Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Duty-of-Care’

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 22, 2011

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Further Reading

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

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

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

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

Top UK Sathya Sai Organization leaders left Sathya Sai Baba

Letter from Stephen Carthew

Letter from Stephen Carthew

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

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

Dr Naresh Bhatia. Silenced Now In Indian Child Abuse Scourge

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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Sathya Sai 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


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 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 – and – 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


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   

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

How Cult Exposure Spreads Far And Wide (Sai Baba Case)

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 19, 2008

In exposing those cultic abuses, anomalies, derelictions of duty of care, lack of accountability, and so on, dissenters from a cult such as that of Sathya Sai Baba experience many advantages to their cause that may not be immediately obvious.

Impact Extends Far Beyond The Range Of Major Dissenters

After reading the evidence extensively available on Sathya Sai Baba former devotee sites, those troubled by their experiences are able to crystalize their thoughts, and make their own independent investigation. Many soon find that there is a large body of evidence which, for the protection of privacy, cannot be put up on the Internet.

Frequently, emerging from a belief system is a slow-going, painful process. Leave-takers gradually discover other confirmatory cases far beyond those unearthed by primary writers such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel and myself. (Our blog and websites are referenced below). Indeed, in its many months of intensive investigation, the BBC in the making of ‘The Secret Swami’ (like other media that has seriously investigated) uncovered evidence that was beyond the range of internationally networked former devotees. See:

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision
BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise
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
Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence
Undisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC

Those who discover that what former devotee critics have written is true begin to network with others who have confirming experiences. This activity occurs both within and far beyond the organized former follower network. One learns about it in roundabout, sometimes (for such is life) very coincidental ways.

This ever-burgeoning contact is not conducted only via the Internet but in many ways – such as in family, friendship and workplace circles, chance meetings when shopping, in the workplace, through other electronic media such as Skype, and in many other ways.

Former Devotees DO Continue Community Service

A common cry from apologists is:  why don’t you people do something worthwhile with your lives, such as serve the needy in your communities? This indicates a profound misunderstanding of two crucial situations:

– The core leaders of Sathya Sai Organization, and some rank-and-file members, know perfectly well that the concerns are not frivolous, and that many who have left the organization have spent decades of utmost dedicated service.

– Former devotees – including those highly active in the exposure – very typically continue to serve others, such as in their wider communities. They are loving parents and grandparents, and dedicated to their professions, trades, and other worthy activities. Those who write and research on these matters may appear – to the superficial – as though this is all that they do in life. The fact is that a lifetime of professional work has led to habits of discipline, speed of execution in work styles, and finding an array of balances concerning life’s joys, sorrows and duties.

Organized Attackers Often Belie Their Own Cult Leaders’ Spiritual Teachings

In our contact with other groups who have well-reputed organizations exposing of cover up and spiritual betrayal, we repeatedly find that the same tactics are used against those who blow the whistle: culumny, defamation, libel, distortion of their position, name-calling, branding, depersonalization, denunciatory, belittling and spiteful language, attacking individuals rather than genuinely considering their argument (argumentum ad hominem), culumny, defamation, libel, various other forms of invalid argument, and so on. Apologists for the remiss leader and cult not only attack former followers but also any media – such as the BBC and major media in various parts of the world – in a way that would insist that everybody else is at fault and the cult alone is correct.

General Sites


Robert Priddy

Brian Steel

Conny Larsson

Timothy Conway, Ph.D

My Concerns About Sathya Sai Baba

Alan Kazlev

Sathya Sai Baba – an appraisal


Robert Priddy

Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

Barry Pittard

Call For Media and Government Investigation

Brian Steel

Brian Steel’s Soap Box

Note: Brian Steel’s website, like that of Robert Priddy, is vast and penetrating in its extent. However, his blogsite also deals with matters not related to exposing Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult.

Kevin Shepherd, a British scholar who has taken an interest in the topic:

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

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 6, 2008

Was it ethical for the BBC to use a hidden camera in ‘The Secret Swami’?

It used it in the case of a highly elusive chairman of a world organization, Dr Michael Goldstein of Covena, California, that faces grave questions in India and many countries around the world.

The Sathya Sai Organization, despite many claims not to recruit or fund raise should certainly be scrutinized by a public and its government, political and institutional organs, which it most definitely cultivates at both peak and local levels.

Sanctions for the unusual use of hidden camera were obtained by the producers from top echelon BBC management and legals.

Despite the alarums 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.

Further Reading

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

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

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

For Viewing

The Secret Swami (BBC Television):
(80 MB, Broadband)
(23.3 MB, Modem)

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

Posted in Religion, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments »