For thousands of former Sathya Sai Baba followers worldwide, there is no celebrating the late would-be ‘Avatar’s’ birthday on 23 November. Often without formally resigning, countless left his international Sathya Sai Organization. Many who had thought to join it did not do so. The cult is in terrible disarray.
I am all the more saddened at his vast betrayal, because, for two years (circa 1978-79), I lectured in the three-years Arts degree course at the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, and will never forget, as I was all too slow in discovering, his and his organization’s profound failure in duty of care for the students. See my article and the BBC television documentary, The Secret Swami: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision
I worked hard, as any conscientious teacher does, to see that the utmost dedication, trust and skill served them as of their complete birthright. I was at my most idealistic – More than just a work force, I wanted to see the building of a soul force.
After my introductory remarks, I have selected a number of my articles about the various Sathya Sai Baba birthday celebrations, mainly since 2007.
In 2001, UNESCO posted a Media Advisory:
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 had a Number of Concerns. Inter alia, its Advisory said:
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.
In September 2000, after months of extremely taxing work globally, internationally networked former Sathya Sai Baba devotees succeeded in showing our worthy professional and citizenship credentials. A small number of us coördinated the obtaining, from several countries, extensive, of qualitative documentary evidence. We did likewise in furnishing a number of governments and law enforcement agencies. An extreme difficulty we faced was the untold corruption of government and legal agencies in India. From top to bottom, these were jam-pack with Sai Baba followers. For the barest glimpse of this, see my articles:
Much of the data we submitted to well-reputed authorities worldwide was painful, private and sensitive – coming from families and survivors of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of boys and young men, and other great wrongs. As a result, UNESCO and its partner, 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. We also greatly succeeded with many of the world’s leading media. See, for example:
Since October 1999, I have been one of the most active international researchers (along with, most prominently, Glen Meloy (USA), Hari Sampath (India), Brian Steel (Australia) and Robert Priddy (Norway), yet over a decade of dealing, most often daily, with victims, families and others, I, like my colleagues, have not stopped finding ever more evidences of criminality and spiritual betrayal. It was only after the incredible revelations of Sai Baba’s hidden treasury (See: ‘Secret Swami’ (Late) Sai Baba: Vast Millions In Hoard Found Hidden In His Palace-Temple, Posted by Barry Pittard on June 18, 2011) that I took more still seriously the claim to me personally of one of the world’s foremost experts in international money trails. Now in private consultancy, trained by Scotland Yard in international terrorism and other areas, he was inspector-general of one of the world’s leading crime fighting agencies. He regarded Sai Baba as at the top of 20th century master criminals. (To any ethical, bona fide scholarly or media investigator, I am happy to share his contact details). See:
Hari Sampath: Sai Baba protected by the Supreme Court of India
Barry Pittard: Outline at Robert Priddy’s blogsite: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com/barry-pittard/
The Sai Cult’s Failure: Those Whose Perpetual Cry Is Love and Peace Are Not Loving And Peaceful
From the moment members investigated the criminal allegations and spoke against the international Sathya Sai Organization’s extreme lack of accountability and transparency, many in the Sai cult labeled and defamed them. Commonsense – what to speak of spiritual qualities of truth, right conduct, peace, and love – disappeared.
Here was an organization, which has public meetings, and which actively cultivates mainstream civic, educational and religious organizations, governments, politicians of major parties, etc. And yet it refused all proper accountability processes.
Let any other guru or organization be accountable BUT …. not this one. In typical places, like car parks, shopping centers, workplaces etc., family and friendship affiliations, devotees shunned and maligned those who questioned – those, indeed, whom they had known for decades as truthful, decent and dedicated to high ideals and actions. Terrible attacks on the former devotees sprang up on the internet and in wider communities.
The more networked former Sathya Sai Baba followers investigated the more evidence surfaced. The magnitude of the corruption is barely imaginable. By Sai Baba and his key servitors, to name but a few of the betrayals, we found profound cover up of –
- decades of widespread, serial sexual abuses of boys and young men from many countries
- the 1993 police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom
- suspicious deaths and disappearances
- vast misappropriation of funds
- scams conducted via the Puttaparthi front office, about which Sai Baba refused to act, telling deeply hurt, scammed devotees e.g., “What can I do? My hands are tied”. To which behavior, many devotees who knew the appalling facts, simply replied e.g., “It is all Swami’s leela” (God’s playfulness).
….. and all too many other grave scandals
Posted November 25, 2010
Sathya Sai Baba has said:
“In the days ahead, the whole world will be obliged to come to Prashanthi Nilayam” (p. 320 Sanathana Sarathi December 1991)
“The whole world will be transformed into Sathya Sai Organisation and Sathya Sai will be installed in the hearts of one and all”. p. 16 Sanathana Sarathi January 1999)
“In Argentina (Sathya Sai Baba) bhajans are being held in every home [cheers].” Sathya Sai Speaks, XXIII, 29:255 – 20-10-1990, on the alleged 50th anniversary of Sathya Sai Baba’s so-called ‘Declaration’ of his so-called ‘Reality’ as Avatar of all Avatars.)
Over the years, we have received various reports of Sathya Sai Baba increasingly losing a composure that has been oft-noted in him for decades. But only recently has this type of behaviour been clear for all to see, and in video footage emanating from his own camp. During his November birthday, Sathya Sai Baba – in the midst of being praised for all the good he has done – broke down and sobbed deeply and for some time. To see this video (download 3.9 Mbs), CLICK HERE
Posted by Barry Pittard on November 24, 2010
“That age has its physical and mental ravages is not the point here. Who is not privy to these? …. To which Shakespeare’s Hamlet refers in his famous soliloquy – … “The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.” The only point here is that Sathya Sai Baba has made demonstrably unreal and false statements in regard to prophecies about his own physical state.
Posted by November 20, 2011
After his death in on 24 April 2011, we have seen something of the terrible in-fighting over managerial succession at Puttaparthi, and then of the discovery – not of spiritual treasure but – untold hoarded treasure in Sai Baba’s private quarters. The international Sathya Sai Organization, despite or perhaps in part because of its soviet-style, top-down management style, is in vast disarray. See:
Posted December 11, 2010
Sathya Sai Baba’s many reported weeping episodes have taken – as from circa the year 2000 – a marked upsweep after the advent of worldwide exposure of widespread serial sexual abuse of boys and young men (See also HERE and HERE); his implication in the massive local, state and central governments’ cover up of police killings in his bedroom at Puttaparthi (See HERE and HERE and HERE); vast misappropriation of billions in funds collected worldwide (See HERE and HERE and HERE); his vast opulence in a land of great poverty, squalor, ignorance and superstition; his failed predictions (See HERE and HERE); and much else that reveals him to be one of history’s great imposters, whatever may be the good deeds that he has sparked off in many of his devotees.
Sathya Sai Baba 84th Birthday Celebrations. Will 21st Century India Tolerate The Shame That Is Puttaparthi?
Posted November 22, 2009 Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement as demonstrated by Sathya Sai Baba’s international chairman Dr Michael Goldstein of Corvina, California, USA. A BBC hidden camera (in the making of the hour-long documentary that has been seen in many countries, ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004), exposes Goldstein using appallingly bad arguments, and getting angry at the interviewer Tany Datta’s most politely-asked questions. So serious was the compelling mass of evidence from around the world of Sai Baba’s commission of many instances of serious forms of abuse (including that of boys and young men), and the extreme lack of transparency and accountability of the Sathya Sai Organization, that the BBC producers gained a very sparingly used sanction from the highest levels of BBC Management. See: BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?
Many have heard and read where he says that the world will be under his rulership, and that he will return in the name of Prema Sai Baba to complete this work. In a 1961 Discourse, he said: “I shall be in this body for 58 years more; I have assured you of this already.” (Sathya Sai Speaks, II, 18:92.) A year before, he said: “I will be in this mortal human form for 59 years more and I shall certainly achieve the purpose of this avathaar, do not doubt it. I will take My own time and carry out My Plan as far as you are concerned.” (I, 31:198; Prashanthi Nilayam 29-9-1960 – second discourse) Both these statements indicate a death date 2019 (although he would not use the ‘word’ death) of 2019. Other statements in official publications confuse the issue by stating 2022.
He had best get a wriggle on, for he is now terribly ailing. 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
Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2009
As part of his extensive and challenging opus on Sathya Sai Baba, the Australian academic Brian Steel has written about questions surrounding Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate. This appears in Chapter 5 of his ’Omniscience and Truth’ (Revised and Enlarged Version). As this Chapter is long, detailed and deals with a variety of topics, I have extracted, to coincide with Sathya Sai Baba’s November 23, 2009 birthday celebrations at Puttaparthi, the relevant section.
Posted November 28, 2009
…. representatives of the major world faiths, whom Sai Baba has long said he is bringing together in amity, are, yet again conspicuously missing from those visiting the ashram in 2009. Here is the so-called “All Faiths” obelisk, the “Sarva Dharma Stupa”. Mostly vacuous in terms of Puttaparthi’s reality, it has long stood at his main ashram, a waste of money in a wasteland of shame.Former co-founder and head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization and retired academic Robert Priddy has written of the highly exaggerated crowd numbers attending Puttaparthi occasions, such as Sathya Sai Baba’s birthday celebrations. Of his and my dear friend, the late celebrated Indian newspaper Editor, V.K. Narasimhan and some others, Priddy, former co-founder and leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization, writes:“The estimated numbers of persons during each of these celebrations was doubtless much in excess of the actual numbers. Figures of from 1 to 3 million have been suggested for the various birthdays! Sathya Sai Baba stated to several persons (Robert and Rita Bruce, V.K. Narasimhan and others) that 3 million were present, which was a total impossibility. VKN told me several times that Sathya Sai Baba regularly multiplied numbers of actual visitors by 10!“
Posted by Barry Pittard on November 25, 2008
High-powered Minister of State, Renuka Chowdhuri, has to cut 2007 for badly ailing Satya Sai Baba
For some time, he has had a mask-like face, suggestive of a degenerative disease.
Further Reading At‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’
There is no end to his failed predictions. In his February 1 16, 2007 (so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai baba said:
The guru, perhaps the most wealthy and politically powerful in India’s long history, claims that he will save the world in his own lifetime. He will, he says, preside over the greatest changes ever to occur in history
One of India’s most powerful Hindu nationalist leaders, Ashok Singhal, who has an international profile in the Hindu world, has just told an assembly of political and religious luminaries in Delhi of a prophecy he says Sathya Sai Baba shared with him. The Organiser, September 14, 2008, reports …
Posted on November 20, 2007
Sathya Sai Baba’s Imperial Decay
Pride is said to come before a fall. In the case of Sathya Sai Baba puffery and proudery now come during a fall, since we are now better placed to see the imperial decay suggested in my article The Decline and Fall of The Showman Empire. (For the busy reader, there is a condensed version, Sai Baba’s Undivine Downfall).
Pictures of Sathya Sai Baba’s Opulence and Self-glorification
For a photographic glimpse of the incredible lavish material ‘spendour of Puttaparthi’, see Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia. Or my reader may like to view some Sathya Sai Baba Chariots.
In the selfsame India, there is, with what deepest irony, a profoundly genuine splendour, down thousands of years, of saints and sages living in the utmost simplicity.
Sathya Sai Baba Expose News Extensive website – testimonies, articles, videos
Allegations concerning Sathya Sai Baba A wide range of serious exposé articles.
Ongoing Investigations into Claims and Realities Surrounding Sathya Sai Baba – a thoroughly documented scholarly website by Brian Steel.
Italian ExBaba exposé website http://www.exbaba.it
Scandinavian Sai Baba exposé websites Swedish Danish, and Norwegian (Norsk)
Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)