ON THE SLY WEB ACTIVITIES OF SATHYA
SAI APOLOGIST, BON GIOVANNI
By: Robert Priddy
Some time after my pro-Sai book 'Source of the Dream' was first published in 1994, Bon Giovanni tried twice to recruit me to the web ring or whatever it was that he ran. I declined due to having other priorities than bulletin boards and discussions etc. (But I was suspicious of him by then already - didn't seem to have much sharpness of perception in what he wrote - too, all too vacant ‘standard Sai fare’ much of the time. Others who were members told me he censored heavily. Subsequent invitations I left unanswered. http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/saiorg/index.htm
When my web page on the Sai organisation came up, Mr. Giovanni sort of congratulated me on it being a very good presentation, but soon began nit picking and avoiding the entire substance of it. A typical ploy of the factually and mentally-challenged. His criticisms were peripheral and about form rather than content, for he evidently could not document any refutation of the main assertions. Then a contact of mine relayed to me a posting by one of the ladies on his website about my supposedly not having spoken to SB ever, which I refuted strongly via my contact. It turned out to be a slightly ambiguous sentence.... which anyone could have checked out by reading it in context. Then came another indirect message about a posting accusing me most scurrilously and falsely (of course) of being a pedophile who seduced Sai students here who had come to listen to my frequent talks from abroad... by an anonymous posting on Bon's site. My contact apparently responded against it and Bon actually defended having posted it, appealing to ‘freedom of expression’. The same argument that the gutter press use when publishing unfounded and uninvestigated libel.
I therefore sent Mr. Giovanni a mail informing him that I would trash in advance of opening any mail that came from him thereafter as his site was totally discredited in my eyes. This I shall continue to do until I see a very public apology from him. I also informed him that his cowardly mailer had made the huge assumption that I must - as national leader and Coordinator of the Oslo Centre in Norway, prolific writer in Sanathana Sarathi etc. - have held public talks about SSB. So the students who were supposed to have come all the way to Norway would have had to be underage! But I don't know whether he had the honesty to post my explanation. I never bothered to find out because I cut all his e-mails out on my server before opening them.
Mr. Bon G. has published the most pretentious rot purporting to explain why Sathya Sai Baba cheats people (which he admits does occur) by giving them what he calls 'diamonds', which turn out to be cheap synthetic stones tricked up to shine more with silver foil held behind them. Giovanni pretends to know that this is a test to make the receiver carry out more self-investigation! By holding up a trickster whose involvement in executions is not cleared up and on which he had given no evidence (though he waa present throughout, and Giovanni thinks him omnipresent too!) and an example of truth, righteousness, love and non-violence, he serves up pseudo-philosophising of the raw tripe variety. Since Bon G. thus defends fraudulence in SSB, is it surprising that he descends to dirty tricks himself?
Here comes some of the codswallop presented by Bon G. on one of his many websites. On the left is an event he reports as really occurring. Then the function Bon G. supposes this event to have, followed by his own 'wise comments'.
|1. vibhuti pellet mind of the witness||Exposes disbelief (seen reflects the seer)|
|2. vibhuti on Sai Baba picture overseas||Sathya Sai Baba Guru's shakti not limited to ashram|
|3. diamond ring given to devotee is shown to be fake||Witnesses have to assess what they have seen and take it into their self-enquiry|
|4. Sathya Sai Baba obviously palms a ring||Sathya SB is playing on devotee projections (Guru task is to expose doubt)|
|5. Sathya Sai Baba changes a 3 stone ring into one stone ring||Sathya SB creation is leela vinodi, the sport of the Lord|
|6. Sai Baba materialises article used by Krishna||Guru has mastery of time and space|
|7. Film evidence shows a necklace is handed to Sathya Sai Baba||Sathya SB provokes controversy about his nature and his actions|
In short, Bon G. defends sheer deceit by a person who claims that he is always truthful, and says that none of his materialisations are other than divine creations and so on. And yet he lies! Bon G. considers him a guru who tries to engender doubts about himself in the mind of his followers! What a wise insight, I ask you! It is hard enough for most people to get any faith in the first place, so why take it away with purposive frauds? The pat answer is that those who keep faith are more realised - and hence better people than the rest of us - and will reap eternal rewards. But I have known too many of these more blind dupes to believe that.
Since all the rings with largish stones given by SSB are enclosed with a rear 'cup' which contains the silver foil, it should be eminently clear that none of are likely to be genuine. The green ones are very alike, for I have closely compared mine with a dozen others, and seen a score of so-called 'diamond' rings SSB gave which are worn down and dull! This simply cannot happen to a diamond, in fact!. Not one SSB stone of any size (or even smaller ones) has been publicly demonstrated as genuine yet... no authentication papers or any sound documentation from recognised world dealers! But many have also been assayed and found to be fakes, including the 6-carat 'diamond' given to me by SSB (in expectation of a very large financial donation).
I know all the symptoms and expressions of 'faith in SSB as avatar etc. etc.'', not least because I was misled into adopting far too many of them once myself! Other symptoms of SSB delusional behaviour I observed recurring in the words and deeds of a wide variety of more or less unbalanced believers, of whom there are more than an average share among followers, not surprisingly. The nature of the delusion, which is certainly no small or limited one, is that those under its influence cannot know that they are deluded. They have progressively woven all their experiences into it, rejecting any threads of doubt that do not fit in somehow. This blanket ignorance of one's condition is the basic tenet of brainwashing of all kinds, however subtle and whatever psychic or emotional phenomena that back them up.
The defenders of SSB like Mr. Giovanni often demonstrate for us how true are the following words of the researcher of hypnosis and subliminal programming, Dick Sutphen: "Those who have been brainwashed will usually passionately defend their manipulators, claiming they have simply been "shown the light" ...or have been transformed in miraculous ways." (from 'The Battle for your Mind').
The restricted 'Sai Critics' webring Mr. Giovanni runs for the disturbed and doubting in the Sai community - and for those whose faith is ‘being severely tested’ etc., - is called 'Sandeha Nivarini'… most fitting, for this is the title of a book presented as fact - but which is a sheer construction throughout in which SSB presents the unasked questions of a fictive devotee, with his 'pre-meditated' but allegedly 'spontaneous' answers to them. That the book is a construction is not told anywhere between the two covers; it is another SSB duplicity, however insignificant it may seem. But then, fact and fiction - or 'the real and the unreal' - are almost inseparably mixed up in the SSB 'mini-world', and hardly anyone there cares that this is so whenever they stumble across glaring examples of the interchange of false and true.
The public site Mr. Giovanni calls 'Sai Critics' is exactly the opposite of what it suggest itself to be... doubtless an attempt to sideline critics into reading his brand of pseudo-critical support for this deceiver. It is an attempt at deception itself, for it is not critical at all, only apologism pretending to deal seriously with criticism, which it does not. It is all too evident that a premium is set upon faith in SSB (along with faith in one's own sheer ignorance or mortal confusion). It is the only value that is allowed to count when it comes to the crunch. From texts that I have seen previously and reports from various mailers, Bon Giovanni is evidently a most ardent and convoluted rationaliser. When one has to rationalise too much to defend a position, the result is failure to convince anyone but those already conditioned to the same basic belief. Out in the big, real world of perspicacious intellects, his arguments would not even attract serious attention, nor do they in fact.
Instead of showing a broad understanding of the many interwoven issues and reserving judgment until the overall evidence accumulates decisively, he exhibits a kind of desperation in mental contortions and twisting of facts to fit to the Procrustean bed of SSB correctness and the à la carte mish-mash of Indian thought traditions, spiritual ideas, beliefs and superstitions and monumental claims about himself that supposedly underpins SSB’s teaching as a whole. That is clearly why Mr. Giovanni has to exercise strict control of viewpoints that he allows to be put forward on his website (eg. Brian Steel and Alexandra Nagel left due to undue censorship and dishonest manipulations). No, seen from the viewpoints both of philosophy and theology, Mr. Bon G.'s writing is a self-replicating defense mechanism running on massive unquestioned assumptions.
While Bon Giovanni's self-deceit can partly perhaps be excused on the ground that he knows not what he says, being just another one of "the great brainwashed", his other tricky methods to cover up for the biggest deceiver around today, Sathya Sai Baba. In short, he is disreputable.