Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Archive for February 22nd, 2007

Ashok Bhagani – Footsying With Top Blair Minister?

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 22, 2007

Ashok Bhagani. Part 5.

Would Ashok Bhagani Flee Hard Media Questions?

At a cost of much sacrifice, Sai Baba’s former devotees have shared with major world media, governments, police and so on their allegations of the guru’s rampant misconduct. This includes serial sexual abuse, implication in police killings in his bedroom, wastage of billions, including vast donations from many foreign countries on flashy buildings and water projects that fail, and much else. These individuals have been subject to serious pro Sai Baba harrassments in their university, professional and personal lives? Does Ashok Bhagani, head of the Sathya Sai Organization in the UK think that the slander on the Internet – some of it carried out with the acquiescence of very senior heads of the Sathya Sai Organization – is fortunate? Perhaps he would like to know how it feels to be deeply probed. The British media might assist him. They may like to ask:

  • Does he have firm association with one of British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s most powerful Ministers – Tony McNulty, MP for East Harrow, and Minister of State for Policing, Security and Community Safety?
  • Are Bhagani and Tony McNulty MP working to achieve a Sathya Sai Baba Radio broadcasting service that will transmit to the British Isles and beyond?
  • What can he tell the public of his/his organization’s links with Dr. Noah Samara, CEO, WorldSpace Corporation, and Dr. Michael Nobel, Chairman, Member of the Board of Directors of WorldSpace, and Sai Baba’s known – and already strongly-unfolding – agenda to to ensure that broadcasts of him and his key devotees reach  every corner of the globe?
  • Does he monetarily and with other favours fortify Tony McNulty’s private office in the House of Commons?
  • Does Tony McNulty employ Bhagani’s daughter?
  • Has he been given improper access to British government correspondance – intended to be Strictly Confidential! – received from former Sai devotees?
  • Did he learn from the Minister of Policing, or any other well-placed source, that Prime Minister Blair ordered the Metropolitan Police (in Februrary 2002) to stop its investigations of matters relating to Sathya Sai Baba?
  • Was Bhagani involved in moves that resulted in the silencing by the parliamentary Whips of both sides of the House of Commons of the almost fifty British parliamentarians who signed a petition calling for official investigation into Sathya Sai Baba, gagging them? – specifically at a time of sensitive years’ long negotiations for the sale, by British Aeronautical Systems to (Sai Baba devotee) Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government of a 1 billion sale of Hawk jet fighters to India?  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2012743.stm
  • Does Bhagani pursue in high places of influence the notion that criticism of Sai Baba is adverse to India herself?
  • Has he been involved in moves to ensure that key executives of Labor Friends of India, the Conservative Parliamentary Friends of India, and the Indo-British Parliamentary Group block any moves against Sai Baba or his organization, given the argument that many major political and trade interests in India will be upset otherwise?
  • Has he sighted in part or in whole, or been informed about, a highly secret British government paper that is adverse to Sathya Sai Baba?
  • Where do the huge donations that Bhagani personally administers end up once they have got to the Sathya Sai Central Trust in India? Does he really know, and if not why would be encourage the passage of truly vast sums of money out of the UK?
  • Apart from those social welfare projects about which we may all feel good, is there a vast residual? Where would that go? In vastly failed water projects? In lavish accommodations and other highly ostentatious buildings? Into funding certain of Sai Baba’s business devotees? Into extremely costly promotions of an organization whose founder has long and often said needs no promotion? See Sai Baba’s statement “Avatars need no advertisement”:
    http://tinyurl.com/2ny3z9
  •  The Media can ask Bhagani about testimony which can be supplied to bona fide investigators by an impeccable source. This is a British citizen distinguished for integrity and intellectual accumen in high reaches of Government service, who informs that he quotes verbatim from Ashok Bhagani. Concerned that an old, confused, sick close relative’s wealth was unjustly being garnered by the UK Sathya Sai Organization, the citizen spoke with Bhagani by phone who, it is testified, replied:

“There is no corruption in India. Our policy as trustees is to take the lot and it is none of your business where the money goes.”

Exposing Corruption Is No Easy Road

Former devotees have spent enormous time and energy, year after year, in testifying and documenting to outstanding broadcasters like the BBC, CBC, ABC, SBS, DR, and newspapers such as India Today, Tehelka, Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, Salon.com, BT, Bild, Focus, Trouw, Speegelbield, Noordhollands Dagblad, Sokaren, Gatopardo, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Age, Australian Financial Review, West Australian, Adelaide Advertiser, to some of the world’s top universities, and to civic and religious institutions with whom the Sathya Sai Organization attempts to link with, etc., while not being frank about its real agendas. Journalists from different parts of the world have informed – and occasionally let slip by those such as Dr G. Venkataraman, Sai Baba’s chief propagandist – of high-level attempts by the Sai Organization to stop broadcasters and newspapers from investigating Sai Baba.

But Ashok Bhagani would have it that former Sai Baba devotee dissenters are but “two or three” who every now and again “will make these wild accusations”.

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, News and Politics, Opinion, Politics, Religion, Scandal, Social and Politics, Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

Ashok Bhagani and The Secret Swami

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 22, 2007

Ashok Bhagani. Part 4. 

