|My Response: One:|
UNFOUNDED, MISLEADING CLAIMS AGAINST MY WRITINGS - part four e-mail, click here by Basava Premanand
Reply to Gèrald Morèno's claims from
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 FOURTH CRITICISM is found under "ExBaba.com: Deception" of November 2004 also in the page Comments by Gèrald Morèno - On Basava Premanand, honored by the Indian Government where he refers to the ExBaba page on 'Premanand honoured by the Indian Goverment'.
Gèrald Morèno'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/byhedwa4.htm (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".
My Response: If Premanand would have read the very link he cited, he would have seen where I stated that I never read his book ("Murders In Sai Baba's Bedroom"). I specifically stated that I had read the hundreds of pages that were taken from Premanand's book and published on Anti-Sai Sites. It is apparent that Robert Priddy fed this untruth to Premanand (as Priddy has made this claim against me three times so far). Priddy said that Premanand's book was "out-of-print" (suggesting it was improbable that I could obtain a copy). Now if Premanand wants to make the case that the core of his evidence against Sathya Sai Baba (regarding the 1993 police shootings) has not been published on Anti-Sai Sites, this would mean that his conspiracy theory is based on other "evidence" available in a now "out-of-print" book. I guess the hundreds of pages of newspaper clippings, post-mortem reports, inquests, the FIR, criminal petitions, pictures, commentaries, the Remand Report and court documents (that were published on the internet on Anti-Sai Sites, taken from Premanand's book) are not the real evidence against SSB! Funny, because Premanand cited this very material against SSB. Click Here to read my article about Basava Premanand's conspiracy theory.
I also would request Gèrald Morèno 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.
My Response: No where did I question Premanand's nomination for "outstanding skeptics of the twentieth century". My comments specifically pertain to Basava Premanand being (as Anti-Sai Sites stated), "Honored by the Indian Government with its highest award for scientific values, campaigns against Sai Baba" (Ref. 1a - Ref. 1b). This comment is inaccurate, misleading and deceitful.
Click Here to view the article that Premanand is referring to. Just to be absolutely clear, Premanand simply was nominated. He was not named an "Outstanding Skeptic". Others, who received votes, included Johnny Carson (a late-night tv show host), the Food And Drug Administration and The Scooby Doo Gang (a childrens, fictional cartoon based on a speaking dog and ghost-busting characters)! It is amusing that Premanand ignored those nominees and choose instead to highlight his name with Mohandas Gandhi!
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.
My Response: I do not dispute that Premanand received that award. I dispute that Basava Premanand received "the Indian Government's Highest Award" and that he received this award in part for his "campaigns against Sai Baba". As one will notice, Premanand is dancing around my main points of contention.
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.
My Response: The NCSTC Award is not "the Indian Government's Highest Award". Nor does the NCSTC offer awards for "campaigns against Sai Baba". The highest award, offered by the Indian Government is the "Bharat Ratna", which is "India's highest civilian award given for exceptional service towards the advancement of Art, Literature and Science, and in recognition of public service of the highest order. It was established by the President of India, in 2nd January 1954" (Ref. 2). Premanand never received "the Indian Government's Highest Award". Nor did he receive "the Indian Government's Highest Award" for his "campaigns against Sai Baba". Once again, these statements are inaccurate, misleading and deceitful. The Bharat Ratna is followed by Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri Awards. These are the highest four awards offered by the Indian Government. Premanand received none of them.
I am wondering if Gèrald Morèno 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?
My Response: This discussion is not about me. It is about Basava Premanand. I have not made any claims about receiving awards that were never given to me. It is clear that Premanand did not receive "the Indian Government's Highest Award" (a fact that Premanand has not directly addressed). Nor did Premanand receive "the Indian Government's Highest Award" for his "campaigns against Sai Baba" (another fact that Premanand has not directly addressed). My points of contention are entirely valid.
Regarding the "challenge" made to me by the webmaster of ExBaba.com, Click Here to view my pages about Reinier Van Der Sandt. If there comes a time when I make a claim about receiving an award, I will back it up with factual documentation and information.
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.
My Response: Click Here to read the article in question, from The Telegraph. Premanand is misreading my comments. I said, "Also, Basava Premanand allegedly received the award due to his promotion of scientific values among the public". This statement was worded by me (referencing the article in question), therefore I used the word "alleged". The actual quote, from The Telegraph, was "Premanand, who's been honoured by the government with its highest award for the promotion of scientific values among the public, is among activists spearheading a campaign against religious and spiritual heads engaged in illegal and unsavoury activities". As one can see, my statement and the quote are not the same, nor did I parenthesize my statement. It was not a quote.
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". Gèrald Morèno 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.
My Response: Once again, Premanand is missing the point. As a said before, Premanand did not receive "the Indian Government's Highest Award", nor did he receive "the Indian Government's Highest Award" for his "campaigns against Sai Baba". Since Premanand is a stickler for accuracy, he received the NCSTC Award for his "scientific explanation of hundreds of the so-called miracles employed by self-styled godmen". No where does this mention Sathya Sai Baba's name. My points of contention are not slanderous, as Premanand has failed to provide me with any evidence about receiving "the Indian Government's Highest Award", which he most certainly did not receive. I have already shown, in my previous 3 responses, how Premanand had blatantly and shamelessly lied about me and erroneously accused me of forgery, without providing any proof or citing any examples. This points directly to Premanand's lack of character and the validity of my opinions about him. Consequently, the only person guilty of "slander" is Premanand.
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).
My Response: This does not address, and is irrelevant to, my points of contention.
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.
My Response: If Premanand did not receive any grants, then he should ask that the article located at: http://www.indian-skeptic.org/html/byhedwa4.htm (which is located on the Indian Skeptic website) be corrected. On this page, Tim Mendham and Harry Edwards stated, "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" (Ref. 3). That is where I got my information regarding the "grant". I guess Premanand's fellow skeptics are mispresenting the facts about him as well.
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.
My Response: The Indian Skeptic is a monthly magazine that is published by Premanand (Ref. 4). The Indian Skeptic Website is based on the magazine that bears that name (Ref. 5). Gerald Huber is the person who is the registrant for the "Indian Skeptic" domain.
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, Morèno or me!
My Response: I have already made my case about the inaccuracy of the claims attributed to Premanand. What is amusing about this is that Premanand has not denied that he was "Honored by the Indian Government with its highest award for scientific values, campaigns against Sai Baba". Consequently, since Premanand refuses to deny that he received "the Indian Government's Highest Award" and that this award was offered to him in part for his "campaigns against Sai Baba", Premanand is feeding this untruth. Consequently, it is abundantly clear whom is guilty of telling lies.
I am forwarding a copy of this reply to Gèrald Morèno, 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.
My Response: Premanand is obviously unaware that the Collector of Nellore District and the Hon. Governor of Andrah Pradesh do not regulate the internet! Yahoo is guilty of publishing far more lies and slander against Sathya Sai Baba than what is alleged, by Premanand, as being published against him. As one can see, my points of contention are not falsehoods. They are entirely valid observations and comments.
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.
My Response: All these enclosures are irrelevant to my points of contention. Furthermore, no scans were published to these enclosures.