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Sathya Sai Baba

Conspiracy and Michael Goldstein

By BBC, Gerald Joe Moreno, Michael Goldstein, Sathya Sai Baba, Secret Swami, Tanya Datta
Dr. Michael Goldstein in The Secret Swami documentary
In 2007, the sectarian blogger Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) made the accusation that “he [Kevin R. D. Shepherd] is a thoroughly biased conspiracy theorist incapable of formulating a sober argument, let alone conducting any semblance of adequate or impartial research.” This charming PR exercise was accompanied by another doubtful compliment, via an assertion that the material in my books (unread by him) “is controversial, convoluted and conspiratorial.”
As if to prove his vehement point, Moreno placed three images of myself directly above these statements, an action which struck many readers as an excessive gesture. The observer may deduce that three photographs mean guilty of conspiracy, whereas only one image might have permitted a loophole for a more rational argument than was afforded at (which gained the repute of an “inquisition” site). 
Cultist campaigners often use words like conspiracy. They frequently see themselves as following an all-encompassing cause, which can brook no objections or resistance. The objector is therefore a conspirator or a biased critic who must be maligned. 
Ex-devotees complained that Moreno never revised his extreme statements and numerous errors. He viewed his sweeping judgments as being authoritative, endorsed by his role as defender of the guru Sathya Sai Baba (d.2011). 
Some of the ex-devotee victims believed that Moreno was financed in his web campaign by the wealthy Dr. Michael Goldstein, the key American devotee and international leader of the Sathya Sai Organisation. Moreno obviously spent a great deal of time at his vengeful keyboard; his output was prolific.
Goldstein was not popular on ex-devotee sites. “He let down every abused young person by an assiduous cover-up of all questions of sex abuse by US [American] and other devotees or their families, and ceased to reply to letters to him as head of the [Sathya Sai] Organisation.” Quote from Dr. Michael Goldstein, International Chairman of the SSO (formerly online at
This leading and influential devotee was one of the entities appearing in the BBC documentary Secret Swami (2004). However, Goldstein was very evasive on the subject of testimonies to sexual abuse, with the consequence that a hidden camera technique was the BBC resort
In this manner, Goldstein was filmed at his home in California, where he was questioned about the sexual abuse. His heated response was considered intimidating by some viewers. Goldstein dismissed the testimonies, claiming that as a physician, he could judge by appearance as to whether anyone had been abused. Goldstein, a devotee since the 1970s, was described as a ranter in this confrontation with the BBC reporter Tanya Datta. Commentators remark upon the fact that, thinking he was in private, Goldstein was very offensive in his aggressive response to Datta. A model devotee was supposed to “speak sweetly,” which Goldstein failed to do in this instance.
This prominent follower was very effectively covering up serious instances of deviation, whether or not he intended this resort as a conspiracy. One sordid drawback was relayed in a report by a psychologist of events concerning an American youth (named as Sam Young), who appeared in the Danish documentary Seduced by Sathya Sai Baba (2002):

Every time we would go back to the personal [interview] room, he [Sathya Sai Baba] wants to be very intimate. He was constantly having me take out my penis and he would hold it, sometimes put it in his mouth and look at me, and then ask me to do the same thing or push my head down and lift his robe up. And I was gagging and almost about to vomit. (Asa Samsioe, How Sathya Sai Baba devotees, like Dr. Michael Goldstein, are weaving protective cocoons of self-deceit around themselves (2009),, Search tab Michael Goldstein)

Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 9
November 2013 (modified 2021)
Copyright © 2021 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

BBC Secret Swami Documentary

By Alaya Rahm, Basava Premanand, BBC, Gerald Joe Moreno, Isaac Tigrett, Sathya Sai Baba, Tanya Datta
BBC reporter Tanya Datta
In his attack on myself at in 2007, Gerald Joe Moreno blacklisted the BBC Secret Swami documentary of 2004. The title of the G. J. Moreno blog proclaimed accusingly: “Kevin (R. D.) Shepherd referenced the BBC Secret Swami Documentary.” This BBC programme had become so well known and applauded that his reservation may be considered an apologist feat.
When the BBC investigated Sathya Sai Baba, they contributed some provocative insights, detailing both sides of the controversy about that guru. Yet Moreno (Equalizer) presented me as being in error for referring with approval to this documentary. He also misrepresented a court case occurring in California, which he associated with the BBC programme via the American ex-devotee Alaya Rahm, who testified to sexual abuse. According to Moreno, Alaya Rahm resorted to street drugs and alcohol, therefore his testimony was invalid.
The one hour documentary featured the BBC reporter Tanya Datta, who conducted varied interviews. The schedule covered basic components of the charges made against Sathya Sai Baba, i.e., fake miracles, sexual abuse, and the bedroom murders (see Anomalies and Testimonies).
An interview with the Rahm family (Alaya Rahm and his parents) was accompanied by clips of the guru at the 2004 Shiva-ratri festival,  performing a supposed miracle. The major Indian critic Basava Premanand was interviewed, describing how he had been investigating the guru since 1968. He and his colleagues were shown explaining how “miracles” could easily be performed in a deceptive manner, e.g., the materialisation of ash (vibhuti) and the ejection of a lingam (sacred object) from the guru’s mouth. The lingam could easily be concealed in a towel. The ash (and cheap jewellery) appeared via sleight of hand.
A contrasting interview with the wealthy American devotee Isaac Tigrett disclosed his belief that the “allegations” (actually solid testimonies)  of sexual abuse were probably true. “I believe there is truth to the rumours.” Tigrett also said condoningly: “He [Sathya Sai Baba] could go out out and murder someone tomorrow, as I said, it’s not going to change my evolution.”
An American ex-devotee named Mark Roche was also filmed. He relayed the attempt of Sathya Sai to engage him in oral sex during the year 1976. The Rahm family (in America) referred to similar experiences (see, Witnesses tab).
In relation to the notorious murders of June 1993, occurring at Puttaparthi ashram, the BBC interviewed the ex-Home Secretary for Andhra Pradesh, Veluyudhan P. B. Nair, who was in charge of the state police. He early discovered that the official police report of the controversial event was “riddled with lies and inconsistencies.” This commentator disputed the official version that police officers shot the four intruders in self-defence, instead urging a verdict of “cold-blooded murder.” A cover-up is strongly implied.

According to Nair, “the killing of the boys was only to buy silence.” Basava Premanand insisted that the central government stopped an investigation of the murders to prevent “economic offences, sex offences” emerging into the light of day.

Such factors were not welcome to the polemical campaign of Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer), who strenuously denied all the negative reports as being an error of the “Anti-Sai” contingent.

See further the BBC Transcript. See also BBC Documentary and A Reflection. Another documentary also assisted to support criticism of the Puttaparthi guru.  In 2002, the national television and radio broadcaster (DR, or Denmark Radio) of Denmark transmitted the evocative feature entitled Seduced by Sai Baba. This programme was viewed by millions in Denmark and Norway, afterwards being shown in Australia during 2004. The 54 minute Danish documentary investigated the sexual abuse of minors, and also revealed Sathya Sai “miracles” as sleight of hand (a Danish conjuror knew what really occurred).

In Denmark, the Seduced documentary caused a public outcry, revoking the purchase by Sathya Sai devotees of Arresodal manor estate. The devotee plan was for a Sathya Sai College at this famous location. Elsewhere, such colleges were scenes of sexual abuse. In Denmark, devotees made threats and launched litigation cases, failing in their apologist tactic. 

Testimonies to sexual abuse were strongly denied as “wild allegations” by Sathya Sai devotees. However, some partisans eventually portrayed the abuse as a form of “spiritual healing,” a contention appearing online in 2006, via an item by devotee Ram Das Awle. This writer claimed endorsement from Sathya Sai. The “sexual interventions” of the guru were here acknowledged as a fact. By now, there were so many reports of the guru’s sexual abuse appearing online that a more convergent strategy was evidently approved. Some devotees nevertheless continued to deny all the testimonies, confirming the widespread confusion. Critics described the new apologist strategy as a “sick rationalisation” of perverse habits.

Many converging testimonies and reports were the basis for critical assessment of Sathya Sai Baba as a homosexual and paedophile who liked to fondle males in the 6-24 age bracket. He never molested girls. He often favoured oral sex, which in his personal instance, he is reported to have described as union with God. He told his favourite boys that marriage was bad; a number of men around him were identified as homosexuals. The fate of Indian student victims at the Sai Colleges was particularly tragic, because their devotee parents were opposed to all realistic details, being indoctrinated by beliefs prevalent at Puttaparthi ashram.

Kevin R. D. Shepherd

ENTRY no. 8 

November 2013 (modified 2021)

Copyright © 2021 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Countering SSS108 and Jossi Fresco

By Gerald Joe Moreno, Jossi Fresco, Sathya Sai Baba, Wikipedia
In 2007, I countered the SSS108 (Gerald Joe Moreno) User page on Wikipedia, which dismissed my book Investigating the Sai Baba Movement (2005). The annotated contents of that book were not described by Moreno. The book was referenced in relation to a very brief Wikipedia editorial quote, which Moreno disliked because of explicit associations with his ex-devotee opponent Robert Priddy. The 1993 “bedroom murders” at the Puttaparthi ashram of Sathya Sai were too controversial to be mentioned on Wikipedia, according to the apologist tactic. 
The stigmatising User page had been assisted by Jossi Fresco, a figurehead for the promotion of religious sects and “cults.” Fresco was influential on Wikipedia as a supporter of the guru Prem Rawat. He eventually became the subject of much criticism, and “retired” at the end of  2008. 
The offensive User page was quite specific about the subject of censorship, being entitled User:SSS108/Kevin Shepherd. On my first website (2007), I protested at the cordoning gesture, and the evident sectarian complexion of the hostile tactic (this protest, in amplified format, is now Wikipedia Issues). Moreno quickly retaliated from his website He attempted a complete justification of his policy, presenting me as the erring party. His counter included expressions deemed vitriolic and libellous by some readers. A strong underlying theme was that any criticism of Sathya Sai Baba amounted to the critic being wrong and deserving censure.
The guru defender here argued that none of the allegations against Sathya Sai had been proved in a court of law, as though this factor negated all criticism. The allegations (actually strong testimonies) were described in terms of “frenzied Anti-Sai speculations.” My protest was dismissed in terms of “just another foaming-at-the-mouth Anti-Sai ruffian (who come a dime a dozen in the Anti-Sai Movement).” I was not a member of any movement. I had written a book, with over 500 annotations, that was peremptorily dismissed on the basis of an appendice associated with the accuser’s major ex-devotee opponent.

Extract from an ex-devotee site reproducing an Equalizer (Moreno) blog
Moreno contrived various arguments supposedly proving that I was wrong about all the subjects I had mentioned online in relation to Sathya Sai Baba. For instance, a critical article in The Guardian (2006) was overshadowed by a theme that Moreno’s opponent Sanjay Dadlani had known about that article in advance, and therefore the article was biased, being part of the Anti-Sai conspiracy. My subject was the journalist Paul Lewis, not the ex-devotee blogger Dadlani. The Lewis article was very relevant, while comprising only a fractional part of the critical information available on Sathya Sai Baba.
Avoiding the content of the Lewis article, Moreno preferred to dwell upon polemical references and pornographic associations of his erratic opponent Dadlani, while treating these as proof that criticism of Sathya Sai Baba is erroneous. This recourse answers to a form of diverting commentary and a simplistic pattern of apologist tactic. The acrimonious blog duel between Moreno and Dadlani (both young men), including many personal attacks, led absolutely nowhere.

Dadlani had composed a blog called Sai Baba Exposed. Moreno countered with Sanjay Dadlani Exposed. Dadlani also produced the blog Gerald ‘Joe’ Moreno Deception, including  an entry about The Guardian issue. This was entitled Moreno’s Guardian Lies and Speculations, and dated November 2006. Dadlani denied a close collaboration with Paul Lewis, emphasising that Moreno had misconceived this matter. The Moreno theme of “exposure” was evidently in retaliation for the proclaimed exposure of the guru by ex-devotees. I belonged to neither of these contending camps, but was regarded by Moreno as a member of the opposition. 
I was now stigmatised by Moreno as a “vanity publisher,” an accusation he had also levelled at a prominent ex-devotee (namely Robert Priddy, a retired academic and webmaster). This meant that my eleven books could be treated with contempt and totally ignored. Moreno attacks were the sole gauge for assessment; an insidious implication was that Moreno could not be wrong because he represented the lofty cause of the guru.
Not only did he caricature my career as a writer and publisher. Moreno also made pronounced errors. He even attributed to me two publishing logos that were not my own. He also misleadingly stated that the publisher Routledge “turned away Shepherd’s manuscript.” Routledge never saw that manuscript, merely being told about it, the length being a deterrent to their schedule at the time. The manuscript was Minds and Sociocultures: Zoroastrianism and the Indian Religions. This was eventually published with an extent of a thousand pages (Versus Sectarian Polemic).
In the cult world, unread books can be categorically dismissed. Thousands of annotations do not count against libellous attacks emanating from the troll sphere. Wikipedia activist editing was here revealed in full profile. This is where Jossi Fresco emphases lead: to arrogant misrepresentation and vindictive dismissal.
No complaint was legitimate against the elevated spiritual plane of saisathyasai, the Moreno site. Here the unassailable and ubiquitous mandate was: “Exposing Critic’s Smear Campaigns Against Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.”
My crime had been to insert three short appendices in a lengthy annotated book, appendices that gave space to ex-devotee reports (more especially those of Robert Priddy). This meant that all eleven annotated books must be stigmatised and my role misrepresented as that of a vanity publisher. Daring to counter Moreno (Equalizer) himself, the proclaimed Exposer, was a further crime. In the cult world, criticism is not tolerated; instead, critics are made the target of sectarian vitriol.

Kevin R. D. Shepherd

ENTRY no. 5

Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Wikipedia and Jimmy Wales

By Gerald Joe Moreno, Jimmy Wales, Sathya Sai Baba, Wikipedia
Jimmy Wales (Jimbo)
Censorship on Wikipedia is a varied phenomenon, including the problem of manipulated articles in which suspect editors gain ascendancy. 
The Church of Scientology become widely known for interfering with Wikipedia articles. According to Wikimedia UK, Scientology was the first organisation to be officially banned from Wikipedia, an event dating to 2009. A prolonged arbitration case confirmed that partisan editors had been removing and adding information in Wikipedia articles related to Scientology. The Church of Scientology was accordingly banned from editing, having violated the NPOV (neutral point of view) guideline of Wikipedia. 
There are other manifestations of zealous partisan editing on Wikipedia that are less less widely known. Such problems arise from the “anyone can edit” situation in which pseudonyms are a common resort. Critics say that there are many “cult” partisans on Wikipedia who influence articles in the religious category. 
Gerald Joe Moreno, alias Equalizer, commenced his attack on myself from Wikipedia in 2006.  An editor of the article on Sathya Sai Baba,  he was strident in the delivery of his opinions. One of his ex-devotee opponents, namely Robert Priddy, had been cited favourably in a book of mine entitled Investigating the Sai Baba Movement (2005). To Moreno, this meant that my book must be eliminated from reference on Wikipedia, especially when this book was listed in the (Wikipedia) article on Priddy. 
Moreno, here using the editorial pseudonym of SSS108,  produced a Wikipedia User page stigmatising my books. He had not read those books, being solely concerned with his attempt to suppress the Wikipedia article on his opponent Robert Priddy. Moreno  resorted to the pretext of my self-publishing as legitimation for his hostility, although the general context was clearly an argument in favour of Sathya Sai Baba, an argument strongly resisting criticism of the guru. 

The Moreno (SSS108) User page revolved around a Wikipedia quotation featuring Priddy and the notorious bedroom murders  occurring at the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba (see, Murders tab).  The bloodstained event was commemorated by grim images of the corpses. The editorial quote in dispute read: 

According to Kevin Shepherd the former national leader of the Sathya Sai movement in Norway, Robert Priddy, expressed the opinion that SSB [Sathya Sai Baba] was an accomplice to the 1993 murders, among others based on information given to him by his friend V. K. Narasimhan. 

The editorial quote was dismissed. The same User page featured the collaborating “cult” sympathiser Jossi Fresco, whose profile on Wikipedia became controversial. The following year, in 2007, Gerald Joe Moreno (SSS108) was banned indefinitely from Wikipedia  for activist editing. Fresco eventually encountered problems which led to his withdrawal from Wikipedia. 
The same SSS108 (Moreno) User page was deleted from Wikipedia several years later (in 2012) by the Wikipedia manager Jimmy Wales, who made private comments. Meanwhile, that User page had been influential on Google and on Wikipedia. The issue is one of Wikipedia troll activity adversely influencing internet audiences. 
Kevin R. D. Shepherd 
ENTRY no. 4 
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Basava Premanand and Moreno Attack

By Basava Premanand, Gerald Joe Moreno, Sathya Sai Baba

Basava Premanand


In his attack on Professor Tulasi Srinivas (entry no. 2 on this site), Gerald Joe Moreno correctly observed that she cited me as “a biographer of Shirdi Sai Baba” (Srinivas, Winged Faith, p. 354 note 24). Moreno was averse to this favourable reference; he insisted upon describing me as “a vanity self-publisher who admitted he is not an academic.” His phraseology is deceptive. I did not need to make any admission, never having posed as an academic. Moreno himself was not an academic; furthermore, he had no books to his credit.

In the same attack feature, Moreno identified me as “a malicious critic of Sathya Sai Baba who has ridiculously accused the Guru of being ‘closely allied with terrorists’ and who fanatically accused Moreno [third person] of being an ‘internet hit man’ and an ‘internet terrorist’.”

These remarks typically lacked context. Moreno had often been accused of fanaticism by victims. My reference to guru-related terrorism followed the reporting of Basava Premanand (1930-2009), the Indian rationalist and major critic of Sathya Sai Baba. Premanand opposed Sathya Sai for many years, contesting the supposedly miraculous feats of that famous guru, which he disproved. Premanand also referred to numerous murders and other problems which he associated closely with Sathya Sai. Many of the details here are unconfirmed. It is nevertheless legitimate (and even obligatory) to cite the output of the major Indian critic.  One is not necessarily being at all malicious in so doing. Amongst other matters, Premanand informed the BBC (quite credibly) that he had been attacked by violent pro-guru extremists.
Premanand composed the significant book Murders in Sai Baba’s Bedroom (2001), a tome reporting notorious events in 1993 at Puttaparthi ashram, where six people died violently in a nocturnal episode intimately related to the guru. Moreno declared this lengthy book to be irrational speculation, a mere conspiracy theory. In contrast, Premanand described his book as “a critical analysis of the records which I could collect, including newspaper clippings.”
Premanand replied to the Moreno dismissal at length, revealing the superficial nature of sectarian argument. The Indian rationalist commented: “I am well accustomed to the ploys of Sathya Sai Baba, his organisation, and other supporters whose agenda is to discredit those who seriously question their conduct and beliefs.” The rationalist also stated:
Now that criticisms are being aired to millions in many countries by the BBC and Danish television documentaries (The Secret Swami and Seduced), the Sai Baba forces are desperate to denigrate and vilify those who speak out against them. (Premanand, Reply to Mr. Gerald Moreno,, Search tab)
In a committed project, Premanand demonstrated how many Indian holy men resorted to “miracle” tricks, including sleight of hand. A speciality of Sathya Sai Baba was to produce sacred ash (vibhuti) in his palm, a supposedly miraculous achievement. Even schoolboys can  easily perform this deception.
left: holy man with Shiva trident piercing his tongue; right: Premanand showing how the trick is accomplished.
Premanand was a phenomenon, for many years steadfastly opposing Sathya Sai and other gurus. He eventually appeared with fellow rationalist Sanal Edamaruku in the Channel 4 documentary Guru Busters (1995). Along with others in different areas of India, they showed how popular miracle displays of gurus and holy men were sheer deceit. Premanand could enact any so-called “miracle,” teaching other rationalists how to copy these tricks. 
He has spent the last forty years investigating miracles and, after witnessing 1,146 of them, he has yet to see one he can’t duplicate through natural methods…. He leads an army of sceptics in ongoing investigations of India’s many god-men. He has been jailed and beaten, his life has been threatened, and his car sabotaged. India’s god-men [primarily Sathya Sai Baba] wield great political power, and number high government officials (including Supreme Court justices) among their followers. (Oscar Gunther and Brian Siano, Premanand: Guru Buster, 1994,

Premanand also revealed that poor devotees of Sathya Sai received “miracle” holy ash, while the wealthy supporters acquired Rolex wristwatches, diamond necklaces, and Parker pens made in America. All these items were palmed via sleight of hand, in the deceptive manner called “miracles” by Sathya Sai Baba. The miracle beliefs thrived on crass superstition. Even some scientists were deceived by “miracles,” adopting a devotee view of the infallible guru. 

Puttaparthi ashram was inseparable from a business complex, including property ownership. The guru’s younger brother Janakiramiah was a multi-millionaire property speculator with a repute for insatiable acquisition. This relative was accused of blackmailing police to shoot four intruders during the bedroom murders in June 1993. As a reward for his supporting role, Sathya Sai made Janakiramiah a prominent member of the tax-exempt Sathya Sai Central Trust, an organisation described by critics as a multi-billion dollar enterprise enabling donations from wealthy devotees to disappear into the pockets of corrupt officials.

Sathya Sai and his Trust received huge donations for charity, while spending too much on “wasteful flagship projects,” to use one description of ex-devotee Robert Priddy. Costly new buildings annually appeared at the ashram, while the guru claimed that he had no property or worldly goods. He charted private passenger jets for VIPs at the Sathya Sai Airport, commenced in 1990 at Puttaparthi (he was not an ecological trendsetter). Sathya Sai enjoyed being driven in expensive motor cars maintained for him at the ashram, including a Jaguar and a Mercedes (he would often journey to Bangalore, site of a second ashram at nearby Whitefield). 

The ex-devotee David Bailey, in an online document The Findings, revealed many of the discrepancies at Puttaparthi. For instance, he reported that the ceiling of a prominent mandir (temple) was covered in gold leaf. Bailey queried the contrast with a landscape of dire rural poverty. He also informed that this temple had acquired 167 chandeliers instead of the original 36.

Devotees frequently made much of the charitable projects associated with Puttaparthi; the anomalies were ignored. Bailey investigated the Sai Baba Water Project, which claimed to benefit 750 villages with money obtained from elaborate fund-raising. He discovered that the grand claim was false. Only a relatively small number of villages, plus Puttaparthi ashram, gained a water pipeline. A Telegu newspaper, of the 1990s, accordingly stated: “Sai Baba, where is our water?  You have cheated us again!” 

Any mention of deficiencies was interpreted by Gerald Joe Moreno in terms of conspiracy and groundless allegation. After the deaths of both Moreno and Sathya Sai, the private hoard of the guru was revealed in two different locations, including substantial wealth and over seven hundred “renunciate” robes of the type he liked to wear. The guru’s following then became notorious for squabbling over the economic endowments of Puttaparthi ashram. Rationalist critic Sanal Edamaruku complained that the private hoard was not accounted for, amounting to “black money.”  The Sathya Sai Central Trust nevertheless claimed to own the hoard, while relatives of the guru protested at events controlled by the Trust. 

The Murders book of Premanand includes many details. The Sathya Sai Airport cost one and a half billion rupees, being constructed at Puttaparthi by the Indian Airport Authority (IAA). Rarely used, the facility is described as being of a private character. Another source informs that Sathya Sai persuaded the IAA to finance the project, saying they would earn 10 lakhs of rupees the first year. This prediction transpired to be totally wrong. The Airport was largely unused for years before the first commercial flight. The occasional VIP arrived at the ashram by private jet. The Sathya Sai Central Trust “apparently ended up owning” the new airport (White Elephant for Sale). 

In 1998, at a hotel near the Sathya Sai Airport, a tragic collective suicide occurred. This was reported by Premanand. The event is viewed as confirmation of the danger in extremist devotee attitudes. Ramesh (aged 42) was a multi-millionaire industrialist and a devotee of Sathya Sai. He was found dead with seven other family members lying unconscious on the floor, plus his daughter who had died of a brain tumour a day earlier. Only one of these people survived. Police concluded that they died of shock at the daughter’s death, having expected Sathya Sai to miraculously save her. Ramesh left a note saying: “I myself have influenced all the members [of my family] to commit suicide to become one with Sai Baba…. All our properties have to be transferred to the Sathya Sai [Central] Trust.”

The same extensive Murders book refers to a legal petition, dated 1994, via the lawyer K. N. Balgopal (advocate for Premanand). This document reported that an Australian lady was murdered in her room at the Puttaparthi ashram in 1993. “The entire incident was hushed up.” The victim was a member of the Sathya Sai Central Trust, being connected with an ousted secretary of that divided body. Trust members were here accused of misusing funds and indulging in illegal activities. Some Trust members were also accused of using local thugs to murder foreign devotees and burn the faces of corpses beyond recognition. “A foreigner was raped at the ashram by a Trust member, but the police hushed up the case” (Excerpts from B. Premanand’s book, online at

Another source reported that, in 1992, a woman was killed and dismembered in her room at Puttaparthi village (Testimony from David Paul, David Paul became a devotee in the early 1980s, and visited Puttaparthi in 1992. A related episode, more well known, is that of a man whose stomach was cut out while he was still alive. These grim events at Puttaparthi are inseparably associated with the goondas (thugs) goaded on by the Sathya Sai Central Trust. 

Premanand reported that his son was murdered by Sathya Sai goondas in a hospital at Bangalore. These thugs also threatened his brother. The home of Premanand was repeatedly burgled by these agents of violent intrigue. They stole compromising documents on Sathya Sai, also related memoranda in the form of photographs and DVDs. A major obstruction to justice was Bhagwati, the Supreme Court Judge, who was conveniently a member of the Sathya Sai Central Trust. All complaints and legal procedures were blocked by the Puttaparthi mafia.

I did indeed accuse Gerald Joe Moreno (alias Equalizer, SSS108) of being an internet terrorist, a phrase which appeared in the title of a web article composed in 2009. That description arose because of his continued hostility, despite my complaints commencing in 2007, complaints which had appeared on two websites of mine. One of those complaints related to the fact that Moreno had duplicated hostile and misleading accounts of myself (found on his website saisathyasai) on a blogspot cycle featuring the pseudonym of Equalizer (i.e., Moreno).
This belligerent excess in my direction was matched by similar gestures against ex-devotees. His manic campaign was determined to offset all criticism of Sathya Sai and Puttaparthi ashram.  Many observers were prepared to credit my description of “internet terrorist.” Moreno had gained the reputation of a cyberstalker.
The Moreno output is classifiable in the basic sense implied by the phrase “hate campaign,” meaning attack blogs that exhibit vehement and distorted arguments frequently tending to libel. See Hate Campaign Blogs. Obsessive multi-entry blogs targeting  the same victim are an indication of strong antipathy. Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) achieved nine of these inquisitions at blogspot, in addition to his deadly website, described by some victims as the portal to hell. Such treatment can easily arouse retaliation, which may be necessary for self-defence.
Equalizer (Moreno) resorted to an animation device on his blogspot attacks. This device declared a “Campaign to stop Anti-Sai Activist’s Abuse.” The word Abuse here alternated with Defamation, Libels, and Dishonesty. This verbalism reflected the attitude of Moreno that all testimonies of sexual abuse made against Sathya Sai Baba were hopelessly wrong, and therefore all condoning reference to those testimonies was a crime. In Moreno language, any emphasis on critical reporting meant Dishonesty and Abuse.
In this perspective, the victims testifying to sexual abuse were despicable Anti-Sai Abusers. That was the basic gist of Moreno’s aggressive argument about the “Anti-Sai” contingent. This conceptual scheme was viewed by Moreno (Equalizer) as granting him the right to denigrate all critics, who were treated to vehemently contemptuous dismissals.
From 2004, Moreno became the major (though unofficial) web apologist for the Sathya Sai Organisation. His attack site demonstrated fervent “Pro-Sai” enthusiasm, denouncing critics of Sathya Sai Baba. Gerald Joe Moreno also maintained an extensive blog entitled sathyasaibaba at wordpress, which again exhibited the pseudonym of Equalizer, who deceptively claimed to mediate “love and spirituality.” 
Critics objected that the “love and spirituality” decoded to an intensive mode of hate campaign discernible across the spectrum of Moreno web activity. At, Moreno (Equalizer) specifically described his presentation in terms of a campaign against critics of Sathya Sai Baba. 
His strategy on Google Search aroused increasing resistance. Moreno continually accused his critics of “deception.” His entries on Google Search name listings (of his victims) became notorious for disparaging statements and aspersions which showed conspicuously on those listings. See further Moreno and Ex-Devotees.

Kevin R. D. Shepherd

October 2013 (modified 2021)

ENTRY no. 3 

Copyright © 2021 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Tulasi Srinivas and Moreno

By Gerald Joe Moreno, Sathya Sai Baba, Tulasi Sriinivas
Professor Tulasi Srinivas
From 2004 until 2010, Gerald Joe Moreno (Equalizer) conducted an intensive internet campaign against critics of Sathya Sai Baba (d.2011), and also critics of himself. Significantly perhaps, his campaign worked against this guru, who did not look good as a figurehead for aggressive denunciations. There were many resentful victims of Moreno taunts and libels, so frequently operating under pseudonyms like Equalizer. Moreno also attacked families and friends of his victims. Ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba listed his extensive breaches of etiquette.
Moreno made a very big mistake when he attacked a university Professor in June 2010. See Politics of Religion. This attack occurred at his website and also featured on a blog. Professor Tulasi Srinivas was well disposed to Sathya Sai Baba, and certainly not a critic, a fact which makes the attack particularly discrepant. The web aggressor accused Srinivas of “tattered research,” and described her book Winged Faith (2010) as “poorly researched, highly biased.” He opined that Srinivas was too inclusive of critical ex-devotee reports concerning Sathya Sai Baba, reports which Moreno stridently denounced. The Moreno accusation of poor research resembles his criticism in my direction.
The book of Srinivas was published by Columbia University Press. In his agitation against that book, Moreno negated his depreciatory theme in my direction about self-published works. The truth is that he reflected adversely upon any writing that contradicted his own militant campaign in the cause of Sathya Sai Baba.
Moreno accused Professor Srinivas of “errors, inaccuracies, misrepresentations and subjective inferences.” This disparagement accompanied his familiar refrain that all critics of Sathya Sai Baba are unreliable sources, indeed too ridiculous to merit any credence. In this manner, testimonies to abuse were eliminated.
Moreno even cast aspersions upon the academic role of Professor Srinivas as an anthropologist at Emerson College. “There is little doubt they would all laugh her out of Emerson College.” Moreno says this more than once, the implication being that his version of the controversy would have such an effect of dismissal. In his adamant perspective, the anthropologist was laughable because she had cited ex-devotees who were beyond serious consideration.
Another accusation reads that Professor Srinivas “never attempted to contact Moreno even once.” The accuser is here typically in the third person. The academic was upbraided for describing Moreno as a devotee of Sathya Sai. He had disavowed this orientation on his website in 2005. However, the purported non-devotee programme of attack clearly reveals a partisan attitude; a circumspect tactic was in evidence. I had earlier been admonished for not contacting Moreno, who had a habit of parading received emails online as proof of error.
The hostile Moreno broadcast served to alert some academics to the confusion and misrepresentation created by internet polemic in “guru defender” format.
The book by Srinivas gained different responses. An ex-devotee spokesman urged that the author of Winged Faith had not gone far enough in presenting the critical arguments against Sathya Sai. See Research into Sathya Sai Baba Issues. Cf. my own review Srinivas and Winged Faith.
The Moreno website (saisathyasai) declared “Joe Moreno” as the webmaster. His attack on Srinivas also appeared at As a result of strong criticism, Moreno was now also using his real name on a new blog feature. However, many of his blogs were pseudonymous, a convenience extending from his deposed Wikipedia role as editor  SSS108.
Professor Srinivas had named Moreno in a footnote: “Sanjay Dadlani and a devotee called Joe (Gerald) Moreno have also engaged in such vituperative arguments that they have been banned from contributing material to some portions of the Internet” (Winged Faith, p. 372 note 48). No further details are given. Moreno was banned from Wikipedia in 2007, though not in relation to Dadlani. The blog duel between Moreno and Dadlani occurred earlier, with no resolution emerging.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 2
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.

Cult Campaign of Equalizer

By Cyberstalking, Sathya Sai Baba
Sathya Sai Baba (d. 2011)
A sectarian apologist, calling himself Equalizer, created a defamatory blog against me at The real name of that offender is Gerald Joe Moreno (d.2010). An American living in New Mexico, he gained the reputation of being a cyberstalker and libeller. Lawyers in three different countries passed a negative verdict on his output.
Moreno, alias Equalizer, launched the notorious website called This featured many attacks against critics of his guru Sathya Sai Baba (died 2011). Most of these critics were ex-devotees of the guru, disillusioned people who complained about strongly alleged misdemeanours that are now well known. Moreno treated the significant testimonies of sexual abuse as crimes of dishonesty. He resorted to a scenario of Pro-Sai versus Anti-Sai, the latter being depicted as aberrant in his denunciations.
In 2008-9, Moreno undertook a separate blog cycle against me at He duplicated numerous hostile items appearing on his website. This was after I had protested more than once against the misrepresentations he furthered. He claimed to “expose” me in his hate campaign. Very aggressively, he called his blogspot cycle Kevin Shepherd Exposed. There were 27 entries.
The contents of that hostility are not reasoned critiques but attack blogs composed in an excessive style of invective. The Moreno (Equalizer) attacks include misconceptions, distortions, and libels. Despite my continued repudiation of his attacks and my protests at defamation, Moreno did not delete his aggressive blogspot cycle, evidently hoping to maintain his deceptions.
On this site, I will counter a number of his distortions and defamations. This is a supplement to my existing web protests, e.g., Internet Terrorist.
The Moreno attacks on myself featured an excess of vehement denunciations, accompanied by such stigmas as “Anti-Sai Extremist.” In fact, I did not mount any web campaign against the guru, and was not an ex-devotee. Instead, I complained about the Wikipedia tactic of Moreno (User SSS108), who proscribed all my books on the basis of ex-devotee reports found in the appendices of only one book. Observers noted the extremist action of Moreno in bracketing me with ex-devotee activists.
This issue has various dimensions of interest to analysts of contemporary religious movements. When affiliates of such movements are seen to adopt extremist attitudes and manifestations, then I agree with those analysts who apply the term “cult” to deviations from due conduct.
Kevin R. D. Shepherd
ENTRY no. 1 
Copyright © 2013 Kevin R. D. Shepherd. All Rights Reserved.