Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Martin Luther King’

Who Will Speak Out?

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 21, 2014

Who Will Speak Out? Barry Pittard. 21 March 2014

Who will step forward? Who simply will speak out?

Why the big load heaped on the shoulders of so few?

Like Nelson Mandela or Gandhi the Mahatma

Like  Simone Weil or Dietrich Bonhoeffer 

And the small band of others across time

Many not named or else famed and soon-forgotten

Who will walk like these? Who simply will step forward?

*

Standing up, speaking out, stepping forward

Even though, even though – the numbers need to grow

*

Or who will be timid, and show kids how to back-step?

Or who will teach boldness by ourselves being bold?

Like Martin Luther King or Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop

Like the Dalai Lama or Wangari Maathai 

And the small band of others across time

Their eyes on the straight point of their compass of conscience

Simple as a fable, just as pointed, and as true

 *

Standing up, speaking out, stepping forward

Even though, even though – their numbers need to grow

*

… Why does it take war before we snap awake?

… Or a Royal Commission before we listen

… To the rivers across the years of people’s tears

… Who have no protection when bullies oppress them

*

Who will step forward? Who simply will speak out?

Why the big load heaped on the shoulders of so few?

Like Malala Yousafzai or Liu Xiaobo

Like the Irish peace women or Andrei Sakharov

And the small band of others across time

Many not named – or else famed and soon forgotten

Who will walk like these? Who will simply step forward?

*

Standing up, speaking out, stepping forward

Even though, even though – the numbers need to grow

*

… Why does it take war before we snap awake?

… Or a Royal Commission before we listen

… To the rivers across the years of people’s tears

… Who have no protection when bullies oppress them

 

Except when we are –

Standing up, speaking out, stepping forward …

 

 

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Sir Edward 'Weary' Dunlop

 Anthony Harvey/Getty Images

“If I win Nobel Peace Prize, it would be a great opportunity for me, but if I don’t get it, it’s not important because my goal is not to get Nobel Peace Prize, my goal is to get peace and my goal is to see the education of every child.” Malala Yousafzai

“Education, if it means anything, should not take people away from land, but instill in them even more respect for it, because educated people are in a position to understand what is being lost. The future of the planet concerns all of us, and we should do what we can to protect it. As I told the foresters, and the women, you don’t need a diploma to plant a tree”.  Wangari Muta Maathai – Unbowed, pp. 137-138.

 

“Nonviolence is not a thing that comes easily. You have to learn how to be nonviolent.”
Betty Williams

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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.

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

Dalai Lama: Forgiveness does not mean forgetfulness

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 15, 2007

dalai-lama-in-australia-june-2007.jpgAt the Brisbane Entertainment Centre, Australia, July 14, 2007, the 14th Dalai Lama spoke to a capacity, 15000 audience. Several large screens throughout the auditorium meant that people were able to see him close up. I had the privilege to be there.

Someone remarked that the Dalai Lama was “radically informal”. It was true – he had a great naturalness, straightforwardness and simplicity. There were also  large crowds outside watching on a large television screen outside the Brisbane Entertainment Center.

Forgiveness does not entail forgetfulness

First, I shall single out one of the points he made, because it can throw light on the motivations of many former devotees of Sathya Sai Baba around the world. Most are not motivated by hatred against Sai Baba or leaders of his Sathya Sai Organization but believe it important to state their case as best they can, if in very difficult circumstances.

This point of the Dalai Lama’s – about forgiveness – is made, like all of his points, in many wisdom traditions, yet it seems to forever need to be raised and clarified, simple a point although it is.

Anyone who knows those individuals around the world who have dissented from Sai Baba – many of them having been deeply committed to his work for decades until they resigned or simply walked out – knows that most of those individuals speak out decidedly not because of hatred and revenge. It is a simplistic notion that speaking out about crimes and other wrong-doings has to to equate to hatred and revenge. Even if, since none of us is perfect, we err, it is important for us all to look for some better resolution of the issues. Some of the insights gained in the ‘Truth Commission’ processes may afford a guide for groups who are ready to reform themselves and seek compassionate solutions. See e.g., http://www.truthcommission.org

A society in which serious allegations are not brought out will remain a terribly crippled one. It will be one of secrecy, and lack compassion. It will not address the difficulties that so sorely need to be raised. China is far from alone in this, and we each need to address our own country’s failures to be a genuinely just society. However, China, as many cults do, has a long record of severe suppression, secrecy and violation of human rights. It has strongly protested to the Australian government, attempting to get it to stop the Dalai Lama’s visit. It would like us to forget him, and forget its atrocities, including enforced colonization and genocide. It can no more say sorry for these and make amends – to name but one of many Chinese government human outrages, for its violent mass killings in Tienanmen Square in 1989 (see Wikipedia reference HERE) than my own country’s government of John Howard can say sorry to our own wonderful, but tragically decimated indigenous people. Howard and the federal Opposition Leader, a former diplomat, Kevin Rudd, who speaks fluent mandarin Chinese, have both vacilated severely about whether they would meet the Dalai Lama. Most suddenly and curiously, neither appeared to know what their diary was doing but in fact, according to various media reports, they were both locked in consulting their realpolitik options – namely the trade issue, since China is Australia’s biggest trading partner. (I have dealt with this issue, from the perspective of our own interfaces with a number of governments in relation to Sai Baba HERE.  Many so-called ‘democratic’ governments prefer narrow pragmatism over humanitarian conscience). 

What the Dalai Lama has succeeded in doing, and what a few others like Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Mary Robinson and so on have so powerfully sought to do is to rise above hatred and vengeful, violent retaliation. (It may be good if we all start making a list and add still many more role model names, such as the Myhero project has sought to do at this page HERE). They have struggled on the great scale just as the rest of us have to struggle on the smaller scale. Not one of these leaders failed to speak out against the evils that had been perpetrated – such as those of war, empire, colonialism – and the disgraceful and terrible means used to realize them. Remembering evils can be graceful, especially when we have community support, and personal methods of self-discipline and induction of genuine calmness – such that we do not visit them on others as doctrine.

Forgiveness: Not losing compassion for the other person

Answering a question from the audience, the Dalai Lama distinguished between forgiveness and forgetfulness. He said that forgiveness is logically not possible with the absence of forgetting. To forgive, you need to remember what it is that you are forgiving. Forgiveness means not losing compassion for the other person. Sooner or later that individual, if they have have committed an offence, has to face the consequencies. Forgiveness does not mean taking no action. The important thing is that you do not let hatred overtake you.

‘Secular Ethics’

The Dalai Lama said he had nothing to offer but common sense. His own religion was his own private matter. His thoughts expressed publically may be termed ‘secular ethics’. He had not much to offer, except commonsense.

He was now nearly 72 and since 16 years of age has had lots of difficulties, like the loss of his country. As he tours the world there is always sad news. But it is important to find a way, although recognizing the sadness for what it is, not to detain oneself with it but instead to establish a calm mind. To some, this attitude seems like being careless. But it is not, because a conflicted mind will bring still more troubles. Take problems seriously by all means, of course, but on the objective intellectual level rather than on the emotionally conflictful level. One needs to  look at things objectively, and handle things more realistically, being neither over joyful nor over sad.

Happiness is the very purpose of life

Feelings of compassion and kindness need to be implemented through action. People need to feel a part of society, and self-confident.  We are social ‘animals’. Survival depends on a sense of community. Positive emotions are very good for us, and negative emotions very bad and destructive. The more compassion the better is society’s functioning. This recognition does not belong peculiarly to any religion.

Religious answers often divide

Compassion is very commonly shared by people everywhere since we received it from our time in the mother’s womb and from her as we developed as we developed from our earliest stages as human beings. If morality and ethics were based on adhering to this or that religion, serious questions arise. For example – what religion? Many answers to this are very divisive of humankind. What? Six hundred million human beings should all follow a just one religion and no other. It is not possible. The secular teaching of values is the commonsense solution.

Force has been the typical answer

Compassion cannot be a weapon. If you try to eliminate people’s viewpoints by force the hatred will pass down the generations. Today, one Bin Laden, in ten years 10 Bin Ladens. The Dalai Lama told this in a letter of condolence to President George W. Bush on the day after 9/11. He got a strong laugh from the audience when he said that he has met George Bush and is scheduled to meet him again soon, and finds him individually a very nice man but that “his philosophy and mine are – different”.

Destroying another person is destroying yourself

External disarmament is important but the real need is for internal disarmanant. We need to make these notions familiar to children in school, so that they can confidently say to their parents – this trouble needs to be solved through dialog, not through conflict. Consider the other person as a part of yourself. Destroying another person is destroying yourself.

A questioner asked the Dalai Lama what have been the his greatest joy and and greatest sadness. He replied that there have been so many such moments that it is hard to pick but that two of those that stand out that taken together were very important revelations to him came close together. When he was sixteen he was overjoyed to have obtained his Ph.D. Even as this happened, the Chinese occupation of Tibet was proving very difficult for his people. There was terrible fear of the Chinese soldiers. Over half a million people died, many of starvation, many killed. In March 1958, many Tibetans, including himself, escaped. The experience felt very “Up. Down” but it enforced a sense of reality.

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The Public Petition   

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization   

Posted in Morality, New Age, Opinion, Protest, Rationalism, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »