James Randi-Barry Pittard Letters





James Randi-Barry Pittard Letters 

Posted: July 7, 2003

Author: Barry Pittard 

Note: James Randi's television and other media attempts to expose fraudulent paranormal claims have been seen by millions. The JREF he refers to is the James Randi Education Foundation. One of its aims is:  "Demonstrating to the public and the media, through educational seminars, the consequences of accepting paranormal and supernatural claims without questioning." 

By no means do all members of the Exposť agree that we should link our efforts with people such as James Randi and S. Premanand. My own view is that the Exposť reflects a diversity of views and responses, and that its pluralism is in actual fact is one of its strengths, just as authoritarian cultishness is one of the Sathya Sai Organisation's weaknesses.  B.P.


Letter to James Randi 

-----Original Message-----
From: Barry Pittard
Sent: Sunday, July 06, 2003 8:00 AM
Subject: Exposing Sathya Sai Baba 

Dear James, 

We have been briefly in touch long back. I copy below a piece I'm still working on - an update on the Sathya Sai Baba Expose. You will notice that I have mentioned the contibutions of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (I keep in touch with with its Executive Director Babu Gogineni), the late Dr Abraham T. Kovoor, and S. Premanand. 

Perhaps you know of other contributions to exposing Sathya Sai Baba which I am ignorant of, and I should certainly wish to note them. I'll be grateful for your feedback.  

Barry Pittard, Australia 

James Randi's Reply 

From: "James Randi" randi@randi.org
To: "'Barry Pittard'"
Subject: RE: Exposing Sathya Sai Baba
Date: Sun, 6 Jul 2003 11:07:35 -0400 

My only concern, and the concern of the JREF, is with the authenticity of Sai Baba's paranormal claims.  While the molestation charges are very serious, and should be pursued, that is not our area of expertise, and we will confine ourselves to challenging the movement's scientific and "miracle" statements.  Other agencies can and certainly should pursue the strictly legal aspects of the Sai Baba operation. 

One of the most prominent battlers against Sai Baba, Dr. Abraham T. Kovoor, in his many attacks, went after the "juggling tricks" of this "godman," not his moral offences - though I admit that those were not as well known to Dr. Kovoor.  We choose to leave the crimes of this miracle-worker to the forces of law, and we will hold up for examination his absurd and offensive claims of paranormal power.     

James Randi