Call For Media and Government Investigation

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Archive for January, 2008

Sathya Sai Baba Fails To Materialize Top Tennis Match

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 23, 2008

What? No one for Sai Baba tennis?

Anyone for a contractual obligation?

Well, there was player turnup, except for the authority’s last-second cancellation because there was no Sai Baba turnup. The shocked reaction of one of the players interviewed (see Hindustan Times report below) carries its own moral force.

In more recent times, Sai Baba’s behaviour – whether it concerns his appearance or non-appearance – has become ever more erratic.

opulent-sai-baba-lays-on-spiritual-tennis.jpgOpulent ‘spirituality’ at Puttaparthi

But Where Has Sai Baba Gone?

The latest episode concerns his cancellation of a tennis tournament by top players from India and the Philippines. This was one of two scheduled matches, one of which was to have taken place at the so-called ‘spiritual’ guru’s incredibly opulent ashram at Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, South India. See, Champion Tennis At Top Indian Guru’s Ashram

A typical bizarre case was last October 4, when there was a rush by thousands of devotees avid to see a promised vision of Sai Baba in the moon, announced by one of his top servitors, Professor Anil Kumar.

In yet another extraordinary piece of behaviour, Sai Baba has canceled a tennis match. In the report below, I have highlighted in red the Indian journalist Deepika Sharma’s comment, which makes highly implausible the top Indian tennis official’s excuse about an electicity failure.

One may add that the Hindustan Times, one of India’s leading newspapers, is one of the few media that will publish stories adverse to Sai Baba, although there are some signs that this is changing. See, Indian Media’s Reticence on Top Guru, Sathya Sai Baba, Weakens

hindustan-times.gif

Tennis takes a backseat in holy land

Deepika Sharma, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, January 21, 2008
First Published: 23:50 IST(21/1/2008 )
Last Updated: 21:26 IST(22/1/2008 )

Tennis was not quite blessed in the land of the Sathya Sai Baba. The India-Philippines tennis test series at Puttaparthi — the home of the Sri Sathya Sai Baba — could not take place a couple of weeks ago because of bizarre circumstances.

According to sources, the first of the two ties — India won the second 3-0 at the DLTA facility here — did not happen because the Sai Baba could not turn up to inaugurate the tie and bless the players.

“We were ready to start the match, when suddenly, we were told that the matches would not take place,” a player told HT on Monday. “It was really frustrating that the matches could not place because Sathya Sai Baba did not turn up to bless us and inaugurate the event,” he added. “Doordarshan had even started telecasting the first game when we came to know that we were being packed off without playing.” They were apparently told that it would be “inauspicious” to begin playing at the new tennis stadium (reportedly an outstanding facility) without the Sai Baba’s blessings.

A Doordarshan sports director, Isaac, confirmed to HT that they “were prepared” to go on air. “We were all set to telecast the match live. We had even gone on air for five minutes,” he said. The reason for the official cancellation of the tie though, is obviously different. The president of the Asian Tennis Federation, also the secretary-general of the All India Tennis Association (AITA), Anil Khanna, held “power failure” the actual reason for abandoning the tie.

“The first tie was called off because there was a power failure. We wanted to play under the floodlights but since there was no electricity, we had to call off the tie,” said Khanna. Incidentally, the first tie was to begin at 5pm (when it wouldn’t have been dark).

Further Reading

Robert Priddy article, with photos of Sai Baba’s flash tennis venue – part of his Sri Sathya Sai International Centre for Sports:
Sai Baba’s tennis stadium another white elephant?

For ‘the secret swami’s’ influence on major Indian power elites, See, International Cricket And The Secret Swami

For his mental and physical decline – with his minders working at fever-pitch to hide it where possible and rationalize it otherwise – See, Has ‘World Saviour’ Missed His Plane?

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Posted in News and Politics, Religion, Sai Baba, Tennis, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

William Aitken’s Sai Baba Book. Major Flaws Says Scholar

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 20, 2008

The following are some quotes from Brian Steel’s article Bill Aitken and Sathya Sai Baba. A Writer’s Dilemma.

Retired Spanish language expert and lexicographer from one of Australia’s top universities, Steel critically assesses a book by William McKay ‘Bill’ Aitken: Sri Sathya Sai Baba. A Life (New Delhi, Penguin Books India, 2004. Paperback edition, 2006).

william-bill-aitken-sai-baba-hagiographer.jpg‘Bill’ Aitken

Aitken’s Methodology Badly Flawed, Says Steel

Quotes:

Aitken’s style of reporting often shows a judgemental bias in favour of Sathya Sai Baba, somewhat akin to the devotee’s habit of rationalising any doubt or inconvenient information about the guru. Nowhere is this clearer than in the few pages where he makes an attempt to explain away SSB’s clearly documented errors and exaggerations (pp.131-136)
This biography contains other errors and omissions which suggest that Aitken was over-selective in his sampling of the vast hagiographical literature on SSB.
Equally disappointing for the general reader is the author’s superficial treatment of recent controversies. On more than one occasion he issues blanket condemnations of all criticisms of Sathya Sai Baba, dismissing them out of hand and even implying interference by “certain rival missions” (p. 189) or speculating that someone “could be a paid informer of the missionary lobby”. Also, Aitken’s preoccupation with the sensational, headline-grabbing sexual allegations (by Tal Brooke, or David Bailey, for example) does not leave him time to deal with more serious aspects of past and present critical research on Sathya Sai Baba …
(Aitken’s book will)
disappoint many non-devotee readers (especially researchers) simply because any account of Sathya Sai Baba’s life that ignores, misrepresents or makes mistakes over relevant available evidence about that life (especially the copious amounts freely available in SSB’s Discourses, the available literature and on the Internet) can hardly be seen as a complete or impartial work.
In spite of his professed neutrality between “the hype of unhinged devotees and a howling pack of detractors”, some parts of Aitken’s eulogy, ‘Awareness of Divinity’, written for The Week (27 November 2005) on the occasion of SSB’s 80th Birthday, are no different, in essence, from what a Sathya Sai Baba apologist would assert, especially the blanket dismissal of all criticism as inherently baseless and extraordinary generalisations like “the critics are so intemperate in their dislike that their vituperation now comes across as almost near comical in its predictability”, as well as the permanent blind spot for serious Internet criticisms of Sathya Sai Baba that have not been refuted.

See Barry Pittard’s article Sai Baba Researchers’ Huge Debt To Scholar Brian D. Steel

Forthcoming

  • A look at Robert Priddy’s articles on William McKay ‘Bill’ Aitken
  • Barry Pittard looks at Steel on Aitken and on other topics

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, Religion, Sai Baba, Spirituality, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Sai Baba Researchers’ Huge Debt To Scholar Brian D. Steel

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 16, 2008

The Australian academic linguist Brian Steel has posted his Research on Sathya Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organisation. New Factors for Researchers to Consider, December 2007

Brian D. Steel’s Huge Project

Of the ‘New Factors’ section, he notes: “This extensive survey is also an integral section of the third Part of my annotated Bibliography on Sathya Sai Baba”. Far more that offering long lists of sources, the bibliographies include succinct comments in the case of works that Steel deems of special note. His scope is breathtaking.

“These three Bibliographies have listed and briefly described three large and diverse corpora of information currently available in December 2007 about the guru Sathya Sai Baba, his 60-year spiritual Mission and his organisation (the Sathya Sai Organisation). By winnowing this enormous mass of varied documentation, researchers should be in a better position to separate fact from fantasy and research from propaganda in order to arrive at a fair evaluation of the complex Sathya Sai Baba story”.

Steel’s overview:

‘An Annotated Bibliography for Research on Sathya Sai Baba in Three Parts. Part 1: Sources of public information, including items of a scholarly or academic nature or provenance, with an Appendix on entries in works of reference, surveys and textbooks  An Annotated Bibliography for Research on Sathya Sai Baba
Part 2: Alternative Sources of Information and Opinion about Sathya Sai Baba and his Mission
 An Annotated Bibliography for Research on Sathya Sai Baba  Part 3: A Bibliography of Apologetic Writing about Sathya Sai Baba. Presenting Sathya Sai Baba to the World Sections 1-5.   Sathya Sai Baba’s Teachings, etc.

Section 6. New Factors for Researchers to Consider’

Continuum of Sai Scholarship Which Now Includes Dissent

Many readers look to Brian Steel’s work which, with its habits of a lifetime of scholarship, shows cool appraisal and lays great emphasis on care over detail, close textual comparison, verification of sources, and so forth. Much of his work invites wider than scholarly readership. All who are in search of both copious detailed bibliographical sources and/or analysis will find the entire Steel opus (from 2001 on) indispensable. It is vast, and has been groundbreaking from the very first. Indeed, his writing on Sai Baba issues and bibliography was already established when he was still a devotee. After twelve years of following him, he left and continued extensive analysis of texts, many of which he had long known. Some of the contradictions – especially in Sai Baba’s so-called ‘Divine Discourses’ – had already troubled him while he was a devotee. This witnesses a common experience of dissenters in general, since there is often no overnight revelation but rather a prolonged and anguishing period of reassessment. I think that there will be no independent scholars or other investigators of merit who will be able to find serious fault with his project. He will nevertheless be targetted, I think, by fervent  pro Sai Baba polemicists, who increasingly undo themselves wherever there are attentive, sober critical readers, as witness his Endnote (to which I refer below). Even an endnote from Steel is strong medicine. In his endnote to ‘New Factors, he examines the efforts of an individual of extreme zeal who, assisted by some of Sai Baba’s servitors in various countries, has spearheaded Internet attempts to discredit  those who have publicly presented evidence which openly conflicts with Sathya Sai Baba’s Divine Claims.

William ‘Bill’ Aitken – A Non-hagiographic Hagiographer?

I shall shortly review a section of Part 3 (See, link above) of this December 2007 series, which analyses the book William McKay Aitken’s book ‘Sri Sathya Sai Baba. A Life’ (New Delhi, Penguin Books India, 2004. Paperback edition, 2006). The Aitkin material is in Part 3, Section 6, New Factors for Researchers to Consider. 1. Recent Publications and New Promotional Media. Specifically 3. Which Sai Baba Movement? A Writer’s Dilemma

Aitken Accepted By Top Sai Baba Official

‘Bill’ Aitken is extolled as an authoritative intellectual by Dr G. Venkataraman, Sai Baba’s deputy world chairman and head of Sai Global Radio (via WorldSpace International Satellite Radio Service). Aitken speaks of his book as a counterweight to “excesses of hagiography”. But is it anything of the sort?

Serious Omissions and Commissions?

Rather, Steel’s textual analysis reveals that the book has strong hagiographical content, and also ignores some critics of Sathya Sai Baba by isolating “headline grabbing” and superficial views contra Sai Baba, while, to an extraordinary extent, ignoring the large body of serious criticism.

(More on Brian Steel’s work shortly)

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

International Cricket And The Secret Swami

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 13, 2008

One of the biggest rows in cricket history has afflicted the present Test series between India and Australia.

But what instructiveness might a Test cricket series in Australia have in relation to the call from former Sathya Sai Baba followers in many countries for media and government investigation of their former teacher, who is arguably the most powerful and controversial guru in history?

The Sai Baba-India Cricket Nexus 

After all, it is not Sathya Sai Baba but Sharad Pawar who promptly threatened to cancel further games in the series.  Pawar (pictured below) is the powerful head of the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India). He is also being touted as the next ICC (International Cricket Council president). As well a having been Governor of the State of Maharashtra, he was earlier on a short list of three or four for the Indian prime ministership. (There was another recent high profile candidate who has been pushed hard for by many close to Sai Baba – Shashi Tharoor, for the succession of of Kofi Annan as Secretary General of the United Nations.  Part of a strikeback to our successful efforts to bring accusations against Sai Baba and his global cult the Sathya Sai Organization to international attention, Tharoor wrote an article supporting Sai Baba in the International Herald Times). See Here.

sharad-pawar-or-sai-baba-power.jpg

Calmer reasoning set in, but Pawer’s reaction inflamed rather than cooled an already anguished situation in the last week. Perhaps, being ever the politician, he wanted to show tough in front of all those crying out about India’s honor. However, a great many in India (where with deep fulfilment I lived for several years working among the poor alongside fine fellow workers of diverse beliefs) respect proper processes of enquiry and dispute resolution and care to see justice for all sides. There was not from Pawar a call for a strong mediation process. Or an immediate reminder to all that excellent and prompt judicial processes can be drawn upon. Provision of these was a later development.

Sharad Pawar – Or Sai Baba Power?

Pawar’s hyper reactive responses do not bode well when one considers the deep link between top level Indian cricket and Sai Baba. One also has to consider that India has an almost unimaginable power (or should that be Pawar?) over world cricket, and is THE top money roller. In India television audiences of around 200 million and sometimes 400 million, watch cricket on television.

In the meantime, despite the many and serious worldwide allegations against Sai Baba, the BCCI does not cut off its close ties with Sai Baba, and alarming numbers of Indian cricket authorities and Test cricketers are either his devotees or, along with them, actively cooperate in his cricketing plans.

Sai Baba’s Agenda to Use Top Level International Sport

Sai Baba is raising an enormously costly international sports centre at Puttaparthi, and making a run for a powerful influence of several major sports, including at Olympic standard. See, Champion Tennis At Top Indian Guru’s Ashram

He has already had Indian, Sri Lankan and Pakistan Test players and one UK player play at Puttaparthi on his world class pitch. See, Sai Baba Vs Kerry Packer.

Given worldwide allegations against Sai Baba, it is clear that Sharad Pawar, the BCCI and players themselves – not to mention the highly culpable Manmohan Singh government – who have shown themselves so partial to Sai Baba, have some explaining to do. Is it appropriate that a great Indian flagship to the world be used to further the well-known agenda of Sathya Sai Baba to reveal himself to the world as God fully incarnate? Is there any other nation which would support – much less profoundly support, as successive Indian governments have done – an individual who makes such extraordinary claims?

Indian Cricket Players – Playthings of Sathya Sai Baba?

sarva-dharma-stupa-and-poorna-chandra-hall-puttaparthi.gif

Why would they not want to heed a call for media and government investigation of these many allegations? These compelling accounts include (but go far beyond) wide-scale serial sexual abuse of boys and young men from India and many other countries, implication in and cover up of killings in his bedroom in June 1993, massive deployment of multi billions of international funds to erect lavish buildings far exceed good works like hospitals but which flashily glorify him as God on earth. See, Sai Baba Exchequer Worth Billions. Many Countries Donate, and Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia.

The Status of Witnesses Who Claim Abuse By Sai Baba

Former Baba devotees who make the allegations have been taken seriously at the most senior levels by UNESCO, Interpol, FBI, Australian Federal Police, German Chief Prosecutor’s Office, French National Police (which are all hamstrung by lack of cooperation by the Indian Police) and by major reputed media in several countries, as well as very noted public institutions who, having been granted access to high level information, have severed their ties with Sai Baba’s Internation Sathya Sai Organization. These include 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, Latin America, and elsewhere. See, Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

For the Time Being, Judicial Processes. But Will Pawar’s Threats Return Sooner or Later? 

Sharad Pawar’s threat tactic later acceded (or has at least for the while) to a judicial process, which is normally 7 days but with provision for extension. New Zealand judge John Hansen has been made commissioner for the Indian player Harbhajan Singh’s appeal against a complaint that he made a racist comment during the second Test in Sydney just over a week ago. The ICC (International Cricket Council) match referee, Mike Proctor, had upheld Australian captain Ricky Ponting’s formal complaint that Singh had called Australian player Andrew Symons a “big monkey” and that this was racist. A 3-match ban was imposed on Singh. Three month’s previously, Indian cricket crowds had chanted “monkey” at Symonds during a match in Mumbai as recently as October 2007. Not least in fueling bad feelings in the present series in Australia were several indisputable bad umpiring decisions by Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson. When the problems became known, there was across India a spree in which Ponting, Bucknor and Benson were burnt in effigy.

Neither the angry mobs in the Indian streets nor Pawar displayed the confidence, which would have been so richly justified, that the Indian team did, at least in a number of serious issues, indeed have the moral highground, and could have drawn on world (and indeed Australian) disgust that there had been poor calls as well as Australian player spirit and conduct.

Top-flight Indian lawyers, Arun Jaitley, Sashank Manohar and N. Srinivasan are to support Harbhajan Singh who, in the meantime, has been permitted to play pending the verdict of the appeal. How sensible. A mediator highly regarded by all cricketing countries Ranjan Madugalle, from Sri Lanka, has been sent in as peace broker. Even more sensible. Still better, in the future, will be, if professionalism prevails, best practice cultural sensitivity (not damned lectures!) training, and other forms of handling personal pressure, animosity, and so on.

And What Of The Honor Of Grieving Former Sai Baba Devotees Worldwide?

But a judicial process or mediation is far more than Indian authorities have been prepared to do for the grieving families in India and far beyond who accuse Sai Baba of badly sexually abusing their young males. See, Corrupt Judges Stonewall Case Vs Sai Baba

For an example – which never fails to appal my legal friends! – of how a kangaroo court of Sai Baba partial judges in the Supreme Court of India can thwart some of India’s best legal talent (in Kamani Jaiswal and her team), see the notes of the case, whose provenance I am happy to disclose to reputable media and other genuine investigators, HERE. See also the article on P.N. Bhagwati, ex-Chief Justice of India that gravely questions his protection of Sai Baba, HERE

What then of India’s honor that is currently being shouted out across India?

Is Pawar a BCCI “Secret Swami” Man?

And what might we expect if Pawar assumes presidency of the ICC? Secrecy? Cover up? Refusal to be challenged on the Sai Baba nexus?

With the BBC terming Sai Baba as ‘the secret swami’, can we expect Pawar and the BCCI to maintain the secrecy surrounding Sai Baba and his intentions for international Indian cricket? The international media needs to question him hard on this, for most Indian newspaper proprietors have been too fearful to take on Sai Baba – although, since the excellent work of IANS (Indo Asian News Service) and repeated attention by major foreign media, this powerful censorship wall may be starting to crack. Perhaps India’s media proprietors begin to see how absurd it is for Non Resident Indians to freely read foreign media articles adverse to Sai Baba and yet there be, with an honorable exception like India Today, an almost total ban inside India on articles seriously critical of him. See, Indian Media’s Reticence on Top Guru, Sathya Sai Baba, Weakens.

Two India’s

This effigy-burning aspect of India relates to that part of India that is so ridden by anarchy, political manipulation of mobs, poverty, crime, corruption, nepotism, and casteism, and so often pretendedly democratic. It is the India which long ago Sai Baba promised to bring to ways of peace (shanti) and non-violence (ahimsa), before he left for other countries around the world, saying that he would first “clean up (his) own backyard”. Yet as recently February 16, 2007, in a so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai Baba said, “I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.” See, Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit

Sharad Pawar and his Board want his team’s word of honor to be taken. But – if sauce for both goose and gander – do not other countries wish their player’s word to be respected? If there is lying and false witness among players, then proper processes need to be convened. Pawar also wants to preside over world cricket. He needs, then, to be asked some hard questions about his and many of his team’s affiliations with Sathya Sai Baba and that guru’s own bid for world supremacy – not only in Sport but, with a devious sport’s stepping stone, to posturing himself to the world as its Savior of all Saviors who have ever visited the earth.

spewinggoldeggAs unexpectedly caught by BBC camera which was shooting for its documentary The Secret Swami (2004)

Further Reading

Sai Baba Vs Kerry Packer

Champion Tennis At Top Indian Guru’s Ashram

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

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Indian Media’s Reticence On Top Guru Weakens

The Decline and Fall of the Showman Empire

Has ‘World Saviour’ Missed His Plane?

Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s Visit”

Challenging Historic Deification

Sai Baba – Miraculous or Disastrous?

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 Neglected/sidelined News, News and Politics, Religion, Uncategorized, World Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Champion Tennis At Top Indian Guru’s Ashram

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 2, 2008

After Sai Baba’s great white elephant, Hillview stadium, has lain virtually dormant for nearly a decade, another Sai Baba involvement in topline sport has just been announced. In December 1997, it was cricket. In January 2008, it is tennis.

the-hindu-tennis-at-sai-babas-ashram.gif From The Hindu Online. Wednesday, January 2, 2008.

India to play two Tests against the Philippines

NEW DELHI: India will play two Test matches in tennis against the Philippines on January 12 and 14.

The Indian challenge will be led by the National grass court champion Vishnu Vardhan and the National hard court champion Ashutosh Singh. The other member will be Divij Sharan.

The Philippines will have a two-member team of Patrick John Tierro and Johnny Arcilla.

The Tests, to be played at the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ashram at Puttaparthi and the DLTA Complex in Delhi, will feature two singles and a doubles each. — Special Correspondent

John McEnroe Faces Mafia, But Can He Slam Sai Baba?

A brief aside. Great Tennis ace John McEnroe has raised questions about the Russian mafia and tennis. Perhaps he and other influential tennis greats may like to make some enquiries into Sai Baba, whom the BBC has called ‘The Secret Swami’. (See, Yahoo news report McEnroe fears mafia infiltrating tennis)

The gentle McEnroe may like to have a loud word in the ears of players such as: Vishnu Vardhan, Ashutosh Singh, Divij Sharan, Patrick John Tierro and Johnny Arcilla.

Of course, McEnroe’s fearsome displays are nothing compared to those of Sai Baba and his world Chairman, Dr Michael Goldstein, as captured – looking like a balled-up mafia bully boy – by BBC hidden camera for The Secret Swami:

mcenroe-couldnt-match-sai-baba-chief.jpg

Sai Baba Would Put New Meaning to ‘Love All’

But tennis players might not come to love his serve! Do the International Tennis Authority, the All India Tennis Association and these players think that it is some joke that arguably history’s most famous and controversial guru is to be host to high profile tennis? One who faces worldwide allegations of wide-scale, serial sexual abuse of boys and young men, implication in local police killings in his bedroom on June 6, 1993, and other gravely serious crimes that India’s often corrupt system, and its huge numbers across the entire power echelon who are devotees of Sai Baba, have ensured do not get to the courts, even in the hands of fearless top attorneys Kamini Jaiswal? See, Corrupt Indian Judges Stonewall case Vs Sai Baba.

An Opulence No Tennis Super Stars Could Afford

sarva-dharma-stupa-and-poorna-chandra-hall-puttaparthi.gif

Will it matter to tennis players and authorities that Sai Baba raises to his own self-glory – much due to the billions that pour into his Sathya Sai Central Trust from countries around the world –  vast, flashy and costly buildings, not all of them for good reasons like hospitals? See article and incredibly revealing photos in Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia

sai-babas-pure-gold-chariot.jpgsai-baba-dwelling.jpgLeft, ‘God’ loves golden panoply. Right, Sai Baba’s ‘twin’ palaces, fit for the Lord of Lords, whom he proclaims himself to be.

When the golden cup Runneth Not Over – Anyone for Tennis?

Although a golden opportunity for some publicity like a big tennis tournament might be spun. And start the gold coming in again, especially after some disastrous leave-takings by many well-respected members of his Sathya Sai Organization, an adverse major media in a number of countries, and desperate attempts by his organization to recruit in highly costly venues, where the rich and powerful can feel comfortable.

UNESCO Media Advisory Contra Sai Baba and Organizers

Will it concern them that Sai Baba is the guru from whose major education conference at Puttaparthi whom UNESCO withdrew in September 2001? See, Media Advisory, which fortunately neither the Government of India nor Sai Baba’s powerful devotees worldwide have been able to get removed from the Internet Wayback machine. (If it disappears, please email me bpittard (at) optusnet.com.au, and I shall inform our lawyers). This UNESCO action and document followed representations made by highly-credentialed individuals from around the world. After the cancellation by UNESCO and the University of Flinders, South Australia, the Indian government, for the while, successfully pressured the UN body to suppress the Advisory from its records. However, UNESCO reconfirmed to the BBC in mid 2004 that it did not now resile from the terms of its original Advisory. The BBC, which extracted UNESCO’s embarrassing backflip, was investigating in preparation for its indicting documentary on Sai Baba The Secret Swami (first screened, June 2004). See also, The Case of Unesco’s Missing Media Advisory

US State Department Travel Warning

Will it it matter to tennis authorities and players that the US State Department confirmed to the BBC that Sai Baba was the individual it had been seriously investigating, but whom it had not (ed., no doubt for legalistic reasons) named in its travel warning to US citizens travelling in Andhra Pradesh, the locality of Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi ashram?

Is Sai Baba More Than A Match For World Tennis?

Questions will certainly be asked of Indian and world tennis authorities. Presented with the facts, they, along with players and members of the tennis-loving public, may not wish tennis to be associated with Sai Baba. 

(NOTE: this is to advise tennis authorities, media, law firms and any genuine, bona fide investigators that there are from several countries and cultures individuals of outstanding integrity in their own professions and communities who are prepared to share their witness accounts of shocking levels of young male sexual abuse at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba, and other grave abuses).

Is too late for cancellation? Is it ever too late to cancel conscience? Is it ever too late for Sai Baba to stop proclaiming that he is Lord of Lords, the Father of Jesus Christ, the One who sent the Prophet of Islam, Buddha, and so on?

At the very least, those lending their good names to this tennis event need to ensure that Sai Baba does not in future use tennis for propagandistic purposes. They may prefer not to allow the glamour of tennis to aid and abet the forces of corruption in India and the thwarting of profoundly proper police and judicial proceedures. They may like to see the provisions expected in countries with viable democratic processes. At least Russia, unlike India, does not pretend to democracy.

Will Sai Baba Propaganda History Repeat Itself?

If tennis authorities and players continue to involve themselves, they may expect the sort of extraordinarily untruthful spin (no pun intended) that occurred in the case of Sai Baba’s cricket match in December 1997 (which I saw). The fact is that only India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (and the UK, if we must include one player, Doug Brown) played at that match. (See my article, Sai Baba Vs Kerry Packer). At lunch, E.A.S. Prasanna, India’s former great spin bowler, told me that his fellow organizers had tried to get Sir Donald Bradman (ed., the greatest cricket legend of all time) to attend the match but he was in ill health. (No wonder, our late national treasure was was already 90! and died in February 2001).

How Gavaskar Lost Some Lustre

Sunil Gavaskar, one of the great Indian cricketing legends, wrote an article for Sai Baba’s promotion people in which he stated an absolute fiction. Can Gavaskar, gripped by emotion, have forgotten to state a glaring fact? Having lived in India – a land of unusual piety – for several years, I know that sometimes excess of intense devotional fervour can carry devotees quite away. Perhaps – away from the cricket field – poor Gavaskar, in the grip of his guru’s quest for world supremacy as the God who will save the whole world by circa AD 2022, was – well, being carried quite away.

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

A Cautionary Tale

Tennis fraternity, be aware, if you will, of a famous sportsman who becomes inveigled in the much-vaunted ‘Glory of Puttaparthi’. Here is just a little of the long, guru-all-hailing Sunil Gavaskar article, posted by Sai Baba’s propaganda supremo, head of Sai Global Radio via Worldspace International Satellite Radio Service and vice chairman of the International Sathya Sai Organization, Dr G. Venkataraman, Realizing Supreme Beatitude:

“I was privileged to arrange the players for the Unity Cup Cricket Match. Swami has always said, “Life is a game. Play it.”. Bhagavan wanted to show that there could be unity among different countries, cultures and communities through sports. So, the Unity Cup was played with players from all over the world including Pakistan.
Several senior retired players were honoured and had the good fortune to be blessed by Bhagavan. Who can forget Bhagavan patting Sachin Tendulkar on the back and telling him, “I am with you!” What a season Sachin had after that as he virtually single-handedly demolished World Champion Australia with his batting that seemed to be of a totally different dimension after that pat from Bhagavan!
Devotees who have had Swami’s Darshan even from afar know how it becomes a craving and if Swami even glances at you fleetingly, you feel an incredible joy that cannot be described in words”.

Video Resources

The Secret Swami (BBC Television)
(80 MB, Broadband)

The Secret Swami

(23.3 MB, Modem)

Seduced (80 MB, Broadband)

Seduced (21 MB, Modem)

DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster). Shown in an English version by SBS in Australia as Seduced by Sai Baba, February  12, 2004. Like other major media in the world, SBS refused to be intimidated by legal or other threats by the Sathya Sai Organization. Staffs of every media or institution who have dealt with them have soon realized that former devotee witnesses from many countries are individuals of good repute in their communities, professions, etc., and are being badly slandered by Sai Baba and those who defend him.

Video clip of Mark Roche interview from The Secret Swami, BBC 2, This World, first screened, Thursday 17, 2004. See article on this, BBC’s ‘Secret Swami’ Clip. Man Claims Abuse When Young. Quote from article: 

“Mark Roche (California, USA) was deeply devoted to Sai Baba from 1969. Among Sai devotees, former devotees and in his wider community, he has long been regarded as a man of decency, compassion and integrity. Revealingly, it is frequently only after former devotees leave Sai Baba (often after decades of great service and devotion) that Sai Baba and Sai Baba protagonists ‘convert’ them – in their own minds – into “demons”, “cawing crows”, “Judases”, etc”.

Media investigation/coverage

Sai Baba has been increasingly exposed to the world on television. E.g., 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. There were many top reviews of the BBC’s The Secret Swami.

Surprising openings in a long-muzzled Indian media occurred November 2006, when Paul Lewis’s story broke in The Guardian (UK) – The Indian living god, the paedophilia 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 Sai Baba.

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, News and Politics, Propaganda, Religion, Sai Baba, Tennis, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »