Despite the ingrained polarity of differences, the direct clash of SB devotees and anti-SB ex-devotees is always a sight to see and an experience to, well, experience. I say clash, which in rare cases is not the norm and so may sound unduly harsh; debate, discussion and conversation are also forms of interaction that rarely occur in a peaceful and civilised manner. One would think that the subject of such interactions would be Sai Baba himself. Whether the subject refers to his positive works or to his negative and scandalous activities, it is reasonable to be assured that Sai Baba is right in the thick of things.
Unfortunately, some devotees still seem to be having trouble getting their heads around this simple point. For some queer reason they happen to believe that should anyone dare to point a finger of criticism at their beloved guru, that critic must be a perfect human being. Of course you will never catch them directly saying this since doing so would destroy their own credibility, but the unreasonable arguments that they bring forward, the dual standards that they apply, as well as the pathetic standard of trumped-up counter-attack, leave one in no doubt about the logic that seems to be at work; since Sai Baba is an embodiment of love, purity and perfection, his critics should also embody such qualities in their personalities and past histories. How this is practically applicable is beyond me since it is well-known that devotees of SB believe that he is verily God Himself, so to ask this of his critics is tantamount to suggesting that only God (or a godly person) is capable of criticising 'God'. It is beyond the capacity of mortal man to judge 'God' by his own pithy standards. Whereas this is a spiritual principle that resonates with truth, the fundamental problem with this line of argument is Sai Baba's divinity, or lack thereof. This argument is based on the fundamental premise that Sai Baba is God and is also the fundamental point of disagreement. Apart from that, how an obviously self-contradictory and self-defeating line of argument like this can ever be applied to reality and practical society is undetermined.
In this way, it becomes the norm to routinely attack ex-devotees for any and every "fault" that they may or may not have. Along with these attacks come spurious allegations relating to drug addiction, alcoholism, smoking, right up to the very extremes of child pornography. It is an issue of much regret that I have often been the candidate for accusation regading this last criticism. In other words, I am and have been routinely and falsely accused of having an association with child pornography and other illegal and/or deviant forms of pornography. I do not wish to get into the nitty-gritty of these accusations here as I have dealt with it many times in the past and thereby proving my innocence, and may even do so more exhaustively at some time in the future, but it is in the nature of these vindictive devotees never to let things drop. With the recent appearance of Joe Moreno on the discussion boards, this issue seems to have reared it's ugly head yet again. To be fair to Moreno, some other individuals routinely bring these issues up against various individuals in a desperate bid to deflect attantion away from the fact that they cannot answer direct questions relating to Sai Baba's philosophical and theological mistakes, divinity, or whatever. Nevertheless, this issue has come up again in perfect time to coincide with Moreno's appearance.
Before I start to discuss the issue that I wanted to be the subject of this blog. I'd just like to point out that attempting to tarnish the character of a critic or attempt to diminish his credibility in other ways is well known in some cicles to be a point of deflection. It is very easy to dismiss an argument with a cheap pot-shot about any what-have-you, and this is classically known as 'argumentem ad hominem'. In other words if you are stumped and cannot come up with a clear, logical, reasonable and accurate reply to a point that has been made, just avoid doing so by launching a personal attack against the person who made the point. I would trust that any reasonable person would agree that this is a backhanded way of carrying out a debate or a discussion, and that this practice is not only morally dishonest but intellectually dishonest too. And whenever I see a character-attack launched by anyone against anyone, I do personally regard the launcher as being intellectually dishonest if not ouright immoral. For me, it seems that it is a typical trait of Sai Baba's devotees to attack and attack frequently, no matter how ridiculous and false such accusations may be, and thereby directly disobeying SB's order not to do so.
