Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Archive for June, 2011

Sathya Sai Saga: Points Lost Among Big Sathya Sai Trust Reassurances of Transparency

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 30, 2011

Some random points:

There is glaring contradiction between statements of Srinivasan, who has admitted Trust involvement in extraordinary movements of cash, and of R.J. Ratnakar, who says that the money is actually from 12 donors. And can be explained.

But how does one explain Trust workers clandestinely moving – in a van and in a bus – such vast amounts? In fact, right on the heels of the discovery of multi millions of cash, gemstones and other valuables secreted in walls and ceiling spaces and wherever else in Sai Baba’s bedroom? One may smile at the sheer gall, if not the dark arts of it all. Who are these donors? If the donations were genuine, what sort of security did they get for all their no doubt hard-earned money? An armoured vehicle? Nothing of the sort. Just the two Trust agents, the brothers Shetty,  one in a Qalis van, the other, at a different time, in a passenger bus.

Where, too, has gone any semblance of the Sathya Sai Central Trust’s duty of care for the safety of life and limb of its  workers on a money transportation assignment fraught with danger? This, in an area with trained eyes not only of individual criminals, criminal gangs, and private armies of feudal landlords but of ubiquitous, highly organized, armed political struggle groups such as the Naxalites (with countless splinter groups), the so-called Peoples’ War Group or PWG, etc. Many police and security authorities complain of the emasculation by Andhra Pradesh state politicians of state security and police cadres capable of action, and the pipe dream of thinking that negotiation and accommodation are going to work.

Why the earlier Trust assertions that donations are dealt with by cheque? Why such vast amounts of loose cash? Where is the accountability and transparency in all this?

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Can we trust a Trust that doesn’t know about vast funds being transported in the dead of night, or carted in a passenger bus in gunny sacks of cash as if it were mere chaff or ragi? When proper practice by a Trust is upheld, who will dare to hump huge fortunes around the countryside like this? Such a Trust lacks due diligence, and is incompetent. What suppose wicked chaff or ragi robbers assail the van or bus and snatch the sacks?

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Although Sai Baba once famously wrote a letter in which he renounced his family – as large numbers of renunciates in time-honored Indian tradition do – his nephew R.J. Ratnakar is at centre stage.

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Will our private sources prove correct that the powerful government Minister Chidambaram and his son are supporting Ratnakar, who is politically ambitious and wants to control the Sathya Sai Central Trust?

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In one moment, we are told that ex Chief Justice of India P.N. Bhagwati is head of the Sai Central Trust. Next thing, we learn that he has resigned, and that Ratnakar is at the helm. Now Bhagwati has resigned. In fact, many Sai devotees see Ratnakar as having usurped what many viewed as Sai Baba’s most trusted aide, Satyajit. Just as is the case of largely attended anti-corruption protest rallies around India, perhaps it is only the sudden upsurge  – blinkers off now – questioning Sathya Sai devotees at large who stand any chance of breaking the nexus of the very worldly Trust members. As many Sai devotees know, Sai centers round the world have often been places of quiet whispers regarding the distinctive non-spirituality of many leaders Sai Baba hand-picked. Remember, dear devotees – your perturbed conversations? E.G., “It must be Baba’s test for our sadhana”. “After all, Baba knows all our past lives, and this must be a working out of our Karma”…. Others have had enough and either resign or quietly fade out of the Sai Organization. That researchers such as some journalists and academics avoid contact with those who leave a cult is professionally disgraceful to them. Worse than being overly cautious, they are not doing their job, and are cowards and lickspittles. They bow to the forces blowing along their system’s narrowest tunnels.

————

The Andhra Pradesh government, ostensibly chartered to investigate and report properly to parliament and public, is riddled in practically all quarters by longtime Sathya Sai Baba devotees, and still others who wheeled and dealed to their own political or pecuniary advantage. (Indications from my conversations with good sources in India are that already a combination of threats, bribes, calling in of favours, etc., endanger the hunt for facts by the media, devotee groups who suspect foul play among those they had formerly trusted, and other investigators.

Some media seem in a too much of a rush for hard facts, such as would stand up in a properly run court. They need to be far more proactive in approaching those with understanding and insight into Sathya Sai Organization, and other such organizations. They should realize that it is often not just hard-boiled facts they need to hunt out, but also clues. And, still more a broader interpretive framework, which can lead to understanding and insight with which to deal with the facts when, at last, they start to disclose themselves.

I doubt the Sai Central Trust or Sathya Sai Organization will be able to sue any in the media. Robert Priddy‘s, Exbaba.com’s and my personal experience is that they are all threat and no action.They are forever blaming someone else for their woes – “a handful of disgruntled former devotees”, the BBC, the Times of London, etc., etc. See:

Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist

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The Sai Trust is going to have to decide how much money it has to pay to the Andhra Pradesh Revenue Department. And then, if the wishes of vast numbers of rank-and-file devotees are respected – not to mention the huge national Indian upsurge of opinion about the scandal that is Puttaparthi – how much of their donated money is going to be directed to the properly intended efforts like the poor and needy, and education programs, etc.

As those of us whom Sai Baba’s officials and other devotees have threatened with litigation know too well, the Sathya Sai Organization and the Central Trust fear that if strong legal discovery processes unfold, decades of their dark dealing will perforce come out.

A cautious media is fine, but the often gutless one in India is a major threat to democracy. Indeed, one wonders whether some Indian journalists or their editors really understand or have looked at the difference between judicial levels of proof and prima facie indicators of crime. They need carefully to read the Indian Evidence Act). In the case of a PIL (Public Information Litigation), like the one Hari Sampath advanced on 8 May 2001, they should be vigilant, especially when we have gone to such lengths to let them know the circumstance in which the case was de-railed by abundantly obvious hijacking by Sai Baba-disposed judges. They should also have cognized that such a senior Indian Supreme Court advocate as Kamini Jaiswal is not going to lead her client, Sampath, by the nose and let him embark on a court action likely to frivolous, vexatious, and perilous. However, the Judges assigned to hear the case were of the worst kind.

Kamini Jaiswal, Supreme Court senior advocate

My distinguished legal friends from a number of countries, including the Commonwealth of which India is a member, have all seen this. I don’t believe Indian journalists don’t see this. Rather, they jump to the nervous reflexes of their editors and publishers. Therefore, they are to be held accountable for their professional dereliction. See documentation and further links:  Sathya Sai Trust In Vast Treasure Scandals: Secret Temple, Van, and Bus Stashes

Indian Media and Governments Heedless of Decade of Foreign Media and Sai Baba Critics’ Revelations

As I have said elsewhere, the Indian media, except India Today, was sorely derelict in failing to heed our evidence both in regard to the large-scale serial sexual abuses, and to the financial criminality and corruption which Hari Sampath was among the first to reveal publicly.

                                                      Sathya Sai Baba Disposed Indian Supreme Court Judges

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Sai Baba’s ‘treasure island’ newsblitz was soon eclipsed by news of great but far less cash being spirited out of the ashram by van and by bus. Trust spokesmen now reassure the media that all is well, and say the media has distorted matters. But many rank-and-file devotees are not reassured, and one reads that some are consulting their own lawyers. I predict Sai Central Trust lawyers will use delaying tactics, allowing Ratnakar and others, publicly, to bluff their way through, as though the blatant dereliction of spiritual principles and purposes had never occurred.

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I predict that, IF the Andhra Pradesh government properly probes the circumstances of Sathya Sai Baba’s death, and the circumstances of his well-reputed hospital director A.N. Dr Safaya’s resignation, and of numbers of his other medical and nursing staff at the Sai hospital, will show that individuals round Sai Baba earlier to his hospitalization, have either been negligent or criminal. Did any earlier aide withhold vital medications? Did the medical team fill with alarm to discover prior shortfalls of proper attention? Did any Trust member of associate refuse salient details about medical treatment prior to this time? Did any Trust or any other figure attempt to direct when Sai Baba’s life support system should be turned off, and at a later date than what would be reasonably be deemed proper?

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India has a long tradition of genuine, humble saints. Not one of them would have conceived of corporatized or industrialized spirituality. Many Indians, broadly, are joining large rallies against government and corporate corruption. Humble saints are not all that newsworthy.

————

Who except Sai Baba devotees will turn a blind eye to all the late Sai Baba’s parading about in the Hillview Stadium imperially mounted on a huge gold throne, his flashy self-glorifying buildings like his opulent twin palaces and his so-called ‘Spiritual Museum’, and much other extreme pomp and circumstance?

Unfortunately mostly forgotten are the powerful suppression by successive governments of facts about the police executions in his bedroom in 1993, and evidence from many countries of his wide-scale serial sexual molestation of boys and young men, and many other forms of reliably reported abuse, such as apartments scams involving the Puttaparthi front office …..

With the notable exception of India Today (December 4 2000) the Indian media has, in past decades, suppressed reports inimical to Sathya Sai Baba, and has long ignored major investigations by reputed media such as the BBC. NRI’s (Non Resident Indians) get to read what the Indian press has, in craven or incompetent fashion, blatantly ignored.

The countless victims still profoundly hurt, but who will hear their voice? Those who question, no matter how respectfully, are cast out from the international Sathya Sai Organisation.

Barry Pittard, Australia. Former lecturer in English at Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore (1978-79)

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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‘Face the Nation’ Audience Poll, India – 87% Hostile to Gurus Like Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 29, 2011

Sagarika Gosh-Sardesai and husband Rajdeep Sardesai - major Indian broadcaster/journalists

From India, an informant writes to us:

Yesterday, the Sai Baba debate was again featured on CNN-IBN’s flagship show, Face the Nation, hosted by top TV journalist Sagarika Gosh-Sardesai. FTN is one of the most watched programs in the country. The format is a debate between invited panelists on contentious issues, with a key question posed, and the entire audience is invited to vote through text messages or emails. Several millions vote every nite and a percentage result is given.

Yesterday the question was “Is spirituality an industry?”, with the question being led by the Sathya Sai Baba issue. Although other gurus were discussed, the implication and context of the question was obvious. A couple of panelists attempted to divert issues and pose questions on why only “Hindu gurus” are targeted etc, and not Christian missionaries, but in the end all these arguments fell flat, with whopping 87% of the national audience voting “YES” to the question of the day, in what seems to be a national indictment of Sathya Sai Baba.

As a leadup to the FTN debate , CNN-IBN Editor in Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, poses some hard questions to Sathya Sai trust lawyer Naganand on the most watched News program in the country “India at 9”.

Both Rajdeep Sardesai and Sagarika Gosh-Sardesai were quite critical of the Sathya Sai trust

http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/163424/sai-trust-evading-probe.html

You can see the FTN program here …

http://ibnlive.in.com/videos/163428/ftn-sathya-sai-trust-under-scanner-is-spirituality-an-industry.html

Almost all national TV channels are doing major shows on the Sai Baba matter, and now the matter is prime time material…..with an audience quite hostile to the entire Sathya Sai fracas….and I am sure the top politicians who are watching would be determined to stay a safe distance from this ugly mess, given the mood of the country on this”.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Sathya Sai Baba Scandal: View RJ Ratnakar’s Body Language In NDTV Interview On Sai Trust ‘Transparency’

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 29, 2011

Although Sai Baba once famously wrote a letter in which he renounced his family – as renunciates in time-honored Indian tradition do (except for those such as tantricists) – his nephew R.J. Ratnakar is at centre stage . 

The Sai Trust’s R.J.Ratnakar, Renunciate Sai Baba's Nephew. Effective Sai Trust Supremo

Sathya Sai Central Trust. Here is the earlier type of presentation that Ratnakar would now clearly like the public to forget all about. It is a statement a prominent spokesman for Trustees and the Council of Management,V.Srinivasan, chairman of WS Industries, Chennai, South India, made on the same day as the Central Trust made its tediously waffling major public statement, couched verbatim, in this portion, in both cases:  

“In the light of baseless, irresponsible and false accusations of defalcation of gold, valuable artefacts and even money, it is emphatically stated that the accusations are wholly untrue and it is believed these have been engineered by certain vested interests”. (Economic Times article:  ‘Baba had no successor in mind: Trustees, election for Sai Trust chairman next week’, Apr 28, 2011, 09.53pm IST).

In one moment, we are told that ex Chief Justice of India P.N. Bhagwati is head of the Sai Central Trust. Next thing, we learn that Ratnakar is at the helm. In fact, many Sai devotees see him as having usurped what many viewed as his most trusted aide, Satyajit. Bhagwati himself had affirmed the value of Satyajit. Word has now come through that Bhagwati and K. Chakravarthi (longtime Trust secretary, and the father of one of my students whom I most respected when teaching at the Sathya Sai College, Whitefield via Bangalore, who later went to Oxford University), are resigning. On the other hand, we can produce evidence that K.Chakravarthi was sacked from the Indian Administrative Service for embezzlement.

K. Chakravathi, longtime Sai Trust Secretary. An Expert with a knife

Others, too, have tended resignations, as have the highly reputed Dr A.N. Safaya, along with a number of doctors and nurses. See:  Head of Sai Baba Mega Dollar Hospital At Puttaparthi Resigns. Others Quitting Jobs Too

                                                 Dr A.N. Safaya. Resigns as head of Sathya Sai Hospital Puttaparthi, AP, South India

In viewing the video of the interview just done with NDTV (Indian) with Ratnakar, my reader may be interested to study his body language. He claims that there is no financial irregularity. That the Sai Central Trust is impeccable. That things are fine. In a fashion usual to his master and to certain other officials in the past, such as Indulal Shah and G. Venkataraman, he inveighs – no matter how well-evidenced are reports – against vested interests and malign campaigning against the Trust. First, former devotees were “demons” and “Judases” who would never achieve salvation in this or any other life. For comparison between then and recently, see:

Indulal Shah and Indian Government Cover Up

‘God’s’ Ex-Shah, Indulal Shah

Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist

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

Readers who are psychologists, police interrogators and so forth, may especially like to study Ratnakar’s body language – and take careful note of eye movements, gestures, facial expressions such as the smiling, etc. Those scientifically conversant with voice prints may also like to study Ratnakar’s form. Or parents who have a good street sense of when their kids are lying might also like to examine this interview.

At the same time, I do not think that all Sai Baba spokespersons will show up as dishonest. There are some relative innocents among them – but they are, often unwittingly, tools of the dark art players.  But kid me not, you Sai Trust members, I have taught many of your or your associates’ children, and I know from the latters’ and my stimulating conversations that some of my students were sharply familiar with the  ‘Arthaśāstra’ of Chanakya, who pre-dated his kindred spirit in renaissance Italy Machiavelli by 1800 years. It is a legacy Indian ruling class practitioners of the darker political and diplomatic arts pass on to their smarter sons (and daughters, sometimes).

Heavens! – I used to think that Sai Baba was drawing certain of his trustees and other key leaders to him so as to purify his Trust members and other core leaders, hand-picked by Sai Baba as they have long been, who have long raised deep, but often whispered concern among rank-and-file Sai devotees. But …..

There are, by the way, VERY few leaders in this heavily authoritarian cult who are permitted to speak publicly. Indeed, the complex presence of elusive and different levels of official operandi within the Sai Baba hierarchy of leadership was long ago detailed by Hari Sampath, a former member of Sai Baba’s Security and Intelligence Wing. I trust that Mr Sampath is well on the way to purification these days.  See:  How It Works (August 2000). It is most instructive to read this article in conjunction with Sampath’s Public Information Litigation suit which he took to the Supreme Court of India. The high-profile advocate Kamini Jaiswal took his case. Even she failed against the sheer weight of judicial corruption, which is common in India. I have written elsewhere:

“I have shown documents in this case to outstanding legal counsel in various democratic jurisdictions, and the repeated reaction was one of abhorrence for the summary manner in which the judges dealt with the case. An expression used was ‘Kangaroo Court’.  Let anyone read, in part, an Indian lawyer’s notes for the case. See the article:  Sai Baba protected by the Supreme Court of India.

They will get their own sense of the corruption of some judges at the epicenter of (so-called) Indian Justice.

Anyone accustomed to democratic court procedures can hardly believe, as one reads the lawyer’s notes in transcript, that judges could be so blatant. See, Record of Proceedings document of Hari Sampath’s 2001 case against Sai Baba in the Supreme Court of India.  See how the case is scuppered by Judges G.B. Patnaik and R.C. Lahoti with the concurrence of then Chief Justice Dr A.S. Anand. Prompted by concern for her client if he were to proceed in and Andhra Pradesh court – the proposed remedy of the judges, Kamini Jaiswal, a senior advocate in the Indian Supreme Court, strongly contested the three judges’ direction to pursue matters in an Andhra Pradesh court”. 

Sathya Sai Baba Disposed Judges

In brief, my current observations are:  Trust players are turning to the best paid lawyers in India, who can be relied upon for use of technicalities and delay and obfuscation tactics. The Andhra Pradesh government, ostensibly chartered to investigate and report properly to parliament and public, is riddled in practically all quarters by longtime Sai Baba devotees, and still others who wheeled and dealed to their own political or pecuniary advantage. 
Central trust personnel first reacted with shock, and confusion. Their communications were sometimes far too little and at other times verbose and careless in that further suspicions among devotees, the Indian media and wider public were aroused. There were panicked attempts to recover lost ground. But now there is the resumption of few but smooth highly tailored statements and carefully measured silences.
See also: 

Sathya Sai Trust’s R.J.Ratnakar – Long Police Interrogation. Intensive Investigations Continue

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Scan of Hari Sampath PIL to Supreme Court of India. Proof of what the Court denied record of when requested by the British Ambassador to India

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Child Protectrice, Beth Rude, The Goddess Sathya Sai Baba Forgot

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 28, 2011

Beth Rude.  A Ballad by Barry Pittard.  2011.

I wonder if you ever knew

That sweet old lady they call Beth Rude

With her steady gaze and a cutting phrase

Did she ever gaze at you?

Was she ever rude to you?

But she’s never rude to kiddies, who

Come racing up to her

And even kids who are the wildest

With her become quieter

And the kids who are the timidest

Learn to build their fire from her

Beth Rude says:

Lots of kids need lots and lots of hugs

And not one kid needs shots of drugs

Some polite people say – how rude is Beth

And that Beth should mind her own business

Beth says –

If someone should do harm to a hair on a child’s head

That harm should be spoken, and not laid to rest

Beth Rude and her friends all sing sweet lullabies

For children who look up with trust in their eyes

With trust in their eyes, sure trust in their eyes

At the love in your eyes, yes at the love in your eyes

Beth Rude and her friends together they wipe

Tears that might ….

Might never be dried

Some polite people say –

Beth Rude you should do something far more mainstream

Instead of being so rude in a lost cause, don’t you see!?

How rude to speak of rockspiders and predatory beasts

Leave things to experts, the government, and to the police

And Beth bites back, she says –

If it’s nobody’s business then whose business is it?!

So you think that rock spiders should pay your kids a visit?!

So –

I wonder if you ever knew

That sweet old lady they call Beth Rude

With her steady gaze and a cutting phrase

Did she ever gaze at you?

Was she ever rude to you?

But she’s never rude to kiddies, who

Draw their warmth from her

And even kids who are the wildest

With her become quieter

And the kids who are the timidest

Learn to build their fire from her

Beth Rude says:

Kids need to feel safe. If they’re not safe

Kids hearts break, kids hearts break!

Some go silent, some grow violent

When polite people not a scrap of notice take

Beth says:

Most rude is a crude cross that nails a child

That nails a kid timid or nails a kid wild

Beth Rude and her friends they sing sweet lullabies

For children who look up with love in their eyes

With love in their eyes. Is your love in their eyes?

You see the trust in their eyes, do they see trust in your eyes?

Beth Rude and her friends together they wipe

Tears that might ….

Might never be dried

Some polite people say –

Beth Rude you should do something far more mainstream

Instead of being so rude in a lost cause, don’t you see!?

Beth says:

What is it with you, who stay silent, who make a shadow in between

So many children who look up for the rainbows of their dreams?!

Call me rude, downright rude, but see I’ll keep you in mind

When you let go rock spiders, who should be doing time!

Doing time, doing time, hard time, don’t you see!?

Doing time, after time …..

So, that’s Beth. And –

I wonder if you ever knew

That sweet old lady they call Beth Rude

With her steady gaze and a cutting phrase

Did she ever gaze at you?

Was she ever rude to you?

While –

Beth Rude and her friends together they wipe

Tears that might ….

Might never be dried

So –

I wonder if you ever new

That sweet old lady they call Beth Rude

With her steady gaze and a cutting phrase

Did she ever gaze at you?

Was she ever rude to you?

But she’s never rude to kiddies, who

Come racing after her

And even the kids who are the wildest

With her become quieter

And the kids who are the timidest

They learn their fire from her

Beth has a fire ….

Do you ….

Do you have a fire ….?

Do you?

(This song is dedicated to the Mother of a great advocate in protecting the young. A teacher for over 30 years, she contacted, having appreciated another lyric of mine:  Sathya Sai Baba – The Man Who Would Be ‘King of Kings’).

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Child Protection. Has Hindu India Forgotten Saraswati?

Child Protection. Has Hindu India Forgotten the Mothering Nature of Saraswati?

United Nations Child Protection Symbol

Note:  Barry Pittard’s songs are copyright protected by The Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA)

See two other related ballads by Barry Pittard: 

‘Little Fly’. A Ballad of ‘Rock Spiders’ and Sexual Abuse of the Young

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

Enquiries regarding music and lyrics, Contact:  barpittard@gmail.com

For a great project that uses the power of symbols in liberating children from the evils of child abuse, see:

Symbols for teaching children, via the imaginationart in liberating

http://www.triangle.org.uk/howitis

Kuan Yin

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Child Protection Rainbow

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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Indian Media and Governments Heedless of Decade of Foreign Media and Sai Baba Critics’ Revelations

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 27, 2011

Each day, major sections of the Indian media feature glaring revelations about Sathya Sai Baba’s and key Sathya Sai Central Trust officials. The Andhra Pradesh government is now stepping in – for example, closing down 16 charitable exemptions long accorded to the Sathya Sai Central Trust. It details to the case police investigators with teeth, and arrests have already been made.

There are grave suspicions surrounding the manner of Sai Baba’s death. For example, questions have been raised about why the Indian and international doctors attending Sai Baba since his hospitalization were refused salient details about medical treatment prior to this time. News reports in recent days – such as the surprise emergence of billionaire Sai Baba backer Isaac Tigrett and his secret yet to be revealed – have heavily eclipsed these matters.  See: Human Rights Commission Probe Fronts Andhra Government On Sathya Sai Baba Treatment

Several of Sathya Sai Baba’s longtime most prominent workers have resigned, including Dr A.N. Safaya, head of the Superspecialty Hospital at Puttaparthi, along with other doctors and nursing staff.  See:  Head of Sai Baba Mega Dollar Hospital At Puttaparthi Resigns. Others Quitting Jobs Too. Posted by Barry Pittard on June 26, 2011.

Dereliction of Duty of Care, Accountability and Transparency of International Sathya Sai Organization and Sathya Sai Central Trust

Sai Baba cult's world head, Dr Micael Goldstein, of Covena, southern California. BBC secret camera captures the ugly face that the international leadership of the Sathya Sai Organization wishes to hide.

For many years, small numbers of internationally coordinated former devotees, and other critics such as the late Basava Premanand, worked tremendously hard, and against almost impossible odds, to expose Sathya Sai Baba and his authoritarian worldwide cult. See:

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

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

The Sathya Sai Organization now bears the undying stigma of having countless times scorned, rebuked and libeled those former devotees and other critics who have, at cost of great personal sacrifice to themselves and their families and friends, spoken out about the sexual abuses against young males and other crimes and moral and spiritual betrayals.

Longtime Failure to Act of Indian Media and Successive National and State Governments

To the profound shame of the Indian media, leading newspaper and television organizations heeded our representations:

For example, BBC, CBC (Canada), DR (Denmark), Salon.com (USA), SBS (all television), ABC (Radio Australia). In newspaper 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., ….. It was not until a close friend of ours, at the top of a notable profession, was able to dine with an official of the Indo Asian News Service that our Duke of Edinburgh story concerning Sai Baba’s propaganda people that we were able, after many futile attempts, to make some inroads on a small section of the Indian media.

Extraordinarily, in the last days, wide sections of the Indian media are surfacing evidence that powerfully tells against Sathya Sai Baba and many of his core servitors. It is, of course, to the historic shame of the Indian media (with the honorable exception of India Today) and successive, typically corrupt Indian governments, national and state, that we long remained voices crying out in the wilderness. For my appreciation of India Today’s publisher Aroon Purie and his team, see:  Sai Baba Treasure Scandals: His Big Political Protectors Now Run For Cover

Of course, the greatest crying, emotionally and spiritually speaking, came from the countless boys and young men who had been sexually molested by Sathya Sai Baba, and in some cases by his teachers. For a recent record of a former student of the Sathya Sai university, now a professional who still struggles with terrible guilt, see:

Testimony about Sai Baba and his Hostels for Boys

Posted by robertpriddy on June 9, 2011

More glimpses behind Sai Baba’s veil of secrecy from one who knows

Posted by robertpriddy on June 10, 2011

The crying comes also from those he and certain of his servitors badly damaged in various other ways. including complicity in cover up of police executions in Sai Baba’s bedroom, missing persons, the beating of individuals by key Sai Baba security personnel, terrible financial scams conducted through the Puttaparthi front office, and in many other ways.

From years of living in India, and sometimes with families from very wealthy to very poor, I know that Indians love their children as people anywhere else do. Of course they do. But love operates when it is a verb, an action, rather than when it is a noun, an abstract.

However, the indisputable fact is that, far worse than in countries which have made large strides in facing sexual abuse issues, India profoundly betrays her children in this regard.

Will India continue to maintain the profoundly inhumane taboo against confronting issues around sexual abuse? Will she focus, instead, on scandals such as the secret hoarding in Sathya Sai Baba’s private chambers of millions of dollars worth of currency and large caches of precious stones and other luxury items? Will she not ask what, sexually, in the lives of so many boys and young men, happened down many years in Sai Baba’s bedroom? That is, the same bedroom around which a vast fortune in currency, gold, silver and precious gemstones have now been found. And the selfsame bed in which the treasury of innocence of countless boys and young men has been forever snatched.

Do you, India, wish to leave out forever out in the wilderness those brave Indian advocates for child protection as: Maharukh Adenwala, Rajmangal Prasad, and other national, state and local profiled figures who work for child rights in India. Why don’t you begin to hang out with those who really care, instead of those who only pretend to care?

Do you, India, wish to continue to be known throughout the world as the country with the highest rate of violence against women and children. Do you want a nation in which, according to a survey by India Today, there are between 400000 and 500000 child prostitutes in India. Does it not mean something to you that a 2007 study (brought about only by the tireless efforts of Indian men and women who truly care, by the Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) found that 53.22 per cent of India’s children have experienced some form of sexual abuse.

Do many of you pass it all off, thinking it is the kids’ Karma? Very well, do you think it is your Karma to be a person who doesn’t care, and who is content to leave matters as they are? Would you want your own children in the clutches of predators?  Do you have no voice? No ability to support those who work, back against the wall, for change?

By virtue of former devotees’ intensive coordinated campaigning, Sathya Sai Baba centers in the West have emptied and, in other cases, been sorely depleted.  A difficult sticking point is that India is a long way behind in addressing sexual abuse issues. It will be ironic if India’s Sathya Sai Centers empty or deplete because of the revelations about Sai Baba’s material, rather than spiritual treasure. The case in countries outside India was quite other – it was primarily because many individuals were able to exchange their findings about the sheer extent of Sai Baba’s sexual abuses of boys and young men that the credibility of the Sathya Sai Baba was irrecoverably damaged.

After enormous efforts by former Sai Baba devotees around the world – efforts that included proper, professional presentation of our credentials and of primary and secondary witnesses to governments, the United Nations, Interpol, and also of notable institutions which then, thankfully, cut off their connection with the international Sathya Sai Organization.

Robert Priddy and I, with additional help from within India, are keeping up the pressure in our own way. Various leading Indian media have contacted. Our blogsites are receiving thousands of visitors. Though naturally we are keen to avoid any imputation of interfering in the affairs of a sovereign country. We are most sensitive to the need not to tread on the turf of our Indian brothers and sisters who are staging the fight on their home ground. One area we have sometimes been able to assist is in bringing pressure on India deeply corrupt governments via the representatives of former devotees and other Sai Baba critics from around the world. Our friends among Non-Resident Indians (NRI’s) have also been able to contribute here.

My guess is that, just as in the first great wave of our exposure effort, many quit the Sathya Sai Organization, there will now be more waves of leave-taking. Indeed, one would think, of far greater dimensions.

A Seminal Document (August 2000) by Hari Sampath, Former Member of Sathya Sai Security and Intelligence Wing. Indian Media Should Study It

An all-too-neglected Hari Sampath document from 21 August 2000, fully deserves to be widely read, including by an Indian media which may be prone to think themselves as being at the cutting edge of  exposing Sathya Sai Baba and core elements of his cult. The Sampath document is entitled – ‘The Sathya Sai Baba set-up: How it works’.

Hari Sampath wrote his piece from the point of view of a member of Sai Baba Security and Intelligence wing who had become alienated by his discoveries of corruption from Sai Baba down. He  began to investigate, and later posted some of his findings on the internet. See HERE.

From both my own repeated, direct experience of contact with it, and that of our Indian workers’ extraordinarily hard work to inform it, a fact stands out inescapably:  Had the Indian media had been professional and receptive when we embarked on our saga of exposure, Sai cult exposure of the sort happening in India today would surely have happened long ago.

In short, the Indian media, except India Today, was sorely derelict in failing to heed our evidence both in regard to the large-scale serial sexual abuses, and to the financial criminality and corruption which Hari Sampath was the first to reveal publicly.

One area of feedback that would be useful to have at this time is:  impact on centers, both within and outside India. Many of you have your own networking and other resources by which to pull in salient information about what is happening with the centers. Please keep this and other forms of information coming. The feedback assists in breaking through the walls of disinformation and, more often, of Sai Organization unaccountability mediated via silence. See:

Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist

There are many lessons that nations can draw from exposures as great as the unmasking of the Sathya Sai Baba cult. The story of its exposure has on of small people having to learn skills which they, almost entirely never previously possessed. Such as dealing with the media, lawyers, and acting as a conduit to various professional areas of support – such as experienced psychological counseling – for the terribly stricken survivors of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult’s abuses. Anyone in the communities of former devotee activists are witness to the fact that these individuals are not takers but givers. Very typically, they serve not only those affected by the Sathya Sai Organization’s utter dereliction of duty of care and accountability, but also are dedicated to serving worthy causes in their own wider communities and professions.

In short, these are the individuals so-called Sai Baba devotees around the world – so full of their earnest talk about truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence – have so cruelly and wrongfully shunned, scorned and vilified.

It is important to keep the information flowing.

For those with information, I can be contacted at this blogsite. Or via:  barpittard@gmail.com. Where special security/confidentiality needs may be called for, there are protocols available. My colleague Robert Priddy and I have dealt with many international situations involving private individuals, media, government and institutions, and confidentiality is assured.

It may be that some fear going to various agencies in the Indian state or federal police. A former head of Interpol in Australia has assured me that there are workarounds in situations of this kind. Should anyone in India wish to share this level of information, please feel welcome to write to me.

Barry Pittard, former Lecturer, Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India.

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Excerpt from:

Testimony from ‘Raman Sharma’

Date: 05-09-11

Here is an excerpt from an account made by a former student – now an academic – who has been in regular contact with well known ex-follower Conny Larsson by phone and e-mail and with an other ex devotee, for several years. We know his real identity and can confirm that he is a real person, but we must protect him from aggressive Sai stalkers and continued harassment by fanatical Sai Baba devotees where he is in India:

I have been accused from the “people of the 5 Human Values” of all sort of things and foremost even threatened for my life. These stalkers who have been paid by the Sai organisation. are terrible people who were also my former close friends within the Sai organisation. But what more could one expect from people devoted to a Rakshasa like Sai Baba. He once said to me after I told him that I loved him; “Yes I know, my food is your thoughts”. I almost fainted out of satisfaction, could you believe how gullible I was. Seduced both physically, spiritually and mentally. The so called “seva” within his organisation is just a mumbo jumbo that never existed so far.

I am really at pains to understand that one of my closest friends (name given but undisclosed here), who personally told me about the private goings on is still a believer, though I sympathize with him. It can be due to the fact that his father was given free hospital treatment and I believe he has received other benefits . There was also (name undisclosed). They are still my friends and so it is difficult to come out in the open.

(‘Raman Sharma’ tells next of how a close relative of his was a prominent official in the Sathya Sai Organisation but left after he told her of his experiences. They were ostracized by all former Sai Baba friends and none bothered to ask after his relative’s health after a cancer operation. After I came out my mother left the organisation and many senior member spoke ill about us.) I also had a miraculous escape in a way when I had confronted the hostel warden directly (it’s a long story of my own humiliations and shady living and things to which I was introduced as a kid in my eight standard by older boys and close friends). I still recollect another Mephistopheles of SB, Nanjundaiaah, the controller of examinations at the university speaking to our class that “Swami is pure innocence, you students by your association and dirty thoughts are spoiling him and his innocence” referring to the talk that was spreading at the college.

They misbehaved with students whenever rumours or truth about SSB started spreading in the hostel. Earlier SSB use to himself do this job by publicly humiliating those students and expelling them, thereby spoiling their careers. How many days of psychological trauma and torture good students have suffered! If I remember correctly, it was in June 2000 during the summer course (or was it 1999) two Brindavan form boys (who slept with SB) were taken ill. When checked, they were found to be HIV positive. I don’t know what happened to them, but SB was very upset with them and threw them out. I think this information was totally suppressed. In India the atmosphere is such that even people like us who know facts doubts ourselves at times. I do hope and pray that God does not allow India to be a global superpower, otherwise it has everything in it to corrupt the rest of the world. The famous author Nirad C Chaudhuri used a term MEGALOMANIA (In his own words he explained that just as an individual can be overtaken by madness, entire groups of people can grow mad). In India we have no dearth of politicians going collectively mad and so also credulous people in general. At least Nehru, for all his shortcomings never bowed down to irrationality just as his party supremos like PM Manmohan Singh  and Sonia Gandhi did recently by Bowing down at the corpse of dead Sathya sai Baba.

Yesterday, I was going through the exbaba site and the account of SB’s sibling Janakiramiah’s death. I noticed two points: Firstly, While Janakiramiah lay dying, people were allowed to see him in the ICU at SSSIHMS. I really fail to understand why are the devotees not being allowed now. Secondly, there was a reference of a bloated Janakiramaiah’s body being sent back to his residence at Parthi. I would like to bring to your notice about another death at the hospital. It concerns prof. Kailash Kumar Aurora, one of the professors’ of English at the Institute. I heard about his death when I had gone to parthi last in 2004. He also died at SSSIHMS and some students who saw him (may be at the hospital) repeatedly confirmed that his body had bloated up unnaturally. I do know of the fact that many permanent members at the ashram or even students never wanted to go to SSSIHMS for treatment because the Hospital was famous for giving wrong injections or medications to the patients. I personally hold the view that SB knew of these goings-on at the hospital and never wanted any major achievement of the hospital to be highlighted in public. Also, returning to the sequence of my older emails, somewhere around 1990 there was a student called Ramesh from Andhra who use to terrorize me and have sex. He never allowed me to go to class and I was really afraid of him, I don’t know for what, I think most of them knew of SB and I am surprised that even on Facebook none of the old Sai students are showing any serious concern about swami’s health. I think it was in my tenth that I started enjoying sex with males after being forced to do it in eighth and ninth. I even stopped going home during holidays in the pretext of staying with swami and my parents being devotees could not imagine about what was happening to me. I remember praying to SB that my parents should die so that I could enjoy life on my own, such was my foolishness. These memories are indeed painful, but I can certainly say that I have restrained myself from doing it with younger folks at Parthi. Somehow I always had the feeling that it was wrong.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Head of Sai Baba Mega Dollar Hospital At Puttaparthi Resigns. Others Quitting Jobs Too

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 26, 2011

The head of Sathya Sai Baba’s multi-million dollar hospital at Puttaparthi, Dr A.N. Safaya has resigned, along with other medical and nursing staff.

Dr A.N. Safaya, Head of Sathya Sai Superspecialty Hospital Resigns, along with other Staff

I only met Dr Safaya once, when I lengthily interviewed him at the Sri Sathya Sai Superspeciality Hospital for an article to be published in the Puttaparthi-based magazine ‘Spiritual Impressions’, which is distributed internationally. My impression was of a gracious, deeply dedicated man. He is highly respected in India and abroad in the medical profession.

I venture to predict that, given a probing Andhra Pradesh government enquiry into the circumstances of Sathya Sai Baba’s death, the circumstances of Dr Safaya’s resignation, and of other medical and nursing staff at the Sai hospital, will show that forces on the Sathya Sai Central Trust, and certain of their agents, have been grossly unscrupulous. And, more widely, criminal.

There are very serious allegations arising in news coverage that those around Sathya Sai Baba prior to his admission to the hospital where he died on 25 April withheld vital medical information from Dr Safaya and other medical experts in attendance.

From other flows of information we are receiving, it looks as though there is a surge of devotees massing, who are very ethical and deeply concerned with what has been withheld from them.

Fast-mounting events indicate that, just as occurred when we began our exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult, circa 2000, many people are leaving the Sathya Sai Organization, and those contemplating membership have decided not to join.

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For those with information, I can be contacted at this blogsite. Or via:  barpittard@gmail.com. Where special security/confidentiality needs may be called for, there are protocols available. My colleague Robert Priddy and I have dealt with many international situations involving private individuals, media, government and institutions, and confidentiality is assured.

It may be that some fear going to various agencies in the Indian state or federal police. A former head of Interpol in Australia has assured me that there are workarounds in situations of this kind. Should anyone in India wish to share this level of information, please feel welcome to write to me.

Barry Pittard, former Lecturer, Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India.

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TIMES OF INDIA

Sai hospital head quits

TNN | Jun 25, 2011, 01.29am IST

PUTTAPARTHI: In yet another indication that the mega Sai empire is undergoing a churn, Dr A N Safaya, director of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences (SSSIHMS), has decided to quit. Safaya, a former head of AIIMS in Delhi, was looking after Sai Baba when he was in the hospital.Along with Safaya several other heads in the super-speciality hospital on the outskirts of Puttaparthi are all set to quit. Sources told TOI that Safaya has decided to quit his job and has informed the Trust authorities about his decision. He is likely to continue till November-end. “After attending Sai Baba’s birthday celebration, Safaya will put in his papers,” insiders in Prasanthi Nilayam said.Safaya, who has been on leave for 24 days, arrived in Puttaparthi on Friday and made known his decision to quit. Sources said Safaya was upset over the happenings in the Trust and the continuous bashing the hospital has been receiving from various quarters. Sources said Safaya was distraught ever since Baba had passed away on April 24. “I came to serve him and wanted to be here for life. But with Baba himself gone, I don’t see myself serving in the hospital,” he reportedly told his close aides. Safaya could not be contacted.“He has already suggested to the Trust to search for a new director,” sources said. Safaya, originally from Kashmir, was handpicked by Sai Baba when he was serving in AIIMS, Delhi, and made director of SSSIHMS in 1990. Sources said Safaya did not want to face the mounting allegations and charges made by family members of Sai Baba over the alleged medical negligence which led to Baba’s death. Baba was admitted to the hospital on March 28 in a critical condition.Safaya faced a lot of flak from devotees and family members when Sai Baba was being treated in the hospital with multi-organ failure. He landed himself in trouble when he claimed that they had no medical case sheet of Sai Baba. “With no Trust member willing to come forward and share the health updates of Baba with the media, Safaya was providing the daily updates and medical bulletins. He had to face a lot of questions from the government team of doctors and senior bureaucrats,” hospital sources said.Also hurt over the continuous bashing of the super-specialty hospital on the medical treatment provided to Sai Baba, heads of some of the key wings in the hospital have decided to quit and are planning to join other hospitals, it is learnt. Hospital joint director Jagadish Chandra, medical superintendent Bharadwaj and chief engineer Viswanath were among those who have decided to put in their papers.Feeling insecure over their jobs, 11 nurses have resigned in the last one week. “Some of them have quit as the Trust was not implementing the Sixth Pay Commission wages. Three nurses have already joined a private hospital in Bangalore,” hospital sources said.While Sai Baba had set up a general hospital way back in 1968, he opened SSSIHMS in 1991 in a record time of 11 months to offer free and specialised medicare to the poor and downtrodden sections. Now, doubts are cropping up whether the Trust would be able to continue the free services at the hospital.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Sathya Sai Trust’s R.J.Ratnakar – Long Police Interrogation. Intensive Investigations Continue

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 26, 2011

Latest reports in the Indian media reveal that the Anantapur district police have questioned a leading Sathya Sai Central Trust member, Sathya Sai Baba’s nephew R.J. Ratnakar for over five hours. He has refused media interviews. Police have scheduled for Monday 27 June an interview with another prominent Sathya Sai Central Trust member, V. Srinivasan.

As matters stand, there is glaring contradiction between statements of Srinivasan, who has admitted Trust involvement in extraordinary movements of cash, and of R.J. Ratnakar, who says that the money is actually from 12 donors, and can be explained.

But how does one explain Trust workers clandestinely moving – in a van and in a bus – such vast amounts – and right on the heels of the discovery multi millions of cash, gemstones and other valuables secreted in Sai Baba’s bedroom? Where is the transparency in this?

Information is abroad that R.J. Ratnakar has been attempting to involve a number of Sai Baba students in attempts to cover up certain of the financial irregularities, but that the boys and their families have refused to have anything to do with any improper dealings.

See Hindu Times article, below.

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For those with information, I can be contacted at this blogsite. Or via:  barpittard@gmail.com. Where special security/confidentiality needs may be called for, there are protocols available. My colleague Robert Priddy and I have dealt with many international situations involving private individuals, media, government and institutions, and confidentiality is assured.

It may be that some fear going to various agencies in the Indian state or federal police. A former head of Interpol in Australia has assured me that there are workarounds in situations of this kind. Should anyone in India wish to share this level of information, please feel welcome to write to me.

Barry Pittard, former Lecturer, Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India.

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For some salient attitudes derived from my several years in India, see portions of my article:

Could Sathya Sai Treasury Scandals Lead to India’s Watergate?

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 23, 2011

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 27, 2011

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NOTE:

This V. Srinivasan is chairman of WS Industries, Chennai, South India. Various Sai Baba devotees have typically referred to him as:  “Venu”.  In certain Indian media reports, there has been a mix-up in with a Mr Venu Srinivasan, one of India’s top industrialists, who belongs to the TVS group, a Chennai-based industrial group. Concerned lest the V. Srinivasan of TVS be harmed by the heavy national media attention to  the Sathya Sai Central Trust’s V.Srinivasan, also chairman of the WS Industries, Chennai,  TVS has sent out a media clarification.

This type of mix-up was addressed, for example, in the Economic Times:

Sathya Sai Baba death: Who will succeed him as chairman of Sai Trust?

ET Bureau Apr 25, 2011, 01.53am IST

“In March 2010, the Trust was reconstituted and included, apart from Baba, the following members: former chief justice of India PN Bhagawati; chartered accountant Indulal Shah; former central chief vigilance commissioner SV Giri; WS Industries chairman V Srinivasan (commonly misunderstood for Venu Srinivasan of TVS Motors); and Rathnakar. Also, the Trust’s council of management has the following members: lawyer SS Naganand; former Canara Bank chairman JV Shetty; former IOB chairman TKK Bhagavat; retired IAS official K Chakravarthi”.

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Front Page.

Police grill Ratnakar for over 5 hours Rakesh Reddy V.K

PUTTAPARTHI: R.J. Ratnakar, a Member of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, was grilled by Anantapur district police at the Prashanthi Nilayam on Saturday, in connection with the seizure of Rs.35 lakh in cash while it was being transported from here on June 18.

A team of police led by DSP of Penukonda Kolar Krishna interrogated Mr. Ratnakar, nephew of late Sai Baba, for more than five hours.

The interrogation is significant in light of the “confessions” to the police by K. Sohan Shetty of Bangalore and S. Chandrasekhara Murthy, driver of the car seized by the police. According to the remand report filed by the Circle Inspector of Hindupur One Town, Mr. Shetty (A2) confessed that Mr. Ratnakar and V. Srinivasan, another trustee, had given him Rs.35 lakh on June 18 to conceal and provide it as and when required.

The driver (A3) said during interrogation that the two trustees had brought the cash bag from Yajur Mandir, residence of Sai Baba, and kept it in a Sonata car. Later, on their directions, he transported the cash and handed it over to Mr. Shetty. “The Trust management or A2, who got possession of the cash, had failed to produce any document or record claiming the money belonged to them,” the report added.

According to sources, the police also questioned Mr. Ratnakar on the basis of the reported statements of Mr. Srinivasan, that the cash indeed belonged to the Trust and that it was just a rare occasion when the Trust decided to pay out in cash for construction of Sai Baba’s Samadhi. This was in contrast to Mr. Ratnakar’s own statement that the cash did not belong to the Trust but to 12 different donors, who would eventually claim it.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of people took out a procession in Puttaparthi demanding the resignation of members of the Trust till such time that they prove themselves to be innocent.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Andhra Pradesh Intelligence Watch On Sathya Sai Central Trust. AP Gvt Closing In

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 24, 2011

Well wisher from India emails us:  

“It looks like the Andra Pradesh govt is putting the squeeze on the Sathya Sai trust. It appears that the Govt has a definite strategy in mind over a period, and hence the politicians and govt officials have been cold shouldering the SB trust officials (besides giving a silent go ahead for slapping criminal cases against them). The government has already withdrawn 16 exemptions to the SB trust, regarding auditing, some taxes, publishing accounts, being supervised by a govt official etc, among others. Even assets like land as well  as intellectual properties can no longer be sold by the trust without govt permission.

At a high level meeting , Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy (who is not a devotee), brushed aside his cabinet’s apprehensions that SB devotees may be offended by any Govt takeover of the trust. It is strongly indicated that the Govt is moving towards this decision, and the young AP Chief minister (a former state cricketer/wicket keeper) has even put the trust under intelligence watch.

It seems that an “Aurobindo model” as in the Pondicherry Aurobindo ashram is being contemplated, and also possibly the Whitefield ashram may be made an income creating commercial venture or sold off.

If this happens, it could possibly mean the end of the “Sai Baba mission”, and it would exist as just another charity, maybe with a few pictures of Sai Baba here and there”.

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India Today

Andhra Pradesh government plans to take over Sathya Sai Baba trust

A. Srinivasa Rao  | Hyderabad, June 24, 2011 | Updated 10:26 IST

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

The Andhra Pradesh government is planning to take over the controversial Sathya Sai Central Trust following the recent seizure of a huge amount of cash from some people close to the trust members.

Chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy held a high-level meeting with officials of the endowments department, chief secretary S. V. Prasad and intelligence department officials on Wednesday evening to discuss reports of alleged irregularities in the Sathya Sai Trust, which manages the multi-crore empire of late godman Sathya Sai Baba at Puttaparthi in Anantapur district.

“In the last four decades, the government has not interfered in the affairs of the trust. But now, we are compelled to intervene in the wake of serious allegations of embezzlement of funds in Prashanti Nilayam. We have sought a report from the trust on its financial dealings and the assets it is holding. Depending on the response from the trust members, we will decide on how to proceed further,” endowments minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah said on Thursday.

Sources said the government is also weighing options of taking over the trust, but that would be as a last resort.

Otherwise, it might even consider canceling the exemption granted to the trust under Section 154 of the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997, which would enable the government to have direct supervision over the trust affairs.

“The government has no immediate plans to take over the trust. We will wait until the trust members submit their report,” the minister said.

The government has given strict instructions to the police to probe the trust’s financial irregularities and act tough with erring members. The police had already served notices on trust members R. J. Rantakar and V. Srinivasan, asking them to appear before the superintendent of police before Saturday for interrogation.

The government has also transferred Puttaparthi deputy superintendent of police Narasimhulu, who was allegedly cooperating with the trust members in siphoning off wealth from Yajur Mandir, the personal chamber of Sai Baba. Instructions have also been issued to the local revenue authorities to submit a comprehensive report on whether land transactions had been carried out by the trust members or their associates in the recent past.

The Anantapur police have also alerted the income tax authorities to conduct investigations into the unaccounted cash.

Ratnakar has, meanwhile, sought more time to appear before the police regarding the seizure of Rs 35.5 lakh cash which was being transported out of Prashanti Nilayam. On Thursday, he made an appeal to Anantapur superintendent of police Shah Nawaz Qasim to give him more time. He said he was seeking legal opinion in the case and would provide all the information to the police.

“We are ready to provide all the details to the government. Some vested interests are trying to defame the trust and create mistrust among the devotees,” Ratnakar alleged.

Interestingly, Ratnakar had initially said the trust has nothing to do with the money and claimed it belonged to 12 devotees and that they would appear before the police to give their side of the story. So far, not a single devotee has come forward to stake claim to the money.

There are allegations that Ratnakar was bringing pressure on some students of the Sathya Sai University to stake claim to the money so as to save the trust members, but they have reportedly refused to do so.

Trust member Srinivasan, who was also served notice by the police, has been absconding since. There were reports that the police had grilled him a couple of days back on the cash seized, but the police denied it.

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India Today

Finally, Andhra govt to rein in Sai Trust

B Krishna Prasad, TNN | Jun 24, 2011, 07.35am IST
HYDERABAD: Facing flak for not monitoring the affairs of the Sathya Sai Central Trust, the state government has decided to withdraw some of the 16 concessions that the trust has been accorded to carry out its various philanthropic, educational and charitable activities.In a far reaching decision on Thursday, after detailed discussions with the chief secretary, finance and revenue department officials, chief minister Kiran Kumar gave the green signal to withdraw these concessions. “The exercise is meant to bring about more transparency while not restricting the various activities of the trust including the running of hospitals, university and other missions,” said a senior official dealing with the matter.The 16 concessions, ranging from financial to administrative, were granted to the Sathya Sai Central Trust, the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Sathya Sai University, Super Speciality hospitals, medical trust, Radio-Sai, International Sathya Sai Organisation, Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Sai Sadhana Samithi and music divisions.The financial concessions, which include no levy of VAT, building fee, commercial tax, registration fee, customs and other duty for importing medical equipment for the hospitals and subsidised electricity, will continue for the time being. “Our focus is to enable transparency in the working of the trust and its various bodies. Therefore, the various exemptions granted to the trust under the Hindu Temples and Trusts Act, 1987, will be withdrawn,” said the sources.As per section 154 of the said Act, every trust should file its income and expenditure report with the respective state government at least once in three years. Similarly, exemption given under section 59 of the Act allowed the trust to evade information about the assets and property of different trusts. Exemptions given under sections 58, 60, 61 and 65 of the Act allowed the trust not to entertain yearly audit by the government, supervision by deputy collector rank officer, submission of annual profit and loss account.

Likewise, exemptions given under sections 79 and 80 gave the trust power to sell its land, property, intellectual property, publications, music and film productions without giving any information to the government or pass through the supervisory system provided by the government. All these exemptions will now be withdrawn, the sources said.

“On the request of the trust, the Congress government headed by chief minister J Vengala Rao had granted the Sai Trust these exemptions under the Hindu Temples and Trusts Act in the mid-70s. Since then, the Sai Trust has not been answerable to the state at all. The only report that the trust is submitting annually is the foreign donation figure to the Union home ministry, which is a pittance of the total money and assets it generates every year,” said the sources. The state is also contemplating to bring the trust under the provisions of the Right to Information Act. Having decided to withdraw some of the exemptions, the state government is waiting for the report from the Sathya Sai
Central Trust before conveying its intentions.

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Today: Fri, Jun 24, 2011

AP govt may tap Sai trust’s assets after takeover

 P Pavan. Posted On Friday, June 24, 2011 at 03:05:18 AM

In Hyderabad In the backdrop of controversies surrounding the Sathya Sai Baba Central Trust, founded by spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba, the Andhra Pradesh government is studying Pondicherry’s Aurobindo Ashram model to control the Sai trust.Under the Aurobindo Ashram model, a government nominee (an IAS officer) is appointed to oversee the trusts’s affairs. Talks about the AP government taking over the Sai trust have been doing rounds for the past many months.Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy took stock of issues relating to the Sai trust on Wednesday night. He called for a report from the trust on its activities, financial position and other details.

The Sathya Sai trust has been mired in controversies after Baba’s death in April

He also called for an intelligence report on the controversies surrounding it. He may consult the cabinet once the trust and intelligence department submit their reports.

With Baba’s death, the flow of donations to the trust is likely to dry up. Therefore, the government feels it should commercially exploit some of the fixed assets of the trust so that the trust activities aren’t hampered in future.

The Sai trust, whose assets are valued at over Rs 40,000 crore, runs several educational and medical institutions, drinking water projects apart from a railway station and an airport.

“For example, the Whitefields in Bangaluru can be converted into a commercial venture so that the income from it can take care of the recurring expenditure on some activities”, said a government source.

Confirming that the state government is considering replicating Aurobindo model in Sathya Sai Trust, a senior minister said, “We are under obligation to respect the sentiments of devotees, continue Trust activities and control any irregularities.”

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Could Sathya Sai Treasury Scandals Lead to India’s Watergate?

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 23, 2011

I have listened to many country’s national anthems. But, I must say, for purely musical reasons, the Indian national anthem has long been my favourite. The melody unfailingly tugs at my heartstrings. Even so, when I listen to it these days, there is an extra freight-load of poignancy to it. I think back to the Indian homes, from rich to poor – sometimes, VERY poor –  where I lived for lengths of time with Indian families – forever the honorary ‘uncle’.

Joys and sorrows well up when I hear the Indian national anthem, although I know some families equally dear to me wish that the words used are  in, or not in, the Hindi language.

Janaganamana-score.pngSheet music for Jana Gana Mana.  Words and Music by the great Nobel Prize-winning Indian poet-dramatist, musician-dancer Rabindranath Tagor, whose then still-living relatives, as well as the younger generations of the Tagore family made me feel at home when, in early 1976,  I spent time, and performed, at the Shantiniketan University, Bolpur, West Bengal.

At the same time, whatever may seem to be the contraindicators, there can be few, if any, countries in which, in general, those of different persuasions can get along together. Too often, it is the hotheads whom we come to hear about. We don’t always hear, for example, of how some Hindus and Muslims risked their lives to save Sikhs who were set upon in pogroms, after two Sikh bodyguards assassinated Mrs Indira Gandhi on 31 October 1984 . Following the assassination, there were four days in which marauding maniacs killed thousands of Sikhs in a retaliatory blood let. The bloody-mindedness of some of the top leaders (like longtime Sathya Sai Baba devotee) PM Narasimha Rao, and Rajiv Gandhi with his utterly callous  “when a big tree falls” pronouncement, and many newspaper editors are appalling. From time to time, India gets some good people on Commissions of enquiry. But she needs good leaders, so that there is not the dire need for Commissions.

A number of times, in widely different parts of India, courageous, quick-thinking Indians have saved my life or limb. Once, I was spared the blade of an RSS thug, when RSS workers mistakenly thought that I was a Christian missionary. Another time, Indians in a huge crowd making for a ‘sacred’ spot lifted me aloft and bore me to safety. In another far part of India, the police had to assure my safety, because a westerner been arrested on charges of spying.

As a poor traveler, I have been nursed back to life by Indian families who had been strangers, and so tenderly as if I had been of their own family. The list of beneficent occasions is much longer, and knows no Hindu, Moslem, Sikh, Parsee, Jain, Christian etc., distinctions. The poor of India, among whose hovels I have worked, have, touchingly, been no less generous-spirited to me than the rich, even – or perhaps especially! – when these ragged and destitute people saw that I was traveling poor myself.

Therefore, as my regular readers may have noted, I speak not too kindly of the Indian elites. They are venal. They are selfish and cruel. They heavily support a system of brutal suppression and torture by sections of the armed services and police. Without their endemic corruption, India would stand tall in all the world.  See my articles:

Police and Army Rapists Rarely Punished, Says Kavita Krishnan (Of AIPWA)

Wikileaks and Indian Troops Atrocities Reports. Sai Baba Fails To ‘Clean Up Own Backyard’

These rulers, time and again, betray my Indian brothers and sisters. I will say it, although I hesitated, because I do not want anyone to presume upon the common and all-too-decent Indian type. Indians at large are very gentle, tender and infinitely patient. Those of their fellows who are not, or who are selectively so, presume upon the others. But Indians can be tigers, especially in parts of the north, and one enclave in the south, where martial traditions remain strong. In general, though, to my mind, I spot a fierceness more often on the cricket field  than off it.

Sachin Tendulkar looks heavenward. But Sachin, I don't think your Sathya Sai got admitted to Swarga Loka. But why not look down here in the real world, and with compassion, where you will find his many sexual abuse victims, boys and young men (many grown much older now), round the world? Do you not have a brave heart when off the cricket field?

Frighteningly, what Manmohan Singh so gravely risks is that, because he has shown his teeth to peaceful anti-corruption protesters – or to be more accurate – got his security forces and police to do the tooth-showing and bovvyer boy musclework, his piddling weakness in the face of immense corruption could plunge the Indian nation into the most terrible bloodshed. By which I mean – he should fix cankerous corruption in his own house, and not ‘fix’ honest and decent protesters.

However, I am encouraged by a number of tidal changes that I now see.

Quite apart from his deep prostrating, longtime association with Sathya Sai Baba, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh now looks to be a spent force. His government is mired in many scandals. Given the evidence so long in front of international former devotee coordinators like Robert Priddy and myself, one can really raise a question:  Will the revelations now exploding in the Indian media about Sai Baba and key players on his Sai Central Trust broaden out to include some of the figures in local, state and central government spheres?

India's PM Manmohan Singh. At the Feet of the Late Sathya Sai Baba

Might Manmohan Singh and others be about to face their Watergate? 

It will be a test of what the producer of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami”, Eamon Hardy, threw into question, to use his words, of “India’s maturity as a democracy”.

Manmohan Singh and other members of his government, and a succession of past Prime Ministers and Presidents, and countless other high-ranking individuals in Indian politics, the armed services, police, government, and so on, have protected Sathya Sai Baba. Will, now, the wealth, the family connections, the underhand political wheeler-dealing and other antidemocratic tendencies in India thwart attempts at genuine reform? Will the big Sai Baba-prostrating money-bags like the Tatas, the Rais (the scion of the latter family threatened to sue us and got told firmly where to go!) at last, after too many decades, find that there is something in India that money won’t buy?

Or will the legions of corrupt misleaders continue to overpower democracy? Here is our chance to see.

Anti-Corruption Rallies In Upsurge Across India

Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi by Sathya Sai Baba's golden casket

Large numbers of Indian citizens are rising up. Are they rent-a-crowds fomented by his immediate political rivals to power? Or by the Pakistan government’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)? It would not surprise if any or all of these should want to have a hand. But good Indian citizens inform me that many of these marches against government corruption are deeply genuine, no matter under whose banner the crowds protest.

Some masses rally to the call of solid, old-fashioned anti-corruption crusaders such as Anna Hazare. Others to Swami Ram Dev, whom a range of serious commentators depict as somewhat a religious fundamentalist, politically naive, and a bit of a hot-head, but well-meaning and brave nonetheless. Certainly, both have daily put their lives on the line. Both have also embarked on fasts-unto-death, in the way the better-informed still remember of Mahatma Gandhi.

Are the Indian People Sick of Their Leaders’ Golden Casket Worship?

Anna Hazare. Widely respected, old-style Indian anti-corruption crusader

The Wikipedia entry on Anna Hazare states:

Kisan Baburao Hazare (Marathi: किसन बाबुराव हजारे) (born 15 June 1937), popularly known as Anna Hazare (Marathi: अण्णा हजारे), is an Indian social activist and anarcho-pacifist who is especially recognised for his contribution to the development of Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Parner taluka of Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India and his efforts for establishing it as a model village, for which he was awarded the Padma Bhushan—the third-highest civilian award—by the government of India in 1992.[1]

After leading a number of nonviolent protests in Maharashtra state against corruption, Hazare started a fast unto death on 5 April 2011 to exert pressure on the government of India to enact a strong anti-corruption act as envisaged in the Jan Lokpal Bill, a law to establish a Lokpal (ombudsman) with the power to deal with corruption in public offices. The fast led to nationwide protests in support of Hazare. The fast ended on 9 April 2011, the day after all of Hazare’s demands were agreed by the government of India. The government issued a gazette notification on the formation of a joint committee (of government and civil society representatives) to draft an effective Lokpal Bill.[2][3]

Another prominent Indian social justice crusader who has risked his life many times is Swami Agnivesh.


Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Friday, May 27, 2011

Mahant held for slapping Agnivesh

Manas Dasgupta

AHMEDABAD: In an unsavoury incident, the human rights activist, Swami Agnivesh, who was accompanying the anti-corruption bill crusader, Anna Hazare, to a visit to Gujarat on Thursday, was slapped by a Mahant.

The incident occurred before the start of a public meeting to be addressed by Mr. Hazare. While meeting people, Swami Agnivesh tried to greet Mahant Nityanand Das, the chief of a temple near Nadiad, while the latter he slapped him.

The Mahant, who was arrested by the police, told journalists before leaving the venue that his anger against Swami Agnivesh was for his comments about the holy Amarnath shrine of Lord Shiva.

Swami Agnivesh, on the sidelines of a recent peace conference in Srinagar, had allegedly commented that the ice lingam of Amarnath was “artificially made,” and that the annual “Amarnath yatra” was a “religious deception.”

The Mahant had earlier announced a “reward” of Rs. 51,000 for anyone who would dare to hurl a shoe at Swami Agnivesh in public. He said he had nothing against Mr. Hazare and totally supported his crusade against corruption, “but I cannot take the Swami’s comments against a holy shrine of the Hindus.”

Human right activists strongly condemned the incident. “We condemn the attack on Swami Agnivesh.” Said Father Cedric Prakash, a human right activist and convener of Prashant, a voluntary organisation.

Swami Ramdev, anti-corruption crusader, dragged off by PM Mohan Singh's militia

India’s billionaire “heroes” get humbled

By Alistair Scrutton | Reuters – Sun, 27 Feb, 2011 12:31 AM EST
NEW DELHI (Reuters)

But a Who’s Who of corporate India has now been mired in controversy in the past year. Even the icon of India Inc, Ratan Tata, went to court to stop the release of leaked taped conversations of lobbyist Nira Radia and top industrialists, politicians and journalists, with talk of swinging deals, granting favours and ministers taking bribes. The tapes published in local media showed Radia, whose lobby company represents Tata and Mukesh Ambani, speaking to politicians to ensure Andimuthu Raja was appointed telecoms minister. Raja is now under arrest over the graft case. The founder of Satyam Computer was arrested in an accounting fraud — software services had previously been seen as one of India’s cleanest sectors — and the head of India’s $4 billion cricket premier league was fired over alleged irregularities. “The image of the socially responsible businessman, the untainted hero, has taken a beating,” said V. Ravichandar, head of Feedback Consulting in Bangalore, which advises multinationals.

Even the slightest selection of recent Indian newspaper headlines tend to tell the story quite well.

India: Protests against corruption spread

Reuters

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ruling Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi have come in for criticism for sending hundreds of police using batons and tear gas on Sunday to break up a hunger strike by Swami Ramdev and tens of thousands of his followers in Delhi.

“India is a democratic country. Peacefully protesting and assembling without arms is legal,” said Arvind Kejriwal, an associate of Mr Hazare.

Teachers stage protest against corruption

TNN Jun 18, 2011, 10.51pm IST

DHARWAD: Inspired by the tirade launched by social activist Anna Hazare and yoga guru Baba Ramdev against corruption, teachers in Dharwad staged a protest against corruption and exploitation in the education sector.

Responding to the call given by Karnataka State Secondary Teachers’ Association (KSSTA), large number of teachers from Dharwad, Belgaum, Haveri, Gadag, Bijapur and Bagalkot districts participated in the sit-in protest in front of the office of the additional commissioner for public instruction here from 3pm to 5pm.

MLC Arun Shahpur, KSSTA vice-president R M Kuberappa, general secretary M G Sindagi and others spoke on the occasion. They said that corruption in education sector is spoiling the atmosphere as those who are compelled to pay bribe tend to recover the money by resorting to illegal means. “It also encourages people to get illegal things done by offering inducement. This trend will make life difficult for law-abiding citizens. Immunizing education sector is the need of the hour,” the speakers said.

Students protests against corruption in India – Dimapur

DemoTix. 25th of April 2011Student activist from Dimapur Naga Students Union (DNSU) burns candle during a candle light protest called by North East Student Organization (NESO) to show solidarity to the anti- Armed Force Special Power Act (AFSPA) campaign by Iron Sharmila and anti corruption Lokpal Bill by Anna Hazare. The seven Indian north eastern state has, today called a protest to show its solidarity to Iron Sharmila, who has been on fast for more than tens years to remove AFSPA in the region and to Indian social activist, Anna Hazare corruption campaign against the prime minister and cabinet

Churches in India endorse protests against corruption

By: Anto Akkara
Ecumenical News International


“The poor are the worst victims of corruption,” says India’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao. Photo: Shutterstock

Bangalore, India
Churches in India have joined the growing support for social activist Anna Hazare, who launched a hunger fast on April 5 to call attention to the problem of corruption in government and is urging the passage of a strict anti-corruption law.

Corruption has become a major national issue in recent months, with allegations of massive corruption running into billions of dollars in wireless telecom licensing and in the preparation for Commonwealth Games that was held in New Delhi last October.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Picture Forms of Shaken Sathya Sai Baba Devotees Quitting En Masse

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 22, 2011

Our Indian well-wisher has just reported:

“News is constantly trickling in from Puttaparthi that Sai Baba devotees have been shaken by the huge haul of wealth in Yajur Mandir, as well as big cash seizures in the following days. Many SB devotees I know, real hardcore devotees that is, are not even attempting to defend or deny the gold, cash hauls, and are in a complete state of confusion. Some blame trust members (as evidenced by 100’s of devotees protesting outside the Ashram 2 days back), while a few are even questioning “why did Swami have to keep so much gold and cash ? didn’t Swami always say he never accepted gifts ?…who to believe or what to believe?”

See this very insightful news item filed from Puttaparthi just an hour back: “

Puttaparti: Was the Big Cache of Cash being Siphoned off to Mangalore?

from special correspondent from Puttaparti

Posted at 1-05 pm

Puttaparti, Andhra Pradesh, Jun 22: Things are totally different in this ‘Baba’ town now. During the earlier visit, soon after the demise of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the crowds were unmanageable. Devotees in lakhs were making a beeline to have a final darshan of Baba. But now, the place almost looks deserted, comparatively, that is.

While being a guest at the residence of an acquaintance from Dakshina Kannada, a professional who gave up his highly lucrative practice back home and took up serving Prashanti Nilayam about a decade ago, this correspondent got a clear indication of a feeling of disillusionment among social workers and devotees here. The host was in the process of moving out of this place once and for all.

A huge cache of gold and unaccounted money was recenly found in the secret vaults of the Ashram. Many devotees, with genuine concern at heart, feel that these valuables, if had been well invested instead of getting hoarded, could have been utilized for the benefit of the needy poor or have taken care of building homes for thousands of homeless.

The material element in the whole set-up has upset and disappointed many devotees. But no one wants to speak in loud voices about it.

The host too looked worried and explained why he thought of packing up from here. A few Mangalorean names are in the news here. Baba’s confidant Satyajit is being sidelined after Baba’s death. To add to that two more names are widely heard here now – they are Harish Shetty, who was caught carrying Rs 35 lakh in a Qualis car, and his brother Sohan Shetty, who was found carting off Rs 10 crore in a KSRTC Volvo bus heading for Bangalore.

They are brothers and are said to be sons of a top retired police official of Mangalore origin. Although it was being mentioned that the money was being transported to Bangalore, during interrogation it has reportedly come to light that the amounts of money were being taken to Mangalore. During inquiries, they are said to have disclosed that the money was taken out with the knowledge of trustee Srinivasan and security officer Pradhan.

In the meantime, the TVS group of companies has clarified that Srinivasan had nothing to do with their group and the clarification was necessitated since the name of the group was also being mentioned in the recent controversies.

In this backdrop, the host confided that people from Karnataka were being looked at with suspicion and hence his decision to leave this place for good to go back to agriculture farming run by his family.

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Even Bigger Stash, Secret Vaults, False Ceilings and Walls at Sai Baba’s Ashram? Police Searching

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 22, 2011

NEWS FLASH.

Our regular well-wisher from India has just emailed:

“The Andhra Pradesh police have definite intelligence of the existence of secret vaults, and concealed storage in false ceilings and behind false walls in Yajur mandir, Sai Baba’s personal living quarters. They strongly believe that the wealth hidden there could be much more than what was actually found, perhaps on a staggering scale.

Meanwhile Sai Baba’s relatives are openly asking political leaders and VVIPs to question the activities of the trust, and are clearly unhappy with the studied silence of these VVIPs who used to flock to Sai Baba not so long back (as my sources reported 2 days back)

Also, the Vigilance and Enforcement directorate are taking an interest in the Sathya Sai Baba matter (as reported yesterday)… and it now seems all it takes is a Public Interest Litigation from someone to spark a major inquiry”.

http://expressbuzz.com/cities/hyderabad/sleuths-suspect-false-ceilings-in-sai-chamber/286861.html

http://expressbuzz.com/states/andhrapradesh/officials-await-pil-to-probe-sai-wealth/286860.html

http://expressbuzz.com/states/andhrapradesh/sai-relatives-challenge-devotees-to-speak-up/286825.html

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Hard on the heels of the above email came this from the same source:

“Isaac Tigrett is on TV…saying Sai Baba left instructions with him as to how the Ashram must be run, several years back….saying he is Sai Baba’s “living will”…has a witness to the conversation he claims…..says he spoke to Srinivasan, SV Giri and Chakravarti…..3 weeks back…Tigrett says ” I am living will now…but don’t know whether I will be after this interview” ….will reveal all to the worldwide Sai Baba devotees on Guru Purnima 6 weeks later…

I will send a report of this interview later….”

And then, this minutes after:

“In a major breaking story by Times Now TV channel on the Sai Baba story…..Isaac Tigrett claims publicly Sai Baba had answered 170 questions on how the Ashram and trust must be run, in 2007…..watch the videos….this was the lead story on Times Now just 30 min back

http://www.timesnow.tv/Satya-Sai-Babas-secret/videoshow/4376584.cms

http://www.timesnow.tv/INDIA/What-is-Sathya-Sai-Babas-secret/videoshow/4376615.cms

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My reader may also like to watch this Times of India television news report:

I know Sathya Sai’s top secret: Devotee

21 Jun 2011, 9:40pm IST| Duration: 01:33

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      Isaac Tigrett

We may ask – Is the fabled multibillionaire, these days, the late Sai Baba’s Rishi? A man of mystery, with a time-release secret?

Here is Tigrett’s own recent video segment, posted to Vimao.com, of him giving the talk that is now a major news story in India:

17 days ago, June 4, 9.56pm EST (Eastern Standard Time)
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See the article:

Isaac Tigrett. Selling Out Those Condemned to a House Of Blues

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 9, 2009

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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 reader

Subscribe to Call for media and government

———————————————————-

The Times of India

What is Sai Baba’s secret?
22 Jun 2011, 0902 hrs IST, AGENCIES
Sathya Sai Baba’s trust on Wednesday (June 22) rubbished close devotee Isaac Tigrett’s claims of knowing a secret told by the spiritual leader himself. The trustees have said that Sathya Sai Baba didn’t keep any secrets from them. Isaac Tigrett, one of Baba’s famous devotees claimed that the spiritual guru had personally given him directions on how to run the trust and that only he had been let in Sathya Sai Baba’s big secret.Considering Sathya Sai Baba has left behind a considerable fortune, there is almost a scramble among his successors to know what the secret is all about.

Nagananda, Trustee, Sathya Sai Central Trust Board said, “Bhagwan had a one to one interaction with lot of people & it was an interaction between guru & devotee. So really it is one’s own personal experience. Swami’s administration was different from personal relationships built between devotee & guru. Those personal relationships had nothing to do with the administration of the ashram.”

“Whenever some instructions were given & Bhagwan wanted action to be taken on that instruction, he would inform the administration like the secretary. If somebody got some instructions from Bhagwan it is their bonded duty to pass it on. They cant expect us to go an ask that have you got instructions, what that is & why don’t you tell us?,” added the trustee.

He added, “If Bhagwan has given his instructions in sacred talks it is his business to come & tell us. If he doesn’t he cant expect us to go & ask. I don’t think those discussion or instruction they had from Bhagwan have any value today as they were all personal instructions.”

Earlier, Isaac Tigrett, a key devotee of Sri Sathya Sai Baba who is also the founder of Hard Rock & House of Blues and lives in Sai Baba’s ashram Prasanthi Nilayam, had claimed, “I have an announcement to make. In 2007 Sai Baba started giving me a series of interviews and in those series of interviews he told me exactly how he wanted Prasanthi Nilayam to run. He also had a witness who is so important, who is there, as I asked him over 170 questions about how he wanted me to do this. He said this is our secret. You tell no one. Now I simply have this to say. I will with his approval give this approval to the Sai organisation if they wish to approach me.”

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Sai Baba Treasure Scandals: His Big Political Protectors Now Run For Cover

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 22, 2011

The Sathya Sai Baba fold continues to fold. The sheep are running all over the place. And so are the rats, although they are as invisible as they can make themselves. They have had a good deal of experience in mucky cover up.

For some weeks, it has been evident to any careful observer, that the Andhra Pradesh government has been only too aware of troubles in the Sathya Sai camp that might grow too big to suppress. Indeed, it is a campfire that none can stamp out, and looks like becoming a raging forest fire. The critters are on-the-run. And, to mix a metaphor still further, the rats desert the ship.

Most notably, a series of suspicious circumstances led up to Sathya Sai Baba’s death.These are being investigated, including by the Andhra Pradesh Human rights Commission. See: Human Rights Commission Probe Fronts Andhra Government On Sathya Sai Baba Treatment

Hopefully, all the attention given to the treasury scandals will not allow the circumstances of his death to drop from sight, as happened with the suppression of police evidence concerning the police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom in June 1993.

What is more, prominent followers of Sathya Sai Baba are themselves deeply disturbed at the intense infighting within the Sai Central Trust, despite its repeated – and dishonest – denials. These devotees, too, are asking leading and uncomfortable questions, and consulting legal opinion. Just as those of us, who are now former followers of Sathya Sai Baba, did as, long ago, we began to investigate ever further layers on layers of corruption. And of a spiritual betrayal of the utmost magnitude.

In short, Sai devotees are now finding out what former devotees have, for over a decade, been at very great pains to document and to point out.

My reader may imagine the current feelings of those all round the world who left the Sathya Sai Baba fold. Such feelings as expressed in phrases like:  – at long last!

There is relief that at least a few of Sai Baba’s dark deeds, and those of his core servitors, are being revealed on a large-scale – and from within India itself!

Given the fact of decades of massive Puttaparthi and local, state and national government cover up of Sai venality, the sight of seeing, proverbially speaking, rats deserting the ship is satisfying in its own way. Particularly given that the very Sai Central Trust personnel, and politicians (irrespective of which government), and police chiefs and other officials are  well-known to us. For these scurrying excuses on two legs are among those who have thwarted our attempts to bring out the facts. They are too well-known to our international coalition of former Sathya Sai devotees and other critics, not to mention investigators like India Today, BBC, Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, etc.

In passing, I note the great courage of the late Basava Premanand. See:  Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach. Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2009

India's Basava Premanand. Faced Sai Baba Cult

If there were just a few more like Premanand, and a tiny handful of others in India who have fought valiantly to expose the criminality of Sathya Sai Baba and certain of his core servitors, India might fare better when it comes to international esteem.

Did India and her ‘heroes’ respond to the cries of Sathya Sai Baba’s myriad victims of sexual molestation of boys and young men, or the families of those liquidated by police in Sai Baba’s bedroom, or of those beaten by his key security people, or the people scammed over apartments and in other ways by personnel in the Puttaparthi front office, or of the many who have been thrown out of the international Sathya Sai Organization, including those who, with the greatest of integrity, called for proper organization process, such as duty of care and financial and other forms of accountability …..?

Or did India and her ‘heroes’ side with chief mechanics of cover up, such as Indulal Shah, and Dr G.Venkataraman?  See:

Indulal Shah and Indian Government Cover Up

‘God’s’ Ex-Shah, Indulal Shah

Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist

The answer is an anguished testimony to India’s lack of real heroes. They did not uphold what my late dear colleague in exposure of Sai corruption, Glen Meloy, with such glowing love in his voice, used to refer to as ‘standing up for truth and goodness’. See my hopelessly inadequate Obituary for Glen:

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam. Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009

India’s rat-pack of false heroes are now running for cover. Hardly anyone in that country heeded our voices. No matter that these dissentient voices included many who had been esteemed, both in and beyond India, for decades. Some of those who spoke up – despite almost unimaginable lack of truth and goodness from Sai Baba and his people – had been for decades outstanding leaders in the international Sathya Sai Organization. And always have been esteemed in their wider communities.

Kamini Jaiswal, Supreme Court senior advocate

Could we turn for justice to the Indian Justice system? No, we emphatically failed. Even though one of India’s gutsiest and most senior advocates to the Supreme Court, Kamini Jaiswal, went in to bat. See references to Hari Sampath’s 2000 Public Interest Litigation (PIL), a case legal opinion in a number of countries have deemed to have been defeated by three judges holding a ‘kangaroo court’ :

Sathya Sai Trust In Vast Treasure Scandals: Secret Temple, Van, and Bus Stashes

Could we turn for justice even to the former pinnacle of the Indian Justice system, P.N. Bhagwati, former Chief Justice of Indian, who is now implicated in the treasury scandals, and is himself up for police investigation? We could not turn to this legal ‘hero’, either.

Former Chief Justice, India. Sai Baba Chief

See:

Ex-Chief Justice of India: Sathya Sai Baba “dictated my every single judgement”

On Sathya Sai Baba: Times of India, Ex-Chief Justice Interview. What Judge Would So Opine?

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

In sad fact, we turned to many Indian leaders from many backgrounds, political, governmental, religious, and so on. They forsook us. They forsook their hero selves. I make the occasional exception. Bless him! – Aroon Purie, the founder and Managing editor of India Today group. So, in ‘India Today’ (4 December 2000), we got a hearing. India Today has stood up to the filthy mandarins – with their palm-greased agents, and their tremulous cack-mouthed toadies. Purie is of a different cut to India’s pisspot full of lily-livered newspapaper proprietors. I am informed that Vijay Thapa, one of the investigative journalists for the India Today cover story on Sathya Sai Baba, required close body protection during the weeks of investigation, which injects more meaning into the private words to me of the editor of one of the top Indian newspapers that Sathya Sai Baba and his people are to powerful to take on. I’m glad Thapa has risen to editorial heights elswhere today. He is a Nepalese Gurkha, and the Gurkhas, a martial people, are famous for not running.

Vijay ThapaAroon Purie, India Today Magazine. Published Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba

My information, too, is that Aroon Purie personally knew a familiy whose son attended a Sathya Sai education institution whom Sathya Sai Baba sexually molested. On discovery, the family took out the boy immediately. It is the same unhappy circumstances that former devotee international coordinators have become, over the years, used to learning about. Sickeningly, at first – until one’s professional instincts kick in. Although, it is understandable that this personal experience of Aroon Purie may have figured in his decision to assign a major cover story, the other disgraceful Indian editors are NOT excused. Our witnesses made sworn testimony, and in the documentation was supported family members with outstanding records of service and leadership in the Sathya Sai Organization.

NOTE: Wikipedia states:

Aroon Purie is an Indian businessman who is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of India Today and the Chief Executive of the India Today Group. He is also the Managing Director of Thomson Press (India) Limited and the Chairman and Managing Director of TV Today. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of Reader’s Digest India [1] ……..Purie launched India Today, the magazine in 1975 as a strategic move to keep the printing press busy. The magazine was born in the time of emergency. Its never before seen brand of journalism without fear or favour transformed the landscape of Indian journalism. With editions in five languages, it is the most widely–read publication in India–a position it has held for over a decade–with a readership of over 11 million.[3]

He sets the journalistic style for the largest and most respected magazine publishing group in India and for the premier 24-hour news and current affairs Hindi news channel, Aaj Tak and English news channel Headlines Today.

One after another, the editors and newspaper proprietors of India found excuse. It mattered a fig to them how excellently documented were our submissions. Indeed, our material also went to Interpol, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Australian Federal Police, The French National Police, The German National Police and Federal and State Indian Police – all of this at the highest level. Of our successful case with UNESCO – despite its near scuppering by Sai Baba’s deputy chairman of the international Sathya Sai Organization, Dr Venkataraman, in cahoots with then Prime Minister Vajpayee’s Foreign Minister, see:

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

The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory

BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government

UNESCO and Indian Government – Were Up To Tricks

History will show that the Indian Media utterly failed to expose Sathya Sai Baba, only to endure the professional shame – in having thus derelicted – of seeing leading foreign media investigate. For example, 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., …..

Repeatedly, in regard to failure of nerve to stand up to Sathya Sai Baba and his henchmen, those whom millions of Indians worship as national heroes have had feet of clay. India had best get something more than their cricket team together ….. The reputation of Dharma had best not rest on the shoulders of cricket idols such as Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulka. It may not be capable of rescue by movie derring-do of Amitabh Bachchan and his ilk. Its even less likely saviors are a succession of Indian Prime Ministers who thought it best to cooperate in the suppression of senior police investigations into Sathya Sai Baba’s misdeeds – the latest being Atul Vajpayee and the present PM Manmohan Singh.

(I shall be happy to pass to bona fide media or other investigators contact details of one of the world’s top policemen (now retired and working in Consultancy), who puts Sathya Sai Baba as the master fraudster of the twentieth century. My email address is:  barpittard@gmail.com ).

Erapalli Prasanna. Great Indian 'tail' spinner. No doubt of Sai Baba's interest in a tail ...

In December 1997, I sat at a meal with Indian Test cricketers, such as her great former ‘tail’ Erapalli Prasanna. One would think, just chaps, actually – but then I saw their bus as it made a snail’s pace progress out of Puttaparthi, and men, women and children screamed their heads off and worshipped the cricketers. 

Sachin Tendulkar. But are the Sai roses smelling so sweet these days?

The throng’s worship was head-over-heels. The fervor was the same as that which they accorded Sai Baba himself.

Among the bus passengers were Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar (both of them committed Sai devotees), and other such national cricketing heroes. It would have been the same if there had been a Bollywood busload of Indian film stars.

What, then, do Gavaskar and Tendulkar and all the other Indian ‘heroes’ think about all the evidence now daily emerging about Sathya Sai Baba? And what do they think of his untrustworthy Sai Central Trust?  Let them answer. But how can they? – for all the ‘heroes’ are running for cover.

Well, at least India is getting a lot of runs …….!

….. Sheep running. Rats running. Crooks running with their ill-begotten gains …..

Sunil Gavaskar. But is Sai 'cricket' a gentleman's game?

And,  what of former Sathya Sai Baba devotees who have left him? And what of those  who have – despite Sai Baba’s and his associates’ attacks and libels – spoken out?

Be it said into history’s court of true testimony, it is not Sai Baba’s dissenters  who are the sheep and the rats.

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Breaking News:  Sai Baba’s Ashram Chief Security Officer Arrested

One of our well-wishers from India has just written to us:

“After another round of interrogation, the Andhra Pradesh police have arrested Pradhan, the Chief security officer of Sai Baba’s ashram. With this, the number of arrests  is now 4, all connected with the first cash haul.

Two others ( in the Rs 5-10 crores  haul in a bus), are being held in an undisclosed location by the AP police and I am informed interrogation is continuing, and possibly more arrests may follow. Legal notices have been issued to V Srinivasan , chairman of WS Industries (senior Trust member) and to RJ Ratnakar, under the Criminal procedure code. So far PN Bhagwati has evaded any legal notice and / or being named officially, although the cash was transported in his protocol car (is he seeking immunity under any clause, being a former Chief Justice of India or have his stronger Govt contacts saved him so far ?)

My sources from high levels of AP police inform me that despite very strong pressure on them to dilute the case, senior politicians are not really pressing their efforts as this Sai Baba case has got national media attention, and no one wants to get his or her name in the news as being remotely associated with any Sai Baba related coverup , especially in the era of scams being exposed in India every week.

An ashram source has informed me that 2 senior Trust members spent the day calling top politicians in Hyderabad and Delhi, but were frustrated that no government official or politician came on the phone line. A senior political leader from Hyderabad has informed an attorney from Hyderabad ” Now, we don’t want to get involved, all opposition parties are stepping up the heat and all Sai Baba related matters are now only bad news, and politically it may become adverse for us”.

Is this why the AP police are proceeding boldly ? I am also informed that the lower level employees like agents, drivers etc are seriously worried about any threat to them should they turn state witness and the police have assured them protection for giving all information.”

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Sathya Sai Trust In Vast Treasure Scandals: Secret Temple, Van, and Bus Stashes

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 20, 2011

If due diligence occurs, Andhra Pradesh police investigations will need to pursue, at a simple count, at least four lots of alleged Sai Trust  illicit treasury violations. Up to the time of Sathya Sai Baba’s death, there were previous reports of at least one truckload of treasure making its way out of Puttaparthi

In addition to the vast treasure trove discovered secreted within Sathya Sai Baba’s temple-palace last Thursday, and the van intercepted with huge amounts of treasure, there now come reports (see Indian press readings below) of yet more treasure being spirited out of Puttaparthi, this time by Sai Baba functionaries on a Bangalore bound bus:

“A man arrested with Rs.35 lakh allegedly belonging to the Sathya Sai Central Trust was Monday sent to judicial custody for a week.

A local court in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district remanded Harishnanda Shetty in custody till June 27. Police presented the arrested man along with the money recovered from him before the magistrate.

Shetty was arrested by the police early Sunday at a toll gate near Hindupur town when he was shifting the cash from Puttaparthi to Bangalore .

He reportedly told the police that a driver of one of the trust members gave him the money for handing it over to a person in Bangalore.” (Remainder of report, below)

But, then, the Sai Central Trust denies any irregularity, just as it denied report of other clandestine movement of treasure just before Sathya Sai Baba died on 24 April. I referred to this earlier, all too easily-forgotten report in my post of yesterday:  Reports of Sathya Sai Central Trust Van Laden With Treasure Seized By Andhra State Police.

A prominent spokesman for Trustees and the Council of Management, Venu Srinivasan stated:

“In the light of baseless, irresponsible and false accusations of defalcation of gold, valuable artefacts and even money, it is emphatically stated that the accusations are wholly untrue and it is believed these have been engineered by certain vested interests”. (Economic Times article:  ‘Baba had no successor in mind: Trustees, election for Sai Trust chairman next week’, Apr 28, 2011, 09.53pm IST).

In a very long Press Release, the Trustees and the Council of Management of Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust on April 28, 2011 (four days after Sai Baba’s death) stated precisely the same.

But this very same Srinivasan is now being implicated in more recent events concerning the spiriting of vast amounts of cash and valuables out of Puttaparthi. An Indian informant who has sent reliable information at other times, has just written to Robert Priddy and myself:

… “perhaps for the first time EVER, cases have been filed, and the Andhra police has stated to the press they have specific details and are going to interrogate Sathya Sai trust members !! My sources inform me that Venu Srinivasan, Ratnakar and Bhagwati are the ones named. It is quite open knowledge that PN Bhagwati used his official car given by the Government (as Retd Chief justice) to transport illegal cash (the one that escaped  on Friday)”.

(For an exposure series on Bhagwati, the former Chief Justice of India, another figure who raises some hackles in both diplomatic and legal circles – good media investigators can easily validate this assertion , see Further Reading, below).

But why not look further down the years, too? Does a fascination for hoarding millions in various currencies and mounting up vast stashes of gold, precious stones and other valuables just – what shall I say? – materialise out of nowhere, and all of a sudden. Surely, there are some long antecedents.

One issue comes to my mind quickly. It stems back to 2001. Hari Sampath, formerly a member of Sathya Sai Baba’s Security and Intelligence Wing at Puttaparthi, citing reasons of personal conscience at what he saw to be corruption at the heart of Sathya Sai Baba’s religious empire, took out a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) suit against Sathya Sai Baba. The high-profile advocate Kamini Jaiswal took his case pro bono.

I have shown documents in this case to outstanding legal counsel in various democratic jurisdictions, and the repeated reaction was one of abhorrence for the summary manner in which the judges dealt with the case. An expression used was ‘Kangaroo Court’.  Let anyone read, in part, an Indian lawyer’s notes for the case. See the article:  Sai Baba protected by the Supreme Court of India.

They will get their own sense of the corruption of some judges at the epicenter of (so-called) Indian Justice.

Anyone accustomed to democratic court procedures can hardly believe, as one reads the lawyer’s notes in transcript, that judges could be so blatant. See, Record of Proceedings document of Hari Sampath’s 2001 case against Sai Baba in the Supreme Court of India.  See how the case is scuppered by Judges G.B. Patnaik and R.C. Lahoti with the concurrence of then Chief Justice Dr A.S. Anand. Prompted by concern for her client if he were to proceed in and Andhra Pradesh court – the proposed remedy of the judges, Kamini Jaiswal, a senior advocate in the Indian Supreme Court, strongly contested the three judges’ direction to pursue matters in an Andhra Pradesh court. 

Sathya Sai Baba Disposed Judges                                                                                                                                Sathya Sai Baba Disposed Judges

Soon after the three judges’ determinations, which have more than raised eyebrows among some most distinguished lawyers of our acquaintance, the Supreme Court of India deleted the public documentation. In vain, even the British Ambassador to India tried to obtain confirmation of the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Sampath PIL. The Court denied all knowledge of any record of the case. Those of us who wrote accounts were savagely attacked as liars, notably by Gerald Moreno, who has long been closely allied with certain leaders around the late Sathya Sai Baba, and visciously and repeatedly libeled many former devotees, including bringing sore distress to children of prominent former devotee leaders. See: Sathya Sai Organisation defended by proxy.

Nonetheless, Kamini Jaiswal’s associate kept careful notes, and there exists a copy of the formal rejection. But, fortunately, we have been able to produce documentary proof, too powerful to be denied. See the scan, below, of the Hari Sampath writ Petition to the Supreme Court of India.

Let us now connect this matter with my remarks at the outset. That is to say – if doing their job properly, police and media investigators – and indeed genuinely concerned Sai Baba devotees themselves – are going to have to consider the long view. Namely, to look, as well, at earlier allegations of gross and extremely improper financial dealings on the grand scale.

For example, did the poor Satyajit, Sathya Sai Baba’s last boyfriend – unseen by anyone – have to carry handfuls, and armfuls, and, donkey-like, shoulder loads of millions of dollars and other currencies, and jewels, and many other valuables up into their many hiding places on the second floor of Sathya Sai Baba opulent temple-palace? 

If not, then who were the other beasts of burden? Were there no adjutants in acts of money-laundering, and black marketeering? Were there no recipients of bribery? Were there no witnesses among the ‘form boys’ (that is, homosexual consorts, as had been the case down many years) who were allowed to sleep in Sai Bab’s bedroom? Of the heaps of Nike shoes, watches, etc., one whom we have sound reasons to accept was one of Sathya Sai Baba’s many ex ‘form boys’, has just written:

“These were given as presents to his chosen form boys. I have seen such cameras with the likes of Raman Mehta, Arjun Bannerjee etc. I remember  once when we were inside the Poornachandra Hall, a prominent American doctor had got lots of such stuff – he had arrived few hours earlier with cameras, watches etc. as donations to Sai Baba, who had then joked that he allowed good bhaktas to get things like these in order to save them harassment from the income tax officials. Even I was presented with currency worth rs 1500/-”

If there were strong prohibitions against even the most senior Sai Baba aides going into parts of his apartments, why were they not allowed to go there?

Scan of Hari Sampath PIL to Supreme Court of India. Proof of what the Court denied record of when requested by the British Ambassador to India

Inter alia, in his written plea to the court, the applicant, Hari Sampath, wrote:

There have been considerable reports in many sections of the media for several years that the Sai baba trusts worldwide were in fact being used in many money laundering operations by several politicians, cutting across party lines. The status enjoyed by these trusts as well as avenues of easily getting the money from abroad into Sai Baba’s Indian trusts, lend themselves very comfortably for such illegal scams of staggering proportions, running into thousands of Crores of rupees.  

Also, as several thousands of Sai Baba’s followers from all over the world simply mail him cash in dollars, pounds, French francs, Swiss Francs etc, usually a few hundreds at a time, all these cash donations are turned over to the bank by Sai Baba’s organization, and deposited in the Trust accounts. This situation is perfectly exploited by Sai Baba and his helpers, and all they have to do to convert “black money” into white money is by arranging to mail thousands of such “mails from devotees” with cash in them, and all of it gets converted to official money at the banks. No questions are ever asked who sent them, and how much, as all these banks are dependent on Sai Baba trust and its accounts running into hundreds of Crores of rupees. 

Sai Baba Central Trust members like Indulal Shah, (who is a Chartered accountant from Bombay and has been with Sai Baba for 40 years, Kulwant Rai, the Industrialist from Delhi, GK Raman, Managing director of Sundaram Finance, Hejmadi, and so many others are all aware of what has been happening for so many years, and all of them stand to gain and to profit from the Sai Baba trusts.

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The Economic Times

20 Jun, 2011, 12.57PM IST,

Man held with Sai trust cash sent to custody

HYDERABAD: A man arrested with Rs.35 lakh allegedly belonging to the Sathya Sai Central Trust was Monday sent to judicial custody for a week.

A local court in Andhra Pradesh’s Anantapur district remanded Harishnanda Shetty in custody till June 27. Police presented the arrested man along with the money recovered from him before the magistrate.

Shetty was arrested by the police early Sunday at a toll gate near Hindupur town when he was shifting the cash from Puttaparthi to Bangalore .

He reportedly told the police that a driver of one of the trust members gave him the money for handing it over to a person in Bangalore.

A police officer said they were questioning two trust employees to trace the source of the money.

Sathay Sai Baba’s nephew and trust member R.J. Ratnakar Sunday clarified that the trust has nothing to do with the cash. He said in a statement that the cash belongs to 12 devotees and they would give all the details to the police.

Director General of Police Aravinda Rao Monday said investigations were on in the case.

The money was seized two days after the trust opened Yajur Mandir, the residential chamber of the Sathay Sai Baba at Prashanti Nilayam in Puttaparthi.

The trust Friday declared that it found Rs.11.56 crore, 98 kg gold and gold jewellery, and 307 kg of silver articles inside the chamber and these have been deposited with the State Bank of India.

The arrest and recovery of money at Hindupur came amid apprehensions in a section of devotees that huge amounts of cash and jewellery were shipped out of Yajur Mandir when Sathya Sai Baba was battling for life at a hospital. He passed away April 24.

Bangalore/Puttaparthi: A day after Rs 35 lakh cash was seized from a Qualis vehicle at Kodikonda checkpost, the Anantapur on Sunday morning recovered at least Rs 5 crore stuffed in two gunny bags from a government-owned Puttaparthi-Bangalore Volvo bus. Police detained two Tamil Nadu-based men and took them to a secret location in Anantapur for interrogation.

The two were trying to take away the cash in the guise of passengers. Sources said the money was seized at Kothacheruvu, 12 km from Puttaparthi and 145 km from Bangalore.

“Acting on a tip-off, police stopped the Bangalore-bound bus at Kothacheruvu and recovered the gunny bags loaded with currency notes. Police detained two men and took them to Anantapur along with the money,” sources said. Police suspect that the cash, said to be anywhere between Rs 5 crore and Rs 10 crore, was being brought from Puttaparthi.

The twin cash recovery has only added fuel to rumours that valuables are being discreetly shifted from Sathya Sai Baba’s abode, an exercise that is said to have started soon after Baba was hospitalised. Also, the unaccounted cash points to a deep-rooted network of a hawala racket thriving in Puttaparthi, sources in the town reported.

Anantapur district SP Shahnawaz Qasim on Sunday said legal notices were being served to the key persons mentioned by those nabbed while shifting out the money from Prasanthi Nilayam. “Those who were caught have revealed names of people in the Trust. We will interrogate them,” he said. Nobody has so far come forward to claim the cash. “We have informed the I-T department and will produce the cash before court on Monday,” the SP said.

He said three persons __ Harishnanda Shetty, Sohan Shetty and driver Sekhar __ were arrested in connection with the recovery of Rs 35 lakh from the Sai Trust vehicle at Kodikonda checkpost on Karnataka border late on Saturday night. The cash was reportedly given by Trust member V Srinivasan and R J Ratnakar at Santhi Bhavan to Srinivasan’s driver Sekhar, who handed it over to Harishnanda Shetty, an engineer involved in the construction of Baba’s Maha Samadhi, to hand it over to an anonymous person in Bangalore. The cash was recovered from a Qualis (registration No. HP 66-0999). Harishnanda Shetty was earlier a site engineer working in Shankar Narayana Construction Ltd in Bangalore. He belongs to Kotakkam village near Udupi in Karnataka. Sources said when police grilled Harishnanda Shetty, Sohan Shetty, another engineer, and Sekhar, the names of Srinivasan and Ratnakar came to light.

According to sources, Rs 35 lakh was kept aside in Yajur Mandir during the inventory session. It was later kept at Shanthi Bhavan with the help of chief security officer Pradhan of Sai Central Trust. “Srinivasan and Ratnakar called up Sekhar and entrusted him the task of shifting Rs 35 lakh to the anonymous person in Bangalore. Sekhar gave the money to Sohan Shetty and Harishanada Shetty,” sources said.

The three took two different vehicles to Bangalore and police stopped the two vehicles, but found the unaccounted cash in Harish’s vehicle on the Karnataka border under Chilamanthur police station limits.

The mystery over the treasure trove inside Sai Baba’s personal chambers in Yajur Mandir was unravelled on Friday with the disclosure that it contained 98 kg of gold, 307 kg of silver apart from Rs 11.56 crore in cash. The Yajur Mandir had remained closed ever since Baba was hospitalised on March 28. He had passed away on April 24.

——————————————————————–

TIMES OF INDIA. Hyderabad

Sai Trust member denies charges

TNN | Jun 20, 2011, 12.12am IST

PUTTAPARTHI: Sai Baba’s nephew and Sai Central Trust member R J Rathnakar on Sunday said the Trust has no connection to the cash seized by the police near Kodikonda checkpost. He said that the cash belonged to 12 Baba devotees and that they would claim in the court of law by producing the necessary documents. He also said the Qualis vehicle did not belong to the Trust.While reiterating that the Trust followed the system of accounting in letter and spirit, Rathnakar said they never transacted in unaccounted money and all the transactions were effected only through cheques.In the morning, Baba’s caregiver Satyajit, Rathnakar and senior Trust member S V Giri opened Yajur Mandir and went inside. Their visit assumes significance as it came immediately after Saturday night’s seizure of Rs 35 lakh.Meanwhile, rumours were doing the rounds that the protocol vehicle of Trust member and ex-CJI P N Bhagawati was also involved in the illegal shifting of money from Prasanthi Nilayam. District officials said Bhagawati was given the government vehicle as per protocol since he was the former chief justice of India.

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Further Reading

The money behind Sai Baba (by Hari Sampath)

The Sathya Sai Baba set-up: How it works, by Hari Sampath

Sathya Sai Organisation defended by proxy

Ex-Chief Justice of India, P.N. Bhagwati Exposed

Ex-Chief Justice of India: Sathya Sai Baba “dictated my every single judgement”Posted by Barry Pittard on May 4, 2011

On Sathya Sai Baba: Times of India, Ex-Chief Justice Interview. What Judge Would So Opine?

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 1, 2011

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 29, 2011

——————————————————————–

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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 reader

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Has Sathya Sai Baba’s Will Been Found? Which Will will Prevail? Divine Will or Earthly Will?

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 19, 2011

In a communication just received, a private source of information relates:

“Bhagwati is pro Satyajit and hence threatened to quit the trust, but was pacified. Day before yesterday in a trust meeting, several trust members walked out in a huff. Some trust members are being spied upon by Ratnakar’s agents. My sources tell me that Trust legal advisor Naganand has actually admitted a will was found”.

I feel that we have reasonably, and at quite some length, exposed ex-Chief Justice P.N. Bhagwati.

                                                                                       Sri Sathya Sai Trust’s P.N. Bhagwati – “No Replacement For Baba”

See my articles:

Ex-Chief Justice of India: Sathya Sai Baba “dictated my every single judgement”

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 4, 2011

On Sathya Sai Baba: Times of India, Ex-Chief Justice Interview. What Judge Would So Opine?

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 1, 2011

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 29, 2011

I regret, however, that I am not able to proceed with information that I have received, separately, from legal and retired diplomatic sources, which wish to remain highly circumspect.

I will say, however, that I trust there will be alert researchers from the media and other investigative areas who are able to get a bead on how Bhagawati went in pursuit of his United Nations and Chief Justice of India jobs. There is salient opinion of him around Lincoln Court Inn and other legal watering places redolent of his London days. If bona fide investigators contact me, I should be able to point in some useful directions. Email address:  barpittard@gmail.com

Such alert investigators may like to see what they can uncover about the jeweller in Bangalore who long made many gold and silver ornaments, subsequently “materialized” by Sathya Sai Baba. Even nearer to Puttaparthi, journalists should not have too much difficulty in tracking down another such jeweler. Further afield, we are informed, are a jeweler in Mumbai and another in Hyderabad. Still another lost his deal, and was, apparently, deeply upset. Again, we have some direction-pointing resources sleuths may like to use, if it would not lose too much face for them to ask a foreigner:  barrypittard@gmail.com, with professional assurances of confidentiality where required.

Among those sleuthing in and around Puttaparthi are:  Daijiworld Media Network—Anantapur, near to Puttaparthi in the State of Andhra Pradesh,  and feeders for The New Indian Express Group.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Sai Trust divided over Sathya Sai’s will

The New Indian Express
Updated Jun 19, 2011 at 09:36am IST
 Anantapur: By opening the doors of the Yajurveda Mandir, the legatees of Sathya Sai Baba may only have prised open a pandora’s box.

Along with large quantities of gold, silver and cash, the Sathya Sai Central Trust reportedly found the Baba’s diary and will, the contentious contents of which are widening the rifts within the trust. One group in the trust says the will mandated that prominence be given to the Sai Baba’s long-standing caregiver Satyajit. Another group is denying that a will had been found at all.

The issue of Satyajit’s role in future was the focus of a two-day meeting of the trust on June 14 and 15. Reliable sources say senior trust member and former Supreme Court judge PN Bhagwati is all for prominence to Satyajit.

Sai Trust divided over Sathya Sai's will

When this was opposed some members, he felt hurt and volunteered to withdraw from the trust.

But he was pacified and persuaded to reconsider his decision.

All the same, some senior members are in a serious sulk. One of them is said to have stomped out of Puttaparthi on Friday night, miffed that Satyajit has not been given prominence.

Source say that one member, a Sai veteran of 35 years, was so put out by alleged spying on his office in Puttaparthi, that he would leave Prashanti Nilayam.

Given such rifts in the trust, chances are the governing body may be dissolved, or its aged members allowed to retire after putting in place a working system. But it is highly unlikely that any one person will be given complete control. “Trust members may each be given a specific activity or Seva programmes to handle. This will prevent power being concentrated in a single individual,” a source said.

Meanwhile, Sai diehards, however, say that “things are slowly settling down” in Puttaparthi.

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Anantapur: Will Satyajit Head Satya Sai Baba Trust?

Daijiworld Media Network—Anantapur Anantapur, Jun 17: From the time the doors of Sai Baba’s personal chamber were opened on Friday June 17 and Ratnakar confirmed that about Rs 12 crore in cash and 98 kg gold were found inside the chamber, the media has been awaiting news of the appointment of a new head of the Trust.Satyajit, who hails from the coastal city of Mangalore, was in the news for taking over the Satya Sai Central Trust after the demise of Satya Sai Baba.However, the trustees denied that there were any plans of appointing Satyajit as the head of the trust though he was regarded as being the closest to Sai Baba. Satyajit was the caretaker and a disciple of Godman.According to reliable sources from Puttparthy, three members of the Trust – former Supreme Court judge Justice Bhagavathi, S V Giri, and L Srinivasan  proposed that a prominent post be given to Satyajit which was opposed by R J Ratnakar, nephew of Satya Sai Baba and a member of the Trust.It is learnt that Ratnakar wanted the Trust to give no importance to Satyajit under any circumstances.Reportedly, Baba had written a will appointing Satyajit as his successor. But Ratnakar denied this, saying no such will was found in Sai Baba’s chamber.

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After Decades of Dormancy, Some Indian Media Now Question Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 19, 2011

Given that Robert Priddy‘s and my dear friend the late V.K. Narasimhan was once its Editor, I find a touch of irony in seeing that the Express Group is one of those beginning, if timorously, to venture a critical opinion on Sathya Sai Baba.

With the honorable exception of India Today, our group has had to bust a gut and go blue in the face, in one futile attempt after another, to get leading Indian media to investigate Sathya Sai Baba and his cult.

As I have recounted several times elsewhere, the Editor of one of the top Indian newspapers told me privately:  Sai Baba and his people are too powerful to take on.

India is riven from top to bottom by all manner of gurus and astrologers. But worse are those in that country, which is otherwise admirable in many ways, who know of this and who do not stand up and speak out. The nation is condemned to scorn elsewhere. Diplomats and those with trade, finance and other ties with India alternatively curse, snigger and despair at her – often behind her back. These are simply facts. Sad facts, really.

In Indian press history, there are few Indian editors as respected as V.K.N., who was a man of fine courage, decency and intellect. We both edited at Puttaparthi, and both of us had tasks, now and then, of weeding out utterances of Sathya Sai Baba that struck us as likely to cause confusion among the faithful. See my: The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements.

V.K.N. was a rare case of one who was not a sycophant around Sathya Sai Baba. But, then, how important it was for Sathya Sai Baba to have someone like V.K.N. around him. And likewise for many other powerful, skilled manipulators all down history.

In this perspective, Sathya Sai Baba was, indeed, a master. How handy it is for a canny, charming, charismatic, but very flawed, leader to have around them the odd individual who seems to have a voice of his own. It can then appear that the leader respects minority individuals. The fawners gather around and applaud such independence as the leader allows, though they are cowards themselves.

But it is all more subtle than this. To the one who is not required to flatter the Emperor, it is most flattering not to have to flatter the Emperor. Thus is the non-flatterer flattered. And enfeebled.

And in India, there is another powerful ingredient. It been in the psychic conditioning for millennia, as I was able to observe close up in my several years in that ancient culture, moving among very rich and very poor. It is the power of the guru figure, and of other cultural icons – movie stars and cricketers especially – that makes a great many Indians lose any strong self-center. Down on their bellies – becoming like earthworms.

I have sometimes both smiled and felt saddened when I have seen Indian political or religious or rationalist radicals, fall for this profound and endemic cultural spell. I think very few in India are able to stop and ponder to a point of catharsis, and of consequent pragmatic change, such a concept as ‘feet of clay’. That is to say, very few who will systematically and resolutely refuse the mystification. India may be plucky enough to face the Chinese, or the Pakistanis, and, even more formidably, the Australians at cricket – but she won’t face her gurus.

It has struck me that considerations like the above snatched away true independence from V.K.N., whom I loved dearly, and still do. I also think these factors play an important role in enfeebling the Indian media and government and other institutions in taking on someone so big as Sathya Sai Baba. Smaller gurus here and there – fine, selectively pick them off. The Indian media and others, sometimes the police (although usually at the behest of power brokers) will go after them. But when it comes to real courage – no. In the West, we fail to deal with the Mr Big’s of crime, and tend to fill the jails with the footsoldiers.

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Satya Sai Trusts assurances fall flat

indianexpress Express News Service , The New Indian Express
Posted on Jun 18, 2011 at 04:11pm IST
PUTTAPARTI (Anantapur): Satya Sai Central Trust had, on several occasions, dismissed several speculations on why Yajurveda Mandiram was not being opened and assured repeatedly that all was well and if the doors were opened, it would be done in the presence of revenue and police officials, members of Satya Sai Baba’s family and the media.

But on Thursday, when the doors of Yajruveda Mandiram, the abode of Satya Sai, were opened, none of the assurances was kept.

Only trust members and two retired judges were present.

No district administration or pol ice official, leave alone mediapersons, was present.

Questions are now being asked about lack of transparency in the functioning of Satya Sai Central Trust.

Questions are also being raised as to why the relatives of Satya Sai, except Ratnakar, were not allowed inside the building.

Even Baba’s grand niece Chittemma had been kept in the dark about the unlocking of Baba’s residence. Though the trust appeals to people not to have any misgivings on the Yajurveda Mandiram, its way of functioning gives rise to the same suspicions and misconceptions.

In the words of PN Bhagwati, trust board member and former chief justice of India, the reopening of the Mandiram in the presence of all trust members is justified and can be considered transparent as per the constitution.

ANANTAPUR: Sri Satya Saibaba’s dream project `Vidya Vahini’ aimed at providing quality education to rural children was launched in Chandranagar in Nandigama mandal in Krishna district on Friday.

The project, to which industrialist Ratan Tata came forward to fund, was announced by Saibaba on his birthday last year, for improving rural education.

The project was formally launched by Vidya Vahini state incharge PRK Prasad, in the school run by Saibaba devotee Tirupathaiah, in Chandranagar.

Meanwhile, Ratan Tata, came to Puttaparthy by a special helicopter on Friday afternoon. He drove straight to Santhi Bhavan and later had the darshan of Baba’s Mahasamadhi at Sai Kulwant hall.

Before leaving Puttaparthy, Ratan went to Yajur mandir where he spent some time with the trust members.

Several eyebrows were raised over Ratan Tata visiting Yajur mandir while counting of currency and gold ornaments was on.

It may noted that the trust member Ratnakar declared the details of the cash, gold and silver ornaments in the Yajur mandir, just after Ratan Tata left.

Several questions have been raised whether Ratan Tata’s visit to Yajur mandir now is accidental or preplanned.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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