Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

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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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Sai Baba of Shirdi: Sathya Sai Baba’s Tall Claims (Part 1)

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 5, 2011

A few days back, Robert Priddy posted about Sathya Sai Baba’s claims to have incarnated the major Indian saint Shirdi Sai Baba. See:

Shirdi Sai stated “I am not God”, while Sathya misrepresented him

For those interested in looking at a few of the issues involved in such spectacular claims, I shall, in the next few days, further give some comments and links.

On his way to becoming his own notion of Avatar of all Avatars, did Sathya Sai Baba truly believe that he had incarnated in the 19th century in the north-west Indian state of Maharashtra? Or was he shrewdly aware of practising a deception? My own guess is that, like others who have extraordinary inner experiences, he may have been in the grip of very powerful aspects of mind – especially the right brain – of which we understand far too little.

In certain unusual states of mind, an individual believes that extraordinary, real-seeming experiences are actually God’s voice speaking out of a burning bush to Moses. Actually, Allah speaking to Mohammad. Or actually one’s ‘spirit guides’ speaking from within, and so on. One part of the mind is tricked by other parts of the mind. The intangible seems to solidify. The fictive appears as real.

But how can we know what Sai Baba thought about Shirdi Sai Baba? And why he said that he was part of a series of three avatars – Shirdi Sai Baba, Sathya Sai Baba, and, one yet to come, Prema Sai Baba?

What we do know, however, is that, of all countries, India is the place where (other than in lunatic asylums of which all our countries have their types) a great many take claims of ‘divine’ realization very seriously. India is the place of instinctive veneration. Including of cricket, film, political and other stars. Visit many Hindu Indian homes, as I have done in my years in that country, and you will find countless instances where historic, human saints and masters, have their place on the household shrine – and depicted elsewhere around the house – alongside deities like Rama, Krishna, Siva, Durga, Kali, Saraswati, Mahalaxmi, and so on.

Shirdi Sai Baba is one of the pan Indian saints, like Adi Shankaracharya, Tulsidas, Mira Bai, Ramakrishna, Ramanana Maharshi, Sri Aurobindo, and so many others. Some worship them as aspects, specifically, of ‘avatars’ like Rama, Krishna, Siva, the divine Mother, and so on. Some simply as great lights. Many Hindus regard Lord Buddha as an aspect of Lord Vishnu (Krishna). There is no end to the gradations, subtleties, emphases – and, therefore, sects.

More thoughtful Hindus fully appreciate the allegorical nature of these gods and goddesses. They see the stories associated with them such as an educated westerner might understand Homer’s Odyssey and Iliad, or the characters in Dante, Shakespeare or Goethe or Tolkien – representations of primal forces at work in the human psyche. However, we need to consider the reality in the lives of millions of Indians of a heightened state of mythopoeic conditioning. Of mythopoeic imagination. And of associated rituals, festivals, allowances and proscriptions. All of this along with the ubiquitous supports of temple worship, pilgrimage, funeral and marriage ceremonies, yoga, and so forth. All of this from the very cradle. All of this, as it were, in the air, and everywhere. In the home. In the veneration for the cow. In the astrology. In the priestcraft. In vegetarianism. These norms – daily, and not at a church on Sunday or a synagogue on Saturday – are, perhaps, as alive today as they always were. Flick your television remote and radio dial and it is easy to intercept a pundit or priest or yogi wordily discoursing. Religion is part of the diet – like chapatis, sambar, malai kofta, or sweetmeats, etc. ….. Religious figures attract huge crowds – again the incredible wordiness. Again, eager faces looking up for someone great who speaks to someone small. Some religious figures do not even have to speak; they are, simply, to be seen. In whatever the form, somehow, mysteriously, Grace happens, Merit accrues. The varieties of choice are vast. In anquish, many thoughtful Indians despair of India’s immemorial running after supposed gods, demigods and demagogues.

Sathya Sai Baba appeared to have godlike powers, such as knowing other minds, foreknowledge of the future, the ability to do miracles, to heal terrible illnesses, to forgive sins, to bless with his touch or sight or word, and so on. These seeming divine powers were magnets to the denizens of, arguably, the most hyper-religious and superstitious country in the world. But, interestingly enough, a short walk even for an educated Hindu Indian – so long as there is some sort of appeal to both intellect and emotion. He created his own mythos, relying on an ancient mythos readily available to him, and to his whole milieu.

Sathya Sai Baba was charismatic, but would not have been nearly so had he not appeared to do miracles, see into souls, and answer prayers.

In fact, he was wrong about a lot of things. A recent and dramatic example was the timing of his death in April 2011. See: Sathya Sai Baba death date in serious doubt. Many devotees know perfectly well of his prophecy that he would die (or take ‘mahasamadhi’) ca 2022. Their frequent, addled rationalizations are in full view on official and non-official Sai Baba websites. Their procrustean explanations reveal something of the dreadful confusion he left behind. More than ever before, institutions like UNESCO, governments and civic and religious organizations with whom the Sathya Sai Organization attempts to associate itself reject it. The devotees who now try to reform the organization from within really need to confront their secretive leaders and demand to hear from them the circumstances since 2000 in which many respected organizations have rebuffed Sai Baba leader’s overtures.

But of course unusual phenomena would, of necessity, occur! How can it fail? For, in the annals of medical science, innumerable are the instances of unpredicted remission in the case of many apparently incurable illnesses. Intense belief taps into mental and physical transformation that science is only beginning to understand. And if rational understanding is absent, traditional belief systems, or cosmologies, arise in the form of explanations. Hindu explanations, Jewish ones, Christian ones, Buddhist ones, Muslim ones, and so on.

To these explanations, powerful emotions and dogmas attach themselves. Orthodoxies arise. Dissenting sects arise. We have mainstreams and sects and cults in abundance.

See also:

Sathya Sai Baba Claimed He Will Resurrect After 40 Days

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle

Sathya Sai Baba Is Dead. Said He Would Rule the World and Die Aged 96

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions

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

Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit

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

Predictions/Promises

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Select Barry Pittard poems/lyrics expressive of themes about crimes/sexual and other abuses/ spiritual betrayals by Sathya Sai Baba and his international Sathya Sai Organization.

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

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

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

No Friend In Sight Song

They’ve Banned the Bulls At Barcelona. By Barry Pittard

Note: Barry Pittard’s songs are copyright protected by The Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA). Contact: barpittard@gmail.com

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

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They’ve Banned the Bulls At Barcelona. By Barry Pittard

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 28, 2011

I have worked on this song – words and music – since yesterday. It sprang from seeing that day’s news reports about the banning of bullfighting in Barcelona, Spain. The incident recalled a repeated discovery of prominent figures in confronting the Sathya Sai Organization. Namely, that when you fight a hard cause, you essentially have to fight it pretty well alone.

The crowds may cheer or give thumbs down. But one has to focus on the proper work, and not the pro or anti roars of crowds. Nor, indeed, waste time lamenting on many people’s disappearance from the action, from whom one might have wished to see better.

Whether one believes in bullfighting or this or that cause or not, the true pain and joy – those great inseparables – are in the deed, and in facing it no less than the worthy matador or bull OR active opponent of bullfighting. Those who dare are too few, and would dare regularly if only they knew the sheer satisfaction of making a stand.

My supposition is that the prime activists in the fight for animal rights have far more in common with the matadors than what the madding crowds would like to admit. Both matadors and activists risk their lives (as do, not to forget, the bulls).

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They’ve Banned the Bulls At Barcelona. By Barry Pittard. 28 September 2011

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They’ve banned the bulls at Barcelona

The bold matadors have had their day

Had their day

Had their day …..

Their capes they’ve tossed to the sun’s corona

Carried by the crowds, they vanish away

Vanish away …..

As they vanish away

The crowd cries out: ‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’, and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’, and ‘Ole’

The blood-sand, there, fades to pallid yellow

No man, no bull, no crowd in the stands

No crowd in the stands

In the Plaza de Toros

No sword, no horn, no clash, no bellow

The wind whips away the blood and the sand

The blood and the sand

The blood and the sand

As the crowd cries out: ‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

When they banned the bulls at Barcelona

The red-eyed crowds how they wept all day!

Wept all day!

Wept all day!

But who faces the bull is no crowd but a loner

Alone with the bull

Alone with the bull …..

It’s only the crowd chants ‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’ …..

Thinks the bull: I’ve no time for the crowds in the bleachers

With their lily yellow livers, they are takers, never givers

Takers, never givers!

Takers, never givers! …..

Thinks the bull: I’ve no time for the crowds in the bleachers

The lily livered crowds that make no stand

That make no stand!

That make no stand!

That only glow red when they suck me like leeches

And pour none of their blood gushing into the sand

They have no sand!

They have no sand! …..

It’s only the crowd that chants ‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’

‘Freedom’ and ‘Ole’ …..

When they banned the bulls at Barcelona

A new crowd cheered and leapt all day

Leapt all day!

Leapt all day!

But they too followed some gutsy loner

Who stood their ground, and kept death at bay

Death at bay!

Death at bay!

The matador and the activist are alike, you could say

Though this the bold crowds dare never say

Dare never say!

Never say!….

Thinks the bull: I’ve no time for pallid crowds in the bleachers

With their lily yellow livers, they are takers, never givers

They’ve banned the bulls at Barcelona

My bold matadors have had their day …..

……………………………….

Select Barry Pittard poems/lyrics expressive of themes relating to crimes and spiritual betrayals by Sathya Sai Baba and his international Sathya Sai Organization.

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

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

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

No Friend In Sight Song

Note:  Barry Pittard’s songs are copyright protected by The Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA).  Contact:  barpittard@gmail.com

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

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Some Key Themes In Studying Sathya Sai Baba Cult

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 26, 2011

This post is a resource – especially for those such as former devotees as well as people considering leaving the international Sathya Sai Organization, and investigators such as journalists, scholars, and religious, political, civic and other institutions this cult’s officials tend to approach. We have had notable success in presenting our evidence such that many responsible organizations refuse to have anything to do with them.

Below, selected from a much large corpus, I give thematic headings and link details to, and brief quotation from, articles I have written over time. In turn, these pieces contain further recondite links.

  • Large-scale, serial sexual molestation of boys and young men

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

A few years ago, I addressed an ‘open letter’ to my former Whitefield (‘Brindavan’, via Bangalore, South India) Sathya Sai College Students.

On re-reading, I see that its terms can be addressed (give or take the occasional specific reference) to all alumni, past and present. There have been so many revelations of great and pervasive corruption both in Sathya Sai Baba himself and in many of his officials (especially his core servitors) that it may not go amiss to post this communication here.

Thousands of Sathya Sai education alumni face a dilemma not only in their immediate communities but wherever they may settle or travel. It is hard to imagine a major education institution in which a founder and certain teachers and Trust officials have been so deeply embroiled in scandal.

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

Over the years, many have expressed concerns about the leader of groups visiting Sai Baba, Hal Honig of Manhattan, New York, a U.S. cultural attaché in Rome in the 60′s and now one of the most senior leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization in the U.S., including being, Peter Pan-like, the head of the Sai Youth wing.  See my article “Will Sai Baba Keep Hal Honig Smiling?”

In the late 90′s, Shirley Pike, a very qualified U.S. psychologist with years of experience sexual abuse counseling, including of many children, began to discover compelling evidence that pointed to Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men. Mrs Pike was President, North Carolina Region and President of Cedar Rapids Center, Iowa. She denounced Hal Honig at a large Sai Organization gathering as “Sai Baba’s pimp.”

  • Being implicated in police killings in his bedroom on June 6, 1993, along with massive cover-up by his ashram authorities and local, state and central government and police

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

As the years have passed, the Government of India and the Government of Andhra Pradesh have not been able to silence all police. One who has refused to shut up is a senior, retired officer V. J. Ram, whose work as a detective won him a Presidential Medal. He has spoken out against the massive cover up of the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s private quarters, when Sathya Sai Baba and his brother (the late) Janaki Ramaiah (who was on the Sathya Sai Central Trust) had charge of events soon after the slayings occurred. One would like to see the V.J. Ram book get a decent publisher, and, as has been the wish expressed by former Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary V.P.B. Nair to the BBC, to see the case revisited. See Item #7 for video clip Nair’s statement to the BBC HERE.

See my articles:

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

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

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

  • Faking many miracles
Repeatedly, on footage of Sathya Sai Baba’s apparent miracles of the materialization type,Sathya Sai Baba's Sleight Handan observer – other than one stricken with blind faith – can see the same technique that magicians use, the world over.

The One Hand That Knows What The Other Is Doing (more than just slightly)

In the link provided, watch Sai Baba’s right hand. It goes beneath the pile of letters (taken from the seated crowds) he holds in his left hand.  Note the swift movement as, with his right hand, he extricates the solidified material from his left. This material is then crushed by the fingers of his right hand.

Quite literally, he is ‘pulling a swifty’.  Had he carried a hat instead of the letters he might have pulled a rabbit out by the ears.

If he were naturally, and without trickery, manifesting the vibhuthi (sacred ash), there would be no need for this frequent characteristic of reaching under the letters.

In short, the solid (pellet) material that is waiting to be crushed into the powder is already in his left hand.

Sleight Of Hand. The Sleightness of Sathya Sai Baba (Exposing film clips)

For the clear use of a confederate, you can see Doordarshan’s – Indian national radio and television broadcaster –  video footage showing Sathya Sai Baba’s palming of a necklace from beneath a trophy handed to him by his flunky. This film the then Indian Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, a Sathya Sai Baba devotee, quickly moved to censor:

Censored Indian National Television Film of Sai Baba Cheating

  • Promising but not delivering miraculous cures and making prophecies which have not eventuated

Official Sai Baba Documents Show His Death Date Prophecies Failed

Sathya Sai Baba in his glass coffin. His 40-day’s later resurrection prophecy has failed

Exhaustive efforts of former devotee researchers such as Robert Priddy and Brian Steel and others have uncovered many instances of palpable absurdities which it is now too late for the Sai editorial weeders to hide. 

These editorial puppets of Sai propaganda started all too late with their, so to speak, Weeders Digest – in which glaringly they have culled many embarrassing Sai Baba statements.  Especially, the Australian scholar Brian Steel was all too fast off the mark for any of them.

Thankfully, not all former devotees destroyed their large stack of back numbers of Sanathana Sarathi and other publications, such as the lengthy Sathya Sai Speaks series, of the Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust, Puttapathi.

What these deeply compromised Sathya Sai devotees unwittingly expose is the way their cultic adulation of Sai Baba makes them so foolhardy. This is but one of countless examples of devotee blindness, and serious lapse into untruth – the very opposite of what they claim to stand for.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions

 The Ageless 'Avatar'Ageless – Old ‘Avatars’ never die, but merely fade away

How indeed shall a failed ‘Avatar’ save himself?

Recent Statement

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.”

But the runway, like his own imagination, would seem to have run away on him. He celebrates his 83rd birthday this November 23rd.

Unlike his physical body, the following quoted words of his have no difficulty in flying around the world to his many devotees. But they represent just one more example of his myriad failed predictions:

‘Swami’s mission has made this turn to face the runway. The 70th birthday was the signal from the tower to accelerate. In the 75th birthday, the airplane will leave the ground’. Sri Sathya Sai Newsletter, USA, 31, Winter 1996-1997, 29.)

  • Giving accounts known by modern science to be completely unfounded

Sathya Sai Baba On Magnetism. Science or Sai-ence?

… two areas that expose the blindness of countless Sathya Sai Baba followers are science and history. His comments are extremely ill-informed, and sometimes so absurd as to beggar belief. Here is India’s chronically ailing would-be Avatar of Avatars, the figure who has told us that he will soon be traveling abroad! And who long ago said that in the last quadrant of his life he would be ruling the world!  And who said at the time of his 60th birthday that he would not show signs of physical ageing!

  • Contradicting himself, over long years, in published discourses

Many Contradictions In Sathya Sai Baba Official Literature

Worldwide, when deeply concerned people in very large numbers left Sathya Sai Baba – commencing circa 2000 – one of their most typical and prompt responses was to get rid of all the paraphernalia that belonged to devotion to this guru. This meant:  the books, the official newsletter, Sanathana Sarathi,  the photos, rings, pendants, robes, and so on, which would otherwise bring back memories far more painful than joyful.

Fortunately, books and publications such as Sanathana Sarathi, are a ripe field for individuals of scholarly mind, such as Robert Priddy,  Brian Steel and Alexandra Nagel. They early realized how important it is to hang on to material that former Sai Baba devotees, very understandably, wish never to see again.

Robert Priddy was a contributor to Sanathana Sarathi, and much respected by its editor, the renowned (retired to Puttaparthi) Indian newspaper editor, V.K. Narasimhan (See photo). For those who like to delve into archives, here are Priddy’s articles from that widely-distributed publication. They state positions very different to what he has taken, as a major dissenter, in the last decade. Priddy was co-founder and longtime head of the Sathya Sai Organization of Norway.

  • Massive misappropriation of funds donated by devotees worldwide

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

Golden Glitter For Sai Baba's 83rd Birthday

Trustfully, as the gerontocracy that essentially leads India dies out, the young India will turn a back on the crass superstition of many of her older generations.  

The gaudiness of all the gold in the Sathya Sai Baba birthday celebrations – mounted aloft India’s anguished land of seething poverty and squalor – reflect badly on her international reputation. 

  • Presiding over a highly unaccountable financial empire
  • Creating myths about himself, which he permitted as the basis for materials in public exhibitions, like the museums at Puttaparthi and Mumbai

Revealing Materials On Sai Baba Of India

One of (Brian Steel’s) research strengths is his persistent use of, and great familiarity with, the large load (and, from a critical point of view, lode) of official and other public devotee documents. Through his emphasis on these sources – as distinct from other sources of information – Steel has been able to expose Sai Baba’s astounding array of self-generated myths, failed predictions, incorrect scientific and historical references, and, all in all, a seemingly endless series of contradictions and anomalies, as well as a great deal of highly flawed hagiography. See my article:

Cult Exposure. By Their Documents Ye Shall Know Them

  • Falsifying his birth and school details

Sathya Sai Baba Birthday. Brian Steel Examines Birthdate Issue

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 is found in Chapter 5 of his Omniscience 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. 

The reader in quest of proper detail and context will be able to read Chapter 5 as a whole. Steel claims no last word on this dating issue. He has serious doubts about the birth date provided by Sathya Sai Baba or his officials but, as he says, this “evidence is far from conclusive”. He has provided certain circumstantial evidence which is his discovery, and offered it in the case that it may fit with other facts that may become known. Not all other commentators have been so careful

If Sathya Sai Baba has got his own birthdate wrong – and he has shown confusion about a number of other details (which devotees commonly pass off as his test of their faith) – then we have yet another example of anything but that omniscience with which he credits himself.

  • Plagiarising the sayings of others

Sai Baba’s deputy world head, and the director of his world radio propaganda service ‘Sai Global Radio’ Dr G.Venkataraman certainly follows his master in the vile intellectual sin of plagiarizing.  See: Indian Scientist Dr G. Venkataraman Accused of Plagiarism

  • Running a worldwide organisation that is extreme in its lack of public accountability and transparency, and which hides certain core, but embarrassing beliefs and agendas when it runs its recruitment drives in luxurious, costly venues.

Indian Media and Governments Heedless of Decade of Foreign Media and Sai Baba Critics’ Revelations

Longtime Failure to Act of Indian Media and Successive National and State Governments

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 about 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

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

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Nancy Wake, WW2 Australian Heroine – A Timeless Role Model

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 11, 2011

In my own country, Australia, but in other countries too, there is mourning for one of the most magnificent and most highly-decorated war heroines that any country has produced – Nancy Wake. An Australian in the French Resistance, a courier, spy, and fighter against Nazi Germany, she fought behind the lines in France.

Nancy Wake, Great Australian Heroine of The French Resistance, World War II.

The Gestapo code-named her ‘the White Mouse’, referring to her extreme elusiveness in the field. Before the outbreak of war, she saw Jews bound to massive wheels in Vienna, on which they were whipped. She vowed that she would do something to expose such vicious inhumanity.

To those whom I have been addressing in my last blogs, for example the Sathya Sai college boys (now long adult), I commend that they read even the briefest of the abundant news articles in the world news since last Sunday, when she died aged 98. Perhaps they might be challenged to consider that it is by honest, decisive, strong action, rather than by cover up behind flowery words and sweet smiles, that society can be changed for the better.

Since I was sixteen, I loved reading of India’s great freedom fighters, and a delight of my life would be to find that my former students among the many boys I taught at the Sri Sathya Sai College in Whitefield (Kadugodi or Belatur to be more precise), via Bangalore, South India, had, at last, turned out even the slightest bit like these heroic figures. Frankly – apart from some exceptions – I have my grave doubts.

From where I stand, I see that, after all these years of their glacial silence about the sexual and other crimes that they know have been perpetrated against either themselves or others who were around them, they have not honoured the words that they were so fond uttering – such as the telling of the truth, fearlessly. Or conjoining word and deed in right conduct. Or showing compassion for those who suffer. Or suporting those who have raised, and continue to raise, their voices.

True enough, different people come out of trauma at different rates of recovery. But I think that this fact, although true, can also be made one of the worst excuses for inaction, which allows perpetuation of the injustices.

I would like to see those ‘old boys’ get a bit of a wriggle on, and realize that they are immature boys no longer, but grown men who need, by now, to have developed a sense of social and moral responsibility. I would like to see them come good and make a courageous attempt to redress some of the great wrong that they were so profoundly enmeshed in.

Such an example of the ‘right action’ that Sai Baba so often preached about, but did not practise, would justify my old and great hope in my teaching period at the college (1978-79) that these fellows would one day become men of spirit, strength and integrity.

Some of their peers are responding to the sort of conscience call that Robert Priddy and I have put out (and, from the very beginning of the Sai cult exposure, Glen Meloy and Hari Sampath and other former devotees from various professions, trades and cultural backgrounds).

This is to say – for these ex-students to be plucky enough to make a clean breast concerning the gross and evil culture of sexual abuse, the hiding, the secrecy, the bullying, the bribery, and the bad faith that have existed in the deeply corrupted Sathya Sai system of education. Many of these former students know that things were not right. They are still not right. They know that both the Indian and international leadership of the Sathya Sai Organization have profoundly covered up the many scandals. Even though Sai Baba is dead, his co-abusers are still very much alive, many of them in positions of great power. Some of them were intimate participants in the ammoral sty that Sathya Sai Baba built and operated, aided by certain of his teachers and others, in the spurious name of some sort of divine experience.

One may hope that intelligence, if not conscience, comes to the fore before subpoenas start having to be slapped. We are on the way. (See my recent blogs).

They know perfectly well that many boys (among them the so-called ‘form boys’, or homosexual pets) were often and repeatedly sexually abused. And that there were other cruel and unusual practices. Boys who were well-informed knew of various cover ups. Some knew of the faking of materializations, and of the way in which Sai Baba and his servitors would set up wealthy individuals from various countries so as, stealthily, to extract large donations and favours of various kinds. They knew that boys, and now and then a teacher, had been cruelly cast aside like rag dolls when their use as sexual playthings was over. Some know, more recently of Sathya Sai Baba’s fits of sobbing. They knew of towering fits of rage – which boys and well-informed parents and others in more inner circles round Sai Baba passed off as, for example, “Swami in his Shiva aspect”, etc., etc. Some knew that terribly concerned parents from various countries withdrew their boys from the college.

In my mind’s eye and ear, I still see and hear those boys whom Sathya Sai Baba hand-picked to give talks endlessly, like he himself, extolling fearlessness in speaking the truth. However, from where I stand, there are plenty of those with their heads still – after all these years – ducking for cover. Still enjoying the wealth and status that having been at a prestigious Sathya Sai Baba education institute has conferred (often not by merit alone but by influence). Still failing to acknowledge that sexual abuse has devastating and long-lasting effects. Still selfishly thinking of their own skin, and not of their many peers who were stricken. Still in psychological denial of their own warped sexuality. Or of their witnessing the effects of this in their peers.

….. Still refusing to act from the knowledge that IF they would cooperate in tearing down the iron curtains of cover up in regard to sexual abuse they would be doing a huge service to society …….

As I mentioned, I used to rejoice in reading of the exploits of India’s great freedom fighters. All who seek for gutsy role models might consider contemplating of just a few of the many:  Rani Lakshmi Bai, Sarojini Naidu, Sucheta Kripalani, Mahatma Gandhi, Chakravarthi Rajagopalachari, Sardar Vallabhai Patel, Subhas Chandra Bose ……

Anyway, many of my ‘old boys’ used to listen to my recommendations for good reading. 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.

If anyone knows the hypocrisy and spiritual betrayal it involves, they would have to be in a prime position to acknowledge, share and begin to heal their experiences. For any such contingency, outstanding, properly chartered sexual abuse authorities in various countries stand ready to be of assistance, and former leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization, Robert Priddy (rero@getmail.no) I (barpittard@gmail.com) can confidentially inform of these resources.

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Nancy Wake, ‘The White Mouse’. By Barry Pittard

It is always those like Nancy Wake

Who take the lead to save the day

From the bullies and the thieves who march to take

Peace from the world all away

It is always those, the bold, the awake

Dare halt the robotic dumb cannonade

True grit a pearl makes in the Nancy Wakes

You might think they come Heaven-made

Proud Nancy saw Nazi scapegoats paraded

Like in some cattle-show whipped and degraded

As the giant, loud torture wheel rotated

She swore to fight such hatred

When sore whipping-wheels with people bound

Stops for a while, you might think Peace is found

But there’s always some runts, some dummkopf hounds

To snarl and shove people around

The Gestapo priced Nancy at five million francs

Against her few paltry pounds to silence their tanks

But a White Mouse only costs a free people’s thanks

Against the toxic prattlings of cranks

Some lands gave Nancy their highest awards

But the Canberra runts had hearts made of board

And proud Nancy, she of the flaming sword

Explained where to “shove their award”

She told them: “Be thankful it’s not a pineapple”!

And: “To stick their medals where the monkey stuck its nuts”!

Proud Nancy was proud of her love of life

And death was not death when she conquered dark fright

Though a vintage heart sinks or else a bullet or a knife

The White Mouse still lives in starlight

To proud Nancy, Adieu! But not Adieu to her pride

Of white mice that are still behind the lines

Always, there’ll be bullies and thieves to be defied

And wheels to be halted, and swines

. The White Mouse has gone behind the lines

Scurrying into starlight

With high heart singing:

“Freedom is the only thing worth living for”

Barry Pittard, Australia

(Copyright protected, Australasian Performing Rights Association, APRA)

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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Will Court Decision Topple A Top Sathya Sai Teacher? Male Sexual Abuse Case

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 22, 2011

STOP PRESS! Breaking NEWS ……

We will be going after many who have aided the profound Sathya Sai cult cover ups, not a few. These include officials, past and present, in the Sathya Sai Central Trust, and the international Sathya Sai Organization, and the Sathya Sai Society of America, and officials in areas such as Indian local, state and central governments, past and present.

This morning,  Friday, I received important news, the details of which are being wrapped up in an Indian High Court today. Until I access the notes, I shall wait and examine the details, and check on what those on the spot have to report.

Witnesses to the court proceedings made such comments as: 

“Our side had only three ‘suits’ (ed. i.e., lawyers or solicitors). The Sathya Sai lot had no fewer than thirteen!!  Our three advocates ran rings around them. The judge removed the gag”.

One of the family members I spoke to, who along with other family members, has long suffered the effects of  Sathya Sai betrayal, was so overjoyed at the routing of a formidable accomplice of Sathya Sai Baba that he told me:

“I was so happy that I leapt into my swimming pool forgetting that I had my Sat(ellite)Phone in my pocket. I have to get a new one” ….

Prison Sentence – More Sentences To Come? More Litigation?

Nothing succeeds like success. Too many aggrieved individuals and families have believed that the Sathya Sai forces were invincible. A pin-point of a minority believed this to be craven and a sell-out, especially given that young students are particularly vulnerable. And these activists, on extremely slender pecunious means, persisted.

More voices advocating for human rights against the Sai Baba’s and his accomplices enormous hypocrisy and spiritual betrayal are now being raised, as never before. Case after case on our side is now starting to succeed in an Indian court. Thus far, the pro Sai forces have used one legal technicality and one suppressive ploy after another. See:  Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard On Dr G. Venkataraman – Sathya Sai Baba Global Propagandist.  Posted by Barry Pittard on October 18, 2009. See how the conscienceless Dr Michael Goldstein, world head of the Sathya Sai Organization and the Sathya Sai Society of America used the technicality that the Sai movement in the United States was ONLY a bookshop and therefore an entity which could not be sued by the Rahm family’s young son Alaya: Big Cult Trumps At Law. Is But A ‘Bookshop’. Posted by Barry Pittard on June 7, 2008.

There is determination and massive funding among those who have turned their minds, and their pledges, to further, and indeed prolonged, actions against those forces such as the Sathya Sai Central Trust and international Sathya Sai Organization.

For over two decades former devotees have maintained that these have profoundly covered up, along with Indian government authorities and politician Sai Baba devotees and other supporters. Many leading media in the West heard the cries of the abuse survivors; almost all of the Indian media were blind and deaf. Many who once respected India, even to the point where they saw India as a spiritual light in the world and thought that it was a fairly worthy democracy were, and remain, deeply shocked.

Gaol Sentence Is Of One Man. But Many Other Abusers Inhabit the Sathya Sai Cult. And Many Cover Up For Them …..

Early news, conveyed to me privately, is that a Sai Baba man now faces some three years gaol for but a small part of that  sexual abuse of boys that has been much earlier reported to us in regard to him. Known throughout India because of his long and close association with Sathya Sai Baba, his victims were boys (now grown adults) in a prominent Sathya Sai education institution. 

This man has been within our sights for a long time, and his sexual abuse survivors have spoken of him with dread and loathing.

One is reminded that parents expect the utmost probity from teachers to whom they entrust their precious children. It is sad that this man has brought such suffering over the years and, now, a sense of disgrace to his own family. This certainly does not bring rejoicing.

However, a number of us, though not all former devotees in our network, hold the view that attempting, by means of silence and inaction, to spare the feelings of those near and dear to predators upon our children is foolish in the extreme. Hiding their crimes fails to message to offenders and would-be offenders that a properly civil society will not tolerate their wanton, evil and devastating actions.

A report comes, too, that a Bangalore judge’s earlier non-disclosure gag has now been lifted. This will enable further legal actions from among our own forces, which had been precluded until now.

If the Indian media get on to the story before I can report it in the next few days, so be it. This will be nothing new in recent times.  There has been some alert Indian media coverage of the  be,

For two decades, those such as Glen Meloy, Hari Sampath, Robert Priddy, Brian Steel, Alexandra Nagel and I have had to be, alas, the first to report on Sathya Sai cult wrongdoings, because of the appalling news blanket in almost all of the Indian media against stories critical of Sathya Sai Baba. Recently, one very prominent Indian journalist-telecaster tried to tell me, most adamantly, that this is not so. I know differently, because I was closely involved in the transactions. I am not unknown to some Indian Editors, and a few years back one of the foremost told me, quietly that:  Sai Baba’s people are too powerful to take on. In fact one of Sai Baba’s top men was on this Editor’s Board of Directors.

Anyway, we – including our Indian workers – will be glad to debate the topic with any comers, and produce compelling evidence of an enormous dereliction of almost all Indian media responsibility. They have played their own part in shoring up the taboo on sexual abuse issues in India – and failed to cognize that other parts of the democratic world have moved a long way towards discussion, disclosure, prosecution, reparation and, hopefully, some substantive healing. See: Oprah Winfrey Show On Male Sexual Abuse: Sathya Sai Baba Cult Survivors Should Watch. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 21, 2011

My alert readers have noticed the plethora of Indian news on Sai Baba shortly before and then after his death. But let anyone look as hard as they like – they will find nothing remotely like it to compare. My colleagues and I (including in India) got virtually nowhere in the Indian media. Only a swish dinner given to them by a former advisor to one of the greatest foreign affairs players of the twentieth century did a major force in the Indian media see the light of day and help us  (not the individual I am about to mention). This signalled a major difference. This was when we worked on getting our Duke of Edinburgh story into some major Indian newspapers – see: A Duke Stops An Emperor. Edinburgh Routs Sai Baba. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 9, 2007

The fact is that Aroon Poorie, founder and Editor-in-Chief of the mass ciruclation magazine India Today is the ONLY Indian publisher who has done a story on our allegations facing Sathya Sai Baba. He is also Chief Executive of the India Today Group, Managing Director of Thomson Press (India) Limited, Chairman and Managing Director of TV Today and Editor-in-Chief of Reader’s Digest, India. How disgraceful it is for India as a supposed democracy, with a supposed free press! How lily-livered that the Indian media has until the recent, inescapable – and, of course, far more newsworthy! – revelations about Sai Baba’s hidden treasures should blithely have carried endless stories positive to Sathya Sai Baba and his cult! And yet knowingly, in the same fashion as Manmohan Singh, Vajpayee and so many others who have been provided with compelling and responsible documentation, they have endangered the safety of young people in Sathya Sai Baba’s schools, colleges and university and beyond.

Some enterprising journalist may like to ask Aroon Poorie this question:  Did you personally know a family which withdrew their boy from a premier Sathya Sai Baba’s institution, after which, convinced of the  boy’s truthfulness, the parents thereupon withdrew him for reasons of moral protection of their son?

In fact, we learn that many parents have, for the same reason, withdraw their son or sons from Sathya Sai Baba places of education. Our astute exposure lawyers should have no problem proving that this is true.

But, then, a court can of course issue subpoenas compelling those who may try to sidestep the giving of vital evidence. We shall be thinking about that.

It may always assist our exposure when powerful and influential Indians themselves know families, sometimes their own, in which there have been boys in, and beyond, Sathya Sai education institutes whom Sathya Sai Baba and/or his accomplices has/have sexually abused.

Below is a note I have written today to a foremost worker in the sexual abuse area. This person is from one of the four most prestigious universities in the world. Unfortunately, it is one of a great many notes that  I or we have written, seeking the most eminent assistance possible, to assist the survivors  Sathya Sai Baba cult abuse. (I shall cut out some references for the sake of privacy of those concerned).

———————————————————————–

Dear Dr  ………

I shall again include the experienced and very qualified counseling professionals Ms X (Iowa) and Ms Y (Florida) in this email. Both are esteemed by many ex-Sathya Sai Baba followers from different countries.

It is not without going through your credentials, both academic AND as a respected worker in the sexual abuse area, that I’m getting in touch. 

My main focus is that, whatever benefits ‘successful’ litigation brings, I want to see that not too much is left to the tender mercies of courts-lawyers-police. My experience is that all too few of those who have turned to persons such as my principal colleague, Robert Priddy and I will turn to counseling. That is their choice and to be respected but I want to anticipate that there may be some who will accept as timely psychological assistance as possible.

At the moment, possibilities for relocation of our Indian people are: Australia, Canada, USA and UK. Then we have other abuse survivors (and families) who live in a wide number of countries around the world. Most of course will never leave India, and it would be great if some way lay open to determining – yes, I mean secure – counseling situations there. Perhaps wonderful alumni who have passed through your mentorship, and of respected colleagues of yours, and who now practise in India.

Individual litigation is being prosecuted with great determination and funding, with avowals that it will continue in one case after another, and consultations proceed suggestive of large class action or actions further ahead.

In whatever the event, I am wishing to think ahead, especially in any cases where persons end up by being richer in money but in fact the more messed up.

By “secure and best practice services”, I mean, for example, culture-appropriate – so that those we wish to see happy will feel safe and comfortable about any services that we think, after our careful ‘homework’, we can point them towards, including resources like your own website and the expertise behind it.

I also mean (although it may seem alien to many in more democratic countries than India) that there are concerns about life or limb. Our archives reference murder, attempted murders, suicide, beatings, and other forms of physical and mental violence perpetrated against those who have attempted to speak up about Sathya Sai Baba, certain of his servitors, and of his cultic Sathya Central Trust and international Sathya Sai Organization.

Many of those for whose wellbeing we care have passed through Sai Baba’s extensive education system, including a major University, and/or have served in his hospitals and other aspects of his worldwide Sathya Sai Organization. I myself was a lecturer (1978-79) in his, at that time, premier education institution, although not knowing (which has pained me ever since) of the serial sexual abuses of those boys from all over India whom I so greatly loved teaching.

Sathya Sai Baba is often accredited with millions of followers throughout the world. If they relocate to a new land, they will be in a hard situation – strangers in a strange land AND grappling with  grotesque and haunting struggles relating to the earlier abuse experiences.

Sathya Sai Baba and his accomplices abused so many boys and young men. Some, in turn, have become, and remain, abusers. Some allow themselves still to be abused.

Reported to us are, for example, issues of badly confused sexuality, which inevitably gets tangled up with marriage problems (and exacerbated by the great complexities of the Indian extended family scenario).

Only this morning, I was informed that a XXX of one of Sathya Sai Baba’s very prestigious [places of education]  has, as a result of one of a close and valued colleague’s strenuous work, been sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for sexual abuse, which brought terrible suffering in a family I have known over the years. A major firm involved envisages far further results.

Dr …., I am doing my best to consider implications of various kinds of ‘fallout’, and I would most appreciate anyone who understands such situations being there for us in these difficult matters.

It has taken twenty years of almost unimaginable hard work for us to get to this point, and I would so greatly appreciate any suggestions you or your colleagues can make.

Would you kindly assist in whatever ways that you can?

Barry Pittard, Australia

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Tags:  Psychology, Psychotherapy, Psychiatry, Mental Health Professionals, Medicine, Healing, Social Services, Social Workers, Child Abuse, Child Safety, Children’s Rights, Cults, Homosexual Abuse, Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Sri Sathya Sai Organization

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Further Related Reading

Oprah Winfrey Show On Male Sexual Abuse: Sathya Sai Baba Cult Survivors Should Watch

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 21, 2011

Another Sathya Sai Baba Multi Million Haul Found At Puttaparthi

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 20, 2011

Young Male Sex Abuse: Legal ‘Locomotive’ Hurtles Towards Sai Baba’s Accomplices

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 19, 2011

Young Male Sex Abuse: International Legal Challenge Will Confront Key Sathya Sai Baba Men

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 19, 2011

Towards Accountability Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Accomplices: A Call To Legal Action

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 16, 2011

For Those Connected With Sathya Sai Education Institutions: A Reckoning Time

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 16, 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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Oprah Winfrey Show On Male Sexual Abuse: Sathya Sai Baba Cult Survivors Should Watch

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 21, 2011

At this juncture of preparations to litigate against those in the Sathya Sai Organization or allied with it who have sexually abused, or permitted to be abused, I copy below some details and links relating to a November 2010 Oprah Winfrey Special on sexual abuse of males.

It is important for those survivors of Sathya Sai Baba’s and his accomplices’ serial and profound wrongdoings to raise their awareness of a number of psychological and social issues, including various forms of remediation that are available.

I had earlier spoken to an Oprah Winfrey producer about the Sathya Sai cult cases, but nothing came of it.

Activists – strong in the truth and justice of their cause – who take on powerful antagonists invariably come to know two things especially. They learn how powerful vested interests are, and to what extraordinary lengths they will go to defame, libel, threaten and bully, and to distort and lie. They also know that only dogged persistence, unblinking, unyielding, will finally win the day. In the article: Fighting Multi Billion Corruption Takes Longer. Posted by Barry Pittard on March 10, 2007, I remarked:

“Former Sai Baba devotees worldwide are ready, as indeed many times before over several years, to submit our credentials and findings to bona fide independent third-party adjudicators.

In an attempt to obtain proper investigation of the allegations against Sathya Sai Baba and his powerful and influential worldwide organization, we have closely cooperated with major world media and other reputed agencies and institutions. He and the entity he calls the “Divine” instrument for bringing about the greatest spiritual revolution the world has ever seen, the Sathya Sai Organization, have not”.

As only to be expected, since there are constraints on the young  that would prevent their crying hearts from speaking out, these are men who have come forward to share their experiences. This they did in front of one of the biggest audiences television history.

However, let us bear in mind that large numbers of those whom Sathya Sai Baba sexually abused, or in other cases, whom those around him abused (including, as teachers around the world will be unhappy to learn, certain teaching Staff) are now men.

There Comes A Time When Men Have To Stop Acting Like Frightened Children

I would like to think that those boys I taught (1978-790 at Sathya Sai Baba’s Whitefield College (via Bangalore, South India), and many other boys who have passed through Sathya Sai education institutions, will start to mean what they have so often uttered about Vedic and other sacred injunctions to be fearless.

These men, now gathered and pledged to powerful litigation against corrupt Sai Baba forces, will  longer will be silent. As I have mentioned in my last few posts, considerable wealth has been generated that is now at the disposal of that part of our cause which is to make accountable as many of the abusers that we can.

As I have elsewhere pointed out, a measure of legal success has already been achieved in a Bangalore law court BUT it was a success was achievable only at the cost of conditions of mutual non-disclosure.

But the shameless men who were thus exposed should now entertain the notion that large legal remedies are not closed off.

For it is non-disclosure that permits that very silence and secrecy in which the sexual abuse of the young so collossally thrives and infects. A key figure in the exposure of the rampant sexual and other abuses within ISKON (the International Society of Krishna Consciousness, Pratyatoṣa Dāsa, dealt with the renowned Turley law firm states:

“Mr. Turley also said that sexual abuse of children, if not routed out and cured in it’s infancy, spreads like an infectious disease, and this, unfortunately, is exactly what happened within ISKCON.”

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Important Breakthrough!

Litigation against the Sathya Sai Baba forces of serial sexual and other criminal abuses is now powerfully on the move. World class law firms are being consulted. Millions of dollars are on call for this fight on behalf of one of history’s profoundly righteous causes.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Those who wish to litigate or in other ways support legal actions against those who supported the years of homosexual abuse of boys and young men, and other abuses, can, with assurance of strict confidentiality contact my close and trusted colleague Robert Priddy:  rero@getmail.no or myself, Barry Pittard at: bpittard@westnet.com.au or Jay Narain (former Sathya Sai student) client of Hunt and Hunt law firm (see below) at:  jnarain05@hotmail.com

  A TWO-DAY OPRAH SHOW EVENT: 200 ADULT MEN WHO WERE MOLESTED COME FORWARD

november 5, 2010
Oprah and 200 men
A landmark Oprah Showevent that’s never been done before. Two hundred men courageously stand together to reveal they were all molested.

more from this show
Oprah and 200 men

If you missed this show or want to share the lessons with others, watch now.
Paul

Watch brave men open up about the abuse they suffered as children.
Ray

How some sexual abuse survivors were targeted by their perpetrators.
EXCLUSIVES
Silhouettes

Get the tools—support groups, expert advice—you need to help yourself or a loved one heal.
Dr. Howard Fradkin

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Busy journalists, scholars, institutional researchers, and the probing reader in general can do with shortcuts. See:

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 6, 2010 –  is a guide to my articles written across some six years on the BBC’s one-hour documentary, The Secret Swami (2004) which, according to the BBC itself, has been aired in some two hundred countries. The articles referred to in this guide are those mentioned below. To give enquirers – in one fell swoop as it were – the opportunity to view the scope of these articles in prospectus, the guide has key quotations from each of the articles.

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Further Reading

Another Sathya Sai Baba Multi Million Haul Found At Puttaparthi

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 20, 2011

Young Male Sex Abuse: Legal ‘Locomotive’ Hurtles Towards Sai Baba’s Accomplices

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 19, 2011

Young Male Sex Abuse: International Legal Challenge Will Confront Key Sathya Sai Baba Men

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 19, 2011

Towards Accountability Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Accomplices: A Call To Legal Action

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 16, 2011

For Those Connected With Sathya Sai Education Institutions: A Reckoning Time

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 16, 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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Sathya Sai Central Trust Says “millions and millions” of Devotees Worldwide. But Who Counted?

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 25, 2011

Below is the report of The (UK) Guardian’s report on Sathya Sai Baba’s death yesterday morning. I shall excerpt from, and comment on, it.

Sai Baba, spiritual guru to millions, dies at 85

• New-age icon dies of heart and breathing problems
• Reputation marred by sexual abuse allegations

By Jason Burke in Delhi guardian.co.uk, Sunday 24 April 2011 19.46 BST

Sai Baba

Guardian: Sai Baba had an estimated six million followers, but critics said his ‘miracles’ were simple magic tricks. Photograph: AP
But though revered by millions around the world as a living god, he was a controversial figure, criticised by some as a fraud protected by political influence. His later years were dogged by allegations of sexual abuse.
 
Comment:  For backround, see:

UK Guardian On Sathya Sai Baba and Duke’s Awards


The UK Guardian Exposes Indian Guru, Sai Baba

                                                                                                                               Paul Lewis’s article in The Guardian (UK)
                                                                                                                                                   on Duke of Edinburgh Awards

Guardian:   Among Sai Baba’s estimated six million followers are hundreds of top Indian politicians, industrialists, tycoons, Bollywood stars and sportsmen such as cricketer Sachin Tendulkar. Overseas, they include Goldie Hawn and Isaac Tigrett, the founder of Hard Rock café. Sarah Ferguson has visited one of his ashrams.

Comment:  It is refreshing to see a more conservative head count of Sathya Sai Baba followers than e.g., fifty million. But no bona fide researcher has ever, in my or our several avid researchers’ wide Sai-Baba related research experience, been able to come up with the small matter of what ‘head’ counted all the millions of heads. See:  Many Contradictions In Sathya Sai Baba Official Literature and: Sathya Sai Baba’s Gross Exaggerations of Puttaparthi Crowd Numbers.

Is this sort of estimate very much a ‘guesstimate’?  A matter of the ‘gut’ feeling of devotees? A gutstimate!  If so, whose gut? Even the figure of one hundred million has been mentioned. An example of this occurred  in a high-profile talk aimed at  thousands of devotees. If some rank-and-file devotee made such a claim, we might think:  a simple-minded excess of devotion.  But here, making a grossly unsupportable statement was:

Dr. Kanwaljeet S. Anand, of Akansas, USA, MBBS, D.Phil., FAAP, FCCM, FRCPCH, Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, Neurobiology & Developmental Sciences UAMS College of Medicine; Board of Directors, Arkansas Children’s Hospital Research Institute.  Anand, for long well-known in official Sathya Sai Baba affairs in the US, was a medical advisor to George Bush when he was US President. See:  Sai Baba Is God Says Top George Bush Doctor. It is the constant, most irresponsible repetition of such figures which leads to the sort of reportage we find in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph (UK), which mentions “up to fifty million devotees”.

Guardian:  Since Sai Baba founded his first permanent meditation centre more than 60 years ago, a vast construction programme funded by donations has converted the remote village where he was born into a thriving small city with dozens of temples, its own 220-bed specialised hospital offering free treatment, a university and an airport where charter planes bringing devotees from around the world arrive every day.

Comment:  The airport detail is very outdated. In the article: Sathya Sai Baba: opulence, show, extravagance and waste, Robert Priddy writes:

The Sathya Sai International Airport, Puttaparthi: Nonetheless, in such a desperately poor State as Andhra Pradesh, it seems very wasteful, as did the airport beside it which stood unused for years and is still used less than ca. 5% of each week. V.K. Narasimhan was present at the interview in 1990 where airport authorities were present. He told how SSB convinced Indian Airport authorities to finance and build the large (allegedly Jumbo jet capacity) airport near Prashanthi Nilayam, telling them that they would earn 10 lakhs of rupees in the first year. No paying passengers even flew in or out during the first year. The frequency of traffic, at best about 2-3 flights of medium jets per week for several years at periods – and when SSB was in residence – ensured that earnings were minimal and well below costs. It was virtually closed often in the 1990s and it hardly justifies its existence at all nowadays. It is truly hard to rationalise such a huge waste of funds in such an impoverished land! The reason can only be Sai Baba’s patently obvious desire for ‘name and fame’. See Sathya Sai Airport “white elephant” for sale!

