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:
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”
For next installment, see: A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 4
The Public Petition
(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization