Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

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Could Sathya Sai Treasury Scandals Lead to India’s Watergate?

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 23, 2011

I have listened to many country’s national anthems. But, I must say, for purely musical reasons, the Indian national anthem has long been my favourite. The melody unfailingly tugs at my heartstrings. Even so, when I listen to it these days, there is an extra freight-load of poignancy to it. I think back to the Indian homes, from rich to poor – sometimes, VERY poor –  where I lived for lengths of time with Indian families – forever the honorary ‘uncle’.

Joys and sorrows well up when I hear the Indian national anthem, although I know some families equally dear to me wish that the words used are  in, or not in, the Hindi language.

Janaganamana-score.pngSheet music for Jana Gana Mana.  Words and Music by the great Nobel Prize-winning Indian poet-dramatist, musician-dancer Rabindranath Tagor, whose then still-living relatives, as well as the younger generations of the Tagore family made me feel at home when, in early 1976,  I spent time, and performed, at the Shantiniketan University, Bolpur, West Bengal.

At the same time, whatever may seem to be the contraindicators, there can be few, if any, countries in which, in general, those of different persuasions can get along together. Too often, it is the hotheads whom we come to hear about. We don’t always hear, for example, of how some Hindus and Muslims risked their lives to save Sikhs who were set upon in pogroms, after two Sikh bodyguards assassinated Mrs Indira Gandhi on 31 October 1984 . Following the assassination, there were four days in which marauding maniacs killed thousands of Sikhs in a retaliatory blood let. The bloody-mindedness of some of the top leaders (like longtime Sathya Sai Baba devotee) PM Narasimha Rao, and Rajiv Gandhi with his utterly callous  “when a big tree falls” pronouncement, and many newspaper editors are appalling. From time to time, India gets some good people on Commissions of enquiry. But she needs good leaders, so that there is not the dire need for Commissions.

A number of times, in widely different parts of India, courageous, quick-thinking Indians have saved my life or limb. Once, I was spared the blade of an RSS thug, when RSS workers mistakenly thought that I was a Christian missionary. Another time, Indians in a huge crowd making for a ‘sacred’ spot lifted me aloft and bore me to safety. In another far part of India, the police had to assure my safety, because a westerner been arrested on charges of spying.

As a poor traveler, I have been nursed back to life by Indian families who had been strangers, and so tenderly as if I had been of their own family. The list of beneficent occasions is much longer, and knows no Hindu, Moslem, Sikh, Parsee, Jain, Christian etc., distinctions. The poor of India, among whose hovels I have worked, have, touchingly, been no less generous-spirited to me than the rich, even – or perhaps especially! – when these ragged and destitute people saw that I was traveling poor myself.

Therefore, as my regular readers may have noted, I speak not too kindly of the Indian elites. They are venal. They are selfish and cruel. They heavily support a system of brutal suppression and torture by sections of the armed services and police. Without their endemic corruption, India would stand tall in all the world.  See my articles:

Police and Army Rapists Rarely Punished, Says Kavita Krishnan (Of AIPWA)

Wikileaks and Indian Troops Atrocities Reports. Sai Baba Fails To ‘Clean Up Own Backyard’

These rulers, time and again, betray my Indian brothers and sisters. I will say it, although I hesitated, because I do not want anyone to presume upon the common and all-too-decent Indian type. Indians at large are very gentle, tender and infinitely patient. Those of their fellows who are not, or who are selectively so, presume upon the others. But Indians can be tigers, especially in parts of the north, and one enclave in the south, where martial traditions remain strong. In general, though, to my mind, I spot a fierceness more often on the cricket field  than off it.

Sachin Tendulkar looks heavenward. But Sachin, I don't think your Sathya Sai got admitted to Swarga Loka. But why not look down here in the real world, and with compassion, where you will find his many sexual abuse victims, boys and young men (many grown much older now), round the world? Do you not have a brave heart when off the cricket field?

Frighteningly, what Manmohan Singh so gravely risks is that, because he has shown his teeth to peaceful anti-corruption protesters – or to be more accurate – got his security forces and police to do the tooth-showing and bovvyer boy musclework, his piddling weakness in the face of immense corruption could plunge the Indian nation into the most terrible bloodshed. By which I mean – he should fix cankerous corruption in his own house, and not ‘fix’ honest and decent protesters.

However, I am encouraged by a number of tidal changes that I now see.

Quite apart from his deep prostrating, longtime association with Sathya Sai Baba, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh now looks to be a spent force. His government is mired in many scandals. Given the evidence so long in front of international former devotee coordinators like Robert Priddy and myself, one can really raise a question:  Will the revelations now exploding in the Indian media about Sai Baba and key players on his Sai Central Trust broaden out to include some of the figures in local, state and central government spheres?

India's PM Manmohan Singh. At the Feet of the Late Sathya Sai Baba

Might Manmohan Singh and others be about to face their Watergate? 

It will be a test of what the producer of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami”, Eamon Hardy, threw into question, to use his words, of “India’s maturity as a democracy”.

Manmohan Singh and other members of his government, and a succession of past Prime Ministers and Presidents, and countless other high-ranking individuals in Indian politics, the armed services, police, government, and so on, have protected Sathya Sai Baba. Will, now, the wealth, the family connections, the underhand political wheeler-dealing and other antidemocratic tendencies in India thwart attempts at genuine reform? Will the big Sai Baba-prostrating money-bags like the Tatas, the Rais (the scion of the latter family threatened to sue us and got told firmly where to go!) at last, after too many decades, find that there is something in India that money won’t buy?

Or will the legions of corrupt misleaders continue to overpower democracy? Here is our chance to see.

Anti-Corruption Rallies In Upsurge Across India

Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi by Sathya Sai Baba's golden casket

Large numbers of Indian citizens are rising up. Are they rent-a-crowds fomented by his immediate political rivals to power? Or by the Pakistan government’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI)? It would not surprise if any or all of these should want to have a hand. But good Indian citizens inform me that many of these marches against government corruption are deeply genuine, no matter under whose banner the crowds protest.

Some masses rally to the call of solid, old-fashioned anti-corruption crusaders such as Anna Hazare. Others to Swami Ram Dev, whom a range of serious commentators depict as somewhat a religious fundamentalist, politically naive, and a bit of a hot-head, but well-meaning and brave nonetheless. Certainly, both have daily put their lives on the line. Both have also embarked on fasts-unto-death, in the way the better-informed still remember of Mahatma Gandhi.

Are the Indian People Sick of Their Leaders’ Golden Casket Worship?

Anna Hazare. Widely respected, old-style Indian anti-corruption crusader

The Wikipedia entry on Anna Hazare states:

Kisan Baburao Hazare (Marathi: किसन बाबुराव हजारे) (born 15 June 1937), popularly known as Anna Hazare (Marathi: अण्णा हजारे), is an Indian social activist and anarcho-pacifist who is especially recognised for his contribution to the development of Ralegan Siddhi, a village in Parner taluka of Ahmednagar district, Maharashtra, India and his efforts for establishing it as a model village, for which he was awarded the Padma Bhushan—the third-highest civilian award—by the government of India in 1992.[1]

After leading a number of nonviolent protests in Maharashtra state against corruption, Hazare started a fast unto death on 5 April 2011 to exert pressure on the government of India to enact a strong anti-corruption act as envisaged in the Jan Lokpal Bill, a law to establish a Lokpal (ombudsman) with the power to deal with corruption in public offices. The fast led to nationwide protests in support of Hazare. The fast ended on 9 April 2011, the day after all of Hazare’s demands were agreed by the government of India. The government issued a gazette notification on the formation of a joint committee (of government and civil society representatives) to draft an effective Lokpal Bill.[2][3]

Another prominent Indian social justice crusader who has risked his life many times is Swami Agnivesh.


Online edition of India’s National Newspaper
Friday, May 27, 2011

Mahant held for slapping Agnivesh

Manas Dasgupta

AHMEDABAD: In an unsavoury incident, the human rights activist, Swami Agnivesh, who was accompanying the anti-corruption bill crusader, Anna Hazare, to a visit to Gujarat on Thursday, was slapped by a Mahant.

The incident occurred before the start of a public meeting to be addressed by Mr. Hazare. While meeting people, Swami Agnivesh tried to greet Mahant Nityanand Das, the chief of a temple near Nadiad, while the latter he slapped him.

The Mahant, who was arrested by the police, told journalists before leaving the venue that his anger against Swami Agnivesh was for his comments about the holy Amarnath shrine of Lord Shiva.

Swami Agnivesh, on the sidelines of a recent peace conference in Srinagar, had allegedly commented that the ice lingam of Amarnath was “artificially made,” and that the annual “Amarnath yatra” was a “religious deception.”

The Mahant had earlier announced a “reward” of Rs. 51,000 for anyone who would dare to hurl a shoe at Swami Agnivesh in public. He said he had nothing against Mr. Hazare and totally supported his crusade against corruption, “but I cannot take the Swami’s comments against a holy shrine of the Hindus.”

Human right activists strongly condemned the incident. “We condemn the attack on Swami Agnivesh.” Said Father Cedric Prakash, a human right activist and convener of Prashant, a voluntary organisation.

Swami Ramdev, anti-corruption crusader, dragged off by PM Mohan Singh's militia

India’s billionaire “heroes” get humbled

By Alistair Scrutton | Reuters – Sun, 27 Feb, 2011 12:31 AM EST
NEW DELHI (Reuters)

But a Who’s Who of corporate India has now been mired in controversy in the past year. Even the icon of India Inc, Ratan Tata, went to court to stop the release of leaked taped conversations of lobbyist Nira Radia and top industrialists, politicians and journalists, with talk of swinging deals, granting favours and ministers taking bribes. The tapes published in local media showed Radia, whose lobby company represents Tata and Mukesh Ambani, speaking to politicians to ensure Andimuthu Raja was appointed telecoms minister. Raja is now under arrest over the graft case. The founder of Satyam Computer was arrested in an accounting fraud — software services had previously been seen as one of India’s cleanest sectors — and the head of India’s $4 billion cricket premier league was fired over alleged irregularities. “The image of the socially responsible businessman, the untainted hero, has taken a beating,” said V. Ravichandar, head of Feedback Consulting in Bangalore, which advises multinationals.

Even the slightest selection of recent Indian newspaper headlines tend to tell the story quite well.

India: Protests against corruption spread

Reuters

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and ruling Congress party leader Sonia Gandhi have come in for criticism for sending hundreds of police using batons and tear gas on Sunday to break up a hunger strike by Swami Ramdev and tens of thousands of his followers in Delhi.

“India is a democratic country. Peacefully protesting and assembling without arms is legal,” said Arvind Kejriwal, an associate of Mr Hazare.

Teachers stage protest against corruption

TNN Jun 18, 2011, 10.51pm IST

DHARWAD: Inspired by the tirade launched by social activist Anna Hazare and yoga guru Baba Ramdev against corruption, teachers in Dharwad staged a protest against corruption and exploitation in the education sector.

Responding to the call given by Karnataka State Secondary Teachers’ Association (KSSTA), large number of teachers from Dharwad, Belgaum, Haveri, Gadag, Bijapur and Bagalkot districts participated in the sit-in protest in front of the office of the additional commissioner for public instruction here from 3pm to 5pm.

MLC Arun Shahpur, KSSTA vice-president R M Kuberappa, general secretary M G Sindagi and others spoke on the occasion. They said that corruption in education sector is spoiling the atmosphere as those who are compelled to pay bribe tend to recover the money by resorting to illegal means. “It also encourages people to get illegal things done by offering inducement. This trend will make life difficult for law-abiding citizens. Immunizing education sector is the need of the hour,” the speakers said.

Students protests against corruption in India – Dimapur

DemoTix. 25th of April 2011Student activist from Dimapur Naga Students Union (DNSU) burns candle during a candle light protest called by North East Student Organization (NESO) to show solidarity to the anti- Armed Force Special Power Act (AFSPA) campaign by Iron Sharmila and anti corruption Lokpal Bill by Anna Hazare. The seven Indian north eastern state has, today called a protest to show its solidarity to Iron Sharmila, who has been on fast for more than tens years to remove AFSPA in the region and to Indian social activist, Anna Hazare corruption campaign against the prime minister and cabinet

Churches in India endorse protests against corruption

By: Anto Akkara
Ecumenical News International


“The poor are the worst victims of corruption,” says India’s Roman Catholic Archbishop Vincent M. Concessao. Photo: Shutterstock

Bangalore, India
Churches in India have joined the growing support for social activist Anna Hazare, who launched a hunger fast on April 5 to call attention to the problem of corruption in government and is urging the passage of a strict anti-corruption law.

Corruption has become a major national issue in recent months, with allegations of massive corruption running into billions of dollars in wireless telecom licensing and in the preparation for Commonwealth Games that was held in New Delhi last October.

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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

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Police, Security and Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on December 13, 2010

An array of media, scholars, government services, civic institutions, and many others read our writings. I have extracted the following links related to police and security from a Links page with brief commentaries on articles. That page has been assiduously compiled by Robert Priddy, and contains links to many articles he and I, and any other extensive writer such as Brian Steel, have written on an array of topics concerning Sathya Sai Baba and his cult. 

Note: Please kindly report any errors,  updates, or suggest improvements. These overviews are very far from exhaustive … See contact details under:  Barry Pittard, at bottom of right hand sidebar.

 
Police, Security and Sathya Sai Baba

 The Puttaparti Police expansion and Sai Baba How the infamously corrupt police station at Puttaparthi was established and is financed

The Puttaparti Police expansion and Sai Baba – cont. How the publicly-financed security at Sai Baba ashrams was introduced etc.

Massacre at Prasanthi Nilayam ashram, 1993 part 1part 2

Police expert on security at Prashanthi Nilayam

Supreme Court of India cover-up: petition ad Sathya Sai Baba rejected Scan of affidavit-attested document showing the paper illegally removed from the Supreme Court records so as to cover-up the petition against Sathya Sai Baba made in 2001

The ‘Abode of Peace’ ashram- the murder victims Some details of two of those murdered in cold bloog in Sai Baba’s bedroom in 1993.

The ‘Abode of Peace’ ashram- the pivotal events Ex-CID police officer’s account of the Puttaparthi murders in 1993

 Senior Ex-CID officer J.V. Ram on Sai sex scandals – part 1 part 2part 3 Very grave allegations of numerous sexual abuses by Sathya Sai Baba are reported by this CID sleuth, as well as cases of rape at his ashram   

Senior Ex-CID officer J.V. Ram on Sathya Sai Baba – part 1 —   art 2part 3part 4 Revelations by a top investigator of unexplained murders, deaths and disappearances plus corruption, bribery and other forms of corruption connected to Sathya Sai Baba and/or his minions  

Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up Senior Indian police officer published a book with many new facts about the Sai Baba bedroom murders

New Zealand Lawyer Exposes Official Cover Up of Killings In Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Warren C. Pyke LLN (Hons.) LLM (VUW), Barrister, New Zealand calls for a thorough and impartial inquiry into the deaths in Sai Baba’s room

Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba) A guide to articles written on the BBC’s one-hour documentary, The Secret Swami (2004), its making and the controversy it awakened – for busy journalists, scholars, institutional researchers, and the probing reader
 
Puttaparthi murders Summary of some of the many murders recorded at Sathya Sai Baba ashrams
 
Westerners desert Sai Baba’s ashrams, says recent visitor A visitor from UK notes that Westerners are not welcome in Prashanthi Nilayam. They are harassed, discriminated and subject to new laws which limit their stay. Numerous foreigners who moved there cannot sell their apartments and are trapped
 
V.K. Narasimhan on the 1993 Sathya Sai Baba murders Shattering information about the 1993 murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom – private confidencesfrom my friend VKN that I (Robert Priddy) could not doubt
 
V.K. Narasimhan – confidences to Robert Priddy The decisive point for me was when V.K. Narasimhan told me the truth about the 1993 murders – and he should have known as he was on the scene directly and had access to all the top people involved. All this I recorded in my notebook as soon as he had told me
 
ON VISITING THE SAI BABA ASHRAMS Many difficulties, disappointments and potential dangers – up to and including murder – face those who visit Sathya Sai Baba ashrams. Tight security is used against visitors to protect the fearful Guru-God and discrimination of non-ethnic Indian followers, especially Westerners, has become rife. Judging by countries I know well, the current list of over 200 names of former members or active followers registered represents only perhaps 5% of those who have left Sathya Sai baba’s organization and movement, as most do not wish to speak out and be demonized – many wish to continue to visit India in safety.

Failings in Indian Justice – by ex-Chief Election Commissioner T.N. Seshan The Indian judicial system as originally inherited from the British stagnated, but is slowly caching up with the developed world – but only on paper, it appears. Abuses and failing are so huge and so many, as any follower of Indian events knows, that police and protected person can and do ‘get away with murder’.

Indian police get away with murder – outrage in India The latest juridical scandal decision outrages Indian citizens, and bears out further what the above entry indicates

Powerful sex abuse testimony against Sathya Sai Baba The German national news journal ‘Bild’ published an account of sexual molestation and subsequent ‘goonda’ harassment of Jens Sethi and his girlfriend after he explained how he refused Sai Baba’s sexual advances. An affidavit to that effect was lodged with Hamburg police

BILD’ Story. “Guru Wants Sex” (Sathya Sai Baba) The damning testimony of Jens Sethi, ex-follower who lodged an affidavit on Sai Baba’s sexual molestation with the Public Prosecutor in Hamburg

Press Council of India Long Silent On Sathya Sai Baba Bedroom Killings The Press Council of India was asked by the Anantapur District Journalists’ Union to inquire into the criticism of Sri Sathya Sai Baba against the Press for publishing news items and special articles on the June 6 incident that occurred in Prashanthi Nilayam in which six persons were killed. No response was forthcoming. See also Indian Newspaper Reports of Killings In Sai Baba’s Bedroom

Murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom overview The infamous murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom issue will not simply go away because the case was quashed by his devotees, the Indian Home Minister and Prime Minister at the time

Sathya Sai Baba’s India stable? The claim that India is not unstable, like many other countries, does not hold water at all

Sex, suicide and the guru – Sathya Sai Baba Three articles by one of The Times feature writers, Dominic Kennedy, which expose the nature of Sathya Sai Baba and related suicides

Sathya Sai Baba – questions and his silence In a discourse after the six 1993 killings and executions, Sathya Sai Baba attacked the Anantapur media hotly saying that it contained “nothing but flights of the imagination”. He never answered any questions on his part in the incident and was held above the law by the Indian government.

The Death of Sathya Sai Baba’s brother, Janaki Ramiah Sathya Sai Baba sobbed in public over the death of this property millionaire, reported blackmailer and key accomplice to murders in Sai Baba’s apartment in 1993

Murder and repentence at Prashanthi Nilayam Among the numerous reported murders at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashrams through the decades, few are as remarkable as that perpetrated on Sai Baba’s personally chosen gatekeeper Kumar. It is of the stuff of which horror films can be made

V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings
Media, institutional, academic and other third party investigators are being made aware of the sheer extent of the evidence of criminal cover up by successive Indian governments over the years of the Puttaparthi police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom

Will India clean up its Augean police and political stables
The Indian police and government’s attempts to quash the murder of Scarlett MacKeown sends the same signal long observed, cover-ups to the highest levels in India, none more successful – and yet notoriously damaging – than that of the found young men executed by police in Sai Baba’s bedroom

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

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL)

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Donors and Would-be Donors Beware (Sathya Sai Central Trust Example)

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 30, 2009

As the years pass, more evidence emerges of the very non-divine manner in which Sathya Sai Baba and his financial wing collect vast funds – particularly from wealthy donors. As with scams the world over, there are methods of ‘spotting’ – in this case, by ashram staff of visitors most likely to donate large sums. The admixture of ‘miracles’ – such as Sai Baba’s ‘materializing’ of expensive rings or pendants etc., for the wealthy – is central to setting up of these traps. This operation involves the participation of the registration office, as well as Sathya Sai Baba’s close servitors, many of them wealthy or those who have given away their wealth to him.
Criminals and police forces often refer to this type of spotting as finding the ‘mark’ or victim to be set up.
Donors and Would-be Donors Beware
There are two classes of individual, and in some cases institutions, who have every reason to be looking at these issues. First, those who have already been donors to Sathya Sai Baba’s exchequer, among whom there are those who have serious misgivings about how they were misused. Second, those who are contemplating donation to the Sathya Sai Central trust.
In the first group, there are those who have been far too busy with their business enterprises or professions to have time for deeper reflection on their experiences. It needs to be remembered that deeply emotional, religious or spiritual commitments are far from straightforward and rational. Donors have given, in some cases in many millions, thinking they have found an impeccable cause. However, some are at the stage where they are handing over their prime responsibilities to others in their enterprises, retiring, etc.  The photos below are just a very few examples of that for which of the Sathya Sai opulence, they have already handed over! (For more revealing photos, see bottom of this article).
In August 16, 2003. the Rediff news agency reported:
“The largest recipient of foreign contribution was Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust — Rs 88.18 crore (Rs 881.8 million)”
Sai Baba on his Golden Chariot
Sathya Sai Indoor Sports StadiumPrashanthi International Sports stadium
sai-babas-chaitanya-jyothi-museum.jpg
ssmuseumsmall.jpg
The Torment of Awakening From The Dream Splendid
Coming out of the dream splendid can be an emotionally tormenting period, whether one is rich or not. Again, irrespective of status, the wide tendency for individuals is to clam up, and let as few as possible know that one has made some bad choices.
To those wishing to reflect intellectually on their own experiences of donorship, or for those who may be contemplating giving money to Sathya Sai Baba’s organization, I point to the article (4700 approx words) of Robert Priddy, retired academic and former longtime leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization:
Donating to Sathya Sai Baba and His Bottomless Trust Or Other Institutions. How donations are encouraged and devotees are manipulated – with negative experiences reported’
QUOTE
“In my participant-observer sociological study of the International Sathya Sai Organisation, recorded mainly in 2000, I concluded that one of the main functions it actually fulfils, although in theory it should not, is to channel money from the widest possible catchment area of devotees in rich countries. This was implied by the collected data and analyses of its various practices which I interpreted on the basis of my wide-ranging experience – and increasing distaste – of how matters were handled at Organization meetings I attended in various countries. In stark contrast to Sathya Sai Baba pretends, his organisation contributes, indirectly and increasingly more and more directly, to the funnelling of donations in huge amounts into his account and under his control. Why does Sai Baba ‘allow’ this discrepancy between his word and action? The simple answer would be because money is a necessary ingredient of improving education, health and living conditions for the poor. To support this, Sai Baba points to the institutions like colleges, hospitals and village projects he has provided (as if it were not all from his devotees). So why then does he constantly boast that he has no connection whatever with money – saying as but one example, “Where money is present, there I am absent”? Obviously, it is a very clever device to hide the real situation and seem to put him apart from other money collecting ‘men of god’. Money gurus awaken much skepticism, especially among Westerners nowadays, it being known very widely that so many have been defrauded”.

Subheadings in this article:

Sizing up likely donors, and diamond gifts to soften them up?

What is Sathya Sai Baba’s actual relationship to money?

True Believer Devotees as Easy-Touches for Money

Soliciting Devotees for Major Funds

Ashram apartment ‘donors’ – deceptively called ‘owners’

Donors Recruited under False Pretenses

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Further Reading

Can We Trust The Central Trust?By Serguei Badaev.  (Ex-President of Sai Org. Moscow Centre and ex-deputy National Coordinator and National SSEHV Coordinator, Russia)

“It is not the Sathya Sai Organisation which is the owner of all the property and estates we can see in Prashanthi Nilayam and Brindavan (Sai Baba’s ashrams in Puttaparthi and in Whitefield correspondingly). There is another organisation which prefers to stay in a shadow. It is Sathya Sai Central Trust (the SSCT), which can be regarded as the highest authority in the Sai Baba movement except Sai Baba himself”

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The money behind Sai Baba By Hari Sampath. 08-04-2001. (Member of Sathya Sai Baba’s Security and Intelligence Wing between 1992 and 1995)

‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues. By Barry Pittard

QUOTE

“The easiest way to look for the source of Sai Baba’s ‘immunity’ from investigation and what exactly all this scam is about is to just take a look at the staggering amounts of money involved, and approximately estimate how much money does Sai Baba actually have?”

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Barry Pittard at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’

‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues

Sathya Sai Organization: World Communities Need To Treat This Sect Cautiously

India’s ‘Emperor’ Sai Baba. By His Lavish Spending Ye Shall Know Him

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

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General

Excerpt From Public Petition

(Note: The above articles contextualizes. Or you may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):

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

There is a Spanish version available:

PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL)

Sai Baba click here for Sai residence today Sai Kodaihouse Sai Trayee

Sai Dharmak.

sai-baba-pleasure-dome.jpg

Posted in Miracles, Morality, New Age, Opinion, Philanthropy, Religion, Social and Politics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Attacks By Hooligans Against Foreign Students In Australia

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 5, 2009

In relation to attacks against foreign students in Australia, there are some tough questions. A number of reasons exist why the majority of these attacks have occurred on Indian students, and the issue is complex. The situations are not as portrayed, with a dangerous, irresponsible oversimplification, either by certain sections of the Indian media that are clearly committed to jingoism, hysteria, sensationalism and burgeoning of sales, who gravely misrepresent the view of a great many Indians who live in Australia (See e.g., statement by Federation of Indian Associations of Victoria president Vasan Srinivasan) or by an isolated but powerful and  disgraceful class of radio talk-back hosts who are biggots and their poorly-educated audiences we alarmingly still have in Australia, known as ‘shock jocks’.

No amount of misrepresentation can alter the facts that most Australians do not engage in or approve of racism. Many from some 200 countries who have migrated to this country attest to this fact. The situation is not assisted by those who, whether out of sensationalism or simple-mindedness or agendas of hatred resort to the fallacy of confusing part with whole, branding the behaviour of a few a whole group, who do not think, or feel or act out that for which they are being assailed.

However, the question of whether we in Australia are in danger of being selfish, cocooned, complacent and far too unquestioning of our ‘authorities’ and ourselves is quite another question. It was communities in the suburbs, far more than forces within governments, which won Australia’s great achievements in  forging a multicultural society. Sometimes the word ‘multiculturalism’ has been used but it can be a confusing and systematically misleading term.  The Australian experience – or experiment –  needs to be carefully distinguished from the performances of other countries, and discussed with proper regard for the facts.  One starting-point for those who wish to survey the area is the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council, which has many resources both practical and academic. The Council’s website is HERE.

But there is a work undone: those communities especially in the outer suburbs to which many foreign students are driven by their economic constraints will have to do some of it. They will need to rise to an occasion. Or will they expect the police and other authorities to do it for them? To stand by when bones are being broken and lives destroyed does not add up to self-respect and a sense of justice within those in whose midsts violence is happening.

I offer some questions – very preliminary – that I think my fellow Australians will need to consider:

Why have not messages got through to increasingly bold urban hooligans that attacks on anyone are not to be tolerated?

Why are these uneducated hooligans being permitted to sway Australia’s standing in the fellowship of nations?

What is there about our education, justice and parental support systems that allow for the existence of hooliganism?

What, if any, community-based, imaginative, proactive steps are being taken to make foreign students, migrants and refugees to feel welcome, valued and safe in Australia?

If the police are engaged in a losing battle, as in other areas such as drugs, are the Federal, State and Local governments failing in being upfront and in ensuring the widest public awareness and debate?

Why have attacks escalated to such a point where it has taken organized protests by Indian students studying in this country – and giving up their valuable time in which to raise their voices – before there is strong action directed to remediation?

Are outer and working class suburbs embraced by the powerful ethos  in this country which has generated so many distinguished achievements in bringing about Australia’s in many ways successful multicultural society?

What, if anything, has been the responsiveness by police, the three tiers of government, welfare, civic, religious, cultural, sporting organizations, especially in the outer suburbs to the conditions in which many overseas students are economically forced to study, travel back and forth, and reside?

What, if any steps, have been taken to raise public awareness about the enormity of contribution foreign students make to Australia, both in immediate economic terms but in many, and often intangible ways, in regard to the quality of lasting ties of friendship and cooperation internationally?

What, if any steps, have been taken to raise public awareness of the difficulties many overseas students face in regard to finance, language, culture, cuisine, arduous travel times back and forth between residence and place of study, the perils of landlordism, their being forced to take part-time jobs and somehow coping with demanding courses of study, and so on?

Have the police forces examined their own assumptions? For example, how could police possibly know whether many UNreported attacks were racist or not? The notion is absurd.

Are some police authorities refusing to see that a crime can be BOTH opportunistic AND racial?

Many Indian students, supported by their government and by leaders in the Australian Indian community, attest that the police have not been – qualitatively – listening. Why are the police listening now, and why, in certain ways, too late? Young students at this very moment lie bloodied and broken.

What is the accountability of those policemen police who manhandled parts of the crowd, in attendance at what the responsible media has reported as, except for rare exceptions, a peaceful protest by thousands?

Why are the State and Federal Governments and the education institutions at which foreign students study suddenly galvanized? Why not before this?

A question for those who cry racism at every turning: Has it been noticed that extremely few along the path of the march have been reported, on any side, as having been racist or insulting in any way?

A Helpline for Indian students who are victims of crime is available: 1800342800. From 10am to 5pm, and 7pm to 11pm, Monday to Friday.  Hellplines for ALL foreign students need to be provided and made extensively-known through the student fraternity.

Further Reading

Indian Students Attacked In Melbourne Australia: Cricket Star Brett Lee Voices Concerns

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 4, 2009

Attacks Against Indian Students in Melbourne, Australia

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 2, 2009

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UPDATE

From ‘Hindustan Times’ – which shows a sanity lacking in the sensationalists sections of the Indian media

See article details at this Blog:

Posted in News and Politics, Opinion, Politics, Protest, Sikhism, Social and Politics, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Sathya Sai Baba Man, Gerald Moreno: Islamic Terrorism Issue

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 1, 2009

One of Gerald Moreno’s myriad character assassination forays against former Sai Baba devotee critics (and others like the Indian Rationalist B.Premanand and the independent British scholar Kevin Shepherd) has been the attempt to make it seem as though I would incite Islamic terrorism.

In fact, I had long ago written a cautionary piece showing how terrorists might regard a famous religious figure like Sathya Sai Baba, who claims to be the One who sent the Prophet (may Peace be upon his name). The whole upshot was – well before the events of 9/11 – that to be forewarned was to be forearmed.

My point was that the Sai officials have not been upfront to their congregations about this danger, not least at a time when those of Christian (Christmas) and Jewish background (for Haneka, shortly before Christmas) visit Puttaparthi.

Moreno, showing the breathtaking profundity of his patently poorly educated analytic abilities, made much about my releasing such details, as though Islamic terrorist planners needed an obscure article of mine to let them know of India’s most famous religious figure and the whereabouts of the most famous ashram in India.

Nor saw he fit to consider that among my readers may be counted any of that great majority of Muslims who deplore terrorism and who, if anyone, can work to counter the great evil that so badly misrepresents those positive tenets of their Faith. In fact, one of the grave difficulties besetting that religion, as it does Christianity, Hinduism, etc., is that of the dangerously simple-minded, who think, if thinking it is, in tight boxes, and would box in the rest of us.

Nor did Moreno think anything of himself ensuring wider coverage of the issue by posting his wild misinterpretations to a major Indian Internet portal.

I also sent a note of concern – on what struck me as very real dangers – to a former colleague of mine in Puttaparthi, at Sai Towers Publishing, Chris Parnell, who had become webmaster for the offical Australian Sathya Sai Organization website in Australia. He did not write back to me, but straight on the heels of my email to Parnell, the Puttaparthi police head of security did write.

To experts in the Federal Government of Australia, I also detailed aspects drawn from my knowledge of Puttaparthi and other Sai Baba-related matters. Two of them who were interested enough to have contact with me by phone gave me a detailed and serious hearing. See Robert Priddy: Terroist-related Slurs Used By Sai Baba Internet Fanatic

Gerald Moreno’s swashbucklings are meted out upon all sides – except, of course, in relation to Sathya Sai Baba and the Sathya Sai Organization. On these he has long been uncritical in the extreme, and, as our evidence reveals, works in with a number of those close to Sathya Sai Baba as well as other members of the organization. Everyone who has critically examined the Sathya Sai Baba issue – the BBC, DR, SBS, Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, and so on – are all, as he deems it, wrong, and warrant his terrible and swift sword. More recently, eight Wikipedia editors were involved in an exhaustive process that led to Moreno’s banning for appalling behaviour, of a kind which he forever denies –  see the ban recorded here (Gerald Moreno = User SSS108). For but a minute percentage of Moreno’s ‘hot’, aggressive language, see HERE:

Select Reading

Robert Priddy (Former Head of Sathya Sai Organization, Norway. University of Oslo, Rtd)

Gerald Moreno – Christian Fundamentalists, Anti-Semitism, Fascism

G.J. Moreno’s ’senile dementia’ slurs, avoidances & irrationality

Gerald Moreno’s fundamentalist Christian slur campaign

Joe Moreno – massive internet abuse

Smear Campaign against critics of Sathya Sai Baba

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Brian Steel (Scholar and author of books, including those widely read when he was a follower of Sathya Sai Baba. University of Monash, Rtd)

Diversionary Tactics by an Internet Demagogue

The pro-Sathya Sai Baba Campaign of Gerald (‘Joe’) Moreno

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Timothy Conway, Ph.D., (Scholar in the sociology and author of books on Eastern philosophy and religion. California Institute of Integral Studies)

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Kevin Shepherd (Independent British Scholar, author of many works on philosophy and religion, who has had no affiliation with Sathya Sai Baba or his Sathya Sai Organization)

Wikipedia Issues and Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in Opinion, Religion, September 11, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

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 »