Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Sexual Abuse’

India, Land of Vast Tolerated Rape and Other Sex Abuses: a Letter From A Western Lover of India

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 30, 2013

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The writer of the email below is a woman in her fifties, a westerner and for some years a tour guide in India, who is highly regarded for her rare integrity and decency. She used to aid me in sourcing CD’s when I was a community broadcaster dealing with world music and social justice issues.

Her email is worth reading with the heart, more than with the eyes and mind. Increasingly India – having profoundly alienated herself from her good self – is fast alienating herself from the rest of the world.

I never knew of a country more prone to sermons than India. Daily, in endless venues, from small temples to vast arenas, and on radio and television and in the newspapers, pundits rattle on about ‘the dharma’. About being truthful and righteous and compassionate and peaceful and non-violent. But one example of duplicity on a giant scale has been the Sathya Sai cult core leaders’ decades of cover up of murders and sexual and other abuses. Again – vast amounts of preaching, and of a robed but tumid underbelly of vile and hypocritical evil.

A constant Hindu Indian theme is fearlessness. Excellent! – when practised. But – in the so-called ‘eternal Bharat’ – the only thing that is eternal about all this  is the hypocrisy. Those without brain or conscience denounce as “India bashers” writers about India who mention the endless institutional corruption and vast organs of State suppression and crass inaction, and so on .

In fact, many times, this blogsite pays great tribute to those few Indian people and groups who, most courageously and at great cost of danger and suffering to themselves, speak out and do their best to stop the incredible social inequalities in that land.

It is significant that the recent Delhi rape case prompted public protests – an increasing phenomena in an India where the people at large, like those in the Occupy movement in the West, become ever more informed and ever more angry at government and corporate corruption – angry enough to begin to do something about it.

Here is the email:

Dear Barry,

I am in India until tomorrow, and over the last 8 weeks of my trip I have felt sickened by all the hideous reports of the Delhi rape case. There is now – what has been so often suppressed in India – an incredible daily tally of reports of rape, murder, incest with girls as young as 3 years old.  A large majority of the reports cite victims’ ages between 7 – 11 in age – like what we hear reported in the West.- similar to reports in the West. I myself was molested from 7 to 12 years old by a family friend.
 
I am sure this has been going on forever here, but the Delhi case has somehow got out to the world and brought a damning spotlight on India. The Indian media is now reporting countless incidents.

You know how much I love my beloved India and have spent 2-5 months every year there for 10 years. But this year I have become quite frightened of this potential for rape and violence and have changed a lot of my habits of movement around India. I am inside by dark, never alone, dress VERY modestly, not trusting anyone new. I am so unlike my usual courageous, fearless self!

I had already decided to make this my last year for taking a tour and retiring as a tour guide. I am so sickened by these horrible events that it has tainted my feelings about India, and now I feel that I will not return for several years until I can travel in trusted company.

The corruption at all levels of Indian society is the other thing I hate, and I agree with your excellent blog that the buck stops with politicians and powerful institutions. You also mention India’s often incredibly inept and chauvinistic police force.

I am feeling so sad to be feeling like this, and I understand how sickened you would have been to find out the awful truth of Sathya Sai Baba’s perverse inclinations. But Barry, we are light bearers of the truth, and with God’s grace we can use our abilities to work against such evils and to make accountable the perpetrators and those who hide them or stand by and do nothing.

Keep up the good work, Barry.

Lots of love

……….

Further Reading

Sexual Abuse Rampant In Extreme Male Chauvinist India

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 7, 2013

Tehelka.com and the Delhi rapes – new India’s media conscience. 

Posted by robertpriddy on January 5, 2013

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Sexual Abuse Rampant In Extreme Male Chauvinist India

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 7, 2013

In addressing sexual abuse, no society, and no community, has a good record. In India, great evils such as patriarchy, the caste system, endemic corruption at all levels but especially among the ruling elites, gerontocracy, nepotism, dowry, infanticide, obscene contrasts between opulence and poverty and squalor, and so forth, make issues particularly acute.

The question arises:  How can India – which hotly competes with China for superpower status – expect, with any self-respect, to join other countries which make signal efforts in providing strong legislation and provision of effective and humane services to deal with sexual abuse? Of the Indian media, hardly any were of use to us in our exhaustive effort to expose Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult. This failure – not of our own making – was in marked contradistinction to our dealings with world media. As the editor of one of India’s top newspapers admitted in private:  Sai Baba and his people are too powerful. The rare exceptions whom we could respect were India Today, whose proprietor knew, all too directly and painfully, from his own family of Sathya Sai Baba’s pedophilia, and Tehelka, which has put up a huge struggle over decades to prevent itself from being wiped out. In Indian Media and Governments Heedless of Decade of Foreign Media and Sai Baba Critics’ Revelations, I wrote: 

To the profound shame of the Indian media, leading newspaper and television organizations heeded our representations:

For example, BBC, CBC (Canada), DR (Denmark), Salon.com (USA), SBS (all television), ABC (Radio Australia). In newspaper media – Times of London, Daily Telegraph, Guardian (UK), Marie Claire Magazine, Salon.com, BT, Bild, Focus, Trouw, Speegelbield, Noordhollands Dagblad, Sokaren, Gatopardo, Ottawa 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., ….. It was not until a close friend of ours, at the top of a notable profession, was able to dine with an official of the Indo Asian News Service that our Duke of Edinburgh story concerning Sai Baba’s propaganda people that we were able, after many futile attempts, to make some inroads on a small section of the Indian media.

Extraordinarily, in the last days, wide sections of the Indian media are surfacing evidence that powerfully tells against Sathya Sai Baba and many of his core servitors. It is, of course, to the historic shame of the Indian media (with the honorable exception of India Today) and successive, typically corrupt Indian governments, national and state, that we long remained voices crying out in the wilderness. For my appreciation of India Today’s publisher Aroon Purie and his team, see:  Sai Baba Treasure Scandals: His Big Political Protectors Now Run For Cover.  Posted by Barry Pittard on June 27, 2011.

See also:  Sai Baba Treasure Scandals: His Big Political Protectors Now Run For Cover Posted by Barry Pittard on June 22, 2011

http://robertpriddy.files.wordpress.com/2013/01/rapes-police.jpg

In 2007, the Government of India released its landmark survey on sexual abuse in that country. (See:  Over 53% children face sexual abuse: Survey. TNN Apr 10, 2007, 12.00am IST:

NEW DELHI: In a shocking revelation, a government commissioned survey has found that more than 53% of children in India are subjected to sexual abuse, but most don’t report the assaults to anyone.

The survey, released on Monday and which covered different forms of child abuse — physical, sexual and emotional — as well as female child neglect, found that two out of every three children have been physically abused.

See also:

Sai Baba Promised to Transform India. But Child Abuse Rampant. Posted by Barry Pittard on April 11, 2007, and Child Abuse in India. Will Minister Renuka Chowdhury Act? Posted by Barry Pittard on April 11, 2007). I have written of our vast, uphill climb – including of our Indian colleagues – to make meaningful headway with India’s foremost political, government and religious authorities, and most of the media, even though, in some quarters, we had high-level backdoor access. See:  Indian Media and Governments Heedless of Decade of Foreign Media and Sai Baba Critics’ Revelations. Posted by Barry Pittard on June 27, 2011.

Whether in our contacts with Vajpayee’s or Sonja Gandhi’s or Manmohan Singh’s officials, we found the taboos against raising sexual abuse issue extreme. In our networking, we saw how extraordinarily courageous Indian activists daily fight for social justice in India. They face death, grave injury, gaol, persecution, defamation, and profound denial of their civil liberties ostensibly guaranteed under Indian law. See:  Open Letter to Prime Minister of India, Hon. A.B. Vajpayee, By Barry Pittard, Australia, former Lecturer, Sri Sathya Sai College of the Arts, Science and Commerce, Whitefield, Karnataka.

Sonia Gandhi and Manmohan Singh at Sathya Sai Baba's Funeral

Sonia Gandhi and current PM Manmohan Singh at Sathya Sai Baba’s funeral. Both leaders assisted, as had Vajpayee earlier, in the cover up of Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of countless boys and young men from around the world.

Vajpayee and Sathya Sai BabaFormer PM Vajpayee, photo below left, like Manmohan Singh, a longtime Sai Baba devotee

If my reader is very busy, at least you may find time to view a concise and hard-hitting IBNLIVE.com (India) report (2 minutes, 10 seconds): India: world’s most sexually abused children!

Worldwide, statistics show that sexual abuse, far more than being a ‘stranger danger’ issue, secretes itself among our own families, friends and acquaintances. We need to squirm – without running away. We need to face our own consciences – without thinking there is nothing we can do. We need to speak – without retreating into a numb, corroding silence. We need to love and protect children – properly.

The furore at the moment over the Delhi rape case elicits some action.  See Robert Priddy’s article: Tehelka.com and the Delhi rapes – new India’s media conscience.  Posted by robertpriddy on January 5, 2013

Again, ordinary Indian people stir and protest – making life more difficult for the Indian power elites who have tried heavily and constantly to throttle such issues, as they did with decades of scandal after scandal about Sathya Sai Baba and his cult.

At least the Delhi case has penetrated the Indian and international media. And yet rape and other forms of abuse are endemic throughout India, almost sanctioned by large sections of her police forces whose officers frequently hold extremely chauvinist attitudes toward women.

But essentially, Indian authorities do not even heed and act on this 2 minutes and 10 seconds of information.

In marked contrast to the decade in which my colleagues and I have worked to expose Sathya Sai Baba and his international cult, more articles in leading Indian media begin to surface, such as yesterday’s  Hindustan Times, with its hard-nosed practical recommendations. The Guardian article, which has many useful links, is a strongly researched piece, again giving indications of a groundswell of public anger in India, which we have also seen in the recent and pan India demonstrations against political and corporate corruption.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Patriarchy exposed

Hindustan TimesBy Hindustan Times | Hindustan Times – Sun 6 Jan, 2013

Mumbai, Jan. 6 — The sustained national outcry over an unspeakable sexual assault has put the spotlight not only on crimes against women, but also exposed the underlying patriarchy that is holding India back. The crisis of femininity and masculinity has never been more apparent. How do we heal?

Why is India so bad for women?

Of all the rich G20 nations, India has been labelled the worst place to be a woman. But how is this possible in a country that prides itself on being the world’s largest democracy?

The Guardian, Monday 23 July 2012 21.00 BST

Video of a woman being molested in Guwahati, India

Video of a woman being attacked in Guwahati, Assam, has sparked outrage in India.

In an ashram perched high on a hill above the noisy city of Guwahati in north-east India is a small exhibit commemorating the life of India’s most famous son. Alongside an uncomfortable-looking divan where Mahatma Gandhi once slept is a display reminding visitors of something the man himself said in 1921: “Of all the evils for which man has made himself responsible, none is so degrading, so shocking or so brutal as his abuse of the better half of humanity; the female sex (not the weaker sex).”

One evening two weeks ago, just a few miles downhill, a young student left a bar and was set upon by a gang of at least 18 men. They dragged her into the road by her hair, tried to rip off her clothes and smiled at the cameras that filmed it all. It was around 9.30pm on one of Guwahati’s busiest streets – a chaotic three-lane thoroughfare soundtracked by constantly beeping horns and chugging tuk-tuks. But for at least 20 minutes, no one called the police. They easily could have. Many of those present had phones: they were using them to film the scene as the men yanked up the girl’s vest and tugged at her bra and groped her breasts as she begged for help from passing cars. We know this because a cameraman from the local TV channel was there too, capturing the attack for his viewers’ enjoyment. The woman was abused for 45 minutes before the police arrived.

Within half an hour, clips were broadcast on Assam’s NewsLive channel. Watching across town, Sheetal Sharma and Bitopi Dutta were horrified. “I was fuming like anything. There was this horrible, brutal assault being shown on screen – and the most disturbing thing was, the blame was being put on the woman, who, the report emphasised, was drunk,” says Sharma, a 29-year-old feminist activist from the North-East Network, a women’s rights organisation in Guwahati. “The way it was filmed, the camera was panning up and down her body, focusing on her breasts, her thighs,” says Dutta, her 22-year-old colleague.

When the police eventually turned up, they took away the woman, who is 20 or 21 (oddly, Guwahati police claimed not to know exactly). While NewsLive re-played pixellated footage of her attack throughout the night, she was questioned and given a medical examination. No attempt was made to arrest the men whose faces could clearly be seen laughing and jeering on camera. Soon afterwards, the editor-in-chief of NewsLive (who has since resigned) remarked on Twitter that “prostitutes form a major chunk of girls who visit bars and night clubs”.

It was only a few days later, when the clip had gone viral and had been picked up by the national channels in Delhi, that the police were shamed into action. By then, Guwahati residents had taken matters into their own hands, producing an enormous banner that they strung up alongside one of the city’s arterial roads featuring screen grabs of the main suspects. Six days after the attack, the chief minister of Assam, the state where Guwahati is located, ordered the police to arrest a dozen key suspects. He met the victim and promised her 50,000 rupees (£580) compensation.

The damage was already irreversible. Most Indians know full well how tough life as a woman can be in the world’s biggest democracy, even 46 years after Indira Gandhi made history as the country’s first female prime minister in 1966. But here, caught on camera, was proof. And in Assam – a state long romanticised as the most female-friendly corner of the country, largely thanks to the matrilineal Khasi tribe in Meghalaya. The nation was outraged.

“We have a woman president, we’ve had a woman prime minister. Yet in 2012, one of the greatest tragedies in our country is that women are on their own when it comes to their own safety,” said a female newsreader on NDTV. She went on to outline another incident in India last week: a group of village elders in Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, central India, who banned women from carrying mobile phones, choosing their own husbands or leaving the house unaccompanied or with their heads uncovered. “The story is the same,” said the news anchor. “No respect for women. No respect for our culture. And as far as the law is concerned: who cares?”

There is currently no special law in India against sexual assault or harassment, and only vaginal penetration by a penis counts as rape. Those who molested the woman in Guwahati would be booked for “insulting or outraging the modesty of a woman” or “intruding upon her privacy”. The maximum punishment is a year’s imprisonment, or a fine, or both.

As a columnist in the national Hindustan Times said of the attack: “This is a story of a dangerous decline in Indians and India itself, of not just failing morality but disintegrating public governance when it comes to women.” Samar Halarnkar added: “Men abuse women in every society, but few males do it with as much impunity, violence and regularity as the Indian male.”

Halarnkar then offered as proof a survey that caused indignation in India last month: a poll of 370 gender specialists around the world that voted India the worst place to be a woman out of all the G20 countries. It stung – especially as Saudi Arabia was at the second-worst. But the experts were resolute in their choice. “In India, women and girls continue to be sold as chattels, married off as young as 10, burned alive as a result of dowry-related disputes and young girls exploited and abused as domestic slave labour,” said Gulshun Rehman, health programme development adviser at Save the Children UK, who was one of those polled.

Women on a bus in Chennai, India Women travelling on a bus in Chennai, southern India. Photograph: Gustafsson/Rex FeaturesLook at some statistics and suddenly the survey isn’t so surprising. Sure, India might not be the worst place to be a woman on the planet – its rape record isn’t nearly as bad as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for instance, where more than 400,000 women are raped each year, and female genital mutilation is not widespread, as it is in Somalia. But 45% of Indian girls are married before the age of 18, according to the International Centre for Research on Women (2010); 56,000 maternal deaths were recorded in 2010 (UN Population Fund) and research from Unicef in 2012 found that 52% of adolescent girls (and 57% of adolescent boys) think it is justifiable for a man to beat his wife. Plus crimes against women are on the increase: according to the National Crime Records Bureau in India, there was a 7.1% hike in recorded crimes against women between 2010 and 2011 (when there were 228,650 in total). The biggest leap was in cases under the “dowry prohibition act” (up 27.7%), of kidnapping and abduction (up 19.4% year on year) and rape (up 9.2%).

A preference for sons and fear of having to pay a dowry has resulted in 12 million girls being aborted over the past three decades, according to a 2011 study by the Lancet.

A glance at the Indian media reveals the range of abuse suffered by the nation’s women on a daily basis. Today it was reported that a woman had been stripped and had her head shaved by villagers near Udaipur as punishment for an extramarital affair. Villagers stoned the police when they came to the rescue. In Uttar Pradesh, a woman alleged she was gang raped at a police station – she claimed she was set on by officers after being lured to the Kushinagar station with the promise of a job.

Last Wednesday, a man in Indore was arrested for keeping his wife’s genitals locked. Sohanlal Chouhan, 38, “drilled holes” on her body and, before he went to work each day, would insert a small lock, tucking the keys under his socks. Earlier this month, children were discovered near Bhopal playing with a female foetus they had mistaken for a doll in a bin. In the southern state of Karnataka, a dentist was arrested after his wife accused him of forcing her to drink his urine because she refused to meet dowry demands.

In June, a father beheaded his 20-year-old daughter with a sword in a village in Rajasthan, western India, parading her bleeding head around as a warning to other young women who might fall in love with a lower-caste boy.

This July, the state government in Delhi was summoned to the national high court after failing to amend an outdated law that exempts women (and turban-wearing Sikh men) from wearing helmets on motorcycles – an exemption campaigners argue is indicative of the lack of respect for female life.

But the story that outraged most women in India last week was an interview given to the Indian Express by Mamta Sharma, chairwoman of the National Commission of Women (NCW), a government body tasked with protecting and promoting the interests of Indian women. Asked by the reporter if there should be a dress code for women “to ensure their safety”, Sharma allegedly replied: “After 64 years of freedom, it is not right to give blanket directions … and say don’t wear this or don’t wear that. Be comfortable, but at the same time, be careful about how you dress … Aping the west blindly is eroding our culture and causing such crimes to happen.”

She added: “Westernisation has afflicted our cities the worst. There are no values left. In places like Delhi there is no culture of giving up seats for women. It is unfortunate that while the west is learning from our culture, we are giving ourselves up completely to western ways.”

Her remarks caused a storm. As Sagarika Ghose put it in the online magazine First Post: “It’s not just about blindly aping the west, Ms Sharma. It’s also about the vacuum in the law, lack of security at leisure spots, lack of gender justice, lack of fear of the law, police and judicial apathy and the complete lack of awareness that men and women have the right to enjoy exactly the same kind of leisure activities.”

The Guardian asked Sharma for an interview to clarify her remarks but our requests were ignored.

Maini Mahanta, the editor of the Assamese women’s magazine Nandini (“Daughter”), believes the NCW chair’s remarks are indicative of what she calls the “Taliban-plus” mentality that is creeping into Indian society. “In this part of the world, it’s worse than the Taliban,” she insists in her Guwahati office. “At least the Taliban are open about what they like and dislike. Here, society is so hypocritical. We worship female goddesses and yet fail to protect women from these crimes and then blame them too.”

Women in Bawana, Delhi Indian women, such as these three in Bawana, on the outskirts of Delhi, frequently come under pressure to abort female foetuses. Photograph: Gethin ChamberlainMahanta explains how traditions still cast women as helpless victims rather than free-thinking individuals in control of their own destiny. Girls still tie Raksha bandhan or “safety ties” around their brothers’ wrists as a symbol of their duty to protect them, she says. She complains, too, about the Manu Sanghita, an ancient Indian book that she claims preaches: “When a girl is young, she is guided by her father; when she is older, she is guided by her husband; when she is very old, she is guided by her son.” She despairs of the cult of the “good girl, who is taught to walk slowly ‘like an elephant’ and not laugh too loud”.

Even in Mumbai, India’s most cosmopolitan city, women have been arrested and accused of being prostitutes when drinking in the city’s bars.

Sheetal Sharma and Bitopi Dutta, the young feminists from the North East Network, complain that modern women are divided into “bad” and “good” according to what they wear, whether they go out after dark and whether they drink alcohol. “We are seeing a rise of moral policing, which blames those women who are not seen as being ‘good’,” says Sharma. “So if they are abused in a pub, for example, it’s OK – they have to learn their lesson,” adds Dutta, 22, who grumbles that young women such as herself cannot now hold hands with a boyfriend in a Guwahati park, let alone kiss, without getting into trouble with the moral police, if not the real police.

Many women agree the response from the Guwahati authorities shows they are blind to the root cause: a society that does not truly respect women. Instead, a knee-jerk reaction was taken to force all bars and off-licences to shut by 9.30pm. Club Mint, the bar outside which the young woman was molested, had its licence revoked. Parents were urged to keep a close eye on their daughters.

Zabeen Ahmed, the 50-year-old librarian at Cotton College in Guwahati, tells how she was out for an evening walk not long ago when she was stopped by the police. “They asked me what I was doing out at that at that time – it was 10.30pm or so – and they asked me where my husband was.”

The fact that India has a female president – Pratibha Patil – and Sonia Gandhi in control of the ruling Congress party means very little, insists Monisha Behal, “chairperson” of the North East Network. “In the UK, you have had Margaret Thatcher – if you are being harassed by a hoodlum in the street there, do ask: ‘How can this be when we have had a woman prime minister?'” she says.

Every Indian woman the Guardian spoke to for this article agreed that harassment was part of their everyday lives. Mahanta revealed that she always carries chilli powder in her handbag if she ever has to take public transport and needed to throw it in the face of anyone with wandering hands. Deepika Patar, 24, a journalist at the Seven Sisters newspaper in Assam, says city buses were notorious for gropers. “If women are standing up because there are no seats, men often press up against them, or touch their breasts or bottom,” she explains.

In June, an anonymous Delhi woman wrote a powerful blog post detailing what happened when she dared not to travel in the “ladies carriage” of Delhi’s modern metro. After asking a man not to stand too close to her, things turned nasty. Another man intervened and told the first to back off, but soon the two were having a bloody fight in the train carriage. Rather than break up the brawl, the other passengers turned on the woman, shouting: “This is all your fault. You started this fight. This is all because you came into this coach!” and “You women always do this. You started this fight!” and “Why are you even here? Go to the women’s coach.”

Speaking under condition of anonymity, the 35-year-old blogger says she had experienced sexual harassment “tonnes of times”. “I hate to use the word, but I’m afraid it has become ‘normal’,” she says. “Like if you’re in a lift, men will press up against you or grab you or make a comment about your appearance. It’s because of this that I stopped travelling by buses and started travelling by auto rickshaws, and eventually got a car myself – to avoid this ordeal. When the metro was launched I loved it – it’s an improvement in public transport, very well maintained, you feel safe. Then this happened and I was blamed.”

By Thursday last week, the Guwahati molestation case had become even murkier. Police had arrested and charged 12 men with “outraging the public decency of a woman”, and on Friday they charged journalist Gaurav Jyoti Neog of NewsLive with instigating the attack he filmed. Neog denies orchestrating the attack or taking any part in it, apart from filming it “so that the perpetrators can be nabbed”. But police have forced him to give a voice sample, which has been sent to a forensic laboratory for analysis, to compare with the footage. The verdict is out on that case, but one thing is clear: 91 years after Gandhi urged Indian men to treat their women with respect, the lesson has yet to be learned.

• This article was amended on 24 July 2012. The original said brothers tied Raksha Bandhan threads around their sisters’ wrists, when it is the sisters who put the threads on the wrists of their brothers.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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Sathya Sai Baba’s Birthday, 2012: No Celebration For A Many Worldwide Who Mourn As Victims

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2012

For thousands of former Sathya Sai Baba followers worldwide, there is no celebrating the late would-be ‘Avatar’s’ birthday on 23 November. Often without formally resigning, countless left his international Sathya Sai Organization. Many who had thought to join it did not do so. The cult is in terrible disarray.

I am all the more saddened at his vast betrayal, because, for two years (circa 1978-79), I lectured in the three-years Arts degree course at the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, and will never forget, as I was all too slow in discovering, his and his organization’s profound failure in duty of care for the students. See my article and the BBC television documentary, The Secret Swami: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

I worked hard, as any conscientious teacher does, to see that the utmost dedication, trust and skill served them as of their complete birthright. I was at my most idealistic – More than just a work force, I wanted to see the building of a soul force.

After my introductory remarks, I have selected a number of my articles about the various Sathya Sai Baba birthday celebrations, mainly since 2007.

In 2001, UNESCO posted a Media Advisory:

The Organisation is deeply concerned about widely reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been leveled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba.

UNESCO had a Number of Concerns. Inter alia, its Advisory said:

Certain decisions were taken by the Institute of Sathya Sai Education without consultation, such as plans to hold some of the sessions at the Ashram of the Sathya Sai movement in Puttaparthi, and the inclusion of some speakers in the conference programme without their previous consent. Furthermore, the Organization is deeply concerned about widely reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been levelled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba.

In September 2000, after months of extremely taxing work globally, internationally networked former Sathya Sai Baba devotees succeeded in showing our worthy professional and citizenship credentials. A small number of us coördinated the obtaining, from several countries, extensive, of qualitative documentary evidence. We did likewise in furnishing a number of governments and law enforcement agencies. An extreme difficulty we faced was the untold corruption of government and legal agencies in India. From top to bottom, these were jam-pack with Sai Baba followers. For the barest glimpse of this, see my articles:

On Sathya Sai Baba: Times of India, Ex-Chief Justice Interview. What Judge Would So Opine?

Ex-Chief Justice of India: Sathya Sai Baba “dictated my every single judgement”

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

Human Rights Commission Probe Fronts Andhra Government On Sathya Sai Baba Treatment

Sathya Sai Baba’s Promise To “Clean Up” His “Own Back Yard (India) Unfulfilled

Much of the data we submitted to well-reputed authorities worldwide was painful, private and sensitive – coming from families and survivors of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of boys and young men, and other great wrongs. As a result, UNESCO and its partner, the University of Flinders, South Australia, withdrew sponsorship of a large international education conference on human values under Sathya Sai Baba’s aegis at Puttaparthi. We also greatly succeeded with many of the world’s leading media.  See, for example:

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

The Genesis of the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Sai Baba)

Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Since October 1999, I have been one of the most active international researchers (along with, most prominently, Glen Meloy (USA), Hari Sampath (India), Brian Steel (Australia) and Robert Priddy (Norway), yet over a decade of dealing, most often daily, with victims, families and others, I, like my colleagues, have not stopped finding ever more evidences of criminality and spiritual betrayal. It was only after the incredible revelations of Sai Baba’s hidden treasury (See: ‘Secret Swami’ (Late) Sai Baba: Vast Millions In Hoard Found Hidden In His Palace-Temple, Posted by Barry Pittard on June 18, 2011) that I took more still seriously the claim to me personally of one of the world’s foremost experts in international money trails. Now in private consultancy, trained by Scotland Yard in international terrorism and other areas, he was inspector-general of one of the world’s leading crime fighting agencies. He regarded Sai Baba as at the top of 20th century master criminals. (To any ethical, bona fide scholarly or media investigator, I am happy to share his contact details). See:

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

Hari Sampath: Sai Baba protected by the Supreme Court of India

Robert Priddy: A full exposé site, A home page by Robert Priddy  See Robert Priddy’s bibliography

Brian Steel: Brian Steel Demythologizes Early Foreign-led Sathya Sai Baba Myths

Barry Pittard: Outline at Robert Priddy’s blogsite: http://robertpriddy.wordpress.com/barry-pittard/

The Sai Cult’s Failure: Those Whose Perpetual Cry Is Love and Peace Are Not Loving And Peaceful

From the moment members investigated the criminal allegations and spoke against the international Sathya Sai Organization’s extreme lack of accountability and transparency, many in the Sai cult labeled and defamed them. Commonsense – what to speak of spiritual qualities of truth, right conduct, peace, and love – disappeared.

Here was an organization, which has public meetings, and which actively cultivates mainstream civic, educational and religious organizations, governments, politicians of major parties, etc. And yet it refused all proper accountability processes.

Let any other guru or organization be accountable BUT …. not this one. In typical places, like car parks, shopping centers, workplaces etc., family and friendship affiliations, devotees shunned and maligned those who questioned – those, indeed, whom they had known for decades as truthful, decent and dedicated to high ideals and actions. Terrible attacks on the former devotees sprang up on the internet and in wider communities.

