Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Investigating Corruption’

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 28, 2010

This post continues On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult – Ex Leaders and Rank-and-File and On Leaving A Powerful Global Cult. Sathya Sai Baba Example (Part 2)

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…  I spoke by phone and corresponded with a number of former devotee sexual abuse professionals who knew of various cases at first hand. These included Shirley Pike and the late Elena Hartgering. They and other seasoned professional workers were in no doubt of the fact that Sathya Sai Baba had seriously sexually molested young males. 

As I listened to, or read, the written accounts of both primary and secondary witnesses, I was acutely aware that many of those giving the accounts did not even know each other. Once it was known I was investigating Sathya Sai Baba’s matters, I went on to discover compelling accounts from sources well apart from Sathya Sai Baba circles. Having studied Epistemology, Logic and Methodology in my university Philosophy course, I was ever more aware that the required criterion of non-collusion was being repeatedly satisfied. It was abundantly clear that many of the witnesses did not know each other. Nor did they know of other cases of which former devotees like the late Glen Meloy and myself were compiling an ever-expanding data base. See:  Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam.

I could not escape the conclusion that Sathya Sai Baba was a serial sexual molester, on an appalling scale, of minors and young men from his educational institutions and from around the world. 

I also felt acutely conscious that I had been, over many years, whether directly or indirectly (though certainly without proselytizing), instrumental in various people becoming devotees. It is a grave load of conscience to bear, and many former devotees bear it. Like so many others who have investigated and become former devotees, my then partner’s and my hearts were heavy indeed. Typical of others who have just become former devotees, she and I cleared our house of Sathya Sai Baba-related artefacts. As former devotees universally have found, dear friends, in some cases of many years standing, who remained devotees, dropped us, even though we had shown no hostility towards them or Sathya Sai Baba. 

Incredibly, devotees forget that those they shun are the same people in whom they have long cherished qualities of truthfulness, loving-kindness, and sacrificial service to others. They stand by and allow the constant libeling and defaming of those old friends and fellow workers and, for example, the cruel naming of children, amid the distortion of facts on the internet (where there is known background association with those prominent in the Sathya Sai Organization) and deliberately used to attack the parents who have stood forth. They have betrayed those who have, at great sacrifice to themselves, stood up for the very qualities of truth they forever go on about in their study groups and elsewhere. 

These members of the international Sathya Sai Organization abrogate responsibility for instituting and maintaining best practice processes of accountability and transparency to be seen in exemplary modern organizations. Yet, in their professions and trades, they gladly benefit from such provisions. Indeed, at large, they avail themselves of the democratic rights guarranteed in the constitutions of the countries in which most of them live.

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Some Further Resources

Joseph. Early Sathya Sai Baba Whistleblower

After Leaving A Cult. Or ‘Moving On’

Sathya Sai Baba Cult. Blind Eye To Massive Slander

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

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

Timothy Conway Ph.D – On ‘The Hislop Letters’

Formal statement provided to Exbaba.com by Timothy Conway Ph. D. concerning the Hislop letters

The crucial John Hislop letters, Sathya Sai Baba, & Sathya’s defender Joe Moreno – by Timothy Conway, PhD

An article in which Timothy Conway outlines many key issues

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

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

Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up

V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings

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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

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

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 26, 2010

This article continues from: On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult – Ex Leaders and Rank-and-File. See also: On Leaving A Powerful Global Cult. Sathya Sai Baba Example (Part 3)

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… There was a feeling of truthfulness in the accounts of the authors, and I contacted them. They were – Terry Gallagher (who had resigned as head of the Sathya Sai Organization after rigorously investigating), Hans de Kraker (Australia, who for a number of years ran the Western Canteen at Puttaparthi), Jens Sethi(Germany), David Bailey (who had a rare closeness to Sathya Sai Baba, and an almost unprecedented plenipotentiary role), Hari Sampath (India), Glen Meloy and many others from the USA, such as Sharon Purcell (co-founder of the earliest Sathya Sai Baba center in the USA), Al Rahm (U.S.A., a major organization leader, and, in that country, head of the largest Sathya Sai Baba commune, and founder of the first Sai school).

I contacted Britt-Marie (Bi-ma) Andén (former head of Swedish Sathya Sai Organization and a key figure Sathya Sai Baba Education in Human Values movement), and Conny Larsson (former head of the latter national organization).  When I spoke with Ms Andén, she outlined an account of Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of own son Jasper’s sexual abuse, and how she closed down her international Sai school in Gothenburg. In Stockholm, amidst a great many tears, compelling direct witness accounts were given to membership of the then large and significant Swedish Sathya Sai Organization, which broke up as a result of the revelations, and wider confirmation of similar cases in Scandinavia and elsewhere. One of the witnesses was a very young male, widely known as ‘the golden boy’ because of the gold trinkets Sai Baba would give to him. Conny Larsson told me how the courage of this boy in coming forward led to his own revelations about having been a Sai Baba’s homosexual lover. 

As time went by, I had contact with many others in countries around the world, a brief list of whom includes:

Dr. Naresh Bhatia, Dave Brandt, Stephen Carthew, Timothy Conway Ph.D., Ella Evers, Lionel Fernandez, Jed Geyerhahn, Dennis Hanisch, Alf Tidemann-JohannessenAfshin Khorramshagol (“Said”) Andries Krugers Dagneaux, Dave LyonsRick Raines, Mark Roche, Shirley Pike, Elena HartgeringLori Kaplowitz,  Marc-Andre St. Jean, Matthijs van der Meer, Alexandra Nagel ‘Neptune’, Roy Pendragon, Brian SteelArtur Wisniewski, Ullrich Zimmermann 

I also had contact with those whose names and circumstances must not be discussed except with their written permission (including updated advice on any former undertakings that were positive towards proper court of dealings with best-practice media or government organizations or any other notable institutions). These include those who have taught or studied at Sathya Sai Baba education institutions. The situation of Indian witnesses was particularly acute. The joint family is a profound factor in Indian national life, and many of them had family closely connected with Sathya Sai Baba and his organization over the years. Some family members live in the Puttaparthi ashram and depend on Sathya Sai Baba’s largesse.

As my investigation unfolded, I spoke to young males – and/or their parents. Their accounts of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse were heartrending. In the matter of my personal, emotional coping with the unceasing revelations, it was fortunate, in one sense, that both my formal work in education, social service and particular life experiences, assisted me as I listened to and read testimonies from people in various countries. Some had been so shattered that it was difficult and sometimes impossible to pursue discussions. As might be expected, some needed to vent; some only did so after a period of trust-building; and others wished (and this was a common phrase used) to “move on”. Of course, undealt-with trauma can much impede any real moving on.

Featuring in many accounts was Sai Baba’s demand of the boys and young men to perform oral sex on himself.  Other factors repeatedly found were the use of bribes and threats. In case after case, the people involved were often regarded by those who knew them as unusually good-looking.

I spoke to many who, in various countries, had been prominent leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization in various countries. As a result of their own investigations, they had resigned on a matter of principle . Many others left the organization quietly, without formal resignation. Many leave-takers do not want their names brought forward.

A dilemma faces the international Sathya Sai Organization which it has not been able to resolve. Because it has maintained a glacial silence, it cannot even begin to do justice to thousands who have so deeply grieved. See Robert Priddy’s article:  Sai Baba: Glaring Publicity yet Silence on Critical Issues

This dilemma may be expressed with the question:  why would those who have been its dedicated and respected members for decades, in some cases prominent leaders, not show the same integrity in investigating the terrible accounts as they have so long shown in their Sathya Sai Organization roles – and, what is more, in their professions and wider communities? I have noted in the article Global Sathya Sai Cult White-ants Itself :

“The demands of professional investigators with whom former devotees have dealt in the attempt to expose the Puttaparthi corruptions are considerable. This includes Interpol, FBI, UNESCO, BBC, CBC, ABC, DR, SBS, The Times of London, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, India Today, Salon.com, Gatopardo, The Age, Financial Times (Australia), West Australian, Vancouver Sun, The Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, BT, Trouw, Spiegelbeeld, Noordhollands Dagblad, Focus, BILD …

If investigations were to uphold Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors then all is well for them!”

See,  Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List)

I have had contact with Al Rahm, father of the Rahm family. They had an exceptionally high profile in the Sathya Sai Organization. In fact, Al Rahm started the first Sathya Sai school in the USA. Al and Marisa Rahm and their son (with his account of having been serially sexually molested by Sai Baba) appeared in 2004 in the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’I quickly add that many others, whose accounts did not subsequently appear in the documentary, had discussed their experiences with BBC researchers such as Iris Asic and David Saville and Tanya Datta. David Saville, the assistant producer, with whom I worked closely for several months, told me that there were eventually over 80 hours of filmed testimony, and that the BBC had uncovered compelling accounts from others who did not appear on our private international lists. (These are essentially now in the hands of Robert Priddy and myself, and we can direct enquiries of those with excellent professional bona fides to relevant professionals within our ranks).

 Almost overnight, we had become demons!

Further Resources

The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed – by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. Part One Part Two Part Three

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult (Article on)

Some prominent ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on June 28, 2009

Witnesses (An alphabetical list linked to testimonies)

Puttaparthi and Misconduct of Sathya Sai Baba’s Officials

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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 to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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Posted in Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 5 Comments »