Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Sathya Sai Baba’

Sathya Sai Baba Badly Failed. E.g., See Inspiring Tedx Talk On ‘The Ugly Indian’ Movement

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 12, 2015

Barry PittardHaving lived for years in India, and feeling, on the one hand, great love for her people and culture and, on the other, profound abhorence for the corruption among her elites and institutions, I was deeply moved by this Tedx talk. It is truly positive and inspirational. And, the practical actions – e.g., the concept of ‘spotfix’ – to which the talk refers, represent a marked departure from Sathya Sai Baba’s profound failure – amidst his endless moralising and vast, wasteful pomp and ceremony – to effect, as he promised to do within his own lifetime, India’s spiritual, moral and physical uplift.
See:  

Note at the Tedx website:

Published on 27 Oct 2014

 This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. The Ugly Indian is an anonymous collective that does not talk to media, wants no publicity and works with the motto – Only Work No Talk. However, they made an exception for TEDxBangalore so that they could open up the question of why we as Indians are okay with filthy public spaces? The tragedy of the commons – can we change it to the victory of the commons?

There’s a silent revolution brewing in India, and it’s called The Ugly Indian. It is anonymous, faceless and leaderless, and has seen thousands of citizens coming out to fix local civic problems following a simple motto: Kaam Chalu Mooh Bandh. Only Work No Talk. What started off as a series of social experiments in Bangalore in 2011, to see what it takes to change everyday ugly Indian behaviour in public spaces (littering, spitting paan, public urination and more), has now transformed into a nation-wide movement that is spreading virally – both on social media, and on the ground. The centrepiece of the TUI approach is the ‘spotfix ‘ where ugly spots are ‘fixed’ by citizens. There is no activism, no sloganeering, no lecturing, no finger-pointing and no ideological debates – just a sincere attempt to solve problems by focusing on a spot – using one’s own time, hands and money.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Huffington Post Needs To Update Views On Sathya Sai Baba and His Authoritarian Cult

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 20, 2013

Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

I note a series of pro Sathya Sai Baba articles, over time, on Huffington Post, USA. Limited space allows for comment beneath these – not always a bad thing, it must be said. I shall later post my reply to the latest article, by Vamsee Juluri, a professor in communications, and author of earlier extolling articles on Sai Baba, which will perhaps be this:

Scriptures are of their own time. Taken literally they can s0metimes assault reason, humanity and commonsense. Sai Baba believed literally in gods and demons. His statements e.g., about Jesus and Martin Luther, are historically inaccurate. He made serious scientific mistakes and unfulfilled prophecies. Many former leaders investigated with the utmost integrity. Pointing out anomalies should not invite abusive comment. Points pro Sai Baba commentators raise on HP are more than dealt with by the more capable former devotee writers on the internet. It is about responsibility, not about hate.

Since exposure via major world media e.g., the BBC’s documentary ‘The Secret Swami’, viewed by millions in many countries, many foremost leaders and followers quit the Sathya Sai Baba cult. Still more, after the Indian media and Andhra Pradesh state government (June, 2011) revealed Sai Baba’s vast secret hoard of money and valuables. Exposed too was the Sathya Sai Central Trust.

He claimed he would live till circa 2022 and rule the world, yet died suspiciously, legalities side-stepped. World-wide data attest e.g., Sai Baba’s serial sexual molestation of boys and young men, the apartments scams, and, chillingly, the hushed-up killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom.

Barry Pittard, Australia, former lecturer in English at the Sathya Sai Baba College, Whitefield, South India. https://barrypittard.wordpress.com

I copy the Vamsee Juluri article 16 January below, because it exposes how blinded very educated Sathya Sai Baba devotees are. They in no wise fearlessly look at the compelling data from a great many sources. They are a standing affront to many with credentials, just as outstanding, in various professions and trades, who have raised voices of conscience and profoundly evidence-based dissent. These dissenters are not contested as to integrity – except by those who fail to use investigative and ethical criteria, which they would in their professions otherwise, presumably, use and applaud. Thus is the mind-spell that grips those under the sway of charismatic gurus and narrow belief systems.

It will be interesting to see whether Vamsee Juluri thinks he can meet, with the slightest amount of evidence contrary to the contentions of two recent responders to his Huffington Post article (see below) – or the vast  Sathya Sai Baba exposure data on the web: e.g.:

———————————————

open 2

9 hours ago (11:22 AM)

I can understand that dear myths you cherish can be very sweet. But let’s remember mere facts:
(1) In 1993 six people were killed in Sathya Sai Baba’s rooms and the investigation was stopped with no court verdict. That is a serious violation of law and Sathya Sai Baba was a part of it.
(2) In September 2000 UNESCO withdrew from an educational conference which was going to be held in Prashanthi Nilayam, one of the ashrams of Sathya Sai Baba. As it was explained by UNESCO in the press-release, it was because of a deep concern about the allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that had been leveled at Sathya Sai Baba by his critics.
(3) In 2002 the Parliament of the United Kingdom discussed the possible danger to male children of British families intending to visit the ashram of Sathya Sai Baba in case of individual audiences with the guru.
(4) After Sathya Sai Baba death in 2011 in his rooms they discovered 98 kg of gold ornaments, approximate value Rs 21 crore (US$4.7m), 307 kg of silver ornaments, approximate value Rs 1.6 crore (US$0.36m), and Rs 11.6 crore (US$2.6m) in cash.
You can find more information just checking Wikipedia article about SSB.
10 hours ago (11:01 AM)
I was once a leader in the Sathya Sai Baba movement for nearly two decades, but left in 2000 after I investigated deeply into the massive exposures of Sai Baba’s infamous ‘divine downfall’ . After the many revelations of Sai Baba’s private hoarding of valuables on a huge scale, the cynical manipulations and continued cover-ups of the Sai Central Trust, news of bogus miracles (exposed by devotees themselves!) People still write letters to Sai Baba in a box but he died under the most suspect and unpropitious circumstances and the cause of his illness and death was carefully concealed. What of the world-wide testimonies of sexual molestation, known to be true by many long-term residents in his ashram and even office-bearers, as well as scandalous cover-up to the highest level by compromised long-term devotees (who were Prime Ministers etc.) of his direct involvement in the cold-blooded execution by police of four devotees. That is the ugly dark side which devotees have struggled their utmost to bury and forget.
Sai Baba preached much unrealistic, vague and impracticable advice, a Hindu nationalistic throwback to the past, questioning the validity of human rights, supporting caste ideas, taking Indian scriptural myth as fact plus many superficial, ambiguous ‘teachings’. The laughable distortions of fact in his teaching on Christianity and other religions, and his promotion of many absurdly wrong medical, scientific, historical and educational ideas in conflict with all modern knowledge is all documented – search on Google.
Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba
Posted: 01/16/2013 11:51 am

On a bright sunny January morning, as people in India celebrated the festival of Sankranthi, I returned to Prasanthi Nilayam, the home of my family’s revered Guru, Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It was my first visit there in nearly five years, and more importantly, it was my first visit there since his passing, in April 2011.

It was therefore the first time that I had to face up to the ideal so many spiritual paths teach us: that it is not the form that matters, but what it contains.

Sitting once again in the vast expansive halls of Prashanthi Nilayam where we once used to wait, seemingly endlessly, for a few minutes of darshan, I felt strangely empty of expectation. There was no anticipation, or the sometimes charged tension, one felt in the long and silent wait for Baba’s arrival into the hall. The protocols though — and of course, the people — were very much the same as before. There were lots of people, as always, and they sat in more rows than one could hope to count without getting up. Short programs featuring students from Baba’s schools and colleges were conducted. The ever-popular bhajans were sung, and the sacred arathi offered. At the end, though, everyone lined up for what is now called Samadhi-darshan, a few seconds of silent prayer at the edge of the marble monument which marks as close as we will ever get again to our beloved Swami, as we called him. As we left, we were given a rose-petal as a sign of blessing. I noted the presence of small baskets on the floor, where devotees could leave letters addressed to him, as they did when he was alive.

Nothing has changed in Prashanthi Nilayam. The ceremonies, the celebrations, the students’ earnest and sometimes enchanting plays and performances, the bhajans that made this movement so simple and easy to belong to, and most of all the people, the vast and reasonably well self-regulated throngs of devotees, seekers, and the curious who came, they were all there. It seemed to me that at any moment, the black and orange spot of flame that Baba looked like amidst the great crowds would appear from somewhere. I recall the effect his entrance used to have on the massive crowds, how bodies stiffened and turned as one to face him, even if he was so distant as to appear like a tiny speck of color. Despite that wistful feeling, the only difference now, it seemed to me, was that instead of craning for a sight of a flash of orange in the sea of heads that surrounded us, now we sought only for a line of sight toward the white marble surface of his Samadhi, not unlike the way we try to steal a sight of the deity in the great (and crowded) ancient temples of India like Tirupati. The feeling, and the belief, obviously has not changed, for me, and for the thousands of people who still come.

And yet, everything has changed too. How could it not?

I belonged to a generation, and a moment in time, when the Sai movement, its members and its service activities, were beginning to expand momentously. In my early visits to Puttaparthi in the 1980s, I could still see a bit of the ease and familiarity earlier devotees used to say they had with Baba. The crowds were smaller, and the time one had with him, a little bit longer, and the space more intimate. By the 1990s, the place was a giant spectacle, with thousands, and sometimes tens of thousands, of people visiting the ashram almost every day. The once tiny, desolate and poor village of Puttaparthi now even had an airport. The giant hospital, university and various other philanthropic projects undertaken by Baba dominated the landscape, and the attention of the devotee-volunteers. Heads of state came to visit, frequently, and share in some of the spirit of service and accomplishment that the movement saw at this time, such as the massive projects that delivered drinking water to hundreds of poor villages in the region.

And yet, at the center of all this was the diminutive figure of Baba, a small, maternal, kind and often witty person who many of us simply could not perceive as anything other than an avatar, a human incarnation of divinity itself. At first, that feeling was a strange and unexpected change for me. Until I met Baba, I only thought of God in the abstract, or as mystically embodied in stone and metal in our temples. For nearly 25 years after that, I thought of God in very human terms, as a person, a very specific person, who I thought was so much like my own father and mother in many ways, in his ideals, practice and even his persona. Now, all that seems like it was a wonderful time, but it has passed. Baba is and will continue to be venerated, among the faithful, no different from the other forms and names by which the divine is venerated. In the future, some of us will think of him as we think of Krishna and Rama now. We will, inevitably, move into a realm where our gods will not talk back to us or encourage us or lovingly reprimand us, as the case may once have been. We will make our gods our gods, and forget, inevitably, that they were gurus too, that they so taught us, and not by words alone.

In my brief stay at the ashram this week, I could see that there were many new, younger devotees and visitors present as well. By the afternoon, the sprawling grounds of the ashram started to look the way it used to in the past, with hundreds of families camping out under trees and bits of shade here and there. I remember those days, when tens and sometimes even hundreds of thousands of people descended on Puttaparthi for a mere sight of the man they believed was God incarnate. Even in the anonymity of the mass, there was so much of a connection between the people and their guru, because he was there, and he connected as a human being, an elder and benefactor, with more people and families, and more profoundly and meaningfully, than we can even fathom. His teachings, and the simple bhakti practices he advocated such as service and singing, were perhaps secondary to the mad adoration and faith that marked their relationship with him. Now, only his teachings, and the world he built, remain.

As I left Prashanthi Nilayam at night, and a smiling moon rose over the horizon, I thought briefly about what that world will mean in the future, and mean something it surely will, because the people are there, and they are coming. The question though is what exactly people are coming for. One can be certain that for many, the journey will be about the expectation of a miracle; an illness cured, an examination passed, a promotion secured, the mundane things God gets called on for every moment and every day. Like Shirdi, Puttaparthi will remain a place where faith lives and resonates for the faithful. But there is also the other miracle that took place in this speck of a hamlet in a dry and desolate corner of south India no one would have heard of but for one simple peasant son. That miracle, I think, is still unfolding. We may see its visible manifestations in the form of gigantic hospitals that offer free treatment to all and water pipelines and tankers that quench the thirst of thousands of villagers in India’s most arid regions, but there is more to come too. All those who knew Baba, and who are coming to know him now, after his passing, will find that the real arena for the miraculous is not in some mystical plane, but really in our own lives. I think we will find, somehow, still, that kindness and love are the only way to live. There may be alternatives to our religions, our paths and chosen deities. But there is no alternative to love. Sometimes, I feel that because I believe Baba’s presence is always here and shows me that. At other times, I feel nothing more than this world and the people in it that make the world for me, and still, all this shows me that too.

Baba did not quite say it in those words, but George Harrison did. Prashanthi Nilayam, the Abode of Peace, seems to me is now Within You and Without You.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba: Symbol Of A Vastly Corrupt India Resistant To Reform

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 16, 2012

For over a decade, many of Robert Priddy‘s and my articles have insisted that the changes Sathya Sai Baba promised for India (much less – and more megalomaniacally still – the world) have, in extreme degree, failed to materialize.   See:  India will lead the world – Sathya Sai Baba and:  Official Sai Baba Documents Show His Death Date Prophecies Failed and:  Sai Baba’s failed predictions, doubtful birth date, doubtful age, doubtful death and:  Most predictions by and about Sai Baba failed

He was appalling off-target in regard to the future, but blundered quite as egregiously  in matters relating to the past.  See:  Sathya Sai Baba Made Huge Science and History Mistakes.  He himself is now of the past, so his prophecy, below, is now part of the huge junk pile of his glaring errors:

A huge array of India’s power elites – including many successive Indian Prime Ministers and Presidents – who so often visited him – profoundly failed to go within light years of following his teachings about truth, right conduct, peace, love and non-violence.  He himself failed to live up to them.

Social injustice, corruption, casteism, nepotism, military and police violence and other extreme malfunctions always were, and are, as rife in India.  See:  Ex-Chief Justice of India: Sathya Sai Baba “dictated my every single judgement” and:  Will India clean up its Augean police and political stables? and:  Police, Security and Sathya Sai Baba

Former devotees and others who have worked to expose the crimes, misdemeanors and spiritual betrayals of Sai Baba and many of his core leaders have faced enormous obstacles. One of these has been the failure of almost the entire Indian media. The  honorable exception was India Today.  In a professional way, it dealt with our witnesses (individuals of outstanding professional and other credentials) both from other countries and well as from India.  To often, there there was the often skillfully disguised hatred of westerners only too familiar to experts on India  –  a trait interpretable as stemming from India’s long experience with British imperialism and, before that, the crashing waves of Mughal invasion. In dealing with her power brokers, no one should fall for the infinite charm.

It is to the Indian media’s undying shame that foreign media in various countries had to take the lead in surfacing facts about the 1993 police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom, the serial and wide scale sexual abuse of boys and young men, etc.

Establishing the bona fides of former devotees from many countries around the world took coordinators a vast amount of time and hard work.  

However, with demonstrable intellectual dishonesty, individuals like the deputy chairman of the world Sathya Sai Organization, Dr G. Venkatarman, residing at Sai Baba’s Puttaparthi headquarters, tried to impute ill motives to many former devotees many of whom had outstanding records of service and devotion when members of the international Sathya Sai Organization, and attribute gross incompetence to the BBC, The London Times, The Telegraph, The Guardian, among others.  

Venkataraman’s poverty of intellectual discourse can be seen in various other directions, too.  With telling use of documents, Robert Priddy, retired philosopher and social scientist of the university of Oslo, Norway,  exposed Venkataraman for serious science plagiarism of a sort which, were the deeds not perpetrated in an India rank with corruption of every sort, would probably have seen him in great trouble in the academic world elsewhere.  See:  Indian Scientist Dr G. Venkataraman Accused of Plagiarism and:   Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman.

It took many decades before Indian news reports adverse to Sathya Sai Baba and his cult could be seen.  There is the irony that non-resident Indians around the world saw the BBC (see:  Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba), and many other media, expose Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult – which the Indian media almost exclusively denied to their readers and viewers.  See:  Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List.  Sathya Sai Devotees Suspect Foul Play In Guru’s Health Crisis. Seek Court Order

Our private contact with leading Indian journalists, including with editors of major media, has long underlined the power of the Sathya Sai Organization to keep stories out of the press, no matter how great the scandal. It was many decades too late that the Indian media ran the sort of stories now impossible to suppress.  See:

Indian Media’s Reticence on Top Guru, Sathya Sai Baba, Weakens

‘Face the Nation’ Audience Poll, India – 87% Hostile to Gurus Like Sathya Sai Baba

This was not until the last stages Sathya Sai Baba’s illness, his death (about which leading devotees themselves questioned Sathya Central Trust’s highly irregular handling of matters), and the vast millions worth of currency, gold, silver and other valuable items which Sai Baba secreted in his private quarters.  

In a note to a senior Indian investigative journalist on a top Indian television channel, I wrote (in part):

 (How could) “a Trust – charged with due diligence! – first, dismiss all suggestions that a unaccounted treasure could lie hidden, and issue emphatic statements that all-is-above board – with only cheques from, and receipts issued to, donors – and, YET, later, only after repeated contradicting detection, come up with another explanation altogether?

If they were let loose on the Sai Baba and Sai Trust saga, Indian newspaper cartoonists would have a field day,  ….! You potentially have a great story. But will you and your Team dare to go for it, X? Where are all the editorials? The serious Ed.Op pieces? Where is there a persistent raising of vital questions – e.g., about the circumstances leading up to Sai Baba’s death/ the death certificate circumstances/ the ordering of his golden casket from a source in Bangalore well before his death / his body weight at the time of his hospital admission / the reported concern of Sai Baba’s team of highly senior doctors about lack of information on any medications being given to him before his emergency admission to their care / or about the lack of statements from doctors and nurses and, above all, Dr Safaya at the Sathya Sai hospital who resigned en masse / or about Satyajit (about whom there is so much silence, and yet so much noise – indeed bluster!  –  from V. Srinivasan and R.J. Ratnakar)?What of the on-again, off-again resignations of Ex-Chief Justice Bhagwati? And of the former world Sathya Sai Organization head, Indulal Shah? And so on ……..”.  

See:  Sathya Sai Baba Saga: Is There Too Little Indian Media Critical Analysis?

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to Call for media and government


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Sathya Sai Organization’s Treatment of Dissidents: A Desertion of Ethics and Spirituality

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 23, 2012

Among other reasons, there is a much less reported reason for the success – at a very deep and far-reaching level – of the former Sathya Sai Baba devotees’ long and gruelling exposure in some of the world’s leading media, the UN, etc., of Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult.

This success drew the response from non-Sai devotee family members, friends, neighbors, and school, college, university, professional, trade and other and associates of devotees. It also drew a strong interest from many government, civic, legal, religious and other institutions.

These third-party interests had no compunction in consulting the internet and in judging the critical offerings on the basis of commonsense and reason. Sai Baba ordered his devotees that they should have nothing to do with the internet. Some of them saw the almost daily attacks upon us, and how viciously set-upon and libeled have been those who have made great personal, financial and other forms of sacrifice in getting the abuses investigated by responsible world media, the United Nations, and so on

Profoundly blinded devotees would not hear a word said against their idol. He was God walking the earth. He could do as he pleased. One had to love him for his mystery. And not question his plethora of outright contradictions, failed prophecies and promises of healing or giving places in his colleges or university or apartments in the ashram, etc.

They would not listen to the heart-wrenching testimony of the parents and boys and young men from many countries whom Sathya Sai Baba sexually abused. They were utterly remiss in refusing all proper and normative processes of moral and legal accountability. We have powerful and repeated well-documented evidence of Sathya Sai Organization leaders turning away the many parents and others who have gone to them in great distress with their shocking accounts of Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of their boys and young men and, sometimes, by a small number of his college and university teachers. The organization’s history of ignoring the allegations is truly appalling. Sorely afflicted families from many countries have verified the Sathya Sai Organizations profound failure of duty of care and accountability and transparency.  The media, scholars, police and other institutions have attested the extreme resistance of the cult to investigation. Top world media have observed this imperviousness and obfuscation, including:  BBC, CBC (Canada), DR (Denmark), Salon.com (USA), SBS (all television), ABC (Radio Australia). In paper media – Times of LondonDaily TelegraphGuardian (UK), Marie Claire MagazineSalon.com,BT, Bild, Focus, Trouw, Speegelbield, Noordhollands Dagblad, Sokaren, GatopardoOttawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun, Age, Australian Financial Review, West Australian (a major front page article by an award-winning journalist (Torrance Mendez) was pulled at the 11th hour!), Adelaide Advertiser, etc., …..

For the international Sathya Sai Organization, and for Sai devotees en masse, reason and commonsense stood for naught, much less ordinary human compassion. There was utterly cruel shunning of their former colleagues and friends, often of many years standing, whom they had, for every good reason, previously held in high regard. Overnight, as it were, we transformed into devils.

History can only deliver a harsh judgement of those members at all levels of the Sathya Sai Organization who spurned those who, with great pain and difficulty spoke forth the shocking facts which they, around the world, increasingly uncovered – broadly speaking from about 1999. They deserted their constantly iterated principles of: Truth, Right Conduct, Spiritual Love and Peace and (in a few cases, resorted to violence – a legal case about more recent – and most terrible –  examples is now underway).

Whereas, Sai Baba, both in discourses and via the high level world leadership of his cult, made sure that devotees did not discuss the many allegations of criminal conduct, non-devotees deeply concerned for those within the Sai fold DID consult the critical writings of David and Faye Bailey, Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Glen Meloy, Hari Sampath, Conny Larsson, Sanjay Dadlani, Shirley Pike, Elena Hartgering, Alexandra Nagel, and others such as myself – and, in general, on websites such as:  http://ex-baba.com, http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/, http://www.saiguru.net/english/

These readers had an invaluable asset: Their independence. For they were not caught up in the trammels of one of history’s biggest and far-reaching cults.

For a brief glimpse of one of a whole series of Sathya Sai cult madness reflecting the increasing decrepitude of Sathya Sai Baba, 2007, see:

Is Indian ‘Godman’ Sai Baba’s Moon Waning Still Further?

It is interesting to find highly unofficially-officially connected prominent Sathya Sai Baba devotees, including those who as students were long in his colleges and university, now enthusing about visions in the moon of their guru. That some get so extremely excitable as to support calls on the Internet for people’s experiences of Sathya Sai Baba induced moon visions, suggests that Sai Baba’s years of education have failed them. (Yes, by the way, their education was ‘free’ but many of their parents forked out a fortune in donations and supposedly incidental expenses).

Unless, of course, a moon vision of Sai Baba – when, as it turned out, clouds heavily obscured the moon!!! – is one of his greatest miracles.

The astronomical moon chart for October 2007 sustains Robert Priddy’s point in his article Deceiving ‘devotee’ makes bogus image of Sai in the Moon. He writes:

“it so happens that the moon on October 23 was not full but was still ’waxing gibbous’, as can be seen from the following image taken from the astronomical website http://stardate.org/nightsky/moon/ This shows the moon two days before full moon. Full moon did not occur until Oct 26 04:52, according to NASA“.

Every now and then major examples of Sathya Sai Baba’s worsening mental physical decrepitude would – quite enormously – aid us in far more widely establishing our good credentials in exposing him and his cult. We, whom the Sai forces went to great lengths to make seem mad and bad, were all too validly, and often sadly, exposing a terrible madness. The madness of the human mind in the grip of an extremely powerful charismatic cult.

See also:

Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon?

Sai Baba Fails To Appear In Moon, IANS Reports

Sai Baba Fails To Grant Great Moon Vision. Endangers Crowds

Sathya Sai Baba Moon Miracles & as Man in the Moon

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

————————————————————

Subscribe in   NewsGator Online Subscribe   in Bloglines Add to My AOLAdd to Excite   MIX Add to   netvibes Add to The   Free Dictionary Add to netomat Hub Add to Webwag Subscribe in a reader

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Customer Disservice – Where Greed Is All Good

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 3, 2012

Sathya Sai Baba, no different to many other teachers in many traditions, inveighed against greed, anger, selfishness, and so on. This he did via constant harping in his discourses and interviews.

There lacked imaginative, challenging and effective ways to transform society, which he had long said he would revolutionize within his own lifetime. He is dead. But then, mere preaching is dead which fails to galvanise and transform.

When I taught for two years in Sathya Sai Baba’s Whitefield college (via Bangalore, South India), there was almost utter dependence on rote learning. Nonetheless, I have always deeply appreciated that Sai Baba ensured that I was able to innovate, and that he and a small number of his senior staff protected what I was doing from certain  ‘education’ neanderthals in that college. Not that the  unregenerate staff members failed to produce results acceptable in Indian terms, which were much the legacy of Lord Macaulay, no matter how much Sai Baba, from the safe cordon of his interminable and preachy discourses, harked back to the ancient Indian education system known as the gurukul. There were plenty of gold medals and cages for the parrots.

Mind you, Sai Baba’s followers do in fact go out and serve the poor, but he, all along, failed to tackle the corruption in India (and everywhere else) which creates that very poverty. No end of elites – political, industrial, scientific, medical, legal, armed services, etc. – visited him, and yet he profoundly failed to do what he said he would do:  clean up (his) own backyard.

The global financial crisis – or, rather, ongoing series of crises – has spurred a great many to think about questions such as:  Can local, national and international political and social leaders, bankers, brokers, corporations, governments etc., be trusted?

Notions about who and what caused the global financial crisis often throw most of the blame on leaders or governments or institutions or, more complexly, these combined. Often missing from discussion are our own personal psychological states of being. These need challenging and transforming.

It is this capricious, sometimes chaotic mental fundament of greed in human beings everywhere which countless economists – with all their tidy, supposedly rational mathematical models – failed to take into account. I think it is why the financial crash of 2008 so shocked and surprised them. Way back in 1936, in his classic The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money,  the famed British macroeconomist John Maynard Keynes wrote of what he called “animal spirits”:

“Even apart from the instability due to speculation, there is the instability due to the characteristic of human nature that a large proportion of our positive activities depend on spontaneous optimism rather than mathematical expectations, whether moral or hedonistic or economic. Most, probably, of our decisions to do something positive, the full consequences of which will be drawn out over many days to come, can only be taken as the result of animal spirits – a spontaneous urge to action rather than inaction, and not as the outcome of a weighted average of quantitative benefits multiplied by quantitative probabilities”.

Many ethical systems, religious and non-religious, point to the fundamental and ubiquitous cause of human greed as crucial to any understanding of social predicament. Is it just a bank or a stock broking firm or a corporation that is greedy?

Well may we ask ourselves such questions as: 

–  What are my own desires that made me so ready to believe in the easy availability of credit?

–  What was my lack of information which led me to believe that financial institutions would not disservice me?

–  Or that my government would make sure that all the reforms, checks and balances, and protections against exploitation were a) in place and b) being observed?

–  Or that I should, in effect, allow my house to become a casino?

–  Or that I should ignore my own feelings that ‘something’ seems a bit ‘off’ here? Too good to be true?….

