Author: Venu Publisher: The NEURAL SURFER Publication date: May 1997
E-mail David Christopher Lane directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to go back to the home base now.
From email@example.com Wed May 28 20:02:31 1997 Date: Thu, 29 May 1997 09:33:45 +1000 From: Venu Parthiban
Reply-To: firstname.lastname@example.org To: email@example.com Dear Professor Lane Great web site. I am glad I found it. I'm also glad that I have been following the debate on sai baba in real time. Let me explain my position at the outset: o I am not a religious person o I am not a devotee of sai baba o I have got nothing against his alledged devotees o I couldn't care less if they go to heaven and I go to hell (if there is one!) My concerns about the sai baba phenomenon is two fold: o The clout sai baba is wielding at the highest level of administration and judiciary in India o The apparant unwillingness on the part of his devotees to even consider any arguments against sai baba My first concern is due to the fact that I still have love for things Indian. I have not lived in India for some time and my only source of information on Indian is the internet. My concern rose when I couldn't find anything about the four murders that took place at Puttaparthi few years ago. What really happened? Was there an investigation? Why did everyone from the President down to the local inspector of police acted in collusion to cover up the matter? If any of you have any information on what really happened, I would be really grateful. 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. I may be wrong. (My other skeptical question here is why did sai baba run to call the police instead of destroying the alledged assassins on the spot or better still reforming them?) My second concern is NOT due to any evangelical zeal I may have to convert the true believers. But on the other hand, no religion or faith is immune from skeptics. In fact skeptical discussions strengthen the faith. But whenever one tries to put forward an opposing point to a sai baba devotee, one gets the following reactions in approximately the order given: 1. Anger. (How dare you question our faith. Mind your own business. You have no right to question us.) Sometimes the anger comes out in more serious forms. During one of my friendly queries to a web site on sai baba (http://bestweb.com/prom/index.htm), my comments in the guest pages were changed in a fashion not acceptable to me. When I questioned it, I received a vailed threat fo murder from one Rajagopal who goes by the nom de plume Saigopal. 2. Irrational explanation. I call them irrational because we must go by some rules of logic. It is very easy to explain any phenomenon by claiming it not fitting any human logic. It is the easy way out. The human kind would still be living in caves and dragging women by their hair whenever they wanted a shag! To explain away all skeptical questioning the so-called miracles of sai baba by saying that he is a phenomenon that cannot be explained by present day science is in my view idiotic. This Bon Giovanni chap seems a very sincere fellow. But I get a headache whenever I try to find a rational argument in his correspondence. He obviously has an explanation for everything. I try and crystallize his explanations as follows: o sai baba is divine just as you and me Well you and I don't live off wealthy patrons and drive around in mercs. o sai baba passes of invaluable trinkets to some devotees and valuable diamond rings to others. That makes him partial to some. Bon also says elsewhere that he could figure out the type of devotee by looking at their ring!? Why should his swamy discriminate between people? Should he not wish the best for everyone? o The reason that some of his miracles may seem clumsy is because swamy wished it so. He cannot be tested by scientists in a controlled experiment because he is beyond the present day science. Well, there can't be a better explanation than this. You can't put forward any arguement against this. But let me ask a very stupid question: why does he feel the need to do these tricks? If they are not important, why do them in the first place? Didn't Swamy Ramakrishna once say to a deciple who wished for the power to walk across a river, "Why waste your life to gain such a power? If you pay a few rupees to the boatman he will take you across it"? Why does he feel the need to apparantly legitimise his alledged divinity by claiming miraculous powers, claiming rather clumsily that Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed prophasied his (sai baba's) coming? Why does he find the need to spread the rumor that he resurrected dead men when all records show that they were far from dead (Refer Premanand)? Why does he have to claim a million other powers when there is no need to? Does he seek legitimacy for his own peace of mind? Bon says in one his correspondence on the alledged paedophilia tendencies of sai baba: >... I have no idea what sai baba is doing when he applies ash to the >forehead, much less do I know what he is doing when he swabs genitals >with ash or oil.... > >Besides, sai has been performing that ritual, or whatever it is, for >more than 30 years, and he does it not only in private but in group >interviews. How is that this "ritual" does not get the same publicity as his other "miracles"? Does he do the ritual to both young boys as well as girls? Did Bon experience the same ritual? If it is such an innocent ritual, why doesn't sai baba do it during the public darshan? Or is it one of the many inexplicable divine nature of baba? Bon also says: >...you know that being touched by a realized being can provide a >mystical transmission-- even if you think it is `odd.' Look at the >touch Ramakrishna gave Naren. POW! He became Vivekananda. If sai baba has been doing this "ritual" for thirty odd years, we must have more than a few Vivekanandas! Me thinks one needs to use one's rusty brain here. -- _________________________________________________________________ Barker's Proof: Proofreading is more effective after publication. /__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/ |Venu Parthiban |Convergent Group Asia Pacific | |mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org | /__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/ From email@example.com Sun Jun 1 17:13:38 1997 Date: Mon, 02 Jun 1997 10:13:30 +1000 From: Venu Parthiban Bon Giovanni wrote: > May 30, 1997 > BonGiovanni@delphi.com > PO Box 6849 > Beverly Hills CA 90212 USA > > Hello, > > On May 30th, David Lane , wrote as > follows in response to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Dr. > Lane courteously cc'd me.) > > -begin copy- > > What a delightful letter! > > I would even like to post it with your permission, so please do tell > me if you would consider it. > > 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. > > Yes, I am familiar with the story about the murders. There are a > number > of articles on the subject. If I remember correctly, even India Today > did a piece on it. I don't have any information offhand with me, > though. > > do write back and I think your letter would be of interest to many > people, > > thanks > > dave > > ---- > email@example.com > email for PGP Public Key > > On Thu, 29 May 1997, Venu Parthiban wrote: > > [=snip=] > > --------------------------end copy---------------- > > [I have snipped Venu's letter of May 29th, since I note David > asked for permission, but since no permission is gifted me, I > of course will not quote Venu's letter. My reply to > Parthiban-ji, however, was posted by David, with my accord, > before I received David's reply.] > > I therefore address only Professor Lane's remarks: > > >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 concur that implications of this and that are apparent in > how Venu phrases his `questions'. I note however that > neither Venu nor David say in plain words exactly _what_ > those implications mean. I urge David therefore to specify > what it is that he himself finds so `very obvious.' Should he > (or Venu, or both) ever actually say, it may be possible to > address that. However since both are only implying this and > that, and then agreeing with each other over some unspecified > matter, I see nothing to point out other than their vague allusions. > Dear Bon I will try and clarify my 'implications': > >Yes, I am familiar with the story about the murders. There > >are a number of articles on the subject. If I remember > >correctly, even India Today did a piece on it. I don't have > >any information offhand with me, though. > > Deja News confirms that many persons online have stated they > are `familiar with the story about the murders', and the keen > eye might notice how, like David, few rarely if ever `have > any information with them'. I also have noticed that what > folks call `the story', is on due study found to be some dozen > different stories, and that, among the `number of articles on > the subject' none agree in key specifics, while all imply this > and that, allude to this and that, but offer few if any > facts, much as Venu and David do now. > Implication 1 clarified: Fact: Some alleged intruders invade the inner sanctum of sai baba. Fact: Some one, possibly sai baba himself, call the police. Fact: Police storm into the 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 at the 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 Minister of 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 base of the momento before palming it. Fact: Doordharshan censors the footage by orders from higher authorities. Fact: The associate who handed over the momento to sai baba is one of the four shot down by Police at Puttaparthi. Fact: The footage is shown in a documentary produced by Briton's Channel Four. Deduction: sai baba is furious over the apparent betrayal by his close associates. The four associates enter sai baba's inner sanctum to apologize. The events that happen after this are not very clear to me. I welcome clarifications. My question: o Why did sai baba, who is revered by millions to be omniscient and omnipotent, who according to deciples like Bon Giovanni to have powers to change the stones in rings when the recipient of the rings prove to be sceptics, resort to calling the police, instead of trying to change the intruders intent? Implication 2 clarified: Fact: Some ex devotees of sai baba accuse him of apparent sexual abuse. Fact: Bon Giovanni states that this 'ritual' is being carried out by sai baba for over thirty years, but disputes the notion that this may be of carnal intent. My questions: o Why doesn't this 'ritual' which Bon Giovanni compares to Swami Ramakrishna anointing Narendra, get any publicity? o If this 'ritual' is not carnal in nature, why doesn't sai baba conduct this in public? o Has sai baba ever spoken or written anything about this ritual and the benefits thereof to the devotees? o Does he carry out this ritual to young girls as well as young boys? o Can a devotee opt out of this ritual and still be considered a devote person? o How many Vivekananda's have been produced by this ritual? My other sundry implications and questions: To a question raised by a Malaysian Sai devotee as a result of conflict within a Sai Centre as to whether the SAI Movement is a democracy or dictatorship - Brother Jega replied (in Sai Pages http://bestweb.com/prom/index.htm) as follows : "It is neither - it is a benevolent dictatorship" Subsequently, when asked to define and clarify, he offered following clarification: Bhagawan Baba has said that in a Sai Centre there must be ONE WORD ONE ROAD "You must implicitly follow the directions of the State President and the District President, who nominate the Convenors. When you are tempted to question them, remind yourself that their words have come through the Grace and Blessings of Bhagawan, who has nominated them. Be polite, humble and sweet in your responses to the commands you receive. It is imperative to have strict discipline; no exception, or concession can be tolerated, One word, one road - that should be the motto. " Here is an extract from an article *What is Fascism?* by the NLG Civil Liberties Committee, giving the hallmarks of Fascism and Nazism: * Authoritarian reliance on a leader or elite not constitutionally responsible to an electorate. * Cult of personality around a charismatic leader. * Exhortations for the homogeneous masses of common folk to join voluntarily in a heroic mission (often metaphysical) and romanticized in character. * Dehumanization and scapegoating of the enemy -- seeing the enemy as an inferior. * The self image of being a superior form of social organization. * Abandonment of any consistent ideology in a drive for power. My questions: Is the sai baba movement a fascist organization, requiring blind faith and devotion to the leader? Is this a desired thing in this day and age? > Why any two persons, much less a group, would be so imprecise > and yet imply they agree, is unclear to me. Apparently they > have not noticed they have not said anything specific to each > other. I do notice that however, and hope Venu and David > will soon offer specifics, rather than innuendoes. > I hope have been more specific in this letter.[Bon's preaching snipped] -- _________________________________________________________________ Barker's Proof: Proofreading is more effective after publication. /__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/ |Venu Parthiban | |mailto:Venup@convergent.com.au |55 Sussex St, Level 8 | /__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/__/
E-mail The Neural Surfer directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to go back to the home base now.