HOW I REALISED THE SAI MOVEMENT IS TRULY A CULT
SAI ORG. SPENDING SPREE CRASHES IN SUPER DOME, SYDNEY
Compiled from Australian sources, with comments
by Barry Pittard and Robert Priddy
The Sathya Sai Organisation in Australia is currently holding public meetings in every State, one by one. A public 'interfaith meeting' was held in Sydney, NSW, on Saturday, April 2, 2005, at the Sydney Super Dome, a dazzling 12, 000 seat venue familiar to the world as an Olympic Games venue. The meeting was from 2.00 PM to 4.00 PM, accompanied by an exhibition on Sai Baba's humanitarian works from 1.00 PM to 5.00 PM.
In an organization that claims to put a “ceiling on desires,” was the Super Dome hire - $15, 000 - a proper use of funds? (And there are three more spending sprees scheduled!)
For years, Sai Baba has indicated in his speeches that he needs no advertising because his divine plan is guaranteed success. Yet vast amounts of money are being spent in promoting him to the public world-wide. After the signal lack of crowds at the interfaith meeting at Melbourne's historic Town Hall on February 20, 2005, Australian head of the SSO Neville Fredericks messaged to all centres "All devotees are requested to support their Public Meeting committees in each city as their success will reveal our conviction in Sai, His teachings and His lifelong works." (The capitalisation of ‘his’ reflects the belief of Sai Baba and his organisation that he is God fully incarnated come to save the entire world before he leaves it, aged 96)
The organisation had asked each devotee to bring ten non-devotees but the devotees largely stayed away and non-devotees were virtually non-existent. Representatives of other faiths and government Ministers and MP’s were conspicuous by their absence at the Super Dome, and where were all the mainstream notables the SSO is so avid to attract to its public events? The original intent was to include outside speakers but the keynote speakers were top ‘party bosses’- super diehards rolled on as deus ex machine, and far from likely to set Sydney alight: Neville Fredericks and Dr Pal Dhall. The MC was Albert Barelds.
The names of two speakers described as “aboriginal leaders” were not included in the official programme notes and yet all other names of speakers and entertainers were noted. When many others in Australia are going all out to pay the highest honour to her indigenous people, this was a strange omission, especially since the organisation seeks to influence a number of indigenous communities.
This venue’s seating capacity is 12,000! Only 1,200 attended. Many Sai devotees walked out half way through the programme, leaving approximately 800. An organiser (Ms. Gavina Cossa) sat down and cried.
In these carefully stage-managed so-called presentations, the chief aim of the international Sathya Sai Organisation is to recruit new members, but without using the word 'recruit'. Organisers permit no critical questions or non-supportive comments. Yet claim that it is not a cult. At the Super Dome, anyone with questions had to address them to Fredericks or Dhall, and only after the meeting was finished. Was this public relations débacle yet another of "Swami's Divine Miracles" manifested through what he calls his “divine organisation”? Or could it be that the interfaith movement (which has been widely alerted by Australian former devotees) and the public generally (alerted by mainstream television and radio exposures of Sai Baba) sensibly realise the facts and do not recognise such wholly misguided efforts?
Is it likely that those affiliated to various religions, or to none, will take any interest in a guru who claims to be the incarnated God of all Gods, the Father who sent Jesus, etc. etc.? Is it possible that those outside Sai Baba’s cult will not be concerned about the worldwide allegations by many former devotees, citizens in good standing, that he is a serial homosexual predator and paedophile? Or that he was complicit in the execution of four of his followers? Or that he has been repeatedly filmed as a fraudulent magician (including by BBC television); or that he frequently deceives his followers with unfulfilled prophecies and shameful promises of miraculous cures?
The exposure of Sai Baba to mass television audiences sorely challenges the SSO. The Danish national broadcaster DR’s documentary ‘Seduced by Sai Baba’ was shown Australia-wide on February 14, 2004 by SBS, and the SSO threatened to sue SBS then, when unsuccessful, cried out for equal time:
The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ has screened in many countries, including in Asia and the Middle East:
There is an ongoing and costly damage control effort by the SSO in various countries to select large, prestigious and plush venues such as La Mirada Theatre in the Los Angeles/Orange County area, Cooper Union in New York, Vancouver Playhouse, Melbourne Town Hall, etc. Other propaganda includes very costly professional audio-visual presentations.
QUOTATIONS FROM SATHYA SAI BABA'S PUBLIC DISCOURSES
"I do not need any publicity, nor does any other manifestation of the Lord. What are you daring to publicise? Me?"
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol IV, p. 210.
"We do not neet any publicity or advertisment." Sanathana Sarathi April 1999, p. 89
"Swami prefers that additional people come only though observing the virtuous lives of the Center members, and by word of mouth. Notices and such might start small, but in time they will get out-of-hand. Even such small things as notices will be taken as advertising of Swami. Other Swamis have to advertise and even provide transport, but Sai does no advertising..."
Conversations with BSSB by Dr. J. Hislop, p. 168
"Do not publish these acts of sympathy; do them spontaneously without fanfare. That is more precious than demonstrating your service with the help of headlines and photographs.These reduce the worth of deeds of compassion." Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol VII, p. 236f
As long ago as 1979, SB declared: "The success of the task for which I have come will very soon reverberate throughout the world!"
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol XIV, p. 278.
"I do not like collection of funds. But, since some expense has to be incurred, I have to allow it under very stringent conditions..."
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol VII,p. 100
"I do not need grand decorations, huge pandals, arches, flags and such paraphernalia. I require only a mike to communicate My advice to people. Even a chair is superfluous! I can talk standing. Spend sparing to the minimum needs; do not involve yourselves in expensive luxury. I would like you to spend any extra money that you have for the feeding of the poor or for any similar beneficial object."
Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol VII, p. 100
SSB spoke of: "... the purpose for which I have allowed you to form these Organisations. It is not to give some people places of authority and power, or for ensuring fame and publicity for Me." Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol VIII, p. 230.
"It is deplorable to hear that in some States, even for trivial activities, funds are being collected." Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol XIV, p 362
Note: These quotations sufficiently demonstrate the hypocrisy and total divorce between SSB's words and his actions along with his organisation's deeds. Members and followers are recruited on the basis of such quotations and much disinformation and false propaganda.