–  Or do I see mortgage hikes forcing young marrieds/partners forced to go and live with parents or, conversely, parents forced to go and live with their kids?

–  Or do I see social engineering narrowing children’s education, instead of stimulating deep curiosity and wonder and humanity and a questioning attitude?

–  Or do I see trillions being spent on war, which becomes an inseparable part of national and international economies, rather than addressing the very roots of human discord?

 ….. Or too serious and forever without genuine solutions – such as shrinkage of purchasing power, mortgage and interest rates rises, bank foreclosures, questionable bank fee policies, unemployment and underemployment, contracting of superannuation entitlements, the pressure to work longer hours – with drastic effects on family life – and non-commensurate wages,  issues of home ownership or rental …. and much else.

If I were still teaching, I think I’d be taking students out on still more observational excursions than was my custom. Supermarkets would be a good target. They are symptomatic of much else that is part of an inhuman economic system. A related task would be to do some polling of local customer experience of shopping. They could  compare various local, national and international consumer reports, and a range of responses from Satisfaction to Dissatisfaction. Responses of various age groups could also be factored into the task.

Without my having to preach, the students might, at the right moment, be persuaded to have a look at some of their own material desires, and consider some of the more and less obvious likely outcomes. And thus begin to see how open we all are to exploitation by the cynical and self-serving.

Below are a few lines of a piece I’ve been working on.

——————————————–

Customer Disservice. By Barry Pittard. 25 January 2012

Before shopping was a nightmare, I first met Joe

He had a chain of small stores where shoppers loved to go

Joe was big on value and his food was morning fresh

And the customer was right, because the customer paid the cash

To his customers and his workers, Joe would nod and smile

He was helpful, and humble, and didn’t want you to ‘seig heil’

He never hired bludgers or sourpuss faces

Or pimple-spotted dimwits with untied laces

Or narcissistic rude bastards who make you wait for ages

All of whom expect to be paid bigger wages

Yes, Joe was a gentleman, from his head to his toes

And his worker’s ‘hullos’ to you were just like Joe’s

Well, I’ll tell you what happened to the shopper’s friend Joe

Some superstore Big Wigs reckoned he would have to go!

There was this hungry-giant store – Big Wigs’ll do for a name

(This giant, that giant – their footprints look the same)

Big Wig lackeys front of Joe’s stores they’d strut

They’d copy down his prices and by Tuesday undercut

The big-city giant’s cut-throat men

Hounded Joe from the plazas then upped their price again

Microscopic-small is the heart of a Mr Big

And a bullet-proof balloon his giant Ego is

His big arses bounce in stretch limousines

Off to Charity Galas to flounce with Kings and Queens

He’s the greedy giant that helps money systems fail

But the bigness of a Mr Big is far too big for jail

Which is why I say –

The bigger and bigger the less better the store

The less you get service like Joe’s anymore

Although you may get – Have a nice day!

Though you walk about as far as Sydney to Bankok

The staff stand like sentries around the stockade store

You keep wondering what work the boss paid for

You scan the far horizon for staff who look human

Was it a shop dummy you saw? Or was it a slight movement?

Customers come forth in every size and shape

But no-one in the store has a measuring tape

The lipstick lady’s filing her nails

Her assistant’s on the phone swapping boyfriend tales

Does anyone know their stock? Is there anyone who cares?

It’s like the window of a fish-shop with the dead fish stares

Now the Big Wig’s cry out: We hurt, don’t you see!

So they spend millions campaigning against the GST

Not seeing that they’d be better if they gave an ounce

Of real old-fashioned service instead of fake discounts

Instead of – Have a nice day! Have a nice day!

Which is why I say –

The bigger and bigger the less better the store

The less you get service like Joe’s anymore

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Will Court Action Outside India Expose Hired Killers In The Sathya Sai Cult?

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 21, 2012

There is a matter about which I should shortly be able to write. I understand that arrests have been made, money trails unearthed, dangerous and bloody forces exposed through hard evidence and testimony, and that court actions are about to unfold.

I am told that a major media force is now preparing a documentary. It will be interesting to see how the International Sathya Sai Organization reacts.

Many death threats are, of course, bluffs. Some come from idle nutters who rant or bunglers who don’t get very far. But it is important, nonetheless, to keep whatever tracks may have been left by all who threaten.

In regard to some types of information, with the assistance of our relevant professional members, we deal with Interpol or other government agencies. In Australia, I have dealt with the (then) head of Interpol in Australia, Paul Weller, and senior officials in DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade). Our USA members have dealt with the FBI and State Department, UK members, their officials, and so on. In India, there are certain means by which to raise issues that circumvent at least some of the endemic corruption in that country. On occasions, we have been successful there, too, despite huge odds.

Since 1999, when the internationally coordinated former devotee exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult began, there have been times when, for the personal safety of our most active members, we have had to curtail any thought of going public. This has been especially so in relation to India, where one of our brilliantly effective members has reported, and taken to a high government authority in India, attempts either to kill or maim him. Although he had earlier taken strong actions, he heeded family members and other acquaintances deeply concerned for his safety.

In background terms, with the permission of another key person, I earlier began to write of great progress made in India in exposing at least a part of the teacher sexual betrayal of Sathya Sai Baba college boys. I abruptly stopped writing. In the wake of these court actions, an acquaintance of mine, some of whose family elders I have long known, a former Sathya Sai Baba college boy, twice narrowly escaped with his life, in two separate countries. It will be most interesting if the three police forces investigating the second attack on him show in court evidence where those now accused as hired assassins got their training. India is one of the countries that will need to be looked at very closely.

Of course, too, the victim’s immense wealth and effectiveness in exposing at law elements of the Sathya Sai cult will need to be considered as motives for the alleged hiring of hitmen. The alleged hirer will need, among his other associations, to be looked at for any connection with the Sathya Sai Organization, including in his own country, which is outside India, although he is of Indian origin.

In this latter case, various professional security advice is at hand. I understand that close body protection is now provided for the man and his family, and he tells me that he is utterly resolute in continuing to expose some of the more evil-minded of the Sathya Sai fraternity, as are a goodly number of his colleagues who are knowledgeable about Sathya Sai Baba, and India and other countries, who have now risen to positions of outstanding influence and power.

This world would never be such a dangerous place if it were far more common to stand up against the vile miscreants who corrupt it. We should not wait for times of war to show a bit of determination to overcome the evils that, sooner or later, trouble all of us.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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)

Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a reader Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Sathya Sai Baba’s Deterioration: Long Mental and Physical Slide Into Chaos

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 18, 2011

How many times must a charismatic figure, like a guru, err before people’s mesmerization tapers, and, hopefully, ends. Before, that is, they begin to see the trail of anomaly, broken promises, and betrayed hopes?

Commonly, infantile belief systems – however dressed up to look all grown up – intrudes. Devotees are lost in adulating their idealized father or mother figure. They rationalize away absurdities and often downright lies. They feel comforted by the cultic group that feeds and shelters their sense of belonging. In the case of figures like Sai Baba, they think that the guru holds the power over their chances for heaven or hell. 

Sathya Sai Baba’s minders did all that they could to hide the dreadful physical and mental wreck that he became in his last years. But it cannot be upheld that thousands of devotees from around the world did not see at least some of the signs. Certainly, the many doctors attending darshan or his interviews could not other than have noticed. The Australian scholar Brian Steel’s remark of February 2002  had almost a touch of prescience. He noted:

‘Since the ‘discrepancies’ appear to be increasing nowadays, is there any possibility that Sai Baba is suffering from a degenerative ageing disease which might have an effect on his thinking and speaking?’

Likewise, in October 2002, the Swedish psychologist Åsa Samsioe, noting physical signs of Sai Baba’s ageing like his development of a ‘turkey throat’ and also the “low intellectual level” of his discourses, remarked:

‘He must have one heck of a job, Sathya Sai Baba… it can’t be easy to age in his situation, besides being under so much criticism as he has recently been… not surprising that it leaves its marks. Occasionally I think ‘poor man’… feel some pity for him. A whole life built on lies… captured by the myth about himself… to be the object of the projections of millions… and to be forced , at least outwardly, to live up to all the expectations put to him… to always have to have all those people around him’.

Sai Baba recently claimed he always smiles - but nowadays only this!

Nonetheless, Sai Baba always claimed he would never suffer from illness, not least due to his self-claimed ‘purity, patience and perserverence’ as in the following statement scanned from one of his web pages:-

—————————————–

Further Reading

Sathya Sai Baba down the rabbit hole

Sathya Sai Baba’s Pacemaker Implant – His Promised Health and Longevity In Doubt

Sai Baba Breaks Down and Sobs At 85th Birthday Celebration (Video Footage)

Sai Baba – A Degenerative Disease?

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

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Bhagavad Gita and Facing Villains. Will Sathya Sai Alumni Speak Up? And Fight!?

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 7, 2011

This article continues from:  Ex- Sathya Sai Baba Students Could Aid Sex Abuse Change In India. But Will They? Posted by Barry Pittard on August 5, 2011

Especially to my former students at the Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India, I would commend as worthy of some contemplation a few thoughts. In essence, they accord wth what we read in Chapter 2 of the Bhagavad Gita:

“Yield not to unmanliness, O son of Partha! Ill doth it become thee; cast off this mean faint heartedness and arise, O scorcher of thine enemies”.

A number of survivors of Sathya Sai Baba immoral depredations have shown much courage in the face of utmost distortion and vilification. They wish that, if at all possible, others do not suffer the same sexual abuse at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba and those around him, or from anyone, anywhere. Indeed, when one looks at other leavetakings from gurus and communions, the same sort of factors are repeatedly encountered. Those who speak out are attacked and ridiculed. To the shock of the initial abuse is added the rejection of those whom apostates counted as dear, loving and respectful. To this burden is added, yet again, the lack of true support by those who were also abused. A public that is educated about these reactions, and its own responsibilities is the only chance via which we can envisage a better day.

Though He Is Dead, Sathya Sai Baba’s Accomplices and Enablers Thrive

By no means is Sathya Sai Baba’s death the end of the great betrayal. His co-abusers still thrive.They fight for the tinsel and the trash, and the shattered pieces of his religious empire. In some of them gold glitters in their eyes. But true goodness requires exactly what Sai Baba so often said – speaking truth, and acting in accordance with the words. And speaking and acting it fearlessly.

Sathya Sai College, Whitefield. Founder Sai Baba Died April 2011

Among primary witnesses  to the sexual and many other abuses of Sathya Sai Baba and many others around him, we have members from within India and other parts of the world who show determination to testify when the time is advantageous. They are pledged. They come from the very ranks of Sai Baba’s education system. Having suffered misery over the years, they now begin to summon up their strength and to see that dread dark secrets do two things:  they erode one’s chances of healthy selfhood, and they allow villainy to thrive. Those who will not supported them maintain the great betrayal set in motion by Sathya Sai Baba himself.

Some are ready to speak forth. Most keep their heads down.

Continued at:

The Upside Down Chair In A Sathya Sai Baba College

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 8, 2011

—————————————————————

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to Call for media and government

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba College Teachers Angry At “Illegal” Non Payment And Sacking

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 12, 2011

News Flash – Today ……

Scarcely a few days pass before there is yet another series of revelations about the Sathya Sai institutions. In the past, Sai Baba devotees have been extremely remiss to speak out about the negative experiences they have had of the various sections of his organization as being e.g., “Baba’s Leela”, “Swami’s Test of our faith”, “Bhagavan’s Lesson”, etc., etc., ……

Anything that is remiss, ugly, cruel and unusual, irregular, and so forth, has long been passed over with a profound sense of psychological denial, or, in other cases, because those who have been outraged have not wanted to cause difficulties to themselves, families or friends. Sai Baba would commonly say – don’t criticize, see your own reflection in what you like to criticize. In other words, a teaching which, in certain applications, may have sense, but was repeatedly perverted in a way supportive of cover up, suppression and the climate of fear that attends authoritarian rule. The outcome has been, all along, a far-reaching denial of perfectly normal, legal entitlements, what to mention serious and fundamental human rights.

One may, soon enough, witness an increased readiness for more and more Sai Baba devotees ready to give court testimony of a kind which, in the following months and years, can tear away duplicitous and complicitous mask after mask from the leaders of the Sathya Sai Central Trust and international Sathya Sai Organization.

To be sure, Sathya Sai Baba is dead. But those who acted in complicity with him and ignored –  so our considerable body of evidence goes – crimes which outrage Indian laws and constitution and ethics in countries everywhere, are still very much alive.

In the news report below, a Sathya Sai Baba college lecturer, Dr Savita Swami, Senior Lecturer, Sri Sathya Sai College, Jaipur, speaks right out. She is from an institution that is run by the Sathya Sai Central Trust. That is to say, the Trust which is repeatedly being front-paged, in an atmosphere of shocking and vast-scale scandal, in India for the last many weeks. Here are its executives – all male:

Sh. Ranjeet VithaldasConvener, Sri Sathya Sai Trust

Sh. Indu Lal ShahMember, Sri Sathya Sai Trust, Jaipur &Member, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust &Advisor, Sri Sathya Sai World Council.

Sh. S.N. BhargavaChairman, College Governing Council 

Sh. J.N. SharmaSecretary, Sri Sathya Sai College, Jaipur &Secretary, Sri Sathya Sai Trust, Jaipur.

A great many who do not know the way the Sai Baba ethos and daily officialdom works, may think that there is nothing unusual about Dr Savita Swami, a part of the Sathya Sai institutional framework, being outspoken. In fact, such a pronouncement is extremely rare. She is a part of the highly integrated Sathya Sai education system. Her college prospectus proclaims that it aims to embody the ancient aspiration of  “Sa Vidya Ya Vimuktaye” – education which liberates. The college ventures this:  “Our own modern correlative of providing to the students that education which not only liberates but also empowers”.

Well, notoriously, the prospectuses of education institutions are, the world over, cases of promises vastly exceeding performance, and ideals that bear scant touch with the real world. But, given that the Sai Baba system, promises far more than any other institution – namely, the direct guidance of the Lord of Lords – the claims are terribly tall, and, rather, are mere plays with words. The typical flowery rhetoric gave me discomfort when I was teaching in the Sathya Sai education system – at the Sri Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore (1978-9), even though, at the time (and, mea culpa, for twenty-five years!) I believed that Sathya Sai Baba was the embodiment of what I then conceived as ‘Divine’.

But such education aims are simply not achievable when one is forbidden to speak out. To question. To debate. To fearlessly hold a point of view. When one is not empowered and therefore not liberated in any meaningful sense. The constraint is a terrible one, which shackles body, mind and spirit.

This is a Soviet-style, heavily hierarchic, top-down organization where there has long been a terrible price for those who do speak out. They are post-haste flung out of the Sathya Sai Organization or threats are made which cause many individuals to cower and recant against their own deeper stirrings of conscience.

However, in these days of swift and remarkable sea change in matters relating to Sai Baba’s organization, I suggest that increasingly many more ‘lower echelon’ Sai Baba organisation members will emerge to have their say. (From what I hear informally, I understand that this uprising of dissent against the Sai Central Trust will, in a number of other cases, include the presence of lawyers). Dr Swami says:

“If it were a private institution we’d have understood but its 90 per cent aided, they have to give only 10 per cent. How can there be a financial crunch then? There is no financial crunch,” said Dr Savita Swami, Senior Lecturer, Sri Sathya Sai College, Jaipur.

I suspect that Dr Savita Swami is an early symptom of a phenomenon in the rank-and-file world of Sai Baba devotion that I think will, soon enough, swing into action. In my blog of earlier today, I pointed out:

“One factor that may somewhat save the day could well be the actions of those Sai Baba devotees who have had their eyes at least somewhat opened, particularly those many who appear to have put up with more than enough from figures such as R.J. Ratnakar and V. Srinivasan, who are on the profoundly untrustworthy Sai Trust”. 

See:  Will Andhra Pradesh, South India, Only Appear To Address Sathya Sai Baba Scandals?

————————————————————–

Oneindia News

Sathya Sai College in a financial crunch? Teachers cry foulc with

Tuesday, July 12, 2011, 10:52 [IST]

Jaipur, Jul 12: The Sri Sathya Sai College has run into functional and financial trouble after it illegally fired 15 staff members, including 11 lecturers.

According to the college, the staff was fired for financial issues but teachers beg to differ on the same.

“If it were a private institution we’d have understood but its 90 per cent aided, they have to give only 10 per cent. How can there be a financial crunch then? There is no financial crunch,” said Dr Savita Swami, Senior Lecturer, Sri Sathya Sai College, Jaipur.

Teachers also said that the college owed each of them Rs 2 lakh and only 66 percent of them were given their salaries since 2008.

The college has a different story to say. According to the institution, the money taken from teachers were donations, while the latter say that money was taken from them on the pretext of bringing the college out of crisis.

————————————————————–
General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to Call for media and government

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

Will Andhra Pradesh, South India, Only Appear To Address Sathya Sai Baba Scandals?

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 12, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba certainly lives on, though not in the fashion in which his devotees commonly conceive. The revelations of scandal and duplicity among those left behind to clean up the unholy mess have kept coming. So far the Andhra Pradesh government has shown a number of signs of being accountable. Its police and revenue seems to have been doing their job. Even so, questions need to be driven here – for example, why did the AP government leave the Sathya Sai Trust un-superintended after the first massive haul of treasure was exposed?  Why did it allow the Trust to appear to be a good taxpaying citizen when it allow the Trust to pay taxes on the vast millions of booty that has already be discovered?  This government will be under much scrutiny. But then, again, how can one scrutinise governments notorious for secrecy and duplicity?

So far the AP government has ordered some arrests, though we must notice that this has been of footsoldiers. Poor wretched minor players. Of the type who tend caught. But such a scenario is common the world over – the Mr Bigs usually are exempt and the Mr Smalls cop prison.

For decades, Andhra Pradesh has been complicit in cover ups of Sathya Sai Baba. Many sides of politics are riddled with Sathya Sai Baba devotees, many of them in the highest echelons of power. This is true throughout India but, after all, AP is the Sai Baba home ground. Even here, there is the factor that political horse-trading knows few boundaries when it comes to interstate influence by political parties that are India-wide.

Exposure of any improper procedures by the AP government may have to remain discoverable by what does not happen and what is not seen, when it should have happened and should have been seen. One factor that may somewhat save the day may be the actions of those Sai Baba devotees who have had their eyes at least somewhat opened, particularly those many who appear to have had more than enough of figures such as R.J. Ratnakar and V. Srinivasan who are on the profoundly untrustworthy Sai Trust.

………………………………………………………..

Sathya Sai trust submits report to Andhra Pradesh government

Indo-Asian News Service, Updated: July 11, 2011 20:57 IST

Hyderabad:  The Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, which manages the affairs of late Sathya Sai Baba’s spiritual empire on Monday, submitted a detailed report to the Andhra Pradesh government on its functioning as well as financial details.

Responding to the government’s notice, the trust submitted the report to endowments secretary K.V. Ramnachari.

The report contains details of the trust’s finances, its activities, revenues, institutions run by it, members of the trust, their addresses and their professions.

The trust has also reportedly provided details of the trust’s objectives, its day-to-day functioning, details of the officials who run the trust and various institutions, assets, income and expenditure.

 The report also contains details of the trust’s bank accounts, the subsidies given by the central government, exemptions from income tax regulations and also the names and other details of its auditors.

Officials said the government would evaluate the report before taking a decision on the demands from a section of devotees to take over the trust or at least set up a mechanism to monitor the trust.

It was on June 27 that the government had asked the trust to submit the report in 10 days. The move came amid allegations that the trust members are involved in financial irregularities.

It is for the first time in nearly four decades that the government intervened in the affairs of the trust. The trustees were facing allegations of irregularities after Sathya Sai Baba’s demise on April 24.

Anantapur police had last month seized Rs.35 lakh from a car and arrested three people, who revealed that they were transporting the cash from Baba’s ashram in Puttaparthi to Bangalore on the directions of two trust members.

Though the trust has claimed that the money was donated by some devotees for building Sathya Sai Baba’s samadhi, the police are continuing the probe amid allegations that huge cash and valuables were shifted out of the ashram.

………………………………………………………..

BBC South Asia

8 July 2011 Last updated at 15:08 GMT

Satya Sai Baba Trust ‘has $190m cash reserves’

By Swaminathan Natarajan BBC Tamil

Sai Baba pictured in 2004There has been wild speculation about the value of Sai Baba’s assets.

A trustee in charge of managing the vast empire of the late Indian guru Satya Sai Baba has revealed that it has $190m (£118.3m) of cash reserves.

The trustee says media reports have wildly exaggerated the true value of assets managed by the trust.

Media reports have put the value of all trust assets at between $10-25bn. This is thought to be the first time its cash reserve value has been revealed.

Satya Sai Baba was one of the most influential Indian spiritual leaders.

He enjoyed support from all areas of Indian society and had millions of followers around the world.

But he was dogged by controversy including allegations, never proven, of sexual abuse and charlatanism. He died on 24 April at the age of 84.

He used his wealth to carry out number of social welfare activities, including building a hospital and a university.

After his death, wide-ranging concerns were expressed by the public about who would inherit his massive wealth.

“We have about 8.5bn Indian rupees ($190m) of cash reserves. The interest we get from this will be used to run our hospital and university,” Madras-based industrialist V Srinivasan said.

But the trust does own huge assets. It runs a big hospital in Bangalore, it has a university and it owns land in various places around India.

“The properties we have are all for specific purposes. In Bangalore, we have 60 acres of land where our super-speciality hospital is already built,” says Mr Srinivasan.

“This land is not used for commercial purposes, nor will it ever be. So the value we will fix in our balance sheet is the value at which we acquired the property,” he says.

“Our trust is not speculative. It is very specific. We don’t hold any property for commercial development,” he adds.

But Sai Baba’s organisation also has property abroad.

“The properties that lie abroad don’t come under the central trust. They are run from respective countries. We have no control or knowledge of the value of properties abroad,” he says.

There are growing calls for the government to monitor the activities of the trust.

“[The] Andhra Pradesh government has asked certain details about the trust. We will furnish all the information that they have asked for by next week,” Mr Srinivasan said.

————————————————–

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to Call for media and government

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Yet Another Sai Yajur Mandir Treasure Haul. Stash Not In Recent Enforced Sai Central Trust Inventory

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 3, 2011

Police and other district officials had earlier voiced suspicions of still more undeclared secret stashes of wealth in Sathya Sai Baba’s private quarters. By Saturday, their suspicions proved correct. The Andhra Pradesh authorities now ask:  Why was this additional treasure not included in the inventory Sai Trust officials made at the Yajur Mandir several days back? Why did they not search with the same scrutiny as now shown by the Anantapur joint collector and her team of officials.

One of my Indian sources, in a senior role, informs that there may be secret cement tunnels, and that an exhaustive search may be in the offing. There are also reports of clandestine movements of valuables well before the current revelations, including at a time shortly prior to Sathya Sai Baba’s death on 24 April 2004. If these tunnels are found, much will depend on the determination of the Andhra Pradesh government to get down on its hands and knees – not in guru prostration like the Sathya Sai Central Trust members, but in having a proper look, leaving no gemstone unturned. Or unaccounted for!

Sai Baba Yajur Mandir. His Opulent Temple Palace. Puttaparthi. South India


——————————————-

Assets worth Rs77L seized at Sai ashram

TNN | Jul 3, 2011, 01.08am IST

Assets worth Rs77 lakh seized at Satya Sai ashram
PUTTAPARTHI: Skeletons continued to tumble out of Prashanti Nilayam with the Anantapur district authorities on Saturday seizing gold, silver, diamond ornaments worth Rs 76.89 lakh from Yajur Mandir, the abode of Satya Sai Babawho passed away on April 24 this year.Anantapur joint collector Anita Ramachandran told TOI that the precious metals and other items were seized during an inspection carried out by a team of district officials headed by her on Saturday. The inspection began in the morning and continued till the evening. “I inspected four rooms in Yajur Mandir except the Babas room from which the inventory of the items and cash lying there has already been made. In these four rooms, I found large number of silverware, gold ornaments, a diamond ring, costly watches, silk robes of the Baba, silk sarees and pens,” Ramachandran said.In all, the seizure of the precious metals included 116 kg of silver in the form of ornaments, utensils, etc, worth Rs 56 lakh, 906 grams of gold, mostly in the form of mangalsutras, worth Rs 15 lakh, and a diamond ring worth Rs 3 lakh. “We have not valued the other items,” the joint collector said and added that all the items were in the safe custody of the district authorities. The total value of the precious metals was estimated at Rs 76.89 lakh.Saturday’s seizure heightens the controversy already surrounding the working of the Sri Satya Sai Central Trust that has come to the limelight after Sai Baba was taken ill in the last week of March and his demise on April 24 this year. “If the working of the trust is above board, as its members are repeatedly claiming, why did not the gold and silver items surface in the inventory of Yajur Mandir that the trust members carried out recently,” questioned district officials.Locals are now wondering whether this is the last of the hidden items inside Prashanti Nilayam or whether there is more to come. “The stuff that is being unearthed from Prashanti Nilayam and Yajur Mandir makes one wonder whether the rumours of tonnes of gold and silver being stashed inside are true,” said Shivdas, a local trader.It was only last week that the trust members including V Srinivasan had announced at a press conference that everything was hunky dory in the working of the trust. This, a few days after the Anantapur police seized a vehicle carrying Rs 35.5 lakh cash that was on its way from Puttaparthi to Bangalore. After denying that the trust was in no way connected with the cash, Srinivasan later admitted that the cash was given to trust member J R Rathnakar by some devotees who wanted to build a ‘mahasamadhi’ for Sai Baba and that the same was on its way to Bangalore to be given to a company that undertakes such work for the trust on a honorary basis.Anantapur district authorities said they would hold talks with the trust members on Sunday and seek an explanation as to how these items seized on Saturday did not figure in the last inventory of the Yajur Mandir undertaken a few days ago.
—————————————————————

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to Call for media and government

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

‘Secret Swami’ (Late) Sai Baba: Vast Millions In Hoard Found Hidden In His Palace-Temple

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 18, 2011

Yesterday, I blogged on an email we received from an Indian correspondent long known to us, and included a number of links to the last 24 hours or so of Indian press reportage of the huge stash of money and valuables secreted in Sathya Sai Baba’s palatial private quarters. See: Sathya Sai Baba’s Residence Unlocked. Vast Treasury Uncovered.                           Sathya Sai Baba’s visible opulence contains vast secret stash of money and valuables

In the last two days, the Indian media has just tapped a treasury of potent news to shake up and down in its headlines. Of course, making up for lost time in factual reportage on Sathya Sai Baba is out of the question; for it has an extremely poor record of almost all sections in publishing critically on Sathya Sai Baba.

But now – not least at a time when many Sai Baba devotees in India are starting to speak out and ask accountability and transparency questions – the Indian media can hardly fail to report properly on matters such as the huge treasure hoard just opened up, many unanswered questions about the circumstances of Sai Baba’s illness and death, the internicine fights over succession, and so on.

For decades, almost all of the Indian media has shirked critical comment on Sathya Sai Baba. We know from our private dealings that well-informed journalists, politicians and government officials in India know much about the dark side of Sathya Sai Baba. All the talk about ‘Shining India’ or ‘Incredible India’ does the greatest disservice to its creditable figures. They are shining. They are incredible. But they are too few. The untold corruption makes the country incredibly hard to deal with, a fact relented endlessly by decent Indians themselves and everyone else who has professional, government, financial, trade and other connections with India. ‘

That the Indian media could allow respected media overseas to make the running in exposing Sathya Sai Baba and his profoundly authoritarian and secretive cult is to its utter discredit. 

Here are just a few of this morning’s headlines:

Puttaparthi Saibaba’s rich room!

Trust officials find Sai Baba’s room of gold

Treasure found from Sai Baba’s chamber

Sathya Sai Baba’s Personal Chamber Opened

Here is a succinct report (published today, but dated yesterday) from the Indo Asian News Service, which, by the way, in marked contradistinction, we have found professional and reasonable to deal with

Hyderabad, June 17 (IANS) Around Rs.12 crore in cash and nearly 100 kg of gold were found in the personal chamber of late spiritual guru Sathya Sai Baba at Prashanti Nilayam, his ashram in Puttaparthi in Anantapur district, a trust official said Friday.

A day after the Sathya Sai Central Trust opened the locks of the Baba’s personal chamber, Yajur Mandir, his nephew and trust member R.J. Ratnakar Friday evening announced details of the cash and valuables found inside.

He told reporters at Puttaparthi that the trust members found Rs.11.56 crore, 98 kg gold and gold jewelery, 307 kg silver articles in the personal chamber where nobody was alloweed to enter. Ratnakar said the cash would be deposited with the State Bank of India (SBI).

Some bank officials and about 15 disciples of Baba, in the presence of trust members, have since Thursday counted the cash with the help of currency counting machines. The Yajur Mandir is an opulent residence built by Baba.

Ratnakar said Baba’s residential quarter was opened in the presence of all five members of the trust. A former judge of the Supreme Court, A.P. Misra, and former Karnataka High Court judge Vaidyanathan were present as independent witnesses while an assessor approved by the Income Tax department was there to evaluate the gold, jewellery and silver.

Ratnakar claimed the idea behind the whole exercise was to make an inventory of all the items in a transparent manner.

The trust reportedly found gold statues of Hindu gods and diamonds.

Ratnakar, however, denied that they found any will of Baba. He also evaded queries if the trust found any documents about Baba’s personal caregiver Satyajit. There are speculations that the spiritual guru wanted to make Satyajit his successor or a member of the powerful trust.

Yajur Mandir, also known as Yajurveda Mandir, had remained closed ever since Sathya Sai Baba was hospitalised March 28 with multi-organ dysfunction. He died April 24.

There were allegations by a section of devotees that large amounts of cash and gold jewelery were shipped out of the place when Baba was battling for life. The trust, however, has denied this.

Some devotees were also demanding that the locks of Baba’s personal chamber be opened in their presence or at least in the presence of media persons.

The trust, which manages the huge spiritual empire led by Baba, owns assets in Puttaparthi, Bangalore, Hyderabad and other cities.

Meanwhile, the trust has decided to open Yajur Mandir for devotees on July 15. It also plans to open a museum at Prashanti Nilayam to showcase the personal belongings of the spiritual guru.

Related news:

  1. 98 kg gold, Rs.12 crore cash found in Sathya Sai Baba’s chamber
  2. Sathya Sai Baba’s personal chamber opened
  3. Trust decides to open Sathya Sai Baba’s personal chamber
  4. Crucial meet of Sathya Sai trust after funeral
  5. Sathya Sai Trust defers selection of new chairman

——————————————————————

Next article – Sunday 19 June 2011 (Australian Eastern Standard Time)

Sathya Sai Baba Buried Treasure: Media and Government Need To Probe Sai Central Trust

——————————————————————

Further Reading

Midas hoard revealed was in Sathya Sai Baba’s private possession

Commonwealth Games: ‘Shining India’s’ Mismanagement By Crisis. Sai Baba Not Sighted

The Extreme Departure From Sathya Sai Baba’s Teachings By His Prominent Devotees

Police, Security and Sathya Sai Baba

Will India clean up its Augean police and political stables?

—————————————————————–

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to Call for media and government

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sathya Sai Baba’s Residence Unlocked. Vast Treasury Uncovered

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 17, 2011

NEWS FLASH 

Note:  I shall analyse Indian media reports just to hand, and write further, tomorrow.  Barry Pittard

From India, one of our correspondents writes:

“Sai Baba’s official residence ‘Yajur mandiram’, built at a cost of around Rs 35-40 crores ( $9-10 millions) in 2006, was opened yesterday by the SSB trust members after having been kept locked for the past 2 months. At 10 AM  Thursday morning, the key was brought from the State bank of India by the bank manager and the residence opened. My sources tell me (confirmed by some newspaper reports too) that a staggering amount of hard cash was discovered, in several currencies. It was so much that bank officials decided in 2 hrs to bring in many currency counting machines. At least 15-20 students were pressed into service to count the cash alone and it took them many hours to complete the job. Unofficial reports say that the cash alone would be in the range of several millions of dollars.

Referring to Sathya Sai Baba’s last and probably most important lover, Satjyajit, who has recently renounced any claim to headship of the Sathya Sai Central Trust, the same informant writes:

Satyajit was specially brought in by the SSB trust to identify all the places where the “divine treasure” has been stashed away, as he was the only one Sai Baba had trusted in his last few years. Apart from the huge cash haul, a large amount of gold, diamonds and precious jewelry has been found. Chains, lockets, rings etc in their hundreds were heaped in secret hiding places. Local sources say that this would only be a fraction of what had been originally inside Sai Baba’s residence as after his hospitalisation, several trucks of cash and gold had been reportedly spirited away by SSB trust members/their agents.

A few computers were also found inside the residence complex, and are reported to contain details of Sai Baba’s huge financial empire.

No government official was allowed to be present during the inspection process that lasted the whole day, but SSB trust members say they have videographed the inspection proceedings and would submit an inventory to the government soon SSB trust officials refused to comment or take questions, and Ratnakar, SSB’s nephew has said a statement would be issued within 24 hours”.

Apparently  Satyajit had to be brought in to open the personal chamber of Sai Baba because ultra sophisticated biometric security locking system had been installed and Satyajit alone could have opened it. Media was kept out-of-bounds, as were ordinary devotees and the public, even the police were not allowed in, and no district or revenue officials allowed into the compound.

This was reported by India Today even 2 weeks back in India Today, which, as we all know, had always taken an extra interest in Sai Baba. See:

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/site/story/mystery-shrouds-sai-babas-personal-chamber/1/139965.html

The following are today’s news links in almost all major national newspapers.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Sai-Baba-s-personal-chamber-opened/Article1-710013.aspx

http://www.deccanchronicle.com/channels/cities/hyderabad/precious-diamonds-cash-found-satya-sai-baba%E2%80%99s-room-871

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/article2110641.ece

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Nearly-2-month-after-Sathya-Sai-Babas-death-Yajur-Mandir-opened/articleshow/8881822.cms

This news item yesterday suggests  that the Sathya Sai Central Trust  was split about how much importance Satyajit should be given. But, in the end, did the fact he alone could open the biometric security locks force the SSB Central Trust?

http://ibnlive.in.com/news/sai-trust-divided-over-priority-to-satyajit/159517-60-114.html “

—————————————————————–

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Subscribe in NewsGator OnlineSubscribe in BloglinesAdd to Excite MIXAdd Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba to Newsburst from CNET News.comAdd to netvibesAdd to The Free DictionaryAdd to netomat HubAdd to Webwag Subscribe in a reader

Subscribe to Call for media and government

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Indian Ex-Chief Justice: “Wild, Reckless Claims” about Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 29, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba In Glass Casket. Unresurrected - As Yet ....

The following article I have updated with some valuable links not available at the time of writing – 28 August 2007. I have, accordingly, withdrawn the old version, which, however, read practically as this version, below.

Shortly before, and since Sathya Sai Baba’s death, news reports, both in India and beyond, report an increasing number of Sai devotees asking accountability and transparency questions about the Sathya Sai Central Trust in India.

I shall briefly make the point that investigative lawyers, media and devotees at large will need to be alert to what former devotee researchers and analysts have shown. This is that the Sathya Sai Central Trust is not an amorphous, homogeneous entity.

Long ago, Hari Sampath (more recently a corporate software engineer) writing as one who had been a member of Sathya Sai Baba’s Security and Intelligence Wing spoke of various circles of knowledge and activity in the Trust members: See:   The Sathya Sai Baba set-up:  How it works.

The picture is one in which some members, allied with others outside the Trust, are expert practitioners of the darker arts of politics, law, finance, security, and so forth.  Whereas others are, by purpose-design, used for their relative innocence of the realpolitik aspects. A consortium of the cynical, on the one hand and a collection of the naive, on the other.  Nothing new, of course in the world of power.

My reader may indulge me a most personal note. It comes from from an old teacher – and old students are ever fresh in an old teacher’s heart. When I taught (1978 and 1979) at the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India, I had any caring teacher’s dream that those I taught would one day be a blessing to the world.  And, of course, the young can be a blessing for a teacher, just as they can be for a parent.

As the years wore on, and especially as I became involved in exposing Sathya Sai Baba internationally, I could see, more than I ever had, how powerful is the gerontocratic, nepotistic, and elitist, caste and class-bound grip of political and other types of leadership in India. Certainly, it is not genuine leadership, but an abrogation of responsibility.

However, in my recent speaking with young Indians making their way up in key roles in India, I let my – perhaps unduly hopeful and fond old heart – respond. I thought I could sense these young people starting to carve their own way, rather than having it carved for them by the deadly and disgraced hands of India’s Ancien Régime.  They do not have the minatory British colonialist sitting on their shoulder telling them what, and what not, to do.

Perhaps my hope, springing eternal, is but a foolish indulgence. It is most certainly up these new generations of Indians to emulate Hercules’ fifth labour, and clean up India’s befouled governmental and political ‘Augean Stables’.  Sathya Sai Baba promised to do it, and, like many of his promises and predictions, his undertakings died long before he did on 24 April 2011.

See:

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions

Predictions and Promises Made By Sathya Sai Baba plus His Persistent Rumours 

“No fear of bombs” in India, Said Sai Baba a Week Before Mumbai Terrorist Attack

Terrorist Smoke Casts Pall Over India and the WorldTerrorist Smoke Casts Pall Over India and the World, despite Sathya Sai Baba’s assurances that all is well with India in regard to terrorist attacks.

—————————-

P.N. Bhagawati, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India, a key figure on the Sathya Sai Central Trust (India) has also long been on the Board of Directors of The Times of India.

pn-bhagwati-of-sathya-sai-central-trust.gifIn a joint public letter (December 2001), Bhagwati along with the former Prime Minister of India of the right wing BJP, A.B. Vajpayee, and another former Chief Justice of India, Ranganath Mishra, and three other prominent leaders wrote a public letter stating that contentions of Sai Baba’s dissenters represent a:

“wild, reckless and concocted allegations made by certain vested interests and people against Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba”.

Wild and Reckless?

What then of an Indian Prime Minister and former Chief Justices and others (one now Home Minister in the current Manmohan Singh Government) who proffer no evidence that they, in a transparent and accountable way, have investigated any of the substantive allegations against Sai Baba?

P.N. Bhagwati – supposedly a model of the dispensation of Justice – does a profound injustice to hundreds of good and decent former Sai Baba devotees from many countries who have, on the strictest ethical principle, left Sai Baba and his worldwide Sathya Sai Baba Organization. Those who have left in this way include outstanding, former, longtime top leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization.  These former devotees are not shunned, reviled and defamed by others in their wider communities, professions and trades, and places of study. See the articles: 

The Sathya Sai Organization: Almost overnight, dissenters treated as demons! 

Sathya Sai Baba and His ‘Demons’.

goldiragingbull(Pictured, from the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami, is World head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Dr Michael Goldstein – setting a perfect example of anger management. Faced by a wall of secrecy and evasiveness, the BBC producers gained a sanction given under strict circumstances by BBC topmost to use a hidden camera when they met with Dr Goldstein, of Covena, southern California, USA. Anyone viewing ‘The Secret Swami’ can see that the questions from the interviewer, Tanya Datta were polite and unprovocative. The same was true of her questions to a major former Vajpayee government Minister, Murali Manohar Joshi.  Yet again, the anger and the obfuscation were clear for the millions who have watched the BBC program to see). 

Does not Dr Goldstein look wild and reckless, here?

The leaders of this organization, such as the world chairman Dr Michael Goldstein of Covina, California, USA, know perfectly well the excellent standing of many former devotees who have attempted to bring attention to the allegations. This is both from the point of view of their role when still members and of the high esteem they have attracted in their professions, trades, education institutions and wider communities.

Yet P.N. Bhagwati and the other signatories wrote of “wild, reckless and concocted allegations made by certain vested interests and people against Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.”

History will judge very harshly of the failure of those blinded by their devotion so greatly as to be incapable of exercising requisite ethics, sensitivity and applied skills and processes to investigate serious and repeated allegations. These have been asserted by scrupulous and conscientious individuals who have, indeed, investigated the allegations with probity, moral responsibility and a natural compassion.  See:

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

The Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba 

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

Al Rahm’s Explanatory Letter To Sathya Sai Baba Internet Proxy Gerald Moreno : 

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

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

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

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

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

Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up

Dr Naresh Bhatia’s Testimony: Sathya Sai Baba Serial Sexual Abuser of Boys and Young Men

Timothy Conway Ph.D – On ‘The Hislop Letters’

Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family

Top UK Sathya Sai Organization leaders left Sathya Sai Baba

Robert Priddy:  Why do I concern myself so much?

Why should the Sathya Sai Organization and a few public figures who support Sai Baba not be subject to the same accountability criteria that are now best practice in countless organizations?

Many Former Devotees Have Proved Open to Bona Fide Investigators

To to name just a few – BBC, Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, India Today, and media and other instrumentalities in a number of countries in Europe, and Canada and Australia. And institutions such as UNESCO, University of Flinders, etc.

Many individuals worldwide have, in varying degrees, been alienated from Sai Baba and his Sathya Sai Organization from which they expected to see spirituality and compassion in action. In some cases they have been terribly traumatized by their experiences of Sai Baba and his core leaders, whom they see as having grossly derelicted their duty-of-care for members. Therefore, they are not likely to be too open to those who are aggressive, name-calling, and who fail to observe proper ethical and professional canons of enquiry.

In fact, our submissions to various media, government, civic, academic, law enforcement and other authorities are submitted with the utmost responsibility.  For those of them who are ready to act with integrity, sensitivity and care, we provide as a further mark of good faith, and on the basis of strict privacy, the contact details of those in outstanding, in some cases eminent, positions in government, law, media, education, psychology, medicine, etc., and, simply, ‘ordinary’ people  who are ready to witness to their experiences, who know the facts.

We are able to coordinate personal and telephonic, and where practicable, contact with articulate individuals and families – and also others not intellectually articulate but who are nevertheless also poignantly moving in their accounts – who are ready to share, in a proper atmosphere of respect, their harrowing experiences of sexual abuse by Sai Baba and other of his, and his key leaders’ wrongdoings. These are very far from confined to those like the Rahm family (BBC and DR, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster), who have already shared their experiences in the media and elsewhere. See, e.g.,:

Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family

We have always been ready to assist investigative journalists from quality major media in various parts of the world, as well as important religious and civic institutions, and, for example, academics who are either researching allied issues themselves or supervising students who are doing so.

We also have provision of highly qualified professional counselors.

In short, we are able, with the strictest accountability, to provide compelling credentials, for those who are far removed from attacking, slandering and maligning the many witnesses who attempt to tell (not always particularly coherently and yet often most movingly) of their extremely painful and traumatic experiences at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba, and of his also profoundly compromised officials and other supporters.

Related Reading and Viewing

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC TV

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

See this video clip. Here, BBC footage clearly exposes one of the then Vajpayee Government’s most powerful Ministers, Murali Manohar Joshi, follower of Sai Baba, as he angrily bullies, blusters and evades the interviewer Tanya Datta, who asks him entirely reasonable questions. manjoshi

Manohar Joshi - Home Minister

This Link is worth a look. India’s foremost Rationalist B.Premanand (later copying the exchange to his newsletter The Indian Skeptic, Vol. 19. No. 7 15-11-2006) wrote a series of letters in 2006 to top echelon Government of India officials, including police, referring back to the period when A.B. Vajpayee was in office. The letters attempt to establish a) whether the provenance of the letter ostensibly written by Vajpayee and other in defense of Sai Baba was true and b) whether, if it was, there had been any proper investigations of allegations against Sai Baba for sexual abuse of young males. The essence is that, as usual – since Sai Baba has for decades been heavily protected by Indian governments irrespective of what regime is in power – he got grand obstruction. Of course, one of the great successes of Premanand’s “failures” in his tireless efforts with power structures is to reveal the billowing smokescreens that rise as soon as accountability issues are probed. See also:

Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach

…………………………………………………………………………………..

List of signatories to letter supporting Sathya Sai Baba

A.B. Vajpayee
(then) Prime Minister of India

P.N. Bhagawati
Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India

Ranganath Mishra
(then) Chair Person, National Human Rights Commissioner of India

Formerly Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of India
Najma Heptulla
(then) President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union; UNDP Distinguished Human Development Ambassador

Shivraj V. Patil
(Details as signatory: Member of Parliament, India; Formerly of the Lok Sabha & Union Minister. However Patil is now Home Minister in the Government of Manmohan Singh, who himself has shown strong partiality to Sathya Sai Baba)

…………………………………………………………………………………..

Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED (Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »