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Archive for January, 2009

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 29, 2009

What is the effect on the wider society of a tremendously wealthy, worldwide cult such as the International Sathya Sai Organization?

In the coming days, there will be breaking news. A nationally televised program segment (see details below under the header in this blog: A Storm Looms) is expected to screen within the next week on Australian Current Affair , on Channel Nine, one of the highest profile and most respected television programs in this country, which airs throughout the year on Channel Nine, Monday to Friday after the 6.30 pm News. The producer of the Channel Nine segment is Chris Allen,

Australian Current Affair Exposes Sathya Sai Baba Cult, Australia
Australian Current Affair Exposes Sathya Sai Baba Cult, Australia

a senior Australian television journalist-presenter. Apart from his media training, studied at Australia’s leading acting school, National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), alongside such international film stars as Mel Gibson and Judy Davis

Some Background On India’s Most Powerful Guru, Call By BBC ‘The Secret Swami’.

Outstanding institutions such as the BBC, DR (Denmark’s national broadcaster), the Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, Age, ABC (the nation broadcaster, Australian Broadcasting Corporation) UNESCO and many others have investigated various types of allegation leveled against the Sathya Sai Baba cult. See:

  • The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision
  • Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television
  • BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise
  • BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?
  • UNESCO and Indian Government – Were Up To Tricks
  • BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian GovernmentNote: The Indian Sathya Sai Baba Organization and the then Indian Janata Party Government attempted to get UNESCO to suppress a media advisory, which came after detailed submissions by former Sathya Sai Baba followers from several countries. The Media Advisory, dated September 15, 2000, had announced UNESCO’s withdrawal from a large, international human values education conference scheduled at Puttaparthi, in South India, for September 25-29, 2000, along with UNESCO’s partner, the University of Flinders, South Australia.

    Atal Behari Vajpayee was Prime Minister, and, like countless power brokers in India, a longtime devotee of Sathya Sai Baba. However, the BBC was able to obtain a statement from UNESCO that unstitched the power play by Indian foreign affairs officials. The  advisory can be seen at the Url below, and it looks as though the internet wayback service is ironclad against any interference which could be expected of Sai Baba’s cult members (not to mention the Indian Foreign Affairs Ministry) who frequent high places: See:  http://web.archive.org/web/20031229133544/http://www.unesco.org/education/highlights/media_advisory.htm

    Top UNESCO Officials Caught Out By BBC

    Early in 2004, UNESCO spokespersons told media and other enquirers that the Advisory did not now reflect its views. Among others, Dr G.Venkataraman, deputy world chairman of the Sai cult, made merry in his official Puttaparthi newsletter, seeing the event as a great reversal for critics of his religious leader. One may add that G. Venkataraman, by virtue of his key roles (See links below this paragraph) has very close association with core leaders throughout the world, and every ability to determine that many devotees and former devotees for decades held in high esteem within the Sathya Sai Organization have raised the most serious issues about accountability. Facts like these are profoundly ignored by Sathya Sai Baba’s proxy defenders on the Internet, who engage in the most extaordinary defamations.

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

    Indian Nuclear Scientist Now Sai Baba’s Global Radio Chief

    BBC assistant producer David Savill reported that only after his strenuous questioning of a senior UNESCO spokesperson, did she, Sue Williams, finally agree in writing to Mr Savill that currently: “UNESCO does not regret issuing the media release of September 15 2000.”

    Lack of Accountability and Transparency

    From the late 1990’s, networked former devotees of good standing within the Sathya Sai Organization had failed in their attempts to get such leaders as the world chairman, Dr Michael Goldstein, of Covena, California, USA, to institute accountability and transparency provisions that are normal in democratic countries. Unaware that a BBC camera was trained on him, Dr Goldstein showed the extent of his spirituality in the light of his master’s teachings.

    Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement
    Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement

    NOTE: The above photo of Dr Michael Goldstein was caught by BBC hidden camera. Given BBC caution in such sensitive matters, it was not easy for the BBC producer Eamon Hardy to get an HC sanction from top management of the BBC and legals. However, Sathya Sai Baba’s peak officials had acted extremely evasively. What is more, the BBC had uncovered shocking and credible accounts of sexual and other abuses by Sathya Sai Baba, including compelling evidence of massive ashram and successive Indian governments’ cover up of the April 6, 1993 killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom. These accounts went beyond the many testimonies compiled by our own international network. See:

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

    For Robert Priddy’s significant body of work on the killings and cover up, see under Further Resources, below.

    To get a further measure of Dr Goldstein’s cultist bent, wherein, in a widely distributed circular, he rejoiced in how his living God’s Grace prevented many Sai Baba devotees from getting caught up in the terrorist strike in the United States on 9/11. See:

    Michael Goldstein’s Chilling 9/11 Remarks

    Book Resource

    “Murders in Sai Baba’s Bedroom” by B. Premanand. Price India Rs. 400/-, Overseas US $40/- (free postage). Publ. by B. Premanand. 11/7 Chettipalayam Road, Podnadur. 641 023 Tamil Nadu, India.

    In short, Sai Baba and his core leaders like Dr Goldstein, Dr G. Venkataraman, and the  Sathya Sai Central Trust Secretary, K. Chakravarthy and others eluded many attempts to properly investigate the extensive and worldwide allegations of Sai Baba’s sexual molestation of boys and young men and cover up of the killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom, as well as many other serious scandals and anomalies.

