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The Genesis of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sai Baba)

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 9, 2007

For several months from late 2003 to mid 2004, former Sathya Sai Baba followers coordinated internationally to document our acute concerns to the BBC. This culminated in the one-hour television documentary The Secret Swami. It was unanimously praised by U.K. reviewers in leading newspapers. My views, pro and con, are found HERE.

Protection of Young Was Initial Driving Force For Most Former Sai Baba followers

Our concerns addressed to UNESCO, Interpol, U.S. State Department, other governments, institutions and  leading world media – and now to the BBC – ranged far beyond the allegations of long years of wide-scale, serial sexual abuse by Sai Baba. These are itemized at the foot of my article: Serial Sex Molestation and Bedroom Killings. But Much More, HERE.

However, because of the natural and powerful desire in adults to safeguard the innocence of the young, the sexual molestation issue was the foremost driving force. We were pitted against another human drive – the will to blindness and deafness in defense of a belief system and its founder. Many had attempted to raise the allegations, some individuals (including leaders) even while they were still devotees in the worldwide Sathya Sai Organization, but its officials – as they have done to this day -remained impervious to requests to clarify the issue of sexual molestations, or indeed any of the other types of allegation facing Sai Baba.  Of course, any organization that refuses to be accountable and transparent has only itself to blame when allegations persist year after year. Its perceived best bet is to turn the blame on dissentors. Thus begins a process of demonization of dissentors, well documented in the behaviour of so many cults by academic researchers affliated with a group such as The International Cult Studies Association (ICSA). Link: http://www.csj.org/

Reaching Out To Forums Of Common Sense

Obviously, only so much can be packed into a one-hour television documentary, out of massive documentation. Like other serious investigators, the BBC found the Ashram officials and other Sai Baba leaders very evasive. The team had the feeling of being on a highly guided tour, rather like Intourist in the days of a monolithic Russia. Most of our testimony, it may be noted in passing, is carefully kept away from places like the Internet, where fanatics stalk, abuse and harrass, attempting to investigate us whether in university, workplace or family. But it is ready to be shown to bona fide investigators with good track records of integrity and sensitivity.  The inevitability of mistakes occurring with even the best of intentioned journalists is serious enough. What goes to the Internet, however, can be all too readily attacked and distorted mercilessly and libelously. They would do the forever unlamented Senator Joseph McCarthy proud. At least, with professional, third party investigators of the quality media, and various agencies (also at a senior level), one is ‘in’ with some sort of chance of getting one’s message out more widely to thoughtful auditors – and, at last, somehow, to forums of common sense.

Blaming The Media

Sai Baba followers have attempted to discredit various major media that have listened to us with respect and seriousness, like the BBC, DR, CBC, SBS, ABC, Azul TV, India Today, Daily Telegraph, Salon.com, Guardian,  Age, Australian Financial Times, Guardian, and newspapers in Europe and Canada. Sai Baba’s defenders – who ignore his oft-given advice not to listen to the allegations (advice that, once the pressure was intense, he himself has contradicted and publically displayed anger about, beating his lectern repeatedly) typically point to a journalist’s mistake here and there. There is no pause to think that it was not in our original documentation, or that deadline pressures in a newspaper or television news report can generate absurd errors. A cult’s defenders  fail chronically to see what virtually anyone not blinded by faith in their founder can see – the serious issues being presented – like the accountability and transparency issue. You may watch The Secret Swami for yourself, and make your own judgements, HERE.

Dr G. Venkataraman is Sai Baba’s deputy world chairman and head of Sai Global Harmony which, via Worldspace International Satellite Radio, strives to get Sai Baba into every corner of the globe. Has he not said that, before he dies around 2022, the whole world will have come to him – the last being the Mahomedans? He certainly has. In this piece, G.Venkataraman, in his usually terribly long-winded fashion that would surely blunt his efforts as Sai Baba’s chief of propaganda, reacts to the articles in the Times of London, by Dominic Kennedy – see: 1, 2, 3:

“When the Times article appeared, I was shocked as were many others. Here was one of the leading newspapers of the world, and it was publishing negative material without even a casual inquiry about the accuracy of the content. Some of us wrote letters to the Editor, but, contrary to the usual practice of giving some space to those with differing opinions, none of these letters were published. So much for objectivity of the Press!”
Source: Radio Sai Listeners’ journal, enquire HERE. For Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s four-part series responding to Venkataraman’s points, HERE.

But did G. Venkatarman stop to think that many others write to the extremely limited spaces of the Times of London, and indeed most newspapers in the world? Does he really think that  The Times, as a greatly respected world press leader, survives without high standards of source checking? Does he really believe that such a paper (and other respected media like the BBC) who have investigated Sai Baba would proceed “without even a casual inquiry about the accuracy”?

In any case, why should the Editor publish the Sai Baba leadership’s attempted propaganda on behalf of an highly cultic organization not willing to investigate disturbing allegations or itself check anything with honest accuracy? The Times would not retract anything, despite the initiatives of Sai Baba’s autocratic, longtime (recently retired) world and then Indian leader, Indulal Shah, and retired Indian Air Chief Marshal N. C. Suri, to personally influence this newspaper. The Times and officials of important institutions (UNESCO, the State Department, the BBC, etc) acted upon the allegations only after strenuous investigation of credentials and documentation by former devotees from many professions, trades and countries.

Some former devotees were disappointed that the almost overwhelming attention in The Secret Swami was given to just one family – that of Al (Seral) Rahm, who was a former top leader in the U.S.A of the Sathya Sai Organization, Marisa his wife, and their son Alaya. The latter had already stood courageously forth. In Seduced (2002), Alaya related that Sai Baba’s had extensively sexually abused him when a teenager. This one-hour television documentary by DR, Denmark’s national radio and television broadcaster, has been shown several times in Scandinavia and later in Australia (2004) by SBS and, despite Sathya Sai Organization threats of litigation, retitled Seduced By Sai Baba

The Rahm family had, in a number of important initiatives, like our appeal to UNESCO, supported organized former devotee efforts to bring out the facts – for example, to the FBI and U.S. State Department – knowing that they would be attacked and vilified by many, as they already had been from virtually the moment they raised their concerns in 1999).

There were many families and individuals from several countries who have made the allegations, and who assisted the BBC researchers. The Secret Swami glancingly refers to these, and indeed the BBC had spent many months in carefully documenting and interviewing them. The sheer labours of both the BBC and organized former devotees were considerable. International coordinators – as we had been required to do by UNESCO and other institutions and media – had to provide strong evidence of credibility. A number of very credentialled sexual abuse and other professionals were in our networked group, as were parents of several families which had been stricken by Sai Baba’s alleged immoral activities, as were a number of those with accounts of Sai Baba’s sexual abuse against themselves as teenagers or young men.

As in his words about the Times articles, G. Venkataraman steers wildly off-course. In his Radio Sai journal, read by devotees around the world, he ran a piece by the author of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, A Life, Bill Aitkin, longtime resident at Sai Baba ashrams, who claims:

“The BBC is ultimately governed by the Anglican establishment, and churches in the west are losing out financially to the appeal of the Sai Baba movement”.

With a logic strange for one who was formerly a major Indian nuclear scientist, G.Venkataraman adds:

“Well, there it is – all the rebuttal of the BBC that you have always wanted, that too from an Englishman!”

…………………..

Article coming soon: “After Decades of Silence, Mark Roche Speaks To BBC Of Sai Baba Sex Abuse”.

The first of my two articles on Mark Roche – BBC’s ‘Secret Swami’ Clip. Man Claims Abuse When Young – is HERE.

You may view Mark Roche’s BBC interview HERE.

A number of video clips from The Secret Swami are HERE.

Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

 ————————————————————————-

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

 ——————————————————

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Opinion, Propaganda, Protest, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | 10 Comments »

Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 7, 2007

Note:  3 December 2010.  In the aftermath of Sathya Sai Baba’s 85th birthday celebrations, here is a 2007 article which shows that the incredible opulence that surrounds him has been in the building for a long time now.

………………………………………………………………………………………

 In the director-writer-actor Orson Welles’s great movie classic Citizen Kane, one can, it is true, note certain differences between the U.S. newspaper proprietor William Randolf Hearst

and Welles’s and Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s creation Charles Foster Kane. For decades, the differences have been fought over – fiercely. Nonetheless, both were fabulously wealthy, gigantically egocentric – and corrupt. They splurged incredibly on their domiciles. As does Sathya Sai Baba -See: Sai Baba’s Birthday. Vast, Costly Pomp and Ceremony


(Microsoft founder, Bill Gates’s humble little shack – dubbed by some wag as: Xanadu 2.0. No zoo there yet, but who knows? – with the true coming-of-age of Robotics something cyber-‘animal’ might be managed. Although Sai Baba’s imperial fiat has gone out to his devotees that they must have nothing to do with the Internet, his devotees, from top to bottom, are using it extensively. So much for the notion ‘Guru is God’).

In naming the fictive Kane’s dream home on sprawling acres, Xanadu, Welles and his writer Mankiewicz thought – perhaps inevitably – of the fabulous city of the 13th Century Mongolian emperor, Kubla Khan (see portrait above) and of the English Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s fittingly eccentric and exotic poem known to millions, whose first line runs:

In Xanadu did Kubla KhanA stately pleasure-dome decree
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea  
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round :
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree ;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

 Today’s Would-be ‘Emperor’ of India and Then the World

Kane in Florida, like Hearst at San Simeon in California, was absolute King of his castle. But there is a virtual Emperor in India – Sathya Sai Baba.

But even Randolph Hearst (as perhaps a modern-day media buccaneer Rupert Murdoch) might have blushed a wee bit for shame to hold such sway with the big end of town as Sathya Sai Baba has long done with India’s power brokers, irrespective of what political party is in power. Sai Baba (and I have seen him up close a great many times), who long ago learnt not to blush, is arguably India’s and history’s most famous – and infamous – guru. 

How the stupendous splurger Sai Baba can ever say the name of Mahatma Gandhi, modern India’s simple-living ‘father of the nation’, without blushing is one of his greatest miracles!

Hearst would refer to his establishment as “the ranch”. Hugh Heffner, the ‘soft’ pornography magnate and publisher of Playboy Magazine had built his Playboy Mansion, of which  the writer John Marshal has observed  that  driving through its gates is “like being misdirected into the back entrance of a public zoo”. The zoo atmospheric reminds that Hearst’s estate included a zoo – then the world’s largest. The narrator in Citizen Kane speaks of Kane having the largest zoo since Noah. See USA Weekend LINK.

Golden Glitter For Sai Baba's 83rd Birthday

India’s Fabulous Top Guru Sai Baba. More Emperor Than King

But then see the article: 

The Decline and Fall of the Showman Empire. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 10, 2007

 

One wonders why Sai Baba has not included a gee-wizzo zoo. Perhaps it would be a counter-distraction, because everybody is supposed to have their eyes trained on Sai Baba (it is called ‘darshan’, and his devotees spell it with a capital ‘D’. Instead of gazing at one’s navel, one gazes at the guru). However, one Indian man sitting next to me at a Sai Baba ‘darshan’ described Sai Baba’s setup to me as “a national circus”.

See:  SATHYA SAI ORGANIZATION LAVISH SPENDING ON SUPER DOME VENUE MEETING
 
Compiled from Australian sources, with comments by Barry Pittard and Robert Priddy

Vastly Costly Monuments Glorifying Sai Baba

His splashy-colored and sometimes vast buildings rise up at enormous cost. Sathya Sai Baba’s exchequer owes to vast donations to his Central Trust via his powerful organisation spanning more than 150 countries, and not least to the donations of the extremely wealthy – like James Sinclair, James Sinclairthe Canadian cable and minerals magnate, Isaac Tigrett the American founder of the Hard Rock Café and House of Blues, the Rai family in India in steel and technology, and an astounding number of other hugely wealthy and influential individuals and families from many countries. Rediff News, July 06, 2005, reported:

“The Andhra Pradesh-based Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust is the largest recipient of foreign contributions. The Sathya Sai Trust received Rs 95 crore (Rs 950 million) during 2003-04″.

This figure – which is well over US $20 million – is but the officially declared one and does not account for contributions of those foreigners who donate when they are in India. One can observe how at Sathya Sai Baba’s establishments at Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, and Whitefield, Karnataka, in South India, the Indian and foreign mega business fraternity swap business cards – within what devotees regard as the so-called Holiest of Holy precincts! – and thereafter mutually thrive. At the Puttaparthi temple, on June 6, 1993) police executions took place in Sai Baba’s bedroom, with his close proximity and command of the situation. See my article, at LINK, which contains a further link to a video clip of the BBC The Secret Swami television interview with former Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary V.P.B. Nair saying that the slaying was “absolute cold-blooded murder”).

It is easy to see that far wider national and international economic and political forces are at play, and that it is little wonder how successive Indian governments both State and Central have been loathe to ‘kill’ a goose that lays an incredible number of golden eggs.

Twin Palace. Sai Baba Lives Here

Efforts to Globalize Sathya Sai Baba with World Radio Station

Sai Baba controls with an iron hand the international Sathya Sai Organization. This powerful cult has been found by some of the world’s top media like the BBC, Times of London, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, and in other countries, as well as UNESCO, the U.S. State Department and other institutions to be extremely hard to investigate or act against. His second most senior aide is its deputy chairman, who, as head of Sai Global Harmony, is his ‘minister of propaganda’, Dr G. Venkataraman, one of the progenitors of India’s atomic bomb, as was Sai Baba’s previous close aide, the late Dr S. Bhagavantam – sometimes called ‘the father of the Indian atomic bomb’ – as was his present staunch devotee, the President of India, Dr A.J. P. Kalam, who writes flowery  panegyrics to Sai Baba, as did the last Indian Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Sai Global Harmony broadcasts, in affiliation with WorldSpace International Satellite Radio Service, 24/7 to many countries. With a behind-the-scenes corporate-style, assisted by the billions of funds that pour from many countries into the Sathya Sai Central Trust, the declared aim is to penetrate to every corner of the globe.

Government Inaction on Powerful Cults

A vital question will be whether politicians in democratic countries will be capable of distinguishing between the issue of freedom of religion and the issue of cults that decidedly do not, whatever may be their rhetoric, respect democracy.

Followers Believe Sathya Sai Baba Will Rule World

Former monstrous Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (about whom Sai Baba and G. Venkatarman have warmly recollected, See LINK) only imagined himself to be the ‘Last King of Scotland’ but Sai Baba takes all India for his domain, not to mention the world, which he has long said (it is one of his myriad of broken promises) he will travel to and bring to his feet, after he has “set (his) own back yard (India) in order” and before he dies in AD 2022. Given India’s enduring tragedy – despite her superpower aspirations – he had better get a bit of a wriggle on!

Poor Hearst, Jackson, Gates, Murdoch, et alia! For Sai Baba is an Emperor, who has Indian power brokers in his thrall irrespective of their party or religious affiliation. None – except a rare and tremendously courageous individual like B. Premanand, India’s famous “guru buster” – dare  take him on in India. See BBC story HERE.

For Successive Indian Governments, Sathya Sai Baba Is ‘goose that lays the golden eggs’

Indian local, central and state governments, often incredibly corrupt and incompetent, are able to watch while the more efficient Sai Baba and his massive organization get social welfare projects done. Drawn out of donations from some 150 foreign countries, his revenue is prodigious. India’s profoundly compromised ruling elites would no more sneeze at that country’s donations from Bill Gates, yet another of history’s outstanding buccaneers, than it would at the taxable revenue pouring into the Sathya Sai Central Trust.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree :
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
pure-gold-chariot-sai-baba.jpgsai-baba-sprawling-lavishness.jpgsai-baba-pleasure-dome.jpginternational-centre_tn.jpgsaibabachariot6.jpg

sai-baba-pure-gold-cricket-trophy.jpgsai-baba-opulence-and-splendour.jpgchaitanya_jyothi_tn.jpg

sai-babas-costly-glory.jpg

 

Further Reading

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

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

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

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

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Video Resources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs)

at the BBC’s perfectly reasonable questions about accountability

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

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

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

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

……………………………………………………

General
Excerpt From Public Petition

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

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL)

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↑ Grab this Headline Animator

The shadow of the dome of pleasure
Floated midway on the waves ;
Where was heard the mingled measure
From the fountain and the caves.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice ! …..

….. That with music loud and long,
I would build that dome in air,
That sunny dome ! those caves of ice !
And all who heard should see them there,
And all should cry, Beware ! Beware !
His flashing eyes, his floating hair !
Weave a circle round him thrice,

And close your eyes with holy dread,
For he on honey-dew hath fed,
And drunk the milk of Paradise.

Posted in Morality, Movie Stars, Movies, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, News and Politics, Opinion, People, Philanthropy, Politics, Pop Music, Propaganda, Prophecy, Protest, Psychology, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Social and Politics, Society, Spirituality, Successful People, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

Serial Sex Molestation and Bedroom Killings. But Much More

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 6, 2007

For several months in 2004, former Sathya Sai Baba followers coordinated internationally to advance our grave concerns to BBC 2, This World.

(A list of some major issues is at the end of this article)

These involved many serious allegations against Sai Baba and his worldwide mega rich and influential cult, the Sathya Sai Organization. Many had dedicated decades of their lives to spiritual disciplines and to Sai Baba auspiced social service activities in their own communities and elsewhere. Some had been noted leaders. But, the moment, in any country, any former devotee spoke up, he or she was typically ostracized and vilified.

bbc-clip-dr-micael-goldstein-gets-angry.jpgSai Baba’s world chairman, Dr Michael Goldstein, of Covina, California, U.S.A., caught by the BBC’s hidden camera, exquisitely evincing Sai Baba’s precepts – truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence in blazing action! Tanya Datta, the BBC interviewer had done no more than politely ask a simple question about the transparency and accountability issue in regard to allegations against Sai Baba of serial large-scale sexual molestation of young males.

Sai Baba Baba Leadership’s Evasion and Spin Doctoring

Core leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization suppressed the truth of our accounts from their rank-and-file, and where suppression was out of the question, utmost spin-doctoring and distortion of testimony that had been provided at great personal sacrifice and spiritual betrayal by many long honored by their (now former) fellow devotees.

Professional investigators will repeatedly find that no organ with serious investigative powers – such as the media, UNESCO, U.S. State Department etc., – that has tried to probe Sai Baba and his organization has found them other than extremely elusive, authoritarian and cultist. It was not lightly that the BBC gained sanction from its Legals and senior Management to use a hidden camera on Dr Michael Goldstein.

Shunning and Vilification of Sai Baba’s Critics  

We are, Sai Baba and his officials say, only a disgruntled handful with the basest of motives. In his Christmas discourse of 2000, right at a time of media and other exposures, an angry Sai Baba banged repeatedly on his lectern, saying that his dissenters were “cawing crows,” “demons,” and thousands of “Judases.” The Times of India, December 26, 2000 headlined: Sai Baba Lashes Out at His Detractors. With his usual scant reference to any Christmas theme, and displaying none of that Season’s theme of ‘Peace and Good Will to All Men’, he extensively boasted his social works (actually, they are overwhelmingly those of his devotees). Jealousy and reception of money motivated us, he said. Very terrible is the karmic future he evoked for us:

“Betrayal of God is the worst of all betrayals. It will not be atoned no matter how many births are experienced!”

In his chanted introduction to the discourse, he says,

“Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat (India).”

Throughout the discourse, there was no hint of his practising what he has so often preached at other times:

“We should help even those who have harmed us. This is the vow of Sai. No matter if some people criticise or ridicule Me (sic), I will always look at them with kindness.” (Sanathana Sarathi June 2002).

Not that we have harmed him, for he has harmed himself by refusing to face the allegations in a law-abiding way. Nothing suggested a Christ-like forgiveness. To question his claims to Godhood is to be forever damned.

Major Television Media Investigates Sai Baba

Much earlier approaches had been made to the BBC to no avail, then, towards the end of 2003, BBC producers contacted us. They said they would also contact various Sai Baba officials and other followers. The one-hour television documentary The Secret Swami resulted, first screening on June 17, 2004, and subsequently shown by cable and satellite in many countries. British television critics from major newspapers unanimously praised the documentary. My own reflection on it is HERE.

In Argentina, Azul TV’s Zona de Investigacion (Argentina) had already run the series La Historia de Sai Baba (2001), which received record viewing ratings. It was researched and presented by the renowned Latin American writer and television presenter Alejandro Agostinelli. His article appears in the journal Gatopardo, available HERE.

Also, Denmark’s national broadcaster DR had made the one-hour documentary Seduced, which was very critical of Sai Baba. It was first screened January 30, 2002.  Danish municipal authorities acted against the Sathya Sai Organisation, ensuring that the sale to it of the famous Arresødal castle in Copenhagen did not eventuate. (Bob Bozzani, one of the highest officials in the Sathya Sai Organization of the U.S.A., had donated several millions of dollars to the venture). The venue was to have been used as a ‘Sai International School’. Top Sai Baba leaders Thorbjörn Meyer and Jørgen Trygved initiated several litigations against DR, all of which failed – even though they had retained the top litigation lawyers in Denmark. Any media investigators may like to to confirm whether (as we are informed by reliable sources) Thorbjörn Meyer was so obnoxiously rude to the distinguished head of Denmark’s top national television and radio Director, Christian Nissen, that he had to be removed from the office. Sai Baba vaunts his key leaders as models of rectitude but, as all too many reasonably well-informed Sai Baba devotees know, they most decidedly are not. (For a prime example see my article HERE concerning the angry, finger jabbing, facially contorted world chairman Dr Michael Goldstein).

Seduced has had several repeats in Denmark and Norway. In an English version and retitled Seduced By Sai Baba, it screened in Australia, February 14, 2004. Litigation threats against the highly-respected multicultural national broadcaster SBS, by Sai Baba’s then Australian leader, Sri T. Ramanathan failed. He also threatened both to sue me and to have me criminally prosecuted. See HERE and HERE. He, unlike his close associates Meyer and Trygved, never went near a court. Sai Baba devotees who know Ramanathan and a number of other leaders well know that, where the can, they bluff and bully. As indeed would befit those at the helm of a formidable cult. Here, in his threatening letter to SBS (Australia’s great multicultural television and radio broadcaster) – see LINK – is a example of the Ramanathan’s muckracking style:

“As for the anti Sai group, some of them subsist on the generous welfare handouts of government and exist on Disability Pensions (disability being physical or mental) have the time to conjure up situations. Some of the anti Sai group are eccentric, neurotic and their behaviour and attitude are equally bizarre”.

Many Grave Concerns Beside Sexual Molestation and Killings

Our concerns ranged far beyond the allegations of long years of wide-scale, serial sexual abuse by Sai Baba., and included topics such as the June 6, 1993 police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom, and a massive ashram and local, state and central Indian government cover-up – which well-informed Indian journalists and police are perfectly well aware of. Undoubtedly, because of the powerful desire in adults to safeguard the innocence of the young, the sexual molestation issue was the foremost driving force. Other topics documented from our network of former devotees around the world, alleged that Sai Baba has for many years e.g.,:

  • Run a worldwide organization extreme in its lack of public accountability and transparency, which hides certain core, but embarrassing beliefs and agendas (such as that its founder is about to rule the entire world before he dies around 2022) when it runs its recruitment drives in luxurious, costly venues
  • Faked miracles and has refused to allow proper, ongoing scientific investigation
    Promised but not delivered various miraculous cures 
  • Presided over a massive misappropriation of funds donated by devotees worldwide, and financial scams, which he does not counteract, involving apartments within the ashram, massive building projects which glorify himself, and water projects
  • Made prophecies which have not eventuated
  • Given as absolute truths accounts known by modern science to be completely unfounded, and made perverse mix-ups of history
  • Severely contradicted himself in published discourses and in interviews
  • Created myths about himself, which he permits to be used as the basis for materials in public exhibitions that supposedly emphasize the unity of major world faiths 
  • Resoundingly failed to achieve his major objective of harmony among the major world religions, or even to make any significant common cause among their representatives
  • Falsified his birth and school details. This in turn falsifies his account that the great Indian saint Sri Aurobindo prophesied his birth on November 24, 1926, the day before it occurred. 
  • Plagiarized the sayings of others
  • Slandered those who, over the years, have attempted to raise the allegations of Sai Baba’s sexual molestation of young males
  • Forbidden discussion in his Sathya Sai Organization of the nature and seriousness of the allegations facing him
  • Broken promises to travel to Italy, U.K., Malasia, U.S.A.

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, News and Politics, Propaganda, Protest, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, Society, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | 9 Comments »

Sai Baba. Some Dissenting Themes and Resources

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 31, 2007

Robert Priddy, former head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, and retired lecturer in Philosophy and Social Science at the University of Oslo, has just posted a number of thematic links, for which, click HERE. Many further links accompany the articles themselves.

For this post, I have selected a quote from all but the first of the articles – the Bailey piece, which is virtually a small book in itself, and the second, a detailed four-part series by Robert Priddy and me, Barry Pittard. 

Investigations into Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions exposed on Ex-Baba.com
 
Pioneering materials from David and Faye Bailey’s investigations into Sathya Sai Baba’s deceptions: ‘The Findings’. This husband a wife were very close to Sai Baba, who appointed David Baily as a music lecturer in at his university, and also as his emissary to a number of countries. He selected the couple for marriage, and married them, David from the U.K., and Faye from Australia. However, as the couple travelled far and wide, the accounts of Sai Baba sexual molestation of young males and other types of serious allegations mounted drastically. As many others worldwide have done, both leaders and rank-and-file, they resigned. (Although, indeed, many quietly leave without the formality of resignation). They were unlike many who know the facts of the allegations which face Sai Baba and his very powerful and influential worldwide Sathya Sai Organization. They spoke up!  I should add that the vast preponderance of these allegations are not posted – because of their sensitivity – to the Internet. The handling of serious allegations has been extremely badly handled by Sai devotees in general, and the one mitigating circumstance is that the core leaders have not told them that the allegations are frequently made by those whose character was never under dispute when they were members of the Sai Organization, nor have been so in their professions or wider communities. However, with the carefully consulted permission of the accusing individuals and families, many of the facts ARE available to reputable, bona fide third party investigators from senior echelon media, government, law enforcement agencies, law firms, academies or institutions.

The Bailies did their best to bring the allegations to light – e.g., in the international media, UNESCO, UNICEF, police such as Scotland Yard, FBI, AFP (Australian Federal Police), government, Chief Prosecutor’s Office, Germany, etc. Like every other individual who has stood up, including former leaders like Terry Gallagher (Australia), Rick Raines, Al Rahm, Shirley Pike, Elena Hartgering, Glen Meloy, Dave Lyons, (U.S.A.), Serguei Badaev (Russia), Conny Larsson, Britt Marie (Bi-ma) Andén (Sweden), Robert Priddy (Norway), David and Faye Bailey have been subject to distortion, abuse, slander, outright libel, and shunning by those they had long come to regard as more than brothers and sisters. 

The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Series on Ex-Baba.com

Four-part series, by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard, with extensive links. It responds to points raised by Dr G. Venkataraman, Deputy Chairman under Dr Michael Goldstein of the world Sathya Sai Baba Organization.

Deceptions and Molestations Exposed by Sharon Purcell

(The late) Glen Meloy wrote, “As if the molestations were not enough, the infamous shootings at Puttaparthi occurred while Sathya (ed. Satya or Satch Purcell) and his Mother were still there and young Sathya remembers vividly having to jump out of the way when they were still sweeping the blood from the temple later that morning. (Hal)Honig’s group of boys had been allowed to be on the veranda for morning darshan”.

Wilful wholesale deception by Sai Baba exposed

“‘Nothing in nature is in vain’, was the Aristotelian tenet, itself the basis of belief in natural laws that can be investigated scientifically. Sai Baba has also used this unfortunate idea to dominate everyone who enters his domain as virtual slaves to his will… nothing can be done without his Divine Will, operating in the ever-unseen, ever-uncontrollable limbo of his inscrutable personality! But this is a travesty of philosophy and all that is best in human civilisation!”

Failed Sai predictions or outright deceptions

“A documented overview of the history and extent of the alleged sexual abuses by Sathya Sai Baba and examination of questions they raise.

Part 1 – The Great Scandal Has Come to Stay
1 Revelations in waves through the years
2 How allegations about Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual proclivities and abuses are silenced & ignored
3 Sathya Sai Baba’s bluff called by a major favourite devotee, David Bailey in ‘The Findings’
4. Failed predictions or outright deceptions…’
5. ‘Hearsay’ and ‘rumour’ versus ‘circumstantial and corroborative evidence’
6.”A great scandal is coming” – SB’s bogus Divine Prescience and an unstoppable exposure

Part 2 – Smoke Not Without Fire – Claims and Evidence of Serious Molestations
6 The ‘oiling’ of genitals of young males by Sathya Sai Baba
7 Major abuse testimonies world-wide by young men and their relatives
8 More “Good Chances” for Sex with the Avatar

Part 3 – More smoke and fuel to the fire
9 Why do so many young foreign boys given much attention almost invariably leave Sai Baba?
10 The serial abuse of Sai college boys and young men?

Part 4 – The Jigsaw of Mounting Testimony & Circumstantial Evidence Takes Shape
11 Further presentation in brief of documented claims
12 Tantric practices & ‘kundalini’ yoga – & Ram Das Awle’s perverted values
13 The threat Sai Baba poses for students
14 Homosexual-cum-hermaphrodite evidence

Part 5 – Sathya Sai Baba’s Claims of Purity and Celibacy that Defy all Accounts
15 The organised cover-up, rationalising and defense of pedophile activities
16 Was Sathya Sai Baba ever celibate? New evidence.
17 Why can’t the ‘universal world teacher’ dare ever to broach the subject of sexuality?
See also the latest major revelations – Ullrich Zimmermann’s description of sexual abuse by Sathya Sai Baba ”

The Sai Baba ”mirror trap’ deception

“It works like this: Sathya Sai Baba says he is God, so whatever you see, hear or feel that is not perfect and pure in him is not him, only you. Whenever he does wrong, he tells you that the fault is in your perception, your karma, your lack of faith. This he says to excuse not keeping his promises, failing to heal, not protecting his followers, exaggerating his importance, lying constantly, abusing young men, boys and worse than that, allowing devotees to be brutally murdered in his close vicinity by persons under his control! If you believe this ‘teaching’, your naive acceptance of this clever trick traps you into a hall of mirrors where no way out can be seen. This is the ‘mirror trap’, nothing more than a convenient invention for deluding people and keeping them in line. Adopting any variant of this idea from Sathya Sai Baba or his followers is to begin on a course of self-brainwashing. This ‘mirror trap’ is also part and parcel of the deceptions of many Indian gurus and swamis”.

Sai – a master of deception and delusive appearances

Tests of faith or smokescreening? “Sathya Sai Baba fell full length on what was then the compound’s concrete ground. Sathya Sai Baba got up and continued his round, but the attendant male Seva Dals manhandled the foolish Indian man and bashed his head forcibly and repeatedly on the concrete. Sathya Sai Baba retraced his steps told them to desist, but not until well after the damage was done”.

Sai deception of the ‘materialised’ Bible

Brian Steel writes, “All very impressive, spectacular even, but the truth that I discovered one day long afterwards was that copies of an identical work, the miniature so-called Good News New Testament, have been on sale in India for many years. I bought one from a Sai Baba Centre in Australia for $2.50. It looks exactly the same as the one held aloft by Baba in the ashram photos”.

Sai Deception as abuse of faith

“The very voluminous teachings of Sai Baba, once very appealing, turn out to be a pick-and-mix menu of many kinds of conflicting doctrines and ideas. These almost no one studies properly by retaining any degree of truly independent questioning or evaluation, not least because the material is spread across thousands of documented discourses etc., unmanageable to most minds and persons with limited time. They contain a plethora of sweeping generalizations (which mostly invalidates them as serious advice), any number of factually incorrect assertions on almost any subject that can be counter-checked (especially Christian scripture, Jesus’ life, the lives and sayings of various famous persons and scientists, the sciences of health, geology, history, social movements, and not least as to the size and achievements of Sai Baba and his movement…)”

Deceived by false promises

Tests of faith or smokescreening? “Sathya Sai Baba fell full length on what was then the compound’s concrete ground. Sathya Sai Baba got up and continued his round, but the attendant male Seva Dals manhandled the foolish Indian man and bashed his head forcibly and repeatedly on the concrete. Sathya Sai Baba retraced his steps told them to desist, but not until well after the damage was done”.

The web of Sai deceptions

On surveillance, security and secrecy in Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram, institutions and organisation.  “In India the culture of official secrecy is endemic and those officials who become ashram staff continue and even intensify this, revealing only what suits them, no more and no less… as indeed the inscrutable God also does by all scriptural accounts. No one who has been at any SSB ashram for long can have failed to notice the tight-lipped behaviour of nearly all SSB officials”.

A Great Deceiver Exposed
(Laughable But Still Dangerous)

“Sai Baba is indeed an emperor of his own domain worth many highly unaccountable billions, and the Anderson story slightly transmutes into a tale about an emperor with no other magnetism than the charismatic ability to gull millions – or rather to persuade them to gull themselves. For him to do this so spectacularly well, one imagines that Sai Baba would first have had to have learnt, long ago, to gull himself”.

Sathya Sai Baba: stories, myths and deceits

“A startling number of people believe that SSB creates many things from nothing, is all-powerful and knows everything about everyone. These include a dozen heads of state, various royalty and film stars etc. His ‘creations’ are most often rings, medallions, bracelets, necklaces and so on, through which he says he communicates to – and ‘sees’ what happens to – his devotees. These amulets or talismen are believed by thousands who wear them to be a ‘hotline’ to SSB and also they “bind people to him” and he can see him in them! Sai Baba makes this claim himself … rings that work in much the same was as the rings created by Dark Lord Sauron in Tolkien’s famous fiction!!”

Blog Sites:

Sathya Sai Baba’s Deceptions Exposed http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com/

Robert Priddy, former head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway

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

Barry Pittard, former English lecturer Sri Sathya Sai College of the Arts, Science and Commerce, Whitefield, via Bangalore, Karnataka, South India

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Opinion, Propaganda, Protest, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Spirituality, Theology, Theosophy, Trends, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | 6 Comments »

About ‘My Life As Sathya Sai Baba’s Prophecy’, Part 2.

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 27, 2007

Sathya (Satya) Purcell’s My Life As Sathya Sai Baba’s Prophecy(Part 2) has been posted to Exbaba.com

On the http://www.exbaba.com Home Page, click on News tab, then:- 

See entry May 26, 2007
See also, Part 1. May 21, 2007.

A few contextualizing comments and further links are within this blogsite at this Link Here:

Of a 1993 trip to Puttaparthi by a large group of youths from various parts of the United States, Satya Purcell, nicknamed Satch, formerly known as Sathya Sai Purcell, writes that Sai Baba, prior to the trip, told Hal Honig, the group leader, “You bring them. I will change them”.

Change it was to prove indeed!  The journey was eventful and decisive – not least because these young men were there at the time of the police killings (various investigators would say executions) in Sai Baba’s mandir, temple. On the upper story of this building, which is a focus of devotion by millions, he then had his bedroom, and it was here that local police shot dead four of Sai Baba’s students who had broken in. Former Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary V.P.B. Nair on the BBC television documentary The Secret Swami (2004) describes this event as “absolute cold-blooded murder”.

Sai Baba Foretold Purcell’s Birth, and Named Him

For Satya Purcell the trip was decisive in the most negative way. He had been named from birth by Sai Baba, and was devoted since his earliest years. His mother, Sharon Purcell, was close to major figures in establishing Sai Baba’s fame in the West, such as the wealthy husband and wife Walter and Elsie Cowan, and Dr John Hislop. He came away profoundly alienated, and his belief that Sai Baba was the Divine in human form was shattered, as it became for his mother too, and a great many others from various contries and cultures who, over the years, have felt profound ethical and spiritual betrayal. A number of the youths on the trip lost their faith in Sai Baba, and confided that he had sexually abused them. They also relate seeing mistakes by Sai Baba that showed that he was faking his ‘miracles’ of materialization.

Sai Baba Devotees Often Silent When They Notice Tricks

(Many devotees have seen through Sai Baba’s magician’s tricks but remain quiet about it. Other phenomena that cannot readily be explained needs proper investigation, and may exceed the present state of scientific knowledge, and yet this should never excuse the Sai Baba and his powerful and influential worldwide Sathya Sai Organization from perfectly reasonable standards of moral and civil accountability. These they repeatedly and profoundly evade. They are true to their founder, whom the BBC aptly named ‘The Secret Swami’. See under Further Resources, below, the link for Terry Gallagher’s account of Sai Baba dropping pellets, meant to be concealed in his hand before being surreptitiously crushed, of his sacred ash (vibhuti, vibuthi, vibhooti). It is by the first head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia, Terry Gallagher, who resigned in profound disgust after investigating allegations of Sai Baba’s sexually abusing young males). 

Hal Honig’s Duty of Care In Question 

The group leader Hal Honig (who, despite his advanced age, is curiously now head of the youth wing of the Sathya Sai Organization, U.S.A.) is the subject of very serious allegations, which have been reported to the FBI, New York Police Department and New York Ofice of the Mayor. See Link Here.

Some Satya Purcell quotes:

“Unfortunately for Sai Baba some of the young men in the Hal Honig group sitting close saw him drop the ring in the side of his seat cushion” ….

“Chris confronted him in the private interview room about the fake miracles. He told him that his materializations looked like magic tricks to him. Chris told me that Sai Baba became angry at him and called him a “doubting Thomas”. During the following darshan, Baba scowled at him and said he was a “bad boy” …..  Instead of dispelling doubts, he became defensive and tried to publicly humiliate one who dared to question. In this way, Sai Baba discouraged others from challenging him” ….

“This scene hurt me very much because I once read Sai Baba’s words where he taught that your Guru is the one person you should be able to question. I always remembered that with great respect but he did not live up to his own teaching. Instead of dispelling doubts, he became defensive and tried to publicly humiliate one who dared to question. In this way, Sai Baba discouraged others from challenging him” …..

“Particularly horrific was the aftermath of a human slaughter on June 6, 1993, which was cleaned up before the masses could see it”….

“Later back in the U.S.A., a geologist Sai Baba devotee told me the stone was a particular mineral, while a jeweler said it was certainly not a diamond but that he was not sure what the stone was. Eventually the stone came out of the setting to reveal a piece of foil inside the setting”.

Further Resources:

See BBC’s The Secret Swami video clip of Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary, V.P.B. Nair speaking of “absolute cold-blooded murder” and making clear that there occurred a massive cover-up by Sai Baba, his ashram officials, police, local, state and central governments.

Terry Gallagher, Ex-Central Coordinator of the Sathya Sai Organization, Australia writes (see Link Here)

“The eyewitness accounts were horrific! After bursting into the mandir, four students found themselves trapped upstairs where Sai Baba was staying. Each was interrogated by police, then one at a time they were executed. The stench of death was everywhere ….

“Sai Baba was tense and agitated, and his body language told us all that what we had found out him was the truth! We left the interview and returned to Australia” ….

When we attempted to tell others about our experiences and the truth about Sai Baba, no one would believe us, except those who had also had similar experiences- and mostly fear prevents them from telling others”.

See Robert Priddy’s account of getting assayed the ring Sai Baba produced for him. Retired teacher of Philosophy and Social Sciences at the University of Oslo, Robert Priddy was the head of the Sathya Sai Organization of Norway, and has written prolifically and critically of Sai Baba and his organization. His Home Page is Here

“On 31/10/2002, my wife Reidun and I returned from three days in Copenhagen, Denmark, where the ‘green diamond’ Sathya Sai Baba gave me in 1986 (shown above) was examined by Mr. Peter Hertz, the Danish Queen Margarethe’s jeweller, a top Scandinavian expert on precious stones and diamonds. All was filmed in detail by Øjvind Kyrø’s team for Danish TV. The result of the investigation, which took two days, is that the stone is a synthetic green sapphire.Value only about $40 today in super-expensive Denmark. Its value in India today could therefore probably be around $10 …

Mr. Hertz informed me that the technique of enhancing the brilliance in such rings – even those with genuine diamonds – was used back in the 18th century in Portugal and elsewhere. This was well before more modern diamond technology made this superfluous and allowed diamonds and other precious stones to shine fully without enclosing them or using silver or foil. (Incidentally, Portugal colonised Goa, where this technique could doubtless also have been taken up by Indians – or perhaps vice-versa)….

I gave permission for opening the ring, (the stone is encased at the back so the stone’s underside cannot be seen, as are all so-called Sai Baba diamond rings that I have seen). It turned out to have a layer of green silver foil behind the stone to enhance the green colour and reflect light. Behind the silver foil, the golden casing was painted black. The metal is 18 carat gold. (The stone was formerly estimated by its surface size to be the equivalent of ca. 5 to 6 carats, the stone being 1.2 cm in diameter). Mr. Hertz estimated the total value of the ring as perhaps up to $200 in Denmark today”.

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Opinion, Propaganda, Protest, Psychology, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | 1 Comment »

Indian Ex Top Official Dogs Sai Baba On BBC. ‘Cold-blooded Murder’

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 23, 2007

“Absolutely Cold-blooded Murder”

(Film clip link is below, under Resources)

Former Home Secretary of Sai Baba’s state Andhra Pradesh, V.P.B. Nair,

vpb-nair.jpg

tells the BBC cameras that the police killings in Sai Baba’s private quarters in June 1993 were “absolutely cold-blooded murder,” and that CID investigations, which were suppressed, showed many lies and cover-ups. He is seeking to re-open the case. Here is what Nair had to tell the BBC:

Tanya Datta
Sex abuse is not the only controversy tainting the God man’s reputation. On a June night back in nineteen ninety-three, four devotees broke into Sai Baba’s quarters. They were armed with knives.
Their motives are unclear. All four were close to Sai Baba. Some say they wanted to warn him about corruption in the Ashram. Others claim their intention was to kidnap or even kill Sai Baba. As they approached they were stopped by four of Sai Baba’s attendants. In the struggle that followed two of his attendants were killed and the other two badly injured. Hearing the commotion Sai Baba escaped through a back stairway and raised the alarm. Heavily armed police arrived on the scene.
VPB Nair
So these boys, they ran and locked themselves up in a room. And then in the whole, all around a lot of pandemonium and people gathered so the boys were shivering like rats in that small hole.
Tanya Datta
The four men barricaded themselves into Sai Baba’s bedroom. There was a stand-off with the police. Then the order was given to go in.
Tanya Datta
What happened next is hotly disputed. The official version seemed clear.
VPB Nair
These four boys charged towards the police with the knives and started stabbing the inspector and other personnel. Because they were attacked they opened fire.
Tanya Datta
In self-defence?
VPB Nair
In self-defence. They opened fire and killed all the four boys. This the police story.
Tanya Datta
Velayudhan Nair rejects the police version of events. He should know. Until two thousand and two he was Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh and in charge of the state police. On coming to office he examined the files and found that the original police report was riddled with lies and inconsistencies. This was later exposed by a CID investigation.
VPB Nair
Two or three daggers cannot be a match to roaring guns. So this story of the police being attacked and the police shooting in self-defence is totally baseless.
Tanya Datta
So are you suggesting that the police executed the boys
that night?
VPB Nair
In absolute, this is absolute cold-blooded murder.
Tanya Datta
Some police officers were arrested but never charged. The case was eventually dropped. Sai Baba has always had a close relationship with the police. Even today, senior officers are special guests at the Ashram. With friends in such high places Sai Baba seems to be untouchable. Any attempt to investigate the goings-on at his Ashram even, murder, appear doomed to failure.  Critics say police connections ensured that Sai Baba wasn’t even interviewed, despite being one of the witnesses to the events of that night.

Resources –

BBC Interview with V.P.B. Nair – Former Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh State

The Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders

More about the 1993 murders

Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders – Part 1
Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders – Part 2

Sathya Sai Bedroom Murders – Part 3
Sathya Sai Bedroom Murders – Part 4
Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders – Part 5

See also notes recording V.K. Narasimhan conversations in the 1990s at the ashrams here and here

Further, see the unofficial reports by an IAS officer, V.Ramnath.
http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/16/Ramu_Prabhu.html

See also here http://home.chello.no/~reirob/Saibedroom.htm

Robert Priddy blogsite: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com series, Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders.

Part 1.
Part 2.
Part 3.

————————————————————

Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

                                       ————————————————————————

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, News and Politics, Opinion, People, Propaganda, Protest, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Social and Politics, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | 6 Comments »

Satya Purcell’s ‘My Life As Sathya Sai Baba’s Prophecy’

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 22, 2007

The story of Sharon Purcell, her ex-husband Gary, and her son, formerly known as Sathya Sai Purcell, and now (Satya, nicknamed Satch) harks back to some seminal history of the Sathya Sai Baba movement in the West. One can see the seeds of later disruption – and, indeed, eruption – being already cast.

Of Name and Nature

Sai Baba has given names to various of his devotees. This is considered among the greatest honors that he can bestow, and, among his millions of followers, he exercises this practice sparingly indeed. It is a currency confined so as not, as it were, to ‘devalue’ it. 

Sai Baba gave his own name ‘Sathya’ (which means Truth) to an American child from California, now known as Satya Purcell. (For practical purposes, his name underwent a one-letter orthographical change so that those in his own culture would not pronounce the ‘th’ which is not, in any case, sounded in the Indian original). Satya Purcell, now in his thirties, has told us that, since his own very rude awakening to the fraudulence of his former guru in the early 90’s, he has found the name ‘Sathya’ to be onerous.

My Life As Sathya Sai Baba’s Prophecy Being Serialized On Exbaba.com 

Satya Purcell’s account is being serialized during May-June 2007 at:  http://www.Exbaba.com. After accessing this Url, click on the NEWS tab at the top of the webpage. A later installment will describe his gruesome experience of avoiding a sweeper’s splashing of blood and water during the hasty cover-up of evidence straight after the police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom. (Retired University of Oslo academic Robert Priddy’s series of short articles entitled Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders has just commenced in his blogsite at:  http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com )

Excerpt from:  My Life As Sathya Sai Baba’s Prophecy

 “Sai Baba predicted my birth and gave me my name and even “foretold” a little bit about my personality. So here I am just past thirty reflecting back on what I now see as an ironic situation and sometimes painful experience. My story is hard, if not impossible, for most of his devotees to credit. He has long proclaimed himself to be the divine incarnation of all divine incarnations occurring across the millennia. Followers flock to him from many lands. He has a charismatic power that instantaneously works in his devotees’ minds to counteract any comment critical of him. My own mother, Sharon Purcell, after 30 years of deep devotion to Sai Baba, spoke out publicly in the last part of her life before she died, stating from her intimate knowledge of what he had done to devotees she had known for many years, that he had engaged in a very great deception”.

Useful Internet Links

Of Sharon Purcell, Satya Purcell’s mother, (the late) Glen Meloy wrote:

“Sharon was a devotee for 32 years and together with Elsie and Walter Cowan, Fritz and Victoria Ellis and her then husband, Gary, started the first official Southern California Center in the hilltop home of Elsie and Walter in the Cowan Heights section of Tustin, California”.

In short, the Purcells were a deeply devoted part of, and connected with seminal leaders in, the origins and spread, in the West, of the movement that culminated in the worldwide Sathya Sai Baba Organization. The late Walter and Elsie Cowan were extremely oil-rich financial supporters of Sai Baba and his mission. Click on this link for Sharon Purcell’s account as related to in careful detail and posted with her permission by her decades-long friend, Glen Meloy.

Some of Sharon’s account also appeared at a cost to herself, because the condition that was soon to kill her in 2003 (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS/ Lou Gehrig’s disease) was worsening. She worked hard to get her own account recorded, and to this end cooperated with the renowned Latin American writer and television presenter Alejandro Agostinelli – who a number of us strongly feel neither Sai Baba devotees nor his critics would have found other than very competent, fair-minded, painstaking and courteous. He refers to her in his long article Divine Sin for the journal Gatapardo (February 2002). She was too sick to travel to Buenos Aires, Argentina, as she had bravely hoped to have been able to do, and Sharon was instead interviewed by Diego Carro, an Argentinean producer in Los Angeles. Some of her testimony appears in the series La Historia de Sai Baba, Zona de Investigación, Azul TV (2001), which received record viewing ratings.

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Propaganda, Protest, Psychology, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Society, Spirituality, World Issues, World Religions | 4 Comments »

Of Anger. BBC’s John Sweeney and the Scientologists.

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 16, 2007

bbc-panoramas-john-sweeny-yelling.jpgPhoto: John Sweeney, of BBC Panorama in a fit of anger. Panorama is BBC television’s Current Affairs flagship.

The film footage on YouTube, the BBC website etc., of the BBC Panorama journalist losing his temper explosively at a scientologist has provoked a huge stir. It may prove that neither side acted well.

Below are photo clips from the BBC’s The Secret Swami. Video clips are available by clicking Here. Caught by the BBC’s hidden camera in a temper at the BBC team’s asking of perfectly reasonable and proper questions is Dr Michael Goldstein of Covina, southern California, U.S.A. He is the world head of Sathya Sai Baba’s powerful, immensely wealthy worldwide Sathya Sai Organization, which Sai Baba says is THE divine organization on the entire planet and about to come under his sway, as God fully incarnate, before he dies in 2022.

bbc-clip-dr-micael-goldstein-gets-angry.jpg

When the BBC was making The Secret Swami (2004), I was intensively involved for seven months in providing documentation and internationally coordinating former Sai Baba follower accounts of sexual molestation of young males and other very serious allegations about him and his Sathya Sai Organization to the BBC.

Broadcaster Guidelines and Support of Staff

One of the key issues in the confrontation between BBC Panorama’s John Sweeney and a scientologist concerns broadcaster guidelines. There are areas like recruitment and vetting, and support with stress management (especially prior to difficult assignments) that need to be addressed. On the other hand, it may be that sometimes the very feisty reporter is the very person to stand up to bullies and others in cover-up mode. Do we want mild-mannered, untrepid investigative journalists? The solutions need be creative, rather than either draconian and stifflingly rule-bound, or wimpish.

Journalistic Standards and Ethics

There will need to be a discussion about respect and courtesy expected to be shown towards an interview subject. However – while the case for civilized behaviour and the avoidance of shouting at an interviewee does not need to be argued – it is important to clarify strategies that may be practised when an investigative team is faced with, for example, lies, evasions, subterfuges, harassment, etc. In the present furore both sides are alleging improper harassment over a period. Whatever may be the case, a broadcaster must not be remiss, no less than a judge or doctor or teacher etc., must be remiss.

What Gets Obscured?

The sad result is that the BBC’s reputation for being the best and most reliable broadcaster in the world has been damaged. The fact that it may be the biggest does, of course, incur the greater risk that, sooner or later, a BBC journalist or production team will err. It would be a pity if any excellence of John Sweeney in the past gets obscured by the incident, just as it would be wrong for any demonstrable good the scientologists may have done in drug rehabilitation to be obscured. However, good works – and the Sathya Sai Organization most assuredly does many – should not obscure proper investigation of any improper conduct by it or its founder.

At the same time, what if the truth about evasive, authoritarian cults is obscured? Do we want that? Do we want to succumb to the fear of the power of, for example, wealthy cults that are litigious? Or ones that are able to buy favours of politicians, governments, police and so on?

Who Will Run Risks, If Not Media Like the BBC?

Ironically enough, risks and boldness are the very essence of excellent investigative journalism – especially in the face of those individuals and organizations that would so powerfully cover up. Are there many media and other institutions big and powerful enough to stand up to extremely powerfully endowed organizations like Scientology and the Sathya Sai Organization? Let us not emasculate the few watchdogs we have. Although, let us encourage them to take necessary steps to monitor, anticipate and reduce e.g., unnecessary stress factors on professionals that would lead to bad messes. 

In the case of The Secret Swami though I think the BBC team (possibly because most on it were rather young) was in some areas less than competent – that the BBC was right to sanction the use of a hidden camera in the case of Dr Michael Goldstein, who, along with his associates, had been extremely evasive. This, in a area where the public has a right-to-know.

Excerpt of Transcript of The Secret Swami, in which Dr Michael Goldstein, the world head of the Sathya Sai Organization, becomes angry and evasive.

Tanya Datta: Why don’t you have thorough investigations, instead of just asking one question to one person?
Michael Goldstein: What do you mean by thorough investigation?
2’nd Interviewer: Objective investigators, not someone asking the perpetrator whether he, he carried out the act. But someone, you know, a proper legal process or a legalistic process should I say.
Tanya Datta: Yes.
Michael Goldstein: Because I don’t believe that’s appropriate with Sai Baba.
2’nd Interviewer: Why not?
Michael Goldstein: Because my heart and my conscience tell me that it’s not possible.

Further Resources:

Sai Baba Saved Devotees From 9/11 Says Dr Michael Goldstein
The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, News, News and Politics, Opinion, People, Propaganda, Protest, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Society, Spirituality, World Issues, World Religions | 2 Comments »

Genital Oiling. Do Hindu Religious Leaders Approve?

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 8, 2007

My private enquiries disclose that Hindu and other Indian religious leaders do not approve such practices as the oiling of genitals. Ludicrously, Sai Baba’s foremost leaders attempt to exhonerate him by stating that his genital touching and oiling are part of a time-honoured Hindu tradition.

In an e-mail, February 2002, to Robert Priddy, retired academic of the University of Oslo and former head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway and devotee of 18 years, Thorbjørn Meyer, the organization’s Central Coordinator for Denmark, and a major world Sai Baba leader, has documented that he considers genital oiling to be “the age old Indian oil ceremony.” Link.

Thorbjørn Meyer’s close colleague Steen Piculell, Co-coordinator for Russia, interviewed on BBC Radio 4, Sunday, November 19, 2000, says:

“Gurus have always, as part of their job, put some oil on the er … upper er . part of their … right hand and g… and gone down in the chakra be … be … behind the testicles to er adjust the chakra there. This is a normal thing. And this I suppose Baba has also done because this is part of his job. That’s all.” (But Steen Piculell does not normally stutter like this!)

Moreover, on Danish radio and TV news, Sathya Sai Baba’s officials admitted that he genitally oils young males. Their responses infuriated a wide Danish public.

Commonsense Deserts Sai Baba Cult Members

Sai Baba’s many devotees who can do no other than admit that he commonly does this ‘genital oiling’ (as many have described it) fail to ask:

  • Why would Sai Baba be so selective as to confine this activity to boys and young men?
  • Why would he not correspondingly touch the genitals of girls and young women? Or older people of either sex?
  • Why would he transgress the laws and ethics that obtain worldwide concerning such practices?
  • Why, when he is not a medical practitioner licensed only under the strictest exceptions to touch the genitals of another person, would he engage in these genital touching or ‘oiling’ actions?
  • Why his secrecy when he grasps or oils the penises of young males?
  • Why do so many reports indicate that the young males receiving this attention from Sai Baba are “pretty”, “good looking”, etc.?
  • In the face of such serious allegations, why are there no accountability and transparency mechanisms in the Sathya Sai Organization, especially when the accusations persist decade after decade?

Indian Constitution Safeguards Unsafe?

Hindu and other Indian religious leaders I have consulted refute that any such practice is sanctioned in their religions or by the laws or Constitution of India.  (One wishes they would all come out and make unequivocal statements on such issues, though!). In fact, Article 32 of the Indian Constitution protects both Indian citizens and foreigners who visit India.  In most countries, legal codes forbid (other than for diagnostic or treatment purposes by a medical doctor) touching a minor’s genitals. Often, it is mandatory for professionals to report any allegations of sexual molestation, and those who fail to report commit a crime.

Sai Baba’s Leaders Fail To Warn Parents

For many years, in many countries, the leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization have failed to warn parents of devotees that profound concerns have been expressed by both members and resignees about allegations of sexual molestation by Sai Baba of boys and young men.

Accusations Exceed Genital Oiling and Touching

Disturbing as the practice is, the oiling of genitals is but the mildest form of molestation of which Sathya Sai Baba is accused.  Far more severe forms of sexual abuse, sometimes extending over months and years, have been often reported.  Sathya Sai Baba is accused, in relation to young males, of:

  • employing and requesting masturbation
  • engaging in oral and anal intercourse with his victims
  • asking for ejaculation of semen into his mouth
  • ejaculating into the young devotees’ mouths.

Sathya Sai Baba is reported to have issued dire threats when his advances have been refused, and to have given bribes of jewelry and large sums of money to enforce the silence of his victims.

The statement common in Sai Baba circles that he is raising the ‘kundalini’ (a mystic power) is absurd, since these acts are for the perpetrator’s own perverse enjoyment.

Wide International Efforts 
 
As well as action which achieved a UNESCO media advisory adverse to Sai Baba and some of his organizers, affidavits and other reports have been availed to the FBI (Chicago), CBI (New Delhi), German Chief Prosecutor’s Office, London Metropolitan Police, Australian Federal Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police and copied to governments, legal counsel and sexual abuse counsellors. Although officers in various national police forces have been helpful and indeed often commendably sensitive, we record our repeated experience that most senior police and judiciary in India are the opposite. We privately know of cases where Indian police who attempted to investigate Sai Baba properly have been sidelined, posted elsewhere, and who live in fear. Journalists have been prevented from owners and publishers from printing adversely on Sai Baba. Foreign governments and law enforcement agencies are thwarted by the Indian government’s refusal to act, although our sources in foreign services make it plain that governments also do not wish to ‘rock the boat’ with India.

Irrespective of which political party is in government, the Indian power échelons powerfully protect Sathya Sai Baba and his multi-billion dollar empire that has been reported as the biggest single Indian recipient of charitable foreign donations. Link. See also: ‘Sai Baba Exchequer Worth Billions. Many Countries Donate’

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, News and Politics, Opinion, Pediatrics, People, Propaganda, Protest, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Social and Politics, Spirituality, Trends, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | 2 Comments »

Indian Rationalists, Humanists Unsafe Opposing Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 5, 2007

Well before formal Sai Baba Exposé activities, which commenced at the end of the 1990’s and which are mainly those of former followers of Sathya Sai Baba, the late Dr Abraham T. Kovoor, the Sri Lankan Rationalist who lived in India for many years, mounted public challenges to Sathya Sai Baba.

So have member organisations of the International Humanist and Ethical Union ( http://www.iheu.org) which has NGO Special Consultative status with the United Nations as well as the Council of Europe.

India’s most renowned rationalist and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Bangalore, South India, the late Dr. H. Narasimhaiah, a scientist, set up a twelve-member academic committee “to investigate rationally and scientifically miracles and any other verifiable superstitions.” However, Sathya Sai Baba refused to co-operate.

Some IHEU member organisations had bruited the notion of staging an international conference on Sathya Sai Baba in a leading city of the world. Its Executive Director Babu Gogineni has emailed me, Thursday, 6 March 2003 7:45 AM:

“Officers of the London-based IHEU have many times voiced their concern at the impunity with which Sathya Sai Baba operates, untouched by the Indian criminal justice system. It considers the allegations of paedophilia against him as gravely as it considers similar accusations against the Catholic and other clergy in the West.” He says that one of the IHEU’s concerns is the personal danger to its activists from fanatical followers of the guru, especially in India”.

B. Premanand, of TV “Guru Buster’s” fame, and fellow Indian Rationalists, among other gutsy actions, tried but failed to expose Sathya Sai Baba in court. He too has reported physical attacks, and has told a number of us that his own son was murdered – the only material stolen being highly compromising to Sathya Sai Baba. Sri Premanand has formed a Committee for Scientific Investigation into Claims of the Paranormal (CSICP). He mounted a court action in Sathya Sai Baba’s state of Andhra Pradesh, in which the High Court Judge Y.V.Anjaneyulu, a prominent Sai Baba devotee, ruled that the law requiring a license to produce gold does not apply to Sathya Sai Baba, who, he determined, materialises his gold from a divine realm. This 1986 case, which B. Premanand brought in the Andhra Pradesh High Court, exposed a close Sai Baba devotee judge’s violation of India’s secular legal system. Judge Anjaneyulu pronounced:

“An article or ornament materialized from air in a split second by the use of spiritual powers or otherwise cannot be said to be made, manufactured, prepared or processed within the meaning of section 11 of the Gold Control Act.”

For an example of how an Indian kangaroo court (this time on a stacked Supreme Court of India bench) thwarted famous Indian attorney Kamini Jaiswal to bring Sai Baba to heel, see here. For brief Gold Control Act case details, see here

B. Premanand has published a searing, highly-detailed 800-page book on the 1993 police executions, Murders in Sai Baba’s Bedroom, Available: B. Premanand. 11/7 Chettipalayam Road, Podanur. 641 023 Tamil Nadu, India.


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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, News and Politics, Opinion, Propaganda, Protest, Psychology, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Social and Politics, Society, Spirituality, World Religions | 3 Comments »

Idi Amin Video Clip. Amin Claimed Direct Line To God

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 27, 2007

sai-baba-on-pure-gold-chariot-sept-1997.jpgidi_amin_dada.jpgUganda’s late, more than grotesque dictator Idi Amin tells a television camera about his virtual omniscience:

“Is it true that you said Hitler didn’t kill enough Jews during the war”, asks the interviewer. Despite the genocidal Nazi slaughter of millions of Jews and others, Amin laughs uproariously and says “Why do you ask me about Hitler”?

Idi Amin and Many Sai Baba Devotees Claim God Instructs Them

Idi Amin then declares that, because of God’s instructions, he knows exactly how he is going to die, what will happen in the country in the next few hours and days, and the exact intentions of his enemies. Many Sathya Sai Baba devotees speak of having a direct connection with him, whom they deem to be God, saying that he instructs them, warns them of difficulties and obstacles, tells them what to eat and not to eat, who to speak to and who not, etc.

Idi Amin And Retinue Awash With Tears of Devotion For Sai Baba

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.

Sathya Sai Baba Officials Want Devotees to Shut Up About Their Inner Revelations

With a vast Sathya Sai Baba following from many cultures, is it any wonder, then, that the immensely wealthy and powerful worldwide cult, the Sathya Sai Organization, has clamped down harshly on many devotees who have spoken about their dreams and visions? In these, they report that Sai Baba has spoken to them, instructing them, do this, do that, etc. Countless devotees also know cases where he has told them in the interview room that he will heal others through them but where his officials have repudiated accounts of those same devotees – long known for their truthfulness – not to mention that of those very credible witnesses in the interviews when Sai Baba made the statements in the first place. He typically has even ‘materialized’ objects like pendants, ornaments of various deities, etc., that would, he said, assist in this type of healing healing work.

Happy Christmas Reminiscences of Idi Amin

In his (so-called!) ‘Christmas Discourse, 2006’ – which is, typical of his many other supposedly Christmas utterances, devoid of any genuine or sustained references to the Christmas theme – Sathya Sai Baba has, seen and heard by vast multitudes, reminisced warmly about his meeting with Idi Amin. Sai Baba’s close servitor, Dr G. Venkaraman, writes just as warmly about this, actually referring to the Ugandan monster as Mr Idi Amin”.

Sai Baba’s ‘Minister’ of Propaganda

G. Venkataraman, retired Indian atomic bomb specialist, was the Vice Chancellor of Sai Baba’s university at Puttaparthi, in Andhra Pradesh, South India, and is now Sai Baba’s chief propagandist. He directs a satellite radio station, broadcasting 24 hours 7 days, Sai Global harmony in affiliation with World Space International Radio Service, that is part of a vast Sai Baba propaganda project backed by millions, in an organization that commands billions. As indicated on the official website, it aims to broadcast to every corner of the globe. For example, we have evidence that Sai Baba’s officials like Ashok Bhagani have been closely cultivating British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s powerful Minister Tony McNulty, Member of Parliament for Harrow East and Minister of State, Home Office, and other movers and shakers on both sides of British politics to ensure broadcasting rights in Great Britain. See:  Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman.

Of Love Fests For a Despot, and Tall Self-Proclamations

With such Sai Baba-Venkataraman “Mr” Idi Amin love-festing going on in Puttaparthi, as so manifestly here displayed by the self-proclaimed “Lord of Lords”, “the Father of Jesus Christ”, “the One to whom Muslims, Buddhists, etc., pray”, one can imagine that Idi Amin can even raise a laugh for himself in hell, recollecting that, even though he was not quite God, at least he gained sufficient self-respect to confer on himself the titles: His Excellency President for Life Field Marshal Al Hadji Dr. Idi Amin, VC, DSO, MC, King of Scotland, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Sea, and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular.

For Further Information, click on the article titles:

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

————————————————–

Further Reading

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

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

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

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

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Video Resources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs)

at the BBC’s perfectly reasonable questions about accountability

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

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

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

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

……………………………………………………

General
Excerpt From Public Petition

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

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL)

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, News and Politics, Opinion, People, Politics, Propaganda, Prophecy, Protest, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Rationalism, Religion, Scandal, Skeptics, Social and Politics, Society, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

The ‘Secret Swami’s’ Hidden Costs

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 20, 2007

In his Christmas 2000 discourse, Sai Baba loudly banged his table in the vast Puttaparthi auditorium, and boastfully pitted the extent of his good works against those of others:

“Have any of them been able to accomplish at least one-thousandth of what Sai Baba is doing? No, no, no!”

He declared,

“No other individual, or no government for that matter, has been able to provide free education or free medical care”

that he has provided.  

In fact, it is his devoted volunteers who perform practically all the services for which he claims credit. Besides, many who have sought these alleged free services report numerous hidden costs in his colleges and hospitals, and many devotees have made considerable donations to the Central Trust in advance of applying.

Even though facing the utmost elusiveness by top Sai Baba officials, media and other investigators can question a range of ordinary consumers of these facilities. It is worth noting that not all parents of students attending Sai Baba’s huge educational institutions, or their teachers, are devotees. Nor are all patients and medical, nursing and ancilliary staff in his vast medical medical centres. Investigators will need to use their skills in getting credible witnesses talking. One would look for those teachers, doctors nurses, etc., who may be ready to speak up to bona fide investigators under conditions of anonymity. Courageous whistleblowers are always somewhere to be found too. Investigators should also document, both on camera and in hard copy, the fear that many have in telling what they know of the dark side of the Sai Baba enterprise.

Further Resources:

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Police Killings Related to Sai Baba Sex Abuse Says Dr Bhatia

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 17, 2007

Mick Brown, British journalist and author of several books, extensively researched some of the scandals that continue to erupt for Sathya Sai Baba and his exceptionally powerful and wealthy worldwide organization. Members of the Sai Baba cult – including a great many otherwise educated members from an astonishing array of professions – believe that they are his workers in bringing about the greatest spiritual revolution in mankind’s history.

In a long article researched on both sides of the Atlantic, ‘The Divine Downfall’, Mick Brown of The Telegraph (U.K.), November 12, 2000, wrote:

“For all the allegations laid against him over the years, Sai Baba has never been charged with any crime, sexual or otherwise. And his exalted position in India has until now kept him safely insulated from any kind of public inquiry.

In June 1993 he was the subject of an apparent assassination attempt when five young men broke into his private residence. Two of his personal attendants were stabbed to death and four of the assailants were shot dead by police ‘in self-defence’. Sai Baba allegedly escaped by rushing out of his room and activating an alarm system. In a subsequent discourse, he said the attack was caused by ‘jealousy’. Dr Bhatia told me he believed the attack was linked to Baba’s sexual activities. The guru was never interrogated by police over the attack. The Indian press raised the obvious question: if Sai Baba is omniscient, why couldn’t he see it coming?”

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Posted in Medicine, Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, Nepal, New Age, News, News and Politics, Opinion, People, Politics, Propaganda, Protest, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Rationalism, Religion, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Social and Politics, Society, Spirituality, Sri Lanka, Successful People, Theology, Theosophy, Trends, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | 1 Comment »

Dr Naresh Bhatia. Silenced Now In Indian Child Abuse Scourge

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 16, 2007

For many years, Dr Naresh Bhatia was a prominent doctor (and head of the Blood Bank) in Sai Baba’s vast but from many reports badly under-utilized Super Speciality hospital at Puttaparthi. There are accounts of his having to flee for his own safety from Puttaparthi and then finally being able to retrieve his possessions only after his undertaking with Sai Baba’s top officials to make no further public statements. A secret swami’s secret India, where at last a landmark study of abuse and the extreme hiding of it has just been released by the Manmohan Singh government. See Resources, at the foot of this article.

dr-naresh-bhatia.jpg

The Guru Can Do No Wrong


Dr Bhatia says that he, when younger, was for a long time a homosexual lover of Sai Baba. (The former Swedish film star Conny Larsson, now a drug rehabilitator among prisoners and others, says the same of himself). Dr Bhatia has told me that he still cannot shake off his belief that Sai Baba is Divine even though he knows that Sai Baba has sexually abused very many of his male students and other young males.
One may note that the guru tradition in India cannot be readily understood by outsiders. One concept is that one does not criticize one’s guru, no matter what he or she says or does. Rooted in almost timeless history, the grip of the guru and other religious authorities is endemic in India.

On November 12, 2000, in an extensively researched article, author and journalist Mick Brown wrote:

“Contacted by phone, Bhatia said that he had become a devotee of Sai Baba in 1971, at the age of 20, and that he had sexual relations with Sai Baba for “15 or 16 years”. In that time, he said, he was also aware that Sai Baba had relations with “many, many” students from the college and school, and with devotees from overseas.”

When making The Secret Swami the BBC television producer Eamon Hardy also spoke with Dr Bhatia, this time in New Delhi but the segment was not included in the documentary, for which 80 plus hours of footage had been shot, containing many compelling testimonies from various countries that, taken together, depict Sai Baba as a serial sexual molester on a most terrible scale.


Many Indian Gurus Abuse But Followers Shut Up About it

Among my papers, I have a note by a former national leader of the Sathya Sai Organization (who still has not gone public). He had a huge outreach among both Indian and Western devotees. He wrote the note while still a devotee but already going through angst following the upheavals following fusillades of revelations around 2000 in the organization which he and his wife so much loved:

“Talking to some Indian devotees (who by the way are not affected at all hardly any of them have left) they tell us that it is common knowledge that “Gurus” generally have some of those tendencies”

Anecdotally, this scenario would surely suggest the origins of the vast shockwaves right now going through India, following the release by the Manmohan Singh government of a landmark study of child abuse in that country. Where sexual abuse is concerned, Sai Baba the ‘secret Swami’ (as BBC television has called him) is close kindred to countless other Indian secret gurus who but reflect countless millions of ‘secret’ citizens of India. Like those of us in other countries who shut up for the sake of the ‘quiet life’, they are – even when not directly committing child abuse – to an extreme degree, therefore permitting it. For decades, Sai Baba has said India is about to lead the world in spirituality, under his banner. But his own ‘backyard’ (which he has said he will clean up before visiting the world) is in a dire shambles. So is he, as we can see when we examine photos and film footage that emphatically display his decrepitude. He is also increasingly given to unquestionably inane utterances and other odd behaviour. Click here for my articles  Sai Baba’s Tip To Keep Ageing Away and Sai Baba – A Degenerative Disease?

Dr Naresh Bhatia – Some Clarifications

Dr Bhatia told me that he felt the threat to his life was very real and that he was concerned that no further harm should come to a young boy who he (and a medical colleague in Bangalore) professionally believed was injuriously sodomized by Sai Baba. For this reason, he says, he has modified his earlier public stance that can be read in David and Faye Bailey’s The Findings (April 2000). Though one child is extremely precious, there can be a great danger to protecting a single individual. Shutting up rather than strong combattive action can threaten the safety and well-being of a great many children.

There Have Been Threats to Life or Limb

I asked Dr Bhatia whether he thought his near fatal accident where a truck hit him was likely to be the work of those on the nasty side of Sai Baba’s outreach. He replied that he felt that the distance and speed from which the truck came before hitting him did not seem focused enough to have been an assassination attempt. I also asked him to clarify a point that has raised some confusion.

The Abuse Patient Was A Level Seven (Primary School) Boy

It had been repeated – either originating, or worse confounded, in the Bailey’s seminal article that a boy was seven years old when very badly sexually abused by Sathya Sai Baba. Dr Bhatia responded that the boy was not seven but was then in Level 7 at Sai Baba’s school at Puttaparthi. He has also confirmed this to my fellow Australian, Stephen Carthew, long known for his courage and truthfulness not least when trying to reform the Sathya Sai Organisation from within, who visited Dr Bhatia in New Delhi 2000. Stephen, who had made kept this visit to India very secret, wrote to me that:

“I found Dr Bhatia delightful and most welcoming, notwithstanding the bind he is in. His own ambivalence regarding the spiritual nature of his Guru and the pressures coming from many sources to keep quiet make it difficult for him to do more than tell his story when asked. Certainly, he believed he was threatened and harassed during his rushed departure from Puttaparthi, after criticizing Sai Baba to his face.”

Abuse Is Too Cruel At Any Age

I should add that, in essence, abuse of a person is still grievous no matter what the age of a victim. However, amongst Sai Baba apologist documents is the incessant habit of siezing on every mistake or inconsistency or inadvertency in the writings of critics of Sai Baba. Any attempt to point out the actual facts results in, for example, further adversarial displays of nitpicking and obsession with peripherals. There are also cases when responding so as to put the record right would entail releasing information that is sensitive and should be secure. However, to genuine and bona fide investigators, such as leading media and those doing studies with well-accredited tertiary institutions, patently sincere enquirers such as those processing the anguish of leaving Sai Baba, and so on, this constraint is often not present.

Note on the Baileys

The Findings reports the Baileys’ discoveries that Sai Baba is guilty of male sexual molestation, huge financial fraud, faked miracles and other criminal and vastly hypocritical deceptions. David Bailey is a well-known British musician who lectured in Music at Sai Baba’s university in Puttaparthi. Travelling around the world as Sai Baba would direct, he was his highest profile roving ‘ambassador’ among devotees. Sai Baba arranged his marriage with Faye, who had previously been a key worker in the Australian Sathya Sai Organization. Unlike so many of the other leaders who know the truth of the accusations, David and Faye were possessed with a conscience. When they spoke out, they had to endure untold scurrility. It went throughout many countries in the Sathya Sai Organization that David languished in jail on charges of paedophilia. Similar outrages occurred when Conny Larrson, former head of the Swedish organization, spoke out. Those of us who were in touch with them on their private telephones were struck by the fact that they were decidedly free – except from the dastardly slanders of many Sai devotees around the world. As has been the case with a number of those of us formerly connected with Sai Baba’s work, Sai Baba’s male students and others who have come under his sway, David and Faye Bailey have been the repository of many accounts of sexual abuse (not to mention other shocking revelations) by Sai Baba. Against almost unimaginable slander and distortion by his defenders, former devotees in various countries continue the attempt to expose these abuses to the world.

Resources:

Child Abuse. Landmark Indian Government Study
Abuse of Indian children ‘common’
By Geeta Pandey
BBC News, Delhi

The Findings
By David and Faye Bailey (an historic but in various ways a very dated document)

Child Abuse in India. Will Minister Renuka Chowdhury Act?
By Barry Pittard.  Email:  bpittard (at) optusnet.com.au

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Posted in Medicine, Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, News, News and Politics, Opinion, People, Philanthropy, Philosophy, Politics, Propaganda, Prophecy, Protest, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Social and Politics, Society, Spirituality, Sri Lanka, Successful People, Theology, Theosophy, Trends, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | 6 Comments »

Child Abuse Rife In India. But Who Would Speak Out?

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 13, 2007

It is impossible for many of the Indian students and former students of Sathya Sai Baba’s colleges and university, and others to come forward with their accounts, which are innumerable from around the world of his decades of sexual abuse of boys and young men.    

Their parents, relatives and friends are – very often – Sai Baba devotees who worship Sai Baba as God, and are unlikely to believe them, or, in other cases, concoct rationalizations for why Sai Baba would do such a thing. The victims have nowhere to turn, unless to persons such as David Bailey, who was a music teacher at Sai Baba’s Institute of Higher Learning), or Terry Gallagher who, after considerable investigation resigned as head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia. They, like even myself once, as a lecturer in a Sai Baba college, had a ‘privileged’ seat on Sai Baba’s veranda. Various Indian and western former students and others who have had close ties with Sai Baba also get in touch with those such as Robert Priddy and me, owing to our high profile in investigating Sai Baba and his movement, and ensuring that information reaches the world more widely. It is essential that their accounts be kept highly secure, such as lodgement in the vaults of a bank.  Many may never wish to witness in for example a class action lawsuit but if ever they should so wish the option is there.

A former staff member who contacted me told of how, when he raised disturbing questions with other staff members, he was tipped off by one of his teaching colleagues that his life was now in danger. The Germans Jens and Gurprit Sethi were similarly tipped off and fled from Puttaparthi. They informed their embasssy in Delhi and the German police, and returned to their country for good.  If students were to withdraw from their studies, they would lose their education, career and marriage prospects.

In India a great many marriages are arranged, and marriage is in many ways a complex family alliance. Some of Sai Baba’s former Indian students, including those with personal accounts of his sexual abuse of them, have told me that the shame and stigma attached to having been abused by Sai Baba thwarts the type of action former devotees have initiated in the West.

India is a country where survival is often a fight, if not in everyone’s case for food and shelter , at least to achieve and maintain tenuous social position.  The abuser is a world-famous religious teacher, in a country with thousands of years’ tradition of intense guru worship and extreme idolising of notable public figures. Sai Baba’s power and influence in virtually all sectors of Indian society is so great as almost to defy the imagination.Discussion of various forms of sexual abuse, such as rape, incest and molestation, is strictly tabooed in India.

A common Indian perception is that only if one has a great deal of money and power, with the ability to use them corruptly, is there a chance of getting one’s story out and acted upon. But even here, who would wish to break the taboo?

Barry Pittard. Email:  bpittard AT optusnet.com.au

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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, News, News and Politics, Opinion, Pediatrics, People, Philosophy, Politics, Propaganda, Protest, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Social and Politics, Society, Spirituality, Sri Lanka, Successful People, Theology, Trends, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Leave a Comment »