Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Archive for April 16th, 2011

Sathya Sai Devotees Suspect Foul Play In Guru’s Health Crisis. Seek Court Order

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 16, 2011

In some major Indian newspapers, there are now reports of Sai devotees taking action that challenges the conduct of those close round Sathya Sai Baba, including urgent recourse to law.  They suspect the gravest chicanery practised by forces vying for control of Puttaparthi. 

IANS (Indo Asian News Service) reports, see full text below:

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.

The accused number prominent members of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust. In one case:

Naidu blamed Baba’s aide Satyajit and said he is not allowing Baba’s ‘darshan’ for his devotees for the last six months. He claimed that those who are not physicians are in the team of doctors treating him. He also alleged that the government was not acting despite knowing all the facts.

If these followers can sustain their case, the chances are that the scandal will be very great. Hitherto, we have had utmost difficulty in getting any but the media outside India to investigate the Sai Baba cult. One of the foremost Indian editors privately told me:  it is not possible to investigate Sai Baba – his people are too powerful.  The mass circulation magazine India Today is one of the rare exceptions.  One of the journalists associated with the December 4, 2000 India Today cover story, Vijay Jung Thapa, had to have security mounted (‘close body protection’) during and for some time after he was involved in the exposure story on Sathya Sai Baba. Those of us who have great respect for the Gurka people of Nepal (of which Thapa is one) were not suprised by his courage, professionalism and tenacity in digging into the story. I see that he has now risen high as of 2008, getting the Editorship of The Hindustan Times, which has also, by the way, run an outspoken article critical of Sathya Sai Baba by a former editor. Unfortunately, it was all too impressionistic, rather than the product of hard-nosed research.  See my:  A Top Indian Editor Vir Sanghvi Fails Research Test.

India media to make some attempt to expose Sai Baba have been:  Tehelka, The Cavaran and (to a small extent) Hindustan Times. The job of exposure has been via the foreign media. Owing to a great many sacrificial hours put in by former devotees in good standing in their communities around the world there were, on television – BBC, CBC (Canada), DR (Denmark), Salon.com (USA), SBS, ABC (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., …..

There has long been a profound lack of Puttaparthi and international Sathya Sai Organization accountability and transparency.  Their failure in duty of care, not only in developing countries but in advanced democracies, has been simply appalling. For the type of morally cheap but financially expensive legal tricks they have used against a family who had been among the most prominent Sathya Sai devotees in the world, and whose son, Alaya, is one of many around the world who, over the decades, have reported sexual abuse of boys and young men – see:  Alaya Rahm – Some Key Statements. And the full statement of the Rahm family and the International JuST Group is here.  An incisive encapsulation of key circumstances is provided by the independent British author of many books and papers Kevin Shepherd:  23.6  The Alaya Rahm Lawsuit in California

Leading Indian journalists and editors, police chiefs and investigators, politicians and a few scholars who have tried to penetrate the heavy veil know of Sai secrecy of the horrific cover up of the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom by Puttaparthi officials in close association with the then powerful Home Minister S.B. Chavan, and central, Andhra Pradesh State and local governments. It is out of no idleness that the BBC entitled its 2004 documentary, which has been seen in some 200 or more countries, The Secret Swami.

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 have dared to speak out as Nair and (the late) B. Premanand have done. See the BBC Film Clip of V.P.B. Nair making his statement and my articles:  V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings and: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

It is ironic, too, that NRI’s (Non Resident Indians) get to see coverage in the foreign media;  whereas, there is a heavy blanket of suppression in India. What of the ‘shining India’, beloved of both the naive and the forked of tongue? It makes the notion of ‘Indian democracy’ an oxymoron, and echoingly hollow

Grabs For Power and Wealth – Is There More Than the Usual Skullduggery Going On At Puttaparthi?

These latest reports reflect, in part, private information about power ploys within the Puttaparthi ashram that we have been receiving from within India. The accounts have come from sources found in the past to be reliably informed.

In the years that we have been exposing Sathya Sai Baba and his cult, my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have worked under certain unavoidable constraints. Sometimes, we receive information that, so as to protect those who are vulnerable, we cannot possibly refer to.  Another constraint is that any premature release of information, and of information that we cannot check, can only risk our credibility.

With some caution, several posts back – see:  Sathya Sai Baba’s Health Condition Again At Grave Risk, Posted by Barry Pittard on April 5, 2011, I wrote:

“By a number of usually well-informed sources , we are told that there is a battle royal going on for control of his organization. We learn of serious chicanery leveled against Sai Baba family members and others. Alert media, law firms and other investigators will need for example – very quickly, before witnesses are hushed up – to get hold of stakeholders who have been disaffected, and also those, including many leaders in India and abroad, who have resigned from the Sathya Sai Organization on a matter of ethical principle. Robert Priddy and I can coordinate contact with many individuals of excellent repute in their professions, trades and wider communities, who have provided evidence for major world media, governments, institutions, and so forth.

Experts in law, media, etc., well know that, well-handled and cross-checked, disenfranchised individuals and groups can yield accurate information. At the moment, we are doing some cross-checking of our own. Readers can watch this space.

Note: Investigative media and other serious enquirers can contact me at:  barrypittard@gmail.com

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Indo Asian News Service feeds state (Note: IANS is an organization which we have found, compared to a number of other Indian services, quite efficient and reliable):

Hyderabad, April 15, (IANS): Is there a conspiracy behind the health of spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba? Is the Baba, who has millions of followers in India and around the world, being kept hostage by those close to him? A petition has been filed in a court seeking direction to the hospital authorities to reveal the facts about Baba.

A former MP, Adikeshavulu Naidu, has alleged that Baba is being held hostage. An advocate filed a petition in a court at Penugonda, seeking a direction to the Andhra  Pradesh government, the hospital and the Sathya Sai Trust to come out with all the details about the Baba’s condition.

The petition, filed by Bhaskar Reddy, will be heard Saturday. The petitioner alleged that the hospital and the trust were suppressing information about Baba’s condition and that there is lack of clarity in the daily medical bulletins being issued by the doctors of Sathya Sai super speciality hospital at Puttaparthu.

The petitioner also sought direction to the state government to come out with all the details of the trust and its activities as it involves several hundreds crore rupees.

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.

Naidu blamed Baba’s aide Satyajit and said he is not allowing Baba’s ‘darshan’ for his devotees for the last six months. He claimed that those who are not physicians are in the team of doctors treating him. He also alleged that the government was not acting despite knowing all the facts.

Baba, who was admitted to the hospital on March 28 with heart and lung problems, suffered multiple organ dysfunction. Doctors said he remains stable but critical.

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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

Sathya Sai Baba fully silenced, even maltreated and imprisoned?

Posted by robertpriddy on April 16, 2011

QUOTE:

One well-informed critical source in India has informed me that “Former trust members and ex-MPs are openly threatening to expose the entire sb charade if they are not adequately “paid off”…politicians are descending to grab whatever their grubby hands can….while sb aides are hoping to make a fast buck and make a run for it…and sb trust members and close family are involved in a bitter fight….all this is out in the open…and a public interest legal petition has been filed in an Andhra court to ascertain the facts of the whole dirty affair…”

Lengthy, detailed archival Sai Finance and Deceits and further deceit documentation here

For a broad sweep of many revelations which the Sathya Sai Organization cannot wish away if there is ever court or other investigative action, see:

Sathya Sai Devotees Suspect Foul Play In Guru’s Health Crisis. Seek Court Order

“Can We Trust the Central Trust?” by ex-President of Moscow Sathya Sai Centre, Serguei Badaev

Donations to Sathya Sai Central Trust misused by/for directors etc.

Sathya Sai Baba failing – at the mercy of power brokers- eg. corrupt ex-IAS ashram boss Chackravati

Puttaparthi and Misconduct of Sathya Sai Baba’s Officials

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 16, 2009

V.P.B. Nair Told BBC Sai Baba Bedroom Killings Were “Coldblooded Murder”

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 6, 2011

Many Notable Sathya Sai Baba Cult Leaders Resign

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 18, 2011

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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Sathya Sai Trust Officials Say Sai Baba Out of Hospital Soon

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 16, 2011

A Sathya Sai Central Trust “important press release” just to hand (see notice below) has begun to appear on various prominent Sathya Sai Baba related sites on the web. It notes that “for several days, His (sic) condition was a cause for concern”.

In other words, presumably, there is now NOT cause for concern. But how can it be? Given his advanced age (supposedly 85 years, although this has been disputed in scholarly discussion), and the severity of his many symptoms, one might expect an even more reduced shell of his former self to appear than hitherto.

The bulletin refers to:  “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”.

I invite my dear reader to use the simple expedient of sticking his or her head out the nearest window just to check whether they can see any of it ….. If you should enjoy processions, some you may have to wait for Saint Patrick’s Day in, say, New York, Chicago or Dublin, or the Carnival in Rio, or the Berlin Love Parade, or some such.

But for a rational analysis of Sai Baba’s and his officials’ gross exaggeration of devotee numbers, see: Sai Baba’s exaggerations: The Numbers’ game – the wilful falsification of numbers by Sathya Sai Baba & his organization and: Sathya Sai Organization practices and problems – documented and with official and anecdotal evidence,  and:  Sathya Sai Organization – False Propaganda

The irrefutable fact is that he has had poor health for recent years. What the eyes of devotion may see – or refuse to see – is likely to be very different to any rational person’s examination of photos of him over the last years.  His advanced senescence  is clearly visible in recent videos. See: The 85th birthday showed an aged and semi-demented figure crying (brief video) and:
A very reduced and senile-looking Sathya Sai Baba at his 85th birthday (video)

Can the Gravity of Sai Baba’s Health Breakdown Allow For Any Real Recovery?

The Sai Trust bulletin states that  he “is responding satisfactorily to the treatment being given to Him by the team of doctors, though somewhat slowly”.

But the real question is:  how slowly is – or will continue to be – “slowly”? Nothing more sure than that any progress is bound to be slow. The devotees can have it both ways: 

If slow turns out to be very slow, then Sai devotees can say (as they characteristically do) – look how our Lord suffers for us and intensifies our efforts of service in his name, and our faith in him. See below, too, the type of official note that has gone to Sathya Sai centers in various countries.

If on the other hand, some improvement occurs, they can say – see how our Lord, in his Mercy, has come back to us from such a terrible health crisis, even though his body is 85 years.

Apropos, a prominent Sai devotee, who never gives up in the hope that I and my like will eventually see the light, has just emailed to say what a wonder it is that Sathya Sai Baba could pass through the ordeal for over two weeks on a ventilator, and undergo such chronic organ failure, and yet still live.   

My response to this sort of assumption is reflected in my post of two days back: Is Sathya Sai Baba’s Survival Divine? But Treatment Keeps Many Elderly Sick Alive. Posted by Barry Pittard on April 14, 2011. There, I noted that considering the intervention of all the advanced care teams of foremost doctors that India can provide, Sathya Sai Baba’s survival factor is, of course, likely to be increased (and indeed perhaps the health of their many other patients correspondingly decrease!), but that devotee reactions make it sound as if doctors around the world, routinely, are unable to keep elderly and very sick patients alive. Of course they do. But then, blind faith is, by its very nature, unreflective. 

A Senescence that Sai Minders Cannot Hide (and which falsifies his many self-prophecies). See:  The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements, and see, too, the video clip of the sobbing Sai Baba, which a tech person was able to extract from a large amount of official recent footage:  Sathya Sai Baba In Fits of Sobbing: Video Footage Confirms Earlier Accounts

When one does a comparison between them, Sai Baba’s statements about his health, and the non-ageing of his body could not be more falsified by even the most rudimentary examination of photographs taken of him across subsequent years. Here are but a few of his statements:

“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.)

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Important Press Release by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust

Friday, April 15, 2011:  

The health status of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba is under constant review by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust in the light of the medical bulletins issued by the Director of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences, since the time of His admission to the hospital on the 28th of March, 2011. For several days, His condition was a cause for concern.

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. 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. Radio Sai, through its Musings, messages and mails from all over the world has been continuously articulating this upsurge. As Bhagavan has repeatedly said on several occasions, it is only the sincere prayers of His devotees that can cure Him. The Trustees consider it their sacred duty to appeal to all the devotees to be calm and sustain their prayers to restore Bhagavan to His normal health at a very early date.

Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam

The Sai spiritual ‘climate’ has been cool in Delhi   ……

New Delhi, April 6 (IANS) Unperturbed by reports of spiritual leader Sathya Sai Baba’s health condition, the staff at the Sri Sathya Sai International Centre here said this was just a test of belief for his followers and that they were confident the bad phase will pass.

‘We were not worried. There was no special prayer service because we know this is just a test of belief for his followers,’ Rakesh Joshi, administrative officer of the centre, told IANS Wednesday.

…..  But rather warmer around the world among all those “candle light processions of millions and millions of His devotees all over the globe”, mentioned in the Sathya Sai Central Trust bulletin, as witness a typical official Sai circular sent racing round the world (this one is from Canada) -: 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On April 12, 2011, Indulal Shah, International Advisor for the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations, requested the following:
For the earliest recovery of Revered Bhagavan’s health, all Sri Sathya Sai Seva Samitis in India as also Sai Centres and Sai Groups all over the world are hereby requested to organise an offering of Joint Prayers and Bhajans as per the SCHEDULES as mentioned below:

 
Saturday, 16 April, 2011 4 pm to 4 am (Local Time)
Sunday, 17 April, 2011 5 pm to 5 am (Local Time)
Monday, 18 April, 2011 7 pm to 5 am (Local Time)
 
The original letter is attached for your reference. At the bottom of the letter, he has stated that it is extremely important to strictly and exactly maintain the above schedules.
 
In unison with our brothers and sisters all over the world, the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Toronto South will be adhering to the above schedule. We kindly request all devotees to carefully consider this request and participate as much as possible. Devotees from all centres are welcome to attend and participate.
 
This type of request is unprecedented and it is a unique opportunity to be a part of this historic occasion. We will need the love, support, and participation of as many devotees as possible.

Centres wishing to joing the Book Centre in this prayer are requested to contact one of the following persons:
 
– Brother Anil Mislankar (647) 227-0300
– Brother Subrata Mitra (416) 362-2530
 
We look forward to the speedy recovery of Bhagavan.
SSSBIC
 
Sri Sathya Sai Baba Book and Information Centre of Canada 
 

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 NEWS Update
 
From Telegufirst.com
 
Satya Sai Is Held Captive Says Adikesavulu
Friday, 15 April 2011 21:52

Written by Nayanika

 Former TTD Chairman Mr. Adikesavulu Naidu has alleged that Bhagavan Satya Sai Baba was being held captive in the hands of the Trust members.Talking to newsmen here on Friday, he has alleged that a retired IAS officer was controlling the affairs of the Trust and  said that Trust members Satyajit and Aiyar were responsible for Baba’s present condition. He said facts would come to light if these two were enquired.

Alleging that Baba was being betrayed by the Trust members he said he was not being offered proper treatment. He has also alleged that when world famous doctors offered to treat Baba, Trust members and Super Specialty Hospital members had not accepted. He said the doctors appointed by Satyajit were not doctors at all. He has wondered why minister Dr. Geeta Reddy who  knew every thing,  was keeping quiet. Alleging that the government was not taking proper care about Baba’s health, he has demanded the appointment of a committee on the affairs of the Trust. (NSS)//

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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