by Basava Premanand

This reply to Gerald Moreno follows on from my first reply to him (click here)

Moreno's reply is found at " Deception" titled: Comments by Gerald Moreno - An Indian Sceptic's explanation of miracles see at - October 2004)

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


GM : Vibuthi allegedly manifests from pictures (all around the world) that are not framed in aluminum.

Reply : Who said that the pictures are framed in Aluminum? What is the proof that vibuthi manifest from pictures all around the world? The vibuthi is believed to come from the pictures of SSB only in a few houses and is infinitesimal even if we take into accounts the claims that he has more than 60 million followers. When GM quotes from my article " An Indian Skeptics explanation of miracles" he should have read it fully. Because he has no answer to my explanations as to how vibuthi appears on photographs. He is quoting the trick done by one Vilas Baba. The explanation in (b) is for making vibuthi from air and coin. While the method of vibuthi produced from SSB's photographs is in para (c).

GM : Some of these pictures are not framed at all, while others are laminated.

Reply : Whether they are framed with glass covering or otherwise or laminated has nothing to do with vibuthi appearing on them. Vibuthi does not appear suddenly on them; one only sees vibhuti sticking on them. To know whether it continues to form, try one test: remove a portion from the photograph and GM will surely find himself waiting forever to see whether more ash forms in its place. In any case, Moreno, the way he and so many devotees become so defensive if anyone doubts claims about such manifestations shows how hooked on these supposed miracles he are, despite what Sai Baba says about their relative unimportance and they are only like 'visiting cards'.

GM : Vibuthi also allegedly manifests from idols, walls, lingams, altars and even televisions.

Reply : Will GM explain where it is alleged and get written permission from SSB - authenticated by a Public Notary - agreeing to demonstrate these miracles for me or for any questioning observer? I wish to know in advance what miracles SSB would then perform so that I may also be ready to do the same tricks. But why does GM add "allegedly" manifested. Is he unsure of his own ground? Being so unsure of himself, why his struggles to prove miracles? I do not have to prove anything as I do not perform miracles. It is he and SSB who have to prove this, without hiding behind SSB's statement that his miracles are not for investigation. I dare GM to arrange the performance of miracles by SSB or to show, in the presence of observers with the proper skills to examine, that miracles alleged to come from him do occur elsewhere in the world.

GM : Consequently, Premanand's "aluminum oxide ash" theory does not apply to these alleged manifestations.

Reply : Will GM point out exactly where I had said it in the article he mentions?

GM : These alleged materializations are not limited to vibuthi. Amrita, kum-kum, fragrances, flowers, mishri, butter, coins, and a variety of other materials used in pujas are also said to manifest (Ref. 1). I called Premanand's "aluminum oxide ash" theory "amusing" because it is highly improbable that people would risk being poisoned by mercury, just to make it appear as if vibuthi is manifesting on their pictures. Click Here to see the protocol for cleaning up mercury spills (under 2 tablespoons). Obviously, Premanand exposed himself to mercury and mercury fumes in his experiments (as there is no safe way of handling mercury that is exposed to the air). Furthermore, aluminum oxide is an irritant (Ref. 2), a neurotoxicant (Ref. 3 ) and ranks in the 50% - 75% level for a hazard ranking (Ref. 4). I am not aware of any incidents of allergic reactions, irritation or toxicity due to the ingestion or application of vibuthi.

Reply : It is not my theory, it refers to what Vilas Baba of Phelton was doing. About the mercury poisoning, GM ought to have explained to the followers of Vilas Baba who was performing this trick and not to me - "Vibhuti from coins". They accepted it believing it was vibhuti. One cannot see, vibhuti forming and falling in the vessel. Even from the picture in the thief devotee's house how much you wait, you cannot see vibhuti forming on the picture or falling down but only what is already there. Can GM point out where one can see this phenomenon actually happening - such as vibuthi, kum kum or amritha etc. forming on a surface. Does he claim to have seen this himself while occurring? Can GM admit no other alternative explanations for SSB's reported performances, other than those he would have everyone believe? Or is GM a completely blind believer?

GM : Why doesn't Premanand give a demonstration of making his penis turn into a vagina?

Reply : Why doesn't GM ask SSB to show the miracle to me so that I may explain the trick, as there are many ways to do it. Alexandra Nagel has suggested quite reasonably how it is done:
"...even if it is only a trick that Sai Baba performs, by pulling back his penis between his legs, why would he do it? Why the pattern: in 1990 with two young Englishmen, around 1996 with Sam Young, and again in 1999 by the 15-year old? For me it is difficult to believe that those have been the only ones who have experienced the ‘Shiva-Shakti change’. The stories I have offered are probably the few that have surfaced, because who dares to talk about such strange experiences with someone who is believed to be God himself?" (see by clicking here)
Besides, it could well be simple hypnosis involved. SSB is reported often in the literature for creating visions for people, while others sitting beside them cannot see what they see. This can too easily result from hypnotic suggestion and delusion, as can an apparent sex change - especially in the supercharged environment of charismatic darshans, discourses, craved-for interviews, chanting, the intense exchange by devotees to each other of their experiences, and so on.

GM : One must remember that the alleged witnesses to this phenomenon claimed that Sathya Sai Baba literally morphed his genitals. Tal Brooke claimed that "Patrick" actually engaged in coital sex with the Guru.

Reply : It can easily happen if SSB in a physical hermaphrodite, which condition from birth is recorded in the serious medical literature. Tal Brooke stated this too. SSB himself has claimed that he is the avatar of male and female - Shiva Shakthi and 'Sai' 'Baba'- and his followers believe it is so. I leave it to SSB to prove that he is both male and female. Though I have not seen SSB naked, medical texts teach that it is true in very rare cases and in the book 'Book "Our Sexuality" on page 31 a photograph is published with male and female organ. How it happens is also detailed in the book. "Our Sexuality" by Robert Crook and Karla Baur published by the Benjamin Cummings Ppublishing Company, California. I need give no demonstration of making my penis turn onto a vagina, as I do not believe in miracles. It is for the person who claims miraculous powers to demonstrate publicly that he is both male and female. Why does GM defend what he has never seen?
On the other hand, according to dozens of writers, SSB can reportedly cause people to see what is not there or something different. This is known to be achievable by hypnosis, and also by other means, such a powerful drugs like charas, mescaline, psilocybin, LSD and so on. When applied in the anal area, ungeants and drugs are most rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream.

GM : However, other alleged victims have claimed to have seen SSB's genitals up close and never noticed anything unusual about them.

Reply : Why not put "click here" to know who they are? Who states that "they have noticed anything unusual about them"? Give the source, if there is one! Is it necessary to believe in any claims when all could be proved with just one video film of SSB naked, if there is anything unusual in his body to show he is both male and female?

GM: Neither Premanand nor any other Anti-Sai Activist can explain these claims. These claims prove that someone, somewhere, fabricated stories against Sathya Sai Baba.

Reply : Whether they are fabricated or not, I don't know as I was not a witness. If they are fabricated stories, why does SSB (or GM himself) not move a court and take action against them for libel?

GM : Even for transexuals (who are going through the process of becoming the opposite gender) hiding their genitals is a daunting task that requires tucking, strapping and taping (Ref. 5: "taping").

Reply : The 'ref 5' only states "(Taping = Synonym: tucking or strapping) Refers to the practice of securing the male genitals up between the legs using surgical tape or tight undergarments." Is that so very difficult? Perhaps GM has often experimented and found it 'a daunting task' himself?" It must be quite commonly done, however, to get a term of its own in a dictionary.
Besides, when SSB claims that he is born as Shiva and Shakti he is not transsexual, but most likely it means he is a hermaphrodite, and so the process of becoming the opposite gender is therefore presumably not applicable to him. GM is onfusing issues again. There is only one definitive way to test all this, which is to make a video of SSB naked.

GM : If Premanand is willing to vindicate his claims and dedication to the truth, why doesn't he give us the names and contact information to these alleged "students"?

Reply : GM himself has affirmed that he was oiled "below the navel" by SSB. Why does he need further proofs? He has doubtless contacted most of them, or - without their details - how did he manage to contact them? Does he really expect me to break a deep trust with those who have confided in me and deliver them to the scorn and defamations GM has poured on others who have had the courage to stand forth (unlike Gerald Moreno, who hides his true identity)? Perhaps he would do that, but not I.

GM : Futhermore, I never "attested" that "SSB produces oil which is used for the (supposed) kundalini arousal of the students".

Reply : Read the title of GM's article "Sexual Abuse, Healing, Awakening Kundalini or Oil Anointing?" When he had come to the conclusion that oiling is not sexual abuse or healing, what else should it be but awakening Kundalini then? The point is, does believe this or does he consider all the devotee talk to this effect to be baseless speculation?

GM : Premanand starts off his rebuttals with a bold-faced lie. Not even one alleged victim, who had made his testimony public on the internet (using a real name) ever claimed that he "ejaculated" due to an oiling.
Reply : Exactly how am I supposed to have lied? Why does GM not state the exact nature of the lie and where I stated it? He boldly calls others liars, but it is misguided speculation on his part. GM has himself quoted my reply: "From the explanation given by students who have been seriously abused by SSB, the sexual power is not weakened but strengthened. They ejaculated!" Now who is believing? Where is the word "by oiling" in my sentences? Is this not faking my article? Who is deceived? Certainly not I. As to victims not always ' using a real name', how does anyone know that Gerald Moreno is a real name? Why is he hiding and falsely accusing others of lying, when this is a matter where private and sensitive information has to be kept back to protect the victims? Does this make him credible or support his anonymous claims that alleging victims did not ejaculate as a result of oiling-cum-masturbation? How would GM prove that this is not true, when it has been alleged by various of those involved?

GM : As a matter of fact, all of them (except Conny Larsson) said they were repulsed and were not aroused. Where did Premanand get this information from?

Reply : Where has GM specifically pointed out as to where they stated they were repulsed and were not aroused? I could not find it in his article on Oiling published on his web site. Unless he specifies where I stated what he is claiming to be my statement, I cannot give a reply as I do not claim to be omniscient like SSB.

GM: Click Here (look for the highlighted section) to view a Google cache to one of Premanand's talks where he discusses Jesus' changing water into wine and describes it as a "trick". The obvious inference, of course, is that since Premanand called it a "trick" (meaning that Jesus purposely mislead his followers into thinking he was working miracles), he was accusing Jesus of being a magician, a trickster and a fraud.

Reply : I do not know what this has to do with the article which GM is refuting. Is it to take attention away from the main issue? Has he ever really dealt with main issues?
I discussed the Bible and SSB who claimed to have transformed water into petrol, Honey, Amrith etc. Read the full article in para (e).
It is the Bible which I was discussing if GM goes through para (e). What I mentioned was:
"Though I was not present when Jesus Christ was said to have transformed water into wine, one could know that this transformation of water into wine was nothing but a trick."
If one believes in the Bible, then one has to believe in his statement to his twelve disciples. If you have a little bit of faith as big as a mustard seed you can perform all the 'miracles' of Jesus did. So what about it, has GM a little faith or what? If any of the followers of Christ can show this miracle and allows me to investigate I would be the first to believe in miracles. This is what I had requested of SSB also in the para. But, never having witnessed a miracle, and yet knowing how miracles can appear to be performed, I do not believe in them. I called the transformation of water to wine a trick. The interpretation that I was accusing Jesus of being a trickster and a fraud is GM's own distortion and quarrel-picking.

GM: Since Jesus is attributed with many miracles and Premanand just said, " I cannot believe that he performed miracles," what does that make Jesus?

Reply : Attributing something to Jesus does not mean he actually performed miracles. The same with SSB, you know! But a person whose works are believed eventually to have freed slaves of the Roman Empire would have been a great revolutionary. Such a great person would not stoop to tricks calling them miracles and Jesus did not write the New Testament. May GM find his own answer to the rhetorical question "what does that make Jesus?" The Gospel writers reported about him and they (and/or editors) alleged that he did miracles, but this did not happen until, at the earliest, decades after he was crucified. Did he himself claim to have done those miracles? We have no written word of his that he claimed it. People see miracles all over the place, and did far more so before in times science was developed. Many people have written much about it, and a large number of the most prominent New Testament historians the world over have cast serious doubts on the authenticity of very large portions of the four Gospels. This comments upon the nature of the written records, and not so much whatever Jesus may have actually done or said.

Return to main series part one  part two - part three - part four - part five


(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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