Call For Media and Government Investigation

of Sathya Sai Baba And his worldwide cult, the Sathya Sai Organization

Who Will Speak Out?

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 21, 2014

Who Will Speak Out? Barry Pittard. 21 March 2014

-

Who will step forward? Who simply will speak out?

Why the big load heaped on the shoulders of so few?

Like Nelson Mandela or Gandhi the Mahatma

Like  Simone Weil or Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

And the small band of others across time

Many not named or else famed and soon-forgotten

Who will walk like these? Who simply will step forward?

*

Standing up, speaking out, stepping forward

Even though, even though – the numbers need to grow

*

Or who will be timid, and show kids how to back-step?

Or who will teach boldness by ourselves being bold?

Like Martin Luther King or Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop

Like the Dalai Lama or Wangari Maathai 

And the small band of others across time

Their eyes on the straight point of their compass of conscience

Simple as a fable, just as pointed, and as true

 *

Standing up, speaking out, stepping forward

Even though, even though – their numbers need to grow

*

… Why does it take war before we snap awake?

… Or a Royal Commission before we listen

… To the rivers across the years of people’s tears

… Who have no protection when bullies oppress them

*

Who will step forward? Who simply will speak out?

Why the big load heaped on the shoulders of so few?

Like Malala Yousafzai or Liu Xiaobo

Like the Irish peace women or Andrei Sakharov

And the small band of others across time

Many not named – or else famed and soon forgotten

Who will walk like these? Who will simply step forward?

*

Standing up, speaking out, stepping forward

Even though, even though – the numbers need to grow

*

… Why does it take war before we snap awake?

… Or a Royal Commission before we listen

… To the rivers across the years of people’s tears

… Who have no protection when bullies oppress them

 

Except when we are -

Standing up, speaking out, stepping forward …

 

 

 ——————————————————

Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop

 Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

“If I win Nobel Peace Prize, it would be a great opportunity for me, but if I don’t get it, it’s not important because my goal is not to get Nobel Peace Prize, my goal is to get peace and my goal is to see the education of every child.” Malala Yousafzai

“Education, if it means anything, should not take people away from land, but instill in them even more respect for it, because educated people are in a position to understand what is being lost. The future of the planet concerns all of us, and we should do what we can to protect it. As I told the foresters, and the women, you don’t need a diploma to plant a tree”.  Wangari Muta Maathai – Unbowed, pp. 137-138.

 

“Nonviolence is not a thing that comes easily. You have to learn how to be nonviolent.”
Betty Williams

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Nelson Mandela: Triumphant Mankind-At-Its-Best. Sathya Sai Baba: Pretended God

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 6, 2013

No one is born to hate another person

The great South African leader Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) died late yesterday (South African time), aged 95. 

Some around me have canceled other activities, preferring to watch – often in tears – the television reports coming through. One of our number asked a fourteen year old boy to sit and watch, saying: “This is a super special day in historical memory. Have as many of the good qualities of Nelson Mandela as you can, and you will know an inner strength and purpose that nobody can ever take away from you.”

Happily, the boy tore himself away from his Sony Playstation 3. It remains to be seen who wins the future: Nelson Mandela or corporate heads such as those at Sony.

Nelson Mandela looking through prison bars to a brighter future for all

Nelson Mandela looking through prison bars to a brighter  future for all, irrespective of race or creed

For 27 years, a hideous and violent, white supremacist South African regime incarcerated Mandela on Robben Island and later Pollsmoor and Victor Verster prisons.  On his release, Mandela  addressing a huge and joyous rally in Capetown, said (See this speech below):

“I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people”.

Nelson Mandela receiving the 1993 Nobel Prize, co-awarded along with Frederik Willem de Klerk “for their work for the peaceful termination of the apartheid regime, and for laying the foundations for a new democratic South Africa”

His compassion, wisdom and humility have long proved genuine. On the other hand, the following photos show Sathya Sai Baba in the pomp and circumstance that accompanied his claims to be God fully manifest on the earth. After he died, imperial caches of treasure were found in secret places in his private chambers. See:  Exposé writer Barry Pittard on the latest Trust and treasure scandalsPosted by robertpriddy on June 22, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba: Incredible pomp In poverty-stricken India

Sathya Sai Baba: Incredible pomp In poverty-stricken India

pomp2What Mandela was – and, in a sense, forever is – Sathya Sai Baba was not, and can never, in his profoundly compromised memory, forever be.

Under the extremely cruel racist policy in South Africa, which brutally segregated white and non-white populations, Nelson Mandela, bravely stood for justice, democracy, compassion, truthfulness and decency. Despite the evil directed against himself and others in South Africa, he was a moral giant who affirmed compassion and forgiveness, and eschewed bitterness and revenge. He withstood persecution, torture and long imprisonment. He was mankind-at-its-best triumphant. Sathya Sai Baba, surrounded by extremely mendacious servitors, was God pretended.

From Business Review Weekly (Australia), Updated 06 December 2013 11:22 :  "Nelson Mandela first met former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser in March 1986. By then, Mandela had been in prison for almost 23 years. “The first thing Nelson Mandela said to me, speaking formally: ‘Mr Fraser, is Don Bradman still alive?’ ” Fraser recalls. He met Mandela as one of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group, a body charged with promoting dialogue between the apartheid National Party government and the then-outlawed African National Congress (ANC), and wrote about the meeting in a document commemorating Australian-South African relations. The former prime minister assured Mandela Bradman was still alive. He was also later able to give Mandela a present – a cricket bat inscribed by The Don. “To Nelson Mandela in recognition of a great unfinished innings,” Bradman wrote.

From Business Review Weekly (Australia), Updated 06 December 2013 11:22 :
“Nelson Mandela first met former Australian prime minister Malcolm Fraser in March 1986. By then, Mandela had been in prison for almost 23 years.
“The first thing Nelson Mandela said to me, speaking formally: ‘Mr Fraser, is Don Bradman still alive?’ ” Fraser recalls. He met Mandela as one of the Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group, a body charged with promoting dialogue between the apartheid National Party government and the then-outlawed African National Congress (ANC), and wrote about the meeting in a document commemorating Australian-South African relations.
The former prime minister assured Mandela Bradman was still alive. He was also later able to give Mandela a present – a cricket bat inscribed by The Don.
“To Nelson Mandela in recognition of a great unfinished innings,” Bradman wrote.  (Note from this blogger:  Irrespective of what a few misled Indian cricket over-enthusiasts claim, Sir Donald Bradman was the greatest cricketer the world has seen).

 Australia’s Prime Minister from 1975-1983, Malcolm Fraser – who knew Mandela and visited him in prison, and in marked contrast to other contemporary Conservative heads of State like Margaret Thatcher (UK) and Ronald Reagan (USA), played a distinguished role in defeating South Africa’s Apartheid regime – has said of Mandela:

“How does one judge his place in history? Of all the people I have met, he was by far the greatest. I do not know anyone who could stand near to him. In the pages of history, there would be few who would stand as an equal …  His sense of forgiveness and of justice was immense. His sense of equity was absolute. For Mandela politics was a matter of high principle and of steadfast purpose. He did not need polls or focus groups. He knew what was right, he knew what had to be done”. Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Canberra Times

Nelson Mandela: ‘By far the greatest man’

December 6, 2013 – 10:25AM

Malcolm Fraser

Nelson Mandela’s life: from struggle, to greatness

Revered by millions as a leader in the fight against oppression, and as an archetype of reconciliation, Nelson Mandela leaves behind a grieving nation.

In the 1980s there was already a magnetism about Nelson Mandela. His name was known worldwide even though he had been in jail for 27 years. What kind of man could achieve that reputation from the barren Robben Island?

I first met Mandela in Cape Town’s Pollsmoor jail. I was with other members of the Commonwealth Group of Eminent Persons in 1986. He was a tall, spare man standing very straight with a steady eye. He was a person of natural grace and dignity.

Re-admitted: Nelson Mandela.A tribute: Nelson Mandela. Photo: Getty

We had come to see him to talk about negotiations between the African National Congress and the government of P.W. Botha.

He had some preliminary things to say, however. He looked at me and said, “Mr Fraser, is Donald Bradman still alive?” Later I was able to take a bat to Mandela, signed by Bradman, with the following notation: “To Nelson Mandela, in recognition of a great unfinished innings”.

Mandela then turned to Lord Barber, who had been Britain’s chancellor of the exchequer in Ted Heath’s government some years before. He said, “Lord Barber, I read somewhere that Prime Minister Thatcher said she could do business with President Gorbachev. Would you please tell her it would be very much easier and far, far safer to do business with Nelson Mandela.”

Nelson Mandela on the steps of the Sydney Opera House raises his fist for the national anthem. October 1990

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Nelson Mandela`s Address to a rally in Cape Town on his release from prison

11 February 1990

Friends, comrades and fellow South Africans.

I greet you all in the name of peace, democracy and freedom for all.

I stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. Your tireless and heroic sacrifices have made it possible for me to be here today. I therefore place the remaining years of my life in your hands.

On this day of my release, I extend my sincere and warmest gratitude to the millions of my compatriots and those in every corner of the globe who have campaigned tirelessly for my release.

I send special greetings to the people of Cape Town, this city which has been my home for three decades. Your mass marches and other forms of struggle have served as a constant source of strength to all political prisoners.

I salute the African National Congress. It has fulfilled our every expectation in its role as leader of the great march to freedom.

I salute our President, Comrade Oliver Tambo, for leading the ANC even under the most difficult circumstances.

I salute the rank and file members of the ANC. You have sacrificed life and limb in the pursuit of the noble cause of our struggle.

I salute combatants of Umkhonto we Sizwe, like Solomon Mahlangu and Ashley Kriel who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom of all South Africans.

I salute the South African Communist Party for its sterling contribution to the struggle for democracy. You have survived 40 years of unrelenting persecution. The memory of great communists like Moses Kotane, Yusuf Dadoo, Bram Fischer and Moses Mabhida will be cherished for generations to come.

I salute General Secretary Joe Slovo, one of our finest patriots. We are heartened by the fact that the alliance between ourselves and the Party remains as strong as it always was.

I salute the United Democratic Front, the National Education Crisis Committee, the South African Youth Congress, the Transvaal and Natal Indian Congresses and COSATU and the many other formations of the Mass Democratic Movement.

I also salute the Black Sash and the National Union of South African Students. We note with pride that you have acted as the conscience of white South Africa. Even during the darkest days in the history of our struggle you held the flag of liberty high. The large-scale mass mobilisation of the past few years is one of the key factors which led to the opening of the final chapter of our struggle.

I extend my greetings to the working class of our country. Your organised strength is the pride of our movement. You remain the most dependable force in the struggle to end exploitation and oppression.

I pay tribute to the many religious communities who carried the campaign for justice forward when the organisations for our people were silenced.

I greet the traditional leaders of our country – many of you continue to walk in the footsteps of great heroes like Hintsa and Sekhukune.

I pay tribute to the endless heroism of youth, you, the young lions. You, the young lions, have energised our entire struggle.

I pay tribute to the mothers and wives and sisters of our nation. You are the rock-hard foundation of our struggle. Apartheid has inflicted more pain on you than on anyone else.

On this occasion, we thank the world community for their great contribution to the anti-apartheid struggle. Without your support our struggle would not have reached this advanced stage. The sacrifice of the frontline states will be remembered by South Africans forever.

My salutations would be incomplete without expressing my deep appreciation for the strength given to me during my long and lonely years in prison by my beloved wife and family. I am convinced that your pain and suffering was far greater than my own.

Before I go any further I wish to make the point that I intend making only a few preliminary comments at this stage. I will make a more complete statement only after I have had the opportunity to consult with my comrades.

Today the majority of South Africans, black and white, recognise that apartheid has no future. It has to be ended by our own decisive mass action in order to build peace and security. The mass campaign of defiance and other actions of our organisation and people can only culminate in the establishment of democracy. The destruction caused by apartheid on our sub-continent is in- calculable. The fabric of family life of millions of my people has been shattered. Millions are homeless and unemployed. Our economy lies in ruins and our people are embroiled in political strife. Our resort to the armed struggle in 1960 with the formation of the military wing of the ANC, Umkhonto we Sizwe, was a purely defensive action against the violence of apartheid. The factors which necessitated the armed struggle still exist today. We have no option but to continue. We express the hope that a climate conducive to a negotiated settlement will be created soon so that there may no longer be the need for the armed struggle.

I am a loyal and disciplined member of the African National Congress. I am therefore in full agreement with all of its objectives, strategies and tactics.

The need to unite the people of our country is as important a task now as it always has been. No individual leader is able to take on this enormous task on his own. It is our task as leaders to place our views before our organisation and to allow the democratic structures to decide. On the question of democratic practice, I feel duty bound to make the point that a leader of the movement is a person who has been democratically elected at a national conference. This is a principle which must be upheld without any exceptions.

Today, I wish to report to you that my talks with the government have been aimed at normalising the political situation in the country. We have not as yet begun discussing the basic demands of the struggle. I wish to stress that I myself have at no time entered into negotiations about the future of our country except to insist on a meeting between the ANC and the government.

Mr De Klerk has gone further than any other Nationalist president in taking real steps to normalise the situation. However, there are further steps as outlined in the Harare Declaration that have to be met before negotiations on the basic demands of our people can begin. I reiterate our call for, inter alia, the immediate ending of the State of Emergency and the freeing of all, and not only some, political prisoners. Only such a normalised situation, which allows for free political activity, can allow us to consult our people in order to obtain a mandate.

The people need to be consulted on who will negotiate and on the content of such negotiations. Negotiations cannot take place above the heads or behind the backs of our people. It is our belief that the future of our country can only be determined by a body which is democratically elected on a non-racial basis. Negotiations on the dismantling of apartheid will have to address the over- whelming demand of our people for a democratic,

non-racial and unitary South Africa. There must be an end to white monopoly on political power and a fundamental restructuring of our political and economic systems to ensure that the inequalities of apartheid are addressed and our society thoroughly democratised.

It must be added that Mr De Klerk himself is a man of integrity who is acutely aware of the dangers of a public figure not honouring his undertakings. But as an organisation we base our policy and strategy on the harsh reality we are faced with. And this reality is that we are still suffering under the policy of the Nationalist government.

Our struggle has reached a decisive moment. We call on our people to seize this moment so that the process towards democracy is rapid and uninterrupted. We have waited too long for our freedom. We can no longer wait. Now is the time to intensify the struggle on all fronts. To relax our efforts now would be a mistake which generations to come will not be able to forgive. The sight of freedom looming on the horizon should encourage us to redouble our efforts.

It is only through disciplined mass action that our victory can be assured. We call on our white compatriots to join us in the shaping of a new South Africa. The freedom movement is a political home for you too. We call on the international community to continue the campaign to isolate the apartheid regime. To lift sanctions now would be to run the risk of aborting the process towards the complete eradication of apartheid.

Our march to freedom is irreversible. We must not allow fear to stand in our way. Universal suffrage on a common voters` role in a united democratic and non-racial South Africa is the only way to peace and racial harmony.

In conclusion I wish to quote my own words during my trial in 1964. They are true today as they were then:

`I have fought against white domination and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.`

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Hindu Leaders Reticent To Go Public On Sexual Abuse. Dr Frank Morales (Acharya-ji) An Exception

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 23, 2013

Barry PittardSubscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

In yesterday’s article - Shattered International Sathya Sai Organization Faces Dead Guru’s 2013 Birthday Celebrations - I said that early in our exposure of the Sathya Sai cult, my closest and immensely trusted collaborator the late Glen Meloy dearly wished that we could find a widely-respected Vedic pundit. He wrote to me saying that it was valuable to have the American academic Dr Timothy Conway’s expert

documented research on the record, but we still need an authentic voice from the hierarchy in the Hindu priesthood in India to speak out on these alleged kundalini raising procedures employed by Sai Baba. I think that the Hindu spiritual leaders owe it to all the faithful followers of Hinduism to set the record straight. It’s time for them to come out of the closet and dispel the false notion that shaktipat can only be done by touching the genitals or the muladhara region. It’s actually an insult being hurled by Sai Baba to all the Deities such as Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Lord Jesus, Lord Buddha, Moses or any of the names of God. Let’s put this kundalini raising claim to rest once and for all, so that the leadership of the Sai Organization cannot hide behind those false assertions”.

We repeatedly found Hindu leaders unwilling to comment. My own personal contact with a number of outstanding Indian swamis from different ashrams provided me with the privately shared knowledge that, far and wide in India, deeply distressed spiritual seekers with shocking experience at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba had sought the solace of other well-known ashrams. However, sexual abuse is still such a profoundly tabooed topic in India that my efforts to obtain public statements came to naught. However, one figure, not Indian, but held in enormously high regard both by many foremost academic institutions, religious scholars and Hindu teachers, responded to us personally and with decency, clarity and compassion, and came out with a public statement. This was Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (Dr Frank Morales), who has long advocated the use of the Vedic term ‘Sanathana Dharma’ rather than the relatively recent term ‘Hinduism’.

Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (Dr Frank Morales)

Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (Dr Frank Morales)

Of Morales, the Editor-in-Chief of the worldwide ‘Hinduism Today Magazine’, Paramacharya Palaniswami, has written:

“Few have the background and fewer still the courage to speak boldly about Hinduism in modern times. Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya has both, and wields them to trenchant purpose.” 

Here is the Acharya’s public statement:

PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE TO ZOOM IN

One of our outspoken former Sathya Sai Baba devotees – a highly credentialed psychologist with a great deal of experience counseling young people and others who have been sexually and in other ways abused – is Shirley Pike, of Iowa, USA.  She wrote to the Editor of Dr Frank Morales’ magazine:

January 22, 2001

Letter Of Resignation BY SHIRLEY PIKE EDITORIAL, Jan 22 (VNN) — Comment on “An Open Letter To The Followers Of Sathya Sai Baba

“Dear Editor, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for your compassionate and thoughtful editorial entitled “An Open Letter To The Followers Of Sathya Sai Baba” by Frank Morales. I resigned my position as president of a ten state region in the United States in late May (see attached resignation letter) after learning about the allegations and verifying them to my satisfaction. I have been working with an international group of ex-devotees, many of them the actual victims of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual molestation, for the last six months to expose this “horrific scandal”, as you so aptly term it.The saddest and most difficult aspect of all of this is the damage done to Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees and to their faith. Many families, my own included, are torn assunder as some members retain their faith in Sathya Sai Baba in the face of all evidence to the contrary. Those who take a stand against him are shunned, losing a community they held dear for decades in many cases.Not only is the focus of your spiritual life gone, but your friends and family and community are gone as well. Thank you so much for reaching out and offering support to us in this very dark hour. That is true dharma. Sincerely and God Bless,

Shirley Pike

former president of the North Central Region of the Sathya Sai Baba Organization of the United States of America

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Shattered International Sathya Sai Organization Faces Dead Guru’s 2013 Birthday Celebrations

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2013

Barry Pittard

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Suddenly and shockingly, almost overnight, many Sai devotees demonized those who, for decades, were highly regarded in the Sai Baba fold, once they spoke out. As I was to learn from others well beyond this cult who have exposed corruption and betrayal in authoritarian organizations, this demonization process is an inescapable result for those who speak out, no matter how responsibly and within integrity they do so. It is, perhaps, all the more disturbing when the hatred, anger, distortion of one’s words, defamation, libel, and ice-cold shunning come from those who claim to be involved in spirituality. 

Happily, Glen Meloy’s hope expressed to me (see below) that we would be able to get a distinguished acharya widely influential within Hinduism to make a public statement about the abuse issue was to be realised. We eventually corresponded with a renowned Vedic scholar and teacher, Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (Dr Frank Morales). He responded personally, graciously and kindly. He also soon went public, which we found Indian religious authorities unwilling to do. For the Acharya-ji’s statement, see my post that follows this one: 

Hindu Leaders Reticent To Go Public On Sexual Abuse. Dr Frank Morales (Acharya-ji) An Exception. Posted by Barry Pittard on November 23, 2013

The following note from Ron Mead (husband of one of the foremost Sai cult matriarchs, Bernice Mead) to Glen Meloy shows a reaction typical in its head-in-the-sand attitude when devotees are confronted with their guru’s wrongdoings: psychological denial.


Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2000 22:53:07 -0700 (PDT

To: Glen Meloy

Subject: Re: BABA DOUBTING

Glen I have dealt with the issue you are dealing with for many year numerous times and have searched for clues and “I” have talked to some of the males involved. I did not jump to the same conclusions that you have. My first case goes back as far as 68 and 69. When possible I always ask question but did not always get answers because The boy involved would not or could not relate their thoughts and fantasies prior to the act that would be described as sexual. Remember sex is a mental process. You face the same situation. Those boys did not tell you or anyone else their thoughts or fantasies, related to sex, that repeated themselves perhaps most of their life. Homosexuality is brought on by an Aberration of the mind, (thoughts) in some form related to sex. AND can only be controlled in the same manner. I COULD GO ON AND ON FOR HOURS. I WANT YOU TO KNOW IT IS NOT MY INTENT TO CHANGE YOUR MIND ABOUT WHAT YOU ARE DOING BECAUSE I THINK YOU HAVE YOUR MIND MADE UP. IT IS OBVIOUS TO ME THAT YOU CONSIDER Sathya Sai Baba TO BE AN ORDINARY MAN OR A LITTLE EXTRA ORDINARY IF AT AGE 74 HE COULD HAVE AN EJACULATION WITH THOSE FEW MOTIONS OF THE PELVIS. THE ACT WAS NOT FOR HIS GRATIFICATION. I will just consider this time wasted motion. If I had the time a conversation with you I think it would be interesting just to find out how you are reasoning. R. MEAD

Glen Meloy comments:

“The strange logic employed by Bozzani and the Meads is interwoven with excuses for the oilings, but no outright denial that they took place. And somehow they seem justified in their minds because they believe Sathya Sai Baba to be pure and that he is only involved in a healing ritual and does not receive any physical gratification for himself. This reasoning is absurd…. Even if the oiling was the only act performed, one could still legitimately question why if he was really God, does he need to actually touch their genitals? Would not a gesture or a look from the all powerful God of the Universe be enough to effect a healing without touching the individual? Surely, the God of the Universe would not have to engage in oral sex and/or ejaculate in the mouths of his devotees to effect a healing?. Where is the healing in an act which most prudent persons would characterize as pure self gratification? Barry, I want you to know that I am grateful to have Timothy Conway’s documented research on the record, but we still need an authentic voice from the hierarchy in the Hindu priesthood in India to speak out on these alleged kundalini raising procedures employed by Sai Baba. I think that the Hindu spiritual leaders owe it to all the faithful followers of Hinduism to set the record straight. It’s time for them to come out of the closet and dispel the false notion that shaktipat can only be done by touching the genitals or the muladhara region. It’s actually an insult being hurled by Sai Baba to all the Deities such as Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Lord Jesus, Lord Buddha, Moses or any of the names of God. Let’s put this kundalini raising claim to rest once and for all, so that the leadership of the Sai Organization cannot hide behind those false assertions. As Timothy so aptly stated…… Barry, you have my permission to distribute this to anyone on your mailing list and to also post it on any web site, both pro and con. Much Love and Light, Glen Meloy”

In my post at this time last year:

Sathya Sai Baba’s Birthday, 2012: No Celebration For A Many Worldwide Who Mourn As Victims, Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2012, I wrote:

‘For thousands of former Sathya Sai Baba followers worldwide, there is no celebrating the late would-be ‘Avatar’s’ birthday on 23 November. Often without formally resigning, countless left his international Sathya Sai Organization. Many who had thought to join it did not do so. The cult is in terrible disarray.

I am all the more saddened at his vast betrayal, because, for two years (circa 1978-79), I lectured in the three-years Arts degree course at the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, and will never forget, as I was all too slow in discovering, his and his organization’s profound failure in duty of care for the students. See my article and the BBC television documentary, The Secret Swami: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

I worked hard, as any conscientious teacher does, to see that the utmost dedication, trust and skill served them as of their complete birthright. I was at my most idealistic – More than just a work force, I wanted to see the building of a soul force.’

pomp2

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

As I was to learn from others well beyond this cult who have exposed corruption and betrayal in authoritarian organizations, this demonization process is an inescapable result for those who speak out, no matter how responsibly and within integrity they do so. It is, perhaps, all the more disturbing when the hatred, anger, distortion of one’s words, defamation, libel, and ice-cold shunning come from those who claim to be involved in spirituality. Indeed, right at the Sai Organizational apex, Sai Baba’s close aide, Dr Venkataraman could be seen in full swing, and most devoid of the love and truthfulness which he, like Sai Baba, so often extol above all qualities. See:

Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 18, 2009

After he learnt of Sathya Sai Baba’s serial and large-scale sexual abuse of boys and young men, Glen Meloy embarked on an enormously self-sacrificing, far-reaching systematic investigation of the allegations. This included families and victims whom Glen had known for years. By some children of Sathya Sai devotees of many years standing, Glen was lovingly known as ‘Uncle Glen’.

Increasingly, from circa 2000, much-assisted by the spectacular growth of the internet, first-hand and terrible stories spread of homosexual and other forms of abuse at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba. Devotees in many countries became former devotees, and began to network. I just wish we could have had Skype back in those days.

This exit from the worldwide Sathya Sai Organization included top leaders as well as those from the rank-and-file. See my articles (which contain many further links) e.g.,:

The Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba and Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia ‘BILD’ Story. “Guru Wants Sex” (Sathya Sai Baba) and Why Do Prominent Sathya Sai Baba Sect Critics Persist? and Timothy Conway Ph.D – On ‘The Hislop Letters’ and BBC Transcript ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sathya Sai Baba’s Frauds Exposed)

With an enormous amount of international coordination among former Sai Baba devotees, we were able to bring our case to the United Nations, Interpol, and many leading media. See:

BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 26, 2007

Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba)

See my obituary for Glen, who was (until after his death when Robert Priddy and I joined forces) my closest collaborator in exposing Sathya Sai Baba and his cult:

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009

See also:

The Genesis of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sai Baba)

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 9, 2007

U.S. State Department Named Sathya Sai Baba To BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 31, 2010

Sathya Sai Organization, Australia, Ex-Head Terry Gallagher’s Testimony Against Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2009

On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult (Parts 1, 2 and 3)

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2009

Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman: Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 24, 2010

See, too former head (resigned in 2000 after investigating multiple sex abuse and the cover up of murders in Sai Baba’s bedroom) of Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization Robert Priddy’s:

SATHYA SAI BABA – WORLD-WIDE EXPOSURE OF REPORTED SEXUAL ABUSES BY THE ‘SECRET SWAMI’
A documented overview of the history and extent of the alleged sexual abuses by Sathya Sai Baba and the questions they raise

Part 1 – The Great Scandal Has Come to Stay

1 A long history of reports through decades
2 The cover-up of allegations about Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual behaviour

3 ‘The Findings’ by David Bailey – once the top favourite foreign devotee – released the floodgates for testimonies
4. Deceptions and failed prophesies revealed…..

5. Strong circumstantial and corroborative evidence

6. Sai Baba knew he would some day be caught out, saying, “A great scandal is coming”

Part 2 – Smoke Not Without Fire – Claims and Evidence of Serious Molestations

6 Sai Baba’s ‘oiling’ of genitals of young males an ‘acceptable practice’?
7 Young men and their relatives testify to major sexual abuse by Sai Baba
8 Sex with “the Avatar” proclaimed as “Good Chances”

Part 3 – More smoke and fuel to the fire

9 Many young boys from abroad given too much attention and soon left Sai Baba?
10 Sai Baba’s entrapped student boys and young men serially abused?

Part 4 – The Jigsaw of Mounting Testimony & Circumstantial Evidence Takes Shape

11 More Documented claims of sexual molestation
12 Ram Das Awle’s alleged ‘channeled’ explanation to justify perverse sex by Sai Baba
13 Sai Baba a threat to many of his students
14 Claims that Sai Baba is a hermaphrodite

Part 5 – Sathya Sai Baba’s Claims of Purity and Celibacy that Defy all Accounts

15 Defending the indefensible – rationalizing pedophile activities

16 Sathya Sai Baba never celibate – fresh evidence
17 The self-professed ‘teacher of mankind’ who totally avoids the subject of sexuality?

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to WebwagSubscribe in a readerSubscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Parapsychologist Erlendur Haraldsson Under Fire For Suppressing Vital Evidence About Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 15, 2013

Barry Pittard

 See:

The last mentioned link, especially, may severely contribute to the permanent academic and social discrediting of the Icelandic parapsychologist, Professor Erlendur Haraldsson. The Wikipedia entry on Haraldsson states that he “is a Professor emeritus of psychology at the Faculty of social science at the University who, despite having retired from his former post at the University of Iceland, continues to be an active academic”.
The readings cited above suggest, in various of Haraldsson’s writings terribly flawed researches but also in serious disconnects between what he has divulged privately, and what he has written publicly, including in his latest book:  “Modern Miracles: The Story of Sathya Sai Baba: A Modern Day Prophet” (2013, ISBN 9781908733252).modern_miracles

He certainly has been active in traveling around the world, hosted by Sathya Sai Baba devotees avid to hear his allegedly learned confirmations of Sathya Sai Baba in 1980. It delighted them to hear such a noted academician say how remarkable was Sathya Sai Baba, a great spiritual being, ‘true to his nation’.  See:  Erlendur Haraldsson (1980), “Golden Age”, Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications, Prasanthi Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh, 255-256. This year, Haraldsson has given university lectures on Sathya Sai Baba in the UK. We regretted that we were not able quickly enough to get academics along who were prepared to question him in a rational, scientific way.

For several years, Haraldsson and Robert Priddy, retired academic philosopher and social scientist (Oslo University, Norway), and for many years head of the Sathya Sai Organisation in Norway, were friends. During a plentiful exchange of emails, Haraldsson made frank disclosures that, as we compare the emails and other reputable testimony as viewed alongside his public writings, are very different indeed to what he has stated to the world at large, and this in books published in (according to a note on Haraldsson’s website) 17 languages and in many editions.
Recent photo of Erlendur Haraldsson as guest of Robert Priddy in Norway
Priddy says that, after his repeated sharing with Haraldsson important and highly credible data (including television footage from the BBC and India’s national broadcaster Doordarshan) that e.g., showed Sai Baba faking of miracles, he felt that Haraldsson’s continued suppression of his real views (which have long had a readership of many thousands of Sathya Sai Baba followers around the world) and his sweeping dismissals of palpable contrary evidence were so serious a professional and ethical affront that he, Priddy, has now released the traffic of emails.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Rolf Harris Charged With Child Sex Assault and Making Indecent Images of Children

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 30, 2013

Barry PittardSubscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The British Crown Prosecution Service has just announced it is satisfied it has enough evidence for successful pedophilia charges against Rolf Harris, the famous ex-patriot Australian entertainer and artist. His trial has been set for 23 September 2013.

Rolf Harris and Queen Elizabeth 11. Rolf Harris alongside his picture of Queen Elizabeth 11. Harris, like one of the biggest pedophiles in history, Sir Jimmy Savile (whom he also drew), has long had rare privileged guest status at Buckingham Palace, and among other British Royals, some of whom have had affiliations with Sathya Sai Baba, such as Prince Charles, the Queen's son.
Rolf Harris alongside his portrait of Queen Elizabeth 11. Harris, like one of the biggest pedophiles in history, Sir Jimmy Savile (whom he also drew), has long had rare privileged guest status at Buckingham Palace, and is favoured among other British Royals, some of whom have had affiliations with Sathya Sai Baba, such as Prince Charles, the Queen’s son.

Harris has long been identified as a devotee of (the late) Sathya Sai Baba. This most famous and powerful of Indian gurus may in one respect be compared to Sir Jimmy Savile, the British entertainment star – whose pedophile rampage over decades gave terribly belated impetus to investigating other celebrities such as Rolf Harris. Both were among history’s worst pedophiles. Sathya Sai Baba and Savile both received powerful protective patronage in the highest places, which secreted their crimes and prevented their prosecution.

In 2012, given British traditions of justice, some media and other observers were censured for being too prompt to release Harris identity as being among those investigated by Scotland Yard’s ‘Operation Yewtree’. The police, however, continued their investigation but without revealing Harris as one of their many targets of enquiry.

Operation Yewtree is an ongoing, watershed British investigation set up after enormous public outcry and government action in the wake of the Sir Jimmy Savile pedophile scandal. 

Rolf Harris Sketch of Sir Jimmy Savile
Rolf Harris Sketch of Sir Jimmy Savile

See my articles on the Sir Jimmy Savile issue:

Serial Pedophile Issues and Comparisons: Sir Jimmy Savile and Sathya Sai Baba

Pedophilia: Why Do Most Of Us Protect the Jimmy Saviles Everywhere?

Charge sheet facing Rolf Harris. (Harris’s trial is set for 23 September 2013):

  • Indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 years between 5 April 1980 and 4 April 1981.
  • Indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 years between 5 April 1980 and 4 April 1981.
  • Indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 years between 5 April 1980 and 4 April 1981.
  • Indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 years between 5 April 1980 and 4 April 1981.
  • Indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 years between 5 April 1980 and 4 April 1981.
  • Indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 years between 5 April 1980 and 4 April 1981.
  • Indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 years between 28 April and 7 June 1986
  • Indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 years between 28 April and 7 June 1986
  • Indecent assault on a girl under the age of 16 years between 28 April and 7 June 1986
  • Making indecent images of children on or before 16 March 2012
  • Making indecent images of children on or before 25 May 2012
  • Making indecent images of children on or before 11 June 2012
  • Making indecent images of children on or before 18 July 2012

My articles on the Rolf Harris issue, from which I include a brief quote, are:

British Police Re-Arrest Rolf Harris In Operation Yewtree Pedophilia Hunt

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 20, 2013

Operation Yewtree originated in the UK pedophile scandal which exposed the British entertainer and disgraced national treasure, Sir Jimmy Savile, who, like Sathya Sai Baba, was a pedophile on a vast scale – one never met in British police force history. He had extraordinary access to members of the Royal Family and to Buckingham Palace itself. The Yewtree remit is to investigate:

- claims against Savile

- claims against Savile and others

- claims against others

Investigators Can Probe Rolf Harris’s Links With Sathya Sai Baba, Target Of Major Serial Pedophile Allegations

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 22, 2013

Once the closest of all western followers of Sai Baba, David Bailey, the well-known British musician and, like myself, a former lecturer in Sai Baba’s education establishment, has told us about his visit along with Rolf Harris to the University of Leeds, some thirty years ago. Harris played the guitar and evangelized Sai Baba to a group of around thirty students. David has mentioned his irritation at the time that Harris insisted on a first class return fare from London.See my: Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba  and:  David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses and: Reply to a Sathya Sai Devotee’s Note re: David and Faye Bailey

Rolf Harris (Sathya Sai Baba Cult Man): Scotland Yard Investigators Travel to Australia

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 3, 2013

The famous Australian entertainer Rolf Harris is, in the true sense, a household name in Australia and the UK. His name, like that of his friend, the major jazz and blues singer Dana Gillespie, has long been associated with Sathya Sai Baba.

Rolf Harris, 83, Facing Underage Sex Accusations, Does Second Big Stage Show

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 20, 2013

Australian entertainer, Rolf Harris, 83, long  mentioned as a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, has just done a second concert for this year (the last being in February). In the last two years, British police arrested him for questioning about underage sexual assault allegations. He is required to report to police for further question in about a week.

Last November, he was interviewed under caution, and again arrested last March, two days prior to turning 83.  Since then, a second Australian woman given testimony against him.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

First News Reports

ABC NEWS

Rolf Harris charged with indecent assault and making indecent images of a child

By Europe correspondent Mary Gearin, staff

Rolf Harris has made no public comment following revelations British police have charged him with nine counts of indecent assault and four counts of making indecent images of a child.

Six of the indecent assault charges relate to the alleged assault of a girl aged between 15 and 16 in the years 1980 and 1981, while the other three relate to the alleged assault of a 14-year-old girl in 1986.

The four charges of making indecent images of a child relate to alleged incidents between March and July 2012.

Most of the charges carry maximum sentences of five years, some carry a maximum of 10.

Neither Harris nor any of his representatives have made any comment.

The charges come as a part of Operation Yewtree, the investigation prompted by the child sexual abuse allegations against late BBC TV star Jimmy Savile.

Key points

  • Rolf Harris charged with a total of 13 offences.
  • Nine indecent-assault charges relate to alleged incidents with teenage girls in 1980-81 and 1986.
  • Four charges of making an indecent image relate to alleged incidents in 2012.
  • First arrested in November 29, 2012.
  • Harris will appear in court on September 23.

 Alison Saunders from the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) says evidence from the Metropolitan Police has been carefully considered.

‘Realistic prospect’ of conviction: prosecutors

Ms Saunders says there is sufficient evidence against Harris for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction.

“Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Harris to be charged with nine counts of indecent assault and four of making indecent images of a child,” she said in a statement.

“The alleged indecent assaults date from 1980 to 1986 and relate to two complainants aged 14 and 15 at the time of the alleged offending.

“The decision to prosecute has been taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors and the DPP’s interim guidelines on prosecuting cases of child sexual abuse.

“We have determined that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and that a prosecution is in the public interest.”

Court date set for September

Rolf Harris: Timeline

  • Born in Perth, Australia in 1930.
  • Harris moved to the UK in 1952 and begun drawing animation for TV.
  • In 1957, Harris wrote ‘Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport’, which became a top-ten hit around the world.
  • In 1973, he played the first-ever concert held in the Concert Hall of the Sydney Opera House.
  • He invented the percussive instrument the “wobble board” in the 1970s.
  • Harris later moved into TV, appearing on many British television shows in the 1970s and 80s.

Harris is set to appear in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court on September 23.

Harris was first arrested on November 29 last year over alleged sexual offences.

He was re-arrested earlier this month but was granted bail without being charged.

A file of evidence was passed on to the CPS from the Metropolitan Police on August 12.

It is notable to say that this is the first time Scotland Yard has actually named Harris.

It has only been the media that in the past few months have published his name and his identity in relation to this investigation.

Harris has been keeping a very low profile and the police, in turn, also have been very circumspect about giving any information out.

Harris charges not related to Savile abuse

Harris’s case relates to the third strand of Operation Yewtree, which is investigating allegations of abuse not related to the Savile scandal but which emerged in its wake.

He is now the fourth person to be charged as a result of the operation.

While Harris is yet to make any public comment about the allegations, the veteran entertainer alluded to the scandal during a concert in Bristol in May.

“You’ve got no idea what this means to have you turn up with such enthusiasm and such support,” he told the audience.

Harris received a standing ovation at the beginning and end of the concert.

Topics: sexual-offencesarts-and-entertainmentpeoplehuman-interestenglandaustralia

First posted Thu 29 Aug 2013, 9:09pm AEST

The Independent

Rolf Harris charged with indecent assault of two girls

Paul Peachey.  THURSDAY 29 AUGUST 2013

The television presenter and entertainer Rolf Harris was today charged with indecently assaulting two teenage girls and making indecent images of a child.

The 83-year-old will appear in court next month facing nine counts of indecent assault dating back to the 1980s and four of making indecent images from last year, police and prosecutors said.

Mr Harris, of Maidenhead, Berkshire, was first arrested in November last year by detectives on the Jimmy Savile child abuse inquiry, Operation Yewtree, but his identity was not publicly revealed for months.

Police do not reveal names of people it arrests, and Mr Harris was known only as “Yewtree Five” until April, while other suspects were swiftly identified through lawyers, agents or neighbours.

Alison Saunders, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said the charges were imposed after lawyers agreed there was sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it was in the public interest.

“We have carefully considered the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police Service as part of Operation Yewtree in relation to Rolf Harris

“Having completed our review, we have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest for Mr Harris to be charged with nine counts of indecent assault and four of making indecent images of a child.

“The alleged indecent assaults date from 1980 to 1986 and relate to two complainants aged 14 and 15 at the time of the alleged offending.”

The Australian-born entertainer will appear at Westminster magistrates court on September 23. The DJ, Dave Lee Travis, and PR guru Max Clifford, have already appeared in court after charges were laid in connection with the Yewtree inquiry.

Mr Harris, who painted a portrait of the Queen in 2005 and performed at her Diamond Jubilee concert last year, has been a family favourite for decades.

He had his first musical hit Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport in 1960, and continued to enjoy success in the industry, gaining cult status in recent years and performing at Glastonbury festival several times.

He also proved popular as a television presenter, getting his first big break in 1967 when he began hosting his own BBC1 programme, The Rolf Harris Show, before moving on to children’s television in the 1980s and then to Animal Hospital, which he hosted from 1994 to 2004.

Mr Harris was awarded an MBE in 1968, an OBE in 1977 and a CBE in 2006, and was made Officer of the Order of Australia in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list last year.

Related articles

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Violence Between Sathya Sai Baba Relatives Continues

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 15, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

For background to this story, see my post: Violence Erupts In Sathya Sai Central Trust Saga.  Barry Pittard on July 9, 2013.

A correspondant of mine – well familiar with life at Puttaparthi, including members of the late Sathya Sai Baba’s family – notes that she “would not be surprised if death or dire injury occurs in the near future” and that “woe be it to anyone trying to point out faults of the powerful Ratnakar!”

The New Indian Express

Satya Sai’s kin Ganapati, son held for attacking Man

By Express News Service – ANANTAPUR.  15th July 2013 08:38 AM

In yet another turn to the ongoing turf war between the Satya Sai family members, Ganapathy Raju and Ratnakar Raju, the police on Sunday arrested Ganapathy Raju and his son following a complaint lodged by a person said to be a close associate of Ratnakar Raju.

The complainant alleged that he had been attacked by Ganapathi Raju a week ago.

Following the complaint, police have arrested Ganapathi Raju, who is a close relative of Sri Satya Sai Baba, along with son in Puttaparthi on Sunday.

According to Puttaparthi police circle inspector Sridhar, a person named Sai Prasad, who was said to be the follower of Satya Sai Cenral Trust member Ratnakar, lodged a complaint with the police that Ganapathi and his son had attacked him with an iron rod near the APSRTC bus stand in Puttaparthi a week ago.

Acting on the complaint, the police arrested the father-son duo and later admitted them to a hospital, as both had injuries.

Some of the alleged followers of Ratnakar had allegedly attacked the residence of Ganapathi, who is the first cousin of Sai Baba, in Puttaparthi on July 7.

Later, he went to the police station for lodging a complaint and had gone missing since then and was arrested by the police along with his son on July 14.

Differences between Ratnakar and Ganapathi  reached a peak after the trust members received a mail, in which the mailer demanded a ransom of `25 lakh from them.

After learning about the mail, Ganapathi suspected it as the handiwork of Ratnakar and asked the trust members to trace the persons involved in it.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Violence Erupts In Sathya Sai Central Trust Saga

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 9, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Yet another scandal has erupted in the Sathya Sai Baba camp, again involving the Sathya Sai Central Trust, whose exceptional dishonesty became, particularly following Sai Baba’s death in April 2011, only too clear as it came under increasing media attention. Contestants fought publicly, loudly and bitterly, and government and police actions made extraordinary discoveries. See: Sai Baba Treasure Scandals: His Big Political Protectors Now Run For Cover. Posted by Barry Pittard on June 22, 2011

This earlier news item gives a brief background to the present scandal:

R.J. Ratnakar, Sathya Sai Central Trust, AccusedR.J. Ratnakar, Sathya Sai Central Trust, Accused by M. Ganapathy Raju
R.J. Ratnakar, Nephew of Sathya Sai BabaR.J. Ratnakar, nephew of Sathya Sai Baba. and Sathya Sai Central Trust member

Before coming to know of the dark scandals in the life of Sathya Sai Baba and others around him, Eileen Weed (USA) closely attended on Sai Baba’s sister Venkamma. Ms Weed, formerly known by the spiritual name ‘Divya’, is known as a fluent Telegu speaker and writer and responsible for editing tasks related to Sai Baba publishing. For background on this important primary witness, who lived in Sai Baba ashrams for many years, see: Sathya Sai ashram honeymoon delusions depicted. Posted by robertpriddy on August 2, 2012

In response to the latest revelations, Ms Weed (see news report below), has just written to myself and another:

“I was actually surprised that Ganapathy Raju didn’t get into trouble before”.

