Cultic Labeling of Dissenters As “Disgruntled”. Sathya Sai Baba Case
Posted by Barry Pittard on April 1, 2009
Sathya Sai Baba’s defenders on the internet and elsewhere grossly misrepresent former devotees and other critics. Since 1999 – and in the case of Humanists and Rationalists especially much earlier than this – there have been many who have devoted great amounts of work and personal sacrifice in bringing the many allegations about Sai Baba and his cult to light. See: Sai Baba. IHEU Presentation to United Nations and Indian Rationalists, Humanists Unsafe Opposing Sai Baba
Commonly, Sai Baba’s personnel portray former devotees as but “a small handful of disgruntled” individuals.
This “disgruntled” label is familiarly used by Sathya Sai Baba center leaders when they inform their congregations to pay no heed to the allegations. They, under strict instructions, say that it is “Swami’s wish” that devotees do not read the Internet writings against him.
But, as Sai Baba’s perpetual apologists would have it, those such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, myself and many others who have left Sai Baba are in some kind of unholy conspiracy. A fact, that gives far wider credence to those concerns that we have documented is that many have left Sai Baba via quite other routes. There are accounts – far from mere hearsay – down many years of this sort, including from groups to which survivors of Sai Baba and his cult have gone gone upon their exit from his movement.
There are several results inimical to it that the Sathya Sai Organization around the world has not been able to suppress. Among these is the fact that many who have left it have joined other organizations in the same city or town.
Another phenomenon that the Sai sect has not been able to counter is this: family members, relations, friends, workmates, professional colleagues and so on have made their own enquires. For the two above points, See:
The BBC itself found other strong evidence of Sai Baba’s serial molestation of young males. The assistant producer of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’, David Saville, told me that these sources were via completely separate sources to those provided by our own international network. The cases included Indian families who had documented for the BBC serious allegations regarding their own young members of Sai Baba’s sexual molestation of young males.
Those such as the Sai Baba’s deputy world chairman, Dr G. Venkataraman, who have tried to malign the BBC and the Times of London and so on are either terribly naive as to how much careful professional research goes into the making of a piece of investigative journalism – or else very serious dissemblers.
In next days, I shall blog about some of the extraordinarily dishonest tactics that have been used against those who have spoken out about Sathya Sai Baba and his sect. Top lawyers in three countries have assured us that these defamations are highly libelous and actionable at law. Not all former devotees are in favour of pursuit via legal avenues, seeing it as e.g., unspiritual. Others see practical obstacles, not the least of which is that the Internet is a formidable “Wild West”, with which democratic legal systems have yet to cope with – if they ever can.
For Video Viewing
(21 MB, Modem)
For Quick But Also Highly Revealing Viewing
View BBC Video Clips of Dr Michael Goldstein, world chairman of the Sathya Sai Baba Organization
Dr Goldstein of Covina, southern California, USA, is chairman of the international Sathya Sai Organization. This footage was caught by hidden camera, an uncommon resort that required BBC management and legal sanction at the highest corporate levels (See: BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?)
Michael Goldstein and the sexual allegations (2,10 Mbs)
(Former longtime head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway. Retired academic of University of Oslo)
(Former Lecturer, Sri Sathya Sai College, Whitefield. Devotee for 25 years)