Babu Gogineni's Letter




Date: 12-11-02

By: Babu Gogineni

The author of the following letter, Babu Gogineni, is formerly Founder Secretary General of the Rationalist Association of India currently Executive Director of the International Humanist and Ethical Union. Webmaster.

The Editor
International Herald Tribune
7 Dec 2002

Dear Editor,

I was appalled by the article written by Mr. Shashi Tharoor in the IHT of Tuesday December 3, 2002 'Meanwhile: Old mantras and new software side by side'. I fear that one of the most important publications in the world has been tricked into printing dangerously one-sided information.

The author refers to the charlatan Satya Sai Baba and his empire in most positive terms, without giving the slightest hint of the so-called 'God man' having been accused of paedophilia, or the fact that on 15 September 2000, through a formal media advisory, UNESCO announced its withdrawal from a joint program with the Satya Sai organisation, specifically mentioning as cause allegations of paedophilia against Sai Baba. India Today, a popular news weekly in India carried a cover page article on the paedophilia allegations against Sai Baba (4 Dec. 2000). No hint either of the kidney transplantation malpractice allegations at the hospital - and the court petition filed by the victim.

Also surprising is that Shashi Tharoor does not reveal knowledge of the six murders in Satya Sai Baba's bedroom in 1993, incompletely investigated by the police due to reluctance and political interference. An 800-page book by the Indian Skeptic B. Premanand 'Murders in Sai Baba's Bedroom' is available in the market.

Could your contributor have been also unaware of the front-page exposure - with a blow by blow account accompanied by photos - in the Deccan Chronicle: prestidigitation, caught on camera? Despite what Mr. Tharoor suggests without justification, why is it wrong to look at the conjuror Satya Sai Baba as a conjuror?

Surely, your articles are not so badly researched that what every critical minded newspaper reader in India knows is unknown to your contributor? Are you at International Herald Tribune unaware of the US Government's travel advisory issued on 23 November 2001 (India Consular Information Sheet) to people travelling to Andhra Pradesh state where the advisory warns Americans about a 'religious leader' who is known to endanger specially young male devotees? And are you unaware of the extensive coverage given to this trickster and his activities in the UK's Daily Telegraph and The Times?

My own article Sex lies and Video Tape: Retelling the Satya Sai Story has been published long ago in English, and translated and published in several languages including Japanese, Norwegian, Spanish and French. Please read it in English if you care to at:

I do believe you owe it to your readers who might be lured to Satya Sai Baba following Shashi Tharoor's account, to caution them, so that they do not end up as victims of this dangerous cult.

Yours sincerely,

Babu Gogineni