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Will Hollywood and Bollywood Dare To Take On The Cult Theme?

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 14, 2010

Through very separate channels, I have learnt that there have been discussions in different parts of the movie-making world about what approaches to scripting, venue, demographics, legal issues, and so forth, might best lend themselves to portraying the story of a guru so controversial and ‘larger-than-life’ as Sathya Sai Baba. Other charismatic cult leader names are mentioned, but Sathya Sai Baba is the biggest.

I earlier wrote:  Dare Songstress Nora Jones Touch Sai Baba? Sathya Sai Baba interests courted Jones (the daughter of the famous Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar, both of them his longtime devotees) to play the lead in a movie, oddly titled “My Guy”, and it will be interesting to get confirmation of the story that the project has foundered.

With the above thoughts in mind, as I was looking at a few articles and it struck me how many impactful stories, if followed to their roots,  there would be found in so much work of the more serious and competent critics of Sathya Sai Baba. Wide publics have a thirst for murder and mayhem. This does not lack on Sathya Sai Baba’s bloody trail. There is massive financial, political, and judicial and police corruption. But whether enough audiences can be persuaded to view often-tabooed and acutely distressing themes such as serial sexual abuse is a moot point. One of the top handful of former police chiefs in the world told me that he considered Sathya Sai Baba as plausibly the master criminal of the 20th century. (To reputed media or other serious investigators, I can share his name. He is in consultancy these days). We also know , again at first hand, that in various foreign services there are high-ranking diplomats (including at the level of Ambassador) who do not wish to see Sathya Sai Baba triumph, but in repeated cases they are told by their governments:  not to ‘rock the boat with India’.

The need for excellent movies on the contra cult topic is acute. It is one of the most crucially avoided topics by powerful political and religious  instrumentalities. Apart from common-or-garden cowardice, there is a great deal of misconceived liberalism about, with an excess of political correctness and misunderstanding at large in the matter of what, exactly, religious freedom consists. In the preface to Robert Priddy’s and my long article, we wrote, referring to a writer dear to me: 

“The foes of the ‘open society’ (Sir Karl Popper’s term) are those who use its very openness to achieve their closed and devious ends. Sai Baba and his highly authoritarian and cultist organisation have such ends, which critics have tried to make known. Its foremost leaders silence all those who question it – and never face substantive criticisms. For the first time – after six years of pained and guilty silence – since hundreds of long-term devotees left it in disgust – the Sathya Sai Organisation has found it necessary to try to defuse the debate about Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged crimes, deceits and fraudulence. Dr. Venkataraman’s tendentious cover-up article expresses untruths which have long circulated within the cult, giving an opportunity to confront him with facts and truth”:  The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed 

The cultic costs to society are catastrophic, Intelligent movies driven by more than just profits will need to draw together the two main needs: integrity AND profitability. No reason why creative people should languish for honest work. I notice, incidentally, that some movies, expectedly, are jumping, but crassly, onto the 3D bandwagon. But what better country than India to portray via the 3D medium. Imagine if Sir Richard Attenborough’s ‘Gandhi’ had been made in 3D. Those who wish to see the most powerful exposure of cults need to be on the cutting edge, but not for its own sake.

The articles I had in view (although there are so many others) were:

David Bailey on Sathya Sai Baba (transcript from phone call) Excerpts with surprising facts that came to light when this great favourite of Sai Baba was phoned by Thomas Wiehe of Sweden – concerning the reasons why the Bailey’s rejected Sai Baba and all his works.

David Bailey’s disaffection in 1999 (phone conversation transcript & audio) On how Britain’s MI5 investigated David Bailey on account of protection of the Royal family, and the consequences for him, and other surprising facts.

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

V.K. Narasimhan on the 1993 Sathya Sai Baba murders Shattering information about the 1993 murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom – private confidences shared with Robert Priddy’s longtime friend V.K. Narasimhan, one of India’s greatest and most principled newspaper editors.

Inside information on Sathya Sai Baba by very close servitor Famous Indian editor, V.K. Narasimhan, was full of doubts about Sathya Sai Baba’s claims, but supported him due to social improvements his movement has made.

Ullrich Zimmermann’s Shocking Interview With Sathya Sai Baba. With comments by Robert Priddy, referring to the revelations on video by Ullrich Zimmermann of his interviews with Sathya Sai Baba – click here

More Testimony To Male Sexual Abuse By Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 1, 2010

See also: 

Wikipedia Issues and Sathya Sai Baba

Recent Research on the Claims of Sathya Sai Baba

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

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

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

Stephen Carthew, more recently engaged in his Ph.D. work has also given valuable account. He has latterly appeared in a one-hour ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) documentary. See my article:  Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults. An important document is his:

Letter from Stephen Carthew and see too the European head (the late) Thorbjorn Meyer’s similarly soviet-style treatment of Serguei Badaev, when the latter was president of the Sathya Sai Organization’s Moscow center,  deputy national coodinator, and coordinator of the national Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV):-

Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia

Badaev’s account is found in his:

Story of My Disqualification

Al Rahm’s Explanatory Letter To Sathya Sai Baba Internet Proxy Gerald Moreno

Why Has Sathya Sai Baba Not Faced The Indian Justice System?

Big Cult Trumps At Law. Is But A ‘Bookshop’

‘BILD’ Story. “Guru Wants Sex” (Sathya Sai Baba)

Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba)

……………………………………………………………………

The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(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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Sathya Sai Baba and Absurdity – Revealed in His Officials’ Documents

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 2, 2010

The simplistic inanity of certain of Sathya Sai Baba’s statements needs no comment. For any reader not blinded by cultic paralysis of reason and commonsense, they are absurd indeed. And sometimes quite – unwittingly – hilarious. Of course, Sai editors have done an extensive job of weeding out many such statements, which give, we are well-informed, great concern to his better-informed servitors. See: The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements

Here is a sample – from ‘Sai Baba Talks To Russian Ladies’. Excerpts Prashanthi Nilayam 25.06.02, seen at a major Sathya Sai Baba website: saibabaofindia.com/interview_russian.htm  -:

“Now in Russia husband and wife often live separately. They fight with each other. Husband doesn’t want to take care of the family.

Ladies have two stomachs. One is for food, another is for baby. In that other stomach often there are some diseases. One man comes and gives his blood. Another man comes and gives his blood, and so on. This blood mixes inside and causes problems. Ladies also take pills to prevent being pregnant. This is another reason for a disease. This is not good. Control your senses and you will not fall sick”

.……………………………………………

Related Posts

(Note: Much of the documentation that exposes Sathya Sai Baba comes from his own official sources, though much has now been ‘weeded’. Indeed, I was part of an editorial team which did some of the weeding, which included some of Sathya Sai Baba’s top officials, such as Professor Anil Kumar)

Sathya Sai Baba’s Tips To Keep Ageing Away

Sathya Sai Baba Is Fast-ailing

Sathya Sai Baba’s Slurred Speech Due To Old Age. ‘Eenadu’ News Report

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions

Menus, Predictions, Promises

Bogus Prophecies about Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba and ‘Suka Nadi’ prophecies

False Predictions by India’s Revered “Omniscient Avatar”

Sai Baba (Baa-Baa Black Sheep) a misunderstood ‘Second Coming’

Sathya Sai and the Turin shroud photos

…………………………………………….

The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(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 New Age, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, Skeptics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Swami Nityananda Sex Scandal News Round Up

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 25, 2010

The following is a quite brief but useful selection of Indian press articles. They suffice to give a sense of the unfolding of the Swami Nityananda sex scandal. It does India’s government and justice systems no credit, nationally or internationally, that she occasionally nets in a few minnows and not the tiger sharks. 

It is a great pity that Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors are not being held to public accountability. He is vastly more powerful and influential than Nityananda. It is an irony not missed by many Non Resident Indians (NRI’s) that, with the exception of India Today in 2000, it took foreign media such as the BBC, CBC, ABC, SBS, the Times of London, Daily Telegraph, Guardian, and newspapers in Europe, Canada, Australia, etc., to investigate and expose Sathya Sai Baba and his cult.

Moreover, these media handled the Sathya Sai Baba issue infinitely better than most of the Indian media has been handling the Nityananda issue. The violence that has broken out in this matter, as well as in many other issues, can in considerable measure be linked to the preference of many of the Indian media for the sensation-sales equations, and their lack of calm leadership. Following attacks by hoons on Indian students studying in Australia, my own country – although not without its, at the time, unaddressed police and socio-cultural responsibilities in the matter – was subject to enormous Indian media sensationalising and oversimplifying of complex issues, where significan sections of the Indian press grossly ignored a wide cross-section of Indian voices in Australia – such as Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria. This mass-circulation Indian media hysteria whip-up (like our own miserable shock-jocks on the radio) badly damaged relations between India and Australia, which responsible sectors in both countries have had to work extremely hard to repair. See my articles:

Attacks Against Indian Students in Melbourne, Australia

Attacks By Hooligans Against Foreign Students In Australia

Indian Students Attacked In Melbourne Australia: Cricket Star Brett Lee Voices Concerns

Sex Scandal: What Is Swami Nityananda Really Teaching?
 The enormous public reaction to the Nityananda case furnishes a picture that makes two issues extremely clear. The first is that blind faith in gurus down the milennia has been made a matter of wide public debate. The other is that new and better educated generations are beginning to throw off the shackles of the past.
The question that remains is whether Indian shall ever become the great democracy that she could be. The South Indian lawyer K.V. Dhananjay brings out such in a lengthy interview.  See my note, and the video links, at:
Lawyer K.V.Dhananjay on Swami Nityananda Furore In India
Posted by Barry Pittard on May 24, 2010
See Robert Priddy's recent posts on the Nityananda scandal:
Nithyananda exposed by Ranjitha – CBI say no faked film

Posted by robertpriddy on June 20, 2010

Swami Nithyananda: purification, tribulation and trial

Posted by robertpriddy on June 19, 2010

Swami Nityananda tries to defuse the sex scandal

Posted by robertpriddy on June 10, 2010

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From:  http://interceder.net/news/Swami-Nityananda

 Sudeep to anchor village-based reality show - New Kerala Sudeep to anchor village-based reality show Bangalore, May 7: Southern star Sudeep is set to make his small screen debut as the host of the Suvarna Channel's new reality show and says he is curious to see how 10 city girls will adjust to a village life.07 May 2010

	
  • Sudeep to anchor village-based reality show - Calcutta News Sudeep to anchor village-based reality show Southern star Sudeep is set to make his small screen debut as the host of the Suvarna Channel's new reality show and says he is curious to see how 10 city girls will adjust to a village life.07 May 2010
  • No respite for Swami Nityananda, bail rejected - The Times of India No respite for Swami Nityananda, bail rejected The Ramanagaram district sessions court on Thursday dismissed the bail petition filed by controversial godman Swami Nityananda.06 May 2010
  • Sex tainted godman's bail plea rejected - New Kerala Tainted godman's bail plea rejected Bangalore, May 6 : A Karnataka court Thursday rejected a bail plea of self-styled godman Swami Nityananda, in jail since April 30 for his alleged sex romp.06 May 2010
  • Sex tainted godman's bail plea rejected - Calcutta News Sex tainted godman's bail plea rejected A Karnataka court Thursday rejected a bail plea of self-styled godman Swami Nityananda, in jail since April 30 for his alleged sex romp.06 May 2010
  • The adventures of a Swami, and his friends - Express India The adventures of a Swami, and his friends His Bidadi ashram may have lost residents but there is no decline in faith for his ardent devotees. Nor have the police found enough evidence to wipe the smile off Swami Nityananda's face....06 May 2010
  • The adventures of a Swami, and his friends - Express India The adventures of a Swami, and his friends His Bidadi ashram may have lost residents but there is no decline in faith for his ardent devotees. Nor have the police found enough evidence to wipe the smile off Swami Nityanandas face....06 May 2010
  • Nityananda case: CID seeks statement from victim - Express India Nityananda case: CID seeks statement from victim One of the victims of the sex scandal case involving Swami Nityananda was in touch with police.05 May 2010
  • Verdict on bail plea of 'Nityananda' on May 6 - New KeralaVerdict on bail plea of 'Nityananda' on May 6 Ramanagaram, Karnataka, May 3 : The Sessions Court here today posted the verdict on bail application moved by tainted 'swami' Nityananda to May 6.04 May 2010
  • Tamil actress Ranjeetha takes premature retirment after Swami sex-scandal - New KeralaTamil actress Ranjeetha takes premature retirment after Swami sex-scandal Chennai, Mat 3 : South Indian actress Ranjitha, known for a sex-scandal linking her with tainted guru Swami Nityananda, has decided to quit to lead a quiet life with family in Kerala.03 May 2010
  • 13. MIC Youth wants funds for upkeep of cemeteries - The Star13. MIC Youth wants funds for upkeep of cemeteries MIC Youth has asked the Government for financial grants to help maintain Indian cemeteries.02 May 2010
  • Sex scandal in temple rocks city - The Times of India Sex scandal in temple rocks city Swami Nityananda's sex scandal may have rocked the country. Now Nagpur will wake up on Saturday to sleaze at a religious place in the city.01 May 2010
  • Nityananda sent to jail till May 12 - New Kerala Nityananda sent to jail till May 12 Bangalore, April 30: Tainted Swami Nityananda was Friday sent to jail till May 12, after being in police custody for eight days answering questions on his alleged sex-romp and other activities.30 Apr 2010
  • Nityananda sent to jail till May 12 - Calcutta News Nityananda sent to jail till May 12 Tainted Swami Nityananda was Friday sent to jail till May 12, after being in police custody for eight days answering questions on his alleged sex-romp and other activities.30 Apr 2010
  • I'm not a man, Nityananda told CID sleuths - The Times of India I'm not a man, Nityananda told CID sleuths "I'm not a man. There's no way I could have indulged in sexual activities with women. Do a potency test on me". That's the sum of Swami Nityananda's startling statements to CID sleuths.The swami's passport clearly mentions his gender as male, not transgender.29 Apr 2010
  • Tainted godman's CID custody extended again - New Kerala Tainted godman's CID custody extended again Ramanagaram, Karnataka, Apr 28 : A court in Ramanagaram today extended by two more days the CID custody of tainted Godman Swami Nityananda, who was caught in a sleaze act with a Tamil actress and also faces other charges.29 Apr 2010
  • Swami Nityananda gets to keep rudrakashamala - The Times of India Swami Nityananda gets to keep rudrakashamala The district court at Ramanagaram extended the police custody for Swami Nityananda for two more days, till Friday evening. At the same time, the court refrained from interfering with the CID sleuths' decision to take away the Rudrakshamala away from Nityananda.28 Apr 2010
  • Bangalore Sex Swami violated 'rules of tantra'? - NDTV Bangalore Sex Swami violated 'rules of tantra'? Art of Living Foundation head Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in a statement has said that Bangalore's disgraced self-styled godman Swami Nithyananda violated rules of tantra.28 Apr 2010
  • Damage control? JMM says voting in cut motions 'a mistake' - Express India Damage control? JMM says voting in cut motions 'a mistake' JMM made it clear there was no move to form a government in Jharkhand with Congress backing.28 Apr 2010
  • Swami Nityananda released from hospital - New Kerala Swami Nityananda released from hospital Bangalore, April 27 : Tainted godman Swami Nityananda, who was arrested from Himachal Pradesh, was on Tuesday released from a government hospital where he was admitted with 'severe chest pain'.27 Apr 2010
  • Tainted godman's CID custody extended - New Kerala Tainted godman's CID custody extended Ramanagaram, Karnataka, Apr 26 : A court here today extended to two more days the CID custody of tainted godman Swami Nityananda, who was caught in a sleaze act with a Tamil cinema actress and faces other charges.27 Apr 2010
  • Two more days police custody for Nityananda - New Kerala Two more days police custody for Nityananda Bangalore, April 26 : Sex-scam tainted Swami Nityananda will spend two more days in Karnataka Police custody, a court ruled Monday.27 Apr 2010
  • Nityananda should have had only one partner: Ravi Shankar - New Kerala Nityananda should have had only one partner: Ravi Shankar New York, April 26 : Disgraced self-styled godman Swami Nityananda violated the rules of tantra by "using so many people for one's pleasure", Art of Living Foundation head Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said Monday.27 Apr 2010
  • Nityananda’s police custody extended - Gulf Times Nityananda’s police custody extended Self-styled godman Swami Nityananda, accused of being involved in a sex scandal, will spend two more days in the custody of the Karnataka police, a court ruled yesterday.26 Apr 2010 
  • Older than 1 month …………………………………… Further Resources   By Robert Priddy Sex scandal in Indian media – Nityananda and forerunners   Swami ‘Paramahamsa’ Nityananda scandal – latest HC dismisses plea for CBI probe against Nityananda   Nityananda sex scandal compounded by his lies and deceits   Basava Premanand Tribute: Indian Exposer of Sathya Sai Baba Dies   Nityananda sex scandal compounded by his lies and deceits Nityananda video, lies and ’sex allegations’ …………………………………… By Barry Pittard  Nityananda, Sathya Sai Baba et al… Do Hindus Really Approve Sexual Immorality?  Nityananda Sex Scandal Erupts in India. Sathya Sai Baba Lessons? Nityananda Scandal. Police Seize Indicting Material. Why No Raids On Sathya Sai Baba?  Is Heat Too Much For Swami Nityananda, Under Fire By Sex Abuse Allegations? Why Nithyananda Sex Scandal Investigations and Not A Sathya Sai Baba Probe? Boy Scouts of America – Sex Abuse Revelations. Who Next? Priest Abuse. Long-denied Justice Catching Up In Australia Sexual Abuse Priests. What?! The Pope Never Knew? Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya  Sai Baba   …………………………… The Public Petition   Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization   About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult  (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)     ——————————————     Subscribe in  NewsGator Online Subscribe  in Bloglines Add to My AOLAdd to Excite  MIX Add Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba  to Newsburst from CNET News.com Add to  netvibes     Add to The  Free Dictionary Add to netomat Hub Add to Webwag   Subscribe in a reader     Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

