Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Archive for June 18th, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba Buried Treasure: Media and Government Need To Probe Sai Central Trust

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 18, 2011

The Indian correspondent whom I mentioned in my blogs of the last two days has, in addition, raised a number of questions that may fairly be asked of the Sathya Sai Central Trust. See below. The preceding blogs are: – see:  ‘Secret Swami’ (Late) Sai Baba: Vast Millions In Hoard Found Hidden In His Palace-Temple and: ‘Secret Swami’ (Late) Sai Baba: Vast Millions In Hoard Found Hidden In His Palace-Temple

Events preceding and following Sathya Sai Baba’s death on 25 April, 2011, show how enmeshed in succession struggles the Trust has been, and also how the Trust now stands glaringly exposed for having attempted to blame the media for reports which, as it turns out, has proven remarkably correct.

It is the type of vilifying attacks that the Trust made on many former Sai devotees (including former highly respected leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization), and on the BBC and other western media which ran investigative stories on Sathya Sai Baba and his international cult.

It can be seen in a Central Trust public statement published in a number of Indian newspapers. Speaking on behalf of the 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 his  Christmas Day Discourse 2000, as our movement of exposure gained tremendous impetus – greatly enhanced  by the exponential rising power of internet communication –  Sai Baba, loudly thumping his lectern several times during the discourse, made statements such as:

“These types of publicity are shameless. Truly they are not human beings at all. The ones who put obstacles in the way of all sacred works are demons, not human beings. The determined vow of Sai will never change, even if demons like this may be all over the world”. 

The insidious technique is typical of cover up the world over:  depersonalize and libel the perceived adversary.  Sathya Sai Baba himself had long set the tone among his chief servitors.  Those such as Dr G. Venkataraman have used it unconscionably. See:  Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist

The full Central Trust statement our Indian correspondent refers to is to be found at: 

http://www.saibabaofindia.com/press-release-trustees-sri-sathya-sai-central-trust-28042011.htm

The writer says:

“Note the points 18 and 19 in that statement:

18. In light of the baseless, irresponsible and false accusations of defalcation of gold, valuable artefacts and even money, it is emphatically stated that these accusations are wholly untrue and it is believed that these have been engineered by certain vested interests with a view to defame the fair name of the Trust, its functionaries and the Trustees. There is no truth whatsoever in these allegations.

19. All transactions of the Trusts are duly accounted in their books of account. An experienced and qualified chartered accountant oversees the accounting and financial management. The accounts are duly audited by a reputed firm of Chartered Accountants based at Delhi. Periodical returns, accounts and audit reports as prescribed by law are duly filed with the concerned authorities under the Income Tax Act, FCRA and other applicable statutes. There is no proceeding initiated against any of the Trusts by any authority under any statute alleging any impropriety or violation of law.”

Today, after the staggering amount of cash and gold, silver and jewels were found in Sai Baba’s personal chamber, and with the national print and electronic media blasting SB in their headlines…perhaps the SB trust, left with no choice have issued a press statement….curiously, it’s from Ratnakar who was from the beginning accusing other SB trust members.

http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/sai-baba-trusts-statement-on-cash-gold-discovered-113053

Now here are my questions  for the Sai Baba trust.

1. That seized wealth consisting of 100 kg of gold, 300 kg of silver, diamonds and almost Rs 12 crores of cash in Sai Baba’s personal chamber , now common public knowledge, whose is it ?

2. Since the SB trust had categorically denied presence of any gold or cash earlier on April 28th, what is the explanation now ?

3. Is it the personal property of Sai Baba and not that of the SB central trust ?

4. Since Sai Baba had no known occupation and had not filed income tax returns even once in his life, how was he in possession of the above enormous wealth, with no papers with them ?

5. According to Indian law, anyone with intention of transacting more than Rs 20,000 has to furnish PAN ( permanent account number for Income tax assesses) and do so with proper documents. Did Sai Baba have such a PAN and how did he have such a huge cash/gold stock ?

6. If it is not Sai Baba’s wealth, then whose is it and who gave it to him ? If so, why did he not issue a receipt for it (in the name of the SB trust, and make it official)?

7. If it was part of genuine donations given by devotees, why was donations of 100kg of gold and 300kg of silver and Rs 12 crores of cash accepted by the SB trust ( or SB himself), and not declared to the income tax and govt departments ?

8. If the above discovered wealth was neither the property of Sai Baba nor the property of the trust, why has it been deposited in the account of the SB trust in State bank of India ? shouldn’t it be turned over to the Income tax authorities or Enforcement directorate with a proper official statement that says “we found it, we don’t know what or whose property this is, there are no papers or documents about this, so we are turning it over to proper authorities ” ? Isn’t this the legal , ethical and moral duty of any charity organization?

9. On a larger issue, irrespective of the several legal questions, can the SB trust explain why its founder and “avatar” Sai Baba thought fit to hoard 100s of kilograms of gold, silver, diamonds and several millions of dollars in hard cash in his own bedroom ? Even multi billionaires don’t keep this kind of wealth under their beds. What did Sai Baba need it for?

10. As it is clearly indicated now that far bigger loads of wealth had been spirited out of the residence the moment Sai Baba was hospitalized, will the SB trust retract its earlier statement of April 28th, and acknowledge the fact that huge sums of money and gold had indeed been kept hidden by Sai Baba in his bedroom, and that this is illegally concealed and unaccounted black money with no source shown, no papers and not accounted anywhere. Will the SB trust do so to devotees of Sai Baba at least, or will the SB trust be willing to face a press conference consisting of senior media personnel and members of civil society ?”

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Further Reading

Sathya Sai Baba Organization and Libel and Disinformation

Sathya Sai Baba World Cult At Odds With Itself

How Sai Baba devotees behave and why

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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‘Secret Swami’ (Late) Sai Baba: Vast Millions In Hoard Found Hidden In His Palace-Temple

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 18, 2011

Yesterday, I blogged on an email we received from an Indian correspondent long known to us, and included a number of links to the last 24 hours or so of Indian press reportage of the huge stash of money and valuables secreted in Sathya Sai Baba’s palatial private quarters. See: Sathya Sai Baba’s Residence Unlocked. Vast Treasury Uncovered.                           Sathya Sai Baba’s visible opulence contains vast secret stash of money and valuables

In the last two days, the Indian media has just tapped a treasury of potent news to shake up and down in its headlines. Of course, making up for lost time in factual reportage on Sathya Sai Baba is out of the question; for it has an extremely poor record of almost all sections in publishing critically on Sathya Sai Baba.

But now – not least at a time when many Sai Baba devotees in India are starting to speak out and ask accountability and transparency questions – the Indian media can hardly fail to report properly on matters such as the huge treasure hoard just opened up, many unanswered questions about the circumstances of Sai Baba’s illness and death, the internicine fights over succession, and so on.

For decades, almost all of the Indian media has shirked critical comment on Sathya Sai Baba. We know from our private dealings that well-informed journalists, politicians and government officials in India know much about the dark side of Sathya Sai Baba. All the talk about ‘Shining India’ or ‘Incredible India’ does the greatest disservice to its creditable figures. They are shining. They are incredible. But they are too few. The untold corruption makes the country incredibly hard to deal with, a fact relented endlessly by decent Indians themselves and everyone else who has professional, government, financial, trade and other connections with India. ‘

That the Indian media could allow respected media overseas to make the running in exposing Sathya Sai Baba and his profoundly authoritarian and secretive cult is to its utter discredit. 

Here are just a few of this morning’s headlines:

Puttaparthi Saibaba’s rich room!

Trust officials find Sai Baba’s room of gold

Treasure found from Sai Baba’s chamber

Sathya Sai Baba’s Personal Chamber Opened

Here is a succinct report (published today, but dated yesterday) from the Indo Asian News Service, which, by the way, in marked contradistinction, we have found professional and reasonable to deal with

Hyderabad, June 17 (IANS) Around Rs.12 crore in cash and nearly 100 kg of gold were found in the personal chamber of late spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba at Prashanti Nilayam, his ashram in Puttaparthi in Anantapur district, a trust official said Friday.

A day after the Sathya Sai Central Trust opened the locks of the Baba’s personal chamber, Yajur Mandir, his nephew and trust member R.J. Ratnakar Friday evening announced details of the cash and valuables found inside.

He told reporters at Puttaparthi that the trust members found Rs.11.56 crore, 98 kg gold and gold jewelery, 307 kg silver articles in the personal chamber where nobody was alloweed to enter. Ratnakar said the cash would be deposited with the State Bank of India (SBI).

Some bank officials and about 15 disciples of Baba, in the presence of trust members, have since Thursday counted the cash with the help of currency counting machines. The Yajur Mandir is an opulent residence built by Baba.

Ratnakar said Baba’s residential quarter was opened in the presence of all five members of the trust. A former judge of the Supreme Court, A.P. Misra, and former Karnataka High Court judge Vaidyanathan were present as independent witnesses while an assessor approved by the Income Tax department was there to evaluate the gold, jewellery and silver.

Ratnakar claimed the idea behind the whole exercise was to make an inventory of all the items in a transparent manner.

The trust reportedly found gold statues of Hindu gods and diamonds.

Ratnakar, however, denied that they found any will of Baba. He also evaded queries if the trust found any documents about Baba’s personal caregiver Satyajit. There are speculations that the spiritual guru wanted to make Satyajit his successor or a member of the powerful trust.

Yajur Mandir, also known as Yajurveda Mandir, had remained closed ever since Sathya Sai Baba was hospitalised March 28 with multi-organ dysfunction. He died April 24.

There were allegations by a section of devotees that large amounts of cash and gold jewelery were shipped out of the place when Baba was battling for life. The trust, however, has denied this.

Some devotees were also demanding that the locks of Baba’s personal chamber be opened in their presence or at least in the presence of media persons.

The trust, which manages the huge spiritual empire led by Baba, owns assets in Puttaparthi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and other cities.

Meanwhile, the trust has decided to open Yajur Mandir for devotees on July 15. It also plans to open a museum at Prashanti Nilayam to showcase the personal belongings of the spiritual guru.

Related news:

  1. 98 kg gold, Rs.12 crore cash found in Sathya Sai Baba’s chamber
  2. Sathya Sai Baba’s personal chamber opened
  3. Trust decides to open Sathya Sai Baba’s personal chamber
  4. Crucial meet of Sathya Sai trust after funeral
  5. Sathya Sai Trust defers selection of new chairman

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Next article – Sunday 19 June 2011 (Australian Eastern Standard Time)

Sathya Sai Baba Buried Treasure: Media and Government Need To Probe Sai Central Trust

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Further Reading

Midas hoard revealed was in Sathya Sai Baba’s private possession

Commonwealth Games: ‘Shining India’s’ Mismanagement By Crisis. Sai Baba Not Sighted

The Extreme Departure From Sathya Sai Baba’s Teachings By His Prominent Devotees

Police, Security and Sathya Sai Baba

Will India clean up its Augean police and political stables?

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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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