————————————-

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Fight over Satya Sai Baba trust turns violent

By Express News Service – ANANTAPUR

08th July 2013 08:31 AM

The turf war between the relatives of Sri Satya Sai Baba reached its peak with an attack on the residence of M Ganapathy Raju, the first cousin of Satya Sai Baba, by alleged followers of Ratnakar, member of Sri Satya Sai Central Trust and also nephew of Sai Baba, in Puttaparti on Sunday.

The agitators also burnt Ganapathy Raju’s effigy by alleging that he is hurting the sentiments of Satya Sai devotees. Though it was learnt that Raju went to the police station for lodging a complaint over the incident, he did not return home till late in the evening. Meanwhile, rumours were making rounds in Puttaparti about the abduction of Ganapathy Raju by followers of Ratnakar. There are also reports that the police took him into their custody and shifted him to Bangalore citing security concerns. Following the demise of Sai Baba, allegations poured up against the trust members especially against Ratnakar, that he is damaging the image of Sai Baba.

However, Ratnakar described all the allegations as ‘baseless’ from time to time.

Meanwhile, the trust members received a mail from rajuug 1958@yahoo.in, in which the mailer demanded a ransom of Rs 25 lakh from the trust members.

After learning about the mail, Ganapathy Raju, whose mail ID (rajug1958@yahoo.co.in) is almost similar to the above mail ID suspected it as the handiwork of Ratnakar and sought the trust members to unravel the persons involved.

Later, he also lodged a complaint with the district SP some time ago and it was learnt that a CID official directed the district police to probe the issue recently. As per directions, the district police enquired him about it.

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization
Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a readerSubscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Positive Approach To Overcoming Racism: An RUA Project In Sydney, Australia

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 30, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Yesterday’s news story in The Australian (see full article below) about the ‘Respect, Understanding, Acceptance’ (RUA) project among some schools in Sydney, Australia, is inspiring. The newspaper reports:

NINE years ago, a Jewish girl was walking home from school on Sydney’s north shore when a busload of students from a neighbouring school roared past her and began shouting racist slurs.

Rather than insist on harsh punishments against the students involved, the state’s Jewish leadership proposed a novel solution of bringing the distraught girl face-to-face with her anti-Semitic attackers.

“We started out with 20 Catholic students, 20 Jewish and 20 Muslim students and got them talking to each other,” Vic Alhadeff, chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, said.

“The students were able to ask direct questions about why people with different cultures or faiths or backgrounds engage in their different cultural practices. It was an enormous benefit and an opportunity for the students.”

Almost a decade later the program - now labelled Respect, Understanding, Acceptance - involves more than 1500 Sydney school students each year, brought together in groups of 100 or 200 to learn about each other and to discuss issues of racism.

Sarva Dharma SymbolsThe Sathya Sai Organization has long made much of the so-called ‘All Faiths’ credo (Sarva Dharma).

Sarva Dharma US StyleClearly, it does not denigrate various faiths, and to this extent cannot be regarded as a force of active division and conflict. In fact, Sai Baba centers teach children the main elements of the major world religions, and many Sai centers invite practitioners of those religions to give introductory talks, whether to children or adults.

Worldwide, a great many worthy organizations do extraordinary work.  But those familiar with Sai Baba and his Indian leaders’ talks will recall gross exaggerations about his impact around the world. Sathya Sai Baba and his leaders had their chance to make good their claims about bringing religions into mutual respect and harmony. In neither India nor the rest of the world, has Puttaparthi has been visible as a broker of any remarkable peace and harmony.

However, Sai Baba followers from other countries know but – as befits the cultic mind in denial – turn a deaf ear to the extraordinary, tall claims.The claims do great injustice to the countless people and groups doing signal work for a better world.

Throughout many decades, despite all the ‘Sarva Dharma’ talk within Sai Baba circles, the overwhelming influence seen at Puttaparthi is classical Hinduism. In a systemically vague notion, this, Sathya Sai Baba proclaimed, he would restore, and much of the achievement he would fulfil in his own lifetime. He achieved nothing of the sort, a fact which his devotees adroitly ignore. See: Sai Baba claims all power & the universe is in his hand (video clip). Posted by robertpriddy on August 1, 2011

Even the most diligent search fails to turn up evidence of any significant Sathya Sai Baba impact in, for example, the ecumenical world, or in international fora for solving key challenges like war, racism, genocide, world poverty, environmental destruction, and so on.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Students brought together to learn about each other and discuss issues of racism

Students from the program

At the RUA gathering yesterday were, from left, Alysa Vinokur, Wassim Naboulsi, Lizz Diggins, Jordan Werner-Hall, Maddi Breen and Mahmoud Skef.  Picture: James Croucher Source: The Australian

NINE years ago, a Jewish girl was walking home from school on Sydney’s north shore when a busload of students from a neighbouring school roared past her and began shouting racist slurs.

Rather than insist on harsh punishments against the students involved, the state’s Jewish leadership proposed a novel solution of bringing the distraught girl face-to-face with her anti-Semitic attackers.

“We started out with 20 Catholic students, 20 Jewish and 20 Muslim students and got them talking to each other,” Vic Alhadeff, chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, said.

“The students were able to ask direct questions about why people with different cultures or faiths or backgrounds engage in their different cultural practices. It was an enormous benefit and an opportunity for the students.”

Almost a decade later the program - now labelled Respect, Understanding, Acceptance - involves more than 1500 Sydney school students each year, brought together in groups of 100 or 200 to learn about each other and to discuss issues of racism.

The program is touted as a way of helping young Australians break the cycles of racism demonstrated by recent incidents involving ABC presenter Jeremy Fernandez — abused with his daughter on a bus in February — and AFL star Adam Goodes, who was branded an “ape” by a 13-year-old female spectator in Melbourne at the weekend.

“Clearly, some racism which one encounters is coming from the home, and that is where the real challenge is. We must counter negative messages, the bigoted messages coming from the home,” Mr Alhadeff said. “There is no such thing as a bystander. If you’re a bystander, you’re part of the problem.”

Yesterday’s RUA gathering at the University of NSW allowed students from Granville Boys High - a public school in Sydney’s strongly-Islamic west - to come face-to-face with pupils from Brigidine College and Masada College, a Catholic girls school and Jewish school on the city’s affluent north shore.

Brigidine student Maddi Breen, 16, said the meeting gave her an opportunity to meet and mingle with the city’s Muslims, who are a rare sight in St Ives, where her school and Masada are located.

“I don’t think we have any Islamic people at my school. We learn about Islam when we study religion, but this is giving us a chance to meet and understand each other,” she said.

Granville’s Mahmoud Skef, 15, said he had learned that Jews prayed three times a day.

Muslims make up 18.5 per cent of the population in Granville, compared with 0.6 per cent in St Ives. Jews account for 13 per cent of St Ives residents, compared with 0.3 per cent in Granville.

From Archives of Racismnoway comes this undated article.

Anti-racism education for Australian schools

School initiatives

Respect, Understanding and Acceptance

150 students come together for intercultural experience

Respect - Understanding - Acceptance ABOUT 150 Jewish, Muslim, Armenian, Aboriginal and Christian students from four north shore schools came together at the Galstaun College in Ingleside last week for the first event of an innovative three-part intercultural program titled “Respect, Understanding and Acceptance”. Devised by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Education Secretariat, the program brings together students from the Galstaun Armenian College, Masada College (a Jewish school), the Australian Islamic College of Sydney and St Paul’s Catholic College, Manly.

The students met for a day of discussion and multimedia performances.

Guest speaker Dai Le, Community Relations Manager for the NSW Liberal Party, told the students of her treacherous journey to Australia on a tiny boat escaping Vietnam. She stressed the importance of building bridges between the diverse cultures which call this country home. NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff said the program encourages the students “to respect each others’ differences and to have the guts to speak out when you see someone being isolated, marginalised or discriminated against.”

The second event of the program will be held at the Sydney Jewish Museum on Harmony Day in May and the third at Masada College in October. Both will feature interactive sessions with Jewish, Muslim, Armenian, Aboriginal and Catholic speakers.

Clusters of the RUA program involving other cultural and faith groups will also run in the east and south west of Sydney in 2010.

For more information : or to join a cluster: email benmenashe@nswjbd.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cardinal Pell Admits “False Documents” and “Reprehensible Cover-ups”

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 29, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

After all the years of betrayal, and only since the epoch-making advent of a high-powered Royal Commission set up to investigate institutional sexual abuse, Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s foremost Roman Catholic official, now admits long years of Church silence and cover-up. The hearing to which I refer below, though, is of a parliamentary committee of the State of  Victoria, Australia. See:  

Cardinal Pell admits  Catholic Church coverup of sexual abuse by priests

Cardinal Pell admits long Catholic Church coverup of sexual abuse by priests

I have earlier (14 November 2013) written of Pell, stating:

“In Australia, both many Roman Catholics and the public more widely regard the head of the Catholic Church in this country, Cardinal Pell, as an arch conservative. In my view, Pell is symptomatic of a grave and untreated problem quite other than the issue of any continuing institutional cover up. Too often, reform does not get to the roots of a problem, and becomes a different sort of cover up – that is to say, there is a covering up of, or of a blindness to, those very problematic roots. One of these roots problems is a focus on institutional survival. This greatly thwarts the addressing of justice and healing issues that relate to sexual abuse survivors. One area in which this occurs is an institution’s lawyer-mediated, miserable out-of-court settlements. Mr and Mrs Foster’s case is one of a great many which show the cruelty of such arrangements. (See video footage): Parents’ harrowing story, ABC News Breakfast, November 13: 2013.”  Australian Royal Commission To Probe Institutional Handling Of Child Sexual Abuse. Posted by Barry Pittard on November 14, 2012

From long experience in dealing with the international Sathya Sai Organization’s profound denial and cover-up, and the tremendous betrayal and hurt many families worldwide, I know too of the culture of cultic secrecy and shrinkage of normal human compassion.  And I strongly recommend my readers to view the ABC (Australia’s national broadcaster) footage of the Roman Catholic family who lost a daughter to suicide and saw their other daughter succumb to binge drinking – outcomes sadly familiar to those who deal with the evil that is sexual abuse.

We have many former Sathya Sai devotees whose testimony is compelling  like that of  husband and wife Anthony and Chrissie Foster.  Click here for Video: Anthony and Christine Foster on Pell’s testimony (7.30). 

Mr and Mrs Anthony and Christine Foster, Roman Catholics who have waged a long battle to expose the Catholic Church cover-up of clergy sexual abuse. The story of their two daughters abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest Father Kevin Dillon of St Mary of the Angels Catholic Parish in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, is most harrowing.

Mr and Mrs Anthony and Christine Foster, Roman Catholics who have waged a long battle to expose the Catholic Church cover-up of clergy sexual abuse. The story of their two daughters abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest, Father Kevin Dillon of St Mary of the Angels Catholic Parish in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, is most harrowing. We need to listen, though, with our hearts ….

The background story is that the Foster family’s parish priest, Father Kevin O’Donnell, repeatedly raped Foster’s two daughters, Emma and Katie, in primary school. Emma committed suicide and Katie became a binge drinker who became disabled when a car hit her.

Mr and Mrs Foster’s moving testimony depicts Cardinal Pell as a man who appears to act in a very different way before the very distinguished commissioners to the way he responded when the husband and wife dealt with him before. Mr Foster states that Pell spoke with a “sociopathic lack of empathy” when he showed him harrowing photos of the abused Foster sisters and asked that Church to “go the extra mile” to care for victims. Mrs Foster spoke of Pell’s bullying, unfeeling and legalistic way, cutting across her and her husbands points.

Key points: What Pell told the inquiry

  • Apologised for decades of abuse in Melbourne diocese.

  • Admitted a systemic cover-up of child abuse within the Church.

  • Said former Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns destroyed documents relating to abuse cases.

  • Said former Melbourne archbishop Frank Little covered up cases of abuse.

  • Said abuse became widespread because the clergy did not talk about the problem.

  • Defended the Melbourne Response, which he established to deal with abuse cases.

  • Defended maximum compensation level of $75,000 for victims of abuse.

The International Sathya Sai Organization Is No Different

It is the same craven silence and cover-up we see in the international Sathya Sai Organization. For decades, they too have stood aside and shut up. Indeed, all the while, they have striven for acceptance within mainstream communities around the world as good and ecumenical citizens. Leaders outright lied to Sathya Sai sect members stating that those who raised questions were simply disgruntled and untrustworthy, and other such outrageous untruths which many members knew perfectly well were inconsistent with those persons’ behavior over many years.

A number of us are now intent on ensuring that the Royal Commission is well-advised of the appalling failure of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization to show duty of care to victims. 

Sathya Sai Baba devotees, Roman Catholics, and many other religionists believe:  Act truthfully and God will come to your aid. But no – they put their faith in silence, inaction and cover-up.

One of the items in the Sathya Sai Organization’s ‘Code of Conduct’ is:

‘Not indulging in talking ill of others, especially in their absence’

But far too often, their talk is hypocritical. They do not walk their prayers, nor all their fine talk about truth, righteousness, peace and love. Witness the incredible, distortions and hateful internet attacks on former Sathya Sai Baba devotees, some of whom spent decades of the utmost dedication.

To this day – despite the huge amount of exposure of their guru and cult – Sathya Sai Baba devotees stand by and let their more vociferous fellows cause untold suffering for those sexually and in other ways abused. And distress and hardship, moreover, for those who have spoken out. These so-called ‘spiritual’ devotees revile and shun those who have sacrificed much to expose the terrible Sathya Sai Baba’s terrible abuses and those of others in his organization. 

These devotees proclaim themselves dedicated to  truth, righteousness, peace and love. They do not like to be called a cult, yet they summarily evict from their organization anyone who raises the simplest questions about the sexual abuse and other allegations from so many people from around the world. The Sathya Sai Organization refuses to institute those very processes of transparency and duty of care which responsible organizations properly adhere to.

For but a few examples of the Sai cult’s treatment of those long known as truthful and decent human beings, see:

              Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba

Reply to a Sathya Sai Devotee’s Note re: David and Faye Bailey

Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia

The Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba

(Late) Ron and Peggy Laing: Deeply Alienated From Sathya Sai Organization

Alaya Rahm’s Testimony – Some Key Statements
-the full statement of the Rahm family and the International JuST Group is here 

The ‘Sai-lencing’ of Conscience-raised Voices

U.S. Psychologist Shirley Pike’s Moving Challenge To Sathya Sai Baba and His Organization

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Updated Tue May 28, 2013 8:27am AEST

From ABC PM News Report

Video: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-27/cardinal-george-pell-sorry-for-church-abuse/4716132

Video: Pell apologises on behalf of Catholic Church sex abuse (7.30)

Photo: Cardinal George Pell told the Victorian Government inquiry into child abuse he was “fully apologetic and absolutely sorry” about decades of child sex abuse within the Church. (AAP: Joe Castro)

Related Story: Pell admits cover-up of Church sex abuse

Related Story: Victims demand truth about church abuse

Map: Melbourne 3000

The father of two girls who were abused by a Catholic priest says apologies by Australia’s most senior Catholic, George Pell, are meaningless unless they are followed up with actions.

Yesterday Cardinal Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, told the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse that he was “fully apologetic and absolutely sorry” about decades of sexual abuse within the church.

During his evidence he admitted the fear of scandal led to the cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Church.

Key points: What Pell told the inquiry

  • Apologised for decades of abuse in Melbourne diocese.

  • Admitted a systemic cover-up of child abuse within the Church.

  • Said former Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns destroyed documents relating to abuse cases.

  • Said former Melbourne archbishop Frank Little covered up cases of abuse.

  • Said abuse became widespread because the clergy did not talk about the problem.

  • Defended the Melbourne Response, which he established to deal with abuse cases.

  • Defended maximum compensation level of $75,000 for victims of abuse.

In its submission to the inquiry, the Catholic Church said at least 620 Victorian children had been abused by its clergy in the past 80 years.

During sometimes tense exchanges, Cardinal Pell insisted individuals were to blame for what had happened, not the Church structure itself.

“I’m certainly totally committed to improving the situation. I know the Holy Father [Pope] is too,” he said.

Cardinal Pell denied the Church’s assets were hidden in trusts to avoid paying compensation to victims and said the Church would pay whatever lawmakers decided it should pay to victims of child sexual abuse and their families.

Cardinal Pell was the Archbishop of Melbourne from 1996 until 2001, and one of the lead architects of the Melbourne Response, the Church’s response to abuse.

Anthony and Chrissie Foster’s two daughters were repeatedly raped in primary school by their parish priest, Father Kevin O’Donnell.

Emma Foster later committed suicide and her sister, Katie, took to binge drinking and was left disabled after being hit by a car.

Audio: Pell admits fear of scandal led to child-abuse cover up (PM)

Mr Foster says he hopes the inquiry leads to legislative changes to compel the Catholic Church to better look after victims.

“We hope that we will get the right recommendations out of this inquiry,” he said.

“Then we’ll get action by this government to change the legislation, to force the Catholic Church to look after victims, to enable victims to get true justice, and so that then there will be consequences for anyone who tries to do this sort of covering up in the future.”

Calls for greater compassion and support

Video: Anthony and Christine Foster on Pell’s testimony (7.30)

Mr Foster has previously told the inquiry his family was unsatisfied with the way Cardinal Pell dealt with his daughters’ case.

And after the hearing he said his feelings remained unchanged.

He said Cardinal Pell’s apologies were delivered with a “sociopathic lack of empathy” and called on the Church to “go the extra mile” to try and look after victims.

“They don’t do that,” Mr Foster said.

“In our case, part of our settlement was that once we had the money, they would provide no more care for Emma.

“So they are not about going the extra mile, and they need to be about that.”

Mr Foster said in response to evidence given at the enquiry, the Government needed to make legislative changes to enable victims to receive much greater compensation.

“Which will have two effects: one, it will help restore the lives of victims, and it will make sure that the Catholic Church has a real interest in this not happening again,” he said.

“I think [Cardinal Pell] failed to address the whole issue of compensation, [he was] very defensive, saying that the compensation was based on the same as the Government victims of crime system, where there is no comparison.

Audio: Foster says Pell didn’t say what he wanted to hear (PM)

“He tried to draw comparisons between trying to say that the Catholic Church was not responsible for many of these victims’ injuries.

“I think we all know that the Catholic Church is responsible for all 300 of the victims that they’ve acknowledged, never mind the thousands of others that are out there, which he admitted today they have failed to systematically investigate and try to find.”

Priest backs increased support to abuse victims

Watch Cardinal Pell’s full testimony

  1. Part 1

  2. Part 2

  3. Part 3

Father Kevin Dillon of St Mary of the Angels Catholic Parish in Geelong has been critical of the Church’s response to victims of sexual abuse.

After the hearing, Father Dillon told the ABC’s PM program Cardinal Pell’s comments were similar to previous Church leaders who have given evidence at the inquiry.

“Which has perhaps been disappointing insofar as maybe people were hoping for some radical shift, to be able to ensure that people who have been abused can have a little bit more hope to believe in,” he said.

“But nonetheless I think it’s had its role in the whole inquiry, and ultimately it’ll be when that inquiry gives its findings later in the year – I think at the end of September – that perhaps the real import of both today and the previous months will really be felt.”

Father Dillon said the Church’s leadership needed to do more to support and address the needs of abuse victims, their family and supporters.

“I’d like to see a lot more emphasis put, on all levels, on what can be done for the people who are damaged, hurting, wounded, and we know who they are,” he said.

“More of them have come forward as a result of these inquires and the Royal Commission to come, and we can do something about them.”

Audio: Geelong priest disappointed with Pell’s approach (PM)

Father Dillon said Cardinal Pell’s admission that he believes the Church should face the same calls for compensation as any other organisation was “helpful”.

“I think we should face the same calls for compensation, more so, simply because of what we stand for, and simply because a greater degree of trust has been placed in Church personnel than would have been placed in members of other organisations where people perhaps have their guard up,” he said.

“But for many decades, the amount of trust placed in Church personnel has been enormous, and that’s been part of the problem, and that’s why those who’ve offended have been able to get away with as much as they did.”

Read more:

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Cardinal George Pell has confessed to creation of false documents and ‘reprehensible’ cover-ups of child sex abuse

CARDINAL George Pell has confessed false documents were created and priests took part in “reprehensible” cover-ups of child sexual abuse

The most prominent Catholic in Australia was grilled by a Victorian parliamentary committee for 4 1/2 hours about systemic failings by the church to deal with abuse.

Cardinal Pell said the fear of scandals drove much of the reaction to rampant abuse in the 1970s and ’80s, but that a concern about money was also involved.

“I am fully apologetic and absolutely sorry,” he said.

“I would agree that we’ve been slow to address the anguish of the victims and dealt with it very imperfectly,” the cardinal said.

In a victory for victims, Cardinal Pell said he would ask the Vatican to send all documents it holds on Victorian sex abuse accusations to the inquiry – a promise he had also made to the federal royal commission into abuse.

Cardinal Pell defended the church’s compensation scheme, saying it abided by the “law of the land”.

But he opened the door to greater compensation for some victims saying a $27,000 payment to a man raped 10 times was “miserable”.

Abuse victims at the hearing said they were unconvinced by the cardinal’s apology. Some walked out soon after he began speaking.

Anthony Foster, whose daughters, Emma and Katie, were abused by Melbourne priest Kevin O’Donnell in Oakleigh in the 1980s, said he wasn’t satisfied.

Cardinal told Hell awaits him

Pell defends capped compensation for victims

‘It’s time to stand down’, victims say

“It’s another apology. It’s the same words again. It’s just not backed up with the actions that we need.

“What we need is real care for victims,” he said.

Mr Foster also hit out at Cardinal Pell’s repeatedly saying he was not responsible for changing the church structure and was not the “Catholic prime minister of Australia”.

National MP David O’Brien said letters showed that one abusing priest should “submit a resignation as parish priest on health grounds”, and asked if that was further evidence of church cover-ups. “Yes, it is,” Cardinal Pell said.

Cardinal George Pell has confessed to creation of false documents and ‘reprehensible’ cover-ups of child sex abuse

Cardinal George Pell

Parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse in Victoria. Picture: Mike Keating Source: Herald Sun

CARDINAL George Pell was told that Hell awaits him after he finished four hours of evidence to the parliamentary inquiry into child abuse yesterday.

He didn’t seem fazed: he has, after all, had almost two decades to perfect his explanation for what he describes as the Catholic Church’s “imperfect” response to paedophile priests.

Cardinal Pell played chess as a kid. Through the afternoon he struck the pose of a master pondering his next move – elbows on the arms of his chair, fingers steepled in front of him.

Yet his opening play was the obvious one, a thoroughly modern tact adopted by corporations keen to be seen to accepting responsibility for perceived wrongdoings.

Cardinal Pell may have been refused his request to give an opening statement, but he gave an abbreviated form anyway – he offered his “full apology” for the Catholic Church’s failings in handling child abuse cases.

From there, his was a measured performance, almost relaxed in contrast to the tensions before he turned up at 1.34pm. Female attendees queried the heightened security.

In the press to get a seat, priests were accused of pushing into the line. An overflow room was arranged for the expected rush. Five minutes before Pell turned up – his head stooped as always, as though he is embarrassed by his height – news filtered through that the overflow room had overflowed.

Cardinal Pell was free of the lapses of flippancy that marked Archbishop Denis Hart’s appearance last week. Yet it was dulled of its revelationary impact in part because of Hart’s evidence.

Like Hart, and in a tone similar to a seasoned politician, Cardinal Pell spoke of “regrets” and “errors” and “cover-ups”.

Cardinal Pell was forced to weaken his defence of Archbishop Frank Little. He was subdued when he agreed the evidence showed Little’s actions were “reprehensible”. That’s one conclusion from the past week’s evidence – Little’s lifework may have to be rewritten to include some terrible errors of judgment.

Yet he seemed comfortable enough with his beliefs and thinking. Most telling, perhaps, was when the inquiry’s David O’Brien lectured Cardinal Pell about the trustworthiness of the Catholic Church.

Not that O’Brien offered up the advice itself – many in the community might have been cheering him on – but that Cardinal Pell, the most senior church member in the country, appeared to receive the de facto sermon so humbly.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Rolf Harris, 83, Facing Underage Sex Accusations, Does Second Big Stage Show

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 20, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Australian entertainer, Rolf Harris, 83, long  mentioned as a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, has just done a second concert for this year (the last being in February). In the last two years, British police arrested him for questioning about underage sexual assault allegations. He is required to report to police for further question in about a week.

Last November, he was interviewed under caution, and again arrested last March, two days prior to turning 83.  Since then, a second Australian woman given testimony against him.

See: Another Australian Woman Accuses Rolf Harris of Sexual Abuse When She Was Young.  Posted by Barry Pittard on May 15, 2013. And: Rolf Harris (Sathya Sai Baba Cult Man): Scotland Yard Investigators Travel to Australia. Posted by Barry Pittard on May 3, 2013, and:  Investigators Can Probe Rolf Harris’s Links With Sathya Sai Baba, Target Of Major Serial Pedophile Allegations  Posted by Barry Pittard on April 22, 2013. And: British Police Re-Arrest Rolf Harris In Operation Yewtree Pedophilia Hunt.Posted by Barry Pittard on April 20, 2013.

ABC NEWS

Rolf Harris thanks fans for ‘support’ at concert

Entertainer Rolf HarrisPhoto: Rolf Harris made his first public appearance in weeks at a concert in Bristol. (Reuters: Mick Tsikas, file photo)
Veteran Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has received standing ovations at his first performance since it was reported that he had been questioned by police over alleged sexual offences.

Harris made no direct reference to the allegations he is facing, but alluded to his situation several times during the show in Bristol in south-west England.

“You’ve got no idea what this means to have you turn up with such enthusiasm and such support,” he told the audience.

Harris received standing ovations at the beginning and end of the performance.

How Manipulated Publics Ignore The Corruption And Lap Up The Hype

Just like corporate spin doctors in other areas, Managements of artists faced with scandals tailor-make concerts, public appearances, interviews, etc., that will defuse the scandal as much as possible.

Ignoring the seriousness of the crimes and betrayals (although one must emphasize in Harris’s case ALLEGED ones), this chicanery expresses itself variously – e.g., ‘the show must go on’, ‘toughing it out’, ‘old news is stale news and the public will soon forget’, ‘the artist has done a lot of good charitable work, is working hard at overcoming weaknesses, and, like all of us, deserves our forgiveness and help’ ….

In some respects, in the hands of adroit spin-masters bad publicity can be re-packaged as ‘good publicity’. A story has many angles to exploit: Our happy memories of great concerts we have enjoyed, and by which we mark our own life stages. The suffering of the artist under pressure of the accusations, the arrests. The suffering of his or her family and friends in the face of revelations ….

A masterpiece of recovery from shockingly bad publicity is McDonald’s strategy of survival after the famous Mc Libel case, often branded as ‘the longest-running case in English history’.

A major aspect of the McDonald corporation’s image recovery was to emphasize how much it was doing for charity. In the exposure of the international Sathya Sai Organization, we have had to endure the oft-repeated, fallacious argument that whatever laws Sathya Sai Baba broke he did much social work. (In passing, I note that it was his devotees who did this work!).

McDonald's Iconic Clown, all innocence and fun, as it wereMcDonald’s icon cleverly suggests openness, innocence and fun – qualities far removed from that corporation’s long, corrupt, and environment and health destroying  history

The international fast food giant had to withstand tremendously adverse publicity about perjured witnesses. It had to pay large fines to prevent its experts (who proved not to be experts at all) from going to gaol. It tried extensively to buy off witnesses via settlements that were, in fact, bribes. It hired ex-policemen in a long series of devious and rotten malpractices, and much else that sickened the public.

It is a public that too soon forgets, and acts shocked each time that the wool pulled over its eyes is, for the while, pulled from its eyes.

Exposed were McDonald’s profoundly unethical practices (not in essence different from many other corporations). Fortunately the two remarkable and penurious young people would not yield to the vast pressure McDonalds put on them, and they ended up attracting a world-wide support campaign and the skills of one of the greatest legal minds in the world, the Australian Geoffrey Robertson QC, famous as a human rights lawyer, academic, author and television and radio broadcaster.MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo: Geoffrey Robertson, 2006. BA LLB (Hons) Sydney, BCL (Oxon) Rhodes Scholar, Honorary Degrees (Doctor of Laws) from Sydney, Brunel and Bucharest Universities, Visiting Professor at Queen Mary College and the New College of the Humanities.

See: McLibel. Burger Culture on Trial, by John Vidal. Published in 1997, Macmillan Publishers Ltd ISBN 0 333 69461 9 (hardback) ISBN 0-330-35237-7 (paperback). And: The biggest bunfight in history? McLibel by John Vidal, reviewed by John Mortimer, The Sunday Times (UK); 13 April 97.

The entertainment industry is vast, corporate, corrupt. No less, indeed than many corporations and large organizations in general. They are mendacious, secret and unjust. And these in a way that some of us know to our immense cost in the case of the international Sathya Sai Organization. These instrumentalities are alike in the evils of cover up and ruination of the lives of many, especially those who attempt to tell the truth. It is to be hoped that, if the two women who have testified against Rolf Harris, saying that he sexually abused them when they were very young, are speaking the truth that they will have the best legal representation. And that the courts – too often harshly adversarial – will be models of a sort of justice that will encourage many more sexually abused people to speak out, rather than being confronted by bullying lawyers and courts systems badly in need of reform.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Rolf Harris takes stage in Bristol

Rolf Harris on stage outside Buckingham Palace

Australian performer Rolf Harris has appeared on stage for the first time since his arrest. Source: AAP

AUSTRALIAN performer Rolf Harris has appeared on stage for the first time since it was reported he had been questioned by British police over alleged sex offences.

Harris received standing ovations at the beginning and end of his performance at the Bristol Hippodrome in southwest England on Saturday night, the ABC reports.

He thanked the audience for their support.

“You’ve got no idea what this means to have you turn up with such enthusiasm and such support,” he told the 900-strong crowd.

British newspaper The Sun says the 83-year-old was ushered into the theatre through the back door before the show in which he played the didgeridoo, painted and sang.

He has been named by the media as the entertainer arrested in late March by police from Operation Yewtree in London, which was established following the Jimmy Savile scandal.

He has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing.

Syney Morning Herald

Show goes on for Harris despite abuse probe

May 17, 2013 – 7:01AM
Nick Miller

Nick Miller. Europe Correspondent

Exposure .. Rolf Harris' art is now the target of vandals after being named in the Jimmy Savile investigation.Entertainer Rolf Harris will proceed with his second concert of the year, even while he waits to learn whether he will face charges over sex assault allegations

This Saturday night he is due to perform at Bristol’s Hippodrome, in a show that promises an opportunity to hear “classic songs” from “one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers”.

The promotional material promises that Mr Harris will perform his biggest hits including Stairway to Heaven, Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport, and Two Little Boys, with his seven-piece live band.

He will also paint a portrait live on stage.

“There is nobody quite like Rolf and there will be nothing quite like this show,” the ad says.

Mr Harris’ only other public appearance this year was in early February, when he performed at the Festival Hall.

He was in good spirits at that show, joking with the audience “I’ve had several requests. But I’m afraid I’m going to keep singing.”

The Daily Mirror reported he “looked sprightly” but appeared to be close to tears in an emotional third encore.

Mr Harris was interviewed under caution in November last year on suspicious of sexual offences. He was arrested again in March, two days before his 83rd birthday, and again released without charges.

At the time police said he was bailed “to a date in May pending further inquiries”.

In the last few weeks it has emerged police interviewed two women in Australia in connection with sex abuse claims.

One said she was a witness to an incident, another claimed Harris sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager in the UK.

A spokeswoman for the Hippodrome said ticket sales had been going “very well” for Saturday’s concert.

The venue’s website yesterday had only a few hundred seats left for sale, at the very back, from a capacity of almost 2000.

“The show is going ahead,” the spokeswoman said. “I am afraid we are not making any further comments.”

Asked if the management were treating the concert as ‘business as usual’, she replied “absolutely”.

However, the ‘Events’ page of Harris’ website says only “Sorry, there are no forthcoming events.”

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/world/show-goes-on-for-harris-despite-abuse-probe-20130517-2jpyo.html#ixzz2TVXedlPd
————————————————

Some Select Readings on Our Early Exposure Campaigns 

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009

Barry Pittard Replies to Saionline.com writer, 1 July 2002

Sai Baba-A Degenerative Disease?

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 16, 2007

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 4, 2007

(Late) Ron and Peggy Laing: Deeply Alienated From Sathya Sai Organization

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 14, 2009

BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 26, 2007

 Ramanathan Threatens Barry Pittard With Law.

Posted Barry Pittard, 14 April 2003.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Another Australian Woman Accuses Rolf Harris of Sexual Abuse When She Was Young

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 15, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Perhaps, in regard to serious accusations against any person, there is a cautionary tale in the story below.

A second Australian woman has come forward on national television, and in a mass-circulation magazine Womans Day, with sexual abuse testimony against the now 83 years old Rolf Harris, the famous Australian entertainer (long associated with devotion to Sathya Sai Baba). For my earlier takes on British police arrests of Rolf Harris, see: Rolf Harris (Sathya Sai Baba Cult Man): Scotland Yard Investigators Travel to Australia. Posted by Barry Pittard on May 3, 2013, and:  Investigators Can Probe Rolf Harris’s Links With Sathya Sai Baba, Target Of Major Serial Pedophile Allegations  Posted by Barry Pittard on April 22, 2013. And: British Police Re-Arrest Rolf Harris In Operation Yewtree Pedophilia Hunt.Posted by Barry Pittard on April 20, 2013.

Mother of three, Ms Tonya Lee, alleges that Rolf Harris sexually abused her when she was 14 years old.

A factor needs almost endless reiteration, almost endlessly. When a person makes accusation of sexual abuse years later, it does not necessarily mean that they are lying, mad, on a money-making stunt, seized by a false memory episode, etc . There is so much unconscious, averse psychological denial about sexual abuse, and much conscious coverup and deliberate, self-interested avoidance.  Commission of the crime of sexual abuse and, concomitantly, its coverup exist irrespective of socioeconomic background. The view that:

“Ninety percent of sexual abuse victims never tell.”Susan Forward, Ph.D., 1989. Innocence and Betrayal Overcoming the Legacy of Sexual Abuse

will now need ongoing review, principally in western societies, owing to a changing culture of confession and exposure. Think only for a second of the vast mass audience outreach of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ or ‘Dr Phil’, not to mention countless others. However, despite such social sea changes, our experience in exposing the worldwide Sathya Sai organization’s coverup of sexual abuse, has always been a hugely uphill struggle. When we sought very credible witnesses in the intensive months of preparation for the BBC’s The Secret Swami, for which he and I were the main international coordinators, my great colleague the late Glen Meloy (USA) and I were privy to the deep personal struggle of Mark Roche, at that time in his 60′s, an American psychotherapist and former Sai Baba follower. At times, it was touch-and-go whether he could manage to jump off the brink into free-fall, courage and revelation. In BBC’s ‘Secret Swami’ Clip. Highly Respected Man Claims Sai Baba Abuse When Young. Posted by Barry Pittard on May 14, 2007, I wrote:

“Mark Roche says that, in a private place, Sai Baba offered him what is termed ‘pada namaskar‘. This is considered the greatest of privileges granted by a guru – called e.g., ‘bowing unto the Lotus Feet’). Sai Baba is reported to say, “I’ll give you a great chance”. Mark Roche says that Sai Baba then pulled up his robe and asked Mark to put his penis in his mouth. The BBC interviewer Tanya Datta asked, “Why would God want to put his penis in your mouth?” To those who have carefully considered the issues involved in issues such as abuse, self-esteem, the hunger to believe, the betrayal of faith, and human naivete, Roche’s answer resonates: “Got me!” (His emphasis indicated the meaning:  I simply do not know).

This sad scenario recurs in many Sai Baba abuse accounts from around the world, held by both former and non-devotee investigators, that attest to his widespread, serial sexual molestation of young males for many decades”.

the-secret-swami-bbc.jpg

  The film clip of Tanya Datta’s BBC television interview of Mark Roche is HERE.

See also: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision. Posted by Barry Pittard on April 4, 2007. And: Health Professional Comes Out On BBC: Sai Baba sexually abused him when young. Posted by Barry Pittard on April 26, 2011.

Only in his sixties did Mark call up the fortitude to speak publicly to BBC television of his experience of sexual abuse when he was in his teens at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba. See: BBC’s ‘Secret Swami’ Clip. Highly Respected Man Claims Sai Baba Abuse When Young. Posted by Barry Pittard on May 14, 2007.

In the latest case, The Age newspaper reports (see below):

“Ms Lee, 42, is the second person to go public with allegations about Harris, 83, after claims by another woman, Lauren Martell, that she witnessed an alleged incident in the early 1990s. Ms Martell, who was interviewed by Scotland Yard detectives at her home north of Sydney this month, was not paid for her media interviews”.

Speaking out in a paid interview to a peak-viewing Australian television show like A Current Affair, and telling her story in a weekly magazine read by millions of Australian women, may make reception of her testimony all the more difficult. News reports say, however, that Ms Lee first gave her testimony to police. But this will not keep her safe from any lawyers determined to shake her story, if the issue comes to trial. Too often, it is a merciless process, and it has long been why so many fear to testify, especially in sexual abuse cases. Many courts have a bad reputation for ensuring that survivors of sexual abuse are abused a second time – this time by shameless and barbaric forms of  lawyer attack.

Many praise Ms Lee for her courage in going public. But the same news report states:

“Former NSW director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery, QC, said the publication of the allegations had the potential to prejudice a hearing if the investigation ever reached that stage and that any trial may have to be adjourned for up to 12 months.‘I think if this woman has already given her story to authorities as a witness, then it’s even more morally indefensible,’ he said.Ms Lee’s ‘reliability as a witness’ may also be called into question for selling her story to a media outlet, he said. ‘The inference arises that the person may be telling a story or sticking to a story motivated by the reward that he or she has received or might receive at some future time.’”

Our own most outspoken people have, for over two decades, faced without blinking many threats, some of them legal. See: THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S FAILED THREATS AND COURT ATTEMPTS. Posted by robertpriddy on April 24, 2007. And: A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 3. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 25, 2010. And: Ramanathan Threatens Barry Pittard With LawPosted by Barry Pittard on http: Exbaba.com on April 4. 2003. 

Knowing of the great wealth and political power of the international Sathya Sai Organization, we felt that our best strength was – as it remains – to face the public and tell our story and trust that it will sense our honesty, clarity and integrity – whether we landed up in court with an appalling vulnerability or whether we got a hearing via the international media. Or both.

My own take on Ms Lee’s action – although I do not of course know her motivations – is that it may well be, given the difficulty of getting testimony out into the wider public, a good tactical move in the interests of getting this often tabooed subject much more out in the open. Whereas, however, I rather think she could well find the legal arena a minefield. And one where, unless she is very strong in herself, and has strong support among friends and well-wishers, she could be torn apart or in any other ways made to come unstuck by lawyers defending Rolf Harris.

Going widely public, she and others who may take the same route, may prevent stories from being killed in the law courts. See my article: Al Rahm’s Explanatory Letter To Sathya Sai Baba Internet Proxy Gerald Moreno. Posted by Barry Pittard on January 14, 2010

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Paid interviews may risk trial

May 13, 2013

Nick Ralston. Crime Reporter

Interview may risk future Harris trial

Tonya Lee’s sexual abuse allegations against entertainer Rolf Harris, aired in a paid interview with A Current Affair, could prejudice a potential future trial says professor of media at Macquarie University, Catharine Lumby.

Any potential criminal trial involving Rolf Harris could be prejudiced by a Wollongong woman’s decision to go public in paid interviews about how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by the entertainer.Mother-of-three Tonya Lee has alleged that the assualt occurred in a London pub in 1986 when she was 14. It allegedly occurred when Ms Lee was one of 12 members of a youth theatre group from Carlton, in Sydney’s south, on a six-week tour of Britain.In paid interviews with Woman’s Day and Channel Nine’s A Current Affair, brokered by celebrity agent Max Markson, Ms Lee said the troupe were in a pub when Harris allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Screen grab of Tonya Lee interview with A Current Affair. Tonya Lee on A Current Affair. Photo: Channel Nine

Ms Lee alleges Harris inappropriately touched her while they sat with the group at a table and again outside the pub’s bathroom.Ms Lee, 42, is the second person to go public with allegations about Harris, 83, after claims by another woman, Lauren Martell, that she witnessed an alleged incident in the early 1990s. Ms Martell, who was interviewed by Scotland Yard detectives at her home north of Sydney this month, was not paid for her media interviews.Mr Markson said that Ms Lee gave her interview after she had gone to police.

"Harris has strongly denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime". “Harris has strongly denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime”. Photo: Supplied

Harris has strongly denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime. Former NSW director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery, QC, said the publication of the allegations had the potential to prejudice a hearing if the investigation ever reached that stage and that any trial may have to be adjourned for up to 12 months.‘‘I think if this woman has already given her story to authorities as a witness, then it’s even more morally indefensible,’’ he said.Ms Lee’s ‘‘reliability as a witness’’ may also be called into question for selling her story to a media outlet, he said. ‘‘The inference arises that the person may be telling a story or sticking to a story motivated by the reward that he or she has received or might receive at some future time.’’

Womans Day tear out of Rolf Harris abuse story. “Problematic”: The magazine story. Photo: Womans Day

Mr Markson said Ms Lee was within her rights to sell her story to Australian media, saying any trial would occur in Britain.She told the magazine she was going public in the hope other alleged victims might come forward.Hetty Johnston, founder of child protection group Bravehearts, praised Ms Lee, saying alleged victims find courage in others who speak out about abuse.‘‘The fact that it is a paid interview sullies it a bit but I do not believe that money would have been her motivating factor,’’ she said.Mr Markson said selling an exclusive was preferable to his client facing an all-in press conference.Mr Markson would not disclose how much Ms Lee, a bank manager, was paid for her story, or if she sought permission from investigators to do so.Catharine Lumby, a professor of media at Macquarie University, said: ‘‘It can be very problematic when there are ongoing investigations in giving an interview to media organisations whether there are payments or not.’’

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/entertainment/tv-and-radio/paid-interviews-may-risk-trial-20130513-2ji96.html#ixzz2TLKMxFGn
———————————-
Source: The Age, Melbourne

Paid interview may ‘prejudice’ Harris case

LONDON - NOVEMBER 7:  Australian broadcaster and artist Rolf Harris  poses with the Officer of the Order of Australia, presented by the High Commissioner John Dauth, beside his wife Alwen at Australia House on November 7, 2012 in London, England.WPA Pool, Getty Images

Rolf Harris Awarded Officer of the Order of AustraliaReception for Prominent Papua New Guineans, Australians and New ZealandersBRITAIN-NZEALAND-AUSTRALIA-PNG-ROYALS-JUBILEE

Gallery: Rolf Harris 7 images

10 Updates
Any y potential criminal trial involving Rolf Harris could be prejudiced by a Wollongong woman’s decision to go public in paid interviews about how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by the entertainer, a top QC warns. Mother of three Tonya Lee …1 day ago, 4:39pm CDTFull article at: The Age
Update: 9
Quote:
“It’s a perfectly legitimate line of attack by a defence counsel in cross-examination.”Source: The Age
Update: 7

Paid interview may ‘prejudice’ Harris case

Source: The Canberra TimesAny potential criminal trial involving Rolf Harris could be prejudiced by a Wollongong woman’s decision to go public in paid interviews about how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by the entertainer, a top QC warns. Mother of three Tonya …
Full article at: The Canberra Times  More like this  1 day ago, 2:37pm CDT

Update: 5

Travelling conman targeting Sydney

Source: Ninemsn’I didn’t scream, I don’t know why’ Two hours ago An Australian woman who has battled depression, alcoholism and eating disorders says the course her life changed forever after she was allegedly sexually abused b …
Full article at: Ninemsn  More like this  1 day ago, 6:34am CDT

Update: 4

Police quiz second woman over Rolf Harris ‘sex assault’

Source: This Is LondonSave time by using your existing account to sign in to Evening Standard We’ll never share your information or post anything to your account without your permission Save time by using your existing account to sign in to Evening Standard We’ll …
Full article at: This Is London  More like this  1 day ago, 6:30am CDT

Update: 3

An allegation to which I very much want to hear Rolf’s answer

Source: Herald SunI distrust and very much dislike trial by media. Even so, I could not help being moved and persuaded by what I saw tonight on A Current Affair – an interview with Tonya Lee: A WOMAN who claims to have been sexually assaulted by iconic A …
Full article at: Herald Sun  More like this  1 day ago, 5:21am CDT

Update: 2

‘I didn’t scream, I don’t know why’

Source: NinemsnMs Lee said Harris abused her when she was a child. (A Current Affair) An Australian woman who has battled depression, alcoholism and eating disorders says the course her life changed forever after she was allegedly se …
Full article at: Ninemsn  More like this  1 day ago, 4:02am CDT

Update: 1

NSW mother alleges Harris incident when 14

Source: NinemsnA NSW woman has made allegations against Australian entertainer Rolf Harris relating to events she claims occurred when she was 14 years old. Tonya Lee, now 42, told Woman’s Day that the incident involving Harris allegedly happened w …
Full article at: Ninemsn  More like this  1 day ago, 2:29am CDT

10 Updates

Any potential criminal trial involving Rolf Harris could be prejudiced by a Wollongong woman’s decision to go public in paid interviews about how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by the entertainer, a top QC warns. Mother of three Tonya Lee …

1 day ago, 4:39pm CDT

Full article at: The Age

Update: 9

Quote:
“It’s a perfectly legitimate line of attack by a defence counsel in cross examination.”

Source: The AgeUpdate: 7

Paid interview may ‘prejudice’ Harris case

Source: The Canberra TimesAny potential criminal trial involving Rolf Harris could be prejudiced by a Wollongong woman’s decision to go public in paid interviews about how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by the entertainer, a top QC warns. Mother of three Tonya …
Full article at: The Canberra Times  More like this  1 day ago, 2:37pm CDT

Update: 5

Travelling conman targeting Sydney

Source: Ninemsn’I didn’t scream, I don’t know why’ Two hours ago An Australian woman who has battled depression, alcoholism and eating disorders says the course her life changed forever after she was allegedly sexually abused b …
Full article at: Ninemsn  More like this  1 day ago, 6:34am CDT

Update: 4

Police quiz second woman over Rolf Harris ‘sex assault’

Source: This Is LondonSave time by using your existing account to sign in to Evening Standard We’ll never share your information or post anything to your account without your permission Save time by using your existing account to sign in to Evening Standard We’ll …
Full article at: This Is London  More like this  1 day ago, 6:30am CDT

Update: 3

An allegation to which I very much want to hear Rolf’s answer

Source: Herald SunI distrust and very much dislike trial by media. Even so, I could not help being moved and persuaded by what I saw tonight on A Current Affair – an interview with Tonya Lee: A WOMAN who claims to have been sexually assaulted by iconic A …
Full article at: Herald Sun  More like this  1 day ago, 5:21am CDT

Update: 2

‘I didn’t scream, I don’t know why’

Source: NinemsnMs Lee said Harris abused her when she was a child. (A Current Affair) An Australian woman who has battled depression, alcoholism and eating disorders says the course her life changed forever after she was allegedly se …
Full article at: Ninemsn  More like this  1 day ago, 4:02am CDT

Update: 1

NSW mother alleges Harris incident when 14

Source: NinemsnA NSW woman has made allegations against Australian entertainer Rolf Harris relating to events she claims occurred when she was 14 years old. Tonya Lee, now 42, told Woman’s Day that the incident involving Harris allegedly happened w …
Full article at: Ninemsn  More like this  1 day ago, 2:29am CDT—————————————–

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Rolf Harris (Sathya Sai Baba Cult Man): Scotland Yard Investigators Travel to Australia

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 3, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The famous Australian entertainer Rolf Harris is, in the true sense, a household name in Australia and the UK. His name, like that of his friend, the major jazz and blues singer Dana Gillespie, has long been associated with Sathya Sai Baba.

As an indirect outcrop of the history-making British police Operation Yewtree – set up in the wake of hundreds of sexual abuse of minors allegations surfacing about Sir Jimmy Savile – Scotland Yard has just sent detectives to Australia to interview an Australian woman, Lauren Martell, who has offered to testify to British police about Rolf Harris, both in Australia and, if necessary in Great Britain. Caroline Marcus, The Daily Telegraph, reports (May 03, 2013 12:00AM):

Scotland Yard sex abuse investigators have traveled to Australia to interview Australian woman, Lauren Martell, who has volunteered information for British police investigation of Rolf Harris

Scotland Yard child sex abuse investigators have traveled to Australia to interview Australian woman, Lauren Martell, who has volunteered information to British police investigating  Australian superstar Rolf Harris

“Detective Sergeant Gary Pankhurst, of the Metropolitan Police child abuse investigation command, another Scotland Yard detective and an Australian Federal Police escort arrived at the Wisemans Ferry home, north of Sydney, of 43-year-old Lauren Martell at 12pm yesterday ….

They spent more than 2½ hours interviewing the mother-of-two and former accountant, who said she first contacted local police with her claims in January this year.

Ms Martell claimed she witnessed alleged events involving Harris at a West End recording studio with her then boyfriend, music producer David Malin, while he worked on the Dana Gillespie album Methods of Release, for which Harris was recording backing music with his didgeridoo.

Ms Martell said as a young woman herself, barely out of her teens, she did not contact authorities at the time because she did not think anyone would believe her.

She has allegedly told friends over the years, but none could believe the beloved children’s entertainer would be involved in any potentially compromising behaviour.

At the beginning of the year – after news broke that an Australian entertainer was being questioned in relation to child sex offences in the UK – she contacted local police and then Scotland Yard.

She said detectives had indicated they may fly her to London to testify if the matter proceeds to court.

Ms Martell said she hoped her going public might encourage other witnesses to come forward and give evidence”.

Because most people will not speak up, Society is paying an horrific price. A ‘civilization’ is barbaric when it shuts up. I think it is good to pause and reflect on the part where Ms Martell is quoted as saying:

“as a young woman herself, barely out of her teens, she did not contact authorities at the time because she did not think anyone would believe her”.

If Ms Martell proves to be a reliable witness, she now stands in the cherishable place where conscience stands.

Harris and the late entertainer Sir Jimmy Savile, the vastly toppled former British national treasure, are prime examples of stars so venerated that any questioning of their morality meets with vast incredulity. Too often, people want the myth, not the truth.

Even when some fans admit some of the most glaring facts about their heroes, they commonly make legally and ethically naïve statements such as:  But look at all the good service they have performed for society. Activists in the exposure of Sai Baba have often had to put up with this kind of brainless nonsense.

It is this idolizing of certain public figures that those of us instrumental in exposing a powerful cult like that of Sathya Sai Baba have had – hugely – to contend with.

In short, on this value-warped account – let certain most favoured people be beyond the law. Especially, one’s own favoured gods and demigods.

 Typically, the cultists turn viciously on, and libel and persecute, those who raise questions.  This, with an intensity all the more ironic when it comes from those, like the international Sathya Sai Organization, who proclaim spiritual aims, and who speak constantly of truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence ….

Cultists cover up their own scandals, quite oblivious that many other cults think their own guru or star and version of the truth is the correct one. Lost is any half decent thought of accountability to proper processes of investigation and good citizenship.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Rolf Harris, 83. Again arrested for questioning in British Operation Yewtree. UK detectives have traveled to Australia to extend investigations

Rolf Harris, 83. Again arrested for questioning in investigations stemming from the British Police Operation Yewtree. UK detectives have traveled to Australia to extend investigations in to the already twice-arrested Harris

See:

Investigators Can Probe Rolf Harris’s Links With Sathya Sai Baba, Target Of Major Serial Pedophile Allegations.  Posted by Barry Pittard on April 22, 2013

British Police Re-Arrest Rolf Harris In Operation Yewtree Pedophilia Hunt.  Posted by Barry Pittard on April 20, 2013

Sydney woman interviewed over Rolf Harris arrest

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:  First posted Thu May 2, 2013 6:33pm AEST

British police investigating entertainer Rolf Harris over allegations of sexual abuse have interviewed a woman in Australia.

Detectives from Scotland Yard interviewed Lauren Martell at her home at Wisemans Ferry, north of Sydney, on Thursday.

Harris was arrested and questioned in London last month but has not been charged.

He denies any wrongdoing.

The investigation was prompted by the child sexual abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile.

However, the alleged offences at the centre of Harris’s arrest are not linked to the late BBC TV star.

British police established Operation Yewtree after abuse claims were made against Savile, who was one of Britain’s biggest TV stars in the 1970s and 1980s.

He was found to have carried out sex crimes on an unprecedented scale over six decades.

Other celebrities arrested in the Savile investigation include glam-rock singer Gary Glitter and comedian Freddie Starr, who both deny any wrongdoing.

Police say Savile committed 214 offences, including 34 rapes or serious sexual assaults, beginning as long ago as 1955.

The scandal forced former BBC director-general George Entwistle to stand down after only 54 days in the top job.

—————————————–

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Will Satha Sai Baba Death Commemorations Get Poor Crowds?

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 24, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013Since Sathya Sai Baba’s death on 24 April 2011, Puttaparthi is a virtual ‘ghost town’, and many businesses have failed.

We continue to learn from reliable sources that the Puttaparthi ashram struggles to keep going. In the next couple of days, we shall be able to see from press and other reports whether any significant VVIP’s or crowds of any size turned up.

The Sathya Sai Central Trust and the international Sathya Sai Organization desperately try to shore up some remnants of a collapsed empire. Of but a recent small but symptomatic part of this effort Robert Priddy reports – Sai Touch Tablet: or “indulging in wrong activities”? Posted April 17, 2013 – noting:

         “The cash-strapped Sathya Sai Trust and Co. have ventured into the computer tablet promotion business – which goes against Sathya Sai Baba’s clearly expressed warning to his followers! 
‘Swami has nothing to do with internet. Not only now, even in the future also you should not indulge in such wrong activities.’ See http://sssbpt.info/ssspeaks/volume32/sss32p2-08.pdf
The tablet is not manufactured by any Sai Baba institution, of course, but an agreement has obviously been made with the makers to sell a version of the tablet (BSNL Tablet Penta T-Pad 701C – a 7-inch Android tablet – selling independently from Rs 3,500). If you fork out another Rs 1,000.- then you also get some already-published materials.”

For a while the pushing of a railhead to Puttaparthi increased visitor numbers within India. The airport, however, is now seen by many as a spent force. See: Robert Priddy’s: Sathya Sai Airport “white elephant” for sale!  See also: Sai Baba’s tennis stadium another white elephant? See: Major Downturn of Foreigners Visiting Sai Baba At Puttaparthi Posted by Barry Pittard on June 26, 2010.

From one very conversant with the Telegu language, checking the Indian press and with reliable informants, and who lived in Puttaparthi for many years, comes this email referring to the last couple of days in a period which commemorates the death of Sathya Sai Baba:

“I did a check of official announcements after the Kerala 2nd Samadhi article came in my Alerts. The PN 2nd Samadhi schedule doesn’t seem to include any VIP speakers, just “World Peace” homas! Whereas in Kerala, they managed to scrape up some minor govt officials. Too bad there are people still out there willing to publicly show their support.

 Meanwhile, the only person speaking for Sri Ram Navami last Thursday, was Anil Kumar! HA! No VIP speakers for Tamil New Year on the 14th, either.

 2nd Samadhi Starts on the 22nd (with carefully chosen pics, trying not to show the sparse crowds and big empty areas – looks like the hall is hardly 1/4 full, most the people being in chairs against the walls)”

There has been a severe diminution of numbers in the international Sathya Sai Organization,  and the huge decline, following our intensive former devotee Expose, for a several years in the number of foreigners visiting Sathya Sai Baba at the Puttaparthi ashram.

After the discovery of a vast trove of riches cached in Sathya Baba’s bedroom and after the Indian media – long almost entirely muzzled in regard to any adverse reports of Sai Baba and his cult – reported the Sathya Sai Central Trust’s disarray and infighting and cover up – the Puttaparthi and world leaders are in dire straits, in many respects far more severe than our two decades of intensive exposure were able to achieve.

Apart from many Sathya Sai Organization former leaders, victims and their families, and others, it is the best reputed western media, such as the BBC, DR, CBC, SBS, Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, The AGE and European newspapers etc., that have investigated and exposed Sathya Sai Baba and his cult, much to the shame of the Indian media, except India Today, whose proprietor experienced the case of a young person close to him being sexually abused by Sathya Sai Baba. See: Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba). And: BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise.  And:  The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision. And:  

All power to those increasing numbers of Indian people who are coming out against government and corporate corruption. But they need to expose many corrupt Indian religious leaders like Sathya Sai Baba, and free themselves from the shackles of superstitious servitude to those who mislead them with polished false piety. This is just as false as those politicians, corporate and social elites who pay convenient lip service to religion, and who pour vast riches into religious coffers to buy a spurious respectability and appearance of social responsibility.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Investigators Can Probe Rolf Harris’s Links With Sathya Sai Baba, Target Of Major Serial Pedophile Allegations

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 22, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013Media Enquires:  Bpittard (at) westnet.com.au

Under the Operation Yewtree, UK police have again arrested the hugely famous multi-talented Rolf Harris, the much-awarded Australian entertainer. Bailed until next month, he is on suspicion, after some six months of Yewtree investigations, of sexual offences.

I would like to see at least some media and/or police investigators to explore Rolf Harris’s history concerning  India’s most famous guru, the late, mega rich Sathya Sai Baba, who, although he died in disgraceful circumstances on 24 April 2012, still has a very wealthy and politically influential world-wide cult, despite his attracting for decades many allegations of serial sexual molestation of boys and young men.

Once the closest of all western followers of Sai Baba, David Bailey, the well-known British musician and, like myself, a former lecturer in Sai Baba’s education establishment, has told us about his visit along with Rolf Harris to the University of Leeds, some thirty years ago. Harris played the guitar and evangelized Sai Baba to a group of around thirty students. David has mentioned his irritation at the time that Harris insisted on a first class return fare from London. See my: Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba  and:  David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses and: Reply to a Sathya Sai Devotee’s Note re: David and Faye Bailey

In the Sathya Sai Organization are many good and decent people, but very blind to the huge amount of evidence of these and other criminal abuses. Some of the major coverups – including murders in Sai Baba’s bedroom and the fabrication of miracles, misappropriation of funds raised internationally, water projects’ and apartments’ scandals, etc., – have been known to investigating journalists from e.g., the BBC (See the tv documentary The Secret Swami, 2004), DR – Danish Radio and Television, Seduced, and India Today, and other reputable media in various countries. …

I lectured for two years in Sai Baba’s elite college at Whitefield, South India, and in later years have been an international coördinator in surfacing in the best reputed international media some of the great many and terrible accounts of abuse survivors and many other profoundly grieving former devotees around the world, and in organising support networks in general.

See also my close colleague’s work: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com .

Robert PriddyRobert Priddy formerly led the official Sathya Sai Organisation in Norway, and, like a number of other outstanding leaders from many countries, Priddy left after careful investigation of the unending allegation of various forms of corruption and coverup (chiefly among Sai Baba’s leading servitors) in a cult that became increasingly authoritarian, and without serious standards of accountability, transparency and duty of care.

Many years ago, I heard various Sai Baba devotees say that Rolf Harris (who is a household name to Australians and Britons) was a Sai Baba devotee. More recently, he is to be seen on Youtube with the famous British jazz and blues singer Dana Gillespie, whom I myself once accompanied circa 1997 in bhajan singing on harmonium at Puttaparthi, where Sai Baba lived, and where Gillespie was well-known as a devotee. This Youtube clip specifically mentions Sai Baba when Harris and Gillespie and the other musicians repeatedly chant ‘Sai Rama’, a form in which devotees round the world link ‘Sai’ to Rama, given that they believe Sathya Sai Baba to be the final incarnation of Lord Rama (and Lord Krishna). The link states this event to have occurred live at Wembley Arena in 2000.

Naturally, guilt by association needs to be avoided – BUT in a world where pedophiles often work in clandestine rings and through multiple forms of networking, it is surely not too much to ask of serious investigators to look at any association between Rolf Harris and Sathya Sai Baba and any others around him against whom allegations of sexual abuse have been made, the latter considered by many worldwide who have left him because convinced by the trail of shattered lives within their former organisation, as an extraordinary formidable offender – like the late Sir Jimmy Savile. See my posts:

https://barrypittard.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/british-police-re-arrest-rolf-harris-inoperation-yewtree-pedophilia-hunt/

http://barrypittard.wordpress.com/2012/11/01/pedophilia-why-do-most-of-us-protect-the-jimmy-saviles-everywhere/

http://barrypittard.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/serial-pedophile-issues-and-comparisons-sir-jimmy-savile-and-sathya-sai-baba/

http://barrypittard.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/mi6-warned-prince-charles-off-sathya-sai-baba-sunday-peopleuk-says/

Barry Pittard, former lecturer at the Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

British Police Re-Arrest Rolf Harris In Operation Yewtree Pedophilia Hunt

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 20, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013

Media Enquires:  Bpittard (at) westnet.com.au

Under an extention of Operation Yewtree, UK police have again arrested Rolf Harris, the much-awarded Australian entertainer. Bailed until next month, he is on suspicion, after some six months of Yewtree investigations, of sexual offences.

Sathya Sai devotees have long identified Harris as a Sai Baba devotee.  The entertainer and painter, has been a welcome visitor to Buckingham Palace, and, like Sarah, Duchess of Duchess of York (‘Fergie’) and Prince Charles, has long been spoken of as a Sathya Sai Baba follower.

Operation Yewtree

Operation Yewtree‘ is the huge, ongoing, watershed British police operation to net many pedophiles, including those whose crimes reach back decades ago.

Like the Australian Royal Commission to investigate Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, its work is getting well into swing. Both may well prove epoch-changing.

For the Royal Commission, see my article:  Making the Sathya Sai Cult Accountable: Australian Victims Can Submit to Trailblazing Child Abuse Royal Commission. Posted by Barry Pittard on March 6, 2013. And: Australia Leads With Long-term Tough Royal Commission On Institutional Child Sexual Abuse. Posted by Barry Pittard on March 4, 2013.

Rolf Harris Sketch of Sir Jimmy Savile

Rolf Harris Sketch of Sir Jimmy Savile

In Australia and the UK, the multi-talented Rolf Harris is a household name, and has been for decades. Terms like ‘icon’, ‘legendary’, and ‘household name’ are often overdone, but, as was the case with Sir Jimmy Savile, they certainly fit Harris, famed for his hit songs (like Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport, Jake the Peg and Two Little Boys), his art (including his controversial 2005 painting of the Queen, which raised world interest), his didgeridoo and wobble board playing, and his appearance, over decades, in highly rated television and stage shows.

Rolf Harris is heavily awarded – like the late disgraced British public idol Sir Jimmy Savile, against whom police investigations have uncovered over 400 cases (actionable if he had not died) of sexual abuse of minors. Harris has received: Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1968; Officer (OBE) in 1977, Commander (CBE) in 2006, Member of the Order of Australia (AM) 1989, and Officer (AO) in the Queen’s 2012 Birthday Honours. In 2001 he was awarded the Centenary Medal “for service to entertainment, charity and the community”. Also, Honorary Doctorates from the University of East London 2007, and from Liverpool Hope University in 2010. The entertainment industry, too, has highly awarded him.

In passing, I note that some news feeds on the Rolf Harris story are getting into major US newspapers – e.g., New York Times, Huffington Post, Washington Post ….  A good thing, too, because that utterly celebrity obsessed country sorely needs to get busy in exposing its celebrity child and other abusers.

Rolf Harris, Various Royals and Sathya Sai Baba

Sara Duchess of York, well known by Sathya Sai devotees to have visited Sathya Sai Baba at Puttaparthi

Sara Duchess of York, well known by Sathya Sai devotees to have visited Sathya Sai Baba at Puttaparthi

See: MI6 Warned Prince Charles Off Sathya Sai Baba, ‘Sunday People’(UK) Says. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 4, 2010. See also:  Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Sathya Sai Baba.

Operation Yewtree originated in the UK pedophile scandal which exposed the British entertainer and disgraced national treasure, Sir Jimmy Savile, who, like Sathya Sai Baba, was a pedophile on a vast scale – one never met in British police force history. He had extraordinary access to members of the Royal Family and to Buckingham Palace itself. The Yewtree remit is to investigate:

Prince Charles, whose architect friend Keith Critchlow designed the multi-million dollar hospital at Puttaparthi. For interested media, I can provide well documented details of our high level representations to the British government, which resulted in thwarting Prince Charles's wishes to meet Sathya Sai Baba. Similarly, we were successful (although by a matter of fifteen minutes) in preventing former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie from meeting Sai Baba at Whitefield, outside Bangalore, South India

Prince Charles, whose architect friend Keith Critchlow designed the multi-million dollar Sathya Sai Superspeciality Hospital at Puttaparthi. We have an authentifiable letter of Prince Charles to another. It reads:
“Keith (Critchlow) has often told me about Sai Baba and the effect he has had on many people and it is wonderful to know of the difference he has made to your life.“Perhaps I will be able to meet him one day when the time is right.”The letter is signed: “Yours most sincerely, Charles.”For interested media, I can provide well documented details of our high level representations to the British government, which resulted in thwarting Prince Charles’s wishes to meet Sathya Sai Baba. Similarly, we were successful (although by a matter of fifteen minutes) in preventing former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie from meeting Sai Baba at Whitefield, outside Bangalore, South India

- claims against Savile

- claims against Savile and others

- claims against others

Rolf Harris (2006) with his portrait of The Queen

Rolf Harris (2006) with his portrait of The Queen, celebrating her 80th year

See: Pedophilia: Why Do Most Of Us Protect the Jimmy Saviles Everywhere? Posted by Barry Pittard on November 1, 2012. And: Serial Pedophile Issues and Comparisons: Sir Jimmy Savile and Sathya Sai Baba. Posted by Barry Pittard on October 30, 2012.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The Age, Melbourne, Australia. Nick Miller. Europe Correspondent

Rolf Harris ‘arrested in sex abuse inquiry’

Associated Press. April 20, 2013

TV personality and musician Rolf Harris was reportedly arrested and questioned over historic sexual abuse allegations.For nearly six months, the identity of Australian entertainer Rolf Harris as a major target for British police investigating sex abuse allegations has been a poorly guarded secret.

His home in Berkshire, west of London, was raided by Scotland Yard detectives last November. Five days later he was interviewed by appointment, but under caution, at a south London police station.

In the absence of any formal allegations or charges, major news outlets reported the explosive developments without his name, referring only to ”an 83-year-old Australia entertainer”.

Australian singer Rolf Harris.Notwithstanding a lack of formal confirmation from police, internet bloggers and the Twitterati didn’t hold back, openly linking Harris to sex assault claims arising out of the police investigation into the late BBC star Jimmy Savile. Still the mainstream media held firm. Until Friday.

Under a red banner that screamed ”World Exclusive”, British tabloid The Sun named Harris as having been arrested over sex abuse allegations on March 28, two days before his 83rd birthday. Harris has not been charged, and is understood to vehemently deny any wrongdoing.

The Sun, the sister paper to the now defunct and discredited News of the World, reported that Scotland Yard said the man from Berkshire was one of 11 people arrested so far under Operation Yewtree, which is investigating people linked to Savile.

The spokesman told the paper there were three categories of people subject to the investigation: Savile, people close to the presenter and ”others”. The then 82-year-old was in the last category, which ”is generally people who were in the public spotlight at around that time”, the spokesman said.

When the front gate intercom was rung at the entertainer’s house, a sleepy-voiced Harris answered.

Asked if he had any comment on The Sun‘s story, he replied ”no comment” and rung off.

The only sign of activity at the house was Harris’ dog, which came to the gate to watch the gathering media.

Scotland Yard has not publicly named the Australian entertainer. Fairfax Media understands that most of the London media were waiting on each other to name Harris, because of heightened legal fears after the phone hacking scandal, which also looked at informal communications between police and newspapers.

A well-connected media blogger, ”Guido Fawkes”, said several newsrooms had confirmed the name after the first arrest last year.

However, they were concerned that publishing the name could trigger a raid by police trying to identify ”leaks” within the Metropolitan Police.

Harris, a veteran artist, musician and entertainer, has been a regular fixture on television screens since he signed with the BBC in 1953. His musical hits include Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport, in which he played a wobble board instrument, Jake the Peg and Two Little Boys.

Generations of Britons grew up watching Harris’ work, which includes Rolf’s Cartoon Club, Rolf on Art, and Animal Hospital. In 2005, he was commissioned by the BBC to paint a portrait of the Queen.

With LISA DAVIES

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Entertainer Rolf Harris arrested as part of sex-abuse probe stemming from Jimmy Savile case.

By Associated Press, Published: April 19

Dave Thompson, Pool/Associated Press - FILE - Queen Elizabeth II meets Rolf Harris and Kylie Minogue backstage at The Diamond Jubilee Concert in London in this Monday June 4, 2012 file photo . Harris, a veteran entertainer who has released hit singles and painted Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait, has been arrested as part of a police investigation into sexual abuse allegations stemming from the Jimmy Savile scandal, British media Dave Thompson, Pool/Associated Press – FILE – Queen Elizabeth II meets Rolf Harris and Kylie Minogue backstage at The Diamond Jubilee Concert in London in this Monday June 4, 2012 file photo . Harris, a veteran entertainer who has released hit singles and painted Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait, has been arrested as part of a police investigation into sexual abuse allegations stemming from the Jimmy Savile scandal, British media

LONDON — Rolf Harris, a veteran entertainer who has released hit singles and painted Queen Elizabeth II’s portrait, has been arrested as part of a police investigation into sexual abuse allegations stemming from the Jimmy Savile scandal, British media reported Friday.Major media outlets followed The Sun newspaper in identifying Harris, an Australian-born artist, musician and television host who is a household name in Britain.
He was first questioned by police in November but not arrested. He was arrested in March and released on bail pending further inquiries.Asked about Harris, London’s Metropolitan Police said they would not name suspects who have not been charged.Police said an 82-year-old man in Berkshire, west of London, was arrested March 28 as part of Operation Yewtree, an investigation launched after revelations that Savile targeted hundreds of young victims over five decades. Savile died in 2011 at age 84.Police said the allegations against the man were not directly connected to Savile.Harris, who lives in Berkshire and turned 83 on March 30, has been a British entertainment stalwart for decades. He has had musical hits with “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport” — which he once performed with The Beatles — and “Two Little Boys.”He also has hosted television shows, painted an official portrait of the queen for her 80th birthday in 2006, and performed at the monarch’s Diamond Jubilee concert last year.A dozen people have been arrested as part of the Yewtree investigation, including former pop star Gary Glitter and celebrity publicist Max Clifford. Former chauffeur David Smith, 66, is the only person to have been charged.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Where Birds and Kids Can’t Sing

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 19, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The greatest motivation compelling the response of most former Sathya Sai Baba followers around the world has been:  out of the depths of natural love for the young and the wish to protect them from abuse, to expose him and his authoritarian cult. 

There is a saying attributed to Jesus which has, from my childhood and all through my life, resonated from the depths of my soul: 

“But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea”.

An Angel Singing and Skipping On The Sports Field

Last Monday, I was deeply moved.  Taking lunch to a child, I walked across a school sports field   A girl in the lower primary school, small for her age, skipped past me, merrily singing. The child’s happy state was delightful in itself, but what astonished me was her extraordinarily fine voice and the joy that suffused it. In the skipping was the song, and in the song was the skipping. I continued walking, heart skipping.

In a minute or so, she again skipped past , still singing. This time, I realized that she was a child I had known a little, along with her family, on and off, over recent years. I had not known of her remarkable talent, but only of the fine voice of her older sister. The children’s parents, too, love singing.

This time, I said:  “What a lovely voice you have.”  She replied that she loves singing along with operas and also musicals such as those of Andrew Lloyd-Webber. With a sense of dedication, in which I thought I detected a deal of true grit, she told me of her operatic and musical comedy ambitions. “Would you like to hear a song?”  she asked. Yes, I would. She then launched into a Lloyd-Webber song, and sang it with purity, power and rhythmic and note perfection.  

After she had finished, she told me how kids at the school make fun of her for going around singing. As though to underline her report, when she sang a couple of kids made fun of her. I told her, “Little do they know. You will have to work hard and sometimes even fight for the beauty that you feel. Keep doing the thing you love, and ignore what is not love”.

I thought:  what an often cultureless desert these children are growing up in. Here is this girl with supportive parents who surround their children with wonderful artistic role models. But here – elsewhere about her – is a great deal of cultural desert. And here were school children responding, and with such harsh negativity, re-processing the cultural aridity of their parent’s lives. Like parents, like children. What a sore heritage. In Australia, cultural pursuits are often downgraded and denigrated, with an obsessive sport predominating. All too little in the way of a healthy body, mind and spirit. After all these years, our education system profoundly lacks, for example, a response to such extremely major work on several forms of intelligence that need to be understood, worked with, and made integral to education. See Professor Howard Gardiner, et al. For a true educator/liberator, see Sir Ken Robinson on TED Talks; e.g.,: Do schools kill creativity”

The woman who in her fifties chastened the world, and challenged its chauvinistic stereotypes of what a nightingale should look like

The Scottish woman who in her late forties and since chastened the world, and challenged its chauvinistic stereotypes of what a nightingale should look like

Although this was a local sports field, where hopes and dreams can die in anonymity, I thought of the event  – which the world will long remember – of the Scottish singer Susan Boyle’s appearance on the highly-rated British  TV program Britain’s Got Talent on in April 2009, singing “I Dreamed a Dream” from Les Misérables – of which I have written here:  Susan Boyle. Unexpected Divine Chanteuse. Sweet 47. Posted by Barry Pittard on April 17, 2009.

Heaven preserve, for a while, this little one from the fierce competitiveness that attends the likes of American Idol  – but I wouldn’t be surprised if her ability were an audience jaw-dropper if she appeared on such a show. Trustfully, singing teachers or directors who lack wisdom and angelhood will not crab the angelic and glorious connection between this child’s skipping and her careless rapture. 

As I walked out of the school, inspired by the sportsfield meeting, tunes started to come, and by yesterday I completed the lyrics. It is a song for a young child to sing – or for the young child in any of us to sing:

Where birds and kids Can’t Sing. Barry Pittard. (17 April 2013)

I’m not so old and I love to skip

And when I skip I sing

I sing and cannot help it

And it feels

Like such a natural thing

I dreampt that once an angel came

She sat by me and sang

She sang and could not help it

And it felt

Like such a natural thing

   But kids at school say – “Do not skip!

   Your a bit too old to sing and skip!”

   They laugh, they tease, they say “Grow up”!

   And the really mean ones shout “Shut up”!

I dreampt once of an emperor

Who told the birds – “Don’t Sing … Don’t sing!”

I thought – what sort of land is this?!

This cage most maddening!

And now I keep on wondering -

Who says that kids can’t sing?! Who says that kids can’t sing?!! WHO says that kids can’t sing?!!!

And might our land become a cage

Where birds and kids can’t sing?

Where birds and kids can’t sing ….!

But I’m not so old and I love to skip

And when I skip I sing

I sing and cannot help it

And it feels

Like such a natural thing

                    So angel do not go away

                    But always come and sing

                   We’ll sing like we can’t help it

                   And it feels

                Like such a natural thing

                Like such -

                Like such – an angelic thing ….

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Erlendur Haraldsson, Ph.D – A Parapsychologist Fails To Admit Badly Flawed Data (Article 2)

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 10, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

 

Following my last article – To Psychic Researcher Professor Erlandur Haraldsson, Sai Baba Sexual Abuses Are Only “Squibbles” – Part 1. Posted by Barry Pittard on March 26, 2013 - I continue a series of articles which question the integrity – and indeed the courage – of the parapsychology researcher Professor Erlendur Haraldsson, author of ‘Miracles are My Visiting Cards’ (re-printed as ‘Modern Miracles’). Rider Book. Century paperbacks. 1987. ISBN 0712615148, 9780712615143.

Miracles Are My Visiting Cards 2Impressed by Haraldsson’s seeming authority, thousands of Sathya Sai Baba devotees, regard his book as an important source of evidence for their spiritual master’s greatness. Do authors have a moral responsibility for their works? Do the rest of us have it for our actions, which can produce harm or well-being?

Certainly. We all do. Haraldsson’s work is one of those books that, typically, Sai Baba devotees hand around to convince others to come towards Sai Baba or to stay with him.

In it are many anecdotes which consistently favor Sai Baba as genuine. But Haraldsson fails to look for evidence that Sai Baba was a master deceiver. Still more, after all these years, he maintains a silence that disturbs a number of us who care for academic integrity and responsibility, and indeed of any kind.

No Update to badly flawed research

Cover blurb for Elendur Haraldsson’s book

I do not have time to search the literature, but I see that a researcher, George P. Hanson in a paper ‘Deception by Subjects in PSI Research – originally published in The Journal of the American Society for Psychical, Research, Vol. 84, No. 1, January 1990, pp. 25-80 suggests a serious lack of training in Dr Haraldsson (and his associate, the late Dr Karliss Osis), that would make them expert in recognizing deceit in the ‘materializing’ of articles via magic tricks. Hanson writes:

  In other types of field investigations, knowledge of magic tricks is important as well. In certain cases, investigators can impose little or no control and must be content with merely watching. The only way a reader can evaluate a report from such a study is to consider the knowledge, background, and expertise of the researcher. One must consider the likelihood that the researcher would catch a trick if it indeed occurred. For instance, Pratt and Keil (1973) observed Nina Kulagina and reported: “We never observed any behavior suggesting that Kulagina was preparing a trick” (p. 387). Haraldsson and Osis (1977) watched Sai Baba and reported: “We were not able to detect any evidence of fraud” (p. 40). In these cases, given other statements made in the reports, it seems quite clear (to a magician) that the observers had no such relevant expertise whatsoever. When scientists report their observations in professional journals (as were these), they imply that they have the technical competence to make the observations and the expertise to evaluate them. Failure to report the lack of such background is deceptive to the reader. In the case of Sai Baba, it can be noted that Christopher (1979, pp. 114–116) described a number of events suggesting trickery.

Whatever Haraldsson’s standing among academic parapsychologists, how could they – or investigators more broadly – take his work on Sai Baba seriously? In fact, just as he had, in the 70′s, rebuffed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bangalore, Professor H. Narasimhaiah, Sai Baba for long refused to coöperate with Haraldsson. And indeed refusal from the ‘Master’ meant that key figures around Sai Baba followed suite.

Hosur NarasimhaiahExtract from Wikipedia article on Professor Hosur Narasimhaiah

During his tenure as Vice-Chancellor, he constituted and chaired The Committee to Investigate Miracles and Other Verifiable Superstitions, to scientifically investigate claims of miracles and paranormal phenomena. The committee challenged the claims of Sathya Sai Baba, one of the most prominent godmen of India, who was observed to materialization of sacred ash and objects out of thin air, among other reported miracles such as bi location and healing of the sick and wounded. A public controversy then ensued. The committee was also involved in a controversy with Sai Krishna of Pandavapura (a tiny village near ), a mini-Avatar and an alleged protégé of Sathya Sai Baba. See allegations against Sathya Sai Baba. In 1983, he was elected the President of Indian Rationalist Association.

An Author’s Silence With A Hollow Ring To It

Haraldsson’s silence over so many years is singular. Given the videos and mass of other evidence that Sai Baba was a great deceiver, it is a deafening silence. For example, his terribly mistaken prophecies, promises of cure of dire diseases, statements about science and history, and more … Far worsening his case are the worldwide accounts of the Sathya Sai Organization’s grievous lack of accountability and duty of care. There was – and friend of Haraldsson Robert Priddy, like myself, has key knowledge of first-hand reports from individuals and families around the world – serial sexual molestation of boys and young men, the covered up missing persons issue, the water project and apartments’ scandals, the so-called divinely materialized, but almost valueless, stream of trinkets, watches and alleged diamonds (paiste), and the vast horde of gold, silver, precious stones, currency and many other valuable found secreted in his private apartments after his death on 23 April 2012.

There is so much else, and Haraldsson’s ignored (in the person of Robert Priddy) not only an old friend’s caring and immensely well-informed and rational accounts but someone who, like himself, has had a long academic career at a leading university. Haraldsson, it seemed clear, was in a state of denial, unable to credit that he needs to acknowledge the deficiency of his work, all the more so after teams from leading, reputed world media had investigated and reported.

Priddy Household Feelings of Old Friendship Betrayed

Robert Priddy and I have long used emails and Skype to keep in touch, including when Haraldsson visited the Priddy’s home in Oslo (see my previous article), I well recall Robert Priddy’s frustration with his old friend. Haraldsson, he told me, continually brushed aside his suggestions that Haraldsson discuss his experiences and opinion of Sai Baba’s negative aspects. For example, a case of which he had heard in the 1970′s from a close Sai Baba servitor, Major Talwasin, about Sai Baba’s homosexual use of minors.

It was always clear to me that Priddy wished, sticking only to carefully documented evidence (including, unintentionally, from a wide array of official Sai documentation), to impress on Haraldsson what ravages the deceptions, lies and abuses of faith and trust Sai Baba had caused. Robert told me how he and his wife Reidun were taken aback at the way Haraldsson almost entirely ignored accounts put to him, contemptuously labelling  as “fools” those who had donated large amounts to Sai Baba. This was ironic, because, Robert told me, Haraldsson well knew that the Priddy’s, like so many tens of thousands of others, had donated large amounts of money to Sai Baba.

Over the decades, accounts have mounted of Sathya Sai Baba’s faking materialization of artifacts. How could Haraldsson persistently ignore these? On the internet, there is a wealth of testimony from many, including outstanding leaders, who, having investigated the allegations, left the Sathya Sai Baba fold, often in deep dejection. Through a number of world-renowned media investigators, and via prominent, careful writers on Sai Baba matters, he could have seen the seriousness of the revelations. But we have no record of any such activity from him. Besides Robert Priddy and myself, I instance Alexandra Nagel (the Netherlands), Serguei Badaev (Russia), Kevin Shepard, and the Australian scholar Brian Steel, to whom Haraldsson wrote an email remarkable for its lack of engagement. From Haraldsson we find not the slightest acknowledgement that these shocking accounts exist and have kept on coming decade after decade.

I copy below an exchange of emails between Erlendur Harraldsson and Brian Steel, now a retired university teacher in Linguistics and author of learned books and papers. I must say that Steel shows a certain terseness, far removed from anything I have seen in his huge and important opus on Sathya Sai Baba and his cult. It is little wonder, I think, and suggestive of what many academics will feel when one of their fellows displays, frankly, a lack of high professional standards, which lets them sadly down.

—— Original Message ——–

Subject:

Re: Sai Baba

Date:

Fri, 07 Dec 2012 14:56:33 +1100

From:

Brian Steel <brianst@satlink.com.au>

To:

Erlendur Haraldsson <erlendur@hi.is>

Well! Hello, Erlandur! Due to your prolonged silence on ssb matters, I had assumed that you were either dead or incapacitated. I am glad that I was mistaken.

The shortest answer to your question, for which I thank you, is:

http://bdsteel.tripod.com/More/

This contains 8 years of reporting on the ssb controversy (2001-). But I am afraid it will involve you in a lot of reading if you are serious in wanting to update and balance your ssb writing.

The longer answer may strike you as less welcome, but for me it is the inevitable consequence of your extraordinary question (request) and the peculiar attitude which it appears to display.

Where have you been for the past 12 (+) years while the wide debate about  ssb’s bona fides and life’s work has been raging,  mainly on the Internet?  Am I to assume that you do not use the Internet? Surely not. Are you REALLY as unaware as you sound? Have you REALLY not heard of (or been curious enough to follow) my research or, more importantly, the voluminous and quite extraordinary contributions of Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard on these matters over 12 years? Unlike me, they are still writing on a very regular and public basis! And since the premature (!) death of ssb, they have shared all sorts of NEW information about him and his SSO sycophants. Did you know anything about all that, or not? (If not, why not?)

If you now wish to make any tangible impact on public opinion, you must also consider all that (and much more) in your research for the new book. By the way, is it meant for a general or an academic audience? If for the latter, I hope you will not repeat the errors of your colleagues Tulasi Srinivas, Smriti Srinivas (who seems to be a devotee) and that PhD (devotee) chap in NZ whose name escapes me for the moment. They have all produced flawed accounts of ssb.

Warming to the subject you have raised and mindful of a few sparse email contacts with you a few yrs ago, I really must ask you if you have forgotten about my 2005 and 2007 150 page Bibliography of SSB, in the first part of which I wrote about your work on ssb. It’s all there on my fossilised website! You don’t need to ask me. Just do your research!

After your crucial (and now inexplicable) absence from the ssb scene for 12 years or more, I pose the question that I have sometimes asked myself: Why have you kept silent for so long on matters which you could have had an important part in elucidating? And another question:

Given the important critical points about ssb which you raise clearly in the now very out of date ‘Mod Mirs.’, why did you not see fit to air them during the Internet debate? For example: the telltale Krishna episode, and the spurious resurrection claims along with your invaluable evidence of their falseness which, together with Premanand’s evidence, totally discredits them – a fact which devotees airbrush from their distorted view of your book as a vindication of ssb’s divinity. I wrote about this important research of yours in the ‘Compendium’ that you mention and in my other 1998 book (also written as a devotee – but already with a few awkward niggling questions, some of them inspired by sections of your ‘Mod Mirs’! For which, my repeated thanks!).

I do hope that even at this very late date, you will be able to redeem your shameful silence over such a long time with a more balanced account of the life (and premature death) of ssb..

I wish you luck.

BS

PS

I have just remembered a contact in 2009, when, at your request, I removed your name from the (partisan) Wikipedia article on ssb. Activist devotees of ssb had added your name to the list of (Famous) Devotees of ssb. I noticed it and reported it to you. I can see why they did that, but I wonder if you can.

On 6/12/2012 9:19 PM, Erlendur Haraldsson wrote:

Dear Brian Steel: Did you not write some books and articles on Sathya Sai Baba? I have your Compendium. I am updating my Modern Miracles and would like to know what you have written since the Compendium. A reply would be much appreciated. With best wishes Erlendur Haraldsson Erlendur Haraldsson Ph. D. Professor Emeritus Faculty of Psychology, School of Health Sciences University of Iceland Reykjavik 101, Iceland Homepage: www.hi.is/~erlendur

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 4 Comments »

To Psychic Researcher Professor Erlendur Haraldsson, Sai Baba Sexual Abuses Are Only “Squibbles” – Part 1

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 26, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

(Part 1 of a series of articles on Erlendur Haraldsson)

Some key readings so far:

Around the world, many Sathya Sai Baba devotees own a copy of Professor Erlendur Haraldsson’s  book ‘Miracles Are My Visiting Cards: An Investigative Report on the Psychic Phenomena Associated with Sathya Sai Baba’.  Rider Book. Century paperbacks. Century, 1987. ISBN 0712615148, 9780712615143.

However, I think grave questions need asking about Haraldsson’s methodology. I will allude to these in the weeks, but they may best be treated in detail by his professional peers. One investigator associated with Haraldsson is Professor Robert Wiseman, famous for his British television and radio programs, which show many of the human mind’s tricks which lead to beliefs regarded as facts and even Truth. Haraldsson and Wiseman have collaborated in various work, easily discoverable via an internet search, such as when they investigated the claims of (the late) Swami Premananda.

Sathya Sai Baba duped Haraldsson, no less than he duped many of us. However, Haraldsson’s book has widely influenced many in their coming to Sai Baba. My main question is:  Will Haraldsson publicly admit to making a huge mistake in his assessment of Sai Baba? 

A probing and lively Australian blogsite, Subversive Thinking, carries work between Wiseman and Haraldsson (the original of which I have yet to find). See:  Monday May 9, 2011. Erlendur Haraldsson and Richard Wiseman assesment of a videotape on Sathya Sai Baba

It is my layman’s guess that NO professional magician or other competent investigator of alleged miracles could overlook Haraldsson’s paucity of hard knowledge about professional magic. I shall write to Wiseman and see what position he may take. I have touched on related issues here:  Top Magicians Derren Brown, Keith Barry and Others: Exposing How We Get Deceived. Posted by Barry Pittard on November 6, 2012

Miracles Are My Visiting Cards

Ought Authors Write Books and Not Correct Grave Errors Subsequently?

But – more importantly to my three-part series over the next few days – there are serious ethical questions to raise about Haraldsson’s extraordinary inability to deal squarely with a great deal of information that has come to light about Sai Baba in the last two decades. It is significant that via emails (copies of which I have) his old friend Robert Priddy, a retired academic of the University of Oslo and major expert on Sathya Sai Baba and his cult, has made available to Haraldsson many salient facts about Sathya Sai Baba’s faked miracles, the cover up of killings in his Puttaparthi bedroom, the sexual abuse of boys and young men from many countries, large-scale venality, authoritarianism and lack of accountability and duty of care in the Sathya Sai Central Trust, and much else.

Over time, by Skype and email, I discerned how troubled Robert Priddy and his wife have been when, on the one hand, there was the fact of the old Priddy-Haraldsson friendship and yet, on the other, Haraldsson imperviousness to the sheer weight of evidence for Sai Baba’s fraudulence, and an unwillingness to reconsider his (Haraldsson’s) very influential writings on Sai Baba. 

Haraldsson’s Writing Has Long Furthered Devotion To Sathya Sai Baba Worldwide

Many Sai Baba followers have long valued Haraldsson’s book. For the more rationally inclined it – supposedly – satisfies the intellect. Typically, it was a book which devotees handed to others whom they wished to interest in Sai Baba. Through this and other means, ‘Miracles Are My Visiting Cards’ has much advanced Sai Baba’s influence throughout the world. It is a grave responsibility. And yet – we see no response from Haraldsson which faces a terrible fact:  that a great weight of evidence worldwide discredits Sai Baba.

I knew of Robert Priddy’s delay in taking up the Haraldsson matter in public.  It is true that Priddy and I had many other pressing duties in bringing the Sathya Sai cult to international attention, and yet here was an issue Haraldsson needed to face. It seemed as if Robert hoped that – given many people leaving Sathya Sai centers worldwide, and revelations after 2000 across major television and radio networks and print media  – Haraldsson would change his public standpoint. I wondered whether the continued delay might, consciously or unconsciously owe something to the painful anticipation of confronting an old friend in Haraldsson. When I discussed the issue, Robert told me that he wished to invite Haraldsson to stay at his home in Oslo, upon which he and his wife Reidun (also previously a long-term and dedicated Sai Baba devotee) would tell Haraldsson of much compelling evidence of Sai Baba’s fraudulence, and the profound betrayal of so many.

For Erlandur Haraldsson, Anguished Concerns About Sexual Molestation of Minors Are But “Squibbles”

I think that Haraldsson shows a callous disregard about the issue of decades of Sathya Sai Baba’s serial sexual molestation of boys and young men. In his reply to Reidun Priddy’s email to him, this tragedy Haraldsson can dismiss as “squibbles about SB, who is dead anyway”.

Haraldsson is, however, alive anyway, but not, clearly, alive to how he has a moral responsibility to repudiate serious shortcomings in his work, and the way alive – but mistaken and unrepudiated – ideas and information continue to exercise a grip on minds very widely.

Erlendur Haraldsson’s Extraordinary Remark – in an email to Reidun Priddy

Erlendur's Extraordinary Remark - in an email to Reidun Priddy

Erlendur Haraldsson and Robert Priddy, Puttaparthi, 1996
Erlendur Haraldsson and Robert Priddy, Puttaparthi, 1996
The Erlendur Haraldsson-Robert Priddy Friendship, Puttaparthi 1989
The Erlendur Haraldsson-Robert Priddy Friendship, Puttaparthi 1989
Haraldsson Visits Robert Priddy (and wife Reidun), Oslo, 2009

Haraldsson visits Robert Priddy (and wife Reidun), Oslo 2009

Unlike Haraldsson, Robert Priddy and I have worked daily, and year after year, on the Sathya Sai Baba exposé. As our internet writings show, an intensive research has meant following up thousands of on-line references to the Sai Baba issue. The work has involved hundreds of phone calls, a vast number of emails, and much contact with leading investigative media.  Particularly heartrending has been our contact with people (some now even in their sixties, such as the psychotherapist Mark Roche – see:  Health Professional Comes Out On BBC: Sai Baba sexually abused him when young. Posted by Barry Pittard on April 26, 2011), who have submitted details of Sathya Sai Baba abusing them when they were boys or young men, and with families and friends of molestation survivors from around the world. This is but one part of the gut-sickening Sai cult corruption and betrayal – an extaordinary phenomenon that shows profound paucity of spirituality among those who proclaim their guru to be the God of gods, and the Avatar that ushers in the ‘Golden Age’. A phenomenon which has, most prominently, been articulated and exposed by the work of those  such as David and Fay Bailey (UK), Conny Larsson, Britt Marie Andén (Sweden), Glen Meloy (USA)  Alexandra Nagel (Holland), Hari Sampath (India), Robert Priddy (Norway), Sergei Badaev (Russia), Sanjay Dadlani (UK), Brian Steel, and myself (Australia). And most recently, after years of public silence, by Eileen Weed who, as Divya, lived for many years at Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi ashram, and who was very close to Sai Baba’s sister, Venkamma (USA). See:

Hari Sampath, former insider on myths by Sathya Sai authorities

Posted by robertpriddy on October 10, 2011

Alexandra Nagel. A Seminal Writer On Sathya Sai Baba, A Guru Accused

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 3, 2010

Sai Baba school closed because of reported sex abuses

(Britt Marie Andén’s account as former national leader in Sweden, and mother of a young son whom she found Sai Baba had sexually abused)

Posted by robertpriddy on March 19, 2010

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009

Video clip testimony of Sai Baba as a sexual predator

Posted by robertpriddy on July 25, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 2, 2009

David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 25, 2009

Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 18, 2009

Brian Steel Demythologizes Early Foreign-led Sathya Sai Baba Myths

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 23, 2009

Coming in the next few days:

To Psychic Researcher Professor Erlandur Haraldsson, Sai Baba Sexual Abuses Are Only “Squibbles” Part 2

——————————————–

From Robert Priddy’s website:  Sathya Sai Baba In Word and Action

Discussions on the Sai Baba issue and Erlendur Haraldsson, Professor of Psychology, University of Rekjavik, Iceland

Haraldsson investigates Sai Baba and his movement in the 1970s and later, publishing his results in a book which originally helped his wider reputation and recognition in parapsychology established facts and documented words.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

On The Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposé – Barry Pittard, An Early Note

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 12, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Here is a brief note which I wrote a few years back. To my more recent crop of readers, including media and scholarly researchers, it gives a glimpse at the origins of our exposé of Sathya Sai Baba and his international cult, an exposure which has intensively lasted, with much success, over two decades. I include below a select list of links, which are far more recondite with other links, too.

I was deeply devoted to Sai Baba – who is arguably the most powerful Indian guru in history – for 25 years. At his behest, and as an unpaid service, I taught all three years of the Humanities degree course at the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India for most of 1977-1978, and some drama work there before this with the American actor Ron Klein. I spent a number of very happy years in India, a wonderful culture which can thrive in the future if only the endemic, corrupt leaderships stops, and provided she does not succumb to the hollow materialistic dazzle of Westernization.

In October 1999, I read the accounts of Terry Gallagher, first head of Australian Sathya Sai Organization and others. These spoke of Sai Baba having sex with boys and young men, and of many other disturbing anomalies. By email and phone, I directly investigated allegations round the world, and found primary corroboration from families, friends and each molestation survivor. These reports come from many parts of the world, and from primary victims who, in a many cases, did not know each other. Many accounts were harrowing, sickening and heart-rending. Here were people in excellent standing in their professions, trades and wider communities. They were typical of many decent, law-abiding and caring seekers, from various cultures who have sought spiritual guidance from Sai Baba or other teachers. There was, of course, a major social trend of Westerners seeking out Eastern teachers, escalating from the sixties onwards.

Towards the end of 1999, I joined an international network of former Sathya Sai Baba followers, which included a broad cross-section of educational and cultural backgrounds. Among this number were some outstanding mental health professionals familiar with the various cases. Our core collective campaigned strongly. Some, mainly in the USA, had attempted a little before us, to get the allegations out into the open. This sad state of affairs is true the world over. Most victims fear going public. Some said that they would coöperate if there were court or governmental or institutional investigations. Glen Meloy, of southern California, USA, a well-loved follower of Sai Baba for 26 years who died in 2005, and I worked closely on many initiatives, as have, after Glen’s death, Robert Priddy. 

Robert Priddy, with his and my dear friend, the late V.K.Narasimhan, one of India's most courageous and outstanding newspaper editors. Narasimhan privately expressed deep troubles about Sathya Sai Baba's conduct and that of some of his core leaders

Robert Priddy, with his and my dear friend, the late V.K.Narasimhan, one of India’s most courageous and outstanding newspaper editors. Narasimhan, one of the few game enough to stand up to Sathya Sai Baba, privately expressed to the few persons he could trust his deep troubles about Sai Baba’s conduct and that of some of his core leaders

Priddy is the former head and co-founder of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway, and a retired academic of the University of Oslo. 

It is unfortunate that many of these activities we have to conduct on a need-to-know basis. This is because of the extreme sensitivity of the issues. In India especially, we have done our utmost to make sure that grave harm does not befall survivors, families and friends who contact us, or of whom we come to know via other means. 

Many in the Sathya Sai Organization are decent and good people, and for many years, before some of us became aware of the leaders’ dereliction of duty of care, accountability and transparency, among them were our dearest and closest friends and colleagues. Losing them was not the least of the shocks. However, core leaders in the Sathya Sai Organization engage in extreme cover-up. They are appalling in their dereliction of duty of care, are unaccountable to their own members, the public, and refuse to be open with the most distinguished investigative media and scholars. Hence, for example, title of the BBC’s television documentary (2004) ‘The Secret Swami’. The international Sathya Sai Organization is very wealthy, influential and powerful, with an exchequer rated in billions, and has become ever more of an authoritarian cult over the years. Former devotee activists – including a number of victims of the sexual abuse and other abuses – wish to share their evidence with well-reputed bona fide investigators from media, government, civic and academic institutions, and so on.

Some Select Readings on Our Early Exposure Campaigns 

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009

Barry Pittard Replies to Saionline.com writer, 1 July 2002

Sai Baba-A Degenerative Disease?

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 16, 2007

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 4, 2007

(Late) Ron and Peggy Laing: Deeply Alienated From Sathya Sai Organization

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 14, 2009

BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 26, 2007

 Ramanathan Threatens Barry Pittard With Law.

Posted Barry Pittard, 14 April 2003.

V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 7, 2008

Barry Pittard:  Sathya Sai Baba Expose – An Update. 25 September, 2003

Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba)

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 6, 2010

U.S. State Department Named Sathya Sai Baba To BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 31, 2010

Sathya Sai Organization, Australia, Ex-Head Terry Gallagher’s Testimony Against Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2009

On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult (Parts 1, 2 and 3)

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2009

Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman: Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 24, 2010

See also:  The Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba and Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia ‘BILD’ Story. “Guru Wants Sex” (Sathya Sai Baba) and Why Do Prominent Sathya Sai Baba Sect Critics Persist? and Timothy Conway Ph.D – On ‘The Hislop Letters’ and BBC Transcript ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sathya Sai Baba’s Frauds Exposed)

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Making the Sathya Sai Cult Accountable: Australian Victims Can Submit to Trailblazing Child Abuse Royal Commission

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 6, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

This post builds on my post of last Monday:  Australia Leads With Long-term Tough Royal Commission On Institutional Child Sexual Abuse.  Posted by Barry Pittard on March 4, 2013.

The Australian child abuse Royal Commission is now in operation, and may be so for beyond the originally bruited  three years. Organizations like the Sathya Sai Organization of Australia will have much to cause a soul-search. And to writhe – somewhat as the ‘guilty creatures at a play’ in Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’.

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

The Commissioners: (left to right) Mr Bob Atkinson AO APM, Professor Helen Milroy, Justice Peter McClellan AM (Chair), Justice Jennifer Coate, Mr Robert Fitzgerald AM and Mr Andrew Murray.

What could not be accomplished by our two decades of relentless exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and his authoritarian, secretive international cult can now, trustfully, and in some measure, be accomplished by an exceptionally distinguished group of commissioners.

Little will please me better than to write a submission to the Royal Commission, and to aid Australian victims of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult in our bringing forth some of our primary witnesses, who will be able to represent their terrible experiences to the commission. It is an historic opportunity, with the potential to turn back some of the great but hidden floods of lifelong grief and suffering that sexual abuse of children brings. The commissioners have professional track records in treating victims  with compassion, sensitivity and confidentiality. Witnesses will have their voices heard in a way – in writing or in person – which, in many countries around the world, the Sathya Sai Organization has utterly and cruelly denied to them.

We who have internationally exposed Sathya Sai Baba and his cult have fought a long, terribly uphill battle. Despite marked successes in leading world fora, such as the UN and some of the world’s quality print, radio and television media, we have lacked the sort of opportunities that a Royal Commission affords. On Monday, I wrote:

Indictingly, all our societies have taken tragic years to grapple meaningfully with child sexual abuse. Trustfully,  the Australian Royal Commission into child abuse – expected to last at least three years – will prove not only a great turning point for Australia but (along with Ireland) inspire the rest of the world in combatting the evil of child sexual abuse. And of course, that other evil – which is for most people to shut up and say nothing about it. See:  Australian Royal Commission To Probe Institutional Handling Of Child Sexual Abuse. Posted by Barry Pittard on November 14, 2012.

The commissioners will see our good credentials in our wider communities, trades and professions. They will see our long and unrelenting track record in standing forth – no matter what the Sathya Sai cult’s dreadful slurs. Notoriously, cults suppress the truth, and viciously attack those who in the least question their guru or their activities. They cry ‘truth’, ‘love’, ‘peace’, and yet they suppress their own humanity, abandon commonsense and decency, and shatter lives. They assume the worst of former members whom once over the years they knew as persons of integrity, dedication and unselfish serviceableness. How can the deeply complicit leaders of the international Sathya Sai Organization reasonably say that theirs is a spiritual organization?

I know that, in all my many writings in this blog and elsewhere, and in communicating with former Sathya Sai Baba devotees and other critics, and in representations to a great many institutions worldwide, not a syllable have I uttered that is knowingly untrue. I invite my reader to click on ANY page and defy them to find other than temperate and reasonable commentary – in marked contrast to those in the Sathya Sai Organization who have pilloried many former Sathya Sai Baba followers. Paramount has been exhaustive, careful, often first-hand documentation of our evidence. Those who are intelligent and unbiassed cannot assail these actions and those of my trusted colleagues such as the late Glen Meloy, Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Serguei Badaev, Alexander Nagel, and, most recently, after years of public silence, Eileen Weed (who, as Divya, lived for many years at Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi ashram, and was very close to Sai Baba sister, Venkamma).

Alas, we have lacked means or time or energy to sue the Sathya Sai Organization or individual followers.  For over two decades, we have withstood an almost unimaginable onslaught of Sai cult defamation and libel. Media investigators, institutions like UNESCO, scholars and the public have seen this. The Sai cult’s dastardliness has, ironically, much furthered our cause. Proper conduct from us, and unconscienable behavior from those such as the world deputy head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Dr G. Venkataraman and the especially vindictive and destructive person supported by many Sai devotees, the late Gerald Moreno. Some former Sai devotees have not wanted to sue, even had they the means. They have taken the view expressed, e.g., in Christianity, as “take not thy brother to court”. Others have said that they did not want to go ahead unless as witnesses in court cases in democratic jurisdictions. Many others have been too frightened to come out because of social stigmas and taboos. With a vice-like grip, their perceptions drove them to think that they would be militated against in business, places of employment or study, of institution, and within family and friendship settings. All too many have not accepted offers, as is, alas, the case universally, even of the most competent and experienced professional counseling, which we went to much effort to source and organize.

I invite all who wish to support our Australian effort to make the Australian Sathya Sai Organization accountable to contact me, with confidentiality assurred, via:  bpittard (at) westnet.com.au

Some Key Resources

Royal CommissionRoyalCommission.com.au

Updates on the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse

Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

16 January 2013On Friday 11 January 2013, Her Excellency Quentin Bryce, Governor-General of the Commonwealth of Australia appointed a six-member Royal Commission to investigate Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. The Honourable Justice Peter McClellan has been appointed Chair of the Commission. The following documents will provide further information on the Royal Commission and how it will work:

For more information visit Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual AbuseLink to external website website.

Content Updated: 24 January 2013

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

An Early Community Response

Scouts refer sex abuse file to royal commission

By Peter McCutcheon

Updated Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:59am AEDT

Scouts refer sex abuse file to royal commission

By Peter McCutcheon

Updated Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:59am AEDT

Scouts Australia is referring a file on a 1980s scout leader to the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

Scout leader Paul Hayes, also known by his scout name Grizzly, was accused of interfering with eight boys over a 20-month period in Canberra and Sydney.

Victim Steven Cox, who was abused by Hayes, says he is disgusted with the Scouts for failing to report the matters to police.

He has accused the association of putting its reputation ahead of the welfare of the children in its care.

Mr Cox says he has found internal Scout documents that show at least eight other complaints were lodged against the paedophile.

“It’s just a cover-up. That’s all it was – it was a cover-up to protect the Scouts’ name and keep it all quiet so it never got out anywhere,” he said.

That’s all it was – it was a cover-up to protect the Scouts’ name and keep it all quiet so it never got out anywhere.

To me they’re just as guilty as him. They may not have done the abuse, but they knew all about him and did nothing.

Steven Cox

“To me they’re just as guilty as him. They may not have done the abuse, but they knew all about him and did nothing.”

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Australia Leads With Long-term Tough Royal Commission On Institutional Child Sexual Abuse

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 4, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai BabaBarry Pittard. May 22, 2013

For over two decades, via the international media and in many other ways, my colleagues and I have exposed Sathya Sai Baba and his monolithic, worldwide cult, the Sathya Sai Organization.  We know much about institutional and personal cover ups. Constantly, we have confronted these in our work involving many countries, and, not least, in one of the most venal countries in the world – India. A country which we, very mistakenly, had thought would become a great spiritual light to the world.

Indictingly, all our societies have taken tragic years to grapple meaningfully with child sexual abuse. Trustfully,  the Australian Royal Commission into child abuse – expected to last at least three years – will prove not only a great turning point for Australia but (along with Ireland) inspire the rest of the world in combatting the evil of child sexual abuse. And of course, that other evil – which is for most of us to shut up and say nothing about it. See:  Australian Royal Commission To Probe Institutional Handling Of Child Sexual Abuse. Posted by Barry Pittard on November 14, 2012.

On the downside, it is regrettable that some way has not yet been found, similarly, to address physical and emotional abuse and neglect, as distinct from sexual abuse.

The Australian newspaper reports that the head of the Royal Commission, Justice McClellan has said:

“We wish to emphasise that the commission has powers to compel the production of evidence and we will not hesitate to exercise those powers …..

“We will of course be mindful of the potential sensitivity which may require constraints on the publication of details it obtains by this means.

“The commission expects that all institutions that may have entered into confidential agreements will cooperate with the commission in relation to the disclosure of those matters.”

                                                                   The commissioners

                                                                 From top, left to right:

Peter McClellan

  • Senior NSW Supreme Court judge
  • Former chair of the Sydney Water Inquiry
  • Former assistant commissioner at ICAC

Jennifer Coate

  • New appointee to the Family Court of Australia
  • Victorian County Court judge and former president of Children’s Court

Bob Atkinson

  • Former Queensland police commissioner
  • Oversaw police reforms following Fitzgerald inquiry

Andrew Murray

  • Former WA senator
  • Advocate on issues surrounding institutionalised children
Helen Milroy

  • Psychiatrist with a focus on the wellbeing of children
  • Director for WA’s Centre for Aboriginal Medical and Dental Health
Robert Fitzgerald

  • Commissioner on the Productivity Commission since 2004
  • Convenes the Indigenous Disadvantage Working Group
  • Former Community and Disability Services commissioner in NSW

“Redress By Institutions”

In Ireland, the State – where there is not the same separation of Church and State powers – will bear half the cost of compensating institutional child molesters. In Australia, victim compensation will, expectedly, loom large. In this sense, the taxpayer is spared. But the perpetrator is not spared. The terms of reference direct the commissioners to find:

“what institutions and government should do… (to ensure) justice for victims through the provision of redress by institutions…”

I do trust that the Sathya Sai Organization, among many others, will, after icy shivers, give a great deal of thought to this notion: “redress by institutions…”

Sexual abuse of children is rife at all levels of society, and we all need to deal with it.

Leaving institutions or individuals to do the job – no matter how principled and dedicated some of them may be – is far from the best approach. The pressure to derail even the best processes is too great: The pressure to shut up for the ‘sake’ of family, school, company, etc. Or to compromise and, for example, settle out-of-court. To be frightened off. To be bought off.  

We need to find a way, first, to hear the massed voices that have for so long been silent – or, rather, silenced. We need a way which inspires in victims that their testimony will truly change things – in all the systems:  judicial, government, corporate, educational, religious, and so on.  It is wrong to abuse victims twice-over – first, when they were victims of sexual abuse, and second, under grilling by adversarial lawyers or other unjust forces and circumstances which demean them.

Victims of child sexual abuse – whether it is recent or longer ago – will need to feel that we all mean business. That we intend a vast, beneficent historic change.

Select Reading

Serial Pedophile Issues and Comparisons: Sir Jimmy Savile and Sathya Sai Baba.

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 30, 2012.

Pedophilia: Why Do Most Of Us Protect the Jimmy Saviles Everywhere?

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 1, 2012

Barry Pittard – On Institutional Cover Ups and Psychological Denial

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 5, 2011

Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 23, 2010

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Supreme Court judge to head abuse royal commission

By ABC chief political correspondent Simon Cullen

Updated Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:19pm AEDT

New South Wales Supreme Court judge Peter McClellan has been appointed to lead the royal commission into child sexual abuse.

He will be supported by five other commissioners, including former Queensland police commissioner Bob Atkinson and former senator Andrew Murray, who have been asked to provide an interim report on progress by mid next year.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says the Government will make sure that survivors of abuse receive the support they need and that lessons are learnt from the past.

“I believe our nation needs to have this royal commission,” Ms Gillard told reporters in Sydney.

“Child sexual abuse is a hideous, shocking and vile crime.

“It is clear from what is already in the public domain that too many children were the subject of child sexual abuse in institutions.”

The Government says the inquiry will have “as long as it needs” to finish its investigation, although each of the commissioners will be appointed for an initial period of three years.

Its main focus will be to investigate systemic failures within church and state-run institutions in preventing and dealing with child abuse.

“Today is the day that we start to create a future where people who perpetrate child sexual abuse cannot hide in institutions, where we work together to find a better way of keeping our children safe,” Ms Gillard said.

“The royal commission is into child sexual abuse and related matters in institutional contexts.

“It will not deal with child sexual abuse in the family. It also will not deal with abuse of children which is not associated with child sexual abuse.”

Ms Gillard says the selection of commissioners and the terms of reference were finalised after extensive discussions with state leaders, law enforcement agencies, support groups and community leaders.

The commissioners will hold a telephone hook-up on Monday, with their first face-to-face meeting scheduled for Wednesday.

Shadow attorney-general George Brandis says the Coalition has examined the terms of reference and believe they are “sufficiently comprehensive” to carry out a proper investigation.

“It is very important that the royal commission not be constrained in pursuing its inquiries in relation to all institutions, both public and private, where there is reason to believe child sexual abuse may have taken place,” Senator Brandis said in a statement.

“For instance, there is a great deal of evidence of widespread sexual abuse of children within Indigenous communities, which the royal commission will have the opportunity to examine.”

Terms of reference

The terms of reference specifically ask the commissioners to consider what action governments and institutions should take to provide “redress” to victims of past and future sexual abuse.

Families Minister Jenny Macklin acknowledges the process will put extra pressure on victims support groups and has pledged to provide extra government funding to help.

“For many people, it will open up very old wounds and for that reason the Government will make sure that we provide support for individuals,” Ms Macklin said.

“We’ll also provide financial resources to those organisations that individual survivors know and trust.”

Given the large number of people expected to come forward with examples of abuse, the Government is proposing changes to the laws governing royal commissions to speed up the process.

Attorney-General Nicola Roxon says the current legislation only allows evidence to be heard before all commissioners at the same time.

“Part of our purpose of appointing six commissioners is because we expect that there will be very large numbers of people who may want to present to the commission,” Ms Roxon said.

“They may want to do it less formally than would normally be expected, and we certainly don’t intend that all evidence would need to be given to every one of the six commissioners at the one time.”

Investigations unit

The Government has suggested the royal commission team establish a special investigations unit to work with victims of abuse and refer matters to police for prosecution where appropriate.

Ms Roxon says the Australian Federal Police has already offered to second officers to the inquiry, although she says it will be up to the commissioners to decide how best to organise the process.

There have been many inquiries and investigations into different aspects of child abuse over many years, many of which have taken place at a state level.

The commission has been asked to consider what information is already publicly available to avoid “unnecessary trauma to witnesses” and to speed up the process.

Some victims have already received compensation for the abuse they suffered and signed confidentiality agreements with the relevant institution.

Ms Roxon says the royal commission will not be limited in its work by those contracts.

“They do have far-reaching powers that enable them to override those (confidentiality) agreements or indeed immunities,” she said.

“But it would be pure speculation, which we are not prepared to make now, whether the commission will indeed take that approach or not.”

Ms Gillard says it will be up to the commission to decide what witnesses they call to give evidence, but she has urged people to cooperate with its investigation.

Topics: child-abuse, community-and-society, federal-government, government-and-politics, australia, wa, vic, tas, sa, qld, nt, nsw, act

First posted Fri Jan 11, 2013 1:57pm AEDT

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Barry Pittard On Ashok Singhal and High Profile Sathya Sai Baba Propagandists

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 5, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The Times of India has just published online a letter of mine (see below). ToI was one of many major Indian newspapers which ignored – no matter the excellent credentials – the worldwide testimony of members of our international group of former devotees, which included those from India. See: Indian Media and Governments Heedless of Decade of Foreign Media and Sai Baba Critics’ Revelations. Posted by Barry Pittard on June 27, 2011

Historically, it is to the Indian media’s abiding shame that, with the honorable exception of India Today, we failed to get a hearing. A private contact of mine on the Times of India told me: “Sathya Sai Baba and his people are too powerful”.

It was not until a longtime well-wisher (a former aide to one of the great foreign service players of the 20th century) was able to meet with Indo Asian News Service (IANS) that we were able to break a deadlock and make sure that, although having ignored the UK Guardian’s own feeds, a few Indian newspapers carried our Duke of Edinburgh story. See: UK Guardian On Sathya Sai Baba and Duke’s Awards. Posted by Barry Pittard on October 21, 2008.

By this time – with serious articles by major media around the world – it was getting harder for the India media (especially after the BBC documentary The Secret Swami , 2004) to ignore the seriousness of worldwide allegations against Sathya Sai Baba and core leaders of his cult.

However, as we know not only from our private sources but also from the writings of one of Sai Baba’s closest servitors, Dr G.Venkataraman, top-level, formal and informal Sathya Sai devotee activity intensified in contacting UNESCO, government, institutional, media etc. Attempts to show The Secret Swami in India met with strategic power failures, occurring with too great a frequency and pinpoint accuracy be ordinary power failures. Yet another example to lend weight to my TOE contact’s notion that “Sathya Sai Baba and his people are too powerful”.

Actually, they are NOT. But you have to fight like hell.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Readers’ opinions

Barry Pittard (Australia)
04 Feb, 2013 08:36 AM
I taught for two years at the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, Karnataka, South India (1978-9) and was deeply devoted to him for 25 years. As so many former devotees, including those who were among his most outstanding leaders worldwide, I left his fold after carefully investigating compelling testimony about wide-scale, serial sexual abuse of boys and young men, and other profoundly covered up wrongdoings. In the Indian media, only India Today has researched the claims of former devotees, who are highly respected people in their many communities. Serious students of decades of officially published Sathya Sai Baba discourses know the facts: He typically made prophecies which have not come true, which devotees’ blind faith ignores. For example, he foretold that he would take his mahasamadhi circa 2022, by which time he would effectively rule the world. He made serious mistakes about long known scientific and historic facts. The scholar Brian Steel has written incisively on these. In February 2004, BBC television cameras at Puttaparthi caught him faking production of a Sivalingam, as millions in many countries have seen in the BBC documentary ‘The Secret Swami’. Ashok Singhal and other high-profile devotees of Sathya Sai Baba fail to answer those (including scholars) who point out his many serious inconsistencies. Singhal told an assembly of political and religious luminaries in Delhi of a prophecy he says Sathya Sai Baba shared with him. The Organiser, September 14, 2008, reported: “… Shri Singhal also threw light on how to strengthen the Hindu society and unite our great India. The VHP leader, while disclosing his discussion with Satya Sai Baba, said that Sai Baba had informed him that between 2020 and 2030 the whole India would be of Hindus and after 2030 the whole world would be of Hindus”. When so many Sai Baba prophecies have so egregiously failed in the past, why should Ashok Singhal think that the prophecy to which he refers will be any different? Good works should never be used to hide bad works.

Niche for Sri Sathya Sai Baba at Mela

TNN Jan 28, 2013, 11.57AM IST

ALLAHABAD: Among the number of exhibitions in the vast Kumbh Mela area of Sangam is one depicting the life and teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. Put up by Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation UP and Uttarakhand, the exhibition was inaugurated by former international president of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and ardent devotee of the godman, Ashok Singhal.

Put up at Sector 1 of the Mela area, next to area given to NCR, the exhibition has numerous articles, photos, etc related to the life and teachings of Baba and the selfless service rendered by him to the world in the field of education, health, drinking water, etc. The exhibition has been installed with the aim of spreading the message that every human being has a duty towards the society and must serve as he did.

Before performing the Maha Mangal aarti, Singhal said, “Although Sathya Sai Baba left his body he resides and will to live in the hearts of his devotees and his teachings would reflect in our lifestyle, as it is our moral duty to act according to him.”

Baba’s message of ‘love all, serve all’, ‘help ever, hurt never’ has been depicted and shown in the exhibition with the aim of spreading it among the masses during the pious occasion of Maha Kumbh. Rajiv Chopra, State president of Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisation UP and Uttarakhand, was present along with other devotees on this occasion in the exhibition which will be open for public till February 20.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

India, Land of Vast Tolerated Rape and Other Sex Abuses: a Letter From A Western Lover of India

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 30, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The writer of the email below is a woman in her fifties, a westerner and for some years a tour guide in India, who is highly regarded for her rare integrity and decency. She used to aid me in sourcing CD’s when I was a community broadcaster dealing with world music and social justice issues.

Her email is worth reading with the heart, more than with the eyes and mind. Increasingly India – having profoundly alienated herself from her good self – is fast alienating herself from the rest of the world.

I never knew of a country more prone to sermons than India. Daily, in endless venues, from small temples to vast arenas, and on radio and television and in the newspapers, pundits rattle on about ‘the dharma’. About being truthful and righteous and compassionate and peaceful and non-violent. But one example of duplicity on a giant scale has been the Sathya Sai cult core leaders’ decades of cover up of murders and sexual and other abuses. Again – vast amounts of preaching, and of a robed but tumid underbelly of vile and hypocritical evil.

A constant Hindu Indian theme is fearlessness. Excellent! – when practised. But – in the so-called ‘eternal Bharat’ – the only thing that is eternal about all this  is the hypocrisy. Those without brain or conscience denounce as “India bashers” writers about India who mention the endless institutional corruption and vast organs of State suppression and crass inaction, and so on .

In fact, many times, this blogsite pays great tribute to those few Indian people and groups who, most courageously and at great cost of danger and suffering to themselves, speak out and do their best to stop the incredible social inequalities in that land.

It is significant that the recent Delhi rape case prompted public protests – an increasing phenomena in an India where the people at large, like those in the Occupy movement in the West, become ever more informed and ever more angry at government and corporate corruption – angry enough to begin to do something about it.

Here is the email:

Dear Barry,

I am in India until tomorrow, and over the last 8 weeks of my trip I have felt sickened by all the hideous reports of the Delhi rape case. There is now – what has been so often suppressed in India – an incredible daily tally of reports of rape, murder, incest with girls as young as 3 years old.  A large majority of the reports cite victims’ ages between 7 – 11 in age – like what we hear reported in the West.- similar to reports in the West. I myself was molested from 7 to 12 years old by a family friend.
 
I am sure this has been going on forever here, but the Delhi case has somehow got out to the world and brought a damning spotlight on India. The Indian media is now reporting countless incidents.

You know how much I love my beloved India and have spent 2-5 months every year there for 10 years. But this year I have become quite frightened of this potential for rape and violence and have changed a lot of my habits of movement around India. I am inside by dark, never alone, dress VERY modestly, not trusting anyone new. I am so unlike my usual courageous, fearless self!

I had already decided to make this my last year for taking a tour and retiring as a tour guide. I am so sickened by these horrible events that it has tainted my feelings about India, and now I feel that I will not return for several years until I can travel in trusted company.

The corruption at all levels of Indian society is the other thing I hate, and I agree with your excellent blog that the buck stops with politicians and powerful institutions. You also mention India’s often incredibly inept and chauvinistic police force.

I am feeling so sad to be feeling like this, and I understand how sickened you would have been to find out the awful truth of Sathya Sai Baba’s perverse inclinations. But Barry, we are light bearers of the truth, and with God’s grace we can use our abilities to work against such evils and to make accountable the perpetrators and those who hide them or stand by and do nothing.

Keep up the good work, Barry.

Lots of love

……….

Further Reading

Sexual Abuse Rampant In Extreme Male Chauvinist India

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 7, 2013

Tehelka.com and the Delhi rapes – new India’s media conscience. 

Posted by robertpriddy on January 5, 2013

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Will Huffington Post Give Sathya Sai Baba Critics Equal Space To Plethora of Sai Hagiographers?

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 23, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Four days back, in the article:  Huffington Post Needs To Update Views On Sathya Sai Baba and His Authoritarian Cult.  Posted by Barry Pittard on January 20, 2013, I wrote of  Professor Vamsee Juluri’s article in the Huffington Post (US), Revisiting Puttaparthi and the Abode of Peace, noting: 

It will be interesting to see whether Vamsee Juluri thinks he can meet, with the slightest amount of evidence contrary to the contentions of two recent responders to his Huffington Post article (see below) – or the vast  Sathya Sai Baba exposure data on the web ….

No comment from Professor Juluri, at least as yet. HP has posted two of my comments. Below is a reply from ‘Saidas’, who writes as though familiar with what goes on at Puttaparthi.

I wrote:

Scriptures are of their own time. Taken literally they can assault reason, humanity and commonsense. Sai Baba believed literally in gods and demons. His statements e.g., about Jesus and Martin Luther, are historically inaccurate. He made bad scientific mistakes and unfulfilled prophecies. Many former leaders investigated with the utmost integrity. Pointing out anomalies should not invite abusive comment. Points pro Sai Baba commentators raise on HP are more than dealt with by the more capable former devotee writers on the internet. It is about responsibility, not about hate.
Before and since exposure via major world media e.g., the BBC’s documentary ‘The Secret Swami’, viewed by millions in many countries, many foremost leaders and followers quit the Sathya Sai Baba cult. Still more, after the Indian media and Andhra Pradesh state government (June, 2011) revealed Sai Baba’s vast secret hoard of money and valuables. Exposed too was the Sathya Sai Central Trust. He claimed he would live till circa 2022 and rule the world, yet died suspiciously, legalities side-stepped. World-wide data attest e.g., Sai Baba’s serial sexual molestation of boys and young men, the apartments scams, and, chillingly, the hushed-up killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom.

Barry Pittard, Australia, former lecturer in English at the Sathya Sai Baba College, Whitefield, South India. http://barrypittard.wordpress.com

‘Saidas’ responded:
Repeating untruths do not make them true Barry. It is obvious you are pulling your factoids here and there from the internet and presenting them as facts which is glaringly obvious to anyone who has first hand experience. You have no direct experience or knowledge on this subject yet feel free to make declarative statements as if you do or even know what you are talking about. “It is on the internet so it must be true” is a very weak hand to play.
I replied:
Sai-Das, Your comments do not square with the facts. Well before and after media or internet revelations, many foremost Sathya Sai Organization leaders have carefully investigated the heartbreaking allegations from many countries, and, with profound conscience, resigned. I was closely involved – first hand – in coordinating many submissions to media, UNESCO, government, Interpol, FBI and other agencies. Sadly, many from a wide array of socio-cultural backgrounds who spent years of great Sai Baba devotion and service, and who at great cost to themselves have fearlessly spoken out in good conscience, have been defamed, reviled and misrepresented. Yet, in their wider communities, professions and trades, they are regarded as being most decent human beings with high integrity. Various statements that you make in your other posts contain aspects of the facts that informed former devotees do not deny, but they miss crucial data, which you may rectify by reading the critical literature, especially of the prominent writers, who are deeply informed – often at first hand.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Huffington Post Needs To Update Views On Sathya Sai Baba and His Authoritarian Cult

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 20, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

I note a series of pro Sathya Sai Baba articles, over time, on Huffington Post, USA. Limited space allows for comment beneath these – not always a bad thing, it must be said. I shall later post my reply to the latest article, by Vamsee Juluri, a professor in communications, and author of earlier extolling articles on Sai Baba, which will perhaps be this:

Scriptures are of their own time. Taken literally they can s0metimes assault reason, humanity and commonsense. Sai Baba believed literally in gods and demons. His statements e.g., about Jesus and Martin Luther, are historically inaccurate. He made serious scientific mistakes and unfulfilled prophecies. Many former leaders investigated with the utmost integrity. Pointing out anomalies should not invite abusive comment. Points pro Sai Baba commentators raise on HP are more than dealt with by the more capable former devotee writers on the internet. It is about responsibility, not about hate.

Since exposure via major world media e.g., the BBC’s documentary ‘The Secret Swami’, viewed by millions in many countries, many foremost leaders and followers quit the Sathya Sai Baba cult. Still more, after the Indian media and Andhra Pradesh state government (June, 2011) revealed Sai Baba’s vast secret hoard of money and valuables. Exposed too was the Sathya Sai Central Trust.

He claimed he would live till circa 2022 and rule the world, yet died suspiciously, legalities side-stepped. World-wide data attest e.g., Sai Baba’s serial sexual molestation of boys and young men, the apartments scams, and, chillingly, the hushed-up killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom.

Barry Pittard, Australia, former lecturer in English at the Sathya Sai Baba College, Whitefield, South India. http://barrypittard.wordpress.com

I copy the Vamsee Juluri article 16 January below, because it exposes how blinded very educated Sathya Sai Baba devotees are. They in no wise fearlessly look at the compelling data from a great many sources. They are a standing affront to many with credentials, just as outstanding, in various professions and trades, who have raised voices of conscience and profoundly evidence-based dissent. These dissenters are not contested as to integrity – except by those who fail to use investigative and ethical criteria, which they would in their professions otherwise, presumably, use and applaud. Thus is the mind-spell that grips those under the sway of charismatic gurus and narrow belief systems.

It will be interesting to see whether Vamsee Juluri thinks he can meet, with the slightest amount of evidence contrary to the contentions of two recent responders to his Huffington Post article (see below) – or the vast  Sathya Sai Baba exposure data on the web: e.g.:

———————————————

open 2

9 hours ago (11:22 AM)

I can understand that dear myths you cherish can be very sweet. But let’s remember mere facts:
(1) In 1993 six people were killed in Sathya Sai Baba’s rooms and the investigation was stopped with no court verdict. That is a serious violation of law and Sathya Sai Baba was a part of it.
(2) In September 2000 UNESCO withdrew from an educational conference which was going to be held in Prashanthi Nilayam, one of the ashrams of Sathya Sai Baba. As it was explained by UNESCO in the press-release, it was because of a deep concern about the allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that had been leveled at Sathya Sai Baba by his critics.
(3) In 2002 the Parliament of the United Kingdom discussed the possible danger to male children of British families intending to visit the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba in case of individual audiences with the guru.
(4) After Sathya Sai Baba death in 2011 in his rooms they discovered 98 kg of gold ornaments, approximate value Rs 21 crore (US$4.7m), 307 kg of silver ornaments, approximate value Rs 1.6 crore (US$0.36m), and Rs 11.6 crore (US$2.6m) in cash.
You can find more information just checking Wikipedia article about SSB.
10 hours ago (11:01 AM)
I was once a leader in the Sathya Sai Baba movement for nearly two decades, but left in 2000 after I investigated deeply into the massive exposures of Sai Baba’s infamous ‘divine downfall’ . After the many revelations of Sai Baba’s private hoarding of valuables on a huge scale, the cynical manipulations and continued cover-ups of the Sai Central Trust, news of bogus miracles (exposed by devotees themselves!) People still write letters to Sai Baba in a box but he died under the most suspect and unpropitious circumstances and the cause of his illness and death was carefully concealed. What of the world-wide testimonies of sexual molestation, known to be true by many long-term residents in his ashram and even office-bearers, as well as scandalous cover-up to the highest level by compromised long-term devotees (who were Prime Ministers etc.) of his direct involvement in the cold-blooded execution by police of four devotees. That is the ugly dark side which devotees have struggled their utmost to bury and forget.
Sai Baba preached much unrealistic, vague and impracticable advice, a Hindu nationalistic throwback to the past, questioning the validity of human rights, supporting caste ideas, taking Indian scriptural myth as fact plus many superficial, ambiguous ‘teachings’. The laughable distortions of fact in his teaching on Christianity and other religions, and his promotion of many absurdly wrong medical, scientific, historical and educational ideas in conflict with all modern knowledge is all documented – search on Google.
Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba
Posted: 01/16/2013 11:51 am

On a bright sunny January morning, as people in India celebrated the festival of Sankranthi, I returned to Prasanthi Nilayam, the home of my family’s revered Guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It was my first visit there in nearly five years, and more importantly, it was my first visit there since his passing, in April 2011.

It was therefore the first time that I had to face up to the ideal so many spiritual paths teach us: that it is not the form that matters, but what it contains.

Sitting once again in the vast expansive halls of Prashanthi Nilayam where we once used to wait, seemingly endlessly, for a few minutes of darshan, I felt strangely empty of expectation. There was no anticipation, or the sometimes charged tension, one felt in the long and silent wait for Baba’s arrival into the hall. The protocols though — and of course, the people — were very much the same as before. There were lots of people, as always, and they sat in more rows than one could hope to count without getting up. Short programs featuring students from Baba’s schools and colleges were conducted. The ever-popular bhajans were sung, and the sacred arathi offered. At the end, though, everyone lined up for what is now called Samadhi-darshan, a few seconds of silent prayer at the edge of the marble monument which marks as close as we will ever get again to our beloved Swami, as we called him. As we left, we were given a rose-petal as a sign of blessing. I noted the presence of small baskets on the floor, where devotees could leave letters addressed to him, as they did when he was alive.

Nothing has changed in Prashanthi Nilayam. The ceremonies, the celebrations, the students’ earnest and sometimes enchanting plays and performances, the bhajans that made this movement so simple and easy to belong to, and most of all the people, the vast and reasonably well self-regulated throngs of devotees, seekers, and the curious who came, they were all there. It seemed to me that at any moment, the black and orange spot of flame that Baba looked like amidst the great crowds would appear from somewhere. I recall the effect his entrance used to have on the massive crowds, how bodies stiffened and turned as one to face him, even if he was so distant as to appear like a tiny speck of color. Despite that wistful feeling, the only difference now, it seemed to me, was that instead of craning for a sight of a flash of orange in the sea of heads that surrounded us, now we sought only for a line of sight toward the white marble surface of his Samadhi, not unlike the way we try to steal a sight of the deity in the great (and crowded) ancient temples of India like Tirupati. The feeling, and the belief, obviously has not changed, for me, and for the thousands of people who still come.

And yet, everything has changed too. How could it not?

I belonged to a generation, and a moment in time, when the Sai movement, its members and its service activities, were beginning to expand momentously. In my early visits to Puttaparthi in the 1980s, I could still see a bit of the ease and familiarity earlier devotees used to say they had with Baba. The crowds were smaller, and the time one had with him, a little bit longer, and the space more intimate. By the 1990s, the place was a giant spectacle, with thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands, of people visiting the ashram almost every day. The once tiny, desolate and poor village of Puttaparthi now even had an airport. The giant hospital, university and various other philanthropic projects undertaken by Baba dominated the landscape, and the attention of the devotee-volunteers. Heads of state came to visit, frequently, and share in some of the spirit of service and accomplishment that the movement saw at this time, such as the massive projects that delivered drinking water to hundreds of poor villages in the region.

And yet, at the center of all this was the diminutive figure of Baba, a small, maternal, kind and often witty person who many of us simply could not perceive as anything other than an avatar, a human incarnation of divinity itself. At first, that feeling was a strange and unexpected change for me. Until I met Baba, I only thought of God in the abstract, or as mystically embodied in stone and metal in our temples. For nearly 25 years after that, I thought of God in very human terms, as a person, a very specific person, who I thought was so much like my own father and mother in many ways, in his ideals, practice and even his persona. Now, all that seems like it was a wonderful time, but it has passed. Baba is and will continue to be venerated, among the faithful, no different from the other forms and names by which the divine is venerated. In the future, some of us will think of him as we think of Krishna and Rama now. We will, inevitably, move into a realm where our gods will not talk back to us or encourage us or lovingly reprimand us, as the case may once have been. We will make our gods our gods, and forget, inevitably, that they were gurus too, that they so taught us, and not by words alone.

In my brief stay at the ashram this week, I could see that there were many new, younger devotees and visitors present as well. By the afternoon, the sprawling grounds of the ashram started to look the way it used to in the past, with hundreds of families camping out under trees and bits of shade here and there. I remember those days, when tens and sometimes even hundreds of thousands of people descended on Puttaparthi for a mere sight of the man they believed was God incarnate. Even in the anonymity of the mass, there was so much of a connection between the people and their guru, because he was there, and he connected as a human being, an elder and benefactor, with more people and families, and more profoundly and meaningfully, than we can even fathom. His teachings, and the simple bhakti practices he advocated such as service and singing, were perhaps secondary to the mad adoration and faith that marked their relationship with him. Now, only his teachings, and the world he built, remain.

As I left Prashanthi Nilayam at night, and a smiling moon rose over the horizon, I thought briefly about what that world will mean in the future, and mean something it surely will, because the people are there, and they are coming. The question though is what exactly people are coming for. One can be certain that for many, the journey will be about the expectation of a miracle; an illness cured, an examination passed, a promotion secured, the mundane things God gets called on for every moment and every day. Like Shirdi, Puttaparthi will remain a place where faith lives and resonates for the faithful. But there is also the other miracle that took place in this speck of a hamlet in a dry and desolate corner of south India no one would have heard of but for one simple peasant son. That miracle, I think, is still unfolding. We may see its visible manifestations in the form of gigantic hospitals that offer free treatment to all and water pipelines and tankers that quench the thirst of thousands of villagers in India’s most arid regions, but there is more to come too. All those who knew Baba, and who are coming to know him now, after his passing, will find that the real arena for the miraculous is not in some mystical plane, but really in our own lives. I think we will find, somehow, still, that kindness and love are the only way to live. There may be alternatives to our religions, our paths and chosen deities. But there is no alternative to love. Sometimes, I feel that because I believe Baba’s presence is always here and shows me that. At other times, I feel nothing more than this world and the people in it that make the world for me, and still, all this shows me that too.

Baba did not quite say it in those words, but George Harrison did. Prashanthi Nilayam, the Abode of Peace, seems to me is now Within You and Without You.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Memorably Defending Freedom of Speech: Rowan Atkinson (UK), Sanal Edamaruku (India)

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 18, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

When we do not actively defend freedom our voice bleats.

In the preface to a series of articles, Robert Priddy and I wrote:

The foes of the ‘open society’ (Sir Karl Popper’s term) are those who use its very openness to achieve their closed and devious ends. Sai Baba and his highly authoritarian and cultist organisation have such ends, which critics have tried to make known. Its foremost leaders silence all those who question it - and never face substantive criticisms. For the first time – after six years of pained and guilty silence – since hundreds of long-term devotees left it in disgust – the Sathya Sai Organisation has found it necessary to try to defuse the debate about Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged crimes, deceits and fraudulence. Dr. Venkataraman’s tendentious cover-up article expresses untruths which have long circulated within the cult, giving an opportunity to confront him with facts and truth:  The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed

Foreigners who have lived in India (in my case, several years) begin to know what always appalls questioning Indians, too – the profound and ubiquitous irrationality, ignorance and superstition. And the frequent danger for those who speak out.

Those of us who have exposed the Sathya Sai Baba cult via such bodies as UNESCO, the BBC documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ and many leading media and institutions around the world came to know at first hand of the great courage of Indians like Sanal Edamaruku and Basava Premanand (see my article:  Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach. Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2009. 

Sanal Sanal Edamaruku faces years of gaol for simply exposing the material cause for the so-called ‘weeping statue’ of Mary in the Church of Our Lady of Velan Kanni, Mumbai.  My close colleague Robert Priddy and I have been glad to sign the Petition supporting Edamaruku. We urge our friends and well-wishers to sign this Petition.

See: Sanal Edamaruku – discriminatory scandal from India’s revanchist laws. Posted by robertpriddy on January 17, 2013. The Petition, inter alia, reads:

Please join the Rationalist Association (UK) in condemning the misuse of Indian law by several Catholic organisations to silence a campaigner against superstition. In March 2012, following his exposure of a supposed miracle at a Catholic Church in Mumbai as nothing more than the result of a leak, a complaint was lodged against Sanal Edamaruku by local Catholic organisations with the Mumbai police, who are now able to arrest him. He has been denied ‘anticipatory’ bail which means if arrested he faces a long term in prison merely for explaining the science behind an apparent mystery.

The great British comedian Rowan Atkinson has memorably defended freedom of speech at a Westminster Parliamentary reception

The great British comedian Rowan Atkinson has memorably defended freedom of speech at a Westminster Parliamentary reception

It is not, however, as though almost unimaginably absurd but very real threats to democratic freedom break out in a shambling, quasi democracy like India. In the UK, the great comedian Rowan Atkinson (e.g., ‘Mr Bean’ and many other immortal classics of comedy) has been the public face of a major campaign in Britain to combat laws which violate genuine freedom of speech. Atkinson speaks of a “creeping culture of censoriousness”. You can hear his eloquent speech:  Rowan Atkinson’s speech at Reform Section 5 Parliamentary reception.  (See transcript below). The extremely badly-defined British legislation section, now, as the result of strong, popular campaigning, to be repealed, is Public Order Act 5,  Harassment, alarm or distress:

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he —

(a) uses threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour, or disorderly behaviour, or

(b) displays any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting …

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The Guardian

Jesus wept … oh, it’s bad plumbing. Indian rationalist targets ‘miracles’

Sanal Edamaruku faces jail for revealing ‘tears’ trickling down a Mumbai church statue came from clogged drainage pipes

CHRISTIANS PREPARE FOR POPE'S VISIT

A statue of Christ in Mumbai. Local people declared a miracle when ‘tears’ trickled down the statue at the Church of Our Lady of Velan Kanni. Photograph: Sherwin Crasto/Associated Press

When water started trickling down a statue of Jesus Christ at a Catholic church in Mumbai earlier this year, locals were quick to declare a miracle. Some began collecting the holy water and the Church of Our Lady of Velankanni began to promote it as a site of pilgrimage.

So when Sanal Edamaruku arrived and established that this was not holy water so much as holey plumbing, the backlash was severe. The renowned rationalist was accused of blasphemy, charged with offences that carry a three-year prison sentence and eventually, after receiving death threats, had to seek exile in Finland.

Now he is calling for European governments to press Delhi into dropping the case. And on the first leg of a tour around EU capitals on Friday, he warned that India was sacrificing freedom of expression for outdated, colonial-era rules about blasphemy.

“There is a huge contradiction in the content of the Indian constitution which guarantees freedom of speech and the blasphemy law from 1860 under then colonial rule,” Edamaruku told the Guardian in an interview in Dublin.

“This blasphemy law can affect anyone in India – even a girl recently who wrote on Facebook against closing down a city because of the death of a famous local politician. She was prosecuted under the blasphemy law and another girl who ‘liked’ her comment on Facebook was also arrested and then charged with blasphemy.”

Edamaruku, who has the support of rationalists and atheists such as Richard Dawkins, is well known in India for debunking religious myths, and was already unpopular among Indian Catholics for publicly criticising Mother Teresa’s legacy in Kolkata.

When the state “miracle” was pronounced, he went to Mumbai and found that the dripping water was due to clogged drainage pipes behind the wall where it stood. His revelation provoked death threats from religious zealots and ultimately charges of blasphemy under the Indian penal code in the Mumbai high court.

“India cannot criticise Pakistan for arresting young girls for blaspheming against Islam while it arrests and locks up its own citizens for breaking our country’s blasphemy laws,” he said. “It is an absurd law but also extremely dangerous because it gives fanatics, whether they are Hindus, Catholics or Muslims, a licence to be offended. It also allows people who are in dispute with you to make up false accusations of blasphemy.”

Edamaruku said his exposure of the weeping statue was also a contribution to public health in Mumbai as some believers were drinking the water hoping it could cure ailments. “This was sewage water seeping through a wall due to faulty plumbing,” he said. “It posed a health risk to people who were fooled into believing it was a miracle.”

He has been living in Finland since the summer. He was in Europe on a lecture tour in July when his partner rang to say the police had arrived at his flat. “I felt really upset because under the blasphemy law you cannot get bail until the court case begins. I would be in jail now if I had been at my apartment in Delhi,” he said.

He has spurned an offer from a senior Indian Catholic bishop to apologise for the exposure of the “miracle”.

“The Catholic archbishop of Bombay, Oswald, Cardinal Gracias, has said that if I apologise for the ‘offence’ I have caused he will see to it that the charges are dropped. This shows that he has influence in the situation but he will not use it unless I apologise, which I will not do as I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

“In a way I am lucky because I have friends and supporters in Europe. I am well known in India and have the telephone numbers of at least five Indian cabinet ministers. And I have some means of fighting back. But what would happen to the common man or woman if they were accused of blasphemy? They would be sent straight to jail without any chance of bail,” he said.

Edamaruku asked for “mounting international pressure”, particularly from Ireland and other EU nations, on the Indian government. Delhi had the power to halt the prosecution before a court case, citing a lack of evidence to pursue it, he said.

Mick Nugent, from Atheist Ireland, the organisation hosting the Indian’s visit to the republic and Northern Ireland next week, said Edamaruku’s plight also underlined the need for Dublin’s Fine Gael-Labour government to repeal Ireland’s blasphemy law.

“Blasphemy laws are very strange because they can be both very silly and also very sinister. They are very silly because you are talking about crying statues and moving statues or Virgin Marys appearing in tree stumps in Co Limerick. But on the other hand these type of laws are used in Islamic countries to jail people or sentence them to death. Or in Sanal’s case facing a jail sentence for his work exposing bogus miracles.

“The Irish government should pay attention to Sanal’s case and realise they must get rid of this absurd and dangerous law. Because we shouldn’t be so smug in Ireland. After all, we have had the hysteria about moving statues and a man bringing people to a shrine in Co Mayo so they can look at the sun and see the Virgin Mary.”

Sanal Edamaruku, Indian Rationalist, Proves ‘Weeping Christ’ Miracle A Hoax, Now Faces Years In Jail (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 11/28/2012 1:08 pm EST

What started with a mysterious trickle, ended in death threats, charges of blasphemy and pleas for asylum from Sanal Edamaruku. The noted Indian rationalist argued that a “miraculous” dripping crucifix in Mumbai was caused by faulty plumbing and not divine intervention.

The controversy started in March when water began to drip from the feet of a statue of Jesus at the Church of Our Lady of Velankanni in western Mumbai. Thousands flocked to the site to collect the “holy” water, with some even drinking it in the hopes of curing various ailments, the Daily News reports.

Edamaruku, who is the founder and president of Rationalist International and president of the Indian Rationalist Association, arrived at the site to investigate.

In a July interview with Slate, Edamaruku explained what he found at Our Lady of Velankanni.

I had a close look at a nearby washroom and the connected drainage system that passed underneath the concrete base of the cross. I removed some stones from the drain and found it was blocked. I touched the walls, the base, and the cross and took some photographs for documentation. It was very simple: Water from the washroom, which had been blocked in the clogged drainage system, had been transmitted via capillary action into the adjacent walls and the base of the cross as well as into the wooden cross itself. The water came out through a nail hole and ran down over the statue’s feet.

Edamauku also explained the supposed miracle on live television. The program, shown on Mumbai’s TV-9, channel, was posted to YouTube in March and included a very heated debate between Edamauku, the priest of Our Lady of Velankanni church and representatives of the Association of Concerned Catholics.

The backlash against Edamaruku’s conclusions was swift and strong.

According to Slate, the 56-year-old rationalist has been accused of insulting religion (a charge akin to blasphemy) under Section 295A of the Indian penal code, which charges a person with “deliberately hurting religious feelings and attempting malicious acts intended to outrage the religious sentiments of any class or community.”

Death threats followed, and Edamaruku was forced to seek exile in Finland, according to The Guardian. Now, Edamaruku is rallying support in Europe to convince the Delhi prosecutor to drop the case.

“There is a huge contradiction in the content of the Indian constitution which guarantees freedom of speech and the blasphemy law from 1860 under then colonial rule,” Edamaruku told the Guardian in an interview in Dublin. “It is an absurd law but also extremely dangerous because it gives fanatics, whether they are Hindus, Catholics or Muslims, a [license] to be offended. It also allows people who are in dispute with you to make up false accusations of blasphemy.”

Renowned British atheist Richard Dawkins was quick to come to Edamaruku’s defense. The Richard Dawkins Foundation even has a link to a defense fund for Edamaruku on its website.

Edamaruku has said he’s not frightened of a possible trial.

“If it comes to a trial, I have nothing to fear,” he told Slate in July. “I would welcome the opportunity to throw some light on the role that the Catholic Church played and is still playing today here in India. The possibility of arrest is threatening, however.”

In the past, the Edamaruku has gained attention for publicly criticizing Mother Teresa’s legacy in Kolkata, particularly the quality of care in her Homes for the Dying. He has also targeted powerful spiritual leaders such as the late Sathya Sai Baba, as well as many top mystics and gurus, according to the Daily News.

———————————-

Rowan Atkinson’s speech at Reform Section 5 Parliamentary reception (Video)

Rowan Atkinson continues his freedom of speech campaign to repeal parts of Section 5 of the 1986 Public Order Act in the UK. 

Speech Transcript:

“My starting point when it comes to the consideration of any issue relating to free speech is my very passionate belief that the second most precious thing in life is the right to express yourself freely. The most precious thing in life I think is food in your mouth and the third most precious is a roof over your head but a fixture in the Number 2 slot for me is free expression, just below the need to sustain life itself. That is because I have enjoyed free expression all my professional life and expect to continue to do so, I personally highly unlikely to be arrested whatever laws exist to contain free expression, because of the undoubtedly privileged position that is afforded to those of a high public profile. So my concerns are less for myself and more for those more vulnerable because of their lower profile. Like the man arrested in Oxford for calling a police horse gay. Or the teenager arrested for calling the Church of Scientology a cult. Or the café owner arrested for displaying passages from the bible on a TV screen.

“When I heard of some of these more ludicrous offences, I remembered that I had been here before in a fictional context. I once did a show called Not the Nine O’Clock News, and we did a sketch where Griff Rhys-Jones played Constable Savage, a manifestly racist police officer to whom I, as his station commander, is giving a dressing down for arresting a black man on a whole string of ridiculous, trumped up and ludicrous charges. The charges for which Constable Savage arrested Mr. Winston Kodogo of 55 Mercer Road were these:
 
‘Walking on the cracks in the pavement’
 
‘Walking in a loud shirt in a built up area during the hours of darkness’ and one of my favourites ‘Walking around all over the place’
 
He was also arrested for ‘Urinating in a public convenience’ and ‘Looking at me in a funny way’.
 
“Who would have thought that we would end up with a law that would allow life to imitate art so exactly. I read somewhere, a defender of the status quo claiming that the fact that the gay horse case was dropped after the arrested man refused to pay the fine and that the Scientology case was also dropped at some point during the court process was indicative of a law working well, ignoring the fact that the only reason those cases were dropped was because of the publicity that they had attracted. The Police sensed that ridicule was just around the corner and withdrew the actions. But what about the thousands of other cases that did not enjoy the oxygen of publicity? That weren’t quite ludicrous enough to attract media attention?  Even for those actions that were withdrawn, people were arrested, questioned, taken to court and then released. That isn’t a law working properly: that is censoriousness of the most intimidating kind, guaranteed to have a ‘chilling effect’ on free expression and free protest.
 
“Parliament’s Joint committee on Human Rights summarized this whole issue well by saying ‘While arresting a protestor for using ‘threatening or abusive’ speech may, depending on the circumstances, be a proportionate response, we do not think that language or behaviour that is merely ‘insulting’ should ever be criminalized in this way’. The clear problem with the outlawing of insult is that too many things can be interpreted as such. Criticism is easily construed as insult. Ridicule is easily construed as insult. Sarcasm, unfavourable comparison, merely stating an alternative point of view can be interpreted as insult. And because so many things can be interpreted as insult, it is hardly surprising that so many things have been, as the examples I talked about earlier show.
 
“Although the law under discussion has been on the statute book for over 25 years, it is indicative of a culture that has taken hold of the legislative programmes of successive governments that, with the reasonable and well-intended ambition to contain obnoxious elements in society, has created a society of an extraordinarily authoritarian and controlling nature. It is what you might call The New Intolerance, a new but intense desire to gag uncomfortable voices of dissent. ‘I am not intolerant’, say many people; say many softly spoken, highly-educated, liberal-minded people: ‘I am only intolerant of intolerance’. And people tend to nod sagely and say ‘Oh, Wise words, wise words’ and yet if you think about this supposedly inarguable statement for longer than five seconds, you realize that all it is advocating is the replacement of one kind of intolerance with another. Which to me doesn’t represent any kind of progress at all. Underlying prejudices, injustices or resentments are not addressed by arresting people: they are addressed by the issues being aired, argued and dealt with preferably outside the legislative process. For me, the best way to increase society’s resistance to insulting or offensive speech is to allow a lot more of it. As with childhood diseases, you can better resist those germs to which you have been exposed.
 
“We need to build our immunity to taking offence, so that we can deal with the issues that perfectly justified criticism can raise. Our priority should be to deal with the message, not the messenger. As President Obama said in an address to the United Nations a month or so ago: ‘…laudable efforts to restrict speech can become a tool to silence critics, or oppress minorities. The strongest weapon against hateful speech is not repression, it is more speech’ and that is the essence of my thesis; more speech. If we want a robust society, we need more robust dialogue and that must include the right to insult or to offend. Because, as someone once said, the freedom to be inoffensive is no freedom at all.
 
“The repeal of this clause will be only a small step, but it will I hope be a critical one in what should be a longer term project to pause and slowly rewind a creeping culture of censoriousness. It is a small skirmish in the battle to deal with what Sir Salman Rushdie refers to as the Outrage Industry: self-appointed arbiters of the public good, encouraging media-stoked outrage, to which the police feel under terrible pressure to react. A newspaper rings up Scotland Yard: someone has said something slightly insulting on Twitter about someone who we think a national treasure: what are you going to do about it? And the police panic and they scrabble around and then grasp the inappropriate lifeline of Section 5 of the Public Order Act: that thing where they can arrest anybody for saying anything that might be construed by anybody else as insulting. They don’t need a complainant, or a real victim: they need only to make the judgment that somebody could have been offended if they had heard or read what has been said. The most ludicrous degree of latitude. The storms that surround Twitter and Facebook comment have raised some fascinating issues about free speech. So far, we have learnt two important lessons. Firstly, that we all have to take responsibility for what we say, which is not a bad lesson to learn. And secondly, we’ve learnt how appallingly prickly and intolerant society has become of even the mildest adverse comment.
 
“The law should not be aiding and abetting this new intolerance. Free speech can only suffer if the law prevents us from dealing with its consequences. I offer you my wholehearted support to the Reform Section 5 campaign. Thank you.’

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sexual Abuse Rampant In Extreme Male Chauvinist India

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 7, 2013

In addressing sexual abuse, no society, and no community, has a good record. In India, great evils such as patriarchy, the caste system, endemic corruption at all levels but especially among the ruling elites, gerontocracy, nepotism, dowry, infanticide, obscene contrasts between opulence and poverty and squalor, and so forth, make issues particularly acute.

The question arises:  How can India – which hotly competes with China for superpower status – expect, with any self-respect, to join other countries which make signal efforts in providing strong legislation and provision of effective and humane services to deal with sexual abuse? Of the Indian media, hardly any were of use to us in our exhaustive effort to expose Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult. This failure – not of our own making – was in marked contradistinction to our dealings with world media. As the editor of one of India’s top newspapers admitted in private:  Sai Baba and his people are too powerful. The rare exceptions whom we could respect were India Today, whose proprietor knew, all too directly and painfully, from his own family of Sathya Sai Baba’s pedophilia, and Tehelka, which has put up a huge struggle over decades to prevent itself from being wiped out. In Indian Media and Governments Heedless of Decade of Foreign Media and Sai Baba Critics’ Revelations, I wrote: 

To the profound shame of the Indian media, leading newspaper and television organizations heeded our representations:

For example, BBC, CBC (Canada), DR (Denmark), Salon.com (USA), SBS (all television), ABC (Radio Australia). In newspaper media – Times of London, Daily Telegraph, Guardian (UK), Marie Claire Magazine, Salon.com, BT, Bild, Focus, Trouw, Speegelbield, Noordhollands Dagblad, Sokaren, Gatopardo, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Age, Australian Financial Review, West Australian (a major front page article by an award-winning journalist (Torrance Mendez) was pulled at the 11th hour!), Adelaide Advertiser, etc., ….. It was not until a close friend of ours, at the top of a notable profession, was able to dine with an official of the Indo Asian News Service that our Duke of Edinburgh story concerning Sai Baba’s propaganda people that we were able, after many futile attempts, to make some inroads on a small section of the Indian media.

Extraordinarily, in the last days, wide sections of the Indian media are surfacing evidence that powerfully tells against Sathya Sai Baba and many of his core servitors. It is, of course, to the historic shame of the Indian media (with the honorable exception of India Today) and successive, typically corrupt Indian governments, national and state, that we long remained voices crying out in the wilderness. For my appreciation of India Today’s publisher Aroon Purie and his team, see:  Sai Baba Treasure Scandals: His Big Political Protectors Now Run For Cover.  Posted by Barry Pittard on June 27, 2011.

See also:  Sai Baba Treasure Scandals: His Big Political Protectors Now Run For Cover Posted by Barry Pittard on June 22, 2011

http://robertpriddy.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/rapes-police.jpg

In 2007, the Government of India released its landmark survey on sexual abuse in that country. (See:  Over 53% children face sexual abuse: Survey. TNN Apr 10, 2007, 12.00am IST:

NEW DELHI: In a shocking revelation, a government commissioned survey has found that more than 53% of children in India are subjected to sexual abuse, but most don’t report the assaults to anyone.

The survey, released on Monday and which covered different forms of child abuse — physical, sexual and emotional — as well as female child neglect, found that two out of every three children have been physically abused.

See also:

Sai Baba Promised to Transform India. But Child Abuse Rampant. Posted by Barry Pittard on April 11, 2007, and Child Abuse in India. Will Minister Renuka Chowdhury Act? Posted by Barry Pittard on April 11, 2007). I have written of our vast, uphill climb – including of our Indian colleagues – to make meaningful headway with India’s foremost political, government and religious authorities, and most of the media, even though, in some quarters, we had high-level backdoor access. See:  Indian Media and Governments Heedless of Decade of Foreign Media and Sai Baba Critics’ Revelations. Posted by Barry Pittard on June 27, 2011.

Whether in our contacts with Vajpayee’s or Sonja Gandhi’s or Manmohan Singh’s officials, we found the taboos against raising sexual abuse issue extreme. In our networking, we saw how extraordinarily courageous Indian activists daily fight for social justice in India. They face death, grave injury, gaol, persecution, defamation, and profound denial of their civil liberties ostensibly guaranteed under Indian law. See:  Open Letter to Prime Minister of India, Hon. A.B. Vajpayee, By Barry Pittard, Australia, former Lecturer, Sri Sathya Sai College of the Arts, Science and Commerce, Whitefield, Karnataka.

Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh at Sathya Sai Baba's Funeral

Sonia Gandhi and current PM Manmohan Singh at Sathya Sai Baba’s funeral. Both leaders assisted, as had Vajpayee earlier, in the cover up of Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of countless boys and young men from around the world.

Vajpayee and Sathya Sai BabaFormer PM Vajpayee, photo below left, like Manmohan Singh, a longtime Sai Baba devotee

If my reader is very busy, at least you may find time to view a concise and hard-hitting IBNLIVE.com (India) report (2 minutes, 10 seconds): India: world’s most sexually abused children!

Worldwide, statistics show that sexual abuse, far more than being a ‘stranger danger’ issue, secretes itself among our own families, friends and acquaintances. We need to squirm – without running away. We need to face our own consciences – without thinking there is nothing we can do. We need to speak – without retreating into a numb, corroding silence. We need to love and protect children – properly.

The furore at the moment over the Delhi rape case elicits some action.  See Robert Priddy’s article: Tehelka.com and the Delhi rapes – new India’s media conscience.  Posted by robertpriddy on January 5, 2013

Again, ordinary Indian people stir and protest – making life more difficult for the Indian power elites who have tried heavily and constantly to throttle such issues, as they did with decades of scandal after scandal about Sathya Sai Baba and his cult.

At least the Delhi case has penetrated the Indian and international media. And yet rape and other forms of abuse are endemic throughout India, almost sanctioned by large sections of her police forces whose officers frequently hold extremely chauvinist attitudes toward women.

But essentially, Indian authorities do not even heed and act on this 2 minutes and 10 seconds of information.

In marked contrast to the decade in which my colleagues and I have worked to expose Sathya Sai Baba and his international cult, more articles in leading Indian media begin to surface, such as yesterday’s  Hindustan Times, with its hard-nosed practical recommendations. The Guardian article, which has many useful links, is a strongly researched piece, again giving indications of a groundswell of public anger in India, which we have also seen in the recent and pan India demonstrations against political and corporate corruption.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Patriarchy exposed

Hindustan TimesBy Hindustan Times | Hindustan Times – Sun 6 Jan, 2013

Mumbai, Jan. 6 — The sustained national outcry over an unspeakable sexual assault has put the spotlight not only on crimes against women, but also exposed the underlying patriarchy that is holding India back. The crisis of femininity and masculinity has never been more apparent. How do we heal?

Why is India so bad for women?

Of all the rich G20 nations, India has been labelled the worst place to be a woman. But how is this possible in a country that prides itself on being the world’s largest democracy?

The Guardian, Monday 23 July 2012 21.00 BST

Video of a woman being molested in Guwahati, India

Video of a woman being attacked in Guwahati, Assam, has sparked outrage in India.

In an ashram perched high on a hill above the noisy city of Guwahati in north-east India is a small exhibit commemorating the life of India’s most famous son. Alongside an uncomfortable-looking divan where Mahatma Gandhi once slept is a display reminding visitors of something the man himself said in 1921: “Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity; the female sex (not the weaker sex).”

One evening two weeks ago, just a few miles downhill, a young student left a bar and was set upon by a gang of at least 18 men. They dragged her into the road by her hair, tried to rip off her clothes and smiled at the cameras that filmed it all. It was around 9.30pm on one of Guwahati’s busiest streets – a chaotic three-lane thoroughfare soundtracked by constantly beeping horns and chugging tuk-tuks. But for at least 20 minutes, no one called the police. They easily could have. Many of those present had phones: they were using them to film the scene as the men yanked up the girl’s vest and tugged at her bra and groped her breasts as she begged for help from passing cars. We know this because a cameraman from the local TV channel was there too, capturing the attack for his viewers’ enjoyment. The woman was abused for 45 minutes before the police arrived.

Within half an hour, clips were broadcast on Assam’s NewsLive channel. Watching across town, Sheetal Sharma and Bitopi Dutta were horrified. “I was fuming like anything. There was this horrible, brutal assault being shown on screen – and the most disturbing thing was, the blame was being put on the woman, who, the report emphasised, was drunk,” says Sharma, a 29-year-old feminist activist from the North-East Network, a women’s rights organisation in Guwahati. “The way it was filmed, the camera was panning up and down her body, focusing on her breasts, her thighs,” says Dutta, her 22-year-old colleague.

When the police eventually turned up, they took away the woman, who is 20 or 21 (oddly, Guwahati police claimed not to know exactly). While NewsLive re-played pixellated footage of her attack throughout the night, she was questioned and given a medical examination. No attempt was made to arrest the men whose faces could clearly be seen laughing and jeering on camera. Soon afterwards, the editor-in-chief of NewsLive (who has since resigned) remarked on Twitter that “prostitutes form a major chunk of girls who visit bars and night clubs”.

It was only a few days later, when the clip had gone viral and had been picked up by the national channels in Delhi, that the police were shamed into action. By then, Guwahati residents had taken matters into their own hands, producing an enormous banner that they strung up alongside one of the city’s arterial roads featuring screen grabs of the main suspects. Six days after the attack, the chief minister of Assam, the state where Guwahati is located, ordered the police to arrest a dozen key suspects. He met the victim and promised her 50,000 rupees (£580) compensation.

The damage was already irreversible. Most Indians know full well how tough life as a woman can be in the world’s biggest democracy, even 46 years after Indira Gandhi made history as the country’s first female prime minister in 1966. But here, caught on camera, was proof. And in Assam – a state long romanticised as the most female-friendly corner of the country, largely thanks to the matrilineal Khasi tribe in Meghalaya. The nation was outraged.

“We have a woman president, we’ve had a woman prime minister. Yet in 2012, one of the greatest tragedies in our country is that women are on their own when it comes to their own safety,” said a female newsreader on NDTV. She went on to outline another incident in India last week: a group of village elders in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, central India, who banned women from carrying mobile phones, choosing their own husbands or leaving the house unaccompanied or with their heads uncovered. “The story is the same,” said the news anchor. “No respect for women. No respect for our culture. And as far as the law is concerned: who cares?”

There is currently no special law in India against sexual assault or harassment, and only vaginal penetration by a penis counts as rape. Those who molested the woman in Guwahati would be booked for “insulting or outraging the modesty of a woman” or “intruding upon her privacy”. The maximum punishment is a year’s imprisonment, or a fine, or both.

As a columnist in the national Hindustan Times said of the attack: “This is a story of a dangerous decline in Indians and India itself, of not just failing morality but disintegrating public governance when it comes to women.” Samar Halarnkar added: “Men abuse women in every society, but few males do it with as much impunity, violence and regularity as the Indian male.”

Halarnkar then offered as proof a survey that caused indignation in India last month: a poll of 370 gender specialists around the world that voted India the worst place to be a woman out of all the G20 countries. It stung – especially as Saudi Arabia was at the second-worst. But the experts were resolute in their choice. “In India, women and girls continue to be sold as chattels, married off as young as 10, burned alive as a result of dowry-related disputes and young girls exploited and abused as domestic slave labour,” said Gulshun Rehman, health programme development adviser at Save the Children UK, who was one of those polled.

Women on a bus in Chennai, India Women travelling on a bus in Chennai, southern India. Photograph: Gustafsson/Rex FeaturesLook at some statistics and suddenly the survey isn’t so surprising. Sure, India might not be the worst place to be a woman on the planet – its rape record isn’t nearly as bad as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for instance, where more than 400,000 women are raped each year, and female genital mutilation is not widespread, as it is in Somalia. But 45% of Indian girls are married before the age of 18, according to the International Centre for Research on Women (2010); 56,000 maternal deaths were recorded in 2010 (UN Population Fund) and research from Unicef in 2012 found that 52% of adolescent girls (and 57% of adolescent boys) think it is justifiable for a man to beat his wife. Plus crimes against women are on the increase: according to the National Crime Records Bureau in India, there was a 7.1% hike in recorded crimes against women between 2010 and 2011 (when there were 228,650 in total). The biggest leap was in cases under the “dowry prohibition act” (up 27.7%), of kidnapping and abduction (up 19.4% year on year) and rape (up 9.2%).

A preference for sons and fear of having to pay a dowry has resulted in 12 million girls being aborted over the past three decades, according to a 2011 study by the Lancet.

A glance at the Indian media reveals the range of abuse suffered by the nation’s women on a daily basis. Today it was reported that a woman had been stripped and had her head shaved by villagers near Udaipur as punishment for an extramarital affair. Villagers stoned the police when they came to the rescue. In Uttar Pradesh, a woman alleged she was gang raped at a police station – she claimed she was set on by officers after being lured to the Kushinagar station with the promise of a job.

Last Wednesday, a man in Indore was arrested for keeping his wife’s genitals locked. Sohanlal Chouhan, 38, “drilled holes” on her body and, before he went to work each day, would insert a small lock, tucking the keys under his socks. Earlier this month, children were discovered near Bhopal playing with a female foetus they had mistaken for a doll in a bin. In the southern state of Karnataka, a dentist was arrested after his wife accused him of forcing her to drink his urine because she refused to meet dowry demands.

In June, a father beheaded his 20-year-old daughter with a sword in a village in Rajasthan, western India, parading her bleeding head around as a warning to other young women who might fall in love with a lower-caste boy.

This July, the state government in Delhi was summoned to the national high court after failing to amend an outdated law that exempts women (and turban-wearing Sikh men) from wearing helmets on motorcycles – an exemption campaigners argue is indicative of the lack of respect for female life.

But the story that outraged most women in India last week was an interview given to the Indian Express by Mamta Sharma, chairwoman of the National Commission of Women (NCW), a government body tasked with protecting and promoting the interests of Indian women. Asked by the reporter if there should be a dress code for women “to ensure their safety”, Sharma allegedly replied: “After 64 years of freedom, it is not right to give blanket directions … and say don’t wear this or don’t wear that. Be comfortable, but at the same time, be careful about how you dress … Aping the west blindly is eroding our culture and causing such crimes to happen.”

She added: “Westernisation has afflicted our cities the worst. There are no values left. In places like Delhi there is no culture of giving up seats for women. It is unfortunate that while the west is learning from our culture, we are giving ourselves up completely to western ways.”

Her remarks caused a storm. As Sagarika Ghose put it in the online magazine First Post: “It’s not just about blindly aping the west, Ms Sharma. It’s also about the vacuum in the law, lack of security at leisure spots, lack of gender justice, lack of fear of the law, police and judicial apathy and the complete lack of awareness that men and women have the right to enjoy exactly the same kind of leisure activities.”

The Guardian asked Sharma for an interview to clarify her remarks but our requests were ignored.

Maini Mahanta, the editor of the Assamese women’s magazine Nandini (“Daughter”), believes the NCW chair’s remarks are indicative of what she calls the “Taliban-plus” mentality that is creeping into Indian society. “In this part of the world, it’s worse than the Taliban,” she insists in her Guwahati office. “At least the Taliban are open about what they like and dislike. Here, society is so hypocritical. We worship female goddesses and yet fail to protect women from these crimes and then blame them too.”

Women in Bawana, Delhi Indian women, such as these three in Bawana, on the outskirts of Delhi, frequently come under pressure to abort female foetuses. Photograph: Gethin ChamberlainMahanta explains how traditions still cast women as helpless victims rather than free-thinking individuals in control of their own destiny. Girls still tie Raksha bandhan or “safety ties” around their brothers’ wrists as a symbol of their duty to protect them, she says. She complains, too, about the Manu Sanghita, an ancient Indian book that she claims preaches: “When a girl is young, she is guided by her father; when she is older, she is guided by her husband; when she is very old, she is guided by her son.” She despairs of the cult of the “good girl, who is taught to walk slowly ‘like an elephant’ and not laugh too loud”.

Even in Mumbai, India’s most cosmopolitan city, women have been arrested and accused of being prostitutes when drinking in the city’s bars.

Sheetal Sharma and Bitopi Dutta, the young feminists from the North East Network, complain that modern women are divided into “bad” and “good” according to what they wear, whether they go out after dark and whether they drink alcohol. “We are seeing a rise of moral policing, which blames those women who are not seen as being ‘good’,” says Sharma. “So if they are abused in a pub, for example, it’s OK – they have to learn their lesson,” adds Dutta, 22, who grumbles that young women such as herself cannot now hold hands with a boyfriend in a Guwahati park, let alone kiss, without getting into trouble with the moral police, if not the real police.

Many women agree the response from the Guwahati authorities shows they are blind to the root cause: a society that does not truly respect women. Instead, a knee-jerk reaction was taken to force all bars and off-licences to shut by 9.30pm. Club Mint, the bar outside which the young woman was molested, had its licence revoked. Parents were urged to keep a close eye on their daughters.

Zabeen Ahmed, the 50-year-old librarian at Cotton College in Guwahati, tells how she was out for an evening walk not long ago when she was stopped by the police. “They asked me what I was doing out at that at that time – it was 10.30pm or so – and they asked me where my husband was.”

The fact that India has a female president – Pratibha Patil – and Sonia Gandhi in control of the ruling Congress party means very little, insists Monisha Behal, “chairperson” of the North East Network. “In the UK, you have had Margaret Thatcher – if you are being harassed by a hoodlum in the street there, do ask: ‘How can this be when we have had a woman prime minister?’” she says.

Every Indian woman the Guardian spoke to for this article agreed that harassment was part of their everyday lives. Mahanta revealed that she always carries chilli powder in her handbag if she ever has to take public transport and needed to throw it in the face of anyone with wandering hands. Deepika Patar, 24, a journalist at the Seven Sisters newspaper in Assam, says city buses were notorious for gropers. “If women are standing up because there are no seats, men often press up against them, or touch their breasts or bottom,” she explains.

In June, an anonymous Delhi woman wrote a powerful blog post detailing what happened when she dared not to travel in the “ladies carriage” of Delhi’s modern metro. After asking a man not to stand too close to her, things turned nasty. Another man intervened and told the first to back off, but soon the two were having a bloody fight in the train carriage. Rather than break up the brawl, the other passengers turned on the woman, shouting: “This is all your fault. You started this fight. This is all because you came into this coach!” and “You women always do this. You started this fight!” and “Why are you even here? Go to the women’s coach.”

Speaking under condition of anonymity, the 35-year-old blogger says she had experienced sexual harassment “tonnes of times”. “I hate to use the word, but I’m afraid it has become ‘normal’,” she says. “Like if you’re in a lift, men will press up against you or grab you or make a comment about your appearance. It’s because of this that I stopped travelling by buses and started travelling by auto rickshaws, and eventually got a car myself – to avoid this ordeal. When the metro was launched I loved it – it’s an improvement in public transport, very well maintained, you feel safe. Then this happened and I was blamed.”

By Thursday last week, the Guwahati molestation case had become even murkier. Police had arrested and charged 12 men with “outraging the public decency of a woman”, and on Friday they charged journalist Gaurav Jyoti Neog of NewsLive with instigating the attack he filmed. Neog denies orchestrating the attack or taking any part in it, apart from filming it “so that the perpetrators can be nabbed”. But police have forced him to give a voice sample, which has been sent to a forensic laboratory for analysis, to compare with the footage. The verdict is out on that case, but one thing is clear: 91 years after Gandhi urged Indian men to treat their women with respect, the lesson has yet to be learned.

• This article was amended on 24 July 2012. The original said brothers tied Raksha Bandhan threads around their sisters’ wrists, when it is the sisters who put the threads on the wrists of their brothers.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a readerSubscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Yankee Doodle Dandy – Moving Forward

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 26, 2012

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

An image, much-used in finance, government and media, which depicts the perilous position of the United States is:  ‘the fiscal cliff”.  If, in the next weeks, the USA fails to arrest its great fiscal crisis, and falls over the brink, the repercussions will shake the world. There will be brinks all over the place.

A campaign slogan in the recent USA election was:  ‘Move forward’. One might have thought that, perched on the brink of a chasm, moving forward is a somewhat chancey direction.

Crises of this magnitude, and greater, Sathya Sai Baba foretold he would solve before he died. He himself went over the brink that he dug for himself and many others. Millions of followers – though dwindling in number since our decade or more of international exposure – still blindly cling to the notion that he will save the world.

—————————————-

Yankee Doodle Dandy.  Barry Pittard.  26 November 2012

Yankee Doodle Dandy
Is not so dandy now
Once he sossed you don’t put your trusty
Hoss before the plow
     But that was such a long time ago
    Or it seems such a long time ago

But the reins they slip, slip out of his hands
As he cries ‘Help, help!’ to an old foe-friend
Says:  I gotta borra your Shanghai dollar
I didn’t save, I need a pittance to spend
    I need a Shanghai dollar for a trusty lend
    Shanghai you are my dandy friend
       In thee we trust, on thee we depend
            Shanghai, Shanghai – A-men, A-men
Poor –

    Yankee Doodle Dandy
    Is not so dandy now
    Is not so fine, is not so dandy
    Dandy’s not so dandy now
          As he was such a long time ago, oh
        Or it seems such a long time ago

As he heads for the edge of a dizzy bluff
He hollers: Move forward! But his hoss says: Whoah!
Oh oh oh oh
Says: I got horse-sense, but you got none!
Is it over the brink of the cliff you’d go?
    An abyss like this is a long way to go
            And you might fall sick if you fall down below
            You gotta stop-look-’n,-listen when your horse says: Whoah!
    Or it’s over the brink you’ll go, oh, oh ….
            Oh, oh, oh, oh …..
Poor -

Yankee Doodle Dandy
Is not so dandy now
Is not so fine, is not so dandy
Dandy’s not so dandy now
            As he was such a long time ago – oh
    Or it seems such a long time ago
            
             And a fiscal cliff is a dismal cliff
    That has a long, long way to go, oh, oh
            Oh, no no no, Oh, oh oh oh ….
            
            An abyss like this is a long way to go
            And you might fall sick if you fall down below
            You gotta stop-look-’n,-listen when your horse says: Whoah!
    Or it’s over the brink you’ll go, oh, oh ….
            Oh, oh oh oh
    O-over the brink
            You’ll go, go, go …..
    When it’s far too late
           To say: Whoah! Oh oh …
Oh -
              
Yankee Doodle Dandy
Is not so dandy now
Once he sossed you don’t put your trusty
Hoss before the plow
     But that was such a long time ago
    Or it seems such a long time ago

(Copyright of this song protected by APRA/AMCOS)

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Vast Decline In Numbers At Sathya Sai Baba’s Puttarparthi Ashram In South India

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 3, 2012

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

In recent years, in blogs or on websites, prominent commentors such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel and myself, have noted a dizzily steep decline in non-Indian visitors to Sathya Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi ashram.

Will Puttaparthi's economy survive Sai Baba's death?

Sathya Sai Baba In Glass Casket. He is Unresurrected - As Yet ....

Sathya Sai Baba In Glass Casket. He is Unresurrected – As Yet! ….

Around the world, according to a constant stream of travelers’ reports, a great many people have left the Sai Baba cult, including in India. When journalists, scholars and other investigators enquire about this and other aspects, the international Sathya Sai Organization refuse to answer. Because the organization actively interfaces with mainstream civic, political and religious, the chain-mail cloak of secrecy is, of course, reprehensible.

Sathya Sai Baba - the increasingly unsmiling guru, who defined a truly spiritual person as one who keeps smiling. (Hence the ubiquitous fake smiles which many so-called 'spiritual people' fake. Alas, though they fake it, they don't make it

Sathya Sai Baba – in recent years, the increasingly unsmiling guru, who defined a truly spiritual person as one who keeps smiling. (Hence the ubiquitous fake smiles which many so-called ‘spiritual people’ fake. Alas, though they fake it, they don’t make it)

Below, I have excerpted from an website-and-newsletter active devotee’s report. Hope springs eternal in those like Ted Henry, as both excerpted and longer version make clear. Touchingly, to feed a longing far deeper than nostalgia, there is great reliance on meetings with old devotees. The ostensibly ‘real’ thing of Sathya Sai Baba’s daily appearances at dashan is missing. There is a grasping at lonely shadows, mistaking the slight play of light for the substance, when even the substance was false, and embodied one of history’s greatest deceivers.

In Ted Henry’s account, as in so many contemporary devotee accounts, there is constant  iteration of how Sai Baba is present. There is a profound psychological denial of depression. And yet grieving and depression are very natural for human beings who face major loss. There is blindness to large numbers of Sai Baba’s failed promises and prophecies. E.g., -

“You will realize Swami’s glory when I walk across the sky from one end to the other.”(Tapovanam Chapter 11

I will have to forego the car and even the aeroplane when I move from place to place, for the crowds pressing around them will be too huge; I will have to move across the sky; yes, that too will happen, believe Me.”(See scan from Sathya Sai Speaks

Absent is any realistic assessment of the enormous damage to Sai Baba and his cult’s failure to discuss or address the worlwide allegations. Absent, too, is devotee recollection that those who have spoken out were for long highly respected members of the Sathya Sai Organization, including foremost leaders. Yet the same integrity for which they were known while devotees is the same integrity with which they have dealt with investigating the terrible allegations from round the world. This widespread demeaning of former devotees and other critics cannot, even remotely, be called spiritual.

This photo is one of many which belie his own preachments about keeping a smiling countenance – such as when he would say: 

Always put up a smiling face, never a castor-oil face:  Happiness is union with God”

At 85th Birthday, Sathya Sai Baba’s Sobbing Fit

Sathya Sai Baba In Fits of Sobbing: Video Footage Confirms Earlier Accounts

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 5, 2011

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

India Today

Can Puttaparthi Survive?

Puttaparthi struggles for survival after Sathya Sai Baba’s demise
Nirmala Ravindran  May 27, 2011 | UPDATED 15:35 IST

“The problem with Puttaparthi has always been that it functions around Baba. Even when he was alive when he travelled to live in Whitefield in Bangalore or the Kodaikanal ashram, Puttaparthi would become a ghost town. His devotees would follow him. That was our off-season. Now we have a permanent off-season,” says Dhanush, whose family has lived here for over 50 years. A month after Sai Baba’s demise, the flood of visitors has reduced to a mere trickle.

—————————————-
DECAN CHRONICLE

Tourism suffers a jolt after Sai Baba’s demise

July 29, 2011.

A large number of businessmen from Kashmir, Nepal, Tibet and Gujarat had settled in Puttaparthi and were carrying out brisk business for decades.

They are concerned about the rapidly declining number of visiting tourists, and are not in a position to pay their monthly shop rents. Real estate business is also affected as no one dares to purchase lands and plots even at cheaper rates, tho-ugh the price for cent land was once Rs 10 lakh.

—————————————-

~~ SOULJOURNS NEWS ~~

LETTER FROM INDIA – #2

- LETTER #2 (December 1, 2012)
– FROM: SOULJOURNS (Ted Henry)
– SUBJECT: First impressions

…..  There is a plus/minus to all of this which I hope to detail later. I should tell you quickly that the welcome mat is out for all Westerners to visit the ashram. One of my first stops was to pay a visit with Mr. Unni, the dear mature soul who has headed up accommodations office here for decades. His office was always a beehive of activity with many travelers trying to curry favor for a good room in a good building with working fans and a functional bathroom, maybe even one with hot water. On this day he sat alone in his office, willing to share time with me, something he could rarely afford to do before. The last time I checked with him (it’s my reporter’s instinct) during January, 2009 there were 85,000 people in the ashram from 125 countries, and today, only 7000. He tells me the attendance from people in India remains high, but for foreigners the turn out remains slight since Baba’s passing a year and a half ago.

“Please encourage all Westerners to come to Baba’s home. He is here”, he said to me a couple of times. I promised I would do so.

Later in the day while walking past the mandir (Sai Baba’s main open air temple that holds 20,000+ people) I felt a discernible let down. Those present for the early chanting were quite few. The mandir is where Baba would give darshan, where he would show his loving presence, twice a day to the multitudes. Since Baba left his body the schedule here has changed and now begins with vedic chants at 4:30, followed by bhajans (devotional singing) at 5:15, followed by darshan at 6 pm. These days during darshan people are permitted to come up to his tomb and pay their respects.

I was walking past the mandir doing some initial chores on move-in day. As I looked to my right into the giant hall, this is what a saw, seven Sevadals (ushers) at the front on the men’s side and behind them I counted five devotees in the first line. There was no second line. Throughout the rest of the hall there were maybe 40 to 60 men scattered here and there with lots of empty space around them. Only a long time visitor would know how unusual, and sad this was.

Later, I ran in to a good friend, Nooshin Mehrabani, a long time devotee from Iran who has lived here full time for a number of years now. She told me not to worry, that the crowds come later these days and that most people show up when the bhajans begin. She also stressed that Prasanthi Nilayam is a different place, with a different purpose. It used to be that you would come to the ashram to be in the living presence of the highest Avatar, a descendant of the Divine, but now it’s purpose is to serve primarily as a pilgrimage destination. Some of you may recall Nooshin’s name since I posted two video interviews with her on Souljourns (youtube.com/souljourns and vimeo.com/souljourns.) She was a long time television journalist in Iran before moving to Canada and the United States. Nooshin had countless interviews with Baba serving as interpreter for visiting Iranian devotees.

More on darshan and the experience of being with Sai Baba in the space many felt most at home with him in the next newsletter when this important subject can be given more time. Being here, inside the mandir at his darshan is THE reason we are here …..

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

excerpt from Tehelka.com on Puttaparthi and Isaac Tigrett

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization
Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a readerSubscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba’s Birthday, 2012: No Celebration For A Many Worldwide Who Mourn As Victims

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2012

For thousands of former Sathya Sai Baba followers worldwide, there is no celebrating the late would-be ‘Avatar’s’ birthday on 23 November. Often without formally resigning, countless left his international Sathya Sai Organization. Many who had thought to join it did not do so. The cult is in terrible disarray.

I am all the more saddened at his vast betrayal, because, for two years (circa 1978-79), I lectured in the three-years Arts degree course at the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, and will never forget, as I was all too slow in discovering, his and his organization’s profound failure in duty of care for the students. See my article and the BBC television documentary, The Secret Swami: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

I worked hard, as any conscientious teacher does, to see that the utmost dedication, trust and skill served them as of their complete birthright. I was at my most idealistic – More than just a work force, I wanted to see the building of a soul force.

After my introductory remarks, I have selected a number of my articles about the various Sathya Sai Baba birthday celebrations, mainly since 2007.

In 2001, UNESCO posted a Media Advisory:

The Organisation is deeply concerned about widely reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been leveled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba.

UNESCO had a Number of Concerns. Inter alia, its Advisory said:

Certain decisions were taken by the Institute of Sathya Sai Education without consultation, such as plans to hold some of the sessions at the Ashram of the Sathya Sai movement in Puttaparthi, and the inclusion of some speakers in the conference programme without their previous consent. Furthermore, the Organization is deeply concerned about widely reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been levelled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba.

In September 2000, after months of extremely taxing work globally, internationally networked former Sathya Sai Baba devotees succeeded in showing our worthy professional and citizenship credentials. A small number of us coördinated the obtaining, from several countries, extensive, of qualitative documentary evidence. We did likewise in furnishing a number of governments and law enforcement agencies. An extreme difficulty we faced was the untold corruption of government and legal agencies in India. From top to bottom, these were jam-pack with Sai Baba followers. For the barest glimpse of this, see my articles:

On Sathya Sai Baba: Times of India, Ex-Chief Justice Interview. What Judge Would So Opine?

Ex-Chief Justice of India: Sathya Sai Baba “dictated my every single judgement”

Indian Ex-Chief Justice: “Wild, Reckless Claims” about Sathya Sai Baba

Human Rights Commission Probe Fronts Andhra Government On Sathya Sai Baba Treatment

Sathya Sai Baba’s Promise To “Clean Up” His “Own Back Yard (India) Unfulfilled

Much of the data we submitted to well-reputed authorities worldwide was painful, private and sensitive – coming from families and survivors of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of boys and young men, and other great wrongs. As a result, UNESCO and its partner, the University of Flinders, South Australia, withdrew sponsorship of a large international education conference on human values under Sathya Sai Baba’s aegis at Puttaparthi. We also greatly succeeded with many of the world’s leading media.  See, for example:

BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise

The Genesis of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sai Baba)

Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Since October 1999, I have been one of the most active international researchers (along with, most prominently, Glen Meloy (USA), Hari Sampath (India), Brian Steel (Australia) and Robert Priddy (Norway), yet over a decade of dealing, most often daily, with victims, families and others, I, like my colleagues, have not stopped finding ever more evidences of criminality and spiritual betrayal. It was only after the incredible revelations of Sai Baba’s hidden treasury (See: ‘Secret Swami’ (Late) Sai Baba: Vast Millions In Hoard Found Hidden In His Palace-Temple, Posted by Barry Pittard on June 18, 2011) that I took more still seriously the claim to me personally of one of the world’s foremost experts in international money trails. Now in private consultancy, trained by Scotland Yard in international terrorism and other areas, he was inspector-general of one of the world’s leading crime fighting agencies. He regarded Sai Baba as at the top of 20th century master criminals. (To any ethical, bona fide scholarly or media investigator, I am happy to share his contact details). See:

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Hari Sampath: Sai Baba protected by the Supreme Court of India

Robert Priddy: A full exposé site, A home page by Robert Priddy

Brian Steel: Brian Steel Demythologizes Early Foreign-led Sathya Sai Baba Myths

Barry Pittard: Outline at Robert Priddy’s blogsite: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com/barry-pittard/

The Sai Cult’s Failure: Those Whose Perpetual Cry Is Love and Peace Are Not Loving And Peaceful

From the moment members investigated the criminal allegations and spoke against the international Sathya Sai Organization’s extreme lack of accountability and transparency, many in the Sai cult labeled and defamed them. Commonsense – what to speak of spiritual qualities of truth, right conduct, peace, and love – disappeared.

Here was an organization, which has public meetings, and which actively cultivates mainstream civic, educational and religious organizations, governments, politicians of major parties, etc. And yet it refused all proper accountability processes.

Let any other guru or organization be accountable BUT …. not this one. In typical places, like car parks, shopping centers, workplaces etc., family and friendship affiliations, devotees shunned and maligned those who questioned – those, indeed, whom they had known for decades as truthful, decent and dedicated to high ideals and actions. Terrible attacks on the former devotees sprang up on the internet and in wider communities.

The more networked former Sathya Sai Baba followers investigated the more evidence surfaced. The magnitude of the corruption is barely imaginable. By Sai Baba and his key servitors, to name but a few of the betrayals, we found profound cover up of -

  • decades of widespread, serial sexual abuses of boys and young men from many countries
  • the 1993 police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom
  • suspicious deaths and disappearances
  • vast misappropriation of funds
  • scams conducted via the Puttaparthi front office, about which Sai Baba refused to act, telling deeply hurt, scammed devotees e.g., “What can I do? My hands are tied”. To which behavior, many devotees who knew the appalling facts, simply replied e.g., “It is all Swami’s leela” (God’s playfulness).

….. and all too many other grave scandals

Sathya Sai 85th Birthday. Has Said He Will Soon Rule World, And Not Age

Posted November 25, 2010

Sathya Sai Baba has said:

“In the days ahead, the whole world will be obliged to come to Prashanthi Nilayam” (p. 320 Sanathana Sarathi December 1991)

“The whole world will be transformed into Sathya Sai Organisation and Sathya Sai will be installed in the hearts of one and all”. p. 16 Sanathana Sarathi January 1999)

“In Argentina (Sathya Sai Baba) bhajans are being held in every home [cheers].” Sathya Sai Speaks, XXIII, 29:255 – 20-10-1990, on the alleged 50th anniversary of Sathya Sai Baba’s so-called ‘Declaration’ of his so-called ‘Reality’ as Avatar of all Avatars.)

Over the years, we have received various reports of Sathya Sai Baba increasingly losing a composure that has been oft-noted in him for decades. But only recently has this type of behaviour been clear for all to see, and in video footage emanating from his own camp. During his November birthday, Sathya Sai Baba – in the midst of being praised for all the good he has done – broke down and sobbed deeply and for some time. To see this video (download 3.9 Mbs), CLICK HERE

Sathya Sai Baba on his 85th birthday - not happy
“Be happy!” “I have no enemies.. I love all. I am always smiling. Many people think how can I keep smiling? I don’t like castoroil faces.. When you all are happy, I will be happy.” Sathya Sai Baba in his loudly lectern-thumping tirade, Christmas Discourse 2000

Sick and Ailing Sathya Sai Baba 85. His Promises to Look Young Have Failed

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 24, 2010

“That age has its physical and mental ravages is not the point here. Who is not privy to these? …. To which Shakespeare’s Hamlet refers in his famous soliloquy – … “The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.” The only point here is that Sathya Sai Baba has made demonstrably unreal and false statements in regard to prophecies about his own physical state.

Sathya Sai Baba 85th birthday portraits

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Puttaparthi Sai Baba Birthday 2011 – Where Have All The Golden Pomp and Circumstance Gone?

Posted by November 20, 2011

After his death in on 24 April 2011, we have seen something of the terrible in-fighting over managerial succession at Puttaparthi, and then of the discovery – not of spiritual treasure but – untold hoarded treasure in Sai Baba’s private quarters. The international Sathya Sai Organization, despite or perhaps in part because of its soviet-style, top-down management style, is in vast disarray. See:

‘Secret Swami’ (Late) Sai Baba: Vast Millions In Hoard Found Hidden In His Palace-Temple and:

Sai Baba: hoarding, secrecy, mistrust, powerlessness, deceit

Sathya Sai 85th Birthday. Has Said He Will Soon Rule World, And Not Age

Sathya Sai Baba Breaks Down and Sobs at 85th Birthday

Posted December 11, 2010

Sathya Sai Baba’s many reported weeping episodes have taken – as from circa the year 2000 – a marked upsweep after the advent of worldwide exposure of widespread serial sexual abuse of boys and young men (See also HERE and HERE); his implication in the massive local, state and central governments’ cover up of police killings in his bedroom at Puttaparthi (See HERE and HERE and HERE); vast misappropriation of billions in funds collected worldwide (See HERE and HERE and HERE); his vast opulence in a land of great poverty, squalor, ignorance and superstition; his failed predictions (See HERE and HERE); and much else that reveals him to be one of history’s great imposters, whatever may be the good deeds that he has sparked off in many of his devotees.

Sathya Sai Baba 84th Birthday Celebrations. Will 21st Century India Tolerate The Shame That Is Puttaparthi?

Posted November 22, 2009 Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement as demonstrated by Sathya Sai Baba’s international chairman Dr Michael Goldstein of Corvina, California, USA. A BBC hidden camera (in the making of the hour-long documentary that has been seen in many countries, ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004), exposes Goldstein using appallingly bad arguments, and getting angry at the interviewer Tany Datta’s most politely-asked questions. So serious was the compelling mass of evidence from around the world of Sai Baba’s commission of many instances of serious forms of abuse (including that of boys and young men), and the extreme lack of transparency and accountability of the Sathya Sai Organization, that the BBC producers gained a very sparingly used sanction from the highest levels of BBC Management. See: BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Sai Baba click here for Sai residence today Sai Kodaihouse Sai Trayee

Sai Dharmak.

Many have heard and read where he says that the world will be under his rulership, and that he will return in the name of Prema Sai Baba to complete this work. In a 1961 Discourse, he said: “I shall be in this body for 58 years more; I have assured you of this already.” (Sathya Sai Speaks, II, 18:92.) A year before, he said: “I will be in this mortal human form for 59 years more and I shall certainly achieve the purpose of this avathaar, do not doubt it. I will take My own time and carry out My Plan as far as you are concerned.” (I, 31:198; Prashanthi Nilayam 29-9-1960 – second discourse) Both these statements indicate a death date 2019 (although he would not use the ‘word’ death) of 2019. Other statements in official publications confuse the issue by stating 2022.

He had best get a wriggle on, for he is now terribly ailing. See: Sai Baba – A Degenerative Disease? and Sai Baba’s Tip To Keep Ageing Away and Sathya Sai Baba Is Fast-ailing and Sathya Sai Baba’s Slurred Speech Due To Old Age. ‘Eenadu’ News Report

http://barrypittard.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/sai-babas-costly-glory.jpg

Sathya Sai Baba Birthday. Brian Steel Examines Birthdate Issue

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2009

As part of his extensive and challenging opus on Sathya Sai Baba, the Australian academic Brian Steel has written about questions surrounding Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate. This appears in Chapter 5 of hisOmniscience and Truth’ (Revised and Enlarged Version). As this Chapter is long, detailed and deals with a variety of topics, I have extracted, to coincide with Sathya Sai Baba’s November 23, 2009 birthday celebrations at Puttaparthi, the relevant section.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba Birthday, 2009. Where have all the “millions” Gone?

Posted November 28, 2009

…. representatives of the major world faiths, sai-babas-symbol-of-world-faiths.jpgwhom Sai Baba has long said he is bringing together in amity, are, yet again conspicuously missing from those visiting the ashram in 2009. Here is the so-called “All Faiths” obelisk, the “Sarva Dharma Stupa”. Mostly vacuous in terms of Puttaparthi’s reality, it has long stood at his main ashram, a waste of money in a wasteland of shame.
sarva-dharma-stupa-and-poorna-chandra-hall-puttaparthi
Former co-founder and head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization and retired academic Robert Priddy has written of the highly exaggerated crowd numbers attending Puttaparthi occasions, such as Sathya Sai Baba’s birthday celebrations. Of his and my dear friend, the late celebrated Indian newspaper Editor, V.K. Narasimhan and some others, Priddy, former co-founder and leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization, writes:
“The estimated numbers of persons during each of these celebrations was doubtless much in excess of the actual numbers. Figures of from 1 to 3 million have been suggested for the various birthdays! Sathya Sai Baba stated to several persons (Robert and Rita Bruce, V.K. Narasimhan and others) that 3 million were present, which was a total impossibility. VKN told me several times that Sathya Sai Baba regularly multiplied numbers of actual visitors by 10!

Sathya Sai Baba Video. Too Weak To Cut Birthday Cake

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 25, 2008

See video which reveals Sathya Sai Baba, in November 2007, as unable to cut his birthday cakes any longer

minister-assists-ailing-sathya-sai-baba

High-powered Minister of State, Renuka Chowdhuri, has to cut 2007 for badly ailing Satya Sai Baba

For some time, he has had a mask-like face, suggestive of a degenerative disease.

Further Reading At‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions

There is no end to his failed predictions. In his February 1 16, 2007 (so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai baba said:

“I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.”

Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit

The guru, perhaps the most wealthy and politically powerful in India’s long history, claims that he will save the world in his own lifetime. He will, he says, preside over the greatest changes ever to occur in history

‘World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him

One of India’s most powerful Hindu nationalist leaders, Ashok Singhal, who has an international profile in the Hindu world, has just told an assembly of political and religious luminaries in Delhi of a prophecy he says Sathya Sai Baba shared with him. The Organiser, September 14, 2008, reports …

See articles of Robert Priddy – former head of Sathya Sai Organization, Norway – at his blogsiteSathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

Ageing and collapse in Sai Baba’s health

Sai Baba’s health – miracle or self-sacrifice?

Sai Baba says his close servants live for 100 years

Sathya Sai miracle of transformation of India?

Sai Baba’s failing health

sai-baba-looking-terrible-telegu-eenadu-picture.jpg

Sai Baba’s Birthday. Vast, Costly Pomp and Ceremony

Posted on November 20, 2007

Sathya Sai Baba’s Imperial Decay

Pride is said to come before a fall. In the case of Sathya Sai Baba puffery and proudery now come during a fall, since we are now better placed to see the imperial decay suggested in my article The Decline and Fall of The Showman Empire. (For the busy reader, there is a condensed version, Sai Baba’s Undivine Downfall).

Pictures of Sathya Sai Baba’s Opulence and Self-glorification

For a photographic glimpse of the incredible lavish material ‘spendour of Puttaparthi’, see Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia. Or my reader may like to view some Sathya Sai Baba Chariots.

In the selfsame India, there is, with what deepest irony, a profoundly genuine splendour, down thousands of years, of saints and sages living in the utmost simplicity.

http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/Images/usaimages/New%20abode.jpg

Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED

(Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four

Sathya Sai Baba Expose News Extensive website – testimonies, articles, videos

Allegations concerning Sathya Sai Baba A wide range of serious exposé articles.

Ongoing Investigations into Claims and Realities Surrounding Sathya Sai Baba – a thoroughly documented scholarly website by Brian Steel.

Call for Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba – Barry Pittard

Sathya Sai Baba (and Wikipedia) – website of author Kevin R.D. Shepherd

Sathya Sai Baba – The Truth

Italian ExBaba exposé website http://www.exbaba.it
Scandinavian Sai Baba exposé websites Swedish Danish, and Norwegian (Norsk)

Other European languages German exposé websitePolishRussian.

Exposé in Spanish and second site in Polish

Dr. Dale Beyerstein’s study of Sathya Sai Baba’s claims and ‘miracles’

Kevin R.D. Shepherd blog and The Sai `Baba Movement

Robert C Priddy philosophy and religious issues web log Breaking the spell of religious/’spiritual’ superstitions

Website informing about sects, including the Sathya Sai Baba cult

FRENCH WEB LOG Marc-André

Belief and Sathya Sai Baba: Avatar or Imposter-Trickster?

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization
Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a readerSubscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Rev. Sun Myung Moon and Sathya Sai Baba Cults: Some Striking Similarities

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2012

In his blog Mind your Mind, Chris Doktor, a Dutch psychotherapist, writes instructively of certain similarities between the renowned cult leader, the late, self-proclaimed Korean ‘Messiah’ and multibillionaire tycoon Reverend Sun Myung Moon and the late Sathya Sai Baba. See:  Grand Send-off to Moon: Strikingly Similar to Sathya Sai Baba in Life and Death.

That charismatic and authoritarian cultic figures like Moon and Sai Baba, can gain such a grip on the masses suggests the need for a serious social thinking. Although it is important to look at the dangers they present, it is also crucial that we consider what rational and emotional deficits exist in society. And, dare we say, in ourselves.

Sathya Sai Baba. For a decade, increasingly succumbing to decrepitude, despite foretelling that, from his 60th birthday, he would not physically age

In his last few years Sathya Sai Baba succumbed to dementia and a raft of other ailments. These troubles falsified his own repeated prophecies – species of his megalamania – that he would look forever young, travel to various parts of the world, die in his 90′s effectively ruling the world by that time, and reincarnate shortly after as ‘Prema Sai Baba’.  Here is but a sample of his well-documented, terribly failed statements, which his followers blindly ignore:

In a February 1 16, 2007 ‘divine discourse’, Sai baba said: 

“I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly”.

“The attributes of the Avatars are beyond human comprehension…. Rama and Krishna were ever youthful. Have you ever seen a picture of Rama or Krishna with grey hair?….. Usually old people have wrinkles on their faces … I do not have any signs of old age. (loud applause). There is not a single wrinkle on My face”. Sanathana Sarathi, October, 2002

“In the days ahead, the whole world will be obliged to come to Prashanthi Nilayam” (p. 320, Sanathana Sarathi December 1991)

“The whole world will be transformed into Sathya Sai Organisation and Sathya Sai will be installed in the hearts of one and all”.  p. 16 Sanathana Sarathi January 1999)

“Swami’s mission has made this turn to face the runway. The 70th birthday was the signal from the tower to accelerate. In the 75th birthday, the airplane will leave the ground”. Sri Sathya Sai Newsletter, USA, 31, Winter 1996-1997, 29.)

“Bhagavan told the group of his students, that His mission can be compared with an aeroplane that is going to take off. Up to 70th birthday his mission would be like an aeroplane going along the take-off track and gaining speed. These days the aeroplane is rushing and speeding up and will take off at the 75th birthday”. Sai Reflections: The UK Sai Organisation. Quarterly Magazine: February, 1997, p.15)

See my articles:  

Sick and Ailing Sathya Sai Baba 85. His Promises to Look Young Have Failed

Sathya Sai 85th Birthday. Has Said He Will Soon Rule World, And Not Age

Sai Baba 83. Has Said He Will Rule World

‘World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him

The Danger We Invite In Ignoring Cults and Cultists

If we focus solely on the cult phenomenon – or the other great fault, ignore it – we invite failure to look at the human conditions of which we are a part, which create the hunger for the irrational, and, as too often, the appeal of the authoritarian figure who has all the ‘answers’.  

The threats to the open society of cults increase according to how we tend to ignore them. My writings on society’s powerful turning of blind eyes to insidious problems like pedophilia make, essentially the same point:  it is the social failure to face difficult issues. It is the failure to come clean, and to speak out, and to support those who are speaking out.

Allowing a few whistleblowers and advocates for social chance to shoulder the brunt of the work is, simply, cowardice. It is also unreality, because, sooner or later our own families and communities are stricken. 

Crowds at Sathya Sai Baba’s birthday celebrations at Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, South India, 2008

Chris Doktor notes:

“Like Sai Baba, Moon was a deeply narcissistic man, who reveled in mass adoration and was in dire need of constant and singular attention, claiming to be a special spiritual entity who, if accepted as a personal master, protected you from harm and opened up the gates of Heaven to his true followers”.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Thousands gather for elaborate farewell to Moonie church founder known as their ‘True Father’

By JILL REILLY

PUBLISHED: 08:50 GMT, 15 September 2012 | UPDATED: 10:36 GMT, 15 September 2012
Ten of thousands of followers gathered today at the funeral of Sun Myung Moon, a self-proclaimed messiah who founded the Unification Church. 

He was buried at a church-owned mansion modelled on the White House after a two-week mourning period.

His followers gathered at Gapyeong, an hour outside the capital Seoul, to say a final goodbye to Moon, a man who dubbed himself the ‘True Parent’ of those he married in mass ceremonies and who once proposed himself as ‘supreme chairman” of a reunited Korea.

Family affair: Hyung-Jin Moon (front second right), International President of the Unification Church and youngest son of Evangelist Reverend Sun-Myung Moon, leads the honor guards in carrying the body of his fatherFamily affair: Hyung-Jin Moon (front second right), International President of the Unification Church and youngest son of Evangelist Reverend Sun-Myung Moon, leads the honor guards in carrying the body of his father. 

Well-wishers: A packed crowd watched as the casket carrying Sun-Myung Moon e late founder of the Unification Church was carried at the CheongShim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, about 60 km (37 miles) northeast of Seoul Well-wishers: A packed crowd watched as the casket carrying Sun-Myung Moon e late founder of the Unification Church was carried at the CheongShim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, about 60 km (37 miles) northeast of Seoul
United: Mourners raise arms after the funeral of the controversial founderUnited: Mourners raise arms after the funeral of the controversial founder
Ornate display: A giant image of the late founder was displayed at the service in front of hundreds of flowersOrnate display: A giant image of the late founder was displayed at the service in front of hundreds of flowers

The church claimed that about 35,000 followers and mourners with some 15,000 from abroad attended the funeral service at the Cheongshim Peace World Center in Gapyeong, about 60 km east of Seoul.

The ceremony was officially titled ‘Sun Myung Moon, the True Parent of Heaven and Earth, Memorial and Ascension Ceremony.’

Men dressed in black suits with white ties and women in white or ivory dresses for the ceremony. 

Many sobbed quietly as the cortege carried Moon’s red-and-gold casket to the altar inside a vast hall in the church complex.

Grieving: Han Hak Ja, wife of late Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, weeps during his funeral ceremony. His wife remains the symbolic head of the mission that oversees the entire Tongil, Korean for Unification groupGrieving: Han Hak Ja, wife of late Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, weeps during his funeral ceremony. His wife remains the symbolic head of the mission that oversees the entire Tongil, Korean for Unification group

Red roses: Flowers were a central theme of the service and single red roses encased in cellophane were handed out to mourners Red roses: Flowers were a central theme of the service and single red roses encased in cellophane were handed out to mourners
Procession: Moon is survived by his wife and 10 of their 13 children. But his eldest son Hyun Jin, the chairman of UCI, which owns the UPI news agency, did not attend the funeral. Church officials did not give details about why he was not thereProcession: Moon is survived by his wife and 10 of their 13 children. But his eldest son Hyun Jin, the chairman of UCI, which owns the UPI news agency, did not attend the funeral. Church officials did not give details about why he was not there

Many mourners watched on live broadcasts around the campus.

Some offered roses and lilies, Moon’s favourite flowers, and bowed before the portrait ringed with roses.

Church officials did not give details about why he was not there. 

‘His will is a divine will, different from normal people,’ said 69-year-old office worker Jeong Hye-ok.

‘I believe he will establish a foundation to build a heavenly world that unifies peace on earth.’ 

‘He will be in our minds permanently,’ said Lee Ok-su, a church choir member, her face flushed with emotion. ‘He is our benevolent yet strict father.’

Followers: Critics for years have vilified the church as a heretical and dangerous cult and questioned its murky finances and how it indoctrinates followers, described in derogatory terms as 'Moonies'Followers: Critics for years have vilified the church as a heretical and dangerous cult and questioned its murky finances and how it indoctrinates followers, described in derogatory terms as ‘Moonies’
Memorial: Believers of the Unification Church make a deep bow during the ceremonyMemorial: Believers of the Unification Church make a deep bow during the ceremony 

Mourning: A family member carries a portrait of late Rev. Sun Myung Moon - he built a multibillion-dollar business empire stretching from the Korean Peninsula to the United StatesMourning: A family member carries a portrait of late Rev. Sun Myung Moon – he built a multibillion-dollar business empire stretching from the Korean Peninsula to the United StatesRemembrance: More than 30,000 mourners, many weeping openly, attended the elaborate, flower-strewn funeral in South Korea

Remembrance: More than 30,000 mourners, many weeping openly, attended the elaborate, flower-strewn funeral in South Korea

The funeral, which lasted more than two hours, began when men wearing military honor guard-style uniforms carried Moon’s coffin into a multipurpose gymnasium. 

They slowly carried it up red-carpeted steps decked with flowers and placed it in front of a large portrait of Moon. 

Many mourners wept as a top church official said in a speech that Moon was moving into a spiritual world after completing the messianic role that God had asked of him.

Crowds: A funeral car loaded with a portrait of the late Sun Myung Moon drives past followers after his funeral ceremony Crowds: A funeral car loaded with a portrait of the late Sun Myung Moon drives past followers after his funeral ceremonyWeeping: Men dressed in black suits with white ties and women in white or ivory dresses for the ceremony. Many sobbed quietly as the cortege carried Moon's red-and-gold casket to the altar inside a vast hall in the church complex

Weeping: Men dressed in black suits with white ties and women in white or ivory dresses for the ceremony. Many sobbed quietly as the cortege carried Moon’s red-and-gold casket to the altar inside a vast hall in the church complexFlower-covered transport: A funeral car containing the body of late Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon drives past followers. He was buried at a church-owned mansion modelled on the White House today after a two-week mourning period

Flower-covered transport: A funeral car containing the body of late Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon drives past followers. He was buried at a church-owned mansion modelled on the White House today after a two-week mourning period

Han Hak Ja (front), wife of late Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, mourns
The Rev. Hyung-jin Moon, the youngest son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, sings a hymn

Han Hak Ja (front), wife of late Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon, mourns her late husband while his the youngest son of the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, sings a hymn Legacy: Rev. Sun Myung Moon died aged 92 on Sept. 3 of complications due to pneumonia. The church he founded is now run by his youngest son, while the business entities are run by another son

Legacy: Rev. Sun Myung Moon died aged 92 on Sept. 3 of complications due to pneumonia. The church he founded is now run by his youngest son, while the business entities are run by another sonPopular: Those who could not get into the service watched on live broadcasts around the campus

Popular: Those who could not get into the service watched on live broadcasts around the campus

Reverend Moon Sun-Myung, head of the Unification Church

Moon started the church after claiming Jesus appeared to him while he was praying as teenager 

‘God, why … why did you call back our True Father so hurriedly?’ Bo Hi Pak, chairman of the Unification Church-supported Korean Cultural Foundation, told the crowd. 

‘I’m so sad, and I just want to listen to his voice again,’ said Jeon Myung-hu, a 43-year-old man who said he fasted for four days after hearing the news of Moon’s death. ‘His teachings about peace will remain forever.’ 

About 180,000 people visited Gapyeong during the mourning period before the funeral, according to church officials. 

An estimated 7 million people paid homage at mourning sites around the world, they said. 

The Unification Church claims to have 3 million followers around the world, though critics say the figure is no more than 100,000. 

Moon, a staunch anti-communist who ran a business empire as well as a church and spent 30 years living in the United States, was born in what is now North Korea in 1920 and escaped to the South in 1950 after being sentenced to hard labour.

He died aged 92 on September 3 of complications due to pneumonia. 

The church he founded is now run by his youngest son, while the business entities are run by another son.

Blessing: Sun Myung Moon and his wife bless the brides and the grooms in a mass wedding ceremony at Chamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul in 2000

Blessing: Moon and his wife bless the brides and the grooms in a mass wedding ceremony at Chamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul in 2000

Mass nuptials: Couples from around the world participate in a mass wedding ceremony arranged by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church at Sun Moon University in AsanMass nuptials: Couples from around the world participate in a mass wedding ceremony arranged by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon’s Unification Church at Sun Moon University in Asan

His wife remains the symbolic head of the mission that oversees the entire Tongil, Korean for ‘Unification’ group.

Previously thousands of mourners had gathered for the ten-day as the founder lay in a glass-covered coffin at the headquarters of his Unification Church in South Korea.

Only senior church members and specially invited mourners were allowed to view the body. But that didn’t stop the general public turning up in droves to pay their respects.

Critics for years have vilified the church as a heretical and dangerous cult and questioned its murky finances and how it indoctrinates followers, described in derogatory terms as ‘Moonies.’

Moon is survived by his wife and 10 of their 13 children.

But his eldest son Hyun Jin, the chairman of UCI, which owns the UPI news agency, did not attend the funeral. 

Church officials did not give details about why he was not there.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2203645/Sun-Myung-Moon-funeral-Thousands-gather-South-Korea-elaborate-farewell-Moonie-church-founder.html#ixzz2ChPi8MiC 

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

 Subscribe in   NewsGator Online Subscribe   in Bloglines Add to My AOLAdd to Excite   MIX Add to   netvibes Add to The   Free Dictionary Add to netomat Hub  Add to Webwag   Subscribe in a reader

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Australian Royal Commission To Probe Institutional Handling Of Child Sexual Abuse

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 14, 2012

The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Guillard, has just announced a long-term Royal Commission of Enquiry into the way Australian institutions respond, and fail to respond, to sexual abuse in Australia. It begins its work in early 2013, and may continue for several years.

As the Royal Commission goes about its work, I, for one – given that the enquiry becomes singularly noted for its wisdom and professionalism – shall be encouraging many Australian survivors and their families as possible to witness to the Commission accounts of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization’s appalling treatment of victims, its suppression of testimony, and intimidation and silencing of many truthful witnesses.

See Ms Guillard making this watershed announcement at:  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-12/gillard-launches-royal-commission-into/4367700

Decades too late, she says: 

“There have been too many revelations of adults who have averted their eyes from this evil”.

Like our own experience when exposing the Sathya Sai cult via many international media, those wilderness voices crying out against institutional corruption can only view such statements with a mixture of the philosophical, the derisory and the darkly ironical.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Guillard announces an ongoing Royal Commission to investigate institutional response, and lack of response, to child sexual abuse

ABC Report
Gillard launches royal commission into child abuse
By Simon Cullen and staff.  Updated Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:28pm AEDT
Quote
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced the creation of a national royal commission into institutional responses to instances of child sexual abuse.

The decision was taken at a meeting of federal cabinet this afternoon.

Ms Gillard had been under pressure to act following growing calls for a 

national inquiry into explosive allegations by a senior New South Wales police investigator that the Catholic Church covered up evidence involving paedophile priests.

A number of senior Labor MPs, as well as key independents, had already voiced their support for action …… 

RELATED STORY: Gillard under pressure to set up sex abuse inquiry

RELATED STORY: Pressure grows for abuse royal commission

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba
In a way that obscures the failed accountability and duty of care of a great many other institutions, it has been long been a great mistake to single out the Roman Catholic Church. Appallingly, this overfocus lets many other institutions off the hook. Without oversight or process, the abuse in those institutions continues.
I refer to this Church here because its Australian head, Cardinal Pell of Sydney, has been extremely quick and prominent in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement. And because the unhealthy preoccupation with one offender, while obscuring many others.
In Australia, both many Roman Catholics and the public more widely regard the head of the Catholic Church in this country, Cardinal Pell, as an arch conservative. In my view, Pell is symptomatic of a grave and untreated problem quite other than the issue of any continuing institutional cover up. Too often, reform does not get to the roots of a problem, and becomes a different sort of cover up – that is to say, there is a covering up of, or of a blindness to, those very problematic roots. One of these roots problems is a focus on institutional survival. This greatly thwarts the addressing of justice and healing issues that relate to sexual abuse survivors. One area in which this occurs is an institution’s lawyer-mediated, miserable out-of-court settlements. Mr and Mrs Foster’s case is one of a great many which show the cruelty of such arrangements. (See video footage):

ABC News Breakfast, November 13:

“Two of Antony and Chrissie Foster’s daughters were raped by a Catholic priest. They shared their response to the announcement of a royal commission with ABC News Breakfast”.

Many perceive that Cardinal Pell does not support or conceal abusers, but maintains, in real terms, a heartless, narrowly legalistic approach. One which fails to bring real justice and healing to the many thousands of clerical sexual abuse survivors in the Roman Catholic Church.

The interview with Mr and Mrs Forster is poignant and powerful in making this point. She Says (AUDIO: Expert hopes abuse inquiry will create new jurisdiction (PM)):

“(Cardinal Pell) was saying there was a smear campaign against the church and there’s not a smear campaign at all,” she said.

“People are merely telling the truth and trying to be heard about their experience with the Catholic Church; the abuse in the first instance and then the treatment from the Catholic Church, and the hierarchy and the processes after that.”

Ms Foster was particularly struck by Cardinal Pell’s insistence that the seal of confession is “inviolable”…..

We Need To Prevent Use Of Legal Practises That In Themselves Abuse Victims

Those of us who have internationally exposed Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult know this phenomenon all too well.  Regarding a case one of our members brought in the Orange County Court, California, USA, Robert Priddy and I coordinated our international group’s statement. It succinctly shows how a rich and powerful organization how can hijack a law case via a cunning technical trick. Served were the world head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Dr Michael Goldstein, and the Sathya Sai Society of America. Added to woes of the Applicant (Alaya Rahm) was his lawyer’s grave lack of alertness and homework at  the discovery end of the legal process. Several of my friends with exceptionally high legal profiles looked at the mess, and were appalled!).  See:  

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America. Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family. (Date: July 16, 2006)

See also Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s detailed four-part article: 

The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed (and Part Two Three Four

With the Australian Government’s Royal Commission looming, the corrupted institutions now rush not to hide what, of course, they have hidden for decades and  can no longer hide. Rather, under duress, they pledge coöperation and reform – while, however, still not substantively honoring survivors of sexual abuse and their families.

In Australia, both many Roman Catholics and the public more widely regard the head of the Catholic Church in this country, Cardinal Pell, as an arch conservative. Interviews show Pell in favor of the Commission. In his current interviews, he strikes me as still, after all these years of dealing with sexual abuse in his church, as essentially unreconstructed in his thinking. Rather than speaking to the victims’ plight, and looking at the various support groups’ reports that serious systemic defects continue, he is defensive, and, for example, blames the media. (See the victim witness video footage and newspaper reports).

In Australia, as elsewhere, the Prime Minister’s announcement will I suggest – and very soon – show the way institutions commit this other kind of abuse:  the cold, calculating legalistic response. As I have said, we should not think that the Roman Catholic Church is somehow alone in this species of systemic abuse. Trustfully, the work of a royal commission with teeth will show how institutions rush – not to hide what, of course, the institutions cannot well hide but – under duress – to pledge coöperation and reform – while, however, still not, in a genuine, pragmatic way, honoring survivors of sexual abuse and their families. This is profoundly unjust.

In the nineties, when he accompanied a pedophile priest to court, Pell shocked many in his own church and far beyond. They pointed to a gross insensitivity to victims. He seemed naive, and without grasp of the power of the terrible iconography implicit in his sitting with the perpetrator and not with the perpetrator’s victims!

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Further Resources

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Key interviews: The road to the royal commission

Topics: law-crime-and-justiceroyal-commissionscommunity-and-societyreligion-and-beliefscatholicchild-abuse

Abuse victims sceptical of Pell’s royal commission response

By Samantha Donovan and staff

VIDEO: Cardinal Pell criticises ‘negative’ media coverage (Lateline)

Some of the victims of sexual abuse by the clergy do not believe the Archbishop of Sydney’s statement that the Catholic Church has learnt the error of its ways.

In the wake of the Prime Minister’s decision to call a royal commission into institutionalised child abuse, Cardinal George Pell said he believed many claims involving the church were exaggerated and historic.

“We are not interested in denying the extent of misdoing in the Catholic Church. We object to it being exaggerated,” he said.

“We object to it being described as the only cab on the rank.

“We acknowledge simply with shame the extent of the problem and I want to assure you that we have been serious in attempting to eradicate it and deal with it.”

The leader of Australia’s most powerful Roman Catholic diocese said he would cooperate with the nationwide inquiry, but told reporters the church had improved its processes in dealing with abuse allegations.

“I have just been attempting to explain [over] the past 16 to 20 years, we have addressed [the issue], these are adequate procedures,” he said.

“Nobody has written to me saying this procedure is inadequate or that procedure is inadequate.

“What we have had is general smears like, with due respect, I suggest you are making that we are generally inefficient, that we’re covering up, we’re moving people around.

“Where that is done it’s against the protocols.”

The Melbourne response

But in Victoria, some are still critical of the so-called Melbourne Response, which Cardinal Pell set up to handle complaints in the late 1990s.

Cardinal Pell confirmed again he had accompanied paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale to his court hearings several years ago.

But he said he did not realise at the time the impression this would give to victims.

They just still don’t get it because I think they are afraid because so many bishops over the years have been so culpable of so many crimes, particularly cover-ups, that I think they are afraid of what’s going to come out.

Abuse victim Stephen Woods

Ridsdale, from the Wimmera region in western Victoria, was jailed in 1993 after admitting he abused more than 20 children.

In 2006, the priest was sentenced to an extra 13 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to further charges.

Melbourne man Stephen Woods was 14 when he was raped by Ridsdale.

Mr Woods listened to Cardinal Pell’s comments with interest and told ABC radio’s PM program: “He seems to be setting up a narrative that the Catholic Church is now the victim, that they are the ones who are just one of many assaulters in the society.

“Yet I can’t think of any other organisation that has had so many, even though there are many clergy, but they have had so many paedophiles.

“And of course, tens of thousands of victims.”

VIDEO: Sanctity of confessional box under question (7pm TV News NSW)

‘Failed systems’

Cardinal Pell said the Melbourne Response had been “very well regarded” by many.

But that is not Mr Woods’s impression.

“Working for (support group) Broken Rites we’ve had cause to come across a lot of people who have said that the Melbourne Response, as well as the Towards Healing, are both very failed systems,” he said.

“They offer very small amounts of compensation and they are very lawyer-intense and very legalistically concerned.

“So people have very often come out of it just feeling far more assaulted.”

Mr Woods believes the Catholic Church is not responding well to news of the royal commission.

“They still don’t get it. They just still don’t get it because I think they are afraid because so many bishops over the years have been so culpable of so many crimes, particularly cover-ups, that I think they are afraid of what’s going to come out,” he said.

‘No smear campaign’

Chrissie Foster’s two daughters were raped by their parish priest when they were in primary school.

“(Cardinal Pell) was saying there was a smear campaign against the church and there’s not a smear campaign at all,” she said.

“People are merely telling the truth and trying to be heard about their experience with the Catholic Church; the abuse in the first instance and then the treatment from the Catholic Church, and the hierarchy and the processes after that.”

Ms Foster was particularly struck by Cardinal Pell’s insistence that the seal of confession is “inviolable”.

She believes it is one of the big issues for the royal commission to consider.

“I know he was insistent on it not being looked at, but I think there needs to be mandatory reporting within the confessional about child sexual assault,” she said.

“This canon law is the law of a foreign state, the Vatican. How can a foreign state law overrule our civil laws in Australia to protect our Australian children?

“My daughter suicided. My other daughter binge drunk and then got hit by a car.

“She received 24 hours care. And all the care Emma had up until she died; the church didn’t pay for that.”

The Federal Government has released information for those who want to provide information that may be considered by the royal commission, which is likely to begin in early 2013.

Recent Blogs At This Site On The Sir Jimmy Savile, the British Entertainment National Icon

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

 Subscribe in   NewsGator Online Subscribe   in Bloglines Add to My AOLAdd to Excite   MIX Add to   netvibes Add to The   Free Dictionary Add to netomat Hub  Add to Webwag 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Top Magicians Derren Brown, Keith Barry and Others: Exposing How We Get Deceived

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 6, 2012

Those who are gradually – and often painfully – coming out of their experiences of scam artist tricks – such as those which corrupt gurus like Sathya Sai Baba typically practise – could do well to view some of the tricks of outstanding magicians, mentalists and illusionists. There are many excellent books and internet resources.

Faked 'emergence' of the golden lingam - stills from BBC film

Sathya Sai Baba Fakes ‘emergence’ of the sacred golden lingam – stills from BBC film

Faked 'materialization' of lingam from stomach by Sai Baba, 2004

See also:

        Sathya Sai Baba Cheating with lingam 1

        Sathya Sai Baba Baba cheating with lingam 2

        Sathya Sai Baba Cheating with lingam 3

Master Magicians Expose The Ability To Trick The Minds Of Millions

Brilliant performers like Derren Brown and Keith Barry use their professional magician skills not only to perform but also to educate their large publics against unscrupulous deceivers.

See:  

          Derren Brown Interview (1/6) – Richard Dawkins 

          Derren Brown – Miracles for Sale

Although the second program above is around 73 mins, it is a masterly presentation of a master magicians’s elaborate deception. The object is to expose masterly deceivers.

Over months, Brown intensively trains a fairly ordinary but intelligent and conscientious man, Nathan, in techniques of fake faith healing. The television documentary team’s journey reveals a huge part of American culture, much exported to other countries – comprising the corrupt so-called ‘Faith Healers’ and the millions of vulnerable, gullible citizens who, sometimes with tragic results, part with vast sums of money. Just as with Sathya Sai Baba, people die because devotees, pinning their faith in the teacher’s words, refuse to take standard, life-saving medical treatments. The victims are unaware of the roles played by manipulation of emotion, and the human mind’s trickablity. Cleverly adapted, the delusive techniques work irrespective of an individual’s sophistication or lack of it.

and: 

          Keith Barry: Brain magic

(Note:  This program of around 19 minutes is one of the many highly prestigious ‘TED Talks’ on a large range of topics vital to intelligence, imagination and creativity in the 21st century. ‘TED’ is the acronym for: Technology, Entertainment, Design, a visionary, not-for-profit organization with global outreach).

Delivering Our Minds From Deception By Self and Others 

Those who are self-honest, and ready to face up to the discomfort, will be able to see how those they once admired, and in some cases adored and even worshipped, used mind deceiving techniques by which to deceive others.

A benefit of this sort of ‘facing up to the music’, is that we begin to free our minds from their own trickability. A further benefit is that we are able to aid others to free their minds, too. It is an antidote to the flawed thinking that, somehow, by forgetting our experiences, we are ‘moving on’.

Below, I give links to some of my articles that expose Sathya Sai Baba’s decades of deception via tricks that, in many cultures, magicians/mentalists/illusionists use. 

Harry Houdini's needle trick, swallowing dozens of needles and yards of thread and then regurgitating them back up all strung together.

Harry Houdini performs needle trick.  He ingests a dozens of needles and, separately, a long thread. He regurgitates  these – BUT now the needles, in a long series, attach to the thread. 

See:

Sai Baba No Shiva. Gold From His Gut Is Regurgitator’s Trick

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 5, 2007

Centuries of Magicians Have Produced Objects By Regurgitation

Magicians have long produced objects – both precious and trivial – from out of their stomachs. A contemporary example is the British regurgitator Stevie Starr. The website:  http://www.steviestarr.com/index.php tells us that:

“He swallows live goldfish, pool balls, numbered coins, even dry sugar, and manages to bring them back up in order, on command (and in the case of the sugar, completely dry!)”

If you feel that you can control your own stomach, you can see a video clip (4.4mb) of Stevie Star at work HERE

BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 11, 2009

Film Clip of Sathya Sai Baba's magic trick

Sleight Of Hand. The Sleightness of Sathya Sai Baba (Exposing film clips)

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 10, 2009

The Ease of Learning and Performing Basic Magic Tricks

Most children and adult libraries books on the how-to of a lot of magic tricks. These show that, without much ingenuity or skill, most people can pick up a few, with a fundament being, of course, sleight-of-hand, not to mention the use of confederates (But can you always trust them?)

For the clear use of a confederate, you can see Doordarshan’s – Indian national radio and television broadcaster -  video footage showing Sathya Sai Baba’s palming of a necklace from beneath a trophy handed to him by his flunky. This film the then Indian Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, a Sathya Sai Baba devotee, quickly moved to censor:  Censored Indian National Television Film of Sai Baba Cheating

Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip)

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 8, 2009

Repeatedly, on footage of Sathya Sai Baba’s apparent miracles of the materialization type, an observer – other than one stricken with blind faith – can see the same technique that magicians use, the world over.

Sathya Sai Baba's Sleight Hand

His One Hand That Knows What The Other Is Doing (more than just slightly), But The Recipient Doesn’t

Watch Sai Baba’s right hand. It goes beneath the pile of letters (taken from the seated crowds) he holds in his left hand.  Note the swift movement as, with his right hand, he extricates the solidified material from his left. This material has yet to be crushed by the fingers of his right hand.

Quite literally, he is ‘pulling a swifty’.  Had he carried a hat instead of the letters he might have pulled a rabbit out by the ears.

If he were naturally, and without trickery, manifesting the vibhuthi (sacred ash), there would be no need for this frequent characteristic of reaching under the letters.

In short, the solid (pellet) material that is waiting to be crushed into the powder is already in his left hand.

It took many decades before Indian news reports adverse to Sathya Sai Baba and his cult could be seen.  There is the irony that non-resident Indians around the world saw the BBC documentary, The Secret Swami. (See:  Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba). Many other world leading media, too, have exposed Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult – an opportunity which the heavily gagged Indian media almost exclusively denied to their readers and viewers.  See:  Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List.  Sathya Sai Devotees Suspect Foul Play In Guru’s Health Crisis. Seek Court Order

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

 Subscribe in   NewsGator Online Subscribe   in Bloglines Add to My AOLAdd to Excite   MIX Add to   netvibes Add to The   Free Dictionary Add to netomat Hub  Add to Webwag   Subscribe in a reader

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Pedophilia: Why Do Most Of Us Protect the Jimmy Saviles Everywhere?

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 1, 2012

It is one of the biggest exposures of a revered figure for serial pedophilia. And now, after his death in October 2011, the extraordinary, Sir Jimmy Savile pedophile revelations in the UK keep on coming.

High level Government and major media investigations will spotlight situations where many in positions of authority knew of but remained silent about Savile’s serial sexual rampages.

There are now two independent enquiries. Dame Janet Smith, former High Court of Appeals judge, will head a panel to look at BBC culture and practices when Jimmy Savile worked there. Nick Pollard, former executive of Sky News, will investigate the suspicious spiking of BBC’s Newsnight exposure of Jimmy Savile, shortly before a BBC tribute to Savile was due to be aired. Pollard’s report is due in December. The Smith report is due in the Spring (UK, March to May) of 2013.

Sathya Sai Baba with Indian PM, Manmohan Singh. Many investigators – such as suppressed Indian police, journalists in major media, government officials, judiciary and those working other areas – know that Manmohan Singh, along with other Indian Prime Ministers, Presidents and powerbrokers across the Indian political spectrum, has long covered up Sathya Sai Baba’s vast, sexual abuse of boys and young men and other crimes. A former Inspector General of a major police force spoke to me of Sai Baba as a candidate for arch criminal of the 20th century. (For serious media and other investigators, I am happy to share his name).

(For more comments, see my article: Serial Pedophile Issues and Comparisons: Sir Jimmy Savile and Sathya Sai Baba. Posted by Barry Pittard on October 30, 2012). In this article, I wrote:

“Indian leaders, many of them strongly complicit across political divides in decades of cover up of the Sathya Sai Baba sex and other scandals – and already being shamed by the powerful pan Indian movement against political and corporate corruption – would do well to take five minutes of their time to look at the sort of official questioning increasingly being mounted in the UK in the Savile case”.

The Indian government Minister mentioned in the following reference, Renuka Chowdury, is a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba. Despite the report, India still lags far behind in addressing child abuse:  

“A study into child abuse in India has found that more than half the children questioned said they had been sexually abused. Researchers spoke to more than twelve thousand children. Two-thirds said they’d experienced physical abuse. India’s Minister for Child Development, Renuka Chowdury, called the findings disturbing and said it was time to end the conspiracy of silence surrounding child abuse. The extremely revealing research was commissioned by the Ministry of Women and Child Development of the Government of India and carried out by independent researchers. It is supported by Save the Children and UNICEF and is a major and authoritative and highly representative social psychological study which goes into great detail and spans the whole of India.” See the whole report at: http://www.wcd.nic.in/childabuse.pdf.

But will too much of the UK investigations focus on a few figures like Savile and a handful of criminal accomplices and another handful of officials who failed in their duty of care?

See the video clip at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20039602

In Blaming Public Institutions, Do We Fail In Our Own Civic Or Personal Duty of Care?

A few deauthorized heads rolling does relatively little to change the passive acceptance by most of us of one of the most insidious evils that stalk society. When we fail to protect the most vulnerable in our society, we are, ourselves, dangerous fools. Proper protection of my children includes the proper protection of your children. Those too blinkered to see this point unwittingly aid and abet the insidious predator cultures.

Much decorated – including by the Queen and the Pope – Sir Jimmy Savile is now subject to a vast horror file of pedophile revelations, which seem to extend for six decades. Allegations rain thick and fast that many in the entertainment industry, in the charity sector, the police, the government, and well beyond, knew of his sexual deviancy. They turned a blind eye. They shut up. And there was silencing of those who tried to investigate the corruptions. News articles – by intrepid investigators get spiked. Superiors frighten and muzzle conscientious journalists, police, social workers, nurses, and many others, who are doomed to terrible professional frustration.

The much overused expression ‘icon’ is certainly apt in Savile’s case. Millions of Britons regarded him as a great national icon. Exposed is a whole culture of institutional failure – in governments, police, the BBC, various charities, the entertainment industry, and beyond.

However, it is one thing to focus on these sectors. Yet, as those such as Robert Priddy and myself, who have long experience in exposing corruption in the highest places, have learnt, all too acutely, that in focusing only on institutions, we can fall into a grave error. Namely, that in not exposing public apathy and cowardice at large, we risk focusing on others, and not ourselves. Who is to blame? Never us. Oh no. We who so mindlessly idolize stars, and when they are, at last, exposed either refuse to believe the duplicity of our guilty as hell heroes and heroines or else join the mob in now reviling them.

But who averts eyes from the sexual abuse and other crimes about us – in our own families, workplaces, schools, colleges, universities, neighborhoods?

Who morally and in other ways fails to support whistleblowers who, at great cost to themselves, speak out?

Who fails to insist that our representatives address issues like proper support for social workers, social justice advocates, police, teachers, helpline people, and many others who daily battle to aid those who fall prey to criminal abuses of various kinds?

Who fails to spend even a few moments in signing petitions to parliamentarians on a range of justice issues, or writing Letters to the Editor, etc?

Who fails to use their social networks to tell others, and thus to support those who campaign, and face constant attacks on their integrity, because they fight so alone and so unsupported?

Who – may one ask – has children of their own and yet acts as if oblivious of the great many skilled, and increasingly well-organized, pedophiles at work everywhere? Or who, at least, is watchful in regard to their own children, and shows little or no pragmatic care for other children?

Forgetting constraints like social embarrassment, preening self-image and so on, each of us can send across our networks the following link for the British ITV1 Panorama television documentary, which has done so much to surface the testimony of women in the UK who speak of Sir Jimmy Savile’s sexual abusing them when they were very vulnerable teenagers. The interviewer is former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, who has a strong record as a police investigator in child abuse.

“Exposure – The Other Side of Jimmy Savile”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nHDZfSl36g

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Today’s news ….

New Savile allegations add to pressure on BBC

Reuters / London Nov 01, 2012, 01:06 IST

Facing questions on how suspicions about Savile were handled are BBC head George Entwistle and his predecessor Mark Thompson, new CEO of the New York Times co. Two independent inquiries and a police investigation are under way. Fresh allegations emerged on Wednesday of sexual misconduct by late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile, further damaging the corporation’s reputation and increasing pressure on its management.

Police looking into the hundreds of allegations, mostly from the 1970s and 80s, of sexual abuse involving Savile — who died last year — arrested 1970s pop star Gary Glitter earlier this week. More arrests are expected.

Savile was regularly allowed to take “star-struck” young women into private bedrooms at a hospital in northern England, Terry Pratt, a former porter there, told the BBC on Wednesday.

Savile, a fund-raiser for Leeds General Infirmary, would regularly arrive at the hospital late at night with two women, go to the nurses’ flats and leave before dawn.

“He would go up and see the lad on the desk … he’d take the key and … would walk out and the two women would follow him towards the nurses’ home,” he told the BBC. Pratt said the women seemed “star-struck” and “not very streetwise”.

The hospital said in a statement: “We continue to be shocked by each new allegation. It is important that they are investigated properly”.

The report came a day after a former royal aide said Savile’s behaviour on visits to Prince Charles’ residence, St James’ Palace, had aroused “concern and suspicion”.

Dickie Arbiter told the Guardian newspaper Savile would greet young women working at the palace by “rubbing his lips all the way up their arms”.

An ex-patient at the secure hospital Broadmoor has shed light on how difficult it was for individuals to come out against Savile at the height of his fame.

According to the tabloid Sun, the woman was put in solitary confinement for six months after telling a nurse Savile had sexually assaulted her.

The nurse accused her of “bizarre made-up thoughts”.

An inquiry into whether the BBC’s culture and practices enabled sexual misconduct to go undetected in the Savile years began this week, led by former Appeal Court judge Dame Janet Smith. She is expected to publish her findings by December.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Today’s news ….

http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_9762000/9762331.stm

Culture, Media and Sport Committee

MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee have taken evidence on the BBC’s response to the Jimmy Savile case on 23 October 2012.

The committee heard evidence from George Entwistle, director general of the BBC.

Police have launched a criminal inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse against former BBC presenter and DJ Jimmy Savile, who died in October 2011 aged 84.

They have described him as a predatory sex offender and believe he may have sexually abused many people, including young girls, over a 40-year period, sometimes on BBC premises.

Mr Entwistle has announced two inquiries regarding the sex abuse claims.

The first is looking into why a Newsnight investigation into the claims was shelved and is being led by former head of Sky News Nick Pollard. It is expected to report in December.

The second will be led by former High Court judge Dame Janet Smith and will examine the culture of the BBC during the years that Savile worked there. The results are expected in spring 2013.

On Monday, the Newsnight editor responsible for dropping the report into claims Savile sexually abused people stepped aside.

Peter Rippon’s move is for the duration of the inquiry into Newsnight’s handling of the planned report.

Earlier this month, in a blog, Mr Rippon explained the editorial reasons behind his decision to axe the report.

The BBC has now issued a correction, calling the blog “inaccurate or incomplete in some respects”.

Media videos

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Serial Pedophile Issues and Comparisons: Sir Jimmy Savile and Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 30, 2012

In the next week or so, as time allows, I shall draw a number of acute parallels between the case of the vastly exposed late British entertainment icon, Sir Jimmy Savile and of Sathya Sai Baba. Both were serial pedophiles on a huge scale.

Both committed crimes, decade after decade in their ramant, serial sexual abuse. Both relied on myriad powerful people in the highest places remaining silent.

Some say that, given their death, we should not expose evildoers such as Sathya Sai Baba and Jimmy Savile. That they cannot speak up in their own defense. This is flawed thinking. Will we not show compassion for those who still live, and have a lifetime of trauma to endure? If one has a story to tell – especially a story that has great power to educate and warn – then tell it.  

In the last few days, we hear the same cry about Savile having done so much for charity as those struggling to bring the Sathya Sai cult abuses to world attention have had to endure. Again, flawed thinking. It is for the courts to decided on whether more lenient sentences are to be administered taking into account positives to be said for an accused. Shutting up about crimes, and indeed suspected crimes, allows crime to go rampant. And in the elements in which it revels – Silence. Secrecy. The Savile family statement (Savile himself remained single) is surely touching: 

“We recognise that even our own despair and sadness does not compare to that felt by the victims … How could the person we thought we knew and loved do such a thing? … Our thoughts and our prayers are with those who have suffered from every kind of abuse over so many years and we offer our deepest sympathy in what must have been a terrible time for all of them … We can understand their reluctance to say anything earlier and can appreciate the courage it has taken to speak out”.

It is tragic that decades pass before the truth emerges

Sir Jimmy Savile. De-iconised late British Entertainer. Hundreds of suppressed revelations now emerge, showing Savile, like Sathya Sai Baba, as a serial pedophile on a huge scale, and, again like him, protected by powerful establishment figures and institutions

If Indian authorities were up to it – which I seriously doubt – it has a great deal to learn from Savile’s serial pedophile’s huge exposure in recent days. India needs to see how, even decades later, covered up scandals can, in the last upshot, do massive damage to those public and private institutions and people complicit in cover up.

The Savile exposure is big news  – with many powerful figures under the spotlight, and many scurrying for cover. As part of the fall-out, arrests seem likely, and the 70′s pop star Garry Glitter, a friend of Savile, has just been arrested.

Indian PM Manmohan Singh at Sathya Sai Baba’s funeral on April 24, 2011. Singh and a succession of Indian Presidents and Prime Ministers were complicit in covering up the Sathya Sai Baba sex and other scandals.

 

Decades ago, Tal Brook’s book ‘Avatar of Night’ blew the whistle on Sathya Sai Baba. Like each of those – without exception – who have spoken publicly about the profoundly covered up Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuses of boys and young men from many countries, and other crimes and spiritual betrayals,Tal Brooke was viciously defamed, libeled and execrated by countless Sathya Sai devotees. It can take decades to expose those who cry Truth, Truth, Love, Love, and who are the first to depart from it.

Lesson For Indian Leaders Who Covered Up Sai Baba Sex and Other Scandals For Decades

Indian leaders, many of them strongly complicit across political divides in decades of cover up of the Sathya Sai Baba sex and other scandals – and already being shamed by the powerful pan Indian movement against political and corporate corruption – would do well to take five minutes of their time to look at the sort of official questioning increasingly being mounted in the UK in the Savile case.

See the video clip at:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20039602

Jimmy Savile: BBC’s George Entwistle appears before MPs

Key Points

BBC director general George Entwistle appears before MPs on the Commons culture committee, where he is questioned about the Jimmy Savile affair 

TV presenter Jimmy Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84, is accused of sexually abusing young people over a four-decade period – sometimes on BBC premises. The BBC has announced inquiries into why a Newsnight investigation into Savile was dropped and another into whether the corporation’s culture allowed sexual abuse to take place

 —————————-

 Lord Patten defends BBC as Jimmy Savile scandal grows

Chairman speaks out amid criticism of director general George Entwistle’s testimony before MPs

BBC director general George Entwistle is met with protests after appearing before MPs to answer questions on the Jimmy Savile scandal. Photograph: Olivia Harris/Reuters

BBC Director General George Entwistle. Amid public and political outcry, Entwisle may be forced to resign. Police and institutional investigations proceed. Charities Sir Jimmy Savile supported suffer disarray

…………. Entwistle was repeatedly unable to give precise figures about the number of allegations of assault, harassment or inappropriate conduct that had been reported to the BBC, and his two-hour testimony prompted further questions about the involvement of the BBC’s head of news in Newsnight’s aborted investigation into Savile last year.

But with the political temperature rising as the Savile crisis moves into its fourth week, Patten wrote back to warn Miller off criticising Entwistle. “I know that you will not want to give any impression that you are questioning the independence of the BBC,” the peer said. He added that the trust would keep her in touch with developments as two inquiries into the Savile scandal completed their work over the coming months.

Earlier, Entwistle told MPs that Helen Boaden, the BBC’s head of news, had been made aware of the aborted Newsnight investigation into Savile last November and told Peter Rippon, the editor of the BBC2 programme, that just because Savile had recently died it “didn’t mean skimping on the usual journalistic standards”.

Journalists on Newsnight at the time said they believed that conversation happened on 28 or 29 November last year – just before Rippon suddenly cooled on the idea of the investigation into Savile that they had been working on in the aftermath of his death – and that it amounted to an invitation to the Newsnight editor to drop the investigation.

A spokesman for Boaden confirmed she had made that remark on or around those dates, but otherwise said that the circumstances around the axing of the film would be examined in the review led by the former head of Sky News, Nick Pollard  ….. (Click on title for the full report)

 —————————-

 Excerpts from the Wikipedia entry on:  Sir Jimmy Savile 

(See also the Wiki entry):  Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal

Sir James Wilson Vincent SavileOBEKCSG (31 October 1926 – 29 October 2011) was an English disc jockey, television presenter, media personality and charity fundraiser. He hosted the BBC television showJim’ll Fix It, was the first and last presenter of the long-running BBC music chart show Top of the Pops, and raised an estimated £40 million for charities.[2] After his death, allegations of child sex abuse and rape numbering in the hundreds became public, leading the police to state their belief that Savile was one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.[3][4][5][6] ……….

In October 2012, almost a year after his death, an ITVdocumentary examining claims of sexual abuse against Savile[9] led to broad media coverage and a substantial and rapidly growing body of witness statements and sexual abuse claims, including accusations againstpublic bodies for covering up or failure of duty. Scotland Yard launched a criminal investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by Savile over six decades,[5]describing him as a “predatory sex offender”, and later stated that they were pursuing over 400 lines of inquiry based on the testimony of 300 potential victims via fourteen police forces across the UK.[10][11] By late October 2012, the scandal had resulted in inquiries or reviews at the BBC, within the National Health Service, the Crown Prosecution Service, and theDepartment of Health.[10][12][13]

Honours

Aftermath

Within a month of the child abuse scandal breaking, many places and organizations named after or connected to Savile were renamed or removed. A memorial plaque on the wall of Savile’s former home in Scarborough was removed in early October 2012 after it was defaced with graffiti,[104] and a wooden statue of Savile at Scotstoun Leisure Centre in Glasgow was removed around the same time.[105] A sign on a footpath in Scarborough bearing Savile’s surname was removed.[106] Savile’s Hall, the conference centre at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, was renamed New Dock Hall.[107] Two registered charities founded in his name announced they were too closely tied to it and to avoid harming the causes they supported would close and distribute their funds to other charities, to avoid harm to beneficiaries from future media attention.[108]

On 9 October 2012, after a police press conference,[109] relatives stated that the headstone of Savile’s grave would be removed, destroyed and sent to landfill.[110][111] The family expressed their sorrow for the “anguish” of the victims and “respect [for] public opinion”, and in a statement by a nephew said that:

“We recognise that even our own despair and sadness does not compare to that felt by the victims … How could the person we thought we knew and loved do such a thing? … Our thoughts and our prayers are with those who have suffered from every kind of abuse over so many years and we offer our deepest sympathy in what must have been a terrible time for all of them … We can understand their reluctance to say anything earlier and can appreciate the courage it has taken to speak out”.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

 Subscribe in   NewsGator Online Subscribe   in Bloglines Add to My AOLAdd to Excite   MIX Add to   netvibes Add to The   Free Dictionary Add to netomat Hub  Add to Webwag   Subscribe in a reader

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Purported Early Sathya Sai Baba Document. Sai Trust In Dispute With Late Sai Baba’s Close Aide, Satyajit

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 14, 2012

A few media in India report what the Deccan Chronicle calls a “flutter”.  It reports:

“… The document emerged in public recently when Satyajit, a close aide of Sai Baba, reportedly gave it to Sri Satya Sai Central Trust during a board meeting of the trustees. A letter to this effect was marked to office-bearers of Sri Satya Sai Institutions and Organisations and the Baba’s devotees, it is learnt”.

Satyajit. Sai Baba’s very intimate favourite. Deeply involved in power struggles with the Sathya Sai Central Trust. Subject of intense police and state government questioning about the vast treasure horde hidden in Sai Baba’s private quarters.  See my article, and key links:  Reports of Sathya Sai Central Trust Van Laden With Treasure Seized By Andhra State Police

See Indian media reports below.  Further in the article, I preface these with some points an Indian correspondent of ours raises. 

A flutter?

Open a musty old cupboard and – behold – a flutter of moths. There is not much for them to feast on, but they survive a day or so.  Thus it is with Sathya Sai Baba news these days.  I doubt that the Sathya Sai Organisation will worry much about a few moths.  

(When we have processed and are ready to reveal new evidence concerning the murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom, there may be something more than flutters when we go internationally public soon about a matter the Sathya Sai Central Trust has managed to suppress for years. Fortunately, the evidence is now safely outside India, free from the vast network of corrupt government, police and jurisprudential practice that for decades kept Sathya Sai Baba and some of his servitors out of gaol).

For decades, Sathya Sai Baba and many of his keynote speakers have gravely exaggerated his importance in countries beyond India. Few international media mentioned his death, and a few briefly referred to it. Most media that reported it, such as the Times of London, The Telegraph, etc., did so just as they would treat other news from around the world.

Those who have long traveled extensively in India, know perfectly well that, though Sathya Sai Baba can rightly be regarded as famous there, he was always far less nationally noteworthy than many other famous Indians. Through the years, a great many Indians have frowned upon him. Though many approve of social work done in his name, they gravely disapprove of the costly pomp and circumstance, and of the focus on miracles, whether these might be real, imagined or faked.  See:  BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle.

A Few More Flutters, and Few More Than Flutters

It is an irony that much of Sai Baba’s  international note was, in fact, notoriety.  For many years, behind-the-scenes influence of his devotees among the power elites was so great that almost all Indian media suppressed news unfavorable to him. Shamefully to India, major responsible investigative media outside India, such as the BBC, CBC, DR, SBS, ABC, The Times, The Telgraph, The Guardian, and others, exposed him. This activity owed mostly to the work of internationally organized former devotees, of whom many had been his deeply dedicated devotees for many years.

Few visitors over the years escaped the Puttaparthi hype. Sai Baba and his servitors long made patent and absurd claims:  e.g., supposed uniqueness of the social work, the volume of crowd numbers, the international composition of a cricket match, that Sai Baba was on the list of Nobel Prize candidates,  and much more, For a well-documented but tip-of-the-iceberg sample, see:

The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements

Brian Steel Exposes Sathya Sai Baba On Glaring Historical Mistakes

Sathya Sai Baba Made Huge Science and History Mistakes

‘The Conflicting Reports and Propaganda About Sathya Sai Baba’s Followers and Visitor Numbers’ 

Sick and Ailing Sathya Sai Baba 85. His Promises to Look Young Have Failed

Golden Throne of India’s Sathya Sai Baba. He says he will Rule the world soon

Sathya Sai Baba Failed To Face India’s Endemic Corruption. Or Support Key Agencies of Real Change

Sai Baba’s failed predictions, doubtful birth date, doubtful age, doubtful death

Cognitive dissonance, one of the most studied phenomena in psychology, works wonders in keeping the devotees’ faith alive.  It is the quickly buried lie that one tells to oneself to go on believing what one prefers to believe.

Sai Baba himself and many of his keynote speakers have endlessly extolled the  works done in his name as the greatest of all time. It is as though countless other great humanitarian works have scarcely existed.  The boastful Muhammad Ali told the world that he was the greatest. But then he was. Someone has to be right sometime.

The Purported Early Sathya Sai Baba Document. Some Questions 

Of the current dispute about the Sai Baba document reported in the Indian media, one of our Indian informants writes:

This is bizarre and raises several issues . Here are a few questions that come to my mind.

1. If Sai Baba had indeed registered a declaration in 1967, to be treated as a “will” and if Satyajit had it from 1998, and if indeed Indulal Shah had been a witness and known about it for 44 years from 1967, why did Indulal Shah, Satyajit and the Sathya Sai Central Trust completely deny it after Sai Baba’s death and hide all facts about it?

2. When controversy broke out between Sai Baba’s family and the Trust, and when the Government was planning to take over the Sai Central Trust, why didn’t the Sai Trust lawyers make it public?

3. If Sai Baba had indeed filed such a declaration legally, how come SB himself didn’t make it public or part of the SB trust charter all these years till his death?

4. According to Sai Baba’s own legally sworn statement, he was 44 years old in March 1967…this would mean he claims to be born in 1922/1923. If so, he would have been duping his followers by saying he was born in 1926. 

5. If he was 44 in 1967, and claims he left his family when he was 12, does it mean he left his family in 1935? That would mean that he claims to have left  then… but this does not fit with known facts.

6. Sai Baba claimed that he “left his family”…but dont we all know he family didn’t leave him …his parents, sisters, brother, nieces, nephews, all of them stayed with him at the expense of the Trust, were allotted houses, cars and given positions in the Trust, ashram etc. Jankiramiah, his younger brother who Sai Baba made a member of his Central Trust.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Deccan Chronicle

Thursday, Sep 13, 2012 Last Update: 11:43 AM IST

A 1967 document, purportedly made and signed by Sri Satya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, renouncing worldly pleasures, has created a flutter.

The document emerged in public recently when Satyajit, a close aide of Sai Baba, reportedly gave it to Sri Satya Sai Central Trust during a board meeting of the trustees. A letter to this effect was marked to office-bearers of Sri Satya Sai Institutions and Organisations and the Baba’s devotees, it is learnt.

The document, prepared on a Maharashtra stamp paper of Rs 3.50, dated March 23, 1967, and purportedly signed by Sai Baba, declares that he has dedicated his life for Sanathana Dharma, that he has ‘relinquished’ all title and interest in family property, ‘moveable and/or immovable’, and that he has ‘no intention to revert’.

A relative of Sai Baba said on condition of anonymity that he possesses a scanned copy of the document. “The document might be true but irrelevant now,” the relative said over phone from Puttaparti.

“I really don’t know the reason why it was leaked, it’s a mischief. Swami spoke about these things in one of his speeches, but certain facets of the document were suspicious. When every document was prepared on stamp paper bought in AP, why a Maharashtra stamp paper was used (for this document)?” he asked.

Though bought on July 8, 1965, the stamp paper was used two years later.

Satyajit could not be reached for his reaction. The document has now been brought to the notice of Indulal Shah, a trustee, with a request to attest it.

————————-

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

45-year-old document adds new twist to Satya Sai Baba’s empire

SRINIVASA RAO   |   MAIL TODAY  |   HYDERABAD, SEPTEMBER 3, 2012 | UPDATED 23:07

Nearly 18 months after the demise of world-renowned godman Satya Sai Baba, a 45-year old document in which he claimed no personal right on the multi-crore spiritual empire built by him, has surfaced triggering a major controversy in Prashanti Nilayam, the abode of Sai Baba at Puttaparthi in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.

The document, e-mailed to the media by Sai Baba’s personal attendant Satyajit late on Sunday evening, exposes the internal wrangling in the Satya Sai Central Trust which manages the affairs of Prashanti Nilayam. There have been reports from Puttaparthi for quite some that Sai Baba’s nephew R.J. Ratnakar Raju (son of Baba’s younger brother R Janakiramaiah) is trying to gain control over the trust, whose movable and immovable properties worth thousands of crores, which led to a conflict between him and the other trust members.

Ratnakar told the media on Monday that he was not aware of the existence of any such “document of declaration” all these days. “You should ask Satyajit as to why he has not disclosed the document since the demise of Bhagwan Sai Baba in April, 2011. In any case, I don’t think there is any significance to this document, which had not been registered anywhere. However, we are forced to believe the document because it was signed by Bhagwan himself,” Ratnakar said.

The document, which Satyajit claimed as an original “document of declaration”, was made on a stamp paper in Bombay and signed by Satya Sai and attested by Indu Lal Shah, noted chartered accountant from Mumbai, who is still the member of Satya Sai Central Trust and a sole surviving witness to the original document.

According to the document, a copy of which is available with Mail Today, Sai Baba declared that he had given up studies to spread Sanatana Dharma. “I am unmarried and left my parents at the age of 12 and have taken up religious order with saffron dress and I have no worldly/or family attachments. I declare that I left parents permanently and adopted holy order with no intention to revert back,” he said.

Sai Baba further said he had relinquished all his right and interest in family property, movable or immovable, whatsoever and wherever they may be, and he did not not own and possess personal property or wealth or estate. “Whatever is given to me is under my management, supervision and control as a trustee to be used for public charitable purposes. This declaration I am making so that nobody can claim, under or through me, in the family properties if any,” he said in the declaration.

Satyajit, who was Sai Baba’s caregiver till the latter’s demise, said he had come to know of the document for the first time in 1998, when Sai Baba had appointed many of his trustees and was directly guiding the procedures and updating the finance and accounts records. 

“When we brought to his notice this document of declaration signed by him and sought his instructions as to what to do with it, he told me not to bring it to the office and keep it safely since it will be useful. And it kept it in safe custody as per his divine instructions,” Satyajit said.

After Sai Baba died and was buried, Satyajit said, he wanted to bring this document to light. As part of that he had to get it attested by Indulal Shah, who was the sole surviving witness.

“On November 21, 2011, we called a notary to Prashanti Nilayam and got the document attested by Indulal Shah in the presence of two witnesses, Dr Naren Ramji, registrar of Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning and Sanjay Sahani, Director of Brindavan campus of the same institute. The document was tabled at the trust board meeting on July 1, 2012 and brought up for discussion,” Satyajit said.

However, Satyajit did not explain as to why he waited till November 2011 to disclose the document, though Sai Baba died in April 2011 and why he had taken time till July, 2012 to table it in the trust board meeting.

Inquiries revealed that for the last one year, there has been a cold war between Ratnakar and other members of the Satya Sai Central Trust over the management of trust properties and there were allegations that Ratnakar staked claim on lands and other properties owned by the trust and that he had encouraged real estate activity in and around Puttaparthi. And that forced Satyajit to disclose the document now, sources said.

As long as Baba was alive, the organisation’s functioning and composition had always been shrouded in a veil of secrecy. There are no official records on the extent of Sai Baba’s wealth, as the Sri Satya Sai Central Trust, the umbrella organization of Baba’s various charitable trusts, never makes it public about the flow of funds into the trust or its expenditure details. 

The media has no access to the trust affairs and nobody really knows who the members are in the trust and whether any changes are made at any point of time. A local devotee recalled that Baba himself had once revealed the Trust owned immovable property including land in and around Puttaparthi to the tune of Rs.4,000 to Rs.5,000 crore. 

However, it is believed that the Trust’s holdings could be worth more than Rs.1 lakh crore if their assets in various countries are also taken into account. 

While Satya Sai Baba is still being continued as the chairman of the trust even after his death, the other members of the trust include: Justice P N Bhagawati, former Supreme Court chief justice; Indulal Shah, chartered accountant, Mumbai; S V Giri, former Central Vigilance Commissioner; V Srinivasan, industrialist from Chennai and R J Ratnakar, Baba’s nephew. Besides, there is a Council of Management for the Trust, comprising K Chakravarthi, retired IAS officer, S S Naganand, eminent lawyer from Bangalore, J V Shetty, former chairman of Canara Bank and T K Bhagawati, former chairman of Indian Overseas Bank.

While Bhagwati could not be reached for his comment on the latest document as he had gone abroad, Ratnakar said the trust would run as usual and would sincerely follow the rules framed by Sai Baba. “We don’t have any personal interest on the properties owned by the trust,” he said.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

 Subscribe in   NewsGator Online Subscribe   in Bloglines Add to My AOLAdd to Excite   MIX Add to   netvibes Add to The   Free Dictionary Add to netomat Hub  Add to Webwag   Subscribe in a reader

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Staff Sex and Bullying Allegations At Sathya Sai School Leicester (UK)

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 4, 2012

As I have mentioned, we learn that several parents of children at the  Sathya Sai School in Leicester, England, are deeply troubled.  

See my article: Will Authorities Find Sex Abuse and Staff Bullying At ‘Sathya Sai School’, Leicester, UK? Posted by Barry Pittard on September 1, 2012.

(Note:  I may be contacted with assured confidentiality at:  bpittard (at) westnet.com.au)

Allegedly, a Physical Education teacher, Cheng Ho Lim, sexually harassed a female teacher.  

Allegedly, too, his wife (the school Principal), Usha Lim, has bullied and physically punished children at the school. This in a manner that genuinely democratic countries no longer tolerate. Properly qualified teachers and education researchers know that there are humane and enlightened methods. If any such allegations are correct, British authorities need to investigate, which they are trained to do, keeping in mind the safety and well-being of children.

At its website, the Sathya Sai School states:

“… the school aims to use positive techniques to enhance behaviour, encouraging early intervention, re-direction of children and a positive reinforcement of good behaviour … The School is committed to learning and self-improvement. It has all its efforts and energies focussed on the child’s spiritual, moral, physical, cultural and academic development. We ensure that the physical environment is pleasant, safe, secure and well-resourced …”

It is important that parents be informed of their civil rights, responsibilities, and of such issues as the duty of care of those in charge of children. No one must be allowed to browbeat, sweet-talk or in any way side-track them. For example, officials of the Sathya Sai Organization, such as  Dr. Michael Goldstein, world head of the Sai organization, Dr Madhavi Majmudar, the chair of school directors, and others involved in handling issues, such as Kalyan Ray. 

Not even the most respected media and scholarly researchers can obtain straight answers from those at the top of the highly cultic international Sathya Sai Organization. For decades, Sathya Sai Organization leaders have profoundly and shamefully failed to show duty of care, worldwide, to parents of Sai Baba’s sexual and other types of abuse. In some cases, men much older – like Mark Roche, now a psychotherapist, and Al Rahm, a building contractor and formerly one of the foremost leaders in the Sathya Sai Organization – have spoken to the BBC about Sai Baba sexually abusing them when they were young. I was privy to the great anguish and courage which led up to their decision to go public.

At the highest level, the Sathya Sai cult have a long track record of rather Soviet-style intervention and cover up of scandals.

If there is cover up of crimes and unprofessional behavior, citizens must act. In democratic jurisdictions throughout the world, there are strict laws about mandatory reporting in professions of suspected child abuse.

The BBC and other world leading investigative media have trenchantly shown that the international Sathya Sai Organization has, all along, shown an extraordinary lack of accountability and transparency.  As those who study them come to expect, such authoritarian sects often act as a law unto themselves. Especially is this so in the case of those sects which, like the Sai Baba cult, posit that the divine guides them and that civil sanctions can, where escapable, be ignored.

Millions in many countries saw Dr Michael Goldstein, of Covena, California, USA, Sathya Sai Organization world head, caught by hidden camera in ‘The Secret Swami’, angrily bullying the perfectly proper young female BBC interviewer Tanya Datta. In polite fashion, she asked questions any investigative journalist is mandated to ask. The sanction to use hidden camera – a tool  the BBC uses most sparingly, and in cases where there is gross evasion from fair and reasonable public scrutiny – came from the top BBC management, including the legal department.

 

 

Correspondents who are well-placed to observe, report the Leicester Sathya Sai School Principal’s involvement, along with national and world Sathya Sai Organization officials, in a cover up.  In my 1 September post, I wrote:

…. A most recent example are the troubles afflicting the cult’s ‘Sai School’ at Leicester, England. Worried parents have called in British social workers to investigate. My colleague Robert Priddy wrote of alleged troubles and scandals at the school in 2009. His August 2012 update – given developments that may prove much harder for the Sathya Sai cult to suppress – he posted recently. See:  Sathya Sai Schools: Leicester, Puttaparthi, Gothenburg etc. up-dated.  Posted by robertpriddy on July 20, 2012.

Among the difficulties the Leicester community faces (where many people of Indian birth or extraction live) is that discussion about child abuse is profoundly taboo among a great many Indians. Nonetheless, they live in a far more democratic society than India, and need, like anyone else in the community at large, to become conscious of, and to obey, British laws. Unless we protect children, how can any of us say that we truly love and responsibly care for them?

Any observer of international trends in the last decade or more in the exposure of child abuse will note one feature above all: That in the most developed democratic countries, it has taken the most enormous struggle, first:

-  to expose endemic physical and sexual child abuse; second:

-  to enable effective community-wide education; and third:

-  to enshrine strong state and national legislation that integrate social worker, police, and court action at all levels, such as home, school, workplace, institutions …..

Vast efforts have brought much action (though seldom near enough) to protect people of all ages and social backgrounds from physical and sexual abuse. India and other countries lag far behind. Yet India now strives, along with China, for superpower status. Rather like an emotionally immature person inside a big, lumbering body. Her atomic projects, armed services, finance and industry, etc., forge ahead, while her voices of conscience, like those engaged in the current peaceful mass movement against India’s government and corporate corruption, go largely unheeded. The reference to child protection in the Indian Constitution is, tragically, ignored. For an overview and further sources across time in India (before circa 2008), see the UNESCO document:  The History of Child Rights in India, By Jyoti Rao

I have written of some courageous counter-trends within India. See:

Child Abuse Rife In India. But Who Would Speak Out?

Child Abuse. Landmark Indian Government Study. Abuse of Indian children ‘common’’

Child Abuse in India. Will Minister Renuka Chowdhury Act?

In a couple of days or so, I wish to comment on an email which I have just received from someone who has had deep involvement in the Sathya Sai Organization in the UK.

————————————————-

Brief Notes and Links on the Origins of the Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Cult

David and Faye Bailey. Authors of 'The Findings'. An historic and lengthy indictment of Sathya Sai Baba, by two former and very close disciplesDavid Bailey (UK), at one time Sai Baba’s leading western follower and envoy, and his wife Faye Bailey, as they traveled to Sai centers round the world at Sai Baba’s command, increasingly had deeply distressed parents and others coming up with appalling accounts of Sai Baba sexually abusing boys and young men.  David, like myself, was a lecturer in Sathya Sai Baba’s education wing. Faye had been a prominent leader in the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia, after which Sai Baba unexpectedly chose them as husband and wife.  Smitten with terrible pains of conscience, they resigned and wrote a seminal document in the history of our former devotee movement of exposure – The Findings. Eventually, worn down by all their intense and prolonged efforts to inform the world, they told like Hari Sampath, Glen Meloy and myself that they now wished to live in peace and quiet.  See: David Bailey’s ‘The Findings’ its consequences. Posted by robertpriddy on September 19, 2008.  David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses.  Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba

See the link below for my tribute to my magnificent closest collaborator in the Exposure, the late Glen Meloy. In his 24 years of dedicated service alongside legendary figures in the Sathya Sai movement, Sai devotees dearly loved Glen.  Like others who stood forth for truth and goodness (a phrase very deep and dear to Glen), he suffered the utmost lack of love and honor from the moment he attempted to get the leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization to show duty of care for the many families round the world whose children had been abused.  See:  Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam.

Hari Sampath was formerly a member of Sathya Sai Baba’s security and intelligence wing and Glen Meloy (q.v) showed from circ early 1999 strong leadership in international coordination efforts. Hari Sampath was at that time on a Green Card in the USA, working in software engineering for a major corporation. After a couple of years of intensive involvement, he returned to India, and embarked on other work. Glen  Meloy and I increasingly developed our own worldwide network and were involved in many activities, such as supporting survivors and their families and friends, documenting accounts, cooperating with those who were setting up websites (blogsites were a development quite far-off), dealing with the media, government and police instrumentalities, and civic and religious institutions. 

Until he died of cancer on January 1, 2005, Glen Meloy and I continued to coordinate worldwide exposure activities.  By this time, Robert Priddy, the former long-time head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Sweden, and retired academic of the University of Oslo, co-founder had done much investigative and documentary work, often independently.

V.K. Narasimhan and Robert Priddy. The former was the Editor of ‘Sanathana Sarathi’, following Professor N. Kasturi, and one of the few people around Sai Baba who did not toady to him. Both Priddy and I (he for much longer than I) had a trusted friendship with ‘VKN’, essentially a very private man, and one of India’s foremost and most courageous newspaper editors.

After Glen Meloy’s deathRobert Priddy and I became likewise close and trusted collaborators, and have remained so.  See:  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 6.

After speaking out, including to Sathya Sai Baba, and spending a great deal of time in researching abuse accounts at first hand, including those he gathered in private from Sai Baba’s students, Terry Gallagher gave up. His brother-in-law, Neville Fredericks, is the present head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia.

Neville Fredericks (right), head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization. Nationally and internationally, its top leaders assiduously cultivate power elites in politics, mainstream religion and civic groups, but many of these, as a result of our own former devotee and allied network activity, will have nothing to do with the cult. As the Sai leaders – to their great chagrin – know only too well. Fredericks is a brother-in-law of first Australian SS Org. Head, Terry Gallagher, who resigned after carefully investigating at first hand sexual and other abuse claims against Sathya Sai Baba. Gallagher showed what other leaders have grossly failed to show – conscience and preparedness to heed some of the great many accounts of sexual and other forms of abuse.

On the phone, Terry told me that he felt that he had done what he could to investigate the coverup surrounding the murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom on 6 April 1993 and many cases of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of boys and young men. He said that his  stance in resigning headship of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia brought strain on his relationship with his wife and brother-in-law, and that he was at last getting back on a better footing with them.

I see things differently. To me, crimes are crimes, and they need proper reporting and prosecution – and whatever recompense we can obtain for survivors – such as expert counseling.  See:  Sathya Sai Organization, Australia, Ex-Head Terry Gallagher’s Testimony Against Sathya Sai Baba

Selection of Articulate Voices Who Have Dissented – At Great Cost, But Great Reward Of Conscience

A Letter From Shirley Pike, Ex-President , North Central Region – Iowa, U.S.A.

Elena Hartgering – My Story

Experiences of a woman – Åsa Samsioe from Sweden 

Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia

The Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba

New Zealand Lawyer Exposes Official Cover Up of Killings In Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom

Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults

Letter from Stephen Carthew 

(Late) Ron and Peggy Laing: Deeply Alienated From Sathya Sai Organization

The Sathya Sai Organization: Almost overnight, dissenters treated as demons!

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba
Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide OrganizationThere is a Spanish version available: PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL
  Subscribe in   NewsGator Online Subscribe   in Bloglines Add to My AOLAdd to Excite   MIX Add to   netvibes Add to The   Free Dictionary Add to netomat Hub  Add to Webwag   Subscribe in a reader

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Will Authorities Find Sex Abuse and Staff Bullying At ‘Sathya Sai School’, Leicester, UK?

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 1, 2012

A great many responsible schools, businesses and other organizations know – and follow – the well-tested and proper processes necessary to deal with report of crimes such as sexual and physical abuse. Not so, however, the highly secretive, cultic International Sathya Sai Organization.  See:  Barry Pittard – On Institutional Cover Ups and Psychological Denial. September 5, 2011.

(Note:  I may be contacted with assured confidentiality at:  bpittard (at) westnet.com.au)

A most recent example are the troubles afflicting the cult’s ‘Sai School’ at Leicester, England. Worried parents have called in British social workers to investigate. My colleague Robert Priddy wrote of alleged troubles and scandals at the school in 2009. His August 2012 update – given developments that may prove much harder for the Sathya Sai cult to suppress – he posted recently. See:  Sathya Sai Schools: Leicester, Puttaparthi, Gothenburg etc. up-dated.  Posted by robertpriddy on July 20, 2012

‘Sai School’, Leicester,UK. Yet another Sathya Sai cult institution facing sexual and physical abuse allegations

We have very trustworthy, on-the-ground informants in the UK.

A first-hand informant states:  

“Parents who had the courage to complain (about) the headteacher to the social services are now in a vulnerable position to face the bullying headteacher Usha Lim.”

Touchingly – including struggles with English expression – one correspondent writes:

“The headteacher Usha Lim has reported couple of parents to the police, so things are getting a bit touchy here …. The drama unfolds  even after all the complaints against headteacher Usha Lim and reporting her to the social services by the parents.  She is still there, thanks to Dr. Michael Goldstein who is the ‘godfather’ supported by Kalyan Ray, while the chair of school directors Dr Madhavi Majmudar and her stooges just obeys their masters”.  

A source reports that:  

“The headteacher is accused of bullying, emotional abuse, physical punishment of children. Parents complained to the social services who conducted an inquiry which proved true. Even sexual abuse is heard of. The top officials at Puttaparthy etc. are busy protecting their names and the headteacher’s”. 

And further:  

“Dr Michael Goldstein and Kalyan Ray along with Dr Madhavi Majmudar (chair of school directors) are doing their best to hide this news from the rest of the world”.  

World head of Sathya Sai cult, Dr Michael Goldstein, of California, USA. Caught by hidden camera in rage at the young female BBC interviewer, Tanya Datta, in ‘The Secret Swami’, 2004, seen by millions in many countries.

For information-dense articles about Goldstein, which have valuable recondite links, see Robert Priddy’s article:  Dr. Michael Goldstein; self-important fantasist, deceiver of self and others. For but one of many examples of Goldstein’s blinkered views – of the sort highly disagreeable to clear-thinking members of any society – see my:  Sai Baba Saved Devotees From 9/11 Says Dr Michael Goldstein

Allegations At A Glance

Headteacher:  Usha Lim. Wife of another accused Cheng Ho Lim.

Accusations:  That she emotionally abuses and physically punishes students.  Also faces questions from parents and social service investigators on the issue of covering up sexual and other abuses.

Usha Lim, principal of the Sathya Sai School in Leicester, UK. Faces allegations that she has bullied, emotionally abused and physically punished children at school.

Cheng Ho Lim:  Husband of Usha Lim, above. He is a Physical Education teacher at the same school.

Accusation:  A female staff member alleges that Lim has sexually harassed her.

Cheng Ho Lim. Physical Education teacher at the Leicester Sathya Sai School, UK. Husband of the school principal, Usha Lim. Faces allegations of sexual harassment of a female teacher at the school.

Parent Allegations Against Top Sathya Sai Organisation Leaders In Attempts At Cover Up In The Leicester Case

Note on Dr Michael Goldstein:

Parents at the Leicester Sai School are deeply concerned that Goldstein and the Puttaparthi authorities now, in an urgent attempt to cover up the allegations, intimidate people and, in other cases, mollify and co-opt.

Irrespective of the exceptionally qualified and experienced sexual abuse professionals around the world (and many, many! others from a great array of professions, trades and study areas) who have first-hand experience of survivors of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of boys and young men, Goldstein told the BBC that he is a  “consummate professional” and would recognize sexual abuse among boys and young men if it had occurred. Goldstein most audaciously trespasses on the professional preserve of others. He is NOT a sexual abuse professional!  See:  The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision.

In fact, the BBC, which spent months of exhaustive investigation, unearthed yet more compelling cases even than the many which we had painstakingly, and from many countries, documented from 1999. (See here for transcript and short BBC video clip).

The Sai Cult’s Decades of Soviet Style Lack of Accountability and Transparency

Despite great changes worldwide in institutional accountability, transparency and compliance with the law, the International Sathya Sai Organization plunges on in its crass attempts at covering up each new outbreak of sexual and other abuses in its institutions. This profound irresponsibility is but one of many evidences that it is an authoritarian cult, impervious to reform. It has learnt nothing from our many years of unrelenting exposure of the cult. Our good standing in our professions, trades has been well-established with many great media, the United Nations, and in our own communities. Our efforts have sparked investigations in leading responsible media in many countries. We have made proper representations to many national governments and institutions throughout the world.

More than a decade of exposure effort has taken untold sacrifices in health and in activities which our workers would far rather have been doing. It has also attracted almost unimaginable libel and defamation and, in some cases, threats to life against our people. Our key workers have never given in, and are not likely to. We can all attest, as can many leading journalists and others worldwide that, although many Sathya devotees are kind and decent people, Sai Baba’s key servitors are most certainly  bullies and cover up merchants of the first order.

For example, the top-level UNESCO investigation and its September 2000 Media Advisory. See:  BBC Exposed Sai Baba Top Aide’s And Indian Foreign Minister’s Ploy With UNESCOPosted by Barry Pittard on April 28, 2011

With the personal assistance of the then Indian foreign minister, the Deputy world chairman of the international Sathya Sai Organization, Dr G. Venkataraman, who is the director of the Sathya Sai international satellite radio station, made a concerted attempt to undo the successful representation to UNESCO of former devotees around the world.  For a further glimpse at Venkataraman, see: Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman.

The BBC assistant producer of ‘The Secret Swami’, David Saville, was able to expose the Puttaparthi-Indian Foreign Minister-UNESCO Director and Assistant Director nexus to undermine the opportunity for a venue for former Sai Baba devotees from many countries.

——————————

  UNESCO MEDIA ADVISORY

“UNESCO’s withdrawal was prompted by several factors. Certain decisions were taken by the ISSE without consultation, such as plans to hold some of the sessions at the Ashram of the Sathya Sai movement in Puttaparthi, and the inclusion of some speakers in the conference programme without their previous consent. Furthermore, the Organization is deeply concerned about widely-reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been levelled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba. Whilst it is not for UNESCO to pronounce itself in this regard, the Organization restates its firm moral and practical commitment to combating the sexual exploitation of children, in application of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires States to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and violence”.

UNESCO WITHDRAWS FROM CONFERENCE

Paris, September 15 – UNESCO has decided it will no longer sponsor nor take part in a conference it had been due to co-organize with the Institute of Sathya Sai Education (ISSE, Thailand) and The Flinders University Institute of International Education (Australia), in Puttaparthi, India, from September 25 to 29. The decision means UNESCO is no longer associated in any way – through sponsorship, organization or participation of any kind – with the conference on Strengthening Values Education: Innovative Approaches to Teacher Education for Peace and International Understanding.

UNESCO’s withdrawal was prompted by several factors. Certain decisions were taken by the ISSE without consultation, such as plans to hold some of the sessions at the Ashram of the Sathya Sai movement in Puttaparthi, and the inclusion of some speakers in the conference programme without their previous consent. Furthermore, the Organization is deeply concerned about widely-reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been levelled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba. Whilst it is not for UNESCO to pronounce itself in this regard, the Organization restates its firm moral and practical commitment to combating the sexual exploitation of children, in application of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires States to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and violence.

(See: http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/10/UNESCO.htm and the advisory on the wayback archive machine at: http://web.archive.org/web/20031003020809/http://www.unesco.org/education/highlights/media_advisory.htm).

Wide Danish Public Outcry Against Sathya Sai  Cult’s Projected Multi Million Dollar ‘Sai International School’

Denmark’s national broadcaster DR made the carefully researched, one-hour documentary Seduced.  It was very critical of Sai Baba. It was first screened January 30, 2002.  Danish municipal authorities acted against the Sathya Sai Organisation, ensuring that the sale to it of the famous Arresødal castle in Copenhagen did not eventuate. Bob Bozzani, one of the top officials in the Sathya Sai Organization of the U.S.A., had donated several millions of dollars to the venture. The venue was to have been used as a ‘Sai International School’. Top Sai Baba leaders Thorbjörn Meyer and Jørgen Trygved initiated several litigations against DR, all of which failed – even though they had retained the top litigation lawyers in Denmark.

The DR producer told me that Thorbjörn Meyer was so rude to the distinguished head of Denmark’s top national television and radio Director, Christian Nissen, that he had to be removed from the office. 

Seduced has had several repeats in Denmark and Norway. In an English version and retitled Seduced By Sai Baba, it screened in Australia, February 14, 2004. Litigation threats against the highly-respected multicultural national broadcaster SBS, by Sai Baba’s then Australian leader, T. Ramanathan failed. He also threatened both to sue me and to have me criminally prosecuted. See HERE and HERE. He, unlike his close associates Meyer and Trygved, never went near a court. Sai Baba devotees who know Ramanathan and a number of other leaders well know that, where the can, they bluff and bully. As indeed would befit those at the helm of a formidable cult. Here – in his threatening letter to SBS (Australia’s highly-esteemed multicultural television and radio broadcaster) - see LINK . This sorry display, by any democratic society’s reckoning - is a example of the Ramanathan’s (and a number of close Sai Baba men’s) muckracking style.

See Update to this article:  Staff Sex and Bullying Allegations At Sathya Sai School Leicester (UK)

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 4, 2012

Some Useful Video Footage

1) Three robes from Sai (Filesize 654Kb)

2) Numerous ‘materialisations (Filesize 1.12 Mb

3) Alaya Rahm tells of Sai Baba threats and oral sex abuse of him when still a minor 1.05Mb)

4) Testimony – Sai Baba tried anal sex etc. (Filesize 1.0 Mb)

5) Al Rahm tells of his learning of the sex abuse of his son

6) Alaya’s mother tells of her reaction

7) Indian student sex abuse victims cannot speak out (Filesize 340Kb)

8) The Rahm’s son’s fears if he told the truth about Sai sex abuse (Filesize 515 Kb)

9) Alaya Rahm was told not to tell and threatened by Sai Baba (Filesize 840 Kb)

Note:  The US State Department were contacted by the BBC (filesize 1.26 Mb) and confirmed their Travel Advisory warning as being directed specifically against Sathya Sai Baba. In the Danish film ‘Seduced’, There is also video testimony that many students were abused 

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cults and Corruption In India: Young, Articulate Voices Speak Out – Ignoring the Risks

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 25, 2012

In my article Exposing Cultic, Political and Other Corruptions: India Stirs  (Barry Pittard, August 6, 2012), I referred to the continuing groundswell of popular cross-party agitation in India against massive government and corporate corruption. For those who can afford an hour of concentrated viewing, I recommended viewing the excellent academic and activist Vivek Srinivasan’s Designing Technology to Combat Corruption    PGJ, Program on Liberation Technology Seminar Series20 January 2011

Leaders of this widespread public movement (slightly analogous to ‘Occupy Movement’ in western countries), show the courage so lacking – I deeply regret to say – in almost all of my former students and teaching colleagues in Sathya Sai college education, who for decades knew of the sexual, financial and other terrible abuses that Sathya Sai Baba and certain of his core leaders perpetrated. In the above article, I wrote

It may well be that – as the older members of the Sathya Sai Baba cult get old and die – the Sathya Sai Baba cult will take new turnings. It hard to predict at the moment. In any case, especially younger generations will need to be alert. So to speak, creatures thought dead at last can arise, yet again – if not in quite the same form – from the old slime of their dark lagoons. As far as recent Indian polls go, Sathya Sai Baba is dead to India at large.  See:  The Greatest Indians since Gandhi nominated – & Sathya Sai Baba? But our vigilance should never die.  See also:  ‘Face the Nation’ Audience Poll, India – 87% Hostile to Gurus Like Sathya Sai Baba

In marked contrast to those of my former students and colleagues – who forever made noble speeches about fearless practice of truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence – a young Indian citizen in IT, the capable and articulate Srikanth Uppuluri has taken his personal safety in his own hands, and is regularly speaking out, from a significant degree of first hand experience, in his blog:  Sai Baba Deceptions and Fraud

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Exposing Cultic, Political and Other Corruptions: India Stirs

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 6, 2012

It may well be that – as the older members of the Sathya Sai Baba cult get old and die – the Sathya Sai Baba cult will take new turnings. It hard to predict at the moment. In any case, especially younger generations will need to be alert. So to speak, creatures thought dead at last can arise, yet again – if not in quite the same form – from the old slime of their dark lagoons. As far as recent Indian polls go, Sathya Sai Baba is dead to India at large.  See:  The Greatest Indians since Gandhi nominated – & Sathya Sai Baba? But our vigilance should never die.  See also:  ‘Face the Nation’ Audience Poll, India – 87% Hostile to Gurus Like Sathya Sai Baba

Young people faced with gurus and other feet-of-clay mentors who seem so full of light will need to see via the light of their own rational questioning. All of us need to question our values such as any misplaced ‘political correctness’ and nebulous notions of ‘freedom of religion’. We need to challenge essentially corrupt, autocratic, backward-looking cults like international Sathya Sai Organization. These threaten genuine freedom and the health of society at large.  The foes of the ‘open society’ (in Sir Karl Popper’s term) are those who use its very openness to achieve their closed and devious ends. See Robert Priddy’s and my extensive four-part article:  The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed

In India, challenge to corruption widely stirs. One of the great complicitors in protecting Sathya Sai Baba and his cult, the present Indian Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, was further tarnished by the violent manner in which he responded to widely peaceful and articulate anti-corruption protests. See my articles: Anna Hazare’s Arrest. Dark Days For Indian Democracy, August 17, 2011, and: UK In Flames. But Not India. Anna Hazare Sets Example Of Peaceful ProtestAugust 17, 2011.

NEW DELHI: Civil society’s battle against corruption acquired its sharpest edge ever on Tuesday as veteran social activist Anna Hazare began a fast unto death at the capital’s landmark Jantar Mantar demanding greater public role in the Anti-Corruption Bill (Lokpal Bill), which has now been considered and put aside by successive regimes for the last 42 years.
Anna Hazare ignored several pleas of the government to defer his fast as he stood firm on his demand for a joint committee comprising government and civil society leaders to rework the current draft Lokpal Bill. He maintained that the current Bill covering only politicians was inadequate as politicians often colluded with officials to indulge in corruption. , 22 August, 2011.

India is still in many ways profoundly gerontocratic. In a deeply traditionalist country, (mainly) old (mainly) men, preponderantly, have consummate skills in retaining  power. This deadly hand of state is not first mediated via external exercise of political power, but unreflectively rooted in practically every home, and in every caste and class, and, in turn, in thousands of years of history.  The internet generation of India’s young is, of course, extraordinarily IT savvy. Superficially, it may all seem like a grand silicon break from the iron grip of hidebound past. But these young people (often bright, charming and delightful when I meet them to this day) are, effectively, the all-too-unwitting toys of rulers who are old, and who can use all the old tricks of control.  Or rather – one should say – of mind and soul binding. Especially is this so in the use of religion, the caste system, nepotism, arranged marriages, etc., to keep things much the way the corrupt and canny old players of statecraft want. If one wants to understand them better, read the  ‘Arthaśāstra’ of Chanakya, who pre-dated his kindred spirit in renaissance Italy Machiavelli by 1800 years.

Anti-corruption campaigners protest in India as Anna Hazare continues to attract crowds in New Delhi even though he announced on Thursday evening that he will end his ‘Fast Unto Death’ on Friday.
People gathered at the site of the Anna Hazare agitation in New Delhi despite the anti-graft campaigner’s announcement that he will end the stir on Friday. Hazare has been on a fast-unto-death till the government ratifies an anti-graft law that provides for prosecuting senior politicians, including the Prime Minister, and bureaucrats for corruption. http://www.demotix.com/news

Too often in India, both the heroes (slender in number, as always and everywhere) and the villains are old, and – at other times – a damn sight older.  An ageing anti-corruption crusader like Anna Hazare is like – in a certain sense – a re-visitation from Mahatma Gandhi. A much younger crusader, who uses analogous methods, is Swami Ramdev, who has had, to date, not nearly the same clout as Hazare. The operant factors are complex, although the remarks of Sushant Kumar, a young, perceptive Indian commentator, are worth reading, as are his other blogs.  He suggests that a major reason for the larger celebrity line-up behind Hazare may be that the latter, unlike Ramdev, poses no sexy superstardom sort of challenge to them.  See:  Baba Ramdev, Anna Hazare & Social Media – Difference of opinion, by 

Difference in the sentiment of twitter users towards Anna Hazare & Baba Ramdev
January 20, 2011 - Program on Liberation Technology News.
***
It is also good to see contributions of educated, young Indians like Vivek Srinivasan (see below) expertly and pragmatically discussing the potentials of IT (and other systems) in combatting corruption.  It is for a long, sad while that I have sought any of my former students at the Sri Sathya Sai College of the Arts, Science and Commerce, via Bangalore, Karnataka who would fit among the research-based and courageous activists of whom Vivek Srinivasan speaks.
Some of the researchers into social inequality and corruption are no strangers to being beaten up. One of them is quoted as saying:  “I would rather give up my life than give up my papers”! By no means are technical means of corruption exposure at all expensive. Many methods are essentially simple and within the grasp of many or of most. They can be very imaginative and resourceful. (Some examples of the success of a handful of us in exposing worldwide, give evidence of this – especially, of course, the internet – in bringing down Sathya Sai Baba and his cult. The younger generation now have far more tools, great and small, than our activists have had available to us).
A lengthy, lively, at times interactive discussion excellently led by Vivek Srinivasan is here:  

In a few days, I’ll refer to Vivek Srinivasan’s article on the role of technology in combatting corruption:  
  Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization There is a Spanish version available: PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL  Subscribe in   NewsGator Online Subscribe   in Bloglines Add to My AOLAdd to Excite   MIX Add to   netvibes Add to The   Free Dictionary Add to netomat Hub  Add to Webwag   Subscribe in a reader

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba Scores Zilch in History’s ‘Most Popular Indians’ Polls

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 30, 2012

Every now and then comes quite independent confirmation of how little Sathya Sai Baba matters to most Indians. This despite his extraordinary proclamation that he has done a thousand times more than anyone else in the social welfare field.

Often, he claimed to be God fully incarnate, come to transform, in his own lifetime, first India and then the rest of the world. In various popularity polls in India, Sathya Sai Baba comes exactly nowhere. This ‘God’, then, has clearly not got enough of a wriggle on in his mission to us all. This ‘God’ has more than lived up to the Nietzschean notion that: ‘God Is Dead’. In The Parable of the Madman (1882), the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s madman says: “Whither is God?” … “I will tell you. We have killed him — you and I”.

However, none of us killed Sathya Sai Baba. And he was the real madman. By his own madness, he killed himself.

There is a huge disconnect between what a many Sai Baba followers and the vastly swelling numbers of those who have left him, and are still leaving, know to be the facts, on the one hand, and the welter of misleading Sathya Sai Organization propaganda rolled out over so many decades, on the other. Facts such as that a great many charitable organization fund vastly more, and more diverse, programs than he has presided over.

This is to say, confirmation independent from what prominent writers on Sathya Sai Baba and his international cult, such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Barry Pittard, record, and revealed at websites such as:

www:/exbaba.com

Sathya Sai Baba – word and action

Allegations concerning Sathya Sai Baba

Conny Larsson’s website

Sathya Sai Baba – word and action

Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba

Kevin R.D. Shepherd on Sai Baba issues

Kevin R.D. Shepherd on the Sai Baba movement plus

***

Robert Priddy has just posted:

The Greatest Indians since Gandhi nominated – & Sathya Sai Baba?

by robertpriddy on July 28, 2012

Priddy writes:

An Indian web site conducted a large-scale survey to determine who is in India enjoys the greatest popularity and influence, who have made the greatest contribution to the history of the country. An initial list of 50 candidates included many prominent Indians, including many no longer alive, freedom fighters, politicians, businessmen, artists and spiritual leaders. From them the 10 most influential personalities were selected. In no category at all was Sathya Sai Baba nominated, though Mother Teresa and Iyengar were listed …. At orkut.com, nine pages of comments include dozens of lists of proposed greatest Indians and countless spiritual figures are named. But not once is Sathya Sai Baba mentioned! Likewise the suggestions found at indiastudychannel.com

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Internet Trolling: A Playground For The Cruel and Unusual

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 13, 2012

 “Trolling” is a main internet hazard. One that is cruel and anarchic. The effects of “trolling” soon become known to those who speak out on topics people feel passionate about.  Often vicious and evil-minded, a “troll” can attack even those who raise no contentious topic, but who attract disturbed comment, whether verbal or pictorial. 

Here is a commonly seen, rather chilling representation of the internet “troll”.

“Troll” icon. The Wikipedia article states:  ‘The “trollface”, first appearing in 2008, is often used to indicate trolling in contemporary internet culture.[1] Modern usage of the word itself dates from 1980s”. For full Wiki article, click HERE.  Except:
‘In Internet slang, a troll is someone who posts inflammatory,[2] extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum, chat room, or blog, with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response[3] or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion.[4]The noun troll may refer to the provocative message itself, as in: “That was an excellent troll you posted.”

While the word troll and its associated verb trolling are associated with Internet discourse, media attention in recent years has made such labelssubjective, with trolling describing intentionally provocative actions and harassment outside of an online context. For example, mass media has used troll to describe “a person who defaces Internet tribute sites with the aim of causing grief to families.”[5][6]

Prominent writers on Sathya Sai Baba and his cult, the international Sathya Sai Organization, such as Robert Priddy (Norway), Brian Steel and Barry Pittard (Australia) came to regard the last decades of unrelenting attacks on us as an occupational hazard.  Many decent Sathya Sai Baba devotees would have nothing to do with one of the worst “trollers” (among other of his undoubtedly sociopathic  ‘talents’) on the internet, Gerard ‘Joe’ Moreno. See also:  Gerald Moreno – Fanatical Cyber Libeler

Any scholar or investigative journalist who reviews the history of the exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult can see the sheer volume of Moreno’s dismal opus, and the sheer intensity of his defamation, character assassination, ad hominem arguments, misrepresentation, vituperation, name-calling, and, as only briefly seen below, distorted and demeaning cartooning of former devotees who have spoken out, and other, endless devious exploitation of internet resources ….

Among other revealing details, note his permanent banning by the Wikipedia authorities:  Defender of Sathya Sai Baba and his Organization Gerald ‘Joe’ Moreno of Las Cruces, New Mexico

The saibabaofindia group, some members of whom were long close to Sai Baba and his core servitors are, in their aiding and abetting of Moreno, as to extreme behaviours, most a-typical of the many good and decent rank-and-file Sai Baba followers. However, he has been a kind of populist hero among some followers. Heads of the international Sathya Sai Organization, like Dr G. Venkataraman, have long turned a blind eye, and permitted members to persist in their cruel defamations of many former devotees around the world, including outstanding leaders who, until they raised their voices, were held in high esteem (just as they have always been in their own wider communities!). See:  

Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia

Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults

The Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba

Barry Pittard – On Institutional Cover Ups and Psychological Denial

The Sathya Sai Organization: Almost overnight, dissenters treated as demons! 

For news of British laws for curbing at least some of the “Wild West” aspects of the internet, see below.  For a brief Al Jazeera television news report, click here: What is an internet troll?

The article from Britain’s ‘Independent’ newspaper may prompt the notion that as increasingly many deeply entrenched high establishment figures get “trolled”, there will be commensurate moves to enshrine measures in bodies of internet law.  The ‘Independent reports:

“The victims of his (Frank Zimmerman’s) vitriolic messages included the businessman Lord Sugar, General Sir Mike Jackson, the former head of the Army, and David Petraeus, the former US Army commander in Iraq and Afghanistan and now CIA head. And to Terence Blacker, one of his former neighbours, Zimmerman posed as a member of the hacking group LulzSec, sending a series of threatening emails”.

In her insightful and fairly detailed article in The Guardian newspaper, Lucy Pepper makes a note which, in a perverse way, comments on the sheer versatility of an internet voice of hate such as Gerald Moreno. “Trolling” is but one of his cruel and unusual skills:

“You can hear haters described in song by Isabel Fay, but they’re not the same as trolls, even while many people (Fay included) use the terms interchangeably (I’m not being a hater when I say that, by the way; I’m being a pedant). Trolls aren’t necessarily any more pleasant than haters, but their agenda is different – they don’t just want to insult a particular person, they want to start a fight – hopefully one that has a broader application, and brings in more people than just the object of their original trolling. The term derives from a fishing technique – say your stupid thing, watch the world bite”.

The Independent

Internet ‘troll’ who targeted Louise Mensch escapes with suspended sentence

 KUNAL DUTTA . TUESDAY 12 JUNE 2012
The man who sent threatening messages to people including the Conservative MP Louise Mensch and The Independent’s columnist Terence Blacker avoided jail but received a suspended sentence and an order not to contact his high-profile victims again.

Safe in what he must have thought was the anonymity of the internet, Frank Zimmerman portrayed himself as an expert computer hacker with inside information on the newspaper phone-hacking scandal as he sent abusive and threatening missives.

Yesterday, as he appeared at Cheltenham magistrates’ court having been arrested on a warrant by police, he was revealed as a destitute, 60-year-old agoraphobic with flowing white hair and a history of depression.

The victims of his vitriolic messages included the businessman Lord Sugar, General Sir Mike Jackson, the former head of the Army, and David Petraeus, the former US Army commander in Iraq and Afghanistan and now CIA head. And to Terence Blacker, one of his former neighbours, Zimmerman posed as a member of the hacking group LulzSec, sending a series of threatening emails.

But it was his messages to Ms Mensch that brought him to the dock. Zimmerman told the MP she faced a “Sophie’s Choice” – a reference to the novel in which the heroine has to choose between the life of her son or daughter.

Addressing the Corby MP as the “slut of Twitter”, Zimmerman wrote: “We are Anonymous and we do not like rude c***s like you and your nouveau riche husband Peter Mensch. We are inside your computer, all your phones everywhere and inside your homes. So get off Twitter. We have sent a camera crew to photograph you and your kids and we will post it over the net including Twitter, c***face.”

The MP, who had given him her personal email address after he contacted her on Twitter claiming he had information on the hacking scandal, ordered protection for her family and informed police who traced the IP address of the messages to Zimmerman’s house in Barnwood, Gloucestershire.

After the sentencing Ms Mensch tweeted: “Sentence seems proportionate and just. I hope it will deter others from this kind of abuse and bullying.”

She added: “Other women besides myself were targeted by this man; and police forces…[devoted] resources.”

The sentencing of Zimmerman is the latest sign that prosecutors are clamping down on cyberbullying by so-called “trolls”. Earlier this year police took action against Liam Stacey, 21, from South Wales, who was jailed for 56 days for mocking the Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba on Twitter after he collapsed with a heart attack. Sean Duffy, 25, was jailed last September for mocking the death of Natasha MacBryde, 15, who threw herself under a train. And last week, Facebook was ordered by the High Court to hand over details of users accused of bullying Nicola Brookes.

What is an internet troll?

Victims of anonymous trolls on Twitter and other social media may soon have the power to discover their tormentors’ identities, thanks to a new law. But what’s the difference between a troll and somebody who just has very bad manners?

 Guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 12 June 2012 16.38 BST. Comments (293)

Trolls can wreck lives.
Trolls can wreck lives. Illustration: Lucy Pepper.

I’m sitting waiting for the House of Commons to start debating a Law Against Trolls or, as they would call it, an amendment to the Defamation Act. It would basically let internet providers off the hook for the publication of their content, so long as they signed up to divulge the identity of any of their users. To warrant such a disclosure, the injured party would have to show that their reputation had been significantly damaged; then they would be given the offender’s identity, and would be free to pursue a civil case. Online abuse still won’t be a criminal offence, even if the bill is passed. It has wide support in parliament, so is not intended to be a very heated debate: I want to watch it to see how many MPs actually know what a troll is.

The term is widely misused: Frank Zimmerman, who received a suspended sentence for asking Louise Mensch which of her children she wished to remain alive, is not a troll, he is a hater (the death threats take him beyond the realm of ordinary hater into criminal hater; but that’s his category nonetheless). You can hear haters described in song by Isabel Fay, but they’re not the same as trolls, even while many people (Fay included) use the terms interchangeably (I’m not being a hater when I say that, by the way; I’m being a pedant). Trolls aren’t necessarily any more pleasant than haters, but their agenda is different – they don’t just want to insult a particular person, they want to start a fight – hopefully one that has a broader application, and brings in more people than just the object of their original trolling. The term derives from a fishing technique – say your stupid thing, watch the world bite.

Now, the effects of this can be devastating, especially for people who are being attacked precisely because they admitted to a vulnerability in the first place. Olivia Penpraze, from Melbourne, Australia, started blogging about her depression in 2010. Over a period of time, amid many messages of support, some trolls told her that she ought to kill herself because she was so ugly she was better off dead. She took her own life two months ago, at the age of 19. Last year, in Worcester, 15-year-old Natasha MacBryde killed herself under similar pressures. Following MacBryde’s death, Sean Duffy posted a message opining that she wasn’t bullied, she was just a whore, for which he received an 18-week prison sentence and was banned from using social networking sites for five years. This is the dead centre of troll territory; what they’re looking for is that sharp intake of breath; the collective, “How can you say that?” outrage. Richard Wiseman, a professor of psychology at the University of Hertfordshire, who also makes cool videos for the web, has had his share of haters, and greets that with equanimity. He thinks it is the consequence of this type of communication (“You remove a social barrier on the internet, and suddenly people feel a bit more freed up to say things”), and also a consequence of the fact that you move in broader circles online than you ever would in life. But while hating bounces off him, trolling does not: “There were a couple of comments that came in that were horribly racist. You do shudder. You think: really, you felt the need to write that?”

Racist trolling probably has the highest profile cases – most recently, Liam Stacey was jailed for 56 days after tweeting offensive messages including, “LOL” and, “Muamba, he’s dead, hahahaha,” when the footballer Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch during a match in April. It’s generally very unusual for trolling to result in custody – and race is generally at the crux of it when it does. There is an astonishing seam of trolling that concerns violence against women (I was particularly struck recently by the person who said they wanted to fuck Josie Long in the eyes) but such abuse is generally without consequence.

Of course it’s possible to troll at a much less violent level, simply by stalking through internet communities where people might be expected to think in a particular way, and saying things that will wind them up. If you would like to try this sort of trolling to see what the appeal is, I suggest you go on to the Comment is Free section of the Guardian’s website and post something like, “People shouldn’t have kids if they can’t afford to pay for them. End of.” Or: “men like skinny women, which is why you won’t be able to find me a banker with a fat wife. WILL YOU?” Or: “Men like sex. Women like cuddles. GET OVER IT.” Or: “Nobody even knows what’s in a greenhouse gas. How can I take ‘climate change’ seriously when nobody knows anything about it?” Amusingly, I am getting quite wound up by these remarks, even though it was me who made them.

Wiseman explains this as straightforward pranking. “That’s a control thing, isn’t it? It’s baiting. Other people think you’re being genuine, and actually all you’re doing is trying to get a reaction out of them. Borat is that gag, written big. ‘I’m going to pretend to be one thing, in order to get you to respond in a particular way.’ It just happens that previously we often saw it played out with liberal values, and often now it’s played out with very illiberal values.”

I think there is something more nefarious than a prank going on, however – since these remarks often do either skew or hold up or derail the conversation, I divine anti-intellectualism, a complete rejection of and/or fear of the idea that people whose views are in the same mould might do something really fruitful with a discussion. They might work on their differences to make an argument that is more robust or far-reaching. Sticking your oar in and distracting everybody by dragging them back to first principles is a good way to ensure that nothing constructive ever happens.

Hence the mantra, “Do not feed the trolls.” But that’s destructive as well, because it makes you look afraid, which empowers trolls, or there’s a chance that you might have mistaken a troll for someone who has a good point but bad manners.

Trolls often, when you talk to them, turn out to be quite nice. One minute it’s all “when will you WAKE UP to the fact that your STINKING LIBERAL MANURE has DESTROYED THIS COUNTRY” and the next thing you know, you’ll get a message saying, “Sorry I was testy, I just got stuck in traffic on my way back from the garden centre.” It’s all about humanisation, which is the big conundrum facing this amendment – people behave badly online because they feel liberated, and they feel liberated because it’s virtual. Our standards of courtesy are bound to our corporeal selves; freed from one we’re freed from the other. Calling trolls “trolls” probably doesn’t help. We should call them rude people.

Additional research by Edna Mohamed

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

 Subscribe in   NewsGator Online Subscribe   in Bloglines Add to My AOLAdd to Excite   MIX Add to   netvibes Add to The   Free Dictionary Add to netomat Hub  Add to Webwag   Subscribe in a reader

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

The Sathya Sai Cult – A Moral Low Ground Wilderness

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 8, 2012

Deeply corrupt himself, and with an inner circle of corrupt men in support, Sathya Sai Baba was in no good shape to forge the universal spiritual and ethical transformation of which he so often spoke.

United Nations and human rights studies reveal an India steeped in endemic corruption and social injustice. He who said that he would transform the whole world in his own lifetime died in a morass of shame. This was so great that, for once, his spin doctors, backroom hacks, editorial weeders, and devotees placed in countless positions of great power were not able to prevent the facts from being reported in an Indian media that for so long had almost entirely suppressed reports unfavourable to him. See:

Sathya Sai Trust In Vast Treasure Scandals: Secret Temple, Van, and Bus Stashes

Exposé writer Barry Pittard on the latest Trust and treasure scandals

Relative Weightings of Allegation and Proof In Exposing Corrupt Institutions (Pt1)

Relative Weightings of Allegation and Proof In Exposing Corrupt Institutions (Pt2)

In countries where we can still look to many judges for the utmost probity, such an individual as  one of Sai Baba’s long-serving Sathya Sai Central Trust members, Ex-Chief Justice of India, P.N. Bhagwati, would long ago have been exposed. He now has to live out his last remaining days in great ignominy before a nation today far better apprised of the Sathya Sai cult corruptions. 

See:

Ex-Chief Justice of India: Sathya Sai Baba “dictated my every single judgement”

On Sathya Sai Baba: Times of India, Ex-Chief Justice Interview. What Judge Would So Opine?

Indian Ex-Chief Justice Bhagwati – by a former contact

Indian Ex-Chief Justice: “Wild, Reckless Claims” about Sathya Sai Baba

On the work of Sai Baba’s editors forced to great pains to remove, and at least downplay, inasmuch as they could manage, his many statements over decades that were egregiously contradictory, confused and historically and scientific erroneous or prophecies and promises that did not cut the mustard, see:

The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements

The scholarly articles of Brian Steel are notable, as in other respects, in elucidating the official tampering with Sathya Sai history. See the Sai Organization’s attempts at ‘Downgrading Divinity’ by Brian Steel.  

See also a summary of his most enormous claims about himself and his missions here and The strong toning down is recorded and discussed in Brian Steels’ Downgrading Divinity
and also at http://bdsteel.tripod.com/More/doss2claims.htm

I am at present working on a song, which recalls to my mind but a few of the corruptions that ALL our societies are falling to deal with, and which Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors and other aiders and abettors, because he and they were so corrupt, were not on any moral high ground to address.


Haul Them In!   Barry Pittard. 7 June 2012

It’s all too little, and it’s all too late

- When the horse has bolted -

To bolt the gate

It’s all too late to cap a stor