Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman
Posted by Barry Pittard on February 28, 2007
More detailed information to that below is found in the article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’. This four-part piece was co-authored by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. It responds to points Dr G. Venkataraman has unconscienably raised – despite his knowledge of the excellent character of so many who have, as a matter of moral principal, left the Sai Baba fold. He has demeaned the excellent professionalism of the British Broadcasting Corporation, who were exceptionally exacting in the amount of hard evidence they sought from globally networked Sathya Sai Baba devotees, some of whom had been outstanding leaders for decades (See too: Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman: Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard and Dr G. Venkataraman, Sathya Sai Baba’s Nuclear Boon Companion.
Dr G. Venkataraman, formerly an intimate member of India’s nuclear bomb community, was Vice-Chancellor of Sai Baba’s university at Puttaparthi. He is now second-in-charge of the international Sathya Sai Organization, and head of Sai Global Harmony. The latter entity broadcasts, in affiliation with WorldSpace International Satellite Radio Service, 24/7 to many countries. With a behind-the-scenes corporate-style, assisted by portions of 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. A vital question will be whether politicians in democratic countries will be capable of distinguishing between the issue of freedom of religion and the issue of cults that decidedly do not, whatever may be their rhetoric, respect democracy.
Dr Venkataraman is tantamount to being Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘minister of propaganda’. Practically all heads of the Sathya Sai Organization are forbidden to comment on critical matters, but G. Venkataraman is an exception. The few spokesmen (and the extreme male domination is palpable) say very little, as one would expect of a virtually Soviet-style, cultic organization. In some ways – otherwise the public reputability worldwide of the Sathya Sai Organisation would soon be in tatters. But a fact that no Sai devotee can deny is that Sathya Sai Baba and deputy chairman Venkararaman have both wax lyrical about how the former dictator of Uganda Idi Amin wept with tears of devotion over Sai Baba. I invited those of my readers who are very concerned about the cultic adherence of relatives and friends to Sathya Sai Baba to send to, or print off for, them the following irrefutable documentation:
Idi Amin Video Clip. Amin Claimed Direct Line To God and Sathya Sai Baba and Dr G.Venkataraman: Will They Disavow Their Idi Amin Fondness? and Sathya Sai Baba, dictator Idi Amin and G. Venkataraman and Sathya Sai Baba’s Deputy Head, Dr G. Venkataraman, Speaks of “Mr Idi Amin” and The Last King of Scotland – GOD’S ORDERS and Sai Baba
Until recently, even Venkataraman was subdued. However, a civil lawsuit against the directors of the Sathya Sai Society of America law went badly wrong for the litigant, Alaya Rahm of southern California,the son of Al Rahm who was for many years one of the highest profile Sathya Sai Organization leaders in the world. The young man, Alaya, was advised by his attorney, William Brelsford, to self-dismiss his case. This resulted in terms so absurdly unfavourable to Rahm that some of (including top lawyers from the US, UK, and Australia) have been aghast. One wonders whether his pro bono lawyer William Brelsford can even look himself in the mirror of a morning. His discovery process was faulty, and the high-flying lawyers for Dr Michael Golstein, head of the world Sathya Sai Organization ran rings round the tactically slow-moving Brelsford.
Had the Rahm family not suffered enough – having already courageously and tirelessly lent themselves to former devotee efforts with Denmark’s national broadcaster DR, BBC television, FBI and State Department, UNESCO, etc., – I, for one, favoured initiating a complaints process about William Brelsford to the California Bar Society, but could then, after searching phone conversation with the father, Al Rahm, sense how fragile hurt the Rahm family were feeling, and so backed off. From first hand, I knew well that the Rahm family, out of deep respect for my close and widely respected, much-loved associate (the late) Glen Meloy. It was not as if the Rahm had not already done, and suffered. (For Glen Meloy, see my obiturary: Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam
Venkataraman seemed rapturous. Alaya Rahm is one of many throughout the world who accuse Sathya Sai Baba of sexually molesting them while in their teens, not to mention young men just out of their teens. One of the saddening types of report that come to us is of men advanced in age, who have for many years remained quiet about Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of them when the men were very young, and visited Sai Baba decades ago. Al Rahm has told us how an important factor in the Al Rahm being able to accept his son’s accounts of abuse was that Sathya Sai Baba had sexually abused Al many years before, and Al, like so many others, had seen the abuse not as abuse but as a form of mystic, divine blessing by his all-knowing, all-seeing guru. For another example of belated debriefing see the case of Mark Roche. Here is the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ segment where Tanya Datta interviews Mark Roche, in his 60’s and now a psychotherapist in the USA:
10.24.10 Aston Santa Monica, California
10.24.28 Tanya Datta: Mark Roche devoted twenty-five years of his life to Sai Baba. He first heard of him in nineteen sixty-nine and soon joined the local centre in California. The guru’s message was the big attraction.
10.24.44 Aston MARK ROCHE: The teachings themselves were very universal and adopted the attitude of embracing all other religions so that it wasn’t a matter of this religion opposed to that, that you had to leave whatever you were in to be associated with Sai Baba, it was something that just be a better Christian or a better Jew or a better whatever it is rather than necessarily having to leave it mixed with the fact that the person who is the head of that is claiming to be God himself.
10.25.15 Tanya Datta: It’s the special moment when God calls. And Mark couldn’t believe his luck when he was summoned for a private interview. But he emerged shocked and confused. Just like the Rahms, Sai Baba had oiled his genitals. Two years later Mark was called for an audience again.
10.25.37 Mark Roche: He kept saying stuff like that I’m giving you a great chance, millions want to touch the feet, you know, I’m giving you whole body, this is great chance, this is great chance. Then he went over to a different of the building and pulled up his dhoti, which is Indian garment kind of thing and exposed himself and sort of indicated that I was supposed to put his penis in my mouth, which, feeling intimidated and confused and all that, I did. And although it didn’t seem right to me but it just seemed like what I was supposed to do.
10.26.15 Tanya Datta: Why would God want to put his penis in your mouth?
10.26.20 Mark Roche: Got me.
10.26.24 Tanya Datta: One of the things that a lot of the abuse victims we’ve talked to have said, is that Sai Baba does these genital oilings because it’s part of Hinduism. Have you ever heard anything like that?
10.26.35 Aston KHUSHWANT SINGH Writer: I, I, I, for one, it’s nothing to do with, there’s no Indian tradition to support the fact that, you know, worship of the Lingam includes also doing the blow job, if that is what you are referring to. I don’t think there’s any basis for that whatsoever.
In the view of our lawyers looking at the case, his legal representation was in some respects seriously deficient. Did Venkataraman think it a matter full of merriment for a young man to tangle with attorneys hired by those backed by great wealth? There is not a moment in his long piece (what piece of his is not long, and long-winded?) where Venkataraman shows the slightest compassion. For him a fallen dissenter is a figure for derision and crowing over, and the response of many Sai Baba supporters was the same. How very spiritual of them all! It was simply too much for Venkataraman to miss the opportunity to triumph in front of a wide public – something he could not have done without Sathya Sai Baba’s explicit permission. See:
Alaya Rahm’s Testimony – Some Key Statements and, for the joint statement of the Rahm family and the international JuST group, Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America and the independent author Kevin R.D. Shepherd’s 23.6 The Alaya Rahm Lawsuit in California
See too: Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s jointly authored, four-part article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’ and:
The International Sathya Sai Organization – an accessory to a massive libel and disinformation campaign – Open letter to the Prasanthi Council – c/o Dr. M. Goldstein, Dr. G. Venkataraman and its other members and:
(Flash Forward: October 2009) Robert Priddy latest! Dr. G. Venkataraman, propagandist in the limelight
(21 MB, Modem)
Raising ever more serious questions about how spiritual is the head of what Sathya Sai Baba has called THE divine organization in the world,
at the BBC’s perfectly reasonable questions about accountability
Michael Goldstein and the sexual allegations (2,10 Mbs)
The Public Petition
(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization