Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Archive for March, 2007

A Great Deceiver – Laughable But Still Dangerous

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 31, 2007

Sai Baba’s many scientist followers must have to block their ears or don magical-thinking hearing aids when he opines on matters scientific. Some of his pronouncements are comic, to be sure. But the smile disappears from one’s face when considering that Sai Baba’s devotees number many leaders in the top power echelons of politics, government, the sciences, the judiciary, diplomacy, industry, finance, the arts, medicine, and so on

He speaks, for example, of the nature of magnetism. Here, Sai Baba’s educated devotees furnish a modern example of the Hans Christian Anderson story of the Emperor With No Clothes. Sai Baba is indeed an emperor of his own domain worth many highly unaccountable billions, and the Anderson story slightly transmutes into a tale about an emperor with no other magnetism than the charismatic ability to gull millions – or rather to persuade them to gull themselves. For him to do this so spectacularly well, one imagines that Sai Baba would first have had to have learnt, long ago, to gull himself.

In his March 13, 2002 Mahashivarathri discourse, Sai Baba said, “So when I put My foot down, the whole foot stuck to the ground. It is a little hard to lift a foot that is stuck. Wherever I walk, it sticks there. Whatever is held, it sticks to My hand. This magnet is not in everyone like this. This magnet is so powerful only in Divinity.” Robert Priddy comments aptly on Sai Baba’s unscientific statements about magnetism and the nature of the atom at:
http://www.saiguru.net/english/articles/
56Bmagnetism.htm

Sai Baba’s view of what time life enters the human foetus is also primitive. You may view scans at:
http://www.exbaba.com/
shortnews/foetus.html
of two brief extracts, run side by side, of his entirely conflicting statements extracted from two editions of the guru’s official magazine that is distributed worldwide, Sanathana Sarathi – of a) September 1996 and b) April 1997.

An example of a famous scientist capable of the profound mental gymnastics required to shine in his scientific field – rising to become a George W. Bush medical advisor – and yet hail Sai Baba as God, is Kanwaljeet ‘Sunny’ Anand. See my article “Sai Baba Is God Says Top George Bush Doctor”:
https://barrypittard.wordpress.com/2007/03/06/sai-baba-is-god-says-top-george-bush-doctor/

Well we may laugh. But our laughter should not laugh away the seriousness of the great deception and its terrible consequences.

Further Reading

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

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team

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

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Video Resources

The Secret Swami (BBC Television):
(154 MB, Broadband)

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
(80 MB, Broadband)

http://www.exbaba.comseduced/seduced.wmv
(21 MB, Modem)

Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip)

BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle « Call For Media and Government Investigation

Sathya Sai Baba Chief, Dr Goldstein, Explodes. “I am the consummate professional” (See Film Clips)

Raising ever more serious questions about how spiritual is the head of what Sathya Sai Baba has called THE divine organization in the world,

Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs)

at the BBC’s perfectly reasonable questions about accountability

Dr. Goldstein again reveals his higher self (1.500Kb)

Michael Goldstein and the sexual allegations (2,10 Mbs)

Michael Goldstein admits his view is merely a belief (456kbs)

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia « Call For Media and Government Investigation

……………………………………………………

General
Excerpt From 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

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL)

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Religion, Sai Baba, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | 2 Comments »

Guardians of Our Young? Or De Facto Sexual Abuse Pimps?

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 30, 2007

Glen Hart. Valmai Worthington. Peter Rae (Australia). Hal Honig (NY, USA). Kindly explain yourselves. Given your ‘Lord’ Sai Baba’s long fascination with boys and young men, are you warning them and their parents, and those who you lead to Sai Baba, of what you know to be the facts?

In her interview in April 1998, a close friend of mine, an Australian member, as was I, of Valmai Worthington’s group told me she saw Sai Baba covertly grasp the penis of a young man, Michael, who was a member of a group led by Glen Hart of South Australia who seemed to me to be in his mid to late twenties. Another such incident, told to me by Maria Quoos, who now leads the Sathya Sai Organization in Poland, I report in my piece “Sai Baba and Sexual Grooming”:
https://barrypittard.wordpress.com/2007/02/26/sai-baba-and-sexual-grooming/

Seeding Kundalini – or Sowing Confusion and Angst?

Straight after the interview, on the ‘hill’ behind the Mandir (Temple), my informant spoke to Michael, who told her that he was “spun out by it all” (highly confused). One keeps discovering that many Sai devotees know at the very least of Sai Baba’s holding of the penises of young males. They need to stop to ask themselves why it is that this practice is confined to young males. It is no use their responding – as they commonly do – that Sai Baba is e.g., “calming raging hormones”, “balancing the kundalini”, and other such vacuity. Do young girls not have raging hormones? And even if there were such a thing as kundalini, do young girls not have it? Whatever may be the case, Sai Baba is not a licenced medical practitioner who would, in very strictly defined clinical situations, be permitted to examine or treat genitalia. In short, Sai Baba breaks the law – on countless occasions.

Sai Baba Lacks Even Basic Circumspection

In my own interview in August of that year, I saw Glen Hart draped over Sai Baba in a most intimate way, with Sai Baba and Hart showering mutual affection – for example, both playing with each other’s hands. It looked, for example, like two young girls displaying intimacy and affection for each other. In over two decades of devotion to him, I had never seen such a display by him. Over time, over a dozen reports that Sai Baba was not the celibate Swami he purports to be I had dismissed as impossible. In retrospect, I realize that I had seen in the Glen Hart and Sai Baba display a situation that no circumspect elder would allow. What we may expect from proven letches like Bill Clinton we do not expect from a mature leader, religious or otherwise!

It may also be recalled that allegations of young male sexual molestation by Sai Baba were intensifying on the Internet right at this very time. We now learn from Mark Roche and Al Rahm (for example, in the BBC television documentary The Secret Swami, 2004) – but from innumerable others – that Sai Baba’s handling of young males’ genitals – has been going on for many decades.

Peter Rae – the ‘Sai Brother’ I Really Didn’t Know

My ex-partner’s and my group was led by Valmai Worthington of Queensland, who in the last quarter of 1997 told me by phone that Sai Baba had appointed her to look after the interests of a Sai devotee family whose two children had been very badly sexually abused by Peter Rae, an Australian documentary film maker, an old ‘Sai brother’ of mine, and attend court proceedings against Rae. I did not tell Mrs Worthington that I had also an account of this terrible occurrence from a (then) very dear Sai Baba devotee friend of mine, a medical doctor who knew the family and had received from his own sources very indicting information concerning Peter Rae. (An unusually reliable source I will share with bona fide investigators informed that the damage to one or both of the children required surgical intervention). I noticed that Peter Rae still had a priviledged seat at the entrance to Sai Baba’s mandir (temple) and was still, along with James Redmond (Sai Baba’s videographer who was also there during these months), permitted to take photographs and videos of Sai Baba in a way permitted to almost no other individual from any country. (I may add that James Redmond has told a number of us former followers of Sai Baba he has various film footage in which it is clear that Sai Baba is faking miraculous materializations)

I subsequently learnt that back in Australia, Peter Rae was still permitted to visit Sai Baba centers but must be accompanied by responsible adults in the presence of young children. However, in Puttaparthi, Rae – who I knew well, or rather thought I did! – could be often seen in the company of very young boys from a nearby village where he was making a film about Sai Baba when young. I sought out a senior member of Sai Baba’s ‘Security and Intelligence wing’ and expressed my concerns. He assured me that they would be taken seriously. Today, I would not be so naively trusting! I would at the very least do a rigorous follow-up to see whether proper accountability mechanisms had locked into place.

Former National Sai Baba Leader Warned of At-Risk Situations

Terry Gallagher, the former national Spiritual Coordinator of the Sathya Sai Organization of Australia and Papua and New Guinea, has since confirmed to me that he spent many hours with Mrs Worthington patiently going through extensive evidence he had collected (including from Sai Baba’s college students) of Sai Baba’s sexual molestations, which had caused him to resign as head of the Australian organization  However, Valmai Worthington has continued to lead groups, including boys and young men, to Sai Baba. 

(Ironically, Terry Gallagher is the brother-in-law of the current leader of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia, Neville Fredericks. Terry and his wife after years of intense devotion left Sai Baba on acute ethical grounds. He has told me that, after considerable efforts but failing to convince the organization of the seriousness of the sexual abuse allegations, he now remains silent so as to maintain a business relationship with Fredericks and to keep the peace within the family). Why is it that the prophet Jeremiah’s lamentation keeps coming into my mind when I think of those who shut up in favour of the quiet life, and lie down with grievous offenders? Jeremiah 6:14 (GWT): “They treat my people’s wounds as though they were not serious, saying, ‘Everything is alright! Everything is alright!’ But it’s not alright”. Or, if you prefer the King James version: “Peace, peace; when there is no peace”.

The Truth Commission Model May Show Sai Devotees The Honest Way Out

Other group leaders from various countries who we know to have been informed that Sai Baba sexually abuses boys and young men still take groups of all ages to see him. There is repeated evidence that they still do not inform parents of global allegations concerning Sai Baba, nor that highly respected individuals like Terry Gallagher and many other former and  esteemed  leaders and members, make them. Leaders tell rank-and-file members that those making the allegations are a small disgruntled handful. Blind to commonsense, deaf to basic reasoning processes, rapid to leap to worst case speculations about the motivations of Sai Baba dissenters, Sai Baba’s devotees typically believe that former devotees have become, in an instant, transformed into demons. Racing into deep denial, vacating all commonsense, these devotees chronically deny the good standing of those they have long loved and respected, and worked and worshipped beside. History is bound to ‘out’ those who do this. They cannot possibly defend themselves on the grounds of truth and compassion. They will need, above all, to express profound sorrow, and admit profound failure in Duty of Care, towards those Sai Baba has so criminally, and for so many decades, abused. Perhaps some of the Truth Commission experiences and insights may assist Sai Baba devotees to pull themselves out of their dilemma. It would be a great pity if the good social uplift works done by many good and decent Sai Baba devotees were to be damaged by the revelations already so extensively available, with many more on their way. Starting points are:
http://www.truthcommission.org/
http://www.doj.gov.za/trc/

Highly Qualified Abuse Psychologist Shirley Pike Accuses Hal Honig:  “A pimp for Sai Baba”

Over the years, concerns have been expressed relating to groups led by Hal Honig of Manhattan, New York, a U.S. cultural attaché in Rome in the 60’s and now one of the most senior leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization in the U.S., including being, Peter Pan-like, the head of the Sai Youth wing.  See my article “Will Sai Baba Keep Hal Honig Smiling?” at:
https://barrypittard.wordpress.com/2007/03/22/will-sai-baba-keep-hal-honig-smiling/

In the late 90’s, Shirley Pike, a very qualified psychologist with years of experience sexual abuse counseling, including of many children, began to to discover compelling evidence that pointed to Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men. Mrs Pike was President, North Carolina Region and President of Cedar Rapids Center, Iowah. She denounced Hal Honig at a large Sai Organization gathering as “Sai Baba’s pimp.”

But then – how many pimps does Sai Baba, India’s most powerful and influential guru, who has millions of devotees, have? And must we not hold the many group leaders who have young males in their groups – supposedly in loco parentis – extremely accountable? And what to mention Sai Baba’s often very wealthy and influential leaders around the world who cover up for him on the grand scale – even, the evidence makes clear, ensuring that governments do not ‘rock the boat with India in matters pertaining to Sai Baba?

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The Public PetitionInformation on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to go straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, Opinion, Religion, Sai Baba, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Three Stooges Meet ‘The Secret Swami’

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 28, 2007

Many Major Institutions View Allegations As Responsibly Made 

Leading media and other organizations such as UNESCO and the U.S. State Department have been very stringent in their expectations of sound evidence from organized dissenters of Sai Baba around the world. Those who have acted on the evidence of former devotees and other Sai Baba critics include the BBC, DR (Denmark), ATUL (Argentina), SBS (Australia), ABC (Australia), and print media in India, the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, Australia etc.

In the UK, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester stopped Sathya Sai Baba sect meetings, as have the authorities of the University College of London, Downe House public school, and Lord Wandsworth College. At Glastonbury, the Catholic bishop banned from its premises the well-known Ramala Centre, founded by high-profile Sai devotees David Jevons and Anne Jevons, his wife. The UK Catholic Bishops have taken private steps to thwart the Sathya Sai Organization from interfacing with the Catholic Church in the U.K. (We will share details with reputed media and other responsible investigators). Despite considerable difficulty to themselves, the University of Flinders and the University of Adelaide (separately) withdrew from arrangements with the Sathya Sai Organization, as did UNESCO.

BBC Secret Camera Routs Top Sai Baba Official Dr Michael Goldstein

The media quickly discover for themselves the dishonesty and elusiveness of Sai Baba and his leaders. Media heads are soon faced by high-rolling Sai Baba officials or devotees who threaten litigation, but who, when faced down, prove to have been bluffing.

The BBC uncovered serious allegations of sexual molestation of young males beyond even the extensive resources of Sai Baba’s former devotees and groups such as Rationalists and Humanists, not to mention other scandals and cover-ups that could not be covered in the hour-long documentary, ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004). Because of the many evasions, the BBC’s legal department permitted ‘The Secret Swami’ team to clandestinely film world head of the Sathya Sai Organization Dr Michael Goldstein. This is a medical doctor from Covina California, U.S.A., who is not qualified as a sexual abuse therapist. Yet the BBC documentary clearly exposes him using his status as a medical doctor to claim that he would be able to tell by looking whether Sai Baba’s students had been sexually abused.  In some 120 countries, millions saw Dr Goldstein show no respect for the accountability and transparency that citizens and responsible organizations today expect. They also saw Goldstein – unaware that he was being filmed – act with an anger and rudeness remote from the behavior of a dignified spiritual leader.

Media Needs To Pursue Sai Baba’s World Radio Propagandist

Deputy world chairman to Dr Michael Goldstein is Dr G. Venkataraman, retired Indian nuclear scientist – who refers to Goldstein as “Brother”. G. Venkataraman, formerly Vice Chancellor of Sai Baba’s university in Puttaparti, South India, is at the center of Sai Baba’s propaganda broadcasting venture, Radio Sai Global Harmony. In a corporate venture with WorldSpace Radio, it aims to broadcast via satellite to every corner of the globe. Before the blissful experience of tuning into the 7 days 24 hours broadcasts from Radio Sai Global Harmony, you may like to go to the search box of this blog and input: Venkataraman or Amin, and see his and Sai Baba’s inanely warm musings on the monstrous dictator Idi Amin.

Al Gore’s Old Chum, Isaac Tigrett – Billionaire Sai Baba Backer

One of Sai Baba’s many huge financial backers is Isaac Tigrett, founder of the Hard Rock Cafe and House of Blues chains. When working as a publisher’s editor at Sai Towers, I heard him observe how Al Gore would eagerly await news of Sai Baba on Tigrett’s return to the United States from his many visits to Sai Baba. (We can discuss the Hillary and Bill Clinton Sai Baba link later)

Like Goldstein, when confronted by those who ask serious questions, Isaac Tigrett faced with BBC television cameras comes off badly, too. Unlike many other highly authoritarian Sai Baba leaders, Tigrett comes across as a nice guy. But again with a foolishness obvious to the viewers or readers not brainwashed by cultic non-think. In ‘The Secret Swami, the BBC interviewer Tanya Datta says to Tigrett “But even if it was proven to you that Sai Baba was a paedophile and a serial sex abuser, you’re saying it wouldn’t change the fact that he is your guru”. Tigrett replies, “Absolutely not. Absolutely not. He could go out and murder someone tomorrow…”

Stay tuned.

Video Resources:

http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/movies.html

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, Opinion, Religion, Sai Baba, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Will Sai Baba Keep Hal Honig Smiling?

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 22, 2007

.jpg Photo of Hal Honig.

Before posting this blog, I have taken these steps:

  • consulted an international lawyer
  • discussed with, and forwarded documentation relating to written allegations made that the reader can see below in Question 3) to the FBI (at the U.S. Embassy in Canberra, Australia), with simultaneous recipients being, at a high level, the U.S. State Department, Washington and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Canberra, Australia.
  • In a further bid to ensure accountability, notified the New York Mayor’s Office, which has issued a case number.
  • Notified Interpol.

With informant permission, facts will be shared with media that has a track record of responsible journalism and law firms of repute.  Further enquiries may be made to me: Barry Pittard. Email: bpittard@optusnet.com.au

Good Citizenship Preceeds Spiritual Pursuits

Whatever may be the outcome of enquiries by the authorities, the truth may best be established by those reformist forces that one hears are growing in the Sathya Sai Organization (even though it is highly undemocratic in its main and often hidden power structures). The chances are that, if they ask questions, they will – like other individuals of conscience and integrity who have done so in a number of countries – be summarily thrown out of the Sathya Sai Organization. But let us trust that some remain who have professional competency to investigate and to hold accountable. Perhaps there will be some who are at least motivated by the wish to see the good social service works of the organization somehow maintained, despite continuing media and other exposure of Sai Baba and his top leaders.  

Perhaps they may be reminded that we are citizens first. One does not even get to the airport enroute to a guru unless one’s fellow citizens act decently and by certain rules. One must never allow fealty to a guru or any other charismatic figure to annihilate moral and ethical duties to our wider communities. In fact, as citizens, we have far more power to combat evil-doing than we might imagine, if only we will take courage and best use those rights law reformers have valiantly fought, and even died, for!

Will the U.S. State Department Be Accountable? Or Protect Honig?

One is informed that in the 60’s Hal Honig was a U.S. Cultural Attaché in Rome. He is a member of the Sathya Sai Central Council of the U.S.A., National Executive Commitee for Sai Young Adults, and National Seva (Sanskrit=Service) Coordinator Service Projects (which includes teaching needy youth)

‘The Secret Swami’s’ Cult Lacks Accountability

Hal Honig’s accountability is not only to his Sai Baba community but to the wider community per se. It is unusually high given that he has taken so many boys and young men to see Sai Baba, who faces many worldwide accusations of serial sexual molestation of boys and young men and implication in police killings in his bedroom on June 6, 1993 (which V.P.B. Nair, former Home Secretary of Sai Baba’s state, Andhra Pradesh, has told BBC television in ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004) was “cold-blooded murder”).

A key question is – do Hal Honig and his fellow worldwide Sathya Sai Organization leaders tell the parents and rank-and-file members of how seriously and responsibly made are the allegations against Sai Baba?

These leaders are often wealthy and influential, not least those who have Donald Trump as a near neighbor. The BBC producers of ‘The Secret Swami’, noting profound public unaccountability of Sai Baba and his organization, sought and gained permission from top BBC management and their legal advisors  to use a secret camera on Dr Michael Goldstein of Covina, California, the world chairman of the Sathya Sai Organization – a group that sees billions in various currencies pour into the Sathya Sai Central Trust in India.  

But Will Hal Honig Answer – Truthfully?

Those Sai Baba devotees honest and gutsy enough to ask for clarification can demand of Hal Honig, particularly as a foremost ‘Young Adult’ leader within this Organization:

1. Do you believe it true that various honest young males of your acquaintance (not to mention those parents who have strongly believed their childrens’ accounts and stood by them) have shared stories of Sai Baba? For example:

  • touching their genitals
  • oiling their genitals 
  • sucking their penis 
  • requiring to have his penis sucked
  • receiving from him or giving to him anal sex 

Oft-Persecuted Gays May Wish Honig’s Frankness, Too

2. There is evidence down the years that you lead a gay lifestyle. For example, we are told that you were well-known to the gay community in your U.S. Embassy days in Rome in the 60’s. Happily, studies have reinforced the evidence that the majority of gays, like heterosexuals, neither practice nor countenance sex with minors. Therefore, would it not be good to convince us all – including the gay community which is harmed by attributions of being male sexual abusers – and even make a sworn statement to the effect that the parties at your luxury apartment in Manhattan, New York, close to Donald Trump’s apartment, would not at all permit or countenance, or have ever done so, any such tresspass of law and morality?

How Clean is Hal Honig’s Luxury Apartment?

3. What is your comment, since you are reported to have knowledge of the related matters specifically, on the following note (the validity of which we understand will be attested by a sworn affidavit)?

“[T]here are people in the Sathya Sai Organization that on a regular basis have brought young black boys from the getto in Harlem and elsewhere to Sai Baba and in exchange are getting young males from India to their apartments in Manhattan. These males are easily getting visas for study arranged by the Indian Government” …..”Being gay, I was myself invited to X’s three-story apartment. It was then I realised the whole set up and found the Indian boys used in X’s own bedroom by other pedophiles …”

A further note by the same witness reports:

“When I was in India in the 90’s, X came with a whole bunch of coloured boys. I asked him where he had got them he told me that they were rounded up in the gettos or in the poor quarters of Harlem or Bronx where the Sai Organization went to deliver sandwiches every weekend for the poor – they called their activity ‘Seva’. There they got in contact and then they took them to the Sai Centers and educated them in the beliefs of the Avatar and off they went to Puttaparthi. The same exchange was done from the schools in Puttaparthi towards X. Students came to live in his apartment after arriving in New York and they where told that they would study but at least some of them ended up as I saw for myself in his own bed, even though it was with another person, a friend of X’s (an american actor as it was told to me by the Indian boys). It all looked very rigged up. I was asked to be there to talk to his specially invited friends who came from high-up elite of New York, almost all artists in some way or another. For me it became very clear what it all was about since I caught the boys f***ing in groups with the American actor in X’s bedroom. Of course I as usual denied the whole experience and thought that the boys were enjoying their good time, even though they told me they where in new York for study reasons”.

Honig Group Member Suicides On Return To U.S.

4. Mr Honig, one boy in a group you led shortly after his return from the 1993 visit to Sai Baba took his own life. That is to say, you stood in the role in loco parentis to these boys and young men. Acting as their parent, you were their bounden protector. Did you have reason to believe that his tragic end, as he is reported as telling a friend, was related to his feelings of having been sexually abused by SSB?

Even the Dead Shall Speak

5. In Puttaparthi in 1993, or at any time thereafter, were you aware of the allegation by Liz‘s nephew (she was the US choir leader at Puttaparthi) that Sai Baba had sexually abused him?

6. You will remember, with much respect one trusts, the late Sharon Purcell and her son Satya. For over thirty years a Sai Baba devotee, she was a friend of the multi-millionaires, extremely close to Sai Baba and absolutely seminal to his Sai movement, the late Elsie and Walter Cowan. Do you remember how her son, Satya was a member of the group of boys you led in 1993? A number of former devotees regard it as a sacred trust to her and to Glen Meloy’s memory that their findings (some of them not yet revealed) will not be forgotten. One of those is the present writer, who will continue to refuse to bend to litigation and other threats by the leadership of the Sathya Sai Organization, as expressed by T. Sri Ramanathan when head of it in Australia, not to mention Sai Baba’s individual followers. I may add that, thankfully, the BBC, DR (Denmark’s national broadcaster), SBS (Australia’s national multi-cultural broadcaster) and other media have refused to bend to Sathya Sai Organization threats of litigation. They have also refused its cries for ‘balance’ because the organization has behaved as an extremely cultic one, which refuses to answer honest questions honestly. For example, the BBC television team was immediately cast out by Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi ashram authority the moment Eamon Hardy the producer asked about the worldwide allegations against Sai Baba.

And The Living Keep On Demanding Accountability

7. Satya Purcell attests that he was deeply disturbed to hear first-hand accounts of sexual molestation by Sai Baba by three of his young male friends on that 1993 visit. It was, he recounts, too much for him and, with deep sorrow, he curtailed years of loving devotion to Sai Baba. Did you know – in loco parentis as you were – of that, Mr Honig?

8. If you did know of these and any similar matters, did you notify any civil authorities? Were you frank with the parents and the boys and young men?

9. What is your view of the fact that Mandatory Reporting by in-charge adults is essential in the face of reports that those in their charge have been touched on the genitals or other acts that most – experts and laypersons alike – would regard as being of a sexual nature?

10. Not only is it questioned whether you informed about such matters the parents of the many boys and young men who, down the years, you have led to Sai Baba. But did you challenge your fellow leaders in the Sathya Sai Organization with the fact that Churches and other institutions have been devastated, including financially, because of their refusal to honestly face serious allegations of sexual promiscuity – in the case of clergy despite, as in the case of Sai Baba, vows of celibacy – among those in charge?

11. Or do you, like various Sai devotees, think that Sai Baba does these things but that he, being God and “pure” (to use his own words), and is an exception? And is exempt from the laws in many countries surrounding these acts?

12. Do you think it at all credible that a person such as Sharon Purcell, not to mention so many, many others, after those thirty long years of devotion to Sai Baba would leave the organization? That she would make such allegations? That she would quit the fold which was her life breath, which she so much loved and where she felt so accepted and loved?

Sharon, brave soul that she was, even though sick and dying, made the strenuous effort to be available for interview by Alejandro Agostinelli in an Argentina TV documentary ‘Zona de Investigacion’ series aired on Aug 5 and 12, 2000. According to those who knew her well, she withstood vicious verbal attacks on her integrity by high-profile Sai Baba devotees such as Berniece Mead, who lived in the same block of apartments, head of the Education in Human Values programs in the U.S.A., and a keynote speaker on Sai Baba topics across America.

Does Sai Baba’s Cult Actively Suppress Suicide Cases? 

13. Did you know that one of the boys in your group, with an account of having his genitals oiled by Sai Baba, was Josh Kintz (Josh=Joshua), son of Mahri and Bruce Kintz now of Colorado? (They were long term members of the former Cherry Valley, California Center under the leadership of the late Joy Thomas more recently, along with her husband Raye, active members of the Hemet, California Center).

Vilification of Those Who Speak Out

14. Jed Geyerhahn (then of Maine), the nephew of the bhajan teacher Elizabeth Elwell, of the Sathya Sai Organization of New Hampshire, who reportedly lived in Puttaparthi for 9 years, has said “I was a very close friend of Hal Honig, an aquaintence to (Professor of Psychiatry in San Diego, U.S.A) Dr Sam Sandweiss and others”.  If it is true that he and you were such close friends, do you believe that this articulate young man, who was prepared to appear with his sex abuse allegations against Sai Baba on DR’s documentary ‘Seduced’ (2001), which has been seen by millions in Scandinavia and Australia, and who moreover was prepared to be extremely attacked on the Internet, was the type of person to make things up? He too was a member of the group you led to see Sai Baba in 1993, very well documented by photographic and other evidence, which we have along with various sworn testimony.

Sai Baba Cult Slanders Many Former Devotees

15. If not, is it the case that you are prepared to stand by – ignominiously! – while defenders of Sai Baba slander the good name of former devotees and his other critics who have spoken out? Do you think it right that Sai Baba’s defenders should twist their words ? That former devotees’ enormously dedicated service work in full faith in Sai Baba be erased, Orwellian-like, from the records? That any defender of Sai Baba should receive privileged information from top leaders in your organization by which to further harass former devotees and other critics? That prominent official defenders of Sai Baba like G. Venkataraman and any proxy on the Internet should cite out-of-context and falsify? That those in the Sai Baba lobby should contact professional or university associates of former devotees? That by phone and email a Sai Baba protagonist (covertly in touch with Radio Sai personnel and certain top leaders in the U.S.A.) should frighten former devotee friends, colleagues and other contacts related to their job or past devotees contacts and, with gross misinterpretation, use the  shocked responses in their propaganda? That defenders of Sai Baba threaten with dire consequences, sometimes with death? That Sai devotees from official centers should cheer on and encourage attacks on the Internet against those who have called for proper investigation of the many and serious allegations against Sai Baba and his organization? That Sai devotees take as a licence for hatred and revenge Sai Baba’s recent pronouncement that devotees should now “dissade” those who criticize him? That a man with a CD allegedly of Sai Baba engaging in oral sex should be murdered, the only thing missing being that explosive CD? That an Indian former devotee who has spoken out should report no fewer than five very vicious attempts on his life or limb? That your close colleagues like Dr Michael Goldstein, Dr G. Venkataraman, Indulal Shah, the late Dr John Hislop, Bob Bozzani, Dr William Harvey, Dr John C. Evans, Dr Narendra Reddy, Ashok Bhagani, T. Sri Ramanathan, Thorbjörn Meyer, Jørgen Trygved, Steen Piculell, J. Jagadeesan and many others, should assail or slander those whose probity and decency were accepted down so many years when they were devotees of Sathya Sai Baba – in some cases foremost leaders and in many cases long-time members?

16. The young men from that 1993 group you were supposed to protect from all moral and other types of harm have convinced their elders,  including those who know them best, that they are telling the truth. Those who have carefully investigated include abuse experts whose qualifications range from very qualified up to Professor. Did you protect your charges from any touching of their bodies by Sai Baba and anyone else on any visit to Puttaparthi such that you knew, and know today, to be prohibited by both law and the overwhelming codes of conduct throughout the world?

What Does Hal Honig Say is the truth?

If his apartment in Manhattan has no shameful past or present, if the many boys and young men he has led to Sai Baba prove to have full confidence in him, let Honig say so publicly. Let all those boys and young men, and their parents, relatives and close friends race to exhonerate him. Let us see whether the New York Police Department and the New York Mayor’s Office can make headway in their own enquiries. Let Sai Baba’s devotees demand the processes and answers proper to best practice in responsible civic, religious and corporate organizations. 

Let the world now see whether Hal Honig and his Sathya Sai Organization are models of truth, right conduct, love and peace – of which Sai Baba and they all speak so terribly much. 

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, People, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Dare Songstress Nora Jones Touch Sai Baba?

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 20, 2007

steven-seagal-seated-with-sai-baba.jpgimages.jpggoldie_hawn1.jpgmichael-jackson.jpg

Nora Jones

nora-jones.jpg

is one of the world’s most admired singers of popular music. Her father, a high profile Sai Baba devotee, is Ravi Shankar, the Indian sitar maestro.

But what would stardom in a Hollywood movie about Sai Baba do for her image? Might it be that those such as her agents, Bob J. Grabow and all the good folks at Grabow and Associates, and other well-wishers, have implored Nora Jones to steer well clear of any movie that extols Sathya Sai Baba?

These days, notably quiet about their previous connections with Sai Baba are various Hollywood stars. Many  former devotees feel that it is not fair to ‘out’ those celebrities who are believed to have gone to see Sai Baba in a genuine spiritual quest or in the hope that he will miraculously heal their sicknesses.steven-seagal-with-automatic-handgun.jpg

This blogspot will consider this situation but draw a clear line in any case where those individuals support Sai Baba and any part of his worldwide organization.

Media Can Probe Stars on Superstar Guru

One would urge the media to question any celebrity Sai Baba devotee and ask of them why they would lend their name and fame to one so heavily exposed by the BBC, DR and many other major media in various countries (See links below). Just as they extensively and at the cost of great labor assisted these media, Sai Baba’s international former follower network and others have not been inactive in informing Hollywood and other celebrities, their agents and acquaintances about the case against Sai Baba.

Movie stars big and small have consorted with Sai Baba. Pictured at the top of this page, see Steven Seagal, the martial arts superstar, seated on a fine chair next to Sai Baba’s throne before an audience of thousands.

Seagal’s very violent movies are the antithesis of the Shanti (Peace) that Sai Baba everywhere preaches (and which his own Security wing decidedly do not tend to practise). Seagal, like Goldie Hawn, Michael Jackson, and others have became sensibly quiet on Sai Baba.

The Divine Nora, Seen Everywhere But Not With Sai Baba

In 2004, a Rowdy Productions website touting on behalf of a planned movie about Sai Baba had several well laid out pages but the address now only brings up nonsense:   http://www.saibabafilm.com/

There, the producers said:

“We have an interest from Norah Jones’ agent for the lead role and will be pursuing this option”

and:

(We) “feel that the soothing voice of Norah Jones will heal the audience and carry Sai Baba’s message worldwide”.

In a flash we’ll be in 2008. But the movie – named “My Guy” – for which Rowdy Productions has called for seed funding of around ten million dollars, is taking aeons to materialize. With touching faith in the all-providingness of their guru, who has often proclaimed himself to be the fullest incarnation of God to appear on the planet, the producers say:

“as the interest grows we will be in a much more commanding position to negotiate with the best and most sought after actors in Hollywood.”

But how many more millions would be needed to buy that?! Perhaps Sai Baba’s ‘rowdies’ (See the 1970’s book by Howard Levin, one of those longtime devotees whom Sai Baba called his ‘rowdies’) simply expect a Sai Baba miracle to come to their aid. If, as it is common for him to do, he has told them to go ahead and he will fructify their endeavours, they should remember that Sai Baba’s promises are frequently broken and his predictions uneventuated. Any half-informed Sai Baba devotee knows this to be true, however they may contort all reason and commonsense to explain it.

Rowdy Productions, perhaps true to their name, may simply be making a lot of noise. Indeed, noise is the very nature of Sai Baba’s supposedly blissful ashram in Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, South India, named Prashanthi Nilayam (‘Abode of Peace’). Their plan all sounds rather – well, off the planet. Does an upstart company expect the world’s top actors to do freebies? Or will they offer a cut in any proceeds of success? It all seems too tinselly – even for Tinseltown.

You may wish to read and sign:

‘Public Petition for investigation of Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide organisation’ See Below.

Further Reading

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

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team

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

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Video Resources

Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip)

BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle « Call For Media and Government Investigation

Sathya Sai Baba Chief, Dr Goldstein, Explodes. “I am the consummate professional” (See Film Clips)

Raising ever more serious questions about how spiritual is the head of what Sathya Sai Baba has called THE divine organization in the world,

Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs)

at the BBC’s perfectly reasonable questions about accountability

Dr. Goldstein again reveals his higher self (1.500Kb)

Michael Goldstein and the sexual allegations (2,10 Mbs)

Michael Goldstein admits his view is merely a belief (456kbs)

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia « Call For Media and Government Investigation

……………………………………………………

General
Excerpt From 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

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL)

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, Opinion, People, Propaganda, Religion, Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Sai Baba Vs Kerry Packer

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 18, 2007

The late Kerry Packer, Australia’s richest man, who redefined cricket forever, has a contender in Sathya Sai Baba of South India.

One of a slew of Sai Baba propagandist ploys to gain international attention has been to create a world-class cricket pitch in Puttaparthi. Planners were former Indian cricket greats like Sunil Gavaskar and E.A.S. Prasanna. The inaugural event was a cricket match played at Sai Baba’s Hill View Stadium on December 30, 1997, billed as the Sri Sathya Sai Unity Cup. The trophy itself was a huge – and very real- gold cup. The international engineering giant Larsen & Toubro, with inputs from famous Indian cricketing experts, prepared the grounds, a short walk from Sai Baba’s ashram. (On the day, I was taking photos for the internationally distributed Spiritual Impressions, a magazine which I was editing along with the owner, R. Padmanaban).

Such A Thing As A Free Lunch – And Breakfast?

Somewhat like the Roman ‘pompa’, the game opened with a ‘grand’ parade. There was a brass band composed of Sai Baba’s university students. Thousands of villagers spectated from the surrounding hill. Sai Baba’s caparisoned elephant led flag-bearing devotees from many different countries from around the world, who marched around one side of the arena, coming to lay their flags at Sai Baba’s ‘feet’ in the presence of the Indian Prime Minister, I.K. Gujral, and other high government and other dignitaries. The Indian national broadcaster Doordarshan televised the match throughout, and images of the event went later to many different countries, including Great Britain via the BBC. There was free breakfast and lunch for all.

Caught and Bowled By Sai Baba

Surely there had to be a catch. But who was caught? Who was bowled? All of us – who were blinded by the pomp and ceremony created to hide the corruption. Like the Puttaparthi cover-up concerning the police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom in June 1993. Like the serial sexual abuse of boys and young men by Sai Baba and other accomplices. Like the frequent faking of miracles. Like his forever uneventuating promised cures for dread diseases. Like the many failed predictions. Like the shameless scams practised down the years by his administration – and realised by many devotees! – relating to the purchase of apartments at his ashrams. Like the vast unaccountability of some of the billions in many currencies that flow from many countries to the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust.

Caught and bowled – all of us who thought what we called ‘the Sai Revolution’ – one of truth, goodness, peace and love – was ready to transform the world. Who else? The Indian people. Unutterably sad, that. Those who, in short, treated me with almost unimaginable and exquisite kindness in the years I lived in that country, so great in its cultural treasures, so bravely served in her fight for Independence, so profoundly betrayed by so many of her politicians. That beautiful people – but many of whom are still terribly prone to worship as demigods their cricketing greats, film stars, etc., with no less hysteria than they worship gurus, many of whom, like Sai Baba himself, prove to have feet of clay.

I saw many women, no less than the men, crazed with adulation for the Indian cricketers whose bus somehow, at a snail’s pace at times, had to chug its way out of Puttaparthi. I may add, from an impeccable source with close connections to Sai Baba’s Security Wing, that the news of those killed and injured in the immense crushes was able to be suppressed by the ashram authorities.

Attempt to Fetch Nonagenarian Sir Donald Bradman

Sai Baba’s objective – about which little if anything has flourished since – was to get the world’s top cricketers to play there. At Puttaparthi close to the time of the December 1997 match, I was at the same lunch table in the canteen as Prasanna. Hearing that I was Australian, he told me that they had asked Sir Donald Bradman to attend a match but that he declined on the grounds of ill-health. Bradman, far more the icon of Australia than Sai Baba is or ever will be of India, was the world’s greatest cricket player and died aged 92 in February 2001. The effort to draw world attention to the match was obvious. The organizers were able to go so far as to attempt to bring the terribly aged and already ailing Bradman – then in his 90’s! – to travel to India, despite all the health crises that can strike foreigners not used to its water, food, climate and so on. ‘Puttaparthi belly’ could have finished him off in a trice.

Gavaskar Bowled Out In A Fabrication

Sunil Gavaskar, the great former Indian Test captain and long-time devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, maintained a fiction about the match being genuinely international. On a piece for Sai Baba’s official website, he said:

“So, the Unity Cup was played with players from all over the world including Pakistan”:
http://saibaba.ws/experiences1/
realisingsupremebeatitude.htm

How impressive it sounds – “from all over the world”. Pieces like this are all grist for the ceaselessly grinding mill of Dr G.Venkataraman, Sai Baba’s Dr Joseph Goebbels, who, with his team at Radio Sai, is going all out promote Sai Baba with satellite radio, Sai Global Harmony, beamed to every possible corner of the globe via the WorldSpace Corporation.

Hardly Any Nations Turned Up

The match failed to fetch players from West Indies, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Kenya, New Zealand, Australia, and any of the scores of nations where cricket is taken seriously. The ridiculously named ‘world XI’ was captained by Sri Lanka’s Arjuna Ranatunga. The Indian team’s captain was Sachin Tendulkar. England was slenderly represented by Doug Brown in what otherwise remained a game of Indians, Pakistanis and Sri Lankans. Pakistan sent a few players, including ‘Boom Boom’ Shahid Afridi (players from the past Hanif Mohamed and Zaheer Abbas were non-playing Pakistani guests). Sri Lanka provided six players. Former Test captain Clive Lloyd presented the trophy. India’s national broadcaster Doordarshan televised the match. In the commentator’s box was ‘Kiri’, Syed Kirmani, often hailed as India’s best ever wicket keeper, who became a Chairman of Selectors for India. He was no doubt well ‘selected’ for the day’s job at the Sri Sathya Sai Unity Cup, since he quite often dropped all objective commentary of the match being played, instead indulging in rhapsodic eulogies on Sai Baba. I saw the Doordarshan producer repeatedly directing attention of the camera crew to features of the grandiose architecture like Sai Baba’s university, the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning. Segments of the game were telecast round the world, including Great Britain.

India – or rather, one should say, Sai Baba’s propaganda machine – won the day.

————————————–

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

 ——————————————————

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Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, Opinion, Propaganda, Religion, Sai Baba, Sri Lanka, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Tony Blair Was to Visit Sai Baba. Plan Thwarted

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 17, 2007

(To journalists from responsible media or other bona fide investigators, the reliable confirming sources for the following information will be shared).

Owing to our actions, the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie were within minutes prevented from visiting Sai Baba  at Whitefield near Bangalore. They were ten minute’s drive away from his ashram when, heeding our representations, British High Commission officials were able to dissuade Blair and his wife from visiting Sai Baba.

A photo call whose results would have been flashed round the world was thus averted. In urgent response to questions in the House of Commons (November 2000), and to major stories in India Today (October 2000), Daily Telegraph (December 2000), and Times of London (August 2001), and many crises within it, Sathya Sai Organisation leaders in India and the UK, in conferring with the Indian and British governments, planned as follows:

  • To ensure a meeting between Hon. Tony Blair MP and Sathya Sai Baba during the British Prime Minister’s Bangalore visit in the first week of January 2002
  • To ensure that a bevy of Indian and UK journalists asked him and his wife questions about his experiences of Sathya Sai Baba
  • To get the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a publicly professed devotee of Sai Baba, to speak to Blair personally about Sai Baba, which he did at Chequers on November 12, 2001 when he visited the UK.
  • To obtain Vajpayee’s signature to a pre-written letter vociferously defending Sai Baba, co-signed by then Chief Justice of India, P.N. Bhagawati, former Chief Justice Ranganath Mishra, at that time Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of India, and Dr Najma Heptulla, former President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Council, former Speaker Lok Sabha, and Union Minister
  • To publicise this letter, for example on the UK Sathya Sai Organisation’s website (it was later taken off)
  • To get Tony Blair, via direct personal pressure from A.B. Vajpayee, to curb British parliamentary efforts critical of Sathya Sai Baba.

Any Foreign and Commonwealth Office briefing about Sai Baba should warn British parliamentarians to be wary of those Indian parliamentarians with Sai Baba-related agendas. A conservative group led by Peter Luff, MP visited India in September-October 2004, and a visit to a Sai Baba hospital was sprung on them without warning. Had the FCO been alert to previous problems (viz., the Tony Blair visit) in Bangalore and properly briefed the group, Mr Luff and his parliamentary associates would have had the opportunity not to get inveigled by Sai Baba interests. Again, true to past and present practice, that visit was used for Sai Baba propaganda.

It is important that enough influential voices in Labour Friends of India and Conservative Parliamentary Friends of India and the Indo-British Parliamentary Group refuse to be used as propaganda tools of the Sathya Sai Organisation.

If Britons want to be “Friends of India” (a highly praiseworthy aim in itself), let them persuade the Indian authorities to put their house in order, prosecute this exceedingly deceptive ‘secret swami’ and his accomplices, and either clean up or close down rackets carried out in his name.  The BBC documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004) and many other exposures of corruption in India, including by courageous investigators in India itself, and the popular backlash against it there, have shown that India harms itself in the extreme by permitting such endemic corruption and abject guru worship. If Indian governments want India to be respected as a mature democracy, they should stop pandering to the corruption inherent in arguably the most powerful cult in its history, which has its affiliates in over 150 countries, and which pipes vast donations in many currencies to the Sathya Sai Central Trust in India. 

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Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, Religion, Social and Politics, Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 15, 2007

Note 20 June 2010. As more people quit the Sathya Sai Organization and to inform more recent readers and researchers, I shall, for the while, put to the front of my blogsite an article I wrote in March 2007.

To point to underhand institutional conduct is never enough. Fact in plenty may still be not enough – especially when an institution under question does its best to make it appear that those who question it have malign intent, and have no notable evidence. Or when that organization attempts to bury evidence of statements by its founder that, all unwittingly, militate against both it and him. See:

The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements

Sathya Sai Baba and Absurdity – Revealed in His Officials’ Documents

However, when a research effort involves an august institution like the BBC, those institutions which have been covering up are shaken, and only then can sometimes become more accountable, as has been the case of UNESCO’s ‘missing’ Media Advisory. In this case, it was UNESCO which was forced to become accountable. Neither the Indian government nor the international Sathya Sai Organization have been so, all along. The BBC has described Sathya Sai Baba as ‘The Secret Swami’. See:

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

BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Earlier that year (2004), the producer of the one-hour television documentary, Eamon Hardy, noted in my hearing that the Sathya Sai Baba saga raised very real questions as to India’s maturity as a democracy. As it turned out, the BBC exposure of the unhealthy Indian Government-Sathya Sai Organization-UNESCO Director nexus was not able to be referred to in ‘The Secret Swami’. It was all too late. However, any intrepid investigator can approach the BBC and UNESCO, quite apart from reading this article fine tooth-comb in hand.

……………………………………………………..

In September 2000, after months of intense effort by former Sai Baba followers from several countries, UNESCO and its joint sponsor the University of Flinders, South Australia, withdrew sponsorship of a large international education conference on human values under Sai Baba’s aegis at Puttaparthi. After the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Chubb, appointed a senior Staff member to investigate, delegates from Flinders University Institute of International Education were required to cancel. UNESCO’s Media Advisory stated:

“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’s Advisory Had a Number of Concerns

The advisory also said that:

“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.””

Subheaders For This Article 

UNESCO and University of Flinders (South Australia) Withdraw From Big Sai Baba Conference

Sathya Sai Baba’s Officials Simulate UNESCO Involvement

UNESCO Complains to Press Trust of India

UN’s Dr Leonarda Jekantaite. Witting Sai Baba Tool Or a Babe-in-the-woods?

UNESCO Directors Scuttle Own Senior Officials

Indian Government-Puttaparthi Line: Sai Baba’s and India’s Interests are Synonymous

Top Sai Baba Aide Opens Mouth. Cat Jumps Out

UNESCO Directors Capitulate to India and Sai Baba

Will the Internet Wayback Archive Go Missing Too?

BBC Exposes Two Heads of UNESCO and Their Staff

BBC Catches UNESCO Heads and Staff In Falsehood

Sathya Sai Baba’s Officials Simulate UNESCO Involvement

Indulal Shah, then head of the Sathya Sai Organization, maintained the fiction of UNESCO involvement. Yet UNESCO had already fully informed him of its cancellation many days before the release of the Media Advisory on September 15, 200. In his inaugural conference address, Shah said:

“Let me share with you that U.S. magazine Week has chosen to give respect to the UNESCO conference held in Prasanthi Nilayam highlighting the message of Bhagawan on ‘Values for All”.  (Source: ‘Materials of the 7th World Conference of the Sai Organization’, 20.11.2000).

That is to say, Shah in front of over 900 conferencees spoke of “the UNESCO conference” – when there was no UNESCO involvement! Indeed, Shah and other organisers had spent several previous days dealing with the crisis of UNESCO’s cancellation, the Indian media situation, and so on.

UNESCO Complains to Press Trust of India

When the Times of India printed an alarmingly small portion of the Media Advisory, the world body lodged an objection to the Press Trust of India, It may be mentioned that the Times of India has long been a stronghold of Sai Baba devotees and supporters, including a board director P.N. Bhagwati, Sathya Sai Central Trust member and former Chief Justice of India, more recently with the United Nations.  PTI then forced the Times of India to publish the Media Advisory in full.

UN’s Dr Leonarda Jekantaite. Witting Sai Baba Tool Or a Babe-in-the-woods?

The same fiction of UNESCO participation was also preserved by the appearance on the dais by a high profile UNESCO diplomat, Dr Leonarda Jekantaite. Despite UNESCO’s withdrawal from the conference, Sai Baba’s official organ, Sanathana Sarathi (Volume 43, October 2000, page 317) reported:

Dr Leonarda Jekantaite, Secretary General of UNESCO (Lithuania) presented the Keynote Address.”

 There are two issues here. First, that the official organ of Sai Baba’s Central Trust – distributed worldwide – AND the conference organizers maintained the fiction of UNESCO participation. Second, that Dr Jekantaite still not only attended but gave the keynote speech at the conference, despite the withdrawal of the body she ostensibly represented. A colleague of mine, Robert Priddy, previously head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway and retired lecturer in Philosophy and Social Science at the University of Oslo, corresponded with Dr Jekantaite on this matter. Very lamely, she excused herself by saying that she attended in a personal capacity. This line would seriously obscure the fact that the conference presenters portrayed Dr Jekantaite to the conferencees as the UNESCO representative. Was she was being incredibly naïve, being an unwitting propagandist tool in the conference organizers’ hands? Or was she actually prepared to be a witting tool in the hands of Sai Baba’s demonstrably dishonest organizers like Indulal Shah in allowing her presence to suggest UNESCO’s presence at the conference? Was she in fact a Sai Baba devotee? Was there anything all that “personal” about her reasons for staying on at the conference? A simple, natural, truthful response in her email to one who had long taught in one of the world’s foremost universities could have clarified much.

UNESCO Directors Scuttle Own Senior Officials

Another point that needs more attention – because, being a ‘hot’ topic, allegations of sexual abuse can tend to obscure other issues – was UNESCO’s dissatisfaction that conference organizers had maintained that the conference was to be held separately from Sai Baba’s ashram. Those who attack the Media Advisory (and many other issues about Sai Baba and his often heavily unaccountable organization well-documented by former devotee and other critics and some of the world’s leading media) need to be truthful about this. Nor did the UNESCO director and deputy director honor the earlier hard work of some of its most senior officials involved in the investigations and approvals that lead to the framing of the advisory. In repudiating the advisory these two officials were, in effect, repudiating their own officials, like Zhou Nanzhao, then head of UNESCO-ACEID in Thailand.

It is known that at the conference the UNESCO withdrawal was NOT mentioned! Clearly – highly typical of Sai Baba’s managers – major ‘stage management’ was going on.

Indian Government-Puttaparthi Line: Sai Baba’s and India’s Interests are Synonymous

Sai Baba critics who deal with senior government officials both in India and other countries have repeatedly found that Sai Baba’s propagandists have succeeded in creating the image that what affects Sai Baba affects all of India. One of the top British Foreign Officials told former Labor MP for Putney Tony Colman that where Sai Baba was concerned the Blair government did not want to ‘rock the boat’ with India. Mr Colman and (separately) some fifty other parliamentarians from various Parties, who at first had signed a Petition to raise the Sai Baba matter in the House of Commons, were asked by the Whips and others, to back off. Considerable trade deals, like the one billion plus sale by Britain to India of Hawk fighters were mentioned. Particularly active in efforts not to rock any ‘boats’ were Labor Friends of India, Conservative Parliamentary Friends of India, and the Indo-British Parliamentary Group. In one case, a leading international lawyer (who will speak to media of best repute) reported that he was told by senior London Metropolitan Police (who were far from happy about it) that Prime Minister Tony Blair’s office had sent an instruction that the police were not further to pursue investigation related to Sai Baba, because the matter was an ‘international’ one.

Top Sai Baba Aide Opens Mouth. Cat Jumps Out

Little knowing that his triumphant revelations on an official Puttaparthi website would later come back to haunt him, Dr G. Venkataraman, Sai Baba’s deputy world head, who also leads the attempt to bring round-the-clock satellite Sai Baba radio to every corner of the globe, let quite a big ‘cat’ out of the bag in an offical Puttaparthi website. Hitherto, Sai Baba’s organization has been noted for its glacial silence in the face of the many and serious worldwide allegations (which are far from being solely about sexual molestation of boys and young men) against its founder. But what seemed such a triumph was clearly too much to hold back.

 Vol_02/05March01/03_Spiritual_Blossoms/ 02_Reflection/reflection.htm

But the ‘cat’ was soon to scratch. Venkataraman states:

“Both the Foreign Minister and this diplomat were terribly upset that nothing had been done this far”

Indian Diplomat Writes to UNESCO Head

India’s UNESCO representative (though he does not name her, this was Mrs Neelam Sabharwal, since named India’s Ambassador to Cyprus) then wrote, according to G. Venkataraman, to UNESCO’s Deputy Director General, Koïchiro Matsuura, saying that:

“the “Government of India considers Sri Sathya Sai Baba and his movement a national asset and takes strong exception to UNESCO press release, which spreads wholly unfounded and unsubstantiated allegation  against Sri Sathya Sai Baba. I would therefore request you to take immediate steps to remove the objectionable press advisory from the UNESCO website. I would also appreciate an expression of regret for the damage caused to one of India’s revered public figures, without first verifying the facts and any consultation with Indian authorities.”

UNESCO Directors Capitulate to India and Sai Baba

Dr. Venkataraman quotes what he claims to be the letter of reply to India’s UNESCO representative by UNESCO’s Deputy Director General:

“I do appreciate this concern and wish to inform you that following your personal intervention, the media advisory in question was immediately withdrawn from the archives of the UNESCO’s web site for education.

“I should also like to take this opportunity to say how much the Organisation regrets this unfortunate incident and to reiterate to you, on behalf of the Director General, that the Organisation attaches the greatest importance to the varied forms of fruitful collaboration that we have enjoyed with your country for many years.

“I hope this letter will set your mind at rest and dispel any misunderstanding.”

Venkataraman’s account (which the BBC later showed to be correct) was that he succeeded in getting (now former Prime Minister) A.B. Vajpayee’s Foreign Minister, Yaswant Sinha, and a former Indian Ambassador to France at this time now at UNESCO, to get the head of UNESCO to suppress the Media Advisory from its official website.

Will the Internet Wayback Archive Go Missing T00?

Fortunately, the document had been cached on the ‘Internet wayback machine’ and is now found at Click Here

One would not have been surprised if, given the power they wield in many high places, Sai Baba’s people had tried to obtain the removal of this document. One may guess, given their known track record for using high-profile devotees to threaten institutions with litigation, that the continued existence of this file in the Internet archive owes more to the integrity of the company operating this remarkable service than it does to the probity of Sai Baba’s top officials. (We shall report widely on the Internet should that document go missing too). Perhaps they accepted as a fait accompli that, in any case, the document has been widely copied to the Internet. Or else that the document – should anyone try to dispute the accuracy of the copies of it on former devotee and other websites – is in any case obtainable from the written archives of UNESCO.

Intimate Nexus Between the Indian Government and Sai Baba

Like a surprise gift to the rest of the world, here was G. Venkataraman’s proud revelation of a Puttaparthi-Indian government ploy to withdraw the Media Advisory. It was provided to David Savill, Assistant Producer of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami”. Given that the screening date fast approached, the intensive, months-long work on this documentary were to be shortly concluded. Nonetheless, David Savill wrote and spoke by phone to UNESCO (Paris). He saw that UNESCO was in cover-up mode (a mode observed by all media, academic and other investigators who have attempted to probe The Sathya Sai Organization).

It was clear that Venkataraman was absolutely right. The UNESCO head, via his Deputy Director, had obliged  India in this matter.

For the many survivors of Sai Baba around the world, this felt like a setback.  It had been exhausting work Some of it was terribly sensitive, because of varying responses of survivors of sexual and other abuses. It was often hard to revisit what had been for them the most shocking betrayal. 

In passing, I may add that obtaining coherent accounts from abuse victims is one of the most difficult of assignments. Survivors, not to mention their families, can make honest mistakes about dates, times, etc., and need experienced, highly competent professional counselers to debrief them. The profoundly dishonest internet proxy for Sathya Sai Baba forces conveniently ignore such facts. Over many months of carefully documented submissions, proof of credentials, etc., (an effort also pursued with the University of Flinders), organized former Sathya Sai Baba followers from many countries had gone to great pains to submit hard evidence (most of it too sensitive to be released to this day, except to bona fide institutions) against Sai Baba and senior leaders to the world body.

BBC Exposes Two Heads of UNESCO and Their Staff

Early in 2004, UNESCO spokespersons told media and other enquirers that the Advisory did not now reflect its views. David Savill reports that only after his strenuous questioning of a senior UNESCO spokesperson, did she, Sue Williams, finally agree in writing to Mr Savill that currently “UNESCO does not regret issuing the media release of September 15 2000.” Here was a backflip! The BBC had enforced from Mrs Williams an extraordinary admission. She directly contradicted what senior UNESCO officials had told a number of enquirers both by phone and email. One  example was an email to the West Australian newspaper’s Education Correspondent Susan Hewitt on February 5, 2004. By phone – at the same time – a senior UNESCO official told Garth Wynne, the Principal of Church of Christ Grammar School, Perth, Western Australia (who acted in the Sai Baba matter on behalf of  the then Anglican Archbishop of Australia, Dr Peter Carnley) that the Advisory had simply been “routinely purged”.

BBC Catches UNESCO Heads and Staff In Falsehood

The Deputy Director General’s statement about the Advisory being “immediately withdrawn” contradicts a number of statements emerging from other officials like Isabel le Fournis and the late Elke Salas Rossenbach. They gave out the ‘routine purge’ fabrication. After my repeated attempts, and repeated evasions by UNESCO (Paris) officials, to obtain the facts, Sue Williams emailed me, May 13, 2004, stating:

“the media advisory dealing with this issue resulted from a routine operation to purge and update the site.”

That this account is false is readily shown in UNESCO’s stance appeasing India’s then Foreign Minister that the media advisory “does not now reflect UNESCO’s position”.

Having sensed serious UNESCO contradiction and evasion – particularly in the light of the Venkataraman material – the BBC first tactically held back and then, once the spins span thick and fast, released the whole Venkataraman piece to the UNESCO official, Sue Williams, whose immediate boss was the Deputy Director General.  After repeated pressure from the BBC via phone and email, Ms Williams wrote to the BBC:

“UNESCO does not regret issuing the media release of September 15 2000″.

The acrobatics were quite something to watch!Furthermore, BBC staff spoke to India’s then Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Mrs Neelam Sabharwal, (since named India’s Ambassador to Cyprus). She greeted them with the blank statement that “Sai Baba is a respected Godman” and no, she didn’t know why UNESCO had issued a media advisory and that it had been withdrawn. It is a pity for her that Dr G. Venkataraman’s account so gravely, though unintentionally, questions her veracity.

Whether it is more holy to bow to India or to bow to the BBC might also provoke an interesting discussion. Perhaps, in contorting fashion, UNESCO has tried to bow to them both.

The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):

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)

——————————————

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Posted in Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

Fighting Multi Billion Corruption Takes Longer

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 10, 2007

Buildings like these abound around Sathy Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, South India.

sai-babas-chaitanya-jyothi-museum.jpgssmuseumsmall.jpgsai-babas-residence.jpg

This is a museum, supposedly a multi-Faith tribute. But typical of his many opulent buildings, it actually extols him to the utmost heights

But now – for some healthy competition?nk-kim-statue-tomandscott.jpg

The lavish but rocky “Sai Revolution”

Former Sai Baba devotees worldwide are ready, as indeed many times before over several years, to submit our credentials and findings to bona fide independent third party adjudicators.

In an attempt to obtain proper investigation of the allegations against Sathya Sai Baba and his powerful and influential worldwide organization, we have closely cooperated with major world media and other reputed agencies and institutions. He and the entity he calls the “Divine” instrument for bringing about the greatest spiritual revolution the world has ever seen, the Sathya Sai Organization, have not.

International billions flow to Sai Baba

In August 16, 2003. the Rediff news agency reported:
“The largest recipient of foreign contribution was Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust — Rs 88.18 crore (Rs 881.8 million)”

Now, that would buy Sai Baba a monument or two, would it not?

As scholars from some of the world’s leading unversities and some of the world’s top journalists have repeatedly discovered, the Sathya Sai Organization is an evasive, authoritarian, tight-lipped monolith. We have brought to the attenion of highly-qualified third party experts in sexual abuse the cases of those who have come to us with their heartrending accounts of having been sexually abused by Sai Baba, and in some cases by those close to him. The Sathya Sai Organization has not. The notion of duty-of-care is alien to it. Far too much is at stake – in fact, billions of dollars – for it to even dare to contemplate the thought. Although we know too well that he has formidable protection from successive Indian governments, both State and Central, some of our personnel in India have sacrificially put themselves at considerable risk in raising the allegations with Indian authorities. The Sathya Sai Organization arms itself by aligning itself with the power-brokers of trade, finance and politics, both Indian and foreign, who ensure that the vast funds that pour to its Sathya Sai Central Trust are not affected. One of the foremost officials in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office asked Hon. Tony Colman, former MP for Putney to back off in regard to Sai Baba because the Blair government did not want to rock the boat with India. It is, therefore, a pity that the BBC’s intention to engage a financial investigator  Patrick Masters was not able to occur in the several months of intense research for ‘The Secret Swami’. But then there were so many components that vied for attention. Again, always with the current consent of those involved, the details of such activities are ready to be shared with bona fide, notably trustworthy experts.

BBC questions. Is evicted from Puttaparthi

The producer of the BBC documentary ‘The Secret Swami’, Eamon Hardy, has said that, although at first the Puttaparthi ashram authorities gave a rare if not unique permission to film at the ashram, the moment he asked the Ashram authority about the worldwide allegations against Sai Baba, the team was summarily evicted from Puttaparthi. We find that one media or government or institutional establishment after another which has been ready, and indeed at very senior levels, to credit that our accounts merit investigation has been visited by top Sai Baba people and threatened with litigation. One major Canadian newspaper was holed up for hours trying to keep the advertizing account of one of its big advertizers, prominent in the Sai Organization. In an Australian newspaper, the award-winning journalist had to suffer the pulling of his tremendously well-researched story, on which he had worked so hard for weeks, and which would have occupied some of the front page. It was pulled only hours before publication because of orders ‘from on high’.

Sai Baba agenda – to rule the world before 2022

In short, the Sathya Sai Organization is a cult. With serious lack of disclosure of its true agendas, and under considerable false pretenses, it would convince the public in some 150 countries of its respectability. It cultivates affilations with mainstream government and political leaders and civic and religious organizations. In fact, the leaders and many other Sai Baba followers believe they the essential tool in Sai Baba’s hands to have transform the world under his guidance before he dies in 2022.

Sai Baba issues licence to kill – criticism

Recent history shows us that large-scale institutionalized sexual abuse and other corruptions tend to be exposed eventually. Officials of the Sathya Sai Organization would do well to survey the barely calculable financial and moral cataclysm in the Roman Catholic church at:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/
Roman_Catholic_sex_abuse_cases

Their reading may indeed be far ahead of this and, if so, they will be shaking in their shoes. It would be little wonder, then, that Sai Baba has now stated, despite all his former words about not responding to the critical words of adversaries:

“The time has come when proper action has to be taken to dissuade these people from resorting to such false propaganda”:

https://barrypittard.wordpress.com/2007/03/03/sai-baba-will-act-against-his-dissenters/

What a licence he thereby gives for the unleashing of the hitherto often suppressed anger among his millions of devotees at those of us who have sought to speak the truth about him. His word is their command, and lends itself to the psychology used by various manipulators of mass revenge down the ages. How very spiritual!

…………………………………………

Further Reading

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

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team

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

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Video Resources

The Secret Swami (BBC Television):
(154 MB, Broadband)

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
(80 MB, Broadband)

http://home.hetnet.nl/~seduced/seduced.wmv
(21 MB, Modem)

Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip)

BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle « Call For Media and Government Investigation

Sathya Sai Baba Chief, Dr Goldstein, Explodes. “I am the consummate professional” (See Film Clips)

Raising ever more serious questions about how spiritual is the head of what Sathya Sai Baba has called THE divine organization in the world,

Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs)

at the BBC’s perfectly reasonable questions about accountability

Dr. Goldstein again reveals his higher self (1.500Kb)

Michael Goldstein and the sexual allegations (2,10 Mbs)

Michael Goldstein admits his view is merely a belief (456kbs)

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia « Call For Media and Government Investigation

……………………………………………………

General
Excerpt From 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

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL)

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, News and Politics, Opinion, Propaganda, Protest, Religion, Social and Politics, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Sai Baba Is God Says Top George Bush Doctor

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 6, 2007

Dr. Kanwaljeet ‘Sunny’ Anand, of Arkansas, USA, is a world authority on Pediatrics. However, credentials in Medicine may not exclude one from making absurd statements. He has declared that Sathya Sai Baba is God, even though this guru has made entirely absurd statements about history and science – not least in Dr. Anand’s own area of expertise.

These contributions by Kanwaljeet ‘Sunny’ Anand were presented at Sai Baba’s 80th birthday celebrations on November 23, 2005 at Puttaparthi, South India. He stated that Sathya Sai Baba, as the incarnation of God, has been foretold in several major world Scriptures, a view for which he furnishes no sanction from Christian, Islamic, Hindu or Sikh scholars:

“The Advent of this Divine Form is referenced in the Book of Revelations of the Bible, in the Holy Koran, in the Vedas and Jaimini Mahabharatha, in the Guru Granth Sahib, and in all of the major religious texts of the world.”
http://www.srisathyasaipublications.org/
anand.htm

At the same occasion, Kanwaljeet ‘Sunny’ Anand has:

Accepted as all-knowing a guru who makes contradictory and ignorant claims about the period when life enters the human fetus. Proof positive can be seen in scans, placed parallel, from two issues of Sai Baba’s official organ distributed worldwide Sanathana Sarathi. of September 1996 and April 1997. These expose Sai Baba’s contradictory and scientifically baseless claims about when life enters the human fetus:

http://tinyurl.com/2dy8gg

In the breathtaking space of a few minutes, ‘Sunny’ Anand:

  • Stated without the slightest evidence that Sathya Sai Baba has 100 million devotees
  • Extolled this guru as God Almighty come to save the entire world
  • Claimed – based on provenances utterly worthless to scholars anywhere – that key sacred scriptures of various Faiths have prophesied the avatarhood (incarnate Godhood) of Sathya Sai Baba.

Does Dr Anand’s desertion of intellectual respect for proper canons of scholarship disqualify him as a good doctor? Naturally, only his peers can judge of his ability to function as a competent doctor. Clearly they have judged him as among the best in the world. Rather, it is Dr Anand’s exceptionally baseless statements on non-medical issues that need critical assessment.

He well knows that Sai Baba and his Sathya Sai Organization make great use of medical doctors as figures lending authority to his movement. Dr ‘Sunny’ Anand cannot be other than aware of this, but has allowed his eminent position to be used by the Puttaparthi propaganda machine. Had he spoken on some medical topic he could have occupied firm ground. The spurious use of medical doctors to lend a patina of respectability and ‘authority’ is especially rife in India. Sai Baba and his managers squeeze the medical orange until the pips pop. Absurdly large numbers of his top leaders are medicos, and there is almost total dominance by males. Australian scholar Brian Steel discusses the Kanwaljeet Sunny Anand case and the fallacy of celebrity endorsement:
http://bdsteel.tripod.com/More/80bdayanand.htm

Norwegian-British Philosopher and Social Scientist Robert Priddy exposes Sai Baba’s shockingly unscientific statements about magnetism, etc at:
http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/articles/magneticfeetandhands.html

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Posted in Medicine, Neglected/sidelined News, Opinion, Pediatrics, Religion, Social and Politics, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Being In Denial. A Sai Baba Experience

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 5, 2007

There are many cases where followers of various gurus rationalize, justify and keep quiet about their teacher’s sexual behaviour.

Ironing Out The Kinks? Or Abuse Impure and Simple?

Spending some time with a ‘yogi’ with a small ashram on Chamundy in Mysore district in South India, I asked him about repeated accounts of the famous Swami Muktananda (who in 1972 had assisted me along my pilgrim way) being, although presenting himself to the world as a celibate monk, secretly sexually active among his female devotees. He replied, “You see, certain masters iron out the kinks in their devotees”.

I first heard stories relating Sathya Sai Baba to sexual misconduct in 1978. I had just started teaching at the Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India, where I taught English in all three years of the degree Course. I was friendly with an Anglo-Indian gentleman and his wife in their sixties or early seventies who had lived for years near Sai Baba’s ashram and college campus in Whitefield. After I had known them for some time, the man said to me – with what I felt was his genuine concern for my spiritual welfare – that there were various reports that Sai Baba “had his way” with boys at his college in Whitefield. I then regaled him with a few Sai Baba-favourable personal stories (tending to the miraculous in nature), some of them of a type that I still think most scientists would have difficulty in grappling with. I felt that he was quite amazed but not convinced that his own information about sexual molestation of boys was incorrect.

Thieves and Fundamentalists Too Can Be Crime Victims

Around this same time, I spent many hours with Robert Lowenberg, a retired South African Clerk-at-law, assisting with the editing of his first book ‘At the Feet of Sai’. (For the titles of his four books on Sai Baba, see below). Bob Lowenberg had just investigated a story involving a young Anglo-Indian named Patrick, who alleged Sai Baba had acted sexually with him. Bob and his wife Naomi lived in Whitefield, within a few minute’s walk to Sai Baba’s ashram. He told me that his investigations around Whitefield, where he lived for several years, revealed that Patrick, who was I think then not much more than eighteen years, was known to be unreliable, and was a convicted thief. It did not occur to me then, as it does now with considerable force, that of course thieves and other miscreants can – vulnerable just like the rest of us – have crimes committed against them. It does not fit any quest for genuine justice to forget this fact. Indeed society – arguably now more than at any other time – is going to have to reckon with the terrible cost of denying equable, natural justice and human rights – promptly and effectively. The soaring growth of terrorism and of crime rates among the dispossessed or alienated are obvious examples.

The American author Tal Brooke reported Patrick’s story in his book ‘Lord of the Air’ (for details of which consult Brooke’s website at:
http://www.scp-inc.org/president/index.php

I looked at this book in a New Dehhi bookshop but casually a few years later, quickly tossing it aside with disdain and rejection. These reactions are most familiar ones experienced when information unfavourable to their spiritual teacher confronts adherents. Defense mechanisms trigger off with a speed akin to that of light. Indeed, if anyone is in a position to understand the refusal of devotees to come to terms with the allegations against their teacher, it is former followers, who themselves have, most shockingly, struggled with the issues! We went through it all ourselves – with heart and soul, mind and gut. My late dear friend Glen Meloy, who had been devoted to Sai Baba for twenty-six years, has called Brooke “the first whistleblower.” Because Brooke became a fundamentalist Christian, intellectually dishonest pro Sai Baba apologists have claimed that our Exposé is driven by evangelical Christians. Fundamentalists can get molested, too! These defenders of Sai Baba ignore the fact, which any truthful enquirer could quickly establish, that – overwhelmingly – former Sai Baba devotees have long been involved with Eastern spirituality.

The Dangers of Being Not Earthed

Above all, I will not deny myself to my many fellow human beings who have entrusted me with their painful stories of sexual and other forms of abuse by Sai Baba. Nor be silent in the face of the shameful dereliction of duty-of-care displayed by many leaders in the Sathya Sai Baba Organization. First, let us be sensible citizens and attend to the civic norms and duties which go with being that. Let us ‘name the parts’ correctly and unflinchingly – crimes are crimes, and we should not imagine ourselves as disembodied spirits, bobbing about in some sort of infinite dance, no matter what is happening right now.

Good Citizens are Good Angels in Disguise

One could not even get from one’s house to the airport to visit a spiritual teacher without all sorts of dependencies on the good will and rule-like behaviour of our fellow citizens. On our way, motorists abide by the road laws. Somebody planted traffic lights, even though they may not be as inspiring as trees. In the air, the pilot and crew are all very sensible – and rule-like. An issue to be taken for granted? No, it is a matter of life and death. Even when least conscious of it, we are profoundly entailed with our fellow citizens. No guru should be exempt from facing serious, responsibly-made allegations of committing crimes. If one person fails to report serious allegations against his or her guru, why should not others, who have other gurus, fail to report allegations about theirs? Do our laws exempt anyone? They do not. Do Sai Baba’s devotees who know of the genuineness of the allegations against him stand up and speak the truth? They do not. They speculate e.g., that he is assisting the passage of the Kundalini Shakti – even though there are no reports of him helping young girls in the same way. Do his leaders face the inevitable moral and ethical questions? They do not. Do they work for acceptance by mainstream respected religious and civic institutions, and invite Prime Ministers and Presidents and other public luminaries to their functions? They do. But do they inform the public of Sai Baba’s agenda to rule the earth? Or of his myriad of failed prophecies? Or of the financial and other types of fundamental unaccountability at the centre of his activities? Or of the allegations of decades of large-scale serial sexual abuse? Or implication in police killings in his bedroom in on June 6, 1993, and the ashram and local, state and central governments’ cover-up that went with these? They do not.

Rather, the Sathya Sai Organization promptly evicts those who ask the serious questions. For two articulate accounts where this occurred to much-loved and respected devotees in high positions in this organization, see the writings of Serguei Badaev (Russia) and Stephen Carthew (Australia):
http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/letters/carthew.html
http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/witnesses/serguei.html

Books by Robert Lowenberg:

1983: The Heart of Sai, Bombay, India Book House.
1985: The Grace of Sai, Bombay, India Book House.
1985: At the Feet of Sai, Bombay, India Book House.
1997: The Omnipresence of Sai, Prasanthi Nilayam, Sai Towers

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Ashok Bhagani – Blotting Out Conscience and Memory?

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 4, 2007

Robert Priddy was the head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, and is a retired lecturer in Philosophy and Social Sciences at the University of Oslo. He has offered notes in support of my earlier remarks (see article list below) on the thoughts of Ashok Bhagani, UK head of the Sathya Sai Organization.

One of the great values of former devotee recollections is that they can be checked out by remaining devotees who dare to look at them and be honest enough to check the observations against their own. This is incompatible with emotional states of psychological denial, smokescreening, or of a zealotry to refute, or of a blotting out from conscience and memory. Priddy writes:

“As to the refutations of the sex abuse allegations against Sathya Sai Baba by the President of the UK Sathya Sai organisation, Mr. Ashok Bhagani, and other diverse followers, one can but point out that no one has ever been able to monitor the activities of Sai Baba in his bedroom, which he is well known to share with several college boys every night, and which he has stated himself in a discourse (see Sanathana Sarathi, June 1998, p. 142-3.

Nor is it correct that there is always someone monitoring young men in interviews, since I have seen a number go into the ‘private room’ for longish periods quite alone with Sai Baba behind a firmly closed door. The double door of the Prashanthi Nilayam interview room can be seen clearly on the photos taken after the execution of four devotees inside Sai Baba’s apartment (see photo:

Ashok Bhagani cannot be so badly misinformed about the existence and frequent use of these doors… so readers may draw their own conclusions about his statement about this! The extent and number of the allegations is legion and the circumstantial and corroborative evidence is massive. Extensive documentation can be examined on my website 

My own related articles (on this blogsite) are:

Ashok Bhagani Exposes Himself

Ashok Bhagani and ‘The Secret Swami’

Ashok Bhagani Says BBC Irresponsible

Ashok Bhagani Footsying With Top Blair Minister?

Ashok Bhagani Uses Race Card

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Posted in Morality, Religion, Sai Baba, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Sai Baba Will Act Against His Dissenters

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 3, 2007

In a public discourse, February 16, 2007, Sai Baba sharply departed from many statements in the past in his sermons where he counseled his millions of followers to ignore critics.  He has now said:

“The time has come when proper action has to be taken to dissuade these people from resorting to such false propaganda”.

Another rare significant occasion when he also heavily inveighed against his critics was in his Christmas day 2000 discourse. This was right at a time of intensive, successive former devotee-led bad press in the international media, and representation elsewhere such as UNESCO.  Virtually the one Indian publication, India Today, December 4, 2000 (a multi Indian language magazine that sells in the millions):
http://www.india-today.com/itoday/20001204/cover.shtml
strong enough to resist the enormous suppression in the Indian media of criticism adverse to Sai Baba ran a major cover story of the sexual abuse, faking of miracles, and other allegations against Sai Baba. He loudly thumped his lectern several times, almost exclusively ignoring the Christmas theme (and not least peace-and-good-will-to-all-men), and vituperated his critics. He said they were “Judases”, “demons”, “cawing crows”, and that they were criticizing him for money, and that they would never break the karmic cycle of rebirths, etc. The Times of India headlined ‘Sai Baba Lashes Out His Detractors”.
http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/shortnews/detractors.html

His February 16th remarks have however gone still further, and he has said,

“Persons indulging in vituperative publicity impelled by envy, greed or hatred will reap the appropriate consequence. The time has come when proper action has to be taken to dissuade these people from resorting to such false propaganda”.

http://www.sathyasai.org/discour/2007/d070216.html

He has again said that his dissenters are “resorting to such false propaganda for the sake of money”.

To the contrary, closely networked former devotees who work to expose Sai Baba and his powerful and influential Sathya Sai Baba Organization cum increasingly authoritarian and evasive cult have been typically noted down many decades for their simple living and sacrificial service to the weaker sections of the community. One of the great drawing cards for them of Sai Baba’s movement was the emphasis on loving, compassionate service to others, especially the poor and needy. In carefully presenting credentials and rigorous documentation about the allegations of sexual abuse against Sai Baba by many around the world, they have also succeeded in establishing their excellent bona fides with many leading world media, UNESCO, the State Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (UK), German Chief Prosecutor’s Office, French National Police, Interpol, government, political, civic and religious institutions (of various faiths), etc.

Extended text of Sai Baba’s promise to pursue his critics:

(From Sai Baba’s Mahasivarathri discourse, February 16, 2007):

“I have never shown anger or hatred on anyone. However, some people out of egoistic envy are fabricating some stories about Me and publishing them in the newspapers. They are resorting to false propaganda about Me in the print and electronic media. All this does not perturb Me. I am not afraid of anybody.My very name is Sathyam Sathyam Sathyam (Truth). I am bound by truth. The name of this body is Sathyam (Truth). I will never stray away from the path of truth. Persons indulging in vituperative publicity impelled by envy, greed or hatred will reap the appropriate consequence. The time has come when proper action has to be taken to dissuade these people from resorting to such false propaganda.

Of course, they are also not to be blamed. They are resorting to such false propaganda for the sake of money”.

Further Reading

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

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team

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

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Video Resources

The Secret Swami (BBC Television):
(154 MB, Broadband)

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
(80 MB, Broadband)

http://home.hetnet.nl/~seduced/seduced.wmv
(21 MB, Modem)

Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip)

BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle « Call For Media and Government Investigation

Sathya Sai Baba Chief, Dr Goldstein, Explodes. “I am the consummate professional” (See Film Clips)

Raising ever more serious questions about how spiritual is the head of what Sathya Sai Baba has called THE divine organization in the world,

Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs)

at the BBC’s perfectly reasonable questions about accountability

Dr. Goldstein again reveals his higher self (1.500Kb)

Michael Goldstein and the sexual allegations (2,10 Mbs)

Michael Goldstein admits his view is merely a belief (456kbs)

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia « Call For Media and Government Investigation

……………………………………………………

General
Excerpt From 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

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL)

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Opinion, Religion, Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Huge Sai Baba Gaffes

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 3, 2007

Note, 26 April 2010:   No amount of faith-blinded rationalizing can successfully elude the striking fact of Sathya Sai Baba’s many gaffes.  I re-run this article of early 2007, and trust that further circulation of such compelling documentation will result in ever more widely exposing those aspects of Sathya Sai Baba that his often frenetic and over-worked minders go all out to hide or minimize. Some of his actions are very absurd and self-contradictory.

The readership includes those who are, in swelling numbers, coming out of the Sathya Sai Baba cult. Typically, many have taken a long time to begin to sort their lives out. Emerging from a cult in which one’s deepest hopes and dreams have been invested is not easy. Some are shattered, and we know of suicides.  Some plunge into other cult figures. Some grasp at the comfort of mainstream religions or philosphies. Some learn to sit on slippery fences, and whistle in the dark. Some hide from themselves and others just how much they have been affected. Many have slunk off without formally resigning. The numbers of westerners going to Sathya Sai Baba’s ashrams has reduced by many thousands.

But his resolute defenders cannot hold back the existence of commonsense and the spirit of many individuals sooner or later doing some serious examination of their often long-held concerns.

————————————————

In one of the great deceptions of history, Sai Baba has misled millions of worshippers in many countries, including an astounding array of followers in the sciences, medicine, the arts, education, government, the judiciary, politics, industry, and so on.

A few quotes from the simultaneous English translation of the Sai Baba’s Christmas Discourse, 1996, indicate that palpable nonsense in some of his pronouncements must be added to the “divine” attributes of one who would be King of Kings.

James Redmond of the USA was for many years Sathya Sai Baba’s official videographer. Finally, he was able to see from examination of his vast array of film footage the many instances of Sai Baba faking materializations. There is another kind of Sai Baba deception that does not get into printed material. Fortunately, it is preserved on video, the provenance of which can not be faulted by Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organization.

The nonsensical material deserves much wider notice than when in February 2002 the Australian linguistic scholar Brian Steel
http://bdsteel.tripod.com/More/Nonsense.htm
first drew attention to some of the extraordinary inanities in Sai Baba’s discourses – preserved in video materials but quickly expunged from the written records. These acute embarrassments to Sai Baba are excised by Sai Baba editors before they get into publications like Sanathana Sarathi, the official Sai Baba magazine that is distributed to some hundred and fifty countries, not to mention other publications from Sai Baba’s very busy press. That this process of removal of embarrassing material from his discourses goes on I had my own proof when I was working as a publisher’s editor at Sai Towers, Puttaparthi. I once myself had a hand in reconstruction/excision of a terribly jumbled Sai Baba statements about ghosts, which I sought help to unscramble from (the late) V.K Narasimhan, a warm and dear friend, who had been one of the most famous and respected editors in India and then Editor of Sanathana Sarathi. He too had edited out the embarrassments in his version for the upcoming edition of Sathathana Sarathi. I may add that I was working from the penciled translation by Professor Anil Kumar himself, Sai Baba’s official translator, who used to slip (or I think recall on this occasion actually hand-deliver) his translation over to Sai Towers. Also called in at Sai Towers on the rescue operation was Sai Baba’s Professor of English, Sandeepan Chatterjee. On another occasion, a whole issue of the expensively produced – which I was essentially editing (on the basis of service, not as paid work) had to be ditched – a large number of copies destined for worldwide distribution. Because of this small bit of print, the whole magazine had to be reprinted, a mammoth operation. This was because Sai Baba wanted to suppress a prophecy he had just made at Kodai Kanal. Of the Redmond material, Brian Steel comments on and quotes the egregious Sai Baba blunders:

“NONE of this astonishingly confused information was finally printed in the official version in Sathya Sai Speaks, XXIX, but in a note on page 393 we learn that:

“[Bhagavan gave a brief account of the Jewish concept of the creation of the cosmos and referred to the birth of Jesus as the son of Mary and Joseph.]”

Doubtless, the editors saw that SB had had a ‘bad day’, but readers of their version will never know that”.

“Three hundred and fifty years B.C., before Christ, Jews lived. However, among Jews, there were religions such as Islam and Christianity. People of that land, they are all Jews. That land is the birthplace of both the religions, Islam and Christianity. The Hebrew language was very prominent. This Hebrew language is more or less equal to our Sanskrit. …”

“Christianity is not just 2,000 years in its origin. It was there even before Christ, 350 years. There the divinity is explained very clearly.”

“The name and the fame of Jesus Christ have spread far and wide. Here, at this moment, there are two schools of thought. The first group of thought – Roman Catholics. There is another group that fought with this group. This group is called Protestants. As they protested, they are Protestants. So among Jews there are these two groups: Catholics and Protestants. The difference of opinion has increased day by day. This led to Jesus, whose life was in danger. Jews there in Jerusalem did not permit Jesus to go there. Like this, religious conflict and fighting was ever on the rise. There were 250 schools of thought, divisions there. They also monopolized certain countries.”

“Because of so many groups there, they all attempted even to harm Jesus. Romans on one side. Catholics on the other side. Luther on another side. There were so many groups that went on changing. All these differences are based on violence, and that led to madness. Because of this attachment to group affiliations, naturally there was conflict and fighting.”

“Religious affiliation leads to ego. This led to confusion among them as to what Jesus said right or wrong.”

Is this the Avatar of Avatars – or a schoolboy vainly trying to write a potted history, conflating early Christian history with Martin Luther’s 16th Century Protestant revolt?

Brian Steel concludes:

“More seriously, perhaps, such idiosyncratic pronouncements cast a very heavy shadow over Sai Baba’s general credibility and even his thought processes – whatever his other powers and characteristics”.

Former Sai Baba devotees worldwide are ready, as indeed many times before over several years, to submit our credentials and findings to bona fide independent third party adjudicators.

In an attempt to obtain proper investigation of the allegations against Sathya Sai Baba and his powerful and influential worldwide organization, we have closely cooperated with major world media and other reputed agencies and institutions. He and the entity he calls the “Divine” instrument for bringing about the greatest spiritual revolution the world has ever seen, the Sathya Sai Organization, have not.

International billions flow to Sai Baba

In August 16, 2003. the Rediff news agency reported:
“The largest recipient of foreign contribution was Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust — Rs 88.18 crore (Rs 881.8 million)”

Further Reading

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

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team

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

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Video Resources

The Secret Swami (BBC Television):
(154 MB, Broadband)

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
(80 MB, Broadband)

http://home.hetnet.nl/~seduced/seduced.wmv
(21 MB, Modem)

Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip)

BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle « Call For Media and Government Investigation

Sathya Sai Baba Chief, Dr Goldstein, Explodes. “I am the consummate professional” (See Film Clips)

Raising ever more serious questions about how spiritual is the head of what Sathya Sai Baba has called THE divine organization in the world,

Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs)

at the BBC’s perfectly reasonable questions about accountability

Dr. Goldstein again reveals his higher self (1.500Kb)

Michael Goldstein and the sexual allegations (2,10 Mbs)

Michael Goldstein admits his view is merely a belief (456kbs)

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia « Call For Media and Government Investigation

……………………………………………………

General
Excerpt From 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

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL)

——————————————

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Posted in Opinion, Religion, Sai Baba, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Bob Bozzani Big Donor To Guru Sai Baba Under Siege

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 2, 2007

Will this multi-millionaire of Corvino, Southern California, USA, and a high official in the Sathya Sai Organization continue to ignore responsibly-made sexual abuse allegations against Sai Baba by a mother of a then teenage boy? Will he continue to say, as he told his old friend (the late) Glen Meloy, that the allegations are merely “old hat”.

Survivors have a right to tell their stories of abuse – without being assailed or vilified. Or told that their experience was hallucinatory. Or that they are not, in all reality, their body but their supreme soul. Or that they should forget the past and “move on”. Or that God, fully manifest in Sai Baba, has His ways, and who are we to bring Him down to our own level of understanding? Or that they are liars because they may stumble over details of memory – in what, after all, is a terribly confusing, traumatic ordeal.

What more reasonable course of action – one would think – than to turn to presumably responsible officers of their spiritual organization? But Sai Baba and his officials around the world have repeatedly done what they can to suppress the stories. In short, he and top Sathya Sai Organization leaders such as the late Dr John Hislop, Dr Michael Goldstein, Dr William Harvey, Dr John C. Evans, Robert Bozzani, Phyllis Krystal, Indulal Shah, Dr G. Venkataraman, Dr Narendra Reddy, Ashok Bhagani, Steen Piculell, J. Jagadeesan, and many others, have much to answer for – in many cases, from decades back.

After considerable efforts in discussion with former devotees around the world, I can find only one written response by a Sathya Sai Organization official. This was by Dr John C. Evans to a letter that details several major concerns by a former devotee Ella Evers of Eugene, Oregon. She had strenuously sought out direct Sai Baba sex abuse survivor statements and, along with many others in the Sathya Sai Organization of the USA, tried to get Dr Michael Goldstein, Bob Bozzani and other foremost US Sai Baba officials to act responsibly. In his letter to her (August 20, 2000), the then President of the Sathya Sai Organization in America, Dr John C. Evans, totally ignores her points and queries, showing absolute disregard for the terrible suffering she reports. He quotes a saying of Sai Baba:

“If one voices criticism loudly, it will be lost in thin air, if one criticizes within, it goes to one’s own self”.

In other words, the woman should criticize herself, and shut up. (But, then, what would an almost exclusively male-dominated Management know about the rights of a woman to speak up?! And why the preponderance of medical doctors through Sai Baba’s top leadership – wouldn’t one think that they would have some ethical grounding in matters of duty-of-care?).

We have written testimony from the late Glen Meloy about his attempt to alert his old friend Robert Bozzani about a mother’s concerns that her teenage son had been sexually molested by Sai Baba. Bob Bozzani is a Regional President, member of the Sathya Sai Baba Central Council of The United States of America, and Senior Trustee for the Sathya Sai Baba Society of America. Glen Meloy relates that a long-time friend had given him extensive details of her son’s severe and repeated molestation by Sai Baba. She asked him to contact Bozzani, whom he had known for twenty-six years, to discuss a submission from the family and other documentation that had already been sent to Bozzani.  The documentation had first been sent to Meloy, who relates:

“She was confident in her heart that Mr Bozzani and other officials would realize the serious implications involved and subsequently disband the entire organization in the USA. Unfortunately, this would not be the case. When I called Bob, he acknowledged that he had received and read the letter and the testimony from the son … Bob then went on to say that the mistake devotees make is when they try to bring God down to the human level and that was inappropriate because all of us either had to accept him as God or not.”

Here was a high-ranking Sai Baba official, Bozzani, a Sai devotee for over two decades, side-stepping a clear duty-of-care. That is intolerable. Would this lack of responsible process be tolerated in countless workplaces and in institutions civic or religious? Bob Bozzani might pause to think how proper policies and processes relating to sexual abuse and harassment exist in companies such as those in which he has served.

Bob Bozzani is a contributor of millions of dollars to Sai Baba projects – one of them the cancelled multi-million International Sai School in Denmark, which former Sai Baba devotee efforts exposed to the Danish government, municipal authorities and the public via television, radio and newspapers. On January 30, 2002, Danish Broadcasting aired Øjvind Kyrø’s 54-minute documentary on the Sai Baba Exposé, ‘Seduced’, with a number of repeats. It was released elsewhere, including Australia where the multi-cultural national broadcaster SBS resisted threats of litigation by T. Sri Ramanathan, then head of the Sathya Sai Organization. SBS screened the documentary, retitling it ‘Seduced by Sai Baba’. Reportedly, Robert Bozzani donated $US 6 million for the International Sai School project, but amidst good old-fashioned Danish community outrage, the sale to Sai Baba officials of the famous castle Arresødal in a fashionable suburb of Copenhagen was cancelled.  Bozzani’s close colleagues Thorbjörn Meyer, Central Co-coordinator for Europe, and the Danish businessman Jørgen Trygved, who was chairman of the ‘Sai international school’ fund board, failed. To expensively no purpose, they had retained the topmost litigation lawyers in Denmark in repeated litigation actions against Danish Broadcasting.

Robert Bozzani’s directorship on the Sathya Sai Society of America is all the more noteworthy when one considers that he is one of those whom Alaya Rahm – who has given an account of being sexually abused many times when in his teens by Sai Baba – tried to litigate against in 2006. At this time Rahm’s pro bono – yes, is pro bono worth the non-cost?! – lawyer, William Brelsford of southern California, in my view seriously failed to foresee a number of problems among which was that concerning whom or what entity to sue. In what looks to have been all too late in the piece, Brelsford, after the court had proceeded uncomfortably far with scarcely any, much less adversarial client representation, advised his client to proceed no further – indeed on terms crassly unfavourable to Alaya Rahm that have been gravely criticized by other lawyers.

We hold evidence (but withhold the individual’s details) that Sai Baba had genitally ‘oiled’ a close member of Bozzani’s family. Let those Sai devotees whom we learn are starting to raise questions, and attempting to reform the Sathya Sai Organization from within, ask Bozzani about these matters. Why – given that others have approached him for guidance and assistance – has he concealed the evidence that a sexual offence has occurred within his own family? The Indian law does not allow Sai Baba or anyone else, except doctors in appropriate clinical circumstances, to touch a person’s genitals without their mature-age and responsible consent. Let Sai devotee rank-and-file members ask Robert Bozzani:

  1. Given that the allegation is true, what age was your family member when the event occurred?
  2. And what was the age of that boy mentioned by Glen Meloy whose mother turned to you? Was it not 15 years old when the offences alleged occurred?
  3. Was it true that many devotees knew Glen Meloy to be an immensely supportive decent and honorable person?
  4. Is it the case that Glen Meloy turned to you on behalf of the woman and her son and you did nothing by way of support?
  5. What is your conception of the notion:  Duty-of-care?
  6. Have not those who have come to you and your fellow leaders with their accounts been in a state of terrible suffering, and did you and the leadership cut yourselves off from them?
  7. Where do you stand in regard to Mandatory Reporting of allegations of sexual abuse?
  8. Have you all along concealed from the members of the Sathya Sai Organization the good standing, both within the Sai Baba and the wider community, of various individuals and families who have come to you and your leadership colleagues with serious accounts that Sai Baba has touched the genitals, and indeed in some cases done things like getting boys and young men to suck his penis – in short, doing what the centermost laws and cultural-ethical mores of many countries unambiguously forbid?
  9. Do you see that rank-and-file members Sathya Sai Organization have a right to information that would allow them to make their own minds up about whether to allow their male children to travel to Sai Baba and, in some cases, allow them to be students in his colleges?
  10. Did you read, as stated by Glen Meloy, highly detailed, specific documentation from a family well known and respected by many Sai devotees, especially in southern California, for their devotion to Sai Baba?

Refusal to have proper mechanisms in place for the hearing of complaints has put the Sai Organization light years behind today’s demand for accountability. On April 3, 2003, the then Australian head of the Sathya Sai Organisation of Australia, T. Sri Ramanathan, phoned to threaten dire legal consequences for me (he was all bluff and bullying, of course) if I did not “cease and desist”. I suggested that any organisation, including his, is wise to have a workable complaints mechanism, otherwise unaddressed grievances are bound to create problems. He said I was “clouding the issue” and that the only issue was “Swami’s glory”. There was no need, he said, for such a mechanism in the Sathya Sai Organisation, which is “special and different to any other organisation.” It was, he said, “a divine organisation”.

But survivors of abuse will not share their stories with people like Bob Bozzani and others who hide behind smoke screens and do not show them love, respect and understanding – or at least some degree of professionalism.

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Philanthropy, Religion, Sai Baba, Uncategorized | 3 Comments »