Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

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

2 Responses to “Some Key Themes In Studying Sathya Sai Baba Cult”

  1. Great job, Mr. Pittard! In my opinion these are indeed many of the key themes. It has been my experience that devotees also suffered greatly from many forms of psychological abuse, stemming from blaiming the victim if a promised cure or another predicted ‘good’ by the godman did not occur. The continuous mental suffering of those who remain ‘undecided’, is, I fear, quite colossal also.

    Chris Dokter

  2. […] Some key themes in studying the Sathya Sai Baba cult […]

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