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:
10.24.10 Aston Santa Monica, California
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.
10.24.44 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.
10.25.15 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.
10.26.15 Tanya Datta: Why would God want to put his penis in your mouth?
10.26.20 Mark Roche: Got me.
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.
NOTE: Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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:
Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011
Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)