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Archive for July 14th, 2011

Is Isaac Tigrett Sai Baba’s ‘Walking Will’? Guru Purnima Revelation Or A Fall?

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 14, 2011

At any time, has the Sathya Sai Central Trust cast public aspersions against the huge donor to Sai Baba’s work , Isaac Tigrett? He is the famed  founder of the international chain of Hard Rock Cafes and the House of Blues?

No, they have not. Do they do so now? Again, no.

 Tigrett has long been a trusted and close associate of Sathya Sai Baba. Indeed, we may eventually discover what mounting evidence already suggests:  Sai Baba did not trust the Sathya Sai Trust. Most of all, he trusted his young paramour Satyajit, who has now been sidelined by seasoned power players, such as R.J. Ratnakar and V. Srinivasan. And, in one of the strangest developments in the already strange Sai saga,we find an extraordinary example of Sai Baba’s trust for Isaac Tigrett.

In a video posted to the internet a month ago (see details below), Tigrett has undertaken to make a momentous statement on Friday 15 July 2011, a major Hindu festival. Tomorrow ……  There was one rider, though. He said (See his Times Now interview):

“I will at his approval – ah – give this information to the Sai Organization, if they wish to approach me”.

The Trust’s response to media (via a lawyer member, Naganand), could not be more clear. They do not intend to approach Tigrett. He said:

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

But questions arise – What, in these days of immense disruption and confusion within the Sai movement, in exactly what might this entity consist? And what might be its supreme command center? Is it the Sathya Sai Central Trust? Or the international Sathya Sai Organization? Will Tigrett, long known to have something of a mind of his own, be quite happy to bypass the likes of Rathnakar and Srinivasan and deal with the wider organized fold of Sai devotees? Not least those great many donors who are deeply suspicious about the trustworthiness of the Sai Central trust – or some members of it. And concerned about how, exactly, their donations were disposed. We are talking billions, and not in rupees, either!

In various Sai devotee magazines, Isaak Tigrett – who has long maintained a relative degree of frankness that markedly contrasts with Sai Baba officials around the world – has spoken of how, the Indian Sai Trust officials constantly thwarted him. This was even though Sai Baba had put him in charge of arrangements to equip the Superspeciality Hospital at Puttaparthi, the multi-million dollar project  which Tigrett in fact funded for (according to figures we have heard) some 49 million US dollars, and not sums such as the 108 million so often spoken of in Sai Baba circles round the world.  My reader might find it instructive to hear a telephone recording of David Bailey, formerly Sai Baba’s closest western devotee who knew Tigrett and many other key Sai Organization players from India and abroad. See below.  See also:  Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba and: David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses

Sai Baba had trust issues in that Sai could not trust the Sai Trust

Given the vast millions in currency, gold, silver and many other valuables Sathya Sai Baba stashed away in quarters away from which, according to all reports, he kept even his closest confidants  (except Satyajit), one may not unduly wonder that he was secretive in the extreme.

The Sai Trust contests Tigrett’s statement. It is one that has drawn sections of the Indian media to refer to Tigrett as perhaps being Sai Baba’s “walking Will”. Tigrett has portrayed himself as keeper of a great secret Sai Baba entrusted to him in the witness of another. The name of this individual’s  name is not yet revealed, but Tigrett says that it is a distinguished devotee of Sai Baba.

But what legal status could any such custodianship have? The matter is fraught with oddity. However, if those forces among Sai devotees at large have confidence in the word of Tigrett and the witness to whom he refers, the succession game may change radically. And in doing so sweep Ratnakar and Srinivasan abruptly aside. There are many reports of grave concern in the wider Sai organization, and, in the 50 minutes version of his talk (at Sai Baba’s Dharmakshetra in Mumbai), it is not surprising to hear Tigrett make an impassioned plea to all devotees to stop rumor-mongering, and to come together as a “loving Sai family”. But his use of graphs detailing newspaper reports can be seriously criticised. Any reader not blinded by faith can see that a great deal of the reportage in the more responsible sectors of the Indian press have reported and raised questions that any professional newspaper has a duty to do. All his talk of focusing on praying for all the members of the Sai Trust, and sending out love, simply aids and abets the profound lack of accountability and transparency which have brought the Sai Baba world to its present unhappy pass.

Nagananda, Trustee, Sathya Sai Central Trust Board (See newspaper report below) says:

“Bhagwan had a one to one interaction with lot of people and it was an interaction between guru and devotee. So really it is one’s own personal experience. Swami’s administration was different from personal relationships built between devotee and guru. Those personal relationships had nothing to do with the administration of the ashram.”

But it needs no lawyer like Naganand to see that the Sai Trust’s stance on this issue, at least, is normative. That is to say, in countless legal systems around the world, a person’s Will and Testament are to be recorded in writing. There is a number of precautionary requirements, and provisions for certain contingencies – see,  Making a will (The Law Society, UK).

Vital questions will be: 

  • Who was the witness to whom Tigrett refers?
  • Was any substantive matter recorded in writing and signed by Sathya Sai Baba?
  • Did any such document contain any witnessing signature? 

Has Tigrett Lost His Marbles, Too?

Heaven knows what a “walking will” is, if anything. If Tigrett has lost his famed acumen acquired in building hugely successful international businesses, he gravely risks, after his promised statement (due this Friday, if he makes it), being made an international laughing-stock.

Of course, we shall need to wait until Friday. My readers may just be able to hold their breath until that time.

                             Full video with whole statement is at

Wealthy Donor Isaac Tigrett. Says he is Sai Baba's "Walking Will"

In his writings, my colleague Robert Priddy has focused on a number of details that would appear to write Tigrett off as a considerable eccentric. The evidence does not look good for Tigrett, admittedly. Priddy writes:

“Isaac Tigrett has stated that Sathya Sai Baba – who Tigrett worships as God Incarnate etc. etc. – gave him a crystal skull at an interview where the object just appeared in Sai Baba’s hands (as posted recently on my blog). Tigrett believes in the supernatural power of this skull and that cosmic balance depends on it (somehow) and that it carries a cosmic curse which can destroy the earth – as can be seen from the pages copied from the Internet below”.

I shared a nearby desk with Tigrett in my editing days at Puttaparthi, and got the sense of a man with his marbles intact. Perhaps mine weren’t, and I may remain the more mistaken, but I sensed a man of clarity and straightness. Indeed, he was upfront with the BBC – which none of Sai Baba’s officials were. Tigrett was frank with the BBC interviewer in ‘The Secret Swami’, Tanya Datta:

Interviewed by the BBC in the one-hour documentary ‘THE SECRET SWAMI’

Tanya Datta: But even if it was proven to you that Sai Baba was a paedophile and a serial sex abuser, you¹re saying it wouldn’t change the fact that he is your guru. (Tigrett laughs at this rather wildly, see picture on left)
Isaac Tigrett:
Absolutely not. Absolutely not. He could go out and murder someone tomorrow, as I said, it’s not going to change my evolution, it’s not going to change the good things that have come out of my relationship down there.
Tanya Datta: Does that mean that some part of you believes there could be some truth to the rumours?
Isaac Tigrett:Oh, absolutely I believe there is truth to the rumours.
Tanya Datta: You believe there is truth to the rumours?
Isaac Tigrett: Sure, there probably is, probably is.
(Click to view video clip of this episode- file size 1.34 MB)

Mind you, billionaires can afford a wee bit of integrity, and, in any case, have minions to get dirty hands so that the big boss can look good.

My nutshell view is this:

That as Sathya Sai Baba increasingly faced enormous problems – particularly after circa 2000 and our movement of exposure and devotee exit from the international Sathya Sai Organization – he behaved like the man he was instead of the God that he thought he was. For example, in his 2000 Christmas Day discourse, he lost his cool publicly.

The huge upsurge of bad publicity – chiefly via the exponential growth of the internet – threw Sai Baba and his minders into many tailspins. Secrets which, by means of political and other types of influence, the inner circle of the Sai Trust had  suppressed hitherto now surfaced. And with great force – right round the world.

From the minders’ point of view, the ‘cats’ being let out of ‘bags’ must have seemed to scream, and to be tiger toothed and clawed. Never before had their damage control instincts and skills been so challenged.

In 1997, after reports of scandals were already starting to surface more widely, my having not been to Puttaparthi for 15 years, one of the first things that struck me were Sai Baba’s highly controlled, rigidly choreographed movements to and fro. I mentioned this observation to Chris Parnell, a foremost leader in the Australian Sathya Sai Organization. A little later, he said to me, with an air of some mystery: “You are going to have a lot of work to do when you get back to Australia”. I took this to mean that harm stemming from allegations about Sai Baba sexually molesting many boys and young men was going to have to be addressed.

This along with Sai Baba’s seriously declining health, both mentally and physically, allowed the power players around him increasingly to stage-manage him publicly and browbeat him privately. He could have his boys and young men, but be far more careful. And for godssake  contain the foreigner situation, because if you don’t the vast donation base will be heavily jeopardized.

Of Sathya Sai Baba’s increasing lack of poise, In 2003, I wrote:

“Clearly losing his nerve in response to our intense government, police, media and internet pressure, Sathya Sai Baba’s discourse on Christmas Day 2000 far from celebrated Christmas themes, such as wishing ‘peace and goodwill to all men’. The Times of India, 26 December, 2000 headlined: ‘Sai Baba Lashes Out At His Detractors’. He extensively boasted his social works (actually they are overwhelmingly those of his devotees). Jealousy and reception of money motivated us, he said. Very terrible is the karmic future he evoked for us: ‘Betrayal of God is the worst of all betrayals. It will not be atoned no matter how many births are experienced'”.

Robert Priddy, former cofounder and head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway, on Isaak Tigrett

Isaac Tigrett’s announcement of secrets Sai Baba told him

Posted by robertpriddy on June 23, 2011

Isaac Tigrett, Sathya Sai Baba and the crystal skull

Posted by robertpriddy on October 7, 2008

Isaac Tigrett – the fantasies & fall of a Sai Baba supporter

Posted by robertpriddy on October 5, 2008

On Tigrett’s donation to the Superspeciality Hospital at Puttaparthi, Priddy notes:

“Word has long had it in the Sai movement that Tigrett donated over $100 million, at least. However, David Bailey, who was a very close follower of Sai Baba (until he finally blew the whistle), and who knew all the Sai ‘veranda VIPs’ well, knew that Tigrett gave $49 million dollars, of which $15 million simply disappeared. unaccountably. (Hear the phone call where he details this). Tigrett wrote an article – published in some Sai magazines – where he told how he was put in charge of the hospital equipping project by Sai Baba, but was frozen out by the ashram and Central Trust and had great problems doing many things due to the huge egos he encountered”.


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I will reveal Sathya Sai Baba’s secret soon: Hard Rock Cafe founder
Published: Thursday, Jun 23, 2011, 16:13 IST
Place: Puttaparthi | Agency: ANI
Sathya Sai Baba and Isaac Tigrett

An American devotee of the late Sathya Sai Baba has said that he will reveal a closely kept secret of the Godman in six weeks.

Sixty-four-year-old Isaac Tigrett, a businessman of Jackson, Tennessee, made a startling revelation that ‘he is a living will of Bhagwan‘.

Speaking to the Times Now television channel, Tigrett, who is also the founder of Hard Rock and House of Blues and lives in Sai Baba’s ashram Prasanthi Nilayam, said that Sai Baba gave him instructions on how he wanted the ashram to be run after his death.

Trustees of Sathya Sai Baba, however, have rubbished Tigrett’s claim, saying that the spiritual guru had no secrets.

Considering that Sathya Sai Baba 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 and it was an interaction between guru and devotee. So really it is one’s own personal experience. Swami’s administration was different from personal relationships built between devotee and 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 and 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 and tell us. If he doesn’t he can’t expect us to go and ask. I don’t think those discussion or instruction they had from Bhagwan have any value today as they were all personal instructions.”

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