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Archive for the ‘People’ Category

Susan Boyle Sings ‘Memory’. Worldwide Audience Not Likely To Forget (See Video)

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 25, 2009

In a few short weeks, this wonderful woman has arisen from the obscurity of her Scottish village, and gained the greatest number of ‘hits’ to YouTube. (This leaves out of account the vast number of accesses to her two songs April and May 2009) at other well-known Websites.  All of us have so much to learn from the Susan Boyle phenomenon – one which goes far beyond her wonderful voice. It is a topic not about how to sing – but rather about not judging people by their appearance, and in taking her example of courage in the face of social forces that frequently cripple our beings both as victims and perpetrators.  That makes the heart sing, with the conscience playing the accompaniment. Therefore, I make an exception in referring to her work in a blog not directly related to the central issues of https://barrypittard.wordpress.com

Nightingale About To Spread Its Wings

Susan Boyle (Or: Nightingale About To Spread Its Wings)

Relating her example to a theme germane to the purpose of this blogsite, I wrote at some length about Susan Boyle in my article:

Susan Boyle. Unexpected Divine Chanteuse. Sweet 47

Will We Change Our Ways?

Of course, one swallow – or, in this case, nightingale – does not make a Spring, and our lesson may not be well enough learnt. Is our judgemental eye-rolling done with? Have we – in relation to what public images of human beings are (allegedly!) ‘acceptable’ – wrestled free from the dictates of Hollywood and Bollywood and the advertizing, fashion and entertainment industries? Supposing Susan Boyle had not been able to sing like an angel. Supposing we all continue judging people on their appearance. Or that we do not – in our families, social, educational, political and religious spheres of influence, workplaces, and so on, work to stop the inhumanity of judgementalness based on a person’s physical appearance, race, creed, culture and so forth. From my previous article on Susan Boyle, I copy at the foot of this article the lovely and most touching reaction of a young boy and girl to Ms Boyle’s first appearance on ‘Britain’s Got talent’.

Ms Boyle’s Performance of Yesterday

In the semi-final of ‘Britain’s Got Talent’, though the Scottish nightingale’s first notes started unsteadily as she sang “Memory” from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical ‘Cats‘, the massive audience around the world will forget the slight slips and remember the overall performance.

One of the three judges, Amanda Holdern (the others were (Simon Covell and Piers Morgan) was mistaken: Ma Boyle did not ‘nail’ the song. (How come, by the way, Covel is a judge when he has already declared the prime interest in managing Ms Boyle’s career?). There are real questions about her choice of song, and about whether she had thought through the ‘build’ of the song. She needed entire focus and self-possession in the first note of the song, which jumped off-key. What she showed, though, was the personable sweetness, the humanity, the  true grit and the ability to recover from a mistake that all serious performers require.

The fair question is – what great performer has not messed up a song, particularly at the beginning of their career? Ms Boyle is both ‘infant’ and ‘giant’ as a singer and will have to undergo, as she continues in her development, the same struggles with technique, focus, building the song, awareness of both self and song, control of nerves and so on that all artists have to pass through.  A nightingale she most certainly is, as millions of ‘hits’ on Youtube and elsewhere would attest. Only time will tell whether she is a great nightingale. Certainly, she has what countless ‘artists’ lack – being in touch with her authentic and essential self.

She will need to recover the extraordinary freshness, forthrightness and self-belief she showed throughout her first appearance, when she sang “I Dreamed A Dream” from ‘Les Miserables’.

Click  HERE to view and hear Susan Boyle singing ‘Memory’

Scottish Nightingale Alights Again

Scottish Nightingale Alights Again

Here are the responses of two children to whose lovely responses on the Susan Boyle video segment I was privy, and wrote down verbatim straight after:

6-year old girl

Adult: Why did all the people laugh at the lady when she walked on stage?

Girl: Because she is fat they think she can’t sing, and they don’t want her to be on the stage.

Adult: Why did the people change their mind?

Girl: Because she sang so beautifully.

9 year old boy

Adult: What did you reckon about the lady?

Boy: She’s not scared. She didn’t care what the people thought, she walked fastly and stood straight.

The Divine Ms Boyle. Coming World, Ready Or Not The Divine Ms Boyle. Coming World, Ready Or Not.  Source: YouTube. April 2009. To view the video that the world is viewing, click on photo
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Posted in News, Opinion, People, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

UK Minister Tony McNulty Finished? Indian Guru Sai Baba Link Should Be Probed

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 10, 2009

Tony McNulty MP, the Sathya Sai Baba-partial British government Employment Minister is in still bigger trouble. He looks likely to face police investigation. It had seemed that McNulty was headed for close to the ultimate Ministerial portfolio, that of Home Minister. It is a far cry for him now.

Tony McNulty UK Minister. Finished? Is this a gun he's got in his  finger?

Tony McNulty UK Minister. Finished? Is this a gun he's got in his finger?

McNulty’s plummet from political heights is not the only disgrace faced by those Sathya Sai Baba has ‘favoured’. After the fatal incompetence before and during the extreme Islamic terrorists on Mumbai, the (then) Home Minister of India, Shivraj Patil fell. See the article on this blogsite: Shivraj Patil Falls From Home Ministry. One wonders if Patil overhearkened to his likewise incompetent guru Sathya Sai Baba’s completely absurd prediction that there would be no terrorist bombs in India. See: Hasty Cover Up Of Sai Baba ‘No bombs in India’ Blunder. Apart from his many other failed predictions and promises, Sathya Sai Baba had said:

But in India, there is no fear of bombs. India will never have any such attacks.” Sathya Sai Baba, 22-10-2008.

UK Employment Minister Tony McNulty’s Sai Baba Connection

News of the last few hours shows that his disgrace factor continues to deepen. His friendship with Ashok Bhagani, the head of the UK Sathya Sai Organization, his employment in his Westminster office of Bhagani’s daughter, and his larger than might be expected attendances at Sathya Sai Baba meetings, I have blogged on in a number of pages in ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’. (See links below).

Quite beside scandal that surrounds McNulty’s improper use (which he was forced to admit) of government funds for his second house, in which his parents, and not he, have been residing, there are serious issues that former Sai Baba devotee interests would like to see him face. One of these relates to breach of privacy. Another to receipt of funds related to Sai Baba sources. Another to his role played in the setting up of powerful transmissions to beam Sai Global Radio across the British isles. A major presence, as well as Ashok Bhagani, in the latter is Dr G. Venkataraman, Sai Baba’s deputy head of the International Sathya Sai Organization, and head of Sai Global Radio via the WorldSpace Satellite Radio Corporation.

Dr G.Venkataraman. Sathya Sai Global Radio Chief

Dr G.Venkataraman. Sathya Sai Global Radio Chief (Left)

See my articles:

Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman

Indian Nuclear Scientist Now Sai Baba’s Global Radio Chief

Venkataraman was a Sai Baba official with whom the Duke of Edinburgh’s emissaries had to deal in forcing the removal of false information from the official Sathya Sai Baba Puttaparthi website. See my article:  UK Guardian On Sathya Sai Baba and Duke’s Awards. Quote from this article:

Paul Lewis of The Guardian exposed links between India’s most famous and controversial guru, Sathya Sai Baba, and the Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Palace officials, after a slow start, demanded that Sai Baba’s officials take down incorrect information, and the Palace distanced itself from Sathya Sai Baba and his movement”

See Also:  A Duke Stops An Emperor. Edinburgh Routs Sai Baba. Venkataraman, who has, without doubt, defamed Robert Priddy, former longtime head of the Sathya Sai Sai Organization, Norway, has been exposed in some detail in Robert Priddy’s and my jointly-authored four-part article (which contains many valuable links): ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’

Has Tony McNulty Breached Serious Ethics Codes Re Sai Baba Dealings?

These former Sai Baba devotee concerns about McNulty – although it may be uphill to bring them to the fore, given the enormity of other issues McNulty faces – we are placing in the hands of the proper authorities and, as well, with Opposition parties in the House of Commons and House of Lords. We will provide the story for any well-reputed media, without any thought of payment – unless it were fully declared and donated to a mainstream, universally regarded charity. One of these issues – no mistake about it! – would, if proved in a strict sense, constitute a most serious breach of ethics for any Member of Parliament, much less a Minister of the Crown. Our sources are good indeed. Some eminent ones are available to reputed media.

In the background photo, at London Sathya Sai Baba center, it is Sathya Sai Baba who stands behind Tony McNulty. We know that prominent Sathya Sai Baba officials regard him as standing behind McNulty in more ways than one.

Tony McNulty British MP. Sathya Sai Baba Behind Him

Articles on Tony McNulty MP in ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’

An earlier success of our network was to ensure that former Prime Minister Tony Blair (of the same government that McNulty is a part of) did not visit Sathya Sai Baba at his ashram, ‘Brindavan’, some 20 kilometers outside Bangalore, South India. Blair was within about 15 minutes of leaving for the ashram. See, Tony Blair Was to Visit Sai Baba. Plan Thwarted

 Will Sai Baba Take Heat off Brit Minister Tony McNulty MP

                  Will Sai Baba Take Heat off Brit Minister Tony McNulty MP?

Articles From ‘The Guardian’ (UK) on Tony McNulty

         8 May: Parliamentary authorities call in police to investigate how details  of  MPs expenses were leaked and by whom

             Police called in as fresh expenses leaks embarrass MPs

              8 May 2009: Parliamentary authorities call in police to investigate how details of MPs expenses were leaked and by whom

Archive (16-24 of 24)

Posted in News and Politics, Opinion, People, Politics, Religion, Sai Baba, Social and Politics, Society, South Asia, Uncategorized, World Issues | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 1, 2009

See for yourself how exposing was the BBC crew’s capture in 2004 of Sathya Sai Baba collapsing after pretending to miraculously materialize a gold Shivalingam, and exposure of his dithering performance.  HERE .

Film shot by others at the same occasion by those partial to Sathya Sai Baba was tightly suppressed.

Select Reading

BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise

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

Robert Priddy

Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC

Posted in Miracles, People, Scams, South Asia, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 12 Comments »

Sathya Sai Baba Saint? Gerald Joe Moreno

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 14, 2009

Fortunately, there is a great deal that has been written by competent and rational commentators on Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide sect, such as Brian Steel, Robert Priddy, Timothy Conway Ph.D, and Kevin Shepherd, the independent British philosopher and scholar.

Shepherd, I should add, has always been an outsider to the Sathya Sai Organisation, and cannot be viewed  as being in agreement with all views or idioms of ex-devotees or other Sai Baba critics. Not that there is inveterate agreement among former devotees, either. 

In the writings of foremost Sai Baba apologists, it is very typical to attempt to make it appear as though Sai Baba critics live, somehow, in each other’s grey and homogenous pockets. When any competent reader puts these critical writings alongside the writing of Sai Baba sect proxy apologists such as Gerald Moreno, the qualitative difference leaps into view. ‘Joe’ Moreno and Sai Baba’s official Internet propagandist Dr G. Venkataraman evidently assume that some of the world’s most reputed organs such as the BBC, CBC, DR, SBS, ABC, Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, Age, UNESCO, etc., are peopled with incompetents unable to guage good credentials and self- and group-presentation of those whose accounts their highly-trained, seasoned journalists investigate. It was no easy task, for example, for the producers of ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004) to obtain from BBC senior management and its legals permission to use a secret camera trained on Dr Michael Goldstein.

A cult may not see its own cultishness, but others do. See:

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

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip)

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sai Baba). Revealing Footage

Sathya Sai Baba’s Main Internet Defender (Who strikes at families and in the work or study places, including at the lives of those not involved in exposing Sathya Sai Baba)

As each individual speaks forth on Sathya Sai Baba and his sect, Moreno reacts with a flurry of retaliation, abundant in the use of abuse-words. See Brian Steel’s article:

Diversionary Tactics by an Internet Demagogue.
The pro-Sathya Sai Baba Campaign of Gerald (‘Joe’) Moreno

and Steel’s compilation of some key sources:

Evidence of an Internet Activist in Action: Gerald ‘Joe’ Moreno

Among the other benefits Steel’s detailed discussion and provision of key links, the following reading is valuable as a testimony to the rational restraint of a father and husband, Robert Priddy, of those whom, beside himself, Gerald Joe Moreno has wantonly attacked:

Smear Campaign against critics of Sathya Sai Baba

As well, in a somewhat Senator Joe McCarthy-like manner, Moreno strikes into the individual, institutional or other professional and family lives of those who have left Sai Baba’s movement, including a student who wishes to pursue a Ph.D and has long been away from the job Moreno’s agenda to destroy, in whatever way, often very deviously so, he can each articulate critic of Sathya Sai Baba. Specious inferences are made relying on dates, etc., which in fact do not reveal the facts, about which Moreno can have no substantive knowledge, but upon which he pontificates from his own assumed heights of knowledge and rightness. If there is anything which he does not understand or misinterprets, or for which exist commonsense alternative explanations, the critic of Sai baba is immediatedly branded a “liar”, a “cheat”, a “septuagenarian”, bent on “manipulation,” “deceit”. etc., …. (Detailed evidence is contained in the various links above and those below, but a brief glance at Google results is decisive. Another quick method is to view HERE).

Moreno does not stop from repeatedly naming a young child or from attacking the business of that child’s very vulnerable mother’s business. Even after complaints have been made to executives of WordPress.com, Moreno has persisted in this naming of the mother and the child.

Even A Young Child Who Googles His Name Is Not Spared By Moreno 

His rationalization for these acts draws from data that he, in usual fashion, has grossly misinterpreted. (Not of course that any decent individual would act to wreck another person’s business even if his premises were correct). See Robert Priddy: Sai Baba Hatchet Man Picks On A Young Child.

Sathya Sai Baba Man Gerald Moreno’sAttack On Robert Priddy’s Son (A non-participant in the exposure of Sathya Sai Baba)

Gerald Moreno does not – as in other personal attacks on severely irrational premises – stop from attacking the son of a prominent former devotee spokesman.  The son – yet again! – is not involved with the exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. The father, Robert Priddy – with a restraint in the face of an attack of one’s own child that many loving father’s would find hard, and often impossible, to summon up – has written:

 

 

 “Moreno posted a photo of my son Kai and me, which is my copyright. When asked to remove it he refused point blank with absurd excuses (see http://www.saisathyasai.com/baba/emails-kai-priddy.html) and soon set about viciously attacking my son (who is totally uninvolved with any Sai criticism) in web pages trawling every possible association he could trace, though my son had no part in the things he managed to find remotely related, such as through a band in which he used to perform decades ago.  Moreno uses photos of me and my son without permission despite our requests of removal. Yet he tries his utmost to get the one available image of himself removed!”

Moreno’s Abuse of Internet Technology, Including Google

Moreno does not stop from creating misleading Google (and other search engine) entries, for example when he planted an entry that looks like – but which is anything but – yet another former devotee writer’s business details. (Of this, more later)

Moreno’s Terroism-Related Slur

He does not demur from making, in his timeless fashion, absurdly badly-argued inferences that a former devotee activist is involved in inciting terrorism, Terrorist-related Slurs Used By Sai Baba Internet Fanatic.

Moreno’s Anti-Semitism Slur 

Or somehow involved in that incredibly insidious thing, anti-Semitism. See also: Serious Defamation Attempt By Gerald Moreno Defeated (Contains many useful links)

Sathya Sai Baba Apologist Joe Moreno Attacks Respected Scholar

It does not stop him from berating and demeaning a Ph.D scholar, Timothy Conway Ph.D., of Santa Barbara, USA, who was a popular Sathya Sai center leader, university lecturer and author, who nonetheless responded to Moreno with great restraint and civility: The crucial John Hislop letters, Sathya Sai Baba, & Sathya’s defender Joe Moreno

One can hardly doubt that as historians of religion and other competent analysts pour over these issues, they will see with ever greater clarity what a propagandist and apologist of Gerald Moreno’s stamp has been doing, and that there is: 

  • a protean effort which would almost forbid enough time by night or day for Moreno to engage in the ordinary range of humane endeavours that bestow a grace on life – family, friends, service in his community, and so on …
  • an unceasing smoke-screening aimed at preventing a readership for what critics of Sathya Sai Baba phenomena write. This involves fraudulent usage of Internet technology, very difficult at the present state of development for services such as Google to prevent.
  • that many logical fallacies are used so as to defame, libel and demean one after another of those who question Sathya Sai Baba and his sect
  • that he cannot answer many of the main points articulate and well-informed critics make. These points he, at best, trivializes or leaves them alone or summarily dismisses them with no evidence.
  • he attacks persons, in substitution for dealing in other than a shallow way with the many issues of substance 
  • can only attack the personalities of the writers and, legalistically, the sexual and murder allegations. He cannot deal with the facts put forward so he tries to bury them.
  • he is closely leagued with major sources close to Sathya Sai Baba and certain of his core leaders. For example: those associated with saibabaofindia.com. 

Robert’s material re Sanjay, and others, as defamed by Moreno.

http://www.saibabaexpose.com/GeraldMoreno.html#joeporn

Posted in New Age, Opinion, People, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba’s Former Devotees. A Personal Note

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 6, 2009

Against a formidable instinct in human nature, most former devotees have, for not far short of two decades, refrained from striking back at those who have so massively vilified and defamed them.

A Personal Note 

My own notion shared with other internationally networked former followers was that we had best focus on our central task of exposing the central figures, Sai Baba himself and the leaders of his international Sathya Sai Organization.  Only in the tiniest minority of cases was there not agreement with this conservative view. A small number, quite young in age, wished to engage the other side in, as it were, fierce aerial combat, and any difference on either side of the “cyber wars” lines of battle was scarcely, if at all, noticeable: flaming, volley for volley of abuse. The spectacle was all so inspirationally edifying that one had no desire to read further. 

Cooperation In Serving Those Most Betrayed

One of the refreshing characteristics of internationally networked former Sai Baba followers is that members have used consensual approaches among ourselves. Unfortunately, yes, secrecy was essential. There were very vulnerable psychological survivors among both individuals and families.

There has been a lot of listening and sensitivity to each other, and of poring carefully over essential documents. It is strange how, out of something so terrible, once we share in a deep trust and compassion, there can be something emerge that is so wonderful. It has not quite felt that we are the demons that Sathya Sai Baba has portrayed us as being in his angry, lecturn-thumbing, name-calling, self-vaunting Christmas discourse (December 2000), that had precious little to do with Christ. He called his critics ‘Judases’, ‘demons’, and claimed that there would be no salvation for them. He also said that the dissent against him was motivated by money. (What a jaw-dropper that was for that not-insignificant number of economically challenged critics, who have, indeed for reasons of spiritual development, long taken the path of simply living!)

It should never be lost sight of that many in the Sathya Sai Organization, from the leadership to the rank-and-file knew that this was not true. For his statements were about individuals they had for decades known, honored, loved and served alongside in so many service and other activities.

Regrettable Secrecy

Certainly, in the movement of organized exposure, there has been the need for what I have elsewhere called a “regrettable secrecy”. It is likely that there will be those in Sai Baba’s organization who feel the same way. However, this should not absolve them from their accountability. In the article Secrecy Needs In Exposing A Top Global Cult, I wrote:

“Curiously, here were we – noting how the core leadership of the Sathya Sai Baba cult was so extremely secret. To the less analytic, our position can but appear to be a blatant contradiction. But it is an irony, not an hypocrisy …

… What does the layperson know of sexual abuse? The exceptions in our midst were those very qualified mental health professionals such as Shirley Pike and (the late) Elena Hartgering, Barbara ShocketDave Brandt and others who have preferred that their names not be used. We were entering a world of anguish and complexity. What we learnt was that the first requirement is to listen with compassion. It is the opposite of what cultic defenders show, who race to judgement, leap to the worst imaginable conclusions, and condemn  any who should dare to attempt to communicate their account of abuse”.

Survivors of Sai Baba’s serial, widespread sexual abuse of boys and young men and other abuses have been advised to debrief their shocking experiences with very qualified, respected professional counselors. And indeed to go all out to ensure that those of real ability are found, and not someone who will see the answer in suppressive drugs or ‘counseling’ from some narrow or partisan agenda.

The Savage Attacking of the Vulnerable and Wounded

Even without traumatic psychological upheavals that attend sexual molestation, youth is typically (remember it?!) a time full of disruption, confusion and anguish. Internet attackers – e.g., Gerald Moreno – on the statements of those such as Alaya Rahm and many others show – have been deemed by complete third parties from law and the healing professions etc., to show acute lack of sensitivity to this framework. They also question whether it is advisable for young who are so very wounded by their experiences to have so publicly bared their troubles. To be confused, forgetful of dates, times or places, or behave neurotically does not mean that abuses have not occurred. One of the chief difficulties comes when those with a responsibility – as had the Sathya Sai Organization – for proactive and healingful responses do not acquit their duties with understanding and compassion. Because of its profound failure here, that organization has brought upon itself the massive exposure that has occured especially from circa 2000 to this day. Renewed opprobrium falls upon it yet more so because of its acquiescence with the state of affairs that closely links Gerald Moreno with saibabaofindia.com. This is a highly active group little short of being official, but whose members include those close to Sathya Sai Baba.

No Sathya Sai Baba devotee who is a properly qualified and competent psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, social worker etc., could ever condone Moreno’s attacking styles, which have been constant.

There is the sad fact that Moreno’s gross misconduct, and that of the Sai Baba leaders and other members who co-operate with him, brings into discredit others who do not merit it. For many Sai Baba devotees, who genuinely strive in their spiritual endeavour to be compassionate, good and caring individuals, are not as he. They have done and continue to do, for example, much worthy and unselfish work for the less fortunate in society, just as, be it noted, is the case with many former devotees active in exposing Sathya Sai Baba. It would be hard to imagine that Moreno, who inhabits the cyber world by night and day, would have any time left for it. The reason why writers like Priddy, Steel, and Pittard can write prolifically, and yet have ample time left for family, friendships and community involvement is because our university training and disciplined work habits of a lifetime allow us to achieve much work in shorter time.

Former Devotee Working Relationship

We have been with each other, even though mostly via ‘hands across the ocean’, in times of birth deaths and marriages, job change, retirement (refreshment!) – the joys and sorrows, the great rolling of the Seasons. We deeply and happily remember sadly-departed wonderful spirits like Glen Meloy and Elena Hartgering (who was one of the first professional counselors called on to hasten to New York to attend those shattered lives among the smoldering remnants of the 9/11 events).

The rapport – far from the dread conspiracy that Sai Baba apologists (See HERE and HERE) have tirelessly and offensively speculated to exist – is especially gratifying when one considers how widely national, cultural, religious and non-religious has been its composition. There could have been so many cross-purposes, but those that did exist were usually resolved well, with people learning from each other, rather than making shallow compromises.

This quality of listening and sorting out is very different to the top heavy, Soviet-style that has, over the years, developed in the international Sathya Sai Organization. One seriously discordant note that I recall is when a Christian fundamentalist was, frankly, a pain-in-the neck. When he marched off in high dudgeon (the issue was whether to include people’s professional qualifications in a joint letter) great were the sighs of relief. Pretty obviously, the response would have been the same had he been a fundamentalist of any kind. Even then, ALL participants remained courteous to him, though certainly not agreement.

A small list of those who have spoken out is below. It omits many names. This is because individuals have wanted, as they express it, to move on or not to have their names plastered over the Internet by profoundly insensitive, unconscionable individuals such as Gerald Moreno. A quick test in the latter’s case is to Google this name, and immediately you will note the countless usages of words that are: defamatory, libelous, disparaging, vituperative, aggressive, strident, malicious, strong-arming, and so on. A more recent addition has been Moreno’s repeated ageism.

These are not the words that befit any of the great spiritual or ethical paths, and are directly counter the teachings of his own idol, Sathya Sai Baba and other famous spiritual teachers whom Moreno has referenced – Sri Ramana Maharshi, Mata Amritanandamayi, etc. Brian Steel has written:

With such powerful links to devotees and others through the unofficial promotional SSB network and further boosted by his tireless Search Engine Optimization activities, Moreno has engineered, for the moment, a high Internet profile to project his own “smear campaign” with its egregious deceit and dishonesty – and smokescreens.

But this has its difficulties for Moreno, and for the Sathya Sai Organization that is now so closely linked in public fora to his name and and protean activities. Steel writes further: 

Already Moreno’s reckless behaviour has earned him public condemnation on the Internet for one high-profile but minor part of his extensive campaign. Thanks to his aggressive attempt to dictate to Wikipedia contributors what should and should not be included in their (controversial) article on Sathya Sai Baba he has received an official rebuff from that prominent Internet institution. After months of Moreno’s abrasive demands and provocative   filibustering, the already heated Wikipedia debate became incandescent and vituperative, leading, inevitably, to the intervention of an Arbitration Committee. After three months of discussions, in March 2007, Joe Moreno (as ‘User SSS108’) and others involved in the debate were banned indefinitely from contributing to the Wikipedia Sathya Sai Baba article, its Discussion page and related articles. (Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Sathya_Sai_Baba_2)

List of Notable Former Devotees Who Have Honorably Spoken Out – Despite Attacks Upon Them

The list also excludes many who are known or understood to have spoken out but of whom we lack proper documentation. Many who have spoken up were prominent leaders in the Sathya Sai Organization – who, the moment the stood forth, became non-persons – demeaned, shunned, defamed. Some outspoken individuals have been:

Britt-Marie Anden, Serguei Badaev, David and Faye Bailey, Stephen Carthew, Timothy Conway Ph.D, John and Ella Evers, Terry Gallagher, Hariram Jayaram, Conny Larsson, William Lo,  Dave Lyons, Glen Meloy, Alexandra Nagel, Richard Nelson, Roy Pendragon, Shirley PikeSharon Purcell, Reidun and Robert Priddy, Al Rahm, Marisa Rahm, Alaya Rahm, Rick Raines …  (For latter family, See: Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America – Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family and Al Rahm’s Explanatory Letter), Diana Scott (Payne),  Brian D. Steel …
…………………………………………………
Select Readings
Brian D. Steel
Research on Sathya Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organisation. New Factors for Researchers to Consider
Kevin Shepherd
 Sathya Sai Baba: problems
Timothy Conway
 Timothy Conway Ph.D – On ‘The Hislop Letters’

Posted in New Age, Opinion, People, Religion, Sai Baba, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Tony McNulty MP Expenses Furore. His Sathya Sai Baba Sect Ties Also Need To Be Probed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 26, 2009

Those wishing for hotlinks to my blog of yesterday on the Tony McNulty MP expenses furore in the UK, and some questions which it prompts in relation to the Sathya Sai sect can go here as well: 

Tony McNulty Brit MP. Expenses Scandal Erupts. His Sai Baba Cult Nexus Yet To Be Probed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 23, 2009

God may save the Queen, but will she save her Minister, McNulty? 

 Sai Baba-related Minister Tony McNulty Faces Expenses Enquiry

Sai Baba-related Minister Tony McNulty Faces Expenses Enquiry

Great Britain’s State Minister for Employment and Welfare Reform, Tony McNulty, is yet again under fire. Recently, he was in trouble for falsely talking up the economy. McNulty’s previous portfolios  as Immigration Minister and Minister for Security and Counter-terrorism at the Home Office also gave him some rocky rides.

Britons Angered Over McNulty’s Expenses Claims

 Last weekend, the Daily Mail broke a story about his taking large tax-free expenses for a house in which his parents live.  But McNulty himself lives in Hammersmith, a few miles from his Harrow constituency.

With hundreds of thousands of Britons unemployed, such revelations have angered many.

At first, but subsequently doing a volte face, McNulty was adamant that he was not going to hand back the at least 60.000 pounds sterling that he had claimed for a home where his parents live. This tax-free claim the Daily Mail and other newspapers (which quickly took up the story) have suggested cannot be justified by his parliamentary duties.  See:

McNulty faces probe over parents home claim

ITNMonday, March 23 01:36 pm

Probe Needed Into McNulty-Sathya Sai Baba Sect Nexus

A probe into irregularities should enquire about any payments that Sathya Sai sect officials or other members may have paid to Tony McNulty.

The powerful and extraordinarily wealthy worldwide Sathya Sai Organization broadcasts in the name of  Sai Global Harmony, transmitted internationally by satellite 24/7 via WorldSpace Radio Corporation. The head of this, Dr Michael Nobel, has shown high partiality to Sathya Sai Baba but has been exposed by the Royal Swedish Nobel Foundation and in the New York Times. See my article of yesterday.

The Sai Baba sect leaders would include the UK head of the sect, Ashok Bhagani, with whom McNultyis said to be good friends.  Bhagani’ s daughter has a lengthy employment history with McNulty, who has made many visits to Sathya Sai Baba gatherings.  See:

Tony McNulty Sathya Sai Baba Cult Supporter Tipped As UK Home Minister.

 Ashok Bhagani – Footsying With Top Blair Minister?

 

British PM Brown Says: Investigate paid job’ Outside Parliamentary Duties 

Although Gordon Brown’s response seems made to get the spotlight off McNulty, it contains a solid suggestion:  investigate paid jobsthat MP’s might be taking beyond their parliamentary remit. 

An enquiry needs to ask McNulty to disclose his entire dealings with this cult which has been strongly exposed by the BBC in 2004 and other major investigative media in the UK and and other countries. 

Further Reading 

The Daily Mail, which  initiated the story, now reports – last updated at 8:53 PM on 25th March 2009:

Tony McNulty’s political career in doubt as he faces inquiry in    ‘second home’ expenses row
Tony McNulty’s political career was in peril last night after Westminster’s sleaze watchdog launched an investigation over claims that he abused his expenses … 
The probe will look at his decision to designate the house in his Harrow East constituency as a ‘second home’ even although he rarely stays there.
The investigation, which could drag on for months, is deeply damaging for Mr McNulty.
Until the scandal broke, he was being tipped for a future Cabinet position.
MP perks targeted by standards committee
The Guardian Wednesday 25 March
Payments for second London homes, jobs for family members and interest-free mortgages in the firing line
The Guardian Tuesday 24 March 2009

             PM steps into expenses row with inquiry call

The prime minister also tried to wrongfoot the Tories by saying that Sir Christopher Kelly, the standards committee chairman, should at the same time examine the issue of MPs’ outside interests, including paid jobs outside parliament.

                                  ……………………………………………………………

View Video  Clips that reveal the risk to the British Labour Government for tolerating Tony McNulty’s long flirtation with a cult leader so resoundingly exposed in the British media, and far beyond

NOTE: Dr G. Venkataraman, Sai Baba’s radio chief and world deputy chairman, has said on Sai Global Harmony’s official website that the aim is to transmit Sai Baba’s message into every home. What he conceals is that the agenda of the sect is to see Sathya Sai Baba ruling the world.

Has, then, Tony McNulty been taking consultancy fees or any other kind of payment in regard to the Sathya Sai Baba cult’s plans? These are to ensure that Sai Baba’s message is heard via powerful satellite transmission of Sai Global Harmony through WorldSpace Corporation across the UK, just as it broadcasts to other countries.

Posted in News and Politics, Opinion, People, Politics, Scandal, Social and Politics, Uncategorized, World Issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Tony McNulty Brit MP. Expenses Scandal Erupts. His Sai Baba Cult Nexus Yet To Be Probed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 23, 2009

A big scandal has erupted in the UK surrounding  British Labour Member of Parliament, Tony McNulty.

Will Sai Baba Take Heat off Brit Minister Tony McNulty MP

Will Sai Baba Take Heat off Brit Minister Tony McNulty MP

Some of my readers will recall that McNulty is connected with the head of the Sathya Sai Organization in the UK, Ashok Bhagani. Evidence suggests the two men are friends.

It is also known that Bhagani’s daughter has long been working, with varying hours of service, for Bhagani in his Westminster office.

Tony McNulty has represented the Harrow Constituency since 1997, and been a government Minister since 2002. He is currently Minister of State for Employment and Welfare Reform, although widely tipped to become Home Minister. His wife is Christine Gilbert, the chief inspector of schools, with whose Ministry questions about Sai Baba’s secular fronts in Education in Human Values have been raised. The Times of London writer Dominic Kennedy raised on page 3. this issue of unacknowledged sect influence in UK, referring to June Auton, a familiar figure in Sai Baba’s UK organization. See:

‘Suicide, sex and the guru. The reputation of Sai Baba, a holy man to the rich and famous, has been tarnished by mysterious deaths and allegations of sexual abuse’The Times – August 27, 2001

The international Sathya Sai Organization has been going all out to penetrate the world’s satellite radio waves.  It is known that McNulty has been involved in efforts to bring these plans to fruition.

As declared by the director of Radio Sai Global Harmony, Dr G. Venkataraman, the aim is to get Sathya Sai Baba and his message into every corner of the globe. See:

Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman

Note: Launched in November 23, 2001, Radio Sai Global Harmony in conjunction with Sri Satya Sai Books and Publications Trust, all part of the International Sathya Organization, delivers 24/7 satellite broadcasts via WorldSpace Corporation in many regions of the world. The latter’s supremo, Dr Michael Nobel, has extensively sung Sai Baba’s praises. See comments about Nobel in Robert Priddy’s articles:

Sathya Sai Baba’s hunger for international recognition

Dr Michael Nobel, Sai Baba man. Warned by Nobel Foundation, Sweden

Dr Michael Nobel, Sai Baba man. Warned by Nobel Foundation, Sweden

Nobel has been effectively disposed of in reports by e.g., The New York Times and by the Royal Swedish Nobel Foundation itself (see links in the Robert Priddy article). Sai Baba’s statement in a discourse (November 18, 2001), very far from omniscient, is also exposed for all eyes except those of his smitten followers:

“They are giving the Nobel Prize to many people. The man who gives the Nobel Prize (Chairman of the Nobel Prize Committee) is coming here on the 22nd November. The ones who will show this to the whole world, TV people, are all coming here on the 22nd.

Major British Newspaper Called Investigative Journalist off McNulty-Bhagani story

In 2008, a leading journalist from one of Britain’s top newspapers, The Guardian, attempted to investigate this McNulty-Bhagani nexus.  As soon as he made headway, he got called off the story.  However, on Saturday November 4, 2007, The Guardian had run Paul Lewis’s story The Indian living god, The paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards.  See my article:

UK Guardian On Sathya Sai Baba and Duke’s Awards

There have been instances where sudden spikings of Sai Baba related stories, much to the upset of journalists who have put in a lot of investigative slog – such as senior journalists on CanWest (where wealthy Canadian Sai Baba cult members threatened the withdrawal of considerable business advertisements). At the 11th hour, the editor of The West Australian pulled a story by award-winning journalist Torrance Mendez that was to be front paged. However, it is known that The Times, BBC, CBC (Canada), SBS (Australia) and India Today have all withstood considerable pressures by Sai Baba’s extremely wealthy and well-connected emissaries.

The Sathya Sai Organization is noted, whenever it gets wind of an upcoming media story, for attempting to keep critical stories OUT of the news. As perfectly fits its authoritarian, cultic status, it does not stand for openness, transparency and accountability. See the BBC film footage from its 2004 documentary:

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

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip)

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sai Baba). Revealing Footage

See footage from India’s equivalent of the BBC, Doordashan:

Censored Indian National Television Film of Sai Baba Cheating

The McNulty-Bhagani Nexus

There are questions to be asked about what kind of contributions may have been made by Bhagani to McNulty. Also, whether McNulty’s links with the Sathya Sai Baba sect are more than would be required of an MP on behalf of constituents.

Why has McNulty had such close association with the Sathya Sai Baba cult? This – when the Times of London, the BBC, CBC, SBS, ABC, The Telegraph, The Guardian, and serious media in other parts of the world, including India Today, all stood by the integrity of their investigations. Why, in short, Tony McNulty’s persistent linkage with the Sai sect?

Tony McNulty British MP. Sathya Sai Baba Behind Him

In background: Sathya Sai Baba’s photo. Is Sai Baba behind Tony McNulty MP in more ways than have been made known? Will McNulty declare moneys that he has received from any strongly Sathya Sai Baba-connected source? Will he disclose why he has made many visits to Sathya Sai Baba venues? Will he say what his interests are in Sai Global Harmony and in the setting up of a powerful transmitter in Great Britain?

The Daily Mail Story: Tony McNulty Expenses Disclosures

Yesterday, Sunday, Mar 22 2009, The Daily Mail ran a lengthy story that suggests McNulty has been, if not outrightly corrupt, then taking expenses of a kind bound to anger millions of Britons who are facing dangerously rising unemployment rates. See:

Minister’s £60,000 expenses for parents’ home: ‘Rumbled’ Tony McNulty drops claim… then calls for it to be curtailed

Among other newspapers reacting to the Daily Mail reports, the BBC has responded:

McNulty defends expenses claims

It will be interesting to watch the development of this story. In the meantime, my articles on Tony McNulty are:

Tony McNulty Sathya Sai Baba Cult Supporter Tipped As UK Home Minister

Posted on February 18, 2009

Ashok Bhagani – Footsying With Top Blair Minister?

Posted on February 22, 2007

Articles on Ashok Bhagani

By Robert Priddy

(Former longtime head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway. Retired academic, University of Oslo).

(The latter article is valuable because of references and links concerning Ashok Bhagani’s ties with The Eastern Eye).

BBC Acted “Totally Irresponsibly” Says Ashok Bhagani

Ashok Bhagani, Sathya Sai Baba cult promoter in UK

By  Barry Pittard

Ashok Bhagani – Blotting Out Conscience and Memory?

Ashok Bhagani and The Secret Swami

Ashok Bhagani Uses Race Card

UK Sai Baba Head, Ashok Bhagani Exposes Himself

For Media and Other Investigators

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Posted in News and Politics, People, Politics, Religion, Social and Politics, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Australian Current Affair: ‘Infiltrating A Cult’ (Sathya Sai Baba)

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 3, 2009

On last night’s Australian Current Affair on the national Channel NINEMSN, the camera catches scenes of ugly violence by security guards hired by Sathya Sai cult members.  Click on the reference below to see the anguish of long time staff and clients at a Brisbane, Australia, center for the disabled.  

The picture over the title ‘Infiltrating A Cult’ (below) is of Moyia O’Brien, who is a Sathya Sai Organization matriarch, almost worshipped by some of Sai Baba’s followers.  She heads the SWARA centre (Sunshine Welfare and Remedial Association Inc). See Australian media related references, below.

In last night’s telecast (Monday, February 2), Moyia O’Brien is seen telling Channel Nine interviewer Chris Allen:

“That is completely ridiculous. That is not true. The Sai Organization is not a cult, it’s not even a religion. It’s a service organization”.

In further blogs, ample documentation will be given that indicate Moyia O’Brien knows this statement is extremely untrue. This presentation of Sathya Sai Baba to the general public is the many times documented familiar ploy of Sathya Sai Baba officials and devotees with the media and non-believers. Duplicity increasingly rebounds upon them with great force. (See ‘Recruiting’ link, below).

The hiring of very heavy security guards by SWARA against clients and former staff – who have been sacked for speaking up about clear and serious policy issues – questions the incessant talk of Sai Baba and his followers about resolving issues with love, peace and non-violence.

Yet again, the evidence shows a profound and systemic inability to listen and to value standards of accountability and transparency. It is a failure so often noted in cults, and results in great anguish for all concerned.

To see the segment of Australian Current Affair, click HERE or on the photo of Moyia O’Brien and the title ‘Infiltrating a Cult’.
Australian Current Affair Exposes Sathy Sai Baba Cult

Australian Current Affair Exposes Sathy Sai Baba Cult

Further References

Sathya Sai Cult Under Media Scutiny In Australia

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia

For the manner in which the Sathya Sai cult uses extremely costly and prestigious venues in which to recruit, see:

Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues

Quote: “This zeal to recruit (to use the proper word) tends to take place in exceptionally prestigious venues. What does the Sathya Sai Baba 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”.

For an Australian example of what is seen in other countries in which the cult is highly active, see:

Sathya Sai Organization Lavish Spending on Superdome Venue Meeting
(Compiled from Australian sources, with comments by Barry Pittard, former lecturer Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore, India, and Robert Priddy, former longtime leader of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway, retired lecturer in Philosophy and Social Sciences, University of Oslo).
 

QUOTE:

“This iconic venue’s seating capacity is 12,000! Only 1,200 attended. Many Sai devotees walked out half way through the programme, leaving approximately 800. An organiser (Ms. Gavina Cossa) sat down and cried.In these carefully stage-managed so-called presentations, the chief aim of the international Sathya Sai Organisation is to recruit new members, but without using the word ‘recruit’.
Organisers permit no critical questions or non-supportive comments. Yet claim that it is not a cult. At the Sydney Super Dome, anyone with questions had to address them to head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia Neville Fredericks or Dr Pal Dhall, and only after the meeting was finished …

There is an ongoing and costly damage control effort by the SSO in various countries to select large, prestigious and plush venues such as La Mirada Theatre in the Los Angeles/Orange County area, Cooper Union in New York, Vancouver Playhouse, Melbourne Town Hall, etc. Other propaganda includes very costly professional audio-visual presentations”.

Posted in New Age, People, Protest, Religion, Sai Baba, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

Indian God’s Birthday. Says Will Rule World. Photo

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 21, 2008

God Sai Baba at 83, Shines On The World

God Sai Baba. 83 years

Posted in Miracles, People, Scams, Social and Politics, Trends, Uncategorized | Tagged: , | 1 Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 3, 2008

A decade ago, Sathya Sai Baba informed his devotees that his aircraft is about to take off to bring his mission to the whole world.

That this was stated in no metaphorical sense is well-indicated, for he has told various of his key leaders that he would visit Rome, the UK., Malaysia, southern California.

We know that the wealthy Robert Baskin, a key lawyer to the Sathya Sai Organization, has bought a luxury mansion in southern California, equipping it to receive a visit from Sai Baba. See:

Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit

The late Howard Murphet, Australian journalist and author of best-selling books on Sai Baba, with whom he was close for years, wrote:

“Swami once, a good many years ago told me that He would not travel abroad until His own house was in order, by that He means India, of course”. Source: Online version, “The Lights of Home”

Wheelchair 'Avatar' to "Travel World"

Can a wheelchair-

bound ‘world Avatar’ travel the world?

Sai Baba’s Back Yard Still in Shocking State

But a badly ailing Sai Baba has not put his own house, India, in order. See:

Has Sathya Sai Baba Moved An Inch To Clean Up His Yard?
Two Indias. Barry Pittard Reflects On India Days
Will World Accept Sathya Sai Baba? He Says Yes. Very Soon
When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises
Human Rights World Report 2008. India In Sore Shape
CNN-IBN Reports Action On Corrupt Indian Gurus
Indian Gurus Stifle India’s Chance To Excel
India Lead World? Sai Baba Says Yes. Robert Priddy No
Inequality before the law in India
The Ageless 'Avatar'

Ageless - Old 'Avatars' never die, but merely fade away

How indeed shall a failed ‘Avatar’ save himself?

Recent Statement

There is no end to his failed predictions. In his February 1 16, 2007 (so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai baba said:

“I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.”

But the runway, like his own imagination, would seem to have run away on him. He celebrates his 83rd birthday this November 23rd.

Unlike his physical body, the following quoted words of his have no difficulty in flying around the world to his many devotees. But they represent just one more example of his myriad failed predictions:

‘Swami’s mission has made this turn to face the runway. The 70th birthday was the signal from the tower to accelerate. In the 75th birthday, the airplane will leave the ground’. Sri Sathya Sai Newsletter, USA, 31, Winter 1996-1997, 29.)

Or here again:

“Bhagavan told the group of his students, that His mission can be compared with an aeroplane that is going to take off. Up to 70th birthday his mission would be like an aeroplane going along the take-off track and gaining speed. These days the aeroplane is rushing and speeding up and will take off at the 75th birthday”. Sai Reflections: The UK Sai Organisation. Quarterly Magazine: February, 1997, p.15)

Sai Baba’s Deteriorating Health Affects His Judgment

It becomes increasingly easy to see how Sai Baba’s declining health has deleterious effects on his judgment, leading him into making statements that expose him very effectively. See my article:

Idi Amin Video Clip. Amin Claimed Direct Line To God

Quote:

“Sathya Sai Baba has reminisced on how Idi Amin wept tears of devotion for him, when he visited Uganda in 1968. Actually, Sai Baba goes a step further than Amin, proclaiming that he is the Divine Incarnation surpassing all Incarnations. His devotee propagandists are now fervently downplaying his actual claims by telling the wider public that Sai Baba simply says that “all are God”. Their intellectual dishonesty is patent, for they know full well that he has long and often claimed to have incarnated to save the whole world in his own lifetime, saying that he came as Sri Ram, Sri Krishna, Shirdi Sai Baba, and will return soon after he dies (not that he uses this word!) as Prema Sai Baba”.

See also my articles:

Sathya Sai Baba’s Deputy Head, Dr G. Venkataraman, Speaks of “Mr Idi Amin”
The Last King of Scotland – GOD’S ORDERS and Sai Baba

Quote from my article:

Has ‘World Saviour’ Missed His Plane?

“The late Dr D.J. (Dhirubhai Jagjivandas) Gardhia, a UK citizen formerly of Uganda, who Sai Baba married, was an old acquaintance of mine. He told me at Whitefield in March or April 1998 that Sathya Sai Baba had told him that a) the present round of Gardhia’s visits was the last tour around the world he wanted Gardhia to make speaking at his specific request and b) that he would be visiting Rome, Southern California, Malaysia and the UK. Gardhia shared the same information with many, and it was published in the official UK Sai newsletter” …

But the would-be ‘Avatar’ says:

“The attributes of the Avatars are beyond human comprehension…. Rama and Krishna were ever youthful. Have you ever seen a picture of Rama or Krishna with grey hair?….. Usually old people have wrinkles on their faces … I do not have any signs of old age. (loud applause). There is not a single wrinkle on My face”. Sanathana Sarathi, October, 2002. See

Sathya Sai Baba’s Tips To Keep Ageing Away

………………..

Further Resources – Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed’ at http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com
Sathya Sai Baba Birthday Celebrations
Posted by robertpriddy on October 29, 2008
Sai Baba’s Mission to Save India
Posted on July 12, 2008
Sai Baba’s health – miracle or self-sacrifice?
Posted on July 11, 2008
82nd Birthday of Sathya Sai Baba
Posted on November 22, 2007
Ageing and collapse in Sai Baba’s health
Posted on August 22, 2007

Posted in New Age, People, Prophecy, Rationalism, Religion, Scams, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , | 8 Comments »

The World’s ‘Small’ and Forgotten Peoples

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 6, 2008

In my previous blog, I wrote of how Sathya Sai Baba – despite decades of stating that he will lead a spiritual revolution unparalled in mankind’s history – has profoundly failed to engage the world. ‘The backyard’, India, that he said he would first “clean up” is in parlous state. He says that the world respects him, and he and many of his handpicked speakers tell thousands of people gathered at his ashram, and over Sai Global Radio, how the world is increasingly coming to him. See When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises and Sai Baba Is God Says Top George Bush Doctor

Except for constant preaching and saying that few will heed him, his impact on thinkers in the sciences, economics, politics, and so forth is not even to be compared with the effect of a gnat on the back of an elephant (to re-mint a saying of his). Read any discourse of his and one finds an extraordinary lack of engagement with the great issues that face ordinary human beings. His brief forays into science shows that he holds primitive notions. See When ‘Divine’ Magnetism Becomes A Dead Weight.

His mishmash of history, for example when he conflates early Christian history with Martin Luther’s 16th Century Protestant revolt, and gets Catholics and Protestants totally confused has to be read (after eyes have stopped widening almost beyond breaking point) to be believed? See Huge Sai Baba Gaffes

What sort of guide, then, can he be? When he can’t engage with the world’s major power players – and when his own ‘backyard’ is in such great disarray – what hope is there of his being able to better the lot of powerless groups in countries beyond, and yet the Sathya Sai Organization certainly aims to draw adherents to him in many developing countries. But those countries, despite their tragic drawbacks, are stirring to fend for themselves, as we can see below, but no thanks to Sathya Sai Baba, who would have it that all solutions reside in him and his so-called “divine organization” – the international Sathya Sai Organization, of which he says (and governments wary of powerful and deceptive cults will take due note):

“The whole world will be transformed into Sathya Sai Organisation and Sathya Sai will be installed in the hearts of one and all.” (Sanathana Sarathi, January 1999 – page 16)

Who Thinks of the Small Countries (apart from evangelization)?

Of course, all countries face threats posed by global warming and other hazards to sustainable life on this planet. But let us consider those peoples who have no systems of prior disaster warning nor infrastructure to deal with evacuation, provision of utilities, disaster relief, resettlement, and so on. Without world authorities facing – no, confronting – the formidable polluters and other profoundly conscienceless vested interests both great and small, these small and defenceless countries are lost. I was recently speaking with a local person, one of Australia’s top geophysicists until he retired. He said that he and his colleagues were warning Australian governments over the last forty years that great hazards, some of them resulting from human despoliation of the planet, lay ahead, but were consistently ignored, and commercial interests and political considerations allowed to hold sway.

Parts of the world are especially terribly attacked by the hazards of climate change, such as rising sea levels, vast drought and flood, freakish and violent weather conditions and so forth. There is a monumental threat to the earth as a whole.

But one may spare extra thought for those small countries who can do far less about it than the developed nations, whose quest for wealth, high security and ultra comfort has triggered off so many of the problems. Here is but one of many examples, where the larger nations, including my own, Australia, are ignoring the plight of those who come to them in anguish:

“The leaders of Tuvalu-a tiny island country in the Pacific Ocean midway between Hawaii and Australia-have conceded defeat in their battle with the rising sea, announcing that they will abandon their homeland. After being rebuffed by Australia, the Tuvaluans asked New Zealand to accept its 11,000 citizens, but it has not agreed to do so”. Rising Sea Level Forcing Evacuation of Island Country”. Lester R. Brown. Earth Policy Institute. November 15, 2001

Desperate Smaller Countries Sticking Up For Themselves

Before the UN Security Council meets in a few days, many of these smaller countries are petitioning the body to take measures to protect their very existence. Here is one of the actions taken by a number of countries: Canada, Fiji, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Micronesia (Federated States of), Nauru, Palau,Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Seychelles, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Turkey,Tuvalu, Vanuatu – in Draft Resolution 2 September 2008:

Deeply concerned that the adverse impacts of climate change, including sea-level rise, trigger population relocation and threaten the territorial integrity and sovereignty of some states, thus endangering international peace and security (this group)

1. Invites the Security Council to consider and address, as appropriate, the threat posed by climate change to international peace and security;

2. Invites the Security Council to work with the General Assembly to develop
recommendations with regard to the international peace and security implications of climate change;

3. Requests the Secretary-General, to report to the General Assembly at its sixty-third session on the international peace and security implications of climate change and on the actions taken by the Security Council in this regard.

(1. United Nations, Treaty Series, vol. 1771, No. 30822). The World’s ‘Small’ and Forgotten Peoples

……………….

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Robert Priddy (3) Friendship With V.K. Narasimhan

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 30, 2007

Robert Priddy says that he found some devastating facts from one of Sai Baba’s very closest confidants in the 1980s and 1990s.

This was V.K. Narasimhan (d. March 2000). This remarkable man, whose history of standing courageously up (many fine citizens were flung into jail!) as a newspaper Editor to Indira Gandhi during the 21-month 1975–1977 Emergency was known and is still remembered with admiration throughout India, and well beyond.

Friendship With VKN Was Worth Cherishing

friends-vk-narasimhan-and-robert-priddy-1998.jpg

Narasimhan, Editor of the Sai Baba official magazine, Sanathana Sarathi, that is distributed worldwide, was a warm mutual friend of the both of us, although Priddy’s and my paths did not cross. VKN, as he was with much affection known, was earlier ex-Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Express group of newspapers, and widely regarded as very upright, and one of the few who were not fauning lickspittles around Sai Baba. He was, although an outstanding public speaker, in many ways a very private man. He would not in any other circumstance than admiration and trust have shared years of trusted friendship with Robert Priddy.

A Top Indian Official Tells BBC Television: “Absolute Cold Blooded Murder”

Robert Priddy relates how, on the direct initiative of Sai Baba’s younger brother and multi millionaire property developer, Janaki Ramiah (now deceased) and other officials of the ashram and Central Trust, the police were blackmailed into executing in cold blood in Sai Baba’s own rooms, four intruders who had killed two of his attendants. No less than a former Andhra Pradesh former Home Secretary, V.P.B. Nair, has described the killings in the BBC’s television documentary The Secret Swami as “absolute cold blooded murder”. View and hear Nair speaking to interviewer Tanya Datta, in this film clip HERE.

These intruders could easily have been captured without murdering them. Sai Baba was nearby as events unfolded, hour by hour, and yet – a virtual ‘omnipotent’ dictator within his independent ashram township, at least – did not lift a finger to stop the deaths. These he said afterwards in a discourse he knew beforehand would happen!

Chilling Whisperings Under Less Than Spiritual Temple Pillars

Priddy recounts how VKN shared this information with him with a lowered voice. Robert has remarked to me in various connections over time that his own subsequent extensive investigations have confirmed Narasimhan’s account. He says that VKN informed him of a discussion to which he was witness between Janaki Ramiah (Sai Baba’s younger brother) and the particularly powerful then Home Minister of India (S.B. Chavan, a Sai Baba devotee) who congratulated the brother on his actions in dealing with the matter, whereupon they laughed together over the words ‘Dead men tell no tales.’ The account is spine-chilling.

Priddy, who kept a detailed journal during these years, has given a long account of his very close friendship through a decade with V.K. Narasimhan and what they shared in hundreds of hours of private conversation, HERE

Further Reading

Wikipedia entry under: Robert Priddy

My Credo

His Blogsite

His Website

On the V.P.B. Nair BBC interview, See my article:
Indian Ex Top Official Dogs Sai Baba On BBC. ‘Cold-blooded Murder’

And more on the BBC 2 This World Documentary:
The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision 
Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team
India A Mature Democracy? BBC Probes

Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, People, Rationalism, Religion, Scandal, Uncategorized, World Religions | 2 Comments »

Gurubusting Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 10, 2007

premanand-doing-a-fakir-trick.jpgBasava Premanand and professor-narendra-nayak.jpgProfessor Narendra Nayak, the courageous Indian Rationalists and tenacious ‘guru busters,’ travel India revealing how tricksters like Sai Baba appear to materialize sacred ash, called vibhuthi, or manifest, as Sai Baba pretends to do, a golden lingam or Shiva lingam, called Lingodhbhava or sometimes Brahmananda lingam.

Premanand has told the BBC he has investigated Sai Baba since 1968, at first “as a hobby”, then speaking out in public from 1976 to this day. In the BBC television documentary The Secret Swami, Premanand demonstrates how, by sleight-of-hand, magicians perform the same ‘miracles’ as Sai Baba – e.g. materializing ash, rings, pendants, etc. Footage showed Narendra Nayak demonstrating to BBC presenter Tanya DattaDatta, Tanya – who realizes that it takes practice – how to secrete a vibhuti (ash) pellet between the thumb and base of the forefinger, and then to crush it into a powder. Nayak says that Sai Baba’s rotations of the hand when producing the ash is the method used by all ‘godmen’ who ‘materialize’ this ash, and this ploy obscures the act of crumbling the pellet. (Various people, such as the former leader of the Australian Sai Organization, Terry Gallagher, a scientist and businessman, have reported seeing Sai Baba inadvertently drop these pellets. See Here).

At first, I thought that, to convince the most critical, it might have been useful for the BBC to use a top magician such as Derren Brown, Noah Kelly, David Copperfield  etc. Certainly, Denmark’s national broadcaster, in its television documentary Seduced (DR, 2003) that exposes Sai Baba (renamed in Australia in its English version as Seduced by Sai Baba, a copy of which we made sure that the BBC possessed), used a renowned Danish magician Nils Krøjgaard to expose some types of fakery Sai Baba uses. This documentary, with an over dubbed English commentary by an acquaintance of the producer, is viewable in a 21 Megabyte download HERE.

Sai Baba Far From Being Top Magician

However, critical close observers of Sai Baba do not regard him as a top magician, and indeed a rather poor one, who sometimes fouls his tricks by carelessness or absent-mindedness, so perhaps the use of amateur magicians to expose his tricks is indeed appropriate. A fair to middling amateur can still trick educated audiences, although not of course experts.

I was recently sitting in a restaurant and got chatting with a local magician. He was a rather touchingly simple man, largely self-taught in his lovely passion for magic, and he was functionally illiterate and had to learn by the kindness of fellow magicians and friends, who would read for him descriptions in magic manuals and magazines. For the next hour he blithely regaled me with a whole range of tricks, deftly employing sleight-of-hand. Except for some very common tricks, he would not, as is the case with principled magicians the world over, disclose the method of these, but some he kindly did, after I had told him of Sai Baba, and he immediately improvised compelling demonstrations of how he thought Sai Baba would fake his miracles. His notions were in a line with those such as Krøjgaard, Premanand, Nayak, et al.

Viewing

For both modem and broadband viewing of The Secret Swami, you may go Here

Readings

Sai Baba: God-man or con man? By Tanya Datta, Reporter, Secret Swami. BBC News 24.

The BBC’s The Secret Swami – A Revision

The Genesis of the BBC’s The Secret Swami

Posted in New Age, People, Psychology, Rationalism, Religion, Skeptics, Uncategorized, World Religions | 3 Comments »

A Duke Stops An Emperor. Edinburgh Routs Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 9, 2007

duke-of-edinburgh.jpghrh-the-duke-of-edinburgh.jpg

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh is pictured before and after his harrowing linking with Sathya Sai Baba

It is intriguing to find that a mere Duke can stop an Emperor in his tracks.

To their considerable cost, the “secret swami” – as the BBC (see HERE for video footage and other important links) has called India’s and the world’s would-be Emperor Sai Baba, the core leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization know too well the stark factuality of the following.  Rank-and-file members cannot be expected to be told the facts. (The details below, including sharing some direct sources, I shall confirm for well-reputed, bona fide investigators, such as media and academics or their supervised thesis students):

duke-of-edinburgh-awards-scheme.jpg

1. Officials of The Duke of Edinburgh Awards and Buckingham Palace were upset by the boasting of those such as Dr G. Venkataraman and Shitu Chudasama about the Award connections. (Dr. G. Venkataraman is Sai Baba’s deputy world head, who also directs Sai Baba’s international 7 days 24 hours propaganda satellite radio service via the WorldSpace International corporation. See HERE. Shitu Chudasama is the UK Sai Baba national youth coordinator.
2. Superiors to Peter Westgarth, the Director of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, were of the view that he lacked, in this issue, both judgement and experience
3. When matters were finally taken in hand, both Awards and Palace dropped connection with the Sathya Sai Organization
4.  The official, Puttaparthi website – that is to say, a Sai Baba website senior to all other Sai Organization websites – was asked by the Royal authorities to take down the embarrassing and untrue material. The request was promptly complied with
5. Advice was received from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, with a view to both avoiding any blowbacks in Anglo-Indian relations and further embarrassment to the Royal Family. The advice was:  drop them but not publicly.

6. Legal advice was also canvassed

Click on Link to see related story by Paul Lewis in The GuardianThe Indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards

————————————————————————-


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Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, People, Propaganda, Protest, Rationalism, Religion, Royal Family, Sai Baba, Sex, Skeptics, Social and Politics, Society, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

When ‘Divine’ Magnetism Becomes A Dead Weight

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 6, 2007

emperors-new-clothes.jpgSai Baba’s alarmingly many scientist and other (supposedly) intellectual followers must have to block ears and eyes when he opines on matters scientific. Heavily rose-tinted glasses can be particularly helpful.

He speaks, for example, of the nature of magnetism. Here, Sai Baba’s educated devotees provide a modern example of the Hans Christian Anderson story of the Emperor New Clothes (see story below) – where the emperor’s subjects saw naked discrepancy but, mystery of mysteries, didn’t see it! 

dr-ks-sunny-anand.jpgProfessor Dr K.S. ‘Sunny’ Anand, birth scientist, a top President Bush medical advisor who worships Sai Baba as God fully incarnate. Only rose-tinted glasses can ignore Sai Baba’s extremely inept statements on birth science.

In his March 13, 2002 Mahashivarathri discourse, Sai Baba said,

“So when I put My foot down,

the whole foot stuck to the ground. It is a little hard to lift a foot that is stuck. Wherever I walk, it sticks there. Whatever is held, it sticks to My hand. This magnet is not in everyone like this. This magnet is so powerful only in Divinity.”

Philosopher and social scientist Robert Priddy comments aptly on Sai Baba’s unscientific statements about magnetism and the nature of the atom HERE. In a recent blog, Priddy says HERE,

“despite all the billions of dollars in hand – (Sai Baba) has not made one inch of progress in getting international recognition from any serious institutions”.

Many Sai Baba followers are at the top of their professions in the armed and police services, government, the judiciary, the sciences, arts, finance, industry, sports, and so on. Of course, healthy-minded individuals see clothes as clothes and nakedness as itself. It is a worry when key world power brokers and their functionaries think that their guru wears clothes.

When Does Life Enter The Fetus?

Also primitive, and very exposing of Sai Baba, but seen and, every so mystically, not seen by his followers is his view about what time life enters the human foetus. You may view HERE scans of two brief extracts, run side by side, of Sai Baba’s entirely conflicting statements on the topic. They are extracted from two editions of the guru’s official magazine (distributed worldwide), Sanathana Sarathi – of a) September 1996 and b) April 1997. This from a guru whose devotees number many thousands of medical doctors. I take but one example –

George W. Bush Medical Advisor Joins The Emperor’s Subjects

Kanwaljeet ‘Sunny’ Anand (read in here strings of the most prestigious medical degrees and other qualifications) is one of countless Sai Baba scientists caught in the emperor-with-no-clothes syndrome. The media might like to interview him. But remember that Sai Baba’s followers typically avoid any challenge to their (non) thinking. They, like cult members the world over, race into hiding. Another thing they chronically do, as does their founder, is to hold up high examples of prestigious figures who go to Sai Baba. They are highlighted among his keynote speakers, and given VIP treatment – sometimes obvious to the public, sometimes only to those in-the-know. They are carefully cultivated.

Dr Anand’s mental gymnastics are considerable, for he has somehow to  shine in his scientific field (accomplishments none can deny) and yet ignore his guru Sai Baba’s risable absurdities – even in Anand’s own branch of birth sciences. Professor Anand rose become a George W. Bush medical advisor – and yet hails Sai Baba as God fully incarnate, even stating, preposterously and unascertainbly, that Sai Baba has one hundred million followers. Like his guru, Anand exposes himself. For this and other palpable nonsense that Dr Anand falls for, see my article Sai Baba Is God Says Top George Bush Doctor, HERE

In the Anderson story, it is a child who sees the actual nakedness as opposed to the ostensible clothing. Perhaps devotees could do worse than ask for the reactions of a few kids to Sai Baba. As long as forces jesuitical have not trapped them.

The Emperor’s New Clothes
Hans Christian Anderson. Denmark
Many years ago there lived an emperor who loved beautiful new clothes so much that he spent all his money on being finely dressed. His only interest was in going to the theater or in riding about in his carriage where he could show off his new clothes. He had a different costume for every hour of the day. Indeed, where it was said of other kings that they were at court, it could only be said of him that he was in his dressing room!

One day two swindlers came to the emperor’s city. They said that they were weavers, claiming that they knew how to make the finest cloth imaginable. Not only were the colors and the patterns extraordinarily beautiful, but in addition, this material had the amazing property that it was to be invisible to anyone who was incompetent or stupid.

“It would be wonderful to have clothes made from that cloth,” thought the emperor. “Then I would know which of my men are unfit for their positions, and I’d also be able to tell clever people from stupid ones.” So he immediately gave the two swindlers a great sum of money to weave their cloth for him.

They set up their looms and pretended to go to work, although there was nothing at all on the looms. They asked for the finest silk and the purest gold, all of which they hid away, continuing to work on the empty looms, often late into the night.

“I would really like to know how they are coming with the cloth!” thought the emperor, but he was a bit uneasy when he recalled that anyone who was unfit for his position or stupid would not be able to see the material. Of course, he himself had nothing to fear, but still he decided to send someone else to see how the work was progressing.

“I’ll send my honest old minister to the weavers,” thought the emperor. He’s the best one to see how the material is coming. He is very sensible, and no one is more worthy of his position than he.

So the good old minister went into the hall where the two swindlers sat working at their empty looms. “Goodness!” thought the old minister, opening his eyes wide. “I cannot see a thing!” But he did not say so.

The two swindlers invited him to step closer, asking him if it wasn’t a beautiful design and if the colors weren’t magnificent. They pointed to the empty loom, and the poor old minister opened his eyes wider and wider. He still could see nothing, for nothing was there. “Gracious” he thought. “Is it possible that I am stupid? I have never thought so. Am I unfit for my position? No one must know this. No, it will never do for me to say that I was unable to see the material.”

“You aren’t saying anything!” said one of the weavers.

“Oh, it is magnificent! The very best!” said the old minister, peering through his glasses. “This pattern and these colors! Yes, I’ll tell the emperor that I am very satisfied with it!”

“That makes us happy!” said the two weavers, and they called the colors and the unusual pattern by name. The old minister listened closely so that he would be able say the same things when he reported back to the emperor, and that is exactly what he did.

The swindlers now asked for more money, more silk, and more gold, all of which they hid away. Then they continued to weave away as before on the empty looms.

The emperor sent other officials as well to observe the weavers’ progress. They too were startled when they saw nothing, and they too reported back to him how wonderful the material was, advising him to have it made into clothes that he could wear in a grand procession. The entire city was alive in praise of the cloth. “Magnifique! Nysseligt! Excellent!” they said, in all languages. The emperor awarded the swindlers with medals of honor, bestowing on each of them the title Lord Weaver.

The swindlers stayed up the entire night before the procession was to take place, burning more than sixteen candles. Everyone could see that they were in a great rush to finish the emperor’s new clothes. They pretended to take the material from the looms. They cut in the air with large scissors. They sewed with needles but without any thread. Finally they announced, “Behold! The clothes are finished!”

The emperor came to them with his most distinguished cavaliers. The two swindlers raised their arms as though they were holding something and said, “Just look at these trousers! Here is the jacket! This is the cloak!” and so forth. “They are as light as spider webs! You might think that you didn’t have a thing on, but that is the good thing about them.”

“Yes,” said the cavaliers, but they couldn’t see a thing, for nothing was there.

“Would his imperial majesty, if it please his grace, kindly remove his clothes.” said the swindlers. “Then we will fit you with the new ones, here in front of the large mirror.”

The emperor took off all his clothes, and the swindlers pretended to dress him, piece by piece, with the new ones that were to be fitted. They took hold of his waist and pretended to tie something about him. It was the train. Then the emperor turned and looked into the mirror.

“Goodness, they suit you well! What a wonderful fit!” they all said. “What a pattern! What colors! Such luxurious clothes!”

“The canopy to be carried above your majesty awaits outside,” said the grandmaster of ceremonies.

“Yes, I am ready!” said the emperor. “Don’t they fit well?” He turned once again toward the mirror, because it had to appear as though he were admiring himself in all his glory.

The chamberlains who were to carry the train held their hands just above the floor as if they were picking up the train. As they walked they pretended to hold the train high, for they could not let anyone notice that they could see nothing.

The emperor walked beneath the beautiful canopy in the procession, and all the people in the street and in their windows said, “Goodness, the emperor’s new clothes are incomparable! What a beautiful train on his jacket. What a perfect fit!” No one wanted it to be noticed that he could see nothing, for then it would be said that he was unfit for his position or that he was stupid. None of the emperor’s clothes had ever before received such praise.

“But he doesn’t have anything on!” said a small child.

“Good Lord, let us hear the voice of an innocent child!” said the father, and whispered to another what the child had said.

“A small child said that he doesn’t have anything on!”

Finally everyone was saying, “He doesn’t have anything on!”

The emperor shuddered, for he knew that they were right, but he thought, “The procession must go on!” He carried himself even more proudly, and the chamberlains walked along behind carrying the train that wasn’t there.
————————————————————–Source: Hans Christian Andersen, Keiserens nye klæder (1837). Andersen’s source was a Spanish story recorded by Don Juan Manuel (1282-1348).

Translated by D. L. Ashliman.

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Posted in Medicine, Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Opinion, Pediatrics, People, Philosophy, Propaganda, Protest, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Spirituality, Successful People, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Religions | 3 Comments »