I was wondering when we would receive a comment in defence of the billionaire cultic racketeer who styled himself as 'Sai Baba'.
The person, 'Bachan,' who very politely has challenged the authenticity of my rational article on 'Sai Baba' has told us nothing that we did not know already. Indeed, this person's evident lack of critical and evaluative faculties, is further evidence proving the accuracy of my analysis.
In the end, the verdict on 'Sai Baba' hangs on one simple question:
Was Sathyanarayana Raju a.k.a. 'Sai Baba,' really a superhuman who had the power to create matter from nothing, or was he just another manipulative charlatan who had the power to castrate people's critical and evaluative faculties, and part them from their money, using co-ordinated devious techniques of social, psychological and physical persuasion which gave his victims the illusion that they were making a free-choice?
Simple logic would suggest that if 'Sai Baba' really had been a 'God,' then such an omnipotent fellow would not have needed to take his followers' cash or buy anything, he could have just produced what he required out of thin air.
In the 'Bible,' a story is told of how Jesus fed 5000 people with only enough food for a family picnic, and how there were baskets of left-overs. The point being, that all Jesus asked his followers for in return for this miraculous feast, was their unquestioning belief. The 'Bible' does not describe Jesus as receiving cash payments from his followers. The 'Bible' also describes 'Aaron, the brother of the 'Prophet Moses,' making an illusory idol, a 'Golden Calf,' out of the Children of Israel's own gold, and then bedazzling them with it.
When looking at cults and frauds, it must be remembered that a counterfeit banknote might be 99.9 % perfect, but the bit that is not makes all of it a fake. I have taken the time to study the life and times of many demagogues, cult instigators and charlatans. I looked at their own versions of reality, and at independent sources. I came to inescapable conclusion that pernicious cults are instigated and ruled by psychologically dominant individuals, and/ or bodies of psychologically dominant individuals (often with impressive, made-up names, and/ or ranks, and/ or titles), who hold themselves accountable to no one. These individuals have severe and inflexible Narcissistic Personalities (i.e. they suffer from a chronic psychological disorder, especially when resulting in a grandiose sense of self-importance/righteousness and the compulsion to take advantage of others and to control others’ views of, and behaviour towards, them). They steadfastly pretend moral and intellectual authority whilst pursuing various, hidden, criminal objectives (fraudulent, and/or sexual, and/or violent, etc.). The admiration of their adherents only serves to confirm, and magnify, the leaders’ strong sense of self-entitlement and fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, ideal love, etc.
‘Narcissistic Personality Disorder,’ is a psychological term first used in 1971 by Dr. Heinz Kohut (1913-1981). It was recognised as the name for a form of pathological narcissism in ‘The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 1980.’ Narcissistic traits (where a person talks highly of himself/herself to eliminate feelings of worthlessness) are common in, and considered ‘normal’ to, human psychological development. When these traits become accentuated by a failure of the social environment and persist into adulthood, they can intensify to the level of a severe mental disorder. Severe and inflexible NPD is thought to effect less than 1% of the general adult population. It occurs more frequently in men than women. In simple terms, NPD is reality-denying, total self-worship born of its sufferers’ unconscious belief that they are flawed in a way that makes them fundamentally unacceptable to others. In order to shield themselves from the intolerable rejection and isolation which they unconsciously believe would follow if others recognised their defective nature, NPD sufferers go to almost any lengths to control others’ view of, and behaviour towards, them. Currently, NPD has nine recognised diagnostic criteria (five of which are required for a diagnosis):
has a grandiose sense of self-importance.
is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, ideal love, etc.
believes that he/she is special and unique and can only be understood by other special people.
requires excessive admiration.
strong sense of self-entitlement
takes advantage of others to achieve his/her own ends
is often envious or believes that others are envious of him/her.
Pernicious cults can be of any size, duration and level of criminality. They comprise groups, and/ or sub-groups, of previously diverse individuals bonded by their unconscious acceptance of the self-gratifying, but wholly imaginary, scenario that they alone represent a positive or protective force of purity and absolute righteousness derived from their leadership’s exclusive access to a superior or superhuman knowledge, and that they alone oppose a negative or adversarial force of impurity and absolute evil. Whilst this two-dimensional, or dualistic, narrative remains the adherents’ model of reality, they are, in effect, constrained to modify their individual personalities and behaviour accordingly.
The leaders of the most-destructive cults are megalomaniacal psychopaths (i.e. suffering from a chronic mental disorder, especially when resulting in paranoid delusions of grandeur and self-righteousness, and the compulsion to pursue grandiose objectives). The unconditional deference of their deluded adherents only serves to confirm, and magnify, the leaders’ own paranoid delusions. This type of cult leader maintains an absolute monopoly of information whilst perpetrating, and/ or directing, evermore heinous crimes. They sustain their activities by the imposition of arbitrary contracts and codes (secrecy, denunciation, confession, justice, punishment, etc.) within their groups, and by the use of humiliation, and/ or intimidation, and/ or calumny, and/ or malicious prosecution (where they pose as victims), and/ or sophism, and/or the infiltration of traditional culture, and/ or corruption, and/ or intelligence gathering and blackmail, and/ or extortion, and/ or physical isolation, and/ or violence, and/ or assassination, etc., to repress any internal or external dissent.
It would seem that Sathyanarayana Raju a.k.a. 'Sai Baba,' and his unquestioning followers, perfectly fit these profiles.
David Brear (copyright 2011)