Supernatural hi-jinx in india


58 Responses to “Supernatural hi-jinx in india”

  1. Antinous / Moderator says:

    Still, you gotta love a country where wearing bright orange raises your status.

  2. GavinD says:

    You put the blood in the coconut and drink dem both up…

  3. Anonymous says:

    Faith healing? Tricks? Evil spirits? For a second there I thought I was watching an evangalistic church in the US.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Now the villagers can get back to believing in proper modern things, like how comsumer products will make your life feel fulfilled.

  5. Anonymous says:

    That bank manager’s appearance, and moustache in particular, screams “householder.” I doubt he fooled anyone. Imagine Mitt Romney putting on a mohawk wig, and trying to pass for a punk rocker.

    • dragonfrog says:

      I was going to say – as soon as I saw the supposed sadhu, I was wondering what was up. Even his robes looked freshly pressed. Not quite up the the standard of these guys.
      Of course, no one in the village seemed to be paying any attention to the camera crew. Seems like a bit of a give-away that this was a re-enactment – they could easily have gone back to a village they’d previously visited and asked “Hey, remember that phony-guru act we did a few weeks back – would you be willing to help out on a re-enactment of it for British TV? We’d contribute X rupees to the village maintenance fund.”

  6. LonelyPlaneteer says:

    Hey, I wanna know about the bank note trick!! Would be pretty handy in this state of economy..

  7. Victor Drath says:

    Somehow the guy in orange reminds me of Guillermo from Jimmy Kimmel. :p

  8. Jason Rizos says:

    I don’t care if it was all a trick, I want to worship him anyway.

  9. mypalmike says:

    If they’re anything like us, and I bet they are, the villagers are now convinced that their faith is being tested. They will pray for a real guru to come, and when he does, they will make sure to reward him well.

  10. tr3x27 says:

    Despite these fellow’s admirable work, a lot of people – not just villagers, even “modern” Indians – are gullible enough to fall for these god men’s stunts. Take “His Holiness” Sri Satya Sai Baba for instance. A devotee of his once told me that he’d had a Rolex watch produced to him out of thin air. For a price of course. A little investigation and the watch serial number showed that they were being purchased in bulk by the Sai Baba foundation.
    Also, he can apparently cure tuberculosis, AIDS and syphilis. Yet, recently he fell ill and was unable to cure himself because of his absolute devotion to other peoples money.

  11. mermaid says:

    Indian Anonymous

  12. pidg says:

    Didn’t they have a whole bunch of these guys in Guantanamo Bay?

  13. knoxblox says:

    I don’t know about Guantanamo, but I’d sure like to see a team like this going down to Wall Street to expose charlatans.

  14. M says:

    And a real raising of consciousness would happen if the villagers then realized that just because a magician can make something happen, it doesn’t logically follow that that event will ALWAYS be an act of magic. But if Randi’s followers aren’t that smart, the villagers probably aren’t either.

    • Chris Tucker says:

      Didn’t you used to be a serial child molester in post-WWI Berlin?

    • Peripatet says:

      But since Randi has exposed thousands of fakes and not even 1 verifiable instance of supernatural manifestation, the smart money is on his side.

      Tell me, do you also believe Intelligent Design is “another equally-valid theory”?

      I’m betting you say yes.

      • M says:

        You lose. But there happens to be real evidence in the ID situation, and no real counter-evidence, unlike Randi’s many pseudo-scientific attacks on various things.

        • noen says:

          “there happens to be real evidence in the ID situation”

          No, actually, there isn’t.

        • Phrosty says:

          “You lose. But there happens to be real evidence in the ID situation, and no real counter-evidence…”

          I lol’d, especially since you’re serious.

    • tedric says:

      M’s initial point is technically correct, though it’s not a very useful one.

      AFAIK, Randi doesn’t pretend to prove that NOBODY could EVER have supernatural powers. Logically, it’s not possible to prove a negative proposition such as that. So he often says things like, “If this person had chosen to use trickery, there are several ways they could have done it. Here are a few.”

      However, there is no good reason to assume that ANYONE ever DOES have supernatural powers. With any mysterious event, you have the choice between a supernatural explanation or a natural one. A supernatural explanation requires far more assumptions than the natural one—i.e. that we have somehow missed a fundamental force of nature, or that this person has the ability to bend natural laws to their will, versus that this person is tricking us. Which of those is more likely?

      In general, the explanation that requires the fewest new assumptions turns out to be correct. M is right, that doesn’t mean it IS correct. But as Peripatet said, it does mean that the smart money is on the skeptic’s side.

      • GTMoogle says:

        “Logically, it’s not possible to prove a negative proposition such as that.”

        Just to be pedantic:

        In logic, a negative proposition is no different than a positive one, and both can be proven.

        Empirically, it’s equally as impossible to ‘prove’ a positive as it is a negative, but both a negative and a positive conclusions can be drawn from evidence (And may change based on further evidence)

        If you’re comfortable making a statement like “I can prove I have 5 fingers on my left hand, see?”, then it’s silly to quibble about the use of the word proof for a negative statement like “There are no unicorns”


  15. MarlboroTestMonkey7 says:

    1. Ah! that’s why some folks seems so obsequious when I’m wearing my orange power shirt.
    2. The mouse is obviously possesed
    3. Now they need to debunk the myth of love

  16. Anonymous says:

    This seems to be the group started by the great Periyar EV Ramasamy.

  17. MarlboroTestMonkey7 says:

    4. Obviously, in their previous incarnation they were all real gurus. The wheel of Samsara keeps turning.
    5. Guru busting is not cheap, the money collected will help to spread the word
    6.Villager #1: Where will they go next? Villager #2: Hmmm, wonder where they haven’t been…
    7. Villager #3: Exception that proves the rule
    8. Invasive demon: good acolytes!
    9. Enlightened villager: May the goddess show them the path
    10. No dance number at the end: Fail

  18. Anonymous says:

    Is this from Guru Busters, or Secret Swami? It looks like an interesting documentary.

  19. Antinous / Moderator says:

    If I had superpowers, I don’t think that I’d be wandering around India making coconuts bleed for spare change.

  20. Mister44 says:

    Um…. didn’t any of them think that if he can make money out of thin air, then why does he need their money?

  21. Anonymous says:

    I don’t believe anyone, for a second, thought that wasn’t staged. You can see some of the villagers rolling their eyes. I understand the need to educate people, but this whole charade stinks of bourgeois condescension.

  22. BikerRay says:

    Still, doesn’t shake my faith in the 3-cheese Jesus.

  23. Heisenberg says:

    Instead of spending their time removing the very potent placebo effect these people have, why don’t they give them some real medicine?

    • fyreflye says:

      Which “people” are you talking about? The only “people” who appeared to receive “treatment” were members of the skeptic team. There’s no evidence in the film that anyone in the village asked for or needed medical assistance.

  24. Nom_de_Guerre says:

    Make fun all you want, but I know you’d rather go to the cheaper and more entertaining Guru Show on a sunday afternoon than to some insipid blockbuster at the multiplex.

  25. Nom_de_Guerre says:

    The villagers don’t look very impressed, they look like they’re about to “Meh” very hard.

  26. M says:

    I strongly recommend this site for people who do not want to be a parody opposite of a religious crackpot:

    • William George says:

      I strongly recommend this site for people who do not want to be a parody opposite of a religious crackpot

      New age crackpottery is still crackpottery.

  27. GreenJello says:

    Very cool, loved every minute of it!

  28. juepucta says:

    And here i was thinking i was watching David Blaine’s orange wearing cousin. I am devastated…


  29. M says:

    Sorry to have underexplained: what I mean is that there is real evidence in the ID situation that ID is NOT real. Real evidence can be negative OR positive, folks.

  30. Stu Mark says:

    Not to go off-topic too broadly, but who is the narrator from the BBC? His voice, so familiar.

    • Darwindr says:

      The narrator is Jonathan Pryce, perhaps best remembered for playing Sam Lowry in Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.

  31. enishmarati says:

    I wonder if there are not more than a few people are actually healed by acts like these. The mind is a powerful thing and belief in a guru’s powers can probably function much like a placebo. But the intention is what’s important here. I really enjoyed this.

  32. Anonymous says:

    This has been another episode of Undercover Boss INDIA

  33. Jazz Fan says:

    These guys are awesome.

    It is heartening to see critical thinking and reason gaining a foothold in places that sorely need it.

    To echo many here, can these guys come to the US?

  34. Mitch_M says:

    This reminds me of what Father Guido Sarducci said on Saturday Night Live in the 1970s: “Well, this-a Mother Seton-now they could only prove-a three miracles. … with-a three lousy miracles. I understand that-a two of them was-a card tricks.”

    I hope people don’t see this and think that all Hindus believe in that crap.

  35. fyreflye says:

    Well, I imagine most people who think of themselves as “Hindus” believe *some* kind of crap.

    • Mitch_M says:

      I thought it was obvious that I was referring to the fake stuff this magician-like fellow is doing.

      • fyreflye says:

        Yes, I know. But “Hindus,” that is members of the overwhelmingly dominant religious group in India, believe as a matter of course in all kinds of gods, miracles, fortune telling and other ant-rational things. If by “Hindu” you actually mean “Indians,” citizens of the nation of Bharat, called “India” in the West, what you say is obviously true, since the debunkers pictured in the film are Indians, though not “Hindus.” If you’re interested in these people there’s more information here, here and here

  36. Teller says:

    It would be neat if after debunking the whole scam for the villagers, they still passed the hat.

  37. marukosu says:

    Best YouTube comment: In my land, they call this “Jesus”

  38. ill lich says:

    God bless those debunkers!

  39. skeletoncityrepeater says:

    The white-bearded man at the end of the clip appears to be Basava Premanand, a leading debunker of mystics in his country. His main target seems to be Sri Satya Sai Baba, a self-proclaimed incarnation of God and an alleged grifter and multiple sex offender. Seeing as a lot of self proclaimed gurus and mystics of all backgrounds turn out to be grifters and sex offenders, this is not surprising, but judge for yourself, I suppose.

    This clip is highly out of context and makes the townspeople out to be primitive folks out of Indiana Jones.. they are just regular small town folks if you ignore the BBC’s colonial attitude and presentation. I wish the post gave more information about this so I didn’t have to look it up myself.

  40. buffalo_aaa says:

    What about the bloody coconut?!?

    • Anonymous says:

      There were *two* coconuts, one with the mouse, one with the potassium ball and, obviously, red ink inside.

  41. rrh says:

    I kept expecting, “And for his next miracle, the god-man pulled out a series of handkerchiefs, finishing with a dove.”

    • Johnny Cat says:

      I was hoping for some music, namely “The Final Countdown” and the Godman saying, “Yes, but where did the mouse come from?!”

  42. endymion says:

    That’s right… notice that they didn’t explain the bloody coconut. *That* one must be a miracle…

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