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Sathya Sai Baba
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Religious Figure
    (November 23, 1926-April 24, 2011)
    Born in Puttaparthi, India
    Birth name was Sathyanarayana Raju
    Indian guru/spiritual teacher
    Founded the Sathya Sai Organization
    Had 6 to 50 million followers (depending on whose estimates you believe)
    He miraculously produced holy ash, food and jewelry. (Or, according to critics, used sleight of hand to pluck the objects from hiding places, such as his big-ass afro.)
    His ashram featured a larger-than-life solid-gold statue of himself.
    Several young male followers claimed that he groped them during private audiences.
    UNESCO cancelled a conference at his ashram, citing concerns over 'widely-reported allegations of sexual abuse.'
    As the reports of abuse spread, he banned his followers from browsing the internet.
    He said he would die at age 96 and be reincarnated eight years later, a prediction now guaranteed to have a maximum accuracy of 50%.
    He did not require followers to give up their original religion.
    His mottos included 'Love all, serve all' and 'Help ever, hurt never.'
    He established a hospital that provided free medical care for over 250,000 patients.
    His trust funded development projects that brought clean water and sanitation to hundreds of thousands of people in southern India.
    The only lawsuit filed against him by an alleged abuse victim was dismissed from a California court due to a lack of evidence (2006).

Credit: C. Fishel


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