Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Moving On’

Survivors ‘Move On’? But Abusers Move On – From Victim To Victim. And Must Be Opposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 23, 2011

Tediously, phrases emerge from the mouths of those who could, but do not, speak out forthrightly about their experiences of spiritual and moral betrayal.

Often, one hears them say, “I am moving on, now”.

But the abusers, the criminals, the bullies, don’t move on. They thrive in the knowledge that their victims will, most often, move on. Essentially cowards themselves, they understand that other cowards will protect them – by preferring the easy way out. By shutting up. By not calling a crime a crime. By leaving undefended the abused. By abandoning any shred of self-respect.

There Is No Healing In Hiding

The Sathya Sai Organization certainly moves on, thinking that their dead guru – despite his countless false promises of healing and absurdly unfulfilled predictions and vast secret hoard of currency, gold, silver and other valuables – moves with them and within them.

Those who, against unenviable odds, have continued year after year to expose Sathya Sai Baba and his soviet-style, authoritarian, worldwide cult too often see cases where those who speak of ‘moving on’ get into yet more self-entrapment. Out of one guru’s or cult’s frying pan into another. Again, the problem of lack of self-respect.

For some examples of those who were highly respected leaders when members of the Sathya Sai Organization, and who have spoken out with conscience and decency, see:

Searing true testimony about Sathya Sai Baba abuse (the case of Hans de Kraker, Australia, for years Manager of the Western Canteen at Puttaparthi. Article by Robert Priddy)

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion (including Terry Gallagher case –  Gallagher investigated extensively, and, in consequence, resigned as leader of the Sathya Sai Organization, Australia)

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

U.S. Psychologist Shirley Pike’s Moving Challenge To Sathya Sai Baba and His Organization « Call For Media and Government Investigation

The Sathya Sai Organization: Almost overnight, dissenters treated as demons! « Call For Media and Government Investigation

David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses

Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba

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

Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults

Video of Some Primary Witnesses of Sathya Sai Sex Abuse, and Sai Cult Cover Up

The patient researcher will need to sift carefully among roles played by many individuals. Twenty six years a highly respected devotee who worked in close association with early leaders of the Sai movement, such as the late Elsie and Walter Cowan, the late Glen Meloy was an exceptional former devotee international coordinator. See my tribute to him at the time of his death:  Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam. An early key coordinator, Hari Sampath, an Indian from Chennai, who had previously worked in Sai Baba’s Security and Intelligence Wing was, like Glen Meloy, a tour de force.

Some other names to start with are:  Terry Gallagher and Stephen Carthew Australia), Al Rahm (USA), Richard Nelson, Rick Raines (USA), Timothy Conway Ph.D (USA), Dave Lyons (USA),  Artur Wisniewski (Poland), Although, overwhelmingly, it is men who lead the Sathya Sai Organization, prominent women leaders who have left after years of work on behalf of the organization include: Britt-Marie Anden (Sweden), and (from the USA) Shirley Pike, Sharon Purcell, Elena Hartgering (the latter two deceased), Lori Kaplowitz, Ella EversFor an incisive writer with a quite academic (though very accessible) approach, see the Dutch former Sai devotee writer:  Alexandra Nagel. A Seminal Writer On Sathya Sai Baba, A Guru Accused. 

The noted Australian scholar in linguists Brian Steel has long written incisively and voluminously on many aspects of the Sathya Sai cult. His published writings while a devotee of twelve years were already respected for their extensive knowledge of Sai literature. His close and rigorous examination of many primary documents, including large numbers of collected Sathya Sai Baba discourses, have unearthed many egregious mistakes about science and history, prophecies subsequently unfulfilled, and other anomalies.

There are many others, but these men and women raised their voices strongly and clearly from the first. They, who had not been derided in all their involvement in official Sathya Sai circles, were now treated to appalling behaviours such as shunning, defaming, and the rather Orwellian historic obliteration from memory. These responses are so typically evident when there is apostasy after sect membership.

On the surface, ‘moving on’ from a traumatic set of circumstances, as opposed to getting stuck in them, may seem perfectly reasonable. One after another, the various schools of mental health declare that until one has seriously dealt with the underlying issues, there is no successful ‘moving on’. One set of symptoms may replace another set, but masking and not addressing the basic causes. 

There remain several questions which often go unanswered, such as:

If one has done little or nothing to mine one’s experiences for serious lessons – spiritual, mental, and physical – does one successfully ‘move on’ from an issue?

Is it ‘moving on’ when one hides, first, from oneself and, then, by not sharing, forthrightly, one’s insights with others?

Coming from countries around the world, a few have, in the face of attacks on their integrity, publicly recorded their experiences of sexual abuse at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba, and in some cases those around him, including teaching staff.

Sadly, the many who could have shown solidarity with those who spoke out left all the heavy-lifting up to a small few.

The Sathya Sai Organizations Treatment of the Rahm Family

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of AmericaJoint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family (Al Rahm was one of the foremost of top leaders in the SS Org.) and:

Al Rahm’s explanatory letter and:

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America

Further Interconnected Articles

Dr Naresh Bhatia. Silenced Now In Indian Child Abuse Scourge

Some prominent ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba

Smear Campaign against critics of Sathya Sai Baba

Dissent From Guru Cults Draws Slander and Harassment

Evidence of an Internet Activist in Action

On Disinformation and Internet Vandalism

Wikipedia Issues and Sathya Sai Baba (By the Independent British writer on religion and philosophy Kevin R.D. Shepherd)

Sathya Sai Organisation – Further Subterfuge and Misinformation, by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition

(Note: You may prefer to go 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)

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About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 10, 2009

A key difficulty facing an authoritarian, suppressive, unaccountable sect such as the Sathya Sai Organization is this: When there are serious scandals being hushed up, there is -:

  • organized, networked dissent and public exposure of its disinformation, secret directives, methods and real agendas

  • quiet disruption and internal decay that happens quite apart from formal, focused, widespread efforts.

  • the exponential spread of crisis for the organization.

The leaders of “the Secret Swami” (as the BBC termed Sathya Sai Baba, as a result of their extensive investigations, including 80 plus hours of film footage) know and suffer the effects of these three factors. They know the terrible facts. It suits them to allow ignorant and unconscionable voices to attack those who have responsibly and clearly raised the issues in various parts of the world. Those such as Dr G. Venkataraman find it easier to put out entirely erroneous information about the withdrawal of UNESCO and the University of Flinders, South Australia, from a major education conference at Puttaparthi. It is their style to attack the credentials of the BBC and other organisations which have investigated extensively and carefully into the allegations of very many compelling witnesses from various countries. Further down the chain of command, center leaders are expected to inform their congregations the the dissent comes from the smallest handful of disgruntled ex-members. There is a useful Summary of Main Failings and Deceptions of the International Sathya Sai Organisation. This is complied from Robert Priddy’s eighteen years experience as a founder member and national leader in Norway. From the same writer – a retired academic from the University of Oslo in philosophy and social sciences – there is a sociological analysis of the organization and feedback from former members.


 

Apart from cult leaders cynically engaged in the getting and holding of power, with all the accompaniements of realpolitik, there is, more widely, a psychological shrinking on BOTH the part of those resistant to the seriousness of the allegations of abuse of various kinds AND among many who have satisfied themselves that the allegations are true. The desire for the ‘quiet life’ is irresistible.


 

A hard fact of human nature is that most people shy away from anything approaching controversy. This is all the more noticeable when an often socially tabooed subject as sexual abuse is involved. Many feel that the problems and responsibilities of work, study, family and so on, which already loom large in their lives, are more than enough to handle. It is not surprising that much of the investigative, analytical and presentational work – where there is a strongly-maintained continuum – is done by those who have retired from their professions.

 

 

At best, those who are cautious and conservative will act to address the problems in their own locality. They will investigate situations of abuse in their own midst, and satisfy themselves that the more widely-spread allegations are true, having dealt with their localized instance of abuse by Sathya Sai Baba or those closely associated with him.

 

Many exit from the Sathya Sai Organization resigning. Organized, networked dissenters working with the greater overview can hear of these instances but often the participants do not get in touch. When contacted, they tend to say, e.g., “We want to move on”. “We do not want to have a falling out within … ” – the family or workplace or circle of friends, etc. “We don’t want it to affect our children’s study”. “We have to be careful that our business is not affected”. “We are prepared to testify, so long as there is a properly-mounted class action lawsuit against the Sathya Sai Organization or a reputable media or institutional investigation”. The list of reasons or excuses is longer!

 

Major reputed media in several countries, such as the BBC in ‘The Secret Swami’ (first screened July 2004 and subsequently broadcast in many countries) have raised questions that are the utmost responsibility of an alert and responsible media to ask. See:

 

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

In case after case, media and even the most scholarly investigators (whose distinguished details can be made know to responsible, reputed media etc)who have tried to examine the organization have been thwarted by its extraordinary secrecy. On the rare occasions that its officials such as Indulal Shah (retired), Dr G. Venkataraman, Sri T. Ramanathan (retired), Leonard Gutter, Dr Michael Goldstein, Thorbjörn Meyer,  J. Jegathesan … have spoken to media, it has been to obfuscate issues. Other officials, except in straightforward local matters such as participation in festivals, service activities and so forth are bound to the strictest silence.

Sathya Sai Baba apologist Thorbjörn Meyer Interviewed on Danish TV News

Indulal Shah and Indian Government Cover Up

Barry Pittards Letter to Sri T. Ramanatham

Michael Goldstein’s Chilling 9/11 Remarks

‘Divine Sin’, by Alejandro Agostinelli

The 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

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 10, 2009

(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)

Serial, Wide Scale Sexual Abuse of Boys and Young Men

  • This Petition is to bring attention to serious allegations of child molestation and homosexual abuse by Sathya Sai Baba at his ashrams in South India, involving many victims there including boys and young men visiting from other countries. Another grave concern is the issue of unresolved murders at Sai Baba’s main ashram in 1993. Sathya Sai Baba, an Indian man who claims to be the full manifestation of God on earth, is worshipped by several million followers from most countries of the world.

  • The world’s leading investigative newspaper media have reported on his alleged sexual molestations of numerous boys and young men from all over the world, many of whom were raised to believe that he was God Almighty. Some of the many highly credible personal testimonies can be examined at http://www.saiguru.net/ or at http://www.exbaba.com/.

  • Certain officials of the Sathya Sai Organization have failed in their moral and compassionate duty by disregarding and not alerting membership to the allegations, thus putting minors at risk in Sai Baba’s presence. (In some countries, sexual abuse is taken so seriously that Mandatory Reporting laws exist.)

  • The US State Department is aware of these many allegations of sexual abuse and in effect for all US travellers going to India, making specific reference to Andhra Pradesh State, where Sathya Sai Baba’s main ashram is located. (see below, 1-) In mid 2004, as referred to in the BBC’s The Secret Swami, the US State Department confirmed to the BBC that Sathya Sai Baba was, in fact, the Indian religious teacher referred to, but not by name, in its warning to US travellers to Andhra Pradesh.

  • a British MP has lodged questions in the House of Commons concerning possible risk to the children of UK citizens visiting Sai Baba in India.

UNESCO’s Withdrawal From Major Education Conference at Puttaparthi

  • UNESCO officially withdrew from an educational conference planned for September 2000 at Sai Baba’s ashram under the auspices of the Sathya Sai Organization, citing “widely reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youth and children … levelled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba.”

Police Killings In Sathya Sai Baba’s Bedroom and Subsequent Indian Governmnet Cover Up

  • In June 1993, Sai Baba passively stood by while six persons were murdered in his apartments in Prashanthi Nilayam independent township, his main ashram, known to be completely under his strict control. After discussions between Sai Baba’s officials and the local police, the police shot at close range and in cold blood killed four of these persons. Although Sai Baba reportedly first spoke to the intruders and remained nearby throughout the whole episode, conferring with his officials, he was not even questioned by police or law investigators! Due to their serious inconsistency and ineptitude, the case was taken over from the local police by the CBI, but the entire investigation was subsequently quashed by government order by the intervention of devotees of Sai Baba holding top positions of political power. Thus, no adequate court action was taken and no justice or redress was possible for the victims’ families.

  • To sustain police or judicial inactivity violates the human rights of the victims and turns also the civil authorities into violators of human rights.

Many Former Devotees Worldwide Have Signed Petition

  • We appeal to all those who wish that these matters should be properly investigated, and who wish that the responsible persons be made accountable through proper legal process, to PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION. We especially appeal to all religious and spiritual leaders, NGOs, politicians and official functionaries, and the media organizations of all countries to participate. This Petition is for the benefit of the general public and will be sent to any relevant authority that may forward the Petition. Please see sign-up instructions on the page.
    The initiators of this Petition (see the Undersigned, below) each left the Sathya Sai Baba cult for various reasons. Some have been active members of the Sathya Sai Organization for many years, others did not hold office in the SSO but were devoted followers. See personal resignation letters at
    www.saiguru.net

The International JuST Group (Just Seekers of Truth Group) included all those who conferred on the forming and posting of the Public Petition for Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and his Organisation. Listed alphabetically they are:-

Dinara Badaeva, Russia 1995-2001 Moscow Centre Educational Coordinator.
Serguei Badaev,Russia 1995-2001 Ex-President of Sai Org. Moscow Centre and Deputy National Chairman for Russia.
Dave. G. Brandt, USA 1970-1999 USA. Official Contact for Nebraska, N. and S. Dakota.
Stephen Carthew, Australia. Follower for 15 years Ex-office-bearer in the South Australian Org.
Timothy Conway, Ph.D. USA. Follower for 22 years President of the Sathya Sai Baba Center of San Francisco from 1982-4.
Andries Krugers Dagneaux, The Netherlands. Follower from 1992-2001. Ex-Coordinator of seva wing.
James Albert Danis, Canada. Follower for 13 years Coordinator of Retreats etc., Vancouver Center.
Lionel Fernandez, Mexico. Follower since1967. Centre Chairman May-October 2000.
Dennis J. Hanisch, USA. Follower for 27 years. Founder member and Vice-President, Seattle Center.
Elena Hartgering, USA. Follower for 20 years Ex-Vice-President of Centre and Regional Workshop presenter.
John Hartgering, USA. Follower for 10 years. Ex-President/Service Coordinator of Centre.
Soma Jeyendren, Australia. Devotee 1989 -2001. Coordinator of celebrations, Pennanthills Center, NSW.
Alexander Keilonat, Germany 1998-2000
Marit Larssen, Norway. Bergen group Coordinator 1996-2000.
David. J. Lyons, USA. Follower from 1981 to 2000. Ex-President of the Center of Greater New Orleans.
Helen Lewers, Australia. Member 1980 – 2000.
Glen Meloy, USA. 1974-2000. Member of 1st Advisory Board of the SSB Society & Co-Mgr. Official Tustin Book Centre
Alexandra Nagel, The Netherlands. Follower briefly in 2000, Active in exposé investigations.
Richard Nelson, USA. Member 1979-2000 Ex-President Santa Barbara Center.
Keith Ord, Spain. Follower from 1986-1991.
Terry Nelson, USA. Member 1979-2000.
Shirley J. Pike, USA. Ex-President, NC Region: Ex-President Cedar Rapids Center, Iowa
Barry Pittard, Australia. 1976-1999. Former English Lecturer, Sathya Sai College, Whitefield.
Robert Priddy, Norway. 1983-2002. Founder member/Ex-Chairman of Oslo Center (1986-1996) & contact person (later Coordinator) for Norway 1883-2000.
Reidun Priddy, Norway. 1983-2000. Founder member and Seva Wing Coordinator 1986-1998
Hortense Quijs, The Netherlands. 1995 – 2000 Maastricht Group Coordinator.
Stijntje Riemersma, The Netherlands. Follower for 20 years. Coordinator/Secretary Utrecht group, 6 years.
Sathya Purcell, USA. Lifetime follower until age 23.
Sharon Purcell, USA Follower for 32 years. Founder member of Tustin Center, California,
Dr. Everett & Barbara Shocket, USA Followers: 1980-1990. Dhyani Jo Sinclair, Canada Member and Sai Centre Secretary, 1995-2000.
Marc-André St. Jean, Canada. Former member of Sai Center in Montreal.
Margarita Sanchez Van Dyck, Mexico 1984-2000.

Posted in Morality, Opinion, Protest, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 53 Comments »

After Leaving A Cult. Or ‘Moving On’

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 2, 2008

It is a very great untruth put out by Sathya Sai Baba’s key leaders and by his proxy supporters on the Internet that former devotees are now something other than what they, for many decades, were always known for by Sai Baba devotees – decent, compassionate, hardworking members of their professions and trades in their wider communities. See Sathya Sai Baba Cult. Blind Eye To Massive Slander

Age Power is a Factor That Bewilders Ageists

A network of former devotees is there to assist in the case of any major media or institutional investigations. It is mostly retirees who tend the websites and blogsites. Indeed, one is refreshed, rather than re-tired!

Many ex-cult followers speak of wanting to “move on”, and the experience of the Sathya Sai Baba exposé is no different to that of activists around the world in other areas with whom we are in touch.

Notion of ‘Moving On’ Can Beg The Question

A “moving on” can be commendable but not, I think, if it involves a craven avoidance of social and ethical responsibility, akin to the ostrich-like psychological denial of so many who remain in a cult. And why would one want to ‘move on’ if there is great satisfaction in serving those who have be abused and betrayed?

A few Westerners appear to have gone back to their Judaeo-Christian moorings but the multiplicity of destinations is striking: e.g., other spiritual teachers in the Indian tradition and the Western self-improvement gurus, Humanists, Rationalists, etc.

The slur by the Sai cult’s proxies on the Internet that former devotees are of the type of person who would want to league e.g., with Christian fundamentalists or any other contractive group is a classic piece of ‘guilt-by-association’, and relies on either the deliberate mangling or helpless misperception of the facts. The leaders and many in the rank and file know that former devotees are typically far removed from being this type of individual. When one vexatious – although very sincere – Christian fundamentalist vanished from the former devotees the sigh of relief was almost audible down the network.

Service to Family, Work And To The Less Fortunate Are Still To The Fore

Many who have left the Puttaparthi guru continue to embrace community service, such as working in soup kitchens, mentoring, teaching various skills and subjects among the less fortunate, assisting personally and financially with their charities, and so on. One of a number of very well-qualified mental health professionals in our former devotee network, the late and sorely missed Elena Hartgering of Florida, USA, was one of the first professional workers to attend Ground Zero, right after the tragic events of 9/11.

Naturally, many are limited in the amount of service-oriented work they do, for they are (and what greater cause!) committed to their families and workplaces.

Balance Where One Stands

Fortunately, those most active have a lifetime in the cultivation of speedy work skills, such as in the areas of researching and writing, and are thus left with plenty of time to devote to other happily balancing pursuits.

In any case, the notion of ‘moving on’ can be quite misleading. Unless one has faced the inner issues, it is one’s bodily appearance that moves on and not a tangle of unresolved issues. If joy, a sense of purpose, and a challenge to one’s skills and conscience sufficiently attend one’s work in – which can hardly be the case if one does not have other worthwhile life pursuits – then one can indeed have inwardly and most positively ‘moved on’ whilst being still engaged with exposing social injustices.
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Select Articles on this topic at:

https://barrypittard.wordpress.com

Dissent From Guru Cults Draws Slander and Harassment

Cult Exposure. By Their Documents Ye Shall Know Them

Challenging Historic Deification

Abuse Reportage. A Case for Caution, Not Inaction

Abuse. Some Reach Out. Many Suffer in Silence

Cultic Depersonalization or Demonization of Dissenters

Posted in Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »