Many of your free-thinking readers will be aware that Sathyanarayana Raju a.k.a. 'Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba,' one of the world's most-absurd, but nonetheless wealthy, cultic racketeers, has just died aged eighty-five. Yet in 2011, this chronic sexual pervert and mythomaniac was listed as one of the '100 most spiritually influential people in the world.' He was also described by his unquestioning adherents (and sadly, some less-than-intellectually-
rigorous journalists) as an 'avatar, godman, spiritual teacher and miracle worker'. In the adult world of quantifiable reality, the apparent materialising of vibhuti (holy ash) and small valuable objects such as rings, necklaces and watches from thin-air, was the only evidence to support Sathyanarayana Raju's own narcissistic claim to be the product of an 'immaculate conception,' the 'divine reincarnation of the 19th century spiritual guru, Sai Baba of Shirdi (whose teachings were a blend of the traditional Hindu and Muslim faiths).'
Sathyanarayana Raju was born in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh. In a career spanning six decades, he steadfastly pretended absolute moral and intellectual authority whilst pursuing various hidden criminal objectives (mainly fraudulent and sexual). When challenged, he hid behind an aggressive echelon of attorneys and successfully avoided conviction. At the same time, he acquired control over a capital sum estimated in billions of $US, part of which was used to establish reality-inverting schools and colleges, hospitals, and other 'charitable institutions' in India and around the globe (the value of which may be as high as Rs. 40,000 crore or $US 10 billions). His total number of adherents was estimated in 1999 to be approximately six millions, but in his own grandiose fantasies he imagined that he had tens of millions of followers and that the one day, all humanity would follow him. Typically, 'Sai Baba,' created, and controlled, a mystifying labyrinth of corporate structures pursuing lawful, and/or unlawful, enterprises. This shifty structure, which is commonly referred to as the 'Sathya Sai Organization', prevented, and diverted, investigation and isolated its billionaire boss from liability. Today, what should have long-since been identified as a major organized crime group, comprises a wheel of around 1200 'Sathya Sai Baba Centers' in 114 countries, all of which have been feeding cash and intelligence back to the organization's central hub.
In India itself, the 'Sathya Sai Organization' draws its adherents, and funding, mainly from well-educated upper-middle-class, urban sections of society. Sadly, the abusive charlatan and pervert who called himself ''Sai Baba,' was a national figure in India. He presented his sleight-of-hand stage-magic tricks as 'miracles' to flocks of wide-eyed spectators, including celebrities, presidents and prime ministers (some of whom became his unquestioning adherents). In 2002, this obvious crook claimed to have followers in 178 countries.
In his lifetime,'Sai Baba,' posed a real threat to democracy and rule of law in India. Even after his death, this threat has not gone away; for although widely-exposed by the Indian, and international, press as a charlatan, he enjoyed the protection of some of the most-influencial people in India. In December 2001, Atal Bihari Vajpayee (then Prime Minister of India), P.N. Bhagawati (Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India), Ranganath Misra (Chair Person, National Human Rights Commissioner of India and Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India), Najma Heptulla (President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union; UNDP Distinguished Human Development Ambassador) and Shivraj Patil (Member of Parliament, India; Formerly of the Lok Sabha & Union Minister) all put their signatures to the following, terrifying denial of reality.
'We are deeply pained and anguished by the wild, reckless and concocted allegations made by certain vested interests and people against Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba. We would normally expect that responsible media would ascertain the true facts before printing such calumny – especially when the person is revered globally as an embodiment of love and selfless service to humanity. Since this professional ethic has not been observed by a section of the media, we have elected to go public with this signed statement.'
David Brear(copyright 2011)