If anyone would like to see my reply to Moreno's post, you simply need to click on the heading of this blog as it is enabled as a direct link. Therein you will see many points that I make in order to answer Moreno's question as to why I have never responded to his tabloid article about me. The basic cut-and-thrust of my argument revolves around how Moreno's article was so full of inaccuracies, poor research, assumptions and sheer lack of truth, I felt that it wasn't worthy of a reply from me much less a rebuttal. And since this took place within the context of the spurious child-porn allegations, a large part of my post was naturally devoted to explaining and presenting inconsistencies (as well as some anecdotes) in the child-porn argument and how any reasonable person should find it extremely difficult to believe that I was guilty of such an association. If I may quote from it:
"Why, when I KNOW that I am wholly innocent of the "charges" brought against me by a pack of screaming banshees, should I bother to respond to such balderdash? ... Having repeatedly denied these allegations as well as reposting my direct analysis of the posts involved repeatedly, there is nothing much I can do further when the same individuals pay no attention whatsoever to my refutations but proceed to scream louder. Disingenuous indeed."
Reading through my post again it strikes me as stunning that, considering the number of times I made points about inaccuracies, poor research, lack of investigation and so on, Moreno does not seem disturbed or in any concerned that his article has been labelled as more or less untruthful. However, it is definitely unrepresentative of me and my views on many subjects. This does not seem to bother Moreno at all, as we can see from his responses to my post. If anyone actually cares to view Moreno's website, the one outstanding impression that is gained is that he has a habit of leaving no stone unturned in his quest to seek information. Whether he possesses the necessary discrimination to judge the truth and veracity of such information is really a matter of opinion, but there is no denying that his analyses are often exhaustive if not pedantry extraordinaire. Therefore I was extremely surprised to see Moreno blatantly ignore
all or most of the important points that I had made, only to seek my answer to a question of his regarding the spurious child-porn scenario.
As far as I am concerned, I was just extremely disappointed at the disingenuous nature of such a reply. It seems that his question is rendered irrelevant since I have answered such points on multiple occasions, the records of which still exist. It also occurred to me that Moreno's investigative ability was nothing special after all. This was obvious from the type of question(s) he asked; had he done the necessary investigation and research he would have known about the multiple answers I had submitted on that point, the records of which still exist. It seems that Moreno was directly proving one of the points that I had made: "[he has] jumped on the bandwagon and have proceeded to repeat the very same untruthful allegations and showing that [he has] done no independent little "investigation" of [his] own."Oh well, what can you do? Moreno made his own position ridiculous after I informed him that I felt no need to answer the question again and since his question was made in the context of child-porn accusations, the burden of proof was on him and other accusers to prove that I am guilty of the same. He subsequently retorted:
"I have not been able to find any reply where you answered this question directly. So why don't you tell me under which post you gave your reply?"
Funnily enough, I do not have the time nor the inclination to trawl through hundreds , if not thousands, of posts authored by myself in order to show where I have said something on whatever subject. Again, if anyone wants to accuse me of something then the burden of proof is on them to show that I am guilty of it. In other words, despite Moreno's obvious flair for reportage and investigation, it is a wonder why he is suddenly so reluctant to find a post (rather than the multiple ons that exist) where I have de facto answered his question.
Personally, I was just very surprised that through all of these further exchanges, he was continually avoiding the other important points that I had made in regards to the changing nature of the child-porn argument against me, as well as objective and undeniable facts and even the lack of direct evidence (as Moreno kindly asked me to define).
Judging by the poor standard of respnses so far, I immediately began to regret spending a large amount of time writing posts that were hardly read properly, never mind appreciated. Regarding the subject of truth and lies, this important point about Moreno's avoidance of important criticism of his articles suggests that he still believes that his writings are truthful and factual enough to remain published as the same no matter how many faces there are in the crowd who laugh at him, boo, hiss, and throw rotten eggs and tomatoes.
For all the guff we constantly hear about what a crazy bunch of liars and crooks we ex-devotees are, it seems very much obvious that the vindictive devotees who make this criticism are not all that better. It becomes illogical to dispaly a self-righteous and sanctimonious attitude when there is a huge amount of inconsistency, disingenuity, and outright lies in their "analyses". Those devotees are a bad job lot.
And despite the guff of Joe Moreno, his own personal situation becomes the target for even more ridicule when all of his efforts are discounted by the overriding fact that he is not a devotee of Sai Baba at all!
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