Dissenting former followers of Sai Baba and anonymity

It has in the last decade become increasingly damaging for anyone's reputation in the world as a person of common sense or educated intelligence to be further associated with Sathya Sai Baba in any way other than critically. The exception to this is those who are based within certain religious Indian communities. In India, PMs and Presidents, Ministers, Supreme and High Court judges, magistrates plus the armed services and even many police are followers of this powerbroker moneybags who claims to be The Deity of All Deities and The Creator of the Universe Incarnate at whose feet all prayers to any God eventually arrive! Believe it or not, but all devout followers are required to believe it fully, and they did and many still do!

It can be damaging for one's reputation (also sometimes outside of India) as a person of common sense or educated intelligence to be associated with Sathya Sai Baba in any way other than critically, and even occasionally then too. In India, PMs and Presidents, Ministers, Supreme and High Court judges, magistrates plus the armed services and police from top to bottom are followers of this powerbroker moneybags! Believe it or not, but all devout followers were required to believe it fully, and they did and still do. In many countries, it was a requirement of membership in the Sathya Sai Organisation. Even dissidents who have spoken out about Sathya Sai Baba's various major failings, deceits and diverse known or suspected criminality, no longer wish to be associated in the public mind with having been involved with Sai Baba. This can be for reasons of employment, business and social contacts generally. However, few have asked for their names to be removed as most wuch whistleblowers have boldly left their names to their testimonies so as to support the credibility of the exposé.

There is an obvious reason for sexually abused persons to be chary of giving their full names and details. It was even a risk for them to have sent an e-mail or posted on a bulletin board as it is always technically possible their identity may have been discovered nonetheless. It is well known that the cold-blooded execution of four students. who had allegedly also been sexually abused by Sai Baba, took place in the ashram in June 1993, and many other reported suicides, disappearances and very threatening incidents have occurred, also harassment of victims outside India. Anyone who does not understand the situation of an accusing sexually abused person who writes anonymously is entirely ignorant of what has been happening in the world today in the sphere of sex abuse – or wilfully prejudiced in favour of protecting the alleged abusers. In the case of famous and rich people, their victims keep quiet because they cannot get fair treatment. The UK and BBC Jimmy Saville case alone proves this, over 1,000 abuse victims have come forward after the whistle was blown on him after his death! The Catholic Church present another case of institutionalised sexual abuses on a far great scale than has yet been admitted, let alone pursued by the law. Many victims took decades before they were able to stand forth and get a reasonable hearing. Even the United Nations are powerless to enforce prosecutions on the Catholic Church/Vatican, which they have recently condemned in no uncertain terms for not doing enough to rid their institution of sexual abusers and pedohiles, even though tens of thousands of victims have been reported. By comparison, the Sathya Sai Organisation has done absolutely nothing to investigate the abuses that took place on an unknown by large scale. 

It is hardly therefore at all surprising that a considerable number of those disaffected from Sai Baba – especially those who must live in India try to keep a low profile or stay anonymous. Many persons out of the many hundreds who contact the exposé through its various websites and e-mail addresses do not wish their names to be posted (and appear on Google). Further, a large volume of extremely revealing materials were therefore not publicly referenced by exposé activists, including accounts by close students of Sai Baba who experienced sexual abuses and major fraudulence (known as “form boys” and “chics”). These cases are investigated carefully for genuineness without giving away their identities, then recorded and then archived for possible future reference, within the bounds of strict permission obtained from primary informants, when the time is ripe. A large majority of those who have contacted exposé workers say they want to forget and 'move on' with their lives. Some have been posted with an agreed 'pseudonym' or anonymously with possible identificatory details removed.

Meanwhile, many of those who have reported their shocking experience or their parents and supporters were ostracized totally by devotees and Sai officials who for years had called them 'brothers and sisters' and knew the integrity of those in many countries who, for reasons of moral principle, left the Sai Organisation. That the true identity, for example, of the important whistleblower GSM Prasad was not revealed so as to protect him from almost inevitable retribution from fanatical followers. No former student of Sathya Sai Baba who spoke out about being assaulted sexually by him felt safe from reprisal. It is, of course, well known that four of his devoted students were executed by the police in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom in a hail of bullets in June 1993. That is what is most revealing in respect of the need for anonymity.

Defenders who shrink away from any discussion

Remarkably, there were very few devotees of Sathya Sai Baba who choose to sign up with their names or contact details when they post on bulletin boards or make comments on critics' blogs. Hundreds of Sai Baba supporters submitted negative, sometimes threatening and not seldom vile comments to the Guestbook of ExBaba.com or sent in mail forms without daring to reveal their names or even to use valid e-mail addresses. (At least half of all such postings were reportedly rejected by the webmaster). Likewise, the great majority of devotees who mailed to exposé activists for one (invariably negative) reason or another gave no name - or used only a first name (possibly bogus) - and they often sent from anonymous (cloaked) IPs. Death threats have also been made against some of us, including the saiguru.net webmaster, Conny Larsson and myself (see here). Most often these e-mailers use most unmannerly language in defiance of their own guru Sai Baba 's repeated demand that one should never slander, criticize or speak harshly to anyone! Which teaching, incidentally, he was himself notorious for NOT observing, especially in private interviews and even nowadays in public discourses! The dossier of this hate-campaign by followers of a preacher of love is growing and has so far partly been posted for public scrutiny.

Since the exposure of Sathya Sai Baba began on the Internet began around 2000, his whole movement closed ranks and turned in on itself ever more noticeably. Yet for many years before that, the Sathya Sai Organisation was already secretive and legally unaccountable, increasingly hiding the contact details of its members and remaining legally unincorporated in most countries (thus to stay unaccountable in any way), along with other concealment. The stigma of public association with Sathya Sai Baba is causing more and more of his organisation office-bearers and members to conceal their identities and e-mail addresses on the Internet and in the media. This mounting evidence of the clearly cultist behaviour of Sai Baba followers is encouraging for the future of the exposé.

It is a notable fact that only a handful of devotees have stepped forth to defend Sathya Sai Baba against the many and cogent criticisms on the web. The reason is evidently that they cannot show that his critics are wrong about his absurd claims and beliefs, impossible predictions, self-contradictions and frequent outright lies. These are largely documented - and undisputedly so from his own published discourse - and otherwise from reliable and cross-checked sources.
Sai Baba web sites, devotee blogs and their Yahoo groups or bulletin boards are most carefully censored and unquestioning than the Sai discussion groups, and no genuine thinking or the mildest hint of criticism is ever voiced. Critics are totally excluded from every such on-line forum. This further testifies to the fear of public scrutiny of all Sai Baba-related dependents almost every devotee still promoting Sathya Sai Baba.

Sai officials and adherents who retire to the shades
Those leaders and devotees whose names are known mostly put themselves forward before Sathya Sai Baba’s many alleged crimes were commonly known and before it was realized that – once shown the Internet – all information given can be indelibly and permanently recorded, not least by others. Today those supporters of the insupportable (i.e. Sai Baba’s megalomaniac claims etc.) have become very shy of any personal publicity which can identify them! Even many Sai-promoting web site owners fail to give their correct names or any contact details. Every one of the hundred or more of the one-time Sai Baba boards, discussion groups and comment pages on web sites and blogs were moderated rigorously to exclude any posting which is remotely critical of Sai Baba or anything connected with him! That no devotees anywhere dare enter any discussion which is not entirely in praise of Sathya Sai Baba says a great deal about the authoritarian nature of the cult.

Glaring Publicity yet Silence on Critical Issues
In earlier years, many Sai Baba devotees strictly followed his advice not to engage in publicity for him. He claimed his success was ensured without the need for any publicity whatever, and he banned all such. All that changed once the Sai officials could no longer refrain from using the Internet . Meanwhile, he continued to blare out in discourses (relayed in print, film and other media) pronouncements of his own marvellous deeds as exceeding anything ever done by anyone on earth. Eventually, his leaders took his own lead and began lavish publicity events around the world. When the scandals broke onto the Internet in 2000, he pronounced in 2000 that no followers should use the Internet. Sai Baba's thus made a divine faux pas (since he always claims omniscience and omnipotence). A very large number of insubordinate devotees soon ignored this edict by the infallible Creator of the Universe, and he has since accepted and financed web sites and radio stations on a large scale as a necessary supplement to his propaganda machine.