Suddenly and shockingly, almost overnight, many Sai devotees demonized those who, for decades, were highly regarded in the Sai Baba fold, once they spoke out. As I was to learn from others well beyond this cult who have exposed corruption and betrayal in authoritarian organizations, this demonization process is an inescapable result for those who speak out, no matter how responsibly and within integrity they do so. It is, perhaps, all the more disturbing when the hatred, anger, distortion of one’s words, defamation, libel, and ice-cold shunning come from those who claim to be involved in spirituality.
Happily, Glen Meloy’s hope expressed to me (see below) that we would be able to get a distinguished acharya widely influential within Hinduism to make a public statement about the abuse issue was to be realised. We eventually corresponded with a renowned Vedic scholar and teacher, Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya (Dr Frank Morales). He responded personally, graciously and kindly. He also soon went public, which we found Indian religious authorities unwilling to do. For the Acharya-ji’s statement, see my post that follows this one:
Hindu Leaders Reticent To Go Public On Sexual Abuse. Dr Frank Morales (Acharya-ji) An Exception. Posted by Barry Pittard on November 23, 2013
The following note from Ron Mead (husband of one of the foremost Sai cult matriarchs, Bernice Mead) to Glen Meloy shows a reaction typical in its head-in-the-sand attitude when devotees are confronted with their guru’s wrongdoings: psychological denial.
In my post at this time last year:
Sathya Sai Baba’s Birthday, 2012: No Celebration For A Many Worldwide Who Mourn As Victims, Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2012, I wrote:
‘For thousands of former Sathya Sai Baba followers worldwide, there is no celebrating the late would-be ‘Avatar’s’ birthday on 23 November. Often without formally resigning, countless left his international Sathya Sai Organization. Many who had thought to join it did not do so. The cult is in terrible disarray.
I am all the more saddened at his vast betrayal, because, for two years (circa 1978-79), I lectured in the three-years Arts degree course at the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, and will never forget, as I was all too slow in discovering, his and his organization’s profound failure in duty of care for the students. See my article and the BBC television documentary, The Secret Swami: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision
I worked hard, as any conscientious teacher does, to see that the utmost dedication, trust and skill served them as of their complete birthright. I was at my most idealistic – More than just a work force, I wanted to see the building of a soul force.’
As I was to learn from others well beyond this cult who have exposed corruption and betrayal in authoritarian organizations, this demonization process is an inescapable result for those who speak out, no matter how responsibly and within integrity they do so. It is, perhaps, all the more disturbing when the hatred, anger, distortion of one’s words, defamation, libel, and ice-cold shunning come from those who claim to be involved in spirituality. Indeed, right at the Sai Organizational apex, Sai Baba’s close aide, Dr Venkataraman could be seen in full swing, and most devoid of the love and truthfulness which he, like Sai Baba, so often extol above all qualities. See:
Posted by Barry Pittard on October 18, 2009
After he learnt of Sathya Sai Baba’s serial and large-scale sexual abuse of boys and young men, Glen Meloy embarked on an enormously self-sacrificing, far-reaching systematic investigation of the allegations. This included families and victims whom Glen had known for years. By some children of Sathya Sai devotees of many years standing, Glen was lovingly known as ‘Uncle Glen’.
Increasingly, from circa 2000, much-assisted by the spectacular growth of the internet, first-hand and terrible stories spread of homosexual and other forms of abuse at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba. Devotees in many countries became former devotees, and began to network. I just wish we could have had Skype back in those days.
This exit from the worldwide Sathya Sai Organization included top leaders as well as those from the rank-and-file. See my articles (which contain many further links) e.g.,:
The Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba and Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From Russia ‘BILD’ Story. “Guru Wants Sex” (Sathya Sai Baba) and Why Do Prominent Sathya Sai Baba Sect Critics Persist? and Timothy Conway Ph.D – On ‘The Hislop Letters’ and BBC Transcript ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sathya Sai Baba’s Frauds Exposed)
With an enormous amount of international coordination among former Sai Baba devotees, we were able to bring our case to the United Nations, Interpol, and many leading media. See:
Posted by Barry Pittard on June 26, 2007
See my obituary for Glen, who was (until after his death when Robert Priddy and I joined forces) my closest collaborator in exposing Sathya Sai Baba and his cult:
Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009
Posted by Barry Pittard on June 9, 2007
Posted by Barry Pittard on January 31, 2010
Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2009
Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2009
Posted by Barry Pittard on June 24, 2010
See, too former head (resigned in 2000 after investigating multiple sex abuse and the cover up of murders in Sai Baba’s bedroom) of Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization Robert Priddy’s: