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Sai Baba (1926 or 1929-2011) was Satyanarayana Raju, an Indian guru who went by the name of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and who claimed that he was born in 1926. (Critics claim the birth date was fabricated to make it appear as if Satya Sai Baba's birth fulfilled a prophecy of Sri Aurobindo. They say school records prove that Sai Baba was actually born in 1929. He died in 2011.) Sai Baba and his followers believe he is divine. He claimed to have paranormal powers and to be able to work miracles. Two of his favorite "miracles" involved making ashes materialize for poor people and making jewelry materialize for rich people.
The film "Guru Busters" (Equinox) demonstrates that these alleged miracles are little more than a magician's parlor tricks. One classic line from that film came from an Indian physicist who had been given a ring allegedly materialized by Sai Baba. The physicist said that he had a doctorate from Harvard and could not possibly be fooled by a magician. How many times have we heard brilliant, though deluded, people issue a similar declaration? The film depicts a group called the Science and Rationalists' Association of India [SRAI] as they travel throughout India debunking and exposing as frauds local fakirs, godmen, and godwomen. The SRAI debunkers are to India what James Randi is to America and Canada. They utilize scientific and rational principles to expose the magical art of illusion and standard conman fakery used by Hindu mystics in performing feats of divination, levitation, and other miracles.
In addition to sleight of hand, Sathya Sai Baba was accused of fraud, money laundering, and sexual abuse.1, 2, 3, 4
See also cult.
The Website of concerned former devotees of Sathya Sai Baba (charges Sai Baba with many counts of molesting boys)
Allegations Concerning Sathya Sai Baba (more charges of child molestation)
http://saiguru.net/ (the charges in several languages)
Escaping the web of Sathya Sai Baba! by Tony O'Clery
WORLD-WIDE EXPOSURE OF SEXUAL ABUSE AND SATHYA SAI BABA, THE 'SECRET SWAMI' A documented overview of the history and extent of the alleged sexual abuses by Sathya Sai Baba and examination of questions they raise.