Guardian:  Volunteers working with Sai Baba’s NGOs have effectively delivered disaster relief and undertaken large-scale developmental works that have brought water or sanitation to hundreds of thousands of people.

Comment:  None should doubt the devotion of a great many Sathya Sai devotees to service activities.  But there is a fallacy – heard repeatedly from many Sai devotees who admit that he routinely had, among what countless communities would regard  as  terrible, ethical and legal abuses of power, sexual relations with boys and young men. Their position is similar to that of close associate of Sai Baba, one-time billionaire Isaac Tigrett who told the BBC that he did not doubt the truth of the sexual allegations but this did not prevent his devotion and fealty to his guru. Devotees and others, mindless of how serious a crime sexual abuse is, say:  But look at all the good works he does!

Guardian: There are thought to be more than 1,200 centres of his Sathya Sai organisation in over a hundred countries around the world.

Comment:  How, then, does the international Sathya Sai Organization, manage to fit the “millions and millions” into all the halls, and temples, and houses where Sathya Sai bhajans are typically held? It seems like herds of elephants pressed into a sardine can.

Guardian:  Sai Baba did not appoint any successor to run his sprawling spiritual and temporal empire, currently run by a trust, after his death. The local Economic Times newspaper estimated its worth at up to £5bn though admitted no accurate valuation was possible.

Comment:  Refreshing to find acknowledgement that “no accurate valuation was possible”. 

Guardian:  “Some people out of their mean-mindedness are trying to tarnish the image of Sai Baba. I am not after name and fame. So, I do not lose anything by their false allegations. My glory will go on increasing day by day,” the guru told followers in 2000.

Comment:  Sai Baba was anything but calm and happy about the upsurge of revelation alleging his abuses. An historic watershed allowed word to get out as never hitherto. Sai Baba’s and his cult’s increasingly top-down, authoritarian style of operation, and the scandals  that the top leadership were previously able to suppress, faced a great dilemma. This owed prfoundly to the exponential uprise of the internet around this time. In a Christmas 2000 discourse, in which peace and goodwill to all men were palpable for their absence, Sai Baba repeatedly pounded his lectern, denouncing his accuses as demons and Judas’s, saying that there could be no salvation for people who speak against him, and vaunting his accomplishments (even though, contrary to his assertions, far from unique when one thinks of the countless great charitable organizations in the world), prompting The Times of India, December 26, 2000, to headline: Sai Baba Lashes Out At His Detractors.

Guardian:  In 1993, six people died violently in the spiritual leader’s private rooms. The incident has never been fully explained. One possibility is a dispute between followers over money.

Comment:  A source of mine, a friend of the boys whom the Puttaparthi police shot down in Sai Baba’s bedroom told me (and, via a particularly eminent elder of his, to the BBC) that the actual wish of the boys, in their confused state, was to plead with Sai Baba to stop using boys for his sexual pleasure. The police action was, said V.P.B. Nair, a former Home Secretary of the state of Andhra Pradesh, a case of “cold-blood murder”, and a profound cover by local, state and central government up of police (CBI) and other evidence. See: Will V.P.B. Nair Keep His Word To BBC On Sathya Sai Baba?  and: V.P.B. Nair Told BBC Sai Baba Bedroom Killings Were “Coldblooded Murder” and: V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings and: Indian Ex Top Official Dogs Sai Baba On BBC. ‘Cold-blooded Murder’

Guardian:  His followers claim that, as he has died earlier than foreseen, he could return as early as next year.

Comment:  Heaven knows!  Not nearly so long, according to some reports. Like this one, as reported yesterday in the Times of India:

Baba had said he would come back stronger, claims book

TNN | Apr 24, 2011, 03.38am IST

PUTTAPARTHI: Did Sathya Sai Baba have premonition 10 years ago that he would fall seriously ill? Yes, claim his followers. According to them, Sai Baba had predicted in 2000 that he would be indisposed for 40 days but would come back strong to give darshan to his devotees.  This was revealed in a book ‘Tapovanam — Bhagawan Sri Sathya Saibaba Satcharitra Nityaparaya-nam’ in which the author Jandhyala Venkateswara Sastry has written an essay on Baba’s ill-health. Sai Baba had told his students at his Sai Shruti ashram in Kodaikanal in 2000: ”Though most of my disciples fall at my feet, they don’t know my real value. A time would come when I would vanish and take a walk across the skies. During that phase, my body would face serious health problems and devotees would be desperately praying for my recovery. The Baba also goes on to say, according to the writer, that several gun-toting cops would be guarding the premises where he would be hospitalised. As Saturday marked the 27th day of his stay in the SSSIHMS, many devotees said Baba would soon give darshan. “Time and place cannot hold me captive. I decide when to come back. If I want I can go anywhere and come back any time,” he is said to have told students during the discourse. He had said that he would live for 96 years in his present avatar. After 40 days, he would come back. Just watch out,” a devotee said even as he prayed for the Baba.

Comment:  Since when were gun-toting cops NOT around Sai Baba?!  See: 

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions.   “I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.” See, too:  Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit.  Or sample the account of one of India’s most powerful Hindu nationalist leaders, Ashok Singhal, who has an international profile in the Hindu world, told an assembly of political and religious luminaries in Delhi of a prophecy he says Sathya Sai Baba shared with him:  ‘World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him 

Below is Tanya Datta’s obituary. She was part of the BBC team which made ‘The Secret Swami’.  See my view as having been closely involved with documentation and international coordination of primary and other witnesses in the making of this 2004, hour-long documentary:  The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision  See too Robert Priddy’s Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC. And for a man upon whom many duties will now focus, see:  Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman:  Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard.

……………………………………………………………………..

NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by the prominent British journalist Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

Further Reading

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

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Sathya Sai Baba Is Dead. Said He Would Rule the World and Die Aged 96

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 24, 2011

SATHYA SAI BABA DEAD THIS MORNING ….

Sathya Sai Baba died today, Sunday morning.  A Puttaparthi hospital official says:

“Sai Baba is no more with us physically. He breathed his last at 7:40am and died due to cardio-respiratory failure.”

The self-described fullest incarnation of God ever to visit the earth has been clearly documented as saying that he would live until circa 2022, aged 96.  But 85 years of age cannot, by any miracle, be said to be 96. There are his well-documented promises that he would rule the world before leaving it. That he would avert the worst calamity mankind has ever faced. That he would usher in a long ‘Golden Age of Sai’. These and other declarations have clearly not even begun to look at all likely. See: my article: Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions.

The late Howard Murphet, an Australian journalist, and author of best-selling hagiorgraphical books on Sai Baba, with whom he was close for years, wrote:

“Swami once, a good many years ago told me that He would not travel abroad until His own house was in order, by that He means India, of course”. Source: Online version, “The Lights of Home”.

In a February 1 16, 2007 ‘divine discourse’, Sai baba said: 

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

Godman proposes, God disposes, it would seem.

Sathya Sai Baba was perhaps the most wealthy and politically powerful in India’s long history. As of today, the world shall have just have to battle things out without him.

I was a faith-smitten devotee of 25 years, and a lecturer in his Whitefield College (via Bangalore, South India) – 1978-9), at the ashram where Sai Baba mainly lived in those days. I taught the 3 years of the degree course, a source of greatly happy memories. I have him to thank for that, and for his protection of my innovations in what was a very conservative, rote-dominated learning milieu. He showed me other kindnesses, too, which I shall always treasure as I do my own breath. 

But October 1999 marked the beginning of my intense and far-reaching investigation of profoundly disturbing accounts from around the world. Until then, I thought he would usher in a spiritual and social revolution, the like of which the world had never seen.  See:


It must seem odd to anyone but a faith-smitten devotee, but here were just some of the assurances he gave:

“Usually old people have wrinkles on their faces … I do not have any signs of old age. (loud applause). There is not a single wrinkle on My face”. (The official monthly official journal: Sanathana Sarathi, October, 2002)

 “I do not suffer from any kind of disease because there is no trace of greed in Me. That is why I am always healthy…”  (Sanathana Sarathi September 2001, page 257f) 186)

“Desire to which you are too fondly attached breeds anger and its nefarious brood. Discard it and you can have perpetual youth! The Aanandha that the Aathman can manifest will keep age and ageing away!” (Discourse of Sathya Sai Baba, Prashanthi Nilayam, 22 Feb 1971. Published by Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publications Trust.)

“Millions and Millions” of Devotees!  But Has Anyone Done A Proper Head Count?

His devotees – very inattentively followed by many duty-derelict sections of an unquestioning media – speak, as did a Sathya Sai Central Trust bulletin of only days ago, of “millions and millions” of devotees around the world. See:  Sathya Sai Trust Officials Say Sai Baba Out of Hospital Soon.  Posted by Barry Pittard on April 16, 2011.  This statement appeared in the long and anxiously awaited “Important Press Release by Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust”, Friday, April 15, 2011. This read, in part:

“His residence is being got ready in all aspects to receive Him and provide Him the required level of follow up medical care as also emergency services.

…. The Trustees are gratified to note the spontaneous upsurge of prayers, bhajans, namasmarana, candle light processions of millions and millions of His devotees all over the globe for His very early and total recovery”.

As anyone in any virtually any street around the world knows perfectly well, this talk of “millions and millions” is a nonsense, where faith and imagination far outrun reality. Let Sathya Sai devotees provide some facts, figures, television footage of these alleged remarkable turnouts round the world. Or ask all the candle manufacturers if they ran out of candles owing to extreme demand by these candle-carrying “millions and millions” of Sathya Sai devotees ….

Let anyone in countries round the world stop any passer-by and ask whether they have heard of Sathya Sai Baba, and they will, frequently, get blank looks for answers. On the other hand, ask people if they know of Martin Luther King or Nelson Mandela or Prince William and his wife-to-be Kate Middleton, and one will fare a great deal better.

Will One of So Many Failed Prophecies Fare Any Better With His Foretellings Yet To Be Tested?

Times of India’s report hands us the excellent opportunity to do a countdown for the next 40 days – for that is the amount of time to be taken for the fulfilment of his reported prophecy of returning from the dead. 

PUTTAPARTHI: Did Sathya Sai Baba have premonition 10 years ago that he would fall seriously ill? Yes, claim his followers. According to them, Sai Baba had predicted in 2000 that he would be indisposed for 40 days but would come back strong to give darshan to his devotees.  This was revealed in a book ‘Tapovanam — Bhagawan Sri Sathya Saibaba Satcharitra Nityaparaya-nam’ in which the author Jandhyala Venkateswara Sastry has written an essay on Baba’s ill-health. Sai Baba had told his students at his Sai Shruti ashram in Kodaikanal in 2000: ”Though most of my disciples fall at my feet, they don’t know my real value. A time would come when I would vanish and take a walk across the skies. During that phase, my body would face serious health problems and devotees would be desperately praying for my recovery.”

But  can we take his word?  See:  Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing PredictionsIn fact, many are his failed predictions, and broken promises of miraculous cure. In his February 1 16, 2007 (so-called ‘divine discourse’, Sathya Sai baba said: “I intend to undertake a world tour, shortly.” See, too:  Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit

Or for further solemn unreality, read and account of what one of India’s most powerful Hindu nationalist leaders, Ashok Singhal, who has an international profile in the Hindu world, told an assembly of political and religious luminaries in Delhi of a prophecy he says Sathya Sai Baba shared with him:  ‘World Hindu’ by 2030. VHP’s Singhal Reports Sathya Sai Baba Told Him 

Below is Tanya Datta’s obituary. She was part of the BBC team which made ‘The Secret Swami’.  See my view as having been closely involved with documentation and international coordination of primary and other witnesses in the making of this 2004, hour-long documentary:  The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision .  See too Robert Priddy’s Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC. And for a man upon whom many duties will now focus, see:  Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman:  Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard.

Further Reading

My obituries for two men of remarkable courage, compassion and determination in standing up to the execrations and, indeed, serious defamations of many Sathya Sai devotees from the most prominent to the rank-and-file:

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 18, 2009

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2009

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 BBC News South Asia

24 April 2011 Last updated at 05:03 GMT
Obituary:  Indian guru Sai Baba

By Tanya Datta Documentary maker

Sai BabaSri Satya Sai Baba, India’s revered spiritual guru who counted presidents, prime ministers, judges and generals amongst his millions of followers around the world, has died at the age of 84.

Until the last, he was a man who inspired passionately conflicting emotions (as I discovered when I made a BBC investigative documentary about him in 2004 called Secret Swami).

To his devotees, Sai Baba was an avatar, an incarnation of God in human form, who appeared on Earth to preach his inspirational message in one of India’s poorest corners.

To his critics, he was a fraudster dogged for years by controversial allegations of sexual abuse yet protected from prosecution by virtue of his powerful political sway.

Whatever he was, there was no doubt that over time he rose in prominence to become India’s premier “god-man”, eclipsing the likes of Maharishi and Shri Rajneesh who had first drawn Westerners east in the Sixties and Seventies.

A petite, softly spoken man dressed in full length saffron robes and perpetually sporting a trademark afro hairstyle, Sai Baba’s appeal was not limited to Western hippies but cut across Indian society from its lowest to highest echelons as well as spreading to many other countries beyond.

‘Immaculate conception’Satya Sai Baba was born Sathyanarayana Raju on 23 November 1926 in the remote village of Puttaparthi in the south Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, although like many born at this time, there is no proof of his date of birth.

Stories abound of the early signs of his divinity.

It is said that his mother claimed her son was born out of an immaculate conception just as Jesus Christ had been, another messiah who Sai Baba often identified himself with.

On another occasion, he was alleged to have survived a scorpion bite and on his recovery, was miraculously able to speak Sanskrit, a language he did not know before. Indeed, throughout his childhood, he was said to have been abnormally gifted in artistic pursuits such as music, dance, drama and writing.

Supporters of Sai Baba Sai Baba had a huge following

When he was 13 years old, the young boy announced to his family that he was the incarnation of Shirdi Sai Baba, a 19th century Indian holyman who had been equally venerated by Hindus and Muslims alike. Changing his name was a key spiritual metamorphosis.

The teenage Sai Baba soon began to attract followers and by 1950, had constructed an ashram called Prasanthi Nilayam (Abode of Peace) near his village to accommodate them.

It heralded the start of the transformation of Puttaparthi into a Sai Baba wonderland spread over some 10 square kilometres; the vast complex of hotels, resorts, university buildings, speciality hospital, airport and enormous ashram thronged with devotees that I witnessed while making the documentary.

Non-dogmaticPart of Sai Baba’s huge global popularity may be explained by his non-dogmatic, non-doctrinal approach to spirituality.

In contrast to many sects, followers were not required to give up their previous religious beliefs as the guru stated that he believed in the one God that lay behind all religious paths.

Certainly, Sai Baba inspired love and admiration.

During our time spent filming at the ashram, devotees from around the world would volunteer stories about how Sai Baba had visited them in a dream or had called to them though moments of curious serendipity.

In addition, his mystical ability to manifest vibhuti (holy ash), food as well as jewellery and watches out of thin air was often cited as further proof of his divinity and akin to the ‘miracles’ ascribed to other past prophets.

His opponents, however, refuted this to me.

In the Secret Swami, I was shown how these manifestations could easily be explained by illusionists’ techniques and sleight of hand tricks.

A hospital built by Sai Baba A hospital in Puttaparthi set up by Sai Baba

For decades, various scientists, rationalists and magicians have in turn, attempted to challenge the guru to perform his ‘miracles’ under controlled conditions.

Sai Baba always refused to submit to these tests, once saying: “Science must confine its inquiry only to things belonging to the human senses, while spiritualism transcends the senses. If you want to understand the nature of spiritual power you can do so only through the path of spirituality and not science.”

Sexual Abuse

The most damning allegations against the “god-man”, however, concern the sexual abuse of young boys and male adults during private interviews with him.

Damaging rumours have circulated since the seventies of the guru’s sexual exploits but have always been dismissed out of hand by the tightly controlled Sai Baba organisation.

We interviewed the Rahm family in America who had been Sai Baba devotees for years. Both father and son stated that they had been subjected to Sai Baba rubbing oil on their genitals.

“He took me aside,” said Alaya Rahm, “put the oil on his hands, told me to drop my pants and rubbed my genitals with oil. I was really taken aback.”

Former Indian PM Atal Behari Vajpayee with Sai Baba Sai Baba counted former Indian prime ministers as his followers

Dr Michael Goldstein, chairman of the international Sai Baba organisation, admitted he had heard rumours, but told us that he did not believe them. He said: “My heart and my conscience tell me that it is not possible.”

Sai Baba was never investigated on this issue. All attempts to prosecute him failed.

Nor was there any satisfactory resolution to the gruesome killing of four male devotees in 1993 who allegedly entered Sai Baba’s bedroom, armed with knives.

The police claimed they had been shot in self-defence.

The lack of any legal proceedings against the guru was perhaps not surprising in light of the level of influence that he commanded.

A previous Indian prime minister, Atal Vajpayee, once issued a letter on his official notepaper calling the attacks on Sai Baba “wild, reckless and concocted”.

Since 2005, Sai Baba’s health had been deteriorating. Although he once predicted he would die in his mid-90s, he also claimed he could choose the moment of his death.

In death as in life, he remained an enigma to the last.

Tanya Dutt is a London-based radio and television broadcaster and writer. She made Secret Swami, an investigative documentary on Sai Baba for BBC Two.

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Barry Pittard’s Articles Most-Sought During Sathya Sai Baba Health Crisis (Part 1)

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 23, 2011

Sathya Sai Baba’s life hangs on by a thread no larger than the electrical impluses of his life support equipment. He is not rallying.

In the present climate of heightened enquiry, the links I give below may be useful for readers – especially those new to, or less familiar with, this blogsite. I shall give below a list of links that are being especially well-visited at this time at this blogsite ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba. As I can see from WordPress-provided internal statistical read-outs, these articles are getting solid ‘hits’. To put the matter mildly ….!

Over the next days, I intend to follow up with Parts 2 and 3.

Well may Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees – in particular, the profoundly non-consulted rank-and-file – begin to question what is happening. If they persist, they will find that appalling unaccountability and transparency have been happening all along.

Perhaps not since the heady days of considerable exposure commencing circa 2000 has there been such a ferment of questioning regarding the trustworthiness or otherwise of Sathya Sai Baba.  Over the intervening years, former devotee analysts, researchers and commentators have worked extremely hard to gather documentation (often from official Puttaparthi sources). As well, there has been the work of supporting individuals and families worst devastated by their contact with that version of Sathya Sai Baba that the BBC named ‘The Secret Swami’.

Plenty of these usages of this blogsite originate from:  * Google and other search engines. * Our allied blogsites and websites, such as Robert Priddy’s highly organized main website: Sathya Sai Baba In Word and Action  and his blogsite:  Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed and from the general website Exbaba.com which contains a huge amount of contribution by former devotees from many countries. * Important locations, especially for those who wish extensive, scholarly presentation are Brian Steel’s writings at:   Sathya Sai Baba: The Guru Who Claimed to be God on Earth and Recent Research on Sathya Sai Baba and A Bibliography of Apologetic Writings. Many ‘hits’ come from:  * Individuals who search within this blogsite,  ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’.  * Surfing from the internal links – article to article.  * No, doubt. information passed on by recommendation by word-of-mouth , internet chatroom discussions, emails, the various forms of social media such as Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and so on.  

I see a large inflow of ‘hits’ that I cannot explain by reference to other statistics.  I am supposing that many people are referring each other via word-of-mouth. It was the internet enablement, beginning to develop exponentially from that time, which caused untold damage to the repute of the Sathya Sai Central Trust and the international Sathya Sai Organization. It is difficult to suppose other than that the exposure Sai Baba’s health woes have brought that these instrumentalities will receive another bout of powerful blows to both membership and wider public image.

Both Robert Priddy (retired academic University of Oslo and former longtime head of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organization) and I (retired college teacher and former lecturer at the Sathya Sai College, 1978-79) are experiencing a huge and unabating upsurge of interest for many days – to be exact, since great turmoil and search have erupted following Sathya Sai Baba’s hospitalization and insertion of a pacemaker, on 28 March.

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Current In-Demand Barry Pittard Articles at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip). The BBC shot this devastating exposure of Sathya Sai Baba fakery for its documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ at the Maha Shivarathri Festival at Puttaparthi (2004).  The carelessness with which Sathya Sai Baba botched his trick may be explicable by reference to other serious mistakes, in the context of his declining mental and physical health. See: Sai Baba To Be Seen In Moon? But Where Was Moon? and Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions and When Disasters Overtake S. Sai Baba’s Promises and Sathya Sai Baba’s Tips To Keep Ageing Away and Ageing and collapse in Sai Baba’s health.

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision. The BBC’s cameras at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi in South India catch the pomp, circumstance, opulence and the highly stage-managed atmosphere of the crowded Mahasivaratri festival, February 2004. India’s most famous (and controversial) ‘Godman’ has promised a great miracle, the materialization from within his stomach via his mouth of a pure gold lingam (a Hindu cosmic symbol of creation) the size of a generous egg, in full public view. Viewers hoping to see this spectacle will not be disappointed – but they will see the sham in full close-up.

The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision. The BBC’s cameras at Sathya Sai Baba’s ashram at Puttaparthi in South India catch the pomp, circumstance, opulence and the highly stage-managed atmosphere of the crowded Mahasivaratri festival, February 2004. India’s most famous (and controversial) ‘Godman’ has promised a great miracle, the materialization from within his stomach via his mouth of a pure gold lingam (a Hindu cosmic symbol of creation) the size of a generous egg, in full public view. Viewers hoping to see this spectacle will not be disappointed – but they will see the sham in full close-up.

Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman. More detailed information to that below is found in the article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’. This four-part piece was co-authored by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. It responds to points Dr G. Venkataraman raised against a number of exposure activities by globally networked former followers of Sathya Sai Baba. (See too: Dr G. Venkataraman, Sathya Sai Baba’s Nuclear Boon Companion.

V.P.B. Nair. B.Premanand. R.Priddy: Sai Baba Bedroom Killings. Many Indian journalists and editors and others know of the profound extent of the cover up by the then powerful Home Minister S.B. Chavan, and central, Andhra Pradesh State and local governments. It is a pity that very few have had the courage to speak out publicly on the issue, as has former Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary V.P.B. Nair, who was in office at the time of the killings. It is a sad commentary that very few had the courage in speaking out displayed by those such as Nair and B. Premanand. See transcript of Nair’s statement to the BBC HERE.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Amazing Predictions. A decade ago, Sathya Sai Baba informed his devotees that his aircraft is about to take off to bring his mission to the whole world. That this was stated in no metaphorical sense is well-indicated, for he has told various of his key leaders that he would visit Rome, the UK., Malaysia, southern California. We know that the wealthy Robert Baskin, a key lawyer to the Sathya Sai Organization, has bought a luxury mansion in southern California, equipping it to receive a visit from Sai Baba. See: Wealthy Americans Prepare Mansions For “God’s” Visit. The late Howard Murphet, Australian journalist and author of best-selling books on Sai Baba, with whom he was close for years, wrote: “Swami once, a good many years ago told me that He would not travel abroad until His own house was in order, by that He means India, of course”. Source: Online version, “The Lights of Home”.

Sai Baba No Shiva. Gold From His Gut Is Regurgitator’s Trick. There had been, especially from 2000, tremendous international pressure for Sai Baba and his worldwide Sathya Sai Organization. (See, towards the end of the article – Sathya Sai Baba’s Deputy Head, Dr G. Venkataraman, Speaks of “Mr Idi Amin” – a number of heavy stressors that were being applied by globally networked former devotees known as ‘the exposé). One outcome was the display of an anger Sai Baba has long kept behind-the-scenes. Bad cracks began to appear in the Sai monolith, and the world began to peep through. In a Christmas 2000 discourse, in which peace and goodwill to all men were remarkable for their absence, Sai Baba repeatedly pounded his lectern, denouncing his accuses as demons and Judases, and vaunting his accomplisments (even though, contrary to his assertions, far from unique), prompting The Times of India, December 26, 2000, to headline: Sai Baba Lashes Out At His Detractors.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Slurred Speech Due To Old Age. ‘Eenadu’ News Report. Telegu Press Report Cites ‘Old Age’ Signs In Sai Baba. ‘Eenadu’, with over 10 million daily readers in Andhra Pradesh, the state of India in which Sathya Sai Baba lives, reports a speech in the guru. See also:  Sathya Sai Baba Tells Untruths About His Health? and: Sathya Sai Baba’s Hip Joint Injury and Surgery – 2003. What are the actual facts of the matter? and: Sathya Sai Baba Continues To Ail.

‘SECRET SWAMI’ ARTICLES. Busy journalists, scholars, institutional researchers, and the probing reader in general can do with shortcuts. The piece:  Barry Pittard’s Guide To His Articles On The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ (Exposing Sai Baba) Posted by Barry Pittard on June 6, 2010 –  is a guide to my articles written across some six years on the BBC’s one-hour documentary, The Secret Swami (2004) which, according to the BBC itself, has been aired in some two hundred countries. The articles referred to in this guide are those mentioned below. To give enquirers – in one fell swoop as it were – the opportunity to view the scope of these articles in prospectus, the guide has key quotations from each of the articles.

Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman: Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard. Dr G.Venkataraman is about as close to Sathya Sai Baba as it is possible to get. His worldwide brief as his international broadcaster and his deputy chairmanship of the Sathya Sai Organization makes it relevant to look at his performance. A detailed analyis of Venkatarman at work is found in Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s jointly authored, four-part article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’. To get direct documentation of Venkataraman’s machinations in concert with the Vajpayee government and the then Director of UNESCO (which were exposed by the BBC’s David Saville, although this part was pushed out by other foci of the television documentary, along too with Saville’s verification of the U.S. State Department’s that Sathya Sai Baba was, in fact, the person they had been investigating in regard to sexual molestation of US boys and young men), see: The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory, and:  U.S. State Department Named Sathya Sai Baba To BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’.

NOTE:   Responsible, non-sensationalist media and other serious investigators can contact me at: barrypittard@gmail.com. Or email me at this blogsite from the Comments section below, with a guarantee of privacy. Latest major  media story to which my trusted colleague Robert Priddy and I have contributed is:  Marie Claire Australia. The article ‘Holy Man Or Hoax? by the prominent British journalist Gethin Chamberlain is referred to here:

‘Marie Claire’ Magazine: April 2011. Sathya Sai Baba Still Further Exposed

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 14, 2011

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?

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (and introduction)

                                             

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A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 1

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 20, 2010

For twenty-five years, I was deeply devoted to Sathya Sai Baba. He is widely regarded as India’s most famous and most politically and religiously powerful guru. At his behest, and as an unpaid service, I taught all three years intake in the Humanities degree course at the Sri Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India (1977-1978). In particular, quite apart from a large workload with the first two years, to have been handed the college Principal’s third year English lectures was a considerable challenge for which I shall always be grateful, especially given that this was my first teaching job, except for school experience in my teaching diploma, and my coaching at a college in Australia that helped put me through university, and having also just done post-graduate theatre training.

I had already done some work at the Sri Sathya Sai College for Arts, Science and Commerce before these classes and tutorials began; for example, my own mime performance, and a two-handed performance with an actor from New York of our condensed “Julius Caesar” by William Shakespeare for the senior boys along, and also supervised setting the foundations for a small library, apart from the main library. The ‘small library’, as it came to be called, eventually bloomed into a thriving cultural meeting-point. It gave me contact with boys from many parts of India, and has remained high among memories of a sort that a teacher cherishes. It meant excellent contact with students of very diverse socio-economic background right across the college. Generous funds were advanced so as to stock the ‘small library’ with books most likely to act as drawcards to students at diverse levels of interest and ability. I also originated an audio-visual acquisition committee consisting of the Principal of the college, D. Narendra Rao, (the late) Dr John Hislop (the then head of the Sathya Sai Organization in USA and latin America), and the film maker Richard Bock. See:

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

Sai Baba films by Richard Bock

After years away, I returned to India in November 1997. When I arrived, boys I had taught – now grown men, many in a variety of professions – sped up and milled around. Here and in other places, there was a joy of reunion after long absence. Any fond old teacher’s heart gladdens at the sight of former students, and with rare exceptions. One feels that one has lived not in vain. There is a vital strain within India culture which holds learning, including secular learning, sacred indeed.

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This series continues at:

A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 2

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The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

MI6 Warned Prince Charles Off Sathya Sai Baba, ‘Sunday People'(UK) Says

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 4, 2010

Will there be further attempts by members of the Royal Family to have any connection with Sathya Sai Baba or his Sathya Sai Organization? A number of active, networked critics of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult feel reasonably satisfied that there will not be. There is also recent and entirely reliable confirmation that certain UK government officials – who did not act according to their proper duties – have been made to mind their p’s and q’s. Their earlier derelictions have recently ended them up in a lot of sweaty archive trawling, and accountability questions from on high. (Reputable media or bona fide scholars are welcome to contact this blogsite and I shall get back).  The following article from the archives reflects but one of a number of ventures which give rise to this feeling of some confidence that the Sathya Sai cult has done its dash in matters Royal in Great Britain.

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UK newspaper Sunday People on Sathya Sai Baba
Paedophile Guru in bid to snare Charles Sunday People U.K. – March 12, 2001

MI6 are probing bizarre sect’s link with the Royals

A PERVERT guru who believes he can sexually abuse young boys because he is GOD has tried to lure Prince Charles into his sinister religious sect. He has enlisted some of the Prince’s closest associates in his move – and the future King has admitted he has considered meeting the swami. Yet we can reveal the FBI and police forces round the world and even a senior UN organisation are already investigating millionaire mystic Sai Baba over scores of alleged sex and other crimes. Now MI6 are probing his bizarre movement’s links with Buckingham Palace.

Pot-bellied

For, the Sunday People can reveal, he planned to increase his worldwide influence by converting Charles into one of his millions of followers. The tiny pot-bellied holy man – who wears orange frocks and sports a 70s-style Afro hairdo – enlisted the help of one of the prince’s most-trusted advisors. He hoped that architect Professor Keith Critchlow would be able to persuade Charles to visit his temple, or “ashram”, in southern India.

Amazingly, we have obtained a copy of a letter which Charles wrote to another of Baba’s high-powered disciples within royal circles. In it, he says: “Keith (Critchlow) has often told me about Sai Baba and the effect he has had on many people and it is wonderful to know of the difference he has made to your life. “Perhaps I will be able to meet him one day when the time is right.”

The letter is signed: “Yours most sincerely, Charles.”

At the time, the prince was unaware that Sai Baba was being investigated for sex crimes. Nor did he know that there were also allegations of fraud and widespread financial corruption. UNESCO has also withdrawn support for a conference they were going to co-organise with Sai Baba. And the Foreign Office is now warning British travellers to India to be wary of the group. A senior legal figure linked to Sai Baba’s victims discovered the guru’s plan to target the prince and alerted M16. Sai Baba, the son of a humble peasant farmer, has a massive worldwide following, including at least 40,000 supporters in the UK.

Millions of families with children flock to his luxurious temple, near Bangalore in southern India, to pay homage. But to gain respectability for his movement, Sai Baba has deliberately set out to target showbiz stars, leading politicians, and royals as VIP supporters. Among them is 70-year-old Animal Hospital presenter and children’s favourite Rolf Harris. He claimed the guru’s teachings had transformed his life and played his famous didgeridoo on a fund-raising CD of mystic chants. Another disciple is British blues singer Dana Gillespie. But Sai Baba’s biggest dream was to ensnare a member of the British Royal Family.

Concert pianist David Bailey, who got involved with the movement during the early 90s, told how he and Prof Critchlow held several meetings in India with the guru. And one time Critchlow asked him: “Isn’t it time for me to bring Prince Charles out to see you?”

Bailey said: “The organisation loved to get celebrities in the fold. They were invited to Baba’s birthday parties.   “At the time I was completely besotted and like other devotees thought I’d win brownie points by recruiting influential people.”

Brainwashing

Bailey even tried to “hook” Prince Andrew and Fergie before their marriage broke up. He said: “I had been asked to organise an evening of music at their home and, to put it bluntly, planned to start brainwashing them. “But the evening was cancelled at the last minute.” Fergie did later pay Sai Baba a private visit in 1997 on the recommendation of a stress counsellor following her marriage break-up. The guru likes to amaze followers by passing off cheap conjuring tricks as “miracles” and producing watches and jewellery out of thin air. And he astonished Fergie by making the bangle appear apparently from nowhere.

Bailey finally turned his back on the sect after learning the disgusting truth about Sai Baba’s sexual perversions. He has spent the last two years exposing the bogus holy man, who likes to rub oil into boys’ genitals claiming it helps release their sexual tension. Bailey, who once worked as a music teacher at the Indian temple, explained: “To my horror, I found out he was a homosexual paedophile.” Now every attempt is being made to ensure Sai Baba is kept away from Charles and other royals.

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See also

UK Guardian On Sathya Sai Baba and Duke’s Awards

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 21, 2008

QUOTE

hrh-the-duke-of-edinburgh.jpg

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh

“His Royal Highness’s officials had to act on top of a ‘politically’ not very experienced or competent UK Duke of Edinburgh Awards CEO, Peter Westgarth – see HERE. They were slow off the mark. However, after very high level representations from our side, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme trustees and Prince Philip’s Private Secretary, Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davies KCVO, CBE,

sir-miles-hunt-davis.jpg

realized that a serious matter was at hand. Questions were also raised by some powerful citizens, including a former Home Minister, Tom Sackville. The Duke of Edinburgh Awards required of Dr G. Venkataraman, head of Sathya Sai Baba’s international propaganda apparatus and deputy world chairman of the Sathya Sai Organization, that an official Sai Baba website take down the triumphant – but absurdly mistaken – information that the Duke of Edinburgh Award had been awarded to Sai Baba himself. Venkataraman complied”.

A Duke Stops An Emperor. Edinburgh Routs Sai Baba

QUOTE

“Officials of The Duke of Edinburgh Awards and Buckingham Palace were upset by the boasting of those such as Dr G. Venkataraman and about the Award connections. (Dr. G. Venkataraman is Sai Baba’s deputy world head, who also directs Sai Baba’s international 7 days 24 hours propaganda satellite radio service via the WorldSpace International corporation). See Shitu Chudasama HERE. Shitu Chudasama is the UK Sai Baba national youth coordinator”.

Prince Charles, Princess Diana and Sathya Sai Baba

QUOTE

“I joined the Sathya Sai Organisation in 1983 and soon learned from the Indian immigrant Mr. Manubhai Patel of Wembley – who ran a Sai Baba bookshop there – how he had since the 1960s been regularly sending books about Sathya Sai Baba to Prince Charles, c/o the Palace. He had even received a formal letter of thanks. At the same time, Manubhai Patel told that he had heard it said by some Indian who were present to the wedding of Charles and Diana in St. Pauls Cathedral that – as he had passed them – he had said ‘Sai Ram’ (the usual greeting between Sai devotees). Many followers of Sai Baba doubtless wanted to believe that and the ‘story’ was circulated widely. The likelihood of it being a fact is extremely low – that His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales Britain’s defender of the faith (Anglican Christian faith) would utter such words under the glare of the world’s TV cameras and invasive microphones! Such wishful beliefs are food and drink to many Sai devotees, as some viewing of dedicated Sai Baba sites on the web will clearly show. However, the idea is not entirely without a certain back-up, for Prince Charles certainly has been very interested in Sathya Sai Baba, at least during the 1990s (and almost certainly before that). Britain’s national newspaper the Daily Express published an report in 1990 (though unconfirmed by official sources) that a representative of Prince Charles had written to Sai Baba asking if the Prince might visit Sai Baba, and that this request had been turned down by a letter from the ashram authorities”.

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Some UK Newspaper Reviews of the BBC Documentary ‘The Secret Swami’ About Sathya Sai Baba

Video Resources

The Secret Swami (BBC Television):
(154 MB, Broadband)

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
(80 MB, Broadband)

http://www.rfjvds.dds.nl/ex-baba/~seduced/seduced.wmv
(21 MB, Modem)

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The Public Petition   

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization   

Posted in Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Will Hollywood and Bollywood Dare To Take On The Cult Theme?

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 14, 2010

Through very separate channels, I have learnt that there have been discussions in different parts of the movie-making world about what approaches to scripting, venue, demographics, legal issues, and so forth, might best lend themselves to portraying the story of a guru so controversial and ‘larger-than-life’ as Sathya Sai Baba. Other charismatic cult leader names are mentioned, but Sathya Sai Baba is the biggest.

I earlier wrote:  Dare Songstress Nora Jones Touch Sai Baba? Sathya Sai Baba interests courted Jones (the daughter of the famous Indian sitar player Ravi Shankar, both of them his longtime devotees) to play the lead in a movie, oddly titled “My Guy”, and it will be interesting to get confirmation of the story that the project has foundered.

With the above thoughts in mind, as I was looking at a few articles and it struck me how many impactful stories, if followed to their roots,  there would be found in so much work of the more serious and competent critics of Sathya Sai Baba. Wide publics have a thirst for murder and mayhem. This does not lack on Sathya Sai Baba’s bloody trail. There is massive financial, political, and judicial and police corruption. But whether enough audiences can be persuaded to view often-tabooed and acutely distressing themes such as serial sexual abuse is a moot point. One of the top handful of former police chiefs in the world told me that he considered Sathya Sai Baba as plausibly the master criminal of the 20th century. (To reputed media or other serious investigators, I can share his name. He is in consultancy these days). We also know , again at first hand, that in various foreign services there are high-ranking diplomats (including at the level of Ambassador) who do not wish to see Sathya Sai Baba triumph, but in repeated cases they are told by their governments:  not to ‘rock the boat with India’.

The need for excellent movies on the contra cult topic is acute. It is one of the most crucially avoided topics by powerful political and religious  instrumentalities. Apart from common-or-garden cowardice, there is a great deal of misconceived liberalism about, with an excess of political correctness and misunderstanding at large in the matter of what, exactly, religious freedom consists. In the preface to Robert Priddy’s and my long article, we wrote, referring to a writer dear to me: 

“The foes of the ‘open society’ (Sir Karl Popper’s term) are those who use its very openness to achieve their closed and devious ends. Sai Baba and his highly authoritarian and cultist organisation have such ends, which critics have tried to make known. Its foremost leaders silence all those who question it – and never face substantive criticisms. For the first time – after six years of pained and guilty silence – since hundreds of long-term devotees left it in disgust – the Sathya Sai Organisation has found it necessary to try to defuse the debate about Sathya Sai Baba’s alleged crimes, deceits and fraudulence. Dr. Venkataraman’s tendentious cover-up article expresses untruths which have long circulated within the cult, giving an opportunity to confront him with facts and truth”:  The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed 

The cultic costs to society are catastrophic, Intelligent movies driven by more than just profits will need to draw together the two main needs: integrity AND profitability. No reason why creative people should languish for honest work. I notice, incidentally, that some movies, expectedly, are jumping, but crassly, onto the 3D bandwagon. But what better country than India to portray via the 3D medium. Imagine if Sir Richard Attenborough’s ‘Gandhi’ had been made in 3D. Those who wish to see the most powerful exposure of cults need to be on the cutting edge, but not for its own sake.

The articles I had in view (although there are so many others) were:

David Bailey on Sathya Sai Baba (transcript from phone call) Excerpts with surprising facts that came to light when this great favourite of Sai Baba was phoned by Thomas Wiehe of Sweden – concerning the reasons why the Bailey’s rejected Sai Baba and all his works.

David Bailey’s disaffection in 1999 (phone conversation transcript & audio) On how Britain’s MI5 investigated David Bailey on account of protection of the Royal family, and the consequences for him, and other surprising facts.

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

V.K. Narasimhan on the 1993 Sathya Sai Baba murders Shattering information about the 1993 murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom – private confidences shared with Robert Priddy’s longtime friend V.K. Narasimhan, one of India’s greatest and most principled newspaper editors.

Inside information on Sathya Sai Baba by very close servitor Famous Indian editor, V.K. Narasimhan, was full of doubts about Sathya Sai Baba’s claims, but supported him due to social improvements his movement has made.

Ullrich Zimmermann’s Shocking Interview With Sathya Sai Baba. With comments by Robert Priddy, referring to the revelations on video by Ullrich Zimmermann of his interviews with Sathya Sai Baba – click here

More Testimony To Male Sexual Abuse By Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 1, 2010

See also: 

Wikipedia Issues and Sathya Sai Baba

Recent Research on the Claims of Sathya Sai Baba

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

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

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

Stephen Carthew, more recently engaged in his Ph.D. work has also given valuable account. He has latterly appeared in a one-hour ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) documentary. See my article:  Stephen Carthew, A Voice of Testimony From Australia, On The Dangers of Cults. An important document is his:

Letter from Stephen Carthew and see too the European head (the late) Thorbjorn Meyer’s similarly soviet-style treatment of Serguei Badaev, when the latter was president of the Sathya Sai Organization’s Moscow center,  deputy national coodinator, and coordinator of the national Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV):-

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

Badaev’s account is found in his:

Story of My Disqualification

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

Why Has Sathya Sai Baba Not Faced The Indian Justice System?

Big Cult Trumps At Law. Is But A ‘Bookshop’

‘BILD’ Story. “Guru Wants Sex” (Sathya Sai Baba)

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

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The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):

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

There is a Spanish version available:  

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

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Subscribe in   NewsGator Online Subscribe   in Bloglines Add to My AOLAdd to Excite   MIX Add Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba   to Newsburst from CNET News.com Add to   netvibes Add to The   Free Dictionary Add to netomat Hub Add to Webwag Subscribe in a reader Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

 

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, Skeptics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Nityananda, Sathya Sai Baba et al… Do Hindus Really Approve Sexual Immorality?

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 21, 2010

                                                                                 Swami Nityananda Sex Scandal. Huge, India-wide Interest

The court appearances of Swami Nityananda of India on charges of improper sexual behaviour towards a number of young women have made him the butt of outrage throughout India. Innumerable news articles, blogs, chatrooms, attest to the overwhelming abhorrence of a very broad Hindu public (what to mention other belief systems) for the types of sexual practices being referred to in the Nityananda court proceedings. 

In recent years, a top-ranking Hindu leader sent me an email (which can be verified for bona fide media and scholars who may wish to check that what networked former Sathya Sai Baba devotees and other critics claim is true). See:  Sathya Sai Baba: ‘Considerable Concern’ In Wider Hindu Community. This outstanding leader, recognized by a wide cross-section of Hindu organizations in his country, wrote:  

There is considerable concern among the Hindu Community, especially among the educated. It is very hard to get any action from the temples as they do not wish to cause difficulties with the Sathya Sai Baba groups. People are starting to distance themselves from Sathya Sai Baba. It’s going to be gradual process of education. The biggest impact it appears was the ‘The Secret Swami’ … it seems it has had a tremendous negative effect on Sathya Sai Baba”.  

One of the greatest anomalies is that many religious institutions do not speak clearly – or very often even at all – on issues for which social taboos absurdly and dangerously flourish. The lack of genuine religious leadership and vision are palpable. The result is that lay persons frequently have to whistle-blow, and face extraordinary libel, defamation and other forms of attack because they vibrantly live those tenets that are so preached and yet so breached. In India, the dereliction of the religious institutions from facing hard moral questions is in sharp contrast to a rationalist such as the late Basava Premanand. See:  Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach. For a western example, see:  In Memoriam – Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”)

In his article – Swami Nityananda tries the Sathya Sai Baba defense ploy, Posted by robertpriddy on May 20, 2010 – Robert Priddy, the former national head for many years of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway, has just blogged on some recent developments in the Swami Nityananda exposure. He writes:

“So the Hindu Sangam in Malaysia evidently supports secret tantrick sexual exploits as this is not against Hinduism, for they could not have failed to note this aspect of Nityananda’s teaching. At least, it’s good to know where they really stand! One wonders if they support the practises of Sathya Sai Baba (which top Sai officials condone) such as the oiling of young male genitals. Or perhaps even also Sathya Sai Baba’s very widely testified sexual abuses from around the world, including pedophilia?” 

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By Robert Priddy

Sex scandal in Indian media – Nityananda and forerunners  

Swami ‘Paramahamsa’ Nityananda scandal – latest

HC dismisses plea for CBI probe against Nityananda 

 Nityananda sex scandal compounded by his lies and deceits 

 Basava Premanand Tribute: Indian Exposer of Sathya Sai Baba Dies 

 Nityananda sex scandal compounded by his lies and deceits

Nityananda video, lies and ’sex allegations’

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By Barry Pittard 

 Nityananda Sex Scandal Erupts in India. Sathya Sai Baba Lessons?

Nityananda Scandal. Police Seize Indicting Material. Why No Raids On Sathya Sai Baba?

 Is Heat Too Much For Swami Nityananda, Under Fire By Sex Abuse Allegations?

Why Nithyananda Sex Scandal Investigations and Not A Sathya Sai Baba Probe?

Boy Scouts of America – Sex Abuse Revelations. Who Next?

Priest Abuse. Long-denied Justice Catching Up In Australia Sexual Abuse Priests. What?! The Pope Never Knew?

Roman Catholics’ Deep Concern At Pope’s Apology. But He Is Way Ahead Of Indian ‘Pope’ Sathya  Sai Baba  

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The Public Petition

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization  

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult 

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): 

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

There is a Spanish version available:    

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

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Subscribe in  NewsGator Online Subscribe  in Bloglines Add to My AOLAdd to Excite  MIX Add Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba  to Newsburst from CNET News.com Add to  netvibes     Add to The  Free Dictionary Add to netomat Hub Add to Webwag   Subscribe in a reader     Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba       

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Rationalism, Skeptics, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Sathya Sai Organization Spurns Leave-takers Whom It Formerly Honored For Decades

Posted by Barry Pittard on May 20, 2010

One of two documents addressed which prominent ex-office bearers in the Sathya Sai Organization have addressed to Sathya Sai Baba’s top officials is:

“Towards Public Accountability and Due Investigation:  A Formal Open Appeal To ‘The Prashanti Council'”

The so-called ‘Prashanthi Council’ is the ruling body over all Sathya Sai Baba instrumentalities. There was not even the courtesy of acknowledgement. It mattered nothing that signatories had given decades of the utmost dedicated service in his name. Or that they reflected the feelings of a great many who have, prompted by the keenest ethical principle, left Sathya Sai Baba and his organization.

At the head of the international Sathya Sai Organization is Dr Michael Goldstein, of Covena, California, USA. Here he is – how very spiritual this organization head of the supposed God Fully Incarnate – this Goldstein looks! – caught by a BBC hidden camera (See: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision  and BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical? and BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ and British Press Praise):

mcenroe-couldnt-match-sai-baba-chief.jpg

The document commences:

“The JuST group (Just Seekers of Truth), representing the 32 original signatories of the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organisation, has always been open for discussion of its contentions with any officials of the Sathya Sai Organisation or other accredited representatives of Sathya Sai Baba. In this connection, the recently-extended working committee of the international JuST group – most of whom appear among the 32 original signatories – would draw attention to the recent formation of ‘The Prashanthi Council’”.

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View BBC Video Clips of Dr Michael Goldstein

Note:   This footage was caught by hidden camera, an uncommon resort that required BBC management and legal sanction at the highest corporate levels.

Michael Goldstein and the sexual allegations (2,10 Mbs)

Michael Goldstein admits his view is merely a belief (456kbs)

Raising ever more serious questions about how spiritual is the head of what Sathya Sai Baba has called THE divine organization in the world,

Michael Goldstein explodes with anger (710kbs)

at the BBC’s perfectly reasonable questions about accountability

Dr. Goldstein again reveals his higher self (1.500Kb)

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The Public Petition   

Information on the Public Petition for Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization 

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition): Public Petition For Official Investigations of Sathya Sai Baba and His Worldwide Organization   

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »