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Archive for September, 2011

They’ve Banned the Bulls At Barcelona. By Barry Pittard

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 28, 2011

I have worked on this song – words and music – since yesterday. It sprang from seeing that day’s news reports about the banning of bullfighting in Barcelona, Spain. The incident recalled a repeated discovery of prominent figures in confronting the Sathya Sai Organization. Namely, that when you fight a hard cause, you essentially have to fight it pretty well alone.

The crowds may cheer or give thumbs down. But one has to focus on the proper work, and not the pro or anti roars of crowds. Nor, indeed, waste time lamenting on many people’s disappearance from the action, from whom one might have wished to see better.

Whether one believes in bullfighting or this or that cause or not, the true pain and joy – those great inseparables – are in the deed, and in facing it no less than the worthy matador or bull OR active opponent of bullfighting. Those who dare are too few, and would dare regularly if only they knew the sheer satisfaction of making a stand.

My supposition is that the prime activists in the fight for animal rights have far more in common with the matadors than what the madding crowds would like to admit. Both matadors and activists risk their lives (as do, not to forget, the bulls).

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They’ve Banned the Bulls At Barcelona. By Barry Pittard. 28 September 2011

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They’ve banned the bulls at Barcelona

The bold matadors have had their day

Had their day

Had their day …..

Their capes they’ve tossed to the sun’s corona

Carried by the crowds, they vanish away

Vanish away …..

As they vanish away

The crowd cries out: ‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’, and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’, and ‘Ole’

The blood-sand, there, fades to pallid yellow

No man, no bull, no crowd in the stands

No crowd in the stands

In the Plaza de Toros

No sword, no horn, no clash, no bellow

The wind whips away the blood and the sand

The blood and the sand

The blood and the sand

As the crowd cries out: ‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

When they banned the bulls at Barcelona

The red-eyed crowds how they wept all day!

Wept all day!

Wept all day!

But who faces the bull is no crowd but a loner

Alone with the bull

Alone with the bull …..

It’s only the crowd chants ‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’ …..

Thinks the bull: I’ve no time for the crowds in the bleachers

With their lily yellow livers, they are takers, never givers

Takers, never givers!

Takers, never givers! …..

Thinks the bull: I’ve no time for the crowds in the bleachers

The lily livered crowds that make no stand

That make no stand!

That make no stand!

That only glow red when they suck me like leeches

And pour none of their blood gushing into the sand

They have no sand!

They have no sand! …..

It’s only the crowd that chants ‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’ …..

When they banned the bulls at Barcelona

A new crowd cheered and leapt all day

Leapt all day!

Leapt all day!

But they too followed some gutsy loner

Who stood their ground, and kept death at bay

Death at bay!

Death at bay!

The matador and the activist are alike, you could say

Though this the bold crowds dare never say

Dare never say!

Never say!….

Thinks the bull: I’ve no time for pallid crowds in the bleachers

With their lily yellow livers, they are takers, never givers

They’ve banned the bulls at Barcelona

My bold matadors have had their day …..

……………………………….

Select Barry Pittard poems/lyrics expressive of themes relating to crimes and spiritual betrayals by Sathya Sai Baba and his international Sathya Sai Organization.

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

Beth Rude. Ballad of a Child Protectrice. By Barry Pittard

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

No Friend In Sight Song

Note:  Barry Pittard’s songs are copyright protected by The Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA).  Contact:  barpittard@gmail.com

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The Public PetitionInformation on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to go straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Some Key Themes In Studying Sathya Sai Baba Cult

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 26, 2011

This post is a resource – especially for those such as former devotees as well as people considering leaving the international Sathya Sai Organization, and investigators such as journalists, scholars, and religious, political, civic and other institutions this cult’s officials tend to approach. We have had notable success in presenting our evidence such that many responsible organizations refuse to have anything to do with them.

Below, selected from a much large corpus, I give thematic headings and link details to, and brief quotation from, articles I have written over time. In turn, these pieces contain further recondite links.

  • Large-scale, serial sexual molestation of boys and young men

Ex- Sathya Sai Baba Students Could Aid Sex Abuse Change In India. But Will They?

A few years ago, I addressed an ‘open letter’ to my former Whitefield (‘Brindavan’, via Bangalore, South India) Sathya Sai College Students.

On re-reading, I see that its terms can be addressed (give or take the occasional specific reference) to all alumni, past and present. There have been so many revelations of great and pervasive corruption both in Sathya Sai Baba himself and in many of his officials (especially his core servitors) that it may not go amiss to post this communication here.

Thousands of Sathya Sai education alumni face a dilemma not only in their immediate communities but wherever they may settle or travel. It is hard to imagine a major education institution in which a founder and certain teachers and Trust officials have been so deeply embroiled in scandal.

Dr Naresh Bhatia’s Testimony: Sathya Sai Baba Serial Sexual Abuser of Boys and Young Men

Over the years, many have expressed concerns about the leader of groups visiting Sai Baba, Hal Honig of Manhattan, New York, a U.S. cultural attaché in Rome in the 60′s and now one of the most senior leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization in the U.S., including being, Peter Pan-like, the head of the Sai Youth wing.  See my article “Will Sai Baba Keep Hal Honig Smiling?”

In the late 90′s, Shirley Pike, a very qualified U.S. psychologist with years of experience sexual abuse counseling, including of many children, began to discover compelling evidence that pointed to Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men. Mrs Pike was President, North Carolina Region and President of Cedar Rapids Center, Iowa. She denounced Hal Honig at a large Sai Organization gathering as “Sai Baba’s pimp.”

  • Being implicated in police killings in his bedroom on June 6, 1993, along with massive cover-up by his ashram authorities and local, state and central government and police

Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up

As the years have passed, the Government of India and the Government of Andhra Pradesh have not been able to silence all police. One who has refused to shut up is a senior, retired officer V. J. Ram, whose work as a detective won him a Presidential Medal. He has spoken out against the massive cover up of the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s private quarters, when Sathya Sai Baba and his brother (the late) Janaki Ramaiah (who was on the Sathya Sai Central Trust) had charge of events soon after the slayings occurred. One would like to see the V.J. Ram book get a decent publisher, and, as has been the wish expressed by former Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary V.P.B. Nair to the BBC, to see the case revisited. See Item #7 for video clip Nair’s statement to the BBC HERE.

See my articles:

V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings

 The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise

  • Faking many miracles
Repeatedly, on footage of Sathya Sai Baba’s apparent miracles of the materialization type,Sathya Sai Baba's Sleight Handan observer – other than one stricken with blind faith – can see the same technique that magicians use, the world over.

The One Hand That Knows What The Other Is Doing (more than just slightly)

In the link provided, watch Sai Baba’s right hand. It goes beneath the pile of letters (taken from the seated crowds) he holds in his left hand.  Note the swift movement as, with his right hand, he extricates the solidified material from his left. This material is then crushed by the fingers of his right hand.

Quite literally, he is ‘pulling a swifty’.  Had he carried a hat instead of the letters he might have pulled a rabbit out by the ears.

If he were naturally, and without trickery, manifesting the vibhuthi (sacred ash), there would be no need for this frequent characteristic of reaching under the letters.

In short, the solid (pellet) material that is waiting to be crushed into the powder is already in his left hand.

Sleight Of Hand. The Sleightness of Sathya Sai Baba (Exposing film clips)

For the clear use of a confederate, you can see Doordarshan’s – Indian national radio and television broadcaster –  video footage showing Sathya Sai Baba’s palming of a necklace from beneath a trophy handed to him by his flunky. This film the then Indian Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, a Sathya Sai Baba devotee, quickly moved to censor:

Censored Indian National Television Film of Sai Baba Cheating

  • Promising but not delivering miraculous cures and making prophecies which have not eventuated

Official Sai Baba Documents Show His Death Date Prophecies Failed

Sathya Sai Baba in his glass coffin. His 40-day’s later resurrection prophecy has failed

Exhaustive efforts of former devotee researchers such as Robert Priddy and Brian Steel and others have uncovered many instances of palpable absurdities which it is now too late for the Sai editorial weeders to hide. 

These editorial puppets of Sai propaganda started all too late with their, so to speak, Weeders Digest – in which glaringly they have culled many embarrassing Sai Baba statements.  Especially, the Australian scholar Brian Steel was all too fast off the mark for any of them.

Thankfully, not all former devotees destroyed their large stack of back numbers of Sanathana Sarathi and other publications, such as the lengthy Sathya Sai Speaks series, of the Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Puttapathi.

What these deeply compromised Sathya Sai devotees unwittingly expose is the way their cultic adulation of Sai Baba makes them so foolhardy. This is but one of countless examples of devotee blindness, and serious lapse into untruth – the very opposite of what they claim to stand for.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions

 The Ageless 'Avatar'Ageless – Old ‘Avatars’ never die, but merely fade away

How indeed shall a failed ‘Avatar’ save himself?

Recent Statement

There is no end to his failed predictions. In his February 1 16, 2007 (so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai baba said:

“I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.”

But the runway, like his own imagination, would seem to have run away on him. He celebrates his 83rd birthday this November 23rd.

Unlike his physical body, the following quoted words of his have no difficulty in flying around the world to his many devotees. But they represent just one more example of his myriad failed predictions:

‘Swami’s mission has made this turn to face the runway. The 70th birthday was the signal from the tower to accelerate. In the 75th birthday, the airplane will leave the ground’. Sri Sathya Sai Newsletter, USA, 31, Winter 1996-1997, 29.)

  • Giving accounts known by modern science to be completely unfounded

Sathya Sai Baba On Magnetism. Science or Sai-ence?

… two areas that expose the blindness of countless Sathya Sai Baba followers are science and history. His comments are extremely ill-informed, and sometimes so absurd as to beggar belief. Here is India’s chronically ailing would-be Avatar of Avatars, the figure who has told us that he will soon be traveling abroad! And who long ago said that in the last quadrant of his life he would be ruling the world!  And who said at the time of his 60th birthday that he would not show signs of physical ageing!

  • Contradicting himself, over long years, in published discourses

Many Contradictions In Sathya Sai Baba Official Literature

Worldwide, when deeply concerned people in very large numbers left Sathya Sai Baba – commencing circa 2000 – one of their most typical and prompt responses was to get rid of all the paraphernalia that belonged to devotion to this guru. This meant:  the books, the official newsletter, Sanathana Sarathi,  the photos, rings, pendants, robes, and so on, which would otherwise bring back memories far more painful than joyful.

Fortunately, books and publications such as Sanathana Sarathi, are a ripe field for individuals of scholarly mind, such as Robert Priddy,  Brian Steel and Alexandra Nagel. They early realized how important it is to hang on to material that former Sai Baba devotees, very understandably, wish never to see again.

Robert Priddy was a contributor to Sanathana Sarathi, and much respected by its editor, the renowned (retired to Puttaparthi) Indian newspaper editor, V.K. Narasimhan (See photo). For those who like to delve into archives, here are Priddy’s articles from that widely-distributed publication. They state positions very different to what he has taken, as a major dissenter, in the last decade. Priddy was co-founder and longtime head of the Sathya Sai Organization of Norway.

  • Massive misappropriation of funds donated by devotees worldwide

India’s ‘Emperor’ Sai Baba. By His Lavish Spending Ye Shall Know Him

Golden Glitter For Sai Baba's 83rd Birthday

Trustfully, as the gerontocracy that essentially leads India dies out, the young India will turn a back on the crass superstition of many of her older generations.  

The gaudiness of all the gold in the Sathya Sai Baba birthday celebrations – mounted aloft India’s anguished land of seething poverty and squalor – reflect badly on her international reputation. 

  • Presiding over a highly unaccountable financial empire
  • Creating myths about himself, which he permitted as the basis for materials in public exhibitions, like the museums at Puttaparthi and Mumbai

Revealing Materials On Sai Baba Of India

One of (Brian Steel’s) research strengths is his persistent use of, and great familiarity with, the large load (and, from a critical point of view, lode) of official and other public devotee documents. Through his emphasis on these sources – as distinct from other sources of information – Steel has been able to expose Sai Baba’s astounding array of self-generated myths, failed predictions, incorrect scientific and historical references, and, all in all, a seemingly endless series of contradictions and anomalies, as well as a great deal of highly flawed hagiography. See my article:

Cult Exposure. By Their Documents Ye Shall Know Them

  • Falsifying his birth and school details

Sathya Sai Baba Birthday. Brian Steel Examines Birthdate Issue

As part of his extensive and challenging opus on Sathya Sai Baba, the Australian academic Brian Steel has written about questions surrounding Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate.  This is found in Chapter 5 of his Omniscience and Truth’ (Revised and Enlarged Version). As this Chapter is long, detailed and deals with a variety of topics, I have extracted, to coincide with Sathya Sai Baba’s November 23, 2009 birthday celebrations at Puttaparthi, the relevant section. 

The reader in quest of proper detail and context will be able to read Chapter 5 as a whole. Steel claims no last word on this dating issue. He has serious doubts about the birth date provided by Sathya Sai Baba or his officials but, as he says, this “evidence is far from conclusive”. He has provided certain circumstantial evidence which is his discovery, and offered it in the case that it may fit with other facts that may become known. Not all other commentators have been so careful

If Sathya Sai Baba has got his own birthdate wrong – and he has shown confusion about a number of other details (which devotees commonly pass off as his test of their faith) – then we have yet another example of anything but that omniscience with which he credits himself.

  • Plagiarising the sayings of others

Sai Baba’s deputy world head, and the director of his world radio propaganda service ‘Sai Global Radio’ Dr G.Venkataraman certainly follows his master in the vile intellectual sin of plagiarizing.  See: Indian Scientist Dr G. Venkataraman Accused of Plagiarism

  • Running a worldwide organisation that is extreme in its lack of public accountability and transparency, and which hides certain core, but embarrassing beliefs and agendas when it runs its recruitment drives in luxurious, costly venues.

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

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 about 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

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The Public PetitionInformation on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to go straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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The Long Journey: Exposing Sathya Sai Baba (1)

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 23, 2011

The present writer was deeply devoted to Sai Baba for twenty-five years and taught for two years at one of his leading institutions, the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India. He greatly enjoyed this work, teaching many boys and young men in their three years’ degree course. He lived around Sai Baba for several years while engaged in various voluntary social service activities, of which the college teaching was one.

It is not the Sathya Sai Organization’s good works that we contest. Many of former devotees gave hugely of their time and money in the belief that they served one who was the divine incarnate. Rather, the target of the critique is the long history of wrongdoing, and of its cover-up. And this by arguably India’s most historically powerful and influential guru, and, of course, those of his servitors who have been in-the-know, and aided and abetted him. That is to say, who have known of the Sai Baba’s serial sexual and other abuses, of the cover up of the circumstances surrounding the 1993 police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom, and scams such as misappropriation of funds donated from around the world (e.g., the apartments and water scandals), the faking of miracles, the expert cultivation of wealthy people, the squandering of huge resources in lavish buildings, adornments, general panoply – all of this opulence in a tragically poor country – and so on.

The years since late 1999 saw the rise of that intense activism which knowledgeable former devotees tend to refer to as ‘The Exposé’.  It furnished opportunity to learn much about strike satisfying balances between other life calls, such as family, profession, studies, and so on. The fact that almost all foremost activists in exposing Sai Baba are retired professionals should not surprise. That is,  those of us like (the late) Glen Meloy, Robert Priddy and Brian Steel and myself.  Or should I say – refreshed!

Exposing Sai Baba and the core leadership of the Sathya Sai Organization was far from being a purely  Internet affair. In approaching governments and other influential institutions, we planned and coördinated activities that show the concerns of former devotees in many countries. Many have deep roots in their own wider communities, which assisted us when we needed contact with skilled well-connected, skilled professionals. One is most thankful to them.

For the Sathya Sai apparatchiks have long had great influence in high places. They played dirty, as is well-known to noted scholars, journalists and other investigators who have come to know us well. Historians will never find other than that we played hard but clean. The only way to succeed against bullies like Sai Baba and his henchmen is never to give in. They expect you to do so. They think threats and underhand tactics will do the trick. Sadly, their cynical estimate is, in the case of many, often right. One of the joys of facing ‘goddams’ (as George Bernard Shaw’s Saint Joan called them) is that the company of those who fight on, within integrity, is the best company anyone can keep.

Any genuine privilege that we have is ours because someone faced bullies who did not want others to have it. To take the proceeds but not pass on the legacy of those who worked to stop the rot is base ingratitude.

The exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and his organization sprang from the keenest wish, and indeed civil duty, to warn of many and terrible abuses. A particularly demanding part of the work was processing the accounts of the abuses and spiritual betrayals. This was emotionally akin, so to speak, to the situation in which paramedics have to learn to handle the sight of blood and guts.

We – i.e., those such as Glen Meloy, Robert Priddy , Hari Sampath, Shirley Pike, Elena Hargering, Åsa Samsioe, Conny Larsson – wanted to see the Sai Baba’s survivor’s in strong, supportive situations – e.g., access to qualified, experienced mental health professionals. Too often, survivors of sexual and other severe forms of abuse do not avail themselves of such services, preferring, as it were, to ‘tough’ things out. Failure to reach out for professional help in dealing with the inner stuffs is, I think, sheer folly.

The BBC’s term ‘the Secret Swami’ is most apt. The more our international outreach increased the more we discovered cases of profound corruption in the organization and its leader.  Sai Baba and his henchmen practised their deceptions with great secrecy. 

However, although many devotees in the international Sathya Sai Organization are ignorant of the evils perpetrated, they bear, nonetheless, some of the culpability. This is because they have allowed themselves to become part of a highly unaccountable, authoritarian organization. They have ignored proper transparency and accountability practices available their own workplaces. Still more, any sense of fairness and decency deserted a great many Sai devotees. Their sense of natural justice is as a filthy rag. For years, they knew and honored the goodness and integrity of those who, as the terrible revelations unfolded, left Sai Baba, and who spoke out. And indeed those who tried to raise issues within the Sathya Sai Organization.

That those who talk so much about truth, right conduct, peace and love deserted the core principles of their faith is the most singular of ironies. Especially to those members or leave-takers who think seriously about these issues, I suggest careful, honest reading of the following articles:

Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba

David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses

Reply to a Sathya Sai Devotee’s Note re: David and Faye Bailey

(Late) Ron and Peggy Laing: Deeply Alienated From Sathya Sai Organization

The Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia

Badaev’s account is found in his:

Story of My Disqualification

‘BILD’ Story. “Guru Wants Sex” (Sathya Sai Baba)

Letter from Stephen Carthew

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family (Al Rahm was one of the foremost of top leaders in the SS Org.) and:

Al Rahm’s explanatory letter and:

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America

Dr Naresh Bhatia. Silenced Now In Indian Child Abuse Scourge

Searing true testimony about Sathya Sai Baba abuse (the case of Hans de Kraker, Australia, for years the manager of the Western Canteen at Puttaparthi. Article by Robert Priddy)

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion (including Terry Gallagher case –  Gallagher investigated extensively, and, in consequence, resigned as leader of the Sathya Sai Organization, Australia)

Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence (Mark Roche story)

Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team

Dr Timothy Conway’s Summary of Ullrich Zimmermann Interview

V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The Public PetitionInformation on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to go straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Sathya Sai Baba Made Huge Science and History Mistakes

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 21, 2011

“India is the only place where people are not worried about any attacks.  In America , Germany and other countries, they can’t eat well or sleep well. There is fear of bombs always in those countries. But in India, there is no fear of bombs. India will never have any such attacks.” Sathya Sai Baba 22-10-2008.

Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘educated’ devotees have a great deal to answer for. Many of his pronouncements directly contradict basic, long-established, irrefutable facts that their own children learn at school. It is little wonder that many Sai devotees’ children so seriously question their parents’ beliefs, and that unbridgeable gaps of discourse subsist between, on the one hand, the nonsense their parents subscribe to and, on the other, the perfectly legitimate attempts of the children’s teachers to teach them facts of history and science that are not in any dispute.

This regrettable situation does not relate to expected intergenerational differences of perception. It is fundamental to the breakdown that occurs in the case of one cult after another. A young person’s spirit AND intelligence – unless these qualities have, themselves, been damaged by the absurd belief systems – will both rebel. And for the best of reasons.

The late Howard Murphet, Australian journalist and author of best-selling books on Sai Baba, with whom he was close for years, wrote:

“Swami once, a good many years ago told me that He would not travel abroad until His own house was in order, by that He means India, of course”. Source: Online version, “The Lights of Home”

His ability to mangle historical fact – repeatedly, and within a few sentences – will cause groans to even the slightly well-informed:

“Three hundred and fifty years B.C., before Christ, Jews lived. However, among Jews, there were religions such as Islam and Christianity. People of that land, they are all Jews. That land is the birthplace of both the religions, Islam and Christianity. The Hebrew language was very prominent. This Hebrew language is more or less equal to our Sanskrit. …”

“Christianity is not just 2,000 years in its origin. It was there even before Christ, 350 years. There the divinity is explained very clearly.”

“The name and the fame of Jesus Christ have spread far and wide. Here, at this moment, there are two schools of thought. The first group of thought – Roman Catholics. There is another group that fought with this group. This group is called Protestants. As they protested, they are Protestants. So among Jews there are these two groups: Catholics and Protestants. The difference of opinion has increased day by day. This led to Jesus, whose life was in danger. Jews there in Jerusalem did not permit Jesus to go there. Like this, religious conflict and fighting was ever on the rise. There were 250 schools of thought, divisions there. They also monopolized certain countries.”

“Because of so many groups there, they all attempted even to harm Jesus. Romans on one side. Catholics on the other side. Luther on another side. There were so many groups that went on changing. All these differences are based on violence, and that led to madness. Because of this attachment to group affiliations, naturally there was conflict and fighting.”

“Religious affiliation leads to ego. This led to confusion among them as to what Jesus said right or wrong.”

See:  Brian Steel, Basic Notes on Sathya Sai Baba’s Credibility Problem

His devotees indulge in Procrustean and fallacious methods to explain falsification of his prophecy about the time of his death. The fact they do not want to face is that dates given in countless Sai Trust publications accord with the standard international system – and NOT one or another of the Indian calendars.

Many of these fanciful commentators show no inkling that he also made several conflicting prophecies about his death date (not that they use the word ‘death’).

                                                 Documentary proof of Sai Baba foretelling his death at 96 years
                    Sathya Sai Baba in his gold-plated glass coffin. His 40-day’s-later resurrection prophecy has also failed

For just a few examples Sathya Sai Baba’s absurdities, see:

Sathya Sai Baba Foretold He Would ‘Die’ Circa 2022. Further Archival Evidence

Official Sai Baba Documents Show His Death Date Prophecies Failed

Sathya Sai Baba Claimed He Will Resurrect After 40 Days

Sathya Sai Baba’s Death Falsifies His Vivekananda ‘Reincarnation’ Claim (Part 1)

Sathya Sai Baba’s Death Falsifies Vivekananda ‘Reincarnation’ Story (Part 2)

Sathya Sai Baba’s Death Falsifies Vivekananda ‘Reincarnation’ Story (Part 3)

Sick and Ailing Sathya Sai Baba 85. His Promises to Look Young Have Failed

Sathya Sai Baba On Magnetism. Science or Sai-ence?

Sai Baba Is God Says Top George Bush Doctor

India’s Chronic Addiction To Anacronistic Gurus. Any Sea-change?

Venkataraman – the most gullible physicist alive?

Sathya Sai Baba followers in education and science

Dr.G. Venkataraman – physicist ‘explains’ Sathya Sai Baba

Jorge Reyesvera – Posted Writings On Sathya Sai Baba Claims, Especially On Science

 A New Celebrity Endorsement of SSB’s Alleged Divinity?

Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon?

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions

Sai Baba Sparks Political Furore

When ‘Divine’ Magnetism Becomes A Dead Weight

Sathya Sai Baba failed prophesy as the ‘great saviour of mankind’

a major analysis of  Sathya Sai Baba prophecies

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The Public PetitionInformation on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Sathya Sai Baba’s Deterioration: Long Mental and Physical Slide Into Chaos

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 18, 2011

How many times must a charismatic figure, like a guru, err before people’s mesmerization tapers, and, hopefully, ends. Before, that is, they begin to see the trail of anomaly, broken promises, and betrayed hopes?

Commonly, infantile belief systems – however dressed up to look all grown up – intrudes. Devotees are lost in adulating their idealized father or mother figure. They rationalize away absurdities and often downright lies. They feel comforted by the cultic group that feeds and shelters their sense of belonging. In the case of figures like Sai Baba, they think that the guru holds the power over their chances for heaven or hell. 

Sathya Sai Baba’s minders did all that they could to hide the dreadful physical and mental wreck that he became in his last years. But it cannot be upheld that thousands of devotees from around the world did not see at least some of the signs. Certainly, the many doctors attending darshan or his interviews could not other than have noticed. The Australian scholar Brian Steel’s remark of February 2002  had almost a touch of prescience. He noted:

‘Since the ‘discrepancies’ appear to be increasing nowadays, is there any possibility that Sai Baba is suffering from a degenerative ageing disease which might have an effect on his thinking and speaking?’

Likewise, in October 2002, the Swedish psychologist Åsa Samsioe, noting physical signs of Sai Baba’s ageing like his development of a ‘turkey throat’ and also the “low intellectual level” of his discourses, remarked:

‘He must have one heck of a job, Sathya Sai Baba… it can’t be easy to age in his situation, besides being under so much criticism as he has recently been… not surprising that it leaves its marks. Occasionally I think ‘poor man’… feel some pity for him. A whole life built on lies… captured by the myth about himself… to be the object of the projections of millions… and to be forced , at least outwardly, to live up to all the expectations put to him… to always have to have all those people around him’.

Sai Baba recently claimed he always smiles - but nowadays only this!

Nonetheless, Sai Baba always claimed he would never suffer from illness, not least due to his self-claimed ‘purity, patience and perserverence’ as in the following statement scanned from one of his web pages:-

—————————————–

Further Reading

Sathya Sai Baba down the rabbit hole

Sathya Sai Baba’s Pacemaker Implant – His Promised Health and Longevity In Doubt

Sai Baba Breaks Down and Sobs At 85th Birthday Celebration (Video Footage)

Sai Baba – A Degenerative Disease?

The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to go straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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BBC Dropped 2004 Plan To Investigate Sathya Sai Baba Money Trail

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 13, 2011

One cannot but wonder whether there was a reason, other than craziness, that Sathya Sai Baba stored up the vast secret treasure hoard in currency, gold, silver and precious gems. Perhaps it was to put a stop to certain of his officials plundering it. Such as, stashing it in offshore banks – in venues such as Liechtenstein, and engaging in money laundering of various kinds.

Alike, Sathya Sai Baba’s critics and some devotees now ask large questions about his officials and their financial dealings. It is a pity that there was not investigation long ago. A former head of one of the world’s leading police forces, who is now in private consultancy in Paris and regarded as one of the top handful of financial investigators in the world, told me that Sathya Sai Baba was the master criminal of the 20th century. (I am happy to give his name in good faith to any investigators who work with responsible organizations).

At the time, the sheer enormity of this description did not compute in my mind, although I expressed the hope to the BBC’s David Saville that the BBC would consider speaking with this former police chief.

During the months that went into producing the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’, and after I had received reports of Sathya Sai funds being spirited into overseas bank accounts, I mentioned the money trail issue to the BBC. For a little while, it seemed that they would use Patrick Masters to investigate Sai Baba-related money trails. However, the BBC Iris Asic, Eamon Hardy, David Saville and Tanya Datta increasingly investigated other aspects which, themselves, required great time and effort. Effectively, this 2004 documentary narrowed down to two themes:

– the allegations from many parts of the world against Sathya of serial sexual molestation of boys and young men

– the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom on 6 June 1993

I mentioned something of this in my article: Fighting Multi Billion Corruption Takes Longer. Posted by Barry Pittard on March 10, 2007, writing:

“Although we know too well that he has formidable protection from successive Indian governments, both State and Central, some of our people in India have sacrificially put themselves at much risk in raising the allegations with Indian authorities. The Sathya Sai Organization arms itself by aligning itself with the power-brokers of trade, finance and politics, both Indian and foreign, who ensure that the vast funds that pour to its Sathya Sai Central Trust are not affected. One of the foremost officials in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office asked Hon. Tony Colman, former MP for Putney to back off in regard to Sai Baba because the Blair government did not want to rock the boat with India. It is, therefore, a pity that the BBC’s intention to engage a financial investigator Patrick Masters was not able to occur in the several months of intense research for ‘The Secret Swami’. But then there were so many components that vied for attention. Again, always with the current consent of those involved, the details of such activities we will share with bona fide, notably trustworthy experts”.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The Public PetitionInformation on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Barry Pittard – On Institutional Cover Ups and Psychological Denial

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 5, 2011

In many universities, there is reluctance to study the testimony of contemporary apostates. But I would commend – perhaps to a younger and less blinkered generation of academics – that perceived problems about validity of testimony can be overcome from the more or less oblique angle of comparative studies. There is no shortage of dissent from major and powerful institutions. One can obtain a large and valuable witness base.

Indeed, I suggest that one perspective for examining this phenomenon is the positive one of health – and not of pathology. That is to say, many people leave institutions in response to conscience, commonsense and rationality.

In the context of cross-cultural studies, witnesses, pro and contra, concerning organizations oriented to strong belief systems commonly do not know each other, and this fact yields an immense and rich base of non-colusional evidence. Any academic department which resiles from the study of cults per se backs away from taking seriously one of the prime threats to civil well-being. Nor should intellectually impoverished notions of so-called ‘religious freedom’ and ‘political correctness’ be heeded. For authoritarian cults thrive on lack of examination, and misplaced notions of liberalism. They cry freedom even as they deny freedom.

There is a train of thought which keeps coming home to me when I look at the testimony of dissenters from various authoritarian organizations ….

When one is deeply involved in any matter, it can be hard to imagine that there are other necks of similar ‘woods’. So caught up in our own reality do we get. But when we embark on comparative studies, we find countless marked patterns all round.

Variations, from locale to locale, obscure facts such as the very few human feelings and drives – although we commonly speak as though there are a great many. If we could get at the feelings, the essential driving forces, and deal with these in a truthful, mutually respectful way, we might make progress.

However, the human ego thrives by flattering itself on its own uniqueness and sheer variation. Human beings – whether the good, the bad or the indifferent – tend to react the same. It just looks different. What make us appear so different are usually two things. First, the variables of culture, class, age, gender, race, and so on. Second, observed from within our own ‘pond’, it hardly seems possible that other ‘ponds’ are beyond our range of vision. Or, even when we meet them, we tend to see the differentiations, and not the underlying drivers.

Let us look beyond our own ‘pond’. Comparing different types of institution and looking at the nature of institutional cover up and denial can illuminate the area, and expose almost primitive, patterned and (given ever improving data bases), predictable behavioral responses. The local ‘color’ and nomenclature are different, but the essential, and very few, driving forces are the same.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

There has been, as in the case of the Sathya Sai Organization leaders, the persistent and scandalous cover-up at all levels in the Roman Catholic Church up to and including Popes. Those Roman Catholics who for decades have been speaking out have been subjected to attacks very much like what other whistleblowers (including many former devotees of Sathya Sai Baba) have had to endure. It is terrible and wrong. The Irish case is full of stark parallels. Sathya Sai Baba is protected at the very highest levels in India. In regard to him, we learn at first hand from very senior diplomatic sources that diplomats are instructed not to “rock the boat with India”. The fallacy that most thinking Indians would be bound to detect is the absurd conflation of Sathya Sai Baba with India! Those who have traveled extensively in India know how huge is the repudiation of him in that great but tragic country.

When one speaks to dissenters from other areas, the same presentations of cultic believers are the case – cover up, character assassination, libel and defamation, vile vituperation on the one hand and cold shunning on the other, threats to sue and other bullying tactics, working to get people fired from their jobs, families broken up, inability to discuss without poor argument and distortion of what has actually been stated, and so on.

Standing forth for truthfulness is not an easy job.

I think that it is advisable for survivors to reflect carefully before deciding whether to disclose their identities in their testimonies in a public forum, such as the internet. Some prefer to provide sworn testimony, and await opportunities to come forward in the media or in a court action where there is proper jurisdiction. Others, however, are prepared to stand forth and feel that they are making a contribution to saving others from a similar fate, and, in general, they wish to create a much better pubic awareness of the evils of sexual and other types of abuse. We know of those who have had no qualms about speaking up, even after we have carefully gone through the issues with them.

In the exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult, international coordinators such as Glen Meloy (deceased), Robert Priddy, Hari Sampath (in the earlier stages) and I have had a work which we never would have wished upon ourselves …..

….. Below, Sebastian Engelbarts of The Netherlands relates his account of abuse experiences at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba. My close colleague Robert Priddy made all due effort to apprise Sebastian of what going public can invoke – as indeed is our strict practice with others in touch with us with their accounts – and the latter decided that he had the resolve necessary to withstand come-what-may.

I need hardly point out that, over several years, many testimonies have been shared with us with the request that they be kept confidential, and Robert Priddy and I (in our role of coordinators) – or others along a supportive network, often professional in background – have respected this. Other Sathya Sai Baba abuse survivors have stated that they would wish only to make public their experiences in the context of investigation by, for example, a respected organization such as the BBC, Times of London, Telegraph, The Guardian, UNESCO, Interpol, etc.’ and/or by a court of law in a democratic country.

In India, a particularly lamentable fact that speaks against religious institutions is that their scandals have often had to exposed by such courageous rationalists as the late Basava Premanand. See: Basava Premanand Long Challenged Indian Governments To Come Clean On Sathya Sai Baba and Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach

But, as so commonly, Sai Baba, in word and action falsifies what he superabundantly preaches.

“Desire to which you are too fondly attached breeds anger and its nefarious brood. Discard it and you can have perpetual youth! The Aanandha that the Aathman can manifest will keep age and ageing away!” Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Prashanthi Nilayam, 22 Feb 1971. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.

“The attributes of the Avatars are beyond human comprehension…. Rama and Krishna were ever youthful. Have you ever seen a picture of Rama or Krishna with grey hair?….. Usually old people have wrinkles on their faces … I do not have any signs of old age. (loud applause). There is not a single wrinkle on My face”. Sanathana Sarathi, October, 2002.

Why are Indian authorities and the Indian media so selective in exposing errant religious figures in that country? Anyone who knows a wide cross-section of Indians is well aware of the great shame they feel for the corrupt institutions in their country?

Non-resident Indians (NRI’s) are freely able to read exposing investigations about Sathya Sai Baba in major western media such as the BBC, Times of London, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, and newspapers in Europe, Canada, Australia, etc., but are prohibited from doing so in their own country.

Like Sathya Sai Baba, he has presided over social work and so forth. Some of Sathya Sai Baba’s followers who do not deny his sexual and other activities say: but look at all the good social work that he does. (Actually, one might have thought that it is his devotees that do it!). The laws of many countries, though there may be elements of mitigation, do not take any such absurd position.

I have yet to examine the issues, but fully expect, as has been the response of Sai Baba’s apologists to the mountain of evidence against him, no end of the same types of spurious, head-in-the-sand justification from devotees of the exposed gurus and malicious attacks on those who have stood forth to speak the truth, and who call – all the while at great readiness themselves to be accountable – for independent and proper third-party investigation of allegations. See my update: Why Nithyananda Sex Scandal Investigations and Not A Sathya Sai Baba Probe?

RC Abuse Priests Collared. Clergy sex revelation storms threaten worldwide After years of vast ecclesiastical cover up, many Roman Catholic sexually abusive priests have been collared, worldwide.

Some international commentators opine that there is a net of terrible revelation closing in on Pope Benedict XVI. One revelation after another indicates that he has for many years known about the endemic sexual abuses, both of children and adults, happening within the Roman Catholic Church. And that he has, all along, failed with any probity (unless it accorded with antiquated, incredibly out-of-touch notions of an ancien régime) to act. To the contrary, he has called, all along, for secrecy. A key issue is whether any ecclesiastical authority has the right to deal with crimes within its own entity. Countless sexual abuses have not been reported to the police, and strong sections within the Catholic hierarchy have triumphed in a division between Church and State that appalls most who live in a western democracy.

See companion article to this post:

Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya Sai Baba.

The same high-handed rebuff to legal sovereignty of the secular state was, in effect, asserted by the longtime, now retired world coordinator of the Sathya Sai Organizer, Indulal Shah. See: Indian Newspaper Reports of Killings In Sai Baba’s Bedroom . One of the most responsible papers in India stated:

“When press persons met Mr. Indulal Shah, chief functionary of the Sri Satya Sai World Trust, after the murders of six young Sai followers in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom in 1993, Indulal Shah is reported as having said: ‘the matter is purely internal and we do not wish to have any law enforcement agency investigating into it.” (from The Hindu, 10-6-1993).

It forever echoes in my mind how a then editor of The Times of India told me privately that Sathya Sai Baba is too powerful to take on. One irony was that one of the most powerful figures on the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust – the former Chief Justice of India, P.N. Bhagawati, was at the same time on the Board of Directors of The Times of India. In fact, our group had to work extremely hard to get UNESCO senior management to cause the Press Trust of India (PTI) to make amends for publishing a gravely watered-down version of the UNESCO Media Advisory concerning Sathya Sai Baba and certain of his key officals. See:

Perhaps the day of great account will eventually come for the international Sathya Sai Organization.

At the moment, the Boy Scouts of America is under close scrutiny for its practices in dealing – and not dealing – with the sexual abuse issue. Will parents be able to trust the Boy Scouts of America organization?

Boy Scouts of America Sorely TestedIn recent articles at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’, I have been pointing to cases in other areas which have often taken years of persistent activism by those who have exposed appalling levels of cover up by powerful institutions.

Typically found throughout all these institutions are the themes of psychological denial by the generality of followers and deliberate denial by those authorities who know the facts and go to great lengths to hide them. The amount of denigration, name-calling, distortion of what is being said, shunning, libel and defamation of those who have stood forth to reveal the facts, are also typical. They fly completely in the face of the professed ethical and spiritual teachings of those institutions, which in many cases are unexceptionable.

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The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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