Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Archive for June, 2008

Sathya Sai Baba World Cult At Odds With Itself

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 28, 2008

One of the distinctive phenomena that independently confirm voices critical of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult is that his movement is eroding from within.

Sathya Sai Cult At Odds With Itself

Some of his followers have made progress in thinking their way out of this particular variety of ‘the guru trap’. They do not have to ask whether those who have spoken out (often after many decades as deeply dedicated service workers in his movement) are a tiny handful of disgruntled or money-oriented individuals or “demons” and “Judases” that Sathya Sai Baba and certain of his devotees have branded us as being. Rather, in waking up to the seriousness of the revelations, they discover rude awakenings enough in their own saddened localities.

Shocked Local Revelations Need No Consultation With Internet Ones

Both from those traveling to India and reports from communities in various countries, it is clear that although people have responded to articles by those such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel or myself, there are many others who independently do their own ‘homework’ and investigate in their own circles. The questioning followers (called “waverers” within the cult) – just as critics first themselves had to undergo – are:

  • experiencing revelations from within their own families and/or other close and trusted circles

As this phenomenon continues, they:

  • are in able then to consider how individuals they have known closely and deeply respected down the years have been shunned (sometimes by themselves directly) and, in effect, declared as non-persons by core national and international leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization.

Ecstasy Becomes Agony. Prelude To A Triumph of Self Respect and Conscience

The process is usually a slow and painful one, as it relates to self-exhumation of conscience, sensitivity and, not least, common sense. There is a terrible squinting at the light of common day, as successive sets of almost visceral, ingrown blinkers begin to drop away.

It is then that many consult our websites and blogsites. In this phase – one of an awakening question-asking and research – some come to us. When this happens, activists among us are able to see ever and again:

  • the repeated patterns, the same heart-aching accounts, which confirm the tragically flawed behaviour of both Sathya Sai Baba and certain of his core servitors.
  • the damage to wider communities of cultic (non) thinking. Since we are all social beings, connected to larger communal domains such as work, friendship, study, professional, sporting and other fraternities, and so on, sexual and other form of abuse strike more widely than within an immediate family or sect.

Evidence Processes

Major media and and scholars (whom, in the latter case, it is better not to name until, presumably, their work surfaces in academic journals or books or in the media) look for this type of broad-based evidence. Certainly, they come to us but they also have their own, carefully guarded, alternative sources. (Media, scholars and movie and documentary makers can be well-funded, and Sathya Sai Baba’s hideous untruth that we expose him for the sake of money is known, so long as they consult their consciences, by our former brothers and sisters who have known for many years how untrue any such statement is). They also look for the striking anomalies contained in official cult publications or video materials, where some of the information has not been able to have been weeded by the editorial censors. See the tiniest selection of Brian Steel’s ground-breaking scholarly articles at foot of this article).

Referring to The Secret Swami (see references below), in their intensive, multi country investigation, Assistant Producer David Savill told me that the BBC were able independently to unearth compelling accounts of young male sexual abuse by Sathya Sai Baba, including among Indian families who evidently had no contact with our organized network.

In the accounts of those who speak to us on a strictly confidential basis, we can see a distinct:

  • lack of evidence that Sathya Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organization have done anything to counsel those devotees – including prominent ones – to stop vilifying, slandering and libeling, on and off the Internet, those who have called for properly constituted investigations into the many and serious accusations of criminal misconduct. See:

Sathya Sai Baba World Cult Leaders Fail To Meet Concerns on Libel

Sathya Sai Baba Organization and Libel and Disinformation

Select References

The Packaging of SB’s Discourses – An Update (March 2002)

Dossier 3: The Packaging of Sathya Sai Baba’s Telugu Discourses. A Stronger Case (May

2005)

Sathya Sai Baba: Man of Many Stories

Sathya Sai Baba’s Claims of Divinity: Avatar and Triple Avatar

Devotees and Their Contributions to the Purna Avatar Myth Surrounding SSB (part of Ch. 4)

Appreciations of Steel’s work at Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

William Aitken’s Sai Baba Book. Major Flaws Says Scholar
A Host of Sai Baba Hagiographers

Robert Priddy

The ‘Guru Papers and Authoritarian Power THE ‘GURU PAPERS’ AND AUTHORITARIAN POWER with Sathya Sai Baba and his movement as an example .

Priddy notes:

‘THE GURU PAPERS’ AND SATHYA SAI BABA

“What I have outlined in my paper on ‘The Fundamentalist Guru Trap Exploitation’ is a very common pattern of behaviour among gurus, which can be seen from studying a fair sample of them. The nature of such authoritarianism has been shown and analysed par excellence by Joel Kramer and Diana Alstad, who have published their findings in a major work, which is also becoming recognised as a key study in authoritarian power and human manipulation both within guru circles and in other organisations throughout society”

Subheaders in this article: THE PROBLEM OF NARCISSISM. AUTHORITY AND POWER. CONTROL AND MANIPULATION. ABUSE OF POWER AND SEXUALITY

Video Footage

Guru Busters (Eagle and Eagle Films):

http://www.rfjvds.dds.nl/gurubusters/
gurubusters.wmv
(80 MB)

The Secret Swami (BBC Television):

http://www.rfjvds.dds.nl/thesecretswami/
thesecretswami.wmv
(80 MB)

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

http://www.rfjvds.dds.nl/seduced/seduced.wmv (80 MB)

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

Professor Anil Kumar Sathya Sai Baba’s Translator

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 27, 2008

“Professor Anil Kumar is one of the least credible of Sathya Sai Baba’s unofficial ‘mouthpieces’ with his lip service to the morals of Sathya Sai Baba and his vast credulity about all of Sathya Sai Baba’s claims and wholly uncritical naive acceptance of Sai Baba’s huge boasts about himself and his own importance.

See also here Anil Kumar, the latest promoter of Sathya Sai Baba

Robert Priddy, former head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, has just blogged this statement in his article

Professor Anil Kumar, Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘left-hand’ man

Note

For more on Conny Larsson‘s best-seller in Sweden -see:

BEHIND THE MASK OF THE CLOWN

Swedish title: BAKOM CLOWNENS MASK

Posted in New Age, Religion, Sai Baba, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Muck-rakers and The Timid Who Enable Them

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 26, 2008

I was browsing through Pete Hammell‘s book ‘Why Sinatra Matters’, and read the following. For all its nastiness, it is but a mild example of the level of mentality that would target dissidents. Not only, of course, that aimed at those who have spoken out about Sathya Sai Baba and the core leaders in the Sathya Sai Organization and those in both State and Central Indian governments who cover up for him, but, as I am often enough reminded, hurled at those from various parts of the world with whom I have corresponded or shared phone conversations who are also exposing an array of corruptions.

Attack, slander, libel distortion, derision, poor ability to argue properly, ad hominem attacks, breakage of e.g., the Aristotelean ‘law of the undistributed middle’ (confusion, which can be deliberate, of ‘all’ with ‘some’, name-calling and muck-raking (whether the muck is real, fabricated or exaggerated) are inevitable. Just as inevitable is the timidity of those who could stand up, and need to be the very ones to stand up, for truthfulness, and who do not. Those who dive for cover are commonly expert with excuses. They resemble, for example, those in the Weimar Republic  who, from the earliest stages, did not stand up to Hitler and his fascists.

Hamell cites the story for the Scripps Howard newspaper syndicate by the writer Robert Ruark, whom Hamell desribes as a “macho right-winger who despised Sinatra’s politics”.

“Mr Sinatra, the self-confessed savior of the country’s small fry, by virtue of his lectures on clean living and love-thy-neighbor, his movie shorts on tolerance and his frequent dabblings into the do-good department of politics, seems to be setting a most peculiar example for his hordes of pimply, shrieking slaves, who are alleged to regard him with the same awe as a practising Mohammedan for the Prophet”.

While reading the Hammel quote, the lines of a Sting’s song “Saint Augustine in Hell” came to mind:

Relax, have a cigar, make yourself at home. Hell is full of high court
judges, failed saints. We’ve got Cardinals, Archbishops, barristers,
certified accountants, music critics, they’re all here. You’re not alone.
You’re never alone, not here you’re not. OK break’s over.

(For Sting’s selection of his work see, “Lyrics By Sting”. Simon and Shuster, 2007)

– and I thinly smiled at the thought that Sting has left out a) muck-rakers and b) the timid who allow them to try to bluff and intimididate their way into a world where we need to strive for as much clarity and cool appraisal as we can muster.

Trying to reason with them is but wrestling in a gutter of their choosing. One has best to trust that there are enough serious, percipient and less easily misled readers, and to focus on one’s own clear purpose. This in itself is demanding of great time and energy. Why waste it attempting to beat back the lava of sludge and in breathing the vapors of the sewer?

By their rotten fruits they shall be known.

As to the timid …. What a heaven of conscience they must already be enjoying.

Posted in Religion, Successful People, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 23, 2008

Although there is a long history of Sathya Sai Baba’s utterances which forbid promoting of himself, his official worldwide Sathya Sai Organization promotes strongly, at his, of course, the secret Swami’s sub voce behest.

This zeal to recruit (to use the proper word) tends to take place in exceptionally prestigious venues. What does the cult  need for its survival – given over a decade of unrelenting exposure? It needs to provide for the stupendously expensive upkeep and maintenance of its costly and sumptuous buildings and various programs that glorify Sathya Sai Baba as God of Gods.

But the wherewithal is not likely to proceed from his ever-circling ‘miraculous’ hand. Survival decrees that it is the left hand that needs to be in operation, and fast.

And despite his both old and recent (2007) promises – see Will World Accept Sathya Sai Baba? He Says Yes. Very Soon

and Has ‘World Saviour’ Missed His Plane?

– he almost certainly Note stoney, mask-like face. Parkinsons Disease?is going nowhere that would exceed the capacity of his wheelchair and the nervy hands of those continually needing to prop him up – see Sathya Sai Baba’s Tips To Keep Ageing Away

Here are a few of the recruitment centers, bound to be familiar haunts of the wealthy and powerful, whose own beneficent hands, the cult stewards will have to hope and possibly even pray, will, if not quite so miraculously, underwrite the ‘secret swami (pace BBC) – but now, in a way, slightly more public:

Cooper’s Union, New York; Town Hall, Melbourne; Copley International Conference Center, San Diego; Super Dome, Sydney; La Mirada Theatre, Hilton Ballroom (both Los Angeles); Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Chicago; etc. See article by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard: Sai Organization’s Spending Spree In Super Dome, Sydney.

\'Honest Abe\' Lincoln Spoke Here. The \'Secret Swami\'s\' Turn?

‘Honest Abe’ Lincoln spoke at Cooper Union in New York. Is it ‘The Secret Swami’s’ turn?

Historic Melbourne Town Hall. Another Sathya Sai Org Recruitment Venue

Historic Melbourne Town Hall, Australia (with more plans for other Australian cities) has been used as a Sathya Sai Baba cult recruitment center

Sydney Superdome (subsequently rebranded, by nifty corporate strategy, Acer Arena) – another recruitment venue. See article by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard: Sai Organization’s Spending Spree In Super Dome, Sydney

Sheraton and Towers. Sathya Sai Org Recruitment

Sheraton and Towers, Chicago. Secret Swami cult recruitment centre

A Sathya Sai Baba Recruitment Dance, Hilton Ballroom, LA

The Hilton Ballroom. A Las Angeles ballroom embraces an ‘Avatar’. No less than  Again, recruitment in swish places, claiming hearts and wallets, not a few movie stars among them. Such as?

Michael Jackson, Love For the Secret Swami

Does convicted megastar Michael Jackson still love ‘the secret swami’?

A Heart For Sathya Sai Baba, Goldie Hawn

Goldie Hawn. Still a golden heart for the gold spinning guru?

Sathya Sai Baba film makers and Nora Jones discuss Sai Baba movie

Dare Songstress Nora Jones Touch Sai Baba?

Note: Sathya Sai Baba interests who are touting for money for a Hollywood film to be made (a story move extolling him and tentatively titled “My Guy”) with famed singer Nora Jones, daughter of celebrated Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar, being named as a likely star of the movie. (BUT – supposing a more powerful movie can be made showing the dark side of Sathya Sai Baba? Of this, let us see a bit later)

……………………………………………………….

General

Excerpt From Public Petition

(Note: The above articles contextualizes. Or you may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

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

Posted in Miracles, Movie Stars, Neglected/sidelined News, Rationalism, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »

A Strong India Can Bless The World

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 21, 2008

In my years in India, I saw at close hand the work of one talented and highly motivated Indian group with which I did volunteer social work, attaining that deep wish fired ever since I was 16, when I became deeply inspired by the life of Mahatma Gandhi.

The founder of the work (who sought no name and fame, so I forbear to mention his name) refused to be at the behest of foreign money, even though he was mentor to the son of one of the wealthiest men in America. This stance threw the emphasis on cross-community engagement and responsibility. One could see close up how Indians from various religious and cultural backgrounds (e.g., Hindu, Moslem, Sikh, Parsee, Jain, Christian, etc.) worked extraordinarily well together.

One could see how, abroad, an often false picture of animosity between faiths is often generated of India. I felt deeply honored to be permitted a small role in this social work, and, every now and then, became aware that other Indian Non Government Organizations were doing fine work. Receiving extraordinary kindness wherever I traveled, I experienced how so many Indians from a great array of backgrounds truly practise their time-honored notion that ‘guest is God’. When I was ill on a number of occasions, I experienced bountiful kindness and care of Indian people from various backgrounds, which at least twice saved my life. On one occasion, I was about to be killed by religious extremists (the broad knife was already unsheathed), who very mistakenly thought that I must be a Christian missionary, and the courage and quick-thinking of Indian citizens nearby saved my life. I was in India when riots broke out and heard, very movingly, that there were countless instances of Hindus risking their lives to shelter their Muslim neighbors from peril from a minority of fanatics. The frequent great friendships between those of differing belief systems in India should be far more extensively reported to the world.

The great social evils endemic in India, many of them profoundly related to the evils of British empire, should not be allowed to obscure her great positives.

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Shirdi Sai Saint’s Fame Spirited By Puttaparthi

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 18, 2008

Below is the image of the famous saint, Shirdi Sai Baba (d. 1918), of the North Indian State of Maharashtra. His repute has endured untainted by the sort of scandals that have for decades beset Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi.

A Saint of Great Renunciation and Humility

Today, the shrine built around the humble musjid (a Muslim place of worship) attracts millions of pilgrims. You can see (as I have done) Hindus, Muslims and those of other faiths honoring his life there. He is hailed for having done much to inspire living in accord irrespective of race, caste or creed.

Apparently, Indian government archives have referred to documents that reveal how a clandestine police watch was set on Sai Baba of Shirdi, who would often be presented with considerable sums of money and valuable artifacts. These were invariably given away to assist the poor and needy, often by the next day or so. The police reports, as did a great many others from a wide variety of witnesses, show that he lived in conditions of the greatest simplicity and renunciation. He begged from five homes of his devotees. (See below for some sources on Shirdi Sai Baba).

Sathya Sai Baba’s Tall Claims

In proclaiming his future role, Sathya Sai Baba claimed (6 July 1963) that a rishi (sage) Bharadwaja had foretold that Lord Siva and his consort Sakti:

“would take human form and be born in the Bharadhwaaja Gothra (lineage) thrice: Shiva alone as Shirdi Sai Baba, Shiva and Shakthi together at Puttaparthy as Sathya Sai Baba and Shakthi alone as Prema Sai later.” (Sathya Sai Speaks, III, 15:89)

It was much on the strength of such pronouncements that Sathya Sai Baba’s early fame spread – riding on the back, as it were of the fame of Shirdi Sai Baba. Not least among the very wealthy and powerful.

Was There Ever A Larger (Serious) Claim In History?

Some readers may be interested in unraveling the mass of Sathya Sai Baba’s own confusions and contradictions (e.g., with regard to dates and details of characteristics of himself as compared to Shirdi Sai Baba), concerning his extraordinary pronouncements. These go well beyond his claiming to be the re-embodiment of Shirdi Sai Baba, for he says that he is the fullest expression in human form of all the gods and goddesses. For a detailed article that exposes Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organization’s mix-ups and absurdities – all the more compelling because it relies on publicly obtainable documents emanating from official Puttaparthi Sai Baba sources – see Brian Steel (2002) Sai Baba’s Claim to be the Reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba. Still more extensively, [Sathya Sai Sai Baba’s] SB’s Claims of Divinity: Avatar and Triple Avatar (Revised Version, 2002)

Note:

Writers on Sathya Sai Baba, such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel and myself, frequently use the form ‘Sathya Sai Baba’ – rather than ‘Sai Baba’, so as to distinguish Sai Baba of Puttaparthi from Sai Baba of Shirdi.

An great old saint without scandal

Futher Reading

WikipediaShirdi Sai Baba

Marianne Warren, Ph.D. Unravelling The Enigma. Shirdi Sai Baba – In The Light of Sufism. Sterling Paperbacks – New Delhi Revised edition 2004 – ISBN 81-207-2147-0.

The late Marianne Warren, Ph.D (University of Toronto, Canada), was an expert in Hindu studies who did scholarly research on Shirdi Sai Baba. She died in September, 2004. My colleague the late Glen Meloy, who died January 1, 2005, and others who hold documentation that has not been allowed to fall into the hands of proponents of Sathya Sai Baba, apprised Dr Warren of material well beyond the reach of the Internet. She and her husband Michael had for a number of years been involved in various voluntary service activities in the Sathya Sai Organization of Canada, and she was the Centre President, Toronto. They both left it, as did many others around the world, once the credibility of the worldwide accounts of Sathya Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of young males became established (most notably from CE 2000 onwards – not least among those many families and individuals and those close to them who never, nor probably would ever, share their accounts on the Internet as some have done.

Dr Warren’s major change of mind about Sathya Sai Baba is reflected in the marked difference between the 1999 and 2004 editions of her book (cited above.

In an email to former head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway, Dr Warren wrote to Robert Priddy, referring to Sathya Sai Baba’s incredible and confusing claim – the details of which he stands in contradiction over the decades – that there is:

“no mention in the Shirdi Sai literature of an avataric mission. The Maharashtrian saint does not appear to have been aware of a future triple avatar, and in fact he personally never described himself in these terms, although his Hindu devotees occasionally termed him an avatar, but more as a mark of their esteem, than a literal designation”.

Dr Warren had the advantage of the not hitherto available writings of Abdul, whom Shirdi Sai Baba had long trained as a spiritual adept. In her book, she points out that the sayings of Shirdi Sai Baba as recorded by the trusted Abdul reveal that he, Sai Baba of Shirdi, would not reincarnate.

William ‘Bill’ Aitkin, a travel writer whose flawed hagiographical writings have been compellingly exposed by Brian Steel (see link below), has tried to fault Dr Warren by saying:

“This illustrates the limitations of the intellect and how the presumptuousness of scholars blinds them to the obvious fact that the mystery of rebirth is not open to proof one way or the other. As in all religious affairs, these things are personal matters and historicity is not as important to the heart as the feeling of oneness the two Sai masters engender. When truly in love the analytical mind is in abeyance”.

Aitken’s strong tendency to use or not use intellectual apologia according to his own sweet will on behalf of his idol Sathya Sai Baba I leave to Mr Steel’s detailed analysis to dispose of. See Bill Aitken and Sathya Sai Baba. A Writer’s Dilemma, commenting on William Aitken’s book, Sri Sathya Sai Baba. A Life (New Delhi, Penguin Books India, 2004. Paperback edition, 2006).

See also the British scholar Kevin Shepherd’s comments on the Shirdi Sai Baba issue, and more fully in his book Investigating the Sai Baba Movement: A Clarification of Misrepresented Saints and Opportunism. (Oct 2005). ISBN-10: 0952508931. ISBN-13: 978-0952508939

For a notion of the imperial splendor that Sathya Sai Baba, unlike Shirdi Sai Baba, has built around himself, see:

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

Sai Baba Exchequer Worth Billions. Many Countries Donate

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

Still Further Reading

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

B.D. Steel notes: “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”.

William Aitken’s Sai Baba Book. Major Flaws Says Scholar
A Host of Sai Baba Hagiographers
William Aitken Fails on Prof. E. Haraldsson and Dr K. Osis

Revealing Video Footage 

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, Rationalism, Religion, Scams, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Big Cult Trumps At Law. Is But A ‘Bookshop’

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 7, 2008

The issue of the Alaya Rahm law case against the directors of the Sathya Sai Society of America is dealt with at this place:

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

Sathya Sai Baba’s Organization Lost Chance For Independent Adjudication

The Rahm case was lost on a technicality. The Society is but a bookshop! Lawyers and others in various countries since consulted are nonplussed that the Alaya Rahm’s pro bono attorney, William Brelsford, appeared not to see this coming and therefore to preempt it. Further, the judge in Orange County Court initially pointed out that Sathya Sai Baba could not be sued in the USA, only in India. Thus, a neat piece of lawyering in the cult’s long-term setting up of its organs paid off for them. But it was not good for the truth, which the Sathya Sai Organization members go about proclaiming is theirs – with such beatific smiles on their faces!

Here was an opportunity for the facts – wherever they may have led – to get out into the open. It is no frivolous thing for a family (or anyone) to embark on a course so potentially fraught with hazards. If confusions are being systematically generated, they can be sorted out. If lies are uncovered, penalties for perjury can be heavily invoked. One’s strengths and weakness are open to the media and to the public.

Yet Mr and Mrs Rahm (Al and Marisa), who formerly and for many years rose to great heights in the Sathya Sai Organization, embarked on a number of attempts, in consultation with other family members, including most of all their son Alaya, to bring to light the facts as adjudged within the third party, democratic and accountable institutions in their country, such as the Orange County Court, in California, and the State Department, USA. They were also generous of their time and energy (amidst strong private commitments that those such as Glen Meloy and myself had to be very respectful of) in testifying to demandingly investigative media such as the BBC, DR (Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster, Daily Telegraph, India Today, The West Australian, etc. Likewise in our group’s submissions to UNESCO. See links at the foot of this note.

Demonization of Dissenters Who Stand Up At Great Sacrifice

As I know from my personal contact with them and other first-hand sources, they have withstood unimaginable distortions, attacks on their integrity, slander and libel. The links, sometimes disguised by being indirect, between foremost leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization and unofficial Internet presences where the libeling of former devotees continues, we are able to document to bona fide media, scholarly investigators, courts, concerned public institutions, and so on. In regard to the unconscionable behavior of  Sathya Sai Baba devotees who keep silent in the face of the terrible libels and slanders, See the recent document (supported by still further evidence which, for any legal or other prudential reasons is for the time being witheld)  signed by former devotees:

The International Sathya Sai Organization – an accessory to a massive libel and disinformation campaign. Open letter to the Prasanthi Council – c/o Dr. M. Goldstein, Dr. G. Venkataraman and its other members

One observes, as in many other cases of individuals becoming former followers of Sathya Sai Baba, how decades of loyalty, enormous sacrifice in contribution of service, finance, traveling to India under stressful conditions, traveling around one’s own and other countries on behalf of the teacher’s work, etc., are suddenly set at naught, and one is, virtually overnight, demonized.

………………………………………..

The following quotes from Robert Priddy‘s and Barry Pittard’s four-part series – The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed – which contains many links to germane sources, and is particularly useful for media, scholars, and to those public or private institutions who wish to be wary of connections with the cult’s officials, and other serious investigators:

In a statement by the Rahm family, their attorney and the International JuST Group (9), we read: “No court found Alaya’s allegations to be false. Simply, the suit could not continue on a technicality, and the claims of sexual abuse stand irrefutably true, just as before”. Dr. Venkataraman is himself making a false allegation! Attorney William Brelsford Esq., seeing formidable legal obstacles set by the defendants, and not least working against a statute of limitations deadline, advised Alaya Rahm to self-dismiss the case. Along with other difficulties encountered, his attorney has explained, June 29th, 2006, to Alaya Rahm and his family:

“We were successful at the demurrer stage in establishing that a duty would be owed by the Society in the event they sponsored and/or endorsed the trips that Alaya went on when he was abused by Sai Baba. As it turns out, the Society is not the “hub” of all of Sai Baba’s corporate activities. Rather, the Society, pursuant to declarations under penalty of perjury, confirmed they are a bookstore… nothing more. Accordingly, we do not have the necessary factual requirements to establish liability on the Society/Book center.”

Readings

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

The Genesis of the BBC’s The Secret Swami (Sai Baba)

The Case of the Missing Media Advisory

BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government

UNESCO and Indian Government – Were Up To Tricks

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Sathya Sai Baba Organization and Libel and Disinformation

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

Dissent From Guru Cults Draws Slander and Harassment

India Today. COVER STORY: SAI BABA. Amarnath K. Menon and Ashok Malik in Puttaparthi.

Daily Telegraph. Divine Downfall. Mick Brown

Video Resources

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

http://home.hccnet.nl/cmg.vdsandt/The%20Secret%20Swami.wmv
(23.3 MB, Modem)

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
http://www.rfjvds.dds.nl/seduced/seduced.wmv
(80 MB, Broadband)

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


Posted in New Age, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 6, 2008

Was it ethical for the BBC to use a hidden camera in ‘The Secret Swami’?

It used it in the case of a highly elusive chairman of a world organization, Dr Michael Goldstein of Covena, California, that faces grave questions in India and many countries around the world.

The Sathya Sai Organization, despite many claims not to recruit or fund raise should certainly be scrutinized by a public and its government, political and institutional organs, which it most definitely cultivates at both peak and local levels.

Sanctions for the unusual use of hidden camera were obtained by the producers from top echelon BBC management and legals.

Despite the alarums and excursions of Dr G. Venkataraman (and informally allied Sathya Sai Baba proxy defenders on the Internet whose libels and slanders are deemed by top lawyers in three countries to be extreme, widespread and highly actionable), the BBC had every just cause to shoot clandestinely. The extensive lack of accountability, transparency and of Duty-of-Care were not only seen clearly by the BBC but have also been noted by other world leading, high quality media in several countries.

Further Reading

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

Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

For Viewing

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

http://home.hccnet.nl/cmg.vdsandt/The%20Secret%20Swami.wmv
(23.3 MB, Modem)

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
http://www.rfjvds.dds.nl/seduced/seduced.wmv
(80 MB, Broadband)

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

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Robert Priddy: May 31, 2008 Update

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 1, 2008

In the News section on his main website Robert Priddy, former head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization, has recorded (May 31, 2008 ) updates:

Recorded talk with V. K.Narasimhan during 70th birthday of Sai Baba (Notable Indian newspaper editor and editor of ‘Sanathana Sarathi V.K.Narasimhan’s) view on numbers attending (FAR below Sai Baba’s estimates) and on his having to edit out Sai errors from the journal, plus Sai Baba’s private directions to Central Coordinators concerning the organization and the price of rooms for delegates to his conference, who were originally invited for free logding etc.

Sai Baba’s teachings and education in academic isolation Through political clout, Sathya Sai Baba got his Institute of Higher Learning recognised as an University. However, the whole social and academic environment is based more on fixed values and indoctrination than any kind of educational research or dialogue, being a law unto itself isolated from the world community of open debate.

The Dalai Lama and Sathya Sai Baba Systematic comparison of the personalities of the 14th Dalai Lama and the Indian supposed God-guru Sathya Sai Baba, examining their circumstances and behaviour, their personal qualities and public relations. Further, the facts are summarised in sixteen brief questions on my blog here.

Joseph. Early Sathya Sai Baba Whistle blower When devotees of Sathya Sai Baba finally bite the bullet and understand that the sex abuse allegations are true, they begin to recall incidents which shocked them at the time but which their powerful faith enabled them to rationalise or even simply push aside. Such is the case of Joseph, who Barry Pittard knew – a very shocking treatment by Sai Baba’s ‘Seva Dal’ acting as true goondas to suppress a whistleblower.

Main locations of Robert Priddy’s writings on Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult:

Posted in News, Religion, Sai Baba, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Leave a Comment »