    Quality media in a number of countries investigated. An extremely rare example in India of coverage, where Sai Baba is considered to powerful to tackle, was the serious mass circulation magazine India Today, December 4, 2000. See:

    COVER STORY: SAI BABA. Test of Faith.

    So did institutions such Flinders University in South Australia which appointed a senior academic to investigate. Top officials in UNESCO made extensive investigations too began to probe, they found the earmarks of a considerable cult.

    In 2004, the BBC was moved to title their 2004 documentary ‘The Secret Swami’. See:

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

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

    Threats By Sathya Sai Organization Leaders To Major Media

    It is a profound failure of intelligence, and indeed probity, that Sathya Sai Baba’s defenders have resisted central points about issues of democracy, accountability and transparency. As befits cultists with much to hide, they prefer to use threats of legal action. This was how key Sai organization players such as T. Sri Ramanathan – an autocrat widely disliked but sometimes virtually worshipped by the more pious in the Australian Sathya Sai Organization – treated Australia’s great multicultural broadcaster SBS (which telecast DR’s ‘Seduced’ re-titled ‘Seduced By Sai Baba’), the BBC, CBC (Canada), Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, Age, etc. I was informed by a senior journalist from a major Canadian newspaper (part of the CanWest chain) that his senior management was ensconced lengthily with lawyers and sundry other high rollers, when the Sai Baba parties threatened to withdraw large advertisments in the newspaper by one of the devotees, a Canadian multi-millionaire.

    Autocracy. Secrecy. Defamation. Vilification

    In each case there were suppressive attempts by very high profile Sathya Sai Baba leaders. His defenders go all out to to ensure that anyone who speaks out is villified, libeled, and some seriously harassed and threatened. Like medieval popes, Sai Baba’s core leaders excommunicate good and decent individuals. We find that their personnel ensure that internet attackers are provided with information intended to blacken and villify those who speak out.

    A Storm Brews. Unleashed in Next Days and Weeks

    However, as we shall see in the next days and weeks, there are democratic, caring forces within the community – ones not peopled by Sathya Sai Baba followers, who are prepared to protect vulnerable people who have been hurt by some of those very close to him.

    A Storm Looms

    Sai cult attempts to silence questioning have not succeeded. Of that, more soon.

    For those interested in seeing attempts by this powerful cult at damage-control and cover up, the segment on Australian Current Affair will be a show worth watching. But of course, the cult is a secret organization – therefore, one may miss out on some of the crucial action. Among the leaders are some seasoned string pullers at the highest levels of government, both local and central, in many countries. Nonetheless, it is important to prevent governments from being soft on cults. Governments that protect cults need to be stood up to.  In this case, it is the State Government of Queensland, Australia. The programme is the high profile Australian Current Affair, and the segment researched by one Australia’s senior television journalists. It was to have been shown last Thursday night, but has been re-slotted because of the tragic story of the little girl in Melbourne Australia who was thrown off a bridge by her demented father. Hiding from the issue of cults does not further the cause of religious freedom but actually threatens it over the long term. Protection of cultists should not be at the expense of the protection of the more vulnerable in our society.

    Hitherto, it is mostly former devotee critics, along with important contributions by rationalists (especially B.Premanand) and humanists, who have produced an extensive  Sathya Sai Baba cult critique. But now, matters proceed beyond those confines.

    The Sathya Sai Organization core leaders were not able to suppress – despite draconian measures far from the spiritual ones they profess to follow – awkward questions from those who tried to reform from within. Vilification is the inner chant of their darkly compromized hearts.

    They were not able to prevent strong and sustained criticism by highly skilled academics such as Robert Priddy (ex-head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway), Brian Steel (Australia), Timothy Conway Ph.D (USA), Kevin Shepherd, an independent British scholar, and others. Nor could they stop a large exit from the organization in country after country.  Some of this exit was the result of respected leaders making their own investigations in regard to families whose children reported sexual molestation by Sathya Sai Baba.

    There is a fact often not realized by the many good and decent rank-and-file individuals in the organization. It is that we have, here, a secret swami, a secret cabal of core leaders, and a guru-blinded autocracy skilled in suppression, the arts of political and organization cover up, self-deceit and deceit of their governments and mainstream organs that the Sathya Sai Organization influences via various fronts (of which more later). In the meatime, See:

    Sathya Sai Baba Organization and Libel and Disinformation

    See, too, extensively detailed articles co-authored by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard:

    Sathya Sai Organisation – Further Subterfuge and Misinformation

    Sathya Sai Organisation – Lavish Spending On Super Dome Venue Meeting (Sydney, Australia)

    Disinformation By The Sathya Sai Organization.

    Plush Recruiting Venues and Styles of Appeal Aim At The Wealthy

    To see recruiting tricks aimed at bringing in wealthy and influential citizens without, however, informing them of Sai Baba’s pronouncements that he is the Father of Jesus Christ, the One Who Sent The Prophet of Islam and that he claims he will save the whole world by circa 2022, see:  Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues

    But the next days and weeks will tell. And so shall this blog – Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai baba.

    Further Reading

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

    The Unresolved, Covered-up 1993 Murders in Sathya Sai. Baba’s Bedroom RevisitedSathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders

    Sathya Sai Says: “Why fear when I am here?”. On the Events of June 6, 1993 – Murders in Sai Baba’s Private QuartersMore Concerning The 1993 Murders In Prashanthi Mandir.

    Excerpts from newspaper reports with information concerning the murders in Sai Baba’s vicinity at Prashanthi Nilayam of 6-6-1993.

    The Unresolved, Covered-up 1993 Murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s Bedroom RevisitedSathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders.

    A convenient coverage of many of the issues is at Robert Priddy’s blogsite: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com. See, Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders

    Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

    Part 4. Part 5.

    Important Other Resources:  Kevin Shepherd, Brian Steel, Robert Priddy:

  • Citizen Initiative
  • Recent Research on the Claims of Sathya Sai Baba
  • Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed
  • Sathya Sai Baba In Word And Action
  • Hitherto, it is mostly former devotee critics, along with important contributions by rationalists (especially B.Premanand) and humanists, who have produced an extensive  Sathya Sai Baba cult critique. But now, matters proceed beyond those confines.

    The Sathya Sai Organization core leaders were not able to suppress – despite draconian measures far from the spiritual ones they profess to follow – awkward questions from those who tried to reform from within. Vilification is the inner chant of their darkly compromized hearts.

    They were not able to prevent strong and sustained criticism by highly skilled academics such as Robert Priddy (ex-head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway), Brian Steel (Australia), Timothy Conway Ph.D (USA), Kevin Shepherd, an independent British scholar, and others. Nor could they stop a large exit from the organization in country after country.  Some of this exit was the result of respected leaders making their own investigations in regard to families whose children reported sexual molestation by Sathya Sai Baba.

    There is a fact often not realized by the many good and decent rank-and-file individuals in the organization. It is that we have, here, a secret swami, a secret cabal of core leaders, and a guru-blinded autocracy skilled in suppression, the arts of political and organization cover up, self-deceit and deceit of their governments and mainstream organs that the Sathya Sai Organization influences via various fronts (of which more later). In the meatime, See:

    Sathya Sai Baba Organization and Libel and Disinformation

    See, too, extensively detailed articles co-authored by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard:

    Sathya Sai Organisation – Further Subterfuge and Misinformation

    Sathya Sai Organisation – Lavish Spending On Super Dome Venue Meeting (in Sydney, Australia)

    Disinformation By The Sathya Sai Organization.

    Plush Recruiting Venues and Styles of Appeal Aim At The Wealthy

    To see recruiting tricks aimed at bringing in wealthy and influential citizens without, however, informing them of Sai Baba’s pronouncements that he is the Father of Jesus Christ, the One Who Sent The Prophet of Islam and that he claims he will save the whole world by circa 2022, see:  Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues

    But the next days and weeks will tell. And so shall this blog – Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai baba.

    Further Reading

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

    The Unresolved, Covered-up 1993 Murders in Sathya Sai. Baba’s Bedroom RevisitedSathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders

    Sathya Sai Says: “Why fear when I am here?”. On the Events of June 6, 1993 – Murders in Sai Baba’s Private QuartersMore Concerning The 1993 Murders In Prashanthi Mandir.

    Excerpts from newspaper reports with information concerning the murders in Sai Baba’s vicinity at Prashanthi Nilayam of 6-6-1993.

    The Unresolved, Covered-up 1993 Murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s Bedroom Revisited.

    Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders.

    A convenient coverage of many of the issues is at Robert Priddy’s blogsite: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com. See, Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders:

    Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

    Part 4. Part5 .

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    Posted in News and Politics, Opinion, Protest, Rationalism, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

    India’s Ancient Tradition of Respect For Elders Waylaid By Corrupt Elites

    Posted by Barry Pittard on January 20, 2009

    India has an extraordinary respect for elders. When undistorted by other historic sociological factors, this is an admirable and powerfully cohesive social force. But in the areas of wealth and power it has also often become, over centuries, and in many ways, distorted into an oppression that renders India a land of both concealed and gaping wounds.

    This respect for the elderly is found too in other old cultures from which, likewise, the West needs to learn a great deal in regard to the need to much more cherishing and caring for the elderly – not alone in material terms but emotionally and spiritually. How can each of us meaningfully approach our own ageing well if we have not been able to qualitatively connect with, and relate to, the elderly? I may add that former devotees in various parts of the world have by no means, although severing their connection with Sathya Sai Baba, lost their community involvement in practical endeavours that honor the elderly – not to mention other seviceful activities.

    Tragically for India, a gerontocracy minus meritocracy riddled and mishaped the upper part of India’s social fabric, and gave it types of leadership (so-called!) very different to the shining exceptions whom the sold-out leaders tiresomely invoke in speech after speech – in base genuflection.

    The ‘India Shining’ of whom today’s propagandists and over-eager technocrats speak is not a reality. When what glitters are some technological smarts, and when there is the headlong readiness to repeat the mistakes of a materialistic West, one can be sure that all is not the old, true gold.

    The shining that I saw in my years in India is truly present, especially among the people at large, but is often profoundly obscured, although paid lip service to by her incredibly powerful and conscienceless cabals of go-getters.

    Further Reading at https://barrypittard.wordpress.com

    Two Indias. Barry Pittard Reflects On India Days

    A Strong India Can Bless The World

    India A Mature Democracy? BBC Probes

    India’s Painful Experience of Corrupt Leadership

    Many Power Brokers Follow Failed Prophet Sathya Sai Baba

    India’s ‘Emperor’ Sai Baba. By His Lavish Spending Ye Shall Know Him

    Indulal Shah and Indian Government Cover Up

    Has Sathya Sai Baba Moved An Inch To Clean Up His Yard?

    Human Rights World Report 2008. India In Sore Shape

    Posted in Opinion, Religion, Sai Baba, Social and Politics, Society, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

    India’s Painful Experience of Corrupt Leadership

    Posted by Barry Pittard on January 18, 2009

    Listen to a wide cross-section of Indians – whether Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Parsee, Jain, Christian and so on – and you will frequently find in them a thorough disgust for India’s endemically corrupt, gerontocratic and nepotistic leaders right across the political spectrum.

    In India political leadership, too often, yesterday’s men (or mostly men) are still today’s men.

    The British vacated, and India after its Independence on August 15, 1947 has for long been shaken by the terrible psychological and physical impact of imperial aftershocks. Not of course that a country is without its disfunctions and oppressions long before the incursions of empire on it.

    The scramble to gain and maintain power by elites threw up matchingly terrible social and political fabrics, despite forces valiantly working for a mature democracy.

    In my discussions with the BBC during the months of preparation for ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004), I learnt that one of the key interests of the producer, Eamon Hardy, was to look at cases which gave some insight into whether India could really be regarded as a mature democracy.

    Cover Up On Huge A Huge Scale

    To gain some sense of the massiveness of the political cover up – and one which has been maintained by successive Indian governments irrespective of which Party is incumbent – of the Sathya Sai bedroom murders scandal of June 6, 1993, see:

    Robert Priddy

    Apart from the Andhra Pradesh police, whose investigations were hijacked by Central and State government political forces, Robert Priddy, perhaps second only to the rationalist B. Premanand, has made a considerable study of events of bloody events in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom, June 6, 1993.

    1) Overview of the murders if Sai Baba’s bedroom and how I came to learn of the blackmail by Sai officials behind the police executions of four intruder devotees from V.K. Narasimhan

    2) More concerning the 1993 murders in the Prashanthi Nilayam Temple complex

    3) How Robert Priddy came to learn of the blackmail by Sai officials behind the police executions of four intruder devotees from V.K. Narasimhan

    4) Interview on BBC documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ with V.P.B. Nair, former home minister of Andhra Pradesh during the 1993 murders

    5) Excerpts from Indian newspaper reports on the murders in Sai Baba’s vicinity and the cover-up

    6)Review of the cover-up and what cannot be denied

    7) IAS official V. Ramnath’s reported account of Vijay Prabhu and the murder attempt here

    8 )Prabhu’s involvement reported from an IAS source

    9) Murder coverage in ‘The Week’ (India) with explanatory diagram/drawing

    10)Conny Larsson’s recall of his learning in Puttaparthi about the 1993 murders

    11)Writ petition to the High Court – Andhra Pradesh for investigation of the murders

    12) Additional evidence from an independent source

    13) Have your say at the Public Petition for Official Invstigation of Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide Organization (ca. 1300 persons have signed this petition so far)

    The BBC’s Tanya Datta states that The former Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, V.P. B. Nair, told the BBC that ‘On coming to office he examined the files and found that the original police report was riddled with lies and inconsistencies. This was later exposed by a CID investigation’.

    Tanya Datta:  So are you suggesting that the police executed the boys that night?

    VPB Nair: In absolute… this is absolute cold-blooded murder.

    See my articles:

    The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

    Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence – Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

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

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

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

    Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

    Priddy reports many disturbing privately shared revelations that came from his longtime friend, the late V.K. Narasimhan, one of India’s most courageous and famous newspaper editors. When attempts were made to throw doubt, as so commonly done by unscrupulous proxy defenders of Sathya Sai Baba in other respects, on the long years of this deeply respectful and cherished friendship, Priddy responded by going to the large effort of scanning notes from his extensive, well-kept journal from down the years and many letters he received from VKN.

    V.K. Narasimhan – a biographical and personal tribute

    The Dark Underside of some prominent Hindu gurus

    Will India clean up its Augean police and political stables?

    Famous editor confronted Sathya Sai Baba

    Posted in News and Politics, Religion, Social and Politics, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

    Sathya Sai Baba’s Promise To “Clean Up” His “Own Back Yard (India) Unfulfilled

    Posted by Barry Pittard on January 16, 2009

    India is trying to get the world to take her seriously.  But this wish cannot be fulfilled (except superficially and cynically) when so many within India’s elites fling themselves – quite literally – at the feet of highly questionable gurus and astrologers.

    It is well-known that many diplomats and those who do business with India hide their contempt behind obligatory and well-trained polite smiles.

    India – Venal or Shining?

    That endemic venality in India is only very partially portrayed in the Indian press reflects poorly on the integrity of many media owners, editors and journalists.

    That there is widespread corruption in her legal system blights her as a democracy.  See:

    P.N. Bhagwati, India’s Ex-Chief Justice: Wild, Reckless Claims

    P.N. Bhagwati. Ex-Chief Justic of India. S.Sai Baba Central Trust Man

    P.N. Bhagwati. Ex-Chief Justice of India. Longtime Sathya Sai Central Trust Man.

    Inequality before the law in India

    Corrupt Indian Judges Stonewall Case Vs Sai Baba

    In the latter article, I wrote:

    “In 2001, the celebrated Indian advocate Kamini Jaiswal (who was a lawyer for the famous ‘Bandit Queen’ Phoolan Devi) attempted to mount, pro bono, a case against Sai Baba on behalf of a former Sai Baba devotee, Hari Sampath”.

    Sathya Sai Baba Disposed Judges

    Sathya Sai Baba Disposed Judges

    Note:  As we can show testimony to bona fide media or other investigators, a legal professional has transcribed the case, and part of this shocking reflection on Indian judiciary may be viewed – See, Record of Proceedings document of Hari Sampath’s 2001 case against Sai Baba in the Supreme Court of India, and further comments on this case scuppered by Judges G.B. Patnaik and R.C. Lahoti with the concurrence of then Chief Justice Dr A.S. Anand. For an example how a Sai Baba devotee Judge,  Y. V. Anjaneyulu, in Sai Baba’s state of Andhra Pradesh can – in a judgement that contradicts India’s secular justice system and confounds our lawyer members in more democratic countries who have seen the document  –  pervert the course of justice see HERE.

    Sathya Sai Baba – The Secret Swami

    In the case of Sathya Sai Baba, the dismal facts – denied of course by his promoters, both among the naively uninformed and by those of his servitors who know all too well of the many cover ups and abuses – became widely known, especially after the documentary by the BBC documentary “The Secret Swami” (2004) was screened throughout the world – indeed in Canada three times in one month.  See:

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

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

    BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

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

    Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

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

    For viewing:

    The Secret Swami (BBC Television):
    (154 MB, Broadband)Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
    (80 MB, Broadband)http://home.hetnet.nl/~seduced/seduced.wmv

    (21 MB, Modem)

    A Few Signs of Challenge To Corruption

    However, and in very recent times, there has been a slow but gradual move for the media in India to take on issues relating, for example, to corrupt and backward-looking gurus. See articles:

    Indian Media’s Reticence on Top Guru, Sathya Sai Baba, Weakens

    CNN-IBN Reports Action On Corrupt Indian Gurus

    Supercool Indian Gurus Under Fire

    Further Reading

    Has ‘World Saviour’ Missed His Plane?

    Quote:

    “In his February 16, 2007 so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai Baba said, “I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.” But will he? How can he?


    The guru, perhaps the most wealthy and politically powerful in India’s long history, claims that he will save the world in his own lifetime”.

    Will India’s New Backlash Against Corruption Lash Sathya Sai Baba?

    Quote:

    “To be sure, Sathya Sai Baba, profoundly protected by India’s power brokers irrespective of what party is in power, has not faced court to answer many allegations. These include serial sexual molestation of boys and young men and other crimes such as complicity in the police killings that occurred in his bedroom, June 6, 1993. The latter incident was described to the BBC by V.P.B. Nair, former Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, as “absolute cold-blooded murder”. Brief video clips at this link here.

    The BBC transcript of ‘The Secret Swami’ is available here.

    Police corruption is also widespread in India, as the recent horrendous case of serial pedophilia and murders in Noida, Delhi, exemplifies.

    Jaiswal’s reason for applying for the case to be pled in the Supreme Court of India in New Delhi was precisely for the reason that Andhra Pradesh, Sai Baba’s state, is chockful of Sai Baba police and judges. Therefore, Judges Paitnaik’s and Lahoti’s repeated statements (see link below): “Go the Andhra Pradesh court”, and refusals to give reason for their adverse decision are reprehensible”.

    Posted in News and Politics, Religion, Social and Politics, Uncategorized, World Issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

    Sathya Sai Fails To Save Satyam

    Posted by Barry Pittard on January 14, 2009

    The massive Satyam corruption scandal engulfs India in a sad and chilling way somewhat remindful of WorldCom, Parmalat, and Enron.

    Sad, for example, because of the tens of thousands of talented workers whose future is under heavy cloud (any bailout for them?!), and chilling because it reveals but a small part of the disordered “backyard” that Sathya Sai Baba famously said he would first “clean up” before transforming the rest of the world prior to quitting it circa AD 2022. And, again sadly, because such scandals can also obscure many instances of probity and quality of service.

    Note:  In Sanskrit, Satyam and Satya (or Sathya) mean: Truth!  Interestingly, the Raju family real estate company into  which the self-admitted fraudster B. Ramalinga Raju poured money from Satyam Computers is called Maytas – which is Satyam spelt backwards. In short, and irony-filled, truth reversed …

    India Now In Glare Of World Scrutiny

    India’s many corrupt political and other leaders from across a broad political spectrum – the same figures who for decades have been complicit in the massive cover up of Sathya Sai Baba-related scandals – are now under intense world focus. Hundreds of Satyam clients are Fortune 500 international companies. Therefore, it is unlikely that these leaders can do other than join a sudden rush to effect matters such as accountability, transparency and due diligence. As far as it goes.

    It will be interesting to see, as the rotten apples begin to fall from India’s old and gnarled tree, how many of them and their close affiliates have close ties to Sathya Sai Baba – for example, in financially supporting him.

    It is too bad that India has no legal and other protective mechanisms for whistleblowers. Much is made about the need for government regulation. But what shall be the case when veniality – in the form of nepotism, casteism and gerontocratic clinging to power – exists so widely among India’s politicians and other power elites? Who shall regulate the regulators?

    Far too much, therefore, will remain hidden.

    The chief perpetrator, B. Ramalinga Raju, has admitted his crimes (at least some of them) and is now, along with his brother, B. Rama Raju, in police custody in Sathya Sai Baba’s own State of Andhra Pradesh. Ramalinga Raju has said that he acted alone but the credibility of such a statement is wide open to question and there may be more arrests. Indeed, CNN (see below) has just reported a third arrest, that of Vadlamani Srinivas, who was Chief Financial Officer in Satyam Computer Services.

    artrajuafp Satyam founder B. Ramalinga Raju shown being sent to                      prison in Hyderabad

    Reuters reports (Thu Jan 8, 2009):

    “Chairman Ramalinga Raju resigned on Wednesday in India’s biggest corporate scandal in memory, after saying that about $1 billion, or 94 percent of the cash and bank balances on the company’s books at end-September did not exist. The company’s shares plunged nearly 80 percent”.

    Will India’s Strengths Overcome Repute For Endemic Corruption?

    Perhaps the high quality of services worldwide of giant Indian companies like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, Wipro and Satyam itself may help India weather the current storm, which comes at a time of global financial upheaval, and recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. See article: Hasty Cover Up Of Sai Baba ‘No bombs in India’ Blunder. Posted by Barry Pittard on December 7, 2008.

    Some Saving Graces For India?

    The prestige issue here is that international client satisfaction has been the yardstick, and not the say-so of India’s spin doctors. Even so, it is feared in many quarters, India may suffer grave challenges to its thriving outsourcing sector. Hasty international reactions need to be avoided.

    Status of Indian Corporate Governance Gravely In Question

    Huge questions are raised about corporate governance in India, including in Andhra Pradesh where the Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy is a notable supporter of Sathya Sai Baba, and complicit in the profound Puttaparthi and local, state and central government cover up of the many scandals involving Sathya Sai Baba and his core officials. Former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu (see Press Trust of India report below) just claimed that the Satyam scandal was due to “greediness and mania for money” of Congress rulers.

    y-s-rajasekhar-reddy-confers-with-sathya-sai-baba Andhra Pradesh CM Y S Rajasekhara Reddy with Puttaparthi Sai Baba

    .

    ……………………………………………..

    Extracted from BBC WORLD NEWS summaries of some major media reactions

    Press reaction to Satyam scandal

    Thursday, 8 January 2009

    News that the head of Satyam, India’s fourth-biggest software firm, has quit after revealing false accounts including some $1bn (£663m) in fictitious reserves has made the headlines and editorials across the world’s prss.

    ………………………………..

    THE ASIAN AGE

    Though Raju says he alone is responsible for what has happened, there has obviously been collusion on the part of the company’s accountants, chartered accountants, banks, and maybe even politicians, in the fraudulent financial engineering that he managed so adroitly quarter after quarter

    THE NEW YORK TIMES

    In the end, the scandal threatened to gobble up not just Mr Raju, who resigned, but his company, Satyam Computer Services. Far beyond Satyam, it raised fears that similar problems might lurk in other Indian companies, particularly in its vaunted outsourcing industry.

    Further News Sources

    FOX NEWS

    The U.N.: Satyam’s Spreading Stain

    George Russell. Monday, January 12, 2009

    The World Bank, a cornerstone of the United Nations’ global anti-poverty effort, failed to tell the rest of the world organization that it had banned now-imploding Satyam Computer Services last February from further business following a corruption probe — and thus allowed the U.N. to enter into a $6 million deal for technology services with Satyam as recently as this July, FOX News has learned.

    U.N. officials were still silent in the wake of questions sent to them by FOX News last week about the $6 million deal between the U.N. Secretariat and Satyam Computer Services, the Indian communications technology company that is embroiled in the largest financial fraud in that country’s history.

    Details of the contentious contract, reference number PD/C0102/08, are prominently displayed on a U.N. Procurement Department website, commonly accessed by procurement officials from across the U.N. System.

    ……………………………..

    PRESS TRUST OF INDIA (PTI)

    Satyam scandal due to Cong rulers’ ‘greediness’: Chandrababu

    Hyderabad, Jan 13 (PTI) TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu today claimed that the Satyam scandal was due to “greediness and mania for money” of Congress rulers.

    He told reporters that Maytas, promoted by former chairman of Satyam Computers B Ramalinga Raju, had grown into a big company in the real-estate sector due to the patronage of the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy government.

    Greediness and mania for money are responsible for the Satyam fiasco, he said.

    “Maytas was a small company in 2003 when I was the Chief Minister. But now it has grown manifold with the state government handing out multi-crore rupee projects on a platter,” he said.

    He wondered why YSR was “so interested in Maytas”, saying projects worth over Rs 36,000 crore were awarded to the company without following due procedure.

    “Nobody ever asked these types of favours during my tenure,” he noted.

    It was only to divert public attention from the large-scale corruption under the current dispensation that his name was being dragged into the Satyam scandal, he claimed.

    “I promoted not only Ramalinga Raju but also other businessmen from the state. I took them abroad to seek foreign investments into the state. My only objective was to improve the state’s industry,” Naidu asserted.

    He said that Andhra Pradesh’s image has taken a severe beating because of the Satyam episode and wondered if any investor would come forward to invest in the state.

    ……………………………..

    CNN

    Third person arrested in Satyam scandal

    NEW DELHI, India (CNN) January 10, 2009 — The chief financial officer of India’s Satyam Computer Services Ltd. was arrested Saturday, the third person taken into custody in a scandal that began when the company’s chairman admitted inflating profits with “fictitious” assets and non-existent cash.

    Vadlamani Srinivas will appear Sunday before a special court, said A. Sivanarayana, additional director general of police in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, told CNN.

    ……………………………..

    Some Articles on the India that Sathya Sai Baba has long said he will rescue; – at:   Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

    Shivraj Patil Falls From Home Ministry

    Posted on December 2, 2008

    Quote:

    “A major follower of Sathya Sai Baba, Shivraj Patil, has resigned as India’s Home Minister. Grave questions have been asked about the competence of Patil and others who were meant to be guarding India’s security.

    Comment: Whichever Indian government is in power, Sathya Sai Baba has many devotees who are in all ranks to the highest pinnacle of power. The same is true for the armed services, the judiciary, business and finance, industry, the arts and sciences, and so forth”

    Two Indias. Barry Pittard Reflects On India Days

    Posted on October 12, 2008

    Quote:

    “During the number of years I lived in India, I was able to see across-the-board social uplift work in some of India’s poorest villages. One of my strongest observations was the manner in which, for many years, one outfit refused to accept financial input from abroad. A great emphasis was laid on challenging the consciences” […]

    Human Rights World Report 2008. India In Sore Shape

    Posted on September 2, 2008

    Quote:

    “The Human Rights Watch World Report 2008 is in marked conflict with Sathya Sai Baba’s promises made over many decades. He has said that he would first save India and then the rest of the world – this within his own lifetime.
    His millions of followers hear his blatantly untrue statements but remain silent and blindly” […]

    Posted in News and Politics, Rationalism, Religion, Scandal, Society, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Robert Priddy’s Ten Top Posts on Sathya Sai Baba, Jan 2009

    Posted by Barry Pittard on January 9, 2009

    It is quite instructive to survey Robert Priddy’s current ten Top Posts posts out of his great many articles on his blogsite at: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com

    Below are the titles, accompanied by a quote from these. 

    Extract from Wiki Encyclopedia:

    Robert Priddy (born 1936) is the British author of the book Source of the Dream – My Way to Sathya Sai Baba, a book about the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba. Priddy wrote many articles from 1988 to 1998, in Sanathana Sarathi, the official magazine of the Sathya Sai Organization[1].

    He researched and taught philosophy and sociology at the University of Oslo 1968–1985. While at the University of Oslo, Priddy translated an academic paper by Hjalmar Hegge from the original Norwegian.[2]

    In 2000, after resigning as an official in the Sathya Sai Organisation[3], Priddy wrote End of the Dream: The Sathya Sai Baba Enigma (published in India by Basava Premanand), a work critical of Sathya Sai Baba. He maintains critical websites[4] on Sathya Sai Baba, and occasionally contributes to Indymedia releases.[5]

    Robert Priddy is now retired.

    ……………………………………………

    Sai Baba bomb claim demolishes his credibility

    Posted by robertpriddy on December 7, 2008

    Some days before the horrendous Mumbai terrorist attack, where grenades and bombs were used, Sathya Sai Baba pronounced “India will never have any such attacks” – but India did, and has had many such attacks (see below). This is another stupendous gaffe by the self-proclaimed Omniscient Omnipotent Creator of the Universe!

    In three lengthy on-line TV interviews (at the US portal blip.tv.com) the former Sai Baba follower, Ullrich Zimmermann, gives a thorough description of his experiences with Sathya Sai Baba. This delivers a major blow to any wishful doubts entertained by the faithful that Sathya Sai Baba practices sex on male devotees.

    Posted by robertpriddy on October 19, 2008

    Some new postings:-

    Miracle Man or petty magician? Will the real Sai Baba please standup The meeting between P.C. Sorcar Junior and Sathya Sai Baba has now become the stuff of legend, and Dr. Bhagavantam reportedly denounced Sai Baba as a fake towards the end of his life.

    Sai Baba and the News Media- ‘The Week’ coverage of the murders in Sai Baba’s bedroom, with elucidatory diagrams and many comments
    How Sathya Sai Baba and his officials reacted to the press inquiries into the 1993 murders

    Sex, suicide and the guru – Sathya Sai Baba Three articles by one of The Times feature writers, Dominic Kennedy, which expose the nature of Sathya Sai Baba and related suicides.

    Posted by robertpriddy on October 4, 2007

    TV broadcasts were made and, when the allegedly omnipotent and all-knowing Sai Baba did NOT appear on the moon (due to unpredictable weather). Instead he was trapped for about one hour in his car amid the uncontrollable crowds, which also caused closure of the airport. The Vishvarupa Darshanam ceremony has to be “postponed” because, according to Sathya Sai Trust officials, of “non-cooperation of devotees and the cloudy weather”.

    Sai Baba postpones moon buggy ride

    Posted by robertpriddy on October 4, 2007

    Waning popularity! This was no doubt another in a long, long line of calculated ‘rumours’ for the grinding minds of devotees who can’t find out what’s going on and are dead keen to know anything… But why Sathya Sai Baba went to the airport is truly a mystery in itself, for he knew he could never appear on the moon.

    Posted by robertpriddy on October 20, 2007

    Well, moon visits by Indians is nothing new at all, as all assiduous students of Sai Baba and his intimate knowledge of all events that have ever taken place must surely realise? The Prime Minister and ex-President Kalam must surely have read their Sathya Sai Baba on several former Indian moon visitors like the legendary Hiranyakasipu and others. Sai Baba’s scientific advisor, Dr. G. Venkataraman, has never commented on these matters, and one must wonder why. Does he NOT believe his Lord and master’s assurances, perhaps?

    Posted by robertpriddy on June 6, 2008

    One of the much publicised mahimas (i.e. ‘major miracles’) is one where Sathya Sai Baba supposedly appeared in the sky in the late 1980s to save an airliner over the South Atlantic ocean.

    Posted by robertpriddy on July 4, 2008

    Recently there appeared on some websites what was claimed to be a recently discovered photo of Shirdi Sai Baba.It is clearly a photo of that much revered Indian ’saint’.

    One must not confuse Shirdi Sai Baba with the would-be usurper of his name and fame, Sathya Narayana Raju, who took over the name of Sathya Sai Baba around the age of seventeen (not 14 as is the official version – for his claimed birth date does not agree with the facts. See a thorough examination of this issue by the scholar Brian Steel here.

    Though numerous Shirdi Sai Baba followers have also visited Sathya Sai Baba, the official line of the Shirdi Sai Sanasthan is that Sathya Sai Baba’s claims are bogus and fraudulent.

    Posted by robertpriddy on October 5, 2008

    One present exception to the current harassment of Westerners at Prashanthi Nilayam is Isaac Tigrett.  He is now living in the ashram having fallen on hard times, now being said to have been sitting in a VIP chair on the ladies side of the veranda, hob-nobbing with Indians and avoiding anyone outside his clique. He is apparently now also needing the services of the Puttaparthi Hospital which he donated to Sathya Sai Baba.

    Tigrett’s support for Sai Baba was made clear by him on the BBC documentary, The Secret Swami, where Tigrett states he considers him to be a sexual abuser (see here). Should Sai Baba go out and murder someone, Tigrett opined, it would make no difference to his spiritual journey as a devotee! What kind of man is this?

    Posted by robertpriddy on September 9, 2007

    On this photo from a year or so ago, there is already a decidedly ga-ga look on Sai Baba’s face. Instead of the usual, where he cuts the ribbons, he is ‘assisted’ (he is actually holding onto the hand of his helper!). Likewise, videos also show him unable to cut his birthday cakes any longer.  Rumours that he is non compos mentis have become yet more persistent, having begun with accounts of his apparently senile behaviour already three years ago (including one from a recently-disaffected US resident in India who had been editing some of the Puttaparthi magazine ‘Sai Impressions’). He was heard to be giving instructions about events that were not scheduled and never took place, talking confusedly and sometimes garbling his words.

    Posted in Miracles, New Age, Prophecy, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Skeptics, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Shirdi Sai Baba and Sathya Sai Baba

    Posted by Barry Pittard on January 5, 2009

    Drawn by deep alienation from Western materialism, and the attraction of a timeless Indian spirituality, especially in regard to respect for other beings irrespective of race, caste or creed, I lived for a number of years around Sathya Sai Baba.

    I had also a great love for Shirdi Sai Baba (died 1918) which would have flourished whether or not Sathya Sai Baba had claimed that he (the Puttaparthi Sai) was the second link in his self-proclaimed triple divine incarnation, commencing with Shirdi Sai Baba, and culminating with Prema Sai Baba, predicted to appear shortly after Sathya Sai departs in circa CE 2022. See my article:

    Shirdi Sai Saint’s Fame Spirited By Puttaparthi

    This article contains links to a number writings by scholars who have written about the anomalies and confusions:  the late Dr Marianne Warren, Brian Steel and Kevin Shepherd.

    At Sathya Sai Baba’s invitation, I taught (1978-79, as unpaid ‘guru seva’ (‘service to the guru’) at the Sathya Sai College of Arts, Science and Commerce at Whitefield via Bangalore, South India, first in drama and then from the commencement of the 1978 academic year, English in the three-year degree course. Among other duties, like instituting wider cultural activities, I was charged with classes originally scheduled to be led by (the late) Principal Narendra, and this constituted an excellent and demanding experience for a fairly recent post graduate student in, separately, teaching and theatre direction.

    In the college, I had unsually wide contact with boys from many parts of the college, and, therefore, of India. Many former alumni are now attaining positions of power and influence, and I thought I could sense a new India stirring – de-shackled from the tragic experience of empire. Nonetheless, despite Sathya Sai Baba’s profound betrayal, the experience of teaching boys of so many Indian backgrounds remains a treasured memory.

    Indeed, a key notion concerning their supposed destiny was that they are to be Sathya Sai Baba’s great apostles in transforming the entire world, mostly before he dies circa CE 2022. This conditioning becomes ever more fanciful as one witnesses his painful and rapidly ageing steps, his faltering pronouncements and the failure of so many of his predictions.

    See, Sai Baba – A Degenerative Disease? and Sai Baba’s Tip To Keep Ageing Away There are, too, his hitherto unreported strange and apparently senile confusions. See, Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon? And Sai Baba Fails To Grant Great Moon Vision. Endangers Crowds

    Note:  (Former devotee writers on the Puttaparthi Sai Baba, of South India, such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel  and myself, often – although long habit makes it so easy to forget – remember to use his full name so as to avoid unintentional mix-ups in the wider public mind, or in Internet searches, with that other famous figure).

    ………………………………………………..

    Further Reading

    Shirdi Sai Baba’s name hi-jacked by Sathya.

    By Robert Priddy, former head of Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization.

    Excerpt from correspondence between Marianne Warren andRobert Priddy

    23.4  Shirdi Sai Baba and Dr. Marianne Warren’s Rejection of Sathya Sai. By Kevin Shepherd, a British scholar

    SB’s Claim to be the Reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba. By Australian scholar Brian Steel, a former devotee. Steel carefully sifts through documentary evidence that firmly shows the unconvincingness of Sathya Sai Baba’s tall claim.

    Revealing Video Footage 

     


    Posted in New Age, Opinion, Prophecy, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Shirdi Sai Baba, Skeptics, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »