Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

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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