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.
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.
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:
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.
Brief Notes and Links on the Origins of the Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Cult
David 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.
After Glen Meloy’s death, Robert 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.
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
This entry was posted on September 4, 2012 at 9:42 am and is filed under Uncategorized. Tagged: Cheng Ho Lim, Cover Ups, Cults, Dr Michael Goldstein, India, Leicester Sathya Sai School, Sathya Sai Organization, Scandal, Sects, Sexual Abuse, Teacher Abuse, Teacher Bullying, UK), Usha Lim. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.