Barach Obama’s Visit To India: Will Sathya Sai Baba’s Organization Try To Capitalize?
Posted by Barry Pittard on November 1, 2010
Note: With the visit of U.S. President Barach Obama to India fast looming, I sent the following letter this morning.
1 November, 2010.
To Attention: Anita Doll, Public Affairs Officer, US Embassy, Canberra, Australia.
Dear Ms Doll,
I write as an international coordinator of a network of former followers of India’s most famous religious leader, Sathya Sai Baba. The wish expressed here is that President Barach Obama’s visit to India is not in any way used by the extremely powerful Sathya Sai Baba elements or sympathizers who occupy virtually every major power echelon in India.
The way in which, with the assistance of senior diplomats, such usage was averted in the case of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s visit to India is recorded here: Tony Blair Was to Visit Sai Baba. Plan Thwarted.
We made successful representations to the UK Government, which led – with almost last-minute advice from the British High Commission in Delhi to the then British Prime Minister – to the cancellation of his intended visit to Sathya Sai Baba. Blair was within minutes of proceeding to Sathya Sai Baba’s establishment at Whitefield, just outside Bangalore.
Our group reflects very wide professional backgrounds, belief systems and countries of origin, and made, among other investigations appearing in some of the world’s leading media, large contributions to the BBC documentary ”The Secret Swami’ (2004), which has been seen by mass audiences in many countries around the world. See: BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise and The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision and BBC Footage Still Potent In Exposing Sathya Sai Sect (See Video Clips and Secret Swami Documentary). See also: The Secret Swami summary by Robert Priddy – video clips and Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC.
Salient details of earlier actions which led to the BBC’s contact with the US State Department in reference to Sathya Sai Baba are here: U.S. State Department Named Sathya Sai Baba To BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and here ‘The Secret Swami’ & U.S. State Department Warning against Sai Baba. Later questioned by the BBC,
(Click on photo or following link: http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/video/ssb-30.wmv )
In your archives, you will find submissions made by many well-respected US citizens, led by (the late) Glen Meloy of southern California, and records of my own detailed discussion with John Peters 202-647-6179. Your other officer concerned was: Angela Aggeler 202-647-2114, who was the officer dealing with the media. Along the way, we were informed that two political officers from the US Consulate in Chennai made extensive enquiries into Sathya Sai Baba and the Puttaparthi ashram in the State of Andhra Pradesh, South India. We know from our involvement in many submissions, and via extensive reliable contacts, that a number of other governments, including my own (Australia) have also investigated Sathya Sai Baba and his international cult.
Questions have been raised in many countries, including the USA, about Sathya Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organization. Some of many areas of concern include: his large-scale, serial sexual abuse of boys and young men from many countries (including several in the USA), implication in police executions in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom in 1993 and the attendant, monumental cover-up (unsuccessfully opposed by a number of Indian senior police, journalists, a former Home Secretary and others) of these events. See: V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings and The Unresolved, Covered-up 1993 Murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s Bedroom Revisited.
There is also deep concern at repeated allegations down many years of Puttaparthi front-office and other ashram scams, and misappropriation of funds raised in many countries that are sent in truly prodigious amounts to the Sathya Sai Central Trust in India. See: Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia and Donors and Would-be Donors Beware (Sathya Sai Central Trust Example).
In September 2000, after months of intense effort by former Sathya Sai Baba followers from several countries, UNESCO and its joint sponsor the University of Flinders, South Australia, withdrew sponsorship of a large international education conference on human values under Sathya Sai Baba’s aegis at Puttaparthi. After the (then) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Chubb, appointed a senior Staff member to investigate, delegates from Flinders University Institute of International Education cancelled. UNESCO’s Media Advisory stated:
“The Organisation is deeply concerned about widely reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been leveled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba.”
UNESCO also filed a complaint against the Times of India (one of whose directors is a long-time key member of the Sathya Sai Central Trust) which gravely watered down the UNESCO Media Advisory. It subsequently printed the correct Advisory. UNESCO leaders had a number of Concerns, inter alia:
“Certain decisions were taken by the Institute of Sathya Sai Education without consultation, such as plans to hold some of the sessions at the Ashram of the Sathya Sai movement in Puttaparthi, and the inclusion of some speakers in the conference programme without their previous consent. Furthermore, the Organization is deeply concerned about widely reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been levelled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba.””. See: The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory.
One notes in current news reports that the Obama India visit team is taking great care to avoid unfortunate image problems. We trust that the depth of our past submissions, and the high credibility of your country’s citizens who have made them to you, that the US State Department will ensure that any attempts by the Sathya Sai Baba Organization and its appendages to garner capital via the Obama visit are not successful.
Ms Doll, would you please assure us of your Government’s strenuous efforts to review our concerns?
Barry Pittard (Former Lecturer, Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, Karnataka, South India)
There is a Spanish version available: