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

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Andhra Pradesh Intelligence Watch On Sathya Sai Central Trust. AP Gvt Closing In

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 24, 2011

Well wisher from India emails us:  

“It looks like the Andra Pradesh govt is putting the squeeze on the Sathya Sai trust. It appears that the Govt has a definite strategy in mind over a period, and hence the politicians and govt officials have been cold shouldering the SB trust officials (besides giving a silent go ahead for slapping criminal cases against them). The government has already withdrawn 16 exemptions to the SB trust, regarding auditing, some taxes, publishing accounts, being supervised by a govt official etc, among others. Even assets like land as well  as intellectual properties can no longer be sold by the trust without govt permission.

At a high level meeting , Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy (who is not a devotee), brushed aside his cabinet’s apprehensions that SB devotees may be offended by any Govt takeover of the trust. It is strongly indicated that the Govt is moving towards this decision, and the young AP Chief minister (a former state cricketer/wicket keeper) has even put the trust under intelligence watch.

It seems that an “Aurobindo model” as in the Pondicherry Aurobindo ashram is being contemplated, and also possibly the Whitefield ashram may be made an income creating commercial venture or sold off.

If this happens, it could possibly mean the end of the “Sai Baba mission”, and it would exist as just another charity, maybe with a few pictures of Sai Baba here and there”.

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India Today

Andhra Pradesh government plans to take over Sathya Sai Baba trust

A. Srinivasa Rao  | Hyderabad, June 24, 2011 | Updated 10:26 IST

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba

The Andhra Pradesh government is planning to take over the controversial Sathya Sai Central Trust following the recent seizure of a huge amount of cash from some people close to the trust members.

Chief minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy held a high-level meeting with officials of the endowments department, chief secretary S. V. Prasad and intelligence department officials on Wednesday evening to discuss reports of alleged irregularities in the Sathya Sai Trust, which manages the multi-crore empire of late godman Sathya Sai Baba at Puttaparthi in Anantapur district.

“In the last four decades, the government has not interfered in the affairs of the trust. But now, we are compelled to intervene in the wake of serious allegations of embezzlement of funds in Prashanti Nilayam. We have sought a report from the trust on its financial dealings and the assets it is holding. Depending on the response from the trust members, we will decide on how to proceed further,” endowments minister Ponnala Lakshmaiah said on Thursday.

Sources said the government is also weighing options of taking over the trust, but that would be as a last resort.

Otherwise, it might even consider canceling the exemption granted to the trust under Section 154 of the Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997, which would enable the government to have direct supervision over the trust affairs.

“The government has no immediate plans to take over the trust. We will wait until the trust members submit their report,” the minister said.

The government has given strict instructions to the police to probe the trust’s financial irregularities and act tough with erring members. The police had already served notices on trust members R. J. Rantakar and V. Srinivasan, asking them to appear before the superintendent of police before Saturday for interrogation.

The government has also transferred Puttaparthi deputy superintendent of police Narasimhulu, who was allegedly cooperating with the trust members in siphoning off wealth from Yajur Mandir, the personal chamber of Sai Baba. Instructions have also been issued to the local revenue authorities to submit a comprehensive report on whether land transactions had been carried out by the trust members or their associates in the recent past.

The Anantapur police have also alerted the income tax authorities to conduct investigations into the unaccounted cash.

Ratnakar has, meanwhile, sought more time to appear before the police regarding the seizure of Rs 35.5 lakh cash which was being transported out of Prashanti Nilayam. On Thursday, he made an appeal to Anantapur superintendent of police Shah Nawaz Qasim to give him more time. He said he was seeking legal opinion in the case and would provide all the information to the police.

“We are ready to provide all the details to the government. Some vested interests are trying to defame the trust and create mistrust among the devotees,” Ratnakar alleged.

Interestingly, Ratnakar had initially said the trust has nothing to do with the money and claimed it belonged to 12 devotees and that they would appear before the police to give their side of the story. So far, not a single devotee has come forward to stake claim to the money.

There are allegations that Ratnakar was bringing pressure on some students of the Sathya Sai University to stake claim to the money so as to save the trust members, but they have reportedly refused to do so.

Trust member Srinivasan, who was also served notice by the police, has been absconding since. There were reports that the police had grilled him a couple of days back on the cash seized, but the police denied it.

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India Today

Finally, Andhra govt to rein in Sai Trust

B Krishna Prasad, TNN | Jun 24, 2011, 07.35am IST
HYDERABAD: Facing flak for not monitoring the affairs of the Sathya Sai Central Trust, the state government has decided to withdraw some of the 16 concessions that the trust has been accorded to carry out its various philanthropic, educational and charitable activities.In a far reaching decision on Thursday, after detailed discussions with the chief secretary, finance and revenue department officials, chief minister Kiran Kumar gave the green signal to withdraw these concessions. “The exercise is meant to bring about more transparency while not restricting the various activities of the trust including the running of hospitals, university and other missions,” said a senior official dealing with the matter.The 16 concessions, ranging from financial to administrative, were granted to the Sathya Sai Central Trust, the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Sathya Sai University, Super Speciality hospitals, medical trust, Radio-Sai, International Sathya Sai Organisation, Sathya Sai Seva Organisation, Sai Sadhana Samithi and music divisions.The financial concessions, which include no levy of VAT, building fee, commercial tax, registration fee, customs and other duty for importing medical equipment for the hospitals and subsidised electricity, will continue for the time being. “Our focus is to enable transparency in the working of the trust and its various bodies. Therefore, the various exemptions granted to the trust under the Hindu Temples and Trusts Act, 1987, will be withdrawn,” said the sources.As per section 154 of the said Act, every trust should file its income and expenditure report with the respective state government at least once in three years. Similarly, exemption given under section 59 of the Act allowed the trust to evade information about the assets and property of different trusts. Exemptions given under sections 58, 60, 61 and 65 of the Act allowed the trust not to entertain yearly audit by the government, supervision by deputy collector rank officer, submission of annual profit and loss account.

Likewise, exemptions given under sections 79 and 80 gave the trust power to sell its land, property, intellectual property, publications, music and film productions without giving any information to the government or pass through the supervisory system provided by the government. All these exemptions will now be withdrawn, the sources said.

“On the request of the trust, the Congress government headed by chief minister J Vengala Rao had granted the Sai Trust these exemptions under the Hindu Temples and Trusts Act in the mid-70s. Since then, the Sai Trust has not been answerable to the state at all. The only report that the trust is submitting annually is the foreign donation figure to the Union home ministry, which is a pittance of the total money and assets it generates every year,” said the sources. The state is also contemplating to bring the trust under the provisions of the Right to Information Act. Having decided to withdraw some of the exemptions, the state government is waiting for the report from the Sathya Sai
Central Trust before conveying its intentions.

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Today: Fri, Jun 24, 2011

AP govt may tap Sai trust’s assets after takeover

 P Pavan. Posted On Friday, June 24, 2011 at 03:05:18 AM

In Hyderabad In the backdrop of controversies surrounding the Sathya Sai Baba Central Trust, founded by spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba, the Andhra Pradesh government is studying Pondicherry’s Aurobindo Ashram model to control the Sai trust.Under the Aurobindo Ashram model, a government nominee (an IAS officer) is appointed to oversee the trusts’s affairs. Talks about the AP government taking over the Sai trust have been doing rounds for the past many months.Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy took stock of issues relating to the Sai trust on Wednesday night. He called for a report from the trust on its activities, financial position and other details.

The Sathya Sai trust has been mired in controversies after Baba’s death in April

He also called for an intelligence report on the controversies surrounding it. He may consult the cabinet once the trust and intelligence department submit their reports.

With Baba’s death, the flow of donations to the trust is likely to dry up. Therefore, the government feels it should commercially exploit some of the fixed assets of the trust so that the trust activities aren’t hampered in future.

The Sai trust, whose assets are valued at over Rs 40,000 crore, runs several educational and medical institutions, drinking water projects apart from a railway station and an airport.

“For example, the Whitefields in Bangaluru can be converted into a commercial venture so that the income from it can take care of the recurring expenditure on some activities”, said a government source.

Confirming that the state government is considering replicating Aurobindo model in Sathya Sai Trust, a senior minister said, “We are under obligation to respect the sentiments of devotees, continue Trust activities and control any irregularities.”

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Andhra Opposition Want Release of Gvt Spies’ Reports On Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 22, 2011

This Friday afternoon, The Times of India Reports:

Make intelligence reports public: TDP

TNN | Apr 22, 2011, 03.33am IST

HYDERABAD: The TDP on Thursday demanded that the government make the intelligence reports on the state of affairs of Satya Sai Trust and the health condition of Sai Baba public.

Opposition leader in the legislative council, D. Veerahadra Rao at a press conference on Thursday alleged that the state government has full knowledge of the activities going on in the trust and the health condition of Baba but was not making it public. The state government had appointed four intelligence officers four years back to monitor the health condition of Baba and submit its reports to the government. These officials have been following Baba round the clock. The government should now make those reports public, Rao said. The silence on the part of the government gives rise to several doubts, he added.

Referring to the allegation that Baba was under sedation for long, he said if that was the case then why was the government silent all these days and an inquiry not ordered into it.

“What is causing concern is why the government is showing more interest in the assets of Baba than his health ever since he was admitted to the hospital on March 28. The government did not even consider necessary to call for a team of expert doctors from AIIMS. What is also not clear is why the team of doctors, led by Dr Raviraj, was recalled. The government also needs to explain as to what happened to the earlier medical reports of Baba’s health,” Rao said and demanded that the video footage of Baba’s health condition be made public immediately.

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One may raise the question:  why would four very experienced Andhra Pradesh intelligence operatives between them keep round-the-clock watch, that has been continued unabated for four years, on affairs at Puttaparthi?  What else might they wish to know? After all,  inner-circle Puttaparthi corruption is common knowledge among Indian state and central governments? So what might be new?

One may add that, since money laundering occurs on a national – not to mention international level – and since both the central government of India and the state government of Andhra Pradesh are both in the hands of the Congress government that the intelligence data relating to Sathya Sai Baba and his outfit, gained via the Andhra Pradesh service, may by no means be expected to stop within that state.

Because Sai Baba has so many Indian and overseas billionaire and millionaire supporters, the dimensions of the wealth flowing to the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust are on a scale that beggars the imagination.

A speculation:  By any chance, is the intensified interest related to extremely vast money laundering operations involving India and offshore tax havens?  Are elements among Sathya Sai Baba’s key servitors – but by no means all of them – involved in money laundering?

 See: Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia.  Posted by Barry Pittard on June 7, 2007. In this article, I wrote:

His splashy-colored and sometimes vast buildings rise up at enormous cost. Sathya Sai Baba’s exchequer owes to vast donations to his Central Trust via his powerful organisation spanning more than 150 countries, and not least to the donations of the extremely wealthy – like James Sinclair, the Canadian cable and minerals magnate, Isaac Tigrett the American founder of the Hard Rock Café and House of Blues, the Rai family in India in steel and technology, and an astounding number of other hugely wealthy and influential individuals and families from many countries. Rediff News, July 06, 2005, reported:

“The Andhra Pradesh-based Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust is the largest recipient of foreign contributions. The Sathya Sai Trust received Rs 95 crore (Rs 950 million) during 2003-04″.

This figure – which is well over US $20 million – is but the officially declared one and does not account for contributions of those foreigners who donate when they are in India. One can observe how at Sai Baba’s establishments at Puttaparthi, Andhra Pradesh, and Whitefield, Karnataka, in South India, the Indian and foreign mega business fraternity swap business cards – within what devotees regard as the so-called Holiest of Holy precincts! – and thereafter mutually thrive. At the Puttaparthi temple, on June 6, 1993) police executions took place in Sai Baba’s bedroom, with his close proximity and command of the situation.

A few years back, a remark to me of a well-wisher – who was formerly one of the top police chiefs in the world, and, more recently, a major international consultant in black money investigations – suggested to me that Sathya Sai Baba may be regarded as the “arch criminal of the century” (meaning the 20th century). The remark has nagged at me several times since. This is largely because a conflict between my perception that a) an ex Inspector-General of Police in one of the great democracies would not likely be given to hyperbole and b) that I couldn’t see how Sathya Sai Baba could operate at such a level of criminality. This was despite the fact that our huge documentation over the years (much of which we have not been able to disclose) has shown a great deal that is venal in Sathya Sai Baba and certain of his key servitors.

At the research stage of ‘The Secret Swami’, BBC researchers (Iris Asic, David Saville) were about to put me in touch with an international illicit money trails expert, Patrick Masters. However, right at that time, the thinking of the BBC team was swinging more to investigating issues which, in themselves, required enormous time and effort:

–  the allegations from many parts of the world against Sathya of serial sexual molestation of boys and young men

–  the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom on 6 June 1993

As readers can see by clicking on the following link, I mentioned something of this in my article:  Fighting Multi Billion Corruption Takes Longer Posted by Barry Pittard on March 10, 2007.  I wrote:

Although we know too well that he has formidable protection from successive Indian governments, both State and Central, some of our personnel in India have sacrificially put themselves at considerable risk in raising the allegations with Indian authorities. The Sathya Sai Organization arms itself by aligning itself with the power-brokers of trade, finance and politics, both Indian and foreign, who ensure that the vast funds that pour to its Sathya Sai Central Trust are not affected. One of the foremost officials in the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office asked Hon. Tony Colman, former MP for Putney to back off in regard to Sai Baba because the Blair government did not want to rock the boat with India. It is, therefore, a pity that the BBC’s intention to engage a financial investigator Patrick Masters was not able to occur in the several months of intense research for ‘The Secret Swami’.  But then there were so many components that vied for attention. Again, always with the current consent of those involved, the details of such activities are ready to be shared with bona fide, notably trustworthy experts.

Much turmoil and wide public notice attend the drama of Sathya Sai Baba’s extreme nearness to death. Hitherto, almost entirely, the Indian media has grossly failed to publish anything seriously critical about Sathya Sai Baba and his outfit. Perhaps India’s fifth estate may now begin to make some sort of amends. And to do some substantive investigative research and hard-hitting reportage.

Or do they, like boutique newspaper proprietors and editors, and spotty, wetnosed cadet reporters, want – yet again – the foreign media to do it for them?!

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NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by the prominent British journalist Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard.

Part Two Three Four

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Donors and Would-be Donors Beware (Sathya Sai Central Trust Example)

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 30, 2009

As the years pass, more evidence emerges of the very non-divine manner in which Sathya Sai Baba and his financial wing collect vast funds – particularly from wealthy donors. As with scams the world over, there are methods of ‘spotting’ – in this case, by ashram staff of visitors most likely to donate large sums. The admixture of ‘miracles’ – such as Sai Baba’s ‘materializing’ of expensive rings or pendants etc., for the wealthy – is central to setting up of these traps. This operation involves the participation of the registration office, as well as Sathya Sai Baba’s close servitors, many of them wealthy or those who have given away their wealth to him.
Criminals and police forces often refer to this type of spotting as finding the ‘mark’ or victim to be set up.
Donors and Would-be Donors Beware
There are two classes of individual, and in some cases institutions, who have every reason to be looking at these issues. First, those who have already been donors to Sathya Sai Baba’s exchequer, among whom there are those who have serious misgivings about how they were misused. Second, those who are contemplating donation to the Sathya Sai Central trust.
In the first group, there are those who have been far too busy with their business enterprises or professions to have time for deeper reflection on their experiences. It needs to be remembered that deeply emotional, religious or spiritual commitments are far from straightforward and rational. Donors have given, in some cases in many millions, thinking they have found an impeccable cause. However, some are at the stage where they are handing over their prime responsibilities to others in their enterprises, retiring, etc.  The photos below are just a very few examples of that for which of the Sathya Sai opulence, they have already handed over! (For more revealing photos, see bottom of this article).
In August 16, 2003. the Rediff news agency reported:
“The largest recipient of foreign contribution was Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust — Rs 88.18 crore (Rs 881.8 million)”
Sai Baba on his Golden Chariot
Sathya Sai Indoor Sports StadiumPrashanthi International Sports stadium
sai-babas-chaitanya-jyothi-museum.jpg
ssmuseumsmall.jpg
The Torment of Awakening From The Dream Splendid
Coming out of the dream splendid can be an emotionally tormenting period, whether one is rich or not. Again, irrespective of status, the wide tendency for individuals is to clam up, and let as few as possible know that one has made some bad choices.
To those wishing to reflect intellectually on their own experiences of donorship, or for those who may be contemplating giving money to Sathya Sai Baba’s organization, I point to the article (4700 approx words) of Robert Priddy, retired academic and former longtime leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization:
Donating to Sathya Sai Baba and His Bottomless Trust Or Other Institutions. How donations are encouraged and devotees are manipulated – with negative experiences reported’
QUOTE
“In my participant-observer sociological study of the International Sathya Sai Organisation, recorded mainly in 2000, I concluded that one of the main functions it actually fulfils, although in theory it should not, is to channel money from the widest possible catchment area of devotees in rich countries. This was implied by the collected data and analyses of its various practices which I interpreted on the basis of my wide-ranging experience – and increasing distaste – of how matters were handled at Organization meetings I attended in various countries. In stark contrast to Sathya Sai Baba pretends, his organisation contributes, indirectly and increasingly more and more directly, to the funnelling of donations in huge amounts into his account and under his control. Why does Sai Baba ‘allow’ this discrepancy between his word and action? The simple answer would be because money is a necessary ingredient of improving education, health and living conditions for the poor. To support this, Sai Baba points to the institutions like colleges, hospitals and village projects he has provided (as if it were not all from his devotees). So why then does he constantly boast that he has no connection whatever with money – saying as but one example, “Where money is present, there I am absent”? Obviously, it is a very clever device to hide the real situation and seem to put him apart from other money collecting ‘men of god’. Money gurus awaken much skepticism, especially among Westerners nowadays, it being known very widely that so many have been defrauded”.

Subheadings in this article:

Sizing up likely donors, and diamond gifts to soften them up?

What is Sathya Sai Baba’s actual relationship to money?

True Believer Devotees as Easy-Touches for Money

Soliciting Devotees for Major Funds

Ashram apartment ‘donors’ – deceptively called ‘owners’

Donors Recruited under False Pretenses

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Further Reading

Can We Trust The Central Trust?By Serguei Badaev.  (Ex-President of Sai Org. Moscow Centre and ex-deputy National Coordinator and National SSEHV Coordinator, Russia)

“It is not the Sathya Sai Organisation which is the owner of all the property and estates we can see in Prashanthi Nilayam and Brindavan (Sai Baba’s ashrams in Puttaparthi and in Whitefield correspondingly). There is another organisation which prefers to stay in a shadow. It is Sathya Sai Central Trust (the SSCT), which can be regarded as the highest authority in the Sai Baba movement except Sai Baba himself”

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The money behind Sai Baba By Hari Sampath. 08-04-2001. (Member of Sathya Sai Baba’s Security and Intelligence Wing between 1992 and 1995)

‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues. By Barry Pittard

QUOTE

“The easiest way to look for the source of Sai Baba’s ‘immunity’ from investigation and what exactly all this scam is about is to just take a look at the staggering amounts of money involved, and approximately estimate how much money does Sai Baba actually have?”

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Barry Pittard at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’

‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues

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

India’s ‘Emperor’ Sai Baba. By His Lavish Spending Ye Shall Know Him

Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia

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General

Excerpt From Public Petition

(Note: The above articles contextualizes. Or 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)

Sai Baba click here for Sai residence today Sai Kodaihouse Sai Trayee

Sai Dharmak.

sai-baba-pleasure-dome.jpg

Posted in Miracles, Morality, New Age, Opinion, Philanthropy, Religion, Social and Politics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »