Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Foreign and Commonwealth Office’

‘Spiritual’ Politicking Sathya Sai Baba Style. An India-UK Nexus

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 5, 2009

After our urgent, coordinated actions, the British Prime Minister Tony Blair and his wife Cherie were – indeed within minutes – prevented from visiting Sai Baba  at Whitefield near Bangalore. They were about ten minute’s drive away from his ashram when, heeding our representations, British High Commission officials were able to dissuade Blair and his wife from visiting Sathya Sai Baba.

Tony Blair and Sathya Sai Baba: The Meeting That Was Averted With Minutes To Spare

A photo call, with results expected to be flashed round the world, was thus averted. The Blair visit to Bangalore occurred at an historic watershed period for the Sathya Sai Baba movement.  He and his global sect was under tremendous scrutiny – very difficult for a group whose top officials act with considerable secrecy and suppression.

In the British House of Commons, questions about Sathya Sai Baba were raised  (November 2000).  This was maintained in early 2002:

‘Sai Baba and sexual abuse of children’ no. 886
That this House, mindful of the many accounts and witness statements of the sexual abuse of the male children of devotees by the Indian guru, Sai Baba, calls upon the Foreign Secretary to use the Travel Advice for India page of the Foreign Office Website to issue guidance to British families intending to visit the Ashram of Sai Baba about the possible danger to their male children of individual audiences with the guru.
Source: UK Parliament, 26.02.02 House of Commons

Major, researched stories appeared in India Today (October 2000), Daily Telegraph (December 2000), and Times of London (August 2001).

Internal crises erupted within the Sathya Sai Organization. In Sathya Sai centers in various parts of the world, members discovered among their own local memberships terrible evidence from respected, longtime members that all was far from well. Some centers disbanded altogether. Increasing attention focused on many accounts of Sai Baba’s sexual abuses of boys and young men, implication in the ashram, local, state and central government cover up of killings in his bedroom, and other monumental spiritual betrayals. Many of its members left the Sathya Sai Organisation, including some of its most respected leaders. See:

Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba

‘BILD’ Story. “Guru Wants Sex” (Sathya Sai Baba)

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion (Terry Gallagher case – Gallagher investigated extensively, and resigned as leader of the Sathya Sai Organization, Australia)

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

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

Letter from Stephen Carthew (the case of Stephen Carthew, a South Australian leader, who likewise advocated democratic norms of discussion), and was axed by the now retired head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, Sri T.Ramananathan)

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of AmericaJoint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family (Al Rahm was one of the foremost of top leaders in the SS Org.) and:

Al Rahm’s explanatory letter and:

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America

Story of My Disqualification (Serguei Badaev case. Badaev, Russia’s most outstanding SS Org. leader was insufferably shoved by Sathya Sai Baba’s top axemen. Why? He wanted open and properly convened canons of enquiry)

Searing true testimony about Sathya Sai Baba abuse (the case of Hans de Kraker, Australia, who was for a number of years in charge of the Western Canteen at Puttaparthi)

Dr Naresh Bhatia. Silenced Now In Indian Child Abuse Scourge

Some prominent ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba

Smear Campaign against critics of Sathya Sai Baba

‘Spiritual’ Politicking Sathya Sai Style

There was a concerted plan to bring Sathya Sai Baba to the attention of the world. From various sources we were able to piece together information about some of the survival strategies of Sathya Sai Baba and his core, high-level servitors. for example, we learnt that his top leaders in India and the UK, along with the Indian and British governments (most notably the Foreign and Commonwealth Office), planned as follows:

  • To ensure a meeting between Hon. Tony Blair MP and Sathya Sai Baba during the British Prime Minister’s Bangalore visit in the first week of January 2002
  • To ensure that a bevy of Indian and UK journalists asked him and his wife questions about his experiences of Sathya Sai Baba
  • To get the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, a publicly professed devotee of Sai Baba, to speak to Blair personally about Sai Baba, which he did at Chequers on November 12, 2001 when he visited the UK.
  • To obtain Vajpayee’s signature to a pre-written letter vociferously defending Sai Baba, co-signed by then Chief Justice of India, P.N. Bhagawati, former Chief Justice Ranganath Mishra, at that time Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of India, and Dr Najma Heptulla, former President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union Council, former Speaker Lok Sabha, and Union Minister. See:

Open Letter to Prime Minister of India, Hon. A.B. Vajpayee. By Barry Pittard, Australia, former Lecturer, Sri Sathya Sai College of the Arts, Science and Commerce, Whitefield, via Banglalore, Karnataka

  • To publicise this letter, for example on the UK Sathya Sai Organisation’s website (it was later taken off)
  • To get Tony Blair, via direct personal pressure from former Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee, to curb British parliamentary efforts critical of Sathya Sai Baba.

Further Resources

Dissent From Guru Cults Draws Slander and Harassment
Demonization of Dissenters
:
Evidence of an Internet Activist in Action
See On Disinformation and Internet Vandalism
Bias against Sai critics – article by author Kevin R.D. Shepherd

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General

Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 10, 2009

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)

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

Buckingham Palace Revisited. Are Wily Sathya Sai Baba Emissaries Again Seeking British Royal Approval?

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 16, 2009

What may the British Royal Prince Edward’s visit to India portend for Sathya Sai Baba interests? Will Sathya Sai Baba’s top associates – again – attempt to exploit the British Royal Family for propaganda purposes?

The Earl of Wessex Prince Edward is the third son and fourth child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip.

Prince Edward in India, Oct. 2009

Prince Edward in India, Oct. 2009

Summary Background

1. In late 2006, officials of The Duke of Edinburgh Awards and Buckingham Palace were upset by the manner of publicity by those such as Dr G. Venkataraman and Shitu Chudasama about Award connections. (Dr. G. Venkataraman is deputy world head of the Sathya Sai Organization. He also directs Sai Baba’s international 7 days 24 hours propaganda satellite radio service via the WorldSpace International corporation. See HERE. Shitu Chudasama is the UK Sai Baba national youth coordinator. This and other matters were exposed by Paul Lewis’s Saturday 4 November 2006 article in The Guardian (UK):

The Indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards

2. After efforts via, once might almost say, ‘friends at court’, Superiors to Peter Westgarth, the Director of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards, were of the view that he lacked, in this issue, both judgement and experience, and had missed the significance and risk of his dealings with the Sathya Sai Baba officials. One may note in passing that Westgarth, currently faces further unpleasant controversy in another matter about his Award’s job performance. See The Herald Scotland Charity chief says UK boss forced her out. By Paul Thornton

3. When matters were finally taken in hand, both Awards and Palace dropped connection with the Sathya Sai Organization

4.  The Royal authorities, via Peter Westgarth, CEO of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards,

Peter Westgarth. CEO, Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Buckingham Palace over-ruled him in Sathya Sai Baba affair

Peter Westgarth. CEO, Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Buckingham Palace over-ruled him in Sathya Sai Baba affair

who had already blundered (See story in The Guardian) asked that the embarrassing and untrue material (it was stated that the award had been given to ‘Sathya Sai Baba’) be taken down. Venkataraman and his associates promptly complied

This official Puttaparthi website withdrawal did not stop the Australian Sathya Sai Organization from nonetheless trumpeting the UK youth wing’s award:

Australian Sathya Sai Organization on Duke of Edinburgh Award

5. The FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth Office), had a view to both avoiding any blowbacks in Anglo-Indian relations and further embarrassment to the Royal Family

6. As revealed by The Guardian newspaper, the Duke’s representatives sought legal advice

7. Our efforts made to seek out a well-reputed news agency with clout resulted in IANS (Indo Asian News Service) running with a part of the story independently of The Guardian. See:

Indian Media’s Reticence on Top Guru, Sathya Sai Baba, Weakens

This was a major breakthrough, and signalled sections of the Indian media, where there were previously years of strong censorship of materials inimical to Sathya Sai Baba, carrying the IANS feed. Paul Lewis’s The Guardian article was also referred to.

Will Realpolitik-bent British FCO and Indian Government Interests Exploit Prince Edwards Visit To India?

One of the most persistent ploys of Sathya Sai Baba’s propagandists has been to make it appear that India’s interests are identical with Sathya Sai Baba predispositions. For a glaring example of what, often, is confined to the hushed corridors of power, see: The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory. The BBC exposed machinations by Venkataraman and the then Indian Foreign Affairs Minister and others, but this successful revelation was, alas, effected too late to be included in the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’.


Prince Edward Currently Duke of Edinburgh Awards Emissary

Prince Edward is the Duke’s Awards proxy in a current visit to India. He may not have much of his grandfather Phillip’s stuffing or even lasting effects of his tough (late) uncle Earl Mountbatten’s mentorship. Still further, Edward is of a very different generation, and not likely to have his father Charles’s flirtations with Sathya Sai Baba, – that hapless Prince Charles whom we know to have been warned off Sathya Sai Baba by insistent government authorities. Nevertheless, it is not beyond doubt that Sathya Sai Baba interests will try to curry favour with him, and dally with Edward’s political masters.

The Sathya Sai avidity to bask in British Royal sheen (or what is left of it) has already been amply demonstrated, and any further attempt by Sathya Sai Baba interests that would attempt to borrow lustre from British Royalty will likely be exposed here and elsewhere, as was previously the case, and indeed by the same forces which ensured former Prime Minister Tony Blair’s last minute cancellation of a meeting at Brindavan, Whitefield with Sathya Sai Baba. See:


Tony Blair Was to Visit Sai Baba. Plan Thwarted

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 17, 2007

An acquaintance who has worked close to the hub of power in the UK has  written to me vis a vis some current moves by the British government that may have relevance to power plays by Sathya Sai Baba’s high-level emissaries.

As my reader can see from the links to my earlier articles and those of Robert Priddy, representation on our behalf to the Duke of Edinburgh’s advisors was successful. It obtained the removal of propagandist and untrue information that was put out by Sathya Sai Baba’s officials such as Dr G. Venkataraman. An observer  has recently written to me:

“The UK Govt made the mistake long ago of allowing the Indians to get away with the badly flawed argument that to criticise Sathya Sai Baba was to insult India. This was weak and unprincipled, and senior diplomats admit this privately and regret it. The FCO is all out to try to get the Indians alongside the UK in matters of security, foreign policy, the war on terror, and inward Indian investment in our bankrupt UK economy.

Prince Edward’s appearance in Indian affairs is a pallid affair. He and his advisors are at the whim of the FCO. The UK Government needs India. In pursuit of its own narrow cynical policies, the FCO has a long record of ignoring the plight of British nationals in favour of trade perspectives and other political expediences. The Labour and Conservative India players are alike in this “….

The Guardian (UK) article: ‘The Indian living god, The paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards’

In the article: UK Guardian On Sathya Sai Baba and Duke’s Awards , I wrote:

”His Royal Highness’s officials had to act on top of a ‘politically’ not very experienced or competent UK Duke of Edinburgh Awards CEO, Peter Westgarth – see HERE. They were slow off the mark. However, after very high level representations from our side, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme trustees and Prince Philip’s Private Secretary, Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davis KCVO, CBE,

sir-miles-hunt-davis.jpg

realized that a serious matter was at hand. Questions were also raised by some powerful citizens, including a former Home Minister, Tom Sackville. The Duke of Edinburgh Awards required of Dr G. Venkataraman, head of Sathya Sai Baba’s international propaganda apparatus and deputy world chairman of the Sathya Sai Organization, that an official Sai Baba website take down the triumphant – but absurdly mistaken – information that the Duke of Edinburgh Award had been awarded to Sai Baba himself. Venkataraman complied”.

Further Reading


At ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 21, 2008

A Duke Stops An Emperor. Edinburgh Routs Sai Baba

“Officials of The Duke of Edinburgh Awards and Buckingham Palace were upset by the boasting of those such as Dr G. Venkataraman and about the Award connections. (Dr. G. Venkataraman is Sai Baba’s deputy world head, who also directs Sai Baba’s international 7 days 24 hours propaganda satellite radio service via the WorldSpace International corporation. See Shitu Chudasama HERE. Shitu Chudasama is the UK Sai Baba national youth coordinator”.

Robert Priddy writes on the issue

Posted by robertpriddy on October 15, 2009

Posted by robertpriddy on October 14, 2009

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Sathya Sai Organisation – Further Subterfuge and Misinformation

Four-part article by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard

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General

Excerpt From Public Petition

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

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

There is a Spanish version available:

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

Posted in Morality, Opinion, Protest, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »