Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Sathya Sai Baba exposé’

On The Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposé – Barry Pittard, An Early Note

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 12, 2013

Barry Pittard. May 22, 2013Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Here is a brief note which I wrote a few years back. To my more recent crop of readers, including media and scholarly researchers, it gives a glimpse at the origins of our exposé of Sathya Sai Baba and his international cult, an exposure which has intensively lasted, with much success, over two decades. I include below a select list of links, which are far more recondite with other links, too.

I was deeply devoted to Sai Baba – who is arguably the most powerful Indian guru in history – for 25 years. At his behest, and as an unpaid service, I taught all three years of the Humanities degree course at the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India for most of 1977-1978, and some drama work there before this with the American actor Ron Klein. I spent a number of very happy years in India, a wonderful culture which can thrive in the future if only the endemic, corrupt leaderships stops, and provided she does not succumb to the hollow materialistic dazzle of Westernization.

In October 1999, I read the accounts of Terry Gallagher, first head of Australian Sathya Sai Organization and others. These spoke of Sai Baba having sex with boys and young men, and of many other disturbing anomalies. By email and phone, I directly investigated allegations round the world, and found primary corroboration from families, friends and each molestation survivor. These reports come from many parts of the world, and from primary victims who, in a many cases, did not know each other. Many accounts were harrowing, sickening and heart-rending. Here were people in excellent standing in their professions, trades and wider communities. They were typical of many decent, law-abiding and caring seekers, from various cultures who have sought spiritual guidance from Sai Baba or other teachers. There was, of course, a major social trend of Westerners seeking out Eastern teachers, escalating from the sixties onwards.

Towards the end of 1999, I joined an international network of former Sathya Sai Baba followers, which included a broad cross-section of educational and cultural backgrounds. Among this number were some outstanding mental health professionals familiar with the various cases. Our core collective campaigned strongly. Some, mainly in the USA, had attempted a little before us, to get the allegations out into the open. This sad state of affairs is true the world over. Most victims fear going public. Some said that they would coöperate if there were court or governmental or institutional investigations. Glen Meloy, of southern California, USA, a well-loved follower of Sai Baba for 26 years who died in 2005, and I worked closely on many initiatives, as have, after Glen’s death, Robert Priddy. 

Robert Priddy, with his and my dear friend, the late V.K.Narasimhan, one of India's most courageous and outstanding newspaper editors. Narasimhan privately expressed deep troubles about Sathya Sai Baba's conduct and that of some of his core leaders

Robert Priddy, with his and my dear friend, the late V.K.Narasimhan, one of India’s most courageous and outstanding newspaper editors. Narasimhan, one of the few game enough to stand up to Sathya Sai Baba, privately expressed to the few persons he could trust his deep troubles about Sai Baba’s conduct and that of some of his core leaders

Priddy is the former head and co-founder of the Sathya Sai Organization, Norway, and a retired academic of the University of Oslo. 

It is unfortunate that many of these activities we have to conduct on a need-to-know basis. This is because of the extreme sensitivity of the issues. In India especially, we have done our utmost to make sure that grave harm does not befall survivors, families and friends who contact us, or of whom we come to know via other means. 

Many in the Sathya Sai Organization are decent and good people, and for many years, before some of us became aware of the leaders’ dereliction of duty of care, accountability and transparency, among them were our dearest and closest friends and colleagues. Losing them was not the least of the shocks. However, core leaders in the Sathya Sai Organization engage in extreme cover-up. They are appalling in their dereliction of duty of care, are unaccountable to their own members, the public, and refuse to be open with the most distinguished investigative media and scholars. Hence, for example, title of the BBC’s television documentary (2004) ‘The Secret Swami’. The international Sathya Sai Organization is very wealthy, influential and powerful, with an exchequer rated in billions, and has become ever more of an authoritarian cult over the years. Former devotee activists – including a number of victims of the sexual abuse and other abuses – wish to share their evidence with well-reputed bona fide investigators from media, government, civic and academic institutions, and so on.

Some Select Readings on Our Early Exposure Campaigns 

Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009

Barry Pittard Replies to writer, 1 July 2002

Sai Baba-A Degenerative Disease?

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 16, 2007

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 4, 2007

(Late) Ron and Peggy Laing: Deeply Alienated From Sathya Sai Organization

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 14, 2009

BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 26, 2007

 Ramanathan Threatens Barry Pittard With Law.

Posted Barry Pittard, 14 April 2003.

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 7, 2008

Barry Pittard:  Sathya Sai Baba Expose – An Update. 25 September, 2003

Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba)

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 6, 2010

U.S. State Department Named Sathya Sai Baba To BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 31, 2010

Sathya Sai Organization, Australia, Ex-Head Terry Gallagher’s Testimony Against Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2009

On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult (Parts 1, 2 and 3)

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2009

Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman: Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 24, 2010

See also:  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)


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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.

Select Articles on this topic at:

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

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