There can be a major difference between telling facts truthfully and knowing the true facts based on independent, wider and more systematic objective investigation. A witness who has been unknowingly misled - or who eagerly trusted and believed others - may well still misrepresent actual states of affairs. This can be due to taking ones subjective experiences as certain and final, while these experiences may remain very far from the truth of matters. Experience is always to some extent the result of subjective interpretations due to learned behaviour, common preconceptions, mind-distorting prejudices or beliefs and not least due to deceit (from lies, half-truthgs to cover-up, misdirection of attention, suggestion and even 'hypnosis' and other mind-bending techniques. When one has developed a mindset which is largely organized by some doctrine or faith, the truth of any matter is always more or less clouded by that mindset. Those who have a very wide approach to the world will usually be able to interpret their perceptions in a less subjective manner than those who lack training in comparative studies, critical thinking, logical analysis and - above all - psychological self-understanding.

Shared beliefs and the perceptions connected to - or arising from - them are invariably supported and reinforced largely by 'group effect'. When part of a group - especially one of largely of like-minded persons - there is inherent group pressure to conform in belief and outward behaviour to what the relevant community - organization, sect or cult has as its core tenets. Group effect arises largely on what is most agreeable in the given social environment - i.e. agreement rather than disagreement. Finding that someone agrees with us - even about favourite books and films - is pleasurable. Scientists appear now to have located the reason why we take pleasure form being of the same mind. The brain's pleasure centres are 'lit up' when one discovers that others agree with us. (see Daily Mail) Researchers at the Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL (University College London) in collaboration with Aarhus University in Denmark found that the 'reward' area of the brain is activated when people agree with our opinions. The study, published in the journal Current Biology, suggests that scientists may be able to predict how much people can be influenced by the opinions of others on the basis of the level of activity in the reward area (See here).

In the case of Sathya Sai Baba, very considerable investigation is invariably required to remove or dispel mere appearances, the more so since secrecy is always the order of the day concerning his actual behaviour most of the time. Faced by concerted conscious deception, cover-up and deceit, it is very hard to get to the true state of affairs, especially for those without access to interviews or to persons who are insiders in the circle of attendants and officials (this applies to the vast majority of followers). For those who have developed the 'true believer' and blinkered self-programming and self-denigrating mentality of an emotional and dependent devotee, the task is almost insuperable. It require a figurative 'smashing of the mirror' of one's own preconceptions and even a dear part of one's self-image (i.e. that one could be dcceived so long and so much).

'Teachings' which put the guru beyond and human scrutiny have long since been constantly reiterated forte of Sai Baba. One oft-quoted example of this are his words, "Examine yourself and leave me to myself" and many huge claims of the kind: "My truth is inexplicable, unfathomable. I am beyond the reach of the most intensive inquiry, the most meticulous measurement. There is nothing I do not see..." ( p.131, J. Hislop, My Baba and I. San Diego, 1985)

Further to help avert attention from himself, Sai Baba holds out rewards to those who have implicit faith in all he says and does, but only in an invisible world of unknown and unknowable future imaginings. One has to die first! There are so many takers of this bogus 'promise' that he has, in this way, long been able to ward off examination by his followers of what he is and does here and now!

Among the alleged millions of Sai devotees who have not left him they know – or are now in a position to know - many of the credible descriptions of his sexual abuses and deceptions on a grand scale. However, they  have long since learned to discount in advance and rationalize everything that is or could be said against him, on principle and regardless of the facts or the truth of the issues. Every fact must be twisted and turned to fit Sai Baba’s claims, until it becomes second nature and on can no longer think straight (if one has not succeeded in not thinking at all, as Sai Baba recommends most highly! Actually an impossibility, as he even self-defeatingly admitted to Hislop once!). The reasons for the split-mindedness of devotees are many and various: powerful mental-emotional bonds that give a sense of security and one can hardly free oneself from, dependency attachments to other members, to prestige and privileges within the cult, to having a flat at the ashram, to cheap living in India, spiritual desperation, continual hope of cures and freedom from sufferings, vague ideas of ‘liberation’ from life itself, and so on… Their lives and psyches are just too involved at so many levels in their fixation on this very personable and powerful gurus for them to be able to listen to, investigate or evaluate facts

Though I was sometimes close to having the mentality of a ‘true believer’, I always had some reservations about a number of errors, discrepancies and confused statements by Sathya Sai Baba, which was due to my scientific and philosophical background (which I had - according to his teaching - tried to ignore and suppress in favour of 'spiritual faith, trust and practise'.  Being unable to get access to many things about him or discover from him what he meant by his unclear and often self-contradictory talks became especially frustrating. I increasingly considered events around him in the ashrams and in the Sathya Sai Organization to be ‘fishy’ or unsatisfactory and improperly accounted for. I became one of V.K. Narasimhan’s very few close and trusted companions. His many privileged observations of Sathya Sai Baba – combined with his inside knowledge of what went on around him – gradually whittled away my mistaken interpretations of many things, until the bombshell struck I learned from him of the facts about the infamous police cold-blooded murder of devotees in Sai Baba’s own bedroom. Not until I was thus severely jolted out of my complacent acceptance of the main import of Sathya Sai Baba’s life and work did I really examine and critically analyse much of his at first glance more acceptable Hindu-based teachings. After the spell was finally broken I was liberated from the self-indoctrination process which is subtly inevitable for all who becomes positively involved with the Sai organisation – my attitude changed to be questioning and not least critical . I finally took the plunge of investigating the many sexual abuse allegations in depth, contacting many of the abused. As this work progressed, the questions it all raised led me to examine as if with a tooth-comb everything about Sathya Sai Baba, which showed me how deeply I - and all others involved - had fallen for the deception, cover-ups and countless bogus claims involved.

See also
Sai Baba censorship of facts, spreading of half-truths and untruth
Sathya Sai devotees in total denial

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