by John Hislop
as reported in
Dale Beyerstein, Sai Baba's Miracles: An Overview. Published by Indian CSICOP, US$10 (discount for book club members or life subscribers to Indian Skeptic) pp.109-10.
"While asleep in Brindavan in the month of October, 1978, without any prior warning to me, the prostate suddenly closed off the urethra. What happened then was agonising, but nevertheless most comical. When Baba came down from his apartment, about 8 a.m., I told him that the urethra was closed and that already the bladder was very swollen. He smiled, said not to worry, and gave me vibuthi. About 11 a.m., he returned from inspecting some new construction and as he came to the veranda, both Dr. Goldstein and I approached him saying that my condition seemed to be serious. Baba came up to me, looked in my eyes, patted me on the head and said not to worry, it was just the heat.
Then at 4 p.m., when Baba usually came down after rest, I did not wait, but sent a note upstairs that the situation was steadily getting worse and that now severe pains were moving back and forth throughout my body. Baba came down immediately. In the group of devotees waiting for him, there were, as usual, several physicians, including Dr. Goldstein from California. Without any discussion, Baba told the doctors to take me at once to the hospital and operate if necessary.
Now the comedy quickened. We got several cars and went to Baba's hospital for women in Whitefield. The Medical Officer-in-Charge, Dr. Mrs. C. Rajeswari, made an examination room available, and the assembled doctors tried some 20 or more times to insert various sizes of catheters into the bladder, but with total failure.
By now I was in agony, although I bit my tongue and kept silent. It was the immediate decision of the doctors that an emergency opening would have to be made through the wall of the abdomen ...
At Bangalore the job was botched by the resident surgeons; heavy infection set in. In three days Baba ordered me back to Brindavan... Baba arranged for the operation at the Whitefield hospital... The care was magnificent... The entire inside of my abdominal cavity was filled with virulent infection, and the tissues were so rotted that standard operating procedures could not be used...
Why the big comedy in the whole affair? It took me some time to figure it out... Why the deadly complications at the Bangalore hospital?... Finally, at the time of another visit, I told Baba that I had figured the matter out. My conclusion was that I had come to the end of my natural life, Baba had let me go down to the final step, and at the last moment, he had reversed my natural death by giving me rebirth. Baba smiled and confirmed that what I said was true; he had given me a new life. After returning home to Mexico in January, some continuing complications arose which took me into a Mexican hospital and then an American hospital. Baba sent word to not worry, that these were just rebirth pains."
Well, so much for John Hislop and his "comedy". Hope you had as good a laugh as he did. ;-)
Dale Beyerstein in his book lists this in the "no-comment section". Other sections include comments on Sai Baba's healing powers as well as on his claimed telepathic omniscience or his creation of various objects out of thin air. Not surprisingly, a detailed and objective analysis yields nothing which comes even close to a proof for any of the many miracles touted by the guru. On the other hand it is shown here that Sai Baba's methods were often indistinguishable from the conjuring techniques used by magicians. Although the tone is unemotional and strictly factual, the tales themselves are shocking and sometimes touching - stories of ruined health, disrupted families, destroyed lives, stories of a self-proclaimed Godman who leaves a trail of disaster behind him - smiling smugly all the while. Given the insufficient technical equipment with which this book was produced it is understandable but nevertheless unfortunate that the printing quality is poor and some pictures are nearly unrecognisable. The text, however, is a gripping tale of a master swindler who has used his exotic setting to carve out a world empire among the gullible.
The book is available from: INDIAN SKEPTIC
The fule text is also now available on the net.
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The University of Regensburg neither approves nor disapproves of the opinions expressed here. They are solely the responsibility of the person named below.Gerald.Huber@geographie.uni-regensburg.de
Last update: 19. September. 1997