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:
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.”
India Today. COVER STORY: SAI BABA. Amarnath K. Menon and Ashok Malik in Puttaparthi.
The Secret Swami (BBC Television):
(80 MB, Broadband)
Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
(80 MB, Broadband)
(21 MB, Modem)