Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Archive for April, 2011

Indian Ex-Chief Justice: “Wild, Reckless Claims” about Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 29, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba In Glass Casket. Unresurrected - As Yet ....

The following article I have updated with some valuable links not available at the time of writing – 28 August 2007. I have, accordingly, withdrawn the old version, which, however, read practically as this version, below.

Shortly before, and since Sathya Sai Baba’s death, news reports, both in India and beyond, report an increasing number of Sai devotees asking accountability and transparency questions about the Sathya Sai Central Trust in India.

I shall briefly make the point that investigative lawyers, media and devotees at large will need to be alert to what former devotee researchers and analysts have shown. This is that the Sathya Sai Central Trust is not an amorphous, homogeneous entity.

Long ago, Hari Sampath (more recently a corporate software engineer) writing as one who had been a member of Sathya Sai Baba’s Security and Intelligence Wing spoke of various circles of knowledge and activity in the Trust members: See:   The Sathya Sai Baba set-up:  How it works.

The picture is one in which some members, allied with others outside the Trust, are expert practitioners of the darker arts of politics, law, finance, security, and so forth.  Whereas others are, by purpose-design, used for their relative innocence of the realpolitik aspects. A consortium of the cynical, on the one hand and a collection of the naive, on the other.  Nothing new, of course in the world of power.

My reader may indulge me a most personal note. It comes from from an old teacher – and old students are ever fresh in an old teacher’s heart. When I taught (1978 and 1979) at the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India, I had any caring teacher’s dream that those I taught would one day be a blessing to the world.  And, of course, the young can be a blessing for a teacher, just as they can be for a parent.

As the years wore on, and especially as I became involved in exposing Sathya Sai Baba internationally, I could see, more than I ever had, how powerful is the gerontocratic, nepotistic, and elitist, caste and class-bound grip of political and other types of leadership in India. Certainly, it is not genuine leadership, but an abrogation of responsibility.

However, in my recent speaking with young Indians making their way up in key roles in India, I let my – perhaps unduly hopeful and fond old heart – respond. I thought I could sense these young people starting to carve their own way, rather than having it carved for them by the deadly and disgraced hands of India’s Ancien Régime.  They do not have the minatory British colonialist sitting on their shoulder telling them what, and what not, to do.

Perhaps my hope, springing eternal, is but a foolish indulgence. It is most certainly up these new generations of Indians to emulate Hercules’ fifth labour, and clean up India’s befouled governmental and political ‘Augean Stables’.  Sathya Sai Baba promised to do it, and, like many of his promises and predictions, his undertakings died long before he did on 24 April 2011.

See:

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions

Predictions and Promises Made By Sathya Sai Baba plus His Persistent Rumours 

“No fear of bombs” in India, Said Sai Baba a Week Before Mumbai Terrorist Attack

Terrorist Smoke Casts Pall Over India and the WorldTerrorist Smoke Casts Pall Over India and the World, despite Sathya Sai Baba’s assurances that all is well with India in regard to terrorist attacks.

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P.N. Bhagawati, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, a key figure on the Sathya Sai Central Trust (India) has also long been on the Board of Directors of The Times of India.

pn-bhagwati-of-sathya-sai-central-trust.gifIn a joint public letter (December 2001), Bhagwati along with the former Prime Minister of India of the right wing BJP, A.B. Vajpayee, and another former Chief Justice of India, Ranganath Mishra, and three other prominent leaders wrote a public letter stating that contentions of Sai Baba’s dissenters represent a:

“wild, reckless and concocted allegations made by certain vested interests and people against Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba”.

Wild and Reckless?

What then of an Indian Prime Minister and former Chief Justices and others (one now Home Minister in the current Manmohan Singh Government) who proffer no evidence that they, in a transparent and accountable way, have investigated any of the substantive allegations against Sai Baba?

P.N. Bhagwati – supposedly a model of the dispensation of Justice – does a profound injustice to hundreds of good and decent former Sai Baba devotees from many countries who have, on the strictest ethical principle, left Sai Baba and his worldwide Sathya Sai Baba Organization. Those who have left in this way include outstanding, former, longtime top leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization.  These former devotees are not shunned, reviled and defamed by others in their wider communities, professions and trades, and places of study. See the articles: 

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

Sathya Sai Baba and His ‘Demons’.

goldiragingbull(Pictured, from the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami, is World head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Dr Michael Goldstein – setting a perfect example of anger management. Faced by a wall of secrecy and evasiveness, the BBC producers gained a sanction given under strict circumstances by BBC topmost to use a hidden camera when they met with Dr Goldstein, of Covena, southern California, USA. Anyone viewing ‘The Secret Swami’ can see that the questions from the interviewer, Tanya Datta were polite and unprovocative. The same was true of her questions to a major former Vajpayee government Minister, Murali Manohar Joshi.  Yet again, the anger and the obfuscation were clear for the millions who have watched the BBC program to see). 

Does not Dr Goldstein look wild and reckless, here?

The leaders of this organization, such as the world chairman Dr Michael Goldstein of Covina, California, USA, know perfectly well the excellent standing of many former devotees who have attempted to bring attention to the allegations. This is both from the point of view of their role when still members and of the high esteem they have attracted in their professions, trades, education institutions and wider communities.

Yet P.N. Bhagwati and the other signatories wrote of “wild, reckless and concocted allegations made by certain vested interests and people against Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.”

History will judge very harshly of the failure of those blinded by their devotion so greatly as to be incapable of exercising requisite ethics, sensitivity and applied skills and processes to investigate serious and repeated allegations. These have been asserted by scrupulous and conscientious individuals who have, indeed, investigated the allegations with probity, moral responsibility and a natural compassion.  See:

Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia 

The Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba 

Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults  

Al Rahm’s Explanatory Letter To Sathya Sai Baba Internet Proxy Gerald Moreno : 

David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses

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

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam 

New Zealand Lawyer Exposes Official Cover Up of Killings In Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom

(Late) Ron and Peggy Laing: Deeply Alienated From Sathya Sai Organization

Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up

Dr Naresh Bhatia’s Testimony: Sathya Sai Baba Serial Sexual Abuser of Boys and Young Men

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

Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family

Top UK Sathya Sai Organization leaders left Sathya Sai Baba

Robert Priddy:  Why do I concern myself so much?

Why should the Sathya Sai Organization and a few public figures who support Sai Baba not be subject to the same accountability criteria that are now best practice in countless organizations?

Many Former Devotees Have Proved Open to Bona Fide Investigators

To to name just a few – BBC, Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, India Today, and media and other instrumentalities in a number of countries in Europe, and Canada and Australia. And institutions such as UNESCO, University of Flinders, etc.

Many individuals worldwide have, in varying degrees, been alienated from Sai Baba and his Sathya Sai Organization from which they expected to see spirituality and compassion in action. In some cases they have been terribly traumatized by their experiences of Sai Baba and his core leaders, whom they see as having grossly derelicted their duty-of-care for members. Therefore, they are not likely to be too open to those who are aggressive, name-calling, and who fail to observe proper ethical and professional canons of enquiry.

In fact, our submissions to various media, government, civic, academic, law enforcement and other authorities are submitted with the utmost responsibility.  For those of them who are ready to act with integrity, sensitivity and care, we provide as a further mark of good faith, and on the basis of strict privacy, the contact details of those in outstanding, in some cases eminent, positions in government, law, media, education, psychology, medicine, etc., and, simply, ‘ordinary’ people  who are ready to witness to their experiences, who know the facts.

We are able to coordinate personal and telephonic, and where practicable, contact with articulate individuals and families – and also others not intellectually articulate but who are nevertheless also poignantly moving in their accounts – who are ready to share, in a proper atmosphere of respect, their harrowing experiences of sexual abuse by Sai Baba and other of his, and his key leaders’ wrongdoings. These are very far from confined to those like the Rahm family (BBC and DR, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster), who have already shared their experiences in the media and elsewhere. See, e.g.,:

Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family

We have always been ready to assist investigative journalists from quality major media in various parts of the world, as well as important religious and civic institutions, and, for example, academics who are either researching allied issues themselves or supervising students who are doing so.

We also have provision of highly qualified professional counselors.

In short, we are able, with the strictest accountability, to provide compelling credentials, for those who are far removed from attacking, slandering and maligning the many witnesses who attempt to tell (not always particularly coherently and yet often most movingly) of their extremely painful and traumatic experiences at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba, and of his also profoundly compromised officials and other supporters.

Related Reading and Viewing

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC TV

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

See this video clip. Here, BBC footage clearly exposes one of the then Vajpayee Government’s most powerful Ministers, Murali Manohar Joshi, follower of Sai Baba, as he angrily bullies, blusters and evades the interviewer Tanya Datta, who asks him entirely reasonable questions. manjoshi

Manohar Joshi - Home Minister

This Link is worth a look. India’s foremost Rationalist B.Premanand (later copying the exchange to his newsletter The Indian Skeptic, Vol. 19. No. 7 15-11-2006) wrote a series of letters in 2006 to top echelon Government of India officials, including police, referring back to the period when A.B. Vajpayee was in office. The letters attempt to establish a) whether the provenance of the letter ostensibly written by Vajpayee and other in defense of Sai Baba was true and b) whether, if it was, there had been any proper investigations of allegations against Sai Baba for sexual abuse of young males. The essence is that, as usual – since Sai Baba has for decades been heavily protected by Indian governments irrespective of what regime is in power – he got grand obstruction. Of course, one of the great successes of Premanand’s “failures” in his tireless efforts with power structures is to reveal the billowing smokescreens that rise as soon as accountability issues are probed. See also:

Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach

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List of signatories to letter supporting Sathya Sai Baba

A.B. Vajpayee
(then) Prime Minister of India

P.N. Bhagawati
Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India

Ranganath Mishra
(then) Chair Person, National Human Rights Commissioner of India

Formerly Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India
Najma Heptulla
(then) President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union; UNDP Distinguished Human Development Ambassador

Shivraj V. Patil
(Details as signatory: Member of Parliament, India; Formerly of the Lok Sabha & Union Minister. However Patil is now Home Minister in the Government of Manmohan Singh, who himself has shown strong partiality to Sathya Sai Baba)

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Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED (Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four.

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BBC Exposed Sai Baba Top Aide’s And Indian Foreign Minister’s Ploy With UNESCO

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 28, 2011

Below – in red highlight – are subheadings in the article:  The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory.  Posted by Barry Pittard on March 15, 2007. This piece is about a watershed event, the involvement of UNESCO, in the history of former devotee exposure of the Sathya Sai Organization operation at the highest government levels.

With the personal assistance of the then Indian foreign minister, the Deputy world chairman of the international Sathya Sai Organization, Dr G. Venkataraman, who is the director of the Sathya Sai international satellite radio station, made a concerted attempt to undo the successful representation to UNESCO of former devotees around the world.  For a further glimpse at Venkataraman, see:  Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman.

The BBC assistant producer of ‘The Secret Swami’, David Saville, was able to expose the Puttaparthi-Indian Foreign Minister-UNESCO Director and Assistant Director nexus to undermine the opportunity for a venue for former Sai Baba devotees from many countries.

The UNESCO Director and Deputy Director rode rough shod over us, but the clout of the BBC was too much for them to resist. Simply, they were in well-oiled cover up mode. The BBC exposure of this aspect came too late for inclusion in the one-hour documentary (2004), ‘The Secret Swami’. As a result of strongest complaint to governments and to UNESCO itself, UNESCO had – embarrassingly to it – to admit that we had acted correctly, and made a written statement in reversal of their improper decision, which flew in the face of some of UNESCO’s foremost case officers.  See: BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government. Posted by Barry Pittard on June 26, 2007.

In September 2000, after months of extremely taxing work globally, we had succeeding in showing the excellent credentials of many former Sathya Sai Baba followers who made submissions. We had coordinated qualitative documentatary evidence from several countries. Much of this was painful, private and sensitive – from families and survivors of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of boys and young men. As a result, 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 Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Chubb, appointed a senior Staff member to investigate our (also highly detailed) submissions to him, delegates from Flinders University Institute of International Education were required by the University authorities to cancel. 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 had a Number of Concerns. Inter alia, its Advisory said:

“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.””

What do Sathya Sai officials do in such cases?  They obfuscate. They use do not answer, as they would assuredly have to answer if they were in a democratic court of law, the questions put to them.

Some of these former Sai devotees involved in the UNESCO submissions were perfectly well-known to Venkataraman and other heads, and a great many rank-and-file devotees, too, as having served the Sathya Sai Organization for many years with the utmost dedication. Some had been high echelon leaders.  See:  The Sathya Sai Organization: Almost overnight, dissenters treated as demons!

It is by grave untruth and cruel defamation that Venkataraman and others in the Sathya Sai Organization belittle and inveigh against those who, for decades served Sathya Sai Baba with great devotion, and who, in any case, are respected in their wider communities, professions, trades and places of study.

Spiritually, questions of forgiveness are an inner job that each may owe to himself or herself to do – BUT history should not be allowed to forget history. Otherwise, the bullies and all the other unconscienables are allowed to triumph and lay wreckage wherever they wish.

However, internationally networked former devotees have, through their own enormous amount of effort – frequently motivated by the deep human care for the protection of young people – not hesitated to approach their government and political representatives, Interpol, media, and various notable institutions, such as UNESCO.

Fortunately, despite all their grievous failings, western countries are far more responsive to due and diligent processes than India, which is profoundly held back by ills of many sorts – casteism, gerontocracy, elitism, nepotism, graft, kangaroo courts instead of noble and humane justice, and widespread torture by its police and security forces, and so on.

This same India is the land which Sathya Sai Baba said that he would utterly transform before he, in his own lifetime, saved the rest of the world in face its greatest cataclysm.

                                                                       Sathya Sai Baba Dead (85), Long Before He Had Foretold (96).
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Subheadings in the article:  The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory

UNESCO and University of Flinders (South Australia) Withdraw From Big Sai Baba Conference

Sathya Sai Baba’s Officials Simulate UNESCO Involvement

UNESCO Complains to Press Trust of India

UN’s Dr Leonarda Jekantaite. Witting Sai Baba Tool Or a Babe-in-the-woods?

UNESCO Directors Scuttle Own Senior Officials

Indian Government-Puttaparthi Line: Sai Baba’s and India’s Interests are Synonymous

Top Sai Baba Aide Opens Mouth. Cat Jumps Out

UNESCO Directors Capitulate to India and Sai Baba

Will the Internet Wayback Archive Go Missing Too?

BBC Exposes Two Heads of UNESCO and Their Staff

BBC Catches UNESCO Heads and Staff In Falsehood

Sathya Sai Baba’s Officials Simulate UNESCO Involvement

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Further Reading

A detailed analyis of Venkatarman’s mind at work is found in Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s jointly authored, four-part article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’ .  The reader can see, with graphic clarity, Venkataraman’s machinations in concert with the Vajpayee government and the UNESCO.  The BBC’s David Saville, showed conclusively that there the Deputy Director of UNESCO, with the Director’s written acquiescence to favour Sathya Sai Baba at the behest of the then Indian Foreign Minister with whom, in turn, Venkararam had (from a tactical point of view – incautiously)  mentioned publicly.

Why Has Sathya Sai Baba Not Faced The Indian Justice System?

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NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by the prominent British journalist Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED (Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four.

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Brian Steel Exposes Sathya Sai Baba On Glaring Historical Mistakes

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 27, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba Dead (85), Long Before He Had Foretold (96)

Select writings from Brian Steel’s Extensive Opus.

Sathya Sai Baba can be documented by any conscientious reader as having made contradictory statements and egregious historical and scientific blunders. These include his remarks on Jesus Christ and Martin Luther . For Steel’s detailed and sharply contextualized discussion, see: Sai Baba and Christianity. Some Observations (2002). Steel remarks here the alarming “extent of Sai Baba’s inventiveness”. This can be instructively read in concert with his Basic Notes On Sai Baba’s Credibility Problem (2004)

Brian Steel Indexes

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

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Sathya Sai Baba – The Man Who Would Be ‘King of Kings’

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 27, 2011

 Sathya Sai Baba Dead (85), Long Before He Had Foretold (96).

From November 1975, continuing until October 1999, I was inspired by a series of remarkable situations to become a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba. In early 1978, he asked me to teach at his college at Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India. 

My words below may suggest, indirectly, a little of the intense nature of that connection and what became of it twenty-five years later, as evidence counter to my assumptions, and from the testimony of many credible witnesses from of countries around the world, and then large documentation of the profound cover up by Puttaparthi, local, state and central government of the circumstances to the police killings in his bedroom, of his many failed predictions and promises of healing, and of many anomalies and sometimes risible absurdities  became ever more compelling.

A song can sometimes be a better vehicle of such deep  experiences and ideals than many prosaic explanations.  Should any former devotees, or others, relate to the content, I shall be happy, once they have clearly identified themselves, to send the music, which, though original,  is redolent of a long British Isles folk tradition.

The Man Who Would Be ‘King of Kings’. By Barry Pittard

 

I dreamed a dream

So exquisitely

Believable, sublime

I thought it had more substance

Than the Wafer and the Wine

 

It was the vision of a man

A man of miracles

He lived in a land

Where a holy man

Is the flesh of the hidden Divine

 

I saw him stand

Barefoot in the sand

In a silken robe of bright crimson

Beside a temple quaint

That a wizard might paint

“Lord Lord”, they adored him in long chanting

And on and on they chimed:

He gives sight to the blind

Stones speak, the lame leap from their chairs

This vision shook me from head to foot

It took me all unawares …

 

He crooned to me

Most gracefully:

You’ve been with Me throughout Time

I am the Timeless and am yet

Your Wafer and your Wine …

 

… I have decreed

The whole world shall be freed

Come advance in my Retreat

For I am the fire, the smoke and the ash

Your sweet Lord and your Lotus Feet

 

This ‘King of Kings’

Conjured pendants and rings

He said: these gifts hold my deep mysteries

In his temple quaint

That a fakir might paint

When drunk with wild sweet ecstasies

On and on his crowd called:

Thou art the Giver of all

The weight of our dark deeds thou sparest

My dream lit my shrine, like my heart was divine

As I adored him through my rainbow tears

 

I dreamed this dream

So exquisitely

Believable, sublime

I thought it had more substance

Than the Wafer, than the Wine

 

Oh it was the vision of a man

Or a God of miracles

He lived in a land

Where a holy man

Is an ikon of the One Divine

 

From his throne in the sand

He fed the poor with his hand

But raised golden thrones, and florid palaces

Round his temple quaint

Like a Walt Disney might paint

But with bread came the games, came the circuses

And on and on he rolled

In his chariot of pure gold

Told all:  Watch me light up all the spheres

Before my eyes, he kappoofed in cloud of ash

Into my last cup full of tears

 

And he foretold

He would not grow old

His young boys were an endless line

 

In his boudoir quaint

With its tinsel and paint

And he was bitter bread, and tart wine

 

His face a mask of stone

He would weep, he would groan

And the rulers of his land covered up for him

 

His prophecies failed

He walked in circles, he railed

The emperor was nude, but who saw him?

 

In his temple quaint

He would mutter and faint

But with glory his propagandists would draw him

 

And on and on the blind droves

Filled his treasury troves

He said: My stomach it weighed three tonnes of gold

And his Fool’s Gold was all seen on a BBC screen

And his empire began to fold

 

And on and on his cart creaked

His infirmities shreiked

He told all:  You must all be well-behaved

And I laughed from my gut, as I at last woke up

With the real world to be faced!

 

… With the real world

To be

Faced


*   Note:    Copyright protected by The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA)

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emperors-new-clothes.jpg

  • For the Hans Christian Anderson fable referred to, ‘The Emperor’s New Clothes’, see my article:  When ‘Divine’ Magnetism Becomes A Dead Weight
  • For the title, ‘The Man Who Who Be ‘King of Kings’, I have drawn on the title of the Rudyard Kipling story, ‘The Man Who Would Be King’

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

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Health Professional Comes Out On BBC: Sai Baba sexually abused him when young

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 26, 2011

I dearly wish that, with the great many thousands of visitors to this blogsite and that of Robert Priddy, there will be those who can come out with their experiences of sexual and many other forms of abuse at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba.

There is something dangerous – often unconsciously so – about the burying of terrible secrets. Secrets – secretly – undermine and erode, and play out in symptoms that look very different to their fearful and disruptive causes. Relationships, jobs, and personal happiness and effectiveness are typically damaged.

However, it is with a marked caveat that I speak of coming out. I think, for example, of the acute situation in India, where I lived for several years, and therefore have some sense of how the extended family works, and the effects that speaking out can have in multiple destructive ways, including marriage, economic stability of whole family groupings and so forth. What is more, India is not a society where people can speak out on the most personal issues, such as on Oprah Winfrey, Dr Phil, and many other such television shows.

My caveat is this. That it is of prime importance for anyone who intends to come out with their painful, and sometimes tragic, accounts of coming to grief with Sathya Sai Baba and his cult to get the most ethical, sensitive legal, psychological and emotional support working for oneself.

For those who wish to undertake any such venture in regard to Sathya Sai Baba, our very experienced, credentialed mental health professionals can endeavor, through their own apex, professionally chartered bodies and their further resources, to see that those in need are in good hands. Our former devotee workers work with the same principles of compassionate service that they did in the many decades in the Sathya Sai Organization. (A fact profoundly dishonored by its leaders and many in the rank-and-file who have attempted to obliterate facts from their memories)

Mental health professionals who have excellent qualifications are welcome to contact Robert Priddy and myself, and we shall be glad to provide contact for you with those professionals already knowledgeable of Sathya Sai Baba-related issues in counseling settings.

I should add that we know that, in surfacing issues of various types of abuse, there can be keen issues between directions counseling and law make take. Sometimes, they may be able to work well together; but there are views that they do not and never can. As elsewhere in life, bewildering crossroads can be reached, such as whether an individual had best take the route of debriefing with a lawyer or e.g., or a psychologist, psychotherapist, etc., or combine the services. Perhaps something has to be left up to the researches and determinations of those who feel harmed. (I think ‘survivors’ is often a more useful and proactive word than ‘victims’, though no word does all that much justice).

One of the lessons those centrally engaged in the exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult, such as Robert Priddy and I, Barry Pittard, have had to learn, until it becomes part of the fibre of our being, is of the extreme fragility (often far from obvious) of those whose privacy has been sorely abused. And who have been still further abused by what we view as the international Sathya Sai Organization’s extraordinary dereliction of duty of care.

It is too easy to think that because a person may appear psychologically robust that they are therefore robust. But what happens to that robustness when, as horribly often in court, a person who claims to have been abused. Many legal and mental health records exist where victims, say, of rape make statements of the sort:  It was like being raped a second time over. Or what happens when, with the knowledge and participation, in the background, of highly placed leaders in the Sathya Sai Organization defamatory attacks are launched on those who have spoken out. And yet who are known, and have long been known, in their wider communities, professions and trades, to be persons of singular decency and service to others?

It strikes me that history will not look kindly on those countless Sai devotees who have so extensively and blindly failed to follow those teachings that their master has taught in common with those ethics enshrined in all the great systems of values.

Here is the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ video clip where Tanya Datta interviews Mark Roche, long a highly respected member of the Sathya Sai Organization. At the time of his interview he was in his 60’s and is currently a psychotherapist in the USA:

 

Mark Roche, BBC interview, ‘The Secret Swami’

Mark Roche (USA), now a psychotherapist, and a long time highly respected member of the

 

 

 

Datta, Tanya

 

10.24.10 Aston Santa Monica, California

10.24.16 Music

 

10.24.28 Tanya Datta: Mark Roche devoted twenty-five years of his life to Sai Baba. He first heard of him in nineteen sixty-nine and soon joined the local centre in California. The guru’s message was the big attraction.

10.24.40 Music

10.24.44 Aston MARK ROCHE: The teachings themselves were very universal and adopted the attitude of embracing all other religions so that it wasn’t a matter of this religion opposed to that, that you had to leave whatever you were in to be associated with Sai Baba, it was something that just be a better Christian or a better Jew or a better whatever it is rather than necessarily having to leave it mixed with the fact that the person who is the head of that is claiming to be God himself.

10.25.12 Music

10.25.15 Tanya Datta: It’s the special moment when God calls. And Mark couldn’t believe his luck when he was summoned for a private interview. But he emerged shocked and confused. Just like the Rahms, Sai Baba had oiled his genitals. Two years later Mark was called for an audience again.

10.25.37 Mark Roche: He kept saying stuff like that I’m giving you a great chance, millions want to touch the feet, you know, I’m giving you whole body, this is great chance, this is great chance. Then he went over to a different of the building and pulled up his dhoti, which is Indian garment kind of thing and exposed himself and sort of indicated that I was supposed to put his penis in my mouth, which, feeling intimidated and confused and all that, I did. And although it didn’t seem right to me but it just seemed like what I was supposed to do.

10.26.12 Music

10.26.15 Tanya Datta: Why would God want to put his penis in your mouth?

10.26.20 Mark Roche: Got me.

10.26.21 Music

10.26.24 Tanya Datta: One of the things that a lot of the abuse victims we’ve talked to have said, is that Sai Baba does these genital oilings because it’s part of Hinduism. Have you ever heard anything like that?

10.26.35 Aston: KHUSHWANT SINGH Writer: I, I, I, for one, it’s nothing to do with, there’s no Indian tradition to support the fact that, you know, worship of the Lingam includes also doing the blow job, if that is what you are referring to. I don’t think there’s any basis for that whatsoever.

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NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by the prominent British journalist Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

Further Reading

Standing Up To Cultic Monoliths. (Sathya Sai Baba Organization Example)

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

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED (Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami – A Revision’ (2004-2007). By Barry Pittard

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

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip)

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a readerSubscribe to Call for media and government

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Sathya Sai Central Trust Says “millions and millions” of Devotees Worldwide. But Who Counted?

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 25, 2011

Below is the report of The (UK) Guardian’s report on Sathya Sai Baba’s death yesterday morning. I shall excerpt from, and comment on, it.

Sai Baba, spiritual guru to millions, dies at 85

• New-age icon dies of heart and breathing problems
• Reputation marred by sexual abuse allegations

By Jason Burke in Delhi guardian.co.uk, Sunday 24 April 2011 19.46 BST

Sai Baba

Guardian: Sai Baba had an estimated six million followers, but critics said his ‘miracles’ were simple magic tricks. Photograph: AP
But though revered by millions around the world as a living god, he was a controversial figure, criticised by some as a fraud protected by political influence. His later years were dogged by allegations of sexual abuse.
 
Comment:  For backround, see:

UK Guardian On Sathya Sai Baba and Duke’s Awards


The UK Guardian Exposes Indian Guru, Sai Baba

                                                                                                                               Paul Lewis’s article in The Guardian (UK)
                                                                                                                                                   on Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Guardian:   Among Sai Baba’s estimated six million followers are hundreds of top Indian politicians, industrialists, tycoons, Bollywood stars and sportsmen such as cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. Overseas, they include Goldie Hawn and Isaac Tigrett, the founder of Hard Rock café. Sarah Ferguson has visited one of his ashrams.

Comment:  It is refreshing to see a more conservative head count of Sathya Sai Baba followers than e.g., fifty million. But no bona fide researcher has ever, in my or our several avid researchers’ wide Sai-Baba related research experience, been able to come up with the small matter of what ‘head’ counted all the millions of heads. See:  Many Contradictions In Sathya Sai Baba Official Literature and: Sathya Sai Baba’s Gross Exaggerations of Puttaparthi Crowd Numbers.

Is this sort of estimate very much a ‘guesstimate’?  A matter of the ‘gut’ feeling of devotees? A gutstimate!  If so, whose gut? Even the figure of one hundred million has been mentioned. An example of this occurred  in a high-profile talk aimed at  thousands of devotees. If some rank-and-file devotee made such a claim, we might think:  a simple-minded excess of devotion.  But here, making a grossly unsupportable statement was:

Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand, of Akansas, USA, MBBS, D.Phil., FAAP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, Neurobiology & Developmental Sciences UAMS College of Medicine; Board of Directors, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute.  Anand, for long well-known in official Sathya Sai Baba affairs in the US, was a medical advisor to George Bush when he was US President. See:  Sai Baba Is God Says Top George Bush Doctor. It is the constant, most irresponsible repetition of such figures which leads to the sort of reportage we find in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph (UK), which mentions “up to fifty million devotees”.

Guardian:  Since Sai Baba founded his first permanent meditation centre more than 60 years ago, a vast construction programme funded by donations has converted the remote village where he was born into a thriving small city with dozens of temples, its own 220-bed specialised hospital offering free treatment, a university and an airport where charter planes bringing devotees from around the world arrive every day.

Comment:  The airport detail is very outdated. In the article: Sathya Sai Baba: opulence, show, extravagance and waste, Robert Priddy writes:

The Sathya Sai International Airport, Puttaparthi: Nonetheless, in such a desperately poor State as Andhra Pradesh, it seems very wasteful, as did the airport beside it which stood unused for years and is still used less than ca. 5% of each week. V.K. Narasimhan was present at the interview in 1990 where airport authorities were present. He told how SSB convinced Indian Airport authorities to finance and build the large (allegedly Jumbo jet capacity) airport near Prashanthi Nilayam, telling them that they would earn 10 lakhs of rupees in the first year. No paying passengers even flew in or out during the first year. The frequency of traffic, at best about 2-3 flights of medium jets per week for several years at periods – and when SSB was in residence – ensured that earnings were minimal and well below costs. It was virtually closed often in the 1990s and it hardly justifies its existence at all nowadays. It is truly hard to rationalise such a huge waste of funds in such an impoverished land! The reason can only be Sai Baba’s patently obvious desire for ‘name and fame’. See Sathya Sai Airport “white elephant” for sale!

Guardian:  Volunteers working with Sai Baba’s NGOs have effectively delivered disaster relief and undertaken large-scale developmental works that have brought water or sanitation to hundreds of thousands of people.

Comment:  None should doubt the devotion of a great many Sathya Sai devotees to service activities.  But there is a fallacy – heard repeatedly from many Sai devotees who admit that he routinely had, among what countless communities would regard  as  terrible, ethical and legal abuses of power, sexual relations with boys and young men. Their position is similar to that of close associate of Sai Baba, one-time billionaire Isaac Tigrett who told the BBC that he did not doubt the truth of the sexual allegations but this did not prevent his devotion and fealty to his guru. Devotees and others, mindless of how serious a crime sexual abuse is, say:  But look at all the good works he does!

Guardian: There are thought to be more than 1,200 centres of his Sathya Sai organisation in over a hundred countries around the world.

Comment:  How, then, does the international Sathya Sai Organization, manage to fit the “millions and millions” into all the halls, and temples, and houses where Sathya Sai bhajans are typically held? It seems like herds of elephants pressed into a sardine can.

Guardian:  Sai Baba did not appoint any successor to run his sprawling spiritual and temporal empire, currently run by a trust, after his death. The local Economic Times newspaper estimated its worth at up to £5bn though admitted no accurate valuation was possible.

Comment:  Refreshing to find acknowledgement that “no accurate valuation was possible”. 

Guardian:  “Some people out of their mean-mindedness are trying to tarnish the image of Sai Baba. I am not after name and fame. So, I do not lose anything by their false allegations. My glory will go on increasing day by day,” the guru told followers in 2000.

Comment:  Sai Baba was anything but calm and happy about the upsurge of revelation alleging his abuses. An historic watershed allowed word to get out as never hitherto. Sai Baba’s and his cult’s increasingly top-down, authoritarian style of operation, and the scandals  that the top leadership were previously able to suppress, faced a great dilemma. This owed prfoundly to the exponential uprise of the internet around this time. In a Christmas 2000 discourse, in which peace and goodwill to all men were palpable for their absence, Sai Baba repeatedly pounded his lectern, denouncing his accuses as demons and Judas’s, saying that there could be no salvation for people who speak against him, and vaunting his accomplishments (even though, contrary to his assertions, far from unique when one thinks of the countless great charitable organizations in the world), prompting The Times of India, December 26, 2000, to headline: Sai Baba Lashes Out At His Detractors.

Guardian:  In 1993, six people died violently in the spiritual leader’s private rooms. The incident has never been fully explained. One possibility is a dispute between followers over money.

Comment:  A source of mine, a friend of the boys whom the Puttaparthi police shot down in Sai Baba’s bedroom told me (and, via a particularly eminent elder of his, to the BBC) that the actual wish of the boys, in their confused state, was to plead with Sai Baba to stop using boys for his sexual pleasure. The police action was, said V.P.B. Nair, a former Home Secretary of the state of Andhra Pradesh, a case of “cold-blood murder”, and a profound cover by local, state and central government up of police (CBI) and other evidence. See: Will V.P.B. Nair Keep His Word To BBC On Sathya Sai Baba?  and: V.P.B. Nair Told BBC Sai Baba Bedroom Killings Were “Coldblooded Murder” and: V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings and: Indian Ex Top Official Dogs Sai Baba On BBC. ‘Cold-blooded Murder’

Guardian:  His followers claim that, as he has died earlier than foreseen, he could return as early as next year.

Comment:  Heaven knows!  Not nearly so long, according to some reports. Like this one, as reported yesterday in the Times of India:

Baba had said he would come back stronger, claims book

TNN | Apr 24, 2011, 03.38am IST

PUTTAPARTHI: Did Sathya Sai Baba have premonition 10 years ago that he would fall seriously ill? Yes, claim his followers. According to them, Sai Baba had predicted in 2000 that he would be indisposed for 40 days but would come back strong to give darshan to his devotees.  This was revealed in a book ‘Tapovanam — Bhagawan Sri Sathya Saibaba Satcharitra Nityaparaya-nam’ in which the author Jandhyala Venkateswara Sastry has written an essay on Baba’s ill-health. Sai Baba had told his students at his Sai Shruti ashram in Kodaikanal in 2000: ”Though most of my disciples fall at my feet, they don’t know my real value. A time would come when I would vanish and take a walk across the skies. During that phase, my body would face serious health problems and devotees would be desperately praying for my recovery. The Baba also goes on to say, according to the writer, that several gun-toting cops would be guarding the premises where he would be hospitalised. As Saturday marked the 27th day of his stay in the SSSIHMS, many devotees said Baba would soon give darshan. “Time and place cannot hold me captive. I decide when to come back. If I want I can go anywhere and come back any time,” he is said to have told students during the discourse. He had said that he would live for 96 years in his present avatar. After 40 days, he would come back. Just watch out,” a devotee said even as he prayed for the Baba.

Comment:  Since when were gun-toting cops NOT around Sai Baba?!  See: 

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions.   “I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.” See, too:  Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit.  Or sample the account of one of India’s most powerful Hindu nationalist leaders, Ashok Singhal, who has an international profile in the Hindu world, told an assembly of political and religious luminaries in Delhi of a prophecy he says Sathya Sai Baba shared with him:  ‘World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him 

Below is Tanya Datta’s obituary. She was part of the BBC team which made ‘The Secret Swami’.  See my view as having been closely involved with documentation and international coordination of primary and other witnesses in the making of this 2004, hour-long documentary:  The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision  See too Robert Priddy’s Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC. And for a man upon whom many duties will now focus, see:  Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman:  Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard.

……………………………………………………………………..

NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by the prominent British journalist Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED (Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four

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Sathya Sai Baba Is Dead. Said He Would Rule the World and Die Aged 96

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 24, 2011

SATHYA SAI BABA DEAD THIS MORNING ….

Sathya Sai Baba died today, Sunday morning.  A Puttaparthi hospital official says:

“Sai Baba is no more with us physically. He breathed his last at 7:40am and died due to cardio-respiratory failure.”

The self-described fullest incarnation of God ever to visit the earth has been clearly documented as saying that he would live until circa 2022, aged 96.  But 85 years of age cannot, by any miracle, be said to be 96. There are his well-documented promises that he would rule the world before leaving it. That he would avert the worst calamity mankind has ever faced. That he would usher in a long ‘Golden Age of Sai’. These and other declarations have clearly not even begun to look at all likely. See: my article: Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions.

The late Howard Murphet, an Australian journalist, and author of best-selling hagiorgraphical books on Sai Baba, with whom he was close for years, wrote:

“Swami once, a good many years ago told me that He would not travel abroad until His own house was in order, by that He means India, of course”. Source: Online version, “The Lights of Home”.

In a February 1 16, 2007 ‘divine discourse’, Sai baba said: 

“I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly”.

Godman proposes, God disposes, it would seem.

Sathya Sai Baba was perhaps the most wealthy and politically powerful in India’s long history. As of today, the world shall have just have to battle things out without him.

I was a faith-smitten devotee of 25 years, and a lecturer in his Whitefield College (via Bangalore, South India) – 1978-9), at the ashram where Sai Baba mainly lived in those days. I taught the 3 years of the degree course, a source of greatly happy memories. I have him to thank for that, and for his protection of my innovations in what was a very conservative, rote-dominated learning milieu. He showed me other kindnesses, too, which I shall always treasure as I do my own breath. 

But October 1999 marked the beginning of my intense and far-reaching investigation of profoundly disturbing accounts from around the world. Until then, I thought he would usher in a spiritual and social revolution, the like of which the world had never seen.  See:


It must seem odd to anyone but a faith-smitten devotee, but here were just some of the assurances he gave:

“Usually old people have wrinkles on their faces … I do not have any signs of old age. (loud applause). There is not a single wrinkle on My face”. (The official monthly official journal: Sanathana Sarathi, October, 2002)

 “I do not suffer from any kind of disease because there is no trace of greed in Me. That is why I am always healthy…”  (Sanathana Sarathi September 2001, page 257f) 186)

“Desire to which you are too fondly attached breeds anger and its nefarious brood. Discard it and you can have perpetual youth! The Aanandha that the Aathman can manifest will keep age and ageing away!” (Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Prashanthi Nilayam, 22 Feb 1971. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.)

“Millions and Millions” of Devotees!  But Has Anyone Done A Proper Head Count?

His devotees – very inattentively followed by many duty-derelict sections of an unquestioning media – speak, as did a Sathya Sai Central Trust bulletin of only days ago, of “millions and millions” of devotees around the world. See:  Sathya Sai Trust Officials Say Sai Baba Out of Hospital Soon.  Posted by Barry Pittard on April 16, 2011.  This statement appeared in the long and anxiously awaited “Important Press Release by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust”, Friday, April 15, 2011. This read, in part:

“His residence is being got ready in all aspects to receive Him and provide Him the required level of follow up medical care as also emergency services.

…. The Trustees are gratified to note the spontaneous upsurge of prayers, bhajans, namasmarana, candle light processions of millions and millions of His devotees all over the globe for His very early and total recovery”.

As anyone in any virtually any street around the world knows perfectly well, this talk of “millions and millions” is a nonsense, where faith and imagination far outrun reality. Let Sathya Sai devotees provide some facts, figures, television footage of these alleged remarkable turnouts round the world. Or ask all the candle manufacturers if they ran out of candles owing to extreme demand by these candle-carrying “millions and millions” of Sathya Sai devotees ….

Let anyone in countries round the world stop any passer-by and ask whether they have heard of Sathya Sai Baba, and they will, frequently, get blank looks for answers. On the other hand, ask people if they know of Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela or Prince William and his wife-to-be Kate Middleton, and one will fare a great deal better.

Will One of So Many Failed Prophecies Fare Any Better With His Foretellings Yet To Be Tested?

Times of India’s report hands us the excellent opportunity to do a countdown for the next 40 days – for that is the amount of time to be taken for the fulfilment of his reported prophecy of returning from the dead. 

PUTTAPARTHI: Did Sathya Sai Baba have premonition 10 years ago that he would fall seriously ill? Yes, claim his followers. According to them, Sai Baba had predicted in 2000 that he would be indisposed for 40 days but would come back strong to give darshan to his devotees.  This was revealed in a book ‘Tapovanam — Bhagawan Sri Sathya Saibaba Satcharitra Nityaparaya-nam’ in which the author Jandhyala Venkateswara Sastry has written an essay on Baba’s ill-health. Sai Baba had told his students at his Sai Shruti ashram in Kodaikanal in 2000: ”Though most of my disciples fall at my feet, they don’t know my real value. A time would come when I would vanish and take a walk across the skies. During that phase, my body would face serious health problems and devotees would be desperately praying for my recovery.”

But  can we take his word?  See:  Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing PredictionsIn fact, many are his failed predictions, and broken promises of miraculous cure. In his February 1 16, 2007 (so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sathya Sai baba said: “I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.” See, too:  Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit

Or for further solemn unreality, read and account of what one of India’s most powerful Hindu nationalist leaders, Ashok Singhal, who has an international profile in the Hindu world, told an assembly of political and religious luminaries in Delhi of a prophecy he says Sathya Sai Baba shared with him:  ‘World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him 

Below is Tanya Datta’s obituary. She was part of the BBC team which made ‘The Secret Swami’.  See my view as having been closely involved with documentation and international coordination of primary and other witnesses in the making of this 2004, hour-long documentary:  The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision .  See too Robert Priddy’s Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC. And for a man upon whom many duties will now focus, see:  Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman:  Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard.

Further Reading

My obituries for two men of remarkable courage, compassion and determination in standing up to the execrations and, indeed, serious defamations of many Sathya Sai devotees from the most prominent to the rank-and-file:

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009

Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2009

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 BBC News South Asia

24 April 2011 Last updated at 05:03 GMT
Obituary:  Indian guru Sai Baba

By Tanya Datta Documentary maker

Sai BabaSri Satya Sai Baba, India’s revered spiritual guru who counted presidents, prime ministers, judges and generals amongst his millions of followers around the world, has died at the age of 84.

Until the last, he was a man who inspired passionately conflicting emotions (as I discovered when I made a BBC investigative documentary about him in 2004 called Secret Swami).

To his devotees, Sai Baba was an avatar, an incarnation of God in human form, who appeared on Earth to preach his inspirational message in one of India’s poorest corners.

To his critics, he was a fraudster dogged for years by controversial allegations of sexual abuse yet protected from prosecution by virtue of his powerful political sway.

Whatever he was, there was no doubt that over time he rose in prominence to become India’s premier “god-man”, eclipsing the likes of Maharishi and Shri Rajneesh who had first drawn Westerners east in the Sixties and Seventies.

A petite, softly spoken man dressed in full length saffron robes and perpetually sporting a trademark afro hairstyle, Sai Baba’s appeal was not limited to Western hippies but cut across Indian society from its lowest to highest echelons as well as spreading to many other countries beyond.

‘Immaculate conception’Satya Sai Baba was born Sathyanarayana Raju on 23 November 1926 in the remote village of Puttaparthi in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, although like many born at this time, there is no proof of his date of birth.

Stories abound of the early signs of his divinity.

It is said that his mother claimed her son was born out of an immaculate conception just as Jesus Christ had been, another messiah who Sai Baba often identified himself with.

On another occasion, he was alleged to have survived a scorpion bite and on his recovery, was miraculously able to speak Sanskrit, a language he did not know before. Indeed, throughout his childhood, he was said to have been abnormally gifted in artistic pursuits such as music, dance, drama and writing.

Supporters of Sai Baba Sai Baba had a huge following

When he was 13 years old, the young boy announced to his family that he was the incarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba, a 19th century Indian holyman who had been equally venerated by Hindus and Muslims alike. Changing his name was a key spiritual metamorphosis.

The teenage Sai Baba soon began to attract followers and by 1950, had constructed an ashram called Prasanthi Nilayam (Abode of Peace) near his village to accommodate them.

It heralded the start of the transformation of Puttaparthi into a Sai Baba wonderland spread over some 10 square kilometres; the vast complex of hotels, resorts, university buildings, speciality hospital, airport and enormous ashram thronged with devotees that I witnessed while making the documentary.

Non-dogmaticPart of Sai Baba’s huge global popularity may be explained by his non-dogmatic, non-doctrinal approach to spirituality.

In contrast to many sects, followers were not required to give up their previous religious beliefs as the guru stated that he believed in the one God that lay behind all religious paths.

Certainly, Sai Baba inspired love and admiration.

During our time spent filming at the ashram, devotees from around the world would volunteer stories about how Sai Baba had visited them in a dream or had called to them though moments of curious serendipity.

In addition, his mystical ability to manifest vibhuti (holy ash), food as well as jewellery and watches out of thin air was often cited as further proof of his divinity and akin to the ‘miracles’ ascribed to other past prophets.

His opponents, however, refuted this to me.

In the Secret Swami, I was shown how these manifestations could easily be explained by illusionists’ techniques and sleight of hand tricks.

A hospital built by Sai Baba A hospital in Puttaparthi set up by Sai Baba

For decades, various scientists, rationalists and magicians have in turn, attempted to challenge the guru to perform his ‘miracles’ under controlled conditions.

Sai Baba always refused to submit to these tests, once saying: “Science must confine its inquiry only to things belonging to the human senses, while spiritualism transcends the senses. If you want to understand the nature of spiritual power you can do so only through the path of spirituality and not science.”

Sexual Abuse

The most damning allegations against the “god-man”, however, concern the sexual abuse of young boys and male adults during private interviews with him.

Damaging rumours have circulated since the seventies of the guru’s sexual exploits but have always been dismissed out of hand by the tightly controlled Sai Baba organisation.

We interviewed the Rahm family in America who had been Sai Baba devotees for years. Both father and son stated that they had been subjected to Sai Baba rubbing oil on their genitals.

“He took me aside,” said Alaya Rahm, “put the oil on his hands, told me to drop my pants and rubbed my genitals with oil. I was really taken aback.”

Former Indian PM Atal Behari Vajpayee with Sai Baba Sai Baba counted former Indian prime ministers as his followers

Dr Michael Goldstein, chairman of the international Sai Baba organisation, admitted he had heard rumours, but told us that he did not believe them. He said: “My heart and my conscience tell me that it is not possible.”

Sai Baba was never investigated on this issue. All attempts to prosecute him failed.

Nor was there any satisfactory resolution to the gruesome killing of four male devotees in 1993 who allegedly entered Sai Baba’s bedroom, armed with knives.

The police claimed they had been shot in self-defence.

The lack of any legal proceedings against the guru was perhaps not surprising in light of the level of influence that he commanded.

A previous Indian prime minister, Atal Vajpayee, once issued a letter on his official notepaper calling the attacks on Sai Baba “wild, reckless and concocted”.

Since 2005, Sai Baba’s health had been deteriorating. Although he once predicted he would die in his mid-90s, he also claimed he could choose the moment of his death.

In death as in life, he remained an enigma to the last.

Tanya Dutt is a London-based radio and television broadcaster and writer. She made Secret Swami, an investigative documentary on Sai Baba for BBC Two.

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Sathya Sai Baba Teaches: ‘We are not this body’. Why Are His Devotees Such A Police Security Problem?

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 24, 2011

Cited several times in the Indian media’s sudden, unaccustomed, large coverage of Sathya Sai Baba, are accounts of “eminent” Sai devotees stating that he will not die because he has promised to remain in the physical body until he is 96 years.

Outside India, the notion of outstanding professionals giving credence to such way-out beliefs must seem strange. For the facts to sink in to a foreign brain’s grappling hooks, one has to live and work in India. One has to experience at first hand the sheer extent of superstition from top to bottom in that society of such mutual kindness and cruelty, beauty and tragedy. Valiantly, many Indians struggle on behalf of sense and reason, but what they face is formidable in the extreme.

The Times of India reports:

Sai Baba’s devotees believe he will live for 96 years

IANS, Apr 21, 2011, 03.45pm IST

HYDERABAD: Though the condition of spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba is worsening, some of his devotees are confident he will recover and live for 96 years as he had once predicted.

A group of eminent devotees, including former judges, police officers and physicians, believe that the 85-year-old Sathya Sai Baba’s present condition is because he has taken on himself the sufferings of one of his devotees.

 For decades, Sathya Sai Baba’s constant evangel has been for his followers not, except for a few concessions to practicality, to regard the body – a decaying, temporary encasement. In hundreds of his discourses, he has told them not to become attached to his, or indeed, to anyone’s bodily form. Why, then, the overwhelming scenes of weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth?

 And why are so many of his followers now  – in being so disrespectful of life and limb with all their intemperate milling and thronging at Puttaparthi – causing such trouble to the local and state police?  According to official statements, there are some 2000 police engaged in crowd control and other security duties at Puttaparthi, with another 2000 or so on standby. This is in addition to Sathya Sai Baba’s large cadres of well-drilled Seva Dal (service volunteers).

One may ask, too, why such unseemly arguments attend the deliberations among some of his closest servitors?

And how, given such scenes of chaos, his devotees could ever have supposed that, within his own lifetime, as he has on various occasions promised, he could ever transform the entire world, bring it to his feet?  For he, relatively, despite all the social good works of his organized followers, has been hardly able to apply a hoe or a rake to his own backyard.

My colleague Robert Priddy has just received this note from one who is well-connected, and long known to us:

“As of 4 pm ( April 23rd)…the news coming through is the SB trust, the AP govt administration and members of the SB immediate family have been in an important meeting since 11 AM….to “discuss the health status of Sathya Sai , to decide future course of action and matters of the Sai Baba trust etc”…more than 20 members are said to have been in the meeting which had adjourned at 2PM for lunch and yet to reconvene. Significantly, Ratnakar was absent in the meeting, and the official reason is he had a “knee problem”. I am reliably informed that the compromise formula is not working out, and that Ratnakar has been legally advised by his counsel not to attend the meeting and be any party to any resolution passed…in view of the fact he can legally exercise his control over the trust at a later date, and should not be party to anything now either in his capacity of the legal heir of sb or as a SB trust member. I am informed that this is delaying any “announcement”….and a deadlock has been reached. Apparently, Ratnakar wants 2 trusts to be formed,  one dealing with the Ashram itself, the samadhi of Sai Baba and all activities there..and another dealing with the sb educational, medical and all other activities. He wants to be exclusively in charge of the Ashram/shrine/samadhi activities, while he is willing to concede the 2nd to other trust members, provided he still remains on the board. The SB trust is not inclined to accept this formula, and are trying for a compromise solution without dividing anything. Hence the deadlock. the SB trust has issued a message that they would address the media meet later today.”

Reading both the note above, and then the report below, perhaps there is no need to offer any prizes for guessing the identity of the individual whom the Indian newspaper The Economic Times refers to, when it states:  “The presence of one family member of the Baba will complicate matters”.

Sathya Sai Baba’s condition deteriorates as multiple organs stop responding

ET Bureau, Apr 22, 2011, 08.16am IST

The 85-year old spiritual guru, who counted many powerful politicians and bureaucrats among his devotees, was admitted last month to the super-speciality hospital run by his trust. With Baba’s condition not letting up, fears have grown of a battle for control at the mega-rich Sri Satya Sai Baba Trust, which controls a number of hospitals, universities and other institutions. The trust claims to have operations in more than 166 countries.

While there is a suggestion that the government must take over the functioning of the trust, many devotees are opposed to it, saying the activities of the trust will suffer. Former Supreme Court chief justice P.N. Bhagwati, chartered accountant Indulal Shah, former central vigilance commissioner SV Giri, WS Industries chairman V. Srinivasan and Sai Baba’s nephew J Ratnakar are members of the trust.

Reports suggest that Bhagwati had recently met the Prime Minister to brief him of the activities of the trust. But in the absence of a clearly identified successor to Baba as the head of the trust, many fear that infighting will break out. The presence of one family member of the Baba will complicate matters.

Born Satyanarayana Raju in November 1926, the Baba has attracted legions of devotees around the world. He was known for materializing holy ash and small objects such as gold rings, coins and chains—a subject of much myth and controversy. While Baba’s charitable work and his ability to give solace to millions brought fame and following of powerful people, Baba’s career has also been daunted by allegations of sexual abuse—subject of a controversial 2004 BBC documentary titled The Secret Swamy.

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NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by the prominent British journalist Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED (Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four

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Barry Pittard’s Articles Most-Sought During Sathya Sai Baba Health Crisis (Part 1)

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 23, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba’s life hangs on by a thread no larger than the electrical impluses of his life support equipment. He is not rallying.

In the present climate of heightened enquiry, the links I give below may be useful for readers – especially those new to, or less familiar with, this blogsite. I shall give below a list of links that are being especially well-visited at this time at this blogsite ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba. As I can see from WordPress-provided internal statistical read-outs, these articles are getting solid ‘hits’. To put the matter mildly ….!

Over the next days, I intend to follow up with Parts 2 and 3.

Well may Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees – in particular, the profoundly non-consulted rank-and-file – begin to question what is happening. If they persist, they will find that appalling unaccountability and transparency have been happening all along.

Perhaps not since the heady days of considerable exposure commencing circa 2000 has there been such a ferment of questioning regarding the trustworthiness or otherwise of Sathya Sai Baba.  Over the intervening years, former devotee analysts, researchers and commentators have worked extremely hard to gather documentation (often from official Puttaparthi sources). As well, there has been the work of supporting individuals and families worst devastated by their contact with that version of Sathya Sai Baba that the BBC named ‘The Secret Swami’.

Plenty of these usages of this blogsite originate from:  * Google and other search engines. * Our allied blogsites and websites, such as Robert Priddy’s highly organized main website: Sathya Sai Baba In Word and Action  and his blogsite:  Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed and from the general website Exbaba.com which contains a huge amount of contribution by former devotees from many countries. * Important locations, especially for those who wish extensive, scholarly presentation are Brian Steel’s writings at:   Sathya Sai Baba: The Guru Who Claimed to be God on Earth and Recent Research on Sathya Sai Baba and A Bibliography of Apologetic Writings. Many ‘hits’ come from:  * Individuals who search within this blogsite,  ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’.  * Surfing from the internal links – article to article.  * No, doubt. information passed on by recommendation by word-of-mouth , internet chatroom discussions, emails, the various forms of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and so on.  

I see a large inflow of ‘hits’ that I cannot explain by reference to other statistics.  I am supposing that many people are referring each other via word-of-mouth. It was the internet enablement, beginning to develop exponentially from that time, which caused untold damage to the repute of the Sathya Sai Central Trust and the international Sathya Sai Organization. It is difficult to suppose other than that the exposure Sai Baba’s health woes have brought that these instrumentalities will receive another bout of powerful blows to both membership and wider public image.

Both Robert Priddy (retired academic University of Oslo and former longtime head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization) and I (retired college teacher and former lecturer at the Sathya Sai College, 1978-79) are experiencing a huge and unabating upsurge of interest for many days – to be exact, since great turmoil and search have erupted following Sathya Sai Baba’s hospitalization and insertion of a pacemaker, on 28 March.

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Current In-Demand Barry Pittard Articles at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip). The BBC shot this devastating exposure of Sathya Sai Baba fakery for its documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ at the Maha Shivarathri Festival at Puttaparthi (2004).  The carelessness with which Sathya Sai Baba botched his trick may be explicable by reference to other serious mistakes, in the context of his declining mental and physical health. See: Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon? and Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions and When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises and Sathya Sai Baba’s Tips To Keep Ageing Away and Ageing and collapse in Sai Baba’s health.

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision. The BBC’s cameras at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi in South India catch the pomp, circumstance, opulence and the highly stage-managed atmosphere of the crowded Mahasivaratri festival, February 2004. India’s most famous (and controversial) ‘Godman’ has promised a great miracle, the materialization from within his stomach via his mouth of a pure gold lingam (a Hindu cosmic symbol of creation) the size of a generous egg, in full public view. Viewers hoping to see this spectacle will not be disappointed – but they will see the sham in full close-up.

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision. The BBC’s cameras at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi in South India catch the pomp, circumstance, opulence and the highly stage-managed atmosphere of the crowded Mahasivaratri festival, February 2004. India’s most famous (and controversial) ‘Godman’ has promised a great miracle, the materialization from within his stomach via his mouth of a pure gold lingam (a Hindu cosmic symbol of creation) the size of a generous egg, in full public view. Viewers hoping to see this spectacle will not be disappointed – but they will see the sham in full close-up.

Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman. More detailed information to that below is found in the article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’. This four-part piece was co-authored by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. It responds to points Dr G. Venkataraman raised against a number of exposure activities by globally networked former followers of Sathya Sai Baba. (See too: Dr G. Venkataraman, Sathya Sai Baba’s Nuclear Boon Companion.

V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings. Many Indian journalists and editors and others know of the profound extent of the cover up by the then powerful Home Minister S.B. Chavan, and central, Andhra Pradesh State and local governments. It is a pity that very few have had the courage to speak out publicly on the issue, as has former Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary V.P.B. Nair, who was in office at the time of the killings. It is a sad commentary that very few had the courage in speaking out displayed by those such as Nair and B. Premanand. See transcript of Nair’s statement to the BBC HERE.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions. A decade ago, Sathya Sai Baba informed his devotees that his aircraft is about to take off to bring his mission to the whole world. That this was stated in no metaphorical sense is well-indicated, for he has told various of his key leaders that he would visit Rome, the UK., Malaysia, southern California. We know that the wealthy Robert Baskin, a key lawyer to the Sathya Sai Organization, has bought a luxury mansion in southern California, equipping it to receive a visit from Sai Baba. See: Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit. The late Howard Murphet, Australian journalist and author of best-selling books on Sai Baba, with whom he was close for years, wrote: “Swami once, a good many years ago told me that He would not travel abroad until His own house was in order, by that He means India, of course”. Source: Online version, “The Lights of Home”.

Sai Baba No Shiva. Gold From His Gut Is Regurgitator’s Trick. There had been, especially from 2000, tremendous international pressure for Sai Baba and his worldwide Sathya Sai Organization. (See, towards the end of the article – Sathya Sai Baba’s Deputy Head, Dr G. Venkataraman, Speaks of “Mr Idi Amin” – a number of heavy stressors that were being applied by globally networked former devotees known as ‘the exposé). One outcome was the display of an anger Sai Baba has long kept behind-the-scenes. Bad cracks began to appear in the Sai monolith, and the world began to peep through. In a Christmas 2000 discourse, in which peace and goodwill to all men were remarkable for their absence, Sai Baba repeatedly pounded his lectern, denouncing his accuses as demons and Judases, and vaunting his accomplisments (even though, contrary to his assertions, far from unique), prompting The Times of India, December 26, 2000, to headline: Sai Baba Lashes Out At His Detractors.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Slurred Speech Due To Old Age. ‘Eenadu’ News Report. Telegu Press Report Cites ‘Old Age’ Signs In Sai Baba. ‘Eenadu’, with over 10 million daily readers in Andhra Pradesh, the state of India in which Sathya Sai Baba lives, reports a speech in the guru. See also:  Sathya Sai Baba Tells Untruths About His Health? and: Sathya Sai Baba’s Hip Joint Injury and Surgery – 2003. What are the actual facts of the matter? and: Sathya Sai Baba Continues To Ail.

‘SECRET SWAMI’ ARTICLES. Busy journalists, scholars, institutional researchers, and the probing reader in general can do with shortcuts. The piece:  Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba) Posted by Barry Pittard on June 6, 2010 –  is a guide to my articles written across some six years on the BBC’s one-hour documentary, The Secret Swami (2004) which, according to the BBC itself, has been aired in some two hundred countries. The articles referred to in this guide are those mentioned below. To give enquirers – in one fell swoop as it were – the opportunity to view the scope of these articles in prospectus, the guide has key quotations from each of the articles.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman: Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard. Dr G.Venkataraman is about as close to Sathya Sai Baba as it is possible to get. His worldwide brief as his international broadcaster and his deputy chairmanship of the Sathya Sai Organization makes it relevant to look at his performance. A detailed analyis of Venkatarman at work is found in Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s jointly authored, four-part article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’. To get direct documentation of Venkataraman’s machinations in concert with the Vajpayee government and the then Director of UNESCO (which were exposed by the BBC’s David Saville, although this part was pushed out by other foci of the television documentary, along too with Saville’s verification of the U.S. State Department’s that Sathya Sai Baba was, in fact, the person they had been investigating in regard to sexual molestation of US boys and young men), see: The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory, and:  U.S. State Department Named Sathya Sai Baba To BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’.

NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by the prominent British journalist Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED

(Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four

 Sathya Sai Baba Expose News Extensive website – testimonies, articles, videos

Allegations concerning Sathya Sai Baba A wide range of serious exposé articles.

Ongoing Investigations into Claims and Realities Surrounding Sathya Sai Baba – a thoroughly documented scholarly website by Brian Steel.

Call for Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba – Barry Pittard

Sathya Sai Baba (and Wikipedia) – website of author Kevin R.D. Shepherd

Sathya Sai Baba – The Truth

Italian ExBaba exposé website http://www.exbaba.it
Scandinavian Sai Baba exposé websites Swedish  Danish, and Norwegian (Norsk)

Other European languages German exposé websitePolishRussian.

Exposé in Spanish and second site in Polish

Dr. Dale Beyerstein’s study of Sathya Sai Baba’s claims and ‘miracles’ 

Kevin R.D. Shepherd blog and The Sai `Baba Movement

Robert C Priddy philosophy and religious issues web log Breaking the spell of religious/’spiritual’ superstitions

Website informing about sects, including the Sathya Sai Baba cult

FRENCH WEB LOG Marc-André

Belief and Sathya Sai Baba: Avatar or Imposter-Trickster?

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

                                             

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Andhra Opposition Want Release of Gvt Spies’ Reports On Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 22, 2011

This Friday afternoon, The Times of India Reports:

Make intelligence reports public: TDP

TNN | Apr 22, 2011, 03.33am IST

HYDERABAD: The TDP on Thursday demanded that the government make the intelligence reports on the state of affairs of Satya Sai Trust and the health condition of Sai Baba public.

Opposition leader in the legislative council, D. Veerahadra Rao at a press conference on Thursday alleged that the state government has full knowledge of the activities going on in the trust and the health condition of Baba but was not making it public. The state government had appointed four intelligence officers four years back to monitor the health condition of Baba and submit its reports to the government. These officials have been following Baba round the clock. The government should now make those reports public, Rao said. The silence on the part of the government gives rise to several doubts, he added.

Referring to the allegation that Baba was under sedation for long, he said if that was the case then why was the government silent all these days and an inquiry not ordered into it.

“What is causing concern is why the government is showing more interest in the assets of Baba than his health ever since he was admitted to the hospital on March 28. The government did not even consider necessary to call for a team of expert doctors from AIIMS. What is also not clear is why the team of doctors, led by Dr Raviraj, was recalled. The government also needs to explain as to what happened to the earlier medical reports of Baba’s health,” Rao said and demanded that the video footage of Baba’s health condition be made public immediately.

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One may raise the question:  why would four very experienced Andhra Pradesh intelligence operatives between them keep round-the-clock watch, that has been continued unabated for four years, on affairs at Puttaparthi?  What else might they wish to know? After all,  inner-circle Puttaparthi corruption is common knowledge among Indian state and central governments? So what might be new?

One may add that, since money laundering occurs on a national – not to mention international level – and since both the central government of India and the state government of Andhra Pradesh are both in the hands of the Congress government that the intelligence data relating to Sathya Sai Baba and his outfit, gained via the Andhra Pradesh service, may by no means be expected to stop within that state.

Because Sai Baba has so many Indian and overseas billionaire and millionaire supporters, the dimensions of the wealth flowing to the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust are on a scale that beggars the imagination.

A speculation:  By any chance, is the intensified interest related to extremely vast money laundering operations involving India and offshore tax havens?  Are elements among Sathya Sai Baba’s key servitors – but by no means all of them – involved in money laundering?

 See: Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia.  Posted by Barry Pittard on June 7, 2007. In this article, I wrote:

His splashy-colored and sometimes vast buildings rise up at enormous cost. Sathya Sai Baba’s exchequer owes to vast donations to his Central Trust via his powerful organisation spanning more than 150 countries, and not least to the donations of the extremely wealthy – like James Sinclair, the Canadian cable and minerals magnate, Isaac Tigrett the American founder of the Hard Rock Café and House of Blues, the Rai family in India in steel and technology, and an astounding number of other hugely wealthy and influential individuals and families from many countries. Rediff News, July 06, 2005, reported:

“The Andhra Pradesh-based Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust is the largest recipient of foreign contributions. The Sathya Sai Trust received Rs 95 crore (Rs 950 million) during 2003-04″.

This figure – which is well over US $20 million – is but the officially declared one and does not account for contributions of those foreigners who donate when they are in India. One can observe how at Sai Baba’s establishments at Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, and Whitefield, Karnataka, in South India, the Indian and foreign mega business fraternity swap business cards – within what devotees regard as the so-called Holiest of Holy precincts! – and thereafter mutually thrive. At the Puttaparthi temple, on June 6, 1993) police executions took place in Sai Baba’s bedroom, with his close proximity and command of the situation.

A few years back, a remark to me of a well-wisher – who was formerly one of the top police chiefs in the world, and, more recently, a major international consultant in black money investigations – suggested to me that Sathya Sai Baba may be regarded as the “arch criminal of the century” (meaning the 20th century). The remark has nagged at me several times since. This is largely because a conflict between my perception that a) an ex Inspector-General of Police in one of the great democracies would not likely be given to hyperbole and b) that I couldn’t see how Sathya Sai Baba could operate at such a level of criminality. This was despite the fact that our huge documentation over the years (much of which we have not been able to disclose) has shown a great deal that is venal in Sathya Sai Baba and certain of his key servitors.

At the research stage of ‘The Secret Swami’, BBC researchers (Iris Asic, David Saville) were about to put me in touch with an international illicit money trails expert, Patrick Masters. However, right at that time, the thinking of the BBC team was swinging more to investigating issues which, in themselves, required enormous time and effort:

–  the allegations from many parts of the world against Sathya of serial sexual molestation of boys and young men

–  the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom on 6 June 1993

As readers can see by clicking on the following link, I mentioned something of this in my article:  Fighting Multi Billion Corruption Takes Longer Posted by Barry Pittard on March 10, 2007.  I wrote:

Although we know too well that he has formidable protection from successive Indian governments, both State and Central, some of our personnel in India have sacrificially put themselves at considerable risk in raising the allegations with Indian authorities. The Sathya Sai Organization arms itself by aligning itself with the power-brokers of trade, finance and politics, both Indian and foreign, who ensure that the vast funds that pour to its Sathya Sai Central Trust are not affected. One of the foremost officials in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office asked Hon. Tony Colman, former MP for Putney to back off in regard to Sai Baba because the Blair government did not want to rock the boat with India. It is, therefore, a pity that the BBC’s intention to engage a financial investigator Patrick Masters was not able to occur in the several months of intense research for ‘The Secret Swami’.  But then there were so many components that vied for attention. Again, always with the current consent of those involved, the details of such activities are ready to be shared with bona fide, notably trustworthy experts.

Much turmoil and wide public notice attend the drama of Sathya Sai Baba’s extreme nearness to death. Hitherto, almost entirely, the Indian media has grossly failed to publish anything seriously critical about Sathya Sai Baba and his outfit. Perhaps India’s fifth estate may now begin to make some sort of amends. And to do some substantive investigative research and hard-hitting reportage.

Or do they, like boutique newspaper proprietors and editors, and spotty, wetnosed cadet reporters, want – yet again – the foreign media to do it for them?!

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NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by the prominent British journalist Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard.

Part Two Three Four

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Sathya Sai Baba Hardly Alive. World Attention on Kate and William Instead

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 22, 2011

To this point, reports in the Western media of Sathya Sai Baba health troubles are hardly to be seen. So much, then, for the untiring and misleading claims in Puttaparthi propaganda that Sathya Sai Baba is known and honoured by many millions throughout the world.

After no question of life-support apparatus can be further entertained, and when it is announced that Sathya Sai Baba is officially dead, we may see some coverage of it in foreign media. (We shall add our efforts to that end). But this attention will be miniscule beside focus on countless other events. At the moment, the ‘world’ is far more fixated on the upcoming wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton, April 29th, 2011. Rather, the talk is, and will be for many days, of Saint James’s Palace, not of Sathya Sai Baba’s palace at Puttaparthi.

Here is the Indian Express report of Sathya Sai Baba’s medical state, as of last night:

         Sai Baba’s health worsens; prohibitory orders in Puttaparthi

 Thu Apr 21 2011, 09:23 hrs Puttaparthi (AP):

 The condition of ailing Sathya Sai Baba deteriorated today with doctors saying that all his organs were showing poor response to treatment.

“Low blood pressure and the non-functioning of liver have become a major cause for concern. The Baba continues to be on ventilator support,” Dr A N Safaya, Director, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Sciences, said here.

The Andhra Pradesh government, which has clamped prohibitory orders in this town and deployed additional forces, said doctors were making efforts to save the 86-year-old Baba.

“The condition of the Baba has deteriorated. Most of his organs have suffered severe damage and stopped functioning. Doctors attending on him are making attempts to save the Baba. Let us pray,” state Revenue Minister N Raghuveera Reddy told reporters in Hyderabad after a high-level meeting with Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy in the Secretariat.

But Indian editors and journalists might be wise to consider a point. When the foreign media does report on the death of Sathya Sai Baba, one of the issues that will be glaring is this:  in regard of any news inimical to Sathya Sai Baba and his politically very powerful Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and international Sathya Sai Organization, the Indian media has, for many decades, profoundly failed to be vigilant. With rare exceptions – like India Today and The Caravan – it has decidedly not done its job. Media in India have long failed to check on the propaganda that has always emitted from Puttaparthi.

At the cost of an enormous amount of work, networked former Sathya Sai Baba followers and well-wishers managed, from time to time, to get the facts about Sai Baba and his cult, so heavily suppressed by Puttaparthi and successive local, state and central governments, out to international fora.

If the rest of the world gets to see such absurdities by eminent judges, physicians, scientists, police officers (including police chiefs) and government and political officials, as reported in yesterday’s Times of India, India’s international repute is hardly likely to be enhanced. Nor are the observational powers of top Indian cops likely to do anything to improve their poor image among efficient international police forces, as witness the statement of former Andhra police chief R. Prabhakar Rao who says (see Times of India report, below) “Sai Baba is incarnation of god. He will recover and live for 96 years as he himself had once said”.  Are the Intel cadres in the (commonly deeply hated) Indian police asleep? Or do they turn a blind eye to incredibly rich and powerful gurus like Sathya Sai Baba? How can anyone trust them?  That most exposure has had to come from efforts outside India, against huge odds, is to the undying shame of successive Indian governments, political parties, judiciaries, media, and so forth. It will, in the long, historical haul, redound to India’s international shame. Let any  reader examine the following brief selection of video clips:

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip)

thumb-secretes-miraculous-ring-under-sai-babas-hand-blow-up1

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle

BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 11, 2009

Sai Baba’s devotees believe he will live for 96 years

IANS | Apr 21, 2011, 03.45pm IST

Eminent Sathy Sai Baba Devotees Claim He Will Do Great Miracle Of Self-rescusitation

In the article Indian Media’s Reticence on Top Guru, Sathya Sai Baba, Weakens, I wrote:

“Breaking decades of virtual Indian media silence on comment critical of Sathya Sai Baba, a number of major Indian news organizations have run (mostly November 22, 2006) the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) report on Paul Lewis’s article in The Guardian, The Indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards’:  Several times attempting to draw comment from the Awards representative, Shona Taylor, the IANS met with the same evasions from the Palace authorities as investigators like Paul Lewis”.

However, on one issue, an extenuating circumstance may be made for it. Many in the Indian media cannot be expected to know about the absurdly flawed, achronistic and other errors in statements he has made about e.g., Jesus, Moses, Catholics, Martin Luther and the Reformation, etc. These are officially recorded in the official Sai literature, and, for exposure, rely on no other documentation than publications like Sanathana Sarathi and discourses published under the aegis of the Sathya Sai Central Trust. The errors are so glaring that they can be spotted by historical scholars and schoolchilren alike.

Nor, when some of the statements – scattered across Sai Baba discourse over the years – can be collated viewed simultaneously, is there need for any scholarship or cultural familiarity. The contradictions and anomalies are at once apparent. See, for example:

Sai Baba on the Birth date of Jesus

Sathya Sai Baba said:

“Truly speaking, Christmas falls in the month of March, not in December. Since it is very cold in December and people are confined to their homes, they utilise this time to celebrate Christmas. Actually, Jesus was born in the month of March. With the passage of time, this fact has been distorted and misrepresented in the Bible.” (25.12.1998, Sanathana Sarathi, Vol.42, #1, January 1999, p.6)

“There are various theories about the birth date of Jesus based on the ‘bright star that appeared at his birth.’ It is visible once in 800 years, it is said. Some say he was born on the fifteenth day of September. But, he was born at 3-15 a.m. (early morning) on December 28, 1980 years ago. It was Sunday. “ (25.12.1979, Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol.24, p.288)

“The 25th is not the birth. It was on the 24th, near midnight.” (quote of Sai Baba from Dr. John Hislop. Conversations with Bhagavan Sathya Sai Baba. Ch.XXIX, p.92)

“On December 25th, when Jesus was born, three kings came to his birth-place.”(25.12.1992. Sathya Sai Speaks Vol.  XXV, p. 397.)

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NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by the prominent British journalist Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

Further Reading

Sai Baba’s on Jesus’ own words about himself
Sai Baba about Jesus’s sufferings
Sai Baba on the early years of Jesus
Sai Baba on Birth of Jesus/and 3 kings from the East
Sai Baba on the Status of Jesus
Sai Baba about (St.) Paul and the closest devotees of Jesus
Sai Baba on Romans and Jews
Sai Baba on Jesus and the term Persona
Sai Baba on Jesus and animal sacrifice
Sai Baba on Jesus and his disciples
Sai Baba on Moses love of Jesus!

Part Two Three Four

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Sathya Sai Health Condition “Very Critical”, Says Sai Hospital Head (21 April)

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 21, 2011

Indian media are starting to report that some Sathya Sai Baba forces favour his burial while he is still technically alive. (See news reports, below).

Countries not steeped in the utmost superstition may find it hard to credit yesterday’s bizarre news.

Yes, buried alive ….

Given the terrible and multiple failures of his body to respond, it would not seem that they have long to wait. One might not unreasonably expect to hear the news of his decease at any time now.

When, then, exactly, is Sathya Sai Baba going – as he has long promised – to visit London, Malaysia, Rome and Southern California, USA?

And when will he, for all the world to see, hold aloft a whole mountain range?  And save humanity in its time of greatest threat to civilization?  And rule the whole world? All of these events he has foretold.

If Sathya Sai Baba devotees are to be at all truthful, they will need to intelligibly answer these – and many other leading questions.

Because I have lived in India and spent memorable time across a broad socio-economic strata – from the very wealthy to the very poor – this news, macabre though it may appear in the West and elsewhere, comes as no surprise to me. I was often able to see how many so highly educated Indians are able, conceptually, to compartmentalize their thoughts and attitudes. One part of the mind is for practical or professional reasons and the other part for matters of faith.  Of course, no country can boast that the health of real questioning and debate is assured. But my experiences of India were of a nation in enormous thraldom to many such brands of irrationality.

Anything from one ‘compartment’ that might cause conflict within the other ‘compartment’ is held back, and not allowed to trespass. In short, no student of Indian life must assume that superstition is the exclusive domain of the poor and uneducated. Belief in the efficacy of gurus, astrology, numerology, psychic readings, supposedly auspicious times of day or sightings of creatures, dreams, and many other types of quackery are exceedingly rife across class. Sathya Sai Baba has long believed in ghosts and evil spirits.  See: Robert Priddy diary scan (at the time, Priddy was the longtime head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization), ‘Directly recorded notes 10/10/1998 at Prashanthi Nilayam‘, with comments added.

See some select readings of earlier articles at this blogsite, ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’:

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions

There is no end to his failed predictions. In his February 1 16, 2007 (so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sathya Sai baba said:

“I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.”

Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit

The guru, perhaps the most wealthy and politically powerful in India’s long history, claims that he will save the world in his own lifetime, departing (according to one of two dates he has given) circa 2022 AD. He will, he says, preside over the greatest changes ever to occur in history. 

‘World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him

One of India’s most powerful Hindu nationalist leaders, Ashok Singhal, who has an international profile in the Hindu world, told an assembly of political and religious luminaries in Delhi of a prophecy he says Sathya Sai Baba shared with him. The Organiser, September 14, 2008, reports …

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NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

Further Reading

Part Two Three Four

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Today

Sathya Sai Baba very critical: Hospital
Puttaparthi (AP), Apr 21, (PTI):
The condition of Sathya Sai Baba is very critical with all his organs showing very poor response to treatment, doctors attending on him said today.
In view of the deteriorating health of Sathya Sai Baba, the Andhra Pradesh Police have deployed additional forces here to maintain law and order.“Non-functioning of the liver and persistent episodes of low blood pressure are causing great worry to the doctors,” Dr A N Safaya, Director, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Sciences, said here.His breathing is still ventilator dependent and the process of slow hemodialysis has been started in the morning to assist the kidneys, he said.The doctors are putting their best efforts to improve his clinical condition, Dr Safaya said.
86-year-old Sathya Sai Baba was hospitalised on March 28 following problems related to heart and respiration.

Yesterday

Puttaparthi security up as Baba is critical again
Puttaparthi (AP), Apr 20, DHNS:
As Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s condition worsened, security at Puttaparthi is being beefed up to handle any eventuality with 4,000 police personnel, including companies from Kurnool and Chittoor districts, expected to land there on Thursday morning.
Doctors treating the 85-year-old spiritual leader are expressing concern over his fluctuating BP for the last couple of days.Sri Sathya Sai Baba Institute of Higher Medical Sciences Director A N Safaya said on Wednesday: “Intermittent low BP is causing anxiety to the doctors treating him.”The Baba’s liver functioning has also deteriorated drastically, causing concern among the doctors. In an official bulletin, Dr Safaya said Dr Yegyaraman, an electrophysiology specialist from the US, had joined the doctors’ panel. Many government-deputed doctors have also been inducted as reinforcement.Speaking to Deccan Herald, Ananthpur District Collector Janardhan Reddy, admitting that the police have been put on an alert, said: “I have been regularly interacting with the doctors and they have expressed concerns over his condition. We are getting ready for any eventuality.Puttaparthi Deputy Superintendent of Police Narasimalu said “all measures are precautionary in nature. There is no need to read anything between the lines.”

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Human Rights Commission Probe Fronts Andhra Government On Sathya Sai Baba Treatment

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 19, 2011

In the last hours, many Indian newspapers have run the story on the direction by the Andhra Pradesh Human Rights Commission to the State government to produce a report on Sathya Sai Baba’s health condition.

None too early in the piece, Sathya Sai Baba devotees themselves are now, at least via their lawyers, demanding answers concerning the workings of the Sathya Sai Central Trust. Readers of this blog, and that of Robert Priddy and of related websites, have long been presented with evidence of grievous lack of accountability in the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, and, at large, the international Sri Sathya Sai Organization. There are trust issues indeed.

Since circa 2000, when the internet began to allow the rapid universal spread of information and communication, constant execration and libel have been heaped on the efforts of former Sathya Sai Baba followers to present a critique of the corrupt workings of the Sathya Sai apparatus.

It is one of history’s odd ironies that Sai devotees themselves are now to the fore in wanting to tear away the iron mask of secrecy that dons the face of the Sathya Sai Trust. It is a further irony that only now is the Indian media really attending to what is happening. We just about busted several of our guts to make it otherwise. We have done our job. They have not done theirs. Decades of Indian media tolerance of the Puttaparthi scandal have allowed India’s ignominy given that it took the efforts of foreigners, working under immense strain and terrible odds, to expose the Sathya Sai cult via major media in the West.

Nor should it be offered as an extenuation that the Indian media is too ill-equipped to research accounts of foreigners. First, it did not even investigate on its own turf. Second, it did not carry feeds until, terribly late in the case we were able to make a strong showing of ourselves with IANS, Indo Asian News Service, which shook up some of their clients enough to get into India some aspects of The Guardian story on the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and the related Sathya Sai mischief involving Dr Venkataraman.

Foreign media we were able to convince of our excellent credentials include:

BBC, CBC (Canada), DR (Denmark), Salon.com (USA), SBS (all television), ABC (Radio Australia). In paper media – Times of London, Daily Telegraph, Guardian (UK), Marie Claire Magazine, Salon.com, BT, Bild, Focus, Trouw, Speegelbield, Noordhollands Dagblad, Sokaren, Gatopardo, Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Age, Australian Financial Review, West Australian (a major front page article by an award-winning journalist (Torrance Mendez) was pulled at the 11th hour!), Adelaide Advertiser, etc., …..

In corruption torn India, there are nevertheless some extraordinarily fine workers in Human Rights. Trustfully, there are enough of them available to resist the powers of Andhra Pradesh State government – which, irrespective of any party hue or coalition, have long been awesomely predisposed to protect Sathya Sai Baba. 

Will so many politicians of all parties in India want transparency and accountability from Puttaparthi? They! – who are so known for their endemic corruption via nepotism, casteism, gerontocracy, brutal, illicit use of the police and security forces and goondas (hired thugs), and so forth. Will they be too willing to let go the golden – though not indeed at all cosmic! – egg, that Sathya Sai Baba has for so long represented for them – especially the billions of dollars flowing to the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust from abroad? 

There is the lonely example of one outspoken Andhra Pradesh former Home Secretary, V.P.B. Nair, who attempted to whistle blow to the BBC in its 2004 exposure of Sai Baba, The Secret Swami. And of the very courageous and unputdownable (late) B. Premanand. See: Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach. Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2009

This concerned the massive cover up following the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom in Puttaparthi, 6 June 1993. Further resources on the BBC documentary and the murders documentation are found here

I see that, overnight (mytime AEST) my colleague from Norway Robert Priddy has blogged suggesting the sort of reports we might wish to expect if only the official health reports on Sathya Sai Baba were more factual. See: Sathya Sai Baba life support problem Posted by robertpriddy on April 18, 2011.  He writes:

Without the life-support system, independent medical opinion would surely expect him to die sooner than later. The malfunctioning of the chief body organs are like this:-

1) the heart (which stopped and had to be operated with a pacemaker) and which now shows fluctuating low blood pressure levels

2) the lungs (which are not muscularly strong enough to keep him breathing sufficiently and cannot expel mucus, so needing medication against spreading infection and a respirator)

3) the kidneys (which have been on more or less continuous dialysis because they cannot expel bodily waste materials which accumulate there as poison)

4) the liver (the very name of which indicates its vital importance to life), was and likely still is badly infected with jaundice and requires constant monitoring so it will not worsen.

5) Last but far from least, the digestive system – unable to eat food, Sai Baba is on intravenous sustenance.

The doctors do not spell things out like this, however, they are both devotees and therefore extra careful diplomats – not least considering the powerful emotions raging around the guru, the diverse accusations of misdeeds by SB’s minders and the litigation against those in charge of his assets and person.

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NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

TIMES OF INDIA

IANS | Apr 18, 2011, 09.46pm IST

Andhra rights commission seeks Sathya Sai Baba’s health report

HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh State Human Rights Commission on Monday directed the state government to submit a report on the health of spiritual leader, who is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Puttaparthi for the last three weeks.

The commission has asked chief secretary SV Prasad to submit a detailed report before April 29 on the condition of the 85-year-old spiritual leader and the treatment being given to him.

The order came on a petition filed by an organisation Dalit Jana Sabha, seeking directions to the government to come out with facts relating to Baba’s health.

The petitioner alleged that the authorities of the Sathya Sai super speciality hospital and Sathya Sai Central Trust were not giving a true picture of his health, causing concern to millions of his devotees in India and abroad.

A team of state government doctors, led by director of Medical Education, Department of Medical and Health, Ravi Raj, is also monitoring Baba’s condition.

Baba, who was admitted to hospital March 28, remains critical. He is suffering from multi-organ dysfunction and continues to be on life support system, doctors attending on him said.

Meanwhile, a group of devotees on Monday lodged a complaint with the Puttaparthi police station that there is a threat to Baba’s life from Sathya Sai Central Trust members.

The complainant demanded that the devotees be allowed to see the spiritual leader.

A petition has already been filed in a court in Penukonda, Anantapur district, seeking direction to the hospital authorities to let the devotees see the spiritual leader.

A section of devotees alleged that trust members were responsible for Baba’s illness and were trying to deny them access to him.

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Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard.

Part Two Three Four

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Indian Lawyers Challenge Sathya Sai Baba’s Central Trust On Secrecy and Foul Play

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 18, 2011

In the last days, there has fast emerged a major new turning point in the Sathya Sai saga. A climate is emerging in which Sathya Sai Baba devotee appointed lawyers are seriously looking at what their clients attest is the severe lack of accountability and the gross misconduct of leading elements of Puttparthi officialdom. 

See: Downturn In Sathya Sai Baba’s Condition (April 17th 2011) Posted by Barry Pittard on April 18, 2011 and Sathya Sai Devotees Suspect Foul Play In Guru’s Health Crisis. Seek Court Order Posted by Barry Pittard on April 16, 2011

These lawyers and their clients may pause to consider that networked former devotees have long spoken out about the extreme lack of accountability and duty of care in the international Sri Sathya Sai Organization. Indeed, some of these who have spoken up at great sacrifice to themselves and families were previously prominent leaders highly respected down the many years in which they served Sathya Sai Baba and his international organizationSee: The Sathya Sai Organization: Almost overnight, dissenters treated as demons!

In the article:   Bob Bozzani Big Donor To Guru Sai Baba Under Siege Posted by Barry Pittard on March 2, 2007, I wrote:

Refusal to have proper mechanisms in place for the hearing of complaints has put the Sri Sathya Sai Organization light years behind today’s demand for accountability. On April 3, 2003, the then Australian head of the Sathya Sai Organisation of Australia, T. Sri Ramanathan, phoned me to threaten dire legal consequences (he was all bluff and bullying, of course) if I did not “cease and desist”.

I suggested that any organisation, including his, is wise to have a workable complaints mechanism, otherwise unaddressed grievances are bound to create problems. He said I was “clouding the issue” and that the only issue was “Swami’s glory”. There was no need, he said, for such a mechanism in the Sathya Sai Organisation, which is “special and different to any other organisation.” It was, he said, “a divine organisation”.

Perhaps the Indian Sathya Sai devotee lawyers will be astute enough to show any court or human rights tribunal that successive executive regimes at Puttaparthi (known as the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust) have constantly and characteristically ridden high, wide and far from handsome over genuine requests by devotees – and indeed the former devotees they for so many decades once honored and worked beside – for transparency and accountability.

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NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

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Downturn In Sathya Sai Baba’s Condition (April 17th 2011)

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 18, 2011

Reports say that Sathya Sai Baba’s health has relapsed.  This is in marked contrast to to the optimistic view released by the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust last Friday. It stated:

“In the latest review, as of today, the doctors attending on Him have expressed confidence that He is in a stable condition and is responding satisfactorily to the treatment being given to Him by the team of doctors, though somewhat slowly. They are confident that, if the progress continues to be stable and satisfactory as at present, it might be possible to shift Him from the hospital to His residence at Prasanthi Nilayam in about a fortnight”.

To follow the emerging picture, one must keep a careful eye on the dates. Today’s Deccan Herald, 18th April (see below), indicates that there is no chance of Sai Baba’s being removed from hospital, so serious is his condition.

Sathya Sai Baba’s  Hospital at Puttaparthi

For a sense of the rapidly changing reports, I draw my readers’ attention to the following reports in my last days’ blogs. The latest report Deccan Herald report depicts a very different situation to that one stated in theImportant Press Release by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust Friday, April 15, 2011.  See:  Sathya Sai Trust Officials Say Sai Baba Out of Hospital Soon.  Posted by Barry Pittard on April 16, 2011

This Sathya Sai Central Trust bulletin stated that Sathya Sai Baba “is responding satisfactorily to the treatment being given to Him by the team of doctors, though somewhat slowly”.

The situation is yet more complicated by allegations from among Sai devotees, some of them high profile. The Indo Asian News Service feeds reports.  See:  Sathya Sai Devotees Suspect Foul Play In Guru’s Health Crisis. Seek Court Order. Posted by Barry Pittard on April 16, 2011.

Hyderabad, April 15, (IANS)…. A group of devotees also moved the state human rights commission Friday, seeking direction to the hospital to show Baba’s video clips to his devotees to clear the air over his actual condition. The group Dalit Janasabha argued that not showing the clips was a violation of human rights. It alleged that Baba was being kept under detention in the name of treatment.

Former MP and former chairman of Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanam (TTD)  Adikeshavulu Naidu also made a sensational allegation that the trust in collusion with the hospital had kept Baba hostage. He said there was a conspiracy behind the 85-year-old Baba’s illness.

Naidu said Baba was being denied food and better medical treatment. “The top doctors are being denied access to him and when facilities are available to even take him abroad for treatment nothing is being done,” he told reporters in Chittoor.

Excerpt of text from the Deccan Herald of 18th April

Further Reading

Is Sathya Sai Baba’s Survival Divine? But Treatment Keeps Many Elderly Sick Alive

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 14, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba. Stable But Still Critical, his doctors say

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 12, 2011

BBC-Named ‘The Secret Swami’, Sathya Sai Baba Hospitalized and Fighting For Life

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 6, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba’s Health Condition Again At Grave Risk

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 5, 2011

Pacemaker ‘Avatar’ Says ‘I am not this body’. Worried Devotees Pray For His Body

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 3, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba’s Pacemaker Implant – His Promised Health and Longevity In Doubt

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 1, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba Hospitalized, Despite Hailing His Extraordinary ‘Health’

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 29, 2011

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

General Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction) (Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):

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