by Basava Premanand

Reply to Gerald Moreno's claims from

THE FOURTH CRITICISM is found under "ExBaba.com: Deception" of November 2004 also in the page Comments by Gerald Moreno - On Basava Premanand, honored by the Indian Government where he refers to the ExBaba page on 'Premanand honoured by the Indian Goverment'.

Gerald Moreno's comments appear in bold black face and mine in regular case navy blue type.

News at Exbaba.com
Sunday, December 04

GM : This story is taken from the Telegraph, an Indian Newspaper in Calcutta. The article was submitted under the "opinion story" section of the newspaper. Also, Basava Premanand allegedly received the award due to his promotion of scientific values among the public. The alleged award was not given to him because of his "campaigns against Sai Baba". That is 100% lie. What is amusing about this is that Basava Premanand has no formal education (even in science) at all!

It is also interesting to point out that this article provides the only reference that makes mention to Basava Premanand receiving the Indian Government's "highest award" Not even Tanya Datta, who interviewed Premanand, makes any mention of the alleged award. Nor do any other sites that profile him, in depth. This includes CSICOP! As a matter of fact, even on Basava Premanand's own site, there is no mention of Premanand receiving "India's Highest Government award for scientific values and campaigns against Sathya Sai Baba". At http://www.indian-skeptic.org/html/byhedwa.4htm (Basava Premanand's own site), it says, "The Indian Government has made a grant to Premanand to enable him to make video tapes of his performances and to explain his methods, so that they may be shown in villages throughout the country." There is a considerable difference between a "grant" and "India's Highest Government Award". This is yet another poorly researched propaganda article by Anti-SSB Activists.

Reply : Who is poorly researching and who is not can be found out on page 438 Vol I of the book "Murders in Sai Baba's Bed Room" which GM has shown clearly through his comments http://www.factnet.org/discus/messages/3/948.html?1118252697 and elsewhere can see most clearly that he has never read my book. I am photocopying the scrawl on the information of the National award and also my biodata is printed in the booklet "National Award for Science Popularization for the year 1997".

I also would request Gerald Moreno to go through Skeptical Inquirer Vol.24 No.1 and he will find that I was also voted for nomination and he can see my name, along with Abraham Kovoor and Mohandas Gandhi in the list of 50 persons who received votes for outstanding skeptics of the twentieth Century from amongst tens of thousands.

If GM reads the citation on the scroll he will find that the award was presented to me in 1998 for my relentless efforts towards promotion of scientific attitudes among common people, all over the country, through lecture-cum-demonstrations on and scientific explanation of hundreds of the so-called miracles employed by self-styled godmen; and through books written and television shows that I conducted on the same subject in the country as well as outside.

This was presented to me by Dr.Y.K. Alagh, Chairman of NCSTC and Union Minister of State for Science and Technology on 28.2.1998 at Delhi at the main function organised in connection with the National Science Day Celebrations.

I am wondering if Gerald Moreno is jealous that a person without any formal education got the award. From the way he is vilifying me I have to conclude that any educational qualifications he may have (though there is no evidence anywhere available that he has any at all) did not stand to help him win awards. Why does he not state or document any qualifications of any sort he may have, as he has also long been challenged to do by the webmaster of ExBaba?

The article in Telegraph did not state that I allegedly received the award due to my promotion of scientific values among the public. I presume that he has read the article published on Sunday, November 21, 2004. What it stated was :
"Premanand, who's been honored by the government with its highest award for the promotion of scientific values among the public. Here the word alleged is missing.

The award scroll states that "through lectures-cum-demonstrations on and scientific explanation of hundreds of the so-called miracles employed by self-styled godmen".
Gerald Moreno very well knows that self-styled godmen also include SSB? Now who is lying? Moreover, I do not beat my own drum about my achievements but - by his scurrilous slanders on me - he has forced me to defend myself.

I have also been given a fellowship by NCSTC, Department of Science & Technology, Government of India and the work includes the following :

1. Lecture-cum-training sessions for selected students and teachers to be used subsequently as resource persons.
2. Working with some film/TV producer(s) to create a library of tricks, miracles etc., with their detailed scientific explanations, including using animations if necessary.
3. If possible, help the above material in conceptualising, planning and or making a dramatised serial of video programmes.
4. Help put selections from this material into the form of publications to supplement (ii) and (iii).

For GM's information, I have not accepted any grants and my service was free. Already a serial was telecast on Doordarshan titled "Turning Point" continuing for more than one year. He also would know that hundreds of activists trained by me visit Indian villages and explain the tricks behind miracles.

The web site he mentioned is not mine but put up by some of my friends. This is not a propaganda article like his on his Pro-SSB website. I am surprised that there are many websites who published my work. One full almirah is filled with newspaper articles on my work.

From the way GM publishes his deception series, one would also call the photocopying of the scroll and my biodata published by the government as faked! But people who read this reply in Indian Skeptic will know who is lying, Moreno or me!

I am forwarding a copy of this reply to Gerald Moreno, if I should get his address, but already to the law enforcement department, the Collector of Nellore District and the Hon.Governor of the Andhra Pradesh to take action against him under cyber crime for vilifying and defaming me on the internet with lies. Also to yahoo.com group for allowing publishing such false hood in the internet.

Enclosures :
1. Copy of the article in Telegraph dated 21.11.2004 titled Religion Inc. Police action
against the Puttaparthi godman is overdue.
2. Photocopy of the leaflet "National Award for science Popularisation for the year 1997.
3. Photocopy of the scrawl presenting the National Award to me.
4. Copy of the nomination of who are the outstanding skeptic's of the Twentieth Century.

(I want to thank my skeptic colleagues for relieving work pressures on me by key board work and editing of my answers)


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