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

Archive for January 31st, 2010

U.S. State Department Named Sathya Sai Baba To BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 31, 2010

(The late) Glen Meloy and U.S. Citizens from an array of professions, and others including myself, made very carefully documented disclosures about allegations confronting Sathya Sai Baba. After former devotees, both in the U.S. and internationally, had spent a great deal of time and effort, the U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Warning to U.S. citizens traveling in Sai Baba’s State, Andhra Pradesh, in South India. This was reflected in the ‘Travel warning page and Consular information sheet, November 23, 2000’.

(Note on Glen Meloy, loved and honored by many Sai devotees during his 26 years of service and devotion to Sai Baba, and by hundreds of former devotees whom he magnificently supported in the aftermath of Sathya Sai Baba’s profound betrayal of faith, see: Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam )

I also made a number of supporting written submissions, and spoke by phone to, the then head of Interpol in Australia. I was in regular contact, written and spoken, with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia. Those from various countries who submitted testimony to the U.S. State Department presented credentials attesting to their integrity in their various professions, trades, communities, etc. There was some sworn testimony, along with ample readiness to provide still more. We made ourselves available for purposes of any FBI or Interpol investigation into the allegations, particularly those concerning evidence of Sai Baba’s serial and wide-scale sexual abuse of boys and young men.

The first stumbling block was that the accounts of sexual abuse all stated that abuse occurred in India.  Another was that the U.S., for legal reasons, was not ready (a fact late changed in response to BBC contact with the State Department) to name Sathya Sai Baba. There were no cases, successful or otherwise, brought against him in India. (Nor were those of us with long experience of living and working in India, in which corruption is so rife, convinced that there ever would be, given the sheer extent of his power and influence. See: Why Has Sathya Sai Baba Not Faced The Indian Justice System?).

These presentations, which were made to very senior State Department officials, were more than vindicated when the BBC checked with the U.S. Department of State confirmed that the “noted Godman who reportedly indulges in inappropriate sexual behaviour with young male devotees” was, in fact, Sathya Sai Baba. See Robert Priddy’s article ‘The Secret Swami’ & U.S. State Department Warning against Sai Baba , in which he exposes the flawed and hostile attempts of Sathya Sai Baba’s leading protagonist on the internet to misportray the facts.

For a detailed look issues surrounding the BBC documentary, See: 

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

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

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

Excerpt from Transcript of ‘The Secret Swami’ – one-hour BBC documentary (first aired June 2004, and subsequently seen in some 200 countries. Below, BBC presenter Tanya Datta reports on investigations at the U.S. Embassy, Delhi.

To view and hear BBC’s Tanya Datta On Sathya Sai Baba – ‘The Secret Swami’ – see the short video clip (1.5 Mb). She notes the following:

 “The American Government is also concerned. On the web site of the American Embassy in Delhi there’s a warning to U.S. citizens visiting the State of Andhra Pradesh. It draws attention to a noted Godman who reportedly indulges in inappropriate sexual behaviour with young male devotees.We contacted the U.S. Embassy in Delhi and they confirmed to us, and for the first time, that they are directly referring to Sai Baba”.



U.S. State Department Travel Warning. BBC confirms Sathya Sai Baba is the subject

U.S. Department of State warning to travelers

CRIME IN ANDHRA PRADESH – Americans traveling to or residing in Andhra Pradesh should also be aware that there have been media and other reports of inappropriate sexual behavior by a prominent local religious leader. Most of the reports indicate that the subjects of these approaches have been young male devotees, including a number of Americans. Although these reports are unconfirmed, American citizens should be aware of this information.

Some Resources
Quote from this page editor’s (Robert Priddy’s) commentary on the State Department warning: 
“The U.S. State Department does not issue warnings without having investigated the reasons most thoroughly. The State Department NEVER issued any formal withdrawal of the warning against Sai Baba, which would have also required them to make an apology for promoting false information … The chief argument of pro-Sai Baba defenders is that the warning was withdrawn. However, ‘withdrawal’ of a web page is not the same as withdrawal of the allegations already made by such responsible bodies, for no mention is made of refutation of the warnings, far from it … The warning was made, did refer to him, as he was nevertheless named by US officials who were contactable”.

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