|The Betrayal Article: Response One:|
REFUTATION OF UNFOUNDED ALLEGATIONS AGAINST AN ANONYMOUS LETTER - part one by Basava Premanand e-mail, click here
Reply to Mr. Gèrald Morèno's claims in his article published on his website
Whether intentional or not, Basava Premanand gave a non-operable link to my site. I have corrected the link above with my main domain URL.
The article - under the pages called 'B. Premanand Deception' is titled: The Basava Premanand Anonymous Letter : vested Interests and Striking Similarities. July 2001 :Anonymous Letter: Basava Premanand's Questionable Involvment Updated : May 5th, 2005
Gèrald Morèno's comments appear in bold black face and mine in regular case navy blue type.
Mr.Gèrald Morèno starts his speculation with an introduction to Prof.Abraham T.Kovoor an Indian Rationalist with "consequently, I will uphold Dr.Kovoor's logic regarding this anonymous letter written against SSB". Though GM alleges to have upheld Dr.Kovoor's "logic" regarding the article "Betrayal", he has criticised Prof.A.T.Kovoor's logic in some of his (GM's) speculations. As this does not concern the article "Betrayal" published by me I will be replying to GM's criticism against him separately in another article
My Response: Click Here to view the article in question.
GM : Despite Basava Premanand agreeing with, and praising, Dr. Kovoor's logic, Basava Premanand turns right around and accepts, and disseminates, an anonymous story of sexual impropriety, alleged against SSB.
His conclusion that the article in question is an anonymous story is utterly false. It is not an anonymous story but a true fact.
My Response: Although no name is given as to whom authored the article, Premanand just said that the article is not anonymous! Who wrote it then? When a person writes an article and chooses to withhold his or her name, for whatever reason, it is "anonymous". There is no way to verify the comments made in this article, so it is unprovable and untrue. If the contents were true, why hasn't Premanand filed a court case on behalf the person who allegedly wrote it? I suggest Premanand pull out his trusty dictionary and look up the word "anonymous" for himself.
1) Having an unknown or unacknowledged name: an anonymous author.
2) Having an unknown or withheld authorship or agency: an anonymous letter; an anonymous phone call.
3) Having no distinctive character or recognition factor: 'a very great, almost anonymous center of people who just want peace' (Alan Paton) (Ref. 1).
Consequently, the article in question is anonymous, whether Premanand wants to acknowledge this fact or not. When it comes to Sathya Sai Baba's miracles, Premanand demands names and facts about the person/people making the claims. However, when it comes to Premanand, he feels he is perfectly entitled to disperse anonymous stories without providing any names! Hypocrisy, clear and simple.
GM: I think that it is about time that Basava Premanand start living up to the same standards he lauds Dr. Kovoor for, but fails to practice himself.
I have not asked for GM's advice that I should start living up the same standards I laud Dr.Kovoor, but fails to practice myself. No one has alleged that I fail to practice the same standard of Dr.Kovoor. I do not accept his speculations that I failed to practice it myself. GM does not explain specifically where I have failed, but only makes speculations and assumptions.
My Response: It doesn't matter if Premanand asked for my advice or not. I am simply making a very valid observation. I alleged that Premanand failed to practice the same standard that Kovoor upheld. It is not speculation when Kovoor demanded names and contact information to anonymous miracle stories and concluded that since no names or contact information were provided, the stories were false and unbelievable. Premanand is distributing an anonymous letter (that provides no name or contact information) and seems to think that there is nothing wrong with this. Premanand failed to see my logic because it appears he does not even know the proper definition for the word "anonymous" (Premanand claimed that the unsigned letter, whose author's name is being withheld, is not anonymous). Even Anti-Sai Activists described the Betrayal article as being "anonymous" (Ref. 2).
GM: Consequently, I will uphold Dr. Kovoor's logic regarding this anonymous letter written against SSB.
My reply to GM's article "Basava Premanand's questionable involvement" is that he has not proceeded according to Prof. Kovoor's method and has utterly failed in his attempt to prove anything.
My Response: Dr. Kovoor accused Dr. Bhagavantham of "withholding information", being "insincere and dishonest", "conspiring", "propagandizing" and having a "vested interest", because Dr. Bhagavantham could not provide the name and contact information to an anonymous Japanese man who was allegedly the recipient of a Sathya Sai Baba miracle. Dr. Kovoor said, "As I feel it is unscientific even for a scientist to believe this type of cock-and-bull story without verification, I request you to kindly let me know the name and address of this Japanese so that I may verify the truth about it. Your failure to help me to conduct this investigation by withholding this information, will lead me to suspect your sincerity and honesty, and discard all what you have said about Sathya Sai Baba as utter falsehood deliberately propagated with ulterior motive and vested interest."
Consequently, to Premanand: "I feel it is unscientific even for a scientist to believe this type of cock-and-bull story without verification, I request you to kindly let me know the name and address to the author of this letter so that I may verify the truth about it. Your failure to help me to conduct this investigation by withholding this information, will lead me to suspect your sincerity and honesty, and discard all what you have said...as utter falsehood deliberately propagated with ulterior motive and vested interest." Dr. Kovoor's method is quite clear and I am simply using the same method, that Dr. Kovoor used, with Premanand. I think that is 100%fair.
GM : First, here are some facts about this letter: 1) Basava Premanand allegedly received the anonymous letter in early December 1998;
He is day dreaming. It is true that I received the article "Betrayal", but it was not in December 1998: If GM has no proof, why does he guess?
My Response: My "proof" was taken from Anti-Sai Sites. As a matter of fact, it was Alexandra Nagel who said that Premanand received the letter in December (Ref. 3). It appears that Anti-Sai Activists (who are Pro-Premanand) are making up stories without providing any proof! I will update my comments, about Alexandra Nagel, and how she is making up claims in the absence of proof (according to Basava Premanand). This would mean that Anti-Sai Activists are dispersing misinformation on their sites. Thanks to Premanand for clearing this matter up. As one can see, my comment was not a "guess". It was taken from an Anti-Sai Activist who claimed to have researched this matter. Why doesn't Premanand state the date he received the letter? Why the secrecy?
GM : 2) Basava Premanand claimed he sent a registered letter on December 9th 1998 to the (unnamed) Vice Chancellor of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning asking to investigate the claims made in the letter.
It is not a claim but a fact that I addressed a letter on December 9th 1998 to the Vice Chancellor of SSIHL. The proof that I have sent it is published in the Indian Skeptic Vol 12 No.4 dated 15.8.1999. on page 19. I have published the photo copy of the postal acknowledgement No.82/10-12 received by the Vice Chancellor of SSIHL on 14.12.98. The seal of the SSIHL is also on the acknowledgement. In official correspondences we do not address letters with the personal names of the officer concerned. The copy of the letter dated 9.12.1998 is also published on page 19-20 I have never asked the VC to investigate claims made in the letter.
My Response: Since Anti-Sai Sites have not provided any scans to support the claims made about Premanand's letter to the Vice Chancellor, I used the word "alleged" because I have not seen this information for myself. Premanand did not understand my words. I said, "Basava Premanand claimed he sent a registered letter on December 9th 1998 to the (unnamed) Vice Chancellor of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning asking to investigate the claims made in the letter." I meant, of course, that Premanand asked the Vice Chancellor if he (Premanand) could investigate the claims made in the letter. Depending on where one puts the emphasis on the wording, one can see what I said, versus what Premanand thought I said.
As almost every issue contains something about SSB I post every month a copy of Indian skeptic to SSIHL so that if I have made any mistake I may be corrected. No one there has pointed out any falsehood in my articles on SSB since 1988. That I requested him to investigate the claims made in "Betrayal"? If he has read my letter to VC, he would not have come to such wild conclusions.
My Response: See the previous response.
This is what I wrote in the letter:- "we have been getting several letters from your students about the sexual abuse of the students. I am sending herewith one letter so that after going through the same you can inform me whether what is stated in the article is true or not, If it is not true I would be thankful to you if you can allow me to visit your university at Puttaparthi, Whitefield and Anantapur and so also the other schools to interview the students and teachers whose names are mentioned in the article to evaluate the truth in the article. I hope you will have no hesitation in replying to this letter."
My Response: That is right. Premanand asked if he could investigate the claims made in the letter. I already made the necessary clarification about Premanand's confusion regarding the wording.
The very fact that the VC did not care to allow me to interview the persons named in the article is because the article was true. It would have been easy for him to find if the students and persons mentioned in the article were studying or working there and allow me to interview them and thus prove that SSB was innocent and above criticism. This would have surely enhanced the reputation and integrity of SSB greatly. On one side GM states that he upholds Dr.Kovoor's logic regarding this anonymous letter but in reality he is topsy-turvily not questioning the SSB organisation but speculating instead on my so called 'questionable involvement'. This chapter could have been closed then itself if the VC had been courageous enough to trace the students and allow me to question them. I can only say that GM's Deception series are to whitewash the dirt accumulated around SSB.
My Response: Anyone can make any claim under the guise of anonymity. Dr. Kovoor gave no merit to Dr. Bhagavantham's miracle story because Dr. Bhagavantham could not provide Dr. Kovoor with a name or contact information. Consequently, the Vice Chancellor was completely justified when he gave no merit to an anonymous story that provided neither a name or contact information.
GM : Basava Premanand alleged that several letters were sent to him from SSB students, alleging sexual abuse.
It is true and not an allegation. If GM has read pages 133 and 134 in vol.I in My Book 'Murders in Sai Baba's Bed Room', he would have seen a photocopy of the original letter no.2907/79/HJ/DH - dated 14th march 1981 - by a well known lawyer, who held a responsible post in SSB Org. in Malaysia. In one of his later letters he wanted me to contact the students from Malaysia studying in SSB educational institutions.
My Response: Premanand is citing information that I (and a majority of the general public) simply do not have access to. He should supply the general public with scans to this information so that they may be verified first-hand. Premanand also does not divulge the name and contact information for this "lawyer", nor does he divulge the names and contact information to the alleged students. Premanand just said he received a letter and "later letters" from a lawyer. In this comment, Premanand made no reference to receiving letters directly from "students" (which was his original claim on internet articles, in which no reference to a lawyer was ever made). Directly receiving letters from "students" and directly receiving letters from a "lawyer" are two different things. It is also important to point out that despite these letters being written in 1981, nothing has ever been done about them in 23 years.
GM : 3) Basava Premanand decided to publish the anonymous letter on the Indian Skeptic website in August 1999.
The article was published in Indian Skeptic in the issue vol.12 No.14 dated 15.8.1999. I have no website and my overseas friends have started to post many of my articles on their websites. If GM can let me know the website details where this article was published, I can trace it. Now why did he not carry the full article with my comments, copy of the registered letter to the VC etc., when he has given details of 6 websites where he claims my articles are published? Is it because of the fear that some of the students or their parents - if they browse his website - might come to know the names of the students and the teachers and confirm the matter in the article as true? My letter addressed to VC along with my article "The Sai Baba and his students" and "Abuse of Children by Sai Baba" are published in the book "Murders in Sai Baba's Bed Room" on pages 410 to 413 Vol.I
My Response: At http://www.indian-skeptic.org/html/is_v12/12-4-12.htm, the Betrayal letter was published.
Contrary to Premanand's fallacious claim, I did publish the entire Betrayal letter on my webpage. Click Here to view the page in question. Consequently, I have no "fear" whatsoever about this unverifiable and anonymous letter. If Premanand had actually read my webpage, he would have seen that I provided the Betrayal article in full. It is apparent he did not read my article. Now why is Premanand critiquing my comments when he did not read my article in full? Even if someone printed the page for him, the scrollbar next to the Betrayal article is prominent. Now why would there be a scrollbar next to the article if there wasn't more information to scroll down through?
GM : When I first read this letter, I was stuck at the amazing similarity it had to Basava Premanand's own writing style.
GM has not quoted any of my articles, which come to thousands. If he will point out specifically which are the articles and what comparison he has made of my articles and the article "Betraya"', I can explain. He also did not care to contact a language expert and get his opinion whether there is any similarity in my articles and "Betrayal". Then GM could have saved his time, instead of publishing his wild guesses without any proof.
My Response: It is my opinion that the anonymous letter has striking similarities to Premanand's own writing style. That is my opinion and others are free to agree or disagree with me. It is my opinion that the author to this anonymous letter purposely tried to cover-up his handwriting style. This means, of course, that Premanand's handwriting is not going to be a perfect match. However, there are amazing similarities that lead one to suspect Premanand's questionable involvement in writing this anonymous letter.
GM : I also had serious doubts about this letter because the anonymous writer referred to Sathya Sai Baba as "Babaji".
I have never used so far the word "Babaji" for Sathya Sai Baba nor do I add "Ji" as a prefix when I write letters and this would itself show that the "Betrayal" is not my writing style even in the articles and letters published along with "Betrayal"
My Response: First of all, "ji" is not a "prefix". It is a suffix (something any educated person would know). Secondly, I never claimed that Premanand used the word "Babaji". The fact that Premanand never used the word "Babaji" and does not use the suffix "Ji" (admittedly), make the case that Premanand, in my opinion, wrote this letter and tried to cover-up his known handwriting style by using terms he never used before.
GM : This is highly unusual as the added "ji" denotes great respect and reverence in India. Although many are well acquainted with the name of "Gandhi", most are not aware that many Indians refer to Gandhi as "Gandhiji", indicating great reverence and respect.
"Ji" is usually used all over India to elderly persons while speaking or writing to him. This is not unusual. Besides, GM is wrong again about 'great respect and reverence' because adding 'Ji' to a name can simply be a friendly gesture to anyone one likes. It shows GM knows only Sai devotees or other people-worshippers?
My Response: Actually, "Ji" is used to address the elderly. Why? Because that is the way people show their respect and reverence to the elderly, in India! Premanand even conceded that "Ji" is a "friendly gesture to anyone one likes". Did the author to the Betrayal article "like" SSB? Was the author extending "friendly gestures" to SSB? Apparently not. Which is exactly the point I made. So why did the author call SSB, "Babaji"? It is obvious he tried to cover up his writing style. That is my opinion and I'm sticking to it.
GM : Only an ardent devotee would address Sathya Sai Baba as "Babaji".
He has not pointed out anywhere in SSB literature any one addressing SSB as Babaji. Does he mean to assume that those who do not use Ji along with SSB are not ardent devotees? GM is not consistent and so is completely confused also about all this, it seems.
My Response: Hislop, Kasturi and Murphet are just a few devotees who referred to SSB as "Babaji" and "Swamiji", in their writings and speeches. SSB is a Guru (whether he is a bona fide guru, is a matter of personal opinion). Everyone knows this. If someone refers to a guru as "Babaji", they are showing respect and reverence by using that term. That is the point I made. Premanand obviously missed it. Perhaps Premanand can name any skeptic that has referred to, or will refer to, SSB as "Babaji" or "Swamiji"? No skeptic will ever do that. Why? Because the added "Ji" denotes a special reverence and respect (References: 01; 02; 03: Scroll Down To Highlighted Section).
GM : The anonymous letter, allegedly received by Basava Premanand, was not written by a devotee, but by someone who clearly disliked Sathya Sai Baba and saw SSB as a cheat, liar and fraud.
His assumptions go topsy-turvy when he first stated that "Ji" is added to one's name indicates great reverence and respect, then stating the article was not written by a devotee. But by one who dislikes SSB. I could not find the words "cheat, liar and fraud" in the article "Betrayal" and may be that was also why he did not publish the full article in his Deception series, so that his readers may not check it.
My Response: Premanand is obviously misunderstanding what I said and is trying to argue his points out of sheer desperation. First, I never said that the author of the Betrayal article called SSB a "cheat, liar and fraud". Those were my words (not parenthesized). The author clearly suggested that SSB's manifestation of vibuthi was a palming trick. Only a "cheat, liar and a fraud" would purposely mislead others into thinking they are working miracles, when they are not.
Regarding my statements about "Ji", I simply pointed out that it is uncharacteristic, for someone who does not like SSB, to address him as "Babaji". Again, it is clear that the author was trying to cover up his writing style, as "Babaji" is not an appropriate term used by skeptics or former followers (especially when the person in question is a Guru).
GM : Since the anonymous writer referred to SSB as "babaji", this clearly suggests a cover up in his/her writing style.
If one reads the article "Betrayal" it is easy to find that the writer was with SSB for a long time and what he had narrated was truth. When GM has not checked any of his letters or articles other than "Betrayal", I wonder how he came to the conclusion that "this clearly suggests a cover up in his/her writing style"? GM shows he is is full of suspicion and paranoia, which affects all his writings on the internet
My Response: The Betrayal letter had been published since 1999 and nothing has come from it. Now, if Premanand is willing to believe anonymous stories, regarding SSB miracles, then I will believe the claims made in this anonymous letter. So which is it Premanand? Do you or do you not believe anonymous stories pertaining to Sathya Sai Baba's miracles?
GM : By substituting "Babaji" with "Sai Baba", one will notice the striking writing style, very similar to Basava Premanand's.
Unless he points out the article, sentence by sentence and points out in which sentence or word in "Betrayal" where the striking writing style could be noticed, he is just deliberately confusing his readers to believe his unfounded claims.
My Response: Again, I am expressing my own personal opinion. Others are free to agree or disagree with me.
GM : Here is the anonymous letter and my comments about it will follow: Please Be Advised: Graphic Language:
But what he has published is only 14 lines with 20 words in each line while the article contains more than 400 lines with about 18 words in each line! What was the purpose of him publishing only 14 lines as the anonymous letter? Was it because it was not possible for him to refute the main part - that is, the text quoted by him is just the first two paragraphs of the article! He also has dishonestly not given the details of the website! He has not verified from me whether it is a anonymous letter and his assumptions are only to defame me.
My Response: This comment, by Premanand, proves that he did not read my article in full. Click Here to view the article in question. One will notice that there is a scrollbar next to the Betrayal article. If one scrolls down, one can clearly see I provided the full text to the Betrayal article. I did not publish "14 lines with 20 words in each line". If Premanand actually read my article in full, he would have known this fact. He does not know. Consequently, Premanand has egg on his face while trying to refute my article. Supposing someone printed out my article for Premanand, he should have seen that there was a scrollbar next to the article. Why would there be a scrollbar next to the article if there was nothing more to scroll down to? Next time, Premanand, I suggest that before you try to refute my articles, you at least read, in full, the article in question. Premanand even conceded that his "skeptic colleagues" helped him to edit his answers. Obviously, these "skeptic colleagues" have the same remedial researching skills that Premanand does. Furthermore, I did try to contact Premanand, on November 19th 2004, regarding this Betrayal letter, and he never responded.
GM : Oddly enough, even though this anonymous letter was sent to Basava Premanand, it is not addressed to him!
Did GM check with me whether there was a covering letter? No. "Betrayal" is an article and articles are usually sent to the addressee with a covering letter.
My Response: Yes, I emailed Premanand. He never responded. I used the email provided on the bottom of the Indian Skeptic website: email@example.com (Ref. 4). In 7 months, my email was either not forwarded to him, or he chose not to respond. Either way, I did not get a response. That does not mean I made no effort. I did.
GM : The anonymous writer said, "This could have been published in a book or a magazine, but then you would not have got it to read so easily, because it would have been classified as 'anti material'." As if it could be classified as anything else!
The above statement is not there in either para GM quoted from the article and his readers cannot compare the line he has quoted with the original text. The article was distributed amongst many students in Puttaparthi, Whitefield etc., because if it is published in some books or magazines they would not have read it, the SSB authorities would classify it as anti - material and hide it. GM has himself confirmed this by stating "as if it could be classified as anything!"
As I understand that the copies of Indian Skeptic sent to SSIHL is not put on the library table. My letter starts with the following paragraph: "we hope you are keeping the copies of Indian Skeptic which we post to the Librarian of your university on the reading table. As knowledge cannot be gained unless the students look at the subject from different angles they cannot came to the truth."
My Response: As I stated earlier, I provided the full text to the Betrayal article on my webpage. Premanand continues ranting about me not providing the full text, furthering his embarrassing failure to do even the most rudimentary research into my article.
Since Premanand is a stickler for accuracy, regarding quotes, I did not say, "as if it could be classified as anything!" I said, "As if it could be classified as anything else!".
Who distributed this anonymous letter to the students at Puttaparthi and Whitefield? Where is the proof that this letter was distributed at these two places? What was the fallout?
Premanand obviously has trouble differentiating between "knowledge" and unverifiable and anonymous claims. If Premanand's research is indicative to the research he did into my article, it is of little wonder that the SSIHL refused to keep the Indian Skeptic magazine on their library table.
GM : Also, since this person sent this anonymous letter only to Basava Premanand, it remains unclear how people would have had "easier" access to it than if it was submitted to a book or magazine.
Here also GM has gone wrong in his speculations. The article was not meant for the public but for the information of students joining the SSB educational institutions. It was sent to me alone because of the hope I would do something to stop this sexual abuse of the students. The writer had read about my work from the newspapers about my writ petition for a CBI enquiry on the murders in Sai Baba's bedroom. SSB could not have stopped the students or their parents reading "Betrayal".
My Response: Premanand just admitted that the letter was sent to him "alone". Since the letter was sent only to him, Premanand is indirectly confessing that he was involved in distributing this letter to the students at Puttaparthi and Whitefield. How else did the students at Puttaparthi and Whitefield get a letter that was sent to Premanand "alone"? Despite students and parents allegedly reading the Betrayal article, SSB's popularity has not been affected. SSB is still the largest recipient of foreign donations and his college students still enroll without decline. Obviously, people have the discernment to know slanderous claims when they see them.
Premanand's writ petition, for a CBI enquiry, was dismissed. Premanand included 186 pages of newspaper clippings as "evidence" against SSB! The court dismissed Premanand's petition, in part, because: "On the other hand, the learned Advocate-General as well as the learned Standing Counsel for the Central Government resisting the writ petition, contended that although a Ministerial enquiry by the Sub-Divisional Magistrate was immediately ordered, after giving wide publicity and after conducting enquiry, the Sub-Divisional Magistrate since submitted his report to the Government and in spite of wide publicity and holding enquiry, the petitioner did not avail the opportunity, nor participated in the enquiry. The allegation that 161 Cr. P.C. statement of Sri Satya Sai Baba was not recorded is not correct. The investigation which was ordered immediately, was taken up by the crime branch and not by local police and within a few hours after the occurrence, the Crime Branch of Criminal Investigating department has taken over the investigation. Therefore, the allegations of the petitioner are not correct. Further, the allegation that if the investigation is not handed over to the C.B.I., the State Police against whom allegations are made, would not arrest the accused Police Officers is not correct. Even the Police Officers against whom allegations are made, have also been arrested. The petitioner has not come with clean, hands. The petitioner; earlier filed a writ petition unsuccessfully alleging that the Head of the Ashram had violated the provisions of the Gold Control Act. It is finally contended that this Court has no jurisdiction to direct investigation by C.B.I." Because Premanand has made zero progress in the courts, Premanand claimed that all the courts (including the CBI) "know what is happening in Sai Baba's Empire" and are covering up for SSB.
GM : Suspiciously enough, no one else received this letter besides Premanand. The letter is also written in third person.
He is talking as if he has investigated this. The VC did not care to question the students, might be he knew the fact mentioned in the article was true, nor did he invite me to interview the persons mentioned in the article. If GM had given the full text of the article in his Deception series the students would have known the truth. It is written in third person because if the writer's identity was discovered he would have been long since dead.
My Response: The VC did not care to investigate the issue perhaps because the letter was anonymous, did not provide a name or contact information and Premanand is a known skeptic of Sathya Sai Baba since 1976 (despite admittedly "investigating" SSB since 1968).
Once again, I did provide the full text to the Betrayal article. Premanand obviously, did not read my article in full. Consequently, he continues to repeat this shameless untruth.
The anonymous author would not have disclosed his identity by speaking in 1st person (using terms like "me", "my", "I" and "mine"). Instead, the author speaks in 3rd person, relating a story that he was not directly involved. This suggests deceit.
Along with the article "Betrayal" I have published another article "Sai Baba and his Students" along with a news clipping from Vaartha of 29.6.1998 that a Ramu aged 14, the student of Eswaramma High School run by SSB, disappeared since a week. The photograph of the student also is published along with the article. Evidence for the dangers which those who expose SSB will be presented in our law courts
His friend gave him two photo film rolls for safe keeping. The watchman and warded of SSB found Ramu with films and handed him over to police. What happened to the 2 film rolls is not known. After the interrogation, while the police alleged that they have let him off. there is no witness who saw him coming out of the police station. The father has given his phone no.08555-87826 so that if someone traces him, he would be informed. The police also did not register the complaint on the missing boy. Was the youth disposed off in the electric crematorium? What happened to the 2 film rolls? Did these films contain any incriminating evidence against SSB? What happened to his friend who gave the films for safe keeping?
My Response: No one has been able to provide any sort of official documentation, that was filed by the parents, regarding the missing teenager. Since 1998, nothing has surfaced that would implicate SSB with this alleged incident. A Sai Student gave me more information regarding this story. I was told: "Premanand mentions about a student of Eswaramma High School who disappeared after coming into possession of two film rolls. Unlike what BP claims, Eswaramma High School is not run by Swami or the Trust. It is a school that Swami has donated to the village and it is a Govt run school. Secondly, it is a day school and does not have a hostel attached to it. All of Swami's educational institutions are boarding schools with hostels attached. So there is no question of the so called warden and watchman of SSB having found Ramu with the films as no one connected with the Sai system enters that school."
GM : The anonymous person who wrote this letter is telling a story in which he/she was not involved. The anonymous writer never, at any time, claimed to be Sai Student and never, at any time claimed he was sexually abused!
I did not publish the confession of the student fearing that the instances narrated in it could identify the student and the family from the records of the educational institution. I did not want it to be published in Indian Skeptic or any news papers. Under the circumstances I only published the article "Betrayal" by his father which was earlier distributed to the SSB students secretly by him.
My Response: Premanand is now claiming that the Betrayal article was not written by the student (as he implied to the VC), but by the student's father! Why was this fact never divulged before? Anti-Sai Sites claim the letter was written by a student (Ref. 5). Premanand has now divulged it was not written by a student (6 years later). Also, the alleged father does not relate any first-hand stories of sexual abuse against his son. The letter is simply telling a story, making all sorts of allegations, without relating any first-hand accounts. Since the alleged father approached Premanand for help, it is entirely possible that Premanand helped him write the article, which would account for the handwriting similarities. Earlier, Premanand said, "It was sent to me alone because of the hope I would do something to stop this sexual abuse of the students". Now, Premanand is saying that the alleged father distributed the letter "earlier". This statement contradicts Premanand's previous claim. Did Premanand "alone" receive this letter, or did others get it before him?
GM : This is important to remember because Premanand claims that this letter was sent to him by a Sai Student who claimed he was sexually abused. How does Premanand know this as a fact, when nowhere, in the letter, that claim is made?
It is because I published the letter of the father instead of the letter of the son as the son's statement because if it were published it would give away his identity to SSB and his people, which will be dangerous to his life - like the student in the same article published by Vaartha who disappeared.
My Response: Once again, since 1998, nothing has surfaced that would implicate SSB with this alleged incident. This is Premanand's speculation and (in my opinion) paranoia.
Nowhere did Premanand claim that this letter was written by the father of a Sai Student. This information was purposely suppressed. Why? Anti-Sai Activists have openly derided people who do not use their real name. Robert Priddy called them "hypocrites" and "cowardly creatures". Anti-Sai Activists see no problem using anonymous claims against Sathya Sai Baba. However, if Pro-Sai Activists express their opinions without divulging their name, they are castigated as "cowardly creatures" by Anti-Sai Activists. Using this same logic, the writer to this anonymous letter is a "cowardly creature" who does not have the honesty or integrity to put his name on this faceless letter. Fair is fair.
GM : Anyone could have faked this letter. Anyone!
For GM's information, I have received innumerous false letters about the sexual abuse of the students but SSB did not know that I publish such letters only after verification. The recent letters received by the exposé group were from one Murali Krishna and after enquiry the letters he had sent in many names were all found to be by him but from different e-mail addresses. Even GM has affirmed that he signed the JuST petition in several different bogus names with bogus e-mail addresses. So it is very clear that he and other SSB members are adepts in faking things and so he assumes that others are also like him and without proper checking he calls them questionable. His assumption or speculation have no value at all, even though he is an expert in faking. That "anyone, anyone!" could fake such information is another typically absurd exaggeration by GM. He is chronically unwilling to accept straight explanations, even those submitted to police, legal and government authorities, can be true.
My Response: Since this letter is anonymous, anyone could have faked it. Anyone could have claimed they were a "father" to a Sai student. Anyone can claim anything they want, as long as their identity is concealed. There is no way to verify this information. If this was about me publishing an anonymous sexual abuse allegation against Premanand, one can be certain he would be demanding names, contact information and condemning me for spreading an allegation that anyone could have made under the guise of anonymity!
It is true that I made mutliple submissions to SaiPetition.net in order to expose their deceitful submission policy that allowed anyone to make as many fake submissions, under as many fake names, as they chose. Since SaiPetition.net did not listen to my valid concerns, I made fake submissions and screen-captured the results as proof that anyone could make a bogus submission. However, I clearly stated, on my site, which fake signatures I made and even provided screen-captures. I did not withhold this information, nor did I keep it secret. Click Here to view my page about SaiPetition.net. Click Here to see proof that SaiPetition.net and Robert Priddy do not verify the signatures submitted to this bogus petition. After a month and a half, Robert Priddy continues to publish an openly faked name on his Ex-Office Bearers page (despite being sent an email to make the necessary correction). This shows whom is an "expert in faking". I was never offered a "straight explanantion" by SaiPetition.net. Click Here to view the response I got from the anonymous SaiPetition.net Sextuplets.
Regarding the comment, "He is chronically unwilling to accept straight explanations, even those submitted to police, legal and government authorities, can be true.", I will reference an article published on SaiGuru.net, that talks about the "petition". SaiGuru.net (an Anti-Sai Site) pubished an article located at: http://saiguru.net/english/news/petitionnews.htm that said (about the petition): "The JuST petition working group, in consultation with a dozen of the other original signatories in the JuST group, seriously considered the status of exposé dealings with the FBI and the CBI and found that the initiatives taken towards these bodies by various exposé activists have not so far proven effective. No documentation of replies, nor any public statement concerning Sathya Sai Baba or the accusations against him, have been made available anywhere by either the FBI in the USA or the CBI in India. Mentioning this in the international petition would therefore have been counter-productively unconvincing to any serious actors and agencies in the legal and human rights field. The same applies to the High Court judgement in India, where the charges were rejected as invalid, on the grounds that they were made by a person other than any of the injured parties. Documentation of all this only proves unadvised and incorrect procedure on behalf of the injured parties, which the JuST group considered a bad advertisment for the credibility of the petition to authorities around the world." Enough said!
GM : Towards the very end of the letter, the Christian concept of the "Judgment Day" is tossed in. This could have been a not-so-clever ploy to conceal the person's true beliefs or it was written by a Fundamentalist Christian who clearly has an Anti-Sai agenda. Either scenario is very troubling.
All religions talk about the judgement day. This is not the monopoly of Christianity alone. GM has it in his reference No.6 to my article "Christ is tempted". Such criticism by me would prove that I have no affinity with any religion including the present Buddhism which is considered to be an atheist religion. GM has not published the article "Betrayal" fully for this simple reason that his deceit would be exposed.
The very sentence in the last page of the article "so read it and pass it on to a friend in whom you have absolute confidence and who will not betray you", would clearly prove that "Betrayal" article was circulated among the students. The last sentence states as follows:
"Do believe in god, he will protect you and think and observe." This is a general statement by all religions and 'think and observe' is a quotation from method of science charter.
For GM's information, I do not believe in god as I am yet to experience him. I also have no objection if people want to believe in god as it is a philosophy of life. Most religions define god as omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. What I request those people is to believe in such a god directly. God does not need agents to prove his powers. What the religions and agents of gods do is to exploit believers in the name of god.
My Response: Once again, I published the Betrayal article in full. It is amusing that Premanand is not aware of this basic fact.
The sentences I was referring to, in the Betrayal article, were "In Bible only one individual is supposed to love homosexuality, The Satan or the anti-christ...On the Day of Judgment you will have to pay for your sins...It is common-sense that when Satan appears, he will never proclaim himself as Satan he will only 'act' as God and confuse and destroy the faith of mankind and cause confusion and mayhem as you see in world today and talk about bringing love, peace and harmony – where are they?". I was not referring to any of the three selective quotes that Premanand cited. Now, if the anonymous writer was not trying to refer to Christianity, why did he make mention to the "Bible", "Satan", the "Anti-Christ" and the "Day of Judgment"? The concept of Satan "appearing" and acting as God, comes from the Book of Revelations. Islam does not accept the Book of Revelations. Consequently, this reference is Christian. Again, it appears that Premanand, despite publishing this Betrayal letter, is unfamiliar with its contents.
Premanand just said, "What the religions and agents of gods do is to exploit believers in the name of god". Once again, Premanand is accusing Jesus and Mohammad of "exploiting believers in the name of God".
GM : Nevertheless, there are some striking similarities between this anonymous letter and articles authored by Basava Premanand that needs to be brought to the attention of the general public.
I shall go through the striking similarities which GM thinks he sees before I refute them. I am happy if he has introduced me to any wider public in his article, for with my reply they will surely know what is his aim in publishing his deceptive 'Deception' articles.
GM : The anonymous writer says, under the 'Miracles' section, "As soon as Babaji comes out keep observing his left hand, it will be closed. In the hand are about 5-6 small balls of vibhuti which are made with the help of water or a mild gum and dried. This is done by Babaji personally upstairs.
I have not explained the above in the article quoted by GM at http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex_baba/engels/articles/premanandmiracles.html
In this article titled 'An Indian Skeptics explanation of Miracles', what I have mentioned is "what the godmen do is, that they mix perfume in the ash or purchase perfumed ash and make a dow by adding starch solution (kanji water is the best) and then make small balls and dry them. These balls are hidden between the thumb and the pointing finger and after circling the hand palms down and while raising the hand to produce the vibhuti, bring the ball to the finger tips, powder the same and give it to the devotee. Though the method used by SSB has to be explained same way though both the articles have no similarity in writing style. I do not find any striking similarities in the explanation given in the article "Betrayal" or my article GM has referenced.
My Response: No where did I attribute this quote to Premanand. As a matter of fact, the quote begins with, "The anonymous writer says, under the 'Miracles' section..." Premanand is obviously confused. However, on the link that Premanand provided (which I quote from later), he fully acknowledged he used the term "vibuthi ball", which happens to be the exact phrase used by the anonymous writer! I have not been able to find any other person who used this exact phrase.
GM : "As soon as Babaji comes out of the interview room, immediately he takes a letter and holds it in the left hand which is now kept upwards, hence the balls do not fall. Now while talking he deftly shifts one ball to the right hand, faces the palm down and rotates the palm, the vibhuti ball is always kept between the 1st and the 2nd fingers; while giving the vibhuti he simply crushes the ball and gives it to the waiting Birthday Boy. Some students have actually found these vibhuti balls which fell down accidentally from Babaji's hands. Sometimes if lucky you can actually see the vibhuti ball being transferred to the right hand for creation."
None of this information is there in my article!
My Response: Of course none of this is in Premanand's article. Again, it was taken from the Betrayal article, whose statements, Premanand has obviously forgotten. I specifically said, "The anonymous writer says, under the 'Miracles' section..." I was referring to the anonymous writer, not Premanand. Guess Premanand is having trouble reading (again).
GM : At home.hetnet.nl/~ex_baba/engels/articles/premanandmiracles.html, Basava Premanand said, "He accepts the letters with a kind of pincer motion of his left hand. On a certain moment he orders the letters, using both hands, he transfers a ball to is right hand, pulverizes the thing and sprinkles the ash.
Why does Gèrald Morèno lie so blatantly? Or is he just far too blinkered and fundamentalist? This material is from Prof.Piet Vroon's article titled "Santa Claus in India". Does GM believe that I am Prof. Piet Vroon or Because Prof.Vroon has used the word and so this article is also faked by me? How foolish!
My Response: It is true that Piet Vroon made this comment. I had a long list of articles from the Indian Skeptic website and accidentally included this quote. I recorded this quote under the Indian Skeptic Magazine 6(4), August 1993: 8-16, however, forgot to attribute it to Piet Vroon. I corrected my article by removing the quote and the link.
GM : The godman's devotees argue as to how vibhuti which is in powder form can be hidden in the palms when the palm is kept down and moved in circles. They think that when the hands are kept palms down, the ash being powder would fall down and come to a wrong conclusion that the godman has really created vibhuti. What the godmen do is, that they mix perfume in the ash or purchase perfumed ash and make a dow by adding starch solution (Kanji water is the best) and then make small balls and dry them. These balls are hidden between the thumb and the pointing finger and after circling the hand palms down and while raising the hand to produce vibhuti, bring the vibhuti ball to the finger tips, powder the same and give it to the devotee."
The above matter is from my article mentioned above in GM's reference.
My Response: Good. Premanand acknowledged he made this post. In this post, Premanand happened to use (call it a "miracle" or "coincidence") the exact phrase "vibuthi ball" that the anonymous writer used. I have not been able to find one other person who used this exact phrase besides Premanand and the anonymous writer.
GM : Both refer to "vibuthi balls", "small balls" and "ball of vibuthi"!
Until I find a better word for ball I will have to use ball. For balls made out of vibhuti, I should call vibhuti balls which is the most appropriate word. I find that if GM does not know the meaning of a word he does not consult a dictionary. I am giving below the meaning of 'ball', which is defined in the Readers Digest Universal Dictionary
a) A spherical or almost spherical body
b) Anything approximately spherical
And I cannot understand why I should not call them vibhuti balls, small balls, balls of vibhuti. I did not find any other appropriate words different from vibhuti ball. I generally hide a dozen of 1" to 2" diameter vibhuti balls in my palms and body to distribute vibhuti to thousands of my audience. Ball and vibhuti are words which cannot be monopolised by any one.
My Response: I am simply pointing out that the only two people (that I have found) who used the term "vibuthi ball" are Premanand and the Anonymous writer to the Betrayal article. Is this just a coincidence? Piet Vroon said "ball" (not in conjunction with the word "vibuthi") and this word was translated into English by J.W. Nienhuys. All the other references, that I could find, use the terms "pellets", "pills", "beads" or "tablets". Click Here to view nine references where Anti-Sai Activists, Former Devotees and Skeptics described the vibuthi in terms of "pellets", "pills", "beads" or "tablets". I have not been able to find even one other person who used the term "vibuthi ball" (like Premanand and the Anonymous writer did). Consequently, my point is entirely valid.
GM : Both describe the process identically!
But both are describing an identically repeated act and the same kind of small ball! I cannot understand why GM's observation power is failing him so badly. I can only laugh at his foolishness.
My Response: Not only did Premanand and the Anonymous writer use the same exact phrase, that other Anti-Sai Activists did not use, they also describe the process identically. I am simply pointing this out.
GM : Both talk about how the vibuthi is made into balls, where SSB hides the vibuthi balls, how they are transferred from the left hand to the right and how he crushes it and "gives it to the" recipient.
As there is only one method, both have to talk about the same method but the articles do not show any striking similarities in the writing style. GM could have even affirmed that all articles by different persons give the same explanation though the writng style is different and so Gèrald Morèno assumes that these articles are also faked by me! I was led to expect a scholarly investigative article from him, but it turned out to be a flop.
My Response: Concluding this first response to the Betrayal letter, I knew that Premanand would resort to distorting facts and misrepresenting my words. I am not surprised that he has resorted to the very same tactics I have accused him of. So Premanand's response was not a "flop" at all. Rather, it was exactly what I expected. It is undeniable that Premanand and the anonymous writer share an uncanny resemblence to each other's writing styles. Of course, the only sure way for Premanand to exonerate his questionable involvement in writing this letter is by providing us with the name and contact information to the person who wrote it.
Got to Betrayal Response TWO