The more networked former Sathya Sai Baba followers investigated the more evidence surfaced. The magnitude of the corruption is barely imaginable. By Sai Baba and his key servitors, to name but a few of the betrayals, we found profound cover up of –

  • decades of widespread, serial sexual abuses of boys and young men from many countries
  • the 1993 police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom
  • suspicious deaths and disappearances
  • vast misappropriation of funds
  • scams conducted via the Puttaparthi front office, about which Sai Baba refused to act, telling deeply hurt, scammed devotees e.g., “What can I do? My hands are tied”. To which behavior, many devotees who knew the appalling facts, simply replied e.g., “It is all Swami’s leela” (God’s playfulness).

….. and all too many other grave scandals

Sathya Sai 85th Birthday. Has Said He Will Soon Rule World, And Not Age

Posted November 25, 2010

Sathya Sai Baba has said:

“In the days ahead, the whole world will be obliged to come to Prashanthi Nilayam” (p. 320 Sanathana Sarathi December 1991)

“The whole world will be transformed into Sathya Sai Organisation and Sathya Sai will be installed in the hearts of one and all”. p. 16 Sanathana Sarathi January 1999)

“In Argentina (Sathya Sai Baba) bhajans are being held in every home [cheers].” Sathya Sai Speaks, XXIII, 29:255 – 20-10-1990, on the alleged 50th anniversary of Sathya Sai Baba’s so-called ‘Declaration’ of his so-called ‘Reality’ as Avatar of all Avatars.)

Over the years, we have received various reports of Sathya Sai Baba increasingly losing a composure that has been oft-noted in him for decades. But only recently has this type of behaviour been clear for all to see, and in video footage emanating from his own camp. During his November birthday, Sathya Sai Baba – in the midst of being praised for all the good he has done – broke down and sobbed deeply and for some time. To see this video (download 3.9 Mbs), CLICK HERE

Sathya Sai Baba on his 85th birthday - not happy
“Be happy!” “I have no enemies.. I love all. I am always smiling. Many people think how can I keep smiling? I don’t like castoroil faces.. When you all are happy, I will be happy.” Sathya Sai Baba in his loudly lectern-thumping tirade, Christmas Discourse 2000

Sick and Ailing Sathya Sai Baba 85. His Promises to Look Young Have Failed

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 24, 2010

“That age has its physical and mental ravages is not the point here. Who is not privy to these? …. To which Shakespeare’s Hamlet refers in his famous soliloquy – … “The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to.” The only point here is that Sathya Sai Baba has made demonstrably unreal and false statements in regard to prophecies about his own physical state.

Sathya Sai Baba 85th birthday portraits

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Puttaparthi Sai Baba Birthday 2011 – Where Have All The Golden Pomp and Circumstance Gone?

Posted by November 20, 2011

After his death in on 24 April 2011, we have seen something of the terrible in-fighting over managerial succession at Puttaparthi, and then of the discovery – not of spiritual treasure but – untold hoarded treasure in Sai Baba’s private quarters. The international Sathya Sai Organization, despite or perhaps in part because of its soviet-style, top-down management style, is in vast disarray. See:

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

Sai Baba: hoarding, secrecy, mistrust, powerlessness, deceit

Sathya Sai 85th Birthday. Has Said He Will Soon Rule World, And Not Age

Sathya Sai Baba Breaks Down and Sobs at 85th Birthday

Posted December 11, 2010

Sathya Sai Baba’s many reported weeping episodes have taken – as from circa the year 2000 – a marked upsweep after the advent of worldwide exposure of widespread serial sexual abuse of boys and young men (See also HERE and HERE); his implication in the massive local, state and central governments’ cover up of police killings in his bedroom at Puttaparthi (See HERE and HERE and HERE); vast misappropriation of billions in funds collected worldwide (See HERE and HERE and HERE); his vast opulence in a land of great poverty, squalor, ignorance and superstition; his failed predictions (See HERE and HERE); and much else that reveals him to be one of history’s great imposters, whatever may be the good deeds that he has sparked off in many of his devotees.

Sathya Sai Baba 84th Birthday Celebrations. Will 21st Century India Tolerate The Shame That Is Puttaparthi?

Posted November 22, 2009 Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement as demonstrated by Sathya Sai Baba’s international chairman Dr Michael Goldstein of Corvina, California, USA. A BBC hidden camera (in the making of the hour-long documentary that has been seen in many countries, ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004), exposes Goldstein using appallingly bad arguments, and getting angry at the interviewer Tany Datta’s most politely-asked questions. So serious was the compelling mass of evidence from around the world of Sai Baba’s commission of many instances of serious forms of abuse (including that of boys and young men), and the extreme lack of transparency and accountability of the Sathya Sai Organization, that the BBC producers gained a very sparingly used sanction from the highest levels of BBC Management. See: BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

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

Sai Dharmak.

Many have heard and read where he says that the world will be under his rulership, and that he will return in the name of Prema Sai Baba to complete this work. In a 1961 Discourse, he said: “I shall be in this body for 58 years more; I have assured you of this already.” (Sathya Sai Speaks, II, 18:92.) A year before, he said: “I will be in this mortal human form for 59 years more and I shall certainly achieve the purpose of this avathaar, do not doubt it. I will take My own time and carry out My Plan as far as you are concerned.” (I, 31:198; Prashanthi Nilayam 29-9-1960 – second discourse) Both these statements indicate a death date 2019 (although he would not use the ‘word’ death) of 2019. Other statements in official publications confuse the issue by stating 2022.

He had best get a wriggle on, for he is now terribly ailing. See: Sai Baba – A Degenerative Disease? and Sai Baba’s Tip To Keep Ageing Away and Sathya Sai Baba Is Fast-ailing and Sathya Sai Baba’s Slurred Speech Due To Old Age. ‘Eenadu’ News Report

https://barrypittard.files.wordpress.com/2007/05/sai-babas-costly-glory.jpg

Sathya Sai Baba Birthday. Brian Steel Examines Birthdate Issue

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2009

As part of his extensive and challenging opus on Sathya Sai Baba, the Australian academic Brian Steel has written about questions surrounding Sathya Sai Baba’s birthdate. This appears in Chapter 5 of hisOmniscience and Truth’ (Revised and Enlarged Version). As this Chapter is long, detailed and deals with a variety of topics, I have extracted, to coincide with Sathya Sai Baba’s November 23, 2009 birthday celebrations at Puttaparthi, the relevant section.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba Birthday, 2009. Where have all the “millions” Gone?

Posted November 28, 2009

…. representatives of the major world faiths, sai-babas-symbol-of-world-faiths.jpgwhom Sai Baba has long said he is bringing together in amity, are, yet again conspicuously missing from those visiting the ashram in 2009. Here is the so-called “All Faiths” obelisk, the “Sarva Dharma Stupa”. Mostly vacuous in terms of Puttaparthi’s reality, it has long stood at his main ashram, a waste of money in a wasteland of shame.
sarva-dharma-stupa-and-poorna-chandra-hall-puttaparthi
Former co-founder and head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization and retired academic Robert Priddy has written of the highly exaggerated crowd numbers attending Puttaparthi occasions, such as Sathya Sai Baba’s birthday celebrations. Of his and my dear friend, the late celebrated Indian newspaper Editor, V.K. Narasimhan and some others, Priddy, former co-founder and leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization, writes:
“The estimated numbers of persons during each of these celebrations was doubtless much in excess of the actual numbers. Figures of from 1 to 3 million have been suggested for the various birthdays! Sathya Sai Baba stated to several persons (Robert and Rita Bruce, V.K. Narasimhan and others) that 3 million were present, which was a total impossibility. VKN told me several times that Sathya Sai Baba regularly multiplied numbers of actual visitors by 10!

Sathya Sai Baba Video. Too Weak To Cut Birthday Cake

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 25, 2008

See video which reveals Sathya Sai Baba, in November 2007, as unable to cut his birthday cakes any longer

minister-assists-ailing-sathya-sai-baba

High-powered Minister of State, Renuka Chowdhuri, has to cut 2007 for badly ailing Satya Sai Baba

For some time, he has had a mask-like face, suggestive of a degenerative disease.

Further Reading At‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions

There is no end to his failed predictions. In his February 1 16, 2007 (so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sai baba said:

“I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.”

Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit

The guru, perhaps the most wealthy and politically powerful in India’s long history, claims that he will save the world in his own lifetime. He will, he says, preside over the greatest changes ever to occur in history

‘World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him

One of India’s most powerful Hindu nationalist leaders, Ashok Singhal, who has an international profile in the Hindu world, has just told an assembly of political and religious luminaries in Delhi of a prophecy he says Sathya Sai Baba shared with him. The Organiser, September 14, 2008, reports …

See articles of Robert Priddy – former head of Sathya Sai Organization, Norway – at his blogsiteSathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed

Ageing and collapse in Sai Baba’s health

Sai Baba’s health – miracle or self-sacrifice?

Sai Baba says his close servants live for 100 years

Sathya Sai miracle of transformation of India?

Sai Baba’s failing health

sai-baba-looking-terrible-telegu-eenadu-picture.jpg

Sai Baba’s Birthday. Vast, Costly Pomp and Ceremony

Posted on November 20, 2007

Sathya Sai Baba’s Imperial Decay

Pride is said to come before a fall. In the case of Sathya Sai Baba puffery and proudery now come during a fall, since we are now better placed to see the imperial decay suggested in my article The Decline and Fall of The Showman Empire. (For the busy reader, there is a condensed version, Sai Baba’s Undivine Downfall).

Pictures of Sathya Sai Baba’s Opulence and Self-glorification

For a photographic glimpse of the incredible lavish material ‘spendour of Puttaparthi’, see Sai Baba, Kubla Khan, Citizen Kane, Bill Gates et alia. Or my reader may like to view some Sathya Sai Baba Chariots.

In the selfsame India, there is, with what deepest irony, a profoundly genuine splendour, down thousands of years, of saints and sages living in the utmost simplicity.

https://i2.wp.com/www.saibaba-x.org.uk/Images/usaimages/New%20abode.jpg

Further Reading

THE SATHYA SAI ORGANISATION’S DECEPTION AND PROPAGANDA EXPOSED

(Part One) – By Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. And Part Two Three Four

Sathya Sai Baba Expose News Extensive website – testimonies, articles, videos

Allegations concerning Sathya Sai Baba A wide range of serious exposé articles.

Ongoing Investigations into Claims and Realities Surrounding Sathya Sai Baba – a thoroughly documented scholarly website by Brian Steel.

Call for Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba – Barry Pittard

Sathya Sai Baba (and Wikipedia) – website of author Kevin R.D. Shepherd

Sathya Sai Baba – The Truth

Italian ExBaba exposé website http://www.exbaba.it
Scandinavian Sai Baba exposé websites Swedish Danish, and Norwegian (Norsk)

Other European languages German exposé websitePolishRussian.

Exposé in Spanish and second site in Polish

Dr. Dale Beyerstein’s study of Sathya Sai Baba’s claims and ‘miracles’

Kevin R.D. Shepherd blog and The Sai `Baba Movement

Robert C Priddy philosophy and religious issues web log Breaking the spell of religious/’spiritual’ superstitions

Website informing about sects, including the Sathya Sai Baba cult

FRENCH WEB LOG Marc-André

Belief and Sathya Sai Baba: Avatar or Imposter-Trickster?

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)


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Australian Royal Commission To Probe Institutional Handling Of Child Sexual Abuse

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 14, 2012

The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Guillard, has just announced a long-term Royal Commission of Enquiry into the way Australian institutions respond, and fail to respond, to sexual abuse in Australia. It begins its work in early 2013, and may continue for several years.

As the Royal Commission goes about its work, I, for one – given that the enquiry becomes singularly noted for its wisdom and professionalism – shall be encouraging many Australian survivors and their families as possible to witness to the Commission accounts of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization’s appalling treatment of victims, its suppression of testimony, and intimidation and silencing of many truthful witnesses.

See Ms Guillard making this watershed announcement at:  http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-11-12/gillard-launches-royal-commission-into/4367700

Decades too late, she says: 

“There have been too many revelations of adults who have averted their eyes from this evil”.

Like our own experience when exposing the Sathya Sai cult via many international media, those wilderness voices crying out against institutional corruption can only view such statements with a mixture of the philosophical, the derisory and the darkly ironical.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Guillard announces an ongoing Royal Commission to investigate institutional response, and lack of response, to child sexual abuse

ABC Report
By Simon Cullen and staff.  Updated Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:28pm AEDT
Quote
Prime Minister Julia Gillard has announced the creation of a national royal commission into institutional responses to instances of child sexual abuse.

The decision was taken at a meeting of federal cabinet this afternoon.

Ms Gillard had been under pressure to act following growing calls for a 

national inquiry into explosive allegations by a senior New South Wales police investigator that the Catholic Church covered up evidence involving paedophile priests.

A number of senior Labor MPs, as well as key independents, had already voiced their support for action …… 

RELATED STORY: Gillard under pressure to set up sex abuse inquiry

RELATED STORY: Pressure grows for abuse royal commission

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba
In a way that obscures the failed accountability and duty of care of a great many other institutions, it has been long been a great mistake to single out the Roman Catholic Church. Appallingly, this overfocus lets many other institutions off the hook. Without oversight or process, the abuse in those institutions continues.
I refer to this Church here because its Australian head, Cardinal Pell of Sydney, has been extremely quick and prominent in response to the Prime Minister’s announcement. And because the unhealthy preoccupation with one offender, while obscuring many others.
In Australia, both many Roman Catholics and the public more widely regard the head of the Catholic Church in this country, Cardinal Pell, as an arch conservative. In my view, Pell is symptomatic of a grave and untreated problem quite other than the issue of any continuing institutional cover up. Too often, reform does not get to the roots of a problem, and becomes a different sort of cover up – that is to say, there is a covering up of, or of a blindness to, those very problematic roots. One of these roots problems is a focus on institutional survival. This greatly thwarts the addressing of justice and healing issues that relate to sexual abuse survivors. One area in which this occurs is an institution’s lawyer-mediated, miserable out-of-court settlements. Mr and Mrs Foster’s case is one of a great many which show the cruelty of such arrangements. (See video footage):

ABC News Breakfast, November 13:

“Two of Antony and Chrissie Foster’s daughters were raped by a Catholic priest. They shared their response to the announcement of a royal commission with ABC News Breakfast”.

Many perceive that Cardinal Pell does not support or conceal abusers, but maintains, in real terms, a heartless, narrowly legalistic approach. One which fails to bring real justice and healing to the many thousands of clerical sexual abuse survivors in the Roman Catholic Church.

The interview with Mr and Mrs Forster is poignant and powerful in making this point. She Says (AUDIO: Expert hopes abuse inquiry will create new jurisdiction (PM)):

“(Cardinal Pell) was saying there was a smear campaign against the church and there’s not a smear campaign at all,” she said.

“People are merely telling the truth and trying to be heard about their experience with the Catholic Church; the abuse in the first instance and then the treatment from the Catholic Church, and the hierarchy and the processes after that.”

Ms Foster was particularly struck by Cardinal Pell’s insistence that the seal of confession is “inviolable”…..

We Need To Prevent Use Of Legal Practises That In Themselves Abuse Victims

Those of us who have internationally exposed Sathya Sai Baba and his worldwide cult know this phenomenon all too well.  Regarding a case one of our members brought in the Orange County Court, California, USA, Robert Priddy and I coordinated our international group’s statement. It succinctly shows how a rich and powerful organization how can hijack a law case via a cunning technical trick. Served were the world head of the Sathya Sai Organization, Dr Michael Goldstein, and the Sathya Sai Society of America. Added to woes of the Applicant (Alaya Rahm) was his lawyer’s grave lack of alertness and homework at  the discovery end of the legal process. Several of my friends with exceptionally high legal profiles looked at the mess, and were appalled!).  See:  

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America. Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family. (Date: July 16, 2006)

See also Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s detailed four-part article: 

The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed (and Part Two Three Four

With the Australian Government’s Royal Commission looming, the corrupted institutions now rush not to hide what, of course, they have hidden for decades and  can no longer hide. Rather, under duress, they pledge coöperation and reform – while, however, still not substantively honoring survivors of sexual abuse and their families.

In Australia, both many Roman Catholics and the public more widely regard the head of the Catholic Church in this country, Cardinal Pell, as an arch conservative. Interviews show Pell in favor of the Commission. In his current interviews, he strikes me as still, after all these years of dealing with sexual abuse in his church, as essentially unreconstructed in his thinking. Rather than speaking to the victims’ plight, and looking at the various support groups’ reports that serious systemic defects continue, he is defensive, and, for example, blames the media. (See the victim witness video footage and newspaper reports).

In Australia, as elsewhere, the Prime Minister’s announcement will I suggest – and very soon – show the way institutions commit this other kind of abuse:  the cold, calculating legalistic response. As I have said, we should not think that the Roman Catholic Church is somehow alone in this species of systemic abuse. Trustfully, the work of a royal commission with teeth will show how institutions rush – not to hide what, of course, the institutions cannot well hide but – under duress – to pledge coöperation and reform – while, however, still not, in a genuine, pragmatic way, honoring survivors of sexual abuse and their families. This is profoundly unjust.

In the nineties, when he accompanied a pedophile priest to court, Pell shocked many in his own church and far beyond. They pointed to a gross insensitivity to victims. He seemed naive, and without grasp of the power of the terrible iconography implicit in his sitting with the perpetrator and not with the perpetrator’s victims!

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Further Resources

ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) Key interviews: The road to the royal commission

Topics: law-crime-and-justiceroyal-commissionscommunity-and-societyreligion-and-beliefscatholicchild-abuse

Abuse victims sceptical of Pell’s royal commission response

By Samantha Donovan and staff

VIDEO: Cardinal Pell criticises ‘negative’ media coverage (Lateline)

Some of the victims of sexual abuse by the clergy do not believe the Archbishop of Sydney’s statement that the Catholic Church has learnt the error of its ways.

In the wake of the Prime Minister’s decision to call a royal commission into institutionalised child abuse, Cardinal George Pell said he believed many claims involving the church were exaggerated and historic.

“We are not interested in denying the extent of misdoing in the Catholic Church. We object to it being exaggerated,” he said.

“We object to it being described as the only cab on the rank.

“We acknowledge simply with shame the extent of the problem and I want to assure you that we have been serious in attempting to eradicate it and deal with it.”

The leader of Australia’s most powerful Roman Catholic diocese said he would cooperate with the nationwide inquiry, but told reporters the church had improved its processes in dealing with abuse allegations.

“I have just been attempting to explain [over] the past 16 to 20 years, we have addressed [the issue], these are adequate procedures,” he said.

“Nobody has written to me saying this procedure is inadequate or that procedure is inadequate.

“What we have had is general smears like, with due respect, I suggest you are making that we are generally inefficient, that we’re covering up, we’re moving people around.

“Where that is done it’s against the protocols.”

The Melbourne response

But in Victoria, some are still critical of the so-called Melbourne Response, which Cardinal Pell set up to handle complaints in the late 1990s.

Cardinal Pell confirmed again he had accompanied paedophile priest Gerald Ridsdale to his court hearings several years ago.

But he said he did not realise at the time the impression this would give to victims.

They just still don’t get it because I think they are afraid because so many bishops over the years have been so culpable of so many crimes, particularly cover-ups, that I think they are afraid of what’s going to come out.

Abuse victim Stephen Woods

Ridsdale, from the Wimmera region in western Victoria, was jailed in 1993 after admitting he abused more than 20 children.

In 2006, the priest was sentenced to an extra 13 years in prison after he pleaded guilty to further charges.

Melbourne man Stephen Woods was 14 when he was raped by Ridsdale.

Mr Woods listened to Cardinal Pell’s comments with interest and told ABC radio’s PM program: “He seems to be setting up a narrative that the Catholic Church is now the victim, that they are the ones who are just one of many assaulters in the society.

“Yet I can’t think of any other organisation that has had so many, even though there are many clergy, but they have had so many paedophiles.

“And of course, tens of thousands of victims.”

‘Failed systems’

Cardinal Pell said the Melbourne Response had been “very well regarded” by many.

But that is not Mr Woods’s impression.

“Working for (support group) Broken Rites we’ve had cause to come across a lot of people who have said that the Melbourne Response, as well as the Towards Healing, are both very failed systems,” he said.

“They offer very small amounts of compensation and they are very lawyer-intense and very legalistically concerned.

“So people have very often come out of it just feeling far more assaulted.”

Mr Woods believes the Catholic Church is not responding well to news of the royal commission.

“They still don’t get it. They just still don’t get it because I think they are afraid because so many bishops over the years have been so culpable of so many crimes, particularly cover-ups, that I think they are afraid of what’s going to come out,” he said.

‘No smear campaign’

Chrissie Foster’s two daughters were raped by their parish priest when they were in primary school.

“(Cardinal Pell) was saying there was a smear campaign against the church and there’s not a smear campaign at all,” she said.

“People are merely telling the truth and trying to be heard about their experience with the Catholic Church; the abuse in the first instance and then the treatment from the Catholic Church, and the hierarchy and the processes after that.”

Ms Foster was particularly struck by Cardinal Pell’s insistence that the seal of confession is “inviolable”.

She believes it is one of the big issues for the royal commission to consider.

“I know he was insistent on it not being looked at, but I think there needs to be mandatory reporting within the confessional about child sexual assault,” she said.

“This canon law is the law of a foreign state, the Vatican. How can a foreign state law overrule our civil laws in Australia to protect our Australian children?

“My daughter suicided. My other daughter binge drunk and then got hit by a car.

“She received 24 hours care. And all the care Emma had up until she died; the church didn’t pay for that.”

The Federal Government has released information for those who want to provide information that may be considered by the royal commission, which is likely to begin in early 2013.

Recent Blogs At This Site On The Sir Jimmy Savile, the British Entertainment National Icon

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

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Pedophilia: Why Do Most Of Us Protect the Jimmy Saviles Everywhere?

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 1, 2012

It is one of the biggest exposures of a revered figure for serial pedophilia. And now, after his death in October 2011, the extraordinary, Sir Jimmy Savile pedophile revelations in the UK keep on coming.

High level Government and major media investigations will spotlight situations where many in positions of authority knew of but remained silent about Savile’s serial sexual rampages.

There are now two independent enquiries. Dame Janet Smith, former High Court of Appeals judge, will head a panel to look at BBC culture and practices when Jimmy Savile worked there. Nick Pollard, former executive of Sky News, will investigate the suspicious spiking of BBC’s Newsnight exposure of Jimmy Savile, shortly before a BBC tribute to Savile was due to be aired. Pollard’s report is due in December. The Smith report is due in the Spring (UK, March to May) of 2013.

Sathya Sai Baba with Indian PM, Manmohan Singh. Many investigators – such as suppressed Indian police, journalists in major media, government officials, judiciary and those working other areas – know that Manmohan Singh, along with other Indian Prime Ministers, Presidents and powerbrokers across the Indian political spectrum, has long covered up Sathya Sai Baba’s vast, sexual abuse of boys and young men and other crimes. A former Inspector General of a major police force spoke to me of Sai Baba as a candidate for arch criminal of the 20th century. (For serious media and other investigators, I am happy to share his name).

(For more comments, see my article: Serial Pedophile Issues and Comparisons: Sir Jimmy Savile and Sathya Sai Baba. Posted by Barry Pittard on October 30, 2012). In this article, I wrote:

“Indian leaders, many of them strongly complicit across political divides in decades of cover up of the Sathya Sai Baba sex and other scandals – and already being shamed by the powerful pan Indian movement against political and corporate corruption – would do well to take five minutes of their time to look at the sort of official questioning increasingly being mounted in the UK in the Savile case”.

The Indian government Minister mentioned in the following reference, Renuka Chowdury, is a devotee of Sathya Sai Baba. Despite the report, India still lags far behind in addressing child abuse:  

“A study into child abuse in India has found that more than half the children questioned said they had been sexually abused. Researchers spoke to more than twelve thousand children. Two-thirds said they’d experienced physical abuse. India’s Minister for Child Development, Renuka Chowdury, called the findings disturbing and said it was time to end the conspiracy of silence surrounding child abuse. The extremely revealing research was commissioned by the Ministry of Women and Child Development of the Government of India and carried out by independent researchers. It is supported by Save the Children and UNICEF and is a major and authoritative and highly representative social psychological study which goes into great detail and spans the whole of India.” See the whole report at: http://www.wcd.nic.in/childabuse.pdf.

But will too much of the UK investigations focus on a few figures like Savile and a handful of criminal accomplices and another handful of officials who failed in their duty of care?

See the video clip at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20039602

In Blaming Public Institutions, Do We Fail In Our Own Civic Or Personal Duty of Care?

A few deauthorized heads rolling does relatively little to change the passive acceptance by most of us of one of the most insidious evils that stalk society. When we fail to protect the most vulnerable in our society, we are, ourselves, dangerous fools. Proper protection of my children includes the proper protection of your children. Those too blinkered to see this point unwittingly aid and abet the insidious predator cultures.

Much decorated – including by the Queen and the Pope – Sir Jimmy Savile is now subject to a vast horror file of pedophile revelations, which seem to extend for six decades. Allegations rain thick and fast that many in the entertainment industry, in the charity sector, the police, the government, and well beyond, knew of his sexual deviancy. They turned a blind eye. They shut up. And there was silencing of those who tried to investigate the corruptions. News articles – by intrepid investigators get spiked. Superiors frighten and muzzle conscientious journalists, police, social workers, nurses, and many others, who are doomed to terrible professional frustration.

The much overused expression ‘icon’ is certainly apt in Savile’s case. Millions of Britons regarded him as a great national icon. Exposed is a whole culture of institutional failure – in governments, police, the BBC, various charities, the entertainment industry, and beyond.

However, it is one thing to focus on these sectors. Yet, as those such as Robert Priddy and myself, who have long experience in exposing corruption in the highest places, have learnt, all too acutely, that in focusing only on institutions, we can fall into a grave error. Namely, that in not exposing public apathy and cowardice at large, we risk focusing on others, and not ourselves. Who is to blame? Never us. Oh no. We who so mindlessly idolize stars, and when they are, at last, exposed either refuse to believe the duplicity of our guilty as hell heroes and heroines or else join the mob in now reviling them.

But who averts eyes from the sexual abuse and other crimes about us – in our own families, workplaces, schools, colleges, universities, neighborhoods?

Who morally and in other ways fails to support whistleblowers who, at great cost to themselves, speak out?

Who fails to insist that our representatives address issues like proper support for social workers, social justice advocates, police, teachers, helpline people, and many others who daily battle to aid those who fall prey to criminal abuses of various kinds?

Who fails to spend even a few moments in signing petitions to parliamentarians on a range of justice issues, or writing Letters to the Editor, etc?

Who fails to use their social networks to tell others, and thus to support those who campaign, and face constant attacks on their integrity, because they fight so alone and so unsupported?

Who – may one ask – has children of their own and yet acts as if oblivious of the great many skilled, and increasingly well-organized, pedophiles at work everywhere? Or who, at least, is watchful in regard to their own children, and shows little or no pragmatic care for other children?

Forgetting constraints like social embarrassment, preening self-image and so on, each of us can send across our networks the following link for the British ITV1 Panorama television documentary, which has done so much to surface the testimony of women in the UK who speak of Sir Jimmy Savile’s sexual abusing them when they were very vulnerable teenagers. The interviewer is former detective Mark Williams-Thomas, who has a strong record as a police investigator in child abuse.

“Exposure – The Other Side of Jimmy Savile”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nHDZfSl36g

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Today’s news ….

New Savile allegations add to pressure on BBC

Reuters / London Nov 01, 2012, 01:06 IST

Facing questions on how suspicions about Savile were handled are BBC head George Entwistle and his predecessor Mark Thompson, new CEO of the New York Times co. Two independent inquiries and a police investigation are under way. Fresh allegations emerged on Wednesday of sexual misconduct by late BBC presenter Jimmy Savile, further damaging the corporation’s reputation and increasing pressure on its management.

Police looking into the hundreds of allegations, mostly from the 1970s and 80s, of sexual abuse involving Savile — who died last year — arrested 1970s pop star Gary Glitter earlier this week. More arrests are expected.

Savile was regularly allowed to take “star-struck” young women into private bedrooms at a hospital in northern England, Terry Pratt, a former porter there, told the BBC on Wednesday.

Savile, a fund-raiser for Leeds General Infirmary, would regularly arrive at the hospital late at night with two women, go to the nurses’ flats and leave before dawn.

“He would go up and see the lad on the desk … he’d take the key and … would walk out and the two women would follow him towards the nurses’ home,” he told the BBC. Pratt said the women seemed “star-struck” and “not very streetwise”.

The hospital said in a statement: “We continue to be shocked by each new allegation. It is important that they are investigated properly”.

The report came a day after a former royal aide said Savile’s behaviour on visits to Prince Charles’ residence, St James’ Palace, had aroused “concern and suspicion”.

Dickie Arbiter told the Guardian newspaper Savile would greet young women working at the palace by “rubbing his lips all the way up their arms”.

An ex-patient at the secure hospital Broadmoor has shed light on how difficult it was for individuals to come out against Savile at the height of his fame.

According to the tabloid Sun, the woman was put in solitary confinement for six months after telling a nurse Savile had sexually assaulted her.

The nurse accused her of “bizarre made-up thoughts”.

An inquiry into whether the BBC’s culture and practices enabled sexual misconduct to go undetected in the Savile years began this week, led by former Appeal Court judge Dame Janet Smith. She is expected to publish her findings by December.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Today’s news ….

http://news.bbc.co.uk/democracylive/hi/house_of_commons/newsid_9762000/9762331.stm

Culture, Media and Sport Committee

MPs on the Culture, Media and Sport Committee have taken evidence on the BBC’s response to the Jimmy Savile case on 23 October 2012.

The committee heard evidence from George Entwistle, director general of the BBC.

Police have launched a criminal inquiry into allegations of sexual abuse against former BBC presenter and DJ Jimmy Savile, who died in October 2011 aged 84.

They have described him as a predatory sex offender and believe he may have sexually abused many people, including young girls, over a 40-year period, sometimes on BBC premises.

Mr Entwistle has announced two inquiries regarding the sex abuse claims.

The first is looking into why a Newsnight investigation into the claims was shelved and is being led by former head of Sky News Nick Pollard. It is expected to report in December.

The second will be led by former High Court judge Dame Janet Smith and will examine the culture of the BBC during the years that Savile worked there. The results are expected in spring 2013.

On Monday, the Newsnight editor responsible for dropping the report into claims Savile sexually abused people stepped aside.

Peter Rippon’s move is for the duration of the inquiry into Newsnight’s handling of the planned report.

Earlier this month, in a blog, Mr Rippon explained the editorial reasons behind his decision to axe the report.

The BBC has now issued a correction, calling the blog “inaccurate or incomplete in some respects”.

Media videos

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Serial Pedophile Issues and Comparisons: Sir Jimmy Savile and Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 30, 2012

In the next week or so, as time allows, I shall draw a number of acute parallels between the case of the vastly exposed late British entertainment icon, Sir Jimmy Savile and of Sathya Sai Baba. Both were serial pedophiles on a huge scale.

Both committed crimes, decade after decade in their ramant, serial sexual abuse. Both relied on myriad powerful people in the highest places remaining silent.

Some say that, given their death, we should not expose evildoers such as Sathya Sai Baba and Jimmy Savile. That they cannot speak up in their own defense. This is flawed thinking. Will we not show compassion for those who still live, and have a lifetime of trauma to endure? If one has a story to tell – especially a story that has great power to educate and warn – then tell it.  

In the last few days, we hear the same cry about Savile having done so much for charity as those struggling to bring the Sathya Sai cult abuses to world attention have had to endure. Again, flawed thinking. It is for the courts to decided on whether more lenient sentences are to be administered taking into account positives to be said for an accused. Shutting up about crimes, and indeed suspected crimes, allows crime to go rampant. And in the elements in which it revels – Silence. Secrecy. The Savile family statement (Savile himself remained single) is surely touching: 

“We recognise that even our own despair and sadness does not compare to that felt by the victims … How could the person we thought we knew and loved do such a thing? … Our thoughts and our prayers are with those who have suffered from every kind of abuse over so many years and we offer our deepest sympathy in what must have been a terrible time for all of them … We can understand their reluctance to say anything earlier and can appreciate the courage it has taken to speak out”.

It is tragic that decades pass before the truth emerges

Sir Jimmy Savile. De-iconised late British Entertainer. Hundreds of suppressed revelations now emerge, showing Savile, like Sathya Sai Baba, as a serial pedophile on a huge scale, and, again like him, protected by powerful establishment figures and institutions

If Indian authorities were up to it – which I seriously doubt – it has a great deal to learn from Savile’s serial pedophile’s huge exposure in recent days. India needs to see how, even decades later, covered up scandals can, in the last upshot, do massive damage to those public and private institutions and people complicit in cover up.

The Savile exposure is big news  – with many powerful figures under the spotlight, and many scurrying for cover. As part of the fall-out, arrests seem likely, and the 70’s pop star Garry Glitter, a friend of Savile, has just been arrested.

Indian PM Manmohan Singh at Sathya Sai Baba’s funeral on April 24, 2011. Singh and a succession of Indian Presidents and Prime Ministers were complicit in covering up the Sathya Sai Baba sex and other scandals.

 

Decades ago, Tal Brook’s book ‘Avatar of Night’ blew the whistle on Sathya Sai Baba. Like each of those – without exception – who have spoken publicly about the profoundly covered up Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuses of boys and young men from many countries, and other crimes and spiritual betrayals,Tal Brooke was viciously defamed, libeled and execrated by countless Sathya Sai devotees. It can take decades to expose those who cry Truth, Truth, Love, Love, and who are the first to depart from it.

Lesson For Indian Leaders Who Covered Up Sai Baba Sex and Other Scandals For Decades

Indian leaders, many of them strongly complicit across political divides in decades of cover up of the Sathya Sai Baba sex and other scandals – and already being shamed by the powerful pan Indian movement against political and corporate corruption – would do well to take five minutes of their time to look at the sort of official questioning increasingly being mounted in the UK in the Savile case.

See the video clip at:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-20039602

Jimmy Savile: BBC’s George Entwistle appears before MPs

Key Points

BBC director general George Entwistle appears before MPs on the Commons culture committee, where he is questioned about the Jimmy Savile affair 

TV presenter Jimmy Savile, who died in 2011 aged 84, is accused of sexually abusing young people over a four-decade period – sometimes on BBC premises. The BBC has announced inquiries into why a Newsnight investigation into Savile was dropped and another into whether the corporation’s culture allowed sexual abuse to take place

 —————————-

 Lord Patten defends BBC as Jimmy Savile scandal grows

Chairman speaks out amid criticism of director general George Entwistle’s testimony before MPs

BBC director general George Entwistle is met with protests after appearing before MPs to answer questions on the Jimmy Savile scandal. Photograph: Olivia Harris/Reuters

BBC Director General George Entwistle. Amid public and political outcry, Entwisle may be forced to resign. Police and institutional investigations proceed. Charities Sir Jimmy Savile supported suffer disarray

…………. Entwistle was repeatedly unable to give precise figures about the number of allegations of assault, harassment or inappropriate conduct that had been reported to the BBC, and his two-hour testimony prompted further questions about the involvement of the BBC’s head of news in Newsnight’s aborted investigation into Savile last year.

But with the political temperature rising as the Savile crisis moves into its fourth week, Patten wrote back to warn Miller off criticising Entwistle. “I know that you will not want to give any impression that you are questioning the independence of the BBC,” the peer said. He added that the trust would keep her in touch with developments as two inquiries into the Savile scandal completed their work over the coming months.

Earlier, Entwistle told MPs that Helen Boaden, the BBC’s head of news, had been made aware of the aborted Newsnight investigation into Savile last November and told Peter Rippon, the editor of the BBC2 programme, that just because Savile had recently died it “didn’t mean skimping on the usual journalistic standards”.

Journalists on Newsnight at the time said they believed that conversation happened on 28 or 29 November last year – just before Rippon suddenly cooled on the idea of the investigation into Savile that they had been working on in the aftermath of his death – and that it amounted to an invitation to the Newsnight editor to drop the investigation.

A spokesman for Boaden confirmed she had made that remark on or around those dates, but otherwise said that the circumstances around the axing of the film would be examined in the review led by the former head of Sky News, Nick Pollard  ….. (Click on title for the full report)

 —————————-

 Excerpts from the Wikipedia entry on:  Sir Jimmy Savile 

(See also the Wiki entry):  Jimmy Savile sexual abuse scandal

Sir James Wilson Vincent SavileOBEKCSG (31 October 1926 – 29 October 2011) was an English disc jockey, television presenter, media personality and charity fundraiser. He hosted the BBC television showJim’ll Fix It, was the first and last presenter of the long-running BBC music chart show Top of the Pops, and raised an estimated £40 million for charities.[2] After his death, allegations of child sex abuse and rape numbering in the hundreds became public, leading the police to state their belief that Savile was one of Britain’s most prolific sex offenders.[3][4][5][6] ……….

In October 2012, almost a year after his death, an ITVdocumentary examining claims of sexual abuse against Savile[9] led to broad media coverage and a substantial and rapidly growing body of witness statements and sexual abuse claims, including accusations againstpublic bodies for covering up or failure of duty. Scotland Yard launched a criminal investigation into allegations of child sex abuse by Savile over six decades,[5]describing him as a “predatory sex offender”, and later stated that they were pursuing over 400 lines of inquiry based on the testimony of 300 potential victims via fourteen police forces across the UK.[10][11] By late October 2012, the scandal had resulted in inquiries or reviews at the BBC, within the National Health Service, the Crown Prosecution Service, and theDepartment of Health.[10][12][13]

Honours

Aftermath

Within a month of the child abuse scandal breaking, many places and organizations named after or connected to Savile were renamed or removed. A memorial plaque on the wall of Savile’s former home in Scarborough was removed in early October 2012 after it was defaced with graffiti,[104] and a wooden statue of Savile at Scotstoun Leisure Centre in Glasgow was removed around the same time.[105] A sign on a footpath in Scarborough bearing Savile’s surname was removed.[106] Savile’s Hall, the conference centre at the Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, was renamed New Dock Hall.[107] Two registered charities founded in his name announced they were too closely tied to it and to avoid harming the causes they supported would close and distribute their funds to other charities, to avoid harm to beneficiaries from future media attention.[108]

On 9 October 2012, after a police press conference,[109] relatives stated that the headstone of Savile’s grave would be removed, destroyed and sent to landfill.[110][111] The family expressed their sorrow for the “anguish” of the victims and “respect [for] public opinion”, and in a statement by a nephew said that:

“We recognise that even our own despair and sadness does not compare to that felt by the victims … How could the person we thought we knew and loved do such a thing? … Our thoughts and our prayers are with those who have suffered from every kind of abuse over so many years and we offer our deepest sympathy in what must have been a terrible time for all of them … We can understand their reluctance to say anything earlier and can appreciate the courage it has taken to speak out”.

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

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Staff Sex and Bullying Allegations At Sathya Sai School Leicester (UK)

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 4, 2012

As I have mentioned, we learn that several parents of children at the  Sathya Sai School in Leicester, England, are deeply troubled.  

See my article: Will Authorities Find Sex Abuse and Staff Bullying At ‘Sathya Sai School’, Leicester, UK? Posted by Barry Pittard on September 1, 2012.

(Note:  I may be contacted with assured confidentiality at:  bpittard (at) westnet.com.au)

Allegedly, a Physical Education teacher, Cheng Ho Lim, sexually harassed a female teacher.  

Allegedly, too, his wife (the school Principal), Usha Lim, has bullied and physically punished children at the school. This in a manner that genuinely democratic countries no longer tolerate. Properly qualified teachers and education researchers know that there are humane and enlightened methods. If any such allegations are correct, British authorities need to investigate, which they are trained to do, keeping in mind the safety and well-being of children.

At its website, the Sathya Sai School states:

“… the school aims to use positive techniques to enhance behaviour, encouraging early intervention, re-direction of children and a positive reinforcement of good behaviour … The School is committed to learning and self-improvement. It has all its efforts and energies focussed on the child’s spiritual, moral, physical, cultural and academic development. We ensure that the physical environment is pleasant, safe, secure and well-resourced …”

It is important that parents be informed of their civil rights, responsibilities, and of such issues as the duty of care of those in charge of children. No one must be allowed to browbeat, sweet-talk or in any way side-track them. For example, officials of the Sathya Sai Organization, such as  Dr. Michael Goldstein, world head of the Sai organization, Dr Madhavi Majmudar, the chair of school directors, and others involved in handling issues, such as Kalyan Ray. 

Not even the most respected media and scholarly researchers can obtain straight answers from those at the top of the highly cultic international Sathya Sai Organization. For decades, Sathya Sai Organization leaders have profoundly and shamefully failed to show duty of care, worldwide, to parents of Sai Baba’s sexual and other types of abuse. In some cases, men much older – like Mark Roche, now a psychotherapist, and Al Rahm, a building contractor and formerly one of the foremost leaders in the Sathya Sai Organization – have spoken to the BBC about Sai Baba sexually abusing them when they were young. I was privy to the great anguish and courage which led up to their decision to go public.

At the highest level, the Sathya Sai cult have a long track record of rather Soviet-style intervention and cover up of scandals.

If there is cover up of crimes and unprofessional behavior, citizens must act. In democratic jurisdictions throughout the world, there are strict laws about mandatory reporting in professions of suspected child abuse.

The BBC and other world leading investigative media have trenchantly shown that the international Sathya Sai Organization has, all along, shown an extraordinary lack of accountability and transparency.  As those who study them come to expect, such authoritarian sects often act as a law unto themselves. Especially is this so in the case of those sects which, like the Sai Baba cult, posit that the divine guides them and that civil sanctions can, where escapable, be ignored.

Millions in many countries saw Dr Michael Goldstein, of Covena, California, USA, Sathya Sai Organization world head, caught by hidden camera in ‘The Secret Swami’, angrily bullying the perfectly proper young female BBC interviewer Tanya Datta. In polite fashion, she asked questions any investigative journalist is mandated to ask. The sanction to use hidden camera – a tool  the BBC uses most sparingly, and in cases where there is gross evasion from fair and reasonable public scrutiny – came from the top BBC management, including the legal department.

 

 

Correspondents who are well-placed to observe, report the Leicester Sathya Sai School Principal’s involvement, along with national and world Sathya Sai Organization officials, in a cover up.  In my 1 September post, I wrote:

…. A most recent example are the troubles afflicting the cult’s ‘Sai School’ at Leicester, England. Worried parents have called in British social workers to investigate. My colleague Robert Priddy wrote of alleged troubles and scandals at the school in 2009. His August 2012 update – given developments that may prove much harder for the Sathya Sai cult to suppress – he posted recently. See:  Sathya Sai Schools: Leicester, Puttaparthi, Gothenburg etc. up-dated.  Posted by robertpriddy on July 20, 2012.

Among the difficulties the Leicester community faces (where many people of Indian birth or extraction live) is that discussion about child abuse is profoundly taboo among a great many Indians. Nonetheless, they live in a far more democratic society than India, and need, like anyone else in the community at large, to become conscious of, and to obey, British laws. Unless we protect children, how can any of us say that we truly love and responsibly care for them?

Any observer of international trends in the last decade or more in the exposure of child abuse will note one feature above all: That in the most developed democratic countries, it has taken the most enormous struggle, first:

–  to expose endemic physical and sexual child abuse; second:

–  to enable effective community-wide education; and third:

–  to enshrine strong state and national legislation that integrate social worker, police, and court action at all levels, such as home, school, workplace, institutions …..

Vast efforts have brought much action (though seldom near enough) to protect people of all ages and social backgrounds from physical and sexual abuse. India and other countries lag far behind. Yet India now strives, along with China, for superpower status. Rather like an emotionally immature person inside a big, lumbering body. Her atomic projects, armed services, finance and industry, etc., forge ahead, while her voices of conscience, like those engaged in the current peaceful mass movement against India’s government and corporate corruption, go largely unheeded. The reference to child protection in the Indian Constitution is, tragically, ignored. For an overview and further sources across time in India (before circa 2008), see the UNESCO document:  The History of Child Rights in India, By Jyoti Rao

I have written of some courageous counter-trends within India. See:

Child Abuse Rife In India. But Who Would Speak Out?

Child Abuse. Landmark Indian Government Study. Abuse of Indian children ‘common’’

Child Abuse in India. Will Minister Renuka Chowdhury Act?

In a couple of days or so, I wish to comment on an email which I have just received from someone who has had deep involvement in the Sathya Sai Organization in the UK.

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Brief Notes and Links on the Origins of the Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Cult

David and Faye Bailey. Authors of 'The Findings'. An historic and lengthy indictment of Sathya Sai Baba, by two former and very close disciplesDavid Bailey (UK), at one time Sai Baba’s leading western follower and envoy, and his wife Faye Bailey, as they traveled to Sai centers round the world at Sai Baba’s command, increasingly had deeply distressed parents and others coming up with appalling accounts of Sai Baba sexually abusing boys and young men.  David, like myself, was a lecturer in Sathya Sai Baba’s education wing. Faye had been a prominent leader in the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia, after which Sai Baba unexpectedly chose them as husband and wife.  Smitten with terrible pains of conscience, they resigned and wrote a seminal document in the history of our former devotee movement of exposure – The Findings. Eventually, worn down by all their intense and prolonged efforts to inform the world, they told like Hari Sampath, Glen Meloy and myself that they now wished to live in peace and quiet.  See: David Bailey’s ‘The Findings’ its consequences. Posted by robertpriddy on September 19, 2008.  David Bailey and Thomas Wiehe. Transcript Of Phone Link: Sathya Sai Abuses.  Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba

See the link below for my tribute to my magnificent closest collaborator in the Exposure, the late Glen Meloy. In his 24 years of dedicated service alongside legendary figures in the Sathya Sai movement, Sai devotees dearly loved Glen.  Like others who stood forth for truth and goodness (a phrase very deep and dear to Glen), he suffered the utmost lack of love and honor from the moment he attempted to get the leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization to show duty of care for the many families round the world whose children had been abused.  See:  Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam.

Hari Sampath was formerly a member of Sathya Sai Baba’s security and intelligence wing and Glen Meloy (q.v) showed from circ early 1999 strong leadership in international coordination efforts. Hari Sampath was at that time on a Green Card in the USA, working in software engineering for a major corporation. After a couple of years of intensive involvement, he returned to India, and embarked on other work. Glen  Meloy and I increasingly developed our own worldwide network and were involved in many activities, such as supporting survivors and their families and friends, documenting accounts, cooperating with those who were setting up websites (blogsites were a development quite far-off), dealing with the media, government and police instrumentalities, and civic and religious institutions. 

Until he died of cancer on January 1, 2005, Glen Meloy and I continued to coordinate worldwide exposure activities.  By this time, Robert Priddy, the former long-time head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Sweden, and retired academic of the University of Oslo, co-founder had done much investigative and documentary work, often independently.

V.K. Narasimhan and Robert Priddy. The former was the Editor of ‘Sanathana Sarathi’, following Professor N. Kasturi, and one of the few people around Sai Baba who did not toady to him. Both Priddy and I (he for much longer than I) had a trusted friendship with ‘VKN’, essentially a very private man, and one of India’s foremost and most courageous newspaper editors.

After Glen Meloy’s deathRobert Priddy and I became likewise close and trusted collaborators, and have remained so.  See:  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 6.

After speaking out, including to Sathya Sai Baba, and spending a great deal of time in researching abuse accounts at first hand, including those he gathered in private from Sai Baba’s students, Terry Gallagher gave up. His brother-in-law, Neville Fredericks, is the present head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia.

Neville Fredericks (right), head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization. Nationally and internationally, its top leaders assiduously cultivate power elites in politics, mainstream religion and civic groups, but many of these, as a result of our own former devotee and allied network activity, will have nothing to do with the cult. As the Sai leaders – to their great chagrin – know only too well. Fredericks is a brother-in-law of first Australian SS Org. Head, Terry Gallagher, who resigned after carefully investigating at first hand sexual and other abuse claims against Sathya Sai Baba. Gallagher showed what other leaders have grossly failed to show – conscience and preparedness to heed some of the great many accounts of sexual and other forms of abuse.

On the phone, Terry told me that he felt that he had done what he could to investigate the coverup surrounding the murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom on 6 April 1993 and many cases of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of boys and young men. He said that his  stance in resigning headship of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia brought strain on his relationship with his wife and brother-in-law, and that he was at last getting back on a better footing with them.

I see things differently. To me, crimes are crimes, and they need proper reporting and prosecution – and whatever recompense we can obtain for survivors – such as expert counseling.  See:  Sathya Sai Organization, Australia, Ex-Head Terry Gallagher’s Testimony Against Sathya Sai Baba

Selection of Articulate Voices Who Have Dissented – At Great Cost, But Great Reward Of Conscience

A Letter From Shirley Pike, Ex-President , North Central Region – Iowa, U.S.A.

Elena Hartgering – My Story

Experiences of a woman – Åsa Samsioe from Sweden 

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

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

Letter from Stephen Carthew 

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

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

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba
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Will Authorities Find Sex Abuse and Staff Bullying At ‘Sathya Sai School’, Leicester, UK?

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 1, 2012

A great many responsible schools, businesses and other organizations know – and follow – the well-tested and proper processes necessary to deal with report of crimes such as sexual and physical abuse. Not so, however, the highly secretive, cultic International Sathya Sai Organization.  See:  Barry Pittard – On Institutional Cover Ups and Psychological Denial. September 5, 2011.

(Note:  I may be contacted with assured confidentiality at:  bpittard (at) westnet.com.au)

A most recent example are the troubles afflicting the cult’s ‘Sai School’ at Leicester, England. Worried parents have called in British social workers to investigate. My colleague Robert Priddy wrote of alleged troubles and scandals at the school in 2009. His August 2012 update – given developments that may prove much harder for the Sathya Sai cult to suppress – he posted recently. See:  Sathya Sai Schools: Leicester, Puttaparthi, Gothenburg etc. up-dated.  Posted by robertpriddy on July 20, 2012

‘Sai School’, Leicester,UK. Yet another Sathya Sai cult institution facing sexual and physical abuse allegations

We have very trustworthy, on-the-ground informants in the UK.

A first-hand informant states:  

“Parents who had the courage to complain (about) the headteacher to the social services are now in a vulnerable position to face the bullying headteacher Usha Lim.”

Touchingly – including struggles with English expression – one correspondent writes:

“The headteacher Usha Lim has reported couple of parents to the police, so things are getting a bit touchy here …. The drama unfolds  even after all the complaints against headteacher Usha Lim and reporting her to the social services by the parents.  She is still there, thanks to Dr. Michael Goldstein who is the ‘godfather’ supported by Kalyan Ray, while the chair of school directors Dr Madhavi Majmudar and her stooges just obeys their masters”.  

A source reports that:  

“The headteacher is accused of bullying, emotional abuse, physical punishment of children. Parents complained to the social services who conducted an inquiry which proved true. Even sexual abuse is heard of. The top officials at Puttaparthy etc. are busy protecting their names and the headteacher’s”. 

And further:  

“Dr Michael Goldstein and Kalyan Ray along with Dr Madhavi Majmudar (chair of school directors) are doing their best to hide this news from the rest of the world”.  

World head of Sathya Sai cult, Dr Michael Goldstein, of California, USA. Caught by hidden camera in rage at the young female BBC interviewer, Tanya Datta, in ‘The Secret Swami’, 2004, seen by millions in many countries.

For information-dense articles about Goldstein, which have valuable recondite links, see Robert Priddy’s article:  Dr. Michael Goldstein; self-important fantasist, deceiver of self and others. For but one of many examples of Goldstein’s blinkered views – of the sort highly disagreeable to clear-thinking members of any society – see my:  Sai Baba Saved Devotees From 9/11 Says Dr Michael Goldstein

Allegations At A Glance

Headteacher:  Usha Lim. Wife of another accused Cheng Ho Lim.

Accusations:  That she emotionally abuses and physically punishes students.  Also faces questions from parents and social service investigators on the issue of covering up sexual and other abuses.

Usha Lim, principal of the Sathya Sai School in Leicester, UK. Faces allegations that she has bullied, emotionally abused and physically punished children at school.

Cheng Ho Lim:  Husband of Usha Lim, above. He is a Physical Education teacher at the same school.

Accusation:  A female staff member alleges that Lim has sexually harassed her.

Cheng Ho Lim. Physical Education teacher at the Leicester Sathya Sai School, UK. Husband of the school principal, Usha Lim. Faces allegations of sexual harassment of a female teacher at the school.

Parent Allegations Against Top Sathya Sai Organisation Leaders In Attempts At Cover Up In The Leicester Case

Note on Dr Michael Goldstein:

Parents at the Leicester Sai School are deeply concerned that Goldstein and the Puttaparthi authorities now, in an urgent attempt to cover up the allegations, intimidate people and, in other cases, mollify and co-opt.

Irrespective of the exceptionally qualified and experienced sexual abuse professionals around the world (and many, many! others from a great array of professions, trades and study areas) who have first-hand experience of survivors of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of boys and young men, Goldstein told the BBC that he is a  “consummate professional” and would recognize sexual abuse among boys and young men if it had occurred. Goldstein most audaciously trespasses on the professional preserve of others. He is NOT a sexual abuse professional!  See:  The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision.

In fact, the BBC, which spent months of exhaustive investigation, unearthed yet more compelling cases even than the many which we had painstakingly, and from many countries, documented from 1999. (See here for transcript and short BBC video clip).

The Sai Cult’s Decades of Soviet Style Lack of Accountability and Transparency

Despite great changes worldwide in institutional accountability, transparency and compliance with the law, the International Sathya Sai Organization plunges on in its crass attempts at covering up each new outbreak of sexual and other abuses in its institutions. This profound irresponsibility is but one of many evidences that it is an authoritarian cult, impervious to reform. It has learnt nothing from our many years of unrelenting exposure of the cult. Our good standing in our professions, trades has been well-established with many great media, the United Nations, and in our own communities. Our efforts have sparked investigations in leading responsible media in many countries. We have made proper representations to many national governments and institutions throughout the world.

More than a decade of exposure effort has taken untold sacrifices in health and in activities which our workers would far rather have been doing. It has also attracted almost unimaginable libel and defamation and, in some cases, threats to life against our people. Our key workers have never given in, and are not likely to. We can all attest, as can many leading journalists and others worldwide that, although many Sathya devotees are kind and decent people, Sai Baba’s key servitors are most certainly  bullies and cover up merchants of the first order.

For example, the top-level UNESCO investigation and its September 2000 Media Advisory. See:  BBC Exposed Sai Baba Top Aide’s And Indian Foreign Minister’s Ploy With UNESCOPosted by Barry Pittard on April 28, 2011

With the personal assistance of the then Indian foreign minister, the Deputy world chairman of the international Sathya Sai Organization, Dr G. Venkataraman, who is the director of the Sathya Sai international satellite radio station, made a concerted attempt to undo the successful representation to UNESCO of former devotees around the world.  For a further glimpse at Venkataraman, see: Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman.

The BBC assistant producer of ‘The Secret Swami’, David Saville, was able to expose the Puttaparthi-Indian Foreign Minister-UNESCO Director and Assistant Director nexus to undermine the opportunity for a venue for former Sai Baba devotees from many countries.

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  UNESCO MEDIA ADVISORY

“UNESCO’s withdrawal was prompted by several factors. Certain decisions were taken by the ISSE without consultation, such as plans to hold some of the sessions at the Ashram of the Sathya Sai movement in Puttaparthi, and the inclusion of some speakers in the conference programme without their previous consent. Furthermore, the Organization is deeply concerned about widely-reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been levelled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba. Whilst it is not for UNESCO to pronounce itself in this regard, the Organization restates its firm moral and practical commitment to combating the sexual exploitation of children, in application of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires States to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and violence”.

UNESCO WITHDRAWS FROM CONFERENCE

Paris, September 15 – UNESCO has decided it will no longer sponsor nor take part in a conference it had been due to co-organize with the Institute of Sathya Sai Education (ISSE, Thailand) and The Flinders University Institute of International Education (Australia), in Puttaparthi, India, from September 25 to 29. The decision means UNESCO is no longer associated in any way – through sponsorship, organization or participation of any kind – with the conference on Strengthening Values Education: Innovative Approaches to Teacher Education for Peace and International Understanding.

UNESCO’s withdrawal was prompted by several factors. Certain decisions were taken by the ISSE without consultation, such as plans to hold some of the sessions at the Ashram of the Sathya Sai movement in Puttaparthi, and the inclusion of some speakers in the conference programme without their previous consent. Furthermore, the Organization is deeply concerned about widely-reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been levelled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba. Whilst it is not for UNESCO to pronounce itself in this regard, the Organization restates its firm moral and practical commitment to combating the sexual exploitation of children, in application of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which requires States to protect children from all forms of sexual exploitation and violence.

(See: http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/10/UNESCO.htm and the advisory on the wayback archive machine at: http://web.archive.org/web/20031003020809/http://www.unesco.org/education/highlights/media_advisory.htm).

Wide Danish Public Outcry Against Sathya Sai  Cult’s Projected Multi Million Dollar ‘Sai International School’

Denmark’s national broadcaster DR made the carefully researched, one-hour documentary Seduced.  It was very critical of Sai Baba. It was first screened January 30, 2002.  Danish municipal authorities acted against the Sathya Sai Organisation, ensuring that the sale to it of the famous Arresødal castle in Copenhagen did not eventuate. Bob Bozzani, one of the top officials in the Sathya Sai Organization of the U.S.A., had donated several millions of dollars to the venture. The venue was to have been used as a ‘Sai International School’. Top Sai Baba leaders Thorbjörn Meyer and Jørgen Trygved initiated several litigations against DR, all of which failed – even though they had retained the top litigation lawyers in Denmark.

The DR producer told me that Thorbjörn Meyer was so rude to the distinguished head of Denmark’s top national television and radio Director, Christian Nissen, that he had to be removed from the office. 

Seduced has had several repeats in Denmark and Norway. In an English version and retitled Seduced By Sai Baba, it screened in Australia, February 14, 2004. Litigation threats against the highly-respected multicultural national broadcaster SBS, by Sai Baba’s then Australian leader, T. Ramanathan failed. He also threatened both to sue me and to have me criminally prosecuted. See HERE and HERE. He, unlike his close associates Meyer and Trygved, never went near a court. Sai Baba devotees who know Ramanathan and a number of other leaders well know that, where the can, they bluff and bully. As indeed would befit those at the helm of a formidable cult. Here – in his threatening letter to SBS (Australia’s highly-esteemed multicultural television and radio broadcaster) – see LINK . This sorry display, by any democratic society’s reckoning – is a example of the Ramanathan’s (and a number of close Sai Baba men’s) muckracking style.

See Update to this article:  Staff Sex and Bullying Allegations At Sathya Sai School Leicester (UK)

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 4, 2012

Some Useful Video Footage

1) Three robes from Sai (Filesize 654Kb)

2) Numerous ‘materialisations (Filesize 1.12 Mb

3) Alaya Rahm tells of Sai Baba threats and oral sex abuse of him when still a minor 1.05Mb)

4) Testimony – Sai Baba tried anal sex etc. (Filesize 1.0 Mb)

5) Al Rahm tells of his learning of the sex abuse of his son

6) Alaya’s mother tells of her reaction

7) Indian student sex abuse victims cannot speak out (Filesize 340Kb)

8) The Rahm’s son’s fears if he told the truth about Sai sex abuse (Filesize 515 Kb)

9) Alaya Rahm was told not to tell and threatened by Sai Baba (Filesize 840 Kb)

Note:  The US State Department were contacted by the BBC (filesize 1.26 Mb) and confirmed their Travel Advisory warning as being directed specifically against Sathya Sai Baba. In the Danish film ‘Seduced’, There is also video testimony that many students were abused 

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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)

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Sathya Sai Baba Cult Now Distraught and Broken, Like Its Founder In Last Years

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 1, 2011

In the article, Sathya Sai Organization Shields Its Accused Members From Investigation, (13 October 2011), I wrote:

On countless occasions, the international Sathya Sai Organization has either refused to deal with serious allegations outright or avoided all questions from dissidents and journalists. If they had any self-respect, truthfulness and regard for democratic ways, rank-and-file members of the organization would demand accountability and transparency. They would also be concerned about why so many respected institutions avoid association with their organization, and why political and government leaders refuse invitations to Sai Organization functions. Members need to heed their own feelings of misgiving at the explanations their leaders give to them”.

Former devotee outreach to key public institutions was enormous. This activity was a concerted international effort in which now former Sai Baba followers  – coming from many professional, trade backgrounds and cultural backgrounds – did their best, first, to warn of the danger of boys and young men coming into the orbit of Sathya Sai Baba.

As the participants compared their experiences, evidence – sometimes gut-sickening – fast mounted, other crimes and ethical betrayals came to our notice, as did the many contradictions and anomalies in Sai Baba’s published discourses. These amounted to a glaringly flawed corpus. They were officially published, but poorly monitored. (I have discussed the later editorial weeding of the many embarrassing contradictions, etc.,:

The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements)

No truthful explanation would resolve the many contradictions in Sai Baba’s published discourses.  Academics such as Robert Priddy and Brian Steel have scrutinized much of this literature. Those who retaliated – chiefly Gerald ‘Joe’ Moreno – are so poorly educated, viciously name-calling, distortive in interpretations, and prone to serious offenses against logical argument that no serious reader can take them seriously. Indeed, Wikipedia banned them. To those coordinating activities, such as Glen Meloy, Hari Sampath, myself and, as time passed, Robert Priddy, the sheer volume and richness of evidence strikingly and repeatedly verified accounts.

In some instances, parents of boys and young men and other abuse survivors went to foremost heads of the Sathya Sai Organization, including Dr John Hislop, Dr Michael Goldstein, Phyllis Kristal, Sri T. Ramananthan, Dr Sarah Pavan and others.  These supposed pillars of righteousness shamefully ignored the complainants. The leaders exhibited text-book examples of that psychological denial so commonly found in autocratic, cultic arenas.

It is a terrible chapter in institutional abuse history. Let there be no ‘statute of limitation’! The terrible acts, sexual and other, outraged many young and innocent lives. Historians need to look at the sheer scale of the ethical betrayal. What is more, academics who duck for cover and refuse to study ‘difficult’ areas such as cults, should themselves be exposed. So too should those politicians and academics who, with a distorted understanding of what ‘liberalism’ really means. In their notions about not giving offense to various faiths, they are insipid in the extreme. In short, there is a farcical ‘political correctness’ – one that fears to give offense when, all the while, cults perpetrate great offense.

If society is to come to grips with issues of cultism, writers will need to get beyond just looking at more spectacular and dramatic cults like the Jim Jones or David Koresh cults. Society suffers greatly when there is no well-publicised, properly-researched, non-sensationalistic enquiry into the effect of cults on the rest of society.

For lack of understanding these less dramatic but, in some ways, no less invidious cultic phenomena, the Sathya Sai Organization continue to penetrate and influence, without, however, recruiting wider communities throughout the world. Among both their own membership AND in their outreach to institutions and governments, the Sathya Sai Organization leaders act as though nothing questionable has happened. 

Why should these leaders escape question? Their crimes of complicity are too great to ignore.

In processing the immense amount of work on testimony, and in supporting the Sai Baba’s devastated survivors, our international coordinators often found that many witnesses clearly had no knowledge of each other. Still further, evidence came from sources well beyond former devotees. Sai Baba had not only practised his sexual and other abuses on his immediate followers but on others who were spiritual seekers traveling through India from one ashram to another.

Despite the huge damage to it since 2000 – when we made professional submissions to major media, the UN, various governments, Interpol, FBI, and other foremost agencies – the international Sathya Sai Organization to this day, is highly evasive. We can expect this type of response from organizations with a great deal to hide. The ‘secret swami’s’ key followers are secret just as he was secret when Sai Baba hid his vast millions in currency, gold, silver and other precious commodities in his private quarters. Secrecy runs in the ‘Sai family’. Just as when he, complicit with local, state and national government leaders, concealed the facts about the 1993 killings in his bedroom. And likewise, when he and his accomplices engaged in terrible threats and bribes when then he concealed his (and some subordinates’) serial sexual abuse of boys and young men. And, likewise, scandals such as the water projects, apartments and other scams. All of which, and more, left a huge wake of human suffering. Over many years, including 2011, Robert Priddy and I have received highly confidential accounts in which profound sexual disorientation has happened to survivors of Sai Baba’s sexual depredations, and, sometimes, those of servitors close to him.

Although at much-reduced capacity, the Sathya Sai Organization, now in huge disarray after its founder died (April 2011) many years before the time he predicted, continues to act towards communities as though it is a respectable, conservative organization. This does not surprise – for, against massive odds, it struggles to find funding resources to match its incredible overheads.

Nor does it surprise that, as the organization continues to face such grave threats to its existence, it refuses to face questions from many quarters. These include institutions and people (typically wealthy and powerful) with whom the cult tries to link. The public damage to it is vast. Some members, naïvely, try from within it to reform the organization. But there is a sorry trail in which the Sathya Sai Organization has cast out long-respected leaders and other members who have been courageous enough to raise questions. Senior journalists from the several of the world’s top media and scholars from leading universities and others who have tried to investigate, are at one: this is a highly secretive, authoritarian cult.

Where can the Sathya Sai cult turn – its distraught, broken founder being now dead, except in on its distraught – broken self?

Select Reading

Will Sai Baba Keep Hal Honig Smiling?

Guardians of Our Young? Or De Facto Sexual Abuse Pimps?

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

The Public PetitionInformation 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

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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Article Series Asks Sathya Sai Alumni To Admit Large-Scale Male Sexual Abuse

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 13, 2011

The following excerpts are from my recent article series, the main burthen of which to say that alumni of Sathya Sai education institutions now have a unique opportunity. I was a lecturer, (1978-1979), at the Sathya Sai College, outside Bangalore, South India.  By showing fearlessness, truthfulness and compassion for those who suffer – virtues endlessly preached in Sai institutions – they can tear aside the veil of taboo against addressing sexual abuse.

What members of the international Sathya Sai Organization have to face is that Sathya Sai Baba’s very accomplices in sexual and other abuses are still in positions of power. Therefore, it should not be thought that the death of Sathya Sai Baba has, in some way, made the problem go away.

It is a suppression extremely prevalent in India. But, then, extreme conditions are those in which courage in straight speaking and clear moral action are called for. Since, like many teachers everywhere, my fond hopes for my former students to turn out well, have never died, I would dearly wish to see them vividly live those vivid speeches that Sai Baba’s handpicked students would give. Perhaps forever doomed to disappointment will be those many listeners who have fondly thought that the rousing speeches of these students predicted waves of Vivekananda-like sages.

Rationally, it appears that these alumni will never thus aspire. But then, if the fond heart were not stronger than the domains of rational discourse, humankind would never had its few glorious breakthroughs. Let us see what the next year or so will bring, now that one of Sathya Sai Baba’s former and most highly senior teachers has been exposed as a sexual abuser of those tender lives which their parents put into Sai Baba’s and his teachers’ keeping.

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Up and Coming:  An Article – offered for my use at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba – by a psychotherapist well familiar with the issue of sexual abuse perpetrated by Sathya Sai Baba and his accomplices.

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Nancy Wake, WW2 Australian Heroine – A Timeless Role Model

…. I now suggest they read for fifteen minutes or preferably longer about Nancy Wake. It strikes me that they may be more ready, after all their years of frigid inaction, and witnessing the vast pomp and disgusting glitter and falsity of Puttaparthi, to decide that it is time to do something strong and decent which will challenge India and the world to face and address the great pestilence of sexual abuse ….. and also start to honor, in their own commitment to courage in social change, the example given to them by the great Indian role models so often exalted in that country in flowery speeches but not emulated – e.g., Rani Lakshmi Bai, Sarojini Naidu, Sucheta Kripalani, Mahatma Gandhi, Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose ……

Sexual Abusers Must Be Convicted And A Public Educated (the Sai Baba Saga)

Reconciliation is all about taking an unhappy set of circumstances, and making a ‘clean breast’ of matters. To my old students of the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India, I say (remembering the love so many of you held for the great holy rivers of India) that this does not simply mean dipping in the Yamuna, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Godavari, Narmada, Kaveri and so on. You may splash all you like, but it does not mean that you can so blithely throw off your feet-on-the ground citizenship, in which all citizens need to be earthed and interconnected, if civil society is going to work for the common good, and if heaven, here or beyond here, is worth reaching for.

Nothing succeeds like success. Nothing succeeds like failure, either, if you are not strong. Will you be strong these days? You may be surprised how our ranks are re-forming. You may yet get your chance to make some light-filled and enduring contributions to civil society. Robert Priddy and I are simply faces to be seen. (It is more effective this way, for the while – NOT YET to put any Indian face to these developments). Enough to say, there are many other former devotees across many trades and professions and areas of study who wish to see good come out of the evil that has been done.

In short, you now have a chance to assist former Sai devotee parents, ex-students and various well-wishers, who are determined to shake off what is bad in the Sathya Sai legacy, and to assert what is positive and good in all times and places.

Sathya Sai Alumni Need To Speak Out. Hiding Maintains A Culture Of Dirt

And years later, I heard that your beloved English lecturer PK (Mohanty), my dear and esteemed colleague,  got cast out. Why? Because, it is my understanding, his was one small voice strong in defence of your innocence. Think back to others, whom you happen to know were not ‘bad eggs’  who got cast out. Think back, too, to the boys whose parents withdrew their boys from college. Think of all the hush-hush that went on about it. This form of thinking back that has triggered off the questioning process in others. Boys whom you held dear were lambs to the slaughter. I can tell you, if you do not already know it – they suffer terribly now. There is a terrible legacy of sexual confusion, relationship difficulty, and great spiritual and moral betrayal.

The Upside Down Chair In A Sathya Sai Baba College

Well, boys, or men – if that is what you are! – I trust that all your children are safe and well, and stricken by no predator. Would that I could visit, but security advice informs me that India – a country I love so well, and where I am welcome in places forbidden to foreigners – is too dangerous a place for me to travel. I would still come, but have children in my charge, who would miss me if I went missing. Perhaps I shall visit you in disguise.

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

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”.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.

Ex- Sathya Sai Baba Students Could Aid Sex Abuse Change In India. But Will They?

Many parents trusted Sai Baba and his teachers to deliver an education meant vastly to be different. To be something transformative in terms of character, with unselfishness at its core. And anything but materialistic and utilitarian. Or subject to corruption and scandal. Or for its founder to be exposed on BBC television in a documentary that has been seen by tens or scores or millions of people, and named ‘the Secret Swami’ …..

And – via the hardworking efforts of networked former devotees from around the world, who presented excellent credentials – our movement of exposure was able to be covered at various times by many leading media. This ability to prove our good standing, was, be it said, most contrary to the libels of Dr G. Venkataraman – see:  Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist. And indeed, with a vitriol and cruelty hard to match, of Sai Baba’s virtual proxy on the web,  Gerald Moreno, a web fanatic urged on by those close to Sai Baba who daily broke his teachings in his years of almost daily web-stalking, bitter name-calling attacks on former devotees and others who stood forth. 

For some indication of former devotee activity in exposing Sathya Sai Baba internationally, see:  BBC, CBC (Canada), DR (Denmark), Salon.com (USA), SBS (all television), ABC (Radio Australia). In paper media – India Today, Times of London, Daily Telegraph, Guardian (UK), Marie Claire Magazine, Salon.com, BT, Bild, Focus, Trouw, Speegelbield, Noordhollands Dagblad, Sokaren, Gatopardo, Ottawa 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., …..

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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Sexual Abusers Must Be Convicted And A Public Educated (the Sai Baba Saga)

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 8, 2011

This article continues from: Sathya Sai Alumni Need To Speak Out. Hiding Maintains A Culture Of Dirt. Posted by Barry Pittard on August 8, 2011

and:  The Upside Down Chair In A Sathya Sai Baba College. Posted by Barry Pittard on August 8, 2011

and:  Bhagavad Gita and Facing Villains. Will Sathya Sai Alumni Speak Up? And Fight!? Posted by Barry Pittard on August 7, 2011

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

When they are protected by our fear-born silence, perpetrators become ever the more emboldened. They see that communities are passive and vulnerable. That people speak in frightened whispers. Or mutter the old, truths – but uselessly – to comfort themselves. They resemble the flapping of bird-wings clipped well back.

The predators triumph as they stride past all the buried heads and muffled voices. The fiends pounce on one victim after another. Again and again.

Owing to the determined efforts of a family who had three boys in Sathya Sai Baba’s education establishment (two of them sexually abused), a so-called teacher has been sentenced to three years jail. He is cooling his heels that kicked at Heaven. And kicked at the innocence of those whose parents entrusted the tender lives of their children to him.

Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning - Or Dante's Inferno

Parents should also stand right side up, head in the heavens and feet on the ground, and signal to the world that all of us need to work cooperatively in driving away the myriads of rockspiders who prey upon our children. See:

Beth Rude. Ballad of a Child Protectrice. By Barry Pittard

‘Little Fly’. A Ballad of ‘Rock Spiders’ and Sexual Abuse of the Young

Sathya Sai Baba – The Man Who Would Be ‘King of Kings’

But the close associate of (the late) Sathya Sai Baba, is, like his master and corrupter, a betrayer of teachers, and is now under sentence of three years in jail. He is only one whom we have in mind. We will not stop. He is a part of a whole culture of homosexual abuse that Sai Baba spawned.

Too often, those of confused spirituality tell us that we must all smile and speak sweetly. What is the meaning of Rudra Shiva? It means that every now and then smiles have to stop, and that villains are hunted out and made accountable.

Healing and reconciliation cannot happen until men and women of conscience own their responsibility, head in the heavens, feet firmly placed on the ground.

Reconciliation is all about taking an unhappy set of circumstances, and making a ‘clean breast’ of matters. To my old students of the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India, I say (remembering the love so many of you held for the great holy rivers of India) that this does not simply mean dipping in the Yamuna, Ganges, Brahmaputra, Godavari, Narmada, Kaveri and so on. You may splash all you like, but it does not mean that you can so blithely throw off your feet-on-the ground citizenship, in which all citizens need to be earthed and interconnected, if civil society is going to work for the common good, and if heaven, here or beyond here, is worth reaching for.

Nothing succeeds like success. Nothing succeeds like failure, either, if you are not strong. Will you be strong these days? You may be surprised how our ranks are re-forming. You may yet get your chance to make some light-filled and enduring contributions to civil society. Robert Priddy and I are simply faces to be seen. (It is more effective this way, for the while – NOT YET to put any Indian face to these developments). Enough to say, there are many other former devotees across many trades and professions and areas of study who wish to see good come out of the evil that has been done.

In short, you now have a chance to assist former Sai devotee parents, ex-students and various well-wishers, who are determined to shake off what is bad in the Sathya Sai legacy, and to assert what is positive and good in all times and places.

Further Reading

Bhagavad Gita (which is about guts. Again and again about facing up to the villains)

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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Sathya Sai Alumni Need To Speak Out. Hiding Maintains A Culture Of Dirt

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 8, 2011

This article continues from:  The Upside Down Chair In A Sathya Sai Baba College. Posted by Barry Pittard on August 8, 2011

and:  Bhagavad Gita and Facing Villains. Will Sathya Sai Alumni Speak Up? And Fight!? Posted by Barry Pittard on August 7, 2011

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

Is it honorable to wrap oneself in the silent icy shadows of unspoken terrible truths, leaving others to stand forth and to take the brunt? 

When all the details become available, I hope to be able to tell a story of one family’s determination to expose the dirty, abusive cabal that surrounded Sathya Sai Baba, and the catching of one of the most prominent of his teachers. All eloquent when on the stage at Puttaparthi. All neat, pressed and white-clad on the outside, but all dirt on the inside. Prison clothes will befit him. He will have to be kept in another section of the prison. Many prisoners love children, and they do not in the least like what, in Australian prison argot, are referred to as ‘Rockspiders’.

He gave many of you who were part of the Sathya Sai education system a bad time. Some of you lay down in the dirt with him. Some of you perpetrated the same offences on yet others. He, and those like him, took your strength, but only YOU can reclaim it. Mental health professionals well know that such experiences later on terribly erode (though often unconsciously) marital and family life and health.

This so-called educator is an utter disgrace to his noble profession. The whole world of responsible, caring and ethical teachers can only condemn his betrayal of students, their parents, family and friends, and the extended Sai community.

Only the habit of strong actions can build you up and make you strong again. It is a perpetually self-renewing habit. One cannot allow oneself to be made weak by the strength of the weakness of those all around.

When I taught my boys at the Sathya Sai College outside Bangalore (1978-9), I thought that this role was as fortunate a one as could ever bless a teacher.

Sai Baba's Brindavan Campus - A Pretty Face To The World

It seemed to me, then, that in front of me were souls, noble and good, who would shine wherever they went in the world, some to the world of the farm, some to affairs of state, some to healing, others to exploring the stars and oceans, to government, the armed forces, and all the rest. And indeed, some to be teachers – a role, in significant ways, second only to that of parents and immediate family.Trustworthy teachers, I mean ……

The Small Library (Whose heart’s aim was to make boys grow into strong men)

Let me tell those boys – although, I have to remind myself, they are men now – a story. Remember how we had a room to ourselves in the college. We called it ‘The Small Library’. It was rather special, wasn’t it? It was a bustling hub of cultural activity. Moreover, a meeting place for boys who would not normally mix all that much. Boys who were dark or lighter-skinned. Boys posh. Boys rough. Boys who had it comfortable in the residential college, and others who daily, six days a week, came and went in rattling, crowded buses, some from long distances. Boys who hailed from villages and from cities and towns up and down India. Boys from the homes of ex-maharajas and maharani’s and the power elites.

Golden Builders

But the ‘Small Library’ without preachings but more like bees building the golden honey –  welded us into a learningful, toiling force. It was a place for sinking obstructive differences. A place that went far beyond  grubbing for paltry marks and petty privileges.

And years later, I heard that your beloved English lecturer PK (Mohanty), my dear and esteemed colleague,  got cast out. Why? Because, it is my understanding, his was one small voice strong in defence of your innocence. Think back to others, whom you happen to know were not ‘bad eggs’  who got cast out. Think back, too, to the boys whose parents withdrew their boys from college. Think of all the hush-hush that went on about it. This form of thinking back that has triggered off the questioning process in others. Boys whom you held dear were lambs to the slaughter. I can tell you, if you do not already know it – they suffer terribly now. There is a terrible legacy of sexual confusion, relationship difficulty, and great spiritual and moral betrayal.

Because you are alumni of Sathya Sai institutions, the careers of many of you have prospered. It has allowed you to leap over candidates for jobs in many trades and professions. It has conferred  privileges for you and your families vastly denied even to many in India’s privileged classes in India. But then, because of the psychological damage of the great many abuses, many of your brothers from your Sai education days have had their lives wrecked. Might you not think that they need you now? Might it not occur to you that some of them wish to see stopped those perpetrators who still thrive? 

There are moves – in India and internationally – to apply various remedies to these evils. Some of these are:

– Legal. Both in regard to criminal law and civil litigation

– Healing in regard to individuals and families affected by various forms of abuse by Sathya Sai Baba and his accomplices and supporters

– Addressing abuse of the young via the work of public education and reform in India and other countries .

Well may PK’s voice still have trembled. But feeling weak does not mean that you are not strong. The good soldier is scared to the gut, but pitches into battle. It is all a matter of working with what strength you have available to you, and landing the blow, or doing the tender deed, in the best place you can manage at the time.

Bullies need to be felled. And you need to strike down their ability to offend. Rehabilitating them is often out of the question. The habit of strength grows from less to greater, and weakness becomes a stranger. Some of you who see PK may like to tell him that I am speaking to you.

There, in that ‘Small Library’ with its big strong heartbeat, which I have always since heard in my heart, was a sacred place. Have they pulled it down?

In ‘The Small Library’, in imaginative and vivid ways, you were able to crawl out from under the dreadful and stilted rote ‘learning’ endemic in so much ‘education’ in India and many another place. You affirmed, in pragmatic ways,  Sathya Sai Baba’s insistence that the only ‘caste’ is the ‘caste’ of Humanity. We worked strongly as a team.  But of what profit if you should apply teamship only to doing so well in cricket if you cannot be strong in the far greater ‘game’ of a life well-lived? (Mind you, if I may dilate – India will do well at cricket at least until our new players in the Australian Test 11 have had their baptism in fire in the next three or so years).

Remember how we organized for boys with advanced English skills to communicate our tasks across a number of Indian state mother tongues? Think of any one initiative of ours – and how one kind of strength would contribute to the building of other types of strength! Think of how we got out of our heads and into our hands and, for example, bound books with rapidly establishing skill – and how, the respect of the intellectuals burgeoned when the boys who came from artisan backgrounds were able to shine. And how boys who were not bookish or particularly philosophical began to see how ideological concepts can interact with practical ones.

What did it matter to us that the old system – not terribly much reformed since the Englishman Lord Macaulay had his way with ‘education’, so-called, in India – got a bit of a shaking, and boys streamed through the ‘Small Library’, and sat up and down corridors, around what we created!  This spectacle shocked some of the frigid, chin-stroking ‘elders’? It was only later that I heard that some of more hide-bound lecturers wanted us shut down. And what would a foreigner know about teaching young Indians? How could I fail? – you guys taught me ….! 

Thank goodness we had some who stood forth for us. Will you not stand forth now?

Eventually, your famous Indian scientist Dr Bhagavantham sent a lovely letter of appreciation. Some of you may know that in later years he spoke up to Sai Baba. (I am told, but cannot prove, that a member of his family was abused). A well-known and respected Indian industrial leader who was permitted to pass in and out of Sai Baba’s compound, told me that Sai Baba, just outside the door of the Kadugodi residence, went into a terrible fit of yelling at Bhagavantham. The latter was cast out. One of a long line of abrupt, often unexplained disappearances, as many of you will know. How absurd that we ever thought that Sai Baba simply showed, from time to time, his “Rudra Siva aspect”.  He was a bully. Let’s call things by their right name. Are you still scared? Then stop it. You will despise yourself, when the children all around you need to see a man of alight with strength and decency.

But you see, unless you stand forth strongly yourself, you never get to identify those others who are strong, and with whom you can make common cause. Stand with them and you will end up with friends the like of which will make you wish to be in no other company.

Trust was established, obstacles fell.  We blazed pathways to cooperative learning. We put the ‘busy’ into business. I had a good time. Did you?

This article continues at:

Sexual Abusers Must Be Convicted And A Public Educated (the Sai Baba Saga)

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

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The Upside Down Chair In A Sathya Sai Baba College

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 8, 2011

This article continues from:  Bhagavad Gita and Facing Villains. Will Sathya Sai Alumni Speak Up? And Fight!? Posted by Barry Pittard on August 7, 2011

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

A few times, in moments of fun, when I taught at the Sathya Sai College, Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India, I turned a chair upside down, leaving it uncomfortably propped against the window wall of ‘The Small Library’, which we magically created, that looked on the fields where the strong farmers faced every weather. A traffic of boys on the lookout to do a good deed would turn the chair right side up. When they had departed I inverted it again. And again. Now and then I asked: 

“Why is it that chair reminds me of the state of the world”?

But only one boy …. I said only one ….. probed deeper. He was not from the residential college, ostensibly full of the future leaders of India. Nothing so choice. He was a ‘day boy’ who lived down at the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited colony. Only that one boy ever asked: why IS the chair upside down? I told him that it is to remind me that the world is upside down, and that what is useful and good has been turned upside down, legs kicking in search of Heaven but the head stuck in the ground.

Fifteen years later, in 1998, to pay homage to a very poor family (the Hari Singh family, who ran the idly shop, which was really a ‘temple’ of love) – beautifully honest, loving and true – I traveled from Puttaparthi to Kadugodi village, near to the college. A man passing by excitedly came up, saying, “Surely, you are Mr Pittard”. It was that one boy. Now a man. He relayed to me the story of the upside down chair!  He took me to his home, where his wife nursed their little baby, full of the innocence that always holds a ridiculous promise for fair weather in life.

Well, boys, or men – if that is what you are! – I trust that all your children are safe and well, and stricken by no predator. Would that I could visit, but security advice informs me that India – a country I love so well, and where I am welcome in places forbidden to foreigners – is too dangerous a place for me to travel. I would still come, but have children in my charge, who would miss me if I went missing. Perhaps I shall visit you in disguise.

It may be that you may wish to keep kicking at Heaven, your head stuck in the ground. Or perhaps I shall be able to sit here, right side up, one old man, and joyfully see that there is more than one boy ….. I said more than one ….. who will remember what, alone, is worth remembering about chairs and their strange ways.

Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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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

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