Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Archive for November, 2007

‘Moon Mission of Sathya Sai Baba’. Re Merinews Article

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 30, 2007

Noting that the Indian news service Merinews.com contained an article by Natteri Adigal which gave me a brief mention, I responded.

This was, Moon mission of Sathya Sai Baba: Only for the faithful! by Natteri Adigal, Thursday, 29 November 2007. (see link below). I wrote the following in the Comment section, not knowing that only short messages are run, so I shall publish my response here:-

Your writer Natteri Adigal states, “Australia-based Barry Pittard, a former devotee and lecturer at Sathya Sai College in Whitefield who has been leading a campaign against the ‘cult’, ridiculed the whole exercise as another gimmick at fooling people”.

If they view my article Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon? Merinews readers will get an accurate version of what I have actually said. (For Link, see below)

It is by no means certain that Sai Baba attempted to fool people. Given that – as his core leaders know only too well, and photographic footage and reliable devotee and non-devotee in situ reports show – he has shown repeated and distinctive signs not only of physical but also mental decrepitude. It can just as easily have been such an aberation that sent thousands of devotees off, as it were, on a wild moon chase.

A fiercely truthful devotee would be compelled to look at such evidence, and not distort, libel and defame those who put another case. Nor will they cite good works as a means of evading serious allegations from hundreds of former Sathya Sai Baba devotees. Many people in this world do good public works but secretively do foul deeds. When serious persons long held in esteem raise serious concerns, it is only proper that there be accountability – on both sides – and no cover up.

Solid evidence coming through is that:

1. Professor Anil Kumar announced after the evening darshan that a vishwarupa darshana (in the form of a great spiritual vision) would take place at Puttaparthi airport.

2. Thousands of devotees (as reported by IANS, Indo Asian News Service and other sources) rushed to the airport.

3. Clouds blotted out the moon, and a great many devotees saw nothing – but cloud, of course.

4. Sai Baba’s car was held up in the jostling crowds, creating a security nightmare, and threat to life and limb.

5. The police, ashram security detail and seva dal had much more than usual difficulties in controlling the snarls of people and traffic.

6. From the moment of Professor Anil Kumar’s announcement, mobile and other phone calls ran extremely hot between the Puttaparthi ashram and many parts of the world.

In short, there was great chaos, rather than the awe and wonder related in Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 11, where the vishwarupa darshana given by Sri Krishna to his disciple Arjuna is of a very different nature indeed to what is being discussed by many Sathya Sai Baba devotees.

Despite incredible distortion of the case being made by networked pro Sathya Sai Baba forces (utterly contrary to the excellent conduct of his many good and decent followers), two blogsites attempt to portray the position of former devotees worldwide. They are those of Robert Priddy, former head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, and retired academic, and by me, Barry Pittard. See also the website of Australian scholar Brian Steel. Robert Priddy’s extensively reconstructed and highly updated website is here . General former Sai devotee website: http://www.exbaba.com (Go to News tab for regular updates)

All along, former devotees from many countries have called for proper, third party investigation of the many and serious worldwide allegations against Sathya Sai Baba and certain core leaders his cult, the international Sathya Sai Organization.

I think it a pity that overseas media have had to be the forces, instead of the Indian media, to break stories critical of Sai Baba and his cult. That is, except for the remarkable and courageous cover story by India Today in December 2000 (where their journalists like Vijay Thapa had, I am informed by journalistic sources close to the events, to have close body security protection as their Sai Baba story broke. So much for all the talk about the quality of ahimsa!). The overseas media have included very responsible organs like the BBC, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corporation), DR (Denmark’s national broadcaster), SBS television (Australia’s great multicultural broadcaster), ABC (the Australian Broadcasting Corporation), AZUL TV (Argentina), Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, and newspapers in Europe, Australia, Canada, etc.

Barry Pittard, Australia

P.S. Your writer Natteri Adigal is mistaken about Dr Michael Nobel being the son of the Swedish engineer in whose honor the Nobel Prize was named. How can it be? The simplest check shows that Alfred Nobel was born in 1833 and died 1896. This mistake is also seen in the Sai Baba devotee generated Wikipedia entry on ‘Sathya Sai Baba’. Sai Baba’s own deputy world chairman Dr G. Venkataraman, who is on record as having spent time with Dr Nobel, has said in his journal for Sai Global Harmony, Sai Baba’s international radio service, that “Dr. Nobel is the great grand nephew of Dr. Alfred Nobel, the founder of Nobel Prize”

Further Reading

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Moon mission of Sathya Sai Baba: Only for the faithful! by Natteri Adigal, www.merinews.com, Thursday, 29 November 2007

Sai Baba Fails To Appear In Moon, IANS Reports

Sai Baba Fails To Grant Great Moon Vision. Endangers Crowds

Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon. But Where Was Moon?

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Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, Religion, Sai Baba | 5 Comments »

Bernie Banton Case. Mega Poor Can Fight Mega Rich

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 29, 2007

What do many wealthy and powerful so-called spiritual organizations have in common with corporations?

Vested Religious Interests Cover up Like Any Other

When it comes to profound cover ups and gross desertion of duty of care, groups like the Sathya Sai Organization and the Roman Catholic Church (until the latter was forced to admit liability) act just as the James Hardy company in Australia has acted. With the worst lies, evasions and the utmost lack of compassion and responsibility.

But Bernie Banton, increasingly sick with asbestosis, a killer disease of which the James Hardy company had secretly known since the 1930’s, nobly fought – right up until his death two days ago – against the company’s relentless
injustice.

His spirit of forgiveness also showed that being magnanimous should not be confused with refusal to act in the face of evil.

bernie-banton-and-jimmy-barnes-2006.jpgBernie Banton with working class idol Jimmy Barnes, at the Rights At Work rally, Melbourne Cricket Ground, 2006

Warrior Bernie Banton, Rest in Peace!

                              …………..

State funeral for campaigner Banton

The Australian. November 27, 2007

Prime Minister-elect Kevin Rudd said Mr Banton would be remembered as a fighter.

“Australia is going to be poorer for Bernie’s passing – our whole nation will be poorer for Bernie’s passing,” Mr Rudd said. He became a symbol, a living symbol of what is right and decent and proper in the workplace relations of this country. Mr Rudd said he had phoned Mr Banton’s widow Karen this morning and said he and wife Therese would attend his funeral. Mr Rudd said Mr Banton’s achievements would serve as a warning to companies to respect their workforces. My message to the country is this – working people are not economic commodities, working people are human beings and working people therefore deserve and demand respect, care and attention in whatever their workplace is,” Mr Rudd said.

Bernie Banton and justice for asbestos victims

ACTU Report

In February 2007, a multi million dollar fund was set up by the James Hardie company to pay compensation to people with asbestos illness. This was a big step in a very long campaign to get help for many thousands of people who have been made ill by asbestos products … Australia had the highest per capita use of asbestos in the world from the 1950s until the 1970s. Around one in three domestic dwellings constructed in Australia before 1982 is thought to contain asbestos.

James Hardie had knowledge of the dangers of asbestos from at least the 1930s but no warnings or directions were placed on Hardie’s fibro until 1978.

Enough Rope

(Andrew Denton Show, ABC, Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

At great cost to his deteriorating health, Bernie Banton has been the face of the James Hardie compensation case. For the last five years, in his own words, he’s been, “dragged through a pit of hell by a mob of bottom feeders”. In doing so, he’s been a constant reminder of what is really at issue here – the dreadful legacy of the asbestos industry and its all too human toll. Please welcome Bernie Banton and his wife Karen.

Further Reading

Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia

Why Might There Be Religious and Political Disconnects?

Cost Of Cover Ups Can Far Exceed Hoped-for Benefits

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

For Viewing

See links for BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and DR’s ‘Seduced’ footage at end of article, The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

Posted in Morality, Sai Baba, Uncategorized, World Issues | 1 Comment »

Challenging Historic Deification

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 24, 2007

In an age of Internet libel, stalking and various kinds of abuse against dissenters both on and off the web, it is no small undertaking for individuals to speak about their former affiliation with Sai Baba.

Strangely, Non-Campaigners Turn Into Campaigners

Not the least of difficulties in speaking out include considerable inexperience in campaigning – such as dealing with the media, Interpol, UNESCO, government ministries and departments, religious, political and civic organizations, etc. – setting up of websites and adjuncts such as an international petition. There are security problems such as hack attacks, attempts at insertion of viruses, trojans, etc.

Cultic Abandonment of Reason and Commonsense

There have been attempts by Sai Baba’s cult to denigrate and indeed in a number of cases libel former devotees. In their professions, trades and wider communities, those who have left Sai Baba as a matter of highest principle have long been known (and by many Sai devotees themselves, including close associates and even friends of many years!) to be individuals of integrity and sacrificial service to others. If a single incapacity of the cultists had to be pointed to, it is the profound failure to listen to what is really being said, without ascribing worst motives to those who are saying it. Common sense and decency are the abject losers.

Standing Up To Sai Baba Means Challenging Historic Deification

This (in the case of some individuals for many decades) was with one of history’s most powerful cults, and, arguably, a leader of such charisma and international outreach that it has not been a foregone conclusion (unless strongly challenged) that he will be ranked in the company of names such as Christ, Buddha, the Prophet Muhammad, Guru Nanak, and so on. He himself proclaims that he is the fullest earthly manifestation of the formless Divine, and that, effectively, he will be ruling the world before he quits it circa 2022 AD. See article, India Lead World? Sai Baba Says Yes. Robert Priddy No

Quotation from Petition of internationally networked former followers of Sathya Sai Baba, JuST (Just Seekers of Truth)

“The US State Department is aware of these many allegations of sexual abuse and in effect for all US travellers going to India, making specific reference to Andhra Pradesh State, where Sathya Sai Baba’s main ashram is located. In mid 2004, as referred to in the BBC’s The Secret Swami, the US State Department confirmed to the BBC that Sathya Sai Baba was, in fact, the Indian religious teacher referred to, but not by name, in its warning to US travellers to Andhra Pradesh.Further, a British MP has lodged questions in the House of Commons concerning possible risk to the children of UK citizens visiting Sai Baba in India.

UNESCO (and its partner University of Flinders, South Australia) officially withdrew from an educational conference planned for September 2000 at Sai Baba’s ashram under the auspices of the Sathya Sai Organization, citing ‘widely reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youth and children … levelled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba’.In June 1993, Sai Baba passively stood by while six persons were murdered in his apartments in Prashanthi Nilayam independent township, his main ashram, known to be completely under his strict control. After discussions between Sai Baba’s officials and the local police, the police shot at close range and in cold blood killed four of these persons”. PUBLIC PETITION FOR OFFICIAL INVESTIGATION OF SATHYA SAI BABA AND HIS WORLDWIDE

There is also a Spanish language version of the Petition: PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

The News Stories Keep on Coming

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COVER STORY: SAI BABA. Test of Faith. “As India’s most enduring god-man enters his 75th year, his spirituality rests uneasily with controversy”. By Amarnath K. Menon and Ashok Malik in Puttaparthi

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Times of London

Suicide, sex and the guru. By Dominic Kennedy. “The reputation of Sai Baba, a holy man to the rich and famous, has been tarnished by mysterious deaths and allegations of sexual abuse”

Three men die after putting faith in guru. “Three British men have died mysteriously after becoming followers of an Indian mystic famed as a ‘god man’ and miracle worker. Sai Baba’s activities are being studied by the Foreign Office which is considering issuing an unprecedented warning against the guru to travellers. The Times has learnt that three Britons have apparently taken their lives after placing hope in India’s most popular holy man. One of them had complained of being repeatedly sexually molested by Sai Baba at his ashram in Puttaparthi near Bangalore”

‘I sought peace and couldn’t find it’ By Michael Dynes and Dominic Kennedy. ” Michael Pender, a student, hoped that Sai Baba would be able to cure him of HIV. Like thousands of devotees from around the world, Mr Pender went on a pilgrimage to Sai Baba’s ashram in Puttaparthi, southern India, expecting to find magic and divinity. Instead Mr Pender, known as “Mitch,” was found dead after taking tablets in the lonely bedroom of a hostel for the homeless in Highbury, North London. He was 23″

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Divine Downfall By Mick Brown, additional research by Chloe Veltman. “The guru Sai Baba has left India only once, yet his devotees across the world are estimated at up to 50 million. They worship him as a living god who, at the very least, can change people’s lives and possibly even work miracles. But now his followers are bitterly divided by allegations that their guru has for years been systematically sexually abusing boy disciples summoned to his presence”

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The Guardian – Article by Paul Lewis

For More Articles By Media. See, Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Film Footage

The Secret Swami (BBC Television)
(80 MB, Broadband). The Secret Swami (23.3 MB, Modem)

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
(80 MB, Broadband). Seduced (21 MB, Modem)

Posted in New Age, Religion, Spirituality, World Religions | 1 Comment »

Sai Baba’s Birthday. Vast, Costly Pomp and Ceremony

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2007

Sathya Sai Baba celebrates his birthday on November 23, 2007 when he turns 82. You may be be sure that it will be celebrated with vast and costly pomp and ceremony that would have done any maharaja proud.

For decades, Sathya Sai Baba has not had to go to the maharajas. The maharajas – or, to be more exact, their republican equivalents – go to see him.

(For revealing photo of Sathya Sai Baba’s twin palaces at Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, South India, click HERE)

Sai Baba’s Dead Body Can (Almost) Go Marching On

Tune: Brothers, will you meet me
John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave;
John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave;
John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave;
His soul’s marching on!
(Chorus)
Glory, halle—hallelujah! Glory, halle—hallelujah!
Glory, halle—hallelujah! his soul’s marching on!

Is this vast opulence amidst incredible poverty and squalor quite the image that contemporary India, as she thrusts towards superpower status, wishes the rest of the world to have of her?

One may think – but Sathya Sai Baba will fade away. But no. A powerful component of India is simply not like that at all. This aspect does not admit of gurus dying. For they, as it were, live on in their pictures. In their garments. In replicas of their feet (padukas – often cast in precious metal). In the places they frequented. In the buildings they caused to be erected. They march with stronger stride than poor John Brown ever did! They march millennially. Only reason and good sense would ever stop them in their tracks. And one is reminded, to take but one example of how corruption profits from sainthood, of how, scarcely had Saint Francis of Assisi died than his successor Brother Elias set up lavish memorials. Disciplic squabbles over saintly remains is an old, old story. Yet this was to a life whose only true memorials were the poor whom Saint Francis raised up, and his inspiration to a great many down the centuries in the sacrifice of materiality.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Imperial Decay

Pride is said to come before a fall. In the case of Sathya Sai Baba puffery and proudery now come during a fall, since we are now in a better position to see the imperial decay suggested in my article The Decline and Fall of The Showman Empire. (For the busy reader, there is a condensed version, Sai Baba’s Undivine Downfall).

Pictures of Sathya Sai Baba’s Opulence and Self-glorification

For a photographic glimpse of the incredible lavish material ‘spendour of Puttaparthi’, see Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia. Or my reader may like to view some Sathya Sai Baba Chariots.

In the selfsame India, there is, with what deepest irony, a profoundly genuine splendour, down thousands of years, of saints and sages living in the utmost simplicity.

Where Do Sathya Sai Baba’s Riches Come From?

Where do the – no, not millions – billions of dollars (and many another currency) come from that support Sathya Sai Baba’s overweening self-glorification? The answer is, often – from your country and mine.  See, Sai Baba Exchequer Worth Billions. Many Countries Donate

Fortunately, a television documentary such as the BBC’s The Secret Swami was one of the means by which networked former Sai Baba devotees from several countries have found to communicate our testimony worldwide. A piece from the BBC’s publicity department gives a small idea of the sheer impact caused by coverage of dissenting views of Sai Baba and his cult, the Sathya Sai Organization. More millions have see DR’s Seduced, Azul TV’s Divine Sin, and read articles in major news media in India, UK, Europe, Canada, Australia, and so on. See, Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List. For a video version of Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster, the Australian version of which – against threats by the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia – was entitled Seduced By Sai Baba), click on:
(80 MB, Broadband). Seduced (21 MB, Modem)

Further Reading (with links to highly exposing BBC and other film footage)

The Secret Swami. BBC Docu. Review. Condensed

Sai Baba Says His Cult Is ‘The’ Divine Organization In History

Muslim Leaders Initiative Bold. Sai Baba’s Efforts Fail

……………………..

BBC WORLD SERIES ‘The World Uncovered’
‘The Secret Swami’

Sai Baba is one of India’s most renowned gurus. To his millions of followers around the world he is the embodiment of God on Earth. Reporter Tanya Datta investigates a disturbing story with allegations of magic, murder and sexual abuse.Some of the 200-plus countries where this documentary will be screened are listed below. Other countries can find by searching the more complete schedules at http://www.bbcworld.com/ for Saturday 25th September & Sunday 26th September, 2004INDIA
Saturday 25th September – screened at 13.40 & 17.40 — & 26th Sept. at 00.40
NEPAL
Saturday 25th September – screened at 13.55, 17.55 — & 26th Sept. at 00.55
SRI LANKA
Saturday 25th September – screened 14.10, 18.10 — & 26th Sept. at 01.10
MALAYSIA
Saturday 25th September – screened at 16.10 & 20.10 — & 26th Sept..at 03.10
THAILAND
Saturday 25th September – screened at 15.10, 19.10 — & 26th Sept..at 02.10
SINGAPORE
Saturday 25th September – screened at 10.10, 16.10 & 20.10 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)
HONG KONG, CHINA
Saturday 25th September – screened 16.10, 20/10 – & 26th September at 03.10
JAPAN, SOUTH KOREA
Saturday 25th – screened at 17.10 & 21.10 — & 26th Sept..at 04.10
NEW ZEALAND
Saturday 25th September – screened at 20.10 — & 26th Sept..at 00.10 & 07.10
AUSTRALIA
New South Wales (Sydney), Australian Capital Territory (Canberra), Queensland, Whitsunday Islands, Tasmania – Saturday 25th – screened at 18.10 and 22.10 — & 26th September at 05.10
South Australia (Adelaide) & Northern Territories – Saturday 25th – screened at 17.40 & 21.40
— & 26TH Sept. 04.40
Perth – Saturday 25th – screened at 16.10 & 20.10 — & 26th Sept..at 03.10
Lord Howe Islands – Saturday 25th – screened at 18.40 & 22.40 — & 26th September at 05.4)
FIJI
Saturday 25th September – screened at 20.10 & 26th September at 00.10, 07.10
MAURITIUS
12.10, 16.10 & 23.10
ESTONIA, LATVIA, LITHUANIA
Saturday 25th September – screened at 11.10, 15.10 & 22.10 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)
RUSSIA (see BBC schedules for other regions)
Russian Federation (Moscow, St. Petersburg, Astrakhan, Naryan.Ma
Saturday 25th September – screened at 12.10, 16.10 & 23.10 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)
ROMANIA, TURKEY, BELARUS, UKRAINE, KALININGRAD
Saturday 25th September – screened at 11.10, 15.10 & 22.10 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)
SWEDEN, DENMARK, NORWAY, BELGIUM, NETHERLANDS, GERMANY & POLAND
Saturday 25th September – screened at 10.10, 14.10 & 21.10 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)
GREENLAND (general)
Saturday 25th September – screened at 06.10, 10.10 17.00 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)
ICELAND
Saturday 25th September – screened at 08.10, 12.10 19.00 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)
FRANCE & SPAIN
Saturday 25th September – screened at 10.10, 14.10 & 21.10 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)
PORTUGAL
Saturday 25th September – screened at 09.10, 13.10 & 20.10 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)

SWITZERLAND: No screening scheduled. Some coverage from adjacent countries

AUSTRIA, SLOVENIA, SLOVAKIA, CROATIA, SERBIA, MONTENEGRO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA, HUNGARY
Saturday 25th September – screened at 10.10, 14.10 & 21.10 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)

ITALY
Saturday 25th September – screened at 10.10, 14.10 & 21.10 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)

GREECE
Saturday 25th September – screened at 11.10, 15.10 & 22.10 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)

ISRAEL
Saturday 25th September – screened at 10.10, 14.10 & 21.10 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)

IRAN
Saturday 25th September – screened at 11.40, 15.40 & 22.40 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)

CANADA
Atlantic – Saturday 25th September – screened at 05.10, 09.10 & 16.10
Central , Western Ontario – Saturday 25th – screened at 03.10., 07.10 & 14.10
Eastern Quebec, Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, Ontario – Saturday 25th – screened at 04.10, 08.10 & 15.10
Saskatchewan – Saturday 25th – screened at 02.10, 06.10 & 13.10 — NOT ON Sunday 26th)

U.S.A: No screening scheduled. Some coverage from adjacent countries.

MEXICO
Baja California Norte & Sonora – Saturday 25th September – screened 01.10, 05.10, & 12.10
Baja California Sur, Sinalca, Chichuahua – Saturday 25th – screened at 02.10, 06.10 & 13.10
General incl. Mexico City – Saturday 25th – screened at 03.10., 07.10 & 14.10

SOUTH AFRICA
Saturday 25th September – screened at 10.10, 14.10 & 21.10 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)

ARGENTINA
Saturday 25th September – screened at 05.10, 09.10 & 16.10 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)

BRAZIL
S.E. Coast (Rio, Sao Paulo, Brazilia) Saturday 25th September – screened at 05.10, 09.10 & 16.10
— (NOT ON Sunday 26th)

VENEZUELA , TRINIDAD & TOBAGO
Saturday 25th September – screened at 04.10, 08.10 & 15.10 — (NOT ON Sunday 26th)

Posted in Morality, New Age, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Sathya Sai Baba’s Un Divine Downfall

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 17, 2007

For the busy reader, here is a condensed version of my longer article The Decline and Fall of the Showman Empire. (Click on this title to view the original)

A condensed version of my article The BBC’s The Secret Swami – A Revision is found in Further Reading, below. Links to downloadable video footage are also given at the foot of this present blog

– From:  The Decline And Fall of The Showman Empire

Chapter Headings

No Edward Gibbon To Chronicle Sai Baba’s Decline and Fall – Yet
An Imperial Puttaparthi Wishes To Penetrate Every Corner of Globe
Duke Versus Emperor. Edinburgh Beats  Puttaparthi
Investigative Opportunities
The Emperor Without Clothes
Cult Awareness and Non-Cooperation Will Demolish Sai Baba’s Empire

Quotes

Sai Baba’s ’showman empire’ is worth many highly unaccountable billions. Frequently, they pour to his Sathya Sai Central Trust from your country and mine. (See Rediff.com reference article listed below, Sai Baba Exchequer Worth Billions. Many Countries Donate)
…………..
But now, Sai Baba has been increasingly exposed to the world on television by the BBC, DR (Denmark), AZUL (Argentina), CBC (Canada), ABC,  SBS (Australia), and in the press – India Today, Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, Age, Australian Financial Times, and newspapers in several parts of Europe, Canada, and elsewhere. This does not mean that any of these major institutions did a perfect job, or that there do not abound plenty of compelling stories, some of them tragic indeed.
…………..
Surprising openings in a long-muzzled Indian media occurred November 2006, when Paul Lewis’s story broke in The Guardian – The Indian living god, the pedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards. It raised concerns about the nexus between the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and the UK Sai youth, on their way in large numbers to see Sathya Sai Baba.
…………..

Awards, owing to, in this sort of issue, a not very experienced or competent UK CEO, Peter Westgarth – see HERE – was slow off the mark. However, after very high level representations from our side, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme trustees and Prince Philip’s Private Secretary

sir-miles-hunt-davis.jpg

Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davies KCVO, CBE, realized that a serious matter was at hand. Questions were also raised by some powerful citizens, including a former Home Minister, Tom Sackville. The Duke of Edinburgh Awards required of Dr G. Venkataraman, at an official Sai Baba website to take down the triumphant – but absurdly mistaken – information that the Duke of Edinburgh Award had been awarded to Sai Baba himself. See link below for: A Duke Stops An Emperor. Edinburgh Routs Sai Baba

…………..

Dr G. Venkataraman, formerly a member of India’s highly secret nuclear establishment, is Sai Baba’s deputy world head, who also directs Sai Baba’s international 7 days 24 hours satellite radio service via the WorldSpace international corporation. According to the Wikipedia entry for ‘Sathya Sai Baba’, its Director Dr Michael Nobel is “one of the patrons for the radio network” and “said that the radio network would spread Sathya Sai Baba’s message of global harmony and peace”. See links at foot for Sathya Sai Baba’s Deputy Head, Dr G. Venkataraman, Speaks of “Mr Idi Amin”. (With little sense of time’s passage the Wiki article says, absurdly, that Michael Nobel is the son of Alfred Nobel, who founded The Nobel Foundation and after whom the Nobel Prize is named)
…………..

On November 4, 2006, The Guardian ran Paul Lewis’s story (see above). In a development that occurred quite without The Guardian seeking it, in November 2006, The Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) managed to get a few major Indian media to take the feed on the Paul Lewis story. There have been decades of censorship of material adverse to the politically and religiously too-hot-to-handle Sai Baba and his vast and, in India, extraordinarily powerful Sathya Sai Organization. This feed also went to parts of Asia and the Middle East. It has been an absurd situation that NRI’s (Non Resident Indians) have been accessed in the media of many countries with large Indian diaspora to critical information about Sathya Sai Baba, when Indians in their own country have been denied.
…………..

The present writer (email:  bpittard(at)optusnet.com) can provide journalists and other investigators with a slew of media and academic contacts who can verify that the Sathya Sai Organization is a prime example of a cult in hiding from the media and others wishing to examine it. This is why the BBC obtained a difficult to gain sanction from its senior managment and Legals to use a hidden camera on the world chairman of Sai Baba’s orgnanization, Dr Michael Goldstein of Covina, California. (See BBC video footage link, below)bbc-clip-dr-micael-goldstein-gets-angry.jpg
…………..

The George W. Bush medical advisor Professor Kanwaljeet ‘Sunny’ Anand, the birth scientist, stands as one of many examples around Sai Baba of those who desert their normal intelligence and range into the empirically absurd. There is a naked discrepancy which they, including Sai Baba’s more intellectual followers, see-but-don’t-see, as in Hans Christian Anderson’s story The Emperor’s New Clothes
…………..

Nor has he been able to honor many years of promises that he is about to travel to other parts of the world – see article link below, Will World Accept Sai Baba. He says yes. Very Soon
…………..

Read his discourses – simply that – and the contradictions, the absurdly non-scientific and blundering historical statements (now excised where possible by his editors, but archived by academics Robert Priddy and Brian Steel, see below) will demolish him.
…………..

Wide-scale derision, not unmixed with scorn and some helpless laughter and refusal by civic, government, political and religious bodies to cooperate with the Sathya Sai Organization, which attempts to link up with respected mainstream institutions, will topple this ‘God’, and demolish his empire
…………..

Further Reading

The Secret Swami. BBC Docu. Review. Condensed

Sai Baba Exchequer Worth Billions. Many Countries Donate

A Duke Stops An Emperor. Edinburgh Routs Sai Baba

“Superiors to Peter Westgarth, the Director of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, were of the view that he lacked, in this issue, both judgement and experience”

Article in The Guardian (UK) by staff writer Paul Lewis: The Indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards

“The Indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards “Sai Organisation’s UK branch has also came into contact with royals through the awards, something Buckingham Palace was made aware of in September. In correspondence seen by the Guardian, Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davis, Prince Philip’s private secretary, wrote: “[We] are very keen to get this sorted out properly and finally.” He said trustees of the award would undertake legal advice before deciding how to proceed”

Will World Accept Sai Baba. He says yes. Very Soon

Daily Telegraph article by author and journalist, Mick BrownDivine downfall

“The guru Sai Baba has left India only once, yet his devotees across the world are estimated at up to 50 million. They worship him as a living god who, at the very least, can change people’s lives and possibly even work miracles. But now his followers are bitterly divided by allegations that their guru has for years been systematically sexually abusing boy disciples summoned to his presence”

For Viewing

The Secret Swami (BBC Television)
(154 MB, Broadband). The Secret Swami (23.3 MB, Modem)

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
(80 MB, Broadband). Seduced (21 MB, Modem)

Websites of:

Brian Steel

Robert Priddy

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, Religion, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Abuse Reportage. A Case for Caution, Not Inaction

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 13, 2007

From the point of view of those who would defend their guru figure, far better to react and attack than that their idol – on whom they are so powerfully fixated – be exposed to an unfavourable public estimate.

Self-fortifying of Psyches That May Crumble

Better it is to attack than for the psyche of the attacker – in which is held the profoundly attached image of the guru –  to be subject to crumbling.

Determined attackers tend to lack the quality of empathy. They do of course see their opponents as lacking in this, but even strong opponents can respect each other. In some cases, the one greater acceptance that those obsessively attached to a guru or other idol have had in life is with the cult of which they are a part. It is by no chance that many cult members describe themselves a “the family”. (Many Sai Baba devotees refer to each other as “the Sai family). This useage can create an “us” and “them” mentality and promote co-dependence. Their saviour may vouchsafe them a smile, a word or an interview, and the sincere devotees may do their best to put up with difficult people in their midst. But there is a sort of acceptance for the socially maladapted, which may not come too easily in the school or workplace.

When Precept and Practice Conflict 

Some cults, for example, set out, even though they will never achieve that end, to be very loving, kind, softly spoken, not criticize others and so on. These are worthy aims and disciplines in themselves, and far from the exclusive preserve of any one belief system. But when indriven, almost inbred, the high edicts –  sternly interiorized – can invite conflict. 

As diverse schools of psychology are agreed, the authoritarian model too easily degenerates into unhealthy suppression and repression, hypocrisy, fanaticism, and condemnation of others who do not share the cult’s ethos and commands. There can also be harshness of the individuals directed against themselves, which can in its own turn project outwards as well, involving harshness to, and lack of compassion for, others who are perceived not to be living up to the imperatives of the belief system. Not only “us” and “them” but also oneself and all or most others who don’t quite come up to the mark.

Demonization and Depersonalization of Dissenters

Demonization of those considered apostate is common. Sai Baba’s demonizing sermon on Christmas day 2000, had much to angrily condemn. Despite its name, it was not a “Christmas Discourse”. Christ hardly got a look in, and then only in the most glancing, generalizing way. This was consonant with Sai Baba’s habit – which is to affirm how he is bringing people of diverse faith together. If, for example, he has a Muslim theme, he will speak scarcely about the Prophet, and so on. Do Muslims, Buddhists, Jews, Christians, etc., flock to Puttaparthi? They do not. Sai Baba has had decades in which to succeed in his multi-faith mission, which has profoundly failed, as his devotees, were they to be other than blind, would have to concede. Christmas ‘Peace and Goodwill to All Men’ in this discourse Sai Baba certainly did not embrace. For example, in one moment he said:

“Love everyone. No matter who comes and criticizes, you say one namaskar (greet or salute them). Why? Because the Divinity in all is one. The quality of Love in everyone is one. We should not spoil our minds only due to temporary frenzy”

and in the next:

“Betrayal of God is the worst of all betrayals. It will not be atoned for no matter how many births are experienced”

and:

“Can’t even these people with brains understand this? Why are they doing this propaganda? Even this bad propaganda is for money. All these bad thoughts are for money only. Even these bad thoughts are for money only”

But Sai Baba and his leaders around the world, and many in the rank-and-file, knew the facts perfectly well:  that those in many countries who have attempted to raise responsible questions about the various types of allegations against him are free of money or other cynical inducements. His and his leaders’ falsifications here are very great indeed, and in the long term will be – perhaps even far more than the words of his outspoken critics – the undoing of his religious empire among those capable of a probing mind and strong conscience. His ‘house’ is bound to become ever more divided against itself, and collapse under the weight of its own shame.

His discourse flatly contradicted countless instances where he has said, as so many teachers have said – and a few have wonderfully exemplified – to forebear in the face of criticism, no matter how harsh.

Unsilencable Pressures

Sai Baba was at last – after decades of almost entire blanket Indian media censorship of any substantive criticism against him – subjected to a major cover story in India Today, December 4, 2000 (See, link below). This was the result of the testimony of organized former devotees from various countries, who increasingly documented their adverse experiences of Sai Baba, including to major parts of the international media.  Many had been for years in leadership positions in the Sathya Sai Organization, and are still regarded as outstanding and unselfish contributers to the welfare of their wider communities, no less than they were when so deeply devoted and hardworking in his cause.

The pressure on Sai Baba and his servitors was considerable, and there was, at the same time, great pressure on them from devotees in consternation worldwide, and many left his organization. In the following example – amidst the spell cast by charisma and rhetoric – demonization can be observed to come quite dramatically together in both guru and the many thousands of devotees present. Sai Baba said:

“These types of publicity are shameless. Truly they are not human beings at all. The ones who put obstacles in the way of all sacred works are demons, not human beings. The determined vow of Sai will never change, even if demons like this may be all over the world. (Swami bangs his fist decisively on the table to emphasize His point. The audience applauds for long.)”

By Their Language Ye Shall Know Them

Too often the appearance in cult followers of happiness or joy or bliss can instead be euphoric, and the test of this is how quickly the state is lost when confronted with the simplest tests. Repeatedly, an attacker’s concern is to entrap, to demean, to slander, to intimidate and in some cases to terrify. One glance at their language is enough to see how often they employ curse words and phrases – like “liar”, “mentally aberrant”, “hallucinating”, “hypocritical”, “vengeful,” “disgruntled” because the guru didn’t give them what they wanted”, etc. There are other examples but here is a quotation from T. Sri Ramanathan, formerly head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, one of Sai Baba’s closest leaders. This is the way he attempted to demean and intimidate those many former devotees and others around the world who have attempted to obtain independent, third party investigation of Sai Baba. T.Sri Ramanathan, as on other occasions (See links below), tried to defame former Sai Baba devotees to SBS, Australia’s great multicultural radio and television broadcaster. Fortunately, SBS acted like other reputed major media who have listened very carefully and rigorously to former devotee accounts, including the BBC, DR (Denmark) and CBC (Canada), whose top executives stood up to the leaders and other members of the Sathya Sai Organization.

The latter tried to stop the broadcasts (and also world top newspapers) and, in some cases, vie for equal time. SBS, refused to be intimidated by Ramanathan’s defamatory threats of sueing them. Well-informed Sai Baba devotees in Australia know that Ramanathan is a bully and an exponent of the art of bluff, and his approach to organized former devotees is no different to the autocratic high-handedness he has long meted out to those within the organization who have dared to question him :

“As for the anti Sai group, some of them subsist on the generous welfare handouts of government and exist on Disability Pensions (disability being physical or mental) have the time to conjure up situations. Some of the anti Sai group are eccentric, neurotic and their behaviour and attitude are equally bizarre”.

Further Resources

India Today, Test of Faith, A God Accused article: “As India’s most enduring god-man enters his 75th year, his spirituality rests uneasily with controversy”. By Amarnath K. Menon, Ashok Malik in Puttaparthi, and Vijay Thapa, et al

Sai Baba Cult Says it is ‘The’ Divine Organization In History (Links are given to various statements and actions of T.Sri Ramanathan, former head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization)

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Abuse. Some Reach Out. Many Suffer in Silence

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 10, 2007

Many of our witnesses come from various countries and cultures. They testify to sexual and other abuses by Sathya Sai Baba, and in some cases by those close to him, and the cover up by his core leaders in the Sathya Sai Organization. Many are unready to speak out.

Proper Debriefing Is A Sore Need

Some accept the importance of professional counseling but so many do not avail themselves of it, even though we do our best to organize properly accredited, culturally appropriate and experienced professional counseling, whether by former Sai devotee or other therapists from wider communities. Where individuals are not able readily to afford this, there has been no demand by professionals for fees.

Anger at Abusee Silence. Understandable, But Helpful?

The unwillingness of abuse survivors (a term preferable to ‘victims’, which can be a labeling of people), led one active former Sai Baba devotee to stop good and useful work for the exposé. This person said, “Why are they not standing up for themselves?”

Speaking Out Has Real Risks 

However, there are considerable factors that can make speaking out (or at least on one’s own) unwise in what is, after all, an extremely painful, confusing situation.

Survivors can go into denial and suppression, failing to reach out. A humane and responsible organization would do its best to support those who nervous about seeking professional counseling as well as those open to receiving it. The international Sathya Sai Organization, like other groups in cover up mode, has profoundly and repeatedly failed in the duty-of-care and accountability areas.

Further Reading

Cost Of Cover Ups Can Far Exceed Hoped-for Benefits

Quote: “Today, most societies are multicultural. Would it not make sense to take the broad approach, with not a single organization acting as though it, too, is unaffected? Or a wider public permitted to think that it has not its own accountability?”

Sexual Abuse And Cover-up

Quote: “The same sinister pattern of cover-up and denial is to be noted in Terry Gallagher’s findings. He was the head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia but, like a number of other leaders and rank-and-file Sai Baba followers around the world, he left after making careful enquiry into the sexual abuse allegations. In fact, Terry Gallagher’s enquiries were most extensive. Among other sources, he had spoken privately with a number of Sai Baba’s students”

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 3 Comments »

Hazards For Abuse Survivors Both Timid and Bold

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 6, 2007

Many abuse survivors are afraid to speak out.

Sai Baba’s proxy defenders on the Internet and elsewhere make the most of this difficulty. They say there have been no prosecutions of Sai Baba. Yet it often takes years or decades before survivors can come to terms with what happened to them.  

Hazards Of Brave Abuse Survivors

 

Even those few ready to face the public with the facts can often be in no position to litigate. This is because of lack of funds, time, energy, or family or close friends to support them in an intelligent and genuine manner.

In one case (See 1. under Further Resources) which should never have failed, a pro bono lawyer let his client down badly and was not proactive enough to field excellent witnesses who stood ready – indeed at various kinds of personal sacrifice – to testify.

Problems of Litigation Acute

In any case, litigation is always an uncertain, costly and often extremely drawn-out process, especially in sex abuse cases where the success rate is still far lower than in most other common crimes.

Sai Baba Heavily Protected In India.

Added to these huge obstacles, Sathya Sai Baba enjoys (as he has done for many decades) powerful protection from the Indian Government, judiciary and other power echelons from any prosecution, as attempts to bring him to book in the Supreme Court of India and High Court of Andhra Pradesh have amply demonstrated. (See 2. 3. and 4. below)

Further Resources

1. Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America – Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family

2. Sai Baba Protected By The Supreme Court Of India

The archive at this link contains a document with court proof – contrary to assertions of Sai Baba’s proxy defenders on the Internet – that a case was in fact brought. One of India’s top advocates, Kamini Jaiswal, took the case on behalf of Hari Sampath, and she and her assisting Counsel Prashant Kumar and Gaurav Agarwal and their client had to suffer the ignominy of a kangaroo court presided over by the profoundly compromised  judges: S.P. Barucha, A.S. Anand, G.B. Patnaik (or G.B. Pattnaik), and R.C. Lahoti. Each one of these went on to become Chief Justice of India. Their CJ at the time was P.N. Bhagwati, a very active member of the Sathya Sai Central Trust, well known for keeping a damper on Sai Baba scandals over many years. As a number of us know personally, when the legal notes for this case are shown in eminent legal quarters where mature democratic principles much more cohere, the lawyers are disgusted! We shall share the as yet unpublished details of this case with responsible media, legal authorities or academic researchers.

3. See my Corrupt Indian Judges Stonewall Case Vs Sai Baba. In 1986, a case B. Premanand brought in the Andhra Pradesh High Court shows a judge’s clear violation of India’s secular legal system. Judge Y.V.Anjaneyulu (who just happened to be a Sai Baba devotee!) pronounced,

“An article or ornament materialized from air in a split second by the use of spiritual powers or otherwise cannot be said to be made, manufactured, prepared or processed within the meaning of section 11 of the Gold Control Act”

See also, Satya Sai Baba and the Gold Control Act, by B. Premanand, 1986

4. My reader may be curious (or could simply guess) as to the outcome of the following. The news article is from the Deccan Herald, May 11, 1999:

“Hyderabad Nov 4: Justice G Raghu Ram of the Andhra Pradesh High Court on Thursday admitted a writ petition seeking initiation of criminal prosecution against the doctors of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, Puttaparthi in Anantapur district alleging malpractices regarding the transplantation of kidney”

For the kidney donation scandal, See material HERE 

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, News and Politics, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Dissent From Guru Cults Draws Slander and Harassment

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 5, 2007

Discussions with activists from other movements of exposure of corrupt gurus are revealing. The various types of comparison between our separate experiences fall thick and fast. Those who speak out have typically and intensively undergone:     

  • threats of injury or death
  • cyber and other forms of stalking
  • vilification, demonization, libels, character assassination
  • attacks on privacy and attempts at muckracking
  • attempts at intimidation by threats of various kinds, including those aimed at media who investigate the allegations
  • shunning or sometimes harassment by former fellow followers
  • mixed falsification and concealment by leaders to the rank-and-file of the testimony of those who have dissented
  • dereliction of the duty-of-care by organization leaders
  • gross distortions of words, intentions and actions of those who speak out
  • frequent branding of dissenters as ‘liars’
  • putting worst case interpretations on statements and situations, without considering alternative explanations
  • failure to understand, or at other times deliberate failure to acknowledge, why in many cases replies cannot be given to questions aimed at dissenters (e.g., security, individual or family sensitivities, knowledge that whatever is stated, attackers will use it for their own ends, sometimes devious, sometimes simply blinded)
  • ignoring the points being made, leaping on peripherals and ignoring essentials
  •  making extremely improper inferences by extrapolation and decrying of dissenters as e.g., perverts, anti-Semitic, fascists, drunkards, Hindu hating, Christian fundamentalists, liars, hallucinators, addicted to drugs, etc
  • the lumping of all dissenters, as though they are perfectly co-ordinated or speak with one voice at all times (The Aristotelian ‘law of the undistributed middle’ – the confusion of the logical operators of ‘all’ and ‘some’ – is frequently violated)
  • complicity by organization leaders, of both high and lower rank, in standing back and allowing proxy defenders of a guru to attack dissenters, while secretly ensuring that legal or other information or funding is passed to the proxies, and turning a blind eye to devotees who stalk, harass, and defame those who speak out or, more often, covertly assist those who do.

All of this proceeds despite the knowledge that dissenters have spent long years of dedication, service and sacrifice in their former cause, and who are known in their professions, trades and communities at large as persons of integrity, sacrificial service in noble causes, kindness and decency.

The Sharing of Experiences With Those Abused By Other Leaders

In discussions with those involved in other abuse exposures (sometimes very usefully conducted via webcam via a service like Skype), discussants have often not had to end our sentences. This is because of the great similarity of experience of the crimes, dirty tricks, cover ups, and shocking vilification of those who raise their voices out of conscience and deepest concern. The recognition-of-situation factor is sky-high, and tragedy, betrayal and – that greatest of emotional allies and sublime social lubricant – humor are able to be deeply and spontaneously shared.

Further Resources

A selection of closely-related articles on https://barrypittard.wordpress.com follows:

Some Key Cultic Responses To Critics

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

Cost Of Cover Ups Can Far Exceed Hoped-for Benefits

Exiting A Top International Cult. A Sai Baba Experience

The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory

Sexual Abuse And Cover-up

Corrupt Indian Judges Stonewall Case Vs Sai Baba

If Not For Whistleblowers

Cultic Depersonalization or Demonization of Dissenters

Caught In One of History’s Most Powerful Cults (Parts 1-4)

Indian Gurus Stifle India’s Chance To Excel

Is Humanity One Big Cult?

Sai Baba. Some Dissenting Themes and Resources

Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Psychology, Rationalism, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | 12 Comments »

Pamela Stephenson Protects Celeb ‘Shrink Rap’ Interviewees

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 3, 2007

In the experience of networked former followers of Sathya Sai Baba, there needs to be a new regimen of sensitivity and responsibity in the media. Overall, we have fared well, but see the need for a better grasp of deeper human issues, and greater standards of accuracy.

This is not to say, necessarily, censorship of either journalists or of content presented by those they write about. (Although it is a sad comment that the very advocates of an open society have, all too often submitted themselves, to self-censorship against philistine triumph). Rather, it is about creating an altogether different climate in which genuine feelings of interview or other subjects can be discussed more openly and commented on sensitively and intelligently, and cynical exploitation. As in e.g., pop music, principled, genuinely critical and sensitive media would raise standards and help to create richer canons of satisfaction, rather than sinking to the lowest (assumed!) common denominator.

I recently saw Pamela Stephenson interviewed by Andrew Denton in Enough Rope on ABC television (Australian Broadcasting Corporation). She is the former celebrated actress and comedian, and star of such television shows Not The Nine O’Clock News. She is now a clinical psychologist in Hollywood and a professor of psychology at the California Graduate Institute.pamelastephenson.jpg

Vile Public Critics

In her recently-made television series Shrink Rap, her famous interview subjects were willing to bare their more vulnerable feelings and lesions, and in a serious way beyond what usually passes for celebrity (so-called) ‘revelations’. Her subjects thus far have been Sharon Osbourne, Stephen Fry, David Blunkett, Sarah Ferguson, and Robin Williams.

pamela-stephenson-and-robin-williams.jpgIn a note for the show, Stephenson says:

“Shrink Rap is an attempt to allow people not to be under pressure of performing, not to feel that they have to present the ideal self, the one that is always adorable and perfect and funny and together. This allows people to bring forward the true self, to not always tell the official story”.

Holding Barbarians at Bay

But, prior to its release, she found herself editing things out far more than she had earlier thought she would need to. It was not the celebrities themselves who called for this degree of censorship but Stephenson’s own deepening awareness of state-of-the-art maliciousness among media commentators and other unconscienable attackers.

Stephenson had her own experience of having earlier been one of Great Britain’s best-known television celebrities (and is, moreover, the wife of one of the world’s most famous comedians Billy Connelly). Therefore, the need occurred her to go to still greater editorial lengths to protect her famous interview subjects. She was acutely aware of the extreme readiness of unscrupulous critics to make insensitive and distorted use of what her subjects revealed about themselves. In an interview for The Independent, she observed:

“I can control what we have in the programme, and take out things that might be misunderstood, but there’s no guarantee of how it’s going to be received. I will feel terrible on people’s behalf if anyone is publicly punished for saying how they feel.”

Slack Journalism Needs Extinctifying

Rupert Murdoch thinks he can influence an eco friendly ‘greening’ of his newspapers. So then, let him and other prime movers and shakers support those developmental programmes which create greater awareness in journalists (and especially the emerging trainee ones) that might approach that sensitivity and deep ethics being role-modeled by Pamela Stephenson.

Further Resources

Pamela Stephenson – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

PamelaStephenson.com



Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, Spirituality, Successful People, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Is Sai Baba’s Governmental Influence ‘Miraculous’?

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 1, 2007

Yesterday’s blog, HERE, noted the Indian magazine Business Standard news current report that the Sathya Sai Central Trust is putting Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi airport up for sale. It was revealing to find an old 1998 Indian Express report that saw corrupt links between Sai Baba’s chief representatives and a then Civil Aviation boss. Most Indian publications have long suffered their publisher’s censorship against reports adverse to Sathya Sai Baba. As the Editor of one of India’s leading newspapers told me: Sai Baba is too powerful, with so many devotees all over India. Likely to have been all too little noticed, then, was a report filed in the Indian Express in February 1998 by reporter Swati Chaturvedi. It points to corrupt origins in the sanctioning of the Sathya Sai airport. What the Swati Chaturvedi article does not mention is that the then Civil Aviation Secretary, M.K. Kaw, is a Sai Baba devotee.             mk-kaw-ex-civil-aviation-secretary-sai-baba-man.jpgM.K. Kaw, Sai Baba Man.

On the Radio Sai website, Krishen Kaw’s connections with Sai Baba are more than demonstrated by a photo picturing him kneeling before Sai Baba, and a photo of his family with their guru. This appears in a Radio Sai newsletter – see HERE. This tool relates to Radio Sai Global Harmony via the WorldSpace Corporation satellite service, which  is Sai Baba’s international satellite radio outlet. It is headed by the deputy world chairman of the Sathya Sai Organization, Dr G. Venkataraman, and former Indian nuclear scientist. See my article Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman.

The M.K. Kaw article, The Bliss of His Presence, is carried by Radio Sai but its source is a big Indian newspaper, Mathrubhumi, in the South Indian state of Kerala, whose wealthy and powerful proprietors, and their families, are long-time staunch devotees of Sai Baba

Below, I have highlighted in red some salient points.

07 February 1998

Minister aborts an unofficial “miracle”

Swati Chaturvedi  


NEW DELHI, February 6: It took barely 48 hours for Civil Aviation Secretary M.K. Kaw to clear an international cargo hub at the Sai Baba Trust-run airport at Puttaparthi in Karnataka. Kaw also directed that all help from the Government, including setting up a customs office, be provided to the private trust.Now, Minister of State Jayanthi Natarajan has decided that his order is “malafide” and has set it aside. The matter is now with Cabinet Minister C M Ibrahim who has decided to hold the order in “abeyance”.When contacted, Natarajan confirmed that Kaw’s order had been overruled and the matter referred to Ibrahim. Kaw refused to comment. In the process of clearance, Kaw has bypassed both the Ministers. The file mentions that “the Ministers (C M Ibrahim and Jayanthi Natarajan) need not be bothered”. Kaw also set aside the mandatory techno-feasibility study despite, the concerned Joint Secretary noting on the file that the matter be referred to the Ministers for sanction. The sequence of eventswhich culminated in the clearance is revealing.September 17: Sai Baba Trust applies to the Civil Aviation Ministry to set up an international cargo hub in Puttaparthi.September 18: Joint Secretary directs that the matter be referred to the MoS and Minister. File placed before the Secretary.Kaw overrules the JS and gives formal clearance on the “bare letter” sent by the Trust. Regarding the reference to the two Ministers Kaw notes: “The Ministers need not be bothered”.September 20: Natarajan received complaints. She calls Kaw who is “not available”. Natarajan directs that the Puttaparthi file be sent to her.September 21: File sent to MoS. Irate Natarajan notes on file (a) “When did I delegate my authority to you (Kaw) (B) All airport proposals have to be referred to the Union Cabinet. (C) Why have you made full commitments on behalf of the GOI.” Copyright © 1998 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.Further ReadingSathya Sai airport ‘white elephant’ for sale! Article by Robert PriddyThe Decline and Fall of The Showman Empire Article by Barry Pittard

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Uncategorized, World Religions | Leave a Comment »