Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Accountability’

Rank-and-file Sathya Sai Organization Members Are Also Culpable

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 22, 2011

Each of us is responsible for his or her own actions. Irrespective of any mitigating circumstances.

If ever there were a time for the introspection Sai Baba himself advocated that his devotees should do, it is now. He, moreover, taught that they should not become attached to his form. Or his miracles. And yet here, precisely, is the devotees’ great stumbling blog. They do not do what he asked them to do. And, of course, he did not do what he asked THEM to do. 

From many countries worldwide, those who left Sathya Sai Baba and his charismatic cult have had to face at least three major torments:  The first was shock. For some, the shock was particularly acute. Namely, for the survivors of his –  and in some cases, his trusted aides’ – sexual and other abuses. Certain of his college and university teachers were among the perpetrators of these abuses. Because of the tenacity – and financial means – of a family in which two boys were the sexual abuse survivors, one of these (so-called ‘teachers’) has been stopped in his tracks.

Then came the grieving. One of the tormenting dilemmas was that of parents who, having investigated the accounts of their own or of others devotee families stricken by the abuses, were left with the situation of having young children and other family or friends who still worshipped and adored Sathya Sai Baba.

A group of us, including very qualified sexual abuse therapists, addressed a number of tasks. One of the first needs was to attempt to alert and warn. Commencing in 1999, this we did via former devotee networks, hoping (naively, as it appears to me in retrospect) that devotees would heed those who had long been respected workers (some of them, very high-profile leaders) in the international Sathya Sai Baba organization. We made extensive, high level representations to the foreign services in various countries, to UNESCO, Interpol, various institutions which the Sathya Sai Baba Organization had begun to forge links, and to the international media.

Some former devotees were fortunate to have supportive friends and colleagues.  There was, inevitably, the struggle to maintain efficiency in one’s family, professional and social life. Those who were retired had, in some ways, an advantage, for they were able to do the inner processing of grief. This group had also faced many of life’s other struggles, and from it emerged those who were able to bring insight and maturity to others who were younger and often without the deeper perspective or, indeed, being hamstrung by studies or a young family to raise etc., the time in which to process the grieving.

In recent months many devotees themselves now question the behavior of officials on the Sathya Sai Central Trust. Not only have they had to face the death of their ‘God’ – years before the time he foretold. They have had to acknowledge that he had secretly hoarded in his sealed-off living quarters, vast billions in various currency, along with huge caches of precious gold, stones and other luxury items. This has received enormous coverage in the major media in India, and some internationally.  Among devotees, there is now deep concern about officials on the Sathya Sai Central Trust. Some are believed to have acted well, and others badly, and even criminally.

Many Sai Baba Devotees Now Know About The Untrustworthy Sathya Sai Central Trust.

For over a decade, we have said that there was a sore need for accountability, transparency and duty of care. Devotees ignored and reviled us, showing nothing of the truth, right conduct, peace and love that they forever speak about. They abandoned, as did he, their teacher’s admonition to ‘help ever, hurt never’. They continued to worship and support one who allowed to be erected all around him the symbols of imperial splendour. They knew there were countless anomalies, failed prophecies, failed promises of healing, failed undertakings to give their children a place in his college ….

They knew that many of his leaders were nasty, autocratic, ego-tripping bullies. Some knew of apartments’ scandals, and that officials in his front office were deaf to the pleas of those who had been duped out of money they had paid for the apartments. Many knew (and would only whisper among themselves about) that there have been cover ups of accidental deaths, suspicious deaths, suicides, and the killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s private quarters in 1993. Some relate cases of brutality, including those exercised against college students.

The chances are that many of these culpable devotees will forever succeed in hiding their shame. But it is the duty of others to remind them of their responsibilities as citizens and as human beings with any claim to having a heart.

One does not even hear the word “Sorry” from them – for all their so-called righteousness.

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Further Reading

David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses

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

The Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba

(Late) Ron and Peggy Laing: Deeply Alienated From Sathya Sai Organization

Top UK Sathya Sai Organization leaders left Sathya Sai Baba

Letter from Stephen Carthew

Letter from Stephen Carthew

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

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

Dr Naresh Bhatia. Silenced Now In Indian Child Abuse Scourge

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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Sathya Sai Fails To Save Satyam

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 14, 2009

The massive Satyam corruption scandal engulfs India in a sad and chilling way somewhat remindful of WorldCom, Parmalat, and Enron.

Sad, for example, because of the tens of thousands of talented workers whose future is under heavy cloud (any bailout for them?!), and chilling because it reveals but a small part of the disordered “backyard” that Sathya Sai Baba famously said he would first “clean up” before transforming the rest of the world prior to quitting it circa AD 2022. And, again sadly, because such scandals can also obscure many instances of probity and quality of service.

Note:  In Sanskrit, Satyam and Satya (or Sathya) mean: Truth!  Interestingly, the Raju family real estate company into  which the self-admitted fraudster B. Ramalinga Raju poured money from Satyam Computers is called Maytas – which is Satyam spelt backwards. In short, and irony-filled, truth reversed …

India Now In Glare Of World Scrutiny

India’s many corrupt political and other leaders from across a broad political spectrum – the same figures who for decades have been complicit in the massive cover up of Sathya Sai Baba-related scandals – are now under intense world focus. Hundreds of Satyam clients are Fortune 500 international companies. Therefore, it is unlikely that these leaders can do other than join a sudden rush to effect matters such as accountability, transparency and due diligence. As far as it goes.

It will be interesting to see, as the rotten apples begin to fall from India’s old and gnarled tree, how many of them and their close affiliates have close ties to Sathya Sai Baba – for example, in financially supporting him.

It is too bad that India has no legal and other protective mechanisms for whistleblowers. Much is made about the need for government regulation. But what shall be the case when veniality – in the form of nepotism, casteism and gerontocratic clinging to power – exists so widely among India’s politicians and other power elites? Who shall regulate the regulators?

Far too much, therefore, will remain hidden.

The chief perpetrator, B. Ramalinga Raju, has admitted his crimes (at least some of them) and is now, along with his brother, B. Rama Raju, in police custody in Sathya Sai Baba’s own State of Andhra Pradesh. Ramalinga Raju has said that he acted alone but the credibility of such a statement is wide open to question and there may be more arrests. Indeed, CNN (see below) has just reported a third arrest, that of Vadlamani Srinivas, who was Chief Financial Officer in Satyam Computer Services.

artrajuafp Satyam founder B. Ramalinga Raju shown being sent to                      prison in Hyderabad

Reuters reports (Thu Jan 8, 2009):

“Chairman Ramalinga Raju resigned on Wednesday in India’s biggest corporate scandal in memory, after saying that about $1 billion, or 94 percent of the cash and bank balances on the company’s books at end-September did not exist. The company’s shares plunged nearly 80 percent”.

Will India’s Strengths Overcome Repute For Endemic Corruption?

Perhaps the high quality of services worldwide of giant Indian companies like Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, Wipro and Satyam itself may help India weather the current storm, which comes at a time of global financial upheaval, and recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India. See article: Hasty Cover Up Of Sai Baba ‘No bombs in India’ Blunder. Posted by Barry Pittard on December 7, 2008.

Some Saving Graces For India?

The prestige issue here is that international client satisfaction has been the yardstick, and not the say-so of India’s spin doctors. Even so, it is feared in many quarters, India may suffer grave challenges to its thriving outsourcing sector. Hasty international reactions need to be avoided.

Status of Indian Corporate Governance Gravely In Question

Huge questions are raised about corporate governance in India, including in Andhra Pradesh where the Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy is a notable supporter of Sathya Sai Baba, and complicit in the profound Puttaparthi and local, state and central government cover up of the many scandals involving Sathya Sai Baba and his core officials. Former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu (see Press Trust of India report below) just claimed that the Satyam scandal was due to “greediness and mania for money” of Congress rulers.

y-s-rajasekhar-reddy-confers-with-sathya-sai-baba Andhra Pradesh CM Y S Rajasekhara Reddy with Puttaparthi Sai Baba

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Extracted from BBC WORLD NEWS summaries of some major media reactions

Press reaction to Satyam scandal

Thursday, 8 January 2009

News that the head of Satyam, India’s fourth-biggest software firm, has quit after revealing false accounts including some $1bn (£663m) in fictitious reserves has made the headlines and editorials across the world’s prss.

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THE ASIAN AGE

Though Raju says he alone is responsible for what has happened, there has obviously been collusion on the part of the company’s accountants, chartered accountants, banks, and maybe even politicians, in the fraudulent financial engineering that he managed so adroitly quarter after quarter

THE NEW YORK TIMES

In the end, the scandal threatened to gobble up not just Mr Raju, who resigned, but his company, Satyam Computer Services. Far beyond Satyam, it raised fears that similar problems might lurk in other Indian companies, particularly in its vaunted outsourcing industry.

Further News Sources

FOX NEWS

The U.N.: Satyam’s Spreading Stain

George Russell. Monday, January 12, 2009

The World Bank, a cornerstone of the United Nations’ global anti-poverty effort, failed to tell the rest of the world organization that it had banned now-imploding Satyam Computer Services last February from further business following a corruption probe — and thus allowed the U.N. to enter into a $6 million deal for technology services with Satyam as recently as this July, FOX News has learned.

U.N. officials were still silent in the wake of questions sent to them by FOX News last week about the $6 million deal between the U.N. Secretariat and Satyam Computer Services, the Indian communications technology company that is embroiled in the largest financial fraud in that country’s history.

Details of the contentious contract, reference number PD/C0102/08, are prominently displayed on a U.N. Procurement Department website, commonly accessed by procurement officials from across the U.N. System.

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PRESS TRUST OF INDIA (PTI)

Satyam scandal due to Cong rulers’ ‘greediness’: Chandrababu

Hyderabad, Jan 13 (PTI) TDP president N Chandrababu Naidu today claimed that the Satyam scandal was due to “greediness and mania for money” of Congress rulers.

He told reporters that Maytas, promoted by former chairman of Satyam Computers B Ramalinga Raju, had grown into a big company in the real-estate sector due to the patronage of the Y S Rajasekhara Reddy government.

Greediness and mania for money are responsible for the Satyam fiasco, he said.

“Maytas was a small company in 2003 when I was the Chief Minister. But now it has grown manifold with the state government handing out multi-crore rupee projects on a platter,” he said.

He wondered why YSR was “so interested in Maytas”, saying projects worth over Rs 36,000 crore were awarded to the company without following due procedure.

“Nobody ever asked these types of favours during my tenure,” he noted.

It was only to divert public attention from the large-scale corruption under the current dispensation that his name was being dragged into the Satyam scandal, he claimed.

“I promoted not only Ramalinga Raju but also other businessmen from the state. I took them abroad to seek foreign investments into the state. My only objective was to improve the state’s industry,” Naidu asserted.

He said that Andhra Pradesh’s image has taken a severe beating because of the Satyam episode and wondered if any investor would come forward to invest in the state.

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CNN

Third person arrested in Satyam scandal

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) January 10, 2009 — The chief financial officer of India’s Satyam Computer Services Ltd. was arrested Saturday, the third person taken into custody in a scandal that began when the company’s chairman admitted inflating profits with “fictitious” assets and non-existent cash.

Vadlamani Srinivas will appear Sunday before a special court, said A. Sivanarayana, additional director general of police in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, told CNN.

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Some Articles on the India that Sathya Sai Baba has long said he will rescue; – at:   Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Shivraj Patil Falls From Home Ministry

Posted on December 2, 2008

Quote:

“A major follower of Sathya Sai Baba, Shivraj Patil, has resigned as India’s Home Minister. Grave questions have been asked about the competence of Patil and others who were meant to be guarding India’s security.

Comment: Whichever Indian government is in power, Sathya Sai Baba has many devotees who are in all ranks to the highest pinnacle of power. The same is true for the armed services, the judiciary, business and finance, industry, the arts and sciences, and so forth”

Two Indias. Barry Pittard Reflects On India Days

Posted on October 12, 2008

Quote:

“During the number of years I lived in India, I was able to see across-the-board social uplift work in some of India’s poorest villages. One of my strongest observations was the manner in which, for many years, one outfit refused to accept financial input from abroad. A great emphasis was laid on challenging the consciences” […]

Human Rights World Report 2008. India In Sore Shape

Posted on September 2, 2008

Quote:

“The Human Rights Watch World Report 2008 is in marked conflict with Sathya Sai Baba’s promises made over many decades. He has said that he would first save India and then the rest of the world – this within his own lifetime.
His millions of followers hear his blatantly untrue statements but remain silent and blindly” […]

Posted in News and Politics, Rationalism, Religion, Scandal, Society, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba, 83. Health Critical. Some Key Links

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 26, 2008

The following is a select resource for critics, scholars, media investigators, and also those questioning their way out of affiliation with Sathya Sai Baba and his international Sathya Sai Organization

Robert Priddy

A glance at this Update Page, indicates the huge labours of key serious writers critical of this teacher and his cult. The Robert Priddy update page is certainly one to consider bookmarking. The list for 2008 alone is extensive, though by no means complete. He was the head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, and a former academic in philosophy and social sciences at the University of Oslo.

http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/HOME/Sai_Baba_news.htm

Robert Priddy’s blogsite, frequently maintained, is:

http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com

Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard
Four-part article, which give further significant hotlinks to other related material, dissecting a seriously defamatory article by Venkataraman – see, Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed

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Brian Steel

Brian Steel is an Australian Spanish language linguistics expert and lexicographer. When devoted to Sathya Sai Baba, he was author, of a major bibliography and other writing widely distributed throughout the Sathya Sai movement.

An Annotated Bibliography for Research on Sathya Sai Baba  (in Three Parts) . He has recently extended this major task by adding a third part of the Bibliography

Sathya Sai Baba: Questionable Stories and Claims, by Brian Steel. Part 1

Sathya Sai Baba: Questionable Stories and Claims. Part 2

New Factors for Researchers to Consider

Sai Baba Researchers’ Huge Debt To Scholar Brian D. Steel

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Barry Pittard On B.D. Steel At Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Sai Baba Researchers’ Huge Debt To Scholar Brian D. Steel

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

William Aitken’s Sai Baba Book. Major Flaws Says Scholar

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Serguei Badaev

The Story of My Disqualification

Ex-President of Sai Org. Moscow Centre, (served for 4 years) and ex-deputy National Coordinator and National SSEHV Coordinator, Russia). The Moscow centre wrote a letter to then longtime head of the Indian SS Org and eventually the world Org, Indulal Shah, and 7th World Conference asking for clarification concerning the many worldwide allegations facing the founder and that the guru be asked for the spiritual explanation of the negative information on the Internet about him. There was no reply other than the immediate dismissal of Badaev as President of the Moscow Centre (see here).

 

For a remarkably similar account of draconian measures meted out to an Australian spiritual convenor, Stephen Carthew, see:

Letter from Stephen Carthew

In this case, the axeman for the demise of yet another lovely and much-respected leader in the movement, was the now retired head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, Sri T. Ramanathan.

Timothy Conway, Ph.D.

Timothy Conway Ph.D, author of several books comparative East-West spiritual traditions, was president of the large San Francisco center and a liaison-consultant for the Sathya Sai Organization, Northern California, in the early to mid-1980s), as well as a longtime member of Santa Barbara, CA, Sai Center since 1988. Resigned February 2001.

In December 2007, he released his clarification of points raised about very indicting letters that were circulated to peak leaders of the US Sathya Sai Organization by former head, the late Dr John Hislop.

Timothy Conway Ph.D on: The Crucial John Hislop Letters

Dr Timothy Conway’s Summary of Ullrich Zimmermann Interview

Timothy Conway PH.D confirms the Hislop letters

Formal statement provided to Exbaba.com by Timothy Conway Ph. D. concerning the Hislop letters

An article in which Timothy Conway outlines many key issues

Click here to access Timothy Conway’s websitetimothy-conway-website-banner.jpg‘Enlightened Spirituality’

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Kevin Shepherd

An independent British scholar, author of many books on philosophical and social issues and analyses of major religious figures including Shirdi Sai Baba, Shepherd has taken an interest in the Sathya Sai Baba phenomenon. It is valuable to have a writer not involved in the debates, and no sensible reader could be other than struck by Shepherd’s considerable respect for detail and calm disection of many complex issues.

Citizen Initiative

http://www.kevinrdshepherd.net/index.html

A very detailed page with many links to his own work and that of others is:

Sathya Sai Baba: problems

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Two Detailed, Unresponded-to Former Devotee Communications to Peak Body of International Sathya Sai Organization

The International Sathya Sai Organization – an accessory to a massive libel and disinformation campaign. (Open letter to the Prasanthi Council – c/o Dr. M. Goldstein, Dr. G. Venkataraman and its other members)

Signed on behalf of wider international group by:

Serguei Badaev, Russia 1995-2001 Ex-President of Sai Org. Moscow Centre and Deputy National Chairman for Russia.
Timothy Conway, USA. Follower for 22 years; President of the Sathya Sai Baba Center of San Francisco from 1982-4.
Dennis J. Hanisch, USA. Follower for 27 years. Founder member and Vice-President, Seattle Center.
David. J. Lyons, USA. Follower from 1981 to 2000. Ex-President of the Center of Greater New Orleans.
Barry Pittard, Australia. 1976-1999. Former English Lecturer, Sathya Sai College, Whitefield.
Robert Priddy, Norway. 1983-2002. Founder member/Ex-Chairman of Oslo Center & Coordinator for Norway 1986-1996.
Reidun Priddy, Norway. 1983-2000. Founder member and Seva Wing Coordinator 1986-1998
Al Rahm,  Office-bearing member of the SSO for decades. Regional Devotional Coordinator and founder of first Education in Human Values school in the U.S.
Barbara Shocket, Professional Counselor in mental health, USA Follower: 1980-1990.
Dhyani Jo Sinclair, Canada Member and Sai Centre Secretary, 1995-2000.
Towards Public Accountability and Due Investigation: A Formal Open Appeal To ‘The Prashanthi Council

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Public Petition

http://www.saipetition.net/

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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)


Posted in New Age, News and Politics, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Skeptics, Social and Politics, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »