As the years have passed, the Government of India and the Government of Andhra Pradesh have not been able to silence all police personnel. One who has refused to shut up is a senior, retired policeman V. J. Ram, whose work as a detective won him a Presidential Medal. He has spoken out against the massive cover up of the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s private quarters, when Sathya Sai Baba and his brother (the late) Janaki Ramaiah (who was on the Sathya Sai Central Trust) had charge of events soon after the slayings occurred.Those who wish to know more about V.J. Ram’s work are welcome to contact me (my details are obtainable by clicking here – Barry Pittard. Details are at the foot of the article. One would like to see the V.J. Ram book get a decent publisher, and, as has been the wish expressed by former Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary V.P.B. Nair to the BBC, to see the case revisited. See transcript of Nair’s statement to the BBC HERE. See my articles:
It is to their historic shame that major newspaper proprietors co-operated in the news blanket that went into force. Many Indian journalists and editors, politicians from various parties, government officials and others know of the profound extent of the cover up by the then powerful Home Minister S.B. Chavan, a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, who sped to Puttaparthi from New Delhi to set in motion the suppression of the facts. See
Note: Long before worldwide allegations of Sathya Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men began to surface in earnest – circa AD 2000 – notable individuals shocked by signs of cover up – started to analyze situations, and leave the Sathya Sai Baba camp. For an example of early investigators, see the article by Warren C. Pyke LLN (Hons.) LLM (VUW), Barrister, New Zealand 3-3-1993: Sathya Sai Baba Murders Evidence (A New Zealand Barrister Analyses Police Evidence). Another earlier investigator of various serious allegations against Sathya Sai Baba was Terry Gallagher, an agricultural scientist and businessman who, in consequence of his findings, resigned as head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia. See: Terry Gallagher’s Testimony
Robert Priddy on the Police Killings in Sai Baba’s Private Quarters
Former leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization and retired academic at the University of Oslo Robert Priddy has written extensively about the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s private chamber in April 1963. A very useful and succinct introduction to the events is: Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders
Select Resources (which contain many other links)
(Spanish version PETICIÓNPÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES
Archive for the ‘Neglected/sidelined News’ Category
Posted by Barry Pittard on August 7, 2009
Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, Opinion, Religion, Skeptics, South Asia, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: Andhra Pradesh Government, cover up, Indian CID, Indian Editors, Indian journalists, Police Corruption, Political Corruption, S. B. Chavan, Sathya Sai Central Trust, V. J. Ram, V.P.B. Nair, Violence | 7 Comments »
Posted by Barry Pittard on June 22, 2009
Scribes seek probe into Baba criticism by press council
From: Express News Service. Anantapur. July, 1993
Anantapur District Journalists’ Union (ADJU) at its emergent meeting here on Monday passed an unanimous resolution requesting the Press Council of India to inquire into the criticism of Sri Sathya Sai Baba against the Press for publishing news items and special articles on the June 6 incident that occurred in Prashanthi Nilayam in which six persons were killed.
It may be recalled that Sai Baba in a scathing attack on the media on Saturday said, “all arguments and theories carried in the newspapers for the past four weeks are nothing but flights of imagination and are false.” Baba also said such reports were motivated and called them “malicious”.
The meeting adopted an unanimous resolution “disapproving” of the Baba’s criticism against the media and sought the Press Council’s intervention to inquire and take action if the journalists had acted with any “malice”.
Besides the meeting also posed some questions to Sai Baba requesting him to give personal replies.
The questions asked are:
When six persons were killed in Prashanthi Nilayam why none from the Prashanthi Nilayam organisation had lodged a complaint with the police?
Where was Sri Baba after the incident on June 6 till the next morning? During the period who met him and what did they discuss with him. Did Sai Baba himself press the siren button?
There is a widespread opinion that the four slain assailants were shot dead by the police only at the instance of some persons belonging to the Prashanthi Nilayam management. How far is it correct?
Why was the Sri Sathya Sai World Trust abolished? Why was it decentralised?
Will you publish a White Paper on the present properties, including cash assets in the name of various Sri Sai Trusts?
Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, News and Politics, Politics, Religion, South Asia, Uncategorized | Tagged: Anantapur District Journalists' Union, Prashanthi Nilayam, Press Council of India | 3 Comments »
Posted by Barry Pittard on May 9, 2009
The principal internet critic of Sathya Sathya Sai Baba critics (beside Dr G.Venkataraman) is Gerald Joe Moreno of New Mexico, USA. He virtually lives in virtual reality – if reality it is.
The title of Moreno’s main blogsite is, one may – virtually – overjoyed to learn: Sathya Sai Baba – Love, Life and Spirituality.
For the last few years, day after day (and night, of course), he has made countless attacks of various kinds on practically anyone who has raised his and her voice in criticism of the idol of Moreno’s life, Sathya Sai Baba. The ‘maturity’ of these endeavours questions the support given to Moreno by both leading Sathya Sai Baba and rank-and-file personnel, including members of the International Sathya Sai Organization
But one example of Moreno’s disparaging ‘art’ and ‘craft’ is that against Sanjay Dadlani, whose University authorities have been beset with material that Moreno has sent to vilify and destroy this young man. So as to concentrate on his studies heading towards a Ph.D in neuro-Psychology, Dadlani has, for a considerable time, withdrawn (since early August, 2008, I think) from the exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. He has gained his BSc. and MSc. That fact has not stopped Moreno’s relentless pursuit of him. Clearly, Moreno wants to destroy his career, just as he tried to destroy the business of a courageous young woman who has built up a business of integrity and love – see quotation below from: Sai Baba Hatchet Man Picks On A Young Child. Posted by robertpriddy on March 14, 2009
Joe Moreno’s Language of Hatred and Disparagement Against Sai Baba Critics
See, companion piece to this blog: Sathya Sai Baba Man Gerald Moreno’s Photo Attack On Robert Priddy
It is extraordinary, especially given Sathya Sai Baba’s spiritual teachings about truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence. Even the few brief words in hundreds, if not thousands, of Gerald Moreno’s Google entries contain ‘hot’ words and phrases, full of aggressive denigration. These references, which Moreno has often highly manipulated through his technical Internet skills, lead to his nest of blogsites and websites containing his unceasing attacks and libels. Quite as extraordinary in its own way is the fact that his main blogsite is called: ‘Sathya Sai Baba – Love, Life and Spirituality’. These are sometimes drawn from his very nasty – although he is at first, ostensibly, befriending and pleasant – personal social harrassments against those who call for proper third party investigation of Sathya Sai Baba and certain of his core leaders in the international Sathya Sai Organization.
Gerald Moreno – Banned By Eight Wikpedia Editors
Gerald Moreno is a man whom no fewer than eight Wikipedia editors banned indefinitely from that encyclopedia. See the independent British scholar Kevin Shepherd’s account: Wikipedia, Moreno, Google. See also: Sathya Sai Baba Man Gerald Moreno – Banned By Eight Wikpedia Editors
Once Shepherd spoke, he too was marked for Moreno’s strenuous attacks, full of inaccuracy, based on Moreno’s highly typical rush to judgement and poor argumentative capacities. One of Moreno’s most constant resorts is argumentum ad hominem, attack upone persons instead of dealing with the issues).
In case legal actions and/or media interest occur, Moreno’s and the Sathya Sai Organization libels of many decent and upright members of wider communities throughout the world, are being recorded. Evidence of Moreno’s connections with those close to Sathya Sai Baba, as well as various members of the Sathya Sai Organization will be provided to bona fide investigators well-respected in the international community.
See Robert Priddy’s article exposing Moreno’s recent attack in regard to copyright issues in his article:
Posted by robertpriddy on May 1, 2009
Wikipedia entry: Robert C. Priddy
“It has also been Moreno’s method to attempt to destroy the business of a woman on which the well-being of herself and her young children depend. He has attempted, using Internet methods, to divert business away from her. By highly partial, faulty reasoning and the leaping-to-conclusion, he has presented her as cooperating with the exposure of the Sathya Sai sect. Of course, whether she had been or not, a dirty trick played against her is nonetheless a dirty trick. Although she is not now devoted to Sai Baba, having taken down her photos and stopped singing his bhajans and so forth, she has not cooperated with her former partner’s exposure activities, as has been a fact well-known to Sai Baba devotees known to her”.
Posted by Barry Pittard on June 23, 2008
Although there is a long history of Sathya Sai Baba’s utterances which forbid promoting of himself, his official worldwide Sathya Sai Organization promotes strongly, at his, of course, the secret Swami’s sub voce behest.
This zeal to recruit (to use the proper word) tends to take place in exceptionally prestigious venues. What does the cult need for its survival – given over a decade of unrelenting exposure? It needs to provide for the stupendously expensive upkeep and maintenance of its costly and sumptuous buildings and various programs that glorify Sathya Sai Baba as God of Gods.
But the wherewithal is not likely to proceed from his ever-circling ‘miraculous’ hand. Survival decrees that it is the left hand that needs to be in operation, and fast.
And despite his both old and recent (2007) promises – see Will World Accept Sathya Sai Baba? He Says Yes. Very Soon
– he almost certainly is going nowhere that would exceed the capacity of his wheelchair and the nervy hands of those continually needing to prop him up – see Sathya Sai Baba’s Tips To Keep Ageing Away
Here are a few of the recruitment centers, bound to be familiar haunts of the wealthy and powerful, whose own beneficent hands, the cult stewards will have to hope and possibly even pray, will, if not quite so miraculously, underwrite the ‘secret swami (pace BBC) – but now, in a way, slightly more public:
Cooper’s Union, New York; Town Hall, Melbourne; Copley International Conference Center, San Diego; Super Dome, Sydney; La Mirada Theatre, Hilton Ballroom (both Los Angeles); Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Chicago; etc. See article by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard: Sai Organization’s Spending Spree In Super Dome, Sydney.
‘Honest Abe’ Lincoln spoke at Cooper Union in New York. Is it ‘The Secret Swami’s’ turn?
Historic Melbourne Town Hall, Australia (with more plans for other Australian cities) has been used as a Sathya Sai Baba cult recruitment center
Sydney Superdome (subsequently rebranded, by nifty corporate strategy, Acer Arena) – another recruitment venue. See article by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard: Sai Organization’s Spending Spree In Super Dome, Sydney
Sheraton and Towers, Chicago. Secret Swami cult recruitment centre
The Hilton Ballroom. A Las Angeles ballroom embraces an ‘Avatar’. No less than Again, recruitment in swish places, claiming hearts and wallets, not a few movie stars among them. Such as?
Does convicted megastar Michael Jackson still love ‘the secret swami’?
Goldie Hawn. Still a golden heart for the gold spinning guru?
Note: Sathya Sai Baba interests who are touting for money for a Hollywood film to be made (a story move extolling him and tentatively titled “My Guy”) with famed singer Nora Jones, daughter of celebrated Indian sitarist Ravi Shankar, being named as a likely star of the movie. (BUT – supposing a more powerful movie can be made showing the dark side of Sathya Sai Baba? Of this, let us see a bit later)
(Note: The above articles contextualizes. Or you may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):
Posted in Miracles, Movie Stars, Neglected/sidelined News, Rationalism, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: Abraham Lincholn, Acer Arena, Cooper’s Union, Copley International Conference Center, Cult Recruitment, Goldie Hawn, Hilton Ballroom, La Mirada Theatre, Melbourne Town Hall, Michael Jackson, My Guy, Nora Jones, Sathya Sai Baba movie, Sheraton Hotel and Towers, Sydney Super Dome | 15 Comments »
Posted by Barry Pittard on June 21, 2008
In my years in India, I saw at close hand the work of one talented and highly motivated Indian group with which I did volunteer social work, attaining that deep wish fired ever since I was 16, when I became deeply inspired by the life of Mahatma Gandhi.
The founder of the work (who sought no name and fame, so I forbear to mention his name) refused to be at the behest of foreign money, even though he was mentor to the son of one of the wealthiest men in America. This stance threw the emphasis on cross-community engagement and responsibility. One could see close up how Indians from various religious and cultural backgrounds (e.g., Hindu, Moslem, Sikh, Parsee, Jain, Christian, etc.) worked extraordinarily well together.
One could see how, abroad, an often false picture of animosity between faiths is often generated of India. I felt deeply honored to be permitted a small role in this social work, and, every now and then, became aware that other Indian Non Government Organizations were doing fine work. Receiving extraordinary kindness wherever I traveled, I experienced how so many Indians from a great array of backgrounds truly practise their time-honored notion that ‘guest is God’. When I was ill on a number of occasions, I experienced bountiful kindness and care of Indian people from various backgrounds, which at least twice saved my life. On one occasion, I was about to be killed by religious extremists (the broad knife was already unsheathed), who very mistakenly thought that I must be a Christian missionary, and the courage and quick-thinking of Indian citizens nearby saved my life. I was in India when riots broke out and heard, very movingly, that there were countless instances of Hindus risking their lives to shelter their Muslim neighbors from peril from a minority of fanatics. The frequent great friendships between those of differing belief systems in India should be far more extensively reported to the world.
The great social evils endemic in India, many of them profoundly related to the evils of British empire, should not be allowed to obscure her great positives.
Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, News and Politics, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: Christian, Hindu, Jain, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, Moslem, Parsee, Sikh | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Barry Pittard on June 18, 2008
Below is the image of the famous saint, Shirdi Sai Baba (d. 1918), of the North Indian State of Maharashtra. His repute has endured untainted by the sort of scandals that have for decades beset Sathya Sai Baba of Puttaparthi.
A Saint of Great Renunciation and Humility
Today, the shrine built around the humble musjid (a Muslim place of worship) attracts millions of pilgrims. You can see (as I have done) Hindus, Muslims and those of other faiths honoring his life there. He is hailed for having done much to inspire living in accord irrespective of race, caste or creed.
Apparently, Indian government archives have referred to documents that reveal how a clandestine police watch was set on Sai Baba of Shirdi, who would often be presented with considerable sums of money and valuable artifacts. These were invariably given away to assist the poor and needy, often by the next day or so. The police reports, as did a great many others from a wide variety of witnesses, show that he lived in conditions of the greatest simplicity and renunciation. He begged from five homes of his devotees. (See below for some sources on Shirdi Sai Baba).
Sathya Sai Baba’s Tall Claims
In proclaiming his future role, Sathya Sai Baba claimed (6 July 1963) that a rishi (sage) Bharadwaja had foretold that Lord Siva and his consort Sakti:
“would take human form and be born in the Bharadhwaaja Gothra (lineage) thrice: Shiva alone as Shirdi Sai Baba, Shiva and Shakthi together at Puttaparthy as Sathya Sai Baba and Shakthi alone as Prema Sai later.” (Sathya Sai Speaks, III, 15:89)
It was much on the strength of such pronouncements that Sathya Sai Baba’s early fame spread – riding on the back, as it were of the fame of Shirdi Sai Baba. Not least among the very wealthy and powerful.
Was There Ever A Larger (Serious) Claim In History?
Some readers may be interested in unraveling the mass of Sathya Sai Baba’s own confusions and contradictions (e.g., with regard to dates and details of characteristics of himself as compared to Shirdi Sai Baba), concerning his extraordinary pronouncements. These go well beyond his claiming to be the re-embodiment of Shirdi Sai Baba, for he says that he is the fullest expression in human form of all the gods and goddesses. For a detailed article that exposes Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organization’s mix-ups and absurdities – all the more compelling because it relies on publicly obtainable documents emanating from official Puttaparthi Sai Baba sources – see Brian Steel (2002) Sai Baba’s Claim to be the Reincarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba. Still more extensively, [Sathya Sai Sai Baba’s] SB’s Claims of Divinity: Avatar and Triple Avatar (Revised Version, 2002)
Writers on Sathya Sai Baba, such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel and myself, frequently use the form ‘Sathya Sai Baba’ – rather than ‘Sai Baba’, so as to distinguish Sai Baba of Puttaparthi from Sai Baba of Shirdi.
Wikipedia – Shirdi Sai Baba
Marianne Warren, Ph.D. Unravelling The Enigma. Shirdi Sai Baba – In The Light of Sufism. Sterling Paperbacks – New Delhi Revised edition 2004 – ISBN 81-207-2147-0.
The late Marianne Warren, Ph.D (University of Toronto, Canada), was an expert in Hindu studies who did scholarly research on Shirdi Sai Baba. She died in September, 2004. My colleague the late Glen Meloy, who died January 1, 2005, and others who hold documentation that has not been allowed to fall into the hands of proponents of Sathya Sai Baba, apprised Dr Warren of material well beyond the reach of the Internet. She and her husband Michael had for a number of years been involved in various voluntary service activities in the Sathya Sai Organization of Canada, and she was the Centre President, Toronto. They both left it, as did many others around the world, once the credibility of the worldwide accounts of Sathya Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of young males became established (most notably from CE 2000 onwards – not least among those many families and individuals and those close to them who never, nor probably would ever, share their accounts on the Internet as some have done.
Dr Warren’s major change of mind about Sathya Sai Baba is reflected in the marked difference between the 1999 and 2004 editions of her book (cited above.
In an email to former head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway, Dr Warren wrote to Robert Priddy, referring to Sathya Sai Baba’s incredible and confusing claim – the details of which he stands in contradiction over the decades – that there is:
“no mention in the Shirdi Sai literature of an avataric mission. The Maharashtrian saint does not appear to have been aware of a future triple avatar, and in fact he personally never described himself in these terms, although his Hindu devotees occasionally termed him an avatar, but more as a mark of their esteem, than a literal designation”.
Dr Warren had the advantage of the not hitherto available writings of Abdul, whom Shirdi Sai Baba had long trained as a spiritual adept. In her book, she points out that the sayings of Shirdi Sai Baba as recorded by the trusted Abdul reveal that he, Sai Baba of Shirdi, would not reincarnate.
William ‘Bill’ Aitkin, a travel writer whose flawed hagiographical writings have been compellingly exposed by Brian Steel (see link below), has tried to fault Dr Warren by saying:
“This illustrates the limitations of the intellect and how the presumptuousness of scholars blinds them to the obvious fact that the mystery of rebirth is not open to proof one way or the other. As in all religious affairs, these things are personal matters and historicity is not as important to the heart as the feeling of oneness the two Sai masters engender. When truly in love the analytical mind is in abeyance”.
Aitken’s strong tendency to use or not use intellectual apologia according to his own sweet will on behalf of his idol Sathya Sai Baba I leave to Mr Steel’s detailed analysis to dispose of. See Bill Aitken and Sathya Sai Baba. A Writer’s Dilemma, commenting on William Aitken’s book, Sri Sathya Sai Baba. A Life (New Delhi, Penguin Books India, 2004. Paperback edition, 2006).
See also the British scholar Kevin Shepherd’s comments on the Shirdi Sai Baba issue, and more fully in his book Investigating the Sai Baba Movement: A Clarification of Misrepresented Saints and Opportunism. (Oct 2005). ISBN-10: 0952508931. ISBN-13: 978-0952508939
For a notion of the imperial splendor that Sathya Sai Baba, unlike Shirdi Sai Baba, has built around himself, see:
Still Further Reading
B.D. Steel notes: “By winnowing this enormous mass of varied documentation, researchers should be in a better position to separate fact from fantasy and research from propaganda in order to arrive at a fair evaluation of the complex Sathya Sai Baba story”.
Revealing Video Footage
Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, Rationalism, Religion, Scams, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: Dr Marianne Warren, Kevin Shepherd, Shirdi Sai Baba, William 'Bill' Aitken | 1 Comment »
Posted by Barry Pittard on May 27, 2008
Particularly for those readers those who were Sathya Sai Baba followers for decades – who are continuing to leave the Sathya Sai Organization and gradually recovering memories of their experiences – I am reposting, having unposted, my first WP blog article at – https://barrypittard.wordpress.com
This February 2007 article was then entitled: Joseph’s Reaction. Was it shock of spiritual betrayal?
In exposing corruption, painstaking documentation, as accurate as one can get it under often trying circumstances, is paramount. Sources keep on opening. Including ones that go way back, and it is good to see memories being jogged. Much of the documentation we keep from the public domain, such as the Internet, where fanaticism, distortion, libel, slander, stalking and hatred can ride high. As I often point out in red so there can be no missing it, many former devotees welcome third party investigation by the best quality media, by scholars, and law enforcement agencies.
Documentation is much assisted by those with the rare gift of photographic memory, and also by those who kept careful written records. Yet when there is a sufficient pool of informants, where the chance of any collusion is remote or to be ruled out, the stream of informal information is also important.
It may be urged, and in part mistakenly so, that memory is too fallible to be any reliable guide. Hearsay can dominate. Non-primary evidence can obtrude itself. And so on. The game used by psychologists that is most often known as ‘Chinese Whispers’ (See Wikipedia reference below) illustrates the marked dangers of accounts passed from person to person and of phenomena such as rumor, gossip. However, there are well-established methodologies by which to significantly counteract such problems. Sometimes, commonsense is not to be ruled out as a useful factor.
Chinese Whispers, Wikipedia Reference
“The mire was deep, & the child did weep”. William Blake, Songs of Innocence.
Let me start with one of a number of experiences that haunt me and will not let my conscience be stilled. In 1979, in the crowd awaiting Sai Baba’s public appearance (darshan), Joseph (USA) sat along with the rest of us.
I knew him well enough, and it was he who found me accommodation on my first arrival with wonderfully simple and decent village folk in Kadogodi, behind Sathya Sai Baba’s Whitefield ashram. He had told me that he was formerly a college lecturer in French. Called a hippy by the village children (who may have been somewhat right), he appeared to be in his thirties, and was one of three or so Westerners remaining after the hippies and others had departed from Sai Baba in the late sixties.
Joseph began to discourse, for all of us to hear, and I sat just behind him. At times with rising stress levels, and with moral outrage, he repeated that that some college boys had told him 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 carried him out onto the street, ordering him not to return. I expect any of the thousand or so present can never forget the fight that the immensely powerful Joseph put up, roaring out the accusations for all to hear. A very distressed Indian man said to me, “If Sai Baba is God, why do they need to use all this violence against this man?” An hour afterwards, one of the volunteers told me that his duty of ejecting Joseph was “like wrestling a tiger.” He told me that his part in manhandling of Joseph saddened him because they had known each other affectionately.
For the next days, while people awaited darshan, Joseph climbed a tree outside the ashram wall, and again cried out the allegations for us all to hear. Then, he was gone. I heard from a close friend and local resident, Siva Subramanian, a Tamil and retired grain merchant who knew some of the Tamil constables, that the Kadugodi village police had soundly thrashed Joseph, and sent him on his way.
So much, then, for the cardinal doctrine of ahimsa or non-violence – in the land that still daily venerates my great hero since I was a child, Mahatma Gandhi – along with the Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King, a towering apostle of non-violence. Sai Baba everywhere preaches ahimsa, but does he – and do those around him – practise it? Many devotees will remember his brutal corrupt servitors like Kumar, the betel nut chewing, stick-wielding ex-superintendent of police, who was Sai Baba’s gatekeeper at Puttaparthi for many years. Diane, a woman in the Sathya Sai Baba group not far from where I live told me of her trauma at seeing violence perpetrated by some of Sai Baba’s assistants. She said it presented her with great doubts about Sai Baba but felt that she could not speak further. Her story is one of many such, a fact that devotees really need to face squarely.
Just a small few of the grave complaints about Sai Baba, which are strenuously covered up by his servitors:
- Large-scale, serial sexual molestation of boys and young men
- Being implicated in police killings in his bedroom on June 6, 1993, along with massive cover-up by his ashram authorities and local, state and central government and police
Faking many miracles
- Promising but not delivering miraculous cures
- Making prophecies which have not eventuated
- Giving accounts known by modern science to be completely unfounded
- Contradicting himself, over long years, in published discourses
- Massive misappropriation of funds donated by devotees worldwide
- Presiding over a highly unaccountable financial empire
- Creating myths about himself, which he permits to be used as the basis for materials in public exhibitions, like the museums at Puttaparthi and Mumbai
- Falsifying his birth and school details
- Plagiarising the sayings of others
- Running a worldwide organisation that is extreme in its lack of public accountability and transparency, and which hides certain core, but embarrassing beliefs and agendas when it runs its recruitment drives in luxurious, costly venues.
And, alas, Etc., etc.
There is a Spanish version available:
Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: Homosexual Abuse, Homosexuality, Joseph, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, the Dalai Lama, Whistlebowers, William Blake | 5 Comments »
Posted by Barry Pittard on January 20, 2008
The following are some quotes from Brian Steel’s article Bill Aitken and Sathya Sai Baba. A Writer’s Dilemma.
Retired Spanish language expert and lexicographer from one of Australia’s top universities, Steel critically assesses a book by William McKay ‘Bill’ Aitken: Sri Sathya Sai Baba. A Life (New Delhi, Penguin Books India, 2004. Paperback edition, 2006).
Aitken’s Methodology Badly Flawed, Says Steel
Aitken’s style of reporting often shows a judgemental bias in favour of Sathya Sai Baba, somewhat akin to the devotee’s habit of rationalising any doubt or inconvenient information about the guru. Nowhere is this clearer than in the few pages where he makes an attempt to explain away SSB’s clearly documented errors and exaggerations (pp.131-136)
This biography contains other errors and omissions which suggest that Aitken was over-selective in his sampling of the vast hagiographical literature on SSB.
Equally disappointing for the general reader is the author’s superficial treatment of recent controversies. On more than one occasion he issues blanket condemnations of all criticisms of Sathya Sai Baba, dismissing them out of hand and even implying interference by “certain rival missions” (p. 189) or speculating that someone “could be a paid informer of the missionary lobby”. Also, Aitken’s preoccupation with the sensational, headline-grabbing sexual allegations (by Tal Brooke, or David Bailey, for example) does not leave him time to deal with more serious aspects of past and present critical research on Sathya Sai Baba …
disappoint many non-devotee readers (especially researchers) simply because any account of Sathya Sai Baba’s life that ignores, misrepresents or makes mistakes over relevant available evidence about that life (especially the copious amounts freely available in SSB’s Discourses, the available literature and on the Internet) can hardly be seen as a complete or impartial work.
In spite of his professed neutrality between “the hype of unhinged devotees and a howling pack of detractors”, some parts of Aitken’s eulogy, ‘Awareness of Divinity’, written for The Week (27 November 2005) on the occasion of SSB’s 80th Birthday, are no different, in essence, from what a Sathya Sai Baba apologist would assert, especially the blanket dismissal of all criticism as inherently baseless and extraordinary generalisations like “the critics are so intemperate in their dislike that their vituperation now comes across as almost near comical in its predictability”, as well as the permanent blind spot for serious Internet criticisms of Sathya Sai Baba that have not been refuted.
See Barry Pittard’s article Sai Baba Researchers’ Huge Debt To Scholar Brian D. Steel
- A look at Robert Priddy’s articles on William McKay ‘Bill’ Aitken
- Barry Pittard looks at Steel on Aitken and on other topics
Posted by Barry Pittard on January 16, 2008
The Australian academic linguist Brian Steel has posted his Research on Sathya Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organisation. New Factors for Researchers to Consider, December 2007
Brian D. Steel’s Huge Project
Of the ‘New Factors’ section, he notes: “This extensive survey is also an integral section of the third Part of my annotated Bibliography on Sathya Sai Baba”. Far more that offering long lists of sources, the bibliographies include succinct comments in the case of works that Steel deems of special note. His scope is breathtaking.
“These three Bibliographies have listed and briefly described three large and diverse corpora of information currently available in December 2007 about the guru Sathya Sai Baba, his 60-year spiritual Mission and his organisation (the Sathya Sai Organisation). By winnowing this enormous mass of varied documentation, researchers should be in a better position to separate fact from fantasy and research from propaganda in order to arrive at a fair evaluation of the complex Sathya Sai Baba story”.
‘An Annotated Bibliography for Research on Sathya Sai Baba in Three Parts. Part 1: Sources of public information, including items of a scholarly or academic nature or provenance, with an Appendix on entries in works of reference, surveys and textbooks An Annotated Bibliography for Research on Sathya Sai Baba
Part 2: Alternative Sources of Information and Opinion about Sathya Sai Baba and his Mission An Annotated Bibliography for Research on Sathya Sai Baba Part 3: A Bibliography of Apologetic Writing about Sathya Sai Baba. Presenting Sathya Sai Baba to the World Sections 1-5. Sathya Sai Baba’s Teachings, etc.
Section 6. New Factors for Researchers to Consider’
Continuum of Sai Scholarship Which Now Includes Dissent
Many readers look to Brian Steel’s work which, with its habits of a lifetime of scholarship, shows cool appraisal and lays great emphasis on care over detail, close textual comparison, verification of sources, and so forth. Much of his work invites wider than scholarly readership. All who are in search of both copious detailed bibliographical sources and/or analysis will find the entire Steel opus (from 2001 on) indispensable. It is vast, and has been groundbreaking from the very first. Indeed, his writing on Sai Baba issues and bibliography was already established when he was still a devotee. After twelve years of following him, he left and continued extensive analysis of texts, many of which he had long known. Some of the contradictions – especially in Sai Baba’s so-called ‘Divine Discourses’ – had already troubled him while he was a devotee. This witnesses a common experience of dissenters in general, since there is often no overnight revelation but rather a prolonged and anguishing period of reassessment. I think that there will be no independent scholars or other investigators of merit who will be able to find serious fault with his project. He will nevertheless be targetted, I think, by fervent pro Sai Baba polemicists, who increasingly undo themselves wherever there are attentive, sober critical readers, as witness his Endnote (to which I refer below). Even an endnote from Steel is strong medicine. In his endnote to ‘New Factors, he examines the efforts of an individual of extreme zeal who, assisted by some of Sai Baba’s servitors in various countries, has spearheaded Internet attempts to discredit those who have publicly presented evidence which openly conflicts with Sathya Sai Baba’s Divine Claims.
William ‘Bill’ Aitken – A Non-hagiographic Hagiographer?
I shall shortly review a section of Part 3 (See, link above) of this December 2007 series, which analyses the book William McKay Aitken’s book ‘Sri Sathya Sai Baba. A Life’ (New Delhi, Penguin Books India, 2004. Paperback edition, 2006). The Aitkin material is in Part 3, Section 6, New Factors for Researchers to Consider. 1. Recent Publications and New Promotional Media. Specifically 3. Which Sai Baba Movement? A Writer’s Dilemma
Aitken Accepted By Top Sai Baba Official
‘Bill’ Aitken is extolled as an authoritative intellectual by Dr G. Venkataraman, Sai Baba’s deputy world chairman and head of Sai Global Radio (via WorldSpace International Satellite Radio Service). Aitken speaks of his book as a counterweight to “excesses of hagiography”. But is it anything of the sort?
Serious Omissions and Commissions?
Rather, Steel’s textual analysis reveals that the book has strong hagiographical content, and also ignores some critics of Sathya Sai Baba by isolating “headline grabbing” and superficial views contra Sai Baba, while, to an extraordinary extent, ignoring the large body of serious criticism.
(More on Brian Steel’s work shortly)
Posted by Barry Pittard on January 13, 2008
But what instructiveness might a Test cricket series in Australia have in relation to the call from former Sathya Sai Baba followers in many countries for media and government investigation of their former teacher, who is arguably the most powerful and controversial guru in history?
The Sai Baba-India Cricket Nexus
After all, it is not Sathya Sai Baba but Sharad Pawar who promptly threatened to cancel further games in the series. Pawar (pictured below) is the powerful head of the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India). He is also being touted as the next ICC (International Cricket Council president). As well a having been Governor of the State of Maharashtra, he was earlier on a short list of three or four for the Indian prime ministership. (There was another recent high profile candidate who has been pushed hard for by many close to Sai Baba – Shashi Tharoor, for the succession of of Kofi Annan as Secretary General of the United Nations. Part of a strikeback to our successful efforts to bring accusations against Sai Baba and his global cult the Sathya Sai Organization to international attention, Tharoor wrote an article supporting Sai Baba in the International Herald Times). See Here.
Calmer reasoning set in, but Pawer’s reaction inflamed rather than cooled an already anguished situation in the last week. Perhaps, being ever the politician, he wanted to show tough in front of all those crying out about India’s honor. However, a great many in India (where with deep fulfilment I lived for several years working among the poor alongside fine fellow workers of diverse beliefs) respect proper processes of enquiry and dispute resolution and care to see justice for all sides. There was not from Pawar a call for a strong mediation process. Or an immediate reminder to all that excellent and prompt judicial processes can be drawn upon. Provision of these was a later development.
Sharad Pawar – Or Sai Baba Power?
Pawar’s hyper reactive responses do not bode well when one considers the deep link between top level Indian cricket and Sai Baba. One also has to consider that India has an almost unimaginable power (or should that be Pawar?) over world cricket, and is THE top money roller. In India television audiences of around 200 million and sometimes 400 million, watch cricket on television.
In the meantime, despite the many and serious worldwide allegations against Sai Baba, the BCCI does not cut off its close ties with Sai Baba, and alarming numbers of Indian cricket authorities and Test cricketers are either his devotees or, along with them, actively cooperate in his cricketing plans.
Sai Baba’s Agenda to Use Top Level International Sport
Sai Baba is raising an enormously costly international sports centre at Puttaparthi, and making a run for a powerful influence of several major sports, including at Olympic standard. See, Champion Tennis At Top Indian Guru’s Ashram
He has already had Indian, Sri Lankan and Pakistan Test players and one UK player play at Puttaparthi on his world class pitch. See, Sai Baba Vs Kerry Packer.
Given worldwide allegations against Sai Baba, it is clear that Sharad Pawar, the BCCI and players themselves – not to mention the highly culpable Manmohan Singh government – who have shown themselves so partial to Sai Baba, have some explaining to do. Is it appropriate that a great Indian flagship to the world be used to further the well-known agenda of Sathya Sai Baba to reveal himself to the world as God fully incarnate? Is there any other nation which would support – much less profoundly support, as successive Indian governments have done – an individual who makes such extraordinary claims?
Indian Cricket Players – Playthings of Sathya Sai Baba?
Why would they not want to heed a call for media and government investigation of these many allegations? These compelling accounts include (but go far beyond) wide-scale serial sexual abuse of boys and young men from India and many other countries, implication in and cover up of killings in his bedroom in June 1993, massive deployment of multi billions of international funds to erect lavish buildings far exceed good works like hospitals but which flashily glorify him as God on earth. See, Sai Baba Exchequer Worth Billions. Many Countries Donate, and Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia.
The Status of Witnesses Who Claim Abuse By Sai Baba
Former Baba devotees who make the allegations have been taken seriously at the most senior levels by UNESCO, Interpol, FBI, Australian Federal Police, German Chief Prosecutor’s Office, French National Police (which are all hamstrung by lack of cooperation by the Indian Police) and by major reputed media in several countries, as well as very noted public institutions who, having been granted access to high level information, have severed their ties with Sai Baba’s Internation Sathya Sai Organization. These include BBC, DR (Denmark), AZUL (Argentina), CBC (Canada), ABC, SBS (Australia), and in the press – India Today, Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, Age, Australian Financial Times, and newspapers in several parts of Europe, Canada, Latin America, and elsewhere. See, Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List
For the Time Being, Judicial Processes. But Will Pawar’s Threats Return Sooner or Later?
Sharad Pawar’s threat tactic later acceded (or has at least for the while) to a judicial process, which is normally 7 days but with provision for extension. New Zealand judge John Hansen has been made commissioner for the Indian player Harbhajan Singh’s appeal against a complaint that he made a racist comment during the second Test in Sydney just over a week ago. The ICC (International Cricket Council) match referee, Mike Proctor, had upheld Australian captain Ricky Ponting’s formal complaint that Singh had called Australian player Andrew Symons a “big monkey” and that this was racist. A 3-match ban was imposed on Singh. Three month’s previously, Indian cricket crowds had chanted “monkey” at Symonds during a match in Mumbai as recently as October 2007. Not least in fueling bad feelings in the present series in Australia were several indisputable bad umpiring decisions by Steve Bucknor and Mark Benson. When the problems became known, there was across India a spree in which Ponting, Bucknor and Benson were burnt in effigy.
Neither the angry mobs in the Indian streets nor Pawar displayed the confidence, which would have been so richly justified, that the Indian team did, at least in a number of serious issues, indeed have the moral highground, and could have drawn on world (and indeed Australian) disgust that there had been poor calls as well as Australian player spirit and conduct.
Top-flight Indian lawyers, Arun Jaitley, Sashank Manohar and N. Srinivasan are to support Harbhajan Singh who, in the meantime, has been permitted to play pending the verdict of the appeal. How sensible. A mediator highly regarded by all cricketing countries Ranjan Madugalle, from Sri Lanka, has been sent in as peace broker. Even more sensible. Still better, in the future, will be, if professionalism prevails, best practice cultural sensitivity (not damned lectures!) training, and other forms of handling personal pressure, animosity, and so on.
And What Of The Honor Of Grieving Former Sai Baba Devotees Worldwide?
But a judicial process or mediation is far more than Indian authorities have been prepared to do for the grieving families in India and far beyond who accuse Sai Baba of badly sexually abusing their young males. See, Corrupt Judges Stonewall Case Vs Sai Baba
For an example – which never fails to appal my legal friends! – of how a kangaroo court of Sai Baba partial judges in the Supreme Court of India can thwart some of India’s best legal talent (in Kamani Jaiswal and her team), see the notes of the case, whose provenance I am happy to disclose to reputable media and other genuine investigators, HERE. See also the article on P.N. Bhagwati, ex-Chief Justice of India that gravely questions his protection of Sai Baba, HERE
What then of India’s honor that is currently being shouted out across India?
Is Pawar a BCCI “Secret Swami” Man?
And what might we expect if Pawar assumes presidency of the ICC? Secrecy? Cover up? Refusal to be challenged on the Sai Baba nexus?
With the BBC terming Sai Baba as ‘the secret swami’, can we expect Pawar and the BCCI to maintain the secrecy surrounding Sai Baba and his intentions for international Indian cricket? The international media needs to question him hard on this, for most Indian newspaper proprietors have been too fearful to take on Sai Baba – although, since the excellent work of IANS (Indo Asian News Service) and repeated attention by major foreign media, this powerful censorship wall may be starting to crack. Perhaps India’s media proprietors begin to see how absurd it is for Non Resident Indians to freely read foreign media articles adverse to Sai Baba and yet there be, with an honorable exception like India Today, an almost total ban inside India on articles seriously critical of him. See, Indian Media’s Reticence on Top Guru, Sathya Sai Baba, Weakens.
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
Sharad Pawar and his Board want his team’s word of honor to be taken. But – if sauce for both goose and gander – do not other countries wish their player’s word to be respected? If there is lying and false witness among players, then proper processes need to be convened. Pawar also wants to preside over world cricket. He needs, then, to be asked some hard questions about his and many of his team’s affiliations with Sathya Sai Baba and that guru’s own bid for world supremacy – not only in Sport but, with a devious sport’s stepping stone, to posturing himself to the world as its Savior of all Saviors who have ever visited the earth.
Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, News and Politics, Religion, Uncategorized, World Issues | Tagged: Cultism, International Sathya Sai Organization, killings in Sai Baba's bedroom, Manmohan Singh, Shashi Tharoor | 5 Comments »
Posted by Barry Pittard on January 2, 2008
After Sai Baba’s great white elephant, Hillview stadium, has lain virtually dormant for nearly a decade, another Sai Baba involvement in topline sport has just been announced. In December 1997, it was cricket. In January 2008, it is tennis.
NEW DELHI: India will play two Test matches in tennis against the Philippines on January 12 and 14.
The Indian challenge will be led by the National grass court champion Vishnu Vardhan and the National hard court champion Ashutosh Singh. The other member will be Divij Sharan.
The Philippines will have a two-member team of Patrick John Tierro and Johnny Arcilla.
The Tests, to be played at the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Ashram at Puttaparthi and the DLTA Complex in Delhi, will feature two singles and a doubles each. — Special Correspondent
John McEnroe Faces Mafia, But Can He Slam Sai Baba?
A brief aside. Great Tennis ace John McEnroe has raised questions about the Russian mafia and tennis. Perhaps he and other influential tennis greats may like to make some enquiries into Sai Baba, whom the BBC has called ‘The Secret Swami’. (See, Yahoo news report McEnroe fears mafia infiltrating tennis)
The gentle McEnroe may like to have a loud word in the ears of players such as: Vishnu Vardhan, Ashutosh Singh, Divij Sharan, Patrick John Tierro and Johnny Arcilla.
Of course, McEnroe’s fearsome displays are nothing compared to those of Sai Baba and his world Chairman, Dr Michael Goldstein, as captured – looking like a balled-up mafia bully boy – by BBC hidden camera for The Secret Swami:
Sai Baba Would Put New Meaning to ‘Love All’
But tennis players might not come to love his serve! Do the International Tennis Authority, the All India Tennis Association and these players think that it is some joke that arguably history’s most famous and controversial guru is to be host to high profile tennis? One who faces worldwide allegations of wide-scale, serial sexual abuse of boys and young men, implication in local police killings in his bedroom on June 6, 1993, and other gravely serious crimes that India’s often corrupt system, and its huge numbers across the entire power echelon who are devotees of Sai Baba, have ensured do not get to the courts, even in the hands of fearless top attorneys Kamini Jaiswal? See, Corrupt Indian Judges Stonewall case Vs Sai Baba.
An Opulence No Tennis Super Stars Could Afford
Will it matter to tennis players and authorities that Sai Baba raises to his own self-glory – much due to the billions that pour into his Sathya Sai Central Trust from countries around the world – vast, flashy and costly buildings, not all of them for good reasons like hospitals? See article and incredibly revealing photos in Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia
When the golden cup Runneth Not Over – Anyone for Tennis?
Although a golden opportunity for some publicity like a big tennis tournament might be spun. And start the gold coming in again, especially after some disastrous leave-takings by many well-respected members of his Sathya Sai Organization, an adverse major media in a number of countries, and desperate attempts by his organization to recruit in highly costly venues, where the rich and powerful can feel comfortable.
UNESCO Media Advisory Contra Sai Baba and Organizers
Will it concern them that Sai Baba is the guru from whose major education conference at Puttaparthi whom UNESCO withdrew in September 2001? See, Media Advisory, which fortunately neither the Government of India nor Sai Baba’s powerful devotees worldwide have been able to get removed from the Internet Wayback machine. (If it disappears, please email me bpittard (at) optusnet.com.au, and I shall inform our lawyers). This UNESCO action and document followed representations made by highly-credentialed individuals from around the world. After the cancellation by UNESCO and the University of Flinders, South Australia, the Indian government, for the while, successfully pressured the UN body to suppress the Advisory from its records. However, UNESCO reconfirmed to the BBC in mid 2004 that it did not now resile from the terms of its original Advisory. The BBC, which extracted UNESCO’s embarrassing backflip, was investigating in preparation for its indicting documentary on Sai Baba The Secret Swami (first screened, June 2004). See also, The Case of Unesco’s Missing Media Advisory
US State Department Travel Warning
Will it it matter to tennis authorities and players that the US State Department confirmed to the BBC that Sai Baba was the individual it had been seriously investigating, but whom it had not (ed., no doubt for legalistic reasons) named in its travel warning to US citizens travelling in Andhra Pradesh, the locality of Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi ashram?
Is Sai Baba More Than A Match For World Tennis?
Questions will certainly be asked of Indian and world tennis authorities. Presented with the facts, they, along with players and members of the tennis-loving public, may not wish tennis to be associated with Sai Baba.
(NOTE: this is to advise tennis authorities, media, law firms and any genuine, bona fide investigators that there are from several countries and cultures individuals of outstanding integrity in their own professions and communities who are prepared to share their witness accounts of shocking levels of young male sexual abuse at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba, and other grave abuses).
Is too late for cancellation? Is it ever too late to cancel conscience? Is it ever too late for Sai Baba to stop proclaiming that he is Lord of Lords, the Father of Jesus Christ, the One who sent the Prophet of Islam, Buddha, and so on?
At the very least, those lending their good names to this tennis event need to ensure that Sai Baba does not in future use tennis for propagandistic purposes. They may prefer not to allow the glamour of tennis to aid and abet the forces of corruption in India and the thwarting of profoundly proper police and judicial proceedures. They may like to see the provisions expected in countries with viable democratic processes. At least Russia, unlike India, does not pretend to democracy.
Will Sai Baba Propaganda History Repeat Itself?
If tennis authorities and players continue to involve themselves, they may expect the sort of extraordinarily untruthful spin (no pun intended) that occurred in the case of Sai Baba’s cricket match in December 1997 (which I saw). The fact is that only India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka (and the UK, if we must include one player, Doug Brown) played at that match. (See my article, Sai Baba Vs Kerry Packer). At lunch, E.A.S. Prasanna, India’s former great spin bowler, told me that his fellow organizers had tried to get Sir Donald Bradman (ed., the greatest cricket legend of all time) to attend the match but he was in ill health. (No wonder, our late national treasure was was already 90! and died in February 2001).
How Gavaskar Lost Some Lustre
Sunil Gavaskar, one of the great Indian cricketing legends, wrote an article for Sai Baba’s promotion people in which he stated an absolute fiction. Can Gavaskar, gripped by emotion, have forgotten to state a glaring fact? Having lived in India – a land of unusual piety – for several years, I know that sometimes excess of intense devotional fervour can carry devotees quite away. Perhaps – away from the cricket field – poor Gavaskar, in the grip of his guru’s quest for world supremacy as the God who will save the whole world by circa AD 2022, was – well, being carried quite away.
“So, the Unity Cup was played with players from all over the world including Pakistan”:
A Cautionary Tale
Tennis fraternity, be aware, if you will, of a famous sportsman who becomes inveigled in the much-vaunted ‘Glory of Puttaparthi’. Here is just a little of the long, guru-all-hailing Sunil Gavaskar article, posted by Sai Baba’s propaganda supremo, head of Sai Global Radio via Worldspace International Satellite Radio Service and vice chairman of the International Sathya Sai Organization, Dr G. Venkataraman, Realizing Supreme Beatitude:
“I was privileged to arrange the players for the Unity Cup Cricket Match. Swami has always said, “Life is a game. Play it.”. Bhagavan wanted to show that there could be unity among different countries, cultures and communities through sports. So, the Unity Cup was played with players from all over the world including Pakistan.
Several senior retired players were honoured and had the good fortune to be blessed by Bhagavan. Who can forget Bhagavan patting Sachin Tendulkar on the back and telling him, “I am with you!” What a season Sachin had after that as he virtually single-handedly demolished World Champion Australia with his batting that seemed to be of a totally different dimension after that pat from Bhagavan!
Devotees who have had Swami’s Darshan even from afar know how it becomes a craving and if Swami even glances at you fleetingly, you feel an incredible joy that cannot be described in words”.
The Secret Swami (BBC Television)
(80 MB, Broadband)
(23.3 MB, Modem)
Seduced (80 MB, Broadband)
Seduced (21 MB, Modem)
DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster). Shown in an English version by SBS in Australia as Seduced by Sai Baba, February 12, 2004. Like other major media in the world, SBS refused to be intimidated by legal or other threats by the Sathya Sai Organization. Staffs of every media or institution who have dealt with them have soon realized that former devotee witnesses from many countries are individuals of good repute in their communities, professions, etc., and are being badly slandered by Sai Baba and those who defend him.
Video clip of Mark Roche interview from The Secret Swami, BBC 2, This World, first screened, Thursday 17, 2004. See article on this, BBC’s ‘Secret Swami’ Clip. Man Claims Abuse When Young. Quote from article:
“Mark Roche (California, USA) was deeply devoted to Sai Baba from 1969. Among Sai devotees, former devotees and in his wider community, he has long been regarded as a man of decency, compassion and integrity. Revealingly, it is frequently only after former devotees leave Sai Baba (often after decades of great service and devotion) that Sai Baba and Sai Baba protagonists ‘convert’ them – in their own minds – into “demons”, “cawing crows”, “Judases”, etc”.
Sai Baba has been increasingly exposed to the world on television. E.g., by the BBC, DR (Denmark), AZUL (Argentina), CBC (Canada), ABC, SBS (Australia), and in the press – India Today, Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, Age, Australian Financial Times, and newspapers in several parts of Europe, Canada, and elsewhere. There were many top reviews of the BBC’s The Secret Swami.
Surprising openings in a long-muzzled Indian media occurred November 2006, when Paul Lewis’s story broke in The Guardian (UK) – The Indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards. It raised concerns about the nexus between the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and the UK Sai youth, on their way in large numbers to see Sai Baba.
Posted by Barry Pittard on December 31, 2007
Posted by Barry Pittard on December 25, 2007
Posted by Barry Pittard on December 18, 2007
Before resigning in February 2001 – following his investigation of allegations of Sai Baba’s multi-faceted abuse – Timothy Conway Ph.D had been a respected member of the US Sathya Sai Baba movement (president of the large San Francisco center and a liaison-consultant for Northern California in the early to mid-1980s), as well as a longtime member of Santa Barbara, CA, Sai Center since 1988 (in addition to hosting the local Ammachi satsang and his own spiritual groups). Timothy’s key interest has been comparative East-West spiritual traditions, not just emphasizing intellectual expertise but concerned with actual living of the insights and precepts. An independent scholar with a background in psychology, Timothy is a respected lecturer and author of several outstandingly well-reviewed books (Women of Power And Grace and the forthcoming two-volume India’s Sages and other works). See his well-written and wide-ranging Enlightened Spirituality website for much more, details below.
Timothy Conway has just released (December 2007) his clarification of points raised about very indicting letters that were circulated (see dates, etc., in the scans listed below) to peak leaders of the US Sathya Sai Organization by former head, the late Dr John Hislop. This December 2007 update is the first reference in the links below, listed under Resources.
Authenticity of The Hislop Letters
Assisted by trusted former devotee networks, many of whose members had long previous association with Sathya Sai Baba and his movement, Timothy Conway investigated some of the abuse allegations, most notably, serial sexual molestation of boys and young men, after which he resigned as a matter of principle, an action taken by many worldwide, and indeed, though the occasion was different, a repeat of history, except that after 2000 the exit was on a far larger scale, when members had earlier left because of the strong signs of a profound cover up by Sai Baba and his officials and Indian central and state governments at the time of the June 6, 1993 police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom.
The Hazards of Speaking Out
As invariably happens when speaking up about Sai Baba or his global cult, the Sathya Sai Organization, Timothy Conway has been attacked – but not of course by those who have respected him down many years as a man of integrity, love, and care for others. He has made public – including (in April 2004) to the BBC in its preparatory and intensive researches of several months for its documentary The Secret Swami (June 2004), what have become known as ‘The Hislop Letters’ (See links below). At my request, he also made a notarized sworn testimony as to the proper provenance of the letters, which had come into his possession via his precessor, see below)
Hislop Letters Further Evidence of Failure of Duty Of Care and Accountability By U.S. Heads of Sathya Sai Organization
Courteously and with great patience, Timothy Conway has recently responded to attacks on the authenticity of these letters, and on himself personally.
The letters indicate that foremost leaders of the Sathya Sai Baba Council of America, such as Dr Michael Goldstein, Bob Bozzani, Phyllis Kristal, Richard Bayer, Dr William Harvey and others have long known (at least since early 1981 when the memos were written) of the sexual abuse allegations, but not acted with duty of care and other forms of accountability. The wider membership in both the USA and other countries were kept in the dark. Still further, given that they have been told by Sai Baba not to look at dissenting views of him on the Internet, many remain in that dark.
Most Former Devotee Dissenters Do Not Respond To The Attacks
Most former devotees will not respond to attacks on themselves, and have spent years of spiritual practice aimed at rising above nastiness, vindictiveness and various type of falsity. Especially because of the extreme fanaticism of certain of pro Sai Baba apologists, they prefer to share their evidence with bona fide, third party investigators of repute, such as the world’s most responsible media, UNESCO, governments, law enforcement agencies such as Interpol and FBI, leading religious and civic institutions, academics researching the Sathya Sai Baba phenomenon, etc. The obstacles to getting convictions have been stupendous. Indeed, former members of other powerful groups have found the same difficulties – for example, patterns of denial, cover up, slander, libel, shunning, harassment, suppression of evidence, misrepresentation of the viewpoints of those who have spoken out about abuse by guru and cult, and so forth.
Around the world, the good name of many former devotees like Timothy Conway was not at stake when they were Sai Baba followers – often for decades of dedicated service – and is not indeed at stake in their professions, trades and wider communities.
Timothy Conway’s Update (referred to at beginning of this blogpost)
Click here to access Timothy Conway’s website: ‘Enlightened Spirituality’
An article in which Timothy Conway outlines many key issues, in historical perspective – including acute spiritual concerns and personal resolutions – relating to dissent from Sathya Sai Baba. I highly recommend this article as a mature, clear, very readable account.
There is a Spanish version available:
Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Religion, Sai Baba, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged: 'The Hislop Letters', Dr John Hislop, Police Killings, Sathya Sai Baba Council of America, Timothy Conway Ph.D. | 17 Comments »