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Archive for May, 2013

A Positive Approach To Overcoming Racism: An RUA Project In Sydney, Australia

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 30, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Yesterday’s news story in The Australian (see full article below) about the ‘Respect, Understanding, Acceptance’ (RUA) project among some schools in Sydney, Australia, is inspiring. The newspaper reports:

NINE years ago, a Jewish girl was walking home from school on Sydney’s north shore when a busload of students from a neighbouring school roared past her and began shouting racist slurs.

Rather than insist on harsh punishments against the students involved, the state’s Jewish leadership proposed a novel solution of bringing the distraught girl face-to-face with her anti-Semitic attackers.

“We started out with 20 Catholic students, 20 Jewish and 20 Muslim students and got them talking to each other,” Vic Alhadeff, chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, said.

“The students were able to ask direct questions about why people with different cultures or faiths or backgrounds engage in their different cultural practices. It was an enormous benefit and an opportunity for the students.”

Almost a decade later the program – now labelled Respect, Understanding, Acceptance – involves more than 1500 Sydney school students each year, brought together in groups of 100 or 200 to learn about each other and to discuss issues of racism.

Sarva Dharma SymbolsThe Sathya Sai Organization has long made much of the so-called ‘All Faiths’ credo (Sarva Dharma).

Sarva Dharma US StyleClearly, it does not denigrate various faiths, and to this extent cannot be regarded as a force of active division and conflict. In fact, Sai Baba centers teach children the main elements of the major world religions, and many Sai centers invite practitioners of those religions to give introductory talks, whether to children or adults.

Worldwide, a great many worthy organizations do extraordinary work.  But those familiar with Sai Baba and his Indian leaders’ talks will recall gross exaggerations about his impact around the world. Sathya Sai Baba and his leaders had their chance to make good their claims about bringing religions into mutual respect and harmony. In neither India nor the rest of the world, has Puttaparthi has been visible as a broker of any remarkable peace and harmony.

However, Sai Baba followers from other countries know but – as befits the cultic mind in denial – turn a deaf ear to the extraordinary, tall claims.The claims do great injustice to the countless people and groups doing signal work for a better world.

Throughout many decades, despite all the ‘Sarva Dharma’ talk within Sai Baba circles, the overwhelming influence seen at Puttaparthi is classical Hinduism. In a systemically vague notion, this, Sathya Sai Baba proclaimed, he would restore, and much of the achievement he would fulfil in his own lifetime. He achieved nothing of the sort, a fact which his devotees adroitly ignore. See: Sai Baba claims all power & the universe is in his hand (video clip). Posted by robertpriddy on August 1, 2011

Even the most diligent search fails to turn up evidence of any significant Sathya Sai Baba impact in, for example, the ecumenical world, or in international fora for solving key challenges like war, racism, genocide, world poverty, environmental destruction, and so on.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Students brought together to learn about each other and discuss issues of racism

Students from the program

At the RUA gathering yesterday were, from left, Alysa Vinokur, Wassim Naboulsi, Lizz Diggins, Jordan Werner-Hall, Maddi Breen and Mahmoud Skef.  Picture: James Croucher Source: The Australian

NINE years ago, a Jewish girl was walking home from school on Sydney’s north shore when a busload of students from a neighbouring school roared past her and began shouting racist slurs.

Rather than insist on harsh punishments against the students involved, the state’s Jewish leadership proposed a novel solution of bringing the distraught girl face-to-face with her anti-Semitic attackers.

“We started out with 20 Catholic students, 20 Jewish and 20 Muslim students and got them talking to each other,” Vic Alhadeff, chief executive of the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, said.

“The students were able to ask direct questions about why people with different cultures or faiths or backgrounds engage in their different cultural practices. It was an enormous benefit and an opportunity for the students.”

Almost a decade later the program – now labelled Respect, Understanding, Acceptance – involves more than 1500 Sydney school students each year, brought together in groups of 100 or 200 to learn about each other and to discuss issues of racism.

The program is touted as a way of helping young Australians break the cycles of racism demonstrated by recent incidents involving ABC presenter Jeremy Fernandez — abused with his daughter on a bus in February — and AFL star Adam Goodes, who was branded an “ape” by a 13-year-old female spectator in Melbourne at the weekend.

“Clearly, some racism which one encounters is coming from the home, and that is where the real challenge is. We must counter negative messages, the bigoted messages coming from the home,” Mr Alhadeff said. “There is no such thing as a bystander. If you’re a bystander, you’re part of the problem.”

Yesterday’s RUA gathering at the University of NSW allowed students from Granville Boys High – a public school in Sydney’s strongly-Islamic west – to come face-to-face with pupils from Brigidine College and Masada College, a Catholic girls school and Jewish school on the city’s affluent north shore.

Brigidine student Maddi Breen, 16, said the meeting gave her an opportunity to meet and mingle with the city’s Muslims, who are a rare sight in St Ives, where her school and Masada are located.

“I don’t think we have any Islamic people at my school. We learn about Islam when we study religion, but this is giving us a chance to meet and understand each other,” she said.

Granville’s Mahmoud Skef, 15, said he had learned that Jews prayed three times a day.

Muslims make up 18.5 per cent of the population in Granville, compared with 0.6 per cent in St Ives. Jews account for 13 per cent of St Ives residents, compared with 0.3 per cent in Granville.

From Archives of Racismnoway comes this undated article.

Anti-racism education for Australian schools

School initiatives

Respect, Understanding and Acceptance

150 students come together for intercultural experience

Respect - Understanding - Acceptance ABOUT 150 Jewish, Muslim, Armenian, Aboriginal and Christian students from four north shore schools came together at the Galstaun College in Ingleside last week for the first event of an innovative three-part intercultural program titled “Respect, Understanding and Acceptance”. Devised by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Education Secretariat, the program brings together students from the Galstaun Armenian College, Masada College (a Jewish school), the Australian Islamic College of Sydney and St Paul’s Catholic College, Manly.

The students met for a day of discussion and multimedia performances.

Guest speaker Dai Le, Community Relations Manager for the NSW Liberal Party, told the students of her treacherous journey to Australia on a tiny boat escaping Vietnam. She stressed the importance of building bridges between the diverse cultures which call this country home. NSW Jewish Board of Deputies CEO Vic Alhadeff said the program encourages the students “to respect each others’ differences and to have the guts to speak out when you see someone being isolated, marginalised or discriminated against.”

The second event of the program will be held at the Sydney Jewish Museum on Harmony Day in May and the third at Masada College in October. Both will feature interactive sessions with Jewish, Muslim, Armenian, Aboriginal and Catholic speakers.

Clusters of the RUA program involving other cultural and faith groups will also run in the east and south west of Sydney in 2010.

For more information : or to join a cluster: email benmenashe@nswjbd.com

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Cardinal Pell Admits “False Documents” and “Reprehensible Cover-ups”

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 29, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

After all the years of betrayal, and only since the epoch-making advent of a high-powered Royal Commission set up to investigate institutional sexual abuse, Cardinal George Pell, Australia’s foremost Roman Catholic official, now admits long years of Church silence and cover-up. The hearing to which I refer below, though, is of a parliamentary committee of the State of  Victoria, Australia. See:  

Cardinal Pell admits  Catholic Church coverup of sexual abuse by priests

Cardinal Pell admits long Catholic Church coverup of sexual abuse by priests

I have earlier (14 November 2013) written of Pell, stating:

“In Australia, both many Roman Catholics and the public more widely regard the head of the Catholic Church in this country, Cardinal Pell, as an arch conservative. In my view, Pell is symptomatic of a grave and untreated problem quite other than the issue of any continuing institutional cover up. Too often, reform does not get to the roots of a problem, and becomes a different sort of cover up – that is to say, there is a covering up of, or of a blindness to, those very problematic roots. One of these roots problems is a focus on institutional survival. This greatly thwarts the addressing of justice and healing issues that relate to sexual abuse survivors. One area in which this occurs is an institution’s lawyer-mediated, miserable out-of-court settlements. Mr and Mrs Foster’s case is one of a great many which show the cruelty of such arrangements. (See video footage): Parents’ harrowing story, ABC News Breakfast, November 13: 2013.”  Australian Royal Commission To Probe Institutional Handling Of Child Sexual Abuse. Posted by Barry Pittard on November 14, 2012

From long experience in dealing with the international Sathya Sai Organization’s profound denial and cover-up, and the tremendous betrayal and hurt many families worldwide, I know too of the culture of cultic secrecy and shrinkage of normal human compassion.  And I strongly recommend my readers to view the ABC (Australia’s national broadcaster) footage of the Roman Catholic family who lost a daughter to suicide and saw their other daughter succumb to binge drinking – outcomes sadly familiar to those who deal with the evil that is sexual abuse.

We have many former Sathya Sai devotees whose testimony is compelling  like that of  husband and wife Anthony and Chrissie Foster.  Click here for Video: Anthony and Christine Foster on Pell’s testimony (7.30). 

Mr and Mrs Anthony and Christine Foster, Roman Catholics who have waged a long battle to expose the Catholic Church cover-up of clergy sexual abuse. The story of their two daughters abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest Father Kevin Dillon of St Mary of the Angels Catholic Parish in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, is most harrowing.

Mr and Mrs Anthony and Christine Foster, Roman Catholics who have waged a long battle to expose the Catholic Church cover-up of clergy sexual abuse. The story of their two daughters abuse at the hands of a Catholic priest, Father Kevin Dillon of St Mary of the Angels Catholic Parish in Geelong, Victoria, Australia, is most harrowing. We need to listen, though, with our hearts ….

The background story is that the Foster family’s parish priest, Father Kevin O’Donnell, repeatedly raped Foster’s two daughters, Emma and Katie, in primary school. Emma committed suicide and Katie became a binge drinker who became disabled when a car hit her.

Mr and Mrs Foster’s moving testimony depicts Cardinal Pell as a man who appears to act in a very different way before the very distinguished commissioners to the way he responded when the husband and wife dealt with him before. Mr Foster states that Pell spoke with a “sociopathic lack of empathy” when he showed him harrowing photos of the abused Foster sisters and asked that Church to “go the extra mile” to care for victims. Mrs Foster spoke of Pell’s bullying, unfeeling and legalistic way, cutting across her and her husbands points.

Key points: What Pell told the inquiry

  • Apologised for decades of abuse in Melbourne diocese.

  • Admitted a systemic cover-up of child abuse within the Church.

  • Said former Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns destroyed documents relating to abuse cases.

  • Said former Melbourne archbishop Frank Little covered up cases of abuse.

  • Said abuse became widespread because the clergy did not talk about the problem.

  • Defended the Melbourne Response, which he established to deal with abuse cases.

  • Defended maximum compensation level of $75,000 for victims of abuse.

The International Sathya Sai Organization Is No Different

It is the same craven silence and cover-up we see in the international Sathya Sai Organization. For decades, they too have stood aside and shut up. Indeed, all the while, they have striven for acceptance within mainstream communities around the world as good and ecumenical citizens. Leaders outright lied to Sathya Sai sect members stating that those who raised questions were simply disgruntled and untrustworthy, and other such outrageous untruths which many members knew perfectly well were inconsistent with those persons’ behavior over many years.

A number of us are now intent on ensuring that the Royal Commission is well-advised of the appalling failure of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization to show duty of care to victims. 

Sathya Sai Baba devotees, Roman Catholics, and many other religionists believe:  Act truthfully and God will come to your aid. But no – they put their faith in silence, inaction and cover-up.

One of the items in the Sathya Sai Organization’s ‘Code of Conduct’ is:

‘Not indulging in talking ill of others, especially in their absence’

But far too often, their talk is hypocritical. They do not walk their prayers, nor all their fine talk about truth, righteousness, peace and love. Witness the incredible, distortions and hateful internet attacks on former Sathya Sai Baba devotees, some of whom spent decades of the utmost dedication.

To this day – despite the huge amount of exposure of their guru and cult – Sathya Sai Baba devotees stand by and let their more vociferous fellows cause untold suffering for those sexually and in other ways abused. And distress and hardship, moreover, for those who have spoken out. These so-called ‘spiritual’ devotees revile and shun those who have sacrificed much to expose the terrible Sathya Sai Baba’s terrible abuses and those of others in his organization. 

These devotees proclaim themselves dedicated to  truth, righteousness, peace and love. They do not like to be called a cult, yet they summarily evict from their organization anyone who raises the simplest questions about the sexual abuse and other allegations from so many people from around the world. The Sathya Sai Organization refuses to institute those very processes of transparency and duty of care which responsible organizations properly adhere to.

For but a few examples of the Sai cult’s treatment of those long known as truthful and decent human beings, see:

              Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

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

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

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

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

Alaya Rahm’s Testimony – Some Key Statements
the full statement of the Rahm family and the International JuST Group is here 

The ‘Sai-lencing’ of Conscience-raised Voices

U.S. Psychologist Shirley Pike’s Moving Challenge To Sathya Sai Baba and His Organization

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Updated Tue May 28, 2013 8:27am AEST

From ABC PM News Report

Video: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-27/cardinal-george-pell-sorry-for-church-abuse/4716132

Video: Pell apologises on behalf of Catholic Church sex abuse (7.30)

Photo: Cardinal George Pell told the Victorian Government inquiry into child abuse he was “fully apologetic and absolutely sorry” about decades of child sex abuse within the Church. (AAP: Joe Castro)

Related Story: Pell admits cover-up of Church sex abuse

Related Story: Victims demand truth about church abuse

Map: Melbourne 3000

The father of two girls who were abused by a Catholic priest says apologies by Australia’s most senior Catholic, George Pell, are meaningless unless they are followed up with actions.

Yesterday Cardinal Pell, the Archbishop of Sydney, told the Victorian parliamentary inquiry into child abuse that he was “fully apologetic and absolutely sorry” about decades of sexual abuse within the church.

During his evidence he admitted the fear of scandal led to the cover-up of child sexual abuse in the Church.

Key points: What Pell told the inquiry

  • Apologised for decades of abuse in Melbourne diocese.

  • Admitted a systemic cover-up of child abuse within the Church.

  • Said former Ballarat bishop Ronald Mulkearns destroyed documents relating to abuse cases.

  • Said former Melbourne archbishop Frank Little covered up cases of abuse.

  • Said abuse became widespread because the clergy did not talk about the problem.

  • Defended the Melbourne Response, which he established to deal with abuse cases.

  • Defended maximum compensation level of $75,000 for victims of abuse.

In its submission to the inquiry, the Catholic Church said at least 620 Victorian children had been abused by its clergy in the past 80 years.

During sometimes tense exchanges, Cardinal Pell insisted individuals were to blame for what had happened, not the Church structure itself.

“I’m certainly totally committed to improving the situation. I know the Holy Father [Pope] is too,” he said.

Cardinal Pell denied the Church’s assets were hidden in trusts to avoid paying compensation to victims and said the Church would pay whatever lawmakers decided it should pay to victims of child sexual abuse and their families.

Cardinal Pell was the Archbishop of Melbourne from 1996 until 2001, and one of the lead architects of the Melbourne Response, the Church’s response to abuse.

Anthony and Chrissie Foster’s two daughters were repeatedly raped in primary school by their parish priest, Father Kevin O’Donnell.

Emma Foster later committed suicide and her sister, Katie, took to binge drinking and was left disabled after being hit by a car.

Audio: Pell admits fear of scandal led to child-abuse cover up (PM)

Mr Foster says he hopes the inquiry leads to legislative changes to compel the Catholic Church to better look after victims.

“We hope that we will get the right recommendations out of this inquiry,” he said.

“Then we’ll get action by this government to change the legislation, to force the Catholic Church to look after victims, to enable victims to get true justice, and so that then there will be consequences for anyone who tries to do this sort of covering up in the future.”

Calls for greater compassion and support

Video: Anthony and Christine Foster on Pell’s testimony (7.30)

Mr Foster has previously told the inquiry his family was unsatisfied with the way Cardinal Pell dealt with his daughters’ case.

And after the hearing he said his feelings remained unchanged.

He said Cardinal Pell’s apologies were delivered with a “sociopathic lack of empathy” and called on the Church to “go the extra mile” to try and look after victims.

“They don’t do that,” Mr Foster said.

“In our case, part of our settlement was that once we had the money, they would provide no more care for Emma.

“So they are not about going the extra mile, and they need to be about that.”

Mr Foster said in response to evidence given at the enquiry, the Government needed to make legislative changes to enable victims to receive much greater compensation.

“Which will have two effects: one, it will help restore the lives of victims, and it will make sure that the Catholic Church has a real interest in this not happening again,” he said.

“I think [Cardinal Pell] failed to address the whole issue of compensation, [he was] very defensive, saying that the compensation was based on the same as the Government victims of crime system, where there is no comparison.

Audio: Foster says Pell didn’t say what he wanted to hear (PM)

“He tried to draw comparisons between trying to say that the Catholic Church was not responsible for many of these victims’ injuries.

“I think we all know that the Catholic Church is responsible for all 300 of the victims that they’ve acknowledged, never mind the thousands of others that are out there, which he admitted today they have failed to systematically investigate and try to find.”

Priest backs increased support to abuse victims

Watch Cardinal Pell’s full testimony

  1. Part 1

  2. Part 2

  3. Part 3

Father Kevin Dillon of St Mary of the Angels Catholic Parish in Geelong has been critical of the Church’s response to victims of sexual abuse.

After the hearing, Father Dillon told the ABC’s PM program Cardinal Pell’s comments were similar to previous Church leaders who have given evidence at the inquiry.

“Which has perhaps been disappointing insofar as maybe people were hoping for some radical shift, to be able to ensure that people who have been abused can have a little bit more hope to believe in,” he said.

“But nonetheless I think it’s had its role in the whole inquiry, and ultimately it’ll be when that inquiry gives its findings later in the year – I think at the end of September – that perhaps the real import of both today and the previous months will really be felt.”

Father Dillon said the Church’s leadership needed to do more to support and address the needs of abuse victims, their family and supporters.

“I’d like to see a lot more emphasis put, on all levels, on what can be done for the people who are damaged, hurting, wounded, and we know who they are,” he said.

“More of them have come forward as a result of these inquires and the Royal Commission to come, and we can do something about them.”

Audio: Geelong priest disappointed with Pell’s approach (PM)

Father Dillon said Cardinal Pell’s admission that he believes the Church should face the same calls for compensation as any other organisation was “helpful”.

“I think we should face the same calls for compensation, more so, simply because of what we stand for, and simply because a greater degree of trust has been placed in Church personnel than would have been placed in members of other organisations where people perhaps have their guard up,” he said.

“But for many decades, the amount of trust placed in Church personnel has been enormous, and that’s been part of the problem, and that’s why those who’ve offended have been able to get away with as much as they did.”

Read more:

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Cardinal George Pell has confessed to creation of false documents and ‘reprehensible’ cover-ups of child sex abuse

CARDINAL George Pell has confessed false documents were created and priests took part in “reprehensible” cover-ups of child sexual abuse

The most prominent Catholic in Australia was grilled by a Victorian parliamentary committee for 4 1/2 hours about systemic failings by the church to deal with abuse.

Cardinal Pell said the fear of scandals drove much of the reaction to rampant abuse in the 1970s and ’80s, but that a concern about money was also involved.

“I am fully apologetic and absolutely sorry,” he said.

“I would agree that we’ve been slow to address the anguish of the victims and dealt with it very imperfectly,” the cardinal said.

In a victory for victims, Cardinal Pell said he would ask the Vatican to send all documents it holds on Victorian sex abuse accusations to the inquiry – a promise he had also made to the federal royal commission into abuse.

Cardinal Pell defended the church’s compensation scheme, saying it abided by the “law of the land”.

But he opened the door to greater compensation for some victims saying a $27,000 payment to a man raped 10 times was “miserable”.

Abuse victims at the hearing said they were unconvinced by the cardinal’s apology. Some walked out soon after he began speaking.

Anthony Foster, whose daughters, Emma and Katie, were abused by Melbourne priest Kevin O’Donnell in Oakleigh in the 1980s, said he wasn’t satisfied.

Cardinal told Hell awaits him

Pell defends capped compensation for victims

‘It’s time to stand down’, victims say

“It’s another apology. It’s the same words again. It’s just not backed up with the actions that we need.

“What we need is real care for victims,” he said.

Mr Foster also hit out at Cardinal Pell’s repeatedly saying he was not responsible for changing the church structure and was not the “Catholic prime minister of Australia”.

National MP David O’Brien said letters showed that one abusing priest should “submit a resignation as parish priest on health grounds”, and asked if that was further evidence of church cover-ups. “Yes, it is,” Cardinal Pell said.

Cardinal George Pell has confessed to creation of false documents and ‘reprehensible’ cover-ups of child sex abuse

Cardinal George Pell

Parliamentary inquiry into child sex abuse in Victoria. Picture: Mike Keating Source: Herald Sun

CARDINAL George Pell was told that Hell awaits him after he finished four hours of evidence to the parliamentary inquiry into child abuse yesterday.

He didn’t seem fazed: he has, after all, had almost two decades to perfect his explanation for what he describes as the Catholic Church’s “imperfect” response to paedophile priests.

Cardinal Pell played chess as a kid. Through the afternoon he struck the pose of a master pondering his next move – elbows on the arms of his chair, fingers steepled in front of him.

Yet his opening play was the obvious one, a thoroughly modern tact adopted by corporations keen to be seen to accepting responsibility for perceived wrongdoings.

Cardinal Pell may have been refused his request to give an opening statement, but he gave an abbreviated form anyway – he offered his “full apology” for the Catholic Church’s failings in handling child abuse cases.

From there, his was a measured performance, almost relaxed in contrast to the tensions before he turned up at 1.34pm. Female attendees queried the heightened security.

In the press to get a seat, priests were accused of pushing into the line. An overflow room was arranged for the expected rush. Five minutes before Pell turned up – his head stooped as always, as though he is embarrassed by his height – news filtered through that the overflow room had overflowed.

Cardinal Pell was free of the lapses of flippancy that marked Archbishop Denis Hart’s appearance last week. Yet it was dulled of its revelationary impact in part because of Hart’s evidence.

Like Hart, and in a tone similar to a seasoned politician, Cardinal Pell spoke of “regrets” and “errors” and “cover-ups”.

Cardinal Pell was forced to weaken his defence of Archbishop Frank Little. He was subdued when he agreed the evidence showed Little’s actions were “reprehensible”. That’s one conclusion from the past week’s evidence – Little’s lifework may have to be rewritten to include some terrible errors of judgment.

Yet he seemed comfortable enough with his beliefs and thinking. Most telling, perhaps, was when the inquiry’s David O’Brien lectured Cardinal Pell about the trustworthiness of the Catholic Church.

Not that O’Brien offered up the advice itself – many in the community might have been cheering him on – but that Cardinal Pell, the most senior church member in the country, appeared to receive the de facto sermon so humbly.

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Rolf Harris, 83, Facing Underage Sex Accusations, Does Second Big Stage Show

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 20, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013

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Australian entertainer, Rolf Harris, 83, long  mentioned as a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, has just done a second concert for this year (the last being in February). In the last two years, British police arrested him for questioning about underage sexual assault allegations. He is required to report to police for further question in about a week.

Last November, he was interviewed under caution, and again arrested last March, two days prior to turning 83.  Since then, a second Australian woman given testimony against him.

See: Another Australian Woman Accuses Rolf Harris of Sexual Abuse When She Was Young.  Posted by Barry Pittard on May 15, 2013. And: Rolf Harris (Sathya Sai Baba Cult Man): Scotland Yard Investigators Travel to Australia. Posted by Barry Pittard on May 3, 2013, and:  Investigators Can Probe Rolf Harris’s Links With Sathya Sai Baba, Target Of Major Serial Pedophile Allegations  Posted by Barry Pittard on April 22, 2013. And: British Police Re-Arrest Rolf Harris In Operation Yewtree Pedophilia Hunt.Posted by Barry Pittard on April 20, 2013.

ABC NEWS

Rolf Harris thanks fans for ‘support’ at concert

Entertainer Rolf HarrisPhoto: Rolf Harris made his first public appearance in weeks at a concert in Bristol. (Reuters: Mick Tsikas, file photo)
Veteran Australian entertainer Rolf Harris has received standing ovations at his first performance since it was reported that he had been questioned by police over alleged sexual offences.

Harris made no direct reference to the allegations he is facing, but alluded to his situation several times during the show in Bristol in south-west England.

“You’ve got no idea what this means to have you turn up with such enthusiasm and such support,” he told the audience.

Harris received standing ovations at the beginning and end of the performance.

How Manipulated Publics Ignore The Corruption And Lap Up The Hype

Just like corporate spin doctors in other areas, Managements of artists faced with scandals tailor-make concerts, public appearances, interviews, etc., that will defuse the scandal as much as possible.

Ignoring the seriousness of the crimes and betrayals (although one must emphasize in Harris’s case ALLEGED ones), this chicanery expresses itself variously – e.g., ‘the show must go on’, ‘toughing it out’, ‘old news is stale news and the public will soon forget’, ‘the artist has done a lot of good charitable work, is working hard at overcoming weaknesses, and, like all of us, deserves our forgiveness and help’ ….

In some respects, in the hands of adroit spin-masters bad publicity can be re-packaged as ‘good publicity’. A story has many angles to exploit: Our happy memories of great concerts we have enjoyed, and by which we mark our own life stages. The suffering of the artist under pressure of the accusations, the arrests. The suffering of his or her family and friends in the face of revelations ….

A masterpiece of recovery from shockingly bad publicity is McDonald’s strategy of survival after the famous Mc Libel case, often branded as ‘the longest-running case in English history’.

A major aspect of the McDonald corporation’s image recovery was to emphasize how much it was doing for charity. In the exposure of the international Sathya Sai Organization, we have had to endure the oft-repeated, fallacious argument that whatever laws Sathya Sai Baba broke he did much social work. (In passing, I note that it was his devotees who did this work!).

McDonald's Iconic Clown, all innocence and fun, as it wereMcDonald’s icon cleverly suggests openness, innocence and fun – qualities far removed from that corporation’s long, corrupt, and environment and health destroying  history

The international fast food giant had to withstand tremendously adverse publicity about perjured witnesses. It had to pay large fines to prevent its experts (who proved not to be experts at all) from going to gaol. It tried extensively to buy off witnesses via settlements that were, in fact, bribes. It hired ex-policemen in a long series of devious and rotten malpractices, and much else that sickened the public.

It is a public that too soon forgets, and acts shocked each time that the wool pulled over its eyes is, for the while, pulled from its eyes.

Exposed were McDonald’s profoundly unethical practices (not in essence different from many other corporations). Fortunately the two remarkable and penurious young people would not yield to the vast pressure McDonalds put on them, and they ended up attracting a world-wide support campaign and the skills of one of the greatest legal minds in the world, the Australian Geoffrey Robertson QC, famous as a human rights lawyer, academic, author and television and radio broadcaster.MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Photo: Geoffrey Robertson, 2006. BA LLB (Hons) Sydney, BCL (Oxon) Rhodes Scholar, Honorary Degrees (Doctor of Laws) from Sydney, Brunel and Bucharest Universities, Visiting Professor at Queen Mary College and the New College of the Humanities.

See: McLibel. Burger Culture on Trial, by John Vidal. Published in 1997, Macmillan Publishers Ltd ISBN 0 333 69461 9 (hardback) ISBN 0-330-35237-7 (paperback). And: The biggest bunfight in history? McLibel by John Vidal, reviewed by John Mortimer, The Sunday Times (UK); 13 April 97.

The entertainment industry is vast, corporate, corrupt. No less, indeed than many corporations and large organizations in general. They are mendacious, secret and unjust. And these in a way that some of us know to our immense cost in the case of the international Sathya Sai Organization. These instrumentalities are alike in the evils of cover up and ruination of the lives of many, especially those who attempt to tell the truth. It is to be hoped that, if the two women who have testified against Rolf Harris, saying that he sexually abused them when they were very young, are speaking the truth that they will have the best legal representation. And that the courts – too often harshly adversarial – will be models of a sort of justice that will encourage many more sexually abused people to speak out, rather than being confronted by bullying lawyers and courts systems badly in need of reform.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Rolf Harris takes stage in Bristol

Rolf Harris on stage outside Buckingham Palace

Australian performer Rolf Harris has appeared on stage for the first time since his arrest. Source: AAP

AUSTRALIAN performer Rolf Harris has appeared on stage for the first time since it was reported he had been questioned by British police over alleged sex offences.

Harris received standing ovations at the beginning and end of his performance at the Bristol Hippodrome in southwest England on Saturday night, the ABC reports.

He thanked the audience for their support.

“You’ve got no idea what this means to have you turn up with such enthusiasm and such support,” he told the 900-strong crowd.

British newspaper The Sun says the 83-year-old was ushered into the theatre through the back door before the show in which he played the didgeridoo, painted and sang.

He has been named by the media as the entertainer arrested in late March by police from Operation Yewtree in London, which was established following the Jimmy Savile scandal.

He has not been charged and denies any wrongdoing.

Syney Morning Herald

Show goes on for Harris despite abuse probe

May 17, 2013 – 7:01AM
Nick Miller

Nick Miller. Europe Correspondent

Exposure .. Rolf Harris' art is now the target of vandals after being named in the Jimmy Savile investigation.Entertainer Rolf Harris will proceed with his second concert of the year, even while he waits to learn whether he will face charges over sex assault allegations

This Saturday night he is due to perform at Bristol’s Hippodrome, in a show that promises an opportunity to hear “classic songs” from “one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers”.

The promotional material promises that Mr Harris will perform his biggest hits including Stairway to Heaven, Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport, and Two Little Boys, with his seven-piece live band.

He will also paint a portrait live on stage.

“There is nobody quite like Rolf and there will be nothing quite like this show,” the ad says.

Mr Harris’ only other public appearance this year was in early February, when he performed at the Festival Hall.

He was in good spirits at that show, joking with the audience “I’ve had several requests. But I’m afraid I’m going to keep singing.”

The Daily Mirror reported he “looked sprightly” but appeared to be close to tears in an emotional third encore.

Mr Harris was interviewed under caution in November last year on suspicious of sexual offences. He was arrested again in March, two days before his 83rd birthday, and again released without charges.

At the time police said he was bailed “to a date in May pending further inquiries”.

In the last few weeks it has emerged police interviewed two women in Australia in connection with sex abuse claims.

One said she was a witness to an incident, another claimed Harris sexually assaulted her when she was a teenager in the UK.

A spokeswoman for the Hippodrome said ticket sales had been going “very well” for Saturday’s concert.

The venue’s website yesterday had only a few hundred seats left for sale, at the very back, from a capacity of almost 2000.

“The show is going ahead,” the spokeswoman said. “I am afraid we are not making any further comments.”

Asked if the management were treating the concert as ‘business as usual’, she replied “absolutely”.

However, the ‘Events’ page of Harris’ website says only “Sorry, there are no forthcoming events.”

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Some Select Readings on Our Early Exposure Campaigns 

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009

Barry Pittard Replies to Saionline.com writer, 1 July 2002

Sai Baba-A Degenerative Disease?

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 16, 2007

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 4, 2007

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 14, 2009

BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 26, 2007

 Ramanathan Threatens Barry Pittard With Law.

Posted Barry Pittard, 14 April 2003.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Another Australian Woman Accuses Rolf Harris of Sexual Abuse When She Was Young

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 15, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Perhaps, in regard to serious accusations against any person, there is a cautionary tale in the story below.

A second Australian woman has come forward on national television, and in a mass-circulation magazine Womans Day, with sexual abuse testimony against the now 83 years old Rolf Harris, the famous Australian entertainer (long associated with devotion to Sathya Sai Baba). For my earlier takes on British police arrests of Rolf Harris, see: Rolf Harris (Sathya Sai Baba Cult Man): Scotland Yard Investigators Travel to Australia. Posted by Barry Pittard on May 3, 2013, and:  Investigators Can Probe Rolf Harris’s Links With Sathya Sai Baba, Target Of Major Serial Pedophile Allegations  Posted by Barry Pittard on April 22, 2013. And: British Police Re-Arrest Rolf Harris In Operation Yewtree Pedophilia Hunt.Posted by Barry Pittard on April 20, 2013.

Mother of three, Ms Tonya Lee, alleges that Rolf Harris sexually abused her when she was 14 years old.

A factor needs almost endless reiteration, almost endlessly. When a person makes accusation of sexual abuse years later, it does not necessarily mean that they are lying, mad, on a money-making stunt, seized by a false memory episode, etc . There is so much unconscious, averse psychological denial about sexual abuse, and much conscious coverup and deliberate, self-interested avoidance.  Commission of the crime of sexual abuse and, concomitantly, its coverup exist irrespective of socioeconomic background. The view that:

“Ninety percent of sexual abuse victims never tell.”Susan Forward, Ph.D., 1989. Innocence and Betrayal Overcoming the Legacy of Sexual Abuse

will now need ongoing review, principally in western societies, owing to a changing culture of confession and exposure. Think only for a second of the vast mass audience outreach of ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ or ‘Dr Phil’, not to mention countless others. However, despite such social sea changes, our experience in exposing the worldwide Sathya Sai organization’s coverup of sexual abuse, has always been a hugely uphill struggle. When we sought very credible witnesses in the intensive months of preparation for the BBC’s The Secret Swami, for which he and I were the main international coordinators, my great colleague the late Glen Meloy (USA) and I were privy to the deep personal struggle of Mark Roche, at that time in his 60’s, an American psychotherapist and former Sai Baba follower. At times, it was touch-and-go whether he could manage to jump off the brink into free-fall, courage and revelation. In BBC’s ‘Secret Swami’ Clip. Highly Respected Man Claims Sai Baba Abuse When Young. Posted by Barry Pittard on May 14, 2007, I wrote:

“Mark Roche says that, in a private place, Sai Baba offered him what is termed ‘pada namaskar‘. This is considered the greatest of privileges granted by a guru – called e.g., ‘bowing unto the Lotus Feet’). Sai Baba is reported to say, “I’ll give you a great chance”. Mark Roche says that Sai Baba then pulled up his robe and asked Mark to put his penis in his mouth. The BBC interviewer Tanya Datta asked, “Why would God want to put his penis in your mouth?” To those who have carefully considered the issues involved in issues such as abuse, self-esteem, the hunger to believe, the betrayal of faith, and human naivete, Roche’s answer resonates: “Got me!” (His emphasis indicated the meaning:  I simply do not know).

This sad scenario recurs in many Sai Baba abuse accounts from around the world, held by both former and non-devotee investigators, that attest to his widespread, serial sexual molestation of young males for many decades”.

the-secret-swami-bbc.jpg

  The film clip of Tanya Datta’s BBC television interview of Mark Roche is HERE.

See also: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision. Posted by Barry Pittard on April 4, 2007. And: Health Professional Comes Out On BBC: Sai Baba sexually abused him when young. Posted by Barry Pittard on April 26, 2011.

Only in his sixties did Mark call up the fortitude to speak publicly to BBC television of his experience of sexual abuse when he was in his teens at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba. See: BBC’s ‘Secret Swami’ Clip. Highly Respected Man Claims Sai Baba Abuse When Young. Posted by Barry Pittard on May 14, 2007.

In the latest case, The Age newspaper reports (see below):

“Ms Lee, 42, is the second person to go public with allegations about Harris, 83, after claims by another woman, Lauren Martell, that she witnessed an alleged incident in the early 1990s. Ms Martell, who was interviewed by Scotland Yard detectives at her home north of Sydney this month, was not paid for her media interviews”.

Speaking out in a paid interview to a peak-viewing Australian television show like A Current Affair, and telling her story in a weekly magazine read by millions of Australian women, may make reception of her testimony all the more difficult. News reports say, however, that Ms Lee first gave her testimony to police. But this will not keep her safe from any lawyers determined to shake her story, if the issue comes to trial. Too often, it is a merciless process, and it has long been why so many fear to testify, especially in sexual abuse cases. Many courts have a bad reputation for ensuring that survivors of sexual abuse are abused a second time – this time by shameless and barbaric forms of  lawyer attack.

Many praise Ms Lee for her courage in going public. But the same news report states:

“Former NSW director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery, QC, said the publication of the allegations had the potential to prejudice a hearing if the investigation ever reached that stage and that any trial may have to be adjourned for up to 12 months.‘I think if this woman has already given her story to authorities as a witness, then it’s even more morally indefensible,’ he said.Ms Lee’s ‘reliability as a witness’ may also be called into question for selling her story to a media outlet, he said. ‘The inference arises that the person may be telling a story or sticking to a story motivated by the reward that he or she has received or might receive at some future time.’”

Our own most outspoken people have, for over two decades, faced without blinking many threats, some of them legal. See: THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S FAILED THREATS AND COURT ATTEMPTS. Posted by robertpriddy on April 24, 2007. And: A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 3. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 25, 2010. And: Ramanathan Threatens Barry Pittard With LawPosted by Barry Pittard on http: Exbaba.com on April 4. 2003. 

Knowing of the great wealth and political power of the international Sathya Sai Organization, we felt that our best strength was – as it remains – to face the public and tell our story and trust that it will sense our honesty, clarity and integrity – whether we landed up in court with an appalling vulnerability or whether we got a hearing via the international media. Or both.

My own take on Ms Lee’s action – although I do not of course know her motivations – is that it may well be, given the difficulty of getting testimony out into the wider public, a good tactical move in the interests of getting this often tabooed subject much more out in the open. Whereas, however, I rather think she could well find the legal arena a minefield. And one where, unless she is very strong in herself, and has strong support among friends and well-wishers, she could be torn apart or in any other ways made to come unstuck by lawyers defending Rolf Harris.

Going widely public, she and others who may take the same route, may prevent stories from being killed in the law courts. See my article: Al Rahm’s Explanatory Letter To Sathya Sai Baba Internet Proxy Gerald Moreno. Posted by Barry Pittard on January 14, 2010

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Paid interviews may risk trial

May 13, 2013

Nick Ralston. Crime Reporter

Interview may risk future Harris trial

Tonya Lee’s sexual abuse allegations against entertainer Rolf Harris, aired in a paid interview with A Current Affair, could prejudice a potential future trial says professor of media at Macquarie University, Catharine Lumby.

Any potential criminal trial involving Rolf Harris could be prejudiced by a Wollongong woman’s decision to go public in paid interviews about how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by the entertainer.Mother-of-three Tonya Lee has alleged that the assualt occurred in a London pub in 1986 when she was 14. It allegedly occurred when Ms Lee was one of 12 members of a youth theatre group from Carlton, in Sydney’s south, on a six-week tour of Britain.In paid interviews with Woman’s Day and Channel Nine’s A Current Affair, brokered by celebrity agent Max Markson, Ms Lee said the troupe were in a pub when Harris allegedly sexually assaulted her.

Screen grab of Tonya Lee interview with A Current Affair. Tonya Lee on A Current Affair. Photo: Channel Nine

Ms Lee alleges Harris inappropriately touched her while they sat with the group at a table and again outside the pub’s bathroom.Ms Lee, 42, is the second person to go public with allegations about Harris, 83, after claims by another woman, Lauren Martell, that she witnessed an alleged incident in the early 1990s. Ms Martell, who was interviewed by Scotland Yard detectives at her home north of Sydney this month, was not paid for her media interviews.Mr Markson said that Ms Lee gave her interview after she had gone to police.

"Harris has strongly denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime". “Harris has strongly denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime”. Photo: Supplied

Harris has strongly denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime. Former NSW director of public prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery, QC, said the publication of the allegations had the potential to prejudice a hearing if the investigation ever reached that stage and that any trial may have to be adjourned for up to 12 months.‘‘I think if this woman has already given her story to authorities as a witness, then it’s even more morally indefensible,’’ he said.Ms Lee’s ‘‘reliability as a witness’’ may also be called into question for selling her story to a media outlet, he said. ‘‘The inference arises that the person may be telling a story or sticking to a story motivated by the reward that he or she has received or might receive at some future time.’’

Womans Day tear out of Rolf Harris abuse story. “Problematic”: The magazine story. Photo: Womans Day

Mr Markson said Ms Lee was within her rights to sell her story to Australian media, saying any trial would occur in Britain.She told the magazine she was going public in the hope other alleged victims might come forward.Hetty Johnston, founder of child protection group Bravehearts, praised Ms Lee, saying alleged victims find courage in others who speak out about abuse.‘‘The fact that it is a paid interview sullies it a bit but I do not believe that money would have been her motivating factor,’’ she said.Mr Markson said selling an exclusive was preferable to his client facing an all-in press conference.Mr Markson would not disclose how much Ms Lee, a bank manager, was paid for her story, or if she sought permission from investigators to do so.Catharine Lumby, a professor of media at Macquarie University, said: ‘‘It can be very problematic when there are ongoing investigations in giving an interview to media organisations whether there are payments or not.’’

———————————-
Source: The Age, Melbourne

Paid interview may ‘prejudice’ Harris case

LONDON - NOVEMBER 7:  Australian broadcaster and artist Rolf Harris  poses with the Officer of the Order of Australia, presented by the High Commissioner John Dauth, beside his wife Alwen at Australia House on November 7, 2012 in London, England.WPA Pool, Getty Images

Rolf Harris Awarded Officer of the Order of AustraliaReception for Prominent Papua New Guineans, Australians and New ZealandersBRITAIN-NZEALAND-AUSTRALIA-PNG-ROYALS-JUBILEE

Gallery: Rolf Harris 7 images

10 Updates
Any y potential criminal trial involving Rolf Harris could be prejudiced by a Wollongong woman’s decision to go public in paid interviews about how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by the entertainer, a top QC warns. Mother of three Tonya Lee …1 day ago, 4:39pm CDTFull article at: The Age
Update: 9
Quote:
“It’s a perfectly legitimate line of attack by a defence counsel in cross-examination.”Source: The Age
Update: 7

Paid interview may ‘prejudice’ Harris case

Source: The Canberra TimesAny potential criminal trial involving Rolf Harris could be prejudiced by a Wollongong woman’s decision to go public in paid interviews about how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by the entertainer, a top QC warns. Mother of three Tonya …
Full article at: The Canberra Times  More like this  1 day ago, 2:37pm CDT

Update: 5

Travelling conman targeting Sydney

Source: Ninemsn’I didn’t scream, I don’t know why’ Two hours ago An Australian woman who has battled depression, alcoholism and eating disorders says the course her life changed forever after she was allegedly sexually abused b …
Full article at: Ninemsn  More like this  1 day ago, 6:34am CDT

Update: 4

Police quiz second woman over Rolf Harris ‘sex assault’

Source: This Is LondonSave time by using your existing account to sign in to Evening Standard We’ll never share your information or post anything to your account without your permission Save time by using your existing account to sign in to Evening Standard We’ll …
Full article at: This Is London  More like this  1 day ago, 6:30am CDT

Update: 3

An allegation to which I very much want to hear Rolf’s answer

Source: Herald SunI distrust and very much dislike trial by media. Even so, I could not help being moved and persuaded by what I saw tonight on A Current Affair – an interview with Tonya Lee: A WOMAN who claims to have been sexually assaulted by iconic A …
Full article at: Herald Sun  More like this  1 day ago, 5:21am CDT

Update: 2

‘I didn’t scream, I don’t know why’

Source: NinemsnMs Lee said Harris abused her when she was a child. (A Current Affair) An Australian woman who has battled depression, alcoholism and eating disorders says the course her life changed forever after she was allegedly se …
Full article at: Ninemsn  More like this  1 day ago, 4:02am CDT

Update: 1

NSW mother alleges Harris incident when 14

Source: NinemsnA NSW woman has made allegations against Australian entertainer Rolf Harris relating to events she claims occurred when she was 14 years old. Tonya Lee, now 42, told Woman’s Day that the incident involving Harris allegedly happened w …
Full article at: Ninemsn  More like this  1 day ago, 2:29am CDT

10 Updates

Any potential criminal trial involving Rolf Harris could be prejudiced by a Wollongong woman’s decision to go public in paid interviews about how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by the entertainer, a top QC warns. Mother of three Tonya Lee …

1 day ago, 4:39pm CDT

Full article at: The Age

Update: 9

Quote:
“It’s a perfectly legitimate line of attack by a defence counsel in cross examination.”

Source: The AgeUpdate: 7

Paid interview may ‘prejudice’ Harris case

Source: The Canberra TimesAny potential criminal trial involving Rolf Harris could be prejudiced by a Wollongong woman’s decision to go public in paid interviews about how she was allegedly sexually assaulted by the entertainer, a top QC warns. Mother of three Tonya …
Full article at: The Canberra Times  More like this  1 day ago, 2:37pm CDT

Update: 5

Travelling conman targeting Sydney

Source: Ninemsn’I didn’t scream, I don’t know why’ Two hours ago An Australian woman who has battled depression, alcoholism and eating disorders says the course her life changed forever after she was allegedly sexually abused b …
Full article at: Ninemsn  More like this  1 day ago, 6:34am CDT

Update: 4

Police quiz second woman over Rolf Harris ‘sex assault’

Source: This Is LondonSave time by using your existing account to sign in to Evening Standard We’ll never share your information or post anything to your account without your permission Save time by using your existing account to sign in to Evening Standard We’ll …
Full article at: This Is London  More like this  1 day ago, 6:30am CDT

Update: 3

An allegation to which I very much want to hear Rolf’s answer

Source: Herald SunI distrust and very much dislike trial by media. Even so, I could not help being moved and persuaded by what I saw tonight on A Current Affair – an interview with Tonya Lee: A WOMAN who claims to have been sexually assaulted by iconic A …
Full article at: Herald Sun  More like this  1 day ago, 5:21am CDT

Update: 2

‘I didn’t scream, I don’t know why’

Source: NinemsnMs Lee said Harris abused her when she was a child. (A Current Affair) An Australian woman who has battled depression, alcoholism and eating disorders says the course her life changed forever after she was allegedly se …
Full article at: Ninemsn  More like this  1 day ago, 4:02am CDT

Update: 1

NSW mother alleges Harris incident when 14

Source: NinemsnA NSW woman has made allegations against Australian entertainer Rolf Harris relating to events she claims occurred when she was 14 years old. Tonya Lee, now 42, told Woman’s Day that the incident involving Harris allegedly happened w …
Full article at: Ninemsn  More like this  1 day ago, 2:29am CDT—————————————–

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Rolf Harris (Sathya Sai Baba Cult Man): Scotland Yard Investigators Travel to Australia

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 3, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The famous Australian entertainer Rolf Harris is, in the true sense, a household name in Australia and the UK. His name, like that of his friend, the major jazz and blues singer Dana Gillespie, has long been associated with Sathya Sai Baba.

As an indirect outcrop of the history-making British police Operation Yewtree – set up in the wake of hundreds of sexual abuse of minors allegations surfacing about Sir Jimmy Savile – Scotland Yard has just sent detectives to Australia to interview an Australian woman, Lauren Martell, who has offered to testify to British police about Rolf Harris, both in Australia and, if necessary in Great Britain. Caroline Marcus, The Daily Telegraph, reports (May 03, 2013 12:00AM):

Scotland Yard sex abuse investigators have traveled to Australia to interview Australian woman, Lauren Martell, who has volunteered information for British police investigation of Rolf Harris

Scotland Yard child sex abuse investigators have traveled to Australia to interview Australian woman, Lauren Martell, who has volunteered information to British police investigating  Australian superstar Rolf Harris

“Detective Sergeant Gary Pankhurst, of the Metropolitan Police child abuse investigation command, another Scotland Yard detective and an Australian Federal Police escort arrived at the Wisemans Ferry home, north of Sydney, of 43-year-old Lauren Martell at 12pm yesterday ….

They spent more than 2½ hours interviewing the mother-of-two and former accountant, who said she first contacted local police with her claims in January this year.

Ms Martell claimed she witnessed alleged events involving Harris at a West End recording studio with her then boyfriend, music producer David Malin, while he worked on the Dana Gillespie album Methods of Release, for which Harris was recording backing music with his didgeridoo.

Ms Martell said as a young woman herself, barely out of her teens, she did not contact authorities at the time because she did not think anyone would believe her.

She has allegedly told friends over the years, but none could believe the beloved children’s entertainer would be involved in any potentially compromising behaviour.

At the beginning of the year – after news broke that an Australian entertainer was being questioned in relation to child sex offences in the UK – she contacted local police and then Scotland Yard.

She said detectives had indicated they may fly her to London to testify if the matter proceeds to court.

Ms Martell said she hoped her going public might encourage other witnesses to come forward and give evidence”.

Because most people will not speak up, Society is paying an horrific price. A ‘civilization’ is barbaric when it shuts up. I think it is good to pause and reflect on the part where Ms Martell is quoted as saying:

“as a young woman herself, barely out of her teens, she did not contact authorities at the time because she did not think anyone would believe her”.

If Ms Martell proves to be a reliable witness, she now stands in the cherishable place where conscience stands.

Harris and the late entertainer Sir Jimmy Savile, the vastly toppled former British national treasure, are prime examples of stars so venerated that any questioning of their morality meets with vast incredulity. Too often, people want the myth, not the truth.

Even when some fans admit some of the most glaring facts about their heroes, they commonly make legally and ethically naïve statements such as:  But look at all the good service they have performed for society. Activists in the exposure of Sai Baba have often had to put up with this kind of brainless nonsense.

It is this idolizing of certain public figures that those of us instrumental in exposing a powerful cult like that of Sathya Sai Baba have had – hugely – to contend with.

In short, on this value-warped account – let certain most favoured people be beyond the law. Especially, one’s own favoured gods and demigods.

 Typically, the cultists turn viciously on, and libel and persecute, those who raise questions.  This, with an intensity all the more ironic when it comes from those, like the international Sathya Sai Organization, who proclaim spiritual aims, and who speak constantly of truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence ….

Cultists cover up their own scandals, quite oblivious that many other cults think their own guru or star and version of the truth is the correct one. Lost is any half decent thought of accountability to proper processes of investigation and good citizenship.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Rolf Harris, 83. Again arrested for questioning in British Operation Yewtree. UK detectives have traveled to Australia to extend investigations

Rolf Harris, 83. Again arrested for questioning in investigations stemming from the British Police Operation Yewtree. UK detectives have traveled to Australia to extend investigations in to the already twice-arrested Harris

See:

Investigators Can Probe Rolf Harris’s Links With Sathya Sai Baba, Target Of Major Serial Pedophile Allegations.  Posted by Barry Pittard on April 22, 2013

British Police Re-Arrest Rolf Harris In Operation Yewtree Pedophilia Hunt.  Posted by Barry Pittard on April 20, 2013

Sydney woman interviewed over Rolf Harris arrest

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:  First posted Thu May 2, 2013 6:33pm AEST

British police investigating entertainer Rolf Harris over allegations of sexual abuse have interviewed a woman in Australia.

Detectives from Scotland Yard interviewed Lauren Martell at her home at Wisemans Ferry, north of Sydney, on Thursday.

Harris was arrested and questioned in London last month but has not been charged.

He denies any wrongdoing.

The investigation was prompted by the child sexual abuse allegations against Jimmy Savile.

However, the alleged offences at the centre of Harris’s arrest are not linked to the late BBC TV star.

British police established Operation Yewtree after abuse claims were made against Savile, who was one of Britain’s biggest TV stars in the 1970s and 1980s.

He was found to have carried out sex crimes on an unprecedented scale over six decades.

Other celebrities arrested in the Savile investigation include glam-rock singer Gary Glitter and comedian Freddie Starr, who both deny any wrongdoing.

Police say Savile committed 214 offences, including 34 rapes or serious sexual assaults, beginning as long ago as 1955.

The scandal forced former BBC director-general George Entwistle to stand down after only 54 days in the top job.

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