Inner Ignoring of ‘Warning Flags’ Prior To Dissent From A Sect
Posted by Barry Pittard on October 29, 2009
There is an ignoring, while one is still a member of a questionable group, of what apostates, looking back on their process, have called ‘warning flags’. The rationalising and psychological denial factors loom, but not so large as to cause deeper questioning and leave-taking. These are phenomena widely encountered in the reports of dissenters from sects. I have written of this aspect in an article, where I wrote:
“Since leaving Sathya Sai Baba in October 1999, I have counted around 10 major ‘flags’ that I myself ignored. The realization of most of these resistances only occurred over time. Coming out of the spell’s grip is a painful, arduous process”. See:
Posted by Barry Pittard on June 29, 2009
I also noted:
“Nowhere has the Sathya Sai Organization been able to answer the many facts and arguments advanced by writers such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Serguei Badaev (go to Brian Steel’s home page and insert: Serguei Badaev), Timothy Conway Ph.D., Barry Pittard, and those many former Sathya Sai Baba devotees who have attempted to raise the matters with top leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization. I include, too, the writings of the independent British scholar Kevin Shepherd, who has never had affiliation with Sathya Sai Baba, but likewise (along, even more miserably, with his mother) who, typically, has been attacked as soon as he raised serious issues”.
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.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Signed by the following former Sathya Sai Organization leaders and members:
Serguei Badaev, Russia 1995-2001 Ex-President of Sai Org. Moscow Centre and Deputy National Chairman for Russia.
Timothy Conway, USA. Follower for 22 years; President of the Sathya Sai Baba Center of San Francisco from 1982-4.
Dennis J. Hanisch, USA. Follower for 27 years. Founder member and Vice-President, Seattle Center.
David. J. Lyons, USA. Follower from 1981 to 2000. Ex-President of the Center of Greater New Orleans.
Barry Pittard, Australia. 1976-1999. Former English Lecturer, Sathya Sai College, Whitefield.
Robert Priddy, Norway. 1983-2002. Founder member/Ex-Chairman of Oslo Center & Coordinator for Norway 1986-1996.
Reidun Priddy, Norway. 1983-2000. Founder member and Seva Wing Coordinator 1986-1998
Al Rahm, Office-bearing member of the SSO for decades. Regional Devotional Coordinator and founder of first Education in Human Values school in the U.S.
Barbara Shocket, USA Follower: 1980-1990.
Dhyani Jo Sinclair, Canada Member and Sai Centre Secretary, 1995-2000.
This peak body did not acknowledge this letter either, which was sent two years before the above. The closed nature of the Sathya Sai sect was yet again evident, since it ignores many who for decades were honoured and respected leaders and rank-and-file members. This reveals further the Sathya Sai Organization’s extraordinary public lack of accountability and transparency. Many officials of various organs around the world have encountered the closed nature of the Sai sect, for example, UNESCO. The same is true of reputed media sources such as the BBC, Times of London, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, and major media in many countries.