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Institutional Sex Corruption: Plight of Roman Catholic Church and Sathya Sai Organization

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 19, 2010

  

The Pope may kiss little children, but did he protect them? Certainly not.

In the face of far too powerful, worldwide exposure of endemic Roman Catholic Church corruption, Pope Benedict XVI has called for reconciliation. Only at this chronically late hour, and in response to dire and universal threat to his institution’s survival, does he begin to treat sexual abuse as a reportable crime, and make apologies, and require his officials to take meaningful actions against the sexual abuse that the world now knows is rampant in his Church, and profoundly and endlessly covered up by it.

It is the year 2010 and yet official communiques coming from the Vatican and other official sections of the Roman Catholic Church almost make it sound as though sexual abuse complaints involving priests all over the world were something new. There may be contrite tears now, and official cries for reconciliation, and even some prospect of redress for survivors. But where were these down the aching years of victims’ anguish?

The Sathya Sai Organization still has not come to this point. It too has lain low. It too has turned a hard heart of the cries of individuals and families whose lives have been shattered by appalling misconduct that eats like a canker in its midst.

In both the Church and the Sathya Sai Organization, there is the same constant mouthing of values such as truthfulness, right conduct, love for all, peace, and non-violence in thought, word and deed. There are the same blindness, callousness, attacks upon the integrity of those who, against enormous odds, speak out. And the same profound cover up.

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QUOTE (Excerpt):

The Australian

Pope breaks silence over Belgian abuse.  From: Times Online. David Charter. September 14, 2010 10:59AM

THE Pope was said last night to be feeling pain over the extensive pedophile priest scandal in Belgium as the country’s top bishops appealed for abusers to come forward to help with a process of reconciliation.

It is the first time that the Vatican has made clear Benedict XVI’s feelings of dismay after a report last week by a Church-appointed commission revealed 488 alleged cases of abuse, including 13 where the victim committed suicide.

Archbishop Andre-Joseph Leonard, head of the Roman Catholic Church in Belgium, announced yesterday that a new body would offer support to victims.

This failed to satisfy campaigners wanting punishment of 91 living perpetrators identified by the commission’s inquiry into cases dating back 50 years …..

Sam Deurinck, who said that he was abused by priests when he was aged 11 to 13, was one of a handful of protesters outside holding pictures of themselves as children.

“I think it will be old wine in new bags. The bishops have found for many, many years several techniques to gain time and to postpone their final judgment,” he said.

Walter Van Steenbrugge, a lawyer representing about 30 victims, said that the Church should be ready to pay compensation and leave cases to the justice authorities.

The commission, which was set up under Professor Peter Adriaenssens, had little co-operation from serving priests and was unable to finish its work.

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The briefest glance at current headlines and news stories gives a sense of what now faces the Roman Catholic Church. But then – what about all the other institutions?

See: The Sydney Morning Herald (or vitually any other newspaper):

‘Priest defrocked over sexual misconduct’
AN ANGLICAN priest has been defrocked after a professional standards board discovered he had engaged in multiple sexual liaisons, including with at least one woman from his parish.

‘Flood of new priest abuse allegations’
A Belgian committee probing allegations of pedophilia by priests has been flooded with complaints since the resignation of a bishop who admitted abusing a boy.

‘German priest to leave US in abuse case’
A German priest has been suspended and ordered home from a posting in the US as he faces allegations he abused teenage girls in Germany two decades ago.

‘Priest, 83, under house arrest for abuse’
An 83-year-old Brazilian priest detained on allegations of sexually abusing young boys has been moved from jail to house arrest.

‘Brazilian priest charged with pedophilia’
Brazilian authorities charged a 74-year-old Catholic priest with pedophilia after eight children in his church choir accused him of sexual abuse.

‘Priest sex video on sale in Brazil’
A video of a priest receiving oral sex in a church from a former choir boy was being sold in the streets of Brazil.

‘Priest, 84, in sex act with choirboy’
An 84-year-old Brazilian priest caught on camera in a sex act with a choirboy has been arrested and put in detention.

‘Belgian priest tells of 300 sexual abuse cases’
BRUSSELS: Belgian bishops have failed to punish any clergy over 300 complaints of child sexual abuse brought to their attention in the 1990s, a priest who helped many victims claims.

‘Pope urges Catholic penance over priest scandal’
Pope Benedict XVI on Thursday urged Catholics to “do penance” and a top cardinal called for a mass rally by clergy to support the pontiff under fire over widespread paedophile priest scandals.

‘French priest admits child abuse’
A French Catholic priest has admitted sexually assaulting a minor, and sees his arrest as a “deliverance” after years of private torment, his lawyer says.

‘Malta hosts pope under priest sex abuse cloud’
Pope Benedict XVI was due to give mass Sunday in front of St Publius Church on Malta, even as the controversy over child-molesting priests followed him to the tiny Mediterranean island.

‘Priest jailed over sex with altar boy’
A former Anglican priest has been jailed for a second time on child sex offences.

‘More child-sex charges for NSW priest’
A NSW Catholic priest already facing multiple child sex charges has again been arrested over a further allegation of similar offences.

‘Vatican accused in new US priest case’
The Vatican and Pope Benedict XVI have come under fire in the US for allegedly covering up for another predator priest and doing nothing to remove him.

‘Rome waited to ban pedophile priest’
The future Pope Benedict XVI took over the abuse case of an Arizona priest, then let it languish at the Vatican for years despite repeated pleas from the bishop for the man to be removed from the…

‘Vatican comments on US priest case’
The Vatican’s lawyer says then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger told a bishop to make sure a priest didn’t abuse children while the church worked to defrock him.

‘Priest suspended over sex abuse’
MUNICH: The priest at the centre of a German sex-abuse scandal that has embroiled the Pope continued working with children for more than 30 years, even though Pope Benedict was personally involved in…

‘Church swamped by priest abuse claims’
Norway’s Roman Catholic Church received so many tip-offs about possible paedophile priests following revelations of abuse by a bishop that its computer crashed.

‘Priest preyed on deaf children, victim says’
ST FRANCIS, Wisconsin: Arthur Budzinski says the first time the priest molested him, he was 12 years old, alone and away from home at a school for the deaf.

‘Irish priest defends sex abuse cover up’
A Catholic bishop in Ireland has ordered a priest to remain silent over his views that church officials should not tell police about child abusers.

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Robert Priddy has just blogged on Pope Benedict. He writes:

“The Pope believes firmly in eternal hellfire, as he showed before he realised the damage this would do him. He later tried to tone down his ill-advised ‘eternal’ pronouncement, but it was really too late… we know what he really believes, because The Sunday Times (March 27, 2007) reportedThe fires of hell are real and eternal, the Pope warns: ’Hell is a place where sinners really do burn in an everlasting fire, and not just a religious symbol designed to galvanise the faithful, the Pope has said.’: “Hell “really exists and is eternal, even if nobody talks about it much any more”, he said.”

The damage-limitation exercise which followed later on was reported by the Catholic News Agency, as follows: ” In reply, the Pope called heaven, hell, and purgatory “fundamental themes that unfortunately appear rarely in our preaching,” journalist and church expert Sandro Magister reports. Pope Benedict speculated that the condemned might not be numerous, describing how thoroughly they would have to have destroyed themselves: “Perhaps there are not so many who have destroyed themselves so completely, who are irreparable forever, who no longer have any element upon which the love of God can rest, who no longer have the slightest capacity to love within themselves. This would be hell.” (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/what_the_pope_really_said_about_hell/)

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Related Reading at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’

Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya Sai Baba

Sexual Abuse Priests. What?! The Pope Never Knew?

Ireland Acts On Clergy Sexual Abuse. India Does Not Act On Sathya Sai Baba

Is Heat Too Much For Swami Nityananda, Under Fire By Sex Abuse Allegations?

Boy Scouts of America – Sex Abuse Revelations. Who Next?

Why Nithyananda Sex Scandal Investigations and Not A Sathya Sai Baba Probe?

Standing Up To Cultic Monoliths. (Sathya Sai Baba Organization Example)

Nityananda Sex Scandal Erupts in India. Sathya Sai Baba Lessons?

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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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More Testimony To Male Sexual Abuse By Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 1, 2010

In the exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult, international coordinators such as Glen Meloy (deceased), Robert Priddy, Hari Sampath (in the earlier stages) and I have had a work which we never would have wished upon ourselves. To be privy to the direct accounts of those whom Sathya Sai Baba has terribly abused (sexually and in other ways), and to process still many more such harrowing accounts in the form of written testimony, has not been easy. (Not to mention other demanding aspects). Yet, there is the sense of great privilege of service to one’s fellow human beings, and that whatever skills one has have been able to be exercised for the good. Every year that passes will vindicate our stand against all the cover up and lack of accountability and transparency by Sathya Sai Baba and his international Sathya Sai Organization. As this organization knows to its great coast, many people have left it after they have found – including by conspicuously alternate routes to internet revelations or our own organized network – appalling revelations. Not untypically, these discoveries occur via experience of local centers. Some of these have, after extensive discussion and deep sadness, disbanded.

Below, Sebastian Engelbarts  of The Netherlands relates his account of abuse experiences at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba.  My close colleague Robert Priddy made all due effort to apprise Sebastian of what going public can invoke – as indeed is our strict practice with others in touch with us with their accounts – and the latter decided that he had the resolve necessary to withstand come-what-may. 

I need hardly point out that, over several years, many testimonies have been shared with us with the request that they be kept confidential, and Robert Priddy and I (in our role of coordinators) – or others along a supportive network, often professional in background – have respected this. Other Sathya Sai Baba abuse survivors have stated that they would wish only to make public their experiences in the context of investigation by, for example, a respected organization such as the BBC, Times of London, TelegraphThe GuardianUNESCO, Interpol, etc.’ and/or by a court of law in a democratic country. 

I wish to add – as often – that,  for those who wish to avail themselves of legal or counseling services, we are happy to assist in obtaining these in the context of international best practice, with all the proper guarantees of accountability. In genuine circumstances of need, professionals in these areas can look to fee modification or waiver. Those who may wish to support in any way a well-mounted legal action against the international Sathya Sai Organization, can contact Robert Priddy or myself, and we can refer to leading international legal personnel. It can be assured that this cause is both profoundly just and compelling. A similar situation obtains in ensuring counseling facilities for those individuals and families whose lives have been shattered by their past association with Sathya Sai Baba and his cult.

Just some of the recurrent themes have included: 

attacks on the integrity of every individual who has stood forth, calling for proper, third-party government, police and legal enquiry into allegations against Sathya Sai Baba and the international Sathya Sai Baba Organization

– the testimony to the genuineness of the abuse survivors by family, friends and those who have long known them

– the unceasing testimony spanning decades, which keeps on coming to the present

– the way in which much testimony has often come from those who have no knowledge of each others’ experiences

the wide number of countries from which the survivors and witnesses have come

– the decades of dedicated service of many former devotees who have stood forth, and their long records of service in their professions, trades and wider communities

– evidence coming from those who came to grief with Sathya Sai Baba but who were never devotees or any part of his organization

– our failure thus far to mount any successful case in India, because of the sheer, well-nigh inconceivable extent of Sathya Sai Baba’s clout right across party political, governmental, police, legal and other power sectors.  See my article:  

Why Has Sathya Sai Baba Not Faced The Indian Justice System?  Posted by Barry Pittard on January 14, 2010

– the abject failure of office bearers (except those many who have left on matter of ethical principle because of these issues) in the Sathya Sai Organization to evince duty of care and accountability. This fact bears the most striking resemblance to other institutional cover ups, about some of which I have written. See:

  • Typical Testimony of Sathya Sai Baba’s Sex Abuse of Young Males
  • Is Heat Too Much For Swami Nityananda, Under Fire By Sex Abuse Allegations?
  • Boy Scouts of America – Sex Abuse Revelations. Who Next?
  • Sexual Abuse Priests. What?! The Pope Never Knew?
  • Why Nithyananda Sex Scandal Investigations and Not A Sathya Sai Baba Probe?
  • Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya Sai Baba
  • BBC Transcript ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sathya Sai Baba’s Frauds Exposed)
  • Nityananda Sex Scandal Erupts in India. Sathya Sai Baba Lessons?
  • Standing Up To Cultic Monoliths. (Sathya Sai Baba
  • Ireland Acts On Clergy Sexual Abuse. India Does Not Act On Sathya Sai Baba
  •   

    My experiences with – and observations of – Sathya Sai Baba

    Date: 03-02-10

    By Sebastian Engelbarts
    The Netherlands.

    In August and September of 2009 I went to India. I have been travelling to India 12 times since 1990. The first few trips my only goal was to go to Sai Baba. Later I also travelled to other places, all over India. All in all, I think I have spent at least one year in Prashanti Nilayam, spread over those almost 20 years.

    At age 14 in 1975, I was initiated in Transcendental Meditation (TM), from Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. I did the advanced course, called Siddhi Course, at age 17.

    Though they still tell you that TM will bring you enlightenment, I am certain that it doesn’t. But in the beginning I eagerly believed that at age 21, I would be enlightened. I meditated regularly in the beginning years, TM brings you a lot of inner peace, but there is a lack of evaluating your experiences and life. To me it was a sort of wild growth. Being raised with TM, reading books of Rajneesh, Yogananda and all the books that come on your path, I was already being indoctrinated with the Indian way of looking at saints and sages, i.e. with reference, but without sound research and reasoning. This was because of my age, I guess.

    So from age 21 (1982) up to 1990, I was struggling my way through life. At the end of 1989, a friend of mine told me to go and see Sathya Sai Baba. I knew nothing about him, I only knew what he looked like, because somewhere down the years I saw a picture of him and remembered his name. He also gave me a picture of swami that had a text saying “No one can come to me unless it’s my will”. So this was my second conditioning. I prayed to Sai Baba to please let me come and I promised I would stay for 3 months.

    So early 1990 I went to India. Once in the ashram I was immediately caught by his books, all telling about the satpoorna  (full) avatar. I remember that I thought ‘if this would only be true, how fortunate am I and the people here in the ashram: An accumulation of many lives of hard spiritual work, now we are here in the presence of God himself.’ And here it seemed they had rules and regulations, I was missing in TM, and with love as its core.

    I wasn’t particularly proud of myself, for all the things I had done wrong for the past few years. So trying to make up for it, I lined up everyday, but always hid behind someone else, because he could see right through me, I thought.

    Six weeks passed and I had made a lot of western friends, as in the beginning I would walk up to anybody I saw going in for interview. So I heard a lot of amazing stories, saw all kinds of rings, necklaces etc.

    I was in a Dutch group hoping for an interview and we got one after six weeks. But just some days before, a Swiss girl, who I thought was well balanced, she was a nurse and wasn’t much a person of outer appearance, had an interview with a Swiss group. She told me that Sai Baba scolded her for not dressing up properly, although all parts of her body were covered according to the rules. The only thing I saw was that she was wearing wide pants instead of a sari and the colours had faded from all the washing. She was devastated and so was I for her.

    One or two days previous to our interview, an Argentinean group had an interview. A guy called R., was constantly harassing Sai Baba for interviews and successfully, as I saw Argentinians getting a lot of interviews, thanks to him. I think he was gay (I could not make it out, but one of the Argentinean girls told me), so I won’t mention his name, but I think it is important for the rest of the story.

    So the Argentineans all walked up to the veranda, preparing for the interview. One Argentinean woman was not paying attention and only after somebody told her, she walked towards the veranda. Swami, by then, had finished his walkabout (darshan) and saw her walking towards the veranda. Then in a very cruel way he said to her ‘kssjjjt’, as if he was chasing away a dog. The woman, between 30 and 40 years of age, was shocked and walked back in disbelief. As she was walking back, you saw she was doubting whether this was meant for her, so she turned around and walked towards the veranda again. Then swami repeated his “ksssjjjt’ and she walked out crying. I was thinking to myself, that if he would do that to me, I would instantly drop dead on the spot, unable to bear something like that.

    So, once in my room, I prayed to him not to chase me away like that, if we had an interview, but instead for him to treat me like he was my father. I was also asked, previously to the interview, by a lot of western guys to come with them to Goa. It was tempting, but I promised swami I would stay for 3 months. So I also prayed he would give me an answer as to whether I could go or not.

    So, then finally after six weeks we got the interview. I was shaking and as I sat down on the veranda, I did not look at him, pretending not to see him in case he was going to chase me away. Once in the interview room I found myself sitting very near to swami, only an older Indian Dutchman in front of me. At least I had someone to hide behind a little, as he was not very tall. From what I have been reading lately on exbaba.com, he has the habit of walking to the fan, turning it on, as if making it comfortable, but also to take 2 vibhuti pills (‘holy ash’) , that are put there by one of his inner circle. He did the same thing at the beginning of the interview. He was already sitting and instead of asking the person sitting under the switch, he himself got up and turned it on. Walking back he materialized vibhuti twice, as there were a lot of women. All in all I estimated the gathering to consist of about 40 people; a Dutch group, a Swedish group and several Indians. Later on I started seeing that he has more of such routines.

    After distributing vibhuti only to the women, he sat down. Then he shifted the attention to the back (one of his routines), asking a woman about her sight. She said she was happy with what she still could see. It turned out she had only about 15% sight in both her eyes. I never noticed. But he knew or was it a lucky guess or had he watched them while they were going in?

    She was in my group for 2 weeks, but I couldn’t tell and she was always walking hand in hand with a girl friend. So swami ‘knew’ and ‘materialized’ a lingam. Explaining that it was the universe etc. He then, very proudly, showed it to everybody and said it had identical sides, that nowhere in nature this could be found, only God can make this. He gave it to her and told her to put it in a glass of water and drink the water daily.

    Somehow this is contradictory to what he tells, that god doesn’t go against his own laws, yet for an ardent devotee who deserves it, he will make it out of nothing. Otherwise he would transfer it from somewhere. He obviously violated his own law, because he said that nowhere in nature it could be found. So he must have created it from nothing. Why, was she that special? Maybe, I don’t know.

    Then again he shifted the attention to the back, asking a young Indian boy about his stomach. The boy said that he had no problems with his stomach. Swami said ‘yes, yes, not good’ and materialized a golden ring with a diamond. He explained that the diamond stood for ‘die mind’. He then called the boy to the front and placed it on his finger. It fitted and swami said ‘See, swami always makes perfect fit’. As I read more stories, this isn’t always the case, to put it mildly. Didn’t he know the stomach was ok, or didn’t the boy know about his bad stomach? Then turning to me, he said “what do you want?’ I said ‘just your blessing’ and he hit me on the head quite firmly.

    Why did he shift attention all the way to the back, so that everybody would look around?  Did they just happened to sit there, or did he need some time to grab behind his cushion?

    The old Indian-Dutch man in front of me was so incredibly excited, that he couldn’t keep quiet. Sai Baba several times told him to shut up and otherwise didn’t pay attention to him at all.

    Then swami got up and opened the door to his private interview room and invited all of us in. As I had already been sitting in the front and as I was one of the first to enter the private interview room, I thought about letting others sit in front instead. So I entered, made a left turn to go and sit against the wall, away from his chair. He suddenly turned around and said “No, no, you come”. He took me by the hand as he walked towards his chair. He held my hand while sitting down and placed his right foot exactly on my penis and pushed me down, all the while keeping his foot there, till I was sitting. He held my hand, stroked my arm, ran his fingers through my hair, pulled my nose and my cheeks. I wasn’t shocked, but I knew it was not an accident, that he placed his foot there. So this was going through my mind and also I felt awkward and embarrassed sitting there at his feet, him caressing me, while others were sitting at least 2 meters from him. He was treating me like a father, wasn’t he? Fond of his son.

    I was also thinking, ‘shouldn’t I be feeling something, sitting here hand-in-hand with the lord of the universe’? He was talking away, while I was feeling embarrassed. Why did I have this good fortune? I didn’t live an exemplary life, on the contrary. As I was pondering about what was going on, he turned to me and said,  “Where is your wife?” I said in Holland. He said, “Is it your wife or your girlfriend?” I said ‘it is my girlfriend’. He said “Not good, two boyfriends, but she has got only one heart”. And it was true. Just before I left for India, I found out that my girlfriend, since I was a mess, was seeing a former boyfriend. But why these questions? Was he checking me out if I was available or did he know? What was the importance whether she was my wife or not? Did he know or did he guess, since I was not wearing a wedding ring? Did he know she was seeing her old boyfriend or was he trying to put doubts in my mind? To me it seemed later that it is one of his routines to ask questions, so it doesn’t matter what answer comes, yes, no, maybe. Your mind always finds a way to fit it in somewhere, thinking that it is that, what he is referring to. Then he talked away again and again turning to me saying “Time waste, money waste, too many women”. I thought to myself, time waste is correct, money waste also. From my viewpoint it was true, from his viewpoint it is true for all westerners. You’re supposed to think of God 24/7, if not, it’s time waste. Money waste is also true for all westerners, since he says you need only one pair of shoes. All westerners have more than one pair of shoes.

    But then ‘too many women?’ That was not true. I was sort of a handsome guy, but I was, until then, not so much interested in women. I was too busy sorting out life. If I look back, at the time I was with Baba, I was 29, looking younger, there were enough women who were interested in me. I let almost all of them pass by. So this, about too many women, was puzzling to me. But isn’t sex quite normal in the west and for sort of a handsome guy, already living for 29 years, I could have had enough sex. But I wasn’t that much interested. A few years later I made up for this, so I was telling myself that it was that what he was referring to. That I would have a lot of women in the future. The mind can bend everything in any direction, if you’re not facing the facts.

    After sitting like this for maybe 20 minutes, Sai Baba took us back to the first interview room and now as I was leaving the room as the last person, again I was sitting in front of swami, as his chair is near to the door. 

    He then asked if there were any questions. One Swedish boy told swami that he had an accident with his motorbike. Swami immediately reacted, saying “Yes, yes, I know. Terrible accident, but I was there, I saved you”. Did he? Then why didn’t he avoid the plane crash at Bangalore airport in February 1990. It was a plane from Indian Airlines, a domestic flight from Bombay, in which there were several devotees, who died.

    I can recall an interview somebody told me about. When I asked about it, the guy told me that there was an old Indian man, grief stricken, as he had sent his son to ask Baba some things. He was in the plane that crashed and when he asked Baba about it, he said “don’t worry he is with me now and he’s fine”. So, if you don’t die, he saved you and if you die, nobody has to worry, because he is with swami now. It’s that simple.

    Anyway, about the Swedish boy. He had been in the hospital for 10 months and he had undergone multiple surgeries. They were planning more surgeries, but gave him a break, so he could recover first. He asked swami whether he should have more surgeries and swami said “No, no, I will take care of you”. I have met the guy several times since. In the beginning he was accessible, although difficult. But after a few years he didn’t talk to anybody anymore. He looked extremely unhappy, depressed, and angry. I think after ’98 I haven’t seen him again.

    After he finished the conversation with the Swedish boy, he told the group that he would be leaving for Brindavan and asked if we were all coming with him. Then he looked at me specifically and said “Are you coming with swami to Brindavan, it’s such an opportunity for you to be with swami”. So here was the answer. I wasn’t supposed to go to Goa, but to stay with him. He knew about my promise, didn’t he? Or was it for some other reason. Before leaving the interview, a lot of people took out a picture and swami wrote on it ‘With love, Baba’.

    As I didn’t have a picture of swami, I took out a picture from my money belt. It was a picture of my son, who was 3 years old. I gave it to swami upside down, but somehow he saw, probably because of the photographic paper, that it was different. He turned it around and as he saw it wasn’t a picture of himself, he threw it on the floor before me in a kind of angry way. He could have given it back in a decent way as I was only sitting 1 meter in front of him. Why did he reject it this way, rejecting my son like that? Was this the same man, who just before, had overwhelmed me with his love? The days after the interview I was drained of energy, depressed, feeling nothing had changed.

    A lot of Dutch people were going home, so we decided to form an international group and went to Brindavan. There were Swiss, Australian, British, German and Dutch in our group.

    In our group was a British guy, called Keith. His story is also on the Internet (http://213.10.134.161/rvdsandt/ex-baba/engels/witnesses/keith.html). He had told me that he had come to Sai Baba to find out what had happened between his boyfriend and Sai Baba in 1989, who had several interviews with swami but on returning home to the UK, he committed suicide. During my stay in Puttaparthi, I hung out with Keith a very handsome, beautifully built, dark skinned young man. We lined up together and one time we were in row 8 somewhere, as swami walked by. He looked at Keith and then at me and again at Keith and called him in for an interview. Afterwards Keith told me that swami had no time for him now, but he would have another interview soon.

    I was puzzled as to why swami invited Keith instead of me or the both of us, for he looked some time at the both of us. It started to dawn on me that it looked like swami had a very good eye for gay man. I started paying attention to this and over several years found out that when he singled out men, a lot of times they were gay. After the interviews to these men, I went up to them asking about the interview. On many occasions they had been given rings, a lot of times a silver ring with an enamel portrait of swami. Keith had one.

    I realize that it could be a coincidence: that it just happened by chance when I was around.

    Anyway, after maybe two weeks while we were in Brindavan, the international group got an interview along with a Dutch group. Alexandra Nagel was in that interview, as well as Keith.

    I don’t know how it happened, but again I was sitting right in front of swami. I wasn’t doing it on purpose as my mind was blank of any elation. In this interview men and women were not sitting separately and swami didn’t distribute vibhuti.

    Swami again started off with shifting the attention to the back by asking an old Dutch lady, who was over 80, how her legs were. As she didn’t understand English, somebody had to translate it for her and as she answered the translator back and he was ready to give swami the answer, he was already involved in a conversation with us young boys in the front. I thought to myself that it wasn’t very decent, he seemed not at all interested in her answer. So the translator never gave her answer. I thought to myself, here they are, two ladies well over their eighties, very religious. They were raised as Christians, but it could never satisfy their needs. Then they read a book about Sai Baba and found what they were missing. Their children paid for their tickets and they came together with a Dutch group. Here they are in the interview room, being asked a question, but never being able to answer it. Incredible. Did he again need some time to grab behind his cushion, by shifting the attention to the back?

    He said to a Dutch guy next to me ‘Oh! You have a ring, let me see. Oh! Picture of swami,  how nice. Give it to me.’ But the ring had been given to the guy by swami in a previous interview, why did he act so surprised? Was it because on the market you could buy the same rings and he didn’t remember the guy anymore after seeing so many people every day? Anyway, by then I had read many stories about how he changes rings. So I thought, now I will be witnessing one. He took the ring and I was focused on his hands. To my utter astonishment he buried the ring in his right palm, leaned forward, shuffled his right hand behind his left arm, almost entirely against the left side of the chair and kept his hand there for a while. I could not see his right hand anymore as he was leaning forward towards the guy, who was sitting, seen from his side, on the left. And his left arm was also blocking his right hand. Now I was completely crazed. Here I am sitting, one meter in front of swami, an opportunity of a lifetime event and now he starts playing tricks on me. Finally he drew back his hand and kept it in front of us, but still covering it in his palm, he blew three times on his hand and out came a golden ring with three diamonds. He asked the guy if he wanted the ring twice. The guy responded twice ‘whatever you want swami’. Then he put down his hand again, but I didn’t pay attention anymore, as I was too much in my head. He again blew three times on his hand and out came the same old ring.

    After all this, swami stood up and called a 26 year good looking guy from the UK into his private room, behind a curtain. Don’t remember his name. From where I was sitting, I could peak through the curtain. Swami was facing my way and the guy was standing with his back towards me. I saw them standing close together, but could not see what was happening. Swami looked at me, knew I could see them, but he wasn’t bothered by it. When the guy came out, he called me in. I kneeled before him and he put his hand on my shoulder. He asked when I would be leaving and that he would see me again before I was going. This never happened.

    Once the interview was over, we all wanted to know what swami had said to the English guy, but he remained silent for three days, only talking to his girlfriend. Finally after 3 days, he came out with the story. Swami had asked him to lower his pants and as he hesitated, swami told him not to worry as he created him. So he lowered his pants and swami oiled his genitals. At this certain point, he was ok with it, because swami had probably healed him. 

    One year later I went back to India and I ran in to Hari from Australia, who was also in our international group, the previous year. Hari told me about Keith who had several interviews in private and that in one interview swami took his hand and put it between swami’s legs and Keith felt female genitalia. Than he had to do padnamaskar (touch his feet) and as he got up, swami again took his hand and Keith felt an erected penis. I don’t know if anything more had happened, but Hari told me that whenever Keith went for darshan afterwards, he held up his necklace with a cross on it, whenever swami walked by. He thought swami was some sort of devil; Ravana.

    By this time I was really getting worried, as evidence was mounting and was told by people with whom I was sharing rooms, lining up and spending my days with. What to do?

    I found out that Hislop was in the ashram. I read some of his books and knew he was close to swami. He also used to be the first TM teacher in the US way back in the sixties, before he met Sai Baba. Maharishi had spent some time at his home in the US. One day I saw him in the southern canteen, I walked up to him and asked him whether I could ask him some questions. “Of course”, he said, “Shoot.” So I asked him about all the confessions of the rituals regarding the oiling of male genitalia, swami’s transformation from female to male etc. He obviously hadn’t expected these questions, so he became quite uncomfortable. He didn’t answer my questions, but stated the following, “There is no doubt in my mind that swami is divine.” I asked him what swami thought of Maharishi and TM and the Siddhi Course. He said that swami told several people to stop this meditation. Swami also told a couple who had learned how to teach other people TM that they should stop as they were not able to teach meditation. And that the Siddhi Course was children playing with fire. But the same swami tells people in interviews not to go to any other gurus, and why go to these human gurus if you can have God as your guru, thus referring to himself. The other ones were money gurus and he was not. Now we know better.

    On that same trip, we went to Brindavan before going to Kodaikanal. In Brindavan in a weekend at morning darshan, there was an Indian couple. Their baby was very ill, it seemed lifeless. Everybody was upset and eagerly waiting for swami to help them out. As swami came out, he totally ignored the pleas of the couple and of all the other devotees who wanted him to help them out. The couple stayed all day and in the evening darshan he again completely ignored them and went back to his living quarters. I don’t exactly know what happened to the couple. But I do know that there was an interview for all the westerners some days later, where he told a story about a mayor and a lawyer, who were in full control of a village and they ripped people off and disowned people from their property. It seemed that he was referring to the woman and the child in a previous life and that their suffering was self-inflicted. But that we, mere humans, could not oversee the whole picture but he could, so he was not moved by their despair. What grandeur!

    We went to Kodaikanal, where again all the westerners were called in for interview.  He scolded us for sleeping around, man and women sharing rooms. That he disapproved of all such things. But since there was no accommodation other than hotels, private homes, of course people who knew each other shared rooms, to cut down the costs. Prices were high, when swami was around. Even I shared rooms with women and men, but it was not a sexual thing at all. Maybe some people slept around. But what a generalisation and again a putting down of sincere seekers.

    In1992 I went to Puttaparthi again, but I wasn’t able to line up anymore. I kept to myself and didn’t return before 1997.

    At home I tried to live up to his rules, but I found it completely impossible. I went to groups, singing bhajans, but after 3 times of bhajans, I was fed up. We in the west have such beautiful classical and modern music. Do we have to end up singing these simple songs, about myriad aspects of God, over and over again? I didn’t like them and compared to western music it was utterly boring. I also couldn’t stand all the stories that were told during these meetings, but from people lacking experiences, just parroting stories.

    However, after I left in 1992, I started a company and it rocketed sky-high for several years. Of course we, by then my wife and I, having 2 children, dedicated this to swami. So, we were trying in this way to help people. But in 1996 my wife left me, for she had married her first real boyfriend. She wanted some more experiences. My whole world collapsed. I found myself in an isolated position, as her father and her new boyfriend were working in our company and turned against me. So again being a complete mess I went to India in 1997. By that time I was really angry with swami for destroying my life. If you take one step towards me, I will take a hundred steps towards you. I took hundreds of steps, drove hundreds of kilometers, flew thousand kilometers to him, but still not a single step did he take towards me.

    He claims: “If you shed one tear for me, I will wipe a hundred from your cheeks.” I’ve shed thousands of tears, not one was wiped of my cheek. “No leaf will fall from a tree, unless it’s my will.” So ruining my life happens because of his will. Thank you very much.

    If he asks you a question, no answer will do, you’re always wrong. Even if he asks you the same question the next day and you repeat his answer to the question, he comes up with a different answer. You’re always wrong, everything you do is wrong. He is constantly putting you down and saying that he is the sole solution. You become dependent, depressed and insecure. Though in your prayers you don’t ask for wealth, but for a good heart, character etc. nothing happens. You wait and wait and wait, but nothing is going to happen.

    For women it’s even harder, he most of the time completely ignores them. Using phrases like “Wife, knife”. WIFE meaning, “Worries Invited For Ever.”

    But still I was doubting myself, so here I was again in Puttaparthi in 1997, looking at this clown in his orange robe. After 2 days I told swami in my mind that if he would not let me meet people I know, I would leave. For I knew nobody anymore. So what happened, I met the beautiful family that I also met in 1990. Swami’s grace or coincidence?  This family looked to me like the perfect Sai family. They were leading a centre, wrote and played their own bhajans. They came for the ultimate proof, that Sai Baba was what he and the parrots said he was. This was the family which the BBC documentary “The Secret Swami” is largely about. I saw them getting interviews, I saw most of the rings, necklaces, earrings, watches. But I never really knew how it ended, because I left before they did. After seeing the movie, I realised that they had their ultimate proof, but in what a sad way. They were so nice and willing to do anything for swami and he destroyed them. I am fully convinced of the integrity of this family.

    From ’97 till 2002 I went back to Puttaparthi once or twice a year. Every time I was there, I thought ‘what am I doing here?’. I hardly lined up to get to be at his ‘darshan’ and when I did, all the time I would see his vibhuti routine. Coming out from his living quarters, he was always lifting his robe a little with his left hand, so he could keep his hand closed. Then he takes letters with his right hand and puts them in his left hand. Then he walks on, but now without holding his robe, because now he has the letters in his left hand and uses them to keep his hand closed. He walks over to someone and you can see his right hand going to his left, to take the vibhuti pill from underneath the letters, but he always manages to distract people, so they look at his face. Unless you know. When he transfers the vibhuti, you can see the fingers of his right hand are closed together and very soon he materializes vibhuti. After this, as he walks on, the fingers of his right are spread open, because he doesn’t have to hide the vibhuti pill anymore

    Once, as I was sitting in the front row, he accidentally dropped one pill in front of me. Immediately he placed his foot on it to crush it and looked at me with a big smile. As he moved on, the Indians got up to pick some of it and put it on their forehead.

    At that time I also thought, why aren’t we hearing anymore about the water projects and of more seva (service) projects. But instead we see him spending a lot of money on the hundreds of festivals. Not for his sake of course, but out of his love for the people that are gathered around him. This was not very motivating to people who were willing to do seva and spend their money and time to the sick and needy.

    In 2009, on my last visit, I stayed in Puttaparthi for about 10 days, outside of the ashram. I only once walked in and sat down on the mandir ‘temple compound’. Swami was sitting there in his wheelchair. After 2 minutes, I got up and left. Was this the same swami, who said that one day we would only see him as an orange spot in the far distance, for there would be vast crowds? Was this the swami that would live till 96 years of age? Was this the avatar who said that it was not in his nature to fail his mission, which is to restore Dharma and that nobody could stop him?

    Finally somebody outside told me a little about what had happened to ‘the perfect sai family’ I met in ’90 and ’97. Once home I finally went to the site exbaba.com which I had been avoiding since swami’s outrage in 2000, where he told his followers “Not internet but innernet” about the liars and that we ought not to talk about these things. I saw the movie ‘The Secret Swami’. I read a lot of articles and finally everything fell in place. I had been stubbornly ignoring all the signals for the past 20 years. I can tell so much more, but I will end here. For I think swami is not capable of his sexual misbehaviour any more and I would not be surprised if he were to die soon.

    My final conclusion. I don’t believe swami is omniscient, omnipotent nor omnipresent. He is clever and cunning and has a good eye for deceiving people. He mostly asks questions and it doesn’t matter what answer you give, he will end up saying ‘I know’. I’ve seen so many materialisations, but the ones I saw from close by, were all fake ones. As were the so-called diamonds. I’ve seen diamond rings with scratches from the concrete, as people were getting up. Only diamonds can scratch diamonds, not concrete or sand or whatever.

    Before any materialization, he shifts the attention away from him and his hands. It seems to me that he hates women and mostly ignores them, treats them badly and talks bad about them. Indeed he is only interested in younger males and they get a lot of attention in interviews and he is abusing them. I think he has a good eye for gay men. I think villagers know about these things and there are not many that believe in him. But they keep quiet out of fear for the police and because the westerners are their source of income. I believe he is somehow connected to the murders and if he were omniwhatever, he would have foreseen it and could have set an example of ‘love thy enemy’. How can any devotee ever think that the murders were part of his Divine Play (i.e. leelas!). But many of us, including myself, always find some satisfying inner answer. Again, the mind can do it all.

    At the beginning of my first trip, I met two Italian boys, somewhere in their mid-twenties. One boy was called Francesco and he was a very good looking boy. He told us about his private interviews with Sai Baba. In one of his private interviews Baba gave him an amount of money. By now, we all know why. Obviously to keep him silent, because we, mere mortals, would not understand. In one of his interviews swami said to the boy that he had been Saint Francis of Assisi in a previous life.

    On my second trip, one year later, Francesco was still hanging around and had met an Indian girl from Singapore. When the Singapore group got an interview, the girl told swami that she had met a boy and that she asked swami whether if he was fit for her. Swami asked for the boys name and she said it was Francesco. Then swami in a loud voice said ‘no, he is worse than a dog’. Many times swami says that dogs at least have reason and season. So being worse than a dog means, having sex without reason and season. Does Sai Baba  have reason and season, while taking advantage of young boys?  You can judge.

    After my last visit (2009), I started reading everything I could find on the internet and after seeing ‘the secret swami’, I was fully convinced that I had been deluded, for the past 20 years. I have to say I was a willing victim, in denial of all criticism and my own experiences and observations.

    However, one thing was still bothering me. Somewhere between 1997 and the year 2000, I met a family, who wish to stay anonymous. Their daughter had become very ill in India. Being completely dehydrated, the parents feared for her life. While the mother was staying in their apartment inside the ashram, the father and son went for morning darshan. They were sitting in the front line, opposite to where I was sitting. As swami walked by, the son told him, that his sister was very sick. Swami walked on, but 5 metres further he stopped and summoned the boy to come forward. He materialised vibhuti and gave it to the boy. They brought it to the girl.

    In the afternoon darshan, again they were sitting in front line and again I had a clear view of them. As swami came out, he walked straight up to them and asked about the girl. She wasn’t any better. He then materialised, as the father told me, something that looked like a tablet, not vibhuti. They gave it to the girl and she got a little better.
    By at that time I was about to leave for home and in my mind swami performed a miracle, by curing the girl. In my mind, I was completely convinced he had healed her. However, I never had any contact anymore with the family, so I couldn’t check the details.

    So after reading on the Internet the testimonials of ex-devotees and watching all the movies of the testimonies I could find, it became clear to me, that I never ever had seen any miracle. By now I convinced that swami had no powers whatsoever, at least he did not have them during  those 20 years I was there.

    But there was still this memory about the girl that got healed. Through sending e-mails to several people, I got hold of the father and I asked, if he could clarify me on this point. He then told me that the girl got a little better, but at home they had to contact a regular doctor, for her full recovery. I asked the father what he thought about the whole act. He had come to the same conclusion as I had, even though I had not told him mine, because in no way I wanted to influence his insight. Only afterwards I told him of the fact that I had come to the same conclusion.

    Our conclusion; as swami walked past the boy, who told him about his sister, he had to walk a little further, for he hadn’t yet transferred the vibhuti tablet from his left to his right hand and when he had done so, he called the boy forward. In the evening darshan, as he walked straight towards them, he had pharmaceutical tablet, probably from one of his doctors and he wanted to get rid of it as soon as possible. It didn’t heal the girl, it just helped her to get back home and visit a regular doctor. The family, throughout the years was witness to a lot of fake materialisations. They considered it a test of their faith. But after this incident however,  they lost all faith and interest in swami and have moved on since, with a life without swami.
    So far for the lord’s healing powers. 

    I thank everyone who came forward with stories and movies. I am specially thankful for ‘The Secret Swami’ as that movie finally opened my eyes. I wish all of them well. I remember the phrase of the son in the movie saying ‘any life is better than a life with Sai Baba’. And what about Baba’s saying ‘No one can fathom my grandeur’. Grandeur of what? The cheating, the molestations, the murders, the money wasted? I don’t want to fathom such grandeur. 

    Greetings, Sebastian.

    (Sebastian Engelbarts, Holland)

    ————————————————————————-

    International billions flow to Sai Baba

    In August 16, 2003. the Rediff news agency reported:
    “The largest recipient of foreign contribution was Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust — Rs 88.18 crore (Rs 881.8 million)”

    Further Reading

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

    BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

    Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence

    Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

    Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team

    V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings

    Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

    Video Resources

    The Secret Swami (BBC Television):
    (154 MB, Broadband)

    Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
    (80 MB, Broadband)

    http://home.hetnet.nl/~seduced/seduced.wmv
    (21 MB, Modem)

    Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip)

    BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

    BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle « Call For Media and Government Investigation

    Sathya Sai Baba Chief, Dr Goldstein, Explodes. “I am the consummate professional” (See Film Clips)

    Raising ever more serious questions about how spiritual is the head of what Sathya Sai Baba has called THE divine organization in the world,

    Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs)

    at the BBC’s perfectly reasonable questions about accountability

    Dr. Goldstein again reveals his higher self (1.500Kb)

    Michael Goldstein and the sexual allegations (2,10 Mbs)

    Michael Goldstein admits his view is merely a belief (456kbs)

    Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia « Call For Media and Government Investigation

    ……………………………………………………

    General
    Excerpt From Public Petition

    (Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):

    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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    Posted in Morality, New Age, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Typical Testimony of Sathya Sai Baba’s Sex Abuse of Young Males

    Posted by Barry Pittard on April 11, 2010

    Since circa 2000, and up to very recent times, former devotee and other networked critics of Sathya Sai Baba have often had to read – and also hear directly – such disturbing testimonies as the one I cite below. The primary witnesses and their families come from many countries round the world. The great majority of testimony is, for obvious reasons, kept strictly confidential, although, over the years, a number of courageous individuals have spoken out about the abuses Sathya Sai Baba and others close to him inflicted on them.

    For those who wish to proceed at law, we have access to top international lawyers. We point out that litigation is not something to be entered into without a great deal of careful thought. We also note that obtaining justice in India is not always an option. Many of the systems are corrupt, and Sathya Sai Baba is protected by many powerful political, governmental, legal and other elites.

    I think that it is advisable for survivors to reflect carefully before deciding whether to disclose their identities in their testimonies in a public forum, such as the internet. Some prefer to provide sworn testimony, and await opportunities to come forward in the media or in a court action where there is proper jurisdiction. Others, however, are prepared to stand forth and feel that they are making a contribution to saving others from a similar fate, and, in general, they wish to create a much better pubic awareness of the evils of sexual and other types of abuse. We know of those who have had no qualms about speaking up, even after we have carefully gone through the issues with them.

    Most Sathya Sai Baba devotees I have known are good and decent individuals, but a small number of fanatics who defend him at every turning are exceptionally demeaning and nasty. It can be effective to document with reputed media such as the BBC, ABC, DR, SBS, Azul TV, Times of London, Telegraph, India Today, Guardian, Ottawa Times, Adelaide Advertiser, Age … and others, as we have long done. There is another powerful resource – probably too much for the Sathya Sai Organization to hold back – and we are in negotiation stages.

    We believe the first requirement for those who have suffered abuse is to obtain proper counseling. Sadly, many do not avail themselves of these provisions, even when fees are ready to be waived or significantly reduced. One of the many components of our support network has been to see that best practice, experienced and qualified professional counseling is available for survivors of various Sathya Sai Baba abuses, and of abuses too perpetrated by individuals around him. Some links relating to the following testimony are found at Robert Priddy’s blogsite:

    More sworn testimony on several Sathya Sai Baba sex abuses. Posted by robertpriddy on February 8, 2010.

    ————————————————-

    ‘The third interview began in exactly the same way, but it was some weeks after the second one; we were all now in Whitefield (Bangalore). Baba took me into his private chamber and immediately, hurriedly, tried pulling my ‘pyjama” bottoms down, but in his hurry he had pulled the cord the wrong way and made a tight knot of it …. It was all very awkward and I felt embarrassed and strange. In the end I had to help him undo the knot because he was very impatient. Then once they were down he went through the same procedure; playing with my genitals, rubbing his hips from side to side while pressing himself very close to me.
    There was something different about this interview; it made me feel more uncomfortable than ever, There was an urgency in his manner, and I could see that he was excited; there were beads of sweat on his top lip and his breathing was strained. He pointed his finger at me and said very sternly “Don’t talk. You don’t talk. Okay? Don’t talk”. I was a little startled, even frightened at his manner, but I agreed I would not talk. Then his manner changed again, into bright, breezy swami. He asked me if I wanted to kiss him, while embracing me in the usual way, rubbing his hips from side to side while moving his hands over my body and legs. I felt at that moment that his actions were deliberately trying to arouse me physically, that he wanted me to get an erection, because he kept touching my penis and rubbing. But I didn’t become aroused at all. I just kept arguing with myself mentally, saying that if there was any baseness or bad in what was happening, it was all in my lower mind. As such, I never even became faintly aroused, and I think this both perplexed and annoyed Baba, because he seemed irritated and unsure of what to do next.

    Then he pulled me over to his chair close to the entrance of the chamber and I could see his penis, semi erect through the material of his gown. He took my hand and placed it on his penis, and rubbed it up and down, telling me to rub while repeating “Good, good, good” over and over, and visibly becoming more excited. Then he asked me if this is what I wanted … and then clapped his hands over his head saying “This is divine”. Then it was over and I was pushed out again into the other, larger chamber with the other devotees.

    After that interview, I was very confused about the whole thing. When I left the mandir I felt queasy and slightly feverish, and instead of going out of the ashram with my friends to have tea and talk about the interview, I went straight back to my room. I felt as if I had a fever or the flu; weak, shaking, nauseous and light headed, I fell asleep for a while and was awakened by my two room mates a couple of hours later, who came to see if I was okay and wanted to know about my interview with Baba.

    One was an English boy named Kestrel Boyle and the other an Australian called Edward — I can’t remember his surname because he was born of Bangladesh parents in Australia and it was a rather difficult name.

    I didn’t really know what to tell them, or even if I should tell them, so instead asked them if Baba had ever done strange things to them in their private interviews. Edward replied immediately, and in such matter of fact tones that it surprised me into silence. He said “What, you mean playing with your dick? Oh don’t worry about that, he’s done that to me loads of times. It doesn’t mean anything bad – I actually like it, and think it’s good for me.’ Kestrel basically said the same kind of thing, so I didn’t dare say any more, but I wondered what else Baba had done with them’.

    ————————————————-

    Click here to view list of brief video clips available from the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ documentary

    ———————————

    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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    Posted in Morality, New Age, Opinion, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

    Is Heat Too Much For Swami Nityananda, Under Fire By Sex Abuse Allegations?

    Posted by Barry Pittard on April 2, 2010

    In country after country, to explode vast naivety based on blind, unquestioning faith, it may take a great many major unmaskings of powerful, outwardly respectable, institutions, and  the charismatic leaders often associated with them.

    ————————————

    Tainted godman quits all posts of ashram

    D P Satish

    D.P. Satish.  CNN-IBN

    Posted on Mar 30, 2010 at 08:25

    Bangalore: Tainted godman Swami Nityananda has decided to step down from all posts of his ashram to lead a life of spiritual seclusion. This, after a controversial CD surfaced three weeks ago, showing him in a compromising position with a Tamil film actress.

    The Swami, who has lakhs of followers in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, maintains his innocence. But his ashrams have been deserted ever since the scandals became public. His case comes up for hearing in Bangalore on Tuesday.

    TAINTED GODMAN: Swami Nityanand says he wants to live a life of spiritual seclusion now.

    I have decided to live a life of spiritual seclusion, for some indefinite time, to which the acharyas have agreed in principle,” said the tainted godman.

    “In view of this, and to enable Dhyanapeetam to function with such amended agenda as may be necessary, I am resigning as the head of Dhyanapeetam and from all the trusts associated with it,” he added.

    ————————————

    See Related Barry Pittard Articles at Call For Government and Media Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

    Boy Scouts of America – Sex Abuse Revelations. Who Next?
    Sexual Abuse Priests. What?! The Pope Never Knew?
    Why Nithyananda Sex Scandal Investigations and Not A Sathya Sai Baba Probe?
    Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya Sai Baba
    Standing Up To Cultic Monoliths. (Sathya Sai Baba Organization Example)
    Nityananda Sex Scandal Erupts in India. Sathya Sai Baba Lessons?

    See, too, Robert Priddy at Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

    Barry Pittard on sex abuses – Scouts, Nithyananda, Sathya Sai Baba, Pope

    Swami ‘Paramahamsa’ Nityananda scandal – latest

    Investigations of sex cover-ups not ’smear campaigns’

    Sai Baba school closed because of reported sex abuses

    Nityananda sex scandal compounded by his lies and deceits

    Nityananda video, lies and ’sex allegations’

    ——————————————–

    Click here to view list of brief video clips available from the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ documentary

    ———————————

    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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    Posted in Morality, New Age, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

    Boy Scouts of America – Sex Abuse Revelations. Who Next?

    Posted by Barry Pittard on March 31, 2010

    Perhaps the day of great account will eventually come for the international Sathya Sai Organization.  

     

    At the moment, the Boy Scouts of America is under close scrutiny for its practices in dealing – and not dealing – with the sexual abuse issue.  

     

    Boy Scouts of America Sorely Tested
    Will Parents Be Able To Trust Boy Scouts of America?

    In recent articles at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’, I have been pointing to cases in other areas which have often taken years of persistent activism by those who have exposed appalling levels of cover up by powerful institutions.  

    Typically found throughout all these institutions are the themes of psychological denial by the generality of followers and deliberate denial by those authorities who know the facts and go to great lengths to hide them. The amount of denigration, name-calling, distortion of what is being said, shunning, libel and defamation of those who have stood forth to reveal the facts, are also typical. They fly completely in the face of the professed ethical and spiritual teachings of those institutions, which in many cases are unexceptionable.  

    An oft-repeated and egregious flaw of apologists is to avoid the fact that the institutions which they defend should be accountable to the law. Pope Benedict’s now says that he is ‘sorry’ for the countless sexual abuses by certain of his priests, but modern notions of reporting abuse to the police were absent in his document. 

     

    Despite the Pope’s recent apology to Irish Roman Catholic survivors of priest abuse – vastly long in coming (and what of huge reported abuses occurring in his church throughout the world?) – still fails to resolve the issue of accountability to civil law. Such a glaring omission suggests no reason why a church with such profound failure in reforming its handling of thousands of sexual abuse cases should be entrusted to exercise ecclesiastical law in these matters. 

    The apologists in all these institutions attack the ‘messengers’, who are typically prepared to be accountable for their allegations. It is, rather, those who stand forth who go to the media, mount legal challenges, suffer threats (sometimes to life and limb), set up counseling situations for abuse survivors, do prodigious researches, write articles, attend to voluminous correspondence and (often highly inopportune) telephone calls, do media interviews, consult with lawyers and abuse experts, and maintain websites and blogsites that are in constant need of concentrated attention …. It is they who are so viciously and constantly attacked. It is they and their families and friends who are unconscienably put under pressure by fanatics and other nasty people. It is they who make untold professional, financial and health sacrifices; but it is the institutions which strenuously attempt to avoid account. See recent articles at this site: 

     Sexual Abuse Priests. What?! The Pope Never Knew?  

     Why Nithyananda Sex Scandal Investigations and Not A Sathya Sai Baba Probe?  

    Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya Sai Baba  

    BBC Transcript ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sathya Sai Baba’s Frauds Exposed)  

    Standing Up To Cultic Monoliths 

    Nityananda Sex Scandal Erupts in India. Sathya Sai Baba Lessons?  

    Yet another huge institution about whom revelations are also surfacing is the Boy Scots of America. Enough evidence has already been produced by lawyers to show that the cover up has been on a huge scale. 

     Boy Scouts sex abuse files now evidence in suit

    ‘Perversion’ documents to shed light on how Scouts dealt with molesters  

      

    updated 11:03 p.m. ET March 20, 2010
      
    …. “A judge who had ordered the Scouts to release them received 1,247 files into evidence near the end of the day Friday — the third day of trial that began with a lawyer saying “you will be the first jury to see them.”

    Attorneys Paul Mones and Kelly Clark won the release of files from 1965 to 1985 to help them make the case in a $14 million lawsuit against the Boy Scouts filed by a 37-year-old Oregon man. He was sexually molested in the early 1980s by assistant Scoutmaster Timur Dykes, who was convicted three times between 1983 and 1994 of sexually abusing boys, most of them Scouts …  

    During questioning by Mones, Marshall acknowledged there was no system in place to warn Scouts or their parents about potential sex abuse, and no procedure for them to report it.  

    Scout executives had no written guidelines until a 1972 memo on the subject that also urged them to keep its contents confidential “because of misunderstandings which could develop if it were widely distributed.”  

    Earlier Friday, testimony from a bishop for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responsible for a Scout troop of church members suggested the Scouts never provided leaders with training about spotting abuse or preventing it”.  

    ——————————————– 

    Click here to view list of brief video clips available from the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ documentary  

    ———————————  

    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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    Posted in Morality, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

    Sexual Abuse Priests. What?! The Pope Never Knew?

    Posted by Barry Pittard on March 28, 2010

    Some international commentators opine that there is a net of terrible revelation closing in on Pope Benedict XVI. One revelation after another indicates that he has for many years known about the endemic sexual abuses, both of children and adults, happening within the Roman Catholic Church. And that he has, all along, failed with any probity (unless it accorded with antiquated, incredibly out-of-touch notions of an ancien régime) to act. To the contrary, he has called, all along, for secrecy. A key issue is whether any ecclesiastical authority has the right to deal with crimes within its own entity. Countless sexual abuses have not been reported to the police, and strong sections within the Catholic hierarchy have triumphed in a division between Church and State that appalls most who live in a western democracy.

    See companion article to this post:  

    Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya Sai Baba

    Posted by Barry Pittard on March 23, 2010

    The same high-handed rebuff to legal sovereignty of the secular state was, in effect, asserted by the longtime, now retired world coordinator of the Sathya Sai Organizer, Indulal Shah. See:  Indian Newspaper Reports of Killings In Sai Baba’s Bedroom . One of the most responsible papers in India stated:

    “When press persons met Mr. Indulal Shah, chief functionary of the Sri Satya Sai World Trust, after the murders of six young Sai followers in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom in 1993, Indulal Shah is reported as having said: ‘the matter is purely internal and we do not wish to have any law enforcement agency investigating into it.” (from The Hindu, 10-6-1993).

    (For further evidence of how powerful institutions which have a respectable facade nonetheless master the dark arts of cover up, I shall in an upcoming post turn to the mounting allegations of massive cover up of sexual abuse by the Boy Scouts of America, which faces watershed legal action)

    If any should think that the Vatican has not been for centuries, and is not to this day, a heavy hitter in the murky world of realpolitik, they have not paused to read even the standard historical accounts. 

      

    The BBC has called Sathya Sai Baba ‘the secret swami’. See:  The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision . Whether they are from the top handful of universities in the world or from major international media, investigators immediately confirm the entire aptness of this appellation. Both the Vatican and the international Sathya Sai Organization deal, at their very hub, in secrecy. The unsavoury topics guarded by this clandestineness are those from which the rank-and-file members, not to mention investigators, are kept in the utmost ignorance at every opportunity possible.

    In the world of power politics, ecclesiastical or secular, Machiavelli, author of ‘The Prince’ is no mere ghost. Or even Italian any more. He mentored: “A wise ruler ought never to keep faith when by doing so it would be against his interests”. Larger than life, he is everywhere kicking in heads, hearts, minds and souls of those who rise up to question elites entrenched in their power. Indeed Italy, the locus of the Vatican, gave birth to this master of statecraft-by-cunning-means. But he belongs to the murky world in every geopolitical cranny. It is said that he was President John F. Kennedy’s bedside reading.

    For the cleverest and well-born boys I taught in India at the Sathya Sai college outside Bangalore, South India, and for their familial forebears, the everlasting Indian equivalent is Chanakya (known also as Kautilya), the presumed author of the treatise the ‘Arthashastra’. He predates Machiavelli by eighteen centuries, but cedes nothing to him. He counseled:  “Do not be very upright in your dealings for you would see by going to the forest that straight trees are cut down while crooked ones are left standing”. He too lives vibrantly – another ‘invisible man’. Another ‘secret swami’. Chanakya was whispered into their ears away from the rest of the family, and put into their hands for committing to memory, and otherwise communicated by networks of nods and winks. My erstwhile and much-loved students are now out in the world of power and influence doing their darndest. Some of the choicest and most history-steeped of them would, I am sure, to this day be able to look Mr Pittard in the eye with the greatest of directness, warmth and charm (just as when they last rushed up to me at Puttaparthi in 1997 after my long absence), with the terribly invisible Chanakya sitting godfatherly and approvingly on their shoulder.

    Be in Puttaparthi and accompanied by any acutely well-informed Indian observer, you will have discreetly pointed out to you a not always charming gallery of those who protect Sathya Sai Baba to the nth degree.  You will be privy to a long roll-call of players in the inmost circles of power – governmental, political, armed forces, police, judicial, diplomatic, financial, industrial, and so on. Sathya Sai Baba brings vast foreign and other revenues to India, and, irrespective of what party or coalition of parties ascends in India, he is profoundly protected.

    One’s ultimate discussion with oneself is whether one rolls over and cedes to the bully boys (and most in these rigid, autocratic hierarchies are indeed male) – or not.

    For my observations on the current sex scandal erupting in India concerning Swami Nithynanda, see:

    Why Nithyananda Sex Scandal Investigations and Not A Sathya Sai Baba Probe? In this article, I have proffered some reasons why the Nithyananda scandal has not been hushed up, in marked contrast with Sathya Sai Baba. The Pope and Sathya Sai Baba are immensely ‘big fry’. Nityananda, although reputed to have large numbers of devotees worldwide, is a minnow by comparison.

    Robert Priddy

    Swami ‘Paramahamsa’ Nityananda scandal – latest

    Posted by robertpriddy on March 28, 2010

    Investigations of sex cover-ups not ’smear campaigns’

    Sai Baba school closed because of reported sex abuses

    Nityananda sex scandal compounded by his lies and deceits

    Nityananda video, lies and ’sex allegations’

    Pope Benedict’s Standing In Grave Question

    The Netherlands: More than 200 Catholics have until now reported sex assaults.
    Germany: Over 250 sex assault cases are under investigation.Austria: A series of accusations of sex abuse have surfaced recently.
    Ireland: Two reports in 2009 document sexual and physical abuse on a huge scale in Catholic institutions.
    USA: An independent commission in 2004 received 10,667 accusations of abuses by Catholic priests from 1950 to 2002.
    UK: A monk who ran a Catholic school was given 8 years prison for decades of child sexual abuse. Two other monks were convicted for sex assaults in 2007.
    Australia: In 2008, there were 107 convictions in sex abuse cases connected to the Catholic Church.
    New Zealand: There has been a series of accusations of sex abuses in Catholic schools.
    Canada: In 1989 a newspaper exposed sex abuse in a Catholic children home in Newfoundland, after which 300 previous children homes have reported sex abuses!
    Argentina: Brasil: Peru: the Philippines and Senegal have all reported similar cases.
    (Source: Norsk Telegram Byrå and DPA)
    See A timeline

    US lawyers have released a letter with a potential to be highly damaging to Pope Benedict.

    Associated Press Report

    Pope under fire for transfer, letter on sex abuse

    By NICOLE WINFIELD (AP) – Mar 12, 2010

    VATICAN CITY — Germany’s sex abuse scandal has now reached Pope Benedict XVI: His former archdiocese disclosed that while he was archbishop a suspected pedophile priest was transferred to a job where he later abused children.

     The pontiff is also under increasing fire for a 2001 Vatican document he later penned instructing bishops to keep such cases secret.

     The revelations have put the spotlight on Benedict’s handling of abuse claims both when he was archbishop of Munich from 1977-1982 and then the prefect of the Vatican office that deals with such crimes — a position he held until his 2005 election as pope.

     And they may lead to further questions about what the pontiff knew about the scope of abuse in his native Germany, when he knew it and what he did about it during his tenure in Munich and quarter-century term at the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

    ………  

    The Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Federico Lombardi, issued a statement late Friday noting that the Munich vicar-general who approved the priest’s transfer had taken “full responsibility” for the decision, seeking to remove any question about the pontiff’s potential responsibility as archbishop at the time.

    Victims’ advocates weren’t persuaded.

    “We find it extraordinarily hard to believe that Ratzinger didn’t reassign the predator, or know about the reassignment,” said Barbara Blaine, president and founder of SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

     See remainder of report HERE

    See Also

    Sinead O’Connor’s statements!

    Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya Sai Baba

    Posted by Barry Pittard on March 23, 2010

    ——————————————–

    Click here to view list of brief video clips available from the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ documentary

    ———————————

    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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    Posted in Morality, New Age, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

    Standing Up To Cultic Monoliths. (Sathya Sai Baba Organization Example)

    Posted by Barry Pittard on March 17, 2010

    Confronted by the smallest questioning of Sathya Sai Baba, his defenders commonly refer to instances such as the miracles he is supposed to have performed. Or indeed those phenomena which have happened beyond his physical presence but been related to him in some way.  

    Yet there is much proof that he routinely fakes these performances. Many of his devotees know that he has bungled various “miracles”; however, they take refuge in such notions as that he is only testing their faith. They will not examine the large corpus of evidence that exposes him, as the BBC did with its cameras in 2004. See: 
     

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

    BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle

    Sai Baba No Shiva. Gold From His Gut Is Regurgitator’s Trick

    The followers do not look at the evidence that human beings can be deceived both by fraudsters or magicians. Or that humankind has a vast track record of mental projection and of interpretation of phenomena according to unexamined presupposition. Nor do they consider – supposing that unusual phenomena can manifest, quite apart from any attempt to deceive – that parapsychological agencies yet to be fathomed by the sciences may be implicated. Instead, human beings tend to be quick to ascribe religious or philosophical interpretations that draw from their own religio-cultural predispositions.

    Whatever one may conclude about topics demanding of complex discussion, the call for accountability and transparency of organizations is a relatively straightforward matter. In democracies, we expect it in our workplaces, civil associations, and institutions such as our judiciaries, governments and so forth. We have notions, too, of good citizenship and community, in which many individuals cherish and practise fairness and care for each other. All the Sathya Sai Organization’s talk about “service to others” rings hollow indeed when it treats those who question it so badly.  

    In regard to good faith, one might fairly wish to see members of the Sathya Sai Organization refuse to be any part of a cover up. One would  like to assume them to be worthy citizens who share the benefits and responsibilities as members of the civil society. One might think that, in the face of repeated, widespread and serious allegations, they would subscribe to proper processes of accountability. People at large have a right to know the facts – especially given the seriousness of the allegations of serial, widespread sexual abuse of boys and young men, the killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom, the massive lack of accountability in regard to astronomical donations to the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust from many countries, the huge expenditure in lavish and showy buildings, the pomp and ceremony surrounding Sathya Sai Baba, the apartments scams, and so on.  

    In the matter of the sexual abuse issues (which involve others of his key servitors as well as Sai Baba), it is extremely wrong of devotees who are in-the-know to shut up about these matters, for it denies parents and guardians the opportunity to make their own minds up whether they send their young to be in his presence, and in his colleges. 

    There has now been Irish government acknowledgement of decades of profoundly covered up sexual abuse of children – girls and boys – on a huge scale by Catholic Priests in Ireland. India’s failure to act in regard to Sathya Sai Baba and other notable cases shames her before the world. 

    (Note: India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is one of a line of Indian Prime Ministers who have prostrated before Sathya Sai Baba. Those close to Singh have been involved in attempts to bring Sai Baba to account, but Singh, as did his predecessor A.B. Vajpayee, has turned a deaf ear. I would add that he and other Indian Prime Ministers and other senior figures have been provided with greater depth of information than it is sometimes possible to expose on the internet or other public fora).

    There has been, as in the case of the Sathya Sai Organization leaders, the persistent and scandalous cover-up at all levels in the Roman Catholic Church up to and including Popes. Those Roman Catholics who for decades have been speaking out have been subjected to attacks very much like what other whistleblowers (including many former devotees of Sathya Sai Baba) have had to endure. It is terrible and wrong. The Irish case is full of stark parallels. Sathya Sai Baba is protected at the very highest levels in India. In regard to him, we learn at first hand from very senior diplomatic sources that diplomats are instructed not to “rock the boat with India”. The fallacy that most thinking Indians would be bound to detect is the absurd conflation of Sathya Sai Baba with India! Those who have traveled extensively in India know how huge is the repudiation of him in that great but tragic country.  

    When one speaks to dissenters from other areas, the same presentations of cultic believers are the case – cover up, character assassination, libel and defamation, vile vituperation on the one hand and cold shunning on the other, threats to sue and other bullying tactics, working to get people fired from their jobs, families broken up, inability to discuss without poor argument and distortion of what has actually been stated, and so on.  

    Standing forth for truthfulness is not an easy job.  

     
     
     

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    Video Resources 
     
     
     ——————————— 

     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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    Posted in Morality, New Age, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

    Nityananda Sex Scandal Erupts in India. Sathya Sai Baba Lessons?

    Posted by Barry Pittard on March 12, 2010

    More than once, I have alluded to that India which is profoundly wonderful, but an India which has been traduced by her often immeasurably corrupt elites. Sometimes – according to presence or lack of the ‘right’ political patronage and the amounts of grubby money and other enticements at stake – the crimes of gurus are exposed but often the cover up is great.

    However, there has been a big backlash against corrupt gurus in recent days. A hugely publicized sex scandal involving sex allegations against Swami Nityananda (alternative, Nithyananda) is part of the outrage. Apparently, he claims to be an avatar of Shiva, claiming 2 million devotees in 33 countries. Like Sathya Sai Baba, he has presided over social work and so forth. Some of Sathya Sai Baba’s followers who do not deny his sexual and other activities say: but look at all the good social work that he does. (Actually, one might have thought that it is his devotees that do it!). The laws of many countries, though there may be elements of mitigation, do not take any such absurd position.

    I have yet to examine the issues, but fully expect, as has been the response of Sai Baba’s apologists to the mountain of evidence against him, no end of the same types of spurious, head-in-the-sand justification from devotees of the exposed gurus and malicious attacks on those who have stood forth to speak the truth, and who call – all the while at great readiness themselves to be accountable – for independent and proper third party investigation of allegations. See my update:

    Why Nithyananda Sex Scandal Investigations and Not A Sathya Sai Baba Probe?

    Posted by Barry Pittard on March 26, 2010

    My colleague Robert Priddy, former leader of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, has written posts on the uproar, looking at instructive parallels and providing useful links to footage and media commentary:

    Swami ‘Paramahamsa’ Nityananda scandal – latest

    Posted by robertpriddy on March 28, 2010

    Nityananda sex scandal compounded by his lies and deceits

    Posted by robertpriddy on March 13, 2010

    Nityananda video, lies and ’sex allegations’

    Posted by robertpriddy on March 10, 2010

    Sex scandal in Indian media – Nityananda and forerunners

    Posted by robertpriddy on March 6, 2010

    ——————————————-

    Petition

    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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    Posted in Morality, New Age, Opinion, Protest, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

    On Leaving A Powerful Global Cult. Sathya Sai Baba Example (Part 3)

    Posted by Barry Pittard on January 28, 2010

    This post continues On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult – Ex Leaders and Rank-and-File and On Leaving A Powerful Global Cult. Sathya Sai Baba Example (Part 2)

    —————————–

    …  I spoke by phone and corresponded with a number of former devotee sexual abuse professionals who knew of various cases at first hand. These included Shirley Pike and the late Elena Hartgering. They and other seasoned professional workers were in no doubt of the fact that Sathya Sai Baba had seriously sexually molested young males. 

    As I listened to, or read, the written accounts of both primary and secondary witnesses, I was acutely aware that many of those giving the accounts did not even know each other. Once it was known I was investigating Sathya Sai Baba’s matters, I went on to discover compelling accounts from sources well apart from Sathya Sai Baba circles. Having studied Epistemology, Logic and Methodology in my university Philosophy course, I was ever more aware that the required criterion of non-collusion was being repeatedly satisfied. It was abundantly clear that many of the witnesses did not know each other. Nor did they know of other cases of which former devotees like the late Glen Meloy and myself were compiling an ever-expanding data base. See:  Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam.

    I could not escape the conclusion that Sathya Sai Baba was a serial sexual molester, on an appalling scale, of minors and young men from his educational institutions and from around the world. 

    I also felt acutely conscious that I had been, over many years, whether directly or indirectly (though certainly without proselytizing), instrumental in various people becoming devotees. It is a grave load of conscience to bear, and many former devotees bear it. Like so many others who have investigated and become former devotees, my then partner’s and my hearts were heavy indeed. Typical of others who have just become former devotees, she and I cleared our house of Sathya Sai Baba-related artefacts. As former devotees universally have found, dear friends, in some cases of many years standing, who remained devotees, dropped us, even though we had shown no hostility towards them or Sathya Sai Baba. 

    Incredibly, devotees forget that those they shun are the same people in whom they have long cherished qualities of truthfulness, loving-kindness, and sacrificial service to others. They stand by and allow the constant libeling and defaming of those old friends and fellow workers and, for example, the cruel naming of children, amid the distortion of facts on the internet (where there is known background association with those prominent in the Sathya Sai Organization) and deliberately used to attack the parents who have stood forth. They have betrayed those who have, at great sacrifice to themselves, stood up for the very qualities of truth they forever go on about in their study groups and elsewhere. 

    These members of the international Sathya Sai Organization abrogate responsibility for instituting and maintaining best practice processes of accountability and transparency to be seen in exemplary modern organizations. Yet, in their professions and trades, they gladly benefit from such provisions. Indeed, at large, they avail themselves of the democratic rights guarranteed in the constitutions of the countries in which most of them live.

    …………………………………………………….

    Some Further Resources

    Joseph. Early Sathya Sai Baba Whistleblower

    After Leaving A Cult. Or ‘Moving On’

    Sathya Sai Baba Cult. Blind Eye To Massive Slander

    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

    Timothy Conway Ph.D – On ‘The Hislop Letters’

    Formal statement provided to Exbaba.com by Timothy Conway Ph. D. concerning the Hislop letters

    The crucial John Hislop letters, Sathya Sai Baba, & Sathya’s defender Joe Moreno – by Timothy Conway, PhD

    An article in which Timothy Conway outlines many key issues

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

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

    Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up

    V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings

    …………………………………………………….

    Petition

    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

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

    Subscribe in a reader

    Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

    Posted in Morality, New Age, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

    Global Sathya Sai Cult White-ants Itself

    Posted by Barry Pittard on January 19, 2010

    Why is the Sathya Sai Baba cult so vulnerable? What is its ‘archilles heel’?

    Part of the answer is exemplified in the information that comes to us from those who, to greater and lesser degree, have been Puttaparthi insiders, such as students and former students of Sathya Sai Baba education institution and former leaders. They attest that, when they read blogsites such as this one and the blogsites and websites of others such as Robert Priddy and Brian Steel, they realize from the very first that our sources are frequently spot-on. This means that, along with apostasy in regard to Sai Baba round the world, such knowledge is held far beyond the resources of any of the critical commentators. Those levels of permeation errode the Sai project in ways well-exceeding the efforts of a few writers. In short, the Sathya Sai cult is its own worst enemy. The corruptions and suppressions are the ‘white ants’ which bring it down. Yet even if – somehow – it were reformed, it would surely remain an organization distasteful to those who cherish democratic institutions and values. 

    To screen from members’ view the testimony of dissenters, the top-ranking Sathya Sai Organization leaders have imposed a heavy censorship blanket. It is this stark fact that first meets the attention of scholars, investigative media and others who have tried to probe the leader and his organization. The critical commentators have gone to great lengths to invite scrutiny; but the Sathya Sai Baba forces have done all in their power to prevent it.

    Sathya Sai Baba has heavily inveighed against the Internet, and forbade his followers to read critical writings about him. In Orwellian style, he and his cult have caused to be, as it were, ‘non-persons’ those, now former devotees, who were loved and honoured for decades, and who nonetheless continue to serve in their professions, trades and in unselfish communitity service. It is as if, as far as the Sai sect is concerned, they had never been.

    Of course, the core leaders know perfectly well that there was a massive ashram, local, state and central government cover up of the killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom in 1993. They know that Sai Baba has long serially molested boys and young men from countries around the world. They know of the huge financial appropriation to schemes for which money was not intended. They know of the long-continuing scams regarding ownership of appartments at Puttaparthi. How could they not? For these leaders effected the cover ups. Still many more leaders, though in the lower echelons and thus shielded from knowledge of the skullduggery, have implemented the bans and proscriptions the sect members are expected to endure at peril of ejection from the Sathya Sai Organization. Nor is the membership at large exempt from responsibility, for they have given themselves over to a highly autocratic and heavily male-dominated organization, and many have not acted at all decently towards those who have left the sect, but have swallowed uncritically the immense libels and defamations fomented by Sathya Sai Baba’s activists.

    The organization’s solution is public silence in the face of the countless accusations. They go all out to ensure that Sathya Sai Organization members do not get to know the facts. 

    These officials know that former devotees have long campaigned for independent, third party investigation of Sathya Sai Baba and his core leaders. For example, the title of this blog is: Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba. This means that its writer, as well as former devotees from many countries are, to an acute degree, is accountable in bona fide investigations. My regular readers are familiar with my oft-made comment regarding information that one would not – at least at first – wish to get into the wrong hands where I state that such-and-such information is available for the inspection of bona fide investigators.

    The demands of professional investigators with whom former devotees have dealt in the attempt to expose the Puttaparthi corruptions are considerable. This includes Interpol, FBI, UNESCO, BBC, CBC, ABC, DR, SBS, The Times of London, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, India Today, Salon.com, Gatopardo, The Age, Financial Times (Australia), West Australian, Vancouver Sun, The Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, BT, Trouw, Spiegelbeeld, Noordhollands Dagblad, Focus, BILD …

    If investigations were to uphold Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors then all is well for them!

    Some Further Resources

    Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

    The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory

    BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government

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

    Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up

    Bhagwan Satya Sai Baba sexual abuse scandals

    Serial Sex Molestation and Bedroom Killings. But Much More

    Exposing testimony to the BBC of former Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, V.P.B. Nair (Sathya Sai Baba’s State in South India)

    Puttaparthi and Cover Up of Health Hazards

    Hasty Cover Up Of Sai Baba ‘No bombs in India’ Blunder

    The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed – by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. Part One Part Two Part Three

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    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

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

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    Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

    Posted in Morality, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

    Dr Naresh Bhatia’s Testimony: Sathya Sai Baba Serial Sexual Abuser of Boys and Young Men

    Posted by Barry Pittard on January 16, 2010

    An Indian citizen, Dr Naresh K. Bhatia, publicly announced to a leading British newspaper, The Telegraph, that he had been a homosexual lover of Sai Baba.

    For many years Dr Bhatia was prominent doctor in Sathya Sai Baba’s service – head of the Blood Bank at Puttaparthi and for six years head of the blood bank of the Sathya Sai Super Speciality hospital in Sathya Sai Baba’s vast medical establishment. He has since worked in a hospital in New Delhi.  A very popular Sai Baba-appointed speaker to both Indian and foreign groups, he wrote the widely read ‘Dreams and Realities’, published by Leela Press, the US publisher of many books on Sai Baba. After Dr Bhatia had spoken out, the organization stopped the book’s further sale. A note of proscription appeared in the official Sai newsletter, distributed worldwide.

    Dr Bhatia told author and Daily Telegraph journalist Mick Brown that he had sexual relations with Sai Baba for 15 or 16 years. He revealed that Sai Baba had, over the years, sexual relations with “many, many” of his students, and had brutally raped a minor whom Dr. Bhatia examined afterwards and referred to a physician in Bangalore. He says he confronted Sathya Sai Baba, which led to his banishment. It is standard Sai handling for those who speak up.  

    In early 2004, BBC assistant producer David Saville, with whom for about seven months I was in contact during the making of ‘The Secret Swami’, told me that producer Eamon Hardy, who was then in India with the BBC investigative and camera crew, had just spent some time with Dr Bhatia. I may mention in passing that the sort of desperate comment typically emanating from Sai Baba apologist commentary is that there is no guarantee that the person contacted by a reporter was in fact THE Dr Bhatia.

    He is not the only prominent figure around Sai Baba who has come out publicly and spoken frankly about his having sexual relationships with India’s most famous and powerful religious teacher. Another is Conny Larsson, former head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Sweden, who was a film star and more recently has worked in alcohol and drug rehabilitation in the Swedish prison system. For Swedish psychologist and ex-devotee Åsa Samsioe’s review of Larsson’s book ‘Behind the Mask of the Clown’, see HERESee ex-head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization Robert Priddy’s review HERE.

    Dr Bhatia’s case is one of many in which, from the moment an individual speaks out, a process of Sai demonization commences. They have given decades of service and won respect for the quality and dedication of their service. Lo, overnight, Sai Baba and his servitors, quickly followed by members at large, pronounced dissenters to be devils, Judases, etc.! In the Sathya Sai Organization, there is no process of accountability for those who stand accused. Indeed, this stark fact is one of its greatest vulnerabilities, in those parts of the world which cherish proper justice processes, of this global organization. 

    As is commonly seen in accounts of apostates from many other cults, former devotees have not been spared that hatred, anger and denunciation which turn upon those who have stood forth, at tremendous cost to themselves and in the interests of truth. Thousands have heard Sai Baba say that the Sathya Sai Organization is divine, and the instrument via which he will transform the planet before he leaves in circa AD 2022. Its behaviour in denouncing leave-takers, and covering up many scandals including killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom bares it to stark exposure. It resoundingly falsifies such claims at the outset.

    Former devotees have already had to handle, after years of intensely loving devotion and service, the immense sense of spiritual betrayal. Their lot is untold execration, harassment, distortion of their words and motivations, defamation and libel.

    In correspondence, Dr Bhatia told me that he still cannot shake off his belief that Sai Baba is Divine. Clearly, in his case, and in that of his devotees at large, spiritual detachment, which Sai Baba forever advocates, is notably missing. The grip is vice-like.

    Dr Bhatia told me that Sai Baba has sexually abused very many of his (Sai Baba’s) students. Dr Bhatia wrote further that the threat to life is very real, especially that of a boy whom he professionally believed to have been badly sodomized by Sai Baba. He had the boy sent to a physician in Bangalore, who arrived at the same professional diagnosis  about the presentation, including serious injuries.

    I asked whether all that he had testified he could corroborate in a properly conducted court of law. He assured me that this was so. In fact, many former devotees around the world who are closely conversant with the facts in their experiences have been ready to testify. 

    Dr Bhatia mentioned that he had reason to fear for the well-being of the young person and modified his earlier public stance. His public statement can be seen in David and Faye Bailey’s seminal document ‘The Findings’ (circa late 2000). This husband and wife were unusually prominent Sai Baba emissaries. See my article:  Reply to a Sathya Sai Devotee’s Note re: David and Faye Bailey. They have recounted that, as they moved around the world representing Sai Baba in his official centers round the world, parents of abused young males, and sometimes those who claimed Sai Baba (and in some cases certain of his servitors) sexually abused them, would come to them with harrowing accounts of sexual abuse. These depicted a very different Sai Baba – one who had long engaged in actions that were criminal and hypocritical in the extreme.

    Dr Bhatia also clarified a misunderstanding for me. It had earlier been said that this boy was seven years old when very badly sexually abused by Sai Baba. He confirmed to me that the boy was not seven seven years old but was then in Level 7 at Sai Baba’s school at Puttaparthi. He has also confirmed all the above to my fellow Australian Stephen Carthew, former spiritual coördinator for South Australia in the Sathya Sai Organization, who visited Dr Bhatia in New Delhi 2000. He wrote to me that: “I found Dr Bhatia delightful and most welcoming, notwithstanding the bind he is in. His own ambivalence regarding the spiritual nature of his Guru, and the pressures coming from many sources to keep quiet, makes it difficult for him to do more than tell his story when asked. Certainly, he believed he was threatened and harassed during his rushed departure from Puttapaparthi, after criticizing Sai Baba to his face.” For an update and the link for an Australian Broadcasting Corporation documentary featuring Stephen Carthew, see: Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults

    Robert Priddy’s comment on the Bhatia case

    Note: At the time referred to in his note, Robert Priddy was head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway. “Ours” refers to himself and his wife, Reidun Priddy. Priddy was a careful diarist and he has begun releasing scans of his diaries.

    “In 1999/2000 a lady friend of ours – Anne-Irene – had close connections with ‘insiders’ at Prashanthi Nilayam, especially Mr.& Mrs. Ratan Lala and the US lady called Veronica who ran the foreigners’ canteen. Anne-Irene was present when Dr. Naresh Bhatia was discredited and made to leave his post as head of the Blood Donation Unit at Sathya Sai Baba’s big hospital in Puttaparti. She reported how rumours flew in all directions, as is always the case when such events occur at the Sai ashrams, for there is always a rigid clamp-down on anyone who knows facts from telling the truth. As usual, those unsupported rumours were set going and allowed to flourish with ‘no comments’… especially that Dr. Bhatia had been caught having sexual relations with nurses at the hospital, and that this had been going on with other young ladies over whom he was in a position of authority. Dr. Bhatia, who is married with children, wrote a very flowery and adulatory book called “Dreams and realities face to face with God” (which reflects his belief fully). It was immediately taken off sale at the Sathya Sai Baba Book & Publications Trust, and it was withdrawn and all existing copies were remaindered by the publisher (Jack Scher – since deceased – another egocentric millionaire follower of Sai Baba who had so to speak ‘bought into’ a verandah place by setting up a publishing co. for Sai books in the US called ‘Leela Press’).  V.K.Narasimhan was instructed to publish the disclaimer about Dr. Bhatia in Sanathana Sarathi”

    Posted in Morality, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Is Claimed Indian ‘Avatar’ Sathya Sai Baba God? Or Good? Vital Links

    Posted by Barry Pittard on January 7, 2010

    Websites 

    Sathya Sai Baba In Word And Action. Extensive, highly organized website of Robert C. Priddy, former co-founder and head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway. Retired academic in philosophy and the social sciences at the University of Oslo.

    Recent Research on the Claims of Sathya Sai Baba

    Extensive, highly organized website of Brian D. Steel, a retired Spanish linguistics scholar, University of Monash, Australia.

    http://www.exbaba.com/ – A huge site indispensible expecially for those surveying the development of the Exposé from early in its history, and, in the case of News, up to the present. 

    The Truth about Sathya Sai Baba ! You can read all about this in Dutch too... You are invited to visit our German site... You are now going to read the latest news on this page... You are now going to read some letters of ex devotees You are going to read some work from critical authors... You are going to see how Baba performs like a bad magician... You are now going to watch the Secret Swami... Here you will find an online petition calling for an Official Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization, please sign the Petition... You are going to see some very good maps... You are invited to read and/or write in our guestbook...
    You are going to the English openingspage... You are going to read some statements of wittnesses... You are now going to read some articles... You are now going to read the Findings... You are going to read all about the murders in the ashram and more... You are now going to read how ex-devotees try to recover from their experiences... Every new month various expose contributors are honoured behind this button ! You are going to see some addresses of ex devotees... You are going to see some very good maps... There a lot more of Baba expose sites, just click and see...

     

    Sathya Sai Baba Casebook-Factsheet

    Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed. Conny Larsson’s website. Larsson was the head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Sweden. He was a star in Swedish films who later worked in prison rehabilitation. It seems that Dustin Hoffman was to star in a movie about Larsson’s life but the latter objected to the treatment at the script stage.

    Citizen InitiativeKevin R.D. Shepherd is an independent British author and commentator on religious and philosophical issues, who has never been associated with Sathya Sai Baba. He has written on Shirdi Sai Baba.  Blogsite:  Kevin R.D. Shepherd: Observations and Reflections

    Major Blogsites

    Robert Priddy.  Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed  http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com

    Barry Pittard. ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’ https://barrypittard.wordpress.com

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    General Sites

    Italian ExBaba exposé website http://www.exbaba.it

    Scandinavian Sai Baba exposé websites Swedish) Danish, & Norwegian (Norsk)

    Other European languages German exposé website & Spanish and Russian.

    Dr. Dale Beyerstein’s study of Sathya Sai Baba’s claims and ‘miracles’ 
    Critical Swedish site http://www.sokaren.se/INDEX53.HTML 
    Belief and Sathya Sai Baba: Avatar or Imposter-Trickster? Useful page with links to relevant websites (but some no longer extant)

    Breaking the spell of religious/’spiritual’ superstitions

    Website informing about sects, including the Sathya Sai Baba cult

    FRENCH WEB LOG Marc-André

    The Rick Ross Sathya Sai Baba pages

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    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

     ——————————————————

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

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    Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

    Posted in Morality, New Age, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Cultic Behaviour and Lack of Accountability (Sathya Sai Organization Example)

    Posted by Barry Pittard on December 22, 2009

    In mid 1982, at Puttaparthi, I spoke to two prominent devotees about concerns being raised sub voce that Sathya Sai Baba had been engaged in sexual activities with young males. One of the reports was that he been involved in such activities since he was young, and that this was quite common knowledge within Puttaparthi and district. 

    The two were Richard Bayer, then a high official in the Sathya Sai Organization, organization, and (the late) Howard Murphet, Australian journalist and renowned author of several books on Sai Baba. Murphet was typically gracious but Bayer was shockingly rude, chastising me for daring to breathe such a topic, then turning angrily on his heel and striding away. Bayer’s deplorable behaviour implied that one may not, with any trust, raise issues with Sathya Sai Baba’s handpicked leaders. 

    I have since heard from  a series of reliable sources that Richard Bayer has been high-handed with many other followers of Sai Baba in general. Indeed, many Sai devotees realize and quietly lament the highly egotistical nature of some of the leaders Sai Baba appoints, passing it off as “Baba’s Leela,” and a test of the tolerance of the devotees, and the like. It is also said that he has left the Sathya Sai Organization.

    Like many other top-level leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization, Richard Bayer has much to answer for in general. For example, we have clear documentation that Bayer was one of the officials present at times when reports alleging sexual molestation of males were presented to Dr Hislop and others. We have written evidence that, as far back as 1980-1, when regional director, Richard Bayer told the mother of one abused male youth that the boy was lying. What was this – no pause to consider that a mother may know her son well?

    In the face of serious accusations, responsible organizations have proper processes. As though to waste my breath, I raised this point with T. Sri Ramananthan, for many years head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, yet another individual known for his ruthless, autocratic treatment of devotees. He too would hear none of what is, after all, uncontentious proposition. His draconian treatment of a loved spiritual coordinator in South Australia, Stephen Carthew, I have recently written of:  Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults.

    My colleague Robert Priddy, former head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway, and retired academic from the University of Oslo, has recently again been looking at what we have come to refer to as the Hislop letters. These are essential documents for any serious investigator to analyse with the greatest of care. In its investigation, the BBC – which traveled to the USA and India in the research phases that led to ‘The Secret Swami’ – treated these letters very seriously, although there have been scurrilous attempts to try to distort the facts about them:

    Sathya Sai Organization’s abuse cover-up & unaccountability

    Letter by John Hislop to Sathya Sai Organization leaders

    Revealing letters on sexual abuse claims by Dr. John Hislop

    The Hislop letters – part one [Timothy Conway on Gerald Moreno]

    Timothy Conway, Ph.D

    The crucial John Hislop letters, Sathya Sai Baba, & Sathya’s defender Joe Moreno

    (c) Copyright 2007, by Timothy Conway, PhD

    Barry Pittard

    Timothy Conway Ph.D – On ‘The Hislop Letters’

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    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

     ——————————————————

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

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    Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

     

    Posted in Morality, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    India – Timeless and Timed, Eternal and Venal

    Posted by Barry Pittard on December 20, 2009

    India is, often well-nigh invisibly, ‘bound’ to timelessness. The West, all too often and too visibly, ‘shackled’ to time. Both vistas can be gifts – a sense of timelessness because it helps us to raise our eyes above the deceptive fascinations of the material. A sense of time, because pragmatism is not all bad.

    Sathya Sai Baba, now ravaged by time, as we all must soon enough be, and in a decrepitude easily visible from his photos, and in a series of cranky actions that he would never formerly have made the mistake of committing at least publicly, has had more than enough time to keep his promise that he would first “clean up (his) own backyard, India.  See:  Huge Sai Baba Gaffes and: Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon? and: ‘World Avatar’ Sathya Sai Baba’s Troubled Trail

    Some Sathya Sai Baba apologists assert that the wide social cross-section, including ‘the elites’, that follows him is yet another proof of his divinity. It is a version of the old, badly flawed argument from numbers, humorously used in the old Broadway song: ‘Fifty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong’:

     In Viva la France
    They’re full of romance
    You’ll find policemen with embroidery on their pants.
    And when they start to sing the Marseillaise
    They sing it forty different ways
    Fifty million Frenchmen can’t be wrong

    Though there are timeless strains within Indian culture which aim to transcend the boundaries of caste and parochialism, it is hard for many of her citizens to be exempt. In very different ways, they face the same bugbear we know too well in the West – in our case, rooted in an expected safety but false comfort, but, nonetheless, in both cases, the absence of critical faculties – especially self-critical faculties.

    Images of those Indian historical figures who have urged their fellows to transcend limitations of race, caste and creed sit upon millions of altars. Pictures of them are ubiquitous in India, on the streets and in the homes. The exaltation of certain human beings into demigods is rife, and virtually as much accorded to political and sporting figures (especially cricketers) as it is to religious figures. I have seen a few very frightening examples of Indian crowds, whether in the name of sport, politics or religion, made up of people whom I knew well to be decent and kindly, turn into a stampeding, frenzied mob.

    In an 2008 article – International Cricket And The Secret Swami – I referred to but a small few of many dangerous symptoms revealed within the Indian body politic:

    … this effigy-burning aspect of India relates to that part of India that is so ridden by anarchy, political manipulation of mobs, poverty, crime, corruption, nepotism, and casteism, and so often pretendedly democratic. It is the India which long ago Sai Baba promised to bring to ways of peace (shanti) and non-violence (ahimsa), before he left for other countries around the world, saying that he would first “clean up (his) own backyard”. Yet as recently February 16, 2007, in a so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai Baba said, “I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.” See, Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit

    How well, for example, in December 1997, I remember the scene where the milling crowds at Puttaparthi gave the Indian cricketers the sort of adulation that one might have thought would have been reserved for Sathya Sai Baba. Many women shrieked no less than men. They clawed at the air towards the cricketers’ busses as though they might rend the veil that separates earth and heaven. But we all shortly watched a very good cricket match – how civilized …. (Mind you, Sathya Sai Baba and his officials falsely billed it as an “international” cricket match. It was nothing of the sort. Sunil Gavaskar, India’s former Test captain, supported by Sai Baba’s ‘lite’ version of Dr Joseph Goebbels, Dr G. Venkataraman, falsely stated “So, the Unity Cup was played with players from all over the world including Pakistan”. See my article: Sai Baba Cricket Match International? Claim Was False and Sai Baba Vs Kerry Packer.

    As India edges towards superpower status, and becoming ever more widely visible to the world, this formidable weakness, if not seriously addressed at many educational, political and other levels, will lend to a situation stated by Shakespeare’s Lord Hamlet (though he was speaking of his blighted country’s characteristic drunkenness):

    This heavy-headed revel, east and west,
    Makes us traduced and taxed of other nations

    ……………………………………………

    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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    Posted in Morality, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Puttaparthi and Misconduct of Sathya Sai Baba’s Officials

    Posted by Barry Pittard on December 16, 2009

    Note, 18 July 2010: This earlier article reports on a deeply upsetting, indeed, ugly experience in my early days at Whitefield. Now that so many allegations against Sathya Sai Baba have surfaced year after year, the situation depicted here takes on still more sombre resonances.

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    A correspondent, who has a noted role within the wider Hindu community, has just written to me:

    “I visited Puttaparthi several times when I used to live in India and work at a nearby place called Anantapur, which was about 50 km from where Sai Baba lived. What I used to notice most during my visits was the rude behavior of the volunteers. I wondered why they were so rajassic and gross while the guru was preaching sattvic behavior and the canteen management took pride in serving sattvic food to enhance sattvic qualities”.

    (Note: “Sattiwic” = Sanscrit; having a serene, harmonious, balanced mind or attitude. “Rajassic = Associated with animals and activity, emotions, desire, selfishness and passion. See any standard Sanscrit dictionary).

    I should point out that, in my years at Puttaparthi and Whitefield, I have seen many volunteers do a splendid job; however, there is a nasty ‘underbelly’ which, to judge from continuing reports, has never been addressed. In some cases, Sai Baba and his authorities are complicit in monumental cover up, as in the case of the police killings in his bedroom in April 1993. See:  Sathya Sai Baba – questions and his silence

    The writer’s thoughts prompted my recollections of an incident at the time I was teaching in Sathya Sai Baba’s college. It involved one of the other long-stay devotees, who had come to Sathya Sai Baba in the sixties, an American man named Joseph. In 1979, in the Whitefield ashram crowd awaiting Sai Baba’s public appearance (darshan), Joseph, began to talk out aloud – quite audibly for those who sat near on the sand, as I did. (A large auditorium now stands in that area). He was distressed and expressed moral outrage – he repeated that some college hostel boys had told him that Sai Baba had asked a number of them (in Joseph’s words) to “line up and masturbate.”

    On the third or so day of Joseph’s dark rumblings, six hefty Indian male service volunteers (seva dals) came and dragged him out, his arms and legs flailing. The head service volunteer, whom I knew quite well, told me that Joseph had been ordered not to return. One can never forget the struggle that the immensely powerful Joseph put up, shouting out the accusations – no doubt for all to hear. It was clear that the accounts of the students had pained him, and that he was at great odds to somehow get a message out. An hour afterwards, the afore-mentioned volunteer told me that his duty (which he clearly regretted) was “like wrestling a tiger.”

    A very distressed Indian man who had witnessed the harrowing proceedings said to me, “If Sai Baba is God, why do they need to use all this violence against this man?”

    For the next few days, Joseph climbed a tree outside the ashram wall, and cried forth the allegations for us all to hear. Then, he was gone. I heard from a close friend and local resident, who knew some of the officers, that the Kadugodi police had thrashed Joseph, and sent him on his way. A disturbing implication is that it is very well-known that the local police are firmly in control of Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram authorities. Here was a well-known figure who had lived long in the community.

    Many of us have had ‘flags’ which we have, in our psychological denial state, ignored. We sleep on, but after slamming the alarm clock off. Older well-informed devotees will recall brutal, corrupt people like Kumar, the betel nut chewing stick wielding ex superintendent of police, who was Sai Baba’s gatekeeper at Puttaparthi for many years? A woman in the Sai center which I attended told me of a traumatic experience of seeing terrible violence perpetrated by some of Sai Baba’s assistants. She said it was too painful to talk about and that the incident had presented her with grave inner struggles about Sai Baba.

    Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees need to be honest and admit candidly that many dreadful happenings have long taken place around Sathya Sai Baba. Some may eventually come to realise that, once revelations come out, the memories of many others are triggered, and that information, especially in the age of information technology, spreads exponentially. What pro Sathya Sai Baba apologists who constantly attack those who speak out seem to fail to recognize is that a great deal of corroboration of the facts does not end with the work of prominent former devotee writers and other critics. Many make their own discoveries altogether unreliant on the latter. Also, huge numbers read our articles and examine video footage, and discuss with family, friends, colleagues, fellow members of associations, travellers, and so on. They print out and examine content. They ask questions, and some investigate rigorously, turning up appalling and compelling evidence. Thus, the word gets out, and never stops at the point of this or that blog site or web site

    In time, darkness has a hard job hiding itself from itself.

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    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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    Posted in Morality, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »