Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Demonization’

Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman: Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 24, 2010

Dr G.Venkataraman is about as close to Sathya Sai Baba as it is possible to get. His worldwide brief as his international broadcaster and his deputy chairmanship of the Sathya Sai Organization makes it relevant to look at his performance. The reader may keep in mind the question:  Is Venkataraman’s performance what one would expect of a chief disciple of – supposedly – God fully incarnate? Of course, even the most eminent disciples of famous spiritual leaders of the past made some bad showings – but (if the historical records are to be credited) turned out okay in the final run home. But has Venkataraman done so? He has had decades of practice for the “run home”? 

A detailed analyis of Venkatarman at work is found in Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s jointly authored, four-part article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’ .  To see his machinations in concert with the Vajpayee government and the then Director of UNESCO (which were exposed by the BBC’s David Saville), see: The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory

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Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman

“G. Venkataraman, formerly an intimate member of India’s nuclear bomb community, was Vice-Chancellor of Sai Baba’s university at Puttaparthi. He is now second-in-charge of the international Sathya Sai Organization, and head of Sai Global Harmony. The latter entity 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 aim is to penetrate to every corner of the globe. 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 …. Dr Venkataraman is tantamount to being Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘minister of propaganda’. Practically all heads of the Sathya Sai Organization are forbidden to comment on critical matters, but G. Venkataraman is an exception. The few spokesmen (and they are almost always men!) say very little, as one would expect of a virtually Soviet-style, cultic organization, with a leader and a deputy chairman who can both wax lyrical about how the former dictator of Uganda Idi Amin wept with tears of devotion over Sai Baba”.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Deputy Head, Dr G. Venkataraman, Speaks of “Mr Idi Amin”

“Dr G. Venkataraman speaks of how thrilling was Sai Baba’s account in this ‘Christmas’ 2006 discourse of his 1968 visit to Uganda! But oh, what an inspiring figure was Idi Amin to refer to in a Christmas message! In case G. Venkataraman or anyone badly informed of Idi Amin’s evil deeds and regime, here and here are BBC reports at the time of his death in August 2003 and a list of resources”.

A Bli

(Above photo – is but a graphic art impression of the Dr G. Venkataraman-Sai Baba-Idi Amin Love-Fest).

“THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND” – GOD’S ORDERS and Sai Baba 

“The issue is not about high-profile leaders who unavoidably find themselves mixing with monstrous human beings – for example, dignitaries simply going about their formal duties, such as a King, Queen, President etc. The clear issue is that both Sai Baba and G. Venkataraman enthused warmly about recollections of Sai Baba’s visit to Idi Amin in Uganda in 1968, saying how Amin and his retinue were in copious tears of devotion for Sai Baba. Amin was one of the world’s greatest monsters – causing a holocaust estimated at 400,000 people, torturing, raping, engaging in violent orgies and cannibalism. And yet  – Sai Baba (who claims to be all-knowing and God fully manifest on earth and come to save the planet before he leaves it) and Venkataraman showed the most appalling bad taste and absence of judgement”.

Sathya Sai Baba and Dr G.Venkataraman: Will They Disavow Their Idi Amin Fondness?

“Note how Venkataraman, on Sai Global Radio, refers to Mr Idi Amin. I may add that it is interesting that Amin claimed to have a direct line to God. Did he have in mind, specifically, Sathya Sai Baba? Perhaps Amin scholars may have something among their files, and can let us all know.

Sathya Sai Baba-Idi Amin Nexus. Foolish-fond Memories

Sathya Sai Baba-Idi Amin Nexus. Fond Memories

Dr G. Venkataraman, Sathya Sai Baba’s Nuclear Boon Companion

Robert Priddy is the former long-time head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway and a retired philosopher in the Social Sciences, University of Oslo. He has written insightfully on the extraordinary, often Procrustean efforts of Dr G. Venkataraman to rationalise his beliefs in Sathya Sai Baba”.

Indian Scientist Dr G. Venkataraman Accused of Plagiarism

”In his article, Venkataraman – the most gullible physicist alive? Robert Priddy (see Wikipedia entry) notes:

Dr. G. Venkataraman reviews at length developments in our scientific knowledge of the cosmos… though nothing scientific that is not found in hundreds of books and other media. Venkataraman was a physicist working for the Indian government’s nuclear programme. However, he has copied his information on astronomy from other scientific authorities. Yet he does not once attribute anything he reports to its originators or to other scientific sources! He has even plagiarised text from the Dennis Dutton website, without any mention …

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

“Despite the alarum and excursions of Dr G. Venkataraman (and informally allied Sathya Sai Baba proxy defenders on the Internet whose libels and slanders are deemed by top lawyers in three countries to be extreme, widespread and highly actionable), the BBC had every just cause to shoot clandestinely. The extensive lack of accountability, transparency and of Duty-of-Care were not only seen clearly by the BBC but have also been noted by other world leading, high quality media in several countries”.

The International Sathya Sai Organization – an accessory to a massive libel and disinformation campaign. Open letter to the Prasanthi Council – c/o Dr. M. Goldstein, Dr. G. Venkataraman and its other members. Here is a quote from that document:

“Two semi-official pro-Sai web sites – saibabaofindia.com/ and saibabalinks.org/ – which could not operate without the help of central officials of the Sathya Sai Organization, Radio Sai Global Harmony and Sai ashrams, have links to websites which libel all former members who have spoken out. Such links reveal the obvious inability of Sai representatives in these groups to reply honestly and cogently to any of the many published allegations about Sai Baba made by those who were long respected members, in some cases prominent leaders, of his international organization. Furthermore, some members link to extremist web sites which have as their primary agenda contrived attempts at character assassination of ex-followers who present critical views. The most prominent of such sites are examined here and here.”

See a list (by no means exhaustive) of typical depradations of those Sathya Sai Baba forces (and those caught up in other cults) who claim to be involved in spirituality: Dissent From Guru Cults Draws Slander and Harassment. See also, Cultic Depersonalization or Demonization of Dissenters

The one-hour BBC dcumentary, The Secret Swami (2004) on Sathya Sai Baba, is compelling, and was the work of more than seven intensive months. Its scope was, however, narrow indeed in comparison to a vast database that discloses that much else ails Puttaparthi Sai Baba and his forces such as the Prashanti Council and the International Sathya Sai Organization. See: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

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The Public Petition   

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization   

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Posted in New Age, Opinion, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 4

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 26, 2010

Continuing from: Reply To Claimer of Enlightenment (Jaani Drucker Correspondance) Part 3 …. , my response to Yaani Drucker, who claims on her website to be enlightened, and to “Have truth, will travel”. She wrote to me:

“And when we know who we are, we will know a little better who Sai Baba is. So the task at hand is to know yourself, rather than spending your time trying to pin a crime on Sai Baba. However if you wish to pursue that course, Sai Baba does say Inimical Bhakti is the fastest path to truth, so I am sure it is serving the highest good”.

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     Note 1: Ms Drucker writes that  “I am happy to discuss and debate issues. I have responded to every issue you raised”. But she had clearly not so responded in the proper sense of the word. She failed to answer points of crucial importance to those who feel deeply betrayed by leading figures in the Sathya Sai Baba movement who have long known the goodness of those who came to them in their time of greatest need. Notable among those who let parents who came to them in shock is Yaani Drucker’s husband, Professor Al Drucker, once a scientist with NASA. Ms Drucker has – correctly – said to me that he is one person and she another. However, we have on excellent and compelling record (ready if need be to show any court of law or responsible media or other bona fide researchers that he knew of the gravity of the repeated direct reports concerning Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of boys and young men. She has written to me that she had only heard “rumors”. 

Ms Drucker, with a quicksilver-like elusiveness, darts away from points. She gives over to vague abstractions, and leaves  trails of seriously undefined notions about how, if at all, her self-perceived spiritual enlightenment relates to people who need assistance with their traumas. She thinks she has the magic wand. Like other cultic apologists – but most assuredly without venom, it must be said! – she leaps to conclusion without understanding the nature of inferences, and the care needed to prevent them from being flawed. Her answers reveal no idea of what we have published, even though I have given her recondite Urls to a tiny portion of relevant documents. Those wishing to have more than one side to the Sathya Sai Baba phenomenon will require such information.  They will wish to think for themselves.

      Note 2: I had pointed out to Ms Drucker that it is important for survivors of severe trauma to seek qualified professional counseling, and also – bearing in mind that she is a public  figure – she has the responsibility correctly to model this kind of service to those who read her writings. One correspondent has written to me:

“You are not attacking Yaani, but questioning and also criticising her, which is not the same thing at all. The ideas she is promoting cause harm to others most certainly.  But she is not aware of that, as she is on a one-tract Absolute Truth trip. She can’t afford self-examination on the matter, and thus will not follow up those who have been harmed by the one she promotes and whose teaching she parrots”.

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Yaani Drucker’s statements and Barry Pittard’s responses:

This assumes that psychology has answers that TRUTH does not. I would disagree. In fact I would go as far as to say the only way to come into right relationship with any and all past traumas is to understand truly who we are”.

In actual fact, there is much impressive evidence that the body, mind and personality are one, not a dualism (ref. science of consciousness, neurology and philosophical neurology). Therefore, I want to say to you that notions which deny the interaction that goes on in the psycho-soma are very flawed, inept. And, yes, present their real dangers to human health and well-being. I do not resile from the notions of rationalization (in context) and danger.

I pray night and day for the uplift of all humanity.

Despite mammoth demonization of them, including by Sathya Sai Baba, many former devotees, too, pray as you do. They are also deeply involved in selfless service to others, as I have gathered that you are when I looked through your website. Others I’ve known of involved in the ‘Course of Miracles’ have those same deeply held attitudes and practices. Perhaps we have some former devotees involved in the ‘Course of Miracles’ – I would have to check. In any case, our range of social, cultural and educational backgrounds is tremendously wide.

I want no one raped, ever. It was a humiliating and degrading experience. I would not wish anyone to undergo such an experience for any reason. It is not justifiable nor does it have any redeeming lessons. I did use it to discover that I am not my body, and that who I am cannot be touched. In that way, everything can be used. It was not necessary toward my enlightenment. And it happened. I do not deny that it happened. In fact quite the opposite, I speak openly about it, only in hopes of helping other women to prevent drawing such experiences to themselves. How? Through a shift in consciousness from body consciousness to God consciousness.

Boys and men are raped too, may we add? And add, still further, that many individuals and families stricken by Sathya Sai Baba’s abuses have been shattered.

The second error is that I am NOT  a major Sathya Sai Baba follower.

Many Sai Baba devotees have held you as such, at least up until they learned that some changes (news of which swept wide sections of the world Sai community) overtook your Puttaparthi days. Your writings in which you refer to him in the highest terms could well convey that impression to your many admirers among the Sathya Sai fold. Your and Al’s talks – with your 1985 rape and the we-are-not-this-body themes being the focus – at Kingdom Hall in the UK in April 2000, for example, have been widely circulated, and a heroic status accorded to you. A sort of de facto ‘saint-making’ process goes on the devotees’ mind. It is a striking phenomenon, and I hope scholars and other professionals will study it.

What is more, in your writings, and in your emails to me, you extol him. You say:

“Sai Baba tells us there is no one more powerful than us”. And “Sai Baba has demonstrated powers of omniscience, omnipotence and omnipresence. I am convinced of His divinity and that everything He does is in the service of the uplift of all. He knows the past, present and future of each of us, and He knows how to transform the world into a world of peace, love and joy for all. In order to understand Baba’s actions we have to hold the big picture… And when we know who we are, we will know a little better who Sai Baba is”.

In writing to me, you still capitalize the word ‘Him’. Over the years, you keep citing him.

In reality, supposed ‘Sai miracles’ have never been subjected to the slightest proper scientific investigation. They are purely a matter of belief – and perception strongly influenced by it, and are all still open to alternative explanations. One needs, surely, to be much more cognizant than you are of how such beliefs can be generated. Your experiences supposedly proving Sai Baba’s non-body identification remind strongly of subjective illusions. It is common for one person to experience such, and not anyone else who is present. This points to the extreme power of suggestion some call ‘deep-trance hypnosis’. Those who have worshipped him as God Incarnate and concentrated their lives on him – constantly focusing on him and his powers – are in a condition of very high suggestivity whenever they get near him, or often away from him, too. They are constantly thinking of him, looking at his pictures, singing his name, listening to or viewing tapes about him, talking with others of his ‘glories’ and ‘leelas’, and so on. Have you not seen ‘hypnotized’ subjects on stage mistaking people for chickens or what have you? Milton Eriksen, Derren Brown and countless others have demonstrated such ‘illusions’ most effectively. See: Derren Brown’s Magic Trumps Sathya Sai Baba’s and Sleight Of Hand. The Sleightness of Sathya Sai Baba (Exposing film clips) . Serial Sex Abuse And Broken Promises of Miracle Healing . Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions . Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon?

May I venture the idea that fearless looking at such information is a real test of the realized state in which you claim you live? Your website welcomes one to discuss and debate with you. I submit to you that the issues raised in these articles, to name but a few, are worthy candidates for such discussion and debate.

Continued soon   …………

Further Reading

Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example

Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

The Ways of the Mind – on the issue by a Swedish psychologist

Strawberry Fields Forever? plus comments on Jaani & advaitic doctrine

The Spiritual Search – a philosophical analysis of advaitic solipsism and social narcissism

God is everything, in everyone – as a spiritual teaching

Advaita – historical flight into abstraction and speculation

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 New Age, Opinion, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »