Avatar of Deception: Sathya Sai Baba. 85, But Says He Will Rule World
Posted by Barry Pittard on November 27, 2010
As the international Sathya Sai Organization knows to its immense cost (both financially and morally), many, including foremost leaders, have left, having been able to analyse for themselves the many and terrible distortions of fact that Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors have generated.
Many shockingly suffering individuals and families around the world have needed to perform no analysis at all, since they have been prime victims of Sathya Sai Baba’s and his officials’ grave misconduct.
For those still in the throes of leaving the Sai cult, it is a time of profound emotional, intellectual and social upheaval. These afflictions cannot be expected to go away quickly. Those of us who have stuck at the job of exposure commonly find that leave-takers of the organization take a year or two, and sometimes much longer, to collect their thoughts in a consecutive way. Those who make a quick matter of transition to replacement life styles often say that they have ‘moved on’. There is a whole psychological literature that would suggest they have not, and that, in fact, by not looking carefully at what has happened in their lives, they have gone into an mental and emotional denial state. Some simply go from one cult into another or back to some ‘safe’ conservative haven, and then come to grief yet again, and wonder why.
Those who, however, wish to reflect on their experience, and look at some key themes that are under question, may find useful a detailed focused article such as ‘The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’. The authors are Robert Priddy, co-founder and former head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, and myself, Barry Pittard, former lecturer at Sathya Sai Baba’s Whitefield College (via Bangalore, South India). This four-part article quotes liberally from Dr G.Venkataraman, deputy chairman of the international Sathya Sai Organization, and director of Sathya Sai Baba’s international radio propaganda service, ‘Sai Global Harmony’.
QUOTES FROM PART ONE OF THE ARTICLE:
The foes of the ‘open society’ (Sir Karl Popper’s term) are those who use its very openness to achieve their closed and devious ends. Sai Baba and his highly authoritarian and cultist organisation have such ends, which critics have tried to make known. Its foremost leaders silence all those who question it – and never face substantive criticisms. For the first time – after six years of pained and guilty silence – since hundreds of long-term devotees left it in disgust – the Sathya Sai Organisation has found it necessary to try to defuse the debate about Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged crimes, deceits and fraudulence. Dr. Venkataraman’s tendentious cover-up article expresses untruths which have long circulated within the cult, giving an opportunity to confront him with facts and truth
Despite Sai Baba and his worldwide organisation’s constant claims to be extremely frugal with money, their extravagant promotions belie the truth of their claims. There are wasteful projects galore 2. For example, there are museums and other lavish buildings simply to glorify Sai Baba himself. See for yourself here 3. What Venkataraman cannot contemplate is that Sai Baba overestimated how much he could spend!
Leading media and other organizations such as UNESCO and the U.S. State Department have been very stringent in their expectations of sound evidence from organised former devotees around the world. Those who have researched the worldwide allegations against Sathya Sai Baba include the BBC, DR (Denmark), ATUL (Argentina), SBS (Australia), ABC (Australia), and print media in India, the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, Australia etc. They quickly discovered for themselves the dishonesty and elusiveness of Sai Baba and his leaders. For example, this was why the BBC’s legal department permitted its ‘The Secret Swami’ team to clandestinely film DR Michael Goldstein, allowing millions in many countries to see him show no respect for the accountability and transparency that citizens and responsible organizations today expect. They also saw Goldstein act nastily 4 in a way that is the very antithesis of a spiritual leader.
It suits Venkataraman – who refers to Goldstein as “Brother” to suppress this telling aspect, as he also does with other self-damning statements by Sai Baba and Isaac Tigrett in ‘The Secret Swami‘ 5. The BBC interviewer Tanya Datta says to Tigrett “But even if it was proven to you that Sai Baba was a paedophile and a serial sex abuser, you’re saying it wouldn’t change the fact that he is your guru”. Tigrett replies, “Absolutely not. Absolutely not. He could go out and murder someone tomorrow…”
“High standards” would include acknowledging a fact of great ethical and moral importance. This is that many honourable devotees once in high standing in the Sathya Sai Organisation have done their best to see that those making the allegations are properly and fairly heard. Those who have investigated and spoken out include those who held prominent roles, such as Rick Raines, Richard Nelson, Al Rahm, Shirley Pike, Ella Evers, Dr. Timothy Conway, Glen Meloy, Serguei Badaev, Dave Lyons, William Lo, Hariram Jayaram, Terry Gallagher, Stephen Carthew, David Bailey, Britt-Marie Anden, Conny Larsson etc.
In the absence of proper and, these days, typical standards of organisational openness and accountability, there has been a large and principled exodus from the Sathya Sai Organization. Why do Goldstein, Venkataraman and the other key leaders conceal this from their congregations, and those political or religious leaders and the wider public they try so hard to cultivate and fetch to their keynote events?
It is not surprising, then, that the unaccountable ashram authorities and International Chairman met their match when they ejected the BBC for asking reasonable questions after filming there. The result was a worldwide exposure of the cultist nature of it all. Every major British newspaper reviewed the documentary as being well-balanced and revealing journalism! 6
Posted by Barry Pittard on June 24, 2010
(21 MB, Modem)
There is a Spanish version available: