Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Secrecy’

Sathya Sai Baba’s Former Devotees. A Personal Note

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 6, 2009

Against a formidable instinct in human nature, most former devotees have, for not far short of two decades, refrained from striking back at those who have so massively vilified and defamed them.

A Personal Note 

My own notion shared with other internationally networked former followers was that we had best focus on our central task of exposing the central figures, Sai Baba himself and the leaders of his international Sathya Sai Organization.  Only in the tiniest minority of cases was there not agreement with this conservative view. A small number, quite young in age, wished to engage the other side in, as it were, fierce aerial combat, and any difference on either side of the “cyber wars” lines of battle was scarcely, if at all, noticeable: flaming, volley for volley of abuse. The spectacle was all so inspirationally edifying that one had no desire to read further. 

Cooperation In Serving Those Most Betrayed

One of the refreshing characteristics of internationally networked former Sai Baba followers is that members have used consensual approaches among ourselves. Unfortunately, yes, secrecy was essential. There were very vulnerable psychological survivors among both individuals and families.

There has been a lot of listening and sensitivity to each other, and of poring carefully over essential documents. It is strange how, out of something so terrible, once we share in a deep trust and compassion, there can be something emerge that is so wonderful. It has not quite felt that we are the demons that Sathya Sai Baba has portrayed us as being in his angry, lecturn-thumbing, name-calling, self-vaunting Christmas discourse (December 2000), that had precious little to do with Christ. He called his critics ‘Judases’, ‘demons’, and claimed that there would be no salvation for them. He also said that the dissent against him was motivated by money. (What a jaw-dropper that was for that not-insignificant number of economically challenged critics, who have, indeed for reasons of spiritual development, long taken the path of simply living!)

It should never be lost sight of that many in the Sathya Sai Organization, from the leadership to the rank-and-file knew that this was not true. For his statements were about individuals they had for decades known, honored, loved and served alongside in so many service and other activities.

Regrettable Secrecy

Certainly, in the movement of organized exposure, there has been the need for what I have elsewhere called a “regrettable secrecy”. It is likely that there will be those in Sai Baba’s organization who feel the same way. However, this should not absolve them from their accountability. In the article Secrecy Needs In Exposing A Top Global Cult, I wrote:

“Curiously, here were we – noting how the core leadership of the Sathya Sai Baba cult was so extremely secret. To the less analytic, our position can but appear to be a blatant contradiction. But it is an irony, not an hypocrisy …

… What does the layperson know of sexual abuse? The exceptions in our midst were those very qualified mental health professionals such as Shirley Pike and (the late) Elena Hartgering, Barbara ShocketDave Brandt and others who have preferred that their names not be used. We were entering a world of anguish and complexity. What we learnt was that the first requirement is to listen with compassion. It is the opposite of what cultic defenders show, who race to judgement, leap to the worst imaginable conclusions, and condemn  any who should dare to attempt to communicate their account of abuse”.

Survivors of Sai Baba’s serial, widespread sexual abuse of boys and young men and other abuses have been advised to debrief their shocking experiences with very qualified, respected professional counselors. And indeed to go all out to ensure that those of real ability are found, and not someone who will see the answer in suppressive drugs or ‘counseling’ from some narrow or partisan agenda.

The Savage Attacking of the Vulnerable and Wounded

Even without traumatic psychological upheavals that attend sexual molestation, youth is typically (remember it?!) a time full of disruption, confusion and anguish. Internet attackers – e.g., Gerald Moreno – on the statements of those such as Alaya Rahm and many others show – have been deemed by complete third parties from law and the healing professions etc., to show acute lack of sensitivity to this framework. They also question whether it is advisable for young who are so very wounded by their experiences to have so publicly bared their troubles. To be confused, forgetful of dates, times or places, or behave neurotically does not mean that abuses have not occurred. One of the chief difficulties comes when those with a responsibility – as had the Sathya Sai Organization – for proactive and healingful responses do not acquit their duties with understanding and compassion. Because of its profound failure here, that organization has brought upon itself the massive exposure that has occured especially from circa 2000 to this day. Renewed opprobrium falls upon it yet more so because of its acquiescence with the state of affairs that closely links Gerald Moreno with saibabaofindia.com. This is a highly active group little short of being official, but whose members include those close to Sathya Sai Baba.

No Sathya Sai Baba devotee who is a properly qualified and competent psychologist, psychotherapist, psychiatrist, social worker etc., could ever condone Moreno’s attacking styles, which have been constant.

There is the sad fact that Moreno’s gross misconduct, and that of the Sai Baba leaders and other members who co-operate with him, brings into discredit others who do not merit it. For many Sai Baba devotees, who genuinely strive in their spiritual endeavour to be compassionate, good and caring individuals, are not as he. They have done and continue to do, for example, much worthy and unselfish work for the less fortunate in society, just as, be it noted, is the case with many former devotees active in exposing Sathya Sai Baba. It would be hard to imagine that Moreno, who inhabits the cyber world by night and day, would have any time left for it. The reason why writers like Priddy, Steel, and Pittard can write prolifically, and yet have ample time left for family, friendships and community involvement is because our university training and disciplined work habits of a lifetime allow us to achieve much work in shorter time.

Former Devotee Working Relationship

We have been with each other, even though mostly via ‘hands across the ocean’, in times of birth deaths and marriages, job change, retirement (refreshment!) – the joys and sorrows, the great rolling of the Seasons. We deeply and happily remember sadly-departed wonderful spirits like Glen Meloy and Elena Hartgering (who was one of the first professional counselors called on to hasten to New York to attend those shattered lives among the smoldering remnants of the 9/11 events).

The rapport – far from the dread conspiracy that Sai Baba apologists (See HERE and HERE) have tirelessly and offensively speculated to exist – is especially gratifying when one considers how widely national, cultural, religious and non-religious has been its composition. There could have been so many cross-purposes, but those that did exist were usually resolved well, with people learning from each other, rather than making shallow compromises.

This quality of listening and sorting out is very different to the top heavy, Soviet-style that has, over the years, developed in the international Sathya Sai Organization. One seriously discordant note that I recall is when a Christian fundamentalist was, frankly, a pain-in-the neck. When he marched off in high dudgeon (the issue was whether to include people’s professional qualifications in a joint letter) great were the sighs of relief. Pretty obviously, the response would have been the same had he been a fundamentalist of any kind. Even then, ALL participants remained courteous to him, though certainly not agreement.

A small list of those who have spoken out is below. It omits many names. This is because individuals have wanted, as they express it, to move on or not to have their names plastered over the Internet by profoundly insensitive, unconscionable individuals such as Gerald Moreno. A quick test in the latter’s case is to Google this name, and immediately you will note the countless usages of words that are: defamatory, libelous, disparaging, vituperative, aggressive, strident, malicious, strong-arming, and so on. A more recent addition has been Moreno’s repeated ageism.

These are not the words that befit any of the great spiritual or ethical paths, and are directly counter the teachings of his own idol, Sathya Sai Baba and other famous spiritual teachers whom Moreno has referenced – Sri Ramana Maharshi, Mata Amritanandamayi, etc. Brian Steel has written:

With such powerful links to devotees and others through the unofficial promotional SSB network and further boosted by his tireless Search Engine Optimization activities, Moreno has engineered, for the moment, a high Internet profile to project his own “smear campaign” with its egregious deceit and dishonesty – and smokescreens.

But this has its difficulties for Moreno, and for the Sathya Sai Organization that is now so closely linked in public fora to his name and and protean activities. Steel writes further: 

Already Moreno’s reckless behaviour has earned him public condemnation on the Internet for one high-profile but minor part of his extensive campaign. Thanks to his aggressive attempt to dictate to Wikipedia contributors what should and should not be included in their (controversial) article on Sathya Sai Baba he has received an official rebuff from that prominent Internet institution. After months of Moreno’s abrasive demands and provocative   filibustering, the already heated Wikipedia debate became incandescent and vituperative, leading, inevitably, to the intervention of an Arbitration Committee. After three months of discussions, in March 2007, Joe Moreno (as ‘User SSS108’) and others involved in the debate were banned indefinitely from contributing to the Wikipedia Sathya Sai Baba article, its Discussion page and related articles. (Reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Requests_for_arbitration/Sathya_Sai_Baba_2)

List of Notable Former Devotees Who Have Honorably Spoken Out – Despite Attacks Upon Them

The list also excludes many who are known or understood to have spoken out but of whom we lack proper documentation. Many who have spoken up were prominent leaders in the Sathya Sai Organization – who, the moment the stood forth, became non-persons – demeaned, shunned, defamed. Some outspoken individuals have been:

Britt-Marie Anden, Serguei Badaev, David and Faye Bailey, Stephen Carthew, Timothy Conway Ph.D, John and Ella Evers, Terry Gallagher, Hariram Jayaram, Conny Larsson, William Lo,  Dave Lyons, Glen Meloy, Alexandra Nagel, Richard Nelson, Roy Pendragon, Shirley PikeSharon Purcell, Reidun and Robert Priddy, Al Rahm, Marisa Rahm, Alaya Rahm, Rick Raines …  (For latter family, See: Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America – Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family and Al Rahm’s Explanatory Letter), Diana Scott (Payne),  Brian D. Steel …
…………………………………………………
Select Readings
Brian D. Steel
Research on Sathya Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organisation. New Factors for Researchers to Consider
Kevin Shepherd
 Sathya Sai Baba: problems
Timothy Conway
 Timothy Conway Ph.D – On ‘The Hislop Letters’

Posted in New Age, Opinion, People, Religion, Sai Baba, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 29, 2009

What is the effect on the wider society of a tremendously wealthy, worldwide cult such as the International Sathya Sai Organization?

In the coming days, there will be breaking news. A nationally televised program segment (see details below under the header in this blog: A Storm Looms) is expected to screen within the next week on Australian Current Affair , on Channel Nine, one of the highest profile and most respected television programs in this country, which airs throughout the year on Channel Nine, Monday to Friday after the 6.30 pm News. The producer of the Channel Nine segment is Chris Allen,

Australian Current Affair Exposes Sathya Sai Baba Cult, Australia
Australian Current Affair Exposes Sathya Sai Baba Cult, Australia

a senior Australian television journalist-presenter. Apart from his media training, studied at Australia’s leading acting school, National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA), alongside such international film stars as Mel Gibson and Judy Davis

Some Background On India’s Most Powerful Guru, Call By BBC ‘The Secret Swami’.

Outstanding institutions such as the BBC, DR (Denmark’s national broadcaster), the Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, Age, ABC (the nation broadcaster, Australian Broadcasting Corporation) UNESCO and many others have investigated various types of allegation leveled against the Sathya Sai Baba cult. See:

  • The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision
  • Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television
  • BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise
  • BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?
  • UNESCO and Indian Government – Were Up To Tricks
  • BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian GovernmentNote: The Indian Sathya Sai Baba Organization and the then Indian Janata Party Government attempted to get UNESCO to suppress a media advisory, which came after detailed submissions by former Sathya Sai Baba followers from several countries. The Media Advisory, dated September 15, 2000, had announced UNESCO’s withdrawal from a large, international human values education conference scheduled at Puttaparthi, in South India, for September 25-29, 2000, along with UNESCO’s partner, the University of Flinders, South Australia.

    Atal Behari Vajpayee was Prime Minister, and, like countless power brokers in India, a longtime devotee of Sathya Sai Baba. However, the BBC was able to obtain a statement from UNESCO that unstitched the power play by Indian foreign affairs officials. The  advisory can be seen at the Url below, and it looks as though the internet wayback service is ironclad against any interference which could be expected of Sai Baba’s cult members (not to mention the Indian Foreign Affairs Ministry) who frequent high places: See:  http://web.archive.org/web/20031229133544/http://www.unesco.org/education/highlights/media_advisory.htm

    Top UNESCO Officials Caught Out By BBC

    Early in 2004, UNESCO spokespersons told media and other enquirers that the Advisory did not now reflect its views. Among others, Dr G.Venkataraman, deputy world chairman of the Sai cult, made merry in his official Puttaparthi newsletter, seeing the event as a great reversal for critics of his religious leader. One may add that G. Venkataraman, by virtue of his key roles (See links below this paragraph) has very close association with core leaders throughout the world, and every ability to determine that many devotees and former devotees for decades held in high esteem within the Sathya Sai Organization have raised the most serious issues about accountability. Facts like these are profoundly ignored by Sathya Sai Baba’s proxy defenders on the Internet, who engage in the most extaordinary defamations.

    Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman

    Indian Nuclear Scientist Now Sai Baba’s Global Radio Chief

    BBC assistant producer David Savill reported that only after his strenuous questioning of a senior UNESCO spokesperson, did she, Sue Williams, finally agree in writing to Mr Savill that currently: “UNESCO does not regret issuing the media release of September 15 2000.”

    Lack of Accountability and Transparency

    From the late 1990’s, networked former devotees of good standing within the Sathya Sai Organization had failed in their attempts to get such leaders as the world chairman, Dr Michael Goldstein, of Covena, California, USA, to institute accountability and transparency provisions that are normal in democratic countries. Unaware that a BBC camera was trained on him, Dr Goldstein showed the extent of his spirituality in the light of his master’s teachings.

    Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement
    Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement

    NOTE: The above photo of Dr Michael Goldstein was caught by BBC hidden camera. Given BBC caution in such sensitive matters, it was not easy for the BBC producer Eamon Hardy to get an HC sanction from top management of the BBC and legals. However, Sathya Sai Baba’s peak officials had acted extremely evasively. What is more, the BBC had uncovered shocking and credible accounts of sexual and other abuses by Sathya Sai Baba, including compelling evidence of massive ashram and successive Indian governments’ cover up of the April 6, 1993 killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom. These accounts went beyond the many testimonies compiled by our own international network. See:

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

    For Robert Priddy’s significant body of work on the killings and cover up, see under Further Resources, below.

    To get a further measure of Dr Goldstein’s cultist bent, wherein, in a widely distributed circular, he rejoiced in how his living God’s Grace prevented many Sai Baba devotees from getting caught up in the terrorist strike in the United States on 9/11. See:

    Michael Goldstein’s Chilling 9/11 Remarks

    Book Resource

    “Murders in Sai Baba’s Bedroom” by B. Premanand. Price India Rs. 400/-, Overseas US $40/- (free postage). Publ. by B. Premanand. 11/7 Chettipalayam Road, Podnadur. 641 023 Tamil Nadu, India.

    In short, Sai Baba and his core leaders like Dr Goldstein, Dr G. Venkataraman, and the  Sathya Sai Central Trust Secretary, K. Chakravarthy and others eluded many attempts to properly investigate the extensive and worldwide allegations of Sai Baba’s sexual molestation of boys and young men and cover up of the killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom, as well as many other serious scandals and anomalies.

    Quality media in a number of countries investigated. An extremely rare example in India of coverage, where Sai Baba is considered to powerful to tackle, was the serious mass circulation magazine India Today, December 4, 2000. See:

    COVER STORY: SAI BABA. Test of Faith.

    So did institutions such Flinders University in South Australia which appointed a senior academic to investigate. Top officials in UNESCO made extensive investigations too began to probe, they found the earmarks of a considerable cult.

    In 2004, the BBC was moved to title their 2004 documentary ‘The Secret Swami’. See:

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

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

    Threats By Sathya Sai Organization Leaders To Major Media

    It is a profound failure of intelligence, and indeed probity, that Sathya Sai Baba’s defenders have resisted central points about issues of democracy, accountability and transparency. As befits cultists with much to hide, they prefer to use threats of legal action. This was how key Sai organization players such as T. Sri Ramanathan – an autocrat widely disliked but sometimes virtually worshipped by the more pious in the Australian Sathya Sai Organization – treated Australia’s great multicultural broadcaster SBS (which telecast DR’s ‘Seduced’ re-titled ‘Seduced By Sai Baba’), the BBC, CBC (Canada), Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, Age, etc. I was informed by a senior journalist from a major Canadian newspaper (part of the CanWest chain) that his senior management was ensconced lengthily with lawyers and sundry other high rollers, when the Sai Baba parties threatened to withdraw large advertisments in the newspaper by one of the devotees, a Canadian multi-millionaire.

    Autocracy. Secrecy. Defamation. Vilification

    In each case there were suppressive attempts by very high profile Sathya Sai Baba leaders. His defenders go all out to to ensure that anyone who speaks out is villified, libeled, and some seriously harassed and threatened. Like medieval popes, Sai Baba’s core leaders excommunicate good and decent individuals. We find that their personnel ensure that internet attackers are provided with information intended to blacken and villify those who speak out.

    A Storm Brews. Unleashed in Next Days and Weeks

    However, as we shall see in the next days and weeks, there are democratic, caring forces within the community – ones not peopled by Sathya Sai Baba followers, who are prepared to protect vulnerable people who have been hurt by some of those very close to him.

    A Storm Looms

    Sai cult attempts to silence questioning have not succeeded. Of that, more soon.

    For those interested in seeing attempts by this powerful cult at damage-control and cover up, the segment on Australian Current Affair will be a show worth watching. But of course, the cult is a secret organization – therefore, one may miss out on some of the crucial action. Among the leaders are some seasoned string pullers at the highest levels of government, both local and central, in many countries. Nonetheless, it is important to prevent governments from being soft on cults. Governments that protect cults need to be stood up to.  In this case, it is the State Government of Queensland, Australia. The programme is the high profile Australian Current Affair, and the segment researched by one Australia’s senior television journalists. It was to have been shown last Thursday night, but has been re-slotted because of the tragic story of the little girl in Melbourne Australia who was thrown off a bridge by her demented father. Hiding from the issue of cults does not further the cause of religious freedom but actually threatens it over the long term. Protection of cultists should not be at the expense of the protection of the more vulnerable in our society.

    Hitherto, it is mostly former devotee critics, along with important contributions by rationalists (especially B.Premanand) and humanists, who have produced an extensive  Sathya Sai Baba cult critique. But now, matters proceed beyond those confines.

    The Sathya Sai Organization core leaders were not able to suppress – despite draconian measures far from the spiritual ones they profess to follow – awkward questions from those who tried to reform from within. Vilification is the inner chant of their darkly compromized hearts.

    They were not able to prevent strong and sustained criticism by highly skilled academics such as Robert Priddy (ex-head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway), Brian Steel (Australia), Timothy Conway Ph.D (USA), Kevin Shepherd, an independent British scholar, and others. Nor could they stop a large exit from the organization in country after country.  Some of this exit was the result of respected leaders making their own investigations in regard to families whose children reported sexual molestation by Sathya Sai Baba.

    There is a fact often not realized by the many good and decent rank-and-file individuals in the organization. It is that we have, here, a secret swami, a secret cabal of core leaders, and a guru-blinded autocracy skilled in suppression, the arts of political and organization cover up, self-deceit and deceit of their governments and mainstream organs that the Sathya Sai Organization influences via various fronts (of which more later). In the meatime, See:

    Sathya Sai Baba Organization and Libel and Disinformation

    See, too, extensively detailed articles co-authored by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard:

    Sathya Sai Organisation – Further Subterfuge and Misinformation

    Sathya Sai Organisation – Lavish Spending On Super Dome Venue Meeting (Sydney, Australia)

    Disinformation By The Sathya Sai Organization.

    Plush Recruiting Venues and Styles of Appeal Aim At The Wealthy

    To see recruiting tricks aimed at bringing in wealthy and influential citizens without, however, informing them of Sai Baba’s pronouncements that he is the Father of Jesus Christ, the One Who Sent The Prophet of Islam and that he claims he will save the whole world by circa 2022, see:  Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues

    But the next days and weeks will tell. And so shall this blog – Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai baba.

    Further Reading

    Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia

    The Unresolved, Covered-up 1993 Murders in Sathya Sai. Baba’s Bedroom RevisitedSathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders

    Sathya Sai Says: “Why fear when I am here?”. On the Events of June 6, 1993 – Murders in Sai Baba’s Private QuartersMore Concerning The 1993 Murders In Prashanthi Mandir.

    Excerpts from newspaper reports with information concerning the murders in Sai Baba’s vicinity at Prashanthi Nilayam of 6-6-1993.

    The Unresolved, Covered-up 1993 Murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s Bedroom RevisitedSathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders.

    A convenient coverage of many of the issues is at Robert Priddy’s blogsite: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com. See, Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders

    Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

    Part 4. Part 5.

    Important Other Resources:  Kevin Shepherd, Brian Steel, Robert Priddy:

  • Citizen Initiative
  • Recent Research on the Claims of Sathya Sai Baba
  • Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed
  • Sathya Sai Baba In Word And Action
  • Hitherto, it is mostly former devotee critics, along with important contributions by rationalists (especially B.Premanand) and humanists, who have produced an extensive  Sathya Sai Baba cult critique. But now, matters proceed beyond those confines.

    The Sathya Sai Organization core leaders were not able to suppress – despite draconian measures far from the spiritual ones they profess to follow – awkward questions from those who tried to reform from within. Vilification is the inner chant of their darkly compromized hearts.

    They were not able to prevent strong and sustained criticism by highly skilled academics such as Robert Priddy (ex-head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway), Brian Steel (Australia), Timothy Conway Ph.D (USA), Kevin Shepherd, an independent British scholar, and others. Nor could they stop a large exit from the organization in country after country.  Some of this exit was the result of respected leaders making their own investigations in regard to families whose children reported sexual molestation by Sathya Sai Baba.

    There is a fact often not realized by the many good and decent rank-and-file individuals in the organization. It is that we have, here, a secret swami, a secret cabal of core leaders, and a guru-blinded autocracy skilled in suppression, the arts of political and organization cover up, self-deceit and deceit of their governments and mainstream organs that the Sathya Sai Organization influences via various fronts (of which more later). In the meatime, See:

    Sathya Sai Baba Organization and Libel and Disinformation

    See, too, extensively detailed articles co-authored by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard:

    Sathya Sai Organisation – Further Subterfuge and Misinformation

    Sathya Sai Organisation – Lavish Spending On Super Dome Venue Meeting (in Sydney, Australia)

    Disinformation By The Sathya Sai Organization.

    Plush Recruiting Venues and Styles of Appeal Aim At The Wealthy

    To see recruiting tricks aimed at bringing in wealthy and influential citizens without, however, informing them of Sai Baba’s pronouncements that he is the Father of Jesus Christ, the One Who Sent The Prophet of Islam and that he claims he will save the whole world by circa 2022, see:  Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues

    But the next days and weeks will tell. And so shall this blog – Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai baba.

    Further Reading

    Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia

    The Unresolved, Covered-up 1993 Murders in Sathya Sai. Baba’s Bedroom RevisitedSathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders

    Sathya Sai Says: “Why fear when I am here?”. On the Events of June 6, 1993 – Murders in Sai Baba’s Private QuartersMore Concerning The 1993 Murders In Prashanthi Mandir.

    Excerpts from newspaper reports with information concerning the murders in Sai Baba’s vicinity at Prashanthi Nilayam of 6-6-1993.

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

    Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders.

    A convenient coverage of many of the issues is at Robert Priddy’s blogsite: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com. See, Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Murders:

    Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

    Part 4. Part5 .

    Posted in News and Politics, Opinion, Protest, Rationalism, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

    Secrecy Needs In Exposing A Top Global Cult

    Posted by Barry Pittard on August 19, 2007

    Our security needs are pragmatic, and are not in the nature of the secrecy and cover-up of scandals so endemic to an authoritarian cult that has so much to hide. The BBC’s own experience in investigating his cult and the testimonies of those who have left it led to its calling Sai Baba ‘The Secret Swami’, and the somewhat Soviet-style secrecy and authoritarianism of Sai Baba’s religious cult have been repeatedly observed by media, institutions and academics who have attempted to examine this founder and his organization.

    Regrettable Secrecies

    The need for sensitive non-disclosure of the accounts that came to us of sexual abuse by Sai Baba and some around him in his education wing, and other alarming information, was rapidly apparent to some of us, but – rather disturbingly! – to others came only slowly and, astoundingly, to yet others scarcely at all.

    If there was an extenuating circumstance for bewilderment at all it may be this:  suddenly, to our great surprise, we found ourselves cast in the role of activists and crusaders. What does the layperson know of sexual abuse? The exceptions in our midst were those such as Shirley Pike and (the late) Elena Hartgering, Dave Brandt and others who were mental health professionals of various kinds. We were entering a world of anguish and complexity. What we learnt was that the first requirement is to listen with compassion. It is the opposite of what cultic defenders show, who race to judgement, leap to the worst imaginable conclusions, and condemn  any who should dare to attempt to communicate their account of abuse.

    Males from various countries – in some instances many years later (as in the case of Mark Roche in appearance in the BBC television documentary The Secret Swami) – have attempted to give their accounts of sexual abuse at the hands of Sai Baba. Those devotee apologists for Sai Baba and his Sathya Sai Organization (or rather, cult) who make ready and cruel assumptions about the abuse survivors might well contemplate on a saying of the English philosopher, scientist, statesman and essayist Sir Francis Bacon  (1561-1626) adding the word ‘hear’ and, ‘view’ in the case of television footage from The Secret Swami, and Danish national broadcaster DR’s Seduced (in Australia, Seduced by Sai Baba, SBS) to Bacon’s  ‘read’:

    “Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted… but to weigh and consider”.

    sir-francis-bacon.jpg

    For Viewing

    Video clip of Mark Roche interview from  The Secret Swami, BBC 2, This World

    The Secret Swami. 1. Broadband. 2. Modem (Both .wmv)

    Seduced (version in English over-dub)  1. Broadband. 2. Modem (Both .wmv)

    Ullrich Zimmerman Interview, Part 2., Broadband.

    Further Reading

    Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, Protest, Psychiatry, Psychology, Psychotherapy, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »