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Archive for September, 2012

Purported Early Sathya Sai Baba Document. Sai Trust In Dispute With Late Sai Baba’s Close Aide, Satyajit

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 14, 2012

A few media in India report what the Deccan Chronicle calls a “flutter”.  It reports:

“… The document emerged in public recently when Satyajit, a close aide of Sai Baba, reportedly gave it to Sri Satya Sai Central Trust during a board meeting of the trustees. A letter to this effect was marked to office-bearers of Sri Satya Sai Institutions and Organisations and the Baba’s devotees, it is learnt”.

Satyajit. Sai Baba’s very intimate favourite. Deeply involved in power struggles with the Sathya Sai Central Trust. Subject of intense police and state government questioning about the vast treasure horde hidden in Sai Baba’s private quarters.  See my article, and key links:  Reports of Sathya Sai Central Trust Van Laden With Treasure Seized By Andhra State Police

See Indian media reports below.  Further in the article, I preface these with some points an Indian correspondent of ours raises. 

A flutter?

Open a musty old cupboard and – behold – a flutter of moths. There is not much for them to feast on, but they survive a day or so.  Thus it is with Sathya Sai Baba news these days.  I doubt that the Sathya Sai Organisation will worry much about a few moths.  

(When we have processed and are ready to reveal new evidence concerning the murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom, there may be something more than flutters when we go internationally public soon about a matter the Sathya Sai Central Trust has managed to suppress for years. Fortunately, the evidence is now safely outside India, free from the vast network of corrupt government, police and jurisprudential practice that for decades kept Sathya Sai Baba and some of his servitors out of gaol).

For decades, Sathya Sai Baba and many of his keynote speakers have gravely exaggerated his importance in countries beyond India. Few international media mentioned his death, and a few briefly referred to it. Most media that reported it, such as the Times of London, The Telegraph, etc., did so just as they would treat other news from around the world.

Those who have long traveled extensively in India, know perfectly well that, though Sathya Sai Baba can rightly be regarded as famous there, he was always far less nationally noteworthy than many other famous Indians. Through the years, a great many Indians have frowned upon him. Though many approve of social work done in his name, they gravely disapprove of the costly pomp and circumstance, and of the focus on miracles, whether these might be real, imagined or faked.  See:  BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle.

A Few More Flutters, and Few More Than Flutters

It is an irony that much of Sai Baba’s  international note was, in fact, notoriety.  For many years, behind-the-scenes influence of his devotees among the power elites was so great that almost all Indian media suppressed news unfavorable to him. Shamefully to India, major responsible investigative media outside India, such as the BBC, CBC, DR, SBS, ABC, The Times, The Telgraph, The Guardian, and others, exposed him. This activity owed mostly to the work of internationally organized former devotees, of whom many had been his deeply dedicated devotees for many years.

Few visitors over the years escaped the Puttaparthi hype. Sai Baba and his servitors long made patent and absurd claims:  e.g., supposed uniqueness of the social work, the volume of crowd numbers, the international composition of a cricket match, that Sai Baba was on the list of Nobel Prize candidates,  and much more, For a well-documented but tip-of-the-iceberg sample, see:

The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements

Brian Steel Exposes Sathya Sai Baba On Glaring Historical Mistakes

Sathya Sai Baba Made Huge Science and History Mistakes

‘The Conflicting Reports and Propaganda About Sathya Sai Baba’s Followers and Visitor Numbers’ 

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

Golden Throne of India’s Sathya Sai Baba. He says he will Rule the world soon

Sathya Sai Baba Failed To Face India’s Endemic Corruption. Or Support Key Agencies of Real Change

Sai Baba’s failed predictions, doubtful birth date, doubtful age, doubtful death

Cognitive dissonance, one of the most studied phenomena in psychology, works wonders in keeping the devotees’ faith alive.  It is the quickly buried lie that one tells to oneself to go on believing what one prefers to believe.

Sai Baba himself and many of his keynote speakers have endlessly extolled the  works done in his name as the greatest of all time. It is as though countless other great humanitarian works have scarcely existed.  The boastful Muhammad Ali told the world that he was the greatest. But then he was. Someone has to be right sometime.

The Purported Early Sathya Sai Baba Document. Some Questions 

Of the current dispute about the Sai Baba document reported in the Indian media, one of our Indian informants writes:

This is bizarre and raises several issues . Here are a few questions that come to my mind.

1. If Sai Baba had indeed registered a declaration in 1967, to be treated as a “will” and if Satyajit had it from 1998, and if indeed Indulal Shah had been a witness and known about it for 44 years from 1967, why did Indulal Shah, Satyajit and the Sathya Sai Central Trust completely deny it after Sai Baba’s death and hide all facts about it?

2. When controversy broke out between Sai Baba’s family and the Trust, and when the Government was planning to take over the Sai Central Trust, why didn’t the Sai Trust lawyers make it public?

3. If Sai Baba had indeed filed such a declaration legally, how come SB himself didn’t make it public or part of the SB trust charter all these years till his death?

4. According to Sai Baba’s own legally sworn statement, he was 44 years old in March 1967…this would mean he claims to be born in 1922/1923. If so, he would have been duping his followers by saying he was born in 1926. 

5. If he was 44 in 1967, and claims he left his family when he was 12, does it mean he left his family in 1935? That would mean that he claims to have left  then… but this does not fit with known facts.

6. Sai Baba claimed that he “left his family”…but dont we all know he family didn’t leave him …his parents, sisters, brother, nieces, nephews, all of them stayed with him at the expense of the Trust, were allotted houses, cars and given positions in the Trust, ashram etc. Jankiramiah, his younger brother who Sai Baba made a member of his Central Trust.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Deccan Chronicle

Thursday, Sep 13, 2012 Last Update: 11:43 AM IST

A 1967 document, purportedly made and signed by Sri Satya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi, renouncing worldly pleasures, has created a flutter.

The document emerged in public recently when Satyajit, a close aide of Sai Baba, reportedly gave it to Sri Satya Sai Central Trust during a board meeting of the trustees. A letter to this effect was marked to office-bearers of Sri Satya Sai Institutions and Organisations and the Baba’s devotees, it is learnt.

The document, prepared on a Maharashtra stamp paper of Rs 3.50, dated March 23, 1967, and purportedly signed by Sai Baba, declares that he has dedicated his life for Sanathana Dharma, that he has ‘relinquished’ all title and interest in family property, ‘moveable and/or immovable’, and that he has ‘no intention to revert’.

A relative of Sai Baba said on condition of anonymity that he possesses a scanned copy of the document. “The document might be true but irrelevant now,” the relative said over phone from Puttaparti.

“I really don’t know the reason why it was leaked, it’s a mischief. Swami spoke about these things in one of his speeches, but certain facets of the document were suspicious. When every document was prepared on stamp paper bought in AP, why a Maharashtra stamp paper was used (for this document)?” he asked.

Though bought on July 8, 1965, the stamp paper was used two years later.

Satyajit could not be reached for his reaction. The document has now been brought to the notice of Indulal Shah, a trustee, with a request to attest it.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

45-year-old document adds new twist to Satya Sai Baba’s empire

SRINIVASA RAO   |   MAIL TODAY  |   HYDERABAD, SEPTEMBER 3, 2012 | UPDATED 23:07

Nearly 18 months after the demise of world-renowned godman Satya Sai Baba, a 45-year old document in which he claimed no personal right on the multi-crore spiritual empire built by him, has surfaced triggering a major controversy in Prashanti Nilayam, the abode of Sai Baba at Puttaparthi in Anantapur district of Andhra Pradesh.

The document, e-mailed to the media by Sai Baba’s personal attendant Satyajit late on Sunday evening, exposes the internal wrangling in the Satya Sai Central Trust which manages the affairs of Prashanti Nilayam. There have been reports from Puttaparthi for quite some that Sai Baba’s nephew R.J. Ratnakar Raju (son of Baba’s younger brother R Janakiramaiah) is trying to gain control over the trust, whose movable and immovable properties worth thousands of crores, which led to a conflict between him and the other trust members.

Ratnakar told the media on Monday that he was not aware of the existence of any such “document of declaration” all these days. “You should ask Satyajit as to why he has not disclosed the document since the demise of Bhagwan Sai Baba in April, 2011. In any case, I don’t think there is any significance to this document, which had not been registered anywhere. However, we are forced to believe the document because it was signed by Bhagwan himself,” Ratnakar said.

The document, which Satyajit claimed as an original “document of declaration”, was made on a stamp paper in Bombay and signed by Satya Sai and attested by Indu Lal Shah, noted chartered accountant from Mumbai, who is still the member of Satya Sai Central Trust and a sole surviving witness to the original document.

According to the document, a copy of which is available with Mail Today, Sai Baba declared that he had given up studies to spread Sanatana Dharma. “I am unmarried and left my parents at the age of 12 and have taken up religious order with saffron dress and I have no worldly/or family attachments. I declare that I left parents permanently and adopted holy order with no intention to revert back,” he said.

Sai Baba further said he had relinquished all his right and interest in family property, movable or immovable, whatsoever and wherever they may be, and he did not not own and possess personal property or wealth or estate. “Whatever is given to me is under my management, supervision and control as a trustee to be used for public charitable purposes. This declaration I am making so that nobody can claim, under or through me, in the family properties if any,” he said in the declaration.

Satyajit, who was Sai Baba’s caregiver till the latter’s demise, said he had come to know of the document for the first time in 1998, when Sai Baba had appointed many of his trustees and was directly guiding the procedures and updating the finance and accounts records. 

“When we brought to his notice this document of declaration signed by him and sought his instructions as to what to do with it, he told me not to bring it to the office and keep it safely since it will be useful. And it kept it in safe custody as per his divine instructions,” Satyajit said.

After Sai Baba died and was buried, Satyajit said, he wanted to bring this document to light. As part of that he had to get it attested by Indulal Shah, who was the sole surviving witness.

“On November 21, 2011, we called a notary to Prashanti Nilayam and got the document attested by Indulal Shah in the presence of two witnesses, Dr Naren Ramji, registrar of Sri Satya Sai Institute of Higher Learning and Sanjay Sahani, Director of Brindavan campus of the same institute. The document was tabled at the trust board meeting on July 1, 2012 and brought up for discussion,” Satyajit said.

However, Satyajit did not explain as to why he waited till November 2011 to disclose the document, though Sai Baba died in April 2011 and why he had taken time till July, 2012 to table it in the trust board meeting.

Inquiries revealed that for the last one year, there has been a cold war between Ratnakar and other members of the Satya Sai Central Trust over the management of trust properties and there were allegations that Ratnakar staked claim on lands and other properties owned by the trust and that he had encouraged real estate activity in and around Puttaparthi. And that forced Satyajit to disclose the document now, sources said.

As long as Baba was alive, the organisation’s functioning and composition had always been shrouded in a veil of secrecy. There are no official records on the extent of Sai Baba’s wealth, as the Sri Satya Sai Central Trust, the umbrella organization of Baba’s various charitable trusts, never makes it public about the flow of funds into the trust or its expenditure details. 

The media has no access to the trust affairs and nobody really knows who the members are in the trust and whether any changes are made at any point of time. A local devotee recalled that Baba himself had once revealed the Trust owned immovable property including land in and around Puttaparthi to the tune of Rs.4,000 to Rs.5,000 crore. 

However, it is believed that the Trust’s holdings could be worth more than Rs.1 lakh crore if their assets in various countries are also taken into account. 

While Satya Sai Baba is still being continued as the chairman of the trust even after his death, the other members of the trust include: Justice P N Bhagawati, former Supreme Court chief justice; Indulal Shah, chartered accountant, Mumbai; S V Giri, former Central Vigilance Commissioner; V Srinivasan, industrialist from Chennai and R J Ratnakar, Baba’s nephew. Besides, there is a Council of Management for the Trust, comprising K Chakravarthi, retired IAS officer, S S Naganand, eminent lawyer from Bangalore, J V Shetty, former chairman of Canara Bank and T K Bhagawati, former chairman of Indian Overseas Bank.

While Bhagwati could not be reached for his comment on the latest document as he had gone abroad, Ratnakar said the trust would run as usual and would sincerely follow the rules framed by Sai Baba. “We don’t have any personal interest on the properties owned by the trust,” he said.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

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Staff Sex and Bullying Allegations At Sathya Sai School Leicester (UK)

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 4, 2012

As I have mentioned, we learn that several parents of children at the  Sathya Sai School in Leicester, England, are deeply troubled.  

See my article: Will Authorities Find Sex Abuse and Staff Bullying At ‘Sathya Sai School’, Leicester, UK? Posted by Barry Pittard on September 1, 2012.

(Note:  I may be contacted with assured confidentiality at:  bpittard (at) westnet.com.au)

Allegedly, a Physical Education teacher, Cheng Ho Lim, sexually harassed a female teacher.  

Allegedly, too, his wife (the school Principal), Usha Lim, has bullied and physically punished children at the school. This in a manner that genuinely democratic countries no longer tolerate. Properly qualified teachers and education researchers know that there are humane and enlightened methods. If any such allegations are correct, British authorities need to investigate, which they are trained to do, keeping in mind the safety and well-being of children.

At its website, the Sathya Sai School states:

“… the school aims to use positive techniques to enhance behaviour, encouraging early intervention, re-direction of children and a positive reinforcement of good behaviour … The School is committed to learning and self-improvement. It has all its efforts and energies focussed on the child’s spiritual, moral, physical, cultural and academic development. We ensure that the physical environment is pleasant, safe, secure and well-resourced …”

It is important that parents be informed of their civil rights, responsibilities, and of such issues as the duty of care of those in charge of children. No one must be allowed to browbeat, sweet-talk or in any way side-track them. For example, officials of the Sathya Sai Organization, such as  Dr. Michael Goldstein, world head of the Sai organization, Dr Madhavi Majmudar, the chair of school directors, and others involved in handling issues, such as Kalyan Ray. 

Not even the most respected media and scholarly researchers can obtain straight answers from those at the top of the highly cultic international Sathya Sai Organization. For decades, Sathya Sai Organization leaders have profoundly and shamefully failed to show duty of care, worldwide, to parents of Sai Baba’s sexual and other types of abuse. In some cases, men much older – like Mark Roche, now a psychotherapist, and Al Rahm, a building contractor and formerly one of the foremost leaders in the Sathya Sai Organization – have spoken to the BBC about Sai Baba sexually abusing them when they were young. I was privy to the great anguish and courage which led up to their decision to go public.

At the highest level, the Sathya Sai cult have a long track record of rather Soviet-style intervention and cover up of scandals.

If there is cover up of crimes and unprofessional behavior, citizens must act. In democratic jurisdictions throughout the world, there are strict laws about mandatory reporting in professions of suspected child abuse.

The BBC and other world leading investigative media have trenchantly shown that the international Sathya Sai Organization has, all along, shown an extraordinary lack of accountability and transparency.  As those who study them come to expect, such authoritarian sects often act as a law unto themselves. Especially is this so in the case of those sects which, like the Sai Baba cult, posit that the divine guides them and that civil sanctions can, where escapable, be ignored.

Millions in many countries saw Dr Michael Goldstein, of Covena, California, USA, Sathya Sai Organization world head, caught by hidden camera in ‘The Secret Swami’, angrily bullying the perfectly proper young female BBC interviewer Tanya Datta. In polite fashion, she asked questions any investigative journalist is mandated to ask. The sanction to use hidden camera – a tool  the BBC uses most sparingly, and in cases where there is gross evasion from fair and reasonable public scrutiny – came from the top BBC management, including the legal department.

 

 

Correspondents who are well-placed to observe, report the Leicester Sathya Sai School Principal’s involvement, along with national and world Sathya Sai Organization officials, in a cover up.  In my 1 September post, I wrote:

…. A most recent example are the troubles afflicting the cult’s ‘Sai School’ at Leicester, England. Worried parents have called in British social workers to investigate. My colleague Robert Priddy wrote of alleged troubles and scandals at the school in 2009. His August 2012 update – given developments that may prove much harder for the Sathya Sai cult to suppress – he posted recently. See:  Sathya Sai Schools: Leicester, Puttaparthi, Gothenburg etc. up-dated.  Posted by robertpriddy on July 20, 2012.

Among the difficulties the Leicester community faces (where many people of Indian birth or extraction live) is that discussion about child abuse is profoundly taboo among a great many Indians. Nonetheless, they live in a far more democratic society than India, and need, like anyone else in the community at large, to become conscious of, and to obey, British laws. Unless we protect children, how can any of us say that we truly love and responsibly care for them?

Any observer of international trends in the last decade or more in the exposure of child abuse will note one feature above all: That in the most developed democratic countries, it has taken the most enormous struggle, first:

–  to expose endemic physical and sexual child abuse; second:

–  to enable effective community-wide education; and third:

–  to enshrine strong state and national legislation that integrate social worker, police, and court action at all levels, such as home, school, workplace, institutions …..

Vast efforts have brought much action (though seldom near enough) to protect people of all ages and social backgrounds from physical and sexual abuse. India and other countries lag far behind. Yet India now strives, along with China, for superpower status. Rather like an emotionally immature person inside a big, lumbering body. Her atomic projects, armed services, finance and industry, etc., forge ahead, while her voices of conscience, like those engaged in the current peaceful mass movement against India’s government and corporate corruption, go largely unheeded. The reference to child protection in the Indian Constitution is, tragically, ignored. For an overview and further sources across time in India (before circa 2008), see the UNESCO document:  The History of Child Rights in India, By Jyoti Rao

I have written of some courageous counter-trends within India. See:

Child Abuse Rife In India. But Who Would Speak Out?

Child Abuse. Landmark Indian Government Study. Abuse of Indian children ‘common’’

Child Abuse in India. Will Minister Renuka Chowdhury Act?

In a couple of days or so, I wish to comment on an email which I have just received from someone who has had deep involvement in the Sathya Sai Organization in the UK.

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Brief Notes and Links on the Origins of the Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Cult

David and Faye Bailey. Authors of 'The Findings'. An historic and lengthy indictment of Sathya Sai Baba, by two former and very close disciplesDavid Bailey (UK), at one time Sai Baba’s leading western follower and envoy, and his wife Faye Bailey, as they traveled to Sai centers round the world at Sai Baba’s command, increasingly had deeply distressed parents and others coming up with appalling accounts of Sai Baba sexually abusing boys and young men.  David, like myself, was a lecturer in Sathya Sai Baba’s education wing. Faye had been a prominent leader in the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia, after which Sai Baba unexpectedly chose them as husband and wife.  Smitten with terrible pains of conscience, they resigned and wrote a seminal document in the history of our former devotee movement of exposure – The Findings. Eventually, worn down by all their intense and prolonged efforts to inform the world, they told like Hari Sampath, Glen Meloy and myself that they now wished to live in peace and quiet.  See: David Bailey’s ‘The Findings’ its consequences. Posted by robertpriddy on September 19, 2008.  David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses.  Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba

See the link below for my tribute to my magnificent closest collaborator in the Exposure, the late Glen Meloy. In his 24 years of dedicated service alongside legendary figures in the Sathya Sai movement, Sai devotees dearly loved Glen.  Like others who stood forth for truth and goodness (a phrase very deep and dear to Glen), he suffered the utmost lack of love and honor from the moment he attempted to get the leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization to show duty of care for the many families round the world whose children had been abused.  See:  Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam.

Hari Sampath was formerly a member of Sathya Sai Baba’s security and intelligence wing and Glen Meloy (q.v) showed from circ early 1999 strong leadership in international coordination efforts. Hari Sampath was at that time on a Green Card in the USA, working in software engineering for a major corporation. After a couple of years of intensive involvement, he returned to India, and embarked on other work. Glen  Meloy and I increasingly developed our own worldwide network and were involved in many activities, such as supporting survivors and their families and friends, documenting accounts, cooperating with those who were setting up websites (blogsites were a development quite far-off), dealing with the media, government and police instrumentalities, and civic and religious institutions. 

Until he died of cancer on January 1, 2005, Glen Meloy and I continued to coordinate worldwide exposure activities.  By this time, Robert Priddy, the former long-time head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Sweden, and retired academic of the University of Oslo, co-founder had done much investigative and documentary work, often independently.

V.K. Narasimhan and Robert Priddy. The former was the Editor of ‘Sanathana Sarathi’, following Professor N. Kasturi, and one of the few people around Sai Baba who did not toady to him. Both Priddy and I (he for much longer than I) had a trusted friendship with ‘VKN’, essentially a very private man, and one of India’s foremost and most courageous newspaper editors.

After Glen Meloy’s deathRobert Priddy and I became likewise close and trusted collaborators, and have remained so.  See:  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 6.

After speaking out, including to Sathya Sai Baba, and spending a great deal of time in researching abuse accounts at first hand, including those he gathered in private from Sai Baba’s students, Terry Gallagher gave up. His brother-in-law, Neville Fredericks, is the present head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia.

Neville Fredericks (right), head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization. Nationally and internationally, its top leaders assiduously cultivate power elites in politics, mainstream religion and civic groups, but many of these, as a result of our own former devotee and allied network activity, will have nothing to do with the cult. As the Sai leaders – to their great chagrin – know only too well. Fredericks is a brother-in-law of first Australian SS Org. Head, Terry Gallagher, who resigned after carefully investigating at first hand sexual and other abuse claims against Sathya Sai Baba. Gallagher showed what other leaders have grossly failed to show – conscience and preparedness to heed some of the great many accounts of sexual and other forms of abuse.

On the phone, Terry told me that he felt that he had done what he could to investigate the coverup surrounding the murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom on 6 April 1993 and many cases of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of boys and young men. He said that his  stance in resigning headship of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia brought strain on his relationship with his wife and brother-in-law, and that he was at last getting back on a better footing with them.

I see things differently. To me, crimes are crimes, and they need proper reporting and prosecution – and whatever recompense we can obtain for survivors – such as expert counseling.  See:  Sathya Sai Organization, Australia, Ex-Head Terry Gallagher’s Testimony Against Sathya Sai Baba

Selection of Articulate Voices Who Have Dissented – At Great Cost, But Great Reward Of Conscience

A Letter From Shirley Pike, Ex-President , North Central Region – Iowa, U.S.A.

Elena Hartgering – My Story

Experiences of a woman – Åsa Samsioe from Sweden 

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

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

New Zealand Lawyer Exposes Official Cover Up of Killings In Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom

Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults

Letter from Stephen Carthew 

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

The Sathya Sai Organization: Almost overnight, dissenters treated as demons!

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba
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Will Authorities Find Sex Abuse and Staff Bullying At ‘Sathya Sai School’, Leicester, UK?

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 1, 2012

A great many responsible schools, businesses and other organizations know – and follow – the well-tested and proper processes necessary to deal with report of crimes such as sexual and physical abuse. Not so, however, the highly secretive, cultic International Sathya Sai Organization.  See:  Barry Pittard – On Institutional Cover Ups and Psychological Denial. September 5, 2011.

(Note:  I may be contacted with assured confidentiality at:  bpittard (at) westnet.com.au)

A most recent example are the troubles afflicting the cult’s ‘Sai School’ at Leicester, England. Worried parents have called in British social workers to investigate. My colleague Robert Priddy wrote of alleged troubles and scandals at the school in 2009. His August 2012 update – given developments that may prove much harder for the Sathya Sai cult to suppress – he posted recently. See:  Sathya Sai Schools: Leicester, Puttaparthi, Gothenburg etc. up-dated.  Posted by robertpriddy on July 20, 2012

‘Sai School’, Leicester,UK. Yet another Sathya Sai cult institution facing sexual and physical abuse allegations

We have very trustworthy, on-the-ground informants in the UK.

A first-hand informant states:  

“Parents who had the courage to complain (about) the headteacher to the social services are now in a vulnerable position to face the bullying headteacher Usha Lim.”

Touchingly – including struggles with English expression – one correspondent writes:

“The headteacher Usha Lim has reported couple of parents to the police, so things are getting a bit touchy here …. The drama unfolds  even after all the complaints against headteacher Usha Lim and reporting her to the social services by the parents.  She is still there, thanks to Dr. Michael Goldstein who is the ‘godfather’ supported by Kalyan Ray, while the chair of school directors Dr Madhavi Majmudar and her stooges just obeys their masters”.  

A source reports that:  

“The headteacher is accused of bullying, emotional abuse, physical punishment of children. Parents complained to the social services who conducted an inquiry which proved true. Even sexual abuse is heard of. The top officials at Puttaparthy etc. are busy protecting their names and the headteacher’s”. 

And further:  

“Dr Michael Goldstein and Kalyan Ray along with Dr Madhavi Majmudar (chair of school directors) are doing their best to hide this news from the rest of the world”.  

World head of Sathya Sai cult, Dr Michael Goldstein, of California, USA. Caught by hidden camera in rage at the young female BBC interviewer, Tanya Datta, in ‘The Secret Swami’, 2004, seen by millions in many countries.

For information-dense articles about Goldstein, which have valuable recondite links, see Robert Priddy’s article:  Dr. Michael Goldstein; self-important fantasist, deceiver of self and others. For but one of many examples of Goldstein’s blinkered views – of the sort highly disagreeable to clear-thinking members of any society – see my:  Sai Baba Saved Devotees From 9/11 Says Dr Michael Goldstein

Allegations At A Glance

Headteacher:  Usha Lim. Wife of another accused Cheng Ho Lim.

Accusations:  That she emotionally abuses and physically punishes students.  Also faces questions from parents and social service investigators on the issue of covering up sexual and other abuses.

Usha Lim, principal of the Sathya Sai School in Leicester, UK. Faces allegations that she has bullied, emotionally abused and physically punished children at school.

Cheng Ho Lim:  Husband of Usha Lim, above. He is a Physical Education teacher at the same school.

Accusation:  A female staff member alleges that Lim has sexually harassed her.

Cheng Ho Lim. Physical Education teacher at the Leicester Sathya Sai School, UK. Husband of the school principal, Usha Lim. Faces allegations of sexual harassment of a female teacher at the school.

Parent Allegations Against Top Sathya Sai Organisation Leaders In Attempts At Cover Up In The Leicester Case

Note on Dr Michael Goldstein:

Parents at the Leicester Sai School are deeply concerned that Goldstein and the Puttaparthi authorities now, in an urgent attempt to cover up the allegations, intimidate people and, in other cases, mollify and co-opt.

Irrespective of the exceptionally qualified and experienced sexual abuse professionals around the world (and many, many! others from a great array of professions, trades and study areas) who have first-hand experience of survivors of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of boys and young men, Goldstein told the BBC that he is a  “consummate professional” and would recognize sexual abuse among boys and young men if it had occurred. Goldstein most audaciously trespasses on the professional preserve of others. He is NOT a sexual abuse professional!  See:  The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision.

In fact, the BBC, which spent months of exhaustive investigation, unearthed yet more compelling cases even than the many which we had painstakingly, and from many countries, documented from 1999. (See here for transcript and short BBC video clip).

The Sai Cult’s Decades of Soviet Style Lack of Accountability and Transparency

Despite great changes worldwide in institutional accountability, transparency and compliance with the law, the International Sathya Sai Organization plunges on in its crass attempts at covering up each new outbreak of sexual and other abuses in its institutions. This profound irresponsibility is but one of many evidences that it is an authoritarian cult, impervious to reform. It has learnt nothing from our many years of unrelenting exposure of the cult. Our good standing in our professions, trades has been well-established with many great media, the United Nations, and in our own communities. Our efforts have sparked investigations in leading responsible media in many countries. We have made proper representations to many national governments and institutions throughout the world.

More than a decade of exposure effort has taken untold sacrifices in health and in activities which our workers would far rather have been doing. It has also attracted almost unimaginable libel and defamation and, in some cases, threats to life against our people. Our key workers have never given in, and are not likely to. We can all attest, as can many leading journalists and others worldwide that, although many Sathya devotees are kind and decent people, Sai Baba’s key servitors are most certainly  bullies and cover up merchants of the first order.

For example, the top-level UNESCO investigation and its September 2000 Media Advisory. See:  BBC Exposed Sai Baba Top Aide’s And Indian Foreign Minister’s Ploy With UNESCOPosted by Barry Pittard on April 28, 2011

With the personal assistance of the then Indian foreign minister, the Deputy world chairman of the international Sathya Sai Organization, Dr G. Venkataraman, who is the director of the Sathya Sai international satellite radio station, made a concerted attempt to undo the successful representation to UNESCO of former devotees around the world.  For a further glimpse at Venkataraman, see: Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman.

The BBC assistant producer of ‘The Secret Swami’, David Saville, was able to expose the Puttaparthi-Indian Foreign Minister-UNESCO Director and Assistant Director nexus to undermine the opportunity for a venue for former Sai Baba devotees from many countries.

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  UNESCO MEDIA ADVISORY

“UNESCO’s withdrawal was prompted by several factors. Certain decisions were taken by the ISSE without consultation, such as plans to hold some of the sessions at the Ashram of the Sathya Sai movement in Puttaparthi, and the inclusion of some speakers in the conference programme without their previous consent. Furthermore, the Organization is deeply concerned about widely-reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been levelled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba. Whilst it is not for UNESCO to pronounce itself in this regard, the Organization restates its firm moral and practical commitment to combating the sexual exploitation of children, in application of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires States to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and violence”.

UNESCO WITHDRAWS FROM CONFERENCE

Paris, September 15 – UNESCO has decided it will no longer sponsor nor take part in a conference it had been due to co-organize with the Institute of Sathya Sai Education (ISSE, Thailand) and The Flinders University Institute of International Education (Australia), in Puttaparthi, India, from September 25 to 29. The decision means UNESCO is no longer associated in any way – through sponsorship, organization or participation of any kind – with the conference on Strengthening Values Education: Innovative Approaches to Teacher Education for Peace and International Understanding.

UNESCO’s withdrawal was prompted by several factors. Certain decisions were taken by the ISSE without consultation, such as plans to hold some of the sessions at the Ashram of the Sathya Sai movement in Puttaparthi, and the inclusion of some speakers in the conference programme without their previous consent. Furthermore, the Organization is deeply concerned about widely-reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been levelled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba. Whilst it is not for UNESCO to pronounce itself in this regard, the Organization restates its firm moral and practical commitment to combating the sexual exploitation of children, in application of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires States to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and violence.

(See: http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/10/UNESCO.htm and the advisory on the wayback archive machine at: http://web.archive.org/web/20031003020809/http://www.unesco.org/education/highlights/media_advisory.htm).

Wide Danish Public Outcry Against Sathya Sai  Cult’s Projected Multi Million Dollar ‘Sai International School’

Denmark’s national broadcaster DR made the carefully researched, one-hour documentary Seduced.  It was very critical of Sai Baba. It was first screened January 30, 2002.  Danish municipal authorities acted against the Sathya Sai Organisation, ensuring that the sale to it of the famous Arresødal castle in Copenhagen did not eventuate. Bob Bozzani, one of the top officials in the Sathya Sai Organization of the U.S.A., had donated several millions of dollars to the venture. The venue was to have been used as a ‘Sai International School’. Top Sai Baba leaders Thorbjörn Meyer and Jørgen Trygved initiated several litigations against DR, all of which failed – even though they had retained the top litigation lawyers in Denmark.

The DR producer told me that Thorbjörn Meyer was so rude to the distinguished head of Denmark’s top national television and radio Director, Christian Nissen, that he had to be removed from the office. 

Seduced has had several repeats in Denmark and Norway. In an English version and retitled Seduced By Sai Baba, it screened in Australia, February 14, 2004. Litigation threats against the highly-respected multicultural national broadcaster SBS, by Sai Baba’s then Australian leader, T. Ramanathan failed. He also threatened both to sue me and to have me criminally prosecuted. See HERE and HERE. He, unlike his close associates Meyer and Trygved, never went near a court. Sai Baba devotees who know Ramanathan and a number of other leaders well know that, where the can, they bluff and bully. As indeed would befit those at the helm of a formidable cult. Here – in his threatening letter to SBS (Australia’s highly-esteemed multicultural television and radio broadcaster) – see LINK . This sorry display, by any democratic society’s reckoning – is a example of the Ramanathan’s (and a number of close Sai Baba men’s) muckracking style.

See Update to this article:  Staff Sex and Bullying Allegations At Sathya Sai School Leicester (UK)

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 4, 2012

Some Useful Video Footage

1) Three robes from Sai (Filesize 654Kb)

2) Numerous ‘materialisations (Filesize 1.12 Mb

3) Alaya Rahm tells of Sai Baba threats and oral sex abuse of him when still a minor 1.05Mb)

4) Testimony – Sai Baba tried anal sex etc. (Filesize 1.0 Mb)

5) Al Rahm tells of his learning of the sex abuse of his son

6) Alaya’s mother tells of her reaction

7) Indian student sex abuse victims cannot speak out (Filesize 340Kb)

8) The Rahm’s son’s fears if he told the truth about Sai sex abuse (Filesize 515 Kb)

9) Alaya Rahm was told not to tell and threatened by Sai Baba (Filesize 840 Kb)

Note:  The US State Department were contacted by the BBC (filesize 1.26 Mb) and confirmed their Travel Advisory warning as being directed specifically against Sathya Sai Baba. In the Danish film ‘Seduced’, There is also video testimony that many students were abused 

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