Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘B. Premanand’

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009

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

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

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

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

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

Sathya Sai Baba Continues To Ail


When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises


‘World Avatar’ Sathya Sai Baba’s Troubled Trail

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of Glen, Premanand wrote to me:

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

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

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

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

See, the article:

Basava Premanana challenges Ex-PM Vajpayee to come clean

Text below taken from the Indian Skeptic, November 2006:

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

Dear Sir, 24.8.2006

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yours Sincerely
(B. Premanand)

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

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From an email to me from a notable Hindu leader

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

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Premanand Responds to Infamy

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

Massive sabotage try by Sai. Org person foiled

Gurubusting Sathya Sai Baba

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

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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

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

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 25, 2009

In 1999, the extensive document The Findings by David and Faye Bailey appeared. This document caused enormous damage to Sathya Sai Baba’s credibility and that of his worldwide Sathya Sai Organization.

 

David Bailey, who with his wife, Faye, spoke out courageously, in exposing Sathya Sai Baba. Their principled stance caused much sacrifice to themselves.

David Bailey, former unusually close follower of India's most famous guru, along with his wife, Faye, spoke out courageously in exposing Sathya Sai Baba. Their principled stance caused much suffering and sacrifice to themselves

Here was the case where persons previously very close indeed to Sathya Sai Baba spoke out, and in no uncertain terms. Faye had been a noted leader in the Australian Sathya Sai Organization well before the guru, much to the astonishment of them both, chose them to be husband and wife, and presided over their wedding.

The British journalist and author Mick Brown in his widely-researched article (including traveling to the USA) ‘Divine Downfall’ in one of Britain’s foremost daily newspapers, The Telegraph, 27 October 2000, wrote:

“In recent months, an extraordinary storm of allegations have appeared – spurred by a document called The Findings, compiled by an English former devotee named David Bailey – which threaten to shake the very foundations of Sai Baba’s holy empire. Sai Baba may represent an ancient tradition of belief, but the instrument of accusation against him is an altogether modern one. Originally published in document form, The Findings quickly found its way on to the internet, where it has become the catalyst for a raging cyberspace debate about whether Sai Baba is truly divine or, as one disenchanted former devotee describes him, ‘a dangerous paedophile’.

It is one of the many imponderables of this story that the charges against Sai Baba should have begun with a rotund and jocular concert pianist from Llandudno.

David Bailey became a devotee of Sai Baba in 1994, at the age of 40, drawn by an interest in the guru’s reputation as a spiritual healer. ‘I couldn’t see him as a God,’ says Bailey, ‘but I did think, this could be a great holy man who has certain gifts.’

An extrovert man, Bailey quickly became a ubiquitous and popular figure among devotees. He travelled all over the world, speaking and performing at meetings and would visit the ashram in India three or four times a year, often performing during darshan and teaching music to students at the Sathya Sai Baba College. Over the course of four years Bailey claims to have had more than 100 interviews with Baba. At Baba’s instigation, Bailey married a fellow devotee, and together they edited a magazine to propagate Sai Baba’s teachings. But the closer he came to Sai Baba, Bailey told me, the more his doubts multiplied”.

In their speaking out about the untold corruption they and others had uncovered, and the consequent great shock and sense of spiritual betrayal, the unique role in the organization of the Baileys stood in marked contrast to the situation in which increasing numbers of individuals and/or  their families began to relate their harrowing accounts.

In 2000, after we had communicated via email, David phoned me and we spoke for about an hour. Both of us had taught within Sathya Sai Baba’s education establishment, he in Music and I in English, although at different periods.

Like Thomas Wiehe (see below), I preferred to allow David to do most of the talking. As I was to find repeatedly in my contacts with former leading and rank-and-file members of the Sathya Sai Organization, who came from many countries, there was a palpable sense – especially in the phone contacts – of an urgency somehow, against formidable odds, to put matters as right as they might ever be put.

Faye Bailey had a son from a former marriage, who reported to Faye her husband that Sai Baba had repeatedly, alone in an inner room, kissed him on his cheeks and the corners of his mouth, and also sexually touched him. The account further details that, once the young man refused to acquiesce, Sai Baba, in the presence of Faye and the young man at succeeding interviews, called him “Mad dog! Hard hearted!”.

I spoke, face-to-face and at some length, with one who has for many years been exceptionally close to Faye Bailey’s son, who compellingly shared saddening disclosures with me. Hearing such deeply disturbing accounts has been the lot of many former devotees around the world, who have made their own investigations, particularly in their own localities where individuals. In my investigations, and those of others, one was struck by stark fact:   a great many of those giving the accounts had never met each other.  Details were highly cross-confirmed.

Worldwide, former devotees are ready to testify to reputed media, law courts, police and other bona fide investigators. This readiness to be accountable is precisely what the Sathya Sai Organization has so singularly failed to be.

Baileys

Below, see the Transcript of David Bailey’s conversation with Thomas Wiehe circa 1999 when the allegations were surfacing at an enormous rate, much owing to principled stands by prominent figures such as the Baileys and the former head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, Terry Gallagher . See:

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

See also:

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

To hear this phone conversation in mp3, Click Part One. Part Two

Thomas Wiehe of Sweden initiated the phone call to David Bailey in the UK. Wiehe had been leading meditation groups for the Sathya Sai Organization in Sweden. He was now in a dilemma whether to proceed further. In regard to B. Premanand, see the article: Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2009

David Bailey: Premanand was very close to Swami before Terry Gallagher. Terry Gallagher was an Australian who spent five, six, seven years – and a (whole) day – with Swami. He was closer than I was with Swami. Then when he left, through having found out the truth of what is going on, I somehow became so close to Swami that for three years I was blind to what was going on… because I had been told what everybody else had been told. And then after our marriage we became even closer and became part of what it termed the inner circle. And when we saw for ourselves what was going on and realised what other people who had been close also had experienced and why they had left, then when we did our world tour last year, it was disastrous … with so many things that we found. We went back at Christmas to discover that everything that we had found was totally true; as soon as we got back to England, we had the fraud squad from Scotland Yard, the British Government’s Foreign Office and the Charity Commissioners waiting for us with major investigations, with proven fraud in some cases  

Thomas Wiehe: What is that?  

David Bailey: Fraud is mishandling of money – and the other thing which we had discovered was this homosexual activity. You know, to start off with we believed (it) was only Swami – shall we say – raising the kundalini within the student. This is what we were told, but then when we realised that it was not… and it was definitely not just Swami – well I have to be open and honest – playing with the students… but asking the student to actually make sexual acts on Swami, including oral sex. It was just ridiculous. And then the students at the college turned to me for help, because this has been going on for years, it is why the assassination attempts occurred… because the students were absolutely sick of him making them do things they didn’t want to do. I am grown up in my attitudes and realistic to realise that around the world many things happen between consenting adults, but when you are in a position of power as headmaster or teacher or guru or whatever you like… to make your students do things they do not wish to do is not acceptable, and also in England – and I believe it is true in Sweden – it is illegal. And if Swami were in England he would be put in prison for twenty years.. .Now that is my problem because at one of England’s top preparatory schools for children from five to thirteen years old, the Royal family sent their children to this school… and I was suddenly made redundant. I lost my job and they asked me to continue with my job part-time only to teach in the classroom – no work in the evenings… even we had performed one musical and they said you may not attend the rehearsals, you can only attend the performance  

Thomas Wiehe: This questions your connections with Baba?

David Bailey: This I did not understand… T

homas Wiehe: But now you…?

David Bailey: But now I do. Because he is listed as a pedophile and around the world, I was seen – with Faye – to be going round speaking for Swami. From the police, from the authorities from many countries… they saw David and Faye – and other people too – going to speak for Swami. As a result families would go out to Swami… sons, the young men would be sexually approached and come back, there is even one person in England who has committed suicide and we have stopped another one, we pray, from doing so. But we were seen as agents… that we would be very charming, very nice, persuade people to go – because of my involvement with the college boys so closely they thought that I was just a provider of his sex toys. That has now ruined my career in England because I now have a record of being connected with him. Then of course there is the money side of things – as we spoke, people of course wanted to give money. When they investigated the truth of the hospital, the truth of the water project, the truth of where the money goes – and I have personally investigated first hand – that the water project is not finished, there are many villages without water – not even connected. The hospital is very badly run and it is just not what we are told at all. Now people do not want to hear this, but this is the truth. This is why Faye and I have moved away. He knows that he will be caught out. The rings are all bought from Hyderabad and locally in the village, the vibuthi he carries between his fingers in tablets… I’ve seen it, he dropped a tablet in front of me. It is all an illusion, it is all a hoax, it is all one big trick, and so many of us innocent people have been hoodwinked. Faye and I, with our books, we have removed them from sale wherever we can, because we cannot allow anybody else to go and get involved because of us. We also respect that many people do good, but it is now time in my view for people to do good because of good, not because of his name. It is a terrible situation – Magnus [editor’s note: Magnus Vrethammar, former leader of national Sathya Sai education and a Sathya Sai Centre in Sweden] was in tears yesterday. When I started to find this out eighteen months ago I had nobody to share this with and I certainly cried myself to sleep for several weeks. When I spoke to the very close people – I have some very good friends there who know exactly what’s going on – when you get to the inner circle it is a business, that’s all they’re interested in really, but people like Phyllis Krystal, people like Mike Hollander, who have been there for many years, they just turn round and they say ‘If you consider he is God, he can do anything. He can have fraud, sex, drugs… anything. If you do not consider he is God, then of course you have a problem, because of the laws of your land, your morality, your own upbringing and your own standards. And they say this is your problem to sort out, you must decide that he is God. I said this is crazy, the one that creates this beautiful world that we live in, does not come to this earth and do these ridiculous things. There is NO record in Prashanthi of him doing any healing at all. Any healing that has happened within people has been an internal personal thing, but there are very, very few serious records of this anyway. The problem with the incidents that have been reported before is that either the young men have been so threatened that they have said ‘I’m sorry, I made a mistake’

Thomas Wiehe: Who has threatened them?

David Bailey: Indulal Shah, for example, the organisation, the coordinators. The pressure from people who have been ‘besotted’, people who are so sincere devotees of Sai Baba? They will not accept that he could do anything like this, and they have pressurised the young men to say ‘Oh I’m sorry… I made this up.’ There is a video which Magnus has got which has been done a year ago that has just been broadcast two weeks ago on Irish television, done by a television company from Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Ireland, who have got together because they are so horrified with what’s going on that they have produced this documentary for about nearly one hour – not being unkind but just to say these are the facts this is what you will find, and it has been very, very well put together and what is on that video I have firsthand experience of, and it is true. It’s very sad, but we have to be serious detectives. Wanting the truth. I think the first thing that made me question was when there was a question of going there and because I have played for the Royal family several times I know that what happened with the detectives that go – you know – to check everything out first. And Prince Charles had written to me about the possibility of going one day and I suddenly thought:  what questions will they ask me, what answers can I give them. And I suddenly realised that I was living in a dream world, not in the real world. That’s when I started to want the real answers, like, what actually happens at the hospital. Not just ‘Oh, this is a beautiful hospital. What happens! How many operations are done? What are the operations? Are all the wards open? The seven hundred and fifty villages… how many villages have now water? And not just ‘isn’t this a lovely project. Isn’t it good and feel good for being involved’. But what is the truth, and when you start finding the truth, you start thinking ‘Oh! No! Oh! NO!’

 Thomas Wiehe: What did you find about the hospital?  I know that Steen Picullell – the coordinator for the Russian-speaking countries – he is going to speak to Indulal Shah [Editor’s note: Shah was at that time the head of the Sathya Sai Organization] and to Swami in about a week’s time because he has had many problems, but still believes that Swami is God and God can do anything. But this is not something that is in the real world. Before I found Swami I had many, many experiences of people who could heal, people who were psychic, which could see the future and I have experiences of roses – the flowers – just appearing on the table in front of me. So these things were not something that were new to me. I accepted all of this and this is not something to base somebody’s divinity on. So what do you base it on? because over the centuries the stories have never been like this, and it is only because WE want it to be good we make it [an] excuse for why he does this. But this boy is one of hundreds that we know of. Not just one of ten or twenty.

Thomas Wiehe: Are you talking about T? [Editor’s note: Initial correct which stands for Tom, but full name suppressed. This is the so-called “Golden Boy” from Gothenburg, who was laden with ‘gold’ by Sai Baba and who caused the huge furore in Sweden about Sai baba’s sexual abuses]

David Bailey: I don’t know the boy’s name, I’ve not been given it. Thomas Wiehe: Aha. But it must be him. David Bailey: Right.

Thomas Wiehe: “Yeah I was in Puttaparthi in January with him and now in June with him. He talked very openly. Ja… it’s him you mean, Yes, he is a very sincere spiritual seeker and very easy to believe. Did you meet him?”

David Bailey: Well I may have..

Thomas Wiehe: He is, well… I mean, I trust him. Just as a human being. I trust him. Talked a lot and you know you get a feeling ‘is he talking truth or is there something behind it?

David Bailey: Exactly.

Thomas Wiehe: I got the feeling he is very trustworthy. I really think so and he is… he has morality, sound, fine and subtle and strong. It took him – well, he probably told you – it took him some time to decide what to do with this… experiences. But when he had made his decision, he goes out in a very fine way, I think… talking to others and he is fine to talk with.

David Bailey: Yes.

Thomas Wiehe: It’s really bad, I’d say.

David Bailey: Yes. This is very good because if this was somebody who is not balanced it makes the whole thing… where there is a question there. I can tell you I know many, many, many examples of this… the students, because I was so close to them, just turned to me for help – they pleaded with me for help. Thomas Wiehe: Did you teach in [the] Sai school?

David Bailey: Yes, I taught in the college in Prashanthi ah… for three, three-and-a-half years. Not all year, but for periods of six weeks three or four times a year.

Thomas Wiehe: In music?

David Bailey: In music. I prepared the music for Christmas, for Guru Purnima and sometimes the birthday so it meant being with the boys perhaps up to six or seven hours every day. And I’ve a very close relationship with them and with one or two members of staff too. I know exactly what goes on there. When Faye and I discovered what we knew, we decided that we felt it was better to be silent because there are so many people there who rely on him and that’s why we continued with the magazine – not to stop the magazine… but to continue it to give things for people to move on to. Not to change from one guru to another but to find the god within.

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Robert Priddy at ‘Sathya Sai Baba In Word and Action’

Introduction to ‘THE FINDINGS’ by David Bailey

How the International Media began to question the claims of Sathya Sai Baba

Major Exposure of Alleged Sexual Abuses By Sathya Sai Baba A documented overview of the History and extent of the alleged sexual abuses by Sathya Sai Baba and the questions they raise

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Further Resources at Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

Moreno’s deception re David Bailey Phone Conversation

Posted by robertpriddy on August 17, 2009

Sathya Sai Baba – disclosure of damaging facts

Further Resources at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’

Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba Michelle Goldberg, US Author-Journalist, on Sathya Sai Baba (1)

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General

Excerpt From Public Petition (With Barry Pittard’s comments)

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

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

There is a Spanish version available:

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

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Posted in Morality, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2009

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

basava-premanand

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Goodbye, good man …..

Barry Pittard, Australia

See Wikipedia entry for Basava Premanand

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

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

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

Iran Outrages Show Importance of Film and Other Evidence Against Oppression

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 25, 2009

The violent suppression by security forces in Iran, just as the oppression practised on a vast scale by China, reminds one of the importance of photographic exposure of various kinds of abuses, and dissemination worldwide.

Who can forget the importance of speedily smuggled photos and the use of fax machines in exposing the massacre at the Tienanmen Square protests of 1989? Or, the use of mobile and Internet technology in recent hours and days in exposing the violent regime in Iran. In this way, a heart-rent world has just witnessed, for example, the killing on the streets of Iran of the 16 years old music student Neda Agha-Soltan. Twitter and YouTube have been able to lead the way.

Importance of Reliable Photographic and Other Evidence 

As a result of BBC, Doordarshan and other footage, fake miracles of Sathya Sai Baba have been exposed. It is by these so-called miracles that he has, along with his powerful charisma, been able to gain such power.  See:

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

Sai Baba No Shiva. Gold From His Gut Is Regurgitator’s Trick

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

Note, too, how the BBC in its 2004 documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ caught Dr Michael Goldstein, Sai Baba’s top man, in a rage.

Dr Michael Goldstein. Love All Serve All

 

Sai Baba’s head man Dr Michael Goldstein. Showing an example in action of:  ‘Love All Serve All’ 

 Also, Goldstein’s circular to many Sai Baba devotees escaped out onto the Internet, exposing how Goldstein related that Sai Baba had ensured, by his all-knowingness and all-seeingness, that all his devotees who would have been in the places attacked on 9/11, that all his devotees were mystically caused to be out of harm’s way. See:

Sai Baba Saved Devotees From 9/11 Says Dr Michael Goldstein

The tragedies and shocking abuses both sexual and of other kinds along the Sathya Sai Baba path have frequently, of course, not been caught by camera – except, e.g.,  in a case such as the incriminating photgraphic material, resulting, it seems fairly patent, in a death which, for now, will have to be documented by India’s most famous Rationalist B.Premanand and those such as his lawyers. The corruption of many Indian police, who are widely hated and feared in India, has not helped them. Too often the Indian justice system is corrupt from the many of the Judges down. See: 

Sai Baba protected by the Supreme Court of India

Well may the Iranians and other peoples whose human rights have been outraged maintain all efforts to tear aside the cover up, piercing it with the sharp lens of the camera, and using modern technology like mobiles and the Internet to surface their plight. Especially given the Iranian government’s crackdown on journalists, it is good to see the BBC encourage Iranians fighting for their freedom to make contact with it, given their accounts and views.

In the meantime, our thoughts are with Iranian people who have for so long desired democracy to come to their culturally rich and magnificent country.

The BBC has put up the following notice, which some of my readers may wish to spread ever further:

Are you in Iran? What do you think of the current situation? Are you taking part in the demonstrations? If you have any information you would like to share with the BBC you can do so using the form below: Send your pictures and video to yourpics@bbc.co.uk  or text them to +44 7725 100 100. If you have a large file you can upload here. Read the terms and conditions At no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws.

Posted in Opinion, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 10, 2009

Quite often, among our friends or acquaintances, there is someone who has astonished – or appalled! – us with a few magic tricks.

The Ease of Learning and Performing Basic Magic Tricks

Most children and adult libraries have a selection of books on the how-to of a wide range of magic tricks. These show that, without much ingenuity or skill, most people can pick up a few, with a fundament being, of course, sleight-of-hand, not to mention the use of confederates (But can you always trust them?)

For the clear use of a confederate, you can see Doordarshan’s – Indian national radio and television broadcaster –  video footage showing Sathya Sai Baba’s palming of a necklace from beneath a trophy handed to him by his flunky. This film the then Indian Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, a Sathya Sai Baba devotee, quickly moved to censor:

Censored Indian National Television Film of Sai Baba Cheating

Simple Man-about-town’s Magic Impromptu

A few months ago, I was sitting in a cafe and a local character of little education wandered in. He began entertaining the rest of us with a charming and adept suite of parlour tricks. I chatted with him afterwards. Clearly, he had never heard of Sathya Sai Baba. After my briefly describing Sai Baba’s so-called miraculous manifestation of objects, he immediately sprang into action, and indeed the quickness of the hand deceived the eye – until he slowed things down and also stopped diverting the observer’s attention from e.g., palming and transference of objects. Although he felt honor-bound not to reveal a number of the other tricks that he (the young man) had earlier performed, he showed exactly how Sai Baba produces necklances, pendents and sacred ash, etc.

His displays were akin to those of Nils Krøjgaard, the professional Danish conjuror, who is seen in ‘Seduced’, a television documentary (2002) by Denmark’s national broadcaster DR, which exposes Sai Baba. You can see the 53-minute documentary, for Broadband (80 megabytes) HERE. For Dialup (21 mb) HERE. and the transcript HERE.

Goldie Hawn, the famous Hollywood film star is seen sitting, right hand side of the film clip, near to Sai Baba as he performs his trick.

Famous Indian Skeptics Educate Masses About Fraudsters’ Tricks

Courageous Indian rationalists, such as B. Premanand and Professor Narendra Nayak attempt to educate India-wide audiences in demonstrations – ‘Miracle-exposures’ – of the conjuring techniques by which so-called ‘holy men’ like Sai Baba deceive the masses.

Fortunately these days, one is now able to see slowed-down images of Sai Baba as he produces sacred ash (vibhuthi) or other objects. See my blogs of the last few days of March, 2009, which contain relevant links:

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

Censored Indian National Television Film of Sai Baba Cheating

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

Master Magicians or Illusionists

On the other hand, there are master magicians or illusionists who are disciplined in the sense that, for example, a ballet dancer or virtuoso instrumentalist, becomes a consummate practitioner, requiring hours of daily practice. Some magicians risk their lives in pursuit of their craft. A number of them gain, such as the fabled Harry Houdini (see footage at end of this article), almost superhuman personal psycho-physical control. For a contemporary example, see: David Blaine breaks world record on Oprah Winfrey Show for holding his breath

The magic tricks Sathya Sai Baba employs are a pale shadow of these. But they are comparable to what a adroit enough amateur can learn and perform. Do take care, though, as a kid, I once accidently swallowed a coin while trying to master a trick – ah, will the days of half pennies never return?!.

Behold Their Holinesses – the Company of Great Magicians

Imagine how successfully any of the outstanding magicians I refer to below could have set themselves up as ‘holy’ men in India!  Or imagine how, in a socio-economically developing country like India, where there is still a great deal of mystification especially of non-educated and semi-educated, how easy it is for an arch-deceiver such as Sathya Sai Baba – and a great many frauds without his more greatly famed and curious talents – to mislead the public.

Many Indians Disdain So-Called ‘Godmen’ Who Detract From India Greatness

Many Indians of my acquaintance (and I lived in that great country for several years), whether religious, humanist or atheist feel terribly badly about the superstition and corruption to which the socio-economic condition gives rise.

Below, here are a few master magicians. Some of them are teachers by nature and ready to show how some of the tricks are done. The English magician Derren Brown, like the immortal Houdini, is committed to exposing fraudulence.

Note: a) Alphabetical order of surnames is followed. b) Clicking on the name of the magician/illusionist brings up their website

Note: In a forthcoming article:  Formost female magicians! Including:

Dorothy Dietrich
Angela Funovits
Kate Medvedeva
Tina Lenert
Sue-Anne
(My own country Australia’s magic star, named (2007) in the book ‘Historias de Magas Antiguas y Modernas’ which surveys the greatest female magicians in history). And, rivalling her for her place –

Cath Jamison, also of Australia

But – for now  –

David Blaine

The New York Times wrote, “He’s taken a craft that’s been around for hundreds of years and done something unique and fresh with it”.

Wikipedia article

Videos

David BlaineVideo

David Blaine teaches the simple fan
David Blaine Videos – Many Metacafe clips

………..

Lance Burton

“Burton is a magic purist whose show is a loving homage to his craft”.

Kathleen Foley. Los Angeles Times. December 3, 2001.

Wikipedia article

Videos

Lance Burton Sleight Of Hand Magic

Lance Burton and The Dove

Magic Secrets Revealed: Lance Burton unveils some mysteries of magic. New secrets featured each month

………..

Derren Brown

“… a stage act that stretches back 100 years and a future that might be as lengthy”

January 14, 2009.

YouTube – Derren Brown shows how mediums work

Mind Control with Derren Brown

Several videos, both shorter and longer, are at Britain’s Channel 4 website:

http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/tv/microsites/D/derrenbrown/index.html

………..

David Copperfield

YouTube – David CopperfieldThirteen

Doug Henning (The late)

For the magician:

“The hard must become habit
The habit must become easy
The easy must become
Beautiful”

“I consider Jim the most brilliant mind in magic.” Jim Steinmeyer, whom, in turn, the New York Times described as the “celebrated invisible man—inventor, designer and creative brain behind many of the great stage magicians of the last quarter-century.”

Doug Henning’s The Magic Show review, Vimeo.

Posted in Miracles, Movie Stars, Rationalism, Religion, Scams, Skeptics, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 14 Comments »

CNN-IBN Reports Action On Corrupt Indian Gurus

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 2, 2008

The influential media outlet CNN-IBN has just come out with a series of articles on the increasing exposure of ‘godmen’ in India.

What will not be so obvious is the courage of those in journalism, the judiciary, police forces and so on who are putting themselves in danger when they attempt to confront the forces of corruption.

The links to the CNN-IBN reports are immediately below, and beneath these are links (with quotes) to a number of articles in Call for Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba. These span many months, and hold out the hope that the forces of anti-corruption and of those who uphold the justifiable Indian pride in her great and varied culture will be able to triumph.

Even as I write there are reports that India has the best human rights record in Asia. This will not have been achieved without the cost of tremendous courage and sacrifice – much of it never recordable.

With India on her way to becoming a superpower, a great contribution she can make – one that can indeed shame those countries which flaunt their democratic traditions – is to clean up her ‘house’ and set an example of flourishing democratic achievements. For decades, the profoundly failed guru, Sathya Sai Baba, has been saying that he will first clean up his ‘own backyard’. He has made all too little dent but India does not need him. She has, down millennia, furnished the worthy aims that he uncontroversially preaches. She has long abounded in great exemplars. It is goods delivery well in excess of all the preaching by her sometimes shady and failed gurus that is needed.

In her rich and marvelous multiculture, these qualities can be asserted by any irrespective of culture, class or creed .

…………….

CNN-IBN Reports just released

Self-styled godmen under increasing scrutiny

Fri, Aug 01, 2008 at 21:34, Updated at Fri, Aug 01, 2008 in Nation India section

Framed or foul play? Asaram followers left wondering

Fri, Aug 01, 2008 at 21:16, Updated at Fri, Aug 01, 2008 in Nation sectio. Tags: Asaram Bapu, Ashram , New Delhi

Journalists protest against media attack in Gujarat.

CNN-IBN, Sat, Jul 19, 2008 at 18:53 in Nation section

Spiritual guru’s followers brutally attack journos

Fri, Jul 18, 2008 at 23:17 in Nation section

…………….

Further related articles at Call for Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba at: https://barrypittard.wordpress.com

These articles tyically refer to the poor, but apparently slowly improving, India media showing with regard to running news inimical to the most powerful Indian gurus, of whom Sathya Sai Baba has long been the most powerful of all, worshipped by millions as God.

Supercool Indian Gurus Under Fire

The following readings indicate two-way pulls occurring in India – towards gurus and the extraordinary power many of them have, down millennia, wielded, and away from them

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

Many Indian journalists and editors and others know of the profound extent of the cover up by the then powerful Home Minister S.B. Chavan, and central, Andhra Pradesh State and local governments. It is a pity that very few have had the courage to speak out publicly on the issue, as has former Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary V.P.B. Nair, who was in office at the time of the killings. It is a sad commentary that very few had the courage in speaking out displayed by those such as Nair and B. Premanand. See the BBC Film Clip of V.P.B. Nair making his statement

The Guru Trap. Will India Be Forever Trapped?

Tehelka is regarded by many observers as one of few newspapers in India which can show some investigate clout and courage. It has sustained tremendous pressure by Indian governments and other power brokerage forces in India. Below is an excerpt from Tehelka, which points the need for India to come clean and act decisively about her frequent cultivation and protection of nefarious gurus. Sathya Sai Baba gets a reference.

‘Moon Mission of Sathya Sai Baba’. Re Merinews Article

Noting that the Indian news service Merinews.com contained an article by Natteri Adigal which gave me a brief mention, I responded.

This was, Moon mission of Sathya Sai Baba: Only for the faithful! by Natteri Adigal, Thursday, 29 November 2007

Is Sai Baba’s Governmental Influence ‘Miraculous’?

Yesterday’s blog, HERE, noted the Indian magazine Business Standard news current report that the Sathya Sai Central Trust is putting Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi airport up for sale. It was revealing to find an old 1998 Indian Express report that saw corrupt links between Sai Baba’s chief representatives and a then Civil Aviation boss. Most Indian publications have long suffered their publisher’s censorship against reports adverse to Sathya Sai Baba. As the Editor of one of India’s leading newspapers told me: Sai Baba is too powerful, with so many devotees all over India. Likely to have been all too little noticed, then, was a report filed in the Indian Express in February 1998 by reporter Swati Chaturvedi. It points to corrupt origins in the sanctioning of the Sathya Sai airport. What the Swati Chaturvedi article does not mention is that the then Civil Aviation Secretary, M.K. Kaw, is a Sathya Sai Baba devotee.

Sai Baba’s Airport Up For Sale, Reports Business Standard

business-standard.jpg

Sai Baba`s airport up for sale

S Kalyana Ramanathan / Chennai October 31, 2007

“Trust puts floor price at Rs 600 crore

The airport’s owner, the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, which manages the religious and philanthropic assets and work of Sri Sathya Sai Baba, has invited bids for it and put the floor price at Rs 600 crore”

Indian Nuclear Scientist Now Sai Baba’s Global Radio Chief

These days Sai Baba’s chief international propagandist (via Sai Global Harmony and WorldSpace International Satellite Radio Service) and deputy head of the immensely wealthy and influential world Sathya Sai Organization, Dr G. Venkataraman, was a top Indian nuclear scientist
Top Vajpayee Minister Thinks BBC Was Plotting

For a glimpse at the clearly morally bankrupt showing of the Vajpayee government on many allegations facing Sathya Sai Baba, see the video clip from the BBC’s The Secret Swami (2004), HERE

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

The report below, I have excerpted from the DNAINDIA news service. It indicates that Sathya Sai Baba’s chief translator and personal India and international emissary, Professor Anil Kumar, has acknowledged the extraordinary traffic and crowd snarls occasioned by Sai Baba’s trip to his private airport at Puttaparthi.

It is reported that India’s most famous and controversial guru was at the airport in his car on the evening of Thursday October 4, 2007, which got badly detained by unruly crowds. He would be present, it was believed, to preside over a profound mass vision that he, as God, would perform. An Indo Asian News Service (IANS) staff writer reported …

P.N. Bhagwati, India’s Ex-Chief Justice: Wild, Reckless Claims

P.N. Bhagawati, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, a key figure on the Sathya Sai Central Trust (India) has also long been on the Board of Directors of The Times of India

Indian Gurus Stifle India’s Chance To Excel

“Watershed year for Indian law” reports BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder
“For many, 2006 has been a watershed in Indian legal history”, states Sanjoy Majumder, Friday, 5 January 2007, BBC News, Delhi:
For the first time, a serving cabinet minister (Shibu Soren), was given life imprisonment for murder. Under a fortnight later, a cricket star and MP (Navjot Singh Sidhu) was jailed for manslaughter. Majumder reports “A recent study suggests that nearly a quarter of the country’s MPs are facing criminal charges ranging from murder to extortion and even rape”, and that “India’s courts are estimated to have a backlog of some two million cases”. See useful BBC News links about corruption in India
here.

Gurubusting Sathya Sai Baba

Breaking decades of virtual Indian media silence on comment critical of Sathya Sai Baba, a number of major Indian news organizations have run (mostly November 22, 2006) the Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) report on Paul Lewis’s article in The Guardian,The Indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards’“…
Sai Baba’s “Back Yard” Still A Mess

India A Mature Democracy? BBC Probes

Would many Indian politicians, notorious for their extreme corruption, dare expose the foreign goose that lays the (cosmic!) golden egg? Driving this question would have reinforced the producer Eamon Hardy’s original query about whether India is a mature democracy.

View The Secret Swami HERE. Available in broadband and modem. Read:

The BBC’s The Secret Swami – A Revision.

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

Who In India Will Stand out Against Abuses?

According to reports by Sanjoy Majumdar, BBC New Delhi and Tim Sullivan of Associated Press, there have been some recent populist stirrings in India against corruption and its cover-up.  Not that there have not long been those Indians who have stood up valiantly against these. One may hope that the groundswell will come to include corrupt gurus

Will India’s New Backlash Against Corruption Lash Sathya Sai Baba?

“Watershed year for Indian law” reports BBC’s Sanjoy Majumder
“For many, 2006 has been a watershed in Indian legal history”, states Sanjoy Majumder, Friday, 5 January 2007, BBC News, Delhi:
For the first time, a serving cabinet minister (Shibu Soren), was given life imprisonment for murder. Under a fortnight later, a cricket star and MP (Navjot Singh Sidhu) was jailed for manslaughter. Majumder reports “A recent study suggests that nearly a quarter of the country’s MPs are facing criminal charges ranging from murder to extortion and even rape”, and that “India’s courts are estimated to have a backlog of some two million cases”. See useful BBC News links about corruption in India
here.

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Posted in Religion, Social and Politics, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 7, 2007

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

………………………………………………………………………………………

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

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


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

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

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

Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

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

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

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

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

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

Golden Glitter For Sai Baba's 83rd Birthday

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

But then see the article: 

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

 

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

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

Vastly Costly Monuments Glorifying Sai Baba

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

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

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

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

Twin Palace. Sai Baba Lives Here

Efforts to Globalize Sathya Sai Baba with World Radio Station

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

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

Government Inaction on Powerful Cults

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

Followers Believe Sathya Sai Baba Will Rule World

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

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

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

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

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

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Further Reading

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

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

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

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

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Video Resources

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs)

at the BBC’s perfectly reasonable questions about accountability

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

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

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

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

……………………………………………………

General
Excerpt From Public Petition

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

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

There is a Spanish version available:

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

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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

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

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