Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Joseph’

Puttaparthi and Misconduct of Sathya Sai Baba’s Officials

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 16, 2009

Note, 18 July 2010: This earlier article reports on a deeply upsetting, indeed, ugly experience in my early days at Whitefield. Now that so many allegations against Sathya Sai Baba have surfaced year after year, the situation depicted here takes on still more sombre resonances.

——————————–

A correspondent, who has a noted role within the wider Hindu community, has just written to me:

“I visited Puttaparthi several times when I used to live in India and work at a nearby place called Anantapur, which was about 50 km from where Sai Baba lived. What I used to notice most during my visits was the rude behavior of the volunteers. I wondered why they were so rajassic and gross while the guru was preaching sattvic behavior and the canteen management took pride in serving sattvic food to enhance sattvic qualities”.

(Note: “Sattiwic” = Sanscrit; having a serene, harmonious, balanced mind or attitude. “Rajassic = Associated with animals and activity, emotions, desire, selfishness and passion. See any standard Sanscrit dictionary).

I should point out that, in my years at Puttaparthi and Whitefield, I have seen many volunteers do a splendid job; however, there is a nasty ‘underbelly’ which, to judge from continuing reports, has never been addressed. In some cases, Sai Baba and his authorities are complicit in monumental cover up, as in the case of the police killings in his bedroom in April 1993. See:  Sathya Sai Baba – questions and his silence

The writer’s thoughts prompted my recollections of an incident at the time I was teaching in Sathya Sai Baba’s college. It involved one of the other long-stay devotees, who had come to Sathya Sai Baba in the sixties, an American man named Joseph. In 1979, in the Whitefield ashram crowd awaiting Sai Baba’s public appearance (darshan), Joseph, began to talk out aloud – quite audibly for those who sat near on the sand, as I did. (A large auditorium now stands in that area). He was distressed and expressed moral outrage – he repeated that some college hostel boys had told him that Sai Baba had asked a number of them (in Joseph’s words) to “line up and masturbate.”

On the third or so day of Joseph’s dark rumblings, six hefty Indian male service volunteers (seva dals) came and dragged him out, his arms and legs flailing. The head service volunteer, whom I knew quite well, told me that Joseph had been ordered not to return. One can never forget the struggle that the immensely powerful Joseph put up, shouting out the accusations – no doubt for all to hear. It was clear that the accounts of the students had pained him, and that he was at great odds to somehow get a message out. An hour afterwards, the afore-mentioned volunteer told me that his duty (which he clearly regretted) was “like wrestling a tiger.”

A very distressed Indian man who had witnessed the harrowing proceedings said to me, “If Sai Baba is God, why do they need to use all this violence against this man?”

For the next few days, Joseph climbed a tree outside the ashram wall, and cried forth the allegations for us all to hear. Then, he was gone. I heard from a close friend and local resident, who knew some of the officers, that the Kadugodi police had thrashed Joseph, and sent him on his way. A disturbing implication is that it is very well-known that the local police are firmly in control of Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram authorities. Here was a well-known figure who had lived long in the community.

Many of us have had ‘flags’ which we have, in our psychological denial state, ignored. We sleep on, but after slamming the alarm clock off. Older well-informed devotees will recall brutal, corrupt people like Kumar, the betel nut chewing stick wielding ex superintendent of police, who was Sai Baba’s gatekeeper at Puttaparthi for many years? A woman in the Sai center which I attended told me of a traumatic experience of seeing terrible violence perpetrated by some of Sai Baba’s assistants. She said it was too painful to talk about and that the incident had presented her with grave inner struggles about Sai Baba.

Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees need to be honest and admit candidly that many dreadful happenings have long taken place around Sathya Sai Baba. Some may eventually come to realise that, once revelations come out, the memories of many others are triggered, and that information, especially in the age of information technology, spreads exponentially. What pro Sathya Sai Baba apologists who constantly attack those who speak out seem to fail to recognize is that a great deal of corroboration of the facts does not end with the work of prominent former devotee writers and other critics. Many make their own discoveries altogether unreliant on the latter. Also, huge numbers read our articles and examine video footage, and discuss with family, friends, colleagues, fellow members of associations, travellers, and so on. They print out and examine content. They ask questions, and some investigate rigorously, turning up appalling and compelling evidence. Thus, the word gets out, and never stops at the point of this or that blog site or web site

In time, darkness has a hard job hiding itself from itself.

——————————————————————————

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

There is a Spanish version available:

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

 ——————————————————

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

Subscribe in a reader

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

 

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

Joseph. Early Sathya Sai Baba Whistleblower

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 27, 2008

Particularly for those readers those who were Sathya Sai Baba followers for decades – who are continuing to leave the Sathya Sai Organization and gradually recovering memories of their experiences – I am reposting, having unposted, my first WP blog article at – https://barrypittard.wordpress.com

This February 2007 article was then entitled: Joseph’s Reaction. Was it shock of spiritual betrayal?

In exposing corruption, painstaking documentation, as accurate as one can get it under often trying circumstances, is paramount. Sources keep on opening. Including ones that go way back, and it is good to see memories being jogged. Much of the documentation we keep from the public domain, such as the Internet, where fanaticism, distortion, libel, slander, stalking and hatred can ride high. As I often point out in red so there can be no missing it, many former devotees welcome third party investigation by the best quality media, by scholars, and law enforcement agencies.

Documentation is much assisted by those with the rare gift of photographic memory, and also by those who kept careful written records. Yet when there is a sufficient pool of informants, where the chance of any collusion is remote or to be ruled out, the stream of informal information is also important.

It may be urged, and in part mistakenly so, that memory is too fallible to be any reliable guide. Hearsay can dominate. Non-primary evidence can obtrude itself. And so on. The game used by psychologists that is most often known as ‘Chinese Whispers’ (See Wikipedia reference below) illustrates the marked dangers of accounts passed from person to person and of phenomena such as rumor, gossip. However, there are well-established methodologies by which to significantly counteract such problems. Sometimes, commonsense is not to be ruled out as a useful factor.

Resource

Chinese Whispers, Wikipedia Reference

…………………………………………………………………

“The mire was deep, & the child did weep”. William Blake, Songs of Innocence.

 
Let me start with one of a number of experiences that haunt me and will not let my conscience be stilled. In 1979, in the crowd awaiting Sai Baba’s public appearance (darshan), Joseph (USA) sat along with the rest of us.

I knew him well enough, and it was he who found me accommodation on my first arrival with wonderfully simple and decent village folk in Kadogodi, behind Sathya Sai Baba’s Whitefield ashram. He had told me that he was formerly a college lecturer in French. Called a hippy by the village children (who may have been somewhat right), he appeared to be in his thirties, and was one of three or so Westerners remaining after the hippies and others had departed from Sai Baba in the late sixties.

Joseph began to discourse, for all of us to hear, and I sat just behind him. At times with rising stress levels, and with moral outrage, he repeated that that some college boys had told him Sai Baba had asked a number of them (in Joseph’s words) to “line up and masturbate.” On the third or so day of Joseph’s dark rumblings, six hefty Indian male service volunteers (seva dals) came and carried him out onto the street, ordering him not to return. I expect any of the thousand or so present can never forget the fight that the immensely powerful Joseph put up, roaring out the accusations for all to hear. A very distressed Indian man said to me, “If Sai Baba is God, why do they need to use all this violence against this man?” An hour afterwards, one of the volunteers told me that his duty of ejecting Joseph was “like wrestling a tiger.” He told me that his part in manhandling of Joseph saddened him because they had known each other affectionately.

For the next days, while people awaited darshan, Joseph climbed a tree outside the ashram wall, and again cried out the allegations for us all to hear. Then, he was gone. I heard from a close friend and local resident, Siva Subramanian, a Tamil and retired grain merchant who knew some of the Tamil constables, that the Kadugodi village police had soundly thrashed Joseph, and sent him on his way.

So much, then, for the cardinal doctrine of ahimsa or non-violence – in the land that still daily venerates my great hero since I was a child, Mahatma Gandhi – along with the Dalai Lama and Martin Luther King, a towering apostle of non-violence. Sai Baba everywhere preaches ahimsa, but does he – and do those around him – practise it? Many devotees will remember his brutal corrupt servitors like Kumar, the betel nut chewing, stick-wielding ex-superintendent of police, who was Sai Baba’s gatekeeper at Puttaparthi for many years. Diane, a woman in the Sathya Sai Baba group not far from where I live told me of her trauma at seeing violence perpetrated by some of Sai Baba’s assistants. She said it presented her with great doubts about Sai Baba but felt that she could not speak further. Her story is one of many such, a fact that devotees really need to face squarely.

Just a small few of the grave complaints about Sai Baba, which are strenuously covered up by his servitors:

  • Large-scale, serial sexual molestation of boys and young men
  • Being implicated in police killings in his bedroom on June 6, 1993, along with massive cover-up by his ashram authorities and local, state and central government and police
    Faking many miracles
  • Promising but not delivering miraculous cures
  • Making prophecies which have not eventuated
  • Giving accounts known by modern science to be completely unfounded
  • Contradicting himself, over long years, in published discourses
  • Massive misappropriation of funds donated by devotees worldwide
  • Presiding over a highly unaccountable financial empire
  • Creating myths about himself, which he permits to be used as the basis for materials in public exhibitions, like the museums at Puttaparthi and Mumbai
  • Falsifying his birth and school details
  • Plagiarising the sayings of others
  • Running a worldwide organisation that is extreme in its lack of public accountability and transparency, and which hides certain core, but embarrassing beliefs and agendas when it runs its recruitment drives in luxurious, costly venues.

And, alas, Etc., etc.

———————————————–

Petition

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

There is a Spanish version available:

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

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

Subscribe in a reader

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

 

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »