HARALDSSON - B.PREMANAND Controversy: on MODERN MIRACLES - REPLY TO HARALDSSON - SATYA SAI BABA IS A FRAUD!

It was nice to receive some reply to my comments and questions on your objective investigations on the psychic phenomena of Satya Sai Baba published in the article "The Appearance and Disappearance of objects in the Presence of Sri Sathya Sai Baba" (Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research - 71(1), 1977 pp. 33-43 and in your book Modern Miracles - an investigative report on psychic phenomena associated with Sathya Sai Baba published by Ballantine Books in New York. Your reply titled "Sai Baba: How does He Do It? - reply to Mr.Premanand by Erlendur Haraldsson has helped me to make myself more clear and explain my arguments in my letters of 25-4-1988 and 4-6-1988 and to answer the question "Is Satya Sai Baba a FRAUD?

You will agree with me that you have not cared to reply any of my questions put forward by me in the disguise of NO TIME!

I do not agree to your reasoning that I evidently share with you a deep interest in the question whether Sai Baba's phenomena - or some of them - may possibly be of paranormal origin. Though I share a deep interest in the question whether SSB's phenomena is or not of paranormal origin, I defer from your reasoning that if not all, whether some of SSB's phenomena may be of paranormal origin. Based on the declaration of N.Kasturi in Sanathana Sarathi Vol.2 No.2 March 1959 that every article dealing with the experience of devotees passes through the hand of Sathya Sai Baba and even the tiniest chaff of untruth is winnowed out in the process, (Read page 17 of the book "Sai Baba and his Message", edited by Dr. S.P.Ruhela and Dr. Duane Robinson which proclaims as follows:

(NOTHING IS DONE THERE OR IN OTHER PLACES WHERE ORGANISATIONS FUNCTION IN HIS NAME, WITHOUT HIS EXPRESS PERMISSION AND BLESSINGS)

all the paranormal phenomena of SSB published in Sanathana Sarathi should either be of paranormal origin or they should be tricks or deceptions.

On the basis of the above declaration if any one of the experiences published in Sanathana Sarathi is false, all other experiences published therein become questionable and not acceptable as para-normal even though they may remain puzzles because you could not solve them.

Another strong fact which leads to question SSB's paranormal origin is SSB's unwillingness to undergo experimental tests under controlled conditions. Please see the picture of SSB with the caption:

"Come! See! Examine! Experience! Believe! Be Saved! in Sanathana Sarathi Vol.13 No.6, July 1970.

Now answer me: "Does SSB allow anyone to examine him? Did he allow you to examine him? I am giving the answers from your own book "Modern Miracles":

Page 10 (Dr. Karlis Osis): Neither Haraldsson nor I were able to persuade Baba to participate in experiments. Nothing would have clinched the matter so well as, say, a week or two in the best parapsychological laboratories in the world, and that we offered.

Page 15 (Haraldsson): The first visit led to another a year later. This time we were equipped for laboratory experiments. We had long discussions on the importance of science and research: but the swami's final words were that his powers were not for display.

IF IT WAS NOT FOR DISPLAY WHY THE CAPTION MENTIONED ABOVE?

Page 31: We had two further interviews with Sai Baba and continued to insist on experiments. He promised to give us a day for experiments in Bangalore, where he would be going in a few days. This would take place in the presence of Dr. S.Bhagavantam, a distinguished Indian Nuclear Scientist and former head of the prestigious Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore.

Page 32: After a few days in Puttaparthi we went to Bangalore as we were running out of time. Dr. Bhagavantam did not return from his trip on the date Sai Baba had indicated. We managed to send a message to the swami through a close devotee and were told that our experimental session had to be cancelled as Dr. Bhagavantam would not be returning in time for us. That was a real disappointment. We could understand that Sai Baba wanted to have an Indian Scientist present. But was this a real excuse or a polite Indian way of saying no?

The answer to the question of yours is given by you yourself on page 41:

Dr. Bhagavantam advised us not to pester Baba further with requests for experiments, since that might spoil our relationship with him!

Page 49: Sai Baba rejected our request that he participate in experiments where we could have imposed rigorous controls and made instrumental observations. Hence a decisive test of the paranormality of his phenomena was not possible.

What do these prove? On one side he is inviting non-believers to come and examine him and on the other rejecting the request to examine him. Answer me whether he is a big fraud?

More over on page 45 you write that "unfortunately we were unable to tape record our interviews. I think it was on the first interview on this trip that I brought with me a bag with a tape recorder and a camera. Baba told me not to take it into the interview room. "This is not a market place."

Now tell me what he is affraid of? Is he afraid that his fraud would be exposed?

Now let us go through the explanations given by SSB as to how he is creating things out of nothing, narrated in your book Modern Miracles:

Page 34: By a wave of hand he immediately brought forth a sizable piece of white rock candy. He then broke it into two and handed a portion to each of us. It looked spotlessly fresh and clean. We both broke of a piece and ate it, but kept the rest. When we asked: "How do you do this?" his answer was: MENTAL CREATION. I THINK, IMAGINE, AND THEN IT IS THERE."

Page 39: When fire (the spiritual force) burns wood (the unpurified mind), the wood becomes white and light as ash. SO THE MIND, THROUGH SPIRITUAL WISDOM,BECOMES WHITE AND LIGHT, AND THEN IT CAN CREATE ANYTHING. When he produces things,Baba explained, he does not have to think about the chemical composition. If he produces a sweet, he doesnot think about what is in it, HE SIMPLY GETS IT.

Page 45: We asked him once more how he was able to produce these objects. Now his answer was that his ability comes from the superconscious. HE IMAGINES THE OBJECT HE WANTS TO CREATE, AND THEN IT IS THERE. It is so simple to imagine this, he said.

Now in all the direct observations you have made of SSB producing things, you have described him moving his hand and body. If SSB's explanation of how he is producing things is true, that he thinks, imagines and it is there, then answer the question as to why he should move his hands and body to produce things LIKE A MAGICIAN? Has he ever produced anything by keeping his hand without movement and then showing it empty without movement and produced something?

Even for arguments sake if we accept SSB's statement that paranormal phenomena is beyond the senses and science (I do not accept this) to know whether they are really paranormal phenomena he should atleast permit experimental tests under controlled conditions to prove that his paranormal phenomena are not tricks. So to me the question is either all SSB's phenomena published in Sanathana Sarathi is of paranormal origin, or non are of paranormal origin. There is no middle way of accepting solved puzzles as deceptions and unsolved ones being accepted as of paranormal origin.

3. Your statement that it was of particular interest for your assessment of SSB to trace and gather testimony from persons who had earlier been close to him but then left him and had become critical of some aspects of his life or message and SSB came through stronger than you had accepted. Then you state that none of his former attendants and observers, those highly critical of him included, seemed to have a clue as to how he has been able, day after day, for over forty years to produce and give away an endless stream of objects ranging from steaming hot chappatis to exquisite jewellery most days reportedly up to one or two dozens of pieces per day.

From your narration I conclude that the addresses of the persons you have interviewed were given to you by SSB or his accomplices, as all of them were saved by SSB from prosecutions of criminal and economic crimes and are indebted to him for life. Just read the story of SSB saving Y.R.Ghorpade published in the October issue. Others are who got jobs and promotions through SSB's manipulations in the government.

4. It is because of this that no one whom you have interviewed have come with modus operandi behind SSB's paranormal phenomena. If they come with the truth, their and their families life would be in danger. All his accomplices are indebted for life to SSB in one way or other.

Radhakrishna's wife and children would never speak a word against SSB as SSB had helped them by preparing a fraudulent will after the death of Radhakrishna, in the guise of resurrecting him for 10 days after death and they are thus beneficiaries of the false will.

How will Venkatagiri Maharaja and his family speak against SSB when he has saved them from several prosecutions under Indian Law? In 1976 a hoard of gold and precious stone jewellery were discovered by the intelligence department in the under ground of the palace. Though the Maharaja pleaded ignorance stating that it might be hoarded by his forefathers, it was found that they were stored in alluminium vessels. Alluminium vessels were marketed only in 1930's. SSB saved them!

So also how would the relations of the Late Mica Magnet speak against SSB?

If you had only gathered their past, you would have found that they would never speak the truth though they were accomplices of the deceptions of SSB. Even if they are not in good books of SSB now, they would not dare to speak one word against him for fear of being doomed for ever! This is the exceptional means by which he keeps even his ex-devotees and critics from revealing how he operates. If you try to gather information of the people whom you have interviewed as published in "Modern Miracles", you will for yourself understand how dangerous it would be for them to speak against SSB. Do you expect the jewellery manufacturers to come out with the truth when they are dealing in smuggled gold? To find out the addresses of such people who have been saved by SSB and who are accomplices of his fraud, you just go through the advertisers in several birthday souvenirs published by SSB. But if you question them or interview them directly you would not get the truth from them.

Do you expect Raja Matha of Navanagar to come out with truth when SSB saved her from prosecution under Gold Control Act, by producing the undeclared gold in her possession as an 18" solid gold idol of Krishna?

Similar was the case of Dr. S.Bhagavantam who has now eloped to Singapore. Though first he had approached SSB for a cure of his son, even though SSB conducted a psychic surgery on the boy he did not survive. SSB had produced a copy of Bhagavad Gita from sand for Dr. Bhagavantam by which he believed SSB's psychic powers! It was his relation Dr. Mithra who exposed SSB by pointing out hundreds of printing mistakes in the book questioning how there could be printing mistakes in the book allegedly created by SSB from sand? Having himself got entangled in the nefarious activities of SSB, he started authoring cock and bull stories about SSB's paranormal powers and one incident of SSB producing Seiko watch which was in the locker of the manufacturer, SSB materialized and showed it to the manufacturer when he visited India and met SSB. Dr. Kovoor exposed this story by writing to the Seiko watch manufacturers and found that the President of the watch factory never visited SSB! or knew who he was!

When I read a story of Dr.Bhagavantam loosing his passport in United States I investigated into the incident and then for fear of prosecution Dr.Bhagavantam left India for good!

I have given you enough material to ponder upon and understand why the people whom you interviewed stuck to the stories published in Sanathana Sarathi even inspite of the fact they were not in good books of SSB. That is why even after eight trips to India during the years 1973 to 1983 and a total over a year and a half of questioning witnesses and searching for evidence against him, you came out practically empty handed without anything against SSB. You state that you need solid evidence for accusations of fraud. It isonly on the basis of solid evidence that I have accused SSB as a fraud. I would like you to investigate SSB on the basis of my above accusations with proof!

6. You inform me that of course there are lots of false rumours of allegedly genuinely paranormal phenomena and numerous distortions and exaggerations. As an example you quote the widely publicised case of resurrection of Mr.Walter Cowan. When this case of resurrection is published in Sanathana Sarathi Vol.16 No.4 June, 1973 you will find that N.Kasturi the editor and SSB are parties to this false story. Then is there anything wrong in my calling SSB a fraud?

7. For you, much of the phenomena connected with SSB remain puzzling. Because they are puzzling one cannot accept them as true unless you solve the puzzles and find them true. In para 5 of your reply, you yourself state that "We do indeed need strong evidence to accept the paranormal hypothesis". If you compare the testimony you have collected and published in Modern Miracles with the stories already published in Sanathana Sarathi and other books published by SSB's publication Trust, you will find lots of contradictions and anomalies. It was for this purpose that I congratulated you in my letter dated 4.6.1988 as your testimony has helped me much to compare them. As these were not your direct experiences and none of those phenomenas happen now as there are lots of inquisitive eyes watching him, my special concern had to be to the descriptions of your own observations. It is very easy to expose SSB if a fearless person goes forward and hits SSB's hand when he starts moving them when the hidden article would fall down. Due to more than 5 thousand lectures I have given all over India educating how to expose a godman, you will find that SSB does not create things in public places without police protection and with the protection of his accomplices around him.

8. When the story of K.O. using nail clippers was not there in your published report, but added in your book Modern Miracles my questioning you about this was relevant and appropriate.

9. I accept your argument that you added this detail as it seemed to you relevant. To me also it is very relevant piece of evidence as Dr.Karlis Osis had tried to meddle with the ring to remove the stone.

10. But I cannot accept your argument that he examined the ring with his nail clippers because the ring slightly irritated his skin. You have clearly mentioned the purpose for meddling in your book: "Modern Miracles" page 44:

"Two days earlier Dr.Osis had been wondering if the setting was strong enough. He had taken out his nail clippers and with the file and of it had tried hard to press the four prongs which held the enamel picture. He satisfied himself that they were as tight as possible."

When Dr.Karlis Osis had written the forward for the book, he surely had gone through the manuscripts. Again this is the second edition, the first edition having been published in England and before that in West Germany also. And if the reason why K.O. took of the ring really was that the ring slightly irritated his skin, then he would have surely requested you to change it. I am wondering what has the examination of the ring by his nail clippers to do with the irritation of the skin. As you have rightly put it in the 5th para of your reply that strong evidence is needed to accept anything, unless I go through your original manuscript or diary of each days report by you and by Karlis Osis, I have my own reservations to accept your explanation.

11. You state that Kasturi was not present in the interview when the picture disappeared from the ring. Just read the last sentence in page 160 of sathyam Sivam Sundaram Part IV, 1980 Edition:

"Some idea of what those who Baba selects, earn during an interview, can be gained from the following account received from a participant.

Page 161: There were seven others in the batch which Baba called into the room that morning. 1) a doctor from Bombay, 2) a lady from Sri Lanka, 3 & 4) an American Couple from Los Angeles, 5 & 6) two American Scientists from the Psychic Research Society in New York and 7) a gentleman from Hongkong.

As per your narration in page 42 of Modern Miracles, they are:

1. A young doctor from Bombay.

2. Mrs. L.Hirdaramani, a lady from Sri Lanka.

3. Mr. Sydney D.Krystal from Los Angeles.

4. Mrs. Sydney D. Krystal from Los Angeles.

5. Yourself (Dr.Erlendur Haraldsson)

6. Dr. Karlis Osis.

7. Dr. D.Sabnani, a medical Doctor from Hong Kong.

So the participant mentioned by Kasturi should be Mr.Roy an engineer from Varanasi who served as an interpreter for you. You do agree that Mr.Roy was present and he also acted as the interpreter. And it was Mr.Roy's report that was published by Kasturi. Now tell me which account is true, yours or Roy's as both cannot be true as they contradict each other. Taking into consideration the falshood authored by Kasturi including the story of Cowan's resurrection in Sanathana Sarathi, it is but natural that I give you the credit. When Kasturi claims that the experiences published by him in Sanathana Sarathi passes through the hand of SSB and even the tiniest chaff of untruth is winnowed out in the process, it is true that Kasturi is an adept in lying or otherwise how did he publish the story of Cowan's resurrection in Sanathana Sarathi? It is but natural that SSB had gone through the manuscript on K.O's ring disappearance and the story in Sanathana Sarathi is published with SSB's express permission. So also Cowan's resurrection story. I hope you will not argue that SSB was not an active participant and what Kasturi published in the book was without the knowledge of SSB.

I am amused at your accusation as to how I assumed that Kasturi was a first hand witness. I have never said so. I am wondering as to how you came to this conclusion. It is childish to assume that Kasturi was the firsthand witness to all that is published in Sanathana Sarathi and the biography of SSB. But as the matter published is concerning SSB, SSB should know what had really happened. Then when Kasturi's reports are not correct, it would lead to a very pertinent question: i.e. "Whether SSB is a master deceiver who can be compared to Cogliastro and Kasturi his accomplice? Is this not solid evidence to prove that Kasturi was lying and my finding was not based on mere conjectures or surmises like yours?

12 & 13: It is true that I have stated, that under the circumstances mentioned in your own book "Modern Miracles" in pages 25,43, 44, 45 and page 162 of Sathyam Sivam Sundaram, Part IV, K.O. might have been accomplice of SSB. The following statements in your book and in the article "The Appearance and Disappearance of Objects in the presence of Sri Sathya Sai Baba had lead me to this rational conclusion. If it is not so, it is for you to explain the discrepancies in your own statements.

Journal: After a short discussion he presented one of us (K.O) with a Large gold ring again after having waved his hand in a typical manner.

MODERN MIRACLES Page 25: "As we were talking, he again made with his right hand the typical small, circular movements that last for two or three seconds, and lo: there was a large shining golden ring in his palm. He put it on Dr.Osis' ring finger and said it was for him. It fitted

So the ring first produced by SSB was large and it fitted on the ring finger of K.O. When K.O. tried to meddle with the ring with stone there is no mention of the ring being fitted tightly. Therefore it is but natural and rational to conclude that the first ring presented by SSB in 1971 was different from the ring after loosing the stone as according to your own statement the ring without the picture fitted tightly and it was difficult for Dr.Osis to get it off.

14 & 15: I would like to observe all the photographs you have taken of the rings, without which I cannot give my opinion. Therefore I would like to reserve my comments on paras 14, 15 and 16, until I see all the photographs you have of the rings. Hence I would kindly request you to send me copies of all the photographs you have taken of the first ring with stone, the ring without the stone and the third ring with stone.

17. I do not know how much money K.O. got and who were his and your sponsors to the research on SSB., I would be happy to know how much money you both expended on the research on SSB. Will you also enlighten me as to who financed the project of the American Society for Psychical Research and who financed the support given to you by the University of Iceland?

18. My accusation was based on the contrary statements made by you in your book Modern Miracles and the article published in the Journal of American Society for Psychical Research. Your further explanation, instead of clarifying the matter has made it more controversial.

Just read the irresponsible and wrong hypothesis in the forward made by Dr.Karlis Osis in your book without verifying the facts with National Libraries in India. For your information I have more than three thousand paper clippings on SSB's tricks behind his claims of Paranormal powers. This is what he said:

Page 9: ......... I have seen violent storms of controversy about them on the front pages of publications all over India. Indian Journalists are as aggressive as their counterparts any where in the world, but no one has been able to find tricks behind his reported phenomena."

Again he has come to a wrong hypothesis on page 10: ".....Nevertheless I could understand the reluctance of a religious leader of millions to submit to experimental protocol designed by people of different beliefs and cultures. After all no one asked the Pope to go to the laboratory, before his holiness could be trusted."

It is no wonder your book and the article is influenced with such kind of hypothesis.

19. I know that you would not answer any questions in my letters of 27.11.1987, 25.4.1988 and 4.6.1988 as answering them would burst the bubbles of paranormality which you have tried to weave around SSB. YES, I would like to get answers to my questions which only would prove whether your investigations were really objective or not.

Well, you are questioning me on my books. The materials which I have published are not on what I had personally witnessed, but on what SSB had claimed to have performed. What you have also personally witnessed is nothing but the mere production of vibuti and other tinsels and their disappearance and appearance which are the simplest things which any magician can do. Your other stories are only hearsays which are alleged to have been performed before 30 years!

This is what you remarked on page 29 of your book: "He would give us opportunities to observe him as he worked, but he would not participate in experiments. When Dr.Osis told him about our project on out-of-the-body experiences, he stated that he often had such experiences but would not demonstrate them to us.

I am giving below the list of SSB's paranormal phenomena which you have personally witnessed as explained in "Modern Miracle"

Page 20: There were spots of that grey, dusty substance called vibuti on some of the photos. We were told that they had first appeared some time ago, but even if the photos were wiped clean the vibuti would soon start forming again. Small, narrow streams of honey like substance could also be seen on some of the photos, but they were not as clearly visible as the vibuti. There was no doubt, however, that some fluid had spilled into the photos and we were informed that it had a sweet taste.

For various reasons there arose no opportunity to examine these phenomena with the scrutiny that would be necessary to test their genuineness - NOR WOULD WE HAVE EXPECTED A POSITIVE OUTCOME.

Page 24: One of the watchman-attendants followed Baba. When the swami had received a bundle of letters, he would give them to the watchman to hold, and after he had produced vibuti he would some times wipe his hand clean using a piece of cloth that served as a handkerchief and was carried by the attendant. The attendant also served as a body guard in case some one tried to snatch at Baba's clothes.

Page 25: As he greeted us, he immediately produced, with a wave of his hand, some vibuti, which he divided between us.

As we were talking, he again made with his right hand the typical small, circular movements that last for two or three seconds, and lo! there was a large, shining golden ring in his palm.

Page 26: Then suddenly, with a sign of impatience, Sai Baba closed his fist and waved his hand for a second or two, as he opened it, he turned to me and said, "This is it," In this palm was an acorn-like object about 3 centimetres at its widest point, brownish, and with fine texture like an apricot stone. This was two rudrakshas grown together like a twin orange or a twin apple.

Page 26 & 27: He enclosed the rudraksha in both his hands, blew on it, and opened his hands towards me. In his palm we saw a beautiful piece. The double rudraksha was now covered, on the top and on the bottom, by two tiny, oval shaped, golden shields that were held together around the rudraksha by a short golden chain at each side. On the top of the upper shield was a golden cross with a small ruby affixed to it, and behind it a tiny opening, so that it could hang on a chain and be worn around the neck.

Page 32: In the two further interviews in Puttaparthi ...... we observed him bring forth some objects on each of these occasions, among them a handful of a delicious traditional Indian sweet. The means by which he produced these was as baffling as before.

As we left that interview, he waved his right hand once more. We saw two visiting cards in his hand. He gave one to each of us. They had a photo of him on the left side and his name and address on the right side. They looked fresh and clean as if they had come directly from the printer.

Page 34: By a wave of his hand he immediately brought forth a sizable piece of white rock candy.

Page 35: He stopped in front of Mr.Hazra and waved his hand with that quick circular movement that always indicate that something will appear in his hand. Since we were sitting on the ground and he was standing, his hand was slightly above the level of our eyes.

His palm was open and turned downwards, and his fingers were stretched out as he waved his hand in a few quick, small circles. As he did this, we observed a grey substance appearing close to his palm. This substance appeared in the air just below his palm, and Sai Baba seemed to grasp it into his fist with a quick downward movement of his hand, as if to prevent it from falling to the ground. Dr.Osis who was slightly closer to Sai Baba than I did, observed that this material first appeared entirely in the form of granules, like rough grained sand. Sai Baba then poured the granules, into the palms of Mr.Hazra and Dr.Banerjee, where most of them disintegrated into amorphous ash. The granules seemed to be fragile to the touch and might have disintegrated earlier if Baba had produced them by sleight of hand that was understandable to us.

page 40: He produced vibuti with the usual wave of his right hand and gave it generously, starting with the ladies.

When he had given it all away, one of the party who accidentally had not received any vibuti asked for some. Baba produced more in his quick and effortless way.

Page 42: Firstly he quickly produced vibuti for the Sri Lankan lady.

He waved his hand, and as he opened his fist we saw a golden ring.

pages 42 & 43: Sai Baba's open hand was still stretched out in the air without having touched his clothing or any other object. We watched closely.

Immediately there after Sai Baba waved his hand again for two or three seconds, the palm turned down, and then quickly closed it. His arm was approximately horizontal to the ground which was not a position favourable for allowing an object to fall from his sleeve. We observed at close range as Sai Baba loosened the grip of his fist so that he could hold the large bulky necklace that appeared in his hand. It was a mangalasutra, a traditional piece of jewellery for a woman given at her wedding. It was 32 inches long, 16 inches each side, and it contained nine kinds of stones, arranged in nine groups, each group interspaced by a goldbead. Attached to it was a picture of Sai Baba set in golden rosette frame an inch and a half in diameter. This necklace was presented to Mrs.Krystal. The necklace was too large to be hidden in a man's fist, particularly Baba's small hand. Its sudden appearnce left those present amazed.

Page 43: In the midst of our rather heated discussion Sai Baba impatiently said to Dr.Osis': 'Look at your ring. We did. The enamel picture on the ring had disappeared. The large golden ring that Sai Baba had presented to Dr.Osis during our first visit was on the ring finger of his left hand. The stone encased in it had on the top a large enamel coloured picture of Sai Baba. The stone with picture had been oval, about 2 centimetres long and 1 1/2 centimetres wide, and it had been framed by the ring. The edges of the ring above and below the picture, together with four little prongs that protruded over it from the circular golden frame, kept it fixed in the ring. Thus the picture was set as firmly in the ring as if it and the ring were one solid article.

Page 45: When we came in, he took Dr.Osis's hands and asked about the ring and the stone. "Tell me the truth!" Then he asked for the ring. It fitted tightly and it was difficult for Dr.Osis to get it off. Then Sai Baba asked 'did you like it?' 'Yes' was the answer. "Would you like the same stone or a different one?" Dr.Osis wanted the same. Sai Baba took the ring in his hand and closed his fist. He held his hand still in front of him for about 10 to 15 seconds. He did not turn or move his hands, and he didnot bring the other hand near it. Then he opened his hand and in his palm we saw a ring. As far as we could judge, it was similar to the one he had just taken from Dr.Osis, but not quite the same. Again it was a beautiful golden ring. The stone and its setting looked the same but the band seemed some what altered.

He put the new ring on Dr.Osis's finger, and it fitted well.

Page 45: Now Mr.Krystal mentioned that the beautiful golden ring Baba had presented to him in our earlier interview was too loose,and he asked Baba if he could change it. Mr.Krystal gave it to him. Baba took it between his forefinger and thumb lifted it his hand near his mouth, and blew on it once. We saw the ring the whole time. He gave it back to Mr.Krystal, who said it was tight. One of us moved the ring on Mr.Krystal's finger and it did seem tight. When he had removed it earlier, we had seen that he had taken it off very easily.

Page 40: This phenomena is of SSB's mind reading or clairvoyance:

"He took me aside for a little while and wanted to talk about my private life, as I understand he often does with his visitors. His statements dealt with my marital history but revealed no specific details that impressed me as particularly good evidence of mind-reading or clairvoyance. What he said, however, was correct. He said that I had been married more than once, but this is true for many westerners. I tried not to give him any clues about my personal life. His statements were interesting and correct but not compellingly impressive, since they would probably apply equally well to many Western men around forty. He further said that my wife had been unhappy about my going away on this trip to India and that we had had an argument about it. That was also true, but I wondered how many men who go to a far-off, under-developed country for several weeks would not have had an argument with their good wives about such a trip. It was, however, interesting that both the points that were raised were correct.

It should be remembered that SSB did not do this clairvoyance feat when you met SSB the first time in 1972 but only in 1974. By that time Dr.Bhagavantam and Dr.Gokak had visited you at United States and it would not be difficult to gather general information on anyone. About your argument with your wife it would be interesting to know whether you received any letters from your wife or phone call on this matter and also let me know whether your second trip was finalised after meeting Dr.Bhagavantam and Gokak at United States.

When you have yourself agreed in your reply that production of vibuti is the simplest thing that SSB does and any magician can easily do, you will also know that it is the simplest thing to produce or make and disappear such things which you have observed as they can be easily hidden in hands and the body. SSB's phenomena which you have directly observed is nothing more than this except the disappearance of the picture on the ring if you have really seen the ring with picture before it disappeared. But the contrary statements made by you leads one to think whether you or K.O. is an accomplice of SSB. You know that the sequence in a given instance cannot change though you might have been brief in the article in the Journal as you could not include all details. But an objective investigation insists that you describe step by step the incident completely. In your book "Modern Miracles" the sequences have been changed from what you had stated in the journal. This is not adding details!

I am again giving below your statements in the journal article and "Modern Miracles":

JOURNAL ARTICLE

During our next interview, which took place two days later, Sai Baba asked K.O. if he wanted the picture back to which K.O. replied that he did. On Sai Baba's demand, K.O. gave him the ring which he took in his hand and asked, "Do you want the same picture or a different one?" "The same," K.O. replied, Sai Baba then closed his fingers around the ring in his palm, brought it to about six inches from his mouth, blew at it lightly, and then stretching his hand towards us, opened it. In it was a ring. The enamelled picture was like the one that had been framed in the first ring the ring itself, however, was different. The first incident, the disappearnce of the picture, was obviously more evidential than was its reappearnce, about which there is not much we can say.

MODERN MIRACLES - Page 45:

When he came in, he took Dr.Osis's hands and asked about the ring and the stone. 'Tell me the truth!' Then he asked for the ring. It fitted tightly and it was difficult for Dr.Osis to get it off. Then Sai Baba asked: 'Did you like it?' 'Yes' was the answer. 'Would you like the same stone or a different one?' Dr.Osis wanted the same. Sai Baba took the ring in his hand and closed his fist. He held his hand still in front of him for about 10 to 15 seconds. He did not turn or move his hand, and he did not bring his other hand near it. Then he opened his hand and on his palm we saw a ring. As far as we could judge, it was similar to the one he had just taken from Dr.Osis, but not quite the same. Again it was a beautiful golden ring. The stone and its setting looked the same, but the band seemed somewhat altered.

He put the new ring on Dr.Osis's finger, and it fitted well.

Now, your changing the sequence in the journal article: "brought it to about six inches from his mouth, blew at it lightly and then stretching his hand towards us, opened it. In it was a ring." to:

"He held his hand still in front of him for about 10 to 15 seconds. He did not turn or move his hand, and he did not bring his other hand near it. Then he opened his hand and on the palm we saw a ring." in your book Modern Miracles.

I questioned you about this solid evidence which I had traced in your first article and the book, but you have kept mum on this solid discrepancy wherein you changed the sequence itself to make your story more puzzling! Unless you explain this to my satisfaction and in your own words "with solid evidence" your book Modern Miracles will remain a biased one.

I hope that you will still appreciate my comments and the interest I have taken in your work so that my comments would help you to probe in the right perspective and find answers to the puzzles of claimed paranormal phenomena so frequently attributed to Satya Sai Baba. And unless you answer all my questions you will not be able to come to a rational and true conclusion and solve SSB's puzzles. Please do not avade answering them with the usual tactics of "I have no time for them". I have asked the questions as you had claimed your book as the metaculously documented account of the truth you uncovered.

Waiting for the answers,

Yours sincerely,

B.Premanand.

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Last update: 29 August 1998