    Lawyer K.V.Dhananjay on Swami Nityananda Furore In India

    Posted by Barry Pittard on May 24, 2010

    For those who appreciate a calm, rational discussion of issues relating to the Swami Nityananda sex case in India, the following interview of the South Indian lawyer K.V. Dhananjay is worth watching. India’s vastly overloaded and deeply flawed justice system is made most apparent. Difficulties in bringing any formal justice to Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors can be inferred from this discussion. It is these grave difficulties which Sathya Sai Baba’s de facto apologists, ever ready to violate their guru’s teachings against harsh words and other forms of attack, completely – and with great shallowness – would try to deny.

    Dhananjay does not only sheet home to the justice system blame for the shambles that is being made so evident in the Nityananda case, but points to wide and serious socio-religious faultlines in the Indian nation at large, where time-honored, uncritical following of leaders results in such grievous disappointment when exposures occur that a common reaction is anarchy and rampaging violence. The producer of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’, Eamon Hardy, told me that he was keenly interested in the difficulties of maturity within Indian democracy, and that this aspect was uppermost in his mind as he and his team investigated Sathya Sai Baba and his sect.  See:

    BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise
    The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision
    BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?
    BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government
    Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television
    Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team
    Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence
    The Genesis of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sai Baba)
    India A Mature Democracy? BBC Probes
    V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings

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    3/3. Deepak Thimaya i/v K.V.Dhananjay on Nityananda Swami saga.mpg
    3/3. Deepak Thimaya i/v K.V.Dhananjay on Nityananda Swami saga.mpg

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    By Robert Priddy

    Sex scandal in Indian media – Nityananda and forerunners  

    Swami ‘Paramahamsa’ Nityananda scandal – latest

    HC dismisses plea for CBI probe against Nityananda 

     Nityananda sex scandal compounded by his lies and deceits 

     Basava Premanand Tribute: Indian Exposer of Sathya Sai Baba Dies 

     Nityananda sex scandal compounded by his lies and deceits

    Nityananda video, lies and ’sex allegations’

    ……………………………………

    By Barry Pittard 

    Swami Nityananda Sex Scandal News Round Up

    Nityananda, Sathya Sai Baba et al… Do Hindus Really Approve Sexual Immorality?

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

    Nityananda Scandal. Police Seize Indicting Material. Why No Raids On Sathya Sai Baba?

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

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

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

    Priest Abuse. Long-denied Justice Catching Up In Australia Sexual Abuse Priests. What?! The Pope Never Knew?

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

    …………………………………

    The Public Petition

    Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization  

    About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult 

    (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)    

    ——————————————    

    Subscribe in  NewsGator Online Subscribe  in Bloglines Add to My AOLAdd to Excite  MIX Add Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba  to Newsburst from CNET News.com Add to  netvibes     Add to The  Free Dictionary Add to netomat Hub Add to Webwag   Subscribe in a reader     Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba       

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

    Nityananda, Sathya Sai Baba et al… Do Hindus Really Approve Sexual Immorality?

    Posted by Barry Pittard on May 21, 2010

                                                                                     Swami Nityananda Sex Scandal. Huge, India-wide Interest

    The court appearances of Swami Nityananda of India on charges of improper sexual behaviour towards a number of young women have made him the butt of outrage throughout India. Innumerable news articles, blogs, chatrooms, attest to the overwhelming abhorrence of a very broad Hindu public (what to mention other belief systems) for the types of sexual practices being referred to in the Nityananda court proceedings. 

    In recent years, a top-ranking Hindu leader sent me an email (which can be verified for bona fide media and scholars who may wish to check that what networked former Sathya Sai Baba devotees and other critics claim is true). See:  Sathya Sai Baba: ‘Considerable Concern’ In Wider Hindu Community. This outstanding leader, recognized by a wide cross-section of Hindu organizations in his country, wrote:  

    There is considerable concern among the Hindu Community, especially among the educated. It is very hard to get any action from the temples as they do not wish to cause difficulties with the Sathya Sai Baba groups. People are starting to distance themselves from Sathya Sai Baba. It’s going to be gradual process of education. The biggest impact it appears was the ‘The Secret Swami’ … it seems it has had a tremendous negative effect on Sathya Sai Baba”.  

    One of the greatest anomalies is that many religious institutions do not speak clearly – or very often even at all – on issues for which social taboos absurdly and dangerously flourish. The lack of genuine religious leadership and vision are palpable. The result is that lay persons frequently have to whistle-blow, and face extraordinary libel, defamation and other forms of attack because they vibrantly live those tenets that are so preached and yet so breached. In India, the dereliction of the religious institutions from facing hard moral questions is in sharp contrast to a rationalist such as the late Basava Premanand. See:  Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach. For a western example, see:  In Memoriam – Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”)

    In his article – Swami Nityananda tries the Sathya Sai Baba defense ploy, Posted by robertpriddy on May 20, 2010 – Robert Priddy, the former national head for many years of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, has just blogged on some recent developments in the Swami Nityananda exposure. He writes:

    “So the Hindu Sangam in Malaysia evidently supports secret tantrick sexual exploits as this is not against Hinduism, for they could not have failed to note this aspect of Nityananda’s teaching. At least, it’s good to know where they really stand! One wonders if they support the practises of Sathya Sai Baba (which top Sai officials condone) such as the oiling of young male genitals. Or perhaps even also Sathya Sai Baba’s very widely testified sexual abuses from around the world, including pedophilia?” 

    ————————————-   

    By Robert Priddy

    Sex scandal in Indian media – Nityananda and forerunners  

    Swami ‘Paramahamsa’ Nityananda scandal – latest

    HC dismisses plea for CBI probe against Nityananda 

     Nityananda sex scandal compounded by his lies and deceits 

     Basava Premanand Tribute: Indian Exposer of Sathya Sai Baba Dies 

     Nityananda sex scandal compounded by his lies and deceits

    Nityananda video, lies and ’sex allegations’

    ……………………………………

    By Barry Pittard 

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

    Nityananda Scandal. Police Seize Indicting Material. Why No Raids On Sathya Sai Baba?

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

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

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

    Priest Abuse. Long-denied Justice Catching Up In Australia Sexual Abuse Priests. What?! The Pope Never Knew?

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

    ………………………………………………………………….. 

    The Public Petition

    Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization  

    About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult 

    (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)    

    ——————————————    

    Subscribe in  NewsGator Online Subscribe  in Bloglines Add to My AOLAdd to Excite  MIX Add Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba  to Newsburst from CNET News.com Add to  netvibes     Add to The  Free Dictionary Add to netomat Hub Add to Webwag   Subscribe in a reader     Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba       

    Posted in New Age, Opinion, Rationalism, Skeptics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

    Sathya Sai Baba Topic On CNN-IBN – on his 81st birthday

    Posted by Barry Pittard on November 24, 2009

    CNN-IBN ( CNN-India Broadcast News) is an English language Indian TV news channel lauched in 2005. The network is a partnership between Global Broadcast News (GBN) and Turner International (Turner) in India. Rajdeep Sardesai is the Editor-in-Chief of the network.

    One may comment:  What debate?!

    CNN report on Sai Baba
    CLICK HERE TO SEE THE VIDEO ON-LINE
    if unavailable, click here

    Source:  CNN-IBN TV interviews: “Debate – Sai Baba a Godsend?”

    ——————————————————————————-

    See Topics posted at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation’:  Sathya Sai Baba Birthday 2009

    Sathya Sai Baba 84th Birthday Celebrations. Will 21st Century India Tolerate The Shame That Is Puttaparthi?

    Golden Throne of India’s Sathya Sai Baba. He says he will Rule the world soon

    Sathya Sai Baba Birthday. Brian Steel Examines Birthdate Issue

    For earlier birthday events at Puttaparthi:

    Sai Baba’s Birthday. Vast, Costly Pomp and Ceremony

    Sai Baba’s Imperial 83rd Birthday Celebrations Photo, Puttaparthi, India

    ————————————————-

    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

     

    Posted in Morality, News and Politics, Opinion, Protest, Rationalism, Skeptics, Theology, Uncategorized, World Issues | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

    Basava Premanand Long Challenged Indian Governments To Come Clean On Sathya Sai Baba

    Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009

    Among many attempts to awaken India to the great danger posed by chronic addiction to swamis, gurus and the like, India’s foremost rationalist the late B.Premanand tried to arouse government, media, legal  and public accountability. The odds he faced were utterly formidable. See my in memoriam tribute to Premanand, with whom I kept in touch over the years:

    Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach

    One might have thought that key Indian religious organizations, were they to have had guts, decency and nothing to hide, would, in effect, have said something like this:  Yes, we agree that horrible oppressions in the name of religion exist. We disagree with you Premanand in regard to deism and disbelief.  However, we are at one with you in wishing to stop exploitation, and we too will speak out very clearly, and do our best to ensure that you are not a voice crying in the wilderness.

    And why not? – for indeed, in India, among the well-informed, there is a very long precedent where respect is held for reasoned belief and non-belief. India has evinced strong traditions of a ‘live and let live’ standard. But the case is vexed – as witness casteism and communalism. Nonetheless, non-deistic systems have long survived in India and recognized in a broad ‘hinduism’ – Charvaka, Jainism and Buddhism and the philosophical system known as Mimamsa. One might have wished there were enough forces for fertile and practical cooperation on at least common grounds between the deistic and non-deistic forces in India. But, at this pragmatic level, wherever one travelled, there was a sense that the forces of corruption, reinforced by nepotism, were in far too powerful control for any form of genuine democracy to flourish. It is difficult to imagine any greater reinforcement for the old attitudes of fatalism.

    Nor has Sathya Sai Baba kept his promise to “clean (his) own back yard (India), before going to other countries, as I, among others, have chronicled:

    Sathya Sai Baba Continues To Ail


    When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises


    ‘World Avatar’ Sathya Sai Baba’s Troubled Trail

    With regard to the unwillingness of Hindu temple organizations to come forth regarding Sathya Sai Baba, see my article:

    Sathya Sai Baba: ‘Considerable Concern’ In Wider Hindu Community

    I here quoted from an email from a very notable Hindu leader (with an important government remit) with whom, at various times, I have privately corresponded.  Beneath the Premanand quote below, I quote the Hindu leader’s note.

    It is well-known that Mahatma Gandhi would in no uncertain terms berate those of his fellow Indians who showed signs of cowardice and its stinky bedmate hypocrisy. One of my well-wishers along my pilgrim way, an Indian swami close to the late Sri Anandamayi Ma, told me that he had witnessed Gandhi delivering himself of a tremendous rebuke when those around him failed to live up to the high standards to which they gave lip service.

    As anyone can see, across the years of issues of, for example, his newsletter ‘The Indian Skeptic‘, it was one Premanand’s methods to press governments for accountability. He would carefully register his letters so that a signature was required by any official addressed. His frequent experience was the officials’ very serious obscurantism and inaction, and their replies unwittingly revealed these abysmal qualities to any half alert reader of Premanand’s various publications.

    Of course, one of the difficulties was that they regarded him as a ‘nastika’ (an unbeliever). But the problem lay deeper than this. It was that the corruption and its cover up were so endemic, and many terribly courageous Indians have fought against it. In our networked group, there have been, too,  cries of upset that anyone of us should deal with Premanand. Glen Meloy and I, and subsequently Robert Priddy too, had a mutually respectful interface with Premanand, which included matters of internationally coordinating credible witnesses for the BBC in the making of ”The Secret Swami’.  See:

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

    Of Glen, Premanand wrote to me:

    “Glen’s death was a great shock. I wanted him to live till Sai Baba was arrested … I am missing a great loving friend whom I came to know from the BBC film production.”

    Fortunately, given the breadth of educated viewpoints among networked former devotees of Sathya Sai Baba, this antipathy towards any contact with Premanand, though strenuously put, was in a minority. As I see it, two of the real questions are:

    • does one believe in speaking forthrightly when facts are being profoundly covered up – facts  that no ethical system of any major faith or rationalist or humanist standpoint would in the least espouse? And
    • does one believe that labelling others is often a great harm, and one of the greatest obstacles to mutual respect of persons as persons?

    Undemocratic Non-Response: A Typical Case of Indian Government Cover Up of Sathya Sai Baba and His Cult

    See, the article:

    Basava Premanana challenges Ex-PM Vajpayee to come clean

    Text below taken from the Indian Skeptic, November 2006:

    To, The Director and CPIO,
    Prime Minister Office,
    South Block New Delhi 110 001 Under the Right to Information Act – 2005.

    Dear Sir, 24.8.2006

    Ref: Statement of Mr. A.B.Vajpayee the Ex. Prime Minister of India along with the two retired Chief Justices Of India Mr.P.N.Bhagwathi and Mr.Ranganath Mishra, published on internet
    http/www.sri sathyasai.org.uk/homepage/default.htm.

    At last, thank you for your letter No.RTI/26/2006-PMA, dated 17.8’2006 received by me on 22.8.2006 regarding my letter to The Hon Prime Minister Of India dated 13.3.2006 which was received on 16.3.2006 after a long merry- go-round for five months from one ministry to another.

    The question was a very simple one “As the Indian Prime Minister and the two retired Chief Justices of India would not give such statements without proper investigation.

    To provide me with the certified copy ot the investigation on the sexual abuse of youth by Sathya Sai Baba.

    Though you have confirmed that no papers related to such investigation are available in the Prime Minister Office, you have not been courageous enough to seek explanation from Mr. Vajpayee as the statement mentioned in the reference was made by him when he was the. Prime Minister of India.

    You have also not acknowledged the memo dated 9.8.2006 from the Ministry of Home Affairs No. MHA ID No.24013/11/2006 – CSR III with the copy of my letter dated 17.7,2006 asking to get information from Mr.Vajpayee whether the statement signed by him and the two .retired Chief Justices Of India was after ascertaining the true facts.

    I would be thankful to you if you will kindly write to Mr.Vajpayee and provide me with the information sought for.

    I have the greatest regard for one present Prime Minister who has after Mrs. lndira Gandhi added the duties of Indian Citizens in the constitution which even her father dared not, now Mr. Manmohan Singh by promulgation the Rights of information Act 2005 making his Government a transparent one. This needs a lot of courage as the majority of the politicians and bureaucrats would hate this law.

    Though not necessary, I am enclosing herewith a Postal Order No.43 E 787592 for Rs. 107- made in your name and I hope to get the information within 30 days of receipt of this letter under section 7 (i) of the RTI Act
    Thanking you

    Yours Sincerely
    (B. Premanand)

    The posting by the Indian PM and colleagues was posted here earlier – SEE here

    ————————————————————————

    From an email to me from a notable Hindu leader

    “There is considerable concern among the Hindu Community, especially among the educated. It is very hard to get any action from the temples as they do not wish to cause difficulties with the Sathya Sai Baba groups. People are starting to distance themselves from Sathya Sai Baba. It’s going to be gradual process of education. The biggest impact it appears was the ‘The Secret Swami’ … it seems it has had a tremendous negative effect on Sathya Sai Baba”.

    ————————————————————————-

    Premanand Responds to Infamy

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

    Massive sabotage try by Sai. Org person foiled

    Gurubusting Sathya Sai Baba

    “Murders in Sai Baba’s Bedroom” by B. Premanand. Price India Rs. 400/-, Overseas US $40/- (free postage). Publ. by B. Premanand. 11/7 Chettipalayam Road, Podnadur. 641 023 Tamil Nadu, India

    ————————————————————————-

    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

    Posted in Philosophy, Rationalism, Religion, Skeptics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , | 3 Comments »

    Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach

    Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2009

    The foremost Indian rationalist, Basava Premanand has died, aged 79, of cancer at Podannur, Tamil Nadu (17 February 1930 – 4 October 2009).

     

    Basava Premanand (17 Feb. 1930-4 October 2009). India's most famous Rationalist

    Premanand’s close colleague Professor Narendra Nayak has just informed me of his death, and I am deeply saddened. Premanand and I had an extensive correspondence over the years, joined eventually by my trusted colleague, Robert Priddy.

    Premanand, the late Glen Meloy of the USA, and I maintained contact during the making of  BBC television’s “The Secret Swami”. See: In Memoriam – Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”). This contact strengthened in the difficulties of international co-ordination, which were considerable.

    Amid sadness on receipt of the news of Premanand’s passing, I briefly smiled, as memories began to course back, at how some, but happily by no means all, of the members of the international former Sathya Sai Baba network, got upset by my contacting Premanand – but what a priviledge they missed out on!  This was a man who vividly lived the principles about which some but speak and genuflect, their eyes upraised.

    The word “warmth” is one of the words that I cherish when think of Premanand, and this quality shows in the words of a glowing tribute at Glen Meloy’s death, when he said: “Glen’s death was a great shock. I wanted him to live till Sai Baba was arrested … I am missing a great loving friend whom I came to know from the BBC film production.”

    basava-premanand

    With Premanand, Robert Priddy and I worked on some research, analysis and written work. Together, we were able to expose  –  including with  some Interpol and Indian police follow-up  –  an extensive attempt at penetration of the networked exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and core colleagues by one of his former college/university teachers.

    Had it not been for the economies of telephony, I feel sure we would have spoken more between India and Australia, but were restricted to emailing. In recent months, I was tempted to try, with the assistance of his aides, to set up a Skype link, but, realising that his cancer had struck back again, thought the better of it. About three years ago, Premanand and I spoke on the phone for about an hour, when he was staying with his sister in Bangalore. His warmth of greeting when he answered the phone was touching and palpable. Throughout the conversation, I was aware of his wide grasp of issues, graciousness, and of a sense of stern purpose  lightened by a gentle humour.

    A fire-eating, gurubusting Basava Premanand, who traveled widely in India exposing the corrupt gurus' tricks

    I don’t know that Sathya Sai Baba will be arrested. He ails considerably, despite his declaration that he would not age after his 60th birthday.  Premanand was his great and unrelenting foe in India. Alas, the forces of corruption in India, which Premanand so courageously faced for so many years, are almost unimaginable. Of course, to let any notion of mountainous difficulties seep into consciousness would be to ensure that any light in the world snuffs out fast. Premanand had those rare blessings – innocence without naivity, and the warrior spirit that fights for goodness and gentleness. Premanand was one of those voices that cry out in a wilderness of superstition, fear and apathy. However, I learn that there is a feisty younger generation who support his work. So he will not die.

    Perhaps attempt to educate and warn, rather than the jail scenario for Sathya Sai Baba, will be the one that triumphs.

    I have wondered whether Premanand would have achieved some of his ends if it were not for the terrible dereliction by those calling themselves religious.  A foremost Hindu leader wrote to me:

    “There is considerable concern among the Hindu Community, especially among the educated. It is very hard to get any action from the temples as they do not wish to cause difficulties with the Sathya Sai Baba groups. People are starting to distance themselves from Sathya Sai Baba. It’s going to be gradual process of education. The biggest impact it appears was the ‘The Secret Swami’ … it seems it has had a tremendous negative effect on Sathya Sai Baba”.

    Perhaps if there were to be a Heaven after all, and Premanand, of course, find himself in its halls, one rather thinks that he would find the company, although illustrious, rather too few.

    Goodbye, good man …..

    Barry Pittard, Australia

    See Wikipedia entry for Basava Premanand

    See tributes to B. Premanand by Professor Nayak, Premanand’s successor and president of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations, and others:

    Basva Premanand (17 February 1930 – 04 October 2009)- The Passing of a Great Man

    Posted in Morality, News, News and Politics, Opinion, Protest, Rationalism, Religion, Skeptics, Social and Politics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

    Gerald Moreno’s Attacks On Individuals and Institutions Critical of Sathya Sai Baba

    Posted by Barry Pittard on August 28, 2009

    How could any Sathya Sai Baba devotee – of those many who are decent and sincere – bear to read Gerald Joe Moreno’s writings? The constant welter of the latter’s strident, vituperative and demeaning posts to the Internet can, even at a quick glance, be gauged by the titles of but a small portion of his links, which, for convenience, we have posted here:  Partial List of Gerald Moreno’s Vast Postings Contra Sathya Sai Baba Critics. See also: About Gerald ‘Joe’ Moreno’s Chameleon and Deceptive Websites.

    Another instant indictment are the ‘hot’ language of his titles and the brief Google or other search engine entries for his work, as they pass by in even the most desultory of searches. The preponderance of his curse-words is striking. That the international Sathya Sai Organization stands by in deep shadow and allows both prominent and rank-and-file members to support Gerald ‘Joe’ Moreno’s onslaughts – so incredibly far from the conduct that Sathya Sai Baba advises, not to mention teachers of all the main faiths and ethical systems – does not speak well of the unhappy pass to which that organization has come.

    Many  Sathya Sai Baba’s followers strive for the qualities of truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence. Perhaps those who do read Moreno’s writings are those whom Sathya Sai Baba has often said are his devotees in name but not in nature. Of course, he and his leaders could well set a better example.The ‘Bhagavad Gita’ speaks of venality and corruption in a leader, but so too, also immortally, does the great English poet Geoffrey Chaucer, in his ‘Canterbury Tales’, in his depiction of the Parson in the General Prologue. (See Here for the more of this magnificent portrait):

    This noble ensample to his sheep he yaf,
     That first he wroghte, and afterward he taughte.
     Out of the gospel he tho wordes caughte,
     And this figure he added eek therto,
     That if gold ruste, what shal iren do?
     For if a preest be foul, on whom we truste,
     No wonder is a lewed man to ruste;
     And shame it is, if a prest take keep,
     A shiten shepherde and a clene sheep

    Independent British Scholar Kevin R.D. Shepherd’s Meticulous Research and Commentary

    I see that Robert Priddy has just blogged drawing attention to the independent British writer on philosophy and religion, Kevin R.D. Shepherd. Priddy writes:

    “After having been attacked by the constant would-be character assassinator, Joe Moreno, Kevin R.D. Shepherd responded in civil and reasoned terms. He was only attacked more despicably and unreasonably by Moreno. In stark contrast to this unqualified uneducated full-time cyber persecutor and person abuser Moreno, Shepherd is the accomplished author of numerous philosophical and books and critical analyses, including coverage of Shirdi Sai Baba and his self-appointed ‘reincarnation’, Sathya Narayana Raju. He has just released a new set of web pages at http://www.kevinshepherd.info

    I have just written on an aspect of Kevin R.D. Shepherd’s extensive work here:

    Kevin R.D. Shepherd Exposes Sathya Sai Baba Defender Gerald Moreno

    Posted by Barry Pittard on August 24, 2009

    and also since noted that Brian D. Steel has very recently amended two articles to include, as he notes in an email,   “references to three more of Kevin R.D. Shepherd’s contributions, the latest from his splendid new website”:

    Brian D.Steel Updates References To Kevin R.D.Shepherd Writings

    Posted by Barry Pittard on August 25, 2009

    ————————————————–

    General

    Excerpt From Public Petition

    (Note: The above articles contextualizes. Or 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)

    Posted in Opinion, Protest, Religion, Skeptics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

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

    Posted by Barry Pittard on August 20, 2009

    Long before worldwide allegations of Sathya Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men began to surface in earnest – circa AD 2000 – notable individuals shocked by signs of cover up – started to analyze situations, and leave the Sathya Sai Baba camp. For an example of early investigators, see the article (I include it below) by Warren C. Pyke LLN (Hons.) LLM (VUW), Barrister, New Zealand 3-3-1993: Sathya Sai Baba Murders Evidence (A New Zealand Barrister Analyses Police Evidence).

    Another earlier investigator of various serious allegations against Sathya Sai Baba was Terry Gallagher, an agricultural scientist and businessman who, in consequence of his findings, resigned as head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia. See: 

    Terry Gallagher’s Testimony

    I have recently blogged on an outspoken, retired senior Indian policeman,V. J. Ram, whose work as a detective won him a Presidential Medal.

    V.J.Ram. Senior Indian Policeman. Presidential Award Recipient

    Ram refers to appalling instances of the Sathya Sai Baba official ashram and Indian government cover up of the killings. See:

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

    See, too, testimony to the BBC of former Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh (Sathya Sai Baba’s State in South India):

    Film Clip of V.P.B. Nair making his statement

    Quote:

    Tanya Datta (BBC): 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.

    Serious Issues Raised By New Zealand Lawyer

    Document by:  Warren C. Pyke LLN (Hons.) LLM (VUW), Barrister, New Zealand 3-3-1993.

    I COMMENT ON THE Remand Report of the Superintendent of Police, CID Cuddapah. Assuming that his findings have not been materially contradicted, which is the position as I understand it, his report clearly calls for a thorough and impartial inquiry into the deaths in Sai Baba’s room. Any one of the following grounds would be sufficient in my opinion, but combined the case for such an inquiry is overwhelming.

    a) The contradictory eye-witness evidence of V. Jagadish, contradictory that is to the local Police Officer’s statements – the fact that he observed the broken door before the police arrived and was possibly the last independent witness to speak to the deceased makes his evidence significant and most material;

    b) The contradictory eye-witness evidence of D. Peddireddy, contradictory that is to the local Police Officer’s statements – he says that he broke the wooden plank that was holding the door and saw the deceased in the room after he did so, once again this is most significant material and corroborates the evidence of Jagadish;

    c) The absence of injury to the CI and the nature of the minor injuries to the other Police Constables is inconsistent with their story of a struggle and their need to open fire, but is not inconsistent (I deliberately use a double negative here) with the account of Jagadish and Peddireddy;

    d) The position of the deceased after death is inconsistent with the Police version but consistent with them still being in the room after the door was broken, as observed by Jagadish and Peddireddy;

    e) The nature of the gunshot wounds to the deceased are entirely inconsistent with the Police Officer’s claim of self-defence but are entirely consistent with a very close range discharge;

    f) The fact that the bodies were moved is sufficient to warrant an inquiry as this clearly shows that the crime scene was deliberately altered after the fact;

    g) The absence of possession by the deceased of the alleged knives after death strongly suggests that they posed no threat to the Officers, although it cannot be ruled out that the knives were dropped in the alleged melee;

    h) The evidence about when the shots were heard: independent and reputable witnesses, Balachandra, Sahani, Vatsava all say 1 a.m., which is consistent with the post mortem report as to time of death; this contradicts the Police evidence by a full 1 ½ hours (11.30 p.m. cf 1 a.m.): this cannot be explained by any suggested error in the post mortem;

    i) The number of rounds discharged and the position of the bullets after firing show that some firing was not directed at a specific target. Given the police assertion of self-defence which, if believed, would suggest that the firing would have been carefully aimed so as to avoid shooting their fellow officers (given the confined space), the Police evidence as to the nature of their firing is incredible.

    Given the matters outlined in the Remand Report, the failure to further investigate and prosecute the Police Officers involved is a shame and a disgrace to the law enforcement body responsible and to the judiciary who have consistently failed to intervene. No self-respecting and principled law enforcement body or judicial system would tolerate such a situation. In the case of multiple murders, there can be no justification for ignoring.

    Warren C. Pyke, (4th Floor, NZI Building, Garden Place, Hamilton, New Zealand).

    It is most instructive to read these questionings of the New Zealand lawyer alongside details in the retired senior Indian policeman V.J.Ram’s revelations of years later. These suggest but a little of the huge corruption in which Sathya Sai Baba and his key servitors have for so long been involved:

    Excerpt from 'The Godmen of India', 2005.Excerpt from ‘The Godmen of India’, 2005

    Further Reading

    The Unresolved, Covered-Up 1993 Murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s Bedroom Revisited. By Robert Priddy – founder member & office-bearer Oslo Centre 1983, Chairman from 1987 while acting national contact-person of the Sathya Sai Organisation, Norway 1987-2000

    Indian Newspaper Reports of Killings In Sai Baba’s Bedroom

    Attempts – all to no avail (and with no written or spoken response back to us) – were made by a representative international former devotee group (JuST) to obtain reasonable answers from Sathya Sai Baba’s peak organizational body. See here:

    Open letter to the Prashanthi Council – Michael Goldstein, G. Venkataraman

    Formal Appeal to the Prashanthi Council


    Posted in Opinion, Religion, Skeptics, South Asia, Spirituality, World Religions | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

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

    Posted by Barry Pittard on August 7, 2009

    As the years have passed, the Government of India and the Government of Andhra Pradesh have not been able to silence all police personnel. One who has refused to shut up is a senior, retired policeman V. J. Ram, whose work as a detective won him a Presidential Medal. He has spoken out against the massive cover up of the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s private quarters, when Sathya Sai Baba and his brother (the late) Janaki Ramaiah (who was on the Sathya Sai Central Trust) had charge of events soon after the slayings occurred.Those who wish to know more about V.J. Ram’s work are welcome to contact me (my details are obtainable by clicking here – Barry Pittard.  Details are at the foot of the article. One would like to see the V.J. Ram book get a decent publisher, and, as has been the wish expressed by former Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary V.P.B. Nair to the BBC, to see the case revisited. See transcript of Nair’s statement to the BBC HERE. See my articles:

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

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

    It is to their historic shame that major newspaper proprietors co-operated in the news blanket that went into force. Many Indian journalists and editors, politicians from various parties, government officials and others know of the profound extent of the cover up by the then powerful Home Minister S.B. Chavan, a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba, who sped to Puttaparthi from New Delhi to set in motion the suppression of the facts. See

    V.J. Ram writes: An account  of the massive bribery involved reported by a former top CID sleuth, V. J. Ram, who received a Presidential Medal for his detective services to the Indian State.

    Note:  Long before worldwide allegations of Sathya Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men began to surface in earnest – circa AD 2000 – notable individuals shocked by signs of cover up – started to analyze situations, and leave the Sathya Sai Baba camp. For an example of early investigators, see the article by Warren C. Pyke LLN (Hons.) LLM (VUW), Barrister, New Zealand 3-3-1993: Sathya Sai Baba Murders Evidence (A New Zealand Barrister Analyses Police Evidence). Another earlier investigator of various serious allegations against Sathya Sai Baba was Terry Gallagher, an agricultural scientist and businessman who, in consequence of his findings, resigned as head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia. See:  Terry Gallagher’s Testimony

    Robert Priddy on the Police Killings in Sai Baba’s Private Quarters

     Former leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization and retired academic at the University of Oslo Robert Priddy has written extensively about the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s private chamber in April 1963. A very useful and succinct introduction to the events is: Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders

    Select Resources (which contain many other links)

     Main article on the murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s private quarters in 1993 and the cover-up
    Further material on the bedroom murders of four Sai devotee intruders etc.
    Untoward events at Sai Baba ashrams
    Sai Baba ashram news reports
    Review of the Murders in Sai Baba’s bedroom issue
    Murder of German-speaking lady at Prashanthi Nilayam and the follow-up
    V.K. Narasimhan on the 1993 murders – as recorded in notes at the time
    The Week’s coverage of the murders in Prashanthi Nilayam ashram
    Further discussion of the executions at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram in 1993

     See also Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and his Worldwide Organization

    (Spanish version PETICIÓNPÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES

    Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, Opinion, Religion, Skeptics, South Asia, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

    Sathya Sai Baba Is Fast-ailing

    Posted by Barry Pittard on August 4, 2009

    What will the fast-ailing Sathya Sai Baba do? Rub oil or vibhuti on the surface of his multiple infirmities, and do all that he has for so long promised? That is to say:

    • Bring the world to him, even before he dies
    • Harmonize the world’s major religions
    • Save the world from enormous catastrophes
    • Lift a whole mountain range
    • Travel the world
    • Fly through the air
    • Put humanity on what he calls ‘the royal road’ to righteousness
    • And so much more ….

    To listen to his carefully hand-picked and carefully-groomed speakers, his fame has spread to virtually every clime. This claim is patently untrue. Ask people on crowded streets in many countries do they know the name Nelson Mandela, or the late Princess Diana. Or whether they can immediately visualize those such as the Pope, Barach Obama, the late Michael Jackson, and so on, and they will instantly affirm that they do.

    Do leaders in the interfaith movement feature him or his emissaries as notable in their publications and websites? And yet the following edifice, sited amid the great opulence of his Puttaparthi ashram, displays his symbol (the so-called ‘Sarva Dharma Chakra’ or All Faiths motif):

    sarva-dharma-stupa-and-poorna-chandra-hall-puttaparthi

    Sarva Dharma Stupa, Puttaparthi. In background, the huge auditorium Poorna Chandra Hall

     

    sai-babas-symbol-of-world-faiths.jpg

    Do we see world leaders in politics, religion and so forth beating a track to his door? What do we see?

    We see him using visitors to the ashram – not necessarily Sai devotees, either – who are of this or that religion. For propaganda purposes, these individuals are used to give the appearance that educated members of other faiths are accepting his “greatness”. One such use was made of a visiting rabbi from Israel. When I reported on this, Sai Baba’s proxy defender on the Internet stated that I was anti-Semitic. That the Sathya Sai Organization allows its members, some of them prominent in the Sai movement, to assist this effectively conscienceless individual can only still further damage its standing.

    Sathya Sai Baba’s official Puttaparthi website shows that he also uses others who have little or no representative power in various faith organizations to make it appear that his evangel is winning hearts and minds in the different faiths around the world. There is a simple test that media, scholars and other investigators can apply:  ask the leaders of the major faiths whether they would lend their organizations’ name and authority to Sathya Sai Baba or his movement. Those Sai Baba protagonists who attack former followers for pointing out the long list of anomalies and cover ups of crimes and spiritual betrayals find it easier to use ad hominem and other profoundly dishonest tactics to deflect forms of questioning commonly regarded as essential to intellectual and moral integrity.

    The below – official – text, and many other texts like it, are not likely to stand the test of time. Critical writings of prominent commentators as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Timothy Conway Ph.D, and the work of many former Sathya Sai devotee networks – with a most notable activity by the late Glen Meloy and also Hari Sampath and other critics via major world media – have already played a role in ensuring that the Avatar of Avatars – pretendu – has been highly exposed. I may add, from my own personal and close witness that the work of the latter two, although it has had low visibility on the Internet, has been of enormous, indeed incalculable, dimensions.

    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)

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

    Sathya Sai Baba’s Slurred Speech Due To Old Age. ‘Eenadu’ News Report

    Posted by Barry Pittard on August 2, 2009

    Telegu Press Report Cites ‘Old Age’ Signs In Sai Baba 

     ‘Eenadu’, with over 10 million daily readers in Andhra Pradesh, the state of India in which Sathya Sai Baba lives, has reported of a speech problem he faces. 

    Sathya Sai Baba’s Lack of Clarity in His Speech Due To Old Age  

     “Lacking in Clarity: There was a lack of clarity in Sathya Sai’s speech because of his old age. The interpreter struggled much to translate his speech into English. Satya Sai was seated in a special wheel chair which was brought very close to the car, so he could very slowly get into it. At the time of the speech, he stood up with great difficulty with the help of his assistants.”  (See reproduction of ‘Eenadu’ newspaper page, below). 

     

    One of Sai Baba’s many readily falsifiable statements is this: 

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

    That Sathya Sai Baba has made egregious historical and scientific blunders does not inspire confidence in his statements about pre-historical events. See my article:  

    Huge Sai Baba Gaffes 

    He has also proclaimed: 

    “Many people wonder that I look so young even at the age of 73. The reason is that I have the three P’s in Me. One is Purity, the second is Patience and the third is Perseverance. It is because of these three that I shall remain like this for any number of years to come. (cheers)”  p. 302 Sanathana Sarathi, 11-1998 

    Various commentators have pointed to Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘turkey throat’ and other signs of ageing and disease in him. His episodes of falling over are well known – in 1998, I observed such an incident at fairly close quarters along with many shocked observers at a Puttaparthi afternoon darshan. There are also close-up, reliable eye-witness reports of his uttering of inanities, his fits of crying, his walking round and round in circles, his blank stare and mask-like face. He has also made some extraordinary faux pas, which were of such a dimension that they could not be covered up, and got into some mainstream Indian media – See:  

    Sai Baba Fails to Grant Great Moon Darshan 

    Sai Baba Fails To Appear In The Moon, IANS Reports 

    Is Indian ‘Godman’ Sai Baba’s Moon Waning Still Further 

    Sai Baba Sparks Political Furore 

    Sai Baba recently claimed he always smiles - but nowadays only this!   

    Examination of many photos of this octogenarian may prompt the notion that hair dye is used on his hair. 

     

    See videos which reveal Sathya Sai Baba as unable to cut his birthday cakes any longer

    NOTE:  In an article, the context of the critique in regard to Sai Baba slide into senility, I have made it clear to any observant reader that the issue is: that his statements that he would not age are abundantly falsifiable. To interpret such a remark as in any way ageist indicates the cast of mind of a foremost Sathya Sai Baba apologist. Who in all decency and reason would wish to cast aspersions upon conditions that, alas, the flesh is all too heir to? See, Robert Priddy’s article in response to that mischief:

    Joe Moreno’s schoolyard tit-for-tat attacks 

    See too, my article: 

    Sai Baba Internet Man’s Attacks Based On Age and Physical Appearance 

      

    Select Reading 

    Sathya Sai Baba Tells Untruths About His Health? 

    Sathya Sai Baba’s Hip Joint Injury and Surgery – 2003. What are the actual facts of the matter? 

    Sathya Sai Baba Continues To Ail 

    2006 – Puttparthi Village Without Water? Sai Baba Sits and Cries? 

    G.J. Moreno’s ’senile dementia’ slurs, avoidances & irrationality 

    Sathya Sai Baba Man Gerald Moreno – Banned By Eight Wikpedia Editors 

    ——————————————————- 

    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 Miracles, New Age, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, Skeptics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

    Brian Steel On Dr John Hislop’s Gift From Sathya Sai Baba – Idol claimed to have wood from cross of Jesus

    Posted by Barry Pittard on July 28, 2009

    Among commentators, Brian Steel has done especial service in portraying the sheer impact and spread of the works of Sathya Sai Baba’s early apostles and popularizers. Especially prominent among these are Dr John Hislop (the first Sai Baba organizational leader outside India), Howard Murphet, Dr Samuel Sandweis, Phyllis Krystal.
     

    Today’s blog note continues my series highlighting – all too selectively – certain aspects of Brian Steel’s work. As I have pointed out, it would be a great pity if – because his opus is vast, and also because most of his work is not blogged but contained on his websites (See details below) – his extremely valuable work were to suffer any eclipse. My recent articles on Steel’s work are:

    Brian Steel Demythologizes Early Foreign-led Sathya Sai Baba Myths

    Brian Steel On John Hislop’s 27 Years as Sathya Sai Baba’s Spokesman

    Brian Steel On Sathya Sai Baba’s Credibility Gap. John Hislop Contributions

    Demythologizing Sathya Sai Baba

     There are many other writers, and when I worked as a publisher’s editor in Sai Towers, Puttaparthi, I counted over 600 books in the collection of R.Padmanaban, the publisher. Random checks showed that almost all of them were very hagiographical, and poorly written, commonly self-published or with the non-professional aid of others. None of their works has had anything like the impact of the books by the above , and also the same authors’ talks in various parts of the world. In Sai Baba circles, these figures have attained an almost god status. One hears them referred to as “rishis”, “saints”, “apostles”, and so forth. 

    Although the alleged miracles of Sathya Sai Baba appear to be endless, there are a few which have especially captured the popular imagination and devotion of many of his followers, irrespective of their levels of education. One of these is the iconic crucifix, which Sai Baba ostensibly materialized for Jack Hislop at the mahashivratri festival in 1973.

    Sai Baba told Hislop that he – by his divine powers – fetched the wood on which the idol is hung from the wood of the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified.

    Sathya Sai Baba Crucifix: Miraculously materialized?

      Sathya Sai Baba Crucifix: Miraculously materialized?

    For those wishing some key backgrounding on this ‘miracle’, there is a fairly brief but succinct page by the Norwegian academic and former leader of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, Robert Priddy

    Alleged miracle crucifix materialised for Dr. John Hislop

    He has blogged at: 

    Faked “miracle”: crucifix given by Sai Baba to Dr. Hislop

    Brian D.Steel On Dr John Hislop and Sai Baba’s Crucifix Gift

    The following two quotes are excerpts from Brian Steel’s long and detailed article, which deals with various aspects relating to Hislop, his relationship with Sai Baba, and role in hugely extending the Sai movement world-wide: Sathya Sai Baba’s credibility gap: Contributions by John Hislop(Brian Steel. January 2009).

    (Note: there is an important companion piece to this: Sathya Sai Baba, Elsie and Walter Cowan, and John Hislop. A Discredited 1971 Resurrection Claim (Brian Steel. February 2009). He comments on the book My Baba and I  by Dr. John Hislop, [1985: Birth Day Publishing, San Diego]:

    “For tens (or perhaps hundreds) of thousands of readers, this has been one of the principal introductory books on Sathya Sai Baba. It has been translated into many languages. The title was chosen by Sathya Sai Baba himself (p. vi). The book deals with Hislop’s prolonged and intimate experiences of SSB’s teachings, some miracles (most notably that of the famous Crucifix allegedly materialised for Hislop by SSB from wood reconstituted from the True Cross on Mahasivaratri Day, 1973). The experiences are followed by 22 supplementary conversations (January 1978-October 1984), and a treasure trove of letters from SSB to Hislop (as well as a few from Hislop to SSB) written between 1969 and 1983, during the important formative years of the American Sathya Sai Organization, of which Hislop was such a prominent figure”. 

    “This famous icon, however implausible, has been the object of endless fascination for devotees. Photographs of the crucifix are available in the front pages of My Baba and I and in many other books, including those by Fanibunda, Sandweiss, Peter Phipps (Sathya Sai Baba and Jesus Christ. A Gospel for the Golden Age – and also in his second book on a similar theme). That the surreal icon still has the full backing of the SSO is evident in its inclusion in a recent compilation published by the SSSBPT, Be Like Jesus). Indeed, almost 40 years after the alleged event (in October 2008), when I was visiting the Bombay SSO Centre (Dharmakshetra), a young devotee who took it upon himself to show me round and tell me about SSB, insisted at the end of our meeting that the best book for me to start with would be John Hislop’s My Baba and I, and he specifically mentioned a crucifix materialised for the revered American devotee. This special crucifix – whatever its provenance – has been, and remains, an outstandingly powerful advertisement for Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged omnipotence”. 

     

    See also, Robert Priddy’s compilation of resources:  Sai Deceptions. Fraud, Legerdemain, Rumour-spreading and Lies By Sathya Sai Baba 

    …………………………………………………………

    Select writings from Brian Steel’s Extensive Opus

    Sathya Sai Baba can be documented by any conscientious reader as having made contradictory statements and egregious historical and scientific blunders. These include his remarks on Jesus Christ and Martin Luther . For Steel’s detailed and sharply contextualized discussion, see: Sai Baba and Christianity. Some Observations (2002). Steel remarks here the alarming “extent of Sai Baba’s inventiveness”. This can be instructively read in concert with his Basic Notes On Sai Baba’s Credibility Problem (2004)

    Brian Steel Indexes

    Barry Pittard’s Earlier Articles On Brian Steel

    Revealing Materials On Sai Baba Of India

    Brian Steel’s Surprise Visit To Sathya Sai Baba’s Ashram

    William Aitken’s Book Fails to Answer Sai Baba Critics

    For Brian Steel’s detailed exposure of severe inadequacies of a foremost Sai Baba hagiographer mentioned in this article refer to Steel’s:

    Bill Aitken and Sathya Sai Baba. A Writer’s Dilemma,

    on William Aitken’s book, ‘Sri Sathya Sai Baba. A Life (New Delhi, Penguin Books, India, 2004. Paperback edition, 2006) 

    …………………………………………………………

    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)

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

    Brian Steel On John Hislop’s 27 Years as Sathya Sai Baba’s Spokesman

    Posted by Barry Pittard on July 18, 2009

    In my recent note Brian Steel On Sathya Sai Baba’s Credibility Gap. John Hislop Contributions, I drew attention to Brian Steel’s scholarly article which deals with a seminal figure, Jack Hislop, in the spread of the Sathya Sai Baba movement:  Sathya Sai Baba’s credibility gap: Contributions by John Hislop.  (Brian Steel January 2009).

    Steel refers to the controversial Walter Cowan ‘resurrection’ in 1971, mentioning the refuting evidence presented by Professor Erlendur araldsson, B. Premanand, (the late) Professor Dale Beyerstein.

    For decades, these critical points met with no satisfactory explanations from the Sathya Sai Baba camp, and yet a great number of devotees rejoice in this so-called miracle of resurrection, as they do in so many ‘miracles’ of their guru, which, however, keep on being disproved by film footage of excellent provenance:

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

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

    For those of my readers who may not have time to read highly detailed, longer articles, I shall excerpt here and in the next days select parts of his John Hislop article.

    Excerpt from Brian Steel’s Sathya Sai Baba’s credibility gap: Contributions by John Hislop (January 2009)

    “The case of Dr John (Jack) Hislop (1904-1995), like those of other prominent devotees such as those mentioned above who met Sathya Sai Baba in the expansionist and surging 1960s or 1970s, is very instructive. Following a successful career in teaching and business, his quarter of a century of total devotion to the SSB cause and of intimate contact with SSB himself coincided with the major international expansion of the Organisation. By the end of his life, John Hislop was internationally famous in devotee circles and the two books he filled with his accounts of SSB’s words and deeds had become international bestsellers (in devotee circles) in several languages.These had helped to make SSB known to countless thousands of people, mostly outside of India. The books were Conversations with Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and My Baba and I, both published by the Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust of Prasanthi Nilayam. There would later be a third, posthumous compilation by his American associates in 1997: Seeking Divinity [Talks by Dr John S. Hislop], published by the Sathya Sai Society of America, Tustin, California.

    Hislop had been a spiritual seeker for many years, together with his wife, Victoria. In 1958 he gave up his job as Vice-President of a large company and went to India to find land and build a training college in the Himalayas for the up and coming celebrity guru of the 1960s, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (later of TM fame). Hislop accompanied Maharishi on his tour of Germany and became the first US President of the Mahesh Yogi American Organization. He also taught TM and was said to be capable of day-long meditations. He finally left the Maharishi’s Organisation, it is said, because of an imagined fault in himself.

    Hislop’s first visit to Sathya Sai Baba was in January 1968, when he taped two deeply spiritual conversations with the guru who, he immediately felt, was the true source of wisdom. At that time there were only a few foreigners in Puttaparthi and Hislop was especially privileged to have daily meetings with SSB, and visits from him, lasting up to two hours per day (My Baba and I, p.15). The results of these long conversations (mainly question and answer sessions) were later published in California (in 1978) as Conversations with Sathya Sai Baba , a book which offered many invaluable insights into SSB’s teachings and revealed to foreign devotees and others his opinions on many topics. As a result of many further visits and periods of residence in the ashram, Dr. Hislop later wrote My Baba and I, which, like the first book, has been instrumental in U.S.A. and around the world in increasing knowledge about Sathya Sai Baba and drawing devotees to him (especially foreigners). The inclusion of several translated and typewritten letters to Hislop from SSB underlines the fact that at the time and for many years, SSB regarded him as his main representative in USA, as well as the foreigner with whom he felt most comfortable.

    My Baba and I (pp. 28-31) includes Hislop’s account of the alleged Walter Cowan ‘resurrection’ in 1971. This claim is not only controversial but was refuted by Professor Haraldsson in his widely read 1987 book (and a year later by Indian rationalist B. Premanand), on the grounds that two attending doctors denied certifying Cowan’s death. The issue was also critically analysed by Professor Dale Beyerstein in his 1994 book. In spite of this, for over 20 years these proofs have been denied or ignored by Hislop, the SSO and devotees, all of whom still reiterate the ‘resurrection’ claim as if it were a fact. (Another major earlier claim, alleging the resurrection of devotee Ramakrishna, was also refuted by Haraldsson.) In view of Hislop’s key role in the narration and dissemination of the Cowan story, I have published a companion article ‘Sathya Sai Baba, Elsie and Walter Cowan, and John Hislop. A Discredited 1971 Resurrection Claim’) setting out the history and the detailed background to this extraordinary story which offers further evidence of the importance and impact of the role of spokespersons in the SSB Mission.

    (For those interested, scans of the relevant critical pages of Erlendur’s Haraldsson’s book are available on the Internet: ‘Professor Erlendur Haraldsson contests Sai Baba’s claim of resurrection as bogus’.)

    Dr Hislop was not only the first President of the Sathya Sai Baba Council of America but also an indefatigable contributor to the development of Sathya Sai Centres in U.S.A. and to the worldwide Sathya Sai Movement. Because of this prominent position, his total devotion, and his specially privileged access to SSB, clearly evidenced in his books, Hislop became one of SSB’s most influential overseas spokespersons and a popular lecturer in SSO Centres in many countries during the years of rapid overseas expansion of the SSO from 1970 until his death in 1995″.

    Select writings from Brian Steel’s Extensive Opus

    Sathya Sai Baba can be documented by any conscientious reader as having made contradictory statements and egregious historical and scientific blunders. These include his remarks on Jesus Christ and Martin Luther . For Steel’s detailed and sharply contextualized discussion, see: Sai Baba and Christianity. Some Observations (2002). Steel remarks here the alarming “extent of Sai Baba’s inventiveness”. This can be instructively read in concert with his Basic Notes On Sai Baba’s Credibility Problem (2004)

    Brian Steel Indexes

    Barry Pittard On Brian Steel

    Revealing Materials On Sai Baba Of India

    Brian Steel’s Surprise Visit To Sathya Sai Baba’s Ashram

    William Aitken’s Book Fails to Answer Sai Baba Critics

    For Brian Steel’s detailed exposure of severe inadequacies of a foremost Sai Baba hagiographer mentioned in this article refer to Steel’s:

    Bill Aitken and Sathya Sai Baba. A Writer’s Dilemma,

    on William Aitken’s book, ‘Sri Sathya Sai Baba. A Life (New Delhi, Penguin Books, India, 2004. Paperback edition, 2006) 

    …………………………………………………………………….

    See:  Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

    Posted in Opinion, Rationalism, Skeptics | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »