Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Archive for July, 2010

Why Have Ex-Devotees Not Landed Sathya Sai Baba In Jail?

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 31, 2010

Today’s topic relates to an email just received at this site. My reader will readily pick up the issues by reading on:

I first responded:

 Please confirm that this email address is valid, and that you sent to my blogsite at:  https://barrypittard.wordpress.com . Unfortunately, some of us who have spoken out about Sathya Sai Baba get all too many emails which, when responded to, turn out to be invalid.

 There are perfectly good reasons why it is difficult to proceed against Sathya Sai Baba on a legal front. Trustfully, you are not assuming malfeasance of the part of many who have left the Sathya Sai Organization. Or indeed that there there is not compelling evidence of a sort that cannot, and ought not, be consigned to the internet. Or still further that there are not compelling arguments of a nature not at all legal, as well.

Quite commonly, those who write, who are partial to Sathya Sai Baba, give invalid email addresses. But the reply came:

This confirms the validity of my E-mail address. What has aroused my interest is the fact that you have assembled such an abundance of allegations against Sathya Sai Baba, yet you seem unable to proceed to have these tested in a court of law. My question is: “Why?”

The perception is that these allegations are unfounded and, in fact,  really represent the animosity of disgruntled ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba allied with representives of organized religion whose membership has suffered sharp reduction as their adherents migrated to the fold of the Sai organization.

Perceptions, I admit, can be misleading. I would, however, be glad to hear your explanation as to why, in the face of your abundant body of charges against Sathya Sai Baba and the Sai Organization, you are encountering difficulties in proceeding with this matter in any court of law. Herein lies my curiosity.

I replied:

From admittedly cursory searches on the internet, I find that you seem to have one degree or another of affiliation with Sathya Sai Baba. I smiled at affectionate old times as I read your note about my dear old ‘friend’, Sai Gita. (ed. Sai Baba’s late elephant)

It may not be far amiss for me to think that, if you remain a deeply convicted follower of Sathya Sai Baba, and yet familiar (if you are so) with writings such as mine, then it is highly likely that you will not be persuadable by any amount of evidence. If this were so, I would be wasting my time and energy.

On the other hand, many have left the Sathya Sai fold only after they first, and for a long time, thought the worst of former devotees who have spoken out. Thus, it may be that you will come to resemble those of us who entertained the greatest doubts about the allegations, and who then made extensive investigation before they saw that these concerns are made with the integrity and, after the most careful investigation, in regard of individuals and/or their families and friends around the world.

If are a person known in your profession, trade or wider community as an individual of outstanding probity (as is the case of so many former devotees, and, I hasten to add of remaining devotees known to me whom I nonetheless respect across the great divide), then I would consider corresponding with you.

You speak of “the perception”, and, as you say, perceptions can be misleading. To name but one perception extant among many Sathya Sai devotees (the one you choose to mention), the notion about “disgruntled ex-devotees” etc.,  embodies an assumption that does acute injustice to many of those who have left Sathya Sai Baba. There is a strikingly pluralistic character to the ranks of those who have left. The apostates come from many socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. To posit homogeneity would be to show a readiness to jump to a conclusion. Such a lack of rigour does many who so aver little credit. Anything that distorts the real fact is simple-minded, one-sided and profoundly unfair. What is more, there are high-ranking servitors around Sathya Sai Baba who know from long acquaintance that many who have left have done so for principled reasons. History will not judge these leaders well, it often strikes me. That is to say, we have not, often after decades of deep, committed and sustained devotion, and considerable amounts of service and close collegiality, become “demons”, “Judases”, “disgruntled”, and so forth, in some perverse, overnight “miracle”.

I note that, in your writings on the web, you speak of some matters related to India. I suggest that if you know India really well, you will already have some grounds on which to contemplate why it might be difficult to proceed legally against Sathya Sai Baba in that country. Is it, by the way, possible that you, or those whose perceptions you cite, have a notion that prosecuting or litigating in regard of many kinds of grave injustice have a clear trajectory even in advanced democracies?

Have you seen ‘The Secret Swami’? The link is here: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

I may also suggest that you read carefully the writings of those such as Robert Priddyhttp://robertpriddy.wordpress.com – (former long-time head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, and retired academic of the University of Oslo), the Australian linguistic scholar Brian Steelhttp://bdsteel.tripod.com/More/, Seiguei Badaev (a former SS Org. Russian leader) – Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia, Terry Gallagher (former head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization – see, A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 2, Timothy Conway Ph.D., (a former US SSorg leader) – Timothy Conway Ph.D – On ‘The Hislop Letters’ , Stephen Carthew (former SSorg spiritual co-ordinator in South Australia) –https://barrypittard.wordpress.com/2009/12/10/stephen-carthew-a-voice-of-testimony-from-australia-on-the-dangers-of-cults/, the former Dutch leader Leo Boogaard The Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba, David and Faye Bailey (former prominent leaders and plenipotentiaries of Sathya Sai Baba) – Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba and David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses, and many writings available at: http://www.exbaba.com,

Should I feel that you show a robust readiness to read these and other basic readings, some of which should begin to answer, in a variety of ways, the query that you have put to me, and a truthful sincerity to engage (as thus far) in a civil correspondence, where it is not your intention to abuse or libel many wonderful people who have left Sathya Sai Baba, I shall be glad to correspond with you.

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Further Reading

 

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The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization



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A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 4

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 27, 2010

The series continues from:  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 3.  Posted by Barry Pittard on July 25, 2010.  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 2. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 23, 2010.  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 1. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 20, 2010

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In the article: Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion, I wrote (referring to Terry Gallagher, the first head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, who at first hand probed allegations about Sathya Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men, and consequently resigned):

At length by telephone, he told me that, against extraordinary unwillingness of devotees to look at the allegations,  he had done what he could to investigate and surface the terrible facts about Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of young males. He told me that he had extensively 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, but this had not led to meaningful action. 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.

From October 1999, I made extensive investigations globally, finding much corroboration from families and individual survivors themselves – many of whom did not know each other. Others too, many former followers independently of each other, were making their own investigations. There was no doubting their excellent standing in their professions, trades and wider communities. From about April 1999, an Indian, Hari Sampath, who was at that time working, via a ‘green card’ in the USA, was coordinating a ‘pepper group’ of former devotees. This group was remarkably effective in arousing major media and UNESCO, and other major organs. An individual of great significance from that time and up to the end of 2004 was the late Glen Meloy of the USA. See: Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam.

More troubling than anything was the sense of terrible betrayal and heartache in so many individuals and families. This fact of the alienation of many respected, now former, Sai Baba followers is all too well-known to many leaders and increasing numbers within the rank and file of the international Sathya Sai Organization. But, in Orwellian fashion, it has acted virtually as if those many who have left it never existed. And as if those long honored as good were now, almost overnight, bad. See:

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

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

Story of My Disqualification, and other articles by Serguei Badaev

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

In short, members of the Sathya Sai Organization have typically, grossly and repeatedly:

  • ignored the afflicted individuals and families, and:
  • deliberately hidden vital facts from many rank-and-file devotees

The list of leaders sycophantic to Sathya Sai Baba is long. Briefly suggestive of top leaders who have severely abrogated norms regarding duty of care and transparency a list includes:

Many within the Sathya Sai Organization have frequently wondered why Sathya Sai Baba has appointed certain key leaders in his organization. A common, in-denial, euphuistic cry is:  never mind, Swami has done it to teach us patience and forgiveness and as a test for our sadhana (spiritual discipline). Here are but a few names of those involved in longtime, shameless cover up. Clicking on the links will bring up articles which, in their own turn, contain further recondite links:

John (Jack) Hislop, Michael GoldsteinIndulal Shah, G. Venkataraman, William Harvey, Bob Bozzani, Hal Honig, Jagadeesan, Ashok Bhagani, Thorbjørn Meyer, Steen Piculell, Leonardo Gutter,  T.Sri Ramanathan, Pal Dhall, Bernard Gruber, Pietro Marena,  Jörgen Möllgård, Richard Friedrich, John Behner, Phyllis Kristal

Terry Gallagher wrote:

The purpose of this visit was to find the reason why former students of Sai Baba’s college would want to kill him, particularly when they had been given a free education! The eye witness accounts were horrific! After bursting into the Mandir, four students found themselves trapped upstairs where Sai Baba was staying. Each was interrogated by police, then one at a time they were executed! The stench of death was everywhere. I made further inquiries about Sai Baba having sexual relations with college boys and male students – some of these as young as seven years of age – and whether this was the reason for former students wanting to kill him. I was told, to my horror, that this was an acceptable Indian practice! I felt sick, and just wanted to take my family and leave the ashram and India as quickly as possible. Before we did, we were all called for interview with Sai Baba and we told him what we had experienced and been told. 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 about him was the truth! We left the interview and returned to Australia.

Of the mounting allegations of Sathya Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men, Terry Gallagher wrote:

I made further inquiries about Sai Baba having sexual relations with college boys and male students- some of these as young as seven years of age – and whether this was the reason for former students wanting to kill him. I was told, to my horror, that this was an acceptable Indian practice! I felt sick, and just wanted to take my family and leave the ashram and India as soon as possible. Before we did, we were called for an interview with Sai Baba, and we told him what we had experienced and been told. 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 Sai Baba, no one would believe us, except those who had also had similar experiences- and mostly fear prevents them from telling others. It has only been in the past twelve months that former students and devotees of Sai Baba have begun communicating with each other, confirming experiences to be true and supporting each other spiritually and emotionally when necessary.

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The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 3

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 25, 2010

The series continues from:

A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 2. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 23, 2010.  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 1. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 20, 2010

Apart from Terry Gallagher, the other two individuals whose articles appeared in the Nexus magazine also had respected histories as Sathya Sai Baba devotees. One of the articles related the frightening escape experiences of wife and husband Gurprit and Jens Singh (Germany), who sought the assistance of the (then) Federal West German Embassy in New Delhi. I have written of this couple here: ‘BILD’ Story. “Guru Wants Sex” (Sathya Sai Baba).

The other author was Hans de Kraker (Australia). Sathya Sai Baba appointed de Kraker Western Canteen Director, a position he held from 1989 to 1997. Nexus magazine covers many stories which the media has not run or else run extensively. There is sworn testimony in both these cases.

I emailed and spoke by phone with Terry Gallagher, Hans de Kraker  and Jens Sethi, and others in different parts of the world. A group of former followers was able to obtain investigation at a most senior level by UNESCO, the U.S. State Department, Times of London, BBC, and other reputed organs. See also:

The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory

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

Hans de Kraker told me that he took his concerns to the former head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, T. Sri Ramanathan (a former commercial judge in Sri Lanka) and another one of the Australian Sai organization’s most prominent leaders, Dr Sara Pavan (who has spent lengthy times living at Puttaparthi, serving as a doctor in Sai Baba’s Superspeciality Hospital and as an anaesthetist at Concord Hospital, Sydney, Australia).

Hans de Kraker said that Ramanathan, who more recently has worked with senior law students at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, immediately avoided the issues, and launched into a recital of how Sai Baba had done such wonders. One example was how (not in person) Sai Baba had miraculously recovered a diary. This embarrassingly contained Ramanathan’s law students’ examination details that he had lost in Malaysia in transit to visit Sai Baba. Another story was how Sai Baba had, again miraculously, in  a hotel in Bangalore, made Ramanathan’s non-functioning tape recorder work.

When Ramanathan phoned me – at first to try to use ‘sweetness and light’ and then to make his fruitless threats of litigation against me – he told me these stories as well, and I suppose he has regaled many Sai devotees with them over the years. It seemed like a sort of litany. As long as one keeps rolling the beads, all the misgivings, all the contradictions, all the dark secrets, all the discomfort can be conveniently filtered out.

Hans de Kraker said that Dr Pavan’s response was that one does not talk of these matters (which de Kraker had raised).

This terrible dereliction of duty of care and accountability has been endemic in the international Sathya Sai Organization throughout the world. History can only but be severe in its judgement on it. The organization’s much-vaunted truth, compassion, and right conduct, among the values enshrined in its so-called “all Faiths” edifice, turn out, in this respect to be, to use a Sai Baba phrase, ‘tinsel and trash’. Or Stone pillar. Stone consciences.

Among the many documents that report Sathya Sai Baba’s grossly improper practices is a letter from Hans de Kraker.  It was addressed to David and Faye Bailey, and Faye Bailey’s son. Indeed, her son, too, had been the target of Sathya Sai Baba’s advances, according to testimony. (Apart from other documentations, the present writer had the account from the son’s sister, and both have long enjoyed a close friendship). As indeed has been typical, and constant across many years, in the accounts of so may other males from around the world have reported in their own cases.  Hans de Kraker wrote: 

There was a big power shake up in the kitchen and I had no interest to participate in the whole situation any longer. I had a chat with the leader of the group because I had not been going to darshan anymore. My last day in the ashram I talked to the leader of the group. (Editor, c.f., Veronica, long an organizer of the Western canteens see here).

 

 

Again she insists that I tell her what happened. “So did he try to have sex with you?” was the question. Tired of it all I told her what had happened. This was the evening of the fourth or fifth of January. Immediately after she has an interview with Sai Baba, by herself this time, without the rest of the group. After she comes out of the interview room, several hours later, I am summoned to an elderly gentleman from Security, whom I knew well, with whom I had built a friendship. Several years before, when I accompanied a couple from Europe, who did not speak any English, he had spent time with this couple, their three-year-old son, who had cancer and me. This gentleman looked very awkward and asked me if he could take my photo. I said of course not knowing what was happening, understanding something had gone wrong. He was accompanied by 2 seva dal’s. One them took a picture from the front and then asked me to turn to the side. When I asked my friend what was happening he nodded uncomfortable and said I don’t know.

They then escorted me to the secretary of the Ashram who told me I was ordered to leave as soon as possible. I had behaved improperly and had to leave. When I asked what the reason was he commanded that I was not allowed to ask anything, and that I was only allowed to leave. “You are to leave the Ashram. You are strongly advised not to hang around the village, to go as soon as possible to Bangalore and catch the first flight out…

I left. All my friends of the group were absolutely amazed and destroyed when they heard that I had been expelled. Except for one person…the same person who spoke to Sai Baba a few hours before. So they got rid of a possible “loose cannon”

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For next installment, see:  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 4

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The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

 

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A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 2

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 23, 2010

The series continues from: A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 1. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 20, 2010

In October 1999, I read Terry Gallagher’s startling accounts, and, increasingly those of others. He was the first head of Australian Sathya Sai Organization and an agricultural scientist and businessman of Kiama, New South Wales, Australia. His brother-in-law, Neville Fredericks (a past mayor of Kiama)succeeded T.Sri Ramanathan as head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization. Following his extensive investigation, Terry Gallagher’s revelations spoke of Sathya Sai Baba having sex with boys and young men, and being complicit in other disturbing crimes. He discovered disturbing facts about the local, state and central government cover up of police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom at Puttaparthi on June 6, 1993. He and others in various parts of the world resigned. Many simply left the Sathya Sai Organization, without formal resignation. Sai devotees in centers around the world have heard their leaders state the allegations are made by a handful of disgruntled former devotees. Yet the Sathya Sai Organization holds aloft the value:  Truth …

The Editor of the Australian magazine Nexus (published in a number of countries), Duncan Roads, had found the Gallagher article along with two other accounts of former Sathya Sai Baba devotees on the internet. The Gallagher document was in the form of a letter to David and Faye Bailey. Duncan Roads wrote: 

 I had heard the many rumours about Sai Baba’s sexual impropriety over the years, and like many, dismissed them as disgruntled devotees.  Later on, I actually took those attacks as ‘evidence’ that Sai Baba was growing in influence, and that this was the ‘system’ attacking him … 

Unlike Sai Baba believers, I have an open mind, one which allows me to read and listen to things that Sai Baba believers refuse even to allow into their consciousness.  I read some of the more recent testimonies, and decided to investigate for once and for all to put an end to the rumours …

I ended up speaking to many victims, parents of victims, former Sai Baba centre ‘leaders’ and some respected ‘figureheads’ from the movement.  All confirmed the same pattern of abuse and sexual misconduct …

I did not want to believe any of these testimonies, but I also had to be true to what I was uncovering.  Sai Baba is, and has, been involved in sexual misconduct with boys and young men.  The effects of this misconduct has caused unestimatable damage within many many families, including suicides

Photo below: David and Faye Bailey. Authors of ‘The Findings’. An historic and lengthy indictment of Sathya Sai Baba and his charismatic cult, by two former and exceptionally close disciples.

David and Faye Bailey. Authors of 'The Findings'. An historic and lengthy indictment of Sathya Sai Baba, by two former and very close disciples

See my articles: 

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

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

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For next in series, see:  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 3

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The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 1

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 20, 2010

For twenty-five years, I was deeply devoted to Sathya Sai Baba. He is widely regarded as India’s most famous and most politically and religiously powerful guru. At his behest, and as an unpaid service, I taught all three years intake in the Humanities degree course at the Sri Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India (1977-1978). In particular, quite apart from a large workload with the first two years, to have been handed the college Principal’s third year English lectures was a considerable challenge for which I shall always be grateful, especially given that this was my first teaching job, except for school experience in my teaching diploma, and my coaching at a college in Australia that helped put me through university, and having also just done post-graduate theatre training.

I had already done some work at the Sri Sathya Sai College for Arts, Science and Commerce before these classes and tutorials began; for example, my own mime performance, and a two-handed performance with an actor from New York of our condensed “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare for the senior boys along, and also supervised setting the foundations for a small library, apart from the main library. The ‘small library’, as it came to be called, eventually bloomed into a thriving cultural meeting-point. It gave me contact with boys from many parts of India, and has remained high among memories of a sort that a teacher cherishes. It meant excellent contact with students of very diverse socio-economic background right across the college. Generous funds were advanced so as to stock the ‘small library’ with books most likely to act as drawcards to students at diverse levels of interest and ability. I also originated an audio-visual acquisition committee consisting of the Principal of the college, D. Narendra Rao, (the late) Dr John Hislop (the then head of the Sathya Sai Organization in USA and latin America), and the film maker Richard Bock. See:

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

Sai Baba films by Richard Bock

After years away, I returned to India in November 1997. When I arrived, boys I had taught – now grown men, many in a variety of professions – sped up and milled around. Here and in other places, there was a joy of reunion after long absence. Any fond old teacher’s heart gladdens at the sight of former students, and with rare exceptions. One feels that one has lived not in vain. There is a vital strain within India culture which holds learning, including secular learning, sacred indeed.

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This series continues at:

A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 2

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The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Gerald Moreno: No Real Sai Baba Devotee Could Applaud

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 14, 2010

It would not be possible for any professional, nor indeed competent school students of clear thinking, to view as urbane, civil and non-defamatory the writings of the internet fanatic, stalker and extreme manipulator of internet rankings, Gerald Joe Moreno, of New Mexico, USA.

Moreno’s bush-lawyering and untutored ‘research’ would be spotted (and regularly have been) in a few sentences by any lawyer, journalist or other bona fide researcher. That he is supported by well-known Sathya Sai Baba devotees is yet another sure sign of the trouble that the Sathya Sai cult is in. Demonstration of the poverty of Moreno’s intellectual and ethical status is not reliant on those who oppose Sathya Sai Baba and his cult. No sensible and civil individual would give Moreno a pass mark. For the freakish feat of staying on-the-job by night and day, often engaged in the most peripheral machinations, he fully merits an A+++.

In striking at prominent former Sathya Sai devotee coordinators such as Robert Priddy and me, he will even abuse the names of their family members. Terribly faulty inductions abound in his writings. By regular misreading of his paucity of facts, he maintains that these family members are involved in, or somehow support, the critique of Sathya Sai Baba. The independent British author of books and papers on religion and philosophy Kevin R.D. Shepherd writes:

“I learned about the invasive Moreno tactic of emailing the acquaintances of victims, a tactic designed to elicit details or to convey adverse reports. Furthermore, many emails sent to Joe Moreno have been paraded on his primary website in a manner that does not inspire universal approval. Those emails include some from the son of Robert Priddy dated January 2005. The non-devotee Kai Nicolai Priddy objected to being drawn into stigmatising web coverages along with his ex-devotee father. He repeatedly requested that his image and personal information should be deleted from the primary Moreno website saisathyasai.com. The Moreno responses were aggressive, and unyielding with regard to the image of the protester. Moreno excused his action in this respect by arguing that he had merely published a screen capture of a public domain image”.

Moreno stoops so low as to cause great concern to a young child (and of course his extended family and friends) by putting up his photo and naming him in multiple references, all the while severely defaming his father (myself). What child (indeed what adult) does not query his or her name, and the name of this or that friend, in an internet search engine? As typical of his attacks on many others, Moreno gets facts wrong such as the child’s age, making the child appear older than he is. Of course, a child of any age should not be drawn into such matters. That he would draw sobbing tears from a child by associating his name with Sathya Sai Baba related matters is despicable, and indeed seriously unbalanced. Yet he is a known associate of those closely associated with Sathya Sai Baba. How can it be said that these individuals – for example, those associated with the saibabaofindia group and key followers elsewhere – are following his teachings of Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Right Conduct), Shanti (Peace), Prema (Love) and Ahimsa (Non Violence)?

Unfortunately, the internet is a ‘wild west’, and frequently prevents actions against libel, defamation and other forms of abuse. Our formal complaints to internet authorities and the police about Moreno’s conduct have proved fraught with difficulties. Particularly, these relate to the anarchic state of the world wide web. Internet freedom is treasurable, but unlike democratic freedoms and norms, where there are legal and other measures of accountability, it can transgress against the most fundamental civilities and ethical responsibilities. There is a place for robust, even painful debate. But, characteristically, the internet tolerates far more than this. It is the magnet for those hellbent on causing hell for others.

Moreno’s myriad and unrelenting ploys include taking a fact or a half-truth and twisting it in hostile and extreme degree, and in putting worst-case constructs on facts for which commonsense alone would suggest alternative explanations. Whatever does not meet with his interpretation is branded a lie and a deception. He attacks virtually every individual who has another view on Sathya Sai Baba. His language is full of denigration and heat. When Sathya Sai Baba’s failed prophecy, made on his 60th birthday, that he would not age thereafter is pointed out, Moreno calls foul, calls us ageist, and puts up photographic proof of the ageing process in the Sai Baba critic. As usual, he misses the point. But then, such gross distortions abound in his writings.

In short, it is simply not possible for a Sathya Sai Baba devotee genuinely following his or her guru’s teachings to agree with his conduct. Strangely, one of his plethora of internet sites is named: Love, Light and Spirituality.

Robert Priddy has recently posted the articles:

Guru-buster Premanand exposed Gerald Moreno

Posted by robertpriddy on July 14, 2010

and:

Gerald Moreno: straw man fallacy re Conny Larsson, Sanjay Dadlani etc.

In the latter article, he writes:

“The logical fallacies that Moreno does not employ cannot be listed, as there seem to be none. He is the great proponent of argumentum ad hominem and equally the straw man argument. This fallacy is one of his most basic crutches. The Straw Man fallacy occurs when one ignores a person’s actual position and substitutes a distorted, exaggerated or misrepresented version of that position through a false association to other persons or standpoints. For example, it works thus:

Robert Priddy states x
Conny Larsson states x, but also y
Therefore Priddy supports y!
Sanjay Dadlani stands for x and y
Priddy endorses Dadlani’s stand on x
Therefore Priddy endorses y!
Kevin R.D. Shepherd is against x
Priddy is also against x
Therefore Kevin R.D. Shepherd is for what Priddy is for!

One can substitute for x and y all manner of specific terms, as Moreno does ad lib. All such ‘arguments’ are completely fallacious conclusions – there is no common middle term in any argument”.

For many years, Robert Priddy headed the Sathya Sai Organization of Norway. He is a retired academic in philosophy and the social sciences, University of Oslo. His articles for ‘Sanathana Sarathi’, Sathya Sai Baba’s official publication that goes round the world, were highly regarded by its editor V.K.Narasimhan (who had been one of India’s greatest newspaper editors). See my article:

Robert Priddy (3) Friendship With V.K. Narasimhan

For Priddy in relationship to his long years of friendship with V.K. Narasimhan, See:

V.K. Narasimhan on the 1993 Sathya Sai Baba murders

Posted by robertpriddy on April 22, 2010

A fairly recent Priddy blog on Moreno was:

Gerald Moreno: absurd screencap fraud claims contra Priddy

Posted by robertpriddy on May 27, 2010

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Further Reading

Wikipedia entry under: Robert Priddy

My Credo

His Blogsite

His Website

‘Robert Priddy Not Exposed’ blog

Australian scholar Brian Steel on Moreno

Diversionary Tactics by an Internet Demagogue.
The pro-Sathya Sai Baba Campaign of Gerald (‘Joe’) Moreno
. Brian Steel    December 2007  (Updated March 2008)

Independent British author on religion and philosophy on Moreno

Internet Terrorist Gerald Joe Moreno

Alan Kazlev, who had a serious change of mind about Moreno

Gerald “Joe” Moreno. A case study of a Sai Baba fanatic

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The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Does ‘Forgiveness’ Mean Letting Offenders Ride Rough Shod Over Us?

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 8, 2010

In a list of systemically misleading topics, ‘forgiveness’ would have to rank near the top. Wooly notions about it all too readily allow perpetrators to go free and without challenge. They can remain perpetrators, and their victims left in abject circumstance. Those who advocate passive types of forgiveness too often invite themselves to be trodden upon. Still more, their modeling of a behaviour creates contexts which allow others around them to be trodden upon, as well.

I view foregiveness as the cultivation of an inner attitude, where – while still attending to what one conceives to be civil and ethical duties – one takes daily steps towards achieving an inner peace, and moves away from first reactions, such as thirsting for and implementing revenge. This inner attitude is far removed from notions such as peace at all costs, or the fool’s ‘paradise’ of avoidance of issues, of being in denial, of being lovey-dovey and wishy-washy, and of retreating to euphoric states.

I heard the Dalai Lama speak well on the subject of forgiveness, and made notes. See:  

Dalai Lama: Forgiveness does not mean forgetfulness

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 15, 2007

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The Public Petition   

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization   

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MI6 Warned Prince Charles Off Sathya Sai Baba, ‘Sunday People'(UK) Says

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 4, 2010

Will there be further attempts by members of the Royal Family to have any connection with Sathya Sai Baba or his Sathya Sai Organization? A number of active, networked critics of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult feel reasonably satisfied that there will not be. There is also recent and entirely reliable confirmation that certain UK government officials – who did not act according to their proper duties – have been made to mind their p’s and q’s. Their earlier derelictions have recently ended them up in a lot of sweaty archive trawling, and accountability questions from on high. (Reputable media or bona fide scholars are welcome to contact this blogsite and I shall get back).  The following article from the archives reflects but one of a number of ventures which give rise to this feeling of some confidence that the Sathya Sai cult has done its dash in matters Royal in Great Britain.

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UK newspaper Sunday People on Sathya Sai Baba
Paedophile Guru in bid to snare Charles Sunday People U.K. – March 12, 2001

MI6 are probing bizarre sect’s link with the Royals

A PERVERT guru who believes he can sexually abuse young boys because he is GOD has tried to lure Prince Charles into his sinister religious sect. He has enlisted some of the Prince’s closest associates in his move – and the future King has admitted he has considered meeting the swami. Yet we can reveal the FBI and police forces round the world and even a senior UN organisation are already investigating millionaire mystic Sai Baba over scores of alleged sex and other crimes. Now MI6 are probing his bizarre movement’s links with Buckingham Palace.

Pot-bellied

For, the Sunday People can reveal, he planned to increase his worldwide influence by converting Charles into one of his millions of followers. The tiny pot-bellied holy man – who wears orange frocks and sports a 70s-style Afro hairdo – enlisted the help of one of the prince’s most-trusted advisors. He hoped that architect Professor Keith Critchlow would be able to persuade Charles to visit his temple, or “ashram”, in southern India.

Amazingly, we have obtained a copy of a letter which Charles wrote to another of Baba’s high-powered disciples within royal circles. In it, he says: “Keith (Critchlow) has often told me about Sai Baba and the effect he has had on many people and it is wonderful to know of the difference he has made to your life. “Perhaps I will be able to meet him one day when the time is right.”

The letter is signed: “Yours most sincerely, Charles.”

At the time, the prince was unaware that Sai Baba was being investigated for sex crimes. Nor did he know that there were also allegations of fraud and widespread financial corruption. UNESCO has also withdrawn support for a conference they were going to co-organise with Sai Baba. And the Foreign Office is now warning British travellers to India to be wary of the group. A senior legal figure linked to Sai Baba’s victims discovered the guru’s plan to target the prince and alerted M16. Sai Baba, the son of a humble peasant farmer, has a massive worldwide following, including at least 40,000 supporters in the UK.

Millions of families with children flock to his luxurious temple, near Bangalore in southern India, to pay homage. But to gain respectability for his movement, Sai Baba has deliberately set out to target showbiz stars, leading politicians, and royals as VIP supporters. Among them is 70-year-old Animal Hospital presenter and children’s favourite Rolf Harris. He claimed the guru’s teachings had transformed his life and played his famous didgeridoo on a fund-raising CD of mystic chants. Another disciple is British blues singer Dana Gillespie. But Sai Baba’s biggest dream was to ensnare a member of the British Royal Family.

Concert pianist David Bailey, who got involved with the movement during the early 90s, told how he and Prof Critchlow held several meetings in India with the guru. And one time Critchlow asked him: “Isn’t it time for me to bring Prince Charles out to see you?”

Bailey said: “The organisation loved to get celebrities in the fold. They were invited to Baba’s birthday parties.   “At the time I was completely besotted and like other devotees thought I’d win brownie points by recruiting influential people.”

Brainwashing

Bailey even tried to “hook” Prince Andrew and Fergie before their marriage broke up. He said: “I had been asked to organise an evening of music at their home and, to put it bluntly, planned to start brainwashing them. “But the evening was cancelled at the last minute.” Fergie did later pay Sai Baba a private visit in 1997 on the recommendation of a stress counsellor following her marriage break-up. The guru likes to amaze followers by passing off cheap conjuring tricks as “miracles” and producing watches and jewellery out of thin air. And he astonished Fergie by making the bangle appear apparently from nowhere.

Bailey finally turned his back on the sect after learning the disgusting truth about Sai Baba’s sexual perversions. He has spent the last two years exposing the bogus holy man, who likes to rub oil into boys’ genitals claiming it helps release their sexual tension. Bailey, who once worked as a music teacher at the Indian temple, explained: “To my horror, I found out he was a homosexual paedophile.” Now every attempt is being made to ensure Sai Baba is kept away from Charles and other royals.

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See also

UK Guardian On Sathya Sai Baba and Duke’s Awards

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 21, 2008

QUOTE

hrh-the-duke-of-edinburgh.jpg

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

“His Royal Highness’s officials had to act on top of a ‘politically’ not very experienced or competent UK Duke of Edinburgh Awards CEO, Peter Westgarth – see HERE. They were slow off the mark. However, after very high level representations from our side, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme trustees and Prince Philip’s Private Secretary, Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davies KCVO, CBE,

sir-miles-hunt-davis.jpg

realized that a serious matter was at hand. Questions were also raised by some powerful citizens, including a former Home Minister, Tom Sackville. The Duke of Edinburgh Awards required of Dr G. Venkataraman, head of Sathya Sai Baba’s international propaganda apparatus and deputy world chairman of the Sathya Sai Organization, that an official Sai Baba website take down the triumphant – but absurdly mistaken – information that the Duke of Edinburgh Award had been awarded to Sai Baba himself. Venkataraman complied”.

A Duke Stops An Emperor. Edinburgh Routs Sai Baba

QUOTE

“Officials of The Duke of Edinburgh Awards and Buckingham Palace were upset by the boasting of those such as Dr G. Venkataraman and about the Award connections. (Dr. G. Venkataraman is Sai Baba’s deputy world head, who also directs Sai Baba’s international 7 days 24 hours propaganda satellite radio service via the WorldSpace International corporation). See Shitu Chudasama HERE. Shitu Chudasama is the UK Sai Baba national youth coordinator”.

Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Sathya Sai Baba

QUOTE

“I joined the Sathya Sai Organisation in 1983 and soon learned from the Indian immigrant Mr. Manubhai Patel of Wembley – who ran a Sai Baba bookshop there – how he had since the 1960s been regularly sending books about Sathya Sai Baba to Prince Charles, c/o the Palace. He had even received a formal letter of thanks. At the same time, Manubhai Patel told that he had heard it said by some Indian who were present to the wedding of Charles and Diana in St. Pauls Cathedral that – as he had passed them – he had said ‘Sai Ram’ (the usual greeting between Sai devotees). Many followers of Sai Baba doubtless wanted to believe that and the ‘story’ was circulated widely. The likelihood of it being a fact is extremely low – that His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales Britain’s defender of the faith (Anglican Christian faith) would utter such words under the glare of the world’s TV cameras and invasive microphones! Such wishful beliefs are food and drink to many Sai devotees, as some viewing of dedicated Sai Baba sites on the web will clearly show. However, the idea is not entirely without a certain back-up, for Prince Charles certainly has been very interested in Sathya Sai Baba, at least during the 1990s (and almost certainly before that). Britain’s national newspaper the Daily Express published an report in 1990 (though unconfirmed by official sources) that a representative of Prince Charles had written to Sai Baba asking if the Prince might visit Sai Baba, and that this request had been turned down by a letter from the ashram authorities”.

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Some UK Newspaper Reviews of the BBC Documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ About Sathya Sai Baba

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://www.rfjvds.dds.nl/ex-baba/~seduced/seduced.wmv
(21 MB, Modem)

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The Public Petition   

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization   

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Alexandra Nagel. A Seminal Writer On Sathya Sai Baba, A Guru Accused

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 3, 2010

Sathya Sai Baba’s slow but enormous rise was badly retarded with an explosive series of revelations, commencing circa 2000. From around the world, the indicting accounts were greatly facilitated by the advent of the internet age. What Sathya Sai Baba defenders do not reveal is that the majority of those who left his fold have never taken to the internet. They do not engage in controversy, and refusal to speak about the sufferings endured is quite common.  The Sathya Sai Organization knows the seriousness of its widespread losses. There is a repeated pattern of senior leaders telling Sai Centre leaders that the mischief comes from the merest handful of disgruntled former members. In quite Orwellian fashion, there is an erasure of uncomfortable memory, for many devotees know that those who have left have not, down many years, been other than tremendously devoted, hardworking, and dear friends or colleagues.

In a manner which contradicts Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings about truthfulness, loving words and actions, etc., members of the Sathya Sai Organization (in some cases who are close to Sathya Sai Baba and his core leadership) have supported, from the background, untold attacks on former devotees, and even their children and others who have had no part in exposing Sathya Sai Baba. The veracity and decency of many who have left the organization, including those who have had years of closeness to Sathya Sai Baba, and roles of outstanding responsibility, have been assailed. Decades have passed, and, overnight, former devotees are pronounced to be “demons”, “Judases”, and so forth. 

Those who attack Sathya Sai Baba apostates ignore, in the case of those who have quit his side, the great deal of pain, and sometimes tragedy as when suicide, death, missing persons, the failure of his promises to cure, family, financial and other forms of severe breakdown have been the case, that has afflicted so many Sathya Sai Baba centers when revelations, impossible to ignore, erupt. The cultish blindness has been monumental. It is the poignant story reported by those who have left so many other authoritarian cults.

Rapidly, from around the world, there was an upthrust of allegation and counter-allegation. Apart from material often by non-writers, there was serious, sustained, analytical work. After the watershed first two to three years of internet exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and his sect, others than the Dutch former devotee academic writer Alexandra Nagel, like Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Timothy Conway Ph.D., and myself took issues to many other levels, but certainly Ms Nagel’s writing was seminal, and it would be a pity to see it neglected. (Her M.A. thesis deals with aspects of the History of Western Esotericism). Though she has dealt with internet issues, she herself has not had a blogsite or website. Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Timothy Conway have long had extensive websites. The former two have blogsites, and I have this one, ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’.

See:  A Guru Accused.  Sai Baba, from Avatar to Homo-paedophile. Alexandra H. M. Nagel. The Netherlands, August, 2001

Most people are deeply conservative, and afraid to enter controversy. It can have repercussions in the family, among friends, in the workforce and places of study, and so forth. Alexandra Nagel, in the very midst of the furore, wrote clearly and intelligently.

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The Public Petition   

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization   

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Relative Weightings of Allegation and Proof In Exposing Corrupt Institutions (Pt2)

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 2, 2010

This article continues from:

Relative Weightings of Allegation and Proof In Exposing Corrupt Institutions (Pt1)

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 29, 2010

Let us suppose that not all facts are uncovered. There are some distinct advantages of stating facts or clues such as they are understood at the time. One is dealing with a powerful institution bent on cover up. Excellent media investigations show how badly whistle-blowers and other dissenters who expose institutional corruption have been treated. The more one holds to telling the truth, the higher the price. But, then, truthfulness is deemed by many belief systems as priceless. It is therefore ironic to see the chasm of difference between preaching and practice.

One of the advantages of allegation (where it is not vexatious, defamatory and libelous) is that issues that are all too susceptible to dismissal and cover up can be brought out into the open. The unquestioning nature of human beings in general, so lamented for example by parents and teachers who make a stand for urbane attitudes of questioning, is badly exacerbated in the case of cultists. For example, the title of this blogsite is:  Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba. That is to say, that the contentions of those who allege are under public scrutiny just as are those of an institution under question.

Repeatedly, media investigators and scholars who have tried to investigate Sathya Sai Baba and his international Sathya Sai Baba Organization. They have found that it is a monolith, strongly impervious to questioning – even my independent researchers no matter the excellence of their qualifications and note. As Sir Karl Popper has well described in his classic ‘The Open Society and its Enemies’, the foes of the open society are those who use its very openness to achieve their closed and devious ends.

A decided advantage of speaking out, even though one may not be in command of all material evidence, is that individuals who are well-positioned to know – or to ascertain more evidence – are then able to do their own sleuthing. Sometimes, this situation entails attempts, by the institutions, to further cover up trails, such as using threats to silence witnesses, hushing up leaders and rank-and-file members within their own midst, destroying paper trails or simply by letting crises blow over and attending to damage control by other means. See: ‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues and The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements

The additional evidence provided by strong allegations repeatedly confirms the sad experiences of those who had not thus known of, or at least heeded, the allegations.  

Attackers of Sathya Sai Baba’s prominent critics do not face this fact. Without much stir from prominent critics, revelations concerning the turpitude of Sathya Sai Baba’s and certain of his leaders come to a head, sooner or later, in his centers round the world. Here, crises arise from revelations of abuses and anomalies which are uncovered in the centers themselves or in any corresponding center. Some centers have had professional, experienced psychological counselors, who have themselves led the exit from Sathya Sai Baba centers.

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The Public Petition   

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization   

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