Puttaparthi Sai Baba Birthday 2011 – Where Have All The Golden Pomp and Circumstance Gone?
Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2011
The late Sathya Sai Baba’s birthday celebrations occur on 23 November. As usual, around this time, there is an upsurge of visitors to this blogsite and that of Robert Priddy. However, in comparison to other years, the numbers are much down, very much as Sai Baba himself is forever down in the earth, and his devotees infinitely down in the dumps.
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:
Since our work of international exposure via world leading media began in 1999, the cult has suffered regular resignation upheavals, including of foremost leaders. Indeed, many people leave informally. With a vast amount of work, we used our professional credit to tell many mainstream, reputable religious and civic institutions. They were the target of the Sai cult, avid for wider community acceptance. Our work severely hit the cult’s extensive, and often high-level, fundraising and recruiting efforts around the world.
Below are a few quotes from my articles, over time, which may help to cut the search times of those looking for an overview. In a day or so, I shall include a similar page of articles about a number of Sai Baba’s past birthday celebrations.
In the last few years, evidence mounted of decline of his physical and mental health. He had several falls, one of which I saw in when I lived at Puttaparthi for several months – November 1997 – August 1998. Reports came of e.g., his walking round in circles, uttering gibberish. At other times, he flew into temper tantrums. In During his 85th birthday celebrations he broke into extensive sobbing during a keynote speaker’s praise for his work. See:
Posted by Barry Pittard on March 5, 2011
These and other perverse behaviors reached an appalling point – which his minders worked overtime to mask where possible, and, where not possible, to modify. Their damage control efforts were considerable. Looked at in retrospect, his last crumbling – long years before he had foretold – the ghastly mess in which he left things comes as no surprise. See:
Posted by Barry Pittard on June 14, 2011
Posted by Barry Pittard on June 12, 2011
Note: Here, we see, among a whole plethora of other contradictions up and down his discourses and comments e.g., in interviews, yet more messy dates. His death was a huge mess, but it was long preceded by countless medium to smaller messes. To the anomalies, contradictions and outright lies, devotees forever blind themselves by looking at him like one might look too long into the sun. For insight into devotees’ Procrustean efforts over lunar vs solar dating, see:
Posted October 26, 2007
Form vs Essence
It is interesting that so many devotees have assumed that the vision apparently promised by Sai Baba via his chief translator and close servitor Professor Anil Kumar to many thousands of devotees gathered at his Puttaparthi ashram would entail seeing the form of Sai Baba on the moon. If they had consulted their timeless sacred classic, Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 11, they might have recalled that the vision granted by Sri Krishna to Lord Arjuna (vishwarupa or vishvarupa darshana) was of a very different character. It was not the form of Sri Krishna – who was right beside him! - but a cosmic vision of enormous range and depth. But what fools who rush, with faces agog, to Sai Baba’s local airport would ever want something both so fierce as that?
Was it not enough for them to have seen it where they had daily darshan (sight) of him within his Puttaparthi ashram?
Why all the sensationalism, and indeed threat to life or injury, of thousands of devotees rushing headlong to his nearby private airport?
Is an unruly crowd, which police had great difficulty in controlling, likely in a fit state to receive a divine and blissful vision?
Certainly, if it was the form of Sathya Sai Baba that was so eagerly sought after by the crowds of devotees, they have entirely missed one of his most insistent teachings: that the form is not what is important - but learning that attachment to the form is deleterious to spiritual growth.
Posted July 19, 2011
‘By Their Fruits Shall Ye Know Them’
Sai Baba devotees have an appalling record for their maltreatment of former devotees. They have repeatedly vilified, shunned, made apostates out to be liars and fools, cruelly libelled them on the internet, and threatened with law suits and criminal proceedings.
T. Sri Ramanathan, Kulwant Rai, et alia
One of these attempts to cower us was the unconscionable bluff by top Sathya Sai Organization leader T. Sri Ramanathan. As well-informed Sai Baba devotees in Australia know too well, he is – more particularly behind hands and doors in whispers – an authoritarian bully within the Australian Sathya Sai Organization itself, which he led for several years. The devotees, all too lamb-like, would say e.g., “Rama is simply Baba’s test for our sadhana; Swami knows all our karmas”. See: Ramanathan Threatens Barry Pittard With The Law
Likewise appearing to think that we were panicky lambs, the Sathya Sai Baba supporter Kulwant Rai, one of India’s wealthiest moguls, and scion of the Rai family, various of whom are Sathya Sai Baba devotees, threatened us via his lawyers.
With scarcely a penny in our pockets – at that time! – our forces welcomed them to go ahead. We wanted the facts to come out. Our course was, and is, entirely just. We had nothing to hide, but they did, so they threatened like bovver boys.
They – having too much to hide – went away. More’s the pity. Bullies often turn out to be cowards. Which is one of a number of compelling reasons why one must stand up to them. Give them a field day, and one, inevitably, will sink into the slush, having become a coward oneself.
Posted June 7, 2007
Efforts to Globalize Sathya Sai Baba with World Radio Station
Sai Baba controls with an iron hand the international Sathya Sai Organization. Senior investigators from the world’s top media like the BBC, Times of London, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, and in other countries, as well as UNESCO, the U.S. State Department and other institutions deemed the cult extremely hard to investigate or act against. His second most senior aide is its deputy chairman, who, as head of Sai Global Harmony, is his ‘minister of propaganda’, Dr G. Venkataraman, one of the progenitors of India’s atomic bomb, as was Sai Baba’s previous close aide, the late Dr S. Bhagavantam – sometimes called ‘the father of the Indian atomic bomb’ – as was his present staunch devotee, the President of India, Dr A.J. P. Kalam, who writes flowery panegyrics to Sai Baba, as did the last Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Sai Global Harmony affiliates with WorldSpace International Satellite Radio Service, 24/7 and broadcasts to many countries. With a behind-the-scenes corporate-style, assisted by the billions of funds that pour from many countries into the Sathya Sai Central Trust, the declared aim is to penetrate to every corner of the globe.
Posted November 6, 2011
The ‘Select Readings’ cited below show how Hislop, and the top leadership in the U.S. Sai Baba hierarchy (and the incredibly docile lower-echelon leadership worldwide), covered up the seriousness of allegations of Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men. No doubt, they seriously and sincerely thought they were doing the right thing. At the same time, they were guilty of the most extraordinary lack of duty of care towards those they had until now, for years, honored and respected.
John Hislop’s Successor, Dr Michael Goldstein of Covena, southern California, USA, is now world leader of the international Sathya Sai Organization, which Sai Baba said is THE divine organization on earth. But it is a multi-billion dollar organization with iron-clad, cultic rules. Goldstein exploded with unprovoked anger, not realizing that the BBC had a hidden camera trained on him.
BBC hidden camera reveals Sai Baba’s world leader in fit of anger. Goldstein’s bullying, coldness and general nastiness – and such qualities in a number of other high echelon Sai Baba hand-picked leaders – cannot be denied. Likewise, often out-of-sight were Sai Baba’s angry discharges.
Posted November 1, 2011
As the participants compared their experiences, evidence – sometimes gut-sickening – fast mounted, other crimes and ethical betrayals came to our notice, as did the many contradictions and anomalies in Sai Baba’s published discourses. These amounted to a glaringly flawed corpus. They were officially published, but poorly monitored. (I have discussed the later editorial weeding of the many embarrassing contradictions, etc.,:
No truthful explanation would resolve the many contradictions in Sai Baba’s published discourses. Academics such as Robert Priddy and Brian Steel have scrutinized much of this literature. Those who retaliated – chiefly Gerald ‘Joe’ Moreno - are poorly educated. They use fallacious arguments such as argumentum ad hominem. They viciously name-call. They use spurious interpretations of what we have written. They deliver us the distinct, though unintended advantage among serious, thoughtful readers. Indeed, in the case of Moreno and an assistant, Wikipedia banned them.
To those coordinating activities, such as Glen Meloy, Hari Sampath, myself and, as time passed, Robert Priddy, the sheer volume and richness of evidence strikingly and repeatedly verified accounts.
In some instances, parents of boys and young men and other abuse survivors went to foremost heads of the Sathya Sai Organization, including Dr John Hislop, Dr Michael Goldstein, Phyllis Kristal, Sri T. Ramananthan, Dr Sarah Pavan and others. These supposed pillars of righteousness shamefully ignored the complainants. The leaders exhibited text-book examples of that psychological denial so commonly found in autocratic, cultic arenas
Posted on July 14, 2011
But questions arise – What, in these days of immense disruption and confusion within the Sai movement, in exactly what might this entity consist? And what might be its supreme command center? Is it the Sathya Sai Central Trust? Or the international Sathya Sai Organization? Will Tigrett, long known to have something of a mind of his own, be quite happy to bypass the likes of Rathnakar and Srinivasan and deal with the wider organized fold of Sai devotees? Not least those great many donors who are deeply suspicious about the trustworthiness of the Sai Central trust – or some members of it. They worry about what happened to their donations. We are talking billions, and not in rupees, either!
In various Sai devotee magazines, Isaak Tigrett – who has long maintained a relative degree of frankness that markedly contrasts with Sai Baba officials around the world – has spoken of how, the Indian Sai Trust officials constantly thwarted him. This was even though Sai Baba had put him in charge of arrangements to equip the Superspeciality Hospital at Puttaparthi, the multi-million dollar project which Tigrett in fact funded for (according to figures we have heard) some 49 million US dollars, and not sums such as the 108 million so often spoken of in Sai Baba circles round the world. My reader might find it instructive to hear a telephone recording of David Bailey, formerly Sai Baba’s closest western devotee who knew Tigrett and many other key Sai Organization players from India and abroad. See below. See also: Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba and: David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses
(Note: You may prefer to go straight to the Petition):