Call For Media and Government Investigation

of Sathya Sai Baba And his worldwide cult, the Sathya Sai Organization

Archive for the ‘Theosophy’ Category

Does ‘Forgiveness’ Mean Letting Offenders Ride Rough Shod Over Us?

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 8, 2010

In a list of systemically misleading topics, ‘forgiveness’ would have to rank near the top. Wooly notions about it all too readily allow perpetrators to go free and without challenge. They can remain perpetrators, and their victims left in abject circumstance. Those who advocate passive types of forgiveness too often invite themselves to be trodden upon. Still more, their modeling of a behaviour creates contexts which allow others around them to be trodden upon, as well.

I view foregiveness as the cultivation of an inner attitude, where – while still attending to what one conceives to be civil and ethical duties – one takes daily steps towards achieving an inner peace, and moves away from first reactions, such as thirsting for and implementing revenge. This inner attitude is far removed from notions such as peace at all costs, or the fool’s ‘paradise’ of avoidance of issues, of being in denial, of being lovey-dovey and wishy-washy, and of retreating to euphoric states.

I heard the Dalai Lama speak well on the subject of forgiveness, and made notes. See:  

Dalai Lama: Forgiveness does not mean forgetfulness

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 15, 2007

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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   

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Posted in New Age, Opinion, Psychology, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Theology, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 7, 2010

Websites 

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

Recent Research on the Claims of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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

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

 

Sathya Sai Baba Casebook-Factsheet

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

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

Major Blogsites

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

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

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General Sites

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

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

Other European languages German exposé website & Spanish and Russian.

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

Breaking the spell of religious/’spiritual’ superstitions

Website informing about sects, including the Sathya Sai Baba cult

FRENCH WEB LOG Marc-André

The Rick Ross Sathya Sai Baba pages

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

There is a Spanish version available:

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

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

Hearts Yearning

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 24, 2009

May we rise above the shadows of the divides and see the same Light and the same yearning in the hearts of all, however differently expressed

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Note: My preference on reading any of the central, archetypal stories in the sacred or other key literatures of the different cultures is to approach them via the heart. Intellect can do a service; however, once the heart and the imagination are out of the equation, there is the risk of entering the realms of what is doctrinaire, dogmatic and theological. When there is any claim to a superiority of one path over another, there is the instant throwing up of fortresses, watchtowers and crocodile-infested moats. Happily, there are many from faiths and those not given to faith who get along very well in workplaces and wider communities. Perhaps what they embody provides a role model that the world might well value.

Rock-a-bye This Babe. A Christmas Lullaby
 

Rock-a-bye this babe, this babe in your heart keep
Whose love is awake though the babe is asleep
Take him, hold him in your heart till he wakes
He’s new born for us care-worn, O see the difference he makes

This Christmas, this babe, so deep in your heart keep
Whose love is a Feast fit to feed a mean street
Sing him, sing him, with a voice sweet and clear
Fling out the darkness, fling out the fear!

This Christmas, this babe, so deep in your heart keep
Whose love is a Feast fit to feed a mean street
Sing him, sing him, with a voice sweet and clear
Fling out the darkness, fling out the fear!

Oh, rock-a-bye this babe, so deep in your heart keep
Whose love is awake and yet this babe is asleep
You take him, you hold him in your heart till he wakes
He’s new born for us care-worn, O see the difference he makes

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Hearts Yearning

 

Hearts yearning, hearts burning

Three wise men searched for one more wise

Who opens hearts, who purifies

Hearts yearing, hearts burning

In sleep no peace, just this tossing-turning

On earth no peace, just relentless burning

 

Where the bright star pointed and alighted

Where the beasts in the chill cold seek some bed

Even in some crowded cattle shed

And in all those parts sprang a sacred fire

In the wise men's hearts sang an angel choir

Alleluia. All-ay-ay lu ia

 
Hearts yearning, feet burning

The donkey rests from the frosted road

The jest of man, though it bears his load

Heart yearning, such yearning!

Its soft eyes glow from the starlit baby

It knows of the load of that gracious lady 

 
So blessed though exhausted

Where the bright star hovered and alighted

Where the beasts in the chill cold seek some bed

In this simple, little cattle shed

And in all these parts sprang a mystic fire

In that donkey's heart sang the angelic choir

Alleluia. Alleluia

 

Troops stamping, troops tramping!

This little family took dread flight

From Herod's men in the depths of night

Troops burning, troops, burning!

Deep red stained - the swords would kill that yearning

On the earth for the end to the ceaseless burning 

  

All blood-red their footsteps

As they went mass-killing all the infant lads

Like beasts in the dead night feast on lambs

So did Rome's puppet, with his bullies and his shams

Wormwood was no cure for Herod and his ire

And his writhing fear there would come a Messiah

 

Starlight led sore footsteps

Where the bright star pointed and alighted

Where the beasts in the chill cold sought some bed

Even in some crowded cattle shed

Where in all earth's parts sprang a sacred fire

Where we would all sing as an angel choir

In all our hearts – an angel choir

In all our hearts – an angel choir

In all our hearts – this angel choir …. etc., …..
Note:  Both songs protected by The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA)

Posted in New Age, Religion, Sikhism, South Asia, Spirituality, Theology, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Robert Priddy’s Views on Key Human Values in Relation To Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 6, 2009

In the brief article – Human Values – Sai Baba’s truncated ideas Robert Priddy, an academic philosopher at the University of Oslo for many years, and a former head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, states his view of what human values are, in contradistinction to “divinely-instated values for humans” as proclaimed by Sathya Sai Baba. 

In the mind of any serious educator, especially when versed in the history of educational theory and practice, very concerning questions are raised. One of the key concerns is that, in the Sathya Sai educational undertaking, critical thinking is distinctly missing. When an English teacher at the Sathya Sai College in Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India, then Sai Baba’s premier education institution, I was alarmed at the extraordinary amount of rote learning to be seen. Swatting and regurgitation were on all sides. It was as though the great educational innovators, whether East or West, had never lived. Where were the exiting staff room discussions? Where was the meeting of minds? Where were the in-service professional development programs?  Where was there a working towards new paradigms? Rather, things were stuck in a time warp. Here or there was a teacher in love with his subject who deeply cherished the students (I think fondly of my former colleague P.K. Mohanti), but each lecturer slaved away in his own ‘burrow’. Lacking was a sense of the organic, of a meaningful community of learning. Marks and gold medals were the thing, and a wider unreformed education system in India reenforced this defecit of true learning. True, there were movements of reform in India, but the Sathya Sai setup, despite all the trumpet-blowing by those of narrow, uncritical mindsets on education, was decidedly not one of them.

In the way of innovation, I was fortunate in having the protection of the Principal (which actually meant Sai Baba), who handed over his own third year degree course to me as well as my teaching the other two years of the English course and the encouragement of the scientist and Sai Baba’s chief interpreter into English Dr S. Bhagavantham and the Board and two of my immediate colleagues, and many marvelous boys (both those devoted and not devoted to Sathya Sai Baba). But the flaws were great.

As the Sathya Sai Education in Human Values spread throughout Sai centers around the world, one could, yet again, see serious flaws. One saving grace was that contributors to the formation of the courses were international, which meant that some very antiquated teaching theory and practice got knocked aside. Since Robert Priddy and Serguei Badaev (the latter of whom was closely involved in SSEHV), both of them longtime educators, have incisively raised key questions, I shall point my readers to some of their critical work on Sathya Sai education programs. See my article: Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia

Priddy writes:

“The values according to [or against which] we act are unavoidable and essential links that tie together personal perceptions and judgements, motives and actions into the sphere of common cultural values.  They are central to grasping the motivations of our social and political life. Sai Baba promotes his own brand of ‘five human values’, which is a simple and often all too vague recipe. His biographer Kasturi writes that Sai Baba scribbled the 5 values down on the back of an envelope when Kasturi asked him to define them.  Grabbed as if out of thin air without any deeper thought, it is quite evident how shallow, rigid and incomplete they are when examined carefully and critically. They can only function at a most elementary level of teaching children, at best, for the doctrine is flawed and is badly out of step with modern thought and educational standards (outside developing nations)” .

Some Robert Priddy links on these issues

1) The Common Acceptance of Human Values
2) In what may human values consist?
3) Distinguishing and defining values
4) Human values defined in practice
5) Values and Anti-values
6) Values, character development and psychic health 
7) Inherent failings in Sai’s human values
8 ) Sai Baba’s teaching’s shortage of universal educational concepts and contents
9) Simplicity and vagueness in the service of moralism
10) The taint of intellectual and moral rigidity
11) Human justice as distinct from divine command
12) Sai Educare’s fundamentalist, doctrinaire teachings?

For still more detailed analysis of the above issues click here – SSEHV Exposed and:

Cardinal Failings in Sai Baba’s Human Values. Where the Teachings and the Teacher Go Wrong

Links for the study of Sathya Sai Education in Human Values and ‘Educare’ -and their shortcomings or failings – are found here:-

Sai_Baba_Five_Human_Values
Cardinal_Failings_in_Sai_Baba’s_Human_Values
Human_Values_as_Common_Ideals
Sathya_Sai_Educare_fundamentalist_doctrine
Sathya_Sai_Educare
Why the Sathya Sai organization is a cult

See also -:

Serguei Badaev

The Story of My Disqualification
by Serguei Badaev
(ex-President of Sathya Sai Organization, Moscow Centre, ex-deputy National Coordinator and National SSEHV Coordinator, Russia)

Badaev has written:   “Critical thinking, as one of a basic skills of character building, is absolutely opposed to the EHV and Sai Educare approaches. I think it is a threat to the Sathya Sai mini-empire. The situation is in a sense very similar to what occurred during the Soviet regime. Communist leaders needed people with good character to work hard and with enthusiasm. But the regime tried to restrict firmly (or to control) the area of application of their intellect and research skills to keep themselves safe from their analysis. The same with Sathya Sai. There is a sort of invisible circle around him where you should abandon your critical skills and submit completely to his uncertainty and mystery. Another interesting aspect of Sai education is an idea of separate education of boys and girls which is taken for granted without any serious justification”.

Barry Pittard On Serguei Badaev

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

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

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

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

There is a Spanish version available:

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

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

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 11, 2009

The Sathya Sai Baba Organization has tried to stem a major exit from congregations via an entity it internally refers to as ‘the waverer’s committee’.  This wealthy and highly authoritarian organization, which seeks to infiltrate mainstream civic, religious, education and political venues, will not be so frank as to show the waverers the following videos. For the Sathya Sai Organizations recruiting drives in luxurious venues, See: ‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues. For the dangers posed in its infiltration of unsuspecting communities, while concealing its agendas, and often from its own rank-and-file, See, Sathya Sai Baba Sect and Its Hidden Agendas. A Caution

To carefully go through these stark video revelations that expose Sathya Sai Baba cheating with his (so-called) miracles is to see why his chief defenders like Dr G. Venkataraman and Gerald Moreno have raised profound smokescreens and engineered such markedly distorted ‘pictures’ of hundreds of former Sathya Sai Baba devotees. Many of the latter, from many countries, spent deeply dedicated years of their lives serving him. Some of these were leaders such as Terry Gallagher (Australia), Stephen Carthew (Ph.D Program Candidate, Australia), Al Rahm (USA), Richard Nelson, Rick Raines (USA), Timothy Conway Ph.D (USA), Dave Lyons (USA), Serguei Badaev (Russia), Artur Wisniewski (Poland), Britt-Marie Anden (Sweden),  Robert Priddy (Norway) …. Although it is men who in real fact lead the Sathya Sai Organization, prominent women leaders who have left after years of work on behalf of the organization include:  Shirley Pike, Sharon Purcell and Elena Hartgering (both deceased), Lori Kaplowitz, Ella Evers, and many others …. Shirley Pike and Elena Hartgering have a long professional background as very qualified, experienced mental health counselors, as are a number of former devotees who have very carefully studied the accounts of Sai Baba’s sexual abuse survivors – and some have had personal contact with the terribly stricken individuals and their families and others who know them well.

Despite extraordinary attempts to blacken their names, such former devotees have spoken out on behalf of the many boys and young men Sathya Sai Baba, has sexually abused, and large numbers of other individuals abused in a variety of shocking ways. Four individuals were killed in Sai Baba’s bedroom on June 1993 – when he was in control of the cirumstances at the Puttaparthi ashram – and the circumstances extensively covered up by successive Indian central, state and local governments. Former devotees have been attacked libelously, stalked, themselves and their families harrassed (including those who have had nothing to do with the exposure of Sai Baba and his cult), and constantly disparaged. The fact that Sai Baba devotees who have known, respected and loved those who have left the organization having investigated the facts bear a great weight of failed conscience. They know perfectly well that their earstwhile co-faithful are not, and have never been, the devils Sai Baba has said that they are. I add that most Sai devotees do not actively attack former devotees – because, simply, they are not like this. However, some who are prominent followers, and close to Sai Baba himself, have been long engaged in the attacks on the Internet supporting their proxy, Gerald Moreno.

The BBC, DR and other footage is a valuable resource for those who, in their families, friendhip circles, professions, communities and so on are deeply concerned and wish to have evidence by which to confront those who have been attracted by the Sathya Sai Baba sect. Although approaches through reason and evidence frequently will not work with members who are blinded to the facts, there are many others who have successfully been shown the facts before they got around to joining or else those who having joined are nonethless still of a mind capable of questioning.

For Longer Video Viewing

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)

Video Clips

‘The Secret Swami’ showcased with selected transcripts and brief
video clips

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

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

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle

Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs) (i.e., the world chairman of the Sathya Sai Organization. The BBC’s hidden camera caught Dr Goldstein in a display far from spiritual. Though the BBC’s team asked 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)

Reading (With Links to Video Clips)

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

Sleight Of Hand. The Sleightness of Sathya Sai Baba (Exposing film clips)

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

Censored Indian National Television Film of Sai Baba Cheating

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

Articles At: https://barrypittard.wordpress.com Referring to the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’

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

Recent Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba Cult in Australia By Channel NINEMSN

(Note: Video footage Links available within these articles)

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia

Australian Current Affair Exposes Sathya Sai Baba Cult

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

Sathya Sai Cult Under Media Scrutiny In Australia

Posted in Miracles, New Age, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, Scams, Sikhism, South Asia, Spirituality, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »

Sathya Sai Baba Sect and Its Hidden Agendas. A Caution

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 30, 2009

Sathya Sai Baba sect devotees around the world speak constantly of Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love and Non-Violence. They would link up with you, smile happily with you, act in a manner that has every appearance of professional and ethical responsibility. But there is a hidden agenda. What is more, core leaders keep a great deal hidden from the rank-and-file members. This means that the latter are all the more convincing when they interface with their communities – for they come across as honest, decent and nice people. They often are.

They seek to enter into shared endeavours with you in regard to your schools, civic and religious organizations, your municipal, state and central governments. The Interfaith movement is but one of the areas the sect seeks to work its way into. We have documentation that show some links to the White House, prior to the Barach Obama Administration. Certainly, Bill and Hillary Clinton had links to prominent Sathya Sai Baba personnel. My dear friend the late V.K Narasimhan, the great Indian newspaper editor who was very close to Sathya Sai Baba and on whose last book (on Teilhard de Chardin) I did editing work, informed me of this connection of the Clintons. Mrs Clinton wished to meet Sai Baba, but the security experts deemed that the difficulties were too great to overcome, he told me.

There are also links to mainstream religious groups, whose halls they hire and whose social service and cultural programs they find ways – to tailor their content and influence. They are directed to omit mention of Sai Baba’s claims to be God fully incarnate come to save the world in his own lifetime.

One may wonder, by the way, why, for example, Church organizations would hire their halls to others than their own faith. One reason stems from a motive that is surely admirable:  A wish on the part of some religionists to reach out to others and show respect for religious diversity.

No doubt of it, Sai Baba devotees do worthy works of social uplift, but also in fact have agendas that they keep from you under tight seals of prohibition as instructed by the guru and his core servitors and worldwide center leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization.

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

Further Reading

Joint authorship –  Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard:

Sathya Sai Organization Lavish Spending On Super Dome Venue Meeting 

Disinformation By The Sathya Sai Organization

Sathya Sai Organisation – Futher Subterfuge and Misinformation

Sathya Sai Organization’s Damage Limitation By Internal Report

Note: Robert Priddy’s highly organized website is at: http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/ 

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Religion, Spirituality, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Mumbai Nightmare. Much Love To India At This Time

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 29, 2008

Many from India,

Mumbai Tragedy. The heart is sore for those who have been afflicted

Mumbai Tragedy. The heart is sore for those who have been afflicted

and those of Indian origin who live elsewhere in the world, come daily to this blogsite.

Having lived several years in India, and never known to be surpassed the great generosity, kindness and deep love that I so frequently experienced, I join all round the world whose hearts go straight to you.

India has just been – and is still being at this writing – deeply wounded. Her security forces and others in the path of the devastation have reacted with many acts of courage and sacrifice, and loss of their own lives or the shattering of bodies which will always bear the aftermath.

May there, somehow, be a great healing …

I have written a little elsewhere of profoundly life-changing experiences I had while living in India, see:

A Strong India Can Bless The World

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 21, 2008

Quotes

In the work in which I was in a small way involved, I saw the “emphasis on cross-community engagement and responsibility. One could see close up how Indians from various religious and cultural backgrounds (e.g., Hindu, Moslem, Sikh, Parsee, Jain, Christian, etc.) worked extraordinarily well together”.

“Receiving extraordinary kindness wherever I traveled, I experienced how so many Indians from a great array of backgrounds truly practise their time-honored notion that ‘guest is God’. When I was ill on a number of occasions, I experienced bountiful kindness and care of Indian people from various backgrounds, which at least twice saved my life”.

Posted in News and Politics, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, September 11, Sikhism, Spirituality, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

‘World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 9, 2008

One of India’s most powerful Hindu nationalist leaders, Ashok Singhal, who has an international profile in the Hindu world, has just told an assembly of political and religious luminaries in Delhi of a prophecy he says Sathya Sai Baba shared with him. The Organiser, September 14, 2008, reports:

“… Shri Singhal also threw light on how to strengthen the Hindu society and unite our great India. The VHP leader, while disclosing his discussion with Satya Sai Baba, said that Sai Baba had informed him that between 2020 and 2030 the whole India would be of Hindus and after 2030 the whole world would be of Hindus”.

Source:

Amrut Mahotsav of Dr Suresh Bajpai Leaders laud his dedication, service

Note:

The Individual referred to in the quote (right) is the international president of the VHP, which stands for Vishwa Hindu Parishad, founded by the late Swami Chinmayananda. It grew from a number of the factors that birthed  the Hindu nationalist organisation known as RSS or Rashtriya Swamyamsekak Sangh, which is very powerful, militant and highly organized. According to David James Smith, Hinduism and Modernity P189, Blackwell Publishing ISBN 0-631-20862-3 VHP general secretary, S.S. Apte, formerly a member of the RSS, stated:

“The world   has been divided to Christian, Islam and Communist. All of them view Hindu society as very fine rich food on which to feast and fatten themselves. it is necessary in this age of conflict to think of and organize the Hindu world to save it from the evils of all the three”. (see http://organiser.org/archives/historic/dynamic/modules2f80.html)

See Wikipedia articles:

Vishva Hindu Parishad

Rashtriya Swamyamsekak Sangh

Further Reading

When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises

‘World Avatar’ Sathya Sai Baba’s Troubled Trail

Quote: “There are Sathya Sai Baba devotees in some of the highest echelons of power in various countries. Their faith in him may be touching but not likely to be fulfilled. Despite various statements such as that that he would not age or get sick, he looks fragile and decrepit, increasingly muttering oddities and making egregious blunders”. See Sathya Sai Baba’s Tips To Keep Ageing Away.

Has ‘World Saviour’ Missed His Plane?

Quote: “In his February 16, 2007 so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai Baba said, “I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.” But will he? How can he? The guru, perhaps the most wealthy and politically powerful in India’s long history, claims that he will save the world in his own lifetime. He will, he says, preside over the greatest changes ever to occur in history – the Muslims being the last to accept that he is God”.

Sathya Sai Promise Has Lost Its Bloom

Sathya Sai Promise Has Lost Its Bloom

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Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon?

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 26, 2007

Today’s blog suggests that Sathya Sai Baba has, leave aside his recent would-be moon sightings, not been particularly bright himself.

And how can he be so when the evidence – that can less and less be hidden from his rank-and-file devotees – suggests that he now suffers from senile dementia?

He has not selected the brightest moon. Nor  a cloudless evening by which his religious and spiritual élite of devotees could view him in the moon on October 4, 2007. Nor the brightest students of his alumni – who now rush to the Internet to prove that Sai mooning is not moon madness.

sai-moon-submitted-darpan-rane-to-sboi-group.jpg

Today’s blog suggests that Sai Baba has, leave aside his recent would-be moon sightings, not been particularly bright himself.

And how can he be so when the evidence – that can less and less be hidden from his rank-and-file devotees – suggests that he now suffers from senile dementia?

He has not selected the brightest moon. Nor  a cloudless evening by which his religious and spiritual élite of devotees could view him in the moon on October 4, 2007. Nor the brightest students of his alumni – who now rush to the Internet to prove that Sai mooning is not moon madness.

Why Seek They After A Sign?

Note, King James Bible. Mark 8.

“And he sighed deeply in his spirit, and saith, Why doth this generation seek after a sign? verily I say unto you, There shall no sign be given unto this generation”.

Note, the great Hindu monk, Swami Vivekananda:

“I look upon miracles as the greatest stumbling block in the way of truth. When the disciples of Buddha told him of a man who had performed a so-called miracle and showed him the bowl, he took it and crushed it under his feet and told them never to build their faith on miracles, but to look for truth in everlasting principles”

Note, writer of the ancient classic treatise The Yoga SutrasSage Patanjali:

‘These (psychic) powers of spreading or outgoing mind are injurious to contemplation”

SBOI (Sai Baba of India Group) Are Over the Moon

It is interesting to find highly unofficially-officially connected prominent Sathya Sai Baba devotees, including those who as students were long in his colleges and university, now enthusing about visions in the moon of their guru. That some get so extremely excitable as to support calls on the Internet for people’s experiences of Sathya Sai Baba induced moon visions, suggests that Sai Baba’s years of education have failed them. (Yes, by the way, their education was ‘free’ but many of their parents forked out a fortune in donations and supposedly incidental expenses).

Unless, of course, a moon vision of Sai Baba in the absence of a moon is one of his greatest miracles.

The astronomical moon chart for October 2007 sustains Robert Priddy’s point in his article Deceiving ‘devotee’ makes bogus image of Sai in the Moon. He writes “

“it so happens that the moon on October 23 was not full but was still ’waxing gibbous’, as can be seen from the following image taken from the astronomical website http://stardate.org/nightsky/moon/ This shows the moon two days before full moon. Full moon did not occur until Oct 26  04:52, according to NASA“.

Tonight, quite a bit of the eastern seaboard in Australia looks as though it may be in cloud. A pity. Otherwise, we’d get to see the moon at its brightest for 2007, a large brilliant perigree moon. If you were Sathya Sai Baba – who says that he is the fullest manifestation of God in mankind’s history – perhaps, you might:

a) have chosen the brightest moon for the delectation of your followers and

b) made sure to check with your inner Divine Weather Forecaster – because, on October 4, clouds descended over Puttaparthi obscuring the moon. Ah, that old devil cloud!  Or, let me be true to that marvelous American lyricist Yip Harburg with the Burton Lane tune:

I look at you and suddenly,
Something in your eyes I see;
Soon begins bewitching me.
It’s that old devil moon;
That you stole from the skies.
It’s that old devil moon in your eyes

Can Visions Be Deceptions?

In regard to later capers by some of Sathya Sai Baba’s well-known (many of them young) propagandists of SBOI (SaibabaofIndia), I leave Robert Priddy on his blogsite at http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com to make the point about whether one of a group of highly active supporters of Sai Baba, Darpan Rane, has fabricated a deception. Perhaps more interesting from the point of view of human growth to maturity is this:  Just suppose Sai Baba’s image were to have appeared on the moon. Then, let us ask, of what advancement would such a quaint manifestation have been to individuals collected around their guru? Or to all those international devotees so fervently racking up huge mobile phone costs trying to get the latest ‘moon miracle’ reports from their contacts at Puttaparthi? Or, much less, to humanity as a whole?

Form vs Essence

It is interesting that so many devotees have assumed that the vision apparently promised by Sai Baba via his chief translator and close servitor Professor Anil Kumar to many thousands of devotees gathered at his Puttaparthi ashram would entail seeing the form of Sai Baba on the moon. If they had consulted their timeless sacred classic, Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 11, they might have recalled that the vision granted by Sri Krishna to Lord Arjuna (vishwarupa or vishvarupa darshana) was of a very different character. It was not the form of Sri Krishna -who was right beside him! – but a cosmic vision of enormous range and depth. But what fools who rush all agape in to Sai Baba’s local airport would ever want something both noble and fiercesome as that?

  • Was it not enough for them to have seen it where they had daily darshan (sight) of him within his Puttaparthi ashram?
  • Why all the sensationalism, and indeed threat to life and limb, of thousands of devotees rushing headlong to his nearby private airport?
  • Is an unruly crowd, which police had great difficulty in controlling, likely to be in a fit state to receive a divine and blissful vision?

Certainly, if it was the form of Sathya Sai Baba that was so eagerly sought after by the crowds of devotees, they have entirely missed one of his most insistent teachings: that the form is not what is important – but the essence of the teachings, and that attachment to the form is deleterious to spiritual growth.

A Dotty Sai Moon, A Smudgey Sai Earth

Why then, after all these years, do his devotees, both old and young, quest so fervently after a mere rather dotty semblance of his form somehow superimposed on the moon?

And are they so uncertain of their faith that they need to grasp at ‘proofs’ of their guru’s divinity?

Certainly, Sai Baba’s so-called ‘spiritual’ museum exhibitors cater for such spurious ‘confirmatory’ evidence of their ‘Lord’s’ greatness. On show for example is what purports to be a NASA satellite photo of Sai Baba. It appears to some as though the very terrain for miles around his abode shows him watching over it. (I rather think that this is what Darpan Rane has in view and it harks back to material in Chapter 10 of (the late) Sai Baba devotee-journalist Shakuntala Balu’s book, Living Divinity. Here you are, dear Reader – but gaze on this divine miracle of Sai Baba, and, should you become fully enlightened, please remember me in your Will):

alleged-nasa-photo-of-sai-baba-looking-at-puttaparthi.jpg

Or, with no authentication by Muslim or any other bona fide scholars, you may like to take a trip to India to witness material in Sathya Sai Baba’s self-glorifying Chaitanya Jyoti museum at Puttaparthi that purports to be many clear prophecies of the so-called ‘Advent’ of Sathya Sai Baba – as the promised Medhi Moud. What? Allah in form?! See, HERE

Further Reading

Other articles on the Sai Baba moon issue at: https://barrypittard.wordpress.com are:

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

Brian Steel: For a detailed, critical examination of the Medhi Moud so-called prophecy regarding Sai Baba, see The “Mehdi Moud” Prophecy Revisited

………

Robert Priddy:

Deceiving ‘devotee’ makes bogus image of Sai in the Moon

Oops! Apparently Sai Baba DID appear on the moon?

Why build moon rockets when Sai Baba has mantras?

More Sathya Sai Baba Moon Madness

Sai Baba postpones moon buggy ride

General

The Decline and Fall of the Showman Empire

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

For Online Viewing and/or Dowloading

The Secret Swami (BBC Television) Broadband 154 MB

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

Still More Video Resources

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

……………………………………………………

Note: Many surfers used the following search terms to get to the articles at https://barrypittard.wordpress.com on the Sai Baba moon issue:

sai baba moon miracle
sai baba appears on the moon
sai in the moon, October 2007
sai Baba on moon
baba in moon
sathya sai baba in moon
satya sai baba in moon
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sai baba viwa darshan

……….

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   

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Prophecy, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Skeptics, Spirituality, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

Is Humanity One Big Cult?

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 13, 2007

There is a fundamental mistake that defenders of those accused of serious abuse keep on making.

Accusations of substantive abuse do not have to be proved. They have to be investigated.

An organization that does not have genuine policies and practices of transparency and accountability is per se condemned.

Many Exposés of Cults Reveal Same Abuses and Rationalizations

Statements such as that an organization’s founder and his or her core leaders have never been brought before a court are crude and dishonest in the extreme. Repeatedly, across the various exposure of leaders, the patterns of denial, obfuscation and outright deceit are to be observed. Meetings between dissenters from various cults, who have left because they found profoundly betrayed the noble aims concerning which they joined, can tend to get off to a flying start, for participants are deeply struck by the many commonalities of experiences. I shall not say more of this aspect at present. For it is good that increasing contacts mature between those who have experienced spiritual betrayal around the world and the monumental cover-up of it can mature and prosper. And, indeed, that the perpetrators are left to wonder what alliances and resource-sharing and joint ventures might effect in educating greater publics of the great and insidious threats posed by cults of various kinds.

Cult defenders persistently employ a number of blunt tools: demeaning, name-calling, demonizing, slandering, stalking both on and off the Internet, intimidation, distortion and misinterpretation of what has been said. They muck-rack like McCarthyites, and attack individuals, quite commonly for faults they have not committed, instead of address issues. The use of ad hominem arguments and tu quoque retorts is very typical, and they confuse the difference between legitimately naming an individual and criticising their statements or role and illegitimate practice of slandering a person, and thus avoiding the central issues being presented. Their smokescreens choke horizons like a bad bushfire on a gusty day. Often, they appeal to popular prejudice. They get caught up in the narrowest interpretations of dissenters’ intentions or actions. Each individual who speaks up, they will assume the worst of, and defame – one after the other. They avoid the substantive questions and arguments, and accuse others of doing so. One is damned if one should respond to them, and damned if one does not. But then why should one bend to respond to those so antagonistic? It’s damned well good at least not to be down in the gutter.

There is no diving equipment adequate to diving into sewers. Those among the dissenters such as the hotheaded and bloody-mindedly quarrelsome who do respond end up in endless dogfights, which are far removed from the very reasons – which can be ideals most would agree to be noble, humane, spiritual and so forth – which led one to be a part of a self-enhancement group in the first instance. Many dissenters have, however, done years of hard self-development and of unstinting service to the poor and needy in their communities and other worthy causes. They may fight, but they will not dogfight.

Euphoria and Topic Avoidance

There is often in guru and cult defenders an appeal to popular prejudices – such as that media inevitably sensationalizes and misreports or that dissenters are people who did not get attention from the group’s guru, etc. The defensive tactics reveal the depth of problems of personality which a leader and cult, despite grand claims, has not, amidst the unreal euphoria and avoidance of topics where hard questions are raised, been able to heal or to solve. It is, of course, a problem that can as easily afflict dissenters, unless they have done some hard work on themselves.

Humanity – One Big Cult?

A far wider problem exists. One can point to cultic tendencies in this or that group. But then if we emphasize qualities of group-think and non-think in groups termed (accurately or not) ‘cults’, we will end up comforted, with our fingers pointed out, rather than considering our own capacities. Is there a grand unquestioning that is the tendency of a cult called Humanity? A cutting across all the ‘isms’ – except one:  bias-ism. So normal that we feel normal. So huge that we don’t recognize it, just as we might tend to assume without thinking that the sun will rise in the east on the morrow or that the sky still coheres above us.

No need to click on ‘Register’ or ‘Join’. No need to pay annual subsriptions. Our forebears have already enrolled us.

If we are all afflicted, we had best find a better way of getting out of the millennially built-up sludge. But no use ‘fessing up unless we can find ways to do it without exploitation, shouting, clubbing, and reversion to division and the manning of battlements.

The Example of The Muslim Leaders

Perhaps the Muslim and Christian clerics, theologians and academics who are busily writing to each other right at this moment will find ways to express commonalities which lead to love and compassion, and still face the differentiations that tests the goodwill, and in a way that works beyond the lovey-dovey. I think there is a tendency, which the leaders will have to address, to assume that religions are what make the world go round, rather the cynical machinations of realpolitik. Never mind, any genuinely caring way might be the way out of the sludge – even if by happy accident, or some millennial crawl to a new paradigm.

We can all be members of the clubless club of the great unwashed, which has but one essential thought. That we are washed, even if others are not. And one essential risk: that we can, all too easily do bad dirt on good people – if there happen to be any around.

Further Reading

The Muslim leaders’ bold document is available in .pdf format, courtesy of the BBC, HERE

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Opinion, Religion, Spirituality, Theology, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Religions | Leave a Comment »

Sai Baba Fails To Grant Great Moon Vision. Endangers Crowds

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2007

Once, my life nearly succumbed to an Indian headlong pilgrim rush.

Crowd Delirium at Puttaparthi

What wondrous relief, then, not to have been caught up in the crowd surges of Sathya Sai Baba devotees which, last Thursday evening, plunged towards Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi airport. They hungered after Sai Baba’s reportedly promised divine vision as hunger-maddened human beings might rush for food.

Sai Baba had announced through one of his chief servitors, Professor Anil Kumar, news reports state, that he would grant to his assembled devotees a great vision – no less than “Vishwarupa Darshanam”.

krishna-and-arjuna.jpg

This is the sort of peak divine experience that Lord Krishna is said to have granted to his servitor and boon companion Arjuna. See Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 11, At a point north east, all the divinely and incredibly fortunate Sai devotees would have to do would be to look up at the moon, and, lo, they would receive a blessing granted usually only to yogis or rishis (sages) who had meditated for thousands of years. (Too bad, of course, for any blind Sai Baba devotees). But the weather turned cloudy, and Puttaparthi officials are reported as saying that their Bhagawan Sai Baba had refused to go ahead with the event because the crowds had become unruly, holding up his car, in which he had been driven to the airport, for an hour.

How anyone could attain redemptive deliverance by trampling to death one’s fellow pilgrims may seem something of a mystery. But it is not a spiritual mystery. How Sai Baba could have set up a situation which any sane Indian knows is bound to cause incredible crowd turmoil is not, I think, a mystery at all. But, rather, is explicable in terms of serious recurring evidence of an encroaching mental condition that his core assistants work overtime in trying to keep from devotees and the general public. See my article: Sai Baba’s Tip to Keep Ageing Away.

In India, ‘Guest is God’. My 15 Minutes of Godhood

To speak of fervent ‘religous’ crowds who can trample you underfoot in the twinkling of a foot. One day at Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi ashram, in the late ’70’s, I was seized by a fit of (would-be) renunciation.

I was a lecturer in Sai Baba’s boys college at Whitefield, via Bangalore, and used to my place on Sai Baba’s temple (mandir) verandah and other ‘privilegious’ vantage points. One of these was a spot among Sai Baba’s male bhajan lead singers who sat right up front in the Puttaparthi auditorium, the Poorna Chandra, at that time said to be the second-largest auditorium in South-East Asia.

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

With no prizes available for grand naivity, I thought:  let me get out of this unseemly easefulness and sit as far up towards the back as possible, among the seething humanity, in this way working towards combatting egoic attachment to Sai Baba’s form. Unlike my normal seating position, to which I could go freely without queuing, I now had to wait among great throngs. At length, the roller doors of the Poorna Chandra were thown open, whence followed as fiece a charge as a Kiplingesque ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ – except that this was the charge of myriad heavy brigades. Pakistan would have been defeated in an instant!

Salvational Desperation

I did not then know what many a surviving pilgrim in India will know – which is:  Do rush. Do plunge pell-mell. Do charge with the charge. Otherwise you’re done for – life or limb. Unless you want to stay at home and risk getting run over by a vehicle. Nothing in India’s scriptures, nor in any, had quite prepared me for this important annexure to sacred Wisdom.

Thou Shalt Not Trample Foreign Visitors, Unless Moksha (Soul Liberation) Needs Forbid

Fortunately, there were a few quick thinkers among that madding crowd. As it surged forward stormily – avid after sitting places – an instinctive protectiveness by alert Indians saved this Australian “innocent abroad”. One had better not, if at all manageable, paste an innocent foreign face on the floor. Of course, my Indian brothers have known millennia before the American humorist Mark Twain wrote “Innocents Abroad” that foreign travellers tend to be … ah, well … Or, to express the matter mildly, that we can magnify Murphy’s Law to the power of ten.

Then, several pairs of hands swept me up until I was carried over the heads of my benignly strong-armed rescuers. Perhaps that was the prize – my life.

My Fifteen Minutes of Sacred (or Scared) Fame

Once we sat down, I found that some knew I was a teacher in Sai Baba’s college and, at odd times, a bhajan leader, and “I” found “myself” – so to speak – duly worshipped – for God’s sake! The chump being worshipped was still alive, if rather shaken. And Andy Warhol was assiduously timing the whole event – pretty well right down to his statutary fifteen minutes.

Further earnest devotees started beckoning me to work my way down, and, with pained concern inscribed in their faces and tender care vibrating in their outreaching hands, swept me up and passed me continually forward to yet myriad other caring hands (which minutes ago might have belonged to individuals who would gingerly have trampled me underfoot), until service volunteers (seva dals), also brimfull of earnest solicitation, conducted me back to my accustomed, privilegious seat.

For, of course, one of the great courtesies of India is, veritably, that ‘guest is God’.

Vintage Quote From Sai Baba

“I will have to forego the car and even the aeroplane when I move from place to place, for the crowds pressing around them will be too huge; I will have to move across the sky; yes, that too will happen, believe Me.” (Sathya Sai Speaks Vol. II, p. 92)

Further Reading

www.andhracafe.com news report, updated: October 4, 2007. Hysteric crowds force Sai Baba to differ Viwa Rupa. Below, I have excerpted from this news release:

HYDERABAD : Hysteric crowds and overhanging clouds persuaded Sri Satya Sai Baba to postpone his promised Vishwarupa darshanam on Thursday evening. There was chaos at the Puttaparthi airport after Sai Baba devotees thronged the premises to witness the Vishwarupa darshanam of their master….
They returned disappointed. Sai Baba had earlier given darshan to his devotees at Sai Kulwant hall in Puttaparthi. After the bhajan, he told his assistant Anil Kumar that he would give Vishwarupa darshanam at around 7 pm on the northeastern direction of the airport….
As soon as Mr Anil Kumar announced this, devotees ran towards the airport chanting his name. Television channels also telecast the news and people in Puttaparthi locked up their houses and ran towards the airport. Thousands also rushed to the area from surrounding villages….
All the devotees crowding the area focused their attention on the northeastern direction in the sky. In a fit of devotion, some of them surrounded the car of Sai Baba and he could not come out. Devotees did not relent even after members of Satya Sai Trust urged them to sit down. Instead, they ran after the car….
A small stage was set up before the car for Viswarupa Darshanam but Sai Baba could not reach the stage as devotees prostrated before him. He was forced to remain in the car for about an hour….
A short while later, the office-bearers of the Satya Sai Trust announced that the Viswarupa Darsanam was postponed because of the non-cooperation of devotees and the cloudy weather. Sai Baba then returned to his Ashram. Sai Baba devotees in other countries also called up their friends and relatives in Puttaparthy to find out about the incident….
Because of the rush, traffic on the road from Puttaparthy to the airport was thrown out of gear. At one stage, doors of the airport had to be closed. Police finally cleared the traffic to enable Sai Baba to return to his Ashram. Most devotees expressed disappointment at not being able to see the Viswarupa Darsanam.

Further Reading

Other articles on the Sai Baba moon issue at: https://barrypittard.wordpress.com are:

Sai Baba Fails To Appear In The Moon, IANS Reports

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

………

Robert Priddy: Sai Baba postpones moon buggy ride

General

The Decline and Fall of the Showman Empire

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

Note: Many surfers used the following search terms to get to the articles at https://barrypittard.wordpress.com on the Sai Baba moon issue:

Sai Baba on moon
baba in moon
sathya sai baba in moon
satya sai baba in moon
saibaba on moon
moon appear satya sai

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Skeptics, Spirituality, Theology, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: | 9 Comments »

Robert Priddy (2). The Protection of the Young and Innocent

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 22, 2007

Disaffection from a powerful belief system is often a slowgoing process, particularly when there has been adherence to a charismatic figure. And this, moreover, when many followers experience states difficult to understand for those who undergo them as it is for even sympathetic scientists. Going on then, to expose to the public an institution’s and guru’s corruptions and other major shortcomings, no matter how determined the activist, is an often an extremely uphill journey.

This is a note on but a small aspect of the work of a valued colleague in the exposure of Sai Baba and his worldwide cult, Robert Priddy, now a retired lecturer in philosophy and social science from the University of Oslo. He was a long-term follower of Sai Baba and national leader of the Sathya Sai Organization. He makes the big effort, and stays the long haul, no matter the strenous demands, as a duty of conscience.

Protecting the Young First Imperative

The overwhelming concern of many disaffected, now former, Sai Baba followers was – as it is for adults the world over – the protection of the young and innocent. Comparing notes with Robert Priddy over time has only reinforced my repeated discovery that disaffection from a powerful movement is a slowgoing process, not least for those who are investigative by bent and training. (See, Robert Priddy (1). Erosion of Trust in Sai Baba Over Time).

Priddy, former head of Sai Baba’s Norwegian organization, and I were both strongly commited to work inspired by Sai Baba – he for nearly two decades, and I for 25 years. He ended his affiliation with the Sathya Sai Organization in 2000. My own leave-taking of Sai Baba occurred in October 1999, after my having been lengthily blind to quite a number of situations that for the less blinded would have been warning flags of something deeply amiss. I now begun to contact primary witnesses and/or their families in various parts of the world, with their reports that Sai Baba sexually abused boys and young men, and other allegations of profound misconduct – in regard to him, and – a later development – to certain Staff in his educational establishments. There was repeated evidence of cover up by leaders close to him, and by core leaders of his wordwide Sathya Sai Organization. Ever and again came the gutwrenching accounts, and these from people not remotely connected with each other.

Opposing Cover up That Is On A Grand Scale

This massive cover up prevails  irrespective of which political forces have ruled India at any given time, and which protect Sai Baba. Apart from our own researchers, of whom Robert Pridddy is one of several, information highly adverse to Sai Baba and his ashrams has long been known to professionals in Indian journalism, police, government and politics. See, for example, my articles:  Indian Ex Top Official Dogs Sai Baba On BBC. ‘Cold-blooded Murder’, and The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision.

Websites like those of Robert Priddy (Norway), Brian Steel (Australia), Lionel Fernandez (Mexico), www.Exbaba.com (Holland) reflect the far wider concern of former devotees of Sai Baba, and indeed other critics, that there be proper third-party investigation of the many and serious allegations.

Thorbjörn Meyer et alia.

Sathya Sai Organization’s Absence of Transparency, Accountability, and Duty of Care

Robert Priddy has published his Februry 2002 email exchanges with one of Sai Baba’s foremost leaders, Thorbjörn Meyer, HERE. In his introduction to the email exchange, Priddy wrote:

“I decided to approach Mr. Meyer, whom I have known somewhat in the past, with information that might help him investigate better. His response to this confirmed my worst suspicions about his bombastic refusal really to investigate the many and varied allegations about murder and ‘dirty’ play in Sai Baba’s ashram, Prashanti Nilayam. His failure to retract his own groundless allegations against victims of sexual molestation also confirmed and decisively documented, as is seen below, his refusal in fact to do what he falsely promised to do, namely to investigate the allegations properly … He did not even put to me a single question regarding any of these serious matters, which he claims to wish to investigate!”

Priddy comments:

“He stuck himself firmly on formalistic grounds. Extraordinarily, Mr. Meyer repeated that it is all ‘undocumented’, like a mantra to ward off evil! As if statements made by victims on film were not of ‘documentary’ status”.

When Minors Report Sexual Abuse Adults Must Heed and Act

Absurdly far out of line with contemporary public attitudes in more democratically advanced societies, some of Sai Baba’s leaders – like Thorbjörn, Meyer, Professor Peter Pruzan, Steen Piculell – have condoned Sai Baba’s practice of ‘oiling of genitals’ of young males. With absolutely no sanction from Hindu or any other religious authorities, Meyer calls this an “age old Indian anointing oil ceremony”.

It is important that Indian religious leaders speak out on this issue. But will they? Might one be too far out in guessing that they, like the various churches in the West have a great deal to cover up? Although he is not a religious authority, at least the reknowned Indian journalist and writer Khushwant Singh told the interviewer Tanya Datta in the BBC’s The Secret Swami (2004):

“There’s no Indian tradition to support the fact that, you know, worship of the Lingam includes also doing the blow job, if that is what you are referring to. I don’t think there’s any basis for that whatsoever”.

The Robert Priddy-Thorbjörn Meyer Email Exchange

In one of the emails, Priddy wrote to Meyer:

“Your cavalier attitude to ‘oiling’ overlooks the fact that any physical intrusion on genitalia without explicit consent beforehand – even by doctors – is a punishable offence in civilised countries!”

But Thorbjörn Meyer derides the accounts such as those of British musician and former Sai Baba university teacher and global ambassador David Bailey, which include genital oiling but extend far beyond it. Bailey had disaffiliated himself from perhaps the foremost role that Sai Baba has ever conferred on a Westerner. In replying to Priddy, Meyer spoke of “Bailey’s many second hand stories”, saying “Nothing of what Bailey writes is first hand. Nothing is confirmed, everything is blowing in the wind”.

Indeed, some individuals and families did go to leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization. They were, in country after country, shocked and mortified with the lack of humane (much less spiritual!) response.

To Defame Serious Second Hand Accounts of Sexual (and other) Abuse Is Wrong

Here is precisely the point at which Thorbjörn Meyer, together with many other Sai Baba devotees, departs from one of the greatest ethical imperatives. Accounts do not have to be other than second hand. It is entirely absurd to think that they should be. When a young person approaches an adult with a plea for help, citing sexual or other serious abuse, it is the duty of that adult to act on behalf of that individual, ensuring that the individual is accessed to a proper and professional proceedure.

This great responsibility is exactly what so many who are now former devotees have excercised – only to be shunned, ostracized, demeaned, and some threatened, and outrightly slandered.

To be sure, the Board of Church of Christ Grammar School, Perth, one of the leading private colleges in Australia did not cancel the Sai Baba national conference booked at its prestigious venue. However, the message to the conference of Garth Wynne, the Principal (who acted in handling the Sai Baba matter on behalf of the then Anglican Archbishop of Australia, Dr Peter Carnley) was this – as he himself told me:  the accusations against your founder have kept on coming year after year. It puts an institution like ours, as well as your own organization, in a difficult position if you do not follow the appropriate procedures of investigation and accountability.

Failure of Duty of Care and Transparency

This failure of duty of care was the case of the now deceased leader in the USA, Dr. John Hislop, and has all along been so with Sai Baba’s foremost leaders such as Dr Michael Goldstein, Robert Bozzani, William Harvey, Phyllis Kristal, J. Jagadeeshan, T. Sri Ramanathan, and others. They were informed of ‘oilings’ and of worse sexual abuses. In purging the cult of those who raised voices of conscience, Meyer, Indulal Shah (then Sai Baba’s world coordinator) and Steen Picullel were responsible for evicting one of the finest leaders from organization, Serguei Badaev (Russia), just as was T. Sri Ramanathan in getting rid of Stephen Carthew (Australia). These fine men had raised absolutely proper and quintessential questions on matters of conscience.

The like reaction is duplicated by Sai Baba’s top leaders in various countries. For example, when I suggested the wisdom of instituting transparency and accountability processes to Sri T. Ramanathan, then head of Sai Baba’s organization in Australia, he replied that matters only need to go to him. After I had succesfully persuaded a number of foremost Australian religious and political religious leaders not to accept the Sathya Sai Organization’s invitations to appear at the 2003 national conference, Ramanathan phoned me on April 3, 2003 – first to sweet-talk me “I know that you’re a decent man”, and then to threaten legal action. He said “I have only one simple mechanism which I have applied down the years” which is to “deal with complaints personally.” “Your thinking is cloudy,” he said and stated that there was no need for a complaints mechanism in the Sathya Sai Organisation, which is “special and different to any other organisation… and a divine organisation”. (See, HERE and HERE).

Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Protest, Rationalism, Religion, Scandal, Skeptics, Spirituality, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Leave a Comment »

Criticism of Sai Baba No Reflection On Hinduism

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 25, 2007

Many Sathya Sai Baba devotees assume that any questioning of him equates to a denunciation of Hinduism. However, Hindus at large do not make this assumption in the least.

A major national Hindu leader has emailed me (December 5, 2006) in the terms I quote below. (Except to those in the responsible media who may wish to obtain a statement from him, I will not disclose his identity). However, Hindus who wish to make enquiry in their own associations as to current views of Sai Baba will be able to establish the factuality of the strong trend inimical to Sai Baba to which my correspondent points): 

“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 the SSB”.

Travel widely across India and you will know the exceptionally widespread disdain for Sai Baba – whatever may be the praise for the undoubtedly good social uplift work his devotees perfom in his name. This is especially due to his:

–  emphasis on miracles
–  his claim to be the prime manifestation of God in all history. Quote: “The whole world will be transformed into Sathya Sai Organisation and Sathya Sai will be installed in the hearts of one and all.” (Sanathana Sarathi, January, 1999. page 16). For many more examples, documented in his own official publications, of Sai Baba’s self-deification, see HERE
– the vast pomp and circumstance that surround him, his fleet of luxury foreign cars. See commentary and incredibly revealing pics, Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia
– his cultivation of the rich, his giving special seating positions at darshans to the rich, his flattery of the rich and famous … See, Dare Songstress Nora Jones Touch Sai Baba

His flattery of various visiting Indian Prime Ministers is – embarrassingly for his cause – unwittingly, documented across issues of Sanathana Sarathi (the official Sai Baba organ distributed worldwide), including the case of Narasimha Rao, who was sentenced to years in jail, convicted on a slew of corruption charges relating to kickbacks from secret arms deals with the Swedish firm Bofors. It was the Narasimha Rao government which inititiated the profound Indian government cover-up of the circumstances surrounding the police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom on June 6, 1993, a suppression that has been strictly maintained by each succeeding Indian government to this day. See, Robert Priddy’s The Unresolved, Covered-up 1993 Murders In Sathya Sai Baba’s Bedroom Revisited

Further Reading

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision
The Genesis of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sai Baba)
Serial Sex Molestation and Bedroom Killings. But Much More

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Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Opinion, Philosophy, Prophecy, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Skeptics, Society, Spirituality, Theosophy, Trends, Uncategorized, World Religions | 2 Comments »

Cost Of Cover Ups Can Far Exceed Hoped-for Benefits

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 23, 2007

A great irony of cover-ups is this – that once they have been exposed, the initiators of the abuses sustain a cost far greater than would have attended the prompt admission of the initial misdeeds – and genuine, exhaustive measures to address the abuses. Tragically, “cost” may be multiply defined – and in far from money terms alone.

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

And is there any Faith, major or minor, that is not sorely complicit in profound cover up of systemic sexual abuse?

                              host.jpg

The present repercussions of the Los Angeles Catholic Diocese afford us a ready example. Questions are being raised about whether there is enough – after insurance and money from other Orders have been paid – for even a rich Diocese’s coffers to afford such a vast pay-out. This is but one diocese, and yet many others face, or have already faced, a similar predicament. Is there even a single one (as a BBC television news report would indicate) in which such allegations have not been raised?

The Editorialist in The Boston Globe, July 17, 2007, writes:

“The Los Angeles and Boston money could have been spent on other important projects if Mahony and Law had adopted a zero-tolerance policy against abuse when it first became a national issue for the church in the mid-1980s.

Catholic dioceses across the nation, including Los Angeles, have initiated thorough policies to prevent future abuse, and Mahony apologized to the victims on Sunday. Yet new policies and regrets aren’t enough. In the eyes of victims, the scandal will never be fully resolved as long as bishops who put the interests of their fellow priests over the protection of children remain in positions of leadership”.

‘Or who shall ‘scape whipping’?

But is there any organization – anywhere – which has not covered up serious allegations? Can it be a good thing that when exposure of sexual abuse is discussed the Roman Catholic Church is so often the tarnished exemplar?

Another irony is that first whistleblowers are scapegoated but then public scapegoating can too easily turn on discretely ‘easy’ targets. And what more ‘easy’ than arguably the biggest religious monolith on the planet?

Does convergence of attention on a big institution help to prevent a much wider focus?

Naturally, of course, there is, at least, a chance for other organizations – before it is too late (if it is not already far too late!) for them to act without the courts forcing them to act – to learn from the fate of those churches or other organizations already strongly exposed?

Today, most societies are multicultural. Would it not make sense to take the broad approach, with not a single organization acting as though it, too, is unaffected? Or a wider public permitted to think that it has not its own accountability?

Further Major News Media Readings on the LA scandal and pay0uts are HERE, HERE and HERE.  Website of SNAP (Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests) is HERE

See, Robert Priddy’s article ‘Spiritual’ Abuse. Quote:

“One US lady who has been raped by a priest broke down in tears on worldwide TV News (22/7/2007) while telling how she was not believed by her very own church community, which ostracised her. This ‘turning a blind eye’ has been very common, also in the Sathya Sai Organization”.

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Posted in Morality, New Age, News and Politics, Opinion, Philosophy, Politics, Protest, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Social and Politics, Society, Spirituality, Theology, Theosophy, Trends, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | 3 Comments »

Judge warned: Crippling disease won‘t stop pervert

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 21, 2007

Some devotees of Sathya Sai Baba – the ‘God’ worshipped by so many of India’s top power brokers (and others beyond) who faces worldwide accusations of large-scale, serial sexual molestation of boys and young men – claim that he could not possibly offend, if he ever did, because of his age and physical incapacity, and that therefore his current accusers are caught in a palpable deceit. 

ageing-rapist-wayne-chapman-still-dangerous.jpgsai-baba-in-wheelchair-2006.jpg

L. Ageing multiple rapist Wayne Chapman still Dangerous. (Boston Herald Photo Pool). R. An Ironside Sai Baba – not one to easily push around.

They offer no evidence concerning the nature of sexual capacity and ageing. Yet there is a mass of readings on the topic ‘ageing and sex’ in the popular press, let alone a wealth of information from Gerontology and Geriatrics. As ever, the Internet is an abundant source.  But why go looking for facts when there is a guru to defend at all costs? And the word ‘costs’ is more than appropriate, since Sai Baba’s worldwide cult has to defend many billions of dollars of investment in its notion that Sai Baba is about to rule the earth. Any dear reader who happens to be a billionaire, watch your money – Sai Baba is a consumate master in extracting it from you – without seeming to want it. See my article: Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia

Of course, making Champion of the World may require Sai Baba to take a little more than Viagra or Cialis. 

Extract from: Judge warned: Crippling disease won‘t stop pervert
By Laurel J. Sweet
Boston Herald. Friday, March 23, 2007

Aging and Sick Sex Offender to Be Civilly Committed?

Whatever the wisdom of civil commitment laws it would seem that this fellow might qualify.  Increasingly, though, the states are going to have to contend with the high cost of health care in keeping aging and sick convicts behind bars.

Even though his aging, bloated body is confined to a wheelchair, a judge was warned yesterday a 59-year-old convicted sexual predator remains dangerous to children. A forensic psychologist assured Lawrence Superior Court Judge Howard J. Whitehead that convicted child rapist Wayne Chapman, who bragged he had sexually molested between 50 and 100 boys and even fantasized about killing some of them, “presents a high and unacceptable risk to re-offend.” “It just doesn’t go away,” Christine Schnyder Pierce testified. Chapman, an interstate predator, has been incarcerated for 31 years. Having served his time, he is hoping to retire in Massachusetts, but the Essex District Attorney’s Office is fighting to have Whitehead civilly commit him for life as a “sexually dangerous” person’.

Further Resources

Wikipedia, Sexuality in older age

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Posted in Medicine, Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, News and Politics, Opinion, Pediatrics, Philanthropy, Protest, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, Skeptics, Social and Politics, Society, Spirituality, Successful People, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Leave a Comment »