A recent post on the TL brought to mind a curious phenomenon that seems to be one of the factors that draw people into certain bābāisms: the production of apports. This caught my attention early on because I noticed that several votaries claimed to have received bābāistic apports
I have heard of three unrelated bābājī-s (one of them more of a low-profile vaiṣṇava ``magician'') producing apports. Shortly thereafter I first saw one such apport, I saw demo by a vaṅgīya magician Sarkar on TV where he produced an apport explicitly as a magic trick. When I
pointed this to the votary and he gradually de-bābāized. I subsequently had the occasion to watch Sarkar live on stage producing various apports as part of his magic show. For at least one public bābājī the introduction of video cameras allowed the capture of the whole palming
routine for sneaking in apports and then producing them quite like Sarkar. Apport production seems to distinguish some modern bābājī-s from their ancient counterparts -- their hagiographies do not mention apports at all or they are only a very minor aspect of their deeds.
Curiously, an Israeli gentleman told me about a Jewish bābājī who did similar magic. The Jewish bābā and his father had been interred by the Nazis. His father was killed but he made it through despite being wounded. He claimed to have suddenly acquired bābāistic capacities after
he met the ghost of his father. After that he claimed he could sense visits from various ghosts who occasionally brought him apports. The Israeli mentioned seeing some curious ones. The Jewish bābā also acquired he ability to do some ghost drawing/painting like Sarkar's magic.
However, he apparently lived a mostly low profile life doing some ``Chinese healing'', ghost communications for clients and from the compensation the Germans gave him for his ancestral shops that had been stolen.
This apport production seems to be a relative recent feature of modern Indian bābājī-s shared with western figures claiming comparable capabilities.

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9 Dec
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