Serial Sex Molestation and Bedroom Killings. But Much More
Posted by Barry Pittard on June 6, 2007
For several months in 2004, former Sathya Sai Baba followers coordinated internationally to advance our grave concerns to BBC 2, This World.
(A list of some major issues is at the end of this article)
These involved many serious allegations against Sai Baba and his worldwide mega rich and influential cult, the Sathya Sai Organization. Many had dedicated decades of their lives to spiritual disciplines and to Sai Baba auspiced social service activities in their own communities and elsewhere. Some had been noted leaders. But, the moment, in any country, any former devotee spoke up, he or she was typically ostracized and vilified.
Sai Baba’s world chairman, Dr Michael Goldstein, of Covina, California, U.S.A., caught by the BBC’s hidden camera, exquisitely evincing Sai Baba’s precepts – truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence in blazing action! Tanya Datta, the BBC interviewer had done no more than politely ask a simple question about the transparency and accountability issue in regard to allegations against Sai Baba of serial large-scale sexual molestation of young males.
Sai Baba Baba Leadership’s Evasion and Spin Doctoring
Core leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization suppressed the truth of our accounts from their rank-and-file, and where suppression was out of the question, utmost spin-doctoring and distortion of testimony that had been provided at great personal sacrifice and spiritual betrayal by many long honored by their (now former) fellow devotees.
Professional investigators will repeatedly find that no organ with serious investigative powers – such as the media, UNESCO, U.S. State Department etc., – that has tried to probe Sai Baba and his organization has found them other than extremely elusive, authoritarian and cultist. It was not lightly that the BBC gained sanction from its Legals and senior Management to use a hidden camera on Dr Michael Goldstein.
Shunning and Vilification of Sai Baba’s Critics
We are, Sai Baba and his officials say, only a disgruntled handful with the basest of motives. In his Christmas discourse of 2000, right at a time of media and other exposures, an angry Sai Baba banged repeatedly on his lectern, saying that his dissenters were “cawing crows,” “demons,” and thousands of “Judases.” The Times of India, December 26, 2000 headlined: Sai Baba Lashes Out at His Detractors. With his usual scant reference to any Christmas theme, and displaying none of that Season’s theme of ‘Peace and Good Will to All Men’, he extensively boasted his social works (actually, they are overwhelmingly those of his devotees). Jealousy and reception of money motivated us, he said. Very terrible is the karmic future he evoked for us:
“Betrayal of God is the worst of all betrayals. It will not be atoned no matter how many births are experienced!”
In his chanted introduction to the discourse, he says,
“Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat (India).”
Throughout the discourse, there was no hint of his practising what he has so often preached at other times:
“We should help even those who have harmed us. This is the vow of Sai. No matter if some people criticise or ridicule Me (sic), I will always look at them with kindness.” (Sanathana Sarathi June 2002).
Not that we have harmed him, for he has harmed himself by refusing to face the allegations in a law-abiding way. Nothing suggested a Christ-like forgiveness. To question his claims to Godhood is to be forever damned.
Major Television Media Investigates Sai Baba
Much earlier approaches had been made to the BBC to no avail, then, towards the end of 2003, BBC producers contacted us. They said they would also contact various Sai Baba officials and other followers. The one-hour television documentary The Secret Swami resulted, first screening on June 17, 2004, and subsequently shown by cable and satellite in many countries. British television critics from major newspapers unanimously praised the documentary. My own reflection on it is HERE.
In Argentina, Azul TV’s Zona de Investigacion (Argentina) had already run the series La Historia de Sai Baba (2001), which received record viewing ratings. It was researched and presented by the renowned Latin American writer and television presenter Alejandro Agostinelli. His article appears in the journal Gatopardo, available HERE.
Also, Denmark’s national broadcaster DR had made the one-hour documentary Seduced, which 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 highest 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. Any media investigators may like to to confirm whether (as we are informed by reliable sources) Thorbjörn Meyer was so obnoxiously 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. Sai Baba vaunts his key leaders as models of rectitude but, as all too many reasonably well-informed Sai Baba devotees know, they most decidedly are not. (For a prime example see my article HERE concerning the angry, finger jabbing, facially contorted world chairman Dr Michael Goldstein).
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, Sri 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 great multicultural television and radio broadcaster) – see LINK - is a example of the Ramanathan’s muckracking style:
“As for the anti Sai group, some of them subsist on the generous welfare handouts of government and exist on Disability Pensions (disability being physical or mental) have the time to conjure up situations. Some of the anti Sai group are eccentric, neurotic and their behaviour and attitude are equally bizarre”.
Many Grave Concerns Beside Sexual Molestation and Killings
Our concerns ranged far beyond the allegations of long years of wide-scale, serial sexual abuse by Sai Baba., and included topics such as the June 6, 1993 police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom, and a massive ashram and local, state and central Indian government cover-up – which well-informed Indian journalists and police are perfectly well aware of. Undoubtedly, because of the powerful desire in adults to safeguard the innocence of the young, the sexual molestation issue was the foremost driving force. Other topics documented from our network of former devotees around the world, alleged that Sai Baba has for many years e.g.,:
- Run a worldwide organization extreme in its lack of public accountability and transparency, which hides certain core, but embarrassing beliefs and agendas (such as that its founder is about to rule the entire world before he dies around 2022) when it runs its recruitment drives in luxurious, costly venues
- Faked miracles and has refused to allow proper, ongoing scientific investigation
Promised but not delivered various miraculous cures
- Presided over a massive misappropriation of funds donated by devotees worldwide, and financial scams, which he does not counteract, involving apartments within the ashram, massive building projects which glorify himself, and water projects
- Made prophecies which have not eventuated
- Given as absolute truths accounts known by modern science to be completely unfounded, and made perverse mix-ups of history
- Severely contradicted himself in published discourses and in interviews
- Created myths about himself, which he permits to be used as the basis for materials in public exhibitions that supposedly emphasize the unity of major world faiths
- Resoundingly failed to achieve his major objective of harmony among the major world religions, or even to make any significant common cause among their representatives
- Falsified his birth and school details. This in turn falsifies his account that the great Indian saint Sri Aurobindo prophesied his birth on November 24, 1926, the day before it occurred.
- Plagiarized the sayings of others
- Slandered those who, over the years, have attempted to raise the allegations of Sai Baba’s sexual molestation of young males
- Forbidden discussion in his Sathya Sai Organization of the nature and seriousness of the allegations facing him
- Broken promises to travel to Italy, U.K., Malasia, U.S.A.