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

Posts Tagged ‘Isaac Tigrett’

Is Isaac Tigrett Sai Baba’s ‘Walking Will’? Guru Purnima Revelation Or A Fall?

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 14, 2011

At any time, has the Sathya Sai Central Trust cast public aspersions against the huge donor to Sai Baba’s work , Isaac Tigrett? He is the famed  founder of the international chain of Hard Rock Cafes and the House of Blues?

No, they have not. Do they do so now? Again, no.

 Tigrett has long been a trusted and close associate of Sathya Sai Baba. Indeed, we may eventually discover what mounting evidence already suggests:  Sai Baba did not trust the Sathya Sai Trust. Most of all, he trusted his young paramour Satyajit, who has now been sidelined by seasoned power players, such as R.J. Ratnakar and V. Srinivasan. And, in one of the strangest developments in the already strange Sai saga,we find an extraordinary example of Sai Baba’s trust for Isaac Tigrett.

In a video posted to the internet a month ago (see details below), Tigrett has undertaken to make a momentous statement on Friday 15 July 2011, a major Hindu festival. Tomorrow ……  There was one rider, though. He said (See his Times Now interview):

“I will at his approval – ah – give this information to the Sai Organization, if they wish to approach me”.

The Trust’s response to media (via a lawyer member, Naganand), could not be more clear. They do not intend to approach Tigrett. He said:

“If Bhagwan has given his instructions in sacred talks it is his business to come and tell us. If he doesn’t he can’t expect us to go and ask. I don’t think those discussion or instruction they had from Bhagwan have any value today as they were all personal instructions.”

But questions arise – What, in these days of immense disruption and confusion within the Sai movement, in exactly what might this entity consist? And what might be its supreme command center? Is it the Sathya Sai Central Trust? Or the international Sathya Sai Organization? Will Tigrett, long known to have something of a mind of his own, be quite happy to bypass the likes of Rathnakar and Srinivasan and deal with the wider organized fold of Sai devotees? Not least those great many donors who are deeply suspicious about the trustworthiness of the Sai Central trust – or some members of it. And concerned about how, exactly, their donations were disposed. We are talking billions, and not in rupees, either!

In various Sai devotee magazines, Isaak Tigrett – who has long maintained a relative degree of frankness that markedly contrasts with Sai Baba officials around the world – has spoken of how, the Indian Sai Trust officials constantly thwarted him. This was even though Sai Baba had put him in charge of arrangements to equip the Superspeciality Hospital at Puttaparthi, the multi-million dollar project  which Tigrett in fact funded for (according to figures we have heard) some 49 million US dollars, and not sums such as the 108 million so often spoken of in Sai Baba circles round the world.  My reader might find it instructive to hear a telephone recording of David Bailey, formerly Sai Baba’s closest western devotee who knew Tigrett and many other key Sai Organization players from India and abroad. See below.  See also:  Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba and: David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses

Sai Baba had trust issues in that Sai could not trust the Sai Trust

Given the vast millions in currency, gold, silver and many other valuables Sathya Sai Baba stashed away in quarters away from which, according to all reports, he kept even his closest confidants  (except Satyajit), one may not unduly wonder that he was secretive in the extreme.

The Sai Trust contests Tigrett’s statement. It is one that has drawn sections of the Indian media to refer to Tigrett as perhaps being Sai Baba’s “walking Will”. Tigrett has portrayed himself as keeper of a great secret Sai Baba entrusted to him in the witness of another. The name of this individual’s  name is not yet revealed, but Tigrett says that it is a distinguished devotee of Sai Baba.

But what legal status could any such custodianship have? The matter is fraught with oddity. However, if those forces among Sai devotees at large have confidence in the word of Tigrett and the witness to whom he refers, the succession game may change radically. And in doing so sweep Ratnakar and Srinivasan abruptly aside. There are many reports of grave concern in the wider Sai organization, and, in the 50 minutes version of his talk (at Sai Baba’s Dharmakshetra in Mumbai), it is not surprising to hear Tigrett make an impassioned plea to all devotees to stop rumor-mongering, and to come together as a “loving Sai family”. But his use of graphs detailing newspaper reports can be seriously criticised. Any reader not blinded by faith can see that a great deal of the reportage in the more responsible sectors of the Indian press have reported and raised questions that any professional newspaper has a duty to do. All his talk of focusing on praying for all the members of the Sai Trust, and sending out love, simply aids and abets the profound lack of accountability and transparency which have brought the Sai Baba world to its present unhappy pass.

Nagananda, Trustee, Sathya Sai Central Trust Board (See newspaper report below) says:

“Bhagwan had a one to one interaction with lot of people and it was an interaction between guru and devotee. So really it is one’s own personal experience. Swami’s administration was different from personal relationships built between devotee and guru. Those personal relationships had nothing to do with the administration of the ashram.”

But it needs no lawyer like Naganand to see that the Sai Trust’s stance on this issue, at least, is normative. That is to say, in countless legal systems around the world, a person’s Will and Testament are to be recorded in writing. There is a number of precautionary requirements, and provisions for certain contingencies – see,  Making a will (The Law Society, UK).

Vital questions will be: 

  • Who was the witness to whom Tigrett refers?
  • Was any substantive matter recorded in writing and signed by Sathya Sai Baba?
  • Did any such document contain any witnessing signature? 

Has Tigrett Lost His Marbles, Too?

Heaven knows what a “walking will” is, if anything. If Tigrett has lost his famed acumen acquired in building hugely successful international businesses, he gravely risks, after his promised statement (due this Friday, if he makes it), being made an international laughing-stock.

Of course, we shall need to wait until Friday. My readers may just be able to hold their breath until that time.

                             Full video with whole statement is at http://vimeo.com/24685452

Wealthy Donor Isaac Tigrett. Says he is Sai Baba's "Walking Will"

In his writings, my colleague Robert Priddy has focused on a number of details that would appear to write Tigrett off as a considerable eccentric. The evidence does not look good for Tigrett, admittedly. Priddy writes:

“Isaac Tigrett has stated that Sathya Sai Baba – who Tigrett worships as God Incarnate etc. etc. – gave him a crystal skull at an interview where the object just appeared in Sai Baba’s hands (as posted recently on my blog). Tigrett believes in the supernatural power of this skull and that cosmic balance depends on it (somehow) and that it carries a cosmic curse which can destroy the earth – as can be seen from the pages copied from the Internet below”.

I shared a nearby desk with Tigrett in my editing days at Puttaparthi, and got the sense of a man with his marbles intact. Perhaps mine weren’t, and I may remain the more mistaken, but I sensed a man of clarity and straightness. Indeed, he was upfront with the BBC – which none of Sai Baba’s officials were. Tigrett was frank with the BBC interviewer in ‘The Secret Swami’, Tanya Datta:


ISAAC TIGRETT
Interviewed by the BBC in the one-hour documentary ‘THE SECRET SWAMI’

Tanya Datta: But even if it was proven to you that Sai Baba was a paedophile and a serial sex abuser, you¹re saying it wouldn’t change the fact that he is your guru. (Tigrett laughs at this rather wildly, see picture on left)
Isaac Tigrett:
Absolutely not. Absolutely not. He could go out and murder someone tomorrow, as I said, it’s not going to change my evolution, it’s not going to change the good things that have come out of my relationship down there.
Tanya Datta: Does that mean that some part of you believes there could be some truth to the rumours?
Isaac Tigrett:Oh, absolutely I believe there is truth to the rumours.
Tanya Datta: You believe there is truth to the rumours?
Isaac Tigrett: Sure, there probably is, probably is.
(Click to view video clip of this episode- file size 1.34 MB)

Mind you, billionaires can afford a wee bit of integrity, and, in any case, have minions to get dirty hands so that the big boss can look good.

My nutshell view is this:

That as Sathya Sai Baba increasingly faced enormous problems – particularly after circa 2000 and our movement of exposure and devotee exit from the international Sathya Sai Organization – he behaved like the man he was instead of the God that he thought he was. For example, in his 2000 Christmas Day discourse, he lost his cool publicly.

The huge upsurge of bad publicity – chiefly via the exponential growth of the internet – threw Sai Baba and his minders into many tailspins. Secrets which, by means of political and other types of influence, the inner circle of the Sai Trust had  suppressed hitherto now surfaced. And with great force – right round the world.

From the minders’ point of view, the ‘cats’ being let out of ‘bags’ must have seemed to scream, and to be tiger toothed and clawed. Never before had their damage control instincts and skills been so challenged.

In 1997, after reports of scandals were already starting to surface more widely, my having not been to Puttaparthi for 15 years, one of the first things that struck me were Sai Baba’s highly controlled, rigidly choreographed movements to and fro. I mentioned this observation to Chris Parnell, a foremost leader in the Australian Sathya Sai Organization. A little later, he said to me, with an air of some mystery: “You are going to have a lot of work to do when you get back to Australia”. I took this to mean that harm stemming from allegations about Sai Baba sexually molesting many boys and young men was going to have to be addressed.

This along with Sai Baba’s seriously declining health, both mentally and physically, allowed the power players around him increasingly to stage-manage him publicly and browbeat him privately. He could have his boys and young men, but be far more careful. And for godssake  contain the foreigner situation, because if you don’t the vast donation base will be heavily jeopardized.

Of Sathya Sai Baba’s increasing lack of poise, In 2003, I wrote:

“Clearly losing his nerve in response to our intense government, police, media and internet pressure, Sathya Sai Baba’s discourse on Christmas Day 2000 far from celebrated Christmas themes, such as wishing ‘peace and goodwill to all men’. The Times of India, 26 December, 2000 headlined: ‘Sai Baba Lashes Out At His Detractors’. He extensively boasted his social works (actually they are overwhelmingly those of his devotees). Jealousy and reception of money motivated us, he said. Very terrible is the karmic future he evoked for us: ‘Betrayal of God is the worst of all betrayals. It will not be atoned no matter how many births are experienced'”.

Robert Priddy, former cofounder and head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway, on Isaak Tigrett

Isaac Tigrett’s announcement of secrets Sai Baba told him

Posted by robertpriddy on June 23, 2011

Isaac Tigrett, Sathya Sai Baba and the crystal skull

Posted by robertpriddy on October 7, 2008

Isaac Tigrett – the fantasies & fall of a Sai Baba supporter

Posted by robertpriddy on October 5, 2008

On Tigrett’s donation to the Superspeciality Hospital at Puttaparthi, Priddy notes:

“Word has long had it in the Sai movement that Tigrett donated over $100 million, at least. However, David Bailey, who was a very close follower of Sai Baba (until he finally blew the whistle), and who knew all the Sai ‘veranda VIPs’ well, knew that Tigrett gave $49 million dollars, of which $15 million simply disappeared. unaccountably. (Hear the phone call where he details this). Tigrett wrote an article – published in some Sai magazines – where he told how he was put in charge of the hospital equipping project by Sai Baba, but was frozen out by the ashram and Central Trust and had great problems doing many things due to the huge egos he encountered”.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

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

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I will reveal Sathya Sai Baba’s secret soon: Hard Rock Cafe founder
Published: Thursday, Jun 23, 2011, 16:13 IST
Place: Puttaparthi | Agency: ANI
Sathya Sai Baba and Isaac Tigrett

An American devotee of the late Sathya Sai Baba has said that he will reveal a closely kept secret of the Godman in six weeks.

Sixty-four-year-old Isaac Tigrett, a businessman of Jackson, Tennessee, made a startling revelation that ‘he is a living will of Bhagwan‘.

Speaking to the Times Now television channel, Tigrett, who is also the founder of Hard Rock and House of Blues and lives in Sai Baba’s ashram Prasanthi Nilayam, said that Sai Baba gave him instructions on how he wanted the ashram to be run after his death.

Trustees of Sathya Sai Baba, however, have rubbished Tigrett’s claim, saying that the spiritual guru had no secrets.

Considering that Sathya Sai Baba left behind a considerable fortune, there is almost a scramble among his successors to know what the secret is all about.

Nagananda, Trustee, Sathya Sai Central Trust Board said, “Bhagwan had a one to one interaction with lot of people and it was an interaction between guru and devotee. So really it is one’s own personal experience. Swami’s administration was different from personal relationships built between devotee and guru. Those personal relationships had nothing to do with the administration of the ashram.”

“Whenever some instructions were given & Bhagwan wanted action to be taken on that instruction, he would inform the administration like the secretary. If somebody got some instructions from Bhagwan it is their bonded duty to pass it on. They cant expect us to go an ask that have you got instructions, what that is and why don’t you tell us?,” added the trustee.

He added, “If Bhagwan has given his instructions in sacred talks it is his business to come and tell us. If he doesn’t he can’t expect us to go and ask. I don’t think those discussion or instruction they had from Bhagwan have any value today as they were all personal instructions.”

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Even Bigger Stash, Secret Vaults, False Ceilings and Walls at Sai Baba’s Ashram? Police Searching

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 22, 2011

NEWS FLASH.

Our regular well-wisher from India has just emailed:

“The Andhra Pradesh police have definite intelligence of the existence of secret vaults, and concealed storage in false ceilings and behind false walls in Yajur mandir, Sai Baba’s personal living quarters. They strongly believe that the wealth hidden there could be much more than what was actually found, perhaps on a staggering scale.

Meanwhile Sai Baba’s relatives are openly asking political leaders and VVIPs to question the activities of the trust, and are clearly unhappy with the studied silence of these VVIPs who used to flock to Sai Baba not so long back (as my sources reported 2 days back)

Also, the Vigilance and Enforcement directorate are taking an interest in the Sathya Sai Baba matter (as reported yesterday)… and it now seems all it takes is a Public Interest Litigation from someone to spark a major inquiry”.

http://expressbuzz.com/cities/hyderabad/sleuths-suspect-false-ceilings-in-sai-chamber/286861.html

http://expressbuzz.com/states/andhrapradesh/officials-await-pil-to-probe-sai-wealth/286860.html

http://expressbuzz.com/states/andhrapradesh/sai-relatives-challenge-devotees-to-speak-up/286825.html

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Hard on the heels of the above email came this from the same source:

“Isaac Tigrett is on TV…saying Sai Baba left instructions with him as to how the Ashram must be run, several years back….saying he is Sai Baba’s “living will”…has a witness to the conversation he claims…..says he spoke to Srinivasan, SV Giri and Chakravarti…..3 weeks back…Tigrett says ” I am living will now…but don’t know whether I will be after this interview” ….will reveal all to the worldwide Sai Baba devotees on Guru Purnima 6 weeks later…

I will send a report of this interview later….”

And then, this minutes after:

“In a major breaking story by Times Now TV channel on the Sai Baba story…..Isaac Tigrett claims publicly Sai Baba had answered 170 questions on how the Ashram and trust must be run, in 2007…..watch the videos….this was the lead story on Times Now just 30 min back

http://www.timesnow.tv/Satya-Sai-Babas-secret/videoshow/4376584.cms

http://www.timesnow.tv/INDIA/What-is-Sathya-Sai-Babas-secret/videoshow/4376615.cms

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My reader may also like to watch this Times of India television news report:

I know Sathya Sai’s top secret: Devotee

21 Jun 2011, 9:40pm IST| Duration: 01:33

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      Isaac Tigrett

We may ask – Is the fabled multibillionaire, these days, the late Sai Baba’s Rishi? A man of mystery, with a time-release secret?

Here is Tigrett’s own recent video segment, posted to Vimao.com, of him giving the talk that is now a major news story in India:

17 days ago, June 4, 9.56pm EST (Eastern Standard Time)
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See the article:

Isaac Tigrett. Selling Out Those Condemned to a House Of Blues

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 9, 2009

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

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

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The Times of India

What is Sai Baba’s secret?
22 Jun 2011, 0902 hrs IST, AGENCIES
Sathya Sai Baba’s trust on Wednesday (June 22) rubbished close devotee Isaac Tigrett’s claims of knowing a secret told by the spiritual leader himself. The trustees have said that Sathya Sai Baba didn’t keep any secrets from them. Isaac Tigrett, one of Baba’s famous devotees claimed that the spiritual guru had personally given him directions on how to run the trust and that only he had been let in Sathya Sai Baba’s big secret.Considering Sathya Sai Baba has left behind a considerable fortune, there is almost a scramble among his successors to know what the secret is all about.

Nagananda, Trustee, Sathya Sai Central Trust Board said, “Bhagwan had a one to one interaction with lot of people & it was an interaction between guru & devotee. So really it is one’s own personal experience. Swami’s administration was different from personal relationships built between devotee & guru. Those personal relationships had nothing to do with the administration of the ashram.”

“Whenever some instructions were given & Bhagwan wanted action to be taken on that instruction, he would inform the administration like the secretary. If somebody got some instructions from Bhagwan it is their bonded duty to pass it on. They cant expect us to go an ask that have you got instructions, what that is & why don’t you tell us?,” added the trustee.

He added, “If Bhagwan has given his instructions in sacred talks it is his business to come & tell us. If he doesn’t he cant expect us to go & ask. I don’t think those discussion or instruction they had from Bhagwan have any value today as they were all personal instructions.”

Earlier, Isaac Tigrett, a key devotee of Sri Sathya Sai Baba who is also the founder of Hard Rock & House of Blues and lives in Sai Baba’s ashram Prasanthi Nilayam, had claimed, “I have an announcement to make. In 2007 Sai Baba started giving me a series of interviews and in those series of interviews he told me exactly how he wanted Prasanthi Nilayam to run. He also had a witness who is so important, who is there, as I asked him over 170 questions about how he wanted me to do this. He said this is our secret. You tell no one. Now I simply have this to say. I will with his approval give this approval to the Sai organisation if they wish to approach me.”

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BBC Footage Still Potent In Exposing Sathya Sai Sect (See Video Clips and Secret Swami Documentary)

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 17, 2010

A potent factor in successive waves of people leaving Sathya Sai Baba has been video footage exposing the fraudulence that is Sathya Sai Baba. Especially for those pressed for time, here are some decisive clips from the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’. Although the documentary was first aired in mid 2004, it has since been viewed in many countries worldwide.
 
”The Secret Swami’ has contributed to enormous damage done to the Sathya Sai Baba Organization, and the repute of its founder and those of his following who have – in some cases wittingly and in a great many cases all too unwittingly through being duped, covered up for him. The cover up has been mediated via successive state and central governments and police and judiciary in India, as well as by the actions of his hugely wealthy and powerful international Sathya Sai Organization.
 
Since 1999, former devotee coordinators have withstood untold threats and libel from this organization and its supporters, and do not intend to cave in. Speaking the truth – no matter the misunderstandings, distortions and often virtually daily attacks – is its own reward. It is a value Sathya Sai Baba and his devotees constantly harp upon. Living it is another matter.
 
Many key links, including the link to the full one-hour documentary, are found in this article:  The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision
 
                     Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC
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SATHYA SAI BABA ‘THE SECRET SWAMI’
PHOTO & VIDEO GALLERY

SATHYA SAI BABA IN EXCEPTIONAL FILM SHOTS. FILMED IN 2004 AT SHIVARATHRI

VIEW THESE EXCERPT TRANSCRIPTS AND VIDEO CLIPS FROM

THE BBC TV DOCUMENTARY ‘THE SECRET SWAMI‘:

THIS DOCUMENTARY CAN BE BOUGHT DIRECT FROM THE BBC MARKETING DEPT.
AS A VHS VIDEO. FOR A FRANCHISE TO SHOW IT ON INDEPENDENT TV STATIONS,  CONTACT THE BBC.

3) DR. MICHAEL GOLDSTEIN DISCUSSES THE SEX ABUSE ALLEGATIONS AGAINST SAI BABA

4) DR. MICHAEL GOLDSTEIN STATES THE SAI ORGANISATION’S FAITH ABOUT SAI BABA

5) ISAAC TIGRETT DISCUSSES THE SEX ALLEGATIONS AGAINST SAI BABA

6) INDIAN EX-MINISTER OF EDUCATION, M.M. JOSHI, ON THE SEX ALLEGATIONS AGAINST SAI BABA

7) INTERVIEW WITH THE EX-HOME SECRETARY OF ANDRHA PRADESH

  8) VERY CLOSE DEVOTEES TESTIFY – SAI BABA’S SEX ABUSE AND DIRE THREATS ETC.

9) SOME CLOSE BEDFELLOWS OF SATHYA SAI BABA

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 (BBC) THIS WORLD – Documentary film: “The Secret Swami” TRANSCRIPT

Tx Date: 17th June 2004 This script was made from audio tape – any inaccuracies are due to voices being unclear or inaudible

The Rahm family introduction
Alaya Rahm visits Sai Baba
The first ‘genital oiling’ on Alaya Rahm
Mark Roche testimony on sex abuse
Alaya Rahm given cheap, false trinkets
Khushwant Singh [writer] on Sai movement
Kushwant Singh on ‘genital oiling’
Dr. M. Goldstein on Sathya Sai Baba as God
Dr. Michael Goldstein on ‘materialisations’
Dr. Michael Goldstein hears the Rahm’s account
Dr. Michael Goldstein secretly filmed!
Dr. M. Goldstein earns praise from Sai Baba
Sai Baba’s failed/faked lingam production
Sai Baba’s collapse after ’3-tonnes’ of weight!
Isaac Tigrett confirms sexual abuses
Premanand on Sai claims
Premanand shows Sai tricks
The Murders in Sai Baba’s bedroom
Ex-Home Minister V.P. Nair on the murders
V.P. Nair on reason for murder cover-up
Premanand on the murders
Minister Murali Mahohar Joshi loses his cool
UNESCO/US State Department warnings etc.

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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 

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Posted in New Age, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Barry Pittard’s Articles On Sathya Sai Baba and His Global Movement (1)

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 24, 2009

For more recent readers in particular, this series points to some of my articles at Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba – https://barrypittard.wordpress.com – on Sathya Sai Baba and his global sect, extending to January 2007. 

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Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon? It is interesting that so many devotees have assumed that the vision apparently promised by Sai Baba via his chief translator and close servitor Professor Anil Kumar to many thousands of devotees gathered at his Puttaparthi ashram would entail seeing the form of Sai Baba on the moon. If they had consulted their timeless sacred classic, Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 11, they might have recalled that the vision granted by Sri Krishna to Lord Arjuna (vishwarupa or vishvarupa darshana) was of a very different character. It was not the form of Sri Krishna -who was right beside him! – but a cosmic vision of enormous range and depth. But what fools who rush all agape in to Sai Baba’s local airport would ever want something both noble and fiercesome as that?

  • Was it not enough for them to have seen it where they had daily darshan (sight) of him within his Puttaparthi ashram?
  • Why all the sensationalism, and indeed threat to life and limb, of thousands of devotees rushing headlong to his nearby private airport?
  • Is an unruly crowd, which police had great difficulty in controlling, likely to be in a fit state to receive a divine and blissful vision?

Certainly, if it was the form of Sathya Sai Baba that was so eagerly sought after by the crowds of devotees, they have entirely missed one of his most insistent teachings: that the form is not what is important – but the essence of the teachings, and that attachment to the form is deleterious to spiritual growth.

BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise

Robert Priddy has bloggedUndisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC’. This is a summary of a number of major factors that came out of BBC’s television documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004) exposing Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult. The documentary was seen by millions in around 200 countries. He cites a number of the many major British press reviews that highly praised this documentary, such as Andrew Billen, of The Times (of London), who wrote:-

 

One of the richest supporters of the Indian guru Sai Baba – no less than Isaac Tigrett, co-founder of the Hard Rock Cafe – told his interviewer that he was perfectly willing to believe that Baba was simultaneously a) quite likely a paedophile and b) God incarnate

 
Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip) In a video clip, watch Sai Baba’s right hand. It goes beneath the pile of letters (taken from the seated crowds) he holds in his left hand.  Note the swift movement as, with his right hand, he extricates the solidified material from his left. This material has yet to be crushed by the fingers of his right hand.  
Sathya Sai Baba's Sleight HandSathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. VenkataramanDr Venkataraman is tantamount to being Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘minister of propaganda’. Practically all heads of the Sathya Sai Organization are forbidden to comment on critical matters, but G. Venkataraman is an exception. The few spokesmen (and they are almost always men!) say very little, as one would expect of a virtually Soviet-style, cultic organization, with a leader and a deputy chairman who can both wax lyrical about how the former dictator of Uganda Idi Amin wept with tears of devotion over Sai Baba.See, too, Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s jointly authored, four-part article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’

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

The Secret Swami confines itself to four areas:

  • Accusations down many years of Sai Baba’s sexual molestation of young males.
  • His implication in police executions in his private quarters on June 6, 1993.
  • Cover-up by him and the leadership of his worldwide organization, and as well as by successive Indian governments, of major criminal allegations.
  • His faking of miracles.

BBC producer Eamon Hardy and his team’s view is that serious questions are raised about India’s political maturity.

Idi Amin Video Clip. Amin Claimed Direct Line To God

Sathya Sai Baba has reminisced on how Idi Amin wept tears of devotion for him, when he visited Uganda in 1968. Actually, Sai Baba goes a step further than Amin, proclaiming that he is the Divine Incarnation surpassing all Incarnations. His devotee propagandists are now fervently downplaying his actual claims by telling the wider public that Sai Baba simply says that “all are God”.  See also, Sathya Sai Baba’s Deputy Head, Dr G. Venkataraman, Speaks of “Mr Idi Amin”  and  The Last King of Scotland – GOD’S ORDERS and Sai Baba 

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip)

‘Shiva Lingam’ so-called miracle. Filmed by the BBC for its documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ at Maha Shivarathri Festival at Puttaparthi (2004).  The carelessness with which Sathya Sai Baba botched his trick may be explicable by reference to other serious mistakes, in the context of his declining mental and physical health. See: Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon?  See also, Sai Baba No Shiva. Gold From His Gut Is Regurgitator’s Trick

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

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″.

 
Does Obama Carry Sathya Sai Baba Photo In Wallet?From the end of last year, the saibababaofindia conglomerate and followers elsewhere have hailed this sort of situation. Anita Sharma, an organizer on a host committe, Pittsburgh USA, for Barack Obama in November 2008 managed to hand a photo of Sathya Sai Baba to Obama.

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

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

                           ————————————————————————

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 Miracles, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Brian Steel Demythologizes Early Foreign-led Sathya Sai Baba Myths

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 23, 2009

My previous blog was: Brian Steel On John Hislop’s 27 Years as Sathya Sai Baba’s SpokesmanIt refers to the article: Sathya Sai Baba’s credibility gap: Contributions by John Hislop. (Brian Steel. January 2009).

This latter article, as one expects of Brian Steel, is scholarly and readable. Considerable length and attention to minute detail distinguish his work.  Recognizing that many of my readers have heavy demands on their time, I shall, in a series of blogs, select what I think are some of the key lines of his investigations. The reader may like to pick and chose among these – or else, of course, aim to read deeply into Steel.

At the moment, I am drawing attention to some more recent work of Steel, whose books while yet a follower of Sathya Sai Baba were highly-regarded, as they are now by ex-devotees and other critics of the Sathya Sai cult. Those who have time – perhaps for exhaustive academic, media investigative or book preparation purposes – will find Steel’s work indispensable. It is vast and rigorous. Some who wish to recapture some of the steps in the saga that led them to accept or reject one or more than one aspect of the Sathya Sai Baba phenomenon will also find a considerable historic overview and many sources that have taken Steel an immense effort to assemble. I should think that readers whether pro or contra Sai Baba’s perception of his role, inasmuch as they are level-headed, will greatly appreciate the balance, calm and seriousness of Brian Steel’s writing.

Given the vastness of Steel’s endeavour, and the fact that he blogs only occasionally on these topics at his blogsite  – http://briansteel.wordpress.com – it is important that his work does not languish for due attention. (For further links to his work, see resources at the foot of this note)

In my previous blog (see abover link), I quoted from Brian Steel where he refers to one of the key areas of contest in regard to the credibility of Sathya Sai Baba’s own and his devotees claims as to his divinity. Here he mentions the scans available at:  ‘Professor Erlendur Haraldsson contests Sai Baba’s claim of resurrection as bogus’. At the foot of this material, the editor (Robert Priddy) has placed an ‘anchor’ which leads to the precisely relevant paragraphs in a longer article:  Misleading Evangelism (Updated) , Brian Steel  November 2002.

For those wishing to consider Dr John Hislop’s reportages, and those of others, in regard to the alleged resurrection of the early devotee, the wealthy American Walter Cowan, there is a Steel companion piece: 

Sathya Sai Baba, Elsie and Walter Cowan, and John Hislop.
A Discredited 1971 Resurrection Claim
(Brian Steel. February 2009)

This details a good deal further the onset of American interest in Sathya Sai Baba circa 1965-1970. Steel lists key American followers of this period who had already emarked in actively publicising him in the USA.

“By 1971, the following Americans had already been attracted to Sathya Sai Baba and were already publicising his name back in USA: Indra Devi and Hilda Charlton (major independent early proselytisers, 1965- ), Arnold Schulman, Charles Penn, Hilda Charlton, Bob Rayman (or Reiman), Elsie and Walter Cowan, Dr John Hislop, Tal Brooke and Howard Levin. (All, except Schulman, became devotees and proselytisers, and Tal Brooke had already become the first ‘defector’ and critic.) 1971 saw the publication of the first books about SSB by foreigners Schulman and (Australian) Howard Murphet. Phyllis Krystal and Dr Samuel Sandweiss would be drawn to meet SSB in 1972, the businessman Isaac Tigrett in 1973 and Robert A. Bozzani in 1974. The 1970s would see a strong general growth in foreign devotee numbers and Sathya Sai Organisation Centres but it was the Americans who were the original driving force behind international recognition and worship of Sathya Sai Baba.

By 1965, with the formation of the first Sathya Sai Samithis (Centres), and later the Sathya Sai Seva Organisation under the capable leadership of Indulal Shah, an effective corporate structure had begun to take shape, to be followed by a rapid expansion in India of SSO Centres and in quick succession, All-India Conferences of members and (a few years later) International Conferences. By 1974, with the inauguration of the Sathya Sai Baba Association of the Americas and Canada, the Sathya Sai Organisation would be launched on a significantly wider international expansion of its activities”.

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Select writings from Brian Steel’s Extensive Opus

Sathya Sai Baba can be documented by any conscientious reader as having made contradictory statements and egregious historical and scientific blunders. These include his remarks on Jesus Christ and Martin Luther . For Steel’s detailed and sharply contextualized discussion, see: Sai Baba and Christianity. Some Observations (2002). Steel remarks here the alarming “extent of Sai Baba’s inventiveness”. This can be instructively read in concert with his Basic Notes On Sai Baba’s Credibility Problem (2004)

Brian Steel Indexes

Barry Pittard On Brian Steel

Revealing Materials On Sai Baba Of India

Brian Steel’s Surprise Visit To Sathya Sai Baba’s Ashram

William Aitken’s Book Fails to Answer Sai Baba Critics

For Brian Steel’s detailed exposure of severe inadequacies of a foremost Sai Baba hagiographer mentioned in this article refer to Steel’s:

Bill Aitken and Sathya Sai Baba. A Writer’s Dilemma,

on William Aitken’s book, ‘Sri Sathya Sai Baba. A Life (New Delhi, Penguin Books, India, 2004. Paperback edition, 2006) 

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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 Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Isaac Tigrett. Selling Out Those Condemned to a House Of Blues

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 9, 2009

One of many Sathya Sai Baba backers, who have donated fortunes to the Sathya Sai Central Trust, is Isaac Tigrett, of the USA. The BBC’s documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004) exposed the attitudes of major figures connected with Sai Baba. Only Tigrett granted the ‘probability’ that the allegations of sexual abuse of boys and young men were true, but he still adheres to his guru, and has recently been reported living at Puttaparthi. Tigrett sold out his world-famous Hard Rock Cafe and House of Blues chains. But, too, he can be regarded as having sold out honoured families and their children (many of them with a life-long devotion to Sathya Sai Baba) around the world who have been shattered by their treatment by Sathya Sai Baba and those in the international Sathya Sai Organization who have been involved in years of far-reaching cover-up. 

Isaac Tigrett. With Hollywood Associates John Goodman and Dan Akroyd
Isaac Tigrett. With Hollywood Associates John Goodman and Dan Akroyd

Isaac Tigrett donated the many millions of dollars that built the Superspecialty Hospital at Puttaparthi. He has been a chief agent in spreading Sathya Sai Baba to many countries, an influence which has included the White House in the case of Al Gore. Politically, the hospital is used as a showpiece and a propaganda tool to impress politicians and medical authorities both in and well beyond India. In the first raptures of their enthusiasm, some of these visitors are shepherded into keynote speaking roles, and used to showcase Sai Baba as all-beneficent, etc. An example of this  outreach is Dr Michael Nobel, a great grand nephew of Alfred Nobel, of Sweden, who bequeathed the Nobel Prize. The New York Times has exposed Michael Nobel as an imposter, and he is repudiated by the Nobel authorities but not by Sathya Sai Baba, whose Sai Global Harmony satellite broadcasting company WorldSpace, of which Nobel is director, beams Sathya Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organization internationally .

ISAAC TIGRETT
Interviewed by the BBC in the one-hour documentary ‘The Secret Swami’. This is a brief except. Transcript and Video clip details are below.

                                             

BBC Interviewer Tanya Datta: 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 laughs at this rather wildly …
Isaac Tigrett: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. He could go out and murder someone tomorrow, as I said, it’s not going to change my evolution, it’s not going to change the good things that have come out of my relationship down there.
Tanya Datta: Does that mean that some part of you believes there could be some truth to the rumours?
Isaac Tigrett: Oh, absolutely I believe there is truth to the rumours.
Tanya Datta: You believe there is truth to the rumours?
Isaac Tigrett: Sure, there probably is, probably is.
(Click to view video clip of this episode- file size 1.34 MB)
. And –  Transcript and Commentary

Smitten by Sathya Sai Baba, who claims (a fantasy now fast and absurdly being forced to recede in all but his blinded followers) that he will save the world and save it before he leaves it, Tigrett tells Tanya Datta:

“India’s so unique, it’s so incredible. If there’s a spiritual train then India is the engine. All this mysticism, all the strangeness that surrounds Sai Baba and all that stuff, this is the perfect home for it.”

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Robert Priddy On Isaac Tigrett (2008)

The fall and fantasies of Sai Baba supporter, Isaac Tigrett

A known appreciator of the Pythonesque, Priddy writes of ….:

‘Tigrett’s strange antics involving a crystal skull which he claims was ‘materialised’ for him in an interview by Sathya Sai Baba. He implanted this skull in the top of the Pyramid Arena in Memphis, Tennessee and, when it was removed by the powers-that-be, an Internet source reported:“According to Mr. Tigrett: “You don’t have any idea what you have done,” he said upon being told that the crystal skull had been removed, adding somberly that the cosmic balance of the earth could be disturbed as well.”’

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The BBC interviewed other major figures covering up for Sathya Sai Baba, allowing them to expose themselves badly: 

Dr Michael Goldstein world chairman of the Sathya Sai Organization,, who (with a BBC hidden camera trained on him) lost his temper and makes unsupportable remarks about accountability and transparency).  For commentary and BBC video footage of the angry and evasive Dr Goldstein, see: Sathya Sai Baba Chief, Dr Goldstein, Explodes. “I am the consummate professional” (See Film Clips). Millions of viewers in over 120 countries have seen ‘The Secret Swami’. As a shocking example of belief in a spiritual elect, which has been documented from Goldstein’s widely-distributed email to Sathya Sai Baba devotees, see:   Sai Baba Saved Devotees From 9/11 Says Dr Michael Goldstein. See also: BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Murali Manohar Joshi, a senior minister in the then Vajpayee right-wing government of India, lost his temper, bullied and jabbed the air with pointed finger at the BBC’s Tanya Datta, accusing the BBC and people in England of plotting against Sathya Sai Baba, A.B. Vajpayee and P.N. Bhagawati (a key Sathya Sai  Central Trust member and former Chief Justice of India). He arrogantly shouts at her: “No, no, no… You don’t know the meaning of interviewing a minister in my capacity, as a minister of my stature.” See:  Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

By their fruits ye shall know them!

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Robert Priddy

Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC

Barry Pittard at https://barrypittard.wordpress.com

The Genesis of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sai Baba)

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

BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise

Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team

Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence

India A Mature Democracy? BBC Probes

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

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Religion, Scandal, Successful People, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Robert Priddy’s Ten Top Posts on Sathya Sai Baba, Jan 2009

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 9, 2009

It is quite instructive to survey Robert Priddy’s current ten Top Posts posts out of his great many articles on his blogsite at: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com

Below are the titles, accompanied by a quote from these. 

Extract from Wiki Encyclopedia:

Robert Priddy (born 1936) is the British author of the book Source of the Dream – My Way to Sathya Sai Baba, a book about the Indian guru Sathya Sai Baba. Priddy wrote many articles from 1988 to 1998, in Sanathana Sarathi, the official magazine of the Sathya Sai Organization[1].

He researched and taught philosophy and sociology at the University of Oslo 1968–1985. While at the University of Oslo, Priddy translated an academic paper by Hjalmar Hegge from the original Norwegian.[2]

In 2000, after resigning as an official in the Sathya Sai Organisation[3], Priddy wrote End of the Dream: The Sathya Sai Baba Enigma (published in India by Basava Premanand), a work critical of Sathya Sai Baba. He maintains critical websites[4] on Sathya Sai Baba, and occasionally contributes to Indymedia releases.[5]

Robert Priddy is now retired.

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Sai Baba bomb claim demolishes his credibility

Posted by robertpriddy on December 7, 2008

Some days before the horrendous Mumbai terrorist attack, where grenades and bombs were used, Sathya Sai Baba pronounced “India will never have any such attacks” – but India did, and has had many such attacks (see below). This is another stupendous gaffe by the self-proclaimed Omniscient Omnipotent Creator of the Universe!

In three lengthy on-line TV interviews (at the US portal blip.tv.com) the former Sai Baba follower, Ullrich Zimmermann, gives a thorough description of his experiences with Sathya Sai Baba. This delivers a major blow to any wishful doubts entertained by the faithful that Sathya Sai Baba practices sex on male devotees.

Posted by robertpriddy on October 19, 2008

Some new postings:-

Miracle Man or petty magician? Will the real Sai Baba please standup The meeting between P.C. Sorcar Junior and Sathya Sai Baba has now become the stuff of legend, and Dr. Bhagavantam reportedly denounced Sai Baba as a fake towards the end of his life.

Sai Baba and the News Media- ‘The Week’ coverage of the murders in Sai Baba’s bedroom, with elucidatory diagrams and many comments
How Sathya Sai Baba and his officials reacted to the press inquiries into the 1993 murders

Sex, suicide and the guru – Sathya Sai Baba Three articles by one of The Times feature writers, Dominic Kennedy, which expose the nature of Sathya Sai Baba and related suicides.

Posted by robertpriddy on October 4, 2007

TV broadcasts were made and, when the allegedly omnipotent and all-knowing Sai Baba did NOT appear on the moon (due to unpredictable weather). Instead he was trapped for about one hour in his car amid the uncontrollable crowds, which also caused closure of the airport. The Vishvarupa Darshanam ceremony has to be “postponed” because, according to Sathya Sai Trust officials, of “non-cooperation of devotees and the cloudy weather”.

Sai Baba postpones moon buggy ride

Posted by robertpriddy on October 4, 2007

Waning popularity! This was no doubt another in a long, long line of calculated ‘rumours’ for the grinding minds of devotees who can’t find out what’s going on and are dead keen to know anything… But why Sathya Sai Baba went to the airport is truly a mystery in itself, for he knew he could never appear on the moon.

Posted by robertpriddy on October 20, 2007

Well, moon visits by Indians is nothing new at all, as all assiduous students of Sai Baba and his intimate knowledge of all events that have ever taken place must surely realise? The Prime Minister and ex-President Kalam must surely have read their Sathya Sai Baba on several former Indian moon visitors like the legendary Hiranyakasipu and others. Sai Baba’s scientific advisor, Dr. G. Venkataraman, has never commented on these matters, and one must wonder why. Does he NOT believe his Lord and master’s assurances, perhaps?

Posted by robertpriddy on June 6, 2008

One of the much publicised mahimas (i.e. ‘major miracles’) is one where Sathya Sai Baba supposedly appeared in the sky in the late 1980s to save an airliner over the South Atlantic ocean.

Posted by robertpriddy on July 4, 2008

Recently there appeared on some websites what was claimed to be a recently discovered photo of Shirdi Sai Baba.It is clearly a photo of that much revered Indian ’saint’.

One must not confuse Shirdi Sai Baba with the would-be usurper of his name and fame, Sathya Narayana Raju, who took over the name of Sathya Sai Baba around the age of seventeen (not 14 as is the official version – for his claimed birth date does not agree with the facts. See a thorough examination of this issue by the scholar Brian Steel here.

Though numerous Shirdi Sai Baba followers have also visited Sathya Sai Baba, the official line of the Shirdi Sai Sanasthan is that Sathya Sai Baba’s claims are bogus and fraudulent.

Posted by robertpriddy on October 5, 2008

One present exception to the current harassment of Westerners at Prashanthi Nilayam is Isaac Tigrett.  He is now living in the ashram having fallen on hard times, now being said to have been sitting in a VIP chair on the ladies side of the veranda, hob-nobbing with Indians and avoiding anyone outside his clique. He is apparently now also needing the services of the Puttaparthi Hospital which he donated to Sathya Sai Baba.

Tigrett’s support for Sai Baba was made clear by him on the BBC documentary, The Secret Swami, where Tigrett states he considers him to be a sexual abuser (see here). Should Sai Baba go out and murder someone, Tigrett opined, it would make no difference to his spiritual journey as a devotee! What kind of man is this?

Posted by robertpriddy on September 9, 2007

On this photo from a year or so ago, there is already a decidedly ga-ga look on Sai Baba’s face. Instead of the usual, where he cuts the ribbons, he is ‘assisted’ (he is actually holding onto the hand of his helper!). Likewise, videos also show him unable to cut his birthday cakes any longer.  Rumours that he is non compos mentis have become yet more persistent, having begun with accounts of his apparently senile behaviour already three years ago (including one from a recently-disaffected US resident in India who had been editing some of the Puttaparthi magazine ‘Sai Impressions’). He was heard to be giving instructions about events that were not scheduled and never took place, talking confusedly and sometimes garbling his words.

Posted in Miracles, New Age, Prophecy, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Skeptics, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Isaac Tigrett. Wealthy Promoter of Superstition

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 15, 2008

Former head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization Robert Priddy exposes a superstitious belief of Isaac Tigrett, one of Sathya Sai Baba’s key financial backers. Tigrett was an immensely wealthy U.S. citizen, who walks with some of the most powerful leaders in the world. Businesses he has built include famous institutions such as The Hard Rock Cafe and The House of Blues. He has contributed many millions to Sathya Sai Baba.

Isaac Tigrett. Secret Swami Cult’s immensely wealthy and hearty Laugher

Robert Priddy writes:

“Isaac Tigrett has stated that Sathya Sai Baba – who Tigrett worships as God Incarnate etc. etc. – gave him a crystal skull at an interview where the object just appeared in Sai Baba’s hands (as posted recently on my blog). Tigrett believes in the supernatural power of this skull and that cosmic balance depends on it (somehow) and that it carries a cosmic curse which can destroy the earth – as can be seen from the pages copied from the Internet below”

Sources

Isaac Tigrett, Sathya Sai Baba and the crystal skull
Posted by robertpriddy on October 7, 2008
The fall and fantasies of Sai Baba supporter, Isaac Tigrett
Posted by robertpriddy on October 5, 2008

Tigrett Speaks To BBC Television On His Faith In Sathya Sai Baba

Similar Tigrett preoccupation with mystic fancy has been seen in the BBC documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ 2004, where Tigrett tells the presenter Tanya Datta:

“India’s so unique, it’s so incredible. If there’s a spiritual train then India is the engine. All this mysticism, all the strangeness that surrounds Sai Baba and all that stuff, this is the perfect home for it.”

Unlike other Sathya Sai Baba leaders, Tigrett the latter comes across as compassionate but his unusual and repeated laughter in the BBC documentary suggests his ultimate denial of feeling that needs to translate to humane action. Tanya Datta says,
“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.”
Isaac Tigrett says,

“He could go out and murder someone tomorrow.”

Tanya Datta probes,

“Does that mean that some part of you believes there could be some truth to the rumours?” Tigrett replies,

“Oh, absolutely I believe there is truth to the rumours.”

But the practical effect – which is that Isaac Tigrett does nothing to advocate a hearing for Sathya Sai Baba’s accusers – is the same as if he did not believe in their truth! This immensely wealthy man, who walks with some of the most powerful leaders in the world, like Al Gore, blocks the chance of marginalized victims to effectively tell their stories. Clearly, his self-perceived spiritual development is all that matters. Therefore, he lends himself to one of history’s great cover ups. He may provide palatial buildings for Sai Baba but what about rebuilding broken people, and perhaps saving still others from coming to grief in the secret chamber of the ‘secret swami?

View the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’

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

Read the articles:

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision
BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?
Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team
BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise
BBC Acted “Totally Irresponsibly” Says Ashok Bhagani
Indian Ex Top Official Dogs Sai Baba On BBC. ‘Cold-blooded Murder’

Note:

For an example of another major figure around Sathya Sai Baba who lends himself to highly irrational beliefs, see my two articles:

J. Jegathesan. Part of The Secret Swami’s Cover Up and
Dato J. Jegathesan, a ‘Secret Swami’ cult top leader-roving ambassador
(These articles contain links to Robert Priddy’s writings on J.Jegathesan)

Posted in Miracles, New Age, Philanthropy, Religion, Skeptics, Spirituality, Successful People, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 27, 2008

Robert Priddy has bloggedUndisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC’. This is a summary of a number of major factors that came out of BBC’s television documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004) exposing Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult. The documentary was seen by millions in around 200 countries. He cites a number of the many major British press reviews that highly praised this documentary, such as Andrew Billen, of The Times (of London), who wrote:-

“One of the richest supporters of the Indian guru Sai Baba – no less than Isaac Tigrett, co-founder of the Hard Rock Cafe – told his interviewer that he was perfectly willing to believe that Baba was simultaneously a) quite likely a paedophile and b) God incarnate”

See also The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision , written from the point of view of one who for several months was closely involved in coordinating witnesses for the BBC from around the world.

 Here is Tigrett’s statement to the BBC’s Tanya Datta in “The Secret Swami

Datta, Tanya

Tanya Datta: 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.

 Isaac Tigrett: Absolutely not. Absolutely not. He could go out and murder someone tomorrow, as I said, it’s not going to change my evolution, it’s not going to change the good things that have come out of my relationship down there.

 Tanya Datta: Does that mean that some part of you believes there could be some truth to the rumours?

Isaac Tigrett: Oh, absolutely I believe there is truth to the rumours.

U.S. Billionaire supporter of Sathya Sai Baba, Isaak Tigrett, bowing to the Secret Swami

In the same Robert Priddy article see, too, the sections:  Vile sexual abuse and threats by Sathya Sai Baba alleged and:  Cold-blooded Police Executions in Sai Baba’s bedroom

Further Reading

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

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team

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

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

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 head of what Sathya Sai Baba has called THE divine organization in the world

Dr Michael Goldstein. Love All Serve All

Note:  How very spiritual!

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)

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia « Call For Media and Government Investigation

The Public Petition   

Excerpt From Public Petition (and comments)  

Posted in New Age, Rationalism, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

The Secret Swami. BBC Docu. Review. Condensed

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 16, 2007

Many have sought out my article, The BBC’s The Secret Swami – A Revision. However, it is very long, and many readers are very busy. So, for the sake of condensation, here, in the form of quotes, are some key pieces of information from it. Downloadable video footage is in the clickable references at the foot of this present blog.

Subheaders

  • Focus on One Family Obscures Vast Extent of Allegations
  • Governments Placate India
  • Supposedly God, Sai Baba Woos Heads of State and other Big Players
  • Foreign Goose Lays Multi-billion Dollar Eggs For Sai Baba
  • BBC’s Tanya Datta asks: ‘Is Sai Baba Above The Law?’
  • Oiling Penises Not A Hindu Ritual. (Nor Of Other World Faiths)
  • Top Indian Minister Shows Ugly Face of Indian Government Sai Baba Patronage
  • Dr Goldstein Tells BBC “I am what I am – a consummate professional”
  • “He Could Go Out And Murder” Says Billionaire backer, Isaac Tigrett
  • “Absolutely Cold-blooded Murder”, Says Former Home Secretary, V.P.B.Nair
  • Room For Many More Documentaries

Quotes

“The BBC’s cameras at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi in South India catch the pomp, circumstance, opulence and the highly stage-managed atmosphere of the crowded Mahasivaratri festival, February 2004”

V.P.B. Nair, former Home Secretary in Sai Baba’s State of Andhra Pradesh at the time of the killings, is seen in the BBC television documentary on Sai Baba, The Secret Swami, (2004), where he says that the police killings were “cold-blooded murder””.

The Secret Swami confines itself to four areas:

  • Accusations down many years of Sai Baba’s serial sexual molestation of young males from various countries
  • His implication in police executions in his private quarters on June 6, 1993
  • Cover-up by him and the leadership of his worldwide organization, and as well as by successive Indian governments, of major criminal allegations
  • His faking of miracles”

“BBC producer Eamon Hardy and his team’s view was that serious questions are raised about India’s political maturity”.

“Focusing on one family meant no examination of anything like the full extent of the allegations. It also meant no examination of the multiple billions (that’s a ‘b’ not an ‘m’) that pour into the Sathya Sai Central Trust coffers from all over the world, or of financial scams by his administration (e.g., the selling of apartments which are sometimes later taken away from the paid up owners), which devotees blindly accept, as “tests of faith”. It meant no examination of Tony Blair’s and also the Conservative Party Whips suppression of over fifty British parliamentarians (an earlier list showing, as I recall 47, was incomplete) to raise Sai Baba-related issues in the House of Commons.  This was at a time when Blair wanted to placate the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee so as to win a contract for 66 jet fighters for India. The BBC had evidence from a former British diplomat that Vajpayee demanded of Blair that he cool down the activity concerning Sathya Sai Baba, whose long-time devotee Vajpayee was, and is. The urgency to win the deal was bi-partisan”. For futher information, see my article, Flag Follows Trade. Abetting Indian Government Corruption

“Other documentaries will need to look at the supposedly miraculously materialized jewelry which independent international assayers like the Queen of Denmark’s crown jeweler attest are faked

“Caught by the BBC cameras for all time, Sai Baba pretended to vomit up pure gold Siva Lingam. A few minutes later, he told his vast audience:

“Out of the stomach emanated Shiva Lingas of the weight  of three tonnes.  That’s the reason why some strain on  the face and the body”.

“BBC producers say that Sai Baba’s top leaders at first thought the documentary would present a ‘positive image’ of their guru and the works of his organization to the world. Hence the rare permission for the BBC to shoot at Sai Baba’s ashram”.

“The exposure by Denmark’s national broadcaster in its 2003 documentary Seduced (renamed Seduced By Sai Baba in the English language version by Australia’s national multicultural broadcaster SBS), seen by millions in Denmark, Norway and Australia – when the top Sai leaders in Denmark and Australia made unavailing threats of legal action – must still have haunted their minds”.

“Showing three zealous western devotees eccentrically rhapsodizing about Sai Baba fails to indicate his appeal to people of many cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. Filming eccentrics detracts from the serious purpose seen elsewhere in the documentary. It obscures the interest he has evoked in figures of great power (e.g., Bill and Hillary Clinton (more particularly Hillary), Al Gore, Mikhail and (the late) Raisa Gorbachev (a friend of mine informed me that Mrs Gorbachev told her that Gorbachev had a book of discourses by Sai Baba as his bedside reading). Confirmation of the Clinton connection and their readiness to meet Sai Baba, which was thwarted by security advisors on both sides, was given to me by my beloved friend, one of Sai Baba closest of all servitors, the great Indian author and newspaper Editor (the late) V.K. Narasimhan. The sheer penetration of Sai Baba’s influence is of real concern”.

“One learns that The U.S. minerals magnate James Sinclair got upset when Sai Baba officials announced sums of money that he had donated, so it is likely that his continuing donations are now not being disclosed. However, we know that he twice donated U.S. 600 million dollars. I shall have to see whether I can check the figure but I think Sinclair further donated $100 million for Sai Baba’s first water project, a sum announced by Indulal Shah (then head of the Sathya Sai Organization) at Sai Baba’s 70th birthday celebrations, when Shah listed every donor to the Water Project who had given at least one crore. U.S. devotee friends who knew Sinclair and his wife, (the late) Barbara Sinclair said that Sinclair was very shocked that his name would brought out”.

“Would many Indian politicians, notorious for their extreme corruption, dare expose the foreign goose that lays the (cosmic!) golden egg? Driving this question would have reinforced the documentary’s fundamental query about whether India is a mature democracy”.

“We see the hospital by English architect Keith Critchlow for Sai Baba (a long-time conduit to Prince Charles). Largely funded by Isaac Tigrett and inaugurated in 1991, this hi-tech heart and kidney hospital even outdazzles the many-splendoured architecture of the ashram. BBC cameras miss the names of other big donors, overseas and Indian, which are on a Roll of Honour in the hospital portico. Indeed, The Secret Swami fails to mention the billions that pour into the Sai coffers from various countries such as Australia, Canada, Hong Kong (indeed, the Chinese diaspora), Germany, Indonesia, Japan, UK, USA … Like the American James Sinclair (who often works from Canada), the precious metals speculator, alone has donated several hundreds of millions of dollars)”.

“To convince the most critical, the BBC needed demonstrations as sophisticated as those in the Danish documentary Seduced (a copy of which the BBC possessed) where the Danish magician Nils Krøjgaard exposes the deceptions involved”.

“Confronted by the BBC’s Tanya Datta, Murli Manohar Joshi, one of the most powerful ministers in the since-defeated right wing Vajpayee government, soon loses his temper, jabbing away with pointed finger at Ms Datta, accusing the BBC and people in England of plotting against Sai Baba, A.B. Vajpayee and P.N. Bhagwati (a key Sathya Sai Central Trust member and former Chief Justice of India). He arrogantly shouts at her:  “No, no, no… You don’t know the meaning of interviewing a minister in my capacity, as a minister of my stature””.

“So repeatedly evasive was Dr Michael Goldstein that the BBC team gained permission from BBC heads and legals to film him with hidden cameras. The BBC cleverly gets him to admit the correctness of the Rahm family’s report of his words. Unlike his archangelic namesake and just like Joshi, his finger repeatedly jabs at Tanya Datta as he snarls, blusters and fulminates. Seemingly in need of a child’s first dictionary, Dr Goldstein hurls the questions, “Transparency in what sense?” and “What do you mean by thorough investigation”? He says that his “heart and his conscience” know that the allegations of sexual molestation could not be true. But what about the heart and conscience of families and individuals around the world who give accounts of Sai Baba’s tragic harming of their boy children?”

“We see the President of India Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and Dr Manmohan Singh (now India’s Prime Minister) visiting Sai Baba on his birthday. The ‘secret swami’ does not have to go to Indian Presidents, Prime Ministers and other power brokers on all sides of politics. They go to him!”

“In exposing a dangerous and influential cult, The Secret Swami is plucky and perceptive. Canada’s national broadcaster CBC was waylaid by hundreds of phone calls and emails by Sai Baba devotees, both before and after the screenings of the documentary in Canada. The program host said on air “We stand by the professionalism of our BBC colleagues”.

For Downloading and Viewing

The Secret Swami (BBC Television)
(154 MB, Broadband). The Secret Swami (23.3 MB, Modem)

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

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Rationalism, Religion, Sai Baba, Sex, Skeptics, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 4, 2007

Note: For enquiries, enter contact details in the Comment section. These will be treated with the same confidentiality and professionalism we have long observed in our dealing with e.g., UNESCO, governments, Interpol, media and religious and secular institutions, and other such serious inquirers. 

The BBC’s cameras at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi in South India catch the pomp, circumstance, opulence and the highly stage-managed atmosphere of the crowded Mahasivaratri festival, February 2004. India’s most famous (and controversial) ‘Godman’ has promised a great miracle, the materialization from within his stomach via his mouth of a pure gold lingam (a Hindu cosmic symbol of creation) the size of a generous egg, in full public view. Viewers hoping to see this spectacle will not be disappointed – but they will see the sham in full close-up.

linghodhbhavam2004_0001.jpgSai Baba pretends to vomit up pure gold Siva Lingam. A few minutes later, he tells his vast audience, “Out of the stomach emanated Shiva Lingas of the weight  of three tonnes.  That’s the reason why some strain on  the face and the body”. See: BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip)

nullJust one of Sai Baba grandiose show pieces, the Super Speciality Hospital at Puttaparthi, South India

The Secret Swami reveals much, but viewers may wish also to investigate much of what, for constraints of time, it omits.

police-shootings-sai-babas-bedroom.jpgV.P.B. Nair, former Home Secretary in Sai Baba’s State of Andhra Pradesh at the time of the killings, is seen in the BBC television documentary on Sai Baba, The Secret Swami, (2004), where he says that the police killings were “cold-blooded murder”.  Nair seeks to reopen the case of the June 6, 1993 four police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom. Many Indian police, politicians, journalists and other investigators know that the profound cover-up involved Sai Baba, his officials and Local, State and Central Indian governments. See my article:

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

See below,the BBC’s The Secret Swami transcript excerpt containing V.P.B. Nair’s testimony.

The Secret Swami confines itself to four areas:

  • Accusations down many years of Sai Baba’s sexual molestation of young males.
  • His implication in police executions in his private quarters on June 6, 1993.
  • Cover-up by him and the leadership of his worldwide organization, and as well as by successive Indian governments, of major criminal allegations.
  • His faking of miracles.

BBC producer Eamon Hardy and his team’s view is that serious questions are raised about India’s political maturity.

Focus on One Family Obscures Vast Extent of Allegations

Ashram scenes cut to northern Arkansas in America’s Midwest. Former devotees, Al and Marisa Rahm and their 20-year-old son Alaya show the BBC interviewer Tanya Datta around sturdy commune buildings that the Rahms established in the 1980’s as a model Sai Baba commune, with school, resident teachers, study groups, congregational singing… Much of the documentary’s credibility will stand or fall on how viewers evaluate this family. Certainly, the device of interweaving a family’s story with wider events touches the emotions. Although I think viewers will have a strong sense of the Rahm family’s integrity, the technique has a downside. It obscures the fact that allegations against Sathya Sai Baba come from many individuals and grieving families around the world. In fact, the BBC, as has been the case with national governments and police forces, was granted access to many testimonies.

It is, by the way, indicative of the desperation and dishonesty of pro Sathya Sai Baba protagonists who edit the Wikipedia article on him attempt to keep the BBC references out of it. Brian Steel and Robert Priddy state their names, but these individuals hide behind pseudonyms.

Focusing on one family meant no examination of anything like the full extent of the allegations. It also meant no examination of the multiple billions (that’s a ‘b’ not an ‘m’) that pour into the Sathya Sai Central Trust coffers from all over the world, or of financial scams by his administration (e.g., the selling of apartments which are sometimes later taken away from the paid up owners), which devotees blindly accept, as “tests of faith”. It meant no examination of Tony Blair’s suppression by over fifty British parliamentarians to raise Sai Baba-related issues in the House of Commons.  This was at a time when Blair wanted to placate the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee so as to win a contract for 66 jet fighters for India. The urgency to win the deal was bi-partisan. For further information, see my article, ‘Flag Follows Trade. Abetting Indian Government Corruption’:

Governments Placate India

Further, it meant no examination of the failure of governments – particularly of Britain, Canada, Australia and Germany – to match the US State Department’s naming of Sai Baba as the subject of a Travel Advisory – weakly citing that there are no court convictions of Sathya Sai Baba in India. If the State Department can name Sai Baba why cannot they? (As of May 25, 2004, the State Department D has dedicated an American Citizen’s Services Unit special line in Washington – 202 647-6179 – via which they will confirm that Sathya Sai Baba is the individual referred to in their Consular Information Sheet, November 23, 2001. There was no examination of former Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee’s leaning on Tony Blair about Sai Baba when Blair vied for a highly lucrative sale to India of Hawke class fighter planes. The programme mentions the Vajpayee letter which states that allegations against Sai Baba are “wild, reckless and concocted” but not that it was published at the time of Vajpayee’s visit to Tony Blair.

Other documentaries will need to look at the supposedly miraculously materialized jewelry which independent international assayers like the Queen of Denmark’s crown jeweler attest are faked:

There are allegations of Sai Baba’s failed promises to cure people of cancers and other terrible diseases; the tragedy of sick people of many countries desperately visiting him in hope of a cure; the targeting of the weak and vulnerable for their money by an organisation that, while saying that it does not ask for money, uses indirect approaches to raise it.

Supposedly God, Sai Baba Woos Heads of State and other Big Players

Head of Sai Baba’s world organization, Dr Michael Goldstein, of Covina California, tells the BBC interviewer,

“We believe that Sri Sathya Sai Baba is Jesus Christ. Sri Sathya Sai Baba is Buddha. Sri Sathya Sai Baba is the founder of all of the world’s religions. Sri Sathya Sai Baba has always been God.”

Dr Goldstein here reveals the true beliefs and agenda which his worldwide organization has long studiously kept hidden from the wider public, especially when it tries to enlist religious, political, educational and business leaders in its social projects. (The organization succeeded in getting the British Queen to visit a Sai School at Harrow but the programme omits this telling detail!) However, the work of former devotee and other exposé activists will now be much easier, for they will be able to send DVDs and CDs to those governments, leaders and institutions which the Sathya Sai Organization reportedly tries to woo, including the Palace and the White House.

BBC Evicted From Puttaparthi For Asking About Allegations

This organization’s reputation has been badly damaged by quarter of a decade of intense campaigns of exposure by globally organized former devotees, and even longer by Rationalists and Humanists. BBC producers say that Sai Baba’s top leaders at first thought the documentary would present a ‘positive image’ of their guru and the works of his organization to the world. Hence the rare permission for the BBC to shoot at Sai Baba’s ashram. The Puttaparthi authorities extended guided tours to the BBC by Central Trust Secretary K. Chakravarthy and other leading officials, including Dr Goldstein, never before granted to a television corporation. However, a few days later, when the BBC asked for a comment on the worldwide allegations, the ashram authorities ordered them to leave, and Dr Goldstein sent a prompt global instruction to all Sai Baba centres that no-one must cooperate with the BBC. No doubt the exposure by Denmark’s national broadcaster in its 2003 documentary Seduced (renamed Seduced By Sai Baba in the English language version by Australia’s national multicultural broadcaster SBS), seen by millions in Denmark, Norway and Australia – when the top Sai leaders in Denmark and Australia made unavailing threats of legal action – must still have haunted their minds.

Sai Baba’s Power Isn’t Flower Power

Establishing footage from the 1960s shows the hunger in the West for Hindu Indian gurus by hippies and such cultural icons as the Beatles at that time. This true but superficial view is one of a few blemishes in The Secret Swami. There were many other kinds of spiritual seekers, and Sai Baba’s middle class devotees infinitely outnumber those of alternative lifestyle. The view may be correct for Marisa Rahm, once caught up in the 60’s alternative scene, but wrong for her husband Al Rahm. He considered himself a yogi, who engaged in serious spiritual practices such as meditation. There is a tradition of western aspirant yogis long before the 60’s.

Showing three zealous western devotees eccentrically rhapsodizing about Sai Baba fails to indicate his appeal to people of many cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. Filming eccentrics detracts from the serious purpose seen elsewhere in the documentary. It obscures the interest he has evoked in figures of great power (e.g., Bill and Hillary Clinton (more particularly Hillary), Al Gore, Mikhail and the late Raisa Gorbachev (a reliable friend of mine told me that Mrs Gorbachev told her that Gorbachev had a book of discourses by Sai Baba as his bedside reading). The sheer penetration of Sai Baba’s influence is of real concern. For Isaac Tigrett, multi-millionaire American backer of Sathya Sai Baba, the hippy origin is correct. All glassy-eyed, perhaps still a hippy at heart, a Peter Pan-like Tigrett tells Tanya Datta,

“India’s so unique, it’s so incredible. If there’s a spiritual train then India is the engine. All this mysticism, all the strangeness that surrounds Sai Baba and all that stuff, this is the perfect home for it.”

We glimpse one of Sathya Sai Baba’s water projects. The BBC got led to the showpiece village near Puttaparthi. But it would have needed to investigate harder, for the various water and other projects are the subject of many allegations of fraud on a grand scale, including incredible wastage of resources and inefficiency. This same water system supplies the ashram, which depends on big overseas donors. But there are claims that the overall project failed to deliver due to an unexpected fall in the water table, and that this was covered up by the Sai Baba’s Central Trust.  See article by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard, ‘Sathya Sai Organization Untruths, Disinformation and Subterfuge’:

One learns that The U.S. minerals magnate James Sinclair got upset when Sathya Sai Baba officials announced sums of money that he had donated, so it is likely that his continuing donations are now not being disclosed. However, we know that he twice donated U.S. 600 million dollars. I shall have to see whether I can check the figure but I think Sinclair further donated $100 million for Sai Baba’s first water project, a sum announced by Indulal Shah (then head of the Sathya Sai Organization) at Sathya Sai Baba’s 70th birthday celebrations, when Shah listed every donor to the Water Project who had given at least one crore. U.S. devotee friends who knew Sinclair and his wife said that Sinclair was very shocked that his name would brought out. On Indulal Shah, see: Indulal Shah and Indian Government Cover Up and,‘God’s’ Ex-Shah, Indulal Shah

Foreign Goose Lays Multi-billion Dollar Eggs For Sai Baba

Showing his worthy causes might allow the BBC to appear balanced, but it ignores considerable allegations of fraud, and complaints by village elders that the Sathya Sai water project authorities have left a trail of broken promises. Sai Baba’s state of Andhra Pradesh has long been one of India’s poorest. The Secret Swami reports that Sai Baba “cuts through the red tape” to provide water to poor villages via a costly pipeline. But the documentary misses a perfect opportunity to suggest a major reason why successive Indian governments and opposition parties have covered for him. Yes, he (or rather his organization) accomplishes what they fail to provide, but with billions of overseas dollars! Would many Indian politicians, notorious for their extreme corruption, dare expose the foreign goose that lays the (cosmic!) golden egg? Driving this question would have reinforced the documentary’s fundamental query about whether India is a mature democracy.

We see the hospital by English architect Keith Critchlow for Sai Baba (a long-time conduit to Prince Charles). Largely funded by Isaac Tigrett and inaugurated in 1991, this hi-tech heart and kidney hospital even out-dazzles the many-splendoured architecture of the ashram. BBC cameras miss the names of other big donors, overseas and Indian, which are on a Roll of Honour in the hospital portico. Indeed, The Secret Swami fails to mention the billions that pour into the Sai coffers from various countries such as Australia, Canada, Hong Kong (indeed, the Chinese diaspora), Germany, Indonesia, Japan, UK, USA … Like the American James Sinclair (who often works from Canada), the precious metals speculator, alone has donated several hundreds of millions of dollars).

BBC’s Tanya Datta asks: ‘Is Sai Baba Above The Law?’

Lovely architecture. But the moral interior? Similar to others from around the world, Alaya Rahm speaks of Sai Baba genitally oiling him, kissing him heavily on the mouth, giving and receiving oral sex, trying to penetrate him anally, mixing lavish gifts of money and jewelry with dire threats – e.g., to cut his penis off, and forbid interviews to his family – to ensure his silence. That these patterns recur in so many other victim reports is crucial, but the BBC fails to highlight this fact.

Alaya says he was afraid to tell his parents of his sexual molestation in almost all of his many private interviews. At one point his father asked him whether he had received the oiling experience. Yes, the son replied, but how did his father know? He answers that he himself received this treatment when he first visited Sathya Sai Baba at 18 years old, who told him it was “a ritual healing process.” Why did not the BBC challenge leaders about the oiling experiences? The moment Eamon Hardy raised questions about allegations, that was it – the BBC was promptly told to leave the ashram. Other journalists have found the same cover-up. Some Sai Baba leaders at least do admit the ‘oiling’ allegations – but only under strictest professional guidelines are doctors (and Sai Baba is not one!) permitted to touch the genitals of minors or adults. Tanya Datta’s question to Dr Goldstein in another regard obtains here, too: Is Sai Baba above the law?

Oiling Penises Not A Hindu Ritual. (Nor Of Other World Faiths – And Non Faiths)

Could oral sex by a guru be a secret Tantric ritual? Khushwant Singh (strangely the BBC describes this most famous of Indian social commentators merely as a ‘Writer’) says,

“There’s no Indian tradition to support the fact that, you know, worship of the Lingam includes also doing the blow job, if that is what you are referring to. I don’t think there’s any basis for that whatsoever”.

A noted Hindu scholar’s response would have carried more weight here. Or even a BBC text or voiceover citing response by Hindu authorities. Any religious leaders would be most remiss if they shirk issues like this. Clarity about allegations of Sai Baba’s ejaculation into victims’ mouths would have questioned the absurdity voiced by many Sai Baba devotees (such as long-time devotee Ram Das Awle in his Internet writings) that Sai Baba touches young males sexually only to assist their mental health or raise the Kundalini energy.

Basava Premanand, the celebrated Rationalist and ‘guru buster,’ – see my appreciation of him at the time of his death: Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach.  Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2009 reports investigating Sathya Sai Baba since 1968, first “as a hobby” then going public in 1976. He is seen showing the trick behind Sai Baba’s so-called ‘miraculous’ production of the golden lingam (of which more below). Professor Narendra Nayak, his fellow Rationalist, demonstrates how, by sleight-of-hand, magicians perform the same ‘miracles’ as Sai Baba – e.g. materializing ash, rings, pendants, etc. To convince the most critical, the BBC needed demonstrations as sophisticated as those in the Danish documentary Seduced (a copy of which the BBC possessed) where the Danish magician Nils Krøjgaard exposes the deceptions involved. Narendra Nayak shows Tanya Datta, who realizes that it takes practice, how to secrete a vibhuti (sacred ash) pellet between the thumb and base of the forefinger. Nayak says that Sai Baba’s rotations of the hand when producing the ash is the method used by all ‘godmen’ who ‘materialize’ this ash, and obscures the act of crumbling the pellet. (Various people, such as the former leader of the Australian Sai Organization, Terry Gallagher, a scientist and businessman, have reported seeing Sai Baba inadvertently drop these pellets. See Terry Gallagher’s testimony and my article ‘Police Killings in Sai Baba’s Bedroom at Puttaparthi’).

On stage before February 2004’s Mahasivaratri crowd, the BBC cameras show Sai Baba looking increasingly sick. He produces the lingam, and the materialization trick demonstrated by Nayak is easy for the viewer to spot, the lingam being concealed in Sai Baba’s handkerchief. Tanya Datta comments:

“To the alarm of the crowd suddenly Sai Baba collapsed. His huge coterie of staff swung into action. There was panic. An organisation used to tight control seemed to have lost its grip. Sai Baba was hastily wheeled off stage.” Later, he is carried hobbling back, with officials claiming that he manifested two more lingams offstage. To the audience a shaken Sai Baba makes an inane claim “Out of the stomach emanated Shiva Lingas of the weight of three tonnes. That’s the reason why some strain on the face and the body.”

Top Indian Minister Shows Ugly Face of Indian Government Sai Baba Patronage

Confronted by Tanya Datta, Murali Manohar Joshi, one of the most powerful ministers in the since-defeated Vajpayee government, soon loses his temper, jabbing away with pointed finger at Ms Datta, accusing the BBC and people in England of plotting against Sai Baba, A.B. Vajpayee and P.N. Bhagawati (a key Central Trust member and former Chief Justice of India). He arrogantly shouts at her,

“No, no, no… You don’t know the meaning of interviewing a minister in my capacity, as a minister of my stature.”

Her vulnerability in the face of an arch bully is touching, and she shows some courage but tough interviewers would not have put up with his evasiveness. Surely, it would have been better had Ms Datta not tried to defend the BBC and herself but rather firmly stated the worldwide nature of the serious evidence that keeps on coming. At least, Joshi’s arrogant evasion of the BBC’s totally fair question about Indian Government accountability was unmasked for the world to see.

Sai Baba “Wanted My Son”

There is historic footage of the Rahms’ popular song and story telling appearances on the major US Sai circuit and of Sai Baba’s special attention to them. Marisa Rahm says, “it was just like the trip to Disneyland with God. I mean we were just really ecstatic with joy at getting this attention and this limelight.” However, concerned about their son’s troubled behaviour, Alaya’s parents confront him, and he reveals countless occasions of sexual abuse, saying that he was afraid that if he had told them he would be left “alone in the world.” Marisa weeps, saying “he (Sai Baba) didn’t care about me; he wanted my son.”

When the Rahms took their story to Dr Goldstein, in September 1999, they say that he was shocked and shaken, saying, “Faith has got to be restored and words will not be enough.” Goldstein promised to speak to Sai Baba and pledged the Rahms to secrecy until he did. He reported back that Sai Baba replied, “Swami is pure” and “If you want to fight with people in the gutter, you also have to go into the gutter. Don’t.” But are the Rahms gutter people?! Were they fighting? For years, they were dear favourites of Sai Baba and he showered presents on them. We see a box full of them, including fake jewelry, and Al Rahm calls it a “box of bribes.”

Dr Goldstein Tells BBC “I am what I am – a consummate professional”

So repeatedly evasive was Michael Goldstein that the BBC team gained permission from BBC heads and legals to film him with hidden cameras. The BBC cleverly gets him to admit the correctness of the Rahms’ report of his words. Unlike his archangelic namesake and just like Joshi, his finger repeatedly jabs at Tanya Datta as he snarls, blusters and fulminates. Seemingly in need of a child’s first dictionary, Dr Goldstein hurls the questions, “Transparency in what sense?” and “What do you mean by thorough investigation”? He says that his “heart and his conscience” know that the allegations of sexual molestation could not be true. But what about the heart and conscience of families and individuals around the world who give accounts of Sathya Sai Baba’s tragic harming of their boy children? Goldstein says that he would be able to tell at sight whether young men had been sexually molested or not. Doctor Goldstein is a medical doctor, and does not rate alongside sexual abuse experts who work full-time in the area. Sexual abuse experts are in touch with Sai Baba’s young accusers (and also abuse accounts going back many years) and are satisfied they are telling the truth. He shouts “I would know it in my heart because I am what I am – a consummate professional. Can you understand that?” This is the world head of Sai Baba’s supposedly divine organization that claims Sai Baba, as full embodiment of God, will save the world within his lifetime!

The Secret Swami shows footage, taken by Sai Baba’s official videographer, James Redmond, which shows that, directly after he had asked Sai Baba about the Rahm allegations, Goldstein is made Chief Guest and before a vast audience is praised by Sai Baba as a “great man,” “Goldstein has all good qualities in him,” etc. We see Goldstein being strongly moved by Sai Baba’s flattery. Al Rahm says, “Michael came up to James and said; ‘I want a copy of that video, it’s the peak of my life.’ And I remember thinking; he’s being played.”

The documentary could have raised the question: Why is it that the Rahms and many others, for so long highly regarded in the Sai Baba community, as soon as they try to tell their experiences, are reviled by both guru and many devotees as ‘demons,’ ‘Judases’, ‘slanderers’, ….? Typically, cults do this to those who question or dissent.

“He Could Go Out And Murder” Says Billionaire backer, Isaac Tigrett

Having failed with Goldstein, Al Rahm turns to Isaac Tigrett. Unlike other Sai leaders, the latter comes across as compassionate but his unusual and repeated laughter suggests his ultimate denial of feeling that needs to translate to humane action. Tanya Datta says,

“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.”

Isaac Tigrett says,

“He could go out and murder someone tomorrow.”

Tanya Datta probes,

“Does that mean that some part of you believes there could be some truth to the rumours?” Tigrett replies,

“Oh, absolutely I believe there is truth to the rumours.”

But the practical effect – which is that he does nothing to advocate a hearing for Sai Baba’s accusers – is the same as if he did not believe in their truth! This immensely wealthy man, who walks with some of the most powerful leaders in the world, like Al Gore, blocks the chance of marginalized victims to effectively tell their stories. Clearly, his self-perceived spiritual development is all that matters. He may provide palatial buildings for Sai Baba but what about rebuilding broken people, and perhaps saving still others from coming to grief in the secret chamber of the ‘secret swami?

“Absolutely Cold-blooded Murder”

Former Home Secretary of Sai Baba’s state Andhra Pradesh, V.P.B. Nair, tells the BBC cameras that the police killings in Sai Baba’s private quarters in June 1993 were “absolutely cold-blooded murder,” and that CID investigations, which were suppressed, showed many lies and cover-ups. He is seeking to re-open the case. Here is what Nair had to tell the BBC:

Tanya Datta
Sex abuse is not the only controversy tainting the God man’s reputation. On a June night back in nineteen ninety-three, four devotees broke into Sai Baba’s quarters. They were armed with knives.
Their motives are unclear. All four were close to Sai Baba. Some say they wanted to warn him about corruption in the Ashram. Others claim their intention was to kidnap or even kill Sai Baba. As they approached they were stopped by four of Sai Baba’s attendants. In the struggle that followed two of his attendants were killed and the other two badly injured. Hearing the commotion Sai Baba escaped through a back stairway and raised the alarm. Heavily armed police
arrived on the scene.
VPB Nair

So these boys, they ran and locked themselves up in a room. And then in the whole, all around a lot of pandemonium and people gathered so the boys were shivering like rats in that small hole.
Tanya Datta
The four men barricaded themselves into Sai Baba’s bedroom. There was a stand-off with the police. Then the order was given to go in.
Tanya Datta
What happened next is hotly disputed. The official
version seemed clear.
VPB Nair
These four boys charged towards the police with the knives and started stabbing the inspector and other personnel. Because they were attacked they opened fire.
Tanya Datta
In self-defence?
VPB Nair
In self-defence. They opened fire and killed all the four boys. This the police story.
Tanya Datta
Velayudhan Nair rejects the police version of events. He should know. Until two thousand and two he was Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh and in charge of the state police. On coming to office he examined the files and found that the original police report was riddled with lies and inconsistencies. This was later exposed by a CID investigation.
VPB Nair
Two or three daggers cannot be a match to roaring guns. So this story of the police being attacked and the police shooting in self-defence is totally baseless.
Tanya Datta
So are you suggesting that the police executed the boys
that night?
VPB Nair
In absolute, this is absolute cold-blooded murder.
Tanya Datta
Some police officers were arrested but never charged. The case was eventually dropped. Sai Baba has always had a close relationship with the police. Even today, senior officers are special guests at the Ashram. With friends in such high places Sai Baba seems to be untouchable. Any attempt to investigate the goings-on at his Ashram even, murder, appear doomed to failure.  Critics say police connections ensured that Sai Baba wasn’t even interviewed, despite being one of the witnesses to the events of that night.

We see the President of India Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and Manmohan Singh (now India’s Prime Minister) visiting Sai Baba on his birthday. The ‘secret swami’ does not have to go to Indian Presidents, Prime Ministers and other power brokers on all sides of politics. They go to him!

Room For Many More Documentaries

In exposing a dangerous and influential cult, The Secret Swami is plucky and perceptive. Canada’s national broadcaster CBC was waylaid by hundreds of phone calls and emails by Sai Baba devotees, both before and after the screenings of the documentary in Canada. The program host said on air “We stand by the professionalism of our BBC colleagues”. History will expose the devotees but the BBC team needed an intellectually more penetrating analysis, and to raise sharper, more focused questions. The documentary brilliantly suggests that the leaders are into heavy cover-up and denial, but strangely didn’t say how widespread and long-standing the paedophile allegations are. The sham ‘miracles were’ somewhat exposed but there do exist more difficult-to-explain Sai Baba-related phenomena than this (e.g., the apparent appearance of many miracles in devotee homes and centres in many countries), which would require rigorous investigation, because the recipients cannot sensibly be accused of shamming. Of course, not everything packs into an hour-long documentary. Let us trust that the BBC will use its more than 80 hours of footage to expose some of many other issues.

Rating: three and a half out of five.

Further Resources

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

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

Sleight Of Hand. The Sleightness of Sathya Sai Baba (Exposing film clips)

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

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 head of what Sathya Sai Baba has called THE divine organization in the world,

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)

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia « Call For Media and Government Investigation

Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED (Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four.

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