Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Archive for December, 2009

No Friend In Sight Song

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 31, 2009

I haven’t finished my holiday yet ….

To all I wish a Happy New Year.

A character in one of my pieces of writing is spring-stepping along forest floors, thinking that at least the local flora and fauna and the swaying canopy of leaf and of cloud are all heeding his song.  He has not long got out of his raggedy clothing, and has learned to look as normal as he can, back  in polite society. The poor and outcast taught him how to be more simple. They saved his heart from being almost a stone. He saw how they shared what little they had. He saw how little it takes to assist the downtrodden to become confident, and the light of well-being and intelligence to shine in their eyes. What should have filled him with so much sorrow has given him a joy that hardly ever leaves him. He is ridiculous as the world knows it.  

Relating to the song below, you can see below my favourite painter William Turner’s painting “Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth“. The apparently apocryphal story is that to assist in the painting of this picture, Turner actually had himself tied to the mast of a ship in a storm. In this steady state, he was able to ride out the storm. Apocryphal or not, the notion is a great one.

In my song No Friend In Sight my wayfarer sings: 

There are those who live oh ho to tell you

That your days fade dimly to their close

That your sun, it soon goes sinking low

And that you should draw your curtains, and just doze

 

Have you seen how early the no-sayers get started?

You can hear them before you learn to talk

When your young heart gets so hung up and disheartened

Before ever you learn to walk

        So my friend, we had better befriend ourselves

        Even when there is no friend in sight

 

There are those who thrive on making sure

That your night will light no moonbeams

That your star will soon be sinking low

And that you should rise up – no more

 

Have you seen how sweetly they regard you

Shark-eyed, barb-toothed, to make your cringe

With sharp hints of malignance toward you

But will you drink? Will you sink a syringe?!

 

        (Lift) Will we belly-roll for the no-sayers; let them ravage us?

        Will we savage ourselves because of savages?!

        Oh no, friend, we had best befriend ourselves

       Even when there is no friend in sight

 

Have you seen how – when lashed to the masthead

You can ride storms as if you’re made of cork?

Have you seen how you get weak or strong-hearted

When your Captain is your own self-talk?

 

Have you seen how early they get started?

You can hear no-sayers before you learn to talk

When your young heart can get so disheartened

 Before ever you learn to walk

       

        So  friend, we had better befriend ourselves

        Even when there looms no friend in sight

        Dear friend we had best befriend ourselves

        And be friend to the friend so deep inside

        Yes friend, mast, we had best befriend ourselves

        Even when there is no land in sight

 

       Even when there is no friend in sight

       Even when there is no land in sight

Note:  This song is protected under provisions of:

The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) 

 

                    Snow Storm – Steam-Boat off a Harbour’s Mouth  exhibited 1842. Painted by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851)

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Posted in Opinion, Psychology, Rationalism, Religion, South Asia, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

A Garden and A Home

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 28, 2009

I am in a reflective mood. It has been Christmas. Or is it still Christmas? Various dear kin and friends have dispersed until we meet again. My reader may forebear that I pause from other concerns and share a thought or so.

The Christmas-New Year holidays are often said to be a time of family togetherness. In the West where I live, this notion is repeated  – often bravely and grimly – by those whose homes are far from together. One of my greatest experiences was to be with Indian families on pilgrimage. This intensified, and made yet more visible, the extent in that society of family bonding and cooperation, whatever may be the social lesions at large. India and other very old societies have much to show us recent arrivals in these matters. 

Much wisdom is available in all the cultures. It is singularly unwise that any of us should detain ourselves in quarreling about differences. A great question to be raised is whether all of our countries can arrest the madness for materials. And to be wise in the manner of arresting, too. Whether that perennial wisdom can be valued, experienced, harnessed and applied is perhaps the question of all questions.

The lovely family bonding I saw wherever I traveled in India sprang from time-honoured roots that respect each of the different stages of human life – long before modern industrialization put greed rampant. Before memory was made so forgetful. Before the heart (which one of my philosophical friends says cannot be proved to exist) was made a shrinking thing. So that shining machines and elegant systems and contending theories of State could claw and chew to pieces all that is natural and kindly. When I returned to the West after several years in India, the breakdown of the family was even more advanced. To a character in one of my writings, I gave the following song:

A Garden and A Home

I saw just how my Grandpa loved her well

He quipped that he did in case she would give him hell

Long-time I watched to see if his love was craft

But he never forgot her heart, and to make it laugh

 

I asked Grandma – is it true – does young love go?

Her face grew flushful, and she crooned: “Oh no!”

She smiled when I asked how it was that their love had grown

“It’s because we keep a garden and a home”

 

        Because they kept a garden and a home – that’s what she said

        Because they kept a garden and a home

 

I looked all around, saw all of my friends, my foes

And we’d all known how thorns are grown with the rose

But then we’d hide, and the thorns we philosophied

Our homes divided, and our kids denied

 

        How can a rose tree grow in a garden home? I ask

        If even one can grow, won’t someone make it known? At last

 

I live in a house – I suppose it’s some kind of home

I poured cement so roses are unknown – Not grown!

And in cement no lover ever smiled

And in cement no smiling rose grows wild

 

        And I’ll admit that I don’t feel at home in my home

        I will admit that I don’t feel at home at home

 

Though I asked: Grandma, is it true – does young love go?

When her face grew flushful, and she crooned: “Oh no!”

How she smiled when I asked how it was that their love had grown!

She said: “It’s because we keep a garden and a home”

 

        Because we keep a garden and a home

        Because we keep a garden and a home

        Because we keep a garden and a home

        Because we keep a garden and a home

Note:  This song is protected under provisions of:

The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) 

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

Hearts Yearning

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 24, 2009

May we rise above the shadows of the divides and see the same Light and the same yearning in the hearts of all, however differently expressed

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Note: My preference on reading any of the central, archetypal stories in the sacred or other key literatures of the different cultures is to approach them via the heart. Intellect can do a service; however, once the heart and the imagination are out of the equation, there is the risk of entering the realms of what is doctrinaire, dogmatic and theological. When there is any claim to a superiority of one path over another, there is the instant throwing up of fortresses, watchtowers and crocodile-infested moats. Happily, there are many from faiths and those not given to faith who get along very well in workplaces and wider communities. Perhaps what they embody provides a role model that the world might well value.

Rock-a-bye This Babe. A Christmas Lullaby
 

Rock-a-bye this babe, this babe in your heart keep
Whose love is awake though the babe is asleep
Take him, hold him in your heart till he wakes
He’s new born for us care-worn, O see the difference he makes

This Christmas, this babe, so deep in your heart keep
Whose love is a Feast fit to feed a mean street
Sing him, sing him, with a voice sweet and clear
Fling out the darkness, fling out the fear!

This Christmas, this babe, so deep in your heart keep
Whose love is a Feast fit to feed a mean street
Sing him, sing him, with a voice sweet and clear
Fling out the darkness, fling out the fear!

Oh, rock-a-bye this babe, so deep in your heart keep
Whose love is awake and yet this babe is asleep
You take him, you hold him in your heart till he wakes
He’s new born for us care-worn, O see the difference he makes

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Hearts Yearning

 

Hearts yearning, hearts burning

Three wise men searched for one more wise

Who opens hearts, who purifies

Hearts yearing, hearts burning

In sleep no peace, just this tossing-turning

On earth no peace, just relentless burning

 

Where the bright star pointed and alighted

Where the beasts in the chill cold seek some bed

Even in some crowded cattle shed

And in all those parts sprang a sacred fire

In the wise men's hearts sang an angel choir

Alleluia. All-ay-ay lu ia

 
Hearts yearning, feet burning

The donkey rests from the frosted road

The jest of man, though it bears his load

Heart yearning, such yearning!

Its soft eyes glow from the starlit baby

It knows of the load of that gracious lady 

 
So blessed though exhausted

Where the bright star hovered and alighted

Where the beasts in the chill cold seek some bed

In this simple, little cattle shed

And in all these parts sprang a mystic fire

In that donkey's heart sang the angelic choir

Alleluia. Alleluia

 

Troops stamping, troops tramping!

This little family took dread flight

From Herod's men in the depths of night

Troops burning, troops, burning!

Deep red stained - the swords would kill that yearning

On the earth for the end to the ceaseless burning 

  

All blood-red their footsteps

As they went mass-killing all the infant lads

Like beasts in the dead night feast on lambs

So did Rome's puppet, with his bullies and his shams

Wormwood was no cure for Herod and his ire

And his writhing fear there would come a Messiah

 

Starlight led sore footsteps

Where the bright star pointed and alighted

Where the beasts in the chill cold sought some bed

Even in some crowded cattle shed

Where in all earth's parts sprang a sacred fire

Where we would all sing as an angel choir

In all our hearts – an angel choir

In all our hearts – an angel choir

In all our hearts – this angel choir …. etc., …..
Note:  Both songs protected by The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA)

Posted in New Age, Religion, Sikhism, South Asia, Spirituality, Theology, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Cultic Behaviour and Lack of Accountability (Sathya Sai Organization Example)

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 22, 2009

In mid 1982, at Puttaparthi, I spoke to two prominent devotees about concerns being raised sub voce that Sathya Sai Baba had been engaged in sexual activities with young males. One of the reports was that he been involved in such activities since he was young, and that this was quite common knowledge within Puttaparthi and district. 

The two were Richard Bayer, then a high official in the Sathya Sai Organization, organization, and (the late) Howard Murphet, Australian journalist and renowned author of several books on Sai Baba. Murphet was typically gracious but Bayer was shockingly rude, chastising me for daring to breathe such a topic, then turning angrily on his heel and striding away. Bayer’s deplorable behaviour implied that one may not, with any trust, raise issues with Sathya Sai Baba’s handpicked leaders. 

I have since heard from  a series of reliable sources that Richard Bayer has been high-handed with many other followers of Sai Baba in general. Indeed, many Sai devotees realize and quietly lament the highly egotistical nature of some of the leaders Sai Baba appoints, passing it off as “Baba’s Leela,” and a test of the tolerance of the devotees, and the like. It is also said that he has left the Sathya Sai Organization.

Like many other top-level leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization, Richard Bayer has much to answer for in general. For example, we have clear documentation that Bayer was one of the officials present at times when reports alleging sexual molestation of males were presented to Dr Hislop and others. We have written evidence that, as far back as 1980-1, when regional director, Richard Bayer told the mother of one abused male youth that the boy was lying. What was this – no pause to consider that a mother may know her son well?

In the face of serious accusations, responsible organizations have proper processes. As though to waste my breath, I raised this point with T. Sri Ramananthan, for many years head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, yet another individual known for his ruthless, autocratic treatment of devotees. He too would hear none of what is, after all, uncontentious proposition. His draconian treatment of a loved spiritual coordinator in South Australia, Stephen Carthew, I have recently written of:  Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults.

My colleague Robert Priddy, former head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway, and retired academic from the University of Oslo, has recently again been looking at what we have come to refer to as the Hislop letters. These are essential documents for any serious investigator to analyse with the greatest of care. In its investigation, the BBC – which traveled to the USA and India in the research phases that led to ‘The Secret Swami’ – treated these letters very seriously, although there have been scurrilous attempts to try to distort the facts about them:

Sathya Sai Organization’s abuse cover-up & unaccountability

Letter by John Hislop to Sathya Sai Organization leaders

Revealing letters on sexual abuse claims by Dr. John Hislop

The Hislop letters – part one [Timothy Conway on Gerald Moreno]

Timothy Conway, Ph.D

The crucial John Hislop letters, Sathya Sai Baba, & Sathya’s defender Joe Moreno

(c) Copyright 2007, by Timothy Conway, PhD

Barry Pittard

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

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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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India – Timeless and Timed, Eternal and Venal

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 20, 2009

India is, often well-nigh invisibly, ‘bound’ to timelessness. The West, all too often and too visibly, ‘shackled’ to time. Both vistas can be gifts – a sense of timelessness because it helps us to raise our eyes above the deceptive fascinations of the material. A sense of time, because pragmatism is not all bad.

Sathya Sai Baba, now ravaged by time, as we all must soon enough be, and in a decrepitude easily visible from his photos, and in a series of cranky actions that he would never formerly have made the mistake of committing at least publicly, has had more than enough time to keep his promise that he would first “clean up (his) own backyard, India.  See:  Huge Sai Baba Gaffes and: Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon? and: ‘World Avatar’ Sathya Sai Baba’s Troubled Trail

Some Sathya Sai Baba apologists assert that the wide social cross-section, including ‘the elites’, that follows him is yet another proof of his divinity. It is a version of the old, badly flawed argument from numbers, humorously used in the old Broadway song: ‘Fifty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong’:

 In Viva la France
They’re full of romance
You’ll find policemen with embroidery on their pants.
And when they start to sing the Marseillaise
They sing it forty different ways
Fifty million Frenchmen can’t be wrong

Though there are timeless strains within Indian culture which aim to transcend the boundaries of caste and parochialism, it is hard for many of her citizens to be exempt. In very different ways, they face the same bugbear we know too well in the West – in our case, rooted in an expected safety but false comfort, but, nonetheless, in both cases, the absence of critical faculties – especially self-critical faculties.

Images of those Indian historical figures who have urged their fellows to transcend limitations of race, caste and creed sit upon millions of altars. Pictures of them are ubiquitous in India, on the streets and in the homes. The exaltation of certain human beings into demigods is rife, and virtually as much accorded to political and sporting figures (especially cricketers) as it is to religious figures. I have seen a few very frightening examples of Indian crowds, whether in the name of sport, politics or religion, made up of people whom I knew well to be decent and kindly, turn into a stampeding, frenzied mob.

In an 2008 article – International Cricket And The Secret Swami – I referred to but a small few of many dangerous symptoms revealed within the Indian body politic:

… this effigy-burning aspect of India relates to that part of India that is so ridden by anarchy, political manipulation of mobs, poverty, crime, corruption, nepotism, and casteism, and so often pretendedly democratic. It is the India which long ago Sai Baba promised to bring to ways of peace (shanti) and non-violence (ahimsa), before he left for other countries around the world, saying that he would first “clean up (his) own backyard”. Yet as recently February 16, 2007, in a so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai Baba said, “I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.” See, Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit

How well, for example, in December 1997, I remember the scene where the milling crowds at Puttaparthi gave the Indian cricketers the sort of adulation that one might have thought would have been reserved for Sathya Sai Baba. Many women shrieked no less than men. They clawed at the air towards the cricketers’ busses as though they might rend the veil that separates earth and heaven. But we all shortly watched a very good cricket match – how civilized …. (Mind you, Sathya Sai Baba and his officials falsely billed it as an “international” cricket match. It was nothing of the sort. Sunil Gavaskar, India’s former Test captain, supported by Sai Baba’s ‘lite’ version of Dr Joseph Goebbels, Dr G. Venkataraman, falsely stated “So, the Unity Cup was played with players from all over the world including Pakistan”. See my article: Sai Baba Cricket Match International? Claim Was False and Sai Baba Vs Kerry Packer.

As India edges towards superpower status, and becoming ever more widely visible to the world, this formidable weakness, if not seriously addressed at many educational, political and other levels, will lend to a situation stated by Shakespeare’s Lord Hamlet (though he was speaking of his blighted country’s characteristic drunkenness):

This heavy-headed revel, east and west,
Makes us traduced and taxed of other nations

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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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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

Puttaparthi and Misconduct of Sathya Sai Baba’s Officials

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 16, 2009

Note, 18 July 2010: This earlier article reports on a deeply upsetting, indeed, ugly experience in my early days at Whitefield. Now that so many allegations against Sathya Sai Baba have surfaced year after year, the situation depicted here takes on still more sombre resonances.

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A correspondent, who has a noted role within the wider Hindu community, has just written to me:

“I visited Puttaparthi several times when I used to live in India and work at a nearby place called Anantapur, which was about 50 km from where Sai Baba lived. What I used to notice most during my visits was the rude behavior of the volunteers. I wondered why they were so rajassic and gross while the guru was preaching sattvic behavior and the canteen management took pride in serving sattvic food to enhance sattvic qualities”.

(Note: “Sattiwic” = Sanscrit; having a serene, harmonious, balanced mind or attitude. “Rajassic = Associated with animals and activity, emotions, desire, selfishness and passion. See any standard Sanscrit dictionary).

I should point out that, in my years at Puttaparthi and Whitefield, I have seen many volunteers do a splendid job; however, there is a nasty ‘underbelly’ which, to judge from continuing reports, has never been addressed. In some cases, Sai Baba and his authorities are complicit in monumental cover up, as in the case of the police killings in his bedroom in April 1993. See:  Sathya Sai Baba – questions and his silence

The writer’s thoughts prompted my recollections of an incident at the time I was teaching in Sathya Sai Baba’s college. It involved one of the other long-stay devotees, who had come to Sathya Sai Baba in the sixties, an American man named Joseph. In 1979, in the Whitefield ashram crowd awaiting Sai Baba’s public appearance (darshan), Joseph, began to talk out aloud – quite audibly for those who sat near on the sand, as I did. (A large auditorium now stands in that area). He was distressed and expressed moral outrage – he repeated that some college hostel boys had told him that Sai Baba had asked a number of them (in Joseph’s words) to “line up and masturbate.”

On the third or so day of Joseph’s dark rumblings, six hefty Indian male service volunteers (seva dals) came and dragged him out, his arms and legs flailing. The head service volunteer, whom I knew quite well, told me that Joseph had been ordered not to return. One can never forget the struggle that the immensely powerful Joseph put up, shouting out the accusations – no doubt for all to hear. It was clear that the accounts of the students had pained him, and that he was at great odds to somehow get a message out. An hour afterwards, the afore-mentioned volunteer told me that his duty (which he clearly regretted) was “like wrestling a tiger.”

A very distressed Indian man who had witnessed the harrowing proceedings said to me, “If Sai Baba is God, why do they need to use all this violence against this man?”

For the next few days, Joseph climbed a tree outside the ashram wall, and cried forth the allegations for us all to hear. Then, he was gone. I heard from a close friend and local resident, who knew some of the officers, that the Kadugodi police had thrashed Joseph, and sent him on his way. A disturbing implication is that it is very well-known that the local police are firmly in control of Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram authorities. Here was a well-known figure who had lived long in the community.

Many of us have had ‘flags’ which we have, in our psychological denial state, ignored. We sleep on, but after slamming the alarm clock off. Older well-informed devotees will recall brutal, corrupt people like Kumar, the betel nut chewing stick wielding ex superintendent of police, who was Sai Baba’s gatekeeper at Puttaparthi for many years? A woman in the Sai center which I attended told me of a traumatic experience of seeing terrible violence perpetrated by some of Sai Baba’s assistants. She said it was too painful to talk about and that the incident had presented her with grave inner struggles about Sai Baba.

Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees need to be honest and admit candidly that many dreadful happenings have long taken place around Sathya Sai Baba. Some may eventually come to realise that, once revelations come out, the memories of many others are triggered, and that information, especially in the age of information technology, spreads exponentially. What pro Sathya Sai Baba apologists who constantly attack those who speak out seem to fail to recognize is that a great deal of corroboration of the facts does not end with the work of prominent former devotee writers and other critics. Many make their own discoveries altogether unreliant on the latter. Also, huge numbers read our articles and examine video footage, and discuss with family, friends, colleagues, fellow members of associations, travellers, and so on. They print out and examine content. They ask questions, and some investigate rigorously, turning up appalling and compelling evidence. Thus, the word gets out, and never stops at the point of this or that blog site or web site

In time, darkness has a hard job hiding itself from itself.

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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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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

 

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The Sathya Sai Organization: Almost overnight, dissenters treated as demons!

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 12, 2009

Circa 2000 was a watershed time. Hard questions were being raised. It was not enough for loyalists to assume, somehow, the unworthiness of those who questioned. This is the typical reaction of devout believers when faced with a rigorous process of questioning, The psychological factor of being in-denial is a knee jerk response, and the knee never seems to stop jerking. Honest questions merited honest answers. During twenty-five years of deep devotion, I underwent many wonderful experiences, but, in some respects, facing the questions was not one of them. This is not to deny the great benefits in standing forth no matter what the odds, and I may address that aspect at some other time. In the meantime, the fine Canadian singer-songwriter Ron Sexsmith can express it for me in his song ‘There’s Gold In Them Hills’ – (I prefer his version with Coldplay):

And if we’d get up off our knees
Why then we’d see the forest for the trees
And we’d see the new sun rising
Over the hills on the horizon

In common with so many former devotees and other critics around the world, as I began to hear the direct testimony, and, in other cases, from parents and close friends of those young males who, clearly, had been sexually abused, the experience was gut-wrenching. Indeed, I may add, not all of those abused were now young men, and an example of this is the account to the BBC ‘The Secret Swami’ team of Mark Roche

                             The BBC 2 This World presenter, Tanya Datta, interviewed Mark Roche for ‘The Secret Swami’, which was first screened, Thursday 17, 2004, and subsequently seen in over 100 countries. The effects on the Sathya Sai Organization were huge. Apart from exits from the organization, other organizations, including those with which the SS Org. would have liked to have had dealings (e.g., the interfaith movement and various service organizations), were now alerted. See my article:  Sathya Sai Baba: ‘Considerable Concern’ In Wider Hindu CommunitySee also list of links below, under The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ 

Indeed one of the ways in which the scandal that is Puttaparthi has become ever more widely known is because, quite often, those who have left it have sought spiritual guidance from other religious organizations of various kinds.

There was a feeling of truthfulness in the written accounts of the authors, and I contacted them – for example, Terry Gallagher (who had resigned as head of the Sathya Sai Organization after rigorously investigating), Hans de Kraker (Australia, who for a number of years ran the Western Canteen at Puttaparthi), Jens Sethi (Germany), David Bailey (UK), Hari Sampath (India), Britt Marie (Bi-ma) Andén (Sweden),  Glen Meloy , Shirley Pike (psychologist), Elena Hartgering (psychotherapist), Ella Evers, Richard and Terry Nelson, Rick RainesAl Rahm, Timothy Conway Ph.D., and many others from the USA, and eventually others in many countries. See my: Sai Baba. Some Dissenting Themes and Resources

As my intensive investigation unfolded, I spoke to males with first-hand accounts – or in some instances their parents: terrible were the anguished testimonies of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of boys and young men. A common factor in many accounts was Sai Baba’s demands for oral sex to be performed on himself. Other factors were the use of bribes and threats. In case after case, the individuals involved were often regarded by those who knew them as unusually good-looking.

I also spoke to others, including prominent leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization in various countries who, like Terry Gallagher, had resigned on a matter of principle as a result of their own investigations. I contacted the Rahm family. Al and Marisa Rahm and their son were, in 2004, to appear in the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’.  I should add that many others had discussed their experiences with BBC researchers such as Eamon Hardy, Iris Asic, David Saville and Tanya Datta. The Assistant Producer David Saville told me that there were over 80 hours of filmed testimony, and that the BBC had uncovered compelling accounts from others who did not appear on our international lists.

I contacted a number of former devotee sexual abuse professionals who knew of various cases at first hand. As I listened to, or read the written accounts. I was acutely aware that many of those giving the accounts did not even know each other.

Once it was known I was investigating Sathya Sai Baba’s matters, I went on to discover compelling accounts from sources well apart from Sathya Sai Baba circles. Having studied Epistemology, Logic and Methodology in my university honors Philosophy course, I was all the more acutely aware that the criterion of non-collusion was being repeatedly satisfied. That is to say, clearly many of those testifying had no knowledge of other compelling accounts which I and other trusted former devotee researchers had private access to. Nor did the evidence point at all to the sort of issues involved in the witch hunts in three counties of late 17th century colonial Massachusetts, so brilliantly portrayed in Arthur Miller‘s great play ‘The Crucible’.

I could not escape the conclusion that – whatever else he may be – Sathya Sai Baba was a serial sexual molester, on an appalling scale, of minors and young men from his educational institutions and from around the world. The finding sat with great difficulty with the many positive experiences I had received in my 25 years of devotion to Sathya Sai Baba, not a few of them beyond the ability of science to explain, though I expect elucidations will one day be within its grasp. However, not to act on the allegations was out of the question.  What the case if citizens should fail to report crimes and abuses just because they think their leader is divine? This point is the very locus of the problem with the Sathya Sai Organization. It has failed in the most fundamental tenets of accountability and transparency.

I also felt acutely conscious that I had been, over many years, whether directly or indirectly (though certainly without proselytizing), instrumental in various people becoming devotees. Like so many others who have investigated and become former devotees, my then partner’s and my hearts were heavy indeed. Typical of others who have just become former devotees, there was a clearing of the house of Sai all Baba-related artefacts. Ironically enough, when it came to exposing Sathya Sai Baba’s many inconsistencies so amply documented in decades of published discourse, some ex-followers no longer had the texts. Fortunately, major commentators such as Robert Priddy and Brian Steel had far-reaching collections.

As former devotees universally have found, dear friends, in some cases of many years standing, who remained devotees, dropped us, even though we showed no hostility towards them or Sathya Sai Baba. It was painful for many. Incredibly, devotees forget that those they have so mistakenly judged and shunned are the same individuals in whom they have long cherished qualities of truthfulness, love and service to others.

Sai Baba has said:

“… a hard-hearted person cannot be called a spark of Divinity; he is verily a demon.” p. 323, Sanathana Sarathi, November 2002

His proxy defenders on the Internet and beyond engage in the utmost slander and vilification of those many who have called for proper, third party investigation of the allegations of Sai Baba’s involvement in the massive cover up of the police killings in his bedroom on April 6, 1993, wide-scale, serial sexual molestation of boys and young men from different countries, vast misappropriation of funds from around the world, etc. In his (profoundly unChristmas-like) Christmas discourse of 2000, he thumped loudly on his lectern and – ignoring his (now) former devotees many years of great love for him and service in his name – he berated fine men and women as “demons”, “Judases”, stating that they were being paid off to lie, and so on.

Almost overnight, we had become demons!

 ————————————————————————-

Further Reading

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

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

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

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

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

Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults

Letter from Stephen Carthew

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

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

Timothy Conway’s Update

Timothy Conway PH.D confirms the Hislop letters

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

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

Story of My Disqualification, and other articles by Serguei Badaev

Dr Naresh Bhatia. Silenced Now In Indian Child Abuse Scourge

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of AmericaAl Rahm’s explanatory letter

Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family

Top UK Sathya Sai Organization leaders left Sathya Sai Baba

Dr. Dale Beyerstein’s study of Sathya Sai Baba’s claims and ‘miracles’

On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult – Ex Leaders and Rank-and-File

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

                                                                                  ————————————————–

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’

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

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

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

“The Secret Swami” – BBC Film Footage and Transcript

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

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government

————————————————–

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

 ——————————————————

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

Subscribe in a reader

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Subscribe in a reader

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Protest, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Tiger Woods Faces $164 Fine. Sathya Sai Baba Still Free

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 11, 2009

World champion pro golfer Tiger Woods faces a $164 fine for the driving incident in Orlando Florida, USA on 27 November 2009. Out of this small incident has erupted an ever-burgeoning series of revelations that have dominated world news headlines since that early morning.

Many commentators – even among those who agree that Sathya Sai Baba should have been answerable to proper processes of the law -keep saying:  But look at all the good social work that he has inspired.

Tiger Woods also has also brought a high profile to, and raised great amounts of money for, needy causes.

But you see – the one tiger is answerable before the law. The other one, in India, isn’t …..

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Tiger Woods. Holding His Tongue

Tiger Woods. Holding His Tongue

In regard to the Tiger Woods furore, here is a little Barry Pittard song (which is protected by APRAThe Australasian Performing Right Association)

Burning Bright

Another pro has got shot down in flames

For consorting with various sorts of dames

Now no-one’s denying a man sometimes connives

But don’t these gals know these guys have wives?

 

Says the Reporter – I’ve got this sacred duty

To service goodness and truth and beauty

I’ve millions of readers who need me to feed them

And my Publisher feeds me my bonus to heed them

 

Says the Lawyer to each blushing dainty damozel

Close your mouth now honey, we’ll pay you so swell

Or to madams who drive a harder deal

Lawyer says: trumpet small – but in essence don’t squeal

 

Lawyers and Reporters love Mademoiselles

Who tout and spout a tale that sells

Now here’s a conundrum – you can have a go

Just tell me who’s the pro, and who’s the pro!

 

But says the Reader and the Viewer, whose hearts would be pure

Am I any more beautiful or gooder or truer

Than the paparazzi, and the snooper, and the spy

– Who tout juicy news, be it truth or a lie?

 

Posted in Opinion, Religion, Sex, South Asia, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 10, 2009

There are many decent men and women who, moved by conscience, have spoken out calling for proper investigation of the countless allegations against Sathya Sai Baba. One of these is Stephen Carthew, who, until 2000, was a spiritual coordinator in the Sathya Sai Organization for South Australia. Now entering his 60’s, he has been doing his Ph.D. in Communications, and tutoring, at the University of South Australia’s Division of Communication, Information and New Media. And, as depicted in a recent ABC (Australia) documentary, selling roses.

No doubting – it is good to smell the roses.

The person named Rama  to whom Carthew refers at the beginning of the letter below is Sri T.Ramanathan, for years a very autocratic head of the Sathya Sai Organization of Australia. A Sai Baba follower for 15 years, Stephen Carthew speaks of how he was sacked from his position in 2000. He had suggested that “allegations about our Guru be examined impartially”. He was but one of many others in various countries to be mercilessly suppressed. In opting for profound concealment, the Sathya Sai Organization has delivered to itself still more profound wounds. Many have left it, some formally resigning but very many simply quietly leaving. Recruiting drives have had the quality of desperation. See: Subtle recruitment to Sai Baba’s cult and: ‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues (see photos of just a few of the enormously costly venues in which recruiting is staged)

I find it sad and moving that, in regard to spiritual affiliation, Stephen Carthew has had two major let-downs in his life . You can see him in an hour-long documentary “The Brotherhood” (first broadcast 22 February 2009) by the ABC, Australia’s national television and radio broadcaster in its weekly much-respected religious program ‘Compass’. The program (which does not mention Carthew’s later affiliation with the Sathya Sai Baba cult) shows his prior involvement with a then quite strong alternative life-style movement in Australia, ‘The Universal Brotherhood’, of which he was founder. His life in this cult has returned to haunt him. And perhaps, in some measure, within a recent group reconciliation process, to help to heal him. In the days of the cult he helped to establish, he was young, idealistic and full of hopes for glorious spiritual transcendence, but, as issues of power and control increasingly arose, took on himself the role of suppressor. The ABC program notes state:

“As time passed, the Centre Core became more hardline, scrutinising the young followers’ behaviour, and punishing them for minor misdemeanours or perceived weaknesses. Few dared to confess any doubt, anger or distress. The Brotherhood’s utopian dream was only six years old when cracks appeared and by 1978 the New Age dream was all but over”.

Embroilment in cultic life, and the loss of most dearly cherished hopes and dreams, did not stop for Stephen Carthew with the collapse of ‘The Universal Brotherhood’. For he became closely involved as a leader with the Sathya Sai Organization, a global cult of huge, and in certain cases terrible, dimensions.

NOTE: To view the one-hour documentary at the ABC site, click on the image below:  

 
 

Stephen Carthew's testimony on cultic danger

Stephen Carthew in the ABC's documentary 'The Brotherhood' (2009)

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Stephen Carthew’s Attempt To Raise Allegation Issues Re Sathya Sai Baba In South Australia

22 February 2009

Letter from Stephen Carthew

September 10, 2000

Dear brothers and sisters,

During our last meeting I tabled the letter to Rama our Australian Central Coordinator about the Nexus article with the testimonies from ex devotees.

Firstly, I am interested to know if everyone read my letter? (From what I could ascertain – out of the 10 people present 3 had read the letter to Ramanathan the Central Coordinator).

Who has read the Nexus article? (Only two had read this article that was freely available in newsagents – not a good sign of responsible leadership).

Please could the results be tabled? (They probably were)

How many of you have read ‘The Findings’ by ex devotee David Bailey? (Things were happening pretty quickly but from what I could gather only two members had looked at this).

I went on:

Without having done so, (reading “The Findings” material) I don’t believe it is possible to understand what on earth I am talking about.

I certainly didn’t have a clue, until my eyes were prized open by the heartfelt testimony of these brave ex-devotees who have told the truth about their experiences of sexual abuse in the privacy of the interview room.

As of last month I had not sought out any ex-devotee or read anything on the various web pages devoted to either putting down Swami or upholding his status. I had thought the whole thing to be a ‘media beat up’ and ‘sob story’, designed to suck in the unwary. A process that we had been told by Swami would happen – a “sorting of the wheat from the chaff”.

You can if you like put me in the chaff bag today.

However I will provide good satvic roughage, if you will hear me out fairly, without applying the gag – either physically or mentally. (At this point I made a sarcastic aside referring to the effort made to silence me from even reading the letter – I was not proud of myself for this – it aggravated the life out of the two most unreasonable members and set a more confrontational atmosphere).

My request for an internal inquiry into the allegations seemed reasonable. Something I would have though standard practice in an organization with such a high moral code. Any group that denies the process of investigation of the alleged misconduct of one of it leaders is an organization that falls quickly into the category of ‘irregular’ or even ‘cult like’.

So, “what to do”?

I had no where to go, other than to carry out my own investigation by whatever means available. · I have read the testimonies on the so called “gossip” web sites. · I have spent time on the ‘positive’ internet sites designed to undermine the authenticity of the unfavorable testimonies. · I have spoken on the telephone to ex-devotees who were kissed passionately on the mouth and were asked to perform oral sex on Swami.

I have also spoken to three parents who have sons who have been asked to give gross sexual favours to Swami. These people are quite sane and quite clear that these events have happened to their sons. There are now many reports flooding in. It is understandable that young men have held this information within, in the same way as those who were abused as a child by priests relations and parents have taken half a lifetime to come out and speak about it and eventually be healed. Some of these young people have been through suicidal episodes. One pattern is clear they were all told by Swami not to tell their parents.

It seems there are many of the Sai Organizations leaders who know that this has been going on for years. Some say “the Avatar is God he can do whatever he likes”.

This doesn’t wash with me.

Under the self proclaimed title of “Avatar” it seems that Sai Baba may have impunity to do whatever he likes. It is possible that this behavior has been going on throughout his adult life and continues as we speak together this morning. (I had to raised my voice above the voices of protest. There was a certain drama in the air – with the quiet drone of chanting emanating from one of the members)

Reports from older ex-devotees who were at the Ashram with Howard Murphet in the sixties are apparently now becoming available. These ex-devotees are now ‘coming out’ admitting to the dark side of their relationship with Sai Baba. The stories related to the ‘shadow side’ of this undoubtedly extraordinary person, who we devotees thought to be “of the Light”, is now coming out.

Apparently it is almost common knowledge amongst students at his colleges, that ‘his favorites’ have many such sexually oriented ‘interviews’.

I could go on and on with pages of this stuff.

However it is hard and unpleasant to read and just as awful to listen to. At the least, I am saying is that there are serious allegations that need to be evaluated internally.

The Central Coordinator and the Deputy Central Coordinator seek to put all this to one side saying. “If you have a problem take Swami to court!.” They say. This has and will be tried, however Swami is in India and we all know about Indian corruption and the connections Swami has in high places.

Here we are as office bearers, in insignificant Adelaide, sitting on information that could be having the impact of Jonestown in its own way. For us as office bearers to have any self respect we must I believe make an internal investigation.

It seems our leaders may be either too ‘brainwashed’ to even consider the reports, or too weak and afraid of the awful truth to delve beneath the surface. (this statement really set the cat amongst the pigeons – I had to raise my voice above the outcry)

I believe we, as the South Australian Organization should have the courage to follow truth where ever it takes us. Only by using our discrimination and moral conscience, will we make our way through this saga. It is a lonely road by ones self. Together we may be able to make sense of it.

I have written extensively on my process – it may be helpful to others. I will send my understandings upon request – by email or fax. I believe we have a ‘spiritual crisis’ on our hands and that this issue falls clearly within my portfolio as Spiritual Coordinator of South Australia. For all these reasons and many more that go beyond the time available, I propose that the South Australian Sai Organization set up a “Truth Seeking” committee to examine the allegations and hopefully to disprove the claims against our Founder.

There is nothing more that I would like to see this ‘phase’ of mine over and to become a devotee again. However this can no longer be from the point of ‘blindness’ from which our leaders wish us to operate.

The truth will out eventually, we may as well play our part by engaging in the process of finding it for ourselves, sooner rather than later – however distasteful. Your Faith in God can only be strengthened by truth.

For this purpose I will be continuing as the Spiritual Coordinator for South Australia and continuing to uphold the spiritual principles that have been given by our Founder. Particularly. “Members shall live an exemplary life”. Is Sai Baba an embodiment of his often repeated statement “My Life is My Message”? That is the key question we will address on this committee, if we have the guts to form it.

This couple of paragraphs were a twist. The two key ‘cult controllers’ were using words like “absurd” and “ridiculous” almost exploding with a strange sort of wide eyed rage. They had all expected a resignation! However I had placed a motion on the table for the formation of a committee that then needed to be handled. I admit that for the rest of the meeting I was a bit of a pain. I knew they would sack me. Which they promptly did. However I wanted to make it hard for them – which I also did.

I stayed on at the meeting making comments occasionally about aspects of general business that seemed to be irrelevant, when compared to the issues I had raised. This would have been hard for the reasonable Chairperson. Although I explained to the group that I was being disruptive in the same spirit as the Greenpeace activists, I was, on reflection going to far and as a result I alienated some of the more reasonable members.

This is a pity – I put it down to the adrenaline rush that can come when we create a living drama – I would have been much more effective if I could have simply ‘ held my peace’ at the eye of the storm. The state of mind I was in was that of ‘The Crusader’. I almost wanted to be asked to leave. I would have refused and asked them to carry me out. It never got to that.

The meeting finished with a somewhat healing chat with some of the members. A motion to the effect that I can present my findings to the group was accepted. Whether anyone would read it or not is another matter. However I was able to make my point before being ousted.

Other members will look at this issue in their own time. I believe all those whose ‘moral conscience’ rises above ‘blind faith’ will eventually evaluate the actions of Sai Baba. There is clarity to be found in the multiple testimony of the ex-devotees. None of whom wanted to believe that this was true – until it happened to them or their sons.

Stephen Carthew, Ex- Spiritual Coordinator South Australia

———————————-

Compass –  The Brotherhood

9:25pm Sunday, 22 Feb 2009  Society and Culture   CC PG 

The Universal Brotherhood was Australia’s most celebrated alternative community attracting hundreds of young idealists who gave up everything to follow their very own New Age guru. Now 30 years later they’re hosting a reunion to confront the sect’s surviving leader about the paradise they created…and lost. 

The Universal Brotherhood was a home-grown spiritual movement that became Australia’s most successful alternative community. Born in the early 1970s it flourished on a 300 acre farm near a small country town south of Perth. The movement attracted hundreds of young idealists who turned their backs on jobs and a safe life in the suburbs. Instead, they cashed in their savings to follow their very own guru, 80-year-old Fred Robinson – a self-styled eco-prophet who wanted to pioneer a model community that could save the planet, and mankind! 

Fred espoused a mixed bag of mystical teachings, New Age philosophies and old-fashioned Christian values. He’d also developed his own cosmic vision of the future involving ‘elder brothers’ from outer space coming in UFOs with Christ to take them away if and when catastrophe destroyed the world. 

From a handful of pioneers, the Universal Brotherhood quickly grew and within a year, it was almost completely self-sufficient. On the farm the Brotherhood took care of everyone’s food, shelter and clothing. Everything was shared, and everyone ate, played and prayed together. Life in the Brotherhood was deemed ‘safe and pure’. The world outside was viewed as dangerously corrupt. Increasingly the control of the group was left to its governing council, a small group of advisers known as the ‘Centre Core’, made up of Fred’s wife Mary and the Brotherhood’s young co-founder, Stephen Carthew. 

As time passed, the Centre Core became more hardline, scrutinising the young followers’ behaviour, and punishing them for minor misdemeanours or perceived weaknesses. Few dared to confess any doubt, anger or distress. The Brotherhood’s utopian dream was only six years old when cracks appeared and by 1978 the New Age dream was all but over.

 ————————————————————————-

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

 ——————————————————

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

Subscribe in a reader

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Subscribe in a reader

 

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Questioning Sathya Sai Baba: India’s Most Famous and Politically Powerful Guru

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 9, 2009

In 1999 came the publication of three articles in Nexus magazine (August-September). A person close to me, who knew well that I had deafened my ears to anything inimical to Sathya Sai Baba, strongly urged me (putting the magazine right into my hand) to read these articles, one of which was by the head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, Terry Gallagher, an agricultural scientist and businessman of Kyama, New South Wales, Australia. The editor, Duncan Roads, wrote of this own experiences of disillusionment with Sathya Sai Baba, but, more particularly, printed three articles that were already to be found on the Internet. See also: ‘BILD’ Story. “Guru Wants Sex” (Sathya Sai Baba) and Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

Before returning to Sathya Sai Baba for a few months in November 1997, and sensing a momentous issue looming, I had somehow briefly dared to look at writings on the Internet. I read the Canadian academic rationalist philosopher Professor Dale Beyerstein (now deceased) of the University of British Columbia. His very incisively-written book: “Sai Baba’s miracles: and overview” is HERE.  There was also the writing of the likewise articulate Italian former devotee Paul Holbach.

Across a range of Sai Baba issues, their writing was disciplined; they raised sharp questions which, by any token, deserved proper answers. Some of the questions, if not answered frankly and truthfully, could best be answered by properly consitituted processes, such as a police, court of law or government enquiry. It was not enough for Indulal Shah, head of the Sathya Sai Organization, to make blatantly antidemocratic proclamations in June 1993, at the time of the Puttaparthi police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom. For example, it was reported in one of India’s elite newspapers The Hindu, June 10, 1993:

“When press persons met Mr. Indulal Shah, chief functionary of the Sri Sathya Sai World Trust, he said, ‘the matter is purely internal and we do not wish to have any law enforcement agency investigating into it.’”

See: ‘God’s’ Ex-Shah, Indulal Shah

Where were all the other leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization? Were there evidences, under real testing conditions, of that truth, right conduct, love and peace, everywhere evangelized by Sathya Sai Baba and his followers? Were there voices of independence, clarity and conscience? No. There was glacial silence. The smell of suppressed fear. Smiles that did not smile. Eyes that looked away. There was the ruthless driving out of those who questioned. Were the questioners mavericks? Typical trouble-makers? Deficient of intelligence and efficiency in their lives? No, they were not. Those who started to investigate the first hand accounts of terrible, and in many cases criminal, abuse were longtime stalwarts, some of them highly-respected leaders. The Sathya Sai Organization perfectly well knew of the years of signal devotion and service of those who were now questioning. 

But Sathya Sai Baba and his servitors remain tight-lipped to this day, all these years after.  As well as the terrible abuses that occurred in the first instance, to their undying shame, they have allowed many fine man and women to be execrated and slandered. 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.

Select Further Reading

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

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

Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults

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

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

Timothy Conway’s Update

Timothy Conway PH.D confirms the Hislop letters

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

Dr Naresh Bhatia. Silenced Now In Indian Child Abuse Scourge

Letter from Stephen Carthew

Story of My Disqualification, and other articles by Serguei Badaev

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of AmericaAl Rahm’s explanatory letter

Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family

Top UK Sathya Sai Organization leaders left Sathya Sai Baba

Dr. Dale Beyerstein’s study of Sathya Sai Baba’s claims and ‘miracles’

On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult – Ex Leaders and Rank-and-File

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

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

Dr. Dale Beyerstein’s study of Sathya Sai Baba’s claims and ‘miracles’

                                                                                  ————————————————–

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

 ——————————————————

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

Subscribe in a reader

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Subscribe in a reader

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

Robert Priddy’s Views on Key Human Values in Relation To Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 6, 2009

In the brief article – Human Values – Sai Baba’s truncated ideas Robert Priddy, an academic philosopher at the University of Oslo for many years, and a former head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, states his view of what human values are, in contradistinction to “divinely-instated values for humans” as proclaimed by Sathya Sai Baba. 

In the mind of any serious educator, especially when versed in the history of educational theory and practice, very concerning questions are raised. One of the key concerns is that, in the Sathya Sai educational undertaking, critical thinking is distinctly missing. When an English teacher at the Sathya Sai College in Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India, then Sai Baba’s premier education institution, I was alarmed at the extraordinary amount of rote learning to be seen. Swatting and regurgitation were on all sides. It was as though the great educational innovators, whether East or West, had never lived. Where were the exiting staff room discussions? Where was the meeting of minds? Where were the in-service professional development programs?  Where was there a working towards new paradigms? Rather, things were stuck in a time warp. Here or there was a teacher in love with his subject who deeply cherished the students (I think fondly of my former colleague P.K. Mohanti), but each lecturer slaved away in his own ‘burrow’. Lacking was a sense of the organic, of a meaningful community of learning. Marks and gold medals were the thing, and a wider unreformed education system in India reenforced this defecit of true learning. True, there were movements of reform in India, but the Sathya Sai setup, despite all the trumpet-blowing by those of narrow, uncritical mindsets on education, was decidedly not one of them.

In the way of innovation, I was fortunate in having the protection of the Principal (which actually meant Sai Baba), who handed over his own third year degree course to me as well as my teaching the other two years of the English course and the encouragement of the scientist and Sai Baba’s chief interpreter into English Dr S. Bhagavantham and the Board and two of my immediate colleagues, and many marvelous boys (both those devoted and not devoted to Sathya Sai Baba). But the flaws were great.

As the Sathya Sai Education in Human Values spread throughout Sai centers around the world, one could, yet again, see serious flaws. One saving grace was that contributors to the formation of the courses were international, which meant that some very antiquated teaching theory and practice got knocked aside. Since Robert Priddy and Serguei Badaev (the latter of whom was closely involved in SSEHV), both of them longtime educators, have incisively raised key questions, I shall point my readers to some of their critical work on Sathya Sai education programs. See my article: Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia

Priddy writes:

“The values according to [or against which] we act are unavoidable and essential links that tie together personal perceptions and judgements, motives and actions into the sphere of common cultural values.  They are central to grasping the motivations of our social and political life. Sai Baba promotes his own brand of ‘five human values’, which is a simple and often all too vague recipe. His biographer Kasturi writes that Sai Baba scribbled the 5 values down on the back of an envelope when Kasturi asked him to define them.  Grabbed as if out of thin air without any deeper thought, it is quite evident how shallow, rigid and incomplete they are when examined carefully and critically. They can only function at a most elementary level of teaching children, at best, for the doctrine is flawed and is badly out of step with modern thought and educational standards (outside developing nations)” .

Some Robert Priddy links on these issues

1) The Common Acceptance of Human Values
2) In what may human values consist?
3) Distinguishing and defining values
4) Human values defined in practice
5) Values and Anti-values
6) Values, character development and psychic health 
7) Inherent failings in Sai’s human values
8 ) Sai Baba’s teaching’s shortage of universal educational concepts and contents
9) Simplicity and vagueness in the service of moralism
10) The taint of intellectual and moral rigidity
11) Human justice as distinct from divine command
12) Sai Educare’s fundamentalist, doctrinaire teachings?

For still more detailed analysis of the above issues click here – SSEHV Exposed and:

Cardinal Failings in Sai Baba’s Human Values. Where the Teachings and the Teacher Go Wrong

Links for the study of Sathya Sai Education in Human Values and ‘Educare’ -and their shortcomings or failings – are found here:-

Sai_Baba_Five_Human_Values
Cardinal_Failings_in_Sai_Baba’s_Human_Values
Human_Values_as_Common_Ideals
Sathya_Sai_Educare_fundamentalist_doctrine
Sathya_Sai_Educare
Why the Sathya Sai organization is a cult

See also -:

Serguei Badaev

The Story of My Disqualification
by Serguei Badaev
(ex-President of Sathya Sai Organization, Moscow Centre, ex-deputy National Coordinator and National SSEHV Coordinator, Russia)

Badaev has written:   “Critical thinking, as one of a basic skills of character building, is absolutely opposed to the EHV and Sai Educare approaches. I think it is a threat to the Sathya Sai mini-empire. The situation is in a sense very similar to what occurred during the Soviet regime. Communist leaders needed people with good character to work hard and with enthusiasm. But the regime tried to restrict firmly (or to control) the area of application of their intellect and research skills to keep themselves safe from their analysis. The same with Sathya Sai. There is a sort of invisible circle around him where you should abandon your critical skills and submit completely to his uncertainty and mystery. Another interesting aspect of Sai education is an idea of separate education of boys and girls which is taken for granted without any serious justification”.

Barry Pittard On Serguei Badaev

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

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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, Opinion, Philosophy, Religion, South Asia, Theology, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba’s Ignorance of Basic Scientific Fact, and Devotee Silence on This Fact

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 3, 2009

Dr Kanwaljeet ‘Sunny’ Anand of Arkansas, USA, was a George W. Bush Administration medical advisor. One might think that a physician of distinction would be on-guard about crowd estimates. Or, again, in treating highly questionable interpretations of sections of various scriptures as though they are established fact.

Many, however, are the cases where otherwise intelligent individuals, blinded by their fervent belief systems, abandon reason and commonsense. In a speech at Sathya Sai Baba’s 80th birthday celebrations in Puttaparthi – a talk widely exploited as propaganda by the Puttaparthi machine, for example by the Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust – Dr Anand (who is assuredly not an expert on “all the major religious texts of the world”) said:

“The Advent of this Divine Form is referenced in the Book of Revelations of the Bible, in the Holy Koran, in the Vedas and Jaimini Mahabharatha, in the Guru Granth Sahib, and in all of the major religious texts of the world. Currently, Sri Sathya Sai Baba is worshipped by more than 100 million people from more than 200 countries in the world, but most of the world remains oblivious of His Presence”

This speech appeared at the Sathya Sai official site http://www.srisathyasaipublications.org/anand.htm but has gone from this link. A longer quote from it (than here) appears at the Brian Steel, along with his detailed commentary, at page cited below.

It is to no point (other than to reveal that they ceaselessly abandon their master’s teaching about right speech and action) that Sathya Sai activists resort to vituperative and personal attacks on those former devotees and other critics who expose the absurdities. It is a sure sign that they defend the indefensible – for example his claim that the life enters the foetus at four months and nine days – YET, contradictorily, that it enters at 210 days. Dr ‘Sunny’ Anand is a top expert in neonatology, and cannot possibly run his medical practice or teach his university student along the lines of the preposterous statements reported in Sathya Sai Baba official magazine, Sanathana Sarathi.

 

NOTE:

Quoting at some length Dr Anand’s remarks made at Sathya Sai Baba’s 80th birthday celebrations, the former Sathya Sai Baba follower Brian Steel – A New Celebrity Endorsement of SSB’s Alleged Divinity?  (January 2006) wrote that he had written to Anand:

“I recently managed to establish initial contact in order to ascertain whether he did in fact make and authorise the extraordinary statement …. At first Dr Anand stated he was happy to clarify the as yet unidentified statement, but when I quoted it to him, he declined to answer by email, inviting me, instead, to his home for a friendly chat. With equal bonhomie, he added that any further emails from me would be automatically routed to the Junk box of his professional email address. Since he did not see any reason to offer me his private email address, I instantly concluded it would be a waste of my time and money to fly 10,000 miles for the promised chat.

Although my initial question has still not been categorically answered, all I can – and must – do for the moment is to publish the alleged comments, because they are a part of a very powerful promotional public statement by the SSO (or, to be more exact, the SSSBPT, which is the publishing wing of the Organisation – just one of the network of official websites which have sprung up since 1999 to promote the guru who originally became famous for stating, rather disingenuously, that he needed no advertising)”.

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Further Reading

See the article by Jorge Reyesvera (an ex-devotee and Sathya Sai Organization leader, Mexico) on Sathya Sai Baba’s extraordinary Mahasivarathri 2002 discourse: 

Sai Baba and Magnetism – The Omniscient Sai Baba’s Massive Ignorance of Physics Exposed (1)  by Jorge Reyesvera

Robert Priddy

Sathya Sai Baba on the physical sciences

Dr.G. Venkataraman – physicist ‘explains’ Sathya Sai Baba

Barry Pittard

When ‘Divine’ Magnetism Becomes A Dead Weight

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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 Medicine, Opinion, Religion, Sikhism, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

When 60, Sathya Sai Baba Said He Would Not Age Thereafter (See photo refutation)

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 1, 2009

As some stage, scholars with time to deal with all the questions that it raises may interest themselves in the official and semi-official Sathya Sai Orgnization ‘weeding’ that has been going on in regard to documentation which – most unmindful of the terrible discrepancies or that there would be a future of close critical scrutiny – got on to Sathya Sai websites.This subsequent kicking over of traces tells its own story. If the pages of history do not tell in such a corrupt organization’s favour, it destroys or changes them. Such damning history is junk.

Below is a scan from the www.exbaba.com Guestbook of a photo sent by a writer. Note the Saibabaofindia imprimature on the upper left hand side of the photo. This Saibabofindia group contains those long associated with – and some members close indeed to – Sathya Sai Baba. It is not official in the Sathya Sai Organization sense, but to describe ‘SBOI’ as semi-official is quite apt, given that it provides much information from a close quarters vantage-point from within what is a very highly-controlled organization.

A pro Sathya Sai Baba defender has tried to suggest that the photo below was fabricated at the www.exbaba.com end. Even if they really think that, let them look at any recent photo of Sathya Sai Baba. Each photo in recent years photo tells the sorry tale. It reveals the self-proclaimed-never-physically-ageing-God-on-earth reveals as haggard of visage, ailing of body, with blank face and staring eyes. The photo is the truth that he does not tell. This is his ‘sathya’.

In any case, some searching indicates that this photo is at the following Url, which is still online, and the writer to www.exbaba.com (from Poland it seems) stated: 

“Look at this face! This photo I taken from sai official page!  He looks like real demon…
http://img220.imageshack.us/my.php?image=saibabadarshanphotos1es2.jpg . And you can imagine that for  millions devotees this face is divine?!”

Of course the writer has, so to speak, blurted out the truth about the Emperor, as in Hans Christian Anderson’s famous fable. No wonder, then, the attack upon www.exbaba.com .

Would not the saibabaofindia group be proud to own any photo of Sathya Sai Baba’s considerable degeneration, especially in the light of the fact that their ‘Lord’ said that he would not age?  Thus:

“The attributes of the Avatars are beyond human comprehension…. Rama and Krishna were ever youthful. Have you ever seen a picture of Rama or Krishna with grey hair?….. Usually old people have wrinkles on their faces … I do not have any signs of old age. (loud applause). There is not a single wrinkle on My face”. Sanathana Sarathi, October, 2002.

And thus, too: 

“Many people wonder that I look so young even at the age of 73. The reason is that I have the three P’s in Me. One is Purity, the second is Patience and the third is Perseverance. It is because of these three that I shall remain like this for any number of years to come. (cheers)”  p. 302 Sanathana Sarathi 11-1998

Note that Saibabaofindia stopped the archive on May 09/2008, which Srisathyasai.org did the same on July 30 – 2008. RadioSai.org stopped archiving from May 28 2007.  The Internet wayback facility is completely independent, and, some time back, a number of us wondered whether it could be bought off by the vastly wealthy Sathya Sai Organization or individual members of it. However, unfortunately for the autocratic, suppressive Sathya Sai Organization, the waybackarchives continue to show the glaring facts, and scholars and other investigators will be able to observe whether it keeps its independence. Here are the Urls for these particular archives: 

 
Below, I have included some selected readings that throw light on the falsification process within the top echelons of the Sathya Sai fraternity. Scholars and other investigators will always owe a great debt to the Australian scholar Brian Steel, who has made significant use of decades of Sathya Sai official documents to show garbled accounts, palpable inconsistencies, grave mistakes of scientifically and historically established facts,  myth-making, uneventuated predictions, and so forth.

Photo in Exbaba.com Guestbook2008, sent by a pro Sai Baba writer

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Select Readings from Brian Steel’s extensive analytical writings

See,too,the index at: http://bdsteel.tripod.com/More/

The Truth Resuscitated: Suppressed Evidence Reappears
(A Brief Update on the Packaging of SSB’s Discourses)

Cherished SSB myth further discredited by SSSO Evidence
 

Dossiers

 Dossier 1: Sathya Sai Baba as Storyteller

Dossier 2: Sathya Sai Baba’s Claims of Divinity and Divine Powers

Dossier 3: The Packaging of Sathya Sai Baba’s Telugu Discourses
The Packaging of Sathya Sai Baba’s Discourses. An Appendix for Researchers and Others

Dossier 4: Discrepancies in the Official Sathya Sai Baba Story: The Early Years

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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

————————————————————————

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: , , , | Leave a Comment »