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

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Sathya Sai Baba Badly Failed. E.g., See Inspiring Tedx Talk On ‘The Ugly Indian’ Movement

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 12, 2015

Barry PittardHaving lived for years in India, and feeling, on the one hand, great love for her people and culture and, on the other, profound abhorence for the corruption among her elites and institutions, I was deeply moved by this Tedx talk. It is truly positive and inspirational. And, the practical actions – e.g., the concept of ‘spotfix’ – to which the talk refers, represent a marked departure from Sathya Sai Baba’s profound failure – amidst his endless moralising and vast, wasteful pomp and ceremony – to effect, as he promised to do within his own lifetime, India’s spiritual, moral and physical uplift.

Note at the Tedx website:

Published on 27 Oct 2014

 This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. The Ugly Indian is an anonymous collective that does not talk to media, wants no publicity and works with the motto – Only Work No Talk. However, they made an exception for TEDxBangalore so that they could open up the question of why we as Indians are okay with filthy public spaces? The tragedy of the commons – can we change it to the victory of the commons?

There’s a silent revolution brewing in India, and it’s called The Ugly Indian. It is anonymous, faceless and leaderless, and has seen thousands of citizens coming out to fix local civic problems following a simple motto: Kaam Chalu Mooh Bandh. Only Work No Talk. What started off as a series of social experiments in Bangalore in 2011, to see what it takes to change everyday ugly Indian behaviour in public spaces (littering, spitting paan, public urination and more), has now transformed into a nation-wide movement that is spreading virally – both on social media, and on the ground. The centrepiece of the TUI approach is the ‘spotfix ‘ where ugly spots are ‘fixed’ by citizens. There is no activism, no sloganeering, no lecturing, no finger-pointing and no ideological debates – just a sincere attempt to solve problems by focusing on a spot – using one’s own time, hands and money.


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Nancy Wake, WW2 Australian Heroine – A Timeless Role Model

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 11, 2011

In my own country, Australia, but in other countries too, there is mourning for one of the most magnificent and most highly-decorated war heroines that any country has produced – Nancy Wake. An Australian in the French Resistance, a courier, spy, and fighter against Nazi Germany, she fought behind the lines in France.

Nancy Wake, Great Australian Heroine of The French Resistance, World War II.

The Gestapo code-named her ‘the White Mouse’, referring to her extreme elusiveness in the field. Before the outbreak of war, she saw Jews bound to massive wheels in Vienna, on which they were whipped. She vowed that she would do something to expose such vicious inhumanity.

To those whom I have been addressing in my last blogs, for example the Sathya Sai college boys (now long adult), I commend that they read even the briefest of the abundant news articles in the world news since last Sunday, when she died aged 98. Perhaps they might be challenged to consider that it is by honest, decisive, strong action, rather than by cover up behind flowery words and sweet smiles, that society can be changed for the better.

Since I was sixteen, I loved reading of India’s great freedom fighters, and a delight of my life would be to find that my former students among the many boys I taught at the Sri Sathya Sai College in Whitefield (Kadugodi or Belatur to be more precise), via Bangalore, South India, had, at last, turned out even the slightest bit like these heroic figures. Frankly – apart from some exceptions – I have my grave doubts.

From where I stand, I see that, after all these years of their glacial silence about the sexual and other crimes that they know have been perpetrated against either themselves or others who were around them, they have not honoured the words that they were so fond uttering – such as the telling of the truth, fearlessly. Or conjoining word and deed in right conduct. Or showing compassion for those who suffer. Or suporting those who have raised, and continue to raise, their voices.

True enough, different people come out of trauma at different rates of recovery. But I think that this fact, although true, can also be made one of the worst excuses for inaction, which allows perpetuation of the injustices.

I would like to see those ‘old boys’ get a bit of a wriggle on, and realize that they are immature boys no longer, but grown men who need, by now, to have developed a sense of social and moral responsibility. I would like to see them come good and make a courageous attempt to redress some of the great wrong that they were so profoundly enmeshed in.

Such an example of the ‘right action’ that Sai Baba so often preached about, but did not practise, would justify my old and great hope in my teaching period at the college (1978-79) that these fellows would one day become men of spirit, strength and integrity.

Some of their peers are responding to the sort of conscience call that Robert Priddy and I have put out (and, from the very beginning of the Sai cult exposure, Glen Meloy and Hari Sampath and other former devotees from various professions, trades and cultural backgrounds).

This is to say – for these ex-students to be plucky enough to make a clean breast concerning the gross and evil culture of sexual abuse, the hiding, the secrecy, the bullying, the bribery, and the bad faith that have existed in the deeply corrupted Sathya Sai system of education. Many of these former students know that things were not right. They are still not right. They know that both the Indian and international leadership of the Sathya Sai Organization have profoundly covered up the many scandals. Even though Sai Baba is dead, his co-abusers are still very much alive, many of them in positions of great power. Some of them were intimate participants in the ammoral sty that Sathya Sai Baba built and operated, aided by certain of his teachers and others, in the spurious name of some sort of divine experience.

One may hope that intelligence, if not conscience, comes to the fore before subpoenas start having to be slapped. We are on the way. (See my recent blogs).

They know perfectly well that many boys (among them the so-called ‘form boys’, or homosexual pets) were often and repeatedly sexually abused. And that there were other cruel and unusual practices. Boys who were well-informed knew of various cover ups. Some knew of the faking of materializations, and of the way in which Sai Baba and his servitors would set up wealthy individuals from various countries so as, stealthily, to extract large donations and favours of various kinds. They knew that boys, and now and then a teacher, had been cruelly cast aside like rag dolls when their use as sexual playthings was over. Some know, more recently of Sathya Sai Baba’s fits of sobbing. They knew of towering fits of rage – which boys and well-informed parents and others in more inner circles round Sai Baba passed off as, for example, “Swami in his Shiva aspect”, etc., etc. Some knew that terribly concerned parents from various countries withdrew their boys from the college.

In my mind’s eye and ear, I still see and hear those boys whom Sathya Sai Baba hand-picked to give talks endlessly, like he himself, extolling fearlessness in speaking the truth. However, from where I stand, there are plenty of those with their heads still – after all these years – ducking for cover. Still enjoying the wealth and status that having been at a prestigious Sathya Sai Baba education institute has conferred (often not by merit alone but by influence). Still failing to acknowledge that sexual abuse has devastating and long-lasting effects. Still selfishly thinking of their own skin, and not of their many peers who were stricken. Still in psychological denial of their own warped sexuality. Or of their witnessing the effects of this in their peers.

….. Still refusing to act from the knowledge that IF they would cooperate in tearing down the iron curtains of cover up in regard to sexual abuse they would be doing a huge service to society …….

As I mentioned, I used to rejoice in reading of the exploits of India’s great freedom fighters. All who seek for gutsy role models might consider contemplating of just a few of the many:  Rani Lakshmi Bai, Sarojini Naidu, Sucheta Kripalani, Mahatma Gandhi, Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose ……

Anyway, many of my ‘old boys’ used to listen to my recommendations for good reading. I now suggest they read for fifteen minutes or preferably longer about Nancy Wake. It strikes me that they may be more ready, after all their years of frigid inaction, and witnessing the vast pomp and disgusting glitter and falsity of Puttaparthi, to decide that it is time to do something strong and decent which will challenge India and the world to face and address the great pestilence of sexual abuse.

If anyone knows the hypocrisy and spiritual betrayal it involves, they would have to be in a prime position to acknowledge, share and begin to heal their experiences. For any such contingency, outstanding, properly chartered sexual abuse authorities in various countries stand ready to be of assistance, and former leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization, Robert Priddy ( I ( can confidentially inform of these resources.


Nancy Wake, ‘The White Mouse’. By Barry Pittard

It is always those like Nancy Wake

Who take the lead to save the day

From the bullies and the thieves who march to take

Peace from the world all away

It is always those, the bold, the awake

Dare halt the robotic dumb cannonade

True grit a pearl makes in the Nancy Wakes

You might think they come Heaven-made

Proud Nancy saw Nazi scapegoats paraded

Like in some cattle-show whipped and degraded

As the giant, loud torture wheel rotated

She swore to fight such hatred

When sore whipping-wheels with people bound

Stops for a while, you might think Peace is found

But there’s always some runts, some dummkopf hounds

To snarl and shove people around

The Gestapo priced Nancy at five million francs

Against her few paltry pounds to silence their tanks

But a White Mouse only costs a free people’s thanks

Against the toxic prattlings of cranks

Some lands gave Nancy their highest awards

But the Canberra runts had hearts made of board

And proud Nancy, she of the flaming sword

Explained where to “shove their award”

She told them: “Be thankful it’s not a pineapple”!

And: “To stick their medals where the monkey stuck its nuts”!

Proud Nancy was proud of her love of life

And death was not death when she conquered dark fright

Though a vintage heart sinks or else a bullet or a knife

The White Mouse still lives in starlight

To proud Nancy, Adieu! But not Adieu to her pride

Of white mice that are still behind the lines

Always, there’ll be bullies and thieves to be defied

And wheels to be halted, and swines

. The White Mouse has gone behind the lines

Scurrying into starlight

With high heart singing:

“Freedom is the only thing worth living for”

Barry Pittard, Australia

(Copyright protected, Australasian Performing Rights Association, APRA)

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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Calling All Who Wish To Attest, In Public Or In Private, Against Sathya Sai Baba Cult

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 24, 2011

We very much have in mind going after many who have aided the profound Sathya Sai cult cover ups.

These include officials, past and present, in the Sathya Sai Central Trust, and the international Sathya Sai Organization, and the Sathya Sai Society of America, and officials in areas such as Indian local, state and central governments, past and present.

The miscreants should not make the mistake of thinking that their old methods of hiding and threatening and using their influence at levels of great political and government power will continue to succeed. Which is to say their use of tactics which would appall decent rank-and-file members of the international Sathya Sai Organization!

These power brokers and other miscreants should also think, correctly, that those involved in legal proceedings on our side have vast financial reserves. (Not of course illicitly and secretly hoarded up like their late guru did with treasures of almost unimaginable scores of millions of dollars worth).

Those offenders in India should think, correctly, that there are Indians at high levels indeed, among others, who are ready to assist us, and that we have already made meaningful plans with them.

The wrongdoers should all begin to think of their conscience. If they have one. And of the honor of their families. And of the feelings, too, of their peers in their professions, trades and wider communities.

They may like to consider that there could be avenues of repentance and even some kind of atonement for their own terrible deeds. These offenses include turning a blind eye to those around them who perpetrated the crimes and spiritual betrayals. Some persons may like to assist us substantively. They can write to Robert Priddy or me, Barry Pittard or Jay Narain c/o the Hunt and Hunt law firm, Australia, which is a distinctive leader in the legal world, and has strong outreach into South Asia.

But all should think of the awesome power of the subpoena. And of gaol sentences, one of which we have already secured – in the case of a foremost Sathya Sai Baba officials. There are many more of them in whom we have keen interest.

All of us should ask:  are we prepared to see our children – or see anyone else’s children – in education venues where teachers sexually and in other ways abuse them? Are we prepared to tolerate education authorities and trusts who, once alerted with compelling evidence, fail in their due diligence and duty of care.

And think, too, of the fact that the attention of many of the decent jurisprudential forces in India (and the interest from the law profession in the Commonwealth within which Indian law has close ties) will be, in these matters, increasingly alert to our large-scale challenge, in regard to the Sathya Sai cult, and to its aiding and abetting of corruption in the Indian judiciary.

And think, moreover, about the new and powerful tide of anti-corruption crusades in India. And, given these changes brought by vast public outcry, think of the more awakened forces for proper process within the Indian legal system.

Offenders in Sathya Sai Baba’s cult, and those who, who by their refusal to act with integrity, allowed their ascent, will need to consider the power of the international media. With our extensive cooperation, it has exposed the Sathya Sai cult and its late, former head, Sathya Sai Baba, in a manner that did the cult great damage. Its recruiting efforts (although it has long and misleadingly said that it does not recruit) have suffered badly. And, in consequence, Sathya Sai Centers have severely depleted. Some of its most prominent and respected leaders have resigned.

These damages, unless the Sathya Sai community comes to its senses, and acts with as much integrity as it can muster, can now fairly be expected to be a great many times compounded.


Calling all who are thinking of Class Action Litigation, Police Investigation, Whistleblowing, against Sathy Sai Baba interests, etc

By no means is pursuit of justice regarding the Sathya Sai cult confined to sexual abuse of boys and young men – extensive and of long duration though this has been. In the next days and months (and years, if that is what it takes)  Robert Priddy and I shall be detailing other types of grave wrongdoings about which, for long years, those in the Sai cult, or who subsequently left it, and others, have had deep concerns.

To begin with, so as to set up professional security systems, those who may wish to be informed of the legal options that they may wish to assist with can contact us. We give our promise of confidentiality and sensitivity – as has long been Robert Priddy’s and my case – towards those survivors and other witnesses to the Sathya Sai cult’s international and enormous derelictions of duty of care.

To do this assists us, our legal teams and the courts to act quickly, so as to make it more difficult for any who are bent on destroying evidence, or intimidating or bribing witnesses or attempting to destroy documents and money trails, and so forth.


Further Related Reading

Oprah Winfrey Show On Male Sexual Abuse: Sathya Sai Baba Cult Survivors Should Watch

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 21, 2011

Another Sathya Sai Baba Multi Million Haul Found At Puttaparthi

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 20, 2011

Young Male Sex Abuse: Legal ‘Locomotive’ Hurtles Towards Sai Baba’s Accomplices

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 19, 2011

Young Male Sex Abuse: International Legal Challenge Will Confront Key Sathya Sai Baba Men

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 19, 2011

Towards Accountability Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Accomplices: A Call To Legal Action

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 16, 2011

For Those Connected With Sathya Sai Education Institutions: A Reckoning Time

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 16, 2011

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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Related TAGS:  Oprah Winfrey,Oprah Winfrey Show, Sexual Abuse, Homosexual Abuse, Child Safety, Turley Law Firm, ISKON, International Society For Krishna Consciousness, Hare Krishna, Cults, Sects, Child Abuse, Childrens Rights, Human Rights, Sri Sathya Sai Organization, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Sathya Sai College

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Sathya Sai Baba College Teachers Angry At “Illegal” Non Payment And Sacking

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 12, 2011

News Flash – Today ……

Scarcely a few days pass before there is yet another series of revelations about the Sathya Sai institutions. In the past, Sai Baba devotees have been extremely remiss to speak out about the negative experiences they have had of the various sections of his organization as being e.g., “Baba’s Leela”, “Swami’s Test of our faith”, “Bhagavan’s Lesson”, etc., etc., ……

Anything that is remiss, ugly, cruel and unusual, irregular, and so forth, has long been passed over with a profound sense of psychological denial, or, in other cases, because those who have been outraged have not wanted to cause difficulties to themselves, families or friends. Sai Baba would commonly say – don’t criticize, see your own reflection in what you like to criticize. In other words, a teaching which, in certain applications, may have sense, but was repeatedly perverted in a way supportive of cover up, suppression and the climate of fear that attends authoritarian rule. The outcome has been, all along, a far-reaching denial of perfectly normal, legal entitlements, what to mention serious and fundamental human rights.

One may, soon enough, witness an increased readiness for more and more Sai Baba devotees ready to give court testimony of a kind which, in the following months and years, can tear away duplicitous and complicitous mask after mask from the leaders of the Sathya Sai Central Trust and international Sathya Sai Organization.

To be sure, Sathya Sai Baba is dead. But those who acted in complicity with him and ignored –  so our considerable body of evidence goes – crimes which outrage Indian laws and constitution and ethics in countries everywhere, are still very much alive.

In the news report below, a Sathya Sai Baba college lecturer, Dr Savita Swami, Senior Lecturer, Sri Sathya Sai College, Jaipur, speaks right out. She is from an institution that is run by the Sathya Sai Central Trust. That is to say, the Trust which is repeatedly being front-paged, in an atmosphere of shocking and vast-scale scandal, in India for the last many weeks. Here are its executives – all male:

Sh. Ranjeet VithaldasConvener, Sri Sathya Sai Trust

Sh. Indu Lal ShahMember, Sri Sathya Sai Trust, Jaipur &Member, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust &Advisor, Sri Sathya Sai World Council.

Sh. S.N. BhargavaChairman, College Governing Council 

Sh. J.N. SharmaSecretary, Sri Sathya Sai College, Jaipur &Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Trust, Jaipur.

A great many who do not know the way the Sai Baba ethos and daily officialdom works, may think that there is nothing unusual about Dr Savita Swami, a part of the Sathya Sai institutional framework, being outspoken. In fact, such a pronouncement is extremely rare. She is a part of the highly integrated Sathya Sai education system. Her college prospectus proclaims that it aims to embody the ancient aspiration of  “Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktaye” – education which liberates. The college ventures this:  “Our own modern correlative of providing to the students that education which not only liberates but also empowers”.

Well, notoriously, the prospectuses of education institutions are, the world over, cases of promises vastly exceeding performance, and ideals that bear scant touch with the real world. But, given that the Sai Baba system, promises far more than any other institution – namely, the direct guidance of the Lord of Lords – the claims are terribly tall, and, rather, are mere plays with words. The typical flowery rhetoric gave me discomfort when I was teaching in the Sathya Sai education system – at the Sri Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore (1978-9), even though, at the time (and, mea culpa, for twenty-five years!) I believed that Sathya Sai Baba was the embodiment of what I then conceived as ‘Divine’.

But such education aims are simply not achievable when one is forbidden to speak out. To question. To debate. To fearlessly hold a point of view. When one is not empowered and therefore not liberated in any meaningful sense. The constraint is a terrible one, which shackles body, mind and spirit.

This is a Soviet-style, heavily hierarchic, top-down organization where there has long been a terrible price for those who do speak out. They are post-haste flung out of the Sathya Sai Organization or threats are made which cause many individuals to cower and recant against their own deeper stirrings of conscience.

However, in these days of swift and remarkable sea change in matters relating to Sai Baba’s organization, I suggest that increasingly many more ‘lower echelon’ Sai Baba organisation members will emerge to have their say. (From what I hear informally, I understand that this uprising of dissent against the Sai Central Trust will, in a number of other cases, include the presence of lawyers). Dr Swami says:

“If it were a private institution we’d have understood but its 90 per cent aided, they have to give only 10 per cent. How can there be a financial crunch then? There is no financial crunch,” said Dr Savita Swami, Senior Lecturer, Sri Sathya Sai College, Jaipur.

I suspect that Dr Savita Swami is an early symptom of a phenomenon in the rank-and-file world of Sai Baba devotion that I think will, soon enough, swing into action. In my blog of earlier today, I pointed out:

“One factor that may somewhat save the day could well be the actions of those Sai Baba devotees who have had their eyes at least somewhat opened, particularly those many who appear to have put up with more than enough from figures such as R.J. Ratnakar and V. Srinivasan, who are on the profoundly untrustworthy Sai Trust”. 

See:  Will Andhra Pradesh, South India, Only Appear To Address Sathya Sai Baba Scandals?


Oneindia News

Sathya Sai College in a financial crunch? Teachers cry foulc with

Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 10:52 [IST]

Jaipur, Jul 12: The Sri Sathya Sai College has run into functional and financial trouble after it illegally fired 15 staff members, including 11 lecturers.

According to the college, the staff was fired for financial issues but teachers beg to differ on the same.

“If it were a private institution we’d have understood but its 90 per cent aided, they have to give only 10 per cent. How can there be a financial crunch then? There is no financial crunch,” said Dr Savita Swami, Senior Lecturer, Sri Sathya Sai College, Jaipur.

Teachers also said that the college owed each of them Rs 2 lakh and only 66 percent of them were given their salaries since 2008.

The college has a different story to say. According to the institution, the money taken from teachers were donations, while the latter say that money was taken from them on the pretext of bringing the college out of crisis.


Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

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

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Is Sathya Sai Baba’s Survival Divine? But Treatment Keeps Many Elderly Sick Alive

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 14, 2011

When contrasted with the critical and prolonged illness of Sathya Sai Baba, many texts from his discourses are to be seen as mere hyperbole or some form of belief system that he, who claims to be perfection itself, cannot sustain in his own case. He says:

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


“Desire to which you are too fondly attached breeds anger and its nefarious brood. Discard it and you can have perpetual youth! The Aanandha that the Aathman can manifest will keep age and ageing away!” Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Prashanthi Nilayam, 22 Feb 1971. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.

See: Sick and Ailing Sathya Sai Baba 85. His Promises to Look Young Have Failed

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 24, 2010

Sathya Sai Baba’s  Hospital at Puttaparthi

Although it is widely known that most of the Media in India will not go up against Sai Baba’s and his core servitors’ political and religious clout, the following two reports have a touch of realism about them – very different to the positive spin which one finds in Sathya Sai Organization communiques as well as in rank-and-file devotee responses to be seen across the internet. The latter leave out of account that medical science, rather than their guru’s divine power, is sustaining this patient. With all the advanced care that teams of foremost doctors from India can provide, Sathya Sai Baba’s survival factor is likely to be increased.

The devotee reactions make it sound as if doctors around the world, routinely, are unable to keep elderly and very sick patients alive.

DECCAN HERALD.   Thursday 14 April 2011

Docs fret over Baba’s sluggish recovery

Chethan Kumar,Bangalore, Apr 12 (PTI)

16 days in hospital, the spiritual guru’s condition remains critical

For the first time since Sathya Sai Baba was admitted to the hospital, doctors treating him have

expressed concern over his condition.Sai Baba, undergoing treatment for past 16 days at the

Sri Sathya Sai Baba Institute of Higher Medical Sciences at Puttaparthi in Andhra Pradesh,

on Tuesday continued to respond to treatment, but the pace at which he is improving has

worried the doctors.

“His response to the treatment is positive but sluggish, which is a bit of a cause for worry

for the team of doctors attending on him… he continues to be in a critical state of health,”

Hospital Director A N Safaya stated in the official health bulletin issued on Tuesday morning.

Safaya’s statement assumes importance as none of the doctors on the panel had so far expressed

any concern over Baba’s condition.

They had repeatedly maintained that “he is critical but responding well.”

A slight improvement in his condition last Wednesday had given the doctors

hope that he would get better further and tide over the trouble.

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BBC-Named ‘The Secret Swami’, Sathya Sai Baba Hospitalized and Fighting For Life

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 6, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba is now kept alive by, according to his medical specialists, “assisted ventilation through ventilator and CRRT, a slow dialysis process to assists kidneys” .

In having to report the health bulletins emitting from Puttarthi, the Indian media – so remiss in reporting anything inimical to Sathya Sai Baba – are, of course, given that he may die at any moment, going to have to do their best to get the facts right.

Sathya Sai Baba's Puttaparthi Hospital. Main funding US Billionaire Isaac Tigrett

However, with the rare exception like the mass circulation magazine India Today, it has signally failed to look for or tell the facts. There has grown the irony that NRI’s (non-resident-Indians) can read of the revelations about Sai Baba of a sort suppressed in the Indian media. But millions in India cannot. It is the media outside India which has investigated the many and serious allegations against Sathya Sai Baba, such as wide-scale, serial sexual molestation of boys and young men, implication in the cover up of murders in his bedroom in 1993, and other scandals.

Those wishing to investigate the antecedents of Sathya Sai Baba’s physical and mental health problems will need to extend their investigations a number of years back. But one of many examples of the ‘cracks’ appearing is, fortunately for the forces of openness and accountability, caught forever in BBC footage. Two major revelations occurred. The first was that of Sai Baba’s cheating in the supposedly miraculous production of the Siva Lingam. See: Sai Baba No Shiva. Gold From His Gut Is Regurgitator’s Trick. The second was the (strictly speaking) inane statement he made, when indeed many such statements have otherwise been suppressed by Puttaparthi authorities. See my article: The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements.











After returning to the Puttaparthi stage, having earlier fainted, Sai Baba tells the crowds (as noted in The Secret Swami):

“Out of the stomach emanated Shiva Lingas of the weight of three tonnes. That’s the reason why some strain on the face and the body”

In the huge efforts of networked former Sathya Sai Baba followers from many countries to get through to world media, UNESCO, governments and institutions, we sought out those known for both high professional repute and strong investigative capability. Earlier approaches – circa 2000 – had been made to the BBC to no avail. Then, in November 2003, BBC producers contacted me (first, via Iris Asic). They said they would also contact various Sathya Sai Baba officials and other followers.

We were successful in attracting extensive response of the BBC, CBC, ABC, SBS, DR, Atul TV, India Today, Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian,, the Age, Australian Financial Review, Gatopado, West Australian, (Adelaide) Advertiser, Gatopardo, and newspapers in Europe, Canada and and still others.

For an outstanding and profoundly sacrificial advocate on behalf of Sathya Sai Baba’s many victim of sexual and other types of abuse, see: Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

They did indeed. At the beginning of 2004, as soon as BBC producer Eamon Hardy made it clear to the ashram authorities that BBC would like from Puttaparthi an official reaction to the worldwide allegations of sexual abuse being made against Sathya Sai Baba, the team was at once evicted from the ashram by the Secretary of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, K. Chakravarthi.

(If I may indulge a retired teacher’s memories, in which former students good bad and indifferent float about one’s psyche like figures in heaven and, occasionally, hell, one of the many joys of my teaching at the Sathya Sai College in Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India, in the seventies was to teach Chakravarthi’s son, who subsequently did well at Oxford University. But there is sadness in my heart that families have been torn because the Sai Baba cult has inflicted such ethical compromize in individuals who might otherwise have conducted themselves well.  See: Sathya Sai Baba 85th Birthday No Celebration For Those He Has So Badly Hurt. Posted by Barry Pittard on November 23, 2010).

But, along with the bolting of Puttaparthi gates, there was also the bolting of the ‘horse’. As the BBC team retreated, the cameras already had damning footage in the can. The BBC team had already been accorded a rare, and perhaps unique, permission to televise what, for millions in India, is the their peak festival, Mahasivrathri. The Indian television company Sanskaar TV also was permitted to televise this event. My take is that, at this time of intense adverse international exposure of the Sai cult, the Sai elders sought to wrest back some advantage, and show the – now heavily assailed and supposed – ‘Glory of Puttaparthi’.

In 2004, as caught by BBC and Indian television cameras, Sai Baba not only produced one lingam, but, if we take his officials’ word for it, two more. According to Sai Baba’s chief translator and also a world-travelling emissary Professor Anil Kumar in his words to the crowds, Sai Baba privately manifested two more ‘atma lingams’ off-stage. The public ‘miracle’ he performed, to the surprise of many, in terribly fumbling and absent-minded fashion. There have been many incidents that have revealed Sai Baba’s declining faculties. These mental and physical shortfalls his officials, rather ineptly, try to mask. At large, Sai devotees keep a numbed silence, or attribute it all to ‘Baba’s Leela’.

Datta, Tanya In the BBC’s The Secret Swami, the interviewer Tanya Datta comments:

“To the alarm of the crowd suddenly Sai Baba collapsed. His huge coterie of staff swung into action. There was panic. An organisation used to tight control seemed to have lost its grip. Sai Baba was hastily wheeled off stage.” Later, he is carried hobbling back, with officials claiming that he manifested two more lingams offstage”. Transcript is HERE. See the whole documentary. Broadband users click HERE (80 MB). There is a small version for modem users Here (23,3 MB)
Or you can download it packed in zip file (22 MB) Here.

Returning to the Kulwant Hall stage within the next hour, to the immensely relieved audience of many thousands, a pale and shaken Sai Baba makes the unfathomable claim:

“Out of the stomach emanated Shiva Lingas of the weight of three tonnes. That’s the reason why some strain on the face and the body”

Once the gates slammed shut on it, the BBC team used a secret camera trained on highly elusive chairman of a world organization, Dr Michael Goldstein of Covena, Southern California, head of a cult that faces grave accountability and duty of care questions in India and many countries around the world.  Sanctions for the unusual use of hidden camera were obtained by the producers from top echelon BBC management and legals.

The Sathya Sai Organization, despite many claims not to recruit or fund raise should certainly be scrutinized by any public it operates among. In these it cultivates governments, political and institutional organs.

Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement Course

The one-hour television documentary The Secret Swami resulted.  It first screened on June 17, 2004, and was subsequently shown by cable and satellite in some two hundred or more countries. British television critics from major newspapers unanimously praised the documentary. My own reflection on it is in this article: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision. See also: BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise.

NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

For Pomp and Sai-cumstance Baba (Puttaparthi Sai)



Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

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

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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Obama India Visit: Will He Have More Serious Concerns Than Sathya Sai Baba?

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 7, 2010

U.S. President Barach Obama and his wife Michelle have just arrived in India for a 3-day visit.  Key Sathya Sai Organization figures have long sought to influence leaders in the high echelons of power. See my article, which shows how a meeting between former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was narrowly averted:  Barach Obama’s Visit To India: Will Sathya Sai Baba’s Organization Try To Capitalize?  Posted by Barry Pittard on November 1, 2010.

Sathya Sai Baba – although now known to be mentally and physically sick and  ailing has long promised that the world leaders will come to him, and that he will establish Ram Raj – that is, to  rule the world as King of Kings, Lord of Lords. But see:  See:   Sai Baba – A Degenerative Disease? and Sai Baba’s Tip To Keep Ageing Away and Sathya Sai Baba Is Fast-ailing and Sathya Sai Baba’s Slurred Speech Due To Old Age. ‘Eenadu’ News Report

An earlier article quotes from an email by Anita Sharma, pictured below handing a photo of Sathya Sai Baba to Barach Obama. Srimati Sharma, along with her husband, was part of a host committe in Pittburgh for Obama in 2008. See:  Does Obama Carry Sathya Sai Baba Photo In Wallet?  Posted by Barry Pittard on March 29, 2009.

 Anita Sharma hands Sathya Sai Baba Photo To ObamaAnita Sharma hands Sathya Sai Baba Photo To Obama

Anita Sharma’s Email (as copied to a major Sathya Sai Baba Group)

—– Mensaje reenviado —-
De: saibabanews <>
Enviado: jueves, 20 de noviembre, 2008 22:44:29
Asunto: [saibabanews] Sathya Sai Baba’s picture was given to Senator Barak Obama – Sept. 25, 2008
Sai Ram All,
I just want to share the good news that Swami is with Obama. When Obama
Came to Pittsburgh in Sept unannounced for a private meeting with host
Committee in Pittsburgh, we were invited as a part of the host committee
Team. We had an opportunity to speak to him personally for few minutes.
I gave him Sai Baba’s picture, he took it and looked at it intensely and
Asked ‘who is this’? I told him HE is my spiritual guru and am
Giving you for your guidance, good luck and protection. He put the
Picture in the pocket of his coat and told me he will always keep it.
Few hours later, my husband got a call from Obama’s campaign manager
And security people as to what was that picture about because Obama kept
That picture in his wallet. My husband explained to them that the
Picture is our spiritual master and we gave him for his good luck,
Guidance and safety. They were ok with that response.
Few days ago, my husband was invited for Obama Victory celebration and the Same campaign manager said Dr. Sharma your guru’s picture has worked.
Enjoy these four pictures.
Swami is with Obama and guiding him every step of the way. It augurs
Well for the whole mankind.
Anita Sharma
QUOTE from:  Does Obama Carry Sathya Sai Baba Photo In Wallet? 

A glance at Anita Sharma’s email (see below) is enough for anyone not a blind follower to get a glimpse of a particular phenomenon. It is one that occurs when the idolized guru figure is believed to have made an impact on this or that celebrated power figure. It is widely seen among worshippers of Sai Baba:  immediately mobiles, landlines and email systems run hot.  Ooo and ahhh – Look at the untold Grace our Guru is bestowing right round the world! Hilary Clinton wants to see Swami! Ohhh and hallelujah! and Jai Sai Ram! Did you know that I sat next to  Raisa Gorbachev in the Puttaparthi darshan and she told me that Michael Gorbachev keeps a book of Swami’s discourses by his bedside! Ooo ooo ahhh ahhh, I was at Puttaparthi when Swami sat Steven Seagal on a sort of throne next to Him. O what a Leela Swami plays! Ohooo, how wonderful it  was to see Goldie Hawn And Fergie (the) Duchess of York looking so adoringly at Swami – what a lovely role model she is! 


Dare Songstress Nora Jones Touch Sai Baba?



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

There is a Spanish version available: 



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Barach Obama’s Visit To India: Will Sathya Sai Baba’s Organization Try To Capitalize?

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 1, 2010

Note:  With the visit of U.S. President Barach Obama to India fast looming, I sent the following letter this morning.


1 November, 2010.

To Attention:  Anita Doll, Public Affairs Officer, US Embassy, Canberra, Australia.

Dear Ms Doll,

I write as an international coordinator of a network of former followers of India’s most famous religious leader, Sathya Sai Baba. The wish expressed here is that President Barach Obama’s visit to India is not in any way used by the extremely powerful Sathya Sai Baba elements or sympathizers who occupy virtually every major power echelon in India.

The way in which, with the assistance of senior diplomats, such usage was averted in the case of the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s visit to India is recorded here: Tony Blair Was to Visit Sai Baba. Plan Thwarted.

We made successful representations to the UK Government, which led – with almost last-minute advice from the British High Commission in Delhi to the then British Prime Minister – to the cancellation of his intended visit to Sathya Sai Baba. Blair was within minutes of proceeding to Sathya Sai Baba’s establishment at Whitefield, just outside Bangalore.

Our group reflects very wide professional backgrounds, belief systems and countries of origin, and made, among other investigations appearing in some of the world’s leading media, large contributions to the BBC documentary ”The Secret Swami’ (2004), which has been seen by mass audiences in many countries around the world. See:  BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise and The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision and BBC Footage Still Potent In Exposing Sathya Sai Sect (See Video Clips and Secret Swami Documentary).  See also: The Secret Swami summary by Robert Priddy – video clips and Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC.

Salient details of earlier actions which led to the BBC’s contact with the US State Department in reference to Sathya Sai Baba are here:  U.S. State Department Named Sathya Sai Baba To BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and here ‘The Secret Swami’ & U.S. State Department Warning against Sai Baba.  Later questioned by the BBC,

BBC’s Tanya Datta Confirms U.S. Gov. Warning On Sathya Sai Baba

                                                               (Click on photo or following link: )

the  United States Government spokesperson confirmed to the BBC (as referred to in ‘The Secret Swami’), that the person referred to in their Travel Warning to U.S. travellers was in fact Sathya Sai Baba.


CRIME IN ANDHRA PRADESH – Americans traveling to or residing in Andhra Pradesh should also be aware that there have been media and other reports of inappropriate sexual behavior by a prominent local religious leader. Most of the reports indicate that the subjects of these approaches have been young male devotees, including a number of Americans. Although these reports are unconfirmed, American citizens should be aware of this information
“CRIME IN ANDHRA PRADESH – Americans traveling to or residing in Andhra Pradesh should also be aware that there have been media and other reports of inappropriate sexual behavior by a prominent local religious leader. Most of the reports indicate that the subjects of these approaches have been young male devotees, including a number of Americans. Although these reports are unconfirmed, American citizens should be aware of this information”.


In your archives, you will find submissions made by many well-respected US citizens, led by (the late) Glen Meloy of southern California, and records of my own detailed discussion with John Peters 202-647-6179. Your other officer concerned was: Angela Aggeler 202-647-2114, who was the officer dealing with the media. Along the way, we were informed that two political officers from the US Consulate in Chennai made extensive enquiries into Sathya Sai Baba and the Puttaparthi ashram in the State of Andhra Pradesh, South India. We know from our involvement in many submissions, and via extensive reliable contacts, that a number of other governments, including my own (Australia) have also investigated Sathya Sai Baba and his international cult.

Questions have been raised in many countries, including the USA, about Sathya Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organization. Some of many areas of concern include: his large-scale, serial sexual abuse of boys and young men from many countries (including several in the USA), implication in police executions in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom in 1993 and the attendant, monumental cover-up (unsuccessfully opposed by a number of Indian senior police, journalists, a former Home Secretary and others) of these events.  See:  V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings and The Unresolved, Covered-up 1993 Murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s Bedroom Revisited.

There is also deep concern at repeated allegations down many years of Puttaparthi front-office and other ashram scams, and misappropriation of funds raised in many countries that are sent in truly prodigious amounts to the Sathya Sai Central Trust in India. See:  Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia and Donors and Would-be Donors Beware (Sathya Sai Central Trust Example).

In September 2000, after months of intense effort by former Sathya Sai Baba followers from several countries, UNESCO and its joint sponsor the University of Flinders, South Australia, withdrew sponsorship of a large international education conference on human values under Sathya Sai Baba’s aegis at Puttaparthi. After the (then) Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ian Chubb, appointed a senior Staff member to investigate, delegates from Flinders University Institute of International Education cancelled. UNESCO’s Media Advisory stated:

 “The Organisation is deeply concerned about widely reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been leveled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba.”  

UNESCO also filed a complaint against the Times of India (one of whose directors is a long-time key member of the Sathya Sai Central Trust) which gravely watered down the UNESCO Media Advisory. It subsequently printed the correct Advisory. UNESCO leaders had a number of Concerns, inter alia:  

“Certain decisions were taken by the Institute of Sathya Sai Education without consultation, such as plans to hold some of the sessions at the Ashram of the Sathya Sai movement in Puttaparthi, and the inclusion of some speakers in the conference programme without their previous consent. Furthermore, the Organization is deeply concerned about widely reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been levelled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba.””.  See:  The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory.

One notes in current news reports that the Obama India visit team is taking great care to avoid unfortunate image problems. We trust that the depth of our past submissions, and the high credibility of your country’s citizens who have made them to you, that the US State Department will ensure that any attempts by the Sathya Sai Baba Organization and its appendages to garner capital via the Obama visit are not successful.

Ms Doll, would you please assure us of your Government’s strenuous efforts to review our concerns?

Barry Pittard (Former Lecturer, Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, Karnataka, South India)



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

There is a Spanish version available: 



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A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 3

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 25, 2010

The series continues from:

A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 2. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 23, 2010.  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 1. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 20, 2010

Apart from Terry Gallagher, the other two individuals whose articles appeared in the Nexus magazine also had respected histories as Sathya Sai Baba devotees. One of the articles related the frightening escape experiences of wife and husband Gurprit and Jens Singh (Germany), who sought the assistance of the (then) Federal West German Embassy in New Delhi. I have written of this couple here: ‘BILD’ Story. “Guru Wants Sex” (Sathya Sai Baba).

The other author was Hans de Kraker (Australia). Sathya Sai Baba appointed de Kraker Western Canteen Director, a position he held from 1989 to 1997. Nexus magazine covers many stories which the media has not run or else run extensively. There is sworn testimony in both these cases.

I emailed and spoke by phone with Terry Gallagher, Hans de Kraker  and Jens Sethi, and others in different parts of the world. A group of former followers was able to obtain investigation at a most senior level by UNESCO, the U.S. State Department, Times of London, BBC, and other reputed organs. See also:

The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory

U.S. State Department Named Sathya Sai Baba To BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’

Hans de Kraker told me that he took his concerns to the former head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, T. Sri Ramanathan (a former commercial judge in Sri Lanka) and another one of the Australian Sai organization’s most prominent leaders, Dr Sara Pavan (who has spent lengthy times living at Puttaparthi, serving as a doctor in Sai Baba’s Superspeciality Hospital and as an anaesthetist at Concord Hospital, Sydney, Australia).

Hans de Kraker said that Ramanathan, who more recently has worked with senior law students at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, immediately avoided the issues, and launched into a recital of how Sai Baba had done such wonders. One example was how (not in person) Sai Baba had miraculously recovered a diary. This embarrassingly contained Ramanathan’s law students’ examination details that he had lost in Malaysia in transit to visit Sai Baba. Another story was how Sai Baba had, again miraculously, in  a hotel in Bangalore, made Ramanathan’s non-functioning tape recorder work.

When Ramanathan phoned me – at first to try to use ‘sweetness and light’ and then to make his fruitless threats of litigation against me – he told me these stories as well, and I suppose he has regaled many Sai devotees with them over the years. It seemed like a sort of litany. As long as one keeps rolling the beads, all the misgivings, all the contradictions, all the dark secrets, all the discomfort can be conveniently filtered out.

Hans de Kraker said that Dr Pavan’s response was that one does not talk of these matters (which de Kraker had raised).

This terrible dereliction of duty of care and accountability has been endemic in the international Sathya Sai Organization throughout the world. History can only but be severe in its judgement on it. The organization’s much-vaunted truth, compassion, and right conduct, among the values enshrined in its so-called “all Faiths” edifice, turn out, in this respect to be, to use a Sai Baba phrase, ‘tinsel and trash’. Or Stone pillar. Stone consciences.

Among the many documents that report Sathya Sai Baba’s grossly improper practices is a letter from Hans de Kraker.  It was addressed to David and Faye Bailey, and Faye Bailey’s son. Indeed, her son, too, had been the target of Sathya Sai Baba’s advances, according to testimony. (Apart from other documentations, the present writer had the account from the son’s sister, and both have long enjoyed a close friendship). As indeed has been typical, and constant across many years, in the accounts of so may other males from around the world have reported in their own cases.  Hans de Kraker wrote: 

There was a big power shake up in the kitchen and I had no interest to participate in the whole situation any longer. I had a chat with the leader of the group because I had not been going to darshan anymore. My last day in the ashram I talked to the leader of the group. (Editor, c.f., Veronica, long an organizer of the Western canteens see here).



Again she insists that I tell her what happened. “So did he try to have sex with you?” was the question. Tired of it all I told her what had happened. This was the evening of the fourth or fifth of January. Immediately after she has an interview with Sai Baba, by herself this time, without the rest of the group. After she comes out of the interview room, several hours later, I am summoned to an elderly gentleman from Security, whom I knew well, with whom I had built a friendship. Several years before, when I accompanied a couple from Europe, who did not speak any English, he had spent time with this couple, their three-year-old son, who had cancer and me. This gentleman looked very awkward and asked me if he could take my photo. I said of course not knowing what was happening, understanding something had gone wrong. He was accompanied by 2 seva dal’s. One them took a picture from the front and then asked me to turn to the side. When I asked my friend what was happening he nodded uncomfortable and said I don’t know.

They then escorted me to the secretary of the Ashram who told me I was ordered to leave as soon as possible. I had behaved improperly and had to leave. When I asked what the reason was he commanded that I was not allowed to ask anything, and that I was only allowed to leave. “You are to leave the Ashram. You are strongly advised not to hang around the village, to go as soon as possible to Bangalore and catch the first flight out…

I left. All my friends of the group were absolutely amazed and destroyed when they heard that I had been expelled. Except for one person…the same person who spoke to Sai Baba a few hours before. So they got rid of a possible “loose cannon”


For next installment, see:  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 4


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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