekananda at the Chicago Unity of Religion Conference in the late 1800s) and some of it is indirectly enshrined in many nations’ secular constitutions and in the Geneva Convention on Human Rights on religious freedom.

However, the following notice from a bulletin board states the overall position well: The exposť has laid out thousands of separate web pages which document most of the whole gamut of this fraudulent person's failings in such detail and with such credibility that not one devotee has been able to deal with it, let alone answer cogently or refute anything important in it all. They are schtumm! And remember, silence is the language of those with something to hide. This documentation, by its breadth and depth, is in the public space and lies there like a ticking bomb which will destroy the edifice of cards as soon as SSB takes his next big wrong ‘magnetic’ step... sooner or later, this will happen and all will blow up in his face with much greater force than in 2000, when the documentary work was still only beginning.

If SSB should suddenly actually become really famous, his infamy will by the same stroke unavoidably be known.... the media world, scientists, governments, human rights supporters, well-educated people and not least believing Muslims, Jews, Buddhists and Christians will find all the factual information and reasons ready-made for why they should not credit his false claims of 'universality' etc. The truth will always eventually prevail, and we are therefore confident!”