Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

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Sathya Sai Baba Abuse Survivors: When ‘Moving On’ Can Be Staying Stuck

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 6, 2010

Some former devotees of Sathya Sai Baba get upset that many survivors of his sexual and other forms of abuse do not go public. They make the same kind of mistaken assumptions that Sai Baba’s defenders make who ask e.g., where is all the proof? Both these reactions are ill-informed, inappropriate and insensitive.  

People who are badly traumatized – very typically – feel acute difficulty in being able to talk about their traumatic experience. One human reaction to trauma is lack of awareness of the extent to which upheaval has occurred.  Psychological denial, and wanting to ‘move on’ are common.  See: 

On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult (Part 1.)- Ex Leaders and Rank-and-File 

On Leaving A Powerful Global Cult. Sathya Sai Baba Example (Part 2)

On Leaving A Powerful Global Cult. Sathya Sai Baba Example (Part 3)

Refutation of smear allegations against ex-followers of Sathya Sai Baba (Many links)

It is widely found in a great deal of professional literature that a great many survivors endure years in silence and shame at what has happened to them. The case of those who have suffered at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba and some of his servitors is no different. Common experiences are:

  • Fear at being called a liar
  • Depression
  • Loneliness and isolation, e.g., after being shunned by those one has come to love and trust
  • Anger or suppressed anger
  • Self-blame and feelings of worthlessness
  • Flash-backs and other forms of disturbance at recollection of the abusive events
  • Feelings of torn-ness and confusion between positive and negative aspects of the relationship between spiritual teacher and the aspirant
  • Uncertainty about the exact order or nature of events – e.g., this lays an honest individual open to charges of fabricating, and many abuse victims who have faced adversarial lawyers have spoken about the  experience of being ‘raped twice over’.

See below, a list excerpted from:  Post-Cult Problems:  An Exit Counselor’s Perspectiveby Carol Giambalvo.

 A few who allege that Sai Baba has sexually abused them have attempted for a while to expose him and leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization. From many countries, the evidence emerges that the Sathya Sai Organization has repeatedly and profoundly failed in its duty-of-care and its responsibility to act professionally – what to speak of truthfully, honestly and compassionately. Dispirited, many survivors have wanted to ‘move on’. Others have said they are willing to testify so long as there are proper jurisprudential processes and a decent chance of success. Some will speak, and have spoken, with the media but only after the former devotee network, which includes very highly qualified abuse professionals, have carefully gone through the issues involved. An occasional individual like Conny Larsson, the former leader of the Sathya Sai Organization in Sweden – no matter the hatred and ridicule hurled at him by pro Sai Baba antagonists – will write a book. He has be willing to travel at his own expense to various countries, speak at conferences, appear on national radio and television, agitate among government and other movers and shakers, and so on. By far the most prominent author of a book critical of Sathya Sai Baba is Robert Priddy, who taught philosophy and sociology at the University of Oslo, 1968–1985. Of this book (publ. Indian Skeptic/B. Premanand. Podanur, Tamil Nadu, 2004), he has written:

“In 2000 I resigned as National Contact person of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway after 18 years fulfilling that role. This was no easy decision, since I did not believe that the allegations of sexual abuse could be true, even though I knew that Sathya Sai Baba was deeply involved in the massive cover-up of murders in his own bedroom, and hence an accomplice to the fact.

Having refused to read David Bailey’s account or any of the flood of allegations thereafter for months, I finally felt I must read the sexual allegation testimony.  It took me about another six months of intensive investigation – contacting all the sources I could – before I was forced to arrive at a complete conviction that most of the allegations were both true and accurate. Subsequently I began to look carefully into all aspects of Sathya Sai Baba from the viewpoint of critical questioning and found, to my dismay, deceit after deceit and evidence of a major campaign of deception by him and all those close around him. This resulted in many web pages, which the award-winning rationalist, Basava Premanand, asked permission to publish”.

See also, Priddy on his earlier pro-Sathya Sai Baba book ‘Source of The Dream – My Way to Sathya Sai Baba’ (New revised ed. 1997 Samuel Weiser, Inc. P.O. Box 612. York Beach, ME 03910-0612. U.S.A. ISBN 1-57863-028-2), and the transition to his critical work.

Some survivors of sexual and other abuses by Sathya Sai Baba and some of his close servitors have, despite the great upheaval in their lives, joined our representations to governments, media and many civic institutions. Those who have dared to speak of their experiences on the Internet have been attacked in the extreme by some pro Sai Baba activists.

Many young males from countries around the world have come to our network with compelling accounts of being sexually abused by Sathya Sai Baba. Some much older men  like Mark Roche who shared his ordeals – when very young – in the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ when much older) also speak to us of being seduced by Sai Baba, sometimes when they were in their teens, at others, when still very young men. Repeatedly, we find that survivors have not availed themselves of highly qualified professional counseling – even when it has been offered to them free of any charge.

In short, not debriefing, with proper professional counseling, their experience puts at grave risk an abuse survivor’s chances of health and well-being.

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Excerpted from: 

Post-Cult Problems:  An Exit Counselor’s Perspective

Carol Giambalvo.  (International Cultic Studies Association)

Common Issues in Post-Cult Recovery

Some of the recovery issues that keep recurring in my work with ex-cult members are:

  • Sense of purposelessness, of being disconnected.  They left a group that had a powerful purpose and intense drive; they miss the peak experiences produced from the intensity and the group dynamics.
  • Depression.
  • Grieving for other group members, for a sense of loss in their life.
  •  Guilt.  Former members will feel guilt for having gotten involved in the first place, for the people they recruited into the group, and for the things they did while in the group.
  • Anger.  This will be felt toward the group and/or the leaders.  At times this anger is misdirected toward themselves.
  • Alienation.  They will feel alienation from the group, often from old friends (that is, those who were friends prior to their cult involvement), and sometimes from family.
  • Isolation.  To ex-cult members, no one “out there” seems to understand what they’re going through, especially their families.
  • Distrust.  This extends to group situations, and often to organized religion (if they were in a religious cult) or organizations in general (depending on the type of cult they were in).  There is also a general distrust of their own ability to discern when or if they are being manipulated again.  This dissipates after they learn more about mind control and begin to listen to their own inner voice again.
  • Fear of going crazy.  This is especially common after “floating” experiences (see point 18 below for explanation of floating).
  • Fear that what the cult said would happen to them if they left actually might happen.
  • Tendency to think in terms of black and white, as conditioned by the cult.  They need to practice looking for the gray areas.
  • Spiritualizing everything.  This residual sometimes lasts for quite a while.  Former members need to be encouraged to look for logical reasons why things happen and to deal with reality, to let go of their magical thinking.
  • Inability to make decisions.  This characteristic reflects the dependency that was fostered by the cult.
  • Low self-esteem.  This generally comes from those experiences common to most cults, where time and again members are told that they are worthless.
  • Embarrassment.  This is an expression of the inability to talk about their experience, to explain how or why they got involved or what they had done during that time.  It is often manifested by an intense feeling of being ill at ease in both social and work situations.  Also, often there is a feeling of being out of sync with everyone else, of going through culture shock, from having lived in a closed environment and having been deprived of participating in everyday culture.
  • Employment and/or career problems.  Former members face the dilemma of what to put on a resume to cover the blank years of cult membership.
  • Dissociation.  This also has been fostered by the cult.  Either active or passive, it is a period of not being in touch with reality or those around them, an inability to communicate.
  • Floating.  These are flashbacks into the cult mindset.  It can also take on the effect of an intense emotional reaction that is inappropriate to the particular stimuli.
  • Nightmares.  Some people also experience hallucinations or hearing voices.  A small percentage of former members need hospitalization due to this type of residual.
  • Family issues.
  • Dependency issues.
  • Sexuality issues.
  • Spiritual (or philosophical) issues.  Former members often face difficult questions:  Where can I go to have my spiritual (or belief) needs met?  What do I believe in now?  What is there to believe in, trust in?
  •  Inability to concentrate, short-term memory loss.
  • Re-emergence of pre-cult emotional or psychological issues.
  • Impatience with the recovery process.

Carol Giambalvo is an ex-cult member who has been a Thought Reform Consultant since 1984 and a cofounder of reFOCUS, a national support network for former cult members. She is on ICSA’s Board of Directors, Director of ICSA’s Recovery Programs, and is responsible for its Project Outreach. Author of Exit Counseling: A Family Intervention, co-editor of The Boston Movement: Critical Perspectives on the International Churches of Christ, and co-author of “Ethical Standards for Thought Reform Consultants,” Ms. Giambalvo has written and lectured extensively on cult-related topics. In 2008 Ms. Giambalvo received ICSA’s Margaret T. Singer Award. 

Carol   Giambalvo     ICSA Board

POB 2180   Flagler Beach   FL32136-2180  USA

(386) 439-7541    

affcarol@worldnet.att.net  http://carol.giambalvo.home.att.net/

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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)

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Avatar of Deception: Sathya Sai Baba. 85, But Says He Will Rule World

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 27, 2010

As the international Sathya Sai Organization knows to its immense cost (both financially and morally), many, including foremost leaders, have left, having been able to analyse for themselves the many and terrible distortions of fact that Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors have generated. 

Many shockingly suffering individuals and families around the world have needed to perform no analysis at all, since they have been prime victims of Sathya Sai Baba’s and his officials’ grave misconduct.

For those still in the throes of leaving the Sai cult, it is a time of profound emotional, intellectual and social upheaval. These afflictions cannot be expected to go away quickly. Those of us who have stuck at the job of exposure commonly find that leave-takers of the organization take a year or two, and sometimes much longer, to collect their thoughts in a consecutive way. Those who make a quick matter of transition to replacement life styles often say that they have ‘moved on’. There is a whole psychological literature that would suggest they have not, and that, in fact, by not looking carefully at what has happened in their lives, they have gone into an mental and emotional denial state. Some simply go from one cult into another or back to some ‘safe’ conservative haven, and then come to grief yet again, and wonder why.

Those who, however, wish to reflect on their experience, and look at some key themes that are under question, may find useful a detailed focused article such as ‘The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’. The authors are Robert Priddy, co-founder and former head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, and myself, Barry Pittard, former lecturer at Sathya Sai Baba’s Whitefield College (via Bangalore, South India). This four-part article quotes liberally from Dr G.Venkataraman, deputy chairman of the international Sathya Sai Organization, and director of Sathya Sai Baba’s international radio propaganda service, ‘Sai Global Harmony’.

QUOTES FROM PART ONE OF THE ARTICLE:

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED

Part OnePart ThreePart Four

The foes of the ‘open society’ (Sir Karl Popper’s term) are those who use its very openness to achieve their closed and devious ends. Sai Baba and his highly authoritarian and cultist organisation have such ends, which critics have tried to make known. Its foremost leaders silence all those who question it  – and never face substantive criticisms. For the first time – after six years of pained and guilty silence – since hundreds of long-term devotees left it in disgust – the Sathya Sai Organisation has found it necessary to try to defuse the debate about Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged crimes, deceits and fraudulence. Dr. Venkataraman’s tendentious cover-up article expresses untruths which have long circulated within the cult, giving an opportunity to confront him with facts and truth

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Despite Sai Baba and his worldwide organisation’s constant claims to be extremely frugal with money, their extravagant promotions belie the truth of their claims. There are wasteful projects galore 2. For example, there are museums and other lavish buildings simply to glorify Sai Baba himself. See for yourself here 3. What Venkataraman cannot contemplate is that Sai Baba overestimated how much he could spend!

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Leading media and other organizations such as UNESCO and the U.S. State Department have been very stringent in their expectations of sound evidence from organised former devotees around the world. Those who have researched the worldwide allegations against Sathya Sai Baba include the BBC, DR (Denmark), ATUL (Argentina), SBS (Australia), ABC (Australia), and print media in India, the UK, Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, Australia etc. They quickly discovered for themselves the dishonesty and elusiveness of Sai Baba and his leaders. For example, this was why the BBC’s legal department permitted its ‘The Secret Swami’ team to clandestinely film DR Michael Goldstein, allowing millions in many countries to see him show no respect for the accountability and transparency that citizens and responsible organizations today expect. They also saw Goldstein act nastily 4 in a way that is the very antithesis of a spiritual leader.

It suits Venkataraman – who refers to Goldstein as “Brother” to suppress this telling aspect, as he also does with other self-damning statements by Sai Baba and Isaac Tigrett in ‘The Secret Swami5. The BBC interviewer Tanya Datta says to Tigrett “But even if it was proven to you that Sai Baba was a paedophile and a serial sex abuser, you’re saying it wouldn’t change the fact that he is your guru”. Tigrett replies, “Absolutely not. Absolutely not. He could go out and murder someone tomorrow…”

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“High standards” would include acknowledging a fact of great ethical and moral importance. This is that many honourable devotees once in high standing in the Sathya Sai Organisation have done their best to see that those making the allegations are properly and fairly heard. Those who have investigated and spoken out include those who held prominent roles, such as Rick Raines, Richard Nelson, Al Rahm, Shirley Pike, Ella Evers, Dr. Timothy Conway, Glen Meloy, Serguei Badaev, Dave Lyons, William Lo, Hariram Jayaram, Terry Gallagher, Stephen Carthew, David Bailey, Britt-Marie Anden, Conny Larsson etc.

In the absence of proper and, these days, typical standards of organisational openness and accountability, there has been a large and principled exodus from the Sathya Sai Organization. Why do Goldstein, Venkataraman and the other key leaders conceal this from their congregations, and those political or religious leaders and the wider public they try so hard to cultivate and fetch to their keynote events?

It is not surprising, then, that the unaccountable ashram authorities and International Chairman met their match when they ejected the BBC for asking reasonable questions after filming there. The result was a worldwide exposure of the cultist nature of it all. Every major British newspaper reviewed the documentary as being well-balanced and revealing journalism! 6

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See Also:

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 24, 2010

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

Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC



Video Resources

 

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

http://home.hetnet.nl/~seduced/seduced.wmv
(21 MB, Modem)

Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip)

BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle « Call For Media and Government Investigation

 

  This man says he will soon be ruling the whole world
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General

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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Sathya Sai Baba Cultist Yaani Drucker Claims Spiritual Enlightenment

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 29, 2010

It is instructive to see the cultic mind at work. Too often, it conceals itself. Yaani Drucker – the Sathya Sai Baba worshipper who publicly claims that she has now achieved Enlightenment and runs workshops that aim to put others on the same path – has again written to a former follower of Sathya Sai Baba.

Throughout her many statements, she fails to realise that, as a public figure, her advice on how to deal with rape and other traumatic experience is far from what those in crisis care regard as advisable. Yet again, in her email to Robert Priddy, her own extremely simplistic assumptions give her away. She is as careless in small matters as in great. In a relatively small matter, reminding one of her own assumption that I am a psychologist, she has just written to Robert Priddy, telling him that his Ph.D., excludes him from any expertise in commenting about matters of Enlightenment. The fact is, that Robert Priddy does not have a Ph.D., and it has been known for many decades to many colleagues that he attaches little, if any, importance t0 such titles. See Wiki reference for Robert C. Priddy’s qualifications, academic and other writings.

See:  Yaani Drucker’s hypocrisy about academic qualifications & enlightenment Posted by robertpriddy on May 27, 2010

QUOTE “Yaani evidently has no idea of how I view and define cults in accordance with world experts on this subject. She could benefit from reading about them! Her view is that only a group one cannot leave is a cult. That is very simplistic. One can even leave the most oppressive cults, but it is the harassment afterwards that is the defining quality. Such as her confidante Gerald Moreno’s constant harassment of all Sathya Sai Baba ex-cult members. The Sathya Sai cult is not as extreme in the sense that some are, not unless you are in India and confront them (Basava Premanand was burgled three times (see BBC report) and suffered attempts on his life from Sai Baba goondas (i.e. killer thugs). He was convinced from his evidence that his son and helper was murdered in a Bangalore hospital too! Numerous Indian students have been murdered at the ashrams, and also a considerable number of Westerners, while other Western visitors have ‘disappeared’ from the ashram and have never been traced. Indian ex-students in fear of their livelihoods and even their lives still write to me (for they know I can be trusted, unlike continuing devotees). But for the majority it is admittedly a very subtle kind of cult, relying on voluntary donations (after deep indoctrination). Sai Baba gives people almost worthless rings (claiming they are diamond rings), fake watches, all manner of trinkets – and he gets huger donations in return out of thankfulness – but the donors were thoroughly deceived!”

Alvin Drucker, husband of Jaani (originally just Jan) is a self-appointed prosetylizer for Sathya sai baba and condones his sexual exploits about which he knew from parents many instances, though he chose to remain silent. He has admitted this in an e.mail to the UK central Coordinator Aime Levy who was formerly  also a devotee and a good friend of Robert Priddy and wife. Interestingly Drucker is not honest either, as the following documentation shows:- Al Drucker expropriated others’ work to himself

…………………………………………….

Further Reading

Two Articles In Response To Yaani Drucker’s Posting

“NOTHING IS REAL, STRAWBERRY FIELDS FOREVER”
or ‘Yaani Drucker on how nothing was turned into nothing, by nobody’
by Reidun Priddy

YAANI DRUCKER & SATHYA SAI BABA’S ADVAITIC DOCTRINE
A recipe for confusion and personality disorder?
by Robert Priddy

Jaani Drucker: ‘the Ego’ misunderstood and self-nihilation

Jaani Drucker – wild claims not supported by her actions

By Barry Pittard

Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 1

Exchanges of views on how rape and sexual abuse affect the real person or whether they merely affect the body, as is held by rape victim Jaani Drucker.

Jaani Drucker continually responds to neither to the spirit or the letter of her claim that ” happy to discuss and debate issues” rather flatly rejecting all points on the ground that she knows the ultimate truth.
Jaani Drucker evades Pittard’s contention that those who have had such traumatic experiences need to reach out to an experienced, qualified profession, and that, in terms of public health outcomes, it is a dangerous undertaking to recommend a course of action which relies on faith or notions of enlightenment alone.
Pittard reminds that Jaani Drucker is very evasive on questions she promised to debate openly – instead promoting a self-enhancing narrative about spiritual realization.
Her many failures of reasoning, and her slips, slides and evasions, evident to commonsense and logic, abound here, and are dealt with
Who can distinguish between those like Jaani who claim realization? How can one get around to testing the plethora of claims? However, there is a body of clinical experience which DOES have testability in application to trauma, and this is being applied day in and day out in hospitals and clinics throughout the world.
Analyzing the belief put forth by Jaani Drucker which Pittard holds is dangerous to vulnerable survivors of rape etc. as supporting a flight into denial. Parents and mental health professionals would never agree with Drucker’s claims.
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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  

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, Rationalism, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

Reply To Claimer of Spiritual Enlightenment (Yaani Drucker Correspondence) Part 1

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 20, 2010

Below, I respond to Yaani Drucker – who initially wrote to me. For many years, she and her husband Professor Al Drucker (formerly with NASA) have been hero-worshipped by many Sathya Sai devotees worldwide. Although not now formal members of the Sathya Sai Organization, their impact continues to hold a spell for many Sai devotees who have access to media containing their talks and writings. Ms Drucker has a website:  Not Guilty: Undoing The Illusion of Separate Existence. In the Services, Products and Related Links section,  she states:

“Connect any time to ask questions, participate in dynamic discussions or debates on the teachings of Sai Baba, ACIM and the Torah/Bible”.

The reader who follows this correspondence may soon be able to guage whether this claim is genuine.

Previous recent articles on this topic at Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba are: Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example and Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him

Ms Drucker claims to be enlightened, and says on her website: “Have truth, will travel”

She has made some facts very clear, although readers may decide whether I am correct in saying that she veers (I think not with deliberate dishonesty) away from key points that I have made. Certainly, she and I have a very different view when she says:

“Is it necessary for a rape victim to receive professional counseling? This assumes that psychology/ psychotherapy has answers that ABSOLUTE TRUTH does not”.

One the other hand, she makes clear that she is not one of those who claim:  God is in all, therefore a perpetrator is really God in disguise. She says:

“The perpetrator is one’s brother for we are all brothers and sisters, thus one is responsibility to help him come into alignment with who he is. I saw that putting my rapist in jail was better than letting him stay free to hurt others. If I had not acted and he had raped another woman, I would have been complicit as I see it”.

No matter how badly Sathya Sai Baba has treated the Druckers, many Sai devotees around the world regard the couple as recipients of his infinite, mysterious, subtle and untold ‘Grace’, nonetheless.

Note: Ms Drucker writes that  “I am happy to discuss and debate issues. I have responded to every issue you raised”. But is she happy to discuss and debate? And has she responded to every issue that I have raised?

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From: jaani drucker

Dear Barry,

Just look at your heading “Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example.”

(Barry Pittard in reply):  This title refers to my view about the psychological state of being in self-protective denial. It exactly states my topic. Singularly inappropriate would have been to use euphemisms. ‘Dangerous’ refers to my view that, in the face of severe physical and psychological trauma, there is a danger implicit in modeling faith alone as the answer, without resort to well-qualified professional counseling.

A friend of mine, a psychotherapist with long experience in abuse matters, has just noted:

“My personal feeling is that no amount of rational persuasion can alter something as strong as one’s faith-based explanation.  Faith, usually supersedes the thinking mind in people who have been conditioned over time to rely on it. My additional reaction to Yaani Drucker’s account of the rape is that if she can use her faith and spiritual references to overcome the trauma, then she is fortunate.  Such coping behavior is successful for her. (- not to imply that it would be successful for others). There is a psychoanalytic term, “Narcissistic Defense” which can explain how people turn  negative feelings into positive ones)”.

In my email to you, I pointed out that, contrary to what you wrote, it is entirely clear that I never portrayed you as a “dangerous liar”. These were your words and assumption. It is a matter of substance, but you have not addressed this point – which any reader can verify simply by reading the words that were really on the page. See:  Dangerous to Rationalize Rape. A major Sathya Sai Baba Follower’s Example and Barry Pittard Replies To Sathya Sai Center Rape Survivor’s Note To Him . It is useful to address a point, rather than to quicksilver across to something other. In your emails, I sense a veering-away, a side-stepping of more than one point that I have raised. I may add that such a tendency is often observed in those in deep denial. There is a reactiveness, and it commonly does not relate to conscious dishonesty, but rather to ‘stuffs’ that are hard to face square-on.

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To Be Continued soon ……

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Select Further Reading

Will the Real Professor Alvin Drucker Be Upstanding?

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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

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in Opinion, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Sathya Sai Baba and Sexual “Grooming” of Boys and Young Men

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 11, 2009

Shortly before Christmas 1997, a highly capable and lovely person,with whom I worked among orphans at Puttaparthi,  Maria Quoos, maria-quoos-polish-film-actress-and-businesswoman.jpga Polish film and stage actress and businesswoman, came anxiously to me .  She is now leader of the Polish Sathya Sai Organization.

Ms Quoos brought a married Polish man in his mid twenties to meet me in my old friend Walia’s restaurant (the owner was Sathya Sai Baba’s former head gardener). The Polish man, a member of the group of which she led, was distressed and confused and Ms Quoos wanted me to help. He told us that in their recent interview with him, Sai Baba had covertly grasped his penis.

I responded in a way that I now know to be very typical of believers who are confronted with anything that might question a charismatic leader. I fortified him with inspirational stories intended to convince him that there must be a spiritual reason for this act. 

One of these concerned a young Indian Malaysian who, in about 1980, had asked me to wait until he emerged from the interview to which he alone, in a rare example of a solitary interview, had just been called by Sathya Sai Baba and at an hour well past the morning darshan time when people are normally called for interview.  He had already told me of his concern that he was irresistible to many women, and that he certainly did not resist them.  On his exit, some three quarters of an hour later, he told me that Sai Baba took him, alone, into the inner interview room, got him to drop his pants, materialised (so it seemed)  sacred ash (vibhuthi) and applied it to the man’s penis. 

As many Sai devotees have done, I took this to be a healing – ‘calming the raging hormones’, as it were. It is a very typical response by Sathya Sai Baba devotees when the are convinced of the truthfulness of accounts of they way in which Sathya Sai Baba’s sometimes handles the genitals of young males. 

However, overwhelming numbers of accounts from many countries suggest that Sai Baba has, down many decades, practised ‘grooming’. This practice has been defined (although the practice extends far beyond the child example referred to in this quote) as: “The process of manipulation often utilized by child molesters, intended to reduce a victim’s or potential victim’s resistance to sexual abuse.  Typical grooming activities include gaining the child victim’s trust or gradually escalating boundary violations of the child’s body in order to desensitize the victim to further abuse.” (Center for Sex Offender Management, A project of the Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice, June 1999).

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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

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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)

Subscribe in a reader

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

Sathya Sai Organization: World Communities Need To Treat This Sect Cautiously

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 30, 2009

Typical of cultists (which they deny themselves to be), the key leaders of the international Sathya Sai Organization are highly secretive, authoritarian and unaccountable.

They know:

  • That there has been profound cover up of countless responsibly-made allegations of spiritual and moral betrayal
  • The quality, and years of dedicated service, of many families and individuals who have gone to them with deeply distressing concerns about Sai Baba’s immoral conduct with boys and young men, cover up of murders in his bedroom, and other crimes.
  • That the top echelon exerts strong pressure to ensure that the allegations are not discussed

The BBC’s appellation ‘the secret swami’ was entirely apt. Sathya Sai Baba and his leaders speak constantly of Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love and Non-Violence (Sathya, Dharma, Shanti, Prema, Ahimsa).  Many within the Sathya Sai Organization know perfectly well that devotees have often been shocked by the unspirituality, callousness and authoritarian behaviour by many core leaders hand-picked by Sai Baba himself.

These leaders, and their often unsuspecting and decent rank-and-file, would link up with you, smile happily with you, act in a manner that has every appearance of professional and ethical responsibility. They seek to enter into shared endeavours with you in regard to your schools, universities, civic,  religious, cultural and sporting organizations, your municipal, state and central governments, etc. They do worthy works of social uplift, but in fact they have agendas that they keep from you. That is to say,  salient information – that you have every right to know – they keep under tight seals of prohibition as instructed by the guru and his core servitors. They do not tell you that:  Sathya Sai Baba claims to be the fullest incarnation of Godhood ever to have visited earth. Or that he has said he will rule the world before he leaves it circa 2022.  Officials are told not to mention it in their public interfaces.

Just a few of the plush venues in which the Sathya Sai Organization pursues its recruitments (although it will not use this factual word) have included:

Cooper’s Union, New York; Town Hall, Melbourne; Copley International Conference Center, San Diego; Super Dome, Sydney; La Mirada Theatre, Hilton Ballroom (both Los Angeles); Sheraton Hotel & Towers, Chicago; Copley International Conference Center, San Diego; Super Dome, Sydney, etc.

We are reliably informed that the cult has furthered its purposes in nodes of great power such as the United Nations and the White House, and among leading politicians and powerbrokers around the world.

Select Readings

Sai Organization’s Spending Spree In Super Dome, Sydney

 ‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues

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

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

 Sathya Sai Baba and his Organization Permit Attacks On Ex-followers

Golden Throne of India’s Sathya Sai Baba. He says he will Rule the world soon

              Some Video Resources    

              The Secret Swami (BBC Television):               (154 MB, Broadband)   

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
(80 MB, Broadband)    http://home.hetnet.nl/~seduced/seduced.wmv
(21 MB, Modem)   

Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip)

 BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

 BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle « Call For Media and Government Investigation

 ‘The Secret Swami’ showcased with selected transcripts and brief
video clips
  

Sathya Sai Baba Chief, Dr Goldstein, Explodes. “I am the consummate professional” (See Film Clips)

Raising ever more serious questions about how spiritual is the international head of what Sathya Sai Baba has called THE divine organization in the world

Dr Michael Goldstein. Love All Serve All

Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs)

at the BBC’s perfectly reasonable questions about accountability

Dr. Goldstein again reveals his higher self (1.500Kb)

Michael Goldstein and the sexual allegations (2,10 Mbs)

Michael Goldstein admits his view is merely a belief (456kbs)

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Wider Resources  

 Sathya Sai Baba: ‘Considerable Concern’ In Wider Hindu Community   

 Sathya Sai Organization: World Communities Need To Treat This Sect Cautiously   

Will World Accept Sathya Sai Baba? He Says Yes. Very Soon    

 Has ‘World Saviour’ Missed His Plane?   

The Decline and Fall of the Showman Empire

Sai Baba Exchequer Worth Billions. Many Countries Donate

 Self-documented Folly of India’s Would-be God 

The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed.  Article by Robert Priddy (former leader of SS Org., Sweden) and Barry Pittard (former lecturer at Sathya Sai College, Whitefield).  Part One Two Three Four  Quote:  

 “The foes of the ‘open society’ (Sir Karl Popper’s term) are those who use its very openness to achieve their closed and devious ends. Sai Baba and his highly authoritarian and cultist organisation have such ends, which critics have tried to make known. Its foremost leaders silence all those who question it- and never face substantive criticisms. For the first time – after six years of pained and guilty silence – since hundreds of long-term devotees left it in disgust – the Sathya Sai Organisation has found it necessary to try to defuse the debate about Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged crimes, deceits and fraudulence. Dr. Venkataraman’s tendentious cover-up article expresses untruths which have long circulated within the cult, giving an opportunity to confront him with facts and truth”  

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Posted in Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, Scams, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »