Author: Bon Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER Publication date: June 1997
E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to go back to the home base now.
From Bon_Giovanni@juno.com Wed Jun 4 23:04:27 1997
June 4, 1997
PO Box 6849
Beverly Hills CA 90212 USA
A few days ago Venu Parthiban was applauded by Dr. David Lane for his "delightful letter" at which time David also said to Venu:"You raise many good questions and I think the answer to them is also implied by how you raise your points. "It seems very obvious to me what is happening, but I guess it is not so obvious (as you point out) to others."
I am perhaps one of those about whom Dr. Lane guessed (as he points out), in that what the "It was" which seemed "very obvious" to Dr Lane was not obvious to me. Rather, it appeared that both men were only implying this and that while specifying nothing at all, but then patted each other on the back as if they had actually said something exact, and apparently, important too-- so I asked David and Venu to tell me specifically what they were agreeing on.
David did not reply, as if perhaps busy, or uncaring, or unsure, but Venu replied, in full, at length. As his reply shows, he offered numerous assertions which he termed "fact". I however found most of his assertions to be not factual at all, and showed why, in that for the most part, Venu offered nothing more specific than his glee at having assumed this and that based on various innuendoes, and then concluded as if he had deduced something factual.
After I pointed out, with specifics, he had no facts, Venu suggested his facts were too facts by gum, per his dictionary anyways, while at the same time implying those facts were well, ok, not actually facts in that they were not even assertions at all, but were "questions". Venu then added that in his view I am duty bound to answer those questions.
While I do not agree with his idea of duty, I nevertheless do answer, again, hopefully to more fully clarify my viewpoint.
Venu, first, as regards your recent comments about the Sai devotee's webpage from which you had quoted extracts: I suggest
a: your assumption that other folks reading that site, folks with whom you have never even spoken, are somehow bumpkins is in no wise apt, especially since you announced that
b: because you saw no comments at the guest log supporting your claim, that absence means that somehow you must therefore be right in viewing folks there as blind dolts.
c: To me, yours is not a wise conclusion.
I also point out how your assertion that
d: `not even one person objected to the blind obedience' bit, indicates you count me as no one at all, in that I did object, you know. In fact I objected sufficiently enough as to check the page and the source for myself.
e: But, as you wish.
Frankly Venu, due your apparent willful habit of assuming this and that based on so little factual data, and then asserting those who do not agree are stupid or blind, I see little point in continuing our correspondence. I say that only after having read your letters with care. I have duly observed in them your frequent snide humour as well as your often pointed demands and ever thinly veiled allusions. That you continue even now to insert implication as if known fact into your `questions' as well as into your mocking assertions, and yet remark with sleighting haughtiness you are right to do so, while at the same time insisting I somehow *owe* you more than I have already gifted, namely, the little I can claim to have of clarity, humour, acknowledgement, and specificity, is now inescapably concluded, in my opinion.
You see, as I said to you quite early on, "since you have expressed your perspective so concisely, I feel nothing I could now say would in any way further your insight or my viewpoint, and so offer no reply other than this "thank you" for having included me in your correspondence."
That was the short version. If any care to read further, please be advised it will be but an elucidation of that summary, above.
Still with me, eh? Very well then. As indicated, I now point out how, as if he were genuinely offended at being shown to be but a factless gossip,
Venu added:First off let me thank you for your considered reply. I thank you especially to your efforts in taking the time to reply to all these intellectual dwarfs like myself who couldn't even begin to understand the greatness of sai baba.
Venu, that you have described your intellectual status as that of a little person is, I assure you, not due any thanks to me. Too, since you yourself, not I, have addressed the status of Sri Sathya Sai Baba as `great', I suggest your admitted inablity to understand your own hypothesis about his "greatness" as you call it, must surely then have been prompted by some reason other than my own.
I see however you wish to thank me for even more than the fruit of your own efforts:Let me also thank you for the clarity, the logical interpretation of specifics and the patience with which you put together your considered replies.
Why Venu, how pleasant, and you're welcome,
but you need not mention it again-- it's just my nature, you know; nothing special.
I am writing this while watching a beautiful sunrise in the west.
Ah. Well, that explains a great deal, actually.But most of all let me thank you for this: "Secondly, I am not a disciple of Sri Sathya Sai Baba." It must take a great mind to even to consider involving oneself to replying these rabble rousers, especially, as a non-desciple you have nothing to gain except upholding the truth. Let me admit, the temptation to simply press the Delete key would have been to big to resist to a lesser man.
Why Venu, what an odd thing to say, since it takes no especial or unusual skill at all to point out the distinction between fact and assumption, nor between sincere questions and snide implications. Still, thank you.
I would suggest however you specify the rabble-rousers you mean, lest readers other than those who assume they know what you mean, delete your words due your condescending stoop:I commend you for your selfless sacrifice in spending so much time defending someone with whom (I assume here..) you can but have just a passing interest. It must be pure struggle for truth to prevail to make yourself put together around 60 Mb of "Thus spake Sai Baba" in the form of Sandeha Nivarini in the Usenet news groups. Bon, I bow to you.
Pardon, but you seem to intentionally suggest you are a far weaker and less noble person than you take me for, and at the same time appear also to have misunderstood why I reply. First, I do not regard you as inferior, nor am I "defending someone". (Apparently you have fallen victim to Dr. Lane's misleading subject headers). Were you to consider what I write, rather than the tittilating titles Dr Lane assigns the threads, you might note I am not defending anyone, but rather I am replying to comments which I have been asked to address, you know. (Surely you recall that fact?) Secondly, it is no effort at all to point out the distinction between fact and gossip- it just takes time, and with time, the ability to pay unbiased attention to details. Surely you agree with that, eh Venu?
Thirdly, if you have read any or all of the thread SANDEHA NIVARINI in the usenet forum soc.culture.indian, then do say so and then if you wish do comment on any point therein as it relates to this topic. However, if you have not read it at all, what is served when you imply knowledge and experience you lack?
Finally, your bow, as you call it, is duly noted.I must also admit my admiration towards the way you have slipped and slithered around my questions.
Yuck! You sound like a snake, Venu. Why else admire slipping and slithering? That you bow first, then insult, suggests you are a snake, in fact. Since you offered no specifics to show where I slipped or slithered, I suggest you look again, or evidence your claimssssss.First you reject my labelling the points on the Puttaparthi murders as Facts. I am not a clever man, Bon and my command of the English language is not very good. I would be lost without my trusty dictionary. When I consulted my tested and tried Concise Oxford Dictionary (Ninth Edition, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1995 ISBN 0-19-861320-2, Edited by Della Thompson), on page 482 under the listing fact (n): I found this entry: a thing assumed as the basis of evidence, argument or inference.
I did not reject your having labeled your assumptions as facts, Venu. Rather I pointed out they are not facts at all,
in my view. As for your Concise Dictionary, please tell if it shows more than one entry per word, and if so, the number of that definition you posted. I ask because my own dictionary of choice, my footrest, offers for the word FACT:op cit, (detailed in earlier letters to Jed) p.509 1: that which actually exists; reality; truth; 2: something known to exist or to have happened; 3: a truth known by actual experience or observation; that which is known to be true; 4: something said to be true or supposed to have happened. 5: in law an actual or alleged event or circumstance, as distinguished from its legal effect or consequence. 6: "after the fact", in law meaning after the commission of a crime. 7: "before the fact", prior to the commission of a crime. 8: "in fact", really; indeed.
Should you wish to argue the fact, I suppose one could call your assumptions `fact' based only on number four, (only, since this is not a legal meeting, five does not apply), but then, I suggest you rather wished to imply numbers one, two, and three instead were what you meant by `fact', and so now you do but waffle with words to avoid saying just that. If I err, please show how your earlier argument of `facts' in any way suggested you were not affirming actual reality.So I submit that I am not entirely wrong in my use of the word Fact.
Agreed- "not entirely"; you were only ethically wrong and intellectually incorrect.
As you may recall from my first correspondence to Professor Lane, I noted that my interests on sai baba matters are not due any evangelical zeal on my part. I merely want to know what happened.
You "merely want to know what happened", you say. Very well. Then I suggest rather than asserting as fact what happened, you might simply instead have just asked? You see, I find your way of stating assumptions and implying this and that via innuendo then calling that fact, does not example the attitude of someone who just "wants to know what happened". Rather you appear to me to be an intentionally snide and vicious gossiper who wishes to mock, yet has nothing specific to belittle and so masques that desire as if it were only doubt, or disbelief, or disdain.I don't want to try and convert or, as I may wish to call, reform sai baba disciples. I don't care what they do with their life, even if they don't accept as being a desciple. (Am I assuming things again, Bon? Is a desciple different from a devotee? Is it a higher level of realisation? Correct me if I have erred)
As you wish.
Since you do not want to try and convert nor reform NOR EVEN CARE about any "Sai disciple" (whatever that means, since you have not said, who can tell?), I suggest you at least ask if one is a devotee, or a disciple, before you tar with your contempt or feint with your praise. Why for example you have instead assumed I am a devotee of anything or anyone, much less why you announced I am disciple (of anyone), is of no concern to me. I point it out now simply because you asked.
Your glee in assuming this and that at the drop of a hat, is but an indication to me that you do pay very little attention to anything other than your own haughty presumptions, few if any of which are based in actual observation or reality.
That said, in my opinion a devotee may be one DEVOTED TO ANYTHING OR ANYONE, and so may show a part-time interest or a burning desire to learn more or become closer to the ideal, while a disciple references a sincere attentive full-time student who lovingly and wisely embodies the doctrines of another with due care and steadiness per the direct guidance of the preceptor. Spiritually speaking, in my neck of the woods a devotee may be self-assigned or named so by the teacher in public, since the station is but one who admires a teacher and/or a teaching, while a disciple is generally one chosen directly and privately by the teacher as one who has exampled ample potential to embody the teaching directly. Devotees come and go. Disciples either graduate giving due credit to the elder, or else betray the teacher, as a rule. At any rate, I do not call myself either a devotee nor a disciple of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, but notice you have done so. Why you did so, is best told by you, if by anyone.
Venu Parthiban continues:I lived in India for the most part of my life. Although I have now chosen to live elsewhere, I still have a lot of concern about what goes on in the name of religion and politics in my birth place. I do believe that I have a right to have such a concern. As I mentioned in my first letter, I am worried about the future of my country if the government and the judiciary can be influenced by anybody to cover up evil deeds.
I concur, it is one's duty as a citizen to take an active interest in one's country. My own neighbourhood for example requires constant attention to insure local politico's don't assume more power than due them, and state politicians require just as much watching. As for national, my God, how is one to ever keep track of all this? Why by taking care of as much as one can, starting with one's own home, then neighborhood, then city, then state, then country. That is why as much as I love India, since I do not live there, I leave healing Her to those who do care enough to live there. Sri Sathya Sai Baba for example has chosen to live in the small out of the way village of his birth, and works daily to make his own home, neighbourhood, district, state and nation more just, more compassionate, more honoured, more dharmic, more Indian. That nationals living abroad in luxury mock such tireless efforts, is unfortunate in my view.
What do you do?
Venu, since you "have now chosen to live elsewhere, [yet] still have a lot of concern about what goes on in the name of religion and politics in [your] birth place", what do you do to show that concern for India?
(--other than write to me, of course.)In answer to my questions about the murders, you ask about specifics, about how and where the corpses were found, the date and time, how many bullets each corpse contained, etc., etc.
Pardon, one moment-- what "questions" of yours would that be? Do you mean these following assertions of yours, were meant to be read only as mere sincere honest questions?
Fact: Some alleged intruders invade theinner sanctum of sai baba.
Fact: Some one,possibly sai baba himself, call the police.
Fact: Police storm intothe ashram guns ablaze and shoot down these 'invaders'.
Fact: These 'invaders' are accused of trying to assassinate sai baba.
Fact: These 'invaders' are found to be un armed.
Fact: These 'invaders' are also revealed to be members of the inner circle of confidants of sai baba
Fact: The FIR filed by the local police inspector is withdrawn by intervention from 'higher authorities'
Fact: The entire case is covered up and no facts are made public.
Fact: The President of India atthe time of the event was a very devote sai baba believer.
Fact: The Prime Minister of India at the time of the event was a very devote sai baba believer.
Fact: The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh at the time of the event was a very devote sai baba believer.
Fact: There is no enquiry on the event.
Fact: Some months before the event sai baba presided over a public event attended by among other dignitaries, the Prime Ministerof India.
Fact: sai baba receives a trophy/momento/gift from one of his close associates before presenting it to the Prime Minister.
Fact: sai baba gesticulates as he normally does before materialising things and presents a gold necklace to the Prime Minister.
Fact: Doordharshan, the official Indian TV makes a routine record of the event for showing in the evening news bulletin.
Fact: Doordharshan officials notice in the video clip, sai baba clumsily take the necklace from the baseof the momento before palming it.
Fact: Doordharshan censors the footage by orders from higher authorities.
Fact: The associate who handed over the momentoto sai baba is one of the four shot down by Police atPuttaparthi.
Fact: The footage is shown in a documentary produced by Briton's Channel Four.
Were those "questions?" I think not, I think they were assertions, since you then `deduced':
Deduction: sai baba is furious over the apparent betrayal
by his close associates. The four associates enter sai
baba's inner sanctum to apologize.
I note you do now imply those assertions of `fact' and that "deduction" is only your way of showing sincere enquiry.
What an odd sense of manners and honest enquiry you example. You first paint the situation with innuendo that implies very wrong doing on many parts and call it fact. When I point out your base attempt at slander, you do not even acknowledge your intent, but say, `oh those slurs? oh no, those were just questions.'
With such questions as yours, Venu, reputations have been slandered. Apparently I am more attentive to what you say than you even try to be.
How then is it you insult me while at the same time asking for my insight on those `questions'-- is that usually how you find your way out of confusion? Either way, I suggest you approach those whose information you seek, with manners, and care, not arrogant slurs, if you wish any replies that do any more than reveal your attitude.
Of course I don't have all these specifics.
My, but you are so hard on yourself. Please, do share the specifics you do have, lest I repeat what you already know, and so risk offending you.
I also don't know exactly what happened. All I know came from my reading of the newspapers and periodicals that carried the story at that time. I also know that the story soon faded away from the papers to be replaced by rumours and innuendoes. This is typical of any society. When the people are not satisfied about something that involved a high profile personality, they normally resort to rumours and gossip.
I appreciate you saying you do not know. That is honest. How is it then you earlier asserted as facts matters about which you now admit you do not know "exactly". Earlier you implied you knew even more than you said were `facts', yet now you say you do not know specifics. Please, do address your reasons for having done that.
Too, since you have read several versions in various newspapers and periodicals, please do post them, so all can see where they agree and where they disagree, if you wish.
But you say, `the people gossip'. In my view, few gossips prosper where their listeners point them out, with specifics.
All I ask for is some insight into what really happened that night, who were those men, why did they try to kill sai baba, how were they armed, why couldn't the police try and disarm and arrest them, what did they do to provoke police into shooting them dead.
You say all you ask for is some insight, and yet you obviously ask for more than that, because you still talk as if you know more than you do. How can insight possibly arise in a mind that insists it already knows? Compare what you wrote above, recently, with your earlier words:My understanding of the event is that the four persons killed were very close to sai baba and that there was no attempt on the life of sai baba.
First you say your `understanding' is that four persons were killed and there was no attempt to kill Swami. Then you assert this and that as if fact, and when shown you err, admit you lack exact facts, but even then ADD THE ASSUMPTION: "why did they try to kill sai baba."
So which is it that you want: insight, or continuing in your assumptions and insults? If the former, then show the integrity of looking for facts with no prejudice, assuming nothing pro or con, by asking those who do know, with respect and courtesy, as befits civilized persons who respect each other as well as their mutual societies. If however you prefer the latter, you need but consider my response, and do as you think best.I know less about these murders than I may know about any everyday murder that may take place in India. An organization that has such a wide following is duty bound to providing answers to these. Even you admit to the fact that such questions have been floating around the Usenet newsgroups for some time. Have you ever tried to answer these questions? You could've at least allocated a few measly kbs of the 60 odd Megs of posting to address these so-called rumours.
Based on your own example, your claim of "being duty-bound" suggests one need but assume this and that, assert this and that, imply blame here and there with no specifics, call it fact and `deduce' intent. Hence, I ignore your version of duty-bound requirements. Instead I reply as and when I wish, if at all.
As for the query `have I ever attempted to answer such questions in Usenet', why ask? After all, Venu, you did imply you alread read the thread SANDEHA NIVARINI, so now please, do at least what you have already implied you have done: read what I have posted in that thread for yourself. Surely you can do some actual research online, at least you might before claiming what I "could have done"? Should you do at least that, I may then supply what you feel you still lack and politely ask for. As long however as you keep insulting and demanding, I see no reason to give you more time, or datum, than I have done.
As I said yesterday, sometimes one does well to simply ignore some folks, you know.
I don't know of any official line taken by the sai baba organisation with regard to these murders. If there is any please forward them to me. I think the event in which four young men were killed inside the sai baba residence warrents a clearer answer. Frontline magazine published pictures of these unfortunate men and wrote that at least one of the men were shot inside sai baba's bed chamber. Sorry Bon I don't know the month, year, issue number, page number and author name of the article. I only go by my memory and it is your prerogative to reject my memory views. But I think, being a non-desciple of sai baba, you should try and not avoid addressing the thrust of my letter, viz. what really happened that night.
Venu, over and over you show yourself unable, or unwilling, to ask questions without innuendo or insult. First you admit you lack datum, but then again insist you "know" the very number of deaths involved. I repeat, until you stop pretending to know more than you do, I will not attempt to clarify your wilfull confusion-- that would be like pouring a spoon of milk into a tumbler of water. It is my experience that when that happens, men like you then claim you have a tub full of milk.
You exampled that when you posted your thimbleful of `facts' earlier, facts [cough] which turned out to be nothing so much as bad guesses based on sly misconceptions and an apparent urge to mock.
As for your taunt that I am obligated somehow to address the "thrust" of your letter, a letter which was for the most part only your bravura on full dress parade, note this well, please: I address what I find worthwhile as and when I wish, not on command, (hear that do you Venu?)
However, if you truly wish to see ignorance dissolved then you might well empty yourself at least somewhat of assumption and arrogance. I suggest that only because I believe it is a requirement built into the nature of consciousness: the presumptive mind under the sway of vanity cannot discern without altering what it perceives to fit its desires and fears.
At any rate, thems' my terms; take 'em or leave 'em as you wish.
Your method of addressing questions on matters sai baba seems to indicate a well trained mind.
Piffle. I do nothing more than point out strutting vanities that masque themselves as `humble facts'. There is nothing special about addressing that; it just takes time, thass all.A mind with a the sharpness to detect a way to not answer the main point of a correspondence. A mind which can pour out voluminous text questioning the language, the use of certain words, and the motive behind the questioning. You then embellish your answers with ridicule, denigration, and by questioning the intellect of the correspondent. (Not to forget the pedantic carping for irrational specifics)
As I was saying, apparently the actual `thrust' of your letter was to imply Sai was in control of not only the minds of his devotees, as in cultlike dictatorship, (a `fact' you took some surfing to other sites to gather quotes in support), but also you sought to insinuate he controlled the media as well as the government. That you have shown no facts at all to support your implications, is the result of our chat thus far.
It is however so that I did embellish the removal of your disguise with ridicule;
you earned it. As for `pedantic carping for irrational specifics', ok. I did ask overmuch, but only so as to show unmistakeably that you had no specifics at all.
So, that said, I trust it is now clear your `thrust' was not toward facts or specifics at all, but rather exhibited your surfeit of gloating assumptions, the minority of which you have somewhat admitted (and the majority of which have been shown) to be in error.You then try and drive away people like me with a generous spray of sai baba quotes. Well, this won't work. I have trained myself to switch of my mind whenever I see preaching.
You seem to have misunderstood: it is not to drive away people like you that I quote Sai Baba, but rather to show via his own words, what you claim is in error. As for your having trained yourself to switch your mind... how bizarre! I suggest all do well rather to learn to switch ON the mind, especially when confronted by something one dislikes. That is how, you know, one overcomes assumptions. But, by all means, continue as you wish, oh switched-off one. Meanwhile, Sai speaks:
Life on earth is as on the ocean, ever restless with the waves of joy and grief, of loss and gain, the swirling currents of desires and the whirlpools of passion, greed and hate. To cross the ocean, the only reliable raft is a heart filled with the Love of God and Man. Man is born for a high destiny, as the inheritor of a rich heritage. He should not fritter away his days in low pursuits and vulgar vanities. His destiny is to know the Truth, live in it and for it. The Truth alone can make one free and happy. If Man is not prompted by this high purpose, life is a waste and a mere tossing on the waves, for the sea of life is never calm."
As if adrift at sea, Venu raises a shout for attention:You must try answering some of the questions some time Bon. At least tell us to go to hell and not bother you, instead of trying desperately to defend someone on behalf of the desciples, being a non desciple yourself.
Your tact, Venu, is as subtle as the spear in the side of Christ, and your vanity about having delivered it full thrust appears exceeded only by your ignorance, Venu, in that what I "must do" when pressed by ignominous querists like you, spear in hand, men eager only to mock and belittle, claiming you do so due some noble interest about Mother India, while living abroad, I need but do as I do here: point out your own words' meaning and implications. Your words seen free of the cloak of "fact" you present them in, suffice to show your intent is neither questioning nor noble nor honest.
As for "defending" anyone, perhaps you have again mistaken Dr. Lane's headers as having something to do with more than his own aggrandizement. But then, if you would discern rather than swallow whole those eggs of assumption, if you were not quite the bigoted rascal you ever more daily reveal yourself to be, you might have noticed I am not defending at all, but rather I am, by request, rebutting claims that have often proven to be as factual as a dream, and as insubstantial too. For example:
Fact: Some one,possibly sai baba himself, callthe police.
Fact: Police storm intothe ashram gunsablaze and shoot down these 'invaders'.
Fact: These 'invaders' are accused of trying toassassinate saibaba.
Fact: These 'invaders' are found to be un armed.
Fact: These 'invaders' are alsorevealed to be members of the inner circle of confidants ofsai baba
etc., etc, etc.
Were those facts? No. Were they then at least "questions?" I think not. I think they were simply base and vile guesses, guesses upon which you foolishly `deduced':
Deduction: sai baba is furious over the apparent betrayal
by his close associates. The four associates enter sai
baba's inner sanctum to apologize.
I note you do now imply those assertions of `fact' and that "deduction" were after all not facts at all , just your way of showing sincere enquiry.
What a clear sense of bad manners and dishonest enquiry you example, Venu! You first paint the situation with innuendo that implies very wrong doing on many parts and call it fact. When I point out your base attempt is not factual at all, just slander, you do not even acknowledge your intent, but say, `oh those slurs? oh no, those were just questions.' With such questions as yours, Venu, reputations have been slandered, and you surely know that, why, you even delight in it! That is why I ridiculed you as a gossip. A vile sinister factless gossip is what you are, you know, in my view. Come to think of it, I do not now wonder why that narcisstic fellow Lane finds you charming, since you mirror him.
Well "that", as I said, was the alternative to the short version. As Venu said, "Me thinks one needs to use one's rusty brain here." Unlike his implication that his brain is rusted with assumption piled in layers like fat over synapses, I encourage all to to keep the brainpan oiled with attention and precision, not glazed on prejudice nor assumption.
Should you disagree, well, you chose to have read further, and surely no one forced you... so in conclusion please do advise if this treatise was or was not as I said: an elucidation of that summary, above. At least now, with this lengthy tome at an end, there are but few demons left, eh? If there are any, let all exorcise even them, now:
E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at email@example.com
I want to go back to the home base now.