Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Archive for November, 2009

Sathya Sai Baba Birthday, 2009. Where have all the “millions” Gone?

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 28, 2009

 

The Express News Service, India, has noted an extreme fewness of numbers attending the 84th birthday occasion at Puttaparthi. It reports:

“There were less number of foreign devotees this year for the birthday celebrations may be due to economic recession and the recent floods … The district SP made elaborate police bandobast in Puttaparthi. In fact, the police have outnumbered the devotees”.
However, it is difficult to imagine that the economic recession factor, much less the floods, would have turned sizeable portions of the usual very large numbers away, who have long poured to Puttaparthi, no matter the obstacles. (Sai Baba’s and his officials’ figures about crowd numbers are vastly exaggerated. See below).
 
What is more – as always hitherto – representatives of the major world faiths, sai-babas-symbol-of-world-faiths.jpgwhom Sai Baba has long said he is bringing together in amity, are, yet again conspicuously missing from those visiting the ashram in 2009. Here is the so-called “All Faiths” obelisk, the “Sarva Dharma Stupa”. Mostly vacuous in terms of Puttaparthi’s reality, it has long stood at his main ashram, a waste of money in a wasteland of shame. 
sarva-dharma-stupa-and-poorna-chandra-hall-puttaparthi
 
 
Former co-founder and head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization and retired academic Robert Priddy has written of the highly exaggerated crowd numbers attending Puttaparthi occasions, such as Sathya Sai Baba’s birthday celebrations. Of his and my dear friend, the late celebrated Indian newspaper Editor, V.K. Narasimhan and some others, Priddy, former co-founder and leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization, writes:
“The estimated numbers of persons during each of these celebrations was doubtless much in excess of the actual numbers. Figures of from 1 to 3 million have been suggested for the various birthdays! Sathya Sai Baba stated to several persons (Robert and Rita Bruce, V.K. Narasimhan and others) that 3 million were present, which was a total impossibility. VKN told me several times that Sathya Sai Baba regularly multiplied numbers of actual visitors by 10!
CLICK TO ENLARGE
 
See the photos of almost unimaginable pomp, ceremony and opulence in article on some other occasions -:
 
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First Published : 24 Nov 2009 03:48:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 24 Nov 2009 11:08:59 AM IST
             Baba’s birthday a low-key affair
PUTTAPARTHI: The 84th birthday celebrations of Sri Satya Saibaba were held at Sai Kulwant Hall in Prashanti Nilayam in Puttaparthi. Saibaba has formally cut the cake to mark his birthday in the presence of several dignitaries and thousands of devotees who thronged to witness the celebrations.

The Ageless 'Avatar'

The omniscient, ageless Avatar anounced at his 60th birthday that henceforward he would show no physical signs of ageing. See articles:
Click to find the video link that shows shows Sathya Sai Baba in 2007 just as unable to cut his own birthday cake as in the 2009 report of the Express News Service. 

minister-assists-ailing-sathya-sai-babaSathya Sai Baba. 84th Birthday. Aide helps him to cut cake

Photo left. High-powered Minister of State, Renuka Chowdhuri, has to cut the ribbon in 2007 for badly ailing Satya Sai Baba. Right, Express News Service photo of a needed assistant in 2009 in the cutting of the cake.

 Sai Baba’s Extreme Exaggeration of Crowd Numbers At the Puttaparthi Ashram

This time around, Satya Saibaba did not speak nor give any message.

The entire celebrations were a low-key affair. Malgudi brothers entertained the audience with their bhajans.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan attended the function with his family members.

Tourism Minister J Geeta Reddy, Puttaparthi MLA Palle Raghunatha Reddy, former Supreme Court Justice PN Bhagawati, TTD chairman DK Audikesavulu Naidu. Additional DGP Sivanarayana, former DGP HJ Dora, former cricketer EAS Prasanna, TVS Group head Srinivasan, Mallika Srinivasan, noted Sitar player Pandit Ravishankar, District Collector B Janardhan Reddy, Anantapur Range DIG BL Sujatha Rao, SP MK Singh, actresses Anjali Devi, Krishnakumari, Janaki, Jamuna, playback singer Suseela and a host of other celebrities participated.

There were less number of foreign devotees this year for the birthday celebrations may be due to economic recession and the recent floods. NT Chowdary and Dr Damoder arranged for free food for the devotees.

The district SP made elaborate police bandobast in Puttaparthi.

In fact, the police have outnumbered the devotees.

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Sai Baba recently claimed he always smiles - but nowadays only this!  

Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

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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

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Posted in Opinion, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Ireland Acts On Clergy Sexual Abuse. India Does Not Act On Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 27, 2009

From Ireland comes, at long last, exposure of powerful, endemic cover up!  For convenience, I post below the full text of the UK Guardian newspaper’s report of yesterday.

No nation that fails to protect children can be deemed civilized. That so many around the world have left the Sathya Sai Organization and that former devotees have been prepared to withstand almost unimaginable personal attacks and defamation owe much to the fact of love for, and the desire for protection of, our young.

One prediction can be made confidently – the international Sathya Sai Organization, in failing to take responsibility for its great wrongs, and in its extreme lack of accountability and transparency, will be treated most adversely by history.

Any readers well acquainted with the great deal of documentation at sites such as this one, and: –

Sathya Sai Baba In Word And Action

Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

Recent Research on the Claims of Sathya Sai Baba

www.exbaba.com

Sai Baba exposé

Sathya Sai Baba

Citizen Initiative (Work of an independent scholar) –

may well have a keen sense of  déjà vu as they read the piece on the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland and its vast cover up of sexual abuse, which continues to this day. Inescapably, one thinks of “the Secret Swami” (thus termed by the BBC) Sathya Sai Baba, and his key officials in the international Sathya Sai Organization and successive local, state and central governments in India. All the latter have profoundly covered up in regard to both allegations of Sai Baba’s (and some of his servitors’) longtime, serial sexual abuse of boys and young men. Likewise, the killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom in 1993, vast misappropriation of donations from many countries, scams in regard to apartments at Puttaparthi, and many other criminal acts.

Ireland’s Justice Minister, Dermot Ahern, appears determined to act strongly. The Guardian reports, 

“Ahern said there should be no hiding place for the abusers even if they wore a clerical collar. “The persons who committed these dreadful crimes – no matter when they happened – will continue to be pursued”

Even if they wore a clerical collar”?!

One might have thought – especially if they wore a clerical collar. Tears may well be shed for all the good that the Church does. A common cry of Sathya Sai Baba defenders is: But look at all the good that he does! In no way must the doing of good be allowed to hide the doing of evil. Above all, by those of great power. In actual fact, by the way, it is his organized devotees who do practically all of the good.

What – announce the good, and cover up the bad? Not one of the many world leading investigative media nor agencies such as UNESCO have found other than extraordinary cover up by Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide organization.  To this fact I can attest from the vantage-point of having had a role – along with others, including former prominent former leaders in the Sathya Sai movement, in dealing with them. 

The Guardian states,

“The report, commissioned by the government, strongly criticises the Garda and says senior members of the force regarded priests as being outside their investigative remit. The relationship between some senior gardai and priests and bishops in Dublin was described as “inappropriate”

Like the Irish Catholic Church’s outrage, the story of Puttaparthi and successive Indian government, police and judicial cover up of the actions of Sathya Sai Baba and key servitors is an appalling one. It includes missing persons, documents being falsified, most of the Indian media being muzzled, journalists’ union representation ignored, police investigators and their families being shifted far off, and so on.

But see my article – Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up that refers to an Indian policeman, V.J. Ram, a Presidential Police Award winner, who won’t be shut up:

 

and of the former Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, V.P.B. Nair, who told the BBC that the deaths in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom were “cold-blooded murder:

vpb-nair.jpg

Indian Ex Top Official Dogs Sai Baba On BBC. ‘Cold-blooded Murder’

HERE is the transcript of what V.P.B. Nair told BBC television in ‘The Secret Swami’.

Select Readings

Sai Baba’s very close confidante and Robert Priddy

Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist

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

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

New Zealand Lawyer Exposes Official Cover Up of Killings In Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom

Author admits genital oiling by Sathya Sai Baba

Hasty Cover Up Of Sai Baba ‘No bombs in India’ Blunder

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Robert Priddy’s analyses relating to: –

The Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders

More about the 1993 murders

Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders – Part 1
Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders – Part 2

Sathya Sai Bedroom Murders – Part 3
Sathya Sai Bedroom Murders – Part 4
Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders – Part 5

See also notes recording V.K. Narasimhan conversations in the 1990s at the ashrams here and here

Further, see the unofficial reports by an IAS officer, V.Ramnath.
http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/16/Ramu_Prabhu.html

See also here http://home.chello.no/~reirob/Saibedroom.htm

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guardian.co.uk home

Irish church and police covered up child sex abuse, says report

Devastating report on abuse of children by clergy from 1975 to 2004 accuses church and Garda of colluding to cover up scandal

 By Henry McDonald. Ireland correspondent. Thursday 26 November 2009 17.44 GMT

Ireland’s police force colluded with the Catholic church in covering up clerical child abuse in Dublin on a huge scale, according to a damning report on decades of sex crimes committed by the country’s priests.

The devastating three-volume report on the sexual and physical abuse of children by the clergy in Ireland’s capital from 1975 to 2004 accuses four former archbishops, a host of clergy and senior members of the Garda Síochána of covering up the scandal.

It found that the “maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the church and the preservation of its assets” was more important than justice for the victims of sexual and physical abuse.

Four former Archbishops in Dublin – John Charles McQuaid, who died in 1973, Dermot Ryan, who died in 1984, Kevin McNamara, who died in 1987, and retired Cardinal Desmond Connell – were found to have failed to report their knowledge of child sexual abuse to the Garda from the 1960s to the 1980s. But the report added that all the archbishops of the diocese in the period covered by the inquiry were aware of some complaints.

The report, launched today by the Irish justice minister, Dermot Ahern, also concluded that the vast majority of priests turned a “blind eye” to abuse, although some individuals did bring complaints to their superiors, which were not acted upon.

The report, commissioned by the government, strongly criticises the Garda and says senior members of the force regarded priests as being outside their investigative remit. The relationship between some senior gardai and priests and bishops in Dublin was described as “inappropriate”.

Rather than investigate complaints from children, gardai simply reported the matter to the Dublin Catholic diocese, the report says. The Garda Síochána is accused of connivance with the church in stifling at least one complaint of abuse, and letting the alleged perpetrator flee the country.

Ahern said there should be no hiding place for the abusers even if they wore a clerical collar. “The persons who committed these dreadful crimes – no matter when they happened – will continue to be pursued.

“They must come to know that there is no hiding place. That justice – even where it may have been delayed – will not be denied,” he said.

He told a press conference: “I read the report as justice minister. But on a human level – as a father and as a member of this community – I felt a growing sense of revulsion and anger. Revulsion at the horrible, evil acts committed against children. Anger at how those children were then dealt with and how often abusers were left free to abuse.”

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre welcomed the report, saying it was “another acknowledgment of the abject failure of our society to take care of our children”.

The report states that senior clerical figures covered up the abuse over nearly three decades and that the structures and rules of the church facilitated that cover-up. It also says that state authorities facilitated the cover-up by allowing the church to be beyond the reach of the law.

The Murphy Commission of Inquiry into the abuse of children in Dublin identified 320 people who complained of child sexual abuse between 1975 and 2004. It also states that since May 2004, 130 complaints against priests operating in the Dublin archdiocese have been made.

The report details the cases of 46 priests guilty of abuse, as a representative sample of 102 priests within its remit. But it concludes that there was no direct evidence of an organised paedophile ring among priests in the Dublin archdiocese, although it says there were some worrying connections. One priest admitted abusing more than 100 children. Another said he had committed abuse every two weeks for more than 25 years, it said.

The report highlights the case of a Father Carney and Father McCarthy who it claims in one case both abused the same child. The abuse by Carney often occurred at swimming pools, sometimes when he was accompanied by another priest.

The report states that it was not until 1995 that the archdiocese began to notify the civil authorities of complaints of clerical abuse. The commission concludes that in the light of this and other facts, every bishop’s primary loyalty was to the church itself.

A move by the archdiocese to take out insurance against potential compensation claims arising from clerical abuse was, according to the report, an act proving knowledge of child sexual abuse as a potential major cost.

The report, running to hundreds of pages, details particular priests and the abuse perpetrated by them.

The Garda Síochána’s current commissioner, Fachtna Murphy, said the report made for “difficult and disturbing reading, detailing as it does many instances of sexual abuse and failure on the part of both church and state authorities to protect victims.”

Murphy apologised to victims who did not receive the response and protection they were entitled to.

Pope Benedict was challenged today to go to Ireland and apologise for his clergy’s behaviour.

A victims’ rights campaigner called on the pope to visit and say sorry for “the betrayal of children” by those who were meant to show them love. John Kelly, of Irish Survivors of Child Abuse, said only a papal visit would exonerate the worldwide church of culpability in the abuse scandals.

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Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

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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 Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Liberhan Commission Report, India: Names Some Long-time Close Associates of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 25, 2009

NOTE:  Close on the heels of my last article – Commonwealth Games: ‘Shining India’s’ Mismanagement By Crisis. Sai Baba Not Sighted – there have been many readers for my 2009 article on India’s Liberhan Commission Report on the Ayodhya Mosque demolition. I shall post to my home page the earlier article:  Liberhan Commission Report, India: Names Some Long-time Close Associates of Sathya Sai Baba

 Millions of foreign eyes are now trained on just a few of the many bizarre failures of India’s power elites. Trustfully, the more the world sees of what the Indian people have to endure at all times the more strength may come to those brave forces within her who struggle against the endemic corruption and inefficiency.

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A media furore has erupted in India. It relates to the “leaked” details of the Judge Liberhan Commission report, a 17-year inquiry into the tumultuous 1992 Ayodhya Mosque demolition. How the issues did not set India physically ablaze may speak more of the ruthlessness of India’s security apparatus than to the temperateness of many of the country’s leaders and their hot-headed followers. However, the extremely long historic memories that are passed down the generations in non-western cultures may one day have to be reckoned with, and in terms of reaping bitter whirlwinds.

A number of the figures very seriously named are long-time close associates of Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors.

The report names the former (BJP) Prime Minister Vajpayee (a strongly declared devotee), his Deputy Prime Minister Lal Krishna Advani (not a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba) and former high-powered government BJP minister Murli Manohar Joshi as instrumental figures in orchestrating the demolition and hiding their roles in this extremely painful episode in modern Indian history. The disgraced former Home Minister, Ashok Singhal, like Vajpayee and Joshi, an old adherent of Sathya Sai Baba, is also named. Media links to this story abound – but here are a couple:

British Broadcasting Corporation NEWS REPORT, Tuesday, 24 November 2009

An official report in India has blamed leading Hindu nationalist politicians for playing a role in the 1992 demolition of a mosque in Ayodhya.

The report clearly implicates more than 60 people – including the most senior members of the main opposition party, the BJP – in the mosque’s destruction.

The mosque was brought down by a Hindu mob and some 2,000 people died in riots across India after its demolition.

BJP politicians have denied any wrongdoing in the incident.

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Babri Masjid Demolition 1992

                                                                      A scene at the time of the riots and the demolition of the Babri Mosque

In a joint public letter (December 2001), the (then) Chief Justice of India, P.N. Bhagwati along with the former Prime Minister of India of the right-wing BJP, A.B. Vajpayee, and another former Chief Justice of India, Ranganath Mishra, and three other prominent leaders wrote a public letter stating that contentions of Sai Baba’s dissenters represent a:

“wild, reckless and concocted allegations made by certain vested interests and people against Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba”.

But of course the chief players concerning us here are Vajpayee,  Advani, and Joshi, the first and the third closely linked with Sathya Sai Baba, as we have often enough referred to – See my:

Letter to Prime Minister of India, Hon. A.B. Vajpayee 

By Barry Pittard, Australia, former Lecturer, Sri Sathya Sai College of the Arts, Science and Commerce, Whitefield, Karnataka

Here is the signatory list: A.B. Vajpayee
(then) Prime Minister of India
P.N. Bhagawati
Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India
Ranganath Mishra
(then) Chair Person, National Human Rights Commissioner of India
Formerly Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India
Najma Heptulla
(then) President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union; UNDP Distinguished Human Development Ambassador
Shivraj V. Patil
(Details as signatory: Member of Parliament, India; Formerly of the Lok Sabha & Union Minister. However Patil is now Home Minister in the Government of Manmohan Singh, who himself has shown strong partiality to Sathya Sai Baba)

See my articleShivraj Patil Falls From Home Ministry and Robert Priddy’s, below.

 Murli Manohar JoshiIn blustering, bullying style towards the interviewer, Tanya Datta, who asked perfectly reasonable questions, seen by millions in many countries around the world viewing BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’, (2004) Joshi aggressively defended Sathya Sai Baba. See:

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 31, 2007ab-vajpayee-and-mm-joshi.jpgIn the BBC’s 2004 television documentary The Secret Swami, confronted by the BBC interviewer Tanya Datta, Murali Manohar Joshi (see photo, right), one of the most powerful ministers in the since-defeated A.B. Vajpayee (pictured to left) right-wing government, soon lost his temper, jabbing away with pointed finger at Ms Datta, manjoshiaccusing the BBC and people in England of plotting against Sai Baba, A.B. Vajpayee and P.N. Bhagawati  (sometimes Bhagwati), a key Sathya Sai Central Trust member and former Chief Justice of India). He arrogantly shouts at her,

“No, no, no… You don’t know the meaning of interviewing a minister in my capacity, as a minister of my stature.”

Allegations against Sathya Sai Baba are worldwide

Ms Datta’s vulnerability in the face of an arch bully was  touching to see, and she showed degree of courage, but tougher interviewers would not have put up with an evasiveness like Joshi’s. She did not need to defend the BBC and herself (although her reaction is understandable). She could, for example, have firmly stated the worldwide nature of the serious evidence from many former devotees around the world, whom the Sathya Sai Organization had not hitherto assailed as disreputable. At least, Murali Manohar Joshi’s arrogant evasion of the BBC’s totally fair question about Indian Government accountability was unmasked for the world to see. Joshi exposed himself. Viewers could only have felt for her, and seen Joshi for what he was. See Joshi’s extremely rude behavior towards Tanya Datta in video footage from the BBC’s The Secret Swami HERE

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The TShivraj Patil, Sai Baba worshipperimes of India story mentions the disgraced Home Minister Ashok Singhal, yet another political figure strongly associated with Sathya Sai Baba. 

Shivraj Patil – Sai Baba worshipper – resigns

Posted by Robert Priddy on 30th November 2008 

India’s Minister of Home Affairs, Shivraj Patil, who lost his seat at the last election, was nevertheless given the government post by Manmohan Singh. These two cronies are co-worshippers of Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi – and Sonia Gandhi protegees, the self-proclaimed God Incarnate, Deity of deities, The Father who Sent Jesus and virtually whatever else almighty or divine. At last, this worshipper and top home affairs protector of Sathya Sai Baba has met his Waterloo and had to resign! A further casualty is the Chief Minister of Maharashtra, Vilasrao Deshmukh (see CNN report).

Further Resources –

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

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A RevisionTrade Follows Flag.

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

The Secret Swami. BBC Docu. Review. Condensed (for busy readers)

Film Clip of V.P.B. Nair making his statement

Basava Premanand Long Challenged Indian Governments To Come Clean On Sathya Sai Baba

Robert Priddy –

Ex Indian P.M. A.B. Vajpayee’s deceits and cover-ups

Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC

The British Press on the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ film

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                                                            

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Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult    

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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 Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba Topic On CNN-IBN – on his 81st birthday

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 24, 2009

CNN-IBN ( CNN-India Broadcast News) is an English language Indian TV news channel lauched in 2005. The network is a partnership between Global Broadcast News (GBN) and Turner International (Turner) in India. Rajdeep Sardesai is the Editor-in-Chief of the network.

One may comment:  What debate?!

CNN report on Sai Baba
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO ON-LINE
if unavailable, click here

Source:  CNN-IBN TV interviews: “Debate – Sai Baba a Godsend?”

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See Topics posted at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation’:  Sathya Sai Baba Birthday 2009

Sathya Sai Baba 84th Birthday Celebrations. Will 21st Century India Tolerate The Shame That Is Puttaparthi?

Golden Throne of India’s Sathya Sai Baba. He says he will Rule the world soon

Sathya Sai Baba Birthday. Brian Steel Examines Birthdate Issue

For earlier birthday events at Puttaparthi:

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

Sai Baba’s Imperial 83rd Birthday Celebrations Photo, Puttaparthi, India

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Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

                           ————————————————————————

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 Morality, News and Politics, Opinion, Protest, Rationalism, Skeptics, Theology, Uncategorized, World Issues | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

Barry Pittard’s Articles On Sathya Sai Baba and His Global Movement (1)

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 24, 2009

For more recent readers in particular, this series points to some of my articles at Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba – https://barrypittard.wordpress.com – on Sathya Sai Baba and his global sect, extending to January 2007. 

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Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon? It is interesting that so many devotees have assumed that the vision apparently promised by Sai Baba via his chief translator and close servitor Professor Anil Kumar to many thousands of devotees gathered at his Puttaparthi ashram would entail seeing the form of Sai Baba on the moon. If they had consulted their timeless sacred classic, Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 11, they might have recalled that the vision granted by Sri Krishna to Lord Arjuna (vishwarupa or vishvarupa darshana) was of a very different character. It was not the form of Sri Krishna -who was right beside him! – but a cosmic vision of enormous range and depth. But what fools who rush all agape in to Sai Baba’s local airport would ever want something both noble and fiercesome as that?

  • Was it not enough for them to have seen it where they had daily darshan (sight) of him within his Puttaparthi ashram?
  • Why all the sensationalism, and indeed threat to life and limb, of thousands of devotees rushing headlong to his nearby private airport?
  • Is an unruly crowd, which police had great difficulty in controlling, likely to be in a fit state to receive a divine and blissful vision?

Certainly, if it was the form of Sathya Sai Baba that was so eagerly sought after by the crowds of devotees, they have entirely missed one of his most insistent teachings: that the form is not what is important – but the essence of the teachings, and that attachment to the form is deleterious to spiritual growth.

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

Robert Priddy has bloggedUndisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC’. This is a summary of a number of major factors that came out of BBC’s television documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004) exposing Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult. The documentary was seen by millions in around 200 countries. He cites a number of the many major British press reviews that highly praised this documentary, such as Andrew Billen, of The Times (of London), who wrote:-

 

One of the richest supporters of the Indian guru Sai Baba – no less than Isaac Tigrett, co-founder of the Hard Rock Cafe – told his interviewer that he was perfectly willing to believe that Baba was simultaneously a) quite likely a paedophile and b) God incarnate

 
Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip) In a video clip, watch Sai Baba’s right hand. It goes beneath the pile of letters (taken from the seated crowds) he holds in his left hand.  Note the swift movement as, with his right hand, he extricates the solidified material from his left. This material has yet to be crushed by the fingers of his right hand.  
Sathya Sai Baba's Sleight HandSathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. VenkataramanDr Venkataraman is tantamount to being Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘minister of propaganda’. Practically all heads of the Sathya Sai Organization are forbidden to comment on critical matters, but G. Venkataraman is an exception. The few spokesmen (and they are almost always men!) say very little, as one would expect of a virtually Soviet-style, cultic organization, with a leader and a deputy chairman who can both wax lyrical about how the former dictator of Uganda Idi Amin wept with tears of devotion over Sai Baba.See, too, Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s jointly authored, four-part article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’

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

The Secret Swami confines itself to four areas:

  • Accusations down many years of Sai Baba’s sexual molestation of young males.
  • His implication in police executions in his private quarters on June 6, 1993.
  • Cover-up by him and the leadership of his worldwide organization, and as well as by successive Indian governments, of major criminal allegations.
  • His faking of miracles.

BBC producer Eamon Hardy and his team’s view is that serious questions are raised about India’s political maturity.

Idi Amin Video Clip. Amin Claimed Direct Line To God

Sathya Sai Baba has reminisced on how Idi Amin wept tears of devotion for him, when he visited Uganda in 1968. Actually, Sai Baba goes a step further than Amin, proclaiming that he is the Divine Incarnation surpassing all Incarnations. His devotee propagandists are now fervently downplaying his actual claims by telling the wider public that Sai Baba simply says that “all are God”.  See also, Sathya Sai Baba’s Deputy Head, Dr G. Venkataraman, Speaks of “Mr Idi Amin”  and  The Last King of Scotland – GOD’S ORDERS and Sai Baba 

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip)

‘Shiva Lingam’ so-called miracle. Filmed by the BBC for its documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ at Maha Shivarathri Festival at Puttaparthi (2004).  The carelessness with which Sathya Sai Baba botched his trick may be explicable by reference to other serious mistakes, in the context of his declining mental and physical health. See: Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon?  See also, Sai Baba No Shiva. Gold From His Gut Is Regurgitator’s Trick

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

His splashy-colored and sometimes vast buildings rise up at enormous cost. Sathya Sai Baba’s exchequer owes to vast donations to his Central Trust via his powerful organisation spanning more than 150 countries, and not least to the donations of the extremely wealthy – like James Sinclair, the Canadian cable and minerals magnate, Isaac Tigrett the American founder of the Hard Rock Café and House of Blues, the Rai family in India in steel and technology, and an astounding number of other hugely wealthy and influential individuals and families from many countries. Rediff News, July 06, 2005, reported:

“The Andhra Pradesh-based Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust is the largest recipient of foreign contributions. The Sathya Sai Trust received Rs 95 crore (Rs 950 million) during 2003-04″.

 
Does Obama Carry Sathya Sai Baba Photo In Wallet?From the end of last year, the saibababaofindia conglomerate and followers elsewhere have hailed this sort of situation. Anita Sharma, an organizer on a host committe, Pittsburgh USA, for Barack Obama in November 2008 managed to hand a photo of Sathya Sai Baba to Obama.

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Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

                           ————————————————————————

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, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba Birthday. Brian Steel Examines Birthdate Issue

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2009

As part of his extensive and challenging opus on Sathya Sai Babaa, the Australian academic Brian Steel has written about questions surrounding Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate.  This is contained in Chapter 5 of his ‘Omniscience and Truth’ (Revised and Enlarged Version). As this Chapter is long, detailed and deals with a variety of topics, I have extracted, to coincide with Sathya Sai Baba’s November 23, 2009 birthday celebrations at Puttaparthi, the relevant section. 

The reader in quest of proper detail and context will, it is hoped, be able to read Chapter 5 as a whole. Steel claims no last word on this dating issue. He has serious doubts about the birth date provided by Sathya Sai Baba or his officials but, as he says, this “evidence is far from conclusive”. He has provided certain circumstantial evidence which is his discovery, and offered it in the case that it may fit with other facts that may become known. Not all other commentators have been so careful

If Sathya Sai Baba has got his own birthdate wrong – and he has shown confusion about quite a number of other details (which devotees commonly pass off as his test of their faith) – then we have yet another example of anything but that omniscience with which he credits himself.

Steel writes:

Conflicting Evidence about SB’s Date of Birth.

1) The doubt arises because of the School Register photostats published in Love is My Form, Vol. 1, in October 2000. There the date is given on two certificates as 4-10-1929. However, as suggested above (Ed., by “above” Steel, of course, refers to forgoing data in this chapter 5), this evidence is far from conclusive, as Indian experts have informed us.

2) However, the following circumstantial evidence has also emerged in a 1999 publication.

In 1993, an elderly lady (Smt. Vijayakumari) completed a book manuscript from notes she claims to have taken since 1945 about her own and her family’s close experiences of SB between that date (when she was a young girl), and 1972. Her two teenage brothers, Krishna Kumar and Amarendra Kumar, were close friends of SB’s for a few years (and are mentioned in books by other devotees).

(Smt. Vijayakumari does not explain why she waited so long before publishing these reminiscences nor does she comment on why the notes end in 1972. She merely states, on p. 6, that SB named the original book, Anyadha Saranam Nasti on 16 November1996 and gave the order (permission?) for its publication, presumably in Telugu, a year later, on 22-10-97. The English translation, Other Than You Refuge is There None, was finally published – apparently privately – in Chennai in 1999.)

Vijayakumari’s book is another example of a close devotee’s detailed account of many happy events and conversations but it also contains some interesting snippets of biographical information for the patient researcher (including first hand evidence about one of SB’s alleged ‘resurrections’ – of the girl’s father, Radha Krishna – and different versions of some of SB’s schoolboy stories). (Incidentally, Professor E. Haraldsson refers to the girl’s diary in his investigation of the Radha Krishna incident.)

Among these snippets are a couple which have a direct bearing on the controversial subject of SB’s date of birth, brought back into the limelight by new documentary evidence offered (and plausibly rejected) by LIMF in October 2000, and flatly rejected recently on one of the Bull. Boards by an anonymous Telugu expert.

Two innocent quotations offered by Vijayakumari seem to provide a degree of independent support for the possibility (broached by the LIMF evidence) that SB’s date of birth was NOT in 1926 but in 1929.

In 1945 the little girl’s cousins were strolling in the affluent Bangalore suburb of Malleswaram when they heard bhajans being sung and entered the house to listen. Sai Baba, who was present there, invited them to go to Puttaparthi (whose name they had never heard).

When they returned to their town of Kuppam (south-east of Bangalore, but in today’s Andhra Pradesh), the cousins told the girl’s mother about their meeting. The latter was keen for them all to go, but the idea was vetoed by the father, who said: “You tell me He is sixteen years old and claims to be a reincarnation of Shirdi Sai. This is all humbug.” (p. 12)

That night the mother had a dream of SB and they were then given permission by the father to visit the ashram for three days. This first visit allegedly took place during Dasara, in October 1945. (p.13) The family soon became very close to SB and visited for long periods.

The father’s words quoted above indicate that in 1945, SB was 16, which would make his year of birth 1929 (as indicated by the register entries in LIMF). What is also interesting about this possibility is that at the time of the Mission Declarations of 1943 (another biographical adjustment of three years recently proved beyond any doubt by the documentary and other evidence in LIMF), he would have been almost 14 years old – as he and his biographers have always claimed!

And there is yet another possible sliver of corroboration. Vijayakumari later quotes from a story session by SB to devotees assembled on the Chitravati sand dunes in 1949 (pp. 216-218):

“Later, for High School studies, I had to go to Uravakonda. … …” (p. 217) “In my thirteenth year, coming to know that I had become a ‘Baba’ and had left home, one of my friends went mad … Another friend jumped into a well and died.” (p. 218)

We now know, from LIMF, that SB went to Uravakonda in early 1943, and left in October 1943 (when he was still a month away from his 14th birthday) to begin his Mission after the second of his Declarations. So, according to the above quoted statement, once more a 1929 date of birth seems indicated.

As for the possible day of birth, in the school Register photostats in LIMF it is given as 4 October (1929). But maybe it WAS 23 November after all, as has been celebrated, at least since 1946 when we find the first reference in LIMF to an official birthday. It was also celebrated on 23 November in 1950, as Vijayakumari notes, with the Inauguration of Prasanthi Nilayam:

“Till that day, prominence had not been given to Swami’s Birthday. But that day we prayed to Swami to permit us to celebrate it.” (Vijayakumari, p. 161) (In the Discourses recorded in Sathya Sai Speaks, the first to be labelled as a Birthday Discourse is the one for 1960.)

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Select writings from Brian Steel’s Extensive Opus

Sathya Sai Baba can be documented by any conscientious reader as having made contradictory statements and egregious historical and scientific blunders. These include his remarks on Jesus Christ and Martin Luther . For Steel’s detailed and sharply contextualized discussion, see: Sai Baba and Christianity. Some Observations (2002). Steel remarks here the alarming “extent of Sai Baba’s inventiveness”. This can be instructively read in concert with his Basic Notes On Sai Baba’s Credibility Problem (2004)

Brian Steel Indexes

Barry Pittard On Brian Steel

Revealing Materials On Sai Baba Of India

Brian Steel’s Surprise Visit To Sathya Sai Baba’s Ashram

William Aitken’s Book Fails to Answer Sai Baba Critics

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Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

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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 Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »

Sathya Sai Baba 84th Birthday Celebrations. Will 21st Century India Tolerate The Shame That Is Puttaparthi?

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2009

Unimaginable splurgings of pomp, ceremony and conspicuous waste attend, year after year, Sathya Sai Baba’s imperial-like birthday celebrations. The global financial meltdown will not have melted down his vast reserves of gold.

Many politicians from right across India’s political spectrum fall at Sathya Sai Baba’s feet. Likewise industrialists, judges, many of the top brass from the armed services and police, and so forth. We know, too, via strong former devotee contacts with those who have roles at high levels, that, though there are those in foreign service who genuinely regret it, diplomats have been told by their political masters “not to rock the boat” on the Sathya Sai Baba issue.

This is actually a great disservice to India, because Sathya Sai Baba is NOT India!

Most certainly not. In marked contrast, a great many Indians do not in substantive ways – even though they acknowledge that his devotees often do good social works – respect Sathya Sai Baba and his extremely undemocratic and unaccountable cult. By way of confirmation, let any traveller to India keep his or her ears open or even politely pose the question to many of her citizens. That simple test is almost enough in itself. Many well-informed Indians do not appreciate that, at a time when vast efforts  are being made on many fronts to bring India into the best of 21st century practice, that, buffoon-like, Sathya Sai Baba flourishes unbounded aspirations to create a Ram-Rajarate, as it were, in their country – far more opulent the ‘Glory that was Rome’ or the ‘Splendour that was Greece’.Golden Glitter For Sai Baba's 83rd Birthday Mind you, it is more than India he has said that he will rule – it is the whole world. In regard to India, see, for example, the south Indian scholar-Sai Baba devotee Ra. Ganapati  in his semi-official biography, “Baba: Sathya Sai” (Vol II – page 85):

“His college students had the privilege to see another unique creation in the Ootacamund Summer Course in June 1976. Svami, who declared that He would live to see ninety six years in this body, mentioned that eighteen important institutions would be established by Him all over India in the remaining forty six years, and circled His hand.
Immediately there appeared in His hand a big medal with the map of India engraved. There were inscribed therein the eighteen institutions that are to appear in the next near-half-century. Not only that, the medal also carried the important ‘achievements-to-be’ of Svami in the future, in microscopic Devanagiri characters in the Samskrit language.”

Many have heard and read where he says that the whole world will be under his rulership, and that he will return in the name of Prema Sai Baba to finalize this work. In a 1961 Discourse, he said: “I shall be in this body for 58 years more; I have assured you of this already.” (Sathya Sai Speaks, II, 18:92.) A year previously, he said: “I will be in this mortal human form for 59 years more and I shall certainly achieve the purpose of this avathaar, do not doubt it. I will take My own time and carry out My Plan as far as you are concerned.” (I, 31:198; Prashanthi Nilayam 29-9-1960 – second discourse) Both these statements indicate a death date 2019 (although he would not use the ‘word’ death) of 2019. Other statements in official publications confuse the issue by stating 2022. 

He had best get a wriggle on, for he is now terribly ailing. See:   Sai Baba – A Degenerative Disease? and Sai Baba’s Tip To Keep Ageing Away and Sathya Sai Baba Is Fast-ailing and Sathya Sai Baba’s Slurred Speech Due To Old Age. ‘Eenadu’ News Report

The would-be King of Kings, Lord of Lords

Mace of gold. Mace of a Master? Or Club for use on the heads of those who question him?

He says he will rule the world

He says he will rule the world before leaving it, circa AD 2022

A modest dwellingplace of the would-be Most High

Puttaparthi Prashanthi Nilayam. Modest dwellingplace of the Most High – or aspiring Disneyland?

Sai gold statue

Mahatma Gandhi    

Mahatma Gandhi in 1931 during a visit to London. What a very different person to Sathya Sai Baba …. Below, too, are some other qualitatively different persons …

sai-babas-costly-glory.jpg

Sai Baba click here for Sai residence today  Sai Kodaihouse  Sai Trayee

   Sai Dharmak.      

 Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement as demonstrated by Sathya Sai Baba’s international chairman Dr Michael Goldstein of Corvina, California, USA. He was caught by BBC hidden camera in ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004), using appallingly bad arguments, and getting angry at the most politely-ask questions of Tanya Datta and her colleague. So serious was the compelling mass of evidence from around the world of Sai Baba’s commission of many instances of serious forms of abuse (including that of boys and young men), and the extreme lack of transparency and accountability of the Sathya Sai Organization, that the BBC producers gained a very sparingly-used sanction from the highest echelons of BBC Management. See: 

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Would my reader wish to be ruled by Satya Sai Baba’s henchmen, much less by Sai Baba himself?

Or, indeed, anger might be put to better purpose! :-

(Photograph)

Sai Baba on his Golden Chariot

 

sathya-sai-baba-says-i-do-not-like-pomp

 

Sathya Sai Baba "dislikes pomp" Sathya Sai Baba says he dislikes pomp. “I am prepared” he said, “even to give up Prashanthi Nilayam to meet the needs of my people.” (Sanathana Sarathi October 1998, page 265)

 Indian God’s Birthday. Says Will Rule World. Photo

Pomp at Puttaparthi is scarcely equalled anywhere

Puttaparthi Pomp. The Emperor That Never Was

 SPITZ SPACE THEATRE      BANGALORE SAI HOSPITAL   WHITEFIELD SAI COLLEGE

Sai Baba’s Imperial 83rd Birthday Celebrations Photo, Puttaparthi, India

Indian PM, Manmohan Dresses Up For Sathya Sai Baba

Indian PM, Manmohan Dresses Up For Sathya Sai Baba

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

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

MADRAS SAIBUILDING PUTTAPARTHI SPIRITUAL MUSEUM PRASHANTHI MANDIR INSIDE SAI HOSPITAL BRINDAVAN MANTAP CHAITANYA JYOTI MUSEUM

Sathya Sai Baba upcoming birthday

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Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC

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

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

For Online Viewing and/or Dowloading

The Secret Swami (BBC Television) Broadband 154 MB

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):   (80 MB, Broadband)

SaiBaba on thrones    sathya sai throne   Sai on thrones             

saibabathrone    Baba on 3 thrones   

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Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

                           ————————————————————————

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 Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Golden Throne of India’s Sathya Sai Baba. He says he will Rule the world soon

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2009

But soon never comes …

On November 23, 2009, he celebrates with enormous pomp and extravagance his 84th birthday. Sathya Sai Baba is haggard, weak and ailing, although on his 60th birthday he proclaimed that he would thenceforth not age.  He long ago said that he will travel to other countries, actually naming some of them, and that he would perform these visits after first putting his “own backyard” (India) in order. In many respects, India is still in a parlous state.

How can India win the respect of the world when its successive governments actively cover up Sathya Sai Baba’s long history of dark deeds?

Would my reader wish to be ruled from a seat of power such as what you see below?

Sathya Sai Baba said at Brindavan, 14 December 1963:

 Let Me tell you this now itself: I do not like this pomp and show. I do not derive any joy out of it. Pomp, such as this, has become a fashion now, even among ascetics and monks who ought to know better. They profess poverty and simplicity and yet, they allow or encourage their disciples to waste much energy and money on pomp and pageantry which serve only to develop the egotism of themselves and their followers. The emphasis on show makes a thing hollow of all meaning.” (Sathya Sai Speaks Vol 3., p 228)

God Sai Baba at 83, Shines On The World

Video Resources

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)

Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip)

BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle « Call For Media and Government Investigation

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Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

                                                                    —————————————————

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 Opinion, Religion, Society, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult (Part 1.)- Ex Leaders and Rank-and-File

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2009

In 1999, came the publication (August-September) of three articles in a piece entitled: Sathya Sai Baba Exposed. These had been taken up from other sources by the editor, Duncan Roads, who, quite separately and via his own sources in Australia, had suffered his own disillisionment in Sai Baba. A person close to me, who knew well that I had deafened my ears to anything inimical to Sathya Sai Baba, strongly urged me to read these articles, one of which was by the (then) head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, Terry Gallagher, an agricultural scientist and businessman of Kyama, in the state of New South Wales on Australia’s eastern seaboard. 

Sathya Sai Organization, Australia, Ex-Head Terry Gallagher’s Testimony Against Sathya Sai Baba

Terry Gallagher.  A Voice of Conscience Raised In The Wilderness

 Terry Gallagher had come to realise – between 1986 and 1993 (the latter being the year of the grisly police executions in Sai Baba’s bedroom) that grave matters had been profoundly covered up, not only by the ashram officials but by local, state and central governments. Those who eventually leave commonly do not leave suddenly. There is a fighting against the blinkers. There is refuge in thought of all the positives that have occured. 

In much detail, by telephone, Terry Gallagher told me that, against extraordinary unwillingness of devotees in the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, to look at the allegations,  he had done what he could to investigate. This led to his surfacing, after his private discussions with those whom he regarded as dependable witnesses, including a number of Sathya Sai Baba college/university students, terrible facts about Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of young males. He also took his concerns to Sathya Sai Baba, whom he says tried to get from him who his informants were. He told me that he had extensively, in the course of a whole weekend, shown documentation to Valmai Worthington, a Brisbane leader of the Sathya Sai Organization, who has led many groups to from Australia to see Sai Baba. This led to no meaningful action, and she has continued to lead groups, including those with young males in them. In fact, she led the group of which I was a member when it went to India on mid November 1997.  

Other leaders were likewise impervious and went into the utmost psychological denial. Groups, including those with young males in them, continued to go to the ashram. (See the link at the top of the present article for excerpts from the Terry Gallagher testimony and the link to the full document). These explorations – including direct contact with a number of deeply concerned students from Sai Baba’s education establishment – culminated in Terry Gallager’s resignation on the most serious moral principle from his headship of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization. However, he said, his relations with his brother-in-law, Neville Fredericks, now the head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia, had slowly been repaired in both the family and business sense, and he (Gallagher) didn’t want to raise his voice further. NOTE:  For those with limited time, I have excerpted, for the sake of a focus, some points from Terry Gallagher’s testimony, which was first published by David and Faye Bailey (very prominent leaders who also resigned) in The Quarterly, UK.  See also:

David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses

Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba

Later the Gallagher testimony appeared in the September-October 1999 edition of the Australian magazine ‘Nexus’. Before returning to Sathya Sai Baba for a few months in November 1997, I had somehow dared to look at writings on the Internet. I read the Canadian academic rationalist philosopher Professor Dale Beyerstein, of the University of British Columbia. His very incisively-written book: “Sai Baba’s miracles: and overview is HERE.  There was the likewise articulate Italian former devotee Paul Holbach.

Across a range of Sai Baba issues, their writing was disciplined and probing; they raised questions which, by any token, deserved proper answers. These were the sorts of questions which, if not answered frankly and truthfully, could best be answered by properly consitituted processes, such as a police, court of law or government enquiry. Above all, they needed to be answered by the leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization. But they were glacially silent. Except to slander and drive out those who questioned, whom they very well know through years of experience of them to be truthful persons. Sathya Sai Baba and his servitors remain tight-lipped to this day, all these years after – although the allegations, not only of sexual abuse but abuses of various other grave kinds. With incredible mendacity, they tell their congregations – inasmuch as they tell them very much at all – that ‘the allegations’ are made by a small handful of disgruntled individuals. It is a typical ploy used by many groups with serious matters to hide.

Hard questions were being raised. It was not enough, as so many devotees do when there is a process of questioning, to assume, somehow, the unworthiness of those who question.  In that direction the psychological factor of being in-denial is all too likely to kick in. Honest questions merit honest answers. During twenty-five years of deep devotion, I underwent many wonderful experiences, but facing the questions was not one of them. As I began to hear the direct testimony, and, in other cases, from parents and close friends of those who had been affected, the experience was gut-wrenching.

Continued in …… 

On Leaving A Powerful Global Cult. Sathya Sai Baba Example (Part 2)

On Leaving A Powerful Global Cult. Sathya Sai Baba Example (Part 3)

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 Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia

The Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba

Timothy Conway Ph.D – On ‘The Hislop Letters’

Formal statement provided to Exbaba.com by Timothy Conway Ph. D. concerning the Hislop letters

The crucial John Hislop letters, Sathya Sai Baba, & Sathya’s defender Joe Moreno – by Timothy Conway, PhD

An article in which Timothy Conway outlines many key issues

New Zealand Lawyer Exposes Official Cover Up of Killings In Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom

(Late) Ron and Peggy Laing: Deeply Alienated From Sathya Sai Organization

Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up

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

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Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

 ————————————————————————-

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

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Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Protest, Sex, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Sathya Sai Organization, Australia, Ex-Head Terry Gallagher’s Testimony Against Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2009

Below follows my excerpt from a witnessing document from the former head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, Terry Gallagher. The full document is available here: Terry Gallagher’s Testimony

See also: 

(Excerpts)

 “Upon leaving the interview, I was told by Sai Baba that I should sit on the verandah of the mandir in the future, with students from the colleges and other devotees. As it turned out, this gave me the opportunity to meet people and observe events very closely that I otherwise might not have had the opportunity to do …

… We returned to the ashram again in 1985 for one month; and then in 1986 we stayed for seven months, at which time our daughters attended Sai Baba’s school … 

… I will never forget the look of anguish on Sai Baba’s face when he came onto the verandah of the mandir early one morning and dropped two vibhuti pellets in front of me as he attempted to accept a rose from a college student. There was no vibhuti materialisation during darshan that morning! 

I observed how he transferred these vibhuti pellets from one hand to the other, using the letters he collects from devotees to disguise his movements. In the many interviews that followed, I also observed more than thirty instances of rings, “diamonds”, japamalas, vibhuti containers, etc., all being produced by sleight of hand and deception … 

… Sai Baba made no comment on our accusations and was only anxious to know who had told us these details, requesting us to tell him several times! Having had dozens of interviews over the years, this was the most stressful and uncomfortable interview our family had ever experienced. 

Sai Baba was tense and agitated, and his body language told us all that what we had found out him was the truth! We left the interview and returned to Australia. 

The following years were very difficult spiritually; we concentrated on all the positive aspects we had experienced over the past ten years and found this comforting. 

When we attempted to tell others about our experiences and the truth about SaiBaba, no one would believe us, except those who had also had similar experiences- and mostly fear prevents them from telling others”.

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Further Reading

Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From RussiaThe Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba

New Zealand Lawyer Exposes Official Cover Up of Killings In Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom

(Late) Ron and Peggy Laing: Deeply Alienated From Sathya Sai Organization

Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up

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

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Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -: Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult.

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

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There is a Spanish version available: PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

Posted in Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009

Date: 01-01-05.

Glen Meloy, of Palm Desert, California, a global coordinator in the effort to expose Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult, died of cancer on January 1, 2005. He was born May 3, 1930 DesMoines, Iowa. Since early 2000, Glen Meloy was a major leader of a coalition of former Sai Baba devotees and others, known as The Exposé, which calls for formal investigation of alleged crimes by this guru and the cover-up perpetrated by his organization.

The enormously powerful and influential Sathya Sai Baba lives in south India, and proclaims that he is God incarnate come to save the entire world by 2022. He has millions of devotees and an organization spanning more than 150 countries. For many years, there have been allegations that he serially exploits boys and young men for sexual purposes – from his schools, colleges and university, as well as boys and young men visiting from overseas – using bribery and threats as coercion. Investigators allege other wrongdoings such as faking miracles, promising but not delivering miraculous cures, claiming to be omniscient and making prophecies subsequently falsified, and the implication of Sai Baba and some of his leaders in police killings in his private quarters in June 1993, etc.

Glen Meloy’s greatest concern was always for the young and defenceless. He neither despaired nor retreated when he discovered the enormity of what he was up against, not least the powerful evidence that Sathya Sai Baba and senior officials of his organization have perpetrated massive cover-ups, which also implicates successive Indian governments, state and national.

Glen Meloy was a dedicated devotee and active social service volunteer within the Sathya Sai Organization for 26 years. He served in the United States Air Force, was Advertising Director for a large firm in Iowa, and a former co-owner and President of The Grand Chandelle, Inc, as well as other corporate roles where he created the projects and directed all operations. He helped found Los Angeles Magazine, which is still prominent in Los Angeles. Embezzled by a business partner, he lost a fortune and retired poor but unbowed, but kept up his extremely hard work at social service projects in devotion to his then guru. Some of the causes he championed were world health care, especially alternatives, children’s and women’s rights, vegetarianism, freedom from alcohol and tobacco … He once studied an English dictionary, word for word, A-Z.

Deeply saddened by rapidly shrinking democracy in the United States, he loved the sea front in Victoria in Canada and deeply wished to live there. From there his ashes were scattered on the ocean – in a celebration of a man loved and honored by many around the world and in his own community. Children of many Sai devotees called him ‘Uncle Glen,’ as did a boy whose mother came to him around October 1999 with shocking allegations of sexual molestation of her son by Sai Baba. After exhaustive investigation of many other reports, both current and long-standing, Glen and others, including formerly high profile leaders, attempted to get the US Sathya Sai Organization to show duty of care and properly investigate the allegations. It failed to do so, as has been the case worldwide.

Media – including the BBC, The Times of London, The Daily Telegraph, India Today, The Age, The West Australian, Vancouver Sun, The Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star and many others – have found Sai Baba’s organization impervious to investigation. This fact was brilliantly captured by the BBC’s hidden cameras in its 2004 documentary “The Secret Swami,” seen in many countries worldwide, when Dr Michael Goldstein, world head of Sai Baba’s organisation, becoming increasingly angry, demands of the interviewer, “Transparency in what sense?” and “What do you mean by thorough investigation”? Proclaiming that he would be able to tell if Sai Baba’s students had been sexually abused, Goldstein shouts “I would know it in my heart because I am what I am – a consummate professional. Can you understand that?” I got on the phone to Glen, whose comment was, “So Goldstein’s a consummate clairvoyant too, is he?”

Glen Meloy’s exposure activities were self-sacrificing and unrelenting. He preferred social action on the ground and mostly used the Internet as a research tool. Above all, he aimed to stop the flow of vulnerable young males to Sathya Sai Baba’s ashrams. He envisaged the place where Sai Baba lives as overtaken by sunflowers and rainbows, and his pictures in his home radiated with these natural images. He regularly inspired former devotees to inform political, religious, and educational institutions of the Sathya Sai Organization’s true agenda when it attempted to inveigle itself into the social mainstream. With the aid of enormous and careful research, he exposed that organization’s failure to tell the public of its true intent and especially its failure to reveal or investigate the negative allegations coming from many good and decent former devotee families worldwide.

A very qualified sexual abuse therapist and former Sathya Sai Organisation leader speaks for many in saying:

“Glen spent many hours counseling and supporting former devotees when they found out the truth and were reeling with the shock of it all.”

Despite taking on a vast cult, Glen Meloy remained a very kind, sweet person. He had a keen mind, maturity, tough self-discipline, and a clear vision of his mission that won the respect of police, lawyers, sexual abuse counsellors, Foreign Service professionals, anti-cult workers, etc, with whom he dealt on the issue of Sai Baba and his organization. When other former devotees were about to settle for a less strongly-worded UNESCO media advisory, he seized the moral high-ground, and it was his determination and powerful advocacy alone that encouraged top UNESCO officials in Paris to issue their strongly-worded media advisory of September 15, 2000. See my detailed article:

Does UNESCO Really Protect the Young?  The Case of the Missing Media Advisory.

The advisory cancelled UNESCO’s participation, along with a leading Australian university partner, Flinders University, in an education conference at Sai Baba’s ashram, stating that it was “deeply concerned about widely-reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been levelled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba.” It also cited “several other concerns” that reflected badly on Sai Baba’s organizers. Glen’s coordination of extensive efforts with the FBI and State Department resulted in the latter’s public acknowledgement to the BBC in May 2004 that Sai Baba was the subject of their concerned investigations and US travel advisory.

Just before Glen died, he was researching laws that offer hope to abuse survivors, even if the offences have been committed outside their own country. His legacy is ongoing and his example inspires others to bring his work towards the goal.It was Glen’s profound sense of moral outrage at the sexual abuse of children that most fuelled his fight. The lies, contradictions and evasions his and his colleagues’ investigations unearthed acted as a fuel booster. More than once, with a passionate love, he spoke of “standing up for truth and goodness.” However much he disdained his adversaries’ deceptions and betrayals of these qualities, he did not hate his antagonists, nor did he respond to even the most vicious slurs cast by certain highly active Sai Baba supporters, whom he never regarded as typical of most Sai Baba devotees. India’s famous “guru buster” B. Premanand wrote to me:

“Glen’s death was a great shock. I wanted him to live till Sai Baba was arrested … I am missing a great loving friend whom I came to know from the BBC film production.”

(Sri Premanand refers here to the BBC television documentary “The Secret Swami,” screened in June 2004 in England and in other countries since). Glen Meloy lavished on this documentary seven months’ intense effort as an unpaid researcher and coordinated much testimony as well as assisting the BBC in its research and filming of interviews in the USA. He believed that the BBC, in focusing so much on just one family (no doubt for reasons of dramatization), obscured the sheer serial and worldwide nature of the sexual abuse that is being alleged. An hour of screen-time out of the 80 plus hours of footage that the BBC took (a figure given to me by the co-producer David Saville) is but a tiny slice of life suffered by countless survivors of Sathya Sai Baba’s depredations.

Mick Brown, author and journalist (Daily Telegraph, UK), who flew to the USA to investigate allegations against the guru, wrote:

“I spoke to Glen often at the time I was writing the piece on Sai Baba. He was not only extremely kind and helpful, but struck me as a man of great courage, honour and integrity, who was galvanized by injustice and determined to rectify it.”

Many tributes have applied the words “warrior,” “compassion,” “goodness,” “honesty,” “sacrifice” and “truthfulness.” Glen was relentless in his quest for justice, and almost none of his colleagues knew that he campaigned despite a difficult and sometimes painful illness. Glen was most self-effacing, but I believe he would have allowed for himself an honest obituary written by a close friend. He leaves behind many deeply indebted former devotees and others around the world. He leaves a son Glen Junior, and former wife and still friend of 26 years, Carolyn Wunderlich.

Barry Pittard, Australia

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Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -: Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult.

————————————————————————-

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 Morality, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , | 17 Comments »

Basava Premanand Long Challenged Indian Governments To Come Clean On Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009

Among many attempts to awaken India to the great danger posed by chronic addiction to swamis, gurus and the like, India’s foremost rationalist the late B.Premanand tried to arouse government, media, legal  and public accountability. The odds he faced were utterly formidable. See my in memoriam tribute to Premanand, with whom I kept in touch over the years:

Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach

One might have thought that key Indian religious organizations, were they to have had guts, decency and nothing to hide, would, in effect, have said something like this:  Yes, we agree that horrible oppressions in the name of religion exist. We disagree with you Premanand in regard to deism and disbelief.  However, we are at one with you in wishing to stop exploitation, and we too will speak out very clearly, and do our best to ensure that you are not a voice crying in the wilderness.

And why not? – for indeed, in India, among the well-informed, there is a very long precedent where respect is held for reasoned belief and non-belief. India has evinced strong traditions of a ‘live and let live’ standard. But the case is vexed – as witness casteism and communalism. Nonetheless, non-deistic systems have long survived in India and recognized in a broad ‘hinduism’ – Charvaka, Jainism and Buddhism and the philosophical system known as Mimamsa. One might have wished there were enough forces for fertile and practical cooperation on at least common grounds between the deistic and non-deistic forces in India. But, at this pragmatic level, wherever one travelled, there was a sense that the forces of corruption, reinforced by nepotism, were in far too powerful control for any form of genuine democracy to flourish. It is difficult to imagine any greater reinforcement for the old attitudes of fatalism.

Nor has Sathya Sai Baba kept his promise to “clean (his) own back yard (India), before going to other countries, as I, among others, have chronicled:

Sathya Sai Baba Continues To Ail


When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises


‘World Avatar’ Sathya Sai Baba’s Troubled Trail

With regard to the unwillingness of Hindu temple organizations to come forth regarding Sathya Sai Baba, see my article:

Sathya Sai Baba: ‘Considerable Concern’ In Wider Hindu Community

I here quoted from an email from a very notable Hindu leader (with an important government remit) with whom, at various times, I have privately corresponded.  Beneath the Premanand quote below, I quote the Hindu leader’s note.

It is well-known that Mahatma Gandhi would in no uncertain terms berate those of his fellow Indians who showed signs of cowardice and its stinky bedmate hypocrisy. One of my well-wishers along my pilgrim way, an Indian swami close to the late Sri Anandamayi Ma, told me that he had witnessed Gandhi delivering himself of a tremendous rebuke when those around him failed to live up to the high standards to which they gave lip service.

As anyone can see, across the years of issues of, for example, his newsletter ‘The Indian Skeptic‘, it was one Premanand’s methods to press governments for accountability. He would carefully register his letters so that a signature was required by any official addressed. His frequent experience was the officials’ very serious obscurantism and inaction, and their replies unwittingly revealed these abysmal qualities to any half alert reader of Premanand’s various publications.

Of course, one of the difficulties was that they regarded him as a ‘nastika’ (an unbeliever). But the problem lay deeper than this. It was that the corruption and its cover up were so endemic, and many terribly courageous Indians have fought against it. In our networked group, there have been, too,  cries of upset that anyone of us should deal with Premanand. Glen Meloy and I, and subsequently Robert Priddy too, had a mutually respectful interface with Premanand, which included matters of internationally coordinating credible witnesses for the BBC in the making of ”The Secret Swami’.  See:

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Of Glen, Premanand wrote to me:

“Glen’s death was a great shock. I wanted him to live till Sai Baba was arrested … I am missing a great loving friend whom I came to know from the BBC film production.”

Fortunately, given the breadth of educated viewpoints among networked former devotees of Sathya Sai Baba, this antipathy towards any contact with Premanand, though strenuously put, was in a minority. As I see it, two of the real questions are:

  • does one believe in speaking forthrightly when facts are being profoundly covered up – facts  that no ethical system of any major faith or rationalist or humanist standpoint would in the least espouse? And
  • does one believe that labelling others is often a great harm, and one of the greatest obstacles to mutual respect of persons as persons?

Undemocratic Non-Response: A Typical Case of Indian Government Cover Up of Sathya Sai Baba and His Cult

See, the article:

Basava Premanana challenges Ex-PM Vajpayee to come clean

Text below taken from the Indian Skeptic, November 2006:

To, The Director and CPIO,
Prime Minister Office,
South Block New Delhi 110 001 Under the Right to Information Act – 2005.

Dear Sir, 24.8.2006

Ref: Statement of Mr. A.B.Vajpayee the Ex. Prime Minister of India along with the two retired Chief Justices Of India Mr.P.N.Bhagwathi and Mr.Ranganath Mishra, published on internet
http/www.sri sathyasai.org.uk/homepage/default.htm.

At last, thank you for your letter No.RTI/26/2006-PMA, dated 17.8’2006 received by me on 22.8.2006 regarding my letter to The Hon Prime Minister Of India dated 13.3.2006 which was received on 16.3.2006 after a long merry- go-round for five months from one ministry to another.

The question was a very simple one “As the Indian Prime Minister and the two retired Chief Justices of India would not give such statements without proper investigation.

To provide me with the certified copy ot the investigation on the sexual abuse of youth by Sathya Sai Baba.

Though you have confirmed that no papers related to such investigation are available in the Prime Minister Office, you have not been courageous enough to seek explanation from Mr. Vajpayee as the statement mentioned in the reference was made by him when he was the. Prime Minister of India.

You have also not acknowledged the memo dated 9.8.2006 from the Ministry of Home Affairs No. MHA ID No.24013/11/2006 – CSR III with the copy of my letter dated 17.7,2006 asking to get information from Mr.Vajpayee whether the statement signed by him and the two .retired Chief Justices Of India was after ascertaining the true facts.

I would be thankful to you if you will kindly write to Mr.Vajpayee and provide me with the information sought for.

I have the greatest regard for one present Prime Minister who has after Mrs. lndira Gandhi added the duties of Indian Citizens in the constitution which even her father dared not, now Mr. Manmohan Singh by promulgation the Rights of information Act 2005 making his Government a transparent one. This needs a lot of courage as the majority of the politicians and bureaucrats would hate this law.

Though not necessary, I am enclosing herewith a Postal Order No.43 E 787592 for Rs. 107- made in your name and I hope to get the information within 30 days of receipt of this letter under section 7 (i) of the RTI Act
Thanking you

Yours Sincerely
(B. Premanand)

The posting by the Indian PM and colleagues was posted here earlier – SEE here

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From an email to me from a notable Hindu leader

“There is considerable concern among the Hindu Community, especially among the educated. It is very hard to get any action from the temples as they do not wish to cause difficulties with the Sathya Sai Baba groups. People are starting to distance themselves from Sathya Sai Baba. It’s going to be gradual process of education. The biggest impact it appears was the ‘The Secret Swami’ … it seems it has had a tremendous negative effect on Sathya Sai Baba”.

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Premanand Responds to Infamy

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

Massive sabotage try by Sai. Org person foiled

Gurubusting Sathya Sai Baba

“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

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Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

————————————————————————-

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 Philosophy, Rationalism, Religion, Skeptics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

Reply to a Sathya Sai Devotee’s Note re: David and Faye Bailey

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 15, 2009

Recently, because there was the giving of a name and phone number, I replied to a note from one who would part company with the testimony of David and Faye Bailey, of whom I wrote in the recent article. My practice is to reply (usually more briefly than below) – courteously – to those followers who write with apparent sincerity, and not to reply to those who are rude:

David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses

Across many emails from Sathya Sai devotees, as received by our networked group, one sees a regular tendency for the writers to objectify and depersonalize those who are in dissent. The author of the following note is no exception. They fail to acknowledge that those they speak so poorly of were for long among Sathya Sai Baba’s most trusted servitors, and acquitted large responsibilities in the Sathya Sai Organization at large. The automatic assumption of bad faith, disgruntlement and so on is rife among such writers. The phrases “these people” and “not capable of running a chook raffle” used by the woman who wrote the note below and her belittlement of David and Fay Bailey are typical of so many emails we receive. My discussions with dissenters from other authoritarian cults, and comparative readings, indicate the widespread nature of these demeaning types of responses. There is also marked failure to read properly the various evidence that has been very carefully advanced.

The Note:

“I have heard of David and Faye Bailey many years ago
when they took over from Peggy Mason’s Newsletter.
Peggy was a very spiritual soul and as soon as Faye and David took over they started to change things on the Newsletter and were pushing their opinions above what the Newsletter was about in the first place. We could feel the negativity through the Newsletter and stopped subscribing.YOUR CLAIMS ON BABA ARE LUDICROUS! Because your life didn’t go how your wanted, you decided to discredit Baba, especially when David was to play at the Christmas Party there one year. Baba or a doctor arranged for a car to take David to the seaside for his lung condition. He didn’t get to play piano for Baba and has tried to discredit Baba since because Baba didn’t cure his illness. PURELY EGO! The Baileys are not capable of running a chook raffle.
My late husband and I have worked with Baba on the Higher Realms and I can assure you, he is far more powerful than you could imagine!!  DO NOT LISTEN TO THESE PEOPLE”

The Reply

I did not know Peggy and Ron Laing, although I have known those who knew and loved them. In regard to the UK, my understanding is that Ron, Harry Mansbridge and Lucas Ralli, deemed by many to be decent and intelligent men, ended up with quite a deal of disillusionment. Aimee Levy, who was the head of the Sathya Sai Organization in the UK, left, along with his wife, Sandra, deeply concerned at the nature and sheer extent of the allegations. Their reaction, like that of many of us, took a good while to process.


Sathya Sai Baba gave responsibilties to David and Faye Bailey far graver and more extensive than what you refer to as a  “chook raffle”. What is more, a great deal of testimony comes from many around the world, who were for decades deeply respected and loved within the Sai movement, including important leaders who, having investigated (often in their own centres or regions, as our own Terry Gallagher did when head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization), resigned on a matter of entire principle. Significant numbers have made very probing and careful investigations. I am one of those whom you describe as “those people”. In reality, we have hearts, souls, families, professions and trades. We come from a very wide range of backgrounds. Many Sai devotees have stuck denigrative labels, without carefully looking at issues that relate to proper and democratic requirements of accountability and transparency.

Is not spirituality love in action, especially across divides?

The evidence for the allegations, I am sad to say, is terribly compelling, and keeps on coming after all these decades. The Sathya Sai Organization has long refused to address the concerns of many deeply concerned individuals whom they perfectly well know to have integrity, love and long track records of devotion and service to Sathya Sai Baba. Nor do the facts depend on the word of those whom one may, rightly or wrongly, consider to have acted out of disgruntlement. Many of the testimonies are most harrowing, and some of it has been processed by highly credentialled and experienced abuse professionals.

Whatever the case, may there be –

Love across the great divide,

Barry Pittard

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Further Resources

(Late) Ron and Peggy Laing: Deeply Alienated From Sathya Sai Organization

Peggy Mason and Ron Laing [Mason], Sathya Sai Baba. Embodiment of Love, London, Sawbridge, 1982. [3rd ed., Bath, Gateway Books]. Mrs Mason reports that Sathya Sai Baba told her – see the Chapter ‘The Second Coming has Come’ p. 149-160 – that he is the ‘Cosmic Christ’.
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General
Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Posted in Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

(Late) Ron and Peggy Laing: Deeply Alienated From Sathya Sai Organization

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 14, 2009

Even before the worldwide onslaught of revelations – greatly facilitated by the sudden, dynamic growth of the Internet – of Sathya Baba’s serial and widespread sexual abuse of boys and young men (and other abuses far beyond), well-loved devotees like Ron and Peggy Laing (UK) saw that Sathya Sai Baba’s worldwide organization did not bear fair and reasonable scrutiny. Ron Laing was in the unusual position of being the only non-Indian (at the time) on the Sathya Sai World Council.

It appears that among the Laings’ other grave concerns was the extremely rude and autocratic conduct of the then world head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Indulal Shah. It was the latter who summarily sacked two widely-respected UK organization heads, Lucas Ralli and Aime Levy, simply because they disagreed with him. Summary sacking is much the way in this cult, and spells finis to its claims to being all about light, love and spirituality.

In his article ‘Sociological evidence on the Sathya Sai Organisation’, academic sociologist (University of Oslo) and former head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, Robert Priddy, has written:

“On my visit to the highly-respected Peggy Mason of The Embodiment of Love, and her husband and co-author, Ron Laing in UK in 1987, Ron spent most of two hours telling me in detail of his negative experiences on the World Council and in the Sathya Sai Organization, strongly criticising it and not least Mr. Indulal Shah. After resigning from it, Ron Laing wrote, in the Spring 1988 edition of Peggy Mason’s ‘Sathya Sai Baba – quarterly magazine’, as follows:

‘Organisation has been the bane and pollution of all world religions. How can administrators and bureaucrats not fail to misinterpret and travesty the teachings of the great mystics who have founded the world religions and who have not been able to embody their spiritual insights into limited human language? There is bound to be distortion, misunderstanding and man-made theology. In my opinion, with man’s growing consciousness, this is why the age of churches is dying out, and the age of spiritual truth is emerging.

It is vital to understand that in the Sai Movement the Organisation is quite separate from the Divine Mission. This is why Swami has recently said: “Those who are organisation-minded are those who do not understand the meaning of love. They continue to believe in reports and organisational detail, none of which is important.” Love knows no rules. There is room for freelancers and individuals in the Sai Movement’ “. 

Resources

Peggy Mason and Ron Laing [Mason], Sathya Sai Baba. Embodiment of Love, London, Sawbridge, 1982. [3rd ed., Bath, Gateway Books]

Mrs Mason reports that Sathya Sai Baba told her – see the Chapter ‘The Second Coming has Come’ p. 149-160 – that he is the ‘Cosmic Christ’

General

Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 10, 2009

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 Opinion, South Asia, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

The Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 13, 2009

Many individuals who have led lives of dedicated service, both in the Sathya Sai Organization and well beyond it, have left Sai Baba for the most prinicipled reasons.  In a moment, I shall come to the case of the former leader of the Dutch organization, Leo Boogaard.

The ruthless and unconscienable manner in which Sathya Sai Baba’s foremost servitors have treated members who have dared to question has led to further serious erosion of the Sathya Sai Organization membership. This cruel and authoritarian behaviour of officials has been, in itself, an important factor in the exposure of the cultic nature of the Sathya Sai Baba sect. It is as though their heavy-handedness is a sort of explosive device that blows up in their own faces.

I have written, for example, of the terrible treatment which the former Australian organizational head T.Sri Ramananthan meted out to the then South Australian spiritual coordinator Stephen Carthew:

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

Carthew’s account is available in his:

Letter from Stephen Carthew 

 and the European head Thorbjorn Meyer’s similarly soviet-style treatment of Serguei Badaev, when the latter was president of the Sathya Sai Organization’s Moscow center,  deputy national coodinator, and coordinator of the national Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV)

Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia

Badaev’s account is found in his:

Story of My Disqualification

In like manner, Thorbjorn Meyer sacked yet another widely-loved leader, (the late) Leo Boogaard, who was the chairman of the Dutch Sathya Sai Organization until 1984

Boogaards   

Former cofounder and head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, Robert Priddy has paid tribute to his old friend:

Robert Priddy writes:

“Leo Boogaard  was the Chairman of the Dutch Sathya Sai Organization in 1984, but he was sacked by the Central Coordinator Thorbjorn Meyer because he refused to exclude certain groups of Indian and Sri Lankan devotees from the organization who did not follow Meyer’s strict rules. Meyer replaced him with one of his cronies. Later, when re-election for the post was eventually arranged, Leo was voted in by a large majority against Thorbjørn  Meyer’s opposition by Dutch devotees …

Leo told me on several occasions in the 1990s of the Dutch Organization’s attempts to get a more sensible set of guidelines and teaching methods accepted on Education in Human Values in the Sathya Sai Organization. Meyer wanted to determine everything himself (a man who had no pedagogical qualifications and was a tough manipulator of people), so the self-defeating policy he pursued was retained. Among Meyer’s “achievements” was the signal failure of a projected Sathya Sai College and ‘Educare’ programme under his leadership which was to be at Arresødal Castle in Copenhagen was rejected by a public protest movement! The US financed 6 million dollar project had to be abandoned! Leo Boogaard left the Sathya Sai Organization and later renounced Sathya Sai Baba too”.

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Further Resources

‘BILD’ Story. “Guru Wants Sex” (Sathya Sai Baba)

Given to ‘Bild’, Germany’s highest circulated magazine – the testimony of a German husband and wife, Jens and Gurprit Sethi.  After naively sharing their account while still at the ashram, the Sethis say there were serious threats from the ashram heavies, after which they fled the Puttaparthi ashram. Circa 2000, Jens Sethi, was particularly active in giving direct testimony of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of himself. He made sworn testimony (a copy of which I have). Before leaving India, the Sethi’s went to the German Embassy in New Delhi. The first German official was open and sypathetic, showing knowledge that this was not the first time he had heard of such abuses related to Sathya Sai Baba, but the next step of the Embassy was to close up on the matter, which other individuals have also found to be the case when they gave testimony in their own countries. Jens Sethi also made detail report to the German police. Again, the sympathy – and, finally, no action. Officials in each country say:  but what can we do? We know through impeccable sources (available to the media, bona fide scholars, etc) that the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office officials have been told not to “rock the boat with India” in matters appertaining to Sathya Sai Baba.

Searing true testimony about Sathya Sai Baba abuse (the case of Hans de Kraker, Australia, who was for a number of years in charge of the Western Canteen at Puttaparthi. Article by Robert Priddy)

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion (including Terry Gallagher case –  Gallagher investigated extensively, and, in consequence, resigned as leader of the Sathya Sai Organization, Australia)

Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia

David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses

Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba

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The Sathya Sai Organizations Treatment of the Rahm Family

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America.  Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family (Al Rahm was one of the foremost of top leaders in the SS Org.) and:

Al Rahm’s explanatory letter and:

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America

Further Interconnected Articles

Dr Naresh Bhatia. Silenced Now In Indian Child Abuse Scourge

Some prominent ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba

Smear Campaign against critics of Sathya Sai Baba

Dissent From Guru Cults Draws Slander and Harassment

Evidence of an Internet Activist in Action

On Disinformation and Internet Vandalism

Wikipedia Issues and Sathya Sai Baba (By the Independent British writer on religion and philosophy Kevin R.D. Shepherd)

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General

Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 10, 2009

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 Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , | 9 Comments »