In a BBC Radio 4 interview held in November 2000, Ashok Bhagani confirmed that allegations that Sai Baba serially sexually molests boys and young men have been around for years. He stated:

“I welcome anyone to contact me if they’ve got a serious allegation, and errr … We will talk to them.”

Why might it be that former devotees do not trust Ashok Bhagani?

In his interview, he says:

“What actual evidence does the BBC have to substantiate these claims? These allegations have been circulating for years and have never been proved. As far as I’m concerned, there are 30 million happy devotees in the world, but every so often you will get two or three who will make these wild allegations.”

Millions of Devotees Can’t Be Wrong

But what if the facts are hidden by ‘the secret swami’ (to use the BBC’s epithet applied to Sai Baba) from almost all of those happy ’30 million happy devotees’? Great dictators like Hitler and Stalin were cheered by millions of ecstatically happy followers – so can so many individuals be wrong? Can we trust mass opinion? Can we trust Ashok Bhagani? Or trust Dr K.J.S ‘Sunny’ Anand who, as we saw yesterday, has publicly and joyfully proclaimed that Sai Baba has 100 million devotees world wide? (Dr ‘Sunny’ Anand is a U.S. Presidential medical advisor, and Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Pharmacology & Neurobiology at the University of Arkansas For Medical Sciences, a U.S. Presidential medical advisor). Dr. Anand’s claims, including that Sai Baba is God fully manifest, are found at an official Sai Baba website: http://www.srisathyasaipublications.org/anand.htm

The Asian Voice journalist, Payal Nair, reports, June 25, 2004:

“Ashok Bhagani also states that when devotees are selected by Sai Baba for a private interview, there is always someone else present in the room, and this is especially the case when women and children meet him” http://tinyurl.com/34cx5g   

Can Even Sai Devotees Trust Ashok Bhagani?

Well, thousands – if not alas quite millions! – of Sai devotees who have gone for interview with Sai Baba know that this assertion is absolutely untrue.

For years, Bhagani, like Sai Baba’s leaders, except those who have resigned in profound alienation and disgust, has abjectly failed to heed the acute concerns of former devotees once so long well loved and respected in his organization. We can easily see that Bhagani – though apparently a devotee for some four decades – has known of allegations of sexual molestation by Sai Baba for at least three years up to the date of his last media interviews. Having expressed willingness to talk to those making allegations of sexual molestation by Sai Baba, why then does Bhagani claim that their accounts are “factless and baseless”? Has he produced even a scrap of evidence that proves Sai Baba’s innocence before – surely hypocritically – demanding of BBC producers to produce their own?

Closely networked former devotees throughout the world, and for several years, do not know of a single instance where the Sathya Sai Organisation – extremely controlled from the top as it is – has shown duty-of-care to those families and individuals hitherto in good standing with it who have gone to the leaders with their painful accounts of sexual and other abuses by Sai Baba and in some cases those close to him.

Chartered Accountant Fails Transparency and Accountability Test

Ashok Bhagani lives in the UK, where marked institutional and corporate changes have occurred in regard to transparency and accountability. Here, proper mechanisms obtain for competent and just investigation of complaints of human rights and other abuses. Because of its cultic and suppressive nature, the multi-billions’- wealthy and powerful Sathya Sai Organization has brought upon itself the troubles it now suffers from exposure to millions of television viewers and newspaper and magazine readers, via the Internet, and determined former devotees exposing the cult in to their own government, religious and civic institutions..

Ashok Bhagani and his organization have worse solidified a culture of soviet-style culture of suppression and cover-up. Equally, he and his peers slander and vilify the large number of people who, prompted by acute moral and ethical concerns, have left it, and those who have tried – against formidable odds – to expose the facts.

Cultic Reaction or Principled Proaction? 

Perhaps we can trust our financial matters with Bhagani as a leading British chartered accountant. But surely not with a duty-of-care to regarding our children. Paul Lewis wrote an article in The Guardian, Saturday November 4, 2006 – ‘The indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/india/story/0,,1939405,00.html

It raised concerns about the nexus between the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, the UK Sai youth, on their way in large numbers to see Sai Baba. Once it realized questions were being asked in by very senior persons, including a former Home Minister, Tom Sackville, the Awards required of Dr. G. Venkataraman to take down from the official website the triumphing information that the Awards had been awarded to Sai Baba himself. But Bhagani fell silent amid the furore. Do, not however, the parents of the youth have a right to know the seriousness of the sexual abuse allegations, and the fact, well known to the top leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization that they are made by families and individuals whose word has not been hitherto doubted?

Obvious in his interviews are his incredible superficiality, insensitivity to the anguish of those making the primary allegations, and lack of that compassion which Sai Baba and his followers so often talk about. Bhagani tacitly assumes it is an easy thing for former devotees to submit to the very exacting demands involved in making complex submissions to entities which make exacting demands on those who make claims in extraordinary matters. Leading media ask tough questions. They also have their Legal departments scrutinizing them, not to mention the public.

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, Opinion, Religion, Uncategorized | 6 Comments »