Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Roman Catholic Church’

Australian Royal Commission To Probe Institutional Handling Of Child Sexual Abuse

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 14, 2012

The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Guillard, has just announced a long-term Royal Commission of Enquiry into the way Australian institutions respond, and fail to respond, to sexual abuse in Australia. It begins its work in early 2013, and may continue for several years.

As the Royal Commission goes about its work, I, for one – given that the enquiry becomes singularly noted for its wisdom and professionalism – shall be encouraging many Australian survivors and their families as possible to witness to the Commission accounts of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization’s appalling treatment of victims, its suppression of testimony, and intimidation and silencing of many truthful witnesses.

See Ms Guillard making this watershed announcement at:  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-12/gillard-launches-royal-commission-into/4367700

Decades too late, she says: 

“There have been too many revelations of adults who have averted their eyes from this evil”.

Like our own experience when exposing the Sathya Sai cult via many international media, those wilderness voices crying out against institutional corruption can only view such statements with a mixture of the philosophical, the derisory and the darkly ironical.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Guillard announces an ongoing Royal Commission to investigate institutional response, and lack of response, to child sexual abuse

ABC Report
By Simon Cullen and staff.  Updated Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:28pm AEDT
Quote
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced the creation of a national royal commission into institutional responses to instances of child sexual abuse.

The decision was taken at a meeting of federal cabinet this afternoon.

Ms Gillard had been under pressure to act following growing calls for a 

national inquiry into explosive allegations by a senior New South Wales police investigator that the Catholic Church covered up evidence involving paedophile priests.

A number of senior Labor MPs, as well as key independents, had already voiced their support for action …… 

RELATED STORY: Gillard under pressure to set up sex abuse inquiry

RELATED STORY: Pressure grows for abuse royal commission

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba
In a way that obscures the failed accountability and duty of care of a great many other institutions, it has been long been a great mistake to single out the Roman Catholic Church. Appallingly, this overfocus lets many other institutions off the hook. Without oversight or process, the abuse in those institutions continues.
I refer to this Church here because its Australian head, Cardinal Pell of Sydney, has been extremely quick and prominent in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement. And because the unhealthy preoccupation with one offender, while obscuring many others.
In Australia, both many Roman Catholics and the public more widely regard the head of the Catholic Church in this country, Cardinal Pell, as an arch conservative. In my view, Pell is symptomatic of a grave and untreated problem quite other than the issue of any continuing institutional cover up. Too often, reform does not get to the roots of a problem, and becomes a different sort of cover up – that is to say, there is a covering up of, or of a blindness to, those very problematic roots. One of these roots problems is a focus on institutional survival. This greatly thwarts the addressing of justice and healing issues that relate to sexual abuse survivors. One area in which this occurs is an institution’s lawyer-mediated, miserable out-of-court settlements. Mr and Mrs Foster’s case is one of a great many which show the cruelty of such arrangements. (See video footage):

ABC News Breakfast, November 13:

“Two of Antony and Chrissie Foster’s daughters were raped by a Catholic priest. They shared their response to the announcement of a royal commission with ABC News Breakfast”.

Many perceive that Cardinal Pell does not support or conceal abusers, but maintains, in real terms, a heartless, narrowly legalistic approach. One which fails to bring real justice and healing to the many thousands of clerical sexual abuse survivors in the Roman Catholic Church.

The interview with Mr and Mrs Forster is poignant and powerful in making this point. She Says (AUDIO: Expert hopes abuse inquiry will create new jurisdiction (PM)):

“(Cardinal Pell) was saying there was a smear campaign against the church and there’s not a smear campaign at all,” she said.

“People are merely telling the truth and trying to be heard about their experience with the Catholic Church; the abuse in the first instance and then the treatment from the Catholic Church, and the hierarchy and the processes after that.”

Ms Foster was particularly struck by Cardinal Pell’s insistence that the seal of confession is “inviolable”…..

We Need To Prevent Use Of Legal Practises That In Themselves Abuse Victims

Those of us who have internationally exposed Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult know this phenomenon all too well.  Regarding a case one of our members brought in the Orange County Court, California, USA, Robert Priddy and I coordinated our international group’s statement. It succinctly shows how a rich and powerful organization how can hijack a law case via a cunning technical trick. Served were the world head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Dr Michael Goldstein, and the Sathya Sai Society of America. Added to woes of the Applicant (Alaya Rahm) was his lawyer’s grave lack of alertness and homework at  the discovery end of the legal process. Several of my friends with exceptionally high legal profiles looked at the mess, and were appalled!).  See:  

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America. Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family. (Date: July 16, 2006)

See also Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s detailed four-part article: 

The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed (and Part Two Three Four

With the Australian Government’s Royal Commission looming, the corrupted institutions now rush not to hide what, of course, they have hidden for decades and  can no longer hide. Rather, under duress, they pledge coöperation and reform – while, however, still not substantively honoring survivors of sexual abuse and their families.

In Australia, both many Roman Catholics and the public more widely regard the head of the Catholic Church in this country, Cardinal Pell, as an arch conservative. Interviews show Pell in favor of the Commission. In his current interviews, he strikes me as still, after all these years of dealing with sexual abuse in his church, as essentially unreconstructed in his thinking. Rather than speaking to the victims’ plight, and looking at the various support groups’ reports that serious systemic defects continue, he is defensive, and, for example, blames the media. (See the victim witness video footage and newspaper reports).

In Australia, as elsewhere, the Prime Minister’s announcement will I suggest – and very soon – show the way institutions commit this other kind of abuse:  the cold, calculating legalistic response. As I have said, we should not think that the Roman Catholic Church is somehow alone in this species of systemic abuse. Trustfully, the work of a royal commission with teeth will show how institutions rush – not to hide what, of course, the institutions cannot well hide but – under duress – to pledge coöperation and reform – while, however, still not, in a genuine, pragmatic way, honoring survivors of sexual abuse and their families. This is profoundly unjust.

In the nineties, when he accompanied a pedophile priest to court, Pell shocked many in his own church and far beyond. They pointed to a gross insensitivity to victims. He seemed naive, and without grasp of the power of the terrible iconography implicit in his sitting with the perpetrator and not with the perpetrator’s victims!

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Further Resources

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Key interviews: The road to the royal commission

Topics: law-crime-and-justiceroyal-commissionscommunity-and-societyreligion-and-beliefscatholicchild-abuse

Abuse victims sceptical of Pell’s royal commission response

By Samantha Donovan and staff

VIDEO: Cardinal Pell criticises ‘negative’ media coverage (Lateline)

Some of the victims of sexual abuse by the clergy do not believe the Archbishop of Sydney’s statement that the Catholic Church has learnt the error of its ways.

In the wake of the Prime Minister’s decision to call a royal commission into institutionalised child abuse, Cardinal George Pell said he believed many claims involving the church were exaggerated and historic.

“We are not interested in denying the extent of misdoing in the Catholic Church. We object to it being exaggerated,” he said.

“We object to it being described as the only cab on the rank.

“We acknowledge simply with shame the extent of the problem and I want to assure you that we have been serious in attempting to eradicate it and deal with it.”

The leader of Australia’s most powerful Roman Catholic diocese said he would cooperate with the nationwide inquiry, but told reporters the church had improved its processes in dealing with abuse allegations.

“I have just been attempting to explain [over] the past 16 to 20 years, we have addressed [the issue], these are adequate procedures,” he said.

“Nobody has written to me saying this procedure is inadequate or that procedure is inadequate.

“What we have had is general smears like, with due respect, I suggest you are making that we are generally inefficient, that we’re covering up, we’re moving people around.

“Where that is done it’s against the protocols.”

The Melbourne response

But in Victoria, some are still critical of the so-called Melbourne Response, which Cardinal Pell set up to handle complaints in the late 1990s.

Cardinal Pell confirmed again he had accompanied paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale to his court hearings several years ago.

But he said he did not realise at the time the impression this would give to victims.

They just still don’t get it because I think they are afraid because so many bishops over the years have been so culpable of so many crimes, particularly cover-ups, that I think they are afraid of what’s going to come out.

Abuse victim Stephen Woods

Ridsdale, from the Wimmera region in western Victoria, was jailed in 1993 after admitting he abused more than 20 children.

In 2006, the priest was sentenced to an extra 13 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to further charges.

Melbourne man Stephen Woods was 14 when he was raped by Ridsdale.

Mr Woods listened to Cardinal Pell’s comments with interest and told ABC radio’s PM program: “He seems to be setting up a narrative that the Catholic Church is now the victim, that they are the ones who are just one of many assaulters in the society.

“Yet I can’t think of any other organisation that has had so many, even though there are many clergy, but they have had so many paedophiles.

“And of course, tens of thousands of victims.”

‘Failed systems’

Cardinal Pell said the Melbourne Response had been “very well regarded” by many.

But that is not Mr Woods’s impression.

“Working for (support group) Broken Rites we’ve had cause to come across a lot of people who have said that the Melbourne Response, as well as the Towards Healing, are both very failed systems,” he said.

“They offer very small amounts of compensation and they are very lawyer-intense and very legalistically concerned.

“So people have very often come out of it just feeling far more assaulted.”

Mr Woods believes the Catholic Church is not responding well to news of the royal commission.

“They still don’t get it. They just still don’t get it because I think they are afraid because so many bishops over the years have been so culpable of so many crimes, particularly cover-ups, that I think they are afraid of what’s going to come out,” he said.

‘No smear campaign’

Chrissie Foster’s two daughters were raped by their parish priest when they were in primary school.

“(Cardinal Pell) was saying there was a smear campaign against the church and there’s not a smear campaign at all,” she said.

“People are merely telling the truth and trying to be heard about their experience with the Catholic Church; the abuse in the first instance and then the treatment from the Catholic Church, and the hierarchy and the processes after that.”

Ms Foster was particularly struck by Cardinal Pell’s insistence that the seal of confession is “inviolable”.

She believes it is one of the big issues for the royal commission to consider.

“I know he was insistent on it not being looked at, but I think there needs to be mandatory reporting within the confessional about child sexual assault,” she said.

“This canon law is the law of a foreign state, the Vatican. How can a foreign state law overrule our civil laws in Australia to protect our Australian children?

“My daughter suicided. My other daughter binge drunk and then got hit by a car.

“She received 24 hours care. And all the care Emma had up until she died; the church didn’t pay for that.”

The Federal Government has released information for those who want to provide information that may be considered by the royal commission, which is likely to begin in early 2013.

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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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Sathya Sai Organization Shields Its Accused Members From Investigation

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 13, 2011

In responsible, accountable organizations, correct, fair and reasonable processes address inappropriate or criminal behavior.

On countless occasions, the international Sathya Sai Organizationis refuses to deal with serious allegations. If they have any self-respect and regard for democratic ways, rank-and-file members of the organization should demand accountability and transparency. They should also be concerned about why so many respected institutions avoid association with their organization, and why political and government leaders refuse invitations to Sai Organization functions. Members need to heed their own feelings of misgiving at the explanations their leaders give to them.

This lack of speaking up, of questioning, profoundly ails the organization. It is also why, for example, so many costly drives in luxurious venues fail. See:

‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues

Those of us who have stood forth have often been assailed by Sai Baba activists such as Gerald Moreno, of New Mexico, USA, who deride Sai Baba’s accusers for not having succeeded in court actions. However, the difficulties the victims face are formidable. Many of them wish to hide what they regard as their sense of shame. They do not wish to suffer discrimination against them in their personal or professional lives. Many have friends or relatives still closely associated with the Sathya Sai Organization. Sadly, many of them will not reach out for professional counseling, even though offered excellently qualified professional counseling.

These and other formidable obstacles are familiar to all those familiar with the years of denial and cover up in the case of such institutions as the Roman Catholic Church. (See Further Reading, below)

Robert Priddy, former, well-respected leader (Norway) in the Sathya Sai Organization and retired academic of the University of Oslo, has just posted a note on Hal Honig, of New York, USA, a high-profile Sai Baba cult leader in the United States:

Hal Honig – misguided copier of Sai Baba’s practices

Posted by robertpriddy on October 11, 2011.

Hal Honig with Sathya Sai Baba. Dare this love breathe its name?

Priddy cites my article:

Will Sai Baba Keep Hal Honig Smiling?

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 22, 2007

in which I include reference to allegations of pedophilia against Honig. A noted former leader, Shirley Pike, a U.S. psychologist highly qualified in dealing with sexual abuse of young people, made allegations at a Sai conference that Honig acted as a sexual pimp for Sathya Sai Baba.

See: U.S. Psychologist Shirley Pike’s Moving Challenge To Sathya Sai Baba and His Organization

The former Swedish leader, Conny Larsson, among others, has made the same allegations, as my above-mentioned article details.

Hal Honig Speaks. Unholy Ghost Whispers

Read independent report of what happened to some group members here

Commentators such as Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Alexandra Nagel, Conny Larsson, and myself in addition to others who have spoken out (and left the Sathya Sai Organization), have expressed a constant theme: the need for extensive, proper and independent investigation of the many allegations.

Why should killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom, and later cover up on a monumental scale, apartments and other scams by those in his front office, and worldwide allegations of sexual abuse (some involving those other than Sathya Sai Baba, such as Hal Honig) escape due processes of the law?

Why should Sathya Sai Baba devotees remain members of an organization which, demonstrably, escapes those proper processes which are best placed to adjudicate issues? The BBC spoke of Sathya Sai Baba as ‘The Secret Swami’.

But, though he died in April 2011, his Sathya Sai Organization remains the secret swami’s secret organization.

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Further Reading

Barry Pittard – On Institutional Cover Ups and Psychological Denial

Institutional Sex Corruption: Plight of Roman Catholic Church and Sathya Sai Organization

Boy Scouts of America – Sex Abuse Revelations. Who Next?

Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya Sai Baba

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The Public PetitionInformation 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 go straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

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Nityananda, Sathya Sai Baba et al… Do Hindus Really Approve Sexual Immorality?

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 21, 2010

                                                                                 Swami Nityananda Sex Scandal. Huge, India-wide Interest

The court appearances of Swami Nityananda of India on charges of improper sexual behaviour towards a number of young women have made him the butt of outrage throughout India. Innumerable news articles, blogs, chatrooms, attest to the overwhelming abhorrence of a very broad Hindu public (what to mention other belief systems) for the types of sexual practices being referred to in the Nityananda court proceedings. 

In recent years, a top-ranking Hindu leader sent me an email (which can be verified for bona fide media and scholars who may wish to check that what networked former Sathya Sai Baba devotees and other critics claim is true). See:  Sathya Sai Baba: ‘Considerable Concern’ In Wider Hindu Community. This outstanding leader, recognized by a wide cross-section of Hindu organizations in his country, wrote:  

There is considerable concern among the Hindu Community, especially among the educated. It is very hard to get any action from the temples as they do not wish to cause difficulties with the Sathya Sai Baba groups. People are starting to distance themselves from Sathya Sai Baba. It’s going to be gradual process of education. The biggest impact it appears was the ‘The Secret Swami’ … it seems it has had a tremendous negative effect on Sathya Sai Baba”.  

One of the greatest anomalies is that many religious institutions do not speak clearly – or very often even at all – on issues for which social taboos absurdly and dangerously flourish. The lack of genuine religious leadership and vision are palpable. The result is that lay persons frequently have to whistle-blow, and face extraordinary libel, defamation and other forms of attack because they vibrantly live those tenets that are so preached and yet so breached. In India, the dereliction of the religious institutions from facing hard moral questions is in sharp contrast to a rationalist such as the late Basava Premanand. See:  Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach. For a western example, see:  In Memoriam – Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”)

In his article – Swami Nityananda tries the Sathya Sai Baba defense ploy, Posted by robertpriddy on May 20, 2010 – Robert Priddy, the former national head for many years of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, has just blogged on some recent developments in the Swami Nityananda exposure. He writes:

“So the Hindu Sangam in Malaysia evidently supports secret tantrick sexual exploits as this is not against Hinduism, for they could not have failed to note this aspect of Nityananda’s teaching. At least, it’s good to know where they really stand! One wonders if they support the practises of Sathya Sai Baba (which top Sai officials condone) such as the oiling of young male genitals. Or perhaps even also Sathya Sai Baba’s very widely testified sexual abuses from around the world, including pedophilia?” 

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By Robert Priddy

Sex scandal in Indian media – Nityananda and forerunners  

Swami ‘Paramahamsa’ Nityananda scandal – latest

HC dismisses plea for CBI probe against Nityananda 

 Nityananda sex scandal compounded by his lies and deceits 

 Basava Premanand Tribute: Indian Exposer of Sathya Sai Baba Dies 

 Nityananda sex scandal compounded by his lies and deceits

Nityananda video, lies and ’sex allegations’

……………………………………

By Barry Pittard 

 Nityananda Sex Scandal Erupts in India. Sathya Sai Baba Lessons?

Nityananda Scandal. Police Seize Indicting Material. Why No Raids On Sathya Sai Baba?

 Is Heat Too Much For Swami Nityananda, Under Fire By Sex Abuse Allegations?

Why Nithyananda Sex Scandal Investigations and Not A Sathya Sai Baba Probe?

Boy Scouts of America – Sex Abuse Revelations. Who Next?

Priest Abuse. Long-denied Justice Catching Up In Australia Sexual Abuse Priests. What?! The Pope Never Knew?

Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya  Sai Baba  

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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    

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, Opinion, Rationalism, Skeptics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Boy Scouts of America – Sex Abuse Revelations. Who Next?

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 31, 2010

Perhaps the day of great account will eventually come for the international Sathya Sai Organization.  

 

At the moment, the Boy Scouts of America is under close scrutiny for its practices in dealing – and not dealing – with the sexual abuse issue.  

 

Boy Scouts of America Sorely Tested
Will Parents Be Able To Trust Boy Scouts of America?

In recent articles at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’, I have been pointing to cases in other areas which have often taken years of persistent activism by those who have exposed appalling levels of cover up by powerful institutions.  

Typically found throughout all these institutions are the themes of psychological denial by the generality of followers and deliberate denial by those authorities who know the facts and go to great lengths to hide them. The amount of denigration, name-calling, distortion of what is being said, shunning, libel and defamation of those who have stood forth to reveal the facts, are also typical. They fly completely in the face of the professed ethical and spiritual teachings of those institutions, which in many cases are unexceptionable.  

An oft-repeated and egregious flaw of apologists is to avoid the fact that the institutions which they defend should be accountable to the law. Pope Benedict’s now says that he is ‘sorry’ for the countless sexual abuses by certain of his priests, but modern notions of reporting abuse to the police were absent in his document. 

 

Despite the Pope’s recent apology to Irish Roman Catholic survivors of priest abuse – vastly long in coming (and what of huge reported abuses occurring in his church throughout the world?) – still fails to resolve the issue of accountability to civil law. Such a glaring omission suggests no reason why a church with such profound failure in reforming its handling of thousands of sexual abuse cases should be entrusted to exercise ecclesiastical law in these matters. 

The apologists in all these institutions attack the ‘messengers’, who are typically prepared to be accountable for their allegations. It is, rather, those who stand forth who go to the media, mount legal challenges, suffer threats (sometimes to life and limb), set up counseling situations for abuse survivors, do prodigious researches, write articles, attend to voluminous correspondence and (often highly inopportune) telephone calls, do media interviews, consult with lawyers and abuse experts, and maintain websites and blogsites that are in constant need of concentrated attention …. It is they who are so viciously and constantly attacked. It is they and their families and friends who are unconscienably put under pressure by fanatics and other nasty people. It is they who make untold professional, financial and health sacrifices; but it is the institutions which strenuously attempt to avoid account. See recent articles at this site: 

 Sexual Abuse Priests. What?! The Pope Never Knew?  

 Why Nithyananda Sex Scandal Investigations and Not A Sathya Sai Baba Probe?  

Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya Sai Baba  

BBC Transcript ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sathya Sai Baba’s Frauds Exposed)  

Standing Up To Cultic Monoliths 

Nityananda Sex Scandal Erupts in India. Sathya Sai Baba Lessons?  

Yet another huge institution about whom revelations are also surfacing is the Boy Scots of America. Enough evidence has already been produced by lawyers to show that the cover up has been on a huge scale. 

 Boy Scouts sex abuse files now evidence in suit

‘Perversion’ documents to shed light on how Scouts dealt with molesters  

  

updated 11:03 p.m. ET March 20, 2010
  
…. “A judge who had ordered the Scouts to release them received 1,247 files into evidence near the end of the day Friday — the third day of trial that began with a lawyer saying “you will be the first jury to see them.”

Attorneys Paul Mones and Kelly Clark won the release of files from 1965 to 1985 to help them make the case in a $14 million lawsuit against the Boy Scouts filed by a 37-year-old Oregon man. He was sexually molested in the early 1980s by assistant Scoutmaster Timur Dykes, who was convicted three times between 1983 and 1994 of sexually abusing boys, most of them Scouts …  

During questioning by Mones, Marshall acknowledged there was no system in place to warn Scouts or their parents about potential sex abuse, and no procedure for them to report it.  

Scout executives had no written guidelines until a 1972 memo on the subject that also urged them to keep its contents confidential “because of misunderstandings which could develop if it were widely distributed.”  

Earlier Friday, testimony from a bishop for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints responsible for a Scout troop of church members suggested the Scouts never provided leaders with training about spotting abuse or preventing it”.  

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Click here to view list of brief video clips available from the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ documentary  

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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 Morality, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 23, 2010

It is enormously instructive to watch the unfolding saga of papal apology for clergy sexual abuse. Large numbers of both Roman Catholics and others round the world have expressed deep dissatisfaction with the Pope’s apology. They say that it goes nowhere far enough, and does not address acute issues of crime and punishment. The Roman Catholic Church, like the international Sathya Sai Organization, has every reason to be afraid of sore depletions  of membership and finance, as well as moral standing in the world community.

RC Abuse Priests Collared. Clergy sex revelation storms threaten worldwide

RC Abuse Priests Collared. Clergy sex revelation storms threaten worldwide

There have been many critical commentaries from within and far beyond the Roman Catholic Church. They make it clear that there are central issues of institutional power and control that prevent far-reaching and genuine reforms from taking place. Even when the methods of statecraft far exceed the spirit or even letter of an institution’s spiritual, ethical and moral aims, it is the long history of powerful institutions to use the apparatus of legalistic and other forms of self-protection. In other words, cover up. And, at best, cosmetic reform. For a glimpse at an ancien régime swinging into action, see The Times report: Vatican moves to distance Pope from abuse scandal. Richard Owen. Rome.

 

Sorry Pope Indeed

Sorry Pope

 

What many Roman Catholics, including one of the greatest and outspoken theologians in Church history, Professor Hans Kung, and others are, in effect, asking is: why is this man so publically sorry now and not years ago, when he was cognizant of sexual abuses within his church?

The Dark Pages That Have To Be Faced

A secular example. The immediate past US President George  W. Bush’s name will stand forever darkened by his secret policy of “extraordinary rendition”, where prisoners deemed to be a threat to US security were spirited away to countries friendly to the US which routinely practise torture, so that the hands of US citizens would not personally be bloodied by the heinous acts then committed without the knowledge and consent of the American people at large.

Again, cover up. Again, acknowledgement only when the forces of exposure have reached tipping point.

Typically, among the lower orders of institutional membership, there are many who rationalize and justify an autocratic leadership’s  actions and instructions that appear to enhance or protect an institution. The rank-and-file do not act with the full knowledge, cynicism and realpolitik of those right at the nub of power. That this relative kind of ignorance, naivety, piety (or whatever form it takes) cannot, and should not, be used to plead excuse was made very clear in the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials that ran from 1945 to 1949.

What of India’s shame?

As we can see in recent weeks, there has been a public upsurge of concern at sex scandal revelations about high-powered religious figures in India. See: Nityananda Sex Scandal Erupts in India. Sathya Sai Baba Lessons? .

 
 

 

Puttaparthi Sai Baba. Will soon rule world, he says

Sathya Sai Baba will soon rule world, he says

Note: The glitter of pure gold, and immense pomp and circumstance are the order of the day at Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi. See:

It forever echoes in my mind how a then editor of The Times of India told me privately that Sathya Sai Baba is too powerful to take on. One irony was that one of the most powerful figures on the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust – the former Chief Justice of India, P.N. Bhagawati, was at the same time on the Board of Directors of The Times of India. In fact, our group had to work extremely hard to get UNESCO senior management to cause the Press Trust of India (PTI) to make amends for publishing a gravely watered-down version of the UNESCO Media Advisory concerning Sathya Sai Baba and certain of his key officals. See:

The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory and BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government

In India, a particularly lamentable fact that speaks  against religious institutions is that their scandals have often had to exposed by such courageous rationalists as the late Basava Premanand.  See:  Basava Premanand Long Challenged Indian Governments To Come Clean On Sathya Sai Baba and Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach .

Or, as anywhere in the world, by whistleblowers from’inside’ who undergo the most shameful attacks by those who proclaim to live by ‘Life, Love and Spirituality‘.

See also:

Religion and the Catholic Church Sex Abuses

Posted by robertpriddy on March 21, 2010

Ireland Acts On Clergy Sexual Abuse. India Does Not Act On Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barrypittard on November 27, 2009

Reputed Media and Other Agencies Decried By Sathya Sai Baba’s Defenders

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(Up-and-coming article at Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba:  Australia’s Shame …)

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Excerpt from New York Times, Agencies Report

Pope’s words of remorse fall flat for abuse victims

JOHN BURNS, DUBLIN

March 23, 2010

“POPE Benedict XVI’s weekend apology to sufferers of sexual abuse at the hands of Catholic clergy in Ireland has drawn a deeply sceptical and angry response from many Catholics.

In the apology – a pastoral letter read aloud at all weekend Masses across Ireland’s 26 Catholic dioceses and handed out in printed form to thousands of churchgoers – Benedict ex-pressed ”shame and remorse” to victims and their families for what he called ”sinful and criminal” acts by members of the clergy. But in the apology, the Pope did not require that Cardinal Sean Brady, the head of the Irish church, or any other church leaders be disciplined for their mistakes, as some victims had hoped

Nor did he clarify what critics in Ireland and elsewhere have said are contradictory Vatican rules about the procedures for investigating abuse cases and church leaders’ responsibility to inform civil authorities about offences they uncover, a duty the Pope reiterated strongly in his letter.

By remaining silent on the issue of punishment for top church figures implicated in what critics in Ireland have described as decades of cover-up, the pastoral letter appears to have done little to assuage the dismay and anger of many in Ireland at years of revelations about paedophile priests and child carers”.  NEW YORK TIMES, AGENCIES

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Click here to view list of brief video clips available from the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ documentary

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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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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

 

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments »

Standing Up To Cultic Monoliths. (Sathya Sai Baba Organization Example)

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 17, 2010

Confronted by the smallest questioning of Sathya Sai Baba, his defenders commonly refer to instances such as the miracles he is supposed to have performed. Or indeed those phenomena which have happened beyond his physical presence but been related to him in some way.  

Yet there is much proof that he routinely fakes these performances. Many of his devotees know that he has bungled various “miracles”; however, they take refuge in such notions as that he is only testing their faith. They will not examine the large corpus of evidence that exposes him, as the BBC did with its cameras in 2004. See: 
 

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

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle

Sai Baba No Shiva. Gold From His Gut Is Regurgitator’s Trick

The followers do not look at the evidence that human beings can be deceived both by fraudsters or magicians. Or that humankind has a vast track record of mental projection and of interpretation of phenomena according to unexamined presupposition. Nor do they consider – supposing that unusual phenomena can manifest, quite apart from any attempt to deceive – that parapsychological agencies yet to be fathomed by the sciences may be implicated. Instead, human beings tend to be quick to ascribe religious or philosophical interpretations that draw from their own religio-cultural predispositions.

Whatever one may conclude about topics demanding of complex discussion, the call for accountability and transparency of organizations is a relatively straightforward matter. In democracies, we expect it in our workplaces, civil associations, and institutions such as our judiciaries, governments and so forth. We have notions, too, of good citizenship and community, in which many individuals cherish and practise fairness and care for each other. All the Sathya Sai Organization’s talk about “service to others” rings hollow indeed when it treats those who question it so badly.  

In regard to good faith, one might fairly wish to see members of the Sathya Sai Organization refuse to be any part of a cover up. One would  like to assume them to be worthy citizens who share the benefits and responsibilities as members of the civil society. One might think that, in the face of repeated, widespread and serious allegations, they would subscribe to proper processes of accountability. People at large have a right to know the facts – especially given the seriousness of the allegations of serial, widespread sexual abuse of boys and young men, the killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom, the massive lack of accountability in regard to astronomical donations to the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust from many countries, the huge expenditure in lavish and showy buildings, the pomp and ceremony surrounding Sathya Sai Baba, the apartments scams, and so on.  

In the matter of the sexual abuse issues (which involve others of his key servitors as well as Sai Baba), it is extremely wrong of devotees who are in-the-know to shut up about these matters, for it denies parents and guardians the opportunity to make their own minds up whether they send their young to be in his presence, and in his colleges. 

There has now been Irish government acknowledgement of decades of profoundly covered up sexual abuse of children – girls and boys – on a huge scale by Catholic Priests in Ireland. India’s failure to act in regard to Sathya Sai Baba and other notable cases shames her before the world. 

(Note: India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is one of a line of Indian Prime Ministers who have prostrated before Sathya Sai Baba. Those close to Singh have been involved in attempts to bring Sai Baba to account, but Singh, as did his predecessor A.B. Vajpayee, has turned a deaf ear. I would add that he and other Indian Prime Ministers and other senior figures have been provided with greater depth of information than it is sometimes possible to expose on the internet or other public fora).

There has been, as in the case of the Sathya Sai Organization leaders, the persistent and scandalous cover-up at all levels in the Roman Catholic Church up to and including Popes. Those Roman Catholics who for decades have been speaking out have been subjected to attacks very much like what other whistleblowers (including many former devotees of Sathya Sai Baba) have had to endure. It is terrible and wrong. The Irish case is full of stark parallels. Sathya Sai Baba is protected at the very highest levels in India. In regard to him, we learn at first hand from very senior diplomatic sources that diplomats are instructed not to “rock the boat with India”. The fallacy that most thinking Indians would be bound to detect is the absurd conflation of Sathya Sai Baba with India! Those who have traveled extensively in India know how huge is the repudiation of him in that great but tragic country.  

When one speaks to dissenters from other areas, the same presentations of cultic believers are the case – cover up, character assassination, libel and defamation, vile vituperation on the one hand and cold shunning on the other, threats to sue and other bullying tactics, working to get people fired from their jobs, families broken up, inability to discuss without poor argument and distortion of what has actually been stated, and so on.  

Standing forth for truthfulness is not an easy job.  

 
 
 

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Video Resources 
 
 
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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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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba 

Posted in Morality, New Age, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Ireland Acts On Clergy Sexual Abuse. India Does Not Act On Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 27, 2009

From Ireland comes, at long last, exposure of powerful, endemic cover up!  For convenience, I post below the full text of the UK Guardian newspaper’s report of yesterday.

No nation that fails to protect children can be deemed civilized. That so many around the world have left the Sathya Sai Organization and that former devotees have been prepared to withstand almost unimaginable personal attacks and defamation owe much to the fact of love for, and the desire for protection of, our young.

One prediction can be made confidently – the international Sathya Sai Organization, in failing to take responsibility for its great wrongs, and in its extreme lack of accountability and transparency, will be treated most adversely by history.

Any readers well acquainted with the great deal of documentation at sites such as this one, and: –

Sathya Sai Baba In Word And Action

Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

Recent Research on the Claims of Sathya Sai Baba

www.exbaba.com

Sai Baba exposé

Sathya Sai Baba

Citizen Initiative (Work of an independent scholar) –

may well have a keen sense of  déjà vu as they read the piece on the Roman Catholic Church in Ireland and its vast cover up of sexual abuse, which continues to this day. Inescapably, one thinks of “the Secret Swami” (thus termed by the BBC) Sathya Sai Baba, and his key officials in the international Sathya Sai Organization and successive local, state and central governments in India. All the latter have profoundly covered up in regard to both allegations of Sai Baba’s (and some of his servitors’) longtime, serial sexual abuse of boys and young men. Likewise, the killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom in 1993, vast misappropriation of donations from many countries, scams in regard to apartments at Puttaparthi, and many other criminal acts.

Ireland’s Justice Minister, Dermot Ahern, appears determined to act strongly. The Guardian reports, 

“Ahern said there should be no hiding place for the abusers even if they wore a clerical collar. “The persons who committed these dreadful crimes – no matter when they happened – will continue to be pursued”

Even if they wore a clerical collar”?!

One might have thought – especially if they wore a clerical collar. Tears may well be shed for all the good that the Church does. A common cry of Sathya Sai Baba defenders is: But look at all the good that he does! In no way must the doing of good be allowed to hide the doing of evil. Above all, by those of great power. In actual fact, by the way, it is his organized devotees who do practically all of the good.

What – announce the good, and cover up the bad? Not one of the many world leading investigative media nor agencies such as UNESCO have found other than extraordinary cover up by Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide organization.  To this fact I can attest from the vantage-point of having had a role – along with others, including former prominent former leaders in the Sathya Sai movement, in dealing with them. 

The Guardian states,

“The report, commissioned by the government, strongly criticises the Garda and says senior members of the force regarded priests as being outside their investigative remit. The relationship between some senior gardai and priests and bishops in Dublin was described as “inappropriate”

Like the Irish Catholic Church’s outrage, the story of Puttaparthi and successive Indian government, police and judicial cover up of the actions of Sathya Sai Baba and key servitors is an appalling one. It includes missing persons, documents being falsified, most of the Indian media being muzzled, journalists’ union representation ignored, police investigators and their families being shifted far off, and so on.

But see my article – Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up that refers to an Indian policeman, V.J. Ram, a Presidential Police Award winner, who won’t be shut up:

 

and of the former Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh, V.P.B. Nair, who told the BBC that the deaths in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom were “cold-blooded murder:

vpb-nair.jpg

Indian Ex Top Official Dogs Sai Baba On BBC. ‘Cold-blooded Murder’

HERE is the transcript of what V.P.B. Nair told BBC television in ‘The Secret Swami’.

Select Readings

Sai Baba’s very close confidante and Robert Priddy

Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist

The Unresolved, Covered-Up 1993 Murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s Bedroom Revisited

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

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

Author admits genital oiling by Sathya Sai Baba

Hasty Cover Up Of Sai Baba ‘No bombs in India’ Blunder

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Robert Priddy’s analyses relating to: –

The Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders

More about the 1993 murders

Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders – Part 1
Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders – Part 2

Sathya Sai Bedroom Murders – Part 3
Sathya Sai Bedroom Murders – Part 4
Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders – Part 5

See also notes recording V.K. Narasimhan conversations in the 1990s at the ashrams here and here

Further, see the unofficial reports by an IAS officer, V.Ramnath.
http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/16/Ramu_Prabhu.html

See also here http://home.chello.no/~reirob/Saibedroom.htm

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guardian.co.uk home

Irish church and police covered up child sex abuse, says report

Devastating report on abuse of children by clergy from 1975 to 2004 accuses church and Garda of colluding to cover up scandal

 By Henry McDonald. Ireland correspondent. Thursday 26 November 2009 17.44 GMT

Ireland’s police force colluded with the Catholic church in covering up clerical child abuse in Dublin on a huge scale, according to a damning report on decades of sex crimes committed by the country’s priests.

The devastating three-volume report on the sexual and physical abuse of children by the clergy in Ireland’s capital from 1975 to 2004 accuses four former archbishops, a host of clergy and senior members of the Garda Síochána of covering up the scandal.

It found that the “maintenance of secrecy, the avoidance of scandal, the protection of the reputation of the church and the preservation of its assets” was more important than justice for the victims of sexual and physical abuse.

Four former Archbishops in Dublin – John Charles McQuaid, who died in 1973, Dermot Ryan, who died in 1984, Kevin McNamara, who died in 1987, and retired Cardinal Desmond Connell – were found to have failed to report their knowledge of child sexual abuse to the Garda from the 1960s to the 1980s. But the report added that all the archbishops of the diocese in the period covered by the inquiry were aware of some complaints.

The report, launched today by the Irish justice minister, Dermot Ahern, also concluded that the vast majority of priests turned a “blind eye” to abuse, although some individuals did bring complaints to their superiors, which were not acted upon.

The report, commissioned by the government, strongly criticises the Garda and says senior members of the force regarded priests as being outside their investigative remit. The relationship between some senior gardai and priests and bishops in Dublin was described as “inappropriate”.

Rather than investigate complaints from children, gardai simply reported the matter to the Dublin Catholic diocese, the report says. The Garda Síochána is accused of connivance with the church in stifling at least one complaint of abuse, and letting the alleged perpetrator flee the country.

Ahern said there should be no hiding place for the abusers even if they wore a clerical collar. “The persons who committed these dreadful crimes – no matter when they happened – will continue to be pursued.

“They must come to know that there is no hiding place. That justice – even where it may have been delayed – will not be denied,” he said.

He told a press conference: “I read the report as justice minister. But on a human level – as a father and as a member of this community – I felt a growing sense of revulsion and anger. Revulsion at the horrible, evil acts committed against children. Anger at how those children were then dealt with and how often abusers were left free to abuse.”

The Dublin Rape Crisis Centre welcomed the report, saying it was “another acknowledgment of the abject failure of our society to take care of our children”.

The report states that senior clerical figures covered up the abuse over nearly three decades and that the structures and rules of the church facilitated that cover-up. It also says that state authorities facilitated the cover-up by allowing the church to be beyond the reach of the law.

The Murphy Commission of Inquiry into the abuse of children in Dublin identified 320 people who complained of child sexual abuse between 1975 and 2004. It also states that since May 2004, 130 complaints against priests operating in the Dublin archdiocese have been made.

The report details the cases of 46 priests guilty of abuse, as a representative sample of 102 priests within its remit. But it concludes that there was no direct evidence of an organised paedophile ring among priests in the Dublin archdiocese, although it says there were some worrying connections. One priest admitted abusing more than 100 children. Another said he had committed abuse every two weeks for more than 25 years, it said.

The report highlights the case of a Father Carney and Father McCarthy who it claims in one case both abused the same child. The abuse by Carney often occurred at swimming pools, sometimes when he was accompanied by another priest.

The report states that it was not until 1995 that the archdiocese began to notify the civil authorities of complaints of clerical abuse. The commission concludes that in the light of this and other facts, every bishop’s primary loyalty was to the church itself.

A move by the archdiocese to take out insurance against potential compensation claims arising from clerical abuse was, according to the report, an act proving knowledge of child sexual abuse as a potential major cost.

The report, running to hundreds of pages, details particular priests and the abuse perpetrated by them.

The Garda Síochána’s current commissioner, Fachtna Murphy, said the report made for “difficult and disturbing reading, detailing as it does many instances of sexual abuse and failure on the part of both church and state authorities to protect victims.”

Murphy apologised to victims who did not receive the response and protection they were entitled to.

Pope Benedict was challenged today to go to Ireland and apologise for his clergy’s behaviour.

A victims’ rights campaigner called on the pope to visit and say sorry for “the betrayal of children” by those who were meant to show them love. John Kelly, of Irish Survivors of Child Abuse, said only a papal visit would exonerate the worldwide church of culpability in the abuse scandals.

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

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

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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

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